Archive for October, 2007

Email becoming the Receipt Cup?

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

I’m a bit obesssed with receipts. I hold on to every one I have for about six months or much longer. It comes from having a mother that threw receipts in the bin the minute she got home and so it became a lot more fun to try and exchange things or get refunds or complain about shoddy merchandise. One of the many novelty and tacky cups I have (Aside: I demand of friends that when they come back from holidays, they bring me back the tackiest thing they can.) is filled with receipts for all types of purchases. Every now and then when I do a spring clean I go through the cup and sort out the receipts and throw many of them out.

I’ve also been thinking about email for a while as I use GMail to sort out more and more of my other email accounts. I now seem to have an email account that I just use for notifications of all sorts. Booking details from Aer Lingus, Ryanair, notifications from Bebo and Facebook and offers now and then from Hotels and Threadless. Newsletters and the like. That account used to be my main account for a while and now it’s pretty useless and to be honest I think a lot of the stuff that comes in could easily be replaced with feeds, either public or private ones. So one account is now becoming my receipt cup in a way but GMail is also like a container of all these receipt cups. I currently have three accounts inside GMail. At any time I can just remove any one of these and still have my container.

I seem to find I’m using email now as a jumping point to other places, blogs to reply to comments, Facebook to read messages on that or Bebo or LinkedIn. Isn’t that what feed readers are too? My GMail notification container and my feed reader are becoming blurred. I really wonder/despair why there isn’t any innovation in this whole area and why feeds are still used by a tiny subculture of people for notifications. I thought the latest version of Microsoft Office with this feed support would have kicked off something where people started using feeds more and saw Outlook as a communications application not just an email application but this hasn’t happened. GMail too, while having support for feeds is not pushing it at all and there isn’t a push by the overall tech industry to replace email notifications with feeds. Why is that?

It seems now that email is like the underpinnings of other platforms, like the stilts holding up a house, dealing with the slime and grime that builds up under homes during damp seasons and termites during dry seasons.

Is email dead?

Fluffy Links – Monday October 22nd 2007

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Fluffy links are back and here are a few more than usual to keep y’all happy.

He’s back and he’s been bloody prolific since the start of October.

Nadine O’Regan’s blog.

Another view on Rigging the Irish Election.

Deborah has updated the list of Irish Food Bloggers again. And yes, there will be a category for them at the Blog Awards.

Antoin will now be your driver. He’s launched a bus service for Swords.

Reasons to Boycott People in Need.

Rabbit the Programmer.

Via Laura Papworth an Acer laptop in a sea of Macs.

Via Rob of no blog fame. Lincoln shot first.

Visualising European Politics.

Via Ben Hammersley, this new course on using the Internet:

The Wire – Final season

Best dialog in a cop show ever:

Facebook stats for Ireland – 131,660 Ireland based people on it now?

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Using the live details from the advanced flyer option in Facebook, you can see some stats and facts on people on Facebook.

Update: This makes Techmeme already?
Facebook stats on Techmeme

From location Ireland we get the below stats. Remember too that these are stats on what people have offered, thus 131k people but only 89k or so have said whether they are male or female. You don’t have to specify a lot of the below or in the case of age, don’t have to be honest.

37,440 Men
51,900 Women

117,880 people between 18 and 35 years old
55,020 people between 18 and 25 years old
71,980 people between 25 and 35 years old
7,340 people between 18 and 19 years old in Ireland

About 1,160 people in Ireland who work at Microsoft
About 320 people in Ireland who work at Google
About 120 people in Ireland who work at IBM
About 140 people in Ireland who work at Accenture
About 80 people in Ireland who work at eBay
Fewer than 20 people in Ireland who work at Oracle
Fewer than 20 people in Ireland who work at SAP
Fewer than 20 people in Ireland who work at Oireachtas
Fewer than 20 people in Ireland who work at Vodafone
Fewer than 20 people in Ireland who work at Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister)

[ I don’t think numbers go below 20, still interesting that people from Taoiseach’s put it down on their profile ]

About 8,340 people in Ireland who are in college
About 400 people in Ireland who are at University College Cork
About 2,160 people in Ireland who are at Trinity College Dublin
about 1,300 people in Ireland who are at UCD Ireland
About 640 people in Ireland who are at NUI Galway
About 180 people in Ireland who are at DIT Ireland

About 30,880 people who are single in Ireland
About 11,320 people who are married in Ireland

Fun Combinations:
About 1,840 liberal men older than 25 who are single in Ireland

Now go find your own stats too.

