Forbes Madrid are reporting this morning that O2’s parent company, Telefonica have signed an exclusive deal with Apple for iPhone distribution rights in the UK.
This is the second time this rumour has emerged in the last two weeks. Both times from very credible sources.
It makes sense. Vodafone don’t need Apple (and the sales boost iPhone exclusivity would give them) as much as O2 does. This deal obviously doesn’t stop Apple signing deals with Vodafone in other European countries.
I’ll be interested to see who gets distributorship in Ireland!
I’m writing this post in Terminal 3 of Heathrow Airport waiting to board a flight to Chicago (and then another to Vegas) for Microsoft’s MIX07 conference.
I’m looking forward to the conference, the line-up of talks looks really impressive and I’ll get a chance to meet some great people.
What is really cool as well is that Pat Phelan has ensured that my phone charges while I’m there will be minimal! How did he do that? Well, he mapped a Cork number (+353212349915) to my TruPhone number.
Now anyone who calls me from Ireland can call me on the Cork number Pat provided and, as long as I’m in a wifi zone, I will receive the call without incurring any roaming charges. And with Truphone, all outgoing calls to landlines are free until the end of June!
The only time I expect to incur call charges is if I have to call someone on mobile.
Excellent, thanks Pat.
Building has commenced on the CIX data centre – the first fully redundant data centre in Ireland outside of Dublin!
CIX intends to be incredibly energy efficient and has even developed a carbon neutrality strategy document. Watch the CIX blog for more on this.
[Disclosure – I am a director of CIX]
One of the revelations for me of the Le Web 3 conference was hearing Prof. Hans Rosling‘s presentation.
Everyone I spoke to mentioned his talk as being the highpoint of the event.
I checked out Gapminder.org, the site he mentioned where you can access all the data he presented and it is incredible. The interactive charts there are astounding.
Here is a screenshot of Ireland’s health versus its wealth from 1960 to 2003. Notice how Ireland’s health fails to improve from 1994 onwards despite significant growth in wealth.
The two countries at the top of the healthcare leagues (as measured here by % childcare survival to age 5) are Sweden and Singapore.
An early, less polished version of the presentation Prof Rosling gave at Le Web (the one he gave at the TED conference) is available here.
In a follow-on to my post on External Storage options, I’m also wondering if anyone could recommend a good (good = reliable and cheap) e-tailer where i could source the sotrage solution i decide on (and any other electronic
toys goods I want to buy).
Obviously, the e-tailer should have no problem shipping to Ireland!
OPML is a file format which is used to save lists of RSS feeds. Very handy, for instance, for copying your list of RSS feeds from one feed reader to another. I uploaded a list of my RSS subscriptions to an OPML file on this server so the Grazr plugin in the sidebar on the right can display them similar to a blogroll.
James Corbett, Ireland’s OPML ambassador, recently advised me to add autodiscovery of OPML to this site. Adding OPML is as simple as adding the following line to the head section of the site’s code:
Why would you want to add OPML autodiscovery to your page code? Frankly, apart from making finding your OPML file easier, I’m not entirely sure!
There’s a Firefox plugin, which lights up a blue icon in the Status bar when you browse to a site which has added the autodiscover code allowing you to view the site owners subscriptions.
There’s a bit of work involved in the management of OPML files. I’m always updating the RSS feeds in my reader adding new feeds and deleting old ones so any OPML file I upload is almost immediately out of date. If there were some way I could have my RSS reader synch with the remote OPML file, that would reduce a lot of the overhead.
Then again, I don’t want to publish all my RSS subscriptions (some are client sensitive) so I’d need some way of synching a subset of my feeds to my OPML file to ensure that the OPML file I’m publishing is an accurate reflection of my current reading.
However bad things are in Ireland in relation to our broadband speeds – things are even worse in Iran. According to the Guardian, the government there has ordered all ISPs to limit Internet speeds to 128kb. This is in an effort to:
make it more difficult to download foreign music, films and television programmes, which the authorities blame for undermining Islamic culture among the younger generation. It will also impede efforts by political opposition groups to organise by uploading information on to the net.
Iran also has some of the most stringent filters blocking Internet sites into the country – almost as bad as China’s infamous Great Firewall of China.
