Digital Media News (week 24)
06 June 2012
Weekly bulletin collating public sector, industry and company news for creative industries by David Hartley.
"Scots can say ‘Appy Jubilee, Your Majesty’ after the Scottish Government unveiled a new app to mark 60 years of the Queen’s reign. The 'Queen of Scots' app provides users with video and rare photos of Her Majesty’s most memorable visits to Scotland. The First Minister urged Scots to download the app and enjoy all it has to offer over the Jubilee weekend. He said the app was an innovative way to bring the history and tradition of the monarchy to a modern and younger audience"
"Dare to be Digital 2012 received 108 entries from 70 universities across 13 nations, the cabinet secretary for culture and external affairs has announced. Fiona Hyslop confirmed Scottish Government support of £85,700 will enable teams from China, India and Finland to take part this year. The annual contest for talented computer science and art students from the UK and abroad takes place over nine weeks each summer and is organised and hosted by the University of Abertay Dundee"
Local industry news
From the Daily Record
"Two Scots have launched a groundbreaking website that charts which celebrities are the biggest in the world of social networking. Paul Morrison, who helped launch T in the Park in the mid-1990s, and former Airmiles chief executive Drew Thomson have created Starcount. The website aggregates all the chatter from the 1.5billion people using the 11 biggest social media platforms in the world."
"Linn Records has agreed a partnership with Universal Music to sell its 24-bit studio master recordings for download. Albums from classic artists like Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Diana Krall and John Coltrane will be available for the first time in the same audio quality the artists originally heard them in the recording studio. The partnership will see Eaglesham-based Linn and Universal releasing new albums in Studio Master in the coming months, from artists like Bob Marley and Melody Gardot."
"In news certain to delight indie games fans, Minecraft has done something that has not been seen in a long time — knock a Call of Duty game out of the top two on the Xbox 360′s most-played list. To put this in perspective, the only thing that knocked Call of Duty: Black Ops out of the No. 1 spot from its release in 2010 was the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in 2011. And those two have run No. 2 and No. 1, respectively, ever since. Until Minecraft elbowed Black Ops out of the way last week." Minecraft XBox 360 was developed by 4J Studios in conjunction with Mojang and Microsoft Studios."
From the BBC
"The BBC's Jack Garland has been looking at the computer games industry for Show Me the Money. He took a trip to a tech-hub in Dundee, to learn how young gaming entrepreneurs plan on turning their creations into profitable commodities."
From the Houston Chronical
"UK (Edinburgh) based Rosie’s Playtime have gone global with a new version of their already successful app, Brush with Jackson. Available for iPhone and iPad, the innovative app has one purpose: to get children aged 2-12 enjoying brushing their teeth. Jackson, an interactive animated rabbit that brushes his teeth for the recommended 2-3 minutes while the children copy him, has many other entertaining features. From the 30th May, Brush With Jackson v1.3 , will become available to download in English, Japanese and now French, German, Spanish and Chinese for the very first time"
From The Next Web
"If you missed it, the ﬁrst ever Scottish Startup Weekend just took place in Glasgow, expanding the event’s footprint in the UK and of course highlighting talent north of the border. As ever with a Startup Weekend, the pressure is on as the challenge is for entrepreneurs, designers and developers to build and launch a tech startup in just 54 hours."
"There has been a growing revolt in the publishing community against the idea that iPhone and iPad apps are the best route to digital dollars. The Financial Times shuttered its apps this month, while a popular essay by another publisher lamented that apps were a “collective delusion” and an expensive failure. That’s bunk, according to Wired publisher Howard Mittman, who said in a recent interview that apps have proven “incredibly profitable” and touts the publication’s 165,000 tablet subscribers (65,000 of these are pure-digital subs)."
From the BBC
"Doctors in London are trialling "touchless" technology, often used in TV games, to help them carry out delicate keyhole surgery. The system allows them to manipulate images with their voice and hand-gestures rather than using a keyboard and mouse. Surgeons say it gives them more control and avoids disruption"
From the Guardian
"Imagine a world where 100,000s of people playing a simple game-based app on their smartphones or social networks or computers were at the same time analysing data and helping to beat cancer. Think Citizen Science meets Angry Birds. Now imagine you could make it happen in 48 hours." So began Open Labs, an exciting digital collaboration for cancer research… The challenge was to develop ways to crowdsource this data analysis, to speed up the development of new cancer treatments. Put simply, we wanted to create simple games that could help to save lives"
"Square Inc., maker of credit-card readers for smartphones and tablets, has increased its payment volume 25 percent since March, when EBay Inc. (EBAY)’s PayPal showed off a new mobile scanner and underscored growth in the field. Square, founded in 2009, is processing transactions at an annualized rate of $5 billion, up from $4 billion a month ago, as more consumers embrace mobile payments"
From Tech Crunch
"Research out today from Gartner says that this year will see more than $171.5 billion in mobile payment transactions — a rise of over 60 percent on 2011′s $105.9 billion — with 212.2 million people (up 32 percent from 160.5m in 2011) using some form of mobile payment service. And what’s fuelling the rise? Despite the rise of smartphones, it’s legacy-based services like SMS and web-based transactions. Longer term, Gartner believes that transactions will reach a volume of $617 billion by 2016 — with average growth slightly slowing down to around 42 percent — with 448 million users using such services"
From the Telegraph
"Downloads and streaming accounted for 55.5 per cent of overall UK record industry revenues in the first quarter of 2012, according to BPI. The lobby group said the growing digital market had offset the decline in sales of physical formats, leading to an 2.7 per cent increase in overall revenues compared to the same period in 2011, to £155.8m ... Total digital revenues grew 24 per cent compared to a year earlier, to £86.5m. Physical revenues fell 15.1 per cent to £69.3m"
"a great report this morning at the All Things Digital conference. The report outlines some of the hot trends affecting the Internet. A few of the reports highlights include; 2.3B Global Internet Users in 2011, driven by emerging markets, 1.1B Global mobile 3G subscribers, 37% Growth Q4, 29% of US adults own a tablet, from 2% less than three years ago, Mobile Monetization Growing Rapidly (71% Apps, 29% Ads)"
Compiled by David Hartley