Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

More pressies

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

A phone and a big telly. Again from Santa Pat. Get entering the competition.

Ones to watch in 2009

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

Photo owned by timsepulveda (cc)

Ones to watch from 2008. 2007.

Pat Phelan
Third year in a row for Pat Phelan. The perennial one to watch, 2009 will not change that. Bigger and better year on year for man who is probably the hardest working man in Irish technology and the most generous with his time too. Some say he’s got a big head but his heart is much much bigger.

Niall Harbison
Chief spud peeler at, he was on the Dragon’s Den earlier this year and held his own. A thoroughly nice and modest chap too. Prolific videographer and blogger. He makes a mean steak and a fantastic cheese sandwich. I’ve seen Niall on Twitter, on his blog and in his videos and the amount of work and the positivity that he brings with it is admirable. His energy gives you energy. Second chef on this list, probably tells you something about the character of chefs as much as entrepreneurs. Fred Wilson and other VCs talk about the founders of a company will always have an influence on it and is going to be huge because of Niall and Seán alone. This is why VCs invest in people, not tech, not business plans.

John Peavoy
Networking god. Seeing John work a room is like watching an artist at work. Always the good word for people, always oozing positive encouragement to people and helping them make connections. Someone like that is always going to make an impact and John is just starting.

Paul Savage
Winner of the Geansai Gorm competition and asker of some very good questions at BarCamp Cork. We’ll ignore all the examples of good social media campaigns he named that nobody heard of though… Will he remain in Germany in 2009?

Sabrina Dent
Oi Dent, I want more than flowers for all these Blog and Web awards you’re winning. Sabrina is far from a designer or “just a designer”. She’ll get involved in what a company is doing or launching. She’ll ring her client up and bollock them out of it if they don’t blog enough or don’t convey their message properly. She’ll tell them using the words “honey” and “fucking” to sort their PR out or their business model. Sabrina Dent is an honest-to-goodness business makeover person and while she might not launch a product or specific service herself, her influence on dozens of businesses and startups means that her reach will go far in 2009.

Ciara Crossan
Ciara sprang up in 2008 at the various meetups in Cork and soon became a scene queen. Someone not at all afraid to get stuck in and approach anyone or everyone in a room. Ciara’s service is great but the real value in the whole thing is Ciara who a hell of a lot of people should get lessons from when it comes to promotions and engaging with those strangers who become your customers and friends.

Darragh Doyle
His blog was born just after the 2008 Blog Awards and he roared out of them. Darragh is going to make a bigger impact in 2009 than he did in 2008. What’s this about a book/writing deal? 🙂 Darragh has covered more news items and the personal journeys of more people than most people in the media would do and he’s done it in a very natural and open way. I don’t think it’ll just be a Blog Award trophy or two in 2009 that will define his success either.

Robin Blandford and David Doran
Robin and David were already mentioned in an earlier post and are working on Decisions for Heroes. Decision For Heroes is going to be much much bigger in 2009. The big time for these lads is around the corner.

Brendan Hughes
Brendan has been working away in FBD for a while now and working hard with the No Nonsense brand online. He also chairs the IIA Social Media Working Group and does U.N. style work from time to time as well. This is a good guest blog post from Brendan. Brendan’s work with and influence on his employer on top of the advice given out by the IIA Social Media Working Group means when it comes to Marketing and PR online in Ireland in 2009, he’ll be a hub of influence. And besides all of that, Brendan is a genuinely decent guy wanting to do good, that philosophy means a hell of a lot.

Patrick Collison
We started with a Patrick, we end with one and another One to Watch from last year. Patrick and John Collison have already been well documented on this blog and Tommy is popping up more and more too. In 2009 John will be kicking ass in the Leaving Cert and fending off advances from the best colleges in the world so I think he’ll be slowed down from changing the world. Tommy will be doing that whole school thing and drumming in a jazz trio in his spare time so I think it’ll be Patrick who’ll once more make an impact in 2009. Dunno how but I have no doubt it’ll be useful and clever.

Who are your ones to watch?

Broadband in Ireland in 2009 – Could it get better?

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Two things at the very end of 2008 could mean there is a little hope for better broadband conditions in Ireland come 2009.

