Archive for the ‘blogs’ Category

The great MScape

Friday, July 13th, 2007

I blogged previously about the HP Event in Lisbon and briefly mentioned the MScape technology that HP are working on. I’m going to give it a little more coverage as I think it is worth looking at and could be used for a lot of things in Ireland.

Mscape is HP’s location based software which adds a layer to the landscape around you via your mobile device. Right now you need a Windows Mobile device with a GPS signal for it to work. In Lisbon, two applications they built for us were a giant version of whack a mole and a tourist guide to the park we were going around in. With the tour guide, as you walked into an area an mp3 would load and it would display pictures, but over time this could trigger any kind of software application I would guess. Loads more details about their Lisbon escapades on their blog.

There’s a good deal of hippy thinking with this from HP with a community building up around their forums, they have a blog and the software and dev kit is free to download and use. There’s also a wiki.

The attitude I got from the really friendly HP Labs staff was “here’s a new type of platform we put together and please be our guest to play and fiddle and try new things with it”. Now i’m not comparing it to the web, but it does seem to have that attitude where it is maybe not up to them to create the killer app, but us and they are happy for us to use their layer. Some people have already made interactive art installations with the software, the usual tour guides will be in abundance and I can see special guides for those with learning difficulties, helping them do their daily tasks and it might finally get the kids off the couches and way from the XBoxes while still allowing them to play digital games. I wrote about this in the Tribune last week. Imagine sending the kids down the park to play with the dinosaurs.

I think future versions of MScape will hopefully seem them embrace more operating systems and other location aware technologies and not just GPS. RFID, Bluetooth, GSM etc could also be used for interacting with landscapes too. I’d love to do a few walking tours of say Fota Gardens and maybe old World War 1 battlefields in Flanders.

Here’s what other people have to say about MScape:

ShinyShiny review:

Collison brothers feature in the Times today

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Patrick and John Collison who I mentioned previously here, are featured in the Irish Times this morning. Link. (sub required) Patrick talks about how they started Auctomatic and what they are up to with it. Nice to see something about young tech entrepreneurs in the papers. Might inspire others as well.

Some quotes:

They rented an office in Limerick for three months but had no luck in securing funding in Ireland despite applying to Enterprise Ireland and other sources of seed funding.

“From my limited experience, organisations in Ireland are much more risk-averse and very credentials-oriented,” says Patrick.

The pair applied for funding to Y Combinator, a specialist seed fund established by Paul Graham.

Paul Buchheit, the architect of Google’s Gmail application and the man who suggested the company’s “Don’t Be Evil” motto, has invested, while Evan Williams, creator of Google’s blogger platform, sits on the board.

Well done on the coverage lads! I say we visit the lads when we’re over for Paddy’s Valley, distract them and steal their Blackberrys and get their contacts lists. 🙂

Fluffy Links – July 13th 2007

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Date and hotel decided for Paddy’s Valley. Come along, y’all.

Another day, another mention of Derek from Blogorrah. If in Donegal, check out his “Faraway, so close” video installation blurb:

Created by New York resident Derek O’Connor (of Bloggorah fame), this installation brings six Irish residents back home, by way of intimate video portraits that candidly capture them going about their daily duties across the water.

Pat outlines his plans for Roam4Free version 2.0. Looks good.

Rob talks about Banking 2.0 and Liam talks about Local 2.0. Rob says:

Any bank which will put up a website showing the operational status of its ATMs on a Google map, with usage frequency, broken-ness and tendency to insist on dispensing fifty euro notes displayed, will earn my everlasting gratitude.

Liam says:

I want an rss feed that alerts me when someone submits a planning application which impacts on the area where I live. I want the local council to provide a Wiki attached to planning applications so that locals can easily comment and enter into a discussion on the merits or otherwise of said development

Can’t you just route around them and hack something together that could do those things, without neeing to plug into those two different by similar bureaucracies?

Check out the Anna Livia indie hour blog.

This is a nice and inspiring post from Rick Perlinger, who works with the Internet Archive to archive old industrial films and so much more. The post is from a talk and is called On the Virtues of Preexisting Material. Nice take on copyright and remix culture.

Remember the TV show “Bertha”?

