DigitalOutbox Episode 77

DigitalOutbox Episode 77
In this episode the team discuss Microsoft pwning Nokia, HP, Sony and Motorola devices and Guitar Hero goes bye bye.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:11 – Microsoft and Nokia sign partnership
– Stephen Elop, Nokia’s recently appointed chief executive, said Nokia will use Windows Mobile 7 as its primary smartphone platform. Elop has also shaken up the senior management team, having warned staff this week that the company was standing on a “burning platform”.
– Speaking in London this morning, Elop said the partnership meant the mobile market was now a “three horse race”, with Nokia-Microsoft competing strongly with Apple, and Google’s Android platform. Mmmm – what about RIM?
– Under the plan, Nokia said it would use its expertise in hardware design, imaging and mapping to improve the Windows Mobile platform. The two companies will work together on marketing, and develop a common roadmap. Bing, Microsoft’s search service, will be integrated into Nokia devices.
– Nokia said it will continue to make phones running its Symbian operating system, thus “leveraging previous investments to harvest additional value”. Symbian, though, will be relegated to the status of a “franchise partner”.
– Job losses expected at Nokia
– Around 1000 Nokia employees walk out in protest – http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/02/nokia-employees-walk-out-in-protest-of-microsoft-deal/
– Elop wouldn’t promise that Nokia will remain profitable while the Symbian-to-Windows Phone transition takes place.
– Nokia Windows Phone devices will start shipping in volume in 2012 but under pressure to deliver this year
– Symbian phones still coming out over the next 12-18 months – who will buy one of these now? It’d a dead platform.
– Nokia shares…down 14%
– Microsoft allegedly handing over billions in this deal – http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9209259/Microsoft_to_pay_out_billions_as_part_of_Nokia_deal
– Elop referred to a slide that Nokia displayed last week that showed marketing resources and other investments flowing from Microsoft to Nokia as part of the deal. While speculation has had that number in the millions or tens of millions of dollars, the figure is actually much higher than that, he said. “In fact the value transferred to Nokia is measured in B’s not M’s,” he said.
– Elop’s first priority – beat Android
– So is it Microkia or Nosoft?
10:25 – HP Event
– HP Veer (no more Palm)
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/09/the-hp-veer/
– Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7230 processor at 800MHz.
– a 2.6-inch 320 x 400 display, 5 megapixel EDoF camera,
– HSPA+ support, 8GB of storage, an accelerometer, proximity and light sensors (as usual), Touchstone compatibility, and mobile hotspot support
– Cute and hands on from engadget and gizmodo say it’s fast – mini per2 has a lot to like
– Web OS 2.2
– HP Pre 3
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/09/the-hp-pre-3/
– QWERTY slider with the all-too-familiar form factor has a 3.6-inch 800 x 480 display (a marked improvement over past Pres)
– 5 megapixel camera with AF and LED flash, HD video, a front-facing camera for video calling, mobile hotspot.
– Qualcomm CPU running at 1.4GHz (!), HSPA+ and EVDO Rev A — yep, it’s a world phone — and the same RAM as the Pre 2 (that’s 512MB DRAM).
– Touchstone compatible, naturally, and will switch to Exhibition mode when docked to show pictures and upcoming appointments.
– availability is this summer with both 8GB and 16GB storage options.
– Web OS 2.2
– HP TouchPad
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/09/the-hp-touchpad/
– is shaped almost exactly like the iPad. It tips the scales at 1.6 pounds and measures 13.7mm thick,
– HP’s shipping this one with its own Beats audio engine, Touch-to-Share (a feature that lets users easily transfer a website, document, song, text or call from the phone to the tablet — or vice versa — simply by tapping the two devices together) and a huge reliance on the cloud.
– Other specifications include webOS 3.0, a 9.7-inch display (1024 x 768 screen resolution), a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon CPU (!), inbuilt gyroscope, accelerometer, compass and 16GB / 32GB of internal storage space.
– There’s also a front-facing 1.3 megapixel webcam, support for video calling, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, “twice the memory of a Pre 2” and a set of stereo speakers.
– There’s a new paneled email application a Growl-like pop-up notification system, plenty of cal / email integration courtesy of HP Synergy, a slick virtual keyboard, VPN support, wireless printing as well as Google Docs, QuickOffice, Dropbox and Box.net compatibility. One of the killer features that can’t be found on a competing tablet right now is this one’s ability to talk to the Pre 3 — so long as there’s a Touchstone involved, one can have their Pre 3 and TouchPad communicate, even piping over notifications and texts from the phone onto the slate. It’s a brilliant idea, and we’re obviously amped to see just how well it’s implemented.
