Author Archive

This and that

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

More of this and less of that.

Congrats to Richard

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Well done to RW.

BarCamp Ireland – (Not so) Free Parking location

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Update: Went in there to check. Damn them. It’s now pay and display. Tenner for the day though. Might be worth it.

White Street car park in Cork is (no longer) free on weekends, if you get in there early enough. For those that register early (like 9am) then this car park would be perfect. White Street is in the bottom left of the map. Click the below map to see where it is in relation to BarCamp:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

You can also see this on Google maps:

Map of White Street and Webworks.

Alternatively there is a pay car park right next to Webworks.

Thanks to Terry for making the map.

Presentations from the ComReg Broadband Leadership Conference

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

The Broadband Leadership conference was quite enjoyable. Some speakers were totally predictable like Gerry Fahy from TIF, Davis Jesse from EBay and Paul Bradley from HP. A presentation on how to use eBay was quite out of place at a broadband leadership event in my view. The HP Halo room was very disappointing too. It’s videoconferencing with a few more cameras. Nothing ground breaking. Then good ole Gerry who changes his mind everytime eircom management change their philosophy. At least this time his presentation was more aligned to reality. Still some of his figures were quite dubious.

Peter Cochrane was a live wire and tore into telcos and their attitudes towards the future. He wants fibre everywhere and he made everyone from the telcos uneasy by saying “Telecoms companies don’t want you to have broadband”. Very interesting guy. Made mince meat of Gerry Fahy during the Q&A session. Here’s a SiliconRepublic interview with Peter.

Dylan Collins talked about online gaming and the potential revenue it can generate and how his company is working in this area. Demonware are a company to watch.

Brian Coll gave a good presentation on how Sligo IT are using podcasting and videocasting for students and talked about the future of distance learning.

Martin Cronin from Forfas gave a good talk as usual and pointed out how much we have to do to secure jobs and investment. He pointed out that broadband was a key to this. Forfas are a really good organisation. No bullshit or spin from them, just good research and real facts.

Here are all the presentations:
Presentation by Peter Cochrane. 1329 KB PDF file
Presentation by Gerry Fahy from TIF. 332 KB PDF file
Presentation by Paul Bradley from HP. 1096 KB PDF file
Presentation by Dylan Collins from Demonware. 727 KB PDF file
Presentation by Brian Coll from Sligo IT. 1964 KB PDF file
Presentation by Martin Cronin from Forfas. 999 KB PDF file
Presentation by David Jesse from Ebay Ireland. 2018 KB PDF file

Boooooom – Fluffy Links Sept 27th 2006

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Baby Toupees. Gallery of babies looking quite odd.

Dog swallows car rfid key so has to be kept in car for owner to be able to drive.

They will now have to take George [the dog] with them in the car until things take their natural course.

Slate wonders why so many prostitutes in the Bible?

Some people are making up to $300k a month from Google Ads.

Lithuania’s cabinet sessions can now be watched in real time and on your mobile.

Watch over 250 hours of courses from the University of Berkeley online via Google Video.

New clothes for a second life

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

The Wall Street Journal has a piece on the money to be made selling virtual fashion goods in Second Life. It’s a thriving virtual cottage industry. Unlike online games, Second Life seems to have a far more balanced demographic: Median age 32 and 57% male, with 40% living outside the U.S. This means you can sell more than redbull and virtual weapons to the users.

Anyways, this is a subtle way to remind you that Sabrina Dent will have a talk called “Making Money in SecondLife” at BarCampIreland this saturday. Sabrina is a co-owner of Linden Lifestyles.

Cork County Councillors Expenses and Salaries for 2005

Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

For all those in Cork, here are the most of the payments your county councillors got in 2005. A full breakdown is available here. The below totals include mileage expenses, conferences and an annual salary (Representational Payment) of €15,330.00 for being a councillor (which is a part-time position remember) .
P.J. sheehan was Mayor below too and got more money for that. The Examiner had a piece about him here.

