Archive for March, 2006

Sunday Bits – 26th March 2006

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

Sunday Times tells Dublin riot investigators to Bring It On. The Times won’t hand over unpublished photos or interviews of the Dublin riots.

But ordinary citizens who witnessed what happened on O’Connell Street are under no legal obligation to assist the gardai with their inquiries. As newspapers, we ask for nothing more than that we are allowed to exercise that right.

In the same paper McDowell talks about the new privacy and defamation laws. Looks like the press council is on the way too. The defamation bill is interesting and from what I’ve heard there’s not going to be anything in it to protect what people say online. I’m sure Bernard from Running With Bulls will be disappointed.

What does your phonenumber spell? Mine was not very entertaining or sensical.

Handy tool for downloading vids from YouTube, Google Video, iFilm and more. Tried this last night and works well.

A computer system made of pens. One pen is a projector, one projects a laser keyboard, one is the processor etc. Really cool idea.

Be more productive every day – The 36 hour day.

Tour details of the Wolves in the Walls. Really want to go and see this musical.

Exclusive: Hollywood funds research to find new celebrity medical conditions

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

Burbank, Sunday 26th March 2006
Hollywood insiders today confirmed previous rumours that Hollywood is funding scientific research into finding new genetic diseases and other medical conditions. Like naming new stars after your loved one, Hollywood likes to name diseases and conditions after famous actors and actresses. These new value added namings mean that as well as celebrity endorsements of these conditions such as Michael J. Fox’s support of Parkinsons and Joe Pesci’s support of fucking cunting Tourettes syndrome, Hollywood now wants diseases named after celebrities. “This all started when Lou Gherig conveniently got a disease that was fairly unknown and so in a coup for his PR team, they had the disease renamed. ” said Arnold Zonoplast a disease facilitating agent in North Hollywood.

Zonoplast continued “Nowadays though thanks to the Internet and greater information sharing with scientists, the new diseases they discover are becoming wildly known before we can come in and ‘namerize’ them. To combat these we have started to sponsor research labs.” In a unqiue deal some research facilities are now even taking percentages of upcoming films, hoping for a windfall that will ensure a speedier discovery of a biological abnormality. In one recent deal signing a famous action star with political aspirations was quoted as saying “Fuck your star on some street where someone walks over you, I want a legacy where sick people will always be thinking of me.”

It is thought that Courtney Love’s agent are anxiously looking forward to the discovery of a new venerial disease while Tom Cruise’s people are awaiting confirmation of a neurotic condition that cannot be treated using psychology.

In other news Piaras Kelly unearths evidence that bloggers have human traits akin to humans. Indeed they might even be like journalists in that they embellish facts.

Catholic Web Surfing – The Internet, Irish Style

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

The Irish National pastime of feeling guilty is now spreading to Internet access. Never mind broadband, the majority of the Irish population still goes online using dialup and ISDN. Not only do most of us Irish have to experience the ear gashing sounds and sharp squeals of our modems to get us there, but once we get online we feel bad. The land of dialup always feels like a land you are not allowed to visit and you’re constantly looking over your shoulder afraid you’ll be caught. Why do we feel guilty?

How many times do those on dialup hear “stop tying up the phone line� or “get off the Internet I want to call my sister.� Or “my phone bill, it’s going to be 10 pages long thanks to you!� These are some of the problems for both those that use dialup and those that share a phoneline with a dialup Internet user. Then for those that ring while the person is on the net you’ll get the engaged tone or get diverted to a “the person you are calling is� type voicemail.

The guilt trinity – Money, danger, the unknown

The average Internet user in Ireland pays €36 a month for Internet access. Given that you can get broadband products cheaper than dialup these days it shows that dialup users are probably paying higher than the €36 average and we can bet that some could be getting bills for hundreds of euros. These days you get broadband for €20 a month whereas the same service provider charges €26.99 for 180 hours of dialup Internet. So why not switch to broadband? Unfortunately 1 in 4 people still cannot get broadband in Ireland.

Dialup is dangerous
Dialup is also dangerous, moreso than broadband. Why? Being always-on or online for extended periods of time means you can set your pc and applications to automatically update. Continually updating your operating system, your anti-virus files and other programs keeps you safer when online. Ever try downloading a Microsoft servicepack over dialup? Worse again over crappy slow dialup with frequent disconnects asis the norm for so many people in Ireland? What downloads in a breeze with broadband takes hours and costs a lot with dialup. The result of this is that many Irish computers are riddled with viruses and malware, slowing them down even further when they go online, attacking and infecting other computers and infecting people via email.

Down with that sort of thing
Unfortunately the Irish people who control the phone and phone bills have an almost luddite like attitude to new technology. Contrast this with the explosion of texting and mobile phone use when teens were given ready-to-go phones a few years back. When the older generation was taken out of the equation and teens could spend their pocket money and wages on topping up their phone credit, hundreds of thousands went mobile. With ISPs only accepting adults as subscribers and wanting bank account details and minimum contracts, are they excluding a great deal of people who want broadband, who actually have the disposable cash but just can’t provide it in the strict manner the ISPs want? I would think so. The timed dialup and broadband products currently on offer make a half-arsed attempt at doing this but their structure is too messed up. They need to be in bands of hours much like pay as you go was instead of selling x amount of hours and then charging per minute after this. (Ideally I’d like to see flatrate) They need to be contract free and they need to be available to anyone and not just people with bank accounts.

