Archive for May, 2007

The other Fianna Fail Party Political Broadcast

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

With special guest stars. In fact, now it HAS Bertie too!

Best of luck to all the Irish Secretaries at their event tomorrow

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Best of luck to Claire and Annette and all the others who are going to their secretary conference tomorrow in Westport. Sorry, that’s not PC. The conference for P.A.s. I hope the Women in Business conference is good. It’s very nice of their man bosses to let them off for the day.

Conn and Keith are going along to it too, even though I hear they’re not women. They’re not the only males there though. In this liberal age you are allowed to be a secretary if you’re a bloke. It’s what many gay men go and do if they don’t want to work as hairdressers, cabin crew or blogorrah writers. Conn says he is giving a practical workshop on how to park. Keith is giving a talk on how to make the workplace more family friendly/orientated and how it can actually save the company money. One of his ideas he says is to remove all desks from the office and replace them with ironing boards. No need for a boss to spend money on a laundrette anymore. With so many women and so few blokes, one thing is for sure, they’ll never be short of cups of tea.

The lads were happy enough to send me on the itinerary:

  • Welcome and introduction.
  • Dress for success: Smart blouses to keep the boss happy but not tempted.
  • Empowerment: You can type faster. Reach for those keys!
  • Networking for Women: How to give your boss’ cards to the P.A.s of potential clients.
  • Lunch. Men served first!
  • Roundtable: Glass ceilings in business. Windowlene or Mr. Muscle?
  • Break to watch Oprah.
  • Workshops
  • Closing talk.

Here’s a video I thought everyone would like.

So right, the serious bit. I’d have loved to have gone actually but at least I can listen to some podcasts. Look forward too to see some live blogging at it.

Green Party Broadband Manifesto – Short but where’s the sweet?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

The Green Party will:

• carry out a feasibility study into the State re-taking control of Eircom, divesting any commercial operation, and maintaining the fixed-line network as an open access infrastructure to all operators;

I dunno lads. Why buy junk? Might be better to build an alternative network and merge existing assets and then tell the Dept of Environment to bring out a universal planning regulation for carrier neutral ducting everywhere in Ireland. Every estate should have neutral ducting going to each home.

Set the mobile phone operators, cable companies and Eircom into direct competition to get cheaper, faster and more integrated broadband services;

Isn’t that what they are doing in Dublin without intervention? But how do you do that? Isn’t that what’s meant to be in a manifesto?

Review the Government’s rollout of metropolitan area networks to resolve the issues of the delivery of ‘back-haul’ connections and the ‘last mile’ connection to the consumer;

Yes. Definitely. Total waste of money so far.

Consolidate post offices into local community internet/broadband facilities;

Surely we should be aiming to have all households using broadband instead? But I like the idea. Not bad for people afraid of the Internet, maybe a good way of introducing them to it. Why not use Post Office property as drop centres for massive fibre hubs that locals can possibly dig to? Circumvent eircom exchanges, though with real and proper fibre, exchanges become obsolete.

Introduce a proper policing and monitoring system for the operation of mobile phone masts;

Oeeer. This must have been proposed by the same wing that Typhoid McKenna is in. No masts, no anti-biotics.

Establish a new unified broadcasting regulator and the similar reconstitution of the RTE Authority to ensure its future independence;

Regulators send shivers up my spine.

Develop an all-island digital ‘free to air’ broadcasting service carrying RTE 1 & 2, TG4, TV3 and the Northern Ireland BBC/ITV public service main channels.

Yes, and how about making them licence their content using creative commons licences?

Not as detailed as Labour, better than Fine Gael’s. I think we need something far more in-depth. No spectrum policy. Nothing about the sloppy telecoms regulator. Half arsed. Nothing abour future planning whatsoever. Nothing about making sure things can get worse, which they easily can. Nothing at all ambitious.

Fifty quid to whoever uploads the Gormley V McDowell fight to YouTube

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Edit: Fifty quid sent out. Thanks!

In case you missed it, John Gormley gatecrashed McDowell’s poster launch. Then Lucinda Creighton came along and also had some fun. Cue Benny Hill music.

