Archive for the ‘irishblogs’ Category

EFF Ireland – not gone away you know

Saturday, July 30th, 2005

Updated Aug 4th 2005. (See additional comments below)

Not so long ago I called for the re-ignition of EFF Ireland and Bernie also talked about it too. Since then there’s been nothing from it as far as I can tell.

I wonder how many people see a need for it and how many would commit to supporting it? What would be needed? Would funding be needed, resources, how would it be structured, what would be its remit? Lots of questions, but not even these questions seem to be asked by others.

There was a lot of good discussion at OpenTech 2005 about setting up a UK EFF and Danny O’Brien weighs in more here about the need for one and what can be done with some money. He talks about pledging a fiver a month via direct debit but only if 1000 others do the same. Good idea that.

What can you do with a monthly budge of 5000UKP a month? … we did some back of the envelope calculations after the talk, and agreed we could do something: Probably two staffers and an office.

The biggest lesson for me with NTK was that your best way to influence the agenda, and generate support, is to generate stories, and point people to the right experts. Just having someone at the end of a phone, handing out quotes and press releases, and pro-actively calling journalists to make sure they know what’s going on, putting them in contact with all the other orgs in this area in the UK, is half the work.

The rest of the job is actual activism (one person can do a lot, if they don’t need to cram all their white paper writing, research, and lobbying between contract coding sessions, and finishing their university degree) and bootstrapping more funding.

Good wisdom there, some that I may be able to use for other projects. So, if the money was there, could EFF Ireland work?

Update August 4th 2005:

Graeme the Irish Liberal says he’d be up for it.
The Freestater (sorry I don’t know your name) is also of the opinion we badly need something like the EFF. I must say I’m quite impressed with that post. Very very well researched.

Further Update: I started an EFF Ireland discussion thread on

Dick O’Brien has added his thoughts too.

BTW, I tried to open up comments and it didn’t work for some reason. I’ll commit to upgrading the site over the weekend to get them working.

Customer Service In Ireland and Consumer Protection

Friday, July 29th, 2005

Jarvis cites Craig Newmark and his attitude to customer care. Craig owns Craigslist who Ebay have invested in, yet he sees his main job as customer support and has left another guy be CEO of the company. This is a wonderfully progressive attitude and communication with the end users who at the end of the day pay your wages is such a transparent way of doing business.

Customer care in Ireland is very very patchy and consumer protection is a joke. Right now we have the Consumers Association which makes its money from selling its magazine and really has no input into the telecommunications market. It rarely if ever replies to ComReg consultations, yet they were given a position on the ComReg “Consumer Panel”. They have no teeth and they are without even a bark when it comes to telecoms.

Next we have the ODCA which is more into helping the consumer on things like pub prices during the Galway races. They have powers to fine but again they lack the teeth.

For Telecoms consumer issues we have ComReg, who as far as I can tell has never fined or charged a telco after they fucked over a customer. They do investigate consumer issues after the consumer hs first exhausted every avenue of negotiation with the telco. ComReg are more geared for dealing with telcos than with consumers.

So, will there be any hope with the new Consumer Agency the Government is putting together? The fact that it appears to be populated by political appointees such as “beauty technicians” really makes me think that while the Agency will have teeth, they will become blunted from too many expensive lunches and formal dinner parties.

So, who’s left? Ah yes, IrelandOffline, but we’re not representing people with any kind of Telecoms issues. We are looking after the broadband and Internet access area only though. So, what’s needed? TelcoWatch – a consumer group covering the whole telco area or maybe Telcowatch could just be an umbrella where various consumer groups that represent various telco issues could gather together under. You could have a mobile consumer group, a landline consumer group, a VOIP consumer group etc.

Do you know what would help though? If more companies were willing to directly communicate with customers. Bill Murphy from BT Ireland made himself into a legend of sorts when he answered all emails that were sent to him by consumers and customers. Sometimes you could email Bill at midnight and he’d reply within 5 mionutes.

His boss, the BT CEO Ben Verwaayen is the same. He too is happy for his email address to be posted on various websites and said in a BBC World interview that he gets a few hundred emails a day from customers and answers as many as he can.

Know of any other Irish CEOs to do this, know of any of them talking to their customers via blogs?

