Archive for the ‘irishblogs’ Category

eircom’s music store

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Update: Website is live. (reviews are imported in from, please use LouderVoice!)

Met some nice people from eircom recently who told me about their future broadband plans as well as their plans for content. Not one of them wore a tie by the way. eircom will be relaunching their new music store very soon and from what I’m told it’s being built using lots of web 2.0 goodness. They’re also using a well-known and respected Irish company to design the store. Nice to see young local companies being used. They’ll be launching IPTV next year and are doing deals with media producers to get channels on the service as well as selling/renting movies and videos.

What I’m liking most about all of this is that the people looking after these areas are very enthusiastic and definitely are unlike the old eircom where the attitude seemed to be reject the new and hold on to the old ways as much as you can. Love that they are using the Last.FM engine to make recommendations to people. “If you like this, you’ll probably like this”. Better than Amazon’s recommendations based on purchases alone. They’re also getting the idea of the long tail by going around and trying to get as much local talent on to the store as possible. Perhaps they’ll add a podcast section some day? I asked them the dodgy DRM question and for labels that insist on it, they’ll use it but a lot of their music will be DRM-free. Universal looks to be on the way of getting rid of DRM completely anyway and yeah, they should be able to offer more content than iTunes because of that Universal/Apple spat.

Here’s some of the features:

  • The music channel will carry music from all the major labels, plus international and Irish independents, offering the widest range of products in Ireland – 800k tracks at launch; 7k videos, 27k polyphonic ringtones, 8k realtones.
  • Also features music news, album reviews, plus an Ireland-wide music events guide
  • In partnership with, the channel will include free MP3s, videos, and a 24/7 streaming music player.
  • Music store Includes music recommendations from, a media player where users can compile sample playlists, and 30sec samples before you buy
  • Channel will offer the widest range of download types in the Irish market place. Customers can download in multiple formats – to pc, to mobile, dual download (simultaneously to pc and mobile), video, real tones & poly tones and wallpaper.
  • I’d love to see what it looks like at the end of the day. Right now I can’t access the music section on with Firefox or Internet Explorer due to some overzealous scripts saying I don’t have the right version of IE and Windows Media player. That’s not good. Lastly, eircom are turning up at more and more tech events like BarCamps and Open Coffees and want to meet local tech companies. Do say hello to them, you might get some work from them!

  • Customers can pay for downloads by either credit card or through premium rate SMS
  • Entire EMI catalogue is DRM-free, so there are no restrictions on usage
  • DRM-enabled tracks can be burnt to CD or transferred to appropriate media players

Facebook Groups – Will they take on Google Groups?

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Google Groups I must say are really impressive. Google made a great service when they bought DejaNews back in 2001. Yahoo! Groups are also another good mailing list and group discussion service but with so many people creating Facebook Groups for anything and everything, you have to wonder will this be the next area of Facebook that will start to be taken seriously by Facebook. Right now it’s awful to use and manage. There’s no wall activity to let you know people have contributed to group discussions without you going off to check it out. A right pain when you are subbed to a lot of groups.

If Facebook get their groups sorted, it could mean even more opportunities to get people to use their service, especially if they allow business people to sub and contribute by email.

Hopefully with this new cash injection they’ll start improving their existing offerings while bringing out new services too. With the MS money maybe they’ll do the following:

  • Messaging service improvements
  • Create a Facebook IM service. A few blogs have mentioned this and it makes perfect sense really. Now, if they based this on Jabber it’d be fantastic. Maybe with their cash they’ll buy Meebo?
  • Roll out a contextual ad system based on ALL of that profile data they’ve been logging.
  • Fix up Facebook groups so businesses will start using them. And then to annoy Google even more, allow selective indexing of the front page of the groups, like selective indexing of Facebook profiles.
  • Enable outside search.
  • Enable outside advertising.