And a lesson on user interfaces from Bertha:

Via Walter is the display in Fremont Street, take a few nati-overthetoppatriotism pills first though:

Meebo usage stats – 7.65 million unique screen names a month

Friday, July 13th, 2007

From their blog:

In the last thirty days, 7.65 million unique screen names have successfully made it into meebo. Yikes. When you guys get in, you spend a long long time. You all spend, on average, 60-70 minutes per login.

Bloody hell! I’m still waiting for them to turn their interace into a complete online OS. Meebo storage next please.

Talk on Firefox 3 from Mozilla Foundation consultant Marcio Galli – Cork, August 8th

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Marcio Galli is going to be around Cork on August 8th and is interested in telling a group of people all about Firefox 3 and advanced web development using it. I’m waiting to hear back from someone about a venue but I’m sure that won’t be a problem. Who’s interested in coming along? An evening talk it shall be, unless the itinerary changes.

Bio of Marcio:

Marcio Galli currently works as a consultant for the Mozilla project, with specific contribution to mobile projects such as the Mozilla Joey, Mozilla Minimo, and Mozilla development efforts in Brazil. Prior to that he worked as an web interface engineer for the Yahoo! Messenger team, and served as Technology Evangelist for the Netscape Gecko and Open Standards at Netscape Communications. Marcio now lives in Sao Carlos Brazil. Marcio presented in conferences like OSCON ( portland ), Nasa and Warner Bros while at Netscape, and other open source events in Brazil such as FISL and ESLAM.

What the – Electric Picnic charging €120 to hook campervans up to the leccy?

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Ticketmaster page “Electrical Hook-up for Campervan/Caravan @ Electric Picnic”. – €120

Surely not? After paying so much already just for a space for the Campervan?

1 Aran Jumper – Check, 1 Riverdance DVD – Check – Paddy’s Valley is on

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Date December 2nd to December 9th.
Hotel: Cardinal Hotel.
Enterprise Ireland will be lending support while we’re there as well as other locals.
This is who’ll be going.
There’s still room, so sign up.
Currently a return flight is working out at €518 with Aer Lingus.

This should be a lot of fun and could prove quite useful for new companies who want to establish relationships with people and businesses in Silicon Valley.

And for those that don’t know what it is about:

An ad-hoc group of Irish business people have decided to form their own delegation to tour Silicon Valley and create closer bonds with companies and people in the mecca of the computer world. The tour nicknamed “PaddysValley” will head off on December 2nd, taking advantage of the new air routes from Aer Lingus

Fluffy Links – Thursday July 12th 2007

Thursday, July 12th, 2007

Gerry says work productivity is up during this summer season. One wonders why.

The Beeb are liveblogging from the News 24 Studio from 10am this morning.

7 Wonders of the Tech World.

Now you can pay a fortune to have interior weeds. No, not weed. Weeds.

Free download of the Stereogum OK Computer tribute album.

Cheers J.

Well, looks like the Greens are saying things I like, again.

The headline “Websites urged to do more to prevent suicide pacts” annoys me. Is it in Bebo’s social remit to do the work of Government agencies? People create suicide pacts and have for centuries, why is the focus on the web as some kind of cause of it?

Cheers J.

This is some pic. Damn.

Smack. dunnnn. – Watch more free videos

Elvis Perkins on Letterman(Thanks to Gavin for the recommendation):

BBB – Bring Back Blogorrah Day 2 – Sightings and theories

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

Bring Back Blogorrah

To be read out in a Geordie accent:

Day 2 of Bring Back Blogorrah and while it seems Derek O’Connor is off curating a fesival in Donegal (starts today!) some believe that John Ryan has in fact given into his desires and shut down Blogorrah to do some Twink romancing.

Maybe this should be on – HP builds tech for cosmetics industry

Wednesday, July 11th, 2007

At that HP event in Lisbon, we were shown a new tech product that HP developed where people text a photo of themselves to a number and it will text you back with makeup recommendations. Using HP colour matching technology, their servers will suggest what foundation is best for your skin tone. It worked quite well and might be a boon for online stores like StrawberryNet though I’m sure it will be nothing to match the expertise of the ladies and gentlemen that work at the makeup counters at BT. As of this morning, the NDA on this tech has been removed.

I’m sure though that there are way way more uses for such technology, and this is just the start. Just like Google’s 411 service is building a massive database of voices and accents so they can make better algorithms for voice recognition, this HP service could very much be used as a database to improve facial recognition algorithms.

Or maybe they’ll just keep running it as Queer Eye for the Tech Guy.