Category: Internet

Blackout Ireland Avatars

Didn’t really fancy the one on the Blackout Ireland site, so I made one of my own for a few size variants below.

If you haven’t been paying attention, this is happening in protest against Eircom’s capitulation to the Irish Recorded Music Association attempts to censor the Irish Internet. You can read more about the subject here.

Blackout Ireland 200x200px

Blackout Ireland Avatar 150x150px



Google Analytics script 97% slower at peak in Europe

According to Pingdom, performance in Europe is significantly worse than Stateside. Lets hope AdSense performs better. Beef up that European infrastructure Google!

And webmasters, make sure that script is at the bottom of your pages, not the top!


As you can see, loading the GA script from North America is overall a bit slower than loading it from Europe. On the other hand, while the European load times are significantly faster on average than the North American ones, the performance is much more uneven over the course of the day.

The difference between the maximum and minimum load times for North America is 27%, but in Europe the difference is 97%.

Palm Pre

[This has been in my drafts since January 9, only noticed it now. It does have a motion sensor and landscape mode btw.]

The wife’ll kill me, I want one of these and I only have my Treo Pro a couple months.

Palm Pre

It seems to settle a major deficiency in the Treo Pro, namely Windows Mobile. It’s not a bad mobile OS per se, but the hardware is a tad underpowered for it, and it has niggles that can’t be addressed because of it’s closed nature. That said, I don’t know if the Pre’s webOS will be open either, but hopefully Palm will have generated Clue from their Windows adventure. And drop it forevermore…

One other apparent deficiency would appear to be a motion sensor and/or landscape mode. You’d think that if it had it, the presenter in these PC Pro videos – well worth watching by the way – would have demoed it; although it has to be said that despite best effort, he’s no Steve Jobs and might have been better off deferring to someone with more charisma.

(Via Slashdot.)

.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.

Tweetrush Is Here

A project I would love to have been more involved with, hopefully I’ll be forgiven for opting out to get married…

Well done to AJ, Grzegorz, James, Slawomir and Walter for getting  their  Tweetrush proof of concept Techcrunched today. I was lucky enough to spend a couple of hours with the lads in their lair last week, and there’s been very little doubt in my mind since that this demo of their upcoming Rush Hour engine was going to get slashdotted today. (Although I notice that it is still up!) I only hope I’ll be allowed in the door again to work on future projects with them!

(Special mention to Damien and Pat for helping hands too, I reckon.)

The Planet Bad, StatCounter Good

I was affected by this outage at The Planet last week. Outage is understatement of the month, the server disappeared on Saturday, came back up on Tuesday night, was gone again on Monday morning, and stayed that way until Wednesday. The line of problems was horrendous, and although DR procedures were way off the mark, in truth The Planet had a very unlucky succession of failures the like of which we haven’t seen since… well, since a somewhat similar event in the mocky-ah capital above there on the east coast.

There was an outpouring of screaming and shouting by customers, and you can understand why: two big data floors were offline, which took down dedicated racks, dedicated servers, reseller accounts, businesses and end users. A whole vertical was shouting at them, including people that weren’t even their customers. Me, I didn’t bother, I’ve dealt with them before and I know what they’re like: I moved the last two users I had on a box in H! to a machine in CIX, wiped the box and handed it back to them. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Meanwhile StatCounter was feeling the burn. At least internally. Did they get shouted at? Not really, in fact for the most part they were heaped with praise for their actions and communications. Know why? Because they give a crap about their customers, they talk to them, and it’s obvious in everything they do. The Planet is their diametric opposite — customers come way, way below the bottom line, they’re simply an annoyance that only deserve scripted responses.

If you want to learn about the web business, come away from the YUI docs and put down the Symfony manual, and read the comments on StatCounter’s blog. Then go explore the rest of their site, and their forums, and learn why they got that reaction. That’s how you’ll create a successful web business. If you build it they might come, but they won’t stay unless you run it like Aodhan and his team.

CIX Open Day

Cork Internet eXchange is holding an open day next Thursday the 21st at 10am, do pop in if you’re around. It’ll be the last chance to see the underlying mechanics of the DC, as we’ll be covering up all the ducts and activating the security systems shortly afterwards. Worth the trip if only to hear the CRAHs spinning up, they sound like bloody jet engines! :)

HTML updates at last!

Although I can understand why the W3C went the XHTML route several years ago, I think it was a distraction from the beautiful simplicity of basic HTML, which essentially made the web what it is today. If it wasn’t for <B> and <I> and their ilk – yes, even <BLINK> – people like me wouldn’t have been interested in playing with HTML, creating the silly little websites we did, and in time moving onto to new toys like Javascript and Perl.

It was those toys – I’m sure the likes of Justin would crucify me for calling Perl a toy, but that’s what it was for me at the outset – that led people like Rasmus Lerdorf to create new toys like PHP, and XMLHttpRequest, and Ruby on Rails. And it was those toys that led to the likes of Digg, and Flickr, and YouTube, and thousands of other sites that you use every day. They’re not basic HTML by any stretch of the imagination, but their foundations are.

Now it looks like we’re going back to our roots, with HTML 5. New elements will be added to the spec, simple and easy-to-understand elements like header and footer, aside and figure, audio and video, details and datagrid. Guess their purposes, you’ll probably be right or not far off.

Hopefully the new generation of web addicts will embrace HTML 5 like we embraced it’s forerunners, breaking away from walled gardens like Facebook and MySpace and building their online presences in their own space, linked together with open standards like SIOC and it’s cousins. It’s not hard. If I can do it…