Fluffy Links – Thursday November 1st 2007

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

Happy November everyone! Just a few fluffies:

One for the Road now lives here. Update bookmarks etc. etc.

Ace Internet Marketing move on to saying Daithi defamed them. Don’t you feel all left out that you didn’t one of these special emails?

Nice Halloween pics from Red Mum.

It seems more and more companies are blocking me thanks to Webmarshal. I’m banned in schools too.

More foodies. Food Lorists.

The Interesting conference idea goes to Oz.

Irish Blogger stats – Using Technorati, Feedburner and Google Reader

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Justin Mason has a handy service which matches bloggers from the list on with their Technorati rank. Now either using their Feedburner stats (if they have them) or Google reader I’ve created a very rough estimate of the total feed audience for the “Top Ten” Irish Blogs. Perhaps with the Google Reader API, the Technorati list could also be updated to include feed subscriptions?

1 883
2 534 + 712 (two feedburner feeds)
3 59 + 43 + 8 (RSS ATOM RDF)
4 13
5 31 + 906
6 727
7 8 + 76
8 852
9 590 + 235 Atom RDF
10 415

So it’s called Open Social? The facebook “killer” from Google?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Via Om Malik, more details on the Google Social Network thingy. The most interesting thing for me is this:

Google will announce its new social networking initiative, Open Social on Thursday. Joining Google and its Orkut social network are other partners such as XING, Friendster, hi5, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Newsgator and Ning.

Probably the most important one there is LinkedIn.

More on Techcrunch.

Additional comment: Funny how now all the underdogs are teaming up to try and challenge Facebook. Now if only Google’s competitors did the same in the search and ad space. 🙂

Fluffy Links – Wednesday 31st October 2007

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Shite. Tom’s moving to Spain. Best of luck mate. Send me gaspacho frequently!

Galway Open Coffee morning details.

Watch live Wikipedia edits on a map of the world.

Reminded of any org?

German old geezer “playboy” sues 19 year old because she didn’t sleep with him when he brought her out on the town.

France are going to DNA test people trying to bring in “family” after being granted asylum. Who’s next?

I’m giving a talk in Soho over breakfast. It’ll be about social networking. Do come along. November 20th

No podcast support on the iTouch Music store?

Facebook have a platform as does mySpace as does .. Damien Mulley? Nominated for Best Blogging Platform at the Golden Spiders.

Speaking of which. Eoghan does a good analysis of the sites shortlisted. 94% fail to validate to W3C standards? Eoghan should press release his findings. 🙂 This is also funny.

Love this pencil sharpener.

Via Darragh:

Labour, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and the Greens – Where are their samesex employee benefits?

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

So Labour reintroduces the Civil Union Bill tomorrow. (Suzy has a nice post about Ciarán Cuffe rolling over, shame, I thought he was the most transparent Green but what he said today was guff) Just wondering since Labour, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin and the Greens voted for the Civil Union Bill in February, whether they have policies for employees in samesex relationships? Healthcare, pension rights, you know, that kind of thing. Whatever the partner of a married staff member gets, I assume they cater for the samesex partner of a staff member too. I am positive they do, leading by example and all that. Right? Can anyone point me to any information the parties have on that? Plenty of fanboys and girls from all those named parties visit this blog so I’m sure you can root out the standard employment contracts from these parties. Or maybe some of the people in the media that dip in here now and then could put on their sleuthing caps and smoke their pipes and find out? Not those pipes, thems are for after work.

Ace Internet Marketing – How about NOT stealing my content?

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Ta very much lads. It’s not just me either who have been wholesale copied and pasted.

Update: Seems they’ve read this post now after seeing the trackbacks. I contacted you earlier today lads. Get the lead out.

Update 2: They’ve stopped infringing my copyright but are still stealing content from everywhere else. How much should I charge for use of my content for the past 6 hours?

