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

18 Mar 2016

It's been a good week for tech for the Irish

Ten nuggets of knowledge to take away for the weekend, including: vaulting ambition at Dogpatch; a good tech week if you’re Irish; and Sky’s no limit for VR.

1. Vaulting ambition: Dogpatchs’ Dublin Vaults space surpasses 80-event milestone

After just three months, Dublin start-up space Dogpatch Labs’ new Vaults events space has hosted more than 80 events attended by 4,000 people.

2. Facebook jobs, happy Irish workers and interactive lessons on the way

Facebook’s jobs announcement was the major story this week, but elsewhere a report into worker happiness found Ireland to be a cheery place. Oh, and augmented reality is coming soon to a school near you.

3. Sky to invest aggressively in virtual reality content

Satellite broadcaster and broadband player Sky has created Sky VR Studio, a new production unit that will create products and services to turn sports, movies, news and entertainment into virtual reality experiences.

4. Strong US dollar to increase number of tech M&A deals in 2016

2015 was a record-breaking year for tech M&A deals, with 4,400 transactions resulting in deals worth $600bn. According to Bank of Ireland’s tech outlook for 2016, the strong US dollar will drive an increased number of tech M&A transactions, especially in fintech.

5. €3m US-Ireland project to build future chips for data centres

A new €3m tripartite research project with the US, Ireland and Northern Ireland has been announced to build chip technology that will make data centres process data faster and become more efficient, energy-wise.

6. Nike self-tying shoes will be hoverboarding over to you this year

Sorry Marty McFly, but you were a year off on the release of the Nike self-tying shoe. The sportswear manufacturer has (finally) officially launched the shoe that we’ve been waiting for for 31 years.

7. Audi A4 review: driving digitally is its own kind of augmented reality (video)

With autonomous, self-driving vehicles just around the corner, could the latest executive vehicles – equipped with all the latest wireless toys – be the last hurrah for petrol- and diesel-heads? I hope not.

8. Are Apple engineers willing to walk out amid encryption battle?

The convoluted encryption battle between US authorities and Apple may take a surprising twist, with reports of potential staff walk-outs should iOS software be undermined by court order.

9. Go-go-Google robots! Alphabet may be selling off Boston Dynamics

Google’s parent company Alphabet is believed to be planning to sell off Boston Dynamics – creators of the awe-inspiring Atlas, LS3 and Alpha Dog robots – because it does not believe the company will generate profits anytime soon.

10. A new AI algorithm knows when you’re drunk tweeting

Drunk tweeting has become an activity many have engaged in, and many have seen on their timeline, but now a new AI algorithm is being used to learn when you’re doing it based on your location.

Guinness image via Shutterstock

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