Joe Lennon isnâ€™t the only government spin doctor deserting the ship less than nine months before the general election. Grace Cappock, Noel Dempseyâ€™s press officer, is off to work for BT, while Robert Marshall from the Fianna Fail press office has gone to Murray Consultants. Dan Pender has already left the transport department, and Tony Cotter is gone from arts and sports. Do spin doctors see the writing on the wall?
BT Ireland nabs Noel Dempsey’s Press Officer – HahSunday, September 3rd, 2006
More MCD woes – Boards.ie users biting backSunday, September 3rd, 2006
Civil servant harassed for taking medicine to MCD rock gig.
The couple say that at the entrance to an REM concert in Balbriggan in June 2005, MCD security staff emptied McCarrickâ€™s bag of drinks and medication on the ground and said the couple would be arrested for drug dealing.
â€œThey said I was a dealer because my bag was full of prescription drugs,â€? said McCarrick. â€œThey accused my fiancée of planning to inject drugs with her insulin needle. Iâ€™ve never before been harassed and embarrassed in front of other people like this.â€?
McCarrick said the security staff ignored the coupleâ€™s civil service identification cards and doctorsâ€™ letters that explained their need for medication.
South Park do a HR Video for UnivesralSaturday, September 2nd, 2006
Podcasting LegalitiesSaturday, September 2nd, 2006
From IT Conversations is the Podcasting Legal Guide
Podcasters may unexpectedly find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Copyrights, attribution, fair use, inducement, defamation and privacy are just a few of the issues which must be finessed to avoid ending up in hot water. Luckily, Colette Vogele and her colleagues have published an excellent, free guide for podcasters on their legal rights and responsibilities. Denise Howell sits down with Vogele to discuss this ‘participatory law’ project which helps demystify the legal dangers raised by the blossoming of audio and video podcasting.
This would apply to the US mainly but I’m sure Bernie Goldbach of Digital Rights Ireland would have a lot in his podcasts that cover this particular issue too.
Minutes from joint Oireachtas Committee on broadbandSaturday, September 2nd, 2006
Below are the minutes for the joint Oireachtas Committee on Communications meeting on their broadband report. They dragged in E-net, Smart Telecom, BT, eircom, ComReg and Noel Dempsey and subjected some of them to a very tough line of questioning. Word doc version of this.
The most interesting section for me is when Isolde Goggin, John Doherty and Mike Byrne are questioned. We have our regulator telling an Oireachtas Committee that our line failure rate is in line with the rest of Europe and that us and Northern Ireland are pretty much the same for line failure. That’s an outright lie. Why is our regulator lieing to the Oireachtas?
They go on to protect eircom by saying they are fulfilling their licence obligations for the only national wireless broadband licence despite the fact 200 people or less use the service and the service is not advertised. If you ring eircom they won’t sell you the service either. They say it isn’t available to you in your area. ComReg won’t publish a map of where this service is available despite it being a requirement of the licence agreement. Compare that to Chorus who had their licences for wireless broadband removed and more recently ComReg taking the 3G licence back off Smart Telecom.
Connecticut’s for fucking – Weird song, weird bandFriday, September 1st, 2006
The band is called Jesus H. Christ And The Four Hornsmen Of The Apocalypse. Like so much other cool stuff, I found them on I guess I’m Floating. This is in the same vein as Jarvis Cocker’s latest tune.
New York-based Jesus H Christ and the Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse are an eight-piece rock/pop/punk/folk/metal/cabaret band. Likened to B-52s meets X-Ray Spex meets Weezer meets Blood Sweat and Tears, the JHC “difference” is horny, thinking-person’s, emotionally-bare lyrics protectively cloaked in hard candy pop.
I’m reminded of The Go-Go’s for some reason. Check out the mp3s and these lyrics. If you are not bobbing your head and singing the song then you’re pretty normal. The song also reminds me a bit of “My World” by Gun’s n Roses.
We live in the dullest state
Package stores all close at eight
Malls are full of optometrists
And restaurants we hate
Swimming across Lake Quassapaug
Stealing makeup, catching frogs
Cutting our feet on broken bottles
As we wade in the Shepaug
Itâ€™s true for horses, cows and dogsâ€¦
Connecticutâ€™s for fucking
Thatâ€™s all there is to do.
I love to listen to classic rock
and have sex with you.
Doing hole shots at the mall
Writing Ozzy on a wall
Watch the corn get tall
Thereâ€™s nothing else to do at all.
Goinâ€™ where we always go
Doinâ€™ what we always do
Waitinâ€™ to turn into the people
We are bound to turn into.
What else do other people do?
Connecticutâ€™s for fucking
Itâ€™s the Nutmeg state
If we canâ€™t afford to buy antiques
then we just copulate
Connecticutâ€™s for fucking
And Massachusetts too
I want to climb up the sleepy giant
and have sex with you.
