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

14 Aug 2015

Ten nuggets of knowledge to take away for the weekend, including: Cork in the eye of next industrial storm; robots replace workers and zombie start-ups ahoy!

1. Jobs ahoy as Mayo’s major transatlantic cable touches down

Killala in Co Mayo welcomed Ireland’s first direct transatlantic fibre optic cable earlier today (14 August), bringing with it the potential to create “thousands of jobs” on the back of increased data centre and cloud capabilities.

2. Sean O’Sullivan: ‘Synthetic biology is like the PC industry before it took off’

The synthetic biology revolution being pioneered in Cork and that is about to storm the world was compared to early days of the PC industry before the internet and cloud by successful tech investor Sean O’Sullivan.

3. IndieBio start-ups shine a light on Cork’s next industrial revolution 

Nine start-ups taking part in the IndieBio accelerator in Cork this week pitched their products and services to an audience of investors, academics, industry and scientific partners.

4. Zombie future awaits half IT healthcare start-ups, real soon

Half of all IT healthcare start-ups are doomed to fail within two years, before larger companies purge their ‘zombie’ states to nab talent and technology.

5. SME e-commerce uptake leads to 15pc jobs and 21pc sales boost

70pc of small businesses that have signed up for the Irish Government’s Trading Online Voucher Scheme expect to hire more staff and predict a jobs dividend of almost 15pc through e-commerce.

6. It’s reigning cats, not dogs — canids go extinct as felids nab their prey

Cats play a key role in modern society, making sure us humans are aware of a species entirely uninterested in our existence. We’re not the centre of the universe, cats prove as much.

7. For this incredibly smart robot, family comes first

A robot has been developed that can create ‘children’ robots, improving on each one as it walks off into the distance.

8. DMI’s Ian Dodson makes sense of Google’s Alphabet soup

Will a revised corporate structure like Alphabet with its Chinese walls protect Google from regulators? Expect further break-ups of Google core services as EU fines and pressure come to bear, DMI co-founder Ian Dodson tells Siliconrepublic.com.

9. NASA’s gecko grippers can cling to spacecraft in the deepest space vacuum

Inspired by geckos, researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena in California have created a material that will allow robot gecko grippers to cling to spacecraft and perform maintenance in the vacuum of deep space.

10. The robots are coming! 50pc of employers reducing workers through automation

Almost half of businesses in Ireland (48pc) have automated business functions or are in the process of replacing people with software and machines, according to new research.

Takeaway image via Shutterstock

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