Archive for November, 2006

Definition of regulation: to let monopolistic companies run riot?

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

So Cullen is setting up the Dublin Transportation Authority about 20 years too late. One quote annoyed me:

It’s also going to be in charge of traffic management, bus and rail fares and overall integration of the transport in the capital.

Going by the way the telecoms poodle looks after pricing and the way the energy regulator allows energy companies to do what they want, I wonder how long before fares become some of the highest in Europe?

We have the highest telecom prices and some of the worst service in Europe. (Despite the monopoly winning world awards) Our energy prices are about to follow suit and instead of following the advice of consultants about how to make the energy market more competitive Noel “Dialup” Dempsey instead is just going to maintain the status quo. He says in hindsight they should have split eircom into a wholesale and retail division and sold off the retail yet he won’t do this with the E.S.B.?

The energy regulator like the poodle, allows the likes of Bord Gaid and E.S.B. to price their services based on cost of the network. So with all increases in oil and gas, the E.S.B. and Bord Gais are allowed to massively increase what they charge the consumer. How about telling them to make their networks more efficient and cutting back on the massive fat in their organisations? Why not just deny the price increase? I heard the energy regulator on TodayFM a while back and he was nothing more than an apologist for Bord Gais and the E.S.B. Independent my arse.

Any time someone complains about a telecoms issue Dempsey says “Not me boyo, that’s ComReg, they’re an independent group and I cannot interfere in what they do.” When someone complains about energy he does the same thing. He has a boilerplate reply to any issue in regards to telecom. In fact Dermot Ahern used the exact same boilerplate when he has the CMNR gig:

The provision of telecommunications services, including broadband, is a matter in the first instance for the private sector companies operating in a fully liberalised market, regulated by the Commission for Communications Regulation.

Why are we letting the Government wash their hands of these issues? Why are we accepting the lies that the Government has no control of these markets when they are the ones legislating for them? It’s been often discussed that IrelandOffline should expand their remit to cover more areas like energy which seems to have been completely forgotten by everyone but we have enough on our plate with a regulator that has gotten so bogged down in their own lies that they release counter-releases to our counter-releases and try and stop articles being published with data we have supplied.

Regulation should be a good thing in the short-term but instead the words regulation and regulator are dirty words in Ireland and convenient excuses for bumbling ministers.

Enjoy this site about regulation.

Drugs are bad mmmkay

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

Requiem for a Dream is one of those movies that you watch once and maybe that’s it. Below is a fan made trailer for the movie containing one of the excellent tracks that Clint Mansell and the Kronos Quartet made. I think it’s better than the studio made trailer but might be slightly spoilery. I don’t know how effective preventitive campaigns are but show some teenagers this movie and you’ll scare the shit out of them. This gives a far far more genuine view on what the life of an addict is like and it certainly doesn’t make it a romantic notion. Addicts in this movie are heroin addicts as well as those on prescription pills.

Fluffy Links – November 14th 2006

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

Don’t forget the Politics in Ireland competition.

Handy blog for those in the ad business: The Ad Feed.

Trailer for the Simpsons Movie.

More fun from the best callcentre in the world.

And more again.

Oh and just a smidge more.

Pay as you drive car insurance. Would that work in Ireland?

Get a free copy of Vista Home Edition.

Ian McKellan does an audibook version of The Odyssey.

Orkut now has a crush register. Something original from this dating site? You register a crush on someone but they can’t see it. Only when the mutual parties both register crushes do they know the other person likes them too. (By the way sub to JP’s blog, JP is BT Global’s CIO.)

Sepultura – Original Group members reunited doing “Attitude”:

Minibar Ireland is to BarCamp as shots are to pints…

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Walter talks about the idea of Minibar – a smaller, less formal version of BarCamp. Come along, have some beer, listen to just one talk?, have more beer and network. I like the idea of that. Jaysus Dublin, Limerick, Galway, Kilkenny, can ye not keep up? 😉

Lazyweb Request – Spot the Cop

Monday, November 13th, 2006

We can rebuild him. We have the technology.

