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December 2005

Slugger in Irish Times

BLOGGING IS DANGEROUS, radical and going mainstream, writes Mick Fealty in The Irish Times "Opinion & Analysis" section today. In the article, Fealty cites "the debacle surrounding the reporting of Liam Lawlor's death in Moscow (and) the entirely fictional Associated Press report of stranded citizens of New Orleans shooting at a US Army helicopter" as examples of "the need to be certain of the truth."

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Top Posts of 2005

AS EXPECTED, THE MOST COMMONLY VIEWED pages on my IrishEyes blog were the ones with the longest tails. They caught the interest of prosumers who had gadgets to tweak. And they also caught the eye of mainstream journos who pointed to things I wrote about the Motorola V710 Bluetooth hack, how to build a stun gun from a disposable camera and some thoughts on iPod porn.

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Each of these pages attracted a minimum of 37 viewers on Christmas day, a monthly low-water mark for this blog since only 1177 page loads from 866 unique visitors visited here on December 25th.

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In Vetting We Trust

ON THE FOOT of debates about the veracity of Wikipedia, Jay Small reports an interesting debate has emerged between Chris "Long Tail" Anderson and Nicholas "Does It Matter" Carr.

Anderson's premise: People have a hard time trusting information from Wikipedia, Google or a blog "because these systems operate on the alien logic of probabilistic statistics, which sacrifices perfection at the microscale for optimization at the macroscale." He writes:

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How men and women use the internet

ACCORDING TO PEW INTERNET, men continue to pursue many internet activities more intensively than women. At the same time, trend data show that women are catching up in overall use and are framing their online experience with a greater emphasis on deepening connections with people. Both genders see the internet as a more efficient way of gathering information. According to the survey, "both men and women approach with gusto online transactions that simplify their lives by saving time on such mundane tasks as buying tickets or paying bills". The Pew Report found "women are more likely to see the vast array of online information as a 'glut' and to penetrate deeper into areas where they have the greatest interest, including health and religion. Women tend to treat information gathering online as a more textured and interactive process – one that includes gathering and exchanging information through support groups and personal email exchanges. Several facts highlight how men’s and women’s use of the internet has changed over time.

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My Flickr My Flugtag

Flugtag 1988A POPULAR HOLIDAY MEME concerns best Flickr photos. Those who read this blog regularly know the most popular photo in my Flickr photostream is a quick snap I took while walking around my new hometown of Cashel, County Tipperary. Hundreds of viewers have made the image the most-commented in my 2000 item collection. It's also the "most interesting" one of all Irishblogs images. But those things are not important. Using the viewfinder of a camera is important. I believe that because I watch the effect a camera has on the creative impulses of Irish students learning multimedia programming. If one can write program code as well as take quality photographs, we can see true left brain/right brain intellect at work.

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All Fair In Fighting Terrorism

THE REACH OF THE IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY extends to using "any and all means appropriate to fight terrorism" which means it supercedes all wiretapping laws. This Whitehouse concept is disturbing because George W. Bush claims that he has congressional authorization for carte blanch snooping, In a past life, I processed surveillance data gleaned from satellites or undersea cables. While not as sophisticated, Ireland's tapping imvolves scanning mobile phone traffic and emails for keywords. We cede important digital rights when this happens.


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Heiniger Clipping Time

Heiniger Clipping TimeSANTA BROUGHT DOGGIE a cordless Heiniger clipper but the long-haired Pomeranian isn't impressed. Faced with the clippers for a major shaving of his long-abandoned coat, he quickly escaped to the garage where he found refuge in the back seat of the car. There's nothing in the owner's manual of the cordless clippers to suggest how to trick a dog into a haircut.


Picture of Pomeranian snapped with Nokia 9500.

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Putting whitespace into life

Tile CutterIF 2005 TAUGHT ME anything, it was the need to put whitespace into my life. Perhaps the most useful slices of 2005 for me tactile whitespaces. I got down-and-dirty on many square feet of floor space while cleaning out two houses and now before the end of December I have white dusty knees to show I am at it again--this time cleaning up as we tile a large groundfloor space in the new house. That's a cameraphone snapshot of our well-used tile cutter at the halfway point of the kitchen floor.

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Presents all around

Presents all around

THIS IS MY ELEVENTH CHRISTMAS in Ireland and every year the celebration gets better. Today brought me new Cats (note the box in the picture), more Gorillaz (check out the educast where we talk about their animation), Colombian beans (self-indulgence for the coffee machine), and a year's pass to the new swimming pool located just 467 paces away. I got the best presents in the house along with the knowledge that behind the 20 doors in our new house awaits years worth of DIY at home. First up: repair a leaky bathtub. Second job is a minor clean-up of the outside window behind the Christmas tree snapped by my Nokia 9500.


More images of Christmas in Ireland.

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