Culture you can drink! Belgian beer gets UN approval Posted by Thursday, December 1, 2016 Tags: UNESCO Travelweek Group BRUSSELS — Next time you raise a glass of Belgian beer, rest assured: It’s a cultural experience.UNESCO added Belgian beer to the list of the “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” on Wednesday.Belgium is known throughout the world for its wide array of tastes, from extreme sour to bitter, produced in just about every city and village across the west European nation of 11 million people. The history of Belgian suds stretches back centuries to medieval monks and has been celebrated in paintings by Pieter Brueghel and in countless songs since.Brussels regional leader Rudi Vervoort said Monday that beer “has been a part of our society since time immemorial.”It is not all history with Belgian beer though. Only this year, one brewer, Brugse Zot, moved very much with the times, building a beer pipeline out of the medieval centre of Bruges to a bottling plant on the outskirts out of environmental and architectural concern.More news: Rome enforces ban on sitting on Spanish StepsAnd at a time when many pubs are closing or falling on hard times as overall beer consumption declines, such international recognition is more than welcome.Sven Gatz, who went from being head of the Belgian Brewers Federation to becoming Culture Minister for the northern region of Flanders, compared the recognition to winning the World Cup.“We love our beer and appreciate the endless diversity within it, something that can’t be equaled anywhere else in the world,” Gatz said. “In Belgium, beer doesn’t have to give way to wine or other drinks in terms of quality and diversity.”In days when alcohol abuse becomes an ever bigger concern, UNESCO said it was about more than just drinking.“Beer is also used by communities for cooking, producing products like beer-washed cheese, and paired with food,” UNESCO said in a statement.For Belgium, it is the spirit of beer that seeps through society, be it from the Dutch-speaking north, the Francophone south or the tiny German-speaking region in the east.More news: Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?“This beer culture is really deep for Belgians,” said Isabelle Weykmans, culture minister for the German-speaking region.“It is more than just drinking beers,” she told The Associated Press, saying it is about culture and the skill of beer-making.Despite the decline of many pubs, the spirit is now carried onwards by small craft breweries like the Brussels Brasserie de la Senne, where owner Yvan De Baets works the taps.It is the universal appeal of Belgian beers that he cherishes.“I especially like the fact that they are global, universal, they make people gather, and I think that is what touched UNESCO,” he said. “It highlights our traditions, our own culture that is linked to beer. So, as Belgian brewers, we are very happy.” Share << Previous PostNext Post >>
Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations has broadened its partnership with The Travel Corporation with a deal to promote and sell select U by Uniworld as well as Uniworld Boutique River Cruises sailings. Air Canada Vacations already features Uniworld Boutique River Cruises in its Europe brochure.Altogether ACV will offer itineraries on rivers and waterways in more than 20 destinations across Europe, China, Russia, Egypt, India, Cambodia and Vietnam with the two TTC brands.Last fall ACV, Trafalgar and Contiki announced that ACV would offer Trafalgar and Contiki product as well, offering 16 Trafalgar trips and 5 Contiki trips in its 2018 Europe Your Way Collection.“Air Canada Vacations is constantly looking to innovate and provide customers with a wider choice of products and extraordinary experiences,” said ACV’s Managing Director, Nino Montagnese. “As experiential travel gains in popularity, the ability to offer travellers unique, flexible and authentic tours is a must. By bundling flights, accommodation and excursions, customers also benefit from cost savings.”More news: Kory Sterling is TL Network Canada’s new Sales Manager CanadaLast week U by Uniworld announced it was dropping its 21 – 45 age restriction and opening up its sailings to all adults.With the ACV&ME loyalty program, travel agents who book hotels, cruises and groups to sun destinations will receive 600 points per room for packages of 7+ nights; 400 points per room for packages of 3–6 nights; 600 points per stateroom for air flight and cruise packages; and 300 points per passenger for Group bookings. ACV&ME loyalty points can be redeemed for Aeroplan Miles, travel vouchers or VISA cash cards. Tags: Air Canada Vacations, Uniworld Air Canada Vacations, The Travel Corporation expand partnership Monday, March 12, 2018 Share Travelweek Group
Posted by Tags: Air Canada Vacations << Previous PostNext Post >> Travelweek Group Wednesday, May 9, 2018 MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations is making good on its promise to overhaul its digital platforms with an upgrade of its ISO platform, to facilitate dynamic packaging as well as ancillary sales.Air Canada Vacations says it’s upgrading its existing ISO Platform, Ocean, to the new booking engine, Pacific.The switch will take place over the next 12 months with adaptive integration options for future systems, says ACV, as well as a more user-friendly interface. In tandem, ISO Travel Solutions and Air Canada Vacations will migrate the passenger service system to Amadeus’ Altéa.Air Canada Vacations’ partnership with ISO Travel Solutions dates back to 2005.