Analysis > Will Goodbody

Mercury rising – how to safely watch the planet’s transit past the Sun

By Will Goodbody Science and Technology Correspondent On Monday 9th of May something special is happening in the sky. And thanks to the time of the day, and hopefully the weather, there’s a good chance you might be able to experience it. But without the proper precautions and equipment observing Mercury transiting the Sun can be very very dangerous to your eye sight. So read on. What is this “transit” all about? Mercury is our solar system’s smallest planet. It …

Is the EU’s stance on Google Android really best for consumers?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Listening to the press conference of the EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, you would think Google hadn’t a leg to stand on. The EU has formally served the internet giant with a Statement of Objections over alleged anti-competitive practices around its Android operating system. And the case it has laid out, on the face of it, seems pretty compelling. Anti-trust regulators claim the dominance of the software in the smartphone market – 80% …

A pyrrhic victory for Apple in FBI encryption battle

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent The announcement late last night that the FBI is dropping its court case against Apple, aimed at forcing the computer giant to program a back door into a terrorists iPhone, is a victory of sorts. But the genie is out of the bottle on this issue, and won’t be going back in. It all began with the shooting dead in San Bernadino in the US last year of 14 people by terrorist Rizwan …

The era of VR is virtually a reality

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent When technology historians look back at 2016 in fifty years time, it will very likely be seen as the year that virtual reality finally became, well,  a reality. After decades of false dawns, we now have the hardware and software to make it happen. The three most promising hardware manufacturers in the space – Sony, HTC and Oculus – are all lining up to launch their first proper consumer products onto the market. …

#GE16 – The first real social media election here

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent The votes have been cast, tallied and counted (well almost). The party enumerations, machinations and recriminations are underway. In the coming weeks, when the dust has settled, the candidates and parties will be reflecting on what went right, and in many cases wrong, with their campaigns. As part of that post mortem they will no doubt ponder what role was played by social media, who used it to maximum value and what could …

Science & Tech election positions under the microscope

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent With Election 2016 now just around the corner, the focus on policy and issues is intensifying. Science and Technology may not seem like the most important topics in the campaign. But in reality they cut across and influence many bigger and broader issues which the general population does care about. Like for example jobs and the economy, education, rural renewal, healthcare, privacy and much more. So what are the party positions on the …

Gravitational waves discovery vindicates investment in big science

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Something remarkable happened yesterday. Something scientists will talk about for centuries to come. Something our children’s children will likely read about in science text books as a defining moment in our understanding of physics, astronomy and the very origins of the universe. The first ever discovery of gravitational waves by scientists at the Advanced LIGO collaboration is a momentous achievement, and among the biggest scientific developments in recent decades. Up there with the …

The EU-US Privacy Shield – what is it?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent The EU and US have announced a new deal which they hope will allow the lawful mass transfer of European citizens data from the EU to the US to resume. The agreement will have EU and US authorities as well as US tech multinationals heaving a sigh of relief. But it’s not that simple. Why was a new deal needed? US technology companies with operations in Europe like Facebook, Google and Amazon for …

My top 10 gadgets from CES 2016

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent in Las Vegas So, that’s it! CES 2016 is over. And what a rip roaring, battery sapping, shoe wearing, geek fest it truly was. After years of following it from afar, this was my first time attending – also my first visit to Vegas. And in many ways both are very similar. Loud, bright, brash, innovative, attract more than a normal fair share of oddballs, and motivated by one thing – huge amounts …

CES 2016 – Five things to expect

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Some know it as Sin City.  Others as the Gambling Capital of the World.  But what’s less widely known is that in the first week of January every year Las Vegas also becomes the tech capital of the world.  Because Vegas is home to CES, the world’s largest annual gathering of the consumer electronics industry.  The place where tech developers, buyers, investors, enthusiasts, analysts and journalists converge to see what’s hot, what’s trending, …