Archive for May, 2006

Mac OSX appears on Dell website

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

Probably a mistake, but OSX appearing on a Dell website can create a stir. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that OSX will feature on PCs at some point in the future.

[via Engadget]

Prime Time on solicitor behaviour

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

Who watched? It was a damning indictment (Realplayer) of the legal profession.

None of it surprised me, even Ken Murphy giving his traditional waffly defence of solicitors said nothing that I wouldn’t expect. Of course it’s fine for the Law Society to both protect the interests of solicitors and adjudicate over their own misbehaviour.

There shall be more over on Public Inquiry.

Aside: Yet another BBC knock off. Woe is me.

Web 2.0 prior art?

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

I was browsing comments on O’Reilly and came across a link to this. It’s from 1999.

The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are beginning to appear, and we are just starting to see how that embryo might develop.

X-Men 3

Monday, May 29th, 2006

Cian didn’t like it, but given the comments, it seems he didn’t stay until the end of the credits to see the last scene.

I have to say I did rather like it as special-effects extravaganzas go, especially since almost none of the filming was done in San Francisco, and yet almost the whole film is based there.

If you do go to see it, do stay until the end of the credits, it is a rather critical scene.

Cian has incidentally moved to a new home over at cianboland.com.

Canvas

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

Just tesing out the Canvas plugin for WordPress. It is rather nice.

Tom gets Slashdotted

Friday, May 26th, 2006

Companies really should think about the repurcussions before they send off Cease and Desist letters.

I hope Tom’s server can handle the /. crowd! :)

The backlash has been quite substantial, O’Reilly have responded. Tom has published the letter of their response, it’s not too nice either.

Update: It appears Twenty has written a rather nice letter to Sandra Grayson….

Cloaking device

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

Yet another Star Trek device makes the move to semi-reality.

The work provides a mathematical “recipe” for bending light waves in such a way as to achieve a desired cloaking effect.

John Pendry, along with colleagues David Smith and David Schurig at Duke University in North Carolina, US, have been testing suitable metamaterials for the device they plan to build.

This, Sir John explained, would consist of a sphere or cylinder wrapped in a sheath of metamaterial which could cloak it from radio waves.

“It’s not tremendously fancy, but that for us would be quite an achievement,” he told the BBC News website.

Professor Ulf Leonhardt, author of another cloaking paper in Science, described the effect for light as a “mirage”.

“What you’re trying to do is guide light around an object, but the art is to bend it such that it leaves the object in precisely the same way that it initially hits it. You have the illusion that there is nothing there,” he told the BBC’s Science in Action programme.

The work could have uses in military stealth technology – but engineers have not yet created the materials that could be used to cloak an aircraft or a tank, John Pendry explains. Professor Pendry’s research has been supported by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).

Sony Ericsson W800i Review

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

After my reliable and much loved Nokia 6630 had an unfortunate run-in with a washing machine, it was written in the stars that I was destined to get a new phone. I eventually decided on the Sony Ericsson W800i, incidentally the same as Ryan’s who lauded the phone’s features.

First off is the 2.0MP camera. I took a few photos at the maximum resolution and found the quality excellent. None of the same grainy issues of the 1.3MP on the 6630. I have only taken daytime photos thus far, and have found them all comparable to photos I have taken on standard digital cameras. There is no flash, but a rather powerful light, I will test it later. Here’s a sample pic in Midleton:

W800i test

Second is the most prominent feature of the W800i, the walkman. It comes with a 512MB memory stick, and the process was smooth, I simply dragged and dropped MP3′s to the memory card, no issues. The sound quality is excellent, both from the loudspeaker and the included headset. The 6630 had a similar feature, but I always found the Nokia software fiddly and slow.

As for other aspects of the phone, the menu system does take getting used to after years as a Nokia afficiando. The space on texts uses a different button, but the predictive texts differs slightly in its use, and I found it just as easy as the 6630. The games included are substandard, but I will be getting more shortly. The screen is high-res, very clear, very bright, it also has nice animated wallpaper.

