Archive for May, 2007

Webchat with Dempsey and others re: broadband at 1400

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

RTE is having a live webchat at 1400 today with Dempsey and the opposition party spokespeople on Comms. You can submit questions to the live webchat here. Four questions allowed max, unless you delete cookies 🙂 They also limit the amount of text per question but anyone who can hack javascript can circumvent that. I’d sent in some questions but I hope others can send in more too. thread on it.

Questions asked:

  • Minister, your Dept stopped new funding for the Group Broadband Scheme in April 05. From then on communities were strung along saying the next funding round was on the way. This happened up to the week when you announced the GBS was due to be scrapped. How can you say there was no takeup?
  • The new National Broadband Tender is using taxpayer money to subsidise the winner to go into areas where broadband is already available. Doesn’t this clash with competition rules?
  • The National Broadband Tender does not apply to anywhere in Wexford because your map says everyone in Wexford can get broadband, which is patently untrue. What do you have to say to the 1000s in Wexford who can not get broadband and cannot get it under this new scheme?
  • The broadband tender does not cover anywhere where exchanges are enabled. The failure rate in urban exchanges is 10% and 40% and higher in rural areas. The tender does not apply to them. Why?
  • ComReg even before their new powers had the power to fine a company, even if the amount was tiny. They never did. Why will they change their ways now?
  • Why did the Minister not carry out the recommendations of the Oireachtas committee on broadband but spend 100s of Millions on unconnected Fibre rings?
  • The new broadband tender fits amazingly well into the eircom broadband roll-out plans. Did the DCMNR plan the tender with the consent of eircom?

Pleo – We’ve come a long way from pet rocks and tamagochis

Wednesday, May 9th, 2007

Got a press release about this today. Including a second email with another 3 JPGs totalling 6mb. Grr.

So what’s the Pleo? Well according to the blurb in the release it will be the hot new toy of Christmas 2007 and is already toy of the year for one of the toy lobby groups. That’s how they’ll build the hype anyway. From the Wiki page on Pleo:

Pleo is a robotic dinosaur, made for all ages, designed to emulate the appearance and behavior of a week-old baby Camarasaurus. It was designed by Caleb Chung, the co-creator of the Furby, and manufactured by Ugobe. Chung selected this species of dinosaur because its stocky head and realitively large cranium (as compared to other dinosaurs) made it ideal for concealing the dozens of sensors and motors used to create the illusion of life.

My fav bit is:

The robot will be software-upgradeable via SD cards or USB and cost around 350 USD. Ugobe will encourage user modifications of the robot’s firmware, providing a graphical interface for home users and an API for programmers.

This is how the robots rise up against us. Expect some clever fecker to create a Wiimote interface to it and you can take it for walks.

I think the thing needs more annoying fucking sounds. Like Elmo. If the retail price wasn’t more than an XboX360 I’d consider getting one. Afterall, I own one of those Elmos. Blog title thanks to Jimmy G.

Oh found one with him being noisy. The video is the most vomit inducing thing I’ve seen in a while. The fucking music and titles just make you want to set it on fire:

First come the parodies…

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

The really awful video of David Hasselhoff being drunk and filmed by his daughter has been viewed at least 1.7 Million times already. It’s been aired on many TV networks too. I really despair at American news when instead of serious news, all outlets including CNN devote more and more time to Anna-Nicole, Britney, Paris, Prince William and now the Hoff.

This is the video:

But the interesting thing for me are all the parodies that are on YouTube such as this one:

So far there have also been about 200 video responses to the video.

The dozens of Irish piss-take videos around during the election show too that parody is alive and well in Ireland. Parody and satire seem to be a handy way of forking out into deeper more original creativity. The whole “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” comes to mind. First comes the derivatives of other work and then comes totally original pieces. Hell, Billy Shakespeare’s work got a lot of inspiration from other older stories. PoliticalThicko is getting a lot of attention for his videos but he is far from alone on that front. Bertie Ahern on Dragon’s Den was superb too.

I wish Labour and the other parties would release the raw footage they use to make their videos. It’d be great too to see RTE also release a lot of their own content online for free and to be reused. Neil Grogan has written to RTE asking them to release the political debates (if they bloody happen).

