Author Archive

Saul Williams plays Cork tonight

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Spotted the gig via Nialler9.

Cyprus Avenue tonight.

Three Ireland – Banning Irish gay sites for the sake of the children?

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Update @ 18.45: Seems it’s not just Irish gay discussion sites that an over-zealous third party application that Three uses sees fit to censor. Word is that Three are trying to just bin the software now. Vodafone also have banned access to, QueerID and all tame Gay Discussion sites.

Via QueerID

I recently switched my mobile phone from O2 to 3. I soon discovered that certain websites are banned, in fact all “gay” sites which I’ve are inaccessible from my handset.

I called 3 to ask them why this was, and if they could remove the restriction, they said that certain sites are deemed unsuitable for children, and that if they ban these sites for one user they must be banned for all. I explained that I’m over 18 years of age, but they said they they couldn’t remove the filters for just one user. When I asked if this was company policy (I got speaking to a supervisor), he said it was

Three of the main Irish Gay Discussion sites have been banned:, & but I’m sure there’s more than that.

Homophobia in Vilnius
Photo owned by moacirpdsp (cc)

Access, the new ownership?

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

If we live in a world where we don’t fully own our digital content but have full access to ALL digital content, what happens?

Apple has given us iTunes, the iPod, Apple TV and the MacBook Air. All of which hate physical media. Apple helped killed the floppy, they put most momentum into killing the music CD and they’re doing the same for DVDs. And BluRay? Ttheir lack of support for it says it all. Dirty discs don’t suit Apple. Hell, they don’t like the public even accessing the battery part of the iPhone or the MacBook Air. Closed devices are what Apple likes, both in terms of ability to plug something into them as well as making the tech open.

Apple is probably doing more to kill off as much physical media as possible and move all our music and movies on to harddrives and then from there to the “cloud”. With ubiquitous broadband (stop laughing) we’ll be able to stream high quality music and video to our iPods or Apple TVs instead of storing it all on one device. (yeah there will be some local caching) There’s been rumours now and then that Apple wants to go down the subscription model where new iPod owners could get access to all the music they want for the lifetime of the iPod or a yearly subscription means all of iTunes can be accessed for free. All you can consume.

Fred Wilson has a really good and in-depth piece about the moving over from physically owning the CD to streaming of music. Streaming certainly has a strong future.

La Castro Taqueria is changing to Kasa Indian Eatery, it seems.
Photo owned by rick (cc)

JP Rangaswami wrote this the other day on a blog post about collaboration but I think it’s on the money about content property rights turning into access rights in the future:

Or maybe it was because I grew up in Calcutta. Access to material goods seemed a lot more important than ownership of the same goods; possession was a transient concept. It wasn’t your bed, your book, your park bench, your air. You just had passing and temporary rights to it, and the rights would fade as easily as they came to exist.

We’re probably a few years off this but a considerable amount of our media is going to be exclusively digital with just the hyperloyal fans buying the exclusive and therefore pricey physical boxsets and the like. If we only pay for “access” to the music though even for a year or for life, will we devalue the creative process of the content producers or will it mean the loyal fans who buy the boxsets and turn up at the concerts and shows let artists know they’re being appreciated? As an artist with all of the world able to access all of the music in the world, how are you going to get attention? Even more money spent on those marketing sharks or engage in a grassroots type campaign to build recognition? Another question, if people are given access to all the music in the world, can they be temped away from the overly manufactured pop drivel into listening to better quality music since they don’t have to pay to listen to it or try it?

Questions, questions, questions…

Somebody lost his duckie
Photo owned by gawd (cc)

Blog Post of the Month

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Check out the latest Blog Awards mini-trophies:


You too can be the proud owner of one of these if you win the Blog Post of the Month. There are some great blog posts throughout the year that we might just miss when it comes around to Blog Awards time so why not celebrate the Best of Irish Blogs each month?

Head over to the Awards site to find out how to nominate your own or other blog posts. Nominations for April and May are being taken now. One award given each month. If a sponsor wants to get involved in this to also send something nice to the winner, let me know.

Fluffy Links – Tuesday May 13th 2008

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

Wille O’Dea come on down.

Great idea. Use CCTV footage that filmed you to make a music video.

Cloud Cult does art rock with real artists.

Sigur Ros have released Dot, a handy widget for blogs or social networks to show off your fandom of Sigur Ros and get access to new content. More of this.

It’s Facebook’s fault what people do, right?

What a lameass article on why smoking is great. Intelligent reasons could have been given instead of the silly “we’re paying our own health bills via tax takings”.

A MacOS X Twitter screensaver?

Bad words give power, creating new ones is more power. Maybe don’t give the words power?

Sun shades with solar panels. They look like Cobra hoods.

