Greatist expert Michael Mantell concurs.If my goal is to watch the end of a game, a competing goal [such as folding the laundry] is not likely to draw my attention. Visual cues are also important. One study found these cues are often given before auditory signals and may aid in our perception and understanding of speech. These visual cues may serve a predictive role, so if you catch the eye of the guy or girl across the bar and they smile, you might just get the nerve to go over and start a conversation.THE HEAR AND NOW — WHY IT MATTERSThanks to advancements in technology and brain research, we can say with scientific certainty that selective hearing does exist. The reason, says Zak, is that our attention is an expensive resource in the brain — so we choose to focus only on what we deem most important. This also means we can’t multitask (text message, email, etc.) and truly listen to a conversation at the same time.So perhaps what good listening comes down to is clarifying for ourselves what is really most important: Is it making it to the next level on Wii Fit, or is it cultivating a relationship in which our partner (or roommate) feels heard, respected, and valued? If we choose to prioritise the latter, maybe next time we’ll be able to focus more on a partner’s request to wash the dishes and less on the screen in front of us.Whatever your priorities, this research can do more than give us leverage when calling out the significant other for forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning. Recent findings will also contribute to future work on aging, attention deficit disorder, and understanding the brains of people on the autism spectrum. The decoding algorithm used by the researchers at the University of California San Francisco in the US, specifically, may help scientists understand what is being heard by people who are paralysed or unable to communicate.Recognising the way our brains’ speech systems operate is also of utmost importance to consumer technology companies who develop voice-activated products. Who knows what cool electronics will come from this research — Siri 2.0, anyone?What do you think – do you believe that selective hearing is real? Do you ever choose to listen selectively sometimes? Let us know in the comments. Read: Study suggests type of calories doesn’t matter for body fat > Read: New app Thryve offers a friendlier way to track meals > Republished with permission from Greatist.comCROWDED LECTURE HALLS, work conferences, packed house parties — put a bunch of people in a room and it can get pretty noisy, with multiple conversations going on all at once. Yet somehow, most of us are able to tune out the masses (or simply the TV) and tune in to our personal discussions. How do we do it? Recent research suggests that selective hearing is, in fact, a real thing. We break down what’s going on in our brains when we decide what we want to hear.LISTEN CLOSE — WHAT’S THE DEAL?Not only do our brains decide which conversations we want to tune into; they also give us the capacity to focus on said conversations to the exclusion of other, simultaneous discussions competing for our attention.Our ability to select what we hear (in the most literal sense) was coined the “cocktail party effect” by British scientist Colin Cherry in the 1950s. The term has gained public traction in the past few years thanks to ongoing research. One of the most notable studies was conducted in 2010, when researchers at the University of California, San Francisco used an advanced decoding algorithm to learn that participants’ brains were able to target one speaker while listening to another, simultaneous speaker.Amazingly enough, the researchers were even able to determine the specific words a given participant was listening to by analysing patterns in their brain activity. Based on these assessments, the researchers determined that our brains are designed to prioritise some auditory cues over others — say, that piece of juicy gossip or the football score over the request to fold the laundry. (Let’s admit it: We’ve all been there!)So what makes some things stick while others (like a request to pick up the milk or take the dog out) float through one ear and out the other? According to one study, how or what we choose to listen to (over other sounds) is dependent on background noise and stimuli as well as behavioral goals — in other words, how important the conversation is to you relative to other things that are going on.Call this the “Homer Simpson Effect,” says Greatist expert Paul Zak.Some people don’t seem to listen well to others unless they view the other person or what they are saying as very important.
