DigitalOutbox Episode 92

DigitalOutbox Episode 92
In this episode the team discuss Newsbin Blocked, UK Copyright Laws Updated, Google Patent Issues, trouble for Nintendo and Sony handhelds and don’t mess with Duncan Bannatyne

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:42 – Police charge Scottish Teen over SOCA attack
– UK police have charged an 18-year-old with hacking the Serious Organised Crime Agency’s (Soca) website as part of an ongoing investigation into the infamous LulzSec and Anonymous hacktivist crews.
– Jake Davis, who allegedly used the online nickname Topiary and acted as a spokesman for the groups, will face five computer hacking charges at a hearing at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday.
– The rap sheet includes a charge related to participating in denial of service attacks that floored Soca’s website in June.
– Davis, who was arrested in the Shetland Islands last week, is the second person to be arrested over attacks on Soca’s website, following the arrest of Ryan Cleary, 19, of Wickford, Essex, last month. A 16-year-old teenager from South London was arrested and questioned by police around the same time as Cleary’s arrest and bailed to return in late August, pending further inquiries.
4:39 – BT Ordered to block links to Newzbin 2
– A High Court judge has ruled that BT must block access to a website which provides links to pirated movies.
Newzbin 2 is a members-only site which aggregates a large amount of the illegally copied material found on Usenet discussion forums.
– The landmark case is the first time that an ISP has been ordered to block access to such a site. It paves the way for other sites to be blocked as part of a major crackdown on piracy.
– In his ruling, Mr Justice Arnold stated: “In my judgment it follows that BT has actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright: it knows that the users and operators of Newzbin 2 infringe copyright on a large scale, and in particular infringe the copyrights of the studios in large numbers of their films and television programmes.”
– He continued: “It knows that the users of Newzbin 2 include BT subscribers, and it knows those users use its service to receive infringing copies of copyright works made available to them by Newzbin 2.” BT and the Motion Picture Association (MPA), which brought the case, will be back in court in October to work out how the blocking will work. BT said it will not appeal the ruling.
– Justice Arnold ruled that BT must use its blocking technology CleanFeed – which is currently used to prevent access to websites featuring child sexual abuse – to block Newzbin 2. In an email interview before the verdict, Newzbin 2 threatened to break BT’s filters.
– “We would be appalled if any group were to try to sabotage this technology as it helps to protect the innocent from highly offensive and illegal content,” said a spokesman for BT.
– The Internet Service Providers’ Association has been a fierce critic of web blocking. It said that using blocking technology designed to protect the public from images of child abuse, was inappropriate.
10:46 – UK Proposing changes to Copyright and Website Blocking Rules
– Plans to block websites that host copyright infringing material are to be dumped by the government. Website blocking was one of the key provision contained in the Digital Economy Act. Internet Service Providers had objected to the idea that copyright owners could compel them to cut off some sites.
– Speaking to the BBC, Vince Cable appeared to suggest that the Newzbin2 case had opened up other legal avenues.”We’ve discovered that the drafting of the original laws, which took place a year or so ago, were not tight.
– The government’s decision to drop the DEA’s blocking provision was criticised by UK Music, the body which represents musicians and record labels in the UK. Its chief executive, Fergal Sharkey said: “Who wants to tell the 80% of music businesses that employ fewer than five people, and the thousands of artists who self-finance the production of their own albums, that to enjoy the protection of the law, all they need now is to have millions of pounds and spend years in court to protect their work.”
– Mr Cable also announced a raft of measures intended to update the UK’s copyright laws. The changes are based on the Hargreaves Review which was set up to examine current legislation’s fitness for purpose in the digital age. One of the most significant recommendations that the government plans to implement is the legalisation of “format shifting” – where users rip content from CDs or DVDs for their own personal use.
– “Bringing the laws more up-to-date to have a proper balance which allows consumers and businesses to operate more freely, but at the same time protect genuinely creative artists and penalise pirates.” The business secretary said the economy would benefit by £8bn over the next few years by updating the legislation.
– Millions of people regularly convert movies on DVDs and music on CDs into a format that they can move around more easily, although most do not realise that it is technically illegal. “The review pointed out that if you have a situation where 90% of your population is doing something, then it’s not really a very good law,” said Simon Levine, head of the intellectual property and technology group at DLA Piper.
– Legalising non-commercial copying for private use would bring the UK into line with many other nations and also meet the “reasonable expectations” of consumers, said the government.
– Could also include fair usage and re-use clauses so that fan fiction, remixes etc are now legal and can be published online without threat of takedown
16:21 – Smartphone Watershed in the UK
– for the first time, smartphone sales outstripped sales of regular mobiles in the first half of this year as the enormous demand continues to rise. Just over half of the total 13.6m mobile sales from January to June 2011 were smartphones, according to research by GfK Retail and Technology UK.
– Of the new generation of smartphone users, 60% of teenagers classed themselves as “highly addicted” to their device, compared to 37% of adults.
– “Our research into the use of smartphones, in particular, reveals how quickly people become reliant on new technology – to the point of feeling addicted. As more and more people acquire smartphones, they are becoming an essential tool in peoples’ social lives whether they are out with friends socialising or using Facebook on the move.”
– Facebook remains far and away the most popular website for mobile users, with users spending almost four times the amount of time socialising online than using Google or any other website. Unsurprisingly, multi-tasking teenagers said they were less likely to read books if they owned a smartphone. But they also said that owning a smartphone made them more likely to ditch games consoles like the PS3 and the computer, in favour of their pocket-sized handset.
