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  • Opinion – Google is just saber-rattling and won’t pull out of China | Teic.ie
    we know the Chinese government won t back down so what choice will they have To be honest it s all sabre rattling Google is trying to put pressure on the Chinese government a regime that it knows doesn t even bow to the massive weight of global political and public opinion In fact Google is so aware of this that they provided themselves with a back door within their statement and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law I m confident that the settlement will come one way or the other and there are a number of reasons for it First and foremost there is the financial situation Simply put the amount of money Google will lose In Q2 of 2009 there were 338 million internet users in China and Google was the search engine of choice for 23 7 about 80 million of those users in Q3 That s more users than North America which had 246 8 million users Add that to the fact that the Chinese market is growing rapidly as internet penetration is only 26 9 or 1 in 4 people are online compared to the saturated US market which has 74 2 or 3 out of 4 online penetration It doesn t take a rocket scientist to see that there is too much at stake to walk away and too much potential for growth Could Google really walk away from that Could they honestly allow their market share in China to be eaten up by Baidu the number 1 search engine in China or to allow Ballmer to walk Microsoft in there and expand their market share Or even better have Ballmer cut some sort of a deal with the Chinese government Sara Steven Hodson and others have pointed out that Ballmer wouldn t walk into that hornets nest I think he would What is there to lose Microsoft already operates Bing in China so it s not as if they can be demonised for pushing into the territory The Chinese government also has a stubborn streak and disregard for international opinion that is beyond legendary and Microsoft are definitely not above doing something that may not immediately be popular in order to gain a long term advantage Besides the public is too wrapped up in dealing with their own economic woes and miserable lives to really care who is providing search results to the Chinese However Google will stay in China for one reason above all else it is not a public service It is a business and its primary responsibility is not to its users but to its shareholders Leaving China would not be in the shareholders best interest Google are testing the waters to see if they can get a concession It would take some serious brass balls to pull out of the Chinese market and give their foothold over

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2010/01/google-is-just-saber-rattling-and-wont-pull-out-of-china/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Paul O Flaherty | Teic.ie
    Opinion Will Google s Chrome OS be dead on arrival 26 11 2009 6 Comments IRMA loses in bid to force three strikes on UPC 11 10 2010 2 Comments Smart barcodes coming to Ireland from next week 09 04 2010 4 Comments Palm Pre review 30 10 2009 3 Comments Opinion Aesthetics matter especially in computing 27 02 2010 4 Comments Apple Watch coming to 7 more countries but

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/author/paul-o-flaherty/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Opinion: It came from the grave | Teic.ie
    the rights to the Amiga operating system after countless incomprehensible copyright fire sales Asking if it s too late is a fairly pointless question The simple answer is yes after all the Amiga belongs to an era of home computers that simply no longer exists Today the vast majority of what we now call desktop and laptop computers run Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X with Linux bringing up the rear but always jockeying for position On the other hand there is clearly a space for alternative computing platforms Acorn s Risc OS is still around and there are literally dozens of small operating system projects out there from Syllable to Haiku and SkyOS Asking whether or not the Amiga can challenge the Windows or Mac platforms is asking the wrong question Not only is it far too late for that it s also the case that the battle for the computing platform of tomorrow won t be on the desktop at all Nevertheless the Amiga can survive and thrive if Hyperion plays its cards right After all there is an entire cottage industry dedicated to the Amiga Consider the Amiga accelerator market like most of the advanced microcomputers of the mid and late 1980s the Amiga was centred on the 68000 CPU from Motorola 68k for short This chip ceased development with the little used 68060 and there was no direct upgrade path to anything else Apple IBM and Motorola developed the PowerPC CPU as a replacement but the two systems were not compatible Apple did an amazing job of truly invisible emulation so few Mac users noticed the switch from 68k to PowerPC Amiga owners had no such luck by the time the PowerPC was around Commodore was too busy going bankrupt to port its operating system to the new chip So in stepped third party manufacturers of PowerPC based accelerator cards In fact it was the existence of devices such as these that allowed Amiga owners to engage with the modern world of the internet DVDs and MP3s on their machines Piggybacking off Apple as the Amiga has in recent years is no longer a useful strategy since the Mac maker switched to Intel processors a few years back While there is an open source effort to recreate the Amiga experience on Intel CPUs the AmigaOne X1000 is a fully fledged platform not just an operating system It sports a dual core PowerPC processor which will be clocked at over 1 6GHz not blisteringly fast but fast enough and clock frequencies don t compare directly across different architectures anyway More interestingly however it features an XCore processor developed by Xmos This chip can run multiple real time threads simultaneously and each thread has access to a set of general purpose processor registers Xmos basic concept is the development of fully customisable processors under the rubric of Software Defined Silicon allowing for far greater flexibility in use Hyperion s hope is that this flexibility will appeal to

