01 October 2002

Just back from a night of shoptalk and networking around the subject of digital media, as this month's First Tuesday event kicked off in MIT's MediaLabEurope, sponsored by the Digital Hub people. Will write this up briefly for Thursday or Friday's paper. A few observations: amazing to hear Esat/BT's Bill Murphy claiming Esat/BT is "leading the charge" against The Unspoken Enemy (Mmmmm, Eircom...) to give us all broadband connectivity and flat rate internet. This, the company that pulled the plug on the only flat rate offering in the market a while back because people actually used it as, gee, an always on connection. Why would they, or Eircom, want to cut into their more costly leased line business to give DSL to the, well, er, not exactly masses, but a few key Irish cities would sure help. Answers on a postcard.

The Hub didn't really get discussed at all, which I thought was an opportunity lost to get the audience talking about it rather than just the Hub people and cranky journos like me. I wanted to ask the panellists if their companies had made any approach to the Hub, if so, what was their commitment to it either practically or even just philosophically (since we were all talking about the Glorious Promise of digital media...), and if they weren't interested in locating there, why not. But didn't get the hand up in time and have some concern about jumping into the fray when so many audience members clearly had issues they wanted to raise. Afterward I ran into an old acquaintance who told me his company will indeed be moving into some of the first commercial office space to be made available in the Hub. NB all other vaguely interested companies: he said it was fairly cheap office space. Certainly it's a pretty cool part of town, if anyone's on the lookout for a place to be (close to Handel's pub and Vicar Street music venue as well as Guinness; what's to complain about...?!).

The other comment I enjoyed (in a perverse kind of way) was Microsoft's John Guest noting that, though Ireland was the country in which Microsoft was supposed to be testing the XBox, they found they had to test its online gaming capabilities on their internal network because not enough people could get a broadband connection offsite. Sheesh. And gaming technology company Havok's marketing guy Paul Hayes put nary a word wrong -- funny, sharp, and willing to needle the powers that be. Good man!

11:38:16 PM  #   your two cents []

Happy to give this another plug for anyone who missed it last week! In Dublin, warcycling is going to be a heck of a lot faster than wardriving... Warcycling around Dublin: <<Niall Murphy pointed me to his and his colleagues' report on warcycling (and warwalking and -driving) around Dublin in the interests of demonstrating issues with security in wireless networking.>>

[80211b News]
11:20:05 PM  #   your two cents []
Hard Drives Evaluated for Noise, Heat and Performance [Slashdot] Wow. If only we could do the same test on politicians...
11:18:02 PM  #   your two cents []
A New York state of mind. <<Salman Rushdie talks about why he was banished by Bush I, the light and dark sides of Islam, and his new life in Manhattan.>> [Salon.com]
11:16:55 PM  #   your two cents []
Slump to squash flat-panel prices. <<Cheaper flat-panel displays are in the cards for buyers, says a new report, which predicts that a component glut will spur makers to lower prices--and cause third-quarter flat-panel shipments to rebound.>> [CNET News.com]
11:16:18 PM  #   your two cents []
Porn Spam: It's Getting Raunchier. <<Disturbing, explicit and sometimes-illegal pornographic images are popping up more and more, unsolicited, in e-mail boxes everywhere. Observers worry even the sickest perversions may become more mainstream as a result.>> [Wired News] ...I've argued before that the prevalence of porn spam is clear evidence of the two-faced, hypocritical approach of national govts to one issue (offensive material on the Net, some portraying highly questionable and sometimes illegal activity). The same govts (US in particular) that want filters on computers, site ranking systems, and other controls because of porn and child porn seem indifferent to the fact that most children are likely to see this stuff because it gets sent directly to the family inbox by spammers... God forbid we should 'threaten the development of e-commerce' -- read: infringe on the right of marketers to assault us with unwanted crap -- by tackling spam in any serious way. Not sure about what you get emailed these days but my Hotmail account -- which now averages 100 spams a day -- is receiving the most revolting and offensive material I have ever seen. And I'm a liberal Californian...
8:19:11 AM  #   your two cents []
Microsoft buys media delivery patents. Liquid Audio sells intellectual property [InfoWorld: Top News]
8:11:24 AM  #   your two cents []
Vodafone Ireland faces ski spam allegations. Taking the piste [The Register]. Hmmm. 02 is doing this kind of thing as well -- spams for discounts at Habitat, etc. The worst was their happy new year wishes sent twice in a row at about 4 am. Nice one. As I always check the little box that says 'send me your advertising junk and I will firebomb your corporate offices', I definitely shouldn't be getting this crap. I see it must be time again for a little chat with the Data Protection Commissioner, Joe Meade...
8:06:40 AM  #   your two cents []

802.11g explicated in great detail: <<This piece gives tremendous insight into the 802.11g timeline, including how we got to where we're at, the realistic market for the gear, and when we might see real g-based devices.>>

[80211b News]
8:06:20 AM  #   your two cents []
Neuroscience And Advertising: How/Why Do Ads Work?. Plastic::Media::Advertising: "Scientists are looking more closely into the nuts and bolts of why advertising works. People know that advertising does work on the general public, even if they believe themselves to be immune from obvious propaganda." [Plastic: Most Recent]
8:04:36 AM  #   your two cents []
InfoWorld offers some news from Irish company Vordel...: Vordel launches Web services to financial firms. Microsoft, HP, and Intel partner on integration solution [InfoWorld: Top News]
8:02:03 AM  #   your two cents []
HP sues EMC over storage patents. <<Hewlett-Packard files suit against the storage specialist, saying EMC has infringed seven HP patents relating to data storage.>> [CNET News.com]
8:01:12 AM  #   your two cents []