Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Napster DRM Hacked by iTunes hackers

Friday, April 15th, 2005

It’s the Internet folks. Hundreds of millions of people can now examine your security “features” and rip them to bits. All that’s needed is one person to find the flaw, post about it online and we’ll all find it and tell others. We’re all connected. How about allowing the people to show that they have a natural bent for being honest besides doing your best to fuck them over ?

So yes, Napster DRM has been hacked.

Google Video Redux, Participatory Culture , GMail

Friday, April 15th, 2005

Jacob has put Google Video under the microscope and come up with some interesting facts such as they may charge you for excess bandwidth and they take a 30% cut on revenue generated, plus they can package ads around your video. Still Google aren’t known for screwing people over and I guess they have to stick in worst-case scenarios in the terms and conditions just in case. be cool if they brought in tagging and made themselves into a video form of Flickr. Might prove very insightful for

Update:[ Scoble points to Vimeo, which is a bit like Flickr for video. ]

It’d be interesting comparing the Google model to the model of Participatory Culture where you create your own videos and choose your own TV. From the site:

A desktop video player application that brings internet TV to the fullscreen. Subscribe to channels: videos download in the background and the player notifies you when they’re ready to watch.

Broadcast Machine
A video publishing tool built on Blog Torrent. Publish fullscreen video to thousands with virtually no bandwidth cost. Simple, flexible, installs on a website in seconds. Easier than most blogging software. ”

In other Google news, it seems GMail will have a newsreader built into it. About time too. GMail will evolve into way more than email storage I’d wager. It’ll soon be the personal online space of many. Taking more and more power from desktop applications.

Misc linkage:

Checks Google for news and then links it to a world map. Showing where most “buzz” occurs.

Router Density World Map.

3D Fingerprint Maze. Create a 3D virtual maze from a scan of your fingerprint. Sweet.

How to make traffic cameras respect privacy.

Alfred Hitchcock’s movie trailers.

I love search logs

Friday, April 15th, 2005

2005.04.14 22:33:08 Search: query for ‘DENIS’
2005.04.14 22:33:21 Search: query for ‘GER’
2005.04.14 22:35:35 Search: query for ‘AIRLINE’
2005.04.14 22:35:47 Search: query for ‘CABIN CREW’
2005.04.14 22:36:03 Search: query for ‘RYANAIR’
2005.04.14 22:36:18 Search: query for ‘MICHAEL’
2005.04.14 22:36:27 Search: query for ‘MICHEAL’
2005.04.14 22:36:35 Search: query for ‘PAUL’
2005.04.14 22:37:07 Search: query for ‘CHRIS’

Creative Commons in Ireland – Not just the EFF that’s needed

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Hope this starts an interesting discussion on the sphere.

Posted this on the Creative Commons Ireland mailing list

“The BBC Creative Archive – was recently launched which hands over some content to the public to play with.

How can RTE be convinced to do the same ? Can anyone outline any legal restrictions stopping them from doing it ? Assuming it’s only home produced content they’d release. ”

To add to what I posted, here is the Slashdot Commentary on Creative Archive Launch. Channel 4 and the Open University have also joined this initiative.

Coupled with this, the BBC today announced more podcasts are being made available. It’s pretty damned cool if RTE made podcasts available and not crappy RealMedia files that I have to stream off a computer to listen to. Sure, there are workarounds to download the stream, convert it to mp3 and then listen to it, but it’s cumbersome and it’s not endorsed by RTE. Morning Ireland is still the best show around with quality journalists and for those that sleep in late it’s a shame to miss it.

RTE are being slightly progressive I guess. They have the streaming media on the site, pity it’s realmedia. Give us OGG Vorbis for audio ! RTE also have XML feeds for their news section, they don’t advertise this on their site though, which is a shame.

So, what would be some bold steps from RTE ?

1. Podcasting, with podcasts wrapped in XML feeds
2. Online audio and video archive available for download, and using BitTorrent to solve bandwidth issues ? They should include free tools to allow people to remix the content.
3. RSS Feeds for all online content as well as allowing people to comment on online stories.

Any additional suggestions ?

Link: Creative Commons Ireland.

I finally chime in about that Pope stuff.

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Bruce Schneier Evaluates Security of Papal Voting.

IrishBlogs – Way more voices

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

just got a major boost today as Planet of the Blogs has incorporated the feeds from the journals into its service. That’s 194 Irish feeds and growing. John Breslin is doing sterling work on this and his inclusive attitude will see this grow much larger.

I posted a comment on his site which I reproduced below in regards to stats and monitoring of the blogs. Hopefully other developers in the BoggerSphere will chime in and come up with a solution:

“So, for phase II of PoTB ruling the BoggerSphere, how about sticking up some kind of tracker for the blogs so we can measure total traffic to all the blogs and then create a chart of the top blogs. Something like this.

Actually, one of those simple sitemeters wouldn’t do, would it ? Not if half your traffic comes from an rss feed. You’d need more intelligent tracking software besides an image thingy on the front page. ”

Update: John has increased the feed numbers again.

