Discussing Irish abortion laws and Ireland’s Budget 2014 in French

Here are recordings of the two latest topics I’ve spoken about on Dublin’s NearFM as part of French language programme ‘Qu’est-ce que c’est le Craic’.

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The light behind the projector: trends in projector light source technology

A Mitsubishi projector from the 700 series

A Mitsubishi projector from the 700 series

Hot off the press, this is an article I wrote for the Integrated Systems Europe show daily, which appeared on Day 2 (January 30th 2013).

While lamps remain central to projector illumination, newer solid state technologies such as led, hybrid and laser light sources are offering more portable, longer-lasting and cheaper alternatives. “You don’t have to replace lamps, there’s no mercury and it’s quicker to turn on and off,” says Mike Fisher, senior analyst at Futuresource. “Brightness varies and in theory, colour performance should be better, but that’s still work in progress.” Read more of this post

What are the current trends in digital signage?

Digital signage by Techflow, www.techflow.eu

Digital signage by Techflow, on show at ISE

Hot off the press, this is an article I wrote for the Integrated Systems Europe show daily, Day 1 (January 29th 2013).

Digital signage is no longer a market for experts and insiders according to Oliver Schwede, senior analyst at Invidis. “The European market, including displays, integration, DOOH, advertising revenues, is now valued at between €1bn and €2bn.”

Mike Fisher, senior analyst at Futuresource, describes a split between the high-end, interactive digital signage market and simple plug-and-play systems. “In between there’s a range of solutions, but the top and bottom ends are really driving it.”

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Review: Leave me Shout

Avenue Road Gallery owners Billy Kinsella and Jennette Donnelly with artist Nina Franco

Avenue Road Gallery owners Billy Kinsella and Jennette Donnelly with artist Nina Franco

It’s hanging sweetly on the wall of the Avenue Road Gallery, an intriguing flash of colour. It lulls the viewer into its pink and curvy palette. From afar it looks like a landscape, an illustration, a Japanese comic character perhaps. A relief from the punches delivered by Brazilian photographer Nina Franco’s “Leave me Shout” exhibition.

And then it hits. It’s not an abstract form but a pair of perfect, pert bare butt-cheeks. The girl is bent over, hand snaking through soft thighs, giving the viewer a firm middle finger in lieu of labia, which ends exactly on… yep. It’s called The Hole. The Hole is as sweet, sharp and fearless as its author. Nina is a feminist with a message, which she delivers in a soft, smiling Brazilian lilt.

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Airtricity: how to lose business in under 10 minutes

Here’s the complaint note I sent Airtricity this morning. It highlights a wider issue I have regularly encountered with services companies, the crux of my complaint being the following: if you want to steal the customers, steal the history and honour it too. Why is it so hard to respect the customer profile?

I’ve been paying my electricity bills in full by direct debit for 11 years now. I do not need to be robbed of 200 euro when funds are tight, just in case I decide to run off with the crown jewels this time and not pay my bills. I have paid my dues, paid deposits, proven myself over more than a decade with your main competitor – surely I’m the golden catch when it comes to low hanging fruit customer stealing?

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Video Interview with Texas Frontwoman Sharleen Spiteri

I was thrilled to interview Sharleen Spiteri of Texas for Irish music and culture magazine Hot Press this week – a big day for me as I loved her as a teenager – and they caught it on video.

The lovely Ms Spiteri was in Dublin for the launch of this year’s Arthur’s Day celebrations, which feature Texas as a headline act.

This is what Sharleen Spiteri of Texas had to say to Monica Heck for Hot Press.

The interesting bit about this year’s line-up is that a) they’ve ditched the ticketing system and b) any artist could appear in any pub in Ireland, as people across the country vote for their local pub to be the host of one of the big names on the bill including Tinie Tempah, Ellie Goulding, Amy Macdonald, Fatboy Slim and Mika.

The winning names will be a secret until the night so nobody knows who’s about to walk through the door. And all the events are free. Voting is online until September 16.

Hot Press also interviewed Amy Macdonald at the launch.

 

This is my personal link to Texas, that song was so big when I was a teen it always brings me back:

Farewell Maeve Binchy

It’s with great sadness that I learned of the passing of one of my favourite authors, the wonderful Maeve Binchy with the pen of gold. Her ability to capture the quirkiness of humans remained untouched by anyone who ever tried to follow in her footsteps.

Educated in French but fluent in spoken English, I learned how to read and write in English by devouring any book I could put my hands on, which meant a lot of Enid Blyton and Maeve Binchy. Light A Penny Candle was and remains one of my favourite books of all times. I read it as a child, under the covers with a torch as I just couldn’t put it down.

Here at home, I have a Maeve Binchy shelf, which anyone who has visited my home can confirm – and that shelf is not to be messed with! Always first into the boxes and first out of them, my books are precious and Maeve’s now even more so.

I truly regret never plucking up the courage to ask her for an interview. It’s the end of an era and it truly feels like a door is closing.

Farewell Maeve and thank you.