DigitalOutbox Episode 84

DigitalOutbox Episode 84
In this episode the team discuss Sony Fail, Apple Fail, Tom Tom Fail and Amazon Fail. Fail.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
2:30 – Sony Hacked
– Down since Wednesday evening – 5 days and counting
– Initially no word on what is causing this issue
– Eventually admitted it was an external intrusion and because of it Sony themselves had closed the network down – hack on the PS Network/Qriocity
– Second update on Sunday morning – having to rebuild network and increase security
– Monday headlines in Wall Street Journal – Sony Shuts Down PlayStation Network Indefinitely
– http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2011/04/25/22402/
– Then it got a whole load worse
– http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2011/04/26/psnqriocity-service-update/
– Due to the hack Sony have:
– 1) Temporarily turned off PlayStation Network and Qriocity services;
2) Engaged an outside, recognized security firm to conduct a full and complete investigation into what happened; and
3) Quickly taken steps to enhance security and strengthen our network infrastructure by re-building our system to provide you with greater protection of your personal information.
– Although we are still investigating the details of this incident, we believe that an unauthorized person has obtained the following information that you provided: name, address (city, state/province, zip or postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity passwords and login, and handle/PSN online ID. It is also possible that your profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, zip), and your PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers may have been obtained. If you have authorized a sub-account for your dependent, the same data with respect to your dependent may have been obtained. While there is no evidence that credit card data was taken at this time, we cannot rule out the possibility. If you have provided your credit card data through PlayStation Network or Qriocity, to be on the safe side we are advising you that your credit card number (excluding security code) and expiration date may also have been obtained.
– Biggest ID theft yet? 71 million users worldwide, around 3 million in the UK
– What started off as embarrassing to the Sony brand and gaming network has taken a very serious and sinister turn
– But never mind – Sony hope to have the network back up and running in a week
– Further update
– http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2011/04/28/playstation-network-and-qriocity-outage-faq/
– Credit card data was encrypted
– They didn’t store the CVC (three digit number) at all
– Search your email for mail from “DoNotReply@ac.playstation.net”, subject “Wallet Funding”, to find which credit cards you’ve used on PSN. Those emails will show the first 4 and last 4 digits of any card you’ve used for PSN purchases.
– Passwords were in cleartext though – doh!!!!!!!!! Update – One other point to clarify is from this weekend’s press conference. While the passwords that were stored were not “encrypted,” they were transformed using a cryptographic hash function. There is a difference between these two types of security measures which is why we said the passwords had not been encrypted. But I want to be very clear that the passwords were not stored in our database in cleartext form. For a description of the difference between encryption and hashing, follow this link.

