Category: Business

.TEL Coming Soon

New TLD sunrising on December 3, landrushing Feb 3, GA March 24.

Very cool service with no hosting required, everything is done via the DNS. Put your contact details in a few NAPTR records, add your location in a LOC RR and perhaps a few keywords in TXT RRs, and your details will appear neatly formatted on your automatically generated .TEL website. (Tucows is the registrar I use in Beecher Networks.) But of course since that’s just generated from your raw data, it can be used in a multitude of other ways, by your mobile, your GPS unit, etc.

Not cheap though, at least not for sunrise. I haven’t set pricing yet, but I reckon sunrise registrations’ll run at least €300.

LinkedIn Applications

Good to see LinkedIn still developing their product, but they’re still very much playing catch-up.

Makes little difference to me as I don’t spend much time networking online (awfully un-PC for an Internet consultant to say that I know), but some people do invest a serious amount of time, energy and effort into it, and LinkedIn aren’t cutting the mustard for those people imho. They don’t need to lead the field – business communities rarely do – but a new idea here and there might keep people interested.

It remains my favourite network, but only because the only social networking I’m interested in doing is for business. If I was into it in any way, I’d be spending my time on Facebook. And I hate Facebook, because their privacy policies are in the “scumbag” realm.

Press release follows, slightly munged to fit into the post nicely. Click the logo to start adding applications to your account. (more…)

Negative reviews removed from

According to several people on While I can understand the commercial benefits to Menupages, I can’t understand why I’d want to use the site in any way, shape or form now. Pretty much defeats the purpose imho.

Course I don’t use it anyway, so I guess I won’t have much of an impact. Tried it a couple of months ago when I was looking for a nice restaurant to take the lovely wife too, but the usability was frankly embarassing. I reverted to the old reliable, and they trumped Menupages bigtime. Nicest evening out I’ve had in a long time.

Yay Chapter One, boo Menupages.

Avis: [Less of] A Shower of Shits

UPDATE: When I pointed both Avis and J&P to this post and the one on Boards, I finally got a response from someone that appears to have a bit of authority. They contacted me on the 9th and promised a response on the 13th, which duly followed with a promise to refund the entire excess amount because of a lack of documentation on the part of Avis Croatia.

I never actually asked for a full refund however I certainly appreciate the gesture as it does take the sting out of the tail. Thank you to Avis’ Business Support Centre Manager for following through as promised, I only hope they’ll teach the rest of the staff how to handle enquiries like this in future.

If you want to learn how not to do business, Avis and Johnson & Perrott are your men. Here’s an email I sent to them about a rental in Croatia, which still hasn’t been resolved two months later.

The main issue aside, their customer service is simply atrocious: they don’t reply to emails, except when they do and send their replies to someone that was CC’d on the email.

It’s lucky I don’t let people get to me any more or they’d have ruined my otherwise wonderful honeymoon.

This would have been a lot easier to explain in person, however if you insist. Copies of the email confirmation from Avis Ireland and rental agreement from Avis Croatia are attached, together with a photo of the car.

The car suffered some minor damage in Dubrovnik, while unattended overnight in the car park in our hotel; we filled out the incident report in the Avis wallet if you need the details. When we returned the car to the Avis office in the airport we expected to pay an excess, however the operator there decided with a glance that the repair cost was going to be €600, because both doors were damaged. Myself and my wife have both had work done on our cars and knew this to be excessive, however this was the last day of our honeymoon and we had no intention of ruining it by starting a dispute with a man that obviously had no interest in saying more than three words to us. He effectively threw the bill at my wife, and when she asked politely how we should pay – we didn’t even attempt to challenge the bill – he gestured at the Visa terminal and muttered something incomprehensible.

I’m not going to waste my time disputing the ridiculous excess I was charged for the minor repair work, as I’m sure Avis has all the bases covered with terms and conditions. However even that wasn’t enough for the Croatian operator, who added another 250 Kuna to the bill for reasons best known only to himself. I would like that returned for a start, and I would like the bill fact-checked by someone competent to check for further errors, in particular the excess and the taxes charged on both the rental and the excess.

