Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fine Gael 2002 versus 2007 Seat %


Fine Gael has had an incredible performance in this election, the above images show the percent proportion of seats per constituency based upon the number of seats available for each particular constituency. I’ve created this graphic as I felt today’s Irish Times graphics with first perference votes were misleading to a degree given that it is a PR-STV system we live in and that it really is how the seats end up that is the actual result when transfers are included. To borrow an often used phrase, “A lot done, more to do“. At this point, with the Seanad elections now looming and many of the upcoming Fine Gael candidates successful we can expect to see a good crop of new Fine Gael Senators in the next Dail. Fine Gael may require a two election strategy to return to power but the results of this election will provide a very solid foundation upon which to build.


Thursday, May 24, 2007

It's a boy! Congratulations to Bruce and Luisa on the birth of Daniel

Congratulations to Bruce and Luisa on the birth of their first child, baby Daniel, he's a strapping 8 pounds and 12 ounces. He was born today in Limerick at 17:53.

Monday, May 21, 2007

You've been canvassed!

It was a bit like the old tango ad - you know when you've been canvassed. I'm not often canvassed during elections because I'm always home closer to eight or later and sure who's ever about over the weekends so it was with a bit of a suprise that I got my first doorstep experience with a canvasser.

Roll up, Mr Canvasser for Peter Power, who did all the introductions that I assume are the norm and then said sure "You'll think of Peter, won't you ?" (minus marks from the start but hey!) to which I replied "I work in IT and I haven't seen any major IT companies coming to Limerick in the last 5 years and in fact a number of my friends have lost their jobs in the mean while and gone to Dublin for work...." (Opening here for Mr Canvasser) to which he replied "But things have been good", I then said "So what about Dell and contingency plans ?" to which he said he had family working (I really doubt it but maybe) there who said it was fine, I countered his argument as I've heard from real people who work there that its questionable and he then said "Sure if Dell go, sure we'll find something else...". At this point, I realised I was talking to a complete muppet and I told him I couldn't vote for his candidate and said goodnight.

The whole conversation showed me the complete and utter disregard that FF have for voters, I asked reasonable questions which effect my future and the future of my city and it was like "Sure things are grand..." type responses. The whole incident might be a little unfair as I have canvassed before and will ask the hard questions but I kinda like Peter Power so I figured I'd let him off easy but even he couldn't give a good glib answer like "Sure there's a new data warehouse going up in Raheen, there'll be a few jobs there" (I would have in his place!).

Its true I wasn't going to vote for FF but to be fair one always needs to hear both sides of the argument and well the arrogance and hollowness I got from that FF canvasser just proves that foot soldiers of Destiny are empty vessels pretty much like the rest of their party.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Hillary vs Obama and Newstalk's Fake Candidate - Political YouTube Laughs

For a laugh.

or this piss take from Newstalk

Silly online Geek test....

Well - keeping with the trend,

Your Score: Pure Nerd

78 % Nerd, 21% Geek, 4% Dork

For The Record:
A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer. Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.

Take the test yourself

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

A few things to provide respite from the election

If you haven't already done you're daily duty go and support Limerick for the new Monopoly, okay so its voting but its for Limerick!

Cory Doctorow has a nice article on fighting trolls - what works and what doesn't. Its a great article for even people just managing their own blog and most definitely worth a read. Here's a little teaser:
"Trolls can infect a small group, but they really shine in big forums. Discussion groups are like uranium: a little pile gives off a nice, warm glow, but if the pile gets bigger, it hits critical mass and starts a deadly meltdown. There are only three ways to prevent this: Make the pile smaller again, spread the rods apart, or twiddle them to keep the heat convecting through them."

It points out a great technique, disemvoweling which uses the removal of vowels as a mechanism for dealing with trolling or unwanted posting. I wish some Irish fora would take a leaf.

The Register has a nice interview on the guys who wrote the attack which breaks WEP encryption in under 2 minutes. There is another attempt to crack down on the possibility of money laundering in the virtual world. Experts are afraid that it will be come a type of virtual Hawala system which is a honor type money transfer system where the transfers are informal and are not regulated by governments.

