Everyone is busy predicting what’s going to happen in 2017. So, while the eternally optimistic are having their annual conflab with the doom-and-gloom tribe, I’ve just had a peek over my shoulder to remind myself of what’s just gone.
January saw both Alan Rickman and Terry Wogan shrug off their mortal coils, while scientists finally completed row 7 of the periodic table of elements (and thus one of my favourite temporary names, ununpentium, is no more). The departure of Irish stars continued in February with Frank Kelly (feck!) and we had another General Election, which was inconclusive and resulted in weeks of negotiations before a government was formed. We also had LIGO’s announcement of the first observation of gravitation waves! [click title to read more…]
Contrary to the latest craze, I have no intention of rebranding TreeTops.
Apart from the big G today, other very recent rebranding news/gossip (newsip?) is going around re UPC (becoming Virgin), the Eircom telco looking for a new identity, Malaysian Airlines (becoming MAB), the UBS banking group going all out on a media frenzy and plenty more rumblings.
I think it is pretty clear to everyone that location is a key concept in mobile data services today, whether you are using native apps or Web-based services. So it came as a bit of a surprise that Apple released their home-grown iOS 6 map application to replace the one based on Google’s map data. Google has spent about 7 years collecting map data, including satellite images, street images, locations of significant structures/businesses, public transport routes and timetables and much more. This made Google’s solution an excellent component in location-based services. There were a few map-related omissions in Google’s offering for the iPhone/iPad platforms, such as being unable to get a rotatable 3D perspective, or to have turn-by-turn directions spoken [click title to read more…]
Good news for a change. According to the World Bank, Ireland ranks in the top 10 countries to do business. This, despite the IMF/EU bailout, despite the austerity measures, despite the flight of talent from our shores, despite the increasing taxes, despite many other factors that would give the impression that the country should be struggling to do business. Ireland ranks number 10 overall. It gets better: go to the cited report and use the interactive controls to narrow the range on each ranking to 1-13 and thereby reduce the selection to the overall top 5. Ireland comes in at #5. The others (in ranking order) are Singapore, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the USA. If you then compare these [click title to read more…]
If you make regular use of the Internet (the Web in particular) you would be forgiven for thinking that there’s an amazing amount of stuff that’s completely free. It would seem that you can do almost anything on the Internet without spending any of your hard earned cash.
This is, of course, merely a false perception. We all know there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Yet the perception is very compelling. We can search the Web (for free), we can send and receive emails (for free), have voice and video calls (for free), arrange meetings and events (for free), read the news (for free), show our photos and videos (for free), compare retail prices [click title to read more…]