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October 2008

September 2008

Sunday Qik Tech Take

Sunday Tech 28 Sep 08ONE OF THE LAST THINGS I did in the Podcamp Ireland venue involved pulling together a few snippets for my weekly Qik take on technology after reading the Sunday newspapers in Ireland. The noise in the background comes from my 12-month-old researcher who is learning how to read. The Qik video [19 MB 3GP file] starts in the Style magazine from The Sunday Times with a Dolce & Gabbana look that always reminds me of John McWilliams and it finishes before I get an opportunity to cover items from the Sunday Business Post. Tif Hunter snaps some of the best roadsters ever to take the pavement. [1] Mark Tighe points out that the helicopter "crash hero" was flying passengers without a requisite commercial license. [2] A lot of Irish investors are feeling a credit crunch now that their real estate investments look to contain negative equity. [3] RTE presenter George Lee travels on a Segway, occasionally to work. [4] Colin Coyle plays with economic sensitivities in his poking at university heads who engage in professional training. [5] Sarah O'Sullivan rewarms the evidence that Ireland is underfunding its ICT at second level. [6] Damien Mulley argues against postal codes in Ireland--or does he? [7] Paul Anthony McDermott believes "using Facebook is like throwing the curtains open on your social life." [8] John Murphy thinks the G1 phone could shake up the market and he cites better battery life than the iPhone and the integrated Google Maps tracking feature on the phone as some features worth mentioning. [9] There are interesting ways to integrate better IT into health care and some wireless technologies deserve careful consideration. [10]

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Back Chatter During Podcamp Ireland

SINCE NOBODY IN THE AUDIENCE at Podcamp Ireland was watching the back chatter at Online Meeting Rooms, I've pulled the commentary from the chat box that I saw unfold during the conversation held by Minister John McGuinness, Brendan Hughes and Gabriela Avram. The chatter occurred during a 28-minute conversation held in the City Room of the Hotel Kilkenny.

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Podcamp Ireland 27 Sep

Kilkenny Castle at DuskWE ARE LOOKING at joining 99 other people in Kilkenny (that's Kilkenny Castle at left) for the second running of Podcamp Ireland on Saturday 27 September and it already looks like this unconference will be one of the largest social networking events of 2008 in Ireland. With attendees coming from the States and England, we will certainly have a range of diversity and energy on tap in Hotel Kilkenny. Unlike last year, I want to immerse myself in sessions and not run around dragging cables or introducing people to new friends. So my day with Podcamp Ireland will be a success if four things happen.

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The Tech That Corrodes

H'penny on a cloudy dayAFTER CHATTING WITH Jonathan Sanderson next to the swans of St Stephen's Green, I realised some of the technology flogged at Irish readers is very corrosive. It's corrosive because it's designed to identify, isolate and insulate data from outside contact, instead of bridging ideas in a collaborative way. Sometime the technology performs this way because clients are over-impressed with their claims of intellectual property. Other times the technology is brought to bear in order to prevent leaks in an otherwise connected enterprise. We use a video conferencing technology at Tipperary Institute that is designed to bring outide lecturers into our classrooms through the easy use of Online Meeting Rooms. Sometimes the guests invoke academic privilege and request off-the-record interactions with classrooms of students. In all cases, the ease of using the Online Meetings videoconferencing begs the question, "Why don't other lecturers connect their modules or their college societies to these easily-facilitated online sessions?" Sometimes the answer comes back in the form of a perception that it's cludgy--but it's easier than setting up a data connection on your mobile phone. In my study of inventions, I know how exciting it is to share eureka moments and how infectious technology becomes for those who share this enthusiasm. I just wish we could create more personal video moments, recorded by Irish researchers, where we can share the joy of a day filled with new discovery. But I can feel the shadow of the IP police in the background and like Jonathan Sanderson, I know the thought guardians will probably prevail.


A false milestone

Digital IrelandAT THE TOP of the "comms" section of the Digital Ireland supplement to the Irish Independent today is a graciously-placed press release from the Irish Minister for Communications. The minister's staff have engaged in a policy of public distortion in the field of broadband coverage in Ireland. "According to the latest quarterly report from ComReg, if you include mobile broadband, the total number of broadband subscribers at the end of June in the Republic of Ireland stood at 1.05 million people. Excluding mobile broadband, the total was 832,590 subscribers."

