Samsungs Q1 2011 flagship Gingerbread phone will feature Super AMOLED 2 and

first_imgSamsung‘s already responsible for the best all-around Android phone with the Galaxy S, and they look likely to improve that when Google officially announces the second so-called Googlephone, the Samsung-built Nexus S… but what’s up Samsung’s sleeves for 2011? According to a leaked internal document, an absolutely gigantic Gingerbread phone.The slide was leaked to Engadget and details Samsung’s flagship Android phone for release in February 2011. The phone doesn’t have a name yet, but what we do know is that it will boast a 4.3-inch WVGA sAMOLED2 display (which we assume means Super AMOLED 2) , as well as run Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread. Samsung’s bragging about the new phone’s “super sleek” design, and no wonder: despite being a beast in length and width, its super thin. The smartphone will also apparently feature an 8MP camera with LED flash, 16GB onboard storage, 1080p video capture and playback, 14.4Mbps HSPA, a 1.2GHz CPU and Bluetooth 3.0.No doubt, this is a sexy phone… but man, what is with 4.3-inch smartphones? These are just too enormous for me to ever consider. Samsung, shrink this bad boy down into a more miniaturized version and I’ll be happy to consider the switch.Read more at Engadgetlast_img read more

Drug Dealers Love iPhones

first_imgAdChoices广告 Now, granted, my knowledge of the modern drug trade is entirely based on the TV shows Breaking Bad and The Wire, but I was under the impression that drug dealers were partial to “burners”–pre-paid cell phones that you can toss away every week or so. Turns out that the iPhone is actually a popular choice amongst members of the drug trade.This revelation comes from a recent interview with an anonymous Apple Store employee. “We get a lot of drug dealers who try to buy iPhones with fake IDs,” the employee told Popular Mechanics. “You can tell them instantly just by how shady they act, and they know you know, but you obviously can’t start accusing them of being drug dealers–they are customers, after all.”It gets better, “But when they try to check out, they’ll use what are obviously fake IDs or fake credit cards, and it often turns out they’re using a dead person’s Social Security number or something. And when you call them out on that–then, they run.”last_img read more

Global PC sales on the decline and the iPads to blame

first_imgAccording to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the rise of tablets like the iPad means that we’re living in a post-PC era.It looks like consumers agree. According to recent numbers released by analyst firm Gartner, worldwide PC shipments totaled just 84.3 million units in the first quarter of 2011. That’s a 1.1 percent decline from the first quarter of 2010, and the first year-over-year decline in the PC market in six quarters.AdChoices广告According to Gartner’s principal analyst Mikako Kitagawa, weak demand for consumer PCs was ultimately the biggest obstacle in their growth this quarter. Although low prices have historically been enough to stimulate growth, that doesn’t attract buyers anymore as consumers now turn their attention to “media tablets” like the iPad 2.Gartner’s not spelling this out explicitly, so we will: they’re saying the iPad is killing the PC. Sure, they claim that consumers are more and more frequently turning to “media tablets” instead of laptops and PCs, but the only “media tablet” shipping and selling in bulk right now is the iPad. It owns well over 90% of the tablet market, in fact. You can’t get any more clear… tablets are muting demand for the PC.It gets worse. Even though decline in the global PC market was just 1.1%, Gartner says it would have been far, far worse if not for steady growth in the professional PC sector. Would even this demand lose its urgency if there was a more serious enterprise alternative (or deployment) of the iPad?Of course, at the end of the day, the iPad isn’t really killing the PC, but it is showing that most people don’t need a PC for most things. That’s something Apple’s got to be pleased with, even as PC manufacturers panic.Read more at Cult of Maclast_img read more

CES 2012 keynote to feature Ballmer and Windows 8

first_imgMicrosoft CEOs and CES keynote speeches have gone hand-in-hand for years now, with Bill Gates handing off duties to the always-intense Steve Ballmer back in 2009. Typically, Microsoft makes some pretty big revelations at CES, like the original Xbox. Last year’s speech might have left you wanting. While strong sales of the  Kinect were trumpted and praises sung for Windows Phone 7 and the Xbox 360, there were no splashy unveilings. This year, however, should prove to be a bit more exciting.While you won’t find anyone at Microsoft offering up any tips as to what topics will be mentioned in the opening address, you can bet Ballmer will devote plenty of time to Windows 8. With a developer preview slated for the BUILD conference this fall, the operating system itself is due to RTM later in 2012, and a convention floor that will no doubt be full of manufacturers chomping at the bit to show off their upcoming Windows 8 hardware, the OS is simply begging to be front and center.Microsoft is actually rumored to be releasing a preview build of Windows 8 to an expanded group of OEM partners at its Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles in just a few days. Key Microsoft allies, of course, have already been receiving early builds of Windows 8 — that’s where all the delicious leaked downloads came from, though they’ve been less quick to surface in the wake of a pair of firings back in May.Start your anticipatory countdown timers now: Ballmer’s CES 2012 keynote will take place January 9 at 6:30PM at the Venetian in Las Vegas.More at Softpedialast_img read more

iFixit dissects the Motorola Droid 3

first_imgThe Motorola Droid 3 is the latest phone on Verizon Wireless from Motorola to carry the Droid name, and it’s the third iteration of the phone that started the Android revolution on Verizon. The phone is out now, and one unit made its way to iFixit headquarters where they promptly tore it down for us all to see.For those not familiar with the newly launched phone, the Droid 3 packs a 1GHz dual-core processor under the hood, a 4″ qHD display, 16GB of on-board storage, and an 8-megapixel camera that can record video in 1080p full HD. It’s a pretty powerful phone with a slide-out keyboard that fans of smartphones with physical keyboards will likely flock to. In fact, the only thing missing from the device is a 4G LTE radio, a fact that Motorola is taking its fair share of lumps over in the Droid 3’s reviews.AdChoices广告Verizon Wireless is trying pretty hard to get people to pick up the Droid 3: they’re offering a buy-one-get-one promotion on the phone even though it just came out. Over at iFixit though, they turned up a few interesting things. Most notably, they discovered a SIM card slot in the Droid 3, even though the 3G phone doesn’t really need one on Verizon Wireless’ network.What the addition of the SIM card actually means is anyone’s guess. It’s unlikely that the phone is secretly a global device, but it’s possible that Motorola wanted to lay the hardware foundation for a global version to be introduced later. Aside from the SIM card however, iFixit notes that the Droid 3 is built very much like the original Motorola Droid and the Droid 2 – nothing unsual or horribly surprising under the hood.iFixit didn’t need too many specific tools to get the Droid 3 apart: two Torx screwdrivers, a spudger, and some plastic opening tools, and they had the smartphone open. Still, there are no user-servicable parts in the Droid 3 except for the battery, so there’s no reason for you to do this yourself.Read more at iFixitlast_img read more

