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Archive for the ‘Tech’ Category

Radio station dedicated to job vacancies

In Economy, News, Tech on April 5, 2012 at 14:22

Ireland’s first radio channel targeting job seekers on the move and the Irish diaspora via weekly shows has launched today. NewJobRadio.com is also Ireland’s first radio channel to be listed on iTunes.

NewJobRadio.com focuses on job vacancies and each show will aim to feature employers discussing the roles they have available and to provide a detailed insight on the types of candidates they are looking for.

Verify Recruitment is the brain behind NewJobRadio.com. Listeners can hear the shows online or download them via iTunes to their MP3 players. The first show is live now on iTunes and on NewJobRadio.com. A new show goes live weekly.

Paddy Power is the latest featured employer, discussing some of the current technology jobs available at its new Dublin campus in Clonskeagh.

Also available now is a preview show, in which Verify Recruitment managing director Cathal Grogan outlines his reason for setting up New Job Radio.

“New Job Radio is all about capturing those conversations that take place between our industry experts and companies that are hiring, in order to give a much fuller understanding of the role to job seekers, rather than just what is outlined in the job specifications,” said Grogan.

“We will notify candidates of job specifications before each show and ask them to post their questions for employers on Facebook and Twitter.”

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Ireland to be hit with an entertainment tax

In Economy, News, Tech on January 22, 2012 at 12:22

After introducing a charge to have water, a charge to live in your house on top of the stamp duty you already paid to buy your house, bin charges, and every other unfair tax that’s been drafted in recent years when people have less money than ever before, there’s a new one.

It’s been dubbed an entertainment tax. Basically, even if you don’t have a television, you’ll have to cough up a fee to RTE. They’re targeting people who watch television programmes and movies online.

My view is this: people are trying to save money by not having a television and getting by utilising modern technology. It’s a rubbish tax/fee, whatever they want to call it. People are already paying VAT on their line rental and broadband line, and are maximising this to watch videos. Wrong…according to the Government. If you do this, RTE are entitled to a slice, even though the RTE Player must be attracting a very generous proportion of people using this system.

Responding to the intention of the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte TD to replace the TV licence with a household broadcasting charge, the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland has said:

“We welcome the introduction of a new broadcasting charge to replace the current TV licence and we urge the Minister to take advantage of the opportunity this change presents to review how the revenue collected is used. The new Household Broadcasting Charge was committed to in the Programme for Government. The Programme for Government also contains a commitment to “review the funding of public and independent broadcasters to ensure a healthy broadcasting environment”.

If the Minister is bound to examine the television licence fee then he should also be bound to the Programme’s commitment to undertake a full review of the funding of broadcasting in Ireland. Indeed the two are inextricably linked and it is it is inconceivable that any change to the current TV licence system would not involve a review of how the funding is used.

In various media interviews Minister Rabbitte has referred to RTE as the state’s “public service” broadcaster. We would like to remind Minister Rabbitte that with over 2.4 million listeners each week day, all independent radio stations provide a high level of public service and that this is a condition of their licence.

We also note with great interest that €25 million of the television licence fee is lost each year through evasion and the Minister’s contention that the new licence fee arrangement would greatly reduce this amount. It is conceivable that the revenue to be collected from the new broadcasting charge be apportioned to fund the operations of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, a move that would benefit every broadcaster in the country regardless of whether they are community, commercial or state-funded. It is vital that the Minister reflects on how the changes he makes now will impact on the Irish broadcasting landscape over the coming years”.

Vodafone market share hits target

In Economy, Tech on January 22, 2012 at 12:06

Siliconrepublic are reporting that Vodafone’s Irish division has, after three years, it has achieved the milestone of 200,000 paying customers for landline and broadband services.

The telco is marking the milestone by offering a free Android smartphone to every new and existing customer. The free smartphone, the Vodafone Smart 858, will come with three months of free mobile internet access on pay as you go.

In 2009, BT and Vodafone signed a landmark multimillion deal to transfer BT’s consumer, small-business broadband and voice customer base to Vodafone.

This deal, which involved the transfer of some €4.8m worth of assets, gave Vodafone access to BT’s 22 unbundled local exchanges around Ireland, as well as access to BT’s consumer phone and broadband base of 84,000 consumers and 3,000 small businesses.

The plan also saw BT and Vodafone commit significant investment towards developing an enhanced broadband infrastructure with speeds of up to 24Mbs for about two-thirds of available broadband lines by unbundling up to 58 additional exchanges.

Prior to the BT/Vodafone deal, Vodafone acquired broadband service provider Perlico for €80m in 2008.

Textbooks a thing of the past?

In Miscellaneous, News, Tech on January 18, 2012 at 15:18

The tasty siliconrepublic.com are reporting that Apple is working with some of the largest texbook publishers in the world – including McGraw-Hill and potentially Ireland’s own Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – on a new venture that will destroy the traditional education publishing business forever.

Apple’s working with McGraw-Hill and other publishers such as Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Cengage Learning may also be part of a major reveal on Thursday.

