DigitalOutbox Episode 68

DigitalOutbox Episode 68
In this episode the team discuss Kinect, Virgin, Digital Britain, RockMelt and Sheep Wars.

Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

2:27 – Times Paywall Fail
– Persuaded 50,000 people to pay for The times
– Analysts estimated that the initial annual revenues generated from digital would be about £5m.
– The Times charges £2 a week – the “paywall” – for access to its digital content, after customers pay an inital £1 for a 30-day trial. Customers can also pay £9.99 a month to sign up to a dedicated edition for the Apple iPad, although only about 10,000 chose to pay for this version only.
– All we know is that “around half” of the total are monthly subscribers. They will be composed of people taking advantage of News International’s 30-day £1 introductory offer to the website itself and people who have paid £9.99 for The Times’s iPad app.
Similarly, that comment in News Int’s statement about “many” of “the early adopters” living in the UK does not give a geographical breakdown. How many of the total come from inside and outside Britain?
– It is no surprise that they are “relatively affluent”, of course. That message is clearly aimed at advertisers. But ad agencies will surely want to know the British audience numbers.
Most importantly, there is no clear breakdown of the 105,000 total figure to show how many people have subscribed monthly, weekly or daily.
– They did have a figure of 30 million impressions at one point – nothing like that now
– None of their content is shared either – nothing can go viral
6:31 – SkyFire
– SkyFire can convert Flash videos — which the iPhone normally cannot display — into HTML5 on SkyFire’s servers, making it possible to view said videos on the iPhone after a short delay
– Browser approved by apple, selling for $2.99 or £1.79 in proper money
– Needs fast connection, doesn’t always work, wont work with games and is blocked by Hulu
– Hours after launch it was pulled from the App Store
– Not by Apple….by developers due to overwhelming demand
– Stunt? It worked – $1 million in revenue i first weekend
8:11 – Virgin announce TiVo Boxes
– Virgin Media has revealed the first details about its new TiVo-powered set top boxes, including a massive 1 Terabyte of storage and web applications for the TV screen.
– Later in the year, the cable operator will launch the new platform, along with a TiVo-powered set top box capable of storing 500 hours of programming.
– When coupled with Virgin Media’s existing video on-demand service, the receiver will give users access to more than 4,600 hours of TV shows, movies and music videos, including HD and 3D content.
– Underpinned by Virgin Media’s fibre optic broadband network, the new box will also feature a dedicated internal modem for delivering bandwidth-heavy services without impacting the user’s main broadband connection.
– That also means the TiVo service will bring a wide range of internet services and digital applications to the television screen.
– No specific details were given on the apps, but it’s likely that social networks such as Facebook and Twitter will be available, along with other digital services.
14:17 – XMarks Saved
– Free and premium options
14:53 – Google Get Knuckles Wrapped
– no punishment though
– Google has also been ordered to delete the data it collected from users’ Wi-Fi networks by its Street View cars once legally cleared to do so. The culture minister, Ed Vaizey, last week announced the Metropolitan police had dropped its investigation into the breaches.
– He added that the technology giant would now be subject to an official audit of its data protection practices in the UK.
15:37 – Skype 5 Hits the Mac
– New UI
– Integrates with address book
– Group video chat
17:19 – Ministry of Sound Suspend File Sharing Action
– Ministry of Sound is suspending plans to send warning notices to more than 25,000 BT broadband customers suspected of illegal downloading, claiming that the internet service provider has deleted their details.
– BT had agreed to retain the personal details of 20,000 of its customers earlier this year, so that Ministry of Sound could pursue them once an injunction on the court order was lifted. However, the record label today said that BT had “failed to preserve” the details.
– A BT spokesman responded: “We’re surprised at this claim since we provided a similar number of customer details to comply with a court order earlier this year for Ministry of Sound and there was no suggestion then that this was a problem for them.
– “All such information is automatically deleted from our systems after 90 days in accordance with our data retention policy; the Ministry of Sound and its solicitors are well aware of this. Upon request from Ministry of Sound we saved as much of the specific data sought as we reasonably could and any not preserved must have been too old. Our door remains open to Ministry of Sound and any other rights holder who wants to enforce their rights in a fair way through an established legal process.”
21:10 – Queen joins Facebook
– First Youtube, then Twitter, then Flickr now Facebook
– Not an individual account but an official page
22:36 – Sheep wars…
– Blacksheep is a firefox addon that scans open networks for Firesheep snoopers and alerts the user.
– Available for download on the Zscaler website (
24:56 – RockMelt
– Social browser that lives in the cloud
– Built on Chromium it uses Facebook to authenticate and sign in
– See friends on left hand side of browser
– Can easily post content to them, chat, mail etc from browser
– Bookmarks on right hand side alongside tweets but these are favourite sites whch ping you when new content is added
– All stored on cloud – same browser experience wherever you login to browser
– Isn’t this Flock 2.0?
– Limited beta for the moment
32:34 – Kinect Launches
– The Kinect is out in shops. £130
– And the amazing thing? That the first reviews are almost universal in saying that it’s an impressive piece of tech.
– Other than a couple of howlers, most launch games are around the 7 mark.
– You can’t ignore the fact that all reviews say there are some glitches along the way and that you need a good amount of space to use but most are convinced that this is a game changer (not for your average gamer – but for casual).
– Finally, all reviews are looking forward to the defining games for the tech which will no doubt come next year…
– I’m tempted…
– Oh’ and there’s a bounty out for people to hack and get working on PC – looks like someones already managed it at rudimentary level.
38:39 – Dev Builds Bot to Buy Cheap Stuff Online
– Started with a strip from xkcd –
– Hunkin wrote a Python script that would scrape certain categories on the site for cheap, buy-now items with free shipping. The script is optimized to search for rare, esoteric items, as well. The bot gets $1 added to its savings every day, and all purchases are deducted from the savings.
– Not only does the bot buy these treasures on Hunkin’s behalf; it also shares its finds with the world via Twitter: –!/trademe_xkcd576
– If the bot doesn’t find any items that meet its parameters, it simply tweets that it’s putting its dollar into savings.

COD Black Ops
– Great update
– Multiplayer is good
– Single player more of the same, with some pretty controversial scenes

Published by


Ian lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. By day he works in the IT department for a large manufacturing company but outside work he is a keen follower of all things digital. In 2006 he switched to using a Mac and has never looked back. To find out more about Ian visit the about page for more info.