Google Corporation unveils big changes to shopping on-line business
Google Inc unveiled major changes to its shopping business on Thursday that will likely prove controversial in the e-commerce world.
Starting in the fall, product search results for users in the United States will be influenced by how much retailers and advertisers pay, a company executive said. In the past, product search results were based mainly on relevance and the program was free.
Google, the world’s most popular Internet search engine, will rename its service Google Shopping from the current Google Product Search.
“We are starting to transition Google Product Search in the U.S. to a purely commercial model,” said Sameer Samat, vice president of product management at Google Shopping. “This will give merchants greater control over where their products appear on Google Shopping.”
Google has been in the product listing and search business for about a decade. During that time, it has provided merchants with free access to shoppers. The company made money by running paid product search ads along with the organic, or unpaid, product listings, according to Eric Best, CEO of Mercent, which helps retailers sell through Google and other e-commerce websites such as Amazon.com Inc and eBay Inc.
“Today, that model goes away,” Best said. “It’s a very big deal.”
The changes may ultimately help Google extract more revenue and profit from its retail advertisers, which account for up to 40 percent of Google’s advertising base, according to Best and others.
Google Product Search drives about $650 million in annual sales in the United States and about $1.3 billion globally, ChannelAdvisor, which helps merchants sell online, estimated on Thursday.
“That’s the free sales that are going to disappear unless they decide to pay,” Scot Wingo, CEO of ChannelAdvisor, said.
Under Google’s new system, retailers may have to spend an extra $130 million a year in the United States and $270 million globally, to fill that sales hole, he estimated.
“The winner in this is Google,” Wingo said. “That extra spending is pure margin and will drop to earnings per share.”
Some of the retailers ChannelAdvisor works with are questioning Google’s motives, Wingo added.
The changes will kick in by October, which does not give merchants much time to adjust to the new system in time for the crucial holiday shopping season, he said.
For retailers, there are upsides and downsides, according to Mercent’s Best.
“The downside is that retailers are going to have to pay for performance when it comes to e-commerce traffic and revenue driven by or through Google,” Best said. “The free traffic is disappearing.”
The changes may be controversial in the Internet community because Google’s search results have traditionally not been influenced by money, Best said.
“Pay-for-placement to some degree is an alternative to purely organic relevancy results,” he said. “The fact that shopping results will be more closely tied to bid-for-placement will not sit well with all advertisers.”
The new program will help retailers make their products more visible to shoppers searching on Google. The old system was difficult for Google to police because retailers could list a lot of products for free. If they have to pay, it may reduce clutter, Best said.
“Having a commercial relationship with merchants will encourage them to keep their product information fresh and up to date,” Google’s Samat wrote in a blog on Thursday. “Higher quality data – whether it’s accurate prices, the latest offers or product availability – should mean better shopping results for users, which in turn should create higher quality traffic for merchants.”
The quality argument is suspect, according to ChannelAdvisor’s Wingo.
“That’s a slippery slope because this could apply to websites, not just product listings,” he said. “Why have organic search at all? Anyone can set up a website and use it for spammy purposes. That’s what Google is supposed to deal with.”
Amazon and eBay will likely be affected by Google’s changes because the e-commerce giants currently get a lot of free traffic from Google Product Search. In the future, they will have to pay for that, Wingo said.
However, some merchants may decide to list more products for sale on Amazon’s and eBay’s online marketplaces, which would be a boon for those companies, he added.
Google shares fell 1.3 percent at $580.86 on Thursday. The shares have fallen 13 percent since the beginning of the year.
Saturday 22th April 2012
Google is to enter tablet war against Apple and Amazon products
The search giant Google is understood to be planning to release its own tablet computers in a move that would take it toe to toe with the Apple iPad and the Amazon Kindle Fire.
Google is expected to use the smartphone and tablet maker Motorola Mobility, which it acquired for US$12.5 billion (Dh45.91bn), to co-brand tablets running Google’s Android software to sell online via the Google website. Its strategy is to try to counter what it sees as attempts by rivals such as Apple and Amazon to carve out huge, exclusive chunks of the internet market.
Sergey Brin, a Google co-founder, has accused Apple of restricting internet access by providing a “walled garden” of limited online services in the form of “Apple apps”, available to Apple customers via the company’s wide range of devices such as the iPhone, the iPad, the iPod touch and Apple TV.
“Google is essentially an advertising company. It develops applications and services to sell advertising space online,” says Tony Cripps, an analyst at the research company Ovum. “Google needs to compete in the device space to win eyeballs for its online advertising. Otherwise, it runs the danger of sacrificing that opportunity to rivals such as Apple.”
He adds: “Google needs Android, not to so much to sell devices and apps like Apple but more as a canvas for attracting advertisers.”
Although Google’s Android software is used to power some tablets produced by companies such as Samsung, these devices do relatively little to attract Google’s lifeblood of advertising to its website.
Rob Enderle, the principal analyst at the Enderle Group in Silicon Valley, says: “If Google moves into tablets, it likely will kill their licensing efforts, but except for Samsung, they weren’t selling that well. [The] issue really is that no one is doing great demand generation, and the Android platform is somewhat of a science experiment, difficult to use and incomplete when compared to Apple’s effort.”
Google is also concerned that the computer industry’s increasing shift to tablets could start to leave it behind once the devices become more widely used – something industry watchers say is happening fast.
According to Forrester, a research company, 55 million iPads were sold in December in the United States alone. But the online retailer Amazon has also carved out a segment of the rapidly growing tablet market. Forrester reports that an estimated 5.5 million Amazon Kindle Fires were sold in the first quarter of this year. Forrester forecasts that tablets will reach a third of the US adult population, 112.5 million US consumers, by 2016.
“Tablets have gained unstoppable momentum,” says Sarah Rotman Epps, an analyst for Forrester.
When it launches its tablets, Google will have to decide which end of the market to address. The Apple iPad is more than twice the price of an Amazon Kindle Fire in most markets and Amazon is being credited with gaining access to a vast market of consumers who could not previously afford tablet computers.
As the aim of Google’s strategy is to gain access to more loyal consumers, a low price point would be more effective.
“The question is what size screen such a tablet will offer – many observers expect it to offer a seven-inch screen, or thereabouts – and, more important, what its price will be,” says Mr Cripps.
There is also a growing view that Google may be forced to play a more direct role in tablet manufacturing as mainstream manufacturers become disappointed with sales of Android tablets in contrast to the success of the Apple iPad and the mushrooming popularity of the Amazon Kindle Fire.
“Doing their own tablet will likely only shift more cost to Google, something that the other OEMs [original equipment manufacturers], in hindsight, might actually prefer, given most seem to be losing their shirts in that segment,” says Mr Enderle.
Google has already had one other failed opportunity to address the move away from desktop to mobile computing. Two years ago, the company tried to compete in the smartphone market with the launch of a Google phone, manufactured by HTC, but sales proved disappointing. However, Google appears better placed in the tablet arena.
US customers were the first to embrace tablet computing as companies such as Apple and Amazon prefer to release new devices first in North America. But there is now dramatic new evidence that the lucrative US market for computers may only be the tip of a truly immense global market.
A Forrester survey of 9,912 technology users at small and medium enterprises in 17 countries reports that workers in Brazil, Russia, India and China, along with Mexico, lead the demand fortabletsat work. Another factor is that workers in those countries are willing to share with their employers the cost of acquiring tablet computers.
But Google must address this huge market successfully, and soon, to ensure enough new eyeballs on its website to meet future advertising revenue predictions.
Thursday 12th April 2012
Fifth-Generation Wi-Fi Is Coming shortly: You will be swept aside by the + 100 megs a second speeds
Fifth-generation Wi-Fi technology promises to deliver faster-than-cable speed–without the cables.
If your business has kept pace with changes in wireless networking, you’ve deployed dual-band routers and client adapters that can stream encrypted data over the airwaves at speeds greater than 100 megabits per second at relatively close range.
But no good deed goes unpunished. New hardware based on the nearly finished 802.11ac standard is about to debut, and it will make your existing wireless infrastructure feel as though it’s mired in molasses.
Though the standards body responsible for defining 802.11ac hasn’t finished dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s yet, semiconductor manufacturers Broadcom and Qualcomm Atheros are already sampling 802.11ac chipsets (Broadcom has labeled its effort “5G Wi-Fi”). Both companies are closely involved in defining the standard, and they promise to deliver firmware updates to correct for any minor changes that may creep into the standard between now and the moment it is ratified (probably later this year or early in 2013).