“We’re pleased to continue our longstanding partnership with ISO Travel Solutions,” says Nino Montagnese, ACV’s Managing Director. “The Pacific platform offers us the ultimate flexibility to continue to fulfill the needs of our customers. The streamlined and intuitive booking engine helps us to deliver our carefully curated vacations to our customers for all styles of travel.”More news: A new low for no-frills flying: easyJet assigns backless seat to passengerIn addition to what ACV says is a scalable and easy-to-use interface for call centres, Pacific also offers features to enable dynamic packaging while managing various travel products with its versatile inventory management system. ACV says the platform also provides distribution strategies with multiple sales channels and allows for adaptive pricing of ancillary sales.“We are happy to deliver our powerful and proven travel platform, Pacific, to Air Canada Vacations,” says Holger Voss, ISO’s business development director. “The upgrade to Pacific will provide a contemporary, web-based reservation system. Pacific’s advanced features enable Air Canada Vacations to manage, sell and service not only pre- and dynamic-packaged travels, but also FIT, custom tours, cruises groups and more using internal and external connected inventories.”Last month ACV announced a new initiative aimed at the complete transformation of its digital platforms. ACV prioritizes dynamic packaging, ancillary sales with tech upgrade Share
MIAMI — Carnival has released a four-part video series called ‘Crew Gratitude’, for travel advisors and their clients, showing the impact that Carnival’s guests have made on their lives and families through gratuities.The videos focus on six crew members, including housekeeping staff and dining room waiters. The first video in the series is set for release July 18, with subsequent videos released throughout the month of August.“I get so many questions from our guests and travel advisors asking about our Gratuities Program – what it is, who gratuities go to and why they matter,” said Adolfo Perez, Senior VP of Global Sales and Trade Marketing. “When I sat down to chat with some of our onboard crew members, the impact gratuities have on their lives and the lives of their families was clear. That’s what we’re hoping to showcase through this ‘Crew Gratitude’ video series.”Perez says the videos aim to help travel advisors and their clients get to know shipboard crew members – the people responsible for delivering unforgettable guest experiences – on a more personal level.More news: Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckThese frontline team members lead the efforts in providing the services that deliver an exceptional cruise vacation, which help advisors build client loyalty to the Carnival brand and earn repeat bookings for the agency.“We want everyone who watches these videos to connect with our crew members and see how the gratuities they pay truly make it possible for them to fulfill their dreams, aspirations and family goals,” said Perez. << Previous PostNext Post >> Share Tags: Carnival Cruise Line Travelweek Group Thursday, July 18, 2019 Carnival’s new ‘Crew Gratitude’ series highlights ties between passengers, crew Posted by
No related posts. Due to bureaucratic red tape involving the construction company RAASA, the Comptroller General canceled the contract granted to RAASA by the National Roadway Council (CONAVI) for the anticipated work on the road from 27 de Abril to Villareal. It is now up to CONAVI once more to assign a company to proceed with the repair and paving of this much-used road. Doesn’t look like we’ll have smooth pavement there anytime soon.Agua Rica Scuba Diving is offering a low season deal for residents. The full open-water certification would normally run you $550, but now it only costs $400. The scuba diver certification, normally $400, is now only $300. You must have a minimum of four people to take advantage of this opportunity. Looking for more information? Email Toni Onofri at email@example.com. The Tamarindo Diria Beach & Golf Resort has a couple of new restaurants. One is called the Flying Bull, and it has an international menu. It’s located next to the hotel’s new casino. Also check out the new Pizza Nari, housed where The Café used to be.Preschool teacher Krisbel Vargas, who has 10 years experience, has opened a day care facility called Happy Garden in Haucas (200 meters east of the Farmacia at El Cruz). The center is open from 7 a.m.-5 p.m., with early learning opportunities from 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Children may attend by the day or the hour. For more information, call 2653-7036. –Ellen Zoe Goldenellenzoe@aol.com Facebook Comments
An estimated 10,000 employees of the state-run Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and local electricity cooperatives marched on Monday to persuade lawmakers to withdraw a bill they say would “privatize electricity services in Costa Rica.” Union leaders said the proposed legislation would open Costa Rica’s electricity market to private competition, which unions claim is a contradiction of the current partnership model that allows cooperatives to provide electricity to ICE.Thousands of protesters dressed in yellow – the traditional color worn by ICE workers – marched from La Sabana Park, in western San José, to Casa Presidencial in the southeastern district of Zapote, stopping off at the Legislative Assembly in the capital’s center.Late last year, Costa Rica’s telecommunications market was opened to private competition, and ICE workers said privatization in the electricity market could bankrupt the government institution that helped bring electricity coverage to nearly 100 percent of the country. According to a Finance Ministry report last year, ICE closed with a net loss of ₡22 billion ($43.7 million) and a rate of return of -2.1 percent.President Laura Chinchilla said she could not predict if lawmakers would call the bill up for discussion. Facebook Comments No related posts.
