Archive for April, 2008

Is that it? That’s all you can raise?

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Just looking at the Standards in Public Office report and who got what. Very interesting that the person that got the 3rd highest donations was everyone’s fav Catholic, Ronán Mullen. There must have been a lot of closet fans of Ronan so.

So here’s how this donation thing works:
TDs, Senators and MEPs must disclose individual donations of over €634.87.
Foreign or anonymous donations cannot exceed €126.97
Donations from a single person cap out at €2,539.48 pear year.

Change happens
Photo owned by atbartlett (cc)


The person disclosing the highest donations was Fianna Fáil TD for Wicklow Joe Behan, who received €37,600. Minister of State for Trade and Fianna Fáil TD John McGuinness was second with €32,500.

Independent Senator Rónán Mullen, whose donations were the third -highest reported at €32,030, was the only non-Fianna Fáil member in the top ten.

Independent Fianna Fáil TD for Kerry South Jackie Healy-Rae, who received €24,900, was in sixth place, while Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment Micheál Martin was in eighth, disclosing donations worth €22,135. Fianna Fáil’s Áine Brady got a total of €22,000 in ninth place, while FF TD Mattie McGrath received a total of €20,500 and was number 10 on the list.

I’m most surprised at the lack of money raised in an election year by these people. Divide the donations by the number of constituents. Jeez louise. Politicians here have a lot to learn about asking for money from people. Look how much the consumers of Ireland spent on crap last year compared to these tiny amounts of money.

I really do hope this is the last politics post for a while. It’s becoming boring.

Facebook Chat arrives

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

It seems a little flimsy especially after using Meebo which feels a bit more robust.

If you log into Facebook this morning you’ll see a new bar all along the bottom, a bit like the status bar on your browser and over on the right of it you’ll see something like this:

Facebook Chat

When you click on it you’ll see all your friends who are online and you can chat to them by clicking on their name. Just like MSN or AIM or Meebo. Nothing new at all to IM but it might get those who don’t use existing IM services to start using this to chat to each other. Another piece of stickiness on the Facebook Venus Flytrap. This is what a chat window looks like. I hope Brian Mc doesn’t mind his chat shown here:

Facebook Chat b

One feature I do like is the Newsfeed updates show up in the chat too. That’s pretty viral.

Facebook Chat 2

So handy for those that don’t have IM and I’m sure just like Facebook Mail, they have plans to allow you access your other IM services soon.

Dáil Day afternoon as Bertie Ahern says cyas spanners as Taoiseach

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

“Well End”.
“Well Bert”.
“Fancy a quickie in the Dáil before I go?”
“Taoiseach I’m not going all brokeback Mountain for you, despite that rogue-like charm.”
“I meant the whole questions thing, it’s my last day as Taoiseach in the Dáil before I go off to America. You really did make my job easy, you thicko.”
“Oh feck, yeah I knew that. Yes, of course. What’ll I ask you? Show me the money?”

So today is the last day for Bertie as Taoiseach in the Dáil. It’s amazing to see that people aren’t paying much attention to him anymore. “Oh you’re still here?” seems to be the attitude. Anyways, I’m sure it’ll be a sad day today and all that and I’m sure that plank Kenny (the other one) will be all nice as pie as Bertie says bye.

But, he could do one more thing today, just one. We all know what is is too:
Bertie, Take Enda With You. Join the Facebook Group too!

Take Enda With You

And while that’s happening, 40 Take Enda With You badges will be posted to people all over Ireland with a few going to Germany, the States and even Japan. I think Enda would make a better EU President than Bertie any day. Hee Haw Bruton can fill him in on what Europe is like. From his er mansion in Washington.

Maybe he can take Kathleen Lynch too and drop her off at some reality spa.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday April 23rd 2008

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

Let’s talk about Gnéas baby, let’s talk about you and me… There are now 31 Facebook fans of Gnéas.

They’re like a Health and lifestyle network. John’s latest project is a site for those with RSI. Some great tips.

Shane points out the rapid turnaround Obama’s team has when a Hilary ad comes out. Hours, not days or weeks!

Patrick James is giving one of his poetry compliations away via a free download on his blog. Head over and check it out on the left sidebar.

Neil Gaiman on the best advice he ever got from a writer. Well worth bookmarking.

Haha. Google is great for spotting people making asses of themselves.

Dove soap? Great ads, here’s one from Greenpeace on what they do to the environment. Greenpeace has a DIGG account now. Love it.

A guide for corps that might want to use Twitter.

The making of Björk’s Wanderlust 3D video.

And the 2D version of it РBj̦rk РWanderlust (2D Version)

So IMRO is the piper every Irish website has to pay?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

It seems will get sued into non-existence if they don’t pay IMRO a license fee for people to be able to download music from their site. No matter if they are already dealing direct with the artist or not. It seems once you are in IMRO you automatically give them the right to be your money collector.

Pied Piper artist
Photo owned by Sridhar J (cc)

This means that you cannot allow websites such as MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, and to use your music, unless you obtain permission from IMRO or unless IMRO collect royalties from these sites.