Google Street View is using canoes and tricycles to map the Amazon

first_imgGoogle has teamed up with Amazon for a new project. Well, not Amazon, as in the company that sells the Kindle. No, we’re talking about the great, untamed wilderness of the Amazon rainforest. In a partnership with the Sustainable Amazon Foundation, Google aims to use its Street View technology to raise awareness of the world’s largest rainforest and its important ecosystems.To do this, Google is mapping the byways of the Amazon River. Local residents will pedal Google’s camera-equipped trikes across the few roads in the area as well, offering a peek of the different communities and the area’s inhabitants that live in isolated villages along the riverfront, most of which we’ll never see. Thousands of indigenous people call this region home. The Sustainable Amazon Foundation promotes social, economic, and environmental awareness of the Brazilian sate of Amazonas.Street View in the Amazon team leader Karin Tuxen-Bettman said in a statement that once all the images are uploaded to the Internet, the local culture and beauty of the Amazon will be available to anyone, anywhere in the world. Soon, anyone with a computer and Internet access will be able to explore the Amazon without having to get all the necessary malaria vaccines in advance.It looks like Google traded the icy tundra of Antarctica for the warm rainforest of the Amazon. Last year Google ventured to Antarctica to capture the physical beauties, as well as the adorable penguins that inhabit the continent.What area of the world would you like Google to explore next with its Street View cameras?via TreeHuggerlast_img read more

ATT mobile data throttling rules kick in tomorrow

first_imgYou’ve known it was coming for quite some time, and now the dreaded day is finally upon you. If you’re among AT&T‘s most data-hungry cellular users, you’re about to feel the pinch.Back in July, the company announced that it would begin throttling the top 5% of its wireless data users in an effort to keep things running smoothly for the other 95%. It’s that small minority of users who have caused overall data usage to balloon to levels more than 8,000 times what they were in 2007. That might not really be a fair comparison by AT&T really, since the period referenced was just before the original iPhone had launched.Like it or not, the throttling rule kicks in tomorrow. Go beyond 2.5 gigabytes of mobile data and AT&T will kneecap your downloads to 256KB/s for an entire billing cycle — to make sure you’ve gotten the message.AT&T isn’t alone, either. Other carriers like Virgin Mobile (update: Virgin won’t flip the switch until 2012) and Verizon have previously said that they’d also be implementing similar policies. These carriers claim that, with the “average” mobile user consuming less than 500MB of data each month, it’s unfair that a handful of users put so much strain on the system and bog the network down.It’s also not fair to their bottom line, which is ultimately the real concern. The meteoric rise of mobile internet use is placing ever-increasing demands on networks, and that means carriers need to invest more money in bigger, better hardware. That is, of course, unless they can implement a system like this that lets them coast along just a little longer without upgrading their existing infrastructure.More at Electronistalast_img read more

Ubuntu 1110 Oneiric Ocelot is now available

first_imgReleasing a new version of an operating system every 6 months may sound like a hard target to hit repeatedly, but Canonical is proving they can do it, and introduce worthwhile new functionality with each new version. Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot is no exception, and as of today you can download it for free, of course.The buzzwords surrounding 11.10 seem to be integration and refinement. 11.04 was a controversial release mainly due to the introduction of the Unity user interface, which not everyone loved. This release sees that interface refined.Cosmetically, there’s a new login screen, the two default themes have been updated, and 14 new wallpapers have been included. In terms of interaction, the Dash has been switched to opening via an icon and the color used for the launcher depends on your wallpaper–it changes to better fit with whatever the color tone is, which is a nice touch. The desktop is also easier to bend to your will with new workspace switching options and updated Alt-Tab switcher. Users will also notice the windows controls are now hidden by default, something that may prove to be a sticking point for some like the new scrollbars were.Performance has also been improved for the interface and users should see a noticeable improvement in the time it takes to load both apps and results. There’s also new filtering options built into the Dash’s search-driven interface that when combined with Lenses make finding anything easy and very fast.Speaking of Lenses, Ubuntu’s take on organizing related information and search results in a single window, 11.10 has a new addition. Ubuntu is staking its claim on your music library and hopefully music buying too. A Music Lens is now included listing all the music you already have, but it also allows you to search and purchase new music through the Ubuntu One Music Store.In fact, Ubuntu One has come to the forefront as a major feature and part of the Ubuntu experience in recent months. Windows support has been added, and now we have a music streaming account for access on either an iOS or Android device. It’s Ubuntu’s cloud music service as well as a file storage solution.Ubuntu One is also taken advantage of for the integrated backup solution Deja Dup. You can set it up to place backups on a hard drive, but also use space on Ubuntu One instead, which may make sense to avoid hard drive failures, but could use up most of your storage allowance.Other improvements include the Software Center, which has also seen the benefit of new filtering options, a new toolbar, and a layout rethink, all to help make finding new apps much easier for the end user. Another nice feature is the ability to sync your installed apps across multiple machines using OneConf.As for what you get as default apps, Firefox is the web browser of choice, Thunderbird becomes the preferred email application, and LibreOffice takes care of the office suite. Images are handled by the Shotwell app, and entertainment is handled by the Banshee music player and Totem movie player.Overall, this looks to be the best version of Ubuntu yet for existing users and those considering the jump from Windows or Mac. If you’re still not convinced then check out the official tour of the new OS in your browser. Otherwise, head on over to the official Ubuntu website and get download the 695MB ISO.More at Canonical and OMG! Ubuntulast_img read more

