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  • Still haven’t found what we’re looking for | Teic.ie
    company to challenge Google s dominance Before Bing there was Live Search which was proceeded by Windows Live Search which came after MSN Search none of which did anything to really challenge Google It is no surprise that so many companies have put so much money into winning a piece of search engine market share Last year Google enjoyed revenues of 22bn most of which came from web based advertising It is a testament to the success of Google that the company s name is now accepted as a verb that means to search In Ireland at least Google is believed to account for over 90 of all search queries made However search engine market share was not always as coveted as it is now in fact it it was quite the opposite a few years ago Even as late as 2003 Yahoo treated search as a loss leader outsourcing its search engine on Yahoo com to Google While others tried to be what people searched for Google saw the potential in being what they searched with Since then Google has been blazing a trail and others have been struggling to keep up but that may be changing From what I ve seen of the changes on Google of late it s just my opinion but I think some are more reactive says Richard Hearne owner of search engine optimisation SEO and online marketing company RedCardinal ie Google are historically very proactive and they did their own thing they still maintain that they do but I think there s no way that some of what we re seeing is a competitive response One of area Google has accepted it is playing catch up in at the moment is real time search which gives users access to information that may have just been published Standard search engines like Google can take some time to find and process information before it can be presented to the end user in their results while the algorithm used in real time search engines like the one on Twitter com can do so instantly Well Larry himself has said he wishes we were better at real time search We re constantly working on improving search but we have nothing specific to announce right now says a Google spokesperson Social networking site Facebook clearly sees this as an area worth investing in also and has acquired FriendFeed recently in a deal believed to be worth 33 4m What Facebook plan to do with the company is not yet known nor is the impact real time search will have on what Google and others do Google is probably just fearful that their search technology wasn t built for real time it was built to give the best results and that it may be their downfall in some way says Richard Hearne But they re two very different propositions if someone is researching something they don t want the latest information they want the best Mr Hearne also points

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/still-havent-found-what-were-looking-for/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Why the Wii changed the rules of the game | Teic.ie
    for years had failed to realise was that their technological improvements were for a reason other than having one up on the competition and that the benefit of being more powerful was nowhere near as great as it was 10 years ago Three years later and the industry is now turned on its head in more ways than one Microsoft and Sony which are both guilty of dismissing the Wii and its motion controls as a novelty are now in the early stages of releasing their respective answers to the Wii s motion sensitive controller For Sony s Playstation 3 that is taking the form of a Wii mote like device that uses the console s camera as part of its tracking abilities For Microsoft s Xbox 360 the development is far extreme with the company working on Project Natal which is a sensor bar that tracks full body movement and does not require any handheld devices Nintendo itself is not standing still either and has unveiled the Wii Motion Plus attachment which is added to the existing controller aid is said to give it better functionality Of course it is not just the control system that has helped push the gaming industry into a more considered approach to what they do Improving internet connections which coincided with a cost reduction in good quality PCs and even games some games consoles have also taken gamers out of the traditional new release cycle Where before games were bought played finished and then put to one side the many varieties of online gaming have given good titles indefinite lifespans This means that people no longer have to buy the latest game in a series and perhaps the latest console or computer to ensure it works properly just because they like a certain franchise or game genre Halo 3 for example came out two years ago on the Xbox 360 and yet still remains the most played game on Microsoft s online gaming platform Xbox Live This is despite the prettier or more processor intensive games that have arrived on the shelves since then and it sends a clear message to developers that the graphical polish does not matter the quality of the game does Likewise World of Warcraft the massively multiplayer online role playing game is by far the dominant force in its genre despite being five years old What is even more interesting is the fact that members pay a monthly fee to play the game proving there is still money to be made even if you resist bringing out a slightly upgraded game every few months The standard console generation has had a lifespan of around five to six years in recent times and by that calculation we are half way through the current one However with console makers focusing on more innovative ways to present their games there is a chance that this generation will last a whole lot longer than normal as a result The industry has realised