I am writing this email to ask you follow America’s CNN in releasing Irish Election broadcasts under a permissive license, like Creative Commons. This would allow people to reproduce the content freely, and give RTE the credit it deserves. Like Democracy, Culture wants to be free and open to the people. This could serve as a trial to Creative Commons licensing other RTE produced programs.

A great idea. I support it and it’d be great for all other political websites and organisations to ask the same of RTE. As Neil said, they can class this as a trial and maybe consider moving more original content online after that. Not in the god awful realvideo format either. RTE, like the Beeb, should get themselves a YouTube channel as well as a raw footage archive. Fergus Cassidy has also highlighted the CNN endeavour.

Roll on the parodies and roll on original art.

Fluffy Links – May 8th 2007

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007 review. A site that encourages anonymous comments about your company from your employees. Then charges you to address this bunch of anonymous people. They’re selling this as some kind of HR tool. Uhm, right. I don’t think this could survive more than a day in Ireland. RateMySolicitor anyone?

Greed is good and Gecko is back!


Via Of Laws and Men, it seems the PDs want to watch the watchers or at least make regulators more accountable.

This is Sparta. Cleanup on aisle 5.

6 Drummers. First time seeing this but it has done the rounds. This is like Stomp but inside an apartment:

Via Metafilter, it seems authors are now making video ads for their new books.

I wonder will Twenty Major do one for his book? With millions looking at YouTube every day it makes great sense to do something like that. Course you still need to make it interesting enough for it to become viral and get you millions of views.

Simon Cowell versus Enda Kenny

Monday, May 7th, 2007

As introduced by the Creighton:

My Brightest Diamond – Possibly late to their party

Monday, May 7th, 2007

I’m only just after discovering My Brightest Diamond via the amazing Hymne à l’amour video below. Shane over yonder at the Torture Garden have been on about them for a long time and young Bracken had My Brightest Diamond in his top 10 for 2006. Worth checking out alright.

Check out this video:
Hymne à l’amour


This video is full of energy – Tainted Love Cover (Live)

Fluffy Links – May 7th 2007

Monday, May 7th, 2007

Crazy and stupid. A giant catapult for base jumpers.

A virtual dog walking arcade game. Of course.

Does Leitrim really exist?

Via FatMammyCat – Jesus is back and now he’s pissed. Next Christmas forgivness comes down the barrel of a gun:

Jonathan Coulton – First of May

Fuck that godawful Police and Snowpatrol mashup, Rick O’Shea should play this on his show. C’mon Rick!

Beating Blogorrah to it – The Trevor is a badass too, like Vincent

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Via the Green Party Flickr account. (Kudos for having one lads and ladies.)

We already know Vincent is a badass but where does Irish politics’ baddest badass go when he’s hungry? (And also Politician of the year) Same place that Chuck Norris goes to when he’s in Dublin – The Badass Cafe. Badasses do in fact dine there. (They have a special box that goes on top of Norris’ chair so he can reach the table.) Oh and that’s milk they’re drinking. Enough of your Marc Almond jibes. In case you need to know Ciaran Cuffe dines in Govindas while Eamonn Ryan dines on tuna friendly baby dolphins in chez Jacques.

I'm the baddest badass, mofo

FYI, Chuck Norris, son of David, is pictured on the right below. Don’t let his Koala-like cuddliness fool you. Like a real Koala, he can take you:
Chuck Norris is on the right. Week in Review – 6th May 2007

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Monday: interview.

Bertie Ahern on the Dragon’s Den.

A guide on how to talk to Irish Journalists.

Charged by a VC group to hear how to get money from Irish VCs.

Resources for the 2007 Irish Election.

The Guardian fix their badly researched article which misquoted me.

How canvassing works.

The National Broadband tender is another complete Government mess.


The blogging world meets John Bracken.

Vincent Browne takes down Bertie Ahern.

Boyce on YouTube.

Someone doesn’t like Noel O’Flynn FF North Central TD

Sunday, May 6th, 2007

Or Batt O’Keeffe for that matter:
Batt O'Keeffe