DigitalOutbox Episode 295

Chris and Ian discuss Yahoo, DJI Mavic and Oculus Rift, Fitbit Charge 2 and Amazon Echo

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DigitalOutbox Episode 267

Chris and Ian discuss Tech News and CES 2016

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DigitalOutbox Episode 225

DigitalOutbox Episode 225
DigitalOutbox Episode 225 – RIPA, HP and Evernote

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1:30 – EE, Vodafone and Three give police mobile call records at click of a mouse
4:04 – HP To Become Two Companies As Consumer PC And Printer Business Splits From Corporate Services
6:46 – Evernote Conference
13:09 – Tesco unveils the £129 Hudl2
16:11 – British music fans have streamed twice as many songs in 2014
18:14 – BBC iPlayer shows now available for 30 days
20:02 – EE launches home TV service in UK
21:58 – Plex releases app for Xbox One and Xbox 360, new TV UI with focus on discovery

DigitalOutbox Episode 192

DigitalOutbox Episode 192
DigitalOutbox Episode 192 – Messaging, Spotify and No Man’s Sky

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1:45 – Technology firms seek government surveillance reform
3:27 – U.K. Social Media Users Get Legal Advice From On High On Avoiding Contempt Of Court
5:49 – Twitter Apps Updated With New Swipeable Design And Photo Support In Direct Messages
10:15 – Instagram Introduces Instagram Direct
11:53 – Spotify Goes Freemium On Tablets, Launches Free Shuffle Product On Smartphones
14:10 – Three UK announces customers can roam for free in the US, and launches 4G too
16:47 – The Next-Gen USB Plug To Be Smaller And Finally Reversible
18:46 – Aldi launches £80 tablet to rival Tesco’s Hudl
21:34 – Google (finally) lets you download your Gmail and Calendar data
23:30 – Chromecast gets Plex, Vevo, RealPlayer, Viki and more with massive app update
25:32 – CBBC HD, CBeebies HD, BBC Three HD, BBC Four HD & BBC News HD launch Tuesday 10 December 2013
28:16 – No Man’s Sky
32:07 – Nottingham teenager gets £450 refund after buying a photo of an XBox One on eBay

Picks
Ian
Boson X
– a new rotational runner from Mu & Heyo
– For iOS, Android, Mac and PC
– Great little time filler

Mindnode
– Easy to use mind mapping tool
– For iOS and Mac
– Syncs via iCloud (and it works!)

DigitalOutbox Episode 78

DigitalOutbox Episode 78
In this episode the team discuss Apple and Googles Subscription battle, the HTC Flyer and Plex for Windows.

