TechCrunch Europas

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Techcrunch have started the voting in the Europas which according to them is

the tech innovation awards honouring the best tech companies and startups across the web and mobile scene from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The awards will be announced on the 9th of July in a ceremony in London. You can vote here in the categories.

I would like to bring your attention to a few of the nominess and ask you to vote for them.

Decisions for Heroes is nominated in the Best Social Innovation (which benefits society, EMEA) Category. Decisions for Heroes is an Irish start-up witha great future ahead of it!

Loudervoice is nominated in the Best Web Application Or Service (EMEA) Category. Loudervoice is a great review website and is on the up and up!

Best of luck to all those nominated!

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An interview with Alan and Enda – Organisers of TeenCamp Ireland


Alan (@alancostello) and Enda (@Endac) are the two young ‘techies’ that are organising this months TeenCamp Ireland in the FilmBase in Dublin. They are both 17 years old and have taken on a task of organising an event for teenagers (and people 20+ I am assured) who are interested in tech.

So who are these young ‘techies’? I had an opportunity to find out more so I took it!

Alan is according to his online bio “blogger, Twaddict (Twitter addict!), TeenCamp co-creator, and general tall guy”. He is 17 from Leixlip, Co. Kildare, and in 6th year in Coláiste Chiarián. He has a blog too, at Alancostello.com.

Enda is also 17 and is from Cork. He is a 6th year in Ashton. He also is a blogger, he blogs at Contrar.ie

So how did they get into tech? Enda says he started off on Windows 95 and by mainly teaching himself. He found Windows 95 to be quite “child friendly” he then worked up from there. Alan says tech was “always been something I’ve wanted to know all about” from his “first V-Tech ‘laptop'” to the tape deck computers at his mothers work and right up to now with his iPhone.

So how did these two meet? Well Enda can’t remember and it falls to Alan to fill us in. He explains that his “cousin is best friends with one of his friends, and we just became good friends”, they met in Cork last summer (or Was it Dublin, asks Enda, Alan confirms it was Cork)

So where the idea for TeenCamp come from? A conversation on twitter. According to Alan “talk of the Irish Web Awards led to talk of BarCamp, which led to us talking about an event for teenagers and people like us” which led to “some blog posts on it, the feedback was fantastic” adds Enda.

Alan continues “The feedback has been great, loads of teens all over the country (and world) have asked if we needed help, and with less than two weeks to go we think we will have to take some of them up on their offers”. Enda also said that they will be “asking for more help along the way” from the volunteers. Which to me is a sign of good organisation!

The event is being held in the FilmBase and I asked how easy was it to come up with a venue, “actually” replies Enda “Pretty hard”, “Easy to find, hard to book” added Alan. In aiming for “a more relaxed atmosphere” that meant staying away from “hotel meeting center/conference kind-of place” explained Enda. Alan stated that “Temple Bar was the main idea, just seemed like our scene” (“Temple Bar is not my scene” Enda was quick to add that one!) “Filmbase was perfect” continued Enda “but I don’t know if we’d have many alternatives after that.”

Sponsorship for these types of events are always important so I asked them how they were getting on with that and what feedback they were getting. Enda said it was mainly “positive responses, until talk of money”, but they do have sponsors they assure me!

The day itself looks to be an interesting and the lads promise as much. “People have volunteered through the registration form to give talks on a wide variety of topics” according to Alan and Alan himself is giving a talk at the event on integration but there will also be talks on subjects such as coding, gaming, culture and many more, but according to Enda their is a more important aspect to TeenCamp then the talks, Networking. He explains “I think we want to provide as many opportunities for people to network. That’s what I noticed at the meet-ups, IWA and *Camps is in-between the talks. The conversation is just a huge part. If everyone in the room came away knowing one other person they didn’t already know – that would be fantastic, because they’ll keep the relationships up and (hopefully) more events and things will come from it”. “And that’s also the other point behind TeenCamp, we wanted something for us, the youth of Ireland” adds Alan “But the talks, giving a chance to learn about something you didn’t necessarily know about before, will be an important part”.

So with two weeks to go and School back this week are the lads feeling the pressure? “I thought about setting fire to Ashton last night. Don’t know if you could call that pressure though” replied Enda. And Alan? “Well, I’ve got mocks the first two weeks of February, so I’m stressing out a bit”

So what have friends and family thought of this? Enda explains that most things involving him and tech lead to a “meh” response and his with his friends? ” I get as far as the word “teen” with my friends and they’re on the floor” Alan’s mother “doesn’t really understand it, to her it’ll just be another day in town with friends” and to his friends not going to it “don’t get the point either”. But the reaction from people in Tech as made it all worthwhile. “We’ve had great reactions, people from the tech world have been entirely for the event,” said Alan “many of them said it was needed too”.

Do they see TeenCamp becoming an annual event? “We haven’t really given much thought into the future of the event,” replied Alan “after we see how this first one goes we will definitely think about it, maybe even making it more than annual. But I would assume as we get old we could pass the organising torch onto someone else”. “If the demand and turnout (on the day) is big enough” according to Enda “I’d certainly be up for another one”

The event is open to all from 13 to 20+ (“its all about inner-child Stephen!” – Enda), it takes place on January 17th and the lads promise it will be “lovely” and “It’s gonna rock” and “tell your friends.”

So do what they say! Tell your friends and check it out yourself! I’ll be there, will you?

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Microsoft Ireland Hacked!