Names Total in Euros
P.J. Sheehan 52,098.70
Noel Harrington 42,261.98
Danny Crowley 41,705.42
Tadgh O’Donovan 41,001.34
John O’Shea 40,836.60
Joe Carroll 39,273.02
Michael Donegan 37,525.42
Aindrias Moynihan 36,810.70
Maura Cal McCarthy 36,179.96
Barbara Murray 35,895.24
Aileen Pyne 35,559.25
Christy O’Sullivan 35,160.54
Kevin O’Keeffe 35,023.56
Marie Murphy 34,812.31
Marian Murphy 34,789.16
Dan Joe Fitzgerald 34,733.31
Liam O’Doherty 34,615.75
Patrick Buckley 34,497.98
Martin Coughlan 34,484.69
Tom Sheahan 34,387.62
Kevin Murphy 34,317.67
Michael Hegarty 33,763.47
Donal O’Rourke 33,539.83
Frank O’Flynn 33,254.95
Tomás Ryan 33,253.53
Donal Casey 33,220.96
Mark O’Keeffe 33,189.51
Seán Sherlock 33,131.94
Alan Coleman 32,445.74
Maurice Ahern 32,274.45
Jim Daly 32,165.67
Gerry Kelly 31,965.41
Tim Lombard 31,672.38
Noel Collins 31,604.09
John Mulvihill 31,600.67
Noel Buckley 31,507.36
Noel O’Connor 31,440.06
Michael Creed 30,909.14
Derry Canty 30,702.29
Paula Desmond 30,336.87
Martin Hallinan 30,218.11
John Gilroy 29,314.82
Peter Kelly 28,951.11
Daniel Fleming 27,908.81
John Collins 27,302.08
Michael McGrath 25,546.90
Deirdre Forde 25,333.94
Veronica Neville 25,182.97

How ComReg allows eircom to increase our line rental whether we like it or not

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

If eircom wants to increase line rental charges in this country, in theory there is nothing that can be done about it. eircom have “Significant Market Power” (this is telecoms speak for the power to smother all competition) and so the way they bill people must be regulated according to the EU. The regulator does this by creating a pricing model. Via a suggested usage model, ComReg created a model for the average user and this model is then used to keep eircom’s phone charges down (in theory). For a phonebill ComReg created a model something like: W + X + Y = Z. Z cannot increase by anything more than inflation. W is the cost of say 10 mobile calls, X is the cost of say 20 local calls and Y is the line rental charge. There are more costs on the left hand side than those mentioned.

ComReg have allowed eircom to dictate the prices of the individual items on the left hand side of this model. W and X and Y etc. can be changed by eircom once Z does not increase by more than inflation.

Increased use of mobiles, use of VoIP on broadband and massive price cuts by resellers means that telcos across Europe are making way less from landline calls. eircom is no exception. It would make sense then for eircom to look at ways at preserving the revenue they get from a customer without making too much effort.

To do this they are going to bump up the cost of line rental while reducing the cost of calls. Once the increase in line rental balances with the decrease in call costs, they can do it. Since people make hardly any calls, eircom are in effect making more money per customer even though one side of the equation remains static. The model is seriously flawed. In other countries the regulator also controls the line rental charge so a telco can’t screw you with a massive line rental charge which you have no choice in paying, unlike all the other variables.

Ireland now has the highest line rental charge in the EU at €24.17 per month, €8 above the EU average and €6 more than the second most expensive EU country. Welcome to regulation, ComReg style. That’s the “how” ComReg allows it, ever wonder the “why”?

Bonus fuckover. The model apparently includes VAT. eircom is fighting to make sure that phone is classed as a service and not a product. If it is, it means a rate of VAT at 13.5% and not the current 21%. You won’t see a 7.5% saving on your bill though but I bet you will see some announcement of a 2% saving and later in the year ComReg will inform the world how they have saved you money in their tireless effort to help the consumer.

So with so much taken in line rental, what have we got? An eircom network that is riddled with crappy lines. eircom have told the Oireachtas that to remove carriers (devices that splits a phone line between a few houses, saving copper but with the result broadband doesn’t work on them) will cost €200 million. Where’s the 100s of millions they take on line rental going?

ComReg have a consultation on landline bills at the moment and are looking for feedback. More details here. The deadline for sending in feedback is Friday the 29th of September. I suggest emailing retailconsult@comreg.ie and tell them what you do and don’t want on your phone bill.

Podcasting – Not as easy as it seems?

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

BarCamp IrelandElly Parker will be doing a talk at BarCampIreland entitled “Getting Granny Podcasting (or Encouraging Web Usage in Non-Technical People)”. How hard is podcasting to do and to sustain? With so many Irish bloggers going on hiatus or just finishing up completely, will we see the same with podcasts?

Fred Wilson has stopped doing his family podcast stating:

It’s a fun thing to do for a while. But it’s really hard to sustain. It requires setting things up, getting a show together, and then editing the audio, making sure the sound is right, and then uploading the file to a hosting service, and then publicizing it.

Jeff Jarvis also informs us that Annik Rubens and Ricky Gervais have stopped doing their podcasts too. Ricky seems to have made a fortune out of it though.

Hopefully there’ll be a good discussion on the day at BarCamp about podcasting with some tips and tricks and advice on how to stick with it. There seems to be a good few podcasters coming down to Cork so come along and play devil’s advocate. I bet John Handelaar will be there. 🙂 Here’s a list of 5 mistakes to avoid with corporate podcasting.

Dracula – Cork – Friday the 13th

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

Frank is starring in Dracula. It opens on Friday 13th of October in the Firkin Crane. Looks interesting.