Robert SynnottRainbow Balloons! (13.2.2006, 02:09 UTC)
On the last day of Rainbow Week, we blew up lots of balloons, and put some in the window of the LGBT society room in Trinity. Very pretty. You can see them from the outside by looking to the left of Front Arch, 2nd floor, from outside college, if you hurry. I really need a better camera for this sort of thing…
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Robert SynnottA German, an Irishman and an Australian walk into a kitchen (12.2.2006, 21:35 UTC)
“It sounds like a joke. But it isn’t. It’s a thriller, a romance and a fable. With villains and heroes. With exotic locales and industrial secrets. And with bread. Above all. Bread. Healthy slices of… but we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Back to the beginning. Back to the menopause.” That’s a real ad for this. It was in the paper today. People are strange. Brings this to mind, really.
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Robert SynnottRob the Juror (12.2.2006, 00:38 UTC)
I was summoned for jury duty today, for the Circuit Court on the 20th of March. As it happens, I have Schol exams that week, so should hopefully be exempt; must fill out the forms and send them back. Interesting, though; I somehow never imagine 20 year olds on juries. The summons was accompanied by a lovely little form explaining the court process in great detail, in cheery, 1950s ‘Make Your Country Proud’ language. On 100% recycled paper, naturally.
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Robert SynnottTemptation (7.2.2006, 13:18 UTC)
Last night I saw a poster for some Sinn Fein talk on how the government needs to spend more money on public services. I was quite tempted to write in “Except for the Criminal Assets Bureau”, but I resisted. (For those of you not from Ireland or the UK, Sinn Fein is a nationalist party operating both in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Its (now apparently demobilised and decommissioned) terrorist wing, the IRA, has in recent years been much harassed by the Criminal Assets...
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Robert SynnottTeacup Turbulence (6.2.2006, 17:30 UTC)
It’s Rainbow Week in Trinity. Rainbow Week is run by the Students’ Union as a sort of gay rights/look! there are gay people in this college thing. This year, the LGBT Rights officer decided to run a “Safe Spaces” campaign. The idea was that lecturers could put up posters saying that they were gay friendly. It didn’t really seem to accomplish much, apart from outing the Head of School of Philosophy there, Gerard Casey, as a braindead bigot (apparently an open secret ...
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Robert SynnottGoogle Responds to SEO (6.2.2006, 15:57 UTC)
Search Engine optimisation is the process of crafting websites to come favourably in Google, through a variety of both ethical and unethical methods. Many people practice unethical SEO thinking that they won’t be caught. Google caught BMW in the act. Try searching for ‘bmw.de’. Good for Google! I wonder what the response to this will be?
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Robert SynnottWhy I do not worship at the altar of AJAX (6.2.2006, 01:06 UTC)
There’s a new buzzword, these last couple of years. That buzzword is “Web 2.0″. Web 2.0 encompasses, oh, all sorts of vague things, like blogging, wikis and community websites, and one quite concrete one, AJAX. AJAX is simply a new name for something that has been around for a good while, client-side Javascript which calls server-side code through HTTP requests, and displays any result without going to a new page. Now for some reason, once this was called AJAX (which stands for...
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Robert SynnottIrish Blog Awards (6.2.2006, 00:31 UTC)
Someone nominated me for the personal category in the Irish Blog Awards. I’m one of some 40 people in the category; after the vote it’ll be down to five. I doubt I’ll make the cut, but nice to be nominated
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Robert SynnottBon Jovi Spam (5.2.2006, 01:15 UTC)
On a message board I frequent, a newly registered users just posted this. Okay, looks moderately innocent… Now try googling for ‘popnfresh175′, the poster. 175 posts, all advertising a Bon Jovi album. No link to buy it. This would seem to be a new form of “Viral Marketing”, or “spam” to those of you who haven’t sold your souls to the God of Marketing. Did Universal, the record label, actually pay for this? A few more quick searches will show that t...
