Digital Media News (week 16)
10 April 2012
Weekly bulletin collating public sector, industry and company news for creative industries by David Hartley.
"Apps for Good is a programme from CDI Europe that teaches young people how to build mobile apps to solve real life problems and also provides a platform for tech professionals to volunteer their expert skills. CDI Europe is building the second generation of its online platform for the Apps for Good programme"
From Deeside today
"A joint initiative between Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeen City Council and two Scottish technology companies to deliver accurate winter travel information has secured funding from the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA).
"The pioneering project, called ‘Make it Local Scotland’, aims to help local authorities maximise use of the vast amounts of data they hold. It will allow travellers to access a website which will detail planned gritting routes, the location of grit bins and the status of current gritting operations"
From the BBC
"Eye specialists at Glasgow Caledonian University have developed a video game to treat a common sight problem in children. Children who suffer from a lazy eye, or Amblyopia, can play the game instead of wearing an eye patch. Tests suggested playing the Tetris-style game resulted in an almost immediate improvement."
Local Industry News
From the Iowa Gazette
"It’s seen as the greatest mother lode of information yet on the “Greatest Generation.” Genealogists and family historians are eagerly awaiting the government’s release Monday of the 1940 census…
"Anyone will be able to access digital images of the microfilm records online through the National Archive, but the images will not be searchable by name. To remedy this, the Iowa Genealogical Society is joining in a national effort to index the census. The effort is spearheaded by… Brightsolid.com"
From the BBC
"Demand for jobs at digital technology firms is outstripping all other sectors in Scotland, a survey has suggested. Trade body ScotlandIS said its annual industry survey indicated nearly two-thirds of respondents expected to take on more staff this year"
From the Independent
"Rockstar have announced the inclusion of their Grand Theft Auto series in the Victoria and Albert Museum’s British Design 1948–2012: Innovation in the Modern Age exhibition… Representing each Grand Theft Auto title in the franchise and showcasing the innovation of living metropolises and open world gameplay, the exhibit features a commemorative video chronicling the history of Rockstar’s series."
From the Scotsman
"Hubdub, a games technology firm with offices in Edinburgh and Manhattan, has raised a further $1.3 million (£819,000) from existing investors, including Pentech Ventures and Piton Capital, taking its total raised to $7m.
"The company produces fantasy sports game Fan- Duel, which focuses on American sports… FanDuel was launched in July 2009 and is now the leading single-day fantasy sports game for a number of sporting leagues in the US."
From Business 7
"A company set up by a Scots gaming industry veteran has teamed up with digital greeting card firm Moonpig to launch a new platform which will allow users to add video and personal messages to greeting cards.
"Edinburgh-based Zappar was set up by the co-founder of video game developer VIS Entertainment Kirk Ewing last year, and already has US companies like Disney, CBS and PlayStation as clients within nine months of launch. The company has now agreed a partnership with Moonpig, who will use Zappar's Augmented Reality (AR) technology."
From Business Daily
"Cloud accounting software provider FreeAgent has launched a unique record keeping iPhone app designed to help self-employed people and very small businesses in the UK to stay on top of their finances and tax commitments.
"FreeAgent has developed the app - called Earnest - after being tasked by HM Revenue & Customs to create a free resource allowing self-employed workers and very small businesses across the country to keep track of their income and expenses and estimate the amount of tax that they owe."
From the BBC
"In what was once an anatomy laboratory at Glasgow University, Michael Newman hopes to prove that you can build a successful global technology firm far from the home of most venture capital firms. His start-up, my1login, is entering quite a crowded field - helping people with dozens of different passwords and logins to store them securely and use them with ease."
From the Scotsman
"Linn Products’ managing director is keeping the firm focussed on quality audio – with a digital twist…Tiefenbrun was instrumental in the rebirth of the business. Overseeing a restructuring of Linn’s research and development activities, he refocused efforts on building a state-of-the-art music streaming platform…
"Now, the latest generation of its groundbreaking “DS” music players are attracting plaudits from every corner of the world’s hi-fi press."