Wondering how the IEEE moved from 802.11n to 802.11ac? The standards body uses a new letter suffix to identify each new technical paper related to the 802.11 project, so the logical follow-ons to 802.11z were 802.11aa, 802.11ab, and now 802.11ac. At the risk of muddying the waters, there is an 802.11ad standard in the works, but it’s not the next step in mainstream wireless networking. WiGig, as that standard is known, is a short-range, line-of-site technology that uses the 60GHz frequency band to stream media.
Unlike 802.11n networking hardware, which can use either the 2.4GHz or the 5GHz frequency bands, 802.11ac devices will operate exclusively on the 5GHz band. The 2.4GHz band delivers better range, but Wi-Fi data streams that use it must compete with a multitude of other devices that operate at the same frequency–everything from microwave ovens to Bluetooth headsets). The 5GHz band contains many more available channels; and in the 802.11ac standard, each of those channels is 80MHz wide, versus the 40MHz width specified for channels under the 802.11n standard.
What’s more, 802.11ac will use a modulation scheme that quadruples the amount of data that will fit on an encoded carrier signal. The maximum bandwidth per spatial stream in 802.11n is 150 mbps, which means that an 802.11n router outfitted with three transmit and three receive antennas can deliver maximum theoretical throughput of 450 mbps. In contrast, the maximum bandwidth in 802.11ac jumps to 433 mbps per spatial stream, and the maximum number of spatial streams increases from three to eight. So the theoretical maximum throughput on an 802.11ac network will eventually be several times that of gigabit ethernet. First-generation devices, however, will be limited to using either two or three transmit and receive antennas to deliver a theoretical throughput maximum of 866 mbps or 1.3 gbps).
As we’ve seen with 802.11n networks, real-world throughput will likely be one-third to one-half as fast as the theoretical maximums. Still, even mobile devices outfitted with 802.11ac chipsets and just one transmit and one receive antenna–think smartphones and tablets–should be able to handle more than twice the bandwidth that today’s devices with 802.11n chipsets can manage. With bandwidth-intensive applications such as videoconferencing and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) moving from the desktop to smartphones and tablets, 802.11ac networks will become essential infrastructure elements for businesses large and small.
To overcome the 5GHz band’s shorter range, 802.11ac chipsets will utilize transmit and receive beam-forming technology. Beam forming was an optional element in the 802.11n spec, but its implementation is mandatory in 802.11ac. Most of today’s 802.11n devices use omnidirectional signal transmission and reception. Signals propagate in a series of concentric rings, like the ripples you create by dropping a stone in a pond.
With beam forming, the router and its clients develop an awareness of each other’s relative location, so they can coherently focus their transmission streams at each other. Without beam forming, reflected signals may arrive out-of-phase and cancel each other out, reducing total bandwidth. A beam-forming chipset can adjust the signals’ phase to overcome that problem, thereby substantially increasing usable bandwidth.
The first generation of 802.11ac routers, such as the Trendnet TEW-811DR, will be concurrent dual-band models that support 802.11n clients on the 2.4GHz frequency band and 802.11ac clients on the 5GHz band. These devices are likely to reach the market in the third quarter of this year. Laptops with 802.11ac chipsets should arrive in time for the winter holiday season, with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets following in early 2013. The Wi-Fi Alliance, the marketing consortium that has assumed responsibility for ensuring that wireless networking products interoperate properly, plans to begin its 802.11ac certification program in early 2013.
12th March 2012
The New iPad is out today now in Ireland
New iPad out now in Ireland
The newest iPad was launched today in Ireland along with 24 other countries. It went on sale at 8am this morning, though some iPad fans managed to get theirs at midnight.
The Irish Independent reports that while the official launch time was for 8am today, three Currys stores received permission to sell the next iPad after midnight. Currys sold more than 100 iPads during their earlier opening as a result.
The new iPad also went on sale on Apple’s Irish online store. Currently, shipping time is between one to two weeks.
The new tablet arrives in Ireland a week after its initial launch in the US, UK and eight other countries. It has already garnered a lot of success, selling 3m units in just three days in these regions.
As well as Ireland, the new iPad launched in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden today.
The new iPad has a 2,048 x 1,536 resolution Retina display, offering 264ppi on its screen with a 44pc better colour saturation than the iPad 2.
It runs on a A5X chip with quad core graphics and has a rear-facing camera with a 5-megapixel sensor.
The iPad offers a 10-hour battery life and comes in black and white in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models. Its prices range from €479 to €799.
3rd March 2012
Three Reasons why You Should have & Use Google+ In Your Business
Google+? Businesses are asking the same questions about Google+ as they were about Facebook several years ago. What is Google +? How does it work? Should I be using it? And how?
The answer is YES! Businesses should be engaged with Google+ if for no other reason than it is Google. Facebook may be the most widely-used social network, but Google is still the number one visited website attracting over 1 billion visitors per month. So a social network directly tied to the most-widely used search engine on the planet is definitely something worth paying attention to. Since the launch of Google+ less than a year ago, the social network has grown to over 90 million users and is the fastest-growing social network ever.
Google has a plan with Google+ to adopt users just like it does with all of its products, but with Google+ the plan is bigger than any other service it’s ever launched. Every Google service, like Mail, Reader and YouTube is integrated with Google+. For businesses, especially businesses selling goods online, the smartest and easiest step you can take is to implement the magic “+1” button everywhere on your site and every product listed on your site. Here’s why:
- Better social search rankings.
There should be an extra “S” added to SEO, because Google+ extends Search Engine Optimization, into Social Search Engine Optimization. There’s no question that the “+1” button is going to impact search results, but it is still up for speculation as to how exactly. Google is known for rewarding merchants who adopt its services. For example, when Google Checkout was launched, they gained a high adoption from companies by offering free ad words spend and free merchant use. Google’s greatest power is search rankings, so to entice online retailers to adopt and promote Google+ and the social search evolution, it developed into its search algorithm higher search rankings when the “+1” button is used, so if you enable consumers to +1 your products, and your competitor doesn’t, then you soar above in natural search rankings.
- It broadens your consumer appeal.
Unlike the Facebook Like button, the +1 button is not limited to use within the confines of the social network, but rather it’s open to anyone searching on Google. This opens up the possibility to reach a consumer audience that you were not aware of or who may not have been familiar with you and your products. It also builds the Social Search that Google is so aggressively moving towards. Google is more interested in understanding people and relationships than just content, and with the recent launch of Search Plus Your World, Google+ profiles, pages, and posts will be incorporated into search results. For example, when you search “Best Buy”, the search results for bestbuy.com shows that over 2,000 people have +1’d the website as well as who in your Google+ network has +1’d Best Buy or posted something pertaining to Best Buy.
- Potential to upsell, cross sell and just sell.
One of two actions can accompany the act of someone hitting the +1 button. They either 1) purchase the product they have +1’d or 2) they +1 your product and move on with their Web surfing. In either instance, consider the opportunities that become available to you. Hitting the +1 button is a direct action that enables you to have a direct response. Consider this: You can offer a consumer an incentive to +1 your product and to buy by offering a discount on their next purchase or free shipping. This is a great opportunity to not only build up your +1 endorsements to increase your social search ranking power, but also give the consumer an extra push to buy. Then you can capture the consumer data from the +1 endorsement, and use to send a targeted promotion or cross sell complimentary products.
The bottom line is that every business wants better visibility, so if the +1 button provides one more avenue to expose your brand and products, why not?
Friday 13th January 2012
Quad-core smart-phones coming very soon, says Nvidia
More quad-core smartphones may be announced next month
Smartphones using quad-core processors may not have made a splash at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but the devices will be coming in a few months, Nvidia said at the show.
Fujitsu was the only big company to preview a smartphone with a quad-core Tegra 3 quad-core processor from Nvidia.
CES is not an ideal launching pad for phones as it is more focused on tablets and computers, said Mike Rayfield, general manager of the mobile business unit at Nvidia.
But many quad-core smartphone models are in the works, and some product announcements could come as early as the telecom-focused Mobile World Congress 2012 trade show in Barcelona next month, Rayfield said. The smartphones will carry Nvidia’s Tegra 3 chip, which has a quad-core ARM processor and is already being used in tablets from Asustek and Lenovo.
