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Thurles Hosts Ireland’s Largest Computer Gaming Event

Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) situated here in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, will be hosting Ireland’s largest gaming event this year on Wednesday next, March 8th 2017. The theme for this years 2017 event is “Racing Game”.

LIT Tipperary is home to Games Design & Development with a BSc (Honours) obtainable in Computing (Level 8). For further information on this graduate programme click HERE.

This year the Games Fleadh will also feature games development and research discussions with industry veterans and researchers. Companies and organisations taking part in discussions will include Microsoft Ireland, EA, Imirt, Game Sparks and SimVirtua. The full list of speakers is now available on their Gamesfleadh.ie page.

Games Fleadh 2017 while open to the public for free; tickets can now be reserved on their tickets page here.  For more follow @gamesfleadh on twitter .


From Eircom – To Eir – To Eir Con ?

Our politicians and councillors will be all over our radio’s and other media channels come Monday morning next, each hailing the onset of ‘High Speed Broadband’ which is to be rolled out to over 3,250 additional homes across Co. Tipperary shortly.

Each elected representative will be claiming that their two & a half pence worth of verbal contribution to the need for Rural Broadband has had major effect on the ‘powers that be’. Each will rejoice on the fact that they have persuaded same powers to relent, thus ensuring that we rural Hillbillies are truly equal before the law and will soon have full access to all internet Porn Sites, as enjoyed by urban Dublin dwellers for the past number of years.

Yesterday following some sort of press release, those sitting in Eir Board Rooms with their Sales & Marketing executives, were possibly sharing ‘high fives’ and rubbing their hands with delight, following welcoming announcements by community leaders, who incorrectly have been duped into stupidly believing that this announcement by Eir, has the potential to create new businesses in Co. Tipperary.

For Eir to claim that that they will now be rolling out a 1 gigabyte service to 3,250 new homes and businesses in the Premier County during 2017 is far-fetched and the stuff of fantasy, to say the least. Has anyone spotted an Eir van installing fibre optic cable between the towns, for example, of Thurles, Nenagh and Clonmel; extending to the rural outbacks of Cloneen, Golden, Gottenbridge or Ballyporeen?

Can you imagine a 1 gigabyte of service being pumped down the 40 year old copper cables, connecting Upperhurch to the rest of the world?  No, Eir’s rollouts are coming to large populated towns like Thurles, Clonmel, Nenagh, Tipperary etc., where consumers already enjoy 360 megabit download speeds, with most people more than happy with just 120 megabites speeds.

Eir‘s purpose in these claims is to get their hands on already existing Virgin Media & Sky business.

No, alas, there will be no huge benefits accruing to rural businesses, and rural dwellers will not be considering setting up new commercial industry any time soon, from their humble hamlets, brought about by improved ‘High Speed Broadband’ coverage.

You doubt my statement?  View the following sites HERE and HERE and ‘Select your County’. Then reading between the lines, make up your own mind.


Enigma Cipher Machines – The Tipperary Connection

 The Stoney Family of North Tipperary


Alan Mathison Turing OBE FRS (1912 – 1954).

The Stoney family (latter family name originally Danish), were once prominent landlords, here in North Tipperary.
Ethel Sara Stoney (1881–1976), was born on November 18th, at Podanur, in the city of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, India, the daughter of Edward Waller Stoney (Borrisokane, North Tipperary) and Sarah Crawford (Cartron Abbey, Co. Longford); Protestant Anglo-Irish gentry.

Her father was Chief Engineer of the Madras Railways, which played a pioneering role in developing railways in southern India, before being merged in 1908 with Southern Mahratta Railway to form the Madras and Southern Mahratta Railway.

Educated at Alexandra School and College, Dublin, and at Cheltenham Ladies College, before attending lectures at the Sorbonne in Paris, she returned to join her parents in Madras, preferring to use her middle Christian name that of ‘Sara’. On October 1st 1907 she married Julius Mathison Turing, son of Reverend John Robert Turing and Fanny Boyd, in Dublin.

