Monthly Archives: September 2019

Vimeo introduces Couch Mode to challenge YouTube Leanback

first_imgIt doesn’t get the same love as YouTube, but we’ve always loved competing video sharing site Vimeo, which has managed to stay afloat in a tough game without ever skimping on new features… even if those features are playing catch-up to the things YouTube’s own engineers are always conjuring up.Now Vimeo’s got a new trick up its sleeve. They’ve just added a “Couch Mode” that lets you easily watch their videos from your sofa, either through a connected HTPC or on Google TV, all through the power of HTML 5.Want to give it a try? Just head on over to and set the video window to fullscreen. Once that’s been accomplished you’ll be able to browse videos through on-screen thumbnails, easily access your on video and favorites, search and more.It’s all pretty nifty. Sure, it borrows a few tricks from YouTube Leanback, but we like Vimeo’s interpretation a bit more, and for the most part, the content on Vimeo is better for watching on a television anyway: where YouTube’s your go-to source for vlogs, Vimeo has largely catered to independent film makers and the like. Either way, it’s great to see online video heading to the home theater. After all, in a few years, this is probably the way we’re going to watch most content on our television sets.Read more at Vimeo (via Gadget Lab)last_img read more

The Best Geeky Christmas Tree Decorations

first_imgBoba Fett With Han Christmas StatueOkay, so it’s not technically for your tree, but what Star Wars nerd would be without the Boba Fett with Han Christmas Statue? Boba Fett is definitely menacing with that candy cane “gun”. He even wrapped up Han in a nice little package for Jabba. What a thoughtful bounty hunter. It’s also available in snow-globe-form at Amazon. Make sure to check out Gearlog’s roundup of the Best Gifts for Star Wars Fans. I’ll Be Pon Farr Christmas, Star Trek OrnamentIf you’re a Star Trek fan, you don’t need me to tell you that the ornament shown above is from a scene from the episode “Amok Time,” as is the music that plays from the ornament. You also probably don’t need me to tell you that the person playing with the ornament is geek-extraordinaire Wil Wheaton (AKA Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation). The ornament runs about $29 at Hallmark. [Via Nerdbastards]Computer Mouse OrnamentHere’s a good idea for making how-to ornaments. Take an old computer mouse and do it up, Christmas-style! AMoonShadow created this hand-painted ornament and sold it on Etsy. Don’t let these mice go to the Island of Misfit Mice. Save yours and make it part of your Christmas tradition. Motherboard Christmas Ornaments Sticking with the recycling-old-tech theme, ThinkGeek brings us the Motherboard Christmas Ornaments. The set of three are made from recycled motherboards. The shapes and colors vary between bell, tree, candy cane, and star, and red, green, and blue. They’re about 3.5-inches wide and go for $19.99, although they’re on sale right now for $14.99. Merry Christmas.Controller Ornaments I grew up with an older brother who was obsessed with Nintendo. If you know someone in your life that begrudgingly helps his or her family decorate the tree every year, though you know they’d rather be playing video games, then perhaps you can entice them with these controller ornaments. The acrylic ornaments are laser cut and about 4 inches wide. They’re available via UseYourDigits on Etsy. Also available are the console ornaments. If you get the two together, you’ll most certainly have the geekiest TV on the block. R2D2 and Yoda Christmas LightsLight up your tree with your favorite droid, or your favorite old, shriveled, green creature. Amazon has Star Wars Yoda and R2D2 light sets to make your tree glow in warmth of the force. World of Warcraft Mining Ore-NamentsWant to really WoW your friends (I know, that was too easy), then check out the Mining Ore-Naments from Paule Pape, who is known for his hand-sculpted Mii characters. Made with real Swarovski crystals, a single ornament runs at $15. They also come in sets of three for $36, or a complete set of six for $55. Kurt S. Adler Star Yoda Tree TopperAnd to top it all off, why not replace that generic star or angel with the Kurt S. Adler Star Yoda Tree Topper? Amazon has it for about $54. But wouldn’t you feel safe at night knowing that Yoda is looking over you and your family? One of the best parts of the holiday season is visiting all your friends’ houses and checking out their Christmas trees (or Chanukah bushes) covered with unique ornaments that make you ooh and aah. To keep with the holiday spirit, we decided to make an imaginary Christmas tree full of the nerdiest ornaments we could find. Why cover your tree with normal Christmas lights when you could have Yoda lights? And why buy those regular, ol’ ball ornaments, when you can buy a Star Trek Enterprise one? After the jump, we rounded up some of the best geeky Christmas ornaments on the Web. Feel free to share your own nerdy ornaments with us in the comment section below. last_img read more

Sony PlayStation Phone plays PS1 games on video

first_imgSony Ericsson’s long rumored PlayStation Phone is looking very likely to make a debut at this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as the XPERIA Play, and now we’ve got even more evidence to add to the pile.First, there’s this report by Android.TGBus, which managed to spend some time with the PlayStation Phone prototype, and not only took the above picture of it lying atop many of the past variations in the PSP and XPERIA lines, but even got a third-party Android PlayStation 1 emulator running on it.According to Android.tgbus’ findings, about 70% of the games they tried worked on the PlayStation Phone… which is surely more of a limitation of the third-party emulator than the hardware itself. In truth, though, all this proves is that the PlayStation Phone is an Android phone… it doesn’t really show us any of the PlayStation Phone’s native gaming abilities, including the answer to the big question: will the PlayStation Phone just run emulated PS1 games, as seen in the video above, or is it going to be compatible with the PSP library? We’ll have to wait until MWC in February to find out.Read more at Android.tgbuslast_img read more

Solar Cells Could One Day SelfRepair Like Plants

first_imgWhat if a solar cell could heal itself just like a leaf on a tree? That’s exactly what a team of researchers at Purdue University are trying to figure out in an attempt to reduce the costs associated with solar power.Solar panels are expensive to produce and expensive to repair, so a self-healing solar cell could potentially reduce costs quite a bit. The cell would last longer and require less maintenance. And to create a solution the research team looked to plants.AdChoices广告“We’ve created artificial photosystems using optical nanomaterials to harvest solar energy that is converted to electrical power,” assistant professor Jong Hyun Choi told geek-ceteraDaily. These cells would regenerate continuously. “This sort of self-regeneration is done in plants every hour.”The process uses engineered DNA, which combines with a dye found in the solar cells, allowing it to self-repair just like a leaf. However, the research is still in its early stages, and could potentially be too expensive to produce on an industrial scale.last_img read more

Samsung starts producing 30nm 32GB DDR3 modules

first_imgSamsung has both shrunk its DRAM chips and increased the capacity of its modules with news that the company has started mass producing 30nm 4Gb chips.The move to a 30nm process brings with it a three key benefits. The first is a cut in the amount of energy required to run them when compared to the same memory on larger processes, the second is a boost in performance over 40nm chips, which Samsung says translates to a 40% overall gain. Also, it means that Samsung can start producing modules with more memory on board.The end result is the production of some very efficient and fast DDR3 memory chips, and also the introduction of much more efficient 32GB modules. In performance terms, a 30nm 32GB DIMM running at 1.35 volts can achieve 1,866Mbps. The same 40nm 32GB DIMM requires 1.5 volts and only achieves 1,333Mbps. So the performance gain and energy saving is clear to be seen.It’s no surprise that Samsung is targeting data centers and cloud services for these new DIMMs, but we are sure to see the 32GB modules filter down to consumer PCs eventually. While 32GB may seem unnecessary at the moment, eventually it will become the standard shipping with a PC. We also can’t forget that the 30nm chips will eventually be used for the 2GB-16GB DIMMs that are much more common outside of the data center setting.Samsung isn’t sitting still in terms of development, though. A move to introduce 20nm 4Gb memory chips is planned before the end of 2011. That will again bring power savings while increasing performance.Read more at Samsung press releaselast_img read more

