Java developer

Posted in Jobs on 14 June 2016

Java developer - Contract 6-12 months Dublin. My client a leading name in their space is in urgent need of a talented and experienced Java Developer to join them on contract basis of 6-12 months.

The developer will work as part of payment project Application Refresh team and deliver high quality Java code for a financial services organisation in Dublin.

The developer will work in a matrix environment on one or more concurrent projects.
- The developer will be fully accountable to the Development Manager(s) for all work assigned, including
o Technical Analysis
o Design and Development
o Unit Testing and Documentation
o Mentoring
o Test & Warranty Support
- The developer will work on Agile-based project, and input into the broader organisational model of best practice Agile delivery.
- Senior level Java Developer with extensive hands-on design and development experience on Java 6 and 7, Spring, Hibernate, WebLogic, Struts, XML processing, Oracle, multithreading
- Experience in using design patterns, event driven architecture, and staged pipeline architectures.
- Experience of test driven development, refactoring, use of static analysis tools for code quality, code profiling, performance tuning
- Experience on working on high volume / high transaction projects
- Experience in both front-end and back-end development.
- Strong experience in Agile project delivery (mandatory). Any experience as Agile Scrum Master would be advantageous, though not mandatory.
- Experience in using Jira Agile
- Experience in Git, Gradle, Jenkins, Confluence etc. would be advantageous.
- Good knowledge of UK payment domain would be advantageous
- Bachelors or Masters in Information Systems, Computer Science or Information Technology
- Experience with banking/financial platforms would be advantageous.

If this sounds like an opportunity you would be interested in then please drop me a CV so we can speak in more detail

Please apply here.

IT Support Technician

Posted in Jobs on 10 June 2016

How Google Assistant Will Revolutionize Search

Posted in News on 10 June 2016

Google is synonymous with search. Before, when people needed answers they would ask a friend or relative, head to their local library, or reference the nearest encyclopedia. Today, if there is a burning question on someone’s mind, they simply Google it. Even the phrase “Google it” has become a colloquial term used by the masses. Yet, despite the endless information that Google can provide, one needs to either be near a desktop or have their Smartphone handy to receive its knowledge; until recently.

At Google’s recent I/O developer’s conference the company unveiled its new virtual assistant, simply dubbed Google Assistant. The new feature is something similar to the already existing Google Now, but its capabilities have been upgraded in a massive way. For instance, with Google Assistant you can ask a question such as “Who painted the Mona Lisa?” and Google will return the correct answer. Users can then follow the query up by saying something like, “What else did he paint?” and the assistant will bring up results of more works from da Vinci, making the software conversational in nature. Google CEO Sundar Pichai put the AI in simple terms by stating, “. . . We think of it as a conversational assistant, we want users to have an ongoing two-way dialog.”

Google Assistant will not be limited to desktop and mobile devices either; it will also be built into Google’s rebuttal to the Amazon Echo, Google Home. While Facebook, Microsoft, and others have also been hard at work developing AI personal assistants, Google has one advantage over nearly every other company; a deep knowledge base of the world.

When queried, the Google Assistant will draw from its nearly infinite database of Google search, the knowledge base of Google Now, and the information it has acquired on the user over years and years of Web searches, voice queries, calendar entries and countless other interactions with the company. Additionally, during the announcement, Pichai expounded on the assistant’s intelligence by giving attendees an example of its power: Users can stand in front of pieces of art or street sculptures and ask, “Who designed this?” and, without providing any details, Google Assistant will draw on location data, image recognition, and other key identifiers to provide the correct answer. The AI can perform similar tasks for completing local queries about nearby restaurants, movies currently playing, and so forth. And because the assistant is conversational, you can then follow up with a series of questions as if you were speaking to an actual person, and the software will appropriately respond.

The Google Assistant blends together the best aspects of Siri, Hound, and in certain cases, Amazon Echo, all packaged together under the Google banner.

As this technology begins to limit the direct contact users need to have with the search engine, especially in the case of Google Home, what exactly does this spell for businesses trying to claw their way to the top of the SERPs?

Where Have All the Ads Gone?

As Google’s functionality begins to extend itself to new, hands-off devices such as Home, the company will need to find new ways to monetize its engine.

Over the years, Google’s cost-per-click ads have been dropping in value. Additionally, those who leverage AdWords will need to find new outlets to recover the loss of these precious revenue-driving promotions. This comes on the heels of Google removing the right side ads from the SERPs, leaving some AdWords fanatics shaking in their proverbial boots.

