I JUST WALKED over a young daffodil in Ireland on the way "up the shops" (photo at left) and that's a good thing in a winter filled with flooding. My walking about will take precedence over my survey of Irish Sunday newspapers today because as anyone familiar with Ireland knows, you have to take your sunshine when it rains upon you here. And it's a glorious day, one that will get its share of coverage with a Nokia D80 that I took from the clutches of Mike Kiely last week. I also took its reference manual and even though I paid it short shrift, I cannot get that D80 to snap what I see through its viewfinder every time I want to take a picture. The daytime shots are simple, fast and very crisp but the low-light ones need serious forethought.
Back to the Sunday readings. I often think I am fueling the demise of proper reading patterns among the twentysomethings under my care. Last week, a report by the British Library and the University College London revealed the way young people seek and find information. As explained by John Naughton, "The findings describe a new form of information-seeking behaviour characterised as being 'horizontal, bouncing, checking and viewing in nature. Users are promiscuous, diverse and volatile.' 'Horizontal' information-seeking means 'a form of skimming activity, where people view just one or two pages from an academic site and then 'ounce out, perhaps never to return.' The average times users spend on e-book and e-journal sites are very short: typically four and eight minutes respectively." 
I know this is happening on my blog. It's unusual to get anyone viewing a page more than 90 seconds--even the posts that would take 15 A4 pages to print the original posting and the years of comments. The study says "users are not reading online in the traditional sense, indeed there are signed that new forms of reading are emerging as users 'power browse' horizontally through titles, contents pages, and abstracts, going for quick wins. It almost seems that they go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense." And so it is with the common "paper rounds" that fill the Irish radio shows on Sundays. No need to read a big story. Just wait for a talking head to digest it for you.
The study spotlights something that is emerging with full force among those who play around inside Twitter, Jaiku and Pownce. We are following the new seers but we really don't know if they are truly aware of the expanses of the Gutenberg Galaxy.
The most important strike in Ireland. Although Joe the barber (and the Cork public) don't believe, I think the most important strike to hit Ireland so far in the 21st century is that of the Cork hurlers. I like Tom Humphries' coverage of the issue and wonder why John Foley doesn't name the strike as one of the X files in the Mad About Sport supplement to the Sunday Tribune. 
Wage Reverberations. One of the first indications of EU expansion affecting Ireland came nearly two years ago when casual labourers in Irish employment were engaged at rates negotiated in their home countries. It's going to get interesting in the IT sector now that Dell staff in Ireland have noticed their wages seem to reflect Polish levels. Those interested in the raw edge of these developments should monitor Brian Greene's musings. 
Becoming a Target. I like the work of Mick McCaffrey but as security editor of the Sunday Tribune, he's into some fact-finding that is guaranteed to get his windscreen smashed. I live across the street from a car salesman who gives colour commentary and fact-finding substantiation to the muted full-page coverage being printed about one of Ireland's long-standing money-laundering operations. 
Quick Review of Manky Green Ireland. Kathy Foley gives the quick mini-review of the Rough Guide to Ireland [ISBN-13: 978-1843536147] and would do the universe a big favour if she pushed some of her commentary today into Louder Voice. In a revealing twist, four of the five reviews of the book on Amazon.com give it five stars but the reviews are mixed on Amazon.co.uk. 
Fraud in the Irish Property Market. I don't think much of the service provided by some of Ireland's leading estate agents because when the Irish property market was overheated, several estate agents I paid displayed incompetence laced with arrogance. There are problems still practising on unsuspecting punters today and some of their actions will boil over into accusations of serious fraud. That's the hot water where solicitor Michael Lynn finds himself as a result of carrying out "a systematic, premeditated and calculated" fraud against more than a dozen financial institutions and hundreds of private investors. Wait until the books open on his overseas dealings. Some of those were with people who carry large pipes in the boots of their cars. 
Put Fairtrade in your kitchen. Nuts, rice, spices, sugar and black pepper. There are so many ingredients that carry the Fairtrade mark that it's easy to cook conscientiously. And now, to help you, there's the Fairtrade Everyday Cookbook, edited by Sophie Grigson. 
Tax on stuff that burns. The Green Party forms part of the current Irish government. Their members want to tax things that burn in Ireland, which could mean the announcement of carbon tax rates before the summer. But what about tax on aviation fuel? That burns as well. Airlines pay no tax on aviation fuel and are currently excluded from international schemes for controlling carbon emissions. Fiscal and carbon taxes must be paid by airlines and that means air travel suddenly gets more expensive overnight. But do politicians have the will for this anti-tourism move? 
