Tech business week: Google’s new logo, and Scorpion speaks

7 Sep 2015

This week in tech business news, Google gets a new logo for the first time in its 17 year history, and John Kennedy speaks exclusively with Walter O’Brien, the Scorpion.

Google logo history has a whole new chapter added

Google has decided to change things up with a new logo and ‘identity family’ that “shows you when the Google magic is working for you”. It’s four dots, a colourful mic and a new four-colour G.

In a gradual rollout, the tech giant is doing away with its old branding, adding another chapter to the Google logo history.

It’s probably about time, too. In the 17 years since Google emerged as a search engine, highlighting 10 web pages to users, plenty has changed.

Enterprise one of the hottest areas in tech, says Intercom engineering chief

Enterprise software has become one of the hottest areas in tech, according to Intercom’s VP of engineering Darragh Curran, who says he is confident the company will fill all 70 of the new engineering roles it announced recently for Dublin.

Intercom last week announced it had raised US$35m in Series C funding, bringing total funds raised by the company to US$66m.

The company said it will use the new funds to invest in R&D and double staff in its Dublin and San Francisco offices, including 70 new engineering jobs in Dublin.

The investment round was led by Iconiq Capital, a global multi-family office and merchant bank, which manages funds of high-profile people including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, with further participation from Series A and Series B lead investors The Social + Capital Partnership and Bessemer Venture Partners.

€1bn opportunity to make Ireland a global creative hub for streaming

Current spending on independent film and TV production could be leveraged from the current €200m a year to over €1bn to capture new online entertainment trends driven by Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Stephen McCormack of – the production company behind TV shows like Fade Street, Love Clinic and Celebrity Salon – is the organiser behind Ireland’s first international TV/tech summit, MediaCon, which takes place next week (8 September) in the Mansion House.

The event is being held with the support of RTÉ, the Irish Film Board, Dublin City Council, Enterprise Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.

He says that, instead of budgets going into specific silos, Irish-made film and TV programmes should be oriented towards the massive opportunities being driven by the explosion in streaming content.

Meet the Irish Mr Moneyball on a mission to transform sports forever

Brian Moore’s Orreco, a Sligo start-up, is on a mission to transform sports performance around the world through data analytics, and has secured vital deals with Premier League football clubs in the UK and Major League Baseball teams in the US. Analytics can reduce the US$500m lost annually to sports teams through injuries.

In the Michael Lewis book Moneyball (and the movie of the same name), Oakland Athletics manager Billy Beane employed analytics techniques to scout new players and identify the best performers, a strategy that changed the game entirely for the club.

Across the world, sports clubs and athletes are constantly trying to get the best out of themselves. They have an abundance of data but no clear insight from that data.

This is where a fast growing Sligo-headquartered start-up is about to transform sports forever. Orreco has developed unique biomarker technology that analyses blood and other data in an elite athlete’s body to devise ways of ensuring the athlete achieves peak performance.

YouTuber paid US$30,000 per video for hidden XBox endorsement

A US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation looking into the earnings of major YouTube stars has shown that some were earning as much as US$30,000 per video with hidden endorsements for the Xbox One.

The practice of putting a hidden endorsement in YouTube videos has become part of the increasingly-lucrative business of being a ‘YouTuber’, with vloggers and other YouTube stars – without their audience’s knowledge – receiving money to promote a product or service.

Interview with Scorpion: Walter O’Brien goes to Hollywood

As a 13-year-old in Kilkenny, Walter O’Brien – aka Scorpion – received a visit from the NSA for hacking NASA. Today he is the inspiration behind a US TV show of the same name that has millions of viewers and leads a private network of 2,500 geniuses who solve critical technology problems.

In the opening scene for the US hit series Scorpion, which is about to broadcast its second season in the US and worldwide, a helicopter descends on a farmhouse in rural Kilkenny, Ireland, and out hop armed soldiers who surround the farm and attempt to arrest a dangerous hacker. The hacker turns out to be a 13-year-old holding an extradition waiver.

The truth is less dramatic. There were no guns or helicopters, just guys in suits.

Welcome to the strange and mysterious world of Walter O’Brien.

Main image via Shutterstock


Kirsty Tobin was careers editor at Silicon Republic