“This is the year of quad-core,” Rayfield said. Nvidia has more phone design wins based on Tegra 3 than it had on its older dual-core Tegra 2.
Many smartphones today carry dual-core processors which deliver adequate performance and battery life, said David Kanter, analyst at Real World Technologies. Quad-core chips are a better bet for tablets, and it’s hard to get them into the low-power form factors such as smartphones, unless the device needs the high performance.
But tablets such as Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer Prime with quad-core chips have shown impressive battery life matching that of dual-core tablets. Quad-core chips deliver decent battery life when running at peak performance, but the story changes when the chip operates in power-saving mode in smartphones, as performance goes down significantly, according to Kanter.
The power spent by the quad-core chip in low-power mode could be too overwhelming for a smartphone and hurt battery life, he said.
Nevertheless, quad-core smartphones will ultimately appear by the end of the year, Kanter said, adding that Nvidia is currently the only company focused on making such smartphone chips.
Friday 6th January 2012
More than 170,000 .ie domains are registered by the end of 2011
More than 170,000 .ie domains by end of 2011
The total number of .ie domains reached 173,145 by the end of 2011, according to the IE Domain Registry (IEDR), growing by 12.9pc since 2010.
There were 20,995 registrations recorded between January and June and 18,403 registrations for the second half of the year. According to the IEDR, these greater registration levels for the first half of the year are in line with trends from previous years.
Its current non-renewal rate is 12.8pc, an improvement on 2010’s level of 14pc. Once these non-renewals were taken into account, there were 19,726 net additional .ie domains for 2011, which is a 12.6pc increase on the previous year.
“We are pleased to report continued strong .ie registration rates which have been achieved against the backdrop of very challenging times for Irish business,” said David Curtin, chief executive of the IE Domain Registry.
“Much credit is due to our registrar community for their collective efforts in supporting the growth of Ireland’s top-level domain, which remains the domain of choice for those registering websites in the Irish market,” he said.
More than 4,000 domains were registered in one month, which coincided with the IEDR’s launch of its OPTIMISE initiative. This aimed to encourage SMEs to exploit the potential of online sales, giving 10 companies €10,000 of support to implement e-commerce functionality to their sites.
Its Domain Industry Report found that two-thirds of Irish business had websites and of those, only 21pc offer e-commerce functionality. The IEDR believes that these campaigns increased registrations throughout the year, but still feels that more needs to be done to encourage Irish SMEs to embrace e-commerce. As a result, it will create more initiatives in 2012 to promote this message.
“While growth of the .ie domain continues there is still significant untapped potential in the market for Irish businesses – to establish and grow their e-business through online sales and for those currently with an online portal, to further exploit the benefits of what is a 24/7 sales channel without borders,” said Curtin.
“The IEDR will, as part of its commitment to managing Ireland’s top-level domain in the interests of the Irish internet community, continue to play its part in providing a leadership role in both raising awareness of this important issue and running targeted initiatives to support Irish SMEs reach their online potential,”
Apple has plans to use hydrogen in batteries allowing iPhones and iPods to hold a charge for WEEKS
Batteries as you know them may become a thing of the past for your Apple products as the company hopes to use hydrogen cells to produce lighter batteries that could last for weeks.
The company is staying on the cutting edge as they have recently submitted applications for patents to create new energy sources for their products.
The filings that the company submitted seem to have rather bold promises of allowing electronics to run for days or weeks without having to be recharged.
Products: The new energy sources would be used for many or all Apple products
‘Such fuel cells and associated fuels can potentially achieve high volumetric and gravimetric energy densities, which can potentially enable continued operation of portable electronic devices for days or even weeks without refuelling,’ the filings report.
Not only would their plan to use hydrogen fuel cells get rid of ‘the need for a bulky and heavy battery’ but it would also help the environment.
Lighter and longer: The proposed hydrogen fuel batteries would allow Apple products to weigh less and last for weeks without being recharged
By switching from standard batteries which use toxic chemicals to hydrogen, the by-products of the new technology would only be water and electrical energy.
‘Our country’s continuing reliance on fossil fuels has forced our government to maintain complicated political and military relationships with unstable governments in the Middle East, and has also exposed our coastlines and our citizens to the associated hazards of offshore drilling,’ the company wrote in it’s patent application.
‘These problems have led to an increasing awareness and desire on the part of consumers to promote and use renewable energy sources,’ it continued.
The idea of hydrogen fuel technology isn’t new, but this is the clearest indication of exactly what the company intends to do to improve users experiences with the iPod or iPhone.
Apple Insider reported that the first round of patent applications on the subject came in October when they filed papers that mentioned ‘lighter and more efficient hydrogen fuel cells’.
While the iPhone 4S was released after the death of legendary Apple founder Steve Jobs in October, a technological breakthrough like an entirely different battery would be a massive upswing for the company.
The new iPhone 5 is still on the imminent horizon, as initial predictions put its release date at sometime in late December.
Google to launch new Nexus tablet early next year
INTERNET SEARCH GIANT Google might have revealed plans to launch a Nexus tablet within the next six months.
Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt spoke of the firm’s plans to launch a high-end tablet to Italian web site Corriere Della Sera. The Nexus brand isn’t specifically mentioned but we imagine Google would use the same name as its smartphones.
Schmidt said, “In the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality.”
The Nexus smartphones have been consistently popular and successful so it’s possible that the firm wants to extend that success into the tablet market. The tablet would have to pack some serious specifications to rival the Ipad 2 and Ipad 3, whatever that turns out to be.
Schmidt also spoke about to continuing competition with rival vendors like Apple and said, “And in mobile communications, the smartphone market, you will see brutal competition between Apple and Google Android. It is capitalism.”
We would certainly be interested in checking out a high-end Nexus tablet from Google, ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
Friday 16th Dec.2011.
GMIT (GALWAY-MAYO) and NUI Galway launch Code Ninja app contest
The Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT) and NUI Galway have launched a new competition called Code Ninja designed to encourage students to build their own apps.
The competition is open to all disciplines of students at both institutes who want to build their own web or mobile app. They can create an app under numerous categories, including social, games, entertainment and education.
Entrees will get to take part in training and workshops on how to design and code apps, and obtain mentoring and feedback on their work. Prizes include an iPad, iPod touch and other cash awards.
“This is a unique opportunity for NUI Galway and GMIT students from any discipline to work on the leading edge of web technology,” said Dr Jim Duggan of NUI Galway and Dr Dean Duignan of GMIT.
“Students from any discipline can learn new skills, network with the technology entrepreneurs and academic experts with a view to fostering a culture of creativity and excitement, as well as adding value to their curriculum vitae,” they said.
Code Ninja is part of both institutes’ aims to foster a culture of innovation across their respective campuses. It’s supported by the Bright Ideas Initiative at NUI Galway, GMIT, ExOrdo for Academics and OnepageCRM
The National College of Ireland (NCI) has announced its intentions to develop a Cloud Competency Centre.
The centre will support and strengthen the development of the cloud computing industry in Ireland and abroad, said a launch statement. The college said that it aims to “fulfil the rapidly growing educational needs of the cloud computing and web technology sectors.”
The cloud competency centre will be part of NCI’s School of Computing, which delivers programmes from certificate to doctorate level and is already a leading provider of education in the cloud computing area.
“The cloud computing industry has the potential to be a critical contributor to the Irish economy in terms of growth and providing jobs,” said Dr Phillip Matthews, president, NCI. “As the industry is still evolving worldwide, there are real opportunities for Ireland to position itself as a global leader in this field. By establishing one of the first significant centres of excellence for teaching and research in cloud computing, National College of Ireland seeks to support Ireland in taking a leadership role in this vital industry.”
A new position is being created in the college to lead the Cloud Competency Centre, for which the college is currently recruiting. As well as creating a centre of excellence for advanced learning and research in cloud computing, NCI said that the role holder will have responsibility for establishing the centre and its strategic and operational management.
The Dean of NCI’s School of Computing, Dr Pramod Pathak, said the establishment of the Centre would help to bridge the recognised skills shortage in the web technologies and cloud computing areas. “The establishment of the Centre is fully supported and endorsed by international and local industry at the very highest level. In addition to providing educational programmes and undertaking relevant industry research, the Centre will support many organisations in migrating to a cloud based platform and provide business incubation opportunities as well as an established route to commercialisation,” said Dr Pathak.
