brazLuka Bloom, telescopes and the steam engine (30.12.2005, 23:29 UTC)
Luka Bloom, telescopes and the steam engine Originally uploaded by bluepelican. What do all these have in common? Birr, home to estate of the Earls of Rosse which I visited today. Its Luka's song writing spot and whilst the estate's gardens where not at their summer finest they where still very beautiful and I can understand his muse a little better from visiting that spot. In addition, it houses the Levithan, once the world's largest telescope and beautifully restored. A later fami...
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brazVHI and rails (28.12.2005, 17:32 UTC)
Looks like there is finally a bit of equality in the health insurance market with risk equalisation between VHI and BUPA. Its funny to hear BUPA's arguments as most of its senior executives are ex-VHI and were fully aware this equalisation was on the cards. The other funny point is that they're only using the Irish figures but if taken with the wider UK figures of BUPA a much more illuminating picture is revealed. The simple answer for BUPA is to set its prices in line with reality and the act...
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brazChistmas Wishes and random readings (23.12.2005, 13:23 UTC)
Happy Christmas to all and here are a couple of last minute readings for the long Christmas nights.From Worldchanging we got one of my favourite topics which is the potential of microgeneration and even better is the nice UK government/NGO detailed study on it. A major issue for the developing world is the need for universal access to clean water, one solution might be the Watercone but it is probably too expensive to be a viable solution. Here is a really cool idea that is timely and useful, th...
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brazSomewhat more normal (16.12.2005, 14:43 UTC)
Normality is slowly returning after the rush to get everything done and sorted for yesterday's Metamusic meeting. So here's a bit of a catch up on stuff.Firstly, here is the concert call for a sonification piece for next year's ICAD. From the call we havesnip.....Global data are ubiquitous - one finds them in every newspaper, and they cover a range of themes, from global warming to increasing poverty, from individual purchasing power to the ageing of the world's population......Closing the feedb...
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brazParty time (7.12.2005, 23:14 UTC)
Its a mad couple of days with the Christmas party tomorrow at Dolan's and then recovery in time for the Skynet talks on open source politics followed by the society's Christmas bash! Picking holes with the budget was fun as ever (no index linking, no changes to VAT, remember the days when you'd get an increase in the grant and rent would go up as, well its the same hole Biffo has opened with Childcare, I'd need to see the details about the 4th level stuff as its years behind and still majorly ...
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brazShards (7.12.2005, 07:46 UTC)
A happy beating heart broken to a thousand shards, you forget sometimes who reads this.
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brazBetwixt (7.12.2005, 01:11 UTC)
Betwixt the void and the dark. Relationships are hard, distance harder still. Anyone got a light?
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brazVienna and all (28.11.2005, 11:31 UTC)
So its a lovely day in Vienna, I've had a great talk with Brian Gygi on PhD stuff and even seen some parts of the lab Gin might go and work for. Vienna's been great cold but great and the sunny even came out today but its a fairly colder climate in general maybe not this week from what I've heard. The christmas markets are good but they're all a bit similar in one sense with very many stocking the same types of things. The best market so far is the Spittalberg but Freyung and Karlsplatz came c...
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brazPolitics and Geek novels (21.11.2005, 22:55 UTC)
On the side of politics and e-advocacy we have a great little report from Reporters sans frontiers called "The 15 enemies of the Internet and other countries to watch". For NGOs and volunteer organisations in troubled times, here is a really useful link to NGO in a Box (Security Edition) which is a repository for organizations and NGOs. For those who really want security you can try Tor on a USB stick, which allows any internet terminal whether it is at home, school, or a Internet cafe to creat...
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brazFriday Roundup (18.11.2005, 13:49 UTC)
As a user of LinkedIn, I'd never realised there was an etiquette that needed to be followed but really its all common sense. For a real visual treat and if you're into historical maps, visit David Rumsey's Historical Map Collection (here's some O'Reilly coverage on it).Move over titanium here comes Liquidmetal twice the strength and three times the elasticity of titanium. Liquidmetal has a significantly lower melting point than its constituent metals its an alloy of zirconium, titanium, nickel, ...
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brazJournalistic abilities in Ireland (17.11.2005, 15:27 UTC)
Some of the comments on my previous post about Barry McSweeney have struck an old chord, that of the abilities of journalists in Ireland. I'll have to admit that good journalists are a very rare species in this country but unfortunately its not just Irish problem. The merging of many media companys in Ireland (look to the local radios and provisional papers) and in the wider world (Aol - Time/Warner) has lead to a narrowing of editorial policies which has resulted in the rather limited selecti...
