Author Archive

No Techcrunch I won’t delete my Twitter message

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

After I retweeted something from Pat Phelan about James Whatley quitting Spinvox I got this email from a Techcrunch staffer:

Mate would you mind deleting that tweet? We wrote a pre-emptive story based on an unconfirmed rumour. No idea how it ended up in our RSS feed and James could lose his job.

All best,

Techcrunch who published all those docs on Twitter yeah? And made a big deal about them being allown-up journalists yeah? Yeah, fuck off. Others seem to have gotten shut down on this. Not here. Screenshot too:

No thanks techcrunch

More detailed screenshot.

Google has it too, I expect they’ll get a DM too from Techcrunch.
No thanks techcrunch II

Update: The Techcrunch apology to James Whatley.

Arrr – There be Pirates

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009

Talk like a Pirate Day is on Saturday September 19th all around the world. Some stuff happens in Ireland every year but nothing hugely coordinated compared to the rest of the world. I’ve set up an Irish Talk Like a Pirate Fan page on Facebook. Amazingly over 2000 Irish people have chosen Pirate as their default language on Facebook so maybe we can do something as a group, big or small for that day.

Photo owned by gamaral (cc)

Fluffy Links – Saturday August 1st 2009

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

Happy August!

New Irish blog: The Clink

@burkie is offering free websites to businesses, community groups and personal projects.

Kottke talks about creativity and distance from your area. Trying totally new non-linked things. New rhythms. *Cough*

Russian drunken Yoga.

Google won’t show ads in GMail if you have certain “horror” words in your GMail sig.

Good presentation from Paul on getting the most out of Twitter for your business.

Took me 14 years but I finally watch that exploding whale video:

10 year old Limerick Girl will kick your ass in Rubick’s

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

Can you do this? Looking at you Gav.

Oh my god, is Mulley being sexist again? : eyesroll :

Let a woman become a priest and this is what happens

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

This video is everywhere, I’m probably the last to see it and blog about it:

I actually consider this to be a bit vulgar and it’ll date in weeks, not even months.

Fluffy Links – Tuesday 28th July 2009

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Are you a social media expert or jester?

1916 – The Musical.

Death, taxes and Census Pro, the blog of Brendan Brady.

Via the Reelgood blog. The Blank marketing video. is a consumer website which shows Irish consumers how they can obtain better value for everyday goods and services.

Business Mentor Blog from RTE’s “The Business” show.

Status Search. No, not that kind of status. Search for your friends’ status updates.

YouTube encourages open stats.


Via his Missus, new Jay Electronica:

Glimpse of Sufjan Steven’s new release. deathwatch

Monday, July 27th, 2009

Is on the way out? Surely not.

BT Ireland pulls out of consumer biz, Vodafone takes customers

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

BT Ireland and Vodafone today confirmed that BT Ireland is moving their consumer division to Vodafone while they will remain working on what is their core businesses these days, which is infrastructure and managing network builds and networks for other companies.

Details from the press release:
BT will transfer its consumer and small business broadband and voice customer base to Vodafone and will also provide wholesale network services to underpin Vodafone’s business over a seven-year period.

Agreement positions Vodafone as the clear no 2 in the fixed market with over 170,000 fixed customers and a 15% market share of the fixed broadband market

Over 84,000 consumers and 3,000 small businesses currently with BT will transfer to Vodafone over the next several months. (Small businesses are those with 6 telephone lines or less)

BT plans to unbundle another 58 exchanges in Ireland

A small number of BT employees are expected to transition to Vodafone under the terms of the agreement.

The Irish Times had this story last Saturday and some details from it include:

The transfer would involve BT’s residential fixed-line customers and broadband subscribers. The company has a 13 per cent share of the fixed-line market and a 9 per cent share of broadband, according to the latest statistics from ComReg.

BT’s consumer business accounts for just 6 per cent of revenues but delivered a “strong set of results”, according to the British company at the publication of its full-year results in May.

It’s long been rumoured that BT Ireland would pull out of consumer and this deal is comfortable for them, their customers and for Vodafone.

BT Ireland are very good at building and running networks. Infrastructure and services is what makes them nearly all the money in Ireland. Despite trying the consumer area and merging Esat Clear, Oceanfree and IOL into a consumer division, they never made huge inroads. It didn’t help that the margins for these services are absolutely tiny, almost zero, and there have been years of constant battles with eircom and the regulator to get better prices and probably more importantly, better switching provisions for potential customers. I’m sure there’s huge relief now in BT Ireland.

It’ll be interesting to see how Vodafone runs with this now as Perlico under the Vodafone ownership still appeared to be very independent. Will BT Ireland broadband packages remain unchanged, will Vodafone and Perlico packages change to be the same as BT Ireland ones?

Some questions and answers too:

Will any jobs be lost with the moving and merging of the BT consumer operations with Vodafone?
No – all Rep of Ireland employees working in the transferring businesses will transfer across to Vodafone under the TUPE process.

