DigitalOutbox Episode 135

DigitalOutbox Episode 135
DigitalOutbox Episode 135 – iOS6, Maps and UK Pirates

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Shownotes
2:31 – Manchester is the UK piracy capital
– Manchester has been named the piracy capital of the UK, according to a new study seen exclusively by the BBC. The research said there were more illegal downloads per person in the city than any other in the country, followed by Nottingham and Southampton.
– The statistics, from monitoring service Musicmetric, conclude that in the first half of 2012, UK users illegally shared over 40 million albums and singles.
– The data, collected independently by Musicmetric and seen exclusively by the BBC, is believed to be the biggest analysis of its kind to be conducted.
– Globally, the research suggested that the UK is a significant player on the world stage as a country of illegal music downloaders. The country was placed second in the world in terms of pure volume of illegal activity, with Musicmetric logging 43,263,582 downloads in the first six months of this year.
– The US topped the list, with 96,681,133 downloads tracked in the same period. Italy (33,158,943), Canada (23,959,924) and Brazil (19,724,522) made up the remainder of the top five.
– Musicmetric’s findings said that singer Ed Sheeran was the most pirated act in the UK for the first half of 2012, followed by hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks and Barbadian megastar Rihanna. The data suggested that Ed Sheeran’s 2011 album + (Plus) was illegally downloaded an average of 55,512 times every month, and was the most popular download in over 460 towns and cities in the UK.
– Legal UK sales of his album in the first half of 2012 hit the 448,000 mark – making it the fourth most popular album behind releases from Adele, Emeli Sande and Lana Del Rey.
6:44 – Amazon brings Cloud Player music service to the UK
– Amazon Cloud Player now live in the UK as of now, offering 5GB of online storage and the ability to stream 250 of your tracks (or 256Kbps matched versions) to a range of devices free of charge. Adding extra storage will cost from £6 per year for 20GB, rising to £320 p/a for a full terabyte. If you’re a heavy user, though, you may also need to fork out £22 p/a for the right to stream up to 250,000 of your tracks.
9:11 – iOS6 – updated maps disappoint
– iOS6 released
– 200 new features – allegedly
– Maps is one of the high profile changes
– Replaces Google maps with Apple’s own version
– Cleaner look, free navigation, 3d maps for a few select citites
– Local transit features gone
– Many satellite images are poor especially across the UK
– Searching is poor or worse innacurate
– Among the user complaints regarding Apple’s maps sent to the BBC were:
– Users have complained about the quality of satellite images in the new software (bottom)
– Some towns appear to be missing, such as Stratford-upon-Avon and Solihull.
– Others, like Uckfield in East Sussex, are in the wrong location.
– Satellite images of various locations, particularly in Scotland, are obscured by cloud.
– A search for Manchester United Football Club directs users to Sale United Football Club, a community team for ages five and above.
– Users also reported missing local places, such as schools, or strange locations. Another screenshot showed a furniture museum that was apparently located in a river.
– But don’t worry – Apple want US to fix it – http://www.imore.com/how-add-location-or-report-problem-ios-6-maps
– Crowd sourcing will address the shortfalls over time
18:34 – Record preorders for the boring iPhone 5
– Apple today announced that it managed to rack up 2 million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 in 24 hours, two times as many as it managed for the iPhone 4S last year, which sold over 1 million devices during its first 24 hours of pre-order sales. That’s a new record, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been watching the progress of iPhone pre-order sales since the device originally hit the market.
– The iPhone 4S eventually went on to sell more than 4 million devices over the course of its first weekend actually on store shelves, so expect the iPhone 5 to blow past that milestone, too. The iPhone 5 is initially available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K., adding two new countries (Hong Kong and Singapore) to the list of launch regions for the iPhone 4s, so expect that to influence early sales as well, especially since Hong Kong is a popular destination for those looking to resell the iPhone at a premium on the grey market in China.
20:22 – HTC Windows Phone 8X
– HTC is unveiling its flagship Windows Phone 8 handset today, the Windows Phone 8X. The branding might sound Microsoft-like, but there’s a good reason for that — the two companies have joined forces on a marketing campaign that will make HTC the face of Windows Phone 8.
– The 8X will ship in a choice of four colors in early November, ones that represent the bold colors of Windows Phone 8. California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow will all be available — with accent colors in the Windows Phone 8 interface to match the hardware color. European operators will only stock blue, black, and yellow versions — and while HTC refused to reveal which operators will stock each color, it insisted that it is not restricting colors to certain carriers at this time. The 8X takes advantage of a 4.3-inch 720p HD super LCD 2 display with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and NFC support.
– HTC is shipping Beats Audio support on both of its Windows Phone 8 handsets, with an extra amplifier for audio out on the 8X to power larger headphones in the Beats range without distortion. A notification will launch the Beats Audio app on Windows Phone 8 once headphones are plugged in, allowing users to turn the Beats integration on or off.
– On the camera side of things, HTC has opted to include an 8-megapixel shooter on the rear of the device with the usual LED flash. That’s a fairly standard affair for most flagship smartphones these days, but HTC has gone one step further with the front facing camera. A 2.1-megapixel camera is available for Skype or forward facing shots, with an f/2.0 lens and BSI sensor to help with low-light shots. The 88 degrees wide angle lens will also work well for forward facing group shots and 1080p video recording.
23:11 – MS Employees to get Surface Tablet
– Microsoft has found an eager early audience for its Windows-8-powered Surface Ultrabook: its own employees.
– The software giant is reportedly giving each of its 94,000 full-time staff a Surface computer for work and home use, in a gesture of mass Windows 8 munificence announced at the company’s annual staff meeting in Seattle’s KeyArena.
– Employees are also getting new Windows Phone 8 handsets – a repeat of the giveaway Microsoft made of phones running Windows 7.
24:07 – Yahoo replace RIM smartphones
– New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer just sent an email to all of Yahoo’s full time and part time employees in the US, promising them a new Apple, Samsung, Nokia, or HTC smartphone.
– We learned about this plan from an internal memo, which we received from one source and confirmed with another.
– Through the program, Yahoo employees will have a choice of phones: iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE, or Nokia Lumia 920.
– Yahoo is also going to pay its employees data and phone bills.
25:20 – Twitter hearts Facebook
– Changes to profiles and mobile app’s ape Facebook
– Starting today you can make your presence on Twitter more meaningful with new Twitter profiles. Upload an all-new header photo on mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android or twitter.com, and the same image will appear whenever anyone views your profile on the web or these apps. You can upload your header photo, which appears above your Tweets, to express yourself instantly, anywhere.
– New profiles also help you get to know people better through their pictures. Photo streams now appear below anyone’s most recent Tweets on iPhone, Android and iPad. Swipe through the stream to see the photos other users have shared or tap any thumbnail to view their photos in fullscreen.
– While the header photo keeps your profile simple and consistent on iPhone, iPad and Android, you will also still have an additional photo – a background photo – on twitter.com. Upload a background image to complement your header and profile photos.
28:51 – Google acquire Snapseed
– Google has agreed to acquire Nik Software, the German developer of photography app Snapseed, for an undisclosed amount. Sources close to the deal tell The Verge that while Nik Software produces all sorts of apps for photographers like Color Efex Pro and Dfine for Mac and Windows, iOS app Snapseed was the golden egg in the acquisition. The $4.99 app won Apple’s coveted iPad App Of The Year award in 2011 for its inventive multitouch photo editing interface, and gaines over nine million users during its first year on sale. Nik Software also sells Snapseed for Mac and Windows, and the company is apparently working on an Android app as well.
– “We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone,” Google+ boss Vic Gundotra wrote in a blog post. Snapseed is no Instagram in terms of popularity, but the two apps’ use of filters and various means of manipulating images serve a similar purpose. The portion of Nik Software that worked on Snapseed, which includes the company’s San Diego outpost, will relocate to Google headquarters in Mountain View to work directly on Google+, sources say.
29:37 – BBC announce new media player and updates for iPlayer on Android
– The BBC has confirmed plans to launch a new version of its iPlayer app for Android devices which will use its own BBC Media Player technology to securely stream audio and video, replacing Flash on android
– The technology, which was developed in-house at the BBC’s Future Media division, is already being used for the mobile website version of iPlayer according to a blog post by executive product manager Chris Yanda.
– “Next week we plan to release a new version of BBC iPlayer on Android which will use this player. Other applications and websites will follow,” he writes, before telling Android owners that “I want to reassure you that Android is an important platform for us”.
31:33 – New slimmer PS3
– The PS3 Even Slimmer takes up just three-quarters of the space the PS3 Slim does. It’ll come in 12GB and 500GB capacities, Sony said today at the console revamp’s Tokyo Game Show debut.
– The former contains Flash storage only – though Sony will offer a 250GB HDD add-on. It’s aimed at folk keen to use the PS3 as a media player.
– The 500GB PS3 will arrive on 28 September, priced at €299 (£240) and bundled with Fifa 13. The 12GB model will cost €229 (£184) and will arrive on 12 October.

