Archive for September, 2008

Podcamp Ireland, Barcamp Cork, Schoolbots, etc

September 30, 2008

Barcamp SnapImage by Irish Typepad via Flickr

Great discussion on payment processing options for a web application over on Robinb Blandford’s blog.

It looks like Podcamp Ireland was another huge success (which I sadly missed due to other engagements). And now Barcamp Cork is being revived after having kicked the whole (barcamp) thing off two years ago. I like the renewed emphasis on making it an un-conference.

Congratulations 1.0 to Damien Mulley on leaving the day job to make Mulley Communications Ltd. a full time gig.

Congratulations 2.0 to Liam Noonan on the news that SchoolBots has gone live and is now being sponsored by Google and Lenovo. SchoolBots is a brilliant computer game programming competition aimed at transition year students and above at secondary schools in Ireland. Tipperary Institute are the organisers of this competition and it’s hosted at Tipperary Institutes campus in Thurles. Schools should register their interest no later than October 31st 2008.

And congratulations 3.0 to Paul Walsh on the big news that Bebo co-founder Paul Birch has invested in his mobile startup.

Tourist Republic (based in Ennis and a regular at OpenCoffee Limerick) has found a new CTO.

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SINful meetup (Social entrepreneurs Informal Network)

September 24, 2008

Temple BarImage via WikipediaSIN is

  • Social entrepreneurs Informal Network … with the emphasis on the social
  • a regular meeting (third friday of every month) in Dublin city centre
  • having its first meeting in a pub on Sycamore St, Temple Bar which is called Sin.
  • open to anyone and everyone
  • Dublin-centric – apologies to our country cousins (perhaps you’d like to start a franchise?)

SIN is not

  • exclusive – send this invite around to whoever you think might be interested.
  • endorsed by any particular organisation or person

There’s about 50 people on this inauguration list, and from what i
gather there’s enough interest to make the first one a real success. For more information contact dave @

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September 23, 2008

Logo of the 2006 NME Awards Tour.Image via Wikipedia

I sometimes wonder if I’m a little abnormal when it comes to music. Not in terms of my tastes, but rather my utter indifference to the music scene as a whole. It’s not that I’m tone deaf, in fact I used to play accordian and guitar when I was younger. It’s not that I’ve no appreciation for a good tune – I do like nearly every track in my small and neat CD collection. But therein lies the rub – I’m largely a music liker, not a music lover.

You see I’ve never been a radio listener, a CD swapper, or an earbud dangler. Not to mention a raver, rocker,  grunger or goth. I’ve zero interest in rock-star gossip, fashion or the club scene and I’ve never read Rolling Stone, NME or Hot Press!

In short, it’s not easy for any new music to get my attention. In fact unless it’s on the web it’s got almost zero chance. So more and more my interest is being piqued by YouTube videos posted by bloggers with a good (compatible) taste in music. Ina O’Murchu regularly posts great tunes and the Limerck Blogger recently gave me cause to reasses my initial critique of Black Daisy. Hearing them belt out Disturbing New Fashion I suddenly, and alarmingly, felt the urge to hear more!

Which meant there was only once place to turn – What I love about is that you don’t need no credit card to ride in this train buy tracks – instead you simply pay with your mobile phone by texting the word ‘music’, followed by a space, and the track ID. Then they send you login details which will allow you to download the track. Texts cost €1.

Admittedly I did experience a problem when initially trying to download Disturbing New Fashion – the file was only a few kilobytes in size and unplayable. So I emailed support and was quickly informed of the reason – the artists themselves are responsible for uploading the file that users
purchase. instructs them to use the MP3 format, but some don’t. Support copied Black Daisy on this email and thankfully they’d posted a proper MP3 within hours.

This was a minor glitch in an otherwise seamless experience and it certainly won’t put me off buying there again. That’s because it’s so hard to beat the convenience of mobile text purchase and open (non-DRM’d) MP3s.

So if you’ve got some space to fill on that iPod I can thoroughly recommend For music likers and lovers alike.

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The Skypebook has arrived

September 18, 2008

As part of my Asus EeePC week series of posts in March I suggested that Skype should team up with Asus to offer a low cost videophone, which I playfully labelled the Skypebook

"I think a Skype branded (and configured) EeePC (or other Netbook) would make an ideal low end teleconferencing device. There was a lot of talk about Creative’s InPerson after the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) recently but that costs a whopping USD$700 and requires a $10 per month subscription fee to the web service!! Now why in the hell would anyone pay that if they could get a whole lot more capable Skype Netbook, let’s call it the Skypebook, for half the price and no ongoing fee?"

