Tech Shorts


A round-up of other tech news in brief

BT service to boost broadband speeds

BT has unveiled a new service which will help boost broadband speeds for Irish customers and allow organisations to make the move to next-generation network technology.

The telecoms company is starting to roll out the Etherflow service throughout Ireland, run over its 21st century network (21CN).

Etherflow is aimed at businesses, the public sector and the wholesale sector. The service offers a core speed of up to 1Gbit per second, with customer connections in 10Mbit/s, 100Mbit/s and 1Gbit/s, and uncontended service. The technology is scalable, and is designed to grow with businesses.

BT no longer sells broadband services directly to home consumers.

IBM to research easy-to-use mobile phones 

IBM has started a two-year research programme that aims to make mobile phones easier to use for groups including the elderly and the illiterate.

As growth in developed markets such as Europe, Japan and the US has stalled, the wireless industry is looking towards the elderly who have so far thought they could do without a mobile or who cannot use the one they have.

IBM said software developed in the programme, which also involves the National Institute of Design of India and Tokyo University, will be made available on an open-source basis. – (Reuters)

Sony's motion controller  

Sony has unveiled its new motion-controlled video game system, pitching it to casual and hardcore gamers alike, as the company seeks to ride one of the hottest trends in gaming.

The system will help Sony keep pace with rivals Nintendo, which pioneered gesture-based gaming, and Microsoft, which is launching its system later this year.

Sony’s new PlayStation Move controller is used with its Eye gaming webcam, translating users’ motions into actions within games on the PlayStation 3 console.

Move, which resembles a TV remote with a colourful ball stuck on the end, will be available this autumn for less than $100 (€73).

This year Sony will release more than 20 games dedicated to or supported by the system. – (Reuters)

New social network tool

A new social networking service launching today aims to bridge the online and offline worlds with a concept called “macro-messaging”.

Whispurr allows 300- character messages to be sent online but also through a free SMS message service to mobiles. It also allows text messages to be sent for free from a registered e-mail address, without the need to log in to

The company is mounting a viral video campaign starring Sophie Merry, aka YouTube’s Groovy Dancing Girl, to market the service.