← Previous Story Cedric Sorhaindo extends Barca contract until summer 2017 Next Story → All ready for world record at “TAG DES HANDBALLS” on Saturday! casper mortensenDenmarkhandballhandboldsonderjyske Left wing Casper Mortensen has announced that he will be changing the clubs. He will be joining Sonderjyske, in order to keep progressing in his career as he has said. He will also get the chance to play in the EHF Cup this season with Sonderjyske, while continuing to score international caps for Denmark. The club and Mortensen agreed to a one-year deal.
TOP 5 handball moments Here are the TOP 5 most interesting things in the week behind us…„No Onesta NO party?“Question which asking global handball community surprised with decision that Claude Onesta leave the position of the French national team coach before World Championship 2017 in France. Was tournament on home soil the way to show gratitude for the coach who brought a lot of joy and great results to French handball since 2001 when he replaced legendary Constantini? However, the new beginning, the new era is ready under „bad boy“ Dinart helped with his team-mate from the same golden generation Guillaume Gille.FLYING MAHESG Flensburg start Kentin Mahe was twice in headlines in previous week. Firstly, after spectacular defensive action in match against Rhein Neckar Lowen, and afterward, as guy who didn’t let Telekom Veszprem to take both points from „FLENS Arena“ in the opener of the VELUX EHF Champions League. The „Flying Frenchman“…YOUNG GUN – MACEDONIANThe 20-years old left back of RK Metalurg, Filip Taleski, netted 13 of 18 goals for his team in the win over Norwegian Elverum HK 18:17 at the start of the VELUX EHF Champions League. His winning shot only few seconds before the end was a perfect conclusion of the great match for him and something positive for the whole Macedonian handball which are in slight depression after Lazarov’s generation didn’t achieve the dream of the whole country – placement at Olympic Games in Rio.„Where have you been, Zeitzi?“He was one of the biggest missed targets in the history of Hungarian Telekom Veszprem. Christian Zeitz spent two years in Hungary struggling to find a form, health, but most of all – himself. The 36-years old came back to Kiel, where he already played 11 years, as third option on right back position, and these 10 minutes will be remembered by Paris Saint Germain guys. Zeitz netted four decisive goals and pushed his team toward win over big rival.YOU LEAVE WHEN YOU ARE THE BEST…Henrik Groener won’t lead fantastic Dutch handball girls after January 1, 2017. Coach who made the biggest results in the history of handball in Netherlands, decide to let some others to lead fantastic generation with Groot and Co. to Tokyo 2020. Behind him is World Championship 2015 final and Olympic Games semi-final. Amazing achievements… ← Previous Story Henrik Groener to leave Dutch girls after Women’s EHF EURO 2016 Next Story → BLOG: Where have you been last two years?
EACH NOVEMBER WE are distinguishable by the spot of red absent from or attached to our coats and scarves. It’s a contentious issue, this wearing of a remembrance poppy, which comes no closer to resolution every year, despite impassioned pleas from both sides in the press.These sides are: pro-poppy or appalled by poppy. There’s no middle ground it seems. Google it and there’s no shortage of websites dedicated to personally destroying anyone who chooses to wear the red flower. On the other side of the field are the poppy fanatics, who believe not wearing one is tantamount to treason. It’s this kind of people that starts wars and I will not wear a poppy in their name.Already you may be moving your mouse towards the x in the top corner, but for balance, it’s good to give weight to both sides of an argument commonly disregarded due to familial association or historical misinformation.WWI will always unite Europe in a shared historyFirstly. The view that anyone wearing a poppy this November is in any way glorifying warfare is wrong. Completely wrong. A poppy does not equal British nationalism in the same way a hijab does not equal Islamic extremism. These are both reductive arguments that have no place in the overall debate.‘History, Stephen said, is a nightmare from which I’m trying to awake’ (Ulysses, James Joyce), Aren’t we all. Unfortunately though, the First World War will always unite Europe in a shared history, in fact WWI could be said to define modern Europe, the Europe we’re are part of and is part of us.You can’t choose your family, particularly when that family depends on you ecologically, politically, economically and socially. We’re joined by more than a communal currency (for the majority) but also a communal and colossal loss of lives, all of which deserve to be remembered. We must not forget our history, lest we are doomed to repeat it, as philosopher George Santayana once said.The problem with history is that its perspective can get skewed and cause arguments, over things such as little paper poppies.There are strongly-held reasons for not wearing the poppy that are hard to argue with. For some, the poppies represent the oppression by the British Army after World War One, the Black and Tans, the occupation of Northern Ireland. Should we, as Irish people, wear a symbol that is synonymous with Britain?We must remember the atrocities that have marked our pastThirty thousand young Irish men died during WWI, it’s the second biggest killer next to the Famine. It wasn’t just a British war. Some seem to believe that the wearing of a poppy approves or condones the great and the powerful sending the weak and lowly, including Irish, to their deaths: But it doesn’t. If anything, it makes us remember why we should not go gentle into that good night, we should stand against our rulers if needs be, like many Irish did during the rebellion in fact. Men that opted to fight for allied forces during the Great War did it for their families and their families’ futures.We shouldn’t allow a simple flower, which shows we’ll never forget the worst bits of our background, to be ambushed and used as a symbol of nationalism.British Soldiers were as misled as everyone, yet many see Irishmen fighting for the