Friday, June 29, 2007


Gordon Brown has taken over in the UK as Prime Minister. It was strange looking at Blair leaving and getting on a train home while Brown appoints his new cabinet. I cant help but think, we had the election and they got the new government.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Apple sounds like a cool place to work

At a town hall meeting for all Apple Employees Steve Jobs announced that announced that all full-time Apple employees will receive a free 8GB iPhone, while part-time employees who have been with the company for more than a year will also receive a free iPhone. Not a bad little gift and I'm sure it built up a lot of good feeling towards the company with staff.

Irelands First Black Mayor

Ireland just elected it's first black mayor. Rotimi Adebari is originally from Nigeria and now lives Portlaoise. Granted the method of electing mayors is a little strange with county councellors rotating the position between them but its still cool that we have finally elected a black person as mayor. I'm more surprised that it took until 2007.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tallaght has WMDs

Nuclear-weapons laboratory Los Alamos was subject to a security breach when a laptop was stolen from the hotel room of an employee on holidays in Ireland. There were "government documents of a sensitive nature" on the laptop and an encryption card in the laptop whose export is government-controlled. I cant help but think there is a little skanger somewhere in Tallaght now trying to build the bomb so he can break the locks on the securicor van...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ireland is Nevada

Here is an interesting map of the USA with the State names replaced with the name of a country of comparable GDP.

Ireland is mapped to Nevada, in 21st place of the 51 states.

[via Boing Boing]

New Junior Ministers

Bertie Ahern has appointed his Junior ministers and increased the number from 17 to 20. Junior ministries are basically a waste of time so I wont bother going into detail, you can find them here if you want, but the one appointment that gave me a chuckle was Brendan Smith T.D. as Minister of State with responsibility for Children.

In case anyone forgot the previous Fianna Fail Taoiseach Albert Reynolds had a bad experience with another Brendan Smith and some children. Fr Brendan Smith caused the collapse of Alberts government in 1994.

Hotmail and IE7 problems?

Anyone else having problems lately using drag n drop in Windows Live Hotmail when using IE7? It used to work for me up to recently but when I tried this morning the messages wont drag for more than a couple of pixels before the mouse releases them. I thought there might be a problem with Hotmail itself but it all works in Firefox so the problem seems to be in IE7 and has probably existed since the latest set of security updates. It's not a big problem just a nuisance, my MSN Messenger insists on launching IE to load Hotmail instead of Firefox which is my default browser.

I should just stop using Hotmail but I've so many things set up to use it now I couldn't be bothered.


Ok, I'm beginning to get pissed off at the weather this month. Rain rain and more rain. Walk to work, it's raining, go for lunch it's raining, walk home it's raining. What is up with this month, it's supposed to be the middle of summer not the middle of winter.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Small little run around number

Someone has bought one of the new super jumbo Airbus A380s for personal use at the Paris airshow. It costs $300 million and will take a year to convert to private use. Of course something this size is not exactly environmentally friendly. Quote of the week, if not the month must go to this group.
Environmental groups were annoyed by the news, saying that buying a superjumbo for private use was like "buying a filthy coal-fired power station just to use to charge up your mobile phone."
Still, it's probably a Middle-Eastern oil sheik so he will be able to fill it up at home long after no one else in the world has fuel for their cars, though he may have difficulty converting it into a sea plane to land on a planet with no polar ice caps.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Builders plea

This evening I listened to a representative from the plasters union on the Last Word with Matt Cooper telling a tale of woe. People working in the building sector are being laid off because developers are stopping construction of houses and commercial property in the hope that if they trottle back on supply they can force property prices back up. The spokesman was saying that builders may lay off workers after the traditional builders holiday in August. An estimate of 10,000 job losses in the construction sector was mentioned.

It would be interesting to see if the government can be brave and introduce legislation to encourage development, for example put time limits on planning and rezoning thereby introducing a use it or loose it clause on development land. I know the current government are nice and cozy with property developers so this is unlikely, but 10,000 job losses in one sector of the economy is not something many politicians would like to explain.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

New Irish Cabinet

The "New" cabinet is in, well not so new really.
  • Cowen, Finance and Tanaiste
  • Harney, Health/Children
  • D Ahern, Foreign Affairs
  • Martin, Enterprise Trade and Employment
  • Coughlan, Agriculture Fisheries and Food
  • Hanafin, Education
  • Lenihan, Justice
  • Dempsey, Transport and Marine
  • Brennan, Arts, Tourism and Sport
  • Gormley, Environment
  • Ryan, Energy, Communication and Natural Resources
  • O’Dea, Defence
  • O’Cuiv, Gaeltacht and Rural Affairs
  • Cullen, Social and Family Affairs
  • Roche to become Junior super-minister for European Affairs
  • Tom Kitt stays on as Chief Whip
  • Paul Gallagher to Attorney General
I cant believe Cullen is still in the cabinet and now he's responsible for Social and Family Affairs, lots of money there for him to play with, just don't loose your job or have children and you'll be grand. I think it's good that Lenihan got a big portfolio like Justice, I'd see him as a possible future leader and I always had great respect for his father. Dempsey in transport will be interesting, he got a lot of flack while in Communications, this will give him a second chance. Of course the Greens got their Environment related jobs.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Greens Complaining

The airwaves this evening seem to be full of junior Green Party members moaning and complaining about the compromises their leaders made as part of the proposed program for government. I've never heard so few people complain so much. Some of them are so fanatical about their beliefs it appears they would happier to sit in a tree and sulk for the next 5 years than give an inch on a single idea or policy.

