Author Archive

Want a slice of reality cake with your overpriced coffee?

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Last week Limerick Open Coffee did a live “TV” stream from their event. People tuned in as the Auctomatic lads talked about the land of Silicon Valley with the roads made from carbonfibre and a VC at every streetcorner giving out lollipops wapped in million dollar notes. Ok, not exactly, but they gave an interesting talk and that made the live TV stream interesting. It was FAR from revolutionary. The revolution was the new communications layer that happened in Ireland. Live TV without a national broadcaster or broadcasting licence and better than RTE as there was interactivity with this live coverage and all that was needed was a net connection, a laptop and a video camera on one end and a browser on the viewer end. 2000 employees and 100s of Millions of investment, not needed. That’s the revolution bit.

James and Bernie quoted my comments about it.

The event was replicated in Dublin today and I really wonder why, though everyone else thinks it was the greatest thing ever, judging by the Twitter love and comment love. It brought nothing to the table at all. The Limerick event showed what could be done and the special guests made it worth watching. Just like blogging, podcasting and all the other new communication layers and platforms, just because it is there does not mean it is suited for everyone. As Conn himself said:

If has taught me anything, it’s that not everything is worth broadcasting! Robert Scoble figured this out early on, and soon began to keep his live broadcasts for special events. And last Thursday’s OpenCoffee Limerick was undoubtedly special – and certainly worth sharing with others.

I tuned in today, just again to see how well could the livestream and interactivity work but switched off quickly enough. Anyone who tuned into the whole Dublin event must have a lot of time on their hands or an employer who doesn’t mind employees watching something that steals their life for while. I find TV very boring but bloody hell, this is much much worse than that. Maybe Ustream needs two revolutions, one for the infrastructure and the next will be to stream something that will interest more than a clique. James, after attending the Limerick event gives sage advice for future UStreams.

You’re a Star or whatever that drivel is on RTE show shows in the opening rounds stthat not everything should get broadcast. Please god don’t do the same for Open Coffee. The Bebo of live streaming. Apparently Cork Open Coffee tomorrow is going to be streamed too. Hopefully less over-the-top ohMyGoshness over that and hopefully not a regular thing unless there is some kind of special guest every time or a script.

Guest Post: Irish Flirty Something – Beacon

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give to you another guest blogger – Flirty Something, if you like her writing, then visit her blog and subscribe.


Most bloggers write about serious matters like technology or politics. I focus on much more important issues such as how to score a (decent) bloke in Dublin. Sometimes I diversify into stories about friends or living in ‘Celtic Tiger 2.0’, but generally it’s about being single in Ireland.

Mr. Blog Oracle thought that some of his readers may be interested in such rantings and has invited me to post on his page. Now this is curiously fortuitous as I have been looking for an opportunity to relate the following tale, but promised my friend I wouldn’t post it on my site. Technically I’m not breaking that promise.

Last month I was due to spend a girlie weekend with my old school friend; we’ve been inseparable since school. Sadly she moved on and got married to her very wealthy husband, relocated to a posh address and insisted on changing her name from Helen to Helena. Thankfully there are some upsides to her new status. Her very kind hubbie decided to treat us to a weekend in Monart, while he buggered off with the kids to Kelly’s Resort. Naturally Helen(a) was wildly excited at the prospect of a child-and-husband-free weekend (which sums up most of them for me). If you knew the kids and husband you’d understand why.

I arrived up to the cobble-lock of Helen(a)’s house on Saturday morning. After ringing the bell for some time Helen(a) eventually answered. She wasn’t wearing any make-up. I’ve known her 30 years and I think it was the first time I’d observed her without full war paint. It was like seeing the Taj Mahal up close and realising it was made from ear wax, amazing but slightly disturbing. Something was obviously very wrong. I was ordered to bring her to ‘The Beacon Hospital’ immediately. Granted Helen(a) goes to great lengths to visit the newest, coolest place in town, but this was definitely pushing it – more hip replacement than new and hip. Pulling up at ‘The Beacon’, we were ushered through A&E quicker than you could say “of course I’m a member”.

Thirty minutes later I was called to the bedside and found Helen(a) looking even worse. She had managed to apply a quick coat of lipstick but nothing can really counter hospital white. The doctor ( who happened to look like a boy band singer, but in a pin stripe suit ) told me that Helen(a) had suspected appendicitis and needed to get a scan and potentially an operation. This was a serious stuff. I wanted to call the family, but was ordered to wait until the results were back. Sixty minutes and many swipes of the credit card later a prognosis was delivered.

