Author Archive

Google Dashboard

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Only noticed Google Dashboard now, interesting way of showing you if you depend on Google a lot. Some of my stats:


Contacts 3522 entries

Owned by me 146 documents
Shared with me 14 documents
Opened by me 112 documents
Trashed 3 documents

Inbox 93 conversations
All mail 51716 conversations
Sent mail 13921 conversations
Saved drafts 77 conversations
Chat history 600 conversations
Spam 54 conversations
Trash 262 conversations

The scary one though is Google Web History but I stopped it years back. (Twice actually, it restarted without permission)

The Eastwest Hotel Geneva - Switzerland - 01/11/2009 - 3nights/4days - Wonderful & different - Inspiration & the lake - One of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World! Full of art, euro-asian design and perfect ambience of romance and happiness! Elan pure! S
Photo owned by We-Present: Travel-UggBoy-The-Photographer! (cc)

Unions don’t like feedback, do they?

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

via Brian Greene:

Protesters don’t like … protesters. Interesting how they manhandle this guy who ask them to take a wage cut:

EU says: Net not Fundamental right, Three Strikes Law is kinda still happening

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

via here and here.

Some horsetrading last night saw this text on file sharing and the three strikes rule. It means you can still get disconnected but it’ll be a little harder. Web is still not fundamental right so Finland stays well ahead of Europe so far but the EU is on the path to make it a right. Once ratified states will have about 18 months to knock this out.

measures regarding end-users access to or use of services and applications through electronic communications networks liable to restrict those fundamental rights or freedoms may only be imposed if they are appropriate, proportionate and necessary within a democracy society and their implementation shall be subject to adequate procedural safeguards in conformity with the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms … including effective judicial protection and due process …may only be taken with due respect for the principle of presumption of innocence and right to privacy

Cuba videos

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Space filler while I go away and do that dayjob thing:

Fluffy Links – Wednesday November 4th 2009

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Great post from Brendan Hughes on Innovation in Ireland. Don’t forget the IDA LinkedIn group on Innovation in Ireland.

Cork and wine. Karwig Wines have a stonking new website which will also I’ve read have a blog.

Email is still the biggest social connector online. Alan is doing a workshop on email marketing for Hotels, B&Bs and Hostels.

Science Week is this week. Loads of events on, check em out.

MediaCube have a nice business competition: office space, cash, mentoring and more.

Want 5k for your business? Outvesting is there.

Via Karen Glass Society of Ireland Blog.

Preparing for death. Changing a Facebook Profile when death becomes you.

What every music video needs: Brian Cowen, man boobs, builders arse and NINJAS!! And Bill thought himself flash and put this video together in a month. Well impressed!

Bill Coleman – Welcome to the Breakdown

Google 78%, Bing 21%

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Search traffic to this here blog:

78.63% Google
21.37% Bing

Bing doing quite well here.

My inverse library

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky, Free by Chris Anderson, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, anything by Seth Godin. Just some of the books I’ve decided to not read given everyone else is extolling their virtues. Finite time and infinite words mean that for every one of these I read, there is another book I won’t. Shirky’s book in particular I should think is fantastic but with everyone in tech and online media talking about it and pushing the ideas of it on their blogs, on Twitter and at conferences I’d like to be influenced by different perspectives. I’m sure there’s a degree of Chinese Whispers to this but without reading Shirky I’ve heard most of the examples from his book already. Subtleties might be missed but this being modern times and modern media the ideas will come around and around again.

Even if all in these books are sound, these books with mass appeal push industry down one route. Perhaps another form of cognitive dissonance at the expense of underlying theories. With everyone sharing the same reading lists it feels like that the influences on business are homogenising. Just another version of the top 10 shelves in Waterstones. Sociology, philosophy, antropology are all being mashed into pop sociology/tech books. If we all look at the world with the same set of collective lenses then will we more or less see the same thing or get pushed along the same lines? Only when differing and opposing (but considered) views happen and smash together do we begin to see things properly. 3D instead of 2D or 1D.

I’m off to read the Communist Manifesto (hey, I was in Cuba!), Hidden Culture, Being Good and Beano Christmas Annual 1987.

Reading Room
Photo owned by Karen Roe (cc)

Fluffy Links – Tuesday November 3rd 2009

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Yes. Mulley is back.

Nice to see the Irish defence forces on Twitter.

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, do Irish people Christmas shop online on a Sunday?

Eoghan has a great breakdown on the Irish Web Awards winners this year. See who are the heavy sites and the svelt sites.

