Category: Business

Rumour: Koenigsegg to buy Saab

Fingers crossed someone in Saab kept the plans for the 900 Turbo. Surely be to god if anyone can get Saab back where they belong, it’s Koenigsegg?

Autoblog: We don’t have much to go on yet, but Swedish television is reportedly claiming that Koenigsegg, makers of ultra high-performance exotic supercars, and a group of Norwegian investors have signed a letter of intent with Saab to take over the brand from General Motors. Final negotiations will reportedly take place in the coming months.

Long Overdue

I’ve posted before about open workshops. Pit Start is a more mainstream idea but long overdue, and probably perfectly timed:

If you’re a London gearhead and want to work on your car but have no place to do it, you’ll want to check out Pit Start, a new self-service garage. It is exactly what it sounds like – a communal pay-by-the-hour workspace. Would-be tinkerers can pre-book a space or drop in, and upon arrival, a Pit Start employee will assign you one of the twenty repair bays depending on the kind of work you’ll be doing.

Bays can be rented for a minimum of hour, and it’s £10 for bays without lifts (a little over $15 USD) or £20 (roughly $30 USD) for one of the six bays that come with a four-ton hoist. Pit Start provides an array of common tools for free, sells oil and basic fluids, has a directory of nearby mechanics, and can arrange to have parts delivered for you within the hour. The only things you can’t do are tasks that involve welding or paint spraying. This month, bay rental is 50% off, and the garage is open 24/7 in case you get the urge to install a turbo at 3 a.m. They even provide shop manuals.


(Via Autoblog.)

Irish Foods Under Threat

Great post by Kieran Murphy about Tesco’s decision to deprioritise Irish products on the shelves of shops on the border (and in the new Extra store in Douglas in Cork):

It’s a story that should have caught the attention of anyone who loves food in Ireland, since the ripples of such a decision would be immense. Tesco own around 23% of the Irish food market, and the impact upon Irish food producers (and Irish employment) in losing such a huge chunk of market share could be catastrophic. According to Bord Bia, the average spend of Irish people on imported foods has risen 50% since 2000. With Tesco dumping Irish brands, that percentage would skyrocket as a large segment of Irish consumers would lose easy access to Irish brands. There could be many Irish food companies that would not survive losing such a large percentage of their sales.

I predicted an economic recovery (2 quarters of positive growth) of mid to late 2010 on back in November, however this kind of thing makes me worry that if anything recovery will happen too soon, and bolster the new addition of instant gratification to our national psyche. Irish people need to start thinking beyond the short-term bottom line, to a possible future where we’re being screwed to the wall with no choices because of monopolies and cartels.

An economic recovery without recovery in employment, which is of course what’s going to happen, will not help the situation. Something needs to be done at Government level, and FF and their clown partners are not the people to do it. FG aren’t either, which is why we need Labour in Government with them (despite recent idiocy on their part).

I’m still not a blogger…

Although to be fair to Mark from the Sunday Times, he did tell me he’d be doing a piece and quoting me, unlike the thieving hacks in the Star who steal content from on a near-weekly basis. This is in relation to Amazon’s decision to start shipping electronics and the like to Ireland again. I’ll continue down this road.

Adam Beecher, another blogger, is not impressed with the internet retailer’s change of heart. “I’ll continue to buy elsewhere, apart from exceptional circumstances,” he said. “I have no intention of jumping back into bed with them just because they flip a bad decision three years later, and implement the change badly while they’re at it.”

I would like to say though, Mark, that it would be nicer if you asked, rather than informed. I understand you don’t have to for a simple soundbyte, but it’s nice to be nice. But thanks anyway, I appreciate it.

The Imaginary NBS Satellite

According to a plausible account on, the 8% satellite aspect of the frankly useless National “Broadband” Scheme is, basically, imaginary. The satellite in question hasn’t even been built yet, and the launch vehicle that’s supposed to lob it into orbit hasn’t flown. Ever. I have to wonder who’s a bigger langer, John Doherty or Eamon Ryan.

(Obviously I’m being facetious. Eamon Ryan wins by a long shot, with an incompetence and lies double-whammy. John Doherty’s just a dickhead.)

RTÉ: Bring Back Glic Rick!