– Hacker forums are spreading news that the hackers have 2.2 million credit card details alongside names and addresses – http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/hackers-claim-to-have-playstation-users-card-data/
– Also claim that the hackers want to sell the database for upwards of $100,000 and also offered it back to Sony
– True or false? Sony deny it.
– Geohot’s thoughts – http://geohotgotsued.blogspot.com/2011/04/recent-news.html
– Sony execs probably haughtily chuckled at the idea of threat modeling. Traditionally the trust boundary for a web service exists between the server and the client. But Sony believes they own the client too, so if they just put a trust boundary between the consumer and the client(can’t trust those pesky consumers), everything is good. Since everyone knows the PS3 is unhackable, why waste money adding pointless security between the client and the server? This arrogance undermines a basic security principle, never trust the client. It’s the same reason MW2 was covered in cheaters, Activision even admitted to the mistake of trusting Sony’s client. Sony needs to accept that they no longer own and control the PS3 when they sell it to you. Notice it’s only PSN that gave away all your personal data, not Xbox Live when the 360 was hacked, not iTunes when the iPhone was jailbroken, and not GMail when Android was rooted. Because other companies aren’t crazy.
– http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2011/05/01/some-playstation-network-and-qriocity-services-to-be-available-this-week/
– Latest update – some services to resume this week, full service – this month
– Added automated software monitoring and configuration management to help defend against new attacks
– Enhanced levels of data protection and encryption
– Enhanced ability to detect software intrusions within the network, unauthorized access and unusual activity patterns
– Implementation of additional firewalls
– Welcome back program
– Each territory will be offering selected PlayStation entertainment content for free download. Specific details of this content will be announced in each region soon.
– All existing PlayStation Network customers will be provided with 30 days free membership in the PlayStation Plus premium service. Current members of PlayStation Plus will receive 30 days free service.
– Music Unlimited powered by Qriocity subscribers (in countries where the service is available) will receive 30 days free service.
– PlayStation boss Kaz Hirai said that up to ten million customer’s account details could have been compromised
– Worse – there was an earlier breech
– http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/blog/2011/may/03/sony-data-breach-online-entertainment
– The crisis at Sony deepened on Tuesday as it admitted that an extra 25m customers who played games on its Sony Online Entertainment (SOE) PC games network have had their personal details stolen – and that they were taken before the theft of 77m peoples’ details on the PlayStation Network (PSN).
The electronics giant said the names, addresses, emails, birth dates, phone numbers and other information from PC games customers were stolen from its servers as well as an “outdated database” from 2007 which contained details of around 23,400 people outside the US. That includes 10,700 direct debit records for customers in Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain, Sony said.
The dataset was stolen on 16 and 17 April, before the PSN break-in, which occurred from 17 to 19 April. Sony said that it had not previously thought that the data was copied by the hackers who broke into its systems.
– Lost faith in Sony.
– Upside of a poor console is that I hadn’t used my newer credit card with them – cc details not lost – achievement unlocked
13:02 – Sony Android Tablets
– The S1, sports a 9.4-inch screen. The other is the S2; it bears a novel dual-screen design. The device’s two 5.5-inch screens can be used separately or together; they can also be folded onto one another to create a compact and highly portable package.
– Both tablets are WiFi and 3G/4G compatible and integrate with PlayStation Suite, Sony’s new Android-friendly platform that allows users to download and play PlayStation games.
Sony says the S1 in particular “uses infrared technology and works as a universal remote control for a variety of AV devices … turning on TVs, changing the channel and adjusting the volume.” The tablets can also take advantage of DLNA functionality to “project” content to other, larger screens and speakers.
– Most notable that it’s not Windows
14:12 – iPhone Privacy Fears
– Security researchers have discovered that Apple’s iPhone keeps track of where you go – and saves every detail of it to a secret file on the device which is then copied to the owner’s computer when the two are synchronised.
– The file contains the latitude and longitude of the phone’s recorded coordinates along with a timestamp, meaning that anyone who stole the phone or the computer could discover details about the owner’s movements using a simple program.
– For some phones, there could be almost a year’s worth of data stored, as the recording of data seems to have started with Apple’s iOS 4 update to the phone’s operating system, released in June 2010
– To view the data yourself – http://petewarden.github.com/iPhoneTracker/
– Nice Mac app that visualises your data
– Ian – don’t see the issue really although it would have been good to:
– Know about it
– Switch it off if I want to
– Saying that – vis is cool, love it to be honest and I blog, RunKeeper, Flickr and Fitbit anyway – it’s mostly all out there allready
– Similar data captured on Android
– http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703983704576277101723453610.html?mod=WSJ_Tech_LEADSecond
– Similar data captured and sent to Google on Android devices
– One big difference – it’s an opt in so if you feel uncomfortable switch it off
– That’s the right way to do it
– Good technical explanation of what is being captured and why – http://alexlevinson.wordpress.com/2011/04/23/3-new-thoughts-on-mobile-location/