Many television viewers recently would have watched the film “The Imitation Game” which starred amongst others Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. This film, which grossed over $233.6 million at the box office, was based on the life of Sara Turing’s son Alan Mathison Turing.  Born on June 23rd 1912, the second and last child (after his brother John Ferrier Turing) later he would be regarded as being one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century.

Those of you, our readers, who viewed this film (Highly recommended viewing, I might add) will be aware that Alan Turing was educated at Sherborne College and Cambridge University, and received a PhD from Princeton, having sailed on the liner Berengaria to New York arriving at Princeton in September 1936. A brilliant mathematician and cryptographer Alan was truly the founder of modern day computer science and artificial intelligence and designed a machine to help break secret Enigma encrypted messages [1] being then circulated by the Nazi German war machine during World War 2.

[1]  Enigma devices were electro-mechanical rotor cipher machines developed and used in the mid-twentieth century to convey and protect sensitive commercial, diplomatic and military communications. Invented by the German engineer Arthur Scherbius towards the end of World War I, these early models were also used commercially by Japan, Italy and most notably Nazi Germany before and during World War II.

Many readers however will not be aware that Alan’s mother was a member of this same Stoney family who once resided at Tombrickane, Kyle Park, Borrisokane, North Co. Tipperary.

Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill once stated that Alan Turing made the single biggest contribution to the Allied victory in the war against Nazi Germany, possibly saving the lives of an estimated 2 million people, through his efforts in shortening World War 2. Churchill was first introduced to Alan Turing during a visit to the highly secretive Hut No 8 at ‘Bletchley Park’, establishment in September 1941. The following month Turing and three other cryptographers wrote directly to Sir Winston Churchill seeking further administrative resources; a request which Prime Minister Churchill immediately made available.

Described as one of the greatest figures of the twentieth century, in 1945 Turing was awarded the OBE by King George VI for his wartime services which included (between the years 1939 – 1942), the breaking of U-boat Enigma messages, thus ensuring allied victory in the battle of the Atlantic. His work continued to remain top secret for many years and Turing machines still remain, to this very day, a central object for study in the theory of computation.

Apart from his work in breaking Nazi Enigma codes from 1945 to 1947, Turing worked on the design of the ACE (Automatic Computing Engine) at the British National Physical Laboratory and presented a paper (February 19th 1946), laying out his vision for the first detailed design of a stored-program computer.

Alas, in 1952 his brilliant career was to be halted; brought about by a short homosexual affair with a 19 year old, named as Arnold Murray. “Eaten bread is soon forgotten” as my grandmother used to say, and Alan’s private life would now come into conflict with an ingrate society displaying short term memory.

Turing and Murray were both prosecuted for homosexual acts, (under section 11 of the then Criminal Law Amendment Act 1885), then considered illegal whether carried out in private or in public. Now with the loss of security clearance to fund his work, Alan chose chemical castration as an alternative to the punishment of a long gaol sentence.

Between 1953 and 54 much of his work in biology and physics remained unfinished and on the 7th of June 1954 Alan was found dead as a result of cyanide poisoning, in Wilmslow, Cheshire. Although suicide was suspected, Alan left no suicide note, having eaten an apple apparently laced with cyanide. This apple however was never fully tested, leaving his mother to never accept the Coroner’s suicide verdict or indeed understand Alan’s actual motivation to end his life.

Certainly his humiliation by prosecutors and the cruel effects of his hormone treatment would have greatly influenced his then mental state, but it was not until September 2009 that former British Labour Prime Minister Mr Gordon Brown would make a formal apology on behalf of the British Government, firstly recognising his contribution to World War 2 and secondly for Turing’s treatment stating ‘he deserved better’.  On the 12th of June 1954, Alan’s body was cremated at Woking Crematorium, St John’s, and his ashes scattered.

Perhaps the apple with the bite taken out, which constitutes the logo on the back of your iPhone or MacBook Pro after all remains as a tribute to Alan Turing, although Apple the American multinational technology company headquartered in Cupertino, California, apparently dismiss this association.

Regarding his mother Ethel Sara Stoney from North Tipperary; her death came during the early part of her 95th year, on March 6th 1976, while she residing at Stoneycrest, Churt Road, Hindhead, Surrey, England, and following her death, like her son, she too was also cremated.

