DigitalOutbox Episode 89
In this episode the team discuss Apple, Lulzsec and Google Search.
2:24 – Apple loosens grip on subscription terms
- Apple has lifted the conditions on in-app pricing.
- Significantly, these have now been replaced by a term that says publishers can include content that consumers have paid for elsewhere. So if a newspaper subscribers has paid the paper directly for a year’s online and in-app access, then Apple won’t take a piece of that payment because it was processed outside the App Store. The same applies for services including Spotify, or Netflix.
- Previous terms had insisted that in-app subscriptions were to be the same price or cheaper than subscriptions elsewhere, and also that external subscriptions had to be made available within the app.
- It means publishers can choose whatever price point they like for subscriptions wherever they are, and won’t have to include what might be irrelevant external subscription offers in the Apple apps.
- Apple blinked
4:11 – Apple antes up in Lodsys developer lawsuits
- Apple has made its move in support of theseven small app developers sued by Lodsys over in-app purchases in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas on May 31, filing a motion to intervene in the proceedings on June 9 according toFOSSpatents’ Florian Mueller. If granted, Apple would be added to the Lodsys suit as a defendant and counterclaim plaintiff.
- Mueller believes that even though Lodsys may oppose Apple’s motion to intervene, the Mac maker is likely to be admitted as a defendant, in which case it has already submitted its answer to Lodsys’ complaint of infringement, and its counterclaim. Apple also cites a number of other precedent-setting similar cases where tech companies were allowed to intervene in patent disputes, which back up and strengthen its motion. If Apple joins as a defendant, Mueller thinks it’s very likely it will take on any legal costs incurred by its developer partners.
6:48 – iTunes in the Cloud not until 2012 for the UK
- The music storage part of the iCloud, due to launch in the US around September time, will not be coming to the UK until at least quarter one of 2012.
- A spokesman for the Performing Right Society (PRS), which ensures that composers, songwriters and music publishers are paid for their work, told The Telegraph, that negotiations with Apple about ensuring rights in the UK had started but were at a “very early stage”.
- “The licensing team at the PRS have started talks with Apple, but are a long way off from any deals being signed…It is very much the early stages of the negotiations and is similar to the launch of iTunes – which began in the US and took a while to roll out to other countries,” they said.
- A music executive at one of the major record labels, who wished to remain unnamed, said: “Tentative talks have begun between the major labels and Apple in the UK. However, all talks are at the really early stages and no one expects to see the cloud music service live on this side of the pond until 2012.”
- Mark Mulligan, vice president and research director at Forrester Research, said: “Apple’s cloud music service will not launch in the UK until at least quarter one of 2012. These types of negotiations take a long time… For one thing the UK arms of all the major record labels are biding their time and waiting to see how the service affects download sales in the US before they sign up to anything.”
- Quicky – Final Cut Pro X, Compressor 5 Motion 4 available on Mac App store from Tuesday 21st as well as 3TB Time Capsule and updated Airport Extreme
13:14 – Nokia and Apple Settle
- Nokia and Apple have agreed a technology licensing agreement that ends the long-running legal dispute between the two firms.
- “The agreement will result in settlement of all patent litigation between the companies,” Nokia said. Nokia sued Apple for patent infringements in 2009 and extended the action in December last year. Apple had countersued, accusing Nokia of infringing its patents.
- Nokia said Apple had agreed a one-off payment, the value of which was not disclosed, and ongoing royalties to use its technologies. Apple said the deal covered both companies’ patents.
15:30 – Google Search Updates
- Google Search on the Desktop
- We first offered speech recognition on mobile search, but you should have that power no matter where you are. You should never have to stop and ask yourself, “Can I speak for this?”—it should be ubiquitous and intuitive. So we’ve added speech recognition into search on desktop for Chrome users. If you’re using Chrome, you’ll start to see a little microphone in every Google search box.
- English only initially, beta version of Chrome soon
- Search by image
- Next to the microphone on images.google.com, you’ll also see a little camera for the new Search by Image feature. If you click the camera, you can upload any picture or plug in an image URL from the web and ask Google to figure out what it is. Try it out when digging through old vacation photos and trying to identify landmarks—the search [mountain path] probably isn’t going to tell you where you were, but computer vision may just do the trick. Search by Image is rolling out now globally in 40 languages. We’re also releasing Chrome and Firefox extensions that enable you to search any image on the web by right-clicking.
- Google Instant: Instant Pages
- Instant Pages can get the top search result ready in the background while you’re choosing which link to click, saving you yet another two to five seconds on typical searches. Let’s say you’re searching for information about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, so you search for [dc folklife festival]. As you scan the results deciding which one to choose, Google is already prerendering the top search result for you. That way when you click, the page loads instantly.
