February 28, 2003

Power to the People

This article on Doc Searls struck a chord - I don't think I've ever managed a
trip abroad without forgetting some piece of equipment, usually a power
adaptor. The real winners of the next technological revolution will not be about
the size or capabilities of gizmos but about their batteries.

Whoever invents a battery that is the smallest/most longlived will make a
fortune. Other wise, we will have PCs/phones/holodecks that can fit on a
wristwatch but the user will have to carry a car battery on his back to power it.

Posted by monasset at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

February 27, 2003

Beware the ides of March

In the House of Commons, well over one hundred Labour MPs effectively voted
against their own government's support for the impending war on Iraq
. The
debate was serious - participation in a war on Iraq means sending British troops
into harms way.

Closer to home, the Irish government are also facing a revolt on an important
moral question - the proposed abolishing of the dual mandate, which allows a TD
to also be a member of a local council. The reason is to encourage TDs to spend
more time being TDs, rather than spending most of their time in their
constituencies working on purely local issues. There is a revolt of sorts -
independent TDs, who depend on the dual mandate to consolidate a local power
base, claim it is anti-democratic. Surely the people can vote for who they like,
they argue. Indeed, and look at who they vote for.

Some of the independent TDs are from the Fianna Fail gene pool; i.e. FFers that
didn't get nominated at election time, so ran for election anyway as
independents. Bertie treats them like the Corleones treated Fredo.

Martin Cullen, the Minister in charge, is offering compensation - there is a
sneaking suspicion that the level of compo may be directly proportional to the
moral outrage generated.

Posted by monasset at 11:59 PM | Comments (0)

Water Works

Duncan Stewart is presenting an environmental programme on RTE 1 called
Eco Eye on Tuesday evenings.
This week, he discussed the effect of thousands of examples of one-off housing
on the countryside (a touchy subject here in the West). Actually, he highlighted
the effect of thousands of septic
leaking into water tables around the country. Given the average Irish
person's respect for health and safety standards, he doesn't paint a pretty
picture. The programme does suggest some alternatives. One was a sort of
lagoon that naturally recycles waste using plants and bacteria. The show
suggested that the disadvantage of the lagoon option is the amount of space

I don't know…the country is full of bogs that will soon be excavated completely.
Fill them up.

Speaking of bogs, the programme described how a
town 'adopted' a bog
. However, the pictures of youngsters cheerfully
ambling along a path through a bog evoked only one reaction for me…townies!
No youngster who had ever had to work on a bog would ever want to visit one
again (but maybe I'm just biased).

Posted by monasset at 11:51 PM | Comments (0)

One more stone in Galway

Time to get the shovel and wheelbarrow out. It seems that the meteorite that fell to Earth in Ireland could be in Co. Galway.
Finding a particular rock in Galway is a bit like…well, trying to find a rock in Galway.

Astronomy Ireland is asking anyone that operates a security
camera to check their tapes for 7.10am on the morning of February 12,
presumably in the hope that one of them was pointing uselessly at the sky
rather than, say, hidden behind a mirror in the restrooms in Supermacs,
observing cosmic collisions of another kind.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned that there is a £20,000
reward offered for the aforementioned rock by a UK collector.

Posted by monasset at 12:11 AM | Comments (0)

Collateral Damage

Dognews blogger carries the news that thousands of dogs belonging to military personnel in the US are getting the bullet as their owners are sent to the Gulf.
Meanwhile, in Serbia, two guard-dogs at a prison were shot for not barking during a jail break. To discourage the others, I suppose.

Posted by monasset at 12:06 AM | Comments (0)

February 26, 2003

Our friends in the North

Slate are doing a weeklong series on Scandanavian architecture - they have reached Stockholm today.

Gamla Stan

Posted by monasset at 11:41 PM | Comments (0)

Cúpla focail

The National Geographic has an interesting article on the struggle to preserve the Irish language (including that controversial plan).

Posted by monasset at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

February 25, 2003

DEC < Compaq < HP

The day that a new broadband network was launched for Galway city and county is also the tenth anniversary of the closure of Digital, and the loss of nearly 800 hundred good jobs in pre Celtic Tiger Ireland.

As I remember it, it was thought that the DEC plant on Scotland would close instead, but at the last minute, the then British Prime Minister (John Major) reminded DEC of all the government contracts that they had in the UK, and Galway got the chop instead. I think the Soctland plant closed a few years later anyway.

RTE's Morning Ireland did a nice profile this morning on some of the people who were let go and tracks down what they're up to. The clip can be heard here.

Posted by monasset at 11:27 PM | Comments (0)


As you can see, I'm in the process of installing Movable Type, and not altogether successfully either.

All the old stuff should be available via the month links below. Hopefully, things will look a bit better by the end of the week.

Posted by monasset at 10:58 PM | Comments (1)