DigitalOutbox Episode 26

DigitalOutbox Episode 26
In this episode the team discuss Pirates of Westminster.

Playback
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Shownotes
1:36 – News Corp and Bing
– De-index from google
– Paid (assumption) to index exclusively with Bing
– Rumoured by a few prominent technologists last week but now reported in FT
– However, the Financial Times has learnt that Microsoft has also approached other big online publishers to persuade them to remove their sites from Google’s search engine.
– Minus point – Fragmentation of search, exclusive indexing – stinks
– Plus point – competition for Google
– Microsoft is not afraid to buy search market share, which is what it’s doing with the Yahoo search deal and even its Cashback program. But with these latest talks, it is literally trying to buy the news, or at least exclusive access to the news.
4:40 – Pub fined for copyright infringement
– Client of The CLoud
– A pub owner has been fined £8,000 because someone unlawfully downloaded copyrighted material over their open Wi-Fi hotspot, according to the managing director of hotspot provider The Cloud.
– fine had been levied in a civil case, brought about by a rights holder, “sometime this summer”
– If you were a business why would you sign up to something like the cloud – would put the fear into any business
8:00 – Lawyers target thousands of illegal filesharers
– ACS:Law will send out 15,000 letters in the new year
– Offer chance to settle out of court for a few hundred pounds
– “A lot are accused of downloading pornography,” Jaclyn Clarabut of Which? told BBC News. “People find it distressing or embarrassing and pay up.”
9:53 – Virgin Trialling CView
– Virgin Media will trial deep packet inspection technology to measure the level of illegal filesharing on its network, but plans not to tell the customers whose traffic will be examined
– The system, CView, will be provided by Detica, a BAE subsidiary
– The system will look at traffic and identify the peer-to-peer packets. In a step beyond how ISPs currently monitor their networks, it will then peer inside those packets and try to determine what is licensed and what is unlicensed, based on data provided by the record industry.
– In the pitch document, Detica said that as well as aggregate data, CView could be used to categorise filesharers and apply technical measures against them, or target them to be sold legal alternatives. Virgin Media’s spokesman said it has no plans to use such features.
– Interesting story following on from similar ones we’ve done – my only issue is that it involves BAE which is a bit of a conflict for me. Paranoid. Me?
14:12 – Google Image results hit the headlines
– Racist, highly offensive doctored image of Michelle Obama appeard at no.1 of image results
– Was temporarily removed when the host was found to have malware but them re-instated when it moved to a “clean” host.
– Problem exasperated with blogs linking their indignation.
– Google posted advert above the result explaining why it’s not their place to sensor results.
– Image since been removed from original website and no longer at top of results.
– Google shows related search: michelle obama ape – how is that related to me searching for michelle obama
18:26 – New Apple Worm
– Serious this time
– specifically targeting people in the Netherlands who are using their iPhones for internet banking with Dutch online bank ING
– worm changes the root password from the default of “alpine” that Apple set in the factory firmware, making it more difficult for users to secure their devices
– recommended method to remove this malware from your iPhone is to restore the Apple factory firmware using iTunes.
– This worm, like the others, only attacks jailbroken iPhone and iPod Touch devices.
20:18 – iMac Woes
– Cracked screens or DOA’s
– Not good, quite widespread looking at the forums
– Urban myth…alway avoid 1st gen Apple models
23:18 – iPhones coming to Tesco
– Price war, or at least some price cuts?
– Jointly owned by O2 and Tesco (Tesco Mobile that is)
26:09 – iPlayer App Coming to iPhone
– The BBC has posted a monthly press pack which includes iPlayer imagery for what appears to be a future version of the iPlayer for iPhone.
– In the image it’s clear that there is a downloads option and what appears to be a live stream option. The iPhone in the image is connected to a Wi-Fi network indicating that the Wi-Fi restriction for the current iPlayer website could still be in place.
– No comment from the BBC
– Would be their first iPhone app
27:59 – Tivo back in the UK
– Tivo to return to UK on Virgin Media’s new HD box
– TiVo is set to develop a converged television and broadband interactive interface – which will be the tech that powers Virgin Media’s next gen, high-def set-top boxes.
– Very exciting – their software is often regarded as ‘the best’.
– At the same time Tivo is dying in america – 8% of active DVR’s in America – same level as 2004, ouch!
30:34 – iPlayer on the 360
– According to sources close to the BBC’s Future Media and Technology department, a deal between the two parties has still been unable to be reached because Microsoft’s strategy of charging for all content on its Xbox Live platform is incompatible with the BBC’s public service remit
– Microsoft only wants to offer its users access to platforms it can charge for as this is the model it is pursuing.
– The BBC cannot charge the British public for access to the iPlayer as it is already included in the licence fee
– Barmy
– When do I pay for Facebook or twitter?

