Wednesday, March 26, 2008

With BT ? Check your bills - they may be overcharging.

If you're with BT for phone calls you should check your bills. I've noticed that they are charging 7c for calls with a Zero duration.

I've banged them an email to see what the story is. Being BT the response time will probably be somewhat long....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Nokia Location Tagger - a nifty tool

I came across Nokia Location Tagger last week and loaded it onto my N95. What it does is use the phones internal GPS to geotag your photos as you take them. An example is here - click on the Map text (under Additional Information) and it will show where the image was taken.

It's an interesting utility but you need GPS up and running before it can work so quick single shots probably won't be geotagged.

Well worth a try if you have a Nokia with GPS.

Politicians are gas men,

Fine Gael's Leo Varadkar has called on Public Services offices to open for longer. This is a good idea. It's a shame when you've to take time off to deal with Government agencies (or indeed anybody - try getting Chorus or Sky to do an evening install) and hopefully things will change for the better eg make Reachservices a wee bit faster and expand its reach....

However the delicious Irony is that this press release was issued by one of our elected representatives who is currently on his Easter Holidays - the Dail adjourned on 13 March and resumes on 3 April. Not bad holidays at all. I can't find the dates of his other holidays as the dail website doesn't have them and they don't appear to be on his party's site either.

Perhaps Mr Varadkar could make the first move and he and his fellow Blueshirts could turn up for work a week early ?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Computers for Schools - what a swizz !

As a parent I believe that our schools should be properly and adequately funded. As a taxpayer I agree that schools should have a set level of IT equipment though seeing as some schools barely have weatherproof buildings this may be aspirational.

However I strongly dislike promotion schemes involving token collections for schools. It seems to be a guilt-trip - if you love your child you'll buy brand X or shop in Store Y.

I was struck today by Tescos advertising for their computers for schools project. To get one Asus eeePC with 2GB storage and 256MB ram will take 9,000 tokens. That's right - 9,000 tokens or a total spend of €90,000. Expansys have the same eeePC with more ram for €285.

What hope have smaller schools in this token collection ?

Why should parents be forced down this road in order to equip their schools ?

Is this the legacy the Celtic Tiger is leaving its children ?

The Shaky Bridge

The Shaky Bridge at the Mardyke Cork

Posted by ShoZu

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fair Dues to Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus gets a lot of slagging but they do come up with the goods as well.

Coming back from Amsterdam last night the Captain informed us before we left that the flight would be longer due to headwinds and that things were looking dodgy in Cork with respect to cross-winds. A later announcement informed us that things were still dodgy in Cork, that they were worse in Shannon and that if we had to divert it would be to Dublin but that they would see if they could safely attempt an approach.

So a while out from Cork we were told that an approach would be made but that if we heard loud engine noise it would be because we were aborting the approach and climbing. Passengers were told that this was normal and that there was no need to worry.

We made a bumpy approach to Cork and we were all relived to hear the landing gear drop. The approach continued and then we were pulled up and began a climb with the gear being retracted. After we levelled off another announcement saying that we would see if we could get another chance and once again a reminder about the engine noise.

We landed on this bumpy attempt.

These informational and soothing announcements were in stark contrast to the last time I was on a plane that aborted a landing. On that occasion the landing was aborted very very close to the runway end and the upwards climb was steep. It too was a bumpy ride and the second attempt was successful. All through it there was not a single announcement. Not a single comment. Not a single piece of info. The carrier - Ryanair !

One fly in last nights ointment - only one set of steps was brought to the plane to empty a full load (only 5 empty seats) so it was a longwait for the folks in the back.

Tivoli in the dusk.

Looking across at Tivoli from Blackrock. Streetlight looks like a sun.

Posted by ShoZu

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Rynair gets away with it but Aer Lingus is hauled through the coals.

Being a bit behind the times I only heard today that Rynair had pulled their Shannon - Dublin route. Strange really that I only heard it today. For months the media was full of the decision by EI to axe the Heathrow route with marches and protests and Dail questions. Indeed even Michileen O'Leary was ranting about how it was a disgrace yadda yadda yadda. So it was interesting then to see that Micky axed the Shannon - Dublin route but did it very very quietly. In a press release this is what was written:
"Ryanair...... today (13th Jan) announced its 31st new route from Shannon to Palma Mallorca on the day that Aer Lingus terminates its profitable Shannon Heathrow service.......
In response to Aer Lingus’ abandonment of Shannon.... the Shannon -Dublin route will cease from 3rd Feb." Of course the Limerick/Shannon sklaveens are deathly silent on this because they know that if they upset O'Leary he'll pull out totally but they had no problem in putting political pressure on Aer Lingus.