From the BBC
"Google has revealed details of its research into augmented reality glasses. It posted a brief introduction to Project Glass, photos and a concept video at its Google+ social network. The images show a minimalist design with a microphone and partly-transparent video screen that places information over the view from the users' right eye."
From the Guardian
"How mobile is sparking innovation in publishing, music, television, games and beyond. In 2012, smartphone and tablet apps are at the heart of disruption across the media and entertainment industries. Which sounds like a grandiose claim, but the evidence is there to back it up. In fact, the last 24 hours alone provide a good snapshot of it."
From the Wall Street Journal
"John Fahey says it's time for National Geographic Magazine to turn a new page. Digital expansion has become the buzzword for the yellow-bordered flagship of 124-year-old National Geographic Society, long known for its riveting photography, atlas maps and tendency to accumulate in readers' basements"
From the Guardian
"British tunesmiths cashed in on a surge in the use of digital services such as iTunes and Spotify in 2011, and the huge international popularity of artists such as Adele, as royalty payments to songwriters grew 3.2% year on year to £635.3m.
"PRS for Music, the organisation that represents 75,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers in the UK, said that a surge in growth in revenue from digital services and international markets helped more than offset a double-digit fall in royalties collected from the sale of CDs"
"considerably higher than I expected,” said Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne on a Radio Litopia show, “The Naked Book,” this afternoon. Redmayne said Pottermore sold over £1 million worth of e-books, about $1.59 million at £0.63 pounds to the dollar."
From the Daily Mail
"While Friending and Tweeting may still be the most common actions among the social media savvy, Pinning is becoming more and more popular as well. Pinterest, the picture-sharing program that allows users to essentially create 'vision boards' of their favorite things, is now the third most popular social network based on visits from American users."
From Tech Crunch
"According to the latest study from Nielsen covering Q4 2011, in the U.S., a full 86 percent of tablet owners and 88 percent of smartphone owners said that they used their devices while watching regular TV at least once in a 30-day period.
"Nearly half (45 percent) actually did this on daily basis with their tablets, with 41 percent saying they watched TV while tapping on a smartphone every day."
From What's on Scotland
"Moviecom.tv are delighted to be hosting an evening with YouTube here in Glasgow on April 16th. Moviecom.tv has been working on some cool tech integrations, improving the online video landscape for all which will be coming soon to you on Moviecom.tv.
"Meanwhile, our friends at YouTube have been working on some really cool stuff over at Googleplex in Silicon Valley and we are delighted to open up this evening to the business and tech community here in Glasgow to come and hang out with the YouTube developer advocate Shannon "JJ" Behrens who will share with us what the future landscape hold for all consumers of video."
From IGDA Scotland
"IGDA Scotland is delighted to announce that we’re bringing a little piece of GDC to our April meeting in Edinburgh, with a range of excellent panelist who are coming along to share their experiences of this year’s GDC, explain why you should do everything in your power to make sure you’re there next year and also give you some ideas how you might be able to make that happen". The event takes place in Ryan’s Bar, Edinburgh on April 11th from 7pm"
From the Sun
"Apple’s legendary founder Steve Jobs once boasted an iPhone could be anything... except a set of bagpipes. But New Zealand firm Elucidcode has proved the late computer guru wrong by launching an app that lets users play the instrument. The Air Pipes app — 69p to download — boasts that fans can blow into the microphone and start “piping like a true Highlander."
From the Scotsman
"Some of the most acclaimed artworks from Scotland’s national art collection have been made available online through a groundbreaking new initiative from Google. Masterpieces such as Claude Monet’s Haystacks and Titian’s Venus Rising From the Sea are among 150 works from the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland which can now be viewed in high resolution on Google Art"
Compiled by David Hartley