– The huge boost in smartphone sales has led to a 67% increase in mobile data use as phone users watched videos and sent emails on the go. Mobile operators, such as O2 and Vodafone, have been put under huge strain by the new load. But Thickett said the carriers are coping with the enormous demand.
– Over half (51 per cent) of adults and two thirds (65 per cent) of teenagers say they have used their smartphone while socialising with others, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of adults and a third (34 per cent) of teenagers have used them during mealtimes and over a fifth (22 per cent) of adult and nearly half (47 per cent) of teenage smartphone users admitted using or answering their handset in the bathroom or toilet.
19:56 – BBC Launches Global iPlayer App
– The BBC is launching an international version of its on-demand video service, the iPlayer, for Apple iPad users.
– Customers who pay a monthly subscription will get access to a range of current and classic programmes. The app will have one feature not available in the UK – the ability to download content and watch offline.
– The project is being run BBC Worldwide– the corporation’s commercial arm – which said that money earned would help supplement licence-fee income. Initially, global iPlayer will be available in 11 European countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.
– It will cost 6.99 euro per month (£6.14), with the option of an annual subscription priced at 49.99 euro (£44). According to BBC Worldwide, the international product will look and feel similar to the UK iPlayer, but function in a different way.
– Rather than a seven-day catch-up service, it will offer a showcase of BBC shows, old and new. Examples given include Fawlty towers, Only Fools and Horses, Sherlock and Doctor Who.
– It is possible that may provoke questions from viewers in the UK who do not have access to older shows.
21:14 – Amazon App Store – Rotten to the Core
– Amazon’s biggest feature by far, has been their Free App Of The Day promotion. Publicly their terms say that they pay developers 20% of the asking price of an app, even when they give it away free. To both consumers and naive developers alike, this seems like a big chance to make something rare in the Android world: real money. But here’s the dirty secret Amazon don’t want you to know, they don’t pay developers a single cent.
– Did the exposure count for much in the days afterwards? That’s also a big no, the day after saw a blip in sales, followed by things going back to exactly where we started, selling a few apps a day. In fact Amazon decided to rub salt in the wounds a little further by discounting our app to 99 cents for a few days after the free promotion. All we got was about 300 emails a day to answer over the space of a few weeks, that left us tired and burnt out. For all we know most of the people who wanted our application, now have it. To add insult to injury Pocket Casts relies on a server to parse podcast feeds (allowing instant updates on your phone), and all these new users forced us to buy more hardware just to meet demand. Hardware that we are going to have to support indefinitely at our own cost.
– But that’s not our only beef with Amazon:
Lengthy review times of anywhere up to 2 weeks (I’ve lost count of the amount of emails from people asking why our Google Market app is newer)
Amazon gets to set the price of your app to whatever they want, without any input from you, or even the chance to reject their price
Amazon re-writes your description, and in ours they even made up things like ‘add up to 100 podcasts’. No idea where on earth they got that number from
Amazon don’t provide error reports like Google do making it hard to fix errors
They don’t yet support Google’s new multiple APK initiative
Amazon pays far later than Google does, and to date we haven’t received any cheques from them, even though we are listed as being ‘payed’
US Only
Much less real-time sales information than Google
Update: (and this one surprised us) you can’t remove apps from their store! You have to ask them for permission via an email. Every other store lets you remove apps from sale.
28:09 – Trojan risk for Android phones
– A mobile application for Google’s Android smartphones can secretly record users’ phone calls and transmit them to malicious hackers,security researchers have found.
Once downloaded by a user, the app – which the researcher has not named, but seems to have a name relating to “System Messages” – surreptitiously stores a recording of the user’s incoming and outgoing calls to the phone’s memory card, according to the New York-based security experts CA Technologies.
– In a blog post unveiling the finding, researcher Dinesh Venkatesan said the so-called “Trojan app” is one of the most invasive they have ever uncovered. He also warned that there is an increasing trend targeting smartphones using Google’s Android software, which allows developers to submit apps with little vetting.
– Google had not returned requests for comment at the time of publication.
– Venkateskan wrote on the researcher’s official blog: “In one of our earlier blogs, we have demonstrated how a Trojan logs all the details of incoming/outgoing calls and call duration in a text file.
– “This Trojan is more advanced as it records the conversation itself in ‘amr’ format [which is optimised for recording speech]. Also it has many other malicious activities that we have seen in many of the earlier malware incidents targeted for Android platform.”
– The app, which was not named by the researchers for security reasons, asks users’ permission to intercept outgoing calls and record audio before it is installed. Once downloaded, all calls the user makes will be logged on the phone’s memory – which can potentially be accessed by the app’s makers. The sound is filed in a folder called shangzhou/callrecord, suggesting that its author is Chinese.
30:39 – Nortel Patent Argument Continues
– Remember the group of tech companies that bought the Nortel patents for $4.5 billion – Microsoft, Apple et all?
– Google is still smarting – In a post just put up on the main Google Blog, Google SVP and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond takes shot after shot at Google’s competitors. By name, he calls out Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle. What’s this all about? What else? Patents.
– “I have worked in the tech sector for over two decades. Microsoft and Apple have always been at each other’s throats, so when they get into bed together you have to start wondering what’s going on,” is the way Drummond kicks off his post. He goes on to lay out what he believes is a “hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.”
– While Drummond says that their rival’s “anti-competitive strategy” is driving up the price of patents on the market to insane levels, he believes the law will eventually prevail and “this patent bubble will pop”.
– “In this instance we thought it was important to speak out and make it clear that we’re determined to preserve Android as a competitive choice for consumers, by stopping those who are trying to strangle it,” he notes, going on to say that the Department of Justice is currently looking into if Apple and Microsoft’s acquisition of the Nortel patents was for anti-competitive means.