British Army as deserters of the cause back at home, citing the Easter Uprising as their key reason for not wearing the poppy. What makes one man a hero and another a traitor? It’s interesting to see how almost entirely erased is the treatment of the soldiers who did fight with the allies during WWI, when they came home. They were rejected from society; their jobs filled by others, benefits removed, ousted from their own community, forgotten by their own country.Unfortunately Britain, as well as many other nations is still engaged in active warfare, and people are still dying both during and because of war which is why we must remember the atrocities that have marked our past and we must continue to try to prevent them happening again.Men of all nationalities fellIf you go to Flanders, the Somme, Ypres or any of the other key battlegrounds of World War One you can see the poppies growing there. They are of that place, where men of all nationalities fell. To see the names written on towering marble plinths you would want to remember them in some way, you have to.Perhaps we should choose our own symbol of remembrance, not the red poppy or the white alternative that stands for remembrance but also a downing of arms. Perhaps we need a uniquely Irish equivalent? Or an international image to remember all those who have fought and died and all those who continue to fight and die for what they believe is right.Ultimately people should be allowed to mark important occasions in the way they wish, as long as they don’t cause harm or offence to others, and if you do find someone wearing a paper poppy for a few days harmful or offensive, perhaps you need to prioritise your problems.Kate Bellamy is a TV and features writer online and in print in Ireland and the UK writing on contemporary women’s issues and television – where possible combining the two. Kate was shortlisted for the Vogue Young Writers Talent Contest this year. She can found tweeting @_KateMate. Read more of Kate’s articles for TheJournal.ie here. Read: Taoiseach and Tánaiste attend Remembrance Day ceremoniesPoll: Should we wear poppies to honour the Irish war dead?
JUNIOR DOCTORS SAY they are trusting the HSE to keep its promise to end the dangerous practice of shifts lasting more than 24 hours for hospital doctors.Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors (NCHDs or ‘junior’ doctors) have voted to accept proposals aimed at settling the long-running dispute with the HSE over working hours. The plans will see an implementation of the European directive on working hours which will mean shifts will no longer last more than one day for hospital doctors.The Irish Medical Organisation said if the HSE doesn’t stick to the plan then it will be “back to square one”.The proposals will see IMO members working no longer than 24 hours in a row by the end of this month, spreading to all NCHDs by 14 January.Steve Tweed of the IMO said the change will make a “significant” difference in the lives of junior doctors.“Our members are certainly putting a lot of trust in the HSE to deliver this time – they have failed to deliver time and time again over the last ten years,” he told RTE Radio One’s Morning Ireland programme.“I think the key change this time is the accountability built into the agreement now and sanctions are built into the agreement”.If a hospital doesn’t implement the 24 hour maximum shift for NCHDs financial penalties will apply directly to the hospital.Tweed said that it was a unique industrial dispute as junior doctors stand to lose money with the implementation of the maximum working time as they will no longer be able to claim the levels of overtime or allowance that they have previously.“[It’s about] a working and life balance which is more acceptable to the doctors and they’re prepared to accept the reductions in pay to have that balance,” said Tweed.Read: Junior doctors vote in favour of proposals to end 24-hour shifts > Read: Fines of €60k for hospitals in breach of doctors’ working hours >
Ronan and Jessica O’Gara with the Heineken Cup in 2006. Pic: INPHO/Billy SticklandO’Gara, now a kicking coach at Jonny Sexton’s Racing Metro, says he can deal with the role of the media in the life of a professional rugby player.“People think you’re famous, but you’re not; you’re a rugby player,” he says. “These pictures in the newspapers or the magazines, doing this or that, you know, it’s not the real person. Unless you crave that attention or you want it, it doesn’t cost me a thought. As in I think I’m good at dealing with what the papers or the media write about you or say about you or think about you but essentially all that matters is what your family and friends think.”The documentary airs on Thursday, 2 January on RTE ONE at 9:30.Who should replace Sean O’Brien in Ireland’s back row? FORMER IRELAND AND Munster out half Ronan O’Gara admits he ‘struggles to get his head around’ where rumours about his personal life have come from in the past.In a new documentary to be broadcast tomorrow night, (RTÉ One, 9, 30pm), O’Gara address the rumours about his marriage which were the backdrop to a disastrous World Cup in 2007.“In terms of me, you ask yourself ‘would I have done anything differently?’ No you don’t, because you can’t press pause on life,” he says. “There was rumours about my marriage being over… where is Jessica. So it was like ‘poor Ronan, with his parents and no-one to love him’.“The way I worded my statement, I said I loved Jessica and I hoped she loved me too. And the fact that I put in ‘I hope’ created all the doubt and uncertainty. So that was another angle the press decided to go after as well.“Where all these rumours come from, you struggle to get your head around it. Gambling debts of, I think, €300,000. It’s funny now but at the time it wasn’t funny. I’ve no problem admitting I love the horses and going to the races but in terms of anything in relation to your own game I’ve nothing to do with it.“It’s easy for me to say it wasn’t too big a deal but it was tough for Jessica, it was tough for my parents, tough for my parents I’d say because you’re seen as a bad guy. Obviously you’re disappointed with the rugby and that was something that was hugely disappointing.”
