It is now a decade since the publication of the infamous bitcoin white paper, ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’, and the launch of the bitcoin blockchain, writes Andrew Tzialli[/b[Is that early promise, espoused crypto-evangelists, that blockchain technology will “change the world”, getting closer or is it still a far-fetched dream? In 2016 and in early 2017, crypto currencies became more mainstream, which led to hysteria, and relentless fear of missing out. That was the rationale for many investors who entered the market in late 2017 and early 2018. This was followed by a monumental crash.Some of the most prominent cryptocurrencies decreased in value by 90% from December 2017 peak prices. Around half of blockchain companies that ran ICOs during mid-2017 to mid-2018 have now failed altogether.However, fast-forward to now, 2019. Blockchain can improve businesses’ efficiency and processing times in a secure manner. As adoption and innovation … [Read more...] about Blockchain: Is the technology all hype or hope?
Intel small business technology
JAPAN HAD long since lost its lead in electronics. Or so many thought. When an earthquake and tsunami hit the country in 2011, its continued centrality to the industry quickly became apparent. Copper foils for printed circuit boards, silicon wafers to make chips, resin to package them—for many components Japan was the home of the biggest, sometimes only, supplier. As production ground to a halt, customers scrambled to find alternatives. Many had to limit their output, like carmakers reliant on Renesas Electronics, a leading maker of engine-controlling chips whose wafer-fabrication plant sustained heavy damage. Natural disasters—whether cataclysmic like the Japanese earthquake or merely destructive like floods or wildfires—regularly test the electronics supply chain. Now a geopolitical shock from President Donald Trump’s efforts to isolate China has thrown the industry’s structure into sharp relief—and exposed its choke points (see table). Get our … [Read more...] about The technology industry is rife with bottlenecks
IT IS A charge that American hawks love to level at China: that its companies, through fair means and foul, are after the crown jewels of American technology. Despite years of efforts to manufacture its own computer chips, the Asian giant still spends more on importing them than it does on crude oil. Politicians and companies in the West constantly grumble about Chinese rivals pilfering their intellectual property. So the idea that Chinese firms have some technology gems of their own to offer may seem fanciful. In fact, Western technology firms increasingly fancy Chinese tech. In some cases, they are buying Chinese rivals outright—with the acquiescence of authorities in Beijing. Those working on such acquisitions date the phenomenon back to 2016. Most deals are small and involve niche industries: makers of the powertrains and sensors for electric vehicles, or agencies managing social-media influencers. But the trend has taken root, even as animosity between the United States and … [Read more...] about Western firms increasingly admire—and want—Chinese technology
Simon Winchester 25 May 2019 9:00 AM 25 May 2019 9:00 AM Share Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Email Whatsapp Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilisation John BrowneBloomsbury, pp.397, £25 The rebranding of John Browne has been a long and, to those of us living overseas, instructive affair. Readers will recall the unedifying circumstances leading to his dismissal from BP ten years ago, when the country’s usual gang of disagreeable and unkindly figures such as Paul Dacre and Tom Bower were snapping busily at his heels. Much has happened since. In the classic style of the British establishment, his disgrace has been followed by a steady stalactitic drip of preferments and praise, committees and chairs and board memberships, much aided by quires of unctuous journalism, most tending to focus on the impeccable taste and artistic judgment (not to say financial savvy) with which he has furnished and stocked his digs in the fashionable quarters … [Read more...] about Towards a technological utopia
Ireland’s labour market is strong, albeit with glaring talent shortages. Many economic figures are pointing in the right direction: unemployment is down, consumer confidence is growing, wages are rising and investments are increasing. Although retention is an issue for many companies, the increased churn in the labour market is a sign of confidence. There are, of course, sectors faring much better than others, and vast, sweeping statements should be avoided. Information and computing technology is a prime example of this: we are now home to the majority of leading global ICT and technology employers, such as Intel, IBM, Microsoft and Apple. According to Sigmar’s Salary Survey, wage growth in ICT is predicted at an average of 9 per cent in 2019. As an economy we have managed to transform from largely agricultural to the second largest exporter of computer and IT services in the world. Additionally, global macro stimuli and pressures have been in our favour so far. Low … [Read more...] about How Irish companies can stay competitive whatever happens with Brexit