How to install AdBlock Plus 11 for Android and bypass Googles ban

first_imgAdBlock 1.1 for Android has been released, but you won’t find it in Google Play. Just last week, Google decided that the time had come to give ad blocking apps the boot because they modified the behavior of other apps. Fortunately for Android users who want to install ABP, it’s really not that hard to work around.The first step is to head into your settings screen and enable app installs from unknown sources. On devices running newer versions of Android, you’ll find the option about half way down the security page — on older versions, it’s under apps. Place a check in the box, and you’re ready to go.Fire up your web browser of choice and point it to You may need to be a little more patient than normal for the next few days, as developer Wladimir Palant’s servers are being slammed with traffic. Once the page loads for you, you should see an install button. Tap it, and you’ll be forwarded to the download page.If you see a warning like this one in your browser, tap ok to initiate the download. Once it’s complete, you should be able to launch the .APK installer by pulling down the notification tray and tapping the line for AdBlock Plus. If that doesn’t work, you can try pulling up your browser’s download page or browsing to the download folder on your device using a file management app. Tap the .APK to launch it, and you’ll see an installation window appear — and it should look identical to the one at the top of this post.Tap install and wait for the process to complete. When that part’s done, you’ll need to manually configure proxy settings to actually start blocking ads. Go to your wireless network settings and tap and hold your active connection and then tap modify network. Check the box to show advanced options, and the change the proxy drop down to manual.In the proxy hostname box, enter localhost or and then enter 2020 for the proxy port (ABP may prompt you do use a different port number, so watch its prompts closely). Save your changes, and then test AdBlock Plus 1.1 in your browser.The app currently doesn’t auto-update, so you can head back to your security settings and turn off unofficial sources if you like. You’ll just need to remember to re-enable them the next time you update ABP.Installation will get a bit simpler in the coming days. Palant has already announced on the AdBlock blog that the app is heading for other marketplaces soon. In the meantime, however, the manual install is a quick and painless way to deal with Google’s recent rejection.last_img read more

Google to start promoting competing services in search results

first_imgWhen you’re the number one search engine in the EU and have a market share of just north of 90%, the antitrust watchdogs keep a pretty close eye on you. Google’s been under scrutiny for quite some time, and now the company has agreed to level the playing field to make things right.The investigation started backed in 2010 over concerns that Google was unfairly promoting its own services — like YouTube, Google Maps, and shopping search — on search result pages. What some call “unfair leverage,” others might call “deep integration,” but Google has decided that the time has come to extend the olive branch.For the next five years, Google will implement several changes designed to highlight when it’s promoting its own services. In some places, Google will also start promoting competitors’ offerings.Where Google currently displays, say, a link to YouTube videos that line up with your search terms, it will also list links to three competing sites once the proposed changes are implemented. The same goes for Maps links, though it begs the question… which three sites will be linked?YouTube is the web’s most popular video destination by a wide margin. In many EU countries, the second most-visited video domain is serving up porn, but it’s hard to imagine Google slapping up links to such sites. Sites like Vimeo and DailyMotion are more obvious choices, but they’re so comparatively low on the traffic totem pole that it’s hard to imagine Google’s concessions having any real impact.Google has also pledged to more clearly illustrate which search results are promotions for its own sites, which, again, probably won’t make any difference to the person staring at the screen.While the first two concessions aren’t going to shake things up, a third might. Google has also agreed to provide newspaper publishers with a tool to control what content appears on Google News.Several big newspapers in the EU have had a beef with Google because of its agregator, believing that the company was profiting from their content. In fact, Google just finished battling German newspapers in court last month over this very issue. Ultimately, the court agreed that since Google doesn’t display ads near Google News snippets (in Europe anyway) there was no profit-making going on.Nevertheless, newspaper publishers that have a problem with Google reusing their content willy-nilly will soon be able to intervene on their own behalf. You’d have to assume the process will be completely manual and somewhat time-consuming (newspapers publish a lot of content every day, after all), so again, there probably won’t be any serious impact from this concession, either.Then again, anti-trust concessions aren’t necessarily as much about actually leveling the playing field as they are about making the field appear more level.last_img read more

10lane intersection without traffic lights is perfect for driverless cars

first_imgEver think that the roads we use every day aren’t quite optimized for the amount of traffic on them? That they are unnecessarily slow and often poorly designed? The image above features a traffic flow design that eliminates unnecessary stops from the most complex, busy intersections imaginable.The design was made by Li Xu, a then 22-year old student at the Harbin Institute of Technology in China. It was first posted in 2011, but I haven’t seen or read examples of it being used, so it seems like the concept has been ignored by the roadway community. And with good reason — asking any human to to navigate this along with dozens of other cars would be asking for trouble. With driverless, robot-driven cars though, the whole drive could be done smoothly without ever stopping, supposing the cars were clever enough to negotiate with each other and not grind to a halt given the sheer amount of activity at the meeting of these two massive highways.The 10-lane, traffic light-free intersection uses a clover-leaf pattern to completely eliminate stops, despite the huge amount of cars passing through. Rather than being slowed down with a traffic light, yield sign, or stop sign, each car is given a frictionless path to get where it’s headed. This includes all possible turns and a full U-turn.The more lanes and traffic on a road, the more complicated things get. The more complicated driving gets, the slower and/or more dangerous it is. But if you go too far in the other direction, there are problems as well. Without rules and restrictions, driving can get dangerous — just drive through an old-school traffic circle and you’ll quickly find out. That wouldn’t be a problem for a driverless car though, as no driver will be reading the paper, sipping his coffee, or dealing with a massive amount of road rage.Li’s design trades off built-in slowdowns — like stop signs and reversible (aka suicide) lanes — for negotiations between automobiles. You’ll have to yield the right-of-way multiple times while navigating this intersection. This could lead to multicar pileups or it could save huge amounts of time and make the highway larger and more complex than ever. With the driverless car, sufficient sensing, and car-to-car roadway negotiation technology, we could start driving change along with the driver.last_img read more