The centre has been developed in collaboration with a high level advisory board, which consists of industry representatives from companies including Microsoft, IBM, Fujitsu and Google. Many indigenous Irish ICT organisations, across various sectors of the business and technology communities, are also represented on the advisory board. These include Staff Balance, Tradefacilitate, DANU Technologies and Orca Resources.
“The cloud computing industry,” said Regina Moran, CEO, Fujitsu Ireland and Chair of ICT Ireland, “is facing significant demand for specific ICT skills and we wholeheartedly welcome the establishment of the NCI Cloud Competency Centre. With a balance of real-world and academic subject matter, coupled with a problem based learning approach, we believe the Centre will have a significantly positive impact on the quality and quantity of Ireland’s graduates, which will increase our global competitiveness in this critical field.”
Hands-on: OnLive comes to the iPad and other tablets
Previously, the service was available on PCs (Windows and OS X), as well as TVs, via a standalone interface called the MicroConsole (there was also an iPad app that allowed you to watch games being played on the service, but not play them yourself).
The new wireless controller, an updated version of the previous PC/MicroConsole OnLive wireless controller, uses Bluetooth to connect to iOS and Android devices, working hand-in-hand with a dedicated OnLive app for each platform. If you’re not familiar with the OnLive streaming game service, it’s essentially cloud-based PC gaming.
The original PC client allows nearly any laptop or desktop to play high-end PC games by offloading the CPU- and GPU-intensive tasks of actually running the game software to a remote render farm, then beaming the gameplay back to you as a streaming video.
The game library mixes a handful of new, hit games with some older, casual, and indie games, and most of the 200-odd titles will be playable on Android tablets, the iPad, and even smartphones. Some of these devices, such as the Kindle Fire, can play only a smaller subset of games via onscreen controls, as they currently lack any way to connect the wireless controller (and the Nook Tablet is not supported yet).
OnLive will also work over AT&T and Verizon 4G LTE networks, on devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab, Motorola Xoom, and HTC Jetstream. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Thursday 10th Nov.2011
Samsung Windows 8 Tablet Coming in Second Half of 2012The head of sales and marketing for Samsung’s PC business said the device will probably be a modified version of Samsung’s Series 7 slate.
Microsoft hasn’t announced a Windows 8 release date yet, but Samsung is already talking about its plans to launch a Windows 8 tablet in the second half of 2012.
After a critical outage that left some BlackBerry users without e-mail for as many as three days, RIM is offering customers $100 worth of premium apps for free. Enterprise customers also get a month’s worth of technical support. The problem is, the BlackBerry faithful stick with you for primarily one reason: your excellent e-mail service. If they wanted games, media apps and other whiz-bang features, they would have fled to an iPhone or Android smartphone already. You lose your e-mail, even for one day, and you lose your best reason for keeping a BlackBerry. “(RIM) has to do something really substantial, something that makes people go wow,” said Lance Strate, a professor of communications and media studies for Fordham University. So here’s a modest proposal: work with your retail and carrier partners to get your customers early upgrades to new BlackBerrys. For some of your best customers, hand them out for free. Already own a new BlackBerry? Throw in a Bluetooth handset or other accessory. Sure, giving away phones sounds like sacrilege at a company that generates the bulk of its revenue from hardware, but bear with me. Such a program would buy a massive amount of goodwill from peeved customers. You could even snatch away the spotlight from Apple’s latest iPhone launch. RIM’s BlackBerry DevCon conference starts tomorrow. Just think how different the atmosphere would be if attendees were buzzing about the new BlackBerry program instead of grousing about the outage. There are longer-term advantages, too. You can lock in customers that may have been tempted by the new iPhone or the latest wave of Android smartphone. You’re so proud of the latest BlackBerry operating system? Here’s a great way to get more users to try it out. Yes, your margins would take a hit. But right now, the smartphone business is all about market share, and you’re on the losing end. Keeping existing customers–particularly loyal ones–in the fold with new BlackBerrys is one way to preserve your base. Unlike other analysts and bloggers who think the outage sounds the death knell for RIM, I think there’s still time to repair your image. While customers may be angry, service contracts, business ties and other impediments keep most people from leaving right away. ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… HTC Launches Next Sensation Model, The XL Phone HTC said on Thursday that its latest smartphone in its Sensation series, the XL, with the Beats audio technology, will go on sale at the beginning of November across Europe and Asia.
India launched what it dubbed the world’s cheapest tablet computer Wednesday, to be sold to students at the subsidized price of €26 and later in shops for about €45. Most of India’s 1.2 billion people are poor and products such as Apple Inc’s iPad are beyond the reach even of many in the fast-growing middle class. “The rich have access to the digital world, the poor and ordinary have been excluded. Aakash will end that digital divide,” Telecoms and Education Minister Kapil Sibal said. The government is buying the first units of the lightweight touch-screen device, called Aakash, or “sky” in Hindi, for €38 each from a British company which is assembling the web-enabled devices in India. A pilot run of 100,000 units will be given to students for free, with the first 500 handed out at the launch to a mixed response. It supports video conferencing, has two USB ports and a three-hour battery life but some users said it was slow. India has a reputation for creating affordable products that are easy to use and sturdy enough to handle its rugged environment — from Tata Motors’ €1517 Nano car to generic versions of pharmaceuticals. Two years in development, the paperback book-sized Aakash may help the government’s goal of incorporating information technology in education, although critics were doubtful of its mass appeal. Despite being a leader in software and IT services, India trails fellow BRIC nations Brazil, Russia and China in the drive to get the masses connected to the Internet and mobile phones, a report by risk analysis firm Maplecroft said this year. The number of Internet users grew 15-fold between 2000 and 2010 in India, according to another recent report. Still, just 8 percent of Indians have access. That compares with nearly 40 percent inChina. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Now: Sony Introduces the World’s Lightest 6″ e Reader Sony launched its lightest touch screen 6″ eReader device ever, Reader Wi-Fi (PRS-T1), providing the most natural and immersive reading experience yet for book lovers. The new Reader Wi-Fi builds on the popularity of last year’s line, while reducing size and weight and incorporating new and enhanced features. At under 6 ounces and with a 6″ E-Ink Pearl V220 touch screen, Reader Wi-Fi is smaller than an average paperback book, can easily fit into a bag or pocket and is available in three color choices: black, red or white. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Amazon’s 7-Inch Tablet @ €175;
Could Challenge the iPod The 7-inch tablet
It sports a color touchscreen, looks much like a BlackBerry PlayBook, and has no physical buttons on the surface of the device. And it comes at a bargain price of €175
Yes, reports Tech-Crunch’s MG Siegler, rumors of Amazon making a full-fledged tablet device are true. It’s called the Amazon Kindle but is different from other Kindles. Siegler says he actually used the design verification version of the 7-inch tablet, which is due for release at the end of November and will be priced at only €175. At the competitive price and considering Amazon’s wealth of content, the new device could put a dent in other manufacturers’ tablet sales — maybe even Apple’s. Amazon built the operating system on top of some version of Android prior to 2.2, effectively forking Google’s OS to build its own version for the Kindle. Amazon has deeply integrated its services in this new tablet with a Kindle app for reading books, Amazon’s Cloud Player for music, Amazon’s Instant Video player for watching movies, and Amazon’s Android Appstore (not Google’s Android Market). It also has a Web browser and Google search is set as default. Siegler believes it runs on a single-core chip and only has 6 GB of internal storage. The initial version of the device will be WiFi-only and has a micro-USB port and speakers, but no camera. The really big news is the price. It will compete with the similarly priced Barnes & Noble Nook Colour, although Amazon will be sweetening the deal by giving buyers a free subscription to Amazon Prime. The service costs €55 a year and gives users free unlimited two-day shipping, no minimum purchases for free shipping, and access to Amazon’s Instant Video service. Amazon plans to release a more expensive 10-inch tablet in early 2012 while continuing to sell its existing e-ink-based Kindles alongside the new versions. ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. Mobile phones could soon be ‘powered by walking’ As we walk, we waste energy that could be harvested to work your mobile phone.
Taking a stroll may soon be enough to re-charge your mobile phone, after US researchers developed a way to generate electricity from human motion.
