Bertie's yellow hair and pierced nose

Bertie Ahern
The Irish Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, Sunday Times, Dec. 23 2007

I really would love to know how the Minister for Finance survived so many years without a bank account.

Linkies ..

The 8 bit Philosophy is a documentary coming in 2008 about some of the musicians that made the C64 a great sounding machine. The trailer has sound bites from such famous names as Reyn Ouwehand and Thomas Detert. There’s a 78MB high quality trailer too but it’s the same thing that’s on Youtube.

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Two million Blogs

2m blogs on WordPress.com

The number of blogs on WordPress.com passed 2 million late last night. I think that’s just amazing and wonderful!

Links …

  • Frank asks for the facts behind the cocaine deaths in Ireland recently. I wondered what the odds of dying from cocaine are. Is it really as low as between 0.1% and 1%? How does that compare to road deaths?
  • Can you heat a room with a 100w bulb? Sounds too good to be true …
  • Dickie Rock looks scary!
  • Red Mum found a Far Too Much Bertie sticker. Haven’t seen any myself but I haven’t been in town in ages.
  • 2 million blogs. That’s quite a community. The next social network could be WordPress. Looks like I’m not the only one who’d rather be blogging!
    In contrast to social networking, blogging offers a person-centric way for individuals to come online. A social network like Facebook gives you your own place online, but it’s not really your own place. As Copyblogger Brian Clark recently said in a blog post, “For me, there’s really no appeal in spending a lot of time creating ‘user-generated’ content via a social networking application. That’s like remodeling the kitchen in a house you rent.”

    Clark was responding to an ongoing conversation launched by blogger and cartoonist Hugh MacLeod, who proposed that blogging is far more important to him than social networking. Bloggers including Stowe Boyd and Darren Rowse seconded the idea. This growing disenchantment with social networking and return to blogging suggests that in the future we could see a migration, at least among tech bloggers, towards more distributed social networking — along the lines of what Messina envisions.

  • Gavin complained that he couldn’t copy/paste the Mahon Tribunal transcripts. I was able to do just that using Gnome app Evince. Here’s day 328. Anyone want to help copy them into a DRM free format? Our tax payers money paid for them after all.

Zardoz – Sean Connery in red speedos

Did I forget the knee high boots? Offthemeatrack resurrects this unusual 1974 film. I think I saw a few minutes of it on tv a few years ago. Just goes to show what an impression it made.
Warning, don’t click the link unless you want the Sean Connery as James Bond image to be ruined for you ..

  • How to price prints? Paul Butzi considers this question, and again. I’ve been asked by two people about prints from Inphotos.org as Christmas presents so this is on my mind. Must get back to them this evening ..
  • Gordon took a great self portrait of himself.
  • 88mileshome says nice things about one of my photos. Thanks!
  • Funny Islam via referrers.
  • Thank you Richard Best of InsideoutLegal who kindly donated his WordPress.com blog for a project I’m working on!
view_from_the_top.jpg

(via)

I'd rather be blogging

What is your most precious commodity? Mine is time. That’s why I’d rather be blogging than twittering.

  • 85 great photography sites suggested by the readers of DIY Photography, including my photoblog. Thanks for the link!
  • Mark celebrates the 25th birthday of the Commodore 64. Is it that old? Wow. commodore_64.jpg
    More: Wired Gallery, Interview with Jack Tramiel, Apple rejected by Commodore? (phew!)
    With no money to build thousands of Apple II machines, Wozniak and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs both approached Commodore with the Apple II. “Chuck Peddle from Commodore came to the garage and he was one of about three people we showed the Apple II prototype ever,” Wozniak said.

  • Mark welcomes MTOS. (sort of)

PS. almost forgot, Alan Whelan of Trocaire emailed to ask me to mention their ethical Global Gift campaign to help, “poor families around the world this Christmas.” While we’re on the topic of Christmas charity, by supporting Bothar you can help send cows to needy families. A bizarre item on the radio a few days ago involved a reporter accusing Bothar of keeping poor people poor. He reasoned that Bothar need poor people to operate. Weird stuff.

Fair use of photos on Youtube?

You probably remember the Web 2.0 bubble video that did the rounds recently. Funny wasn’t it? Unfortunately the authors of that video never asked for permission to use many of the photos featured in it. Jim asks if that was fair? Lane Hartwell is one of those photographers. She wrote of her frustration with people stealing her work. The video is viral in nature, and features the website of the creators at the end so it’s got commercial value for them.

Unfortunately the video is not available any more. Doesn’t that suck? If only they had respected the rights of the photographers involved.

Links …

  • I finally upgraded Blogs.linux.ie to the very latest WordPress MU, with caching by WP Super Cache. The version that was on there was so old the table names still used blognames, rather than blog_ids. A small shell script I wrote and a database backup made it easy to script the upgrade. Registration is disabled for the moment, and email me if you have problems logging in. On another note, if you use Tribby Board, add a few indexes to the board table. That app dragged the whole of linux.ie down with all the spam that was going into it.
  • Movabletype went GPL yesterday! That’s great news for the MT community!
  • Did you know that RTE Radio 1 is for sale? Going cheap at a 1 Euro. (via Kae)
    rteradio1forsale
  • Oh oh. mbr love note. Thanks nikolay!
  • The WordPress Podcast gave my super cache plugin a glowing review. Charles did murder my surname, but I’ll forgive him. Must put an mp3 of me saying my name on the about page or something.
  • Two amazing photos from flak photo: Moving—Eric and Many Shades of Pink

Wacky Waiters

Wacky Waiters was one of the first games I played on the Commodore Vic-20. Hands up if you ever played it? No. I’m not surprised. I’m sure there are people reading this post that were born after it was released in 1982 ..

