Microsoft is already making bold claims about its Windows Phone 7. The company has backed up its statement that Windows Phone 7 is “designed to get you in and out and back to life” by stating that their new mobile OS requires 20% fewer steps to perform tasks compared to other mobile operating systems. Of course, that claim is based on Microsoft’s own internal research.The 20% claim around the efficiency of Windows Phone 7’s UI seems to come from the use of hubs and tiles in the mobile OS. Other “step savers” include a dedicated button for Bing Search which includes support for speak-to-search, a calendar on the phone’s start screen, and native integration for Facebook and Windows Live eliminating the need for separate applications.Consumers can expect to have Windows Phone 7 and all of its benefits completely rammed down their throats this holiday season as a result of “the biggest TV marketing campaign in the history of the mobile business” according to Todd Peters, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of mobile communications marketing. Computerworld says you shouldn’t expect the 20% claim to be included in the television ads though.Read more at Computerworld
It was kind of a depressing week in Twitter. The buzz on the Twits was about the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s murder, Elizabeth Edwards succumbing to cancer, Julian Assange being arrested for rape allegations, and so on. There were a few uplifting things in the mix as well, so don’t let that holiday spirit fall too much. If you missed out on the most talked-about subjects from the week, we’ve got you covered. Check out the top trending topics on Twitter for the week ending in December 10: 1. John LennonDecember 8, 2010 marked the 30th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. #Lennon2. Pearl HarborSixty-nine years have passed since the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. On December 7, 1941, Japan dropped a bomb on the US base in Pearl Harbor, which started World War II in the Asian and Pacific oceans. #PearlHarbor3. Elizabeth EdwardsWife of former candidate for Vice President John Edwards for the Democratic Party passed away on Tuesday at age 61 to cancer. #ElizabethEdwards4. All I WantPeople are tweeting about things they want sooner or later. For example, all I want: is peace on earth, for Christmas is my two front teeth, etc. #Alliwant5. Julian Assange / ArrestedWikileaks founder Julian Assange was arrested in connection with Swedish allegations of sexual assault. People are suspicious of possible political motives behind these allegations, after the recent publication of confidential documents on the Wikileaks site. #AssangeCheck out the next five topics after the jump!6. Why Relationships Don’t LastPeople are tweeting reasons why relationships don’t last. One reason that came up often in tweets: Facebook. #Whyrelationshipsdontlast7. Number GameIt started on Facebook and got carried to Twitter. According to PCMag, “The rules of the game are simple. Start by messaging your Facebook friend a number, like two or 398749. They’ll post a note on your wall with that number plus what they really think about you. Afterwards, ask other friends via status or chat to send you a number if they want to see what you think of them.” #numbergame8. Things I MissPeople are tweeting about things they miss. For example: Crystal Pepsi, my dog from third grade, Chanukah, etc. #Thingsimiss9. Bernie SandersThe Senator from Vermont is heading up a filibuster against Obama’s tax proposal, stating that, “we have got to do a lot better than this agreement provides.”10. Barbara WaltersThe newscaster made waves this week for her list of 2010’s “Most Fascinating People,” including such diverse choices as Mark Zuckerberg, Sarah Palin, Justin Bieber, and the cast of The Jersey Shore.
The rate at which the human population is increasing is phenomenal. In just 199 years we have gone from a world population of 1 billion to 6 billion. This year, just 12 years after hitting 6 billion, we are going to pass the 7 billion mark.7 billion is a big number, and this National Geographic video does a good job of making you realize just how big it is. The standout facts for me are that 5 people are born every second, but only 2 people die. That’s a population increase of 180 people every minute of the day.On the flip side to the amount of people there are, we apparently don’t take up very much space. Crowd us shoulder to shoulder and 7 billion people only fill an area the size of Los Angeles. In reality we all have our own space, be it a large house or a small shack somewhere in the world.Still, the world has to cope somehow, and the population is set to increase to 9 billion by 2045. More of us are moving to cities, and overcrowding will become an increasing problem. I don’t envy the job of future local governments figuring out how to house us all and clean up after us every day.Read more at National Geographic, via DEVOUR
A lot of pilots still use traditional paper-based solutions when planning flight paths and keeping abreast of the latest regulations, but slowly the move to a digital solution has been creeping in.Normally, due to the critical nature of flying an aircraft the above digital changeover does require FAA approval. That’s something which can take considerable time because they need to make sure the device that contains the charts and flight paths is solid and relatively bug free.However, it seems that the stable iPad has not had to wait too long to be adapted for pilot use. Executive Jet Management (a charter plane company) has already gone through a relatively short but extensive approval process so that its pilots can – if they wish – rely solely on iPads for browsing the aforementioned charts and flight paths instead of the traditional paper based methods.EJM used an iPad app called Mobile TC which was developed by Jeppesen (an aviation chart specialist). After proving that the app was functional, and would not crack under pressure or cause excessive battery drains, they got FAA approval and were able to provide the software for the iPad.Alaska Airlines is also in the process of evaluating the use of iPads for its pilots, so Apple will certainly be pleased by this news. What with this and the fact that Australian airline Jetstar is renting out iPad’s during its flights, Apple can make great use of older iPad stock before the newer iPad 2 hits the shelves later this year.Read more at CrunchGear
