DigitalOutbox Episode 28
In this episode the team discuss Google, JooJoo, Boxee and Tweeting during sex.
1:56 – Google Search Event
– innovations combining these trends and mobile phones. Search by sight. Search by location, and search by voice.
– Near Instant Voice Translation
– showed a demo of “talk in English, run voice recognition, translate into Spanish, then do voice synthesis in Spanish.” So basically a Babel fish
– bake location into the Google.com homepage. New feature: “Near me now” on Google.com mobile. Hit Near Me now and it shows you nearby restaurants, coffee shops, Bars, ATMS. Hit the down arrow, and it will show all the locations nearby.
– Today we have a new version of Google Mobile Maps for Android. Among new features are What’s Nearby feature. Longpress on a location hit What’s Nearby, and it has a list of nearby POIs.
– Google Goggles
– Take a picture of an item, and use that picture as the query. Say you have a bottle of wine to see if it’s any good. Take a picture. Looks it up, shows it has hints of apricots, etc. It’s in labs for two reasons. It’s nascent. Works in certain types of objects in certain categories. We want to be able to do any image. Today you have to frame a photo. In the future, just have to point at an object. We’re a long way from that. But today marks the beginning of that journey.
– Crap name
– How long before face recognition search?
– Great demo – http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/12/07/google-goggles-video
– Currently android only but will come to iPhone
– Google Real-Time Search
– http://google.com/trends / http://google.co.uk/trends
– Does a query for “Obama” into Google, results page comes up. Latest results for Obama streaming in. There is a widget on the standard results page, with results sliding by. They’re nested in the standard results page. This is the first time any search engine has integrated real time web into the results page. Google’s Matt Cutts just tweeted something, and it immediately showed up in the search results. This is huge.
– This is the first time we are presenting real-time web on the results page. What you see in this realtime section. Is a scroll bar to the right. You can scroll back and go forward. Shows the source (twitter.com). This is a comprehensive real-time web. With Tweets. News Articles, blog articles.
– New link under search options. “Latest results”. In addition to old ones, “Past hour, past 24 hours, past week, past year”. Available today. iPhone and Android
– Google trends is also leaving labs today.Rolling out real time search product over the next couple of days. You can always go to Google.com/trends page and clicking on a hot topic will show Google’s real time results.
– Two huge new partner announcements. Facebook will be providing us with a feed from Facebook Pages (shared publicly, obviously). Appearing in Google’s real time results. The second is MySpace.
– Q: How much real-time data are you crawling?
A: We’re crawling a lot of content ~1 billion pages a day. Many sources. Both new sources, and if a company announces a new product and does a release, we get that. And new blog posts. So we’re casting a very wide net. The key here is comprehensiveness of realtime integration.
– Q: How do you prevent spammers from taking advantage of real-time search results.
A: We have the best systems in place to prevent gaming of the system. Our spam lead out here (Matt Cutts) runs the best spam prevention team that there is out there. We have had experience with this for so long. We’ve developer algorithms so we can counter things almost before they happen. Real-Time is moving from minutes to seconds.
7:26 – Broadband Tax Details Revealed
– Alistair Darling in pre-budget report. £6 a year for all fixed line phone users so that people in Wales can have Broadband.
– Superfast broadband to 90% of the country by 2017… 2 0 1 7!!! In technology time-scales that’s just plain ridiculous.
– “It is estimated that the broadband tax would raise around £170m a year, which is some way short of BT’s estimate of £5bn needed to provide super-fast fibre services to every UK home.”
– Apparently, the Conservatives have pledged to scrap the tax if they win the election next year… So we should probably just ignore this until it goes away? But is there a need for this tax?
10:12 – Web Firms Oppose Digital Britain Clause
– Facebook, Google, Yahoo and eBay
– Want removal of clause 17 that gives any future Secretary of State powers to change copyright law as they see fit.
11:06 – Postcode Data to be free in 2010
– Currently organisations that want access to datasets that tie postcodes to physical locations cannot do so without incurring a charge.
– Following a brief consultation, the postcode information is set to be freed in April 2010.
– As part of this push, the government said it would start “consulting on making Ordnance Survey mapping and postcode datasets available for free reuse from April 2010.”
– The dataset that is likely to be freed is that which ties postcodes to geographic locations. Many more commercial organisations use the Postcode Address File (PAF) that ties post codes to addresses. Currently access to either data set incurs a charge.