After days of protests and riots across Turkey, Irishwoman Arlene Crilly writes about her experiences of living in Istanbul and her impressions of the recent unrest…A WEEK NEVER passes when I don’t take a trip to Taksim and its square. An area packed with shops, restaurants, theatres and bars, its streets are always choc-a-bloc with people eager to get somewhere different. During the protests around one million marched to Taksim Square and everyone was there for the exact same reason.As I looked around at everybody in masks and goggles chanting and waving their Turkish flags I began to wonder how it had all come to this. How was it that these protests had touched every neighbourhood – so much so that even those who couldn’t leave their houses stood at doors or hung out of windows chanting and banging pots and pans together in support? I began to wonder how a small protest about turning a park into yet another shopping centre could garner such support and outrage and how long this dissatisfaction had being brewing?Never-ending ‘development’I had to bring myself back five months at least, when I first received a flyer expressing concern about what would be built in the historic square. It was the first time that the “renewal” of Taksim came on my radar even though the bulldozers had been hanging around for months. When I inquired about the redevelopment, my Turkish friends told me that they had no idea what would be built there. The government had remained tight-lipped about the project, arousing people’s suspicions that whatever it was might not benefit them.As an outsider, I was shocked that people didn’t have to be consulted or even told what was going to be built in a public space. Wasn’t I living in a democracy, a country with a prime minister who has tried his utmost to court EU membership?In recent weeks the fears of my friends were confirmed when it was announced that the squares neighbouring park (and prime real estate ) would be cleared to make way for yet another mall (there are already 150 new shopping centres planned for next year). The prime minister told critics that he would not change his mind. The protests started on Wednesday, although I didn’t even hear about the protests until Thursday when I saw a video from the night before of protesters offering police burek and other snacks. A few seconds later they hit them with water cannons and tear-gas.A sense of solidarityOn Thursday, I too joined the protest. People were chanting and singing songs and there was what I could describe as a chilled party-like atmosphere. I planned to return to the park on Friday but by about 6pm that day there were reports of protest escalating into police brutality in Taksim and it was clear that the police had made it a no-go area.Living just two metro stops from the area, joining the protest simply meant stepping out on to my front door. The protest was everywhere. Since the metro to Taksim had been halted people simply came and took over the roads leading to it. With some friends, Turkish and foreign alike, I joined thousands of others and we marched as close as we could get to the square.Men, women, old and young came out onto the streets in the surrounding areas of Taksim wearing their masks and carried bags of lemons (an antidote to teargas). They chanted “Prime Minister resign!” and “Our Istanbul, not yours!” Those who got too close to the tear-gas canisters or injured were helped by strangers and residents hotels and restaurants opened up their doors to everyone without a second thought.Then the Turkish news channels broadcast a speech by the prime minister, saying the protests were purely the work of hooligans and extremists led by the opposition party. Since I live here and have many Turkish friends I know that this is completely untrue. All of my Turkish friends are involved in these protests one way or another. As I write this, my newsfeed on Facebook is full of the latest updates encouraging everyone to stay in Taksim and keep up their peaceful protest.The creeping de-secularisation of TurkeyThe fight over the park has in fact now been won. People are saying that, thanks to the protests, no business or brand would ever want to be associated with tearing down Taksim’s last green area. But it is not about a park any more. Everyone has a different if not many different reasons for protesting. For some it’s about tear-gas and the brutality of police who even I have watched brutally break up tiny harmless protests by blasting water cannons. For others it’s about the fact that their voices are not heard or about the prime minister creeping away from secularism as he tightens drinking laws and spends public funds on ornate mosques.But the Turkish mass media, particularly television stations, are keeping schtum for the moment. People are saying they always knew that the media was being controlled by the government, and on a night when millions of people are taking to the streets and the TV is showing modelling competitions and shows about ‘the world’s strangest cats’ their suspicions were confirmed.Many of the TV channels that did turn up at Taksim square, such as Turk CNN, had their vans vandalised and I noticed somebody had spray-painted ‘media for sale’ across them. But by and large what I witnessed was the most peaceful protest I can imagine on such a large scale. My friends here in Istanbul tell me that they are hopeful that if people stay peaceful and stay united that change will come.Arlene Crilly is an Irish journalism graduate living in Istanbul. She blogs at istanbullies.wordpress.com