– Data is being sent to Apple but only on radio device locations, not where you have been
– Apple eventually responds officially – http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2011/04/27location_qa.html
– Treating this seriously – Jobs, Phil Schiller and Scott Forstall do interviews – http://mobilized.allthingsd.com/20110427/qa-jobs-and-apple-execs-on-tracking-down-the-facts-about-iphones-and-location/
– Also admit bugs and and changes to come
– Sometime in the next few weeks Apple will release a free iOS software update that:
– reduces the size of the crowd-sourced Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower database cached on the iPhone,
– ceases backing up this cache, and
– deletes this cache entirely when Location Services is turned off.
– In the next major iOS software release the cache will also be encrypted on the iPhone.
– Out today – iOS 4.3.3 improves the way iPhones and iPads handle the location tracking database stored on-device by making is smaller and encrypted. The location database will be no longer backed up to iTunes and it will be deleted entirely when Location Services are turned off.
23:54 – The White iPhone
– Available on April 28th
– Same price as black iPhone – same features, nothings changed, well almost – 0.2mm thicker (maybe) – http://www.macrumors.com/2011/04/28/white-iphone-4-slightly-thicker-than-black-iphone-4/
– 9 months after black iPhone
– “It was challenging,” Apple senior vice president Phil Schiller said during a joint interview with CEO Steve Jobs on Wednesday. “It’s not as simple as making something white. There’s a lot more that goes into both the material science of it–how it holds up over time…but also in how it all works with the sensors.”
Schiller said that it turned out there were a lot of unexpected interactions between the color of the device and various internal components. Also, like fair-skinned humans, white iPhones need a little more UV protection from the sun.
– Stopgap as iPhone 5 is in the Autumn this year?
25:31 – New iMacs
– Sandy bridge
– 2 thunderbolt ports on 27”
– Facetime HD – 720p camera in widescreen
– New AMD graphics up to 2GB of ram
– Can drive 2 external displays (27” only) so you could have 3 screens
– Up to 16gb of RAM
– Powerful machines…at a powerful price
30:49 – Digital Magazine Tipping Point
– Time Inc., the country’s largest magazine publisher, has reached a deal with Apple Inc. to make all its iPad editions free for print subscribers, marking a break in the impasse between publishers and Apple and lending support to Time’s contention that it’s business-as-usual after the ouster of its chief executive.
– Starting Monday, subscribers to Sports Illustrated, Time and Fortune magazines will be able to access the iPad editions via the apps, which will be able to authenticate them as subscribers. Time Inc.’s People magazine already had such an arrangement, but readers of most publications have had to pay separately for the iPad version regardless of their subscriber status.
32:14 – Push Pop Press
– Developed by former Apple employees Mike Matas and Kimon Tsinteris, Push Pop Press will be a publishing platform for authors, publishers and artists to turn their books into interactive iPad or iPhone apps — no programming skills required.
– First book is Our Choice from Al Gore – £2.99
– Gore approached them in late 2009 – The result of the project was Push Pop Press, a full-on publishing platform that the pair have been developing for about a year-and-a-half.
– Gore’s book, which goes live in the App Store on Thursday morning, is in part a demonstration of the capabilities of Push Pop Press.
– Much better take on an interactive book/magazine than Wired for example
– Navigation is very easy – you know where you are at all times
– Photo’s are geotagged so you can see where they were taken – extra context
– Very fast despite all the animations – impressive – best attempt so far at adigital magazine that suits a tablet format
35:26 – Spotify Updates
– The European music service is rolling out new versions of its desktop and mobile apps today, which will allow all users (even those pesky ad-supported freeloaders) to sync Spotify desktop tracks with mobile devices, be they iPods, iPhones or Androids.
– Spotify intends to compete directly with iTunes, Spotify is also introducing its own music store, or “download service”, in which users can buy a range of MP3 “bundles” at 10 songs for roughly 8 pounds. Or 100 songs for 50 pounds. (Roughly the equivalent of $13 and $82, respectively.)
– So, not only will Spotify be offering its more than 10 million registered users a music store, it wants its music player to become the default mobile app on its listeners’ devices. To encourage this adoption, Spotify has enabled desktop-to-mobile sync-ing over WiFi. (Something iTunes, cough, doesn’t offer.)
37:17 – Tom Tom sells your data
– The company confessed that they’d been giving data to Dutch police who used it to target drivers.
– TomTom chief executive Harold Goddijn said the company sold the anonymous data believing it would be used to improve safety or relieve traffic bottlenecks.
– “We never foresaw this kind of use and many of our clients are not happy about it.”
– “We make this information available to local governments and authorities. It helps them to better understand where congestion takes place, where to build new roads and how to make roads safer.
– “We are now aware that the police have used traffic information that you have helped to create to place speed cameras at dangerous locations where the average speed is higher than the legally allowed speed limit. We are aware a lot of our customers do not like the idea and we will look at if we should allow this type of usage.”
– In an update today TomTom CEO Harold Goodijn stresses that the tracking of its devices is voluntary and that customers can choose not to allow it. He also says the data is provided anonymously, and is valuable information the company uses to improve the guidance of its devices, by identifying problem areas and routing customers around them.
