Archive for July, 2005

“Oh what a world we live in, straight men…”

Wednesday, July 27th, 2005


The sight of the two boys, crying their eyes out, chained together with handcuffs, behind bars, surrounded by adults who were either powerless or afraid to defend them is much much more disturbing. This photo has the combined power of the reality of a photograph and disturbing imagery of an artistic composition.

It is a haunting image that has left me feeling very raw and will remain with me for a long long time.

That’s a quote from, they are talking about the above pic. Shortly afterwards the two boys, one aged 18 the other 17 were hanged because they had sex with each other.

The two youths — identified only by their initials as M.A. and A.M., were hanged on July 19 in Edalat (Justice) Square in the city of Mashhad in north-eastern Iran, on the orders of Court No. 19.

Schneier on Suicide Bombers

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

Thinking About Suicide Bombers

Remember the 1996 movie Independence Day? One of the characters was a grizzled old fighter pilot who had been kidnapped and degraded by the alien invaders years before. He flew his plane into the alien spaceship when his air-to-air missile jammed, causing the spaceship to explode. Everybody in the movie, as well as the audience, considered this suicide bomber a hero.

What’s the difference?

Irishblogs lazyweb suggestion – Pub Reviews, Restaurant Reviews

Monday, July 18th, 2005

I’ve an idea for the in regards to using tags to allow aggregators like PlanetOfTheBlogs and IrishBlogs to find specific information. For now it would be pub and restaurant reviews. With everyone now having blogs, why should they reproduce their content on other sites when all other sites have to do is scrape theirs?

Ryan has an excellent Pub Review site but to add content to it he has to have dedicated posters who he trusts. What if PlanetOftheBlogs aggregated any posts on his site and anyone elses in their list of blogs that had the tag ? Same goes for restaurant reviews. Let the people do the work of tagging their reviews and even submitting the url of their rss feeds, besides seeking out reviewers.

The benefit for Ryan and his site would be an increase in traffic as the central aggregator would probably send far more people to him.

Maybe this could be added on to the to-do list for John Breslin? I know you’re reading this John. 🙂

I came up with this idea after Jarvis pointed to this review of Dinnerbuzz and it seems like a perfect idea for the Irish boggersphere. With a few use of tags such as or or it could be easily implemneted by some clever programmers i.e. NOT me.

Go to Ryan’s site NOW

Monday, July 18th, 2005

Not visited Ryan’s website in an age until this morning as I wanted to do some research on another idea for an irishblog thing. (More in another post) This is Ryan’s blog and this is Ryan’s Flickr site.

I’d read Donncha praise Ryan in a few posts but just didn’t have time to look at the site. Donncha himself has some fantastic photos like this. Anyways, bookmark both sites.

Could I also suggest that the lads tag their photo posts as ? Be nice to do searches and come up with all those gems.

7 Words You Can’t Say in Kindergarten

Monday, July 18th, 2005

Nathan Torkington has his kids tell it how it is. The last word, which I suppose you could call the “punchline” is fairly powerful. I wonder is there an Irish version of this?

Lots of good comments here on it. His kids are cute too and the way they react to saying some of the words is precious. Exposing the kids to these words is not wrong at all. Compare this to the kids dancing on the grave of Matthew Shephard and screaming “God hates fags” at pride marches.

It’s the overriding attitude behind the words that is more important. You can use simple words that will get around the strictest censor and still cause absolute offense and harm.

FAO Joe Bloggs from the Tribune

Monday, July 18th, 2005

The Blog section in the Sunday Tribune, which as Piaras mentions got bumped up to page 13 mentions my little rant about the Irish Examiner and Archiseek.

The bit that got my attention though was their comment:

We don’t have the space for all the details, but two things are worth noting. First, it is interesting to see Irish subjects of newspaper articles offering rebuttals online. Second, none of the blog entries actually link to or quote the allegedly offending Examiner article, which deprives the bloggers of their key weapoins of context–and just makes them sound like whingers.

Curiously, we were unable to locate the article on the Examiner’s own website.

Firstly, I like how you find it interesting that the subjects give rebuttals online, so this is mine:

Lads, the story we mentioned was the Irish Examiner getting its facts wrong, well, that’s actually being too nice, they twisted facts so much that they were pretzel-shaped and then you asked how come we never linked to the story online, yet the posts myself and others linked to showed it was never put online. Scanned in copies were posted on the Archiseek forum though. Ooops!

