Author Archive

Tempted by the fruit of another

Monday, July 30th, 2007

I feel ill. The chef here had me try out a chocolate sweet made from durian. The smelliest, most horrid fruit ever. This is actually how he billed it before I tried it. The sweet is now repeating on me and sends waves of the most noctious, sickening gas up my throat and out my nose and nostrils. It is the type of thing that fits so comfortably in the “delicacy” comparment that fools us all into paying a fortune for food nobody else would bother trying since their life doesn’t depend on it.

Here’s a video of someone trying it:

Battles – Math Rock – If Google started a band they’d be this lot?

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Math Rock. Yeah apparently this genre exists. I’ve heard of Battles for a while but was really wondering were they a band that sang songs like “1 and one is two. Two and two is four. Break it down.” or “I don’t want to be your square root, I want to be your multiplier” but they seem more about doing rhythms in certain ways. They have a Primus or Zappa feel to them. Then the chipmunks have an LSD party with the Smurfs. It also reminded me of something else.*

Anyway, Phantom played this tune tonight:

Of which a longer, live version is here:

Really good. Must get the album now.

* Was also reminded of this Trigger Happy TV moment:

Paddy’s Valley mentioned in the Times

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Irish Times, FinFacts and others cover the Paddy’s Valley trip. Maybe now the local papers will cover the companies, now that the Times gave them a seal of approval.

Fluffly Links – Monday July 30th 2007

Monday, July 30th, 2007

Most expensive petrol in Ireland?

Words. The most offensive.

A mobile client for bit torrent. If the operators in Ireland don’t block it and give proper caps, it could be useful. It should have a bluetooth or wifi option.

I seem to be on a Ben Hammersley linkathon of late. Ben mentions that this is the golden age of good TV and I think I’m going to agree. But it is only a golden page because of the net and Bittorrent. Deadwood, Battlestar, Dexter. Friday Night Lights, Heroes, The Wire to Rome.

I’m beginning to think that all the fuss over the internet is entirely misplaced: the artform that is truly coming into its creative and cultural maturity is television, and specifically long-form American produced drama. It’s not a new point, but from the Sopranos through to BSG, Dexter to The Wire, there’s some truly inspired writing and photography happening coming together.

African journos use mobiles to take vids and upload them using GPRS.

Via Metafilter: Dentist puts boar teeth into patient’s mouth. She sues, he coughs up 250k. He sues insurance company and they cough up a million. America.

This is an ex-Internet:Teaser trailer for Beowulf:

Ikea – Now doing sleep overs

Sunday, July 29th, 2007

Madness. Via BoingBoing

The Oslo Ikea is opening up a no-charge hostel for shoppers who want to keep on shopping the next morning. It includes a bridal suite, and a luxury suite with breakfast in bed. Many Norwegians visit Ikea on holidays, treating it like a flat-pack theme-park. Guests also get to keep their sheets, and complimentary slippers, bathrobes, dinner and breakfast.

I’m reminded of this scene from Fight Club:

SEO and Blogging Cheat Sheet

Friday, July 27th, 2007

At the recent Wicklow CEB talk that I gave, I covered how it was very important to optimise websites for Google and as a result all search engines. I outlined that all the important steps for riding high on Google tie in neatly to blogging and so I advocated blogging as being crucial for a business to blog, if they have the time of course.

A cheat sheet was sent out to those that attended and here’s a bit of what was in it, which the SEO guys will no doubt nitpick 🙂

When optimising for Google:

Page titles mean a lot
Links mean a lot
Google likes new
Blogs fit well into this

Blogging tips:
Pick a niche, become the authority.
Network –, other bloggers in your niche.
Put your blog on your existing website.
Host the website in Ireland, if you want Irish traffic.
Regular posts – 1 per week for a year.

Additionally, writing a blog is not writing some kind of diary, it is a form of story telling, a way of you communicating with potential customers and explaining to them what your company or business philosophy is.

Privacy in a world of lifestreaming

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Piaras’s post where he thinks a little less privacy for better customer service is not so bad, reminded me of a piece I wrote for the Trib about all these new technologies which when combined could easily stalk us. Tim O’Reilly mentions the UK where policemen will be wearing head cams and the privacy implications.

