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DIGIT Tech News Roundup – 2nd of August 2019

Duncan MacRae


weekly news roundup

In this edition of the DIGIT Weekly Roundup, we highlight some of the top-trending tech and business news stories permeating the airwaves in the week beginning 29th of July.

DIGIT’s Top Trending Stories

Giant Leap for Sutherland Space Hub as Lease Option is Agreed

Sutherland Space HubPlans for the proposed Sutherland space hub have taken a giant leap forward following the agreement of a lease option between the landowners and Highland and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Representatives of Melness Crofters Estate and HIE signed the agreement on the 31st of July, which secures the option for HIE to lease the land when planning consent for the project has been granted.

The Sutherland space hub, located on the Moine Peninsula, is expected to form a key component of Scotland’s rapidly expanding space sector, with around 40 high-quality jobs expected to be created locally. HIE is leading the development of the site with a £2.5 million grant from the UK Space Agency, which is funding two launch companies that plan to use the facility.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

ScotlandIS Hires Jane Morrison-Ross as CEO

ScotlandIS, the trade association championing Scotland’s digital technologies industry, has named Jane Morrison-Ross as its new CEO.

Described as a “passionate and committed business woman”, Morrison-Ross is an experienced technology industry executive, and a previous board member of ScotlandIS with a “strong track record” of working in and with digital companies, in operations and consultancy.

She has also held senior roles at Capgemini and was most recently CEO of the Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum & Arts Centre.

Morrison-Ross will join ScotlandIS in mid-August and will work alongside outgoing CEO Polly Purvis, who steps down in October.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Deliveroo Acquires Cultivate, Plans to Open Edinburgh Tech Office

Deliveroo rider on a bikeDeliveroo has acquired Edinburgh-based software design company, Cultivate, as the firm looks to further establish its presence in Scotland.

Cultivate, which formed in September 2014 following separation from product development studio Neo, has worked closely with Deliveroo in recent years – helping to build the food delivery giant’s payment systems.

Both companies said they will continue to work on improving payments systems used by couriers and partner restaurants, as well as offering additional services in cashflow management.

The acquisition marks the opening of Deliveroo’s first tech office in the UK outside of London. Up to 50 tech-focused roles will be created at its new Scottish base within the next three years, the company confirmed, which will be made up of engineers, data scientists and product managers.

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

In Case You Missed It…

Is Nature’s Language Being Hijacked by Technology?

One in four parents and grandparents are worried about children losing the original natural meanings of words.

This is the finding of a National Trust study, which suggested that just 1% of uses of the word “tweet” in conversation now refer to birdsong.

And, while in the 1990s, 100% of mentions of “stream” referred to “a little river”, that has now fallen to 36%.

Dr Robbie Love, a linguistics fellow at the University of Leeds, who conducted the study, said: “A lot of new tech is abstract and difficult to understand, which makes it ripe for metaphor.”

The study used software to search through two databases of language transcribed from conversations. The first, from the 1990s, comprises five million words and the second, from the 2010s, 12 million.

Dr Love said this change was neither “a bad or good thing, words often take multiple meanings”.

He added: “We could drink a ‘can’ of lemonade or ‘can’ play the piano, for example.”

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Amazon CEO sells $1.8bn of Shares in the Company

EU Competition InvestigationJeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, has sold $1.8 billion (£1.5 billion) worth of shares in the firm.

His stake in Amazon was cut from 16% to 12%, according to documents published by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bezos’ divorce from his wife MacKenzie, now the world’s third richest woman, was finalised in July. She owns a 4% stake in Amazon – worth more than $37 billion (£30.6 billion) – but gave up her voting rights as part of the divorce settlement.

Bezos, the wealthiest person in the world, remains Amazon’s largest shareholder, with a stake worth $110 billion (£90.9 billion).

Want to find out more? Read the original article here.

Duncan MacRae


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