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Fluffy Links – Thursday February 14th 2008

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

I had a Moot Court exam thing today so was studying a little bit yesterday and so didn’t have time to do the fluffies. So here they are.

Pat Kenny has a blog!

The Tuppenceworth blog are asking for you to send them details about the management fees you pay. Crowdsourcing!

Reuters continue to do clever things. Like OpenCalais.

Bob Woodward speaks at Google. If you don’t know who he is, Google him!

The Jawbone bluetooth headset ad features snogging rugby players. Dieux de Stade they ain’t.

Chris Walken reading a kiddie story:

Via Colm Brophy The new Indiana Jones trailer:

Denis O’Brien does it all and then some!

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

He saved Irish soccer, nothing to do with his hatred of eircom of course, you can get his taxi to the matches, while listening to TodayFM or Newstalk (both his), you can thank him for getting you your job and now he can even get you a date. Rides of all sorts. Anything he can’t do? (Apart from stay in the country long enough to pay taxes)

More from Broadband Bertie

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

800k on broadband, including 90k on mobile broadband. Means we are yadda on OCED table EXCEPT OECD says no to mobile broadband because it’s shit. But why let that get in the way of a good stat that incorrectly boosts our rankings? In fairness I don’t expect Bertie to know this, that’s Lying Ryan’s job and he does it so well. Bertie’s just cogged his default answers. People really are harping on a lot about broadband of late. There’s another special about it on Prime Time tomorrow night as it happens. Ryan is on as is Shane Ross.

Edit: Oh yes and he mentions the National Broadband Scam Scheme saying it will sort the last 10%. What about the other 10% Bertie? The Department seems to have ignored that figure. The National Broadband Scheme is flawed.

● Fluffy Links – Wednesday 13th February 2008

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008


Techludd Limerick is on next week, y’going?

How do you solve a problem like Bertia?

More Bertie.

Tom documented the neverending saga with Blueface.

Are you an advertiser? Maybe you might like to take this survey from Cybercom?

So where’s Harry these days? We miss you!

260 people have registered for the Blog Awards already. Crazy!

So via get up to 5 free Sims from O2 and then you can bring them to Tesco and get 10 euros credit bonus per sim from them.

Soupy Norman Christmas special. The Plank Kenny takeoff is too good.

Via his Jimness, Amy Winehouse at the Grammys. Damn.

The Dublin Business Blogging Course – It shall return!

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

I hope.

So the Cork one is happening, not the Dublin one. Yet. Now, there’s about a dozen very avid people wanting to learn how to blog. I have the list. They email me a lot. Still avid after all these years. All they need is a room with wifi and either pcs/laptops or perhaps they can bring their own. A meeting room costs, what 300 quid for a half day, maybe? Loads of Dublin hotels for that. As per the conditions, I’ll do it for free, no problem with a sponsor providing that the sponsor does not try and give a hard sell of products to the attendees and the attendees are not chosen by the sponsor and it is not billed as XCorps’s Business Blogging Course. Oh and I’m not free til April. God, lots of conditions. You know what I mean though. People should benefit from this without having to have had purchased something. So there you have it. An opportunity to meet 8-12 new businesses or businesses that are obviously open minded about trying something new.

Business Blogging Course in Cork – thanks to SortMyBooks

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

I previously offered to do a business blogging course in Cork and Dublin. The deal was someone else could do the organising. My giving up half a day and teaching people for free was my end of the bargain. We had a venue in Dublin but lack of insurance was an issue so that fell through. Nobody else has offered a venue (and I looked around too) so nothing has happened with Dublin. But tada, SortMyBooks have paid for a room in the Rochestown Park Hotel, in Cork this Saturday for the Cork event. And it’s full! An all woman gig too as it happens. A very good mix of companies and individuals who I hope to see blogging soon after.

The Dublin offer is still there but will not happen until April at the earliest as I have blog awards and all that. Yes, the waiting list still exists too for Dublin. Up to the general public now to make the effort for that one to happen.

The Bertie letters on Newstalk

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

Woah. Are you tuned into OppositionTalkNewstalk this lunchtime? They’ve got hold of all the correspondence between Bertie and the Mahon Tribunal where the Tribunal has pointed out all the times in the Dáil where our glorious leader contradicted his statements to the Mahon Tribunal. They even got in actors playing the solicitors on both sides. Gold. I hope this gets podcasted. The Mahon Tribunal had identified seven different areas of contradiction. Ouch. This is what he’s going to try and stop via his High Court action. These leaks while impressive and damning are getting a bit much and making the tribunal look like a sieve.

● Fluffy Links – Tuesday February 12th 2008

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008


The Dubliner in a very long essay tackles bloggers. You know the top bloggers in Ireland just get a few hundred visitors a day?

Well my iPhone is totally unlocked now and without using Turbosim. And even I managed to do it. Woo.

Prosperity, a media and marketing recruitment company now have a blog. More of this!

So again to remind you. If you want to get press releases and communicate with PR companies, fill in this form. If you are interested in doing adverts on your blog. Try this form.

Jesus Christ Mangastar.

Conor Pope is doing a book on how to save money. He’s going to go all You’re a Star and let the people also contribute.

Barry Egan is on Facebook. Kinda. Maybe not. No.

There’s a blogger meetup thing on in Limerick soon. Head along.

Via Marc Andreessen

Xu Zhijun, chief marketing officer at Huawei Technologies, told the Financial Times that the concerns expressed by some US lawmakers were “bullshit”

Via Seán Bonner: Scary white girl.

Frank Sinatra and Alica Keys at the Grammys 2008

The web hosting wars in Ireland – Popcorn time!

