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Ciara O'Brien

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Mobile growth outpaces fixed lines

Mobile phone use within the EU is continuing to rise as reliance on fixed lines eases off, according to EU statistics agency Eurostat. Use of mobile devices has surged in recent years, increasing almost 14-fold over the period between 1996 and 2005. In 1996, when mobile phones were less common and accessible than at present, …
Ciara O'Brien, 29 Nov 2007
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Google opens Maps for editing

Google has brought the idea of user-generated content a step further with its plans to allow users to edit Google Maps to make it more accurate. The new functionality will allow those with a Google account to make changes to markers, which indicate business or residential listings on Google's local maps service, dragging them to …
Ciara O'Brien, 22 Nov 2007
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Dot-mobi domains go to highest bidders

The first dot-mobi auction has closed on a high, with domain name marketplace selling 100 mobile web addresses to the highest bidders. This was the first time the mobile domain names have been sold through an auction process rather than on a "first come, first served" basis. The web addresses were some of the 5,500 " …
Ciara O'Brien, 11 Oct 2007

Facebook faces more legal trouble

Social networking site Facebook has been ordered to turn over information on whether registered sex offenders have set up profiles on its site. The Attorney General's office of New Jersey has supoenaed the popular social network, along with 11 other social networking sites, ordering them to release the information. Facebook …
Ciara O'Brien, 05 Oct 2007
Key end

Will Bungie jump from Microsoft?

Could one of the games industry's most effective partnerships be about to do a Disney/Pixar and split? Rumours are blazing online that Microsoft and Bungie Studios are about to call it a day after the final game in the Halo trilogy has finally hit the shelves. The games developer was bought by Microsoft before the first Halo …
Ciara O'Brien, 04 Oct 2007

Hackers hit back at iPhone update

The war between Apple and the hackers is heating up, after a 'fix' for the recent iPhone update was posted online. Apple's recent update for the iPhone's firmware rendered unlocked iPhones - those that had been modified either through software or other means to work outside of AT&T's network - unusable, and the firm has so far …
Ciara O'Brien, 03 Oct 2007
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Magazines go online in iTunes-esque move

A new online newsagent is hoping to galvanise the Irish publishing market by selling magazines online., which is based in Dublin, is hoping to become the iTunes of the publishing world by offering readers PDF versions of Irish publications. These can be downloaded directly to a PC. The magazine appears on screen …
Ciara O'Brien, 27 Sep 2007
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Mobile TV to reach 120 million users by 2012: report

Mobile TV is expected to reach almost 120 million users by 2012 - a significant increase from the current 12 million. The broadcast services are expected to be available throughout 40 countries worldwide, with consumer spending on mobile TV predicted to top $6.6bn within the five-year period. According to a report from Juniper …
Ciara O'Brien, 20 Sep 2007
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IT overruns costing business €375m a year

Budget overruns on IT projects are costing Irish and UK businesses more than €375m(£256m) a year, new research has revealed. The study, conducted by research firm Loudhouse on behalf of software company CA, found that one-third of IT projects end up over budget each year, due to poor forecasting, project scope creep and a lack …
Ciara O'Brien, 13 Sep 2007
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Skype comes to the iPhone

iPhone fans are set have their wish granted, with the news that a German firm has developed an application that brings Skype functionality to the device. One of the complaints that users of the hybrid phone and MP3 player had was relating to its instant messaging functionality, or lack thereof. German firm Shape Media has …
Ciara O'Brien, 16 Aug 2007
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Ban texting while driving, say Americans

Nine out of ten Americans think that texting while driving is dangerous and should be banned, but over half admitted to indulging in the act behind the wheel. A survey carried out by Harris Interactive found that while 91 per cent of people surveyed said it was as dangerous as getting behind the wheel after a couple of drinks, …
Ciara O'Brien, 09 Aug 2007

Xerox job losses on the cards after all

Xerox employees who were due to move to IBM after the firm outsourced their jobs have been dealt a blow, with news that IBM plans to make them redundant. The outsourcing was part of a review of Xerox's operations that had been carried out by the document firm in a bid to control costs. Under the original plan, Xerox was to …
Ciara O'Brien, 02 Aug 2007
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Eircom warned over 'discriminatory' conduct