Hailing 1m broadband connections while rolling in mobile broadband is disingenuous. The Indo's headline writer contributes to the falsehood by underscoring the one million mark. This is misleading and reduces otherwise astute technology coverage to questions as to its credibility.

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Where is NewBay

Ghosting E90IF NEWBAY was truly at the leading edge of mobile lifestreaming, wouldn't someone from the company be evangelising on Twitter or Jaiku? Newbay software is smart enough to gather all social networking activities in one place. I would like this on my Nokia E90. I would like Newbay to entice me via tweets or Jaikus. I'm Topgold on both. Press releases from NewBay also cite Friendfeed but where is NewBay's room on Friendfeed? If your game is social networking software, you might want to swim with 400 Irish already using microblogging services.

Recommended on Thursdays: Digital Ireland with writers like Marie Boran. The supplement mentioned "NewBay reshapes social networking revolution" on 25 September 2008.


Open Cockpit Blades of Glory

MT-03 GyroplaneSOME DAY BEFORE THE END OF THIS DECADE, I will strap myself under a spinning rotor in an open cockpit and go chasing clouds. In the open front cockpit of the MT-03 gyroplane, you can see cows swat flies and you can watch rivers flow underneath your feet. You can see those things clearly because you don't have to squint through goggles of worry about a front-mounted engine spitting oil into your eyes. Underneath your bum, you get the solid feel of a light plane made out of bits of wood glued together and covered with fabric that horses like to eat. This kind of flying is just like I did when I first slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the sky on laughter-silvered wings. I like the MT-03 because it can land on a tennis court if you're good. And its footprint is less likely to sink into a wet Irish grass field. I'm saving my money for hours over Hampshire or for weekends at Wickenby Aerodrome.

First, join the British Rotorcraft Association. Then visit Wickenby Aerodrome.


Irish Sunday Newspapers Get a Qik Look

Sunday Tech Items (14 Sep 08)FIGHTING A SERIOUS COLD and talking with a tongue fresh-bitten after an attack by molten cheese pizza, I offer a Qik look [32 MB 3GP file] at Irish Sunday newspapers. I start with mentioning the Auto Start-Stop technology in BMW's EfficientDynamics initiative. I don't ever buy a Sunday Independent and this week, there's no Sunday Observer, replaced for time constraints by the Boho wedding story carried yesterday in the Irish Examiner about Sabrina and John. A few commercial inserts for the Sonos wireless, multi-room digital music system drop out in our paper round. That's the system we favour when configuring our home for streaming internet radio services. We spotted a mention of the Golden Spiders Awards in the papers but subordinate that programme to the Irish Web Awards or to the Net Visionary Awards, the pre-eminent business awards programme for connected Ireland.

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Barcamp Cork

ConorO in Clancy'sSEVERAL TIMES EVERY DAY, someone like  Conor O'Neill at right stops by and looks at the "events" directory on my blog, perhaps because they know they'll discover something worth doing--and in November, that big event would be Barcamp Cork. Since the venue is less than a 62-minute drive from my front door, I'm pointing the batmobile towards the Cork Webworks on Saturday the first of November. We expect to run a minibus with eight students aboard to bolster the presence of the Tipperary delegation. Two years ago, our creative multimedia students learned the essence of start-ups by chatting with more than 10 different entrepreneurs in the hallways of the Webworks. Afterwards, they enjoyed some very tasty cheese sandwiches at Cafe Gusto and the best hot chocolate in Ireland at O'Conaill's in the French Church section of the main Fussgangerzone of Cork. We expect nothing less than the same high-quality day this year. If the organisers permit us, we're going to upstream Barcamp Live through the use of our technology with Online Meeting Rooms. We have a cadre of sharp creative multimedia students eager to earn academic credit while producing high-resolution video moments and we believe the dynamic nature of Barcamp Cork, from the meeting rooms to the hallway conversations, offers an ideal place to record four-minute videoclips and 10-minute audio interviews.

See photos from Barcamp Cork I, held in October 2006 at the Enterprise Ireland Webworks, Eglington Street, Cork, Ireland. Register to attend on the Upcoming Calendar.