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Mini Me March 25, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General.
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Well after 4 weeks or so of waiting my brand new Mac Mini was delivered. I went for the 1.42GHz G4, 512MB RAM, 80GB HD, SuperDrive options. Finally after so many years of waiting to own my own Mac, the introduction lived up to all expectations. I knew it was going to be compact but the effect is never real until you see it in front of you. The picture below shows the Mini on a typical mouse mat with the mouse on top – it’s very compact! After unpacking and connecting the few cables necessary to bring the machine to life, the Mini just worked. I powered it on and a couple of configuration questions later (literally a couple of minutes) I was happily exploring my new Mac OSX environment. Don’t you just like it when things go like that? Anyway my Mini is now sitting happily on its own shelf in my study working away. There goes my weekend 🙂
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Justice Minsiter, Justice March 24, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics.
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After much talk in recent days about the deportation of 19-year-old Nigerian student, Olunkunle Eluhanla, while still in his school uniform, it seems as though some sense has emerged. Minister McDowell has finally apologised for the handling of the incident (probably the first and last apology we’ll ever see from this minister). The situation was that a young man was making an effort to fit into a new country. He was sitting his leaving certificate, working a part-time job to pay for his fees, etc and without hearing was cast out of the country. Whatever way is correct to deal with immigration, this certainly was not it. It’s a wonder, with current attitudes, that the shambles wasn’t scapegoat-ed to a subversive organisation. It’s certainly time that this government started to take accountability for its behaviour and failings over the last number of years. Knee-jerk reactions to public outcry will never solve problems in the long run – perhaps they should even consider working for the country. That would be a novel approach. source: The Irish Times

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Dangerous Young Brains March 23, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General.
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A recent US study has shown that the brain may not be fully developed in respect to risk taking until people reach the ‘magic’ age of 25. Funnilly enough the first thing that came to mind for the interpretors of this study was car insurance. What a surprise! Yet again more nonsense unleashed to prevent the majority of safe young drivers getting decent insurance quotes. I quote from the article “What is not in question is that car crashes kill more under 24-year-olds than any other group.” Well if this is true and the author is trying to prove a point then why don’t they say that the under 24-year-old was driving and not just killed – they could have been a pedestrian or a passenger. Did nobody ever think of that? The article also suggests that the range is from 15-24 well surely 15-16-year-olds cannot be insured drivers? Also proportional representation should surely be called in here. How many 18-25 year old drivers are there compared to 25-34? When will we see studies to analyse the reaction times of the older generations (reactions have been long known to slow down with age). Surely reaction time accounts for a lot of unexpected accidents. After all very few people go out to have an accident. As I always say, statistics can prove anything you just need to conduct a study that will show what you want it to. One thing is for sure, the inevitability of youth should not be punished without fault of the individual. Similar attitudes to race, colour and creed have thankfully, long since vanished. Why do we still tolerate discrimination against youth? source: Irish Times

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Patent Pending March 18, 2005

Posted by jbwan in Technology.
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I’ve been stalling on posting this piece for some time now as I’ve been trying to gather my thoughts on the subject. On March 7th 2005 a gathering of EU chiefs passed what is known as the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive (CIID). This means that the cornerstone of software patents has been laid. As I selected a category for this post, I hesitantly selected “Technology” when I fear that “General” would be more applicable. Indeed a dark cloud descended upon the world on that day, March 7th. Although not yet the nail in the coffin it is a strong indication of things to come. Patents will run riot across the industry – should we dare compare to the pharmaceutical industry where valuable and needed medications are not publicly released due to a patent pending. Unnecessary delays to the detriment of the public, solely for the gain of the capitalist. I make no excuses for my singularity of vision in this respect. The opensoure community has yet another foe. This time in the form of proposed legislation that will almost certainly place a stranglehold on the community, not instantly but in the not too distant future. Despite objections from many countries, a collapse of the original proposal and no real support from many apart from those with vested interests, this legislation is being rushed through without due respect to the consequences. A patent is not just for Christmas… ref: The Register

No Alarms and No Surprises March 9, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General.
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The long awaited report from the competition authority regarding the insurance market in Ireland was released yesterday. Thankfully it points out the obvious strangle-hold that the incumbent insurers in Ireland have on the market. 2 insurers alone, accounting for 90% of the female ‘young’ driver market. It’s up to IFSRA now to do some work on this and hopefully turn the market on its head. Insurance companies have made huge profits in recent years (record profits last year) and it’s high time that this was stopped. Third party insurance, at least, should not be so profitable. Also the seemingly random quotation system from brokers of the same underwriter must be investigated. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; regulate the 3rd party insurance industry and stop the mayhem of high pricing! source: Irish Times

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In a Bad Moood? March 7, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General.
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Well who wouldn’t want to believe this? It has been discovered that cows live complex mental lives and are capable of bearing grudges. It is also apparently known that chickens fear for the future in addition to pigs and goats. This is probably the best story I’ve blogged since “International Talk Like a Pirate Day” (Sept 19th). Next time you see a cow be sure to say hello less you might just make a dangerous enemy. source: The Register

Tip the Scales March 1, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General.
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Today is the wonderful work/life balance day. We are all encouraged to acknowledge the importance of striking a balance in our working lives. So important is this day that it wasn’t made a public holiday and so many people will read about it in tomorrow’s papers as they will be too tired to read about it today. Strike a balance, work for yourself! That way the report is due when you say and the effort needed to do a task is actually proportional to the benefits gained. We should become a nation of sole-traders and divide the workload. Happy days are just around the corner – for your assurance of happy days please send one Euro to this blog. 🙂