DigitalOutbox Episode 164

DigitalOutbox Episode 164
DigitalOutbox Episode 164 – Google I/O

Playback
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Shownotes
1:45 – Google I/O
– Just one keynote this year….that lasted for 3 ½ hours
– Notable absence – no new hardware. Unlike previous years there were no hardware announcement, but all attendees did get a Chromebook Pixel. There was however plenty of new software and services (but nothing on Google TV and no new version of Android). Key announcements…
– Google: 900 million Android activations to date, 48 billion app downloads

– Google announces Play game services, Android’s cross-platform answer to Game Center
– The platform will support cloud saves, thereby allowing users to save their progress or game state and pick it up on a separate device, as well as achievements and leaderboards using Google+.
– API will enable both turn-based and real-time multiplayer
– Google Play game services will be supported for titles on Android, iOS and the Web – truly cross platform

– Google Play services updated with new location, Google+ sign-in, and cloud messaging APIs
– 3 new location API’s including Geofencing and Activity Recognition API that will help users track their physical activity

– Android Studio
– It’s an IDE based on IntelliJ.
– This tool has more options for Android Development, making the process faster and more productive. A “live layout” was shown that renders your app as you’re editing in realtime.
– Tools to support beta testing and language translations

– Google takes on Spotify with Google Play Music All Access subscription service
– web and mobile interfaces feature millions of songs you can play instantly, recommendations, charts and playlists, and instant radio stations. The Spotify competitor launches today in the US for $9.99 a month, comes with a free trial month, and sign-ups before June 30th get it for $7.99.
– Everything from your Google Music locker is automatically pulled into Google Play Music All Access. Beneath the content you own, everything else an artist has ao All Access is automatically listed and plays at a tap. More countries will get Google Play Music All Access soon.

– Google redesigning Play apps and Play Store on the web
– Google turns the Samsung Galaxy S4 into a Nexus phone, coming June 26th for $649
– Unlocked
– Vanilla Android – no Samsung crapware added
– Should get quick updates of new Android releases

– Google takes on Apple in schools with Google Play for Education
– Play store for education – currently trialling now

– Google+ completely redesigned with new cards-based interface
– 41 new features
– Multi column stream (Like Facebook or Pinterest)
– Auto tag posts
– New features for hangouts and photos
– Photos
– automatically enhance the tonal distribution in an image, soften skin, sharpen certain parts of an image and remove noise – and all of those computations happen in the cloud.
– system can now analyze your images and kick out blurry photos, duplicates, images with bad exposure (which it will try to fix). It can also recognize good images with certain landmarks, for example, and detect faces and see if people are smiling and/or of those people are in your Google+ circles. It will also try to make some decision based on aesthetics. What used to take hours of work, Gundotra said, now happens automatically in the cloud and take seconds.
– Now that Google offers everybody 15GB of free storage, users an also upload 15GB worth of full-size images to Google+ Photos. In addition, the autobackup feature provides unlimited storage space for photos at sized under 2048px.
– “Awesome” – can automatically detect when an image is part of a series and stitch it together in one image or an animated GIF. “If we detect that you took a series of photos, in burst mode or otherwise, we can stitch them together,” Gundotra told us. To recognize these images, the system does a bit of analysis to make sure the background hasn’t moved.
– This is about more than animated GIFs, though. This new feature – which Google calls “auto awesome” – can also automatically create a group photo from a series of photos and pick the one where everybody is smiling. It can stitch together landscape photos to create panoramas and create HDR images from a series of photos where it detects bracketed exposures. All of this happens extremely fast, too, thanks to the power of Google’s data centers.

– Google unveils Hangouts: a unified messaging system for Android, iOS, and Chrome
– replaces the numerous Google services that currently help you have real-time conversations with other users, such as Google Talk, Google Voice and Google+ Hangouts.
– It will launch on most major platforms later today, including iOS, Android and the Web. (iOS works well, Android – doesn’t support Nexus 7)
– Conversations can either be one-on-one or in larger groups; the new Hangouts app can do both.
– As with many other apps, such as WhatsApp or even iMessage, conversations support multimedia content, including high-resolution photographs.
– Video chats as well
– Text, emoji, photos, video, see who’s typing, read receipts
– The service’s Google+ integration is one of the best features in the entire product: every photo that you or a friend posts is automatically saved in a private, shared album on Google+.
– One flaw – doesn’t bring in SMS, so not fully unified – Google confirm that SMS is coming soon