On the upside, however, Google has decades of experience in developing new ad models for its platforms. Despite the slip in ad revenue, the search giant will not be willing to let that income fall to the wayside.

For those who don’t leverage AdWords, you must be wondering what this means for content.

The Demise of Content?

Because Google Assistant will provide more direct answers through its search engine which are spoken back to the user after a query is entered, this can, and in some areas, lead to a decrease in users actually reading and interacting with content. This trend will only increase as more products like Echo and Home are introduced into the marketplace. Does this mean that creating content is soon to be a lost art? Not in the least. Instead, this means these two things:

1. The quality of content you create will yet again need to improve;

2. Video content will become more important than ever before.

As Google will now be predominantly speaking answers directly to users, it is critical that your content reflects the high quality material Google needs to satisfy its searchers. It has to be in-depth, well researched and provide genuine answers to common queries around the topic.

Video is a trickier animal. It currently requires a screen and speakers to be consumed. Therefore, users will be less apt to interact with content on their Smartphone or desktop devices that isn’t in the form of video because Google will have answers at the ready for many queries.

This should not come as too big of a shock, however — the rise of video content has been underway for some time now and will all but consume Internet traffic in just a few years.

The fact is that small businesses are at the mercy of the market and, in many ways, Google itself. All that can be done is to learn to adjust your sails when the winds shift and weather the storm. The best thing you can do right now is begin investing in creating video content (which can be free if needed), social media advertising like that offered through Instagram or Facebook, and stay present to the changing trends. As you know, when it comes to Google (and life), everything is always transforming.


Social Media Platform Steemit Experiencing Unprecedented Growth

Posted in News on 10 June 2016

NEW YORK, NY – June 8, 2016 – Steemit, the decentralized social media platform where users get paid to post and vote, and it’s, has exploded in popularity in its first month with a 1,600 percent increase in community size since launch. Thus far, the online Steemit community has doubled in membership every week, and the cryptocurrency its users are rewarded in, Steem, has increased its market cap of $7 million to $17 million USD. 

CEO Ned Scott said he is blown away by how quickly the Steemit platform is changing the online experience. “We have worked so hard to perfect Steemit and give anyone an opportunity to make money by creating and curating good content. Based on reactions from experts and testing from our consumers, we knew that the reception would be strong, but Steemit is so much further along than where we thought it would be. In about a month, the market cap of Steem has increased two and a half times, page sessions have jumped by nearly six times, and the Steemit blockchain is now seeing twelve transfers, posts or votes every minute on average. These are phenomenal numbers and we are excited that our growing community is engaging in a fun and potentially lucrative social medium.”

Steemit is powered by an open source blockchain called Steem, and its users are rewarded when they submit their blog posts or vote on articles, images and commentary that become popular. Users are paid half in “Steem Power,” a token that supercharges voting power, and half with Steem Dollars, a token worth about one USD. Currently, there are more than 100 posts valued at $2,000 worth of Steem, and the top 20 posts have an average payout of a combined $8,500 for posters and voters. 

“Due to the increased number of entrepreneurs building social media apps integrating with Steemit and the Steem blockchain, we are proud to announce that we are open-sourcing the code for the Steemit web wallet and social media interface. We are seeing incredible demand from early adopters and innovators bridging the technology to other social platforms such as Reddit, Twitter and WordPress. Having our technology freely available will empower entrepreneurs to extend upon the Steem blockchain and further revolutionize how social media can reward users and creators,” Scott added.

Since Steemit’s launch, its most popular topics include politics, technology and cryptocurrency, as well as ‘introduce yourself’, news, art and comedy. Across the entire site, there has been a 10-fold increase in posts per day, as well as a ten-fold increase in votes per day. Due to popular demand, Steemit has integrated with a cryptocurrency exchange, BlockTrades, to allow users to purchase Steem Power with Bitcoin directly from their online account. 

“The Steem blockchain will be rewarding all Steemit users for their contributions on July 4, distributing 10 percent of its total token supply,” Scott said.


Java developers

Posted in Jobs on 27 May 2016

My client in Limerick are looking for 2 senior & 2 junior Java developers to join their team on a permanent basis.

Junior candidates will have 1+ years experience with good JAVA, Spring, web technologies &

Javascript experience.

Senior candidates will have 4+ years experience with cloud technologies, strong JAVA development, RM frameworks & SQL.

Required education:

  • Bachelor's

Please apply here.