Apple to release a 799 MacBook Air this year

first_imgThese days the MacBook Air starts at $999 if you want the diminutive 11-inch model, and $1299 for the 13-incher. With the 13-inch MacBook Pro starting at $1299, that smaller Air is the cheapest Mac laptop available. It’s a highly-contested topic in comment threads and forums around the web, but many people would agree it’s a fair price for a very good laptop. That said, $999 is a lot of money, and more than many people want to spend on a laptop, even if it is super thin, aluminum clad, and packing an SSD. A recent rumor has it that Apple could release a $799 MacBook Air before the year is over.Details are sparse, but Digitimes has it that Apple’s affordable Air will be released in order to compete with Intel’s second generation of ultrabooks, which will be powered by Ivy Bridge processors. While any price drop on Apple’s part is rumor at this point, the reasoning why this would happen is clear. Intel has widen the definition of what is an ultrabook and, in doing so, has allowed for companies to produce more affordable laptops. These systems are often MacBook Air-like, making for a class of thin, lightweight, responsive computers that start at well under $1000.Of course, the more the price drops the less buyers get, so the limit can only be pushed so far if companies like Acer and Toshiba want to take on the Air. The larger point is that manufacturers plan to push down the pricing on sub-1-inch laptops and Apple could drop their prices in response, if the rumor is accurate.$799 would be a very aggressive price for a MacBook Air, assuming the company will use the same aluminum unibody and an SSD. A smaller SSD is possible, but the MBA’s chassis cannot accommodate a 2.5-inch disk, so there will have to be a solid state drive present. Reports put Apple’s cost of production for the $999 MacBook Air at $718 (albeit it in 2010, but there was also a $999 Air then) so it might be possible for Apple to do this, but the success of their laptop division and lack of offerings at this price point in the past make the move seem unlikely.The article states that the availability of a $799 MacBook Air would be damaging to Intel’s ultrabook initiative, which not hard to believe given the success of the Air and the reactive stance of many of the ultrabook manufacturers.For more reading check out’s MacBook Air vs ultrabooks article.via Digitimeslast_img read more

Notch backs out of funding Psychonauts 2 says asking price is too

first_imgLast year, Minecraft creator Markus Persson — or Notch, as he is usually known — lit the internet aflame when he told Tim Schafer that he would fund a sequel to the critically-acclaimed monetary failure Psychonauts. In an interview, Schafer said he’d love to do a sequel, but casually noted that someone would have to give him a few million dollars in order for that to happen. Swooping in like some sort of video game god king, Persson tweeted at Schafer and said that he would fund Psychonauts 2. This happened almost a year ago to the day, and now, Persson said that he’s pulling out of potentially funding the sequel, as the asking price is far too high.In a thread on Reddit, Persson said that the asking price to fund a Psychonauts sequel is $18 million, which is he uncomfortable with shelling out, noting that he only made one private game investment so far at $100,000, and that turned out to be more work than he thought.For those of you that might be surprised by that figure — that’s actually a little cheap for what is supposed to be a mainstream, triple-A title. The original Psychonauts actually ate up around $12 million to develop, so an extra $5 million for a current-gen game doesn’t seem like so much of a bump. To compare, Final Fantasy VII cost around $45 million to make way back in 1997. Grand Theft Auto IV burned a $100 million hole in Rockstar’s pockets. Though $18 million might not seem like an enormous amount by comparison, it’s at least too much for one man. However, Persson did say that if he were to eventually leave game development, he could get into investing.It’s no secret that Schafer wants to revisit the Psychonauts universe (even discussing it on Twitter every so often), and considering the proposed budget, it seems he (thankfully) doesn’t want to revisit it in any sort of way that might cheapen the franchise. Perhaps Double Fine could take to Kickstarter once again, and see if it can set a funding record.last_img read more

Four arrested for money laundering as gardaí seize £100000 sterling

first_img Share64 Tweet Email FOUR PEOPLE HAVE been arrested for money laundering offences in Dublin and a significant quantity of cash was seized.Gardaí said the arrests were made as part of ongoing investigations targeting serious criminal activity in the Dublin region. A planned search was carried out at an address in the Clondalkin area.During the search, cash in excess of £100,000 sterling was found and seized. Four people – two men and two women – aged between 34 and 46, were arrested for money laundering offences.They are being held at Clondalkin and Ballyfermot garda stations.Read: Man in his 60s escapes assassination attempt in north county Dublin> By Michelle Hennessy Four arrested for money laundering as gardaí seize £100,000 sterling A planned search was carried out in Clondalkin by gardaí targeting serious criminal activity in the Dublin region. Saturday 29 Oct 2016, 9:41 AM 15,590 Views Oct 29th 2016, 9:41 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL 10 Comments last_img read more