Tuesday, February 12th, 2008

(This post was written during the weekend, well before Digiweb’s CEO sent me a very long email rebuking me for the way I commented about the attitude of one of his employees and telling me how I should report about Digiweb in future. I hope this is not misconstrued as retribution for that bully-like email.)

This really needs someone sadder than me to chronicle all of this because it would make a great damned story. You could even make a TV movie of it with Fair City actors. The hosting providers in Ireland are an interesting bunch. They’re so catty and childish with each other and the bitchfights and electronic slaps make it almost better than some Sky One drama. Hosters wives or something.

Popcorn Guy
Photo owned by m1jp

So the latest bitchathon once again surrounded Hosting365, the undisputed heavyweight of hosting in Ireland and of course the company that gets most attention because of their size. Their chillers went offline the other day and they went all Scottie like, when the data centre couldnae take it anymore and they had to eject the warp core or something. It’s all chronicled here. Update: The 200+ comments on that post have now been deleted.

Digiweb, a mounting competitor with a great track record in broadband has now registereda few perhaps just one domain name which take a few digs at Hosting365. They’ve registered EDIT: 12.25pm While former Hosting365 employees have registered goes to an online excuse generator (In need of copy writer) while goes to a Swedish chef parody thingymabob. I’m sure Hosting365Refugee will soon turn into the Alumni Association type thing that such a domain suggests. Right? 🙂

Hosting365 themselves snapped up Best to be safe I suppose. This is an interesting move by Digiweb though. To me it says to Hosting365 and others who are watching that they will resort to any means necessary to take some of their business but doing something like this also means you are asking for yourself to be open to scrutiny. This too is good. It almost forces transparency for themselves. Transparency is good. Hosting in Ireland is cut-throat and they are firecly competing with each other while looking overseas other providers are offering much better value services than here in Ireland. The cost of power and broadband here is hurting them a good bit. Shame they can’t pool together and lobby the government on these issues instead of stabbing each other with broken bottles of Buckfast.

Still, get the popcorn and watch them have at each other. Midly entertaining.

Big Brother shortchanges small business

Monday, February 11th, 2008

I wrote this piece for the Tribune but the Yahoo! Microsoft hooha happened and so my piece on that went through instead. It might as well get an airing here instead:

Information and data have long been seen as commodities, on a par with oil and gold, yet these days while we have to dig down further for gold and oil will apparently dry up, data is becoming more and more abundant. Lots of this data contains intimate data about us. It is this data that makes Google and Facebook so valuable but now the EU as well as local data protection agencies are starting to question whether they have too much data. Are the EU the good guys though when they themselves want telecoms companies and Internet service providers to track what we do online for their own motives?

Secure Beneath the Watchful Eyes
Photo owned by ToastyKen

Everytime we go online we leave crumbs that can be used to figure out what we’re doing. With the increasing level of interaction with websites and with broadband usage going up we’re spending more time online and those crumbs are turning into whole loaves of information on what we’re doing. This data we leave is very valuable to companies such as Google who use the data they log on our searches to make the search experience better for us as well as using this data to display better ads to us which in turn means they can earn more money when we click on the ads. Facebook use the same idea but instead of search data they use the profile data we volunteer to them. Via Facebook advertisers can send very targeted ads to the 68 Million people on it. Many more websites and web services are basing their business models on the same idea of creating massmarket free services which in turn are paid for by gathering vast amounts of data on users which in turn are used to bother consumers with ads. Ad supported webservices when they have enough signed up users are worth billions, at least on paper.

The EU though is not very happy with the amount and type of information these services store. The EU say they worry for our privacy. Google are currently being investigated by the EU to see have they violated EU privacy laws because of the data they are logging and storing on European citizens. Google have tried to placate the EU by cutting down on the amount of time they store this information about people but so far that’s not enough and the investigation goes on. In the UK the Information Commissioner’s Office are investigating the way Facebook stores information on people and the length of time they retain it and whether they are violating privacy laws. All good. Nothing like healthy scepticism to keep commercial entities from abusing our rights and our privacy but there’s always a but. It appears that the European Commission themselves want as much data as they can about what we do online as well as who we communicate with on the phone. There seems to be a massive disconnect between what the EU allow commercial companies do with our data and what Europe is forcing commercial companies to log about us.

In 2006 the European Data Retention Directive was passed which mandates each EU country to introduce local laws for the storage of telephone data, email and web usage data. This was done for our own security apparently but it will be up to the telecoms companies and Internet service providers to monitor, secure and store the data and pay for it. So while the EU and local data commissioners are investigating commercial companies for storing usage data, the EU themselves are forcing other commercial companies to store usage data on consumers that they can use to monitor us. This Directive will be implemented in the next few weeks in Ireland and our phone and Internet providers will foot the bill, which more than likely will transfer to our own bills.

Sovjet Surveillance
Photo owned by Wrote

It doesn’t just affect the bills of businesses and consumers though. For smaller telcos and service providers, this will make a bigger impact to their bottom line. Data storage equipment and securing this data does not come cheap and for the likes of the smaller wireless Internet service providers that work in rural areas or areas where no other provider will go, they now have even more costs to worry about. While this directive is good business for data storage manufacturers, it is hard to see this as anything but a hindrance to smaller companies that supply Internet connectivity and could dissuade investment in the much needed local Internet service providers who are the only hope for many rural locations. We volunteer our data to Google and Facebook et al in return for free quality services that we can opt-out from at anytime. With Data Retention we can never opt-out and it will cost us all money. Big brother is not good for business.