– Wi-fi initially, 3G and 4G coming later, price – announced on later date as will availability (this summer).
– HP & Time do deal to bring mag subscriptions to TouchPad
– No mention on battery life.
– Gizmodo – The only major issue is the speed.This might be because of the fact that the TouchPad isn’t done, and has six months of development time left, but every app, every notification and every multitasking instance is kinda slow. Again, it’s not unusably slow, if you’ve used the Pre compared to a faster phone, say, a Nexus S or a Motorola Atrix or an iPhone 4, you’ll know how the TouchPad compares to the Motorola Xoom. This is surprising since the TouchPad has a 1.2GHz dual core processor, but, webOS has never been a particularly speedy OS.
– So the big three – price, battery, release date – nothing.
– RIP Palm
– One more thing – Web OS coming to PC market
17:22 – Motorola Xoom
– $800
– Feb 24th
– Feb and March are big for tablets – the Xoom sports an impressive set of features, many of which dwarf the iPad, such as two cameras, 1080p screen resolution and a HDMI output.
– Best Buy pre-order – http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Computers-Promotions/Motorola+XOOM/pcmcat233400050016.c?id=pcmcat233400050016 – $1199 – DOA if thats the price
– Wifi only version coming to Europe in 2nd quarter
19:58 – Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
– like the rest of the upcoming Android 3.0 tablets it’s powered by a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, will be available with 16GB or 32GB of storage, and has a front-facing 2 megapixel camera as well as a 8 megapixel imager around back.
– 1280 x 800-resolution 10.1-inch TFT display, and while it’s not Super AMOLED or Super AMOLED Plus quality, it looked quite bright at a variety of angles. We’d venture to say that Samsung’s using a similar panel as in the original Tab here, which is certainly a good thing. Surrounding the tablet you’ll find a SIM slot, 3.5mm jack, and Samsung’s proprietary charging cable. Sadly, there’s no USB or HDMI ports. The rear 8 megapixel cam has a LED flash and can capture 1080p video, while the 2 megapixel lens centered on the top bezel should suffice for those Google Talk Video calls.
– Launching in March in both Asia and Europe — Vodafone will be the first carrier to nab the Tab — but it had absolutely no timing details for the US market. Price? We’ve got no idea, though we’re told it will be “competitive.”
– Feels light in the hand, plastic but solid, grippy back rather than slippy
– Google experience device – no Samsung front end – pure Honeycomb
27:54 – Sony Phones
– Xperia Neo – able to plug into your HDTV via HDMI and can be controlled with a standard remote. The 3.7-inch screen on the device sports a healthy resolution of 854 x 480 and uses Sony’s Bravia graphics engine. The phone has a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash (and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera), and will be available in an array of colors (silver, red, and blue).
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/13/the-sony-ericsson-xperia-pro/
– Xperia Pro – a slider device with a full QWERTY keyboard. The device sports a 3.7-inch, 854 x 480 display (which uses the company’s Bravia graphics engine technology), runs atop a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, and is sporting SE’s customized build of Gingerbread (Android 2.3). The phone has an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, 2 megapixel front facing camera, and will be available in silver, red, and black.
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/13/the-sony-ericsson-xperia-play/
– run Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor with Qualcomm Adreno 205 graphics and display those games on a sizable 4-inch, 854 x 480 multi-touch LCD screen, the combination of which Sony says will provide 60 frames per second playback and manage up to 5 hours, 35 minutes of battery life in a single game session with the slide-out PlayStation Certified controller
– PS1 games plus Android games
– Available March
31:15 – How popular is Android
– Google I/O conference sells out
– Big deal
– I/O sold out in 90 days in 2009, 50 days in 2010 and 59 minutes in 2011
– Previous years has seen free handsets handed out, making the $450 conference fee a bit of a bargain – cheapest way of getting a development device without contract – we’ll see on May 10th, 11th later this year
– But previous attendees got to pre-register this year.
35:31 – Google 2 Step Verification