Eircom has got a slap on the wrists from ComReg after the regulator found that the operator was favouring its own retail business over other operators. The warning came after a ComReg investigation found that the incumbent operator was favouring its retail division when it came to customers moving premises but retaining their …
Ciara O'Brien, 26 Jul 2007
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Mobile websites fail to satisfy users

E-commerce sites are putting their future success at risk by failing to offer users the ability to buy through their mobile websites, a new study has revealed. The Strategy Analytics Wireless Media Lab looked at e-commerce sites eBay,, and Odeon Cinema and the mobile offerings they put forward. It found that …
Ciara O'Brien, 19 Jul 2007
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Firms unsure of liability for staff net use

Almost two-thirds of companies don't realise their legal responsibilities regarding their employees and electronic communications, a new survey has revealed. The Chambers Ireland eBusiness Survey 2007 found that only 37 per cent of companies are aware that they are liable for their employees' online activities, and can risk …
Ciara O'Brien, 19 Jul 2007
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Laois takes 'All Ireland eBay Champion' crown

Laois residents are the top eBay users in Ireland, beating out neighbours Carlow to take first place, new statistics have revealed. According to the auction site's Irish figures, Laois topped the list of counties when it came to buying from eBay, coming first as both the most buyers per capita out of the 26 counties, and the …
Ciara O'Brien, 12 Jul 2007
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Dublin college introduces video game degree

Video game fans may now have a legitimate excuse to spend all day hooked up to their PlayStations and Xboxes - thanks to a new video game masters degree at Trinity College Dublin. Trinity has just added a one-year full-time Masters degree in "interactive entertainment technology" starting in October this year. The course has …
Ciara O'Brien, 05 Jul 2007
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Teens using M-rated games to vent anger

Teenagers are using violent video games to vent their stress, a new study has found. According to the Massachusetts General Hospital's (MGH) Centre for Mental Health and Media, many young people play video games to manage their feelings, such as stress and anger, and those who play violent video games are among those more …
Ciara O'Brien, 05 Jul 2007
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Kids get early start in electronics

Children are becoming tech-savvy from a younger age, a new study has discovered. While most adults long suspect their children could programme a DVD recorder more easily than them, this latest research appears to back it up. According to the study from NPD, children begin using consumer electronic devices at the average age of …
Ciara O'Brien, 07 Jun 2007
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Eircom to slash up to 400 jobs

Telecoms operator Eircom has confirmed it is to seek job cuts before the end of the year. Reports on Wednesday claimed that up to 400 jobs could go at Eircom in the cost-cutting exercise after chief executive Rex Comb told the Irish Times the board was mulling over the prospect. A spokesperson for the company said the board …
Ciara O'Brien, 31 May 2007
Warning: two way

Server market continues to thrive

The server wars are heating up again, with HP and IBM both scrapping over the number one spot in the first quarter of 2007. Research firms can't seem to agree who is top dog in the market in terms of revenue, with IDC giving the number one place to HP, while Gartner said IBM came out the winner. Either way, it seems it's a …
Ciara O'Brien, 24 May 2007

Consumers more excited by GPS than mobile TV

Mobile TV is getting a lukewarm reception among consumers, with more mobile users expressing an interest in getting their phone kitted out with GPS technology. According to Canalys' new consumer mobility survey, some 51 per cent of those surveyed in Europe said they were interested in mobile TV - as long as there was a diverse …
Ciara O'Brien, 17 May 2007
EU flag

Data centre firm in €50m expansion

Data centre firm Interxion is to invest up to €50m to expand its data centres across Europe. The company has seen a surge in demand for space across Europe, with the Irish business observing a similar trend. "Interxion has experienced strong growth in all European markets with 70 per cent of demand coming from the existing …
Ciara O'Brien, 10 May 2007
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Gaming, music and TV to drive mobile market

Mobile content is set for a revolution, with gaming, music and TV all poised to transform the market in the next five years. With regulatory and competitive pressures pushing down the average consumer spend on voice and messaging, Screen Digest mobile analyst David McQueen advised mobile operators to look to new content …
Ciara O'Brien, 10 May 2007
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Super-fast RDF search engine developed

The next generation of the internet is a step closer thanks to a major breakthrough in "semantic web" research in Ireland. The semantic web, or data web, is a machine readable version of the internet that makes it more efficient to conduct searches, using RDF (Resource Description Framework) statements, which are used to …
Ciara O'Brien, 04 May 2007
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Tesco teams up with MyThings to 'trace' your valuables

