Well Done UPC

For successfully challenging the nonsense that is “three strikes”:

Irish Times: “UPC has repeatedly stressed that it does not condone piracy and has always taken a strong stance against illegal activity on its network. It takes all steps required by the law to combat specific infringements which are brought to its attention and will continue to co-operate with rights holders where they have obtained the necessary court orders for alleged copyright infringements,” it said.

Over Half Your News Is Spin

I’d love to see research done on this in Ireland, the UK and the US.

Crikey: Under UTS’ Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (ACIJ) head Wendy Bacon (a Walkley Award-winning investigative journalist herself…) more than 40 students have got up close and personal with the sticky end of the spin cycle. They’ve had to analyse, critique, question and then pick up the phone to ask the hard questions of the media and its reliance on public relations to drive news.

Hard questions, because this is what came out in the wash: after analysing a five-day working week in the media, across 10 hard-copy papers, ACIJ and Crikey found that nearly 55% of stories analysed were driven by some form of public relations. The Daily Telegraph came out on top of the league ladder with 70% of stories analysed triggered by public relations. The Sydney Morning Herald gets the wooden spoon with (only) 42% PR-driven stories for that week.

Many journalists and editors were defensive when the phone call came. Who’d blame them? They’re busier than ever, under resourced, on deadline and under pressure. Most refused to respond, others who initially granted an interview then asked for their comments to be withdrawn out of fear they’d be reprimanded, or worse, fired.

Great name for an Aussie blog btw.

LLU Line Share finally a reasonable price in Ireland

(Line Share allows other operators to rent just the internetty part of the line, without having to take the phoney part.)

ComReg set it to 77c in August of last year and Eircom, predictably, appealed. The case is now settled, and the 77c price stands. For once ComReg didn’t wet themselves on the courthouse steps and run away crying like a little girl. Or did they? What did Eircom get out of it?

Google Public DNS

Could spell trouble for OpenDNS. I’m jealous of their netblocks.

Google Public DNS is a free, global Domain Name System (DNS) resolution service, that you can use as an alternative to your current DNS provider.

To try it out:

  • Configure your network settings to use the IP addresses 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 as your DNS servers or
  • Read our configuration instructions.

If you decide to try Google Public DNS, your client programs will perform all DNS lookups using Google Public DNS.

Micro-USB Mobiles in Europe

Obsolete before it actually happens?

Top mobile telephone suppliers have agreed to back an EU-wide harmonization of phone chargers, the European Commission said on Monday, hailing the pact as good news for consumers and the environment.

The Commission said the agreement would involve the creation of an EU norm, and that the new generation of mobile phones would use a standard micro-USB socket to ensure compatibility.

via Reuters.

Opera Unite

While I won’t assign it the “reinvention of the web” tag others are giving it quite yet, Opera Unite is something new in a space where we really don’t see truly fresh things very often. In a nutshell, it’s a mashup of “traditional” web services, peer-to-peer, and your browser; in more detail, it’s locally hosted file sharing and communications, with the following services out of the box:

  • Media Sharing / Player
  • File Sharing
  • Web Server
  • Photo Sharing
  • Messaging (“Fridge”)
  • Chat (“Lounge”)

Yes, we can install all those services on our own computers – many of us have done for years – but the social aspect makes them all much more accessible. It’s a bit clunky now, but in time – particularly if they hook up with Facebook Connect or similar – you’ll be able to find people and help people find you, and take complete control of your services.

I like this. I won’t use it right now because I couldn’t possibly move away from the browser I’ve created out of Firefox, but  when it comes out of beta I could well switch over. I like control over my data, and Unite gives it to me.

I’m still not a blogger…

Although to be fair to Mark from the Sunday Times, he did tell me he’d be doing a piece and quoting me, unlike the thieving hacks in the Star who steal content from Foot.ie on a near-weekly basis. This is in relation to Amazon’s decision to start shipping electronics and the like to Ireland again. I’ll continue down this road.

Adam Beecher, another blogger, is not impressed with the internet retailer’s change of heart. “I’ll continue to buy elsewhere, apart from exceptional circumstances,” he said. “I have no intention of jumping back into bed with them just because they flip a bad decision three years later, and implement the change badly while they’re at it.”

I would like to say though, Mark, that it would be nicer if you asked, rather than informed. I understand you don’t have to for a simple soundbyte, but it’s nice to be nice. But thanks anyway, I appreciate it.

The Imaginary NBS Satellite

According to a plausible account on Boards.ie, the 8% satellite aspect of the frankly useless National “Broadband” Scheme is, basically, imaginary. The satellite in question hasn’t even been built yet, and the launch vehicle that’s supposed to lob it into orbit hasn’t flown. Ever. I have to wonder who’s a bigger langer, John Doherty or Eamon Ryan.

(Obviously I’m being facetious. Eamon Ryan wins by a long shot, with an incompetence and lies double-whammy. John Doherty’s just a dickhead.)