DigitalOutbox Episode 102
In this episode the team discuss Google+, Netflix launching in the UK, Virgin Doubling Up and CES
0:57 – Google Search plus your World
– Big search engine update – personal results appear alongside web results in Google
– Basically, Google+ is everywhere
– Twitter annoyed
– Google surprised – it was Twitter that pulled out of their search deal
4:19 – Netflix launches in the UK
– Netflix is available now and anyone can get a one month free trial: click-to-watch TV programmes and films streamed instantly over the Internet to your smart TV, game console, computer, tablet or mobile device. After the free trial, it costs just £5.99 or €6.99 per month
– PS3, Xbox, Wii, iOS and PC/Mac – limited Android and Smart TV support
– Quite a good range of content both American and British though nothing much from last year or two. Price seems not bad. Speed and quality good.
– Get recommendations via Facebook friends
6:32 – Roku to launch in the UK
– Launched by end of Jan
– The entry-level Roku LT will sell for £49.99 (about $77) and the top of the line Roku 2 XS, which comes with a motion-aware remote control for online gaming, will sell for £99.99. That’s a bit of a premium over U.S. pricing, where both models sell for $49 and $99, respectively. Sales will be online and through Amazon.co.uk only for the time being, but the company said that it is going to add additional retailers in the coming months.
7:50 – Zeebox and Sky tie up
– Sky has bought a 10% equity stake in Zeebox, in a deal reportedly worth upwards of $15m, which was founded by BBC iPlayer developer Anthony Rose and former EMI board director Ernesto Schmitt.
– Will appear in Sky’s apps this summer
12:25 – CES
– Lots of tablets
– Lot of Ultrabooks
– Lots of TV’s
– Kinect for Windows
– Anything catch the eye – Samsung Smart TV’s and the 55” OLED
– The rest is all meh…
14:03 – iTunes Match
– False start on Thursday 15th, but launches on Friday 16th
– £20.99 yearly subscription
– Overwhelmed at first
– Ian – 11,500 library – uploaded 11GB of music (1500 tracks), but matched the others. 6,500 were of better quality than I had already – downloading was fast
16:08 – Virgin Doubling Speeds
– Virgin Media is to invest more than £100m on a programme that will more than double the broadband speed for most of its 4m internetcustomers.
– Virgin Media, which has tested speeds of up to 1.5Gb a second in a trial of tech businesses at the so-called Silicon Roundabout in London, is to spend £110m on the 18-month upgrade programme.
– The company says that those who subscribe to its up to 10Mb service – 74% of its 4.1m internet subscribers – will see their speed double to 20Mb.
– Those on its up to 20Mb tier, 12% of the total subscriber base, will see their speed tripled to 60Mb.
– The 9% who take 30Mb broadband will rise to 60Mb.
– And the 5% who take services from 50Mb to 100Mb will rise to a speed of between 100Mb and 120Mb.
– The top-tier speed – at 120Mb it will be the quickest offered in the UK – will enable customers to download a high-definition movie in about five minutes.
– BT’s response – “It is no surprise to see that Virgin are following our lead by doubling speeds. We announced we would do this for our fibre products last autumn and so they are trying to catch up with us.” Cocks
18:03 – Microsoft taking pirates to court
– Microsoft has accused high-street retailer Comet of pirating 94,000 Windows Vista and Windows XP recovery CDs and selling them to consumers.
– The software giant announced this morning that it had filed a suit against Comet Group PLC, accusing the group of manufacturing counterfeit discs at a factory in Hampshire and selling them through its UK retail outlets. Comet has 248 stores across the UK. A spokesperson for Microsoft was unable to say where the suit has been filed.
– The allegedly counterfeit recovery discs were then sold to customers who had bought desktops and laptops running Windows, Microsoft said. Microsoft’s associate general counsel for worldwide anti-piracy and anti-counterfeiting David Finn called Comet’s actions “unfair to customers” in this morning’s statement.
– “We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products – and our customers deserve better, too,” he said.
– In an official statement, Comet told The Reg it had sought legal advice from “leading counsel” to “support its view that the production of recovery discs did not infringe Microsoft’s intellectual property.”
21:41 – School ICT to be replaced by computer science programme
– The current information and communications technology (ICT) curriculum in England’s schools is a “mess” and must be radically revamped, the education secretary has announced.
– From September it will be replaced by a flexible curriculum in computer science and programming, designed with the help of universities and industry.
Michael Gove called the current ICT curriculum “demotivating and dull”.
He will begin a consultation next week on the new computing curriculum.
– “Instead of children bored out of their minds being taught how to use Word or Excel by bored teachers, we could have 11-year-olds able to write simple 2D computer animations,” he said.
Computer games entrepreneur Ian Livingstone, an adviser to Mr Gove, envisages a new curriculum that could have 16-year-olds creating their own apps for smartphones and 18-year-olds able to write their own simple programming language.
27:25 – rFactor 2 and Skyrim
– rFactor 2 Beta released! Whoop. £29.99 – “Pre-purchase” basically, buy the game now and you get access to the Beta (planned to run for around 6 months.)
– initial impressions – still not at the bleeding edge of graphics… but the underlying simulation appears stronger than ever!
– Skyrim – addicted. Enought said. Too many hours.
– Makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.
– Mac only
3D Laser Mapping
– Next gen Street View?
Action Movie FX
– Free app for iOS that allows you to add effects to your movies
– Great for blowing up your colleagues