DigitalOutbox Episode 100

DigitalOutbox Episode 100
In this episode the team discuss New New Twitter, Spotify App’s, new iOS apps and make some predictions.

Playback
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Shownotes
2:32 – New New Twitter
– Redesign web and mobile clients
– As a company, create the simplest, fastest service in the world that will allow us to reach every person on the planet. Went through entire service. Mobile, web, got it down to four key elements.
– Home Timeline (browser-style “home” icon). First navigational element. Simple, clean, universe of tweet is now contained within the tweet on multiple platforms. Web site, iPhone, Android, HTML5 mobile, Tweetdeck, etc. Retweets, favorites, etc. all right there. Additionally, click on tweet, copy embed code, stick in the story. Everything follows it in. Wasn’t just a change in the interface. Not just adding a couple features to Twitter. Product engineers, infrastructure engineers focused on making it as fast as possible.
– Connect (@ symbol). We wanted to create the easiest way to reach others. Enter username. Or retweet. Where you’re being mentioned. Any conversations that you have. Everything that you’re doing socially on Twitter is in here.
Discover (# symbol). The newest navigation element. When people see a hashtag on a billboard, can click on the symbol, enter the tag they say, and relevant conversations will surface. Come to Twitter and want to see what’s happening in your world. More than 250 million tweets per day, we’ll surface whatever seems relevant to your world. Discover experience is personalized, so the more you engage, the more personalized they’ll become. Activities. What tweets are my friends following. Who are friends following.
Me (profile outline icon). We wanted to group everything that happens about you in one specific area. Favorites, media, tweets. Wanted to tell more compelling stories. Profile pages for individual users much richer. Media: pictures, videos, etc. Best place to represent yourself on the internet. Also for brands.
– Also providing bigger branding pages
– Twitter for iPhone and Android also available right now. Downloading app unlocks new version on web site. Roll out new version to 100% of users in the next few weeks.
– Tweetdeck also rewritten for Mac – native and no longer written in Adobe Air but missing many of the power features of Tweetdeck
8:04 – Spotify Apps
– Not a pivot, but Spotify is adding apps
– Spotify is letting third party developers expand on its functionality using its API and offering the results to users in a new HTML5 app directory, CEO Daniel Ek announced today in New York.
– Developers have already have already built apps with features like the ability to find and purchase concert tickets, a way to display a song’s lyrics on-screen through TuneWiki and deeper Last.fm integration for better music recommendations.
– Rolling Stone cofounder and publisher Jann Wenner took to the stage to sing Spotify’s praises, just before Ek unveiled the application that Rolling Stone built to work within Spotify. It takes publication-curated playlists to a new level with a rich HTML5 interface and more room for editorial content.
– The move attempts to rebrand Spotify as more of a platform, much as Facebook once did when it opened up the ability for developers to build applications on top of the social network. It’s a wise move for Spotify, which faces a rapidly-expanding user base and only a limited capacity to roll out new features itself. By opening up its platform to developers, Spotify allows for more rapid innovation without distracting itself from the core product.
– Other available apps include SongKick, The Guardian, Billboard and Soundrop, presumably with plenty more to come. Any developer can code apps for Spotify but they do have to be approved by the company before appearing in the directory.
– Loving this – great playlists – really helps with discovery
– Brought me back to Spotify…but don’t know for how long
11:39 – Super Connected Cities coming to the UK
– The government will take £100m from the £5bn national infrastructure investment pot over the course of this Parliament in a move to speed up broadband networks in selected urban areas. Rural areas, meanwhile, have been passed over. George Osborne announced the extra cash that the likes of BT and Virgin Media will be able to bid for in his autumn statement today.
– “The government will invest £100m to create up to 10 ‘super-connected cities’ across the UK, with 80-100 megabits per second broadband and city-wide high-speed mobile connectivity,” said the government in its National Infrastructure Programme report, which was published immediately after the chancellor finished his mini budget speech in the Commons today.
– “There will be a particular focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and strategic employment zones to support economic growth. Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London will all receive support from this fund, and a UK-wide competition will decide up to six further cities that will also receive funding.”
– That investment comes on top of the £530m Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds already dished out by the government to local authorities and Scotland.
Over the government’s next fiscal year (2012-2013), £20m will be allocated to help fun “super-connected cities”. In 2013/14 a further £60m will be spent, then in 2014/15 the final £20m left in that pot will be used.
– But, surprisingly, no extra cash was set aside by Osborne today for rural areas that are crying out for investment in broadband.
14:58 – Ofcom 2012/2013 Plans
– The auctioning off of the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrums for 4G internet is coming as soon as the British FCC has booted off the remaining TV services that still use ’em.
– It’s will open an online complaints site (for when the Saturday evening show of your choice offends you), crack down on slow broadband speeds and keep the airways clear for the Olympic Games.
19:12 – Carrier IQ
– Carrier IQ software secretly installed on millions of mobile phones reports most everything a user does on a phone. Numbers called, text messages, websites visited, passwords – everything. Shudder.
– Android only…..so everyone thought
– On Blackberry and iOS too
– But then a lot of carriers said it wasn’t installed – certainly not in the UK
23:52 – Jawbone UP
– Released recently but having charging and bricking issues
– Jawbone is offering consumers who have problems a full refund, no questions asked, even if they choose to keep their $99 device. Or they can ask for a new device. Consumers can request their refund starting Dec. 9 here. People who received an UP as a gift will also be able to participate in the refund. As an alternative to the refund, Jawbone is also offering users credit toward a purchase of another Jawbone product.
– The company said it will resume taking orders once the issues have been fixed. And it will continue to push out software updates.
– Finally, Fitbit can be bought in the UK – £79.99 – from end of December
26:33 – Netherlands Anti-Piracy Group caught Pirating
– Anti-piracy group BREIN is caught up in a huge copyright scandal in the Netherlands. A musician who composed a track for use at a local film festival later found it being used without permission in an anti-piracy campaign. He is now claiming at least a million euros for the unauthorized distribution of his work on DVDs. To make matters even worse, a board member of a royalty collection agency offered to help the composer to recoup the money, but only if he received 33% of the loot.
29:53 – RIM take a charge
– announced it will book a $485 million write down on its large PlayBook tablet inventory in the company’s fiscal third quarter.
– The struggling Canadian device maker said it shipped around 150,000 PlayBooks to its channel partners during Q3, but sell-through to end users over the same period was higher than that amount, indicating retailers had leftover inventory. By comparison RIM shipped 200,000 tablets during its fiscal second quarter, and half a million in Q1 when the PlayBook first went on sale.
– In a statement RIM said it will require “an increase in promotional activity” to drive sales to end users, blaming weak demand on the competitive tablet market and the delay in the release of its PlayBook OS 2.0 software update.
31:52 – Web OS is Open Sourced
– HP to open source Web OS
– Say’s that new HP hardware will use Web OS
– Says they will make updates to it
– Reality is it’s dead? Android is the open source winner in the mobile and tablet space – can’t see it ever getting traction
33:08 – Facebook buys Gowalla
– Talent buy or killing a rival?
– Won’t buy app or data
– Service will wind down in January – plan to provide a way of exporting data
35:43 – Path v2
– For iOS and Android
– Private social network – quite lovely – so many novel design features
38:15 – Flipboard
– Really well done implementation of the iPad app
39:41 – iPlayer Update
– Now for iPhone, iPod Touch
– Also supports Airplay
– Streaming over 3G
– The Android version of the app remains restricted to wi-fi connections for the time being, but the BBC said a web version of the software would support 3G streams soon.
– The BBC said it had worked closely with network operators, but analysts fear it could put their systems under strain.
40:20 – Micorsoft release iOS Apps
– Skydrive – simple cloud app
– Kinectimals – good version of Xbox game
41:44 – GTA III for iOS and Android
– High end devices only
– Dec 15th – $4.99
– iOS: iPad 1 and 2, iPhone 4 and 4S, iPod touch 4th Generation
Android Phones: HTC Rezound, LG Optimus 2x, Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung Galaxy R, T-Mobile G2x
Android Tablets: Acer Iconia, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, Dell Streak 7, LG Optimus Pad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, Sony Tablet S, Toshiba Thrive
– Virtual controls will be awkward?
42:44 – Skyrim
– Don’t look too close, and it’s absolutely beautiful – and soooo atmospheric.
– Personally find it quite hard but a fantastic time-sink.
– Only scratched the outer surface but impressed.
– Paul has got totally consumed by this game – which is extremely unlike him.
44:06 – XBox Dash Update
– New look – Metro UI
– New features – cloud storage of profile, Windows Phone app, iOS app – big surprise, voice search via connect, beacon
– Better?
– BBC not available until 2012, still not sure what will actually appear

