December 5th, 2013 Posted in Economy, Ireland, Latest Trends, trends
Ireland has been named the best country in the world for business by Forbes.
It is the first time Ireland has topped the list since it began in 2006.
Ireland moved up from number six out of 145 countries analysed last year due to improved scores on monetary freedom and the high return from the Irish Stock Exchange Overall Index.
The rest of the top five were New Zealand, Hong Kong, Denmark and Sweden.
Forbes makes the list by grading 11 different factors: property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance.
Ireland scored well across the board for business friendliness and very near the top for low tax burden, investor protection and personal freedom.
Forbes said that despite Ireland’s recent economic problems, it remained a pro business country that continued to attract investments from some of the world’s biggest companies over the last ten years.
The ranking will provide a boost for Ireland as it prepares to exit the bailout programme at the end of the year.
Image: ddpavumba on freedigitalphotos.net
December 3rd, 2013 Posted in Apple, Apps, Online, Technology, Twitter
The giant that is Apple has recently purchased Topsy, a search engine and analytics company for tweets that’s been one of Twitter’s biggest partners, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Though there’s no clear implication for what Apple might do with Topsy, the WSJ suggests that it could begin using Topsy’s data to better target ads, to inform users of its products about popular subjects, or to generally tap into of-the-moment interests. Apple has confirmed the acquisition. The WSJ reports that the purchase price was over $200 million.
Topsy recently announced the launch of a search engine for tweets that it said was capable of searching through the over 400 billion sent since Twitter first launched. Twitter itself doesn’t provide a way to do that yet, and in the past it even ended up relying on Topsy’s data to parse through the most buzzed-about nominees for the 2013 Oscars and to capture the mood of the 2012 presidential election. That close relationship has allowed Topsy to be one of the few companies given access to Twitter’s full stream of data.
Though Topsy’s focus is on Twitter for now, the Journal reported all the way back in 2009 that Topsy could eventually expand into analyzing other sources of data. Rather than Apple being interested in social data from Twitter, it’s possible that it’s also interested in applying Topsy’s analytics technology to its own data, such as information from the App Store. As is customary, Apple declined to elaborate to the Journal on its exact intentions, only saying that “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.”
Source: The Verge
December 2nd, 2013 Posted in Economy, Ireland, jobs, Journalism, Latest Trends, Newspapers
Johnston Press, the publisher of more than 30 regional newspaper titles in Ireland, has confirmed it is in talks to sell its 14 titles in Ireland, which include the Limerick Leader, the Donegal Democrat and the Kilkenny People.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange, the company said it was holding discussions about the sale of the newspapers for €8.5 million in cash.
“There can be no certainty that agreement will be reached on a sale,” it said and adding that “a further announcement will be made as appropriate”.
The statement did not name the possible buyer, however there is speculation that it is Mediaforce, an advertising agency that has close links with the regional press in Britain and Ireland.
Mediaforce is owned by British millionaire Malcolm Denmark.
Other titles owned by Johnston Press are The Leinster Leader, The Leinster Express, the Tipperary Star, the Leitrim Observer, the Longford Leader, The Nationalist & Munster Advertiser, South Tipp Today and the Donegal People’s Press.
The most recent accounts for Johnston Press show that its pretax profit fell 44% from €1.7 million to €941,000 last year. The company recently announced an enhanced group-wide voluntary redundancy scheme, having already laid off almost a quarter of its workforce between 2011 and 2012.
The cuts have also affected the Irish operation in recent years, with a number of senior posts merged and a decision taken to close the Offaly Express.
Source: Irish Times
Image: ammer on freedigitalphotos.net
December 2nd, 2013 Posted in Course/Training, PR Tips, Press Release, Public Relations
Journalists receive numerous press releases a day but simply cannot read and share all of them. Here are 8 tips to get that press release of your read and shared.
1. Write the way you talk.
Search engines prefer natural language, not jargon or marketing-speak. So do readers. Write naturally and use good grammar.
2. Cut back on links.
Press Releases full of links can be difficult to read and are quite off putting. Search engines can see links as spam. By all means link to your website or product but keep it at that. You want it to look good and clear to read.
3. Avoid the use of Unnecessary Capitalization.
Copy littered with capital letters in weird places are a turnoff for a lot of readers and really will make your press release underperform. It can look like your release is shouting at them and can seem really pushy.
4. Recognize that content recirculates.
Continue reading »
November 28th, 2013 Posted in Facebook, Internet, Online, Opinion Pieces
Facebook is a great way of finding interesting and enlightening things online, however a casual scroll through your newsfeed is not always the best time to read, it is also not easy to hunt down an article if you have returned to Facebook at a better time.
If you can relate to any of this you’ll welcome the news that Facebook appears to be testing a “save for later” feature. This isn’t the first time the company has tested the idea, but it does appear to be more advanced and closer to wide release.
The concept first popped up on a version of the Facebook app for iPhone and iPad in 2012. In that iteration, you held your finger on a story to save it to a separate list. Now, according to the blog MyTechSkool, which first spotted it, users will see a button with a bookmark icon they can press.
This is what apps such as Instapaper, Pocket and Read It Later have been doing for years, of course. The Apple browser, Safari, added a similar feature called Reading List (available on mobile in iOS6 and on the desktop with Mac OS X Mavericks).
But the Facebook feature differs in significant ways. First of all, you can save more than just articles, you’ll be able to set aside anything from a family memer’s holiday snaps to a change in your friends relationship status. Call it a social To Do list.
Secondly, it allows you to do your later reading within Facebook — meaning Zuckerberg gets to monitor and monetize ever more of your reading behavior. What we don’t know yet: whether you’ll be able to read those articles, links and saved social snippets when you’re offline.
What do you think of this new feature?
Image: KROMKRATHOG on freedigitalphotos.net
November 26th, 2013 Posted in Apple, Smartphones, Technology
A broken iPhone is a thing many people dread to think of.
If it has unfortunately happened to you, you will know it results in either the repair shop or worse- a new phone.
But a new service wants to take broken iPhones and do something different with them; transform them into entirely new objects.
Chris Koerner recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for his project, called Twice Used. The service takes broken iPhones and uses them to make everything from earrings to clocks to coasters.
While working at an iPhone repair shop, Koerner noticed that many broken phone parts were just thrown away. That meant that those parts were likely to end up in landfills, potentially causing environmental damage.
Koerner believes that the kooky items he and his team now offer — like a wall clock made of 12 panes of iPhone glass — make better use of those discarded smartphones.
“There will always be a market for this,” Koerner told Mashable. “People have always been and will always be breaking their phones… If it weren’t for my repair experience, I wouldn’t have known that these materials are harmful to the environment.”
The parts used to create the unique pieces generally come from other repair shops.
Continue reading »