IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 31 March
Collison brothers raise funds for Stripe | Xilinx acquires Belfast telecoms firm
The Irish Times reports that brothers Patrick and John Collison, who sold software company Auctomatic to a Canadian firm for a reported USD5 million in 2008, have received USD2 million in backing for their new venture, Stripe. It is understood the funding values Stripe at close to USD20 million before it even launches a product. The aim of the business is to make it simple for website operators to accept payments online. Patrick Collison declined to comment on who is funding the venture, but he confirmed that a number of organisations are testing the company's products in advance of launch.
The paper also reports that Omiino, a Belfast telecoms startup, has been acquired by chip giant Xilinx. The financial details of the deal were not disclosed. Omiino has a portfolio of innovative technology solutions that are used by telecoms suppliers and telecoms equipment manufacturers. It employs 16 people.
The Irish Independent notes that Facebook has launched its 'Facebook Deals' service in Ireland. The service, which has been seen as a rival to the likes of Foursquare and Groupon, allows customers to find offers from retailers and other companies depending on the user's location.
The Irish Examiner reports that Pat Rabbitte has defended the Cabinet that signed off on the State's second mobile phone licence, saying ministers could not have second-guessed the project team's decision on the winning bid. Distancing himself and ministerial colleagues from the decision to give the licence to Esat Digifone in 1995, the current Communications Minister said the then-Cabinet was not involved in choosing the winner.
The paper also says that Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney has urged farmers or their approved agents to use his department's online facility, iNET, for the submission of their 2011 single payment applications. The system includes a facility to view maps. Online applications will be acknowledged by the department immediately once they are lodged.
The same paper says that surveillance systems almost 50 times more powerful than traditional CCTV are being trialled around the country. The high-definition security cameras have already been installed by local authorities and service stations, while the Aviva stadium and an airport have also tried them out. The 16 megapixel cameras, installed by Northwood Technology, use the latest digital technology to keep a wide-angle view on a much larger area than analogue cameras are able to do.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is offering to add a twist to web searches, in an effort to prevent Facebook and other social sites from gaining the lead in web innovation and potential advertising dollars. The internet search giant said it would allow users to recommend useful search results to friends and potentially reorder the way sites are ranked based on what they and their friends like or find useful. The 'social search' effort, dubbed '+1' or 'plus one', could change the way that some people use Google's search engine.
In more news of Google, the paper also says that the search giant has agreed to strict privacy rules and said it would ask users before sharing their data with outsiders, in a proposed settlement of US government claims that it violated users' privacy on Google Buzz. The proposed settlement with the Federal Trade Commission requires the search giant to develop a "comprehensive privacy program" and to submit to independent privacy audits every two years for the next 20 years.
In yet more news of Google, the Financial Times says that Microsoft has filed a formal complaint with European antitrust regulators about Google's online search dominance in the region. Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, said in a blog post that the software company had become "concerned by a broadening pattern of conduct aimed at stopping anyone else from creating a competitive alternative". He added: "We've therefore decided to join a large and growing number of companies registering their concerns about the European search market."
The paper also says that a surge in demand for tablet devices is expected to help boost overall IT spending this year and offset any negative impact on the supply chain from this month's devastating earthquake in Japan. New figures from Gartner predict that global spending on IT would rise 5.6 percent to USD3,600 billion in 2011. Richard Gordon, research vice-president at Gartner, said that while the full impact of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on the supply chain was still playing out, the effect on overall IT spending "doesn't appear to be catastrophic".