Predictions
Ian
– Best Tech – iMac, Airport Extreme, Fitbit, Halo Reach
– Worst Tech – PS3
– 2012 Predictions
– iPad 3 – retina display iPad – will be buying
– See the new Xbox
– New Wii a flop compared to previous Nintendo consoles
– Apple growth slows – reaching a saturation point on iOS
Chris
– Best Tech – iPad 2 is a great bit of kit that has seeped into my daily routines. Love my Blue Yeti Pro mic.
– Worst Tech – Not so much worst tech – but annoyance that some of the biggest moves have been “US Only” this year. Kindle Fire is now rumoured for UK in new year… but still no announcements on content deals. iCloud ahead of the curve of peoples internet connections. No tablets taking it to Apple yet. PS hate the magic mouse. I know it’s not a “this year” thing! But I detest it that much, this one spans the ages.
– 2012 Predictions
– I will lose some of my life to rFactor 2,Looking forward to Mass Effect 3 and surely new Ghost Recon will be out! PS3/XBOX rumours will ramp up – if one gets announced, the other will be hot on the tails. Believe that they want current boxes to last till 2013 though. Surely iPlayer WILL make it to XBOX this year!!!
– Siri to iPad 3. Apple need some bigger (less incremental) products to herald the “post Jobs” era. Return of the “One more thing”. A lot of Bull Crap will be spread about iPad 3 and iPhone 5 that never materialises.
– Haven’t seen the “next big thing” that I see killing it next year… guess that’s the state of the economy… So an evolution year likely. Tweaks rather than revolution.
Henry
– Best Tech – iPad 2, trello.com
– Worst Tech – NFC – not so much bad tech as just not delivering on promise.
– 2012 Predictions
– Samsung to become #1 mobile manufacturer by market share
– Apple will not release a TV

DigitalOutbox Episode 99

DigitalOutbox Episode 99
In this episode the team say Goodbye to Flash Mobile and Best Buy UK and hello to a little bit of Fenton.