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DigitalOutbox Episode 134

DigitalOutbox Episode 134
DigitalOutbox Episode 134 – 4G with EE, iPhone 5 and Nintendo Wii U

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Shownotes
2:37 – 4G hits the Uk – EE
– EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE LAUNCHES EE
– Everything Everywhere today announced the launch of EE – the UK’s most advanced digital communications company. EE will become the new name of the Everything Everywhere business and its network.
– EE will also be launched as a new superfast customer brand in the coming weeks. It is a brand born in the digital age, designed to serve both consumers and businesses, offering the UK’s only 4G mobile service and complemented by fixed-line fibre broadband.
– The new EE brand will stand alongside Orange and T-Mobile. Together they will provide mobile services to 27 million people, now served by the UK’s biggest and best network.
– The EE customer brand will launch with 4G services for consumers and businesses in the coming weeks. It will be the first brand in the country to offer a mobile 4G service – the pioneering new technology that offers superfast mobile internet at speeds typically five times faster than 3G speeds today.
– EE will also launch a fibre broadband service to homes and businesses with fixed-line internet speeds typically ten times faster than today’s average broadband speeds.
– Four cities – London, Bristol, Cardiff and Birmingham – are switched on today for the company’s engineers to begin live testing and systems integration, in readiness for the customer launch.
– EE’s 4G network will cover a third of the UK population in 2012 – over 20 million people – and customers on the EE brand will also have access to the largest 3G network in the UK outside of the 4G cities. Further towns, cities and rural areas, will follow rapidly with 2013 population coverage to reach 70%, with 98% covered by 2014.
– EE’s 2012 launch schedule will see 16 areas of the country connected to 4G by Christmas – the UK’s four capitals and twelve further major cities. The 16 cities are London, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Derby, Glasgow,
Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and Southampton.
EE will offer a range of state-of-the-art devices alongside its superfast 4G mobile network with more to be announced shortly. Today, EE confirmed it is to launch the following 4G devices:
– Samsung Galaxy SIII LTE – with a 4.8 inch HD Super AMOLED display, you can watch videos on your mobile like never before. Innovative Smart Stay automatically recognises when you are looking at the phone, maintaining a bright display for
continued viewing pleasure.
– Nokia Lumia 920 – flagship Nokia Windows Phone 8 smartphone. Take bright, blur-free photos and videos in any light conditions with PureView technology – Optical Image Stabilisation and Carl Zeiss lens and view on a 4.5” PureMotion HD+ capacitive display.
– Nokia Lumia 820 – colourful, stylish, innovative design, with a 4.3 OLED WVGA screen. Capture great photos and movies with an 8MP Auto Focus camera, with Carl Zeiss optics and dual LED flash. Charge wirelessly without plugging in using a Wireless Charging Shell.
– The HTC One XL – high quality entertainment and precision navigation combine in this handset, thanks to a large 4.7” HD touchscreen display. Full HD video, and front and rear facing camera let you capture crisp, vivid photos and movies in high
quality wherever you are.
– Huawei Ascend P1 LTE – a powerhouse dual-core processor is packed in to this handset’s slim design. Take stunningly clear images or HD videos on an 8MP autofocus camera with LED flash and playback on the 4.3” high-res touchscreen.
– Huawei E589 Mobile WiFi – hook up to five devices to the EE 4G network, making your existing phone, laptop or digital screen superfast even if they’re not 4G. Long battery life of up to 10 hours, enjoy 4G wireless broadband anytime, anywhere.
– Huawei E392 Mobile Broadband stick – download and upload documents and files in super quick time on the go with this device. Make your laptop mobile and superfast, by hooking it up to the EE network. You’ll stay compatible with 3G too and seamlessly switch to the optimal connection.
– EE’s superfast fibre broadband service will launch at the same time to complement the company’s superfast 4G mobile service. It will be available to 11 million households and businesses by the end of the year reaching two thirds of UK households and usinesses by the end of 2014.
– The new EE stores – formerly Orange and T-Mobile shops – will serve customers of all three brands, giving them access to service and sales in twice as many locations as before.
– More than 10,000 EE staff have been trained, and will offer specialist advice in store, on the phone and on-line. The company as trained its Customer Team staff to become experts in mobile operating systems, meaning its customers will get a specialist service, regardless of which device they use. It is the only operator to offer dedicated expertise based around device operating systems.
– With the Orange and T-Mobile networks now combined, from today customers will begin switching over to the new seamless EE network, the largest in the UK. By the end of the year, all 27 million customers will be using the EE network. It means that Orange and T-Mobile customers can now get faster 3G service, with speeds of up to 21Mbps, and more coverage than ever before.
– Good? Focus on better 3G? Free wifi better?
12:19 – iPhone 5
– Stats
– 27% Market share in US this July for laptops
– No 1 in the US for laptops
– iPad – 62% market share last year, this year 68%
– Accounts for 91% of all web traffic from tablets – I don’t know what these other tables are doing – They must be in warehouses or on store shelves, or maybe in someone’s drawer.
– sold more iPads than any PC manufacturer sold of their entire lineup – 17 million last quarter, 84 million sold in total
– iPhone 5
– Like the 4 and 4S but taller :-)
– Made from glass and aluminum
– 18% thinner, 20% lighter than 4S
– 112 grams
– It’s a 326ppi Retina display, four-inches. 1136 x 640 resolution. Same width, but taller.
– Apple apps all updated to support new res – old apps will run letterboxed
– 44% more color saturation: now fully sRGB, “it’s now the most accurate display in the industry.” Touch sensor is built into the display now.
– Ultrafast wireless technology. You can imagine the challenge our team faced: thinner, smaller… but we’ve added HSPA+, DC-HSDPA, and yes, LTE.
– Many worldwide partners including EE
– A6 chip – twice as fast CPU and graphics
– Real Racing 3 – great graphics – console quality – could mean anything – Interesting, we’re seeing a two-player race — but an asynchronous race. “Time-shifted multiplayer” it’s called. I can challenge Vince one day, and he can race me the next.
– Battery life – exceeds 4S
– Camera – thinner due to design but still 8mp – same as 4S. Better low light performance
– 1080p video – better stability. 720p for front facing
– Connector – called Lightning
– Adapters will be available
– iOS6 – Maps, Safari, Passbook, Siri improvements – not much else
– Black or white
– Same price as 4S
– Pre order this Friday, launch Sep 21st
– iOS 6 – Sep 19th
– iTunes
– Stores – 2/3rds of downloads from iOS devices
– New store design for iOS – Same design runs across all stores, books, music, video.
– Sep 19th – iOS 6
– New iTunes for Mac and PC
– iTunes in the cloud built in
– New design
– More visual – design cues from iOS
– New mini player, easier playlists, artists can share photo’s with you???????????????????????
– Late October for new iTunes
– iPods
– Nano
– 2.5 inch screen
– Multitouch
– Lightning connector
– Volume buttons and home
– 7 colours
– FM tuner, widescreen video
– Nike + – no accessories required
– Bluetooth
– 16gb starting at $149 – october
– iPod Touch
– 6.1mm thin
– 88 grams
– Same display as iPhone 5
– A5 chip – not the A6 in the iPhone 5
– 40 hours battery, 8 hours video
– 5mp camera – better than previous gen by quite a distance
– iPod Touch Loop – press a button and you get a strap
– Siri
– 5 colours
– 32gb – $299 – october
– Earpods
– 3 years to design and develop new headphones
– Shipping as a standard accessory today
– Also with new touch, nano and iPhone 5
38:50 – Apple enables FaceTime video calls over 3G
– With Apple’s iOS 6 operating system, iPhone and iPad users can make FaceTime video calls over 3G. But will the UK’s mobile networks actually allow it? The answer seems to be yes.
– Wired.co.uk contacted all of the UK’s major mobile networks and spokespeople from Orange, T-Mobile, O2 and EE all confirmed that their customers will be able to use FaceTime over 3G out of their regular data bundles.
– Vodafone is a little different. A spokesperson explained that customers need to have VoIP included in their package in order to use FaceTime over 3G, as opposed to just using their regular data. Customers will need to upgrade to a package that includes this, or pay to add VoIP support to their current price plan. Customers who sign up for an iPhone 5, however, will get the VoIP service included as part of their package.
– Three has not yet confirmed its position on the feature.
40:16 – Nintendo announce Wii U Launch date
– Nintendo’s Wii U console will be launched across Europe on 30 November, the company announced on Thursday. North America will get the new machine first, however, with a 18 November release, while Japan must wait until 8 December.
– There will be two versions of the console at launch. The basic White pack comes with the machine, a GamePad, AC adaptors and an 8GB hard drive. The Premium Black edition features all that plus a Wii Sensor Bar, a copy of the launch game Nintendo Land and a subscription to the Nintendo Premium Network, which gives points to players for downloading games, and provides a 10% discount on digital titles.
– Pricing 8gb – £250, 32gb – £285
– The European launch of Wii U will be accompanied by nine games on day one. Key titles include Nintendo’s own New Super Mario Bros U and Nintendo Land, as well as the survival horror adventure ZombiU from Ubisoft and conversions of major hits Fifa 13 and Mass Effect 3.
– The big news of the European press event was that cult Japanese developer Platinum Games is working on a Wii U exclusive sequel to its critically lauded action adventure Bayonetta. Although many of Nintendo’s more casual fans will not have heard of this title, it was hugely popular among hardcore gamers. Indeed, the message throughout the European press presentation, hosted by Nintendo Europe head, Satoru Shibata, was that Wii U would be as much for experienced gamers as it is for family and casual audiences.
44:09 – Broadband red tape to be cut
– Brits will no longer be able to object to the arrival of “ghastly” fibre optic cabling cabinets outside their homes: Blighty’s new broadband minister has stamped her authority on moves to upgrade the nation’s internet infrastructure that sidestep local councils.
– Maria Miller, who replaced Jeremy Hunt earlier this week during Prime Minister David Cameron’s reshuffle, said she planned to legislate immediately following consultation, and added the government would – if necessary – use existing powers to put an end to local bureaucracy that she thinks is slowing down the rollout of faster broadband.
– She said: Superfast broadband is vital to secure our country’s future – to kick start economic growth and create jobs. We are putting in the essential infrastructure that will make UK businesses competitive, and sweeping away the red tape that is a barrier to economic recovery.
– The government means business and we are determined to cut through the bureaucracy that is holding us back.
– We on the networks desk at Vulture Central can’t help but sense a panicky tone to Miller’s statement. After all, the government is hoping to treat Britain to the fastest broadband network in any “major” European country by 2015.
– Hunt’s rhetoric was recently tweaked to say “major” Euro countries when the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – now headed up by Miller – spotted that it was foolishly aiming to have the best broadband network on the entire continent.
– Just yesterday, Parliamentary Under-secretary of State Ed Vaizey told Parliament which countries Blighty was actually competing with. He said:
– The Department for Culture, Media and Sport considers countries such as France, Germany, Italy and Spain as being the major European nations which we compare ourselves with regarding broadband speed and other key performance indicators.
46:09 – Great Google Drive update for iOS and Android users
– Updates for iOS
– Starting today, if you’re using the Drive app on your iOS device you can also edit Google documents, just as you can with the Android app. From your iPhone or iPad, you can create a new document, edit an existing one or format text. And, just like on your computer, you’ll be able to see other people’s edits instantly as they’re made.
– You’ll also notice other new improvements to the iOS Drive app. For example, you can now view Google presentations on your iPhone or iPad, including speaker notes, full-screen mode and the ability to swipe between slides. You can also create new folders, move files into folders and upload stuff (like photos and videos) from your device directly in the Drive app.
– Updates for Android
– We’re also updating the Drive app for Android phones and tablets today. You can now add comments, reply to existing comments and view tables in your Google documents. And you’ll have the same new abilities to view presentations and organize your stuff as your friends with iPhones do.
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DigitalOutbox Episode 133

