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  • Sun, sea & gale force winds | Teic.ie
    will require a 10bn investment but obviously argues this can be recouped very quickly once it is completed A side effect of the development that would not be as easy to resolve would be the impact on the environment the wind farms and hydro storage reservoirs would have While the company argues there are already natural craters on the west coast that could be used for water storage turning them into damns would impact on their aesthetics and make them a no go area for climbers and walkers Of course the whole development is still in its infancy and details given by the company appear to be aspirational so far If it is going to gain public and critically state support it will need to prove that the people and technology behind it is sound and reliable Biomass Biomass Heating Solutions It may not be applicable to many businesses but the growth of biomass energy generation is using natural waste to solve two problems at once for farms and agricultural companies One of the most troublesome by products for many companies especially those with a lot of animals is the waste they generate on a daily basis In the past the only option for dealing with this waste was to spread it on unused patches of land owned by the farmer or company creating an environmental issue which made the land useless for a number of years Due to the hazardous chemicals that can be released by this practice there have been many changes in the regulation of it in recent years and it is now harder and more expensive to do than ever This is where companies like Biomass Heating Solutions Ltd come into play We offer a safe and money saving way for companies to do away with their waste says Jack O Connor managing director of Biomass It can have a pay back time of just a few years and has numerous advantages The biomass systems are built on site meaning the material can be disposed of without being transported anywhere first It is then used to heat water and can provide all of the heating for a facility under the right circumstances Not only does this process remove the need for the waste to be spread it also strips it of the harmful chemicals that create the environmental issues in the first place After the material has been used to generate heat it leaves behind just an ash that has its own uses All that s left in the ash is phosphorous and nitrogen which there s actually a demand for in fertilizing says O Connor Ireland is a net importer of these chemicals so it can save money in that way too Of course it is not just animal waste that can be included in the biomass process as the technology also covers the likes of plant and wood burning As the process invloves the burning of material it does release greenhouse gases but given

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/sun-sea-gale-force-winds/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Cloud Cover | Teic.ie
    can see its servers go down it is clear that small businesses can too Of course having the belts and braces approach does not come cheap either and Mr Mac Aaonghusa suggests companies should look objectively at what they need and want against what they can afford to have First and foremost understand the basic cost versus value proposition clearly it costs more for stronger security but you have to look at the value that can bring he says You should also test out for disasters That seems like a silly thing to say but you have to know what would happen if a particular thing arose so you can be prepared for it Conor O Neill technology consultant at Argolon and owner of LouderVoice com is currently in the process of switching his company s server structure over to Amazon s AWS system and is ensuring he has a Plan B and even C I m taking a geographically distributed approach with the main setup in Amazon Dublin and a redundancy in Amazon East Coast US says Mr O Neill On top of that we ll keep one non Amazon setup in Softlayer in Texas in case the entire AWS system collapses The idea is that if AWS Dublin goes down we can cut over to US in a minute or two If all of AWS goes down we can cut over to Softlayer probably in less than an hour Of course it does not have to be a failure on the server s side that can leave cloud users stranded from their information the problem can be local If your internet connection goes down it does not matter how reliable your remote servers are you will not be able to talk to them We have all of our information backed up on site so we can access it even if the entire connection goes down says Mr O Neill However as Mr Mac Aaonghusa points out if you back up all of your information on a local server you may be wiping out the savings you are making by being on the cloud in the first place You run the risk of duplicating your service if you run two structures like that he says Again companies should take an analytical approach and perhaps only back up the critical files they would need access to at all times As an alternative to a local back up IBM have established a recovery centre in their Dublin offices allowing users to travel there and gain access to their data This is only really practical to people in or close to the capital but it is a novel approach nonetheless Conor O Neill finds that in reality broadband outages are rare and even when they occur it is easy to circumvent them anyway They have only ever happened to us once or twice and when it does it usually only lasts an hour or so he says We have 3G broadband dongles

