FS Fives: Monday, August 1

First up, the brains behind the breathtaking digital light show that lit up Usher Hall in Edinburgh last year are doing another one! This time the talented son et lumiere team at 59 Productions plan to use their digital wizardry on Edinburgh Castle after capturing imaginations in 2015 with their Harmonium project.

The Deep Time event, which marks the start of the International Festival next Sunday, will beam 3D images of volcanic eruptions on to the craggy rock face to showcase the city’s ancient geological history, and the discoveries of renowned geologist James Hutton.

Leo Warner, a creative director at 59 Productions, said the show would run through the city’s volcanic birth and geological formation, its biological evolution and then its human period, including Hutton’s discoveries.  “Then it becomes a very high octane rewind to the origins of the universe. It’s very, very rapid and musically driven,” he said.

New Robot Wars presenter is Edinburgh prof

Featured just a few days ago on FS Fives for his future predictions about ever-bigger droids, Edinburgh University’s Professor of Robotics Sethu Vijayakumar has been headhunted to present the BBC’s Robot Wars, which returns to BBC on Sunday.

The rebooted show, which is being filmed in Glasgow, is to be presented by Dara O’Brian and Angela Scanlon and will feature ‘house robots’, Sir Killalot, Matilda and Shunt.

“After cellphones and social networks, the next big thing in our lives will be robotics in various forms,” says Professor Vijayakumar. “It’s important that we create a young generation who grow up with that background. Inevitably, in five or 10 years we’ll have skill shortages of people who are equipped to work this machinery and technology. Having this programme is invaluable to pique the interest of young folks.”

New cyber awards ceremony

Such is the importance of cyber security a new awards ceremony to recognise the dedicated professionals who serve an ever-expanding industry in Scotland is set to be held in November.

With sponsors including RBS, Sophos, Fujitsu and KPMG, the Scottish Cyber Awards 2016 is being organised by the Scottish Resilience Centre and will be held on 16 November at The Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh.

“The purpose of this awards ceremony is to recognise Scotland’s commitment towards cyber security excellence,” says the centre’s website.

SDI talks up Scotland’s fintech potential

Scottish Development International is talking up Scotland’s potential as a hub for the financial technology industries (dubbed ‘Finctech’). In a direct pitch to London-based finance companies SDI says Scotland already has already established a fintech cluster with world-leading companies based here including Morgan Stanley, Virgin Money, Tesco Bank, RBS and JP Morgan.

SDI says also that Scotland’s academic institutions, research in blockchain technologies, industry partnerships and new training centres make it an ideal choice for fintech companies.

And finally…Ever wondered what attributes might make you a successful crowdfunder? Being ‘thin, white and attractive’ is a good start, apparently. So much for progress, eh.

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