Having said that, I know several people in Ireland who’d love if they could get speeds of 128kb ‘cos they are stuck with 44kb dialup.
If Iran is really serious about reducing the speeds of access for its citizens, I suggest they hire in the expertise of Ireland’s Minister for Broadband Suppression and Ireland’s Telecom’s Regulator Isolde Goggin who have successfully managed to keep Ireland at the bottom of the international broadband leagues for years now
This is the face in incompetence in Ireland. This is the face of Ireland’s Minister for broadband suppression.
This is the face of the minister of communications in Ireland who has presided over Ireland’s languishing:
14th in the EU15 for broadband penetration. Thatâ€™s the same place we were in 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 etc. etc.
Congratulations minister. Under-achievers everywhere bow down before you in awe.
[Update] – Just came across this great site about the minister.
ComReg is the Irish telecoms poodle as opposed to the Irish Telecoms regulator which is what they claim to be! This is the organisation which has presided over Ireland being one of the most expensive countries in Europe for broadband and consequently Ireland having one of the lowest rates of uptake for broadband in Europe.
As a regulator, ComReg is worse than useless because they do nothing to help the rollout of broadband and thus are part of the problem.
So when you get the telecoms regulator rolling over every time Eircom says “boo!” you know you have a telecoms poodle not a regulator.
Today’s podcast is an interview I did with TJ McIntyre – TJ is Chairman of Digital Rights Ireland, and is a lecturer in Law in UCD.
The interview was fascinating, and should be compulsory listening for any Irish blogger. TJ informed me that everything published on a blog is automatically considered defamatory in the eyes of the law, if reported as such (guilty until proven innocent anyone?), until the blogger can satisfactorily prove to a jury that it is indeed true!
TJ also spoke about how copying music from legally purchased CDs is against the law, the pointlessness of national ID cards in terms of national security, and the governments position on data retention.
See below a list of the questions I asked TJ and the times in the interview that I asked them:
- What is DRI – what is its raison d’etre? – 0:21
- Why is there such a difference between our rights in the offline and online world? – 0:56
- What sparked you to start this up Digital Rights Ireland? – 1:36
- Digital Rights Ireland isn’t formally launched yet? 2:18
- Who do you represent/speaking on behalf of? – 2:39
- If you copy songs from legally purchased CDs onto your iPod or mp3 player, are you breaking the law? – 4:03
- In terms of blogging and podcasting, where do you see DRI fitting in? – 5:58
- What’s the function of the Press Council going to be? – 7:06
- As a blogger, who do I need protection from? – 7:35
- If I make a post about XYZ co. claiming dodgy practices on their behalf, what is the mechanism of action? – 9:17
- So, they can either try to drag you to court or they can take your site offline? – 10:25
- Of course, if you have a backup, you can get your site up on another host…? – 12:35
- Could you just get a summons without a cease and desist? – 13:29
- If you get a summons, can you put your hands up at that point? – 14:14
- And it doesn’t matter that what you wrote is true? – 14:29
- So, even if you have copied the article from a reputable news source, they will go after you because you are the ‘low hanging fruit’? – 15:16
- In a defamation case, if it goes your way, are the costs always awarded against you? – 16:01
- Is free legal aid available to bloggers? – 17:06
- Is there such a thing as anti-defamation insurance? – 17:53
- It seems that in defamation cases it is the person with the bigger resources who calls the tune… – 19:08
- Why is that? – 20:14
- Why are defamation cases heard by jury? – 21:09
- Why isn’t it the case that the plaintiff must prove that they have been defamed? 21:59
- I assume this is the same for podcasting also? – 23:26
- Does DRI have a position on the passing of data by EU airlines to the US government? – 24:30
- In three years time the government will know where I was today even if I can’t remember because of mobile phone data retention laws? – 26:05
- So, call centre operatives for mobile operators will have access to three years of my data? – 28:53
- Do DRI have a position on biometric passports? – 29:21
- Is it a valid argument that national ID cards give greater security? – 30:28
- Why do governments want to introduce compulsory ID cards then? – 32:02
- What other things are coming down the line that we should be aware of? – 33:30
- When is the launch of Digital Rights Ireland? – 36:09
- Whats the website of Digital Rights Ireland? – 36:29
You can download the full interview here 8.4mb mp3.