The dialup plan of attack
With the guilt trinity in our minds, those on dialup have over time managed to come up with plans which would make an SAS commander proud. First is the synchronising of the watches and the preliminary mission time is chosen. Check. It must be after 6pm on weekdays or anytime during the weekends. Offpeak is cheaper. Check. You must then factor in the times when your phone will be called so that you don’t miss the call from Nana Murphy and Aunty Sheila. Check.

The mission is executed. Your trigger finger is on the mouse. Two clicks and the dialup program runs. The modem screeches, alerting the general household of the Internet raid. It’s time to be fast. The “connected� notice flashes. It tells your connection speed. GO GO GO GO you shout in that very british squaddie accent, you raid the Google, free the data from the pages, disconnect, GO GO GO. In and out in 60 seconds. Another successful run. You can breathe out now. Later that month there’s a squad meeting with Officer Mammy where the mission is examined and compared to intel data provided by PhoneCom.

Conservative Ireland isn’t dead and gone
With our conservative attitude with going online with dialup, we have yet to fully embrace what being online is all about. This new frontier largely remains undiscovered by the Irish people. Even when we move over on to broadband we still have the lingering doubts and habits. “Careful there� says the brain, “should you be having this much fun?� It takes another while to deprogram before we begin to enjoy the Internet. When we have to apologise for doing something then we are already setting the wrong precedent. We need to be encouraged to go online and we need to encourage others.

If the Government is serious about getting people online and building the knowledge economy then it needs to encourage rejoicing Internet use and not repenting for it. The Government needs to make dialup far far cheaper and make broadband available to everyone. It needs to show the positives of the Internet and combat the hype about the dangers of using the Internet. There shouldn’t be a confession box construct for using the Internet.

Music was invented to confirm human loneliness – Sigur ros

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

The above video is Svefn-g-englar by Sigur Ros. The video starred the Perlan special-needs theatre group acting out a play about the elements. Bjork is a patron of the group I believe. Unfortunately the video is cut short at the end. One of my favourite Sigur Ros songs. My favourite video is below.

They played this before an Israeli movie at the Dublin Gay and Lesbian film festival a few years back and the crowd laughed afterwards. I thought it beautiful not funny. But there we go. To keep the moral objectors happy the director actually hired a girl to play one of the boys lest they be accused of corrupting kids/teenagers. People should perhaps stop obsessing about the sex and start concentrating about the love. But back to the band, I might just go to Oxyegen to see them play. Don’t give a monkeys about any other band there to be honest.

This is Untitled #1 from their ( ) album.

Bebo in the Times and John Breslin

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

Nice quotes from John Breslin in the Sunday Times about social networks. The director of computer services at NUI Galway compared the Beebo craze to Hula hoops. The toys not the junk food. Next we’ll have mySpace compared to spinning tops. 🙂 I have a half written piece on Beebo and mySpace. Must finish it some time. Well done John.

EDIT: John posts about it in his blog via his Xbox!

How can it feel, this wrong

Saturday, March 25th, 2006

Via Scott Anthony

Oh, can’t anybody see,
We’ve got a war to fight,
Never found our way,
Regardless of what they say.

How can it feel, this wrong,
From this moment,
How can it feel, this wrong.

Portishead – Roads.
Utterly fantastic. A song to be used in a modern classic movie. Just around the time someone is betrayed or loses love. Cue a driving scene with the camera view looking in on the person and the city being shown moving past via the glare on the window. After this scene comes the action-fueled revenge scene.

Tom’s on the front of Yahoo Podcasts

Friday, March 24th, 2006

Spotted by Kevin Burton: Look at him in his Peoples Republic of Cork T-Shirt. Well done Tom! Be interesting to see the bandwidth spike as a result.

Spin the bottle interviews have started, who’ll be next?

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

Paige Harrison interviews Thinking Out Loud’s “That Girl”. I love the title and image in the interview. Well done Paige for asking great questions and well done That Girl for likening my idea to spin the bottle. Great analogy. Now, she sets the bottle spinning…

The Electric Picnic Line up is .. drum roll

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

Pet Shop Boys – Massive Attack – DJ Shadow – Antony & The Johnsons – Gary Numan -New Order


Basement Jaxx
Groove Armada
Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Graham Coxon
Devendra Banhart
Super Furry Animals
Belle & Sebastian
Rufus Wainwright

Bloc Party
Alabama 3
The Rapture
Mad Professor
Saul Williams

Tom Vek
Gang of Four
David Kitt
The Frames

Rachid Taha
The Rags
Dublin Gospel Choir
Blue Nile

As I posted earlier Damien Rice will curate a stage called The Big Tree

Damien Rice to curate a stage at Electric Picnic

Thursday, March 23rd, 2006

Twenty is going to be pissed. Via Eskimo Friends is news that Electric Picnic is going to have Damien Rice be a stage curator.

Damien will be performing at the Electric Picnic festival in Stradbally, Co. Laois, Ireland, on the weekend of September 1st. Damien has spoken in the past about wanting to organise a boutique festival and Hot Press reports that Damien will be hosting a stage at this year’s festival.

Is this the new twist for Electric Picnic this year? Have curators for the stages? One curator per stage per night? All Tomorrows Parties do this for their yearly festival. It’s an interesting and fun idea. I think they had Matt Groening (creator of Simpsons) curating one of the days last year.