– “We’re also looking at other ways to reduce the anti-competitive threats against Android by strengthening our own patent portfolio. Unless we act, consumers could face rising costs for Android devices — and fewer choices for their next phone,” is how the post ends.
– Typical Google – painting themselves as the white knight in amongst these big bad companies who are out to destroy, not innovate…yawn. Post also doesn’t mention that Google bid over $4 billion as well.
– A couple of hours later…“Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no,” Brad Smith, Microsoft General Counsel tweeted out in response.
– Just in case that wasn’t enough, Frank Shaw, Microsoft Head of Communications, followed up with the real heat-seeker. “Free advice for David Drummond – next time check with Kent Walker before you blog. tweeted, referring to another Google SVP and General Counsel. Attached to that tweet was the picture of an email Walker apparently sent to Smith on October 28, 2010. It reads as follows:
Brad –
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you — I came down with a 24-hour bug on the way back from San Antonio. After talking with people here, it sounds as though for various reasons a joint bid wouldn’t be advisable for us on this one. But I appreciate your flagging it, and we’re open to discussing other similar opportunities in the future.
I hope the rest of your travels go well, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
– Kent
– While it’s only one instance, this really does undercut Google’s entire argument. Google was attempting to set up a pattern of Microsoft teaming up with other Google rivals to damage them. But the first instance listed was actually the result of Google turning Microsoft down, as the email shows. That doesn’t not look good for Google.
– Love this – Google are pussies – http://brianshall.com/content/google-are-pussies
39:44 – Push Pop Press acquired…by Facebook
– Now we’re taking our publishing technology and everything we’ve learned and are setting off to help design the world’s largest book, Facebook.
– Although Facebook isn’t planning to start publishing digital books, the ideas and technology behind Push Pop Press will be integrated with Facebook, giving people even richer ways to share their stories. With millions of people publishing to Facebook each day, we think it’s going to be a great home for Push Pop Press.
– Al Gore’s Our Choice will remain available for purchase, and we’ve decided that our future profits from the book will be donated to The Climate Reality Project. There are no plans to continue publishing new titles or building out our publishing platform that was in private beta. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported and expressed interest in Push Pop Press.
– Both Push Pop Press and Facebook share a passion for improving the way we share and explore ideas and we couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds.
– Good for them, sad for everyone else? Good talent acquire by Facebook but that future of digital publishing that worked so well for Our Choice and promised so much has now gone. However Mike Matas, lead at Push Pop Press, was part of the iPhone UI team at Apple. Rumours of Facebook phone still around and there’s no doubting hat Facebook UI as they move into HTML5 is in need of help.
42:49 – Vita in Europe…next year
– Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai has today been quoted as saying that the portable console will not be available in the US or Europe until “early next year.” Japan, he hastens to add, is still on track for the “holiday season” release window we’ve been hearing since the PlayStation Vita’s first announcement under the NGP moniker.
– So import if you want it this year looks to be only option
44:22 – Nintendo 3DS Price Drop
– Price to drop by around a third
– Trying to kickstart poor sales
– Additionally, Nintendo Europe plans to offer an exclusive Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Programme to consumers who have purchased the Nintendo 3DS at the original launch price.
– The programme will enable these Nintendo 3DS owners to download ten NES games and ten Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games for free.
– To register for this programme, Nintendo 3DS owners need to connect to the Nintendo eShop before the 12th of August. The free software will then be made available at a later stage.
– Currently, the machine has a recommended retail price of £269.99, which retailers have already eroded to a street price of £199.99 with a game bundled in. But from 12 August, presuming that retailers resist the urge to increase their margins on the 3DS, we can anticipate a new RRP of around £170 – equating to a street price of between £130 and £140.
– Why is it struggling – EA results – http://investor.ea.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=594196
– iPad is fastest growing platform and consoles used to account for 80% of sales…now 40%
47:49 – EA launches Sports Season ticket
– $25 or 2000 points a year
– It will grant full access to digital versions of games three days before their retail launch, offer a 20-percent discount on DLC, and enable “free premium web content” and brand you as a paying customer (i.e. “membership recognition”).
– However…”The digitally downloaded game will time out when the game is available at retail and consumers have the option to purchase the same full game on disc at retail.” If we’re reading that correctly, it means you get to download the game three days early, but you still have to go to the store to actually buy it.
– What?
– 5 games supported – Madden NFL 12, along with NHL,FIFA, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR golf and NCAA Football
51:05 – Don’t Mess With Duncan Bannatyne
– The Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne has been forced to delete tweets after offering a £50,000 reward for anyone who broke the arms of a man who used Twitter to threaten his daughter.
– Someone going by the name of Yuri Vasilyev tweeted Bannatyne three days ago, saying: “I’m looking for a £35,000 investment to stop us hurting your Hollie Bannatyne. We will bring hurt and pain into your life. We are watching her. She is very attractive. Want photos?”
– After revealing that police had been informed of the threat, Bannatynetold his 371,653 Twitter followers: “I offer £25,000 reward for the capture of the coward who calls himself @YuriVasilyev_ Double if his arms are broken first.”
– Got lots of criticism on twitter
– The criticism appeared to bring about a change of heart, and Bannatyne deleted the offending tweets and amended his offer to “£30,000 reward for info leading to his arrest”.
However, he kept up the pressure, telling his followers he had tracked the alleged criminal to an internet cafe in Moscow.
– “@YuriVasilyev_ My people are getting closer to you every minute, run and hide you little coward in Moscow,” he tweeted. “Go home to your mum and cry we are closing in on you little boy.”