Now I’m not a ‘hold hand’ kind of gal, but as that’s what they always do in medical dramas I figured it was best to imitate. Sadly there was no background music of Artic Monkeys or Snow Patrol to accompany the medical mini-drama moment. Gazing deeply into the doctor’s eyes he told me in his sober, but sexy consultant tones that Helen(a) was … severely constipated. This did somewhat ruin the moment. The good news was that after years of telling her she was full of shit – finally I was right ( insert own colon related joke; we’ll get to the end of this, I couldn’t give a shit and neither can you etc ).

Despite claiming she had no idea how it happened, I knew that her bizarre no carb, Chinese tea and herbal supplement diet was a pretty considerable contributing factor. The rest of the night was spent waiting for her to get very expensive enemas and laxatives. A bit of a bummer (sorry). On the plus side she did check out far cleaner than Monart ever could have achieved and for much the same price. Even better I managed to get the doctor’s number. A very happy ending for all.


Check out the latest exploits of Flirty Something at

Irish Tech Company Profiles – 26 now profiled

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

The next 9 profiles sent in via my Tech Profile form are:

Blacknight Internet Solutions
Random Good Services
Poll Daddy
Vertical Communications
Direction Research Group
RedFly LTD

Fill in this form if you want to be profiled. Dedicated site for the profiles will go live in September.

Fluffy Links – Thursday August 16th 2007

Thursday, August 16th, 2007

Ireland’s first ever Twitter users meetup is on tonight. Next time if it is on a weekend, the rest of us non-Dublin folks could come along.

Y’know yer man that mooned some important person’s gaff in Senegal? (Could I get more obtuse) Green Ink wants to start a campaign to get him released. This is yer man’s Bebo.

Paige gets into management consultant mode.

Hah and hah hah.

Twitter saves TinyURL?

Frank Black – Rockafeller Skank.

Listening to Phantom a lot of late and hearing a guy called The Mighty Stef. Love his/their new song – Poisonous Love:

Very surprised that this is the next release from the Chems. Great tune though. The Chemical Brothers – Salmon dance

There’s a comp too where you an upload your own video and you might win some tickets to a show.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday August 15th 2007

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

I just found this now. This post, I had thought, went out this morning. Guess not.

Charlie Brown characters done in manga.

It is evil of me and yes I’m going to hell but I couldn’t stop laughing at this story.

Miss Coton is now suing the firm, TVX Films of Texas, after she complained and received an email blaming her for disappointing sales of the DVD, her lawyer Richard Harrison said.

Paige has moved. Update bookmarks. Do we still use them?

Nice recent interview with William Gibson.

Scoble interviews IBM’s top IP lawyer.

I notice some free stats crowds are sneakily adding links into their code to boost Google rankings. Boo!

Via Una and Nialler and loads more:

Speak – the Hungarian Rapper

Liars – Plaster Casts Of Everything

Guest Post: Deborah Hadley – Cooking!

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

First let me say what an honour it is to be guest blogging on such a prestigious blog! Never mind following someone as infamous as The Swearing Lady! I don’t know where to start!

My name is Deborah and I am primarily a food blogger at The Humble Housewife, but I also contribute to The Frugal Tiger, a blog highlighting ways to save money in daily life. Like the Swearing Lady, I too hate my online name. I picked it for the sheer irony, I am neither humble nor a good housewife, but alas it has stuck, and invites a whole host of fundamental Christians to my site, which needless to say can be quite a treat!

Originally from Clonsilla, I left Ireland in 1989 and spent 11 years in the states and 5 years in Belgium to return in 2005 with my American husband! I learned lots of dubious things during my time in America. For instance, did you know World War II started in 1941? Me neither, but apparently the Michigan Department of Education seems to think so! That aside, I did learn some important life lessons, one of them being the art of grilling – or barbecue as we might call it here.

Granted, the weather of late has not exactly been conducive to barbecuing, but that’s something an indoor grill pan can easily remedy! Since coming back to Ireland I’ve been greatly disappointed with the barbecue selection. Anything pre marinated at the Butchers is either bright pink or brown, neither colours I prefer to see on my meat! In the states I always bought KC Masterpiece, a standard Barbecue sauce from Kansas City, Missouri, the self-proclaimed Barbecue capital of the world. My husband is from St. Louis, not so far away so I guess I’ll agree with said proclamation.