Perhaps someone will unveil a small commemorative plaque during 2017 in memory of Sara and Alan at Borrisokane; if only in our quest to encourage elusive tourists.


Tipperary Co Council Offer Free Text Alert Advice

Tipperary County Council are now offering its customers a free text alert system to advise with regard to the following information:

Joe MacGrath, To Chair Tipperary Implementation Group

Mr Joe MacGrath, Chief Executive, Tipperary Co. Council

Severe Weather Notifications.
Road Closures & Diversions.
Community Events & Initiatives.
Local Planning Activity.
Flood Potential Events.
General Community Notices.

Registration, to receive the above information, can be obtained by accessing your right to register Here.

‘MapAlerter’ is a free service that gives all Irish Councils the ability to issue alerts for the specific topics shown above. Rather than informing an entire town about a water outage, all alerts are mapped so only the real affected residents receive notification. This ensures a high level of satisfaction amongst MapAlerter subscribers because the information they receive is local in nature to their specific area.

You can also register for a free account to receive alerts by SMS text message, by Email or by Smartphone App notification.

As already stated, alerts will only ever be issued for your local area and there are no costs to get the text messages. The system is specifically designed to keep you, the customer, better informed and fully up-to-date about activities taking place across the Premier County.

You can also get your alerts using the free MapAlerter App if you search for “MapAlerter” on the App Store or Google Play.


Have You Been Pwned?

Mid West Firstly, no the spelling of ‘Pwned’ is not due to our failure to use our spell checker. The word ‘Pwned’ is in fact a corruption or leetspeak slang term (‘Leetspeak’ also known as eleet or leet, same being an alternative alphabet for many languages that are used primarily on the Internet), and derived from the word “Owned.” (We understand that the word originated with the online computer game called ‘Warcraft’, where a map designer accidentally misspelled the word “Owned.”)

But why the above question we hear you ask?  Well to answer a question with a question; “How aware are you of how much of your personal private computer data; including account ‘Usernames’, ‘Email Addresses’, ‘Encrypted Passwords’ and ‘Password Hints’ have been made available or publicly exposed by computer hackers”.

Examples of just four popular used accounts of some 153 such sites known to have been compromised.
[A] In October 2013, 153 million Adobe Accounts were breached by computer hackers. Data compromised with each account included IDs, Usernames, Email Addresses, Encrypted Passwords and Password Hints.

[B] In May 2014, the Avast Anti-Virus Forum was hacked, with 423k member records exposed. Data compromised again included Usernames, Emails Addresses and Passwords.

[C] In mid-2012, Dropbox Data was breached which exposed the stored credentials of tens of millions of customers. Again in August 2016, Dropbox forced password resets for their customers whom they believed may have been put at risk. Data totalling over 68 million records was subsequently traded online, included Email Addresses and Passwords.

[D] In May 2016, LinkedIn had 164 million Email Addresses and Passwords publicly exposed. While originally hacked in 2012, this data remained out of sight, before eventually being offered for sale.

[Other widely used accounts breached in the past include Tesco, Sony, Win7Vista, and numerous Gaming and Torrent sites.]

Question: How will I know if my personal data has been compromised?
Answer: Simply click HERE and add your Email address or username to the appropriate box, before clicking on the word ‘pwned’, latter positioned on right hand side of this same box. Then scroll down the page, just a little, to see the number of accounts / breaches in which you were ‘pwned’ in.

Question: I have an account which has been ‘pwned’, so what should I do now to correct this data exposure?
Answer: Go, as soon as possible, and change all passwords to named accounts ‘pwned’. If you cannot remember the associated password with any of your accounts, simply hit the tab which permits a request from you to change your password on the basis ‘Forgot My password’(You will receive a personal email permitting such changes.)  When changing your password remember the wisdom of Sheldon Cooper (From TV’s “The Big Bang Theory”), and I quote “1234 is not a secure password”.   Use at least 8 symbols including uppercase and lowercase symbols, alphabet letters and numbers.

N.B. Even more importantly, it goes without saying; ensure that none of your individual accounts currently use the same password.