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Recreating last Summer June 11, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Photography.
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Recreating last Summer

Originally uploaded by jbwan.

Shot a photo almost identical to this one last year but the poor lily flower was covered in small flies. This year however, Rose Nymphe is shown in true splendour having opened for the first time on Sunday morning.

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Damselfly III June 11, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Photography.
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Damselfly III

Originally uploaded by jbwan.

Wandering around my garden again with a tripod and a zoom lens, what must the neighbours think? 🙂

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Another Day, Nothing Changes… June 8, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics.
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So, here we are Summer in Ireland after a general election. Voting for change, shaking up the cabinet, so on so forth. Well none of it has happened, it’s the same old Ireland and the more I think about it the more I want to move to Provence and enjoy life with a community that still holds traditional values. Now that Fianna Fail are back at the helm and the election is over we’re starting to see the cracks opening publicly, in the press. I’ve been saying for ages, along with many others, that inflation was getting dangerous and now we hear that inflation is rising. Wow! There was no such thought in Bertie’s mind previously when he agreed to nurses demands prior to the election – me wonders… We also hear that controversial lands in Dublin may be set for rezoning. Well we wouldn’t have wanted to upset the D4 residents before an election now, would we? Stock markets are falling, interest rates are still climbing and the ordinary Irishman in the private sector is suddenly not that comfortable any more. Meanwhile five days of talks with the Green Party have still failed to produce a government with Fianna Fail. I wonder who’s failing to agree there? Remember, people of Ireland, this was your choice…

Note: Links used above are from the Irish Times 08-07-2007 and may require login to view the content

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Hey Eircom! June 6, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology.
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Tip of the hat to Damien Mulley for finding this interesting snippet. Looks like decent, hard working folk in Lithuania are to be rewarded with 1Gb fibre connections straight to their doors. Yes, rather than laying age-old copper lines and maintaining them, the country’s Telecoms have decided to go with a proper option. Eircom heads, take note… source: GigaOM

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WordPress Permalinks June 2, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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If like me you’ve run into the wonders of WordPress permalinks previously and hit brick walls such as 404 and 403 HTTP errors when you change from the default ?p=ID to the pretty /blog/2007/07/12/entry, then this post is for you and the many other people who have asked me this question previously. 🙂 Not sure why considering the fact that I use MovableType as my blogging software but anyway!

Changing your permalink structure from the WordPress default to the pretty, year/month/day/entry-id or similar custom structure can cause problems for some people depending on the setup of their hosting infrastructure. [..]

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oPhone May 10, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Uncategorized.
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Credit to Martin Murphy for finding this one: A hilarious video looking at the “new oPhone”, a competitor to the Apple iPhone. The coding section, outside the box, and they’ve reinvented the wheel in addition to the spiral text message. It has so many funny gags.

Blank Canvassers May 10, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Politics.
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I have political fever: We’re in full election mode at the moment and the more I experience of this mobile carnival, the more I have come to the realisation that I need to get involved in the next round of council elections. For years people have been egging me on to consider running, sometimes in jest but mostly due to my strong opinions on what is wrong with the current blend of politics.

Politicians these days just don’t put in the effort anymore. They seem to think that they’ll always have a certain percentage of the votes and they’re happy with this. Some don’t even bother canvassing for themselves but send armies of minions to do their bidding. In turn these canvassers don’t appear to believe in their undertaking and become nothing more than political leaflet distributors. They rarely if ever knock at a door, it’s really more of a drive-by canvassing event. This general election will see some folk elected as TDs and maybe it’s just me but if I was going for a job interview worth EUR 100,000 then I’d put in a little work and get to know the company before blankly proclaiming that I should have the position. Why do our politicians think differently?

Well, party politics and sheepish Irish voters have a lot to do with it. Certain areas are strongholds for certain parties and sure it’s just a matter of allowing a candidate to run and the people will pick them because of the party badge – no thought required! Ask yourself a question, if all politicians were independent who would you vote for? How would you pick your preferences? Are you just a party voter or has your first choice actually done something for your area? Suddenly voting becomes a lot more difficult for so many people. The blank faces of anonymous canvassers should be replaced with the face of the candidates running for election. Talking to and representing the people is what politics is supposed to be all about. Sadly many politicians think that they are above this and don’t even need to try other than making sure we see their faces on posters 3 weeks prior to an election.

In Waterford, our ex-Mayor Seamus Ryan is keeping an eye on things from Labour’s perspective in his blog A view from the Left. Seamus is maintaining this blog despite not running for election and his fellow Labour candidate Brian O’Shea doesn’t appear to have any presence at all. This is a prime example of electoral candidates not wanting to invest the time and effort into reaching the community. I picked the Labour party because Seamus’ blog is a good read and is worthy of a link, not because Labour is unique in ignoring the community, the same is true of pretty much all the parties. So far this campaign, I have had leaflets for every candidate dropped into my letterbox, once I had a knock on the door from a candidate’s wife and not once has a real candidate shown up to ask for my vote. That is exactly why none of them will get my vote; what’s the point if they aren’t interested in me anyway?

Doesn’t Technorati Look Different May 6, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology.
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Hmm, no time to write a full post as I’m off out the door but Technorati looks very different to when I last viewed it on Friday. My blog listing is all organised and such. Doesn’t look that displeasing though.

PDs in Turmoil! May 6, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Politics.
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Just watching a political special on RTE at the moment with respect to the demand by Mr McDowell that the Taoiseach should make a full statement regarding his “finances” that have dominated the news recently. The opinions coming from various PD representatives around the country is completely disjointed and shows that the party is simply incoherent on this issue, so close to the election. It appears that the party is afraid of losing preference votes on polling day. All this really stinks as when the Manchester payments issue first opened back in September 2006, at the same time that Mr McDowell was given the Táinaiste position, he seemed to fizzle off the issue rather quickly. Now however, he drops a massive 12% in an opinion poll before the election and he starts to demand answers that the public want. And he accuses the others of playing auction politics?

All I can say is that somebody in the current government must really have annoyed somebody in the media in the last few weeks. The turnaround, against the current government parties, in the news and printed media is astounding. The current controversy is both welcome as it puts pressure on the Taoiseach to answer questions that need to be answered and unwelcome as it distracts people from the real election issues (highlighted as a valid point by Enda Kenny of Fine Gael and Mary Lou McDonald of Sinn Féin).

In other political news, John Deasy’s wife called to my door yesterday, canvassing for her husband. Simple sentiment John, if you want my vote get off your backside and come yourself, the electorate ain’t paying you to ignore us! In all your days as a politician in Waterford I’ve never once seen you canvassing in person, for your popularity. If you want Enda’s job then at least let people know who you are. Nobody wants an aloof representative.

Flock Me! May 5, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology.
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For a long time now I have known of Flock (the multi-platform web browser). For some reason or other I never bothered downloading it for my Mac to try it out and enjoy all the features that it boasts. Silly me! Just been setting up my new iMac and downloaded Flock. It is impressive, especially the way in which it seamlessly integrates with your Flickr account, blogging software and del.icio.us accounts. I don’t know if I’ll go back to Firefox for a while after this. Flock is just so enjoyable at the moment but I know that the shininess can’t last forever. link: Flock – the social web browser