Sep 30 2011

Steve Jobs’s Patents

Category: PatentsTeknovis @ 4:19 pm

I came across this cool interactive feature describing all of Steve Jobs’s patents today – Steve Jobs’s Patents.

Apparently, Steve has a very direct involvement with Apple‘s patent activities, according to Steve Jobs’ patents: A vital lesson for CEOs.

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Sep 24 2011

How Standards Proliferate

Category: Humour,StandardsTeknovis @ 5:00 pm

I had a discussion with a friend recently regarding the benefits of standards. I was subsequently sent the following image:

How Standards Proliferate

How Standards Proliferate

In fairness, it is very true!


Sep 22 2011

Cool HTML5 Sites

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 7:31 pm

I recently came across this list of cool HTML5 sites: 10 inspiring HTML5 sites you really should see.

I am particularly impressed with the SVG cartoons in Bifter (Desert Island Disks is even humorous :). I notice that they were created using Inkscape. I really must give it a try, because I have heard good reports about it!

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Sep 21 2011

ReactOS

Category: SoftwareTeknovis @ 9:37 pm

I recently read an interesting article about a Windows compatible operating system called ReactOS. (The article is Russian President Medvedev asked to fund Windows clone.) There is also more useful information in ReactOS.

It is an interesting idea, and I can see the benefits to having such an operating system. However, I do not think that Microsoft needs to start worrying yet ;)

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Sep 19 2011

Dog Tracking

Category: Location Based Services,Mobile ComputingTeknovis @ 1:23 pm

I read about a dog tracking device called Retriever over the weekend in Track Your Dog With Retriever, The Compact GPS Dog Collar.

There is nothing particularly innovative in this idea, but it seems to be well executed.

It interests me :) However, I must confess that I am wondering if it could equally well be used on a child!

Actually, I would be very interested in a generic version that I could hide in a car, or hide in a school bag, or in any other concealed area!

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Sep 18 2011

EU Paralysis

Category: BusinessTeknovis @ 8:56 am

It has been a busy week of paralysis within the EU! So I thought that I would take some of the more interesting statements, and give my opinions on them!

There was talk of reducing public sector salaries in More welfare and public sector pay cuts urged by top ECB man:

THE EUROPEAN Central Bank is pressing the Government to cut public sector pay in the budget next December and accelerate its austerity drive.

Mr Stark, the top German official in the ECB, argues that public sector pay in Ireland is too high by euro zone standards and should be cut to help restore order to the country’s public finances.

Any such move would bring down the Croke Park deal, which obliges the Government not to cut public pay. However, Mr Stark says the Government should consider from a political point of view that civil service pay in many of the countries supporting the Irish bailout is considerably lower than in Ireland.

I strongly agree with Mr Stark! It is inequitable that one section of society has it salaries protected in such a manner, especially when these people enjoy so many other benefits. Furthermore, it is inequitable that the majority of workers are being asked (through higher taxes) to support inflated salaries for so few workers. I wish that the Irish Government would stand-up for the majority of workers, instead of those who complain loudest!

It is also surreal that the Irish Government is borrowing money from other countries so that it can pay its civil servants substantially more than the countries who are lending the money pay their civil servants. Frankly, I do not understand why this is not a condition of the loans.

The Frankfurt-based institution wants social welfare entitlements reviewed and is also calling for greater efforts to facilitate pay cuts in private employment contracts.

Again, this is surreal! For example, we are borrowing money from Germany so that we can pay unemployment benefits that are over twice as high as German unemployment benefits!

Then there was the controversial suggestion about flying the Irish flag at half-mast, as reported in Half-mast flag idea for debt draws ire.

In his comments, Mr Oettinger referred to “deficit sinners” who needed “unconventional” treatment to help them mend their ways – possibly through officials appointed by Brussels and imposed in recalcitrant capitals.

“There has been the suggestion too of flying the flags of deficit sinners at half-mast in front of EU buildings. It would just be a symbol, but would still be a big deterrent.”

I have no problem with this situation. Ireland is in a bad place at the moment, and everybody shares a collectively responsibility for this indirectly for electing the successive governments. I think that a shameful treatment like this would encourage everybody to fix the mess sooner rather than later.

Furthermore, I heard a lot of politicians objecting to this idea, but I did not hear a single one express a good reason!

I read more discussion this week than ever before about the prospect of a federal EU, as described in Barroso urges ‘federalist’ integration as sole solution.

Seeking to take the initiative amid wild market volatility driven by concerns over a Greek default, Mr Barroso called for much closer political integration and said the EU needed a “new federalist moment” to confront the most serious challenge for the union in a generation.

“The only right way to stop the negative cycle and to strengthen the euro is to deepen integration, namely within the euro area,” he said. “This is the way to go. It is also the only way for the euro area to really play the role that investors and global partners expect it to play. What we need now is a new, unifying impulse – a new federalist moment. Let’s not be afraid of the word – a federalist moment is indispensable.”

I strongly favour a strong EU federal government for two reasons. Firstly, Ireland has time and time again shown that it cannot manage its own affairs (ranging from national finances, healthcare, and policing). I am not sure if this is due to ineptness and incompetence, or corruption.

Secondly, I think that the EU needs to express a stronger, more singular, voice on the international stage.

Of course, such a federal government would need a lot more public credibility compared to the “appointments” system currently favoured in EU political circles. (Where is President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, hiding these days?)

Finally, the crisis has truly become an international issue, as described in Greek reform more essential ‘than ever’.

China added its voice to US concerns over Europe’s apparent inability to stop debt contagion spreading, while Indian and Brazilian officials said major emerging economies were discussing increasing their euro sovereign holdings. US treasury secretary Tim Geithner urged European leaders to act more forcefully to solve the escalating crisis, saying they had the economic and financial capacity to do so.

This is just plainly embarrassing that the US and China are having to become so involved in helping Europe fix its own problems!

Yes, it was an interesting week!

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Sep 16 2011

Unusual TCD Staff Member

Category: Humour,Third LevelTeknovis @ 4:10 pm

Some Friday afternoon humour regarding an unusual staff member in TCDTrinity ‘expels’ barbarian teacher.

Have a good weekend!

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Sep 15 2011

VMware Expanding in Ireland

Category: Business,Cloud ComputingTeknovis @ 9:03 pm

It is great to hear some positive news in a week that seemed full of bad news – VMware is to create 250 new jobs in Ireland over the next three years. See Cork to get 250 new technology jobs for more details.

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Sep 06 2011

Irish University Rankings

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 2:11 pm

There are new university rankings published this week, and it is bad news for all of the Irish universities. See Most Irish universities fall further in world ranking for details of the Irish situation, and QS World University Rankings 2011/2012, now with fees information for the complete rankings. As an aside, I think the DCU satisfaction at improving four places is seriously over optimistic!

Additionally, as one UCD researcher whom I know said:

I wonder will Des Fitzgerald’s salary be reduced in line with UCDs falling performance.

Personally, I think it is unlikely :| (The background to this comment is in The top 100 best-paid in education.)

Maybe the solution from an Irish point-of-view is to create a good university and a bad university, in the style of the banking solution. Actually, maybe not when it is considered how well the Government have managed that!

So in summary, Irish universities are delivering poor service at exceptionally high costs. Welcome to the knowledge economy – Irish style!

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Sep 05 2011

Michael O’Shaughnessy

Category: PeopleTeknovis @ 7:28 pm

I never knew that an Irishman and UCG graduate, Michael O’Shaughnessy, was involved in naming the Golden Gate Bridge! He was the city engineer in San Francisco at the time!

Cool trivia!

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