The Daily Wire

Dublin Web Summit opens, water restrictions in capital, US officials defend spying and other news

Dan Griffin Wed, Oct 30
 
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  • 09:00
    Davos for geeks, they call it (although Davos is geeky enough in itself), the Dublin Web Summit boots up today and will welcome some 10,000 visitors between now and Thursday. With the Oireachtas on their Halloween holidays, expect saturation coverage of the tech hoohah.
    It is a big deal, though, as Ciara O’Brien explains here, attracting some industry giants. The companies who will be present have raised some $250 trillion between them and will be looking to pump some of that into promising enterprises.
  • 09:03
    RTÉ's Morning Ireland has just wrapped up from the summit where they managed to successfully break the record for the number of times the phrase 'start-up' is mentioned in a single radio programme.
  • 09:05
  • 09:09
    Meanwhile, there'll be no baths had in Dublin tonight. A serious problem at one of the State's biggest treatment plants means there will be severe water restrictions across all of the city and county.

    According to council engineer Michael Phillips, a lot of people will have no water between 8pm to 7am for the next five days.

     The restauranteers are not pleased.

     Genevieve Carbery has more.
  • 09:11
    I'm Dan Griffin, by the way, and I'll be here until about 5pm. Feel free to send comments/insults.
  • 09:11
    Or, indeed, compliments.
  • 09:12
    In other news, the troika is mounting a final push on the Government to settle entrenched problems in the banking, health, legal and welfare sectors before the bailout ends in mid-December, writes Arthur Beesley.
  • 09:16
  • 09:23
    John For 'Social Media Professional' see Nathan Barley - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwTzPnWsz20
  • 09:31
    A highlight at the web summit today will be the ringing of the Nasdaq opening bell by Taoiseach Enda Kenny. It's rare that the bell is ever rung outside of the New York Stock Exchange so it's something of a coup for the summit. They've also picked a safe pair of hands in Kenny, who has rang the bell before, in March 2012, with a little help from his friend businessman Denis O'Brien.
  • 09:42
    Sticking with technology, America's spymaster general has said the White House has long been aware of the National Security Agency's eavesdropping programmes.

    James Clapper Jr did not specifically say whether Barack Obama was told about the spying but he told the House Intelligence Committee that senior officials had been kept in the loop.

    Read the report here.
  • 09:59
    Also at the web summit today will be professional skateboarder Tony Hawk who has lent his name to a slew of successful video games. He'll be taking part in a "fireside chat".

    But the big draw of the summit will be Elon Musk, whose participaion organisers kept secret until the last minute.

    Elon Musk is not a type of scented candle but is instead the co-founder of Paypal, electric car company Tesla Motors and chief executive of SpaceX. 

    Ciara O'Brien has more details.
  • 10:15
    The people of Tipperary didn't fight for Ireland to have the country plundered by big business, says TD Mattie McGrath about local anti-electricity pylon protests on the RTÉ Today show now. He seems to be comparing them to Cromwell, the big businesses, that is, not the people of Tipperary.
  • 10:17
    "Among the topics Nicole Glaros covered in giving advice to entrepreneurs and start-up chief executives was pitching.

     "A pitch must use simple language that is easy to understand, with the most interesting points about the business mentioned first, she said. “I keep hearing things like, ‘We are a connected social mobile engagement platform’ and I wonder what the hell does that mean and what does the startup do? You need to be specific with language,” she said.

    "Ms Glaros reminded entrepreneurs to tell people – be they potential customers or investors – why they should care about the business. “All I heard you go is, ‘Blah blah blah, blah blah blah, social gaming,” she told one entrepreneur, to emphasise the importance of using non-technical language ordinary people can understand."

    Good advice in Pamela Newenham's article in today's paper.
  • 10:22
    Perhaps overdoing it somewhat, the Restaurants Association of Ireland has said the water situation in Dublin is comparable to a third world country.

    Remarking that water restrictions now seemed to be coming “every few months” the organisation's chief executive Adrian Cummins told the Irish Times that businesses in Dublin paid the highest water charges in Europe and the highest commercial rates in Europe.