Two leading charities Oxfam Ireland and GOAL enter into merger negotiations

first_img Image: Tim Ockenden PA Wire/PA Images/ via An international aid charity Short URL 14 Comments Feb 14th 2017, 7:04 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Two leading charities, Oxfam Ireland and GOAL, enter into merger negotiations If the merger goes ahead the new global development agency named Oxfam Goal will be based in Ireland Tuesday 14 Feb 2017, 7:04 PM Share10 Tweet Email4 Image: Tim Ockenden PA Wire/PA Images/ via An international aid charity By Ronan Smyth 8,370 Views TWO LEADING IRISH charities, Oxfam Ireland and GOAL, are entering discussions surrounding a possible merger of the two organisations.The move comes after the boards of both organisations agreed to explore the possibility of an amalgamation into what could become a global development agency called Oxfam GOAL.If the plan goes ahead the new agency will be headquartered in Ireland.It is not yet known whether there will be job losses between the two organisations, but it is believed that there may need to be a reduction in staff numbers to avoid duplication of positions.Oxfam Ireland chief executive Jim Clarken said, “We are very excited by the prospect of a successful merger. GOAL’s action-oriented approach and first responder ethos is core to their DNA and has saved millions of lives.Oxfam’s approach of practical action and people-led response, challenging the structures and systems that keep people locked in poverty, has led to real change across the world. Bringing our organisations together will increase our scale, which means we can deliver greater impact for people in poverty and in crisis.Commenting on the proposed merger, GOAL general manager Celine Fitzgerald said, “In looking to its future, GOAL has assessed the merits of continuing as a standalone entity or achieving a step change in scale and impact in the delivery of humanitarian support and advocacy.“A merger with Oxfam would create a strong organisation in Ireland with a true global reach, saving and changing the lives of millions of the poorest and most vulnerable people on our planet for the better.”According to one source, GOAL started looking at its options last autumn and began talking to Oxfam which has since progressed into formal negotiations.If the merger is to go ahead both organisations will continue with their respective aid plans while ‘assessing how to combine the best of both organisations to increase the overall reach and impact of resources and programmes.’Clarken added, “As we begin a robust due diligence exercise and examine the possibility of a merger over the coming weeks, I’d like to assure our donors and supporters that we will continue with our life-saving and life-changing work as normal.”Last month, GOAL announced 25 redundancies across its office in Dublin and London. The charity said at the time that the redundancies were necessary due to a ‘tighter funding environment’ while aiming to prioritise their relief efforts.Both organisations have a history of working in Ireland. This year, GOAL is celebrating its 40th anniversary in Ireland and Oxfam has been operating in Ireland since the 1950s.It is believed that if the merger is to go ahead, the process could take up to a year to complete.READ: ‘We’ll be here as long as it takes’: Striking Tesco workers say they’re in it for the long haulREAD: Proposal to redraw Waterford – Kilkenny boundary ‘will leave a very bitter taste’last_img read more

Obama commutes sentence of Chelsea Manning

first_img Short URL Jan 17th 2017, 9:49 PM Obama commutes sentence of Chelsea Manning Her sentence is now set to expire 17 May. Share62 Tweet Email 31,421 Views PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA has commuted the final 31 years of the sentence of whistleblower Chelsea Manning.Manning was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment in August 2013, but Obama has commuted the sentence, meaning it will end in May.Manning is more than six years into a 35-year sentence for leaking classified government and military documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. Her sentence is now set to expire 17 May.She was known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest.Obama is also pardoning 64 people, including retired General James Cartwright, who was charged with making false statements during a probe into disclosure of classified information.Most of the other people receiving commutations were serving sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.However, the New York Times quotes White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest as saying there is a “pretty stark difference” between Manning and Edward Snowden.“Chelsea Manning is somebody who went through the military criminal justice process, was exposed to due process, was found guilty, was sentenced for her crimes, and she acknowledged wrongdoing.”Read: US Governor tells black congressman ‘a thank you would suffice’ for the abolition of slavery By Paul Hosford 83 Comments Image: US Army via AP, File Tuesday 17 Jan 2017, 9:49 PM Image: US Army via AP, File Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

This wasnt about him not getting a game Father denies son getting

first_img Short URL Friday 28 Apr 2017, 5:27 PM By Sean Murray 1 Comment Share Tweet Email Image: Shutterstock/Mikkel Bigandt Apr 28th 2017, 5:27 PM ‘This wasn’t about him not getting a game’: Father denies son getting dropped a factor in court case The now-18-year-old lost a court case alleging that his football team bullied him and caused post-traumatic stress.center_img YESTERDAY, AN 18-year-old lost a case taken on his behalf by his parents, against his former football team.The then-14-year-old Sean Cooke played for Carrigaline United in Cork, and it had been alleged that he suffered from post-traumatic stress and bullying after being dropped from the team.Speaking to the Neil Prendeville Show on Cork’s Red FM, his father Declan said that the family had no regrets about taking the case.Addressing the issue of being dropped from the team, Declan Cooke said that “it couldn’t be further from the truth” that they brought the court case for that reason alone.He described how Sean had represented Carrigaline at the Kennedy cup level, and had been approached by scouts from English clubs who’d shown an interest in his abilities.Declan referenced a disagreement he had with the coach of his son’s team, and said he raised his concerns at the club that Sean wouldn’t be treated fairly following this disagreement.He said that he tried to get clearance to change teams but this wasn’t permitted by the league.He couldn’t play from November 2012 for another nine months. Image: Shutterstock/Mikkel Bigandt Declan said that being dropped from the team following the dispute with the coach had a very negative effect on Sean.“He didn’t feel comfortable in those surroundings,” he said, after Sean was offered a chance to switch to the older age-group team.When he eventually made the switch to a new team a year later, Declan said he impressed there but did not receive contact from overseas scouts.The boy’s father alleged that bullying persisted from members of the club after Sean left Carrigaline, but this was dismissed in court.This was not about a child not getting a game. This was never about Sean losing any opportunities.When asked if Sean was simply not good enough to play for the team, his father rejected that, saying that he had started almost all of the other games the previous year.He said that if the case was all about him being dropped from the team, they would have taken it years ago. It was due to the abuse he allegedly received after leaving the team that caused Sean to suffer from the post-traumatic stress which prompted the case.Declan Cooke also denied that the case was “about money”.Reading out a statement issued by Sean Cooke, the host Prendeville said: “My parents took this case on my behalf due to a two and half-year spell of consistent bullying.I’m very proud of my parents for taking the stand for me. It was the right thing to do. It wasn’t about “not getting a game”.Read: Former Sinn Féin councillor ‘waterboarded and threatened to chop up man’ court hearsRead: Ambulance driver sentenced to 2.5 years for sexual assault of nine-year-old girl 31,651 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