– Two-step verification offers a more secure way for Google to verify that you are who you say you are when you’re logging into your Google account on a new web browser, through a new application, or on a new mobile device. With two-step verification, your password isn’t enough by itself. As Google put it:
– 2 step verification requires two independent factors for authentication, much like you might see on your banking website: your password, plus a code you only use once.
Those two factors are:
– Your password (just like always)
– A single-use verification code that Google sends to your phone in one of three ways: 1) Using the Google Authenticator app available for Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry, 2) via SMS, or 3) through a voice call (meaning you could even use a landline if you didn’t have a cellphone—basically the call would read off the code to you).
– Set up via your Google account page
37:51 – Google hitting the iPhone Hard
– Google Shopper now available
– Search via photo, voice, text or barcode
– Returns list of stores both off and online and best prices/availability
– Select shop, read reviews and in certain cases check stock
– Keeps history and can share results on Twitter, Facebook – what, no Buzz?
– Google Translate now available
– Speak to translate – voice input for 15 languages, translate a word or phrase to 50 languages
– Listen to translations – listen to translations spoken out loud in up to 23 languages
– Full screen mode to display translated text
– Still doesn’t have the conversation mode in android which translates ‘live’, speaking the translation
40:21 – iPlayer Apps
– Coming to iPad and Android
– iPad
– The new app takes better advantage of the touchscreen user interface, says the BBC, which is a popular feature on the “iPad-ified” website.
– Both the iPad app and Android app will offer live TV streams and radio, the latter which was never before available to mobile devices.
– Mobile users can also access the full BBC catalog of “catch-up” programs (TV you may have missed), seven days’ worth of TV and radio on demand and the “series stacking” feature that’s also available on the Web, this last item being a feature that allows viewers to watch older programs from selected series up until the series has ended.
– Android
– On Android, the iPlayer app will not be available for all devices, only on those running the Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) version of the mobile operating system and Adobe Flash 10.1. This is because the player’s Flash streams require “a powerful mobile phone processor and a Wi-Fi connection,” says the BBC.
– The speculation is that BBC had to implement the streaming service in Flash because of content provider pressure, not technical requirements. Content providers are concerned about pirating – that same fear is why the Netflix application for Android has not yet launched either.
– Not on iPhone, global iPlayer app coming later this year with a subscription service
– Video quality on iPad is excellent, live radio is nice, can shift audio via AirPlay, expect video in 4.3 (double click home button – eh?)
43:17 – Last.fm moves to mobile subscription model
– Free ride for mobiles is over – radio service will become an ad-free, subscriber-only feature on iPhones and Androids, starting February 15
– Cost is £3 or $3 a month
– Less than Spotify but with Spotify you can choose what you want to play – Last.fm does not let you play tracks on demand
– Last.fm Radio will remain free via its website and desktop app as well as for U.S. and U.K. users of Xbox Live and Windows Mobile 7 phones.
Last.fm Radio offers a personalized station, playing full song tracks based on users’ preferences. Currently, that streaming service is free in the U.S. and U.K. via an ad-supported app.
44:52 – Activision Job and Title Cuts
– Guitar Hero, DJ Hero and True Crime series all cancelled
– They can’t make these games profitable
– 500 job cuts
47:35 – Geek saves 172 BBC Websites
– User spiders and archives the 172 websites that the BBC is axing
– They then made all the content available via a torrent – http://178.63.252.42/bbc.closing.sites.archive.torrent
– The purpose of this project is to show how the entire 172 public facing websites that are earmarked for deletion have been copied, archived, distributed and republished online – independently – for the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee (around $3.99).” In other words, the cost-savings from the BBC’s gutting of its online presence: minimal.
The act also has a political side. “The purpose of this project is to expose the ‘cost savings’ of this proposed exercise as nothing more than a charade to appease the detractors to a strong BBC and to curry favour with the current government. BBC’s current senior management has demonstrated a lack of leadership and a lack of courage in pushing back on these demands.”
– But maybe the data won’t be deleted after all – http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2011/02/bbc_online_and_deleting_websit.html

