DigitalOutbox Episode 119

DigitalOutbox Episode 119
DigitalOutbox Episode 119 – Twitter privacy issues, Facebook IPO and the Google Knowledge Graph

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1:08 – Twitter Updates
– Will support Do Not Track
– Twitter says it will honour requests from users who do not want their online behaviour tracked, the company said on Thursday, in contrast with web companies such Google and Facebook whose business models rely heavily on collecting user data.
– Twitter announced that it will officially support “Do Not Track,” a standardised privacy initiative that has been heavily promoted by the US Federal Trade Commission, online privacy advocates and Mozilla, the non-profit developer of the Firefox web browser.
– Thats GOOD however
– Micro-blogging site Twitter is to start recommending users for you to follow, based on your recent web browsing history. The site calls these ” tailored suggestions,” and it will track your footsteps across the web by using integrated Twitter buttons and widgets as surveillance outposts. So, every website with a “Tweet this” button will log your visit.
– Then, the social network can recognise which accounts are frequently followed by people who visit popular websites, and recommend those accounts to others who have visited those sites within the last ten days. It’s specifically targeted at new Twitter hatchlings, as it hopes to provide them with a relevant list of accounts to follow as soon as they’ve made an account. Right now, Twitter has a default handful of popular users — including Justin Bieber and Kim Kardashian — that it shows to all new sign-ups.
– There’s an obvious privacy worry, but Twitter’s Othman Laraki writes, “we are committed to providing you with simple and meaningful choices about the information we collect to improve your Twitter experience.”
– Thats NOT SO GOOD however
– Twitter now sends weekly e-mail digest
– Twitter just added a new feature that sends you a weekly email with the most popular tweets and links from people you follow.
– Sadly, Twitter signs you up without asking you, so you’ll have to take some action to get rid of them. You could wait until it comes and unsubscribe directly from the email, but if you want to stop them before they start, just head to Twitter’s Settings > Notifications > and uncheck the “Weekly digest of Stories & Tweets from my network” box at the bottom. Save your changes and you should never have to see one of those buggers make its way into your email.
– Thats POOR
5:12 – Facebook IPO
– Finally hits the stock market for $38
– Banks keep the price at just over $38 on day one but shares in Zynga drop 13% and they are suspended
– Monday sees Facebook drop
– It’ s a bubble!
– Facebook gets suited because some information only given to institutional investors…http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/23/us-facebook-lawsuit-idUSBRE84M0RK20120523
12:21 – Facebook Camera
– Facebook on Thursday announced a new application for the iPhone and iPod Touch called Facebook Camera, which is intended to make it easier to take pictures and share them on Facebook.
– Dirk Stoop, a Facebook product manager for photos, said that the application was much faster than the current Facebook app for Apple’s iOS, and that it puts photos at the center of the experience.
– “We can basically show you more photos on the app, so we can make a more immersive experience around your photos,” Mr. Stoop said. “On the side of publishing these photos, Facebook Camera lets you upload much higher resolution photos at up to 2,048 by 2,048 pixels wide.” The standard Facebook application uploads lower-resolution pictures.
The application will also finally bring photo filters to Facebook.
– Facebook Camera will offer 15 filters, and will also include tools for cropping and straightening photos, much like the photo editing tools within Apple’s photo app. The filters will include cool, light, bright, golden, cream and neon. “They are stylistic in nature, they are not just enhancements,” Mr. Stoop said.
– It might seem strange for Facebook to release a camera application with built-in filters just weeks after announcing plans to buy Instagram, the social photo app. But Facebook Camera is aimed at a different audience. Instagram has 40 million users, while Facebook has 900 million. This leaves a large swath of people who are not on Instagram but are actively taking photos and uploading them to Facebook. The filters in Facebook Camera were developed by Facebook and are not borrowed from Instagram.
14:20 – HP to lose 27000 employees
– Restructuring
– 27,000 employees to go worldwide
– The company said the cuts – about 8% of its workforce – will reduce costs by up to $3.5bn (£2.2bn) a year.
– HP employs about 350,000 people worldwide and about 20,000 in the UK.