Picks
Ian
Handbrake
– DVD ripping utitlity and also acts as a video convertor
– Free
– Now 64 bit for Leopard and Snow Leopard (only 10% perf improvement)
– Over 1000 updates in latest version
– Improvements especially around h.264 encoding

Hans Rosling
– Makes statistics interesting
– Gapminder – over 200 indicators of global development mapped over time – fascinating
– Can make your own – Google bought the tech behind gapminer and you can use the Google Gadget called Motion Chart. It allows everyone to make a Gapminder-like bubble graph that you can publish on your web-page or blog.

Chris
Browsershots
– THE mother of all cross browser page checks.
– Type in a URL and select from tonnes of browser/operating system combinations across Linux, Mac and PC. (I counted 82 combinations available)
– Sit back and wait for the cue to run through and deliver back the screen grabs.
– Not interactive but as an overall comprehensive check, it can’t be beaten.

Down For Everyone or Just For Me?
– Another “Does exactly what it says on the tin.”
– Type in the URL and check whether the site you’re trying to view is down for everyone or just with you!

eMotion – Mac graphics app

I did a terrible job this week of describing my pick, so I’m hoping a picture is worth a thousand words.  My pick was for a  live animation/graphics app for Macs that allows some amazing effects to be created.  Called eMotion , best results are to be had by using a graphics tablet (like Ian’s Bamboo Fun), but you can use a Wii remote or, in my case, the standard trackpad or mouse.

The app is a little buggy, and the interface isn’t very intuitive, but with a little practice you can get some quite pleasing results.  I’d have had better results I’m sure with a pen and tablet, but you’ll get a bit of an idea of what’s possible from the video below.

DigitalOutbox Episode 25

DigitalOutbox Episode 25
In this episode the team discuss everything but Apple.

Playback
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Shownotes
1:20 – T-Mobile Staff Sold Customer Data
– Staff at mobile phone company T-Mobile passed on millions of records from thousands of customers, a spokesman for the firm has confirmed.
– Company did not know about this
– Exactly our point from last week – who watches the watchers
– How do we keep data secure?
– The Data Protection Act bans the selling on of data without prior permission from the customer and a fine of £5,000 can be imposed following a successful prosecution.
– Rubbish – far meatier punishment required
5:48 – UK Govt to Free OS Maps
– We were pretty nasty to Sir Tim Berners Lee a few weeks ago when he admitted // were redundant, but the government has taken his advice to make the Ordnance Survey maps free to all from 2010. So credit where it’s due: “Good job this time, Sir Tim!”.
– Great news for developers and I’m already looking forward to new iphone apps.
7:56 – Chrome OS
– First, it’s all about the web. All apps are web apps. The entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications. This means users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs
– We focus on three things. Speed. Simplicity. Security.
– Want Chrome the browser on Chrome the OS to be almost instant on
– It takes about 7 seconds to to go the log-in screen. And another 3 seconds to log in to your application. And we’re working to make that faster.
– project opened up today a year ahead of release
– The File System: It’s always auto-updated. There are a few areas of the hard disk. The root partition is read-only. This is locked down, which is unusual in OSes today. User data is always encrypted. This is key for safety of your data. So important if you lose your machine. All user data is synced with the cloud at all times. If you lose your machine, it’s not really gone.
– what is google chrome os – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QRO3gKj3qw – wow – google thinks it’s users are…dumb
– ui concept video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ57xzo287U
– it’s an OS that boots in under 10 seconds and gives you a WebKit browser. It does more than a browser, like by recognizing when USB mass storage devices (cameras, Android phones, etc.) are plugged in, but you don’t do things like deal with a local file system or install applications. You turn it on, you use the Web.
– os built for use on wi-fi – we don’t have blanket wi-fi coverage
– Turning On a PC Should Be Like Turning On Your TV – shit – x factor? strictly? doomed.
– if in any doubt 1) browser is OS 2) it fixes itself 3) all apps are web apps – no installs 4) no drivers, won’t install on current hardware – it only works with solid-state hard drives. It is meant for netbooks. Many hardware manufacturers are going to have to tweak their netbook designs to support Chrome OS 5) start up speed is truly impressive
16:53 – Digital Economy Bill
– Three strikes still in
– No broadband tax
– Age ratings on video games to be made compulsory for all games aimed at players aged 12 and over
20:50 – Twitter Ad Network
– inserts ads once a day to your twitter stream.
– publishers choose which ads to approve
– A potential Google/microsoft acquistion?
25:49 – Office 2010 Beta
– Five different packs – why?
– Now comes in 64 bit
– Ribbon everywhere
– Sharepoint Workspace 2010 now part of the suite – want full Office 2010, you need sharepoint
– Anyone tried it?
28:42 – PS3 – Facebook and 3D gaming
– Facebook coming to PS3
– By linking your PlayStation Network account to your Facebook account, you will have the option for the PS3 to automatically update your Facebook News Feed with Trophy and PlayStation Store activity.
– This update also enables developers to set specific criteria in their titles to publish additional game information to your News Feed.
– Lame. This is just spam and noise.
– PS3 3D Confirmed? – ian
– http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2009/11/20/ps3_3d_confirmed/
– 3D gaming confirmed as advantage of PS3
– All units firmware up-datable to support 3D
– Coming in 2010
31:40 – Microsoft Store Video
– WTF

