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143 posts from November 2003

November 30, 2003

Nokia Pen for the dogs

Dog with Nokia PenKILKENNY -- Nokia's Digital Pen is simple to install and fun to use. I gave it to John Maher who sketched out a little dog while I read about dogs you can adopt from the Inistioge Puppy Rescue. The photos are more charming than the sketch but it's easier to sketch and save than it is to snap, resize and upload the megapixel images. We're going to have fun with the Nokia Digital Pen next week as we discover how it fits into the academic curriculum at Tipperary Institute. I think it has the potential to be a wonderful example of assistive technology.


Top 20 Schools in Leinster

SUNDAY TIMES -- Researchers looked at the progression of students to university and third-level study from all 762 secondary schools in Ireland. Based on those results, here are the top 10 schools in Leinster:

  1. Our Lady's School, Rathnew, Co Wicklow
  2. St Mary's Knockbeg College, Knockbeg, Co Carlow
  3. Loreto Secondary School, Wexford
  4. Clongowes Wood College, Naas, Co Kildare
  5. Gaelcholaiste Cheatharlach, Carlow
  6. Colasite Raithin, Bray, Co Wicklow
  7. Kilkenny College, Kilkenny
  8. Newbridge College, Newbridge, Co Kildare
  9. Loreto Secondary School, Navan, Co Meath
  10. Loreto College, Mullingar, Co Westmeath

Daniel McConnell -- "Southside is the winner in a divided city" in The Sunday Times, 30 Nov 03

David Fitch on NYC

SUNDAY TIMES -- When he's not taking care of Hogwarts, David Bradley is a cultured traveler. The actor plays Filch in the Harry Potter films and recently finished worh on The Prisoner of Azkaban, to be released in June 2004. I think he and his wife Rosanna should come to Kilkenny to open the film.

Bradley has a special place in his heart for New York. He told Clare Colvin, "The last time I went, I stayed in Brooklyn. It might be less vibrant than Manhattan, but it's New York as it used to be, with its beautiful brownstone houses. And you get that dramatic view of the Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn Bridge." Ruth and I will see what he means firsthand when we travel into New York next month.

Clare Colvin -- "My Hols" in The Sunday Times, 30 Nov 03
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Elizabethtown Law

KILKENNY -- A review of laws by officials in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, has discovered that it is still compulsory for residents of the town to take a bath at least once a year. Among other laws uncovered is a Kentucky State law that insists: "No female shall appear in a bathing suit on any highway unless she be escorted by at least two officers or unless she be armed with a club."


Can a Mexican restaurant survive in Kilkenny?

KILKENNY -- During early morning hours, you can see La Cochina, the token Mexican restaurant in Kilkenny, Ireland. I don't think many people know Mexican food in Ireland's provincial towns. Consequently, La Cochina may not last a year. That would be a shame, because it's centrally located in Kilkenny's Parliament Street, its Early Bird fare offers value for money (about EUR 15 per plate) and the food is fresh with a strong vegetarian influence.

Sent mail2blog using Nokia Communicator O2 service after breakfast in Kilkenny (Chez Pierre).

November 29, 2003

About social networks

I THINK INHERENT limitations exist with social software.

  • Social network software feels very bubblesque.
  • Connecting people through people seems compelling, but people need help with complicated tasks (finding a job, an apartment) not complications surrounding new network  nodes.
  • In my experience, the best social networks are the smallest.


Modern rural economy

KILKENNY -- I have looked at EU funding available for rural development and have noticed that the long-term success of rural areas will not depend solely on farming. Money for farming is declining. The EU wants to restructure the farming sector. It will pour money into enterprise development, marketing local brands, high tech initiatives, and e-learning links. We need to align ourselves with those initiatives.


You can't eat the scenery

KILKENNY -- Although Kilkenny culture continues to attract people into the area, it's largely because of individual initiative, not because of the efforts of the Kilkenny County Council. And that's a shame, because wonderful local amenities exist near the city of Kilkenny that should be nurtured. Local TD John McGuinness knows this and he calls for a review of the County Development Plan. The current plan is a mishmash. There appear to be no advocates. There seems to be vacuous vision at the very top. Some elected representive needs to wade in and start banging the drum. Last year, McGuinness would have taken the challenge. This year, national law forbids him from holding an elected position at the county level. So we have a pregnant pause.

Kilkenny needs vibrant tourism and an environment that cultivates business and industry. There is no overall plan that advocates both. There is a lot of clap-happy reference to high amenity areas, wooded river valleys and scenic landscapes. But you can't eat the scenery. It's time for the County Manager to acknowledge this issue and to show executive leadership. If he stays the present course, he condemns Kilkenny to a second-rate touristic status and he will marginalise Kikenny's opportunities in the minds of commercial property developers.


Lunch in Kilkenny

KILKENNY -- The most common question I'm asked by people doing business in Kilkenny is "Where is a good place to have lunch in Kilkenny?" I live here and prefer lunch in The Italian Connection, 38 Parliament Street. The pizzas are fast (and hot if you like Testarosa chili), pasta is fresh and chicken very filling. Carlo and Berna Cardillo run the restaurant with a cross-section of their family in the kitchen. My only complaint is I cannot get a seat during peak times even though I am a regular. It's worth a call ahead: +353 56 7764225.

Sent mail2blog using Nokia Communicator Typepad O2 service after breakfast in Chez Pierre up the street.

Firms wary of e-learning

CIPD -- Irish businesses are spending less on training now than three years ago, according to Dr Thomas Garavan of the University of Limerick. Garavan told the annual strategic training and development conference of the Chartred Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) that investment in training has fallen from 3.8% of salaries in 2001 to 3.5% of salaries in 2003.

Ireland lags the rest of Europe and the US in e-learning. Irish small enterprise simply isn't interested in using e-learning technologies.

Edward Power -- "Firms wary of e-learning" in The Irish Times, 24 Nov 03
Sent mail2blog using Nokia Communicaor O2 Typepad service from Chez Pierre (breakfast in Kilkenny)