IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 24 January
Weedle changes name to SkillPages | Gov considers international innovation hub
The Irish Times reports that the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awards have entered their 14th year, with entries now invited for the 2011 contest. The awards are aimed at recognising and celebrating entrepreneurs, as well as at creating a network of like-minded peers. Previous entrepreneurs of the year include Aidan Heavy of Tullow Oil, Liam Casey of PCH International and Brian Conlon of First Derivatives.
The paper also notes that Dublin-based Weedle has changed its name to SkillPages. The new identity comes after the company conducted research and noted user feedback on how its name could better reflect what it does. SkillPages is designed to allow members to get discovered by people who need their skills, as well as allowing them to find skilled people recommended by their friends.
The Irish Independent notes some of the comments posted on Twitter over the weekend about the Fianna Fail crisis. By 4.30pm on Sunday, 'Finance Bill' was among the 10 most talked about items worldwide on the platform. RTE's Bryan Dobson gave a quick synopsis: "What's clear? One: The Greens are gone. Two: Govt will be gone long before March 11."
The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple's App Store has hit the 10 billion download mark. The milestone, announced on Apple's website on Saturday, arrives as the company's iPhone is likely to become even more popular with the addition next month of Verizon Wireless as a mobile carrier in the US. Apple said it would give the 10 billionth person to download an app a USD10,000 gift card for its iTunes store. The prize went to Gail Davis of Orpington, Kent, in the UK, who downloaded a free game app called Paper Glider.
The Sunday Tribune reports that Google is close to a deal to acquire its headquarters building on Barrow Street in Dublin from Bank of Scotland Ireland. Property sources say Google plans to acquire the building and retrofit it to bring it up to the required standard. Google has declined to comment on the news.
The paper also says that Irish venture capital firm Seroba Kernel has led a EUR3.75 million investment into Apica Cardiovascular, which is developing a system to allow large therapeutic devices be placed into the inner chambers of the heart. Apica is now moving to Ireland and will be based at the Innovation Centre in NUI Galway. Its technology and early prototypes were initially developed at Georgia Tech and Emory University in Atlanta in the US.
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According to the Sunday Times, scientists from the Walk Again project have uploaded information into a monkey's brain via a wire and tiny electrodes, in what is thought to be the first transmission of electronic data directly into a primate's brain. The project is aimed at helping paralysed people walk again by linking their brains to movement sensors. The breakthrough could also potentially lead to humans being able to control computers by thought alone.
The Sunday Business Post reports that the Government is considering setting up an international innovation services hub, similar to the IFSC. Before he resigned as Enterprise Minister last week, Batt O'Keeffe asked the Innovation Taskforce to draw up proposals for such a centre. "I feel we could put in place a model similar to the IFSC for innovation firms in high-growth and emerging sectors, such as technology, energy and digital media," he said.
The paper also says that the Revenue Commissioners have said they will take a "keen interest" in information given to WikiLeaks last week about 2,000 offshore accounts held in Swiss banks. However, the Revenue said it had no plans to contact the site to see if any Irish people feature in the information.
The same paper reports that Irish start-up Mobile Minder allows parents to check the content of their children's text messages, web browsing and call information for Android-based smartphones. The service has been set up by Don Corbett and Brian Shannon, who have come through DIT's Hothouse incubation programme.
The paper also reports that Stanley Watson of Matheson Ormsby Prentice solicitors has predicted there would be more high-value deals in the tech sector this year following the recent buy-outs of Norkom and Trintech. He said the tech sector will lead the way in merger and acquisition activity in the coming year.
The paper also writes that online ad spend will be greater than radio ad spend for the first time this year, according to media buying group Carat Ireland. By the end of 2011, Carat predicts a EUR120 million spend on digital media ads (up 11 percent) compared to radio ad spend of EUR111 million (down 6 percent).
The same paper notes that Satellite Broadband Ireland has won a EUR5 million deal with Eutelsat Communications that will allow the Irish firm to sell Eutelsat's Tooway satellite broadband service to customers in Europe.
The paper also writes about the launch of an iPhone app by the Dublin Airport Authority, which will provide arrival and departure information, maps of all the facilities at the two passenger terminals at Dublin airport, as well as other features.
The same paper also reports that Unity Technology Solutions has completed a EUR127,000 contract to install an IP-based phone system for taxi firm Xpert.
Finally, the paper carries an interview with ComReg chairman Alex Chisholm, who speaks about the upcoming auction of Ireland's spectrum.