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Nest: the revolution in power & Google's next big play

Only two weeks ago, Bobby and I discussed how Wearable Technology was fast transitioning to Livable Technology as we find ourselves well immersed in The Internet of Things; we talked about how connected devices are relevant to small business and we chatted about how a hypothetical plumber could adapt new technology in to his business by using smart thermostats and re-branding his business. Less than a week later, Google announced the acquisition of Nest, its second largest acquisition ever.

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Bitcoin, The Maker Movement and the (livable) Internet of Things

Where are teenagers moving to when they get FaceBook friend requests from their parents? I discussed this with Bobby this week and we chatted about the the transition from Wearable to Livable, The Internet of Things, and maybe presciently about how, for instance a plumber can integrate smart technology like heating controls in to his business. We also looked at technology trends for 2014, including BitCoin, and will this be the year it enters mainstream finance and the revolution being ignited by the maker-movement.

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Business Online Voucher, Úll 2014 and iConnect open in Ireland

The announcement of the Business Online Voucher was part of the Action Plan for Jobs announced in 2013. The plan outlines how companies can receive up to €2,500 by means of an innovation voucher designed to get small business trading online. Around half of Irish SMEs don't sell online, and the plan focussed on industries or sectors where there was a particularly low adoption of online selling. So with the Online Voucher we might see what we'd call traditional businesses getting online. The first pilot program of pilot companies is now about to get started - and the Dublin City Enterprise Board are close to announcing the first 25 companies who'll get the voucher.  My understanding is In the first quarter of 2014 the program will be rolled out nationally, and is likely to be administered by the local enterprise boards.

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Bobby Kerr, Wired : the wearable experiment

A few weeks ago, I landed a challenge on Bobby right at the end of the regular technology segment on his Newstalk show, Down To Business; I gave him a FitBug Activity Tracker, a FitBug WOW wifi Scales, a Martian Passport Smart Watch and a Canon Legria mini.

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What's selling right now, and what's next?

At the heart of the resurgence in television makers lies the fact that television programmes are just so good now; from Homeland to Mad Men, the best actors, directors and writers are all making TV, rather than films. Live interactive TV like X-Factor lend themselves to communal home viewing. Add a sluggish economy to the mix, with people staying home more and you see the scene is set for more TV - and more of us watching TV together. Program makers are making better TV - so TV makers are going to make us something better to watch them on.

 

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iPad share falls; what's going on at Apple?

With Apple's recent quarterly results showing a fall in profit, and recent research from Strategy Dynamics indicating Apple's iPad market share may be down to 28%, we'll be talking about Apple, what is a white box tablet and two years in to Tim Cook's tenure as Apple's CEO, is Apple still the world's most innovative technology company?

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3D Printing: what it means for small business

Last night I tweeted a link to the Press Release from NASA regarding their success with  testing a rocket engine injector made through additive manufacturing, or as we say these days,  3D printing. What surprised me was the reaction I got via re-Tweets, messages and people just saying 'wow!'. I think what caught people's attention was the potential highlighted by the success in NASA's test, the potential for manufacturing and for business.

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What are iBeacons? : Wikipedia

iBeacon is an indoor positioning system that Apple Inc. calls "a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence." They can also be used by the Android operating system (limited to central-only). The technology enables an iOS device or other hardware to send push notifications to iOS devices in close proximity.

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BYOD checklist for the SME

 There are lots of guides and polices on the web for larger businesses who want to adopt a Bring-Your-Own-Device policy - but I've found fewer resources for sharp thinking SMEs who are embracing the BYOD movement. WIth this in mind I've assembled some key pointers below that should help you ask yourself the right questions at the start of the  process - plan well and BYOD can enhance your business practice, improve your productivity and give your business the edge that mobility can bring.

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Technology Trends with guest Charles Arthur

What are the big trends for technology in the next couple of years, and how are they relevant to SMEs? In our Technology Segment on today's Down To Business with Bobby Kerr I'm genuinely delighted that we'll be joined by Charles Arthur, Technology Editor of The Guardian. In Charles' Book, Digital Wars he looks at the digital battle between Apple, Google and Microsoft and details what to expect from the internet in the next five years and the implications for us all as technology users. So we'll be asking Charles about a few technology trends that have caught our eye:

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Technology law: Billy Hawkes & Ronan Lupton: 24th March

Data Protection and ePrivacy law are now a part of doing business online. With high profile cases of lost or leaked data and ubiquitous social networks, consumers are  increasingly aware of how website owners, large and small, handle their personal data.

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Think Mobile and the SME

Today on Down to Business with Ian Guider, we looked at how SME owners can get their business, their brand and their products on to the smart-phones and tablets of the 40% of consumers who are using the web on the go. We were also joined by Alex Fegan from Tempster, a smart Irish start-up company who created an App to let restaurants and bars  earn revenue from unsold and cancelled tables - or when things are just a little slow. Think LastMinute.com - but for a table at the restaurant just up the street.

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Back to basics: the SME website

It's thought that around 40% of Irish businesses do not have a website.  More and more consumers are online, particularly with mobile,  they use the web to research before they buy, In fact the majority of shoppers will research purchases online before buying from a shop or local business. So why the slow progress in getting SMEs online? Business owners cite time, cost and technical knowledge as to why they haven’t moved online. So today we looked  at these barriers  and how businesses can get online, fast and with a minimum of cost. Nothing fancy - yet -  you can be online in 30 minutes.

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It's all about the money - Getting paid online

On today's show we discussed  the topic of getting paid online. Let's say your website is operational, you're getting traffic, or visitors to your website and they are ordering. So you need to get paid. Almost all transactions right now on the web are carried out using debit or credit cards, although over the next year we'll see more credit-transfers, or direct payments from customer's current accounts.

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Demystifying the Cloud : 17th February

Today on Down To Business with Bobby Kerr we looked at how the timing looks perfect for Cloud. Broadband speeds, consumerisation of IT and economies of scale have combined to allow innovative companies, well known and large - and small and disruptive, to create innovative products for small business owners. DropBox is the first cloud service provider many of us come across, but traditional technology companies like Microsoft and Citrix are now offering consumer and SME versions of what were almost exclusively larger enterprise products, for mail and mobility solutions, whilst Google have 5 million businesses already using their Google Apps for Business suite.

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Get involved, suggest & comment

Bobby Kerr presents the business show on Sunday morning's from 9-11am focusing on the running of Irish business and industry. It talks to the people behind Irish businesses, both big and small, to get their insights into both their own, and other industries. It also acts as a mentor to SMEs across items with regular panels addressing problems or issues that might affect them.

I appeared as a guest with Bobby on a few occasions in the past and it's a great show to do - lively, fast moving with an incredibly attentive and engaged audience. On February 17, 2013 we started a regular technology segment, sponsored by HP Elite and running for 8 weeks. Bobby, his producer Deirdre King and I have looked at the topics that we think will appeal to SME business owners and we think we've got some really interesting radio ahead of us. This isn't about model numbers or new gadgets, but about how technology is evolving and its relevance to business owners. Over the coming weeks we'll be looking at things like how mobile is changing how you do business, how SMEs can sell, and get paid online, technology legislation as it effects the SME owner. 

If you'd like us to cover a specific topic or have a question, email the show at downtobusiness@newstalk.ie.