Picks
Ian
Reeder
– Google reader app – 1.19
– Better than byline
– quicker too, looks lovely
– get your feeds, star

Henry
Emotion
– Unique art package for Mac

Chris
Colour Scheme Designer 3.0
– For those of us who are not design minded but have to create web interfaces. Or even those people who are design minded but are lazy or looking for inspiration.
– Pick a starting colour and generate a colour pallet for your interface/website that is balanced.
– Fine grained control over the number of colours, variants, whether the colours are complimentary or balanced, how contrasty everything is etc. Tweak to your hearts content.
– See how different visual disabilities affect how people will see the colours.
– See how text overlay will look.
– Various export options, including HTML+CSS or XML

DigitalOutbox Episode 24

DigitalOutbox Episode 24
In this episode the team discuss Modern Warfare 2.

Playback
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Shownotes
1:02 – Big Brother Is Watching
– Home office to push ahead with plans to require communication companies to record all transactions
– Home office worried that existing legislation relates to phone rather than net
– Content of communication not recorded – but source and destination logged
– Internet service providers and telecommunication companies will be legally required to store records of all personal communications for one year
– That data will be made available to a wide range of 653 public bodies including police, fire and ambulance services, the Financial Services Authority, prison governors and local councils. Obtaining access to the data won’t even require the permission of a judge; authorization from a senior police official or equivalent department head at a local authority will suffice.
– Cost – £2 billion over next 10 years. Yeah, right. Double that estimate please. Wankers.
5:01 – Murdoch to Block Google Indexing
– As part of the push to charge for content from the Murdoch empire, it looks like Rupert may be looking at ways to block google indexing.
– According to Murdoch, Google’s indexing of headlines and intro paras is not fair use and represents illegal use of his content.
– Happening within months and quarters, not weeks
– Highlights the problem facing all content creators. How to get the $$ (or ££) return on investment?
– It’s possibly the most foolish business decision since Electrolux turned down Dyson.
11:33 – Google buys Admob
– AdMob is a mobile advert vendor on device such as iPhone and others
– Many iPhone apps that display adverts are served by AdMob
– AdMob have served almost 125.5billion ads and counting
– the deal will make Google the market leader in mobile advertising … evil
– apparently Apple were also interested in AdMob before Google purchased it
14:15 – Google Go
– Another new programming language
– http://golang.org/
– combines the performance and security benefits associated with using a compiled language like C++ with the speed of a dynamic language like Python
– All about speed and flexibility
– Mascot is……..Gordon The Gopher
– should you learn it? Good advice from last year by Giles: http://gilesbowkett.blogspot.com/2008/12/no-new-language-in-2009-new-habits.html
17:00 – Bing Maps UK
– At last, bye bye multimap
– Great London maps
– Ordnance Survey maps – superb!
– Nearby Stations
– Explore wikipedia, photo’s, tweets
– Walking routes, draggable routes, embedable maps
20:38 – Worm attacks iPhone
– Only on jailbroken phones
– Only if default password isn’t changed after installing ssh
– Harmless worm, changes background picture to rick astley but source code made available – other nastier versions surely to follow
– make jailbreaking easy, this is what can happen
– Shoddy reporting from BBC
22:45 – 10.6.2 Update
– fixes the much publicised ‘loss of data when logged in as Guest’ bug amongst others.
24:16 – Apple wins Attack of the Clones