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Robert SynnottMuhammad Cartoon Silliness (4.2.2006, 19:07 UTC)
Some days ago, a Danish newspaper published a few rather tasteless and offensive, but certainly well within the range of normal satire, cartoons, involving the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Causing half of the Islamic world to go stark raving crazy. Embassies have been burned, nations boycotted; even the Vatican, perhaps upset about depiction of priests or Ratzinger in satirical cartoons, has chimed in to say that free speech doesn’t imply the right to offend religious beliefs, or some such si...
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Robert SynnottPhonetic (4.2.2006, 17:09 UTC)
Is a terribly ironic word.
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Robert SynnottRadish Crisis in Japan! (3.2.2006, 12:50 UTC)
Last year, a radish grew through the pavement in a Japanese town. Someone then damaged it. This somehow became a national crisis, and they are trying to clone the radish. People are odd.
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Robert SynnottUS Nuclear Interest? (1.2.2006, 14:46 UTC)
George Bush, in his State of the Union address, said that the US must break their oil addiction, and has pledged to increase funding for ‘clean’ (nuclear and renewable) energy. Hopefully, this will actually be followed through upon. The US doesn’t exactly have a glowing past in the area, but this could change, with work.
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Robert SynnottBCS Programming Competition; Death Of (30.1.2006, 01:40 UTC)
For the last 21 years, the British Computer Society has held a computer programming competition for students and professional programmers in the UK and Ireland. This year, they are, sadly, not holding it. I’ve competed in it twice. It’s a team competition; my college sent a team for the last few years. Team was chosen through programming competition within college. The first year, we got through the heats in Edinburgh and didn’t do very well in the London final, the second year...
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Robert SynnottGeotargeted Ads (29.1.2006, 15:21 UTC)
A banner ad somewhere just suggested that I “Find tons of sex partners in SANTRY”. Hmm. Hadn’t realised Santry-dwellers were so hefty.
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Robert SynnotteBaum’s World Again (29.1.2006, 13:33 UTC)
Remember my post on naughty copyright-violator eBaum’s World? Of course you do, my devoted readers. Tut-tut and all that. Well, at 7 or so this morning, within 20 minutes of each other, two people commented on that post, both effectively saying “oh, there’s no problem, and by the way, eBaum’s World has a TV show!”. Okay, within the realms of possibility, no? Well, both of them posted from IP addresses in Rochester, NY, on the same cable company. Guess where the cont...
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Robert SynnottThe Next Generation of IT Professionals (28.1.2006, 17:17 UTC)
Heard in a CS computer lab in college: “Is there any limits to java?”
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Robert SynnottIsle of Man flexes its muscles (27.1.2006, 19:23 UTC)
From the BBC: “The Isle of Man government has warned the UK it would be unhappy if more nuclear waste was disposed of at the Sellafield plant in Cumbria.” Also, “Environment Minister, John Rimington MHK, said the government expected to be consulted about the UK’s plans”. It has ‘warned’ the UK? What on earth does it intend to do if ignored?
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Robert SynnottPublicity for the Noughties (27.1.2006, 03:34 UTC)
For most of the 20th century, advertising generally entailed spending huge amounts of money buying very poorly targetted ads. Word of mouth was not, for most people, a useful form of advertising; far too slow. When the internet turned up, publishers tried to reuse this model. Initially, banner ads went for crazy prices; up to $50 CPM (cost per thousand). The companies placing ads almost never saw a sensible return on this, and people quickly learned to ignore the coloured boxes. But after all, i...
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Robert SynnottGrammar Police (26.1.2006, 01:32 UTC)
More dodgy grammar in a prominent place: EuroDisney ad on RTE’s website. “Kid’s go free”. Quite. If I had my way, this sort of thing would attract the death penalty.