Today Engadget reports that my dream partnership has come to fruition (while also taking similar swipe at Creative’s InPerson) –

"Following in the dubious footsteps of Creative, ASUS just announced a dedicated videophone all its own. The AiGuru SV1 followup to the voice-only S1,
enables virtually unlimited video calls without a computer — a world’s first to get a big thumbs-up from Skype. The SV1 packs an 800 x 600 pixel 7-inch LCD, integrated speaker and mic (or jacks for your own), a
VGA-quality webcam, and connects to the Internets over 802.11b/g WiFi
or Ethernet."

This is of huge significance to my Vizitant project.

Seedcamp Irish rep, Netbooks, SMS reviews, ICT Showcase, Educasts

September 15, 2008

Robin Blandford’s startup Decisions for Heroes has made the Seedcamp final. Nice to have an Irish representative.

I’m noticing more and more interest in netbooks like EeePCs, Medions, etc. I borrowed my nephew’s EeePC when travelling to Maynooth last week and
found it an ideal companion for checking email, browsing and feed
reading on the road. As soon as the Ubuntu version of Dell’s new
Inspiron Mini is launched here I’m putting in my order.

LouderVoice has launched Simple SMS Reviews. I think this is a great idea because, regardless how straight forward the previous format was, it was still a nuisance to remember it.

Enterprise Ireland are hosting a free ICT Showcase event on Monday 6th October in the Radisson Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 2 from 8am to 1pm

"Why attend?
The showcase features more than 40 ICT innovations aimed at diverse ICT application areas all of which are ready to be commercialised by you and/or your company. For more specific detail please see the website below. This showcase will provide an opportunity for you to mingle with Ireland’s best ICT researchers and innovators and you can set up a “one to one” meeting with any of them to discuss how their technology can help you to achieve your business objectives."

Educast is back.

With or Without You – like you’ve never heard it before

September 14, 2008

In a break from ‘normal programming’, I just had to post this beautiful rendition of U2’s With or Without you from an incredibly talented kid named Sungha Jung

And here he plays an alternative version


Bytes ‘n Pieces

September 10, 2008

A day late but yesterday’s Tuesday Push was for eWrite which –

"allows you to manage and update your web site with all of the power of an industry standard content management suite. eWrite Lite is an easy to use and low cost piece of software designed to allow you to keep your website up to date from any location at any time."

Walter Higgins, of Pixenate, is scratching more itches, this time with CodeRamble, a 1-day app "making code walkthroughs a walk in the park".

LouderVoice met Mr. Louder Voice himself – George Hook – to kick off an SMS reviews push in conjunction with the rugger bugger’s radio show on Newstalk.

Pat Phelan launched version 2 of Maxroam before giving Scoble a knockout blow. Maxroam now offers data roaming from 0.005/kb and USA Roaming from €0.39 per minute.

New pipe

September 6, 2008

New pipe
Originally uploaded by EirePreneur

And to think I still had dialup only a few years ago.

Dell Ireland charges €30 Paddy Tax on new Inspiron Mini

September 5, 2008

When O2 Ireland launched their iPhone package earlier this year telecomms analyst Pat Phelan blasted is as an outrageous "Paddy Tax"

“There is no excuse for paying such high prices and getting so little in return. The minutes, the text bundles and the data package are completely inappropriate for Irish people and the massive difference in what Irish and UK and Northern people get for the same price suggests that they’ll throw any old scraps at the stupid Paddys…. It’s time for us Irish to tell O2 we’re not going to accept this. We have Apple’s European HQ here in Ireland, the iPhone itself is fantastic but there’s no way we should buy this phone until O2 cops on and looks after their very loyal customers here.”

Likewise Dell’s European manufacturing HQ is in Ireland. So it naturally follows that they must impose a Paddy Tax on their loyal customers here (like me). What other explanation is their for the fact that their brand new netbook – the Inspiron Mini 9 – has a base price of £299 (=€369) in the UK and €369 in Germany but €399 in Ireland.

To be honest I thought €399 was a reasonable price for a well specified, Atom powered XP netbook when I first read the press release. But now that I see the price is inclusive of Paddy Tax I feel cheated.

Podcamp Ireland is on a roll

September 4, 2008

The countdown is on for Podcamp Kilkenny (September 27th) and the organizers continue to pull out all the stops to make this another great Barcamp. Their podcast series was recently featured on Blog Talk Radio and if the potent mix of educators, students, BBC producers, RTE DJs, podcasters and regular Joes doesn’t ignite the Medici Effect, I don’t know what will. See you there!