Archive for December, 2005

Digital Rights Ireland Launch

Posted on December 7, 2005, under general.

Yesterday, following a recommendation from Sarunas and a pointer to the facilities of Newark airport from Sarah I went ahead and bought a 60GB iAudio X5. It plays ogg, MP3s, movies, will show text files, has a built-in FM radio, does voice recording and has a lot of all-round nice features that, so far at least, I’m very happy with.

This morning, brand new iAudio X5 in hand, I walked into work with a skip in my beat listening to Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton and some Kate Rusby tracks. I’ve paid for every piece of music I listened to at least once. Yet listening to these tracks, brightening my morning start, probably involved breaking the law. This is ludicrous. And yet, that’s how Irish Copyright law is structured.

And this isn’t anywhere near the most ludicrous law we have on our statutes. Ireland has the unenviable distinction of having the most draconian data retention legisilation in Europe.

For these reasons and more, Digital Rights Ireland held its formal launch today. It was well-attended and well-received, and hopefully this will serve as a great start to our efforts to influence change in all of the areas which affect our Digital Rights.

Our chair, TJ McIntyre, was interviewed by Pat Kenny, and you can hear the interview (about 1:30 in), we also made the 6.1 news and watch out for us in tomorrow’s papers.

A tale of three cities

Posted on December 3, 2005, under general.

Well, five actually. This going to be a mad week, I spent today in Nuremburg, which is really amazing right now. It’s got acres and acres of Christmas Markets with lots of cool stuff (no worries HEAneters, 1 Kilo of Lebkuchen are on the way). In addition to having lots of nice craftsy Christmas things, it also has an innovative range of excellent and tasty ways to kill yourself. Half-metre hot-dogs (mmmm), waffles with oodles of syrupy chocolate and cream, deep-fried hash-browns (who would have thought it was possible to add to the yumminess of hash browns), huge half-pounds of sausage meat and beef put between some gorgeous bread, all so so good.

Back here in Munich, I picked up one of those naff-but-cool boot-shaped cups for Gluhwein, courtesy of Noirin, and we went to see yet more Christmas markets (is there no end!). Noirin also got me a really nice new tie, which I’ll be wearing on Monday, avoiding real work and doing interviews (which is kind of odd, considering I’ve never once worn a tie when I’ve been on the other side of an interview). I’ll be in Dublin until Wednesday, when I’ll get to go to the IE-NOG meet-up. Then off to Newark, before the final leg to San Diego. 5 cities, 9 timezones and 8,000 Km in 4 days is a bit extreme. But hey, going from -6 C to a balmy 20 C isn’t going to be so bad.

Based on Colin‘s and Brian‘s recommendations, I’ve picked up a pair of acive noise-cancelling PXC300‘s, which so far have done a great job on my flights. Now I’m trying to find a good portable music player. I’m in a few minds about it, I’d like to buy it in the US and benefit from the exchange rate right now, but that’s 18-hours of flying time in. uggh. Also, all of the players that support ogg are over-priced ugliness. iPods are gorgeous, but don’t play ogg, though I may just end up having to crack on that one. I might compromise and get something in Newark. Anyone know what Newark airport is like in that regard? I’ve only ever used JFK.