I found a couple of barbecue sauces in the supermarket including a nefarious Heinz version and knew there was nothing I could do but come up with my own. After months of experimenting I have finally found the perfect blend. It’s based on a St. Louis recipe, but I feel that real barbecue should be smoky, hence the smoked paprika. It’s aptly called two brew barbecue sauce! I have been told this is so good I could market it, but instead I think I’ll share it, so the rain soaked bloggers of Ireland can get a real taste of barbecue. It’s sweet, spicy and smoky – what more could you want?

Deborah’s Two Brew Barbecue Sauce


  • 2 cups* tomato ketchup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup lager
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder, to your taste
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika**
  • Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer for about an hour until slightly
    reduced and thickened. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use
    within a month.

    * 1 cup = 8 fluid ounces / 237ml

    ** If you can’t find this, leave it out, don’t substitute normal paprika

    Well, that’s just great you say, but what on earth do I do with it?

    You can use it to marinate drumsticks, chicken fillets, pork chops, chicken wings, steak, ribs, or whatever meat you like.

    This is great with steak, albeit in small amount. Of course I suppose it could really enhance a bad steak!

    For perfect ribs, I boil the ribs for a couple of hours, until the meat is fork tender, then marinate in the sauce for about twenty minutes and grill, basting with the sauce.

    Add a few ounces to your chili to get a nice hint of sweetness, and add a lovely smokiness.

    Make a barbecue chicken pizza!
    Instead of tomato sauce, use barbecue sauce as the base, top with a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheese, red onions, fresh coriander and cooked chicken. Divine!

    Use it as a dipping sauce with chicken nuggets.

    The possibilities are endless!

    So Damien wanted something different, and I daresay he got it. I’d say it will be while before there’s another recipe on his blog. Thanks for having me Damien. I hope people will try this delicious sauce. It could revolutionize our perception of grilling – ok, maybe not, but it’s worth a shot!

    Goodbye telecoms resellers, hello barriers to entry – ComReg consumer moves will give eircom more business?

    Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

    Many will remember the whole fuss last year when eircom cut off Smart telecom after they didn’t pay their bills. About 45,000 people were without a phone service. Well now ComReg want to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again and fair play to them for doing so. They want to put in conditions that will make telcos step forward if they might see a potential disconnection of their service and also make the potential disconnectors tell ComReg. In other words, if these conditions were in place last year, Smart would have had to tell ComReg and eircom would have had to tell ComReg that a disconnection was imminent. The conditions mean that a kind of backup/migration process needs to be in place for this cutoff. All good, right? This is what ComReg say on the matter:

    While the Commission for Communications Regulation (‘ComReg’), as regulator of the sector, cannot have any operational responsibility for service delivery to consumers, it does have certain powers, which are discussed in this paper, which can go some way to mitigating the worst impacts of service disruption or, at least, creating greater certainty as to what happens in the event of service disruption.

    this paper sets out proposals as to when and in what circumstances ComReg and consumers should be notified of potential service disruption. It proposes that all operators should use reasonable endeavours to minimise service disruption and that all operators should have a disruption minimisation plan.

    Now consider one of these new policies:

    If ComReg has prior notice of the possibility of cessation of services (as is provided for in proposed conditions 18.5, 18.6, 18.7, 18.8 and 18.9), ComReg can take appropriate steps in advance of any cessation to ensure consumer protection. For example ComReg may feel it is appropriate to take steps to warn consumers of the possibility that service might be disrupted, ensure that consumers retain a publicly available electronic communications service for a period and facilitate as seamless a change over to alternative suppliers as possible. It is essential for consumer protection that ComReg has as much visibility and control of the ceasing of the service as possible to ensure, where possible, some protection to those consumers receiving the service is provided.

    Playing advocate here, a little. What if you were the little telco who could and due to some screw up your cash flow is shite this month but past history shows you are doing well and always pay your bills, though a little late. You are now eating more and more into eircom’s market and then they notify you and ComReg that they are cutting you off. With this rule ComReg could come along and force you to switch all your customers over to eircom. Right? Or they don’t but all your customers and the public are now learning that you are on shaky ground. Reputation ruined?

    And from the language used, it seems that if you have a pay dispute with your landlord or with the E.S.B., ComReg have a right to know about this as it *could* impact on business too. Should ComReg know about every money aspect of a company?

