Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gerry Ryan wants to keep his 600K

Gerry Ryan is on the radio doing his daily what's in the papers slot and continually defending his 600K salary and the salaries of other RTE stars by saying "well no one else is taking a pay cut so why should we?". Basically he claims no one else in RTE or the public sector has been asked to or ever will take a pay cut so he wont either. That's not quite what I understood from the news this morning when the General Secretary of IMPACT warned that the government would impose a 10% pay cut on the public service if no other deal was reached.

Personally I doubt Gerry Ryan or Pat Kenny or several other RTE "stars" would find similar work in other Irish stations never mind international stations so if they wont take pay cuts RTE should just not renew their contracts. There are many other presenters who could fill their seats and keep the advertising revenue coming in. Sure other stations would hire them for the PR coup but if Ryan wants to move to Newstalk or Today FM he might find himself relegated to a night time slot since those stations already have successful presenters in their day time slots.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

IRMA own our butts

Ireland is now the proud holder of another world first, though perhaps not a particularly glorious one.
In what has been billed as a world first, four music companies and internet server provider Eircom have agreed to work together to end illegal music downloading.
Though of course it's not all bad, it's not like the music companies will be the ones deciding who broke the law and who didn't. Oh wait...
The four music companies have agreed to provide Eircom with the IP addresses of internet users detected illegally uploaded or downloading music.

For its part Eircom is agreeing to implement a three-step process - informing a subscriber if their IP address has been detected infringing copyright, warning the subscriber that if they do not stop they will be disconnected, and finally disconnecting the user if fail to heed the warning.
Great, so IRMA will tell Eircom who they believe are infringing copyright by illegally downloading music. Eircom in turn will do IRMA bidding and confront the offender. I suppose IRMA will also get to tell Eircom when the subscriber has stopped downloading music and eventually who Eircom should or should not disconnect, after all if IRMA are the ones who provide the IP addresses of the offenders they must know when they are downloading and when or if they stop, mustn't they? Finally I have to wonder if IRMA will be able to pursue the subscriber through the courts at a later date to get damages for the poor artists who can only afford 20 bed mansions instead of 30 bed ones.

Is it worth pointing out that this is IRMA is made up of the record labels that apparently added to delays in the launch of legal downloading of music on iTunes in Ireland while negotiating with Apple and that some of IRMA's members are also movie studios who may also be adding to delays in movie downloads in Ireland in a similar manner? If they had their way we'd probably still be buying music on vinyl in Ireland.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Red Dwarf is coming back

Red Dwarf is coming back to TV this Easter. A two part special with the crew finally returning to Earth. Instead of BBC the new episodes will be on Dave. I have to wonder if the concept will have aged well. I'd prefer to see a show like Blackadder returning, some how that never ages, but I think I grew out of Red Dwarf and I cant remember the last time I watched a repeat episode, is it even repeated anymore?

Weird Law Name

Just heard about a new bill that is being introduced in the USA. The bill "requires any mobile phone containing a digital camera to sound a tone whenever a photograph is taken". Personally I've no opinion one way or the other about that, silly law really, but the name is the best thing. It is called the "Camera Phone Predator Alert Act". It invokes images of camera phone wielding monsters crouching in the darkness waiting to pounce unless the phone makes a clicking noise to scare away people.

How can anyone vote against a bill that is a "Predator Alert Act". Funnily enough I'd be more afraid of a predator with a hand gun than a camera phone. Shame they cant come up with anti gun laws like that instead of the "NICS Improvement Act of 2007" or the Blair Holt's Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009.

[via Slashdot]

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Is Obama the President yet?

Yesterday Barack Obama took the oath of office and fluffed his lines. The Oath in the US constitution is as follows:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of
President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve,
protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

What Obama and Chief Justice Roberts said:

ROBERTS: that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully
OBAMA: that I will execute
ROBERTS: faithfully the office of president of the United States
OBAMA: the office of president of the United States faithfully

It's a small mistake and apparently does not invalidate Obamas presidency but in the country of hanging chads and armies of lawyers I wonder if they made Obama take the oath of office again in private just to save themselves the hassle of crazy lawsuits.

Update 22nd Jan: Turns out they did make him take the oath of office again.


Over heard at bus stop this morning in Dublin, Ireland.
Person 1: Traffic's not bad this morning, should get to work early today.
Person 2 (joking sarcasm): That's Barack Obama for you. He's elected President and traffic improves.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ryan on the Dole

The Gerry Ryan show on 2FM is doing a step by step guide with Andrew McCann on drawing the dole. What to do, what to bring, what to expect, down to what to do with queues or ticket number in the dole offices themselves. They are also taking questions by txt. Worth a listen for anyone recently laid off or worried about their job.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Testing iBlogger

Trying out iBlogger on iPhone

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Airplane lands on Hudson River

US Airways plane with more than 150 people has crash landed on the Hudson River. It's on CNN and they are interviewing Julie Pukelis who took an amazing photograph of the passengers standing on the wings of the plane floating down the Hudson. She said she used a used a camera at the eyepiece of a telescope.

It just goes to show you can buy all the fancy cameras and top quality lenses but someone in the right place with any old camera and a telescope could get the photo the media want. Also, I might pay more attention to the life jacket instructions next time I'm on a plane, I always assumed they just served to make it easier to scoop up the bodies after a "landing" on water, but this time EVERYONE survived.

Anglo the Irish Bank

The Irish government just nationalised Anglo Irish Bank. What was the best investment in the Irish property market in the last 20 years? One ticket to the Fianna Fail tent at the Galway races, it would appear, since the Fianna Fail government now owns millions in bad loans belonging to property developers.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dublin Bus to cut 10% of busses

The Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey has confirmed that public transport will be cut this year. It is expected that Dublin Bus will cut 120 buses from the fleet. That is 10% of buses!

That 10% cut in public transport comes at a time when the Green Party, a party that encourages alternatives to private cars, is in government. I guess that just goes to prove no matter who is in government Fianna Fail rules and everyone else just votes. If they cut my bus I'm driving to work and through John Gormeleys Ranelagh.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The carbon cost of Google?

The BBC is reporting on the carbon cost of Google:

Two search requests on the Internet website Google produce "as much carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle", according to a Harvard University academic.

US physicist Alex Wissner-Gross claims that a typical Google search on a desktop computer produces about 7g CO2.

Right, so, personally I think that's rubbish at the very least if that was the carbon cost then Google would go out of business every time the electricity bill arrived and surely it costs less to go a google search on my computer than it would cost if I drove down to the local library (if it still exists) and spent the day rooting through books looking for the answer to some random question I've thought of.

But I have to ask, if two google searches equate to boiling kettle how many kettles make a blog post? By asking this question have I doomed the human race?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Dell lay off 1900

RTE just confirmed that Dell in Limerick is laying off 1900 staff and transferring production to Eastern Europe. 1000 staff are staying, they are all high end and support staff apparently. I wonder how long before those 1000 are whittled down to a few hundred and then phased out completely. I have friends working with Dell, I hope they are ok and their jobs are safe for the moment, at least until the economy recovers and jobs become easier to find.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year All

Happy 2009 everyone. Personally I haven't bothered to make any real resolutions, I rarely manage to keep them anyway. The most I have is vague goals, perhaps try to blog a little more regularly, improve my photography. That's pretty much it really. I'm just going to take this year as it comes, perhaps that is the best resolution of all for 2009, take things as they come.