jm + ireland   351

Irish Water responds to landlords’ questions
ugh, what a mess....
* Every rental unit in the State is to get a pack addressed personally to the occupant. If Irish Water does not have details of a tenant, the pack will be addressed to ‘The Occupier’
* Packs will only be issued to individual rental properties in so far as Irish Water is aware of them
* Landlords can contact Irish Water to advise they have let a property
* Application Packs are issued relative to the information on the Irish Water mailing list. If this is incorrect or out of date, landlords can contact Irish Water to have the information adjusted
* Irish Water will contact known landlords after the initial customer application campaign, to advise of properties for which no application has been received
* Irish Water said that when a household is occupied the tenant is liable and when vacant the owner is liable. Both should advise Irish Water of change of status to the property - the tenant to cease liability, the landlord to take it up.
Either party may take a reading and provide it to Irish Water, alternatively Irish Water will bill on average consumption, based on the date of change.
irish-water  water  ireland  liability  bills  landlords  tenancy  rental 
4 days ago by jm
Landlords not liable for tenants’ water bills
What an utter fuckup. Business as usual for Irish Water:
However the spokeswoman said application packs for rented dwellings would be addressed to the landlord, at the landlord’s residence, and it would be the landlord’s responsibility to ensure the tenant received the application pack.
Bills are to be issued quarterly, but as Irish Water will have the tenant’s PPS number, the utility firm will be able to pursue the tenant for any arrears and even apply any arrears to new accounts, when the tenant moves to a new address.
Last week landlords had expressed concern over potential arrears, the liability for them and the possibility of being used as collection agents by Irish Water.
landlords  ireland  irish-water  tenancy  rental  ppsn 
4 days ago by jm
Grade inflation figures from Irish universities
The figures show that, between 2004 and 2013, an average of 71.7 per cent of students at TCD graduated with either a 1st or a 2.1. DCU and UCC had the next highest rate of such awards (64.3 per cent and 64.2 per cent respectively), followed by UCD (55.8 per cent), NUI Galway (54.7 per cent), Maynooth University (53.7 per cent) and University of Limerick (50.2 per cent).
tcd  grades  grade-inflation  dcu  ucc  ucd  ireland  studies  academia  third-level 
7 days ago by jm
"Meta-Perceptual Helmets For The Dead Zoo"
with Neil McKenzie, Nov 9-16 2014, in the National History Museum in Dublin:

'These six helmets/viewing devices start off by exploring physical conditions of viewing: if we have two eyes, they why is our vision so limited? Why do we have so little perception of depth? Why don’t our two eyes offer us two different, complementary views of the world around us? Why can’t they extend from our body so we can see over or around things? Why don’t they allow us to look behind and in front at the same time, or sideways in both directions? Why can’t our two eyes simultaneously focus on two different tasks?

Looking through Michael Land’s defining work Animal Eyes, we see that nature has indeed explored all of these possibilities: a Hammerhead Shark has hyper-stereo vision; a horse sees 350° around itself; a chameleon has separately rotatable eyes…

The series of Meta-Perceptual Helmets do indeed explore these zoological typologies: proposing to humans the hyper-stereo vision of the hammerhead shark; or the wide peripheral vision of the horse; or the backward/forward vision of the chameleon… but they also take us into the unnatural world of mythology and literature: the Cheshire Cat Helmet is so called because of the strange lingering effect of dominating visual information such as a smile or the eyes; the Cyclops allows one large central eye to take in the world around while a second tiny hidden eye focuses on a close up task (why has the creature never evolved that can focus on denitting without constantly having to glance around?).'

(via Emma)
perception  helmets  dublin  ireland  museums  dead-zoo  sharks  eyes  vision  art 
7 days ago by jm
how King Cormac predicted Arguing On The Internet
From <a href='http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/cormac3.html'>The Wisdom of King Cormac</a>:

"O Cormac, grandson of Conn", said Carbery, "What is the worst pleading and arguing?" "Not hard to tell", said Cormac. "Contending against knowledge, contending without proofs, taking refuge in bad language, a stiff delivery, a muttering speech, hair-splitting, uncertain proofs, despising books, turning against custom, shifting one's pleading, inciting the mob, blowing one's own trumpet, shouting at the top of one's voice."
internet  arguing  history  ireland  king-cormac  hair-splitting  shouting  reddit 
8 days ago by jm
Eircode postcodes will cost lives, warn emergency workers
A group representing frontline emergency staff has warned lives will be lost unless the Government reverses its decision on a new national postcode system due to be rolled out next spring.

John Kidd, chairman of the Irish Fire and Emergency Services Association, said the “mainly random nature” of the Eircode system would mean errors by users would go unnoticed, as well as cause confusion and may be “catastrophic” in terms of sending services to the wrong location.

[....]

Neil McDonnell, general manager of the Freight Transport Association Ireland, said he understood Mr Kidd’s concerns. “Take, for example, two adjacent houses in Glasnevin, Dublin,” said Mr McDonnell. “One could be D11 ZXQ8, the other one D11 67TR. The four-character unique identifier is completely random, with no sequence or algorithm linking one house to the other.”
eircode  fail  postcodes  ireland  geo  location  gps  emergency 
9 days ago by jm
UK psyops created N. Irish Satanic Panic during the Troubles - Boing Boing
During the 1970s, when Northern Ireland was gripped by near-civil-war, British military intelligence staged the evidence of "black masses" in order to create a Satanism panic among the "superstitious" Irish to discredit the paramilitaries.