Updated 10.29 amFOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER Charlie Flanagan says that he will contact the Israeli ambassador today as he defended Ireland’s abstention on a UN resolution that sought to investigate Israel’s military actions in Gaza.The Government has come under criticism for its abstention, which it undertook along with the other EU states, from several quarters including from its own members.But speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Flanagan said that Ireland had a number of issues with the UN Human Right’s Council’s resolution that was passed on Wednesday:We didn’t think it was appropriate to allow for a new investigation having regard to current existing UN structures. Secondly, we had problems with the text, we wanted it to include all violent acts on all sides including Hamas and other militant groups in the region.“We referred to the fact that the resolution failed to recognise the right of Israel as a democratic state in the region and it’s right to defend itself,” he added.Flanagan said that Ireland was doing “everything in its power” both bilaterally and through the UN to help curb the violence, saying that he had met with Israeli officials as part of this strategy.“Last week I met with the Israeli ambassador and conveyed to him, in no uncertain terms, the deep concern of the Irish people about the appalling level of casualties in Gaza,” he said. Protesters outside the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin during the week. Source: Sam Boal/Photocall IrelandHe added that he has also met with the Arab League yesterday as well as Egyptian officials:We have a recurring problem in Gaza every few years now and this crisis, however appalling that it is, is not the first such crisis. What we have to do is hope that this is going to be the last one and the underlying issues that contribute the violence can be dealt with.Pushed about the growing opposition to Israel’s actions even among previous supporters of the state, Flanagan repeated that there are two sides to the conflict.“I believe it must be in the context of Israel as a democratic state and its right to defend itself and to defend its territory,” he said.The minster said that Ireland must be seen to be even handed because he has seen at discussions in Brussels how “our voice is stronger and our influence is greater”, adding that the accepted resolution was weak.“I believe that it was an opportunity lost because the resolution could have been stronger and could have been better,” he said.*Clarification: An earlier version of the article attributed a quote to the Minister saying that the “resolution failed to recognise the rise of Israel as a democratic state.”The correct quote should have been that the “resolution failed to recognise the right of Israel as a democratic state.” It has been corrected accordingly. Read: Why did Ireland abstain from a UN Human Rights Council vote on Gaza? >Read: Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces in West Bank protests >
FOUR MEN HAVE been arrested and a gun has been recovered after a burglary at a house in Dunlavin, Co Wicklow.The burglary occurred shortly before 2pm yesterday. The owner of the house came back after an alarm activation and disturbed a number of intruders who then fled the scene. The homeowner was not injured.During a follow-up operation, gardaí arrested four men a short distance away. A shotgun and a small amount of cash taken during the incident was recovered.The four males, aged in their late teens and early 20s, were taken to Bray Garda Station. Three are expected to appear before a sitting of Tallaght District Court this morning charged in connection with the incident.The fourth was released yesterday evening and a file will now be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.Read: Safe deposit box rental up as aggravated burglary numbers soar>Read: New arrest after burglars raid home of woman and child with nail bar>
Colm Cooper is currently out for the season after tearing his cruciate ligament. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHOMARTIN MCHUGH HAS admitted that his description of Colm Cooper as a ‘two-trick pony’ was a mistake.The 1992 Donegal All-Ireland winner made his comments on The Sunday Game on RTÉ television last Sunday night during a discussion about Kerry’s current star forward James O’Donoghue.In his column for The Star newspaper today, he admitted that he used ‘a clumsy phrase’ when describing the Dr Crokes man.“O’Donoghue is fantastic and I was keen to make it clear how good he is on The Sunday Game. Looking for a comparison, I brought up Cooper but made a mistake by using the phrase ‘two-trick pony’ to describe the Dr Crokes man.“It’s a clumsy phrase and one that doesn’t stand up. But live television is unforgiving. You say something and it’s out there.” Martin McHugh won an All-Ireland medal with Donegal back in 1992 Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHOSunday Game analyst Martin McHugh reckons that Colm Cooper is a ‘two-trick pony’One team-mate believes Seamus O’Shea delivered the perfect performance on Sunday
Any kind of eruption is something everyone wants to see happen, unless it stops your plane from flying. But on January 26, the largest volcanic eruption in 50 years happened in Japan.Mount Kirishima on the island of Kyushu blew its top. The violent eruption created a massive ash cloud, pyroclastic flows (fast moving, extremely hot gas flow), and large lava fragments (volcanic bombs) that flew a mile up in the air.Although the eruption started on the 26th, it is still ongoing with a webcam setup and updating once every 60 seconds. It still looks incredibly active, beautiful, and quite deadly all at the same time. Play it safe and watch the video feeds rather than attempting to visit in person.Read more at Our Amazing Planet
