Weekend Takeaway: Roving robots signal march of the machines

15 Mar 2019

Image: © Graeme Dawes/Stock.adobe.com

Essential weekend sci-tech reading, including Revenue using robots to update PAYE details while 1m machines are mobile subscribers in Ireland.

Teen climate activist nominated for Nobel Peace Prize ahead of global strike

A young girl in a yellow raincoat stands on a bench amid a crowd of protesters holding up a sign that reads: ‘Make the world Greta again!’

A young protester at the Youth 4 Climate march in Brussels, Belgium, in February 2019. Image: Luoxi/Depositphotos

16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg has been recognised for her pleas to world leaders to act on climate change.

Ireland’s Revenue Commissioners used robots to update 20,000 PAYE tax records

Grey robot analyses a screen full of numbers.

Image: © phonlamaiphoto/Stock.adobe.com

Revenue looking at deploying RPA technology across other areas of the tax system, including self-employed taxpayers.

More than 1m Irish mobile subscribers are actually machines

Two robots greet each other while one says hello and salutes with a SIM card for a hat against bright green background.

Image: © besjunior/Stock.adobe.com

Future Human

The machines are marching as M2M snaps up 16pc of market share for mobile subscriptions.

‘The tech agenda in business is being driven by HR, not the CIO or CTO’

Three men in suits stand before a digital screen.

From left: Gerard O’Neill, Amárach Research; Tony Hanway, Virgin Media Ireland; and Jim Hughes, Innovate. Image: Maxwell Photography

As Virgin Media Business and Innovate reveal, the hybrid cloud journey will be underpinned by what employees want and need. To respond with agility, networks will need to be software-defined.

‘Encouraging girls into physics isn’t enough’

A casually dressed woman with curly hair smiles with her arms folded, leaning against a tree.

Dr Jessamyn Fairfield, lecturer, NUI Galway. Image: Aengus McMahon

Dr Jessamyn Fairfield asks if we are shepherding girls into unwelcoming workplaces as women in science, knowing how far we are from true inclusion.

Will data controllers have to bend to the almighty fada?

A signpost on a rocky beach reads ‘Bealaí Siúlóide na Sceilge’ in old Irish writing.

Image: © nordmann/Stock.adobe.com

A recent case brought to the Data Protection Commission challenges data controllers to respect the fada.

Researchers develop acoustic metamaterial that blocks sound

A black background with a blue-purple sound wave passing through the middle.

Image: © romas_ph/Stock.adobe.com

Researchers have built a prototype metamaterial that can successfully block out 94pc of sound while still allowing air to pass through it.

After worst outage in its history, Facebook says all services are back online

Graffiti of a blue Facebook thumbs-up against a grey wall.

Image: © pixs:sell/Stock.adobe.com

Downtime attributed to a ‘server configuration change’.

Some simple updates put Twitter camera users in the moment

An update to the Twitter camera function revealed at SXSW mirrors an Instagram staple.

Belfast’s Neurovalens raises £4.6m in Series A round

Four men in a research lab while man who is sitting holds up a model of the human brain.

From left: Jamie Andrews, Techstart Ventures; Dr Jason McKeown, Neurovalens; William McCulla, Invest NI; and Ian Kerr, Neurovalens. Image: Neurovalens

Neurovalens combines neuroscience with technology to tackle health issues affecting the current generation.