Picks
Chris
SuperTooth Buddy
– Visor Handsfree BlueTooth device.
– No installation – simple clip onto visor and attaches via magnet.
– Auto connect – can connect to 2 different devices
– 20h talk time – 1000h standby
– Power, Volume, Pickup call, Stop call on face. Micro USB port for chanrgin at rear.
– Nice loud audio in car and voice pickup seems good.
– For multi-car / multi-device homes, a great simple solution to handsfree..
– Currently just a bit over £35 on Amazon.

Henry
GiffGaff
– the social mobile network.
– No phones, Just PAYG tarriffs from £5

Ian
Alupen
– Great stylus for the iPad
– £14

Jumping in bed with an Android

Google Nexus S
The Nexus S

OK, so since the beginning of the year, I’ve been harping on about how now is NOT the time to buy new phone. Well, I still say that is exceptionally prudent advice, with a lot of new Android devices on the very near horizon and also the new iPhone announcement coming along very soon.

But when has good advice ever taken precedence over impatience?

I cracked. Like Humpty Dumpty perched on top of a wall, it was inevitable really. It was a late night decision, but now on route to my humble abode is a shiny new Google/Samsung Nexux S. It should be here by tomorrow.

What I am convinced of, is that this is the right decision for a geeky mobile buyer right at this second, what I am yet to know, is whether the comfortable surroundings that Apple lays on with it’s iOS infrastructure is going to be missed, when it appears that you very much have to buy your own furniture with Android. Also, over the next couple of months we’ll hear all sorts of speculation on the new iPhone and then finally be marginally disappointed with it’s final offering. However, it will still be a mighty device no doubt, and it was what I was trying to tell myself to hold on just a few more weeks for.

But no. I’ve now plunged headlong into a 24 month contract with a new carrier and a brand new device and operating system. All my existing infrastructure that goes along with a smart phone these days (car holders, application purchases, computer setup, data syncing) will likely need tweaking or changing wholesale.

It’s going to be an interesting time. One that I am really looking forward to as it happens. And also one that I will document here on DigitalOutbox. There are many people out there in a similar position, perhaps looking to extract themselves from the all encompassing iPhone and I hope that this new series will highlight the plusses and minuses along the transition.

Instant Heart Rate

When I first saw this app I dismissed it as a gimmick. Some of the reviews on the app store said as much – rubbish, it doesn’t work, con artist – blah, blah, blah. Thanks to Shakeel though I downloaded the app for my iPhone and what do you know – it works!

Instant Heart Rate for iPhone (and also Android devices) is a £0.59 app that measures your heart rate. It does this via the iphone’s camera – thats the bit that initially put me off the app. How would the camera detect heart rate? Well, by enabling the flash the camera can detect your heartbeat by the colour variation as the blood flows through your fingers. Fire up the application, click on measure and the flash is enabled. Place your finger over the camera lens and wait a few seconds for the app to settle and start detecting. It will then measure for a few seconds and start displaying your heartbeat. Once measuring accurately you can then store your heartbeat and a simple graph over time will show your measurements. The hastily shot video below shows how quickly it measures your heart rate.