The Economist has a nice article on how mobile phone penetration correlates positively with economic growth. Hat tip to WorldChanging. I've read earlier related work and its quite an interesting read. A follow up on the earlier related work has shown one amazing statistic which states that by adding 10 mobile phones per 100 people a country can see a 0.6% increase in GDP per capita annually. Another link, which is always worth checking out is Jan Chipchase's blog (RSS), at least for those interested in mobile design.

Checkout Ten Steps towards a greener life and Yahoo's new site, Yahoo Green. The SHPEGS project is aiming at producing an open design in a not-for-profit manner with the aim of designing and prototyping a renewable electrical generation system for use in moderate climates such as Ireland.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Coalition for Change moving ahead in all polls

Looks like this is a first but it seems that tomorrow's IMS poll will show the Coalition for Change, i.e. FG/Lab on 39% putting it just ahead of the current Government, i.e. FF/PD on 38%.

It's a first as this is the first time that all the major polling companies have FG/Lab outpolling the current FF/PD Government. This close race could easily be influenced by the debates on RTE on Wednesday (Pat Rabbitte, Michael McDowell, Trevor Sargent and Gerry Adams) and on Thursday (Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Taoiseach-hopeful Enda Kenny).

Random bits of linkage

James Patrick Kelly's novella Burn won the Nebula Award, it is the first Creative Commons licensed work and the first podcast to win an Nebula. - BoingBoing

Don't forget to slay those pesky office vampires.

Charlie Stross has a nice post / speech he gave on technology and the future.

From Pasta And Vinegar some solid basic advice on designing and conducting research:

Firstly ask these questions-
1. Which research question are to be asked
2. Which data will answer those questions
3. Where, and from whom, those data can be obtained
4. In what form the data will be collected
5. Who will be responsible for collecting, analyzing, and writing up the data
6. When each stage of data collection, analysis and report writing will begin and end
7. How, by whom, and to whom results will be disseminated“

Make two tables-
Table 1:
What do I need to know?
Why do I need to know this?
What kind of data will answer the question?
Where can I find the data?
Whom do I contact for access?
Timelines for acquisition

Table 2:
Research Questions / Process Data and Outcome Measures / Sources of Data

An astute lady and two thoughts on BertieGate

As you are aware, my judicial separation proceedings concluded around November/December 1993. The issues which I have been explaining to the tribunal.
- Bertie Ahern, on his past financial issues.

However Elizabeth made a comment at GUBU. She asked the question
Why would a judicial separation be a reason for anyone not “operating a bank account for a number of years”?

And she offers two possible explanations:
1 -
The husband’s sworn affidavit of means was not a true reflection of his actual means or his ability to pay maintenance. If the court knew the true extent of the husband’s means, it would order higher maintenance payments to the wife and children. If the wife suspected this, she could apply to the court for a discovery order of any bank accounts and, therefore, the husband closed his accounts and operated on a cash only basis or through bank accounts nominally controlled by others.

2 -
As above, but the wife was aware the affidavit of means grossly understated the husband’s means. She was aware that certain amounts could not be declared in the affidavit because they had not been declared to the revenue. She colluded in this in return for, for example, a large lump sum or 100% of the house.

She ends with "So it seems the only possible explanation for not having a bank account is that he was either cheating his wife and children of maintenance or he was evading tax or, of course, a combination of the two. Or am I missing something? I know these are in camera matters, but what other explanation could there possibly be?"

I had thought the story dead but this is a very different angle on the affair which may be the straw breaking the camel's back or not.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sarkozy is in

Well France has had it second round of elections and congratulations to the new president, Mr Nicolas Sarkozy. I think he is probably the best person to shake up the system and give France's economy a kick start.

To tell the truth, I had helped James Lawless put together his video and podcasts so I think it's only fair to leave the last word to him on what should be the beginnings of a good Franco-Irish relationship.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Golden Compass Daemon

Taking a leaf from Dan

Am I who I think I am ? Click thru and answer the Q&A about me and it will alter the daemon to suit.