– Google adds button-free voice search in Chrome: just say ‘OK Google’
– You should, according to Google, be able to ask it when your upcoming flight is, and where your package might be in transit.
– Search getting a lot smarter – improving knowledge graph
– Making claims that search is only starting – next generation search coming….end of search as we know it

– Google Now updated to include voice reminders, emails, and public transit data
– new cards include a location-based Reminder feature, public transit travel times, and information about books, music, TV shows and video games that might be of timely interest to users.
– Reminder feature is based on time, people and location and can be set with simple voice commands using natural language processing. It’s like the geofenced Reminders that are used by Apple in iOS, but looks to be arguably more useful since it ties into the Google Now knowledge graph. Reminders takes Now further by giving users a way to actively set and retrieve content, which should help prove its worth among users who weren’t getting much out of the automated results previously being generated by the engine.

– Google Wallet comes to Gmail
– Google announced two important features regarding Google Wallet. The first is integration with Gmail so you can pay by sending an email. The second is the launch of the Google Wallet Instant Buy Android API, which lets developers integrate payment features into apps for selling physical goods and services.
– The first feature, which is rolling out “over the coming months” to all US Gmail users over 18 years old, means you can send money to whoever you want directly from Gmail. Recipients don’t need to have a Gmail address: any email will do. Google lets you send money for free as long as your bank account is linked to Google Wallet or using your Google Wallet Balance. There are “low fees,” however if you are sending money using your linked credit or debit card.

– Google redesigns Maps for mobile – Android, iOS incl iPad version coming this summer
– New look for Android, based on iOS
– iPad coming soon
– new floating search box is the highlight of the main map view, and it incorporates a new suggestion engine that will help you find relevant places nearby and more.
– new version of maps will also have live traffic incident reporting and re-routing.

– Google Maps integrates Google Earth and Street View in completely redesigned interface
– new version of Google Maps is heavily customized for every user, with knowledge about a user contributing to discovery of new places using the same data as Google Now.
– new service collates imagery from Google Earth, Google’s Street View and special projects including its space and underwater imaging. Instead of having to bounce around between products, you’ll now be able to get all of that in one place
– new overhead view, which is also rendered in 3D using WebGL, like Google Earth:
– Flight search and place reviews are now integrated fully into Google Maps, giving you the ability to search for directions including flights in one go. Reviews and ratings can be culled from top reviewers or your Google+ circles.

– Larry Page then came on stage, said a few statements (slammed Oracle – in it for the money, then went into a 45 minute Q&A. Most was fairly interesting but there was one bizarre statement..
– Google CEO Larry Page is holding a rare Q&A session with attendees of today’s Google I/O keynote, and he’s been offering up some pretty unfiltered answers. In response to a question about reducing negativity and focusing on changing the world, Page noted that “the pace of change is increasing” and said that “we haven’t adapted systems to deal with that.” Specifically, he said that “not all change is good” and said that we need to build “mechanisms to allow experimentation.” That’s when his response got really interesting. “There are many exciting things you could do that are illegal or not allowed by regulation,” Page said. “And that’s good, we don’t want to change the world. But maybe we can set aside a part of the world.” He likened this potential free-experimentation zone to Burning Man and said that we need “some safe places where we can try things and not have to deploy to the entire world.” Google is already well-known for coming up with some pretty interesting ideas — the idea of seeing what Page could come up with in this lawless beta-test country is simultaneously exciting and a bit terrifying.