Placed in a shoe, the device captures the energy of moving micro droplets and converts it into electrical current. Kinetic charging is already used in some low power devices such as watches and sensors. The University of Wisconsin team published its study in the journal Nature Communications. “Humans, generally speaking, are very powerful energy-producing machines,” said Professor Tom Krupenkin from the university’s mechanical engineering department. “While sprinting, a person can produce as much as a kilowatt of power.” That, according to the scientists, is more than enough to power a standard mobile phone. Although similar methods exist for low power electronics, up until now there was no practical mechanical to electrical conversion technology that could provide such high levels of output, Prof Krupenkin explained. “What’s been missing is the power in the watts range,” said Dr Ashley Taylor, a colleague of Prof Krupenkin. “That’s the power range needed for portable electronics.” On a larger scale, power-generating mats have been installed under the floors at two Tokyo train stations to capture the vibrations of the thousands of commuters. The recovered energy is used to power a number of appliances, including the stations’ automatic doors. The new personal mechanism uses a principle known as “reverse electrowetting” – converting the energy of moving microscopic liquid droplets into an electrical current. Once placed in a shoe, the device – which consists of thousands of these electrically conductive droplets – is able to generate electrical energy. There is enough power, according to the researchers, to charge a standard mobile phone or laptop. Getting the energy from the device to the handset presents another challenge. One way is to plug a USB cable into the shoe – probably not the most practical option.A more sophisticated solution suggested by the University of Wisconsin team is to have the electricity-generating device connected to a shoe-bound wireless transmitter. This would take care of the power hungry part of a mobile phone’s job – making radio contact with remote base stations. Signals could be passed between the unit and the user’s handset by more efficient short-range systems such as bluetooth or wifi. The two scientists now aim to commercialise their technology at the company they have recently founded – InStep NanoPower. Dr Patrick Joseph-Franks from the National Physical Laboratory who has also researched ways to harness energy that is otherwise wasted called the research a step in the right direction. “When you want to charge something like a mobile phone, you want to be generating the energy locally, and the fact that you’re walking around is probably the most obvious means of getting that,” he said. “Whether it’s better than [carrying] some efficient solar cell on you somewhere, I don’t know.” ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Touch-Droid Will Turn Touch-Pads Into Android Tablets
Aug 23, 2011: The lucky people who managed to buy a €99 TouchPad before they sold out just got luckier: A group of developers is working on a way to load Android onto the tablets.
Hewlett-Packard said last week it would stop making the TouchPad and that it was exploring options for the webOS software that runs on the device. It has also dropped the price of the 16GB TouchPad to €99, making it one of the best tablet deals around. Still, people who bought it took a risk, since it’s not clear if HP will continue to develop the operating system. That risk may now pay off since the TouchPad could become the best-value Android tablet. Three developers and other supporters have launched the TouchDroid project and plan to soon begin porting an older version of Android, known as Gingerbread, to the tablets. “So you’ve plunked down your €99/€149, and you’re staring at that WebOS screen… Welcome to a grand effort to port Android to the HP Touchpad,” they wrote on a wiki page about the project. The group is having to start its work with Gingerbread because Google has not released the source code for Honeycomb, the version of Android for tablets that first became available on the Motorola Xoom in February. Once Ice Cream Sandwich, the next version of Android, becomes available, they’ll focus on that version of the OS, according to the wiki site. The developers said there’s no way to know how long it will be before they can release a working version of Android for the tablet. “Figure this will take a good long while. Keep your expectations very low and for now enjoy WebOS,” the site says. Further complicating the initiative, some of the developers don’t yet have TouchPads. “Until all of the #touchdroid developers receive their devices, project development will be very slow or at a standstill this week,” according to the HP Touch-Droid Twitter feed. Companies including Best Buy, CompUSA, Staples, CDW and Circuit City say they have sold out of Touchpads online, and in some cases in stores too. Best Buy wrote in a forum Sunday that it had completely sold out of TouchPads and that it would not be receiving any more. Amazon lists some TouchPads for sale, at higher prices than €99 and from little-known retailers. On Monday, HP said interest in the TouchPad was so high that it was having trouble keeping a website about the product online. “The amount of traffic to the TouchPad availability page is causing issues,”HP said via its main Twitter page. The website currently says: “Due to the significant price reduction, we experienced overwhelming demand for the product and are temporarily out of stock” More units are on the way, however. HP Social Media Manager Bryna Corcoran said via Twitter that the company was restocking. “No more being made, but have inventory coming from ones already manufactured,” she wrote. Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy’s e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The PC Isn`t Dead, It`s Just Evolved Into Some New Forms v
When IBM-PC pioneer Mark Dean said that we’re entering the Post-PC era, a lot of people were surprised. After all, here’s a guy who is IBM’s CTO for the Middle East and Africa, one of the actual developers of the original IBM-PC, saying that its glory days are over. Who’d a thunk it?
But of course Dean is correct. When he wrote in his blog that the PC had passed the point of being the dominant type of computer in business, he wasn’t saying that there wouldn’t be any more PCs. What he was saying is that computing isn’t about a specific platform any more. It no longer about a box sitting on a desk. It’s about computing becoming ubiquitous. Computing has become integral to how the world works. Our personal computer is now our smartphone, tablet, notebook, netbook—whatever we happen to have within reach. It’s about the Cloud, that mysterious information source you can neither touch nor feel, but which invisibly enriches every aspect of your computing life, Personal computing is also about the Web server at the other end of that search query you entered into your smartphone or the even the mainframe that recorded the bank account transfer you executed from your netbook. Leaving aside the IBM marketing-speak that invades this and much else that IBM publishes, the fact is that Dean is acknowledging a basic transformation in how computing works these days. Importantly, it’s a transformation that Dean played a major role in creating. IBM moved out of the PC business not because it wasn’t profitable, because it was. It was because IBM wanted to move beyond device specific computing. To put this in context, I was already writing about things called personal computers before IBM introduced its first IBM-PC. My first article about computing involved something nobody else will remember called an S-100 bus and a computer that you had to boot with an octal keypad. In those days there were no platform wars because most of us built our own platforms from actual discrete components. But things have changed, moving progressively from the first Apple and Heathkit computers, through the PC and the Mac, and then into the world of laptop computers. That eventually led to smartphones and tablets and for a while now we’ve been indulging ourselves with battles over whether iOS or Android or Windows, Linux or MacOS is superior. Perhaps you’ve noticed that I haven’t taken a stand on those issues for one simple reason – platform wars are in reality pretty silly. Basically, all of the partisans of whatever stripe, regardless of whether it’s the iPhone or an Android device, whether it’s a computer running Linux, or MacOS or Windows are really missing the point. The computer as a device isn’t the end. It’s the means to an end. What matters is that the ability to utilize a computing device is available when you need it, in a form that will serve your needs and that is capable of doing the job you need done. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ How to upload your pictures on Twitter Share images with your Twitter followers This week, Twitter began rolling out its own photo posting function that allows users of the micro-blogging service to share images without the need for a third-party app such as TwitPic. We’ve previously shown you how to use TwitPic to upload images to the micro-blogging site, but here we show you how to use Twitter’s own integrated photo posting tool. Step one Start by signing-in to your Twitter account. Step two Click your mouse in in the ‘tweet box’, which is located under the heading ‘What’s happening’ at the top of the Twitter window. Now press the Camera icon that appears at the bottom left of the tweet box. Step three, A Windows Explorer box will pop-up. Use this to trawl your hard drive and locate the image you want to upload. Press Open. Step four, A small thumbnail of the image will appear ion the tweet box. If you want to add some text to accompany your image, click in the tweet box and type your comments. Then when you’re happy, press Tweet and your image will appear as a link on your Twitter page. It’s worth noting that at present Twitter’s own photo-posting tool has only been rolled-out to web users and its not currently available through its mobile app. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Computers That You Can Wear Experts predict that wearable computing will be the next big thing, but some exciting devices are already here It’s an exciting time for the wearable-computing industry. Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen declared in a interview that wearable computers were the next big thing for Silicon Valley, and the past few months have seen a flurry of new product announcements in the arena. A device that records everything you see for later playback, a bracelet that comfortably and discreetly monitors your health, Dick Tracy’s watch phone–these devices aren’t just coming soon, they’re here. For instance, WIMM Labs announced just this week a new line of Android-powered devices small enough to fit on your wrist but powerful enough to help you keep track of your calendar, the weather, and more. As our own Ed Oswald was quick to point out, however, we’ve had the technology for these kinds of devices for years. Microsoft’s similar SPOT watch launchedway back in 2003. Wearable computing has already become part of our lives. What else is on the way? Travis Bogard, vice president of product management and strategy for Jawbone, says that the next few years should see wearable computing expand to new areas as consumers become more comfortable with the idea. Jawbone is best known for its line of Bluetooth headsets, but recently it announced Up, a bracelet that will launch by the end of the year. The discreet device will keep tabs on what you eat and how you sleep, and it will monitor your movement to help you see how much exercise you get. You’ll be able to stay on top of all that information via a phone app that lets you check your data throughout the day. As exotic as these devices may seem, in many ways they’re just a natural extension of a wearable-computing lifestyle that has already found adherents. Over 3 million runners currently use the Nike+iPod system to keep track of their exercise. The small Nike+ sensor, which costs approx. €20, fits into the heel of a running shoe and records how far and how strenuously you run. The device, coupled with an attractive Web interface, has helped runners log over 420 million miles’ worth of exercise since it debuted in 2006. The Nike+ system is just the tip of the iceberg for the wearable-health industry. For several years, companies such as BodyMedia, with its approx. €180 FIT armband, and Apex Fitness, with the approx €200 BodyBugg system, have offered devices that can monitor how many calories you burn during the day and, with the help of an online food journal, help you lose weight. What’s Next? The next step for wearable computing may be a focus on the design of wearable-computing devices. Traditionally, wearable computing has valued function over form–but with smaller and more comfortable devices such as the Up and the Nike+ on the market, that’s changing. Jawbone’s Travis Bogard says the end goal is to take wearable computing from a novelty to an almost invisible part of our daily lives. “You want to be able to stay connected with all that information, and you want to do it in a way that can get onto the body in a seamless way,” Bogard says. Jawbone has some experience in that area. From the very beginning, the company has seen its Bluetooth headsets as wearable computers. “In a world where you’re out there mobile and moving around, in that mobile world, the reality is that we use our hands and eyes to navigate,” Bogard says. Some wearable-computing concepts obstruct the user’s vision with complicated overlays, or occupy the user’s hands with miniature keyboards. Such designs keep users from interacting with the world normally. Bogard says Jawbone thinks of its headphones as a solution to this problem. “Audio is interesting because it doesn’t use up those resources,” he says. And freeing people to use their eyes and hands normally is “a key element of interacting with computing without having to be so physically engaged with it.” Bogard argues that every time you put on a Bluetooth headset, you’re already taking part in the wearable-computing revolution. The experience is just so commonplace, and so comfortable, that we don’t even notice it anymore. But for Bogard, at least, that isn’t just a side effect of good design–it’s the goal. Bogard believes good design should be invisible to the end user, and only when it becomes a natural extension of ourselves will the technology really take off. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A Video of Nissan’s electric car that can power a House
Click this link to ses the Video: Video Source: IDGNS http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/videos/3295218/video-nissans-electric-car-can-power-a-house/
In a twist on conventional charging for electric cars, Nissan has developed a system that allows a vehicle to supply electricity to power a house. A prototype of the system, which is due out before April 2012, is already on show in Japan. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Are internet Explorers a bit Dumb
Are users of other Web browsers smarter than the people who use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer?
A new survey doesn’t quite say so. But it sure as heck suggests it.
The survey by AptiQuant, a Vancouver-based Web consulting company, gave more than 100,000 participants an IQ test, while monitoring which browser they used to take the test.
The result? Internet Explorer users scored lower than average, while Chrome, Firefox and Safari users were slightly above average.
And users of the more obscure Camino and Opera browsers, as well as those using Explorer with Chrome Frame (a plug-in designed to let users view emerging HTML5 content), had what AptiQuaint called “exceptionally higher” IQ levels.
Those numbers, it should be noted, probably aren’t very scientific. The field of test-takers was self-selecting — people who chose, on their own, to take an IQ test instead of a scientifically selected study group. They found the test through Web searches or ads the company placed online.
The report suggests that people using Explorer, the built-in, default browser for Windows-based computers, may be more resistant to change. A similar study in 2006 showed users on the then-current IE browser scored above average.
Internet Explorer is the world’s most popular browser, with about a 43% share, according to StatCounter. Firefox has just under 30%, and Google’s Chrome has 19%, according to a report from May. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 28th July. By 2012 Eircom to connect 100,000 homes
Irish telco to invest €100 million in fibre rollout; plans to launch IPTV services.
Irish operator Eircom this week announced it will invest €100 million to roll out fibre broadband to 100,000 homes and businesses by the summer of 2012.
“Our investment of over €100 million underlines the company’s commitment to be the nation’s network provider of choice, and to support economic growth in Ireland,” Paul Donovan, CEO of Eircom, said in a statement Thursday.
Phase one of its plan involves replacing old copper wires with a mixture of Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) and Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) infrastructure. Customers connected via FTTC will see speeds of up to 40Mbps, while those hooked up to FTTH connections may reach speeds of up to 150Mbps, said Eircom.
An Eircom spokesman told Total Telecom that the telco has yet to determine what proportion of the 100,000 premises will be upgraded to FTTH, and how many will be connected FTTC, commenting that it depends on the exchange.
After phase one the telco hopes to continue its investment into fibre-optic technologies, and plans to extend its network to cover 1 million homes by the end of the three-to-four-year process.
It is still unclear how many phases there are to Eircom’s next-generation network plan, either. “We’re not 100% sure,” said Eircom’s spokesman. “That is a question to be determined.”
However, he insisted that the company is confident it will reach its target of connecting 1 million premises. As well as broadband, Eircom plans to use its fibre network to offer a range of IPTV, video on demand (VoD), and catch-up TV services. It currently offers a music streaming service called MusicHub, and believes that the new services will compliment its current portfolio.
********************************************************************* Software development and engineering roles for Dublin and Galway Global business software provider, SAP, is to increase its software development capacity in Ireland, adding a new 1,350 square meter facility in Citywest which will be home to an additional 100 technical staff. Business Software Provider Leases New 1350sq metre Facility to House Growing R & D Software Team. SAP has announced that it has started recruiting for 100 jobs, which includes software development and engineering roles. The jobs will be based at the IT giant’s Irish operations in Dublin and Galway, where SAP provides services and support for its customers in EMEA and the US. SAP currently employs more than 1,100 people in Ireland. The new jobs are thanks to the extension of its Citywest site, which is being supported by regional development agency IDA Ireland. In May, SAP Business Objects revealed it was adding 75 staff to its Dublin site, in roles including technical support. ************************************************************************* Wednesday 6th. July 2011
No More Mobile Phone Bills Shock? EU Proposes Mobile Roaming Caps at last.
