Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Upcoming talks

Three for your diary in the next week or so.

Firstly we have David McWilliams, commentator and economist, who will deliver a lecture on the outlook for the economy or a sales pitch for his new book ``The Generation Game'', depending on your perspective. It is on in the University Concert Hall on Thursday November 15th from 14:30 to 15:30 and if you're a mad fan, there'll be a book signing afterwards in the Foundation. I'm going to be off at Stephen's wedding but I'd love to hear what this most insightful gentleman has to say.

Next up is a talk on Friday morning a talk by the Crash Ensemble from 10:00 to 11:00 in the CS (I think) which will be followed that evening by a concert by the Crash Ensemble at 19:30 in the Performing Arts Centre in the Foundation Building (more details).

Lastly and most definitely not the least, we have two great characters, John Bowers and Sten-Olof Hellström who are presenting the PTBYBO 3 workshop. This workshop will cover circuit bending and live coding (where, respectively, hardware and software are hacked before your very eyes and ears) to explore live sound/image relations in an improvised performance.

The workshop will feature the Irish debuts of Ohm-My-God (an environment in which random electronic circuits are constructed) and My Little Dreamachine (a miniaturization of Brion Gysin and Ian Sommerville’s hallucinogenic Dreamachine, the behaviour of which is variously sonified and visually transformed and projected). Generally, lights will flash and circuits will blip with an uncommon intensity as Hellström and Bowers work feverishly to transport all our bodies, minds and souls from the beginning of the end. A Performance To Blow Your Brains Out, surely.

A seminar discussing the techniques in PTBYBO 3 and relating them to larger issues in interaction design and the construction of new instruments for musical expression will be given by Hellström and Bowers in Kilmurry Hall, University of Limerick, the 21st of November 14:00-17:00. I've previously had the pleasure of working with these characters whilst on SOB and they are really really smart guys who also know how to have fun. I expect this workshop to be the best of the year.

Web Links:

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Whether and what, some thoughts and links

As ever its been a hectic week, with a visit to the TSSG for a catchup on IMS ARCS and some planning. I also had a quick demo and visit to The TSSG is always a great place to visit, it really is a hive of activity. I'm a little behind on thesis progress as I've found it difficult to schedule people for listening tests this week, hopefully it'll be better next week.

There have been a few bits of interest like how the lovely FG lady of DSE, Lucinda Creighton got hacked. There is a flurry of activity from Google's OpenSocial project which has produced a set of common APIs for building social applications across many websites (see also the project's blog). Unfortunately a sharp commentary by Tim O'Reilly pointed out that the two critical points of a new 2.0 web app are 1) the data and 2) small parts which are loosely connected (think mashups) have been missed in this new set of APIs. Whatever the case there is a nice starting point for Ruby on Rails people on the Bamboo Blog. Speaking of Ruby and Rails, there is a nice plugin for RESTful OpenID Authentication, a new gem for using Amazon's flexible payments, and a nice presentation on Rspec from James Deville. On another note for us techno-nomadic people, Gar has a great post and suggestion for setting up your own mailserver - cheers Gar!

If you want to waste some time and find what the latest buzz picturewise is on the web, checkout Picurls. Another useful article is how to stop using crutch words for public speaking. Keep track of noel hidalgo's journey which is documenting free culture, social innovators and global change across the world.

Useful OS X tools links:
  • SoundSource, really control the audio input / output on your Mac.

  • JungleDisk, take the plunge and get your backups under control by supplementing local backups with remote backups and Amazon's S3.

  • Doodim, black out your background for presentations, etc.

  • zfone, keep your Skype and other VOIP conversations secure.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

SEO specialists in Ireland - Cead Mile Caimiléireacht

Well I was very amused today when I took a break and caught up on some of the latest happenings on the web. I've always belived that SEO's and companies offering only these services were just a step above Dell boy and Co. Its the kind of service that your web development team or company should throw in for your business website. I've read quotes from these cowboys before for websites and for friends looking for advice on their services, thankfully I hope I saved at least some of them, both money and grief. The story of the month has to be the Ace Internet Marketing antics with regard to Damien Mulley. Bock has a lovely piece on Ace's evident plagiarism of content. There is also coverage over at and at Daithi's blog. This kind of carry on is just what the web development / web design sector in Ireland needs to show that, yes it is still full of untrained chancers who are willing to masquede content as their own. It leads to the question, if they couldn't manage the rather simple context, ``Could they manage the necessary and rather more advanced skills they were trying to peddle ?''