Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

47% of Irish Schools get their web connection via crappy Satellite

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

From the terrace 9
Photo owned by suvodeb (cc)

Where’s the upgrade path to 10Mb Internet there? It’s worse than that though. Only 27% of schools get broadband via a wired service. 26% via wireless. There is no easy way for those schools to get fibre, now is there? I’m glad Minister for Communications Eamon Ryan is thinking about the children and their broadband connection but it seems like he’s considering their situation and then that’s it.

PQ via Liz McManus:

To the Minister for Education and Science
To ask the Minister for Education and Science the number of schools in the broadband for schools initiative that have satellite internet, fibre, DSL and wireless; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Liz McManus. (Nominated by: Liz McManus).

Go to the Oireachtas Website if you want to find the full record, I’m not going to hurt my eyes and hands going through it for you.

Minister of State, Barry Andrews

Of the 3,905 local connectivity installations, 27%, or 1,051 schools have fixed
line services, 26% or 1,028 schools have wireless services and 47% or 1,826
schools have satellite services.
A further 72 schools have had broadband
access provided under the Hermes and Advanced Deployment programmes and are not
included in the 3,905 schools. The split of technology services across these
72 schools is 43 fixed line services, 25 wireless services and 4 satellite

Not great at al now is it? No mention of fibre but that might come under fixed-line. I know there are some schools connected to fibre.

Having regard to the usage levels observed by HEAnet, my Department has
procured additional bandwidth from its two satellite providers to improve the
broadband connection speeds for schools on this portion
of the Schools
Broadband Network. The situation continues to be monitored closely. In
addition, my Department has migrated schools to superior alternative
technologies, where feasible.

I’m unaware of any satellite systems that can increase their bandwidth to anything over 2Mb in this country due to our location on the edge of Europe.

My Department will shortly issue a Request for Tenders for the next round of
service. The priority for the new procurement process will be to ensure that
the broadband services to schools keep in line with national infrastructure
improvements. The RFT will seek tenders which at least maintain the existing
service that schools currently receive.
Having regard to the general
developments in broadband availability nationally, improved service offerings
are expected
to be received under the new tender process.

At least maintain the existing service that schools currently receive? Hello? This already sounds like a cop-out. You’ll read further down they talk about 100megs into schools and now they talk here about at least what the schools have now. For half that means crapalite.

My Department will also collaborate with the Department of Communications,
Energy and Natural Resources to pursue the Government objective of equipping
second-level schools with 100Mb per second
of broadband connectivity and
installing local area networks, as outlined in the Consultation Paper on Next
Generation Broadband.

Got kids in schools? Depressed yet?

Go Go Enterprise Ireland!

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

I’m not being sarcastic here. Two things, no actually three things that EI deserves recognition for.

1. Innovation Vouchers. I got mine during the week. Really excited about them. Getting friends to get theirs too. Right now, in these very odd financial times, they’re a boon.

2. EI sent around an email around today talking up loads of Irish Web 2.0 companies including: PollDaddy, Contrast, dotMobi, Muzu TV, Nooked, Dial2Do, LouderVoice, PutPlace, Finetuna, Abaltat, RevaHealth, Toddle, IGOpeople, Hosting365, Sxoop Technologies

3. The Enterprise Ireland Silicon Valley blog. For a such a dinosaur of an entity, this blog is disruptive. Not for those that see EI from the outside, or those in the inside but also because blogging disrupts the blogger. Blogging has changed the way I write, the way I research and even the way I am. Watch out Jack!

I’m sure there are lots more things they should be praised for and I’m one that has given out about them a lot, a hell of a lot but I think we should give them as much praise as we can for at least the three items above. Go sub to the blog and give them kudos for it!

Update: That EI newsletter

Super shots by super Phil

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Via Phil – Some of the profile shots that Phil took at BarCamp.

This is me on 3 hours sleep:
Damien Mulley looking wrecked

If you use some of the shots Phil took of you, link to his portfolio.

Thanks Phil!

BarCamp Cork II afterthoughts

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

BarCamp Cork

After a slow start (I was still wrecked from the night before and came down on the 7am train from Dublin) BarCamp Cork really picked up momentum as the day progressed. People complained the morning was too “codey” but I guess the programmers were first in and got their names on the programme first. That or, maybe the programmers were actually less shy than the more business-type speakers. There’s always a first!

Coming up to lunch we really saw things happening with lots of talks being added, more spaces being invaded for use for chats and teeny tiny sessions and the topic content broadened quite a lot. There were a lot of new faces too who were not at the original BarCamp or the any of the ones after that. I was most impressed with the Dublin contingent who came down, as well as the Nordies (yay) and even Emma from the UK who I was told gave a fab talk about what BarCamp is all about. I’d loved to have seen that talk and perhaps Emma could make a video of this at the next BarCamp she goes to and upload it. Should it be the prerequisite video to watch for everyone that attends a BarCamp?