Most iPad users simply use Safari when it comes to searching the web. It’s quick, it’s easy, and it has all of the functionality you could hope for. However, Google has been offering a dedicated search app for some time now. That app just became a slightly more appealing option with a significant update today.While the universal app brings updates to both the iPhone and iPad, it’s the tablet version that got the best of the new features. The iPad edition now offers the new Google tablet UI, along with Google Instant, side-by-side browsing and searching, full-screen image browsing, and easy Google Apps access.Google Search is the perfect example of a native app that is competing with your browser for your time. However, unlike most native apps, the experience won’t be much different either way. With a few exceptions, this application is mostly just a wrapper for Google’s web UI for tablets. Why use this over Safari?If you’re a big user of image search, that could be one good reason. The updated Google Search app lets you swipe through large versions of image results, in a “cover flow” type of format. It’s attractive, intuitive, and can’t be found in a browser:The side-by-side browsing feature is another one of the nicer bonuses in this update. When looking at search results, tap on a link and that page will slide over from the right. You can then reposition it so that your results are still showing while you browse. It’s clean, simple, and easy:Whether you will want to use this app over Safari is still debatable. Despite the attractive UI and cool new additions, significant features like Instapaper (or other Read Later) access and iOS 5 Twitter integration are conspicuously missing. If you don’t use these features — and like to have quick access to all things Google — then it may be worth checking out. For the rest of us, you won’t be missing much by sticking with Safari.Download Google Search from the App store
Blizzard Entertainment does not like bots operating in World of Warcraft, and demonstrated that by taking the company behind WOWGlider to court a few years ago, winning damages, and shutting the bot down. Now a new bot has appeared, and Blizzard is attempting exactly the same thing with another lawsuit.This new bot is called Pocket Gnome and is offered by Ceiling Fan Software (run by Brian Becker and Statnton Fraser). The number of players that can actually take advantage of Pocket Gnome is limited as it seems to only work on Intel Macs. Even so, due to the automated functionality it offers, Blizzard wants sales of the bot stopped and damages paid.As you can see from the interface image below, Pocket Gnome allows the player to automate a whole load of repetitive tasks in the MMO. If used effectively, you could leave WoW running all day and return to find your character has leveled up significantly without any direct input from you.Blizzard is arguing that such functionality is detrimental to the game as a whole, and “frustrating” for legitimate players. They even claim Pocket Gnome is “diverting revenue from Blizzard to defendants” in this case Ceiling Fan Software. The amount made off sales of Pocket Gnome (which includes both an up front fee and monthly charge) is speculated to be between tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars.Ceiling Fan know that Pocket Gnome is breaking the terms of service for WoW, and they even openly acknowledge it does on the bot’s website. It is followed by a warning that if you get caught you will be banned, but also that bans are avoidable if the bot is used in a smart way.With WOWGlider losing out to Blizzard’s lawyers, I suspect Pocket Gnome will suffer a similar fate. How long it takes before the bot disappears depends on how much cash Becker and Fraser are willing to spend on their defense, and if they have anything to counter the lawsuit with.We must point out that not all MMO bots are bad. In 2009 a WoW bot was shown off at the Defcon security conference that had been created to act like a human player. It was not developed further, but the API was made available for anyone interested in using it. I wonder if Pocket Gnome includes any of the tech released for that bot at Defcon?via Courthouse News Service
Few subjects get geeks’ blood pumping like that of internet freedom. The internet has radically changed our world, and one of the key tenets of that change has been the internet’s fundamental essence of liberty. With some obvious exceptions (death threats, child porn, leaked government secrets), nearly anything goes on the ‘net — and many of us see that as a good thing. We can each craft our own virtual experience on the internet, with little concern for disruption from policing authority figures.On the other side of the fence, however, copyright holders are up in arms. They long for the days when their music, movies, and games could only be distributed via physical media. Despite the fact that they’re still profiting wildly, they would love to take us back to a world that more closely resembles the 20th century. The method they’ve come up with to curb piracy is the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA.Advocates of internet freedom hate SOPA. To them, it is evil incarnate. With SOPA, electronic freedom goes down the toilet. The US Department of Justice could get court orders to shut down or block access to any website that is accused of providing copyright-infringing content. This could include any site that hosts user content, including YouTube, Flickr, or (more blatantly) The Pirate Bay. There would be no trial for these accused sites; the Justice Department would serve as judge, jury, and executioner. SOPA would take the primarily libertarian world of the internet, and turn it into a police state.Developers and hackers have rebelled against the legislation with various tactics, including future-proofing browser extensions that bypass (thus far non-existent) SOPA blocks. The latest ammunition provided by devs is a Chrome extension called No SOPA. Its function is simple: to notify you when you’re browsing a site of a SOPA supporter.No SOPA leaves the rest up to you. If you want to boycott that site, that’s your call. If you want to send its owners a strongly-worded letter, that ball’s in your court. Heck, if you’re a SOPA supporter, you could even use it to see who’s on your side. No SOPA just gives you the information while you’re browsing, and lets you respond (or not respond) as you wish.No SOPA can be added to Google’s Chrome web browser by visiting the developer’s extension page (it isn’t showing up yet in Chrome extension search results).Chrome Web Store, via Read Write Web
The Unicode Consortium recently announced the release of the Unicode 6.1 standard, updating the set with 732 new characters. Included in the update is support for the popular “emoji” icons widely used by consumers in China on mobile devices. One of the most interesting interesting characters added to the set is U+1F4A9, or to be more specific, “pile of poo.”We crap you not (see what we did there?), the Consortium thought enough people wanted to communicate their displeasure on a topic of conversation by depicting a steaming pile of waste that it included the icon in the official standard. Along with pile of poo, “love hotel” was also added… you can use your imaginations as to why.For those of you who are more interested in the less amusing additions to the set, you won’t be disappointed. Also included are seven new script extensions as well as support for identifying emoticons, text-style symbols as well as the aforementioned emoji icons. Line breaks have been updated as well to better serve text written in Japanese and Hebrew. In addition language support for Thai and Chinese has been updated.With the release, all of you ASCII artists that have been creating piles of poo by hand (gloves?) can now breathe a sigh of relief. What used to take you hundreds of keystrokes can now be accomplished with one tap of your finger. We are sure you feel relieved by this development.You can download the files in bulk for your textual pleasure. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.Read more at Unicode’s site.
