Sunday Long Reads: The real Lana Del Rey, Whatsapp encryption and Apple's tax deal

Kick back with a cup of coffee and enjoy the best long reads from Newstalk

As Electric Picnic takes over the world (or at least all of our social media feeds) we take a look at the mysterious origin of one of the festivals' headliners: Lana Del Rey. 

Elsewhere, as Ireland get ready to take on a talented young Serbia squad, we look at how difficult an opponent they will be, examine why weakening Whatsapp encryption could open a back door that can't be closed, and Vincent Wall shares his opinion on the Apple tax ruling. 

Serbia are a potential powerhouse of the future...but what can Ireland expect on Monday?

In the time since Serbia last qualified for a major tournament, Ireland have been to two European Championships. The 2010 World Cup, when they failed to advance from a group featuring Ghana, Australia and Germany, was Serbia's last appearance.

The qualification campaign for Euro 2016 was hindered by a debacle against eventual qualifiers Albania when a drone was flown into Belgrade's stadium, sparking a riot and ultimately leading to three deducted points.

As Ireland get ready to face them on Monday, they are a different proposition, however, as they bring through players who claimed the Under-20 FIFA World Cup title in 2015.

Why weakening WhatsApp encryption is a terrible idea

This week, officials from the French and German governments became the latest voices to call for a weakening of the encryption technology which secure messages sent on popular services like WhatsApp and Apple’s iMessage.

A common refrain when governments make these calls is: “Well, I’ve nothing to hide, so why shouldn’t they?”

The problem with this way of thinking is that it lacks an understanding of just how important the technologies those companies have put in place to protect their customers are, and how weakening them puts everyone at risk.

Not appealing the Apple ruling is accusing Revenue of going rogue

To borrow a phrase, what a load of political crap. No, I don’t mean the motivation attributed to the European Commission by Apple boss, Tim Cook, who may have got to the phrase just before me, and who may be expressing a reasonable point of view.

I mean the antics of our very own Minister for Transport, Shane Ross and those other members of Government who continue to fret about the impact of hugely significant issues of national interest on their own little backyards.

There is no choice here for a signed-up member of the Cabinet.

Electric Picnic Spotlight: Inventing Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey arrives in Ireland with headline status ahead of her slot closing the festivities on Electric Picnic's main stage on Sunday night. However, tracing the origins of the songstress has become one of the greater myths or mysteries of modern pop music. 

Lana Del Rey's 'Video Games' lit up the blogosphere when the original version appeared online in late June 2011 - the crooning vocals launched her career, while the accompanying cover art made flower headbands essential festival clobber for years to come. 

But word soon started to spread that all was not be quite as it seemed, and the emerging artists was, in fact, from a major label but was being pushed as a DIY YouTube phenomenon.

Shane Stapleton: Brian Cody sees predictable Premier arsenal coming

If one thorn of experience is worth a whole wilderness of warning, Tipperary should come into this game looking as though they’ve been blindsided by a cactus.

Beaten, bruised and bullied, their recent history with Kilkenny suggests that Cody's men would be right to walk out of the dressing-room with chests out: “we don’t lose to Tipperary.”

This season has 2011 stamped all over it: Tipp cantering through a woeful Munster, but then eking out an All-Ireland semi-final win; Waterford collapsing in a provincial final, but then putting up a stirring resistance against the unrelenting Cats. The Premier are favourites, but no one quite knows why.