Yesterday someone tweeted that Microsoft’s Irish website, microsoft.ie was hacked. I managed to get a screenshot of it before it got taken down. It has the highest views of all my pictures on Flickr. Currently 410 views!, would love to know where they came from but not buying a pro account just to find out!

Microsoft Ireland Hacked

Any one know anything about these hackers?

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TeenCamp Ireland

There is a name and a website and a registartion form! What are you still doing here? Get over there and sign up!

But well done to @endac and @designneverdies and who ever else is helping out!

Youth Tech Event – The Yewt Meetup

@Endac and others are organising a Youth Tech event and want ideas and stuff! take a pop over to contrar.ie and give some!

Also spread the word!

Update: Alan is also helping to organise it so tell him your ideas too!

I am Twitter Elite

Well in Cork anyway! Thats according to Twitter Grader which rates me as number 13 in Cork! Below is my current grading.

In other twitter news, I was interviewed over on tweetabix.com, so check out my interview

I think thats enough twitter stuff…

PS Dont forget you can follow me on twitter!

RTÉ Digital Radio

Since I got online this evening I have been listening to the 6 new Digital Radio Channels launched by RTÉ today. The 6 channels are: RTÉ Choice, RTÉ Junior, RTÉ Gold, RTÉ 2XM, RTÉ Pulse and RTÉ Chill. You can listen to them via DAB Radio’s or on the web via Real Player or Windows Media.

A look at the stations.

RTÉ Choice is a mainly non-music channel. It features content from RTÉ Radio, BBC World Service, America’s National Public Radio (NPR) network, Deutsche Welle, Radio Netherlands, Radio France International among others.

RTÉ Junior is RTÉ’s kids channel. I obviously missed all the programming for the day. It is aimed at children aged 2 to 12 the station will broadcast chart music, nursery rhymes and bedtime stories.

RTÉ Gold is a playlist radio station with no talking! Which is both good and bad. No annoying presenters, but how do you find out what the song is called!!! RTÉ Gold features music from the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s. They also include album tracks that might not have been released. Which exasperates the no presenter problem in my mind!

RTÉ 2XM is RTÉ 2FM’s sister station and features alternative music from both international and local artists. This channel has plenty of shows using DJ’s from 2FM and new DJ talent to come up with some highly interesting looking shows.

RTÉ Pulse is RTÉ dance station and is really cool in my opinion. I have turned into a dance head recently. Whats really interesting about RTÉ Pulse is that at 8pm on Wednesday there will be a Gay show on it called “The Cosmopolitan” presented by Scott De Buitléir and it will be in Irish and English. The blurb of the show is as follows

Join Scott De Buitléir every Wednesday evening on The Cosmopolitan from 6pm (8pm??). Scott will provide high-quality dance floor remixes of what’s currently topping the charts as well as plenty information and all the latest news for the LGBT communities around Ireland. Mixes will come from the likes of the Freemasons and Richi Rich, along with the best broadcasts from Gaydar Radio. Think of it as a pre-clubbing event, coming to you from your very own radio!

Scott began working as a presenter for various different radio stations since he was 15 and won Comórtas Réalt DJ (in association with Foras na Gaeilge and TG4) at the age of 18 in 2006.

He is also hot!

I am looking forward to listening to the show on Wednesday it should be interesting! Especially the fact that RTÉ will be rebroadcasting Gaydar Radio!!!!!

RTÉ Chill starts at 9pm -7am and is a playlist only station playing an eclectic mix of ambient, electronica and chill out
music from the ‘80s to the present day. Not my cup of tea normally but I might listen to it

Twitter and Me

Yes, yet another post about twitter but this about some cool stuff! So firstly I am addicted since I have discovered how to use twitter via my mobile phone and so keeps me entertained on the way to work and home from work if Claire is off. Below is a graph from tweetstats.com of tweeting and this month it has exploded!

tweetstats - nov 08

I went from 1 tweet in September to 370 in October to a wopping 870 in November!

The number of people I follow on Twitter has alos increased, and so therefore I am interacting with more people on it! I have had some fascinating converstaion, with some fastinating people. You may have noticed a little counter appear under my twitter feed on the right, this is my twittercounter. Its hear as well in case you are blind or using an RSS Feed

TwitterCounter for @spiller2

What you might not know is that I have created two Twitter bots. One for this blog StevemyOpinion which has TwitterCounter for @stevemyopinion and FineGaelNews which has TwitterCounter for @finegaelnews

Then there is a cool Yahoo! Pipes Twitter Freinds yoke that makes map of where you twitter feeds are coming from. Below are two of mine that are already out of date!

World Map:
My Twittermap: World

UK & Ireland
Twittermap: UK & Irl

I also found this cool site called Tweetabix which looks at people who use twitter and ask them all sorts of interesting questions!

Do check out twitter and if you join follow me!

URL Shortening

There are loads of cool ways out there of shortening ugly urls (esp blogger ones!) out there. I have used a number of them. TinyURL, URL.ie and bit.ly (mainly because its integrated to Tweetdeck) but I recently came across one that puts then all to shame, and that is Short.ie

Short.ie is an amazing service and one that I love. It actually allows you to see how many (if any) people have clicked on it! Excellent stuff! Gordon explains it way better then I could!

Skimmer Update

Well following may last post on skimmers it was on the front page of the Evening Echo (Im the Bank Customer) but it seams the Ulster Bank on Patrick St was also hit by the same people and people have been caught by that one.

So people beware

UPDATE: Front Page (PDF)