DigitalOutbox Episode 89

DigitalOutbox Episode 89
In this episode the team discuss Apple, Lulzsec and Google Search.

Playback
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Shownotes
2:24 – Apple loosens grip on subscription terms
– Apple has lifted the conditions on in-app pricing.
– Significantly, these have now been replaced by a term that says publishers can include content that consumers have paid for elsewhere. So if a newspaper subscribers has paid the paper directly for a year’s online and in-app access, then Apple won’t take a piece of that payment because it was processed outside the App Store. The same applies for services including Spotify, or Netflix.
– Previous terms had insisted that in-app subscriptions were to be the same price or cheaper than subscriptions elsewhere, and also that external subscriptions had to be made available within the app.
– It means publishers can choose whatever price point they like for subscriptions wherever they are, and won’t have to include what might be irrelevant external subscription offers in the Apple apps.
– Apple blinked
4:11 – Apple antes up in Lodsys developer lawsuits
– Apple has made its move in support of theseven small app developers sued by Lodsys over in-app purchases in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas on May 31, filing a motion to intervene in the proceedings on June 9 according toFOSSpatents’ Florian Mueller. If granted, Apple would be added to the Lodsys suit as a defendant and counterclaim plaintiff.
– Mueller believes that even though Lodsys may oppose Apple’s motion to intervene, the Mac maker is likely to be admitted as a defendant, in which case it has already submitted its answer to Lodsys’ complaint of infringement, and its counterclaim. Apple also cites a number of other precedent-setting similar cases where tech companies were allowed to intervene in patent disputes, which back up and strengthen its motion. If Apple joins as a defendant, Mueller thinks it’s very likely it will take on any legal costs incurred by its developer partners.
6:48 – iTunes in the Cloud not until 2012 for the UK
– The music storage part of the iCloud, due to launch in the US around September time, will not be coming to the UK until at least quarter one of 2012.
– A spokesman for the Performing Right Society (PRS), which ensures that composers, songwriters and music publishers are paid for their work, told The Telegraph, that negotiations with Apple about ensuring rights in the UK had started but were at a “very early stage”.
– “The licensing team at the PRS have started talks with Apple, but are a long way off from any deals being signed…It is very much the early stages of the negotiations and is similar to the launch of iTunes – which began in the US and took a while to roll out to other countries,” they said.
– A music executive at one of the major record labels, who wished to remain unnamed, said: “Tentative talks have begun between the major labels and Apple in the UK. However, all talks are at the really early stages and no one expects to see the cloud music service live on this side of the pond until 2012.”
– Mark Mulligan, vice president and research director at Forrester Research, said: “Apple’s cloud music service will not launch in the UK until at least quarter one of 2012. These types of negotiations take a long time… For one thing the UK arms of all the major record labels are biding their time and waiting to see how the service affects download sales in the US before they sign up to anything.”
– Quicky – Final Cut Pro X, Compressor 5 Motion 4 available on Mac App store from Tuesday 21st as well as 3TB Time Capsule and updated Airport Extreme
13:14 – Nokia and Apple Settle
– Nokia and Apple have agreed a technology licensing agreement that ends the long-running legal dispute between the two firms.
– “The agreement will result in settlement of all patent litigation between the companies,” Nokia said. Nokia sued Apple for patent infringements in 2009 and extended the action in December last year. Apple had countersued, accusing Nokia of infringing its patents.
– Nokia said Apple had agreed a one-off payment, the value of which was not disclosed, and ongoing royalties to use its technologies. Apple said the deal covered both companies’ patents.
15:30 – Google Search Updates
– Google Search on the Desktop
– We first offered speech recognition on mobile search, but you should have that power no matter where you are. You should never have to stop and ask yourself, “Can I speak for this?”—it should be ubiquitous and intuitive. So we’ve added speech recognition into search on desktop for Chrome users. If you’re using Chrome, you’ll start to see a little microphone in every Google search box.
– English only initially, beta version of Chrome soon
– Search by image
– Next to the microphone on images.google.com, you’ll also see a little camera for the new Search by Image feature. If you click the camera, you can upload any picture or plug in an image URL from the web and ask Google to figure out what it is. Try it out when digging through old vacation photos and trying to identify landmarks—the search [mountain path] probably isn’t going to tell you where you were, but computer vision may just do the trick. Search by Image is rolling out now globally in 40 languages. We’re also releasing Chrome and Firefox extensions that enable you to search any image on the web by right-clicking.
– Google Instant: Instant Pages
– Instant Pages can get the top search result ready in the background while you’re choosing which link to click, saving you yet another two to five seconds on typical searches. Let’s say you’re searching for information about the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, so you search for [dc folklife festival]. As you scan the results deciding which one to choose, Google is already prerendering the top search result for you. That way when you click, the page loads instantly.
– Next beta version of Chrome will have this feature
– It’s the borg!
– Sorry officer, I have no idea why my computer was downloading THAT page. 🙂
23:11 – iCann greenlights expansion of web domains
– Icann has decided to allow the number of internet “domains” to expand enormously in one of the biggest changes ever to the internet’s method of naming sites.
– New website suffixes should start appearing late in 2012 and could be categorised by subjects including industry, geography and ethnicity and include Arabic, Chinese and other scripts.
– A special meeting of Icann’s board approved a plan to expand the number of possible internet domain name endings from the current 22 – such as “.com”, “.org” and “.net” (which are separate of the country-specific domain endings such as “.uk”) – to allow domains “in any language or script”, according to Rod Beckstrom, president and chief executive of Icann.
– Icann will receive applications for new domain names for 90 days from 12 January 2012. The fee is $185,000, and the form for application is 360 pages long. It will also begin an awareness campaign pointing out that it has introduced the new scheme.
26:08 – Mobile phone firms develop wave and pay system
– Vodafone, O2, Orange and T-Mobile announced plans on Thursday for a joint venture that would allow shoppers to pay for goods and services with their phones rather than cash or cards.
– Consumers will be able to pay for sandwiches, drinks and train tickets by placing their phones close to a reader similar to the Oyster card system on the London Underground. In the future the technology might even allow you to unlock your front door and start your car.
– Kevin Russell, chief executive of 3, the UK’s smallest operator, hit out at his larger rivals for leaving 3 out of the project. “We would want and expect to be a part at the heart of a cross-industry development like this and are more than a little concerned that, as a core competitor, we have not yet been invited to be part of this joint venture,” he said.
– Vodafone, O2 and Everything Everywhere said the service would be open to all retailers, banks, ticketing companies, advertisers and other mobile companies, including 3, Tesco and Virgin Mobile.