Alexia and Pat held court around lunchtime in the MAXRoam offices and the room was stuffed to the gills with interested people. There was a lot more interactivity at this BarCamp than the previous one I was at and I think a lot of people were so chuffed that they may go off and run their own, right Aileen, right Jessica? ๐Ÿ™‚

There was a considerable amount of talented people at BarCamp and many of these are going to be big names within a few years. Hopefully the BarCamps have been part of this incubation process. Onwards and upwards.

BarCamp Cork was pretty much the baby of Conor O’Neill who put it all together. All. A huge thanks is due to Kay Wright from the Webworks who on her day off came along and helped out and to the sponsors who backed this event. Hopefully we’ll see more events at Webworks too. Beautiful location.

Heineken’s badly done Facebook campaign

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

So you may have seen if you’re on Facebook there are some sponsored ads on the right from Heineken or even ads in the middle of your news feed that advertise some music festival they’re running:

Heineken No Clue on Facebook

Click on the ad and you are brought to their website for the event. It asks where you’re coming from on their Irish site after directing you there. Uhm. Hello?

Heineken No Clue on Facebook

There they ask you for your details including your age and country you’re from. Data they have easy access to on Facebook. They make you re-register all over again for their events when a simple app on Facebook which only those above 18 in Ireland or 21 in the States can see. Dopes.

Heineken No Clue on Facebook

I’m sure there’s a massive drop-off rate too. Why not create a fan page on Facebook which you can restrict to people of certain ages and message all of them about events through the website they are using on a daily basis and having fun on? You need to go and market where the people are, not go there and drag them away to another site and putting a barrier in front of them when you drag them over. This is not a dog show, the people are not your dogs that you can drag around an obstacle course and making them jump through hoops and run through tunnels.

Wasted opportunity there.

Perlico free mobile calls offer til 2010 – bollox

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

They’re letterboxing these promises again:

And the smallprint states:

Free mobile calls until 2010 – 40 minutes per month for your fixed line to any Republic of Ireland mobile network within Ireland

The picture of Rosanna Davison is much appreciated:
Perlico giant phone

They need to get Made in Hollywood for their props though:
Perlico giant phone

Find our AJ a job

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

AJ McKee is looking for a job at the moment. He’s currently based in Cork and yeah he’s a friend and there’s some bias but I think he’s still fantastic at what he does. Along with a few other lads he came up with an idea for analysing Twitter and built Tweetrush in no time. He talks the talk and walks the walk. This is his LinkedIn. He’s an IT Manager and a damned good coder too.

Ideally I think he wants to stay in Cork if he can. I okayed it with AJ to blog this too btw ๐Ÿ™‚

Sarah Palin thinks he rocks too:
The Kiss of death for McCain
Photo owned by bobster1985 (cc)

Tom Sykes, how do you like them Apples?

Friday, October 31st, 2008

Someone told me last week that they’re not going to start a blog now because Wired said blogging is dead. I think the blogging world has really lost out with that voice prefering not to be heard. No it wasn’t Tom Sykes.

For Tom I’d just like to point to this link from Google Trends:
Irish Examiner read less than an Irish blog aggregator

That’s a simple blog aggregator for just some of the Irish Blogs out there. Some.

Shame got fucked in July by Google:
Irish Examiner read less than an Irish blog aggregator

But hopefully you get my point. I’m reminded of that guy from the Indo group telling people at the UCC Journo soc that the kids (anyone under 35) that are leaving papers in their droves* will come back as they get older and get confused by the modern world and need a bit of conservatism and stability. No they won’t, you’re not the Catholic church lads. You don’t offer that heaven lie.

*Note for Cian Ginty. Yes droves. Like I said before. When I said newspaper readership was going down and you pointed out how wrong I was by pointing to declining readerships** of the Indo and the Examiner***, that actually meant I was, you know, right.

**Another note for Cian. When a population goes up and readership remains stable or declines (you know like you proved in your own post when you failed to prove me wrong), guess what that means?

****One last note to Cian. See, I never mentioned National readership when I did that blog post on newspapers. You just jumped to that conclusion. I’m sure that was the blogger part of your persona and not the trained journalist part of your persona coming through there. Of course.

Eamon Ryan and his Skype story = Everything is fine

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Belkin Skype Wi-Fi phone - Starbucks
Photo owned by icherche (cc)

Eamon Ryan keeps telling this same boring story again and again about when he visited Korea and he couldn’t get his phone to work or Skype or upload files. He’s said it in the Senate, he’s said it in interviews, he told me this story on the phone, he told it at his broadband forum a while back.

(Aside: Joe asked me why I said nothing at the forum when journos and bloggers got a private audience with Ryan. My reason? I see no point arguing with a man that is so comfortable lying to anyone and everyone and happily swerves away from reality with such panache.)