I was still a bit sceptical but a few other tests after badminton and cycling confirmed it’s accuracy, tying up exactly with the heart rate monitor on my bike. As well as measuring heart rates, the app will also measure your heart rate recovery. The app will measure your rate for 60 seconds after exercise and this can be used as a simple measure of how fit your heart is. Again the app will chart your heart rate recovery over time so if you’ve made a New Years resolution and fitness is a new goal this should give you a way of measuring progress over the year.

Couple of updates from after the podcast. The app doesn’t work on the iPhone 3G but does on the 3GS although it needs a lot of light to accurately detect your heartbeat. Secondly, the app is also available for Android devices but I’m not sure on pricing or which devices are supported.

A very simple app but great value for £0.59 and definitely an app that impresses people when they see it in action.

DigitalOutbox Episode 76

DigitalOutbox Episode 76
In this episode the team discuss Bing copying Google, Honeycomb news, Apple geting greedy and the launch of The Daily.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:37 – Bing is copying Google
– Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google’s results, then uses that information to improve Bing’s own search listings. Bing doesn’t deny this.
– As a result of the apparent monitoring, Bing’s relevancy is potentially improving (or getting worse) on the back of Google’s own work. Google likens it to the digital equivalent of Bing leaning over during an exam and copying off of Google’s test.
– “I’ve spent my career in pursuit of a good search engine,” says Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow who oversees the search engine’s ranking algorithm. “I’ve got no problem with a competitor developing an innovative algorithm. But copying is not innovation, in my book.”
– Is it copying or being clever?
– Whatever your view, read how Google caught Bing on searchengineland – great article
– MS and Google employees also have flame war on twitter – very entertaining
– Plays out on search panel too – http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-bing/
– Seems to go back to Bing bar or IE8 install – encrypts and returns search results from Google to MS if user has turned on Suggested Sites feature
– If MS is using 1000 signals to return results, why does one link that Google have created deliberately also get generated in Bing?
6:15 – Microsoft release H.264 plugin for…Chrome
– Today, as part of the interoperability bridges work we do on this team, we are making available the Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome, which is an extension for Google Chrome to enable Windows 7 customers who use Chrome to continue to play H.264 video.
…but it’s not all bad for google
8:15 – Speak2Tweet
– Google team up with SayNow (which they bought last week) and twitter to launch a speak to tweet service
– It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.
– No net connection required
10:20 – Art Project by Google
– Virtual tour of many of the worlds art galleries
– Similar to street view, walk around gallaries
– Click on + button to view hi rez art
12:38 – Android Honeycomb Event
– Showing off fragments which let developers break up components of an app into different pane.
– Modular development is an important part of the app framework
– All 2D Drawing that developers have been doing can be hardware accelerated
– Developers can also tap into an animation framework, allowing developers to fluidly move between views
– RenderScript: A new rendering engine optimized for high performance 3D graphics. Showing off the new YouTube app, which takes advantage of RenderScript.
– New music app, Google body, demo game ported from PS3 – graphics similar to PS2, new camera app with image stabilisation built in
– Announcing the release of the Android Market Webstore. This is big — it was previewed at Google I/O last year, and now users can go to browser and browse entire catalog and install/purchase apps direct from the web.
– When you click to buy, it shows which permissions it needs, asks which device you want to install to, — click ‘complete your purchase’. As soon as the credit card transaction completes, you get a notification on your phone, and the app is downloading to your phone. Very cool. “No wires, no syncing with computers, none of that sort of nonsense.
– In-app purchasing coming to Android
18:37 – Greedy Apple
– NY Times report – Apple blocked Sony’s e-reader application from the iPhone and mandated that it would need to sell content via In-App purchases:
– The company has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer sell content, like e-books, within their apps, or let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store.
Apple rejected Sony’s iPhone application, which would have let people buy and read e-books bought from the Sony Reader Store.
– Apple told Sony that from now on, all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple, said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division.
– Many Apple loyalists dismissed the report saying it was weak – Kindle won’t be affected as they hand off purchasing to Safari
– LOL at Sony as they would struggle to implement there own payment system – they are that bad
– However….
– Now an Apple spokesperson has given us this statement:
“We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines. We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.”
– What? This is a change in policy.
– The most relevant passage from Apple’s developer guidelines — which were only published in September, mind you — appears to be section 11.2, which states:
Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected.
– So what about Spotify, RTM, Comics, Netflix, Wired…the list goes on?
– Why just books?
– Is this related to subscription options coming soon?
– Whatever, as it stands this is plain wrong and the dangers of a company like Apple, running a closed system and changing the goalposts looks set to bite
– It’s also so greedy – no matter what you sell, we want our 30%
– Amazon and others can’t afford that other 30% cut
– Ian – with Honeycomb coming out it may be time to look elsewhere for mobile devices
