Thursday, December 31, 2015

Are you startin' or wha'?

If you're new in town and you want to have a little look around Skangerland then this is the place to start. A few old favourites:
Da Bertie Code
And that's why on Sundays we have a packet of Tayto and a pint of Bass
Garda Reserve
No Change Given
The Irish Sopranos
Bada Bing - they didn't call him the Boss for nothing
McDowell's other new job?
Mary Harney Decides
yeah but no but yeah but
Liffey Driving
Use it or lose it
Now check out a few more pages and we hope you see something you like. You'll find a mixture of the serious and the frivolous, but that's life and we make no apologies for it. Jaysus knows we could all do with a laugh the odd time.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Vuelta a España Calendar 2014 ics calendar Spain Espana #vuelta #vuelta2014 UPDATE:2014-08-24

Vuelta a España 2014 Calendar Subscribe or Download

Just in time… Well, almost…

As usual, you use and take this on an as-is basis, no warranty, etc. If you want to check it's legit then open it up in any text-editor and you can inspect the code. It's as accurate as we can make it (we'll be using these calendars ourselves) but we can't guarantee that it is error-free. If you spot any mistakes then do please let us know through the comments.

Version 2 corrects a few errors.

Download: Vuelta a España 2014 Calendar v1

Download: Vuelta a España 2014 Calendar v2

Subscribe to the Vuelta a España calendar:




Friday, August 08, 2014

How to Export and Save a Route or Track from Garmin Connect

Download gpx, tcx, fit, json, or gpolyline from the Garmin Connect Website

You can view routes and tracks online at Garmin's connect website, but it is not obvious how you  download a copy. Here's how to do it.

Look at the URL or web address of the Garmin Connect webpage. It should look something like this:

(This particular route is the Clonakilty Waterfront Marathon, but use whichever one you want.)

The part of the URL that you need is the string of numbers at the end, 3220309 in this case. Swap the numbers for the course you want into the links below to download the file.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Giro d'Italia Calendar 2014 ics calendar Italy Italia Ireland Irlanda Belfast Dublin #giro #giro2013

 Giro d'Italia Calendar Subscribe or Download

The Giro d'Italia 2014 calendar (v1) is available now. It's as accurate as we can make it, but use it at your own risk etc. If there are any changes or if more details are released, then we will update this to v2.


The links for subscribing to the Google calendar are the same:





The downloadable .ics file for this version is here:

Giro d'Italia 2014 Calendar v1


You can also get a calendar for the 2014 Tour de France

Monday, February 03, 2014

Tour de France Calendar 2014 ics calendar #tdf #tdf2014

Tour de France Calendar Subscribe or Download

As usual, you use and take this on an as-is basis, no warranty, etc. If you want to download to check it's legit then open it up in any text-editor and you can inspect the code. It's as accurate as we can make it (we'll be using these calendars ourselves) but we can't guarantee that it is error-free. If you spot any mistakes then do please let us know through the comments.

This is, of course, a very early version with only basic information. We'll update if and when we have more detail. In the meantime, enjoy.

Download: Tour de France 2014 Calendar v1

Subscribe to the 2014 Tour de France calendar:




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

MIRROR: WashingtonsBlog: These Programs Were Never About Terrorism: They’re About Economic Spying, Social Control, and Diplomatic Manipulation. They’re About Power

This is a mirror of an article posted on WashingtonsBlog. The original has been subjected to a "Reddit hug", so this is up in the meantime. I make no claim to ownership over the content.

The original should be available at:

 “These Programs Were Never About Terrorism: They’re About Economic Spying, Social Control, and Diplomatic Manipulation. They’re About Power”

Snowden Gives the Big Picture

Edward Snowden wrote yesterday about mass surveillance by the NSA:
These Programs were Never about terrorism: they’re about economic spying, social control, and diplomatic manipulation. They’re about power.
He’s right.

These Programs Were Never About Terrorism

The NSA started mass spying on Americans before 9/11 … and various excuses have been used over the years.
The NSA was already spying on American Senators and prominent Americans who spoke out against the Vietnam War more than 40 years ago.
The NSA has also been conducting industrial espionage for many decades.
There is no evidence that mass surveillance has prevented a single terrorist attack. And see this confirming opinion by a federal judge. On the contrary, top counter-terror experts say that mass spying actually hurts U.S. counter-terror efforts (more here and here).
If NSA spying were really focused on terrorism, our allies and companies wouldn’t be fighting back so hard against it.

