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Fluffy Links – Thursday 30th October 2008

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Some nice talks now lined up for BarCamp Cork. You coming along?

Wot Green Ink says re: John Gormley.

Business blog post of the month.

Alex Keaton rocks.

Was Nokia really spamming blogs? They seem (at least in the UK) to get blogs and blogger relations. said Christmas is canceled.

Christmas is canceled
So that’s that then.

Phones and candidates.

New Beirut track.

Guns N Roses – Chinese Democracy (It starts like it’s a song from The Darkness but gets better)

National Broadband Scheme delayed while coverage area unknown

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

There’s a very clever chap on who has spotted that Eamon Ryan is now changing his boiler plate replies on broadband and the National Broadband Scheme. Where once the Minister said all those in broadbandless areas would be getting broadband now he is saying something slightly different but it changes the whole nature of the National Broadband Scheme:

All requests for a broadband service in the areas to be addressed by the NBS will be met.

See that? But the NBS map has been changing constantly. Actively moving the goalposts that.

I asked for the below question to be asked of the Minister during PQs but it looks like it has not been asked/answered as yet but if it does get asked it might clarify the smog the Minister is creating on this issue:

Will the National Broadband Scheme cover all areas currently not served by broadband suppliers in Ireland, excluding satellite providers. What areas will not be covered by the National Broadband Scheme? given the maps have been redrawn since the intial map was released, increasing the areas that are not being served by broadband.

Meanwhile Simon Coveney finally (it wasn’t rocket science or complex math) caught Ryan on the rollout times for the National Broadband Scheme:

Deputy Simon Coveney: If contracts are being signed in November and if there is a 22-month roll-out period, can we safely assume that the Government target for universal broadband provision across the country will now be the end of 2010 rather than the end of 2009?

Ryan replied:

The national broadband scheme has taken slightly longer than we would have liked. My hope is that the detailed work that has gone into the preparation of the contract in advance, whoever the bidder is, will mean we will have swift roll-out and delivery on the commitment within it by mid-2010, which is the rough timeline set out.

(The bit not in italics is where he is lying)
Planning permission. Lots and lots of applications for planning permission in all these places. Hills, mountains, rough terrain. Masts and digging and all that. What sane company is going to apply for planning permission for masts BEFORE they win the tender? They have told this to the Department I am quite sure of, they’re not stupid. They have told the Minister of this too. If Dan Boyle is anyone to go by, Eamon Ryan, being the best guy in the whole wide world to know broadband (awww shucks thanks Bouncy) knows this too yet he tells the Dáil otherwise. He tells them somehow these companies can fast-track things? Oh would you come back down from the clouds Minister.

Ryan also lies about schools to Simon Coveney:

Deputy Eamon Ryan: Some 3,901 out of 3,936 schools have their local broadband connectivity installed, which is over 99% of them. Installation has typically been at speeds of up to 2 megabytes per second.

Of up to. Theoretical. Half of these are via a shitty satellite dish. Sat. A. Lite. Eam mon. There is no ugrade path to fibre with Sat. A. Lite. Sat. A. Lite is for Ethiopia. That’s in that hot place. It’s useless for a whole school. Useless for a whole classroom. Last resort Internet access and half the schools in the scheme get it.

Lots of delays lots of lies. Status quo. I’m going to bed before I go on a rampage. Another post about Eamon Ryan gets autoposted later today.

Missing the han

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Perfectly describes Will Smith.


Dan Boyle – hmmmm

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

I’d started off writing a blog post about how I thought Dan Boyle was a cunt for voting against Shane Ross’s broadband bill. I’ve slightly softened my stand after reading the transcripts of the debate. Dan has so far proved himself to be a massive apologist for everything the Government has done of late including fucking over pensioners.

(If Dan Boyle decides to seek re-election in Cork South Central I’ll probably do my level best to make sure he doesn’t get enough votes to get in, even if I have to go through a lot of personal finances to do so. I got burned once by the lieing Green Party, I’d hope to make sure others are aware of the lengths they’ll go to in order to inflate their egos about being part of the Government.)

Photo owned by sophiea (cc)

Anyways, on to Shane Ross’s valiant attempt at his broadband bill. Shot down by the following people by the way, if you want to visit them and complain, this is who they are, a lame email won’t be enough I should think. Visit them.:

Boyle, Dan.
Brady, Martin.
Butler, Larry.
Callely, Ivor.
Carty, John.
Cassidy, Donie.
Corrigan, Maria.
Daly, Mark.
de Búrca, Déirdre.
Ellis, John.
Feeney, Geraldine.
Glynn, Camillus.
Hanafin, John.
Leyden, Terry.
MacSharry, Marc.
McDonald, Lisa.
Ó Domhnaill, Brian.
Ó Murchú, Labhrás.
O’Brien, Francis.
O’Donovan, Denis
O’Malley, Fiona.
O’Sullivan, Ned.
Ormonde, Ann.
Phelan, Kieran.
Walsh, Jim.
White, Mary M.
Wilson, Diarmuid.

