IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 23 February
CarTrawler in talks to sell stake | Apple expected to unveil iPad 2 next week
The Irish Times reports that travel software firm CarTrawler is in discussions with a "small number" of travel industry companies to sell an equity stake in the Irish firm. In a statement, CarTrawler confirmed it was in discussions to sell a stake in the business to get "access to additional capital to accelerate growth via potential acquisitions, geographic expansions and key hires". It said the move was a "positive development for the Irish company and all of its current employees".
The Irish Independent reports that Intel's Irish plant has been joined in recent weeks by a plant in China in the manufacture of certain microchips. In new US filings, Intel disclosed that the Irish plant, a plant in Arizona and the China plant are all now manufacturing chips using the same type of technology. The China plant started manufacturing the same wafers as the Irish plant at the end of 2010. While the China plant is not yet producing all three types of silicon wafers that come from the Irish plant, it has started producing one of the three lines that come from the Irish plant.
The Irish Examiner notes that UL student Adrian Bannon has launched a campaign on Twitter to bring the company to Ireland. His account, @BirdCourter, has more than 700 followers. People are being encouraged to follow him on Twitter to strengthen the campaign.
The same paper says that Kerry-based business services group Fexco is believed to be planning a 4 percent cut to its Irish workforce in the coming months. The group, which last month completed the acquisition of Goodbody Stockbrokers from AIB, is thought to be looking to cut 40 jobs from its Irish-based workforce of just over 1,000. A spokesperson for the company declined to comment on the matter.
The Wall Street Journal says that Amazon.com is now offering key customers movies and TV shows for viewing over the internet. The online retail giant said the service will be a perk for US members of its Amazon Prime package-shipping program. Those members will be able to watch more than 5,000 movies and TV shows online. Amazon Prime customers pay USD79 a year to get special shipping rates on Amazon purchases.
The paper also notes that mobile phone use appears to increase brain activity in regions close to where the phone antenna is held against the head, according to a new study, but researchers said the implications for health are still unknown. The study is the first to demonstrate that radiation from the devices has a direct impact on some brain cells. "This study shows that the human brain is sensitive to electromagnetic radiation coming out of cellphones," said Nora Volkow, an author of the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. However, "our finding does not tell us if this is harmful or not," said Dr Volkow, who is head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The Financial Times reports that Virgin is exploring the launch of a 'daily deals' service to rival those of Groupon, LivingSocial and Google. A former Virgin company executive approached Sir Richard Branson's UK group last year about using its brand to enter the market for e-mailed, limited-time shopping coupons. Any launch would be conditional on raising external funding. The former executive has been pitching 'Virgin Deals' to potential investors in the US and UK in recent months, according to sources.
The paper also says that Apple is expected to unveil the iPad 2 at an event in San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on 2 March. The company has reserved the main stage at the multifunction venue for next Wednesday, marking a return to the site where it last year launched the original iPad and the iPhone 4.
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