Yes, get it away from me (1058) Yes, get it away from meNo way, hand over that pintI don’t drink alcoholVote IT’S A NEW year and many of you have probably resolved to make some kind of change in your lives or try something new in 2014.After a festive season full of eating, drinking and being perhaps a little too merry sometimes, some of you may now be steering clear of the strong stuff this month to save a few cents or to see if the sober life suits the new 2014 you.So, we want to know: Are you having a ‘dry January’? No way, hand over that pint (2497) I don’t drink alcohol (1429) Poll Results:
FINANCE MINISTER MICHAEL Noonan has dismissed a recent claim that over a third of mortgage arrears cases in Ireland are as a result of strategic default where borrowers choose not repay their mortgages.In response to a parliamentary question this week Noonan poured cold water on a claim that 35 per cent of Irish mortgage arrears cases are a result of strategic defaults, saying such a claim is “wholly anecdotal”.Strategic defaults are cases where borrowers make a choice not to repay their mortgage despite having the financial ability to do so. This is commonly done in cases where the price of a house has dropped substantially as has been the case in Ireland in the last five years.In a recent blog post, the NUI Maynooth economics professor Gregory Connor suggested, based on US studies, that: “It seems likely that the proportion of strategic arrears in Ireland is greater than 35 per cent.”At the end of last year a total of 94,000 or around 12 per cent of mortgages in Ireland were in arrears of 90 days or later. This week the government unveiled plans to pressure banks to address 50 per cent of arrears cases by the end of this year.Noonan said: “The suggestion that the rising number of mortgage arrears is in part being driven by increased levels of strategic default, that is individuals deliberately withholding payments when they are in a position to service their debt in hope of gaining concessions from lenders, is wholly anecdotal.In a response to the parliamentary question from Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath, the Minister added that such a claim was “not based on any robust, structured, or in-depth analysis of the situation”.He also said that the Central Bank expects financial institutions to have “more challenging and in-depth conversations with borrowers on the reasonable priority that should be afforded to mortgage repayments” while “having regard” to other financial commitments.More: Government outlines plan to tackle mortgage arrearsDavid Hall: Mortgage arrears plan is a ‘horrific step for mortgage holders’
WELCOME TO THE WEIRD Wide Web – where we take a look at the week’s best offerings in tech and social media news.Google contest of the weekThis week, Google launched a contest to let regular Joe Soaps like you lot try out their fancy Google Glass. All you have to do is tell them what you would do with the gadget, using just 50 words, pictures and some video if you like.Some of their suggestions include:Taking a slightly terrifying photo of a child like this one…Doing your grocery shopping in a foreign language…Or let your friends see what you see. Tip: Don’t wear them in the loo.(All images: Google)Twitter torture method of the weekThis week Twitter implemented its plan to reduce the number of characters available in each tweet by two when users include a link, the Telegraph reported. Twitter said this new link wrapper system allows it to protect the service from malicious websites. So next time you use a link, keep it snappy.Beer-dispensing arcade game of the weekNo, we’re not joking. Someone has finally made it happen. Beercade is the first beer-dispensing arcade game. Two players battle to the death and the winner has their cup filled with the sweet barley filled nectar. Unfortunately, for now, only one of them has been made with Big Boss Brewing intending to take it along to charity and fund-raising events and use it as a promotional tool so people can try their beer in a more creative way, Gizmag reported.So close, yet so far away. Enjoy their excellent promotional video anyway, the ‘butt slap’ made us giggle.(Video: McKinneyDurham/Youtube)Chinese hacker invasion of the weekA new report from Mandiant has shown that China’s most prolific cyber espionage group is likely government-sponsored. It also found that it has systematically stolen hundreds of terabytes of data from at least 141 organisations and focuses on compromising organisations across a range of industries in English-speaking countries.This video shows an attacker “conducting computer network espionage activities”. It’s strangely captivating, even if most of the jargon goes over your head.(Video: MandiantCorp/YouTube)Self driving car of the week“Look Mom, no hands!”The smarties in Oxford have created a car that can drive itself. The robo-car is controlled by an iPad on the dashboard and the car acts just like a plane on auto-pilot, Euronews reported. We’re going to be honest – it makes us nervous.(Video: MobileRoboticsOxford/Youtube)Read all previous Weird Wide Webs>