So Dan gets up and backs up Eamon Ryan, you know, the guy that lies about how good things are when it comes to broadband. Just like the crazies in his Department.

While I think it’s really shitty to stand up and shout down a bill that was doing good, Dan was constructive at times and living on planet WTF at other times such as:

The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources is sufficiently energised in pointing his Department in the right direction in fulfilling this policy goal. He has enough commitment and knowledge of the subject to ensure the goals are met. It is not facetious to say that he knows in computing terms the plural of “mouse” is “mouses”. He is the one Cabinet member with a knowledge of how particular technology choices in this area work.

Mouse, mouses. Shuddup Chris Farley. In the next bit he at least pointed out he differed in opinion to Ryan and praised a lot of Ross’s bill.

One function for an overseeing agency would be to ensure broadband penetration is reached critically in each of those sectors. The Minister has indicated his personal priority as regards broadband in schools. I am confident there will be significant advances in this area. It must be recognised better broadband access for households has other implications such as encouraging home working and preventing unnecessary commuter transport.

The difference between technology platforms is an area I believe could be more tightly regulated. Will the majority of broadband service be delivered through cable or some other platform such as satellite? The Minister indicated that because the greater increase in broadband services is through mobile platforms, this seems to be policy direction. I am not sure that should be the case. There are still opportunities to have a cable-based system that will carry as much of the broadband network as possible while having the mobile broadband as an add-on.

The Minister is open to debate on the issue while at the same time progressing policy goals in this area. I would like to see Senator Shane Ross, who has taken an interest in this area, engage in further goading of the Minister, the Department and the Government on broadband services. I know the Minister has stated he will not accept this Bill but there is still a need for the Minister to explain what he intends to do in regulation and legislation, if necessary, in this area.

Schools? More schools have a satellite dish feeding them Internet access than proper broadband. Satellite is not broadband. Also Ryan has said 2009 will be when his Department will reexamine broadband in schools. I find it very interesting that broadband in schools is the new fad from the Department. Love how they’re talking about fibre? How many have fibre now? How many will have fibre in 2009? You don’t know. The Department doesn’t know because it’s made up. Pulled out of the air.

Two questions if answered honestly by Boyle and his party members would push things along:

  • Will you agree that mobile “broadband” is not in fact credible broadband and is more like mobile dialup?
  • Will you agree that these mobile figures should not be used by the Government to measure broadband subscriptions?

Were such an honest answer given, it would make progress in my view because there’d be less lies to hide behind and more motiviation to make progress. Unlike now.

Conferences – Spend your ticketmoney on building your own

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

There are some amazing conferences that are on around Ireland, the UK, europe, the rest of the world and some of them have some amazing prices too. Le Web this year in Paris is €1,495.00 – €1,794.00 depending on how early you register. The O’Reilly Web 2.0 moneyfest in Berlin was a few grand too. Even in Ireland you see conferences ranging from €250 to over a grand for a day or two-day event. That’s a lot of dough these days to pay to be lectured to isn’t it?

I do often wonder for the specialised but expensive conferences whether you’d be better off just hosting your own day-long event in Ireland without having to fly in the big names or the big guns. They’re certainly great to see and draw a crowd but when some charge from 10k to 100k for a speaking gig, it’s no wonder that the cost of a ticket to some conferences can be up to 3k per person.

And then these big guns don’t mix. They hide out the night before in their hotel room, maybe talk to the others presenting and then are probably protected from the mad crowds during the event. It all seems very mercenary.

Wouldn’t it be great to see some expert talk and give them live feedback? Not by one of those boring “backchannels” things but by someone putting up their hand and saying something. Not that it’d be allowed in a large conference. The speaker (not converser) is there to make a few points without engaging, ta very much. I’m not talking about Barcamps but a model like that. Highly targeted speakers and audience members and small too so that information circulates, not just flows from the powerpoint to the scribble pad of someone in the audience.

Second International Conference on Dengue and Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever
Photo owned by molecularck (cc)

I guess it’s the “brown bagger” model in American companies where people to lunchtime training modules while everyone eats food supplied by work.

It’s ironic that many of us network better at big and international conferences yet there is so much shared knowledge in our own island and so many people we should be meeting and talking to who are only a few miles or event a few feet away from us. A strong local base is probably good for individuals and companies alike. That’s why those old school business networks like BNI do well, because they have the basics right. The delivery is probably all over the shop though and silly rules like having to give business to the person in your chapter is bad for you and them. Your rep and their weak business, if that’s the case. Focused conferences where everyone going brings something with them and contributes would be of extreme value I should think.

