Radio Garden…

Radio Garden is an interesting website I came across a while ago that allows the exploration of radio around the globe with ease. While it does have sections on History, Jingles and Stories, the most interesting feature is the ability to browse radio stations geographically and listen to them live. The website seems very well put together, working smoothly across a range of devices, making it useful for general purpose browsing and playing if your favourite stations are geographically spread.

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Website of the month, February 2014…

The website of the month for February 2014 is, a website that gives information about Brian Boru (“Emperor of the Irish”) and links to information about the events being held this year to mark 1000 years since his death. There is a nice summary of events taking place, for example, here. It’s amazing that a man from Thomond made such a mark on history that he inspires such events a millennium later.


This photo of Killaloe, where Brian was born, has been one of the images that shows on the homepage of for a number of years.

I think Brian Boru’s story and Irish mythology in general (for some details of Brian’s life, such as how he died, have descended into legend) is ripe for dramatisation, like recent films and television series such as Thor, Robin Hood and Merlin.

Website of the month, January 2013…

The website of the month for January 2013 is Emigration Isle, a website that documents and illustrates periods of Irish emigration over the past two centuries. As well as being a well-put-together website, there is much enlightening information such breakdowns of numbers of emigrants per province for different waves of emigration. The website also places a heavy emphasis on case studies, allowing visitors to get a better understanding of the reasons behind the emigration.

I leave you with a related song, written from the perspective of someone who now resides in California but is thinking about their home in Spancil Hill, Co. Clare.

Spancil Hill – Composer: Michael Considine, Arranged and performed by The Dubliners

Website of the month, October 2012…

The website of the month for October 2012 is Local Myths and Legends, a website dedicated to documenting local myths and legends and providing this information in an easily-accessible and visually pleasing way. Of interest to residents of, and visitors to, Cambridge will be the Fen Tiger – a panther-like creature that supposedly stalks the Cambridgeshire countryside. Unfortunately, the website appears to be in a dormant state – the Ireland section, for example, seems to be empty and the website’s Twitter account hasn’t seen any tweets since late 2009. While it seems to ultimately be a demonstration of the abilities of the website’s creator(s) rather than someone’s ongoing hobby, it would be nice if it kept going – not all of the world’s information is best refined on and presented via Wikipedia.

Website of the month, June 2012…

The website of the month for June 2012 is thou shalt not commit logical fallacies – a handy and good-looking website and creative commons licensed poster with quick explanations of a range of logical fallacies. Apologies for the slight lateness of this post – this month has been and will continue to be unusually busy for me. However, I have built up a larger than usual range of links to share and have enough time to do them all reasonable justice. πŸ™‚

Dead Drops is an interesting anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network consisting of USB flash drives are embedded into walls, buildings and curbs accessible to anybody in public space. The size of the network seems to be increasing at a good pace too, so keep an eye on it if there are none near you currently!

You may have missed a few less-obvious bits of mobile news lately amongst the various announcements from Apple, HTC, Samsung, Sony and others. Here are some fascinating illustrations of which smartphone designers/manufacturers are making money today and how this has been changing over the last 5 or so years. This is an interesting insight into what those companies are cooking up for late 2012 and some of 2013. Hopefully we’ll see more software able to put the increasingly excessive power and speed to good use.

Google recently produced a friendly animation explaining the process of sending an email via Gmail – potentially insightful if you don’t know how a lot of the magic of the Internet happens. It features landline broadband with a Wi-Fi router on one end and a cellular (mobile) network on the other end, which leads me to a piece of information the companies above should find interesting: the HTC HD2 is one of the most popular Android phones according to one study (34th, if I’ve counted correctly), despite being shipped with a completely different operating system. Also, speaking of Android, you can now get USB sticks that run Android increasingly cheaply.

I have a few links on broader research this month too: researchers at the MIT Media Lab have been up to some pretty cool stuff with magnets, Monmouth (in Wales) has become the world’s first Wikipedia town, Starlite is a miracle material that could be lost forever, the Map of Life brings together in an easily-usable way all types of information about species distribution to support the understanding and protection of the world’s biodiversity.

In other news, Cambridge University Press, the world’s oldest printing and publishing company, is handing its printing business – it does make sense to print books closer to where they are needed, though there are many other other arguments for and against what is truly the end of an era. It was also nice to see the Olympic torch in Ireland, you can view an informative and historically accurate recreation of the great pyramids from your browser here and this website and the screensavers it hosts are good.

Finally, I leave you with two nice tracks from the recently released Madagascar 3 soundtrack and news that I hope to do one or two further posts this week, but will then be too busy to post for a few weeks again.

New York City Surprise

Rescue Stefano

Website of the month, March 2012…

The website of the month for March 2012 is which hosts, amongst other things, a few sample applications (and source code) that are both useful to use and useful as example code for interfacing with various APIs. Personally, I’ve found this P2P video and voice chat system to be a quick and useful solution to having a video chat with someone on the same network such that the Internet is avoided.

In other news, here is an interesting article about a monument created in Ireland at an impressive speed by a local developer and others in protest against the Irish government. This article examines the growing economic gaps between cities in the UK, choosing Cambridge as its example of a city doing well. πŸ™‚

It also looks like I may have finally found my HD3 – the HTC One X. One of the main reasons I prefer the One X to the One S (previously known as the HTC Ville) is that, like the HD2, it doesn’t have much of a bezel around the screen. The finishes used on the One S sound amazing though both devices are slightly worryingly large. It has been a long while since HTC has gone all-out like this, though I do find the non-replaceable battery and fixed amount of memory a little annoying – as nice as the free included 25GB of Dropbox storage sounds, typical data allowances (in the British Isles, at least) are only a fraction of this, rendering it unusable when Wi-Fi is unavailable. Some of the other phones announced at Mobile World Congress such as the LG Optimus 4X HD and Huawei Ascend D Quad are also tempting, but I suspect that the One X will prove to be a more complete package in full reviews (I hope to revert to doing little fiddling my main personal phone, keeping my HD2 as my development device and perhaps updating it separately someday). Anyway, below is a video of the One X – the first truly exciting and reasonably-priced phone for a long while.

Finally, below are two videos worth watching – the first a cool time-lapse starscape called “Temporal Distortion” (similar to the last video in my previous post, if you liked that), and the second a nice short animation called “No Robots”.

Temporal Distortion

No Robots

New look for Magners…

Magners has a new look. What do you think? I like the style of the apple/pear and the new ‘A’ in the Magners logo but find the text around the edge of the label more difficult to read and the ‘Magners’ that’s part of the bottle’s glass looks a bit messy. However, I did recently purchase a Magners Specials gift pack which had labels in the same style – they had nice embossing and generally seemed higher quality and better attached to their bottles than the old Magners labels. I think the new look is growing on me. πŸ™‚