  • John Breslin lists some of the Web 2.0 Corkonians! I wouldn’t go so far as to say I cofounded Automattic, I was the first employee though!
  • The old and new testaments compared.
  • Treasa’s amazing photo of a kite surfer flying over her head.
  • Walter announced Self Notes, an online note taker. Here’s my obligatory Hello World message.
  • Haydn wonders who has time to explore social software like Facebook.
  • I went down to the gallery in Kinsale recently and signed a few more prints there. It’s wonderful what time away from the prints does. I get a whole new perspective and appreciation for them all over again. They look wonderful! (even if I do say so myself!)
  • Asok died but they brought him back. Good thing he studied shape shifting ..
  • How to create your own planet with the GIMP or Photoshop. (via DSLR Blog)
  • The days are getting shorter as Winter sets in. Here’s some interesting ways to use shadows. That inspired me yesterday to take a couple of unusual shots.
  • Acquia is a new startup focusing on Drupal development. Another GPL project gets corporate support. Great! Good luck with the venture.

This town needs an enema

“This town needs an anema”. That was a line from last week’s “A town called Eureka” and I knew I recognised it. It was a line in the original Batman movie! I couldn’t find a clip of this scene, but here’s the first level of Batman the Movie on the Commodore 64!

How We Met

A short movie shot on the human body. Cool idea and nice story. Here’s the “making of” video.

  • A long list of WordPress MU plugins.
  • I’m sure not everyone knows about the recent activity page on Flickr. Check it out and subscribe to the feed to track comments to your stream.
  • So, you’re comfortable with the web, you can find your way around. Take it for granted? Of course you do. George Barr explains the significance of the web for photographers.
  • The Expressive Moment in Street Photography – this is so hard to accomplish. Many of my street shots lack that expressive moment. Must try harder.
  • Funny photography videos. Love that myspace one!
  • Elly and Tom both ask if Blognation is in meltdown. Seems that wages have not been paid in some time. I see Conor’s last post was yesterday. Hope things get sorted out.
  • Oh great! Another story to reinforce the stereotype of the drunken Irishman!
  • The Sociability plugin for WordPress displays a nice message to Digg and Stumbleupon visitors encouraging them to add a vote for your post. I haven’t looked at it yet. I wonder if it’ll work with Super Cache?

PS. Looking for a Budget 2008 calculator? Try the one at tax123.ie. Via Keith.

The end of Homeopathy

The end of homeopathy? – a very lengthy and critical article looking at the alternative medicine of homeopathy. 456 comments and counting. (via Mink Toast.)
After the birth of our son Adam, my wife was told to take Arnica C30 by nurses and doctors. After reading the post above, I searched for Arnica C30. The first result is a double blind test of homoeopathic arnica C30. The summary results aren’t encouraging,

73 patients completed the study, of whom 35 received placebo and 38 received arnica C30. The placebo group had a greater median age and the arnica group had slightly longer operations; nevertheless, no significant difference between the two groups could be demonstrated. We conclude that arnica in homoeopathic potency had no effect on postoperative recovery in the context of our study.

On to the links …

  • Christmas Spirit – lovely photo and story.
  • In the middle of November, Google changed the clickable area on Adsense adverts. Jonathan noticed a large drop in revenue, but I haven’t. Click through rate is much the same as before, although I did compensate by making the advert URLs more prominent.
  • Sometimes bosses misunderstand tech jargon, in amusing ways. Oh, don’t ask an engineer to talk to your class. He might be a bit blunt!
  • Google Analyticator is a small WordPress plugin that adds the necessary Google Analytics Javascript to your blog. It also has a neat JS function to track outbound links in Analytics. Just make sure you create two conversion goals, “/outgoing” and “/download” to do the tracking.
  • How many famous people?
  • Will the real Googlebot please stand? 208.113.160.20, you sit down. You’re a fake.
  • Jeff’s The Two Types of Programmers essay sparked such a response, he wrote a follow up. I definitely know a few 80% programmers. Many of the people I went to college with fall into that category unfortunately. No, none of them read this blog! :)

Ethically uncomplicated stem cells

Science is rescuing us from moral mazes says Andrew Sullivan in last weekend’s Sunday Times. He was referring to the discovery that stem cells could be made from human skin cells. Unfortunately the scientists who made the discovery had to use a cancer gene and a retro virus but this should be a big boost for this branch of research and remove a lot of the ethical questions surrounding the destruction of embryos. (Via Dangerousmeta)

  • Photography Ireland forums.
  • Cork Places on Flickr. Get to know the city and county where I live.
  • Copyright plugin for the GIMP. I’d hate to do it, but I might start watermarking my images.
  • Following on from his post on photography as a career, Paul now points at “What do you wish you’d known when you started out?” in EPUK.
  • Doomsday brings DOOM up to date with modern technology. Retro Gamer magazine features DOOM on it’s front cover. I can’t believe it was released in 1993! I remember playing deathmatch DOOM II in college, and before then trying to deathmatch against my friend Brian using a modem and calling his house. Doomsday available for Mac OS X, Linux and Windows. It works really well on my Macbook. I spent an enjoyable hour on it last night blasting monsters, soldiers, sergeants and commandos. I love mouse look! Watch out for those glowing fireballs! Unfortunately the pressure of supporting a GPLed product drove one of it’s developers away. The Duke Nukem guys take a much harder line:
    IF YOU HAVE PROBLEMS:

    Tough luck. Do NOT contact us with bug reports at this time. Do NOT contact us if you can’t get it to build. Do NOT contact us for copies of the game. In fact, if you aren’t sending us code, don’t contact us at all.

  • Now to look over the Quake engines available.
ouch! pointer in the eye!

via when pointers attack