– Also, this – Every story I read about Google is ‘us versus some other company’ or some stupid thing, and I just don’t find that very interesting. We should be building great things that don’t exist. Being negative isn’t how we make progress. Most important things are not zero sum, there is a lot of opportunity out there.
– A few hours later they put out a cease and desist on Microsoft
– Following Google’s demands for Microsoft to remove its Windows Phone YouTube app, Microsoft has responded saying it’s happy to include advertising. Google sent a cease and desist letter to Microsoft recently, with concerns that the Windows Phone YouTube app does not display ads. “We’d be more than happy to include advertising but need Google to provide us access to the necessary APIs,” says a Microsoft spokesperson.
– Microsoft appears to want to rectify the situation, noting Google CEO Larry Page’s comments at I/O today. “In light of Larry Page’s comments today calling for more interoperability and less negativity, we look forward to solving this matter together for our mutual customers.” Microsoft recently released an update for its Windows Phone YouTube application to support sign-in, downloads, and a full YouTube experience. The application has been available for just over a week, but Google has demanded that it be removed by May 22nd for violating its YouTube API rules.
32:52 – 50 Billion Downloads
34:10 – YouTube launches its paid subscription channels with select partners
37:05 – Google Unifies Its Free And Paid Storage Options
38:40 – Google completes the feedback loop
40:20 – Lulzsec hacker group handed jail sentences
40:58 – BlackBerry bringing BBM to Android and iOS this summer
43:51 – Nokia unveils the Lumia 925
46:18 – HTC First to be discontinued
47:25 – Windows Keeps Getting Better
47:57 – Players force EA to drop online pass for used games
49:35 – GT6 for PS3
52:29 – Chris Hadfield – the astronaut’s best tweets, photos and videos

DigitalOutbox Episode 163

DigitalOutbox Episode 163
DigitalOutbox Episode 163 – Adobe MAX and Windows Blue

Playback
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Shownotes
1:17 – Windows Blue
3:33 – Microsofts Gates iPad Users Really Just Want a Surface
8:22 – Google’s decision to recognize Palestine could undermine peace efforts, Israel says
10:47 – Flipboard Brings Personalized Magazines To Android
14:18 – Adobe MAX
21:45 – Project Mighty smart stylus and Napoleon ruler
25:20 – BT offers free Premier League football in BSkyB battle
27:50 – EA confirms 10 percent of staff laid off in major restructuring
29:38 – 100 websites Capturing the digital universe

Picks
Ian
OneTab
– Whenever you find yourself with too many tabs, click the OneTab icon to convert all of your tabs into a list. When you need to access the tabs again, you can either restore them individually or all at once.
– When your tabs are in the OneTab list, you will save up to 95% of memory because you will have reduced the number of tabs open in Google Chrome.

Chris
GeoGuessr
– Random streetview, guess the location, answer shown and points awarded
– Easy but fun….and smart

DigitalOutbox Episode 154

DigitalOutbox Episode 154
DigitalOutbox Episode 154 – Microsoft Fine, Evernote breach and EA dickery

Playback
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Shownotes
3:20 – Microsoft fined 561m Euros for browser choice error
7:00 – Evernote Security Breach
9:38 – Twitter discontinuing iPhone, Android, and Air versions of TweetDeck
12:21 – Facebook updates News Feeds
16:13 – Amazon acts to halt sales of Keep Calm and Rape T-shirts
18:54 – Tu Go app lets O2 UK customers use their mobile number with any iOS or Android device
20:55 – Tesco launches Clubcard TV, a Blinkbox-powered video-streaming service supported by advertisers
23:47 – Simcity – more EA dickery

DigitalOutbox Episode 116

DigitalOutbox Episode 116
DigitalOutbox Episode 116 – Twitters IPA, Nokia Woes and Windows 8