– The trio said they would inject significant capital into the project and would each own one third of the equity. The service is expected to go live early next year, subject to regulatory clearance.
29:36 – O2 will not sell the Playbook
– Blackberry Playbook which launched on Jun 16th won’t be sold by O2 in the UK
– The telco emailed interested punters that RIM’s 7in, QNX OS-based slate will not be available after all, saying it had issues with the “end to end customer experience” offered by the gadget
31:17 – HP Touchpad Pricing and Launch
– HP wants £399 for the 16GB model, £479 for the 32GB version – exactly what Apple is asking for the equivalent iPads 2s.
– Both are driven by a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, and sport 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and a 1.3Mp webcam too. 9.7” screen
– The 240 x 190 x 14mm gadget weighs 740g and ships in July.
32:16 – Sky Go Launches July 4th
– Sky Player and Sky Mobile TV, the two services for watching Sky away from your telly are being combined to form Sky Go — and it’s free to all Sky customers.
– Sky Player lets you watch Sky online, and Sky Mobile TV lets you watch on your phone. With the introduction of Sky Go there’ll be just one service for your phone, tablet, laptop and computer, which is free to all Sky subscribers.
– Sky Go will show live programmes and catch-up TV from across the board of Sky channels. That includes all five Sky Sports channels, ESPN, Sky News, Sky Movies, Sky News, Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Arts, MTV, Disney, GOLD, Nickelodeon, NatGeo, History, Eden and ESPN.
– On your computer or laptop you can choose from 30 channels to watch on the go. Tablets and smart phones are limited to slightly fewer stations, but can get all the Sky Sports channels, ESPN and Sky News. More channels will be added to the phone and tablet line-up over time.
– You can register two devices to watch Sky Go, whether it’s your laptop in bed or your phone on the bus. Sadly you won’t be able to watch when you’re on holiday, as rights issues prevent overseas streaming.
– Sky Player and Sky Sports on the iPhone were previously subscription options so great to have these free for Sky subscribers
– In August, Sky Go will become available to non-Sky TV customers for a monthly subscription price ranging from £15 to £40. Sky Player will remain available on Xbox Live and Freeview service Fetch TV, but will rebrand as just ‘Sky’.
35:46 – PR firm busted
– Redner Group stated:
– Too many went too far with their reviews…we are reviewing who gets games next time and who doesn’t based on today’s venom,” the company tweeted. “Bad scores are fine. Venom filled reviews…that’s completely different,” another tweet read.
– That was on companies official twitter feed…but has since been removed and an apology tweeted out as well
– Everyone kind of expects it…but still not good to see
– Currently, Duke Nukem Forever has a Metacritic score of 49 on the Xbox 360
40:26 – Dropbox Left User Accounts Unlocked for 4 Hours Sunday
– Yesterday we made a code update at 1:54pm Pacific time that introduced a bug affecting our authentication mechanism. We discovered this at 5:41pm and a fix was live at 5:46pm. A very small number of users (much less than 1 percent) logged in during that period, some of whom could have logged into an account without the correct password. As a precaution, we ended all logged in sessions.
– We’re conducting a thorough investigation of related activity to understand whether any accounts were improperly accessed. If we identify any specific instances of unusual activity, we’ll immediately notify the account owner. If you’re concerned about any activity that has occurred in your account, you can contact us at support@dropbox.com.
– This should never have happened. We are scrutinizing our controls and we will be implementing additional safeguards to prevent this from happening again.
– If you were affected then you will have been e-mailed as review is complete
– Worried – check your event log – https://www.dropbox.com/events
– For those who are seeking a service similiar to Dropbox, but with more security, Wuala and SpiderOak encrypt data on users’ devices, not on a central server.
43:01 – WordPress.org Password reset
– Noticed suspicious commits to several popular plugins (AddThis, WPtouch, and W3 Total Cache) containing cleverly disguised backdoors. We determined the commits were not from the authors, rolled them back, pushed updates to the plugins, and shut down access to the plugin repository while we looked for anything else unsavory.
– To use the forums, trac, or commit to a plugin or theme, you’ll need to reset your password to a new one. (Same for bbPress.org and BuddyPress.org.)
44:25 – Lulzsec and Anonymous Declare Open War Against All Governments and Fat Cats
– Lulzsec and Anonymoushave just declared full open war against all governments, banks and big corporations in the world. They are calling all hackers in the world to unite. Their objective is to fully expose all corruption and dark secrets
– This is getting tiring…..and dangerous. Real change ala wikileaks is powerful but hacking user accounts and throwing them online for individuals to be damaged…is childish
– Trying to be characters like robin hood?
– Net may be closing in – http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jun/21/lulzsec-hacker-group-who-belongs
– http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-13859868 – 19 year old arrested in UK
– http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jun/22/ryan-cleary-charged-lulzsec-hacking
– Charged with 5 offences of computer hacking
51:05 – Microsoft launches Kinect SDK for Windows
– Embraces hacking community by launching official SDK for Kinect on Windows
– This will allow users to create games, UIs, and apps with Kinect’s 3D sensing technology including 3D scanning, audio tracking, and the creation of 3D wireframes in real time.
The three major features include, Raw sensor streams, Skeletal tracking, Advanced audio capabilities
52:41 – Popcap bought for $1 billion
– Huge news in the gaming world: PopCap Games, the company behind such hits as Plants vs Zombies and Bejeweled, is in the process of being acquired — and we’re hearing from multiple sources that the price is over $1 billion.
54:29 – iOS Apps
– Bungie Mobile
– http://www.tuaw.com/2011/06/14/bungie-releases-free-ios-app/
– Free app from Bungie
– Track your Halo stats
– Login with Bungie ID and enable blue flames!
– Discovr Apps and Music
– http://techcrunch.com/2011/06/14/discovr-launches-awesome-tool-to-find-and-discover-new-apps-think-interactive-graphs/
– Great apps for discovering new apps and music
– Graphically shows related apps or music, then details more on the app or artist
– Both £0.59 but very nicely written
– Order & Chaos
– http://toucharcade.com/2011/04/27/order-chaos-online-goes-worldwide-lets-take-over-the-arcadian-forest-server/
– Gameloft MMO – rip off of WOW
– Monthly sub but at the moment it’s £0.59 for 3 months gameplay
– Pretty amazing to have this running on iPhone/iPad
– Exfm
– Great music discovery app out today
– Get the chrome plugin to understand what it’s about
– Follow friends, industry leaders, music blogs etc
– Great way of finding new music
– Free!
59:02 – Lytro Light Field Cameras
– Introducing a light field camera this year
– Amazing demo – take a photo and in post you can change what is in focus
– Light field means capturing all the light moving in all the directions in the view of the camera
– A real step change in photography…
1:04:47 – Facebook – Spartan and iPad App
– Project Spartan is the codename for a new platform Facebook is on verge of launching. It’s entirely HTML5-based and the aim is to reach some 100 million users in a key place: mobile. More specifically, the initial target is both surprising and awesome: mobile Safari.
– Yes, Facebook is about to launch a mobile platform aimed squarely at working on the iPhone (and iPad). But it won’t be distributed through the App Store as a native application, it will be entirely HTML5-based and work in Safari. Why? Because it’s the one area of the device that Facebook will be able to control (or mostly control).
– Facebook iPad app

