DigitalOutbox Episode 117
DigitalOutbox Episode 117 – Pirate Bay, John Lewis Broadband and Google Drive
0:49 – Pirate Bay blocked in the UK
- File-sharing site The Pirate Bay must be blocked by UK internet service providers, the High Court has ruled.
- The Swedish website hosts links to download mostly-pirated free music and video.
- Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk, O2 and Virgin Media must all prevent their users from accessing the site. A sixth ISP, BT, has asked for more time to consider its position.
- “Sites like The Pirate Bay destroy jobs in the UK and undermine investment in new British artists,” the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) said.
- The BPI’s chief executive Geoff Taylor said: “The High Court has confirmed that The Pirate Bay infringes copyright on a massive scale. “Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them. “This is wrong – musicians, sound engineers and video editors deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else.”
- In November 2011, the BPI asked the group of ISPs to voluntarily block access to the site. The request followed a court order to block Newzbin 2, a site also offering links to download pirated material.
- The ISPs said they would not block the site unless a court order was made, as is now the case.
- Virgin Media told the BBC they will now comply with the request, but warned such measures are, in the long term, only part of the solution.
“As a responsible ISP, Virgin Media complies with court orders addressed to the company but strongly believes that changing consumer behaviour to tackle copyright infringement also needs compelling legal alternatives, such as our agreement with Spotify, to give consumers access to great content at the right price.”
- The UK Pirate Party is also prepared for the block and is offering a reverse proxy which allows blocked Internet users to access The Pirate Bay. – http://tpb.pirateparty.org.uk/
- With censorship and plans to monitor traffic, is it time to configure a VPN?
3:25 – John Lewis Broadband
- John Lewis Broadband offers no activation fees, freephone support and a free wireless router. There are three packages, all on 12-month “no hidden catches” contracts.
Standard – up to 16Mbps, 20GB cap, £24.50 a month
Unlimited – up to 16Mbps, No limit, £31.50
Fibre – up to 38Mbps, 100GB cap, £38.50
- In the any questions section of its website John Lewis Broadband says it uses traffic management. Also the service will “let you know if you’re approaching your package’s limit. Once you’ve reached it you can buy more gigabytes for £5 per 5GB”.
- This is not the budget end of the market, where Tesco Broadband plays, for instance.
- Never knowingly…?
4:46 – Facebook buys Patents from Microsoft
- Facebook announced today that it will pay $550 million to Microsoft for the right to 650 patents and patent applications. Microsoft acquired those patents and hundreds of others in a deal with AOL earlier this month.
- The move comes as Facebook wades deeper into the waters of patent litigation while it readies for an IPO expected in May. The social network is in a major patent lawsuit with Yahoo and is also wrestling with dozens of smaller patent suits.
- The Facebook purchase is especially intriguing, however, as it suggests a deepening strategic alliance between Facebook and Microsoft . The latter was an early investor in the social network and both companies have common rivals in Google and Apple.
- Microsoft acquired 925 AOL patents and patent applications in an auction for $1 billion. Shortly after, reports stated that Facebook had been an unsuccessful bidder in the auction.
6:16 – Skydrive Improves
- Today, we’re excited to take another big step towards our vision by making SkyDrive far more powerful. There are new storage options, apps that connect your devices to SkyDrive, and a more powerful device cloud that lets you “fetch” any file from a Windows PC. Taken together with access from popular mobile phones and a browser, you can now take your SkyDrive with you anywhere, connect it to any app that works with files and folders, and get all the storage you need—making SkyDrive the most powerful personal cloud storage service available.
- Here’s what’s available for use, starting now:
SkyDrive for the Windows desktop (preview available now). View and manage your personal SkyDrive directly from Windows Explorer on Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista with this new preview app available in 106 languages worldwide.
Fetching files through SkyDrive.com. Easily access, browse, and stream files from a remote PC running the preview app to just about anywhere by simply fetching them via SkyDrive.com.
SkyDrive storage updates. A new, more flexible approach to personal cloud storage that allows power users to get additional paid storage as their needs grow.
SkyDrive for other devices. We’ve updated the SkyDrive apps on Windows Phone and iOS devices, bringing better management features and sharing options to those devices. We’re also releasing a new preview client for Mac OS X Lion, letting you manage your SkyDrive right from the Finder.
- So to claim your free 25gb, you need to upgrade to that option on the skydrive site
9:17 – Dropbox Improves
- We’re super excited to announce a whole new way to share: now you can send a link to the files or folders in your Dropbox!
- Sharing with friends and family is easy! Once you’ve saved that video of your niece’s birthday party to Dropbox, just make a link to send to grandma and she can simply watch online — no download required! This saves you the hassle of having to re-upload or attach it to an email.
- Dropbox for Windows and Mac Updated with Auto Photo Uploading and Up to 3 GB of Additional Free Space
- Windows/Mac: The desktop Dropbox client has been updated with the ability to automatically upload photos from SD cards and smartphones directly to Dropbox. When you do so, you’ll get a free 500 MB of space and if you continue to upload pictures you can get up to 3GB of additional space.
