Friday, October 29, 2004

Weekend Surfing in Lahinch

Off with the rest of the lads from the UL Kayaking club to Lahinch for a weekend of kayak surfing, hoping that the forecasts get a bit better for the surfing.

As to the rest of the world, for any Americans voting next week - please checkout

As a point making a link available isn't interfering with an election. Mind you George Bush's removal of non-American access to his web site does make a certain kind of statement. For all you die hard European based Republicans you can either try or more seriously and no I'm not putting a George Bush graphic up as I'm favoring Kerry even if he's out to kill off outsourcing and may not really be the man to improve transatlantic trade.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Electronic Activisim

Random browsing across the web for interesting sites on creating petitions, tools and techniques. As well as finding an interesting link directory.

The tools site at is especially worth a look.

The European Patent Campaign goes on

A new story on the Register is tracing the latest developments in this on going saga which has still not been resolved for better or worse at parliament level in Brussels.

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure (FFII-UK) has launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the dangers posed by software patents, particularly to smaller businesses. The campaign, Protect Innovation will target the government and businesses.

Please remember to mail your local MEP in this case I'm about to shift my archive of correspondance from John Cushnahan to Simon Coveney and try to see if he can't get some input into the parliamentary process in Brussels.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Krispin's Lawn - The new American Battleground

Krispin and his folks have been flying the flag for Kerry but its pretty polarised there as the man himself says. So we can only wish that Kerry can win and maybe stop some of those stupid policies originating from the current administration.

See the link on the desecration of his front lawn !

American Democracy, Privacy Concerns and Datamining

Well welcome to US Presidential Election 2004 and Big Brother is watching U!

New datamining systems in use by both big parties (Democrats) - `Demzilla' by PlusThree and (Republicans) `Voter Vault'. These track anywhere from 200-500 distinct information items regarding the voters contained within the systems, everything from census and demographics to contributions both monetary and to activities.

Social networking and its analysis are covered in Fundraising and Push Campaigning.

I wonder how long before the Irish political scene changes to meet these new advances and related advances such as the Excaliber rapid reputtal system used by Labour in UK politics.

The Indymedia Server Seizure Saga continues

From today Register:
"Nobody seized Indymedia's servers, apparently. On the 7th October hosting company Rackspace 'acted in compliance' with a court order and two servers belonging to Indymedia were removed from Rackspace's premises in London."

This really has got to be taking the biscuit, so I reckon that I want some company's webserver and any IP on it so I'm off to Italy to convince a nice judge to give me a hand with the legal claim! Really its ridiculous to allow that kind of carry on! If it is that easy to abuse the USA-Italy Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) when then this won't be the first nor the last that we'll see of these seizures.

Register link

Back from Paris and the report is written

Had a brillant time last week in Paris at the 2nd Sound Design Symposium. We meet with Stephen Barrass, Patrick Susini and Davide Rochesso and had some really good presentations and a really really great open-mic to finish it off. Didn't get too much time to wander round Paris with Stephen S or Mikael but sure next time.

Trip report is available at

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Freedom - O where art thou ?

Catching up on the web readings and saw this nice one about Indymedia.
Indymedia has been long home to many electronic hippies and cyberpunks and provides an interesting mix of reporting across a wide scope of issues. I'll admit that at times I disagree with their coverage but I'd never be one to pull their servers for a couple of pictures taken on a public street which is exactly what the FBI directed the UK police to do. Information should be free, I completely disagree with this type of heavy handed censorship by a foreign nation into the affairs of another nation with no feedback to the actual affected group. The Register, covers this story in much greater detail at

All I can say is that this type of censorship will force independent news organisation like Indymedia to further create electronic distribution means which are not subject to censorship such as P2P etc. Spurning the development of these systems will only help the real bad guys in the world find places free from censorship to put horrific footage like the execution of Ken Bigley on the Internet and allowing them to do it with security and anonymity.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Paris & Sound Design Ho!

Off tomorrow to have a serious week of Sound Design at the Symposium in IRCAM. All pictures and any useful info will be posted here afterwards. Be back on Saturday, God willing.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Dublin Visit

Back from a gig trip to Dublin. Wrecked but had a great time as Jurgen's band was brillant!

Firstly got a lift up and stopped to visit the Uncle's shop.

A picture of the man himself.

This is what a wallpaper shop looks like.

Meet up with Aidan after doing some shopping and we called out to his place in
Irish town. He'd had a rotten week with his CD collection being stolen from his
car. It was then a cup of tea and off to dinner at Milano's (Pizza Express really). We walked over the bridge and down past the Point, there has been some serious urban renewal going on there and its now a bit trendy and a lot safer to walk around at night.

The main event was the Jimmy Cake and the gig in the Spiel tent at the IFSC which was quite a nice little venue with lots of Erdlinger beer! Here's Jurgen's and the band in action.

Apologies about the picture quality but I was trying the new phone which has only a 1.3 or so Mega pixel lenses so it doesn't really cut it unless you scale the images to 320X240 or so.

Headed back on the Train following morning and even made it in for Friday afternoon.