Picks
Chris
SlideIT
– Android Keyboard. Like HTC sense.
– Drag your fingers over the keys rather than pressing individual ones. Magically your words appear. Clever stuff.
– Trial – or buy full versoin £3.99
Ian
Reeder for Mac
– Reeder for Mac – £5.99 from Mac App Store
– The best feed reader for Mac
– Great Google reader integration
– Fast and it looks great too

DigitalOutbox Episode 88

DigitalOutbox Episode 88
In this episode the team discuss WWDC, Windows 8, E3 and the most damaging DM mistake ever.

Playback
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Shownotes
1:41 – Windows 8 Revealed
– Appears to be a rethink of what Windows is
– Tiles similar to Windows Phone (Metro) are viewed – bigger so can show more
– Touch based OS – does look very nice
– Applications will be of two types: traditional Windows apps built using existing APIs, and new apps built on Javascript and HTML5. APIs and guidelines for these will be released a little further down the line. There is a big focus on making applications friendly to both touch and mouse/keyboard.
– Can go back to ‘traditional’ windows – almost jarring moving between the two environments
– When in windows the touch Metro environment feels like a skin on top – like a dashboard?
– For touch though I think it’s a bold move from MS and great to see that Javascript and HTML5 are the basis (even though the app’s written for Windows 8 won’t run elsewhere!?!)
– Too early to tell how good this will be
6:52 – Facebook launch face scanning
– Facebook has apologised for the way it rolled-out a new system that recognises users’ faces. The social network said that it should have done more to notify members about the global launch.
Its Tag Suggestions feature scans photos and automatically picks out existing friends.
– Although users have the option to switch it off, some complained that they were not explicitly asked if they wanted it activated.
Facebook said that the system was intended to speed up the process of assigning a name to a picture, known as tagging.
– It was introduced in the US in December 2010 but has only now been launched globally.
9:37 – WWDC
– Lion
– 10 new features that were known already
– App Store only, July, £20.99, 4GB download for Snow Leopard
– 200 new features overall
– App Store updates
– For enhanced security, apps will have a built-in sandbox mode whilst developers will have the ability to send “delta updates”, which are effectively ‘patch based’ updates, meaning the entire app will not have to re-downloaded with every update.Apps will also be able to send push notifications to users and just like iOS apps, can also have in-app purchases
Lots of their new features were really refinements (as always with Apple!). Nice to see development, just seems that the desktop PC is now rather an after-thought…
Full screen apps – finally a way to maximise an app on OSX 🙂
– iOS 5
– 1. Notifications: no more interruptions. Notifications will appear like Android . SLide your finger across the notification and you will go to the app. More information will be visible form the Home screen. You can also click on the X to lea all the notifications.
Quick Android, sue Apple for copying 🙂
2. Newsstand: Newsstand is the place for all your Magazine and newspaper subscriptions. On the iPad, this app will let you read, listen to audio and video as well. Each edition is automatically downloaded to your device.
3. Twitter: Twitter is not integrated into iOS. SIngle sign-on is integrated into the settings and you won’t have to login in for every app. It’s also integrated with Camera and photos so you can upload with a few clicks. Location and thumbnails are also included. As expected, the Twitter integration taps into your contacts.
4. Safari: Safari is the most popular web browser of all time and the basis of 90% of mobile browsing. Apple introduced Safari Reader which will bring an articles content into one page and lets you email the content of the article or tweet about it. Includes full tabbed browsing in Safari on the iPad.
Will be interesting to see how advert driven websites react to this feature! There are tools available already (as covered by Ian in his picks) but this will bring to the masses an ability to cut off revenue streams for site owners!
5. Reminders: Reminders does exactly what it says — remind you od al the important things you need to do. Includes location information and can remind you when you arrive and leave an event. Searchable and will sync with iCal.
6. Camera: The Camera app got a refresh with a new Camera shortcut on the lock screen (yay!). Double-click the home button and the camera app will launch. Will let you take a new picture even if you have a passcode set. You can use the volume up button as a snap for the camera and grid lines to help frame your photos. You can even pinch-to-zoom and set AE/AF lock without losing your previous settings. . Built-in editor will let you crop, rotate, reduce red-eye and more.
After months of stopping hardware buttons for shutter, finally they relent! Feel sorry for those apps that got the chop because of doing just that.
7. Mail: Mail also gets some fresh new features including full text searching, rich text formatting, and flagging. Swipe to add an inbox and new enterprise features that add support for S/MIME. New dictionary will help with your definitions. A new split keyboard will make typing text easier.
8. PC Free: Cut the cord. PC Free gives you the ability to setup and activate your brand new iPhone right on the handset. Software updates are now over the air (double-yay!), even minor patches and little changes like add/delete calendars and add/remove mailboxes can be done from the handset.
9. Game Center: Game Center now includes photos with the profiles, game recommendations, achievement point comparisons. You can also purchase games right through the game center. Support for turn-based games is now added into iOS so games like Scrabble will be easier to build.
10. iMessage: A new messaging service just for iOS 5 owners. It’s BBM for iOS! You can send text, photos, videos contacts, group messaging, delivery receipts and more. iMessages are pushed to all iOS device and it works over 3G and WiFi. And its all encrypted!
– Airplay mirroring – does that mean any app will mirror over Airplay without the app having to support it – thats massive for home and corporate environments
– Many app developers will be feeling the pinch – Instapaper, Camera+, ToDo apps, Messaging apps
– After all the previewed features and great news about iOS 5 (OTA updates, wireless sync, new apps, iMessage), Apple confirmed that iOS 5 will ship this Fall (perhaps with a new iPhone?), with a first developer seed available later today. The best part? Just like iOS 4, iOS 5 will run on your iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS (unlike a previous report claimed, 3GS is supported), iPad and iPad 2, iPod touch 3rd and 4th gen
If you have an app in the areas where Apple has now “baked in” functionality, you’ll be cursing at the moment! Always a risk for developers who come up with a great idea.
– iCloud
– http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2011/06/apple-details-iclouds-digital-storage-and-syncing-free-5gb-of-storage.ars
– iCloud integrates with a number of apps on both iOS devices and Macs to sync content like pictures, documents, and music between devices, and will provide 5GB of storage free to all users.
– iCloud can wirelessly push content to all the listed devices automatically and integrate with apps like Contacts, Mail, and iCal that were all previously handled by Apple’s old cloud service, MobileMe. Jobs said these apps have been “rebuilt from the ground up” to be iCloud apps.
– The iCloud version of iCal includes calendar sharing, so that an update to a calendar is not only pushed to all of a user’s own devices, but to those who subscribe to the calendar as well. In e-mail, @me.com addresses can sync mail between all devices.
– Jobs also announced a few newly iCloud-optimized apps. Integration with the App Store allows users to see a purchase history of all of their apps and pull one down to a device if they need it, as long as it’s compatible. A newly bought app can be automatically pushed to all devices. Likewise, new books and their bookmarks in iBooks can be auto-synced to all devices, and new Pages document will automatically be backed up to the service, then pushed to all other Pages-enabled devices.
– Another feature, called PhotoStream, pulls images directly from the camera roll of a user’s device, puts them in the cloud, and sends them to any desired devices, including Macs and the Apple TV. The last 1,000 photos are kept for 30 days by default, and moving the pictures to an album keeps them forever.
– iTunes was also primed for iCloud, and lets users pull down songs or albums purchased through the iTunes Store from their purchase history to the device they are using. Jobs noted there is a “switch” where users can tell iCloud to sync all songs bought on any device to up to 10 authorized devices.
– Jobs also described a new feature called iTunes Match, which attempts to match up songs in a user’s library with what is available in the iTunes Store. If a song can be matched, a customer will have access to it via iCloud without having to upload it, though they will be able to upload songs they already own as well. The service has no data caps, but costs $24.99 per year. So Apple’s basically betting you’ll pay $25 a year to legalize all your content, and for the convenience of having it with you everywhere
– Similar to HP’s webOS, iCloud will also allow iOS devices to complete automatic daily backups of your devices to the cloud.
– Jobs said little about how users will control the actions of iCloud (other than through iTunes), which is relevant to those concerned about data usage limits. During a demo, Roger Rosner, VP of iWork, indicated that when he wanted to access a Keynote presentation on his iPad from his iPhone, he first had to give consent for the phone to use the iCloud service.
– APIs for iCloud storage and a beta version will be available to developers starting today, and device owners running iOS 4.3 will also get access to a beta version of iTunes in the cloud. The full version of iCloud will be available with iOS 5, which is due out this fall. Jobs announced that 5GB of storage will be available free to all users for mail, documents, and backup, with the PhotoStream service operating outside that limit.
Another case of end to end control helping Apple to make a service that, in theory, ‘just works’. Extremely impressive stuff – not because we haven’t seen it before, just because it’s so completely realised. The data-centre was impressive!
However, what about people with low/limited upload speeds… Pictures and songs are large beasts and the data-centre is in the US after all. I’m sure they’ve thought about it and if anyone can pull it off, Apple can.
Their push towards delta updates on everything was also evidence that they are on the case.
How long before EU/Competitions commissions start getting involved? We’re talking features and functionality that you don’t have any options over – iCloud as a service for example. Microsoft are still suffering from having to open up their operating system to competition. Will this appen to Apple as well? I don’t think it’s that far away.
56:32 – FT bypass the Apple Tax
– The Financial Times would rather not have Apple take a 30 percent cut of in-app subscriptions for its iOS publications, and has launched a HTML5 Web app that enables readers to access content across tablets and smartphones.
