53 thoughts on “De Friday Papers

    1. eoin

      Best Bojo moment yesterday was the side-by-side statements by Macron/Bojo when Bojo was generally smiling in agreement with Macron until Macron emphasised the backstop was irreplaceable. Boris started rooting in his jacket breast pocket, pretending he didn’t hear that bit.

      The British prime minister, ladies and gentlemen.

      1. Rosette of Sirius

        He played right into their hands. First he said he’d not engage. Then he flew out to meet with them.

        Second, now Merkel and Macron have exactly what they need – politically speaking – to make sure they can’t be blamed for a hard Brexit.

        They’ve now been seen by the world to give BoJo his chance.

        ‘You think you can find a better solution to the backstop?!, you got 30 days. Fill yer boots…’

        Of course his ONLY play to avoid a hard Brexit is the Irish Sea as an alternative.

        It’s hilarious however to watch the usual suspects in the British Press exclaiming how Boris made those bloody Krauts and Frogs blink first.

        Really hilarious.

        1. B9Com From No

          It’s tedious and embarrassing – the obsessions with laughing at the Brits and wishing them ill
          Good grief let’s take our own trash out first

          1. Jibjob

            I’m laughing at the Brits – and I’m a Brit!

            Goodness knows I didn’t vote for Brexit nor for this excuse of a UK government.

        2. some old unicorn

          What is interesting is how unflattering the pictures of him are. Up until now it was mainly head shots but in comparison to the other leaders he looks like he was pulled out of a ditch somewhere.

          1. millie vanilly strikes again

            I’ve heard that too actually. Doesn’t surprise me. The man has the act of buffoonery down to a fine art. But it is an act.

          2. Rosette of Sirius

            He really does that intentionally. He ruffles up his hair every time a camera lights up.

        3. Archie

          Those Daily Express and Telegraph headlines would make you believe they witnessed a very different meeting than everyone else.

  1. Cú Chulainn

    Do you know what.. I think he’s going to ask for a declaration that the Backstop is, well, a backstop and then he’s going to vote on the WA again.. 4th time lucky.

  2. eoin

    The circulation figures for Irish newspapers in the first six months of 2019 were published yesterday. Unfortunately, they turned out to be a damp squib because the newspaper group which previously controlled a 60% market share of the Sunday market and 30% of the daily market decided, two days before the figs were published and after decades being audited by ABC, to resign!

    You’d have to wonder just how bad the figures at the Indo, Sindo, Sunday World and Herald are to justify such a dramatically abrupt resignation.

    As for the remaining Irish titles, Irish Times, Examiner and SBP, they generally performed better than expected, down “just” 6-10% compared to the 10-15% that the UK titles have suffered in Ireland in 2019.

    There’s an overview of the figures here.

    Poor auld papi(ers)

    1. Gabby

      I’ve said it before, we really need a public discussion about the future of Irish printed newspapers and the cultural impact of their possible disappearance.

  3. eoin

    Three days after the Oireachtas communications committee publishes a report which calls for the suspension of the €5 (five) billion National Broadband Plan, there’s no response from the shady Richard Bruton.

    Eight days after the Data protection commissioner gave Regina Doherty seven days to publish the report on the illegal mass surveillance of citizens, Regina says she’s still studying the report, the main parts of which she’s had for a year.

    And the opposition are letting them get away with it.

    1. eoin

      On the NBP, you might be interested to know that bonds at Digicel, Denis O’Brien’s “main source of wealth” closed at yet another record low last night. An investment in Denis’s Digicel will now pay you 41% a year. The reason for the high returns is, the market doesn’t think you’ll get your money back and that Digicel will either collapse or impose a haircut on your bonds.

      So, Richard Bruton better sign that NBP pretty damned quick.

    2. Cian

      Regina Doherty called the DPC’s bluff.
      The DPC has no legal authority to demand the report be published.

        1. Cian

          They said:
          Under applicable laws, it is not open to the DPC to publish its Report without the prior agreement of the Department. The DPC has written to the Department asking it to confirm, within a period of seven days, that it will either publish the Report on its own website or, alternatively, that it will agree to the publication of the Report on the Commission’s website. The Department’s response is awaited.


