NEWS IN BRIEF
Daily Digest 25 September
Sony unveils motion controller | Gmail suffers another outage
A new EUR40 million Engineering Building is currently under construction at NUI Galway, with Taoiseach Brian Cowen unveiling the plans for the building at a turning the sod ceremony on Friday. The 14,200 square metre building will accommodate the College of Engineering and Informatics, housing 110 staff and approximately 1100 students. The project boasts several sustainability initiatives and green technologies, and will itself be utilised as a teaching tool for the students.
A coherent, inclusive and coordinated approach is need for the development of digital radio in Ireland. That's according to a report by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland called "Digital Radio for Ireland: Competing Options, Public Expectation". The report found that innovative content will be a key issue in ensuring the success of digital radio in the long term. In focus group interviews with radio listeners it emerged that content and content diversity were top priorities. The report makes a number of recommendations including the establishment of a digital radio forum and the development of a policy white paper which would be the basis for consultation with the broadcasting sector and consumers.
Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) has awarded Dr Eyal Oren of Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) a prize of EUR2,500 for the best PhD thesis on a Computer Science, Software Engineering or Software-related topic. Dr Oren's work is entitled "Algorithms and components for application development of the semantic web". The CSET Thesis Award was established by Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research, together with DERI, Clarity based at University College Dublin, the Centre for Telecommunications Value-Chain Research (CTVR) and the Centre for Next Generation Localisation (CNGL).
Sony has unveiled its motion controller for the PlayStation 3, which will operate in conjunction with the PlayStation Eye camera to track a user's face, body and voice motion. The controller is as yet unnamed but Sony said it will be released in spring 2010. The device will be equipped with two motion sensors, three axes gyroscope, and three axes accelerometer and will be able to detect the controller's angle and movement in someone's hand. Microsoft on Thursday claimed that most of the top videogame publishers are developing games based on its motion controller, Natal, which is also due out next year.
Gmail had another bad day on Thursday, as it suffered its second technical problem in a month with users reporting difficulty accessing their contacts. The disruption took over two hours to resolve and followed a two-hour outage of the Google News website earlier this week. Earlier this month, Gmail users were unable to access the webmail service for more than an hour after routers got overloaded during a routine server upgrade. The recurring outages are bad news for Google as it tries to instil consumer confidence in its cloud services.
Finally, Japanese electronics firm Sanyo has forecast a net loss of JPY30 billion for the year ending March 2010, from break even which it predicted in May. The forecast was changed to reflect JPY26.1 billion in charges including restructuring costs and expenses related to a recent product recall. Sanyo has been undergoing a major restructuring program since the last fiscal year ended March, including cutting jobs as the company struggles with weak consumer demand.