It simply wont be affordable New student rooms in Dublin will cost

‘It simply won’t be affordable’: New student rooms in Dublin will cost a minimum of €249 a week Concerns have been raised over the affordability of new student accommodation. Share489 Tweet Email30 As well as the need for thousands of student beds in Dublin, the city is in the midst of an accommodation crisis in the housing and private rental markets.Rents have skyrocketed in the Dublin in the past number of years. The latest quarterly Daft rental report found that rents in Dublin are now 65% higher than they were at their lowest point in 2010. Dublin city has some of the most expensive rents in the country. Source: Sasko Lazarov/Rollingnews.ieA complete halt to construction of new projects in years following the economic collapse has resulted in demand far outstripping supply.Dublin also has record numbers of homeless people living in the city, with people staying homeless for longer than ever before due to the lack of availability of accommodation.The end result of this is that the growing number of students in Dublin third level institutions are finding it difficult to source any accommodation when they move to the city. In many cases they are living in unsuitable, crowded accommodation or becoming homeless themselves.“Students desperately need accommodation. No one is going to speak badly about more accommodation being built,” says Annie Hoey, president of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI).So in that sense [the new developments] are good, but there is some concerns about the affordability of some of them.As stated, the minimum cost of renting a standard en suite room at GSA’s the New Mill will be €249 a week (bills inclusive). Rents at the 520-bed Kavanagh Court on Gardiner Street will be similar to those at the New Mill. The development on Gardiner Street. Source: Cormac FitzgeraldA look through the other dedicated student accommodation developments in Dublin city centre turns up similar rents.A standard en suite at Broadstone Hall (GSA’s first accommodation in Dublin, opened last September) costs a minimum of €225 per week bills included.Rents at the Binary Hub in the south inner city (US real estate giant Hines’ student development) are also €225 a week for a standard en suite.Meanwhile, the cost of renting a standard en suite at Dorset Point (also ran by Hines) is €230 a week.“If [rents] are not affordable it will be the bad old days for students,” says Daithi Doolan.We need to make sure they’re affordable or you will end up with students going back into private [rental market].A DIT student cost of living guide for 2016/2017 puts the average cost of renting at €462 in the Dublin, plus €28 for bills, bringing it to a total of €490. This puts most dedicated student accommodation at double or almost double the average cost of living of a student.“I think what you will find is this type of accommodation is more targeted to international students,” says Hoey.Hoey and Ryan both believe that international students who are already paying significantly higher fees to study in Ireland will be the ones who benefit mostly from this higher-end accommodation.The New MillOn a mild, sunny midweek day, Aaron Bailey, head of construction for Europe with GSA, takes on a tour through the New Mill show flats.The deluxe studio rooms are separate from the standard en suites. The standard rooms are set in “clusters” ranging from three rooms to eight in a cluster, with a shared kitchen and common area.The development is made up of 53 studio apartments and 347 en suite rooms.The show cluster has eight rooms. The rooms themselves are made up of a queen-sized bed, a desk with a magnetic board and a bathroom with a shower. A standard en suite bedroom at The New Mill.The bed has plug and usb sockets next the headboard, while the heating and lights can be controlled via an app on residents’ phones.The common kitchen area is fully fitted and has eight induction hobs, an oven and grill, and a dining and lounge area with a television and table. There are two fridge/freezer units, with four shelves each – one for every resident. Each resident also has their own top and bottom press. The kitchen area has eight induction hobs, two fridges and top and bottom presses for each resident. Source: Cormac Fitzgerald/TheJournal.ieThe show common area is bright with good natural light, and the rooms are also well-lit.Students have the option of renting the rooms out for either 40 weeks or 51 weeks.The development will also have a larger common area and kitchen, a cinema, gym, games room, laundry room, study rooms shops and a café. There is an onsite management team to address issues that may arise. The common area Source: Cormac Fitzgerald/“A key aspect of the accommodation we’re providing is that we’re providing a high-quality product which represents good value,” says Bailey.When questioned on the cost of renting a room at the New Mill, and whether the development is aimed at international students, Bailey says: This will attract a broad mix of students. From our experiences in Broadstone Hall we have large percentage of domestic students and also a wide range of international students with over 13 nationalities represented. By Cormac Fitzgerald Short URL We see it as a product that will suit a broad range of students and we pride ourselves on the value we provide in terms of the quality of the accommodation and the service offering we provide.Bailey says that the rooms will be primarily for third-level Irish and international students, but that the development will also be open the growing number of English language students who come to the city to learn and experience the culture.He also points towards the gym, study room and games room as amenities that are included in the price of rent and further add to the value of the accommodation.We see our offering as a good value offering for the quality we’re providing.When questioned over whether all the amenities are necessary, and whether students may prefer more standard accommodation for a lower price, Bailey points towards planning requirements put in place by Dublin City Council, which he states require GSA to build 20% more volume here than they would in other countries.“Clearly if we’re building 20% more, that’s costing us 20% more,” he said.He said looking at building more rudimentary or basic accommodation at a lower price point would require Dublin City Council to revise its planning conditions.Bailey says GSA is confident that there is a high demand for rooms at the New Mill.Accommodation mixWith over 8,000 new dedicated student accommodation units likely to be built-in Dublin in the space of five years, the landscape of student living is set to change.“I don’t see a situation where student accommodation will only be in these type of purpose-built units,” says Annie Hoey.It will always be a mix between different types.A common argument put forward by advocates of purpose-built student accommodation is that it frees up the private rental market for families and others.However, Éilis Ryan worries that the new accommodation will not be affordable for entire sections of working class students and lower-income families.She says that this cohort of students will be further pushed out of the market and discouraged from attending university.“Students from working class and middle class families won’t be able to afford to live in these developments,” she says.It simply won’t be affordable at all.Daithi Doolan says that higher costs may have a negative effect on the number of people who come to Dublin to study.