Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

Google 78%, Bing 21%

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Search traffic to this here blog:

78.63% Google
21.37% Bing

Bing doing quite well here.

Growing your online business

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

The Internet Growth Alliance which I have the smallest of small parts in has come out and launched their Internet Growth Acceleration Programme which is all about teaching companies how to scale and expand and providing them with advice from people who’ve been there and done that. It’s modeled and inspired by the Stanford Leadership for Growth programme.

IGAP is exactly what so many web companies in Ireland need in order to move from being a minnow to fish to big fish and the mentors on the programme are real deal Irish and International people who have walked the walk. The Internet Growth Alliance is comprised of some of the best and brightest web people in Ireland, many of them selfmade multi-millionaires who have a wealth of information to share.

I’ve seen some negativity with some Irish companies complaining that they have to pay to be part of this, ignoring the fact that Enterprise Ireland takes the biggest hit on this and the people involved are doing this because they want to help. Thank goodness not every Irish web startup runs their life with this kind of entitlement syndrome going on.

Apply here.

EU Funds spying on blogs, social networks, forums and others.

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

Wikileaks have a very interesting document on EU Framework 7 funded spy project that scans blogs, social networks, websites and discussion forums for stuff they don’t like:

This file, marked “confidential”, describes development of an EU-funded intelligence gathering system (“INDECT work package 4”) designed to comb webblogs, chat sites, newsreports, and social-networking sites to in order to build up automatic dossiers on individuals, organizations and their relationships.

Name of report:

Report on methodology for collection, cleaning and unified representation of large textual data from various sources: news reports, weblogs, chat.


D4.1 aims to focus on analysis of security related data from websites, blogs, chats and other social medium. The project aims to analyse data related to hooliganism, terrorism and other types of crime. The AGH (Prof. Wieslaw Lubaszewski’s) team has initiated the task of data collection. This section describes the ongoing effort and the methodology employed. It does not include the actual data as this is currently being collected. The current effort is directed towards collecting data on football hooliganism and sale of human organs. In parallel to this, the Ostrava team (Mr Adam Nemcek) has also started work on data collection on similar topics.

This is their video showing their system in action. Machine guns and jackboots all the way:

It seems that there are Irish reps for security research projects like these so it’s not like the Government doesn’t know what’s happening. According to the EU too there’s meant to be an ethics committee watching these things:

As a general rule, the Commission also ensures that the most sensitive projects systematically include an ethics committee, to enable researchers to develop technologies that respect individual freedoms.

But sure, we have nothing to hide if we’re innocent…

and then two arrive…

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

So first we have:
Get The Focal is a 12,000 word Irish language translator which can be installed on modern mobile phones including iPhones, Nokias and Samsungs. You can translate words from Irish-English as well as from English-Irish


And we also have Amhrán na bhFiann recently developed for Nokia and available on OVI.

RTE news clip of it.

What is it? It apparently is a Karaoke style application that enables you to learn the words and the tune to Ireland’s National Anthem – Amhrán na bhFiann. Sing it, know it. No truth to the rumour is’s been bought en-masse by the FAI for the soccer squad.

More of this. No leprechauns were harmed in the making of these apps.

RTÉ turn down my FOI request about

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Sent this request in which was rejected because the information was “commercially sensitive”:

(a)Details of revenue generated via the website for 2008 and the first 6 months of 2009.

Specifically I would like details on the revenue generated via:
Google Adwords and The Google search engine interface on RTE
Banner Ads
Other advertising areas including the online shop/store

(i)Details of revenue generated via the 2FM website for 2008 and for 2009 up to the “relaunch” of the 2FM website in March 2009
Specifically I would like details on the revenue generated via:
Google Adwords
Banner Ads

(ii) Details of revenue generated via the 2FM website after the realunch of the website around March 2009
Specifically I would like details on the revenue generated via:
Google Adwords
Banner Ads
Content sales including music/videos/ringtones etc

Here’s the reasoning for the refusal:

RTÉ as you know is funded through a combination of commercial revenue and licence fee revenue. Up until recent legislation RTÉ could not use licence fee revenue to fund its On Line activities (Under the 2009 Broadcasting Act this is no longer the case). What this has meant is that up to now RTÉ.ie had to be funded entirely from commercial revenue. RTÉ competes with many other media bodies to secure commercial revenue for its On Line activities. If RTÉ were forced to release details of this activity it might prejudice RTÉ’s ability to raise the revenue required to fund its extensive On Line operations. I cannot see how this could be regarded as in the public interest.