– The browser app enables readers to access content when offline by saving a shortcut to articles, receive automatic updates without the need to download new versions of the app and access content exclusively made for tablets.
– An upcoming feature is ‘Clippings’, a service that will allow users to read articles later, either on their tablet or on their desktop PC. Sound familiar? (look for ‘reading list’)
– FT acknowledges that the Web app has been initially optimized for the iPhone and the iPad, but says it will also be adapted for Android-based devices and the BlackBerry PlayBook.
– Accessing FT content is free for up to ten articles per month, if you register.
– Performance – pretty poor
What have I been bleating on about? Yep, the future is web-based services. Not apps.
1:02:39 – Microsoft Keynote
– Kinect dominated
– Ghost Recon:Future Warrior – kinect gesture and voice support, as will all future Tom Clancy games
– New dashboard this fall, kinect powered, metro’ish design, Bing and Youtube channels controlled by voice
– Bing allows you to search across Xbox content
– TV channel in the Fall – US only?
– Halo:Combat Evolved – Nov 15th – 10 year anniversary – HD graphics, co-op, multiplayer maps as well but you need Halo Reach to play multiplayer – 6 maps – no multiplayer with Halo:CE apart from co-op
– Fable: The Journey – first person journeying via kinect
– Minecraft coming to 360 this winter…with kinect support
– Forza 4 – October 11th – head tracking via kinect, new community features – not much else revealed
– Kinect Fun Labs, Disneyland – Wiitastic games coming to kinect
– Kinect sports 2, Dance Central 2
– Halo 4 – end of 2012 – new 3 parter
– Buried – Cloud storage for game saves and profiles – sign in anywhere to any console
Kinect seems to = games on rails… not exactly the future of gaming as I see it.
Mind you, all the games shows seemed to have massive amounts of “watching” the game rather than actually “playing” it.
1:11:44 – Sony Keynote
– Apologise for outage and hack
– Ico and Shadow of the Colossus to launch September 28
– A TV. And some 3D glasses. Available in one $499 bundle this fall, the 3D-enabled 24-inch television includes a pair of PlayStation-branded 3D glasses (extra glasses are available for $69.99 separately), a six foot HDMI cable and a copy of Resistance 3. Best of all, the screen includes some clever technology which allows two players looking at the display at two different angles to see separate images, effectively eschewing traditional split-screen multiplayer.
– Resistance 3 – September 6
– Dust 514 – spring/summer 2012
– When playing your FPS title of choice, have you ever wished that there was something more to it beyond your rank, weapon unlocks, your kill/death ratio and leaderboard prominence? Those things are all great – but what if those matches you fought in actually meant something? What if your successes and failures against your opponents impacted the course of events in a vast setting, potentially changed a virtual world and the gameplay experience of thousands of other players? More than that, what if that impact was felt across two separate games – one on PS3 and one on PC/Mac – that share the same sci-fi universe?
DUST 514 is that game.
– “Persistence” is the key word here. The world of DUST 514 doesn’t spawn when you fire up your PlayStation 3 — it’s always there and always being experienced and influenced by other players in the EVE universe. When you take part in events in the EVE universe through combat in DUST 514, you’re taking part in something greater than your own individual experience of that world.
– Your fights impact the entire EVE setting, comprised of both DUST 514 mercenaries and EVE Online starship pilots, known as “capsuleers“. When you capture or destroy planetary structures, you are asserting dominance over regions of that planet – perhaps eventually the planet itself. As you profit while wiping out your opposition in DUST 514, the outcomes of these conflicts can affect territorial control of vast regions of space in EVE Online, something of great importance to EVE’s starship pilots.
– Uncharted in september – looks really good
– Sony announce slew of games with Move support
– Saints Row:The Third with move – Nov 15th
– NGP is Playstation Vita
– The NGP PlayStation Vita will feature both Wi-Fi and 3G functionality, with AT&T being named the official wireless carrier of the new handheld. Audible groan and boo’s when AT&T announced. front and rear cams, Wi-Fi with optional 3G, a 5-inch AMOLED display, and touchpads on both sides
– As for pricing, the Wi-Fi model will retail for $249, while the 3G/Wi-Fi model will retail for $299 (£229 and £279)
– Launched globally by the end of 2011
– Streetfighter x Tekken a launch title as is Wipeout, Modnation Racers…and of course Ridge Racer
– This is my next hands on
– It’s big. Certainly not very pocket friendly, but not comical. It’s a pretty reasonable size given the fully articulated analog controls and all the other wild stuff going on here. Still, it’s big if you’re used to doing your gaming on a phone or even a recent PSP.
It’s light. Vita actually feels hollow. It’s a little bizarre given the fact that we’re looking at a seriously large display, and takes some getting used to. We’re happy to report, however, that this is some seriously quality craftsmanship. The see-through plastic triggers are big, meaty, and have a whole bunch of finely crafted travel.
The “cheapest” feeling part is probably the back touchscreen. It kind of feels (and looks) like a plastic sticker, and it actually made some tasks requiring rear touch a little sub-par feeling. We’d prefer something a bit more like brushed glass.
This screen is AMAZING. Not only is it amazing in size, color, and resolution, but the games are actually pumping enough pixels to look wonderful on it. Virtua Tennis was especially spectacular, with oodles of polygons available for every nuance of Federer’s face.
The analog sticks are good, but not DualShock or Xbox 360 controller good. We got through most gaming tasks fine, but shooting in Uncharted felt a little sloppy. Of course, there’s always a bit of a learning curve with a new shooter and a new analog stick, so we’re willing to give this one time.
1:18:48 – Nintendo Keynote
– The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will arrive on Wii during Holiday 2011
– 25th anniversary of The Legend of Zelda. Part of the celebration, as announced by Shigeru Miyamoto, includes the release The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on the 3DS eShop. And by “release,” we mean that the classic Game Boy title is actually available today.
– Luigi’s Mansion 2 officially announced for 3DS
– Super Mario 3D, the 3DS title briefly teased back at GDC, would launch before year’s end.
– Mario Kart for 3DS – winter
– Starfox 64 for 3DS this fall
– Nintendo Wii U
– The controller features a large, touch-capable screen, paired with two circle pads, a directional pad, face buttons, a camera, a gyroscope and an accelerometer. Nintendo is positioning it as an entertainment sharing device, with video and gameplay working across the controller and your home console.
– You can play games solely on the controller, which handles like a tablet and presumably includes the stylus we saw interacting with it during the reveal. It’s got a 6.2 inch screen, is backward compatible with all Wii games, Wii Remotes and other accessories — a video showed showed it being used with the Balance Board and as a Wii Remote, so it’s got motion controls built in. An example during the reveal showed an individual using it in a golf game, just like a Wiimote.
– It’s got rumble, trigger buttons, touch-screen, microphone and speakers, and an accelerometer. It’s also got a camera built in. Iwata says it’s got support for the “widest variety of games can be supported” and can play games independently of the Wii itself. Oh, and it’s HD.
– Expected 2012
– No games demo’d, just rolling montages – from 360 and PS3 versions of the games
– 1.8 inches tall, 6.8 inches wide, 10.5 inches long
Single-touch display
The new controller incorporates a 6.2-inch, 16:9 touch screen and traditional button controls, including two analog Circle Pads. This combination removes the traditional barriers between games, players and the TV by creating a second window into the video game world. The rechargeable controller includes a Power button, Home button, +Control Pad, A/B/X/Y buttons, L/R buttons and ZL/ZR buttons. It includes a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope, rumble feature, camera, a microphone, stereo speakers, a sensor strip and a stylus
Up to four Wii Remote (or Wii Remote Plus) controllers can be connected at once. The new console supports all Wii controllers and input devices, including the Nunchuk controller, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro and Wii Balance Board
A single self-loading media bay will play 12-centimeter proprietary high-density optical discs for the new console, as well as 12-centimeter Wii optical discs
Supports 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p and 480i. Compatible cables include HDMI, component, S-video and composite
Uses AV Multi Out connector. Six-channel PCM linear output through HDMI
The console will have internal flash memory, as well as the option to expand its memory using either an SD memory card or an external USB hard disk drive
IBM Power®-based multi-core microprocessor
Four USB 2.0 connector slots are included. The new console is backward compatible with Wii games and Wii accessories
1:24:31 – E3 News
– Mass Effect 3 – Mar 6th 2012
– Battlefield 3 – October 25th
– A new social client for FIFA gamers launching with FIFA 12, known as “Football Club”. The service is said to track “status, bragging rights and progression,” allowing players to access their cross-game stats from FIFA titles. Think Bungie Pro or Call of Duty Elite, but, ya know, without the paid part. Thats right — it’s free! Football Club will launch with FIFA 12 this fall
– Tomb Raider – 2012, reimagined in some ways but classic Tomb Raider in many others
– On-Live hits the UK Q3 2011
– http://www.reghardware.com/2011/06/03/onlive_hits_uk_in_autumn/
– After a successful first year in the US, cloud-based game service OnLive is finally heading to the UK this autumn.
– Customers with fast internet connections will be able to stream games such as Borderlands and Prince of Persia straight to their computer or TV set, no download required.
– OnLive’s UK page now shows a countdown set to end June 7 at 8pm. Sign up then and you’ll be given an OnLive UK Founding Member account for early access.
– OnLive will launch in the UK in collaboration with BT
– iPad client also launching in the Autumn
1:28:38 – Finally – most damaging DM mistake yet?
– Rep. Anthony Weiner has confessed at a press conference that he sent via Twitter the picture that has captivated Washington for the past week — and that he lied about his account being hacked.
– “I regret not being honest about this,” Weiner said in a tearful statement. “I was embarrassed, I was humiliated. I was trying to protect my wife. I was trying to protect myself from shame.”
– He claimed to have tweeted the picture on May 27 to Seattle student Gennette Cordova “as a joke” but then “panicked” and removed the tweet from his Twitter account. Cordova, however, doesn’t understand what joke that would be. “Am I the only one still confused?” she tweeted during the press conference.
– “Once I realized I had posted it on Twitter I panicked, I took it down and said I’d been hacked,” Weiner explained.
– Weiner said he has had “cursory direct message contact” with Cordova and that she was not one of the women he was having an online relationship with.