LAST WEEK WE told you all about You Generation’s ongoing search-for-a-stylist competition. The entrants were given two rules – it had to be on the theme of “candy” or had to include a bit of fashion upcycling.“But what is upcycling?” we hear you cry. WELL. It’s taking old things you don’t want and transforming them into something new. There are plenty of examples of doing this well – such as this amazing map of Dublin made from old circuit boards or even this Picasso sculpture of a bull made from an old bike saddle.But sometimes upcycling goes wrong.Horribly wrong.Belt upImage: via RegretsyThis chicken feet belt is the very thing to set off your favourite outfits. Why let those chicken feet go to waste?Glam up your bearImage: via Life Death Top TipsWhat a great use of your old cherished teddy bears. Poor old Ted doesn’t look ridiculous at all. Not even in that bra he’s wearing.Failed life hacksImage: via CraftFailCan’t bear to throw out that empty ketchup bottle? Upcycle.Crafty disastersImage via: Craft FailsFailed craft upcycling is a reminder of all those rubbish primary school art projects. The paper with pasta shells falling of it, the clumps of PVA glue, the uncooperative balls of clay…“Art”Image: via Student BeansOr how about trying to upcycle household items into art pieces?Throwing shadeImage: via PinterestGot a spare old lampshade? Why not just put it on top of your old lampshade and call it interior design?For the birdsImage via: RegretsyLet’s be honest. This piece of upcycled craftwork is crying out to be thrown firmly in the nearest bin.This doesn’t ruleImage: via Recycled HomesIf you’re making a lampshade out of rulers, you might have a little too much time on your hands. Plus, it’s not even shading the bulb. Come on guys!Let there be lightImage: via Dump TownThis is a candle holder made from an old beer can. Excuse us, we’re just going to make one out of an old can of Dutch Gold. Interior design masterstroke!Or maybe a beer lamp…Image: via Back from the DeadOr even a “canvertible”…Image: via EcofriendForty CoatsImage: via Lara Owens/EtsyThis is a great example of the important rule “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”. One fabric is fine for a skirt. Two, at a push. But eight? EIGHT?Want to check out what the style wannabes upcycled? Check out the You Generation channel to see all the best (and worst!) entries.Read: 10 things you can eat but shouldn’t >What do you do with your old bicycle? >
Updated 22.43pmhttps://vine.co/v/MdiWhKqgzWQJOAN BURTON HAS declared her intention to seek the leadership of the Labour Party this afternoon.The Social Protection Minister made the announcement on the Leinster House plinth where she was flanked by three TDs, two senators, a number of councillors and ordinary party members.Burton is the current deputy leader of the party and is the first to throw her hat in the ring in the wake of Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s announcement on Monday that he will step down once a new leader is in place.She has been proposed by TD Ann Phelan and her seconder is Deputy Eamonn Moloney.Both accompanied her today along with deputy Michael Conaghan. Senators Susan O’Keeffe and Ivana Bacik were also there along with several councillors including Mary McCamley, Jane Horgan-Jones and Andrew Montague.She would not be drawn on exactly how many members of the Oireachtas are supporting her, saying: “I haven’t been doing any kind of counting of people.”Thanked Gilmore Source: Hugh O’Connell/TheJournal.ieDuring her announcement, Burton thanked Gilmore for his “unstinting service and commitment” to the party and to Ireland.She told reporters that the current leader had her full support and that the so-called ‘gang of eight’ (the TDs and senator who signed a motion of no confidence against him) should have approached him first.However, she noted that last weekend was a “difficult one” for Labour, adding that voters are “unhappy with our performance in government”.She said: “People are not yet feeling the economic recovery that has just begun – in their personal lives, their families and their communities. Too many people are still hurting six years after the worst economic crash in our country’s history.”http://vine.co/v/Mdi7gKI9pJKBurton also insisted that Labour will stay in government, but added that the recovery process has been slower than she would like.My view is that the limits of austerity have been reached not simply in Ireland but the EU.Burton said she has a “very good working relationship” with the Taoiseach, but noted: “I tell it as I see it from a Labour Party perspective.”On the question of her age being a barrier to running, the 65-year-old noted that Hillary Clinton is older than her and considering running for the US presidency. She joked that being US president is easier than being Labour leader.Other runnersJunior ministers Alex White, Alan Kelly and senior minister Brendan Howlin, who has twice failed in his attempts to win the leadership of the party, are also said to be in contention but have yet to confirm their intentions.A number of backbench TDs have also said they would consider running including Dominic Hannigan and Arthur Spring.Several others have said they may contest for the deputy leadership of the party including Ciara Conway and Aodhan Ó Ríordáin.Nominations for the Labour leadership close next Tuesday at 12 noon.A postal ballot of the party’s 5,000 members will then be held before the result is announced on 4 July.Additional reporting by Sinéad O’CarrollOriginally Published 14:35Taoiseach: We won’t be destabilised by Labour’s leadership contestLabour TD: We need to get rid of people who have been in Leinster House for 25 years