Picks
Henry
Tilt
– Still developing and updating… may have debugging purpose but really it just looks cool.

DigitalOutbox Episode 91

DigitalOutbox Episode 91
In this episode the team discuss Lion, Quarterly Numbers and the new Macbook Air and Mac Mini’s.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
2:11 – The Hackers Get Hacked
– Looks like hacker group LulzSec is back in action, this time redirecting the homepage of the Murdoch-owned The Sun (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/) to a fake story about Murdoch’s death from a drug overdose located on the Murdoch-owned URL used to broadcast theLondon Times’ redesign http://www.new-times.co.uk/sun. After the amount of requests caused a 404 failure on the Times site, the group then redirected The Sun’s homepage to the @LuzSecTwitter account. (The original page is archived at http://freze.it/pX)
– From what I can see the fake story was meant to mirror an actual The Sun story about the latest development in the messy Murdoch/New Corp/News of the World scandal, “Ex News of the World journalist found dead.” After about 10 minutes of being up (and I swear the real Sun homepage was redirecting) the fake story was pulled from the UK Times site.
– E-mails also grabbed
5:13 – Apple Earnings
– Cupertino just reported its best quarter ever, with earnings of $7.79 per share, revenue totaling $28.57 billion, and a net profit of $7.31 billion. We know you’re probably more interested in sales figures, however, and as you might expect, Apple’s continued to ship iPhones and iPads at a steady pace, with 20.34 million smartphones and 9.25 million tablets sold last quarter. It’s also shipped 3.95 million Macs — a 14 percent jump over Q3 2010’s numbers. Fewer iPods made it out the door this quarter, however, totaling 7.54 million compared to the 9.41 million Apple sold in Q3 2010.
7:26 – Google Earnings
– “We had a great quarter, with revenue up 32% year on year for a record breaking over $9 billion of revenue,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google. “I’m super excited about the amazing response to Google+ which lets you share just like in real life.”
– £3.5 billion in profit
– 550,000 android activations per day
13:30 – Microsoft Earnings
– The US technology giant Microsoft said its annual revenues hit a record of $69.94bn (£43.4bn).
– Sales of the company’s Xbox 360 videogame console and its Office software helped fuel the growth.
– Net income at the world’s biggest software maker jumped 23% to 23.15bn for the year.
– The figures, which beat forecasts, showed final quarter revenues reached a record high of $17.37bn, leading to profits of $5.87bn.
– Sales rose 8% to $17.37 billion, a boosted chiefly by sales of Office, Xbox and server software behind Microsoft’s push into cloud computing.
– Microsoft’s business division, which sells the Office suite of programs, including Outlook, SharePoint and Excel, was the company’s biggest seller in the quarter, increasing sales by 7% to $5.8bn.
– The company’s online services unit, which runs the Bing search engine and MSN internet portal, increased sales by 16.5% to $662m, but saw losses increase to $728m as it struggles to fight competitor Google.
– One weaker spot was sales of its widely-used Windows product, which are slowing as tablet PC sales eat into demand for traditional PCs.
16:43 – Nokia Earnings
– The Finnish phone-maker Nokia crashed to a loss for the second quarter as its smartphone and mobile business collapsed, leaving it in third place in the sector behind Samsung and Apple, and with no clear sign of any improvement in the short term.
Overall the company made a loss of €368m despite receiving a one-off payment of €430m from Apple to settle a long-running patent dispute. Revenues fell overall by 7% to €9.3bn.
– The company’s mobile revenue, normally the stalwart of its business, fell by 20% year on year to €5.47bn and made a loss of €247m, as the number of phones sold dropped by the same amount, to 88m – both figures not seen since 2006. Its existing Symbian smartphone business, which it has said that it will phase out in favour of phones using Microsoft Windows Phone from later this year, fell by 30% year on year to just 16.7m.
– The Navteq mapping and Nokia Siemens Network (NSN) businesses offered no comfort either, both racking up operating losses of €58m and €111m respectively, although sales at NSN were up by 20%.
20:11 – Lion
– Out for £21
– Digital download only
– Ian – speedier, like Mission Control, restore, versioning and some nice touches but overall a bit meh
– Ian – love Mail – hateful design choices on iCal and Address Book
– Ian – gestures is very nice, full screen turning to a Space is good…but OTT on a 27” iMac
– Ian – natural scrolling – disabled as use windows so much – too much adjustment
– August – available from Apple stores on USB stick
– http://www.apple.com/macosx/recovery/
– Lion has Recovery options and new Air and Mini can be recovered from the Internet
– iTunes 10.4 – 64 bit, Cocoa, Full screen
– iWork – updated to support full screen and versioning
– Xcode – 4.1 now free on the app store
37:19 – New Apple Hardware
– Airs – double the speed, more ram, better chip, backlit keyboard and thunderbolt – same price – lovely
– Mini – thunderbolt, better chip, no drive – cheaper – £650 down to £525
– White Macbook – dead
– The 27-inch Thunderbolt Display has an LED-backlit, 2560-by-1440 pixel, 16:9, in-plane switching (IPS) screen, which Apple says has a brightness of 375 cd/m2 and a 1000:1 contrast ratio. A single two-ended cable attaches to a Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Pro or Air, one lead going to the notebook’s MagSafe power port, and the other to its Thunderbolt port.