– Loving the backtracking from the loyalists…I mean fanboys
– More to come on Feb 2nd surely? Reduce 30% on in app content?
24:47 – The Daily launches
– Murdoch notes that a growing population of news consumers no longer read print or even watch TV. His aim with The Daily is to combine “the magic of great newspapers” with the magic of technology. “The Daily is not a legacy barnd moving from the print to the digital world. We have license to experiment. We believe The Daily will be the model for how stories are told.”
– A new edition will come out every day, with updates throughout the day. it will feature a carousel navigation that looks like Coverflow, an dinclude video and 360-degree photographs.
– Since there are no trucks and no printing costs, The Daily will cost 14 cents a day or about $1 a week. The first two weeks are free, thanks to a sponsorship by Verizon. You will be able to download it live at noon ET.
– Apple exec Eddie Cue announced today at The Daily launch, as expected, that Apple will be enabling subscription pricing for news apps. There will be one-click subscription billing either weekly (99 cents) or yearly ($39.99). Apple is starting with The Daily, but Cue says “you will hear an announcement very soon for other publications
– The subscription billing solves a business model problem for media companies, but now they have to create compelling products that people will not only want to pay for but keep paying for over time.
– Asked whether The Daily would come to other tablets, Rupert Murdoch says, “As other tablets get established, we expect to be on all the major tablets.” But he also notes, “We believe this year, and maybe next year belong to Apple.
– Ian – nothing here for UK users, not available in UK store (or anywhere else apart from US) and the content isn’t the best. App feels a bit slow…and news is out of date. Comments were mostly – first or noise – nothing of any consequence. However the movie/music news was ok and some feature articles were good. Lots of movies and photo’s, including 360 degree photo’s. But, it’s just more of the same – no WOW. Updates also take quite a while – couple of minutes before you can start to read new edition. More of a WOW – it took $30 million to get to this point
– The Daily official twitter account did say they they are looking forward to getting to the UK soon. With subs, I’d pay for Guardian on the iPad to be delivered digitally.
– Want to see all the articles but you’ve not got an iPad – http://thedailyindexed.tumblr.com/
– Andy Baio is creating an index for the articles which are published on the web for free but not indexed well
– Up at moment but no sure for how long
33:06 – Real Broadcast Competition May be on the way
– Pub landlady in Portmsouth used cheaper Greek satalite decoders to show Premiership footy in pub. Much cheaper than Sky… who have exclusive broadcast rights to premiership footy games in UK.
– Landlady initially fined £8000 – she took it to European court on grounds that the exclusive territorial rights were a breach of European market laws… judge upheld the argument.
– Judgement from Advocate is not binding but judges generally follow the advice.
– Have every confidence that this won’t see an end to the monopoly – but in the short term it does seem to intimate that you are free to by decoders from any EU country and watch their broadcasts.
38:57 – England & Wales Crime Maps Launched
– Enter street name or postcode and see crimes in that area
– Cost £300,000 to develop – totally overloaded on day 1 – 75,000 hits per minute
– Information on crime is broken down into six categories – burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, violence, other crime and anti-social behaviour. Sex crimes have been included in the “other” category, along with crimes such as theft and shoplifting, to help prevent victims from being identified.
– Also lists details of local police team
42:30 – Flickr accidentally deletes users Pro account
– IT architect and Flickr user Mirco Wilhelm couldn’t log on to his 5-year old account yesterday, and when he asked the Flickr team about this issue they flat out told him they had accidentally flushed his entire account, and the 4,000 photos that were in it, straight down the drain.
Apparently Wilhelm reported a Flickr user with an account that held ‘obviously stolen material’ to the company last weekend, but a staff member erroneously incinerated his account instead of the culprit’s.
– Offer 4 years pro usage to say sorry – they can’t restore the account and it’s photo’s, content etc once it’s deleted
– This practice of deleting accounts without any way of reversing it is a disgrace
– Yahoo finally say something +ve:
– Yesterday, Flickr mistakenly deleted a member’s account due to human error. Flickr takes user trust very seriously and we, like our users, take great pride in being able to take, post and share photos. Our teams are in touch with the member and are currently working hard to try to restore the contents of his account. In addition, we are providing the member with 25 years of free Flickr Pro membership. We are also actively working on a process that will allow us to easily restore deleted accounts and will roll this functionality out soon.
47:22 – Facebook Deals
– Finally launches in Europe
– Check into via Facebook Places and you may receive a deal – 20% of or such
– Starbucks, Debenhams and O2 already signed up
50:39 – Immigration officer fired after putting wife on list of terrorists to stop her flying home
– An immigration officer tried to rid himself of his wife by adding her name to a list of terrorist suspects.
– He used his access to security databases to include his wife on a watch list of people banned from boarding flights into Britain because their presence in the country is ‘not conducive to the public good’.
– As a result the woman was unable for three years to return from Pakistan after travelling to the county to visit family.
– The tampering went undetected until the immigration officer was selected for promotion and his wife name was found on the suspects’ list during a vetting inquiry.
– The Home Office confirmed today that the officer has been sacked for gross misconduct.

