Author Archive

Is the screw turning on ComReg and the broadband providers?

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Two interesting bits in the papers of late. First in the Business Post was a bit about the Consumers Association of Ireland getting quite gung ho with ComReg and are (very Stephen Colbert) putting ComReg and the DCENR on notice. Seems they had a meeting on Monday and pointed out all the areas where ComReg was doing a bad job. Long meeting I guess? About time that the CAI made some noises after sitting on ComReg’s Consumer sham Panel which did nothing but give ComReg credibility when it deserved to be condemned.

Nice quotes:

‘‘ComReg has been in existence for over five years and, by now, we would have expected it to have made significant strides. In some cases, not much has changed since the days when these sectors were run by the Department of Public Enterprise,’’ Doorley said.

‘‘However, if the review suggests that it has the powers and has failed to act, then the CAI will be putting ComReg and the government on notice that, if it does not reform and perform within a reasonable period of time, then it should be stripped of its consumer protection role and it should be given to another body.

‘‘In short, it will be a case of shape up or ship out.”

Secondly the Advertising Standards Authority, an industry “regulated” group has new advertising codes for broadband (Irish Times link) which will urge broadband providers to declare average speeds during peak hours when they advertise. This I’m more cynical about. The ASAI cannot force anyone to do this. It’s all urging and writing them notes if they don’t comply. No legal powers at all. No fines. Previously telcos have ignored the ASAI‘s notices. They also have a code for availability/coverage. Now that will be interesting. With Mobile broadband in Ireland being muck, I wonder what the speeds advertised will be now and whether they’ll release the data to the public. ComReg should be doing this on a monthly basis.

Back once again

Friday, March 14th, 2008

I’m back. The nonsense will once again resume in a few hours.

Stations of the cross, True fans and micro-training classes

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Did you ever live out in the country in Ireland and they’d have the Stations of the Cross in a house and the whole community would come along? People from the parish or the catchment area would show up and belt out the old tunes of Hail Mary. Act of Contritions and Our Fathers and then once ended the real fun would begin with the socialising afterwards. The women would have all these great sandwiches made and all sorts of baked goods ripe for the munching, there’d be tea and coffee and maybe a “drop” for some of the men. News would be exchanged, stories retold, introductions made if there were new people there and an almost knife fight to be the next house to do them. Ahh country life. I actually kind of enjoyed them apart from that god stuff. It’s a very interesting way of getting a community together and socialising and not one pub was needed.

I got thinking of this due to Kevin “Cool Tool”s Kelly. Kevin has written an inspiring blog post about the idea that an artist or musician or writer could survive by having just 1000 fans but these would be “true fans”. The loyal fans would would spend a days salary on you over a year. It’s taking the idea of the long tail (hype hype) and moving away from the end but not hugely towards the top. It brings you to a point where you can get a regular or safe enough income from people who know you and regularly support you from the liking your work and that working the room or the circuit enough to get these 1000 could be enough for most people to be able to do what they love and remain comfortable.

kevin quain & the mad bastards
Photo owned by Karlina – as things are… (cc)

He points to Danny O’Brien too who talked about being at a house concert and it’s an interesting concept. An up and coming or maybe slightly established musician plays your house. You are her mini-patron in a way. 40 people at most coming to your house party. She plays, everyone loves her music, they might go beyond getting turned into a fan and maybe turn into a true fan or an evangelist. As the person that organised the house party you get attention and adoration from people who might never have experienced this person before. Maybe they’ll buy five cds off her there and then.

Kevin Kelly’s essay is probably going to inspire many blog posts from me alone on this concept and you can see from the comments on his post that it could very well turn into a book judging by the feedback and examples he’d collecting. It made me think of something else though. The ideas of BarCamps and the ShareIT experiment I tried and the offers of free blog training in Cork and Dublin are nice ways of meeting people and sharing but they could still be friendlier. The banter after is always better and more information can be exchanged too after.

I really wonder could you do the idea of a house training session. Do some simple training sessions for an hour with a group of people and then socialise afterwards. Kind of like the Help Yourself idea but in someone’s sitting room. With apple tart. And ham sandwiches with mustard. Or lentils with mustard. 🙂 This would be very basic stuff obviously and would be geared to people who have not been to a session before. Am sure there’s all sorts of legalities with public liability insurance or some such thing too. I’d love to try it out though. Oh and it would have to pay. The trainer gets some money and those attending pay but also have to chip in for the catering.

What do you think?

Bloggers Book thing – Still going to happen

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Well, it didn’t happen before the Blog Awards because there was too much on so we’re re-scheduling. If anyone can suggest a good venue where we can gather Grandad, Twenty, Fiona from The Waiting Game, Kieran Murphy and Declan Burke to talk about blogs and books, let me know.

Comp Sci student looking for Summer Work Exp/Internship

Monday, March 10th, 2008

A friend of mine that’s doing Computer Science in UCC is looking for Summer work experience either in Cork or Dublin though he is happy to go elsewhere. Sam’s LinkedIn is here if you want to have a look. Give him a shout if you think you might know of a company looking for students. His email is fitzpatricksam ( AT )

Fluffy Links – Monday 10 March 2008

Monday, March 10th, 2008

Ian points out the last episode ever of the Wire got leaked. All I’ll say is, it’s been a disappointing season and wrapping it all up in 90 mins disrespects everyone.

In case you didn’t see it, the Blog Awards podcast is here.

Nice post with daffodil pics from Darragh.

iPlayer tech Porn. The backend to BBC’s iPlayer for the iPhone.

Flirty made print!

MacBook Air, scaring airport security.

Tom Tom Club – Genius of Love


Sunday, March 9th, 2008

Blogging is going to be pretty slow the next week as I take some time off and disconnect from the digital world and maybe try and read a book like those normal folk do. I’m hoping to start and finish Twenty Major’s book too. Everyone should buy it and get a blogger to number 1 in the charts. See you all in a while.

Casiotone for the Painfully Alone

Sunday, March 9th, 2008

He’s on tonight in Whelan’s. I have a spare ticket if you want it. Txt or email me.

Fluffy Links – Friday March 7th 2008

Friday, March 7th, 2008

Blogs in newspapers now.

Total recut makes the Creative Commons blog. Nice one Owen.

Like the Pope? The real one, not the fake one. Check out these garden figures.

Just has created an Irish Twitter aggregator. Now you can see what we’re all yabbering on about.

Elly explains What Would Mulley Do.

Elly links to the vid that explains Twitter.

Joe’s guide on how to screw with banks and telcos and the rest. Churn!

Thanks to Linkmap:
Mulley Birthday

Via Colm:Herding Cats

The whole of Heima:

The Littlest

Friday, March 7th, 2008