Jailbreaking an iOS Device

I’ve jailbroken my iPhone once before, during a podcast no less, but quickly went back to stock iOS as it felt a bit immature and a couple of app’s crashed which I hadn’t seen before. Almost a year on, and prompted by Shakeel doing it and with a certain amount of boredom with iOS it was time to jailbreak again and see what I was missing.

I also thought it would make a good blog post, capturing the step’s I did and my findings. Before you read on, a health warning. You can break your iOS device so follow the step’s carefully. You will also have to wait a few days after each iOS version is released before you can upgrade. With those out-of-the-way, let’s jailbreak.

Instead of repeating the jailbreak steps, visit iClarified.com. Click on the Jailbreak link at the top of the page and then select your device and platform. You will then be taken through the steps to jailbreak your iOS device. I used Pwnage tool and it worked without issue. It takes about 20-25 mins to jailbreak your device but then iTunes will restore your app’s and media which can take 20-40 mins depending on your device. After an hour I had a jailbroken iPhone, the only evidence being a Cydia icon in among my application icons.

Firstly I reset the root password on the iPhone to minimise the risk of anyone logging into my phone at a later date. I then connected to the iPhone from the Mac using Transmit (if you don’t have Trasmit then the free app Cyberduck will work just as well) and was able to browse the iPhone like any traditional computing device. Now what?

Well there’s a whole new world of app’s and customisation that now awaits. The first app I installed was SBSettings. This is a free app and once installed via Cydia it gives you a quick list of settings and toggles by swiping the iPhone toolbar. You can quickly enable and disable bluetooth, wifi etc far more quickly than opening settings and drilling into a variety of menu’s. You also get stats like current IP address which is a quick way of finding your IP and accessing your iPhone from your Mac or PC. You can also add widgets to SBSettings like a calculator and skin it so you can make it look as nice (or ugly) as you want. Speaking of skins, Winterboard is another app that is a must install. This will allow you to install themes and hacks to totally change the look and feel of iOS.

In this screen the icons are smaller and there are five columns of icons rather than four. The theme being used is Matte Nano HD but if you look around there are hundreds to choose from. Like all theme’s some theme, like the one linked above, are great and others – not so much. I actually found the theming to be a bit of a pain as once you change the look and feel, especially reducing the size of icons, you are then on a constant hunt to change the individual app icons that the theme doesn’t cover. However Shakeel has done almost everything on his phone (screenshots are from his phone) and it looks amazing.