Update: UK Statistics.

Update: Irish Times coverage.
Irish Examiner coverage.

How the Green Party and Eamon Ryan are doing more damage to broadband than FF ever did

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

Eamon Ryan – Hatchetman for Fianna Fail
Eamon Ryan – Thief of future of rural broadband
Eamon Ryan – Doing more damage than Fianna Fáil ever did
Eamon Ryan – Making people appreciate Noel Dempsey as a Minister
Eamon Ryan – Bad for your broadband health

Pick any of those headlines, they all apply.

It’s bad enough that a once respectable politican joined a Government with the devil and took the Fianna Fail boilerplate for broadband excuses and perverted them to new lows and along the way had an Irish Times journalist join in further damaging Ireland by making misleading claims to the public about broadband but recent actions from Eamon Ryan have shown that he has done more damage to broadband in Ireland than any Minister before him.

Eamon Ryan has now killed the weak future that broadband in rural areas once had. He’s done this by dishonestly pushing the National Broadband tender further and further into the future while also this week removing the little funding that broadband rollout had and also quoted OECD figures which were NOT OECD figures to make him look good. Not only has Eamon done a hatchet job on broadband funding, he has knived the back of the rural population in Ireland with his actions. If Eamon was Minister in absentia, he’d be doing less damage. It’s terrifying to think it but the old Fianna Fáil and PD Government were better for broadband than the new greener Government.

People said give the Greens a chance, give them time, wait another while. It’s obvious now to me that we’re witnessing Stockholm syndrome from the Greens. Come next election I’ll do as much as I can to ensure that locally here in Cork anyone but Dan Boyle will get my vote and the vote of as many other people in Cork South Central as I can. This is not merely selling out, this is the murdering of a broadband scheme just for power.

Wants – Who would you like to see talk in Ireland?

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

So far, no conference has beaten Reboot for the amount of inspiring people I listened to and met. For a fantasy conference, who would you have give a talk? Doesn’t have to be tech people.

My wants:
For me I’ve love to see Ewan McIntosh being brought over and giving a talk to the people in charge of the education system in Ireland. Ewan has some great ideas for using technology to engage the bored kids in schools.

Tara Hunt. Citizen Agency and so much more.

Steven Johnson. He wrote Emergence. He’s a genius and he’s also behind

I finally met JP Rangaswami in person last week and he’s more magnetic when you meet him. Very engaging and very charming. Would love to see him talk to an Irish crowd. Might ask BT Ireland to invite him over. 🙂

I’d love to see Shel Israel back in these parts but not as such to give a talk but to have a conversation about, well him really. Mr. Naked Conversations has some great stories to tell.

Walter Murch.

Russell Davies. No T. The guy that amongst other things runs the Interesting conference.


Fred Wilson. I never thought I’d be reading the blog of a venture capitalist and actually be excited about seeing new content arrive in my feedreader every day. If he came over I’d actually like to see him talk about music more than the business he’s in.

Who’s your want list?

Update: Funnily enough I’m subbed to everyone bar Murch and Kos.

Phantom win Music Station of the Year – woo

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

Via a Twitter from Brian Greene is news that Phantom 105.2FM (full title to keep Derek happy) has one Music Station of the Year at the PPI awards. Well deserved and well won everyone! No other radio station has influenced my music taste more in the past few years and none has gotten this close to match my eclectic tastes. I don’t expect many Phantom staffers to be in anyway sober for the next day at least. 🙂

Social Networking for Business – More details on Conference (Jan 2008)

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Update: Jan 14th. This is still going to happen but later in the year. Leave comments if you are still interested.

