A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

It started when an Richard Downes took to the internet looking for people to talk about TOR (The Onion Router), software which allows internet users to protect their identity. Patrick O’Donovan decided to hop on the bandwagon. He issued a press release. Then he tried to message Downes privately. Others have already written about O’Donovan’s […]

Snapshots, moving pictures, and unknowns

A poll is a snapshot, capturing a moment in time. A still image, and a blurry one at that. The margin of error (usually around three percent) means the picture isn’t always crystal clear. The margin of error can also tempt newspapers, hungry for exciting headlines, to pump up a statistically insignificant gain or loss in […]

RTÉ and the political lobby

“Labour want US style political advertising” It wasn’t the biggest ever story, but the Sunday Times liked it enough to pay me for it. It even got a bit of social media traction at the time. And it was based on three lines at the end of an internal RTÉ memo. In May 2010, a […]

Poll positions

Fine Gael senator Catherine Noone writes about a phone poll of local councillors attitudes: “Two-thirds of Councillors from the two Government parties would support changes to the Croke Park Agreement, according to this survey carried out by my office. A total of 529 City and County Councillors responded to the phone poll, with 56% of […]

Dole 2.0

When Jason Walsh first spotted the ‘internet tax‘ proposal in the Green manifesto during the election campaign, I took it as a typical example of Green eccentricity. The following day, when I spotted a similar idea for a ‘content tax‘ in the Fine Gael manifesto, I took it a little more seriously. Greens were never […]

Stop the presses

Irish schools should abandon textbooks in favour of online educational content, says Fergus O’Dowd, FG education spokesman. “Texas and California are investigating the use of ‘open source textbooks’, providing approved digital texts online, written by educational experts such as retired teachers but made available for free or at a discounted price for printed versions,” he […]