The best Google Glass apps

first_img 1 2 Google released Glass with the expectation that developers would fill in the blanks. Google would handle the hardware and the API, and then developers would handle the rest. That means, as with almost all modern platforms, the apps will be key to Glass’ future.The official list of apps for Glass is slim right now — it’s comprised mostly of apps that either push or pull content from social networks. There’s some great functionality when it comes to things like turn-by-turn navigation, but the limitations of Google’s Mirror API is such that scraping content from the web and displaying it in a Glass friendly format is the one trick developers have access too without rooting the hardware. Fortunately, there are developers who have figured out how to turn those limitations into a few useful tools that really enhance Glass as a hands free computing tool.These Glass apps are unofficial, and as such are either unfinished or unable to be widely used by the public due to limitations put in place by the Mirror API.NavCookUnless you have a kitchen specific computer of some description your recipes either come from a book, a printer, or setting your phone or computer somewhere near your cooking area. This works for most people, but to have the recipe for what you are working on hover just outside of your vision would be an advantage for anyone that loves to cool. NavCook lets you pick a recipe from your browser, and the step-by-step instructions are then pushed to Glass. You can follow along at your own pace, and in many cases look at photos that go along with the instructions to make sure you’re doing everything right. This recipe is pushed to your timeline as a single card that expands into one card for each instruction, so when the meal prep is finished the instructions just disappear into your other notifications.NavCook is a great approach, but currently limited by the number of available recipes and the method of delivery. Right now you need your computer or your phone to push the recipe to Glass, and while that works it would be incredible to be able to search for recipes using your voice and pick the best one right from Glass. NavCook is a great idea, and a must have app for anyone planning on using Glass in the kitchen.Glass To DoFor the most part, you either rely on To Do lists to get through your day or you don’t for those of us that do rely on them, having them shining right in our eyeballs is a great idea, and that’s what Glass To Do does. You can pin the ability to add things to your list to the left hand side of the Glass navigation system, so it is always there for you. Tapping this allows you to speak out something to add to your list, and when you are finished it saves the item. You can view your list and delete items right from Glass using the same navigation system as the rest of Glass.As with any To Do list, the best thing that could happen with this app right now would be to integrate your lists with other services, but otherwise this app does exactly what it should and keeps the experience nice and simple for Glass.WinkFeedThere’s no shortage of developers trying to incorporate RSS feeds into Glass right now, and while the Mirror API makes this kind of thing easy you have to deliver the information in the right way in order for it to be useful. No one is going to read a whole article or blog entry on Glass, but it would be useful to give the user tools that would allow them the ability to choose what they might want to read later.WinkFeed allows you to log in to their service and set up your RSS feed the way your want. You can pick from a number of sites or just link an RSS feed of your choosing, and as new content comes in the titles are pushed to Glass. When the title arrives, it can be read out loud to the user if they choose, or they can just read the title right off the display. If the user decides they want to read this post later, the article can be saved right to Pocket from the app. This allows users access to the news they want in a timely fashion, and allows them to prioritize the information they see. Given the limitations of the Glass display and the desire to get the information you want quickly, this method seems like the best way to make RSS on Glass manageable.Next page: The Best Glass apps for shopping, blogging, and working out…last_img read more

Need a Nexus 7 case Amazon has a bunch for under a

first_imgGoogle’s new Nexus 7 released last week to much fanfare — it was sold out across seemingly every major retail chain in the New York area, as well as online outlets such as Staples. With all those new Nexus 7s in the world, there are likely a host of people looking for a new case. After spending around $200 or $300 on the new tablet, you might be looking to save some money on new purchases. Luckily, Amazon has you covered with some extremely cheap cases.Accessorise Frameless dual-view case: For just one penny, your new Nexus 7 can be enveloped in 100% genuine leather, and propped in either landscape or portrait view depending on your preference (and how you’re lying in bed, of course). These cases may be a penny, but the shipping is $4.99, which still makes a dual-orientation, leather case only $5. There are also colors apart from the standard black, such as red and pink.rooCASE folio case with stand and stylus: The case itself is $0.98, and shipping is $4.99. The rooCASE offers both portrait and landscape thanks to the accompanying stand, and it comes with a stylus that doubles as a pen. The front cover is also magnetic, and provides automatic sleep and wake functions. You can grab yours in a variety of colors, such as magenta, navy, purple, black, and red.CaseCrown bold trifold case: This case is $0.10, but is hit with the usual $4.99 shipping. It has a built-in magnetic strip to provide automatic sleep and wake functions, and folds into a little triangle so the tablet can be propped up in landscape orientation. The case comes in the usual suspects of colors, such as purple, black, and blue.Fintie folio hardback leather case: With leather exterior and microfiber interior, this case has the appropriate magnets to provide automatic sleep and wake functions. The case has a hard leather back and a padded leather front, as well as padding on every corner. It can fold into a landscape view, and the case has slots in which the tablet can sturdily rest. It comes in a variety of colors and patterns, from a flat magenta, to zebra patterns, to a world map. This case costs $0.89, with $4.99 shipping.MoKo slim folding case: Featuring a “PU leather” exterior and a microfiber interior, this case folds into a stand with a few landscape viewing angles, and sports a padded front and back cover. It comes in a bunch of colors and patterns, including one that appears to have a teddy bear and candy cane, so you basically can’t go wrong. It costs $0.99, and ships for an ultra rare $4.98, undercutting every other shipping method by a penny.These aren’t the only super cheap Nexus 7 cases available on Amazon, but these are the ones that caught our eye. They suffer from an interesting racket, though, where an exorbitantly high price (such as $40) is listed for the case, but has been “marked down” to under a buck. Even though shipping is around $5 for a majority of these super cheap cases, that’s a satisfying price tag for a leather case with a stand and magnetic smart cover. VIEW PHOTO GALLERY Accessorise caseAccessorise caseAccessorise caserooCASErooCASECaseCrown caseCaseCrown caseFintie caseFintie caseMoKo caseMoKo caseAccessorise caselast_img read more

Heres What Happened Today Wednesday

first_img Get our daily news round up: No Comments 15,070 Views Share1 Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Órla Ryan center_img Wednesday 7 Dec 2016, 9:01 PM Here’s What Happened Today: Wednesday Ex-chief of staff of Real IRA shot dead in Cork, Gerry Adams makes statement on Brian Stack murder, and over 50 people dead in Indonesian earthquake. Dec 7th 2016, 9:01 PM NEED TO CATCH up? brings you a round-up of today’s news.IRELAND Sam Mulan (7), who has cystic fibrosis, with his mother outside Leinster House in Dublin today. Source: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ieAidan O’Driscoll, an ex-chief of Staff of the Real IRA, died following a shooting in Cork city this evening.Fine Gael TD Alan Farrell used Dáil privilege to call for Sinn Féin TDs Martin Ferris and Dessie Ellis to make a statement about the 1983 murder of prison officer Brian Stack.A GP on trial, charged with the manslaughter of her profoundly disabled daughter by giving her too much sedative, said she loved the child “more than life itself“.Health Minister Simon Harris welcomed the decision by Vertex Pharmaceuticals to re-engage with the HSE on the cost of cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi.The three children’s hospitals in Dublin have asked families to go to GPs where possible rather than attending emergency departments due to more people than usual presenting at EDs.A Dublin court unfroze €100 million worth of assets belonging to the former richest man in Russia following a money laundering investigation.The father of Trevor Deely, who has been missing for 16 years, said he will not give up on finding his son alive.Gardaí in Donegal appealed for the public’s assistance in finding a 73-year-old man who has been missing for a month.Customers of delivery service Parcel Motel spoke of their frustration over not being able to contact the firm which has failed to deliver many of their orders in the run-up to Christmas.Irish actor Ruth Negga is on the cover of Vogue magazine.WORLD UK Prime Minister Theresa May and the King of Bahrain Hamad Bin Isa Khalifa at a Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Manama, Bahrain today. Source: Stefan Rousseau PA Wire/PA Images#INDONESIA: At least 97 people died and hundreds were injured after a strong earthquake struck off Aceh province on Indonesia’s Sumatra island.#US: President-elect Donald Trump has been named as Time magazine’s Person of the Year.#PAKISTAN: A plane carrying 47 people crashed, killing all on board.#UK: British MPs have voted to begin Brexit talks by the end of March.INNOVATIONMayo County Council is using virtual reality headsets to show young people the devastation that can be caused by car crashes.You can now pay for things using your phone (but only if it’s an Android).PARTING SHOTPeople have fallen in love with Dún Laoghaire newsagent John Hyland after a post about him on Humans of Dublin. Source: Humans of DublinComments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. Short URLlast_img read more

