DigitalOutbox Episode 328

Chris and Ian discuss the Samsung S9, Huawei MateBook X Pro, BT’s Poles and Banana phones



DigitalOutbox Episode 64

DigitalOutbox Episode 64
In this episode the team discuss broadband, 3D and Google TV.

Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

1:47 – Trio of Updates
XMarks – not dead after all
– Surprised by feedback and volume of interest in company
– Setup a pledgebank to gauge interest on premium service –
– Charging wasn’t original strategy
– Freemium models discouraging
– 1-3% pay in freemium model – 2% at evernote
– Xmarks costs over $2 million a year to run
– Free alternatives – but there isn’t!!!!!!!!!!!! Ah – 75% of their users are Firefox only
– Got to question Xmarks motives – CEO looking pretty lame in my opinion
– Surely this could have been avoided?
– BT Calls for Halt on Piracy Trials
– BT is calling for a freeze on legal requests for customer data from prosecutors of piracy cases, after hundreds of customer details were leaked online.
– A UK court has approved the telco’s request to hold off providing customer data in light of the scandal, and BT says it will challenge any further requests for information until a test case concludes. The case was due to be heard this week, but following the injunction is now scheduled to commence in January 2011. Comes on back of firm sending user details to ACS:Law via an unencrypted spreadsheet
– The firm is also reticent about providing private information on its users until it can be assured the data will be safe.
7:31 – Star Wars in 3D
– Starting with Phantom Menace in 2012, lucas to release all 6 movies in franchise
– One a year, same time each year
– Allegedly waiting for enough cinema screens before doing this
– With blu-ray editions next year, and 3d over the next decade…how many times does George Lucas want us to buy the same films? Joke.
9:56 – 3D TV Channels
– Skys 3D channel launched
– Virgin offers 3D movies on demand
– Opinion?
14:07 – Nintendo 3DS
– Predicted price point – £199
– Games market struggling in UK?
– Game profits down, shutting another 70 stores
– A lot of duplication out there though
17:15 – Virgin Increase Upload Speeds
– XXL – Up to 50mb down, Up to 5mb up
– XL – 20, 2
– M and L – 10, 1
– As part of the roll-out and in order to ensure fair usage of available capacity Virgin Media will be rolling out a new traffic management system at peak times, designed to adapt to network conditions to ensure time-sensitive and interactive uses – such as surfing or streaming high-definition video – remain unhindered by non-time-sensitive traffic such as peer-to-peer and newsgroup activity, reducing the possibility of annoying buffering that can occur when trying to watch TV online at peak times. Using smart network monitoring, the system will reserve at least 75 per cent of network resources for time-sensitive traffic, adjusting dynamically to overall network usage to ensure consistent performance for more customers.
– This needs updating 🙂 –
22:02 – BT Seeks Fibre Hotspots
– Communities that are keen to obtain fibre-based broadband are being asked to publicly declare their desire for high-speed net access.
– BT will log responses to a website to get a better idea of the potential demand for fibre-based services.
– BT said it would commit to wire up the five exchanges showing the highest demand for fibre.
– Demand is defined as min of 1000 votes and then exchange compared on the % of premises served
– Surely smallest communities, those most affected by lack of bb, will only show a small demand
– story for smaller exchanges is not entirely pessimistic as BT are saying that where 75% of premises express an interest in fibre broadband they are happy to engage in discussion
25:09 – Google Blacklist
– Words that Google Instant doesn’t like
– Google Instant is erring on the side of caution, protecting the searcher from seeing something they may not want to see
– Search for my blog – ian dick blog – put space after dick and bang – no results – press return and you get results so what are they really protecting?
27:59 – Facebook Upgrade Photos
– hi-res photos, photo-download links, bulk tagging options and an elegant lightbox interface for viewing images from anywhere on the site.
– Lightbox similar to Flickrs
– Adverts on pages
– Threat to Flickr?
31:52 – Google TV
– Search web, channels and app’s from one place
– Full internet via chrome
– Apps! – Twitter, Pandora, Netflix, Amazon, Napster etc – dev access from next year
– Use phone as a remote control
– Customisable homepage mixing web, apps and channels
– Record, dual view, easy to use via Sony TV or Logitech set top box
– Looks really good – Apple TV, Boxee, Roku and Google TV – sport the trend?
36:03 – Fifa Woes
– Team play is broke on 360
– Biggest feature of Fifa, advertised everywhere and it’s broke
– Even one on one is a bit ropey
– Get more info from lead dev’s twitter stream than official website and forums
– EA don’t get it – people still quit games – you get the win but punish them for ruining the experience, people still repeatedly pause, or slow the game down hoping you’ll quit
– Bungie do –
– Weekly updates, cheaters being dealt with, new playlists this week fixing issues and changing playlists based on user voting

– Free
– Great alarm clock for Mac

– Application launcher for Mac
– Searches app folders, presents apps to launch
– Can filter list so only certain apps are presented
– Can setup custom folders, with custom apps in each folder
– Free, fast, helpful

DigitalOutbox Episode 34

DigitalOutbox Episode 34
In this episode the team discuss Apple Tablet predictions, Google, Youtube and Open Data.

Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

1:16 – Apple Tablet and Event
– Apple Event Confirmed for 27th
– What could it mean?
– Creation? Canvas? Slate? iPad (Apple files request to take iPad trademark from Fujitsu)? iTablet? I guess it will be in colour
– iLife 10?
– iPhone OS 4 – multitasking, revamped interface
– Some gaming sites get invites – IGN, Kotaku
– Media will be major focus – harper collins, new york times, e-book/reader
– (There’s a sizable part of me that would absolutely love this to be a launch of some new iPhone colours – Chris)
– (Or indeed for this to be a new iPhone rather than be what everyone expects. Something radically different perhaps. Knock everyone sideways.)
– WSJ – Virtual keyboard, NYT, Conde Nast, Harper Collins, EA, best of TV service, also mentions Bing in iPhone, + Bing maps, in June,
27:39 – Amazon Running Scared
– Gives away kindle for free –
– Specific accounts, heavy readers. Buy a kindle, if you don’t like it ask for refund
– They’ll refund the money but let you keep the kindle
– Developers, developers, developers –
– Kindle Development Kit –
– Already made available to select partners – EA for example
– Limited beta starts next month
– Same revenue share as iphone and they must pay for wireless costs – 15cents per mb
– How actively will Amazon police what makes it into the Kindle store? “The guidelines are what you might expect,” said Drew Herdener, an Amazon spokesman. On the forbidden list: Internet voice-calling software, advertising, offensive materials, the collecting of customer information without consent, and the use of the Amazon and Kindle brands.
– You don’t think Apple’s announcement next week is making them sweat?
29:54 – NY Times Paid Model
– From 2011, pay to access NYT
– Free access to set number of articles per month
– After that, time to pay
– Is that it? Is that what all the fuss was about?
30:48 – Google vs China Fallout
– The German government has warned web users to find an alternative browser to Internet Explorer to protect security.
– Wow.
– Microsoft rejected the warning, saying that the risk to users was low and that the browsers increased security setting would prevent any serious risk.
– However, German authorities say that even this would not make IE fully safe.
– However, Graham Cluley of anti-virus firm Sophos, told BBC News that not only did the warning apply to 6, 7 and 8 of the browser, but the instructions on how to exploit the flaw had been posted on the internet.
– France warns too
– Last week was Google vs China, this week Microsoft vs EU, next week Apple takes on…..
– Certa, a government agency that oversees cyber threats, warned against using all versions of the web browser.
– UK Govt Response
– Government departments have been issued an alert on how to deal with this particular incident and to mitigate against vulnerabilities in relation to particular versions of IE.
– A government user, operating on government systems, such as the GSi (Government Secure Intranet), will benefit from additional security measures, unlikely to be available to the average home computer user. These include tools which actively monitor for evidence of any malicious attacks
– Even though MS declared their browser secure (enough), they patch it anyway…
– “Out-of-band” update (update issued outside of normal schedule) issued to patch IE.
– MS say only exploits were made on IE6 and urge users to upgrade.
– In the mean time, web analytics company StatCounter say the Germany/France warnings and the news around this story has seen Firefox grab 40% market share to IE’s 45% and even overtake in certain regions (e.g. Germany and Austria)
– Google postpone phone launches in China
– 2 Android phones, due to launch with China Unicom, have been postponed following the hacking of human rights activists GMail accounts.
– Strained Relations between US and China
– Hillary Clinton’s speech calling for China to investigate the attacks and make the results open has not been received well in China…
– China sayng it could harm ties between the two countries
35:24 – Youtube Moves to Pay per view and Movie Rentals
– Only US to start with towards end of Jan.
– Users will be able to pay (around £2.50) to give themselves a 48hr period in which to watch the movie stream
– This is likely to expand to include pay-per-view events etc going forward.
– Trialling HTML5 too
– Today, YouTube is taking steps to let users work it into their everyday browsing experience: you’ll now be able to watch some of the site’s videos without a plugin, using the video and audio playback support included with HTML5
– Activate in Youtubes testtube –
– Unfortunately, this isn’t being rolled out to all videos. You can only watch videos that aren’t being monetized and that haven’t been annotated (obviously YouTube hasn’t implemented overlays in its HTML5 player)
