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Free Blogging? August 29, 2006

Posted by jbwan in Technology.
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As I struggled this week with Blogger acting very slowly for me I decided to express my woes to the ever knowledgeable Open mailing list, whom without fail returned with backup and alternative suggestions. I never realised the wealth of free blogging options available out there. Most will provide you with your own user.service.com URL and a decent enough publishing system like wordpress.com and blogger.com but I also was informed that our good friends in Ireland (Hosting 365) are offering a very nice free blogging package to anyone who wants to point their domain at Hosting365’s servers. They offer WordPress as a publishing platform and a no-nonsense hosting package including 100MB of space which, for most bloggers is more than enough. The big win here though is being able to use your own domain instead of a user.service.com URL and avoid any ugly navigation bars across the top of your blog a la Blogger. Nice one guys!

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Picture This August 29, 2006

Posted by jbwan in General.
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Just recently something has started to play on my mind: The number of recent film productions that are rated PG or 12. It seems like it has been forever since a 15 or 18 rated movie was made. Okay there have been some but not many. There are many reasons, I suppose, as to why this is happening. Perhaps the downturn in cinema audiences due to so many other pastimes, maybe the film studios are trying to gain the biggest possible audiences by including the younger age groups?

Whatever the reason is, the prospects are daunting. It is fair to say that Hollywood and the film world has directed the ambitions, hopes and dreams of so many people throughout the years, that it can be considered a powerful and influential giant. In turn we have seen strong (mild) language, violence (mild peril), and more adult references sneak into 12 and PG-rated movies. Which would have been automatic 15-rated some years ago. Further more, this deluge of diluted movies is manipulating the minds of adults through product placement, family values and strong morals but in a way that is suitable for the 12-year-old mind. Over a period of time it might be fair to suggest that adults will eventually start thinking like kids again in many aspects, life always imitates art.

Kids always believe that they are grown-up, they can handle themselves and that they are never too young for anything. Whether it be violent movies or amusement parks, kids want it all and will take on anything. If movies aimed at kids but with enough mature references continue to be produced then surely this will lead to a shift in adult perspective of what is suitable for kids and what is not. An observable effect in so far that strong language has become common place amongst many family gatherings.

As such the circle is complete, diluted movies with stronger than normal undertones and references, aimed at the next generation of movie producers and censors. An ever-increasing circle of allowable content for the young mind. An ever-increasing exposure to elements more suited to mature audiences. An ever-increasing tolerance of what kids should watch/do. A loss of innocence via the big screen?

Old News August 29, 2006

Posted by jbwan in General.
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The equality authority has warned car rental companies and insurance companies against the improper practice of blanket banning people because of age alone. While I welcome this action by the authority it is a shame that they have only focussed it at the elderly, specifically those who are holidaymakers in the country, rather than including the young also. Yet again it is testemony to the fact that youth is opressed in this country. The elderly albeit would find driving more convenient can still make their way around by public transport, some can even travel free. The young however do not have the same freedom, be it driving for work or other demands. As such they are continually targetted as a source of easy revenue. The article in the Times states that “it is discriminatory to refuse to quote someone for insurance based solely on an upper age limit, following a case successfully taken by the authority in 2003”. Surely by that rational it is discriminatory to refuse insurance based on a lower age limit that is within the allowable age bracket for driving? source: Irish Times

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CAO Won’t Change Mind August 23, 2006

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It has emerged today that the CAO has made a significant blunder in the processing of this years college applications. At least 20 students who sent in change of mind forms fell victim to a computer problem that was known by the CAO but which they never informed the students of. To be honest, with the pressure that students are under these days to achieve high points in their leaving certificate, this sickens me to the core. It’s exactly the kind of thing that’s wrong with the country – no concern or even common decency exists anymore amongst too many organisations. I sincerely hope that this mess is sorted out for the students concerned. source: Irish Times

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Free Energy? August 18, 2006

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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It would appear that a small Dublin-based company has claimed to have found the answer to all our energy needs. Free energy! They have launched a challenge to all scientists to prove their claims to be wrong. In the meantime I’m sure that the government is investigating a way of taxing this free energy and I’m in no immediate hurry to cancel my gas bill… source: Irish Times

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Penguins Catch the Next Plane Home August 2, 2006

Posted by jbwan in General.
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A bunch of penguins holidaying in Brazil after their ice floes metled having transported them many miles North are to be air lifted back home by the military. Don’t you just wish that every day was full of stories like this? source: Reuters.com