I wasnt brought down fast enough from the volcano and ended up

first_img‘I wasn’t brought down fast enough from the volcano and ended up with heart failure’ Fiona McGinley chats to The42 about recovering from a 2012 accident to compete in The Race. 7 Comments 39,447 Views THIS FRIDAY, 150 athletes will descend on North West Donegal for an event that has been described as ‘Ireland’s toughest endurance race’.The Race is a 24-hour 250km unsupported endurance event that has attracted adventure runners from all over Ireland and beyond since its inception in 2014.It is a not-for-profit event with all proceeds going towards the work of Gorta – Self Help Africa. Those involved have raised thousands of euros in previous years, while in addition to the athletes, countless volunteers are required to provide support to those competing on the day and to ensure the event runs smoothly.The challenge is not done lightly. It must be completed within a 24-hour limit. Last year’s winner, Polish athlete Mariusz Olejniczak, triumphed with a time of 15 hours, one minute and 45 seconds. The final finisher came in at 23 hours, 35 minutes and 51 seconds. And as is always the case, a number of those involved did not succeed within the allotted time period.The event comprises 15km of kayaking, 166km of cycling, 5km of mountain running and 64km of road and trail running, while the often harsh weather conditions around March time increase the challenge’s difficulty. Share132 Tweet Email By Paul Fennessy Image: Instagram Fiona McGinley is one of 150 competitors set to take part in The Race next weekend. Fiona McGinley is one of 150 competitors set to take part in The Race next weekend. Image: Instagram McGinley is from Donegal and has observed past versions of The Race from the sidelines, watching on in awe as competitors test their bodies to the absolute limit.Despite her experience running marathons et cetera, the 30-year-old runner says she has never done anything quite like The Race before. With less than a week to go, she feels a mixtures of nervousness and excitement about the prospect of competing, though a sub-four-hour performance in the most recent Dublin Marathon has given her some confidence ahead of the upcoming task.“I just want to get to the end,” she adds. “I won’t be in contention for first, second or third, or anything like that. If I can get just under the 24 hours, I’ll be absolutely delighted and please God without injury, but I think that’s what everybody is aiming for.But I want to enjoy it. When I go around, I actually want to take in the scenery and take in the fact that you’re taking part in it. I’m nervous, it’s getting very real now because we’re starting to taper out of the hard long training days.“We’d be doing 8-10-hour training days, and now that’s coming to an end, it’s scary.” Source: The Race/YouTubeMcGinley has been training through the dark winter months at ungodly hours of the morning and after work when possible too. The days have been “usually wet” and “usually cold,” so even the mental challenge of getting to this stage is considerable.Moreover, devoting the appropriate time to each of the relevant activities has been another big challenge.I’m relatively new to cycling and I’ve put a massive amount of effort into that,” she says. “Now I’m worried about the running. You’re thinking ‘my God, have I done enough’. You never feel like you’ve done enough. Even if you were doing it full time, you’d still feel there was a bit more you could squeeze in.”Yet come this weekend, the thankless, endless, lonely, painful hours spent toiling away in preparation will hopefully pay off.“I’ve got a massive amount of support locally,” she says. “Everybody’s been so, so good and generous. My friend Helen McCready, she’s a physical therapist and has done three complimentary sessions. People like that have really helped me along the way. Everyone’s been very good, wishing me well.There are a couple of friends who say they’ll have friends in certain sections just to cheer me on and wish me well.“You’re body’s going to be pushed to the absolute maximum. It’s going to be intense. It’s going to be tough, and I’m expecting a lot of tears along the way, but when people are there, wishing me all the best and genuinely wanting me to do well, I think that gives you the motivation to keep going for that extra mile you need to get around the course.”The Race is a not-for-profit event with all proceeds going towards the work of Gorta – Self Help Africa. For more info on how to donate, click here.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Short URL Sunday 5 Mar 2017, 8:01 PM The incident, however, didn’t deter her from persevering with future challenges. If anything, it emboldened and inspired to keep active and live life to the fullest.(After the accident) I decided to make the absolute most out of it and to do my very best,” she says. “I decided The Race would be a good challenge. I think the heart’s a muscle and if you exercise it, the better it’ll work. So I thought yeah, I’m going to go for something epic to really push myself and inspire others that have hit rock bottom and done everything they can to get back to full health.“I would be an advocate for good health and the holistic approach. I think something like this is awe-inspiring for the people who have done it before, I think they’re amazing. Anyone who can get to the start line is incredible. So I thought, I’ll give this a go and get through the winter training. So that’s why I decided to do it.” Mar 5th 2017, 8:01 PM Each of the 150 competitors have their own unique background. They are not necessarily elite athletes, although many will have experience competing in marathons or triathlons.Of the individuals taking part next week, each will have their own specific story, and Fiona McGinley’s is particularly inspiring.The Donegal native has been a keen adventurer ever since her first big challenge — a trek across the Great Wall of China when she was 19.Sport has played a big part in McGinley’s life since she was a child. She has been a long-time member of Donegal-based Rosses Athletic Club, which her father founded in the 1970s.Growing up, she played soccer and GAA, though athletics was always her primary passion. She excelled at field events such as the shot put and javelin in particular, and even won the All-Ireland in high jump.In her late teens and 20s, she began embarking on a number of ambitious challenges around the globe, including the Madrid and New York Marathons, Kilimanjaro, Thailand and Cuban jungle treks, among many other adventures.For McGinley, such activities are her passion and a release from her day job as a Dental Hygienist.I would look at the list of marathons and half marathons and see what’s coming up, and I would book my holidays around that,” she tells The42.Adventure running has also changed her life and could easily have ended up killing her.It was when she was hiking in Ecuador, climbing Cotopaxi — an active stratovolcano in the Andes Mountains — where the accident occurred.I had a bit of an incident there — high altitude sickness,” she explains. “I had three volcanos climbed at this stage and I wasn’t brought down fast enough from the volcano (I was climbing). I ended up with multiple clots in ­both lungs and heart failure. It took a good six months before I could really walk again after the treatment of that.” Follow us: ‘You become paranoid and think: ‘Are my team-mates talking about me?”>Why Jordi Cruyff sacked himself, Ranieri exit laced with deceit and the week’s best sportswriting> Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article last_img read more