Economic Spying

The NSA conducts widespread industrial espionage on our allies, such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, United Nations, the Vatican and the Pope, France, the leaders of Germany, Brazil and Mexico, the European Union, the European Parliament, the G20 summit, and at least 35 world leaders.
That has nothing to do with terrorism. Indeed, a confidential government memo admits that the spying didn’t help prevent terrorism:
The memo acknowledges that eavesdropping on the numbers had produced “little reportable intelligence”.
The NSA is also spying on the biggest financial payments systems such as VISA and Swift.
In a slide leaked by Edward Snowden, “economic” was one of the main justifications for spying.
The top U.S. spy’s justification for such financial spying is:
“We collect this information for many important reasons: for one, it could provide the United States and our allies early warning of international financial crises which could negatively impact the global economy. It also could provide insight into other countries’ economic policy or behavior which could affect global markets.”
(Top financial experts say that the NSA and other intelligence agencies are also using the information to profit from this inside information. And the NSA wants to ramp up its spying on Wall Street … to “protect” it.)

Diplomatic Manipulation

Spying on allies such as the United Nations, European Union, the European Parliament, the G20 summit, the Vatican and the Pope, and at least 35 world leaders is obviously at least partially aimed at gaining advantage in diplomatic negotiations.
Indeed, the United States Trade Representative is one of the “customers” of NSA data.

Social Control

History shows that mass spying is always focused on crushing dissentnot on keeping us safe.
High-level American government officials have warned for 40 years that mass surveillance would lead to tyranny. They’ve warned that the government is using information gained through mass surveillance in order to go after anyone they take a dislike to.
A lieutenant colonel for the Stasi East German’s – based upon his experience – agrees. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel – who grew up in Stasi Germany – says the NSA is exactly the same. Indeed, top American constitutional experts say that the Obama and Bush administration are not only worse than Nixon … but worse than the Stasi East Germans. They also say that NSA spying is exactly the type of oppression that the Founding Fathers launched the Revolutionary War to stop. And see this.
The NSA tracks users’ porn … to discredit them … just like J. Edgar Hoover did in the bad old days of the FBI. The NSA shares this information with a host of other agencies, such as the Departments of Justice and Commerce and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
(Indeed – as previously reported – all of the information gained by the NSA through spying is shared with federal, state and local agencies, and they are using that information to prosecute petty crimes such as drugs and taxes. The agencies are instructed to intentionally “launder” the information gained through spying, i.e. to pretend that they got the information in a more legitimate way … and to hide that from defense attorneys and judges.)
TechDirt points out:
It’s important to note here that the “targets” in this case are not US persons, and they all do appear to dislike the US, and some appear to have advocated for jihad against the US. However, as the report notes, most of them are not terrorists or even connected to any terrorist organization. They’re just activists and advocates who have spoken out criticizing the US. In one case, a guy was targeted for claiming that “the U.S. brought the 9/11 attacks upon itself” — an argument that plenty of respectable people have made. The lack of any terrorist connection is actually, stunningly, used against these individuals, as one NSA document notes that since they don’t communicate with terrorists it’s worse because it suggests “that the target audience includes individuals who do not yet hold extremist views but who are susceptible to the extremist message.”
A high-level NSA whistleblower says that the NSA is spying on – and blackmailing – top government officials and military officers, including Supreme Court Justices, high-ranked generals, Colin Powell and other State Department personnel, and many other top officials. And see this:

He says the NSA started spying on President Obama when he was a candidate for Senate:

Another very high-level NSA whistleblower – the head of the NSA’s global intelligence gathering operation – says that the NSA targeted CIA chief Petraeus.
And the main whistleblower on the NSA’s spying 40 years ago thinks that the NSA may be blackmailing its overseers in D.C.
And see this.
The proof is in the pudding: 2 former presidents, a vice president and a judge all warn that NSA spying is tyrannical.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Eircom eFibre and Your Mac: How to Get Them to Work Together

Apple Mac OS X and eircom eFibre

Some older Apple Mac computers, particularly those running OS X 10.6.8 or earlier, will not work with eircom's new eFibre router. If your iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro or even PowerBook hangs or freezes when you try to connect it to your eFibre network, then you'll need to adjust some settings to get it to connect.