I don't envy Trevor Sargent, John Gormley and co facing these people and getting the program passed by a 2/3rd majority but the bigger challenge will be getting their party members to grow up and join the real world. If they want to have a bigger say in a government then they should either stop complaining, work harder and win more seats at the next election or move en-mass to one of the Aran Islands, declare independence and live their Green utopia.

Update: The Greens voted 86% in favor of the deal, shows I'm talking through my arse most of the time :-)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bush Watch

There is a story going around the internet that George W's watch was stolen while he was shaking hands with a crowd in Albania. I've seen the video on YouTube and it's clear that he takes the watch off himself and puts it into his pocket. Watch 3:06 to 3:02 in the video below and you'll notice him step away from the crowd with the watch on, put something in his pocket, and then reach for the crowd with no watch on.

So Albanians didn't steal his watch, but Bush thought they would :-)

Green on Green Action?

Looks like we finally have a new government. Fianna Fail and the Green Party have finally managed to come to an agreement on a draft program for government.
The 90-page document is to be put to a special Green Party conference tomorrow afternoon and will also be discussed by the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party.

I think there is still a long way to go before Thursdays meeting of the Dail. It's one thing to get politicians to agree around a table it's another to get the grass roots of a party to follow. Thet tend to be more fanatical than their leaders and a lot less willing to compromise. The next 5 years of Irish government now depend on the few hundred Green Party members that show up for a conference in Dublin tomorrow.

Personally I think it would be a good thing to see the Greens in government. We need change of some kind and Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrats/Independents would see no change at all, except for the people of South Kerry who can now expect a windfall of government projects as Jackie Healy-Rae and John O'Donoghue vie for the affections of their constituents.

Monday, June 11, 2007

No highrise for Ballsbridge

RTE News is reporting that Dublin city council has rejected an application for planning permission for a 20 storey appartment block in Ballsbridge. I can understand the objections of the locals, if I lived in Ballsbridge I wouldnt like a highrise there either but I think the council is going to have to grow up sometime and move into the 20th century (we'll work on the 21st century next decade). City sprawl is one of the biggest problems faced by Dublin and the only solution is to build up. The argument that high rise didnt work in Ballymun so it wont work anywhere else in Dublin is a little hollow, after all, cities like New York and Sydney have managed to build upwards without society collapsing.

High rise will work, even in Dublin, if it's planned properly, built to a high enough quality, then managed and maintained to a proper standard. If we continue to push Dublin housing estates out into the midlands then the Ireland of citizen commuters will be a sad and stressful place, but the residents of Ballsbridge and the city council wont have to face that so RTE is happy.

Kubica Crash

Just watched the Kubica crash on ITVs highlights of todays Canadian Grand Prix. Initial reports said he had a lucky escape with just a broken leg. Then it was announced that he has minor injuries, a concussion and a sprained ankle and will leave hospital tomorrow. Formula 1 safety has come a long way since Ayrton Senna.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Last of the Aussies

As far as I can tell the last of my Australia travel companions will be leaving Sydney on Sunday. Almost everyone made it around in one piece (apart from one girl who had to fly home early for medical reasons that were not related to Australia itself). In their honour I'd like to post the following video tribute to Australia and encourage everyone else to visit that fair and beautiful land.

Update: How daft am I? 3 are still left around the West coast somewhere last time they updated their blogs.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

BB Favorite

Just heard on the radio that the favorite on to win this years Big Brother on Channel 4 is "Any Other". I haven't watched it this year but I've seen the newspapers and stories on BBC so I must watch it one evening just to find out how bad these people can be that the public would rather have ANYONE else win :-)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

No Minister for Justice?

Michael McDowell, who lost his seat in the general election, will formally step down from Government on Thursday next when the new Dail meets. I presume the intention is that a new government should be voted in then but that is dependent Fianna Fail managing to hammer out a deal with the Greens, the PD's, and a bunch of Independents.

What happens if an agreement is not reached in time? If they cant vote on a new government will Bertie be able to appoint a new caretaker Minister for Justice or will the Department have to take care of itself? The Minister for Justice has certain powers, like the power to grant temporary release to prisoners, authorise phone taps, manage the Gardai, all types of little things that would require someone to be responsible for them. Maybe Bertie could appoint McDowell to the Senate and allow him to continue on as Minister, wouldnt that be a popular decision. :-)