That other crazy U2 comment

From the U2 interview published in the Irish Times yesterday, besides Bono’s defence of tax avoidance, here’s the other crazy comment:

“The CD is dying and what’s replaced it is the pure download and that’s not good enough for me. We’re hoping to change that.

“When people get hooked up digitally, we want to have a whole new bunch of material that you can play on your TV as the album plays. We have it a bit on this album with an Anton Corbjin film that plays on your screen as a visual accompaniment to the music. I got that idea when I was playing my iPod through my TV one day. The screen was blank and I thought there must be a way of filling it with content that relates to the music.”

I’m one of those crazies who agree “The experience of buying an album used to be part of the pleasure of the listening experience,” one of those crazies who still buys CDs.

But they are “hoping to change” the trend towards downloads?

Err… what now?

Reichstag building

Those pesky anti-EU Germans

Reichstag building

Major focus on the Irish Times poll results that there has been a ‘Major swing in favour of Lisbon treaty as 51% would now vote Yes.’

But as a report in the same paper last week, which passed quietly by in the international news pages, shows it’s not only anti-EU nuts who are asking hard questions about the treaty:

At the second and final day of oral hearings at the constitutional court in Karlsruhe, the eight presiding judges asked government counsel pointed questions about the democratic consequences of ratification.

The judges, according to the article, should have decided if the Lisbon treaty conflicts with the Basic Law (the German constitution, in all but name) sometime early in the summer.

Now, who on the Yes side are going to start calling the German court names, and calling Germany anti-EU? No takes? No, I didn’t think so.

unlimited cinema!

Unlimited cinema!

unlimited cinema!

Signed up for a cineworld unlimited card recently. Unlimited films for €20 a month. Going to see three films a month covers the cost. Should have signed up a long time ago.

You have to subscribe for the year, and I was told you can only buy one ticket at a time (I’m guessing to stop you from sneeking a second person past the first ticket check). The only real downfall is you have to queue on the day of the screening and can’t use the online or phone advance booking systems. But you can arrive earlier in the day and book a ticket for a later showing.

You’ll end up paying extra for, say, getting to see Batman on the opening night. As long as you go to four films or more a month it’s still well worth it. Their bet is most people who sign up don’t go to more than four, as I will.

You can sign up in your local cineworld (ie the only on Parnell Street in Dublin if you live in Ireland) or at

Other downfalls I would add is likely less use of my IFI membership (but then again the free ticket which comes with that nearly pays for the cost).

It’s strange lining up and not paying, just handing the card in and knowing it not a credit card. If it was music and not film, you’d expect somebody to jump at you and shout “Stop! Think about the children! You’re stealing! It is a crime! You’re a criminal!”  Oh, wait. The film industry are the ones with silly notices on films you pay for, the silly warning you can’t skip on legit copies.

Now, has anybody else noticed a large increase in the numbers of people at the cinema lately or are my unhealthy amount of visits messing with my perception?

High proportional rate of investment for RTE’s Dragon’s Den


(The opening par looks to be missing from the online version, but) interisting Sunday Business Post report yesterday on the RTE version of Dragons’ Den which says the Irish dragons invested €750,000 in start-ups and “the Irish show secured pro rata the highest number of investments of any of the 15 versions of the show seen around the world.”

It starts this Thrusday. See the article: ‘Dragons invest €750,000 in new businesses’

Sky Player, it’s no Four on Demand

Since reviewing Channel 4 on Demand, 4oD, (which is free, is available from Ireland, and has loads of free content) about a year ago for ENN, I’m now also using Sky’s online  on-demand service.

With the Sky Player you can buy programs if you’re not a subscriber, but it’s really a service for Sky subscribers. But even for subscribers there’s little content. Compared to Sky, 4oD has a ton of free 30 day catch up and archive content. It’s still good if you miss an epsiod of Lost or 24.

One thing Sky has which is unadvaiable on 4oD is live TV. Depending on which packages, Sky News, MTV, the Sky Sports, Eurosport, some children’s channles and National Geographic are advaiable. No Sky One tho. The live streaming working better than I expected (unless my “up to” 3mb eircom broadband is acting up).

Broadband speeds

In the last month spending more time at home than normal I’ve noticed a number of time speed has dropped well below 1mb on my “up to” 3mb Eircom broadband line. The internet feels slower than back in ISDN days… not really, wasn’t used to YouTube on demand back then, but relatively slower.

By turning off wireless and going cabled for a while, I even ruled out my paranoid idea that somebody hacked my wireless.

Why does the internet in Ireland feel like one step forward, one step back, all at the same time?

There’s no snowmen in Ballymun, just snow-roadblock

In Ballymun, there’s no snowmen, just snow-roadblocks — see Shane Phelan’s video on flickr.

Talking about Ballymun, last December the Irish Times quoted a Department of Education report on the largest second-level school in the area, the report said:

“At staff level, discontent has manifested itself in a number of ways. Absenteeism among teachers is a cause for concern, and morale and motivation are reported to be low.

“Teachers and students have lowered their expectations of each other and of the school. In general, a worsening downward spiral in the spirit of the school is evident.’’

The article is advailabe online, ‘Behaviour problems ’embedded’ in Dublin school‘ (Saturday, December 20, 2008)