Mar 19 2009

BBC News Web Site Archive

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 7:50 pm

I read an interesting article on the BBC News web site last weekend, and today I wanted to email its link to a friend. Unfortunately the link was no longer present on the homepage, so I used the search facility. This was a very frustrating experience, partly because I could not remember the title of the article. So after about 20 minutes I gave up :(

This made me think that it is a pity that the BBC News web site does not have a calender function to search the archive. For example, the RTE News web site contains such a calender.

RTE News Archive Calender

RTE News Archive Calender

After a quick search on the Internet I realised that I was not the only person who thought that a calendar function would be useful. Indeed, I found a very nice implementation of such a calendar at BBC News Front Page Archive. It was here that I found the article that I was looking for ;)

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Mar 18 2009

Irish Companies involved in OMA

Category: Mobile Computing,StandardsTeknovis @ 7:59 pm

Today I am going to focus on the Irish involvement in another international standards body called the OMA (Open Mobile Alliance). Information about the history and goals of the OMA can be found in About OMA. There are 4 different levels of membership of the OMA, and these are described in OMA Membership. However, I am not going to distinguish between these membership types. I am basing my lists on the memberships lists in Current OMA Members.

The Irish companies that are currently members are:

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

As always, it is difficult to determine if some of these multi-nations have a technical presence in Ireland.

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Mar 15 2009

Weaktops

Category: Hardware,HumourTeknovis @ 10:46 am

I heard a friend of mine use the term weaktop during the week to describe a netbook. Perhaps his view is due to the fact that he is an intense gamer, and hence a netbook simply is not of much use to him. Either way, I thought that the term was very humorous :D

Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that my friend was not the first person to create or use this term. For example, there are many articles such as Linux weaktops poised for death by smartphone that already use it :o


Mar 14 2009

Google Street View Comes to Ireland

Category: Internet,Location Based ServicesTeknovis @ 5:44 pm

I read an article in one of today’s papers describing how Google will soon to start photographing the streets of Ireland in preparation for adding them to Google Street View. The cities that Pegman will visit are Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford. The online version of this article is Google takes to the streets to show the way to go in Ireland.

It would be cool to see one of the Google cars in action, and maybe even be captured :o If you are unsure what these cars look like, then take a look at Google Street View Cars.

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Mar 13 2009

TCD and UCD to Merge Research

Category: Fourth LevelTeknovis @ 8:08 pm

I read earlier in the week that TCD and UCD are going to merge their research capabilities. These are the two largest universities in Ireland. You can read more about this proposed merger in UCD, Trinity announce Innovation Academy and Universities hope merger will create 30,000 jobs.

I think that this is a great move, because the Irish Universities have seen each other as their main competition for too long. In a globalised economy, they need to work together to outperform other international universities. In other words, I think that there needs to be some rationalisation and concentration within the Irish fourth level education system. Ireland can either have several mediocre universities, or one or two world class universities.

However, I am slightly sceptical that significantly increasing the numbers of PhD students is going to be beneficial to the economy. Creating PhD students to improve some national statistic will not be of any benefit unless there is a real need and demand for people with PhDs.

Perhaps it would be equally beneficial, or even more beneficial, to focus on reducing the cost base in Ireland!

I also think that there will need to be some radical changes within the universities. For example, I think that the distinction between an academic career and an industry career needs to be removed. Perhaps it would be a good idea to stipulate that all new academic recruits must have several years of industrial experience. In reality, I do not think that this idea would be popular!

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Mar 12 2009

Eircom Broadband in Rural Ireland

Category: NetworksTeknovis @ 11:17 pm

Eircom has been in the news over the last few days due to its broadband strategy:

An Eircom executive has said that people in rural Ireland who live more than 5km from a telephone exchange will never get broadband.

Eircom’s Paul Bradley said that even when the local exchange is upgraded to handle broadband, a modem will not connect as the signal becomes so weak after 5km.

I must admit that I do not see what all the fuss is about. Eircom is simply stating the obvious! You can read more about this in Eircom accused of abandoning rural Ireland and Eircom broadband spend under review, committee told.