DigitalOutbox Episode 133
DigitalOutbox Episode 133 – Nokia, Motorola and Amazon on Fire

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Shownotes
1:40 – Nokia Windows Phone 8 event
– Lumia 920 announced
– Nokia has officially unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the Lumia 920. As expected, Nokia’s new Lumia has received a bump in specs over the previous iteration, with a 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 dual core processor, a slightly larger 4.5-inch curved glass display with a 768 x 1280 resolution, a 2,000mAh battery, and the new Windows Phone 8 operating system. Nokia is calling its new display the “PureMotion HD+,” and says that it’s the “best smartphone display innovation” the company has ever made, with “better than HD resolution” and fast refresh rates — Nokia says it’s the “brightest smartphone HD display ever,” and also the “fastest LCD display ever shipped on a smartphone.” Nokia is also touting the PureMotion HD+’s daylight viewing capabilities, and says that the phone’s color tone and brightness automatically responds to sunlight.
– Nokia says the new Lumia will come in “vibrant colors” (the yellow, red, white, grey, and black pictured above), and features a one-piece polycarbonate body. As expected, Nokia is also pulling a couple of tricks out of its sleeve: it’s adding wireless charging for the Lumia 920, built on the Qi wireless power standard. Nokia is also incorporating its “PureView” camera technology, but just don’t get too excited: we’re looking at an 8.7 megapixel sensor in the 920, not the 41 megapixels in the PureView 808. Nokia says the 920 features a “floating lens” optical image stabilization system that allows for sharper photographs in low-light situations, a better app and camera interface, and 1080p video recording.
– The Lumia 920 and its budget companion the Lumia 820 have screens that respond to touch from gloves as well as bare fingers, internet connections that will work on European 4G networks, and can be recharged wirelessly on special charging plates.
– In a gimmick reminiscent of the Google glasses still in development, a City Lens app allows users to hold the viewfinder up to look at a city street. Software then recognises key places, showing the names of restaurants and shops in clickable boxes on the screen.
– CEO Stephen Elop declined to give specific pricing or release dates, but he did say that Nokia would be entering “select markets” with “intense focus” in Q4 of 2012.
– That lack of price and release date saw shares in Nokia drop 15% after the event
– Oh dear – http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/5/3294545/nokias-pureview-ads-are-fraudulent
– Adverts for the 920 already proven to be fraudulent
– The new PureView camera might be amazing, but a bizarre easter egg has revealed that the company’s advertisements don’t give an honest view of its technology. Amid Nokia’s flurry of press today — if you haven’t heard, they released a new flagship phone along with some other gear — one video advertisement in particular caught our eye. In the ad, Nokia shows off the PureView’s image stabilization technology. The opening segment (which, importantly, isn’t qualified by a “screen images simulated” notice), shows a young man and woman cheerily riding bikes along a scenic river. As he films her breezily laughing, the ad shows side-by-side video — obviously intended to represent the phone’s video capabilities. On the left, Nokia shows the non-stabilized version, which, predictably, looks terrible, and on the right the ad shows the perfectly smooth capture, purportedly enabled by Nokia’s optical image stabilization technology. The only problem is that the video is faked.
– As you can see in the video and photo above, there’s a curious reflection in the window of the trailer in the background. It’s not a young man riding his bicycle alongside the cheerful model, but instead a big white van with a lighting rig and a cameraman standing in the doorway — with what appears to be a large camera rig. Whatever he’s holding, we can reasonably agree it’s not a Lumia 920. (Update: Nokia has confirmed this video was not shot with a 920)
7:01 – Motorola Press Event
– Motorola has just announced the Droid RAZR HD, updating its old flagship with a larger 4.7-inch screen, HD display, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The RAZR HD comes with a 2,500mAh battery, a bit under the 3,300mAh RAZR Maxx but well above the 1,780mAh of the original RAZR. As with the first Droid RAZR, it will come with a higher-capacity Maxx variant. The company also touted the RAZR HD’s 1.5GHz dual-core processor and preinstalled Chrome browser, along with its LTE capacity. Outside the battery, screen, and processor, the specs aren’t too different from those of the original Droid RAZR. The phone comes with a Super AMOLED screen, albeit a higher-resolution one, and the same 8-megapixel rear camera. Like the RAZR, it includes 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal memory, expandable by microSD.
– A Jelly Bean update should be available at some point, but for now, it’s starting with Ice Cream Sandwich. As a good-faith gesture, versions of the RAZR HD running Jelly Bean are being shown off at the event. Motorola will also be offering a developer edition with an unlockable bootloader. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced, but the device should be in stores “before the holidays.”
– No release date, no price. When will they learn.
9:25 – Amazon Kindle Update
– Kindle Paperwhite
– It uses the expected new “paperwhite” screen technology for a sharper (212 ppi) and higher-contrast display, and also features a frontlight that brings parity with Barnes & Noble’s Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight. The interface has taken a page out of the Kindle Fire’s book by offering a “cover mode” homescreen that lets you swipe through your library. The device also uses the same X-Ray content analysis feature found on the Kindle Touch, has controls for the light, and lets you change the fonts.

