EVERY SUNDAY, I point my Nokia E90 at a pile of newspapers and offer an American's perspective from Ireland. Today, it's easy to find generous coverage of recessionary pressures, strategies from business correspondents to combat financial strains by investing in technology, suggestions on Christmas gadgets, and a surprising connection between better transport and smarter living. I happen to believe that you have to give Irish people the opportunity to make their own statement when it comes to travel and transport because there are no dependable links between major cities and outlying areas that cover the extended business day. So it's always a joy to point to things that offer an eco-friendly way of doing business, without imposing a heavy hand on people in the process. The 10-minute video I made this morning explains some of those ideas. Apologies to those who were told I had made four of these videos. Whenever I upstream something to Qik, my Twitter account announces what I've done. This morning, three abortive clips made some unwanted noise on my account. I'm also listening in the back channel to people like John Peavoy, Gabriela Avram, James Corbett and Simon McGarr who are telling me to show more of the pages with other headlines, even though I don't talk about that content.
Clever Artwork. We're looking at ways to attract eyes into an April Digital Expressions exhibition so "fresh, affordable modern art" that appeals to our instincts is also something we like to share. Today, we opened with Dark Hut (Gill Rocca at Eyestorm.com) because it reminded us of one of the most common phrases attracting people to this blog last week ("Christmas in Ireland"). 
New Economics in Ireland. Where Ireland ends the recession might be where investments happen in 2009. "New tax breaks for multinationals, enhanced grants and incentives for innovation, and a new fund to support research and development are the key elements of the government's plan."    Some of the economic pressure on Aer Lingus may be subsiding, so an airline spokesman has suggested that the short-haul flights between Shannon and Heathrow may return.  Meanwhile, sole traders who are power sellers on eBay may discover they have earned the attention of the Irish Revenue Commissioner. "The Revenue will begin probing the area in the New Year, and will initially focus on so-called power sellers who make at least part of their living from selling items through the website."  Gardai are also focusing on homes with frost-free roofs, telltale signs of home cannabis factories.  Meanwhile, some pundits are upset that online giants like Amazon are ruthless in their demands made of warehouse staff.  Part-time work is something that haunts the hallways where I work, as a significant percentage of students need to take jobs in order to cover the expense of education. 
Investment Opportunity. From the Sunday Business Post comes a BES Investment Opportunity for PutPlace Ltd, the helpful online backup service used to protect the data on Ireland's longest-running technology weblog. PutPlace launched its full paying service in October 2008. It has already obtained substantial investment from Enterprise Ireland. Qualifying investors will be able to avail of tax relieft at their highest rate of tax. You can invest a minumum of €5000 but you should first request an investor's pack from PutPlace, The Digital Depot, 4 Roe Lane, Dublin 8, Ireland.
Mobile Phones in Ireland. "The Irish mobile phone market will contract by 10 per cent next year, according to the head of one the country's big two manufacturers. Pat Hughes, who is country manager for SonyEricsson in Ireland, said 2009 would be a difficult year." Mobile phone sales mirror migratory patterns. With unskilled Irish workers leaving the country and non-nationals returning home, more than 10% of mobile phone usage in Ireland will be affected.  Adrian Weckler, the technology journalist initially convinced of the iPhone's failure, fingers the iPhone 3G as one of the top five Christmas gadgets. He names the Sony Reader as his top pick, with the Blackberry Storm and the Canon Eos 1000D above the iPhone. The Elonex Webbook (€350) is pick #5. 
Pigs and Rashers. Irish pork was all over the news and the rest of the story is emerging in several pieces of quality journalism in the Sunday Times. "The level of toxins in the pig feed that caused last week's €220m-plus recall of pork products was more than 5,000 times the EU limit. Such was the concentration that scientists in the IK's Central Science Laboratory (CSL) in York were initially unable to quantify the level, which went off the scale. Feed samples taken from Millstream Recycling in Carlow were so badly contaminated that all the equipment used in the laboratory had to be scrupulously cleaned afterwards, causing a logistical nightmare for the scientists." 
Lie of the Week. A press release from the Irish Recorded Music Association masquerades as news with the broken voice of Dick Doyle lamenting how the internet is killing music. I ignore Dick Doyle because he distorts reality. In the article, "figures from Chart Track, which compiles the Irish top 50 singles and album charts for IRMA, downloads are up 62% but account for a tiny share of the market." It appears that IRMA does not measure paid downloads from iTunes, eMusic or Rhapsody nor do the music labels appear to want to acknowledge the subscription behaviour of hundreds of Irish using sites such as Last.fm for their music.  If you feel the recorded music industry needs a lift, buy a Nokia 5310 and enjoy the service of Nokia Music.
End Photo. There's easy viewing inside the Sunday Times magazine this week, including a shot of Venice where we've walked. 
1. Oliver Bennett -- "Express Yourself" in the Interiors section of the Style magazine, The Sunday Times, 14 December 2008.
2. Ian Kehoe -- "R&D, tax breaks and grants are key to new economic plan" on the front page of the Sunday Business Post, 14 December 2008.
3. David Clerkin -- "Aer Lingus: Heathrow-Shannon May Return" on the front page of the Sunday Business Post, 14 December 2008.
4. Dick O'Brien -- "Ireland's R&D spend far below that of OECD and EU" in the News section of the Sunday Business Post, 14 December 2008.
5. Adrian Weckler -- "Revenue to clamp down on major eBay sellers" in the News section of the Sunday Business Post, 14 December 2008.
6. Adrian Weckler -- "Mobile phone manufacturers forecast market in Ireland to plunge by 10% next year"in the News section of the Sunday Business Post, 14 December 2008.
7. Ian Kehoe -- "New tax breaks on high-tech investments" in the News section of the Sunday Business Post, 14 December 2008.
8. Adrian Weckler -- "The top five items for a gadget-happy Christmas" in YourTech, The Sunday Business Post, 14 December 2008.
9. Sarah McInerney and Mark Tighe -- "Pig feed toxins were off the scale" on the front page of the Sunday Times, 14 December 2008.
10. Jan Battles -- "No festive cheers for music firms as internet pirates hit sales hard" in the Sunday Times, 14 December 2008.
11. Claire Newell -- "Revealed: Amazon staff punished for sick days" in the News section of the Sunday Times, 14 December 2008.
12. John Mooney -- "The frost-free roofs betraying cannabis farms" in the News section of the Sunday Times, 14 December 2008.
13. Gabrielle Monaghan -- "Cash crisis raising drop-out rate" in the News Review section of the Sunday Times, 14 December 2008.
14. Manuel Silvestri -- "The Drowned World" in the Spectrum section of the Sunday Times Magazine, 14 December 2008.