-The display has three powered USB 2.0 ports, plus one FireWire 800 and one Gigabit Ethernet port, all connected to its Thunderbolty host – MacBook Pro or Air, Mac mini, or iMac – through that single Thunderbolt cable. The display also has its own Thunderbolt port so you can daisy-chain up to five more Thunderbolt devices
– The display also has Apple’s FaceTime HD camera – an upgrade from the earlier iSight camera – and a 2.1 speaker system with 49 watts of oomph. There’s also an ambient light sensor that’ll adjust display brightness based on the level of lighting in its surrounding environment.
– £900
44:40 – Apple updates International App Store Prices
– Apple update international pricing
– Uk – £0.59 is now £0.69
– Apple’s iWork apps now cost £13.99, up from £11.99, on the Mac App Store in the U.K., while the popular iOS versions have jumped from £5.99 to £6.99.
– Most rises around 10-15% – £1.19 per issue will now pay £1.49 – a 25 per cent price rise
– No warning – magazines running adverts caught out
– Lion price of £20.99 should have been a clue of impending changes in price points
– Certainly interesting that no pre-warning!
46:37 – HTC (Android) Infringes two Apple Patents
– ITC judge prelim judgement finds in favour of Apple – HTC infringes Apple in two areas…
– Decision needs ratifying by a panel.
– Will outcome be ban of product? Damages? Technology Licence?
– And now HTC are willing to negotiate with Apple
50:19 – Fake Apple Stores in China
– Fake stores, look real, sell real products
– Same branding, staff where same brands
– Staff even thought it was real
– Apple are aware…and China are now shutting them down.
51:52 – Illegal Film Downloads up 30% in UK
– The number of illegally downloaded films in the UK has gone up nearly 30% in five years, new figures suggest.
– That research, from internet consultancy firm Envisional, indicates that the top five box office movies were illegally downloaded in the UK a total of 1.4 million times last year.
– Film industry bosses say it is costing £170m every year and putting thousands of jobs at risk.
– But it’s not just illegal film downloading that’s on the rise – research suggests people are illegally downloading more TV shows too.
– The top five most popular shows were illegally downloaded a total of 1.24 million times in the UK last year. That’s a 33% increase from 2006 figures.
– Surely that just reflects the larger capacity broadband that we’re all now getting our hands on (well, some of us at least). Again – the end game is surely that better legit delivery methods need to be put in place. This takes time – so no doubt we’ll see more letters being sent in the mean-time.
53:15 – Cheaper broadband for rural users
– Up to 3m homes and businesses in rural parts of the UK could receive better value broadband services by the end of the year, following an Ofcom decision to force BT Wholesale to reduce the amount it charges other internet service providers (ISPs) to use its networks.
– The communications regulator has ruled that BT must reduce its charge to ISPs each year, by a rate of at least 12 percentage points below inflation. For example, if the RPI inflation rate is 5%, BT will have to cut its charges by 7%.
– The ruling is to take effect by mid-August 2011 and remain in force until 31 March 2014, and paves the way for cheaper broadband prices for millions of consumers and businesses in less densely populated areas across the UK.
– The rural areas set to benefit from the change include parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as Norfolk, Yorkshire, Cumbria, Northumberland, the south-west of England and other areas. These are predominantly areas lacking in competition among ISPs.
55:12 – Govt releases more data
– Following their pledge and success of data released so far, Cameron has announced another set of data that will be published and available to public and devleopers
– NHS, Education (single portal to compare schools), Crime (more detailed local crime maps), Transport (rail data will be hot), Govt financial transactions – every spend above £500
57:11 – Google detects and warns on malware
– “Recently, we found some unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of our data centers. After collaborating with security engineers at several companies that were sending this modified traffic, we determined that the computers exhibiting this behavior were infected with a particular strain of malicious software, or “malware.” As a result of this discovery, today some people will see a prominent notification at the top of their Google web search results.”
– Windows malware only
58:43 – Google to kill labs
– Google just announced it is ending its Labs program, in an effort to focus more on its existing products, For many of Google’s hard-core or even medium-core users, certain labs features have become essential tools to personalize the apps to their needs.
– a Google spokesman said that Gmail Labs, Calendar Labs and other Labs will not be shut down, merely the Labs program that brought us such applications as Google Goggles and Google Reader. There are still cool affected apps, but it’s not the end of my personal world.
– 20% projects still exist though
1:00:42 – Think with Google
– The new online channel will feature each new issue of Google’s Think Quarterly along with Think Voices, which showcases the shared experiences and insights of marketing leaders, digital influencers and academics. The content is filled with bite-sized TED-like videos for inspiring ideas on topics like the latest in digital technology, the future of marketing and how to channel innovation to inspire your business decisions.
– add link to youtube channel

