Archive for January, 2008

Nano Research

Ireland is swiftly moving forward in R&D in various fields of science and technology.

Via Nanowerk news:
The Naughton Institute, a €100 million state-of-the-art new science facility at Trinity College Dublin which will house Ireland’s first purpose-built nanoscience research institute, the Centre for Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices (CRANN) and the world’s first Science Gallery was officially opened by the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern TD, at 4pm, January 23, 2008. CRANN has received substantial government investment, €74 million of which has come in research grants through Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).

Also opened recently was the Science Gallery, new type of venue where today’s white-hot scientific issues are thrashed out and you can have your say. A place where ideas meet. They have some interesting exhibitions lined up, check it out here.

Dublin From Above

Here are some nice Dublin shots which I took during my last trip back (ie. January 1st ’08). For some reason, the airplane did few rounds of city before landing.

Dublin – Under the Clouds
Dublin - under the clouds

Window to Dublin
Window to Dublin

The Dublin Sprawl – all the way you can see
Sprawling Dublin

Irish Entrepreneurs

Ireland is booming with enthusiasm for young entrepreneurs and there is definitely a positive attitude in people for making it big. I met few last week, which I mentioned in my previous post also. ”

NYT excerpt: “they seemingly rank just below rock stars in popularity” .. & who doesn’t want that now :D

The article mentions Enterprise Ireland few times. Another name which comes to my mind (read about them in tech blogs also) is Paddy’s Valley, group of Irish business and technology people who are trying to build better ties between Silicon Valley and entrepreneurs here. Check their website for more information.

via New York Tiimes: Entrepreneurship Takes Off in Ireland

Queues

In next few days, i’ll write (read: rant) about different queues, that i have noticed in/around dublin, which are not going anywhere.

Stay tuned (post ideas/comments in the meanwhile).

Maps

A guy told me few days ago that he was in Connolly station and wanted to check the upcoming train route, to his surprise he couldn’t find any map anywhere on any platform. In the end, he had to get out and found out near the ticket counters.

(Not) Find of the day is, there is no train map available in Connolly station once you cross the ticket-check; I think it’s the same case with most of the train station.

Sound very strange when you think of a capital city of western Europe, but again, DART is an exception. (i’m sure they’ll win the contract in Hell too)

Not Too Nice Things

Continuing my last post, in addition to nice things I also noticed few not too nice changes.

One of them is very obvious insanely large queues and not sufficient space in check-in areas. With every visit, it seems that either the space is shrinking or the people are on travel spree, I hope something will be done in near future.

The other not too obvious change is around immigration process for non-eu citizens; til last year, it was just a matter of showing GNIB card and passport only. I understand that there’s a great influx of non Europeans for work or leisure reasons, but the recent two trips left a bad taste i.e. after being here in Ireland for seven years. In my last trip, on arriving to immigration counter, the guy just took a look at my passport, not even opened it or checked the GNIB card and asked me to go to adjacent counter. This other counter was closed and there was no way to return thru my original queue, anyhow, after I showed up to other counter, had to wait for a while for somebody to appear. The guy asked me straight away, without checking passport or GNIB card, “what is the reason to enter Ireland?”, for a split second I thought I am in states, “I live here”, I replied. Then a series of question, “What do you do?”, “How long you are here?”, “What kind of work?”, “What is the name of the company?”, etc etc, finally he opened the passport and took a brief look at visa and stamped the entry as if he is granting a personal favour to me. Now, he didn’t scan/read the registration card…? and I was wondering is he a moron psychic or psychic moron?

I wonder if and how this immigration madness will continue…?

Needless (and most probably useless too) to say, the Schengen countries has far more smoother process when it comes to enter the country; and that’s a total different debate that what make the Irish immigration so special that its not possible to enter Schengen zone. It will be interesting to see in 2009 when UK will introduce electronic border control system and CTA (Common Travel Area) will end.

Nice Things

While coming back from my recent trips abroad, i noticed few nice changes.

One of them is very obviously new areas for departure gates, very well lit and neat. Some work is already under construction, hopefully we’ll see more improvements.

As a non-eu citizen, but long term resident, it’s usually not a problem entering the country i.e. returning. Wait for the turn, show the passport and green card and in you go, in some cases it was extremely smooth, no questions asked, i assume the immigration officials can get most of the info by scanning/reading the green card (GNIB card) and basically there’s no need to verify this information if you are long term resident. This smooth process had (yeah “had” not has, wait for the next post) feel to it especially when i compare to immigration process in USA.

Hopefully the immigration process will be improved even better.

Let us know any of the nice experiences you had on Dublin Airport.

Making it Happen

Dublin Tourism has launched a new three year regional tourism plan, which sets a target to increase overseas visitor numbers by one million a year.

The plan, entitled ‘Making it Happen’, also hopes to produce visitor revenue growth of 8% per annum, bringing total revenue to €1.8 billion by 2010.

via RTE

Free WiFi

A plan to provide free wireless broadband throughout Dublin has been abandoned.

Dublin City Council has decided the plan would be contrary to EU law on state aid, as well as not financially possible. The project is estimated to cost €27m.

RTE News: No free wi-fi for Dublin

Dublin Meetup

As you must have noticed from last post from Sean Bonner, yes Sean Bonner, co-founder of Metroblogging, was in Ireland (Dublin and Cork) last few days. I met up with him yesterday for food and drinks. It was quite an interesting meet, also few more of Sean twitter contacts showed up, @paul, @eoghan, and some Swedish :D and had great time meeting all and also lot of interesting discussions .. off-course Dublin and Guinness related :D, lot of tech talk too thou’ and I came to know of the history of Metroblogging Dublin and how it was set-up and few interesting & controversial facts :).

Also, an inside scoop :), straight from Sean, Metroblogging Dublin and also the entire network, front-end and back-end is getting a complete overhaul. The previews I saw yesterday were awesome and am looking forward for the release of it sometime very very soon. So visit again, and I would love to hear the comments about it.

And finally, great seeing you Sean, enjoy London and Safe flight back to LA, until next time..

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