Nov 28 2015

Irish Incomes

Category: Economy,MoneyTeknovis @ 5:33 pm

I am always interested in statistics relating to Irish incomes, and I often get asked about this while travelling, so I thought the the following statistics from Plans to slash the USC are rash and dangerous – here’s why were very interesting:

  • 70% of earners have an income greater than 12,000€ per annum
  • 50% of earners have an income greater than 27,000€ per annum
  • 22% of earners have an income greater than 50,000€ per annum
  • 16% of earners have an income greater than 60,000€ per annum

These figures relate to earned income, so they do not include non-earned income.

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May 22 2014

SamKnows in Ireland

Category: Hardware,Internet,TelecomsTeknovis @ 11:26 pm

I recently heard about SamKnows in the context of it being available in Ireland! In summary, it is a free to participate in scheme which involves plugging a box into your ISP’s internet connection in order to measure actual speeds! You can then compare these actual speeds to the advertised speeds in order to determine the difference.

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May 05 2014

Outliers

Category: Aviation,Entrepreneurship,ReviewsTeknovis @ 10:20 pm

I finished reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell this weekend. For more information about it see Outliers or Outliers (book), and you can buy it at Outliers: The Story of Success.

I enjoyed reading it. It was fairly easy going, and it was always interesting.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

There are plenty of reviews online already, so I am not going to add another. However, there was one very interesting piece of information that surprised me, so I will describe it here.

Chapter seven discusses plane crashes, and it describes a concept called the Power Distance Index (PDI). I will summarise this index by stating that a high DPI basically means that a subordinate is unlikely to be confident enough to contradict a superior, whereas a low DPI means that a subordinate sees himself/herself as an equal to his/her superior.

In the context of flying a plane, it is more desirable to have a pilot and co-pilot who come from a low DPI culture so that they can work well as a team of equals. In other words, if the pilot is doing something incorrect, then you want to co-pilot to be comfortable enough to clearly point-out the problem.

The book lists the five countries in the world where the PDI is highest between the pilot and the co-pilot. They are (in descending order):

  • Brazil
  • South Korea
  • Morocco
  • Mexico
  • Philippines

It is an interesting mix covering south and central America, Africa, and Asia. I am not able to see any pattern there.

However, the book also lists the five countries in the world where the PDI is lowest between the pilot and the co-pilot. They are (in descending order again):

  • United States
  • Ireland
  • South Africa
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

The thing that strikes me here is that they are all English speaking countries, and all former colonies of the UK. (This makes me wonder why the UK is not in the mix!)

I do not find this in any way surprising, because in a general sense these are all countries that share a language (English) that does not support formalities, and they provide relaxed workplace environments where subordinates and superiors are all friends!

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Dec 10 2013

Ireland as a Patent Nation

Category: Economy,Infographic,PatentsTeknovis @ 7:35 pm

FRKelly has produced a nice infographic in Ireland as a Patent Nation showing Ireland’s prowess as a patent filing nation (click to see larger version):

Ireland as a Patent Nation (Copyright FRKelly)

Ireland as a Patent Nation (Copyright FRKelly)

I think that the breakdown between academic institutions, individual inventors, and corporate bodies is the most interesting statistic.

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Jun 28 2013

Punitive Irish Income Tax Rates

Category: EconomyTeknovis @ 8:10 pm

I heard of an interesting situation in a small Irish technology company recently. The company is successful, and it generates a small profit. In previous years some of this profit was redistributed to employees in the form of a bonus.

However, this year management decided to do a cost-benefit analysis on these bonuses. It was not a surprise that they found it was very bad value, due to the punitive income tax rates in Ireland. See Bruton criticises high income tax rates for an explanation, and bear in mind that this does not consider employer’s PRSI. There is roughly 4€ of benefit to the employee for every 10€ spent by the company.