The secret history of imaginary Irish Satanism is documented in Black Magic and Bogeymen: Fear, Rumour and Popular Belief in the North of Ireland 1972-74, a new book from Sheffield University's Richard Jenkins, who interviewed Captain Colin Wallace, the former head of British Army "black operations" for Northern Ireland.
northern-ireland  1970s  the-troubles  ireland  uvf  ira  history  black-magic  satanism  weird  fear  mi5 
10 days ago by jm
DIRECT MARKETING - A GENERAL GUIDE FOR DATA CONTROLLERS
In particular:
Where you have obtained contact details in the context of the sale of a product or service, you may only use these details for direct marketing by electronic mail if the following conditions are met:

the product or service you are marketing is of a kind similar to that which you sold to the customer at the time you obtained their contact details
At the time you collected the details, you gave the customer the opportunity to object, in an easy manner and without charge, to their use for marketing purposes
Each time you send a marketing message, you give the customer the right to object to receipt of further messages
The sale of the product or service occurred not more than twelve months prior to the sending of the electronic marketing communication or, where applicable, the contact details were used for the sending of an electronic marketing communication in that twelve month period.
email  spam  regulations  ireland  law  dpc  marketing  direct-marketing 
28 days ago by jm
DublinDashboard
'provides citizens, public sector workers and companies with real-time information, time-series indicator data, and interactive maps about all aspects of the city. It enables users to gain detailed, up to date intelligence about the city that aids everyday decision making and fosters evidence-informed analysis.'
dublin  dashboards  maps  geodata  time-series  open-data  ireland 
29 days ago by jm
Open Invention Network Symposium on Open Source Software and Patents in Context
Dublin, 24th September 2014, hosted by Enterprise Ireland. Hosted by former Ubuntu
counsel (via gcarr)
via:gcarr  ubuntu  law  legal  open-source  floss  oss  oin  inventions  patents  swpat  software  ireland  ei  events 
5 weeks ago by jm
SI336 - current Irish anti-spam law
"European Communities (Electronic Communications Networks and Services) (Privacy and Electronic Communications) Regulations 2011". Spam is covered under 13.1, "Unsolicited communications", on page 16 of this PDF
spam  anti-spam  law  ireland  eu  ec  sms  email  si336  privacy  regulation 
6 weeks ago by jm
Irish Water Data Protection Notice: A review…
Tried and came up wanting. Particularly notable for its illegal "Marketing" section, which attempts to evade opt-in-required anti-spam law with a "consent landgrab" on SMS and email
irish-water  law  dpc  data-protection  privacy  spam  opt-in  si336  sms  email  ireland 
6 weeks ago by jm
Postcodes at last but random numbers don’t address efficiency
Karlin Lillington assembles a fine collection of quotes from various sources panning the new Eircode system:
Critics say the opportunity has been missed to use Ireland’s clean-slate status to produce a technologically innovative postcode system that would be at the cutting edge globally; similar to the competitive leap that was provided when the State switched to a digital phone network in the 1980s, well ahead of most of the world.
Instead, say organisations such as the Freight Transport Association of Ireland (FTAI), the proposed seven-digit format of scrambled letters and numbers is almost useless for a business sector that should most benefit from a proper postcode system: transport and delivery companies, from international giants like FedEx and UPS down to local courier, delivery and service supplier firms.
Because each postcode will reveal the exact address of a home or business, privacy advocates are concerned that online use of postcodes could link many types of internet activity, including potentially sensitive online searches, to a specific household or business.
eircode  government  fail  ireland  postcodes  location  ftai  random 
6 weeks ago by jm
The Broadcasting Association of Ireland and the NUJ agree: the internet must be regulated so that it can be 'brought into line'
'The Irish Times podcast ends with both the NUJ’s Seamus Dooley and Prof Kenny agreeing that somebody must regulate the internet so that it can be brought into line.'
regulation  ireland  law  dangerous  nuj  bai  journalism  censorship 
7 weeks ago by jm
Wiki Loves Monuments

Wiki Loves Monuments is an international photo contest, organised by Wikimedia [...]. This year, the Wikimedia Ireland Community are running the competition for the very first time in Ireland. The contest is inspired by the successful 2010 pilot in the Netherlands which resulted in 12,500 freely licensed images uploaded to Wikimedia Commons. It has grown substantially since its inception; in 2013 369,589 photographs were submitted by 11,943 participants from over 50 countries. Cultural heritage is an important part of the knowledge that Wikipedia collects and disseminates. An image is worth a thousand words, in any language and local enthusiasts can (re)discover the cultural, historical, or scientific significance of their neighbourhood. The Irish contest, focussing on Ireland’s national monuments, runs from August 23 - September 30. Follow our step-by-step guide to find out how you can take part.
wikipedia  wikimedia  images  monuments  history  ireland  contests  creative-commons  licensing 
7 weeks ago by jm
EcoJel jellyfish identification card
To identify the jellyfish found in Irish waters -- good, recognisable photos
jellyfish  identification  ecojel  ireland  sea  swimming  safety  id-cards 
8 weeks ago by jm
WWN’S Guide To Abortion In Ireland
"Why are you still reading this? Go to England!"

funny because it's (horribly) true.
abortion  ireland  politics  women  rights  wwn  england  ovaries  rosaries  religion 
8 weeks ago by jm
BAI says Mooney Show was wrong to broadcast programme supporting same-sex marriage
This is a terrible decision. As Fintan O'Toole wrote afterwards: [The] 'BAI decision actually makes the point: a gay couple is a political "issue"; a straight couple is just a couple'
ireland  law  bai  radio  derek-mooney  same-sex-marriage  gay  equal-rights 
9 weeks ago by jm
Google's mighty mess-up on 'right to be forgotten' - Independent.ie
In this context, the search giant says that it has "a team of people reviewing each application individually". Really? Did this team of people decide that redacting links to an article reporting a criminal conviction was consistent with an individual's right to privacy and 'right to be forgotten'?