RTÉ.ie is part of RTÉ’s Publishing division. In the Annual Report for 2009 (available on the RTÉ website) the revenue generated by Publishing is detailed. Revenue from Publishing is €14.9m. This figure includes revenue generated by RTÉ.ie.

Section 31 of the same Act provides an additional reason to refuse your request. A record may be withheld if its release might have an adverse effect on the competitive position of a public body. Releasing the information you have requested could lead to a loss of competitiveness by RTÉ as other organisations involved in the provision of On Line services would have access to information about RTÉ whist RTÉ would not have access to the equivalent information from its competitors in this field. The same public interest test applies as for section 27 with the same arguments applying.

Will ComReg fold for the third time against eircom?

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

And this is a picture of balls. Two pairs. If you come from a Comreg IP address they spin, so you know what they look like:
kc bowling tweetup
Photo owned by jeffisageek (cc)

So we see that eircom are going to court against the telecoms poddle again. Once again this is about something called Local Loop Unbundlin which is all about who has full control of your phone line from the exchange to your house. In the UK unbundling is a massive success and we see dirt cheap, high speed broadband and lots of choice. The opposite to here. LLU has never worked here and companies that thought they could get it to work like Smart got walloped. BT Ireland probably wouldn’t have moved out of consumer if LLU worked well. This latest court trouble is deja vu.

In 2005, Comreg proposed a Line Share Price of 39 cent which was successfully challenged by Eircom
In July 2008 eircom appealed ComReg’s direction to set Line Share price at €2.94. ComReg subsequently withdrew their direction.
And now we have the latest court challenge to a regulator that never goes to Court but jacks it in on the steps.

The hope on the horizon is that we seem now to have a Department of Communications that despises eircom when once it wouldn’t really challenge them. And whatever the sentiment of the Department, we get the same from the “independent” regulator. Interesting times. I’d like to see a day in Court as some kind of precedent might finally be set.

it@Cork 2009 Tech in Business conference – Wedn. 18 Nov

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

Details are up for the 2009 it@Cork conference. Liam Casey opens the conference, Dr. Ed Walsh closes it. Lots of good talks jammed in between.

The theme for the conference is “Recovery Through Technology”.

it@cork 2009 Conference

I’m part of the organising committee and it’s very interesting working on a conference that needs to watch costs while getting good speakers to encourage enough people to come along to make the conference work. 2009 and the state of the economy and business in a way is making the talks at this conference very relevant to those attending and those organising. There are probably more opportunities now than ever before and hopefully we’ll have the speakers show all the possibilities out there.

Here’s an interview with Liam Casey on Morning Ireland.

I like lamp

Friday, September 4th, 2009

I blame the alcoholic slushies…

At Nokia World

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009

At Nokia World in Stuttgart (Nokia flew me over and are putting me up, and putting up with me) today and tomorrow. Some really good stuff from their research labs as well as the announcements that are all over the web today too. I like the X6 and the X3 all you can eat music phones. Still trying to get a play off the N900.

Nokia glasses from their research lab

Nokia glasses from their research lab

Anyways, two videos I’ve uploaded and below are of the glasses for navigating a virtual world and the real world. What I like about them is they’re not just displays, you’ll note in the video they track the eyes so if you look left or right or look up and down with your eyes only and not using your head, the landscape and data displayed will change. The screen part of these glasses are pretty thin too meaning they’re not too far off having them in normal sized glasses.

eircom to block Pirate Bay from September 1st 2009, other ISPs say no way

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

See Adrian Weckler’s blog for more details. Eircom have confirmed it to him.

Excerpt from UPC press release:

UPC can confirm it has received a request from solicitors acting on behalf of the Irish divisions of EMI, Warner, Universal and Sony music companies that UPC blocks access to the Pirate Bay website.

This request is separate to ongoing court proceedings between these same companies and UPC with respect to their demand that UPC take certain actions in relation to subscribers allegedly involved in illegal music downloads.

This latest request is apparently further to an unopposed court action between these companies and eircom whereby eircom was ordered to block access to Pirate Bay as of September 1, 2009.

UPC has informed the rightsholders that there is no basis under Irish law requiring an ISP to block access to certain websites and that it will not agree to a request that goes beyond what is currently provided for under Irish law.