– Also cleaner new look – nice
– Vimeo also rolls out HTML5 support – death to flash!
– Indian Cricket to be streamed live, worldwide (except USA) on YouTube
– YouTube has bought the rights to the IPL and will stream live games to a world-wide audience (Apart from USA).
– Advertising and sponsorship revenue generated will be split between YouTube (Google) and IPL
40:12 – UK Govt launches Open Data
– Just under 3000 datasets available
– People who have seen early versions of say that it contains tools that make it “much easier for [government] departments to produce structured, linked data”. Harry Metcalfe, an independent developer who has developed and worked on a number of sites that use government data to produce public information, commented that “this is such an encouraging thing to see. No expensive procurement exercises for clunky, bespoke sites: instead we have the right tools for the job, joined together … this is how government IT should work
– Shadbolt said the underpinning principle was simple. “We believe that the government should establish the principle that all the public services should publish in reusable form all the objective factual non-personal data on which the public services run and are assessed and on which public decisions are based, or which is collected or generated in the course of public service delivery.”
– The UK has become a world showcase for open government data, with the launch today of a government website hosting 2,500 public data sets – more than the best-known rival, in the US.
– However…..
– PAF will remain with Royal Mail and be charged for
– 24 hours after the much heralded launch of, it slams the door in the hopes of many that the PAF would be available for all, or at least non profit and charatable organisations
42:38 – Dont Joke on Twitter
– Robin Hood airport is closed, You’ve got a week and a bit to get your shit together, otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!!
– A week after posting the message on the social networking site, he was arrested under the Terrorism Act and questioned for almost seven hours by detectives who interpreted his post as a security threat.
– After he was released on bail, he was suspended from work pending an internal investigation
– He has been banned from the Doncaster airport for life.
– The civil libertarian Tessa Mayes, an expert on privacy law and free speech issues, said: “Making jokes about terrorism is considered a thought crime, mistakenly seen as a real act of harm or intention to commit harm.
– “The police’s actions seem laughable and suggest desperation in their efforts to combat terrorism, yet they have serious repercussions for all of us. In a democracy, our right to say what we please to each other should be non-negotiable, even on Twitter.”
45:28 – BT Fibre to Cabinet Pricing
– There will be a £50 connection charge for the basic package, which will upload at up to 2Mbit/s and a 20GB per month usage allowance.
– The other package, costing £24.99 per month, will be connected for free, upload at up to 10Mbit/s and have no data cap.
– Both require an 18-month contract and come with a free Home Hub.
– In reality, because it uses existing copper and aluminium wires into premises, BT’s service is typically likely to offer 20 to 30Mbit/s downstream. For most its performance is likely to rank between to Virgin Media’s 20Mbit/s “XL” package, which costs £20 per month, and the 50Mbit/s “XXL” at £28 per month.
– Rollout –
– I’m live!!!!!!!!!!!
– P2P will still be throttled – BT has now also conceded that its traffic management equipment will restrict the bandwidth available to peer-to-peer protocols on both Infinity packages, as on its existing ADSL services.
– 4pm to 00:00 weekdays, 9am to 00:00 weekends
50:03 – Nokia launches Ovi Maps
– Free turn-by-turn navigation is now available for roughly 20 million Nokia handsets around the world.
– Maps are stored locally, and no continuous data connection is needed
– Traffic Information in 10 countries
– Lane assistance, speed trap warnings
– Pedestrian mode, including shortcuts only possible on foot
– Free Lonely Planet/Michelin travel guides
– Smart. Nokia in catchup mode.
52:49 – Chinatown Wars hits the iPhone
– Plays well
– Touchscreen controls a bit fiddly
– $9.99
54:27 – PS3 Motion Controllers Delayed
– The wand is now looking for an “Autumn” release date.
– Jump lost on Netal? Certainly looks interesting for Christmas 2010
– Even now, the PS3 appears to suffer it’s own design. The PS4 HAS to address development issues?
55:50 – Spotify Viral Marketing
– 5 best ads get free premium subscription for 3 months
– Comments suggest some users think the prize isn’t very generous.
– (but all the blurb is in French so I could just be making this up!)

