zen.org Communal Weblog

May 25, 2007

Ireland TV station reachable only via London?

Filed under: — brendan @ 13:40 GMT

Election results are flying around in Ireland from yesterday’s election. I figure I’ll look at the RTE pages about the results … and it’s a bit slow. Why? Eircom’s sending RTE’s traffic over thru London?!? And whois says tiscali.net is an Italian company.

traceroute to www.rte.ie (89.207.56.94), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 dsl.network.home (192.168.20.1) 0.362 ms 0.586 ms 0.505 ms
2 b-ras1.bbh.dublin.eircom.net (159.134.155.19) 134.579 ms 136.391 ms 135.432 ms
3 pos10-0.coreb.cwm.dublin.eircom.net (83.71.112.77) 44.852 ms 46.362 ms 40.098 ms
4 pos0-0.corea.thn.london.eircom.net (83.71.113.102) 55.073 ms 56.998 ms 56.655 ms
5 sl-gw22-lon-2-3.sprintlink.net (213.206.156.209) 55.808 ms 57.405 ms 55.701 ms
6 sl-bb22-lon-9-0.sprintlink.net (213.206.128.104) 55.889 ms 57.106 ms 58.087 ms
7 sl-bb21-lon-3-0.sprintlink.net (213.206.129.152) 60.690 ms 59.539 ms 57.905 ms
8 sl-gw11-lon-15-0.sprintlink.net (213.206.128.59) 51.129 ms 53.126 ms 53.428 ms
9 sle-tisca-3-0.sprintlink.net (213.206.159.98) 51.896 ms 50.280 ms 50.700 ms

10 so-0-0-0.dub10.ip.tiscali.net (213.200.82.74) 62.665 ms 62.589 ms 61.977 ms
11 rte-dub1.ip.tiscali.net (213.200.67.50) 63.408 ms 64.028 ms 61.799 ms
12 89.207.56.94 (89.207.56.94)(H!) 66.711 ms (H!) 69.544 ms (H!) 70.821 ms

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May 3, 2007

Eircom's hidden scandal, secret shame

Filed under: — brendan @ 06:19 GMT

Hidden on the upper floor of the Blackrock Shopping Centre, it blends so perfectly you might never notice. An innocent kiosk, as plain and ordinary as any other. Not many people seem to use these Internet-on-wheels setups, but still they’re dropped into public shopping areas and airports. There’s an unknown truth in this box in Blackrock. You’d be so distracted by the shoes you need to buy that you wouldn’t think it odd. You just need to look at the Eircom broadband kiosk, look in its heart…

eircom broadband kiosk running suse linux

Across town in the basement of a church…
The team of Dell systems finished their turn. It was time.

“Hi, my name is Eircom.” Take a deep breath, he thought. He continued, his gaze looking down at the tiles on the floor. “And I’m a free Linux user.”

Many voices responded with compassion: “Hi, Eircom.” He looked up and glanced over at the Unison.ie Web server, who offered a kind smile.

Nervously, he gulped some coffee from his paper cup and began with barely a whisper. “This is the first time I’ve come to a Windows Anonymous meeting…”

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April 18, 2007

The customer will never notice

Filed under: — brendan @ 14:12 GMT

We brought back a loaf to our local Centra (like the 7-11 in the US) because it just weirded us out. No, it wasn’t moldy or anything. There was just something not quite right about it.

Oops-loaf

Can you see what’s was wrong in the picture?

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April 11, 2007

Howard Stern online — finally!

Filed under: — brendan @ 10:34 GMT

Howard book coverI just discovered that I can listen to Howard Stern all the time, even from Ireland. Yay!! Finally Sirius has made it possible to subscribe to listen to their stuff via online streaming without requiring you to buy one of their physical radios.

I started listening to Howard about 18 years ago when he was broadcast in Philadelphia, then when he was airing on KOME in San Jose, California. When we moved to Ireland, I had to give up the habit.

In 2004 Howard moved to Sirius, so it seemed like a step closer—but still, no easy way to listen without paying for the silly radio.

Until now. 🙂

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March 28, 2007

MythTV users of Ireland, unite!

Filed under: — brendan @ 12:15 GMT

Justin Mason has just launched a new mailing list for folks using MythTV in Ireland. Everyone can come out of the dark corners of the bogs and start putting together our collective experience to make really good alternatives to Sky+ or the other commercial products that’re out there.

Watch what you want, when you want.

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March 27, 2007

American items on Irish TV

Filed under: — brendan @ 20:26 GMT

We have our MythTV box set up to record a bunch of things, but I just realized there’s a distinct set in there of things that are all within a day of their original airing in the US:

  • NBC Nightly News on CNBC each night at 11:30pm (live feed for what’s on in the US on the East Coast)
  • ABC World News Tonight on BBC News 24 at 1:30am
  • CBS News on Sky News each night at 1:30am and 3:30am (we record the latter)
  • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart at a variety of times on More4
  • The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on CNBC at 10:00pm
  • Late Night with Conan O’Brien on CNBC at 10:45pm

If we’re in need for a US-centric news fix, we’re all set. 🙂

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And the golden Audit door is finally closed

Filed under: — brendan @ 20:01 GMT

Our accountant called this morning to let me know they received an official letter from the Revenue Commissioners. Our 2004 audit was complete and we passed with flying colors.

All hail to the grand old system of tucking away every sheet of paper you ever touch.

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March 16, 2007

Audit: Government 0, Brendan 1

Filed under: — brendan @ 19:36 GMT

My obsessive archiving of documents related to my contract software engineering work has paid off. Yesterday a representative of the Revenue Commissioners (Ireland’s IRS) arrived to perform the audit of our 2004 tax return. Also arriving was our accountant from Browne & Murphy, the firm in Dublin which we started using a long time ago. (I find the Irish tax system quite intimidating.)

Despite my ongoing worries, it was all pretty survivable. Since I’d made sure to keep all of my invoices, bank statements, etc, the agent of the Revenue Commissioners was able to do everything pretty quickly. She had a bunch of questions to run through, then our accountant, Elana, and myself sat in the livingroom enjoying idle chatter while the books were being reviewed. The accountant had put together an awesome color-tabbed booklet of all of our accounts, and even had a great spreadsheet of our various bank transactions throughout the year. We got to find out how much we spent at Mitchell & Son on wine that year. Mmmmmmm, Pinot… 😉

Fingers crossed we don’t enjoy this experience again for a while.

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March 13, 2007

Cricket World Cup

Filed under: — Sven @ 01:55 GMT

In the USA, to watch the Cricket World Cup in the comfort of your own home you need DirectTV and $200. So if you live near me, invite me to a party! I’ll root for Ireland, I’ll root for Canada! I’ll root for the West Indies! I’ll be the only person at your party not rooting for India, I do live near New Jersey. I have never seen a Cricket match in my life, do they call it a match? A test?

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January 23, 2007

The scarlet letter: Audit

Filed under: — brendan @ 12:51 GMT

Today in the post we received a letter from the Revenue Commissioners letting us know that we’ve been selected for a Revenue audit for 2004. Gulp. Luckily we’ve got great accountants in Dublin who’re about to get the three file folders’ worth of stuff I kept, and they can go back over everything to make sure it all adds up. I guess this is an event that has to happen in your life—but I could sure do without it.

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