Think of it. You’re at a conference and some flown-in expert says something and you think “excellent, didn’t know that” and then they say something else and you think “D’uh, heard that ages ago” or you might actually be ahead of where they are. Now imagine everyone else in the room are like you. Does the room need the person at the front in this case?

Heading to the keynotes
Photo owned by DBegley (cc)

Renting a room for a day costs anywhere from 500 euros to 2000 euros and charging people a modest sum to go would cover all costs. In fact there’s probably a business in “buying” off-the-shelf conference packages from hotels for a standard fee. Ciara too has a guide on running a conference on a shoestring.

What conference would you want to have for your specialist area, do you think you can run it? I bet you can.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday October 29th 2008

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

Few days left to register and come to BarCamp Cork. Look at the great talks!

Sweet and scary meringues. Mmmm.

Blacknight are now sponsoring the SEO competition.

Send your drunken photos to +353 877510456 I’m sure they’re looking for something else. However 🙂

Jennifer points out you can get grants for your website being built.

Dáil Ministers has a go off John Gormley this time. And this is a real interview with the besandaled one. I shit you not. “John’s uncle, John Gormley still lives in Muff.”

iPhone and Flickr. A love affair numbers wise.

A different type of election poster – Vote for Robocop and Unicorns.

Oooh yeah. Tom Waits + Kronos Quartet + Live + Way down in the hole.

GMail has become much more efficient now, thanks to this add on allowing the GCalendar to be in GMail.

Rufus Wainwright – Gay Messiah

Rufus Wainwright – What a world (live)

G’wan the Pin – Fianna Fáil and the Green’s €6.5Billion Builder bailout to be investigated by EU

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Everyone’s fav property website (except maybe for Fianna Fáil, the Greens, Daft, MyHome and the developers) has done it again. They were first to point out that the Home Choice Loans scheme was dodgy as fuck and now they’ve raised it with the EU, who are going to investigate it. This is probably the next big scandal from the budget. Stay tuned here. This is people power and the web working for the common good.


After hundreds of contributors to website recently lodged complaints with the EU.
The European Commission has now confirmed that it is to carry out
further investigations under EU State Aid laws regarding the
governments ‘Home Choice Loans’ scheme unveiled in Budget 2009.

Part of the complaint alleges that the scheme is a “Subsidisation Of
Certain Residential Property Developers” and “Distorts” the market in
favor of Big Developers carrying a heavy stock of unsold properties
across the country at the expense of buyers and tens of thousands of
existing sellers. Tom Parlon, Construction Industry Lobbyist is
credited with the successfully ring fencing of €1.65Bn of Tax Payers
money to bailout the developers via this scheme. Some commentators
estimate the true cost could rise to in excess of €6.5-10bn.

Such numbers put the medical card controversy into perspective while
also revealing the massive extent to which the governments appetite to
help an Tax incentivised and formerly profitable industry before the
public health interest into sharp contrast.

The Commission reference for the case is “CEL – CP300/2008 – Housing
Financing in Ireland”.

Broadband customer service – Want to tell RTE about it?

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Photo owned by Kofoed (cc)

RTE Current Affairs are looking for stories about experiences with broadband or customer service in general. Want to tell your side? They’re looking for both positive and not so positive experiences. I know which will have the most volume!

Email: with your story.

Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the greatest SEO of them all?

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Competition time! Are you the best SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) person in Ireland? Want to prove it? Via the Irish Web Awards vehicle, we’re running another competition to see who’s the best at SEO in Ireland.

Mister Wilson Spammer
Photo owned by Mister Wilson (cc)

You have until December 1st at 3pm to rank your website for the following phrase: geansai gorm. Yup, we’re using a phrase as gaelige in order as as not to pollute the indices as much as possible.


  • Entries open to all Irish individuals and Irish businesses.
  • Search is to be performed on Without Pages From Ireland selected, with personalisation off and from an Irish IP address.
  • The domain to rank must be a new domain. Must not contain the keywords in the domain name at all and no ccTLD domains are to be used.
  • Only want the homepage to rank, not other non-useful pages.
  • 301 redirects are not permitted.
  • Keywords as gaeilge instead of english but copy can be in English

Edit: Forgot to say a big thanks to both Cormac and Richard for their feedback about this idea.

BarCamp Cork II – Now get a proper photo for your bio

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Phil has kindly offered to do a photo session for those attending BarCamp Cork. Since there are so many people form tech startups and blogs and the rest attending, it would make sense for maybe some of them to sit and pose (without feeling too awkward) and let a pro like Phil take their photo so they can use it in press photos etc. Well the opportunity is there for you now.

BarCamp Cork