Omnibus edition

July 28th, 2005 | by Andrew Ó Baoill |

I’ve spent most of the past week or two travelling and entertaining visitors, so I’ve fallen a little behind in posting various items that I would generally try to cover on this blog, so it’s time for a bumper compendium:

  • The website for Radio Research Ireland, a new network of individuals and organisations who share an interest in Irish radio and research, has been launched. The site is run out of Mary Immaculate College in Limerick, home of Wired FM, and is co-ordinated by Rosemary Day, who I know from my time with Flirt FM. There are currently 16 members listed, from industry professionals and regulators to academics, and the list of interests of the members gives a good overview of the types of research currently being undertaken. One to watch.
  • Alternet has a good overview of the history and current state of the prosecution of Steve Kurtz of the Critical Artists Ensemble. It’s over a year since I pointed to the story here and some readers may not be aware of it, so I recommend reading up on it. You can also contribute to Steve’s legal costs.
  • Jennifer Whitney of LiP magazine has posted an interesting review of Indymedia, highlighting a number of shortcomings. While I don’t agree with everything she writes she does provide some food for thought.
  • SEIU and the Teamsters left the AFL-CIO. While I appreciate the many problems within the U.S. union movement, I find it difficult to see how a split movement (with the poaching that is likely to occur) will be of use. I should also point to my friend Zwichenzug who is providing some of the most thoughtful analysis I’ve encountered on this issue.
  • A second case involving prosecution for using an open WiFi network was highlighted. As someone who regularly uses wireless connectivity – generally, but not exclusively, in coffee houses that provide their own access points – this is a somewhat perplexing development. While many internet users, particularly in places like Ireland where broadband connections have traffic caps (in the region of several GB), may wish to restrict access by others, surely a reasonable approach is the use of passwords or (as more technically adept friends have implemented) hidden networks with MAC address white-lists, rather than leaving networks open to the elements and then blaming others for assuming the open nature implied consent. I’d blame ISPs and others for shipping routers with access security turned off by default, but I’d be worried that they would start supplying equipment that was incapable of allowing open access….
  • The IRA has announced an end to armed operations. The wording of the statement is generally good, though like others I’ve seen enough wiggling by the IRA in recent years to be sceptical of anything they produce. In particular, the statement says nothing about future recruiting by the IRA and they don’t specifically address issues such as criminal activity (something with whichthey have continued to be involved during their ceasefire). As ever, however, hope springs eternal.

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