Tuesday, April 27, 2010

New online space for visual artists

Visual Artists Ireland (VAI) has launched a new social networking site, www.thecommonroom.net. VAI has been helping professional visual artists since 1980 with an ever widening level of services.

Following discussion and research, VAI wished to supply a further level of public service to the visual arts. Noting the benefits of social networking sites for increasing a person's circle of contacts and connecting users to familiar and new people through mutual acquaintances and common interests, VAI created The Common Room Social Network for the Visual Arts. Read More

Courtesy: RTE news

Monday, April 26, 2010

Video meetings are taking off

TECHNOLOGY VENDORS will give a long list of reasons why you should invest in conferencing solutions but until this week volcanoes were not among them. BT alone reports a 27-36 per cent rise in the usage of its audio and video conferencing products by customers while Citrix claimed “a dramatic increase in demand” for GoToMeeting, its online video conferencing software.

Such tools offered an impromptu solution for stranded business travellers, highlighted at an Ibec conference in Dublin where two speakers stuck in Brussels were still able to give their presentations to 200 delegates using Microsoft Live Meeting.

Now that the volcanic dust has settled, organisations might be more inclined to put technology in place to avoid repeating a week of missed meetings and costly delays. Uptake in these products has been steady for a number of years. Organisations looking to cut costs have found an easy way to reduce travel with desk-based solutions that keep employees in the office. At the same time, lowering the carbon footprint has ticked a useful box around corporate and social responsibility. Read More

Courtesy: Irish Times

Start-ups gaining from technology recovery

THE INTERNATIONAL recovery in the technology sector, as shown by strong corporate results from Intel, Google and Apple, is reflected in the latest update to The Irish Times Tech50.

The constituents of our ranking of Irish technology firms are largely export focused and so have benefited from the upturn in global technology spending, even if the local economy remains in the doldrums.

NewBay, a maker of software that enables telecoms companies to provide access to social media services, remains Ireland’s strongest technology company on our index. NewBay increased its score from 81 to 83 since the Tech50 was introduced last December. The increase is on the back of a deal with Deutsche Telekom, which is using Newbay’s software to allow subscribers to instantly upload content from their handsets to the operator’s Media Centre. Read More

Courtesy: Irish Times

Monday, April 19, 2010

Samsung warns of physical dangers of 3D TV

While 3D TV is the hottest thing to arrive in the TV world, one of its proponents, Samsung, has outlined some of the physical dangers – namely, it’s not a good idea to use your 3D goggles if you’ve already got beer goggles on.

“We do not recommend watching 3D if you are in bad physical condition, need sleep or have been drinking alcohol,” the consumer electronics giant warned in a note on ‘Viewing TV using the 3D function’.

The company says that ideal conditions for using 3D Active Glasses involves turning off all fluorescent lighting and blocking sources of direct sunlight before watching in 3D mode. Read More

Courtesy: Silicon Republic

Putting up barriers to a free and open internet

THE GOVERNMENT has had extensive private discussions on introducing internet blocking – barring access to websites or domains – according to material obtained under a Freedom of Information (FOI) request.

The approach is used by some internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile network operators to block access to child pornography. But increasingly, governments and law enforcement agencies are pushing for much broader use, ranging from blocking filesharing sites to trying to tackle cybercrime and terrorism. Critics say internet blocking creates many problems with little real effect on illegal activity. For example, internet users and businesses have complained about the side-effects of domain blocking, where barring access to domains can shut down hundreds of personal and business websites as well as e-mail addresses associated with them.

The exact nature of the Government discussions cannot be determined as many of the requests for key documents were refused by the Department of Justice. However, the ongoing high level of discussion on the subject is indicated in the detailed description of each refused item in the list of materials returned by the department. Read More

Courtesy: Irish Times

Why a security crackdown on our personal data is needed

THE DATA Protection Commissioner’s 2009 interim annual report, released last week, reveals that personal data security breaches – the loss of sensitive personal information by companies or organisations – were up almost 50 per cent on 2008.

Surely this is overwhelming proof (if any more were needed after the appalling tales of data loss by Government departments, semi-State agencies and a variety of companies) that Ireland needs to legislate for mandatory disclosure of data breaches.Such laws are increasingly the norm across the world. In the US almost every state has such a law. There is formidable evidence that it was only legislation of this sort, introduced at the start of the decade in California, which led to the realisation that some massive breaches were happening at all.

It was only when Californians had to be notified of such losses that the national scale of some of these breaches was realised: in some cases, tens of millions of records were accidentally lost or stolen in single incidents. Read More

Courtesy: Irish Times

Monday, April 12, 2010

Is Facebook becoming the new Bebo?

Once it was pretty clear. Bebo was for the teens. Facebook was for the 20 or 30 somethings and LinkedIn was for the professional types. But now seems Facebook has inherited many of the teen-related problems that dogged Bebo in its heyday.

The news of the demise of Bebo this week shocked many. AOL acquired Bebo for US$850m only two years ago but revealed that it would require a "significant investment" to stop the once-unstoppable social networking behemoth from folding. Read More

Courtesy: Silicon Republic