– podcast aggregator
– bookmarklet
– popular
– tag driven
– search
– add rss of stuff you’ve huffduffed to itunes
– find new content that previously you’d miss or wouldn’t know was out there

Smack Talk
– iPhone app
– hours of fun talking like a hamster

Acer Aspire Timeline 1810TZ
– Netbook form factor but with good power under bonnet
– 11.3″ Screen
– Windows 7 Home Premium
– HDMI out
– Good keyboard.
– Ultra Low Voltage Dual Core processor
– 8 Hours battery life (6 full on media – 10 wi-fi/internet)
– Webcam
– Olympic edition due to have 4Gig RAM, 500Gig HD, Blue Tooth (64Bit) £550
– Standard edition 3Gig RAM, 250Gig HD £450

DigitalOutbox Episode 19

DigitalOutbox Episode 19
In this episode the team discuss Web security, backups and Broadband news for the UK with lot’s of edits. Cheers Skype!

Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

2:12 – Web Security
– Phishing scam used to target Google & Hotmail accounts. Account details leaked online. 30,000 accounts.
– How are people still being soooooo stupid as to give out their details to phishing emails?
7:22 – Cloud Issues
– Microsoft/Danger loses all T-Mobile Sidekick customer data
– Statement: Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger’s latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device — such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos — that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low.
– Where was the backup?
– Shows danger of relying on cloud – what happens if service drops, access restricted, data removed?
– As in local data, you should always have a backup
9:52 – Napster Evolves Again
– Cheaper unlimited download service on offer £5 per month – including 5 permanent downloads every month.
– 8 millions songs to choose from.
– Reaction to Spotify threat?
14:00 – Windows Mobile 6.5
6.5 brings a handful of great features to the same old mess that was Windows Mobile
– very small amount of system has been converted for ‘touch’, mainly the home and start screens
– need to use stylus for everything else ie typing, everything other than launching an app etc
– you CAN type with finger but it’s “like trying to sew with your feet”
– huge IE overhaul …. but still sucks
– pages render incorrectly or stall
– “designed by someone in 2002”
– 6.5 is nothing but a spit and polish job on 6.1
18:33 – UK Mobile Coverage
– Ofcom looking at ensuring consumers who don’t get the coverage they need are not locked into contracts.
21:19 – AT and T Allow VOIP over 3G on iPhone
– Due to FCC investigation?
– What about O2, Orange, Vodafone?
– Skype likes this –
– Google Voice rumoured – it’s not VOIP
23:19 – Adobe Flash EveryWhere except
– No surprise but is it an issue?
– Adobe do show app’s developed via flash and packaged for iPhone
– Could increase app volume even more and bring more dev’s to the platform
– More app’s of the wrong type?
27:19 – BT push fibre
– BT announced one and a half million copper lines into homes and businesses will be joined by optical cables, initially offering broadband at 100Mbit/s downstream and capable of delivering 1Gbit/s.
– BT had previously only publicly committed to one million FTTP installations on building projects where the civil engineering costs of laying fibre would be low.
– The wider deployment means BT plans to run fibre to two and a half million premises by 2012. A further seven and a half million line will be upgraded to fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) services, delivering up to 40Mbit/s downstream.
– Competitors will be able to buy access to the fibre, although BT will have greater control over pricing than it does over ADSL.
– Virgin Media – will it allow access? Does VM want it? comparitively expensive and it’s running its own 50Mbit/s trials with copper from home to new cabinets and new fibre to rest of network
– No news on areas to benefit
– My exchange – FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) should be in service form 04/01/2010
– Up to 40Mb down, up to 10mb up – £88.08 annual rental. What will retail offer? What price?
32:44 – O2 Starts to Throttle
– introduction of management for peer to peer and newsgroup applications will only affect those O2 broadband customers who are not on the firms own unbundled network.
– Par for the course
37:15 – VMWare Fusion 3
– $80, October 27th
– Designed for Snow Leopard, supports 64bit kernel, allows for virtualisation of 64 bit O/S
– Supports Snow Leopard and Windows 7
– Finally add’s aero support – first tool to do so
43:12 – iPhone 3.1.2 Update
– aims to resolve some of the recent issues reported by users
– sporadic issue that prevents iphone from waking up from sleep mode
– occasional crashes when streaming video
– intermittent cellular service interruptions
45:13 – New Tablet Rumours
– 10.6″ panel
– geared towards e-book functionality
47:48 – Kindle Comes to UK
– As expected, the Amazon Kindle will be coming to Europe, including UK.
– Access via 3G – unspecified carrier at this stage.
– No web browsing but the device should roam happily around 99 countries.
– £175
52:33 – Microsoft Mouse Labs
– Some real innovation
56:56 – Eigenharp
– It’s a Theremin (as used by Bill Bailey) crossed with a Tenori-on (as used by Little Boots)
– Much cheaper are the apps on the iphone – leaf trombone and ocarina, plus numerous Tenori-on wannabee apps.
– Never been a better time to inflict your musical talent on the world through digital instruments. We’re a long way from Rolf Harris’s Stylophone

Tweetie 2
– The best twitter client for the Mac

Portal T-shirts
– Hopelessly / tragically /desperately geeky but just brilliant!
– T-shirts with in-built cameras and TFT screens come in Portal Orange and Blue pairs and transmit your cameras picture onto the other persons t-shirt – so creating the look of portals!

– MP3 splitter
– $32
– Mac only