Ken Lamal walked in to his local Walmart and picked up an iPad he wanted to buy, paid for it, and when he unboxed it, inside he found not an iPad, but a display model – plastic that’s been painted to resemble an iPad for display purposes. When he returned to the Walmart to report the fact that he essentially got a display iPad in a box, Walmart told him they couldn’t refund his money, he should contact Apple, and that all returns are processed through them. The store says that all returns are processed by Apple and they’re not allowed to repack electronics, so the iPad must have shipped from Apple the way Lamal got it, and that the whole thing is Apple’s problem – not so indirectly implying that Lamal is the one who put the display iPad in the box and is now trying to get cash from the store for it. Lamal, for his part, bought himself a real iPad at his local Apple Store instead, and the rest is history. He plans to file suit, if only to finally get his money back. [via KPLC TV]
Every kid knows that 3D doesn’t have to be an expensive technology. After all, the back of a cereal box can do 3D: just take a set of cardboard glasses, lens them with cellophane and color one of those blue and the other one red and you’ve got viable 3D. The 3D you see at the movies isn’t much more expensive. So why do modern 3DTVs insist on you spending a couple hundred dollars on each viewer for 3D glasses?Quality has a lot to do with it: active shutter glasses, which rapidly oscillate the image between each eye, just look better than other 3D, and eliminate entirely the cloudy and dark quality that passive, movie-theater-style 3D has. But make no mistake: money grubbing is an equal part here. Requiring your viewers to buy expensive active shutter glasses might lock you out of the low-end market, but it also guarantees that the average family is going to spend nearly a grand more on your television than they might otherwise have.Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of companies out there making 3DTVs for us cheapskates for whom passive 3D is good enough, but Philips has just outed the latest in its Cinema 21:9 HDTV Range, and not only does the new Philips Cinema 21:9 Gold Series TV use passive 3D glasses, it also comes with real-time 2D-to-3D conversion and ships with a 3D gaming mode which allows two players to see a full screen 3D view simultaneously. Neat!Software features include Facebook and Twitter access, streaming photos, music and video from tablets, smartphones and computers, online movie and TV streaming. Other specs include 1080p, a 100Hz refresh rate, LED backlighting, and integrated WiFi.This 50-incher looks like a fantastic television. Unfortunately, there’s no word on price, and my guess is that despite Philips’ decision to eschew active shutter 3D, none of this is going to be cheap.Read more at Philips
If you have a Novatel 2372 MiFi from AT&T, you just got a pretty big feature boost with the latest maintenance release for your device. Once you’ve downloaded and installed it, your MiFi will support DLNA, which allows you to stream media from the MiFi to another compatible device. This means streaming video to your television, or audio from your computer to your media player is easy, even if you don’t have AT&T service at the moment.DLNA is something of the dark horse of streaming services. Most smartphones, HDTVs, and even receivers and stereo systems support DLNA, but in order to make use of it, you have to have devices that know how to stream media over it. The latest firmware update for the Novatel 2372 brings DLNA server capabilities to the device, so now you can stream media on its SD card to any DLNA-compatible device.AdChoices广告All of this really means that AT&T’s latest update for the 2372 gives the device some media serving features. You can pop in an SD card populated with video or music, and you can stream that media to your HDTV, your desktop or laptop, your mobile phone, or any other DLNA-enabled device on the same network as the MiFi, and you don’t need 3G to do it. The 2372 will continue to serve as a router even if 3G service isn’t available, and as long as devices are connected to it, it’ll stream your media across the network.This can be specifically useful if you have an SD card with photos on it and a laptop that doesn’t have an SD slot, for example. Alternatively, you can use this to get music from an SD card that’s on your friend’s phone to your phone easily. The update also includes a new MiFi OS web interface which makes it easy to manage the device’s features and get started with DLNA without having to read up on the topic first.Novatel Wireless via Engadget
In what appears to be two steps back in Sony’s response to a hacker intrusion to its network, the company has cut off access to all games powered by its MMO subsidiary Sony Online Entertainment.The company claims it is a new issue that has arisen since an assumed group of hackers cracked into the PlayStation Network in mid April.In a statement, SOE said credit card data of more than 23,000 customers have been potentially compromised. However, the threat only exists to those who have a billing address outside the US.Via Computerworld
