New Irish site for Vehicle Registration Tax

Vrt IrelandIn July of 2008 the Irish government intend to change the way it determines the amount of tax to pay to register a car in Ireland. The old model was based on the size of the engine while the new model will be based on the Co2 emissions from the car. The same model will be used to determine the amount of road tax to pay for new vehicles.
I was looking for information on Vehicle Registration Tax and found it hard to find a site that would let me compare the various cars in a band. There are sites out there where I can look for a particular model and see the emissions for that car but no site would compare ‘All cars in emission Band A’ .

I decide to create a site myself. Its very basic at the moment and provides tables for each car type as well as one very large table that contains all of the cars and allows the user to sort by band. I’m using the wp-Table plugin to build each of the tables on the site. This plugin uses a mysql table to store the various rows of each table. It also allows you to upload the data in CSV format which helped a lot.

Visit the site here...


Ever want to run your web application on Google’s infrastructure?

Well now you can….

Google just launched a preview of their app enigne. You can read all about it here.

With Google App Engine, developers can write web applications based on the same building blocks that Google uses, like GFS and Bigtable. Google App Engine packages those building blocks and provides access to scalable infrastructure that we hope will make it easier for developers to scale their applications automatically as they grow. This means they can spend less time dealing with system administration and maintenance, and more time building and improving their applications. (There’s more detail on the new App Engine Blog.)

I tried to sign up but it looks like the first 10,000 have already applied. You can still download the API from here in the mean time if you want.

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Daylight robbery in M&S Ireland

At a time when the Euro is getting very close to the 80 pence mark, M&S in dublin are ripping people off with an exchange rate of 55 pence to the Euro.

See the example below, a packet of puff biscuits that retails for 99p sterling was being sold for 1.79 Euro in M&S in Dundrum.

Exchange rate rip off in M&S Dundrum

I can understand that not all shops are going to update their prices every week to keep in line with the current exchange rate but an exchange rate of 55 pence is disgraceful.

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Should an agency be allowed to update your Resume/CV?

Jakub Korab of the Dublin Java users group raises some good arguments about agencies updating a CV before submitting it to an employer.

The logic being that the agency does not want the employer to contact me later on without them involved. While I appreciate the logic behind the practice, and have no problem with submitting a resume without contact details, I take objection to it……
Pasting an agency logo onto my CV without my permission is at the very least undesirable. I do not work through any given recruitment agency before a contract is signed, and do not wish to be represented as such.

As a result Jakub has decided to only distribute his CV in pdf format.  I did have my CV in pdf format in the past but changed it back to word format as some agencies would only except this format.

I have never had a problem with agencies removing my contact details from my CV but he makes a very important point about turning up for an interview and seeing a CV representing you badly formated. The post is well worth a read.

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Need an end to end web solution using the latest Frameworks?

…then check out iWebMVC.

I came across this framework during the week via Ajaxian. It provides an end to end solution with all of the plumbing in place for DWR, Dojo, Spring and Hibernate/JPA. This is a great place to start for someone that wants to get up and running fast with inner plumbing in place for these frameworks. Here is what the developer Jose Noheda said he was looking for from the project:

Nonetheless, in my mind what I really needed was a platform that:

  • Is based on Java
    Although supporting Grooy / JRuby is a plus
  • Helps me to kick start a project
    But simplifying the process by giving me the best (and this can be tricky) set of frameworks for each task
  • Integrates both server and client sides
    And it’s lightweight, robust and extensible. Read enterprise quality.
  • Supports all the common tasks a web app has to handle
    I include here: User Management, CRUD operations, i18n support (both framework & data), AJAX and astounding visuals

The project is only at the preview stage so it does come with caveats. When you start up the app you get a sample app showing some of the Dojo widgets in action as well as some screens demonstrating basic CRUD operations.

If you want find out more you can download the project from here or check out Jose’s blog here.