Merkel calls for cool heads after Turkish President accuses Germany of Nazi

first_imgMerkel calls for cool heads after Turkish President accuses Germany of ‘Nazi practices’ Merkel’s office rejected the comparison as “absurd and out of place”. Share66 Tweet Email 15,212 Views Mar 6th 2017, 9:04 PM German Chancellor Angela Merkel (l) with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Image: Lefteris Pitarakis AP/Press Association Images 45 Comments Short URL CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL has sought to calm an escalating row with Turkey, a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan labelled a German ban on rallies by his ministers “Nazi practices”.But yet another event cancellation – of a speech Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had planned to give tomorrow in Hamburg, on fire safety grounds – only threatened to reignite the dispute.Merkel’s office, while firmly rejecting Erdogan’s Nazi jibe as “absurd and out of place,” sought to draw a line under the spat that is further fraying ties between the two countries.“To our Turkish partners, let us talk openly and critically, but let us remember the special meaning of our close relationship and let cool heads prevail,” Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said.Sharply rejecting Erdogan’s comments, he added: “Nazi comparisons are always absurd and out of place, because they lead only to one thing – the trivialising of the crimes against humanity committed by the Nazis.”The row erupted late last week after three local German authorities banned Turkish ministers’ scheduled appearances ahead of an April referendum on a plan to scrap the prime minister post in Turkey, thereby boosting Erdogan’s powers.The German authorities cited capacity and security problems in hosting the events, which they said were likely to attract large crowds.Merkel has said her government did not have a hand in the decisions, which fell under the jurisdiction of local officials.But Ankara responded with fury to the cancellations, accusing Berlin of working against the referendum.Erdogan warns GermanyYesterday, Erdogan told a rally in Istanbul: “Germany, you are not even close to democracy. Your practices are not different from the Nazi practices of the past.”He also warned Germany not to hinder him from making an appearance if he wished.“If you don’t let me in, or if you don’t let me speak, I will make the whole world rise up,” he said.Cavusoglu pressed the attack today, accusing Berlin of working to scupper the rallies.“The hotels, the conference halls are being put under pressure, police are being sent to the owners of these places: it’s systematic pressure, a manoeuvre aimed at erecting systematic barriers,” said the foreign minister.“The state and the state-run institutions are all implicated. That’s unacceptable. As for us, we will take the necessary measures, we have no fear of anyone,” said Cavusoglu.Hours later police in the northern city of Hamburg said the venue where Cavusoglu had planned to speak tomorrow could not be used “after serious fire safety deficiencies were identified”.“It’s not the event that was cancelled, but the use of the Plaza Event Center,” a police spokesman told AFP.Cavusoglu is scheduled to meet his German counterpart, Sigmar Gabriel, on Wednesday in Berlin.Tensions spilling overGermany is home to the biggest population of Turkish people abroad with about three million people of Turkish origin, the legacy of an extensive “guest worker” programme in the 1960s and 70s.With some 1.4 million Turks in Germany holding the right to vote in Turkey, it is not uncommon to see politicians travelling from Ankara to try to sway voters.Undeterred by the cancellations last week, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci made a campaign appearance in Cologne yesterday.Seibert repeated Merkel’s stance that campaign rallies by Turkish ministers, in general, “are possible within rules and regulations”.Ankara-Berlin ties have been strained by a series of disputes, particularly since the failed coup against Erdogan in July.Berlin has emerged as a strident critic of Ankara’s post-coup crackdown, which has seen more than 100,000 people arrested or dismissed from their posts over alleged links to the plotters or to Kurdish militants.Given the significant Turkish and Kurdish populations in Germany, Berlin is anxious to prevent Turkish domestic disputes from spilling into the country.Most recently, Ankara’s arrest of Deniz Yucel, a Turkish-German dual national who is a correspondent for Germany’s Die Welt newspaper, has sparked an outcry in Berlin.An Istanbul court has charged Yucel with spreading terrorist propaganda and inciting hatred.- © AFP, 2017Read: Putin apologises after Russian air strike accidentally kills three Turkish soldiersRead: Mornings with Donald Trump: Watching TV news and Tweeting non-stop from his unsecured Androidcenter_img Monday 6 Mar 2017, 9:04 PM Image: Lefteris Pitarakis AP/Press Association Images By AFP German Chancellor Angela Merkel (l) with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

It looks like intelligence becomes much less important in a partner the

first_img 19 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Jan 17th 2017, 2:30 PM Neymar was booed by PSG fans against RC Strasbourg, but silenced them by scoring an injury time overhead kick to win the game By Business Insider Tulsi Gabbard says Trump is making the US ‘Saudi Arabia’s b—-‘ with his response to the oil field attacks It looks like intelligence becomes much less important in a partner the older we get The older we get, the less stock we put in our partner’s intelligence a new study has found. Short URL Source: Shutterstock/Ruslan Guzov center_img Share48 Tweet Email2 Boris Johnson forced to cancel Luxembourg press conference due to deafening boos from protesters Tuesday 17 Jan 2017, 2:30 PM WHEN YOU’RE ON a dating website like or idly swiping on Tinder, generally you’re more likely to match with – and also speak to – someone who is intellectually similar to you.However, this doesn’t stay true as you age, according to new research. Apparently, we’re more willing to let our standards slide as time passes, as the study found that people get less fussy about finding someone who has the same level of education as they get older.The research, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, analysed the online dating interactions of over 41,000 Australians between 18 and 80 years old from the dating website RSVP. Matches and conversations were looked at from four months in 2016, to find out whether people stayed picky or loosened up a bit.“Selecting a mate can be one of the largest psychological and economic decisions a person can make and has long been the subject of social science research across a range of disciplines,” said Stephen Whyte, a behavioural economist at Queensland University of Technology, and lead author of the study in a statement.He said that traditionally, humans search for a partner who is similar to them in physical attractiveness, personality, culture, education, religion and race. This meant people used to often only meet and end up dating people who were similar to themselves.Internet eraHowever, the internet has dramatically changed this process, and has given us access to more partners than we know what to do with.“The internet has completely changed how people choose dating partners to find love,” Whyte said. “Cyber dating permits multiple partner choices in real time, which allows for a significantly greater available choice of potential mates.”The pool of people we can potentially hook up with has dramatically widened, and this includes partners with lower, similar or higher levels of intelligence to us. It might not be such an important part of dating as previously thought, as how much participants in the study cared about their matches’ intelligence or education level depended on what stage they were at in life.“The more educated cohort tends to care less about matching the same level of education as they get older,” Whyte said. “Older women in particular have a greater likelihood of contacting potential partners who are less educated than themselves but conversely, younger males fall into this category as well.”CompromiseSurprisingly, some psychologists suggest that men are more likely than women to end up compromising as they get older because there are gender differences in these kinds of scenarios.For example, Dr Aaron Ben-Ze’ev wrote in Psychology Today that women are more likely to make compromises on their partner at a young age, rather than when they’re older, because they’re concerned about settling down and having children.Men, on the other hand, he said should generally compromise more in older age, when they’re afraid of being alone. But that’s just one theory, and with so many different personality traits, it can be hard to nail down what exactly it is you’re compromising on and when. The reasons behind why people choose others to be romantically involved with are complicated to say the leastEither way, dating apps and sites have changed things up. Whyte said more research is needed to “have a better understanding of the impacts of cyber-dating on individuals and relationships as well as the psychology employed by people when using the internet.”- Lindsay DodgsonRead: Take a look inside Taiwan’s environmentally-friendly twisting towerRead: Whatsapp denies claims of a ‘backdoor’ into the messages of its 1 billion users US oil firms are skyrocketing after Saudi drone attacks cause record price spike 13,423 Views last_img read more