Either Google is deliberately letting egregious errors through to try and bait journalists and freedom of expression activists into protesting or its system at vetting 'right to be forgotten' applications is awfully flawed.
google  right-to-be-forgotten  privacy  law  ireland  adrian-weckler  journalism  freedom-of-expression  censorship  redaction 
july 2014 by jm
Irish parliament pressing ahead with increased access to retained telecoms data
While much of the new bill is concerned with the dissolution of the Competition Authority and the National Consumer Agency and the formation of a new merged Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) the new bill also proposed to extend the powers of the new CCPC to help it investigate serious anticompetitive behaviour.

Strikingly the new bill proposes to give members of the CCPC the power to access data retained under the Communications (Retention of Data) Act 2011. As readers will recall this act implements Directive 2006/24/EC which obliges telecommunications companies to archive traffic and location data for a period of up to two years to facilitate the investigation of serious crime.

Ireland chose to implement the maximum two year retention period and provided access to An Garda Siochana, The Defence Forces and the Revenue Commissioners. The current reform of Irish competition law now proposes to extend data access powers to the members of the CCPC for the purposes of investigating cartel offences.
data-retention  privacy  surveillance  competition  ccpc  ireland  law  dri 
july 2014 by jm
Report of the Internet Content Governance Advisory Group
looking at the summary, looks broadly sensible; no government-mandated filtering/blocking I can spot quickly
internet  filtering  safety  kids  porn  blocking  ireland  pegi  ratings  reports  pdf 
june 2014 by jm
Data sharing deal with U.S. referred to EU's top court | Reuters
High Court Justice Gerard Hogan said that given the Safe Harbour agreement, which says that U.S. has sufficient data safeguards in place, the Irish regulator did not have the authority to investigate. If Safe Harbour stands, the student group's application must fail, he said. "The critical issue which arises is whether the proper interpretation of the 1995 [EU data protection] directive and the 2000 Commission decision [on the Safe Harbour principles] should be re-evaluated in the light of the subsequent entry into force of article 8 of the EU charter," on the right to the protection of personal data, Hogan said.
eu  safe-harbor  privacy  high-court  ireland  law  data-protection 
june 2014 by jm
The dark truth about modern Ireland its media don't talk about
Sinead O'Shea writing for the Guardian:
The economy has been built on cronyism, group-think, the double talk of absurdly low corporate tax rates and light touch regulation, the cult of the leader, an over reliance on "strong" international forces. These were the factors that caused the Celtic Tiger to collapse.

This has had consequences for all. It's the same for the system of shame and sexual repression. The impact has not been restricted to its most obvious victims. Ireland is not just a bad place to be a woman or an immigrant, it's a bad place to be in any way "different." As a result, sadly, it's a bad place to be anyone at all.
ireland  history  women  celtic-tiger  industrial-schools  immigration  sinead-o-shea  tuam  abortion  pregnancy 
june 2014 by jm
Composition of crystals
One of the photos taken by my great-grandfather, Thomas H. Mason, around the turn of the century from the NLI collection
ireland  history  science  chemistry  crystals  t-h-mason  photos 
may 2014 by jm
Cell Development
One of the photos taken by my great-grandfather, Thomas H. Mason, around the turn of the century from the NLI collection
ireland  history  science  biology  t-h-mason  photos 
may 2014 by jm
Published image: 'An Irish Village'.
'Cart, man/woman; 2 men and boy serving beer outside, + sign 'Rich King Spirits'. Ragged attire' - One of the photos taken by my great-grandfather, Thomas H. Mason, around the turn of the century from the NLI collection
ireland  history  poverty  t-h-mason  photos 
may 2014 by jm
Holdings: Guinness's Brewery Dublin
'Guinness's Brewery Dublin. Malt House, malt on floor; sign' - One of the photos taken by my great-grandfather, Thomas H. Mason, around the turn of the century from the NLI collection
nli  ireland  photos  t-h-mason  history  dublin  guinness  maltings  beer 
may 2014 by jm
Hanging on the telephone – has anyone got it right on the new ban on text driving?
Some good legal commentary on this new Irish law.
There has been much hand-wringing and concern about whether or not the 2014 Regulations prohibit the use of Google Maps or Hailo, for example. They don’t, but this does not mean that drivers should feel free to use non-texting functions of their phones while driving – holding a mobile phone (which could include a tablet) while driving remains prohibited, whatever the use it is being put to. Moreover, offences of dangerous and careless driving and driving without due care and attention could cover a wide range of bad driving, and could include, for example, driving while zooming in and out of maps on your phone or sending stickers on WhatsApp.
ireland  law  driving  safety  mobile-phones  texting  google-maps  satnav 
may 2014 by jm
OpenPostCode demolishes the planned "Eircode" postcode system
Comprehensively ripped to shreds. Bottom line: 'Postcodes will be largely meaningless to anyone without access to the pay-walled database. It is another tax on business.'
postcodes  ireland  eircode  addressing  geocoding  mapping  maps  open-data 
april 2014 by jm
Meet Ireland’s first bitcoin politician
Ossian Smyth -- Green Party internet spokesman and representative for communications, energy, and natural resources, with a top wheeze:

“I think it is one of the most transparent ways of receiving donations. No one would know how much money can be donated into a bank account, but with bitcoin anyone can go to the block chain and look at the wallet."

excellent ;)
ossian-smyth  bitcoin  fundraising  greens  politics  ireland  dublin  green-party  internet 
april 2014 by jm
Eircode
'Location Codes for Irish Addresses'. Looks like, as expected, this will not have no-cost licensing terms; companies and non-profit orgs will all have to pay Capita Business Support Services Ireland for access. boo.
eircode  mapping  addressing  geocoding  ireland  open-source  licensing  postcodes 
april 2014 by jm
Search Results - (Author:Thomas H Mason)
Photographs taken by my great-grandfather, Thomas H. Mason, in the National Library of Ireland's newly-digitized online collection
family  thomas-h-mason  history  ireland  photography  archive  nli 
april 2014 by jm
DRI wins their case at the ECJ!
Great stuff!
The Court has found that data retention “entails a wide-ranging and particularly serious interference with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data” and that it “entails an interference with the fundamental rights of practically the entire European population”. TJ McIntyre, Chairman of Digital Rights Ireland, said that “This is the first assessment of mass surveillance by a supreme court since the Snowden revelations. The ECJ’s judgement finds that untargeted monitoring of the entire population is unacceptable in a democratic society.”

[...] Though the Directive has now been struck down, the issue will remain live in all the countries who have passed domestic law to implement the data retention mass surveillance regime. Digital Rights Ireland’s challenge to the Irish data retention system will return to the High Court in Dublin for the next phase of litigation.
dri  digital-rights  ireland  eu  ecj  surveillance  snooping  law  data-retention 
april 2014 by jm
Irish NewsDiffs
Tracking Irish News Stories Over Time;
Irish NewsDiffs archives changes in articles after publication.
Currently, we track rte.ie and irishtimes.com.
rte  irish-times  diffing  diffs  changes  tracking  newspapers  news  ireland  history 
april 2014 by jm
TJ McIntyre on the incredible surveillance of telephone traffic at various Garda stations around the country
The most grave issue is that each recording likely amounted to a serious criminal offence. Under Irish law, the recording of a telephone conversation on a public network without the consent of at least one party to the call amounts to an "interception", a criminal offence carrying a possible term of imprisonment of up to five years. [...] Consequently, unless gardai were notified that their calls might be recorded then a large number of criminal offences are likely to have been committed by and within the Garda Siochana itself.
gubu  surveillance  gardai  ags  tjmcintyre  bugging  tapping  phones  ireland  politics 
march 2014 by jm
WePromise.EU
'The European election will take place between 22 and 25 May 2014. Citizens, promise to vote for candidates that have signed a 10-point charter of digital rights! Show candidates that they need to earn your vote by signing our charter!'
europarl  ep  digital-rights  rights  ireland  eu  data-privacy  data-protection  privacy 
march 2014 by jm
Theresa May warns Yahoo that its move to Dublin is a security worry
Y! is moving to Dublin to evade GCHQ spying on its users. And what is the UK response?
"There are concerns in the Home Office about how Ripa will apply to Yahoo once it has moved its headquarters to Dublin," said a Whitehall source. "The home secretary asked to see officials from Yahoo because in Dublin they don't have equivalent laws to Ripa. This could particularly affect investigations led by Scotland Yard and the national crime agency. They regard this as a very serious issue."


There's priorities for you!
ripa  gchq  guardian  uk  privacy  data-protection  ireland  dublin  london  spying  surveillance  yahoo 
march 2014 by jm
Next clothing retailer loses appeal over €100 fine in ‘spam’ case - Crime & Law News from Ireland & Abroad | The Irish Times - Wed, Mar 19, 2014
as TJ McIntyre noted: '€100 fine for a repeat spammer. Data Protection Commissioner calls this "strong protection". With a straight face.'

Next will doubtless fork over the 100 Euros out of the petty cash drawer, then carry on regardless. This isn't a useful fine. What a farce...
cheap  farce  dpc  data-protection  privacy  anti-spam  next  spam  convictions  fines  ireland 
march 2014 by jm
How the Irish helped weave the web
Nice Irish Times article on the first 3 web servers in Ireland -- including the one I set up at Iona Technologies. 21 years ago!
history  ireland  tech  web  internet  www  james-casey  peter-flynn  irish-times  iona-technologies 
march 2014 by jm
Corporate Tax 2014: Irish Government's "flawed premise" on Apple's avoidance
According to our calculation about €40bn or over 40% of Irish services exports of €90bn in 2012 and related national output, resulted from global tax avoidance schemes.

It is true that Ireland gains little from tax cheating but at some point, the US tax system will be reformed and a territorial system where companies are only liable in the US on US profits, would only be viable if there was a disincentive to shift profits to non-tax or low tax countries. The risk for Ireland is that a minimum foreign tax would be introduced that would be greater than the Irish headline rate of 12.5%.