TEGUCIGALPA – Honduras’ feared gangs, known as “maras” have imposed curfews in a populous area west of the Honduran capital, where businesses are forced to close early and families must remain inside their homes, local media reported on Monday.“We want to see businesses closed and people locked in their houses by 7 p.m.,” reads one of the signs that gang members placed on poles in the poor neighborhoods of Ayestas, Los Profesores, Campo Cielo, Las Crucitas and Mercedes in Tegucigalpa.Residents – who refused to be identified out of fear of reprisals – told local newspapers that members of the Mara 18 (M-18) and another gang identified as “Los Chirizos” went door-to-door warning families that they are forbidden to leave their houses after 7 p.m. every night.All residents have complied with the requirement, affecting businesses, bus routes and taxis. Even church members were forced to conduct their services before that time.“We have maintained permanent police presence in the area. The Metropolitan Police and Criminal Investigation Police officers are always there,” Commissioner Héctor Iván Mejía, a spokesman for the National Police Department, said.He added that “there have been no complaints from neighbors regarding threats from maras,” although he admitted that people might be keeping quiet out of fear.The bodies of two young men who had their hands tied and were shot in the head were found Monday morning.On Jan. 18, six young Hondurans sitting on a sidewalk in front of a house were killed by suspected gang members in Las Ayestas. Months earlier, on Aug. 19, police found the dismembered bodies of three young men.Honduras has the highest homicide rate in the world, at 92 per 100,000 inhabitants, according to statistics from the United Nations. Facebook Comments No related posts.
Costa Rica team captain Bryan Ruiz reacts after scoring his goal at the 44th minute against Italy to put the Ticos ahead 1-0. With the goal, Ruiz quieted his many critics and moved Costa Rica to the knockout round of the World Cup for the second time ever. Facebook Comments Related posts:Giancarlo González, Costa Rica’s unsung hero of the World Cup, heads to Italy in $5 million deal La Sele unveils first roster under Óscar Ramírez La Sele announces 23-man roster for Copa América tournament Copa America Group A: Costa Rica faces stiff opposition
LIMA, Peru – A Canadian stabbed a British man to death during a row at a hostel in Peru after drinking ayahuasca, the powerfully psychedelic South American brew, police told AFP Thursday.The killing took place on Wednesday in a village near the Amazon city of Iquitos during a shamanic ceremony for tourists that included drinking the hallucinogenic tea that is embraced by advocates as a spirit cure.The men, who have not been named, had both consumed the drink and after a heated argument the Briton attacked the Canadian, according to preliminary investigations.The Canadian, 26, grabbed a knife and stabbed his victim to death.The Briton was rushed to hospital but could not be saved and the Canadian is in police custody.The Tico Times recently visited Iquitos to cover the increasingly popular ayahuasca tourism route in the Amazon. Read that story here. Facebook Comments Related posts:Ayahuasca, the sacred jungle vine that lures Westerners to the Amazon US State Department lists Costa Rica among major drug-transit countries Dutch seize huge cocaine shipment hidden in cassava roots from Costa Rica It’s time to end the war on drugs
The Costa Rica Prosecutor’s Office requested six months of preventive prison for four suspects from the U.S., Colombia and Costa Rica arrested during four raids around the San José area Thursday.Authorities discovered 35 doses of LSD and 526 marijuana plants, some up to 2 meters tall, in two marijuana grow houses, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry Friday.The U.S. suspects arrested on Thursday were a 44-year-old man with the last name Zev who lived in Escazú and a 31-year-old with the last name Kjar who lived in Heredia, according to the Security Ministry. A 39-year-old Costa Rican man, Sormani, from Pavas and a 29-year-old Colombian man, Mendoza, living in San José were also arrested.The hydroponic marijuana grow houses were found in San Rafael de Heredia and Pavas. In Pavas, the facility had ventilation ducts hanging from the ceiling alongside grow lights, specialized watering systems and air conditioning units to control the temperature, according to a statement from the Prosecutor’s Office.Besides growing equipment, police discovered two “how-to” books for marijuana home cultivation, a scale, processing and packaging equipment, two computers, a hard drive, and more than ₡6.8 million — roughly $12,000 — and $2,441 in cash, allegedly from drug sales.The Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that it believed the pot and LSD were primarily sold in San José’s Barrio California and in Cartago.In December, police arrested four Costa Ricans for allegedly selling drugs produced by the suspects arrested Thursday. Facebook Comments Related posts:U.S. beachgoer tries to burn down police station after his arrest in Tamarindo Health officials alarmed by increase in marijuana use among young Ticos Top 6 crime stories of 2014 Costa Rica’s biggest crime stories of 2015
Under a grey cloud, rescue teams search for missing people after the powerful eruption of the Fuego Volcano in Guatemala, which left at least 69 dead and thousands evacuated.Guatemalan authorities admitted, however, that due to the nature of the eruption that swept various nearby towns with an avalanche of mud and ash, it will be almost impossible to find survivors. Picture of the Fuego Volcano taken from San Miguel Los Lotes, a village in Escuintla Department, about 35 km southwest of Guatemala City. Johan Ordóñez / AFP“We’ll continue until we find the last victim. Even if we don’t know many victims there are, we’ll check the area as many times as we need to,” Sergio Cabañas, director of the Coordinator for the Reduction of Disasters (Conred), told AFP.On Sunday, Fuego Volcano – 3,763 meters high and 35 km southeast of the capital –registered a powerful eruption that has left 69 dead, according to data from the National Forensic Sciences Institute (Inacif). Police officers carry a victim in the ash-covered village of San Miguel Los Lotes. Johan Ordóñez / AFPOn