Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Writing tips.

Thursday, March 31st, 2005

Can’t recall where I founds this, it was linked from one of the sites on my blogroll. Anyways there is some really good advice here about writing. You know it’s good when it’s so bloody obvious.

and now back to tech.

Thursday, March 31st, 2005

I’m not a Google fanboy, I promise but there are some new things from Google which I find interesting. It seems Google is now implementing prefetching on the first results for a search. This only works with Mozilla, Netscape and FireFox now but IE7 might bring it in. More details on prefetching. I’m sure malicious pages could stick in a lot of these prefetching tags so that browsers will follow links to spam pages that contain ads. I wonder could this be used to increase clickthrus ? With Google using this feature it will become known to a lot more people so the chance of abuse will naturally increase.

On to Google Desktop matters… Here’s how you can Integrate Google Desktop Search into FireFox. and this lists the growing List of plugins for Google Desktop Search. I especially like the Omnipage plugin for scanned in images and documents.

Ode to my Grandfather

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

Wrote this for my grandfather for his funeral last week:

A saying goes: “Death is more universal than life. Everyone dies but not
everyone lives.” Walter O’Driscoll lived his life and lived it well. He may
not have changed the world and he may not have made his fortunes but he still
leaves us with a wealthy legacy that impacts on our daily lives.

Part of his legacy is 16 children, dozens of grandchildren and a few great
grandchildren, all who would not be here today without him. He may not have
had many assets to his name but he has still left us all rich through
millions of memories and thousands of stories that feature him. We’re never
going to forget the man who brought up 10 children against the advice of so
many. When the Govt wanted to take the kids into care after his first wive
died he wouldn’t have it. He sacrificed a lot for his kids and did his best
to provide a safe place in the world for them. They may never have known each
other if this man gave in and allowed the kids to be sent away.

We’re never going to forget this man. Everytime we see a packet of sweet
afton or smell tobacco we’ll be reminded of him. We won’t be able to look at
a bottle of whiskey or taste it without thinking of Walter. His children will
see his mannerisms reflected in themselves and their children. They’ve seen
it already and as time progresses will see it more.

While we’re sending Walter off today and we’re sad we should also be happy
that we got to spend time with him and we should be overjoyed that we have so
many fond memories of time with the man.

Jeff Jarvis on the Future of Journalism

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

Jeff Jarvis says Journalism is a verb, not a noun: “no one owns journalism. It is not an official act, a certified act, an expert act, a proprietary act. Anyone can do journalism. Everyone does. Some do it better than others, of course. But everyone does it.

Realizing that — embracing that — will be the key to saving journalism: its quality and its business.”

There’s been some great debate on the future of journalism and a lot of very good opinions are being put up online. Not sure are print journalists debating it as much or at all. The state of journalism is this country varies wildly. There are some savagely brilliant journalists and columnists in this country but there are some godawful ones too and they can both be in the same organisation. Many slag off IT Journos but it’s not just them. It seems the most important thing for some journalists now is how to copy and paste news releases. I’ve even noticed some don’t even run a spell check on releases or a grammar check. Has journalism always been this lazy ?

The interactivity and user participation ideas that the BBC and Guardian are bringing about are steps to the new “Way of the Journalist”. It would be nice to see the likes of the Irish Times and the Examiner allowing people to comment on each story they print and if needs be re-editing the online versions of the story to make them more factual or at least provide additional links to other sources if people want to read more.

I had considered setting up my own online news site in August when my stint with IrelandOffline was over, but it looks like I have a lot more work to do with them before I retire. Maybe I’ll do it next January ? 🙂

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

So I just signed up for which seems to be an Irish blog aggregator. But where’s the RSS feed so I can plug it into own aggregator ? What’s the use of aggregating blogs if you don’t provide a feed itself of them ? I have 75+ sites in my blogroll now (see the left at bottom), I’m more inclined to view the site in my aggregator than typing in the link and checking back a few times a day. Might be handy too if we could have a url to ping to let the site know I’ve updated my site like and provides.

Double Clique

Tuesday, March 29th, 2005

Below is a reply I posted on a discussion board about “Cliques”. Talk about long-winded:

Going back to the ideas of cliques, yes they do exist. That’s the nature of humanity. Do they exist as much as people say they do ? Probably not.

From my own observations the stereotypical clique of a group of nasty poisonous people is present but not frequent. You will encounter a bunch of insecure people who gather together and as a group look down their noses at people. The reason that they stick together is probably because they can’t find anyone else that will put up with this incessant bitching. That’s good really, it shows the community can do its own policing and reject the rubbish.