– Amazon is touting its patented light guide technology which keeps the lighting even across the screen and allows you to leave it on all the time without detriment to battery life — it’ll apparently last for eight weeks between charges. The touch technology means it has a thinner bezel, and at 9.1mm thin and 7.5 ounces Jeff Bezos describes the device as “thinner than a magazine, lighter than a paperback.” The Kindle Paperwhite is available for order today and will start shipping on October 1st. The Wi-Fi model will cost $119, and the 3G-enabled variant will go for $179
– Not clear if those prices are ad supported
– Kindle
– http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/6/3298072/amazon-69-kindle-update-announcement
– the company is dropping the price of its least expensive ebook reader to $69. While it doesn’t have the front-lit display of its newer sibling, a 12 percent drop from last year’s $79 price is nothing to sneeze at. The ad-supported wi-fi device is identical to last year’s model, down to the 6 ounce weight and 6-inch e-ink screen, but the company says it will offer the new fonts and crisper text of the Paperwhite devices.
– Kindle Fire
– http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/6/3296637/amazon-new-kindle-fire-tablet-7inch-launch-event-price
– Along with an all-new Kindle e-reader with illuminated paperwhite display and a lower-price standard Kindle, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos just announced the new Kindle Fire tablet during a press conference today. The new Fire features a 7-inch display, a 40-percent faster processor, twice as much RAM, and longer battery life than the original model.
– Despite the upgrades, Amazon is actually dropping the price of the new Kindle Fire by $40 compared to the original model, as it will now sell for $159 when it starts shipping on September 14th.
– Kindle Fire HD
– http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/6/3296477/amazon-kindle-fire-HD-10-inch
– new Kindle Fire HD features 8.9-inch 1920×1200, 254ppi display. It features a laminated touch sensor for better visuals and 25% less glare. It’s powered by an OMAP 4470 processor from Texas Instruments, which Amazon says outperforms the Tegra 3. The Kindle Fire HD also includes stereo speakers, an upgrade over the Kindle Fire’s mono driver. Amazon has improved Wi-Fi networking by adding a dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz receiver, two antennas, and its new MIMO radio technology. For storage, the Kindle Fire HD offers 16GB of local hard drive space.
– Whispersync for voice – Syncs your book with your audiobook, so you can listen and read in tandem.
– “X-Ray for movies. If you were watching a movie on your Kindle Fire HD, wouldn’t it be cool if you could tap the actor on the screen and see ‘who’s that guy?'” Infor from IMBD which Amazon own
– Whispersync for games syncs levels and progress, so you’ve never forced to restart
– Mail, custom Facebook and Skype apps
– Kindle freetime – multiple profiles for kids – set times for different content types – 30 mins for reading, hour for games etc
– Kindle Fire HD, 16GB (funny storage joke Bezos), 7 inches. $199. Ships September 14th
– The 8.9-inch model? $299. Ships November 20th
– Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE wireless – 8.9 inches, 32GB of storage — $499.
– New data plan, too. 250MB a month. 200GB of cloud storage, $10 Amazon credit. $49.99 a year. Pre-order today, ships Nov 20th
– Comparing to the iPad 3’s plan. Year 1 cost, $959 for iPad; $549 for Kindle Fire HD. But the data is tiny – 250MB a month???
– UK – The company will detail plans for the Uk shortly – BBC tonight
26:54 – BBC iPlayer launches mobile-download service
– Users of BBC catch-up service iPlayer can now download programmes to watch on phones, tablets and other mobile devices at a later date.
– They can save any programme for up to 30 days – but once they hit play, have to finish watching it within a week.
– Available on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch devices, the feature will be coming to Android devices soon. Last month alone there were 30 million requests for iPlayer programmes via a mobile or tablet, according to the BBC.
28:13 – Raspberry Pi to be manufactured in the UK
– The Raspberry Pi computer is being made in the UK for the first time.
– Before now every one of the credit-card sized machines have rolled off production lines in Chinese factories.
– But a deal signed between Premier Farnell, which distributes the Pi, and manufacturer Sony will see 300,000 of the gadgets produced on home soil. Since its launch in April, the device has been hugely popular and its creators said more than a million could be sold before the end of 2012.
– The UK-made Raspberry Pis will be assembled at Sony UK Technology’s factory in Pencoed, South Wales. About 30 jobs will be created as a result of the deal which will mean most of the Pis being distributed by Premier Farnell will be made in Britain.
– In a blogpost, Raspberry Pi community director Liz Upton said it chose Chinese manufacturers at the start of the project because it could find not find a UK manufacturer that could make them cheaply enough or was willing to take a risk on the bare-bones computer.
34:26 – Valve recruiting hardware engineers
– Valve Software has started searching for hardware engineers. The game maker has posted an ad seeking applicants for the post of “industrial designer”.
– The job description on the ad said Valve was “frustrated” by the lack of innovation in computer hardware and wanted to change that state of affairs.
– It is not yet clear what gadgets successful applicants will be working on but the ad suggests it could involve replacements for mouse and keyboard.
– Before now Valve has let it be known that it wants to expand beyond games into hardware but has revealed few details about those plans.
37:10 – Bruce Willis to fight Apple over right to leave iTunes library in will
– Bruce Willis is eyeing a legal bid to ensure he can pass on his iTunes library to his children when he dies, according to the Daily Mail.
– The Die Hard star is concerned that his extensive music collection will revert to Apple ownership on his demise and is looking into ways that might allow his three daughters, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah, to legitimately inherit it. His lawyers are currently said to be looking at the possibility of setting up “family trusts” to act as legal holders of the downloaded music, but Willis is also prepared to consider taking Apple to court over the issue.
– “Lots of people will be surprised on learning all those tracks and books they have bought over the years don’t actually belong to them,” solicitor Chris Walton told the Mail. “It’s only natural you would want to pass them on to a loved one. The law will catch up, but ideally Apple and the like will update their policies and work out the best solution for their customers.”
– Willis is also considering supporting legal action currently underway in five US states to give people more rights to share music they have purchased.
– It’s a great story – but total bullshit from the Daily Mail, but really the Times and the Mail just copied it….as did The Guardian. Who checks this stuff?

Picks

DigitalOutbox Episode 132

DigitalOutbox Episode 132
DigitalOutbox Episode 132 – Apple vs Samsung, 4G in the UK and IFA gadgets

