Monday, February 25, 2008

Transport 21 Mark II

Two years after announcing the plans for Transport 21 and the future of transport both public and private in Ireland the government is asking the public what they think should be done. Of course most of the submissions will probably be ignored and the government will probably push ahead with more motorways, more large scale construction, more disruption and more trophy projects.

Personally I'm still not convinced of the need for a Metro or a Dart interconnector. I think we should focus on building one large but efficient transport system rather than new and different lines that do not fit together properly. More Luas lines, all over the city, no need to go under ground just find routes that can take tram lines and build a large network of trams to bring people into and around the city. Throw in lots of park and ride stations and as many trams as the timetable can fit then people will be able to get into and around Dublin quickly and easily. Lets just focus on getting one system working properly.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

H ere today D ead tomorrow

So HD-DVD is dead and Blu-Ray wins. I suppose the only surprising thing there is that when the end came in the format war it came so suddenly and so completely. However I did find it interesting how many people on the radio seemed to be asking "Does this mean my HD ready TV wont play the new disks?". It sounds like Toshiba had the market in the palm of their hands with people confusing HD TV and HD-DVD players. Perhaps if they had gotten enough players on shop shelves a couple of years ago so that people could buy a player bundled with their TV then Blu-Ray would now be a PS3 feature instead of the future of DVDs.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


The FAI finally got their man and appointed Giovanni Trapattoni as the new manager of the Republic of Ireland soccer team. Everyone says its a good appointment but I'm finding it hard to get excited about it. Not because I think he's a bad manager or that I don't think he can get the team to the next world cup. No, I find it hard to get excited because this is the FAI and things are never that good. Like a puppy thats been slapped on the nose one time too many I'm looking suspiciously at what the FAI is offering and thinking how will this go wrong, what have they screwed up?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Super Tuesday

If anyone was in any doubt that the world at large cares about the USA you only have to look at a TV or turn on a radio today and into tonight. The media in Ireland is dominated with Super Tuesday. The level of coverage the voting today is getting is almost as complete as for one of our own elections.

It seems the exit polls are saying things are swinging towards Obama. Unfortunately New Hampshire taught us that exit polls mean very little. I wonder if we'll be hearing about dodgy electronic voting machines in the morning.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Microsoft Yahoo and Google

Microsoft want to buy Yahoo for $44.6bn. Naturally Google are a little annoyed at the idea and want it stopped by the US government.

If I was Google I'd hit Microsoft on their home turf as well and get out there pushing Linux and OpenOffice like there was no tomorrow. It is a challenge, but if Google could cut the legs out from under MS Office by making OpenOffice more popular with ordinary net users, get manufacturers to bundle it on more new PCs and then take advantage of a poor reputation for the launch version Vista to fund and push some operating system like Ubuntu to business users, Microsoft could end up wishing it had its $44.6 billion back.

Living through Irish

Over the last few months there have been increasing demands for improved services through Irish. Ever since we got Irish adopted as an official EU language it seems people are finding new ways to complain that services provided to them are not available in Irish. Some are slightly dodgy, for example I heard last week of people appealing speeding tickets given to them in English on the grounds that they want the process to be dealt with through Irish. Some actually sound dangerous, such as people claiming that they want health care delivered to them through Irish.

Leaving aside the fact that Irish is our national language and every effort should be made to preserve it, are there really people in the Ireland of 2008 who don't understand English well enough to explain their symptoms to a doctor? Surely if nurses and doctors have to be able to speak Irish then that excludes many professionals currently working in the health care service who come from abroad?