Kick the can

Kickstarter looks like a great idea. A business idea bypasses the venture capitalists and goes straight to the consumer, raising funds directly in return for a free copy of the finished product or other incentives. And because I’m a journalist, I’ve been playing recently with the idea of kickstarting a new magazine. Except, I’m really […]

Numbers game

It’s been bothering me for a while, but until tonight I never bothered to do any research on it. Here’s Brian Lenihan’s version of it, as paraphrased by The Journal earlier today: “The Finance Minister said Ireland’s taxation system was no longer “fit for purpose”, saying that the upper 8% of taxpayers accounted for 60% […]

Failure Is Good

Way back in September 2008, I wondered what had become of free market philosophy, as the US government scrambled to rescue crumbling banks. Two weeks later, Ireland guaranteed bank deposits and bondholders. A lot has happened since then. Back in 2008, I asked what happened to the belief in creative destruction. I’m still wondering. Capitalism […]

Why opposing the blasphemy law is pointless

As is my habit, I stopped in a local store on the way home this evening to pick up a few essentials – milk, a bottle of orange juice to slake the thirst from the Summer heat, you know the drill. As I queued to pay at the checkout, I read the signs on the […]

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 […]

Faduda v. Microsoft

Some time ago, I blogged about my frustration when I tried to price a microsoftless computer to replace my main laptop, which is starting to show signs of ageing. Happily, I arranged affordable repairs, but when I ended up on the Competition Authority website checking some facts, I decided to click the link at the […]

…As Long As It’s Black

Day two of my mission to find a Windows free laptop in Ireland fared no better than day one. This time, wary of wasting more time crawling through often poorly designed websites, I took a direct approach. I phoned around. I got through a list of most computer suppliers in the Pale within an hour […]

Any Colour You Want…

I’m in the market for a new computer. Maybe. It depends on whether my laptop can be repaired economically. I’ve spent the last few days shopping around, and it’s been an education. My requirements are relatively modest, a midrange laptop, big enough to handle my everyday workload, small enough to lug around on the road. […]

Change of Heart

Where have all the free market enthusiasts gone? Time was, you couldn’t watch an American business satellite TV channel without some advocate of the invisible hand celebrating the free market that regulated much more efficiently that any government-appointed overseer. The doctrine of creative destruction, where the failure of bad firms and the success of well-run […]