Archive for August, 2008

PollDaddy testdrive – screencast

August 29, 2008

My latest screencast has been published to This one features Sligo developed PollDaddy, the web’s most popular polling service.

Filing with the Small Claims Court for a Windows refund from Dell

August 27, 2008
Dell Logo

Image via Wikipedia

Gotta love it – after exhausting other avenues David O’Callaghan filed with the Small Claims Court to finally get a refund of €154.28 from Dell – the price he paid for the Microsoft Windows and Works software he didn’t want on his XPS M1330. That’s very handy to know because I’m due an upgrade myself and, like David, have been thinking of going the Ubuntu route too. [via the IIU List]

And staying on matters legal, what about this for another load of bollox from the Telecoms Poodle.

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Upcoming events – Digital Island, Girl Geeks, Podcamp

August 23, 2008

Digital Island Meetup (formerly TechLudd) – Cork International Airport Hotel on Thursday 28th (next Thursday) at 7.30pm. Beers and finger food will be provided by the sponsors. As always the event is free but they’d like you to register so they can have an idea of numbers.

Girl Geek Dinner coming up on the 26th August (guys can go if a girl brings them). UPDATE: Dublin dinner now closed for registration but places still available for Cork Dinner

— There’s another Digital Island meetup coming up in Belfast in the 24th of September (details soon).

Podcamp Ireland is returning to Kilkenny City on the 27th of September.

Tandberg bringing HD video conferencing to the laptop

August 20, 2008

At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco yesterday Tandberg unveiled the first public preview of their HD PC video conferencing technology. Movi claims "business-quality" video conferencing at 720p30 resolution using a Tandberg PrecisionHD camera operating on an Intel Mobile Core 2 Quad laptop (formerly codenamed ‘Montevina’) running Tandberg’s Movi software.

In a not-so-subtle swipe at Skype High Quality Video Tandberg CEO Fredrik Halvorsen said, "While other vendors offer consumer-acceptable PC video conferencing, we have demonstrated the video quality that businesses require to adopt PC video communications". But the question is, how much better can it be really? In tests with the right hardware and software Jim Courtney found  Skype HQ, "a winner… an excellent user video experience…. one more threat to the personal communications segment of business video conferencing, even at the enterprise level." Can Movi really take a big step beyond that?

Well I guess the best way to judge is to see it with my own eyes so I might just pop along to the IP Convergence conference in Paris from Oct. 21-23 where Tandberg will be running demonstrations. Movi won’t be available until early 2009 but I think it sends out a clear signal – Telepresence is coming to the PC before the end of the decade.


And I’ll be following progress over on Vizitant

Contrast ulations! (on a coworking success story)

August 19, 2008

Congratulations to Team Contrast on the launch of a Dublin based web development "company that’s a direct product of the modern Irish web scene." It’s been great to follow the genesis of this idea from it’s roots in the coworking scene.

Unlike many on the Irish web scene (e.g. me) these guys aren’t just talkers, they’re doers. In many ways typified by the response team member Paul Campbell gave to Evert Bopp when he posted about his ideas for starting a coworking center in Tipperary. Just do it!

Indeed Paul refers to his nine months working out of Ireland’s first coworking center as "some of the most productive, inspiring months of my life." And goes on, "If you’re a freelancer, home worker or teleworker and working from home is leading to the kind of drag where you’re just not getting out enough, or you feel that your creativity could do with some company, I urge you, I plea with you: set up or join a coworking space. Do it for yourself, do it for Dublin, do it for the community."

Dell Latitude-On – Linux by stealth

August 15, 2008

My lastest post to Vizitant, where I focus on video-calling, telepresence and virtual worlds.

When Dell announced Latitude-On in conjunction with the launch of it’s new series of Latitude notebooks I was excited to know if the range of instant-on applications would include Skype (as does Splashtop on some Asus laptops). Dissapointingly it seems not, so that rules out super quick access to video-calling.

Still these must be worrying times for Microsoft when they see Dell developing dedicated sub-systems running a Linux OS variant to do a run-around Windows for a large percentage of computing tasks.

Vibemetrix lets you manage the social media conversation

August 13, 2008
Dan Bricklin

Image via Wikipedia

Dan Bricklin, fellow board member at Grazr (I just love saying that), breaks the news that we’ve has launched a new product – Vibemetrix.

"The short pitch: Vibemetrix lets you manage the social media conversation. Among other things, it monitors blogs and RSS feeds and continually updates a list of items that match keywords that you set. It then helps you keep track of comments you post, notes you make to yourself, and more, to help you better participate in conversations around your company, brand, product, commercial niche, or whatever you care about."

The first review comes from Agency3 and it’s largely positive (though not keen on the price) –

"VibeMetrix also allows you to track notes related to the conversations you are monitoring online and it allows you to create and track “follow up” actions. This is great is you are tracking a large number of online conversations."

Grazr CEO Adam Green says, "Our goal is to move beyond simple blog monitoring, and help people manage social media marketing by initiating and maintaining conversations with key influencers. This takes a lot of record keeping, and VibeMetrix is designed to automate this process."

Irish media and PR guru Damien Mulley has written a few detailed posts on how to track what people are saying about your company online and I think Vibemetrix fits nicely into the higher end (and expense) of that slot.

By the way, while I knew Adam and Mike were cooking up something interesting I’ve had zero input on this offshoot of Grazr myself but am very excited about it. Well done guys!


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CoffeeCooler re-opens

August 12, 2008

Two months ago I started setting up daily Skypecasts for informal chat among independent remote workers (and other interested parties). I labelled it CoffeeCooler because I saw it as stay-at-home extension of Open CoffeeClub, a kind of virtual watercooler for entrepreneurs. While it was well received by a small number of people the Skypecast platform proved too flaky for daily use and so it didn’t last long.

I’m delighted to announce that Joe Garde of OnlineMeetingRooms has stepped in to fill the void and hosted his first CoffeeCooler which was quite well attended. So keep an eye on Joe’s Twitter account and remember it’s free to attend. Thanks Joe.

Interactive Smart board demo at OpenCoffee Limerick (video)

August 8, 2008

Yesterday’s OpenCoffee Limerick moved to Gaelscoil O’Doghair in Newcastlewest and turned out to be a marathon session, with three people still immersed in conversation when I finally left at 7.30pm (it started at 11am). It was great to see a number of new faces and the venue certainly gave a fresh injection of energy to proceedings.

I think all of us agreed that the kids attending this multi- award winning primary school are surely among the luckiest in Ireland. Under the tutelage of Daithi O’Murchu the teachers and students at Gaelscoil O’Doghair positively embrace the Internet and technology with a refreshingly open and realistic attitude"Broadband Access and Digital Communications will be used to further our Gaelscoil’s educational goals and objectives, but pupils may find ways, accidentally or intentionally, to access undesirable materials as well. We believe that the benefits to pupils from access to the Internet, in the form of information resources and opportunities for collaboration, exceed any disadvantages".

Here’s a video I captured of Daithi demonstrating one of their interactive touch Smart whiteboards, which is shown to it’s full advantage while navigating the school’s new 360 degree virtual tour


Bernie Goldbach looks at alternative touchscreen technologies.

Limerick OpenCoffee Club on at Gaelscoil O’Doghair this Thursday

August 5, 2008

We’re delighted to be taking Limerick OpenCoffee Club ‘on tour’ this week as we move to Newcastlewest to hold our free, business networking session at Ireland’s most technologically advanced primary school – Gaelscoil O’Doghair.

As usual all are welcome and if anyone needs directions please email me at the address above (top left).