39:11 – Amazon Cloud Outage
– EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) had a bumpy few days
– Problems took down Foursquare, Quora, Redit and many others
– Amazon was fairly quiet during this outage
– Can you really blame amazon? What’s the fallback for these services?
– Highights need for redundancy – http://broadcast.oreilly.com/2011/04/the-aws-outage-the-clouds-shining-moment.html
– Also shows everything isn’t right for the cloud – https://forums.aws.amazon.com/thread.jspa?threadID=65649&tstart=0
– Life of our patients is at stake – I am desperately asking you to contact
– We are a monitoring company and are monitoring hundreds of cardiac patients at home.
We were unable to see their ECG signals since 21st of April
– Not restored. Not heard from Amazon
People out there – please take a look at our volumes!
This not just some social network website issue, but a serious threat to peoples lives!
– Don’t be that guy – great post from SmugMug on how they survived the outage – http://don.blogs.smugmug.com/2011/04/24/how-smugmug-survived-the-amazonpocalypse/
– Amazon eventually post long explanation – http://aws.amazon.com/message/65648/
– Make commitment to improve comms, speed up recovery and make it easier to use multiple availability zones
44:24 – DropBox Growth and Security Issues
– 25 million users
– 200 million files are saved daily to the service
– However, concerns are growing around Dropbox security – http://www.tuaw.com/2011/04/19/dropbox-under-fire-for-security-concerns/
– Recently changed T&C’s to say that they will hand over your data to US government if asked, removing Dropbox encryption before doing so
– http://dereknewton.com/2011/04/dropbox-authentication-static-host-ids/
– config.db file (stores Dropbox client and security details) is portable, not tied to the system and so could be taken and used on another computer
– if used on another compute it would sync that persons Dropbox folder without notifying original user or prompting for any passwords or usernames
– So many app’s have built in Dropbox syncing as an option so hard to move away if your concerned
– Box.net is an alternative although I’ve no idea if it works in the same way
– Wuala from Lacie is another alternative – http://www.wuala.com/
50:24 – 30% of Youtube videos now in WebM
– Google have announced that all new video’s uploaded to YouTube are being transcoded to WebM
– They’ve also transitioned 30% of it’s whole library to WebM
– Sounds low but that 30% account for 99% of the views on YouTube
– WebM was the open source video format that Google has backed
– Bit confusing – if it’s open source why have Google just announced a WebM community cross-licence initiative – http://blog.webmproject.org/2011/04/introducing-webm-community-cross.html
– Is this to protect future users from patent threat?
53:05 – Google Docs and Talk Android Apps
– With this new app it’s easy to filter and search for your content across any Google account, then jump straight into editing docs using the online mobile editors.
– The app also allows you to easily share items with contacts on your phone, right from within the app
– The Docs app also allows you to upload content from your phone and open documents directly from Gmail. You can also add a widget to your home screen for easy access to three core tasks: jumping to your starred documents, taking a photo to upload, or creating a new document with one tap
– Also does OCR – take a photo with text on it and it will try and convert to editable text
– Doesn’t work with handwriting or some fonts but Google expects it to get better over time
56:07 – Delicious Acquired
– Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, the founders of YouTube, have acquired the Delicious bookmarking service from Yahoo for an undisclosed price and added it to their new internet company Avos.
– aim is to “continue to provide the same great service users love and make the site even easier and more fun to save, share and discover the web’s ‘tastiest’ content.”
– Whats next – who knows
58:01 – Twitter break Osama Death
– News of Obama addressing the nation
– Keith Urban, ex bush staffer breaks the news
– Retweeted thousands of times
– Finally confirmed
– Turns out the attack was tweeted by @ReallyVirtual
1:03:16 – Nintendo admit disappointing 3DS sales
– Sold 3.6 million in March but had predicted 4 million…and probably wanted a whole load more so they could boast on it’s success
– CEO Satoru Iwata – The value of 3D images without the need for special glasses is hard to be understood through the existing media. However, we have found that people cannot feel it just by trying out a device, rather, some might even misestimate it when experiencing the images in an improper fashion.
– It is now clear that the combination of these new features is not necessarily easy-to-understand by just saying one word to those without experience… We have found that not all Nintendo 3DS users enjoy this software. There seems to be more than a few consumers who have Nintendo 3DS hardware but don’t know about this software and possibly haven’t had a chance to get interested in it.
– Mobile phones eating into Nintendo’s core market
1:05:47 – Darren Gibson quits twitter after 2 hours
– First Coleen Rooney joins twitter and gets abused
– Then Wayne Rooney joins and starts to defend her – gets 200,000 followers in 2 days
– Cue Darren Gibson joining twitter…before shutting the account down – why?
– @dgibbo28 your performance on saturday was one of the worst I’ve ever seen of any utd player. scared of the ball much?’
@dgibbo28 hasn’t tweeted yet. Seems somewhat fitting after the countless anonymous performances we’ve seen from the ‘footballer’
@dgibbo28 my mate thought you were about 33 years old in the heart of midfield! Movement like pirlo!!
@dgibbo28 team do all hard work keeping possession then u hit row Z every fuckin time!!
@dgibbo28 the biggest compliment i can give you is that you are better than Carrick
– Bless