Playback
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Shownotes
2:31 – Best Buy UK No More
– In a joint venture with CPW launched last year, Best Buy opened 11 giant outlets in the UK, employing some 1,100 staff, all of which will be shuttered.
– The battered retail sector forced Best Buy to freeze store expansion plans as losses for the joint venture tripled in the last full financial year. The JV is expected to be £35m in the red when half-year figures are released this week.
– “After conducting a thorough strategic review of our operations, we believe that our capital investment and ‘connectivity’ strategy should be prioritised within our Carphone Warehouse stores as they offer a higher and proven rate of return,” said Andrew Harrison, CEO of Best Buy Europe.
– Comet sold for £2 and lots of conditions around debt and pensions – a real struggle for electrical retailers right now
5:47 – Google + Brands
– Anyone can create a page
– Not necessary to authorise – easy to create duplicates – I did
– Can verify by adding code to your site and/or the Google+ button
– No shared admin but allegedly coming soon
– Feels pretty rushed – in fact it’s a mess
12:01 – Adobe kills development on Flash Mobile
– After many promises and many a key bullet point for Android devices, Adobe have announced that they will no longer produce/focus on Flash for Mobile browsers
– Steve Jobs wins? I think we all do – focus is on HTML5 and hopefully puts to an end the battery and CPU hog that is Flash on mobiles
– Most have said that mobile is the future of t’internet – does this mean an exit from Flash on the desktop too? 2-3 years left?
– Silverlight looks to be on the way out too – next release will be last release worked on by MS
16:04 – COD Modern Warfare 3 Sales Record
– Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has set a new record for the biggest ever entertainment launch. The game’s publisher, Activision Blizzard, has claimed that in the US and UK alone, the military shooter sold over 6.5m units within 24 hours of its launch on Tuesday, raising $400m in sales revenues.
– The figures are based on data from Charttrack as well as customer sell-through information. It is a third consecutive sales record for the Call of Duty series. 2009’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sold 4.7m copies in 24 hours earning $310m in revenue, while last year’s Call of Duty: Black Op hit 5.6m copies in its first day.
18:22 – 4G trial coming to London
– London will begin to switch on 4G high-speed mobile internet with the launch of the first large-scale public trial in Britain.
– Initiated by O2, Britain’s second largest operator with 22 million customers, the trial involves more than 25 masts covering 15 square miles in Canary Wharf, Soho, Westminster, South Bank and King’s Cross. It will run for nine months, and the equipment installed will eventually become part of O2’s first commercial 4G network.
– The technology is 10 times faster at navigating the internet than the current 3G networks, which often frustrate smartphone users because they are significantly slower than the average home broadbandconnection. The 25 masts in London will be able to carry more data than O2’s entire national 3G network.
– Britain’s 4G or long-term evolution (LTE) upgrade, expected to begin in earnest in 2013 after a much delayed spectrum auction, will make mobile networks powerful enough to handle video calls, high definition TV and live multi-player gaming. About 1,000 users will be invited to join the London trial, including staff at John Lewis department stores, O2 customers and selected small businesses.
21:00 – Virtual rush hour slows down broadband
– There is a virtual rush hour after the real one, and it slows down people who want to get things done there, too.
– New research has found that broadband download speeds in the UK drop by an average of 35% during the evening as millions of technology users go online and find themselves competing for the same bandwidth on phone lines in their area.
– The study by uSwitch.com analysed data from 2m broadband speed tests across Britain, and revealed a huge fluctuation in surfing speeds during peak and off-peak times.
– Those who navigate the web during the morning hours of 2am and 3am get the quickest download times, with a fastest average download speed of 9.6Mbps, analysts found.
– By contrast those who surf the web between 7pm and 9pm – the peak period when most people get home and go online – face the slowest times, with average speeds dropping by a third to 6.2Mbps.
23:11 – While in America
– Kindle Fire launches – ok to good reviews, some disappointed with software but that can be fixed
– iTunes match launches – generally positive, initially overwhelmed
– Google Music

Picks
Ian
Google Search for iPad
– Brings Chrome to iPad – almost
– Also enjoying Engadget Distro and Editions from AOL
Chris
Tiny Tower,Groove,W.E.L.D.E.R, Bought The Poke app as it brings much enjoyment through twitter…

DigitalOutbox Episode 98

DigitalOutbox Episode 98
In this episode the team discuss Nokia Windows Phones, iOS battery woes and why Britain loves it’s data.