Will BT Ireland still unbundle exchanges and if yes and manage them or will Voda do this in future, if BT then will Vodafone be the one reselling the services exclusively or will BT offer them to others?
BT will be unbundling and managing up to 58 new exchanges (to add to the current 22), offering a competitive wholesale platform for the first time in the Irish marketplace, which covers up to two thirds of the available broadband lines.

How long will the BT packages customers are on, be honoured for?
Nothing will change for BT’s customer base in the short to medium term – BT and Vodafone will be managing a smooth transition of the base over the coming months, enabling an improved portfolio of converged products and services to these customers.

Fluffy Links – Wednesday July 22nd 2009

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Fergal points out this is a time of magical thinking. And magical solutions. Many magic purveyors charge fantastic prices…

Miriam O’Callaghan has fans.

Make a short film on Democracy & Dialogue and you could win a state of the art Hi-Def camera and have your work screened at this year’s Darklight Film Festival. See the Darklight site for details.

The Institute of International and European Affairs has a new website. Cleaner, meaner and lots more content. Fair play.

Unclasses. Love the idea of these. Teach people your skills.

Tractor! Win! A! Massey!

Opera Face gestures.


Impractical but fun. A door turns into a ping pong table. Every kid and grown-up kid wants this kind of stuff.

Wallets with a baby picture are 90% likely to be returned if lost (vs. 30% for no picture).

Creedence Clearwater Revival: Bad Moon Rising

The Government’s Smart Economy hoopla

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

A packed Government Press Room, full of suits slapping each other on the back on how wonderful they all are, interspersed with some people from the media. So 94 pages of words were released today in the form of a report called “Technology Actions to Support the Smart Economy”. Get it here.

Already we’re in PR overdrive with 300 jobs announced today and Minister Ryan saying they might even have been conservative with the 10s of 10,000s of jobs to be created around this. If we honestly counted all the numbers of jobs meant to be created there’d probably be about a million more than the population can sign up to. And these Jobs he stated, would include builders building offices for companies. Right, despite there 1000s of buildings in Dublin alone newly built or renovated and being idle. Straw, grasp.

We could all do without the bullshit and inflated job numbers. That we are addressing digital issues is great, let’s do that without point scoring or headline grabbing. We need to move from dying manufacturing to an economy where we process and create digital goods.

So what was the announced?

The Exemplar Smart Communications Network
A new high speed next generation network. They actually said it was an NGN. In actuality it’s no more than a test track for networking technologies. Ryan makes it sound like this will allow Ireland to have digital hubs everywhere and suggests it’ll be great for industry. I don’t see how as this is not a network going around the country, it’s not even going from point A to B, it reads like it’s just going to be a test network in a college. Pages and pages of guff talking about this. And then could and would are brought in. There are no definites, the report just says the tech from the test network could be used on Government networks. it could be expanded into population centres. How exactly when the Government said they’re not investing in NGN?

Data Centres that are green and cloud computing
The report then goes on to tell us that the future ins in cloud computing Web 3.0 (semantic web) and virtualisation. Handy that the DCENR official that was in charge of this said Microsoft had a very heavy influence in putting this together. Microsoft get a few pages of praise on their new datacentre in Ireland as do CIX who helped campaign for the Green Party in the local and European elections (see them in the Green Party election ad). There’s talk about some green data centre standard too. Just talk mind.

International Content Services Centre
Now this is where it gets murky. They want to set up the equivalent of the IFSC but for content. I don’t think they know exactly how that works. Store your content in Ireland and have people work on it. They mentioned there are issues with copyright though. Really? No! Dublin based too. One would think with a country where every inch is covered by broadband according to the Minister, that geography don’t get in the way of digital. Lawyers and IP experts were mentioned a lot. It really felt like Ireland will be digital shylocks or debt collectors with such a Government policy of supporting DRM. From the report

Offices of legal firms with particular specialisation in global digital right management and intellectual property.

If done right, we can make the Pirate Bay and the movie companies become best buds.

Yet, here we go again. Where’s the API for Government data? Where’s the access to the vast RTE archive with good licensing deals for outside companies to make something new with this material? That’s real life data right there, not wishes and this apparently was not considered by the brain trust who put this report together.

Smart Electrical Grid
Not my area, no commentary. Smart grid = efficient grid, surely that should always be the aim. If you think about it, this is merely an upgrade anyway as progress marches forward, yet here it’s a big thing. The ESB upgrade their network and use the tech that’s being used elsewhere.

Traffic Flow
Traffic management systems. Uhm. Pie in the sky stuff about consumers routed around congestion spots.

Smart Bay
A research project on Galway Bay. Ok…

This whole initiative is manipulation of numbers and ideas. There’s a long list of people in public and private industry who put this report together. I hope they’re happy that they got their agendas in while making it sound like this is meant to be good for Ireland. The usual “people talk this stuff down to much” was uttered. Stop lying to us and we’ll talk up the good stuff.

John’s take.