Picks
Henry
Halftone
– Halftone goes beyond typical “photo filter” apps to give images a unique, vintage style that makes them look like they came from an old comic strip.
– Easy to use
Comic Life
– Make comics on teh iPad
– Again easy to use with lots of effects that can be added to images

Ian
Conquist 2
– Great strategy game for the iPad
– Lots of singleplayer options – variations on Risk
– Now includes multiplayer

DigitalOutbox Episode 90

DigitalOutbox Episode 90
In this episode the team discuss Google. That’s it. It’s all about Google. Almost.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
2:35 – Dropbox Breach
– Fewer than 100 accounts accessed
– But according to the letter, those accounts were all accessed by a single individual. In other words, these weren’t accidental logins due to typos — someone discovered the hole and actively used it to access files that were not theirs.
5:09 – Tony Blairs Personal Details Hacked…and Leaked
– A member of hacker group TeaMp0isoN (Team Poison) leaked personal information of U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair, plus the phone numbers and addresses of dozens of members of the government who allegedly supported the war on Iraq, on Friday night.
– TriCk posted the list on Friday night, which included the National Insurance number of Tony Blair, the phone number of 10 Downing Street, plus the alleged phone numbers and addresses of some of Blair’s contacts, including Lord and Lady Irvine and Denis MacShane, Baroness Thornton, the MP for Rotherham. MacShane’s name was misspelled “McShane,” however.
– The information was obtained in Dec. 2010, TriCk posted. “We still have access to the Webmail server, phone numbers may have changed but all the information is 100% legit.”
– Strange – hardly any mainstream media coverage – Telegraph only
8:47 – Bye Bye Lulzsec
– Hacker group LulzSec has announced that after 50 days of hacking companies and organizations, it is finally done. Check out the message from LulzSec below, which was posted on Pastebin. Check out the video as well (embedded below).
LulzSec most recently released a torrent of data from Arizona law enforcement which included hundreds of classified documents including personal emails, names and phone numbers.
– As the post, says the group of six hackers has been “disrupting and exposing corporations, governments, often the general population itself, and quite possibly everything in between, just because we could.”
10:30 – Google +1
– Google’s +1 button, the search giant’s challenger to the Facebook Like button, is making its worldwide debut.
– “Today, +1’s will start appearing on Google search pages globally,” Google Product Manager Nick Radicevic announced on Google’sAdSense blog.
– “We’ll be starting off with sites like google.co.uk, google.de, google.jp and google.fr, then expanding quickly to most other Google search sites soon after.”
– In addition to an international rollout on search result pages, Google is expanding its rollout of the +1 button on websites across the world. The company announced partnerships with several publications, including The Telegraph, The Independent, Last.fm, SnapDeal, and El Pais.
13:09 – Google+ Project
– sharing is awkward. Even broken. And we aim to fix it. We’d like to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. We want to make Google better by including you, your relationships, and your interests. And so begins the Google+ project:
– Circles
– It’s through Circles that users select and organize contacts into groups for optimal sharing. I know, I know — not more group management. But the truth is that Google has made the process as pleasant as possible. You simply select people from a list of recommended contacts (populated from your Gmail and/or Google Contacts) and drag them into Circles you designate. The UI for all of this is simple and intuitive — it’s so good, that you might even say it’s kind of fun. It beats the pants off of the method for creating a group within Facebook.
– Sparks
– With Sparks, you enter an interest you have and Google goes out and finds elements on the web that they think you’ll care about. These can be links to blog posts, videos, books — anything that Google searches for. If you find something you like, you can click on an item to add it to your interest list (where it will stay for you to quickly refer to anytime you want). Or you can see what others are liking and talking about globally in the “Featured interests” area.
– Mobile
– “Our goal here is to connect people. And everyone has a camera in their pocket,” Gundotra says as he shows me “Instant Upload”. This feature of Google+ relies on the use of an Android devices to take photos or shoot video. From a new app, you’ll do either of these things and the content will automatically be uploaded to Google+ in the background and stored in a private album (which you can share with one click later). We didn’t want “just” a mobile experience, however, so with Google+ we focused on things (like GPS, cameras, and messaging) to make your pocket computer even more personal.
