Archive for September, 2006

Boooooom – Fluffy Links Sept 27th 2006

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Baby Toupees. Gallery of babies looking quite odd.

Dog swallows car rfid key so has to be kept in car for owner to be able to drive.

They will now have to take George [the dog] with them in the car until things take their natural course.

Slate wonders why so many prostitutes in the Bible?

Some people are making up to $300k a month from Google Ads.

Lithuania’s cabinet sessions can now be watched in real time and on your mobile.

Watch over 250 hours of courses from the University of Berkeley online via Google Video.

New clothes for a second life

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

The Wall Street Journal has a piece on the money to be made selling virtual fashion goods in Second Life. It’s a thriving virtual cottage industry. Unlike online games, Second Life seems to have a far more balanced demographic: Median age 32 and 57% male, with 40% living outside the U.S. This means you can sell more than redbull and virtual weapons to the users.

Anyways, this is a subtle way to remind you that Sabrina Dent will have a talk called “Making Money in SecondLife” at BarCampIreland this saturday. Sabrina is a co-owner of Linden Lifestyles.

Cork County Councillors Expenses and Salaries for 2005

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

For all those in Cork, here are the most of the payments your county councillors got in 2005. A full breakdown is available here. The below totals include mileage expenses, conferences and an annual salary (Representational Payment) of €15,330.00 for being a councillor (which is a part-time position remember) .
P.J. sheehan was Mayor below too and got more money for that. The Examiner had a piece about him here.

Names Total in Euros
P.J. Sheehan 52,098.70
Noel Harrington 42,261.98
Danny Crowley 41,705.42
Tadgh O’Donovan 41,001.34
John O’Shea 40,836.60
Joe Carroll 39,273.02
Michael Donegan 37,525.42
Aindrias Moynihan 36,810.70
Maura Cal McCarthy 36,179.96
Barbara Murray 35,895.24
Aileen Pyne 35,559.25
Christy O’Sullivan 35,160.54
Kevin O’Keeffe 35,023.56
Marie Murphy 34,812.31
Marian Murphy 34,789.16
Dan Joe Fitzgerald 34,733.31
Liam O’Doherty 34,615.75
Patrick Buckley 34,497.98
Martin Coughlan 34,484.69
Tom Sheahan 34,387.62
Kevin Murphy 34,317.67
Michael Hegarty 33,763.47
Donal O’Rourke 33,539.83
Frank O’Flynn 33,254.95
Tomás Ryan 33,253.53
Donal Casey 33,220.96
Mark O’Keeffe 33,189.51
Seán Sherlock 33,131.94
Alan Coleman 32,445.74
Maurice Ahern 32,274.45
Jim Daly 32,165.67
Gerry Kelly 31,965.41
Tim Lombard 31,672.38
Noel Collins 31,604.09
John Mulvihill 31,600.67
Noel Buckley 31,507.36
Noel O’Connor 31,440.06
Michael Creed 30,909.14
Derry Canty 30,702.29
Paula Desmond 30,336.87
Martin Hallinan 30,218.11
John Gilroy 29,314.82
Peter Kelly 28,951.11
Daniel Fleming 27,908.81
John Collins 27,302.08
Michael McGrath 25,546.90
Deirdre Forde 25,333.94
Veronica Neville 25,182.97

How ComReg allows eircom to increase our line rental whether we like it or not

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

If eircom wants to increase line rental charges in this country, in theory there is nothing that can be done about it. eircom have “Significant Market Power” (this is telecoms speak for the power to smother all competition) and so the way they bill people must be regulated according to the EU. The regulator does this by creating a pricing model. Via a suggested usage model, ComReg created a model for the average user and this model is then used to keep eircom’s phone charges down (in theory). For a phonebill ComReg created a model something like: W + X + Y = Z. Z cannot increase by anything more than inflation. W is the cost of say 10 mobile calls, X is the cost of say 20 local calls and Y is the line rental charge. There are more costs on the left hand side than those mentioned.

ComReg have allowed eircom to dictate the prices of the individual items on the left hand side of this model. W and X and Y etc. can be changed by eircom once Z does not increase by more than inflation.

Increased use of mobiles, use of VoIP on broadband and massive price cuts by resellers means that telcos across Europe are making way less from landline calls. eircom is no exception. It would make sense then for eircom to look at ways at preserving the revenue they get from a customer without making too much effort.