Cable cutters the world over are familiar with XBMC. What started out as a curious little hack that replaced the OS on your original Xbox console, turning it into a set top box, has blossomed into a huge platform for digital entertainment on your television. It’s a fantastic one stop shop for taking your digital content, which you naturally acquired through 100% legal channels, organizes it, and presents it using an easy-to-use interface.XBMC has found its way onto tons of devices the world over, including the Apple TV set top boxes. Late last week, the XBMC team announced another home for their growing platform — Android.There are plenty of people out there watching movies and TV shows and listening to music on their Android devices. Some of them are even connected to televisions or high quality speakers. Unfortunately, accessing content you have stored on your local network is still pretty messy with Android. Even if you have one app to rule them all, it’s still not the best experience. XBMC has announced that they plan to release an app into the Google Play Store that will offer total XBMC functionality without root access or a custom ROM. Just launch the app and you’ve got XBMC.The app isn’t ready yet. XBMC’s announcement is really a call to arms for the developers of the world to compile XBMC and play with it on their devices in order to offer feedback. There are so many moving parts to XBMC, including the theme engine, that it is important to the team that when the app does hit the Play Store it feel as smooth and as thought out as it does on any other platform they support. If you are a developer interested in playing with XBMC, the source is readily available on their website for you to compile and contribute.Considering the wealth of Android devices that are capable of connecting to a television, I imagine there will be plenty of tinkerers out there ready to play with this code. Currently the source only supports ARM processors, so anyone eager to throw this on a Google TV will be sorely disappointed.With the hardware advances seen in Android handsets recently, it will be interesting to see how close someone gets to having a smartphone behave as the center of their home theater setup just by setting it into a dock and launching the XBMC app.More at XBMC
We got wind of the Leap Motion controller, what is essentially a PC Kinect on steroids, back in May 2012. The device is a little bigger than a standard flash drive, retails for a low price of $69.99, and claims to provide a motion control accuracy of up to 200x the accuracy of any other motion control device. However, the reason why Kinect or PS Move isn’t as accurate is supposedly because of software breakthroughs the Leap employs, finally providing the closest we’ve ever come to a true 1:1 motion controller, with extreme accuracy.Though the Leap Motion controller is only available for pre-order, the company has found another way to get some into the hands of consumers. Leap Motion has partnered with Asus, and announced that their motion controller will be bundled with select desktops and notebooks, and shipped sometime later this year. Considering this year just started, we might have a long way to go before then.The Leap Motion app store, which will offer apps compatible with the motion controller, will come pre-installed on any unit that ships with the controller.Bundling with a popular brand like Asus is a pretty smart move for Leap Motion, which will be pulling a move similar to what Sony did by including a DVD player in the PlayStation 2 (and Blu-ray with PS3) — giving consumers an entry point to the technology without forcing them to actively make a choice to do so.Leap Motion CEO Michael Buckwald notes that the computer peripheral isn’t the only model of the controller, as there are models that are low-impact enough to work with other devices, like smartphones. However, those aren’t the units Asus will be bundling.What do you think, are you ready for your Asus laptop to have motion control, or do you think it will just prove to be a gimmick?via The Verge
3D printing might be the wave of the future, or it might just end up a niche hobby that’s pretty cool but ultimately too expensive and complicated to ever take off. Whatever that fate may be, startup Modern Meadow is throwing its hat into the 3D printing ring, but rather than printing plastic trinkets or gun parts, it plans to print edible meat.We’ve mentioned Modern Meadow — a company that is practicing a variant of 3D printing, called 3D bioprinting — before. Instead of using resin like standard 3D printing, or a material more easily sent through a printer for food-printing like melted chocolate that then hardens, Modern Meadow uses material somewhat creepily called “bioink”.In order to print live cells, the engineers perform biopsies on animals and collect stem cells, or other special cells. Because stem cells are basically magical (this not a technical term), they can not only turn into other cells, but replicate themselves. Once they replicate enough times, the engineers load them into a bioprinter cartridge, which creates something of a bioink — a material made of many live cells. When the bioink is printed, the living cells link together and form living tissue.When using 3D bioprinting a hamburger as an example, Professor Gabor Forgacs — part of the father and son founders of Modern Meadow — notes that the actual shape of the food isn’t too much of a hurdle, as it’s simply a round, relatively 2D patty. Another benefit to producing edible meat is that the live tissue