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.
Hotel Reykjavík Marina, owned by Icelandair, has apologised for the name of its “Apartheid” cocktail, after the online medium Africa Is A Country tweeted about it, submitting a photograph as evidence: The Apartheid cocktail, on sale at the Marina Hotel, Reykjavik (owner: @Icelandair) pic.twitter.com/IyrQkx60bU — AFRICA IS A COUNTRY (@AfricasaCountry) December 19, 2014 Icelandair’s first response was not an apology however. After @AfricasaCountry’s tweet, but before the apology, whoever handles Icelandair’s account tweeted back, apparently missing the point completely: “Simply scrumptious, enjoy!” Icelandair offered, adding: “Happy Holidays”: @AfricasaCountry Simply scrumptious, enjoy! Happy Holidays — Icelandair (@Icelandair) December 19, 2014 In
A container intended to accommodate doctors at Landspítalinn fell off a truck by Miklabraut, Reykjavík, Friday morning. This was reported by RÚV. Luckily, the container fell on a slip road and did thereby not seriously disturb traffic. Eighteen containers are currently being stacked on the hospital’s premises by Hringbraut, for doctors’ offices. Strike and negotiations Doctors at State hospitals started their first strike action ever late October. So far, negotiations between doctors and State have not produced results. On Friday morning, representatives of the Icelandic Medical Association met with representatives of the State to continue negotiations. Last week, Prime Minister
The 250 machine guns acquired from Norway, by the Coast Guard, to share with Iceland’s Police forces, have not been returned as intended. According to the Coast Guard’s public relations manager, they are waiting for an opportunity to ship the guns back without paying hefty shipping fees. This was reported by Vísir. This October, DV broke the news of the acquired weapons and plans within the Police to arm general patrol cars with the MP5 submachine guns. Traditionally, most Police officers have served unarmed, but are backed up, when needed, by special forces. A dispute then arose between authorities within
For centuries, each Christmas, I have indulged in Iceland’s greatest culinary innovation, Skyr. Now, this beloved strained yoghurt continues to gain popularity across continents. Earlier this year MS Iceland Dairies (Mjólkursamsalan) predicted that 60 million pots of skyr would be sold internationally and 8 million pots domestically. I’ve posted a number of my personal skyr recipes on my food blog, Skyrgámur’s Scrumptious Skyr Secrets, but in honour of the upcoming season I’m guest blogging here on the Grapevine to share my Ultimate Christmas Skyr Cake – Enjoy! Skyrgámur’s Ultimate Christmas Skyr Cake Ingredients Base 200 g (7 ounces) Dates, pitted
The Central Bank of Iceland has decided to prepay 50 billion ISK (ca. €320 mi) to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). According to the bank’s statement, this was decided in the light of the bank’s “relatively abundant liquidity position”. Following Iceland’s 2008 economic crash, the country received financing from the IMF, totalling at around €1,6 billion. After the currently announced payment, authorities will, according to the Central Bank, have repaid 83% of the loan.
Only a third of Icelanders will be buying a real live Christmas tree this holiday season, report RÚV. According to a survey from MMR, artificial Christmas trees have been slowly but surely taking over the holiday tree market in Iceland. Roughly 32% of people will be buying a living Christmas tree this year compared to 40% two years ago. Meanwhile 56% of Icelanders plan to buy or put up an artificial Christmas tree this year. Taking their survey a bit further MMR discovered that those who vote for the Social Democratic Alliance or Bright Future are more likely to buy