It's also likely that US investment in Ireland would not have been jeopardized if Irish politicians had not been so eager as supplicants to doff the cap. Nevertheless today it would be taboo to admit the reality of participation in massive tax avoidance and the Captain Renaults of Merrion Street will continue with their version of the Dance of the Seven Veils.
apple  tax  double-irish  tax-avoidance  google  investment  itax  tax-evasion  ireland 
march 2014 by jm
Sacked Google worker says staff ratings fixed to fit template
Allegations of fixing to fit the stack-ranking curve: 'someone at Google always had to get a low score “of 2.9”, so the unit could match the bell curve. She said senior staff “calibrated” the ratings supplied by line managers to ensure conformity with the template and these calibrations could reduce a line manager’s assessment of an employee, in effect giving them the poisoned score of less than three.'
stack-ranking  google  ireland  employment  work  bell-curve  statistics  eric-schmidt 
march 2014 by jm
David Robert Grimes on the flouride kerfuffle
Hilariously, "The Girl Against Flouride" and other antiflouridation campaigners now allege he's a undercover agent of Alcoa and/or Glaxo Smith Kline, rather than dealing with any awkwardly hostile realities
flouride  flouridation  david-robert-grimes  conspiracy  funny  science  ireland  alcoa  glaxo-smith-kline 
march 2014 by jm
Inside the Mind of an anti-fluoridationist
An exceptionally well-researched and thorough disassembly of 'Public Health Investigation of Epidemiological data on Disease and Mortality in Ireland related to Water Fluoridation and Fluoride Exposure' by Declan Waugh, which appears to be going around currently
declan-waugh  debunking  flouride  flouridation  science  mortality  health  ireland  water 
march 2014 by jm
James Casey writes about working at CERN
I am very heartened by Minister of State for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock’s recent announcement of a review of the costs and benefits of Ireland’s membership of international research organisations including CERN. I disagreed with the conclusion of the last review which suggested that costs outweighed the benefits to Ireland. I think it was an extreme oversight not to be a part of the engineering phase of the Collider during the period 1998-2008 – but it’s not too late.
CERN will celebrate its 60th anniversary in 2014. There is no public scientific institution its equal in terms of the scale and complexity of problems being analysed and solved. No longer excluding young Irish people from being a part of this, from learning and growing from it, can only help Ireland.


Also, spot my name in lights ;)
ireland  cern  science  europe  eu  sean-sherlock  james-casey  www  web  history 
march 2014 by jm
RTE star Sharon Ni Bheolain stalked for six months - Independent.ie
as @Fergal says: '[this] case shows (a) the internet isn't anonymous, (b) we [ie. Ireland -jm] have laws to deal with threats and harassment'
law  ireland  harassment  internet  twitter  email  abuse  cyberstalking 
february 2014 by jm
"Hackers" unsubscribed a former Mayor from concerned citizen's emails
"The dog ate my homework, er, I mean, hackers hacked my account."
Former Mayor of Kildare, Cllr. Michael Nolan, has denied a claim he asked a local campaigner to stop e-mailing him. Cllr. Michael Nolan from Newbridge said his site was hacked and wrong e-mails were sent out to a number of people, including Leixlip based campaigner, John Weigel.

Mr. Weigel has been campaigning, along with others, about the danger of electromagnetic radiation to humans and the proximity of communications masts to homes and, in particular schools. He regularly updates local politicians on news items relating to the issue.

Recently, he said that he had received an e-mail from Cllr. Nolan asking to be removed from Mr. Weigel’s e-mail list.

The Leader asked Cllr. Nolan why he had done this. But the Fine Gael councillors said that “his e-mail account was hacked and on one particular day a number of mails a were sent from my account pertaining to be from me.”
dog-ate-my-homework  hackers  funny  kildare  newbridge  fine-gael  michael-nolan  email  politics  ireland  excuses 
february 2014 by jm
British American Tobacco - Plain packaging of tobacco products
Compare and contrast with the Law Society's comments:
We believe we are entitled to use our packs to distinguish our products from those of our competitors. Our brands are our intellectual property which we have created and invested in. Plain packaging would deny us the right to use brands.

But also, a brand is also an important tool for consumers. As the British Brands Group has stated  , plain packaging legislation "ignores the crucial role that branding plays in providing consumers with high quality, consistent products they can trust".

The restriction of valuable corporate brands by any government would risk placing it in breach of legal obligations relating to intellectual property rights and, in most cases, international trade.
law-society  branding  ip  ireland  tobacco  cigarettes  law  trademarks 
february 2014 by jm
Irish Law Society takes a stand for "brand owners IP rights"
The Law Society will attend a meeting of the Oireachtas Health Committee today to outline its strong opposition to the Government proposals to introduce legislation that will require tobacco products to use plain packaging. The society’s director general Ken Murphy will be its principal representative at the meeting today to discuss its submission on the legislation, and to discuss its concerns that a plain packaging regime will undermine registered trade mark, and design, systems and will amount to an “expropriation of brand owners intellectual property rights’.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Murphy told The Irish Times the views contained in it represent those of the Law Society as a whole, and its 10,000 members, and have been endorsed by the society as a whole, rather than the committee.

Mr Murphy also said the purpose of the Law Society submission was not to protect the tobacco industry, rather the wider effect and impact such a law would have on intellectual property rights, trade marks, in other areas.
“There is a real concern also that plain packaging in the tobacco industry is just the beginning of a trend that will severely undermine intellectual property owners’ rights in other sectors such as alcohol, soft drinks and fast foods.”