Posted in Jobs on 17 May 2016

About IACT

IACT is Ireland’s leading IT Training and online learning company. Established in 1993 we provide training throughout Ireland covering all areas of IT from Microsoft Excel and Photoshop to industry leading technical certification programmes from Microsoft, Oracle, CompTIA and Cisco.

Due to ongoing expansion we are currently recruiting IT Trainers to join our team.

The position:
IACT are recruiting IT Trainers with experience in a wide range of different technologies. We are looking for enthusiastic and passionate individuals to join our team and help continue our growth. We have both full-time and part-time (evening or contract) positions available.

Why this is a Great Opportunity:


  • Training at IACT is fun and rewarding and our students love our courses
  • We are a growing, profitable company with opportunities for career advancement

An enthusiastic, ambitious and hardworking individual who is keen to succeed in a fast-moving and dynamic environment.


  • Excellent communication skills
  • Native or fluent written and spoken English
  • Ability to work on your own initiative
  • Strong time management skills
  • Enthusiastic and passionate about technology.
  • An ability to work as part of a team
  • Keen interest in technology
  • Expert user of Office technology
  • Be able to demonstrate expert teaching skills
  • Have a keen interest in education and training
  • Have a full, clean drivers licence

We would like to hear from suitable candidates interested in this exciting and rewarding position. We look forward to hearing from you here.

Why Do Giant Companies Step on Consumers Toes: Real Examples of Giant Corporate Mistakes

Posted in News on 17 May 2016

Large corporations often make mistakes, sometimes by accident and sometimes on purpose. The closer the company is to being a monopoly, the greater the chance they will step on our toes. This week’s article will delve into recent real world examples of giant companies stepping on customers’ toes. We will name names and tell it like it is. We will look at some of the big players who are well known Like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook (plus a few lesser known companies). So read on and be ready to learn about real world examples of giant corporations biting the hands that feed them because they can. Now that I have shared many of the ways giant companies step on client’s toes, let’s look at some recent examples.

Before delving into the marketing/PR mistakes of large companies, I want to lay out what I feel are the common precursors to these mistakes. The primary precursor is when a company becomes really big, its internal communications level goes down. This is easy to understand, because when you have a lot more people in the mix, it makes it easier for miscommunication to take place. On top of this problem, many of these companies have become giants because they were first to market or have achieved a quasi-monopoly status with their product or service. When a company controls market share, it seems to believe it can do no wrong. This usually sets even the biggest companies up for a pratfall, because they start believing their own hype and stop paying attention to what the public wants.

Let’s start with Google

Google often assumes its audience and loyal customers read its blogs and regularly search its website for product announcements. Wrong! Take Google+, a product that Google has been fiddling with since its launch in 2011. First, they bundled many of their premier products into Google+, making it easy for people to find and use their products. Then it began to strip out products one by one. It moved Google Local into Google+ then moved it back out. Next it changed Google local to Google my Business. It did the same with Picasa. Moved it in, then out, before replacing it with Google Photos. Hangouts was in, and now it’s out. As a rule, most users found out that these changes took place when they couldn’t find the feature they came to use.

Google’s Issues don’t Stop There.

Google is forever changing its algorithm for organic search. Some say between 400 and 600 times a year. This costs businesses billions of dollars each year in lost revenue and additional R and D, plus site retooling. Google has stated publicly these changes fall into three categories. Updates to improve the customer experience (i.e. The user gets what they are really looking for – not just content, but what they intended). Updates have also been initiated in an effort to thwart professional SEO marketers and criminals from gaming the system.

Just take a look at the multitude of updates named after cute animals over the past six years to get an idea of how pervasive the constant changes have become. Updates like Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird and, pigeon all wreaked havoc on tens of thousands of businesses. There are also other updates not named after cute animals. Last year Google announced an update that had a profound impact on all websites. Google decided that websites needed to be mobile-friendly. I agree with this, but since most websites were not ready for this change, it immediately removed millions of websites from mobile search.   Thus the update was nicknamed Mobilegeddon.

Google’s update cost billions of dollars each year.

When Google implements an update, there are millions of businesses that become big winners and others that are huge losers. If you’re lucky (or really paying attention) you win. If not, you lose big. Do the math. If one million of the 500 or so million websites on Google need to update the site, because of a Google algorithm change, and it cost them $1,000 to address the update, they would spend a billion dollars altogether. An example of this was when many realtors lost their page one position after working so hard to reach that position last year. Google’s new algorithm changed the emphasis from primarily content, to being in directories to rank for local search. Those sites that had used content as the primary ranking factor lost out.