Picks
Chris
Portal 2 Free DLC
– DLC – new test chambers for players, leaderboards, challenge mode for single and multiplayer modes, and more.
– Free on steam and as it will be free on PS3, for first time it will be free on 360 too
Ian
Planetary
– Visual music player for the ipad
– lovely – artists are stars, albums are planets, tracks are moons
– very nice way of browsing music collection
Terra
– browser with tabs for ipad
– nice app – fast
– incognito mode and can appear as ie7, firefox etx
– more features than safari

DigitalOutbox Episode 83

DigitalOutbox Episode 83
In this episode the team discuss Rural Fibre Network, Adobe 5.5 updates and Spotify Caps.

Playback
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Shownotes
2:28 – Rural Fibre network across UK
– Fujitsu is planning a joint venture with Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Cisco to roll out 1Gbit/s fibre technology to five million homes in the UK, but the project hinges on BT’s Openreach division providing access to its underground ducts and telegraph poles.
– Fujitsu said it was effectively targeting rural areas in the UK where BT engineers won’t be laying fibre.
– “The proposals will provide future-proofed connectivity to five million households and beyond that would otherwise be unlikely to benefit from commercial investment in next generation digital networks,” it said.
– Fujitsu added that it planned to offer the “vast majority of areas” fibre optic cabling that runs directly to the home, rather than to the local cabinet. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t break down the numbers of how many people would benefit from fibre-to-the-premises on its network.
– Fujitsu said it was “willing” to invest between £1.5bn to £2bn in the project, but at the same time is relying on government funds of around £500m.
– BT, which has divvied up £2.5bn to deliver its own fibre broadband network to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of 2015, will finalise its ducts and telegraph poles pricing structure for other ISPs in the summer. But Ofcom could yet be asked to step in and regulate the process if the company’s rivals aren’t satisfied with the figures.
The telecoms giant today questioned Fujitsu’s plans. BT told The Register that it was unclear from Fujitsu’s announcement how much private investment the joint venture would pump into the project.
– “BT’s network is open to others on an equal and non-discriminatory basis and whilst it is encouraging that Fujitsu and the other companies are making welcome pledges, they do need to be clear that this will be on an open, equal access basis as BT has committed.
– “We do look forward to Virgin confirming that they will open their infrastructure to enable all companies to have the opportunity to invest in a new fibre future.”
7:04 – Official Steve Jobs Autobiography
– This isn’t a joke
– The first official biography of Steve Jobs will be making its debut in early 2012.
– The book, iSteve: The Book of Jobs, is being penned by famed biographer Walter Isaacson, the former CEO of CNN and managing editor of Time. While very little is known about the contents of the book, Isaacson did manage to obtain unprecedented access to Apple, Jobs and even his family. Simon & Schuster will publish and distribute the book.
– This will be Isaacson’s fourth biography, following Kissinger: A Biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and Einstein: His Life and Universe.
9:21 – Adobe Project Launches
– Photoshop Touch SDK
– Three app’s for ipad
– Eazel, Nav and Color Lava
– Out in May
– Eazel – Paint via your fingers, transfer to Photoshop
– Nav – Customize toolbars, control Photoshop, select open documents
– Color Lava – Mix colors, cretae swatches, share with photoshop
– Creative Suite 5.5
– http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/pressroom/pressreleases/201104/041111AdobeCreativeSuite5.5.html
– Moving to 24 month lifecycle for major point releases
– .5 releases 12 months after major point release
– .5 release isn’t free – $299 or £318
– Lots of new features in this release
– Also introduce software leasing
– Photoshop for $35 a month for example
20:49 – YouTube to Stream Royal Wedding
– YouTube plans to live stream the wedding of Britain’s Prince William and Catherine Middleton on April 29, the online video service announced Tuesday.
– The live stream, hosted on the official Royal Channel, will run for four hours beginning at 10 a.m. BST (9:00 a.m. GMT, 2:00 a.m. PT, 5:00 a.m. ET).
– A multimedia live blog will accompany the stream — a YouTube first — with commentary, historical information, additional footage and an integrated Twitter feed from the staff at Clarence House and St. James’s Palace.
– 2 billion across world are expected to watch the event – TV, web and mobile
24:09 – Cisco Shutter Flip
– Cisco has just issued a release stating that in a strategic plan to “align its operations,” the company will exit parts of its consumer businesses and realign the remaining consumer business to support four of its five key company priorities: core routing, switching and services; collaboration; architectures; and video. One of the casualties of this realignment: Cisco’s video camera Flip business, which was part of its $590 million acquisition of Pure Digital.
– As part of the plan, Cisco will close down its Flip business and “support current FlipShare customers and partners with a transition plan.” Cisco will also refocus its Home Networking business and will integrate Cisco umi into the company’s Business TelePresence product line. As part of the transition, Cisco plans to eliminate 550 jobs.
– So Cisco is focusing on its enterprise customers, and is basically shutting down its consumer facing products. The writing was on the wall for the Flip video business. In a world where consumers can now record and stream video directly from their iPhone, Android or BlackBerry phone, Flip’s video camera business is no longer novel or useful.
27:44 – Flock Closes
– Social browser Flock is no more
– Recommends moving to Chrome or Firefox
29:57 – Spotify Bring in New Caps
– [I]t’s vital that we continue offering an on-demand free service to you and millions more like you,” the company said in its announcement, “but to make that possible we have to put some limits in place going forward.”
– Free account holders today are able to listen to up to 20 hours of music on-demand, song by song and album by album, each month. The new limits will allow 20 hours for the first 6 months of any user’s new account. After 6 months, free listening will be cut down to 10 hours.
– A sign of upcoming US launch ?
35:57 – Ad Supported Kindle
– Amazon launching Ad supported Kindle in US
– $25 less than wifi model – from $139 to $114 – why not $99???
– Amazon says that the ads will only show up on the Kindle’s home screen and screensavers — they won’t appear when you’re actually reading.
40:28 – 2010 Top Entertainment Titles
– 8 DVDs, 13 albums and nine video games in top 40
– Top 40 is as follows:
1. Call of Duty: Black Ops [Activision Blizzard] – 3,266,298
2. Avatar [20th Century Fox] – 3,001,769
3. FIFA 11 [Electronic Arts] – 2,390,231
4. Toy Story 3 [Walt Disney Studios] – 2,082,461
5. Progress (Take That) [Universal Music] – 1,933,205
6. The Twilight Saga: New Moon [Entertainment One] – 1,889,187
7. The Twlight Saga: Eclipse [Entertainment One] – 1,334,490
8. Inception [Warner Home Video] – 1,328,290
9. Just Dance [Ubisoft] – 1,305,338
10. 2012 [Sony Pictures] – 1,298,705
11. Crazy Love (Michael Buble) [Warner Music] – 1,289,304
12. Now That’s What I Call Music 77 [EMI Music/UniversalMusic] – 1,255,006
13. The Hurt Locker [Elevation Sales] – 1,247,604
14. Up [Walt Disney Studios] – 1,236,066
15. Sherlock Holmes [Warner Home Video] – 1,217,637
16. Red Dead Redemption [Take-Two] – 1,135,559
17. The Fame (Lady Gaga) [Universal Music] – 1,104,504
18. The Hangover [Warner Home Video] – 1,024,546
19. Alice In Wonderland [Walt Disney Studios] – 943,220
20. Shrek Forever After – The Final Chapter [Paramount] – 928,726
21. Wii Fit Plus [Nintendo] – 920,811
22. Just Dance 2 [Ubisoft ] – 903,866
23. Loud (Rihanna) [Universal Music] – 881,588
24. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood [Ubisoft] – 880,755
25. The Defamation of Strickland Banks (Plan B) [Warner Music] – 867,698
26. Nanny McPhee & The Big Bang [Universal Pictures] – 831,572
27. Iron Man 2 [Paramount] – 826,595
28. Wii Sports Resort [Nintendo] – 818,554
29. Now That’s What I Call Music 76 [EMI Music/UniversalMusic] – 807,764
30. Sunny Side Up (Paolo Nutini) [Warner Music] – 807,751
31. The Element of Freedom (Alicia Keys) [Sony Music] – 806,340
32. Lungs (Florence & The Machine) [Universal Music] – 789,847
33. District 9 [Sony Pictures] – 781,336
34. Halo: Reach [Microsoft] – 781,331
35. Alvin & The Chipmunks – The Squeakquel [20th Century Fox] – 781,327
36. Clash Of The Titans [Warner Home Video] – 766,681
37. Sex And The City 2 [Warner Home Video] – 765,961
38. Recovery (Eminem) [Universal Music] – 764,875
39. Sign No More (Mumford & Sons) [Universal Music] – 746,461
40. Come Around Sundown (Kings of Leon) [Sony Music] – 729,001
49:55 – Georgian Woman Cuts off Internet
– 75 year old woman, digging for metal, cuts off Internet for entire country
– Georgia provides 90% of internet access for neighbouring Armenia
– She accidentally sliced through a cable – cutting off net access for up to 3.2 million peoplefifi
– Took 5 hours to get issue fixed
– Oops

