FS Fives: Wednesday, August 24

First up, we bring you news of a Scottish Government scheme to set up an ‘e-School’ for kids living in the Western Isles. The ‘e-Sgoil’ (for Gaelic speakers) will allow secondary pupils across the region to access more curriculum subjects through online classes, thanks to £550,000 in government funding and £150,000 from Bord na Gaidhlig, the government agency set up to promote the language.

The initial focus of the e-Sgoil – which will be based in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis – will be on delivering Higher and Advanced Higher courses, Gaelic Medium Education, vocational skills and initial teacher training.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said:“We want to deliver a world class education for every child in the country and we have committed to improving the use of digital technology through our digital learning and teaching strategy. The new E-sgoil is an excellent example of how we can do this for pupils living in rural communities.”

Tech should be focus of economic strategy

Grasping ‘technological change’ must be addressed if Scotland is to maximise its economic performance, the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) has said following the publication of the latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures today.
The GERS figures show a deficit of £14.8 billion when a geographic share of North Sea revenues is allocated to Scotland, which amounts to 9.5% of Scottish GDP, compared with the overall UK deficit of £75.3 billion – 4% of UK GDP.
Claire Mack, Director of Policy & Place, SCDI said: “These GERS figures highlight our challenging fiscal position and the need to prioritise increasing productivity, innovation, and internationalisation of businesses across every sector of the economy.
“The stark numbers of this report show the importance of addressing the structural weaknesses of our economy, grasping technological change, and improving the agility of businesses and the public sector to respond and shape new trends and opportunities.
“These GERS figures highlight our challenging fiscal position and the need to prioritise increasing productivity, innovation, and internationalisation of businesses across every sector of the economy.”

New digs for Glasgow software firm

Scottish tech firm Gold Standard Simulations – a company which specialises in software for the semiconductors industry – has taken up new office space in Glasgow, reports Daily Business Group. The company will move into 133 Finnieston Street after securing £720,000 in seed funding to develop software that improves the speed and performance of transistors in mobile phones and computers. The Glasgow University spinout was set up by Professor Assen Asenov in 2010 and acquired in May this year by Californian software giant Synopsys.

Massive gaming hack

More than 808,000 user accounts have been stolen in a massive breach of security affecting gaming firm Epic, ZDNET reports. According to the report the gaming company – which makes Unreal Engine – was targeted in a hack that has lifted ‘usernames, scrambled passwords, email addresses, IP addresses, birthdates, join dates, their full history of posts and comments including private messages, and other user activity data from both sets of forums’. Facebook access tokens were also stolen for those who signed in to the platform with their social account.

 

And finally….Dawn of the replicants? Yes, we might actually be inching closer towards a Blade Runner reality with this 3D printer which can print human tissue.