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Government, Infrastructure, Business

Last Build Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2016 18:48:55 +0000


Brexit: Free-riding Europe’s Peace

Mon, 27 Jun 2016 08:20:23 +0000

There is an array of tubes leading all the way from Kazahstan, a difficult and turbulent place in the middle east not far from the border of China which leads across Asia through Russia into Europe and onwards to Britain and Ireland and finally to Mayo in the west and Kinsale to the south. This [...]

Buns, parking and the modern acute hospital

Sun, 01 Nov 2015 15:47:22 +0000

Bedside manner may not make patients better, but it does matter, and not just for doctors.

Why water meters were a bad decision (still)

Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:00:41 +0000

Lots of spin going on today about why water meters are a good idea and how many leaks they are finding. Apparently, Irish Water has already identified 20 houses that were using loads and loads of water. But this is only one million litres a day of water. That is obviously great, but greater savings, and [...]

Irish Water has failed. What is Enda Kenny going to do now?

Mon, 03 Nov 2014 00:20:01 +0000

Irish Water has failed. That is, it has failed to get the confidence of Irish people. Here is what the government should do to solve the problem. 1. There should be a New Water Company to replace the old one. We need a new one, built on modern, sound, civically minded strategic intent and values (not [...]

The political price of complexity.

Thu, 02 Oct 2014 22:41:17 +0000

When will politicians learn the political price of complexity? Look at Irish Water. First things first. Establishing a national utility out of a local authority patchwork of pipes and personnel is complicated to begin with. There are a lot of people to satisfy, a lot of metaphorical buried bodies, and a whole load of politics. But layering on [...]

A car you can download

Wed, 25 Jun 2014 21:10:04 +0000

The Tabby, an open source car, is now available for download. The idea is that this open car ‘platform’ can be customised for particular needs in particular markets. Cars could be produced in batches of hundreds or thousands or even as an individual item, to meet an individual need, but still be based on the [...]

A short guide to buying health insurance in Ireland

Tue, 04 Feb 2014 19:26:51 +0000

There was an interesting article in the Irish Times today about health insurance in Ireland by Fiona Reddan. It was interesting, in that it addressed some questions and queries about health insurance, but not that helpful in that it didn’t provide any answer to the question of how to get the best value for  your [...]

The MOOCs and the A’s, B’s and C’s of education.

Tue, 14 Jan 2014 12:37:47 +0000

In 2012, MOOCs promised, in a roundabout way, to change the way education delivered. In mythical MOOCland, education would no longer be tied to place or constrained by numbers. It didn’t quite work out that way, but like any trip to a far off land, the MOOC experience teaches us some  ’home truths’ about education. The [...]

How not to lose mail; how not to lose €3.6 billion

Mon, 13 Jan 2014 11:06:11 +0000

The Department of Finance loses mail. When you are responsible for cash flows amounting to billions of euros per year. I used to lose mail too. Really, I was very disorganised. I then bought this scanner. Every so often I take the pile of mail and scan it in. I can sort it on my computer. [...]

Charging for Postcodes and the Legendary Ryanair Toilet Levy

Tue, 19 Nov 2013 10:03:41 +0000

Yesterday we got some information about how open the Irish postcode system will be funded. Essentially the idea is to pay for its setup and operating costs out of a charge to end-users for the database – charging for access to the ‘facility’, if you like. This ‘licence fee’ is a rather humdrum traditional idea [...]