Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Installing / Upgrading R thru a http proxy on OS X

Having upgraded my version of R to 2.5.1, I was intent on not having to go home and upgrade my packages but I have always had some troubles getting the http_proxy to work on OS X for R in UL. After following a few fruitless suggestions from the web, I finally stumbed upon the correct way that works for UL.

1) Open Terminal and do the following:
export http_proxy=
export HTTP_PROXY=

2) Run R and do the following:
double-check this with:

It should work happily now, I think the major problem is you need to export the items in Terminal before running R.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Web Trend Map 2007 Version 2.0

The information architects consultancy in Japan, have a really cool update on their 200 most successful websites in the form of this rather sweet Tokyo style train map.

It's available in various versions including A3 pdf and as online clickable page.

Mashable has a nice list of group collaboration tools. I'll be adding Dan Lockton's blog to my list of interesting reads. If you are interested in design, take a look at Stanford's Michael Shanks and his class Ten Things 2007. Wired has a nice piece on citizen cartographers.

The Seanad election is all done bar the counting and luckily for Kevin, he didn't find any takers for his votes. I'm looking forward to seeing who is in and who is out.

As for the Deathly Hallows, even after reading it I'm undecided, but I suppose all series eventually run out of steam.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

eBay preserving democracy, well belatedly at any rate

Seems that the eBay bots have closed off the Seanad Election vote auction, no feedback barring the auto-emailer response so one has to wonder if there is a human involved in the process or if its merely an immediate suspension whilst the item is investigated. Just in case anyone missed the actual page, I've preserved a screendump for posterity and potential future prosecutions.

Speaking of legalise, the crowd, in particular Rebelman, who posted that yes it is illegal to sell your vote and that the person can be prosecuted under 1992 Electoral Act. The particular paragraph of reference is:
Section 25 (2) In addition and without prejudice to the provisions of the foregoing subsection of this section, every statutory provision for the time being in force relating to bribery, personation or other offences at elections of members of Dáil Éireann shall apply to elections in university constituencies as if these elections were elections of members.

According to Rebelman, "the crime would actually be personation by the third party involved and the sale would have directly facilitated this".

This leads back to a piece on Sunday's Tribune where Kevin Rafter offered his vote for sale, I'm very sure that reading the comments on his blog in reaction to his article that Kevin will take the correct action and immediately withdraw his vote from sale and print an apology in his next piece as otherwise one wonders if he may face a similar prosecution under the 1992 Electoral Act.

UPDATE: This story is now on today's (Friday's) front page of the Irish Times.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Election Fraud - Votes For Sale on

Seems that in addition to offering tickets well above and beyond their face value, have gotten into where the real money is, Politics!

eBay is now allowing sellers to offer votes for sale, as shown here (screendump of page). For the princely sum of €1.62 at the current bid, you can get yourself a vote for the NUI Seanad panel.

eBay had better get their act together as even their online complaint service doesn't offer this category of item yet and as others have noted, you need to be a registered eBay user to actually complain about any items for auction. The pundits are going mad over at and I'd be forced to join the growing calls to get this dealt with by eBay, ASAP.

If they though that material from certain German political parties or non-shipment of goods was a troublesome issue, wait until they see the politicans realise that either you can have old style R. J. Daly Chicago politics or New York style Tammany Hall Boss Tweed approaches to vote management. I'm sure that most of the politicans I know or support would of course take the view this is highly illegal, that it should be prosecuted and that it should be prevented in any future elections. However, the fact that this is an FF government with some mudguards begs the question, which would they be happier in choosing...

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Back from Travels - woes, woes and more woes


Had a great time in Canada at ICAD in Montreal - cheers to Mark and Sinead for being great hosts! Unfortunately, once I got back it seems like everything went wrong as a day later nobody can tell me where my luggage is. I'm still a bit stressed and there is the usual amount of crap and politics happening at the same time so life is definitely not good this week.

*UPDATE Wednesday evening* - Still no sign of my bag but fortune smiled for Mel who'd been on the same flight coming back from a Canadian Linux conference and who managed to get his bag earlier this evening, many thanks for the offer to collect mine and reminding me to double check they've actually gotten the correct details down for me!