Analysis > Will Goodbody

Science strategy is welcome, but implementation is key

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Now we have it. After two years without one, the government’s new science and research strategy has finally been published. Running to 85 pages, Innovation 2020 certainly appears comprehensive. And it should be, after a long consultation process which saw 80 submissions lodged, and 120 representatives of academia, the public sector and business attend a one day forum, and dozens of one on one meetings with key stakeholders. Six studies were also carried …

A quick guide to the Paris climate talks

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent I’m hearing a lot about climate talks in Paris at the moment. What’s that all about? Paris has been in the headlines for particularly shocking and tragic reasons in recent weeks. But from next weekend onwards you will be hearing a good deal about it in a different context. Beginning on Monday, 195 nations will gather in the French capital to try to forge an agreement aimed at limiting the future effects of …

Google’s tax arrangements here only part of the story

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent Google Ireland’s 2014 financial results are interesting on a whole range of levels. The headline grabbing revelation is of course that the company paid a mere €28.6 million in corporation tax here last year on an eye popping turnover of €18.3 billion. All perfectly legal of course, because Google Ireland uses a sophisticated system which involves paying its sister companies elsewhere in the world for services booked here, in order to reduce its …

The net effect of the Web Summit email controversy

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent What a complete and utter mess. Some people have and will continue to try to put a positive, forward looking gloss on it. But there is no escaping the reality that the circumstances surrounding the Web Summit’s decision to leave Ireland are a shambles, for all concerned. The contents of emails between the Web Summit organisers and the government, released yesterday by the company itself, tell at least something of the story. They …

‘Safe Harbour’ case – what is it and why should we care?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent This week’s announcement by the Web Summit that it was moving to Lisbon from next year has consumed countless hours of airtime and plenty of column inches.  But significant as that decision is, it somewhat overshadowed another technology related story that broke at almost precisely the same time and which will arguably have much longer and more profound consequences. The European Court of Justice’s Advocate General issued his opinion that the “Safe Harbour” …

The rise and risks of the drone industry here

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent No matter what your viewpoint, there’s no denying that the drone industry is shaping up to be big business. Some estimates say it’s poised to grow at 19% per annum between now and 2020. A European Commission funded report reckoned the annual value of the industry could hit €14bn by 2017, and at that point it will be employing 70,000 people across the continent. And that’s just Europe. The value is not just …

The A-Z on Google’s changeover to Alphabet

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent It came as a surprise. But mostly a pleasant one investors say. Last night Google announced plans for a fairly major revamp of its corporate structures. The move will see the creation of a new parent company called Alphabet, which will be led by current Google CEO Larry Page. Within it will sit the myriad of other units that currently make up the Google stable. And what a range of businesses there now …

New Horizons opening up on dwarf-planet Pluto

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent The next 48 hours will prove another important milestone in space exploration, as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft makes its closest flyby of the dwarf-planet Pluto. The mission will open up a brief but fascinating window on the object, once considered by astronomers to be a planet. So what is New Horizons? Approximately the same size as a baby grand piano, and weighing 454kg, New Horizons is a small unmanned spacecraft packed with instruments …

Asteroid impact – should we be concerned?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent In February 2013 a 20 metre wide 7,000 ton piece of space dirt unexpectedly ripped across the skies above Chelyabinsk in Russia. Travelling at 19km per second it exploded with energy equivalent to 500 kilotons of TNT or 30 times the force of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. It was so bright that it burned the eyes and skin of people on the ground, while the force blew out windows, ripped roofs off buildings …

Will Apple Music become the core music streaming product?

By Will Goodbody, Science & Technology Correspondent It’s said that good things come to those who wait. At Tim Cook’s keynote during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference this week it took almost two hours of other announcements before the company finally unveiled its new music streaming product Apple Music. By rights therefore it should have been good, really good in fact. So why has the response from many quarters been uncharacteristically underwhelming in the days since the latest big Apple launch? …