Playback
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Shownotes
0:43 – Nokia Windows Phone Revealed
– Lumia 800
– The 800 sports a curved 3.7-inch WVGA ClearBlack AMOLED display, a single-core 1.4GHz processor, and 512MB of RAM. Mobile photographers will find much to like about the 8-megapixel camera with a f/2.2 Carl Zeiss lens, and the 16GB of onboard storage should hold quite a few cat pictures. The specs won’t exactly set anyone’s world on fire, but the design might: like the N9 before it, the Lumia 800 features a stunning unibody design that’s shaped out of a slab of durable polycarbonate material.
– The style-conscious among you will also be glad to know that the Lumia 800 comes in three colors: black, cyan, and magenta. Surprisingly, the Lumia 800 is already on its way to France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK in time for a November launch. Customers in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan will be able to nab one by the end of the year, but domestic Windows Phones fans will have to wait until early 2012.
6:14 – Android passes iOS in total app downloads
– Android commanded 44 percent of overall mobile app downloads compared to 31 percent for iOS.
– According to ABI, Android has much bigger install base compared to iOS, with 2.4 users for every iOS user worldwide. By 2016, that gap is expected to grow to 3:1. But even with the bigger footprint, iOS users still download more apps individually than average Android users by a 2 to 1 ratio.
– Apple is still the No. 1 focus for most developers because of the fact that it’s a better place to monetize apps; Ovum predicts iOS will still generate more in paid download revenue in 2016 with iOS making $2.86 billion compared to $1.5 billion for Android. As I wrote about before, Apple customers are also more interested in downloading a wider variety of apps, which is helpful for developers.
9:23 – Apple admit iOS 5 battery issues
– “A small number of customers have reported lower than expected battery life on iOS 5 devices,” Apple said in a statement to AllThingsD. “We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks.”
– Apple didn’t say exactly what the “few bugs” were, but leading candidates right now are iCloud sync and notifications. Apple has just posted a developer beta for iOS 5.0.1, with the following changelog:
– iOS 5.0.1 beta contains improvements and other bug fixes including:
– Fixes bugs affecting battery life
– Adds Multitasking Gestures for original iPad
– Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud
– Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation
– Contains security improvements
13:21 – Siri does not understand the Scots
– Problems with Scots accent
– Really. So surprised…
17:10 – Mobile britain – all about the data
– Staggeringly, 97% of all the traffic that now travels through our network is data. That’s amazing.
– It’s even more amazing when you know that since June last year and September this year (just 14 months) we’ve seen a 427% increase in data usage on Three for smartphone customers. Downloading apps, streaming movies, getting around town with Google Maps, even checking in on Facebook – it all adds up, and you’re doing it now more than ever.
19:57 – Home data rates are staggering too
– The average home broadband user downloads 17 gigabytes (GB) of data each month, equivalent to streaming 12 hours of high-definition content from the BBC’s iPlayer, as data use has increased sevenfold over the past five years, says a new report.
– At the same time 97% of UK premises – and 66% of the country – can get a voice signal outdoors from each of the mobile networks O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone, while 73% of premises and 13% of the country can access 3G data signals, according to research by the communications watchdog Ofcom.
– Internet service providers confirmed that customers’ data demands have increased dramatically as people have begun to adopt video catchup services and “cloud” services such as YouTube, Flickr and Facebook.
– Virgin Media told the Guardian that customers on faster lines use proportionally more data: those on its 10 megabit per second (Mbps) lines use about 19GB a month on average, while those using its 100Mbps lines consume 130GB. As the figures are averages, though, some people using filesharing networks may be downloading considerably more, said a Virgin spokesperson. TalkTalk said the average user downloads 13GB. BT declined to give figures.
22:19 – Netflix to hit UK in early 2012
– Netflix today said it will offer “unlimited TV shows and films streaming instantly over the internet to TVs and computers for one low monthly subscription price”.
– Streaming only, no DVD rentals
– Another step to cutting Sky or Virgin?
– No idea on price or range
– Dropped 800,000 subscribers in latest figures, and despite healthy revenues has said that they will move to net loss with roll out in UK & Ireland
– Shares dropped 37% – ouch
25:46 – SeeSaw goes Bye Bye
– The British streaming television service, SeeSaw, has been closed down.
– The website had been online less than two years, offering content from BBC Worldwide, Channel 4, Channel Five and several production companies.
– A group of investors led by Criterion Capital Partners took a majority stake in the business in July. CCP also owns the social network Bebo. Experts said the business was squeezed out by bigger players in the online video market.
