TIPPERARY INSTITUTE FACES widespread reform in order to avoid closure. I work in Tipperary Institute as a creative multimedia lecturer. I've never worked with such a high percentage of mature students before and it's for their future success that I hope the institution is able to flex with the demands of austerity. Ireland's leading austerity pundit, Sean McCarthy, has recommended Tipperary Institute be closed or merged with another third level institution. Unless something like this blog post derails the process, it appears the future viability of Tipperary Institute lies in its merger with the Limerick Institute of Technology. Nonetheless, a high degree of uncertainty bubbles over on Facebook and in the classroom concerning the weight of the ax to fall. The biggest motivation for me to write this post comes from late night cross-talk with my students. They want to read a public statement from me that indicates we're on track with the academic goals we set last August. I'm on track but I know there are issues when trying to fold things together. With mergers come cutbacks and if Tipperary Institute's future is driven by bean counters, the only way entire programmes will continue is by a lot of bums on seats. Said another way, there's every prospect of some programmes in LIT being throttled back to support manning requirements in County Tipperary. And there's a very strong prospect that several accredited third level programmes in Tipperary Instiute will be changed to boost their enrollment numbers or to divert Tipperary staff into Limerick to support programmes in need of qualified lecturers. I don't sit at a management table but I know what I'd recommend.
MILLIONS (14m) OF PAGES appear on Google when asking for information about "memory full Nokia" like I did. Unlike many of the people complaining online about a lack of main memory, I believe mine is totally a result of (1) too many message attachments in email, (2) too many (hundreds) of old SMS text messages inside custom folders, (3) the presence of several bloated Java programs that insist upon installing themselves on the main phone and (4) the presence of full-featured guidebooks attached to Nokia Maps. Brendan Coleman, the local Nokia repairman, tells me I could do a factory reset (*#7370# with lock code 12345), then reload sections onto the phone one at a time to see which bogs down the phone. I my case, I know the "settings" menu has issues, so I'm manually going to pull off a dozen wifi profiles and remove and replace the special profile application that I really enjoy using. I may have to remove some of the US map data from the phone as well because the phone wants to update the map guides whenever I have the GPS and map funciton running. All things considered, the Nokia E90 continues to serve me as a daily phone two years after I slipped it into my pocket. The photo (above right) shows a normal day's work on a phone that's been dropped onto concrete five times since November 2007.
THREE YEARS AFTER I first started skimming Twitter and four years after latching onto Facebook, I have to say that Facebook delivers more of a community spirit. It's all the more evident when part of my Facebook newsfeed delivers real-time community-centred. This real-time evolution towards authentic communications happened because genuine people are trundling onto Facebook with really interesting streams of information, from textual to photographic to video to audio clips. This change of Facebook's value surprises me because my initial impression of Facebook came through an inundation of applications. I used to loathe visiting Facebook because I would be confronted with dozens of pokes, quizzes, and games that just got in the way. But after manually deleting or blocking hundreds--yes, hundreds--of Facebook apps, I've a clean sheet when opening my Facebook account. On top of that, real people from decades ago have connected with me on Facebook, resuming communications as though we were between rounds in the pub. But over on Twitter, things are different. What should have been an elegant microblogging platform has now evolved into a faceless mass of wannabe celebrities jostling with each other while their PAs tweet a version of Hello! Lite. Other faces have evolved their microblogging into a clever form of in-stream advertising. I'm getting a rising number of porn bots in my "replies" tab. Twitter is evolving in a direction that doesn't suit my lingering attention. Its evolution has me subscribing to selected people and to the "favorites" that some power users want to share. Next week, I'm recording a conversation with Liam Burke, the guy who cajoled me onto Twitter in 2006. I'll share those thoughts here as well.