Digital Media News (week 13)
19 March 2012
Weekly bulletin collating public sector, industry and company news for creative industries by David Hartley.
From SME enviroapp
"If you do, you could win £50,000… By 2020, Scotland has committed to reduce carbon emissions by 42%. The Scottish Government, SSE, SEPA and Microsoft have launched a national competition to create a software application that helps Scotland’s SMEs respond to these ambitious climate change goals by measuring, managing and reducing their carbon emissions". Registration for the competition opened on March 13th."
Register your interest in the Connected Digital Economy Catapult
From Technology Strategy Board
"Establishing a Connected Digital Economy Catapult to address the challenges of maximising the economic value of the growing digital economy to UK businesses. Organisations interested to help… establish this Catapult centre can submit their details via www.catapult.org.uk/digital from 13 until 28 March."
Scientists translate sign language to text in pioneering phone software
From the Scotsman
"Pioneering technology which translates sign language into text is being developed by Scottish scientists in a major boost for people suffering from speech and hearing difficulties. The Portable Sign Language Translator (PSLT ) has been developed by computing scientists at Technabling, a spin-out from Aberdeen University. The PSLT recognises sign language using a small camera which can be integrated in most mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablet Pcs and netbooks, and then renders it as text displayed on the device’s main screen."
Mobile gaming goes 3D!
"Paul Farley, Managing Director of Tag Games employs Autodesk 3ds Max within a very nimble team to develop a unique look and feel within their games. Being a small team can be turned into a significant business advantage."
How Mashable turned Pete Cashmore from internet playboy to CNN target
From the Guardian
"He is the internet wunderkind whose technology news website grew into a multimillion-dollar blogs empire from his parents' home 18 miles outside Aberdeen…. Cashmore founded Mashable in 2005 as a side-project to document the rise of internet giants such as Facebook, YouTube and Myspace, then the world's most popular social network. Seven years later and Cashmore's website has joined the ranks of hot internet properties."
Wi-Fi on trains: the tech behind Scotland's expanding wireless web
From the Scotsman
"The Scottish government moved a step closer towards its ambition of delivering Wi-Fi throughout the country when it recently announced a pilot of free wireless access on trains. It awarded the ScotRail franchise a £250,000 contract to carry out the three-month trial, which will run from June until September on trains travelling primarily between Glasgow and Edinburgh... The systems being piloted are Nomad Digital's, which uses its R3200 router and the Icomera's, using its X6 router. Richard Brown, from ScotRail's technical fleet team, says that the systems will be installed on four Class 170 trains, each consisting of three vehicles."
"Mobile app software developer RunRev has won a new contract with East Lothian Council to roll out its LiveCode software as a high school teaching aid. LiveCode, a new version of which Edinburgh-based RunRev launched last year, is a simplified coding language which software developers can use to build applications to run on different mobile devices and platforms."
"China is already a significant market for companies like Apple, with CEO Tim Cook describing “staggering” and “off the charts” sales of the iPhone in China last quarter. But according to IDC the opportunity is just beginning for Apple and others working in the smartphone world: China is set to become the world’s largest smartphone market this year, overtaking the U.S., which has led in years past."
Are video games just propaganda and training tools for the military?
From the Guardian
"It's a shadowy and lucrative relationship. But just how close are video-game developers with various military outfits? And how does it affect the games we play?"
"As comic Louis C.K. would say about technology: Everything is amazing and nobody is happy. Nowhere is that more true than in the world of smartphone applications, as app developers push the possibilities of how to use our smartphones’ location awareness and reach well beyond what our mobile data plans and battery lives seem to be able to support, especially in densely populated spaces. It’s kind of sad, because for a while the release of new devices has set off rushes of creativity, with developers using touchscreens and accelerometers and other sensors in ways that seemed to make science fiction real."
"2012 is off to a galloping start for the tablet market; and because of that IDC is upping its forecasts for how many “media” tablets will be shipped this year. The analysts predict that the number will top 106.1 million units, up from their previous forecast of 87.7 million units, due in part to strong demand for that new iPad, but also a number of other devices at a range of price points. Indeed, while Apple will continue to be the single biggest tablet maker on the market, Android, collectively, will continue to hold its own against it, with some notable devices like the Amazon Kindle Fire doing particularly well. But it will not be until 2016 — four years from now — that IDC thinks that Android shipments will outnumber those of iOS."
"A report released by Nielsen Wire on Monday found that retail websites are more popular than retail apps. The report noted that both male and female smartphone owners prefer retailer mobile websites over mobile apps. However, men are slightly more likely to try retail apps than women. Shoppers who do access retail apps tend to spend more time on them than those that access retail sites from the mobile web."
Internet 'worth £2,175 a year to consumers
From the Telegraph
"The new study by Boston Consulting Group found that consumers value the web at nine times more than access costs them on average. The same research found that the UK was the ‘most web-connected economy’. The internet contributes 8.3 per cent to UK GDP, according to the new study – more than any other economy in the G20. The contribution of the web to the UK was judged to be £121 billion. It is forecast to rise to £225 billion by 2016. The group claims the study ‘provides the first and most comprehensive study of the global—and local—impact of the internet across the G20."
"The formal launch of UKIE’s virtual Scotland office will also see UKIE host an Access to Finance session that will give attendees a range of new, practical and innovative ideas on where money can be found as well as an opportunity to contribute to the discussion". The event takes place on Tuesday, March 27, from 13:00 - 17:30 at the Hannah Maclure Centre, University of Abertay Dundee."
From pocket gamer
"The Office of National Statistics has added tablet computers to the official basket of goods and services that the ONS tracks in order to calculate inflation. In an announcement today, the ONS said tablet computers represent 'a significant and growing market', adding: "As in most years, developments in technology influence the basket update and in 2012 tablet computers – such as the iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab – are being included for the first time."
Compiled by David Hartley