– SeeSaw was created by the media services company, Arqiva, in February 2010. It used assets from the aborted catch-up TV platform, Project Kangeroo, which had been rejected by the UK’s competition regulator.
– It offered a range of free-to-watch programmes supported by advertising, with an optional fee to turn the adverts off. It also had premium pay-to-watch shows.
26:58 – BT given 14 days to block Newzbin 2
– BT has been given 14 days to block access to a website accused of promoting illegal filesharing “on a grand scale” by Hollywood studios, in the first high court ruling of its kind under UK copyright law.
– Wednesday’s court order also allows for the blocking of any other IP or internet address that the operators of the Newzbin2 site might look to use to continue to offer copyrighted content to users.
– The judge said that limiting the blocking order to the Newzbin2 site would be “too easily circumvented to be effective” because the site’s owners have already made available software that could allow users to get around a BT block.
– He backed the studios’ proposal that BT should also move to block “any other IP address or URL whose sole or predominant purpose is to enable or facilitate access to the Newzbin[2] website”.
– “Furthermore, I do not consider that the studios should be obliged to return to court for an order in respect of every single IP address or URL that the operators of Newzbin2 may use,” he added.
– The court said BT must foot the bill for the cost of implementing the web block on Newzbin2. BT, which argued that the creative industries should pay, has estimated the cost to be about £5,000 and £100 for each subsequent notification.
– App launched by Newzbin to get around the block
30:34 – Borrow Kindle books…if your a prime user…and live in the US
– The new Lending Library turns your Kindle into a sort of virtual library, with currently 5,000 titles you can borrow from Amazon, including 100 New York Times bestsellers. You can borrow one book a month by going to the “Kindle Owners’ Lending Library” in the Kindle Store on your Kindle device. Books with the Prime icon can be borrowed for free for the month (as long as you’re a Prime member). Correction: There are no due dates, but you can only have one book out at a time.
– Only works with Kindle devices – not Kindle software
– So prime in the US gives you lending and free streaming as well as the free day shipping
– UK is free next day shipping only – will that change when the content dels are in place
33:19 – HP Reverses
– Will retain PC division
– Now that the Personal Systems Group is staying part of HP, the board of directors feels that it can “drive profitable growth” and assist other parts of HP’s business.
– Web OS seemingly still for the chop – tablets will use Windows 8
– But they are still trying to maintain developer interest by offering cheap tablets to them…
34:57 – Google+ Updates
– Google+ now works for Google App users – finally
– Launches Whats Hot
– Exposing popular posts, not just from your circles
– Ripples
– Visualise how a story was shared
– Experimental but nice
– Creative Kit
– Add filters, effects, text to your images with ease
– After a release that the tech community loved – and praised fairly universally – pretty sure that takeup is pretty inconsequential… Can it survive? Not a daily visit on my we travels any more.
– Another Bing?
38:15 – Google TV Updates
– It’s coming to UK soon so worth mentioning this update
– Reworked UI – proper 10 foot interface
– New apps
– Android Marketplace
– Doesn’t replace Sky or Virgin, but to be used alongside those devices
41:01 – Google Reader Updates
– Removed sharing
– Everything through Google+
– Can’t follow others
– New design shows more white, shows less er page, is harder to understand
– iOS Gmail app released
– Basically a wrapper around a web app
– Attachments and notifications only real difference
– Except notifications are broke
– Only supports one gmail account
– An hour after release they pull the app and apologise
– Google figure out a way to get around the iOS limitation of 100 beta testers
– Seriously though – why do this?
48:24 – Facebook Stats
– Ahead of new trusted Friends feature, Faceook unleashed some pretty amazing stats
– every day, “only .06%” of Facebook’s 1 billion logins are compromised. Or, to put it another way, 600,000 logins per day are compromised.
– Less than 4% of the content shared on Facebook is spam (vs. 89.1% of email is spam)
– Less than 5% of Facebook users experience spam on any given day
– 50% of Facebook’s 750+ million users login to Facebook every day (wait, aren’t we up to 800 million now? Must be an old infographic).
– The average user has 130 friends
– People spend over 700 billion minutes on the site per month
52:41 – Batman and other games
– Batman
– Another epic and deeply atmospheric chapter. Powerful end to story as well.
– Clever sandbox environment/story as well.
– Finishing main story line represents under 50% of game completion with challenge maps, side missions and riddlers tropies/riddles making up remainder.
– Serious no no… save game issues still… Extremely easy to corrupt a save file and then all progress lost. Only option to start again. Happened to me at 25% and a search around the internet turned up plenty more pissed off people. Also, issue with game failing to recognise downloaded content and then failing to load. Again, big no no.
– Battlefield
– Uncharted 3
– GTA V trailer – return to San Andreas
– MW3 just around the corner
– Threats from MS they will ban players playing early… even if you bought a legit copy, legitimately… Like to see the fallout from that one?