The European Commission on Wednesday Unveiled a proposal that would extend caps on mobile roaming charges and allow consumers to use a different carrier when travelling abroad. (Click here to connect to) Europa website Under the proposal, roaming rates would drop over the next few years so that by July 1, 2014, customers would pay no more than €0.24 per minute to make a call, €0.10 per minute to receive a call, €0.10 to send a text, or €0.50 per MB to download data or surf the Web. The rates would remain in effect until at least mid-2016. “This proposal tackles the root cause of the problem—the lack of competition on roaming markets—by giving customers more choice and by giving alternative operators easier access to the roaming market,” Neelie Kroes, European Commission vice president for the Digital Agenda, said in a statement. “It would also immediately bring down prices for data roaming, where operators currently enjoy outrageous profit margins.” As many of you know, traveling overseas with a mobile phone can be an expensive affair. Unlimited data plans convert to per MB charges, and you can come home to a massive bill. The EU has been working on this issue, dubbed “bill shock,” for several years. In 2008, it agreed to cap wholesale prices of roamed mobile phone texts and data downloading between July 2009 and July 2012. Today’s proposal, the EU said, will pass the savings to consumers. Under the plan, consumers could sign up for a separate phone service while traveling, but use the same phone number. Data charges for the trip would be capped at €50, unless the customer specifically says otherwise. Currently, there is no per megabyte cap for data service, but the EU proposal would set it at €0.90 by July 1, 2012. A year later, it would drop to €0.70, and by July 1, 2014, it would be at €0.50. Rates for voice calls and text messages would decrease in a similar manner. The current rate for placing a call is €0.35, which would drop to €0.32, €0.28, and €0.24 in the next three years. Text message rates, meanwhile, remain at €0.11 until July 1, 2013, when they would drop to €0.10. The proposal must now be approved by the European Parliament and EU’s Council of Ministers. In the U.S., the FCC handed down rules in April that will require wireless carriers to offer “reasonable” data roaming rates. The rules will let wireless users stay connected when they travel outside their own network’s coverage areas by connecting to another provider’s network, the FCC said. That prompted a lawsuit from Verizon, which argued that that the commission does not have the authority to establish such restrictions. ********************************************************************** Friday 1st. July 2011. Richard Bruton to set up cloud tech group THE MINISTER for Enterprise has announced plans to establish an implementation group to examine how the public sector can best adopt the latest cloud-computing technologies. Scheduled to hold its first meeting later this month, it will include representatives from relevant Government departments, the Data Protection Commissioner, IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland. Richard Bruton said it was crucial that the Government, as a major user of IT in the economy, took a lead to provide “opportunities and economies of scale for growing businesses in this sector”. “Ireland is extremely well placed to take advantage of the rapidly growing international potential of cloud computing,” he told a conference on the new technology in Dublin yesterday, organised by Public Affairs Ireland. He cited a recent report commissioned by Microsoft which estimated that by 2014, the cloud computing industry here could be worth €9.5 billion and employ 8,600 people. The economic downturn made it more urgent than ever “to seize the efficiencies” offered by the latest technologies, Mr Bruton said. Data Protection Commissioner Billy Hawkes earlier told delegates that a key challenge would be to guarantee the safety and security of personal data. Mr Hawkes said there was a paradox at the heart of the new technology in that holding data in the “cloud” could be both a risk and a protection. “The massive concentration of data in the cloud is an invitation to attackers, but such concentration can provide the economies of scale that justify expenditure on more robust security.” *********************************************************************** Monday 27th. June 2011. Donie Says: Microsoft to put Wi-Fi over free TV spectrum on trial Tech giant joins BT, Sky and BBC in trial
Microsoft has joined forces with the (Click these Links) BBC, Sky and BT to discover whether the spectrums used for digital TV broadcasts can be utilised for Wi-Fi networks
Not all of the 470 MHz to 790 MHz spectrum will be used for digital TV transmissions and it is hoped the unused frequencies, which are known as ‘white space’ can be utilised to provide Wi-Fi networks in areas where existing networks are overcrowded or in locations that currently don’t have any form of broadband access, such as rural areas. The firms, which also includes phone manufacturers Nokiaand Samsung, are planning to trial the technology in Cambridge. “Spectrum is a finite natural resource. We can’t make more and we must use it efficiently and wisely,” Dan Reed from Microsoft told the (Link) Financial Times. “The TV white spaces offer tremendous potential to extend the benefits of wireless connectivity to many more people, in more locations, through the creation of super Wi-Fi networks.” The trial will commence on Wednesday June 29. However, Stephen Rayment, chief technology officer, at (Link) Bel Air Networks said that while many see white space spectrum as a solution to coverage problems associated with wireless broadband, mobile operators should also think about how they can address capacity issues. “The vast surges in data consumption are wreaking havoc across 3G networks, particularly in areas of high user concentration,” he said. Rayment said operators are looking at Wi-Fi as a solution for offloading data traffic to alleviate congestion and herein lies the true potential of white spaces for operators. “Firstly, it can be used to augment licensed spectrum and deliver 1.5 times the capacity of 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi in the UK. In addition, the broad reach brought by the 700 MHz band spectrum allocation of white space can be used to extend this vast capacity into office buildings where operators continue to experience coverage problems,” he said. “White space’s membership to the Wi-Fi family of standards means it will be supported by a plethora of supporting devices and economies of scale that drive chip prices down. ********************************************* Samsung to Release Successor of the Galaxy SII? If Samsung wants to compete with Apple, they will have to release their flagship at around the same time as Apple, right? Following that as rule of thumb probably, there are rumours that Samsung will be upgrading their flagship smartphone – the Galaxy SII, and launch it sometime in August or September. According to Pop Herald, Samsung is working on what they call the Galaxy SII “Plus” which will boast of a slight improvement in specifications. Apparently, they came to know about the same through some of their sources in Asia. There are two different versions about what the device will be named though. While the Galaxy SII “Plus” seems to be the most probable, others are saying that Samsung will completely drop this handset from the Galaxy branding. The specifications that are being spoken of are that the smartphone will be running on the latest flavour for Android aka Gingerbread 2.3.4. Also, the Galaxy SII “Plus” will be powered by a dual-core processor clocking 1.4 GHz and have 1 GB of RAM. These guys also say that there’s confirmation of Apple launching the iPhone 5 in September this year. Like all rumours, we advise you take it with a pinch of salt. ************************************************************************* Sunday 26th. June 2011.
Google’s great need for speed?
Google this week ramped up internet search speeds by letting people use speech or images to express what they want faster. Google engineers also shaved precious seconds off the time it takes for web pages to display after links are clicked on in search results. “We at Google will not be happy until we make the web as easy to flip through as a magazine,” Google fellow Amit Singhal said in San Francisco. “We measure every millisecond. The time it takes Google to return a result is negligible compared to how long it takes the user to enter the query.” On the other end of the search, it takes an average of five seconds for a web page to load once a person has clicked on a link listed in query results, according to Singhal. Members of Google’s search team rolled out its latest innovations crafted to deliver knowledge sought “in the blink of an eye”. Google enhancements spanned all gadgets, from desktops using Chrome software to browse the Net to the latest Android-powered smartphones or tablet computers. “In mobile, we are always thinking about how we can make the process of getting those results easier,” said Google mobile engineering director Scott Huffman. Google added icons to the bottom of mobile search pages that let people do common searches such as for restaurants with a single click instead of having to type in queries. Google also began letting people build queries with simple “plus” buttons and providing instant previews of search results pages that could be glimpsed with simple swipes of a finger on a touchscreen. Huffman announced that a Google Goggles feature allowing people with mobile devices to search using pictures now translates languages in photos of text. Google was taking innovations in mobile and applying them to desktop computers with the addition of voice and image search capabilities, said director of product management Johanna Wright. “Mobile has opened a world of possibilities,” Wright said. The option to speak searches was represented by a microphone icon on the Google search page. Spoken search queries on Google-powered mobile gadgets have grown six-fold in the past year, said Mike Cohen, manager of the California firm’s speech technology team. **************************************************************************** Cloud Computing Assets: A Guide for S-M-B Small-Medium-Businesses Part 1. Cloud computing is changing the scope of information technology (IT) management, and organizations need to be highly adaptable to safeguard the continuity of their business operations. Although small to medium businesses(SMBs) lead the adoption of hosted services, little information is currently available to help them integrate these tools. In fact, most of the information currently published caters to large businesses. To add to these challenges, the clouds can mean a freefall for your business if you let yourself be blinded by the ease of access, scalability, and substantial savings. Having worked in SMBs, I felt compelled to work on a guide aimed specifically at such companies, and share insights for navigating through the clouds in a three-part series:
- Part 1: the basics
- Part 2: procurement
- Part 3: management
By way of launching into the basics, I want to touch upon what you should know before googling vendors. Terminology, While the terms “cloud computing” and “as a service” (or “*aaS,” where “*” refers to the solution being offered) are related, there lies a difference. Cloud computing refers to the actual technological frame for hosting infrastructure where your data and applications (and sometimes hardware) are managed outside your organization’s premises and are remotely accessible through the Internet. As a service refers to its commercialized application where vendor offerings, service conditions, and pricing structures are defined. By the same token, as a service refers to more than just software—akasoftware as a service (SaaS) offered by a large base of vendors and the main driver behind SMBs’ *aaS adoption. As such, it is important to understand the differences between the terms infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), monitoring as a service (MaaS), and communication as a service (CaaS). Why? Labeling your needs will greatly help your search for the right vendors. Derivatives or combinations of these offerings also exist. While you may find some variations, the pricing structures will often be defined as a subscription, utility-based (per use), or a combination of both. Important Definitions. IaaS refers to the concept of having all computer infrastructures (servers, network equipment, software, internet connectivity, etc.) managed by a service provider, with user fees based on a subscription basis for what has been used or rented. PaaS is the virtualization of a development platform for the creation and hosting of mostly Web-based applications. This medium is intended to meet the computer resource needs of developers. MaaS represents the outsourcing of an IT department’s security operations and its affiliated activities, such as maintaining server logs and data integrity. This would apply to businesses currently looking to other departments within the organization to fulfill these services or to those looking to add this capability to their current setup. CaaS is the evolution of business communication from traditional solutions, such as e-mail and conference calls. This type of service is responsible for the management of both hardware and software in the delivery of voice over IP (VoIP), instant messaging (IM), collaboration, and video conferencing services. In fact, the notion of as a service has expanded way beyond its original conception. Its lines are being blurred with outsourcing services, as providers are now offerings services that would normally be part of an IT department’s daily operations. Is it IT support or support as a service?. ************************************************************************ Mobile broadband up by 10% Wednesday June 22 2011
PC Advisor staff | PC Advisor|– The Top 5 smartphones reviewed
5. BlackBerry Bold 9780 Reviewed on: 28 February 11. RRP: Price depends on contract, Rating: For current BlackBerry users who aren’t interested in a touchscreen device, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 comes highly recommended: it possesses a great keyboard, best-in-class email capabilities and a refreshing new interface. However, it offers little incentive for others to switch to the BlackBerry platform.
