Archive for May, 2008

Told you so – Uimhear a do

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Four days ago. Today:

Ilac Opinionator

Jonathon Porritt talks about developing a sustainable economy

Friday, May 30th, 2008

I got to see a very engaging, very funny and massively clever Jonathon Porritt give a talk yesterday on how we can develop a sustainable economy. It was organised by Minister Eamon Ryan and the DCENR who gave a very nice intro to Jonathon and the topic and he spoke unscripted, something you rarely see from a Minister. Hopefully the video will go up on his YouTube channel in a bit. I’d have live blogged it but there wasn’t any wireless broadband in the building…

Photo owned by bfick (cc)

Not that there was room to whip out my Macbook Air, the place was packed. Note: The Macbook Air is a green machine, sure it’s called the Air because that’s what it runs on, right? The room in No. 8 Stephen’s Green was full of people from many industries, Liz McManus from Labour was there too, ComReg were present too as well as the Energy Regulator. You’d have seen less suits at a funeral actually. Most of the Greens were there too including my fav blogging politician and the founder of the Eamon Ryan Facebook group too. No dinosaur though.

Overall Jonathon’s talk was eye-opening and you can tell he could talk for days on the subject without getting monotonous. I learned a good deal too. Only place in the world with a real Carbon Tax? British Columbia, money from it replaces lost revenue from corporation tax which they reduced and money from it also goes into health insurance I believe. People directly see where the carbon tax money goes. Clever. Very clever. Hopefully the slide deck for the talk will be made available too. Capitalism: As if the world matters is Jonathon’s latest book.

Green Indeed
Photo owned by Orin Optiglot (cc)

I didn’t have time to stay and mingle and enjoy the carbon neutral elderberry wine as I had to leg it back to the hotel and change and head to the awesome SoundCheck but next time if I’m accidently invited to another event like this I’ll definitely have to say hello to Ciarán and others.

Jim Corr on Lisbon, 9/11 and the New World Order

Friday, May 30th, 2008

On TodayFM yesterday:

Update: Reuploaded to YouTube, it gets slightly cut off due to YouTube 10 min limit:

Comments closed. Plenty of other places to wear tinfoil hats and talk about the secret rulers of the earth.

ComReg bitch at eircom for playing within the rules

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

The Irish Telcoms Poodle (yes I’m bringing it back) yesterday made shapes in the press about eircom and the time it takes them to install phonelines and fix them. ComReg are telling eircom enough is enough.

In relation to installation times, ComReg’s concerns include the welfare of customers who are having to wait more than 6 months – and in some cases over a year – for connection to the public telephone network; targets have therefore been set to require all installations to be made within 6 months, and 80% of all requests to be met within 24 hours or 2 weeks, according to the type of request.

Photo owned by Warchild (cc)

But. ComReg changed the rules of the game about 3 years ago when they extended the install time eircom were allowed to have for phonelines. Before they were allowed a maximum of 6 months and after the USO decision they were allowed 12 months. Now ComReg are saying it’s too long and take eircom to task IF they do it in future. How long have ComReg had the new powers to prosecute and how many customers got screwed over since? Did ComReg measure it, did they care?

This is what Comreg said in 2005(PDF doc):

ComReg recognises that meeting the timescales should not cause undue pressure on eircom. ComReg would expect that the targets will be exceeded in most cases and that the vast majority of requests would be completed within an eight week period. ComReg would not consider it unreasonable for longer periods to be involved where requests involve connections in some situations such as where there are difficulties or delays in obtaining way leaves access for infrastructural works etc. However, ComReg would consider that such longer periods would be the exception and reporting against indicative targets will increase transparency on performance in meeting the Universal Service Obligation.

And then says they’re not going to do anything if eircom go over the time:

ComReg has considered making performance targets mandatory but without the possibility of penalties in the event of failure to comply, such mandatory targets would be meaningless. It should be noted that while the obligation to provide access to the network is a requirement of the Regulations, there is no provision in the Regulations for penalties in the event of a breach.

This is what IrelandOffline said in 2005:

The proposals from ComReg allow eircom to take 4 weeks to install a line for 50% of applications and up to 12 months to install a line for 5% of consumers.

And this is exactly what happened. ComReg created a ruleset that practically encouraged eircom to worry less about connecting lines to their network and the quality of it and thus allowing it to get worse, not better. Back then they had plenty of cash to spend on the network to up the quality and install times, now they’re strangled in debts. The new rules are meaningless and are all a show and nothing more. There will be the usual “reasonable” loophole for all of this.