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/why-the-wii-changed-the-rules-of-the-game/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Time to get smart about R&D | Teic.ie
    quality of Ireland s graduates helped to create the last boom the Minister accepts that improvements are needed now if it is to be a factor in the next one We can t feed the inward investment machine unless we can keep producing the people and improve the quality of the people we produce from the education system The third level institutions are already saying they have to do extra work nowadays to give tuition to people who have already graduated to mathamatical or science related courses he says pointing out that the problems also exist in and even stem from secondary level Figures at the moment on maths in Ireland are disappointing only 16 are taking higher level maths and within that group small as they are by comparison with other countries they re not predomniately high achievers Minister Lenihan points to pilot schemes like Project Maths and Dublin s upcoming tenure as City of Science in 2012 as ways in which this can be tackled with the emphasis on making science and maths more accessible to people We need to show citizens that perhaps this is where the jobs of the future are we do need to acclimatise our population to that reality it s not enough for Government to say we ve made these decisions we need to explain them to the public he says It s very hard to dramatise and illustrate the need for funding to the public and I think there s also a predisposition in some quarters to believe that this kind of research and investment is hard to vouch and account for he says Certainly we have to make sure that the investment being made is giving value for money too Despite this he is generally positive about the health of the education sector when it comes to building a smarter economy He points to the recent announcement by Trinity College and UCD that it is to enter into joint research projects as a sign of where things are heading UCD and Trinity have set ambitious targets for themselves in terms of spinning out actual commercial companies profit making companies from the fruits of their University based research he says In 2008 160m of turnover was generated directly out of university based research so people who accuse researchers in universities of living in ivory towers are quite wrong The Minister says that by adding an element of business education to academic subjects colleges can create people with the ideas and knowledge to make viable companies The Government is also looking to make the path to new businesses as easy as it can for people willing to take the leap We are looking very seriously as a Government at creating a one stop shop for anyone who wants to self start he says We need to co ordinate more of the state agencies so that when people look for help that they re quickly brought into the system and allowed to start up

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/time-to-get-smart-about-rd/ (2016-02-17)
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  • High-tech ways to beat the fraudsters | Teic.ie
    do take control out of the customer s hands while also allowing the beneficiaries of the crime to operate more remotely than ever before Mr Duffy believes a lot of the fault lies with the banks over reliance on chip and PIN systems which were intended to make things safer What used to happen when payments were authorised by signature criminals would have to create a card that looked like the real thing says Mr Duffy Now they don t even need to create a card as they can make purchases online or they can produce limitless plain plastic cards with your details on them and withdraw money from the ATM with them When the customer s own personal security practices are circumvented the next step in the process is with the banks which already monitor random payments for suspicious activity Mr Duffy says the technology is now there for banks to monitor every payment in real time meaning nothing can slip through the cracks by default We have developed a system with HSBC that allows us to profile every single transaction that goes through a bank in miliseconds and understand if it matches the normal spending pattern of the customer he says If it doesn t then the merchant is told that more information is required which might be a security question or a verified signature Likewise with online banking we can monitor the way users are navigating the page which will show if they are acting differently or entering text in a way that only a bot could do Up until this point the banks have not been able to process that kind of information in enough time so the industry standard is for about one in every 15 transactions to be fully profiled and we ve moved that to every transaction The idea of every keystroke and cursor movement being logged may unnerve users but Mr Duffy insists there are no privacy concerns as the system is fully automated and nothing more than what marketers already do While it s implimentation would also require a reasonable investment by the bank in question he also insists its immediate benefits will make it worthwhile In the case of HSBC s roll out of the software system there was said to be a return on the investment after three months as a result of the fraud halted The scale of the fraud problem in banks is hard to quantify as a lot of fraud just gets written off as bad debt he says What is certain is that it s an expensive reality of banking and criminals will always go for the low hanging fruit when it comes to banks they target Of course banks in Ireland have made their own attempts at fraud prevention some more successful than others With AIB for example customers using online banking now need a code card to set up new transfers The code requested could be any of 100 given to the customer

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/high-tech-ways-to-beat-the-fraudsters/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Getting to the heart of the problem | Teic.ie
    customers so if there s a problem says Hanrahan Even if it s just a small problem with their router or connection we can pro actively detect it and deal with it quickly In theory connection problems could occour and be fixed before the client has even noticed or reacted while remote access means company requests for configuration changes can also be done by Magnet s technicians directly Traditionally a business would have to pick up the phone and call us but our aspiration is that they won t have to do that any more says Hanrahan Today for most of our customers we are re active but what we want to do is go behind the customer s door to provide a better service Even where the problem is not coming from Magnet the visibilty of the network means they can still point the client in the right direction rather than simply telling them they did not know as may have had to happen before There may be cases where a client s computer has been infected with a virus and there are no changes we can make to remove that he says However if we can see that the problem is a virus we can advise them on how best to deal with it and point them to the solution even if it isn t ours Beyond being more flexible in problem solving Magnet is also making a push to become more visible to its customers particularly those at residential level It is currently in the process of establishing a customer interaction forum on popular discussion site Boards ie which according to Hanrahan will allow it to talk directly to customers and potential customers in a less formal way We have a representative on boards ie who can monitor what s going on and respond to people with problems or give our side if we feel something isn t being representated properly he says We also hope to use the commercial area to put information up and if we solve a problem for one person on it then maybe the next person with the problem will stumble across the solution themselves He conceeds that such a set up will only really be useful for residential users as businesses will be far more likely to pick up the phone if they have a query or problem while home users might be inclined to ask around for help before doing so While the company is trying to interact with its customers via sites like Boards ie Hanrahan is less inclined to rush onto other platforms like Twitter and Facebook I think what a lot of companies are doing is using them as marketing tools rather than for customer interaction he says The more options you can give to people to interact the better but I suspect people are going to get a bit peeved with every company having a Facebook page I mean would you become a friend of your

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/getting-to-the-heart-of-the-problem/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Let the games begin | Teic.ie
    would normally have to get licenced spend a lot of money developing the game and then spend even more distributing and marketing it to customers therefore this shift coming on the back of the iPhone could change things forever The first of the two gaming giants to respond so far has been Nintendo which recently released the Nintendo DSi to the Irish market The new console plays the same games as the existing DS and DS Lite but also works as a music player internet browser and to some degree personal organiser Critically the new device also has an SD card slot and access to a download store which will allow gamers to buy and download games through their DSWare store just like you can on an iPhone However Nintendo are keen to stress that this is not the end of the physical release just yet We don t want and we don t see a world where products and titles live in a virtual world as well as a physical world said Reggie Fils Aime Nintendo of America president in a recent interview We see them filling very different needs for the consumer as well as for the business overall There are practical reasons as to why downloads will not take over from physical games just yet for a start their size makes them more difficult to download than the likes of a song or short video On top of this they may be difficult to store if they are large in size leaving people with a mass of SD cards instead of DS cartridges Of course another problem for Nintendo is the fact that the DSi can only connect to the internet while in a WiFi hotspot where the iPhone has the freedom of a 3G connection This means purchases cannot be quite as impulsive for DS users as Nintendo would surely like even if they are more potentially impulsive than those made in shops What the new DS really does just like the iPhone is already doing is widen the definition of their respective markets The iPhone has made the mobile phone more than a device to make calls and texts and has added functionality is a practical way The new DSi aims to turn the Nintendo handheld into a multi functional gadget too with everything even VOIP phone calls potentially possible on the device It is technically possible to play video on the DSi alluded Satoru Iwata Nintendo s chief executive in a recent interview I think you could also technically stream video over the Internet or potentially view compressed video that has been stored on an SD card Amongst all of this Sony have remained quite quiet saying very little about their plans for the PSP When invited to speak on the topic for this article representatives of Playstation Ireland declined saying they did not feel they were the best suited to comment on the area Their hesitance could be connected to rumours of a

