Engineering appreciation

I wrote this piece because I feel that we are too often we taught narrow paths,  by teachers who themselves have a limited perspective.   There is beauty in most things,  if we can calm ourselves to look;   and there are parallels in most creations,  if we can stand back and extrapolate.

Published in the Irish Times on 29th February last….

The dispute between Apple and the FBI over unlocking the encrypted iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook in the San Bernadino (California) shootings last December is being followed with concern by the technology industry, regulatory authorities and the security services in the US and elsewhere. A recent article in the UK Guardian newspaper on the 22nd February caught my attention when it described the cultural challenges within the Apple security software engineering team in being asked to deliberately break their own software code. Continue reading

Posted in art, education, engineering, Irish Times, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Singapore’s vs Ireland’s start-up ecosystems

A recent visit to Singapore inspired me to put pen to paper on a comparison with Ireland as a start-up ecosystem.  This was published on 8th February 2016:

You’re a start-up executive and have opened your company in the heart of a strong start-up community. You want to network with other executives, and for your team to do likewise. You’re keen to track what is going on, to uncover opportunities to collaborate, and – yes – to enjoy the gossip. And, right now you have a little spare space in your office.

So maybe you could take inspiration from Harry Dewhurst at BlisMediaContinue reading

Posted in innovation, Ireland, Irish Times, Singapore, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How well has the Irish Government done for Innovation in the last five years?

The current Irish Government has reached the end of its natural life and an election has been announced for the end of February.   I wrote this piece for January 17th when asked to review the performance of the Government on Innovation..

A general election is imminent. In 2011, Enda Kenny campaigned to make Ireland the best small country in the world to do business. Five years later, how well have he and his colleagues in Government delivered on this assertion ? Continue reading

Posted in Ireland, Irish Times, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Technology Review of 2015

Asked to summarise the year by my editor,  I wrote this piece for the Irish Times for the 21st December:

How significant a year has 2015 been for the computer industry? Continue reading

Posted in Cloud, Drone, economy, engineering, Enterpreneurship, Intellectual Property | Leave a comment

What next with Cloud Computing?

Google made an interesting announcement this week.   It brought to mind Larry Ellison’s vision,  but then at the time mis-executed,  of a “network computer” (yes,  I know,  I have a few grey hairs).

This piece was published in November….

“A PC is a ridiculous device”. So Oracle CEO Larry Ellison raged 20 years ago in September 1995, in a warm-up speech at an analyst conference in Paris ahead of Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. Continue reading

Posted in Cloud, innovation | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Irish Innovation Environment: Aspirations vs Reality

This piece ran in the Irish Times on November 2nd last.

“The best small country in the world to do business”. Our Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, first asserted his global ambition for Ireland during his general election campaign in early 2011. This week Dublin hosts many technology entrepreneurs from around the world, for the 2015 Dublin Web Summit. Continue reading

Posted in economy, Enterpreneurship, Ireland, Irish Times, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Time for a further smartphone revolution..

I wrote this just before Apple announced its pencil and the iPhone 5 lookalike the iPhone 6.  It was published on 16th September..

“Smartphones are really complicated. Just for the basic stuff people have a hard time figuring out how to use them.” As Apple CEO, Steve Jobs so observed when he launched the very first version of the iPhone, at MacWorld in January 2007. He criticised the competing smartphones at the time as being overly complex to use. They had tiny awkward keypads in the bottom half of the phone, which in turn squeezed out the available space for the screen. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment