DigitalOutbox Episode 114

DigitalOutbox Episode 114
In this episode the team discuss Project Glass, Privacy and Apple woes

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
0:58 – Girls Around Me
– When you load it up, the first thing Girls Around Me does is figure out where you are and load up a Google Map centered around your location.
– It’s when you push the radar button that Girls Around Me does what it says on the tin. I pressed the button for my friends. Immediately, Girls Around Me went into radar mode, and after just a few seconds, the map around us was filled with pictures of girls who were in the neighborhood. Since I was showing off the app on a Saturday night, there were dozens of girls out on the town in our local area.
– These are all girls with publicly visible Facebook profiles who have checked into these locations recently using Foursquare. Girls Around Me then shows you a map where all the girls in your area trackable by Foursquare area. If there’s more than one girl at a location, you see the number of girls there in a red bubble. Click on that, and you can see pictures of all the girls who are at that location at any given time. The pictures you are seeing are their social network profile pictures.”
– Tap on a girl – Girls Around Me quickly loaded up a fullscreen render of her Facebook profile picture. The app then told me where Zoe had last been seen (The Independent) and when (15 minutes ago). A big green button at the bottom reading “Photos & Messaging” just begged to be tapped, and when I did, I was whisked away to Zoe’s Facebook profile.
“Okay, so here’s Zoe. Most of her information is visible, so I now know her full name. I can see at a glance that she’s single, that she is 24, that she went to Stoneham High School and Bunker Hill Community College, that she likes to travel, that her favorite book is Gone With The Wind and her favorite musician is Tori Amos, and that she’s a liberal. I can see the names of her family and friends. I can see her birthday.”
– While the app is bad, this is a wake up call for privacy on social sites
– Data was publicly shared by these girls – du to Foursquare and Facebook allowing friends to sign them in, they might not realise that their friends are sharing their location
– Lot’s of fallout – Foursquare suspended the app’s API access
– Apple then withdrew the app from the app store – actually the app developers did, not because of the -ve publicity but due to the API restrictions. The app no longer worked.
– Developer defends app – it was about venue discovery, not girl discovery – http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2012/03/31/girls-around-me-developer-defends-app-after-foursquare-dismissal/
4:02 – Govt plans increased email and social media surveillance
– Ministers are to introduce a new law allowing police and security services to extend their monitoring of the public’s email and social media communications, the Home Office has confirmed.
– It is expected that the new system will allow security officials to scrutinise who is talking to whom and exactly when the conversations are taking plac, but not the content of messages.
– Labour tried to introduce a similar system using a central database tracking all phone, text, email and internet use but that was ditched in 2009. It followed concerns raised by internet service providers and mobile phone operators over the project’s feasibility, and anxieties over who would foot the bill.
– The coalition’s proposals are likely to be introduced in the Queen’s speech on 9 May and will centre on internet service providers gathering the information and allowing government intelligence operatives to scrutinise it.
– “It is vital that police and security services are able to obtain communications data in certain circumstances to investigate serious crime and terrorism and to protect the public,” said a Home Office spokesman, who said the plans would be brought forward “as soon as parliamentary time allows”.
– Internet service providers are obliged to keep details of users’ web access, email and internet phone calls for 12 months, under an EU directive from 2009.
– Although the content of the calls is not kept, the sender, recipient, time of communication and geographical location does have to be recorded.
– The proposed new law – which the Home Office says will be brought in “as soon as parliamentary time allows” – would extend those requirements to social networking sites and internet phone services such as Skype.
– It would also reportedly allow intelligence officers to access emails, calls and texts as they happen, without a warrant, rather than retrospectively.
– Overzealous civil servants driving policy?
– Lib dem briefing doc – https://docs.google.com/file/d/1_wMtlFHrktpyOEFSkRSmBnOBPYDkPF6y-gL7Es_h0tu58aPVeHq9p45ulRcX/view?sle=true&pli=1
– Also, Gove fought to keep his e-mails private in early March
– http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17235168
– *** How would this work in practice? What about data that is held on servers overseas? Surely that can’t be part of this?
10:02 – Twitter suing spammers
– Twitter is officially putting its foot down and enlisting the help of the federal courts, filing a suit in San Francisco today against its five most aggressive spammers. In pursuing legal action, Twittersaid in a statement on its blog, it believes it’s going “straight to the source”.
– By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal. Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers, demonstrating the strength of our commitment to keep them off Twitter … While this is an important step, our efforts to combat spam don’t stop here. Our engineering team continues to implement robust technical solutions that help us proactively reduce spam.
– Finally doing something about spam?
– Annoying thing is a spammer is so obvious – why is it down to users to report?
13:29 – Game rescued
– The administrators of Game Group have announced that the 333 of its UK shops that are still open have been sold to OpCapita.
– The agreement will safeguard the jobs of nearly 3,200 Game Group employees. A small number from head office who were previously made redundant may also be re-employed.
– OpCapita is a private investment firm specialising in retail. It has set up a company called Baker Acquisitions to buy the shops.
– Former Halfords Group chief executive David Hamid, now a partner at OpCapita, has been appointed chairman of Game. A chief executive is expected to be named shortly. Ian Shepherd held the role until last week, when he resigned with immediate effect after a two-year battle to turn the company around.
– OpCapita acquired electrical retailer Comet from its owner Kesa Electricals last year for a nominal sum of £2. The financial terms of its Game acquisition have not been disclosed, but it is thought to have paid a nominal sum and taken on the company’s debts.
15:07 – Foxconn audit
– A report into working conditions at Chinese factories operated by anApple supplier has revealed “serious” labour violations, including excessive hours, unpaid wages and major health and safety risks.
– The Fair Labor Association (FLA) said employees at Foxconn, which produces products including iPhones and iPads, typically worked more than 60 hours a week during peak periods but were paid unfair compensation for overtime.
– Around two-thirds of workers told investigators that their take-home pay was insufficient to meet basic needs.
– In addition, 43% said they had witnessed an accident at work, leading to fears of poor safety provisions at the plants.
– The (FLA) was asked by Apple to investigate working conditions at Foxconn after reports of long hours and poor safety.
– The FLA says it has now secured agreements to reduce hours, protect pay, and improve staff representation.
– Apple said it “fully accepted” the report’s recommendations. “We share the FLA’s goal of improving lives and raising the bar for manufacturing companies everywhere,” it said in a statement.
– Of course, some employees aren’t happy with the reduction in money:
-“We are here to work and not to play, so our income is very important,” said Chen Yamei, 25, a Foxconn worker from Hunan who said she had worked at the factory for four years.
“We have just been told that we can only work a maximum of 36 hours a month of overtime. I tell you, a lot of us are unhappy with this. We think that 60 hours of overtime a month would be reasonable and that 36 hours would be too little,” she added. Chen said she now earned a bit over 4,000 yuan a month ($634).
17:58 – iPad Wifi Issues
– Besides the supposed third-generation iPad charging and overheating issues, the iPad WiFi issues were noted by the media during the past couple of weeks. Apple has taken notice and has admitted internally to some new iPad models having the WiFi issues described in numerous reports and on forum threads. The company says “symptoms can include, but are not limited to: intermittent connectivity, slow WiFi speeds, and WiFi network not seen.”

– Apple tells AppleCare employees to ensure that devices they test are not facing these issues due to normal software bugs, but instead because of the actual hardware components.
WiFi-only third-generation iPads are the only devices affected by these issues, according to Apple. The 4G LTE models are presumably safe from these issues due to the extra network power allowed by the black rubber cut on the top of the unit.
19:44 – Mac trojan affects 600000
– Apple released a Java 1.6.0_31 update for OS X on Tuesday that claims to deliver “improved compatibility, security, and reliability.” The patch closes multiple vulnerabilities found in Java 1.6.0_29, the most serious of which allows malicious code to be executed just by visiting a compromised website. The update is available from Software Update on any Mac running Mac OS X v10.6.8, Mac OS X Server v10.6.8, OS X Lion v10.7.3, or Lion Server v10.7.3.
– Russian security firm Doctor Web claims that attackers began to exploit the Java vulnerability on March 16th which Apple closed with the release of the Java update on April 3rd. Dr. Web now estimates that about 600,000 Macs, most of which reside in the US (55 percent) and Canada (19.8 percent), are now infected members of the Flashbackbotnet. The company also notes that some four million compromised web-pages could be found in Google search results at the end of March with some users claiming infection by visiting sites as mainstream as dlink.com.
– Security company F-Secure has instructions for detecting and deleting the Flashback botnet on infected computers.
22:47 – Project Glass
– Glasses not for sale but Google has begun public testing of it’s augmented reality glasses
– The prototype version Google showed off on Wednesday looked like a very polished and well-designed pair of wrap-around glasses with a clear display that sits above the eye. The glasses can stream information to the lenses and allow the wearer to send and receive messages through voice commands. There is also a built-in camera to record video and take pictures.
– This is the future…or is it?
– On sale this year – Google says unlikely
28:06 – HTC One X and S Launched
– O2, Vodafone, Three, Orange, and T-Mobile are all taking orders for the brand new One X and One S Android 4.0 smartphones from HTC. As usual, Three will give you the most for your money, though O2’s new On & On tariff — which the company describes as its best ever — is also worth a look, costing you £36 per month over a two-year contract, but also giving you unlimited minutes and the One X for no upfront cost. Should you be more inclined to buy the handset by itself, Amazon will sell you an unlocked and SIM-free One X for £489.99
– The One X got some great reviews – best phone you can buy today – http://www.theverge.com/2012/4/2/2919202/htc-one-x-review
29:35 – Instagram launches for Android
– The app adds creative, nostalgic filters to your pictures and makes sharing them easy (almost addictive).
– You can add effects to a picture you take with your front or back camera or choose a picture from your gallery. There are a number of custom filters and borders to choose from, including several ’70s effects and a black and white effect. Instantly upload the photo to your Instagram account and share it if you please to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Foursquare; Flickr is in the works.
– 1 million downloads in a day
– Hated the snobs on twitter – oh no – now I need to see android users photos on instagram
– Now I need to see photos from poor people
31:13 – Olympics Overload
– The BBC will make 24-HD quality live Olympic streams available to cable and satellite providers for the duration of the Olympics Games
– Viewers will be able to watch every Olympic sport, live from every venue, via tools such as Sky EPG and BBC Red Button. Virgin Media and Freesat customers will also have access. This complements previously confirmed plans for 24 simultaneous streams live online on the BBC Sport website.
– 48 new channels will be added to the Sports section of Sky’s EPG from July 24. The channels are free-to-air and available to any Sky home. The HD channels are available on any Sky+HD box and do not require a subscription, but do require an HD ready TV.
– Freesat viewers and Freesat standard definition viewers will also have access to the streams.
33:39 – Virgin throttles all users
– Virgin Media has introduced new throttling “trigger levels” for customers who make heavy use of its network.
– The telco updated its subscriber traffic management (STM) policy yesterday to “ensure the vast majority of customers get the high quality of service they expect from Virgin Media’s fibre optic broadband without being negatively affected by extremely heavy users” at peak times.
– It classified a so-called “bandwidth hog” as a 60Mbit/s customer, for example, who can download 5,000MB of data between 4pm and 9pm on a weekday before having their broadband connection throttled.
– A company spokesman told The Register that around 5 per cent of users would be affected by the STM policy. Those punters can expect to see their speed usage of the network temporarily throttled by 50 per cent.
36:03 – 0x10c
– Next game from Minecraft creator Notch
– Space game

Picks
Ian
Hero Academy
– RPG’ish battle between friends
– Like mini chess
– Seems simple but has real depth due to different factions, characters, powers and upgrades
– Multiplayer – play quickly or over a few days like words with friends
– Now universal – lovely lovely graphics
– Free, but in app purchases to unlock other classes

DigitalOutbox Episode 113

DigitalOutbox Episode 113
In this episode the team discuss Game, Racists, Kindle Touch and Paper.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:42 – Game Enters Administration
– Enters administration
– Immediate closure of 277 stores in the UK and Ireland.
– Administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said 2,104 employees would be made redundant this week.
– The remaining 333 stores will stay open as the administrators search for a buyer for the business.
– PwC said that the retailer had suffered from high fixed costs and an ambitious international expansion. “Our priority is to continue trading the business as normal while we continue to pursue a sale,” said one of the administrators, Mike Jervis. “The recent job losses are regrettable, but will place the company in a stronger position while we explore opportunities to conclude a sale.
– PwC also said that all gift cards for Game and Gamestation had been suspended, meaning that customers would not be able to use them to buy merchandise and no cash exchange would be offered.
– http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/game-to-exit-administration-tomorrow-rbs-consortium-wins-race/093563
– Sources close to the negotiations are certain that a deal to save the retailer is incredibly close, with a likely exit from administration as early as tomorrow (Friday March 30th).
– Furthermore, multiple sources have told us that it will be the RBS-led bank consortium – and not GameStop or OpCapita – that will seal the deal.
6:10 – Racist twitter user jailed for 56 days
– A student who admitted posting racially offensive comments on Twitter about footballer Fabrice Muamba has been jailed for 56 days.
– Swansea University student Liam Stacey, 21, from Pontypridd, admitted inciting racial hatred over remarks about the Bolton Wanderers player, who collapsed during a FA Cup tie at Tottenham.
– Stacey broke down in tears as he was led away to begin his jail term.
– A second year biology student at Swansea, Stacey was arrested after his comments on the social networking site were reported by other users.
– A number of people challenged Stacey on Twitter following his first comment, and he responded with a number of offensive posts aimed at other Twitter users.
– Last week the court heard how Stacey posted the offensive comments shortly after the former England Under-21 star collapsed during the FA Cup quarter-final at White Hart Lane on 17 March.
– Magistrates were told police forces across Britain received complaints following the comments.
– Stacey tried to “distance himself” from the tweets by claiming his account had been hacked, the court was told. He later tried to delete his page but was arrested the following day at his student house in Swansea.
– When interviewed by police, Stacey said he had been drinking since lunchtime on Saturday and was drunk when he made the comments.
– Stacey was initially released on bail pending sentence and was ordered not to use Twitter and other social networking sites.
11:06 – Kindle Touch hits the UK
– The Kindle Touch will be available for delivery from 27 April, five months after it went on sale in the US. Unlike in America, there will not be a discounted version with adverts.
– The Touch is being sold for £109 with wi-fi, and £169 with both wi-fi and 3G connectivity, with no monthly fee.
– In the States, the units cost $99 and $149 for the Wi-Fi and 3G editions with adverts, $139 and $189 without adverts
– Still no Kindle Fire!
– What does Bezos do with his billions? Finds Apollo 11 F1 engines and plans to raise then from the Atlantic ocean – they are only 14,000 feet below the surface – http://www.bezosexpeditions.com/engine-recovery.html
15:40 – Harry Potter ebooks finally available
– All seven of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books are now available to download in e-book format from Pottermore, having been initially scheduled for last October.
– The first three can be bought for £4.99 (compared with their paper price of £6.99) and the last four can be bought for £6.99 (compared with their £8.99 printed price). Alternatively the whole lot can be bought as a bundle for £38.65. The titles can be read on e-book devices and platforms including Amazon’s Kindle, Sony’s Reader, Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Google Play — although iBooks is conspicuously not listed. The audiobooks are more pricey, at £17.99 and £32.99 respectively or £167.34 for the bundle.
– landmark move because you can only buy the books on Pottermore, but can fulfil the orders of those books through the Kindle platform. So although you find a shop front for the books atwww.amazon.co.uk/pottermore, the user is directed through to Pottermore to purchase the e-books, which will then be seamlessly pushed to their Kindle Library. Otherwise the books are available in ePub format, which is compatible with a wide range of readers, including Apple devices.
17:49 – Dot scot on the way
– The UK government has reportedly granted Dot Scot Registry, a not-for-profit company, with approval to apply for .scot, a new internet top-level domain.
– The wannabe registry can now apply to domain name policy oversee ICANN for .scot, paying a $185,000 (£116,970) application fee for the privilege.
– Under ICANN rules, any proposed new gTLD that purports to represent a geographic region needs to get a letter of approval or non-objection from the relevant local government. Dot Scot Registry now has that letter, according to The Scotsman.
19:19 – Friends Reunited Relaunches
– Early social networking pioneer Friends Reunited has been relaunched.
The UK-based network, which began in 2000, now invites users to sign up for its new “memories”-based service.
– The original site was bought by ITV for £175m in 2005, only to be sold for £25.6m four years later to online publishing group Brightsolid
– The site’s owner, Brightsolid, believes a host of professional archive content coupled with users’ own material will help make Friends Reunited the choice of social network for people keen to partake in online nostalgia.
– The site has teamed up with the Press Association and the British Library to allow users to attach old material – including newspaper clippings – to their own “memory box”.
– These boxes can be shared on various other networks online – including Facebook, where users can add a Friends Reunited app to their profile.
– The service is currently free to use – although Mr Kuyl said revenue-generating options were being considered further down the line, including inviting brands to offer their own nostalgic material, such as old cars, to be added to users’ memories.
22:02 – Shitter
– New startup will deliver your tweets on toilet rolls

Picks
Ian
Paper
– a blank slate of paper devoid of settings panels, menus, and adjustable line widths.
– team behind it had an interesting history: a handful of them spent several years at Microsoft, with a good chunk of that time focused on the Courier
– Fountain pen is only tool at startup
– Free app but £6 for 4 tools – Write (ballpoint), Sketch (pencil), Outline (marker), and Color (watercolor paintbrush)
– Simplicity and clear toolbar free UI is really nice. Great for sketching, but here’s the funny. A stylus really helps.
– Undo is really nice – hold two fingers on iPad and rotate anti clockwise – step through additions removing one at a time
– Share – twitter, facebook, tumblr and e-mail

Wind Map
– Lovely visualisation of current wind flows in the US
– Team hope to expand ot other countries if they can find the data feeds they need

DigitalOutbox Episode 112

DigitalOutbox Episode 112
In this episode the team discuss Apple and it’s money. Mike Daisey, Game and iPlayer hits the 360.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:01 – Twitter turns 6
– wowzers. launched 6 years ago in 21st March.
– known as twttr back then!
1:58 – Apple makes announcement on spending money
– Buy Twitter?
– Buy a carrier?
– Buy Samsung?
– Increase Foxconn salaries?
– Invest in cloud?
– Philanthropic?
– Reduce prices?
– No, Apple plans to pay shareholders a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share sometime in Q4 2012, which for Apple begins this July. In case you were wondering, the last time Apple paid dividends was in 1995 – a move that netted shareholders $0.12 per share.
– On top of that, Apple’s Board of Directors gave their blessing for the company to buy back $10 billion of stock over the next three years. The repurchase program is slated to begin in September 2012, and is meant to help neutralize “the impact of dilution from future employee equity grants and employee stock purchase programs.”
– Overall cost is $45 billion, but they made almost $15 million last quarter alone
5:05 – This American Life retracts episode on Foxconn
– US public-radio show This American Life has retracted a story it aired in January – the most listened-to show in its history – in which monologist Mike Daisey detailed what he claimed were his personal experiences when investigating heinous working conditions in plants operated by Apple’s Chinese contract manufacturers.
– A new episode of This American Life detailing the issues and what happened airs later today, with an MP3 of the broadcast available Sunday. Host Ira Glass is taking full responsibility for the error, saying that he’s “horrified to have let something like this onto public radio.”
– Daisey lied to me and to This American Life producer Brian Reed during the fact checking we did on the story, before it was broadcast. That doesn’t excuse the fact that we never should’ve put this on the air. In the end, this was our mistake.
– For his part, Daisey does not seem to be contrite at all, with a statement on his blog saying that his work is “not journalism” and “operates under a different set of rules and expectations” from a show like This American Life.
– What I do is not journalism. The tools of the theater are not the same as the tools of journalism. For this reason, I regret that I allowed THIS AMERICAN LIFE to air an excerpt from my monologue. THIS AMERICAN LIFE is essentially a journalistic ­- not a theatrical ­- enterprise, and as such it operates under a different set of rules and expectations.
– The bit that pisses me off about Daisey – he lies to justify his show:
– To my audiences: It’s you that I owe the most to. I want you all to know that I will not go silent—I will be making a full accounting of this work, shining a light through this monologue and telling the story of its origins, construction, and details.
– I believe the truth is vitally important. I continue to believe that. I believe that I will answer for the things I have done. I told Ira that story should always be subordinate to the truth, and I still believe that. Sometimes I fall short of that goal, but I will never stop trying to achieve it.
– Ironic
– http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xnb2hi_mike-daisey-on-technology-journalists_tech
– video of Mike Daisey lamenting tech journalists and the lack of journalism in the industry
11:12 – New iPad Sales
– Three million sold
– “The new iPad is a blockbuster with three million sold-the strongest iPad launch yet,” said Philip Schiller
– Strongest launch as it’s on sale in the most countries?
13:03 – Sky launches NowTV
– broadcaster is branching out into internet TV, launching a completely new brand called Now TV.
– it will be pay-as-you-go and “over-the-top” [i.e. IPTV that won’t require having a Sky contract or Sky hardware installed].
– service will launch with films, then sports before adding the broadcaster’s entertainment content.
14:21 – iPlayer finally added to 360
– free for all Xbox Live users, making it the first UK entertainment app on the system that doesn’t require an Xbox Live Gold subscription.
– No login support, but can favourite, search
– HD available as well as subtitles
– Worked well in my tests – easy to use and good clear picture
16:20 – Game shares suspended
– shares were suspended and it admitted the business has no value.
– The company, which operates 1,300 stores worldwide and employs 10,000 staff, was reported to be trying to raise £180m this week or face administration after several suppliers refused to provide it with new products.
– In a statement on Wednesday morning, Game said discussions were taking place with a potential third-party funder but it was unable to assess its financial position and was “of the opinion that there is no equity value left in the group”.
– Its shares were suspended on the London Stock Exchange “pending clarification of the company’s financial position”.
– Some 600 of Game’s stores are in the UK, employing 6,000 staff. All the group’s stores, which also include the Gamestation brand, are still open for business.
– It has been reported that Game faces a £21m rent payment on Sunday and a £12m wage bill at the end of the month. It also owes more than £10m in VAT and £40m to suppliers. A new investor would have to pay up to £100m to Game’s banks.
19:15 – A budget for game developers
– Chancellor George Osborne has heeded calls from the videogame industry and agreed to provide it with tax breaks.
– Announced in today’s Budget, the scheme will commence in April 2013, giving time for civil servants and stakeholders to thrash out the details – “subject to State Aid approval and following consultation”, as Mandarin-speak puts it.
– That said, the Treasury estimates the relief, which will also apply to animation companies, will cost the Exchequer £15m in the 2013-2014 tax year, rising to £35m in 2014-2015.
– Videogame industry organisations such as Tiga, which represents developers, believe that cost will be more than balanced by extra tax revenue generated by UK publishers who would otherwise send development work overseas to countries already offering generous tax breaks to games coders.
1:29 – BBC Boss coad Service
– Chancellor George Osborne has heeded calls from the videogame industry and agreed to provide it with tax breaks.
– Announced in today’s Budget, the scheme will commence in April 2013, giving time for civil servants and stakeholders to thrash out the details – “subject to State Aid approval and following consultation”, as Mandarin-speak puts it.
– That said, the Treasury estimates the relief, which will also apply to animation companies, will cost the Exchequer £15m in the 2013-2014 tax year, rising to £35m in 2014-2015.
– Videogame industry organisations such as Tiga, which represents developers, believe that cost will be more than balanced by extra tax revenue generated by UK publishers who would otherwise send development work overseas to countries already offering generous tax breaks to games coders.
19:55 – Zynga buys OMGPOP
– Zynga has acquired OMGPOP, addingDraw Something to its list of popular social and mobile gaming titles. Zynga paid OMGPOP $178.5 million, plus another $30 million in employee retention
– For OMGPOP the deal is a culmination of six years of blood, sweat and tears, as it started primarily as a maker of Flash-based games for the desktop. But mobile and social changes everything: Putting Draw Something on a mobile device, making it accessible wherever and whenever and harnessing the power of Facebook to connect players and their friends has made OMGPOP an overnight powerhouse.
22:35 – Facebook launches HD photo
– will now display photos in high resolution by default, and will allow you to enter a full screen gallery mode by clicking arrows in the top right corner of a photo. On a big display, the company claims, photos will display up to four times larger than before (assuming they were taken using a half-decent camera). The maximum resolution the photo viewer can handle is 2048 x 2048, we’re told.
– While the social networking site has allowed high definition photo uploads since late 2010, only now will the site default to displaying the biggest image at hand. With these new features Facebook is placing an even bigger bet on high quality photo content going forward, which will have a huge impact on its server farms; six billion high definition photo uploads per month will take up a lot of space (and bandwidth, for that matter)
24:08 – Pirate Bay Drones
– Suffered some downtime at the weekend – they then posted this…
– With the development of GPS controlled drones, far-reaching cheap radio equipment and tiny new computers like the Raspberry Pi, we’re going to experiment with sending out some small drones that will float some kilometers up in the air. This way our machines will have to be shut down with aeroplanes in order to shut down the system. A real act of war.
– We’re just starting so we haven’t figured everything out yet. But we can’t limit ourselves to hosting things just on land anymore. These Low Orbit Server Stations (LOSS) are just the first attempt. With modern radio transmitters we can get over 100Mbps per node up to 50km away. For the proxy system we’re building, that’s more than enough.

Picks
Henry
CloudOn
– free office on ipad.
– Now accepting signups

Cloak
– Zero config vpn app for Mac and iOS

DigitalOutbox Episode 111

DigitalOutbox Episode 111
In this episode the team discuss Encyclopedia Britannica, BBC, Yahoo Sues Facebook and homeless wi-fi transmitters

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:29 – BBC Boss confirms Pay Download Service
– BBC director general Mark Thompson has confirmed plans for aniTunes-style download service that will allow viewers to buy programmes minutes after they have finished on TV.
– Thompson said the proposal, called Project Barcelona, would allow viewers to “purchase a digital copy of a programme to own and keep [for] a relatively modest charge”.
– Thompson was not specific about the timescale or pricing, but sources said it was hoped that programmes would be available to buy at the same time as they go on the iPlayer. Early speculation put the price at £1.89 a show.
– Anticipating criticism that viewers were being made to pay twice for the same content, Thompson said: “This is not a second licence-fee by stealth or any reduction in the current public service offering from the BBC – it’s the exact analogy of going into a high-street shop to buy a DVD or, before that, a VHS cassette.
3:47 – DrawSomething is a hit
– In just five weeks, the pictionary-like game has been downloaded 20 million times.
– That’s more users than 3-year-old Foursquare has. That’s almost as many users as 1.5-year-old Instagram.
– Draw Something is one of the fastest growing mobile apps of all time.
– CEO Dan Porter tells us the game is generating 6-figures per day. His company has generated more revenue from the game in five weeks than the entire company generated last year. He hasn’t spent a dime on marketing since the app’s first week.
– Of the 20 million downloads, Porter says 12 million are active users.
5:46 – Game warns investors
– officially warned investors that it is on the brink of collapse.
– The company said it had put itself up for sale but warned that “it is uncertain whether any of the solutions currently being explored by the board will be successful or will result in any value being attributed to the shares of the company.”
– Game desperately needs cash before the end of the month to pay its quarterly rent bill. If it fails to pay up it could be pushed into administration, putting 10,000 jobs at risk and wiping out any shareholder value. The warning sent the shares, which have already lost more than 95% of their value over the past year, crashing a further 65% to 1.2p, valuing the company at just £4.3m.
– At a conference in New York this weekend John Riccitiello, EA’s chief executive, said: “It was a risk a month ago. Now it looks like a fact, although we’re still praying for the lenders to get rational and keep them in business. You probably know who I’m talking about.”

– Diablo III Finally Dated
– http://www.joystiq.com/2012/03/15/diablo-3-emerges-from-hell-may-15/
– Diable III launches May 15th – PC & Mac
– Blizzard also took a moment to remind everyone that you can still snag a free copy of Diablo 3 by signing up for a World of Warcraft annual pass. The deal expires on May 1.
– Diablo II came out in…..2000!
9:38 – Everything Everywhere should be allowed to offer 4G
– The UK’s largest mobile phone company, Everything Everywhere, should be allowed to offer its 27 million customers a 4G superfast broadband connection this year, Ofcom said on Monday.
– The telecoms watchdog said it was inclined to approve an application from EE, which owns the Orange and T-Mobile networks, to launch a 4G network ahead of its rivals.
– “Ofcom has considered whether allowing Everything Everywhere to use this spectrum in this way would distort competition, and provisionally concluded that it would not. And given the benefits this would bring to consumers, Ofcom is minded to allow this change of use.”
– There will be a consultation, which closes on 17 April. Ofcom could grant approval during the second quarter, allowing EE to have its 4G service running by autumn. The company has not said where it intends to make 4G available, although it will be trialling the technology and is likely to target major cities including London.
– This will give EE a significant first-mover advantage over rivals. The UK’s other operators, Vodafone, O2 and Three, are unlikely to be able to create their own 4G networks until they buy more spectrum from the government, and the auction is not due to conclude before the summer of 2013.
11:16 – Virgin Media chosen to bring wi-fi to London Underground
– Virgin Media has been selected to deliver Wi-Fi to 80 tube stations on the London Underground in time for the Olympics, with 120 locations to be live by the end of the year
– Free during Olympics
– Pay as you go post Olympics
12:30 – Yahoo sues Facebook
– Yahoo is filing a lawsuit against Facebook claiming infringement of patents covering advertising, privacy controls and social networking, following through on a threat it made last month.
– In a court filing , the former web giant – which has been reduced to a shadow of its former self as internal strife and the rise of Facebook have eaten away at its position – said that Facebook, founded in 2004, infringes 10 of its patents.
– Not just that – “Facebook’s entire social network model, which allows users to create profiles for and connect with, among other things, persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo!’s patented social networking technology,” Yahoo says in its complaint.
– Time to abolish software patents? Stifling innovation?
15:00 – Twitter buy Posterous
– Twitter just announced that it has acquired Posterous, the Y Combinator-backed blogging and sharing platform that competed early on with Tumblr.
– Posterous says its service Spaces will stay up and running and that the company will give plenty of notice to users if they start to change the service.
16:36 – Encyclopaedia Britannica goes online only
– For 244 years, the thick volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica have stood on the shelves of homes, libraries, and businesses everywhere, a source of enlightenment as well as comfort to their owners and users around the world.
– Today we’ve announced that we will discontinue the 32-volume printed edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica when our current inventory is gone.
– Free access to website for a week
– Then switches to paid access
20:41 – South by Southwest breakout product
– A marketing agency touched off a wave of criticism and debate when it hired members of the local homeless population to walk around carrying mobile Wi-Fi devices, offering conferencegoers Internet access in exchange for donations.
BBH Labs, the innovation unit of the international marketing agency BBH, outfitted 13 volunteers from a homeless shelter with the devices, business cards and T-shirts bearing their names: “I’m Clarence, a 4G Hotspot.” They were told to go to the most densely packed areas of the conference, which has become a magnet for those who want to chase the latest in technology trends.
– Clever?
– Exploitative?
– SXSW outgrown itself
23:54 – Employers asking for facebook logins

Picks
Henry
Bryce 7 pro
– Free until end of march
– Mac and PC – doesn’t work well with Lion