Picks
Ian
Instant Heart Rate
– £0.59
– Thought it was a gimmick but it actually works
– Uses camera to track colour change
– Accurate, allows for charting and also measures recovery rate after excercise
– Great on 4g due to camera – needs good light for other iPhones

Henry
X-mini
– Great speaker in a tiny form factor
BoinxTV Home
– Home recording software for the Mac
– £29.99
– Green screen, lower thirds, text
– Easy to use editor

Form factor prediction…

In January 2010, I started to write a post about the future of device form factor… I never finished or published it. I wish I had now, as I would have actually looked more intelligent and insightful than I actually am! See below for the unfinished masterpiece…

————– // ——————

Form Factor Fads

We can cram computing power into all sorts of different shapes and sizes. The excitement of cramming powerful computers into devices we can fit in our pocket has created a huge global industry. Devices that know where they are and that are always connected have seen many innovations and uses.
The biggest problem is one of form factor. A device that fits in your pocket is often compromised on the display and input front. Even though an iPhone is an exceptionally capable device being worked on by millions of talented individuals, it still has some inherent limiting factors to its capabilities. Screen size and data input.
We see more and more niche products being released that all have different combinations of form factor. Different screen sizes to suit particular tasks. Different input methods to facilitate different types of application.
Users aren’t going to buy 101 different devices to meet all their different requirements. It’s wasteful and unnecessary. What needs to happen is a separation of computational device and display/input devices.
A computer that can sit in your pocket and be portable can be used to output content to any size monitor or display and can be attached to any input device imaginable. Your device can then act as an eReader, Personal Computer, Media Streamer, Word Processor, Catalogue etc etc Users can then make purchasing decisions about how they want to interact with their device and its data. With commonality of input/output interfaces, everyday objects, like TV’s, will immediately become huge lounge portals to any digital media.
Buying a bigger laptop will simply be a matter of buying a bigger shell – with keyboard and screen that your pocket device can interface with.