Pledge Request: Fax Your TD
John Handelaar is looking for some people to support his efforts to develop an Irish equivalent of the hugely successful UK site WriteToThem.com for contacting UK politicians. The Irish version of the site would allow people to contact their councillors, TDs and MEPs for free. If you are interested in helping out, visit www.pledgebank.com/faxyourtd BEFORE 1ST FEBRUARY.
TechWireNokia N70 hits Irish shops (6.2.2006, 23:01 UTC)
Nokia's latest 3G cameraphone, the N70, has hit Irish shops. It has a 2 megapixel camera and some new features over the model it's replacing, the 6680 (which is still available on 3). Our initial reaction? Good, other than the keypad, which is a little too small and fiddly to dial or text comfortably. Free to British 3G subscribers, it's available in Ireland from Vodafone for EUR299 (first time bill-pay connection or upgrade) or EUR399 (pay as you go).
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TechWireMeteor preps new smartphones (3.2.2006, 23:35 UTC)
Meteor is trialling Palm's Treo smartphones on its network, we can report. It expects to start selling the device by April in a bid to give its post-pay business a shot in the arm. The Treo hasn't been a big hit so far in Ireland, where Vodafone and O2 -- who own the business market -- have restricted the smartphones they subsidise to a paltry few.
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TechWire3G-tastic laptops from Lenovo and Fujitsu Siemens (1.2.2006, 15:35 UTC)
Laptops are going 3G-crazy at the moment. First Fujistu Siemens announces a 3G function built-in and now Lenovo (formerly IBM). Its Thinkpad T60 and X60 laptops will come with built-in Vodafone 3G connectivity later this year. The company claims that both models have "up to 11 hours" of battery life (with their extended battery packs loaded on). The T60 is €2,240, while the X60 is €2,130.
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TechWirePure Telecom buys Irish satellite broadband outfit (31.1.2006, 17:55 UTC)
More upheavel in the troubled satellite broadband market. Following Aramiska's collapse last week, YTS hears that Pure Telecom has just taken over Ildana Teoranta, a smaller satellite broadband firm with a handful of customers. However, the company also runs 45 group broadband schemes around Ireland. "We've been looking for something out there for a while," said Paul Connell of Pure.
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TechWireHornby's new digital train sets (30.1.2006, 18:11 UTC)
Choo choo! Or should that be bleep, bleep? Hornby, the choice of generations of grandads, is going all digital with its latest incarnation. The hobbyists' choice will show off its new digital collection at a European toy fair later this week. "This new type of digital control harnesses the latest in modern technology," says Hornby's website over a Hobnob biscuit. "No need for masses of wires. The user drives each locomotive directly and with precision." Eeh. By gum.
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TechWireEircom lands Starbucks wifi account (28.1.2006, 19:50 UTC)
Eircom has landed the Starbucks wifi account, YTS hears. So far, the monster coffee chain has four locations, all in Dublin, with its latest branch about to open in Harcourt Street. Meanwhile, Eircom has informed us that it now has 696 active hotspots around the country. It also claims that a further 214 hotspots are "agreed and pending completion". This breaks down into 79 cafes, 104 bars, 147 hotels, 26 B&Bs, 202 payphones and 5 airports. But are hotels and B&Bs really "public hotspots"? Ar...
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TechWire"Honest" Irish not downloading much illegal music, says expert (27.1.2006, 15:56 UTC)
The High Court has ordered Irish ISPs to release the names of 49 people thought to be downloading music illegally. Irma, the music labels' organisation, is delighted. But how many Irish people are actually serious music-downloaders? A look at the statistics pages of either the Irish Internet Neutral Exchange or the .ie Domain Registry says not many. They show a huge drop-off in internet activity after 6pm, when people go home."The peaks and troughs indicate we're an honest nation," said Nick Hi...
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TechWireThe PDA for the factory life (27.1.2006, 14:01 UTC)
Work is fun. Or so Casio thinks. Its strange new IT-600 PDA is actually a stock-taking device first, phone and camera second. So when you're finishing counting the boxes of glue at the end of the warehouse, take a picture and share it with everyone on Flickr. Or something like that. Available through distributor PC Cubed.
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TechWireBye bye Aramiska broadband (27.1.2006, 13:44 UTC)
Aramiska, the satellite broadband company, has announced it is pulling the plug on its service. The company has a few hundred customers in Ireland. The company today sent out the following e-mail to its customers: "We regret to inform you that Aramiska and its services are shutting down and the company will be unable to provide you with internet access after today, 27th of January 2006." Its customers have reportedly reacted with anger at the short notice, while its company's rivals have swung ...
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TechWire (27.1.2006, 12:56 UTC)
iPod undies Valentine's Day is a mere 18 days away. For the truly desperate, iAttire presents a range of iPod undies for the special person in your life (and their MP3 player). Just make sure you have something else, too...