Judging by some reactions on Twitter, "endorsed by the society as a whole" may be over-egging it a little.
law-society  gubu  law  ireland  ip  packaging  branding  trademarks  cigarettes  health  tobacco 
february 2014 by jm
Beirtear na IMSIs: Ireland's GSOC surveillance inquiry reveals use of mobile phone interception systems | Privacy International
It is interesting to note that the fake UK network was the only one detected by Verrimus. However, given that IMSI Catchers operate multiple fake towers simultaneously, it is highly likely that one or more Irish networks were also being intercepted. Very often a misconfiguration, such as an incorrect country code, is the only evidence available of an IMSI Catcher being deployed when forensic tools are not being used to look for one.
privacy  imsi-catchers  surveillance  bugging  spying  gsocgate  gsoc  ireland  mobile-phones 
february 2014 by jm
Survey results of EU teens using the internet
A lot of unsupervised use:
Just under half of children said they access the internet from their own bedroom on a daily basis with 22pc saying they do so several times a day.
surveys  eu  ireland  politics  filtering  internet  social-media  facebook  children  teens  cyber-bullying 
february 2014 by jm
Realtime water level data across Ireland
Some very nice Dygraph-based time-series graphs in here, along with open CSV data. Good job!
open-data  water-levels  time-series  data  rivers  ireland  csv 
february 2014 by jm
RTE internal memo to unhappy staff re Pantigate
'I want to reassure you that RTÉ explored every option available to it, including right of reply. Legal advice was sought and all avenues were explored, including an offer to make a donation to a neutral charity.'

And they folded. Notable lack of testicular fortitude by our national broadcaster.
fail  rte  leaks  memos  pantigate  panti-bliss  homophobia  libel  defamation  ireland 
february 2014 by jm
Yahoo! moving EMEA operations to Dublin
Like many companies, the structure of Yahoo's business is driven by the needs of the business. There are a number of factors which influence decisions about the locations in which the business operates. To encourage more collaboration and innovation, we’re increasing our headcount in Dublin, thus continuing to bring more Yahoos together in fewer locations. Dublin is already the European home to many of the world’s leading global technology brands and has been a home for Yahoo for over a decade already.


Via Conor O'Neill
via:conoro  yahoo  emea  dublin  ireland  jobs  tech 
february 2014 by jm
Opinion: How can we get over ‘Pantigate’?
The fact that RTÉ had agreed to pay damages (€80,000 in total, according to reports yesterday) to the ‘injured parties’, only came to light in an email from the [far-right Catholic lobby group Iona Institute] to its members last Tuesday.
Given the ramifications of the decision to make any kind of payment – regardless of the amount – both for the TV licence payer and those who voice contrarian opinions, the lack of coverage in print media as soon as the Iona email came to light marked a low point for print journalism in Ireland. Aside from a lead story on the damages printed in this paper last Wednesday and ongoing debate online, the media has been glacially slow with commentary and even reportage of the affair.
The debacle has untold ramifications for public life in this country. That many liberal commentators may now baulk at the opportunity to speak and write openly and honestly about homophobia is the most obvious issue here. Most worrying of all, however, is the question that with a referendum on the introduction of gay marriage on the horizon, how can we expect the national broadcaster to facilitate even-handed debate on the subject when they’ve already found themselves cowed before reaching the first hurdle?
homophobia  politics  ireland  libel  dissent  lobbying  defamation  law  gay-marriage  iona-institute  journalism  newspapers 
february 2014 by jm
How to invoke section 4 of the Data Protection Acts in Ireland
One wierd trick to get your personal data (in any format) from any random organisation, for only EUR6.35 and up to 40 days wait! Good to know.
Hospitals and doctors’ offices in Ireland will give a person their medical records if they ask for them. Mostly. Eventually. When they get to it. And, sometimes, if you pay them over €100 (for a large file).

But, like so much else in the legal world, there is a set of magic words you can incant to place a 40 day deadline on the delivery of your papers and limit the cost to €6.35 -- you invoke the Data Protection Acts data access request procedure.
data-protection  privacy  data-retention  dpa-section-4  data  ireland  medical  law  dpa 
february 2014 by jm
A network of ‘homes’, where children’s happiness was relentlessly destroyed
Stories of this sort will tumble out to the inquiry over the next 18 months, making it plain that the network of “homes” where children’s happiness had relentlessly, deliberately, systematically been destroyed, this archipelago of Catholic evil, had covered the entire island. These things should be kept in mind when next we hear it said that the social ills of today can be explained by reference to loss of faith in the traditional institutions of moral authority. This is the reverse of the truth and an insult to the victims of an unforgiveable sin.
horror  care-homes  politics  catholicism  religion  ireland  derry  church  abuse  children 
january 2014 by jm
Irish Company Locates Office in Ireland
Hot on the heels of Dropbox, AirBnB, Twitter, Facebook and many others, Irish online ticket sales company Tito are amongst the latest in a long series of companies choosing to locate their offices in Ireland. “It just seemed to make sense,” said founder Paul Campbell, talking about the decision making process that led him to set up shop in the capital, Dublin. “Dublin is great. There’s something really familiar about it that I can’t quite put my finger on.”


Har har!
ireland  jokes  funny  tito  hq  tech-companies  dublin  via:oisin 
january 2014 by jm
Caught with our Pantis down
The views expressed by [the Iona Institute] – especially in relation to gay people – are very much at odds with the liberal secular society that Ireland has become. Indeed, Rory O’Neill suggested that the only time he experiences homophobia is online or at the hands of Iona and Waters.

When they’re done with that, they can ask why Iona is given so much room in the media. In any other country in the world, an organisation as litigious as Iona would never be asked to participate in anything.
homophobia  ireland  john-waters  iona-institute  politics  catholicism  religion  libel  defamation  rte  the-irish-times 
january 2014 by jm
Irish Internet Providers Roll Out KickassTorrents Blockade
The lucrative whack-a-mole business continues -- mostly in response to High Court actions, although Eircom are just helping out. I bet a google for "kickass proxy" doesn't return anything useful at all, of course....
kat  kickasstorrents  bittorrent  piracy  copyright  high-court  ireland  eircom  filtering  blocking 
january 2014 by jm
More than 50% of Irish companies have "suffered a data breach" in 2013
The research, conducted among hundreds of Irish companies' IT managers by the Irish Computer Society, reveals that 51 per cent of Irish firms have suffered a data breach over the last year, a jump on 43 per cent recorded in 2012.


