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How we compare?

The IIA have released the latest State-of-the-net in Ireland report. Some things I found interesting –

A list of what-do-people do on the internet reveals that searching for travel information is still the number one activity. Most standard activities are on the rise, with notable increases in social networking, Government services information and current affairs. The only decrease is in “school / college research”.  Is this a good thing – are students finally getting the message that there are many internet sources that are simply not “formal academic peer-reviewed sources”? Alternatively, is the power and quality resources of the internet increasingly not being availed of?

Regarding internet purchases there is a similar note of curiosity. When all purchases are aggregated we are above the EU average. 36% of Irish people have made internet purchases, compared with 32% of Europeans.  However, in the specific category of “books, magazines and e-learning 12% of Europeans have purchased, compared to only 7% of Irish. Is this a cultural or language difference, or does it say something about our literary tastes and / or activities in Ireland?  Our travel / holiday purchases push account for a significant proportion of our online purchasing.

We’re still lagging behind the EU average for broadband connectivity but the gap has noticeably narrowed.

What’s the bottom line – much done, much left to do?



My main themes in this blog are technology and / or education. Today, I’m going to veer away from those a little.

There are 2 things that strike me when I come back to dear old Ireland after being abroad. The first is the road signs and posters etc in Irish – a nice ah! feeling. The other is the abundance of litter everywhere – a horrible agh! feeling.

I feel particularly strongly about the litter problem in this country. I used to tell people off if I saw them littering. An incident while strolling by the canal put the “used” in the last sentence. A group of male teens deliberately smashed a glass bottle on the footpath and nonchalantly walked off. I did my “hey….”. I was told to do some rather rude things with myself. There were several of them and only one of me. For the sake of my safety I scarpered.

Today, while enjoying a coffee in a street-side coffee shop in Dublin, is a whole other story.

A city council worker passes by with his broom and cart sweeping the debris on the footpath. As he passes the window and door I wonder if he’s being paid properly for his efforts. My attention is caught by a young man git stopping outside the door. Young git eyed street sweeper, then proceeded to take cig butt from his lips and throw it on the ground right where it has just been swept!  He came into the coffee shop whereupon I did my “hey…”. As soon as he realises what I’m saying to him I get a filthy look and was told to eff off.


The fact that there was a litter bin within lobbing distance is a whole other post.

Strange that he was happy to put his cigarette out before he came indoors yet was despicable enough to dispose of it so disgracefully – double standards indeed!