can die afterward, as consumable meat normally isn’t living tissue, so a method of preserving the tissue’s life isn’t really required.Though it might be easier to print edible, dead-tissue meat, Modern Meadow is facing a couple fairly large hurdles. For one, convincing the world to eat lab-grown meat might not be so easy. Another significant hurdle is that though Modern Meadow hasn’t grown something like a burger or steak as of yet, the price of one would be astronomically high. Another team of researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands has been growing animal cells to produce strips of lean muscle, with the goal of creating an artificial hamburger. Though the team doesn’t use bioprinting, they do use a somewhat related process of having stem cells replicate and create live tissue in a mold. Unfortunately, creating an entire burger would currently cost over $300,000.If this all seems a little nutty, Modern Meadow has managed to raise some backing from prominent figures, such as Peter Thiel, who was one of Facebook’s early investors. There’s no word yet on when the company will be able to print a burger (or even a slider!), but if it can, it will be interesting to see how much it’ll cost, and if people can be convinced that “synthetic” meat is truly edible.
As many of you might have noticed, Google announced that it would be sending its RSS reader gentle into that good night. With the amount of outrage and shock that you most likely saw spread across your favorite blogs and social networks, the shuttering of Google Reader probably seemed like a crazy move from a company that would be losing a popular service with an extremely dedicate following. The thing is, though, it’s not like Google doesn’t have access to Reader’s numbers. So, when Google says Reader’s population wasn’t enough to justify the service’s existence, the amount of outrage you saw on the internet about it is most likely from a very vocal minority. In response, Brian Shih, a former product manager for Google Reader, took to Quora to explain why Google had to shut down the service.You might have found that most people assume that Reader simply didn’t generate enough revenue to cover operating costs. Shih explains that Reader never directly made money, and recalls that Reader was faced with moving its staff onto other projects more than once, in order to build OpenSocial, Buzz, and Google+. All of those projects were social-based, and Shih believes Google always wanted to use the Reader team on other social projects because the Reader team understood the socialscape. So, it’s not like Google didn’t value the people behind Reader.Google decided to shut down Reader in 2010, and then when Google+ hit the market and the sharing features of Reader were diminished, Shih suspects that is when the Reader population began to plummet. So, with Reader’s sharing features taking a backseat to Google+, and with Google aiming for a more consolidated, focused effort in recent times, the company decided it was time to focus more, and kill off a product that wasn’t being used enough.The reason why you’re seeing seemingly universal outrage is because you read blogs, and bloggers use Google Reader much more than the more average internet user does.Shih left Google in 2011, so what he speaks isn’t — as he puts it — gospel. However, he recently held a position that provided him with knowledge of how Google operates, and how the company felt about Reader. So, he’s most likely more informed than your favorite bloggers using all those sad face emoticons filling up your Twitter feed.There are a host of competent Reader alternatives out there, some of which are much more sleek and packed with a ton of features, so don’t fret. You’ll just have to get used to a new UI and clicking a new bookmark.
Before the concept of lift was well-understood, humanity tried all manner of bird-shaped contraptions in the pursuit of powered flight. It was a monumental failure back then, but a team at the University of Maryland Robotics Center is reviving the idea with a robot. They have managed to construct a lightweight flying robot with flapping wings, just like a bird. It’s almost a little creepy how much it looks like a real bird.The so-called Robo Raven is not the first attempt to build a robot that mimics bird flight. A decade of experiments resulted in abject failure, or at most a few seconds of linear flight. The University of Maryland team, led by professors S.K. Gupta and Hugh Bruck, have cracked the code by building a bird drone with independently controlled wings.It uses two electronically synchronized programmable motors to flap the wings. With some computational muscle, the Robo Raven is able to adjust its flapping motion to stay aloft. That was just the first part of the problem, though. With all the motors, battery, and actuators, the robot was simply too heavy to fly at first. The solution was to use 3D printing and laser cutting to craft lightweight polymer components. Along with smarter flapping algorithms, the bird-bot got airborne.It doesn’t just fly, though. It can actually maneuver like a real bird. It swoops, banks, and dives looking quite lifelike. From a distance you can’t even tell it’s a robot. A jet or helicopter-type drone would be obvious and loud, but the Robo Raven blends into the skies completely.This robot could have a future in surveillance operations, but first it needs to slim down a bit more to carry a camera. Maybe in the future you won’t be able to assume all those flapping silhouettes in the sky are real birds.