Picks
Chris
Blue Yeti Pro
– 24bit/192Khz (4x CD quality)
– USB + XLR
– Tri condensor capsule array…!
– Built in headphone socket for monitoring
– 4 paterns
– Mute
– Gain
– £210
– Huge!
– But plug and play
– Not sure how much better than Rock Band mic!!!
Ian
Day One
– Simple journaling app for Mac and iOS
– Sync via dropbox
– Reminder support
– Use it far more than other richer journaling app’s
– Just works for me

DigitalOutbox Episode 82

DigitalOutbox Episode 82
In this episode the team discuss the Amazon Cloud Player, Google +1 and an expensive fail for Rupert Murdoch.

Playback
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Shownotes
1:21 – WWDC Announced
– June 6-10
– Focus on iOS and Mac OSX
– Rumour – iOS5 preview?
– Lion launch?
– No hardware?
– Sold out in 10 hours – last year took 8 days
7:03 – Amazon Cloud Drive
– Play your media from anywhere – music, video etc
– Cloud Drive is name of media storage space on its servers
– Any album bought through Amazon MP3 is stored for free in your Cloud Drive — a very nice perk.
– If you buy one album from Amazon MP3, they’ll upgrade your Cloud Drive storage to 20 GB for free for a year — another nice perk.
– Normally, 20 GB of Drive storage will cost $20 for a year. 50 GB is $50. 100 GB is $100. And so on. All the way up to 1 TB for $1,000.
– The Cloud Drive storage isn’t just for music — Amazon notes that 1 TB will hold 70 hours of HD video.
– Other files can be uploaded — this includes music, movies, photos, and even documents.
– The MP3 uploader accepts MP3 or AAC files, but they must be DRM-free (.wma, .wav, .ogg and others are not supported)
– Old Amazon MP3 purchases aren’t put in your Cloud Drive, only new purchases going forward (though you can manually upload).
– Cloud Player is name of…the player
– Player for web, Player for Android and player for….nope – none for iOS
– The Android Cloud Player is built into the Amazon MP3 app — it’s in both the Android Market and Amazon’s new Appstore.
– This is for U.S. customers only for the time being.
– Cloud Player for the web works on IE 8 and above, Firefox 3.5 and above, Chrome, and Safari. There is no Opera support. And Flash is required (but for uploads only).
– There’s also a stand-alone uploader app for Mac and PC.
– You can’t upload music from your mobile device “at this time”.
– What about legality? Can upload any DRM free music. Amazon statement – “We don’t need a license to store music. The functionality is the same as an external hard drive”
– Browser doesn’t work from iOS – blocking mobile version of Safari?
– You can play songs via service on iOS by downloading the file to the device – Safari’s built in player will then play file – not ideal
– Another workaround – iCab – http://mashable.com/2011/03/29/cloud-player-ios-guide/
– Amazon out first ahead of rumoured similar services from Google and Apple
12:39 – O2 Tarriff Changes
– new one-year contract allows customers to upgrade their handset too. You pay as much as you do on a monthly basis for an 18-month contract. If you want lower monthly payments, you’ll need to take out a new two-year plan.
– Standard packages run from 50 minutes of airtime and 250 text messages – £15.50 per month for 12- and 18-month deals, £10.50pm for a 24-month contract – to unlimited messages and minutes for £62pm and £57pm, respectively.
– You can opt to pay an extra £3, £6 or £10 per month for 100MB, 500MB or 1GB, respectively, of data, which now includes phone tethering a no extra cost. Until now, it cost you £7.65 extra. That’s handy for folk who want to use their iPhone 4’s newly gained Wi-Fi hotspot feature, or the same on an Android handset.
17:42 – Google +1
– +1 is a small button that will reside next to each and every Google Search result. If you like the result, you click the +1 button and it gets shared with your social circle — and the public (more on that in a bit).
– The button also works on the ads that appear in Google Search. If you like those and think they can be useful to friends, you can also hit the button there to highlight them
– Google’s Like button
– If you’ve upgraded to the new Google Profile, you will have a new +1 tab that will keep track of all the results you’ve clicked the button for. From here you can easily remove any result as well if you no longer want to publicly indicate that you like it. And when you’re adding +1 to search and your profile (it will be opt-in at first), you’ll notice that there’s a check box to opt-out of using your +1 information to “personalize content and ads across the web.”
– +1 is an easy way to recommend things to the world
Your profile and +1’s appear publicly in search, on ads, and across the web.
– Trying to make ad’s social – and better targeted to your and your graph
– +1’s will also spread to sites – just like the like button has.
Problem is, the like button works because there are a great many people linked to their friends on Facebook… In reality, this will be a great resource for Google’s use but the benefits to a userbase that’s not linked together as fully (people just using Google search without a Google associated account) is limited.
21:47 – RadioPlayer
– Radioplayer, BBC backed internet radioservice launched Thursday 31st March
– All BBC stations, 140 commercial stations from one place
– Within a year, all 400 stations in UK will be available
– Makes a more level playing field for all stations
– Search by station, location, programme, presenter or interest
23:44 – NY Times spend $40million on a paywall…that doesn’t work
– Last Monday the New York Times finally implemented its content paywall on its website. But at a staggering cost of $40 million, you would be surprised how easy it is to circumvent the security. Guy Daniels reports.
– The site allows access to 20 free stories per month, after which it will prompt you to buy a digital subscription for $15 per month. Two questions were occupying the thoughts of many bloggers last week: one, why bother; and two, how on earth could it cost $40 million?
– Circumvent – unhide CSS style, remove ?gwh=numbers’ from URL, plus many other ways
– Well done Rupert. Well done

Picks
Ian
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery
– Old style graphic adventure for ipad
– Delightful graphics, awesome soundtrack
– Buy it.

DigitalOutbox Episode 81

DigitalOutbox Episode 81
In this episode the team discuss the iPad 2 Launch, Samsung and RIM Tablets and the Amazon Appstore.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
