Tech business week: Online jobs boost for Ireland and trouble at Reddit

6 Jul 2015

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, including online jobs boost for Ireland, and AMAgeddon for Reddit?

Online jobs boost for Ireland – 71pc of small firms to create jobs after going online

Small businesses in Ireland that go online can expect to create an average of 1.4 new jobs. With Irish people spending €700,000 online each hour, this is an opportunity that can’t be missed, Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD revealed during the week.

Kenny was speaking on the occasion of the issue of the 1,000th Trading Online Voucher, which went to John Lawton from JL Intelligent Cooling Systems in Kilkenny.

The Trading Online Voucher Scheme was launched by the Government last year. It offers small businesses a grant of up to €2,500 – subject to matching funding – as well as training, mentoring and networking support to help them develop their online trading capability.

AMAgeddon turns Reddit dark as Victoria Taylor fired from the social media site

Popular subreddit Ask Me Anything (AMA) has been switched to private following the sudden, unexplained firing of Victoria Taylor, the site’s director of talent and key administrator.

Reports of Taylor’s dismissal started surfacing late last night and news that major subreddits were switching to private – rendering them inaccessible to users – in protest swiftly followed.

/r/IAMA, or Ask Me Anything, was the first to go, and its new settings will likely prove the most troubling for Reddit’s top brass. The subreddit, which consists of people with varying degrees of celebrity answering questions submitted by redditors in real time, hosted one of the most popular posts of all time – the AMA with US President Barack Obama – and is perhaps the site’s greatest pull for non-users.

Anonymous Wi-Fi router with a 4km range is a ‘game-changer’

A newly developed, ultra-powerful Wi-Fi router can not only beam signal from as far away as 4km, but can do it all while guaranteeing anonymity using IP-masking software.

Developed by security researcher Ben Caudill of Rhino Security Labs, the Proxyham router is expected to make its debut at the Def Con hacker conference in Las Vegas in August, but details about it have been revealed online.

According to Motherboard, the concept of a 4km-range Wi-Fi router made sense from an anonymity point of view as those using services such as Tor to mask their IP can still be found by sourcing (with difficulty) where the internet signal is coming from.

EU to end roaming charges in 2017, enshrines net neutrality in law

After more than a decade of promises, the European Union has finally reached an agreement to end roaming charges across its 28 member states as of June 2017. It has also backed strong net neutrality rules.

The ban on roaming charges was meant to come into effect in 2016, but member countries delayed this.

On 15 June 2017 people travelling in the EU will be paying the same prices as they do at home.

The European Commission has been working on ending roaming charges for more than a decade.
Prices for roaming calls, SMS and data have fallen 80pc since 2007.

French Tech Ticket for start-ups should be a wake-up call for the rest of Europe

In a very generous package aimed at luring overseas tech start-up talent to France, Digital Economy Minister Axelle Lemaire has created a new visa package called the French Tech Ticket that should make other policymakers in Europe sit up and take note.

The French Tech Ticket, in alliance with the city of Paris, provides foreign entrepreneurs with a work visa, between US$14,000 and US$28,000 for each team member, free office space in an incubator and an English-speaking administrative adviser.

The move is similar to that of Chile, where every six months dozens of teams are granted a visa, a US$32,000 grant and free mentorship.

iD is Ireland’s latest mobile operator, and it’s out soon

Ireland has a new mobile carrier, with Dixons Carphone announcing that iD will “provide greater flexibility” than what’s currently available.

The major €30m investment by the company comes on the back of an 18-month recon mission, with survey results obviously showing iD that the thirst is there for more options than what are currently available.

Looking to nab 6pc of the Irish market within five years, Dixons’ “strategic” Ireland launch will be backed by a recent €6m investment in a new data centre.

Photos of small businesses in Galway, Ireland via Shutterstock

Brigid O Gorman is a former sub-editor of Silicon Republic.