Tesco has teamed up with global item registry MyThings to allow customers of its online Tesco Direct shop to keep track of their valuables online. The Tesco Direct store sells everything from electronic goods to home furnishings, while MyThings helps users protect their valuables. Under the deal, shoppers who buy through the …
Ciara O'Brien, 03 May 2007

Northgate continues shopping spree

Payroll software giant Northgate has bought yet another firm, acquiring management consultancy Kendric Ash in a deal that could be worth up to £14.2m. Under the deal, Northgate will initially pay £9.2m for the firm, with a deferred payment of £500,000 to come later on, and a further payment of up to £4.5m once certain …
Ciara O'Brien, 03 May 2007
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Amazon flows into digital music sales

Online retailer Amazon looks set to take on Apple in the downloadable music market, with plans to launch its own iTunes rival. Reports claim Amazon is being tempted into the digital music market by EMI's agreement to sell tracks free from digital rights management (DRM) restrictions. The retailer is believed to be interested in …
Ciara O'Brien, 26 Apr 2007
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Experts dampen mobile mast health fears

Electromagnetic fields generated by mobile phones and base stations don't cause cancer or have adverse effects on health - yet. That's the finding of a government-appointed expert group which examined the issue in detail, taking into account the fields generated by electricity lines as well as those emitted by mobiles and phone …
Ciara O'Brien, 26 Mar 2007
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Regulator gives 'home-zone' services the go-ahead

Mobile customers could soon be able to take and make cheaper calls with ComReg giving the green light to operators to offer "home-zone" services. As part of the new services, callers will be able to use their mobile phone handsets to make and receive calls in or near their homes at cheaper fixed-line rates. Standard mobile call …
Ciara O'Brien, 15 Mar 2007
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IT outsourcing not catching on with

Small firms are falling behind in outsourcing IT functions, a new survey has revealed. According to research by the Irish Computer Society (ICS), IT outsourcing has become common practice in Irish organisations, with some 72 per cent taking advantage of the services. Smaller IT departments, however, appear to be holding on to …
Ciara O'Brien, 09 Mar 2007

Dell to offer Linux with desktops, laptops

Dell users may soon have the choice of having Linux pre-installed on their machines, according to a statement on the technology company's website. The PC maker launched its feedback website, Dell Idea Storm, in mid-February, and was inundated with requests for the Linux operating system and productivity software suite …
Ciara O'Brien, 28 Feb 2007

Dell to offer Linux with its desktops and laptops

Dell users may soon have the choice of having Linux pre-installed on their machines, according to a statement on the technology company's website. The PC maker launched its feedback website, Dell Idea Storm, in mid-February, and was inundated with requests for the Linux operating system and productivity software suite …
Ciara O'Brien, 28 Feb 2007
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Mobile operators taken to task on roaming

Mobile operators have been accused of "twisting the truth" by a major European consumer lobby group investigating roaming charges. According to BEUC, mobile customers shouldn't pay more than €0.33 per minute on roaming charges. The figure was calculated by doubling the mobile termination rate of the larger networks, and adding …
Ciara O'Brien, 22 Feb 2007
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Intel injects life into digital health

Intel is partnering with Irish universities to set up a digital health research centre that will investigate the challenges of independent living for the elderly. The Technology Research for Independent Living (TRIL) Centre is supported by IDA Ireland, and will involve collaboration with University College Dublin (UCD), Trinity …
Ciara O'Brien, 31 Jan 2007
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ICANN looking at porn again

It may have been abandoned last year, but plans for the adult-only dot-xxx domain could be staging a comeback in 2007. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) is considering revised proposals for the new top level domain (TLD) from ICM Registry, who will administer the domain, after the body promised …
Ciara O'Brien, 09 Jan 2007

HP leads laptop league

HP is leading the way in the laptops league, with 17.7 per cent of the world notebook market, new figures have revealed. According to market research firm DisplaySearch, HP exceeded its nearest rival Dell's shipments by 50,000 units in Q3 2006, reclaiming the top title. This is the first time the company has been at the top of …
Ciara O'Brien, 03 Jan 2007