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1:00 – Android Market Share
– So last time we said Android was popular
– According to a chart making the rounds from UK-based research firm IHS, Android Market revenues in 2010 came in at an estimated $102 million, up from $11 million the year before.
– And how did that compare to revenues from Apple’s App Store? Apple App Store revenues came in at an estimated $1.7 billion in 2010, almost 20 times bigger than Android. And Apple App Store revenue grew at a not-too-shabby 131.9 percent rate.
– More importantly, Apple accounts for 83 percent of the total estimated app store revenues.
– iOS also dominates Euro smartphone usage
– http://www.reghardware.com/2011/02/21/uk_europe_smartphone_usage/
– In the UK, Apple and Research in Motion are the two key smartphone players, each battling the other, with one’s rise accompanies by the other’s fall, oscillating about a line at 42 per cent.
– These numbers broadly mirror over-the-counter sales.
– Android usage is growing here too, but it’s still below 15 per cent and has only just begun to get clear space ahead of its nearest rivals. But it is rising, and that will push down the line over which iOS and BlackBerry are fighting.
5:39 – Microsoft Update Goes Awry
– MS started to roll out their first update for Win MO FO 7 – then had to stop
– It was at best causing problems, at worst, bricking samsung handsets with slightly older firmware….
– oooooppppssss.
8:59 – Apple Launches Subscriptions for Content Publishers on the App Store
– When Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing. We’ve pasted the release below.
– Apple also says that if publishers are selling a digital subscription outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to App Store customers (which we had previously reported). In addition, publishers may no longer provide links within their apps that would allow the customer to purchase content or subscriptions outside of the app.
– So in app subscriptions now offered from within Apps and managed easily from within iTunes. Easy for consumers, easy for publishers to offer
– Apple betting that publishers will be willing to pay the 30% in return for Apple dealing with customers and payments and the customer base/ease of use that iOS brings
– So this impact Amazon, Book, Magazine and Newspaper publishers. So Guardian will be affected as will The Times etc. Also impacts on streaming music services – Rhapsody, Last.fm, Spotify. What about Netflix and Hulu Plus – affects them too.
– What about Dropbox, Evernote, Remember the Milk which offer paid for premium options on top of the free client deals?
– What about iPlayer – I need a TV licence to legally watch iPlayer content. To stay within rules will the iPlayer app need to offer an option to buy licence fee from within the app?
– Great post from MG Siegler – http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/15/apple-in-app-subscriptions/
– This new subscription system is great for Apple as they’ll make a lot of money and create a new, better experience for their customers (and maybe publishers too). But if it backfires, they could lose a significant part of their ecosystem support. And if some companies pull their apps, consumers may start to leave.
– The new system is awesome for customers as Apple has enabled a way for them to easily get new content on their devices at a fair price. But if companies back out of the App Store as a result, they will be shafted.
– This new system sucks for companies that provider subscription services, as they’ll now be forced into Apple’s way of doing things and must pay them 30 percent for it. But if it leads to a massive amount of new customers, it could actually be a very good thing.
– Magazines show up supporting in app subs – Elle, Popular Science, T3
– Later Tuesday, Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller confirmed that those rules apply not only to newspaper and magazine publishers, but also to content sellers like Amazon.com, which offers a Kindle app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
– To meet Apple’s guidelines, Amazon must remove its “Shop in Kindle Store” link from its Kindle application. That link, which opens the iOS browser and displays Amazon’s Web-based e-bookstore, is currently the easiest way for Kindle app users to purchase new books.
– Rhapsody – new iOS subs are economically entenable – http://musically.com/blog/2011/02/16/apples-new-ios-subscriptions-is-economically-untenable-says-rhapsody/
– An Apple-imposed arrangement that requires us to pay 30 percent of our revenue to Apple, in addition to content fees that we pay to the music labels, publishers and artists, is economically untenable,” says the statement.
– “The bottom line is we would not be able to offer our service through the iTunes store if subjected to Apple’s 30 percent monthly fee vs. a typical 2.5 percent credit card fee.”
– The statement also makes menacing legal noises. “We will be collaborating with our market peers in determining an appropriate legal and business response to this latest development.”
– As the fury dies, news that Readability app has been rejected – http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/21/readability-app-rejection/
– http://blog.readability.com/2011/02/an-open-letter-to-apple/
– Reason – 11.2 Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected.
– Wow – so they really are chasing after everything?
