DigitalOutbox Episode 113

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

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

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

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

DigitalOutbox Episode 112

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

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

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

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

Cloak
– Zero config vpn app for Mac and iOS

The new iPad

The now yearly event has came and gone – the new iPad is released and I’ve had it for two days. Reviewing it is slightly odd. Almost everyone has at least heard of an iPad and has used, seen or has one. The new one looks almost identical to the iPad 2, especially when switched off. For me it’s quite an upgrade as I’m moving from the iPad 1 to the new third gen iPad, skipping last years iPad 2. Looking at the spec’s the changes are the now familiar Apple evolutionary steps. However three aspects have jumped out over the past two days.

Screen
As soon as you switch on the new iPad the jump in screen quality is obvious. The resolution jump from 1024 × 768 pixels to 2048 by 1536 pixels gives you a retina quality display on the 9.7 inch screen. Text is smooth with no pixelation. Pictures really pop as well, even when looking at thumbnails. Colours are crisp and video looks great too, but the retina display really helps with text. I’ve taken a few screenshots to try and help demonstrate the difference.

iPad 1st Gen
iPad 3rd Gen

I tried to take the pictures from around the same height, which is closer than the distance I’d usually use the iPad but it shows the difference quite nicely. Firing up iBooks highlights the extra clarity the new screen brings.

iBooks - iPad 1st Gen
iBooks - iPad 3rd Gen

I launched FlickStackr and it showed the differences weren’t limited to text either.

Flickr - iPad 1st Gen
Flickr - iPad 3rd Gen

Biggest surprise was firing up the original iPad to reset it for selling on. Text was jaggy, even blurry. Photo’s and images just didn’t have the detail that they did on the new iPad. Once you’ve used a new iPad you’ll struggle to go back to your current device – it makes that big a difference.

The screen also impacts on applications. Just like the iPhone 4, the rush is now on for app developers to update their iPad app’s to support the new retina screen. Non retina app’s, of which there are many, really do look poor on the new iPad. The same happened with the release of the iPhone 4. Updated app’s like Flipboard, Instapaper and Tweetbot look great. Compare that to Goodreader – it’s icon and in screen graphics look terrible. An update will fix that, but it’s a chance for new app’s to try and stake a claim if the retina updates aren’t delivered quickly. App sizes are also taking a hit. A universal app for iPhone and iPad now has resources for the retina iPhone and iPad’s and app sizes are growing, sometimes as much as 30% since the new iPad was released. I can see 16GB iPad’s filling quite quickly with a few app’s, games and video’s installed.

Speed
The new iPad feels very fast. Everything is snappy and app’s launch and perform quickly. The CPU is seemingly unchanged from the iPad 2 but the GPU is 4x as fast. Coming from the original iPad the difference is marked. At the launch event one of the games demonstrated was Air Supremacy. It launched last week just in time for the iPad launch and after waiting a day I eventually bought it for only £2.99. I had fairly low expectations but the graphics really did catch me by surprise – they were great. I’ve captured a quick video which will hopefully show just how rich the graphics are.

I can’t wait to see the app’s that will come out over the next few months, and also what iOS 6 will bring to take better advantage of the power. I’m not saying the new iPad is a console beater, but it’s certainly a big update over the iPad 2. RAM has also increased to 1GB which will have quite an impact for app developers. Check out this screen from Real Racing 2 (is there a racing game that doesn’t have a ferris wheel?) which was updated for the launch of the new iPad – very impressive.

Real Racing 2 on the new iPad

One aspect of speed that we can’t see in the UK is LTE. By all accounts LTE speeds being seen in America are superb. Shame we are so far behind with 4G networks in the UK.

Battery
With a massive pixel count, 4x graphic chip and LTE (in America only) I had concerns about battery life but it feels almost identical to previous iPads which is a pretty impressive technical achievement. The tear downs show that the iPad is really a screen and a massive battery. However the extra large battery (almost 70% larger than the iPad 2) has had some design consequences. The new iPad is slightly heavier and thicker than the iPad 2. However for me it is slightly lighter and a lot thinner than the original iPad.

Original iPad compared to the new iPad

A bigger battery means charging times have increased. A 70% increase in battery probably means a70% increase in charging time. Expect to be topping up overnight in future. I’m also surprised at how hot the new iPad runs during normal use, and even more so during some of the higher performance games. It’s not too hot to touch, nor hot enough to be uncomfortable, but it is hot enough to notice and be slightly perturbed.