ComReg’s paymasters at the end of the day are eircom, Vodafone, O2 et al. They take a percentage of their profits as their special tax to run their org. The more eircom and other telcos make, the more ComReg can take off them and pass whatever is left to the Department of Finance. Why would they make life tough for the telcos?

So if eircom don’t meet these new obligations, ComReg will do what:

failure by Eircom to achieve any of the targets as set out in the Decision Instrument in Appendix A would be considered by ComReg to be non-compliance by Eircom with its regulatory obligations and would have the potential to attract enforcement action by ComReg in accordance with the procedures provided for under Regulation 32 of the Universal Service Regulations.

In summary, these procedures would involve ComReg notifying Eircom of a finding of non-compliance with its obligations imposed under Regulation 10 (4) of the Universal Service Regulations and if appropriate, ComReg applying to the High Court for all orders appropriate by way of enforcing compliance by Eircom with its obligations.

Amongst the orders that ComReg could apply for would be an order for the payment by Eircom to ComReg of a financial penalty. ComReg would also expect to seek a declaration from the High Court that Eircom had breached its obligations, orders directing Eircom to comply with its obligations in the future and any further ancillary orders and conditions that should be attached to such orders.

Do you honestly see ComReg taking eircom to Court for any breach? Going to the bloody High Court to fine eircom a few quid? Not going to happen.

More on my views on ComReg.

It is curious that ComReg announce all of this on the day of eircom’s results. Spoiling the party no? Even though the reality is lame, even ComReg getting bolshy in the press with eircom is an interesting departure. Maybe the Minister is applying pressure? Is someone up for reelection as Commissioner?

Fluffy Links – Thursday May 29th 2008

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Grannymar is the April winner (I know it’s May now) of the Blog Post of the Month. Congrats. She gets the trophy and an N95 thanks to o2 and Nokia Ireland. Still time to nominate a blog for the May prize.

Win a copy of Grow and Cook.

Sabrina needs a bookkeeper. Know anyone?

I’m in Dublin today for meetings and to see Jonathon Porritt give a talk on how we can develop a sustainable economy thanks to an invite from the DCENR. This is a good post from Jonathon on the campaigns of Greenpeace.

The Irish Indo are borrowing without asking from bloggers. Again.

Prince at Coachella – The Bootleg. Where he covers Creep, Angel and Come Together.

Read Chapter 8 of the new Crowdsourcing book before it’s printed.

Ninja’s use MacBook Airs to deliver justice.

Google Shoot View, not Google Street View.

Fun Twitter word game.

Via MetaFilter: Fred Astaire – Smooth Criminal

Embed RTE Clips on your site

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Thanks to JazBiscuit you can now embed RTE’s realplayer vids directly into a website, you know, something every other damned TV crowd are doing for years at this stage.

I’m going to SoundCheck, are you?

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Win passes here for SoundCheck


SoundCheck launch night: May 29th, 8-11pm @ Spy. €5 at the door

Sounds of a System Breakdown
UnaRocks (SoundCheck DJs)

MOnster Guitar
Photo owned by bobjudge (cc) redesign on way – Competition in meantime

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

The Irish Food and Drink Aggregator will be getting an overhaul in the next few weeks as we add a full section to the site for our own content that we’ll be creating from now on. There are other bits and bobs on the way too. Stay tuned etc. In the meantime Gill and Macmillan have a competition to win a copy of the book Grow and Cook by Tom and Johann Doorley. It also includes a recipe since all sponsored posts on have to also provide something of value to the readers.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday 28th May 2008

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Shane hangs up the boxing gloves. Shame. The year that he blogged he blogged so so well and brought blogging quality way up as a result. I hope we see some more Irish Times bloggers. G’luck with the book Shane!

Happy Birthday Derek.

Happy Birthday John.

Blog Post of the Month for April announced over here in a few hours. May will be announced next week.

I now own, guess where it redirects to?

How IT can help you be Green.

Vote No for Lisbon.

The New York Times is getting an API. Remember that Indo and Irish Times. Maybe RTE will beat them both to an API to their news service? Hah.

Finding “subversives” via Amazon.

The Telegraph outguns the Guardian now. Apparently.

It’s a marketing thing for Ford but I still like Where are the Joneses?

Find music on Muxtape using Muxfind.

Fun with Google and YouTube videos.

Emmet tests an X300 with a cappuccino. I’m currently testing one, I couldn’t be that cruel.

Via Nialler9, Take That covering Smells Like Teen Spirit. Warning Gary Barlow is topless in this. Mind the eyes.

John Cale – Hallelujah

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008