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TechWire3 Ireland: WePay Brits, but not Irish (26.1.2006, 13:13 UTC)
3, the 3G mobile phone operator, has "no plans" to bring its new get-paid-as-you-talk system to Ireland. The operator's British subscribers are now paid by 3 to use its network through a system of refunds. Called WePay, if a punter receives a call or a text from another 3 subscriber, a couple of pence is credited to his phone account. But a spokesman for 3 Ireland told us that this isn't in the offing for Irish subscribers. Meanwhile, there have been quiet rumours circulating the industry abo...
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TechWireDon't buy MacBook Pro, says consultant (25.1.2006, 17:14 UTC)
The MacBook Pro, Apple's new Intel-powered laptop, is best avoided, according to an Irish IT consultant specialising in Macs. "I'll be telling my clients to hold off until at least the Autumn before looking at it," said Don McClave. "It's a new system and there are likely to be issues with it at first." There has been some criticism from Apple users about the Macbook's reduced specifications on features such as screen resolution and DVD functions.
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TechWireNew broadband prices from Eircom (24.1.2006, 16:12 UTC)
Eircom has bumped up its DSL broadband speeds while cutting some of its prices. Its 1MB, 2MB, 3MB and 4MB products all rise by 1MB download speed (except for one package, which gets a 20 per cent price cut instead). Upload speeds have also doubled, albeit in most cases from a measly 128k to 256k. Its entry-level time-based broadband, much criticised by internet lobbies, stays at 1MB up and 128k down but drops to €20 per month. The new speeds and monthly prices are: Speed   &n...
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TechWireGo on, ya Vaio (24.1.2006, 14:47 UTC)
Sony has a few new Vaio laptops out today. The one we have our eye on, purely for its light weight (1.24kg), is the TX2. Its screen has LED (a first for a laptop) and claims to be able to represent "true black", an impressive feat if actually true. It also claims 7.5 hours battery life, running on an Intel Pentium M chip. We're not sure yet how much it costs, but the old TX1 was €2,350 to €2,650, depending on specification. Other new laptops released include the powerful A600 (
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TechWireReview: Creative's new MP3 speakers (24.1.2006, 12:04 UTC)
Looking for external MP3 speakers? You can spend as little as €15 or as much as €300 (check out these Bose beauties) in Irish shops. For €100, there's Creative's new Gigaworks T20. Having hooked it up to an iPod last night, we're happy to report that it gives high(ish) end sound without a subwoofer, an item usually de rigeur to achieve passable bass. Crucially, there was little blare distortion when we turned it up to 11. This is impressive for 14 watts per channel. It's ava...
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TechWireEbay for O2.ie... Maybe (23.1.2006, 20:15 UTC)
O2 Ireland is "in negotiations" with Ebay to put the auction website on its i-mode Wap service, a spokesman has told Yourtechstuff. The service is about to go live on O2's British i-mode portal. I-mode is a shopping portal technology imported from Japan by O2 to rival 3G. Current services on O2's i-mode-compatible phones include BuyandSell, Car Buyers' Guide and Daft.ie. O2 is expected to roll out 3G services later this year.
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TechWireF***ed Google (dot com) (23.1.2006, 14:46 UTC)
Here's a website for Google-watchers -- FuckedGoogle.com (motto: "Please God, Just One More Bubble".) We're unsure whether this is from the same people who brought us fuckedcompany.com (a website that chronicled job losses and bankruptcies in the tech sector during the dot com bust), but it's fairly amusing reading, albeit with a slightly maniacal edge.
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TechWireDell.ie's new telly-loving PCs (23.1.2006, 13:14 UTC)
Dell is getting right on board the 'media centre' (ie computer-telly hybrids) bandwagon with its two latest arrivals. The Dimensions 5150C and 9150 both sport Microsoft Media Center (sic) 2005 and Intel's Viiv technology, which features dual core chips. According to Dell, both PCs boot up extra-quickly in an effort to emulate 'turning on' a normal TV. The machines are able to stream the inbound TV signals to 10 other computers around the house. Which is a bit ambitious, considering that well un...
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TechWireiPod lesson for €100 (23.1.2006, 11:04 UTC)
Following on from the rich dummies who are getting Blackberry lessons in Virgin's Heathrow business lounge, Shiny Shiny reports that Selfridges store in London is offering a 40 minute iPod lesson for £65 (€96). It points out that you can get the same service for free if you ask politely in any Apple retailer. Or, for that matter, anyone under 30.
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TechWireSony launches 'drop-proof' camcorder (22.1.2006, 19:47 UTC)
Sony Ireland has announced a 'drop-proof' hard disk drive (HDD) camcorder. The DCR-SR90E "is equipped with physical shock absorbers to cushion the HDD from an impact," says the marketing blurb. "And internal 3G sensors, which detect gravitational force in 3D, automatically protect the hard disk when a fall is detected by disconnecting the HDD write head from the hard disk." Furthermore, "if your camera suffers an impact during use, the video stream buffering feature saves video footage to its...