4. HTC Sensation Reviewed on: 27 May 11. RRP: £499 inc VAT. Rating: HTC calls the Sensation a ‘multimedia superphone’ and given its razor-sharp screen, generally decent video playback (excepting Adobe Flash) and great audio, we can see why. If you can handle its sheer size, this is both an excellent phone and a superiornentertainment player. 3. Samsung Galaxy S II Reviewed on: 28 April 11 RRP: Around £500 inc VAT SIM-free (speculated). Rating: Samsung has yet to announce a price yet, though SIM-free costs of £500 are suggested online. This puts the Galaxy S II firmly in the premium smartphone camp, but given the success of the first model and the impressive hardware and build quality, we expect it to find favour with plenty of Android aficionados.
2. HTC Desire HD Reviewed on: 22 March 11. RRP: £414.11 inc VAT. Rating: The HTC Desire HD has a fantastic screen, good multimedia and web-browsing credentials and very good battery life. Its Sense interface is a welcome addition not seen on other makers’ handsets.
1. Apple iPhone 4 Reviewed on: 29 July 10. RRP: Dependent on contract and mobile provider, also available SIM-free from £499 (16GB) and £599 (32GB). Rating: , Apple’s fourth-generation smartphone really is its best yet, notwithstanding controversy about external antennae. In our tests, reception was outstanding. Its screen is the highest resolution of just about any screened gadget, with amazing colour and definition. An HD video/5Mp stills camera is joined by front-facing camera for Facetime video chats. Longer battery life (up to three days in real-life use), faster processor, multi-tasking OS and an incredibly responsive multitouch display are adjuncts to what is still the easiest and most intuitive phone ever made. An unrivalled smartphone against any other. *************************************************************************** The Samsung Galaxy S ii Review, Donie Tech. news Says. The Samsung Galaxy S11:- Is a fast dual core world phone with a fantastic display and ultra slim profile and its has software that is well designed. The superphone arms race keeps escalating, and Samsung has fired the latest salvo with the Galaxy S II, one of the fastest and thinnest Android devices yet. This unlocked phone packs a dual-core processor and an 8-megapixel camera behind a luscious 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plusscreen, yet it manages to be just 0.33 inches thick and weigh a feather-light 4 ounces. Is this beautiful Android world phone (unlocked) worth the high price?
Almost impossibly slim, the flat, rectangular Samsung Galaxy S II is all black and sculpted with seductively smooth curves. It measures a mere 4.9 x 2.6 x 0.33 inches, and at 4 ounces, it barely tips the scales, especially compared to other 4.3-inch phones such as the Motorola Droid X2 (5.47 ounces), the LG Revolution (6.1 ounces), and even the well-crafted HTC Sensation 4G (5.2 ounces). The Galaxy S II is an exercise in minimalism. The front is dominated by edge-to-edge glass; below is a physical Home button that lacks any markings, and capacitive keys for Menu and Back are on its left and right, respectively. Unfortunately, these buttons aren’t always visible, and the S II completely lacks a Search button, which is included on most Android phones. Above the display are a 2-MP front-facing camera, a silver Samsung Logo, and a barely visible earpiece.
by Brian Oliver Bennett on June 17, 2011
Tablet buying guide: advice on specs and features
Rosemary Hattersley | PC Advisor | 15 June 11
We can’t argue with the success of the Apple iPad – it’s given new life to a product category that had been limping along for years. The tablet PCs that used to be sold to business users were saddled with unresponsive screens and a Windows operating system (OS) that was largely unsuited to touchscreen input. The iPad changed all that. Not only did Apple design it from the ground up to offer a finger-friendly, super-slick navigation experience, it realised that dispensing with buttons entirely was the best way to ensure there was no confusion about how you used the device – and no chance for software makers to add unnecessary navigation steps. Instead, the iPad offers simple, direct control based on touch input alone, and an OS that doesn’t bog down the processor and distract from the tasks you want to achieve. Apple introduced a new hardware design too, although it’s arguably taken until the second model, launched in the UK in March, to get the desirability factor right. Let’s face it, if you haven’t already got an iPad, you probably want one, secretly or otherwise.
Alternatives to the iPad
But even Apple can’t ignore the fact it’s no longer the only tablet player in town. From a peak of nearly 95 percent market share a year ago, it now has some beefed-up competition in the form of Google Android,BlackBerry and even Windows tablets, with Microsoft having yet another stab at getting a tablet interface right. By late June, HP will also have an alternative take on tablets on the market. The HP TouchPad, based on a revision of Palm’s WebOS, will go onsale this summer. The iPad 2 is the most high-profile tablet in town – unsurprisingly, we’ve included it in this round-up of the latest-and-greatest models. On its side are the breadth of the iTunes App Store, excellent web navigation and a souped-up graphics accelerator that, with the addition of the £5 iMovie app, allows you to shoot, edit and share your footage with admirable simplicity. The iPad 2 is also one of the most portable and easily the best-looking of all the tablets out *********************************************************************** Irish EU’s fourth biggest users of social networking – research
Sixty-eight per cent of Irish internet users use social networking sites, the fourth highest figure in the EU,research from the European Commission suggests. The Euro-barometer survey involved 26,574 Europeans and had a strong focus on data protection.
Data protection – Fifty-seven per cent said they give the minimum of information on-line, below the EU average of 62pc.
Seventy-four per cent said they wanted to be able to delete personal information from the web whenever they wished. Fifteen per cent said they did nothing to protect their identity online, which was in line with the EU average. Irish people were fifth most likely to believe they were kept informed of the consequences of posting personal information online. However, 50pc of Irish survey respondents said they were asked to give more personal information than necessary when using an online service. Thirty per cent of Irish respondents who disclosed personal information on social networking sites feel completely in control of this data. Half (50pc) feel partially in control and 15pc believe they have no control of it at all. Eighty-nine per cent of Irish respondents consider financial information as personal data, and 93pc also identified medical information as personal data, topping this list in Europe. ************************************************************************
AIB giving out digital card readers with ‘one time’ passwords
AIB has signed a deal with global digital security player Gemalto to roll out EMV card readers to online banking customersand enhance a user’s protection when online banking and making internet transactions.
One-time password generation
In addition to generating one-time passwords, the Ezio Club reader is used to verify and sign transaction details, such as amount transferred and account credited. This added layer of ”sign-what-you-see” security ensures the authenticity of the internet banking session, while enhancing a user’s protection. “More than 50m online banking customers worldwide use and trust Gemalto’s Ezio technology and we are leveraging this experience to support AIB’s project,” added Philippe Regniers, senior vice-president, Gemalto. *********************************************************************** Brothers Jonathan and Jason Ruane
Sligo brothers’ cloud firm Eventovate raises €700k
Eventovate, a cloud services company focused on the hotel sector and set up by two returned emigrants from Sligo that last year made the TechCrunch Euro Top 100 list, has just completed a funding round of €700,000.