Tuesday, a small column of ash crowned the volcano before the attentive gaze of rescuers, who covered their noses and mouths to protect themselves from the dust that rises everywhere. In the areas affected by the volcanic avalanche, the streets are covered by ash and everything is filled with dust.Inacif has indicated that only 17 of the dead have been identified thus far, through “fingerprints and physical characteristics.” A woman attends the wake of seven victims who died following the eruption of the Fuego volcano, at the morgue in Alotenango municipality, Sacatepequez, about 65 km southwest of Guatemala City, on June 4, 2018. Johan Ordóñez / AFPThe tragedy has left 46 injured, 3,271 evacuated and 1,877 sheltered in the departments of Escuintla, Sacatepéquez and Chimaltenango, the most seriously affected by the volcanic eruption, according to Conred.Difficult to find survivorsCabañas reiterated that the authorities have not been able to establish a number of missing people, and the hope of finding survivors has all but vanished.“If they’re trapped in the pyroclastic flow, it’s difficult to find them alive. There could even be calcified people and they won’t be found,” Cabañas said.“We’ll continue until it’ll be necessary, always taking into account the security measures,” he added, alluding to the fact that the volcano’s slopes have accumulated great quantities of sediment that at any moment could detach and cause another catastrophe. San Miguel Los Lotes. Johan Ordóñez / AFPGuatemalan President Jimmy Morales also indicated on Monday night that the government will continue the search and rescue operation as long as it takes.The presidency announced Tuesday that the government will begin setting up a rebuilding plan as soon as possible.‘Active rest’Eddy Sánchez, director of the state Institute of Volcanology, told AFP that after the strong eruption on Sunday, the volcano liberated “a lot of energy” and entered in a phase of “active rest.” This means that even though strong explosions could be generated, “they wouldn’t be catastrophic.”The Guatemalan Congress approved a presidential decree to declare a state of public calamity in the departments of Escuintla, Sacatepéquez and Chimaltenango, the most affected and where the volcano is situated. San Miguel Los Lotes. Johan Ordóñez / AFPPope Francis offered “prayers for all of those who suffer the consequences of that natural disaster” on Tuesday.Fuego Volcano’s most recent eruption took place in January 2018. This handout picture released by the National Police of Guatemala shows policemen during search operations around Volcano Fuego after an eruption in Guatemala on June 3, 2018. AFP photo / National Police of Guatemala / HO /In September 2012, it provoked Guatemala’s most recent eruption-related emergency, causing the evacuation of 10,000 inhabitants settled in villages south of the volcano.In Guatemala the volcanoes Santiaguito, to the west, and Pacaya, 20 km south of the capital, are also active. Facebook Comments Related posts:Guatemala issues danger warning as Fuego Volcano activity intensifies Meet the Costa Rican woman who saved 300 lives in Guatemala Toll rises in Guatemala volcano as more bodies recovered Landslide threat forces suspension of Guatemala volcano search
A study released on the 19th of June reveals the scale of the battle Irish business leaders face when business disruption hits, as a staggering 62 per cent admits to suffering from stress-related illnesses and/or damage to their mental well-being in the aftermath of cyber attacks, IT outages or network failures.In today’s hyper-connected world, with the C-Suite inextricably tied up with a company’s brand identity, research from Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS) highlights the extent to which senior executives are linked to their company’s resilience. Findings from the study of 101 business leaders in companies with 500+ employees in Ireland, found a staggering 75 per cent of CIOs/CTOs have suffered from stress-related illnesses and/or damage to their mental well-being after a crisis.When asked who takes responsibility at their company in the event of a crisis, almost half (49%) of respondents pointed to the CIO/IT Director/CTO, compared to just over a third who stated the CEO (34%), going some way to explaining why such a high percentage of CIOs/CTOs are currently suffering.The Reason Business Leaders Face ThisOne of the contributing factors to the stress-related illnesses and damage to business leaders’ mental well-being is the backlash that they receive, both online and in person, following an incident. More than 2 in five respondents (42 per cent) state that they experience abuse online or verbally, and in some cases even physical threats. Moreover, over one in ten (11 per cent) say that this criticism extends to their family and friends who also receive abuse verbally and/or physically.The results demonstrate the real impact that having an effective resilience strategy has not only on the business and its operations but also on the individuals in key leadership roles who are held accountable for it.“This research has identified a new Resilience Imperative in Ireland, supporting the personal impact on the individuals involved,” comments Noel O’Grady, Sales Director at Sungard AS Ireland. “The lost business costs to repair what is broken, and the reputational damage have not only a business impact but a personal impact.Every board member within organisations must take a long hard look at their company’s approach to resilience today and ensure it meets the ever-changing array of challenges to it. The fact that both CIOs and CTOs are now increasingly aware of the ramifications of a failure on their watch, shows how important this has become. Having a resilient mindset, a plan in place, and the technological know-how to weather different IT storms will ensure companies of all sizes adhere to the Resilience Imperative.”Companies have long known the financial and reputational impact of crises, with 55% experiencing a decreased share price following a business disruption, and this research has revealed the negative personal impact it can have on a firm’s leadership. Over one in five (20 per cent) respondents state that a result of suffering cyber attacks, IT outages or network failures, have resulted in a CEO departure. Again, the impact on the wider board members is seen with 27 per cent of respondents saying that the causes of business disruption have resulted in other board-level resignations.Despite cyber-attacks (96%), IT outages (94%) and network failures (98%) being the top three crises faced in the past 12 months, the findings from the study highlight that these are not all expected to be the biggest tests to Irish business resilience over the next year:Just under a third of respondents (32%) think changing global trade agreements will be the biggest test to their company’s resilience in the next 12 monthsAlmost 1 in 5 respondents (18%) think their biggest test will be cyber-attacks1 in 6 respondents (16%) think Brexit will be the biggest test to their company’s resilience in the next 12 monthsAbout this researchThis research of 101 C-suite respondents in companies with 500+ employees in Ireland was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Sungard Availability Services® in March 2019 as part of a wider piece of resilience research of 851 C-suite respondents in the UK, Ireland and US.About Sungard Availability ServicesSungard Availability Services (“Sungard AS”) is a leading provider of critical production and recovery services to global enterprise companies. Sungard AS partners with customers across the globe to understand their business needs and provide production and recovery services tailored to help them achieve their desired business outcomes. Leveraging more than 40 years of experience, Sungard AS designs builds and runs critical IT services that help customers manage complex IT, adapt quickly and build resiliency and availability. To learn more, visit www.sungardas.com or call 0808 2526 624. Connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking
NUI Galway-based Biomedical Engineer, Oisín McGrath has been awarded a grant from Enterprise Ireland for €500,000 to further develop his project ‘Galenband’ for commercialisation. The project aims to provide a convenient and reliable wrist-worn device to monitor the heart activity of people with atrial fibrillation and ultimately aims to reduce the rate of stroke and heart failure caused by the pathology.Atrial fibrillation occurs when the electrical impulses that coordinate heartbeats don’t work properly, causing the heart to beat irregularly. Tens of millions of people globally suffer from this dangerous heart arrhythmia which often presents with infrequently occurring symptoms, making it challenging to detect with currently used monitors due to their short recording durations. Years of suffering and lives themselves could be saved if a heart monitor were available which could be worn discretely and unobtrusively for extended periods of time, whilst continually capturing data.Galenband seeks to provide cardiac clinicians with a wrist-worn device capable of drastically increasing detection rates of the infrequently occurring symptoms of intermittent atrial fibrillation. This notoriously difficult-to-detect pathology is responsible for half of all fatal ischemic strokes and is a leading cause of heart failure. Galenband is a data collection and analysis device that will monitor the heart activity of wearers on a long-term basis, recording episodes of infrequently occurring heart arrhythmia.The initial inspiration for the project came from Oisín McGrath’s own personal experiences with heart arrhythmia. For 13 years, Oisín suffered from undiagnosed heart arrhythmia. A standard response for a clinician when a heart arrhythmia is suspected is to issue a 24-48-hour heart monitor in order to capture the symptoms.This would ideally allow for the diagnosis of the condition. As Oisín’s symptoms were often spaced out by a week or more, the short recording duration of these monitors failed to capture any symptoms, and the arrhythmia continued to go undiagnosed, causing great mental anguish, high financial costs, and a potential danger to his life. During that time 11 different heart monitors failed to capture anything. Eventually, a cardiac pacing procedure was necessary in order to diagnose the arrhythmia. From this experience, Oisín recognised that a change in recording strategy was required in order to increase the efficacy of non-invasive symptom detection methods.Galenband project lead, Oisin McGrath, says: “The achievements of the project are a strong endorsement of the level of teaching and research in Biomedical Engineering at NUI Galway. With the support of academic staff and the Technology Transfer Office in NUI Galway and the funding received from Enterprise Ireland, Galenband will press forward in an effort to change the lives of atrial fibrillation patients on a global scale.”Professor Mark Bruzzi, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering and Science, NUI Galway, said: “This innovation is a great achievement and demonstrates the potential of teams innovating new technologies through the Master’s in Biomedical Engineering programme at NUI Galway.”In 2010, shortly after his cardiac pacing procedure, Oisín began work on the earliest version of what would become Galenband. Cardiac rhythm monitoring methods formed the subject of Oisín’s Biomedical Engineering undergraduate thesis at NUI Galway, to allow him to explore possible methods of accurately measuring heart rhythm with a long-term monitoring device. The needs-led innovation approach of the Biomedical Engineering degree programme at NUI Galway provided him with the perfect platform through which development could be furthered.During his Master’s in Biomedical Engineering, Oisín collaborated with students David Kerr, Belén Enguix, and Syed Kumail Jaffrey to investigate the logistical feasibility of the Galenband system ranging from a competitive landscape review to an overview of the regulatory pathway. The work carried out during this time received the Zenith award from Aerogen Ltd.The Galenband project was the first Irish project chosen by the world’s top University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as part of their IDEA Global program and won the Institute for Medical Engineering and Science (IMES) award for research in the field of medical engineering. Additionally, the project won the Technology category of the 2019 Universal Design Grand Challenge, organised by the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority, and supported by Enterprise Ireland.
Teckro, the indigenous Irish firm transforming clinical trials for leading pharmaceutical and emerging biotech companies has officially announced 45 high-end tech jobs for Dublin, representing more than 100% growth in staff here.The company currently has more than 110 employees with offices in Limerick and the US, but the majority of the new roles will be in the company’s Engineering Excellence Hub in Dublin’s Silicon Docks. The technical jobs will span functions across engineering, data science, design and usability, quality and product management.The staff expansion follows the recent appointments of Anita Callan as Vice President of Product, most recently from Aer Lingus, and Neil Flanagan as Vice President of Engineering, previously with Munich Re to Teckro’s leadership team.Speaking at the announcement CEO and Co-Founder Gary Hughes said, “Although technology has revolutionized so many industries, the experience of participating in a clinical trial if you are a doctor, research nurse or patient has not changed in the last two decades. The industry still heavily relies on paper and inefficient processes. At Teckro, we are on a mission to simplify the process and make clinical trials more accessible for everyone involved. We are looking for more talented people, especially in technical roles, to join us and make an impact.”The company, founded in 2015 by brothers Gary and Nigel Hughes and CTO Jacek Skrzypiec, is currently in scale out mode. This is the second startup founded in Ireland by the Hughes brothers, whose previous business, Firecrest Clinical, was sold to Nasdaq-listed clinical research giant ICON in 2011.Teckro provides solutions to simplify and modernize clinical research for leading pharmaceutical and biotech companies, currently managing more than 100 clinical trials and actively used by more than 11,800 study sites worldwide. Earlier this year the company announced a Series C funding round from major US venture capital firms, including Founders Fund, Bill Maris’ Section 32, Borealis Ventures, Northpond Ventures and Sands Capital Ventures that brought its total funding to $43 million and making it one of the fastest growing venture-backed companies developing product in Ireland.Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation Heather Humphreys welcomed the jobs saying, “It’s great to see an Irish company based in Dublin and Limerick succeed and grow internationally, especially one with a mission that will ultimately benefit patients and healthcare professionals in research to address global health problems. These 45 new tech jobs will play an important role for Teckro to deliver solutions from Ireland that will improve the clinical trial process throughout the world. This is another great example of how our SMEs are investing in new technologies, which is an important element in our Future Jobs Ireland strategy.”Teckro is hiring across all functions, including engineering, product, clinical operations, sales, and marketing. If you want to work for Teckro, open positions can be viewed on LinkedIn or the company website.
Echelon Data Centres, the Irish data centre owner and developer, has been granted planning permission by An Bord Pleanála for a 100MW, 484,000 sqft data centre facility to be sited on the Avoca River Business Park in Arklow, Co Wicklow. Planning permission was originally granted by Wicklow County Council in February 2019 but was the subject of an appeal which has now been dismissed.The €500m development, which will create 540 jobs (450 in construction and 90 full-time operational roles) has widespread support in the locality as it is expected to be a catalyst for the rejuvenation of the site, attracting employers and investors to the area. Echelon is committed to finding 100% green and renewable solutions – wind, solar, bio-mass – to provide sustainable power options to all of its data centres.Graeme McWilliams, COO, Echelon Data Centres, welcomed the decision by An Bord Pleanála and said that it sent a clear message of intent. “Clearly, the decision removes a significant uncertainty for us and clears the path to deliver a facility that will enhance Ireland’s developing data centre offer, meeting the growing demand from global organisations in eCommerce, telecommunications, digital broadcasting, AI and the internet of things.Power supply has been secured and the Arklow facility will deliver 100MW of capacity to the market. This is sizeable in its own right, however, when combined with the site we have in development in Clondalkin – and further sites we have identified – we will be in a position to offer hyperscale tenants a potential 300MW of capacity in an Irish availability zone.“Today’s ruling shows that Ireland is open for data centre business and that the necessary decisions can be taken within a framework that allows developers a level of certainty. As the dataverse – the amount of data that is created each year – is set to triple in size by 2025, demand for facilities such as ours will increase rapidly and Ireland is well-placed to accommodate them.”Pat Casey, TD for Wicklow and Deputy Spokesperson on Urban Renewal and Housing, commented “This is fantastic news for not only Arklow but also the entire South Wicklow region. The development of the iconic IFI site at Avoca River Park as one of Ireland’s largest data centres is the beginning of a new high-tech era for South Wicklow.“The people of Arklow and South Wicklow are 100% behind this project, as demonstrated by the thousands of signatures and online petitions that were gathered in support of the development.“I have been delighted to have worked with Echelon on this project since day one and will continue my efforts to ensure that this game-changer for the economic development of South Wicklow is delivered as quickly as possible. I’d like to thank the Echelon team for their efforts and their commitment to Arklow.”Echelon Data Centres first tranche of capacity – at the Clondalkin site – will come on stream in Q2 2021, and the company still expects to have availability for occupation at the Arklow site by Q3 2021.