Participative journalism is a dangerous precedent for our industry – Gavin O’Reilly

Friday, June 24th, 2005

Jarvis reports on a comment by Gavin O’Reilly made at a World Association of Newspapers event recently:

I think participative journalism is a dangerous precedent for our industry. People forget that newspapers have always been an interactive medium, people have always been able to interact with us through the mailbag.

This was in response to a question from the floor, slightly goes against what his his speech where he talks about the Internet being an integral part of their business. Perhaps he means people can email

Surprised nobody in the irishblogs picked this up. Or even the real Gavin. 🙂

To feed a troll…

Monday, June 20th, 2005

Someone posted this on the LGB Forum on this evening.

Im interested in working at a adult chat line, part time to earn some extra
money. Where and how do I go about applying for a job with one of them? all
the ads in the papers are for callers only. How much do the earn per hour?
any advice would help hugely. Thanks.

I asked the mods to keep it around but they don’t have a sense of humour. So here is what I tried to post before the thread was deleted:

It is actually quite difficult to get a job in this area in Ireland due to the controversial nature of the industry. There is strict regulation and you have to be a member of the Federation of Entertainment Chat and Adult Lines.

To be a member of this group means attending a 3 day intensive course run by the federation. The course is called “Matters”, it includes how to rationalise a conversation, knowing when to terminate a call, identification of breathing rhythms so you can judge call “completion”, first aid in case a caller has a medical emergency (quite common). The second day has a four hour long course on the special language that is used on these Adult Lines. The course is called the Alphabet and Neologisms of Adult Lines. This is where you use all the various phrases and “dirty” words to stimulate a caller. Remember at the end of the day you have to give the caller good service or they won’t call back or hang up the call early.

The third day is all role playing (but not in the sex game type way though I guess it’s close!) where each participant plays a caller with a specific need and the other person acts as the line operator or “taker” as the industry calls it. At the end of the day is a written test as well as oral. If your oral is good and what you put down on paper then you’re certified can can join the industry. The Federation are the ones who’ll put you in touch with employers.

Good luck with it all!

Sliding down the rankings now …

Wednesday, May 11th, 2005

Seems when you search for on now I’m 23rd. I almost reached the top 10 the other day too. It’s great to see that Google updates itself so often. It’s great that the rankings aren’t so stagnant.

URLTrends – Something for IrishBlogs?

Tuesday, April 26th, 2005

Just found the URLTrends website. An easy way of finding out the pagerank of a website as well as other data. Put my website url in there and got this in return:

Current Rankings:
PageRank: 4/10
Alexa Rank: 2,335,797

Incoming Google Links: 86
Incoming Yahoo Links: 937
Incoming MSN Links: 1,759
Incoming Alexa Links: 408
Overall Incoming Links: 3,190 (Overlap is possible – Estimated 2,774 unique links)
Outgoing Links: 179 (Ratio: 0.480% – Each Link Receives Approx. 0.019 PR)

Might be interesting to use this or the Google API to collate info on the via Planet of the Blogs.

Diarmuid and I

Friday, March 4th, 2005


Alcoholic kind of mood, lose my clothes

Sunday, December 26th, 2004

Alcoholic kind of mood, lose my clothes, lose my lube. Cruisin for a piece of fun, looking out for number one. – Placebo


Thursday, July 22nd, 2004

Eunoia which seems to mean “beautiful thinking” is apparently the shortest word in the English language that contains all five vowels

The Ultimate Taxi.With a mirror ball and a keyboard it damned well is !

Prisoners Escape, go to offy for beer and return, then head back out for more beer.

Quotes on Homosexuality, some choice stuff in that list.

baeball Caps designed to cool you down.

And the day came when the risk it took to remain closed in a bud became more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Senescent Shaman

Thursday, June 24th, 2004

senescent shaman by corey le chat

It’s called “Senescent Shaman” and it’s done by Corey Le Chat. You can look at more of his work and loads more of other artists work at Grainbag. You can also buy these works. The curators blog is great, pity it doesn’t have an RSS feed.

The Rasterbator. The Rasterbator is a web service which creates huge rasterized pictures out of relatively small image files. The pictures can be assembled into extremely cool looking posters up to 5 meters in size. You upload an image it spits out a pdf which you print off and put together. I tried a butterfly photo but it seemed to complicated to fit on 8 pages. I’ll try something like someones face. Still it’s fucking cool.

The New Yorker takes the book ‘Eats, shoots and leaves’ to task .