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:06 – Samsung to pay Apple over $1 billion
– The jury in the “tech trial of the century” ruled Friday that Samsung smartphones have infringed on a number of Apple’ core patents, including one for “bounce back” technology. Worse for Samsung, the jury has also found that the infringement was intentional, which could lead the judge to increase the $1.05 billion in total damages the jury awarded.
– Apple’s case is based on claims that Samsung “slavishly copied” its popular iPhone and iPad.
– The jury’s award was based on the determination that products like Samsung’s Galaxy tablet and assorted phones violated Apple’s patents. The infringements related to so-called “utility patents” that cover features like the way a smartphone screen reshapes and “double-tapping” functions.
– Apple also won rulings based on its “design patents” which covered the shape of its iPhones. The jury did not, however, side with Apple on its controversial “rectangle” design patent that related to the shape of the iPad.
– The jury also found that the patents are not invalid — which would have protected Samsung.
– The news for Samsung went from bad to worse as the jury found that Apple did not owe any damages related to its alleged infringement of Samsung’s patents. In the case of Samsung’s patents, the jury ruled that Apple didn’t infringe some of them in the first place. For two others, the jury found that Samsung had “exhausted” the patents and couldn’t enforce them against Apple.
– Tim Cooks view:
– Today was an important day for Apple and for innovators everywhere.
– Many of you have been closely following the trial against Samsung in San Jose for the past few weeks. We chose legal action very reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying our work. For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It’s about values. We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy.
– We owe a debt of gratitude to the jury who invested their time in listening to our story. We were thrilled to finally have the opportunity to tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung’s copying went far deeper than we knew.
– The jury has now spoken. We applaud them for finding Samsung’s behavior willful and for sending a loud and clear message that stealing isn’t right.
– I am very proud of the work that each of you do.
– Today, values have won and I hope the whole world listens.
– Not so sure that values won today
– Samsungs view:
– Today’s verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer,” Samsung said in a statement. “It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies. Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple’s claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.
– Microsoft seem happy – Bill Cox, Senior Director of Marketing at Microsoft – Windows Phone is looking gooooood right now.
– Bad for industry as a whole. Bad for consumers – potential to limit choice, push up prices. – This is only the first of many trials, re-trials appeals etc. Not what you want your major tech companies to be doing but thats the patent laws for you
– However, Samsung has been slavishly copying Apple and deserves to be punished
– Cheap way for Samsung to be no 2 in the market!
9:03 – Samsung at IFA
– Galaxy Note II.
– Now thinner and lighter, the new Note device comes with a redesigned S Pen stylus, a bevy of new software features layered atop Android 4.1, and an enlarged 5.5-inch display. Oh, and it now runs on a 1.6GHz quad-core Exynos processor. Wider SIII
– Series 7 Windows 8 Slates
– http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/29/3276599/samsung-series-5-series-7-slate-windows-8
– Samsung just showed off the upcoming Series 5 and Series 7 Slates — both are tablet and dock combinations that let each device act as a light, thin tablet, and a full-fledged laptop all at once. We’d seen an early build of the Slate 5 back at Computex, and not that much has changed since then.
– Samsung says the Slate 7 is geared toward power users, and as you might guess, it outpaces the consumer-facing Slate 5 in a number of areas. First is display resolution, where the Slate 7’s 1080p panel trumps that of the 1366×768 Slate 5. It also contains twice the amount of memory and storage you’ll find in the Slate 5, offering 4GB RAM and a 128GB solid state drive.
– In a nice bit of Samsung synergy, each device comes with an S Pen, which can be used in Windows 8 to do anything your finger would normally do. There’s also some Samsung-specific software, like Media Hub, which means if you buy a movie on your Galaxy S III you can also watch it on your Slate.
– Keyboard is a copy of the Macbook Air. Samesung strikes again.
– Others
– Ativ S – Windows powered phone. a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and an 8-megapixel rear camera paired with a 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera.
– Galaxy Camera. Running Android 4.1 Jelly Bean on a massive 4.8-inch HD LCD display, the Galaxy Camera aims to take the best of Samsung’s camera and phone departments and mix them up for something altogether unique. There’s a 16-megapixel backside-illuminated sensor within what is otherwise an unmistakably camera-shaped body, equipped with a retractable lens that provides 21x optical zoom.
– On the inside, we can look forward to a 1.4GHz quad-core processor, Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G wireless options, although disappointingly there’s no SD card compatibility.
– ATIV Tab, a Windows RT-packing cousin of the Galaxy Note 10.1. The new 10.1-inch slate isn’t quite as aggressive as its Android counterpart and centers on a 1,366 x 768 display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 5MP rear camera paired with a 1.9MP front-facing cam, and ports for micro-HDMI as well as USB. Dimensionally, the tablet is as light and skinny as you’d hope: it weighs 20.1 ounces (570g) and measures a slim 8.9mm thick.
15:06 – Sony at IFA
– Sony Tablet S
– http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/29/3276373/sonys-xperia-tablet-s
– The Xperia Tablet S is waterproof, and runs Android 4.0 on a Tegra 3 processor, but more than its pure power Sony’s promoting some of the software on the device. The Tablet S was a nifty IR-capable universal remote control, and Sony’s beefed up the functionality even more, adding support for macros so you can turn on a bunch of devices at once or easily tune to a certain channel with one press. Sony’s app also features a visual TV guide, which looks a lot like the Peel setup on some of the Galaxy Tabs we’ve seen.
– There are more software tweaks, too, like a “Guest Mode” that lets you quickly configure which apps and settings are available to a particular user — turning off the Play Store for your kid could be huge. Some of Sony’s cross-platform services also come preloaded, like PlayMemories and the Reader app.
– The accessories lineup for the Xperia Tablet S is where it could get really compelling. Sony’s offering a $99.99 Cover with Keyboard case that is the absolute spitting image of the Microsoft Surface’s Touch Cover — it’s light and thin, with a full keyboard stamped into the inside. There’s also a $99.99 docking stand, which raises the tablet up on a TV-like pedestal. Of course, the usual cadre is also here, a dock, charger, and keyboard-less stand.
– The Xperia Tablet S will be out September 7th, and you can pre-order today. The device will come with 16, 32, or 64GB of storage, and will cost between $399 and $599.
– Action Cam
– http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/29/sony-action-cam-hands-on/
– Action Cam — a fitting name given that it’ll live mounted anywhere from skydiving helmets to downhill skis — it’ll ship in late September or early October for $199. In a surprising twist, the incredibly small HD shooter will also be getting WiFi — that version will be available for $270. Both cameras are identical save for wireless functionality, but considering that WiFi enables remote configuration and viewfinder capability for framing your shots (there’s no video-capable LCD on the device itself), you’re gonna want to shell out the extra 70 bucks. Regardless of which flavor you choose, you’ll net a very capable camcorder with a 16-megapixel Exmor R sensor (great for low-light shooting) and fixed-zoom Carl Zeiss lens, complete with SteadyShot image stabilization, a 1080/30p capture mode and a 720p option at 120 frames per second, enabling some pretty slick slow-motion effects.
– The Action Cam is a modular system, so you can count on a bevy of accessories — there will even be a “Handycam Adaptor,” which comes complete with a 2.7-inch display and a familiar camcorder interface. More standard options include an adhesive mount pack ($20, though two ship with the cam), a bar/bike mount ($30), angle mount ($30), a replacement housing that’s waterproof to 60 meters and offers a standard tripod socket ($40 — you’ll get one in the box), two head straps ($25-30) and a suction cup ($30). It also uses removable storage (microSD), a swappable battery, and includes HDMI, USB and audio input jacks.
– Other
– Three new phones, top of the range has NFC and 13mp camera
– 20 inch touch screen PC running windows 8 – VAIO Tap 20
– XBR-84X900 – 84 inch television capable of upscaling content to 4K (that’s a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160) from any source, including things like digital photos from the PlayStation 3. As you can see from the picture above, the panel is a sizable stand-up unit with
20:24 – Amazon App Store hits Europe
– launching its Amazon Appstore for Android in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. We don’t know for sure that Amazon is planning to introduce the Kindle Fire internationally, but opening app stores abroad is a critical step toward that goal.
– The appstore, which will go by a few different names depending on the country, will offer the same features U.S. customers have been familiar with, including the popular Free App of the Day, personalized recommendations, customer reviews and one-click payments. Some of the apps will also be localized for each market.
– Developers will be able to take advantage of the Appstore for Android’s services like GameCircle, which offers leaderboards, game syncing and achievements, and in-app purchase. Amazon previously telegraphed the opening of the appstore abroad when it called for developers to submit their apps for international distribution in June.
– New Fires – Amazon announced this morning that the Kindle Fire is sold out, bringing the probability that the company will announce a new tablet at next week’s LA press event to roughly 1,000 percent. More surprising is Amazon’s claim that “in just nine months, Kindle Fire has captured 22 percent of tablet sales in the U.S.”
– Just over 6 million fires sold?
23:10 – Nook comes to the UK
– UK retailer John Lewis is to sell the Nook e-reader in all of its 37 stores.
– The Nook, made by US bookseller Barnes & Noble, is a rival to Amazon’s Kindle and is popular with magazine readers in the US. The Nook has not been for sale in the UK so far and John Lewis is the first company outside the US to sell the device, Barnes & Noble said.
– The company says that UK customers will have access to 2.5 million titles in its online store from October.
– Barnes & Noble has yet to confirm its UK prices, but the cheapest version currently retails for $99 (£63) on the Nook website in the US.
– Also, Argos, Blackwell’s, and Foyles. Just as like John Lewis, all three companies will be carrying the Nook Simple Touch and Nook Simple Touch with Glow Light
24:30 – Windows 8 Upgrade Price
– Upgrade price in the UK for Windows 8 is £24.99
– Anyone who purchased a Windows 7 PC since June 2nd of this year will be able to download the upgrade for £14.99
25:25 – UK will have a 4G service this year
– On Tuesday 21st Ofcom gave permission for the UK’s biggest mobile operator, Everything Everywhere, to re-use some of its old spectrum for a limited amount of 4G services instead of waiting for the official 4G spectrum auction early next year. From next month, it said, the company would have the ability to use part of its 1800 MHz range for high speed data services as a prelude to providing more services in the future.
– That move — the result of a consultation — will get a limited amount of 4G to customers who are craving it. Thats great. Right?
– But it has caused angry reaction from rival operator Vodafone, which launched a vociferous attack on the decision.
– “The regulator has shown a careless disregard for the best interests of consumers, businesses and the wider economy through its refusal to properly regard the competitive distortion created by allowing one operator to run services before the ground has been laid for a fully competitive 4G market.
– “Ofcom’s timing is particularly bizarre given the reports that Everything Everywhere is currently in discussions to sell some of its spectrum to 3, which Ofcom has previously been at such pains to protect with its over-engineering of the 4G auction.
– “This means the balance in the auction will fundamentally change.”
– Translation – WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
– Interesting – announcement on Sep 11. New iPhone announced Sep 12. 4G? iPhone? Putting 2 & 2 together?
– Three have bought some of the spectrum too – http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/08/22/three_ee_spectrum_sale/
– Everything Everywhere has flogged its excess 1800MHz radio spectrum to rival mobile operator Three with one rather important condition.
– The European Commission required Everything Everywhere to get shot of the spectrum as a condition of the merger that created it. When Orange and T-Mobile eloped to form EE, the mammoth phone network was left holding almost half the UK mobile radio spectrum. So EE offered to sell off two 15MHz-wide blocks before the 4G mega auction, which it has now done, but it won’t let Three take possession until the last possible moment required by the EC: September 2013 for two 10MHz blocks, and September 2015 for the rest.
– Neither company will say how much money has changed hands, nor whether their shared 3G network deal will extend into 4G, though given the proximity of radio frequencies and existing agreements that seems likely. In fact the only detail they are sharing is that Three won’t get to take possession of its secondhand bands from Everything Everywhere until well after EE 4G monopoly has expired.
27:22 – Where did Tweetbot for Mac go
– Alpha pulled
– Twitter’s latest API Changes means now we have a large but finite limit on the number of user tokens we can get for Tweetbot for Mac. We’ve been working with Twitter over the last few days to try to work around this limit for the duration of the beta but have been unable to come up with a solution that was acceptable to them. Because of this we’ve decided its best for us to pull the alpha.
– Bastards
– Just to be perfectly clear, Tweetbot for Mac will still be available for sale in the near future, we are just stopping the public part of the alpha/beta testing. We wish we could continue on but we didn’t make the rules, we just have to live within them. Again sorry for the hassle and thank you very much to everyone that has provided valuable feedback during the alpha.
– Twitter.com has stopped displaying the names of third-party Twitter clients in tweets. It’s an outward sign of the service’s growing pains as it transitions away from a consumer client free-for-all.
– Twitter.com — as well as Twitter mobile apps — used to display a tweet’s app of origin in small, linked letters below each tweet, down with a smattering of other metadata. Under a tweet from VentureBeat, you might see something like “15 minutes ago via Hootsuite,” since we use Hootsuite internally to publish tweets.
– Those words will appear no more, we’ve confirmed with the company. The links disappeared from Twitter’s mobile apps a while ago, and a company spokesperson tells us this afternoon that the change has finally come to Twitter.com on the desktop as well.
“This is part of our work to simplify tweets and emphasize the content being shared,” we’re told.
– Twitter also launch certified products program
– http://thenextweb.com/twitter/2012/08/29/twitter-launches-certified-products-program-promote-services-leverage-data/
– The program will be used to put its stamp of approval on apps and services that help companies leverage its data to engage with customers.
– Twitter hate third party clients. Official.
– Sigh.
30:42 – Diaspora team hands keys over to the community
– After two years, $200,000 in Kickstarter cash, and a shifting focus to side projects, the Diaspora founders are stepping back to give control of the code for its data-liberating social network over to the community. In a blog post today, founders Daniel Grippi and Maxwell Salzberg explain that while they will still be playing an important role, they “want to make sure we are including all of the people who care about Diaspora and want to see it succeed well into the future.”
– The team says that the process will be gradual, noting that “many details still need to be stepped through,” but the recent opening of the project’s Pivotal Tracker (the software used to manage the Diaspora code) is a major step in that direction. Speaking to Betabeat, cofounder Salzberg said, “it speaks to the maturity of the project and that there are stakeholders other than the two guys who started it,” adding, “thousands of people love and use Diaspora every day so the community needs to have some decision-making power itself.”
32:31 – Sony shuts Psygnosis
– Sony has closed one of the UK’s oldest video game studios following a review of its operations.
– Sony Liverpool employed about 100 workers. It dated back to 1984 when it was known as Psygnosis. The Japanese company bought the developer in 1993.
– Its early titles included Barbarian and Shadow of the Beast for the Amiga and Atari ST.
– It was perhaps best known for later PlayStation releases including the Wipeout racing game series.

