Identity Theft

The internet is broken. Or at least, there’s a gaping big hole in its security. Security researcher Dan Kaminsky spotted the flaw in the foundations of the internet, the DNS (Domain Name Server) system several months ago, then worked in secret until a patch could be prepared. However, Kaminsky and others who were briefed then… Continue reading Identity Theft

Post Hoc

News that dole claimants will have to collect cash in person at post offices was warmly welcomed today by the Irish Association of Thieves and Highwaymen. ‘This is just the kind of shot in the arm we need,’ spokesman Dennis ‘Money with Menaces’ Cutpurse said. ‘Frankly, with electronic funds transfers growing in popularity, we’ve been… Continue reading Post Hoc

Home Sweet Home

From the memoirs of Jeremiah Curtin, an American who travelled to west Donegal around 1890: ‘The morning after my arrival in Carrick, I went to Teelin point to see the people and get an idea of their knowledge regarding myths. I had, as usual, to listen to tales of repression. The proprietor of the hotel… Continue reading Home Sweet Home

Bon Mot

Sometimes, silence really is the best policy, if not a perpetual vow, then at least avoiding the subject until the storm blows over. Unfortunately, it is a lesson Nicolas Sarkosy can’t seem to learn when it comes to the Lisbon treaty. Bad enough that his foreign minister made some impolite comments days before the vote.… Continue reading Bon Mot

Speaking Out

I’m not exactly Kevin Myers biggest fan. I will admit, for example, to a frisson of schadenfreude when Judge Peter Cory cited a Garda report outlining ‘how little [Myers and another writer] relied upon fact and how much they relied upon suspicion and hypothesis.’ ‘Statements and allegations were put forward as matters of fact when… Continue reading Speaking Out

Re-boot

What happened to Dublin airport? Flights were disrupted for days, but information about exactly what went wrong is puzzlingly vague. AP explained that ‘the radar system failed to display the call signs that normally identify each incoming aircraft’. Bloomberg simply mentioned a ‘loss of functionality’, explaining that there were two separate incidents, one on Wednesday… Continue reading Re-boot

Holy Law

A group of Dáil backbenchers have quietly declared war on God. The joint committee on the Constitution yesterday published a report on freedom of expression and blasphemy. Bunreacht na hÉireann allows the Oireachtas to punish the publishers of ‘blasphemous, seditious or indecent matters’. However, a Defamation bill making its way into law abolishes the offence… Continue reading Holy Law

Life Imitates Faduda

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote jokingly about the Polish Passenger Initiative – the PPI. The notional scheme involved workers laid off by the construction industry carving out new careers as passengers in cars driven by Ireland’s estimated 100,000 drivers who carry provisional licenses, once new regulations were introduced at the start of July.… Continue reading Life Imitates Faduda

Full House

I’ve just spent the last half hour or so watching a Dáil debate, live on the internet. The lower House is debating a Labour party motion on housing policy and public-private partnerships. The motion notes the ‘collapse’ of five public private partnerships agreements in Dublin, and the fact that ‘a single developer, Michael McNamara &… Continue reading Full House