Author Archive

Eur24.99 hub/wireless DSL router in PC World

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

Thanks to Spongebob – the bargain hunter and tech extraordinaire on, is a great find of a €24.99 hub and wireless router. It’s for the eircom 1mb broadband service but in actuality will work with any of the resellers, once you change the username and pass to be your own (obviously) and even with a little reconfiguring you can use them on Smart and Magnet. PC World does not ask you to sign-up for eircom whereas Harvey Normans and others might. There are still stacks of them in PC World. It is now replacing a crappy old and noisy hub in my house. It also means I can shut down the main computer that was connecting to the usb modem and not have anyone else in the house complaining anymore. Might save a little bit of energy too. More instructions on configuring it.

Scum sucking bottom feeders – Irish Telecoms Review 2006 Part 2

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

With the exception of groups like Irish Broadband, Clearwire, Digiweb and some of the regional providers, most of the consumer telecoms companies in this fair land resell eircom products. BT Ireland, UTV, Imagine, Perlico and all the rest are almost completely reliant on eircom. Even Digiweb use the resold version of eircom’s dsl product for their DSL offering. So while we see reports that eircom now only have 50% of the broadband market or some other “fact” like that, it really means that eircom retail has 50% of the reseller market. eircom wholesale still has 89% of the market or a figure around that mark. The same excuse is given when Noel Dempsey is questioned about the telecoms market. Lots of competition, hundreds of telecom companies. That’s like calling every tupperware salesdroid a kitchen utensil company. The press should know better than to swallow the usual telecoms poodle and DMCNR bullshit.

Imagine if we relied on just one food wholesale in this country? A wholesaler who really can do what they want and get away with it because the body regulating it doesn’t like to make a fuss. The regulator who has never fined a telco for any bad behaviour. We wouldn’t let them regulate our food supply I bet. The regulator who won’t take a complaint from a consumer until they’ve gone through the complaints process with their existing telecoms provider. By the time they’ve exhuasted themselves going through the complaints maze, they’re too pissed off and tired to then start the whole thing again with a regulator who doesn’t want to know.

I hear many complaints from telcos about eircom taking twice as long to connect a reseller’s customer to dsl as they do for their existing customers. You ring eircom and they can have you connected in 3 days to broadband, you ring a reseller and they have to ring eircom and they get told 2-3 weeks. The resellers have complained to ComReg and it seems ComReg don’t want to do anything. After that the telcos give up. They give up easily don’t they?

We really need a Ryanair type telco in Ireland. Someone not tied to the likes of TIF, someone not giving a fuck about the Minister, someone who doesn’t care about brown-nosing. The brash style of Michael O’Leary has got him a lot. Pissed off everyone but made him king nonetheless. I’d love to see full page advertisments taking the Minister to task and the Government to task about telecoms. Instead we have pussy-whipped telcos muttering in non-public places when they should be picking fights in public and getting consumers and the public behind them. Keep pushing for prices to lower but instead they are those ugly creatures at the bottom of the ocean, getting sufficiently fat on the shit that falls to the bottom when the eircom shark is finished devouring the market. There’s still a sufficient margin for them to make money so they don’t care about the crazy wholesale prices.

BT, UTV and Magnet have considerable resources and they don’t seem to be using them to change the game in Ireland. Shame on them. So guys, step forward and take some of the blame for the terrible state of the Irish telecoms market.

Nice work Allyn Quigley!

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

I found this video of a boyband-like cover for a Shakin Stevens song on Bebo:

I love the snow or is it talcum powder and washing powder? 🙂

Directed by Allyn Quigley. Other videos from Allyn are another boyband like video covering Westlife which had me laughing out loud in some bits:

and moving on to something more original, a trailer for “irish/white/catholic”. Anything using the Doors song “The End” gets bonus points:

Lastly, my favourite so far “Size Matters”:

Good editing, good sound and the shots really flowed well together. Simon should try and get Allyn to enter the VoteTube contest.

Brussel Sprout for sale on eBay – sprouts are not just for Christmas

Monday, December 25th, 2006

SproutBid on a brussel sprout on eBay. Ships from Birmingham.

eircom. A better attitude or just a better accent? – Irish Telecoms Review 2006 Part 1

Monday, December 25th, 2006

Another year, another new owner for eircom. The new owners of eircom impress me. They’re far more professional than the previous mobsters. They shine at PR. The charming French chairman Pierre Danon was in the job a day or two and he had his people on to ask IrelandOffline to meet him. He sent me a Christmas card this year. I’d have expected a barring order from the old crowd. The Australian CEO is the same. Always talking to those on the other side of the battlefield. After the TodayFM interview the other night, Rex Combs gave me a shout on my mobile for a “debriefing”. It was at times an “animated” conversation and it was quite shocking to hear from an eircom person that one of the biggest issues was availability. This was from the same company that blamed everything from weather to geography for lack of broadband and said people simply did not want it. This new guy is all about getting broadband to more people but with the Henry Ford attitude of they can have any broadband, once it is eircom’s.