Wow, that's high.
hacking  security  ireland  ics  data-breaches 
january 2014 by jm
Big Red Kitchen on buying Irish honey
1. There is NO SUCH THING as "Organic Irish Honey" (due to EU directives making it impossible to certify);
2. In the absence of Organic the best thing you can look for is "Raw Irish honey" (which is of Irish origin, and not heated to very high temperatures, so it retains its antibacterial properties);
3. Blended honeys, or honeys which say EEC/Non EEC are NOT Irish, however they may be packed in Ireland;
4. Look for the NIHBS "Produced by Native Irish Honey Bees" or similar, for confirmation that the honey you are buying is indeed of Irish origin.
irish  ireland  honey  buy-irish  big-red-kitchen  food  organic-food 
january 2014 by jm
Irish quango allegedly buys fake twitter followers
The Consumers Association of Ireland had a sudden jump from 300 to 3000 Twitter followers, mostly from Latin and South America -- with more followers in Brazil than Ireland. They are now blaming "hacking": http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/consumers-body-denies-buying-3000-twitter-fans-29931196.html
consumers  quangos  ireland  politics  twitter  funny  fake-followers  latin-america  south-america  brazil  social-media  tech 
january 2014 by jm
Transport Minister planning to make hi-vis jackets mandatory for cyclists
The minister also spoke of a number of new transport initiatives, such  as mandatory use of high visibility jackets by cyclists.
cycling  safety  law  ireland  leo-varadkar 
january 2014 by jm
Irish politician calls for ban on "open source browsers"
'Fine Gael TD for Limerick, Patrick O'Donovan has called for tougher controls on the use of open source internet browsers and payment systems which allow users to remain anonymous in the illegal trade of drugs, weapons and pornography.'

Amazing. Yes, this is real.
open-source  clueless  omgwtfbbq  fine-gael  ireland  fail  funny  tor  inept 
january 2014 by jm
Creative Commons event in Dublin this Friday
'Maximising Digital Creativity, Sharing and Innovation', Event organised by Creative Commons Ireland and Faculty of Law, University College Cork, Lecture Theatre, National Gallery of Ireland, Clare Street entrance, Dublin 2, Friday 17 January 2014, 9.45 a.m. to 1 p.m. (via Darius Whelan)
creative-commons  ireland  dublin  events  talks  law  copyright 
january 2014 by jm
Life on Mars: Irish man signs up for colony mission
Last week, a private space exploration company called Mars One announced that it has shortlisted 1,058 people from 200,000 applicants who wanted to travel to Mars. Roche is the only Irishman on the list. The catch? If he goes, he can never come back.


Mad stuff. Works at the Science Gallery, so a co-worker of a friend, to boot
science-gallery  dublin  ireland  mars-one  mars  one-way-trips  exploration  future  space  science  joseph-roche 
january 2014 by jm
We need your help to keep working for European digital rights in 2014
Grim. DRI are facing a 5-figure legal bill from the music industry - they need your donations to avoid shutdown
donations  dri  funding  amicus-curiae  law  ireland  digital-rights-ireland  emi  irma 
january 2014 by jm
Dublin Cycle Planner needs a health warning - Irish Cycle
An extensive catalogue of shitty routing. Poor...
It’s expected that any new mapping and routing systems will have errors which will need to be ironed out but the level of issues with the NTA Cycle Planner is far beyond what you’d expect in a light and quiet beta launch. It’s beyond acceptable for a public PR launch directing people to a route planner with no clear warnings. It looks like a rush job which allows junior minister Alan Kelly to get his name in another press release before the end of the year.
cycling  dublin  commute  mapping  nta  ireland  maps 
december 2013 by jm
Karlin Lillington on DRI's looming victory in the European Court of Justice
If the full European Court of Justice (ECJ) accepts the opinion of its advocate general in a final ruling due early next year – and it almost always does – it will prove a huge vindication of Ireland’s small privacy advocacy group, Digital Rights Ireland (DRI).
Its case against Irish retention laws, which began in 2006, forms the basis of this broader David v Goliath challenge and initial opinion.
The advocate general’s advice largely upholds the key concerns put forward by DRI against Ireland’s laws. Withholding so much data about every citizen, including children, in case someone commits a future crime, is too intrusive into private life, and could allow authorities to create a “faithful and exhaustive map of a large portion of a person’s [private] conduct”.
Retained data is so comprehensive that they could easily reveal private identities, which are supposed to remain anonymous. And the data, entrusted to third parties, is at too much risk of fraudulent or malicious use.
Cruz Villalón argues that there must be far greater oversight to the retention process, and controls on access to data, and that citizens should have the right to be notified after the fact if their data has been scrutinised. The Irish Government had repeatedly waved off such concerns from Digital Rights Ireland in the past.
dri  rights  ireland  internet  surveillance  data-retention  privacy  eu  ecj  law 
december 2013 by jm
We're sending out the wrong signals in bid to lure the big data bucks - Independent.ie
Simon McGarr on Ireland's looming data-protection train-crash.
Last week, during the debate of his proposals to increase fees for making a Freedom of Information request, Brendan Howlin was asked how one of his amendments would affect citizens looking for data from the State's electronic databases. His reply was to cheerfully admit he didn't even understand the question. "I have no idea what an SQL code is. Does anyone know what an SQL code is?"