– Apple has won its case against the clone Mac maker Psystar.
– Are EULAs a good thing? This case proves that they’re clearly enforceable by law, at least in the US.
28:24 – Modern Warfare 2
– MP typical aghast reaction to game – another MP reacts to give gamers a voice (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8342589.stm). This is an 18 certificate game. This is a game played by adults. WHEN will MPs realise that gaming is not the preserve of kids and that the average age of gamers is over 30!!!
– Controversial scene – on side on terrorists mowing down civilians in an airport
– Was the scene really that bad when you get constantly abused on Live?
– Case in point – first night of mulitplayer and three guys from liverpool talk about how this game makes them feel like a paki – ha ha – you even look like a paki – ha ha – i’m going to shoot your paki ass etc etc – when will we address those kind of issues instead of worrying about an 18 certificate game and some action scenes
– also – they were kids – why were they playing the game – whole big nasty issue around certification and the lack of policing by parents
– As for the game, single player excellent but a little dull (I hate single player games)
– Multiplayer — two hours of play and every map different. Felt lost, maps disorientating, weapons rubbish, everyone better etc etc. Halo tactics don’t work here. Then start to get a few double kills etc. First five kill streak, drop in a missile – awesome. Start to level up, create a class, get a better gun. Lovely. By the end of the night I was grinning. Great game. Bad – no party chat in some multiplayer modes means you have to listen to absolute fucking morons. Bad call from Infinity Ward
39:35 – XBox Banhammer
– Just ahead of Modern Warfare, MS has banned multiple consoles from XBOX live.
– No exact figures given, but perhaps 600,000 accounts banned.
– All MS have said is – a small proportion of the 20,000,000 live users have been banned.
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/technology/newsid_10000000/newsid_10002900/10002915.stm
– Raz – 25 year old and he’s gutted
– Twat – shouldn’t have pirated then
– MS confirm it’s permanent – of course it’s fucking permamnent
– Tell you what, lets call FAST, get the police around and arrest or fine you for software piracy. Fanny.
44:25 – Natal Priced and Dated
46:15 – iPlayer for Wii
– WHEN for my 360!!! I’m more than happy to swap the Sky Player/Twitter/Facebook etc for an iPlayer channel.

Picks
Shakeel
Paint.net
– Paint.Net: a free Photoshop alternative for Windows
– a great program for developers for doing photo editing without having to purchase Photoshop
– offers many Photoshop-like features and offers almost everything for the average user/developer
– layers, special f/x’s, unlimited Undos
– received it’s first update in years, now at version 3.5
– now includes blurs and distortion f/x’s
– improved performance
– visual makeover (enhanced for Aero/Glass)
– growing online community, many tutorials, even plugins are available

Ian
Viewfinder
– small focussed app for the mac
– flickr browser, searcher, downloader
– great keynote integration

Henry
Teleport
– teleport lets you use a single mouse and keyboard to control several Macs.
– Simply reach an edge of your screen, and your mouse teleports to your nearby Mac, which also becomes controlled by your keyboard. The pasteboard can be synchronized, and you can even drag & drop files between your Macs.
– Freeware, but please donate by paypal.
– If you’d like a Windows equivalent, try Synergy – http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/index.html

Chris
Best of Youtube
– Does exactly what it says on the tin.
– Also available as a Vodcast throgh iTunes.

DigitalOutbox Episode 23

DigitalOutbox Episode 23
In this episode the team discuss …not much really. However, new title music is fabby and our first listener review!

