WE SPENT TIME between light snow pellets walking the streets of Limerick and part of that time involved chatted via Qik with Mr. Widget himself. Ivan could tell that we were walking on wet pavement. You can too if you run the video that we stored on Flickr after the session.
WE LIKE OUR TECHNOLOGY both old and new and we really like Faber-Castell's 19th century note case pencil since our great-grandparents used that pencil after landing on Ellis Island. The Perfect Pencil still sells in fine stationery stores. It provides sure lines when used with steady hands. The platinum-plated brass extender protects the point of your pencil and contains a spring-loaded clip and replaceable, non-smudging white eraser under the cap. An added bonus: the built-in sharpener from the extender. You can order one at World Lux. Remember, some luxuries are essential.
JUST BEFORE IRISH daybreak, Jyri and crew demonstratedJaiku running on Google App Engine (GAE). Although there are detractors with that infrastructure, it's a development environment that enables anyone to develop Web services that can scale up to millions of users using Google's massive server infrastructure. If you want to be acquired by Google, why not program to their stack? If programmers embrace Google’s Python-only playground this summer, there could be serious implications for Amazon's competing service. The GAE confronts the highly successful EC2 infrastructure that Twitter borrows from Amazon, but the two services are distinct. With GAE, developers can focus on the business logic, with infrastructure and back-end services (i.e., authentication, storage, and related Google services) built-in and accessible within the Google network infrastructure via APIs. This translates into easy productivity gains for some programmers, but you have to know your Python.
We have a little white bathroom at home (in work at left) and it is a constant stream of wastage. We occassionally forget to turn off its six lights. We always hear its toilet continue to run minutes after its cistern is filled. Cutting down on toilet usage saves more than water. The treatment, storage and supply of water is an energy sink in itself. Then there's the energy burned trying to process human waste--not to mention the chemicals. We are looking at ways to make our white room friendlier to the environment. This week it means figuring out a way to automatically kill the lights when no one is on the throne. Suggestions invited.
Prepped and sent using McDonalds Wifi on a Nokia E90 during a Big Mac Meal Event while watching the BSG Last Supper on another screen on the phone.
FOR SEVERAL YEARS, I used to fly fuel bowsers from main bases to remote locations on planes like the one at left. In fact, I supported one of the airfields featured in the film "Rendition." Those bowsers were legendary for holding sediment and residual fuel. And when connected to fuel pits or fuel trucks, the bowsers often spawned a whole new set of problems (e.g., exposure to sludge or contamination). When BA038 landed short at Heathrow after returning from China, its pilots spoke of having no engine thrust when on short final. That's the same kind of engine reaction I could program into flight simulators back in the day when I was an instructor pilot on the L-300, a four-engine cargo jet. I took a lot of flak for those programmatic decisions because "the odds of (multiple) engines shutting down at once were supposed to be one in a billion." 
KATHY FOLEY hands over her Sunday newspaper column to a litany of complaints from the Irish police force (An Garda Siochana). In 21st century Ireland, some of these policing shortfalls are very troubling.
TODAY IS THE ONE DAY that Europe's pre-eminent edublogger, Ewan McIntosh, could enjoy a brass band upon arrival at JFK. That's because George W. Bush, by virtue of the authority vested in him by the Constitution and laws of the United States, has proclaimed April 6, 2008, as National Tartan Day. "I call upon all Americans to observe this day by celebrating the continued friendship between the people of Scotland and the United States and by recognizing the contributions of Scottish Americans to our Nation," said the President before settling down to a plate of fresh Haggis. We plan to host a meetku with Ewan, complete with Haggis and curry chips (an Irish delicacy) when he visits County Tipperary for the Internet Experience in Education Conference in late May. Details will appear on our educasting site once we sort out our kilts and kits.
GROUP TEXT CHAT will feature strongly when historians look back on the year 2008 and define a significant moment in mobile communications. This lightweight communications standard, ushered in with popular services such as Jaiku and Twitter, has pushed digital communications to at a new level. Many Irish readers know this because they form part of the “Irish pulse” at Twit.ie. It's a site I like for its social connectivity as much as for its clever technical aggregation.
WE HAVE A DOCUMENT circulating that invites the staff at Tipperary Institute to contribute to courses of instruction offered through the local County Enterprise Boards. One of the modules we may offer up into the day-long training programmes comes from our semester-long social media course. But as we plan to offer this training, I keep encountering people who point out the natural choke point that many will face when they return to their companies with new-found blogging expertise. They won't be able to write from work without having their messages moderated from the top. This is a company decision but one that will change the tone and frequency of blog postings. In my experience, if an organisation cannot trust the noise from within its ranks, there are bigger issues than implementing a company blogging policy. You have to relinquish some control in corporate communications in order to accommodate the diversity of opinion that often flows from employee blogs. And if you cannot trust that noise if it reverberates in a public domain, then you probably don't trust those who blog either. Your bloggers often will fail to acknowledge--or even perceive--the subtle management communication layers that interfere with connections made at the periphery of the company's networks. That's one of the conclusions from the 2004 study by Bauer and Patrick and one that I've often used to explain why the social layer of communications is often paramount in articulating a proper company communications policy.
WE ARE HEADED to Limerick OpenCoffee today where we expect to meet up with Patrick Collison again and hear him discuss effective ways of getting funded for your first million euro of technology development. The Collison brothers (on the couch at left) visited Limerick OpenCoffee on 10 August 2007 when they talked about their power seller software. We recorded a podcast then and a few months later we snapped 15 minutes of the Collison brothers from RTE's Late Late show. The national television appearance came on the heels of the Collisons becoming Ireland's first teen technology millionaires. There are lessons to be shared in their accomplishments and we'll share some of those throwaway comments in a live video stream produced by a third year multimedia students at http://qik.com/topgold beginning at 1130 GMT on Thursday 3 April 2008 from the Absolute Hotel during Limerick OpenCoffee (see photos). You can comment directly to the Qik stream or post a question in the Jaiku Irish Open Coffee channel.
Portions of Limerick OpenCoffee are supported by the creative multimedia syllabus at Tipperary Institute.