Picks
Ian
Sticky Notifications
– $3
– Sticky Notifications lets you leave quick, easy reminders for yourself.
– Works with Notification Center or Growl.
– Growl not required, even on Lion.
– Automatically opens URLs in reminders.
– Retina Display ready.
– Integrates with System Services.
– Automator support.
– Trigger via URLs, e.g. with Alfred.
– GateKeeper-aware.
– Menubar icon can be hidden.
– Open at Login option.

Bark
– A growl plugin that displays Growl notifications in Notification Center
– Free
– Retains low level control over notifications that Growl brings

DigitalOutbox Episode 131

DigitalOutbox Episode 131
DigitalOutbox Episode 131 – Twitter API, John Browett and OnLive

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
3:01 – Once a Dixons employee
– John Browett joined as head of retail at Apple late last year – he used to head up Dixons. We joked at the time that it didn’t seem the best hire and fit for Apple
– There were reports at the start of the week that Apple stores were reducing staff numbers
– In a communication with store leadership teams, senior vice president of retail, John Browett, who took the reins of Apple’s retail stores in April, said that the company had been trying a new staffing formula for its retail stores, leading some employees to see their hourly shifts cut and retail locations to be understaffed. This happened for a few weeks before the company decided to revert to its older system, hoping to rectify the problem.
– He instructed leadership teams to tell employees, “We messed up,” according to two people who were aware of the communication, which also stressed that while shift schedules were affected, no one was laid off. He also wanted employees to know that it was hiring new staff, these people said.
– Apple acknowledged the retail staffing changes. “Making these changes was a mistake and the changes are being reversed,” said Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman. “Our employees are our most important asset and the ones who provide the world-class service our customers deserve.”
– Despite Apple’s claims that “no one was laid off”, we have indeed heard from several Apple employees who have been laid off in recent weeks, with several of them independently claiming that there have been others, although some have called the moves “isolated” while others have characterized them as “many”. ifoAppleStore reported yesterday that the cutbacks were made by Browett in an effort to meet profit goals and encourage the “bloated” store staffs to run “leaner”, despite the objections of retail veterans within the company.
– Idiot.
6:11 – Amazon to deliver parcels to UK cornershops
– Amazon is to step up its assault on the UK’s retail market by delivering parcels to nearly 5,000 corner shops and newsagents around the country.
– The online shopping giant has quietly started trialling the scheme on a small scale with items such as books and clothes, and plans to roll it out nationwide.
– Amazon has already built itself into a $109bn business by offering customers a highly convenient way to shop and this move will give it even more muscle with which to take on high street stores.
– Consumers will be able to collect their orders from local shops that are often open until late into the night, instead of having to wait in for orders or coming home to find a delivery note telling them to collect their parcel from the nearest Royal Mail depot.
– They will also be able to use the “Collect+” scheme to send unwanted items back to the retailer, making it easier, for example, to order clothes in several sizes and return those that do not fit.
– The scheme is likely to prove particularly popular with employees of the many UK companies which ban staff from having personal goods delivered to their work address.
– However, it is also expected to ignite fresh concerns amongst traditional retailers, who already fear that the Seattle-based shopping giant is driving them off the high street.
9:11 – Twitter announces API changes
– Three main changes:
– In version 1.1, we will require every request to the API to be authenticated. For developers who are already using OAuth when making API requests, all of your authentication tokens will transition seamlessly from v1.0 to v1.1. If your application is currently using the Twitter API without using OAuth, you will need to update your application before March 2013.
– Right now, in version 1.0 of the Twitter API we limit the number of authenticated requests applications can make to 350 calls per hour, regardless of the type of information the application was requesting. This “one size fits all” approach has limited our ability to provide developers more access to endpoints that are frequently requested by applications, while continuing to prevent abuse of Twitter’s resources. In version 1.1, we will provide per-endpoint rate limiting on the API. While an application that only accesses one endpoint may be more restricted, applications that use multiple endpoints will run into rate limiting issues less frequently. Most individual API endpoints will be rate limited at 60 calls per hour per-endpoint. Based on analysis of current use of our API, this rate limit will be well above the needs of most applications built against the Twitter API, while protecting our systems from abusive applications.
– To ensure that Twitter users have a consistent experience wherever they see and interact with Tweets, in v1.1 of the Twitter API we will shift from providing Display Guidelines to Display Requirements, which we will also introduce for mobile applications. We will require all applications that display Tweets to adhere to these. Among them: linking @usernames to the appropriate Twitter profile, displaying appropriate Tweet actions (e.g. Retweet, reply and favorite) and scaling display of Tweets appropriately based on the device. If your application displays Tweets to users, and it doesn’t adhere to our Display Requirements, we reserve the right to revoke your application key. we will require you to work with us directly if you believe your application will need more than one million individual user tokens. Additionally, if you are building a Twitter client application that is accessing the home timeline, account settings or direct messages API endpoints (typically used by traditional client applications) or are using our User Streams product, you will need our permission if your application will require more than 100,000 individual user tokens.
– Caused lot’s of consternation, especially the user cap (100,000) – The maximum limit is 100,000 users, unless special permission is given by Twitter. If a client has more than 100k users currently, it can only ever grow to 200% of that. If users of the apps de-authorize their tokens for those apps, then they’re added back to that pool. That means that no third-party client can ever have more than 100k users, unless given special permission by Twitter or it already has over 100k right now, in which case it can have double the amount it has today. This move puts a life span on most for-pay clients, as they’ll reach a point where there is no longer any reason for them to continue offering these apps for sale.
– Display of tweets is confusing – no other social or 3rd party actions may be attached to a Tweet – so send to instapaper no more? Pocket developer says he has spoken to Twitter and pocket, instapaper etc are fine.
– Also, display guidelines and now ‘requirements’
– Marco Arment (Instapaper) has a very -ve post on the changes – http://www.marco.org/2012/08/16/twitter-api-changes
– I sure as hell wouldn’t build a business on Twitter, and I don’t think I’ll even build any nontrivial features on it anymore.
– And if I were in the Twitter-client business, I’d start working on another product.
– Paul Haddad (Tweetbot) has a more +ve post – http://tapbots.com/blog/news/dont-panic
– API – The changes to the v1.1 API requiring authentication won’t affect Tweetbot, all current API calls are already made using authentication.
– User caps – I can’t say that I’m thrilled with the idea of caps on the number of users, I feel that part of what makes the Twitter ecosystem interesting is the wide ranging apps available to it. I think we and others fill an important niche in that system not served by the current Twitter apps and would’ve much preferred to see some some other approach. Regardless the decision has been made, so let’s look at what this actually means to Tweetbot.
* Our user cap for Tweetbot for iOS is pretty huge (which is 2* our current users, not 100k)
* At the current rate our user base is growing we won’t hit that cap for a few years
* Our user cap for Tweetbot for Mac is also large and we don’t expect any problems given the smaller market
* Even if we were to run out of room all our current users will be fine
* User tokens are shared, so if you have a single account on both Tweetbot for iPad and Tweetbot for iPhone that’s only a single token
– Display req’s – We’ll be working with Twitter over the next 6 months to make sure we comply with these new requirements as much as possible. I don’t expect the changes to be huge, but we’ll keep everyone up to date as we know more.
– Meanwhile app.net got funded (nearly 800k) and has an amazing amount of app’s in development already.
– Does twitter care about it’s users? Or is it chasing business, advertisers, investors now rather than users? The people that launched the company are really no longer involved…
17:26 – Medium
– Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone are at it again. Having launched two new publishing platforms — Blogger in 1999 and, more recently, Twitter – the duo unveiled a new platform Tuesday that wants to make an “evolutionary leap,” based on what the pair has learned over the past 13 years.
– Called Medium, the new collaborative publishing tool lets different people contribute as much or as little as they want to themed “collections” of content. The idea, the founders said in a blog post Tuesday, is that people should be able to publish without “the burden of becoming a blogger” and worrying about developing an audience. The layout looks a lot like Pinterest, but contributions include both pictures and text.
– Does the world need another publishing site/tool?
19:06 – Branch
– Pick a topic, write a short comment and then invite others to comment – only if your invited can you comment
– The comment, or debate, is public – like Quora perhaps?
– Uses twitter as authentication a bit like Medium
