We’ve news of new jobs, new ways to watch TV, and a new frontier for quiz shows.
Irish web services firm Zutec has announced seven new jobs in Ireland and Middle East. Due to recent expansion, the Irish company is looking for five engineers for its Doha office in Qatar and two software developers for its Dublin headquarters. The positions in the Middle East would suit engineers looking to expand their experience working on a world class large new airport facility in Doha, while the firm is looking for two software developers in Dublin.
Sony and RTE have agreed to make the RTE Player available on the PlayStation 3 (PS3). Users registered to PlayStation Network and with a broadband connection to their console, will now be able to access RTE Player through the XrossMediaBar on the PS3 console. “This represents the development of a very exciting partnership for RTE Player with one of the world’s leading brands and will provide people with even greater access to what has proven to be a very successful and popular TV catch-up service,” said Aisling McCabe, director of Platform Development at RTE Publishing.
UPC has announced the launch of its 20MB fibre power broadband service in Ireland from 4 January. UPC says the 20MB Broadband will be available to 4 in every 10 homes in Ireland. UPCs full range of services from January include a 100MB option from €80 a month, a 30MB option from €42 a month, the aforementioned 20MB service from €34 a month, and a 10MB service from €25 a month. The firm aims to have all customers on speeds of 10MB or more by May 2011.
ICT services firm Damovo has announced the results of a survey of more than 1,000 remote and office workers on the use of video communications for work. The study found that 88 percent of office workers use video communications at home to talk to friends and family but 86 percent of remote and office workers never use video conferencing for work. Over a third of workers are reluctant to use video communications for work because they are too worried about their appearance on camera. As someone who used to work from home while wearing a dressing gown, that last bit doesn’t surprise me in the least.
The consumerisation of IT will evolve even further in 2011 and Enterprise IT will lose control over the desktop to a greater extent, according to Citrix Systems Ireland. “Consumerisation will dominate the technology landscape in the next twelve months,” said Niall Gilmore, Citrix country manager for Ireland. ” A new wave of laptop and tablet-carrying mobile workers will emerge in Irish offices and IT departments will be forced to keep up with workers adopting and upgrading their own technology in the New Year.”
And finally…The constant battle between man and machine finds a new arena of combat this February, with a Canadian-born gameshow host as the referee. Alex Trebek will host a special edition of Jeopardy where an IBM computing system named Watson will compete against the show’s two most successful and celebrated contestants, as Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter represent the human race in this fight to the death, providing all answers in the form of a question. Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, has been developed over the past 4 years by a team of IBM scientists who set out to build a computing system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence. Jeopardy provides a particularly interesting challenge because the game’s clues involve analyzing subtle meaning, irony, riddles, and other complexities in which humans excel and computers traditionally do not. Earlier this year Watson played more than 55 ’sparring games’ against former Jeopardy Tournament of Champions contestants. Highlights of the sparring matches can be viewed and tracked over the next few weeks here. IBM claim Watson’s ability to understand the meaning and context of human language, and rapidly process information to find precise answers to complex questions, holds enormous potential to transform how computers help people accomplish tasks in business and their personal lives. This bloody battle will rage on television over three days from 14-16 February 2011.