New online game created by Engineers Ireland: Engineers Challenge. The idea is to promote engineering but also to generate healthy competition between the different engineering disciplines – give it a go, it’s good craic. Prize is tickets to England V Ireland in Twickenham on Feb 27.

Outstanding Dublin Bikes and Stormtrooper pic.

Georgina Campbell’s Ireland Guide now has an iPhone App which is available free in the App Store. Hooray. And also via Adrian I note the Indo has an iPhone App. While‘s iPhone App went to number one in Ireland!

Handy resource about online payments in Ireland:

Despite IIA Board members on Twitter suggesting the judges of the Digital Media Awards are sellouts, as a judge I’m going to post the below video, well produced and interesting stats for the layperson:

Pat Kenny gets angry. Still does nothing for me:

Damien Offline

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

For the first time in maybe 7 or 8 years I’m going away and I will not be checking my phone or email the whole time I’m avoiding thunderstorms. No Twitter, no blogging, no leaving dumb comments on YouTube videos as Jake256ard. I think I might become smarterer from being away from it all.

I’ll see you all in 12 days.

Fuji Provia 100F - Canon EOS 1n
Photo owned by (cc)

Embrace failure, reject losers

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

A while back I had lunch with fellow blogger (and Twitterer) Frank Gannon from Science Foundation Ireland. Another state body working to reach out to people that mouth off a bit too much perhaps… πŸ™‚ We talked about SFI, innovation, R&D, demarcation and all the rest. I pointed out what I knew about the organisation from media coverage and it seemed that all their time in the press was justifying the money they spent. SFI gets a regular kicking by all quarters for what they do. Under the 2000-2005 National Development Plan SFI was responsible for disbursing €650M on ICT and Biotechnology. Some say they “blow” money on R&D (some amazing figures on spend) while others point out that R&D is not just about spitting out a new iPhone at the end of it all but it’s all the other industries influenced by the spend.

R&D is always going to be expensive as it is training and upskilling industries not one company. My view on R&D and innovation is that you can’t as a country and an industry get good and then become the best without laying the foundations. Successful companies form out of companies who form out of other companies. Many of the successes in the Valley were formed by those who were guided and influenced by colleges who built up massive knowledge from trying every variation of something out. Edison getting the lighbulb right spent thousands of hours on the problem trying everything as an ideal filament. So if we want to be the best we have to build a whole community or (overused word) an ecosystem. Everyone around brilliant companies also have to be brilliant to work them harder. Kind of the popsport ideas in Outliers by Gladwell. Be around brilliant people and their influence can inspire and train others.

However firing money at R&D and saying “we spend X per GDP on R&D” is not enough. Beancounter measuring of innovation and R&D is bad bad bad. It’s lazy and encourages corruption. Right now the SFI do not seem to be showing us all the benefits of what they do either because there’s not a lot or because they are failing at communicating it. That mission to the moon had great PR, even today we learn about all the tech created from it.

I think a lot of this is a communications issue. The general public do not know the story of R&D and how it affects us all. It’s not the public’s fault, they’re bombarded by enough stories and messages as is. But but but … there seems to be a fear of asking those doing R&D and especially academics to show what they’ve done for the cash. When in college and off record chatting to postgrads, there seems to be an awful lot of tickboxism happening. Exaggerate, lie or fog stuff to get the next drawdown. Parents, some anyway, ask their kids what they did and learned in school today. We’re not asking those we give 100s of millions this question. The endgame in funding research should not be a yoghurt with flu fighting aspects but the researchers and their team around them now having the knowledge to be able to do this again and again and educate everyone on it. And to share and train the wider community on this. If they don’t want to do this don’t fund them with our money. It’s ok to be shy. It’s ok to be a shit communicator. It’s ok to be anti-social. On someone elses dime, not the taxpayer’s. All R&D should be transparent and the general public should have the option to question it. FOI R&D. TLAs!

Photo owned by Eljay (cc)

And failure is an option. It should be an acceptable outcome if the journey wasn’t about someone faffing about and rigging stuff in the last two weeks. I’m reminded of the various feasability studies out there that are seen by some (not all) companies as a way of extracting money out of the state and where blind eyes are turned or help is given unofficially to say the right thing while doing the other thing. Afterall some state bodies have to send money out and have to get their numbers up. It’s stupid in a way that we have a system in Ireland where if a company fails and dies we are meant to keep quiet about it and not wish the person luck on their next go at this and this actual state means that others can use this veil of silence to squander and waste money and will inevitably get away with it. Our hiding away from failure instead of embracing it allows the jokers to become professional losers right now.