Update 3: It seems it was the fault of their outsourced people. From an email:

We outsource some of our content creation to two separate companies in India, they create original content and also use republished content from sources that allow republication. I know that this is not the case with your content and that a mistake was made by the individual concerned. In fairness i dont think anything underhanded was intended as she actually credit your site with the content and also you as the author.

This though is untrue. I’ve taken the time (since I’m nice like that) to contact all those who have had their content republished. I can’t find any of them allowing for republication and attribution should at lease contain a working link if they did allow it. This is a wreckless attitude and an Irish business, especially one involved in Internet Marketing should know how copyright works.

Update: Ace Internet Marketing have instructed me that I’m posting defamatory statements here and are suggesting they might take action. They are also telling me to stop publishing excerpts of their emails to me. I’ll honour the latter for future emails. In other news I’m already hearing back from others I’ve contacted who feature on the Ace Internet Marketing “blog”. Stay tuned folks.

Update: Aidan Doran has admitted via email that he is Paul. His IP has been banned from my blog.

Yet another update: Now another anonymous person from a anon proxy address is leaving abusive comments. An IP address that has left nasty comments on Daithí’s blog too.

The Google PC future? Free PCs and broadband from Google

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

It’s becoming more and more obvious that Google, while not jumping directly into the consumer hardware market is doing their best to influence the structure of the web and computing devices by giving away hardware designs for power supplies for PCs, releasing papers on harddrive faults, helping the people with mySQL and very possibly releasing specs and software for others to build mobile phones. We’re now seeing super-cheap desktop PCs as well, such as the Green PC for 100 dollars and maybe Google will even release an operating system for PCs, though more than likely it’ll just be gateway software to the online world. Their biggest moves so far do seem to be on the gateway to the Google computing cloud. They’re still building out their datacentres all around the world. They’ve provided access to their systems via APIs (not great ones though), they’re building serious fibre backbones, so eventually they are going to be getting closer and closer to our homes or our computing devices. It would almost make sense for them to refine the Google access process even more if they could influence your PC and your line from your home (or location with mobile broadband) so what if they partnered with companies to give away free subsidised computers and broadband? Here’s one take:

Welcome to 2009 in Ireland.

People are walking into their local PC World and Dixons and buying the Google PC for 100 euros. They bring it home and plug it into their broadband connection and away they go surfing the net. The box is a simple device that has no DVD drive, it has three USB slots, a connection for a monitor and an ethernet connection.

Specs of the Google PC:

  • Mini-PC, barebones, runs silent.
  • 3 USB slots.
  • Ethernet slot.
  • Card reader.
  • No DVD.
  • 200 GB HD.
  • Runs Google Vision Operating System
  • You supply the monitor.

Google Vision
Google Vision is the stripped down, web-centric operating system from Google. You can install simple Google Applications on the computer which you can only download after they have been verified by Google. The operating system is highly secure and has a built-in anti-virus system though since all your documents and data are stored online anyway (though synced offline) it doesn’t matter so much and Google Vision so far has proved to be one of the most secure and virus-free operating systems ever. It will also roam with you so that wherever you go, you will have the same interface and it even has an interface for your phone so you can access all your data that way. Applications can be installed on the machine and all settings are stored online as well as offline, so if you move to a new country, you buy your PC there and everything is installed for you on first sign-in. Google provides an API for the Google PC but it is very limited.

Get the Google PC and broadband for free.
Broadband providers are also “selling” the Google PC, by which I mean, you get a free broadband connection and a free PC if you sign up to their phone package. There’s no hidden costs. This makes them money as they have a revenue share with Google on any ads you click on when you surf the net with the Google PC. Due to the profile the telco has on you, which they share with Google, ads are now VERY local. Your local butcher around the corner can now advertise to you. Hyper-local-ads means ad costs are higher than ever but it also gets better sales, which means much better revenue for Google, your telco and the advertiser. You also get free calls to any Google advertiser. An additional plus for all the telcos is that Google looked after international access for free, so telco costs came way down too. The old net neutrality arguments from Google now seemed like red herring and distracted the international carriers enough for them not to see what was happening.