I would also like it noted for the record that this sting in the tail of our honeymoon will prevent us from renting from Avis again, in Ireland or abroad. We feel we’ve been taken advantage of and taken for granted, and we won’t allow a repeat occurence. As the only negative thing that happened on our entire honeymoon, you can be sure it will be mentioned when we’re describing it to our family, friends and colleagues.

Tech Bubble 1.0 Stars: Where Are They Now?

Christ, this brings back some memories…

Silicon Alley Insider: We’re not ready to call the end of the second Internet boom quite yet. But when we do, we’ll be looking for some perspective. For instance, whatever happened to the high-flyers of the last bubble once it deflated?

Good news We tracked down 36 of them — from Turkish romantic Mahir “I KISS YOU” ÇaÄŸrı to a search engine founder-turned-cattle rancher, and found that almost all of them have found interesting second acts.

Many now work as venture capitalists or have founded new startups, while others have gone on to some unexpected fields. Find out who has helped cure more than 15,000 people of blindness, and who went to work for the Gap.

Thanks Justin.

Unemployment numbers not that bad…

…actually they’re worse…

Irish Examiner: The scale of unemployment is far worse than official figures show because another 38,000 people are stuck in a backlog waiting for their dole claims to be processed, the Irish Examiner has learned.

Place Your Bets: Integrated ticketing in Dublin by IBM, over budget by how much?

Times are tough so we can’t be completely screwed to the wall these days, only partially. Traditionally in Ireland we go over budget by multiples, but I don’t think IBM would get away with that with this one.

However, going over budget by less an 100% in Ireland would probably result in IBM being bullied in the playground, so I’m betting on 100% over budget, plus or minus 10%. What’s your estimate?

ENN: IBM is to develop and implement an infrastructure for an Integrated Ticketing System ITS across all public transport in the greater Dublin area. The tech heavyweight was chosen by the Railway Procurement Agency RPA to develop and roll out an e-payment system to enable commuters to use a single pre-paid smart card for travel on all buses, trains, trams and coaches in the city. The integrated IBM back-office system will provide ticket and smart card management, central reconciliation and settlement services to all public transport providers. The system is part of Ireland’s “Transport 21” project. Work on the project will begin immediately and a phased deployment of the system will start in late 2009. Financial details of the contract were not revealed. Longlisted for Irish Web Awards

No kudos deserved, I nominated it myself. It’s been around for a long time, I reckon it’s due something.


I was longlisted personally for a Netvisionary, but I have no idea why so I reckon that’s about as far as it’ll go! Thanks for the nomination by the way, you strange, strange person!

What Your Global Neighbors Are Buying

Interesting visualisation of spending. I was surprised by the Electronics stat for Ireland, must be just my peer group.

New York Times: How people spend their discretionary income – the cash that goes to clothing, electronics, recreation, household goods, alcohol – depends a lot on where they live. People in Greece spend almost 13 times more money on clothing as they do on electronics. People living in Japan spend more on recreation than they do on clothing, electronics and household goods combined. Americans spend a lot of money on everything.

Mendes & Cork City Council GoCar Car Sharing

This is an absolutely brilliant service. I realise it’s not new, but still, fair balls to Cork City Council for innovating at an Irish level.

Car-pool programme initiated in Cork city (Sunday Business Post)

Residents of Cork city can sign up to share a pool of cars under a new transport initiative.

Cork City Council has entered a partnership with Mendes GoCar, a company that will provide vehicles for car-sharing for periods of as little as one hour.

It is the first time the system has been used in Ireland, but it has been in operation in Switzerland and Germany for 20 years, and for more than ten years in other parts of Europe, Britain and the US.

Private users of the system sign up online and pay a once-off fee of €50, while business customers register for €100 and pay €25 for any additional drivers. All users must have a full licence with at least two years’ driving experience, and have to pay a refundable deposit of €200.

Once authorised, they get a smartcard which unlocks the cars at a particular time, and a customer identification number, which is entered into a handset to start the car. There are eight vehicles in the fleet – six Ford Fiestas, one Ford Focus and one Ford Transit.

(Thanks for the pointer Damien.)