IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 3 March
Apple unveils iPad 2 | First Derivatives wins STG4.3m in funding
The Irish Times reports that Carphone Warehouse narrowed its losses in Ireland in the 12 months to the end of April 2010 as it cut costs. The mobile phone and laptop retailer made a pretax loss of almost EUR3.4 million in the year, compared to a loss of EUR9.5 million in the previous year, according to accounts just filed at the Companies Office. Turnover slipped 3.7 percent to EUR107.3 million. The company said net liabilities of EUR16.5 million and accumulated losses of EUR16.8 million reflected "a decline in profitability and poor trading conditions". Carphone Warehouse chief Stephen Mackarel has been critical of high retail rents in the Irish market.
The paper also says that Apple CEO Steve Jobs made a surprise return to the stage in San Francisco to unveil the iPad 2, a thinner, more powerful version of the popular tablet device. The iPad 2 is slimmer than the iPhone 4 and "dramatically faster" than the original iPad, Apple said, with a new dual-core A5 processor. The device includes front- and rear-facing cameras to allow users to video conference using Apple's FaceTime application. A number of expected additions failed to appear, however, including the high-definition Retina display of the iPod Touch, a USB slot and the ability to expand the memory of the device through a removable memory card. The iPad 2 will come to Ireland on 25 March and be priced the same as the existing iPad.
The Irish Examiner reports that researchers at University College Cork have developed an online test that healthcare workers can use to detect food allergies in children. The Cork-Southampton calculator, developed by Cork researchers Dr Audrey Dunn Galvin and Professor Jonathan Hourihane, delivers an instant 96 percent accuracy rate, compared to current methods that are 61 percent to 81 percent accurate. Dr Dunn Galvin said the researchers have devised a highly accurate, allergen-specific algorithms for each of the most common food allergies -- cow's milk, egg and peanuts.
The paper also reports on CeBIT, an IT expo showcasing thousands of the latest gadgets in Hanover, Germany. The expo, which runs until 5 March, is expected to attract 350,000 visitors.
The same paper reports that internet users can now get a bird's eye view of the flamingos at Fota Wildlife Park and take a virtual tour of Dublin Zoo. Failte Ireland is hoping online views of some of the country's top tourist destinations will boost the number of foreign visitors to Ireland. The Rock of Cashel, Muckross House and the National Botanic Gardens are just some of the attractions now featuring on Street View, Google's online panoramic mapping service.
The Irish Independent reports that tech firm First Derivatives has secured a STG4.3 million investment from Invest Northern Ireland. Newry-based First Derivatives has announced a EUR5 million grant from the Northern Ireland industrial-development authority to back a major expansion of the firm's global consultancy business. The company supplies software, risk-management and consulting services to global investment banks and hedge funds. First Derivatives plans to create more than 350 new jobs over three years.
The paper also notes that Rupert Murdoch has agreed to sell off the loss-making Sky News. The move is likely to be enough to win government approval for the takeover of BSkyB by Murdoch's News Corp.
The same paper notes that former Eircell boss Stephen Brewer has joined top UK-based global consultancy firm Alexander Proudfoot and will lead the company's operations in Ireland.
According to the Wall Street Journal, EU antitrust authorities have raided several publishers, searching for evidence that they acted illegally to keep prices high in the electronic books market. The EU activity coincides with ongoing investigations by authorities in the UK, California and Texas into the arrangements that publishers make to sell digital books. The European Commission did not name the companies raided nor the countries in which the raids took place, though at least two French publishers said their offices were visited.
The Financial Times reports that Didier Lombard, the former France Telecom chairman who was forced to step down after a wave of suicides at the company, was compelled on Wednesday to give up his post as special adviser to the group after a public and political outcry over his pay. Lombard's decision to leave came shortly after Xavier Bertrand, the French labour minister, openly criticised the decision to keep Lombard on at a salary of up to EUR500,000.