There are groups of people on the scene that socialise together and they most certainly are not cliques. Humans gather in groups, work in groups, socialise in groups, use group intelligence and knowledge sharing. For the scene or any community to be made up of groups of people is the norm.

For an outsider trying to crack the group and become part of it can prove difficult but I think it’s not that members of the group are unwilling to make friends and welcome people but it’s down to them being so comfortable with the status quo that change can unnerve them. I find groups can be more welcoming and open minded about individuals than one person dealing with just one other. Groups allow a buffer which increases tolerance.

A lot of time groups will allow the shy and nervous person to open up and allow their personality to shine, but when a new person comes along the shy person will once again go all quiet which could be misinterpreted as being unfriendly. I know of one person who seemed very unapproachable but it was because they’re a very shy person.

( On a side note and without going into a full anthropological debate, groups also have a size limit which according to Dunbar in the paper “Co-evolution of Neocortex size” is 150. 150 was why up until last week contact lists were limited to this number on MSN. So, some people might just get overloaded as they reach this soft limit and might not appear to want proper friendship.)

Some people that feel rejected by groups may have been rejected because they didn’t understand the social dynamic of the group and instead of trying to go with the flow and understand the way the group operated they came in and tried to change the flow. You’ll rarely be able to do that. It’s always best when trying to interact with a group to learn the rules and then work with them. Strong personalities can upset the established equilibrium of the group.

Groups too can have an individual or two who are insecure and love nothing more than to berate someone and make them feel inferior. If the group is weak they’ll allow these personalities to get away with this ugly behaviour. It’s a shame but it does not mean that the ones who didn’t speak out are nasty people or the same as those mouthing off. I wouldn’t consider the group a clique either.

There are others who are loathe to admit that they did not integrate into a group because they just didn’t fit. Being in total denial they’ll make up excuses as to why. They won’t say it’s because they stirred shit and set group members against each other. It’s far easier on the ego to state the group was too cliquey. Cliques are the new “race card” these days. Blame it all on the cliques. People need to adapt to fit into a group, generally in just small ways.

So, in summary as it needs one: there are cliques, but they are not prevalent and the best thing to do with a clique is ignore the losers.

In no particular order…

Sunday, March 20th, 2005

Hacking Google Desktop Search– Google Desktop Search can be used as an application for remotely monitoring computers across a LAN.

Got Soles ?

Tom Waits picks his fav albums.

Make the best VC pitch while using PowerPoint.

George Frost Kennan Feb. 16, 1904 — Mar. 17, 2005. Think of the Marshall plan.

World Economic Forum Rankings – Ireland 22nd

Friday, March 11th, 2005

World Economic Forum show Ireland is at 22nd place. WEForum Press Release. This ranks how Ireland is exploiting global ICT (information and communications technology) developments. In other words: we’re crap and we could be doing a lot more about it.

The lights

Friday, March 11th, 2005

Spike Jonez Adidas Ad. Great music. Music: Composed by Squeak E. Clean and featuring Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I really want to get hold of it.

RentAGerman – Everyone needs a German from time to time.

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy tackle Sadaam.

Tips for Mastering E-mail Overload Very handy. Via 43Folders.

How to never miss an episode with BitTorrent and RSS. This guide makes it easy for me to leave my BT client select what I like. It’s far better than an irc client waiting for a torrent or one of the standalone clients.

Buster, Landmines and other videos

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

That famous Buster the Rabbit episode that the US Secretary of Education condemned as the Rabbit met a kid with two lesbian moms. PBS withdrew it but you can download it online now. Download and distribute.


The above is a clip from an anti-landmine ad that TV stations in America refuse to air. The ad opens with a scene of idyllic suburban tranquility. A young family cheers on their daughter who has just scored a goal in her soccer match when she suddenly, violently explodes. Chaos consumes the scene while the mother of the victim shrieks hysterically and her father cradles her lifeless body. A simple graphic reads: “If there were landmines here, would you stand for landmines anywhere? Help the U.N. eradicate landmines everywhere. View landmine clip here. or Get the torrent. Found this on World Changing and Boing Boing.

minicouch.jpg Another lot of Public Service Announcements are ones dealing with AIDS in Russia. Again found on Worldchanging, these ads are really well done and should be downloaded and distributed. HalfCity deals with a city missing so many people as a result of HIV/AIDS. Kutuzovsky, shows AIDS is like a traffic jam, it doesn’t discriminate. Old City shows a city where only old people are left. It ends with the caption “4 out of 5 Russians living with HIV today are under 30.”