http://jrnl.ie/3050990 49 Comments Image: Shutterstock/Dobo Kristian 19,073 Views Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Rónán Duffy Share420 Tweet Email Friday 28 Oct 2016, 9:01 AM Image: Shutterstock/Dobo Kristian A MALE CONTRACEPTIVE jab has proven to be 96% effective but reported side-effects could delay it being made widely available.The Guardian reports that a trial of 350 men saw them being given injections of hormones that effectively stops the production of sperm.The men were given an initial injection and continued to use other birth control methods before entering the “efficacy phase” of the study. At that point they stopped using other methods and received more jabs every two months.The hormones involved were progestogen, to switch off sperm production, and testosterone to balance out the drop in the male hormone.The efficacy rate of 96% is similar to that achieved by the female combined pill.The trial was judged to have “unacceptable side-effects” including depression, acne and increased libido with 20 men dropping out of the trial early.Early stages of the trial in 2011 also had to be halted due to the side-effects reported.Of the 1,491 incidents reported during the early stages of the study, 39% were found to be unrelated to the treatment. These included one suicide and one man who reported irregular heartbeats.Despite the side-effects reported by some, three-quarters of the men who completed the study said they would be willing to use the contraceptive jab on a long-term basis.Read: Ethiopia was given 69 million condoms… but might have to throw them all out >Read: ‘I had sex with 40 women… I never did use condoms’: Call for increased sex-ed in care homes > The ‘male pill’ could be coming, it’s in jab form and it works Side-effects could delay it actually happening though. Oct 28th 2016, 9:01 AM
By Cormac Fitzgerald 24 Comments Nov 30th 2016, 3:23 PM File photo. Image: Joe Dunne/RollingNews.ie Share203 Tweet Email Wednesday 30 Nov 2016, 3:23 PM 11,871 Views File photo. Image: Joe Dunne/RollingNews.ie Short URL THE OIREACHTAS HEALTH Committee has heard that more people die each year in Ireland from drug overdose than from road deaths.Dr Gerard Bury told the Health Committee the issue of overdose was down people not being able to access proper medication and supports to combat the issue.203 people died in 2013 from a drug death in which an opiate was implicated.Dr Bury was speaking to the committee in relation to the introduction of medically supervised injecting centres in Dublin.Medically supervised injecting centres are places where intravenous drug users could go to inject in a setting with a health professional. There are currently over 90 such centres around the world.The Misuse of Drugs (Supervised Injecting Facilities) Bill would allow centres to be introduced in Ireland if it is passed.Speaking today, Bury said that there was increasing evidence that the centres were an “effective harm reduction measure” for certain groups of drug users.Speaking at the committee, former Drugs Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin said that people were dying on the streets of Dublin regularly from overdose.“People die behind dumpsters, people die in toilets, people die in urine-soaked stairwells,” he said.People are literally dying on the streets of this city.Also speaking at the committee, Tony Duffin, director of the Ana Liffey Drug project which helps drug users in Ireland, said that medically supervised injecting centres would help users on the streets. Tony Duffin (left) and Mark Kennedy (right). Source: Oireachtas tvDuffin said that there are around 400 users injecting openly in Dublin.“People who inject drugs in the public domain do not want to do this,” he said, stating that people injected drugs on the streets as they had no place else to go.Duffin said that centres would be an “empathetic and effective response to the issue of public injecting”.He said that the centres would reduce risk, would take the issue off the streets and would help users.“Importantly they will save lives,” he said.No one has ever died from an overdose in the 90+ supervised injecting centres around the world.Registration Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O’Brien – who sits on the committee – said that he widely supported the bill but had a number of issues with certain elements it.These included aspects which required that drug users register their details before they would be permitted to use the centres.O’Brien said that this would dissuade users from using the centres in the first place.He said that the Government needed to be “looking at as few obstacles as possible” for people to come to the centres.He also took issue with the section of the bill which would allow gardaí to enter the facilities at any time without a warrant.“I still believe there is an element within Garda Síochána… who are not convinced of this project,” he said.Both Fianna Fáil’s Jack Chambers and Senator Lynn Ruane said they supported the introduction of the centres.The Committee also heard about concerns to do with the availability of the drug Naloxone, which is used to prevent death from overdose.The Committee will hear from members of the gardaí in a second session this evening.Read: Dublin will be getting its first drug injection centre within 18 monthsRead: ‘It’s not about NIMBY-ism, we just want a debate on injection centres’ ‘People die in toilets, people die in urine-soaked stairwells’ An Oireachtas Health Committee is hearing submissions in relation to medically supervised injecting centres. http://jrnl.ie/3111285 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Jan 16th 2017, 12:01 AM Image: Shutterstock/Rastislav Sedlak SK By Rónán Duffy 43,746 Views 66 Comments http://jrnl.ie/3188533 Monday 16 Jan 2017, 12:01 AM Share354 Tweet Email4 Short URL Image: Shutterstock/Rastislav Sedlak SK EIGHT MEN OWN the same amount of wealth as the combined wealth of the poorest half of the planet.Ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos this week, research from Oxfam has put the vast global income inequality into focus.The charity also found that, since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet.It’s also been estimated that over the next 20 years, 500 people will hand over $2.1 trillion to their heirs – a sum larger than the GDP of India.Other stark comparisons show that a FTSE-100 CEO earns as much in a year as 10,000 people working in garment factories in Bangladesh.Oxfam says that such inequalities “threaten to pull our societies apart” with Oxfam Ireland’s CEO Jim Clarken saying that political consequences are already being felt.“Public anger is already creating political shockwaves across the globe with inequality cited as a significant factor in the election of Donald Trump in the US and Brexit in the UK,” he argues.People are tired of a system which seems rigged against them, where big business and the super-rich use their money and connections to ensure government policy works for them.Corporate tax avoidanceOxfam has also sought to address the causes of inequality and has said that tax avoidance by major corporations is having a major effect on developing economies.The report points to the case of Apple which it says paid a tax rate on its European profits of just 0.005% in 2014.On a national basis, Oxfam pointed to the case of Kenya. The report claims that Kenya, for example, is losing $1.1 billion every year in tax exemptions for corporations, nearly twice its budget for health.Oxfam Ireland says politicians here must continue to do their part.“The Irish government has made efforts to reform the tax system especially in relation to tax dodging by wealthy individuals. We need to tackle aggressive tax planning by corporations,” Clarken argues.“Ireland needs to continue supporting international tax transparency and should back a proposal to create a global tax body to oversee necessary reform.”Read: One in 40 people living in Dublin is a millionaire, according to a new survey >Read: ‘You’ll never work in this town again’: Mila Kunis reveals producer’s threat after refusing to pose semi-naked > Eight men hold as much wealth as half the planet combined Some of the world’s richest people are meeting in Davos this week.
