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links for 2007-04-30 April 30, 2007

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The State of Us April 30, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Humour, Politics.
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Last evening I got a chance to watch “The State of Us” on RTE television. When I first heard about this programme I was a bit sceptical that it would never equal Bull Island. However, having watched it I can say that it is truly brilliant! It’s risky enough to be good and contains some very direct references to political controversy, etc. There was an on-going sketch in last nights episode that payed homage to the Martin Cullen consultant scandal and I have to say that it had me in stitches. That was good but when Gay Byrne turns up on a Harley there are more fun and games to be had. The Pat Kenny impressionist has him down to a fine line. Not sure if this is a weekly show or how many episodes there will be but it’s well worth tuning into if you get the chance.

Alternative Government? April 27, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Politics.
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The results of the latest MRBI poll are out and it makes interesting reading. Support for Fianna Fáil is down and support for Fine Gael is up, in fact the swing is so much that if Labour, Fine Gael and the Greens get together then they are currently 10 points ahead of the government parties in terms of popularity. Perhaps this will make them wake up. All the main figures of the government have lost popularity but especially so, Michael McD who dropped a massive 12 points to 32 percent. Can’t say that I’m surprised about that. With this swing in the popularity stakes I wonder has the general public all but had it with the current set of government TDs. Is it as Labour say, “Time for a change”? Perhaps it’s time for Today FM to bring out another lovable, cuddly Bertie sketch so that his popularity will rise again? I think that all the young people of this country should remember how the Taoiseach regarded them with respect to choosing the election day and make a concerted effort to get off work or be at home so that they can respond in kind. I’m not saying who you should vote for but for God’s sake, get some self-respect and don’t vote for somebody who constantly ignores your needs! source: Irish Times

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links for 2007-04-26 April 26, 2007

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Your County Needs You! April 26, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Humour, Politics.
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Many thanks to Wellboy from UpTheDeise for alerting me to this. The Monopoly crew are looking for votes on what counties should make it onto the new all-Ireland monopoly board. However, only 22 of the 32 counties will be allowed so vote now or your county will be forever, forgotten. Naturally I’m voting for Waterford and so should you. No other county offers so much in terms of beach, sea, river, mountain, city and countryside. It’s deserving of the purple tab on the Monopoly board. Vote now! source: Monopoly.ie

UPDATE: Striking this post until Hasbro Ireland make the voting process completely transparent rather than making it a blind vote for the last week of the campaign.

Wireless in Carlow April 26, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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Yesterday, Carlow became Ireland’s first hotspot town. Congratulations to Carlow and whoever attracted this project. I believe that the difference between this project and other wireless offerings is that it’s all account-based and you can use your broadband account anywhere within reach of a hotspot rather than just in your home. I have yet to see a statement to this effect though. However, there has to be a reason that this is better than the Digiweb offering in Carlow Town. The internet access will also be made available to passers by with WiFi enabled devices for approximately EUR 3.50 per hour. It’s a little expensive for using your own equipment but I admit that I’ve paid more in the UK in the past. If this pilot project is successful then it might spark the setup of WiFi hopspot towns and cities all over Ireland. Coincidently this follows on the back of the London mesh network that was announced in the last week and more unfortunately it also falls on the back of the recent arguments in the media of the supposed dangers of wireless radiation on the general public. source: Irish Times

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links for 2007-04-25 April 25, 2007

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Thicko does McDowell April 25, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics.
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Tip of the hat to Damien Mulley for finding this one. It’s a wee political satire from Thicko of Michael McDowell. To be honest I found it hard to figure out where reality ended and parody began…

Bicycle Lift April 25, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Humour.
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Just saw this on Gary G’s Blog. It’s a short video of a bicycle lift in Trondheim, Norway. Several years ago I was on schedule to travel to Trondheim for a project but never made it. Having seen this video it’s probably for the best. I used to criticise the government of this country for stupid road building activities but this just seems plainly bizarre (pardon the oxymoron). The hill doesn’t even look that steep?

Orbitfiles Review April 25, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology, TSSG.
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About two weeks or so ago I posted a quick intro to Orbitfiles.com, an online backup solution that provides 6GB of free space to put your stuff. Naturally when I first saw it I signed up without thinking as why would you refuse free space? Well I’ve only just gotten around to really using the service in the last few days and as promised I’m posting a quick review of the offering.

Overall I’d have to give it a thumbs up in terms of simplicity and doing exactly what it says on the tin. The interface is very simple to follow with the one notable exception of how to change your password. Creating folders, selecting content for upload and managing uploaded content are all pretty straightforward and not so taxing that your average web user without any technical grounding couldn’t figure out. The option to allow public access to your files is also interesting but why you would want to do this I’m not so sure. When you consider that youtube covers sharing video content, flickr has the photo audience, Google pretty much have the documents and spreadsheets market covered and e-mail does pretty much everything else. I don’t really see the advantage of making it all publicly available. Perhaps if there were accounts you could set up yourself for restricted access but not generally accessible. As a quick and dirty backup option for non-sensitive data though I would be happy to continue using the service for small amounts of files. Backing up anything larger than 15MB from my home BB connection is just painfully slow and not worth ignoring my NAS or DVD writer for.

Downsides of the service include the HTTP upload problem of selecting file at a time uploads but at least the web interface tries somewhat to appease users by offering the option of multiple file boxes per upload action. The JavaScript/Ajax thingy that is supposed to act as a live feedback of your current upload seems to break in Firefox on my Mac and therefore leaves you wondering when it might finish uploading large quantities of data. There is definitely a reason to have an uploader client here to drag and drop directories rather than having to tar everything up first. Enter Hercules but sadly this is only available for the Windows platform at the moment. Hercules also offers the ability to schedule backups and so, might be attractive for the paranoid amongst us using always-on connections. The team also offer a mobile version of the site for backing up while on the move. Finally, the last feature that caught my eye was the ability to zip up multiple files and folders in your account by simply selecting them and clicking the zip button. Convenient if you only want to download a single bundle or increase your available backup space. For non-techie users it’s far simpler to understand than using gmail as a hard drive and that’s probably were it will get a lot of custom from. Good free service overall, not sure how much I will use it but I can definitely see it being a blip on my radar now and then.