Adam Boulton on the new tacky gifting London Mayor.

Rich tossers and their helicopters (yes I’m totally jealous) if they’re not killing themselves by crashing them they’re landing them on multistory carparks.

Trailer for the movie Point Blank

Via Pedro, a really cool video done on a Mac:

Facebook Search – Again

Monday, May 12th, 2008

I wrote before about how Facebook could beef up their internal search engine and get users used to good internal search and then they could go off and switch on external search too and how it would be more powerful than Google’s search as it would have so much profile data about their users that they could really refine search results. Time is ticking for Facebook on this, Google is battling back now with their profiling work.

I think Facebook, when they attempt to do Internet search will feel the full force of Google’s wealth and impressive collective brain to disrupt and wreck their plans. I’m sure Google has a whole team devoted to wondering what Facebook could do to them. If OpenSocial, their flailing attempt at hitting at Facebook’s growth by offering open alternatives to competitors; is all they can come up with then Facebook shouldn’t worry but I think this ill-thought out programme was a badly implemented 11th hour attempt at slowing Facebook. It’s not worked kids. They’re surely smarting enough now to get the next swipe to be more effective?

Plastic Bags with...Plastic Bags part1
Photo owned by scottwyden (cc)

So why not roll out a basic external search now anyway? Know of any companies hurting over a failed attempt at taking on Google? Oh yeah, Microsoft. They seem to have a lot of money to spend now that Yahoo! has rejected them. Rumours are saying they want to buy Facebook. Not gonna happen. If Microsoft became the external search partner for Facebook though it would be a huge boost. 70M extra and very active customers for Yes please. And all the ads around those searches! If some profile data was shared too for the ad servers – better ads, more money. Maybe this is what they’re negotiating?

Or there’s Yahoo! themselves. In my previous post I said that Facebook could one day buy Yahoo! but in the meantime they could allow Yahoo! to be their external search partner. Years back Yahoo! gave Google a break and used their search tech. Yahoo! had the chance of buying Facebook but now Facebook could give Yahoo! a break and do external search. God knows both companies could do with some real revenue.

Copyright: Amily Gelbman exhibit-5
Photo owned by zeevveez (cc)

Saying that though, Yahoo! seems to have become too aligned with Google of late and Microsoft are really good pals with Facebook at the same time. Search is a core thing needed for any “utility”. Facebook is connecting people and allowing them to share data and content but search is still essential and it’s never going to die.

Fluffy Links – Monday May 12th 2008

Monday, May 12th, 2008

Dermot Ahern, our Minister for Justice wanted the gays to be kept criminalised for their own good a few years back. Will he change his mind now?

Dominic Hannigan meets with Ming’s dad. Nice belt buckle.

How to sell social media to old bosses.

Via Emmet, the online marketing games for Batman go offline too.

Another Labour councillor with a blog, this time Michael O’Donovan. On catpissspot. WordPress multiuser on the main Labour site, no?

What do Americans spend their money on?

Twitter is a blah magnet making the quality of blogging better?

Fantastic mixtape from Nialler, all summery.

Pink boat anyone? Plonked in the middle of a garden show?

A very detailed article about the Gold Farmers for World of Warcraft and other online games.

Flickr user has their stuff nicked by a local TV station, makes noise, TV station makes on-air apology.

15 great examples of Web typography.

The 3 hour journey from Westport to Dublin, done in ten mins:

Sad Kermit singing creep:

Peach Plum Pair

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

Joanna Newsom – Peach Plum Pear

Owen Pallet aka Final Fantasy covering the song in Whelan’s last Christmas:

Post of the week from Darragh.

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

It’s about Pat Ingoldsby. It’s a must read. I’m certainly thinking of stopping and saying hello and getting one of his books now.

Facebook Connect – Is this Beacon 2.0?

Saturday, May 10th, 2008

Some are saying this is something like a version of openID and the current implementations for Facebook Connect are for interacting with your Facebook Friends outside of Facebook. An example is being able to see what your Facebook Friends are doing on DIGG for example.

Abandon aircraft beacon
Photo owned by saschapohflepp (cc)

What they’re saying though is that the apps that you could once run on Facebook only and which could access certain data about you and your friends can now be run on other websites. So external sites/webservices can now access your Facebook data or some of it. Now this is good, it’s almost data portability. But.

Isn’t this going to allow sites to know more about you and so sell more to you? Beacon allows external sites see that you’re a Facebooker and send “stories” (ads) back down your connection and into your news feed for your friends to see. Almost like that Candiru fish in the Amazon that swims up your urethra and feeds off you once inside. With a site using Connect and Beacon, won’t they know even more about you and your friends? Will Connect allow external sites to better display ads to you?

Should Google sign up to Connect?