KILKENNY -- The back-handers of government-aided enterprise will have to change now that Neelie Kroes, the EU Competition Commissioner has pledged to take a tough line in policing State aid. Intel's Fab 24.2 in Leixlip will lose some of the millions of euro of government aid if Ireland is to follow the EU's view in terms of "less and better" support. The Irish government would have absorbed much (if not most) of the capital construction costs for the Intel plant. It will be hard to offer that hand-out now, since the EU has reviewed the back office paperwork behind the Intel deal.
- Suggestings for St Patrick's Day in Ireland have started. At the bottom of the list: waiting for the Luas in Tallaght. It is like going to a cattle market. You would notice the queues if you visit Irish shopping malls. Ireland has become a mall-going State in the last 10 years.
- Ireland has evolved from being a Black Economy State into a Money Laundering Collective. Several national papers are dedicating pages of coverage to the concept of money laundering--how it's done and who is linked to it.
- At the end of last year, Sue Denham reports that the taoiseach told his ministers to draw up a list of their achievements over the past eight years. Most summarised their accomplishments in 10 pages or less but Minister of Justice Michael McDowell used 30 pages. Sounds like he needs to get out more.
- What Irish government minister proposed the adventure with MLE? The much-vaunted project closed down a few months ago and Adrian Weckler itemises some lessons learned.
- There was little or no meaningful peer review of its work.
- It did not offer valuable MIT degrees to students seconded to its programmes.
- Politicians and industrial policy-makers bought the concept primarily as a vanity project for Ireland's new image as a tech titan.
- In the aftermath of MLE, the result is a loss of almost €40 million, almost the same amount wasted on the politically inflammatory electronic voting fiasco.
- The Observer Blog is as important a read as the pulp copies of the Sunday papers. It's certainly more informed than the Sindo.
- Blogs like Euan Semple's are as compelling as the Sunday technology pages. This weekend, Semple muses about the semantic web.
The web works because it is broken and not owned.
Yes there is rubbish on the web but the availability of relevant, accurate information at your fingertips has exploded in ways that even ten years ago most people couldn't have imagined and which have never ever been delivered by "conventional" means.
There were nay-sayers then, and indeed there still are, but would be cautious about assuming that the collective, applied intelligence of millions of people is more fallible than a small group of experts with the power to confer meaning.
- Skype and Motorola are co-marketing Motorola "Skype Ready" products, such as Bluetooth headsets, dongles, and speakerphones, as well as delivery of the Skype on some Motorola mobile devices
Cliff Taylor -- "EU: Intel grant contravenes state aid rules" on the front page of the Sunday Times, 27 Feb 05.