0:48 – iPad 2 UK Launch
– This time round, the basic, Wi-Fi only model with 16GB of storage will retail for £399, down from £429.
– The 32GB version will cost £479, the 64GB £559. Chuck in 3G connectivity and GPS, and you’ll pay an extra £100, as before.
– Dollar has weakened against pound in last 12 months though so Apple make more from this price point in the UK
– Massive queues in the UK – 600 at Glasgow store yesterday
– Very busy today – still selling iPad’s, only the red and orange cover out of stock
6:30 – Samsungs Revised Galaxy Tab 10.1 and 8.9
– reworked Galaxy Tab rocking a slightly larger touchscreen over the iPad 2, higher resolution, a 1GHz dual core processor and lighter 595g weight compared with the 601g of the iPad 2 Wi-Fi. But the most important number of all is its price. Unlike Samsung’s overpriced predecessor, the 16 GB Wi-Fi Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 will cost exactly the same as the iPad 2 Wi-Fi 16 GB: $499.
– this thinner, redesigned model reportedly felt much better in all respects, it’s still missing one key number, and that is the hoard of software Apple offers for the iPad 2, more than 60,000 apps specifically created for the platform. But that impressive number also includes the fart apps, too. Even so, Apple has a huge head start.
– Meanwhile, Samsung introduced another contender it calls the Galaxy Tab 8.9, a little more than an inch smaller than its big brother. It includes the same 1GHz dual-core processor, and looks just about the same as the 10.1-inch model, as you’ll see in the gallery below.
– Both of Samsung’s new tabs beat the iPad 2 easily in the camera spec department, with a 3-megapixel rear camera and a 2-megapixel up front, both shooting 1080p video. In what could be the clincher for many users, the Samsung tablets boast another capability lacking in the iPad 2: Adobe Flash playback.
– Want to try one? You’ll have to wait until June 8 for the Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi, priced at $499 for the 16 GB version and $599 for 32 gigs. Samsung was not as specific with the release date for the Galaxy Tab 8.9 Wi-Fi, which it said would be available in “early summer” at $469 for 16 GB and $569 for 32 gigs.
– Best bit – photo of the iPad 2 next to the new thinner 10.1 shows the ipad was thinner – couldn’t be explained at the demo
11:17 – RIM Playbook
– RIM playbook launches April 19th in US – a few months later in UK
– It will ship with 2 app players that will run Android and Blackberry java applications
– Sounds…confusing
– Only supports Android 2.4 OS app’s i.e. app’s built for the phone, not tablet
13:05 – Amazon launches their Android Appstore
– Launched Tuesday 22nd for USA customers
– Android only
– Can Test Drive most app’s from your web browser. Click Test Drive and Amazon will launch an emmulated instance of Android on its EC2 cloud, which you’ll be able to control directly from your browser (it uses Flash).
– Free app of the day – Every day, Amazon will be choosing a premium application and making it free to consumers, giving people a reason to check in on the store on a frequent basis. This is made possible by the fact that Amazon, not developers, sets the pricing of each application.
– Amazon retains full control over how it wants to price your application. The setup is a bit confusing: upon submitting your application, you can set a ‘List Price’, which is the price you’d normally sell it at. Amazon will use a variety of market factors to determine what price it wants to use, and you get a 70% cut of the proceeds of each sale (which is the industry standard). In the event that Amazon steeply discounts your application, or offers it for free, you’re guaranteed to get 20% of the List Price.
– Angry Birds Rio is first free app
– Amazon will be undercutting Google’s own prices
– 8 easy steps to install the Amazon Appstore – http://carpeaqua.com/2011/03/22/8-easy-steps/
– Apple sues Amazon over use of the name App Store
– http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/22/apple_sues_amazon_over_app_store_name/
21:52 – Lendle
– had their Amazon API access revoked.
– Back up and running now.
– In business – need to be in control of key data.
– http://lendle.me/amazon-api-revocation/
– (Lendle is unfortnately US only for now.)
28:07 – iOS 4.3 Battery Issues
– Ian sees sub par battery performance on iPhone 4
– Others have too
– Disabled ping to see if that helps as it’s been tipped as an issue in various forums
– iOS 4.3.1 is now out – rumoured to address battery issues as well as publicised bugs
30:56 – UK 4G Auction Next Year
– New ‘4G’ network auction next year announced by Ofcom
– 4G refers to the next generation of mobile networks, which promise faster speeds, in particular for data.
– The sale, which Ofcom hopes will happen early next year, will involve two blocks of spectrum which should fulfil two purposes – making mobile internet coverage both wider and faster.
– The first block, the higher frequency 2.6gGHz band, should make all those smartphone users who are trying to watch video or play games online just a bit happier. It’s suited to providing large amounts of capacity over a compact area, so should help ease the congestion on city centre networks.
– The second block, the 800MHz band, is currently used for analogue television and becomes available next year once the digital switchover is complete. It is suitable for bringing mobile data services over wide areas, so it could mean that people in rural areas will find mobile broadband a better option than the fixed line variety.
– 3G auction raised billions, and this is 80% more spectrum – expectation is around £4 billion though
– UK falling behind – Yes, if we’re comparing the UK with Germany, the USA and Sweden, which have already started to roll out 4G networks. Ofcom admits that things haven’t moved quite as rapidly here as it might have hoped, but says it’s full speed ahead now. But even if everything goes to plan, consumers won’t see any 4G services before 2013.
34:43 – Wife says no, Apple says yes
– [Apple’s] focus this week has been to troubleshoot all the iPad 2s that customers are returning to the stores. One iPad came back with a post it note on it that said “Wife said no.” It was escalated as something funny, and two of the VPs got wind of it. They sent the guy an iPad 2 with a note on it that said “Apple said yes.”