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brazCan the Government ever fire someone? (16.11.2005, 14:12 UTC)
First we had Michael Kelly in the Department of Health and the Travers report and the issue of the illegal charges on nursing home residents who was one of many senior administrators in the Dept of Health whilst the whole long-term systematic failure to deal with the issue occured. He got 'demoted' (READ Promoted) to the position of Chairman of the High Education Authority.Now we have 'Doctor' Barry McSweeney Chief Science Advisor in the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment whose qualif...
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brazUL gets Café Scientifique (15.11.2005, 13:44 UTC)
UL will host its first Café Scientifique tonight at 20:00 in the Millstream Common room, beside the new Engineering Research building. Its topic is Combating Climate Change and it will be chaired by broadcaster Ciana Campbell with speakers Dr Tido Semmler (Met Eireann) and Dr Austin Darragh. The idea behind a Café Scientifique event is to provide a forum for the discussion of both topical and provoking scientific issues in an informal environment rather than in a lecture hold. All who...
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brazHighlights of the policies from National Conference (13.11.2005, 14:29 UTC)
After arriving back from Millstream and getting to a computer, I can now happily blog about a couple of the policies I think are really interesting from yesterday's conference. Green Ireland and a new super food agency - so this means the rolling up of Food Safety Authority, Bord Bia and Teagasc with authority to direct the existing bodies avoiding the lack of knowledge and disorganisation which exists between the separate bodies. The Green Ireland brand is a new Irish Quality food authorit...
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brazCompetition and the Irish Consumer (12.11.2005, 20:10 UTC)
Competition and the Irish Consumer Originally uploaded by bluepelican. The lovely deputy from Offaly introduced Phil Hogan who laid out a series of changes and common sense policys that would review and strengten the Competition Authority as well as all the Ripoff issues (cue Eddie Hobbs). The current stance on many common issues where mentioned with a lot of ancedotes from the Ripoff.ie website.
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brazNational Conference 2005 (12.11.2005, 20:08 UTC)
National Conference 2005 Originally uploaded by bluepelican. Richard Bruton gave a brillant speech on the direction for FG with definite objectives and policies with regard to public spending and the civil service.
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brazMeasure Map Added (11.11.2005, 10:34 UTC)
Thanks to all the great work for the people over at Adaptive Path, I've gotten a new toy to add to my blog. It is a very swish web tracking tool based on AJAX well of course you'd say isn't Jesse James Garrett,, one of the founders of Adaptive Path as well as the gentleman who coined AJAX as a term! Not to mind that but they're also a design house with actual serious ID and HCI people. The tracking tool is interesting, I like the interface and it has a nice link into various blogging systems su...
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brazThe Mercy Seat (9.11.2005, 23:40 UTC)
Thanks to Mike I got wind of this little gem which had its last night in the Swift tonight. So the Mercy Seat ... well wow I really liked it, it is set on the morning after 9th of September 2001 in an apartment, a couple of blocks from the World Trade Center with two characters. Ben Harcourt and Amy Prescott, a sofa, some interesting soundscapes and some decent lighting. Ben was visiting his boss and mistress Amy on that faithful morning and engaging in some extra curricula activities, he's now...
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brazThe Keys to Your Heart (9.11.2005, 12:10 UTC)
Taking a cue from Drusilla's postThe Keys to Your HeartYou are attracted to good manners and elegance.In love, you feel the most alive when things are straight-forward, and you're told that you're loved.You'd like to your lover to think you are flexible and ready for anything!You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.Your ideal relationship is traditional. Without saying anything, both of you communicate with your hearts.Your risk of cheating ...
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brazTuesday's ramblings (1.11.2005, 11:53 UTC)
Seems 7 out of 10 people in the UK don't know what a blog is. From the same survey we see that 9 out of 10 don't know what podcasting or flash mobbing are. A lecture on the design of systems which proactively direct and mediate human action. Dealing with Election Accessibility Issues, from North Carolina in the USA. So you want to become a Republican - is another of those classic cynical Flash based politically theme games and a good exemplar of online campaigning. How about built-in WiFi, voi...
