Archive for February, 2006

How long before they make Grand Theft Auto – Dáil Eireann Edition

Monday, February 13th, 2006

Driving down motorways the wrong way, drunk.
Knocking down pedestrians.
Breaking speed limits.
Then we have the big boss Gun Runner though we had a previous gun runner also run the country.

Oooh, and we can have a fascist Chief of Police.

*puts on his Judas Priest album and spins “Breaking the Law”*

Toyota Jeeps Rock

Sunday, February 12th, 2006

Toyota Jeeps Rock Top Gear really put this through its paces.

Edit: Seems that the vid was taken off Google Video. Here it is in two parts from YouTube:

Lazy investigative journalism

Sunday, February 12th, 2006

Update: She was acquitted.

Piaras Kelly mentioned the Naomi McElroy story that was in the Sunday Times. Basically she was done for writing fake prescriptions to aid in some story she was investigating. Piaras suggested her work was like those who tested the security of flights after the Sept 11th terrorist attacks:

Who can forget the number of weapons sneaked onto flights in the wake of 9/11 in a bid to highlight poor airport security

I replied in the comments but I think his commenting system dislikes me as only half my comments ever seem to get through. This is my view:

The weapons were fake, like her prescriptons but the big deal is she got drugs from these prescriptions. Would you rob a bank to prove their security was weak?

You can highlight weaknesses in most systems by adhering to the law, it just takes more work. If she wants to break the law to highlight something then she must pay the price and she knew the price before she did this. Her editor should also be found complicit. Journalists are not above the law just because they are trying to improve the system/get more readers.Is this lazy journalism?

Sarah mentioned on the Newstalk show today that blogs and bloggers don’t forgive lazy journalism. I guess this blogger doesn’t forgive Geraldo style lazy investigative journalism either.

Saturday 11th Feb Tab closures

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

Before I watch the latest episode of Battlestar I thought I’d get these bits out of the way:

Via Philipp Lenssen comes maybe the next Million Dollar homepage style idea that doesn’t quite suck like the others. Stuff and me has a Aric Mckeown take a pic of him with your product and it is displayed on his front page for 24 hours and then it goes into his archives and I think goes into some rotating banners ads too. It costs you $15. Doesn’t sound so bad really if the site gains a lot of traffic. Then comes the bit I like. Like Rocketboom, he chooses what the ad will be.

Your suggestions may be used directly in the ad, as a jumping off point for creating the ad, or discarded for something more fun or practicle.

Fake tattoo sleeves. Interesting, but why buy one of these when you can instead go through 14 hours of pain and lots of blood and blow a grand? Much more fun.

Kevin burton points to a great web traffic analysis tool. It visualises you visitors and makes into a Sims like construct. This rocks. Visitorville is looking for salespeople in Ireland. Check out the clever ad which obviously spotted my IP and then generated the ad.

VisitorVille Ad

Tut tut Tower.

Blog Post Chat Channels – Maybe an IrishBlogs Chat Channel?

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

Techcrunch mentions 3Bubbles. Livechat on your blog using AJAX or some ilk. I don’t think a chat window for a blog post will work. Blogs are still slightly out of synch with realtime and that’s a good thing. It allows people to read, reflect, reflect more, google some thoughts and then make a post. In a way the quality of discourse would go down whereas the quantity of noise would go up.

A chat window on a blog and not a blog post might work but people hit my blog at totally different times and since Google brings so much of my traffic and to posts a few months or years old, what is the point in having a chatroom for these posts? People would need to be sitting on my site all day long for it to be useful.

Here’s a suggestion: Have people agree on one chat channel per topic and have that channel shared between numerous blogs. That might work a tad bit better. This might not be too bad idea for the Irish Bloggersphere with an Irishblogs General chat channel and a IrishBlogs Politics Channel but even at that I think there should be scheduled times where people can drop in and chat about specific topics. Naturally the general chat channel is open 24/7

Exposé on Irish Blog Awards corruption

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

Paige uncovers the truth, the whole truth and maybe not the truth at all about corruption in the Irish Blog Awards. I don’t have a comment at the time of publishing of this post.


