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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.

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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

links for 2007-05-04 May 4, 2007

Posted by jbwan in del.icio.us Links.
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  • The British public will get a chance to submit their lives to the first e-mail archive. Submissions are requested to provide examples of people’s lives in this era of technology. Interesting idea and could lead to some interesting content.

Happy Star Wars Day! May 4, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Humour.
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May the fourth be with you all! 😀

e-mail Library? May 4, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Technology, TSSG.
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Here’s an interesting idea: A library to contain an archive of e-mails submitted by the public. A means of capturing a snapshot of our lives in this technological era. This could lead to some interesting content accrued over the years being made available as a source of entertainment to the public. I often thought that it was a shame that some of my older relatives never had their stories recorded for the ages but it looks like our generation will have a means of ensuring that our life experience is not lost. Must keep an eye on this project and see if it spreads to Ireland and Europe. source: Email Britain

Thoughts in my head today May 4, 2007

Posted by jbwan in General, Politics, Technology.
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Wondering why the national safety council still refuses to show somebody other than a young male driver in a road accident commercial. It’s a little disproportionate at this stage. Also still concerned as to why adverts are continually sponsored by vested interests such as AXA and Hibernian?

Wondering why Noel Brett (Road Safety Authority CEO) says things like:

“We are asking parents to discuss the new anti-speeding TV ad with their teenagers / young adults so that they understand the consequences of speeding and other forms of dangerous driving. If parents are loaning a vehicle this weekend we ask them to be aware of the circumstances. For example who is driving and are they responsible? What and where is the event they are travelling to? Will there be alcohol consumed? Be firm, refusing to loan the vehicle could save a life.”

“We are also appealing to women: mothers, sisters, girlfriends to get the safety message across to their men to slow down and expect the unexpected. Young Irish men are particularly vulnerable with car crashes being their number one killer. 17 to 24 year old males account for over 1 in 5 driver deaths (22%) yet this age group represent just 6% of the population”

Showing that he simply doesn’t care about highlighting accidents other than young male accidents even though he openly admits that they only account for 20% of driver deaths. Sounds to me like we have 4 times the problem elsewhere?

Wondering if Bertie will “bullet dodge” his way out of this payments scandal? Hard questioning yesterday from Vincent Browne and concern from the Mahon tribunal are adding pressure. It died down before but let’s hope it doesn’t fizzle out this time.

Wondering why some people are raising their eyes at Sinn Féin’s suggestion to make the GPO area in Dublin an historic area prior to the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, when so many other sites of uprising and rebellion across the world are embraced as national treasures and attract tourists. Why are so many Irish people, so ashamed of their country’s history when they have so much in common with many nations?

Wondering what the future holds for Ireland in terms of housing. So many apartments. So much skyline disappearing. So many areas of the country on a knife edge with respect to adequate employment. I have my fears.

Wondering if I should run for election the next time there’s a local election. Naturally I’d be an independent as I don’t like party politics but my attitude is way different to other independents. Is the county/country ready for somebody who gives a damn? Somebody who’s willing to pick up litter to serve the community on days of quiet council matters? There’s no glitz and glamour with me, I just do things.

Wondering when I’ll reach my first 20km run in my marathon training. Comfortable at 13km now but really need to push it more.

Wondering if I’ll finish my working life, reach retirement, in computing. For so many years I have seen the wheel reinvented now, that the lustre is beginning to fade. I never want to turn my back on technology but perhaps I could serve it better through teaching and observation?

Wondering why I feel the need to write blog posts of my brain dumps. 🙂

LouderVoice Update May 3, 2007

Posted by jbwan in Technology.
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For those who read my review of LouderVoice recently: I have updated the review to more accurately reflect the service offering. My initial experience lead me to a lesser understanding of the service and resulted in a rather glib review. I have since received a comment from Conor @ LouderVoice to inform me of the things I misperceived. As I am not so big as to fail to admit when I am wrong I have taken corrective action. So, any misinterpretations have been cheerfully corrected. 🙂 Now go try out LouderVoice for yourself!