Spamty Claus is coming to town

Spammers are set for a Christmas bonanza this year as they take advantage of the holiday season to send out more nuisance email. Although statistics for spam email landing in Irish inboxes won't be released until January, experts are predicting we could see a surge in the proportion of junk email that businesses need to filter …
Ciara O'Brien, 21 Dec 2006
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Irish company aims to free eBay's flow

Irish firm Freeflow has teamed up with eBay in a deal that will see it offer pre and post-auction business services to the e-commerce site. Under the agreement, Freeflow will provide sales and administrative services to eBay, while gaining the advantage of the company's private marketplace. Freeflow helps clients liquidate …
Ciara O'Brien, 20 Dec 2006
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Eircom kick starts network upgrade

Eircom has secured a deal with Siemens and ADVA Optical Networks that will see the telecoms firm begin upgrading its network. As part of a three-year, €10m contract, the incumbent plans to increase its core telecoms network capacity to help support business and broadband growth in Ireland. According to Eircom, the investment …
Ciara O'Brien, 30 Nov 2006
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Is new technology worth the risk?

Irish businesses are holding back from taking advantage of modern technologies because they are concerned about potential risks. According to new research from CA, 100 per cent of Irish IT managers surveyed said risk-related concerns were enough to stop them implementing new technologies. This figure fell to 80 per cent among …
Ciara O'Brien, 29 Nov 2006
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Fitfone wins innovation award

A new mobile-based health and fitness assessment aid has scooped the top prize at the NovaUCD Campus Company Development Programme. The FitFone Exercise Physiology System is embedded into a mobile phone and facilitates remote health and fitness assessment. It measures an individual's fitness level using personal statistics such …
Ciara O'Brien, 24 Nov 2006
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Companies getting clued up about info security

Firms are more aware of how information security can affect business, with a rising number integrating information security with their risk management processes, according to an Ernst & Young survey. The survey, which spoke to 1,200 information security professionals from 350 organisations in 48 countries, found some 43 per …
Ciara O'Brien, 15 Nov 2006
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SMEs fall foul of cold-calling firm

Be on your guard for rogue internet firms - that's the warning from Northern Ireland's Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment's Trading Standards Service. A number of local businesses in Northern Ireland have fallen foul of a cold-calling internet firm which promises internet directory services and website services and …
Ciara O'Brien, 08 Nov 2006
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European expansion on the cards for 3V

Pay-as-you-go Visa voucher firm 3V is preparing to launch its product in the UK and Europe, raising €20m to fund the expansion and creating new jobs. The vouchers were launched in the UK on Tuesday, backed by a £2m marketing campaign. Other European markets will be added in 2007. "Following the successful pilot of 3V Voucher …
Ciara O'Brien, 01 Nov 2006
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E-passport launched in Ireland

Ireland has launched its e-passport, just days ahead of a US deadline to bring in biometric passports or risk being booted from the visa waiver scheme. The new, high-tech document includes a secure, contactless electronic chip to store encrypted digital information on the holder's identity, biographical information, and a …
Ciara O'Brien, 17 Oct 2006
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Chip sales enjoy record growth in August

Global chip sales soared to $20.5bn in August, a new monthly record, according to data from the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA). This represents an increase of 10.5 per cent from the $18.6bn recorded in the same period a year earlier, and beats the previous record of $20.4bn set in November 2005. "Once again we saw …
Ciara O'Brien, 04 Oct 2006
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Virus infections drop, spam on the up

The number of viruses hitting Irish inboxes has fallen but spam continues to rise, according to figures from IE Internet. The Irish email monitoring firm found that the rate of virus infection in the mails that it filtered for its customers fell to 11.65 per cent in September. This reverses the brief rise seen in August 2006, …
Ciara O'Brien, 04 Oct 2006

Irish software to detect airline threats

A new intelligent software program developed by NUI Galway could give the airline industry a leg up in the security stakes. The new application, Hazard IQ, has the ability to quickly and accurately detect substances such as explosives, medicines and illegal drugs. Developed at the university by Dr Michael Madden, Department of …
Ciara O'Brien, 29 Sep 2006

Right set-up vital for virtual teams

Virtual teams need to choose their communications tools carefully if they want to be effective, new research has revealed. According to a new study commissioned by Cisco Systems, virtual teams - i.e. project teams that are working in multiple locations and communicate electronically - can work as well as, if not better than, co …
Ciara O'Brien, 20 Sep 2006