FS Fives: Wednesday, August 17

Welcome to the latest FS Fives – FutureScot’s teatime round-up of Scottish digital news.

First up, a team of Scottish digital experts has been recognised for its part in helping an historic industrial site in Japan secure World Heritage Status. A set of commemorative coins and stamps has been presented to staff from the Scottish Ten project, who digitally documented Nagasaki’s Giant Cantilever Crane and No 3 Dry Dock in 2014. The data was used in the Japanese Government’s bid to have the monuments recognised by Unesco, which it achieved last year. The Scottish Ten is a collaboration between specialists at Historic Environment Scotland, experts in 3D visualisation at The Glasgow School of Art and digital heritage organisation CyArk. Built by Appleby of Glasgow and erected by the Motherwell Bridge Company more than 100 years ago, the Nagasaki crane was one of the few structures in the city to survive the atomic bomb and remains in service to this day.

Gaming and virtual reality focus for festival

Next, the inaugural Edinburgh Digital Entertainment Festival has been a focus for updates in gaming and virtual reality technology. Sony PlayStation has been investigating 360° immersive video and VR experiences, but will initially focus on games for the launch of its forthcoming PlayStation VR system. Speaking at the Festival this week, Simon Benson, director at the immersive technology group within Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios, said that Sony would play to its strengths by “putting games first”. Meanwhile, with virtual reality in its infancy, every project is still a learning experience, according to Sol Rogers, the CEO and founder of VR agency Rewind. Speaking at the Festival, Rogers said that while the film industry has honed its skills over 130 years, and the games industry over 40 years, VR is in a comparatively nascent state, but has already made some important steps.

Cisco cuts jobs globally

Cisco, which has two sites in Scotland, is reported to be planning to cut between 9,000 and 14,000 jobs globally as it moves from being a hardware to software-focused business. The US company currently operates across 14 UK sites, including Edinburgh and Motherwell, employing around 7,000. The cuts represent about 20 per cent of the networking company’s global workforce of around 70,000.

3D reconstruction solves age-old mystery

Three dimensional reconstruction of landscapes and geographical information systems have been used to show that the oldest great stone circles built in Scotland – Callanish, on the Isle of Lewis, and Stenness, Isle of Orkney – were constructed specifically in line with the movements of the sun and moon, 5000 years ago. “Nobody has ever statistically determined that a single stone circle was constructed with astronomical phenomena in mind – it was all supposition,” said project leader and University of Adelaide Visiting Research Fellow Dr Gail Higginbottom.

And finally…every joke in Airplane has been ranked with the help of a Google spreadsheet.