Nov 27 2010

Intune Networks to Float

Category: Entrepreneurship,NetworksTeknovis @ 09:49

Amid all of the economic bad news, here is something positive! Intune Networks might be the next Irish company to make an IPO according to Intune targets IPO to be Ireland’s anchor tech firm.

This will be exciting to watch!

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Nov 26 2010

Komplett Customer Service

Category: eShoppingTeknovis @ 19:07

It is getting close to that time of the year when we all start buying Christmas presents! I have not started yet, but more about this in a few weeks time!

I have bought many things from Komplett in the past. I always found it good value, and I thought that the service was good.

However, I have had two incidents in the past few months that are making me rethink this. In both cases I had to email customer service within 24 hours of ordering. In the first case my order actually arrived before customer service responded to me, telling me that my order would be shipped soon. In the second case I got billed several times for a single order, according to my online backing statement. They problem was acknowledged, and I was refunded, but again it took weeks.

The other thing that is making me think about bringing my business elsewhere, is that Komplett charge me the Irish VAT rates. I consider these are excessively high, and hence I normally purchase from low VAT countries.

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Nov 23 2010

EU Patents Overhaul

Category: PatentsTeknovis @ 17:41

A friend sent me an article about proposed reforms to the EU patenting system. The article is EU Nears Agreement on Patent Deal.

In general, I spend an amount of time working with patents. I think that they are best described as a necessary evil!

I think that the proposed changes described in this article would be brilliant, because it is currently far to bureaucratic and expensive seeking EU wide patents compared to US patents.

However, the prospect of brining in a new patenting system that requires more than one language (English) is missing the point! I think that the advocates of multiple languages need to think beyond their own countries, and take the global view!

This is best described by the words of one French official representative1:

This is a bit ridiculous … the English version is the one that really matters

1The French official is official in the sense that he is French, and he solely represents France in personal discussions with me whenever we go for a drink ;)

Nov 18 2010

EU and IMF Arrive in Ireland

Category: BusinessTeknovis @ 17:59

The inevitable has finally happened – the EU and the IMF have arrived in Ireland to try to resolve the Irish mess. See Talks with IMF to begin tomorrow for more details.

Personally, I am relieved to see them arrive. I think that our inept politicians are not the right people to be trying to fix this mess for the following reasons:

  • They are generally inexperienced and uneducated in financial matters (The minister for finance is a solicitor!).
  • They oversaw the demise.
  • They act primarily in the interest of their developer and banker supporters.
  • They are unable to stand-up to a very loud civil service that is only interested in its own welfare.

I expect to see real, and long overdue, reform now!


Nov 13 2010

How Enterprise Ireland Spends the Taxpayers’ Money

Category: eGovernment,EntrepreneurshipTeknovis @ 10:23

Interesting reading reading about the spending habits of Enterprise Ireland, but I am not sure how expected this is – Enterprise Ireland spent most of funding on itself.


Nov 12 2010

Amazon Refuses To Censor

Category: InternetTeknovis @ 18:46

I hate censorship – of all types. So I was delighted to read that Amazon has refused to censor the rather controversially titled book The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure. For more information see Amazon row over paedophile book.

Well done Amazon!

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Nov 11 2010

How DERI Spends the Taxpayers’ Money

Category: Fourth LevelTeknovis @ 20:25

Earlier this week I wrote about the huge, and unwarranted, costs of certain staff in Top Educational Salaries in Ireland. So today I decided to stay with expenditure in Irish education, and write about something that has really been annoying me for the last two weeks.

Somebody told me about an article describing how a UCG research group called DERI has been spending the tax payers’ money that was given to them by Science Foundation Ireland. The article is very revealing, and it can be read online: Tighter Controls at NUIG Research Institute Following Expenses Controversy.

I will quote some of the more astonishing revelations…

Tighter controls have been implemented at a research institute at NUIGalway after a hundred thousand euro was spent to hire private jets. The private flights were for researchers and academics at the Digital Enterprise Research Institute, DERI, at NUIG, in 2004.

The wastage continues…

Other expenses incurred include 154 thousand euro to send dozens of DERI staff to a luxury resort in Crete for conferences.

Shame on you both UCG and DERI for your pathetic self-interest at the cost of everybody else.

So what is the outcome of all of this?

Current DERI Chief Executive, Michael Turley, says policies have been tightened since those expenses were incurred.

What is wrong with this country? Why have those involved in this embezzlement, and those who were supposed to be overseeing it, not being charged with criminal activity? How come they have not been fired? Is it to much to ask that they be forced to pay it back? Even a public apology to the taxpayers whose money was squandered would be a start. Is policy tightening really the best outcome to this? It stinks!

It is sad, because the dishonesty of one group, and the incompetence of its university, will generate a negative impression regarding all of the research groups and universities in Ireland. I certainly would be ashamed to be associated with such a shambolic research group.

I also think that Science Foundation Ireland must share some of the blame here. At the minimum, it should immediately suspend all payments to UCG, until this money is repaid.

I also wonder should the spending of other similar research groups be scrutinised more closely?

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Nov 09 2010

Top Educational Salaries in Ireland

Category: EducationTeknovis @ 12:07

There is really interesting reading in The top 100 best-paid in education.

I think that to a large extent the Irish third level educational system has become inflated with its own self importance!


Nov 02 2010

Fine Gael on Second Level Education

Category: Second LevelTeknovis @ 18:22

I recently described a few changes I would make to second level education in Ireland in Reforming Second Level Education in Ireland.

Today I read the more thought-out educational reforms suggested by Fine Gael (the largest opposition political party) in No more Republic of average.

I do not agree with all of the points. However, I was surprised to see that we have a common vision for the future direction of the compulsory teaching of Irish:

4 Abolish compulsory Irish

I passionately believe that Irish should not be a compulsory subject for the Leaving Cert. Sixteen-year-olds should make up their own mind if they want to study Irish. In my view the destruction of the language is based upon compelling every Irish student to study Irish whether they like it or not.

We need to introduce other European languages at a much earlier stage. Less than 15 per cent of all primary schools provide a modern European language, excluding Irish and English. Our performance in this area is not good enough. Our future success will be based on our students having greater aptitude in all languages. The earlier we offer new languages in the primary curriculum the easier it will be to reach the European average later in a child’s development.

I think the chances of this happening are significantly greater now!