Nobody will be excluded Govt promises answers in Grace inquiry within 6

first_img Short URL Tuesday 7 Mar 2017, 5:58 PM By Sean Murray Finian McGrath not putting Terms of Reference for Grace commission before the Dáil. Really poor form designed to prevent a full debate— Brendan Howlin (@BrendanHowlin) March 7, 2017 5,445 Views MINISTER FINIAN MCGRATH has defended the terms of reference for the inquiry into the handling of the Grace case.These terms were agreed at cabinet today and, while McGrath says that the inquiry will provide answers for everybody concerned, others have criticised the scope of the investigation as not going far enough.The commission of investigation will seek to establish how Grace was placed with her foster family in the first instance, the decisions made that saw her left there, and what monitoring was undertaken.It is understood that the first module of the investigation will focus on Grace, alone.Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Disabilities Minister Finian McGrath said that tackling this issue was the most important of his political career.“Any question of allegations of abuse against people with disabilities or vulnerable people in society has to be a priority,” he said.He stressed repeatedly that he wanted to ensure that the Grace case was dealt with in the first instance, but added that the inquiry would be broader in scope than just her case.He said: “Not only do I want to give reassurance, I also want to give a commitment, that decisive action will be taken on these issues. Nobody will be excluded, all voices will be heard.Minister McGrath said that he wanted to focus on the Grace case first because “her family deserve answers”.He said that Marjorie Farrelly SC would head up the commission of inquiry and would quickly get to the truth of the matter.An interim report from this investigation will be published in six months, while the full report will take a year to complete.The Dublin Bay North TD added that he hoped that the answers people wanted would be made available at this six month point.He added: “Some of those answers will emerge within six months. We need to ensure that protections are put in place, and that work has already begun.”Speaking in the Dáil today, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said that the commission “will also allow for the specification of the scope of any further investigations which the commission considers are warranted in the public interest”.“Too narrow”Reacting to the terms of reference, Barnardos said it was “outraged” at the “narrow” scope of the investigation.CEO Fergus Finlay said: “As hurt and abused as she was, Grace was not alone. The families of others who were placed in the same foster home, families who were among the first to report deep concerns about their children, are effectively being excluded from these terms of reference.It is inexplicable that the Government and the Minister would seek to limit the terms of reference in this way.Sinn Féin TD Mary Lou McDonald said that questions needed to be asked outside of Grace, “about the HSE, about placement, processes and policies in the State” and to ask if others were failed in the same way Grace was.Labour leader Brendan Howlin was critical of the decision to not put the terms of reference before the Dáil ahead of a debate on the issue which is due to take place at 6pm this evening. Mar 7th 2017, 5:58 PM ‘Nobody will be excluded’: Govt promises answers in Grace inquiry within 6 months The terms of reference for the commission of investigation was agreed at cabinet today. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission met with Minister McGrath and said that they conveyed significant concerns about the “culture and treatment of individuals with intellectual disabilities in the care system have been raised”.Grace CaseAs the reports into the Grace case showed, authorities had at least four opportunities over 13 years to make the girl at the centre of an abuse scandal safe.The Conal Devine report also identified at least four opportunities where action could have been taken and Grace could have been removed from the home. However, an absence of supervision and adherence of protocols meant that Grace was allowed to remain there.The report found that Grace moved in with the foster family in 1989 – a time when foster carers were paid by the health services.It outlines concerns raised by staff regarding bruises and disturbing behaviour by Grace. In one case, it is reported that she stripped her clothes off for no reason. Other concerns related to bruising, poor hygiene and bad behaviour.It says that the authors of the report “think that she (Grace) suffered abuse while living with this family”.“These two reports speak for themselves and they are shocking,” said the Taoiseach.Yesterday, the HSE said it “regrets but understands” why Grace’s mother would not accept an apology from them.Grace’s mother gave an interview to Claire Byrne Live where she said that said that the “reports were very harrowing” and she couldn’t “look at in any detail”.Read: HSE ‘regrets but understands’ why Grace’s mother won’t accept their apologyRead: Grace: The four missed opportunities to make her safe Source: Brendan Howlin/Twitter 18 Comments Share28 Tweet Email last_img read more

The 9 at 9 Sunday

first_img Image: Shutterstock/Tatiana_Didenko Sunday 12 Mar 2017, 8:58 AM 10,768 Views The 9 at 9: Sunday Here’s everything you need to know as Sunday gets underway. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 10 Comments Short URL Mar 12th 2017, 8:58 AM Image: Shutterstock/Tatiana_Didenko By Cormac Fitzgerald EVERY MORNING, brings you the stories you need to know as you start your day.1. #POLL: Sinn Féin is now the second most popular party in the country, according to a new Sunday Times Behaviour & Attitudes opinion poll.2. #KINAHAN: A investigation has found that the Kinahan cartel has lost at least €42 million in the last 12 months as gardaí have cracked down on the gang’s activities.3. #NETHERLANDS: Dutch police used water cannon to break up pro-Turkey protests in Rotterdam yesterday as s the city expelled a Turkish minister, amid an escalating diplomatic row with Ankara.4. #KENNY: Enda Kenny has raised the issue of undocumented Irish in a speech last night, saying that highlighting their plight was a top priority for him on his US visit, RTÉ reports.5. #ARREST: An intruder with a backpack was yesterday arrested after breaching the White House grounds while US President Donald Trump was there, the Secret Service confirmed.6. #TUSLA: Victims of abuse in childhood who gave statements to gardaí were sent letters by child and family agency Tusla 16 years later, reports the Irish Mail on Sunday.7. #PRAYERS: Prayers for the victims of the Clondalkin fire which claimed four lives will be held in Wicklow this afternoon.8. #FENNELLY: A draft report by Nial Fennelly – who investigated whether recordings of garda phone calls in Cork showed wrongdoing by officers during the investigation into the 1996 murder of Frenchwoman Sophie Toscan du Plantier – accuses some gardaí of wrongdoing, the Sunday Times reports.9. #MCCANN: Police investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been granted £85,000 to continue the search for another six months. (BBC)   Share Tweet Email last_img read more