What the phone lacks is a standard 3.5mm jack for headphones. I am forced to use the Sony handsfree kit, and then attach a 3.5mm headphone to that. I have found the connection to the phone to be slightly loose, in which case the phone automatically reverts to the loudspeaker, which I could imagine being rather embarrasing if it came loose in a public place. The built in radio is fine (the 6630 lacked one), has RDS, and I get decent quality from all radio stations.

The W800i also has IR and Bluetooth (why they include IR anymore is beyond me), and I trust all these things work as normal.

Overall thus far I am happy with the switch. All I need now is to switch to the new Macbooks. :)

Finito

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

Exams complete, here’s hoping I passed :) Cian sums up our philosophy exam nicely.

United 93

Monday, May 15th, 2006

I meant to blog this earlier, but has anyone else seen United 93? I haven’t seen much discussion of it in the Irish blogosphere.

I actually didn’t realise it was released straight to DVD last week until I spotted it in Xtra-vision, whereupon I instantly rented it.

And I have to concurr with the reviews I have read from bloggers in the States. It is a film done with taste and and with a rather unnatural sense of familiarity. At many points you do feel like one of the passengers, and there appeared to be various devices used by the director to hook the viewer into associating with the film. Anyone who has travelled on planes will find themselves questioning themselves, and what they would do in that position.

In some ways it is like the discussion of the Falling Man picture earlier. It is compelling to watch.

At times it is difficult to watch the phone calls between passengers and their families, but I recommend United 93 nonetheless.

Update: Thanks Simon, got mixed up between the website URL and the film title. But it is the one that was just released in the US.

Conservatism in Ireland

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Richard‘s and Gerry’s discussion reminds me of the episode of Questions and Answers involving Brendan Howlin, Eamonn Delaney and Dan McLaughlin – in relation to the Irish Ferries dispute.

Gerry’s answer to Richard:

Like it or loath it, social partnership was a crucial element in forging the Irish model of social and economic governance. The Irish model can be best characterised as “social liberalism” and is characterised by low taxation, deregulation and creating a climate favourable to enterprise. But it also contains elements that necessarily go against the grain, at least to some extent, of economic liberalism or what Richard would define as conservatism. It was considered necessary that a national consensus be generated to aid economic recovery from the fiscal crisis of the state and so business, trade union and government elites begat social partnership. Thus Irish-style corporatism had elements of both economic liberalism and social democracy. The hypocrisy that Richard dislikes is a product, at the rhetorical level, of a concrete mode of governance. What I’m saying is that a full blown conservative government would probably not have been able to build the consensus that created the successful Irish model in the first place.

It played out between Howlin, Roche and McLaughlin. McLaughlin seems to have easily forgotten the role social partnership had in the development of the Celtic Tiger. You can watch the clip here.

Al Gore on Saturday Night Live

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Hehe. Very good.

Via C&L.

Hanafin rumbles

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Sarah gets a reply from Mary Hanafin in relation to last week’s article in the Sunday Times. She seems a tad miffed. Sarah replies on her blog.

Her other very carefully chosen phrase is that “in the coming school year” the pupil:teacher ratio will be 10:1. The Principal explained how the Minister is able to say this. Since the school is closing, they are not taking in a new class of pupils in September as it would normally do. Furthermore some of the parents have found schools for the pupils and want to move them now to get in ahead of the main pack when the school does close in 2007. Therefore, as a result of the decision to close, they have less pupils, which has brought the ratio down from 15:1 to 10:1. But Hanafin allows you to believe that the teacher loss in itself would have meant a 10:1 ratio. Very sneaky.

Indeed. Ya gotta love those politicians.

Religion

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Amazing what religion can do to some people.

You would have to wonder why Fox invited her on at all.

On syndication

Saturday, May 13th, 2006

Is there any way I can syndicate only one feed via WordPress? I’d like to limit it to only one, with full text in each.

Update: Thanks to Dave, it seems to be sorted.