“Children will be forced to stay in cheaper private accommodation, stay at home, or not go to college in Dublin at all,” he says.And we don’t want that.Read: A four-star Galway hotel is set to be converted into student accommodationRead: 1,500 student beds on the way to Dublin thanks to major US developer Source:“IT’S BETTER THAN the Celtic Tiger,” said one construction worker on a building site in Dublin’s south inner city on a sunny day last week.“There are 50 cranes in the sky above Dublin.”His words were drowned out by the sounds of building going on around him, as cranes and trucks put together one of Dublin’s newest developments.Purpose-built student accommodation on Mill Street – at the southern end of The Liberties in the south inner city – is due to be completed by September, in time for the 2017/18 academic year.When it’s completed, the New Mill will be made up of 400 bedrooms, designed specifically for students in the city. It is a joint venture between Global Student Accommodation (GSA) and their partner Harrison Street Real Estate CapitalThe rooms will be sleek, modern and energy-efficient, and will be located about a 15 minute walk to Trinity College Dublin or a five minute walk to DIT Kevin Street and close to major bus routes or Dart stations.A single en suite room with a shared kitchen will cost a minimum of €249 a week, while a deluxe studio room will cost up to up to €349 a week (bills inclusive). The development on Mill Street. Source: Cormac Fitzgerald/TheJournal.ieStudent accommodation boomDublin city is in the middle of a construction boom of student accommodation developments, with thousands of units being built or in the planning stages.A report from the Higher Education Authority published in September 2015 found that there was a serious deficit in accommodation for students in Ireland.The report found that the number of students in full-time third level education was set to continue to rise throughout the decade. Numbers were expected to grow from 168,000 in 2014 to 193,000 by 2024 (a rise of 25,000).On top of this, a feature of Government policy includes making Ireland an attractive place for international students to come to study. A high number of international students can increase college funds significantly.However, a growing number of people coming here to study from overseas puts further pressure on available accommodation. A person walks past a sign for new student accommodation in Dublin (file photo). Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ieTaking all this into account, the HEA found that there was a deficit of about 25,000 student beds in 2014. This figure was also likely to increase as more and more people entered third level education.Following on from the publication of this report, a sizeable number of developments have begun to pop up to meet the student demand.A spokesperson for the HEA says that by the end of this year there will be about 2,460 new dedicated student accommodation bed spaces in Ireland since 2015′s report.The vast majority of these are in Dublin, where demand is highest. File photo of students walking in Trinity College Dublin. Source: Graham Hughes/Photocall Ireland!On top of this, there are over 4,100 units currently under construction, which are due to be completed by next year.Planning permission has been granted for an additional 1,300 units, while planning permission is being considered for about 2,480.In total, the Higher Education Authority states that there should be in the region of 10,500 new student accommodation beds in Ireland by 2020 since the report was published (providing planning permission is granted to all of them).Of these, about 8,000 will be in Dublin.“It is a considerable number,” the HEA spokesperson says. “But we’re still going to need more to keep up with demand”. Current USI president Annie Hoey (centre) pictured with other students in 2014 as the USI launched a student accommodation finance guide. Source: Photocall IrelandNew student developments“You don’t need a degree in town planning to see that purpose-built student accommodation is booming in Dublin’s north inner city,” Workers’ Party councillor Éilis Ryan wrote in this publication in September.Even a cursory review shows that student housing in Dublin has become a globally tradable, lucrative commodity.A look through Dublin City Council planning applications shows swathes of applications for student accommodation in and around the city centre. Eilis Ryan (left) states that global investment firms building student accommodation in Dublin is a sign that the boom is back. Source: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ieDevelopments currently under construction and due for completion in the next two years include:Dorset Point: A 463-bed facility on Dorset Street to be opened this summer (operated by global real estate giant Hines)Kavanagh Court: A 520-bed facility on Gardiner Street due to be opened in September (developed by GSA and Irish firm Carrowmore Property and supported by Ulster Bank)The New Mill: The 400-bed facility on Mill Street to be opened in September (developed by GSA)A 407-bed facility at Summerhill (developed by Hines)On top of these developments, planning permission has been granted for several other student accommodation units across the city, including:A 970-bed facility at Point Village and Sheriff Street (planning permission here)A 250-bed facility for Trinity College on Pearse Street (due 2018; planning permission here)A 571-bed facility on Brunswick Street (to be operated by GSA; planning permission here)A 203-bed facility near to Prussia Street in Stoneybatter (by Irish-owned Balark Investments; planning permission here)A 300-bed facility on the Blackpitts site in the south inner city (also by GSA)There are also a number of other developments that are awaiting planning permission or that have been provisionally denied permission by Dublin City Council.A lot of these are centred around DIT’s new Grangegorman campus, which is set to see a huge influx of students into the area over the coming years.GSA also recently took over Broadstone Hall in Phibsboro (101 student beds). While Hines already runs Binary Hub off Thomas Street (471 beds).GSA runs its properties through its student accommodation management wing Uninest; while Hines’ properties are managed by its Aparto Student brand. Broadstone Hall is operated by GSA since last September. Source: Cormac Fitzgerald/TheJournal.ieDubai-based GSA – working with US investment firm Harrison Street Real Estate Capital – has committed to investing €250 million into student accommodation over the next five years (with 4,000 beds planned by 2020).Meanwhile, UK student accommodation giant Ziggurat told Fora in September it had plans to develop 4,000 new student beds in Ireland as part of a €400 million investment.“We see this happening all the time in Ireland,” Éilis Ryan tells“Something is seen as a good investment and every investor goes mad on it.We’ve seen it before and I think we’re seeing it now with student housing. I think it’s overdevelopment. Monday 27 Mar 2017, 12:01 AM Source: Cormac Fitzgerald/TheJournal.ieCost of renting “First of all, we welcome the fact of purpose built student accommodation is being built,” says Daithi Doolan, chairperson of the Housing Strategic Policy Committee at Dublin City Council.“For far too long there has been students trying to live in the private sector.“It’s important that it’s done in measured and planned way close to the universities. So that students aren’t travelling far.[Student accommodation] brings money into an area and it can develop an area. Mar 27th 2017, 12:01 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 67 Comments 61,778 Views read more