Playback
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Shownotes
1:59 – Intel In Trouble
– Further to a European ruling that fined Intel $1.5bn earlier this year, a further suit has been brought in US
– Centres around Intel paying manufacturers $m’s (some years $bn’s) to use Intel chips exclusively. Also, withdrawing funds from manufacturers seen to be collaborating “too closely” with chip competitors.
4:37 – Democracy Live
– New site from the BBC that lets you search, fnd and watch the debates that interest you
– It brings together for the first time in the BBC, live and on demand video coverage of proceedings in our national political institutions and the European Parliament
– Democracy Live gives you the ability to search for a specific word or words spoken in the proceedings and the results will give you links to the points in the video where they were spoken. The ability to home in on the passages which are of direct interest and relevance to you is at the heart of Democracy Live’s purpose. Our search is powered by a speech-to-text system built by two companies called Blinkx and Autonomy which create transcriptions of the words spoken in the video.
7:33 – iPlayer Omnipresence
– iPlayer is due to get a closed beta across Freesat. Starting late November.
– Uses the Ethernet cable standard for Freesat boxes.
– No word on when this beta opens up wider or a potential launch date but it’s great news.
– Freeview HD box specification also comes with an Ethernet port and will also feature the service in future.
– Now we just need Xbox360 to integrate.
11:11 – Skype Is Safe
– A long running story resolves itself. Skype owners, eBay, have confirmed that the issues surrounding the use of underlying technology have all been resolved.
– As widely expected, the original Skype founders, Joltid, now have a 14% share in Skype and this means Skype now own full rights to use the technology as they wish.
– The consortium buying a majority share of Skype from eBay can now go ahead and complete a deal.
15:23 – Orange iPhone Pricing
– Almost same as O2
– Unlimited internet…apart from the 750MB fair usage clause – nasty
19:53 – O2 Allows iPhone Unlocking
– O2 will allow customers to unlock their iPhones once Orange begins selling the iPhone on November 10th assuming your contract has finished
– When asked why O2’s 3G network was struggling, Key made these comments. “The O2 network has seen an 18-fold increase in data carried over the network in the last year and traffic continues to double every three months…”…”We are investing more than £30 million to address capacity issues in London alone between now and Christmas and I’m confident that we’ll see much improved levels of service as a result.”
23:35 – 100,000 Apps
– When it launched on July 10, 2008, Apple’s iTunes App Store held just 552 apps. Today, it boasts more than 100,000 in 21 categories (click on image below) that have been downloaded a total of “well over” two billion times.
– Is this a good thing?
26:31 – Apple TV Service?
– $30 a month
– All you can eat TV
– Pick the content you want, not just whats on
– Fully on demand
– New and old content available
– Not just Apple TV – through iTunes
– Worth it?
33:02 – Parallels 5
– win 7 compatible with AERO support and optimised for Snow Leopard
– £59.99 or £34.99 for upgrade (Free upgrade if you bought V4 after 1st October 2009)
– VMWare Fusion users can competitively upgrade for £34.99
– Some users reported problems with Version 4 when it was launched so might be worth waiting to see how V5 is received.
38:31 – Droid is Milestone?
– HSDPA 3G and……..
– Multi touch!
– Ships with 8GB SD, not 16GB as in US
– And no turn by turn navigation… (at launch)
41:34 – LG looks to OLED Future
– 20″ coming in 2010. 30″ 2011. 40″ 2012 – With huge prices attached – but by 2016 they’ll be in line with current LCD prices.
– Great news – shame it’s not sooner!

Picks
Shakeel
Comics
– comic reader for iPhone
– lots of free comics, but only seems to be first or so issues of a series, remaining issues paid for
– very nice transitions between cells
– Marvel comics available but currently only in USA

Ian
Secrets
– Find hidden Mac settings

Henry
Macheist
– 6 free Mac apps including Twitterific
– also – http://www.onefingerdiscount.com/
– 20% a range of software for 5 days

Chris
SwingVine
Machinarium

RedLaser iPhone App

RedLaserRedLaser is a wonderful iPhone app available on the app store for, currently, £1.19. It works remarkably well and is extremely accurate. The app uses the built-in iPhone camera to scan barcodes on products. Once a barcode has been recognised by the app, it searches for the product on Amazon and Google and returns back a list of prices in order to provide a possible cheaper price. Each item in the list can be clicked to view full product details from the merchant’s website, using the built-in browser.

Additionally, you can manually enter a UPC or EAN code, and the app will search for the correct product from Amazon and Google.

So far I have used the app for fun and it has provided me with no real use, but that did not stop me from appreciating the ingenuity, technology that has clearly gone in to this app. I’m sure if I was out and about, shopping on impulse, and I saw something I wanted to buy, then I would definitely use this app to check if the price was cheaper online.

The app is developed by Occipital who seem to be focused on developing apps based on visual recognition technology and from reading their website, it seems they have some new future ideas which sound quite promising and hint at augmented reality. Occipital are allowing other developer’s to use their technology to develop their own apps or perhaps develop services to enhance the existing app.

Red1Red2Red3