Picks
Ian
Sky News iPad App
– Very ambitious app from Sky
– Free at the moment, will remain free for Sky customers but paid for everyone else
– Heavily focused on video which is very good quality and quick to stream
– Can browse a timeline of todays events
– Can also swipe for more detail – lose video but still here it – articles, photo’s, charts, graphics are then displayed
– Very impressed – excellent app
Henry
Wunderlist
– cross platform list app a la RTM.
– Andriod, iOS.
– Recent update has got rid of a few bugs.
– Email list items.
– Free (made with Titanium- javascript)

DigitalOutbox Episode 80

DigitalOutbox Episode 80
In this episode the team discuss Twitter threatening dev’s, IE9, iPad 2 and bye bye to the Zune.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
2:06 – Twitter – Don’t compete with our apps
– Twitter has taken some time today in their developer forum to talk a bit about the state of the ecosystem and give some guidance.
– Platform lead Ryan Sarver notes that Twitter views a “consistent user experience” as very important to them. And it’s something they’re going to hold third-party developers to a very high standard to maintain. But they don’t want them to mimic Twitter’s own experience with their native apps in order to do this. They’ve updated the API Terms of Service to reflect all of this.
– “Developers have told us that they’d like more guidance from us about the best opportunities to build on Twitter. More specifically, developers ask us if they should build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience. The answer is no,” Sarver writes very matter-of-factly.
“If you are an existing developer of client apps, you can continue to serve your user base, but we will be holding you to high standards to ensure you do not violate users’ privacy, that you provide consistency in the user experience, and that you rigorously adhere to all areas of our Terms of Service. We have spoken with the major client applications in the Twitter ecosystem about these needs on an ongoing basis, and will continue to ensure a high bar is maintained,”
– So if your a developer what are Twitter happy with you developing:
– Publisher tools. Companies such as SocialFlow help publishers optimize how they use Twitter, leading to increased user engagement and the production of the right tweet at the right time.
– Curation, Realtime data signals, Social CRM, entreprise clients, and brand insights, Value-added content and vertical experiences.
– This hasn’t gone down well – Craig Hockenberry points out what Iconfactory’s Twitterrific brought to the Twitter platform – http://furbo.org/2011/03/11/twitterrific-firsts/ – First use of tweet, first use of bird icon, first native mac client, first char count, first to support replies and conversations (with help from Twitter engineering), first native iPhone client
– Twitter killed my app – http://aaron.vegh.ca/2011/03/twitter-killed-my-app/
– Some twitter stats to show you size (where’s identica?)
– http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/14/new-twitter-stats-140m-tweets-sent-per-day-460k-accounts-created-per-day/
– It took 3 years, 2 months and 1 day from the first Tweet to get to the billionth Tweet. In a given week, users send a billion Tweets. Users are now sending 140 million Tweets, on average, per day, up from 50 million Tweets sent per day, a year ago. The all-time high in terms of Tweets sent per day was 177 million sent on March 11, 2011.
– In terms of Tweets per second, the all time high was 6,939 Tweets per second after midnight in Japan on New Year’s Day. This compares to the previous record of 456 Tweets per second when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009.
– Twitter says that 572,000 accounts were created on March 12, 2011, with 460,000 new accounts per day over the last month on average. Mobile users are up 182 percent over the past year. And Twitter currently has 400 employees, up from 8 in January 2008.
10:25 – ISPs to Provide Better Traffic Management Info
– BSkyB, BT, O2, TalkTalk, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone have all agreed to provide better information on traffic management, which should help customers understand why connection speeds vary.
– While such information is already available in many cases, in order for consumers to have a better handle on the data, the indicators must be understandable, accessible, comparable and verifiable. The info will therefore be published in a ‘Key Fact Indicator’ table that summarises the practices in a standardised format. These will be available on the ISPs’ websites by the end of June.
– The tables can be accessed directly by the consumer, but also used by price comparison websites and the like to inform potential customers of the best options available to them.
– Antony Walker, head of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, which facilitated the move, reckons it “will not only help to ensure consumers are better informed about the services they buy and use, but will also provide a clearer picture for policy makers of the way in which traffic management is actually used in the UK market”.
14:00 – Facebook Comment Box Plugin
– Facebook updates it’s comments box plugin – comment via Facebook account or Yahoo
– Forces people to use real name – deter spamming?
– Improved moderation tools
– Can send comments to wall, get notifications when others comment – fine on low traffic sites – comment on Techcrunch though and boom – spam tastic
– No Google or Twitter sign in available but it was rumoured
– Facebook marches on
– http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/06/techcrunch-facebook-comments
– Techcrunch – less quantity, better quality
– Less anonymity = less trolls
20:06 – Google – Hide sites directly in search
– Similar to Chrome plugin launched a few weeks ago
– Click on block site to remove site from your search results
– Saved to your Google account so follows you around
20:52 – Google Maps Navigation now routes around traffic
– Google Maps Navigation has added traffic re-routing to it’s Android app
– Will take account of current and historic traffic levels when calculating best route
– Free!
– Traffic data is crowd sourced from other users to try and work out best available route
24:00 – Adobe Launches Wallaby
– Wallaby, a system it is launching today to convert basic Flash files — such as animations and banner ads — into code that will work on iOS.
– an AIR program that allows you to drag and drop a Flash file into it, at which point the system analyzes the file and outputs a sequence of HTML-friendly files that produce the same effect. By using HTML, CSS and SVG, the company says most simple Flash files can be recreated in ways that will work on Apple mobile products.
– I spoke to Adobe’s Tom Barclay about the launch, who said that the project had a specific purpose — to make Apple’s Flash ban less painful for developers — but pointed out that it was still very much experimental.
“There’s still room for improvement, but I think we’ve addressed a very specific use case for banner ads on iOS,” he told me.
– While it can port over simple animations and transitions, there’s a lot of information that it can’t handle: notably ActionScript instructions (which are used to program inside Flash) don’t convert, although Barclay suggested that they may come into the picture further down the line. Similarly, some of Flash’s higher-end features — such as filters and blend modes — aren’t being ported through Wallaby yet. And it doesn’t convert audio and video because HTML5 has its own dedicated tags for those.
26:29 – Conde Nast UK invests in iPad publishing
– Wired UK will release monthly app editions for iPad starting with its May issue, with British GQ making its tablet debut on the App Store with its July issue. Meanwhile, Vogue UK is to receive more “special edition” iPad issues throughout the year.
– For now, the publisher is focusing on iPad and iPhone only, although its thoughts are turning to other devices such as the raft of Android tablets about to go on sale, and RIM’s BlackBerry PlayBook.
– For now, the pricing model will remain one-off purchases, too. Apple’s recently introduced subscription billing system is also on Condé Nast’s agenda, but only if the terms are right, according to Read. “We’re in discussions with Apple in the US about how we might reach a subs arrangement that suits both sides.”
– The publisher will also launch 21 iPhone apps across seven of its magazine brands this year, including GQ, Glamour, Vogue and Wired.
29:52 – Apple Updates
– iOS 4.3
– iTunes 10.2.1
– Safari 5.0.4
– XCode 4 – Released – free for developers who pay $99 yearly or $4.99 on app store for non developers
– Benchmarks for iPad2 are very impressive – http://www.anandtech.com/show/4216/apple-ipad-2-gpu-performance-explored-powervr-sgx543mp2-benchmarked
– Online backlog – 4-5 weeks now for delivery, physical stores sold out
– One More Thing
– Jon Bon Jovi
– Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it..
– God, it was a magical, magical time…I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: ‘What happened?’ Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business.
38:54 – App Updates
– Flipboard – faster, instagram support
– Instapaper – faster, more social in that you can find liked reads from your twitter connections, can share to more places including Pinboard, can now search sync’d content – one of my fav apps just got better
41:14 – IE9 now released to mainstream
– Ars calling it the “most modern browser there is”
– Doesn’t work on anything before Vista.
– I’ve not had a chance to use yet. Speed graphs look good. Standards support looks much improved. Certainly a good thing. And with IE trying hard to now kill off IE6 – fingers crossed, those will move straight up to the latest version and save lots of development headaches!
44:09 – Kinect is record breaker
– Kinect officially fastest selling consumer electronic device ever… Guinness certified.
– “Fastest selling consumer electronics device in 60 days…”
45:38 – Zune Player is no more
– End of hardware. Software and service still live.

Picks
Chris
Droid@Screen
– Recently used to do my blog post on Android OS. It’s a desktop java app that can output your Android screen in a window! Fantastic! OK, you have to jump through a few hoops. You need to have the Android SDK and also the debug USB driver, but once that’s all up and running, you just load the .jar file and off you go.
– Used in conjunction with Camtasia/Jing you can then record the window.
– FPS is an issue – 30fps is fastest it offers and that’s not to say that you get 30 updates of the screen every second! It’s jerky at best but as a way of showing how Android works, I couldn’t find a better option out there at the moment.
– It’s also delightfully geeky!
Ian
Zite
– Magazine app for the iPad
– Displays content based on twitter followers, google reader and what you read as you use the app
– Like the front end, slower than Flipboard but not a dealbreaker