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Billy MacInnes

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Wind turbine, image via Shutterstock

Can Ireland's grid green satisfy Facebook and Apple?

When Facebook in January became the latest big-tech name to join Ireland’s roll call of data centre operators, its chief broke out the green flag – renewables. At the announcement in County Meath, company chief executive Mark Zuckerberg boasted the planned new facility would be “one of the most advanced and energy efficient …

From Watson Jr to Watson AI: IBM's changed, and Papa Watson wouldn't approve

Completed in 1983, IBM's prestigious South Bank office in London, on the banks of the River Thames, owes a lot to the Brutalist style of architecture, popular in the 1960s and 1970s. It makes heavy use of concrete: a solid building for a solid company. The IBM logo has been outside that building for more than 30 years, an …
Billy MacInnes, 23 Jun 2016
Tape over mouth, image via Shutterstock

Ireland's international tech sector bumps up against language barrier

Ireland has a very good track record of using its corporation tax rate to attract foreign tech firms - anyone who is anyone is either in Ireland or has been here. The number of jobs created down the years has been significant, especially for such a small country. The Industrial Development Agency (IDA) boasts that Ireland’s “ …
Billy MacInnes, 11 May 2016
Ireland and Great Britain map, image via Shutterstock

Sayonara, Brits! The Irish tech sector could benefit from Brexit

There appears to be a broad consensus that a Brexit would be bad for Ireland: that Ireland’s economy would be seriously affected if the UK decides to leave the EU on June 23. A report by Irish business lobby group Ibec has warned of “the far-reaching impact on Ireland if our nearest neighbour, key trading partner and close …

Steve Ballmer reveals why he can't change TV channels

Channel Weekly The atmosphere at the Christmas party for Microsoft's lawyers might be a little quieter this year after the software vendor finally called time on its attempts to get the EU to agree to the Gates/Ballmer vision of competition. After nine years of legal tussles (and nine years of hefty lawyer's bills), Microsoft decided not to …
Billy MacInnes, 25 Oct 2007

Microsoft throws a party for MUC as AC/DC chucks filth off its website

Microsoft was in good spirits this week at the launch of its long-awaited "Microsoft unified communications software" in San Francisco, officially announced by chairman Bill Gates, business division president Jeff Raikes, and a guitarist in a red velvet jacket. Now that's rock and roll, especially as the guitarist was playing …
Billy MacInnes, 18 Oct 2007

$3 trillion gets you 14m Microsofts at PC World (Ballmers not inc.)

As usual, we'll start with the good news. Carly Fiorina is back in the public eye after far too long an absence following her departure from HP two years ago. The former CEO and chairman of HP will serve as a commentator for Fox Business Network, a financial news television channel being launched by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp …
Billy MacInnes, 11 Oct 2007

Microsoft's OS won't die while Palm's doesn't want to be born

It's still a while until Halloween, but the undead walk among us and some of them are getting a new lease of life. Windows XP has been given an extra five months of sales life, until the end of June 2008, after the relative failure of its successor Vista to excite the masses into parting with large amounts of cash for another …

Channel wins the war, but salmonella wins the bacteria race to space

The revelation that the channel model wars are over seems like a good place to kickstart our review of the week's news in The Reg. And the even better news is that the channel won. So break out the champagne, sing some rousing songs and hug a total stranger, the enemy has been defeated and victory is yours. For those of you …
Billy MacInnes, 27 Sep 2007

Microsoft comes a cropper in Strasbourg as a hole in Peru wipes the :-) off 600 faces

No prizes for guessing this week's big story. Yes, that's right, the meteorite that landed in Peru causing 600 people to suffer from headaches, nausea and vomiting after inhaling gas at the scene of the strike. Locals reported seeing "a fireball in the sky coming towards them", and the impact left a 98ft (30m) wide by 20ft ( …
Billy MacInnes, 20 Sep 2007

If you think the IT industry is grey and colourless, wait until you get a load of this

Some people complain that the IT industry can be a bit colourless and grey, but we can't agree. There's quite a bit of colour around. Let's start with Orange. Nice colour on the whole, unless you happen to be Jem Telecom, a Lancashire-based reseller specialising in BlackBerrys, which went into the red and administration, blaming …
Billy MacInnes, 13 Sep 2007

If you can fix a 757 with two goats, how many do you need to fix an OSI vote?