    He called for “someone to be made accountable” remarking that “ if a chef was to consistently be unable to deliver the food you know what would happen to them”.
  • 10:35
  • 10:38
    "I was surprised by the extent to which I liked the Sinn Féin guys," says former Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell on the Good Friday Agreement negotiations. he's talking to Sean O'Rourke ahead of the publication of his 'Irish Diaries' book.
  • 10:45
  • 10:56
    Management at Dublin Bus is expected to announce today the date for the implementation of a controversial cost-containment plan for the company, writes Martin Wall.

    The move which could trigger a confrontation with drivers who are represented by the trade union Siptu.
  • 11:01
    Right about now Mannix Flynn and the Adoption Rights Alliance should be unveiling an installation at the juncture of Temple Bar and Essex Street. It features letters from nuns offering Irish children to potential adopters in the US.
  • 11:16
    And in Norway the government has urged couples to go on more date nights. The call comes amid rising divorce rates, which currently sit at 40 per cent. Those aged 40 to 44 are most likely to split from their partners, the Telegraph reports.
  • 11:24
  • 11:37
    A suicide bomber blew himself up today in the Tunisian resort of Sousse without causing other casualties. (Reuters)
  • 11:48
    But back at the web summit, Facebook vice-president Nicola Mendelsohn has said the scale of change technology is going to bring to the business model is unlike anything we've ever seen before, Pamela Newenham reports.
  • 12:00
    Richard Brinsley Sheridan with a bicycle saddle under his oxter.

  • 12:05
    Think the web summit is the only show in town? Well, the Teagasc National Liquid Milk conference and farm tour is taking place in County Meath today. 

    Speaking at the conference in the morning, Dr Joe Patton, Teagasc liquid milk specialist spoke about the best measures when benchmarking your herd’s performance. He said that after examining the data from over 150 liquid milk herds, it shows that liquid milk producers who make better utilisation of forage and achieve high milk solids content are driving up their profit. He said that milk yield per cow is a poor predictor of net margin. The data also demonstrates how EBI is having a very positive impact on fertility performance in a liquid milk context.

    I'm not sure whether they're having a pub crawl as well.
  • 12:19
    Labour TD for Dublin South East Kevin Humphreys has waded into the water shortage fiasco. "We cannot continue to have recurring water shortages in a city region that is trying to compete internationally for investment, visitors and trade," he says.

    He goes on to voice support for the Garryhinch supply projecrt which would see Dublin making use of excess water from the Shannon. 

    He and the rest of the city will have to fight for it though. The prospect of taking water from the Shannon to supply Dublin was first mooted by Dublin City Council six years ago and is likely to face opposition from local people who fear extraction will upset the ecological balance in the Shannon basin. And from other local people who just don't like the idea of jackeens coming down and stealing their water.
  • 12:38
  • 12:52
    Drinks maker C&C has seen operating profit rise by 7.9 per cent year-on-year to €71.1 million in the six months to the end of August and reaffirmed its guidance for full year growth of between 10 and 16 per cent. 

    The makers of Bulmers cider said the Irish pub market may have turned a corner after its bar sales outperformed off licences for the first time in seven years.

    I wonder whether the good weather this summer was good for sales. I was speaking to a publican in April who said the string of miserable summers in Ireland had hit trade. He said that during sunny spells the Bulmers in particular would be flying out.

    Anyway, according to Reuters, the positive news for Irish pubs bodes well for JD Wetherspoon (that British chain of heavily-carpeted pubs) which announced last month that it would open its first pubs in the Republic later this year.
  • 13:00
    Back in 1968, Time magazine had a cover story called ‘The Generation Gap’. Ernest Fladell, 42 years old and “politically moderate”, spends the summer trying to figure out why his 20-year-old nephew is so anti-business, anti-war and anti-establishment. In 1990, the same magazine ran a piece on the ‘twentysomething’ generation of the time, which was “balking at work, marriage and baby-boomer values”. Last May, TIME’s cover boasted a piece by Joel Stein, 41, on ‘The Me Me Me Generation’ - today’s “millennials” - which knocked the under-30s for being too attached to their parents and their iPhones. A pattern, you could say.

    Being young and self-centred is nothing new and as long as there has been a “generation” of youthful “narcissists”, there has been an older contingent ready to complain about the laziness, entitlement and oversized egos of kids today.