Getting ready to carry another card. As a foreign national living in Ireland, I have to carry certain identification. Now, as a resident alien, I will be obliged to carry an identity card with biometric fingerprint data. I also have to take an English test if I want to take up long-term residency in the Republic of Ireland. Under legislation that swept through the Irish Cabinet last week, I am unlawfully resident in the State unless I have a valid residence permit. The identity card will be in a credit card format and it will show my photograph, not my Jaiku avatar. At least three other people who use my corner shop and drink at my corner pub need this card. Times are changing in Ireland. 
Wondering if "Falling Slowly" is Oscar-Eligible. Because Oscar rules stipulate that the Academy Award goes to songs written specifically for a film, Glen Hansard's "Falling Slowly" [6.0 MB MP3 file] might not be eligible for the "Best Original Song" category. But then, there might not be anyone around to hear the Oscar ceremony in person anyway. In other musical news, Suzie Byrne revealed that before he fled Ireland, runaway solicitor Michael Lynn made music. And Phil gives us the Irish line-up at SXSW. 
Fair Dues to Nokia. The most common ringtone in my life is from Nokia. And with a global recession right around the corner, Nokia's market share is most certainly going to push beyond 42% globally. It will take some of that share from a percentage that Apple had circled when launching the iPhone. Nokia sold 437m phones last year, 26% more than in 2006 and almost as many as its four nearest rivals--Samsung, Motorola, SonyEricsson and LG--combined. There are now more than one billion Nokia phones in use around the world. Nokia leverages a very efficient supply channel. Nokia makes clever use of add-on subscriptions like mapping, music and games. And although the Nokia UI isn't as sweet as the iPhone's its all-around experience works better in my quest for convergent, always-on network performance. 
0a. UCL and the British Library -- "Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future" (1.1 MB PDF)
0b. John Naughton -- "Thanks, Gutenberg, but we're too pressed to read" in The Observer, 27 January 2008.
1a. Tom Humphries -- "O hAilpin calls for resignation of Cork GAA chief" on the front page of The Irish Times, 26 January 2008.
1b. John Foley -- "Stars and Strikes" in the Sunday Tribune Sports Monthly, 27 January 2008.
2a. Maxim Kelly -- "Dell staff in wage row as Polish plant opens" in TribuneBusiness, 27 January 2008.
2b. Stephen O'Brien -- "Unions demand action on migrants' low pay" in The Sunday Times News, 27January 2008.
2c. Dick O'Brien -- "Yahoo! may cut Irish jobs" in The Sunday Business Post, 27 January 2008.
3a. Mick McCaffrey -- "Dodgy Dealing" as part of a Sunday Tribune Investigation into car dealing criminals, 27 January 2008.
3b. John Mooney -- "Gangster critical after 5th shooting" on the front page of The Sunday Times, 27 January 2008.
4. Kathy Foley -- "Tough guide to Ireland" on the "comment" pages of The Sunday Times, 27 January 2008.
5a. Ian Kehoe -- "Lynn accused of premeditated fraud against banks" on the front page of The Sunday Business Post, 27 January 2008.
5b. David McWilliams -- "Fundamentalists still preach the false gospel of property" in The Sunday Business Post, 27 January 2008.
6. Sophie Grigson -- "Delicious, easy and guilt-free recipes" in The Observer Food Monthly, January 2008, no. 82.
7a. Harry McGee -- "Winds of Change" in The Irish Times, 26 January 2008.
7b. The Observer Comment Section -- "Airlines cannot avoid their duties", 27 January 2008.
7c. Richard Tol, ESRI in Dublin -- "EU makes grandiose gestures, but climate is all that changes" in The Sunday Business Post, 27 January 2008.
8a. Niamh Connolly -- "Immigrants to carry biometric identity cards" in The Sunday Business Post News, 27 January 2008.
8b. Ali Bracken -- "Would-be citizens may take immigration test 'as Gaeilge'" in the Sunday Tribune, 27 January 2008.
8c. Damien Kiberd -- "We need migrants to keep the lid on pay" in The Sunday Times, 27 January 2008.
9a. Una Mullally -- "Hollywood probe to decide if 'Once' song is eligible for Oscar" in the Sunday Tribune, 27 January 2008.
9b. Una Mullally -- "Runaway solicitor made county and western CD" in the Sunday Tribune, 27 January 2008. (Ed. -- I wonder when Una will give proper dues to Ken McGuire's music podcasts.)
10. James Ashton -- "Nokia reigns supreme in mobile market" in The Sunday Times, 27 January 2008.
Last week: "Top of the Sunday news in Ireland"
A fortnight ago: "Wet Irish Sunday newspapers"
Last month -- "Last Sunday news of 2007"
Seven months ago: "Bets on iPhone failure"
Last year: "Tactics Eddie Hobbs Should Promote"
Most-viewed page yesterday -- "Racism in Ireland"