Privacy: Microsoft Vs Google
Microsoft tried to counter this on four fronts:

  • Privacy complaints: Microsoft lobbied the US Administration and the EU to investigate what they suggested was a gross invasion of privacy with the implications that every site you visited, everything you clicked on and everyone you called was now logged and stored by Google, this was DoubClick but way worse.
  • Monopolistic Practices: Microsoft and what was left of the traditional advertising business (except Facebook) joined forces even more to lobby against the fact that the data that Google had on their PC users meant that they had the best hand when it came to websites that used ads to make money.
  • Microsoft fought to get on to the Google PC: Microsoft sued to have access to the Google PC so they could have Microsoft Office, one of their main revenue strands installed but Google pointed out, these were just dumb terminals and gave them access to the API they gave everyone else access to. Everyone, even the Google web apps had the same rights.
  • Microsoft Passport: Microsoft finally did more with their Passport after years of dithering. Years! While Passport was tied into their Hotmail/Live system and had access to some profiles, the profiles were inaccurate to a large degree. Microsoft altered that when the Google PC came about. They too tried to sign deals with telcos to do the same and even though they were on the desktop of the majority of net users, they never got traction. When Google released Google OS for those with existing computers, it was another nail in Microsoft’s coffin. It was ironic that Microsoft already had their own PC in millions of homes already (the XBox) and while had some great ideas for the XBox love system, they never considered doing this.

Google Vs Facebook
While the Google PC gave Google back more of the share of online advertising, Facebook and their own advertising system still had a very strong hand and their years of profile data from their now 200Million users meant they’re offering was equally as strong. Their ad and search system had long since moved outside of Facebook and was used on millions of websites which allowed ad networks and individual websites to target Facebook users (as the ad system knew exactly the consumer type visiting your site) and non-Facebook users too (using some very clever statistical analysis techniques, crossed with FB data). Contrary to what people first thought, the Microsoft deal from 2007 did not give Microsoft anything more than early access to the Facebook web advertising system. The 240Million was nothing more than hello money. All in all both companies, while not delighted with the competition from each other still increased their revenues every quarter as more and more of their competitors withered and died and Television and Print advertising plummeted as advertisers moved almost entirely online.

Check out some of the crazy bad reporting about a Google PC.

Fluffy Links – October 30th 2007

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Bank holiday weekend is over. Boo. Hiss. Here are some fluffy links to soften that hangover.

Treasa is looking for your help. She’s building a Wiki on social outlets for as many locations as possible in Ireland. The wiki/site is at She gives an example:

if you live in Letterkenny and go to this site, I’d like you to be able to know that in fact, there is a flower arranging club if that’s what takes your fancy, that there’s a session in such and such a bar on a Thursday, that the local Vincent de Paul have meetings on such and such a day

See, this personal example from Suzy is what People In Need conditions people to think about disability.

Magnetic Fields fan, check out this song.

Cara Phillips takes photos of machines in plastic surgeon‘s offices.

For all those people complaining about their Google pagerank going mad. Seems it is being restored. Not for all though. For all of those fucking up the net by gaming the system and whoring links on your blog for a few pence to fumble in your greasy till, serves you right for being greedy.

T-Mobile throttles iPhone bandwidth.

A while back I did a podcast with You and Your Money magazine about Mobile Broadband. This is the result.

You can sub to comments on blogger now.

Some really scary 30 second stories here, made just for halloween. Includes Neil Gaiman.

And yes that is me in the Examiner but no, I no longer have that bad facial hair thing going on and I’m a little lighter too. Pic was taken earlier this year. Obviously the recent ones for which I was dragged out of bed to be snapped in were not stereotypical enough, what with not having a laptop in the pic.

via Alexia, Marla Hansen – New Zealand: