In response to a story Grapevine reported about Vodafone possibly blocking access to porn and gambling sites, a spokesperson for Vodafone explained in further detail what ideas are – and are not – on the table. On Monday, Grapevine reported on a story from RÚV which stated that Iceland’s two largest ISPs, Vodafone and Síminn, were considering blocking customer access to porn and gambling sites, justifying the idea as a defence against malware. Today, Vodafone spokesperson Hrannar Pétursson wrote to the Grapevine to clarify his company’s position:
1. Vodafone is not planning to block access to any material online. 2. We have never said that a „block, if enforced, would be a way to protect customers from viruses and malware that frequently run rampant on porn and gambling sites” as stated. 3. The Grapevine story was written from a story from RUV, which again was made from radio discussions on the Online Safety Bill now being discussed in the UK. During the radio discussions I said, that Vodafone had considered to have its Online Filtering Service default on all connection. Instead of having to turn the filter on customers who choose would have to turn the filter off, using their self-service page. This would not require them to list the sites they want access to and would happen without any interference by us. 4. It is incorrect that „customers could still request access to such sites … but doing so would require users to tell their ISP what risqué sites they want to visit.“ Customers would use their self-service page to turn the filtering off. 5. If – and I repeat – these discussion will lead to any actions at all, users would control their access themselves by using their self-service page. Overall the story is based on mis-understanding. It is as important for us, as it is for your readers, that the key messages in the story are corrected as soon as possible.
Fortunately for us, the Holurhraun eruption (discussed here and here) has not produced airplane-choking ash clouds nor led to devastating glacial flooding. There have, however, been continuous plumes of sulphur dioxide wafting through mostly North and East Iceland from the site of the Holuhraun eruption, giving police another reason to cordon off a large swath of Iceland from public access. Not that this hasn’t stopped a few idiots from blithely driving into an eruption site anyway. New forms of natural selection ahoy! Minister of Health Kristján Þór Júlíusson is exploring the legalisation of drugs, going so far as to agree
The follow-up to Björk’s 2011 album ‘Biophilia’ will be co-produced by Brooklyn based Venezuelan artist Arca, reports Pitchfork Media. Arca has previously collaborated with Kanye West on his album Yeezus and FKA Twigs on EP2. Björk’s last album Biophilia has far surpassed the boundaries of a simple studio album and by embracing new technology has found its way into Nordic school curriculums and been the inspiration for a film which recently premiered at Manchester International Festival.
A thousand litres of the Christmas beer, Þvörusleikir (named after Icelandic Yule Lad “Spoon Licker”), was poured down the drain at Borg Brugghús in recent days, reports Nútíminn. Árni Long, Borg Brugghús (Borg Brewery’s) master brewer told Nútíminn that he would not distribute a beer he was even a little unsatisfied with. “This is obviously a tragedy for beer enthusiasts like us,” said Árni. “But at the same time it’s something you must learn to tolerate as master brewer for an innovative brewery. These 1.000 litres of Christmas beer simply did not measure up to the standards we set for [our
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, has said women will be included in the UN Conference on women after all, but it remains unclear exactly how they will be included, reports Newsweek. As reported yesterday, Gunnar Bragi announced in a speech at the UN General Assembly that Iceland in cooperation with Suriname was planning to host a “Male Only” UN conference inviting male leaders worldwide to discuss violence against women and other women’s issues. The news was met with a barrage of criticism with people wondering why Iceland, a global leader in gender equality, would purposely exclude women from a
After failed attempts at negotiations with State authorities, surgeons at the national university hospital Landspítalinn will vote, later this week, on a potential strike. The strike action would commence in two weeks and postpone 150 operations each week. 5,000 people currently await operation, according to RÚV. In case of a strike, surgeons would still do emergency operations. Minister of Healthcare, Kristján Þór Júlíusson, has said that he supports the surgeons’ demands and will discuss the matter with Minister of Finance, Bjarni Benediktsson.
Healthcare Minister Kristján Þór Júlíusson has proposed that the State sell some assets to finance the construction of new hospital building. In a radio interview broadcast by RÚV Wednesday morning, he stated: “We should proceed by transferring assets that belong to Icelanders in common to another form of ownership, in order to be able to reconstruct our national hospital, as everyone agrees we must do.” As journalist Jóhann Hauksson already pointed out, in pre-2008 Icelandic, ‘transferring assets to another form of ownership’ would have been simply called privatization. The Minister evaluates State assets at a total neat 1,000 billion ISK,