- Next beta version of Chrome will have this feature
- It’s the borg!
- Sorry officer, I have no idea why my computer was downloading THAT page.
23:11 – iCann greenlights expansion of web domains
- Icann has decided to allow the number of internet “domains” to expand enormously in one of the biggest changes ever to the internet’s method of naming sites.
- New website suffixes should start appearing late in 2012 and could be categorised by subjects including industry, geography and ethnicity and include Arabic, Chinese and other scripts.
- A special meeting of Icann’s board approved a plan to expand the number of possible internet domain name endings from the current 22 – such as “.com”, “.org” and “.net” (which are separate of the country-specific domain endings such as “.uk”) – to allow domains “in any language or script”, according to Rod Beckstrom, president and chief executive of Icann.
- Icann will receive applications for new domain names for 90 days from 12 January 2012. The fee is $185,000, and the form for application is 360 pages long. It will also begin an awareness campaign pointing out that it has introduced the new scheme.
26:08 – Mobile phone firms develop wave and pay system
- Vodafone, O2, Orange and T-Mobile announced plans on Thursday for a joint venture that would allow shoppers to pay for goods and services with their phones rather than cash or cards.
- Consumers will be able to pay for sandwiches, drinks and train tickets by placing their phones close to a reader similar to the Oyster card system on the London Underground. In the future the technology might even allow you to unlock your front door and start your car.
- Kevin Russell, chief executive of 3, the UK’s smallest operator, hit out at his larger rivals for leaving 3 out of the project. “We would want and expect to be a part at the heart of a cross-industry development like this and are more than a little concerned that, as a core competitor, we have not yet been invited to be part of this joint venture,” he said.
- Vodafone, O2 and Everything Everywhere said the service would be open to all retailers, banks, ticketing companies, advertisers and other mobile companies, including 3, Tesco and Virgin Mobile.
- The trio said they would inject significant capital into the project and would each own one third of the equity. The service is expected to go live early next year, subject to regulatory clearance.
29:36 – O2 will not sell the Playbook
- Blackberry Playbook which launched on Jun 16th won’t be sold by O2 in the UK
- The telco emailed interested punters that RIM’s 7in, QNX OS-based slate will not be available after all, saying it had issues with the “end to end customer experience” offered by the gadget
31:17 – HP Touchpad Pricing and Launch
- HP wants £399 for the 16GB model, £479 for the 32GB version – exactly what Apple is asking for the equivalent iPads 2s.
- Both are driven by a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, and sport 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and a 1.3Mp webcam too. 9.7” screen
- The 240 x 190 x 14mm gadget weighs 740g and ships in July.
32:16 – Sky Go Launches July 4th
- Sky Player and Sky Mobile TV, the two services for watching Sky away from your telly are being combined to form Sky Go — and it’s free to all Sky customers.
- Sky Player lets you watch Sky online, and Sky Mobile TV lets you watch on your phone. With the introduction of Sky Go there’ll be just one service for your phone, tablet, laptop and computer, which is free to all Sky subscribers.
- Sky Go will show live programmes and catch-up TV from across the board of Sky channels. That includes all five Sky Sports channels, ESPN, Sky News, Sky Movies, Sky News, Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts, MTV, Disney, GOLD, Nickelodeon, NatGeo, History, Eden and ESPN.
- On your computer or laptop you can choose from 30 channels to watch on the go. Tablets and smart phones are limited to slightly fewer stations, but can get all the Sky Sports channels, ESPN and Sky News. More channels will be added to the phone and tablet line-up over time.
- You can register two devices to watch Sky Go, whether it’s your laptop in bed or your phone on the bus. Sadly you won’t be able to watch when you’re on holiday, as rights issues prevent overseas streaming.
- Sky Player and Sky Sports on the iPhone were previously subscription options so great to have these free for Sky subscribers
- In August, Sky Go will become available to non-Sky TV customers for a monthly subscription price ranging from £15 to £40. Sky Player will remain available on Xbox Live and Freeview service Fetch TV, but will rebrand as just ‘Sky’.
35:46 – PR firm busted
- Redner Group stated:
- Too many went too far with their reviews…we are reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn’t based on today’s venom,” the company tweeted. “Bad scores are fine. Venom filled reviews…that’s completely different,” another tweet read.