What’s not apparent from the screenshot are the live notifications. The weather icon is live rather than a graphic and will show current temperature and weather. In the title bar you get have notifications for e-mail, messages etc which makes for a much more informative iOS environment. You can even change the search screen and make it not only informative but like an Android or Windows phone.

Jailbreaking also allows for app’s that are currently prohibited in the App store – emulators for example. There’s a great SNES emulator and SNES games play well as long as you put up with the virtual controller that you need to use. You can also enable tethering so that other devices can take advantage of your mobile data without having to enable it with your mobile phone provider.

The seedier side of jailbreaking is piracy. There are many repositories setup purely to allow you to download cracked versions of iOS applications. What I find most incredible is that for many of the pirated app’s, users are saving only £0.59. Are people really that tight that this is the only way to get app’s for their mobile devices?

I’d been running my iPhone jailbroken for a few days when I started to become frustrated with it. There were slight pauses during operation that I didn’t get using vanilla iOS. Worse, I suffered a couple of major crashes that required a reboot of the device. The crashes weren’t during the install of app’s – the last one was when taking a photo and it took around 15 minutes before the device switched back on. Not good. One thing I value is stability and that last crash was a crash too far. That night I restored the phone back to vanilla iOS and restored from a backup. I missed the visual flair and the handy little hacks I’d installed but it was noticeably snappier and I’ve not had a crash since.

One interesting point on crashes. Apple released Keynote, Numbers and Pages for iPhones this week. Shakeel on his jailbroken iPhone has seen a number of crashes. I’ve had none. Gut feel is that the extra utilities running in the background coupled with running a heavy app is pushing the iPhone in ways it wasn’t designed to be.

So if you are bored with the look of iOS, or dream of carrying a SNES in your pocket then jailbreaking is for you. Good luck! I’ll stick with vanilla iOS and look forward to what iOS 5 brings our way.

DigitalOutbox Episode 87

DigitalOutbox Episode 87
In this episode the team discuss Twitter, Eric Schmidt and Activision.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:16 – Paypal sues Google
– Mentioned PayPal on last podcast in regards Google Wallet and how they would fight to retain their control – hours after we finished PayPal sued Google
– The complaint (embedded below) alleges “misappropriation of trade secrets, and “breach of fiduciary duty.” It revolves around Osama Bedier, who was the VP of Platform, Mobile, and New Ventures at PayPal before he was recruited to work at Google by Android chief Andy Rubin, Google co-founder Larry Page, and Bedier’s former PayPal colleague Stephanie Tilenius (who now heads up Commerce and Payments at Google, and I interviewed yesterday onstage at Disrupt NYC).
The lawsuit reveals that Google was negotiatiating with PayPal for two years to power payments on mobile devices. But just as the deal was about to be signed, Google backed off and instead hired the PayPal executive negotiating the deal—Bedier.
– Inferring that Google bought the knowledge and then used it to launch google Wallet
3:41 – SeeSaw Closes
– SeeSaw, UK based video TV venture to close
– At its launch in February last year, SeeSaw offered 3,000 hours of free programmes including Skins, Kingdom and Doc Martin. Three months later it began offering paid-for content, with 1,000 hours of shows including South Park and Spooks, and struck deals with US broadcasters including MTV and NBC Universal.
– But third-party internet TV aggregators have strugged to compete with broadcasters’ own in-house on-demand services, and SeeSaw failed to gain a significant following compared to rival offerings such as the BBC’s iPlayer, ITV Player and Channel 4’s on-demand service, 4oD.
– We first covered this back on Episode 37 and said we couldn’t see a reason to use this over iPlayer, 4OD etc
7:15 – Lodsys responds to Apple
– Sues developers and chases Android dev’s too
– Says if it has improperly targeted a developer it will give them $1000
12:09 – Apple responds to Malware
– Security update that spots and removes MacDefender and will update daily for new varients
15:24 – Twitter in UK Legal Landmark
– Twitter has been forced to hand over the personal details of a British user in a libel battle that could have huge implications for free speech on the web.
– The social network has passed the name, email address and telephone number of a south Tyneside councillor accused of libelling the local authority via a series of anonymous Twitter accounts. South Tyneside council took the legal fight to the superior court of California, which ordered Twitter, based in San Francisco, to hand over the user’s private details.
– It is believed to be the first time Twitter has bowed to legal pressure to identify anonymous users and comes amid a huge row over privacy and free speech online.
– Ahmed Khan, the south Tyneside councillor accused of being the author of the pseudonymous Twitter accounts, described the council’s move as “Orwellian”. Khan received an email from Twitter earlier this month informing him that the site had handed over his personal information. He denies being the author of the allegedly defamatory material.
– “I don’t fully understand it but it all relates to my Twitter account and it not only breaches my human rights, but it potentially breaches the human rights of anyone who has ever sent me a message on Twitter.
– “A number of whistleblowers have sent me private messages, exposing any wrongdoing in the council, and the authority knows this.”
– He added: “I was never even told they were taking this case to court in California. The first I heard was when Twitter contacted me. I had just 14 days to defend the case and I was expected to fly 6,000 miles and hire my own lawyer – all at my expense.
22:41 – Twitter Integrates photos and improves Search
– New version of search – more relevant tweets – huge opportunity for twitter in realtime search
– Also show relevant photos and videos
– Speaking of photo’s…
– Over the next several weeks, we’ll be releasing a feature to upload a photo and attach it to your Tweet right from Twitter.com. And of course, you’ll soon be able to easily do this from all of our official mobile apps. A special thanks to our partner Photobucket for hosting these photos behind the scenes.
– For users without smartphones, we’re working with mobile carriers around the world so you can also send photos via text message (MMS). Share what’s happening in your world, anywhere you are.
24:38 – Eric Schmidt D9 Revelations
– Google is the default search engine for Apple computers and iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). Google Maps also gets featured placement. That’s going to continue. “We have a very,very good search partnership” and map relationship with Apple, Schmidt said, saying that deals on both have been renewed.
– Schmidt said repeatedly that it would be “useful” to get social data from Facebook or elsewhere to improve its own products: “From Google’s perspective, it would be useful to have the information; it would make our products better.” Later, when asked if Google might need to buy Twitter or some other company, he said: “Our social strategy does not acquire the acquisition of any company, because we can get people to give us that information.”
– Google has facial recognition technology, but it’s uncomfortable with how it might be used, so it has withheld it. That’s apparently pretty unique for Google. “As far as I know, it’s the only technology that Google built and stopped,” Schmidt said.
– “Four years ago, I wrote memos on identity and did nothing …. I clearly knew I had to do something, and I failed to do it,” Schmidt said. Why – “I think I was busy,” Schmidt said. “CEOs should take responsibility. I screwed up.
– Mossberg said that Bing seems to have more direct answers in some cases. “There’s that in some narrow cases,” Schmidt said.
There you go — one of the top three execs at Google admitting that Bing beats Google, even if it’s in a narrow case. I’m sure there have been some statements like that before, but they’re few and far between.
32:07 – Button Plague
– Twitter launch Follow button
– The Follow Button is to establish connections with other Twitter users remotely. So if we were to add a Follow Button to the sidebar on DigitalOutbox, with one click, you could follow our account
– Different from the tweet button that tweets content
– Google +1 for websites
– Do you want to +1 a page while you’re on it. After all, how do you know you want to suggest that recipe for chocolate flan if you haven’t tried it out yet?
– Today, we’re releasing +1 buttons to the whole web. As a result, you might start seeing +1 appear on sites large and small across the Internet.
– All competing with Facebook Like button
34:54 – Amazon launch Mac Download Store
– Amazon launches Mac Download store
– 250 titles including MS Office
– No way for independents to submit titles – for now – works with established software sellers only
– Downloads unlimited, linked to your Amazon account
– Another shot across Apple’s bow’s but will Apple users really care with the Mac App store built into OS X?
40:48 – Microsoft make more money from Android than from Windows Phone 7
– Microsoft gets $5 for every HTC phone running Android, according to Citi analyst Walter Pritchard, who released a big report on Microsoft this morning.
– Microsoft is getting that money thanks to a patent settlement with HTC over intellectual property infringement.
– Microsoft is suing other Android phone makers, and it’s looking for $7.50 to $12.50 per device, says Pritchard.
– A rough estimate of the number of HTC Android devices shipped is 30 million. If HTC paid $5 per unit to Microsoft, that adds up to $150 million Android revenues for Microsoft.
– Microsoft has admitted selling 2 million Windows Phone licenses (though not devices.) Estimating that the license fee is $15/WP phone, that makes Windows Phone revenues to date $30 million.
– So Microsoft has received five times more income from Android than from Windows Phone.
44:12 – BT to embrace IPTV
– British Telecom will change the bulk of its broadband network to use multicast routers as from next year – this will mean that full IPTV services, using quality of service protocols, could then be launched for the first time on the BT network.
– at the Connected TV Summit in London last week Steve White, head of information systems and technology for IPTV at BT, said that the BT network was being upgraded to multicast to allow full IPTV. When asked why, White said: “It’s too expensive renting DVB-T multiplex space to deliver Sky Sports to BT Vision customers, so we want to send it multicast.”
– A multicast network uses a Type D internet addressing system whereby content is sent from one point in a network to another, and any branch along the way can opt to also access that address, or not. It is the basis of the Internet Group Management Protocol and is the basis of modern IPTV systems and saves a huge amount of bandwidth, because each TV channel only has to be sent around a city fiber network once, not as multiple unicast copies. Most public broadband networks across Europe do not cater for multicast, except where they have been specifically upgraded for IPTV.
– Potential for BT to launch hundreds of IPTV channels up to HD quality
48:00 – Apple launch iWork on iPhone
– Keynote, Pages and Numbers now available for iPhone
– Universal version so if you’ve bought them for iPad you can now use them on your phone
– £5.99 each or free if you have them for iPad
– Key part of iCloud next week?
51:49 – Call of Duty Elite
– Activision is set to launch a new social gaming platform for fans of its multi-million selling Call of Duty titles. The long-expected service, named Call of Duty Elite, will feature detailed multiplayer gaming statistics, community elements and user-generated content sharing.
– Downloadable map packs and other similar offerings for all subsequent Call of Duty game releases will be included in the monthly subscription fee.
– A public beta will begin in the summer, with a launch following in autumn. Vitally, basic multiplayer gaming will remain free of charge, despite fears that Activision would seek to monetise online play.
– Elite is essentially a thorough online matchmaking service, combined with elements of FaceBook, YouTube and the “Autolog” in-game social networking concept developed by EA for its Need for Speed titles. Players will create a single Elite profile, which then unites their experiences in all CoD titles. Access Elite via console, PC or mobile
– 4 sections – Career – stats on your CoD games, heatmaps of matches etc – Connect – extension of basic matchmaking, search for players by topic, eg photography, groups and clans – Compete – prize events – Improve – hints and tips
– Price – less than other competing services – rumours of $5 a month

