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December 2003

Kilkenny People New Year's Day

Duisk Abbey Monks in ProcessionKILKENNY -- A noticeably thin Kilkenny People, emaciated by the lack of real estate advertisements, sits on the shelves on New Year's Day 2004, leading with a story about Christmas shopping.

  • Carmel Hayes writes "Boom follows gloom in shops." Booming sales at year's end lifted retailers' spirits, after one of the slowest trading Christmas shopping periods ever. Three things come to my mind: (1) Unlike the States, Kilkenny retailers do not offer pre-Christmas sales prices. (2) You cannot walk at a steady pace down High Street on a Kilkenny shopping day, unless you walk in High Street--an artery that should be pedestrianised. (3) Kilkenny traders need international tourists, but there's poor value for the dollar in Europe at the moment. Likewise, you will get 30% more for your Euro if you buy in NYC like we did a few weeks ago, so retailers in Kilkenny suffer the result.
  • John Knox reports "More GAA money found" because the Kilkenny GAA Board found another EUR 7500 of money missing from ticket salers. A shortfall of EUR 25,600 was revealed a few weeks ago.
  • Jim Rhatigan writes "Top golfer in love match" as he describes Gary Murphy's (Kilkenny's only professional golfer) wedding to Elaine Kelly in Termonfeckin. (You gotta love the name of the place.)
  • Rhatigan also reports the death of Tom Manning in "Holiday climb turns to tragedy." Tom was hiking up Slievenamon with his 25-year old son wen he became ill.

Continue reading "Kilkenny People New Year's Day" »

Digital Yearbook

CLONMEL HOTSPOT -- An energetic group of second year multimedia degree students have drafted ideas for an electronic yearbook and I need to constrain its development because of the time required to produce it. Their ideas are really impressive, especially their observations about how to manage the difficulty of the second year through an offering of a digital resource, like a yearbook. As Claire Griffin observes, "Any course in any college could have a yearbook but not necessarily a digital one."

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Sir Tim Berners-LeeBBC -- "The inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, has been awarded a knighthood for his pioneering work."

Sir Tim said he never expected his invention would lead to such an accolade. He created hypertext, which later became the glue that united millions who use the Internet today. The underlying code first let scientists easily share research findings across a computer network. In the early 1990s, it become the Worldwide Web and the fundamental element that hundreds of millions use as their mode of communication.

BBC -- Web's inventor gets a knighthood"
Dave Winer

Quiet New Year's Eve

Claire GriffinCLONMEL HOTSPOT -- I'm rocketing around student assignments in the Media Studies curriculum and stumbled upon Claire Griffin who captures the moment in describing today as a quiet New Year's Eve. It sounds like Claire endured a momentous year, while developing an acerbic touch in writing about it.

Claire Griffin -- "All is quiet on News Years...Eve?"
Picture of Claire Griffin from the Media Studies Faceroll, taken with Fuji S602Z camera.

Read Ahead

SCRIPTING -- Say what you will about Dave Winer--he remains part of my Personal Early Warning System (PEWS) because he puts things on his blog that normally need to be on my radar scope. I moved Dave and my daily reads off the front of my blog as part of a rearrangement that will make my blog content friendlier for display on my Sony Clie PEG UX-50 and Nokia Communicator 9210i. I have discovered that if I read my daily list--something I do offline through SurfSaver--I have answers to questions before they appear from students in classes. That alone makes blogging a useful addition to the classroom culture.


Sony Clie and Journalism

CLONMEL HOTSPOT -- After my Sony Clie detected two hotspots in Clonmel in one short pass through pedestrianised areas, I realised Wi-Fi is not just another trendy blow-in and I wondered why those Wi-Fi zones couldn't be convinced to open up service to trusted customers--like journalists? If I could connect to a Wi-Fi access point, I would be able to file stories on the road--even from the courthouse itself. This would be really helpful and would collapse the time required to create a story. Also, the presence of Wi-Fi hotspots means there's a good potential for real-time reportage (or personalcasting as I call it in our media studies curriculum).

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Future Mobile Pockets

CE WINDOWS -- I think Microsoft will imitate Sony's design when it comes to delivering Windows to pockets. Microsoft is at least one generation behind with regards to an operating system that incorporates screen rotation and high resolution delivered by the Palm OS on my Sony Clie PEG UX-50. I believe the Clie is the form factor of pocket PCs for the next decade.

Chris DeHerrera -- "What is in the future of Windows Mobile Pocket PCs?"

Brownie Camera Photos

Sailing UpriverCLONMEL HOTSPOT -- While visiting Lancaster, I found a small album containing photos taken by my aunt with her Brownie Camera. Seeing the images was as though I had found a portal into the 40s as America was fighting a war in Europe. I'm using printouts of the photo albums as part of a long distance correspondence with my aunt, who is now a retired nun, living in Manhattan.


Emerging Trends

JOHN ROBB LISTS several trends (some stuff I'm already using) that we should expect to see in the mainstream in 2004.

  • RSS 2.0 aggregators and feeds creating an information flow we will never keep up with. Robb should put topics on his postings to ensure he stays on top of the feed lists.
  • Cameraphones everywhere.
  • Guerrilla warfare--including suicide cars that could be seen in Dublin for May Day 2004.
  • Political social software
  • Personal hard drives. Mine's a Sony Clie PEG UX-50 with a gig of space.
  • Smart plasma screens. Robb says to "watch for screens, TiVo like functionality, and more to take off."
  • Second Superpower movements: All over the global map. Challenging nation-states and corporations everywhere. Powered by social technology.
  • Professional virus developers. Watch 2004 to see where many of the world's most talented software developers are spending their time. This isn't for teenagers anymore. A virus with a professional development cycle is an amazing thing to watch.
  • Skype and VoIP software. On a roll. Simple and effective.

John Robb -- "Booming Concepts"