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

15 May 2015

Ten nuggets of knowledge to take away for the weekend, including: Hailo’s social media win for Marriage Referendum; Google’s self-driving cars and a space oddity.

1. Hailo’s free rides for #marref: Social media win!

Hailo, the most popular taxi app in Ireland, has come up with a fine idea for the upcoming marriage equality referendum – free lifts to the polling station!

Now it’s pushing the marriage equality referendum for the promo, but we all know that Hailo is equally interested in the age of Irish presidents, so if you just want to vote on that referendum, presumably the offer still stands.

The criteria is simple. To avail of the service, just use Hailo’s new Prebook feature between 11am and 4pm on 22 May.

2. Google’s self-driving cars get the greenlight to hit the mean streets of Silicon Valley

Google has revealed that its latest self-driving car prototypes have been given permission to leave the test track and drive freely around Mountain View in California.

3. Space Oddity: Kepler spots Neptune busting groove (video)

NASA’s Kepler spacecraft just took a voyeur seat, far from its victim, as it creepily filmed Neptune waltzing around space. No audio is included, but it’s almost certainly dancing to Amerie’s 2005 hit ‘1 Thing’.

4. Teens and technology: ’90s, noughties and now (infographic)

It’s 20 years since Oasis were number one with Some Might Say – which you listened to on your Sony discman – Apple was behind some truly clunky computers, and the Nintendo 64 came along and destroyed its competition. A lot has changed…

5. Apple denies code for its first HomeKit devices ‘blew up’, still on for June

Apple has gone on the defensive against claims that the first devices to feature its internet of things (IoT) platform HomeKit won’t appear until August or September, and says they will launch next month.

6. Ireland’s video nation: streaming goes mainstream as two-thirds of adults consume video-on-demand

Streaming is now mainstream in Ireland, with two-thirds of all adults having viewed video-on-demand services within the last six months, according to new research from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Nielsen.

7. Start-ups in every county in Ireland could benefit from new €10m fund

Environmental manufacturing and engineering company Tricel is to create 100 new jobs over the next 18 months, with 40 of these positions to be located in Killarney, amounting to a €2.4m boost to the local economy.

8. SURE cash for start-ups – the 5 things Irish entrepreneurs need to know

This morning the Irish Government revealed an innovative new ‘cash for start-ups’ initiative called the SURE scheme, which lets founders claim 41pc of their tax back on earnings over the last six years.

9. Food giant Mondelez selects Irishman’s start-up to spearhead global e-commerce push

ChannelSight, the start-up led by John Beckett who as a 17-year-old built the very first Ryanair website, has secured a major deal with food giant Mondelez to drive e-commerce in 25 markets worldwide.

10. 148pc increase in amount of child sexual abuse material online in 2014

New damning statistics from the Internet Service Providers Association of Ireland (ISPAI) have shown that, in 2014, the amount of online material relating to sexual abuse of children rose by 148pc.

Tech takeaway image via Shutterstock

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