Ian
MacUpdate Bundle
– VMware Fusion 4 ($49.99) – Run Windows and more on your Mac without rebooting
– Drive Genius 3 ($99.00) – Optimize, repair, test, resize and clean up your Mac
– PDFpen 5 ($59.95) – Edit and annotate PDFs
– ForkLift 2.5 ($29.95) – File manager: FTP, WebDAV, S3, Bluetooth, and more
– Typinator 5 ($33.00) – Text expansion solution
– DesktopShelves 2 ($14.99) – Display folders as desktop shelves
– Snapheal ($14.99) – Professional-quality image enhancement utility
– Boom ($10.99) – Boost audio output for your entire system
– Phone to Mac ($24.95) – Copy media from an iOS device to your Mac
– Star Wars: The Force Unleashed ($29.99) – High-energy action set in the Star Wars universe
– Worms Special Edition ($9.99) – Classic turn-based strategy game
– $378 of app’s for $49.99
– 13 days and 8 hours – so a couple of weeks to bag a bargain

DigitalOutbox Episode 110

DigitalOutbox Episode 110
In this episode the team discuss the new iPad, Google Play and Halo 4.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
0:59 – Apple Keynote
– We’re in post pc world
– 1080p movies and tv shows on iTunes and via iCloud
– New Apple TV – same price, 1080p, new UI – out March 16th
– iPad
– Retina display
– Ryan Block’s first impressions of the new iPad:
It’s the best display I’ve ever seen. Anywhere, period. And it makes a meaningful difference to the experience — it’s not just a spec.
– 4G LTE support – not great for UK- Everything Everywhere, Three (3) and O2 have plans to roll out 21Mbit/s HSPA+ nationwide by Q3 2012
– 5mp camera
– Voice dictation – No siri
– Prices the same
– New name – iPad :-)
– Out March 16th
– iPad 2 price reduced
– iPhoto for iOS software announced – very nice UI
– Switched to using Open Street Maps for maps – http://blog.osmfoundation.org/2012/03/08/welcome-apple/ – The OSM data that Apple is using is rather old (start of April 2010) so don’t expect to see your latest and greatest updates on there. It’s also missing the necessary credit to OpenStreetMap’s contributors; we look forward to working with Apple to get that on there.
– iOS 5.1 out – Jap siri, can now delete photos from photo stream plus a few minorish updates
– Sad face – too many people saying Steve wouldn’t have done this, Apple are failing, they’ve made a mistake – from successful business folk or tech commentators that are link baiting. Work it out.
15:08 – Google Play
– Google shutter Android Market, Google Music and the Google eBookstore and launch Google Play
– Google Play – apps, movies, music and books – all in one place
– Not just a store front – it’s a digital destination
– With Google Play you can:
– Store up to 20,000 songs for free and buy millions of new tracks
– Download more than 450,000 Android apps and games
– Browse the world’s largest selection of eBooks
– Rent thousands of your favorite movies, including new releases and HD titles
– Android 2.2 or higher getting OTA updates over the next week
– One more thing – rented movies from Google play won’t work on rooted devices
– So…..is this not iCloud and iTunes?
16:43 – Raspberry Pi
– Shipped tail end of Feb
– Available from RS Components and Farnell – both suffered melt down
– Demand at end of last week was running at 700…….per second
– Farnell – Besides interest in the UK, here had also been interest from a Middle East government which wanted to give one to every schoolgirl in order to enhance their job prospects. She declined to name the country, but said “the inclusion of girls is very important.
20:47 – BT and Talk Talk lose challenge over Digital Economy Act
– The government has been given the green light to implement the Digital Economy Act after the final legal challenge by two internet service providers was thrown out at the court of appeal.
– BT and TalkTalk on Tuesday lost their appeal against last year’s judicial review of the government’s controversial anti-piracy legislation on all but one ground.
– Three senior judges at the court of appeal ruled that the government could not make ISPs pay a proportion of the case fees attached to the act.
– They confirmed that the ISPs should pay 25% of relevant costs, which are operating fees incurred when identifying which subscribers are accused of illegal downloading.
– The judges overturned a previous high court ruling which said that the ISPs have to pay 25% of case fees that are charged by the proposed appeals body.
– Rights holders have agreed to foot 75% of the costs in each of the three fees.
– The court of appeal also ruled that BT and TalkTalk must pay 93% of the costs of the legal challenge, a figure understood to have run into six figures.
– So ISP’s will start writing letters to ‘pirates’
22:44 – Lulzsec leader was working for the FBI
– Hector Xavier Monsegur, known as Sabu, was charged with 12 criminal counts of conspiracy to engage in computer hacking and other crimes in court papers in Manhattan federal court, after secretly pleading guilty on August 15 to 12 counts of computer hacking conspiracies.
– Monsegur, an unemployed 28-year-old Puerto Rican living in New York, pleaded guilty to carrying out online attacks against PayPal and Mastercard, documents unsealed in a Manhattan court on Tuesday shows. The charges were filed via a “criminal information” form, which means the suspect has been cooperating with the government.
– Five other people – two in the UK, two in Ireland and one in Chicago – were either arrested or charged by the FBI on Tuesday, details of which were set out in an indictment brought by the US Attorney General’s office in New York.
– One of the people named in the indictment, Jake Davis, already faces a number of charges in the UK relating to alleged hacking by LulzSec. Also known by his hacker name of “Topiary”, Davis, 19, of Lerwick, Shetland, was on Tuesday charged in the US with two counts of computer hacking conspiracy.
– But the explosive revelation that LulzSec’s leader was cooperating with the FBI, even while he was claiming to hate the government, could lead to the arrest of other hackers within the broader Anonymous group. It will also heighten distrust among the more powerful members of the collective – where paranoia about security always runs high anyway.
– An FBI official was quoted by Fox News, which broke the story, as saying: “This is devastating to the organisation … we’re chopping off the head of LulzSec.”
24:39 – Game and Capcom issues
– Capcom’s Street Fighter X Tekken and Asura’s Wrath will not be available from GAME or Gamestation.
– Both were scheduled for release this Friday on March 9th.
– It is the latest in a string of blockbusters not stocked by the High Street chain, including Mass Effect 3, Mario Party 9, The Last Story and FIFA Street.
27:49 – Halo 4 Preview
– How do we really support different play styles in Halo 4? There’s always been a lot of choice in Halo, but it’s about pushing that even further. It gets back to how do we allow players to choose the thing that supports the play style that makes them the most successful.”
The move toward a full character progression system will no doubt be controversial with Halo fans, and will be viewed as a shift in style toward first-person shooter rivals such as Call of Duty and Battlefield.
– “The community should have some confidence that it’s been thought through as a Halo game,” said franchise development director Frank O’Connor. “The balance system has been considered as an intrinsic part the Halo feel. I’d like to tell people to be happy and confident and look forward to it, but I can’t control that. We’ll explain our decisions at a later date. It’s been carefully considered.”
– During a press briefing, Holmes also hinted that the infrastructure of the multiplayer mode is likely to evolve too, with changes to the lobby and matchmaking systems that suggest a more socially connected title. “We’re really changing the experience surrounding multiplayer,” he said. “We’re providing a brand new experience for you and your friends to play, in a way you’ve never played Halo before.”
– The worry over this not being a Bungie game hasn’t gone
– Battle rifle returns…but unlockable abilities sound like COD or Battlefield
– Forza Horizon
– http://forzamotorsport.net/en-us/en-us/forza_horizon_announce/
– Forza Horizon is being developed by Playground Games in collaboration with Turn 10 Studios. Playground Games is an independent UK game development studio formed in 2009. It was founded by the leadership team responsible for award-winning racing franchises like TOCA, Colin McRae Rally, GRID, and DiRT.
– Forza outrun as Gavin described it – Fall 2012
– Forza Porsche pack coming May