– Advisers include Ev Williams and Biz Stone
20:51 – Is the UK heavy handed with Internet Trolls
– Police and prosecutors in the UK are accused of being “incredibly heavy-handed” when dealing with online trolls and abusive messages.
– It follows several cases where young people have been arrested, fined or jailed after posting insulting comments on their Twitter and Facebook accounts.
– Campaign groups and experts from Oxford University say the punishments are heavier than in other countries. But police insist if a law is broken they will take action.
– Bernie Hogan from the Oxford Internet Institute monitors what happens in other countries. He said that although the UK was “leading the way” in cracking down on this type of online abuse, by comparison “we are incredibly heavy-handed”.
– The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) disagrees. In a statement is says: “People have a right to publish their views but when these views become indecent, threatening or offensive then the individuals they affect also have the right to report them. “The police will assist with any prosecution.”
23:05 – First truly digital Olympics
– BBC celebrated Olympics by releasing some amazing data behind their online effort
– Record breaking browsers to BBC Sport online – with 55m (global) and 37m (UK) browsers to the BBC Sport site in total across the Games, and an average of 9.5m (global) and 7.1m (UK) browsers per day, easily breaking all previous records (previous record for a single day was 7.4m global and 5.7m UK)
– Video drives viewing across all online platforms – with 106m requests for BBC Olympic video content across all online platforms, more than double seen for any previous events
– First truly mobile games – with 9.2m UK mobile browsers to the BBC’s Olympics coverage, making up 34% of all daily browsers to BBC’s Olympic coverage, and 12m requests from mobiles for video throughout the Games
– Opening up the breadth of the Games via BBC Red Button – with 23.7m viewers to the 24 SD, HD and Freeview streams throughout the Games, and every single stream seeing at least 100,000 viewers
– Over a 24 hour period on the busiest Olympic days, total traffic to bbc.co.uk exceeded that for the entire BBC coverage of the FIFA World Cup 2010 (matches) – on the busiest day, the BBC delivered 2.8 petabytes, with the peak traffic moment occurring when Bradley Wiggins won Gold with over 700 Gb/s
– The London 2012 Olympics were the first truly mobile Games. Audiences accessed BBC’s content in ground-breaking numbers on mobile devices, continuing the trend to watch video on-the-go with:
– 1.9m download of BBC’s Olympics mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones
– 40% of browsers accessing BBC’s Olympics coverage were from a mobile at weekends (30% during the week) – averaging 34% per day
– 9.2m UK mobile browsers throughout the Games, with 2.8m UK mobile browsers on the peak day
– On TV, the BBC’s Red-Button service opened up the breadth of Olympic content to audiences with the simple press of a button.
– 23.7m people viewed the 24 live SD, HD & Freeview streams throughout the Games for at least 15 minutes
– Audiences viewed specialist sports such as Judo and Weightlifting in considerable numbers
– Every single Red Button stream received 100,000 viewers at some point during the Games
– this has really been the multi-platform Games, where audiences have consumed our content across PC, mobile, tablet and connected TV at different times of the day.
Our data below splits out the four screens across 24 hours, to reveal some key insights:
PC usage maxes out during the week at lunchtime and during mid-afternoon peak Team GB moments
Mobile takes over around 6pm as people leave the office but still want to keep up to date with the latest action
Tablet usage reaches a peak at around 9pm: people using them as a second screen experience as they watch the Games on their TVs, and also as they continue to watch in bed
28:21 – Jeremy Hunt pledges fastest broadband network in Europe by 2015
– The UK will have the fastest broadband network of any major European country by 2015, the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has pledged.
– The commitment marks a firming up of the government’s original target to create the “best” superfast broadband network in Europe by the end of this parliament, and follows a critical House of Lords’ report into the national broadband strategy published last month.
– “To really be the best you need to be the fastest,” Hunt told broadband experts at “Silicon Roundabout”, the area around Old Street on the fringes of the City of Londonwhere many technology firms and start-ups are based. “I am today announcing an ambition to be not just the best overall, but specifically the fastest broadband of any major European country. Indeed we may already be there.”
– Garbage – from Akamai – UK average measured connection speed according to Akamai is 5.6 Mbps, an improvement of 20% on last years result, but still only places us at 15th position across Europe, (21st in the global table).
30:27 – Netflix reaches 1,000,000 subscribers on the UK
– Netflix has said it has hit the 1 million subscriber mark in the UK and Ireland, just over seven months after the US subscription video on demand service launched in the countries.
– The company, which launched in the UK and Ireland on 9 January, is aiming to take on rivals including Amazon-owned LoveFilm and BSkyB.
– Reed Hastings, the chief executive of Netflix, said that the milestone proved that there is a significant appetite for a new rival to offer cut-price subscription packages of on-demand films and TV shows.
– Netflix claims that hitting 1 million registered users in the UK and Ireland in seven months was four times faster than Twitter managed on a global basis, and nearly twice as fast as Facebook and location-based service Foursquare.
– Hastings said the US company intends to pry premium Hollywood movie rights away from BSkyB, promising to be “really aggressive in our bidding.”
31:41 – Onlive sold to another company
– OnLive confirmed today that its assets have been sold to a new, still unnamed company. OnLive will continue to operate its services during the transition and the new company is backed “by substantial funding,” said a spokeswoman for Steve Perlman, the chief executive of OnLive.
“We can now confirm that the assets of OnLive, Inc. have been acquired into a newly formed company and is backed by substantial funding, and which will continue to operate the OnLive Game and Desktop services, as well as support all of OnLive’s apps and devices, as well as game, productivity and enterprise partnerships,” the company said in a statement. “The new company is hiring a large percentage of OnLive, Inc.’s staff across all departments and plans to continue to hire substantially more people, including additional OnLive employees. All previously announced products and services, including those in the works, will continue and there is no expected interruption of any OnLive services. We apologize that we were unable to comment on this transaction until it completed and were limited to reporting on news related to OnLive’s businesses. Now that the transaction is complete, we are able to make this statement.”
– Employees at the Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters of OnLive walked in and out during the afternoon, declining to comment. Some of them left with boxes full of their belongings.
– Earlier in the day, Perlman held an all-hands meeting where he told the staff that the company was being dissolved. Later on, everybody received a packet. Some of those packets were invitations to join the new company. We have heard that the number might be about 70 people. We hear that many employees are very upset, particularly those with exercised stock.
– Joystiq is reporting that the company has been sold to a third-party and that at least 50 percent of the staff was laid off. A former employee told Joystiq that employees were not getting severance and that OnLive was dealing with operating costs of $5 million a month.
– Despite its claim of two million users, our source says that the average peak amount of concurrent users was around 1,800. The two million number accounts for anyone who has signed up for the service; actual usage was remarkably lower.
35:25 – Call of Duty Black Ops 2
– Significant changes to the multiplayer game
– Calling eSports “a major, major initiative for us,” game design director David Vonderhaar says that Call of Duty is already a sport, but it needs the production, the personality, and the means to broadcast that sport to a wider audience. To help make that happen, Treyarch is building new tech for Black Ops 2 to more easily reach the masses, through in-game livestreaming and color commentary tools branded CODcasting.
– Black Ops 2’s broadcasting tools are simple to use. CODcasters simply join a multiplayer game as a spectator and are given the ability to see all the action in a multiplayer game from different views for play-by-play coverage. (To prevent cheating, live streams of multiplayer matches are delayed a few seconds.)
– During CODcasting matches, viewers will see a score panel at the top of the screen. “Score panel is our way of linking this to sports,” says Mike Rufail, Treyarch’s in-house eSports advisor. “Essentially, when you flick the channel over to a sports broadcast, you immediately will find out what the score is, how much time is left in the game, who’s in the lead. It’s very necessary information.”
– With League Play, Vonderhaar says he wants Black Ops 2 multiplayer to be fun at every level, not just for the hardcore Call of Duty player who spends hours each night honing his headshots. To address that, Treyarch is introducing skill-based matchmaking for Black Ops 2 multiplayer, an attempt to ensure that players are competing with others of a similar skill level.
– Treyarch is proposing seven seasonal brackets, in which players will be placed based on their performance as time goes on. Black Ops 2 will find an initial bracket for you somewhere after a few games, but players are expected to move up and down in their ranking as they win and lose in their division. They won’t be competing against the entirety of the Call of Duty-playing masses, but a smaller pool of about 500 to 1000 players near their skill level, Vonderhaar says.
37:45 – Simcity for the Mac
– Will launch in Feb, same time as PC
– Origin also coming to Mac later this year

