Welcome to the latest FS Fives – FutureScot’s lunchtime round-up of Scottish digital news.
First up, we bring you news of yesterday’s Scot-Cloud 2016 conference at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.
Hosted by Scot-Tech Engagement the event was well-attended by leaders from the cloud computing sector in Scotland, despite the rail strike.
Some important contributions came from leading industry figures, including Peter Mowforth of Indez, the Glasgow-based e-commerce firm.
Mowforth spoke of his frustration that despite e-commerce being worth £538b to the UK economy he has not been able to find a single course on the subject at a Scottish university.
“I’ve worked with many universities and I find it deeply frustrating that I’ve not been able to find one. You can get courses on how to be a plumber or an electrician but you can’t get a course on e-commerce,” he told delegates.
Chris Roche, of health analytics firm Aridhia, however praised academic-industrial relations his sector for being one of the leads in the European field of health research, and urged people to vote ‘remain’ in tomorrow’s EU referendum to keep it going. “We will cut off at the knees otherwise,” he said.
Eileen McLaren, VP Programming at FanDuel, also gave the audience in an interesting snapshot of the company’s “first foray” into the UK market with a new fantasy sports game for the English Premier League, set to be unveiled in August. Behind the scenes the game is currently being road tested by the firm, including by founder Nigel Eccles himself.
Scot-Tech’s next event will be on the Internet of Things (IoT) in September.
Next….. “We are only interested in businesses that have the possibility of being internationally massive, and that’s what we’re trying to build here,” says Jamie Coleman. Not backwards in coming forwards, the tweed-wearing CodeBase founder was on robust form in this interview with Scottish Business News Network, in nailing CodeBase’s colours to the mast to be the home for exciting Scottish tech with potential to be world-beaters.
And candidly, he says: “There was a colossal cost in trying to make this happen but as you can see it’s worth it. The companies we have in here now have had just over half a billion dollars of US investment, so it’s working.”
Which way is the EU Referendum result going to go? It’s a question that’s currently exercising the very finest of minds. With various predictive methodologies at hand, including poll of polls, number crunchers, trackers and the like (all based on very sound, if sometimes flawed, statistical models), we might be able to offer a slightly different take on which numbers to believe.
Edinburgh Napier’s Bill Buchanan (a mathematical sage and cryptographer), has offered up an alternative predictor of whether we will choose Brexit or Bremain: the bookies!
According to Bill, who has put data from 26 bookmakers into a computational model, he is very much backing a ‘strong remain’ after seeing the odds lengthen on an out vote in recent days.
“I’d wager the bookies know the British voters better than anyone, and those placing the largest bets will have a strong understanding of the dynamics of the referendum. While those attracted by odds will bet small amounts of money, generally those in the know put lots of money on what they see as good bets – that is the profile of betting we are seeing. Perhaps the answer lies in following the money.” With that, I’ll see you in Ladbrokes.
Inspired by the programmable home computers of the 1980s (think BBC Micro), Glasgow-based hardware start-up Curious Chip has launched a crowdfunded campaign to get its ‘Ada’ computer off the ground. With a £150,000 target on KickStarter, the I Am Ada model is described as a “great tool for curious kids (and big kids) who want to learn how to code or experiment with electronics”. The Pi-powered computer offers kids the chance to make games, gadgets & control robots, and surfs the wave of a current movement within Edu-tech to make programming and computing more practical and less theory-driven to entice the next generation of coders into the field.
And finally…. A lone pianist gives an achingly tender performance as the Arctic ice sheet falls away in front of him. It may be a stunt (Greenpeace, natch), but if this doesn’t melt your heart, you might need to see your cardiologist to check you have one.