11:51 – Google Drive
- Just like the Loch Ness Monster, you may have heard the rumors about Google Drive. It turns out, one of the two actually does exist.
- Today, we’re introducing Google Drive
Create and collaborate. Google Docs is built right into Google Drive, so you can work with others in real time on documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Once you choose to share content with others, you can add and reply to comments on anything (PDF, image, video file, etc.) and receive notifications when other people comment on shared items.
Store everything safely and access it anywhere (especially while on the go). All your stuff is just… there. You can access your stuff from anywhere—on the web, in your home, at the office, while running errands and from all of your devices. You can install Drive on your Mac or PC and can download the Drive app to your Android phone or tablet. We’re also working hard on a Drive app for your iOS devices. And regardless of platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader.
Search everything. Search by keyword and filter by file type, owner and more. Drive can even recognize text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology. Let’s say you upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping. You can search for a word from the text of the actual article. We also use image recognition so that if you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip into Drive, you can later search for [grand canyon] and photos of its gorges should pop up. This technology is still in its early stages, and we expect it to get better over time.
- You can get started with 5GB of storage for free—that’s enough to store the high-res photos of your trip to the Mt. Everest, scanned copies of your grandparents’ love letters or a career’s worth of business proposals, and still have space for the novel you’re working on. You can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49/month, 100GB for $4.99/month or even 1TB for $49.99/month. When you upgrade to a paid account, your Gmail account storage will also expand to 25GB.
- So more free than dropbox but less user friendly?
Privacy issues? PC Mag
17:54 – Apple
- they’ve got loads of cash ($110 billion). Nothing more to say, is there? Well,
- Looks like Tim Cook doesn’t quite want to go as “thermonuclear” on rival phone makers as Apple founder Steve Jobs did. Cook didn’t sound so eager to pursue patent infringement suits against Samsung, Motorola and HTC on today’s quarterly earnings call.
“I’d highly prefer to settle versus battle,” Cook said on Apple’s earnings call today. “But you know the key thing that’s very important is that Apple doesn’t become the developer to the world.” He added very pointedly, “I’ve always hated litigation. We need people to invent their own stuff.”
- WWDC – June 11th – 15th – nothing more to say. iOS 6? Mountain Lion?
- could buy Amazon and Nokia and RIM http://thenextweb.com/apple/2012/04/24/apple-could-theoretically-buy-amazon-nokia-and-rim-with-its-pile-of-cash/
22:19 – O2 Mobile Wallet
- Mobile network O2 has launched a smartphone app that allows users to transfer up to £500 via text message.
- It also allows customers to “digitise” their debit and credit cards to speed up purchases from online stores.
- The firm also intends to allow users of phones with near-field communication (NFC) chips to make contactless payments in high street shops.
It is the latest of several firms to charge retailers a transaction fee for making it easier to shop.
- The service will be free to consumers at first, but O2 said that it would charge 15p for each money message sent by text at a later date.
- The network provider said that more than 100 retailers had agreed to accept payments from the service. They include Debenhams, Comet, Sainsbury’s Direct and Tesco Direct.
- Users can also benefit from a search facility that compares how much goods cost, the ability to load money onto the app from their debit cards and a “transaction history” that keeps track of what they have spent.
- The firm said it had held off introducing contactless payments as only a handful of retailers had installed the necessary systems.
- O2 and its rivals Vodafone and EverythingEverywhere are working on a national mobile payments service – dubbed Project Oscar. They had hoped to have it up and running in time for the London Olympics. But the project is held up in Brussels, subject to an anti-competitive investigation.
24:45 – Visa launches v.me
- European digital wallet
- Launching this Autumn
- Combine bank accounts, credit cards into a payment service accessed via username and password
- It’s PayPal!
- Web only – mobile app’s and NFC…soon
25:32 – Spectrum is 30
- Released on April 23rd in 1982, the machine typified the British approach to industrial design – utilitarian but also idiosyncratic and characterful. It should have been buried by its more powerful contemporary, the Commodore 64, but somehow this strange little slab of plastic and rubber earned itself a considerable slice of the nascent home computingmarket, especially in Britain.
- Partly its success was about price. Since the launch of the ZX80 computer two years earlier, restless British inventor Clive Sinclair had been interested in computing for the masses.
Using cheap components and a minimalistic approach to design, he was able to manufacture machines at a lower cost than rivals such as Acorn, Apple and Tandy. The computer’s rubber keys, for example, were created from a single sheet, with a metal overlay to separate them – much less expensive than producing a conventional keyboard.
- So while the BBC Micro started at £235 for the Model A option and the C64 hit the shelves at around £350, the Spectrum launched at just £125 for the 16k version or £175 for the mighty 48k.
- Fond memories anyone?
- easy to use VPN
- free for 500mb per month
- $4.99 pm for (unlimited) or $49.99 for a year
ScoTutor for Mac
- for Mac or iOs
- Free for a limited time
- Great tutorial app for those new to Mac’s
- 150 minutes all about the Mac – great if you’ve just picked up a Mac, or you parents for example have just started on a Mac.
- ScoTutor for iPad also now free, on Mac and iPad