– Harry Metcalfe, who helped sites get at postcode data, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the decision to open up the OS data sets.
“If the right data is released in the right way, this will be a positive development,” he said.
– Unlikely to be the PAF – http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/10/ordnance_survey_data_postcode_paf/
– Woo hoo – just hope it’s released without strings.
12:50 – US Games Company sues British Blogger
– In an internet defamation case that lawyers say could set an “extraordinary precedent”, an American games company is suing a British blogger in the Australian courts.
– Evony, an online games company registered in the US state of Delaware, is suing Coventry-based blogger Bruce Everiss for libel over a series of allegations made on his website. In a bizarre twist, however, Evony has decided not to pursue its case in Britain or America, but 10,000 miles away.
– A hearing in Sydney on Monday will determine whether or not the supreme court of New South Wales has jurisdiction – with the potential to set a precedent for the way defamation laws are applied to the online world.
– Evony’s owners, who boast that the game has more than 11 million players worldwide, have accused Everiss – a 30-year veteran of the computer games industry – of damaging their reputation with a series of claims made on his blog. Among the allegations that Evony is objecting to are claims that the game is exploitative and has links to another company that is already being sued for fraud by Microsoft.
– Evony’s lawyers did not respond to a request for comment, but have previously said that the company intends to seek worldwide damages – a move believed to be a first in a case of this kind.
– The blogger himself, who does not intend to make an appearance in Sydney, has responded angrily to the action and accused Evony of libel tourism.
– He has suggested that if the case is allowed to proceed “it will create a precedent and open the floodgates for anyone to litigate anywhere against anyone they don’t like”.
15:44 – Facebook Changes Privacy Controls
– Facebook has rolled out its long touted updates to the privacy controls. Great.
– They are fine grained and allow you to control many aspects. They are clear and well implemented.
– But why the heck does it default to fully open!
– As a user, you are presented with a box informing you to update your settings.
23:15 – Tweet During Sex
– Best man rigs bed to tweet while couple are having sex – start time, end time, frenzy rating
26:03 – Google Chrome Beta for Mac
– Finally comes to the mac
– No extension support (there is in dev build) – in fact bookmakrs manager, app mode, task manager and gears support missing
– No flash blocker!
– Very fast though, faster than safari, for me anyway
– Needs xmarks support before I can use it seriously
– Also announced Extensions (previously dev only)
– Rem The Milk, Xmarks, Adblock etc etc – happy days
30:16 – UStream Live Recorder
– Live video streaming finally comes to iPhone
– 10-20 secodn delay but quality is fine
– App is free
– record videos right to the web, and allow others to watch them as they’re being recorded. These videos can also be archived so that people can watch them later, if they choose.
– easy to automatically tweet out when you go live, as well as to do things like share the videos on Facebook and YouTube. The live broadcast can also send out your location, if you’re into that sort of thing. The app also allows for chatting with viewers, and yes/no polling.
33:46 – Tesco iPhone Pricing
– For the 3Gs, £20 x 12 months + £407 = £647 or £60 x 24 months + £50 = £1,490
– Highest cost per month on 3GS or 3G but appealing 12 month contract instead of 18 or 2 years
– £60 – unlimited but limited by Fair Usage Policy…which is 1 TB of data!
– £20 – low minutes and texts
– Different but a bad different from current UK deals
– cnet uk analysis implies that when you compare like for life cost of ownership over the same period, Tesco deals are best out there.
38:07 – Apple Sues Nokia
– Nokia sued Apple in Nov for 10 patent infringements
– apple now sues Nokia for 13 patent infringements
– “Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours.” That was the only official Apple statement we’ve yet seen on the matter, by Bruce Sewell, Apple’s General Counsel and senior vice president.
44:47 – Boxee Beta and Boxee Box
– private beta with a new and improved look
– users are greeted by a dashboard with three columns in the form of a newsfeed, featured content and a program queue
– newsfeed offers starred content and comments from Boxee, Twitter and Facebook friends
– center column is reserved for featured community content
– the program queue lets you to keep track of your Netflix queue and latest Boxee-related TV subscriptions
– In the past users were asked to differentiate between their local and web files. Boxee Beta mixes local and web content in recognition that users simply want to watch their favorite programs regardless of the formats or location of files
– plan to open up the Beta to the public on Jan 7th (at CES) – Over the next 4 weeks we will gradually release invitations to our early access users
– Also announced Boxee Box
– Hardware partner is D-Link
– Wi-fi enabled, SD slot, HDMI, SPDIF and RCA Audio connections, plus two USB ports – full specs in Jan
– Design is pretty unique – height of a coke can
– But would your money be better spent on a laptop/mini-desktop that you can install the software on and use for other purposes?