David LaChapelle – Rize, Red Piano and BK

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

The Red Piano is designed and directed by David LaChapelle featuring Elton John, now showing at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Some clips are kinda odd but there is a fantastic dance sequence too, which is well worth watching.

LaChapelle also has a new documentary coming out called Rize about a dance craze called Krumping. very David LaChapelle

Big heads up on this from MetaFilter.

Blog Blocking

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

has been talking about Irish Blogs being censored and I’ve just seen a news report that Americans overwhelmingly support strong censorship for blogs. I picked this up via Slashdot and it is very worthwhile reading. The question asked guaranteed people would favour “censorship”: “[do you] believe that bloggers should be allowed to publish home addresses and other personal information about private citizens?”

Kinda rigged in my opinion. Not sure who is putting the spin on it though, those that did the poll or those in ZDNet.

Google Video Beta Goes Live [Updated]

Thursday, April 14th, 2005

Google Video Upload Program has gone live and you can now submit your video to the numero uno search company.

From the Google Video FAQ : “We’re still in the first phase of the upload program. Once we approve your video submission and enter the next phase, we’ll send you an email (to the email address you provide) to let you know that we’re ready to add your content to Google Video. Users will then be able to search, preview, purchase, and play your video. ”

So, I guess future search results may include “Would you like to watch a video about ‘Brain Freeze’. Here is a preview, you will need to pay €4 to watch the rest. What interests me more here is how they are going to collect money from people. Who is going to be their preferred payment company ? As far as I know they will be their first time collecting money from people. Generally any service they’ve bought in becomes a free service. This is different.

Actually with AdWords and AdSense they already make payments to people I guess. I wonder what their cut on the sale of videos will be ?

[Update] Here’s a screenshot courtesy of Inside Google:


No support for the Mac, pity, the Mac being the best computer for video editing. Perhaps Google needs to supply video editing software to the masses or else encourage video editing software manufacturers to plug into this. It would have been good to bring this out with readily available editing tools.

[Update 2]
Could Google be the one to make micropayments work ? 15 cents per play will make you nothing but if you have Google driving everyone to your video then it could very well bring in the cash for you.

Broadband in the Boggersphere

Wednesday, April 13th, 2005

I’ve noticed a few postings in the about broadband. Maura is talking about the Group Broadband Scheme in Galway and Liam is talking about the Upperchurch-Drombane GBS. Applications have to be in very soon for this.

According to our own research in IrelandOffline, some 48% of the population still can’t get Broadband. Ireland has a lot of work to do if it wants

Edit: A recent Accenture report saif we were slipping down the rankings for E-Government initiatives.

Here are that I posted on Slugger O’Toole last week:

” It is that bad in the Republic and it will soon become a factor for large companies coming in. Consumers right now are the ones suffering the most but the more big business relies on telecoms the more Ireland will be less attractive despite the low corporate tax.

It can be argued that with the cost of leased lines in Ireland being so high even for cities *, companies that want proper high speed net connectivity (and we’re not talking adsl) will look at NI, EU countries or further away. It can also be argued because of the cost units being in 5km chunks, rural communities will not have a chance of getting business unless they are on a fibre ring. Ebay refusing to set up anywhere but Dublin is a good example of this.

EBay setting up in Dublin means though that they either have to pay larger wages to keep good staff or pay poor wages which will mean a churn rate for staff. Setting up in a rural location would have been better as it seems the best call centres are those not in the main cities in Ireland where the cost of living is cheaper facilitating a smaller churn rate.

Think about teleworking, more and more companies encourage this and it saves them money by having people working from home. But they can only telework from locations that have broadband. DSL is only available in towns of 1500 population or more. (according to eircom) That’s only 58% of the population though. (according to the CSO) So again large business is restricted to where they can set up.

But with 70%-80% of that 58% pass the line test, it means between 41%-46% of the population could actually work from home. This restricts companies to locations which have adsl or else forces them to install leased lines which cost a fortune. The Govt saying broadband is available everywhere is bollox and a major disservice to the 1000s of people who want broadband and are being turned down. There are 140k broadband connections in Ireland. 130k of them are adsl lines. 10K non adsl and most of them are in the main urban centres anyway. I would think 1500 people or less in rural locations have broadband through various community schemes.

Now if a company pays for teleworking the line rental being the highest in the EU** will add even more to a companies costs compared to other places in the EU.

However if we compare to Northern Ireland where there’s 100% availability (as of Feb 2005), teleworking is an easy option and line rental is cheaper. Leased line prices are cheaper too according to the graphs in the pdf doc below.

One other thing about the wireless network in Cork and it being a European first. It covers the immediate city centre, not the city. It’s free now but will cost something like €10 an hour when they do start charging. Northern Ireland will have 100% geographic coverage by Dec 2005 via a wireless network. That’s far more impressive.


* The price comparisons are taken from an EU doc which you can get there:

Details on page 41-43

They show the current leased line prices in Ireland for Partial Private Circuits (the bits going to the customer to their isp backbone ) The prices are measured in kms. For a business operating in a rural location distance from their ISP’s backbone means really high costs.