May 2nd 2017, 4:52 PM Tuesday 2 May 2017, 4:52 PM 7,383 Views No Comments Image: Shutterstock/cynoclub By Órla Ryan Image: Shutterstock/cynoclub Short URL The 5 at 5: Tuesday Five minutes, five stories, five o’clock… Share Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article http://jrnl.ie/3369345 EVERY WEEKDAY EVENING, TheJournal.ie brings you the five stories you need to know as you head home for the day.1. #TERRORISM: The Garda-led investigation into the funding of international terrorism which led to the arrest and charge of an Irish citizen involved the FBI, Interpol and the London Metropolitan Police, a court has been told. Hassan Bal was refused bail today.2. #JOBSTOWN: Former Tánaiste Joan Burton should, as a public representative, be “big enough and bold enough” to take distasteful name-calling on board, a trial has heard.3. #HOME SWEET HOME: Lord Mayor of Dublin Brendan Carr has called on the Home Sweet Home campaign to donate the remaining funds it raised (€129,000) to housing and homelessness charities.4. #EIGHTH AMENDMENT: Bríd Smith of Solidarity-PBP said she would not be surprised if the majority of politicians sitting on the special Oireachtas committee tasked with debating the Citizen’s Assembly’s final report on Ireland’s abortion laws are “anti-choice”.5. #LUAS: Renua has compared the Luas works currently taking place across Dublin to a “war-zone” which makes the city “harder to escape from than Alcatraz”.Comments are closed for legal reasons.
40,028 Views It”s taken 21 monthsbut today the High Court ruledthat Hopkins statements to/about me were defamatory.I sued her for libel.and I won.— Jack Monroe (@BootstrapCook) March 10, 2017 Share Tweet Email Read: Food blogger takes Katie Hopkins to court over tweets Mar 10th 2017, 3:29 PM FOOD BLOGGER JACK Monroe has won her libel proceedings against columnist Katie Hopkins, and has been awarded £24,000 in damages by the high court in London.Monroe had sued the controversial Hopkins after a series of tweets that she said caused “serious harm to her reputation”.She had claimed that Hopkins had defamed her when the Daily Mail columnist took aim at the blogger after a memorial to women of the second world war in Whitehall, London, was vandalised during an anti-austerity demonstration in May 2015.Hopkins directed a tweet to Monroe’s twitter account which said: “Scrawled on any memorials recently? Vandalised the memory of those who fought for your freedom. Grandma got any more medals?”In response, Monroe tweeted: “I have NEVER ‘scrawled on a memorial’. Brother in the RAF. Dad was a para in the Falklands. You’re a piece of shit.”The high court heard that Hopkins had mistaken a tweet from another anti-austerity activist, Laurie Penny, as being from Monroe, which prompted the “scrawled on any memorials” tweet, the Guardian reports.Monroe later tweeted a message asking for an immediate apology from Hopkins and a £5,000 donation to a migrant rescue charity, or she would sue her.In reply, Hopkins said: “Can someone explain to me – in 10 words or less – the different between irritant @PennyRed and social anthrax @MsJackMonroe.”In court, Monroe said that she had received death threats following her interactions with Hopkins and that the “defamatory comments” had caused “serious harm” to her reputation.Hopkins lawyers’ argued that the case was a “trivial dispute” on Twitter which was resolved within hours. They said that the events caused “no lasting harm, and certainly no serious harm” to Monroe’s reputation.Following the award of £24k in damages, a statement from Monroe’s solicitor Mark Lewis said that, in this case, “the price of not saying sorry has been very high”.Monroe rose to prominence when she began writing a blog which shared affordable recipes she had created while living as a young single mother. Since becoming more well-known, Monroe has also been outspoken on issues such as poverty and austerity.Following the verdict, she posted its result on twitter before thanking those that had supported her. Friday 10 Mar 2017, 3:29 PM Image: Danny Lawson PA Archive/PA Images By Sean Murray Blogger awarded £24k in damages after suing Katie Hopkins for defamation Jack Monroe’s lawyer said “the price of not saying sorry has been very high” in this case. Source: ❄Jack Monrowflake/Twitter 55 Comments http://jrnl.ie/3280964 Short URL Katie Hopkins lost a case accusing her of defamation in the high court. Image: Danny Lawson PA Archive/PA Images Katie Hopkins lost a case accusing her of defamation in the high court. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Short URL ‘TIGER’S BACK! GOLF’S back!’ proclaimed Butch Harmon on the 18th green of Augusta National, as Tiger Woods raised his arms in the image of a man who has endured his own personal crucifixion. The Resurrection of Tiger Woods. Source: SIPA USA/PA ImagesSadly for Tiger, it was into Jim Nantz’s hands he then had to commend his victory.Nantz didn’t share Harmon’s sense of economy during the traditional Butler Cabin interview, as the CBS commentator saw in Tiger’s triumph a chance to tether himself forever to one of the most iconic sports stories in history.Thus began the unseemly spectacle of one man trying to make another man cry.Following a juxtaposing of Tiger hugging his late father in 1997 with his embrace of his son moments earlier, Nantz