Mention fish and most people think of a tasy meal, pets that have two second memories, or an ocean full of the things. Intelligence and learning aren’t usually associated with fish, unless of course you are talking about dolphins. However, we now have proof that some fish at least are quite intelligent and have the ability to learn how to use tools.Professional diver Scott Gardner has managed to capture a photo of a fish using a tool in order to gain access to a food source. While diving the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, Gardner heard a repeated tapping sound coming from a nearby rocky area. On locating the source of the sound he found a black spot turkfish with a clam held firmly in its mouth. The turkfish was banging the clam against the rock to break the outer shell, which it managed to do, and then proceeded to eat the nutritional meal inside.AdChoices广告This wasn’t chance, or a one-off event, as Gardner witnessed shell fragments around the rock from what was clearly previous clam crackings. He also described the turkfish as being an experienced clam smaher due to the accuracy of the hits. The technique also demonstrated experience with the turkfish alternating sides to weaken the shell uniformly. It did this over the course of 75 seconds.Tool use by fish has long been thought to happen by ecologists, but until now no one has captured real evidence of it happening. Gardner’s photos remove all doubt that it does happen, and makes you wonder how many other types of fish use some form of tool on a regular basis to gain access to food.More at Science Mag and SpringerLink
Sahas Katta is an undergrad student at UC Davis studying Computer Engineering. He’s also the CEO of his own startup. This information is available thanks to his Windows Phone 7-styled resume available on his website. The WP7 look-alike resume is so attractive and well designed, it’s earned Katta a number of job offers and tons of interest in his unique portfolio.According to Business Insider, Katta managed to rack up well over 30,000 visitors within the first two days his resume was online, and when they followed up with him about how he’s handling the publicity, he noted that he’s gotten so much interest from people who want to know how he built the design, people who want to buy the design, and people who want to hire him for his own engineering skills that he’d had some difficulty keeping up with it all.AdChoices广告The resume itself looks and functions just like Windows Phone 7. You slide the mouse up to unlock it, click on a tile to access different areas of Katta’s portfolio, send him an email, or access the social networks he’s active on. If you click to see his resume, you can click to scroll side to side and see Katta’s education, experience, special skills, and more. Bonus: click the search button on the “phone,” and it brings up the mobile version of Bing.Katta says he’s gotten a number of job offers as a direct result of the portfolio, including a midnight call from one recruiter who wanted very badly to relocate him to India to work as a user experience designer for a company there. Katta hasn’t said whether or not he’s planning a job change or career move as a result of his newfound popularity, but he certainly has the options open to him.Read more at Sahas Katta via Business Insider
Google has entered into the holiday season in a festive mood. Mountain View is celebrating the fact that its Android Market has reached ten billion downloads, accelerating to a rate of one billion downloads a month since July.Those are impressive numbers for sure, and speak to the market penetration that Android is enjoying. To say thanks to the users that made a milestone like that possible, Google has worked with different developers to offer ten apps for ten days at 10 cents a piece.Available at the reduced price right now are the following titles:SoundhoundAsphalt 6 Adrenaline HDMinecraft Pocket EditionSwiftKey XEndomondo Sports TrackerGreat Little War GameSketchbook MobileFieldrunners HDColor and Draw for KidsPaper CameraHaving used most of those titles, I can say that these are not junk apps in the least. Indeed Minecraft alone is a steal at the 10 cents mark.This event is another sign of the recent explosion of the smartphone industry. Compared with Apple’s App Store at 15 billion downloads as of last Summer, Android is on track to continue to enjoy enormous success in the mobile market. The key will be to attract the quality of developer that Apple has, and to leverage the Ice Cream Sandwich update to create some new, novel ideas.Apple’s dominance is illustrated in the fact that in the same time frame that it took Android to grow to this point, the App Store did 5 billion more downloads. Either way you look at it, the competition for the mobile dollar is fierce.Be on the lookout for the next nine days to see which apps Google is going to discount next.Read more on Official Google Blog
In October last year, Netflix announced it was finally going to launch a streaming service in the UK and Ireland. No date was set, just a timeframe of early 2012. And early really did mean early this year, as the service has gone live today.At the time, I predicted that we could see a monthly charge as high as £9.99 ($16), but Netflix has surprised me by setting the subscription price at just £5.99 ($9.24). Higher than US customers pay, but then there’s the 20% tax applied to all purchases in the UK to account for. There’s also a one month free trial available to try out the service and see if it fits your needs. This can be activated either by an email address or using Facebook.In return for your hard-earned cash every month, Netflix will stream to your PC, TV, tablet, smartphone, PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii. Thousands of movies and TV episodes are promised, with personalized recommendations and a range of kids programming split into age groups. There’s also a kid-friendly section especially for the Wii that will also be rolled out to other devices in the near future.Netflix’s main competition in the UK is Amazon’s LoveFilm service which offers both DVD/Blu-ray rentals and streaming media. How Netflix performs depends on whether a streaming-only service proves popular, and ultimately just how good the range of content is compared to LoveFilm and what services such as Sky and Virgin Media offer over cable and satellite.Read more at the Netflix Blog
