Spanish Civil War (Non-Intervention) Act, 1937

The pandemic is not the first time Irish government has prevented people from travelling to Spain. All the current talk of special credentials required by Irish people to leave for Spain reminded me of the Spanish Civil War (Non-Intervention) Act, 1937.  This law enacted by the Irish Free State (Ireland was not yet a republic) was intended to stop Irish people from travelling to fight in the Civil War in Spain. Section 5 of the act made it unlawful to join either side ("belligerent") in the war or to "induce or attempt to induce persons" to do so.  Section 6 stated that "It shall not be lawful for any person who is a citizen of Saorstát Eireann to depart or attempt to depart from Saorstát Eireann for the purpose of proceeding to Spain ... unless such person holds a passport ... bearing an endorsement ... declaring such passport to be valid for Spain and Spanish territory." A person who &q

Disney Lab Rats

I saw an episode of the Disney Channel's "Lab Rats" today.  There's a family of four kids.  Three kids are white and one is black.  Three of the kids are enhanced humans with superpowers. One of them is not.  Want to hazard a guess as to which of the four doesn't have the superpowers?

So Many® Mistakes at

Bakker is a vendor of plants that operates online and by mail order.  The company annoyed me some years ago by sharing my details with third parties without my permission.  People who buy plants by mail order are quite an attractive demographic and so it's a nice little sideline for the company.  I ended up getting a lot of junk mail as a direct result of this and I eventually traced it back to Bakker.  I was in the market for some plants today and so I e-mailed to the company just to make sure that their practices had since improved.  The reply I got was not conclusive enough to make me part with my money. While there I noticed some very nice clematis that go by the name of So Many®.  I was struck by the registered trade mark symbol.  It is unlikely that such a trade mark would be registered in Ireland since it is merely descriptive.  It is actually an offence in Ireland to use this symbol for a mark that is not registered under Section 94 of the Trade Marks Act. 94.—(1)

Misleading Infographic Classics from the WIPO

This infographic from the WIPO has some classics from the misinformation tool kit. It wants to show the increase in Domain Name cases in 2016 and the relative sizes of the industry sectors they came from. But by increasing both the height and width of shapes used to represent them, the differences are exaggerated. This graphic tries to show that the number of cases has increased by 10% and the height of the shaded square behind is indeed 10% taller than the unshaded one in front.  But the width has also been increased by 10%.  This is deceptive because the area of the shaded square is 21% greater than the unshaded one.  A more accurate representation would look like this: The same error is made in the breakdown by country, but it is especially egregious in the case of France. This attempts to illustrate the 38.3% increase in cases from France.  But an increase of 38.3% in both the height and width of a square results in an increase in area of a staggering 91%

Irish Free State Registered Trade Mark No. 1

Irish Free State Registered Trade Mark No. 1 The first registered trade mark in force in Ireland was the UK's Trade Mark No. 1 for Bass Ale. However, following independence in 1922 Ireland put in place its own intellectual property regime. The Industrial and Commercial Property (Protection) Act 1927 established a trade mark register for Ireland.   Deanta I nEireann is Irish for Made in Ireland . A trade mark that merely designates the country of origin would not be registrable today.

Ryanair's New Website - Fail

Ryanair's website has long been overdue a makeover.  The new site is much more attractive.  It was not working properly over the weekend, but seemed to be open for business again yesterday. It still has a ways to go though.  Although accepts bookings from passengers who have non-ASCII characters in their names, it doesn't properly print their boarding cards.  This belies a very anglo-centric view of the world.

Transport for Ireland Epic Fail

The routing algorithm used by Transport for Ireland clearly needs tweaking. It suggests that passengers travelling from Bishopstown to Ballincollig should go all the way into town and change busses there, despite the routes intersecting much earlier.  That could add an hour to the journey on a bad day.  I wonder is it because the bus routes don't share an actual stop, the routing algorithm does not consider them to intersect?  At the point where they first meet, the busses are travelling opposite directions they don't share any stops with the same number.  But of course most passengers would be happy to get off and cross the road to save an hour. I've reported the problem to the website operators. It'll be interesting to see how long it takes to fix it. update: I received a details response within hours. The error was fixed within the week.