Poll Are you worried about Brexit

first_img By Órla Ryan As the clock ticks down, get all the best Brexit news and analysis in your inbox: Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Poll Results: British Prime Minister Theresa May Image: PA Wire/PA Images Saturday 1 Apr 2017, 9:33 AM Apr 1st 2017, 9:33 AM 24,525 Views Short URL Poll: Are you worried about Brexit? Theresa May triggered Article 50 on Wednesday.center_img Share18 Tweet Email No (6445) British Prime Minister Theresa May THE LONG GOODBYE officially began during the week, when British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.There has been much speculation as to what will happen when Britain leaves the EU, a process that could take years.From an Irish perspective, there is particular concern about the possible return of a hard border between the Republic and Northern Ireland, as well as trade and freedom of movement issues.Others view Brexit as an opportunity for Irish companies to take business from the UK.We want to know: Are you worried about Brexit? Yes (6935) YesNoI’m not sureVote I’m not sure (1071) Image: PA Wire/PA Images 135 Comments last_img read more

Israel approves new West Bank settlement just days before election

first_img Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By AFP 25 Comments An election campaign billboard for the Likud party that shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump. Israel approves new West Bank settlement just days before election The move was announced by Benjamin Netanyahu. 6,163 Views center_img 4 hours ago ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu’s government approved a new settlement in the occupied West Bank today, two days ahead of a closely fought election as he seeks to boost turnout among his right-wing base.The approval came as Netanyahu and his main opponent Benny Gantz vied to mobilise supporters, with final rallies planned for this evening.Netanyahu has made a flurry of announcements in recent days as part of his efforts to continue his reign as Israel’s longest-serving prime minister.Today the cabinet agreed to turn the settlement of Mevoot Yericho in the Jordan Valley into an official settlement, Netanyahu’s office said.All settlements are viewed as illegal under international law, but Israel distinguishes between those it has approved and those it has not.Around 30 families live in the outpost, which was established in 1999.Israeli settlers regularly set up caravan homes at sites in the West Bank with the hope of eventually gaining government approval as a settlement, which has repeatedly occurred.The latest approval follows Netanyahu’s pledge last week to annex the Jordan Valley, which amounts to one-third of the West Bank, if he wins Tuesday’s elections.The government passed the prime minister’s motion to build Mevoot Yericho, a statement from Netanyahu’s office said as the weekly cabinet meeting was convened in the Jordan Valley.Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh dismissed the entire cabinet meeting as illegal and called on the international community to “stop the Israeli madness aimed at destroying all the foundations of the political process”.Netanyahu has also said he intends to annex settlements in the wider West Bank, but in coordination with US President Donald Trump, whose long-awaited peace plan is expected to be released after the election.The European Union and the United Nations – in addition to the Palestinians – condemned Netanyahu’s Jordan Valley announcement.Netanyahu said the Jordan Valley annexation would not include Palestinian cities such as Jericho, but they would effectively be encircled by Israeli territory.ElectionNetanyahu is locked in a tough re-election battle with ex-military chief Gantz and his Blue and White centrist alliance, and right-wing nationalist votes are key for his Likud party.Some 400,000 Israeli settlers now live in the West Bank alongside around 2.6 million Palestinians.The settlements are viewed as major stumbling blocks to peace as they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.Israel blames Palestinian violence and intransigence as the main obstacles to peace.Beyond the cabinet approval, Netanyahu and Gantz were making last pitches to voters.“Economic growth is at a record level, as are per capita GDP, tourism and exports. Unemployment is at an all-time low,” Netanyahu wrote in Yediot Aharonot newspaper, which gave both candidates space on the front page to express their views.“Anyone who wants to ensure that we will continue to protect Israel, anyone who wants a strong right-wing government under my leadership, has to vote only [Likud].”Gantz argued he can heal divisions in Israeli society that he says Netanyahu has exacerbated.He spoke of the corruption accusations facing Netanyahu, who could be indicted in the weeks ahead, and of his readiness to form a coalition with far-right parties that could help him seek immunity from prosecution in parliament.“I see what kind of government Netanyahu wants to form: an extremist minority government that would decide for the majority and act toward immunity for Netanyahu,” Gantz said in an interview with the Walla news site.“There’s a new option in Israeli society – a majority government for everyone.”Netanyahu, prime minister for a total of more than 13 years, is seeking to overcome one of the biggest failures of his political career following April elections.In those polls, Likud along with its right-wing and religious allies won a majority of seats, but he failed to form a coalition government and opted for a second election as a result.Opinion polls show results are likely to again be close.- © AFP 2019  Image: Oded Balilty/AP/Press Association Images An election campaign billboard for the Likud party that shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump. Image: Oded Balilty/AP/Press Association Images Share5 Tweet Email Sunday 15 Sep 2019, 5:10 PMlast_img read more

Documentary maker nominated for award

first_imgGreek Australian radio journalist Eurydice Aroney and her partner Tom Morton have been nominated for The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, for their investigative radio piece, ‘Shutting Down Sharleen.’

Sex workers in Germany have listened to it, and HIV workers in the UK, because these are communities that use online a lot.

Ms Aroney said she was pleased the piece had been nominated for the $15 000 John Curtin Prize for Journalism. “This is fantastic because I want more people to know about Sharleen, and the public hysteria around the public health area,” she said. Ms Aroney worked for around two years, with Tom Morton, research assistant Justine Greenwood and sound engineer Timothy Macastri, to tell the story of Sharleen Spiteri. “The story is about a sex worker who was HIV positive and went on 60 Minutes and said she was HIV positive, then spent the next 14 years under surveillance from the NSW government to keep her away from talking to the press about it,” she said. The piece has been broadcast on ABC Radio National and is available online, where Ms Aroney said it has received a wide audience. “Sex workers in Germany have listened to it, and HIV workers in the UK, because these are communities that use online a lot,” she said. Ms Aroney, who is a senior lecturer in journalism at University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and a Walkley Award winner, said she hoped to continue working with the story in other mediums. Also on the list of nominees are Annabel Crabb’s Quarterly Essay, Stop at Nothing: The Life and Adventures of Malcolm Turnbull, and Janine Cohen and Liz Jackson’s ABC 4 Corners piece, Who Killed Mr Ward? “Radio is the poor cousin, it’s not as glamorous, it doesn’t have the high profile of TV or even print, especially in long-form journalism,” she said. But Ms Aroney said she hoped listeners to the program would learn something about the complexities of Australia’s ‘risk-management’ policy approach to people living with HIV. “Australia is looked at as a gold standard for HIV, but that comes at a cost and that cost is Sharleen,” she said. The winners of The Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards will be announced on September 28 at the Wheeler Centre located at the State Library of Victoria in Melbourne. Shutting Down Charleen is available online at Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Modern Greek tragedy in the making

