Archive for May, 2008

Photos from 3Dcamp

May 30, 2008

Gabriela tooks some great photos at 3Dcamp. Here’s just a sample –

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A camping we will go….

May 27, 2008

Still decompressing here from 3Dcamp last Saturday while news is rolling in of more and more ‘camps coming our way. Next up is Barcamp Belfast which will be held on Saturday 21st June at Queens University. Already 19 attendees and 7 interesting talks have been registered.

Then on July 16th we have OpenCoffeClub Barbeque taking place at beautiful Terryglass on the shore of Lough Derg. So perhaps less of a ‘camp in name but more of a ‘camp in spirit.

Saturday September 27th is the date planned for the return of Podcamp Ireland in Kilkenny. I’d a great time at this last year and am looking very much forward to a return visit. More details from Ken McGuire.

From Cyberpsychology to World of Warcraft – 3Dcamp Limerick

May 14, 2008

World of WarcraftImage via Wikipedia

"Cyberpsychology: An Emerging Discipline" is the name of the latest talk added to the list for 3Dcamp Limerick on Saturday May 24th –

"Cyberpsychology studies human interactions with other emerging technologies, including the internet, mobile phones, games consoles, virtual reality, digital media and any other technology which has demonstrated an ability to alter human behaviours. It considers the impact of evolving trends, such as technological convergence, on individuals. Cyberpsychology also examines human interactions with less ubiquitous technologies, such as cyborgs and artificial intelligence." !!

That talk will be given by Grainne Kirwan from the Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design & Technology. Another recent submission is a talk by Chris Exton in which he will attempt to observe in realtime the various interactions which give rise to "The culture of World of Warcraft"

We’re now at 56 registered attendees (and counting) so it’s looking like a wonderful event for everyone interested in this space.

With no plans for wireless internet service is Irish Rail really “getting there”?

May 10, 2008

An Iarnród Éireann commuter train in the Republic of Ireland. The LED says (In Irish) Image via WikipediaI’m taking my first train to Dublin in years (I usually drive) next Tuesday from Charleville station in Co. Cork. I’m not sure I’ll even bring my laptop with me because I don’t own a datacard from one of the mobile operators for access to mobile broadband (3G, HSDPA). With more and more access to free and open wifi it makes no sense for me to subscribe to such a service for the relatively few times I would need it. And besides, I’ve previously had a very bad experience with Vodafone Ireland.

When I booked my ticket online yesteday I was surprised to see a €20+ difference between Standard class and Premier Class. However if I knew I’d have seamless wifi broadband for the duration of the jouney, dedicated power point and a quieter more comfortable carriage for working in I’d happily pay that premium.

But Will Knott has been doing some research and found that Irish Rail have no plans to go down that route. In his opinion –

"Even if a current mobile broadband carrier offered to install the local technology on even their First Class (City Gold) carriages and you’ll find that the number of business users would increase. I mean, you have just given a very valid incentive to pay for a “City Gold” ticket! Remember that “cloud computing” is an option used by a lot of companies. For that to work an internet connection is needed. On a almost three hour train trip from Dublin – Cork you can get a lot done."

Other Irish bloggers too have been voicing strong opinions about Irish Rail. Paul Watson was shocked at the price of a trip for two from Waterford to Dublin –

"It cost €63 return for the two tickets. On a Sunday. With a half-full train. Even halved that is more than would have been spent on petrol if we had taken the car and accounted for parking. Once we got to Dublin we then had to fork out another €8, then €24 and a further €20 to get around by taxi. Had the train times been more flexible we could have used the bus service but as it was there was no way we could have used the bus to get around Dublin and been back to the station to catch our train back to Waterford."

And Damien Mulley discovered the meaning of that oblique Irish Rail catchphrase, ‘technical difficulties’ – "Getting there when they’re good and ready and if you’re not happy about that then they’ll strike."

But getting back to the issue of onboard broadband Will Knott believes Irish Rail are missing the opportunity to make a lot of money, "and
the mobile carriers are missing out by leaving ‘coverage holes’ on
the route."
. Conor O’Neill has been documenting those coverage holes on both the O2 and Vodafone networks and while O2 is the winner of his tests it’s clear that neither option is satisfactory.

According to the Irish Rail FAQ they’ll "continue to monitor the speed of advance of such technologies
and if we deem that change is not occurring quickly enough we may
reconsider the situation."
Well listen up Irish Rail – CHANGE IS NOT HAPPENING QUICKLY ENOUGH!!

Twitterfone can enhance the conference backchannel

May 7, 2008

Kilkenny BeerImage via WikipediaThe big news on Twitter today is that Cork-based Cubic Telecom, along with Dublin-based Dial2Do and an alliance of international partners have together launched Twitterfone – a voice-to-text service which voice-enables Twitter, the hottest social networking service at the moment. With Twitterfone, people can dictate text messages via their mobile to be sent out to everyone on their Twitter social network.

I signed up for the beta and took it for a quick spin. Ironically my west Limerick accent tripped it up just as I was saying "west Limerick". Listening to numerous other tests by those on my Twitter network however it’s clear that the translation technology is very advanced, getting it right more often than not, many times even against a noisy background.

When I attended Podcamp in Kilkenny
last October I got to observe first hand the potential for a
backchannel to enhance the conversation. Ustream was used to webcast a
live video feed and remote users’ input relayed via the Ustream chat
room, Twitter and Jaiku. I was so impressed by this that I’ve proposed
a similar backchannel for 3Dcamp – the upcoming barcamp being held at University of Limerick.

It strikes me now that Twitterfone can greatly enhance the bachchannel experience for those in attendance and those virtually attending. How much better to relay questions and comments audibly, literally from the horses mouth, rather than by proxy. And it’s hard to imagine an easier way for the backchannel ‘director’ to manage the flow than a via a unified Twitter stream.

So I’d ask all those hoping to virtually join us in Limerick on May 24th, from remote locations, to sign up for Twitterfone as soon as possible so as to be ready to phone in your commentary for the various speakers and panels.

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Resitance is futile – Google Reader to assimilate Blogger

May 6, 2008

Google Reader shared items upgradeImage by VoIPman via Flickr

In early 2007 I asked"What sense does it make that I have to open my Performancing plug-in to blog, visit a blogger’s web page to comment and invoke a del.icio.us pop-up to take a note? None! I should be able to perform each annotation from within my aggregator – a single unified interface to the Live Web. And I’m betting that’s exactly what Google ReWriter will become."

In fact Robin Blandford and I have been having a conversation about the mythical "Google ReWriter" for quite a while now so when he brought my attention this morning to the announcement of new Google Reader’s new Share with note features I have to admit I got geekily excited.

This upgrade essentially turn Google Reader into a very basic blogging tool and it’s now encroaching on Blogger territory. Here’s my Google Reader blog, with a new header style, webpage excerpt plus comment, shared feed item plus comment, standalone comment (post) and reblogged items.  Formatting options are non existent but make no mistake about it, Google Reader is moving closer and closer towards being an integrated web annotation suite and will eventually assimilate Blogger.