Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Looks like the Web 2.0 Tussle has been sorted

Firstly we have Tim's response (very clear and detailed) to the use of the term, Web 2.0 and then we have Tom's reply to Tim. The end result, Tim's apology for the way the matter was handled as being too heavy handed and Tom's apology for not emailing Tim to clarify the matter rather than going on a web blog-krieg.

"The Internet is the most far-reaching, free and open medium for expression that we have. From the perspective of certain governing bodies, this also makes it the greatest citizen-driven threat. Government suppression of internet freedom, monitoring of online activity and censorship of people's personal sites has been growing in proportion with the explosion of web use, aided in part by large tech firms." -, Amnesty International and The Observer have started a campaign for internet freedom, sign the pledge at They also have a nice piece on using Google Earth to do 3D printed buildings.

BoxesAndArrows have a really nice piece on designing interactions for predictive markets (read Earthweb) and on Web Dogma ‘06.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Hope for us all yet!

So here it is, yes - seriously - Cooking for Engineers so there is indeed hope for some of us to prepare something that can be classified as food!

Lots of other random bits in the ether today - we've got WikiMapia is a hybrid of Google Maps and Wikipedia, a whole mixed confusion over trademarks and the phrase "Web 2.0" (See The Reg via The Limerick Blogger team).

Personal Democracy Forum have a whole pile of interesting bits from the ever popular "Call Connected Thru The NSA" ringtone (Downloads) to a series of podcasts from their conference on the topics of "Making Online Work Offline and in the Field","The Rising Power of Local Political Blogs" and "TxtMessaging and Mobile Politics".

Finally something a little closer to my day job, we have Coming of Age in Ethnography, and from Chris McEvoy we have a nice link to Jakob Nielsens's Corporate Usability Maturity stages ( stages 1 - 4 and stages 5 - 8 ).

Best yet, I found a nice link for salaries for usability professsionals and the figures are not too bad at all :->

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Rain, rain and more rain

So I can across this letter in last Friday's Irish Times (26th May) from Breándan Ó Cróinin and I had to post a choice selection of his Gaeilge rain vocabulary given the recent spell of weather.

  • Rain - báisteach or fearthainn

  • Drizzle / Misty rain - ceobhrán or brádán, e.g. Tá sé ag draonán báistí or Tá sé ag dríodarnach báistí

  • Light rain - ceathanna, múrtha or scrabhanna báistí

  • Showery weather - aimsir cheathach or aimsir spairniúil

  • Scattered rain / Light shower - craobhmhúr

  • Occasional rain - breacbháisteach

  • Rain blown on the wind - seadbháisteach

  • Sprinkle of rain - spréachbhraon fearthainne

  • Heavy / Torrential rain - batharnach, clagairt, clagarnach, dallcairt, forlacht, gleidearnach, stealladh, tuile or tabhairt mhaith báistí

  • Raining cats and dogs - ag cur foirc agus sceana (Munster Irish), ag cur sceana gréasai (Connemara Irish) or ag cur balc báistí (Ulster Irish)

I suppose the recent weather on the political front should also be mentioned as despite spending more than the average industrial wage on make-up, poor old Bertie is definitely under the weather.

Speaking of the poor weather is a good prod to think about signing up for the climate pledge campaign which is run by the Friends of the Earth Ireland branch for more details (PDF). If that is too heavy, try something bizarre like this list of Japanese Sound effects and what they mean.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Podcasting Gear

So I've finally decided to sort the mobile podcasting solution and here with a little advice from Mikael is what I came up with.

A Sony ECM MS907 Stereo Condenser - €119 and a UA-1EX USB Audio Interface - €89 . This is a cheap and hopefully effective solution going straight from the Microphone to the Audio Interface and then to the computer. It should mean no messing with mixers or issues with phantom power. Thanks to sith for pointing out Thomann.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A video clip from the stadium

Just a snippet of the atmosphere from Cardiff as the party started!

What a match! What a weekend!

Munster has finally done it! The ERC has come to Limerick and long may it stay! I was privileged to get to both Cardiff for the match and then on Sunday to O'Connell Street in Limerick for the victory celebrations with the team.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Small World

Create your own visited countries map.

Taking a cue from moonbeam's post. Really shows the changes with the Ireland and our willingness to travel, yet these days to happily return.

William Blake - Auguries of Innocence

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

A robin redbreast in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage.