Back to the rant ๐Ÿ™‚ This Korean story to Eamon means Korea is in fact not as good for broadband. Great logic right? Take those Koreans down a peg or two and we’re looking a bit better. Step back into the swap there lads.

From his debate with Shane Ross the other day:

While it may be true to say that in Korea there is 100 Mb broadband connectivity to every home, it does not necessarily mean they have the applications or the benefits from that. Nor does it mean they have the economic strivers from it. These are some of the reasons we would be investing and we will invest in the development of our broadband future.

One of the problems I encountered at the conference was that my mobile telephone did not work.

I could not connect my mobile telephone to the network. I could not run Skype on the network. I could not send a single 5 Mb video file from the convention centre.

While it is useful to analyse and use international comparisons to determine what is happening in other countries and learn from them, we must remember that we have our own unique characteristics.

See, his argument is that his one experience of a shit connection at a conference means we shouldn’t trust dozens of studies and hundreds of news stories about just how good Korea is in terms of broadband. Which is fine because anyone that was at this Broadband Forum a few weeks back can now argue the same thing. By the power of Ministerial logic, because the WiFi in Dublin castle was shit, it means in fact that Ireland has no broadband at all.

Photo owned by [ v2milk ] (cc)

Eamon couldn’t of course leave it at that and went on and repeated the same lies of his and his Department which have been used nonstop:

In the past year and a half we have roughly doubled the number of broadband subscribers, which was the fastest rate of growth in the OECD. We have been particularly strong and fast growing in the mobile broadband sector, in the application of wireless hotspots and mobile broadband itself. We are also starting to see prices come down and speeds increase. In recent months operators have been increasing their standard packages from 2 Mb to 10 Mb or even 20 Mb. New companies are building fibre optic networks which are providing 50 Mb connectivity to the home. It is starting to happen and companies are starting to deliver.

Lying fucking Ryan.

National Broadband Scheme delayed while coverage area unknown

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

There’s a very clever chap on who has spotted that Eamon Ryan is now changing his boiler plate replies on broadband and the National Broadband Scheme. Where once the Minister said all those in broadbandless areas would be getting broadband now he is saying something slightly different but it changes the whole nature of the National Broadband Scheme:

All requests for a broadband service in the areas to be addressed by the NBS will be met.

See that? But the NBS map has been changing constantly. Actively moving the goalposts that.

I asked for the below question to be asked of the Minister during PQs but it looks like it has not been asked/answered as yet but if it does get asked it might clarify the smog the Minister is creating on this issue:

Will the National Broadband Scheme cover all areas currently not served by broadband suppliers in Ireland, excluding satellite providers. What areas will not be covered by the National Broadband Scheme? given the maps have been redrawn since the intial map was released, increasing the areas that are not being served by broadband.

Meanwhile Simon Coveney finally (it wasn’t rocket science or complex math) caught Ryan on the rollout times for the National Broadband Scheme:

Deputy Simon Coveney: If contracts are being signed in November and if there is a 22-month roll-out period, can we safely assume that the Government target for universal broadband provision across the country will now be the end of 2010 rather than the end of 2009?

Ryan replied:

The national broadband scheme has taken slightly longer than we would have liked. My hope is that the detailed work that has gone into the preparation of the contract in advance, whoever the bidder is, will mean we will have swift roll-out and delivery on the commitment within it by mid-2010, which is the rough timeline set out.

(The bit not in italics is where he is lying)
Planning permission. Lots and lots of applications for planning permission in all these places. Hills, mountains, rough terrain. Masts and digging and all that. What sane company is going to apply for planning permission for masts BEFORE they win the tender? They have told this to the Department I am quite sure of, they’re not stupid. They have told the Minister of this too. If Dan Boyle is anyone to go by, Eamon Ryan, being the best guy in the whole wide world to know broadband (awww shucks thanks Bouncy) knows this too yet he tells the Dรกil otherwise. He tells them somehow these companies can fast-track things? Oh would you come back down from the clouds Minister.

Ryan also lies about schools to Simon Coveney:

Deputy Eamon Ryan: Some 3,901 out of 3,936 schools have their local broadband connectivity installed, which is over 99% of them. Installation has typically been at speeds of up to 2 megabytes per second.

Of up to. Theoretical. Half of these are via a shitty satellite dish. Sat. A. Lite. Eam mon. There is no ugrade path to fibre with Sat. A. Lite. Sat. A. Lite is for Ethiopia. That’s in that hot place. It’s useless for a whole school. Useless for a whole classroom. Last resort Internet access and half the schools in the scheme get it.

Lots of delays lots of lies. Status quo. I’m going to bed before I go on a rampage. Another post about Eamon Ryan gets autoposted later today.