Weekend takeaway: Blockchain and beyond

4 Nov 2016

Essential weekend reading, from blockchain to fibre broadband. Image: Iryna Tiumentseva/Shutterstock

From Siro and Eir fibre rivalry to Ireland being the blockchain innovation hub for the world, we cover all the important areas in the sci-tech world this week.

1. Siro CEO: ‘Fibre is about enabling a greater future for Ireland’

“We want to fix the digital divide… we passionately believe that this is the right thing to do for Ireland,” said Siro CEO Sean Atkinson.

2. Ireland has the capacity to be the global blockchain innovation hub

At Dublin City University, more than 150 technologists and fintech entrepreneurs will join forces for what the organisers claim is the biggest blockchain-focused hackathon in the world.

3. Financial crisis threatens Ireland’s Institutes of Technology

The viable future of up to 10 of the 14 Institutes of Technology across Ireland is being questioned in a review by the Higher Education Authority.

4. Irish jobs dry spell creates opportunity for career growth

As the Irish jobs market enjoys a relatively light week, we take a look at how companies and employees can self-improve and self-develop.

5. DCU astrophysicist building a richer picture of the skies

Dr Masha Chernyakova, an expert in high-energy astrophysics, is discovering more about black holes and binary systems. She spoke to Claire O’Connell about her starry ambitions.

6. Hundreds of sci-tech jobs announced across 9 companies in Ireland

There is a jobs bonanza in Ireland this November, as IDA Ireland announces 215 jobs across nine Irish-based companies, including 35 from the IoT start-up, Smartfrog.

7. Turkey blocks WhatsApp, YouTube and more just weeks after downing GitHub

Turkey’s tight grip over internet access continues, as reports of restrictions on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram and Skype emerge.

8. $1.4bn investment in blockchain start-ups in last 9 months, says PwC expert

While banks and other financial institutions have yet to deploy blockchain at scale, some $1.4bn has been invested globally in blockchain start-ups in the last nine months, observed PwC expert Seamus Cushley.

9. Google claims EU’s multi-billion euro case against it ‘lacks evidence’

An anti-competition case brought by the EU Commission against Google has been rebuffed by the search giant, claiming Amazon and Facebook are getting off scot-free.

10. Apple loses smartphone market share as Android figures swell

The release of several impressive Android smartphones in the past year has helped the operating system increase its dominance over iOS. Seven in eight devices are now Android.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years