Crazy Jack

This article on Alibaba and its founder “Crazy Jack” was published on 29th September last.

“When the team is all a bunch of scientists it is best to have a peasant lead the way”.  How did an English-language teacher — and self-confessed peasant! – emerge as one of the wealthiest in his country,  and indeed the world?

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White knuckle aviation

This article was published by the Irish Times on 1st September last – 100 years after the first successful military aviation mission.

“No flying machine will ever fly from New York to Paris…[because] no known motor can run at the requisite speed for four days without stopping”. Orville Wright reputedly predicted a limited future for aviation in his comment in Illinois in 1909, six years after his brother Wilbur’s pioneering flight in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina in December 1903. Continue reading

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Cortana, Siri, and Google Now

This piece appeared in the Irish Times today.  As an aside,  I always find it interesting how a sub-editor subtly changes some of the text from my submitted original.   The sub-editor also choses a headline for the piece,  which I sometimes find is at slightly at odds with the main point of an article :-)

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Kevin Melia: a great mentor

I wrote this following the sad passing of Kevin in June.   It was published by the Irish Times on 5th July.

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“Bloom”, and high technology meets gardening

Bloom in the Phoenix Park has become a regular part of Dublin’s annual calendar.  With 30 show gardens,  numerous trade stalls and exhibits,  and many food stands,  it takes at least a day to see everything.   A modest gardener myself,  I thought it would be interesting to muse on the extent to which smart technology has made an impact – or not – on the gardening market….   This article was published on May 30th last.

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‘Heartbleed’ post-mortem

I wrote this article on what happened leading up to the ‘Heartbleed’ bug,  and the consequences,  for the Irish Times for May 12th last.

Just before midnight on New Years Eve 2011, one of four software developers at OpenSSL Software Foundation (OSF) instructed his computer to accept a suggested new feature which had been voluntarily submitted by a PhD student, and so to merge it into the core code base of his company’s software. Three months later, on March 14th 2012, a new version of the code base, including the PhD student’s new feature, was made freely available to the global software community.

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Irish Times & InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards 2014

I chaired the final judging panel for these national awards again this year.  Here’s what I wrote about them for the Irish Times for April 7th last..

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