Friday, August 24, 2007

I'm back

I'm back from Newfoundland. Well I've been back since yesterday but in all honesty I could barely speak let alone blog. Newfoundland was great, it would be a huge Irish tourism location if someone would throw on some decent flights to the place. I had to fly from St John's to Toronto and then to Dublin yesterday so it only took 19 hours door to door.

The whole island seems to be an Irish colony with Irish accents and traditional music everywhere yet there are no flights and most Irish people I spoke to before going over knew it existed but didn't have a clue where it was. "Canada somewhere" was the usual answer. It's the closest part of North America to us, lets not count Greenland as part of North America (yes some people do). Straight across and down a little on the map.

Anyway I'll blog more about it over the weekend and I've got loads of photos up on flickr to show you what it's like.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Off on holidays

I know I havent been posting here as frequently as I used to, I've been pretty busy the last couple of months and now I'm off on holidays. Hopefully I'll get lots of photos to stick up on flickr and maybe a blog post or two. Normal service will resume in 2 weeks I hope :-)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Balancing Act

The Daily Mail have an article about a 15-story office block in London that is being demolished. Nothing unusual there, but this one is being demolished from the bottom up.

Apparently all the floors are hung off a supporting beam at the top so it makes sense to work from the bottom up and then remove the beam and the central core. This doesn't sound like a usual construction method, there are only 4 buildings like this in London and we don't exactly have a lot of sky scrapers in Dublin, but it does make for a wonderful photograph. It is a shame the photographer isn't credited on the web site. Click the photo to go to the original story in The Daily Mail.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

More trips to the North Pole

The North Pole is getting to be a busy place for all types of transport. Following in the explorer footsteps, or tire tracks, of Jeremy Clarkson the Russians have sent a submarine to the North Pole to plant a flag and announce that the Arctic is theirs. I hope they went to the real pole and not Top Gears best guess.

It's a silly thing but symbolic. I guess it is like a return to the 19th century when nations rushed around claiming territory that didn't belong to them in the belief that the rest of the world would recognize the planting of a stick with a piece of cloth on it as over riding the rights of everyone else.

The future of displays

The future of portable flexible displays has taken a long time to get here but Engadget has a nice article on a new development in the technology. The picture attached to Engadgets story is almost certainly a mock up but it gives an idea of what things could look like.

Even if the switching and refresh rate is too low for to replace your PDA, your mobile phone or even your MP3 player displays but it could have many other uses. Apart from obvious uses like newspapers or books imagine one of those screens build into the base of your DSLR so when you setup a photograph you could unroll a big screen screen and look at the photo on a display the size of a standard photo.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Airline sanity being restored

Some sanity is finally being restored to the airport security standards dropped on us all by the EU. Despite the fact that no one blew up a plane using liquid explosives and all we had was reports of an alleged plot, air passengers in the EU have spent the last year afraid that their bottle of water, their can of deodorant, or their makeup would be confiscated and destroyed. I haven't heard of any trial of the terrorists or seen any evidence on TV of how close we came to some type of airline armageddon caused by bottles of water and rewired MP3 players. Still liquids are banned, but not MP3 players, and passengers have to endure lengthening queues to be searched by security officers who know the bottles of water they confiscate are just bottles of water. The authorities handed the terrorists a victory by disrupting the flow of air traffic around the world without them having to actually blow anything up.

Now the EU is finally starting to ease those restrictions. If you buy a bottle of liquid in a duty free in an airport, with appropriate security, outside the EU and then later have to transit planes in a European airport you wont have to hand over your bottle of whiskey for, ahem, destruction by the security guards. Who knows maybe in a few years we'll be able to bring our own bottles of water and not have to buy them from airlines.