An Sionnach Fionn, On Your Smartphone And Tablet

Back in February the internet giant Google announced significant future changes to the way it handled online searches, prioritising websites that adapted to mobile and tablet-viewing in its results rather than traditional – and largely static – “desktop” sites. This favouring of mobile-friendly websites was nicknamed “mobilegeddon“, and with good reason as it is something of a truism for… Read More An Sionnach Fionn, On Your Smartphone And Tablet

Citizen Journalism And Bellingcat

If you are interested in what is commonly known as “citizen journalism“, the internet-invigorated tradition of independent news reporting and analyses coming from individuals and alternative media groups, can I recommend that you visit the website Bellingcat. Launched in 2014 by Elliot Higgins, the once anonymous writer behind the influential Brown Moses blog, Bellingcat focuses on the use of open source information, gathered primarily… Read More Citizen Journalism And Bellingcat

JK Rowling, In Defence Of Greater England

Sometimes an individual should simply stick to doing what he or she does best. In the case of the British author J.K. Rowling her “best” is continuing her spectacularly successful career of writing fantasy books for children; and not becoming an online agent provocateur for Greater England: a veritable troll-baiting champion of its hegemony over the island of… Read More JK Rowling, In Defence Of Greater England

Irish Language Rights Are No Rights At All

Coincidental to the temporary silencing of a compliant Irish press by a billionaire businessman whose past dealings have become mired in controversy, the Irish Times reports on the Fine Gael-Labour coalition’s new rules on media ownership which will give: “…the Minister for Communications power to decide if a proposed media merger is in the public interest in terms of… Read More Irish Language Rights Are No Rights At All

Willard Price’s Adventure Series, With Hal And Roger Hunt

Oh happy days! Well not quite, but forgive a brief moment of satisfaction following the discovery of the name – and author – of a literary series that had been torturing my mind for years. Around the age of nine or ten my mother bought me several second-hand books recounting the adventures of two teenage brothers… Read More Willard Price’s Adventure Series, With Hal And Roger Hunt

The Real and Fake Twitter Followers Of TheJournal.ie And George Hook

Back in March the social networking site Facebook insisted that I change my personal FB profile to a promotional Facebook Page on the spurious grounds that I was a product rather than a person (in the words of Frank Spencer, I’m a man!). Bizarrely this necessitated setting up a new personal profile on the website… Read More The Real and Fake Twitter Followers Of TheJournal.ie And George Hook

The Conspiracy To Impose Homo-Fascism On Ireland

Well away from public scrutiny, is this the nonsense the base of the “No” campaign is comforting itself with in the wake of its defeat in the recent referendum contest over marriage equality? Claims of an all-powerful conspiracy working in the shadows to impose “homo-fascism” upon the Irish nation? From the American Christian website Mass Resistance, expressions of… Read More The Conspiracy To Impose Homo-Fascism On Ireland

The Fallen Of World War II

The “Fallen of World War II” is a data-driven feature examining the human cost of the Second World War, measuring the losses incurred to other wars in history, including some recent conflicts. There is much to be shocked by in the sheer scale of the numbers involved. Visit here to learn more about the documentary and its author Neil Halloran.

Fathers And Mothers Matter, Respect And Understanding Not So Much

We are in the last week of the referendum campaign debating the addition of a new sub-section to Bunreacht na hÉireann defining marriage as a gender-neutral institution. In other words, permitting hetero- and homosexual marriages under the Irish constitution (with specific legislation to follow). For the last 48 hours the moronically-named grouping “Mothers and Fathers… Read More Fathers And Mothers Matter, Respect And Understanding Not So Much

Google Ngram Viewer, Irish Republican Army, Fenian, Fenians

Judging by the positive reactions it seems that many of you have enjoyed my occasional posts highlighting the earliest occurrences of the term “Irish Republican Army” in the vast repositories of digitised and increasingly digital publications known as Google News and Google Books, so I thought I’d introduce you to another one of the online tools provided by the internet giant for would-be researchers. Using… Read More Google Ngram Viewer, Irish Republican Army, Fenian, Fenians

The Paramilitary Wing Of The CIA And The Russian Cybermilitary

Here is an interesting peek at the increasing militarisation of the Central Intelligence Agency or CIA, the premier espionage service of the United States – the one you see in all the movies and TV shows – from John R. Schindler, a conservative author with links to the clandestine world of the US’ über-spooks (I should note that the former Naval War College… Read More The Paramilitary Wing Of The CIA And The Russian Cybermilitary

An Online Fenian Archive From ASF

  I’ve discussed my interest in utilising online resources for researching various historical topics a number of times on ASF, as can be seen in the two brief articles I wrote in 2011 and 2014 on the mainly American origins of the name “Irish Republican Army” (or “IRA”) where I used both newspaper and literary sources to uncover some of the earliest examples of it’s use.… Read More An Online Fenian Archive From ASF

Secrets Of The NSA And GCHQ War On Internet Security

Just before Christmas the German news and current affairs magazine Der Spiegel published a detailed article examining the covert campaign by the United States and its principle intelligence-gathering allies (Britain and to a lesser extent Canada, Australia and New Zealand) to gain access to some of the key protocols and technologies governing global internet security. I have selected some… Read More Secrets Of The NSA And GCHQ War On Internet Security

The CIA’s 2009 High-Value Targeting Report From Wikileaks

“Making High-Value Targeting Operations an Effective Counterinsurgency Tool (C//NF)” is the latest confidential government document to be released through Wikileaks, the first for some while. It reveals that in 2009 some analysts for the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency or CIA were arguing for a more selective use of armed-drones in the US’ self-declared “War… Read More The CIA’s 2009 High-Value Targeting Report From Wikileaks

The Gaelic Union

A new website to strengthen ties between Gaelic-speaking communities in Ireland and Scotland, as well as encouraging cultural tourism by non-Gaels, has been launched in Inverness. From the Scotsman newspaper: “TurasG will build on the links between the Scottish Gaidhealtachd and Ireland’s Gaeltacht. World-renowned singer Julie Fowlis, fresh from the Scottish Music Awards, where she… Read More The Gaelic Union

Irish Language Positive And Negative

A couple of Irish-related tech stories, one good and one bad (or at least highly suspect). Firstly from the Irish Times: “Users of Google’s email client, Gmail, can now use the service in Irish following an extensive translation project undertaken by localisation teams and volunteer translators across the world. Familiar Gmail terms such as Inbox, Starred… Read More Irish Language Positive And Negative