– Hangouts
– Hangout attempts to solve the social problem of video chat by making it easy for you to let others know that you’re interested in chatting. And if you’re already chatting with a Circle, everyone else in that Circle will get an alert to come hang out. This works for up to 10 people. And seeing it in action is a bit magical. Gundotra starts a Hangout with some co-workers and as they join, conversations start between multiple people. But the Google+ system is smart enough to focus on who is controlling the conversation in any given minute. This makes the conversation easy to watch. It was almost as if an editor is working behind the scenes, cutting between people.
– Even cooler is that you can share a piece of content, like a YouTube clip, and everyone in the Hangout can watch it together while talking about it. It sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s really pretty great.
– Huddle
– It’s essentially a group messaging app that works across Android, iPhone, and SMS to allow you to communicate with the people in certain Circles.
– key to the project is the attempt to unify everything. This is done via the toolbar (which features a drop-down showing you all of your relevant Google+ activity), but also on the mobile apps (again, Android and iPhone), and, of course, on the web. The Google+ site is the main stream on which you’ll find everything. From here, you can easily switch between all of your Circles, share content with any of them, start a Hangout, look up Sparks, etc.
– All of the information flowing through the system does so in real time. As something is shared with you, it appears at the top of your stream. It’s a bit like FriendFeed…and Facebook 🙂
– Google is beginning to roll it out today, but it will only be a very limited field trial. You can submit your email address here to be entered into the system and notified as roll-outs continue, but Google says that they have no set time table for a full rollout. Again, this is phase one of what Google hopes to do with Google+, so they’re taking it slow.
– Learning from Buzz and Wave – slow roll out to make sure it works….spread word, tweak, create demand
– Design also looks very un Google – fun, clean and something different
– http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2011/06/inside-google-plus-social/all/1
– That’s no surprise since the key interface designer was legendary software artist Andy Herzfeld. The former Macintosh wizard now works at Google — though he loves the company, he had previously felt constrained because its design standards didn’t allow for individual creativity. But with [Google+], he had a go-ahead to flex his creative muscles. “It wasn’t a given that anyone would like what I was doing, but they did,” he says.
– Photos up to 2048*2048 won’t count towards your free 1gB of Picasa storage – neither do 15 min videos – http://lifehacker.com/5817483/picasa-now-offering-virtually-unlimited-storage-brings-google%252B-tagging
– Not all photographers happy
– http://photofocus.com/2011/07/06/google-plus-read-the-fine-print-before-you-sign-up/
– Concern over Terms of Service and what it allows Google to do
34:14 – Google Swiffy
– Google Labs just launched Swiffy, a new web-based tool that allows developers to easily convert Adobe Flash animation SWF files into HTML5. This will allow developers to make Flash ads and basic ActionScript interactions accessible to users on devices that don’t support Flash, like the iPhone and iPad.
– Swiffy is very similar to a tool that Adobe released earlier this year called Wallaby. The main difference is that Swiffy is web-based, whereas Wallaby is a client that runs on a Mac or PC. Additionally, Wallaby’s code is designed to be edited and reused, whereas Swiffy’s code is optimized and compressed in such a way that makes editing difficult.
– The Swiffy demo page shows off the power of the tool. In addition to converting basic banner ad animations, click-event interactions can also be converted to HTML5. To be clear, this won’t convert videos, complex animations or games, but the tool meets its desired goal quite adequately.
35:31 – Google Redesign
– The new Google experience that we’ve begun working toward is founded on three key design principles: focus, elasticity and effortlessness.
Focus: Whether you’re searching, emailing or looking for a map, the only thing you should be concerned about is getting what you want. Our job is to provide the tools and features that will get you there quickly and easily. With the design changes in the coming weeks and months, we’re bringing forward the stuff that matters to you and getting all the other clutter out of your way. Even simple changes, like using bolder colors for actionable buttons or hiding navigation buttons until they’re actually needed, can help you better focus on only what you need at the moment.