– Allegedly subscriptions apply to ‘publishing apps’ only – e-mail attributed to one Steve Jobs
– Ian’s thoughts – Wed 16th – Step too far from Apple. This is evil. Android is now compelling enough to replace iOS for me. I won’t be moving from Mac anytime soon but if I see magazines, books, music only available on everything but iOS then I’ll move. Yet again it’s Apple changing the goalposts. I can’t believe people are saying this is what Apple have been saying all along. If so, why the change in dev guidelines. Again. Whats next? What if Apple say it’s not 30% but 40%. 50%? Then again, is this to force people OFF the platform so that everyone buys via iTunes, iBooks? Are they wanting to remove streaming music options so a future offer from Apple is more desirable? Long game at play and things will change – Amazon did use to charge 70/30 in there favour for Kindle originally. What I’m not sure is how much of the cover price of a magazine goes to the publisher and how much go to the newsagent? Thats why they can offer sub’s at lower price i.e. wired is half price to subscribe to. Looking online it’s 70-75% of the cover price goes to the publisher.
Chris – As consumers, there’s a lot to like about Apple’s stance. Everything wrapped up in the one ecosystem and the knowledge that they may as well buy in-app because they can’t get their subscription cheaper elsewhere. But this is a MASSIVE deal for companies with subscription models (a business model that is essential to companies today). 30% is a massive cut – and impossible to cater for in highly competitive and/or restrictive markets (like the music industry for eg).
Apple’s rolling the dice here a bit and, perhaps rightly, have come to the conclusion that their phone/tablet ecosystem is strong enough to force developers through it. But is Amazon really going to give away 30% of it’s book sales…???!!! Not without a fight I wouldn’t imagine.
It’s also worth noting that if this move is successful, it is consumers who will end up paying for the Apple tax… so it’s certainly an issue that should be paid close attention to.
24:18 – Google One Pass
– a service that lets publishers set their own prices and terms for their digital content. With Google One Pass, publishers can maintain direct relationships with their customers and give readers access to digital content across websites and mobile apps.
– Readers who purchase from a One Pass publisher can access their content on tablets, smartphones and websites using a single sign-on with an email and password. Importantly, the service helps publishers authenticate existing subscribers so that readers don’t have to re-subscribe in order to access their content on new devices.
– With Google One Pass, publishers can customize how and when they charge for content while experimenting with different models to see what works best for them—offering subscriptions, metered access, “freemium” content or even single articles for sale from their websites or mobile apps. The service also lets publishers give existing print subscribers free (or discounted) access to digital content. We take care of the rest, including payments technology handled via Google Checkout.
– No mention on cut but The Wall Street Journal said Google will take 10 percent of the revenue. That makes sense because One Pass rides atop existing websites and web apps. But it’s also smart in that it gives publishers more of the margins they expect for their content. Google said it expects periodicals will be the first customers of this, but it could extend to other properties that want to use micro-transactions. Google One Pass is currently available in France, Germany, Spain, the UK, the US and Canada.
– Provides alternative to Apple’s model and far less of a cut – interesting
– Also, by default Google will share your information with publishers which can be switched off. With the Apple deal, Apple will only share this info if you allow it – it’s off by default. Google One Pass is far more publisher friendly – could see a real shift from iOS to Android
29:56 – Kindle Publishing Costs
– Amazon charges 10p per MB for delivery of newspapers and magazines in the UK. By Amazon’s own estimates, a “typical newspaper” with 100 articles and 15 to 20 images would have a file size of between 0.5MB and 1MB – or around 10% of the overall revenue, considering most newspapers sell for 99p per day. It would be an even greater share of the publisher’s profits if users signed up for a cheaper subscription.
– Applies to delivery over 3G
32:07 – New Chrome Beta
– The latest beta release of chrome now has settings and options appear in browser tabs rather than popup windows. Makes sense and feels natural.
– Also reports that they could do away with an address bar!
– Well, they are looking at the possibility of rescuing yet more vertical space by having the address bar as a tab. Clearly those 30px are important!
35:16 – HTC Flyer
– Best specc’d 7” Android tablet?
– Not running Honeycomb – Gingerbread with HTC Sense on top
– Comes with OnLive service built in
– Stylus (pressure sensitive) with Scribe technology for recognizing hand writing
– Standard screen res, fast processor and good camera – aluminium unibody style design
– $730 so not bad
38:59 – Plex for Windows
– Plex Media Server launched for Windows
– Plex for Android also launched
– Watch content from your Plex library on Android devices
– Cheap media pc with blu-ray player and Plex is best solution for under the TV