As we reported last week, the traditional education publishing business is desperately in need of a shake up and a move away from rote learning to more dynamic, interactive learning can only be facilitated if the tired, cynical cycle of repeatedly publishing editions just to make money is broken.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that one of the US’ largest education publishers McGraw-Hill is working with Apple on a model that will facilitate the delivery of dynamic e-books to iOS and Mac devices. Other publishers like Cengage Learning are also understood to be involved.

It is expected Apple will launch a slew of partnerships on Thursday when, at the Guggenheim museum in New York, it is expected to unveil a textbook delivery solution optimised for iOS and Mac devices and possibly delivered via its iBooks app platform.

Less clear, but highly likely, will be the involvement of other education publishers like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (formerly Riverdeep) which has its R&D headquarters in Dublin. The company recently unveiled a year-long pilot of the first-ever full curriculum algebra app for the iPad. The app, which was created here in Dublin by HMH’s R&D team, is being piloted in school districts across California and could be an ideal case study for the kind of education collaboration Apple has in mind.

Pacific Ocean recipient of a free NASA satellite

In Miscellaneous, News, Tech on September 26, 2011 at 13:13

With mystery surrounding as to where exactly debris from a six-tonne decommissioned NASA satellite fell early on Saturday – the biggest crash of a NASA satellite since 1979 – NASA remains adamant the satellite’s debris fell in the Pacific Ocean, over an 804-kilometre stretch. The crash comes as planet Earth gears up for more solar storm activity today.

The 5,897kg Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) was originally sent into orbit aboard a space shuttle mission (STS-48) on 15 September 1991. Its aim was to study ozone and other chemicals in the Earth’s atmosphere.

“It was the first multi-instrumented satellite to observe numerous chemical components of the atmosphere for better understanding of photochemistry. UARS data marked the beginning of many long-term records for key chemicals in the atmosphere. The satellite also provided key data on the amount of light that comes from the sun at ultraviolet and visible wavelengths,” said NASA.

In 2005, UARS completed its mission. Since then, it had been gradually losing altitude.

“NASA’s decommissioned Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) fell back to Earth between 11:23 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 23 and 1:09 a.m. Sept. 24, 20 years and nine days after its launch on a 14-year mission that produced some of the first long-term records of chemicals in the atmosphere,” said NASA in a statement on Saturday.

NASA said the precise re-entry time and location of debris impacts have not been determined.

“During the re-entry period, the satellite passed from the east coast of Africa over the Indian Ocean, then the Pacific Ocean, then across northern Canada, then across the northern Atlantic Ocean, to a point over West Africa. The vast majority of the orbital transit was over water, with some flight over northern Canada and West Africa.”

NASA claimed that, six years after the end of its scientific life, UARS broke into pieces during re-entry, with most of it burning up in the atmosphere.

“Data indicates the satellite likely broke apart and landed in the Pacific Ocean far off the U.S. coast. Twenty-six satellite components, weighing a total of about 1,200 pounds, could have survived the fiery re-entry and reach the surface of Earth. However, NASA is not aware of any reports of injury or property damage.”

Via teleconference on Saturday, NASA’s chief scientist for orbital debris, Nick Johnson, informed journalists that the satellite’s trajectory finished after it crossed over parts of the Indian Ocean and Africa.

He said that the 13,000-pound UARS most likely either disintegrated or spread debris over an 804-kilometre Pacific Ocean expanse.

There had been earlier rumours circulating via social media that debris from the satellite had reached part of Calgary in Canada. However, NASA said these reports were unfounded, with data indicating that the 35-foot satellite most likely fell into the Pacific Ocean, away from human civilisation.

“We can now confirm that #UARS is down!” said the official NASA Twitter account on early Saturday morning.

NASA satellite falling out of sky

In Miscellaneous, News, Tech on September 24, 2011 at 09:30

US space agency NASA estimates a six-tonne decommissioned satellite will break up and fall to Earth late today or tomorrow, but says the risk to public safety or property is extremely small.

The space shuttle Discovery launched the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite, or UARS, in September 1991. UARS’ job, as the first multi-instrumented satellite, was to observe chemical constituents of the atmosphere to better understand atmospheric photochemistry and transport.

Now, in its latest update, NASA says the unpowered spacecraft’s orientation has changed, slowing its descent. It is expected to break into 26 pieces during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere, though not all the pieces will burn up.

“There is a low probability any debris that survives re-entry will land in the United States, but the possibility cannot be discounted because of this changing rate of descent,” NASA said. “It is still too early to predict the time and location of re-entry with any certainty, but predictions will become more refined in the next 12 to 18 hours.”

Since the beginning of the Space Age in the late 1950s, there have been no confirmed reports of an injury resulting from re-entering space objects, NASA says. Nor is there a record of significant property damage resulting from a satellite re-entry.

NASA is also warning the public to keep their hands off any pieces of UARS they may think they have come across after the debris hits the Earth. Instead, they should call law enforcement officials for help.

Courtesy Tina Costanza of siliconrepublic.com