This is a guest post from Cian Ó Maidín, of Irish Mobile Web and Apps development company Nearform. Cian is promoting a conference called NodeDublin on 18-19th October (www.nodedublin.com) which should be of interest to many EI client companies in ICT.
What is Node.js?
Revolutionary – how?
(2) Services built using Node.js have performance characteristics which are in line with the C programming language.
(3) Node.js utilises tiny amounts of computer system resources when compared with other systems like .NET and Java, this means that services written in Node cost significantly less to run.
(4) Node.js will run on everything from a low power device to a big server which means it can be deployed in a huge range of environments.
(5) Node.js is designed for building high volume high concurrency cloud services
It considered the perfect system for implementing real-time-web applications, which are at the forefront of the next generation of start-up web companies.
Matthew Ernesse (Lead Node.js Engineer for Yammer), speaking shortly after Microsoft acquired Yammer for $ 1.3bn said;
“We would like to thank the Node.js project, as we can directly attribute a large amount of our acquisition value to our widespread use of the Node.js system. Node.js allowed us to outpace our competitors (iterating faster) which ultimately lead to the acquisition of Yammer by Microsoft.”
Other companies using Node include Linkedin, Joyent, EngineYard, AppFog, Amazon Microsoft (the Windows Azure team) as well as some Irish startups.
There is no other major Node.js conference in Europe in 2012. All the major names in the worlds Node.js community are coming to Dublin to talk to the European Node.js community for 2 days – establishing Ireland as the focus point for the Node.js community in Europe.
Key influencers in the future of cloud and online services such as Google, Microsoft, Joyent, Mozilla, Engine Yard, Intel, and many others will be there. The conference will be held in an intimate setting where both speakers and attendees will be able to hang out together.
Use the Code EIBCON for a €100 discount on a ticket to NodeDublin on October 18-19th (www.nodedublin.com). Contact details for Cian on that the site for more information.
This is a guest post from Dermot Daly, of Irish Mobile Apps development company Tapadoo.
The introduction of the iPhone, along with the ability to create applications to run on the device is said to have created a whole new industry. Ireland has been no exception, with a number of new companies sprouting up offering app development services, or creating their own unique apps over the last couple of years.
With such an interest in app development, and with so many new exciting app companies here in Ireland developing for Apple’s iPhone and iPad we realised that there’s enough interest to hold a world-class conference for the app community right on our own doorstep.
Our discussions took us to consider what would make such a conference unique? We wanted to reflect the passion that developers bring to their apps and to do so, we recognised that excellence is what would tie it together. We wanted to ensure that every aspect of the conference would exude this excellence.
There are three important aspects when organising a conference such as this:
The venue - We wanted to ensure that the venue would impress; Historic in nature, centrally located and well appointed for conferences .
The content – People come for the talks. We contacted the very best speakers; world-renowned in their circles of iOS development, Mac Development and Design.
The experience – we’re attracting an audience from all over the world; we feel their needs should be considered – We’ve picked local entertainment on Friday evening, and have engaged Ross Lewis, of Chapter One to design the menu for our gala banquet.
The result ?
Úll is a conference for iOS / OSX / mobile web developers and designers. The three day event will include workshops, keynotes, talks and in-depth presentations on all the aspects of building, designing and marketing your apps; It will be held in Dublin on April 27th-29th in the Coach House, Dublin Castle. See http://www.ull.ie for more information.
There are a limited number of discounted tickets offered on a first come, first served basis for Enterprise Ireland Client companies. Please contact Ruarí Ó hAilín on Ruairi.OhAilin(AT)enterprise-ireland(DOT)com for details.
Open Data is a theme that EI that pursuing actively in 2012, due to the opportunities that it holds for our client companies. This article was originally published in EI’s Technology Quarterly Magazine.
Public sector bodies within the EU are sitting on a potential treasure trove of data worth up to €27 billion. John Cradden looks at the international movement pushing for governments to open up this data and get it working for businesses and society.
The term ‘open data’ might not mean a whole lot to most people, but a movement that aims to make public data more freely available and free to re-use online has been growing in strength here and overseas. The logic behind the movement is simple enough: governments collects and creates huge amounts of information and data relating to public administration, such as in transport, infrastructure, health, crime, and the environment. Why not make that information, which we pay for with our taxes, more freely available to individuals, developers, businesses and communities?
What kind of information? In Ireland, good examples could include data on polling stations and election turnouts, school enrolments, bathing water quality, noise maps, street lighting, cycle routes, bring banks, traffic cameras, vehicle licensing and zoned land for commercial, green or residential use.
“This information is already attainable via Freedom of Information requests, but releasing it as open data means it is easier to find and free to reuse”
says Deirdre Lee, an e-government researcher for the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), based at NUI Galway. Much of the focus of the open data movement is on improving transparency and accountability in the public sector, and removing inefficiencies by generating more “two-way” discussions on public data, but there is now a strong incentive for entrepreneurs to get involved.
It is estimated that public sector bodies within the EU are sitting on a potential treasure trove of data worth up to €27 billion. “Firms and entrepreneurs should see open data as a resource that they can incorporate into existing or new products,” said Lee. “Each business could identify what kind of open data would be most valuable for them, for example public-transport data, Co2 emission data, grants data, etc, and then lobby their local or national authority to release this data under an open data license. This will create a demand for open data, which in turn will encourage greater amounts of it to be released.”
According to Lee, there are over 195 open data ‘catalogues’ available, including at global sites such as data.worldbank.org, and UK sites like data.gov.uk. In Ireland, local authorities are leading the way with initiatives like Fingal Open Data and Dublinked.ie, which is run from NUI Maynooth and supported by all the four Dublin local authorities. Other open data sets are available from CKAN, a community based open-data catalogue.
At the recent launch of Dublinked.ie, the site’s co-ordinator, Dr Ronan Farrell of NUI Maynooth, told businesses and entrepreneurs of the potential to use public data to develop innovative and interesting business ideas that would drive job growth while also enhancing city living.
“We have seen fantastic examples in other cities of new user interfaces for public transport information, the property market or healthcare data. One of the unique benefits of open data is that applications developed here can easily be adapted for other cities around the world,”
Lee cites a few examples of UK businesses already using open data: Placr.co.uk offers access to timetables and live-running information on all of London’s public transport; and TubeTap.co.uk is a mobile app that enables users to claim refunds from London’s tube services if they are late because of service disruptions.
In both Ireland and Europe, a head of steam appears to be building under the open data movement in terms of interest from both the public and private sectors. A recent seminar in Galway organised by DERI on opening up government data was attended by over 50 people, including representatives from 13 local authorities and a number of Irish SMEs.
In addition, the National Cross-Industry Working Group on Open Data, coordinated by Enterprise Ireland, is working to lobby central government for a national open data initiative. As well as being involved in this group, DERI is also participating in European initiatives, such as “Linked Open Data Around-The-Clock” (LATC), an EU-funded project.
This is a guest post from Andrea of BatCat Games, who is also involved in putting together the Dublin GameCraft event. For more news follow Andrea on Twitter @RoundCrisis. More on what EI is doing in Ireland with the Games and Software Companies is here.
On Febraury 25th 2012, a collection of hobbyist, student, independent and professional game developers will be placed together in a room in DIT and gently coaxed into a game development frenzy. There will be sweat, there will be tears, there will most likely be zombies, and after eight hours of intensely profound game development acrobatics, there will be games.
Dublin Gamecraft is a single-day game jam event that has been put together to encourage Irish game developers to gather in one place in order to create a game from scratch in just eight hours. Choice of platform, development tools, and team size is completely unrestricted. Use whatever you’re most comfortable with. Teams are allowed and encouraged, and can even be created on the day, although this will cut into your game development time. This is a bring-your-own-hardware event.
After exactly eight hours, you can submit your masterpiece to our panel of industry experts, who will come up with a list of their favourite entries. We hope to have some fantastic prizes for the best games, including, but not limited to, the respect and admiration of your peers. Breakfast and lunch will also be provided courtesy of our generous sponsors, Open Emotion Studios, JetBrains and Swrve.
If you don’t want to create a game on the day, come along just for the networking. You might gain some new contacts, or learn a new trick or two.
We’re really excited about this event. There’s a real buzz around the game development scene in Ireland recently, which is evident in the large number of registrations we’ve received already. We hope that game jams like this one can help our burgeoning local industry into the global limelight. Hope to see you all there.
This is a guest post from Teresa Dillon of the Science Gallery, Dublin. Teresa is looking for good Irish Software and Service Companies to take part in ‘Hack the City’ – an exhibition running from June to September. It could be a great showcase for your new App, Service, Mashup or Startup, with potential funding available to help you realise the concept for the event.
Currently more than half of the world’s population lives in towns and cities. This trend is expected to continue. Between 2025-2030 of the approximate 8 billion people who will live in the world 5 billion will live in cities. Yet the majority of our city infrastructures are based on inherited historical layouts and systems.
Science Gallery’s 2012 flagship exhibition and festival Hack the City will rethink our cities from the ground up through the spirit and philosophy of the hacker ethos – to bend, mash-up, tweak and cannibalise our city systems, to create possibilities, illustrate visionary thinking and demonstrate real-world examples for sustainable urban futures. It will capitalize on Dublin city’s history, legacy, population and infrastructure, transforming the city itself into a nimble “playground” and live urban hack lab.
We’re looking for proposals for experiments, exhibits, events, apps, mashups and visualisations which go beyond Science Gallery in to the city of Dublin and even connect multiple cities globally. Potential venue partnerships include The Ark, Temple Bar, Dublin and international partnerships with ZER01 in San Jose, California. We are especially interested in (more…)
This is a guest post from Amy Neale, Marketing and Programme Manager at the National Digital Research Centre (NDRC).
We at NDRC (National Digital Research Centre) have just announced that we are now open for applications to LaunchPad. This investment programme is open for applications from digital start-ups from Ireland and internationally, and 15 start-ups will be selected to work with us for a 3 month period starting 13th February 2012. During this time we provide these 2 or 3 man bands with a hands-on, intensive mentoring programme; weekly workshops and networking opportunities with experts; as well as the all important investment of up to €20,000 per project. The three months will culminate with NDRC’s ‘LiftOff’ competition, taking place in May 2012 where the start-ups will present to a room of investors and compete for access to a follow on investment prize fund.
We were delighted earlier in 2011 to be ranked in the ‘Top 10 EU Accelerators’ by the Kauffman Fellows, and – along with Enterprise Ireland’s iGap programme – we have been nominated for Best European Accelerator at The Europas 2011. NDRC LaunchPad is producing award winning startups such as Redeem&Get and Hit the Road, and developing technology entrepreneurs with early stage innovative digital start-ups. We invest in and collaborate with early stage start-ups to establish market focused, technically excellent and profitable ventures.
In 2010–2011 NDRC mentored, trained and developed 39 entrepreneurs, and has to date secured €4.8 million in commercial investment for technologies and start-ups. Just ten days ago, NDRC-backed start-up Redeem&Get won the Spark of Genius Award, giving them access to an ACT Venture Capital term sheet worth €100k. This year NDRC received a record 81 applications for 15 places on the current LaunchPad Programme, with Irish, European and North American start-ups participating.
If you are interested in NDRC LaunchPad, come along to our open evening to meet the team, ask questions and find out everything you need to know about the accelerator programme, before the application deadline of 16th December. This informal evening will be held on Thursday, the 1st of December, and will start at 6.30pm and will run to 8.30pm. It will take place in NDRC’s ‘Digital Exchange’ building on Crane Street, Dublin 8 – please register your details here.
To apply for a place on NDRC LaunchPad visit www.ndrc.ie/launchpad; deadline for receipt of applications is 5pm on the 16th December 2011.
NDRC LAUNCHPAD CLOSING DATE 5pm 16th December 2011
NDRC LAUNCHPAD PROGRAMME START 13th February 2012
More details of Vodafone’s initiative to get people developing more iPhone /Android apps will be available at this workshop (info and registration on EventBrite). And did I mention that this feeds into and App Developer competition with a prize fund of €200,000?
These workshops are part of an initiative by the Vodafone Foundation called the Smart Accessibility Awards. This is trying to encourage development of apps to help people in four key areas: Social participation, independent living, mobility and well-being.
The 1/2 day workshop starts at 3pm. Tickets are free, but limited;you must register beforehand.
One of many interesting talks at last week’s DevDays Mobile/iPhone developers event, was a session entitled “Engagement through Gamification” by Chris McClelland of Ecliptic Labs.
Not a completely new idea, but great to spend some time listening to someone who has put a good deal of thought into it. I’ve read about people using games controllers for education and other non-game applications, but here the focus was on the social interactions in gaming and taking those into the “real” world.
The idea is that people are more likely to participate in a community if they are engaged using some or all of the basic human triggers common in games – the desire for reward, status, achievement, self expression or respect whether it is driven by competitiveness or even by altruism. Chris went on to give examples of social media companies who use these triggers in their products and also to outline some software frameworks that can be used to provide much of the functionality if you don’t want to build your own.
A question to readers of this blog – are there elements of gamification that you could use to engage your customers further? Apart from the obvious areas of social media and elearning, could it apply to enterprise applications? Should you incorporate a leaderboard into your next release?
Reference: Chris recommended a book called Total Engagement on the subject of gamification.
DevDays: Mobile developers from across the island gathered in Belfast and Dublin last week for DevDays 2010 (http://devdays.info). I attended the Dublin session although the agenda was similar at both events. There were talks on Facebook integration from Tapadoo.com, Connected/Mobile Health solutions, Card Payments in iPhone Apps separate to the AppStore, adding location to your apps from OS3.ie , good/bad product strategy from Des Traynor of Contrast and the importance of good design.