Thanks to Allan, via Damien, we now have a way to vent our spleens about the bizarre hobbling of Rick O’Shea’s 2FM show. I haven’t heard the show since I heard about, since 2FM is now out of my rotation. Here’s what I said:

I won’t bore you with a diatribe, I just want to register a complaint about the RTE decision to hamstring and ultimately destroy Rick O’Shea’s show on 2FM. I’m not a huge radio listener but when I do have the radio on, Rick is one of the only DJ’s I’m interested in listening to. I’m much less likely to switch to 2FM on my dial now. Please revoke the decision and put it back the way it was.

Adam Beecher

I received an autoreply immediately, score 1 for RTÉ. Score 2 for the non-autoreply 4 minutes later, probably a form response but still deserving of brownie points. Score 3 for the fact that it’s 8:30 at night. 1 more point and I’ll put the channel back into rotation. Guess what’ll do it RTÉ? :)

Dear Adam,
Thank you for your e-mail.
Your comments in relation to the changed format of the Rick O’Shea show will be included in our Audience Log of calls and e-mails, which is circulated for information to senior management in RTÉ Radio and is reviewed at the weekly meeting of the Editorial Boards.
Your e-mail is also being brought to the attention of the Head of RTÉ 2fm.
Thank you again for taking the time to make your views known to us, we very much welcome all feedback on our programmes and services.

With best regards
RTÉ Information Officer

How To Create A BETTER Irish Bar

Jason Sheehen of Denver Westward tells us how to create a great Irish bar, and doesn’t get it far wrong. But if he wants a real taste of the “old country” as he calls it – I’ve always hated that phrase – he needs a few adjustments:

For a start, he lost credibility when he mentioned Harp. Harp is piss, the Budweiser/Fosters of Ireland. The only good thing Harp ever brought to this world is the “Pinta Harp and a packeta dates there Laurence” ad from the late eighties. Remember that?

Jameson isn’t bad but Black Bush from our friends north of the border is smoother, and Midleton Rare is the finest Irish whiskey on the… well, in Ireland. Personally I don’t think it should be allowed outside the country, but that could simply be naked greed. It’s all I drank at my wedding, but sure everyone else was buying!

Ampersanded pub names are British, not Irish. Ampersanded pub names IN Ireland are there because some British bastard named it, and we haven’t got around to changing it yet. Sure there’s no rush like. (Lenny Henry said it best when he described Ireland as a “cold Jamaica” and gave an example of an Irish fella ejected from the pub, horizontally, pint in hand, saying “ah sure I was leavin’ anyway”.)

Road, cigarette and drink signs are ok as long as they’re genuine. In particular the road sign, which has to be in miles – none of your new-fangled kilometers here please – and stolen and “exported” yourself, wrapped in bin bags. Plus of course they all have to be a bit dirty. As does everything in the bar, particularly the bartop itself. A slight stickiness on the tables adds realism.

“Irish music” needs to be clearer. Boyzone and Westlife are Irish ffs, and no self-respecting Irish man would listen to that twaddle. (Of course Irish women aren’t allowed in proper Irish bars, except perhaps for a half on Sundays after Mass.) U2, Thin Lizzy and Clannad are fine, with a few unknown Irish fellas on their own instruments in the corner on Saturdays night. The langer song is not fine. It’s shite.

On the food front it’s actually King crisps you want, plus a nearly empty card of Bacon Fries and a box of Cadburys Snacks. Purple ones, obviously; or Club bars if you can find them. (They have less chocolate so they’re cheaper. And nastier. ) If you want to draw in real Irish alcoholics, Crúibíns are your only man.

Look, just go into the Spailpín Fánach in Cork and use that as a model. You’ll need to walk up to the Brown Derby for the Crúibíns though.

Palm Pre

[This has been in my drafts since January 9, only noticed it now. It does have a motion sensor and landscape mode btw.]

The wife’ll kill me, I want one of these and I only have my Treo Pro a couple months.

Palm Pre

It seems to settle a major deficiency in the Treo Pro, namely Windows Mobile. It’s not a bad mobile OS per se, but the hardware is a tad underpowered for it, and it has niggles that can’t be addressed because of it’s closed nature. That said, I don’t know if the Pre’s webOS will be open either, but hopefully Palm will have generated Clue from their Windows adventure. And drop it forevermore…

One other apparent deficiency would appear to be a motion sensor and/or landscape mode. You’d think that if it had it, the presenter in these PC Pro videos – well worth watching by the way – would have demoed it; although it has to be said that despite best effort, he’s no Steve Jobs and might have been better off deferring to someone with more charisma.

(Via Slashdot.)