Picks
Chris
Jetpack Joyride
– Great game for iOS devices
– Using different weapons try and fly for as long as possible
– Good graphics and sound
Ian
idonethis
– Mails you once a day, you reply with events you’ve done that day
– Email only – can’t edit via website
– Calendar viewable online or shared via secret url into Google Calendar or iCal
– Nice way of tracking events – can be exported from site

DigitalOutbox Episode 97

DigitalOutbox Episode 97
In this episode the team discuss Apple, Android 4 and poor old RIM.

Playback
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Shownotes
3:31 – Apple
– Steve Jobs dies
– iOS 5 – error 3200 trending world wide on twitter, Ian- reboot machine after each iOS device upgrade failed
– Newsstand working well
– Wired supports it, and print subscribers will get access to iPad editions at no extra cost – lovely
– Guardian iPad app supporting Newsstand as well
– Lots and lots of Future mags supporting Newsstand
– iPhone 4S
– In non-U.S. countries, or if you’re not using U.S. English as your device language, Siri can’t look for businesses, use maps or access traffic info. So asking it to find the best route to your cousin’s house in Germany won’t produce results, nor will inquiring about restaurants in your immediate vicinity.
– iCloud – took 36 hours before I could move and enable
– Half baked – Mac syncing of docs gone, many third party app’s in the dark. Sharing docs with the Mac is pretty awful
– Despite that, 4 million 4S’s sold in three days – double the sale rate of iPhone 4 at launch
21:11 – Box.net
– Twenty-four hours after Apple released iOS 5 and accompanying iCloud storage offering, Box has announced that they’re offering iPad and iPhone users 50 gigabytes of free storage starting tonight. It’s also increasing file upload limit from 25 MB to 100 MB.
To get that amount of storage from iCloud, users have to fork over $100 per year to Apple.
– Box’s promotion is good for the next 50 days, but once redeemed, the data is good for life. To activate it, simply download the latest version of Box for iOS and log into (or create) your account.
22:43 – Blackberry Outage
– Down for three days
– No internet, twitter, Facebook or BBM
– Horrible time for this to happen
– Affected people on 4 continents and indeed spread to America
– Apology from CEO
– Failure allegedly in Slough
26:30 – Google Fall Sweep
– At the start of September Google killed a slew of products – now it’s killing a few more
– Here’s the latest update on what’s happening:
Code Search, which was designed to help people search for open source code all over the web, will be shut down along with the Code Search API on January 15, 2012.
– In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it usingGoogle Takeout.
– Jaiku, a product we acquired in 2007 that let users send updates to friends, will shut down on January 15, 2012. We’ll be working to enable users to export their data from Jaiku.
– Several years ago, we gave people the ability to interact socially on iGoogle. With our new focus on Google+, we will remove iGoogle’s social features on January 15, 2012. iGoogle itself, and non-social iGoogle applications, will stay as they are.
– The University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to our search results for a small number of approved academic researchers, will close on January 15, 2012.
– In addition, later today the Google Labs site will shut down, and as previously announced, Boutiques.com and the former Like.com websites will be replaced by Google Product Search.
29:03 – Youtube offers film rentals in the UK
– Video site YouTube has started a movie rental service in the UK.
Blockbusters such as The Dark Knight and classics including The Birds can be watched via the site. In total, about 1,000 movies have been made available.
– New releases will cost £3.49 to rent and library titles £2.49. Users have 30 days to begin watching a film, and 48 hours to finish it once they start.
– Most aren’t HD – 480p, DVD quality
– Does show ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and information about the films from elsewhere
31:09 – Google Books hits the UK
– Readers in the UK now have access to the world’s largest ebooks collection, with hundreds of thousands of ebooks for sale – from major UK publishers like Hachette, Random House and Penguin – as well as more than two million public domain ebooks for free.
– Just as in the US, we’ve designed the Google eBooks platform in the UK to be open. You can purchase, download and view Google eBooks on many devices: Android and Apple tablets and smartphones, the Google eBooks Web Reader and eReaders from Sony, Kobo, Elonex, and more. Your Google eBooks are stored in the cloud, so you can easily access them and continue reading wherever you last left off, regardless of which device you were on.
– We’ve partnered with independent booksellers, so you will soon be able to buy Google eBooks through your favourite bookstore. Booksellers like Gardners’ Hive, as well as others to come, will be selling Google eBooks in the UK. We’re also working with local retailers like Blackwell’s as affiliate partners.
32:24 – New Android Devices
41:08 – Android 4 – Ice Cream Sandwich revealed
– New UI – toned down honeycomb but still has that Tronesque UI
– No more physical buttons
– Native resolution – 720p
– Near instantaneous voice dictation
– Face unlock
– Android Beam – uses NFC to communicate between Android devices – contacts, video’s, URLS – API to come to allow developers to use it
– Camera app – brings many of the iOS UI features, gallery also improved bringing filters
– Lots of cloud enhancements
– Lots of tweaks throughout the OS
– SDK for dev’s already released
– Most gingerbread running phones should be able to run 4
47:24 – WH Smiths to launch e-book reader
– The UK newsagent will begin selling the Kobo reader from the Canadian company of the same name on 17 October.
– Kobo has e-book stores in Canada and Australia, and the WHSmith deal will bring its 2.2m – of which 1m are freebies: out-of-copyright classics and the like – to UK high streets.
– WHSmith will offer two devices: a basic £90 model and an upgraded version with a touch-sensitive screen for £110.
48:38 – Shopping centre calls police for father taking illegal pictures of his daughter
– Chris White claims a security guard told him that the pictures, taken at the Braehead centre near Glasgow on Friday afternoon, were “illegal”.
– The guard allegedly then asked Mr White to delete the photographs, taken on his mobile phone. Mr White, a mental health trainer, said: “I told him I had taken two photographs of my daughter Hazel, and that since I had already posted them on Facebook there was little point in deleting the pictures.
“The guard then told me to ‘remain right there’ while he called police, which I chose to do.”
– According to Mr White, Hazel was in tears while they waited five minutes for officers to arrive at the scene. He said he was then quizzed by two uniformed policemen who told him there had been a complaint about him taking photographs and that there were “clear signs” in the centre stating that the use of cameras was forbidden.
– Police issued a statement denying the above
– After the story exploded on Twitter and Facebook, Braehead issued an apology
– A spokesman for the centre said it was changing its photography policy with immediate effect to allow people to take pictures of family and friends in the mall. “We have listened to the very public debate surrounding our photography policy and as a result, with immediate effect, are changing the policy to allow family and friends to take photos in the mall. “We will publicise this more clearly in the mall and on our website. We will reserve the right to challenge suspicious behaviour for the safety and enjoyment of our shoppers. “We wish to apologise to Mr White for the distress we may have caused to him and his family and we will be in direct contact with him to apologise properly.”
51:53 – Playstation Vita UK Details
– The Wi-Fi only model will be yours for £230.
– The higher-specced 3G edition will cost £280.
– They’ll arrive on 22 February, 2012
57:24 – Lytro Details
– You won’t be able to get one until early 2012, but you can order one now for $399 (and $499 for a more advanced version).
– In design, Lytro takes more than a couple of cues from Apple. It’s supremely simple, with just two buttons and a slider for zooming. Plus, it’s available in a variety of colors. Hit the shutter button and it takes a picture instantly — no need to wait for it to focus.
– The Lytro is long, thin and small, like a viewfinder with a rubberized end (and nothing at all like a regular camera). Its “electric blue” and “graphite” models will have 8 GB of storage on board, which the company says is enough for 350 light-field pictures. For $100 more, you get 16 GB, with room for 750 pictures and a “fire red” design. (See the different colors below).
– The battery is a selling point, too. You should be able to fill up the entire camera with pictures on a single charge. That translates to about two weeks of battery time, with regular usage.
– Desktop editor only supports Mac

Picks
Ian
PressPausePlay
– The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent of people in an unprecedented way, unleashing unlimited creative opportunites.
– But does democratized culture mean better art, film, music and literature or is true talent instead flooded and drowned in the vast digital ocean of mass culture? Is it cultural democracy or mediocrity?
– This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the world’s most influential creators of the digital era.
– Buy on iTunes (£9.99, or rent) or Amazon….or download via torrent for free

