Author Archive

More consumer ripoffs

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

IrelandOffline (a lobby group I’m involved with) released a press release late last night in regards to stats released by ComReg yesterday.

Basically, Ireland sucks when it comes to telecoms prices.

  • Ireland 2nd worst for Broadband in the EU.
  • Ireland most expensive for mobile costs.
  • Ireland has most expensive line rental in the EU.
  • Ireland above the EU average for average landline bills.

Funny that when any of this is highlighted the Minister says it is a liberalised market and he can do nothing. Er, right. Another Minister has always told us to “shop around” but one can’t really shop around with such a stagnant market. Wholesale costs are destroying any chance of competition. Another typical excuse is that telecoms is a luxury item. Conversations are not luxuries, they are necessities. I think it is quite galling that we are paying massive premiums for simple communications.

EDIT: Here is the mobile ARPU Graph:

MobileARPUQ42005.jpg

We are 2nd most expensive when Switzerland is factored in. They’re not in the EU though and they are only 1 Euro more expensive. Bit cheeky of ComReg to use a non-EU country when in other graphs they were talking us up for being better than EU averages.

Opera is now totally free.

Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

Go Opera!

Backbone

Monday, September 19th, 2005

Your backbone can’t erode away if you never had one. What you had was a cork so far up your ass that it gave the appearance of a spine.

Boy Eats Girl – A horror not a porno

Monday, September 19th, 2005

Boy Eats Girl trailer. Another Irish zombie movie and not just because Samantha Mumba is in it. Found this via TCAL and for once it was content that was new to me and not found n MetaFilter, populicious or BoingBoing. Hey lads!

Why can’t I search my video store from home?

Monday, September 19th, 2005

It is no longer rocketscience to tie a database into a webserver. Why can I not look up what movies are in Chartbusters or Xtravision? (I’d link to the websites but they are of no value in my view and do not deserve a link. )

But yeah. A live database and with rss feeds for searches. Allow me to store links to my favourite movies too while you’re at it. Allow me to see what other movie snobs like.

But, a bit of reality check. You’re gone anyway lads. Video on demand has been vapourware for years but it is almost here now. Time to start aligning yourselves with the broadband companies and the movie distributors. Now in fairness, the movie companies will gladly knife you to bits to get a bigger share, so what you need to do is build up a much larger clientele and find out their movie tastes NOW and use that as leverage to be the middleman when the time comes.

You also need to be that clich├ęd movie facist in the video store that knows everything about movies but without the fucking attitude. You need to be the friendly guy. You need to know what the customer likes, no actually, not just a customer but what your buddy the customer likes and so you can say:
“Damien doooood, you’ll like this one. ”
“Well I dunno VideoStoreGuy.”
“Tell you what, take it, g’wan, no charge, if you don’t like it, fine. I’m thinking you will and if you do there are 5 other movies by that director and I know you’ll rent them.”

It’s a cluetrain moment. Conversation. That’s the nugget there people.

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…the harm does not interest them

Monday, September 19th, 2005

“Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm but the harm does not interest them.”

I should really just let Marc Canter write this

Monday, September 19th, 2005

Found lots of good stuff on Marc Canter’s blog:

First up is NetVibes. Another one of these start pages. A Digital Lifestyle Aggregator Marc calls it. I suppose it would be like moving your taskbar online. The RSS reader is meant to be fantastic with NetVibes. Protopage is another thing like this. A start page with all your fav online activities all glued together. Start.com is another though I doubt it’ll allow you to use Google as the default search engine.

As APIs become the norm for every web app, these Start pages are going to become a lot more powerful. Doesn’t Google have a deal with Firefox for access to their start page? Be nice of the firefox start page had all this kind of stuff. Speaking of APIs LastFM and Audioscrobbler now have APIs. More to add to the start page.

Moving on comes the fact that the IMDB is doing tags. Sweet. I’m sure the genuises will start to play with this more too.

Datablogging. Ok, I’m not getting this. How is this a blog? This to me is just data entry. This is information that is not shared or viewable and is used soley for sales. Is this just not a CRM system with feeds?

Fantastic presentation at OSCON2005. Very interesting stuff about Identity but even if you’re not interested in this, the presentation style is quite captivating.

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Yeah we know he’s a miserable failure – Google

Saturday, September 17th, 2005

Google has officially commented on George Bush being a miserable failure. Kind of cool that they used the phrase Googlebombing. Also glad they said they would not adjust their results just because of this. Though they’d do it for China wouldn’t they?

I really like that
Google Maps shows the Whitehouse for Miserable Failure.

Bonus link: Google Earth mixed with National Geographic.

I know that I am dying and I wish I could beg

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Just watched My Own Private Idaho. Good movie with an odd ending. The kind I like. Inspired by Henry IV and Henry V apparently and I can see why. River Phoenix is brutally sweet and innocent and hurt in the movie. Keanu Reeves is Keanu Reeves. More wooden than a church pew. The movie ends on a song from the Pogues about the doomed life of a London rent boy. I’ve heard this song numerous times and never paid attention to the lyrics until now. I’m once again reminded of the absolute lyrical brilliance of Shane MacGowan. I think we haven’t appreciated his talent because he comes across as a stupid self-destructive paddy, something the noveau riche Irish don’t want to admit to as much anymore.

Lyrics to The Pogues – The Old Main Drag

When I first came to London I was only sixteen
With a fiver in my pocket and my ole dancing bag
I went down to the dilly to check out the scene
But I soon ended up upon the old main drag

There the he-males and the she-males paraded in style
And the old man with the money would flash you a smile
In the dark of an alley you’d work for a fiver
For a swift one off the wrist down on the old main drag

In the cold winter nights the old town it was chill
But there were boys in the cafes who’d give you cheap pills
If you didn’t have the money you’d cajole and you’d beg
There was always lots of tuinol on the old main drag

One evening as I was lying down by Leicester Square
I was picked up by the coppers and kicked in the balls
Between the metal doors at Vine Street I was beaten and mauled
And they ruined my good looks for the old main drag

In the tube station the old ones who were on the way out
Would dribble and vomit and grovel and shout
And the coppers would come along and push them about
And I wished I could escape from the old main drag

And now I’m lying here I’ve had too much booze
I’ve been shat on and spat on and raped and abused
I know that I am dying and I wish I could beg
For some money to take me from the old main drag

Google be my message centre

Friday, September 16th, 2005

Google Google Google Google. I spend an awful lot of time talking Google. However, I feel of all the companies out there, they’re the ones who can do the best job at various things.

Google Desktop is helping everyone find what they want on their desktop, and GMail is helping organise people’s email. What about text messages and phone messages? Wouldn’t it be handy if Google did a tie-in with the main mobile companies out there so that every txt message to and from my mobile would be stored in a special section of my GMail? Tie that too into online txt messaging services and one could suddenly have a massive amount of additional information to organise. Hell, I wonder could they also integrate with live billing so you have a record of who you called and who called you?

Come to think of it, why is Google Talk not storing your conversations in a section of GMail? Would make sense no? Take it off the desktop.