paused and asked,How much does it mean to you as a Dad…[pause for emotional build-up]…for your children to experience this, to see their Dad win a Major championship?Nantz’s voice quivered with the ludicrous emotion he hoped would soon be reciprocated.But Tiger didn’t cry, and Nantz was left to slowly walk back from it all.Whether this was down to Woods’ legendary disregard for others is unclear: it may be due to where the interview was taking place.Butler Cabin looks like the set of one of those cheap evangelical talk shows which promises deliverance from sins once you pay the postage and packing, and it has an atmosphere stilted enough to make tear ducts arid, making crying like trying to scream in space.The whole thing was another reminder of the utter nonsense that clings to the Masters: there is no competition in sport that is so consistently compelling and dramatic in spite of the best efforts of its organisers.The word “patrons” began to grate by about 8.15pm on Thursday, TV coverage is infuriatingly restricted on the opening couple of days and then the organisers moved the final day to clash with the Premier League, thus scuppering the marathon day of sport we had spent a whole week negotiating for.Then Donald Trump tried to ruin it all by tweeting about it all weekend, desperately @ing Tiger Woods and seeing in it all his own pitiful obsession with attention: “Ratings Gold – Good luck to all!”Great playing by @TigerWoods (at the) @TheMasters. Tomorrow will be a big and exciting day for golf and for sports. Many fantastic players in the hunt. Ratings Gold – Good luck to all!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2019 Much of the coverage, particularly before ‘Moving Day’, is the general crooning about gardening, with Harmon quoting Seve Ballesteros saying that everyone should treat Augusta National “like an elderly person”.If Seve meant ignoring some outdated values and the occasional racism for the sake of an easier life, then he was probably right.Elsewhere, with Shane Lowry missing the cut and Rory McIlroy out of contention, there was little Irish interest beyond the annual practice of Spotting Kerry Jerseys At The Masters.Remarkably, there were two sightings on the opening day, meaning the tradition can continue for another year. pic.twitter.com/FOLfARZKLb— Ed Burke (@edtheburke) April 11, 2019 Monday 15 Apr 2019, 12:50 PM Apr 15th 2019, 12:50 PM 52,820 Views Share40 Tweet Email2 Kerry appearing in full view at the edge of the centre of the world brings us to the other big sporting story of the week.As the FAI were given a kicking by politicians on Oireachtas TV, one man rode to the side of John Delaney, with Deputy Michael Healy-Rae braying a full-throated defence of the Executive Vice-President.“Mr. Delaney will be most welcome to Kerry. He will get what I would call the mother of all welcomes when he comes to Kerry because his reputation and his respectability will precede him” said Healy-Rae, expounding his belief that “if Mr. Delaney is guilty of anything, it is of trying to help an association in the best way that he saw fit at that time.”Ruth Coppinger called him “a joke”, to which Healy-Rae responded by claiming he was being “goaded”.Healy-Rae has always held a high regard for his supposed persecution at the hands of those Up in Dublin, yet remains heroically happy to put up with it on radio and television, so he briefly made the FAI Shambles a story largely about him and his Outsider Complex.There was another unseemly set-to on Virgin Media’s Tonight Show, during which he and Ivan Yates started throwing insults at each other like apes slinging excrement through trees. Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube“A craven, leprechaun appearance” roared Yates, to which Healy-Rae theatrically responded by calling Yates an “arrogant bully”.This fulfilled what seems to pass for good television in Ireland: best to get two men to shouting loudly at each other, and all the better if one of them wears a silly hat.Frustratingly, this slagging match interrupted Niall Quinn, who was outlining structural ideas for the future of Irish football, something of far greater benefit to us all.But rather than listen to vital ideas as to how to affect great, lasting, and positive change in Irish football, we got to watch Michael Healy-Rae blithely fight against the tide like a whistling, tweed-clad King Cnut.Amid all of this, Healy-Rae will no doubt be proud to hear he has proved another fella Up in Dublin wrong.It’s Oscar Wilde, who said that it is “personalities, not principles, that move the age”.In Ireland, certain personalities keep us from going anywhere. 32 Comments https://the42.ie/4592319 By Gavin Cooney TV Wrap: More Kerry jerseys at the Masters while Tiger doesn’t cry and Healy-Rae moans Woods was subjected to a bizarre Butler Cabin interview after his remarkable triumph, while the FAI story became about one man. 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By Gráinne Ní Aodha As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: Apr 19th 2019, 10:01 PM Friday 19 Apr 2019, 10:00 PM The Good Friday Agreement is for everyone, we all have the same rights and benefits.She says that since she started her legal battle against the Home Office, others have got in touch with similar stories about their struggle to access their right to citizenship.DeSouza says that these problems have been going on for years, and the only reason we’re hearing about it now is that “a) we went public, and b) we’re the only people who have stuck with it”.