TINAHELY -- We're on the road to a photography exhibition today and while underway we've noticed some interesting snippets from the Sunday papers.
Appaling vista. Diarmiud Doyle speculates that "Politician of the Year" Michael McDowell is worried about the "appalling vista" in An Garda Siochana that are too horrible for the public to be allowed to comtemplate. His essay on the matter concerns the manner in which heroin addict Dean Lyons for murders Lyons did not commit.
Ministers must be speed readers. When explaining his failure to read a document on illegal nursing home charges, former health minister Micheal Martin told a panel, "There was no opportunity for me to read the briefing material." His explanation rolls out an absolute "get out of jail card" that works across Ireland. If you don't know about something, you cannot be held accountable for what transpires when you walk all over it.
Locking up culture. The Financial Times carries a story about the detrimental effects of copyright law.
Copyright law is a tax on readers for the benefit of writers, a tax that shouldn’t last a day longer than necessary. What do we do? We extend the copyright term repeatedly on both sides of the Atlantic. The US goes from fourteen years to the author’s life plus seventy years. We extend protection retrospectively to dead authors, perhaps in the hope they will write from their tombs.
Since only about 4 per cent of copyrighted works more than 20 years old are commercially available, this locks up 96 per cent of 20th century culture to benefit 4 per cent. The harm to the public is huge, the benefit to authors, tiny. In any other field, the officials responsible would be fired. Not here.
Adrian Weckler on Compatibility. In his 24 April 2005 "Reality Bytes" column, Adrian Weckler asks some questions that don't tell the whole story. He says Fuji bases "everything on their own proprietary technologies" yet I've been using inexpensive Compact Flash storage cards for three years with my Fujifilm S602Z camera and that's a standard storage device as far as I'm aware because it drags and drops from camera to Windows and Mac systems. He suggests the iPod has a closed standard, yet I can shift my MP3 files in and out of the system without a bother by using a few simple filters. He asks, "Can't we have Google on our phones?" I Google on my Nokia 9500 every day. In my mind, there's a lot more compatibility available in consumer electronics. I think future product reviews by Computers in Business should include a compatibility rating to spotlight when a vendor tries to carve out a walled garden.
What, no Skype? An eight-page supplement in the Sunday Business Post on VoIP does not mention Skype, the VoIP service that is saving me a minimum of €100 a month.
Isabel Nolan on the wall. Marianne Hartigan reviews "Everything I said let me explain" in the Sunday Tribune magazine. "These are quiet little works--a short animated film and a number of drawings and watercolours on paper--though she also does sculpture and video work."
Diarmuid Doyle -- "The sorry tale of the politician of the year and the cover-up of the century" in the Sunday Tribune today.
Eoghan Rice -- "Quotes of the Week" in the Sunday Tribune, April 24, 2005.
James Boyle -- "Deconstructing stupidity"
Marianne Hartigan -- "Dogs, ectoplasma and wall-licking madness" in the Sunday Tribune i magazine.
Media Studies Classroom-- "Sunday Tribune on Irish blogs"