A dove-house fill'd with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Fine Gael Clare Convention

Fine Gael Clare Convention
Originally uploaded by bluepelican.
Its been a hectic day in the West County Hotel in Ennis. The candidates are just finishing up and so far its been exciting but the voting is yet to come. There'll be more to come later.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Alan Cox on Linux Kernel Development

A great talk this afternoon in UL by Alan Cox of Red Hat on the process and reality of Linux Kernel Development. It was interesting talk and showed an introduction to the ethos and reality as encountered by one of the senior maintainers and Linux gurus. The talk was hosted by the UL Computer Society, sponsored by the Bank of Ireland and is the last in their talk series of the year.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Fun with Face Morphing and Weekend readings

For some lite entertainment on this sunny Friday, try the software from St. Andrew's for Facial Transformation, give it a picture of yourself and turn it into a manga superhero or even an old man.

For some thing a little more interesting, skip over to the Harvard magazine and discover why we "beg, buy, borrow, or steal on a whim" which discusses the emerging field of behavioral economics. A related economics article on examing the strength of social influences as a factor of success is here. If that isn't enough for you, how about one of my absolute favorite author's (Vernor Vinge) talking about where the Internet will be in 2020 as a research tool. Another very interesting read for the week is from that great journal, First Monday and is on Open Source Disaster Recovery and focuses on the Asian tsunami and the hurricane Katrina efforts by volunteers using open source models.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Diarmuid's guest post on Limerick and Quality of Life

Diarmuid has an excellent post on Limerick and Quality of Life over at the thelimerick blog. I'm not exactly impartial with regards to Diarmuid as I've been on his campaign team since the first election campaign but what he said is very important for anyone living and interested in Limerick.

As ever you can also check out his podcasts, the latest one is a bit better as I used a better microphone.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Morning session on Health

Morning session on Health
Originally uploaded by bluepelican.
A bit of a lack of coffee is setting in but then you listen to some of the speakers and you get a bit of a second wind just listening to them. The health issue will be one of the keystones of the next election so its interesting but scary to hear on the problems in health especially on topics such as suicide. The figures by Dan Neville on suicide and on self harm are beyond horrific especially given the government prefers to stick their collective heads in the sand.

Morning of 73rd Ard Fheis

After a good old night in the CityWest, we're into the morning session and a great success from the lads in the UL YFG branch as the motion on re-emphasing the by-line Fine Gael - The United Ireland Party passed so congratulations to both Eric and Sarah who made their first presentations at an Ard Fheis and passed their motion too!

It's gone live to RTE with Brody Sweeney first up followed swiftly by Leo Varadkar, both speaking on transport in Dublin and both men were pushing the woes of the M50 and the life of the ordinary Dublin commuter. A 789% return to NTR on the cost of building the M50 bridge compared to the cost of building it. The dodgy story of Fianna Fail politics where it was first Burke and George Redmond, later followed by Cullen who continued the trend of favouring Fianna Fail friends ... A classic remark by Leo. "I won't trust Cullen to wash my car not to mind running a department.". Leo was followed by Francis Fitzgerald also talking about the woes of young communters and young families. She pointed out something I hadn't realised, that there is a disused Rail tunnel under the Phoenix Park. I'll have to admit that Olivia Mitchell was on the top table and listening to the quality of comments from the three previous speakers, it was hard to think how she could top the previous motions but she really did come out and make a clear concise and informative speech.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Declaring War On Crime

Declaring War On Crime
Originally uploaded by bluepelican.
With Michael Noonan chairing the session the floor opened with some great points made by Brian Gillian who really is a sharp cookie as well as points from Jim O'K and Damien E. The main points are all gardas will be able to retire later at 60 whilst having the assistance of 4000 or so reserve gardai. Enda had covered the new bail act in his opening speech which will include a fast track for the DPP to prevent bail, electronic tagging, refusal of bail in more instances such as in rape cases. A new set of sentencing guidelines will be established to deal with the sentencing differences which has occured in several high profile cases. The State will be allowed to give a closing sentencing appeal, as currently only the defense give a closing sentence appeal. Jim also outlined points on minimum and mandatory sentences especially that 80% of cases shouldn't fall under this exception as happens now and especially this should not be allowed for repeat offenders. I'm afraid I've only managed to touch on a handfull of the more important points raised during the session but it was enough to keep us eager for tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Podcast fun

Looks like all the fun over the weekend playing with Audacity and Garageband for Diarmuid's podcasts has payed off!