Thursday, March 31, 2005

After only one attack of the killer bins !

There was a definite touch of disappointment today as the new Doctor Who,
Christopher Eccleston has decided that one series was enough. So who will
be the next Doctor Who, here we go again !

For more info see

As for the Killer Bins, they are in no way related to the Bin-It project or as some have called them, the Dancing Bins project created by some of the Interactive Media students involved with the IDC but given the increase in DOD and MOD funding maybe they're might be a future in them yet !

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Politics needs a technology injection

From the
Technology has not lived up to its promise of transforming the way politicians communicate with the public, according to research. A meagre one per cent of the population has contacted their MP by email, but 38 per cent said they would if they knew what the address was.

See the story at

Articles like this drag out the old issues of why our TD's don't blog (and why they should and how you can blog for them) and how many TD's actually communicate effectively across the Internet as a medium ?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Visualising the results of the By Elections

Here's a graphical comparison based on the last election and the by election for Meath and for Kildare North.

Meath Election Results 2002Meath By Election Results 2005
Meath Election Results 2002Meath By Election Results 2005

Kildare North Election Results 2002Kildare North By Election Results 2005
Kildare North Election Results 2002Kildare North By Election Results 2005

Inspired by work for the US 2004 election (see also) on visualisation of election results and also work in the UK on the same topic. Here’s a comparison of the latest Dail by elections and the previous results for the 2002 Dail election.

Here’s the short explanation:
Fianna Fail is green, Labour or Independents are red and Fine Gael is blue. A primary coloured seat (red, green, blue) is a seat dominated by one party, while a secondary colour seat (yellow, magenta or cyan) means a hotly contested seat. Wikipedia has informative page about the Red-Green-Blue model of colour (as opposed to Red-Yellow-Blue), and the differences between the additive and subtractive colour models, if you want to find out the mechanics behind these methods.

Interpreting the graphics we can see that in both elections the green tones (or Fianna Fail overall percent) have suffered as the swing to other candidates is indicted by the colour change. The results used were those of the final count in both elections.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Homeward bound

The last couple of days were great. The weather got sunny and this greatly improved ski conditions. Ski school was well worth the time to improve one's skiing ability, we had a good instructor and capable people resulting in our last run being a black run.

Overall skiing isn't a bad choice but you need to be fairly fit and flexible especially in the lower legs. My favourite choices for pre skiing:

  • Step aerobics
  • Ashtanga yoga
  • Running or Jogging
Its also important to try and be in a group of similar ability. Checking the resort before and ensuring that there is a good selection for the group's ability makes for a happier holiday. More pictures and links to some really nice restaurants to follow. Signing off from Austria.

Survived day one!

Off the piste, had a good day at the school, its amazing what comes back even after nearly ten years since the last trip. Back to school again tomorrow.

An important note to remember when finding a pub in the evening is that the Austrians don't have the same pub culture as the Irish. So you'll end up looking for the busy pub on a freezing evening.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Another ski school day

Arrived to a new ski instructor for the classes today who had an important but seldom noted ski instructor skill that of a developed taste bud as he's promised to show us all the nice traditional restaurants around the mountain and given lunch today I've high hopes.

Loads of new arrivals with Donal's sister and her friend telling us all the interesting stories from the Gardai and Donal's girl friend's cousin is due to arrive so its a full house. By the end of the week will be taking over the village at this rate. Nothing other than some skiing improvement to note. Here's another url for the bookmarks

Monday, March 07, 2005

More from the Piste

Still taking lessons and I'm getting the turning thing. One important lesson which I narrowly avoided learning is not to pick up passenger's mid way up a T-bar lift as it tends to take both existing person and passenger out. The advice is to ski back to the bottom for those who have fallen.

Another useful tip is to take a hot shower followed by a cold after your stretchs pre shower. So sitting with a warm coffee and frozen ears, I'm back to figuring what's for dinner and where's the beer.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Off Skiing for next week

So I'm off with some of the lads tomorrow to go skiing in Austria for a week
so I figured I check and see if this email to blog functionality was working.
Onwards to Soll am Zee and the piste !

Friday, March 04, 2005

Insights from Slugger O'Toole

Here's Mick Fealty report on the LSE panel The Fall and Fall of Journalism.

It was a seminar on journalism and blogging at the London School of Economics which debated the points of the legitimacy of journalism versus the activism of blogging. Read Mick's report for a blow by blow account.

New blogs and a gig tonight

Looks like Maria and Ronan have gotten blogs.

They're also playing tonight in the Stables, see the band's SUPER SMASH MONKEY HOUSE site for more on the band or call down around 21:00 or there in there abouts.

Kindomality Test Results

According to Kingdomality - I'm a Benevolent Ruler.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Voter profiling in the UK

Reading today's Guardian and another little gem on Mosaic which is a data aggregation and mining system pulling information on 61 categories of people in part based upon the postcode information. Run by Experian its main use is by retail multiples who tailor stores to the demographics of the shoppers based upon the geo spatial and category information derived from the system. The Guardian today was talking about how the use of targeted voter selection of just 838,000 could win the election in the UK. The system profiles age, job type, family status / composition, ethnic grouping amongst other items. As with all these systems, only time will tell how effective tell will be put as I've always maintained and its been show by the last US elections personalisation of the message to the voter works so I foresee a lot more interest in this type of system since ComReg has given the green light for a Irish postcode system and An Post is striding ahead to gain an advantage for when it goes live.

Earlier systems: Acorn -
Proponent and Developer of the Concept, Richard Kimber
Opposition to this type of system on its course grained approach, Richard Webber