Photo owned by andrewjstevens (cc)

First, many operators seem hopeful that when it comes to selling broadband products over copper, it will now be easier and cheaper. This is to do with new pricing models for Local Loop Unbundling that ComReg (the patentedly useless telecoms regulator) brought out forcing eircom to remove what could be classed as getting hello money for moving a customer from one broadband service to another (despite there also being a connection and even a cancelation fee). This means there is more of an incentive by operators to offer good products that compete with each other. This pricing change should have happened about 7 years ago. If those telcos weren’t such wimps when it comes to the regulator maybe this would have happened sooner but despite all the private moaning about ComReg, they’re all afraid to say something about them in public. People too comfortable in their fucking jobs. The attitude would be different if they owned their telcos.

Unlike IrelandOffline, who thankfully are back. A more independent, nothing-to-lose by telling the naked truth group has always been needed in Irish telecoms and it’s great to see a group of dedicated people restart IrelandOffline. There is a huge amount of work to do and a massive amount of issues to tackle but at least their is now an identifiable voice for the masses. Hopefully we’ll see them meet with Eamon Ryan sooner rather than later and despite all the shit I give the man here, he is always open to listening to people and groups about broadband. Maybe they’ll get him to do something too though.

And let us not forget the media in our thanks

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

The wise men have gotten their praise but despite blogs and twitter and all this “citizen journalism” it is traditional media that connects those with the technologies and the new business ideas to those with the money and the power. In Ireland especially, the media still have a strong role when it comes to a business getting custom, name recognition and connections with possible investors, suitors and partners.

Isaiah thanks Santa for his gift
Photo owned by Throwingbull (cc)

A few people in the media (but they’re not the only ones) got my attention this year for their tireless work in spreading the news about Irish Tech companies.

We have John Collins from the Irish Times who is a wise and patient person and who has gone out of his way again and again to give Irish companies coverage in his paper. John is a very decent guy with a thorough grasp on technology and business. It’s great to see that they have made him acting Assistant Business Editor in the Irish Times now. Something he has more than earned.

We then have Marie Boran and John Kennedy in Silicon Republic who again work very bloody hard at giving exposure to many Irish companies and are always happy to chat on the phone about what you’re working on. They’ve also given up work and personal time to come along to events too. A lot of companies are quite grateful for the coverage they got. SiliconRepublic also contribute to the Irish Indos coverage of tech too so they’ve really spread the news far and wide.

In the Sunday Business Post we have Adrian Weckler, Emma Kennedy and Dick O’Brien who between them cover technology and business.

The four wise men of Irish Tech

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Over the past year and even longer there’s been four people who have devoted a lot of time helping out others in the growing Irish technology scene. They’ve given their precious time without charge to encourage and help as much as they can and it has resulted in a greater body of shared knowledge when it comes to business and tech.

Those four people are Pat Phelan, Joe Drumgoole, Keith Bohanna and Conor O’Neill. At Barcamps, Open Coffees, on blogs and on the oldskool phone they’re regularly dispensing advice and helping people make connections. I’m not sure how much people appreciate these guys but this is my little thank you card on the web for them as this year comes to a close. The Irish startup scene would be a lot poorer without these guys giving their time. Thanks Pat, Joe, Keith and Conor. Maybe we should give thanks back by talking up their work or do what they do and help out others when we can. These guys are heroes.

abacus and words of wisdom
Photo owned by lilibethjanuary (cc)

1 minute survey on mobile usage

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

Dave Kelly has a survey out about mobile phone usage. Just a few short questions are asked. Why not help him out with the survey and fill it out?

Glastonbury Tor
Photo owned by (cc)

Don’t forget to nominate MAXRoam and 12seconds

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

MAXRoam for the Crunchies.

12Seconds for the Crunchies!

Sue Pool: eircom, o2, Vodafone or Meteor: Who’ll sue Eamon Ryan first?

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

Bear with me here…

Via the National Dialup Scheme Three Ireland now are getting Government money to expand their mobile broadband market into areas other broadband providers are not going. Great. The EU says that’s cool.

But Three’s network is all data with voice going over it. Where they have service they have all service. Broadband and voice. Where three doesn’t offer a service, they use Vodafone. They pay them for this. If the Government pay Three to go into an area they were not before then they can offer voice too. Fabuloso! They can dump Vodafone and save a pile. But I bet those areas have a voice service from Vodafone, o2 and Meteor already don’t they? Now the taxpayer is giving an unfair advantage to Three in the mobile area.

Photo owned by markhillary (cc)

Wouldn’t you sue if you were these boys? And then there’s eircom with some good exchanges that could have been enabled. They have good lawyers too.

