Weekend takeaway: 10 tech stories you need to read right now

21 Nov 2014

Ten nuggets of knowledge for this weekend, including eight top techie gifts for kids this year, Apple switches the word ‘free’ with ‘get’ for apps, and Love/Hate heads across Europe via Netflix.

1. 8 top techie gifts for kids this Christmas

With 2014 set to be the biggest year for toy sales since 2010, here’s our guide to the best gadget gifts for tech-savvy kids, from tots to tweens.

From Saturday, the nine-day Christmas Toy Show will take over the RDS in Dublin and, before you know, the nation will be sitting down to watch The Late Late Toy Show, making sure that we’re all well informed of the toys expected to dominate children’s wish lists this Christmas.

Of course, it comes as no surprise to us at Silicon Republic that tech-based toys are becoming more and more popular with young folk. They are a generation of digital natives, after all.

2. Love/Hate is heading for Europe via Netflix

Irish broadcaster RTÉ’s hit crime drama Love/Hate has secured a stunning deal with Netflix, lining it up for TV screens across Europe.

3. 1916 Rising movie to be made via US$100,000 crowdfunding campaign

6 Days of the Rising is the title of a new movie by award-winning director Nick Ryan, who is seeking to raise US$100,000 via crowdfunding site Indiegogo to commemorate the 1916 Rising in Ireland.

4. Apple switches word ‘FREE’ with ‘GET’ on apps following European Commission scrutiny

Apple has removed the ‘free’ download button under its iOS and Mac applications and replaced it with ‘get’ after coming under pressure from the European Commission over in-app purchases.

5. Russia strikes fear in US with claims of ‘satellite killer’ placed in orbit

Like something out of a James Bond film, news has spread of a mysterious Russian satellite orbiting the world with no known objective, but has been mooted as a possible ‘satellite killer’.

6. Robotics making slow but sure advance into homes and farms

Robotic technologies are moving further into our lives, and Andra Keay is looking to bridge the gap between robotics research and the real world.

7. The wizard that is Woz becomes chief scientist at new storage start-up

Storage start-up Primary Data has raised US$63m in new funding and has brought Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak on board as its chief scientist.

8. FoodCloud founders crowned Ireland’s top young social entrepreneurs

FoodCloud co-founders Iseult Ward and Aoibheann O’Brien have scooped €10,000 in investment after being named Ireland’s top young social entrepreneurs by Ben & Jerry’s Join Our Core competition.

9. Nielsen and Billboard to incorporate streaming into weekly charts

In what could be a defining moment for digital music, Nielsen SoundScan and Billboard are to incorporate music streams from services such as Spotify and Beats music into their weekly charts.

10. Amnesty International releases anti-surveillance software for activists and journalists

Amnesty International has released a new tool that enables journalists and human rights activists to scan their computers for known surveillance spyware.

Pizza order button image via Shutterstock

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