Keogh said: “This bird scaring racket is a whole science in itself.”Baldonnel disputeThe IAA is also involved, chairing the National Bird Hazard Committee which meets twice annually with stakeholders to discuss issues and coordinate policy. It also consults with pigeon racing organisations every year and good relations are underlined by one recent incident.Pigeons had been flying in the area around the Irish Air Corps base in Baldonnel after some members of the Irish Homing Union liberated their birds along the N7 in the Citywest area.But following consultation it was agreed the fanciers would move their training to another location with anyone who doesn’t subject to a ban by the union.Dublin Airport Authority said it made no apology for its bird scaring operations, a spokesperson saying: “We do everything we can to prevent birds from landing here at the airport. So, we don’t make any apology for this.”Keogh, who pointed out that similar operations are in force at airports worldwide, added: “Our priority is aviation safety.” Read: Pigeons force Aer Lingus flight to abandon trip to LondonVIDEOS: A day in the life of the Dublin Airport Fire Service THE ABANDONMENT OF an Aer Lingus flight which hit a flock of pigeons as it took off from Dublin Airport recently has highlighted just what it takes to ensure Irish airspace is bird-free when planes take off.Bird scaring operations are a lot larger at airports than you might think and bird strikes are not always preventable.Last year, for example, Dublin Airport had between 55 and 60 incidents where birds hit planes in the vicinity of the airport. Most collisions are minor and insignificant but some can cause problems for aircraft.The airport authorities carried out around 48,000 ‘bird scaring actions’ last year which involved firing handmade cartridges, which emit a loud bang and then smoke to disperse the birds, from a special gun. There is anything between 70 and 100 of these cartridges, which cost around €2.20 each, fired daily.This means over €100,000 would have been spent on this bird scaring operation alone last year with other tools used including lasers, loudspeakers with bird distress calls, the airport’s own bird of prey (a hawk) and, later this year, dogs to hassle birds lingering on the runway tarmac.“You have to have a few tools in your toolbox,” according to Gerry Keogh, Dublin Airport’s Chief Fire Officer, who said the strategy at the airport is “constant harassment” with his staff rarely shooting down birds, instead concentrating on scattering them. Pigeon racing is part of the reason birds are found in the airspace over Dublin Airport but relations between pigeon fanciers and aviation authorities are amicable.Issues which arose out of a number of large pigeon races a number of years ago led to pigeon racing groups agreeing to relocate their release or ‘liberation’ points for formal races so their flight paths do not pass close to major airports. “This has been deemed to have been successful to date,” the Irish Aviation Authority said.LiberationThe recent incident at Dublin Airport is still being investigated but its likely that birds were part of a 9,000 strong flock that was liberated in Thurles that day with some of the pigeons swayed in the direction of the east coast – and Dublin Airport – as a result of the large westerly wind.There are around 4,500 pigeon fanciers across the island of Ireland. Fred Russell from the Northern Ireland Provincial Amalgamation of Racing Pigeons (NIPA) said his members notify airport authorities every time there is a race.“We give them our liberation time, the number of pigeons and the expected time,” he said.As well as the ‘tools in their toolbox’, Dublin Airport maintains the grass at a certain level to deter pigeons from landing and has patrols on the airfield from dawn to dusk and into the night in order to keep the birds away.When TheJournal.ie spent the day with Dublin Airport Fire Service in March we told you how – in line with strict regulations – authorities shoot down birds on some occasions, collect the remains, tag them, take DNA samples and keep them in a large freezer for reference.YouTube: Thejournalvideo
THE BBC HAS apologised for a floor plan which referred to Northern Ireland’s Minister for Education John O’Dowd as Sinn Féin/IRA!The broadcaster blamed the presence of the note on one member of Question Time’s technical staff in the Belfast studio. He had attached the clip board to a camera to detail the position of the panel guests on Thursday evening.It was only meant for his own personal use, explained the BBC which also described the sign as “inappropriate, insensitive and extremely naive”.The image was made public by audience member Simon Whittaker who also pointed out that another guest was labelled as the “DUP goodies”.The picture was subsequently tweeted by Martin McGuinness who asked for an explanation for the “pathetic floorplan”.O’Dowd said: “The ‘SF/IRA’ tag was one created at the height of the unionist murder campaign against my party colleagues in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was an attempt to justify attacks on Sinn Fein members and our families. For the BBC to adopt the tag 20 years into a peace process is beyond belief.The BBC subsequently said it was “very sorry for any offence caused”.“The note was written by one of the technical staff on the programme for his own use. “It was not authorised or endorsed by anyone on Question Time. The person responsible has been left in no doubt that it was inappropriate, insensitive and extremely naïve.“We are sure viewers of last night’s programme will be clear that this note had absolutely no bearing on the content of the show.”Question Time is produced by Mentorn Media.Poll: Is Alan Shatter’s position as minister untenable?Sinn Féin attacks comments linking party to paramilitary-style shootingSo Gerry Adams has had an eventful evening…
Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandIs it a party? Is it not a party? Will they rejoin Fine Gael? Whatever about that debate, which will just run and run and run without anything happening, the alliance of former Fine Gael TDs and Senators continues to contribute some constructive proposals to Irish political debate. They had some good ideas about reforming the political system this week and it’s unfortunate that none of them are ever likely to be considered.… and the 5 losers of the week are…1. Enda KennyThere were several losers on the government side in the banking inquiry debacle this week and the Taoiseach was definitely one of them. On Tuesday Kenny tried to claim that the government needed a majority on the committee in order to agree its terms of reference – a pretty weak point. Source: Hugh O’Connell/YouTubeThen on Thursday, having been castigated by the Seanad, Kenny took the view that the ramming through of a government majority on the committee was reflective of the will of the people. We’re not so sure about that.2. LabourAs its month of introspection continues the party suffered a dreadful result in the latest Red C opinion poll which puts it at just 4 per cent. Post election polls are usually anomalies, but this is another worrying poll for the junior coalition partner on top of the pretty bad election result last month. Leadership contenders Joan Burton or Alex White will have a lot of work to do when one of them takes office next month.3. The Seanad There’s no doubt that the opposition in the Seanad has considerably more bite than that in the Dáil – thanks largely to the lack of a government majority in the upper house – but the hyperbole really does get out of hand some times.We saw that clearly this week when the likes of Ned O’Sullivan referred to the whole banking inquiry affair as akin to Hitler and the Enabling Act. Just a tad over the top as Feargal Quinn (below left) seems to agree:4. The Department of Finance Officials remain confident that they can robustly defend Apple’s current tax arrangements in Ireland and are adamant that the State hasn’t broken any EU rules. But the European Commission investigation launched this week is an unwelcome headache at a time when the Department already has to deal with finding a new secretary general and preparing another difficult Budget this October.5. Susan O’KeeffeThe Labour senator and former journalist generally keeps a low profile but was thrust into the spotlight this week in the wake of her missing a crucial vote that meant she wasn’t initially added to the banking inquiry committee.That whole mess seriously undermined the government and the credibility of the investigation. As good an addition as she is to the inquiry team this hasn’t been the best way to start.Like politics? Then ‘Like’ TheJournal.ie’s Politics page?Read: Do the RA want back in Fine Gael?: ‘No’ … ‘I don’t know’ … ‘Google it’Read: The ten commandments for a better civil serviceRead: With all this politics what hope does the banking inquiry have of finding out anything? EVERY WEEK, TheJournal.ie casts its eye over events inside and outside Leinster House that have got people talking.As the saying goes: ‘You win some, you lose some.’So here are our political winners and losers from the past seven days:The 5 winners of the week are…1. Alan ShatterNo one was using the word vindicated but it became clear from the contents of the Cooke report this week that the former justice minister had been somewhat exonerated by the findings of the review into the allegations that the Garda Ombudsman was bugged. Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall IrelandBreaking his silence this week, Shatter said he had dealt with these matters “in a straightforward, truthful and comprehensive way” – the conclusions of the report would appear to back that claim.2. Frances Fitzgerald Now over a month in the job, the Justice Minister is dealing with the considerable fallout from the controversies of her predecessor in a cool, calm and measured way that is in stark contrast to the brash, outspoken and truculent Shatter. A little humility at the top of the Department of Justice is what was needed post-Shatter and that’s what we’ve got so far.3. Marc MacSharryAs hard as they tried the government was unable to remove the Fianna Fáil senator from the banking inquiry which means he becomes the second from his party to join the committee – a considerable boost for the main opposition party considering it was in government when the banking collapse happened.4. Trevor Ó Clochartaigh You may not have heard of the Sinn Féin senator but a few weeks ago he kickstarted a chain of events which resulted in the chairman of the West/Northwest Hospital Group, Noel Daly, resigning this week. Ó Clochartaigh claimed a conflict of interest in Daly being in that role and founding a company which carried out a review of maternity services in the region. A clear conflict of interest exposed and resulting in the correct outcome.5. Reform Alliance
Every morning TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know a little before 9am.1. #IRAQ: US President Barack Obama continues to mull over a military response to the Iraq crisis but has ruled out sending in combat troops.2. #LETTER: Fianna Fáil will not be commenting on news that its justice spokesperson Niall Collins wrote to a judge asking him not to jail a convicted drug dealer.3. #GERRY ADAMS: The Sinn Féin President has described as “incomplete” an Ombudsman report that found that no evidence that the RUC were involved in a loyaist attempt on his life.4. CITIZEN QUINN: The family of former billionaire Seán Quinn is to sue the State and former Anglo directors for €4.5 billion according to The Irish Times.5. #JOBLESS: Nearly one quarter of households in Ireland are jobless, that’s compared to a European average of 11%.6. #IMF 4 JOAN: The IMF have described Joan Burton as the “leading candidate” for the Labour leadership, adding she intends to “maintain the fiscal targets for 2015″.7. #CORONATION STREET: Spain’s King Felipe VI will be sworn in as the country’s head of state in parliament later.8. #ROADS: A motorcyclist died in a crash on Forest Road in Swords in north county Dublin yesterday evening.9. #RUNAWAY NAZI: An 89-year-old man has been arrested and denied bail in the US for alleged war crimes as a teenage Nazi guard at Auschwitz.