German multinational audio brand, Thonet & Vander, renowned for its state of the art, quality audio, today announces the availability of its Kurbis Bluetooth Bookshelf Studio Monitors in Europe. The Kurbis is available for £179.99 on Amazon UKOriginally founded in 1949 in Berlin by Hannes Josef Einrich following his experience in telecommunications during the Second World War, Thonet and Vander is a long-established audio expert which was reformed in the early ’90s by a team of German engineers to mass manufacture quality and artistic speakers.With an integrated amp, the Kurbis delivers balanced frequencies from low bass to crystal clear treble tones. 340 WATTS with no distortion delivers deep bass even at 100% volume. Hammer Bass technology magnifies the impact of bass frequencies, while the Drone FX enhances the detail in the entire frequency range, working together to create a great listening experience.The studio monitors are constructed from HDAA wood which is a natural polymer of high density, generating a rigid and dense material. These properties prevent vibration and leakage of sound, enabling a more accurate, efficient and sustainable performance. Mesh protection is also provided to ensure drivers are guarded against any external damage.Inside, the Kurbis boasts a built-in 5.25-inch WOOFER made entirely of aramid fibre to enhance bass, as well as one-inch silk tweeters for ultra-pure high tones. The upper suspension ring is made of highly elastic rubber, allowing larger displacement sensitivity and resistance to the beats of sound. The Bass Reflex resonance system works to increase the bass response of the controller and optimises the efficiency and performance of low frequencies.Equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology, the Kurbis Studio Monitors can stream music directly from smartphones, tablets or laptops, and works with Amazon Echo and Google Home and providing full voice control.The Thonet & Vander Kurbis Bluetooth Bookshelf Studio Monitors are available for £149.99 on Amazon UK.
StickerYou Announces Launch of World’s Largest Sticker Store If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking Toronto – StickerYou announced the launch of the world’s largest sticker store in Toronto, Canada.The brainchild of Toronto e-comm startup and customized die-cut sticker company StickerYou, StickerYou: The Store will feature a unique, 3-storey high stickerbombed design on the storefront, installed in collaboration with applied sciences giant 3M, a stickerbombed interior, a custom experience center where customers can touch and feel stickers and be inspired by unique use-cases, kiosks in which to place personalized orders on the spot, as well as a sticker art museum that showcases the history of stickers through the ages.StickerYou: The Store will open on Monday, August 12, 2019 at 677-679 Queen Street West, Toronto, Canada.“We are proud to open the world’s largest sticker store in Toronto,” says StickerYou founder and CEO Andrew Witkin. “We are excited to give customers the chance to interact with our products and experience the creative potential of stickers for business or personal expression. At StickerYou, we make what matters stick.”StickerYou is a global, e-commerce leader in custom-printed, die-cut products that empower businesses and consumers to create professional-grade materials for marketing, packaging, decor and personal expression. In 2019, StickerYou opened StickerYou: The Store, the company’s first retail location in Toronto, Canada.Founded in 2008, StickerYou used one machine and some coded software to offer customized designs to any sticker fan. Fast forward to today, and StickerYou is an influential e-commerce trendsetter, using proprietary die-cut technology to create customized stickers, decals, iron-ons, badges, patches, labels, magnets and more in orders of one- to hundreds of thousands.More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => Irish Tech News now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home
Some people are clueless about nifty privacy and security features their smart gear is equipped with. Many of these functions may be disabled in the default set-up, so it certainly makes sense to take a closer look and toggle them on where appropriate.Another thing to keep in mind is that unscrupulous manufacturers may be interested in maintaining access to your personal information, which explains the occasionally poor default privacy configuration and lack of content encryption on some devices. Therefore, take your time and adjust those settings to your needs. Most people access their IoT devices on the go from their smartphones. It means the phone can become an entry point allowing hackers to gain a foothold in the whole smart home network. That’s why it’s extremely important to fend off spyware and other forms of mobile malware designed to steal sensitive information. Be vigilant and use an effective security app on your Android or iOS gadget. Also, install software updates on your smartphone as soon as they are available. Keep the router intact Reputation and customer experience aren’t empty words for established manufacturers. Go for brands that respect users’ privacy and security. So, do your homework and scrutinize the company’s background before buying from it. Look for red flags regarding past breaches and documented firmware vulnerabilities. Go to the vendor’s official website and read the fine print, paying special attention to the way they handle customers’ personal data.SummaryWhen it comes to the Internet of Things, the biggest caveat boils down to its immature security. Preoccupied with boosting their sales, many manufacturers focus on the usability of their security systems while neglecting the defenses. Ultimately, strengthening the protection of your very own IoT network is up to you for the most part. The above tips probably won’t turn your smart home into an impenetrable smart fortress, but they will raise the bar for attackers.About the Author: David Balaban is a computer security researcher with over 10 years of experience in malware analysis and antivirus software evaluation. David runs the www.Privacy-PC.com project, which presents expert opinions on the contemporary information security matters, including social engineering, penetration testing, threat intelligence, online privacy and white hat hacking. Here’s some food for thought: competent attackers know the default passwords most IoT devices ship with. Unless you change them from the get-go, cyber intruders can remotely access your connected appliances over their web interfaces. It means control over your smart home may slip out of your hands.Make sure the new passwords are at least 12 characters long and are strong enough to prevent malefactors from guessing or brute-forcing them. Think outside the box when creating a password: use a fusion of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Do not include any personal information, such as your name, address, or other details available in your social media profiles and other publicly accessible sources. You may also want to opt for a password management tool that will automatically generate and store all of