Picks
Chris
HulloMail
– One of the gotcha’s with T-Mobile is that they (criminally) don’t include calls to their voicemail system inside your monthly allowance. However, a quick search around pointed me to the free HulloMail service. Essentially, this takes over from your carrier default voicemail service and the numbers you access the messages through ARE included in your monthly allowance.
– Signing up on Nexus S was as simple as downloading the app, creating an account and clicking “Apply Settings”. I’ve been running with it since Fri evening and it’s been great.
– The default application is free, but add supported. You can buy a year add free version for around £3.
Ian
Google Personal Blocklist
– Chrome extension that allows you to block a domain from being returned in your search results
– If installed, the extension also sends blocked site information to Google, and we will study the resulting feedback and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search results.
– Can edit your blocked sites to unblock them
– Early test but a must have extension

DigitalOutbox Episode 61

DigitalOutbox Episode 61
In this episode the team discuss Google Instant, Apple U Turn, iOS 4.1, Boxee Box and Halo. Woot.

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2:16 – Google Instant
– In past few months have passed over 1 billion users on Google each week
– It takes a user on average around nine seconds to enter a search query into Google. Serving results takes around 300 ms from Google, plus 800 ms total in Network time. Takes around 15 seconds to select a result. A search takes 25 seconds.
– At Google we think we have a faster way. Google Instant Search. And that’s what we’re launching today. Gets search results as you type so search is interactive the whole time you’re typing. Google Instant looks like normal Google search. But as you start typing, you see results — you don’t have to hit enter. You can hit ‘tab’ to complete a word.
– Type w – Glasgow 5 day weather forecast appears, first link is mountain weather forecast, second bbc, third met office – impressive
– We estimate this will help Google users save two to five seconds per query. That adds up across all users. “11 hours saved. Each second.”
– Instant results, Scroll to Search, Predictions.
– Only on google.com web page – browsers, mobile – next few months
– Instead of making first page, now about making first letter!
– End of SEO? Does being on page 2 or lower half of page kill your brand?
– Here’s what this means: no two people will see the same web. Once a single search would do the trick – and everyone saw the same results. That’s what made search engine optimisation work. Now, with this, everyone is going to start tweaking their searches in real-time. The reason this is a game changer is feedback. When you get feedback, you change your behaviours.
9:07 – Apple U Turn
– https://developer.apple.com/appstore/resources/approval/guidelines.html
– http://stadium.weblogsinc.com/engadget/files/app-store-guidelines.pdf
– Short statement from Apple – we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need.
– In addition, for the first time we are publishing the App Store Review Guidelines to help developers understand how we review submitted apps. We hope it will make us more transparent and help our developers create even more successful apps for the App Store.
– Now, was that so hard? Dev’s crying out for this for a couple of years now
– So Flash could be used to create app’s.
– Why now? Android? Realising they were wrong? Pressure from dev’s and large dev studios? FTC probe?
– Most interesting – the guidelines
– Written by a human, almost common sense text – Steve?
– We have lots of kids downloading lots of apps, and parental controls don’t work unless the parents set them up (many don’t). So know that we’re keeping an eye out for the kids.
– We have over 250,000 apps in the App Store. We don’t need any more Fart apps. If your app doesn’t do something useful or provide some form of lasting entertainment, it may not be accepted.
– If your App looks like it was cobbled together in a few days, or you’re trying to get your first practice App into the store to impress your friends, please brace yourself for rejection. We have lots of serious developers who don’t want their quality Apps to be surrounded by amateur hour.
– We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, “I’ll know it when I see it”. And we think that you will also know it when you cross it.
– If your app is rejected, we have a Review Board that you can appeal to. If you run to the press and trash us, it never helps.
– This is a living document, and new apps presenting new questions may result in new rules at any time. Perhaps your app will trigger this.
– Lastly, we love this stuff too, and honor what you do. We’re really trying our best to create the best platform in the world for you to express your talents and make a living too. If it sounds like we’re control freaks, well, maybe it’s because we’re so committed to our users and making sure they have a quality experience with our products. Just like almost all of you are too.
– Adobe – great news for developers – http://blogs.adobe.com/conversations/2010/09/great-news-for-developers.html
– Adobe’s Packager for iPhone – The feature is available for developers to use today in Flash Professional CS5, and we will now resume development work on this feature for future releases.
– This is great news for developers and we’re hearing from our developer community that Packager apps are already being approved for the App Store. We do want to point out that Apple’s restriction on Flash content running in the browser on iOS devices remains in place.
– Another developer that has been affected by the rule change is Google. The search giant’s advertising arm, AdMob, was another part of development that was banned back in the original April rule set, but has now seen those rules relaxed. Writing on the AdMob blog, vice president of product management Omar Hamoui says “We’re pleased that Apple has clarified its terms,” adding: “Users will benefit from more free, or low cost, apps that can now more readily be supported by advertising.”
17:24 – iTunes 10
– Faster
– Cleaner
– Ping
– horrible
– feels old
– invite by e-mail
– no Facebook/twitter integration
– drive sales for Apple?
– Where’s my wireless syncing? iOS 5?
– If I search for artists I want links to listen to their music not their muesli. Should be like Spotify/Lsst.fm
