The digital business week

16 Jan 2012

A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

IBM boss to lead US Chamber of Commerce in Ireland

The head of IBM in Ireland, Peter O’Neill, has been appointed president of the American Chamber of Commerce. He has warned that Eurozone uncertainty is eating into US investment decisions and has called for a genuine strategic focus on investment in education.

The American Chamber of Commerce Ireland represents 600 US companies employing almost 100,000 people directly and many thousands more indirectly.

O’Neill says Ireland continues to punch above its weight in attracting inward investment from US companies.

However, he warned that continued uncertainty about the future of the Eurozone was impacting the confidence of the financial markets which in turn impacted on investment decisions by global corporations.  

“Ireland as an open economy is very dependent on global markets and much of our recovery to date has been export led. While the Government must exert its influence within Europe to ensure a stable Eurozone and the survival of the Euro, we need to focus on the issues within our control at home which can be used to support both a competitive indigenous sector and the multinational companies operating within Ireland.”

LG and Microsoft sign patent agreement

Microsoft Corp and LG Electronics have signed a patent agreement that covers Android and Chrome OS-based devices. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

The agreement provides coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for LG’s tablets, mobile phones and other consumer devices running the Android or Chrome OS platform.

“Together with our 10 previous agreements with Android and Chrome OS device manufacturers, including HTC, Samsung and Acer, this agreement with LG means that more than 70pc of all Android smartphones sold in the US are now receiving coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice-president and deputy general counsel, Intellectual Property Group at Microsoft.

Software firm Spanish Point to design music rights system for Canada

Dublin software company Spanish Point has been contracted to design and develop a musical rights and royalties distribution system for the Canadian Musical Reproduction Agency (CMRRA).

“The music industry is facing major changes and challenges that are impacting the ability of songwriters to be compensated fairly for their work,” said David A Basskin, president and CEO of CMRRA. “In order to respond to unprecedented demand for licensing, and to best provide for the collection and distribution of royalties, we have decided to invest in new technology to allow for improved processing and communication between all parties involved.”

Spanish Point’s solution will replace CMRRA’s current technology with an up-to-date and advanced system. The implementation will be rolled out in a series of phases and is scheduled for completion in Q3 of 2013.

The solution designed for CMRRA draws extensively on Spanish Point’s expertise in modern software development tools and technologies, such as Microsoft’s .net, BizTalk, SharePoint, Azure and SQL Server.

Sea Fibre Networks deal with Colt opens a gateway to Europe

Sea Fibre Networks, the owner of brand new UK-Ireland fibre network CeltixConnect, has signed a deal with European telco Colt to connect Colt to its low-latency network.

The deal also connects CeltixConnect to Colt’s London and pan-European network.

The new fibre network will more than double the existing data capacity between Ireland and the UK, supporting the explosion of online media.

Just fewer than 3m photos can be uploaded per second on each fibre pair and the network can carry the equivalent of 173 days worth of uploading pictures online in one second.

The ability to transport data from Ireland across Europe on a high fibre count network will further support the massive digital services industry in Ireland.

Visa approves new smartphones for NFC payments

Visa Europe has certified NFC-enabled smartphones from RIM, Samsung and LG Electronics for use as payment devices using the Visa payWave app at the point of sale.

The Samsung Galaxy S II, the LG Optimus NET NFC, the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the BlackBerry Bold 9790, the BlackBerry Curve 9360 and the BlackBerry Curve 9380 have all been approved by Visa for use as mobile payment devices.

The new devices certified by Visa have the Visa payWave app on a SIM card and include near field communication technology, which allows users to securely pay for goods by waving their phones over an in-store terminal.

This will allow mobile device manufacturers, mobile operators and retailers to partner with financial institutions to offer Visa mobile payments to consumers around the world.

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