Elasticity: In the early days, there was pretty much just one way to use Google: on a desktop computer with an average-sized monitor. Over a decade later, all it takes is a look around one’s home or office at the various mobile devices, tablets, high-resolution monitors and TVs to see a plethora of ways to access the web. The new design will soon allow you to seamlessly transition from one device to another and have a consistent visual experience. We aim to bring you this flexibility without sacrificing style or usefulness.
Effortlessness: Our design philosophy is to combine power with simplicity. We want to keep our look simple and clean, but behind the seemingly simple design, use new technologies like HTML5, WebGL and the latest, fastest browsers to make sure you have all the power of the web behind you.
– And a big black bar at the top of the screen
39:06 – Google Web Fonts
– Now have 180 free open source fonts that you can use on your website
40:25 – Google Update Calendar and Maps
– A couple of new features but the first of many updates to focus on design
– Will we start to see a more unified look and feel alongside the Google+ rollout?
43:20 – Picasa and Blogger brands to be replaced
– Picasa to become Google Photos
– Blogger to become Google Blogger
43:41 – Google Realtime Search disappears
– Googles realtime search has gone offline – reason?
– Google’s agreement with Twitter to carry its results has expired, taking with it much of the content that was in the service with it.
– Google also stressed that went Google Realtime Search relaunches — something it says will happen but with no set time frame — it will include content from a variety of sources and not just be solely devoted to Google+ material.
– There were multiple sources for Google realtime but mostly twitter
– Still, as said, Twitter was the by far the most dominant content within the service. It’s unclear why the agreement was allowed to expire. Twitter sent me this:
Since October 2009, Twitter has provided Google with the stream of public tweets for incorporation into their real-time search product and other uses. That agreement has now expired. We continue to provide this type of access to Microsoft, Yahoo!, NTT Docomo, Yahoo! Japan and dozens of other smaller developers. And, we work with Google in many other ways.
– For its part, Google said:
Twitter has been a valuable partner for nearly two years, and we remain open to exploring other collaborations in the future.
– I’d say we have a bit of a standoff.
46:46 – Facebooks Awesome Announcement
– They’ve hit 750 million users
– Group Messaging
– Rolling out today, group message everyone in a group
– 1 to 1 Video chat
– Your chatting to friend, click on video icon and start a video conversation
– Done via skype
– New design!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
– If browser is wide enough your buddy list will be displayed in a sidebar
51:22 – Spotify coming to US
– Confirmed it’s coming
– Sign up to be one of the first
– They just aren’t sure when
52:08 – Huff Po launches UK edition
– Huffington Post launches UK edition
– Will it be as successful as US version?
– Lots of kickback over the free journalism that takes place
– Guardian don’t like it either
– Editorially, HuffPo feels like a very traditional kind of threat and certainly doesn’t feel like the future. Its formula relies on a fluency of established online skills (though admittedly ones traditional news organisations are still mystifyingly slow to deploy) such as comprehensive aggregation of news around a key story, live blogging and the obligatory social media bells and whistles. HuffPo’s UK launch is one very much for the news junkies. HuffPo’s cluttered design looks more dated than ever – moreDrudge than Flipboard. None of that seems groundbreaking, so what is the HuffPo’s killer proposition?
54:51 – Intereactive UK Broadband Map
– The first interactive map of broadband across the UK has been launched today.
Ofcom, the independent regulator for the UK communications industries, has created the map with data sourced from communications providers to visualise broadband infrastructure across the UK.
– The map allows users to zoom and shows information on the average sync speed (Mbit/s), percentage getting less than 2Mbit/, superfast broadband availability and broadband take up for that specific authority. The colour coded map also ranks areas for the best and worst (slowest) broadband, with one (green) the highest and five (red) the lowest.

Picks
Ian
Aupeo
– Europe’s Pandora?
– Web, iPhone and Android
– Great mix of stations and a good way to discover new music
– Free and paid options – free is ad supported and they can be loud!
– Sign up and if you hand over personal data you get premium access – 7 days

DigitalOutbox Episode 89

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

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

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
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

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.