Playback
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Shownotes
1:07 – Twitter introduces the Innovators Patent Agreement
– Like many companies, we apply for patents on a bunch of these inventions. However, we also think a lot about how those patents may be used in the future; we sometimes worry that they may be used to impede the innovation of others. For that reason, we are publishing a draft of the Innovator’s Patent Agreement, which we informally call the “IPA”.
– The IPA is a new way to do patent assignment that keeps control in the hands of engineers and designers. It is a commitment from Twitter to our employees that patents can only be used for defensive purposes. We will not use the patents from employees’ inventions in offensive litigation without their permission. What’s more, this control flows with the patents, so if we sold them to others, they could only use them as the inventor intended.
– This is a significant departure from the current state of affairs in the industry. Typically, engineers and designers sign an agreement with their company that irrevocably gives that company any patents filed related to the employee’s work. The company then has control over the patents and can use them however they want, which may include selling them to others who can also use them however they want. With the IPA, employees can be assured that their patents will be used only as a shield rather than as a weapon.
– We will implement the IPA later this year, and it will apply to all patents issued to our engineers, both past and present. We are still in early stages, and have just started to reach out to other companies to discuss the IPA and whether it might make sense for them too. In the meantime, we’ve posted the IPA on GitHub with the hope that you will take a look, share your feedback and discuss with your companies. And, of course, you can #jointheflock and have the IPA apply to you.
6:38 – Nokia in Trouble
– In its latest quarterly results, the Finnish handset maker said things were “mixed” in the face of “greater than expected competitive challenges”, as it posted a loss of €1.3 billion ($1.8 billion).
– The problem stems in large part from dramatic falls in mobile sales. Despite the recent launch of the lower-priced Lumia 900, net sales for the first quarter were €7.4 billion — down 29 percent on the same period last year — and Nokia witnessed falls from top to bottom. There was a 52 percent drop in smartphone sales revenue on the same time last year, and a 32 percent reduction in revenue from featurephones.
10:37 – Apple make flashback removal tool available
– Apple has released an update for Java on Macintosh computers running Mac OSX 10.6 and 10.7 (“Snow Leopard” and “Lion”) which it says gets rid of the Flashback malware that has affected as many as 600,000 Macs worldwide. The tool is available through the company’s built-in Software Update system.
– Symantec published research on Thursday night as the tool was released which suggests that the number of infected Macs has dropped precipitously since the existence of the infection was publicised. It says that the number of infections fell from 600,000 on 6 April to 380,000 on 10 April, to around 270,000 on 11 April – suggesting a dramatic cleanup rate among Mac owners.
13:27 – Windows 8 will come in three flavours
– Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro and Windows RT
– Windows 8 will be the mainstream consumer edition. The Pro version will bring a number of features that most mainstream consumers don’t necessarily need to Microsoft’s next operating system. These include encryption, virtualization, PC management and domain connectivity. Both Windows 8 Pro and the mainstream consumer edition will be available in 32 bit and 64 bit versions. Microsoft will also offer an enterprise version of Windows 8. Microsoft has not shared any details about the pricing of these editions yet.
– Windows 8 Pro, according to Microsoft, was designed “to help tech enthusiasts and business/technical professionals obtain a broader set of Windows 8 technologies.”
– The RT edition – which is meant for machines that run on ARM chips – will come with touch-optimized editions of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. While there will likely be desktops that will run Windows on ARM, this edition is mostly geared towards tablets (though the other Windows 8 versions can obviously also run on x86-powered tablets).
– Until now, it also wasn’t quite clear if Microsoft also planned to include its Media Center in Windows 8. Judging from today’s announcement, Media Center will only be an option for Windows 8 Pro users and will be “available as an economical ‘media pack’ add-on.”
– Microsoft will also offer an enterprise version of Windows 8 that will include all of the features of Windows 8 Pro. This version will also feature a number of tools “for IT organization that enable PC management and deployment, advanced security, virtualization, new mobility scenarios, and much more.”
– So that’s six editions really 🙂
16:23 – Ikea to sell TVs
– Ikea to sell TV’s, blu ray players and sound systems
– However they will be integrated into Ikea furniture
– “We’ve had very clear signals from customers that there is a need to be able to buy and integrate home electronics with the furniture in a simple way,” said Tolga Öncu, sales chief at IKEA Sweden, told Reuters.
– Ikea’s electronics come from Chinese CE giant TCL.
– The product range – called Uppleva: it means ‘Experience’ – will go on sale in Sweden in June, before being rolled out to other countries in the autummn. The UK won’t get a look-in until 2013
18:21 – Pocket
– Now called pocket
– Updated look and feel on iOS and Android – much better image and video support
– Now free – looks to be a great update
20:01 – Game selling EA titles
– Mass Effect 3 and Fifa Street now in stores and online
– Nintendo also back in stores
– Good to see Game back in business it seems
21:25 – Halo 4
– 6th Nov
– Microsoft said it marked a “new beginning” for the series, which it confirmed would now continue for the next decade.
The new game will be set four years after Halo 3 and see the game’s hero, Master Chief, “confront his destiny and face an ancient evil”.
– First game since 343 Industries took over the reigns from Bungie

Picks
Henry
Myscript Memo
– universal app iOS.
– Free to download but exporting OCR’d txt is an in app purchase.
– Only works in portrait mode. OCR happens once you’re finished rather than as you type. Works well – multiple language support and you can add your own vocabulary. Nice palm rest feature so you don’t write with your palm and finger.