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

The Eircode Controversy Or Screwing The Irish In That Other England

Eircode, the controversial, multi-million euro postal code system for Ireland, has been launched by Alex White, the coalition’s minister for communications, and as expected the service comes with a host of issues. Topping these is the revelation that at least fifty thousand placenames across the country in the Irish language have been excluded from the new database. This of… Read More The Eircode Controversy Or Screwing The Irish In That Other 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

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 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

2000 AD and Judge Dredd Quality Comics’ Collection

The problem with being a hopeless Teicógach (or Irish Geek) is the habit of collecting one’s interests – or obsessions – with a near fanatical devotion. So down through the years I’ve managed to assemble a massive, if pleasingly eclectic, collection of Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror related materials. Of these the most problematic in terms of storage have… Read More 2000 AD and Judge Dredd Quality Comics’ Collection

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

Hugogate Or The Hugo Awards, Sad Puppies And Rabid Puppies

When I was growing up in Ireland during the 1980s and ’90s possessing a passion for Science-Fiction almost inevitably led one to holding Left or Centre-left beliefs. Before I became interested in politics proper (and I’ll admit to having been reared in a “political household”) the progressive ideas that permeated Sci-Fi strongly influenced my view of the world. Because of Isaac… Read More Hugogate Or The Hugo Awards, Sad Puppies And Rabid Puppies

Translation Fail

Cautioning on the perils of machine translation, especially when expectations surpass achievable results, Michael Bauer on his Dear Developer blog posts a letter he has written to the Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser following the latter’s suggestion that Scottish (Scottish Gaelic) be added to the list of languages available on Google Translate: “I’m sure that this is a well-intentioned idea but in my professional opinion,… Read More Translation Fail

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

Improvised Weapons Of The New IRA Modernise Old Designs

  On the 16th of November 2014 an armoured jeep of the PSNI, the paramilitary police force in the British-administrated north-east of Ireland, was parked on a street in the Ardoyne district of north Belfast when it was hit by an explosive projectile that penetrated the vehicle’s exterior “skin” before being deflected by the thicker plating underneath (we do not know if the… Read More Improvised Weapons Of The New IRA Modernise Old Designs

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 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