Therefore, to allow to continue to promote your music, IMRO must be paid a license fee, because they have exclusive control of the right to make your music available on the Internet.

This means that we have to deduct 8% from every sale you make on, plus 0.0032c for every stream of your music. This money will be paid to IMRO, which they will pay to you, if you meet their criteria for payment.

There appears to be an opt out you can sign that will leave the likes of contract directly with the artist but I understand from Johnny from DM that it’s not retroactive so IMRO still want their fistful of dollars.

Have they being going after Bebo, mySpace and others or only businesses operating out of Ireland?

Green Party TD Paul Gogarty responds and an apology to him

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

So apologies to Deputy Gogarty for comments wrongly attributed to him which incorrectly said gay people need to contact the Green Party more to ask for equality. I’ve updated the original blog post.

Bank of Ireland: Do we look bovered at your data loss?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

My predicition: The Data Protection Commissoner will “investigate” and do sweet fanny adams. Which apparently is their job really. The same Data Protection Commissioner that did nothing when Talk Talk harassed people for weeks. They said they did wrong but it was the first time so they let them off. The same Data Protection Commissioner who said there was no data loss when the Blood Transfusion Service lost 170,000 records. See the records were encrypted so that’s fine. Not like encryption can be broken. If it really was encrypted.

So now we have 10,000 records that contain financial details, medical records, names, addresses. Gold for someone that wants to assume your identity and siphon money from your accounts. Hell, depending on your medical history, they could blackmail you too. But Bank of Ireland says nothing was accessed and nobody was conned, so move along here. Uhm. You only told the public yesterday, how do you know the data wasn’t used for another con?

The spokesman said there was no evidence of any fraudulent or suspicious activity relating to any of the 10,000 customers’ accounts since their records were stolen.

Actually, the DPC were informed but BOI says they’re just wanting to hear how things go, wow, proactive:

The spokesman denied reports that the data protection commissioner and the financial regulator were investigating the bank’s loss of customers’ records.

However, he said that both regulators had asked to be kept informed of the bank’s investigation into the matter.

Update: Seems the DPC is investigating now.

Remember when Clarkson got scammed?

It’s time for Data Breach Notification laws here. We can’t let banks and comapnies decide whether to tell us or not about these breaches.

“TTC – Trying To Conceive” Book Launch today

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Fiona McPhillips’ book “TTC: Trying to Conceive – The Irish Couple’s Guide” is going to be launched today at 1830 upstairs in the Dublin Bookshop on Grafton Street. Fiona is the award winning blogger who blogs from the heart about fertility issues at The Waiting Game and now with a new website she also has a discussion forum for those that read the blog and visit her site. The whole site, like the book is a fantastic resource.

Trying to Conceive

I only got my review copy yesterday but even though I don’t think a gay man would fit the target audience, I’m actually finding it fascinating. I’ve learned stuff already. Maybe I’m like the father in The Snapper who gets hooked on the pregnancy books? As well as clear explanations for the biology and biochemistry that goes on, the book from my take is the supreme resource for fertility information and it is also dotted with stories from men and women about the issues they had when they tried to conceive. Fiona has created a wonderful guide and in it has given a voice to so many others too.

Best of luck at the book launch this evening Fiona!

Fluffy Links – Tuesday April 22nd 2008

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Another week, another big loss of data. Bank of Ireland customer?

Have a looksee at the VRT Ireland website.

Via Sinéad Blogging lessons for Bloggers wanting to be Journos and vice-versa.

This is pretty mad. A market in Bangkok that sits on train tracks that trains still travel on a few times a day. When the trains come they move off the tracks and back on again.

Have you seen the new Skype deal? Unlimited landline calls for just over 3 euros a month.

Mobile broadband. Shit in the UK too.

CNN now does merchandise that you can put headlines on. More filtering might be needed.

dEUS – Architect

This is still my favourite dEUS song: Suds and Soda [Update: actual vid now]

Sweet Child O’ Mine

SEX! Now that I have your … Facebook fan pages

Monday, April 21st, 2008

So in case you missed the memo, Facebook allows companies and individuals to basically create profiles for brands which they call pages. Instead of friending them like you do on Bebo or mySpace you “fan” them. What’s really clever (or maybe awful depending on your viewpoint) is that when someone friends a brand it shows up in the newsfeed of their friends. A nice viral way of spreading the world. BUT you can also run ads based on this action. Sinéad mentioned it before when a friend of hers became a fan of Phantom.

This is what it looks like:
Phantom Fan Ad

So anyways, I thought it would be a hoot, yes a hoot, to create a page called Cock so that you could see “Mary has become a fan of Cock” on news feeds. Alas, Facebook have a naughty filter. BOO!

Facebook no likey Cock

So screw it, I created the fanpage for Gnéas, the Irish word for sex. Aren’t I almost clever? Why not become a fan of Gnéas?

And this is how it’s seen in the Newsfeed:
Facebook fan of Gnéas

As well as that I have ads running too so when someone you know is a fan, you’ll see an ad like the one for Tim above, though it’ll look something like this:
Facebook Gnéas

Yes, it’s accepted I have too much time on my hands.