Thursday, July 29, 2004

Francis Crick, RIP

News just in...

Francis Crick has died! The wilkipedia entry of the man is to my mind, better than any obit.  Just in case you don't know who he is, in 1959, along with James Watson, he figured out the double helix structure of DNA and was able to start unraveling it's secrets.

rest in peace,

oops! and whut?

Good evening, today will be about US politics.

No I'm not touching the Democratic Convention in Boston, I'm talking about technology and politics.

Florida has had another election count upset (or the first one is still going on). According to The Register department for elections has admitted that server crashes have wiped out the voter records from the Miami-Dade county elections in 2002.

The quote I love is... "We will never know how good or bad the audit capability because the data is gone," Lida Rodriguez-Taseff, an attorney and chairwoman of the coalition told The Herald. "What this shows from a big-picture perspective is that no one knows what's going on."

And someone was trying top persuade the Irish Electorate to go electronic all the way earlier this year.

The other item of political interest is in Reading Mastery - Level 2 Storybook 1, is a very good book. Apparently the story "The Pet Goat" is truly amazing. You might remember that story. Guess what a certain president was reading when two planes hit two towers in New York in 2001?

Ignore the book, just look at the customer reviews (be quick, they keep being taken down!) the "Customers who bought this book also bought:" section and the "Listmania!" section. Considering the political interest in the book, I'm surprised that it hasn't been reprinted. Then again it might depend on the politics of the publisher. I suspect that isn't the publisher, but if I'm wrong...

take care,

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Worth about 50 cent

Well Google vanished for about three hours yesterday in a puff of virus. I only found out about it by reading about it online. There are times when work gets done after all. (See I earn my pay cheque, honest).

Anyway, the article mentions the classic "self googling", so I did so.

Almost... came up first. Weird stories (it was the reference to Scott Kurtz of PVP that kept me reading) and I have to buy one of their Republicans for Voldemort t-shirts.

Anyway I noticed a weird link to this site. So I looked.
I have never heard of blogshares before. But somehow I'm being traded!

I would like to thank Rick Gebhardt purely because he seems to be the only person actually buying my shares! And while I'm at it, thanks Donncha for linking to me.

I wonder how I can manipulate my "worth". I want to be worth more than Blogger. Cue "Evil Laugh".
Oh if someone with membership to blogshares is reading this, can you include me in Ireland?

take care,


"Communication in a high noise environment requires a robust set of hand gestures"
talking about cycling in rush hour Cork city, but it applies to so many other things.

Monday, July 26, 2004

And now a letter to...

from the rants on the register on goths (don't ask)

That of Goth music (and given about half of male goths and a good portion of female goths are more than computer savvy if not all out geeks then you could well be skewing your poll, oh and I really dont want to get into the arguement of what is or is not a goth so for generosities sake lets just include the insta goths, teeny goths and those that just think they are a goth because they like to wear black and go way OTT on white face and black eye liner)

what's an insta goth ?

I take it that a teeny goth is one who is too young to have listened to the banshiees
the first time around.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Time treking

Hey Andrew,

Two of your shows combined in to one... Star Trek vs Doctor Who.

Let me know if I need to watch 40 years of Who to get the jokes...

take care,

Monday, July 19, 2004

That's all (copy)right

I can't quite believe that they are panicking...

According to Reuters and Billboard the copyright on Elvis is due to expire. It appears that in Europe the copyright on a recording, (due to the large number of people involved) rises to the public domain fifty years after its initial release. "That's All Right" gets raised on January 1, 2005.

"That's All Right" by Elvis, currently a hit in the UK (according to the article) is being hailed by some as the beginning of rock 'n' roll, the implications are that every year after 2005, more recordings that defined the genre will rise in to public domain.

In the US, thanks to the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (a.k.a. the Mickey Mouse act, guess who was about to go in to public domain), sound recordings are protected for 95 years from the day of recording in the United States -- for post-1976 recordings, coverage is the artist's life plus 70 years.

The big, and powerful, music companies are running scared. Lobbying in the EU, due to it's fractured nature, is not as easy as lobbying in the US. I guess in US politics there are usually two sides. In Ireland we are used to at least five parties all playing for power. In the EU, the factions are barely held together at the best of times...

The laws haven't been changed, which means that recordings from 1954 back are now in the public domain.

