NEWS IN BRIEF
Daily Digest 4 March
Cork firm in USD11m deal with Siemens | Sony readies iPad rival: report
PC giant Hewlett-Packard has announced that it is to create 60 new jobs in Dublin as it consolidates its European operations at its facility in Belfield. The new jobs will include engineers, who will provide technical support to customers. The company is looking to recruit people with the necessary technical experience and language skills. Martin Murphy, HP managing director in Ireland, said the new jobs underline the company's commitment to the Irish market. "We are also encouraged by the fact that Ireland is making some positive inroads in terms of wage and salary competitiveness, thus resulting in greater ability to vie for these types of positions." HP employs around 4,000 people in Ireland at its facilities in Dublin, Leixlip, Galway and Belfast.
Cork company PAS Technologies is to open a new EUR1.6 million research and development centre at its facility in Carrigtwohill, and the company will create 10 new high-value jobs in the process. PAS's focus is on the repair, refurbishment and re-manufacture of the components of gas turbine engines. The centre will be responsible for the development of advanced technology component repair services for land-based turbine engines, which are used to power electricity generation stations, desalination plants, and factory utilities. Also on Thursday, the firm announced that it had struck a USD11 million contract with Siemens Sweden, a leading player in the industrial gas turbine market. Looking ahead the Cork firm said it has a 25 percent sales growth target for 2010.
Mary Hanafin, Minister for Social and Family Affairs, has officially launched a website called keepingyourhome.ie. The site aims to provide information for people who are finding it difficult to pay their rent or make mortgage repayments. It includes information on topics such as social welfare payments, tax relief and legal processes including issues around home repossession. It also offers advice from the Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS) on mortgage arrears, links to further advice from the Financial Regulator, and links to relevant information leaflets, as well as details of how to contact your local Citizens Information Centre, MABS and Community Welfare Officer.
RTE Radio has launched an iPhone application that's aimed specifically at the advertising and media-buying community. The media sales app is designed to be a one-stop mobile sales tool for advertisers, agency buyers and planners who want to organise radio campaigns. RTE recently launched a Radio 1 and 2fm app as well as a decicated Documentary on One App.
Google has taken mobile search to a new level by introducing Gesture Search, a new Google Labs application for Android-powered devices running Android 2.0 or above in the US. The facility allows users to 'draw' alphabet gestures on a touchscreen to find a contact, application, bookmark or music track. For example, if a user were looking to find a contact named John they would simply draw the letter J on the screen and all contacts starting with the letter J would be shown. Find out more about the new feature here. There has been no indication as to when Gesture Search will be available in Ireland.
Sony is to launch a number of new handheld products, including a smartphone capable of downloading and playing PlayStation games, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal, which quotes people familiar with the matter. The report also suggests that Sony is developing a multi-functional device that is part netbook, part e-reader and part PlayStation Portable (PSP), and would compete with Apple's upcoming iPad. Both devices are expected to work with Sony's online media platform, which is due to launch later this month in the US, and is being pegged as Sony's answer to Apple's iTunes. The paper says its sources expect the devices to be launched during 2010.