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Author Archives: Gerard Cunningham

Gerard Cunningham occupies his time working as a journalist, writer, sub-editor, blogger and tweeter, yet still finds himself underemployed. Go figure.

And They’re Off…

Heartstopping

Some time ago, I wondered hereabouts how much the Garda PULSE system cost taxpayers. At the time, several media reports suggested a cost to date of €60m. I didn’t know the half of it. A parliamentary question from Jimmy Deenihan last year revealed that PULSE was originally projected to cost £36.5m (€46.4m) way back in […]

Upgrade

Microsoft launched Internet Explorer 8 today. To be honest, the news left me underwhelmed. There are some software releases I look forward to (a new Firefox or OpenOffice, or the latest Ubuntu distro) but Explorer is an unloved child on my ageing XP desktop, sitting there looking rather forlorn, rarely touched except on Patch Tuesdays […]

The Accused

There’s a stairwell in the middle of the courtroom, linking the district court to the nearby Bridewell Garda station. Guards lean against the balcony as they listen to the cases. When he emerges from the tunnel, his body language defines fatigue. He moves to the bench in front of the stairwell, while lawyers shuffle papers. […]

Road Art

The Northern Chieftain, St Patrick’s Day, 17 March 2009

Heartbeat

How much does PULSE cost? PULSE, in case you’re wondering, stands for Police Using Leading Systems Effectively, a name that screams Retro-Acronym. More importantly, PULSE is the computer database used by An Garda Síochána to record details of everything from police intelligence on criminal gangs to whether you’ve racked up any penalty points in your […]

Any Questions?

Questions and Answers is no more, though truth be told, it’s been limping for a long time. In it’s heydey, it could point to the confrontation between the elder Brian Lenihan and Garret Fitzgerald that changed a presidential election. But that was then. When was the last time people talked about QandA on Tuesday morning? […]

Striking An Odd Note

Meteor, the third place mobile telephone company in the Irish marketplace behind Vodafone and O2, has a new advertisement. The new commercial, which I caught on one of the radio stations as I drove home this evening, promotes the company’s mobile broadband offering. The service can be used for “those embarrassing music downloads, you know […]

Faduda v. Microsoft Part II

Today I got a reply to my letter to the Competition Authority about the Windows Tax. Reproduced below are key sections, along with my thoughts. Computer manufacturers tend to bundle laptops with pre-installed Windows. This may lead to significant cost saving or efficiency gains. It is therefore less expensive for computer manufactures to acquire a […]

Blame Game

I blame the baby boomers. The most spoilt generation in history, the boomers were born at the end of World War II. In the sixties, as they hit puberty, they acted as if they were the first generation ever to discover sex. In the seventies, they were responsible for the decade that taste forgot as […]