Irish search engine enters GEC cluster

Business and Leadership Ltd.

Murgurdy, an Irish search engine start-up, is the first company to enter the Guinness Enterprise Centre’s (GEC) Microsoft BizSpark cluster, and has plans to create 20 new jobs by the end of next year. This move into the world’s first dedicated BizSpark cluster is expected to accelerate the global launch of the Murgurdy search engine by up to nine months, meaning it can be released before the end of 2009. The Mugurdy search engine is a unique image-based service that displays website screenshots in the results field in real-time. The search engine has been in development for two years by the co-founders of the Irish software development company, Software du…

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Two new Mozart compositions discovered

Business and Leadership Ltd.

Offering further evidence of the precocious talent of the young Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, two pieces of music attributed to the composer have been discovered in the back of a music book used in his musical education. The International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg, Austria has said both are almost certainly unknown compositions by the young Mozart. The pieces, an extensive concerto movement and a prelude, were found at the end of the so-called ‘Nannerl’s Music Book’, which Mozart’s father Leopold had begun to compile in 1759 for his daughter Maria Anna (‘Nannerl’) and which was also used for the musical education of Wolfgang. Although having previously been published in a volume…

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Online video-watching – ‘near universal’ – study

Business and Leadership Ltd.

The proportion of online adults in the US who watch videos on video-sharing sites has nearly doubled in the last two-and-a-half years, according to a new study by Pew Research. The study – The Audience for Online Video-Sharing Sites Shoots Up – found that swift growth continues to occur across all demographic groups, far outpacing the adoption rates of many other internet activities. It reveals that 62pc of US adults have watched a video on sites like YouTube and Google Video, up from just 33pc in December 2006. According to the study, online video watching among young adults is ‘near universal’, with 89pc of internet users aged 18 to 29…

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Eircom blames DNS outage on ‘irregular’ traffic volumes

Business and Leadership Ltd.

The country’s largest ISP says the outage that caused a DNS outage on its servers and resulted in browsing delays and misdirected traffic was due to ‘unusual and irregular’ volumes of internet traffic. The outage has led to speculation that the company’s servers were hacked. However, the company’s statement neither confirms nor denies this, although it suggests the company may have been the victim of a denial of service attack. “Some customers may have recently experienced delays in web browsing and may have been unable to access the internet. In some cases, customers may have been redirected to incorrect websites. “This issue has been caused by an unusual and irregular…

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EU consumer confidence posts June rise

Business and Leadership Ltd.

Consumer confidence across the EU and euro area has improved for the third month in a row, according to the latest Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) from the European Commission. The ESI increased by 3.2 points in the EU and by 3.1 points in the euro area, to 71.1 and 73.3 respectively. However, despite this continued rise, the indicator still stands below the lows reached in the last major economic dip for the region, towards the end of 1992. The increase in the ESI resulted from an improvement in sentiment in services and among consumers, the European Commission said. The majority of member states registered an improvement, the ESI showed. Among…

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200 Cadbury jobs to go

Business and Leadership Ltd.

Global confectionary giant Cadbury is seeking to cut some 200 jobs at its plants in Coolock in Dublin and Rathmore, Co Kerry. The company, which produces chocolate, chewing gum and candy via its three main brands – Cadbury, Trident and Halls – said a “difficult trading environment” had resulted in its seeking the layoffs from its Irish workforce. However, despite the layoffs, Cadbury said it was committed to its Irish operations, having announced a €20m investment in its Coolock plant. In a recent trading update released earlier this month, Cadbury reported improved trading for April and May and reaffirmed its revenue guidance for the full year. However, it did note…

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Rules of engagement

Business and Leadership Ltd.

Social media is where friends meet, conversations happen, links and recommendations are swapped – it seems like an ideal place for your brand. However, ensure you are engaging and not just creating more noise. Social-networking sites are purported to be ideal platforms for mixing marketing with social media, but how eager is the average user to consume information on your brand after the first five dozen fruit juice brands or t-shirt companies have canvassed them into joining their Facebook group? Is there a risk of targeting a jaded audience? Recent research from the UK’s Internet Advertising Bureau suggests that this is the case: almost one third of social networkers say…

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Sky to launch Green Button advertising

Business and Leadership Ltd.

Sky has announced the launch of its Green Button advertising service, which gives viewers the option to watch long-form commercials. The company says that final testing is in progress with the service expected to launch in June 2009. The new service has been developed using the same technology as Sky’s Green Button programme reminder facility. It allows advertisers to prompt viewers to press the green button on their Sky remote to book longer-form content into their Sky Guide or to record content onto their set-top box. This longer form content, which can be anything from two minutes to two hours in length, will include extended versions of TV ads, behind…

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Time names 4chan creator world’s most influential person

Business and Leadership Ltd.

A 21-year-old college student who founded the online community 4chan.org, one of the world’s largest online bulletin boards, has been listed the world’s most influential person and winner of the Time 100 poll. Christopher Poole, otherwise known as Moot, founded 4chan.org in 2003. Its boards are mostly used by anonymous individuals for the posting and discussion of manga and anime. The boards are also home to many internet subcultures and activism groups. Poole received 16.7 million votes and an average influence rating of 90 out of 100, beating off Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Oprah Winfrey. While Moot denies knowing about any plans by his followers to influence the poll, Time.com’s technical…

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‘Bad bank’ plan to be announced today

Business and Leadership Ltd.

It is expected that today’s supplementary budget will contain a plan to create a new state agency tasked with buying up all the bad loans currently clogging up Irish banks’ balance sheets. According to a report in today’s Irish Times, the budget will contain a plan for a new asset management agency that will buy up the bank’s bad loans, and in due course, sell them down and hopefully realise a profit for the taxpayer. This new agency would fall under the auspices of the National Treasury Management Agency and would be backed eventually by a fund worth €60-€80bn, the newspaper said. There has been much speculation in recent weeks…

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