Netflix already runs an incredible operation as the go-to source for streaming Hollywood and independent films, but their television side of things could use some work. Sure, you can already stream many full seasons of older television shows through the service, but Hulu is still the biggest name in town when it comes to streaming first-run television shows online.It now looks like Netflix is eager to change all of that and are positioning themselves to challenge Hulu directly. They’re so serious about becoming your first choice in streaming entertainment no matter what you watch that they are now trying to compete with Hulu directly by offering up to $100,000 per episode for the rights to stream new television shows.AdChoices广告Nothing’s certain yet, of course. One big roadblock is there seems to be a lot of disagreement between the production companies of television shows and the networks when it comes to who owns the rights to streaming first-run television content through Netflix: the producers say the rights lay with them, but the networks say they have exclusive first broadcast rights.It’s a thorny issue, of course, but with Netflix willing to throw so much cash on the table in order to compel production companies and networks to figure these issues out, I wouldn’t be surprised if Netflix manages to take the lead over Hulu in 2011, at least when it comes to watching streaming first-run television online.Read more at NY Post
It’s been almost a year now that we’ve been hearing about Google’s social superthingy that was going to rival Facebook and cover the world in darkness and make pancakes be fluffy no matter what. Sure, some of those might be exaggerated, but it can’t be denied that the hype surrounding something as innocent and harmless sounding as “+1” was going to take over the world, especially after Buzz wend down like the Hindenburg. Google’s been denying it over and over, amking the little sneak peeks we keep seeing of it even more suspenseful. Well, It’s finally here, spotted a little while ago on Google’s experimental page. Google +1. It’s here, Hooray! Now, what the heck is it?It’s actually really simple, and potentially awesome. When you search for something on Google, when logged into a Google account, you will see how many times an item in the search results has been “+1’d” in your search results. Additionally, you too will have the ability to “leave your mark on the web” as Google puts it by “+1ing” something. Ripping the “like” out of Facebook, slapping some interslang on it, and shooting it out across the internet. Neat Idea. A few caveat’s, though…AdChoices广告Google makes sure you know upfront that your “+1’s” are public. Everyone can see them. What they dont say s whether or not someone can search for your “+1’s”, maybe we’ll see it added later. Also, if you are in any of Google’s other experimental toys, you’ll be removed from them if you join +1, since you can only be in one experiment at a time.So, want it? Head over here and go nuts!
There are two major pieces of news coming out of Adobe today. The first is sure to make more than a few Apple employees and fans smile: Adobe has decided to cease development of its Flash Player in mobile form.Adobe’s focus, and revenue, comes from the software tools it sells. So while it is pulling back from Flash Player on mobile platforms, it certainly isn’t leaving the mobile market completely. Instead, the existing toolset, most notably Adobe Flash Professional, will continue to see support for packaging Flash projects for release both through Adobe Air and the different app stores out there e.g. Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Market. There will also be a continued focus on rolling out support for HTML5.If you currently use Flash on Android devices or the PlayBook, then Adobe intends to continue supporting the Flash Player for you with critical updates.The other major news is that Adobe has decided to cut its workforce by 8%, which equates to 750 people losing their jobs. Where those cuts will be made has not been announced other than to say multiple areas across all Adobe’s outlets in North America and Europe will be affected in some way. The cuts are part of a restructuring program that will cost the company as much as $97 million and see a new focus on Digital Media and Marketing.Read more at ZDNet and the Adobe press releaseMatthew’s OpinionDoes this mean Steve Jobs and Apple were right to reject Flash? At the time it didn’t seem clear cut to me, but time has shown HTML5 is growing into a very viable alternative to Flash. Adobe also hasn’t done a great job of improving Flash’s perception since the Apple rejection, which is still seen as a resource-intensive, battery draining, and prone to critical security bugs.The thing is, Adobe is doing exactly what it needs to in order to keep its tools relevant for the thousands of developers that currently use its software. That (paying) community is Adobe’s biggest asset, and if keeping them means dumping mobile Flash, and possibly even Flash completely in the future, they have to and will do it in order to survive.Flash is by no means dead in the water, and it will continue to form a major part of everyone’s desktop browsing experience if they choose to install it. But the momentum does now seem to be with HTML5, and we just have to wait and see if Adobe’s work on Flash 11 (Unreal Engine 3 in your browser, anyone?) is enough to keep users installing it.