Unlike the minister, it probably isn't your job to know that SQL is the computer language that underpins the data industry. The amendment he had originally proposed would have effectively allowed civil servants to pretend that their computer files were made of paper when deciding whether a request was reasonable. His answer showed how the Government could have proposed such an absurd idea in the first place.

Like it or not – fair or not – these are not the signals a country that wanted to build a long-term data industry would choose to send out. They are the sort of signals that Ireland used to send out about Financial Regulation. I think it's agreed, that approach didn't work out so well.
foi  ireland  brendan-howlin  technology  illiteracy  sql  civil-service  government  data-protection  privacy  regulation  dpa 
december 2013 by jm
Same Old Stories From Sean Sherlock
Sherlock’s record is spotty at best when it comes to engagement. Setting aside the 80,680 people who were ignored by the minister, he was hostile and counter productive to debate from the beginning, going so far as to threaten to pull out of a public debate because a campaigner against the ['Irish SOPA'] SI would be in attendance. His habit of blocking people online who publicly ask him tough yet legitimate questions has earned him the nickname “Sherblock”.
sean-sherlock  sherblock  labour  ireland  politics  blocking  filtering  internet  freedom  copyright  emi  music  law  piracy  debate  twitter 
december 2013 by jm
'No basis in law' : Gardai probe Ballyphehane group after raid
Freemen wackiness in Cork.
The house of one member of the group was raided by gardaí last week, but it is not thought that any arrests were made, according to an eyewitness. Gardaí broke down the front door of the house.
The group, which appears to be part of the Freemen of the Land movement, which does not recognise the State, has attempted to hold 'trials' in Ballyphehane Community Centre. It attempted to summon HSE staff, gardaí, social workers, solicitors and others to appear to be tried by a self-selected jury earlier this month.
The group handed out documents purporting to be a summons to HSE staff and garda stations, demanding that named people attend a trial by 'éire court' on Tuesday 5 November at 9am “to stand trial for their acts of terrorism against mothers, their offspring and others in our community”, according to the group's literature.
This week the group has begun posting about UCC, saying the college is “a private for profit corporation, and a business partner of and partly owned by Pfizers and Bank of Ireland”. The group suggest that UCC bases its “authority” on Maritime Law. UCC has yet to respond to the group's allegations.
freemen  crazy  cork  politics  ireland  hse  gardai  ucc  law 
november 2013 by jm
Column: The Loyaltybuild breach shows it’s time to take data protection seriously
What is afoot here is a rerun of the Celtic Tiger era “light touch regulation” of financial services. Ireland has again made a Faustian pact whereby we lure employers here on the understanding that they will not subject to too-stringent a regulatory system. As the Loyaltybuild breach has shown, this is a bargain that will probably end badly. And as with the financial services boom, it is making the Germans nervous.
Perhaps we will listen to them this time.
fergal-crehan  loyaltybuild  celtic-tiger  ireland  dpa  regulation  data-protection  privacy  credit-cards 
november 2013 by jm
IPSO representative trivialising impact of the Loyaltybuild data breach
A very worrying quote from Una Dillon of the Irish Payment Services Organisation in regard to the Loyaltybuild incident:
“I wouldn’t be overly concerned if one of my cards was caught up in this,” Dillon says. “Even in the worst-case scenario – one in which my card was used fraudulently – my card provider will refund me everything that is taken”.


This reflects a deep lack of understanding of (a) how identity fraud works, and (b) how card-fraud refunds in Ireland appear to work.

(a): Direct misuse of credit card data is not always the result. Fraudsters may prefer to instead obtain separate credit through identity theft, ie. using other personal identifying data.

(b): Visa debit cards have no credit limit -- your bank account can be cleared out in its entirety, and refunds can take a long time. For instance, http://www.askaboutmoney.com/showthread.php?t=174482 describes several cases, including one customer who waited 21 days for a refund.

All in all it's trivialising a major risk for consumers. As I understand it, a separate statement from IPSO recommended that all customers of Loyaltybuild schemes need to monitor their bank accounts daily to keep an eye out for fraud, which is pretty absurd. Not impressive at all.
loyaltybuild  ipso  money  cards  credit-cards  visa  debit-cards  payment  fraud  identity-theft  ireland 
november 2013 by jm
Alan Toner on the CRC report
tl;dr: 'a lot to like'.

The grand design and originality thus of ‘Modernising Copyright’ thus is the injection of targeted flexibility into the legal framework – this is no mere echo of the Hargreaves Report in the UK, which backed away from Fair Use out of fear at the uncertainty it would necessarily entail. If the Report’s authors have their way,  contested uses in Ireland will first be examined to see if they fit the exceptions spelled out in the EUCD, or checked against the innovation exception if they are derivative works/adaptations. Only if they have fallen at those two fences, will the fair use test be their last chance saloon.
alan-toner  copyright  reform  crc  ireland  fair-use 
november 2013 by jm
Killing Freedom of Information in Ireland
TheStory.ie will, in all likelihood, cease all FOI requests. And we will not seek funding from the public to support an immoral, cynical, unjustified and probably illegal FOI fee regime. We will not pay for information that the public already pays for. We will not support a system that perpetuates an outrageous infringement of citizen rights. The legislation was gutted in 2003 and it is being gutted again. More generally the number of requests from journalists from all news organisations in Ireland will fall as a result of these amendments, and the resulting efforts to shine a light on the administration of the State will certainly deteriorate. And secrecy will prevail.
ireland  politics  foi  information  secrecy  law 
november 2013 by jm
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