IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 11 March
AOL cuts 20pc of staff | LinkedIn launches news service
The Irish Times reports that a row is brewing between retailers and e-payments group Payzone over the launch of integrated ticketing for bus and rail services in Dublin. Some retailers have claimed that Payzone wants them to move their entire payment platforms over to Payzone if their shops are to sell the new smartcard for bus and rail travel. This would cut out rivals Postpoint and Paypoint, who battle hard with Payzone for a slice of the EUR1 billion market for top-ups and bill payments.
The paper also says that the cost to the State of delivering high-speed broadband across Ireland could be significantly less than the EUR2.5 billion figure quoted in a recent telecoms industry report, according to BT. BT is investing in fibre-optic cabling to upgrade Northern Ireland's broadband network as part of an overall STG2.5 billion fibre roll-out in the UK. BT Ireland strategy director Peter Evans said the contribution from public funds was a fraction of the total, and applying a similar process in the Republic could save taxpayers' money.
The paper also notes that Irish content management system (CMS) provider pTools has opened an office in Canada in an attempt to expand its presence in North America. The company's office is in Toronto and will be headed by new general manager for Canada, Dee Allott. The company already has a number of clients in Canada.
The same paper reports that Belfast-headquartered Aepona has secured a multimillion-dollar three-year contract with US firm Neustar, which it says will give it "an important toehold in the emerging mobile cloud computing market".
The paper also notes that Damovo Ireland has secured EUR4.5 million in new service contracts for 2011. The company said that despite the challenging economic conditions, it is experiencing "huge demand from Irish businesses looking to outsource the management of their IT infrastructures and applications".
The same paper says that Microsoft has sold more than 10 million Kinect motion-sensing game system units worldwide in just over four months. The figures make the Xbox add-on the fastest-selling consumer device on record.
The paper also notes that Apple's new iPad goes on sale in the US on Friday. In addition to being sold at more than 200 Apple outlets, the iPad 2 will be available in the stores of AT&T and Verizon Wireless, as well as through Best Buy, Target and Wal-Mart.
The paper also reports that Irish firm OmniMotion Technology has spent EUR2 million developing software to control video games using body movement via a webcam. OmniMotion has this week released 'Sumo', a physics-based combat and puzzle game. While it can be played as a handheld game on an iPhone or iPad, the PC and Apple Mac versions can be played "controller-free" in the same manner as Microsoft's Xbox Kinect system. OmniMotion's patented gesture recognition software, Motion Flow, works with any webcam connected to the PC.
The Irish Examiner says that the Tyndall National Institute and Cork Institute of Technology have been awarded the joint co-ordination of a high-tech EU postgraduate training programme. The EUR4.8 million scheme, Postgraduate Research on Photonics as an Enabling Technology (PROPHET), was launched at Cork's Blackrock Castle Observatory, with 15 European academic and industry partners. About EUR1 million will be spent in Ireland.
The paper also says that the Genesis Enterprise Programme at Cork Institute of Technology's Rubicon Centre, which helps entrepreneurs develop ideas into exporting businesses, is now recruiting for its 2011/12 programme, which begins in May. The closing date for applications is 8 April.
The same paper notes that the EastPoint Jobs Fair will be held in Dublin on 25 March.
The paper also says that the Irish newspaper industry's representative body says the sector is in "a good place" and not in danger of being consumed by digital media. Speaking at the Press Ad of the Year awards, National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI) chairman Paul Cooke pointed out that more than 84 percent of the adult population regularly reads a national newspaper and Irish advertisers spent more than EUR200 million of their marketing budgets with newspapers last year.
The paper also notes that the Irish Blood Transfusion Service has launched a 'Giveblood' app for the iPhone.
The Wall Street Journal reports that AOL has cut about 20 percent of its staff, eliminating 950 jobs in the US and India. About 200 employees who work for the US-based media and technology group have lost their jobs, according to a source. The US cuts were focused on pruning staff from AOL's content sites, particularly ones that overlapped with the Huffington Post website, which AOL acquired for USD315 million this week.
The paper also notes that LinkedIn has launched a news service for users of its professional networking site, as part of an effort to broaden the website's appeal before a planned initial public offering. The service, called LinkedIn Today, gives the site's 90 million users a view of the web news stories that are being shared within their personal networks, within their industries and by other professionals on the site. The company said it had no immediate plans to introduce advertising into LinkedIn Today but that it might do so in the future.