A research group at the Tokyo Institute of Technology has developed a system which can quickly build a 3D model purely from digital photographs of an area or object. The only requirement is enough photos to provide the data necessary to rebuild an entire scene. Photographs are taken using a standard digital camera carrying an Eye-Fi card, which means the photos can be sent to a PC instantly and wirelessly. The Institute’s software then gets to work building a 3D representation.Similar systems are being developed, but this one is unique due to how quickly a computer can recreate the scene in 3D. Most systems take a while to process images, so you wouldn’t actually know until later if more photographs are required. With this system, take a laptop with you and you know instantly if more pictures are necessary to build the 3D scene.The system uses Structure from Motion (SfM) which estimates the camera position and 3D using nothing other than the available photographs. To reproduce spatial position data it identifies and matches object points between two pictures, which helps it understand how the scene is put together.The demo you see above is just the starting point for this innovative software. With more development time the team hope to get it recognizing surfaces, not just points within a photo. For a system that can quickly and easily grab 3D data though, it’s impressive. The fact it is software based means it could be made available to anyone who owns a digital camera and an Eye-Fi card.More at DigInfo.tv
Microsoft has given us a hint of what it has planned for Kinect in the future with a new job listing for a software development engineer.The job is with the Microsoft Connected Car team and the Kinect motion sensor is referenced as technology the company want to “leverage the full power of.” In other words, in future we could be buying and driving cars that watch and react to our every move through a Kinect bar embedded in the dash.The job description goes on to talk about a car knowing who the driver and passengers are and allowing it to interact with them as recognized individuals. Speech and gestures will be supported, plus the car will have the ability to track faces and respond if necessary. For example, if the driver hasn’t looked at the road for an extended period of time a warning could be given, or the brakes applied if Kinect detects the driver hunched over in the seat and unresponsive.Microsoft isn’t just wanting to put Kinect in vehicles, though. It is attempting to get the entire Windows device ecosystem hooked up to your new ride. Windows Phone will feature, Bing and therefore Bing Maps is an obvious fit, the Azure cloud could store your routes, music, and videos for the kids to watch in the back, and even Windows 8, which I assume Microsoft wants the entire car to run on, will be integrated.This all sounds great for a more interactive experience, but is relying on a low resolution motion sensor really a good idea in a vehicle? Kinect isn’t the most reliable system when it comes to interpreting your actions, just see how it performs in Steel Battalion Kinect for an example of that. So unless Microsoft improves on the tech (Kinect 2?), it’s not going to get a car manufacturer trusting it with brake control.Read more at Microsoft Careers, via GeekWire
Yesterday Google and Samsung grabbed everyone’s attention by rethinking the Chromebook and launching a $250 model with an ARM processor. The issue with the existing Chromebooks is the price being too close to that of a laptop, but at $250 they are certainly a more compelling option as a second (or third) machine around the home.One thing that was missing from the announcement was the option of 3G. It initially looked as though Google/Samsung was positioning this new model as purely for around the house and within range of your router. However, it turns out a 3G model does exist and you’ll have to pay $80 more to get one.At $329.99 it’s still cheap considering you can take advantage of a mobile network to surf anywhere. And the spec remains the same. You get a 1.7GHz Exynos processor with 1MB cache, 2GB DDR3 RAM, an 11.6-inch 1366 x 768 LED HD display, 16GB SSD, integrated graphics, USB 2.0, 3.0, and HDMI, and a 4080mAh battery that lasts over 6 hours (probably when 3G is turned off).As for 3G connectivity, Samsung in bundling 2 years of Verizon 3G WWAN access. The major restriction on that being 100MB of data a month. Verizon will be hoping you sign up for its Mobile Broadband Service, which is going to cost you at least $20 a month or more depending on your data requirements. That soon adds up.The new Samsung Chromebook is expected to start shipping this coming Monday, October 22 in WiFi form. It’s unclear when the 3G will be offered, it could also be next week.More at Samsung, via Engadget