For a story that had more than its fair share of drama this week, it was hard to look further than Microsoft's efforts to get its Office Open XML (OOXML) specification fast-tracked as an ISO standard. Ordinarily, stories about Microsoft and standards tend to be the preserve of bearded men of a particular age, but the OOXML saga …
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Acer gets Gateway, Lenovo could get nothing and IBA might finally get iSoft

Who said August was boring or quiet? Not with Lenovo's bid for Packard Bell coming near the start of the month and then Acer's $710m punt on Gateway arriving last week. Acer must have taken some grim satisfaction from the fact its takeover of Gateway has also led Gateway to invoke a 'right of first refusal' to any offer for …
Billy MacInnes, 30 Aug 2007

August is great for holidays but it's no damn good for song titles

If you look it up on Wikipedia - the great reference source for people who can't be bothered trying to learn about anything - you'll find there's very little of interest about August. That's probably why so many people go on holiday during the month. Not that you'd know it from The Register. News never takes a holiday. So to …
Billy MacInnes, 23 Aug 2007

Virtualisation all the rage but Peterborough's so real it's dangerous

There's no doubt about it, we're living in a virtualised world. Anyone disinclined to believe it only needed to look at VMWare's IPO, covered in entertaining detail by El Reg's Ashlee Vance. On the day, VMWare was planning to place 33 million shares at $29 each, netting $957m in the process and giving it a capitalisation of …
Billy MacInnes, 16 Aug 2007

High drama at Evesham, but the Yangtze Dolphin puts it all in perspective

As far as the UK channel was concerned, the big story was the demise (or not) of Evesham Technology. At first, everything looked rosy with El Reg reporting that Tahir Mohsan, founder of TimeUK, was investing $22m in the company through a Dubai-based business called PCC Technology. "By funding this restructuring, we intend to …

Sir Alan Sugar makes more than Ingram, and Eminem takes second bite at Apple

Let's imagine someone's talking, making a pitch. This is what they're saying: "Here's the deal. We set up a distribution company, call it Ingram Micro, and turn it into the biggest IT distributor in the world. Good plan, right? And once we're the biggest in the world, the sky's the limit. Massive sales - $8.19bn in the second …

Channel keeps its head above flood waters and is awash with money

The UK may well have been dealing with its worst floods since 1947, but the only thing flowing through the IT industry was cash - and plenty of it. First, sat nav company Tom Tom made a €1.8bn cash offer for Tele Atlas, the company that supplies map data to the sat nav firm's 10 million GPS devices. Then HP announced it was …
Billy MacInnes, 26 Jul 2007

Mobile phones are in the toilet, but no one's complaining

It's fair to say that it's been an interesting week for mobile phones. To start with, two separate surveys demonstrated the impact mobile phones and smartphones were having on people's working and personal lives. Among the disturbing statistics, a quarter of people in the UK admitted to answering their mobile while on the …
Billy MacInnes, 19 Jul 2007

If no news is good news, why do we have so many stories every week?

A failure to communicate Big news of the week is that Reg readers have decided communication is not something they want in their world. When given the option of changing the term for our industry from IT (information technology) to ICT (information communications technology), 57 per cent voted to consign ICT to the fires of …
Billy MacInnes, 12 Jul 2007

It's a long way from Cupertino to Roswell, but we'll get there

For those of you who may have missed it, a Cupertino-based company called Apple launched a mobile phone in the US last Friday and sold an awful lot of them over the weekend. It would be hard to miss the iPhone, of course, because it seemed not a single story about mobile phones has gone by without a reference to it - at last …

Lots of rain and too much Sun: climate change is on its way

Despite Britain being pelted by record rainfall over the past few days, there was a lot more Sun about than usual. Not that it was all bright. There was the 'shock departure' - that's what it said in The Reg, so it must be true - of UK president Trudy Norris-Grey and the appointment of Kim Jones as her successor. According to …
Billy MacInnes, 28 Jun 2007

Who needs an iPhone when you can get married by a robot?

There may still be more than a week to go before the launch of the iPhone, but there's no way of avoiding it. The damn thing is everywhere even though it isn't officially anywhere yet. Apart from in Steve Jobs' pocket - and Eric Schmidt's. The Google CEO whipped his out in Paris the other day (still not an arrestable offence …
Billy MacInnes, 21 Jun 2007
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IT's green dilemma: plant trees or chill your cheeks

We start this week in a green frame mind. Some people - Kermit the Frog, Van Morrison and Frank Sinatra think "it's not easy being green" - but the computer industry is doing its best to get us all involved. Intel and Google unveiled the Climate Savers Computing Initiative and got a wide range of hardware and software vendors …
Billy MacInnes, 14 Jun 2007

Dell takes Cameron path to success as McCain likes bull for a China job

Dell is looking more and more like David Cameron's Tories. Like the Tories, Dell used to be popular but has recently been in the doldrums, and CEO Michael Dell is busy ripping up some of the direct seller's articles of faith (just like Dave and his recent pronouncements on grammar schools) to get back in everybody's good books …

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