This one might be ideal for the website or the Road Safety Blog. Conor O’Neill mentioned a while back that on a trip over the bank holiday weekend from Bandon to Rosslare and back he didn’t see any Gardai. From a quick poll of my friends and colleagues it was the same. Hardly anyone encountered a Garda on the roads. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could document on map routes you traveled, what times and how little Gardai you saw on the way? I note that Jonathan did get a random breath test alright.

Create a bingo type card for the kids to play in the car too. It’d probably be a boring game for them with a blank card at the end of most journeys.

New blogs on – November 13th

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Alive in Limerick is back. Hooray.

Another Limerick blog of interest is: Kind I Like (Things that look like people). A very interesting photoblog.

More new and old blogs on the block over on the site.

Java is going to be open sourced

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Java is going to be open sourced it seems. Is it too late though?

Fluffy Links – November 13th 2006

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Want a job in Google TV?

Great pics of an Island forming due to an undersea volcano.

Another one of those Webpage to RSS services.

Have text files as part of your background on your Windows desktop.

Interesting evening course in UCC in January – The Militarization of Knowledge.

Remember Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors. This saddo can’t move on, it seems.

CNN censors Bill Maher outing a Republican. Huffington Post gets all uppity over the censorship.

Fox Journo has a bit of a cock-up live. Funny how they mention it’ll end up on YouTube:

Public Conference: Time for a real left alternative

Monday, November 13th, 2006

Got this in an email. It looked interesting enough until I checked out their ghastly website: The Indymedia to normals ratio will probably be quite high too. Maybe there’ll be classes on how to use a video camera for the Shell to Sea people? 🙂

Time for a real left alternative – Public Conference

Speakers Include:

Vincent McGrath (Shell to Sea/Rossport 5)
Catherine Connolly (Galway City Cllr),
Joan Collins (Indp. Cllr),
Eamonn McCann (Raytheon 9, Journalist)
Catherine Murphy (Indp. TD)
Richard Boyd Barrett (People Before Profit),
Prof Kathleen Lynch (UCD),
Carmel McKenna,
Dr. Abdullah Sayed,
Ailbhe Smyth,
Kieran Allen,
Rory Hearne

When: Fri 24th & Sat 25th Nov.
Where: Central Hotel, Exchequer St, Dublin 2

Conference Registration: Waged €5 Unwaged €2

This conference is bringing together individuals, groups, political organisations, campaigns, and unions who want to create an Ireland and a world based on what people need rather than the needs of corporations. Come along to discuss and listen to issues such as war, globalisation, privatisation of public services and the creation of alternatives. We believe a radical alternative to the establishment political parties is necessary; one that represents working people and all those currently alienated by the consensus politics that prioritises the needs of corporations, developers, and the wealthy elite over the needs of workers, local communities and ordinary people.

Friday Nov. 24th:
6pm Education & Privatisation for Profit – the dangers for public education
Prof. Kathleen Lynch (UCD), Niall Smyth (Campaign for Commercial Free Education), Dr. David Carey, Froebel College, Blackrock, Coordinator of Special Education and Programme Development at the Froebel College of Education

7.30pm War, globalisation and Ireland
Dr Abdullah Sayed (Irish-Lebanese Community), Richard Boyd Barrett (Chair, Irish Anti War Movement & PBPA Candidate Dun Laoghaire), Ailbhe Smyth (UCD), Eamon McCann (Journalist & Raytheon 9)

Saturday November 25th:
10.30am Privatisation & neoliberalism: the future for our public services?
Catherine Murphy (Indp TD), Catherine Connolly (Cllr. Galway), Kieran Allen (UCD)

12pm People power and strategies of resistance
Vincent Mcgrath (Rossport 5), Frances Corr (Combined Residents Against Incineration), Rory Hearne (People Before Profit Alliance)

2.30pm People before profit: time for a new left alternative
Joan Collins (Indp Cllr), Carmel Mckenna (People Before Profit Alliance Candidate Wicklow), Richard Boyd Barrett, Catherine Connolly

Org. by People Before Profit Alliance/Davitt League Contact 086 1523542/086 0566290

More Human than Human – Video mashups

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

White Zombie was another favourite band of mine years back. In a search for their song “More Human than Human” I found countless fan videos, mostly using anime. Here are a few which YouTube still host:

Before Crisis:

Powerpuff Girls:

Vampire Hunter:

The Crow: City of Angels

And finally Evangelion: