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The birth of the knowledge economy




In a year full of important steps towards Ireland’s knowledge economy, Google will be open to the public and mysterious material will be formed.

In 2004, while Facebook was being built in a dorm room, O’Reilly Media hosted a Web 2.0 conference to spread the emerging, participatory, interoperable Web buzzword. And on 4chan (one such website that relies entirely on user-generated content), an admin activates a protocol that attribute all posts to Anonymous, and a meme that later becomes a group of hackers. Caused.

The number of mobile devices continues to grow, and you can now play with the Blackberry 7230, Sharp GX30 cameraphone, and iPod Mini. We may not have access to the iTunes Store yet, but the Irish locker U2 had its own branded iPod.

The Irish Recorded Music Association is feeling a pinch of digital downloads and threatened to prosecute companies earlier this year if their work computers were used to illegally download music. Meanwhile, security experts have warned that “always-on” Internet access poses some serious risks.

Basics of knowledge

In October 2004, Dublin was crowded with visits by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. The duo began addressing the company’s newly formed Irish team at the official opening of the EMEA headquarters on Barrow Street. At that time, Google Dublin already employed about 150 people, with worldwide sales of about $ 1 billion in the previous year.

Earlier this year, then eBay President and CEO Meg Whitman was in Blanchardstown to open eBay’s European customer support center and its subsidiary PayPal’s international headquarters. Also in 2004, Yahoo established an Irish subsidiary, first established in 2003, Chinese telephone company Huawei first opened a store in Ireland, and Dell announced major EMEA businesses in both Limerick and Dublin. , The country has become the Amazon in competition with Luxemburg. New European Technology and Customer Support Headquarters.

Ireland’s high-tech multinational ecosystem is rapidly taking shape. Meanwhile, earlier this year, Enterprise Ireland announced a policy change to support cutting-edge technology start-ups that go beyond just investing. Based on the recommendations of the Enterprise Strategy Group, the agency has begun building a support system to fund product development R & D and help early-stage companies prepare their investors through sales and management training.

Ireland was named Europe’s Most Entrepreneurial Country by the 2004 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor because of its strong growth ambitions among its founders.

Emerging technology start-ups welcomed the resurgence of business expansion and seed capital schemes in October after a nine-month European Commission investigation. The Irish Software Association did not waste time urging the government to significantly raise the limits of these schemes.

The next part of the puzzle was the R & D ecosystem. In the summer of 2004, NUI Galway opened the Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI) with a € 12 million grant from the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and support from the Hewlett-Packard Galway. DERI aims to be the center of research on the Semantic Web, with more than 70 full-time researchers.

Later, with investments from SFI and Siemens, Siemens Research Ireland was founded at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland to collaborate in biotechnology, bioinformatics and pharmaceutical research.

In the summer, the Telecommunications Value Chain Research Center (CTVR), the predecessor of the Connect Research Center, was also established. CTVR, based at Trinity College Dublin, received significant funding from both SFI and Nokia Bell Labs, and co-director Dr. Donal Omahoney told about the commercial benefits of such a dual funding structure. talked.

Academic research has also received a € 20 million SFI stimulus, a joint initiative with higher education institutions aimed at strengthening research facilities across Irish universities. Near the end of this year, then-Minister of Enterprises Micheál Martin, TD, said the government’s total R & D spending from 2000 to 2006 was five times that of the period before the end of the 20th century.

This 21st century attitude towards research and innovation has also seen the government establish an office for chief scientific advisors and Barry McSweeney as the first in this role. The government, which determined that the national broadband program was successful, also called on Irish carriers to further promote broadband subscriptions, but the dropout rate for third-level ICT courses began to ease.

Therefore, in a year-end review, IDA confidently declared Ireland a knowledge economy. IDA has closed its best year since 2000 with investments from Intel, Bell Labs, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Pfizer, Dell, McAfee and more.

Google inventory

Perhaps the largest single news article in 2004 was the Google IPO. Google filed for an initial public offering in February and sent investors a letter stating that the company would operate for the long-term interests of its shareholders, rather than the short-term satisfaction of Wall Street. “As a private company, we have been focused for a long time. This has helped us. As a public company, we do the same,” the letter read.

The auction-style IPO took place in August, following a controversial interview with Playboy, after last-minute issues and a slight delay in obtaining approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Google finally went public on the Nasdaq stock market on August 19, with a share price of $ 85 and valuing the company at $ 23 billion. The stock closed its daily transaction at $ 100, raised Google’s valuation to $ 27.2 billion, and created Founder Page and Brin’s billionaire. Two months later, the stock price continued to rise. Google’s rating far exceeded that of rival Yahoo, which had issued millions of shares to settle a keyword advertising patent litigation.

The beginning of the end of electronic voting

At the local and European Parliament elections scheduled for June 2004, the government decided it was time to continue testing electronic voting machines in 2002 and deploy the system nationwide. Speed ​​and accuracy were advertised as a major advantage of electronic voting, and a € 4.5 million promotional campaign was launched, enthusiastic about the idea.

But the decision was not without that slander. Leading the way was the surveillance organization Irish Citizens for Trustworthy E-voting (ICTE), a comprehensive group of computer experts, academics, and related citizens. The main concerns of them were the lack of transparency in the source code and the skepticism that the system was well tested.

While ICTE is considering legal action against the introduction of electronic voting, computer expert and election expert Joe McCarthy said the problem with the system was “rampant” and “experts endorse this system.” It is impossible to do. “

Then, in an ironic twist, it became clear that five submissions from the Electronic Voting Commission’s website were not detected because they were stored on another computer.

When all submissions were explained, it was clear that the majority were against the proposed electronic voting system, and plans to use it were abandoned in April.

Graphene goes

Graphene, a mysterious material with a thickness of only one atom, was properly separated and characterized in 2004. This was achieved by “Scotch Tape Technology”, which uses everyday adhesive tape to pull the graphene layer from graphite.

This work will ultimately award the Nobel Prize in Physics to researchers at the University of Manchester, Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov. The (relatively) simple preparation method they discovered caused the graphene gold rush because the extraordinary properties of this material discovered all sorts of applications.

In other news

January: NASA’s Opportunity Rover and Spirit Rover land on Mars.

February 2: ESB enters the broadband wholesale market with the official opening of a € 50 million fiber optic network.

February 4: 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg launches as a Harvard-only social network.

February 6: unveiled the Ministry of Education’s plans to provide broadband connectivity to all Irish elementary and junior high schools.

February 27: The first network of 19 metropolitan area networks in Phase 1 of the National Broadband Program was turned on in Cork.

March 4: Tralee-based Pulse Learning wins a contract to provide training services to 1,700 NASA staff.

March 4: Michael Dell announces that he will resign as CEO of Dell but will chair it.

March 17: ComReg reports that nearly half of Irish households are currently accessing the Internet.

March 19: Eircom returns to the public market and lists its shares on both the London and Dublin stock exchanges at a price of € 1.55 each, bringing the company’s value to € 1.14 billion.

March 24: The EU will impose the first fine on Microsoft. The € 497.2 million antitrust violation was the largest in European history at the time.

March 29: Ireland bans smoking in the workplace under new public health law.

April 14: Apple reports an 909% increase in iPod sales in its quarterly results.

May 11: IBM will invest € 22 million in a new R & D facility in Dublin.

May 19: Ireland’s two major mobile networks will simultaneously launch a rival version of the popular BlackBerry handset.

May 19: Intel promises an additional € 1.6 billion investment in Leixlip.

May 25: Internet advertising revenue reached approximately $ 2.3 billion in the first quarter of 2004. This is the highest total of three months since the record began eight years ago.

June 1: Irish mobile operators have released a code of conduct and guidance for parents amid concerns about inappropriate content being sent in text and image messages.

June 21: The first privately funded manned spaceflight will take place at SpaceShipOne.

July 1: Cassini-Huygens spacecraft enters Saturn’s orbit.

August 3: US networking technology giant Avaya acquires Dublin-based conference technology company Spector for $ 103 million.

August 4: Europe’s first automated system of penalty points has been deployed in seven locations by An Garda Síochána.

September 2: HP announces a € 21.4 million technology development center at its Leixlip manufacturing facility.

October 4: Microsoft launches the Irish MSN portal with local content from RTÉ, Golden Pages and VHI.

November 8: The first Customer Respect Index claims that the Irish telephone company offers the worst customer service in the world.

November 13: The European Space Agency’s SMART-1 probe reaches the Moon and becomes the first European satellite to orbit it.

November 23: Blizzard Entertainment will drop the first release of World of Warcraft.

December 9: ComReg forces O2 and Vodafone, which share 94% of Ireland’s postpaid mobile market, to host mobile virtual network operators.

December 13: Oracle acquires PeopleSoft for $ 10.3 billion, ending one of the longest-running acquisition battles in IT history.

December 15: Brian Salcedo was sentenced to the longest imprisonment in history for hacking. It’s been nine years since I tried to break into an unsecured wireless network in Lowe’s hardware chain.

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