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Robert SynnottMorality Through Prolog (23.1.2006, 17:45 UTC)
I was reading a book on Prolog this morning. Prolog is an interesting language which I suspect to be part of an evil plot by some RISC vendor or other to get people to use recursion more. Anyway, an example given in the text: lessthan(avocado, clergyman). What’s going on here? Is someone laboriously describing their moral system through Prolog? Is lessthan(greengage, avocado). ? Well, no. It’s something only marginally less surreal, though; it is being used to demonstrate PrologR
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Robert SynnottEmbarassing Advertising (22.1.2006, 23:32 UTC)
I just saw an ad for dreamhost on Something Awful. Besides their dubious claim that they’ll provide 20gb storage with a terabyte of transfer for $7.95 a month (someone should test that), they have, in the ad, spelt ‘terabyte’ ‘terrabyte’. Oops. How very professional.
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Robert SynnottSpotting a Planet Aggregator (22.1.2006, 17:56 UTC)
Note the little half-hourly jumps. That’s my Planet Aggregator. What that jump at 7am was, I’m not quite sure.
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Robert SynnottSilly Fun Personals Site (22.1.2006, 03:23 UTC)
okcupid.com is a rather odd personals site that I was just introduced to by a friend. It seems to be dating site meets mad psychologist. It revolves around LOTS AND LOTS of personality tests. Here are my results on one of them. Well, quite, quite. Not very practical at all, but a lot of fun.
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Robert SynnottProgramming Problems (21.1.2006, 02:19 UTC)
Since 1st year college I’ve been involved in our (Trinity’s) entry to the BCS programming competition, a team programming competition open to students and IT sector workers in the UK and Ireland. I was on the team then (we got through to the final, then didn’t get anywhere significant there), and the next year (we came 2nd overall). This year, I’m (trying to) organise our entry. So, we had a competition in college today to try to start finding a team. Disappointing. One p...
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Robert SynnottStupid Mindless Quiz Thing (21.1.2006, 02:17 UTC)
As I’m bored and waiting for washing machine to finish, I’m filling in one of these quiz things, which I stole from some other blog: Birthday: 25th May 1985 Birthplace: Somewhere in Dublin; don’t recall Current Location: Dublin Eye Colour: Blue Hair Colour: Brown Height: 5ft 11 inches Right Handed or Left Handed: Right Handed Your Heritage: My what now? The Shoes You Wore Today: size 11 not-quite-runners, can’t remember brand Your Weakness: Low self-esteem Your Fears: Tha...
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Robert SynnottNuclear Nation? (20.1.2006, 12:25 UTC)
As anyone not living under a rock will have noticed by now, the world is abuzz with talk of nuclear power. New plants are being planned all over Europe, and a number of countries are considering ending their moratoria on construction. Lithuania has asked the EU for permission to retain a Soviet-era plant that was to be closed as part of the accession for another ten years, and Romania plans to resume work on a plant whose construction was halted 15 years ago. Even in the US, where there has been...
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Robert SynnottEx Encounter (20.1.2006, 12:03 UTC)
Hmm. I was having a cup of coffee in the Arts Block in college today, as is my occasional habit. I like my alone time, and it’s far enough away from my end of college that I’m unlikely to come across all that many people I know. Five minutes after I got there, the guy I had been going out with until recently, when he dumped me, turned up at the next table. I had to make a run for it, more or less, and finished my coffee down the corridor.
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Robert SynnottMore Fun with Linking (20.1.2006, 04:24 UTC)
A web design company is threatening legal action over an unfavourable review and/or link. I am no stranger to this sort of thing, as those who have been paying attention will know. For what it’s worth, the site is, in my opinion, while superficially quite pretty, almost unusable. Like so many other Flash designers, they have taken basic application behaviours and subtly changed them, confusing the poor user. Everything is also at an angle. Again, looks good, almost unreadable in reality. ...
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Robert SynnottHolocaust? What Holocaust? (20.1.2006, 03:12 UTC)
I recently discovered that someone I knew moderately well, and who seemed quite a reasonable person, doesn’t believe the Holocaust happened, and believes in some sort of world Jewish Conspiracy. Now, I had always assumed that Holocaust denial was confined to some sort of mad, obvious Nazis, who I’d probably never have the pleasure of meeting. As for a Jewish Conspiracy, I considered, like any [insert disliked minority group here] believers, that those who talk about it are completely...
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