Up in Fairfield
In Old Lyme
Weâ€™re just fucking all the time.
Out in Derby
Down in Kent
Weâ€™re all busy getting bent
In the Constitution State.
Connecticutâ€™s for fucking
While weâ€™re waiting to
Turn into the people
everyone here turns into.
Connecticutâ€™s for fucking.
Thereâ€™s nothing else to do.
I wanna listen to classic rock and have sex with you.
We all love to fuck in Connecticut.
Weâ€™re all getting fucked in Connecticut.
Rex Comb, the new Eircom CEO talks the talkFriday, September 1st, 2006
and impresses me so far. Rex Comb was on Morning Ireland this morning and when asked about broadband stated the biggest issue was availability. Something the previous eircom owners stated again and again was not an issue. Something the DCMNR said was fine. Something ComReg said was fine. All along eircom and DCMNR had their hands respectively over their ears and eyes, the telecoms poodle didn’t have to cover their ears and their eyes as their head was quite firmly up their own HOWYA! Now a new CEO and he’s cut out the shit and said they have to roll out to more places. So I’m impressed.
Rex also said that customers were very important and they’d want to give them what they wanted – broadband but also educate them as to what they could do with broadband. Fantastic news. We need to get Internet usage up in this country. Rex avoided the line rental hike question though. Did it quite well. Still we all know it’s going to go up. I’m sure there’ll be a public outcry over this.
Speaking of customer service, Rex’s boss, Pierre Danon, emailed someone today who complained about a shitty service from eircom after they got a line installed. The person contacted me about it knowing I’d love to hear a story like that because the chairman of a multi-billion euro company personally sending emailed a customer and apologised about lousy service. I’m sure he won’t be able to do this for every complaint email send, but still. It was only a few weeks ago where a PA would send a template email to anyone that managed to get an email to the Chairman of eircom and then some customer services flunky would send a snipey email trying to catch you out on the complaint. Clearly there’s a new style in eircom but lets hope it continues and provides broadband for all.
Bloggorah linked to me and I didn’t have to get em out for the boysThursday, August 31st, 2006
Meet the Bloggers – New BBC Radio showThursday, August 31st, 2006
BBC Radio Show: Meet the bloggers.
Introducing some of the new voices on the internet â€“ people who have made their mark by writing a blog or online journal. Mark Savage meets the men and women whoâ€™ve attracted attention in cyberspace by recording their thoughts and impressions on anything and everything.
Bernie kind of does this already for Ireland on Podcasting.ie
DownloadMusic.ie – ReviewWednesday, August 30th, 2006
Johnny Beirne very softly launched Downloadmusic.ie recently. It’s a download service allowing you to download the music of unsigned Irish artists.
Johnny and the other folks behind the site are a group of 3 people with various backgrounds, primarily in e-business and music. Johnny puts it nicely:
If we were on a road trip, there would be a driver (me, the guy answering these questions), a mechanic (the guy who makes sure things work) and a guy that keeps changing the radio station (the music guy).
To download the music you click on the song, listen to a sample if you want and then add it to your basket. When you go to the checkout, the process is nice and simple. If you haven’t registered it will make you do it there and then but it’s quick and it remembers what you want to purchase. Payment is using paypal for now. Fine for net users but paypal takes a fairly percentage from the seller for small transactions. Once that’s all done you are directed to a download page. You have 24 hours to download the files you’ve purchased and you are allowed to download them up to three times.
Johnny believes the main difference between what you hear on the radio and what you donâ€™t is “money not talent”. It’s been a dream of his for years to have an Irish “Irish Top 30” Music Chart and he believes the Internet has made this possible.
By speaking to the artists and surfing the web Johnny researched the market. He initially sees fans and friends of chart artists as the core customers, but as word spreads, all music lovers. On how Downloadmusic.ie will distinguish itself from the rest of the sites out there, Johnny said:
Firstly, the site is for Independent Irish Artists. Secondly, the chart aspect, with sales figures published, introduces healthy competition and also provides direct feedback to the artists on their marketing efforts.
The mp3s are DRM-free allowing them to be played and moved to and from any mp3 player. Something which many techs would probably agree is a good thing.
we try to provide a mechanism for artist to get their music heard. If easy movement helps this then so be it. Artists already give a certain amount of their material away for free in return for exposure.
From the beginning says Johnny, the artists have been promoting the idea, telling their friends, recruiting other artists etc. He also noted there are also quite a number of activists who are doing great work for the independent music scene in Ireland and abroad, and they have also been promoting the site.
It’s a great idea and it deserves some support since it’s a local operation. Have a look at DownloadMusic.ie yourself.