          1. Cian

            An insistent and peremptory request, made as of right.

            They publically gave the department two ‘options’ with a 7-day response-time. Both of which were to publish.

            Yes, I think that falls under the OED definition of “demand”.

          2. GiggidyGoo

            ‘Made as of right’
            They didn’t give two options. They requested that one of two options be chosen.

  4. eoin

    As noted yesterday under the RTE thread, the Sun today confirms that Brendan O’Connor and his Cutting Edge effort have been axed.

    The show was featured on Broadsheet from time to time. To me, it was a cosy echo chamber/Marian type of effort but at least it was RTE news and current affairs. What will fill that hole? The nightly Gemma O’Doherty narrowcasts?

    1. eoin

      The Sun reports

      “RTE officially said Brendan’s programme is “taking a rest”, adding: “We’ll hopefully see him back on screen in 2020.”

      But insiders said it “won’t be back” after just four seasons. A source added: “Saying a show is ­taking a rest for a year keeps everyone happy. In ­reality, it never comes back.””

      Brendan used to be one of RTE’s top “talent”, paid €228,500 in 2011, but he’s not an employee, is he? He’s a contractor and his other job is a deputy something at the Sindo. He’s no longer paid big bucks by RTE, or at least not enough to get into the Top 10 which has a lower limit of €185,679 (Mary Wilson) in 2016.

      So, is RTE just not contracting him anymore?

      1. V

        How many Marian slots did he get in the last season v current


        I’d say the circle of talking heads just wore too thin
        And it’s against RTÉ policy to introduce new voices

        They’re more likely to wait on some new faces to be introduced to the mainstream over the next 12 to 24 months
        A new Vicky Phelan say
        A new best seller writer
        A recent Cambridge PhD who happens to be Irish
        Ye know what I’m getting at

        TBF the format was sound
        And it has opportunity

        IMO it just further demonstrates that Dee Forbes is not kicking enough A55s out there
        And they are still operating in their own self-interests
        Then again
        What’s stopping anyone else putting a round table panel show together
        Who says it has to be in Dublin

  5. eoin

    EU plans crackdown on facial recognition cameras in public places.

    Are certain Irish shopping centres using facial recognition cameras to identify serial shoplifters? “Fine” you might say, but are you happy that persons unknown can track you and the company you keep while on their premises?

    Just because we have the tools in 2019 to monitor citizens doesn’t mean we HAVE to monitor citizens and if we are, we should be consulted beforehand. That’s the bit this FG govt doesn’t get.

    1. some old unicorn

      In GDPR terms- facial recognition is biometric data- same as finger prints- pretty certain that storing such indefinitely is against the rules.

      I wonder does OCR of car number plates fall into that category too? I would think so along public streets or roads for sure.

      1. Listrade

        Again, it’ a no. It isn’t against the rules otherwise most modern phones would be screwed with facial recognition or fingerprint to open. GDPR wasn’t this huge golden panacea for all our personal data, it was the old Data Protection rules updated and with heftier fines. I can store and process and sell on any data I have on you as long as I tell you.

        With biometrics as long as I can show and ONE of the below, I’m ok:

        1. You gave given explicit consent
        2. I have a legal requirement to do so or it is fundamental to my operations
        3. It is necessary for your vital interests
        4. I’m using it in the defence of a claim or legal case (e.g. DNA evidence, finger prints etc)
        5. It’s in the public interest.

        There is very shaky grounds for facial processing outside of some law enforcement aspects. CCTV doesn’t come under Special Category data and so you can implement it with a weaker “necessary for operations”. Much harder to argue why it is either “fundamental” to operations or even in the public interest with private industry and facial recognition. The public interest aspect has to be a balance between my loss of privacy and my protection. Shop lifting does not even come close to meeting that.

        An other issue is that facial recognition isn’t even any good. It is bad at matching females, so that’s 50% of the population its no good on and it has been shown to have far too many false positives on non-caucasian people. So if you’re a white male shoplifter you’ll probably get caught. If you’re a female, or black, asian, etc person, you’ll probably get wrongly flagged.