So who’ll sue first?

National Dialup Tender – 2 year wait before some will get shit Internet

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Longwinded piece but the gist is: The National Dialup Tender will use Three Mobile Dongles, no fixed line, no fixed wireless connections. 1Mb download, 200k upload. Or a Satellite dish!

From question time with Eamo today:

Deputy Eamon Ryan:

As regards the timeframe for completion, the ITT requires that all houses and business premises must be provided with a broadband service within 22 months of the signing of the contract. 3’s response to the ITT meets that requirement. The finer details are being worked out at present and will be finalised at contract signing which is expected to take place on 11 December 2008. As regards the bandwidth and download speeds, 3 will extend its network to provide mobile broadband services into the NBS area.

In recognition of the fact that some areas will be very difficult to reach using standard infrastructure, 3 will make available a satellite product. The specific details are being discussed with 3 at present and will be finalised at contract signing. In order to protect the integrity of the procurement process, I do not propose to release details of the value of the NBS contract at this time.

Liz McManus asked this of Eamo then:

Does the Minister accept that, in fact, there are people who are not in the broadband scheme and are unable to access it even though their area might be described as having such access within the indicative map? We are going to end up with the anomalous position where people cannot access, for example, the 3 service, but because they are described as having access, they will not be able to avail of opportunities under the broadband scheme. Could he, perhaps, give us details of the technology platform, the guarantees in terms of speed, the penalties if the target of 1 megabyte is not met, as well as the coverage targets? Cost seems to me to be the only reason 3 got the contract, but how do I know, since I am not getting the information. The Minister is not willing to give us the cost, but he should at least give us the information about safeguards.

And here Eamon admits that the scheme is just a whole load of mobile dongles:

Deputy Eamon Ryan:

I am reluctant to give this information until the contracts are signed, which will be within the week.

The service that will be provided will meet with widespread public support. There have been concerns with regard to the start of the roll-out of certain mobile broadband services over the past year. We should recognise those services have just started and there are naturally teething difficulties. That said, we now have approximately 250,000 people who have signed up for such mobile broadband services. We must also recognise that because 40% of our houses are one-off houses in the countryside, we will always be a country where mobile broadband services are in higher demand than in other countries. We may develop a benefit from this, particularly where we can get new evolving mobile, wireless and other connections onto fibre quickly and provide good high quality services.

Simon Coveney needled him then on the mobile:

Deputy Simon Coveney: However, the Minister seems to suggest that part of the solution will be provided via a mobile product, but one can get a mobile broadband service in a number of these grey areas already, whether on top of a mountain or wherever. The issue with regard to broadband connectivity is not about mobile services. Is the Minister suggesting that 3G or 3 will put up mobile masts in these areas to provide for broadband via a mobile phone?

That may be a useful service for people who want to access the Internet on their mobile phones, but it is not a consistent enough solution for people opening businesses in parts of rural Ireland that cannot get broadband currently.

Go Simon!

This resulted in:

Deputy Eamon Ryan: I used the term “mobile” in the way it is commonly used, as in “not fixed” line.

Deputy Simon Coveney: We want clarity.

(Very Tom Cruise in a Few Good Men!)

Deputy Eamon Ryan: This means it is connected to one’s computer or to whatever hand-held device one wants.

Deputy Simon Coveney: It is not mobile then.

Deputy Eamon Ryan: I am not restricting people in terms of how they access the Internet. However, we need broadband access. In this case, we will have speeds of over 1 megabit download and over 200 kilobits on the upload. There is also provision for those speeds in the services to be improved in the five-year period the contract will cover.

And the winner of the SEO competition is…

Monday, December 1st, 2008

The winner of that competition is, if we go to

Winner of Geansai Gorm competition

Congratulations to Paul Savage for his Geansai Gorm site

Honourable mentions: Cormac Moylan for going pure Irish and including the fada and seeing where it brought him. Some nice research into how Google really doesn’t pay attention to the Irish language too.

Keith Shirley for running Google Search Ads just for this competition. A fantastic way of getting the attention of the people interested in this competition. Well done Keith.

Shame we saw some sites banned by Google for spamming. Hilarious that a fake press release made news in Limerick.

Many of those involved found it a learning experience though some I’m sure were bored to death by it too being the experts that they are. For the Web Awards 09 there’ll be some kind of practical part that will either be about pure SEO or recognise it. (Best Practice this year had an SEO element to it.)