Feb 18 2011

Caught Faking a PhD

Category: Fourth LevelTeknovis @ 22:56

Ouch – German ‘plagiarism’ minister Guttenberg drops doctorate.

Of course, somebody in Ireland did something similar in Ireland within the last 10 years…


Feb 17 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Category: Android,Hardware,iPadTeknovis @ 22:19

It certainly has been an interesting week from a tablet point-of-view. Firstly, I borrowed an iPad, and I have been giving it a good testing. The user interface is very nice, and the browsing experience has been excellent. I only encountered one website where the Javascript driven menus would not work for some reason. My only complaint with the device is that it starts to feel rather heavy when resting on your stomach :o

I also got to play with a Motorola Xoom (see Motorola Xoom for more details). During my brief encounter the device seemed to be as desirable as I had imagined ;)

The other big development (from the 10″ tablet point-of-view) was that Samsung launched the Galaxy Tab 10.1. For more details see the images or the features.

Galaxy Tab 10.1

Galaxy Tab 10.1

I spent some time playing with it also, and I cannot say that I noticed any significant difference between this and the Motorola Xoom. Perhaps this is not surprising given that they are both based on the same chipset, and they both have the same operating system.

I did read some complaints about the plastic build, but I did not find this problematic. Indeed, I liked the circular recessed area on the back because it made holding the device from any angle very comfortable.

Perhaps the only disappointment this week was that HTC did not launch a 10″ tablet :|

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Feb 13 2011

Mobile World Congress

Category: Mobile Computing,TelecomsTeknovis @ 19:12

I am becoming very disheartened with the Mobile World Congress :( I am looking at the website, and I am finding it very difficult to achieve the following:

  • I cannot find a printable map of the exhibition space showing the exhibitors names.
  • I cannot group exhibitors by business area.

I hope that information is more available tomorrow!


Feb 11 2011

The Procrastination Flowchart

Category: HumourTeknovis @ 16:46

Some Friday afternoon humour (click to see large version) …

The Procrastination Flowchart

The Procrastination Flowchart

It is almost scary how true it is!

Feb 08 2011

Irish Green Party Enters the Clouds

Category: Cloud Computing,Education,eGovernmentTeknovis @ 18:51

It is election time in Ireland at the moment, but I am not going to discuss politics. However, I can still write about the political manifestos as long as they relate to technology. The policies that caught my attention today come from the Irish Green Party, and they are contained in We will recover if we play to our strengths.

The first interesting policy is:

Transfer all public services to cloud computing

This really makes me wonder if the author understands what cloud computing means! “Public Services” in the election context generally means tangible services that are available to the public, such as policing, health, and education. I am unclear how health care will be provided by cloud computing :D

Seriously, is it meant that all government computing will be performed in the cloud? This raises many interesting questions:

  • Will it be hosted in a single cloud (with potential vendor lock-in)? Or will it be distributed across several clouds (and potentially loose economies of scale)?
  • Will it be a public cloud (and hence how will security concerns be addressed)? Or will it be a private cloud (and will this still deliver environmental benefits as new infrastructure is used)?
  • Where will the cloud be hosed (in order to protect citizen’s privacy rights)?
  • Would it be more beneficial to focus on delivering better eServices, instead of changing the backend infrastructure?

If I was a cloud provider, I would probably be very excited about the opportunities here (as long as I ignore the political opinion polls).

Another policy that caught my attention is:

Invest €70m in web training for 20,000 unemployed people who can then work to web-enable Irish business

Hmmm… I think that I would instead focus on improving the take-up of science and computing for those already in education at all levels.

Provide access for the private sector to Government data

Interesting… Was the Green Party not involved in curtailing Freedom of Information rights during the last few years?

Finally, the last policy that caught my attention is:

Roll out ultra fast broadband Exemplar network nationwide

The Exemplar network is very exciting (see Exemplar Network), but I do not think that it is ready for a nation-wide commercial deployment yet. Also, I do not think that this would be the best usage of this technology.

I think that the cynics will wonder why the Green Party did not do these wonderful things during its time in power :|

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Feb 04 2011

Google Bombs

Category: Humour,InternetTeknovis @ 18:08

I heard of the concept of Google Bombs long ago, but I only discovered today that this was their name :)

Some of the cited examples are very funny :D


Feb 03 2011

Location Aware Facebook

Category: Location Based ServicesTeknovis @ 18:10

Facebook is becoming location aware on mobile devices in the EU (or at least in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain).

For more details see Facebook Deals Launches in Europe.

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Feb 02 2011

Commercial UK mPayment Service

Category: Business,mPayments,TelecomsTeknovis @ 19:10

Today I came across the first commercial deployment of an mPayment solution. At least I am not aware of any others! The service is being supplied by Orange, and more details can be found in Orange customers of Everything Everywhere get mobile payments.

I think that this is a very exciting area, and it is certainly something in which I am becoming increasingly interested. I think that there are huge opportunities for the telcos in this area, since they effectively already maintain electronic purses (or wallets :) for all of their customers. Most importantly, this is an area in which it is very difficult for over-the-top players to compete (although Apple‘s App Store has shown that it is possible).

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Feb 01 2011

The Future of Third Level Education in Ireland

Category: Third LevelTeknovis @ 18:06

There is an interesting, if not somewhat unpalatable, opinion piece in The Irish Times today about the future of third level education in Ireland: Learning from the global phenomenon of “universities in crises”.

In summary, there are three options presented for the ongoing funding of the Irish universities:

  • Increased private sector funding.
  • Increased student fees.
  • Reduced costs.

I am strongly in favour of the the first and last options, and I think that the idea of student fees should be avoided. As part of reducing costs, I think that the reality of merging some of the universities needs to be considered. (This has to happen in a real sense, and not just in name.)

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