18:22 – Yahoo Axis
– Yahoo introduced its new Axis browser tonight, with versions for the Apple iPad and iPhone, as well as plugins for the top desktop browsers.
– The company briefed a media army on the product and the consensus is that it’s very good. My favorite headline from Gizmodo: “Yahoo Came Out With Its Own Web Browser and It Actually Doesn’t Suck.”
– It’s a slick offering, which essentially eliminates the texty link-filled search page for one of pretty visual tiles and pull-downs and more. Think Pinterest of search and you have the general idea.
– iPad app is nice but US only for the moment – won’t replace my browser but something different. It’s more than handsome enough, it runs very smoothly (thanks mostly to its WebKit underpinnings), and your bookmarks sync between devices quickly once you make sure you’re logged in.
– Not sure if it’s a browser as such
21:43 – Google finally gets Motorola
– Google has today announced that it has closed its acquisition of Motorola Mobility, buying the Illinois-based device maker for $40 per share in cash for a total of $12.5 billion.
– As widely expected, Sanjay Jha is stepping down as CEO and Dennis Woodside, Google’s former Americas head, will take the helm at Motorola Mobility, which will be operated as a standalone company. The company says the acquisition will help Google “supercharge” the Android ecosystem: while Motorola will be making devices using the platform, it will also remain open.
– “It’s a great time to be in the mobile business…I’m confident Dennis [Woodhouse] and the team at Motorola will be creating the next generation of mobile devices that will improve lives for years to come,” Page writes.
26:06 – Google launches the Knowledge Graph
– The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about—landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more—and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query. This is a critical first step towards building the next generation of search, which taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do.
– Google’s Knowledge Graph isn’t just rooted in public sources such as Freebase, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. It’s also augmented at a much larger scale—because we’re focused on comprehensive breadth and depth. It currently contains more than 500 million objects, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects. And it’s tuned based on what people search for, and what we find out on the web.
– Helps you get a good summary of the search topic and go deeper if you wish to
28:26 – Waterstones teams up with…Amazon
– Waterstones will sell Kindles in their own stores and also the best Kindle experience
– The thinking seems to be that since we all like browsing in bookshops, and we all like reading on digital devices, combining the “singular pleasures of browsing a curated bookshop” with the “best digital readers” will make for the best of both worlds. But that seems to fundamentally misunderstand the appeal of the digital reading experience. Full disclosure: I don’t use a Kindle, but price aside, the attraction of the Kindle experience seems to be that you can have lots of books, straight away – neither of which is usually much of a problem when you’re standing in a bookshop. And the risk that Waterstones runs is that by welcoming its greatest rival onto the high street it puts Amazon’s device into the hands of its most committed customers.
– The terms of the deal won’t be announced until the autumn, but the success or failure of this deal will be determined by what people think digital reading is
– Basically says Kindle is the device/platform for reading books. Amazon wins.
30:36 – O2 rolling out 42Mbps 3G to major UK cities
– UK mobile network operator O2 has confirmed it is currently rolling out a variant of DC-HSPA which will support connections of up to 42Mbps. Although the dual-cell HSPA technology can support impressive speeds, the technology will still operate as 3G ahead of the 4G spectrum that is being planned for the UK. British owners of the latest iPad or Nokia Lumia 900 (devices that support DC-HSPA) will be able to take advantage of the speeds providing their local mast has been upgraded. O2 says it’s rolling out to “major UK cities,” but there’s no word on exact locations.
– Three is also planning to rollout a 42Mbps version of DC-HSPA over the summer and T-Mobile / Orange are planning to support the technology later this year. Vodafone, the fourth major UK network operator, started to rollout a variant of DC-HSPA last year, but with support for up to 28.8Mbps — the company says it has no plans to support the 42Mbps variant.

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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.