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brazTransport plan and will it work (1.11.2005, 08:41 UTC)
The current 2000 transport plan originally costed for 6 million now costs 19 million and will have a 30% figure of incompletion. Today's new transport plan looks like you could divide it into thirds, take one of the thirds and throw those projects covered by it away as without proper oversight and corporate governance it'll be Eddie Hobbs time again in a couple years and really that just isn't on! Big figures and aspirations are only useful if they're implemented on time and within budget so w...
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brazI use Lisp (30.10.2005, 17:25 UTC)
Well some people have been slagging off my use of Lisp so here's something special for them! All logos are from the Public Domain Lisp Logo Set By Conrad Barski, M.D. who says "Why an Alien Lisp Mascot? To most programmers, Lisp seems like an entirely alien language at first. One thing that I think the Lisp community has failed to do is convince other programmers that this strangeness is not an arbitrary obstacle, but a necessary adjustment that imparts great power to programme...
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brazMore on European Taxation issue (28.10.2005, 13:06 UTC)
Checking out Simon Coveney's newsletter:He talks about the tax issue I raised yesterday."The European Commission has adopted a comprehensive plan of EU-wide taxation and customs measures that would help the EU to achieve its Lisbon objectives. The plan lists existing and forthcoming Commission taxation and customs initiatives aimed at reducing compliance costs and red tape; helping Member States to maintain stable revenue streams; generating more competition in the markets; boosting trade; and e...
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brazEU eyes up national veto in company tax law (27.10.2005, 15:56 UTC)
Well I suppose it was due to happen, the European Commission under the enhanced cooperation method is in the process of circumventing the veto of five states with regards to the national company (corporation) tax law. Ireland, the UK, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovakia are the countries affected and it will mean that by a target date of 2008, all EU member states will have a harmonised corporate tax base or so hopes EU tax commissioner Laszlo Kovacs.The opposition to this moves from the five countr...
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brazMusings from the fringe (25.10.2005, 09:38 UTC)
Seems Skype had a bit of a security review but even the review has a few limitations.This could be one of the best inventions and most useful inventions around - a lightbulb - so what am I on you ask - using quantum dots which are tiny nanocrystals just a few dozen atoms across. It projects in the visible spectrum just like your bog standard bulb, but it puts out 50 times more light for each watt whilst lasting 60 times longer! The main reason for its efficienty is it doesn't put out the infrare...
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brazSkynet Talks (22.10.2005, 10:05 UTC)
HEAnet and Google gave talks last night to the UL computer society. They were very informative but not for the non tech head. First up was Dave and Eoin from HEAnet who covered a whole range of issues from the historical to future directions. HEAnet is the ISP for the Irish third level universities and the talk described its development from a small group which provided the 512 k connection to the Internet right to the current organisation which provides 2 Gigabytes and is aiming to in to 10 ...
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brazDigital Rights Ireland (18.10.2005, 21:56 UTC)
Digital Rights Ireland is a new organisation setup in Ireland whose aims are to defend Civil, Human and Legal rights in a digital age. So finally a EFF for Ireland. I've followed some of the bloggers below so it seems like a good group and if you are actually interested in signing up or hearing more, you can subscribe to their mailing list. The current committee as they'd say is as follows: TJ McIntyre (Chair) - IT Law in Ireland blog Bernie Goldbach - Lecturer Tipp Inst Antoin O’...
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brazEar Flap (18.10.2005, 09:51 UTC)
An Ear Flap is the use of real picture but an inaccurate or misleading description especially in the revisionist spin doctoring of current day politics. From snopes.com "It's quite common (especially with the speedy distribution of material the Internet makes possible) for politically-oriented jokes, photographs, and other put-downs to 'jump parties', with partisans of one side altering names and other details to associate the same material with the personalities and politics of the other side...
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brazFull house for debate (17.10.2005, 21:30 UTC)
Full house for debate Originally uploaded by bluepelican. It was a full house for tonight's debate with Simon and Mary Lou. Topics covered mainly EU defense and the EU social model. They also talked about EU software patents and Simon spoke about the need for some reform as the current patent process requires a patent per country within the EU so that we need to find a method which will still prevent the multinationals from patenting all software but which allows for an easier proce...
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brazBusy busy busy (17.10.2005, 13:25 UTC)
Catching up with all the work from MetaMusic and trying to balance some work on my PhD has been tricky so I'm afraid one of the casualities was my blogging but I'm trying to place everything so here's a few tidbits for today. The Bioneers conference had quite a few interesting presentations and one of these regarded the greening of urban spaces which is covered by Worldchanging. They've also got a nice article on the integration of online data resources with online mapping with a good example b...
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