Picks
Chris
DrawSomething
– OMGPOP game.
– Cross device app (Android, iOS)
– Turn based pictionary in essence. You get to chose the word you want to try and draw. More coins earned for harder words.
– Other person then gets to see a recording of you drawing.
– Hangman style letters at bottom of the screen to chose from and make a word.
– Once correct/pass, the recording of the other person guessing is then played back to the original drawer – followed by watching the other player draw their word… etc
– Idea is to get the longest winning streaks.
– Coins earn you unlocks – eg you start with a limited pallet, so coins unlock more colour options. High coin prices on colours etc mean you need to play lots to unlock OR (of course) you can in-app purchase more coins.
– Yes, it’s easy to cheat and just write the word on screen – but MOST people don’t do this and I just stop playing with anyone who does that.
– Currently on sale 69p.

DigitalOutbox Episode 109

DigitalOutbox Episode 109
In this episode the team discuss Mobile World Congress, Windows 8 and trouble for Game.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
3:00 – Mobile World Congress
– Android Stats
– http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/27/2827545/andy-rubin-850k-android-activations-a-day-300m-total-devices-12m
– 850,000 activations per day bringing total to some 300 million total devices — including 12 million tablets.
– That’s according to Andy Rubin, who clarified the numbers in a meeting with reporters earlier today: he said that Google only counts activations once per device ID and doesn’t “chop things up” when users reset or sell their phones.
– Devices like the Kindle Fire that don’t include Google services aren’t included in the numbers — Rubin said that Samsung’s larger Galaxy Tabs are the most popular tablets counted.
– As far as apps, Rubin noted that there are now some 450 thousand apps in Android Market, up from 160 thousand a year ago.
– Rubin also said that Nexus devices aren’t huge sellers, but rather Google’s attempt to “set the bar for what’s possible”
– Tablets – 2012 is going to be the year that we double down and make sure we’re winning in that space.”
– Rubin said he was “painfully aware” of Motorola concerns, but stressed that Google has “literally built a firewall” between the Android team and Motorola. “I don’t even know anything about their products, I haven’t seen anything,” he said. “They’re going to continue building Motorola branded devices and it’s going to be the same team doing it.”
– Asked if other OEMs would be disfavored once Motorola’s team comes in-house, Rubin also said that the open source nature of the platform makes it “physically difficult for me to advantage somebody,”
– Jelly Bean, Android 5.0, hinted at for fall 2012

– Sony Xperia P
– http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/26/2826025/sony-xperia-p-announced
– unibody aluminum handset has a 4-inch display
– first to use Sony’s White Magic display technology, which makes the phone much more readable in sunlight
– 1GHz dual-core processor, and is running Gingerbread — though Sony says an Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade is coming in Q2.
– It also has an 8-megapixel camera that will shoot 1080p video, and connects to Sony’s Xperia Smart Dock to mirror your display onto your HDTV, or connect it to a mouse and keyboard
– NFC too
– 2nd quarter 2012
– HTC One X
– http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/26/2825303/htc-one-x-pictures-video-hands-on-preview
– a 4.7-inch 720p “Super LCD 2″ panel that is simply better than anything we’ve seen on the market. It’s bright and crisp, of course, but as we turned and twisted the phone we were literally unable to come up with a viewing angle that contained any distortion or discoloration.
– Quad core Tegra, 1Gb RAM
– 8 megapixel camera
– Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4
– Next couple of months for release
– HTC One S
– http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/26/2824758/htc-one-s-pictures-video-hands-on
– Smaller screen (only 4.3 inch) and pentile
– Design is better – aluminium unibody
– Seemingly feels great in the hand
– Ice Cream Sandwich and Sense 4
– Next couple of months for release
– Nokia 808 Pureview
– http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/27/nokia-announces-808-pureview-belle-os-4-inch-display-41-megap/