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TechWireDixons boxes off CRTs for good (22.1.2006, 19:08 UTC)
There was another nail in the coffin of traditional CRT tellies last week when the head of Dixons (which also owns Currys and PC World) said that the chain would phase them out from its shops during 2006. "We have a CRT television selling at £1,300 (€1,900) last Christmas and £300 (€440) this Christmas and still people didn't want to buy it," John Clare told British reporters. He said that only one in seven TVs sold by Dixons is a CRT box. Dixons is following manufacturers...
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TechWireSony: Walkman software may crash your computer (21.1.2006, 17:19 UTC)
Sony has admitted that lots of people who bought its new MP3 Walkman will experience “major problems” with the software. It has confessed that many people who bought the gadgets can’t get them to work on their home computers and that in some cases the software causes the machines to crash. But the company’s general manager for Europe, Gregory Kukolj, told newspapers this morning that “many of the initial problems had been corrected by the software upgrade last mont...
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TechWireNew i-mates breathe life into PDA market (20.1.2006, 15:56 UTC)
-- though they're beginning to cost more than laptops A couple of new i-mate handhelds are hitting Irish shops. One that caught our eye is the K-Jam, a wifi-enabled device with Windows Mobile 5.0 (which means Outlook features) on board and a 1.3 megapixel camera. It's also a quadband phone. Its nicest feature is perhaps its handy fold-out keyboard, which may encourage people to actually use its wifi feature. The battery life says 3.5 to 5 hours' talktime but we haven't seen one yet to check ...
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TechWireSony Ireland's new in-car sat-navs (20.1.2006, 13:27 UTC)
Sony, which has been getting into handheld GPS lately, released two new sat-nav devices to the Irish market today. One, the NV-U70T, has pan-European map coverage while the other, the NV-U50, has a more limited local range. Sony is clearly taking advantage of its hi-fi prowess, boasing a 1.6 woofer on the back of the NV-U50 and a tweeter on the front. Car cradle kits are available, as well as an external GPS antenna. The NV-U50 is €489 and the NV-U70T is €779. Should be available ...
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TechWirePower City's HDTV confusion (19.1.2006, 18:09 UTC)
A full page ad in today's Irish Times touts Power City's latest sale, including a "HD-ready" 32 inch LCD Sharp Aquos. But watch out -- the 32 inch Sharp Aquos telly you see in the shop may not, in fact, be HD-ready.There are two near-identical Aquos sets in-store, both 32 inches. One is HD-ready, one is not. Buy the wrong one (the 32P50 model as opposed to the 32GA6 model) and you might as well throw it out when Sky launches its HDTV service by June.There is massive confusion among punters as t...
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TechWire (19.1.2006, 13:38 UTC)
Live in-flight TV takes off Connexion By Boeing, the company behind wifi broadband access in planes, has launched a live inflight TV service. The signal will be received on passengers' laptops via wifi. Channels signed up are BBC World, Euronews, Eurosportnews, CNBC and MSNBC. The initial participating airlines are SAS, Lufthansa and JAL (Japan Airlines). The service won't be available from Dublin in the first wave. Pricing and more information on the service are here.
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TechWire (19.1.2006, 13:08 UTC)
Blackberry lessons for rich dummies Don't know your Blackberry from your broadband connection? If you're rich enough, never fear. Today's Financial Times reports that Virgin Atlantic is offering one-to-one "Blackberry clinics" for upper-class passengers. A "resident expert" in its Clubhouse lounge in Heathrow will provide "tips and shortcuts to boost their own personal productivity".
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TechWireNokia Ireland stalls release of high-end phones (18.1.2006, 22:53 UTC)
Nokia Ireland has pushed the launch of its Blackberry-aping E61 way back to May. In November, the company said the e-mail phone would be available here in January. Today, it confirmed that the E61 is months off. This is a pity as the phone, which is the first 3G e-mail device available in Ireland, has a full qwerty keyboard and 75MB of expandable memory. It's a little thinner than the Blackberry and the keys are bigger than Rim's iconic gadget. As for Nokia's other anticipated handsets, ther...
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TechWireMagnet's B-movies-on-demand (18.1.2006, 20:29 UTC)
Magnet Networks (now rebranded Magnet Entertainment) has been shouting about its new video-on-demand service for some months. But it hasn't yet revealed what exactly you can download. Here, we've heard, is what is currently on offer (plot summaries are from the movie website IMDB.com as I've never heard of any of them): 1. Hotlines: "Hotlines is an upbeat reality adventure series that takes us to exotic, fun hotspots and shows you what you've been missing. The unstoppable cast of one guy...
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TechWireTwo internet phone SPAs (18.1.2006, 16:00 UTC)
Linksys has some new VOIP phone gear for Irish internet callers. The SPA 941 (no joke) works on its own or in conjunction with its sister PBX product, the SPA 9000. (Great product names, guys.) The phone alone costs €150 (ex Vat) or €190 (ex Vat) if you want a 'licence upgrade' from two to four lines. For the whole shebang (both SPA products), it's €395 (ex Vat) or €689 (ex Vat) for a 'licence upgrade' from four to 16 users. They'll be available from Peats within a few d...
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