FactCheck Did the government really save €500 million due to reported welfare

first_img IN LATE APRIL, then Minister for Social Protection Leo Varadkar launched a new campaign entitled ‘Welfare Cheats Cheat Us All’ encouraging the reporting of welfare benefit fraud by the public.The campaign has generated a great deal of debate, both from those approving of the sentiment and those harshly critical of the policy.One of the key claims of the initiative (which remains prominently displayed on the Department of Social Protection’s (DSP) website, and was used as a marquee figure in the advertising drive which went along with the campaign) is that €500 million was saved in Ireland last year on foot of members of the public reporting relatives, friends, neighbours, and acquaintances on suspicion of benefit fraud.A subsequent 15 May debate on RTÉ’s Today With Seán O’Rourke between south Dublin Fine Gael councillor Paddy Smyth and former welfare fraud inspector Bernadette Gorman saw Gorman argue that the figure is in fact closer to €41 million. Source: Sam BoalSo which side is telling the truth?(Send your FactCheck requests to, tweet @TJ_FactCheck, or send us a DM).Claim: €500 million was saved in Ireland in 2016 as a result of the reporting of benefit fraudThe EvidenceIn order to FactCheck this claim, we asked the DSP to provide:Details of all reports of fraud made by members of the public to DSP in 2016The calculations used to arrive at the figure of €500 millionThe nature of any estimates or  modelling that might be used to approximate the overall figureThe Department’s response can be viewed here. Source: Department of Social ProtectionThe key to the Department’s approach to estimating fraud is a ‘control’ scheme, one that uses a series of multipliers (estimates of how long a fraud would continue to be carried out before being brought to a halt in other words) in its calculations.In simpler terms, the Department assumes that if a fraud isn’t detected, it will continue for a set further period of time, with different time periods applied to each of the 70 welfare schemes DSP operates.These calculations cover both reductions in and termination of payments once fraud has been identified, and are measured in weeks (and in certain cases months). They range in size from 26 weeks for Jobseeker’s Benefit (for both reduction in payment and termination), to 52/136 weeks for Carer’s Allowance and most other benefits, to 12/34 months for Child Benefit.The Department declined to provide with calculations regarding how the figures for individual benefits were calculated; however, the overall figures contributing to the €506 million figure are as follows: Savings breakdown by scheme 2016 Source: Department of Social ProtectionClick here to view a larger imageNote that the overall estimated figure of €506 million is not atypical in recent years – in fact according to figures released to Sinn Féin TD John Brady on the subject (viewable here), the total breached €600 million in the austerity years of 2011, 2012, and 2013: Source: Department of Social ProtectionClick here to view a larger image“The methodology underpinning the calculation of the savings was developed by the Department, in conjunction with the CSO and is similar to that used in other countries, such as the UK and Australia,” the DSP said in relation to the system used to estimate welfare fraud.However, that system has been in use since at least 2009 – whether or not it has been adjusted to account for changing social metrics such as rising/falling unemployment is unclear.The DSP, in its release to, states that 19,361 reports of benefit fraud were reported by members of the public in 2016: Number of reports of fraud 2016 Source: Department of Social ProtectionClick here to view a larger imageHowever, it also states that:Recent exercises concluded that savings and/or overpayments have been recorded in about one-third of cases where a report was received from a member of the public.This statement is given a caveat – “note that this work is not designed – nor is it large enough – to allow for statistical inferences to be drawn from the results” – however, for the basis of this FactCheck we will assume this one-third figure is applicable across the board.Running the Numbers Source: Department of Social ProtectionClick here to view a larger imageLet’s take the three largest figures attributed to welfare schemes as samples.These three schemes account for almost two-thirds – €318 million – of all welfare fraud savings made last year, according to DSP. In each sample, we’ll be looking at how many allegations of each type of fraud there were last year, how many were likely to have resulted in actual fraud, and the total savings this would have amounted to.These calculations have been arrived at with the assistance of Professor Micheál Collins of the UCD School of Social Policy.Jobseeker’s Benefit / AllowanceNumber of reports in 2016 – 5,310; Estimated savings €172 millionJobseeker’s welfare benefits form almost 40% of DSP’s overall calculations for last year, so these schemes are particularly significant.For the duration of 2016, jobseeker’s benefit was €188 per week. Using the €172 million total, this indicates 914,894 weeks of fraud savings last year. Using the above table of multipliers, DSP assumes that each beneficiary of welfare fraud is equivalent to 26 weeks of payments lost. Dividing the total number of weeks by 26 therefore indicates 35,188 individuals were guilty of jobseekers’ fraud last year – which equates to 12% of the average number of people on Ireland’s live register (302,945) in 2016. In other words, the assumption is that one in ten people claiming jobseeker’s benefit are committing fraud. Which is a high figure by anyone’s standards.However, DSP’s own figures appear to contradict this.5,310 reports of such fraud were made last year. However, assuming only one-third of those led to savings/overpayments, that figure becomes 1,770. Which leads to two possibilities:(i) 1,770 x 52 weeks (multiplier used for Jobseeker’s Allowance) x €188 = €17.3 million(ii) 1,770 x 26 weeks (multiplier used for Jobseeker’s Benefit) x €188 =  €8.65 millionSplitting the difference here gives an indicative figure saved of just under €13 million, or about 7.6% of €172 million – less than a tenth of the actual savings being claimed.One Parent Family Benefit (OPFB)Number of reports in 2016 – 3,383; Estimated savings €77 millionThroughout 2016 the OPFB stood at €188 per week, with an additional €29.80 per child covered. For the basis of this comparison, we’ll assume a single parent and two children -or payments of €247.60 weekly. The control number of weeks for termination of this benefit is 136 (more than 2.5 years). That suggests a saving to be made per incidence of fraud of €33,674. Using the €77 million total estimate, this indicates fraudulent claims at the full estimated rate in 2016.The most recent Social Welfare Services statistical report (for 2015, available here) indicates that €670.1 million was spent by the State on this benefit that year. This indicates an overall incidence of fraud rate of 11.5%, which is broadly in line with the assumed rate of fraud for jobseekers detailed above.Again, however, DSP’s figures appear to contradict this.3,383 reports of such fraud were made last year. Again, assuming only one-third of those led to savings, that figure becomes 1,128:(i) 1,128 x 52 weeks (multiplier used for reduction in payment) x €247.60 = €14.5 million(ii) 1,128 x 136 weeks (multiplier used for termination of payment) x €247.60 =  €38 millionEven taking into account the larger multiplier, which would appear to be very high, the estimated figure of €38 million saved is less than 50% of €77 million – less than half of the actual savings being claimed.Child BenefitNumber of reports in 2016 – 556; Estimated savings €69 millionFrom January 2016, the child benefit rate per month in Ireland was €140, or €1,680 per year. This indicates 41,071 instances of such fraud in 2016.  According to the 2016 census, there were 1,190,502 children aged 18 or younger in the state. Assuming one payment per child, that indicates a fraud rate of 3.4% – or one in every 30 children’s benefits are fraudulent. Again, this seems quite a high estimate given the strict nature of the child registration process.Once more, DSP’s figures appear to contradict this.556 reports of such fraud were made last year. Again, assuming only one-third of those led to savings, that figure becomes 185:(i) 185 x 12 months (multiplier used for reduction in payment) x €140 = €310,800(ii) 185 x 34 months (multiplier used for termination of payment) x €140 =  €880,600Again, even taking into account the larger multiplier, which assumes nearly three years worth of savings per instance of child benefit fraud, the estimated figure of €0.9 million saved is less than 1.3% of €69 million – just over one hundredth of the savings being claimed by DSP.ConclusionTogether the three benefits analysed account for 63% (€318 million) of the DSP’s announced savings of €506 million as a result of reported fraud in 2016.From our analysis, even following what appear to be especially high multipliers used to estimate savings, that figure is closer to €51.9 million – just 16% of the €318 million officially estimated by DSP. Note that this is an especially generous reading of these multipliers – others have estimated that the savings made were considerably lower.It should be noted also that even if the savings figures for the remaining welfare schemes were 100% accurate, the total could not come close to the €506 million being claimed. In fact, using our calculations as a proxy for the remainder, the overall savings figure would be in the region of €82 million.It also bears repeating that while DSP provided  with the system of multipliers used when estimating fraud savings, the Department declined to provide its own methods for calculating those figures. Therefore, it has not been possible to check the logic behind those calculations.There are two conclusions to be taken from our own calculations:The estimated savings made by DSP as a result of reported fraud bear little or no resemblance to the realityEven if the €506 million figure were accurate, it would indicate a highly inefficient welfare system with nearly 3% of all transactions (overall annual budget for DSP is approximately €20 billion) being fraudulent Assistant Secretary at DSP Kathleen Stack with then Minister Leo Varadkar, pictured at the launch of the Welfare Cheats campaign on 17 April Source: Sam BoalThe purpose of this FactCheck is not to question why DSP’s savings estimates are as high as they are (and have been so consistently for at least the last eight years). However, in anecdotal conversation with statistical experts conducted in preparation for this article, it has been suggested that such outlandish figures were possibly of benefit to the Department when Ireland was involved with the Troika in the early years of this decade, and huge savings were expected to be achieved at all levels of government.Given that Ireland now appears to be relatively clear of recession, such substantial welfare fraud makes far less intuitive sense.In its correspondence with, DSP claimed that its system for estimating fraud is subject to “frequent reviews”, but also acknowledged that the last review of its welfare fraud estimating procedures was run in 2012 by the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG).It also acknowledged that this review five years ago “recommended changes”, which do not appear to have been applied as yet.“The Department is rolling out updated IT systems during 2017 to improve the data collection and analysis of its control activities,” its statement reads.Regardless, for this FactCheck, the conclusion regarding the Department’s claim is that it is false.Claim: €500 million was saved in Ireland in 2016 as a result of the reporting of benefit fraudConclusion: False Jun 18th 2017, 12:05 AM 76 Comments Short URL Sunday 18 Jun 2017, 12:05 AM By Cianan Brennan Share1097 Tweet Email3 51,048 Views FactCheck: Did the government really save €500 million due to reported welfare fraud last year? No. No it didn’t. Find more FactChecks here Follow TJ_FactCheck on Twitter’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Finance minister rules out personal tax cuts in Budget says any welfare

