Welcome to the first DIGIT DISPATCH. This is our new weekly roundup of the news, events and updates that you really should know about, along with some revealing commentary and clever bits.
You know the basic drill. DIGIT covers everything to do with digital technology in Scotland.
From news and events, through to opinion, analysis and editorial, we want to build a platform for everyone in the sector and give Scotland the visibility it deserves – globally.
So, some DIGIT news to kick off. What? It’s our newsletter. We can blow our own trumpet if we want to…
DIGIT On The UP
We’re growing. A lot. How much a lot? Well back in June we were getting around 3,000 hits per month. Not bad for a new Scottish blog (we only started in February), but we thought the tech sector was better than that.
Since then we’ve upped our output to 5-6 stories a day, totally revamped the way we publish stories, figured out this SEO thing and invited more guest editorial, opinion and ‘evergreen’ articles from business leaders and clever people across the country.
Result: 30,000 stories read in September. 40,000 stories read in October.
Yay! We think that makes us the largest tech news site in the country, but we’re waiting for verification from the nice Guinness people…
We’ve also added another thousand users to our informative and wise Twitter account (and congratulations again to our 4,000th Twitter follower – Bonnie Lawson-Brown from Bonnie’s Bra’s…)
Finally, we’re delighted to announce that our Senior Staff Writer, Brian, is now the official DIGIT editor. Responsible for keeping all this growth going and making sure DIGIT is not only the biggest, but the best tech news source for Scotland’s rapidly evolving digital ecosystem.
Anyway, enough about us. We have NEWS to report…
The biggest story in the last week was the revelation that the PM’s claims that the SNP government should just jolly well get on with this broadband thing, doesn’t quite stand up to scrutiny (hat-tip to The Ferret for the research).
While the government in Scotland is responsible for the rollout of broadband within the country – which is reported to be pretty much on track and in some cases beating targets… the overall control of the UK’s infrastructure – and the industry watchdog OFCOM – are reserved by Westminster.
We’re absolutely sure that settles everything and we’ll hear no more about it.
It’s not all wine and roses (or indeed Irn-Bru and Tunnocks, we’re unafraid of stereotypes at DIGIT HQ) for the Scottish government. Snapping at the heels of the broadband story is the revelation that four Scottish government bodies were behind some fairly major data breaches over the last year.
Some slick FoI action by The Times pointed the finger at Disclosure Scotland, which scooped top billing for the old CC-when-you-actually-meant-to-use-BCC-whoops error, as did ‘an agricultural department’.
In the world of Wannacry, it’s such a nice, comforting, old-fashioned error. Like scrumping apples, running through fields of wheat, or blasphemy.
Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser, sensing weakness, leapt in with “These mistakes are entirely the fault of the Scottish government and, worryingly, may signal security weaknesses that hackers may find enticing.”
Again, we’re pretty sure that’ll have sorted everything out.
While we’re all wondering about the weary downsides of having a private jet. Have you considered that without the clever tech we enjoy today – cloud storage, thumb drives, etc. that NONE of these whistle blowers would be blowing anything, except their careers, while trying to wrestle a wheelbarrow full of paper into the car park? Cracking piece from DIGIT’s Andrew Hamilton.
Plucky underdog stories always do well in Scotland. You know what else does well? Golf. We love some golf. Golf, golf, golf. Fresh air, nice green grass. What’s not to like?
How about not being paid by a major player in the global BIG GOLF industry. That was the situation NVT Group found themselves in after they provided infrastructure (i.e. the Internets) to the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles back in 2014.
After rumbling on for three years, the Ryder Cup organisation finally settled out of court, for £350,000 plus costs (estimated to be around £1M).
Par for the course really… (Sorry, we tried. We REALLY tried not to do golf puns. You have to let us have just this one).
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Elaine van der Berg, former MD of Capita’s G2G3 group.Ms Van Der Berg has held senior leadership positions across Europe, Asia Pacific and Australia over 20 years in the IT sector.
Before joining Capita, Van Der Berg was the Director of Business Operation for Optus, one of Australia’s largest telecommunications companies.
Hello Elaine, welcome to Scotland. Hope you brought a scarf with you, it’s about to get chilly.
Trying to sell it to an undercover FBI agent is dumberer, Mr Oil and Gas man…
“During the meeting, the defendant demonstrated his ability to view information related to resumes, subscribers, and employees who had uploaded information to Victim-1’s database, including the usernames and passwords for subscribers. The defendant was arrested on February 24th, 2017.”
It’s an issue which really seems to resonate with readers as well. Two of our top stories in the last week were about women in tech.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the winners of the inaugural Scotland Women in Technology Awards remains in our top 10 most read articles (the awards took place on October 26th). If you’ve not yet had a gander at the full list of nominees and winners, we’d highly recommend it. There’s some *fantastic* work going on out there – and it’s about time it was recognised.
The other pro-diversity story was about tech behemoth Dell, launching its first ever Scottish initiative to encourage more young women to join the tech sector. Go Dell!
We are ALL ABOUT making DIGIT a platform for the whole of the tech sector. We’re always happy to get contributions from folks all over the country, whether it’s opinion, thought leadership, educational, or just really interesting ideas, we LOVE giving our readers the chance to hear from peers, colleagues (competitors) and clients.
We appreciate them all, in fact we appreciate them so much we’re going to call them out as they’re absolutely worth your while…
We keep hearing that Scotland is a great place to start a new business. But where do you even start? Amelia Aston, the marketing manager for codeshop/CTO-as-a-Service crew Bad Dinosaur outlines very clearly where funding and help are to be found. An awesome and hugely useful piece for all founders and entrepreneurs.
In our first ever regular FYI column, Ian McGowan from Barrier Networks outlines why ‘web app’ attacks are a hacker’s favourite – and what you can do to stop them…
“The adage is People, Process and Technology and if you enable your developers with security education (where required) they will thank you for it and your security posture will benefit greatly.”
CodeClan is a good thing. Scotland’s digital skills academy enables people from all walks of life to retrain and learn coding, so they can join the DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY SECTOR. Which is of course the best sector – and that’s a professional opinion. But how does CC stay relevant? Sara Dodd, CodeClan’s Head of Quality telss us EXACTLY how they stay relevant (spoiler: lots of industry input).
At ScotChain17, Scotland’s own distributed ledger technology superstar, Blockchain Beyonce, took the chance to talk to Scotland’s minister for business, innovation and energy, about Scotland’s position as a pioneer in fintech and blockchain. It’s video. You should watch it…
Matthew Rice, Scotland Director for the Open Rights Group highlighted the role of ‘super complaints’ in the new GDPR legislation, which would allow independent bodies to enable greater consumer protection. Valuable, insightful and timely.
A large part of effective leadership is running a happy team. Yet far too often it’s all stick and no carrot. David Shaw (CBE) looks at the business advantages of good leadership.
The last decade has seen some monumental changes in the wide, wide world o’ tech. The iPhone, superduper fast broadband, the UK racing up the world charts to, oooh, around 25th place in Internet rankings… Richard Parkinson, the director of Farrpoint reflects on the major changes in Scotland – and how the country’s shaping up for the future.
We’re done. What do you think? Let us know YOUR VIEWS on the new DIGIT DIGEST and we can shape this newsletter into something new, bold, striking, relevant, useful and fun.
– DIGIT (aka Brian, Ray, Pete, Jill and Andrew)