50:50 – Google Phone
– A Google branded android phone which, if rumours are true, will be sold unlocked
– Game changer
– Android dogfood – http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/12/android-dogfood-diet-for-holidays.html
– The phone itself is being built by HTC, with a lot of input from Google. It seems to be a tailored version of the HTC Passion or the related HD2 (Unlocker scored some leaked pictures back in October which are of the same phone).
– From tweets: Yeah, it’s a hot, sexy mess. And I mean that in a good way. Similar form-factor to the iPhone, but with a smooth-brushed-metal-looking shell instead of a glossy one. And perhaps a smidgen lighter. Super fast, speech-to-text in EVERY app, awesome “live wallpapers” in the background that respond to touch in really beautiful ways. Like water ripples that emanate out from a touch.
– Rumours of January launch, but is it not just a rebrand of another phone?
– Called the Nexus One, It’s built by HTC, Google put a lot of effort into tweaking the stock Android interface, they’ll sell the phone direct online, and you’ll BYO service plan
55:43 – Milestone Sells Out In UK
– Retailer eXpansys is reporting that the just-launched Droid clone for GSM became “the fastest selling gadget in the website’s 11 year history, even more successful than the iPhone” when it sold out inside of three hours on its site on top of the roughly 1,000 preorders they had taken prior to the 10th.
– Expansys is a reasonably big seller in the UK, but only the geeks know it exists.
– The general public in the UK haven’t a clue what a milestone/droid is.
– It is only with Expansys exclusively for 2 weeks. From 21 December Play.com will also have it and from next year, it should be sold at phone shops from different networks
58:48 – Crunchpad is now the JooJoo
– Is available as pre-order (shipping within 8-10weeks) on thejoojoo.com – $499. Desktop stand $30.
– Boot to the internet in 9 seconds – fastest out there
– Could deliver HD on the go (Although it only mentions HD YouTube, Hulu and other Internet sites… screams – NOT 720p to me.)
– It’s a web browser with a touch interface – too dear, people will wait for Apple, damaged goods. (But what if Apple device does cost rumored $1000)
– After a long background story about how and why he partnered with Arrington on the Crunchpad (”I guess I had him at hello”), Rathakrishnan got down and dirty: “Unfortunately, Michael was unable to deliver. Michael was completely unable to deliver.” Rathakrishnan also criticized Arrington’s Internet-celebrity approach to talking up the Crunchpad before its launch. “Publishing pictures of an unfinished product on a blog … is not a recipe for success,” he said. In Rathakrishnan’s version of the story, Arrington spent his time blowing hot air about what he was going to do, while Fusion Garage did all the work to finish the design and build the product.
– Chris – But this clearly worked as there has been more buzz around this than plenty of other MID’s.
– First hands on – good, fast to boot, no app’s, no storage, web browser and touch screen – too focussed, too expensive
– Part beat machine, part rhythm (re)creation, totally addictive
– listen to a track, lay down the beats, match the beat
– super retro 8-bit pixel-art graphics
– Find the cheapest price of music on the web
– Doesn’t compare quality of the music though so mileage may vary
– Also highlights free tracks
– Developed by moneysavingexpert.com
I Love Stars
– Sits in menu bar and shows you rating, lets you rate iTunes tracks
– Flash or play sound 3/4 way through playback of unrated song
– Supports keyboard shortcuts
– Adobe’s online suite. Includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation apps.
– Online PDF creation.
– Online meetings – whiteboards, webcams, mics, screen sharing and even screen control.
– Online repository for files.
– All run from Flash player.
– Free account limited to 5 PDF creations per day and 3 people limit in meetings. (Premium subscriptions available to raise limits.)
– Free-OCR.com is a free online OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool. You can use this to perform OCR on any image you supply.
– This service is free, no registration necessary. We also do not need your email address.
– Just upload your image files. Free-OCR takes either a JPG, GIF, TIFF BMP or PDF (only first page).
– The only restriction is that the images must not be larger than 2MB, no wider or higher than 5000 pixels and there is a limit of 10 image uploads per hour.
– Supported by ad’s but a nice way of getting some OCR done quickly, for free without installing software