first_imgSpeaking after the meeting, the minister said: “A no deal Brexit will have profound implications for Ireland on all levels. These include macroeconomic, trade and sectoral challenges, both immediately and in the longer term.”He added: “While there are risks ahead there are also opportunities; our goal is to position our economy to minimise these risks and to maximise the opportunities that lie ahead.”SensibleThe Irish Fiscal Advisory Council this morning said a no-deal Brexit budget is the most sensible option for Budget 2020 ahead of Donohoe’s meeting with cabinet ministers.In its pre-budget submission, the budget watchdog warned that the economic outlook  has deteriorated in recent months as the risk of a hard Brexit has increased.It also warned the Government should not rely on corporation tax outperformances to balance the budget and that it should not expect long-term spending to be offset by such a volatile source of income. Seamus Coffey, Chair of the council said there is significant uncertainty in relation to Brexit just weeks out from the 31 October divorce deadline.“I think planning on the basis of a hard Brexit given what we know is the most appropriate course of action,” he said speaking on RTÉ Radio 1′s Morning Ireland programme.“That’s not to say that it will happen or even that the probability of it happening is above 50% but of the range of possible outcomes that Brexit can bring, it does appear that a hard Brexit is the most likely and planning on the basis of that for the budget over the next couple of weeks is the most appropriate action to take.”“In overall terms, what happens with Brexit shouldn’t have an impact on the overall package that Government chooses to deliver,” Coffey said. “The Government has set out a plan for budgetary measures in the 2020 budget totalling €2.8 billion. The advice of the IFAC is that the Government should adhere to, stick to and deliver on that plan.”“If a no-deal or a hard Brexit is the base line for what they should do in that scenario, then this sort of environment should frame what they do with this €600 million but that is up to the Government to choose what individual or particular measures it wishes to introduce,” he added.- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy. As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: Image: Sam Boal Wed 8:14 AM 32,354 Views Donohoe will deliver Budget 2020 on 8 October. Image: Sam Boal Source: Michelle Hennessy/Twitter Wednesday 11 Sep 2019, 2:39 PM Updated Wed 2:39 PM FINANCE MINISTER PASCHAL Donohoe has ruled out a reduction in personal taxation in the next Budget and said the welfare package will be “different in scale” to previous years. The minister received approval from Cabinet to base Budget 2020 around the assumption that there will be a no-deal Brexit come 31 October.The Government is set to deliver a range of budgetary measures on 8 October to the tune of €2.8 billion.Some €2.1 billion of that has already been committed to projects outlined in the Summer Economic Statement in June, with the remaining €700 million thought to be earmarked for tax cuts and increased spending. With a no-deal Brexit looking more likely by the day, Donohoe sought permission from Cabinet today to base the Budget around the impact this would have on Ireland. Speaking to reporters today, he said the government had to make sensible choices for the Budget, ruling out any reductions in personal taxation or sweeping welfare increases.Donohoe said there are many who would argue, given that the economy is doing well, that there is a case for personal tax reductions before Brexit.“I am not going to do that, I am going to make a set of very safe choices.”He said he wanted to maximise the resources available to the government to help citizens who find themselves in difficulty as a result of a no-deal fallout. The minister said the government has already seen a situation in Ireland where taxation and welfare decisions were made that the country later could not afford. “And we have seen the difficulty in undoing them.”A statement from the Department of Finance said the budget aims “to give certainty to businesses and citizens” and “supporting sectors and regions most exposed to Brexit-related disruption”.  Share18 Tweet Email center_img Minister Paschal Donohoe says the Budget will be a safe and careful one, with plans to ensure Ireland has the supports needed for a no-deal Brexit.— Michelle Hennessy (@michellehtweet) September 11, 2019 Donohoe will deliver Budget 2020 on 8 October. Finance minister rules out personal tax cuts in Budget, says any welfare changes will be targeted Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe brought the proposal to the Government today. 86 Comments By Conor McCrave Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Cut the buoyant allowances

first_imgGovernments must reform the structure of their economy in order to boost their growth and job creation mechanism, advises the annual OECD report Going for Growth, 2011. For Greece in particular, recommendations include the reduction of regulatory barriers in the Greek market through liberalisation, the abolishment of counter motives for those wishing to prolong their professional activity beyond 65 and finally, the restriction of tax exemption and buoyant allowances (in addition to salary), by reducing the labour tax wedge and broadening the tax base. According to OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurria, “current European fiscal and taxation policies have reached their limits and, therefore, reform appears the only way”. For Greece the report also highlights the importance of two more objectives which will increase the quality of primary and secondary education. The first one refers to enhancing the quality of teaching, by linking it to performance benchmarking. The other objective refers to cutting down on youth and women’s unemployment through “flexicurity” and lifetime employability policies. As far as the “buoyant allowances” Greek public servants, in particular, currently receive a number of these. And it is not a secret that at the very end, public servants earn more than the average employee in the private sector. At least 30,000 euros per year. As part of a plan to fix the nation’s ruined economy, the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announced recently that he aims to cut 30 percent of civil servants’ holiday bonuses which are part of Greece’s “14th salary” payment schedule. The 14th salary works like this: Greek workers get their annual salary in roughly 14 instalments. On top of 12 monthly payments, employees receive double their paychecks in December, right in time for Christmas consumerism. They also receive half of their monthly spending in the spring to shell out on goods for Easter. Then they get another half-salary boost in July before their traditional summer vacation. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Greek community turns 90

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram Australia’s second oldest Greek Orthodox community will celebrate its 90th anniversary midway next year.The St George Greek Orthodox Church & Community of Port Pirie, founded in 1924 and incorporated in 1925, will hold a glendi on July 4, with a dinner dance and a ball at the local Northern Festival Centre, followed by a church procession the next day to commemorate the community.The South Australian town, approximately two hours north of Adelaide, is native to roughly 100 Greek families that are rallying together, under a new committee elected in April, to maintain the town’s Hellenic roots beyond its already strong 90 year existence.Community president Emanuel Skorpos told Neos Kosmos the community’s influence in the area, with its church at the forefront, needs to remain open, functional and inclusive if it is to continue. “The community itself, although it’s small, has come to realise, with a young committee coming on board, that for it to have a strong and positive influence it needs to come together and support all the facets of the church’s and the community’s interests and the functions that surround that.”“Despite the community being small and the ties being Australia-wide, members of our community have family in Darwin, in Queensland, in Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania and Perth, so we need to rally together to be able to ensure that we can maintain our traditions, within the community.” Port Pirie was an early destination for many migrant Greeks because of its then thriving agricultural sector, and its smelter which employed just over 360 Greeks in 1925, the same year the Kastellorizon Brotherhood was formed in the town.The community is now actively working with the younger generation, in the hope that the “responsibility for the church and the community’s future”, will continue to prosper by uniting its former residents around the country.last_img read more