Weekend takeaway: News Feed is 10, but no joy of text for the Irish

9 Sep 2016

Essential weekend reading: Irish people are sending less text messages because of the rise of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger

From Irish people enjoying less text to the Facebook News Feed 10th anniversary, we cover all the important areas in the sci-tech world this week.

 1. How old do you feel now that Facebook’s News Feed is 10 years old?

How were you using Facebook back in 2006? Mostly likely you were searching for friends’ profiles and poking them. The Facebook News Feed was created that year to bring order to the chaos.

2. Secret digital agency kickbacks scandal is about to hit Europe

The secret media agency kickback scandal that rocked the US digital marketing industry in the last year is, in fact, commonplace among European media owners, including display networks, because it is not illegal here, Wolfgang Digital CEO Alan Coleman told Siliconrepublic.com.

3. Irish tech firms raised €486m funding in first half of 2016

Future Human

International investors have shown a healthy appetite for investment in Irish tech companies with global players leading the charge in helping to achieve a record €486m invested in the first half of 2016.

4. Infosec chief USA: White House appoints first chief information security officer

The White House has named retired Air Force Brigadier General Gregory Touhill as the United States’ first-ever chief information security officer, charged with bolstering the US government’s digital defences.

 5. New Irish 3D bone-scanning technique could do away with x-rays

In what could have major implications for how bone injuries are diagnosed in the future, chemists from Trinity College Dublin devised a new 3D bone-scanning technique that doesn’t use x-rays.

 6. No text please, we’re Irish: SMS is being pummelled by social apps

SMS volumes in Ireland are plummeting because of apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, the latest quarterly report from telecoms watchdog ComReg reveals.

7. An Apple AirPods parody site says what we are all thinking

With the announcement of the iPhone 7 came the reveal of Apple’s wireless earphones, AirPods. While many criticised the company’s move, one website nailed what Apple is all about – with a heavy dose of satire.

8. How much would it cost Ireland to join ESO?

Despite a number of previous meetings with the European Southern Observatory (ESO), Ireland has been reluctant to join the influential astronomical organisation, but why? We spoke with its director-general, Prof Tim de Zeeuw, to find out.

9. €500,000 fund for agri and manufacturing start-ups launched

Now in its second year, an Enterprise Ireland fund for agricultural and manufacturing start-ups worth €500,000 has been launched with applications opening on 21 September 2016.

10. New project looks to have the MIDAS touch for healthcare data

Dr Michaela Black from Ulster University is leading an EU-funded project to make better use of healthcare data. Claire O’Connell found out more.

Text messaging image via Shutterstock

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