Big Blue inventions
Number of US patents racked up by IBM last year, a record for the tech giant, according to research firm IFI Claims Patent Services.
Number of consecutive years in which IBM has amassed more US patents than any other company, with intellectual property generated by its worldwide network of researchers increasing.
Percentage of IBM’s 2012 patents that were produced by inventors outside the US, with research centres in Germany, Japan, Canada, the UK and Israel especially busy.
Image of the week: Virgin retreat
Employees of Virgin Megastore demonstrate in front of the company’s flagship Champs Elysées branch in Paris on Wednesday to protest after the company filed for bankruptcy. In many ways, the surprising thing is that Virgin Megastore France survived for so long – both the Virgin brand and the successor that took over some of its stores, Zavvi, have long since faded from British and Irish shopping streets. The rent on the Champs Elysées 4,500sq m store was
€7 million a year, which isn’t exactly a great cost burden to have when you’re trying to compete with Amazon, iTunes and general consumer apathy about physical entertainment products. The protesters want the French government to step in and find another buyer, with the placards reading, “Yes to culture, no to closure” and “Don’t sell our jobs off on the cheap”. PHOTOGRAPH: CHARLES PLATIAU/REUTERS
Getting to know Ronaldo
In a surprise transfer, retired Brazilian footballer Ronaldo is moving to London to study advertising under the tutelage of WPP supremo Martin Sorrell.
For the past two years, Ronaldo has been running a Brazil-based sports marketing agency called 9ine, which is a collaboration between the football icon and WPP, the world’s largest ad company. Ronaldo’s nationality is pertinent, given WPP will be hoping to cash in on the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.
“Learning from Martin Sorrell will be perfect,” the 36-year-old told Brazilian paper Meio e Mensagem. “I won’t leave him alone. I’ll be asking him questions the whole day, just like a striker. He’s going to have to tell me everything.” Like how to brazen out shareholder rebellions over corporate pay, for example.
The Lexicon Fidgital
The New York Times has . . . sorry, just consulting my Facebook notifications . . . coined a new word to describe . . . oh dear, I can’t believe s/he just tweeted that . . . the modern-day phenomenon . . . uh oh, my weather app says it’s going to be -2 degrees tomorrow . . . of excessively checking one’s devices, especially when in the middle of a . . . LOL . . . face-to-face conversation. “Victoria grew tired of watching her fidgital fiancé glance at his iPhone every five seconds,” was the sentence example offered by New York Times journalist Lizzie Skurnick. See also: fidgitalism. And then slide to power off.The List: Airline cargo
Emirates airline celebrated its first anniversary in the Irish market this week. Over the past year, it has made more than 220,000 passenger connections on the Dublin to Dubai route. But it has also carried 10,000 tonnes of cargo during that time, including:
1 Botox:Manufactured in Westport, Co Mayo, by Allergan – the botulinum toxin type A, to give it its full title, is shipped via Emirates to Australia.
2 A Grace Kelly dress: En route to an exhibition dedicated to her royal style in Melbourne.
3 Live crabs and shellfish: Destined for China, according to Emirates.
4 Family pets:Flying Canine Class to and from Australia and New Zealand, as migrants attend to the finer details of moving country. Keen fans of Emirates’ in-flight entertainment system, especially Marley and Me.
5 Irish potatoes: The humble spud has some friends in Dubai.