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/let-the-games-begin/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Revolution is televised | Teic.ie
    the moment he says We re looking at a very competitive model that has a relatively small up front fee with a very competitive monthly rental model for HD content and we re convinced it will be a very valuable proposition for people Developing HD services is somewhat easier for a company like UPC than it would have been for an independent Chorus or NTL given the fact that the Dutch company has a large presence across many European companies and is ultimately a part of John Malone s Liberty Global Group which also owns DirectTV in the US UPC Ireland has been able to learn from the mistakes of other UPC companies in the rolling out of new services before it does so itself making things that little bit easier to develop One of the services that has come out of this system already in Ireland is the digital video recorder DVR service dubbed Digital by UPC and known as Sky on its rival s network Put simply this device allows people to record programming via their set top box without any separate recorders necessary it also allows you to pause and rewind the television you are watching at the time We have been pushing this very aggressively lately and a lot of new customers are going straight for it as they see value in it we ve had a very strong take up says Simon This kind of technology is having a huge effect on the way people watch television and is fast making the TV listings somewhat irrelevant Sky have complimented their DVR service with online and mobile services which allow users watch content on their computer and set the box to record something from their phone The company also has a system called Sky Anytime which automatically downloads a selection of programming to the set top box One thing Sky cannot offer due to the limitations of satellite broadcasts is a true Video on Demand VoD service which could allow people to catch up with programming they have missed or even purchase or rent premium content like films Cable companies like UPC can roll this out but Kelehan says it is not a priority even if it is on the way VoD is most definitely on our road map and all of the set top boxes we ve deployed in the last year have an in built modem and are capable of achieving VoD he says We are working on a number of content deals with major studios and channels but we need to reach a critical mass of possible users before we can make the switch Kelehan adds that the company is looking in the mobile and online space to try to tie all of these areas together all as a natural step forward from its triple play offering that has been heavily marketed lately The system we use allows us to factor in some kind of red button interactivity and we hope to be

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/revolution-is-televised/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Why we can’t afford cheap technology | Teic.ie
    a slimmer laptop or smaller desktop tower although some of this premium is justified in the higher cost of smaller components A comparison of various mobile phones will show you that functionality varies only slightly from one end of the market to the other what dictates price is the shape and style of the handset and its operating system Buyers have generally accepted that stylish or even user friendly gadgets must cost more too Such a mindset is a hangover from a time when DOS was king PCs were beige and mobiles were monochrome At the time any design improvements were genuine innovation and so a price premium was justified but it eventually developed into a scenario where people accepted ugliness as a penalty for their cheapness The reality is that there is no excuse for bad design any more be it software or hardware and it is not acceptable to sacrifice it in the name of price Nowadays people are far less willing to put up with bad design and it is not a case of pay for something because it is prettier but paying for it because it works as it is supposed to In fact if Apple is testament to anything it is that buyers demand good design and are willing to sacrifice some functionality for it not vice versa The iPod which has been the runaway success of the portable music market for many years now has in many ways been less feature rich than its rivals in Creative and even Microsoft The device has never housed an FM tuner for radio it was late to the game in allowing video functionality and it does not allow wireless or Bluetooth communication between devices and PCs The iPhone similarly lacks many basic phone functions like picture messaging that are only going to be addressed at the device s next update in June of this year What both machines have had in spades is intuitive design and users are drawn to this People were willing to jettison the additional perks that some offer as long as the core product was delivered to perfection The extra money that may have been spent on the device is to these people time saved not reading the manual or searching forums for answers to interface problems Of course if a company expects to package rubbish up in nice casing and sell it for a premium it is sadly mistaken Apple and others may be able to sacrifice some functionality in the name of the design and get away with it but there is a line that should not be crossed Siemens learned this valuable lesson in 2003 when it launched its Xelibri mobile phone range which had two collections of four fashion friendly and quirky phones The designs were innovative and in some cases quite impressive but the devices were lacking in other ways and a chore to use Unsurprisingly the brand was ditched in 2004 due to poor sales and other

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/why-we-cant-afford-cheap-technology/ (2016-02-17)
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