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/cloud-cover/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Marketers need to get savvy online | Teic.ie
    which starts on 13th March will showcase the first seven minute episode of nine separate programmes online Viewers will vote for their favourite and the best six will air their second episode the following month with the process repeating itself every month until one is left to complete its run Each show has a budget of 8 000 per episode which is minuscule in TV drama terms However while online marketing may be seen as a way of saving money it is not as simple as it seems It was a lot of work to create content for the Bebo pages says Mr Duane who pointed out the difficulty they faced in creating additional content that was interesting but not vital to the show s plot We would often give the actors handheld HD cameras and get them to ad lib something in an hour that would be put up on their Bebo pages We shoot each episode after the last has aired so we can also react to what the audience is saying and even reference something that happened online says Screenwork s other co owner Rob Cawley who has a background in the creation of Australia s first Aboriginal comedy sketch show We have an overall plan for the story but it s designed to be flexible along the way Naturally creating a world like this works when promoting a work of fiction but it makes less sense for a services or utilities company That said Twitter and Facebook can still help them market themselves through conversations with customers Bord Gáis recently launched a Twitter account as part of the marketing for its electricity sales According to a spokesperson the Twitter account was set up two weeks before the billboard teaser campaign began and has been used to drum up interest and interaction between customer and company Since launch we ve run a number of promotions through twitter including promotions pushing people on to our Youtube channel said the spokesperson Twitter has also become a back channel answering queries related to the offer and the online elements of the marketing campaign including the website and the online application process Bord Gáis was also careful to avoid social interaction for the sake of it as some companies have tried in recent months Eoin O Suilleabhain the company s E channel manager avoided Facebook and Bebo because it had no benefit to the company s aims There are plenty of brands out there Irish and international that have paid lip service to Facebook and Twitter They gain a lot of friends and fans but these people might visit the page just once drawing into question the value behind the numbers HB ice cream recently created a Facebook page which has shown far more thought however The page features retro content from Irish TV 80s music and a section for uploading readers embarrassing Communion photographs Links to it can already be seen getting shared across blogs and Twitter alike and if

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/marketers-need-to-get-savvy-online/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Google nation | Teic.ie
    regular basis and the more they interact the more frequent and focused its adverts can be The stated rationale for Google s development of the Chrome web browser was that the company wanted to ensure people accessing its services online got the full experience and it could only do so by designing a custom built medium As Google also offers downloadable programmes Chrome being one example the same logic can be extended to suggest a need for an overall operating system too to ensure people also experience these programmes as they were intended to After all the beauty of what Apple does with the Mac is create a unified feel to the entire experience If Google can mimic this and create an operating system specifically designed to exhibit a web browser which is in turn specifically designed to exhibit Google com it will make the user far more likely to go there for information To some degree consumers should be excited about a Google OS it is the only company on the scene that would have any hope of tackling Microsoft s market dominance in that area and this can only be a good thing At the same time it is hard to avoid the sense of fear that increasingly comes with every new Google release and that would undoubtedly come with the launch of Google OS a fear over privacy Google is at heart an advertising agency and ad agents love nothing more than raw data on their audience Clearly the more Google knows about you the better it can target adverts that would be of appeal to you and this is a technique the company has been quite explicit about Of course its one thing to allow Google to know the sites you visit or information you want to find but there is a tipping point at which the level of information accessible by the company can become unnerving Assuming you use every Google service available at present you may already have crossed a mental line without really thinking about it Theoretically Google could have records of everything you look for online every site you visit every e mail you sent and received every document you created and read and every photograph you have ever taken Not only that it would know every when and where that ties in with it Google s latest release Google Latitude takes this level of information gathering and the debate that goes with it to a new level This service allows people to track the location of their friends over Google Maps thanks to an application that can be downloaded to computers or mobile phones Users can decide not to use the service of course or opt to limit the information given out but it does serve as a blunt reminder for what is accessible Naturally all of this information is said to be encrypted and protected so that the individual behind it will never be identified and despite some slip ups

