Weekend news roundup

15 Feb 2010

A quick glance at some of the technology stories breaking in the weekend papers.

Google changes privacy settings on Buzz

Several Sunday papers, including The Observer covered Google’s latest social-networking tool Buzz, asking if the lax privacy settings and pushy Gmail integration is a turning point of the company who would have in earlier times introduced this service as a Google Labs or beta version that the user could opt into gently or easily avoid.

Google has since changed the settings to make this tool less intrusive and tightened up the personal privacy settings.

Eircom refuses to implement ‘three strikes’ policy

The Sunday Times claims Eircom will not be implementing the ‘three strikes’ rules against illegal downloaders due to concerns about current data protection legislation.

In 2009, the Irish High Court ruled that Irish Recorded Music Association’s (IRMA) request to disconnect broadband customers found to be illegally downloading copyright material be carried out by the comms company.

However, the office of the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) has said in the past that tracing a customer’s IP to identify them and cut them off from internet connectivity does not constitute “fair use” of personal information and there is some doubt over whether this ‘three strikes’ rule can, in fact, be enforced.

Apple Premium Reseller store to open in Dublin

As reported in the Sunday Business Post, Dublin is to get its first Apple Premium Reseller outlet, which will be located opposite Trinity College on Grafton Street.

This new shop, which opens in March, will sell the complete range of Apple products, as well as providing Apple training, including Mac Labs, the Sunday Business Post has learned.

Irish consumers pay some of the highest prices in Europe for DVDs

The Sunday Times reports that DVDs in Ireland carry the third highest price in Europe, both to rent and to purchase. The only countries charging more on average for DVDs are Denmark and Norway.

The average cost of renting a DVD in Europe is €3.10 in comparison to an average of €4.60 here in Ireland – 48pc more expensive.  Similarly, the average cost of buying a DVD in Europe is €11.20 while the Irish pay €14.

Broadband connectivity still problematic in some parts of Ireland

Eamon McGrane of the Sunday Tribune looks into the price and availability of broadband connectivity in certain parts of Ireland and finds that some internet users claim dial-up connections are slowing down while basic broadband packages remain expensive with a lack of competition to encourage ISPs to bring prices down.

Photo: The cost of renting DVDs in Ireland is, on average, 48pc more expensive than the rest of Europe