your passwords. By David BalabanHave you heard about the VPNFilter info-stealing malware that infected roughly half a million routers around the world last year? Or perhaps you’re familiar with the shenanigans of the Mirai botnet that enslaved numerous IoT devices and used them to DDoS some of the Internet’s major services in 2016? These are just a few examples of malicious code turning a smart home into a source of cyber mayhem and identity theft.According to recent findings of security researchers, routers and connected cameras are the most targeted smart devices, accounting for 90% of all attacks in this ecosystem. Pair that with the fact that almost everyone owns and uses these appliances, and you will get the big picture: the average networked home is low-hanging fruit. This needs to change, obviously.It goes without saying that smart TVs, locks, thermostats, fridges, lighting systems, voice assistants, and many other electronic inhabitants of growingly intelligent homes are awesome contrivances making people’s lives easier. At the same time, though, they can be the weakest link in one’s security posture due to notoriously lame defenses. Over half of all modern home security systems rely entirely on smart tech. Does this mean you need to unplug them and abandon all security systems right away to be on the safe side? Of course not.Here are simple, best practice tips to harden the protection of your smart home against cyber incursions. Remember: default usernames and passwords are a no-go Turn off redundant features No matter how strong your passwords are, it’s certainly a good idea to further enhance your login practices. If a smart device app provides a 2FA (two-factor authentication) option, you are better off using it. This way, the login process will require an additional secret code sent to your smartphone or email inbox every time you are trying to access the gadget’s dashboard. How to enhance the cybersecurity of your smart home Treat public Wi-Fi with caution Keep firmware up to date Inspect the settings Secure your smartphone Use 2FA Your router is the pivot point of the entire home network that links your devices with the World Wide Web. If crooks manage to compromise it, they may get access to all of your connected gadgets. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to safeguard it as reliably as possible.To begin with, assign your router a unique name. This is important because the original name might speak volumes about the model and specifications of the router. Crooks can use these details to exploit known firmware vulnerabilities and infiltrate your network.Secondly, be sure to change the default Wi-Fi password with a strong, random-looking one nobody can easily guess or crack. To add an extra layer of protection to your wireless connection, go to the router’s settings and select a strong encryption method, such as WPA2. Not only do updates fine-tune the features of your devices, but they also fix bugs and patch vulnerabilities. Some gadget makers streamline the whole process by rolling out automatic updates, while others make it a bit more tedious for customers and simply upload new firmware versions onto their product support sites. In the latter case, the users need to download and install the update manually. One way or another, getting the latest software build is definitely worthwhile as it’s less likely to be exploited by attackers. Free Wi-Fi hotspots in public places are a mixed blessing. On the one hand, they are definitely convenient to use. On the other, they may utilize weak security protocols and sometimes provide no data encryption at all, thus exposing your Internet sessions to MITM (man-in-the-middle) attacks. Therefore, you can safely go to a news site from there but you should refrain from using public Wi-Fi to manage your connected devices. The only thing that can properly safeguard your web traffic and privacy in such a scenario is a dependable VPN (a virtual private network). This recommendation is self-explanatory: if you aren’t using a feature, go ahead and disable it. For instance, you probably don’t want to keep remote access enabled for any external device other than your own. If so, turn this permission off right away before criminals weaponize it. Separate your private Wi-Fi network from the one your visitors use. Thankfully, most modern routers provide this option, ensuring that the different subnets don’t overlap and have different authentication details. Additionally, consider prioritizing your smart devices and setting up an isolated network for the most important of them. Segregating your home network is a critical step to avoid a SPOF (single point of failure) scenario. Stick with trusted brands Create a guest network
The biker was stabilised at the scene by OccuSure Ambulance Services from Ingula, ER24 and Sharaj Ambulance Services, and then transported to hospital to be treated for moderate injuries.The 3 bikers are from Newcastle and say that De Beers Pass is a well-known route with roads they enjoy riding on.The 2007 Yamaha R1 Big Bang Edition bike that was involved in the crash was completely written off and was taken away on a bakkie.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A 47-year-old biker crashed along De Beers Pass this afternoon (Sunday) while riding with 2 of his friends.The 3 avid bikers were riding down De Beers Pass when 1 of them allegedly lost control and touched gravel at the edge of the road, causing him to crash into a storm water drain.According to the other bikers, a heavy cross-wind pushed the bike towards the edge of the road and when one of the tyres touched gravel, it pulled the motorcycle off the road and into a storm water drain. The biker was stuck in a storm water pipe and had to be taken out by paramedics. The bike also landed up in the drain.
There are animals aplenty in residential areas these days, but you wouldn’t expect a Serval Wildcat to be one of them.However, a resident of Beacon Road spotted one of these hunters in a tree yesterday morning (Tuesday). Mrs Francis van Aswegen heard a huge commotion going on outside, with her dogs barking and also the pigeons and chickens making a racket in her neighbours’ yard.She didn’t really bother about it until she noticed crows and vultures flying above her neighbours’ tree. That’s when she looked up and saw a fully-grown Serval sitting high in the branches above her.The wildcat was up in the tree from the morning, possibly looking to hunt the pigeons and chickens kept in a pen at the house next door.Mrs van Aswegen’s neighbour, who owns the chickens and pigeons, said he noticed that the number of pigeons has decreased and also found one that was half-eaten in his yard.The Serval stayed up in the tree the whole day on Tuesday and made its getaway at night when it was safe to escape from its hideaway. It is rare to see a wildcat in a residential area, but this one was obviously there to hunt. It seems that the Serval felt threatened by the barking dogs and made its way up the tree for safety.The expert eye of a Facebook reader spotted the fact that the wildcat is not a Serval, but a Spotted Genet.For the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite