Oct 16 2011

Tablet (Computers) and Online News

Category: Internet,Mobile ComputingTeknovis @ 10:45

I read an article yesterday claiming that tablet users consume more online news. See Tablets Drive Deeper News Consumption [STUDY].

Yes – I am definitely one of those people!

The thing that really annoys me about certain news websites (RTE, The Irish Times, BBC) is that their RSS feeds only contain the first line of the news story, and then I have to browse a very heavy desktop page to read the rest of the story. I wish that they would provide either a full feed, or a second feed with the full articles!

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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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Jul 03 2010

Charging for Online Newspapers

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 08:12

It is interesting to see that The Times is going to start charging readers for accessing its content online (see The Times charging for online content).

I wonder if it will succeed, because The Irish Times tried this before, and then abandoned it.


Mar 06 2010

Cloud Computing Data Centres in Ireland

Category: Cloud Computing,HumourTeknovis @ 21:29

I read an interesting article in The Irish Times recently about Microsoft‘s view on cloud computing data centres in Ireland. The article covers comments by John Vassallo who is Microsoft’s Vice-President of EU Affairs, and it can be read online at Data centres may attract 20,000 firms.

It is a short (and slightly meaningless) article. However, one comment by John Vassallo really caught my attention:

Mr Vassallo added that Ireland was cited in a recent publication as “a beautiful place for a data centre” due to its climate.

It is difficult to interpret this comment! I am not even sure if this is serious! Perhaps the cloud analogy is being taken too far :D

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Feb 22 2010

Favourite iPhone Applications

Category: iPhoneTeknovis @ 22:30

The Irish Times has an interesting article about popular iPhone applications: App-solutely fabulous.

I do not use an iPhone, so I do not know how usefule these applications really are :)


Dec 05 2009

The Irish Times Mobile Edition

Category: Internet,Mobile ComputingTeknovis @ 16:56

The Irish Times has finally launched a mobile edition of its website! It is about time! Previously, I had to get all of my national news from RTE when I was using my PDA!

I read the news on it last night, and I thought that it rendered very well.

You can read more about it in ‘The Irish Times’ on your mobile, and you can view it here: m.irishtimes.com.

It is interesting, but not surprising, that The Irish Times chose not to use a .mobi domain.

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Jun 09 2009

The Irish Times Online

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 10:25

The online version of the print version of The Irish Times is very impressive: http://irishtimes.newspaperdirect.com/

Unfortunately it is not free, but most of the content can be found on its main web site :o


Feb 26 2009

Jason Roe Versus Ryanair

Category: Aviation,InternetTeknovis @ 20:36

Last weekend I read an article by web developer Jason Roe in which he described his discovery that under certain circumstances the Ryanair web site would revert the cost of flights to 0.00€. The full article is Ryanair no credit card fee + 0.00 flight bug.

I did not think that the discovery was in any way special, because it is relatively easy to replicate situations like this on many web sites. I would not even call it a bug, because it only occurs when the web site is being used in an abnormal way. I do not think that Jason Roe was trying to imply this either.

However, the tone of the responses that were posted by some of Ryanair’s staff are astonishing! For example, the first Ryanair response is:

you’re an idiot and a liar!! fact is!
you’ve opened one session then another and requested a page meant for a different session, you are so stupid you dont even know how you did it! you dont get a free flight, there is no dynamic data to render which is prob why you got 0.00. what self respecting developer uses a crappy CMS such as word press anyway AND puts they’re mobile ph number online, i suppose even a prank call is better than nothing on a lonely sat evening!!

I cannot understand what motivated this! Why did Ryanair not respond with the same explanation but in a pleasant manner? To make the responses even less understandable, I do not think that Ryanair develops this software itself!

I should also add that I have had many experiences with Ryanair before, and this is the first time I have ever seen such negative behaviour. So I am not a Ryanair basher :o

Surprisingly, this story has gained enough momentum that it was covered by The Irish Times today in Ryanair turns on blogger who found website glitch. Indeed, it is currently the most read story on the web site! I particularly like the quote by the Ryanair spokesman Stephen McNamara:

Lunatic bloggers can have the blogosphere all to themselves as our people are far too busy driving down the cost of air travel.

It seems to me that if the Ryanair employees had abided by this in the beginning then there never would have been a problem!


RTE covered this story, and included an interview with Jason Roe, on the main national television news!

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Nov 11 2008

Irish Police ask Vodafone for Favour

Category: Security,TelecomsTeknovis @ 23:16

I read an interesting article in The Irish Times over the weekend (but I was too busy to write about it then :o ) The article reports that the head of the Irish Police (known locally as Garda) has asked Vodafone Ireland to provide the Internet browsing details of all of its customers. Furthermore, he wants all of this information in real time! The full article is Garda chief asks mobile phone firm to retain web-browsing data. Apparently, Vodafone are being asked to do this as a “good citizen”, or as a small favour!

I think that this is a typical example of how things are often done in an unofficial way in Ireland, where the rules (or laws) are not seen to have any relevance! I can imagine the reported conversation between the Garda Commissioner and the Vodafone Representative:

Garda Commissioner: “Right lads – could you do us a favour? We need all the Internet browsing details of all your users in real-time.

Vodafone Representative: “Do you have a warrant for that?

Garda Commissioner: “Nah – don’t worry about warrants. Sure we are the Garda! That’ll be grand.

Although the article is not very clear, I think that the police want the full contents of every webpage that is viewed. It is a mystery why they want this information in real-time. In fact, it is a mystery to me why they want this information at all! Surely a targeted approach (with warrants) would be more efficient!

There are also so many ways of circumventing this proposal using software that is readily available in the Internet. So I do not think that it will deter serious criminals.

All of this is especially pointless when you consider that one can (and criminals do) legally buy a prepaid mobile phone without providing any identity information.

So who is this new measure really targeting?

My take on it is that it is the bright idea of somebody who wants to grab headlines with a great new security measure, but that this person has no concept of the practical use or implications of the idea. It certainly would not be the first time this ever happened!

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