Raw footage – The good proper fight (quality is crap):

Direct link to RTE real media file.

RTE News Report with edited footage:

Indo website relaunch – – Very red

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

The much anticipated website for the Irish Independent has finally launched. No more registering to access the content. Better navigation menu. Much nicer page titles. A search box that searches the site not the net. Good. Comments now for the articles on there. Better design, very like the Irish Times though. All good. Where are the RSS icons on the front page though? I absolutely love the “Most Popular” thingy where we can see the most read articles and most emailed articles.

There are a few bugs with the UI and the scroller but am sure they’ll be fixed quite quickly. Article from Editor on the changes.

When I left a comment it said my IP was 143.239.*.* which is actually a range for UCC if I recall. That’s not my IP. 🙂

So how about blogs on the site too?

Game on Irish Times and Examiner 🙂

Fluffy Links – May 16th 2007

Wednesday, May 16th, 2007

Bye bye evil man. Wherever he goes, please don’t send me there too.

Madonna already has an iPhone. Insert material girl or vogue joke here.

Google without the ads getting in the way.

Read this blog and sub to it. I get a fiver for every subscriber. Or is it I give him a fiver. I wish I could .. something.

I can just see some consultant start a company to sell blogola.

Clever, a website for a fake election candidate who is a character out of “A Matter of Life and Death”, by David Cowzer.
Nick Dunne Davis for TD:

Labour Broadband Manifesto – *Warning contains vision extracts*

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Labour Communications Manifesto.

Our vision will be to create, by 2012, a new, high speed, open access, next generation telecoms network, designed and managed to support competing service operators that will use a variety of wireless and fixed wire “local loop� technologies, depending on local settlement patterns and geographic conditions, to deliver triple-play (TV, Internet and voice) services to every home in Ireland that wants them.

They’re starting well, this opening comment covers exactly what is needed. A hybrid of many different technologies.

Establish an ambitious new government vision of how Irish broadband connectivity should develop and the wider economic and social benefits intensified broadband development will facilitate. Renewed objectives, vigorously approached targets and a commitment to delivering on these targets will be a policy priority.

I don’t like documents that talk up what they might do as “ambitious”. That’s the job of an outsider. So far, talking themselves up.

Set-up a specific broadband task force headed by an e-envoy to concentrate resources and responsibility in a central location to drive an intensified rollout. The ICT industry will be encouraged to lead this development.

Taskforces can be good. A broadband Minister or Czar is what is needed. Someone who is just empolyed to sort broadband. Right now too many different groups appear to be responsible for different bits.

Within six months of coming to power, we will tender for the upgrade and “broadband enabling� of telephone exchanges in those, mainly rural, areas where it has been uneconomic for the private sector to do so.

Noel beat you to it there.

Introduce serious regulatory reform to ensure that the broadband sector is regulated much more effectively. The communications regulator ComReg will have the ability to impose much greater financial penalties on telecom operators. Operational changes will also be examined to allow ComReg to operate without the current intensely prohibitive legal restrictions and to strengthen its anticompetitive mandate.

I would still want ComReg erased from the telco landscape but at least they are recognising the massive problems with the current ComReg but again, Dempsey has addressed the fines issue as of yesterday. I like the sound of “operational” changes but would rather “remove the people in there who think it is their job to maintain the status quo”.

To expedite competition blockages and remove obstruction, a separate High Court division of regulation will be established.

There wouldn’t be enough work at all for this. The big issue is the current ECAP (court-like appeals panel for ComReg decisions) is slow and appeals can still end up in a Court. Wishful thinking for this but perhaps just have a regulation expert in the companies divison of the Courts.

Introduce co-competition powers for ComReg with the Competition Authority

Let the Comp Auth do the work of ComReg maybe?

We will strengthen the hand of the regulator, and seek a settlement with Eircom to create an operationally separate network division to address the absolutely crucial problem of access to the local loop. This should ensure greater access for other broadband operators to provide services, and a greater variety and less expensive range of broadband products will be on offer for Irish consumers and businesses.