Secondly and going back to what you were saying about giving rebuttals to stories, how about having an online forum where everyone can give their comments on the stories that were in the Tribune? And I don’t just mean some letters to the editor email address where some letters may get published. You’ve done very well giving a roundup of the Irish blogs on a weekly basis, now go another step further and have an editors blog or a forum with free discussion.

John Naughton condems Citizen Journalism of the London Bombings

Monday, July 18th, 2005

Update: Jarvis weighed in. See below.

John Naughton has a good piece in the Observer about Citizen Journalism after the latest London terrorist attacks.

‘The victims were being triaged at the station entrance by tube staff and as I could see little more I could do I got out of the way and left. As I stepped out people with cameraphones vied to try and take pictures of the worst victims. In crisis some people are cruel.’

I find it astonishing – not to say macabre – that virtually the first thing a lay person would do after escaping injury in an explosion in which dozens of other human beings are killed or maimed is to film or photograph the scene and then relay it to a broadcasting organisation.

Such arguments are merely a retrospective attempt to dignify the kind of ghoulish voyeurism that is enabled by modern communications technology.

Hmmm, to a degree I can see John’s point but in fairness as was reported, there was nothing these people could do. Rubber necking always happens and now they have digicams and camera phones and share what they can see with the world. Where have they learned to do this but mainstream media itself. News copters giving chase of O.J., the TV Show COPS, instrusive tabloid bullshit day in day out where they tell the general British citizen that it is ok to go through people’s thrash to give them, the general public, the truth.

Humans have always been rubber necking and have always been reporting in some form. Was it not macabre back in the day when some guy drew on the caves of the other guys in his gang hunting bulls and showing the bloody outcome? What isn’t voyeuristic about news anyway? Human interest stories are by their nature voyeurism anyway.

I sent Naughton’s piece on to Jeff Jarvis and I hope he comments on it. This citizen journalism idea is still new to me and I’d like to see how a pro like him weighs in on this.

And so Jarvis did weigh in and stated:

As a journalist, you would think that Naughton would welcome more truly eyewitness reporting, more facts, more stories, more humanity. And who better to provide this than witnesses themselves, now equipped not only with cameras but also with the knowledge that they could report what they saw themselves. Isn’t that better than second-hand reporting?

Naughton complains that some of the material they recorded was too graphic to be shown. Well, isn’t that true of any photographer’s rolls? That is why editors edit.

I’ve heard others fret that just-people, lay people, would be too obtrusive — but that assumes that professional journalists are not. Oh, but we are.

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Karen from Will and Grace fame said:

Sunday, July 17th, 2005

Karen: Oh, honey… black, white, gay, straight, what’s the difference? We all finish ourselves off in the end anyway.

What a charming way to look at life.

Friday Fishy bits

Friday, July 15th, 2005

A Few Good men “You can’t handle the truth” redone using the Half Life engine. Original audio still there and as dramatic as ever.

Space Invaders Crop Circle. Got via Tom Coates

Mirror Mask to be shown at Edinburgh Film Festival Aug 19th and 27th apparently.

World ‘s Largest Phone companies. China kicking the ass of everyone else. That’s where the money is, you’ve just been shown, so away with ya, g’wan!

Vermont goes for 100% Broadband availability by 2010. 5 years behind the UK and Northern Ireland and probably a few years ahead of Ireland. Cynical, moi? Yes.

Eu Consultation on bridging the digital divide. Everyone that cannot get broadband or has a mother, father, granny that cannot get broadband should reply to this consultation. 2 lines or 2000 lines can be submitted.

David Isenberg rips into the FCC for playing with broadband figures. Different country, same tricks.

Bridge Blogs In Ireland

Friday, July 15th, 2005

In the Irish Times article Bridge blogs give voice to the marginalised talks about how a special type of blog known as a bridge blog helps the marginalised to have their say on matters.

blogger Hossein Derakhshan defined three metaphors for global blogs: “windows”, which give you a glimpse of life in another culture; “cafes”, which allow members of a culture to interact although geographically disparate; and “bridges”, which allow online interaction between cultures where little or none existed before.

So, are there bridge blogs in Ireland? Blogs for the Corrib farmers or the ex employees of Global Mobile Vision?

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