DigitalOutbox Episode 96

DigitalOutbox Episode 96
In this episode the team discuss the Facebook Timeline, Amazons New Fire and the Apple iPhone 4S.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:17 – Facebook F8
– What Zuckerberg showed was a beautiful new Profile that is much more visual than anything Facebook has done before. To be honest, it looks a bit like a really nice Tumblr blog. It has three main parts:
all your stories
all your apps
a new way to express who you are – And it goes all the way back to when you were born.
– Music
– Greater integration with Spotify et all
– Tracks played are listed on Facebook – click on track and it will open Spotify and synchronise playback
– Spotify also open to all and gifting 6 months subs to all new users worldwide
– News
– News app’s will highlight what your reading on your wall
– Others can click and read post
– Can like etc from within app
– Guardian, Washington Post, The Daily partnering at launch
16:06 – HP Gets a New Boss
– Meg Whitman has been named president and CEO of Hewlett-Packard, replacing fellow HP board member Leo Apotheker
– The move follows several months of angst capped by high drama in August, when Apotheker confirmed reports that the company might sell or spin off its big PC business and nuke its tablet effort. That, along with his plan to drop more than $10 billion to buy Autonomy Corp. PLC, sparked a furor that has yet to subside.
– Whitman was lauded for building eBay into an online auction powerhouse, but her later years there were marred by a disastrous $2.5 2.6 billion purchase of Skype in 2005. Two years later, eBay took a $1.4 billion write-off on that deal.
18:36 – Scots want .scot
– The Scottish government has asked the UK culture minister to back its bid for a .scot domain when applications for new top-level domain names open in January.
In a letter sent to Ed Vaizey today, Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment in Scotland, said that the .scot domain would bring together “a worldwide family of Scots” and give them a place “to demonstrate that identity online”.
– The new domain would pay for itself too, claims Neil, “we believe there is strong demand for a dot-scot domain and that it should be run as a public resource on a not-for-profit basis that will quickly become self financing.”
– The Scottish government has officially thrown its backing behind DSR, the Dot Scot Registry, a campaign group that has been preparing its bid for the domain since it was announced two years ago that new TLDs would be introduced.
– If it would pay for itself, why doesn’t the Scottish government buy it? Twats.
21:02 – Technology in the Docks
– An unfortunate 19-year-old last week received a harsh lesson in the subtleties of courtroom policy over photography. The teenager was sitting in the public gallery of Luton crown court last Friday when he received a message from a friend asking him where he was. To explain why he couldn’t talk, he recorded a shot on his BlackBerry’s camera and sent the picture to her of the courtroom. The police officers in the dock noticed.
– The phone was seized and the youth, Paul Thompson, was taken down to the cells under arrest. An hour later Thompson reappeared in court, was charged with contempt of court and sentenced to two months in prison.
– Swift justice, undoubtedly. Judge Barbara Mensah told Thompson:
There are notices all around the court building about not taking photographs in court. This is a serious offence and the message must go out that people cannot take photos.
– Contempt of court is one of those offences for which a wide range of punishments may be imposed. There do not appear, as yet, to be any specific sentencing guidelines on how to deal with snap-happy mobile users. Last September, the Ministry of Justice revealed that 24 people were at that time locked up for a variety of contempt offences.
22:23 – Mobile coverage expanded in £150m plan
– George Osborne has promised £150m of government money to get mobile coverage to 99% of the UK, ensuring even the most remote beauty spots will no longer escape the chirping of portable phones.
– The chancellor’s money, to be gathered from government department underspends, will ensure up to 6 million more people will be able to get a signal. Mobile coverage reaches 95% of the UK, although in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland masts only reach 90% of locations.
– The money will be used to pay for new masts, with procurement expected to begin next year. Osborne hopes to improve coverage for voice calls and data connections for internet services.
– Voice signals should reach more rural areas by 2013, while data connections will come when the networks begin to roll out 4G spectrum. The government’s auction of 4G airwaves is due to take place next summer, with faster data networks up and running by the following year, although there are fears it could be delayed.
26:04 – Amazons new Kindles
– Kindle Fire
– the Kindle Fire is a 7-inch tablet running Android and functioning as a “souped-up version of the Kindle.” To reach that keen price, Amazon has eschewed the integration of a camera, microphone or 3G, though the Fire will come with WiFi and a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime. Prime membership typically costs $79 per year and grants the benefits of free two-day shipping and access to Amazon’s video-streaming service.
– the Kindle Fire has a Gorilla Glass-protected, multitouch-capable IPS display, a TI OMAP4 dual-core processor, and at 14.6 ounces (413g), a pretty lightweight frame. The resolution on that screen is 1024 x 600, same as on RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook, and the Kindle Fire’s physical dimensions are 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45 inches (190 x 120 x 11.5mm). There’s 8GB of built-in storage and the battery’s rated to last for eight hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback (with WiFi switched off). A 3.5mm headphone jack is naturally included as is a pair of top-mounted stereo speakers.
– On the software front, we’re told that Amazon has “painted over the rough surfaces” of Android with its own, more accessible user interface and has closely tied the device with its content library. That includes the Amazon App Store, which has grown to number over 10,000 applications, and what’s described as a “lightning-fast web browser” running on Amazon’s EC2 cloud computing engine. Calling it Silk, Bezos explains that it splits the workload between the Kindle Fire and Amazon’s cloud, doing some backend hocus pocus to streamline what gets to your device. All other media and content on the Kindle Fire will also be backed up to the cloud, so you can delete things without a care. One final note of software import: the Fire supports Flash!
– Magazines, books, video, apps, games, music, web – A true consumption device all backed up to the cloud…for free
