Jan 08 2009

Irish Companies involved in W3C

Category: Internet,StandardsTeknovis @ 23:14

I am a big supporter of standards for technology, and I was reading some specifications from one of the many standards organisations today. I suspect, perhaps incorrectly, that there are many Irish companies involved in international standards organisations. I know that standards participation by Irish companies is something that Enterprise Ireland encourages.

Therefore, I decided to write a series of articles listing the Irish companies that are involved in international standards organisations that relate to information communication technologies. I will also include non-Irish companies that have technical operations in Ireland. (It would be nice if I could replicate this for the entire EU, but I do not have the time for that at the moment.)

I am going to start this series by looking at the W3C, because it is probably the prominent standards organisation in relation to the Internet. I am basing these lists on the online membership list.

The Irish companies that are currently members are:

The non-Irish companies that have technical operations in Ireland that are currently members are:

The Irish companies that appear to be members based on their own web pages even though they are not listed by the W3C:

That took me longer than I expected!

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Jan 08 2009

Windows 2000 Alive and Well

Category: WindowsTeknovis @ 09:22

I previously wrote about the demise of Windows 3.11 in Goodbye Windows 3.11!. I have not used in it many years, so this news did not concern me.

However, I still regularly use Windows 2000 because it does everything that I need. It also gives much better performance on older computers than its successor Windows XP.

I have been thinking recently about how popular Windows 2000 remains. I started thinking about this after reading an article describing how the UK’s Royal Navy has started using a mix of Windows 2000 and Windows XP on its nuclear powered submarines. This is instead of the traditional custom designed software. The full article is Royal Navy completes Windows for Submarines™ rollout.

During the Christmas holidays I was in several airports, and I was in many department stores. I was really surprised to see that many of the computers in these locations (boarding gates and customer information desks) were using Windows 2000. It is easy to spot this when the computers are not being used, because both the login screen and the default screensaver of Windows 2000 are distinctive.

It must be the case that the benefits of using the newer operating systems do not yet justify the massive additional costs of upgrading so many computers.

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Jan 07 2009

Mastercard Buys Orbiscom

Category: BusinessTeknovis @ 21:47

I heard this evening that Mastercard have bought Orbiscom for $100 million! That is great news, and I am sure that there must be lots of happy (and wealthy) people thanks to this ;)

More details about this can be read in the official press release MasterCard Worldwide Acquires Orbiscom to Accelerate Development of Innovative Payment Solutions.

I think that this shows that there is still confidence in the information communication technology sector!

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Jan 07 2009

Science Foundation Ireland Funded Research Groups

Category: Fourth LevelTeknovis @ 17:03

Science Foundation Ireland is an organisation that is tasked by the Irish Government to invest 1.4€ billion in fourth level research in the areas of science, technology, and innovation. (Chris Horn noticed that it is unfortunate that Science Foundation Ireland’s remit excludes Engineering in Accident and Emergency Beds ? Or….)

I am familiar with some of the Science Foundation Ireland projects that are currently being funded in the Irish Universities, so I will briefly mention them here for my own record. I am listing these projects because I either know some of the people involved in them, or they are of interest to me. (I am certainly not suggesting that they are the best in any way!)

There are two Strategic Research Clusters (SRCs) that are of interest to me:

  • ITOBO is investigating the creation of new types of buildings that make greater use of information and communication technology. For a long time I have felt that current buildings are really just large, but dumb, devices that contain many simple but totally independent systems. So I think that there is a lot of potential here to create really smart buildings simply by linking these systems and giving them some intelligence. This project is based in UCC.
  • StratAG is investigating methods for measuring and processing spatial information. It is based in NUI Maynooth.

For the complete set of Strategic Research Clusters projects see Strategic Research Clusters.

There are three Centres for Science, Engineering & Technology (CSETs) that are of interest to me:

  • Clarity is investigating techniques for sensing data in the real world, and then combining this data with existing digital information. This project is based in both DCU and UCD.
  • CTVR is investigating both low-level and high-level issues that are relevant to the next generation of telecommunications networks. It is based in TCD.
  • Lero is investigating techniques for developing dependable software. It is based in UL.

For the complete set of Centres for Science, Engineering & Technology projects see Centres for Science, Engineering & Technology.

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Jan 06 2009

EU Digital Library Online Again

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 22:25

The EU has launched its new digital library Europeana – again! I previously wrote about this in Too Much Interest in new EU Digital Library, because the demand was so great the first time that the website was launched that it had to be taken offline.