So instead the management allowed employees to choose from a list of alternative incentives that would not incur a tax liability. Some of these incentives included:

  • Additional annual leave
  • Additional investment in informal employee education and training
    • Travel and accommodation for attending foreign trade shows and conferences
    • Purchasing of new hardware relating to the business (smart phones, tablets, laptops)
  • Improved office facilities
    • Free food
    • The creation of a recreational zone
  • Donations to charities of the employees’ choosing

There were more, but I cannot remember them all now.

Unsurprisingly, not even one person choose to receive a bonus! So now the government is not going to get even a single cent of income tax from the potential bonus pool. Furthermore, this means that the company’s total income tax bill this year will be the lowest in many years.

So what is the moral of this story? There are two!

Firstly, there are many rewards that employers can offer employees that have a one-to-one cost-benefit balance. It is just a matter of thinking creatively!

Secondly, that by continually increasing income tax rates the government is taking a larger percentage of a smaller amount of money!

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Mar 17 2013

Irish Inventions

Category: Infographic,PeopleTeknovis @ 8:22 am

I saw this infographic of Irish inventors in Irish inventions that changed the way we live (infographic) a long time ago, and I thought that it would be appropriate to post it today (click to see larger version):

Irish Inventors (Copyright Siliconrepublic)

Irish Inventors (Copyright Siliconrepublic)

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!!!

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Sep 10 2012

Free Electric Car Charging

Category: eGovernment,TransportTeknovis @ 5:42 pm

It has been a while since I blogged, so I am going to ease back into it…

I read today that one of the local authorities in Ireland is going to provide free electric car charging! See Electric car charging points proposed for Ennis Town in draft bye-laws.

I think that this is a brilliant initiative!

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Jul 22 2012

Irish Characters in SMS Messages

Category: TelecomsTeknovis @ 8:44 am

There was an article in the media during the week describing how people are charged more for sending SMS messages in Ireland containing accents. See Texters charged for the síneadh fada.

Personally, I do not see the problem here! If you are sending characters that are outside of the normal character set then you should expect to fit less characters per SMS message (or else pay more for more SMS messages)!

I had the opportunity to discuss this with some Spanish, Polish, and Italian friends yesterday. Some of them said that they get charged more for using accents on their home networks, and others did not know. More interestingly, none of them use accents when sending SMS messages either because it is too slow or akward to find the character, or because it is never needed to understand the message. It was also pointed out to me that this is the same in English, for example, where people use “u” instead of “you”.

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Jul 05 2012

RaaS

Category: Cloud Computing,TelecomsTeknovis @ 12:49 pm

Imagine a world where a single company buys radio spectrum licenses, and then rolls-out infrastructure, to create a radio access network (RAN). Imagine that this company then sells this service to mobile phone network operators, who can use it with no capital costs! I call this concept RAN-as-a-Service (RaaS)!

It seems that this idea is becoming more of a reality! Vodafone and Telefónica/O2 are sharing radio resources in the UK according to Vodafone and O2 deal could save around £100m per year, and Vodafone and Three are following suit in Ireland according to Vodafone and 3 in Irish network sharing deal.

Remember – you read about RaaS here first!

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Jun 11 2012

Prison Sentence for Virtual Photos

Category: Digital Imaging,eGovernment,InternetTeknovis @ 7:17 pm

There was an interesting story in the news today about a man who was sentenced to a two year jail term for possession of child pornography images. See Father jailed over child pornography for further details.

In particular, the article states:

Defence counsel said the case was unusual as 24 of the 27 images were virtual images – no actual children were used to create the images.

I wonder if all 27 images had been “virtual images”, would he still have received a prison sentence? Indeed, would it even be a crime to posses such images?

I am going to be controversial here, but in my opinion the possession of virtual images definitely should not be a crime.

I must admit that I am also uncomfortable with the idea that the possession (or distribution) of any types of images is a crime. It seems illogical to me to say that if you arrange your 1s and 0s in this order it is a crime, but it is perfectly legal to rearrange them in a different order (to produce a different image).

For the sake of clarity, I believe that it definitely should be illegal to produce such images.

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