DIY library kiosks launched by 3M
Technology company 3M is launching new do-it-yourself library kiosks throughout Ireland. The kiosks, which recently made their debut in Deansgrange Library in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, will be making their way into libraries around the country.
They feature a high resolution touchscreen along with state of the art scanners and integrated chip and pin payment options to make checking books in and out as well as renewing loans straight-forward and quick.
3M estimates that more than 90pc of all major academic libraries in the country now have some form of self-service technology installed.
Public libraries, which have in the past had a relatively low uptake rate, are catching up fast with their academic peers as budget and staff cuts force libraries to look for innovative and cost effective solutions.
BLACKBERRY SHOWS NEW Z30 HANDSET
BLACKBERRY will start selling its largest handset ever in the UK and Middle East next week, the latest step in a bid to turn around the struggling Canadian smartphone maker. The Z30, which has a 5-inch touchscreen and more closely resembles handsets like the iPhone, was unveiled yesterday at an event in Kuala Lumpur. The company is counting on the new range to deliver a return to sales growth and profitability as it tries to regain market share from Apple and Samsung. Sales two quarters ago missed analyst estimates by almost 1m units, and BlackBerry said last month it would consider putting itself up for sale or new partnerships. Its operating system, which already trailed Google's Android and Apple's iOS systems, also fell behind Microsoft in the first half of this year. Its operating system will account for 2.7pc of smartphones this year
CYPRUS TO LIFT RESTRICTIONS ON CURRENCY, A YEAR AFTER COLLAPSE
CYPRUS plans to lift all restrictions on the movement of money in January, almost a year after becoming the first euro member to seize bank deposits and impose capital controls to avert a financial collapse. President Nicos Anastasiades said in an interview in Nicosia that his country will do its best at implementing its agreement with international creditors as it tries to claw back to growth after forcing losses on uninsured depositors in the Mediterranean island's two largest banks. "The goal right now is to create the conditions for growth and tackle the serious problem of unemployment, to stabilise the financial system," Mr Anastasiades said. "The controls are being lifted. They will end within a timeframe of January 2014."
The third-smallest economy in the 17-nation euro area, Cyprus was approved for a €1.5bn payout by euro-region finance ministers earlier this month. It was the second disbursement under a €10bn rescue programme following the country's financial meltdown, mainly as a result of banking losses on Greek government bonds. Mr Anastasiades (66) won elections in February and was charged with following Greece, Ireland and Portugal in securing a full sovereign bailout. He also had to win the backing of the population for austerity measures.
BATTLE FOR CONSOLE TOP SPOT HOTS UP AT TOKYO SHOW
SONY and Microsoft are battling more than just each other as they showcase new consoles at the Tokyo Game Show. They're also fighting against the likes of "Angry Birds"; consoles are increasingly struggling to win over casual players who prefer to use Facebook's website and mobile devices for gaming. Rovio Entertainment's "Angry Birds" has been downloaded almost 2bn times and delivered $199m (€149m) in sales of games and merchandise last year.
Sony and Microsoft are now offering hands-on trials of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as they try to kick-start growth in a $63bn industry by featuring consoles and software costing hundreds of dollars. The companies are pitching their machines as entertainment portals for games, music and films to combat the flow of players downloading free or cheap titles by smaller companies for smartphones and tablet computers. "The market is shrinking because the items to kill time have become diversified," said analyst Mitsushige Akino. "PS4 and Xbox One are not for light users."
EMPLOYEES BRIBED DOCTORS IN CHINA TO ENDORSE GOODS
BOTH Alcon, the eye-care division of Novartis, and Danone's baby formula unit Dumex, are probing reports that their employees in China paid doctors to boost sales, amid a government crackdown on corruption in health care. Alcon's China unit diverted funds meant for clinical studies to bribe doctors at more than 200 hospitals, the '21st Century Business Herald' reported on Tuesday, citing a whistle-blower nicknamed "Zorro." Elsewhere Dumex said it would immediately start an investigation after a television report accused the business of making payments to doctors and nurses in Tianjin to help sell products.
Concerns that illegal payments to health-care workers are stoking medical costs has prompted China to intensify a crackdown on kickbacks, with the health regulator saying yesterday that medical workers may not promote formula sales. Authorities are already probing GlaxoSmithKline, which they have accused of using money and sexual favours to bribe doctors and health officials to boost the sale of its drugs.