Hopefully this time the website will be able to cope with the traffic!

More details about this relaunch can be read in EU’s new online library reopens.

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Jan 05 2009

Steve Jobs

Category: Business,PeopleTeknovis @ 15:47

I did lots of reading during the Christmas holidays, so I will probably be writing about it here for a while!

During the weekend I read a magazine article about Steve Jobs, who is the CEO of Apple. Actually there were several articles about him in the magazine, and he wilfully collaborated with some of the authors, and refused to comment on the other articles about him.

The most surprising insight that I got from the article was that it does not seem like a lot of fun to work at the top levels in Apple, and this is mostly due to Steve Job’s personality. It seems that most people describe him negatively rather than positively! He really seems to have a strange relationship with his staff. One former Apple executive summarised him by saying

Democracies don’t make great products. You need a competent tyrant.

All of this really amazed me, since I consider that Apple is one of the most creative and innovate large technology companies.

Another interesting thing that I learned was that Steve Jobs was involved in Pixar. He bought it in 1986 for $10 million, and sold it in 2006 while remaining the largest shareholder. His shareholding is worth approximately $4.6 billion. Nice!

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Jan 03 2009

The Matrix Runs on Windows

Category: Humour,WindowsTeknovis @ 11:26

A friend recently brought this great video by CollegeHumor to my attention:


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Jan 03 2009

Asos has Strong Christmas Sales

Category: eShoppingTeknovis @ 10:32

I read a very positive article about Asos in an Irish womens’ lifestyle magazeen during the week. The article was brought to my attention by a female family member :o

As I described in Online Christmas Shopping 2008, I bought from Asos for my first time this year. So did my female family members. We were all extremely pleased with the experience, the prices, and the purchases.

The article also states that Asos is beating the current economic downturn. In particular, it experienced a 107% rise in sales, and a 68% rise in profit. I am sure that the week pound must also be helping!

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Jan 02 2009

Period Tracking Application for the iPhone

Category: iPhoneTeknovis @ 09:33

I read a very interesting article about a new period tracking application for the iPhone. The application is called I am a Man, and it enables the user to keep track of the periods of several women. Its main features are described as:

  • Trace your girlfriend’s periods
  • Set a master password for the whole program
  • Set personal passwords for every girl
  • Make calls by simply tapping on her name

Here is a sample screenshot:

I am a Man Application Screenshot (courtesy of VentureBeat)

I am a Man Application Screenshot (courtesy of VentureBeat)

For more details about this application see An iPhone app to track the menstrual cycle of your girlfriend(s). (Yes, you read that right).

I think that the application seems to be quite useful! My only negative comment is that the application title is a bit sexist, because it seems to be very focused on male users. Surely more females track periods than males!

Unsurprisingly, the application is getting a lot of negative attention. For example, Pat Phelan expresses his opinion in Farts and periods, Apple finally reaches the bottom of the barrel, and many of his Irish readers agree with him.

I understand why people have these negative opinions. Furthermore, I think that most of my Irish friends (both male and female) would have similar opinions.

However, I think that this application will be viewed differently by people from different cultures and backgrounds. For example, I know females who feel that information regarding their periods is not particularly private (of course they do not make a public announcement about it either). It is just not a big deal to them, and it is certainly not taboo. Indeed, some of these females already track their periods using their computers or mobile devices. Finally, it is not uncommon for them to know when their colleagues are having theirs.

So are these friends all exceptional? I do not know, but perhaps their attitudes are influenced by the fact that they come from Spain and Italy :o

I will try and convince some of my female friends to post their opinions of this application here :)

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Jan 01 2009

The Buzzwords of 2008

Category: HumourTeknovis @ 12:02

Happy New Year everybody!

I decided to begin 2009 with a humorous post about the buzzwords of 2008 according to The New York Times. The technology sector is normally busting with new buzzwords, so it is interesting to see what buzzwords have main it mainstream!

I think that my favourite buzzword is photobombing, and it means

Intentionally inserting oneself as an unwelcome subject in the background of someone else’s photograph.

Perhaps the most ridicules buzzword is longphoto, which means

A video of 90 seconds or less. Used by the photo-sharing Web site Flickr, which began permitting videos this year.

I do not understand what was wrong with short video!

It is interesting that most of the buzzwords are related to either the US election or the economy.

The full article with all of the buzzwords is The Buzzwords of 2008.

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