Blizzard is forever being asked the question as to when its games will come to consoles. But for the moment, if you want to play the developer’s latest game, Diablo III, then you’re restricted to a Windows or Mac PC. But Linux users do have a way around that barrier: Wine.Wine is an open source application that allows Windows programs to run under Linux, and it works with Diablo III. However, Blizzard has decided to ban anyone trying to do this and is classing the practice as gaining an unfair advantage by running unapproved third party software.Wine in no way gives Linux users an advantage, and players still have to purchase a legal copy of the game and connect to the Battle.net servers in order to play. On first viewing it seems likely that this is an anomaly and the cheat system the game runs is detecting Wine as a false positive game wrapper.The strange thing is, the Wine-related bans didn’t start happening in great numbers until yesterday. Tickets have been opened with Blizzard support with responses ranging from a generic description of what unapproved third party software is, to confirmation that Linux just isn’t supported and therefore cannot be used to run the game.The important thing to note is Blizzard has so far not decided to reverse any of these bans after looking at the issue. So, if you are running the game under Wine you are probably going to be issued with a ban notice sooner or later.The forums also point to the Battle.net Support pages and in particular System Surveys. They consist of system reviews that detect system configurations, but if they find an issue it can stop you connecting to the game. Interestingly Blizzard also looks to see if your operating system is legal, and if it isn’t you may receive a ban too.More at the Diablo III Forums, image via Blizzhackers
When is a monitor not a monitor? When LG slaps PC guts in it and turns it into one of the biggest all-in-one desktops you’ve ever seen.The 29-inch 21:9 display gives you plenty of room for running two apps side-by-side, and the system’s definitely got the horsepower to do it. LG has opted for a fourth-gen Intel Core i5 processor and it has been teamed up with Nvidia GeForce 640M graphics.While the 21:9 all-in-one is no longer just a monitor, it’s also not just a PC. LG has built in a TV tuner and picture-in-picture capabilities. There’s no reason you should have to devote the full 29 inches to computing tasks, after all.As good as the LG all-in-one is, it’s sadly not packing enough in the GPU department for you to be able to stream PC games from it to your Nvidia Shield. But hey, it’s still got more than 2.7 million pixels at its disposal — and should at least offer a nice desktop gaming experience without the bulk of a standalone tower.So how much is this bad boy going to sell for? The EA93 monitor sells for $630. With the extra PC hardware, a mouse, and a keyboard rolled in, it’s reportedly going to retail for around £1,000. That’s about $1,500 at today’s exchange, but the conversion is never that simple.Still, if LG offers this thing up anywhere near that price it’ll be a very attractive PC option. For $500 less than a 27-inch iMac you’d be getting both a massive all-in-one PC and a 29-inch cinema widescreen TV (with two HDMI inputs).Now then, LG, when exactly are you going to start selling this thing?
Every year Interbrand compiles its Best Global Brands list, and for the past 13 years the number one spot has been held by Coca-Cola. But for 2013, that hold on first position has been broken, and it took a technology company to do it.Last year, the top 5 read as follows:Coca-ColaAppleIBMGoogleMicrosoftHowever, the growing significance of technology in our daily lives and globally is clear, as Apple has now taken the top spot, and Google has nudged Coca-Cola down to third place. The 2013 ranking looks like this:AppleGoogleCoca-ColaIBMMicrosoftApple first appeared on the list in the year 2000 at position 36 with a brand value of $6.6 billion. 13 years later, it’s now top and that brand value has sky rocketed to $98.3 billion.If you look further down the list you’ll find other well-known technology brands not far behind. There’s Samsung (8th), Intel (9th), Cisco (13th), HP (15th), Oracle (18th), and Amazon (19th). I’m pretty sure Samsung and Amazon will be two brands that continue to move up the list, and have done so this year from their previous positions of 9th and 20th respectively.Will Apple now have a multi-year run at the top? I doubt you’d get many analysts predicting that. Such is the fast-changing nature of the tech industry, that a brand can soon lose its appeal if a few product launches aren’t well liked by consumers and the press alike. And Apple is facing more pressure than ever to deliver something new and innovative rather than the incremental gadget updates we have been seeing for a few years now.