    I remember the story of a large supermarket chain who would not pay their suppliers to the end of the month and then used to stretch it a bit more and more and as a result they were able to squeeze more discounts out of the suppliers who feared bankruptcy. Clever. Couldn’t the same happen here with eircom or another large wholesaler allowing a (minor to them) debt build up and then pulling out the rug?

    With the fact that this can happen, this will surely discourage new entrants to the market? Reminds me of the bond that Bupa and Vivas need before they can operate, something VHI does not need. Or will this make the existing and new players financially and functionally more stable?

    I genuinely commend ComReg wanting to make sure people retain a proper phone/broadband service but I wonder will this get twisted/corrupted?

    Being more like the Valley – Kill off E.I. and CEBs?

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

    A return once again to the whole idea of making Ireland more like Silicon Valley. If we didn’t have Enterprise Ireland helping out companies and we didn’t have the County Enterprise Boards doing the same with feasiblity grants and so forth, would this be better in the long run? Would it make companies be more aggressive at turning a buck faster, would it allow companies to concentrate more on their product developments instead of spending their time filling out forms and drawing down scraps and attending courses that are completely useless to them?

    I’ve read a lot of blog posts and heard a lot of private commentary about how time consuming Enterprise Ireland funding is and whether it is worth it in the end. I’ve also seen the attitude of some (and experienced it with some Paddy’s Valley applicants) that E.I. is some kind of piggy bank and should hand over cash without question when the paw is stuck out. Why the hell should E.I. pay for people to go to Silicon Valley just because it’s a good idea?

    However, if E.I. was removed from the picture, would angels and smaller fund V.C.s move into the vacuum? Would you have more VCs in the market then and would there be more of a chance of good companies getting funding insted of ok companies who know how to deal with red tape? Or would everything here just die? In an odd twist it seems the imminent success of the Collison brothers and Auctomatic is being used to slag off E.I. – The lads did not get turned down by E.I. as some have misinterpreted, they just decided to follow a different path for funding (and glory 🙂 ) and went off and got Y Combinator funding in the States.

    With less of a safety net with E.I. and Enterprise Boards, would this be better or worse?

    Guest Post: Damian O’Broin from Ask Direct – Why do you do what you do?

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

    Damian O’Broin works with Ask Direct. He is the second guest blogger this week:


    Why do you do what you do?

    It was never supposed to be this way. By my 37th birthday I should’ve been nicely settled in some professorship position having already bagged that Nobel prize for physics.

    And failing that, surely I’d be sitting in my Dalkey mansion, counting my gold discs and leafing through the scrapbooks of critical acclaim from rock jouros the world over.

    But no, here I am trying to keep a small business going with one hand, while trying to change the world by raising piles of money for progressive causes with the other. Hmmm. So why do I do what I do?

    To explain. I run a fundraising and marketing agency for non-profits. I have no marketing qualifications. But I have read one of Seth Godin’s books. Ireland has no recognised fundraising qualifications. Although I do have nearly 15 years experience in non-profit communications, which I suppose counts for something.

    The short answer, if it doesn’t sound too twee, is that I want to change the world. There’s a million things that make me angry, upset, outraged. And a million more that I know we could do better, quicker, fairer.

    And I enjoy my job. On several levels.

    I’m honoured to be able to use what talent I have to help organisations I believe in – groups like the Irish Hospice Foundation, Women’s Aid, Friends of the Earth and Barretstown – to raise more money and win new supporters. And conversely, that means I don’t have to sell my soul to The Man.

    I love the challenge of constantly trying to produce work that’s better than what we’ve done before.

    And I love the thrill of running my own business. Building and creating an enterprise that will – hopefully – grow and develop and provide for my family for years to come.

    So it’s not a vocation. It’s a job, a career. Not that different to any other trade or profession. And there are times when I think I’d get lots of satisfaction from carpentry or organic farming – if I wasn’t such a city-boy who can’t cut a mortise joint to save his life.

    So why do you do what you do?

    Do you do what you want to do?


    Don’t forget to subscribe to and visit Ask Direct.

    Indo gets tired of waiting for Blogorrah, starts own blog

    Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

    Though it is a Sports blog. Nice to see the Indo get into blogging though and good to see a fair bit of content on the blog already. Welcome to the Blog O’Sphere Peter Bills. I note by the subdomain that we can probably expect more blogs too.