[UPDATE: Some newer eircom eFibre routers are reportedly being supplied with updated firmware, so this fix may not be necessary.]

The eFibre router is a Zyxel F1000, an rebranding of the Zyxel P-2812HNU-Fx series. It can use a new internet system called IPv6. The details don't matter too much, but the problem is a clash between how eircom's router uses that system and how Apple implemented it in older versions of Mac OS X.

To fix the problem, you need to disable the new system and let the router revert to the older IPv4, which will play nicely with your older Mac. to start, switch the old Mac off so that it isn't frozen. Leave it off for now.

Configuring the eFibre Modem/Router

The first step is to access the control panel for the eFibre router. You do this through a web browser like Safari, Firefox or Chrome. Of course, your older Mac won't be able to get on the network to do this, but you can use a newer Mac, a PC or even an iPad or similar device. Anything that can run a browser will do. Borrow a machine if you need to - it'll only take a few minutes.

1 Login to Configuration

Launch the browser and enter the address into the browser's address bar. You should see something like this:

Leave the Username as admin and enter your wireless security key as the password. This key is, as the form says, printed on the back of the eFibre modem.

Once you've logged in, you might see a couple of screens asking you about settings, but you can click the Skip button and move on until you see a page of configuration options. It should look somehting like this:

(I've blurred out some details, but you get the idea.)

2 Network Settings > QoS

Point your mouse at Network Settings and select the QoS in the menu that appears. When you click QoS you get a new screen. Select the option labelled Class Setup. In the list shown, select the edit option for RTSP by clicking the icon:
In the QoS Classifier Edit window that opens, set From Interface to Local. Click Apply.

Back in the list, this time click the icon to edit Defualt (yes, they got the spelling wrong). In the editing window, change the Class Name to Default (to correct the error) and change this From Interface to Local, too. Click Apply.

3 Network Settings >  Home Networking

Now, again point your mouse at the main menu at the bottom of the screen. This time point it at Network Settings but click on the Home Networking option in the list that appears.

Scroll down to find the entry called LAN IPv6 Mode Setup. Select Disabled. Click Apply.

4 Network Settings >  Broadband

Once again, point your mouse at the entry for Network Settings in main menu. This time select the menu item Broadband. Click the edit button for ETHWAN. Set the IPv6/IPv4 Mode option to IPv4 Only. Click Apply.

Then do the same for the VDSL option. Click the edit button, set IPv6/IPv4 Mode option to IPv4 Only, and click Apply.

Now you can click Log Out (at the top right of the screen) and Yes to confirm.

Switch off the eFibre router. This will prevent your older Mac from hanging or crashing when you switch it on.

Configuring Mac OS X for eircom eFibre

Next you configure your Mac. Switch it on and let it start up. Because the eFibre router is switched off, your Mac shouldn't hang when it tries to connect to the network. It should start up normally, but it won't be online.

Open System Preferences (if you can't find it, click the Apple icon in the top left of the screen then click the option in that list). In System Preferences, select the option for Network.

Select the AirPort or Wi-Fi option (different versions of Mac OS X use different names, but it's basically the same thing). You'll then click either Configure… or Advanced… (again, different name, same thing).

(On some older Macs, you may need to use the Show menu to select AirPort or, later, Ethernet.)

Select the TCP/IP option. You'll see a Configure IPv6 option. Set it to Off.

Then select the DNS option. Enter for DNS Server, and for DNS Search. Click OK and Apply.

(On some older machines DNS settings are under the TCP/IP option. You'll see fields for DNS Servers and Search Domains. Enter the numbers there, then click Apply Now.)

Next, select Ethernet in the list on the left of the Network panel in System Preferences (or on some older machines, use Show to select Built-in Ethernet).

Repeat the same settings as you used for AirPort. Select the TCP/IP option and set  Configure IPv6 to Off. Select DNS, enter for DNS Server and for DNS Search. Click OK and Apply.

If you have more than one Ethernet port then you need to repeat this for each one.