Picks
Chris
The Website Is Down
– Very funny videos for anyone in IT
Henry
Polychord for iPad
– Music creation app for iPad
– Easy to use with loads of features

DigitalOutbox Episode 86

DigitalOutbox Episode 86
In this episode the team discuss Ryan Giggs suing Twitter, sleazy Facebook, Apple Malware and Sony woes.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
2:30 – Footballer Sues Twitter
– A footballer has launched legal action against Twitter after a number of the microblogging site’s users purported to reveal the name of the player who allegedly had an affair with model Imogen Thomas.
– The footballer’s legal team began the legal action at the high court in London on Wednesday, in what is thought to be the first action against the US social media firm and its users.
– The lawsuit lists the defendants as “Twitter Inc and persons unknown”. The latter are described as those “responsible for the publication of information on the Twitter accounts” in the court document, according to reports.
– Earlier this month, an unknown person or individuals published the names of various people who had allegedly taken out gagging orders to conceal sexual indiscretions on a Twitter account. The account rapidly attracted more than 100,000 followers.
– Twitter declined to comment.
– The lord chief justice, Lord Judge, on Friday said Twitter and its users were totally out of control when it comes to privacy injunctions and court orders.
– Thousands tweet player name on Friday and Saturday – everyone knows who it is
– Sunday Herald publishes a picture of player with his eye’s blacked out – http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/may/22/scottish-newspaper-identifies-injuction-footballer
– They don’t publish story online – only in the actual paper
– “Today we identify the footballer whose name has been linked to a court superinjunction by thousands of postings on Twitter. Why? Because we believe it is unsustainable that the law can be used to prevent newspapers from publishing information that readers can access on the internet at the click of a mouse.
– “Because we believe it unfair that the law can not only be used to prevent the publication of information which may be in the public interest but also to prevent any mention of such a court order. The so-called superinjunction holds no legal force in Scotland where a separate court order is needed. We should point out immediately that we are not accusing the footballer of any misdeed. Whether the allegations against him are true or not has no relevance to this debate.”
– MP eventually reveals Gigg’s name in the House of Commons
8:46 – Patent Troll targets iOS Developers
– a Texas-based company called Lodsys said it has four patents relating to in-app purchases, interactive online ads, online help and subscription renewals.
– Instead of suing Apple or any of the big companies like EA, it’s chasing small indie developers
– One claim was served on Friday by hand on James Thomson, a Glasgow-based developer who wrote the apps PCalc and DragThing. Another who received the couriered legal package was Matt Braun, a developer based in Toledo, Ohio, author of the best-selling iPhone kids game MASH who runs a mobile app development company, Magnate Interactive. Patrick McCarron of MobileAge, based in Chicago, has also received a demand.
– Developers have raised this with Apple legal hoping for some assistance – they are leveraging tools and API’s delivered by Apple
– May 23rd – Apple respond to developers and Lodsys – we have licenced your patent, our app developers aren’t in violation – do one you trolls
13:26 – Apple Malware
– A fake security program for Apple computers called MACDefender has racked up a significant number of victims.
– Hundreds of people who installed the software have turned to Apple’s forums for help to remove it.
– The program’s tactic of peppering screens with pornographic pictures has made many keen to get rid of it.
– MACDefender seems to have been successful because of the work its creators did to make it appear high up in search results.
– Has to be downloaded and then users supply username and password to install
– Note – the vast majority of malware that Sophos and other security firms see is aimed at Windows users. About 100,000 novel malicious programs for Windows are detected every day, he said.
– Joel Esler of the Sourcefire Vulnerability Research Team, who hasanalysed the attack, told the Guardian that when users visit a page with an infected ad or link, the download – called “mac-antivirus.zip” – is started automatically by Javascript. Because Apple’s Safari defaults to a setting of “open files after download”, the program – which contains an application package wrapped in a zip archive – is first unzipped and then triggers the installer program.
Users are then presented with a dialog asking for their administrator name and password so the installation can proceed. If they do, the program installs itself in the /Applications folder and adds itself to the user’s login items, and puts a menu item in the top right of the menu.
– Apple eventually issues a support doc – http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4650
– Update to become available for OS X which will delete all instances of the malware and also warn against future downloads
– New version of malware released – doesn’t need admin password – http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/mac-malware-authors-release-a-new-more-dangerous-version/3385?tag=mantle_skin;content
– Nothing to fear at the moment for Apple users but Apple can’t be complacent, which I don’t think they are being
19:50 – iPad Explosion
20:35 – Facebook Apps Leak User Information
– Symantec said that, until recently, Facebook apps have inadvertently been leaking user data to third-party developers. In response, Facebook said the problem has been fixed and that no unauthorized Facebook data was shared with third parties.
– In a blog post, Symantec’s Nishant Doshi said that third-parties, mostly advertisers, have “accidentally” had access to Facebook user information like profiles, photographs, and chat.
– “Fortunately, these third-parties may not have realized their ability to access this information,” Doshi wrote. “[But] we estimate that as of April 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage. We estimate that over the years, hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of access tokens to third parties.”
– Facebook said it worked with Symantec to rectify the issue, but took issue with how it characterized the situation.
– “We’ve conducted a thorough investigation which revealed no evidence of this issue resulting in a user’s private information being shared with unauthorized third parties,” Facebook said in a statement. “In addition, this report ignores the contractual obligations of advertisers and developers which prohibit them from obtaining or sharing user information in a way that violates our policies.”
– At issue is the permissions-based app menu to which users must agree when installing an app. Facebook has been working to transition from a legacy Facebook authentication system and HTTP to the more secure OAuth 2.0. In the wake of the Symantec investigation, Facebook said Tuesday that it will require all sites and apps to migrate to OAuth 2.0 and obtain an SSL certificate by October 1.
22:57 – Facebook exposed in Google smear campaign
– It has been revealed that Facebook embarked on a smear campaign against rival Google.
– The social network has admitted that it hired a PR firm to plant anti-Google stories related to user privacy.
– The details came to light when one blogger approached by PR firm Burson-Marsteller published the e-mail exchange. Burson had been touting stories on behalf of an unnamed client about the Google service Social Circle. Blogger Chris Soghain did not want to pursue the story and later released the e-mails he had exchanged with Burson.
– When the e-mails were published there was a mass of rumours about who the client could be, with Microsoft and Apple in the frame.
– It was down to US-based news website, the Daily Beast to uncover that the client was in fact Facebook.
– Facebook has confirmed that it used Burson-Marsteller to expose things which Google was doing that “raised privacy concerns”. Burson told Mr Soghain, among others, that “the American people must be made aware of the now immediate intrusions into their deeply personal lives Google is cataloguing and broadcasting every minute of every day – without their permission.”
– A Facebook spokesman later told the Daily Beast that it resented Google’s attempts to use Facebook data in its own social networking service.
27:56 – Windows Phone 7.1
– 500 new features
– Says MS: “The smartphone experience can be complicated by a sea of disconnected apps and accounts.”
– Its solution: integrate as much as possible. But not too far – it doesn’t want to dissuage developers from writing software for the platform, of course. But don’t think ‘apps’ so much as ‘plug-ins’ as MS “sees the promise of apps in how they can be integrated directly into the core experiences of the phone”.
– This approach will be aided by Mango’s improved multitasking and the ability to present more live information in WinPho’s main-screen tiles.
– Expect too SMS, Facebook and IM chats to be merged into a single thread, and a single inbox for all your email accounts. MS promised “deeper social network integration” and the ability to group contacts into a single tile. Built in Facebook and Twitter
– The browser will be based around IE 9. Fast – on a speed reading test it was way faster than anything else demo’d
– Search far more powerful than seen before – smarter – best demo yet seen on a mobile deice?
– Free update this autumn – Nokia phone this year?
– Very quickly MS have caught up with features on iOS and Android…but they have neither market or mind share
31:21 – LTE UK Trial
– BT & Everything Everywhere staging LTE trial in Cornwall, England’s most southerly county, which will last from the 1st of September through to the end of December.
– Connection speeds could scale as high as 40Mbps, though the typical rate is expected to be closer to 10Mbps.
– Volunteers are now being sought to participate in the trial, though they have to reside (or be willing to move, we presume) in the pretty tiny 4G coverage area near Newquay
33:27 – Mobile Money arrives in the UK
– The mobile wallet has arrived in Britain, in the form of a Samsung phone and a joint venture between Barclaycard and Orange.
– UK is years behind many Asian and African countries
– On the Orange Barclaycard phones you will only be able to spend a maximum of £15 a time, so you’re unlikely to decide you can afford to leave your credit cards behind when you leave home in the morning.
– But other operators will follow Orange, and once NFC becomes a standard feature of new phones, it’s possible that mobile payments will become commonplace too.
36:43 – Google Wallet
– Google Wallet, an app that will make your phone your wallet. You’ll be able to tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC). We’re field testing Google Wallet now and plan to release it soon.
– Because Google Wallet is a mobile app, it will do more than a regular wallet ever could. You’ll be able to store your credit cards, offers, loyalty cards and gift cards, but without the bulk. When you tap to pay, your phone will also automatically redeem offers and earn loyalty points for you. Someday, even things like boarding passes, tickets, ID and keys could be stored in Google Wallet.
– Working with 15 major partners
– With Google Wallet, we’re building an open commerce ecosystem, and we’re planning to develop APIs that will enable integration with numerous partners. In the beginning, Google Wallet will be compatible with Nexus S 4G by Google, available on Sprint. Over time, we plan on expanding support to more phones.
41:33 – YouTube Turns 6
– YouTube says global daily views have gone up 50 percent in thepast 12 months, which means they currently handle a whopping 3 billion views per day.
– Also worth noting: YouTube says it has exceeded over 48 hours of video uploaded to the site every single minute (which, they add, represents a 100 percent increase year over year).
42:45 – Sony gets PSN back online
– Download new firmware
– Reset password on signing in
– Gaming, Home, Video rental playpack and Qriocity back online
– Store will come later with…
– Welcome back pack
– All existing PlayStation Network members will be able to access the following from PlayStation Store*:
Two PS3 games from the following list:
LittleBigPlanet
Infamous*
Wipeout HD/Fury
Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty
Dead Nation*
– For those with PSP accounts, you will also be eligible to download two PSP games from the following list:
LittleBigPlanet PSP
ModNation PSP
Pursuit Force
Killzone Liberation*
– 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non PS Plus subscribers*
– Existing PlayStation Plus subscribers will be given 60 days free subscription.
– For existing Music Unlimited subscribers, you will be given 30 days free subscription.
– We are working on a Welcome Back offer in PlayStation Home and will share that when it is confirmed.
– EU Identity Theft Protection Programme
– http://blog.eu.playstation.com/2011/05/17/details-of-snee-scees-identity-theft-protection-programme/
– That said, we are pleased to advise that Affinion International Limited, a leader in identity protection products in Europe, will be offering a comprehensive service that covers a significant proportion of PSN users free of charge for the first 12 months.
Affinion International Limited will be offering the following identity theft protection service and insurance through their fraud protect programme for the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Germany.
The fraud protect proposition cover three key areas:*
Personal Information protection
Monitoring and Alerting Service
Personal Information Protection Software
Help / Assistance and guidance
Dedicated helpline
Victim of Fraud support
Financial Protection
Insurance that covers the expenses incurred in identity restoration following identity fraud
Card Monitoring and Alerting Service
– Just when you thought it was safe
– http://kotaku.com/5803070/sony-playstation-network-password-reset-page-exploited-customer-accounts-potentially-compromised
– Sony’s PlayStation Network password reset system-the one just put in place after the PSN hack-has been compromised, allowing hackers to change a PSN password if they know your email and date of birth. Exactly the sort of information that was released in the original hack.
– Sony has taken the password reset system offline.
– Fixed within 24 hours
– If you were affected you would receive an e-mail about the reset
– Announce massive loss too
– In the lead-up to its fiscal year 2010 earnings report this Thursday, Sony today released a revised forecast — forewarning a $3.2 billion loss (yowzah!) — for the twelve months ending March 31, 2011. Having occurred in late April, the PlayStation Network attack and subsequent data theft and outage fall outside of that period, but the company nonetheless addressed “the impact” of the event during an investors call today, “since there have been so many media inquiries about this incident.”
49:30 – Mobile Minecraft
– Hit game Minecraft is being developed for iOS and Android
– First platform will be Android, specifically Sony Ericsson’s PlayStation-certified Xperia Play.
– Xperia Play version will feature customized controls that utilize the phone’s PlayStation-styled slide-out buttons.
– Strange to launch on brand new platform against all the millions of other Android phones not to mention iOS
51:06 – BBC News hits Android
– BBC News App finally available for Android
– 6-8 months on from iOS release
– Ability to share a story via email, SMS or social networks
– If your phone is running Android 2.2 or higher, BBC News can also be live-streamed using Flash.
51:58 – Dell make thinnest 15 inch laptop
– Noted in passing: advert for the Dell XPS-15, containing the phrase
Finally, the power you crave in the thinnest 15″ PC on the planet*.
– Wow, the thinnest? But wait, what’s the asterisk?
– Small print time: “Based on Dell internal analysis as at February 2011. Based on a thickness comparison (front and rear measurements) of other 15″ laptop PCs manufactured by HP, Acer, Toshiba, Asus, Lenovo, Samsung, Sony, MSI. No comparison made with Apple or other manufacturers not listed.”

Picks
Henry
Splashtop Remote
– Control your pc or mac from your iPad
– Fast and secure
Ian
Fantastical
– Easy to use Mac calendar
– Runs from your task bar
– Add events easily via natural language