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2010/01/opinion-it-came-from-the-grave/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Feature: Five features your next phone should have | Teic.ie
    that phones have been able to do for a long time now In fact there s not even a reason why such a feature wouldn t be possible bar basic bad design 3 An application store When it comes to phone apps Apple s iPhone has been taking names for a year and a half now To their credit however rivals like Nokia and Blackberry have been trying to compete in recent times and are gaining ground albeit very slowly While we could debate which app store is best or which has the most potential for greatness what matters is that more and more phones have access to some kind of app store The reason apps are so important is because they give phones the kind of personalisation that all the wallpaper and icon changes in the world can t match Users can now get their hands on even the most niche of programmes that would not have come pre loaded on the phone because they were well niche A good app store means a phone can stay useful for longer because its software is no longer limited to what the first party developer thinks it should do as a result it s only the hardware that determines when a phone is fit for the bin 4 Social contacts The mobile is a communications device plain and simple Therefore it should not hinder people s attempts to stay in touch with other people The internet and social networks have been a great foundation for people to communicate but they have created the frustrating by product of scattered contacts Many have felt the pain of trying to text someone only to realise they have their number in their Facebook phonebook but not their SIM s for example Thankfully a lot of phones are now hitting the market with the aim of overcoming that problem pulling in your e mail and social contacts and merging them with your phone s The problem now is that you may need to wade through your contacts book to clean them up but at least you ll know they re all in one place 5 Location based functionality Having GPS on your phone has one obvious benefit you can use it as a sat nav assuming you have the right software However the benefits of location based services go way beyond having someone telling you when to turn left next If your phone can tell where you are it can do all sorts of things give you accurate weather reports tell you if something interesting is going on near you or even tell you if one of your contacts is nearby Then there s the world of augmented reality where applications layer real time information over a real time stream from your location and help delivery to you all sorts of information In short an increasing number of phone features are based on or being improved by location awareness so if your phone doesn t have

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/11/five-things-your-next-phone-should-have/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Opinion: Free isn’t the future | Teic.ie
    the here and now need to make money in order to survive We can pretend that we don t live in a capitalist economy but we d be lying to ourselves and while that remains the case the demand for everything to be free seems to amount to a demand for socialism in one person Even my own trade union the National Union of Journalists has had the odd tussle over user generated content And why not The union is there to ensure that journalists get paid for their work and work is surely what writing is Consider this newspaper and magazine cover sales amount to virtually no profit for publishers often barely covering costs The real money is in advertising In fact the main purpose of charging for a publication is to stop people reading it or at least to stop the wrong people reading it Advertisers value relevant readers interested in their products Any print publication could if it was so minded print two million copies and give them all away for free but the huge increase in readership would not result in a rise in advertising rates because the magazine s advertisers are not interested in a general audience The net result would be massively increased print and distribution costs that would not be matched by and increase in revenue What works for a commuter newspaper does not necessarily work for a computer magazine The difference today is the impact of the internet Of course the internet is merely a technology What has changed is scarcity At least with regard to information we live in a post scarcity society Chris Anderson editor in chief of the bible of techno capitalism Wired magazine recently penned an article called Free Why 0 00 is the future of business What kind of future is that If enough people are willing to do my job or yours for free then you and I will both be out of work Is this a good enough reason to ask you to put your money where my mouth is No not really However to imagine that everything can be free is simply foolish and wrongheaded to boot Richard Stallman often portrayed as a kind of political extremist actually makes more sense than many open source advocated Stallman s point is essentially one of freedom freedom to do use software as you see fit not how its creator tells you to use it This is the real reason you hear more about open source software than free software despite being different reasons for creating effectively the same thing Stallman s argument does not suit business interests Stallman argues that free software need not hurt business but clearly this message has not got across No cost services and software certainly have their place and I fully support the endeavours of programmers photographers bloggers graphic artists and anyone else who wants to do what they do for their own reasons for love of the work for a

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/11/guest-post-free-wont-be-the-future/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Feature: Moving the library online | Teic.ie
    to travel says Smith I think access is the bigger problem although preservation is part of that Smith adds that the rate at which this move to digital is happening has increased significantly of late particularly since Google undertook its aim to digitise millions of books for its Book Search service Digitisation is also happening at the other end of the timescale among modern books although in this case at source Many publishers now particularly in the science and technology fields accompany their printed works with ebook and ejournal editions which can be read on a standard computer or compatible eReaders The trend is very much to go electronic in all areas said John Kennedy systems librarian at the University of Ulster There are a number of pluses in doing that one of which is that you can have several people access something at the same time another is that they can do so whenever and wherever they want Another big benefit for us is that it cuts down on the kind of space we need to stock the physical copies in the first place Of course when publishers create digital copies of their own the ownership rights around them are relatively clear the same cannot be said for work produced long before the digital age This fact is the one thing creating real concern among universities as there is legal uncertainty over whether they can digitise at all under existing agreements As yet no one knows how far fair use stretches and libraries are having to seek agreement with rights holders on a case by case basis in order to free up the work for users A failure to get such clearance could have a dramatic impact on the potential of the digitised library which can be used to turn static work from a book into something adaptable and modular In fact a more integrated and layered communication platform is an integral part of what Microsoft is promising Trinity College including what it calls web 2 0 features like tagging instant messaging and RSS feeds When something is digitised the computer has the power to process the information in a way that I don t have the time to do says Prof Jane Ohlmeyer the Erasmus Smith chair of modern history at Trinity College You want to be able to get the machine to do all that tedious cross matching for you At its most basic level this social media edge allows people to edit and discuss documents in real time from opposite sides of the globe but the benefits can go far deeper than this One example often cited is the new potential for data mashups which involves the combination of two independent sources of information to create something entirely new Where in the past this may have involved laborious grunt work on the part of the academic as they siphoned isolated pieces of information from pages to compare and contrast attaining such results is now as easy