        The fact that it is done in secret is also an issue. I should be able to find out how the data is collected, stored and processed. I should be able to request my own data. I should be alble to request that my data is erased. You can’t do that if you don’t know the data is collected in the first place.

        TLDR: No it isn’t illegal to collect. But it must meet a specific criteria (I don’t think it does) and you must have a policy available that outlines how the data is collected, stored, processed and shared and you can request to be forgotten.

        1. Janet, I ate my avatar

          really interesting, do you think the female thing could be to do with makeup messing up the recognition ( lots of it obscures features etc)

          1. Listrade

            No idea to be honest Janet. I’d say that it is more related to how the tech was trained to recognise people than any deliberate bias. First problem is that it was using public photos. It depends where they accessed the public photos and whether there was a bias on that to caucasians and caucasian males.

            It seems that most of the testing and development of the tech probably favoured men and caucasian men, but probably not deliberately. But if the software was initially based on recognising mostly white men and refined recognisng mostly white men, then it won’t be too great at the subtlties of women or other races.

          2. Cian

            I worked on a project years ago, and a small part required printing ID that included photographs of faces. The original specification (and budget) was for (low quality) black and white printing.

            However during testing it was discovered that darker skin tones just don’t print well in black and white. There was a hasty rework and upgrade to colour printing (and budget overrun).

            Facial recognition (partially) involves looking at shadows on faces to help work out the dimensions. Shadows are more pronounced on pale skin.

          3. Brother Barnabas

            I’d say it’s because women are so changeable from one day to the next that it’s impossible to know who or what they are

      2. some old unicorn

        I said

        In GDPR terms- facial recognition is biometric data- same as finger prints- pretty certain that storing such indefinitely is against the rules.

        I should have then said

        In GDPR terms- facial recognition is biometric data- same as finger prints- pretty certain that storing such indefinitely is against the rules if not for a stated and legitimate purpose?

        Accuracy or lack of, is yet another reason why it should not be stored because not only is the data held without consent or knowledge, the margin of error is so high that someone could be grossly misrepresented- ie fingered as a shop lifter when not.

        Also- where should that policy be displayed? All websites should have a privacy policy page by this stage but where in the real world?

        1. Listrade

          It shouldn’t be used full stop outside of law enforcement, and even then in very limited circumstances.

          As a minimum, as with CCTV there should be warning sign saying that it is being used. As a minimum, as with CCTV you should be able to contact the Data Controller for the company who operates the CCTV (usually a 3rd party security company) to request to see their policy and how to request to be forgotten.

          CCTV policies usually only allow for it to be stored for 30 days before it is erased unless a specific incident is flagged, eg a theft, an assault, an accident, etc. Then that specific footage and all other relevant footage is kept for as long as either a legal case or statute of limitations for bringing a legal case.

          However, as some investigations in UK have shown. Not only is facial recognition tech being used in secrecy, they have also refused to show the policy and even had people removed from premises for requesting the policy.

          1. some old unicorn

            UK or more realistically GB will be no longer part of EU it appears so they can do what they want. IMO their interpretation of data protection has been somewhat ‘what ever you are having yourself’ from day one.

  6. GiggidyGoo

    Funny headline in the farming independent

    ‘Brazil must protect Amazon rainforest, or I will seek to block EU Mercosur deal – Varadkar’

      1. GiggidyGoo

        The UK stations have been reporting on this for a couple of days now. I think the farming organisations are pointing out the government’s two faces regarding climate change and now there is no choice to report it here.
        The Amazon produces 20% of the earth’s oxygen. It’s being burned to increase cattle production go full the gap that the EU are trying to create by trying to force farmers here (under the guise of climate change) to lower production. And on top, theres the transport pollution. Triple whammy. But Septic Phil isn’t bothered.

    1. millie vanilly strikes again

      Too little too late for a lot of people now. I used to like him and thought he would have made an excellent role model for kids, but it’s been a while since I’ve been able to think of him without a grimace of shame. A huge waste of potential.

      As I heard someone say the other day, he was one of the best fighters in the world for a time. Now, he’s a glorified whiskey salesman.

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