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Just as a small note, I’m off in Kuortane in Finland at the moment. Middle of nowhere, frozen bog and tundra all around, closing in on the artic circle and nothing as far as you can see outside the sports center here but wind and snow and wolves.

And I have a 256Mbit broadband connection to the apartment in the sports centre, and so do all the other 53 rooms in the facility, and there’s a free wifi hotspot downstairs.

So tell me Eircom, if the finns can get 256Mbit out to the middle of nowhere and then another hundred miles over to Kuortane, past -7C weather when it’s mild and -30C when it’s not, past moose and wolves and ice and snow; what the bloody hell is so damn difficult about getting 24Mbit broadband to the middle of Dublin City?… Read the rest

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Joel Spolsky, Snake-Oil Salesman

snakeoil If there is a lecturer in TCD’s CS department that doesn’t know of the problems and issues Joel just raised in his Capstone Projects post, they’re a rare bird indeed. But what Joel hasn’t mentioned — and what those lecturers can tell you because they’ve been debating it for decades, writing papers on it, holding conferences and have published peer-reviewed journals on the topic, as opposed to Joel’s one blog post — are that there are very specific and very good reasons why CS and CEng undergraduate courses don’t get to cover all the industry tools Joel uses.… Read the rest

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Why seeding is important for random functions…

Like many people these days, I use facebook to track what’s going on with friends and family I don’t get to see as often as I would have done in years past. Long work days, large numbers of balls in the air and general “stuff” prevents actual face time far too often, but while it’s not the same as a night spent laughing over a beer, it’s better to note that a friend has a new job or that there’s a new baby en route or whatever over facebook than not at all.

And of course, facebook has games. Which is handy sometimes, for those moments when you have literally six or seven minutes to fill – too much time to sit still and be bored, too little to get anything real started.… Read the rest

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