– In addition to all of the digital content we associate with Amazon, including video, audio, and Kindle e-books, the company has announced that the Kindle Fire Newsstand will stock “100 exclusive graphic novels” from DC Entertainment. Titles include Watchmen, Batman: Arkham City, Superman: Earth One, and Green Lantern: Secret Origin. If comics aren’t your style, you can look forward to seeing “hundreds of magazines and newspapers” available in Fire-optimized form, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Wired, Elle, The New Yorker, Cosmopolitan, and a particular favorite around the Verge offices, Martha Stewart Living. As an added bonus, Kindle Fire customers will enjoy free three-month access to a selection of 17 Condé Nast publications.
– The Kindle Fire will ship in the US (and only in the US, there are no plans for an international launch yet) on November 15th for $199 and pre-orders are now being taken at the link below.
– Great at that price as well – really is a great shopfront for Amazon
45:01 – Samsung and Microsoft licencing deal
– They decided to cross-license their patent portfolios. This would better protect both companies from outside attacks moving forward.
Past that, Samsung will pay Microsoft royalties for all phones and tablets running the Android platform.
– 7th Android company to reach agreement with MS over Android
– Google aren’t happy:
– “This is the same tactic we’ve seen time and again from Microsoft. Failing to succeed in the smartphone market, they are resorting to legal measures to extort profit from others’ achievements and hinder the pace of innovation. We remain focused on building new technology and supporting Android partners.”
– Microsoft’s response, via a tweet from Microsoft’s head of communications, Frank Shaw
– let me boil down the Google statement they gave to @parislemon, from 48 words to 1: Waaaah.
49:14 – Firefox 7
– Improved memory handling
– Improved performance
– Version 7? 4 came out in March this year!
50:47 – New delicious launches
– Delicious relaunch
– Now with stacks – group links together and share – looks more visual
– Buggy, RSS issues, some character issues
– Pinboard looking far better compared with the refreshed giant
51:30 – Adobe acquires Typekit
– Adobe has acquired Typekit
– Team will remain, Typekit will remain a standalone product, as well as become a vital part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud.
54:46 – Onlive Finally Launches in the UK
– Gamers will gain access to nearly 150 top-tier titles on Thursday asOnLive, the on-demand cloud gaming service, launches in the UK. Consumers can sign up for free at and stream triple-A games via almost any broadband Internet connection to their HDTV, PC or Mac. OnLive says the service will soon extend to iPad and Android tablets.
– OnLive founder and CEO Steve Perlman says the cloud-gaming service can offer game experiences on virtually any connected device.
– “OnLive is incredibly excited to bring instant-play, on-demand cloud gaming to the UK,” said Perlman. “It’s an entirely new way of experiencing top-tier video games, anywhere, anytime with awesome cloud-powered features and community unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.”
– Among the titles on offer through OnLive’s service are recent releases such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution, DiRT 3, Homefront and F.E.A.R. 3. Players can also gain access to top-rated titles such as Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Lego Harry Potter: Years 1-4 and Batman: Arkham Asylum.
– Gamers who sign up for OnLive’s services have several offers in front of them. First-time buyers can purchase their OnLive PlayPass Game for just £1.
56:51 – BBC coming to Xbox by year end
– Microsoft announce TV content deals for Xbox
– BBC, LOVEFiLM, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are all coming to Xbox Live later this year
– Finally
59:20 – Apple Keynote
– iOS 5
– Top ten features – Notifications, iMessage, Reminders, Twitter Integration, Newsstand, Camera, Safari, Mail, PC Free
– Free update, October 12th
– iCloud
– iTunes in the cloud
– Photo sharing
– Oct 12th for iCloud enabled iOS iWork apps
– New – Find my Friends – See where friends and family are, temp sharing option, simple privacy, worst looking interface ever
– iTunes Match – $25 a year, says it will stream music as well, End Oct for US, end of the year for other countries
– iPod Nano
– Updated
– Swipe between icons
– Tracks walks and runs
– Added 16 new clock faces due to popularity of watch cases
– $129 for 8GB nano, $149 for 16GB, available today – £115, £129
– iPod touch
– No 1 portable games device
– Now comes in white and black
– $199 for 8Gb, $299 for 32, $399 for 64 – available October 12th – £169, £249, £329
– iPhone 4S
– Same externally, all new internally
– A5 chip (not in the iPod touch!)
– 2x CPU, 7x graphic performance
– Improved battery life!
– Download speeds doubled – 14.4Mbps theoretical maximum
– Has both GSM and CDMA – a world phone finally
– Camera – 8 Megapixel, more light, high end IR filter, five element lens, 2-3 times quicker at taking pictures – quite an impressive camera upgrade
– Video recording – 1080p, real-time video image stabilization, real-time temporal noise reduction
– Airplay mirroring
– Siri – intelligent voice recognition – some great demo’s, whats the weather, read my messages etc – will it work with Glaswegian accent though? Answer that Apple! Can set up invites, query Wikipedia and Wolfram Alpha – very nice. Dictation support as well – speak in your natural language
– White and black
– Same pricing as iPhone 4 – with 16, 32 and 64gb versions
– iPhone 4 – $99, iPhone 3GS – free
– Pre-order from Oct 7th
– Released – Oct 14th
– no iPhone 5, no Facebook blah blah blah
1:29:04 – Zune killed
– Zune finally removed from sale in the US, no new players will be launched

Picks
Henry
Machinarium
– Great game now out for iPad 2 (only – don’t buy if you’ve an iPad 1)
Visualize
– Free and paid options
– take photo’s and put them together in a montage
– scrapbook app
Ian
Frozen Synapse humble bundle
– Edge gave it a 9, describing it as a top-down, turn-based Counter-Strike…normally $25
– Supports multiplayer 🙂
– 55 single player missions
– There are a wealth of game modes besides – ones which demand territorial control, hostage rescue, or the plundering of data – each of which can be played ‘dark’, meaning that only the last known location of enemy troops is visible to you. Then there’s the matchmaking, in-built chat and integration with YouTube: this is a sizable offering. Yet, thanks to its gripping central tenets of simultaneous scheming and emergent multiplayer, you may never even notice.
– Pay over the average ($4.50) and you get Trine, Survivor and a couple of other games – total bundle price is $49
– Deal ends on October 12th
Chris
Chrome Experiments
– I have a feeling that I have already had this as a pick. But things have moved on. Incredibly impressive browser based demos, games, features experiments. WebGL has moved things on hugely. Unbelievable that they can now render in a browser what used to take a supercomputer weeks of computation.