Once you have done this for Wi-Fi (or AirPort) and Ethernet, you can restart your eFibre router. Once it has started up, your Mac should be able to connect to the network.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Citizens should not be penalised for using private police forces, by NOT Mary Mitchell O'Connor

A playful response to Mary Mitchell O'Connor's defence of taxpayer subsidies for private schools.

As we head into the budget next week, all eyes are on the possible changes that may be made to allow for an adjustment of somewhere in the region of €2.5 billion.

As a former Garda in a State-funded Garda Station, and as the chairwoman of the internal Fine Gael committee on Justice, I am fully aware of the importance of quality justice, quality policing and the impact the civilian/Garda ratio has on our citizens’ behaviour. A further increase in the citizen Garda ratio in next week’s budget would have a serious impact on our streets.

Some argue against the State contributing towards the policing of citizens who (having of course paid their income tax) can afford to employ private security firms that charge exorbitant fees. However, the reality is much more complex.

In some constituencies, such as the one I represent (Dún Laoghaire), historical policing decisions mean that citizens do not have much in the way of choice when it comes to referring their law and order issues to Department of Justice courts and Garda Stations.

Due to the fact that many of the private security firms in and around Dún Laoghaire did not go into the voluntary system in the 1960s, we now have a large number of fee-paying security firms and very few State-funded ones, which means that for many citizens, referring their law and order concerns to a fee-paying security firm is a matter of necessity rather than choice. Because of this historical overhang, and through no fault of their own, many customers of fee-charging security firms have been forced to stump up for their personal policing in order to refer their issues to a local security provider.

All citizens make choices regarding their personal policing based on a number of factors; whether or not the security provider is a local one, whether it is a single-sex or a co-ed Garda Station or has a particular religious ethos. I strongly believe that citizens should have that choice and that they should not be unnecessarily financially penalised for it.

Citizens of a minority faith have particularly little choice because most security providers of their ethos are fee-charging services, most do not exercise sexual discrimination, have penitentiary facilities and provide a wide service for a diverse population of citizens. Moreover, these security firms are few in number and often small and situated in rural areas such as Cavan, Monaghan, Offaly, Louth and Donegal. Any suggestion that these personal bodyguard firms should be penalised for catering for their minority community, irrespective of wealth and conduct, is totally at odds with the principles and values for which Irish society should stand for [sic].

During the course of the debate about fee-paying security firms, a realistic view of our financial circumstances has been lacking. Some suggest that reducing or withdrawing the State subvention to private security will save the State money, the slack for which will be taken up by citizens. The reality is, however, that if the State ceased or reduced funding to private security guards, many citizens who refer their personal security to private firms, and who were once able to afford fee-paying vigilantism but are now struggling, would be forced to take their personal protection needs out of private security and instead send them into the public system. This will increase demand for public policing services, which are already seriously limited in some areas, heaping additional costs on the State in the process.

The spotlight being placed by the Department of Justice on fee-paying security will cost jobs, hurt citizens, and, in many cases, force private policing firms to join the State sector, where they will cost the taxpayer more than they do now.

Many citizens in constituencies that do not have a sufficient number of Gardaí, like Dun Laoghaire, are paying colossal mortgages for modest 3/4 bedroom semi-detached homes. Many of these people have lost their jobs due to the recession or have taken serious cuts in their salaries, making providing for a private, and locally based, police force a struggle.

Now is not the time to have an ideological debate that would result in exorbitant additional costs to the State while putting serious pressure on and doing damage to our public policing system in the process.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tour of Britain Calendar 2013 ics calendar British Cycling

As usual, you use and take this on an as-is basis, no warranty, etc. If you want to check it's legit then open it up in any text-editor and you can inspect the code. It's as accurate as we can make it (we'll be using these calendars ourselves) but we can't guarantee that it is error-free. If you spot any mistakes then do please let us know through the comments.

The entries include the stage length in kilometres and miles (for the Americans and olde worlde Brits ;) ) and listings for intermediate sprints (S) and for climbs (C1 for category 1, C2 for category 2, etc.), with distances for each.
We'll update if and when we have more detail. In the meantime, enjoy.

Download: Tour of Britain 2013 Calendar v1

Subscribe to the Tour of Britain calendar:




PS We hope to have a World Championship calendar available in the next few days. Oh well…