Picks

DigitalOutbox Episode 130

DigitalOutbox Episode 130
DigitalOutbox Episode 130 – Metro dropped, App.net and Mat Honan gets hacked hard.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
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Shownotes
2:38 – T-mobile – tethering no longer available to new full monthly customers
– UK network T-Mobile has confirmed that new customers signing up to its Full Monty tariff will not be eligible for unlimited tethering on their device.
– Launched back in February, the Full Monty plan offered T-Mobile customers unlimited calls, texts and data – including tethering – for £36 per month.
– However anyone looking to take advantage of this offer now will notice the Full Monty tariff clearly states “excludes tethering” next to its “unlimited internet” claim.
– Unfortunately the spokesperson was unable to reveal why the network had decided to stop offering tethering as part of the terms of the Fully Monty contract, stating: “We don’t have anything more to share.”
– We can only assume T-Mobile has witnessed a dramatic drain on its bandwidth since launching the Full Monty plan, so has had to quickly back-track on its offer of truly unlimited internet to stop the network falling over.
5:14 – Microsoft drop the Metro brand
– Microsoft is killing off the use of its Metro design name to describe a tiled interface in Windows Phone and Windows 8. We brought you news of the change earlier today, but a tipster has provided an internal memo sent to Microsoft employees confirming the move. In it, Microsoft reveals that “discussions with an important European partner” led to the decision to “discontinue the use” of the Metro branding for Windows 8 and other Microsoft products — one that employees must adhere to immediately.
– The Windows team is “working on a replacement term” according to the memo, “and plans to land on that by the end of this week.” Until then, employees have been advised to refer to the Metro style user interface as the “Windows 8 style UI.” The memo was distributed to employees earlier this week, so we expect to hear official news about the Metro replacement by the weekend.
– Microsoft has used the Metro branding as a codename for its typography-based design language. The company has used a number of elements from the design language across its Windows 8 and Windows Phone products, as well as the recently released Office 2013 preview.
– 7 days later and it’s no longer Windows 8 style UI – it’s “Modern UI Style” to describe Windows 8 applications – it may even just be called….Windows 8
7:07 – Valve to sell non-gaming software on Steam starting September 5th
– Valve is opening up Steam to non-gaming software, the company announced today, bringing applications ranging from “creativity to productivity” to the digital distribution platform. The first software titles will be released on September 5th.
– Non-gaming software sold via Steam will take advantage of the platform’s Steamworks features, which include simplified installation, auto-updating, and the ability to save work to the Steam Cloud for cross-platform access from multiple computers.
– “The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games,” said Valve’s Mark Richardson in a press release. “They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests.”
8:51 – Would you pay for a social network – App.net hopes so
– Dalton Caldwell wrote a blog post over a month ago lamenting Twitter and the route it was taking
– A few days later, launched his own Kickstarter like appeal for App.net – a paid for twitter clone
– No ad’s, focused on users and developers
– Open API
– Paid for – $50 a year min pricing, $100 for access to API for developers
– 3 days to go for fundraising – $150,000 short
– Will it work? Nope. Ouch.
15:51 – Google Free iPhone
– Latest iOS 6 beta drops the YouTube app
– Apple confirmed – Our license to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store.
– Google response – We are working with Apple to make sure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users.
– Could be good and bad for iOS users – Youtube app for me is best way of viewing youtube content but it hasn’t changed in years. Google could develop a very slick app for iOS. Who killed the app – Apple or Google? No ad’s in the iOS app at the moment.
– Good opportunity for third party dev’s
– Will google be dropped in search and siri? Surely not?
19:02 – Google brings knowledge graph to rest of the world (if you speak english)
– Now live in the UK
– Still feels like wikipedia on the RHS of your search results
– Also announced the start of a trial which will allow people to search their Gmail messages from the Google.com search box.
– Move was a “baby step towards pre-emptive search” and an example of search engines “getting to know people better”.
– “So if you’re planning a biking trip to Tahoe, you might see relevant emails from friends about the best bike trails, or great places to eat on the right hand side of the results page. If it looks relevant you can then expand the box to read the emails.”
Gmail results will appear on the right hand side of the search results page and will only be available to the single user whose email account is being included in the results.
23:03 – Mat Honan Hacked Hard
– In the space of one hour, my entire digital life was destroyed. First my Google account was taken over, then deleted. Next my Twitter account was compromised, and used as a platform to broadcast racist and homophobic messages. And worst of all, my AppleID account was broken into, and my hackers used it to remotely erase all of the data on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook.
– In many ways, this was all my fault. My accounts were daisy-chained together. Getting into Amazon let my hackers get into my Apple ID account, which helped them get into Gmail, which gave them access to Twitter. Had I used two-factor authentication for my Google account, it’s possible that none of this would have happened, because their ultimate goal was always to take over my Twitter account and wreak havoc. Lulz.
– Had I been regularly backing up the data on my MacBook, I wouldn’t have had to worry about losing more than a year’s worth of photos, covering the entire lifespan of my daughter, or documents and e-mails that I had stored in no other location.
– Those security lapses are my fault, and I deeply, deeply regret them.
– How was he hacked – In short, the very four digits that Amazon considers unimportant enough to display in the clear on the web are precisely the same ones that Apple considers secure enough to perform identity verification. The disconnect exposes flaws in data management policies endemic to the entire technology industry, and points to a looming nightmare as we enter the era of cloud computing and connected devices.
– Timeline
– At 4:33 p.m., according to Apple’s tech support records, someone called AppleCare claiming to be me. Apple says the caller reported that he couldn’t get into his .Me e-mail — which, of course was my .Me e-mail.
– In response, Apple issued a temporary password. It did this despite the caller’s inability to answer security questions I had set up. And it did this after the hacker supplied only two pieces of information that anyone with an internet connection and a phone can discover.
– At 4:50 p.m., a password reset confirmation arrived in my inbox. I don’t really use my .Me e-mail, and rarely check it. But even if I did, I might not have noticed the message because the hackers immediately sent it to the trash. They then were able to follow the link in that e-mail to permanently reset my AppleID password.
– At 4:52 p.m., a Gmail password recovery e-mail arrived in my .Me mailbox. Two minutes later, another e-mail arrived notifying me that my Google account password had changed.
– At 5:02 p.m., they reset my Twitter password. At 5:00 they used iCloud’s “Find My” tool to remotely wipe my iPhone. At 5:01 they remotely wiped my iPad. At 5:05 they remotely wiped my MacBook. Around this same time, they deleted my Google account. At 5:10, I placed the call to AppleCare. At 5:12 the attackers posted a message to my account on Twitter taking credit for the hack.
– All the hackers wanted was access to mat’s twitter account – nothing else
– Apple tech support confirmed to me twice over the weekend that all you need to access someone’s AppleID is the associated e-mail address, a credit card number, the billing address, and the last four digits of a credit card on file. I was very clear about this. During my second tech support call to AppleCare, the representative confirmed this to me. “That’s really all you have to have to verify something with us,” he said.
– Getting a credit card number is tricker, but it also relies on taking advantage of a company’s back-end systems. Phobia says that a partner performed this part of the hack, but described the technique to us, which we were able to verify via our own tech support phone calls. It’s remarkably easy — so easy that Wired was able to duplicate the exploit twice in minutes.
– First you call Amazon and tell them you are the account holder, and want to add a credit card number to the account. All you need is the name on the account, an associated e-mail address, and the billing address. Amazon then allows you to input a new credit card. (Wired used a bogus credit card number from a website that generates fake card numbers that conform with the industry’s published self-check algorithm.) Then you hang up.
– Next you call back, and tell Amazon that you’ve lost access to your account. Upon providing a name, billing address, and the new credit card number you gave the company on the prior call, Amazon will allow you to add a new e-mail address to the account. From here, you go to the Amazon website, and send a password reset to the new e-mail account. This allows you to see all the credit cards on file for the account — not the complete numbers, just the last four digits. But, as we know, Apple only needs those last four digits. We asked Amazon to comment on its security policy, but didn’t have anything to share by press time.
– And it’s also worth noting that one wouldn’t have to call Amazon to pull this off. Your pizza guy could do the same thing, for example. If you have an AppleID, every time you call Pizza Hut, you’ve giving the 16-year-old on the other end of the line all he needs to take over your entire digital life.
– Lessons
– Backup!
– I shouldn’t have daisy-chained two such vital accounts — my Google and my iCloud account — together. I shouldn’t have used the same e-mail prefix across multiple accounts — mhonan@gmail.com, mhonan@me.com, and mhonan@wired.com. And I should have had a recovery address that’s only used for recovery without being tied to core services.
– But, mostly, I shouldn’t have used Find My Mac. Find My iPhone has been a brilliant Apple service. If you lose your iPhone, or have it stolen, the service lets you see where it is on a map. When you perform a remote hard drive wipe on Find my Mac, the system asks you to create a four-digit PIN so that the process can be reversed. But here’s the thing: If someone else performs that wipe — someone who gained access to your iCloud account through malicious means — there’s no way for you to enter that PIN. A better way to have this set up would be to require a second method of authentication when Find My Mac is initially set up. If this were the case, someone who was able to get into an iCloud account wouldn’t be able to remotely wipe devices with malicious intent. It would also mean that you could potentially have a way to stop a remote wipe in progress.
– 2 factor security on google accounts would have helped too – http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-two-step-authentication/
– Prey a more secure option than Find my Mac – http://preyproject.com/
– Don’t make your address public
– Use strong single use passwords – Lastpass or 1password will help
– Change passwords regularly
– Updates
– Amazon have changed their policies quietly – On Tuesday, Amazon handed down to its customer service department a policy change that no longer allows people to call in and change account settings, such as credit cards or email addresses associated with its user accounts.
– Apple on Tuesday ordered its support staff to immediately stop processing AppleID password changes requested over the phone, following the identity hacking of Wired reporter Mat Honan over the weekend, according to Apple employees.
– An Apple worker with knowledge of the situation, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Wired that the over-the-phone password freeze would last at least 24 hours. The employee speculated that the freeze was put in place to give Apple more time to determine what security policies needed to be changed, if any.

Picks
Ian
Pixelmator
– £10.49
– Great image editor for the Mac
– Now at version 2.1 and on sale, hence the recomendation
– Everything you probably need in an image editor and now comes with iCloud, retina and Mountain Lion support