Category Archives: Society News

Open Data Hackathon

Last Saturday (22nd February),  we hosted a hackathon to celebrate open data day. Participants had to generate and develop ideas around any open data they wanted. To help out, we had a handy page to help kickstart some ideas.

Pizza was served midway as the participants took a breather, and then it was back to work for them all.

At the end of the day, we had some casual presentations at each team’s desks and gave out some raspberry pis as prizes.

First to present was a group that were trying to make a “timetable that actually reflects what time the buses arrive at” by comparing the scheduled times to the ones given via the Dublin Bus API. Seeing all the busstops mapped out on Google Maps was very impressive.

Next, we checked out the largest group, who were creating a system for tallying election votes as quick as possible via an interactive webapp. The data generated by this app could be opened up to the public and used to assist governmental parties.

A solo hacker visualized earthquakes around the world as they happened. A surprising amount of earthquakes happen every day and it was pretty neat watching earthquakes and their aftershocks show up onscreen.

Also created on the day were automatically generated music playlists based on a year’s chart hits and an investigative study as to whether there were correlations between each U.S. state’s drug use, and the amount of U.F.O. sightings in that state.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a definitive answer to this question, but it did seem to match up in many states.

Creative Commons – Maximising Digital Creativity, Sharing and Innovation

On Friday 17th January, Creative Commons and University College Cork’s Law Faculty came together to organise a conference during Copyright Week.

There were a multitude speakers at the event, with talks from people involved in the legal side of things, to creators of content and how it affected them and their work.

The keynote speaker of the event was David Post, writer of the most cited paper on Internet Law in modern day. Considering this paper was written back in 1996, “Law and Borders: The Rise of Law in Cyberspace” is impressively the 2nd-most cited intellectual property article of all time.

Alongside him were a total of eleven other speakers hailing from all over, including representatives of Digital Rights Ireland & the Open Knowledge Foundation.

The event was held in the National Gallery of Ireland, right next door to Trinity. A gorgeous venue that was packed on the day. One of the speakers came from the National Gallery herself and spoke about the difficulties they faced on a daily basis with the current restrictive copyright laws.

Photos under CC from kalexanderson & Creative Commons Ireland

Christopher “moot” Poole – Founder of 4chan visits The Pirate Party

Christopher “moot” Poole,  Founder of gave a talk followed by a Q&A last Thursday. moot talked for a little bit about the history of . It was quite an entertaining event with many opportunities for 4chaners to ask moot anything.

There was a large number of people in attendance and we apologise to anyone who could not find a seat. Hope to see everyone at the next event! :)

Tom Murphy Event

Thanks to everyone who came to the recent Tom Murphy event. Tom told many interesting stories about his experiences during the early days of the internet and how he came to create . He also shared his insight into the current state of copyright law in Ireland.

Pints and platters were had in The Longstone Pub afterwards which I’m sure everyone enjoyed. Hope to see you all at the next event! :)

Movie Screening – “We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks”

On Tuesday 8th October at 6pm we will be screening the movie “We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks”. The event will be held in the Hamilton Building East End Lecture Theatre 2. This is downstairs at the far end of the Hamilton building.

There will be a short debate/discussion afterwards. Is Wikileaks a force for good? Come along and let us know what you think!