To do this they are going to bump up the cost of line rental while reducing the cost of calls. Once the increase in line rental balances with the decrease in call costs, they can do it. Since people make hardly any calls, eircom are in effect making more money per customer even though one side of the equation remains static. The model is seriously flawed. In other countries the regulator also controls the line rental charge so a telco can’t screw you with a massive line rental charge which you have no choice in paying, unlike all the other variables.

Ireland now has the highest line rental charge in the EU at €24.17 per month, €8 above the EU average and €6 more than the second most expensive EU country. Welcome to regulation, ComReg style. That’s the “how” ComReg allows it, ever wonder the “why”?

Bonus fuckover. The model apparently includes VAT. eircom is fighting to make sure that phone is classed as a service and not a product. If it is, it means a rate of VAT at 13.5% and not the current 21%. You won’t see a 7.5% saving on your bill though but I bet you will see some announcement of a 2% saving and later in the year ComReg will inform the world how they have saved you money in their tireless effort to help the consumer.

So with so much taken in line rental, what have we got? An eircom network that is riddled with crappy lines. eircom have told the Oireachtas that to remove carriers (devices that splits a phone line between a few houses, saving copper but with the result broadband doesn’t work on them) will cost €200 million. Where’s the 100s of millions they take on line rental going?

ComReg have a consultation on landline bills at the moment and are looking for feedback. More details here. The deadline for sending in feedback is Friday the 29th of September. I suggest emailing and tell them what you do and don’t want on your phone bill.

Podcasting – Not as easy as it seems?

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

BarCamp IrelandElly Parker will be doing a talk at BarCampIreland entitled “Getting Granny Podcasting (or Encouraging Web Usage in Non-Technical People)”. How hard is podcasting to do and to sustain? With so many Irish bloggers going on hiatus or just finishing up completely, will we see the same with podcasts?

Fred Wilson has stopped doing his family podcast stating:

It’s a fun thing to do for a while. But it’s really hard to sustain. It requires setting things up, getting a show together, and then editing the audio, making sure the sound is right, and then uploading the file to a hosting service, and then publicizing it.

Jeff Jarvis also informs us that Annik Rubens and Ricky Gervais have stopped doing their podcasts too. Ricky seems to have made a fortune out of it though.

Hopefully there’ll be a good discussion on the day at BarCamp about podcasting with some tips and tricks and advice on how to stick with it. There seems to be a good few podcasters coming down to Cork so come along and play devil’s advocate. I bet John Handelaar will be there. 🙂 Here’s a list of 5 mistakes to avoid with corporate podcasting.

Dracula – Cork – Friday the 13th

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Frank is starring in Dracula. It opens on Friday 13th of October in the Firkin Crane. Looks interesting.

Conference: Media Rich, Information Poor! – Dublin October 12th

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Found on

A conference to Explore ways to achieve a more purposeful media.
Croke Park Conference Centre – Thursday 12th October 2006

Who Should attend?
Community media activists, their volunteers and staff, also anyone involved in non-profit, grassroots media, community and voluntary organisations, media researchers/students/academics and anyone concerned about the direction of global media.

Who is involved?

This Conference is funded by the Dublin Community Forum and the Dublin City Development Board. The conference is hosted by the Dublin Community Media Forum, which includes 8 community radio stations, DCTV and other aspirant groups, plus a number of community IT and print initiatives.

Cost of attending the conference is €10.

If your interested there is a schedule and booking information on the pdf that can be found here.

Getting things done – Anyone want to talk on this at BarCamp?

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Webworks inside the atrium

Anyone want to talk about Getting Things Done at BarCamp this Saturday? Leave a note on the BarCampIreland blog.

Fluffy Links September 26th 2006

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

The British library says update copyright law. They’re not so fond of DRM.

List of the films that most frequently use the word “fuck”. To be in the list, “fuck” has to be used more than 100 times. Reminds me of a scene in “The Wire” in Season 1 where for five mins or so all the characters say is “fuck”. They must have been going for some world record.

One way to Hong Kong for £75. The Ryanair of long haul?

EDS Airplane Ad:

2001: A space odyssey, set to Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon:

Wizard of Oz set to Pink Floyd:

Clinton kicks Fox Ass:

Broadband speeds and prices in other countries – Japan has 52mb broadband for 31USD a month

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Living in Japan, South Korea or Sweden means you are living in a broadband paradise. (Japan’s line rental is cheaper than us too.)

Broadband speeds and prices

Edit: Irish Prices for “higher speed” products

eircom broadband business plus – 4MB – €107.69 inc vat
eircom broadband business enhanced – 5MB – €204 inc vat

Digiweb Metro Plus – 5MB – €78.65
Digiweb Metro Xpress – 8Mb – €163.35