first_imgWith extreme nervousness the world follows the latest political crisis Greece goes through. Neos Kosmos in today’s edition covers the last days’ developments which according to different world media reports, mark a new, and more dangerous, chapter in the country’s ongoing debt crisis and political landscape. We seeked the opinion of a regular contributor of Neos Kosmos, politics analyst and senior Lecturer in the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University Dr Nick Economou who gave us his own take on the political situation. Dr Economou did not fell short of saying that possible upcoming elections seem to be best outcome of the current political crisis. PAPANDREOU ALONG WITH EUROPE, TRAPPEDDr Economou according to your view, what led to the current political crisis in Greece? What I understand is that in Greece the real problem is tax evasion and this is so difficult to deal with. Especially when you are dealing with an economy in which there is evasion is so deeply entrenched. It is a cultural feature of the place and because of the urgency of the financial crisis the government tries to move quickly to solve the financial crisis. If you can’t raise revenue you try to cut expenditure. So the government is caught in a trap here. If they try to raise revenue enforcing tax compliance they will get the rich upset and the rich will go against them. We all know that. I believe that this is what led to this situation.In other words this political crisis is solely a Greek issue? No, it seems to me that there is a concern in relation of what is happening in Greece about the future of the EU itself and looking at this over a period of time I think that it was almost inevitable that there was going to be a conflict in Europe between those who see EU as a way of forcing neoclassical liberal economics and they tend to be countries like Britain and Germany and those who see EU as a massive wealth distribution system, taking money from the big industrial countries and redistributing it in countries like Greece. It looks like it is coming now and the future of EU as an economic union it is at stake here. -So do you think that Greece will default? In these circumstances the EU countries would not want for Greece to go under but by the same token, Germany has its own financial problems and the situation of the US economy, which has as well its own issues, it might be the case in the near future that Germany will not be in the position to bail out Greece. FRIGHTENING STUFFDo you think that the rise of political extremism is possible in Greece? At the moment no countries which face a financial crisis have fallen to political extremism. Greek politics though has always been more polarised. The Irish party system is nowhere near as polarised left or right as it is in Greece. In Ireland you have two major parties but they are more like the Democrats and the Republicans in US. In Greece there is a much more rigid ideological divide between left and right and Greece like a number of other southern European countries also have a very well organised political party for the extreme right or the extreme left. So I think there is a lot of nervousness about what might happen politically as a result of this. For arguments shake let’s say that the government collapses and there is an election and we see the rise of the power of extremist parties. It might be the case that New Democracy and Pasok might be forced into some sort of national coalition to try and outflank extreme parties of the left or the right. So I think that an election can work in a positive way for the country. I know that there is not a culture of the two parties coming together, but you do have a parliament where it is possible for minor extreme parties to come into power and the chances are that neither of the parties will end up having a majority which in this case means the only option they will have to seriously consider is to form a national unity coalition. Otherwise you might end up in a situation where the parliamentary system just can’t work, can’t respond and well history teaches us that if that happens in some cases you get extreme political outcomes. Extreme political outcomes? What do you mean? Well I avoid using terms such us dictatorship that but that is implicit. I mean, the thing about a country like Greece is that it’s got that past record. It was not that long ago that the power went over the hands of a civilian government to the hands of a military government. That would be terribly shocking if that was to happen and that would cause a huge furore within the European Union because the overarching assumption is that united European politics is based on the principle of the supremacy of liberal democracy, the supremacy of democratically elected governments. If one of these countries suddenly, had it done in the past, abandon democracy and go for a dictatorship of some sort that would add a political crisis to the economic crisis in the EU. What a mess that would be! I am not sure that it would get that far but extreme political parties getting more power during difficult times is a normal voters response. Dr Economou concluded that Papandreou’s position is very difficult at this time adding the only hope that Greece has at this stage is for the two major parties to “come to some sort of unity”. “It is a very serious situation, it is frightening stuff. If the government cannot govern then the country will reach at some other way of governing itself and this way might be outside the democratic principles of governance”. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Bond buy back among proposals being discussed at Eurogroup

first_imgEurozone finance ministers are considering allowing Athens to buy back up to 40 billion euros of its own bonds at a discount as one of a number of measures to cut Greek debt to 120 percent of GDP within the next eight years. Under a proposal discussed by ministers, Greece would offer private-sector bondholders around 30 cents for every euro of Greek debt they hold, allowing Athens to pay down some of its vast outstanding obligations, a senior official involved in the discussions told Reuters. Greek debt is trading at 20-30 cents on the euro depending on its maturity, but is likely to strengthen if the buy-back plan is confirmed, meaning any offer will have diminishing marginal returns. The ministers, who failed to reach agreement last week, have also discussed granting Greece a 10-year moratorium on paying interest on about 130 billion euros of loans from the euro zone’s emergency fund, which could save Athens around 44 billion euros over a decade, the official said. There is also the possibility of reducing the interest rate on loans made by euro zone countries directly to Greece in 2010, from 1.5 percent to just 0.25 percent, although the official said Germany was opposed to such a step. The range of options on the table underscored the determination to find a solution to Greece’s debt problems nearly three years after they were first exposed, leading to contagion across the eurozone. However, while some such as the debt buy-back have significant backing, others face opposition from one or more euro zone countries and the official emphasised that the ground could shift rapidly. As well as the 17 euro zone finance ministers, the meeting was attended by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi. The IMF, which has participated with the euro zone in two bailouts of Greece since 2010, has said that Greek debt must be reduced to 120 percent of GDP by 2020 if it is to be sustainable in the long-run. If that isn’t possible, there is a risk that the IMF will have to withdraw from efforts to stabilise Greece. At a meeting a week ago, there were sharp differences between the EU and IMF, with Juncker saying Greek debt should be cut to that target only by 2022. Lagarde said that would be unacceptable. On Tuesday, officials began by agreeing that the aim was to cut the debt to 120 percent by 2020, the senior official told Reuters. But it remains uncertain just what mix of measures will achieve that goal. Under current projections, Greek debt is expected to be about 145 percent in eight years’ time, meaning measures totalling around 25 percentage points of GDP, or 50 billion euros, are needed to get Greece back on track. Pressure for the euro zone to come up with a solution is high not just because Greece is running out of money and financial markets want a dependable solution, but because Greece has taken virtually all the steps demanded of it to cut spending, raise taxes and overhaul its economy. Source: Kathimerini Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more