DigitalOutbox Episode 86

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

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

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

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

DigitalOutbox Episode 85

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

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

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