    Ian Maleney writes today. 
  • 13:07
    The water issue in Dublin is still top of the news this lunchtime. I'm sure the Government would have preferred this didn't happen as it prepares to introduce water metering.

    Fianna Fáil councillor Mary Fitzpatrick said the water shortage issue highlighted the “absurdity and unfairness” of introducing water metering. “The Government is making a major mistake prioritising metering ahead of fixing leaks and building new water sources,” she said.
  • 13:16
    Not long to go now until the Nasdaq bell ringing that we've all been waiting for. About 15 minutes, by my reckoning.
  • 13:24
    Here it comes now. You can watch here: http://www.websummit.net/watch-live/index.html
  • 13:24
    The Taoiseach and the organiser of the web summit have just been given purple crystals by Mr Nasdaq.
  • 13:26
    And now there's a big gang of people standing around the Nasdaq bell. No sign of Denis O'Brien, mind. Perhaps he wasn't inclined to shell out €2,000 on a ticket.
  • 13:28
    Kenny has done this before. He's composed, comfortale even. He excels at these visual set pieces. The big grin on him.

    "Once again, hashtag Nasdaq, ladies and gentlemen," an MC announces to the crowd.
  • 13:29
    One minute to go, the MC says. "We want everybody standing up clapping and cheering when the bell is rung."

    Good God it's difficult to breath with the excitement.
  • 13:31
    And there it is--ding ding--and the crowd is going wild. The New York Stock Exchange is open.
  • 13:33
    Indeed

  • 13:35
    We'll return to the Dublin Web Summit for the fireside chat with professional skateboarder Tony Hawk at 4.30.
  • 13:51
    Students at Trinity College Dublin begin voting today in a referendum on the impeachement of student union president Tom Lenihan.

    Mr Lenihan, a son of former minister for finance Brian Lenihan, admitted last May to bringing a note into his third-year law exam earlier that month. 

    Read more 
  • 14:02
  • 14:03
  • 14:14
    The Government has postponed for a week a decision on whether or not to proceed with a referendum on same sex marriage, writes Stephen Collins.

    The cabinet was due to consider a recommendation from the Constitutional Convention on the issue today but deferred it to allow the Taoiseach to consult with Fine Gael backbenchers.

    Labour is pushing for the referendum, recently Ruairí Quinn said he believed the question would be put to the people in early 2015 but some Fine Gael backbenchers are concerned about another referendum, especially since the Government hasn't exectly been doing well in them.
  • 14:24
    Record quarterly sales of luxury Porsches and Audis helped Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest carmaker, to stick to its full-year target for flat earnings today, easing some concerns about the costs of its new manufacturing platform.
  • 14:27
    I'm going out to lunch now. The blog will resume anon.
  • 15:17
  • 15:35
    Here we go again at Dublin Bus. 

    The trade union Siptu has said that it is to ballot its drivers at Dublin Bus again for industrial action over proposed cost cutting plans. 

    Drivers at the company who are represented by Siptu voted narrlowly last week, by a margin of 51 per cent to 49 per cent, to reject the latest proposals put forward aimed at generated savings of around €11 million at the company, writes Martin Wall.
  • 15:40
    "I am very happy. It was difficult, the ordeal of a lifetime," said Thierry Dol. No doubt it was. Dol was one of four Frenchmen held hostage in the Sahara by al-Qaeda-linked gunman since 2010.

    The men flew home and were reunited with their families today. Media reports say France handed over a €20 million ransom to secure the men's return but this has been denied by Paris.
  • 16:13
    "It appears that the WiFi has been on the blink at this year’s web summit in Dublin," writes Christopher McKinley.
  • 16:26
    Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has no difficulty with the Minister for Justice’s decision to ask the Ombudsman for Children to investigate the recent removal of two Roma children from their families.

    “I have no issue at all with oversight and if the Minister chooses to get any particular oversight body to look at any area of activity that we in An Garda Síochána are involved in, then I have no difficulty and neither have any of my officers,” Mr Callinan said in Cork today.
  • 16:43
  • 16:52
    Mental health campaigners have praised Cork hurler Conor Cusack for his bravery in speaking out about his battle with depression, Carl O'Brien writes.
  • 17:00
    We'll leave it there for today so. The live blog will be back tomorrow morning. Thanks for reading.