Tag Archives: internet

Broadband Panaceas

 

The recent release of new economic growth measures has prompted once again again a debate on regional, from which we can generally read urban versus rural, development in Ireland. To listen to some commentators you would imagine that beyond the M50 ring-road or beyond Blarney there is an economic wasteland, with those few people remaining in their 90s and an infrastructure barely out of the 18th-century.

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Parliamentary Committee on Communications member confuses browsers with websites

Sigh

What can one say…

Patrick O’Donovan is a member of the Dail Committee on Communications. The government of which he is a member is mad keen on the aul knowledge economy, cloud commuters and all that.

Today, he has called for opensource  internet browsers to be banned. Yep. Hard to see how we will access the net and email each other but hey… Its a small price to pay for safety. The leading opensource browser, with 15-20% of web traffic, is Firefox. Ban this filth now.

He seems, but a statement (which wont come of course) would be nice to clear it up. to have confused darknet sites such as Silk Road with browsers. or maybe he is thinking about Bitcoin? or TOR?

This is worrying. This man, who is also a trained industrial chemist, either doesnt know or care that sites are not browsers. Its also worrying that instead of calling for more cracking down on illegal activity he invokes censorship memes. Do FG want a Shure tis Grand Firewall ? Are we to follow Iran, Burma and China?

Mistaking browsers for sites is the equivalent of mistaking a pencil for a novel.

MOOC and me

So, starting a MOOC next week, on astrobiology and the search for extra terrestrial life. Hosted by coursera, it's out of Edinburgh. I'm interested to see how it works, and in particular the way it works as a student. MOOCs aren't going to replace the traditional way of doing higher education, but they are a massively important complement.

I do worry that no Irish university has taken an initiative on this. I suspect that the internal bureaucracy plus the perception that this would cost a lot in a time of scarce resources and a small intersecting set of interesting academics/tech open academics/interesting areas is the cause. Maybe a start might be for the HEA to ask each uni to do one, and to pick up the tab? Given we want to encourage more students from foreign parts to come to Ireland it might be a very cheap way to get a few tens of thousands of potential students to have a gander?