- That was on companies official twitter feed…but has since been removed and an apology tweeted out as well
- Everyone kind of expects it…but still not good to see
- Currently, Duke Nukem Forever has a Metacritic score of 49 on the Xbox 360
40:26 – Dropbox Left User Accounts Unlocked for 4 Hours Sunday
- Yesterday we made a code update at 1:54pm Pacific time that introduced a bug affecting our authentication mechanism. We discovered this at 5:41pm and a fix was live at 5:46pm. A very small number of users (much less than 1 percent) logged in during that period, some of whom could have logged into an account without the correct password. As a precaution, we ended all logged in sessions.
- We’re conducting a thorough investigation of related activity to understand whether any accounts were improperly accessed. If we identify any specific instances of unusual activity, we’ll immediately notify the account owner. If you’re concerned about any activity that has occurred in your account, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This should never have happened. We are scrutinizing our controls and we will be implementing additional safeguards to prevent this from happening again.
- If you were affected then you will have been e-mailed as review is complete
- Worried – check your event log – https://www.dropbox.com/events
- For those who are seeking a service similiar to Dropbox, but with more security, Wuala and SpiderOak encrypt data on users’ devices, not on a central server.
43:01 – WordPress.org Password reset
- Noticed suspicious commits to several popular plugins (AddThis, WPtouch, and W3 Total Cache) containing cleverly disguised backdoors. We determined the commits were not from the authors, rolled them back, pushed updates to the plugins, and shut down access to the plugin repository while we looked for anything else unsavory.
- To use the forums, trac, or commit to a plugin or theme, you’ll need to reset your password to a new one. (Same for bbPress.org and BuddyPress.org.)
44:25 – Lulzsec and Anonymous Declare Open War Against All Governments and Fat Cats
- Lulzsec and Anonymoushave just declared full open war against all governments, banks and big corporations in the world. They are calling all hackers in the world to unite. Their objective is to fully expose all corruption and dark secrets
- This is getting tiring…..and dangerous. Real change ala wikileaks is powerful but hacking user accounts and throwing them online for individuals to be damaged…is childish
- Trying to be characters like robin hood?
- Net may be closing in – http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jun/21/lulzsec-hacker-group-who-belongs
- http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13859868 – 19 year old arrested in UK
- Charged with 5 offences of computer hacking
51:05 – Microsoft launches Kinect SDK for Windows
- Embraces hacking community by launching official SDK for Kinect on Windows
- This will allow users to create games, UIs, and apps with Kinect’s 3D sensing technology including 3D scanning, audio tracking, and the creation of 3D wireframes in real time.
The three major features include, Raw sensor streams, Skeletal tracking, Advanced audio capabilities
52:41 – Popcap bought for $1 billion
- Huge news in the gaming world: PopCap Games, the company behind such hits as Plants vs Zombies and Bejeweled, is in the process of being acquired — and we’re hearing from multiple sources that the price is over $1 billion.
54:29 – iOS Apps
- Bungie Mobile
- Free app from Bungie
- Track your Halo stats
- Login with Bungie ID and enable blue flames!
- Discovr Apps and Music
- Great apps for discovering new apps and music
- Graphically shows related apps or music, then details more on the app or artist
- Both £0.59 but very nicely written
- Order & Chaos
- Gameloft MMO – rip off of WOW
- Monthly sub but at the moment it’s £0.59 for 3 months gameplay
- Pretty amazing to have this running on iPhone/iPad
- Great music discovery app out today
- Get the chrome plugin to understand what it’s about
- Follow friends, industry leaders, music blogs etc
- Great way of finding new music
59:02 – Lytro Light Field Cameras
- Introducing a light field camera this year
- Amazing demo – take a photo and in post you can change what is in focus
- Light field means capturing all the light moving in all the directions in the view of the camera
- A real step change in photography…
1:04:47 – Facebook – Spartan and iPad App
- Project Spartan is the codename for a new platform Facebook is on verge of launching. It’s entirely HTML5-based and the aim is to reach some 100 million users in a key place: mobile. More specifically, the initial target is both surprising and awesome: mobile Safari.
- Yes, Facebook is about to launch a mobile platform aimed squarely at working on the iPhone (and iPad). But it won’t be distributed through the App Store as a native application, it will be entirely HTML5-based and work in Safari. Why? Because it’s the one area of the device that Facebook will be able to control (or mostly control).
- Facebook iPad app
- Android Keyboard. Like HTC sense.
- Drag your fingers over the keys rather than pressing individual ones. Magically your words appear. Clever stuff.
- Trial – or buy full versoin £3.99
Reeder for Mac
- Reeder for Mac – £5.99 from Mac App Store
- The best feed reader for Mac
- Great Google reader integration
- Fast and it looks great too