Author Archive

Mobile Data Costs in Ireland – Total Ripoff

Thursday, May 12th, 2005

Brian Greene on mobile data costs, showing how crazily expensive it is to get online in Ireland from anything bar a landline.

My thoughts:

With the average size of e-mails and files increasing rapidly over time and the slow decrease in data costs from telecoms companies, we will see a trend where net access via a mobile network will become even more prohibitive to users. The last ComReg Trends Report reflects this where on page 32 it seems to show that less people are using their mobile phone for net access than last year. Also on page 21: 48% answered no to: “Do you think there is adequate choice of mobile service providers at competitive prices in Ireland?”

Mobile companies need to encourage widespread use of this technology instead of preventing all but the wealthiest of customers from utilizing this method of Internet access. If the text message services were priced in the same way as the data access services we would never have become one of the most prolific countries in the world for sms usage, something which helps generate one of the highest ARPUs worldwide.

It has been lauded by ComReg and the DCMNR that accessing the Internet via a mobile network is a viable alternative but this currently is not the case and I cannot see this becoming a reality with current attitudes in the mobile sector.

Asked for my thoughts on Internet Banking and Net Access/Broadband

Thursday, May 12th, 2005

A journalist asked for my thoughts on Internet Banking in Ireland from the perspective of broadband and broadband availability. Here are my thoughts:

    1. Internet Penetration.
    Internet penetration is going down in this country, not up. The latest figures from the ComReg quarterly report show this. Perhaps though if they push Internet banking more people will go online. Look how many non-technical people now know how to book flights online, thanks in part to Ryanair making people go online to book flights.

    2. Broadband Availability
    To go online nowadays and stay secure you have to continually upgrade your browser, your operating system and your anti-virus software. The Internet is more dangerous now than ever with worms and viruses becoming very prolific. To combat this we see vendors like Microsoft releasing security patches on a sometimes weekly basis and there are now daily updates for anti-virus scanners.

    Being on dialup and trying to stay secure is an almost futile exercise these days. Security patches range in size from 2MB to a colossal 150MB for a service pack for Windows 2000 or Windows XP. Broadband is ideally needed to stay safe and secure if you want to go online. The online experience for dialup users has been deteriorating for the past few years and the rate of deterioration of quality is increasing.

    Broadband however, is only available to less than half the population. Of the areas where broadband is available, 20-25% of the lines fail the dsl test due to various reasons. 45% of people can get broadband in Ireland right now, leaving 55% who have to suffer dialup to try and go banking.

Google buys Dodgeball – Interesting

Thursday, May 12th, 2005

Dodgeball just got Googled

Dodgeball is like friendster for mobiles but it’s in real time and can be location based. In some bar, tell Dodgeball and it tells your mates. Interesting to see how Google will intrgrate this. Organising the world’s information is what Google does, now this organises the information you don’t share 100% with the world, only friends.

NYTimes – Transparency and better interaction

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Gaining Confidence: NY Times releases a key report

Summary of recommendations:

    1. Encourage the executive editor and two managing editors to share responsibility for writing a regular column that deals with matters concerning the paper.

    2. Make reporters and editors more easily available through email.

    3. Use the Web to provide readers with complete documents used in stories as well as transcripts of interviews.

    4. Consider creating a Times blog that promotes interaction with readers.

    5. Further curtail the use of anonymous sources.

    6. Encourage reporters to confirm the accuracy of articles with sources before publication and to solicit feedback from sources after publication.

    7. Set up an error-tracking system to detect patterns and trends.

    8. Encourage the development of software to detect plagiarism when accusations arise. 9. Increase coverage of middle America, rural areas and religion.

    10. Establish a system for evaluating public attacks on The Times’ work and determining whether and how to respond.

Jarvis comments about it here.

If the NYTimes becomes more transparent and starts interacting more with its readership, it can only be a good thing. This is the same kind of thinking as those that wrote Murdoch’s speech a few weeks back. Working with the new revolutionists not against them is the way to go.

Meanwhile Wired had its own investigation of itself.

Sliding down the rankings now …

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Seems when you search for on Google.com now I’m 23rd. I almost reached the top 10 the other day too. It’s great to see that Google updates itself so often. It’s great that the rankings aren’t so stagnant.

New $5/month Yahoo music service – I’m sold, if I was in the US.

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Yahoo! has launched a cheap and cheerful new music service. Yes the price is cheaper than iTunes and the Real and Napster music subscription service. That’s a bonus but what I like most is a post about it from Ian Rogers. I think he sold it for me. Ian worked on building the player for the service. When will us in the EU be allowed to avail of this Ian ?

He has a post on his Yahoo 360 Blog (What horrible url addresses it has) entitled Why You Should (or Should Not) Use the Yahoo! Music Engine, if you can’t see it then go here instead.

It looks like a great system and even if it is stuck with drm I’d still use it. BUT it seems only for US Residents only. Now that sucks.

backstage.bbc.co.uk launches – “Use our stuff to build your stuff.”

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

“Use our stuff to build your stuff.”

BBC Backstage looks to me like a Content SDK.

Blurb:

You can participate in BBC Backstage by either building an application or web-based prototype that uses BBC content or, if you have an idea to use BBC content in new ways, then write it up, preferably with some designs as to how it could ‘work’ and share it.

Ben Hammersly who works on this stated “it’s laying down the gauntlet for the rest of the world. It proves the point that on the internet, hiding your content is suicide. It says that you can either open up, and we can all flourish together; or you can remain closed, and die alone.”

A new standard has been set, I look forward to the way this will grow and flourish and change as more more people interact and collaborate with this service. This is the future of content sharing and distribution. ANd I always thought the Beeb were a conservative lot. Not so. Seems like the hippys have taken over. Far out maaaan.

iTunes to do Video, TV, Ogg and WMA ?

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Huge speculation still but via iTunes Apple might just start selling TV Shows and other content via it’s iTunes store and use the AirPort Extreme product to stream it to your TV/Stereo. However the iPod will not become a video player but may support WMA and OGG files and maybe more if the new unused icons in Tiger are anything to go by.

There’s a thread about it on Slashdot where either an Apple insider or else a very clever Apple fan has been giving details. Some very intelligent commentary in that thread.

Also Playlist Mag mention that new Contacts and Calendar tabs show up in iTunes as well. Turning the iPod into more than just a pic viewer and music player. Still no radio though.

Cringely talks about OGG and WMA and seems to think there will be a video iPod.

The classifieds eating the rest of the paper.

Monday, May 9th, 2005

This is how stuff happens. In this case, it’s the classifieds eating the rest of the paper. Go, Craig!

Great quote. More in-depth thoughts on this later this week when I have time to talk crap. Citizen journalism is about to happen.

It gets easier: Automated(ish) GeoTagging Flickr Images Process

Monday, May 9th, 2005

Set of Greasemonkey scripts that makes adding GeoTags to your Flickr images and submits to GeoBloggers an easier and more automated process.