Newstalk on the Blog Awards – 12th Feb, 12.30pm

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

As Sarah Carey mentions, Newstalk will be talking about the Blog Awards, regulation of blogs and possibly Wikipedia tomorrow at 12.30. As well as Sarah, TJ McIntyre from Digital Rights Ireland will be on the discussion panel and also myself.

Now, I’m sure nobody will txt in saying “Vote for Johnny12’s blog, roight” and stuff like that. 🙂 Newstalk txt number is: 086 6000 106 *ahem*

RSS will in fact kill some forms of email

Saturday, February 11th, 2006

We’ve not had a techy fight in ages thanks to all the women having their own fights, so lets go!

Michele points to Tom O’Leary’s quite defensive stand on email and why RSS is not the wunderkind it is billed to be.

Tom lists reasons where RSS falls down and where email is better. I’ve added some comments of my own:

* You can’t segment an audience with RSS for a demographically-designed message without investing in a complex backoffice utility.

The more you want a custom designed and delivered message, the more it is going to be complex to design/run. That goes for everything. However for an end-user it doesn’t have to be complex whatsoever. The magic to make it simple to use is the job of a professional software house. Is this something like Nooked does?

* You can’t securely send passwords, key codes or recipient-specific information with RSS

There is such as thing as Secure RSS that can in fact do this and much more.

* You can’t effectively align images in a message with RSS.

This just boils down to the definition of effective. Tis an XML feed after all. Style information could in fact be included.

* You can’t use HTML design effectively with RSS.

See above.

* You can’t personalize an RSS feed with custom content.

Nooked again? Well you could in fact by having an rss feed with a unique session id added to it everytime the feed subscription page is loaded. I’m not a coder and this seems obvious to me.

RSS will in my view be good for email and make email more enjoyable. Newsletters and all these one-way communications that make up so much of our inboxes will be gone and we can get on with communicating with people and not automated shite that streams in.

I don’t think there’s any reason to think that email will die as a result of RSS but it will be repositioned certainly. Anyone that says that RSS will kill email is obviously a bit dim. However, if people were to say RSS would replaced the one way delivery of information to someone that email was previously used to do this, then that’s quite brought. The new mailclients will have RSS integration built in and people will prefer to click, subscribe, click unsubscribe.

Email is fine for communicating but absolutely crap for attention. Anyone can mail you in whatever volumes they want and you have to sort it. Sure spam filters and all that will look after some, but it is an arms race between the spammers and the filter makers. RSS means you say “I will allow such a person to get my attention” and if you get bored of them. Click. Gone. No chance of getting hit with new sneaky feeds or your details being sold on someone else delivers a feed to you.

ISPs forced to filter – business opportunity for them though

Friday, February 10th, 2006

So with all this talk of Net Neutrality and the big telcos in the states trying to strong-arm money off Google, wouldn’t a great way for Irish ISPS to make the money back off Data Retention be to use the filtering systems Herr McFlick wants, to actually block everthing bar websites. “We notice you’re trying to use VOIP. VOIP is an additional resource and we need to charge for that.” Stranger things…

Building up the Gay Agenda

Friday, February 10th, 2006

Richard Waghorne said on his blog:

it seems that politically-motivated gay people are over-represented online

I’d disagree and think that of those in the Irish blog O’Sphere who identify as lesbian or gay, they’re not very poltical or into activism at all. Look at Homosexual Agenda which has 43 bloggers listed. 43 out of 1000+ Many of them aren’t very active bloggers either. Now look at the posts in that aggregator. Not hugely political for the main part are they? Except the usual dodgy characters 🙂

So in disagreeing with Richard I think myself and Rob need to start adding more people to the Gay Agenda. The idea is to add blogs which are, like Richard mentions, “politically-motivated” though we don’t want foaming at the mouth folks either. Sorry RabidStraightHatingBottom33, maybe try another aggregator? Ta. So, if you have a few LGBT blogs in your aggregator and you believe they are political/activist type blogs, please leave links in the comments. (The spam protection for comments kicks in for 2 or more hyperlinks in comments so your post will go into the moderation queue.) The blogs don’t have to be Irish either. We also want blogs you read. We want you to be the quality control and won’t let in any blog you haven’t read.

Note to the FeFiFoe people: This is not an invite for commentary on Richard. There’s more than one blog outlet for that already. 🙂