That does not mean Google is doing things in an arbitrary way. No sir, it is very deliberate. Google does not picks who the winners and losers will be – it’s the search engine. It isn’t targeting individual companies — mind you, Google emphasizes what it wants companies to engage in.

Google Does It Again

he tech giant’s latest algorithm changes will soon force more businesses to depend on GoogleAdWords for traffic. Google recently changed the number of organic search listings from approximately 12, to seven organic listings.  With the reduced number of search page result listings now in play, fewer businesses in the same industry or category can be shown at one time. That means it’s even harder than ever before to get on page one of Google search. I just hope that other search engine companies realize this is a perfect opportunity to steal away search users and business customers from Google. If they offer a search product that provides a more useful listing set, than the mere seven listings Google is now serving up, they could gain market share. This is especially true if Google tries to gouge its customers with its monopoly in pay per click.

Speaking of Google pissing off millions of users

We recently reported how Google was spying on every keystroke you make. It’s a fact that every Google property from Gmail to Google+, Google Search, and YouTube is tracking your every move. Back then this caused an uproar, however, that uproar is dying down and is now almost forgotten. Read The Piracy of Privacy – the looting of Privacy in America for more details.

What about Microsoft

Microsoft pretty much has a monopoly hold on the PC OSmarket. This has allowed the firm to take whatever direction it chose. It did not ask the consuming public what they wanted. Because if it had done so, products like Millennium, Vista and Windows 8 would have never come to pass.

Microsoft launched Millennium, back in 2000 and it ended up being one of the shortest-lived products they ever launched. Most Microsoft customers hated it because it was full of bugs and because it was a big change from windows 98. The following year they replaced it with Windows XP (which had a legacy support look and feel) which extended XP’s life span to become one of the longest-lived MS products to date.

When Vista was launched, it fell flat on its face because it looked so different than Windows XP.  Then Microsoft got smart and fixed that problem with Windows 7. But guess what, it could not leave well enough alone. It launched Windows 8 and again pissed off the masses. Windows 8 was such a big flop that Microsoft had to bring Windows 7 back from retirement. The firm quickly figured out that new PCs were not selling with version 8 and started offering PCs with both Windows 7 and 8.

Windows 10 is proof that Microsoft has learned some lessons from its prior mistakes (even though it seems to make the same ones repeatedly). This new version has been a big success, but not without its own gotchas. I recommend reading –“What’s Up with Windows 10 – the good the bad and the ugly” to get some insights. Also Microsoft is trying to get people to use its free One Drive storage. However, it recently shot itself in the foot by downgrading the free capacity from 15 gigs to 5 and also took back the unlimited capacity for office 365 users.  This flies in the face of common sense since Google, its arch rival, recently made it possible to get 30 gigs on Google Drive for free and even possibly a terabyte of free cloud storage.

How about the many Face of Facebook

Facebook, in the past few years, has raised the hackles of its subscribers on a regular basis by constantly changing how Facebook works. Facebook seems to revel in making its user base angry. Facebook has made what seems like continuous changes to the way the News Feed and timeline works. It seems to shuffle the deck where commands and function are located, making it harder for businesses trying to manage their fan pages. This has profound effects on both subscribers and businesses using Fan pages for marketing.

Not long ago, it suddenly changed how contests could be run. Lately, it has made the filtering of the timeline so strong that businesses are mostly forced to run pay per click ads, if they want their follower to see any of their corporate posts. As a general rule, Facebook seems to be enamored with changing things, from the location of features to advertising rules. Privacy is almost nonexistent on Facebook. If a person died suddenly, his or her pages may be stuck on Facebook forever. If the significant other doesn’t have the username and password for the deceased person’s page, he/she can’t have the site taken down.

My last annoyance with Facebook is it has zero phone tech support. On top of that, its e-mail tech support gets a poor grade as well. I know I am not dissing Facebook as much as I have Google and Microsoft, but take it from me, it seems to work hard at making sure that the only constant is change.

Smaller Companies are not Exempt

There are literally hundreds of examples, however, the examples aren’t just with the mega corporations. Smaller companies and even some startup are guilty of the same kind of mistakes. Take Fitbit as an example, it tried to explain away accuracy errors in its activity health trackers, as minor, which eventually caused the creation of a class action lawsuit. This also caused a lot of furor in the social arena as well.