Guys... times will not stay still. If your profits are dependant on a fifty years old release, then you haven't been doing your job properly, and you deserve the cuts in profits. You should be out there nurturing talent to give you 40 years worth of profits, not just a quick buck for the end of the year!

Copyright on the song, remains in place. That, like book publishing remains for the life of the author plus 70 years. Which means that, the law remaining unchanged, anyone doing a cover of "That's All Right" will have to pay royalties, however, anyone sampling the 1955 recording, won't have to? Surely they would have to pay the song owners. (The rights to the recording lapse, not the song). That's why the classic "Happy Birthday" song still generates cash for some people every time its used in a movie.

Dickens. Shakespeare. Homer. All of these are out of copyright, because, well because time moved on and huge companies were not dependant on them. If music didn't eventually make it's way in to the public then things simply can not be improved upon. Failure for improvement due to legal restrictions is, well, it's painful. I suspect that if big business had it's way, Aspirin would cost €10 a pill.

I'm beginning to rant. It's not as if I don't generate "content" myself.
I need to cool off ('cause I can see the pained expressions on the telly tonight).


When it comes to sex, imagination is more important than three vibration settings.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Beyond the black hole

When I was a child, I liked childish things.
I really liked Space:1999.
O.K. I actually had a crush on Catherine Schnell, but I liked the show too. It turns out that the guy who made all the models, Martin Bowers, not only has a site, but he appears to be selling off some of his models.

Personally, I wanted to see how to make models and scenes for use with my never started Transformers project. For some reason I really want the Arcee figure.
(Full thread here)

From Space:1999 to Space 2004.
Part of me wants to be in Dublin this weekend. Stephen Hawking requested at the last minute that he be allowed to present his findings at the 17th International Conference on General Relativity and Gravitation in Dublin.

After nearly 30 years of arguing that a black hole destroys everything that falls into it, Stephen Hawking is saying he was wrong. It seems that black holes may after all allow information within them to escape.

"He sent a note saying 'I have solved the black hole information paradox and I want to talk about it'," says Curt Cutler, a physicist at the Albert Einstein Institute in Golm, Germany, who is chairing the conference's scientific committee. "I haven't seen a preprint [of the paper]. To be quite honest, I went on Hawking's reputation."

(taken from a Yahoo news report, but don't I trust this link.
New Scientist has a more detailed article too.
Even thought I'm sure I won't understand a thing I know I want to be there!

take care,

Thursday, July 15, 2004

They won't bring you Rosey any more...

Due to unforeseen circumstances the scheduled appearance of Alan Roe a.k.a. Rosey at Sirius Arts Centre on Friday 23 July has been cancelled.

Refunds will be available for tickets purchased.

For more information please contact Sirius Arts Centre at (021) 481 3790.

All the people, so many people

Get Your Bootleg On has another project available, this time remixing Blur's Parklife album (somewhere in most essential top 100 album lists).

The result, Parkspliced, is available for download. However please respect the GYBO's wishes and donate to at least one of the charities at the top of their page before downloading.

My favourite is Instamatic's "God Life". Sorry GHP (it sounds like a compressed superchunk) and Lenlow (just plain weird).


I think this meeting generated enough material to keep Scott Addams going for a week!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

The blank page

Gentle reader,

To be honest I'm not too sure I should be writing about this, but I'm here. I'm writing about work.

Now this isn't a bitching session, but about a project.

It's a wiki.

Now why on earth would you want to do a wiki at work?

Well, when you work on a project spread across four continents (well three continents and one sub continent) a lot of questions get asked. Having something easily and remotely updated means that a lot of questions get asked.

And these questions and answers remain in the open for all to see and search for. Changes in how things operate are highlighted, new features are clarified.

The idea is to prevent the "islands of information" problem. That and everyone asking Bob (same thing really but one person suffers from the "big bus" theory ("Bob look out for that bus" "What bus?" "splat")).

The scary thing is the blank page.

When you start a wiki, you've got have to start with something to create (or force) WikiWords which creates more pages and words and ... go see recursion.

So how do you start?

take care,

Thursday, July 08, 2004

News Dump

Gentle reader,
Some news for you... Some of it old, some of it new.

Needless to say, more than half of all the Irish talent still alive is going to show up at some point at the Oxegen Festival this Sunday, 11th July.

Alphastates have a new single "Last Day Of Summer" due out on August 27.

Ash’s new single, "Starcrossed" comes out on the 16th. You can check out the video here.

Perry Blake releases his "Songs For Someone" album in July.