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/google-nation/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Credits roll for Irish video rental sector | Teic.ie
    theory this means customers could watch a huge amount of films in any give month for just 32 assuming they could watch and return them quickly Of course this happens the less they spend per rental and the less profit can be made As a result of this many companies including ScreenClick com operate a fair use policy which gives priority to lower volume customers potentially resulting in a slower turn around of orders for those who rent a high number of DVDs per month According to Screenclick com they post out around 70 000 DVDs per month and have in the region of 100 000 registered customers although not all of these are active The company also offers its services to companies like Eircom An Post and The Irish Times which use their software archives distribution structures as part of their own online rental services In February the company is due to launch a new partnership with a large computer manufacturer which could see it offer discount or even free computers when bought with Screenclick subscriptions the new venture will see the company sell DVDs for the first time too However the old guard of the rental industry did see the threats facing them from DVD sales and online some time ago and have been moving to protect themselves from losses ever since Xtra vision which is owned by international rental giant Blockbuster Entertainment has actually been quite successful in its attempts to restructure the business while Chartbusters has clearly had a tougher time The Xtra vision approach has been to move out of the suburbs and to bolster its presence in urban and high street locations The company has tried to increase the floor space of the 160 outlets it has kept open in Ireland and now offers DVDs music and games to buy as well as mobile phone and gadgets such as iPods It is thought that the rental side of Xtra vision s business now accounts for just half its revenue In fact Xtra vision s turn around in recent years has been so impressive that its management team was sent across Europe three years ago to oversee a similar restructuring of Blockbuster s international operations In both the US and UK Blockbuster has moved into the rent by post market to compete with its new rivals directly however there has been no indication made by Xtra vision so far to suggest it would follow suit In America Blockbuster is competing mainly with Netflix and is suffering badly as a result of sticking to its core rental business for too long In Britain the main competition is LoveFilm com which happens to be the owner of Screenclick com following an estimated 3m buy out in 2006 Of course DVD rental by post has its limitations mainly the inability to cater for impulse rentals Customers who realise at 8pm that there is nothing on TV cannot rely on companies like Screenclick to fill the void as Mr

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/credits-roll-for-irish-video-rental-sector/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Technology tips to stay ahead in business | Teic.ie
    lifetime ago in a news cycle It is vital you have a website too even the most basic one is better than none Make sure you use an Irish webhost or a ie domain name to help you do better in Google ie listings if Google can find the information on your site that is the main thing You should not need to run ads for the basics of your business if you have a website that is simply designed You should be first in Google for these things already www mulley ie Pat Phelan is founder and owner of MaxRoam a service that offers low cost mobile phone roaming internationally He advises businesses to examine every aspect of their outgoings saying they should not be afraid to end agreements that are not proving beneficial I would suggest any company immediately re negotiate all their maintenance contracts cancel all direct debit payments and change them to invoice based Cancel all contracts with recruitments agencies and offer your existing staff a bonus if they find you an incredible employee this has considerable benefits in the short term On a telephony side do not make mobile calls whilst in range of a fixed line Sometimes I see people calling others in the same office on their corporate mobile Your mobile supplier should also be requested to immediately review your existing contracts and minute bundle Examine your telecoms spend whilst traveling in minute detail I use Boingo as a wifi provider whilst I travel and spend 30 a month on an unlimited account we share this in our office and no longer pay for internet connectivity whilst traveling Obviously hardware will need to be replaced from time to time and I would certainly consider looking at reconditioned units as there will be plenty floating around www patphelan net Conor O Neill is a director at IT consultancy company Argolon which own s the social networking based review site LouderVoice com He says the arrival of cloud computing means serious savings and efficiencies can be found by SMEs The key to saving money on IT in 2009 is the cloud and Software as a Service SaaS By pushing as much as possible online you can keep using older hardware allow staff to work from anywhere make use of some great new tools and minimise all your traditional support headaches A simple free example of SaaS is Google Apps It gives you 6GB of free spam filtered e mail per employee with GMail whilst keeping your existing mail domain With it you can write documents spreadsheets and presentations online and share them with others Employees can communicate about these shared documents using Google Talk while Google Sites can host your intranet and information sharing wiki Zoho provides even more online applications than Google some of which are paid for If you are struggling to manage your customer contacts and sales process Zoho CRM is free for up to three users They have everything from e