7 Comments 16,950 Views http://jrnl.ie/3869025 Image: Sasko Lazarov via Rolling News Image: Sasko Lazarov via Rolling News Saturday 24 Feb 2018, 7:00 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Guatemalan mother caught with cocaine-soaked shirts at Dublin Airport jailed for three years The cocaine was valued at €179,000. Feb 24th 2018, 7:01 AM A GUATEMALAN MOTHER who was caught with shirts soaked in cocaine valued at €179,000 in her luggage at Dublin Airport has been jailed for three years.Gardaí revealed a chemical process would later have been used to extract the cocaine from the shirts.Keila Pineda Lopez, aged 29, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to possession of cocaine for sale or supply at Dublin Airport on 22 November 2017. She has no previous convictions.Garda Michael Higgins told Derek Cooney BL, prosecuting, that Lopez was intercepted by customs officers at Dublin Airport after travelling from Brazil. Her luggage tested positive for cocaine and it was found there were 20 identical shirts soaked with cocaine.Garda Higgins told the court that the cocaine could be extracted from the shirts at their intended destination using a chemical process. He accepted that Lopez would have had no knowledge of this process.The shirts were analysed and the cocaine that would have been extracted from them estimated to have a street value of €179,550.Lopez told gardaí she had been approached in her home country and offered €3,000 to transport the drugs. She said she was to be paid on her return and made some allegations of threats. Gardaí accepted there had been a mixture of inducement and coercion involved in Lopez’s participation in the offence.Lopez had little English and had been given a note to give to a taxi driver with the name of a hostel on it, where she was to wait for further instructions. She made full admissions and co-operated fully with the investigation.Garda Higgins said Lopez had been very honest about her role and was worried about her family.Padraic Dwyer SC, defending, said his client was a mother of one child who she had as a teenager and left school to support. She has worked as a waitress and cashier. He submitted that her reward for this offence was to be small and there had been some coercion.He asked the court to take into account her guilty plea, co-operation with the gardaí, her remorse and the fact she will be serving her sentence as a foreign national with little prospect of visitors.He said she was using her time in custody well to educate herself to improve her employment chances and said her prospects for rehabilitation were excellent. Counsel submitted this offence was at the lower end of the scale and asked the court to impose as light a sentence as possible to allow her to return home to her child.Judge Melanie Greally noted a letter from Lopez in which she outlined that she regretted her actions and understood the consequences of the activity in which she was engaged. Lopez said she had learned a lesson and would not re-offend.Judge Greally said the circumstances of the case allowed her to depart from the presumptive minimum sentence of ten years applicable to this offence and she imposed a three-year sentence to date from when Lopez went into custody.Read: Convicted paedophile Bill Kenneally loses appeal for reduced sentenceMore: Bill Cullen is suing Ulster Bank for €120 million over takeover strategy Share237 Tweet Email Short URL By Fiona Ferguson
Sunday 4 Dec 2016, 10:30 AM By Tom O’Rahilly Short URL Share Tweet Email1 326 Views ‘Tourist bodies don’t want us to be seen as a leprechaun country. I found that interesting’ After a decade making furniture, this designer found his next calling was opening a museum. BEFORE I OPENED the National Leprechaun Museum, I had been running a design business for around 10 years.We did a lot of manufacturing and then moved into high-end fit-outs for private commercial clients and also exhibited at a lot of expos in Europe.At one of the shows we made a bar and it ended up being a rather late night. In the morning I woke up and a thought just popped into my head: “Why are there leprechauns in Ireland and why has nobody else tapped into that?” That’s the way the whole thing got going.I guess, like some people say, you fall in love with a problem – and for me it was about trying to find out why leprechauns are associated with Ireland.At the time, there was a big resistance to leprechauns. People don’t like talking about them and tourist bodies don’t want Ireland to be seen as a leprechaun country. I found that really interesting.If you looked at a map of Europe and they were doing identities for each country, you would have the Eiffel Tower for France, maybe some beer in Germany and specific characters for other nations. Certainly for Ireland, it would probably be represented by a leprechaun or maybe a shamrock or a pint.I just thought we should take ownership of it and not run away from it. I think the leprechaun is a really easy way into folklore mythology and that’s what struck me because it was a story to tell. Source: National Leprechaun MuseumFirst ideaI had the idea first in 2003, but it wasn’t something where you go, “that’s interesting”, and then put it back on the shelf to leave there. It was always in the back of my mind.Around 2007, I started to properly lay out how I would approach the idea to turn it into a business. It became a process of saying to myself how many hours a week I was going to devote to this idea and setting out some targets for myself to