DigitalOutbox Episode 85

DigitalOutbox Episode 85
In this episode the team discuss Microsoft buying Skype, Google IO and Apple winning over Publishers.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:22 – Microsoft buys Skype
– Microsoft buys Skype for $8.5 billion
– Skype will support Microsoft devices like Xbox and Kinect, Windows Phone and a wide array of Windows devices, and Microsoft will connect Skype users with Lync, Outlook, Xbox Live and other communities. Microsoft will continue to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms.
– Skype will become a new business division within Microsoft, and Skype CEO Tony Bates will assume the title of president of the Microsoft Skype Division, reporting directly to Ballmer.
– Just when I thought Skype’s Mac interface couldn’t get any worse
5:49 – Google IO Day 1 – Android
– Youtube Movies
– http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/09/google-partners-with-sony-pictures-nbc-universal-and-warner-brothers-for-youtube-movies/
– 3000 full length movies available to rent on Youtube from Sony, NBC, Universal and Warner
– Standard industry pricing ($3.99 new release. $2.99 library)
– US Only
– Some good titles
– 1 week to start watching. 24 hour to finish once started.
– No subscription – just transactional.
– Will be on Google TV
– Google TV Update
– http://mashable.com/2011/05/10/google-tv-news/
– Hneycomb will come to platform in a couple of months
– Will have access to app store
– Ice Cream Sandwich
– http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/10/ice-cream-sandwich-to-bring-new-ui-framework-to-android/
– The next major release of Android comes just in time for hot summer days. Ice Cream Sandwich, as it’s called, is well, Google’s “most ambitious” release yet. And look! A new logo!
– Google says they wanted to create an OS that runs everywhere. Enter: Ice Cream Sandwich. Nevermind Honeycomb, – Google says this is the OS that will power tablets, convertible slates, smartphones and more. With it, comes a refreshed UI that leans heavily on a new application framework that Google has yet to detail, besides stating it will solve the issue of coding for different hardware profiles.
– Part of ICS is a new OpenGL facetracking, which Google demo’d on stage at I/O. It even auto-pans based on voice detection, focusing a cropped view on whoever is talking.
– Google and Hardware Manufacturers Promise
– http://lifehacker.com/5800425/google-and-hardware-manufacturers-promise-android-software-upgrades-every-18-months
– Guarantee 18 months of software upgrades for handsets
– Doesn’t guarantee speed…but that your handset should at least support the next 18 months of updates
– Android@Home
– http://mashable.com/2011/05/10/android-at-home/
– Google has just unveiled the Android@Home framework, a set of protocols for controlling light switches, alarm clocks and other home appliances through any Android device.
– The search giant’s ambitious plan intends to turn the home into one connected device. During a demo Tuesday at Google I/O in San Francisco, the company showed off the capability to control lights via an Android tablet. Android@Home essentially makes it possible to control wireless or connected devices.
– Google also showed off a new type of Android device: a home theater system called “Project Tungsten.” Google rigged several speakers to the Android OS and, using an Android tablet, controls the speaker system. Google also demonstrated how the system can start playing music just by swiping a near-field communication-enabled CD case in front of the “Project Tungsten” setup.
– Devices – end of this year
– Google gives away 5000 Galaxy Tab 10.1’s
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/10/samsung-galaxy-tab-10-1-launching-in-about-a-month-google-giv/
– Usually distribute some hardware
– This year it’s the brand new Galaxy Tab 10.1
– Limited edition (white babk), Honeycomb 3.0 but will get 3.1 in a couple fo weeks
– Google Music Finally Launched
– http://mashable.com/2011/05/10/google-music
– On Tuesday at Google I/O, the company took the wraps off Google Music Beta. Currently, that site is invite-only, but users will be added to the platform soon. The product is “free for a limited time.”
The service will be available starting on Android devices and via the web.
– It will run on all Android devices, including tablets and mobiles
– You’ll be able to create custom playlists
– You’ll be able to edit track info, get play counts, etc.
– Music will be available when you’re offline, too
– Users can upload and store songs to a cloud-based directory
– Users can wirelessly and automatically sync playlists from the web to connected devices and vice versa
– Google will automatically remove any music if subject to a copyright claim – http://gizmodo.com/5800490/google-will-remove-your-music-from-its-cloud-if-it-infringes-on-copyrights
22:24 – Google IO Day 2 – Chrome
– Chrome Browser
– http://techcrunch.com/2011/05/11/google-announces-160-million-chrome-users-massive-improvements-coming
– From 70 to 160 million users
– Google plans major improvements over the next few months including speech support built into the browser as well as more developer APIs to improve user interaction. Speech systems, for example, will allow you to use Chrome to translate speech in real time. Major HTML5 improvements to come too
– WebGL support – Angry Birds in chrome at 60fps
– Chrome Web Store
– Google’s Sundar Pichai also had some more to share about the Chrome Web Store. In the first three months since launch, they’ve seen 17 million app installs. And developers are telling them that apps installed through the store are seeing users spend roughly two times the amount of time in their apps installed through the store.
– And now it’s about to get bigger. Chrome Web Store is finally going international to all of Chrome’s 160 million users over the web, Pichai announced. This means it is now available in 41 languages around the world.
– Then Chrome’s Vikas Gupta took the stage to announce another big thing: in-app payments. But the bigger news may be that there will be a 5 percent flat fee to use these within Chrome. He laid out the math for everyone: that means developers keep 95 percent — that’s huge.
– Redesigned, better discovery – game on iOS App Store
– ChromeBook
– http://www.google.com/chromebook/#
– http://mashable.com/2011/05/11/google-chrome-notebooks/
– the first Google Chrome OS notebooks will make their worldwide debut June 15.
– Samsung and Acer will be the first companies to launch Chrome OS devices. Samsung’s device will sport a 12.1-inch screen with an 8-hour battery life, while Acer’s device will be a 11.6-inch display and a 6.5-hour battery life. Samsung’s device will retail for $429 for the Wi-Fi version and $499 for the 3G version. Acer’s more portable notebook will start at $349 and up.
– Google SVP of Chrome Sundar Pichai said during Wednesday’s keynote at the Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco that both Chrome OS notebooks will be available starting June 15. It will launch in the U.S. on Amazon.com and in Best Buy stores nationwide, but the United Kingdom, France and other countries will get the chance to buy Chrome OS notebooks at the same time.
– The hardware seems like a dream machine: built-in security, “all day battery”, multiple connectivity methods that keep the hardware always connected. The production version now sports an unnamed Intel dual core CPU and feel much more polished than the CR-48 pilot program. External file storage now works, and unlike on the CR-48, users can plug in a camera and the Chromebook will mount the storage.
– However, as great as the Chromebook seems, it’s launching as what sounds like a post-beta product. The company announced on the stage of I/O that Chromebook updates will roll out every few weeks. Sort of awesome but also sort of scary.
– Gmail, Calendar and Google Docs – full offline support this summer
– Chromebooks for education will cost $20 a month
– Chromebooks for business – $28 a month
– The $28 per user monthly subscription fee will be covering hardware, a web console for multiple users, warranty and replacements, support and hardware auto-updates.
34:12 – Telegraph supports Apple Subscription Model
– The app is free to download but charges readers £1.19 for a single edition, or £9.99 for a monthly subscription. Telegraph newspaper subscribers get full access to its iPad edition for free. The Telegraph’s upgraded iPad app features letters, cartoons, galleries and puzzles – all of which were missing in the first version.
– The Telegraph Media Group title has adhered to Apple’s contentious terms for digital subscriptions, which allow the technology company to keep 30% of all the fees from subscriptions as well as all of the lucrative customer details.
– One downloaded the content can be accessed without a data connection
– Will last for 30 days before being removed
38:08 – Conde Nast support Apple Subscription Model
– Conde Nast is allowing new subscription rates for it’s New Yorker title.
– An updated version of that magazine’s iPad app lets users subscribe to the weekly magazine for $5.99 a month, or the equivalent of a $1.50 an issue. That’s a steep discount from the app’s old model, which only sold individual issues for $4.99 a pop.
– Conde Nast is selling an annual subscription to the iPad app for $59.99; a yearly subscription to the print version of the magazine costs $69.95. Very important: Conde says print subscribers will get iPad access for free.
– Extending to other titles including Wired over coming months
– Publishers maybe getting Apple to back down on terms;
– Apple still controls crucial subscriber information, and only allows Conde Nast to ask for name, zip and email. But the publisher now has two chances to ask for user’s email: The first as a standard opt-in screen, and then again on a screen that asks for email and a password in order to get exclusive content.
– Conde has more flexibility on pricing than Apple originally offered. For instance, at one point, Apple didn’t want the publisher to be able to offer a print+digital bundle at a $10 premium to digital-only, but wanted all prices to be the same (which they will be when GQ offers subscriptions later this month: $19.99 a year for digital-only, or digital + print).
– The agreement extends to international markets, etc.
40:26 – LastPass resets Master Passwords
– Password management system LastPass has reset users’ master passwords as a precaution following the discovery of a possible hack attack against its systems.
– The move follows the detection of two anomalies – one affecting a database server – on LastPass’s network on Tuesday that could be the result of a possible hack attack. LastPass detected that more traffic had been sent from the database than had been received by a server, an event that might be explained by hackers extracting sensitive login credentials, stored in an obfuscated (hashed) format.
– The worst case scenario is that miscreants might have swiped password hashes, a development that leaves users who selected easier-to-guess passphrases at risk of brute-force dictionary attacks. Once uncovered, these login credentials might be used to obtain access to all the login credentials stored through the service, as LastPass explains in a blog post
– The password-management outfit has taken the possible attack and resulting service disruption as the opportunity to introduce a stronger password hashing system. Although LastPass isn’t sure how hackers might have entered its network – if indeed that’s what happened – an assault based on an initial break-in via its Voice over IP system is the company’s best initial guess as to what might have gone wrong.
– This week’s security flap at LastPass.com follows a security breach just six weeks ago that created a means to extract the email addresses – though not the passwords – of enrolled users.
45:31 – Raspberry Pi
– Braben has developed a tiny USB stick PC that has a HDMI port in one end and a USB port on the other. You plug it into a HDMI socket and then connect a keyboard via the USB port giving you a fully functioning machine running a version of Linux. The cost? $25.
The hardware being offered is no slouch either. It uses a 700MHz ARM11 processor coupled with 128MB of RAM and runs OpenGL ES 2.0 allowing for decent graphics performance with 1080p output confirmed. Storage is catered for by an SD card slot. It also looks as though modules can be attached such as the 12MP camera seen in the image above.
We can expect it to run a range of Linux distributions, but it looks like Ubuntu may be the distro it ships with. That means it will handle web browsing, run office applications, and give the user a fully functional computer to play with as soon as it’s plugged in. All that and it can be carried in your pocket or on a key chain.
– Primarily used for education, it will be distributed through the Raspberry Pi foundation starting inn 2012