Many know the headache of apps going from great to bad when they update themselves and cause the user’s Smartphone to crash or lockup.  Recently, one of my all-time favorite apps, call WAZE, caused me to uninstall it altogether. That app updated itself while I was driving. That update immediately locked up my Android Smartphone while I was taking a call! Boy was I livid!

You have a choice and a decision to make.

It is your duty as an informed consumer to share your product and customer service experience with the rest of the world. This is the only thing keeping giant companies on the path to happy customers. Today giant companies no longer can provide poor products or customer service as long as you report what they are doing. Social media has become the great equalizer. If you do not use your rights as a consumer to complain (or sing their praises) on social media when you have been taken advantage of, it’s on you. Don’t let giant companies squash you like a bug. We can all fight back by sharing stories of poor customer service, bad products or corporate lying. You can also help these companies by praising them when they do a good job. Social media has given you a real voice. It’s given you a carrot and a stick to keep them in check.


Google to be Hit With $3B EU Fine Over Search Dominance

Posted in News on 17 May 2016

Google will face a $3.4-billion anti-trust fine from the European Commission for the tech firm’s alleged abuse of its search monopoly, the Telegraph is reporting.

The record fine from the European Commission will come after a six-year investigation into the tech firm’s search practices.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager filed formal charges against Google last April, saying the tech titan manipulates search results to give its own products and services prominence over that of its competitors. The Commission also accused Google of suppressing competition and hurting consumers due to the “unfair advantage” it gives its own comparison shopping service.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the European Union, is not talking, but sources told The Telegraph the fine will likely be announced next month, once the bill is finalized.

The amount Google will be fined could actually end up being higher than the $3.4 billion revealed by the publication’s sources. The EU can fine the company as much as 10 percent of its annual sales — at least $6 billion in Google’s case.

Aside from the fine, Google will also be looking at restrictions on its behavior, which will include a ban on its manipulation of search results, the report indicated.

That is not Google’s only anti-trust woe, however.

Vestager, in April, filed charges against Google, accusing it of breaching anti-trust law with its Android operating system.

In a formal Statement of Objections, the EU said a nearly-three-year investigation found that Google uses a strategy on mobile devices that reinforces its dominance in general Internet searches.

“Based on our investigation thus far, we believe that Google’s behavior denies consumers a wider choice of mobile apps and services and stands in the way of innovation by other players, in breach of EU antitrust rules,” Vestager said in a press release last month.

The investigation stems from a joint complaint lodged with the European Union by FairSearch, a group of 17 technology and search companies.


Summer Camp (Weeklong)

Posted in Events on 13 May 2016

Dublin Zoo

Time: 10:00 am - 2:30 pm
Location: Dublin Zoo
Category: Kids / Family

Summer Camp (Weeklong)
WhenMon, 25 July, 10:00 – 14:30
DescriptionDublin Zoo’s week-long camps introduce children to the wild and wonderful world of animals and science. There will be a range of fascinating activities to enjoy, all age-appropriate and designed to appeal to many different learning styles. But, most of all they’re fun! There are two great camps right next to the animals – Camp Congo near the Gorilla Rainforest and Camp Kaziranga near the Kaziranga Forest Trail. It’s an experience to be remembered! (6-12 years.) Pre-booking online from 9th May

For more details

Leonardo da Vinci: Ten Drawings from the Royal Collection

Posted in Events on 13 May 2016

National Gallery of Ireland


Time: Times Vary
Location: National Gallery of Ireland
Category: Arts / Exhibits

The exhibition, Leonardo da Vinci: Ten Drawings from the Royal Collection, will open in the National Gallery from May 4th until July 17th 2016. It features ten of the finest drawings by Leonardo da Vinci on loan from the Royal Collection, which have been carefully selected to reflect the whole range of Leonardo’s activities.
Though he trained as a painter, Leonardo expanded his activities into sculpture and architecture, engineering, botany, geology, hydraulics, optics and anatomy. His principle tool of investigation was drawing. Many of his drawings are extensively annotated, including the sheet of Studies for casting the equestrian monument to Francesco Sforza (c.1492-4), and the double-sided page from a notebook of anatomical studies: The heart compared to a seed and The vessels of the liver, spleen and kidneys(c.1508). His skilful use of different media is highlighted in the exhibition in works such as Study for the Head of St. Anne (black chalk, c.1510); A male nude (red chalk, c.1504-5), and his Studies of cats, lions and a dragon (pen and ink, c.1513-18).

For more details

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