“They appeal, and appeal, and appeal again until you relent. When I was speaking at Féile an Phobail in August last year, there was a man who had said he was in an appeal for 3 years when he gave up. He said that he had appealed for so long they couldn’t do it any longer because they had children. I’m sorry I didn’t get his name, because he kind of inspired me.ParliamentsDeSouza first took the case against the British Home Office after her US husband Jake’s application for an EEA residence card was rejected.In their refusal letter, the Home Office wrote: “…your spouse is entitled to renounce her status as a British citizen and rely on her Irish citizenship, but until that status is renounced she is as a matter of fact a British citizen”. The UK government effectively argued that DeSouza is a British citizen until she revokes it in favour of her Irish citizenship. As she is classed as a British citizen, but is an Irish passport holder, the UK government had classed her as having dual-citizenship, and cannot go through the UK immigration system as an EU national. On this basis, her husband’s application for a residence card was refused.Her case has also been raised in the Dáil and in the House of Commons in recent months.“I know that Tánaiste Simon Coveney has been talking to the Home Secretary about this, so it’s really good to see him publicly support the issue.”DeSouza says that there’s a failing in the Good Friday Agreement that if the British government do something wrong, “there’s nothing to make sure they hold up their end of the bargain”.This gap in the law is particularly relevant in the context of Brexit, where citizens in Northern Ireland are hoping that through their Irish citizenship, they can gain access to EU rights post-Brexit.DeSouza says that if these rights are given to Irish citizens, then they should also be given to British citizens from Northern Ireland, or else that would also contravene the Good Friday Agreement: “One set of people can’t have a choice that others don’t.”“The real purpose is to give people a voice,” DeSouza says. “On Saturday, myself and others will be making a very specific ask to uphold the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts. These words are not being translated and we need to make it clear that it’s time to address this issue.” There are 1.8 million citizens in Northern Ireland that can declare as British or Irish or both – because of Brexit, that’s kind of complicated for the Home Office to get their head around.NumbersDeSouza says that she’s not sure how many will be attending the rally tomorrow, and said that she organised it after people began asking her to, saying that it all happened “quite organically” through social media. The rally in Belfast is happening at noon at City Hall; a sister rally is taking place in London at the Northern Ireland Office.Actor Siobhán McSweeney, who plays Sister Michael in Derry Girls, has expressed support for the London rally on Twitter, and DeSouza understands that some of those who worked on the show are going to attend.She says that Northern Irish unionists got involved with the campaign too: “We got all these responses, with people sharing where they were born. So I know that I’m not alone, and the responsibility is on me to try to advocate on their behalf.” https://jrnl.ie/4596514 22,529 Views Share Tweet Email4 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 22 Comments RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER EMMA DeSouza is to lead a rally in Belfast tomorrow to raise awareness of how there’s no legal basis for the Good Friday Agreement in British law.In a rally that will address people at City Hall, DeSouza and others will call on the Good Friday Agreement to be upheld in all its parts. DeSouza, a 31-year-old woman from Derry, is challenging the British government’s assertion that people born in Northern Ireland can’t declare themselves as Irish, but are born British and must renounce British citizenship to claim their Irish citizenship.This is contrary to the Good Friday Agreement, but the Home Office’s assertion is that British immigration laws supercede that Agreement. DeSouza is challenging that argument; one British tribunal has found in her favour.Since her case was put into the public eye, DeSouza has prompted an online campaign, with other Northern Ireland citizens who faced similar obstacles in accessing their Irish rights by tweeting their experiences out under the hashtags “I Stand With Emma” and “We Are Irish Too”.“We keep hearing from the Irish government and the EU that the Good Friday Agreement needs to be upheld in all its parts, but that’s not what’s happening, and if anything we’re seeing a hardening against these rights. ‘The UK government keep appealing until you give up’: Rights activists hold rallies in Belfast and London Emma DeSouza is challenging the Home Office’s argument that British immigration law supersedes the Good Friday Agreement. We voted for that right, Northern Ireland voted 71% in favour of the Good Friday Agreement, to be able to self-declare as Irish or British or both. Short URL