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/11/moving-the-library-online/ (2016-02-17)
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  • What’s next for netbooks? | Teic.ie
    device type The netbook is still a suitable product for young kids and for students but now it s taken on a whole new leaf where business people are taking them on as a second device which they bring with them for portability specifically when used with mobile broadband says Mr Toland You ll see that if you re at the airport you ll see people sitting in the boarding area in suits take netbooks out and work on them while they re waiting for a flight Mr Toland says these users already have a powerful machine at home and perhaps another one in the office too but see the appeal in something that is neat and handy when it comes to working on the go Samsung has been very successful in exploiting the niche found in netbooks recently despite being one of the last manufacturers to enter the market Its first netbook the NC10 did not hit shelves until late 2008 and was not properly available in Ireland until earlier this year Despite this or perhaps because of it the machine has proved to be a massive hit We was quite late to launch netbook so what we did was look at where there were some flaws in the products in the market and we addressed them says Mr Toland That s why by January Samsung netbook was number one in the UK and has retained that every month bar one The three things the NC10 did that set it apart from the competitors at the time was its nearly full sized keyboard its strong battery and its sleek look Up until that point most netbooks came with very small and awkward keys while the amount of time given by their small batteries left a lot to be desired Of course it was not long before the competition caught up and such apparent luxuries are now bare essentials in the netbook space So what must a company do to keep on the cutting edge and it is just as simple as continually ramping up the likes of processor power The Atom processor has been standard and hasn t changed because it hasn t had to says Mr Toland At the moment there isn t a need to have a bigger specification the thing is if you increase the spec you ll probably increase the weight of the product it s also going to increase the price of the product However consumers can still expect big changes in the netbook market over the next year ones that may be even more significant than the ones that have occoured in the past twelve months For a start Windows 7 is due at the end of the month and its Starter edition is specifically designed for netbooks an attempt by Microsoft to put its XP platform to sleep once and for all and a sign that the big software players are treating the device type seriously As computer components get cheaper lighter

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/whats-next-for-netbooks/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Blurring the line between platforms | Teic.ie
    that they are missing In recent months UPC has also started an aggressive marketing campaign against the telecoms company and its TV rival Sky promising large savings to those who get their TV phone and broadband from them instead So how has UPC s push for telecoms market share impacted upon the market and the way Eircom is looking at television services Obviously the competitive landscape is changing and in the same way we re looking to expand into TV cable operators such as UPC have been looking to expand into fixed line services says Mr Cullivan I have no doubt that there is room for a third challenger in the TV market in Ireland Besides its IPTV trial Eircom is also a shareholder in the commercial contract for a Digital Terrestrial Television DTT service which will launch in the second half of 2010 if everything goes to plan before then However bundled services can and in today s converging world should be about more than a cheaper monthly bill for customers As the various devices used by consumers become more sophisticated so too do the applications and features they can handle potential not lost on Mr Cullivan What I would classify as a multi play services is TV to the three screens namely television computer and mobile he says This is a key part of any future offerings and content deals would apply to the TV in your living room your laptop if you re on the move and even your phone Another potential area of convergence is between phone connections At the moment it is possible to configure a VoIP enabled mobile phone so that it automatically switches from the cellular network to the home s once it comes into wireless range This can even happen mid call meaning customers could end up paying home phone rates for calls they may on their mobile assuming they do so at home Mr Cullivan says these kinds of technologies are being looked at by Eircom at the moment but their reliability is an issue and it may be some time before there is a marketable equivalent available For Eircom there is a logical path between its current situation and a TV offering whether it is done through DTT IPTV or both For a company like UPC however this is not the case The current UPC offering runs entirely through the company s cable network and the huge investment made is allowing for additional services like high speed broadband to be added in more areas However there is nothing within that network that allows UPC to start offering mobile connections to customers too In the past this would have forced them to either win a mobile licence none of which are available any more or buy an existing mobile operator if they wished to compete in this area Due to regulation changes the company now has the option of becoming a Mobile Virtual Network Operator MVNO effectively renting space on an

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/blurring-the-line-between-platforms/ (2016-02-17)
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