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Expanding Waste-Line April 26, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics.
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Just listening to the news and having read an earlier report today about the EU action against Ireland with respect to our appalling waste management. I applaud the EU for their action against the country and its complete lack of interest in promoting proper waste management. Escalating refuse charges and other measures simply mean that people are penalised to dispose of the vast amounts of rubbish generated through no fault of their own. The fact remains that the government is trying to tackle the effect of the problem rather than the cause of it. Stop the excess packaging and superfluous materials entering the country and people will not have to dispose of them. Until recently most counties did not have proper recycling schemes and as such communities could not engage in such activities. It is no wonder that recycling participation sky-rocketed after the introduction of these schemes on a national level – it was not because of government initiative.

The news report on RTE tonight sadly brought to my attention that my home county of Waterford was guilty of dumping offences with two disputed land fills at Kilbarry and Tramore (a former blue flag beach). At the same time, Waterford is one of the top recycling counties in Ireland with a figure around 48% from recollection, although I would need to confirm this figure. Yet, this year we saw a 25% increase in our annual charge for refuse disposal that is in no way linked to the amount of rubbish produced. Where is the justice? I suppose it is no wonder that this country has so many problems with waste management when our public officials are full of “rubbish” and their actions, a complete “waste” of time… source: ireland.com

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Lost in Translation April 19, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General.
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Just poached this snippet from Bernie G’s blog. A bit of humour on how Irish only road signs will confuse the hell out of anyone in Gaeltacht areas. All because of a new law passed last year. source: Bernie Goldbach

PDF takes the Web April 18, 2005

Posted by jbwan in Technology.
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Adobe have just purchased Macromedia in a stock takeover. Could this mean that PDF will take over the web? 🙂 source: Reuters.com

Damned if you don’t April 14, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics.
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Scenario: man is victim of Garda corruption, man is punished for a crime he did not commit and man’s life is made miserable because of corruption. Man cannot afford huge legal bills to continue to clear his name and get to the bottom of the corruption. Solution from Taoiseach: let a tribunal decide if this man, who was victimised and punished as a result of corrupt forces, should be awarded legal costs. Most days I find incredible fault with our public officials, today I am ashamed to have a government like this representing my country. source: Irish Times

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e-Eye, e-Eye, oh! April 7, 2005

Posted by jbwan in Technology.
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A bit behind on my reading these days but this is certainly worth blogging. Scientists have developed a new artificial eye that incorporates a small video camera than can take images and via a special chip convert these images into electrical impulses that are interpreted by the brain. For the blind, this is a most amazing technological advancement. For the human race, how long before commerical pressure makes this a cosmetic enhancement for those who want zoom vision? A truly remarkable breakthrough all the same. source: BBC News

Bluetooth TV April 7, 2005

Posted by jbwan in Technology.
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Just picked this up from Bernie Goldbach’s weblog. Interesting little snippet on how he managed to send audio to his TV set via a Nokia 9500 and a bluetooth receiver plugged into the SCART socket. As Bernie says, the opportunities for pod-casting experiments are very interesting. Now how do we get that receiver to interpret video and serve as a wireless surveilance system? source: IrishEyes

From One Pole to Another Poll April 5, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General.
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Saturday night saw the passing from this life of Pope John Paul. An event touching so many across the world with compassionate grief and remembrance. The news of the death was met across the world and in Ireland by Taoiseach Ahern with there’ll be no day off for the Irish people.

The Taoiseach’s remarks backed by the businesses of Ireland have been met angrily by political opposition and public opinion polls. Giving the citizens of Ireland a day-off for remembrance was a precedent set upon the horrific events of 9/11. The cynical mind would suggest with such large US investment in Ireland that this was the motivation behind the national day of mourning back then – if only there was substantial Polish investment we might see a recurrence? For me, the Pope’s passing was yet another land mark event in my life. Not being the most devout of Catholics but still appreciating that a great life and a great presence had passed from this world regardless of any would-be associations throughout the life of John Paul. Radio, TV and newspaper polls are ringing through urging the Taoiseach to change his mind on the day of mourning – business is steadfast against it. When did we become so horribly capitalist in our attitudes to life that we can no longer appreciate the sense of loss and collective grief surely felt by many on this island? I’m not saying that everyone is effected by it but the government still forces no alcohol on Good Friday, amongst many other religiously founded rules. Why not a day of mourning for the leader of the strongest faith in Irish society? When did business run people rather than people run business?

Anti-social Wealth April 1, 2005

Posted by jbwan in General.
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The latest report from those sociological guys shows that although we may be better off, more educated folk on average in Ireland, we are less tolerant and often ignore the needs of society especially the poor. Well it makes sense really. The 80’s gave birth to a new breed of teenager and business person in Ireland. Self-confident premadonnas who believed that the more they got, the less they owed society. These folk who now find themselves at middle-to-upper management levels in high-paid jobs are the kind of folk who don’t look for practical places to live but rather ask where is the best place to live and then complain about traffic problems. These people are the scum of Irish society, pushing down the rest of the public by their professional and recreational habits. When, as an insular population of a wonderful island, did we stop working for the common good? Will we ever get back to helping others rather than ourselves? After all a collective population of individuals helping others means that everyone is better off on average not just the few… source: Irish Times

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