get to understand it.I started off by giving half a day a week to it for three months and after that period I sat back to see where that got me. Once I started dedicating time to the project, it started to accelerate pretty quickly. After the first three months I could see that the idea had legs.I found the location for the museum in a very old-fashioned and uncomplicated way – walking the streets of Dublin.We picked the place on Jervis Street because it was close to the city centre and had a good footfall, but at the same time there wasn’t a whole lot going on in the area.If I did it again, the south side of the city would probably have been a better option since it has a more natural footfall of tourists. In this kind of business, 50m and 500m can be life or death – if you’re in the right place it can make a huge difference.You can pick any main street in Dublin, like Grafton Street for instance, turn a corner and the rents drop quite significantly, and there’s a very good reason for that – the footfall drops off.Fitting the place outIt all moved along quite quickly. We manufactured about 80% of what is in the museum in factories around Europe, shipped it into Ireland every Sunday morning at 4am and opened up seven weeks after signing the lease.The hype was really good at the beginning because we kept our powder dry right up until two weeks before launch – we didn’t say to anyone else what we were doing.It took off very quickly and got some really good coverage, including a double-page spread in the Guardian, a feature in Time Out magazine and a lot of interest from national media in Ireland. Dec 4th 2016, 10:30 AM 18 Comments Director, National Leprechaun Museum Get the top business news from Fora delivered to your inbox: http://jrnl.ie/3115761 Take me to Fora Tom O’Rahilly Source: National Leprechaun MuseumIn Ireland, most of what happens here is spread by word of mouth – without a doubt someone tells somebody else that this is what they should be interested in. For all the advertising and other ways of spreading the word, it really comes down to if someone’s engaged enough to tell someone else what they experienced.So the business opened with a bang, but about a month after we launched, a volcano explosion in Iceland put a bit of a spanner in the works.It certainly affected us since it had a big effect on the numbers of tourists coming to Ireland. The museum was empty for a few weeks. It was really significant for us and many other businesses in Ireland.A lot of businesses are a leap of faith. You have a good idea, you think it’s worth doing and say, “let’s go for it”, but you can be never guaranteed it is going to work.Twice a night every night for about a year I would think that the business wasn’t going to pan out – and when a volcano disrupts your business at a vital early stage, you begin to wonder a bit more.Ups and downsThere have been quite a few highs and some of the ones from the early days of the business stick with me most.I remember one day seeing a queue out the door, and of course when you see that it pops into your head that this might be working. It’s a nice feeling that people want to come and see what you imagined.Also, since the start, there have been some people who tend to come in a bit skeptical, so when I can see them come out thinking it was very good at the end, that for me is a big thumbs up. Source: National Leprechaun MuseumLooking back, there’s nothing I would do differently. Blind optimism and naivety is an underrated resource in entrepreneurship.From my design business, I learned how to fail early and to understand what is and isn’t working, then either pulling the plug or fix it straight away.One example that comes to mind is the information we had printed up in the museum. We looked at it, made a quick call that it simply wasn’t working and we trained the staff to explain it instead.Ambitions for the companyDuring this year we have made some changes. We were approaching capacity during some stages, so we adjusted the pricing and dialled down the number on each tour in order to get people more engaged with their visit. I don’t want to cram people in the door if they’re not going to enjoy it.We’re also keeping abreast of new technologies. The way I see it, virtual reality is going to feature really strongly in our experiences in the next few years. We’ve been keeping an eye on how that technology has been developing and we’re working out right now how to make it a feature in the museum.I think it will change the way people experience the stories we’re trying to tell. We saw video game arcades disappear when home consoles came along, so it’s important for us to understand what VR is going to mean for our business.In my mind, VR is both a threat and an opportunity. To be honest I see it as more of an opportunity, but still, the group experience is much stronger and there is nothing out there right now that will allow for a group experience in VR.I think it will help people to value the effort of turning up somewhere, like our museum, for an experience. It will be the same for retail. People who come along to the museum will want a more engaged experience and that’s what we aim to deliver.Tom O’Rahilly is the director of the National Leprechaun Museum. This article was written in conversation with Killian Woods as part of a series on unlikely entrepreneurs, and originally posted on Fora.ieIf you want to share your opinion, advice or story, email email@example.com. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article