[ As a quick aside it is funny to see that TIF which is bankrolled by eircom is now saying availability is an issue when 12 months ago it was saying the opposite, it is also funny to see the “independent” telecoms poodle is now saying avaiability is an issue when they did their best to blame demand less than 12 months ago. At times it is hard to distinguish the press wing of eircom from ComReg. ]

But it is not just PR, the new eircom are far far better at business and seem hell-bent on illiminating all competition. They are making local loop unbundling in Ireland even more difficult. They are rolling out broadband to 100 more Irish towns, which is great but those towns where they announced exchange upgrades are nearly, without exception, the same towns where there are Group Broadband Schemes and local wireless providers. They’re just going into take the market created by the others. They are rolling out Wimax in just 5 major cities in order to combat the competition from Irish Broadband, Digiweb, Clearwire and NTL cable. This can be seen by the fact that you can only get wimax after your line fails their broadband test and they can’t fix it. No way of directly odering Wimax from them. No rural rollout yet. I suggested to eircom they hand back an unused spectrum they have to rural companies can use it. I doubt it will happen.

eircom showed how they have the power this year when they called Smart’s bluff and 40,000 customers lost their phone service. A huge chunk of them, possibly up to two thirds moved back to eircom. They also showed their strong serong control of ComReg when they pressured them to take the 3G licence off Smart and when it went to court, the court sided with ComReg. eircom will now get the 3G licence. What’s more, this week’s TodayFM interview where ComReg’s John Doherty and eircom’s Rex Combs were like lovers the way they were in constant agreement. A telling part of this was when Comb’s said LLU was fine and Doherty agreed, yet the ComReg report above shows that LLU is far from working.

And lastly, ComReg and the DCMNR will do nothing whatsoever when eircom are given a further increase in the most expensive line rental in the EU and possibly the OECD.

Were I without a conscience and were eircom on the stockmarket, I’d be buying shares in them. 2007 is going to be a fantastic year for them and a a not so great year for anyone willing to take them on.

James Brown – Now playing in the Kingdom of Heaven

Monday, December 25th, 2006

I never got to see this legend live which is a shame but his influence on modern music is huge. Bye bye James Brown. Here’s James taking on the Devil in one of the BMW films:

Fluffy Links – December 25th 2006

Monday, December 25th, 2006

Best blog post title ever.

Justin Mason has a coolio (when did I turn into Marc Canter?) cliché bookmarklet.

A Christmas message from the head of Iran. Scary? nawwww.

The Judges are calling McDowell’s bluff. Good good.

Some Fianna Fail councillor wants a DNA database because of the UK serial killer. Can we have civil partnerships too then since you want to copy the UK? And a Queen?

The Alchemists – Ad mavericks documentary trailer.

Been reading a lot about Apple and Steve Jobs lately. This is their famous 1984 ad:

How to get rid of unwanted presents:

The Wii on a cinema screen. Now if only I knew someone married to a manager of a cinema…

Twatter – Twitter couldn’t get more shitter

Sunday, December 24th, 2006

Well that was a hoot. I can’t even get my password reset on the god-forsaken Twitter. I removed the Twitter status widget on my blog too. I signed up to twitter so I could make quick status reports that would reach my blog and I couldn’t even do that as it didn’t verify my mobile. I certainly didn’t want to send sms spam to friends or get spam about what they were up to. I’m sure I’ll have egg on my face when Twitter has their IPO or whores themselves to Google for hundreds of millions.

In the mean time, can anyone recommend an alternative to this? Or do I have to go and get a mobile and create an interface between it and my computer and run some software that pulls off SMSs and loads them on to my site for the public to read? I’d rather not do that, being a non-techy and without patience for these things. Ideally and without using email, I’d love to be able to send text messages and multimedia messages to my blog. Can anyone suggest a cheap method to do that in Ireland?

I think I should reg to allow people to express their dislike of twitter.

eBay Ireland Watch – Who’s getting rid of unwanted presents?

Sunday, December 24th, 2006

Currently it is 1900 on Dec 24th 2006 and there is only one item when you search for the keyword “unwanted” on and select “Ireland Only” from the search box. RSS link for those wanting to monitor it over a few days.

