IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 11 February
Eircom to increase call charges | Storyful secures funding
The Irish Times reports that thousands of Eircom customers will see their bills increase by 3.1 percent on average and will lose two hours of off-peak calls from next month. Call connection fees for calls made outside Eircom packages will increase by almost two-thirds for home and business customers. Charges per call will also be rounded up to the nearest cent.
The paper also reports that the Catholic Church in Ireland has stressed that a new iPhone 'confession' app is not a replacement for a priest, despite receiving the approval of an American bishop. 'Confession: A Roman Catholic App' is available on iTunes for EUR1.59 and provides a step-by-step guide to the sacrament as well as advising on suitable acts of contrition. The director of the Holy See's press office, Fr Federico Lombardi, has pointed out that the Vatican did not regard the app as a replacement for actual confession.
The paper also says that Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore spoke at a breakfast briefing held by the Dublin Web Summit this week. Gilmore's formal speech played it safe -- talking about the importance of technology and its ability to transform the country. All the boxes were ticked: green energy, next generation broadband, iPhone apps and the need for technology to be a driver for change. Gilmore used the event to announce plans for a new scholarship programme based on the Mitchell scholarship and Rhodes scholarship that aims to attract young talent from Brazil, Russia, India and China to Ireland.
The same paper says that Storyful, the online news service founded by Mark Little, has closed a round of seed investment led by technology entrepreneur Ray Nolan. Enterprise Ireland and other private investors participated in the fundraising. Little declined to say how much the company had raised, citing investor confidentiality, but he said the funding would see Storyful through to the end of the year and allow it to "prove the concept".
The paper also notes that HP has unveiled an entrant in the tablet race, the TouchPad. Read more on this as reported by ENN on Thursday.
The same paper says that software licensing firm Inishtech, 3D printer maker Mcor Technologies, chip designer Movidius and social network tool Skillpages are the four companies shortlisted for the Irish Technology Leadership Group (ITLG)/Irish Times technology company award. AirPOS, which provides software for retailers, sports marketing specialists Active Mind Technology and Intelesens, a developer of wearable healthcare monitors, have been nominated for the most promising technology award. The awards will be presented at a ceremony at Stanford University in Silicon Valley on 6 April.
The Irish Independent reports that the head of Microsoft Ireland says Ireland could become a global leader in cloud computing, but only if the country seizes the initiative and gains first-mover advantage over rivals. Paul Rellis was addressing an audience of business leaders at a Dublin Chamber of Commerce briefing at the Four Seasons Hotel in Dublin. He said Ireland needed every advantage, including low corporate taxes, to compete for foreign investment.
The Irish Examiner reports that Cork company EMC² is knocking 20 percent off its annual energy consumption through the use of energy-saving technologies. The company, which employs 1,650 people at its Ovens site, undertook a full retrofit project to implement energy-saving technologies at its IT and data centre site, using free cooling technology systems. The EUR2.5 million project, designed and managed by consulting engineering company Arup, will achieve annual electricity savings of 13 million kilowatt hours and an annual carbon emission reduction of 7,000 tonnes.
The Wall Street Journal reports that executives at both Facebook and Google, among other companies, have held low-level talks with Twitter in recent months to explore the prospect of an acquisition, according to sources. The talks have so far gone nowhere, these people say. Discussions with at least some potential suitors have produced an estimated valuation of USD8 billion to USD10 billion for the micro-blogging firm.
According to the Financial Times, Nokia is to form a "broad strategic partnership" with Microsoft and will make Windows its main smartphone operating system. The troubled Finnish group said the Windows Phone would become its "primary smartphone platform" worldwide and that it would work with Microsoft to build an "unrivalled global mobile ecosystem". Nokia shares fell more than 9 percent after the announcement, which warned of "significant uncertainties" over how the changes would affect performance this year.
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