The Devlins will release their 4th album, Waves, on August 6. The band will have a track featured on the new Natalie Portman film, “Closer”, directed by Mike Nicholls and due for release in the U.S. in December. Of course anything could happen between now and the release date.

The Frames announced a major headline gig to finish the summer. They will play Marlay Park, Dublin on Saturday 21 August with special guests including Supergrass, Bell X1, Idlewild and Halite.
The Hansard family release their new single the day before.

I know that they aren't Irish, but I like them! Orbital had a recent BBC Radio One special, details available here. They released their 7th studio album The Blue Album in the middle of June. It's expected to be their last.

Damien Rice’s new single with Christy Moore, "Lonely Soldier", went straight into the Irish singles chart at No 4 this week. "Lonely Soldier" is a limited release sold at a recommended €3 with profits being donated to the Irish Anti-War Movement.

Shambosious are back in action having collected a new drummer in the shape of Ian Walsh of Bass Odyssey-fame.

Snow Patrol have a new single out on tomorrow called "Spitting Games".

Stanley Super 800's self-titled début album is out now on their own Bingo label.

Take care,

Info Dump

Gentle reader,

Another Info Dump, with my usual opinions of what is good and worth seeing...
In chronological order...

July 8
Cork Arts Theatre have a table quiz in support of the Cork Simon Community. On at 8.30pm with loads of spot prizes, it's €30 for a table of 4. And yes it's a plug since I'm involved with the theatre, but it's my blog and I can plug what I like. Feel free to show up, pay and take part.

July 9
Luka Bloom plays The Lodge in Mallow. If you are in search of a chilled and intimate evening with near whispered songs, then this Kildare man is for you.

July 10
Ex-pat Dubliners Stand are doing several gigs around Ireland in support of their new album. In Cork they show up at the Half Moon.

Juno Falls may be a Dublin band, but since the recording sessions for their debut album Starlight Drive took them to Schull, they've been coming across all laid-back and have obviously brought some of those West Cork vibes to the album. They return to Cork, playing in The Lobby.

In the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh you'll find Luka Bloom holding forth.

July 16
I can't remember if La Rocca got to play with Jet in their repeat attempt to play Cork. Anyway, expect Irish rock with a few twists.

July 17
Go West young rocker. La Rocca do a repeat performance in their "Glory Pieces" tour in Connolly’s of Leap.

Saturday also sees Aziz Ibrahim. This former guitarist with The Stone Roses and Ian Brown collaborator plays the Lobby.

July 20
Apparently... Bryan Flynn TheatriX Ltd. presents The Magic of the Musicals Cork Opera House. I don't have any details on this so check with the Opera House if interested.

July 23
Roesy (aka Alan Roe, not to be confused with fellow Birr man Mundy), plays the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh.

July 24
The Citadels play De Barras in Clonakilty and have a few songs to download from here.

July 25
Alphastates get one in Club One. Not exactly the place you'd expect to see rockers, but there you go. Expect to see their new single for sale at the door.

July 29
Asian Dub Foundation Sound System. Half Moon. 8pm.
If you know about them, you'll probably want to be there.

August 4
Juliet Turner plays the Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh. I'll be honest, I've yet to make it to a single gig in the Sirius.

August 7
I know that they aren't meant to be easy listening, but The Devlins remind me of a male version of the Corrs. Anyway, The Devlins are in the Half Moon.

September 8 and 9
Bic Runga returns Cork (most of her album was written in West Cork) this time in An Crúiscín Lán. Any idea if this is a return visit?

September 11
The Kittser, David Kitt gets to the Vault. Feels like he's been away for a while... I'm guessing that there is new material to try out again.

take care,

Forgotten how to dance

I've been away for a while. Actually, I haven't. I've just been too busy to spend the time to write anything here. Mostly that's been due to work, and access. But part of it is because of something discovered about two weekends ago.

It was a busy weekend. Alleycats were in the Irish Writers competition, and as it happens, an Alleycats production won. So there was a bit of a party. The day before was one of the members 40th birthday. This party had cake (and a lot of drinking and merriment). However, it ended early, and not in the mood to go home I headed in to the City. I'm not going to mention the drinking hole by name, but there was a lot of pairing off taking place. Looking at the mating dances going on around me, I realised I was out of my depth.

I've been off the scene for too long, I genuinely didn't know what to do. I had forgotten the dance. To be honest, I suspect I never knew it.

take care,