No no no no. ComReg no matter what powers will do nothing with them. They fear court cases and as has been said to me in private a good few times, they don’t want any additional hassle from eircom. They will always take the path of least resistance which so far has meant consumers are scrawed over. Also, how exactly can you make a private company split itself? I’d like to see any Irish body manage to do that. Maybe it can work in the UK, not sure about here.

Promote innovative measures for the delivery of a range of platforms for delivering different broadband technologies. These would include a widespread designation of ‘hot spots’ for wireless transmission, and making entire urban areas ‘hot zones’ that are entirely wireless broadband enabled.

Make ComReg allocate spectrum properly. This is weak. Hot spots and hot zones? Someone’s been at the jargon cheat sheet again.

Incorporate local government institutions including partnerships, county leaders and county development boards in broadband rollout

This needs to be clearer but this makes sense. Make all the bloody councils and so forth offer their roof spaces or land on hills for masts for wireless.

Create a Universal Service Obligation (USO) for broadband. Accessibility to broadband networks will assume the same character as the present expectation of universal access to the postal service or telephone network. The development of mechanisms for ensuring that a broadband USO is in place creates considerable potential for ensuring a widespread and universally accessible broadband network.

Vision! The EU already mentioned this a year or two ago but thought it too soon to build it into EU law but said there was nothing stopping individual countries from doing it.

Instigate a national information technology education programme in order to provide the essential knowledge and training for using the critical ICT infrastructure of a modern economy. Although some schools provide such education, it is essential that all children regardless of the school they attend have access to a proper IT education so as to equip them with the knowledge and practical experience to participate fully in society

Connect every school to the MANs where possible. Schools should have better broadband than homes. This is more an education issue but it is nice to see it addressed by some party.

Ensure access to laptops for secondary school children. Broadband connectivity needs to have a practical application. An objective of a national ICT policy should be the provision of all secondary school students with laptops so
the relevant knowledge of and necessary skills for advanced technology can be experienced within the classroom.All methods of practically facilitating such a scheme, such as a partnership agreement with the IT industry, should be examined to ensure the widespread provision of laptops at second level.

One laptop per child? IBEC are trying that crap aren’t they? If they get involved expect each laptop to have to use a Microsoft operating system and connect using eircom.

Ok, overall this communications manifesto makes more sense and contains more forward thinking than all the rest I’ve gone through. Whoever put this together almost knew all the current issues and how to tackle them. More needs to be done in regards to ComReg but I like the Universal Broadband requirement. The big question is, can Labour implement them?

Green Party Political Broadcast – Best Cinematography in an Election Ad

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Another party political broadcast and like Fianna Fail it is without any members of the party. The Greens have decided to use kids in their video (and I’m sure people will cry out about child exploitation). Overall maybe it is good to have kids explain the issues in the simple way kids explain things but a kid talking about universal broadband and another one talking about corporate donations just seems forced and unnatural. A great pity that they are blocking comments on the videos.

Slickest video I’ve seen to date though. How many of the kids are vaccination free I wonder?

3 mins video here:

1 min video here:

The video itself very much reminded me of this Sigur Ros video which has the same colourful cinematography and also uses kids:

3rd political journalist starts a blog

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Mark Hennessy, political correspondent for the Irish Times is now blogging. Other political journalists blogging are Kevin Rafter and Harry McGee.

I wonder is there any truth to the rumour that after the Irish Times get more of their journalists blogging they’ll offer blogs to subscribers of

Fluffy Links – May 15th 2007

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

Happy blirthday blather. Yeah I’m late.

Tim Worstall points out that now even accountants are saying the sky is falling in relation to Second Life and calling it a potential haven for terrorists. Nice smackdown:

Couldn’t be anything at all to do with the thought that if 6 million people can rub along online without any external control then as people begin to realise this, they might wonder whether they need such controlling out here in meatspace now could it?

Vermont has brought about a universal service obligation for mobile services AND broadband, meaning everyone who signs up for one of these has to be given it. 100% coverage.

Alan Moore’s wedding.

Via Rashomon is Bjork live in NYC singing All is Full of Love:

Yahoo! interview Dave Weinberger about lots of things including his new book Everything is Miscellaneous