20:44 – iOS 4.1 is Out
– Gamecentre
– HDR photo’s
– bug fixes
– anything else?
– MDM – enterprise feature to manage various aspects of the left to 3rd parties to implement. As consumers we might not care, but as more and more enterprises are not just allowing employees to use their own smartphones, but actively encouraging it as a cost cutting exercise, managing those devices is an IT managers nightmare and this is a welcome addition.
26:43 – Amazon hit back
– Not just apple except
– This is for download, not streaming – same content, same price, one you own, one you stream for a limited time
– Cable/sat providers…your time is up
– available in the uk?
30:47 – Plex comes to LG
– Plex – needs a mac to run
– Potentially expensive
– working with LG Electronics (the second largest TV manufacturer in the world) to integrate the Plex platform into their 2011 lineup of Netcast™ connected TVs and Blu-ray devices. So early next year, when you buy an LG Netcast™ TV or Blu-ray player, you will have Plex functionality built-in. Specifically, it will connect to a cloud version of the Plex platform for online content, and, if you happen to have a Plex Media Server running anywhere in your house (after all, who doesn’t have a computer in their house?), you can access your local and online content, in a rich interface, with full metadata
– This is a BIG deal
– My new Sony comes with iPlayer, 4OD, Youtube, podcasts etc
– But a tv with plex built in is a seriously powerful device
35:27 – Boxee Box
– Pre-order in America
– Out in November (UK too)
– Now with Intel inside, not Nvidia
– $229, not $199 although Amazon selling for $199
– UK Price £199
– http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/361132/boxee-arrives-in-europe-at-twice-the-price-of-apple-tv
– The UK version of the Boxee Box will include
– free and paid-for TV content from a number of local broadcasters, including the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV.
– V-friendly access to services such as Facebook, Flickr and YouTube.
– Intel Atom CE4100 processor]
– 802.11n wireless and Ethernet connections
– HDMI port to deliver Full HD video
– 2 USB ports
– SD card slot
– offers support for Flash, MP3 and Divx formats
– Full Qwerty remote control
43:52 – Twitter for iPad
– Twitter for iPad takes advantage of the iPad’s fluid touch interface, letting you move lots of information around smoothly and quickly – without needing to open and close windows or click buttons.
– Panes: Tapping on a Tweet opens a pane to the right. Depending on the content in that Tweet, you’ll see a video or photo, or maybe a news story, or perhaps another Tweet. You can continue tapping on Tweets, opening new panes, and getting new content as long as you’d like to.
– Media: When you tap a video link or open a web page with an embedded video, you can play that video inline. And, let’s be honest, video is great but sometimes it can take some time to load. The panes in Twitter for iPad let you look through your timeline while a video is loading, and then you can just swipe back to the video when it’s ready to play. You can also pinch on a video to watch it fullscreen.
– Gestures: You can pinch on a Tweet to quickly view details about the author and to take actions on a Tweet, such as reply or retweet. Put two fingers together and pull down on a Tweet to peek at the replies, showing the entire conversation leading to that Tweet.
– Bold and unexpected – eats the other twitter clients
– Wheres Tweetie 2 for the Mac! Hibari is nice, but tweetie still feels better but missing new functionality of twitter – http://hibariapp.com/
44:54 – Samsung Galaxy Tablet
– First true iPad competitor
– the GT-P1000 model has a 7-inch TFT-LCD WSVGA screen (with 1024 x 600 pixels), and is powered by a Cortex A8 1.0GHz processor and a PowerVR SGX540 GPU—the same one used in their Galaxy S phone-and runs with 512MB of RAM.
– As expected, the back-facing camera is a 3MP affair with auto-focus and an LED flash, and the forward-facing one (for video conferencing) has a 1.3MP sensor.
– Two storage capacities are on offer, either 16GB or 32GB, with both models allowing for a further 32GB memory expansion via the card slot.
– Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth 3.0, and 3G support (Vodafone has been signed up from the get-go, Three from October but unsure if right away)
– As we saw in the leaked video last week, there’s a 30-pin connector port, similar to what Apple uses for its gadgets.
– It’ll run Android 2.2 (Froyo)
– Rumour – Samsung Galaxy Tab reported to retail at €699 and €799 in Europe – iPads offer double the storage for same price
48:29 – Everything Everywhere
– Orange and T-Mobile to offer customers access to both networks at no extra cost as first benefit of newly merged company Everything Everywhere
– Orange and T-Mobile customers invited to sign-up to get access to both networks to make calls and send texts in more places at no extra cost
– As well as continuing to benefit from their existing network, Orange customers will be able to make calls and send texts on the T-Mobile network and T-Mobile customers will be able to do the same using the Orange network
– Customers who sign up for access to both networks will benefit free of charge, with no changes to their existing tariffs or call or text charges. Once registered, should a customer lose signal on their existing network, they will then automatically pick up the signal from the other network where it’s available, meaning that they can make and receive calls and texts in more places than ever before.
50:24 – Bloglines to Close
– Will finally close Oct 1st
– Killed by Google Reader and switch to twitter/facebook – realtime streams
– Sad in some ways but it quickly fell behind Google
– and it was a bit broken
– Off course, many say that RSS is dead etc
– Really – http://googlereader.blogspot.com/2010/09/welcome-and-look-back.html

Picks
Chris
TechSmith Camtasia Studio
– The ultimate screen recording, editing and distribution product.
– Millions of options. Easy to use and control. Plenty of output options. Record your mic, webcam, screen, specific application, video, pictures, title-screens. Stitch them all together on the timeline. £220

Ian
Withings Scale
– Wifi scale
– Expensive
– Can set up to tweet your weight
– Supports up to 5 users
– Love it – very geeky but awesome

Henry
Monkey Island 2
– Awesome game originally on PC now for iOS
– Only £0.69