Mar 31 2009

IQ Prize

Category: EntrepreneurshipTeknovis @ 9:41 pm

I learned about a business competition on the main national television news last night for Irish Internet based ideas. The prize fund of 10,000€ is being sponsored by an Irish company called iQContent, and entrants must submit a brief business plan. iQContent will not have any further involvement with the winners once the competition is over.

For more details about this competition see iQPrize or The iQ Prize: 10,000 euro for the best business plan.

This could be an ideal opportunity for somebody who has an idea, and I think that it is great to see this type of encouragement.

Actually, the more I think about this competition, the more I realise that it is very beneficial to iQContent also. The company got terrific free public exposure on prime-time television last night. Additionally, the company will get to see many other unsuccessful ideas as part of the competition. I am not suggesting that iQContent will steal any of them, but it might provide it with some useful inspiration :o

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Mar 30 2009

A Confusing Time

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 8:57 pm

I attend several global conference calls each week. The conference call service provider has an automated system that sends out notifications and reminders. Usually these messages contain the time of the conference call expressed in several different time zones.

The US switched to daylight saving time a few weeks ago, whereas Europe only switched to daylight saving time during the weekend. Unfortunately, the conference call service provider’s system does not realise that this period exists. Therefore, the conference call details have been really confusing for the last weeks, because it was never clear which time and time zone were correct!

I find it a bit surprising that the service provider’s system cannot handle this situation correctly. In Europe we always change our clocks at the same time every year. Perhaps this is not true in the US.

Anyway, thankfully the relative differences between time zones are all correct again!

In order to track time clearly, I decided to put a 24 hour clock showing Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) on this blog. The clock is courtesy of ClockLink, but I had to modify the suggested code to create valid XHTML. I have also decided not to change the time on my blog from GMT.

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Mar 29 2009

Marchitecture

Category: HumourTeknovis @ 10:06 am

I heard a really good new word during the week – Marchitecture. According to Wikipedia, Marchitecture means:

The term is applied to any form of electronic architecture perceived to have been produced purely for marketing reasons.

This was the context in which I heard the word being used in a presentation that I attended. Indeed, it was the presenter, who is a marketer, who used the word :)

However, a more serious meaning for it is also provided:

A marketecture…is one page, typically informal depiction of the system’s structure and interactions. It shows the major components, their relationships and has a few well chosen labels and text boxes that portray the design philosophies embodied in the architecture. A marketecture is an excellent vehicle for facilitating discussion by stakeholders during design, build, review, and of course the sales process. It’s easy to understand and explain, and serves as a starting point for deeper analysis.

I can actually appreciate the use of this meaning :o

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Mar 28 2009

Irish eShopping

Category: eShoppingTeknovis @ 11:30 am

I read two interesting articles in the paper earlier this week about Irish people and shopping online.

The first article contains the results of a survey of 1,000 Irish people. The main finding was that Irish consumers spent an average of 1,700€ online in 2008, and that approximately a quarter of these people expect to spend more online in 2009. I certainly spent more than the average online in 2008, but I am probably in the majority who do not believe that this will increase in 2009 :o

Another interesting finding of the survey was that 90% of shoppers believe that they can save money by shopping online. I am certainly agree with this from my experience, and the recent increase in the Irish VAT rate has only exasperated the price differences!

The full article is Shoppers spent average €1,700 online in 2008.

The second article, Downturn speeding up revolution in the way we shop, argues that speed, adaptability, and agility, are the key business traits that will enable companies to survive the current economic downturn. The author then proposes that technology will be the key enabler of these business traits. It is interesting reading, and I share the author’s sentiments!

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Mar 27 2009

Location Based Crime Solving

Category: Location Based ServicesTeknovis @ 6:08 pm

I read earlier this week that a man was found guilty of a hit and run in which the victim ultimately died. The man did not deny that the car was involved in the incident, but he did claim that he sold the car before the incident occurred. Therefore, he claimed that it was the new, and unidentified, owner who was guilty of the hit and run.

However, the police presented evidence from a mobile phone company that the man’s mobile phone, and by extension the man, was in the area of the incident at the time of the incident. Indeed, they even knew that the man was on a call at the time of the incident. The full article is Man jailed for fatal Dublin hit and run, but you need to view the video in order to hear about the location based evidence.

I think that it is very interesting the way that mobile phone location information is being increasingly used to solve crime in Ireland.

The first investigation that highlighted the use of location information relating to a mobile phone was the disappearance and death of Robert Holohan. See Holohan search called off for the night for more information.

More recently, mobile phone evidence was used to successfully convict Joe O’Reilly of the murder of his wife. For more about this see Mobile record clashes with O’Reilly alibi and O’Reilly trial hears details of mobile calls. Indeed, in this case the location aspects of the mobile phone evidence were questioned in the unsucessful appeal case, as described in Joe O’Reilly’s appeal is dismissed.

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Mar 26 2009

Irish Government Censorship – The Other Painting

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 10:05 pm

Yesterday’s story about the Government’s attempts to censor the paintings of the Irish Prime Minister posing naked continued to gain momentum today. This is thanks to the Irish media that is not state owned, the Irish Internet community, and the international media.

I am including the other painting here for the sake of completeness :)

Painting of Brian Cowen on Toilet (From The Irish Times)

Painting of Brian Cowen on Toilet (From The Irish Times)

According to Gardai question artist under caution, the charges being considered against the artist are:

The detective said the artist was being investigated in connection with three charges: incitement to hatred, indecency, and criminal damage for hammering a nail into a wall of the National Gallery.