For someone that doesn’t want to be online, they probably are already in their friend’s Bebo profiles with pictures and videos of a 21st, at concert pictures with them in the background standing at the bar, in videos of people cavorting in public parks etc. etc. Is it just “tough luck” if you are in a photo and want it removed from the web? Is it “if you don’t want to end up online, then don’t step outside your house?”. We wouldn’t be talking about images that would ruin your reputation or anything but just images of yourself you don’t want others to be able to access. Will you end up like Michael Jackson with dark glasses, surgical masks and blankets over you? Or if a law comes in which says you have to get permission from everyone in your video before you can stick it online, does that totally screw over these streaming services? There doesn’t seem to be anything in the new TV/Media directives from the EU either to cover this.

Lifestreaming, like the movie Being John Malkovich will allow you to climb inside the head of someone and experience their day via a digital smorgasboard of public text messages, blog posts, gps tagged photos and (thanks to mobile broadband and tiny videocameras) a live video stream of them as they move around their world. Every person can now be their own TV channel and everything they do will leave digital footprints across the web on multiple websites. Something like this a complete surrender of privacy but as all these services stress, everyone opts in to this. However many of these sites seem to be like the Hotel California that the Eagles sang about: lovely places but can your data ever leave and what if your images were uploaded without permission?

Some of us might like our privacy and may never use these super-fad social networks but we’ll still show up in the peripheries of videos and photos and mentions in blog posts and texts. There may already be multiple websites where our image is stored online and we don’t even know it. If we do become aware of such things, we might have to go to two or four or even 12 different websites to try and have our data removed. When Google recently released street-level photos of cities in America, lots of people did not want the world to see them and asked for their images to be removed but Google demanded a scan of your drivers licence and a letter from you before they’d even consider removing your picture. That’s just Google and there are possibly hundreds more websites also hosting images and videos and text snippets about you.

Do companies *have* to remove your image on request? Can you tell them not to put your image up in future or do you have to chase down every image and request a removal for each one?

Update: Eoin replies.

Fluffy Links – Friday July 27th

Friday, July 27th, 2007

Una Rocks, no Una Jacks. It would be terribly awful if people starting calling her that. Just awful. Anyway, visit her jacks graffiti blog.

Like Una, Mark Webster has also started another blog.

Fantastic predictive piece on how the media and web will react to the BBC iPlayer.

I want this Doggy. Why doesn’t anyone buy my expensive pieces of modern art, eh?

Via Walter Zack Snyder talks Watchmen

Equire now launch a TV channel. Every newspaper and magazine should have one. Rumour has it that Blogorrah is actually going to be launching an online TV channel too.

Via metafilterZotero is a neat firefox plugin for scholars.

Via Mr. T: Skittles Touch:

A weird Intel music video about computer security, directed by Christopher Guest.

No Country for old Men – Cohen Brothers back on form?

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Javier Bardem looks like he has the best part in this. Based on the book by Cormac McCarthy.

‘I ain’t really with it, I’m gettin’ off at Tara’ – True story

Thursday, July 26th, 2007

Friend told me a story over IM yesterday evening. I asked could I blog it and he gave me permission. I never ever email friends things and ask them to email it on but if you could, maybe copy and paste this story and share it with your friends? This is how Ireland works right now. That child has no rights under the constitution but the mother does and despite an Oireachtas committee suggesting changes, it was shot down by Bertie. It is very very difficult for the State to take this poor child of his junkie mother because of the current way things stand. I’m sure there are dozens or hundreds more stories like this one too.

You can choose your friends

A woman got on Dart in Bray before I had time to properly go to sleep. Rather ok looking pram with child in it. On closer inspection, said child had Downs Syndrome. Downs Syndrome children are really affectionate, attentive and loving. The mother had pushed the pram half way up the carriage. Not ideal for ease of access or exit.

She proceeded to try to give the child its bottle of orange juice. On noticing that she had no bib, she asked two of our local Dart passengers, if they had some tissues. Kind passengers give woman tissues. It became obvious when the woman jumped up twice for the wrong stop, once at Glasthule and once at Dun Laoghaire that she was stoned.

I hadn’t judged her for her accent. I hadn’t judged her for looks. I hadn’t judged her for neglecting to carry a bib. I hadn’t judged her for rather roughly inserting the childs bottle. At the Dun Laoghaire effort to get off the train, she said ‘I ain’t really with it, Im gettin’ off at Tara’. My heart sank.

She then proceeded to meticulously arrange and fold two fifty Euro notes, that were in the end of her handbag. She wrapped the notes in an old train ticket. I could only think she was destined to ‘score a fix’. My heart sank more. Young Downs Baby, no more that one and a half, looks at me and waves. I felt SICK.