Let’s see what it is like come 1000 in the morning and at 1400 and at 1800 and on St. Stephen’s day,

Joanna Newsom – Emily

Sunday, December 24th, 2006

12 minutes long. I feel like I know this song for years. Her voice is like a female Devendra Bernhardt. I discovered her music yesterday after seeing the name all over music blogs for a while. Like Final Fantasy and Beirut, I instantly knew I loved her music and am greatly annoyed I won’t be able to see her play along with the London Symphony Orchestra in January. Said the Gramophone has “Emily” available for download.

Here’s a video of her performing the song live. (Split into two parts for some reason):


The meadowlark and the chim-choo-ree and the sparrow
set to the sky in a flying spree, for the sport over the pharaoh
a little while later the Pharisees dragged comb through the meadow
do you remember what they called up to you and me, in our window?

there is a rusty light on the pines tonight
sun pouring wine, lord, or marrow
down into the bones of the birches
and the spires of the churches
jutting out from the shadows
the yoke, and the axe, and the old smokestacks and the bale and the barrow
and everything sloped like it was dragged from a rope
in the mouth of the south below

we’ve seen those mountains kneeling, felten and grey
we thought our very hearts would up and melt away
from that snow in the nighttime
just going
and going
and the stirring of wind chimes
in the morning
in the morning
helps me find my way back in
from the place where I have been

and, Emily – I saw you last night by the river
I dreamed you were skipping little stones across the surface of the water
frowning at the angle where they were lost, and slipped under forever,
in a mud-cloud, mica-spangled, like the sky’d been breathing on a mirror

anyhow – I sat by your side, by the water
you taught me the names of the stars overhead that I wrote down in my ledger
tho all I knew of the rote universe were those pleiades loosed in december
I promised you I‘d set them to verse so I’d always remember

that the meteorite is a source of the light
and the meteor’s just what we see
and the meteoroid is a stone that’s devoid of the fire that propelled it to thee

and the meteorite’s just what causes the light
and the meteor’s how it’s perceived
and the meteoroid’s a bone thrown from the void that lies quiet in offering to thee

you came and lay a cold compress upon the mess I’m in
threw the window wide and cried; Amen! Amen! Amen!
the whole world – stopped – to hear you hollering
you looked down and saw now what was happening

the lines are fadin’ in my kingdom
(tho I have never known the way to border ’em in)
so the muddy mouths of baboons and sows and the grouse and the horse and the hen
grope at the gate of the looming lake that was once a tidy pen
and the mail is late and the great estates are not lit from within
the talk in town’s becoming downright sickening

in due time we will see the far butte lit by a flare
I’ve seen your bravery, and I will follow you there
and row through the nighttime
gone healthy
gone healthy all of a sudden
in search of the midwife
who could help me
who could help me
help me find my way back in
there are worries where I’ve been

say, say, say in the lee of the bay; don’t be bothered
leave your troubles here where the tugboats shear the water from the water
(flanked by furrows, curling back, like a match held up to a newspaper)
Emily, they’ll follow your lead by the letter
and I make this claim, and I’m not ashamed to say I know you better
what they’ve seen is just a beam of your sun that banishes winter

let us go! though we know it’s a hopeless endeavor
the ties that bind, they are barbed and spined and hold us close forever
though there is nothing would help me come to grips with a sky that is gaping and yawning
there is a song I woke with on my lips as you sailed your great ship towards the morning

come on home, the poppies are all grown knee-deep by now
blossoms all have fallen, and the pollen ruins the plow
peonies nod in the breeze and while they wetly bow, with
hydrocephalitic listlessness ants mop up-a their brow

and everything with wings is restless, aimless, drunk and dour
the butterflies and birds collide at hot, ungodly hours
and my clay-colored motherlessness rangily reclines
– come on home, now! all my bones are dolorous with vines

Pa pointed out to me, for the hundredth time tonight
the way the ladle leads to a dirt-red bullet of light
squint skyward and listen –
loving him, we move within his borders:
just asterisms in the stars’ set order

we could stand for a century
with our heads cocked
in the broad daylight at this thing
in bodies that don’t keep
dumbstruck with the sweetness of being
till we don’t be
told; take this
eat this

told; the meteorite is the source of the light
and the meteor’s just what we see
and the meteoroid is a stone that’s devoid of the fire that propelled it to thee

and the meteorite’s just what causes the light
and the meteor’s how it’s perceived
and the meteoroid’s a bone thrown from the void that lies quiet in offering to thee