Upgrades
There are other upgrades on the new iPad. The camera, now called an iSight camera, is a 5MP camera whose picture and video quality is now good enough to use. However I can’t really see me using the iSight unless really pushed – it’s just doesn’t feel right taking pictures with a tablet. The front facing camera hasn’t changed and suffers from quite a bit of pixelation.

The new iPad doesn’t come with Siri but does include Siri’s dictation feature. This has worked pretty well for me which is a nice surprise given my Glaswegian accent. I can see me using this quite a bit, and if you feel the same this handy list of dictation commands should help with the formatting of your text.

Apart from that the new iPad is pretty much unchanged from the iPad 2, but for me that means I get to enjoy Airplay mirroring for the first time and also the joy of using a smart cover day to day. They really are great, but I’ve never felt so ripped of in an Apple store as when I handed over £60 for the cover. The Apple tax has many ways of making you pay.

Conclusions
The new iPad is a great device, outperforms the competition with ease and should easily keep Apple’s lead in the tablet market. The new screen literally makes the old screen look bad overnight. Three days ago I had no issues with the old iPad’s screen – now it looks like a pixelated mess in comparison. It’s fast in use and the battery life is great but the design has seen some compromise with a small weight and thickness gain. The heat is more surprising as I’ve not seen much mention of it – it can get pretty hot while gaming.

If you have an iPad 1 then this is a great upgrade. For iPad 2 users there’s considerable benefit to be had in upgrading but it’s a more difficult decision. For the gadget obsessed upgrading your tablet device every year might be worth doing but for the average user I would expect a tablet to last 2-3 years.

If you are new to Apple or tablets then the new iPad has stolen a march on all the competition. They will undoubtedly catch up over over the next 6-9 months competing on price, extra features and new technology but as a whole package with a fantastic app ecosystem it’s hard to see how the iPad can be beaten in the next year. The new iPad is highly recommended.

DigitalOutbox Episode 111

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

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

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

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

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

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

Moom

OS X is perfect. Honest.

I’m joking of course but until Windows 7 came along there was a perceived wisdom that OS X windows management was pretty untouchable and need little or no improvement. In fact I might have mentioned once or twice my love of Expose and how it made using a Mac wonderful compared to Windows. While true, Microsoft really stepped up with Windows 7 and introduced some brand new ways of managing windows particularly around their size and position.

Mission Control on the Mac - nice but can be improved

Windows 7 release spawned a number of window management utilities for the Mac. It was hard to keep up with what each tool did and which one actually offered the best features but after a few months of trying various options I’ve settled on Moom from Many Tricks. Moom, so named for those that move and zoom a lot is a $5 app that add’s a lot of functionality. Once installed Moom offers a variety of window management options and one new feature in particular which is very handy.

You access Moom via the keyboard or more commonly by hovering over the green zoom button at the top left of any windows on OS X. Out of the box you can select one of the icons at the top of the Moom window to easily fill the current window to full screen or the top/bottom half of the screen or the left/right half. Most of the time though you want slightly more control. In the grid below the four screen icons you can draw a window size and when you let the mouse go the current window will not only size to what you have just drawn but also pop to that position on the screen. This makes it really easy to deal with lot’s of windows that you want to size quickly.

Drawing the window size in Moom

Dragging the half width/height icons a few pixels—instead of clicking allows you to size windows to quarter size instead of half. While I don’t have a second monitor, Moom also supports easy movement to a second or third monitor while also moving and sizing the window. However you can customise Moom so that your own sizing options are displayed.

Moom's custom controls

You can setup common window sizes and these can be called up via the custom control dropdown as in the above screenshot or via a custom keyboard shortcut. This really gives you easy window management but one new feature added recently is Window Layouts. You organise your window size and positions and save that layout in Moom. Then when you have the applications opened you can easily select the layout and Moom will organise and resize the windows as per your saved layout. I find this really handy for image editing and also for recording the podcast – so easy to get the same repeated window layout quickly without faffing around sizing individual windows. Take a look at this video for a quick demonstration.

So thats Moom. For $5 it’s a bargain. One thing to note is that it’s available on both the Mac App store and from Many Tricks direct. I chose to purchase directly rather than App Store as I’m unsure on the sandboxing proposals from Apple as I can see it restricting app’s like Moom in the future. I might be wrong, but thought it worth mentioning. If you use a lot of app’s day to day on your Mac I really do recommend Moom – it makes managing windows a lot easier.

DigitalOutbox Episode 110

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

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

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

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