It is not clear to me why people in rural Ireland have an expectation that they should be able to avail of the same level of broadband as people who live in urban centres. Do these rural dwellers also expect the proposed Metro for Dublin to extend to their towns? Or do they expect that they can have gas connections to their houses? There are advantages and disadvantages of living in rural or urban areas, and that the associated differences must be recognised!

Indeed, the story gained enough momentum to be featured on national television this evening. You can watch it online on at Eircom re-thinking rural broadband rollout. Damien Mulley, for whom I have a lot of respect, appeared on the program. However, I disagree with him on the significance that broadband has on rural Ireland. As part of his argument he compared broadband access in rural locations in Ireland with broadband access in Amsterdam! I think that this is a very flawed comparison for the obvious reasons!

I also disagree with what Damien said about Eircom blocking access to certain web sites, and in particular, he mentioned The Pirate Bay. I am currently using Eircom to access the Internet, and I appear to have full access to The Pirate Bay. Furthermore, I previously described how many ISPs blocked access a certain web page in Extreme Child Pornography Prevention Measures, but Eircom did not, and still does not, block access to this web page.

In my opinion, it would be significantly more beneficial to Ireland to have investment into providing greater bandwidth and more services into a few well chosen urban locations. In other words, concentrate resources to create a silicon valley in Ireland, rather than create a mediocre service covering the entire country.

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Mar 09 2009

Online Photo Editor

Category: Digital Imaging,Internet,SoftwareTeknovis @ 11:34 pm

I came across a really nice online photo editor today called Pixenate that is developed by a company called Sxoop Technologies. Perhaps the thing that I find most impressive about it is that it is written entirely in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

The user interface is really smooth, and it is very easy to use due to the helpful tips. There are plenty of editing tools to satisfy most requirements, although some of them seemed to be slow to update the photo. I do not know what caused this, because my CPU was certainly not the bottleneck.  I also really like the way that each time you load the web page there is a new default image to experiment with!

The interface is so nice that I had to include a screenshot (click it to see a larger version). However, this is not a substitute for playing with it ;)

Pixenate Screenshot

Pixenate Screenshot

I am not really clear who are the intended users of the software, because I think that most serious photographers will use desktop applications to edit their digital photos. Perhaps the software would be a good addition to photo printing web sites such as PhotoBox.

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Mar 07 2009

BizCamp Dublin

Category: EntrepreneurshipTeknovis @ 5:28 pm

BizCamp Dublin was held today in The Digital Hub. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend :( Indeed, I have never attended a BizCamp event, even though it is something that I really want to do!

The line-up of speakers and talks seemed really interesting, and there are many well-known people from the Irish Internet community on the attending list.

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Mar 06 2009

Juniper Cartoons

Category: HumourTeknovis @ 7:20 pm

Anybody who has ever watched a Juniper presentation, read some Juniper material, or indeed had almost any contact with Juniper will be familiar with its cartoons. Actually, if you are not familiar when these cartoons then take a look at the collection contained at Juniper Cartoons. I think that some of them are brilliant!

However, it seems that Juniper no longer believes that these cartoons are appropriate for its image according to Juniper Kills the Cartoons!. Perhaps this view is correct, because some of the cartoons are very unflattering towards Cisco. Event the cartoonist agrees that the cartoons should end, according to Juniper’s Cartoonist Isn’t Bitter.

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Mar 05 2009

“I am Rich” iPhone Application

Category: iPhoneTeknovis @ 1:03 pm

Here is an old news item (August 2008) that I came across today. Actually, it was emailed to me by somebody as an example of innovation!

The main function of the I am Rich application is to display a red jewel on the user’s screen. However, it cost $999.99! Yes, really! Apparently this is the maximum price allowed. So I guess that the application’s main purpose is to act as a wealth symbol!

For more information about this application, and a screenshot, see The First $1000 iPhone Application and Apple removes $1,000 featureless iPhone application. It is free to view the red jewel using your Internet browser :D

I am not really clear why Apple removed this application from the store. If it was unhappy with the price, and the fact that people were accidentally buying it, surely it should reduce the maximum price allowed for applications.

I presume that this application never made it back to the market place again, but I wonder if the people who bought it still receive support and upgrades :)

Furthermore, is there anything to prevent somebody stealing one of the screenshots and creating their own version of this application? This could even start a price war ;)

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