The very rough timetable for the Social Networking for Business Conference is below. It’ll be on a weekday, around mid-January in Dublin. I’ve not figured out all the costs yet so not sure of the charge but it looks to be around 200 euros for the day, that’s if I get good sponsors too. I have speakers in mind for most of the slots and most have agreed to do it. However if you are interested or want to recommend people or recommend putting/removing a slot, let me know. I want to make this as useful for people as possible. If you’re interested in coming along, do also let me know.

1000 -1030 Group discussion: What is social networking/how should businesses use them?
1030 -1100 Advertising + Marketing in Social Networks overview
Coffee: 1100-1130

Case studies (From companies that made/make money via working on Social Networks):
1130 -1200 Bebo
1200 -1230 Facebook
1230 -1300 mySpace

1300 – 1400 Lunch

1400 – 1430 Feed Marketing and Widgets
1430 – 1500 Plugging into social networks(making money from building apps, from having apps built)

1500 -1515 Coffee

1515 – 1545 Doing PR on social networks
1545 -1600 Putting it all together: Running a social networking campaign
1600 -1630 Final Panel Discussion with input via questions raised during the day

Foy Decision – State is in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights

Friday, October 19th, 2007


The High Court has ruled that the State is in breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

He said those who suffer from gender identity disorder suffer from an incurable condition. He said Lydia Foy’s former wife has lost a husband and her children have lost a father. He said it is clear that this case has wider implications than for Lydia Foy herself.

He said in these cases there seems to be a burning desire for applicants to have their sex recognised not only socially but also legally. He said such a process is often humiliating and sometimes unsuccessful but he said everyone had the right to dignity.

Lydia Foy brought her case after undergoing a sex change operation. She wants a new birth certificate recognising that she is a woman. Ms Foy has been engaged in a ten-year legal battle to obtain the new birth certificate, describing her as female.

I hear all she’ll get is compensation for the breach until a law is changed?

Rigging the Irish Election Part 5 – Election day

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Rigging the Irish Election Part 5 – Election day – Traffic Module

Election Day

Before election day, each cell member will create a list of people in their constituency that they know. This includes those they are meant to be influencing as well as any more they think they should be calling. On election day the Traffic module, using the same idea as the Voice Module in part 3, will call each cell member and ask them do they want to connect to X, Y,Z and chat to them about voting, it will base the calling list on exit polls at the various polling stations. Before you connect it will tell you where their polling station is and any other information too. It will also highlight one or two facts that can be used to sway them. The automated system will also have an option to “Ring me back later” and “I’ve done enough, please see can someone else phone the rest”.

The same system will also ring during the day and will call out a text message it wants to send out to all your “friends” on behalf of you. It will ask you do you want this sent out. You press a button to say yes or no. Alternatively you can write a text and text it to a special number hooked into the Traffic Module. You will then be called by the Traffic Module do you want to send it to all your friends, once confirmed, it will be sent out to everyone.

Later in the day, the system will switch and start targeting anyone in any area, again depending on exit polls. A much larger database will be used for this and it will be crosschecked with the databases of contacts from every cell member and any number there not called will be be put on a “do call” list. Cell members and volunteers will be called at home and connected to these numbers, again with some profile data given out before the call is connected. After the call ends, a callback will ask if the person appeared to interested in voting or whether they had or not, depending on the election it will ask whether that person requires to be collected and brought to the polling station. Again, all automated.

This is Part 5 of the Rigging the Irish Election series. You can also read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

That’s it for now. Maybe I’ll come back to this topic at another time with more cynicism.

Rigging the Irish Election (All five parts). (PDF doc)

The guilt of not being fluffy

Friday, October 19th, 2007

Blogging volume has been down this week due to many deadlines and my trip to London. I’ll get back to doing fluffy links next week. Here’s a review of the Facebook debate. Last post in the Rigging the Election series goes out today at 1413. I’ve gotten some VERY interesting private commentary about it. 🙂 Talk soon!