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/technology-tips-to-stay-ahead-in-business/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Any spare change? | Teic.ie
    decade ago iPod maker Apple has arguably been the most successful company when it comes to micro payments with its iTunes store now the biggest music retailer in the US A large part of this success has been its flat rate price model for songs and albums although Apple says it just about breaks even from the service due to the costs involved in running it Apple is likely to see more financial reward in its recently launched App Store which is designed for the iPhone and iPod Touch devices and offers thousands of home made applications for the two machines The iTunes App Store is probably one of the first truly successful micro payment platforms and it s interesting to just be a part of that says Patrick Collison co founder of Auctomatic and developer of a successful encyclopaedia application for the iPhone The biggest bonus is how little infrastructure you need to put a project up there if I had to develop a payment processing system myself it would have been a lot of work but here it s all done for you The App Store system works quite simply Developers be they part of a large company or independent hobbyists create a programme and submit it to the App Store where it must be approved by Apple The developer to sets a price and they can offer their software for free for a couple of cent or for a few euro if they so choose The application can then be downloaded directly to a user s iPhone Mr Collison s application offers users the entire Wikipedia in download form meaning it can be read even when the device is not connected to the internet It currently costs 5 99 and involves a significant 2GB initial download to get started Apple CEO Steve Jobs has previously claimed that the App Store will not turn much of a profit for the company instead it will just drive interest in the iPhone Given the fact that Apple take a 30 cut of every purchase and there were 100 million downloads made in the two months following the store s launch in July this is somewhat hard to believe There is no doubt that someone will profit from the App Store but it is also true that there is much benefit to be had for consumers Not only will they now have access to some weird and wonderful tools that big companies might not have bothered making they are also being exposed to solid applications that were previously too expensive to develop There are so many great applications out there that haven t been made because it s so hard to get it licensed and distributed says Mr Collison Platforms like the App Store will change that and make it far easier for people to just put their product out there and see how it does However the remaining issue with the likes of the App Store and similar ventures undertaken

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/any-spare-change/ (2016-02-17)
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  • Dial M for market share | Teic.ie
    will see no difference between their mobile and fixed communications and all they will want is instant access to the web and entertainment We d be very foolish to stay only in the mobile market when this convergence is coming at us like a steam train The obvious danger in such a move is that the company now known as a one stop shop for mobile phones will become a generic retailer with a jack of all trades approach We have a challenge in shifting people s perception of us adds Mr Mackeral We need to go from being seen as a mobile phone retailer to a communications retailer It s very easy when you launch something new like laptops that everyone focuses on them and doesn t may attention to the core business so avoiding that is a challenge too The broadening of product ranges has been in the planning for some time as has the link up with US giant Best Buy Officially announced in May of this year the deal saw Best Buy invest 1 1bn in Carphone Warehouse in return for a 50 stake One of the few certainties of the deal is that the Best Buy brand will be coming to Europe very soon likely starting in Britain and spreading from there Completely different from the Carphone Warehouse model of relatively small outlets in cities and shopping centres the Best Buy big box format will see outlets of 2000 4500sqm appear in out of town locations like retail parks Both companies have already worked together as part of Carphone Warehouse s entrance to the US market which was branded Best Buy Mobile Mr Mackeral suggests that similar branding structures could eventually appear in Europe too Nobody s too precious about whether the company should be Best Buy or whether it should be Carphone the big box shops will be Best Buy and it s just a matter of what happens with the Carphone brand he says It s all a work in progress though and nothing is known for certain yet The logic in the US was to use the universally known brand to promote a new chain of shops across the country as opposed to using a name that meant nothing to American consumers In Ireland and the UK the Carphone Warehouse brand is strong however and across much of Western Europe the company is well known as The Phone House This is an asset that is unlikely to be pushed aside on a whim Regardless of the brand chosen Mr Mackeral is clear on the next challenge for the company s existing outlets the network s retail shops I can t for the life of me figure out why someone would go to a network shop and only get a quarter of the offers available to them he says If I were to quit tomorrow that would be my biggest disappointment that we ve not convinced people that they re unnecessary To some

    Original URL path: http://www.teic.ie/2009/10/dial-m-for-market-share/ (2016-02-17)
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