– reach Europe in the next quarter for a price of 450 Euros
– OS is Symbian Belle; Why not Windows????????????
– the engine is a 1.3GHz single-core chip;
– the display is 4-inches corner to corner but its resolution is a Nokia-style 360 x 640 (nHD).
– There’s 512MB of RAM and 16GB of on-board storage that is thankfully expandable via microSD.
– Now that Carl Zeiss-lensed camera: it handles continuous-focus 1080p, but is claimed to have an incredible sensor resolution of over 41-megapixels when shooting stills — or 34-megapixels for 16:9 images.
– The 808 camera doesn’t take 41-megapixel photos; it collects 41 megapixels of data and uses all that data to create a very nice photo of a much smaller size.
– It uses some clever interpolation jiggery-pokery that condenses four or five pixels into one pixel, to produce a smaller file size for the output image
– Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note 10.1
– Note comes with a stylus
– Samsung Galaxy S III
– http://www.bgr.com/2012/02/27/samsung-galaxy-s-iii-full-specs-1-5ghz-quad-core-1080p-display-ceramic-case/
– Did an Apple by stealing the show without being revealed?
– 1.5GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor
– 4.8-inch “full HD” 1080p resolution with 16:9 aspect ratio display
– A 2-megapixel front-facing camera and an 8-megapixel rear camera
– Ceramic case
– 4G LTE
– Android 4.0
– ASUS Pad Phone
– http://techinstyle.tv/20122723801/post-types/news/the-asus-padfone-one-device-to-rule-them-all/
– Dual core, 4.3inch high density display phone – 8mpix camera
– That then docks into a tablet – 1280×800 res
– That can then have a keyboard attached to turn into portable.
16:40 – EU votes to cut roaming charges
– a proposal has been outlined suggesting that by July 2014, operators will not be able to charge roaming customers any more than €0.15 a minute for calls, €0.04 to text, or (perhaps most importantly) €0.20 a megabyte for data. It could soon be the law.
– The legislature will now have to try to convince the European Commission — the EU’s executive arm — and 27 EU governments to approve the lower caps before June, when current roaming regulation expires.
– The parliament’s decision paved the way for a lowering of charges on calls made while abroad to 0.25 euro ($0.33) per minute by June from a maximum 0.35 euro now.
That cap would fall to 0.15 euro in 2014 if the parliament’s proposals win the support of EU governments.
– Vodafone boss, Vittoria Colao, not happy – “Does Europe need employment, or does Europe need rate cuts?” he asked. “We should stop having this continuous intervention on prices and let the industry reinvest the money.”
– He then went on to describe what he saw as “hell”: a worst-case scenario in which profits fall, reinvestment is impossible, development ceases, jobs are cut, and a whole range of related industries — media, software, entertainment.
– Nonsense – Vodafone made nearly $12 billion in profit over the last six months.
19:48 – Windows 8 Consumer Preview
– Start Screen
– From the Start screen you can launch apps, switch between tasks, share content, and check notifications. The tiles show real-time updates—news, sports, and what your friends are up to. You can check your schedule or get the latest weather forecast without searching for information—no need to open an app to see your next appointment or find out if you have any new email.
– Cloud is key – link to skydrive, get contacts etc
– Touch built in – first Windows designed for tablet
– If you’re using touch, just swipe in from the left edge to go back to your last app, or keep swiping to go back through several apps. If you’re using a mouse, just move it to the upper-left corner to see your last app. You can also move your mouse down from the corner to see more recently used apps. Or you can try one of my favorite features: swipe in from the left, and then slide your last app out to the left or right side of the screen to snap it in place.
– Charms
– Swipe in from the right edge of the screen or move your mouse to the upper-right corner, and the charms bar appears (you can also use the Windows key + C). The charms are the quickest way to navigate to key tasks in Windows 8. You can go to the Start screen, or use the charms for quick shortcuts to common tasks.
– Share
– The Share charm makes it incredibly easy. And just like with Search, apps can hook into Share easily, so you don’t have to jump in and out of an app to share great content. You can quickly send wise words with the Mail app or share a great photo on SkyDrive. The apps you use most often are listed first for quick access, and you can choose whether to share with just one person, or with all of your contacts at once.
– App Store – pretty huge – market so much bigger than Apple, but are consumers used to paying? Still, huge!
– Better cleansing/rebuild options
– Desktop still exists
– Great use of hotcorners – easily navigate around the system
– Consumer preview out now
28:42 – Twitter figure out revenue streams
– DataSift, one of Twitter’s data partners which currently provides developers and third parties with access to the full Twitter firehose in realtime, is about to unlock a whole new set of Twitter data to the ecosystem. The social data platform has launched Historics, a cloud-computing platform that enables entrepreneurs and enterprises to extract business insights from Twitter’s public Tweets dating back to January 2010 (we originally reported on the pending launch here).
– Developers, businesses and organizations can essentially use DataSift to mine the Twitter firehose of social data. But what makes DataSift special (besides the premier access to Twitter data) is that it can then filter this social media data for demographic information, online influence and sentiment, either positive or negative. As we’ve reported in the past, DataSift does not limit searches based on keywords and allows companies of any size to define extremely complex filters, including location, gender, sentiment, language, and even influence based on Klout score, to provide quick and very specific insight and analysis.
– Currently, DataSift is the only company to offer historical Tweets from as far back as two years ago. As AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes reported recently, Gnip was the first authorized reseller of historical data from Twitter, Tweets only went past 30 days (previously developers generally had access to 7 days worth of data).
– With DataSift, companies can now tap into both real-time and over two years of historical Tweets to filter and extract insights and trends that relate to brands, businesses, financial markets, news and public opinion.
– So instead of making their search tool less shit, they have made a business model out of searching greater than seven days worth of tweets
– http://allthingsd.com/20120228/twitter-ads-head-to-your-phone/
– Twitter promoted ad’s and tweets now on your phone client
– Official twitter app’s only
– Yet another reason to install Tweetbot
30:18 – Game will not stock future EA games
– The latest sign of significant trouble for UK retailer Game: it won’t have Mass Effect 3 to sell for next week’s launch. An internal memo obtained by Eurogamer also reveals the retailer is canceling pre-orders on upcoming EA titles FIFA Street, Tiger Woods 13 and Sims 3 Showtime.
– “Last week we held an event for our publishers in the industry and explained the challenges we are facing in the short term – and we asked for their support,” Game channel director Tom Devine wrote. “We will not stock products if the terms are not right for our business – a position we believe is critical to our long term health as a business – we have taken the very difficult decision to not stock EA’s March releases, including Mass Effect 3.”
– Game tried to spin its missing Ubisoft Vita launch titles last week, but no amount of voodoo is going to get folks to ignore that Mass Effect 3 isn’t available at the retailer.
– Game blamed a dispute with the publisher of Mass Effect 3. The company will refund deposits to customers who have pre-ordered as well as giving customers a £5 voucher or reward points. Refund though is for spending at Game, not a cash refund.
– EA said: “Game’s challenges with several of its suppliers is regrettable, however given the incredibly high demand for Mass Effect 3 we want our consumers to know that the game is available at a wide variety of retailers across the UK and Europe.

Picks
Ian
Moom
– $5
– Application/window sizer
– Size an app to half, quarter screen with ease
– Size to a grid – great for spcaing out apps easily
– Create window layouts – handy for common task involving a few app’s….like podcasting, graphic editing, coding
– A tool OS X should really have built in

Chris
Do Not Track +
– Essentially a browser plugin that blocks tracking data from reporting back about your visits.
– Chrome, FF, IE, Safari / Mac, PC
– Stops an awful lot of ‘chatter’ that goes between advertising and tracking companies and social visit tracking through like/+1 buttons.
– Stops analytics tracking.
– Doesn’t stop some tracking – especially where logged in and interacting with social buttons so not fool proof by any means