Yes, really!

For more about the effect of this on the Irish Prime Minister see Cowen not consulted before complaint to RTE and No losing sight of the big picture as Portraitgate rumbles on.

It is also interesting to note that the opposition political parties tried to raise the issue in the parliament today, but the Government prevented this successfully. For more information about this see Opposition slams Govt over portrait pressure.

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Mar 25 2009

Irish Government Censorship

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 10:49 pm

A very interesting story about Government censorship has been unfolding in Ireland over the last two days. Indeed, if not for the Internet then the story would have been successfully squashed by now!

It all started with a practical joke in which paintings of the Irish Prime Minister, who was naked, were hung in two popular art galleries in Dublin. The national broadcaster RTE provided coverage of the story.

Here is a screenshot of one of the paintings in case the video gets removed:

Painting of Brian Cowen (From RTE News)

Painting of Brian Cowen (From RTE News)

Initially this was just an example of Irish humour, but it quickly took a sinister tone. First RTE was pressurised into removing the video from its web site, and it was subsequently forced to issue the following apology:

The Government then continued to flex its muscles today by sending the police into a radio station that covered the story. The police were demanding the name of the artist. More information about this can be read in Gardaí visit radio station in Cowen painting inquiry.

The police identified the artist in one of the fastest investigations ever undertaken, and they are currently preparing a prosecution. The police also seized five other similar paintings. More details of this are described in Teacher questioned over Cowen paintings.

My opinion on all of this is that it is outrageous that the Government is putting so many resources into trying to bury this story. I am also delighted with the responses of the online community, and I hope to play my part also :o

I am also really surprised that the Governemnt, or even the Prime Minister, did not seize the opportunity to turn it into good publicity.

For more coverage of this story from the Irish blogging community take a look at the recent posts by Maman Poulet, Damien Mulley, and Caricatures Ireland. This last web site has a very good caricature in The Taoiseach has no clothes and RTE has no balls: the Brian Cowen Nude Caricature.

Brian Cowen Caricature (Copyright Caricatures Ireland)

Brian Cowen Caricature (Copyright Caricatures Ireland)

The t-shirt version of it looks great in Get your b*ll*ck-naked T*oiseach t-sh*rt.

I also think that this is yet another example of how a small story becomes a huge story when somebody tries to censor it! A perfect example of this is all of the other caricatures that are now appearing on the Internet, such as the caricatures in Photoshop Cowen extravaganza. I think that some of these are very funny, while others are not. However, I think it is vital in a democracy that they are all available to the public!

I have been following this story, and the associated outrage, all day on Twitter. I must admit that I really liked the real-time nature of this, although it was a distraction :o

It is also very interesting to see how the global media is covering this story. The story is covered in the UK in Naked taoiseach paintings removed, Cowen artist ‘could be charged’, and Guerrilla artist hangs nude paintings of taoiseach Brian Cowen. France is reading about the story in A poil, par Robert Solé, and the US is reading about it in Ireland: Nude Premier Paintings Appear. Perhaps the most ironic, or even worrying, coverage is by the Chinese in Naked Irish PM portraits removed. I am sure that it is also being covered by many other news agencies of which I am not aware!

The story has also made it into Wikipedia, where it is known as Picturegate. Perhaps the Irish Government will try to remove this next!

I wonder how this story will continue in the following days!

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Mar 24 2009

Twitter Over Capacity

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 4:21 pm

I logged in to Twitter earlier this afternoon to write something, and I got the following screen (click to see it in original resolution):

Twitter Over Capacity

Twitter Over Capacity

I am surprised, and a bit disappointed, with this. I wonder how often this happens!

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Mar 23 2009

Teknovis on Twitter

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 9:51 pm

I keep hearing positive things about micro-blogging, and in particular, Twitter. So during the weekend I decided to create a Twitter account. At the very least I thought that I should reserve the name Teknovis. Perhaps in the future Twitter names will become as sought after as popular domain names!

I am suggesting this because I recently read that Blacknight changed from its original, but less obvisious, Twitter name to simply Blacknight. The latter was not available when Blacknight first registered with Twitter, so I wonder if it had to buy it. You can read more about this in Attention Twitter Followers!.

Once I created my Twitter account I decided to configure it a bit, and I was pleasently suprised how easy it was to do this so that it has the same theme as my blog! At this point I decided to disregard my scepticism, and commit to Twitter :)

I am not familiar with using Twitter, so I found that Newbie’s guide to Twitter and A Quick Introduction to Twitter for Bloggers were good introductions! There are still a few things that I am not clear on, but hopefully these will become clear with usage!

I also used the Twitter web interface from my PDA, and I was very impressed with how well it renders. I can see myself using that a lot. Perhaps I will eventually use a dedicated client on my PDA, such as the client shown in Twitter for Windows Mobile.

I am hoping to achieve two things with my new Twitter account:

  • I am intending to use it for micro-blogging about technology related issues that do not warrant a full article on this blog. I especially like the convenience of being able to do this from my PDA.
  • I am attracted to the real-time nature of using Twitter. An example of this is described in Dragon’s Den Contestants And The Web.

So my Twitter URL is http://twitter.com/Teknovis.

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Mar 20 2009

Amazon Web Service Case Studies

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 8:02 pm

A friend recently send me a link to a list of Amazon Web Service Case Studies.

Some of the companies mentioned are familiar to me, but others are new. However, all of the case studies make interesting reading!

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