Author Archive

Computers in Schools – Ireland decades behind – Are we surprised?

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

There are just over one computers per 10 pupils in Ireland compared to 3 computers per 10 students in most first world countries.

From RTE:

The study found that around 90% of Irish students have access to computers at school. But only 25% of Irish students say they use a computer in school regularly, compared to around 70% in the UK.

It was also found that Ireland is among a group of countries which show the least positive attitudes among students towards computers.

More details from the OECD.

Play your Nintendo at BT Hotspots and soon in Game Shops

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Seems Nintendo announced a deal today with BT where you can play your Nintendo DS at 270 BT Openzone Hotspots in Ireland. You still have to pay for this Wifi service though, but connecting to the Nintendo network to play other users is free.

What is also interesting is that Nintendo are installing more BT WiFi hotspots in a whole heap of new locations, though it doesn’t say whether these are free or not either. From the press release:

Nintendo will also be installing BT Openzone Wi-Fi hotspots into major video games retailers such as GAME, HMV, GameStop and Smyth’s Toys in addition to other key outlets across Ireland.

I would assume that these are not Nintendo only hotspots so it means Wifi coverage will increase again. The more the merrier.

What BT should be doing, in my opinion, is tying the Hotspots to the broadband customers or business customers who can’t get broadband. So if you have a BT broadband account you can use the hotspots for free and if you are a homeuser then maybe it would cost you can extra fiver or more a month to use these Hotspots. I would think they would make a lot more from their hostpots that way as well as gaining a lot of extra customers. The less bills and logins for people, the better. Course that would mean getting the billing system working properly.

Internet is for Porn – How I love thee Google Video

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

Internet is for Porn – What a great song!

Geocoding and Maps – Help John

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

John Handelaar is doing fun things with Google Maps. Try and look up your street address. Mine doesn’t work but when I type in 52 Patrick’s Street, Cork it does. Probably gives way better coverage for Dublin suburbs. John’s looking for feedback, so give it.

ICT Expo Awards – Professional Awards, professional prices

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

I was looking at the ICT Expo Awards 2006 and how much they charge for award sponsorship. 18 awards and to sponsor one is €4500. So what do you get for that?

Branded table of ten at the ICT Excellence Gala Dinner at Burlington Hotel
Branding on the stage area backdrop during award presentation.
Branding on the framed award certificate
Branding on the table menus
Branding on the show website: www.ictexpo.ie
Presentation of the award to the winner on site followed by:
Photo opportunity with the award winner
Promotion in ComputerScope, Irish Computer Channels & Smart Company magazines pre-show and post-show.

I know the Irish Blog Awards are nothing at all in comparison but it is good to know how much awards can be worth if you are looking for sponsors and you put on a professional show.

Redmum – Should we all just refer to her as ‘mum’?

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

So some people call me Damo as a term of affection. Generally they don’t live long without a throat but anyways… We all seem to shorten or play with someone’s name as a way of being more friendly and creating a special relationship with them compared to the general public. Many do this or start with by calling us by shortened names. So, after reading a comment from redmum I was wondering how to reply to her. Should it be Red or should it be Mum? Imagine being referred to as the Mum of the Irish Blogs? “I was reading Mum today and she was saying…” Yeah I can just see the blog posts now. Hi Mum!

So yes. Random thought of the day. Thank you. That is probably not all.

And 4 to go before I sleep and 4 to go …

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

There are 4 more Blog Categories left to sponsor and then I can move on to stressing about a location for these awards. Someone is getting back to me about sponsoring the Photo blog section so they have first refusal but the other three can be freely sponsored by a company/organisation.

* Best Photo Blog – Reserved for now.
* Best Fictional Piece in a Blog – Unsponsored
* Best Comment/Commenter – Unsponsored
* Best Use of the Irish Language in a Blog – Unsponsored

Interesting Timing – Equality Authority Publication

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Equivalence in Promoting Equality is a new publication from the Equality Authority and I’ve not downloaded it yet but it seems from a press statement on BreakingNews.ie that they are using the Good Friday Agreement to get the people of the Republic some of the same rights which people in the North get:

The body said that under the Good Friday Agreement, the government has committed to ensuring an equivalent level of protection of human rights in the Republic.

This means it could be obliged to give legal recognition to same-sex relationships.

And all this the day before the FF/FG rigged Committee on the Constitution recommends no changes to the definition of what a family is.

Bloggies Shortlisted

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

Shortlist is out for the bloggies. No Irish blogs nominated as far as I can see. I think we could have given them a run for their money in a few categories. Shame we are not even in the Best of the UK and Ireland blogs. We’d rule in the Photo blogs. Lucky we have our own awards!

Roe Vs Wade is 33 years old today

Monday, January 23rd, 2006

From my limited knowledge of judicial history I know how important Roe v Wade was and how it started a new era of freedom for people around the world. It in effect struck down anti-abortion laws in the US citing a woman has a right to privacy and to do what she wants with her own body. Of late though this is being seriously eroded.

Roe v Wade inspired the McGee case in Ireland which deemed unconstitutional the ban on the sale of constraceptives and it in turn sparked the long and unending abortion arguments in Ireland. Mary Robinson was the Barrister for Mrs McGee and later was part of a pro-choice group that campaigned for legislation change on abortion.

Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese later campaigned with David Norris to remove the ban on homosexuality which was denied by the Supreme Court which amongst other things cited that it was a public health concern and so his privacy and what he did in his own home was less important than curbing homosexuals and their health risk. This was of course at the time when people were dropping like flies (or so it seemed) with AIDS. (1983-1984). Norris eventually went to the Eurpean Court of Human Rights and won (1998) but it took until 1993 before the ban on homosexuality was removed.

Now tomorrow comes a much leaked report, the conclusions of which seemed to have been decided on before a consultation process was even finished. The report is about changing the constitution to recognize more rights for children and a better more inclusive definition of what a family is. Right now a family is a married man and woman and who have or could have kids. Anything else is not a family and therefore does not have the same rights. The definition of a family will not change say the leak ks and that was made clear months ago but it seems to deflect from this rigged result they are making it a Gay Marriage issue.

It is true that if they changed the definition it may have provided for same-sex marriage but that was with one suggested definition but it would mean that umarried fathers would have rights to their kids, it would mean kids with two mummies would have parents who are equal guardians of their future, it would have meant unmarried couples would be treated better in the eyes of the law. Instead the family definition remains unchanged and the issue is turned into an emotive issue about gay marriage. Ugly spin tactics to hide the pre-Roe attitude that still exists amongst some in Ireland. There’s more coverage by Suzy and Potato. I’d be very interested in Fiona’s take on it.