DigitalOutbox Episode 87
In this episode the team discuss Twitter, Eric Schmidt and Activision.
1:16 – Paypal sues Google
– Mentioned PayPal on last podcast in regards Google Wallet and how they would fight to retain their control – hours after we finished PayPal sued Google
– The complaint (embedded below) alleges “misappropriation of trade secrets, and “breach of fiduciary duty.” It revolves around Osama Bedier, who was the VP of Platform, Mobile, and New Ventures at PayPal before he was recruited to work at Google by Android chief Andy Rubin, Google co-founder Larry Page, and Bedier’s former PayPal colleague Stephanie Tilenius (who now heads up Commerce and Payments at Google, and I interviewed yesterday onstage at Disrupt NYC).
The lawsuit reveals that Google was negotiatiating with PayPal for two years to power payments on mobile devices. But just as the deal was about to be signed, Google backed off and instead hired the PayPal executive negotiating the deal—Bedier.
– Inferring that Google bought the knowledge and then used it to launch google Wallet
3:41 – SeeSaw Closes
– SeeSaw, UK based video TV venture to close
– At its launch in February last year, SeeSaw offered 3,000 hours of free programmes including Skins, Kingdom and Doc Martin. Three months later it began offering paid-for content, with 1,000 hours of shows including South Park and Spooks, and struck deals with US broadcasters including MTV and NBC Universal.
– But third-party internet TV aggregators have strugged to compete with broadcasters’ own in-house on-demand services, and SeeSaw failed to gain a significant following compared to rival offerings such as the BBC’s iPlayer, ITV Player and Channel 4’s on-demand service, 4oD.
– We first covered this back on Episode 37 and said we couldn’t see a reason to use this over iPlayer, 4OD etc
7:15 – Lodsys responds to Apple
– Sues developers and chases Android dev’s too
– Says if it has improperly targeted a developer it will give them $1000
12:09 – Apple responds to Malware
– Security update that spots and removes MacDefender and will update daily for new varients
15:24 – Twitter in UK Legal Landmark
– Twitter has been forced to hand over the personal details of a British user in a libel battle that could have huge implications for free speech on the web.
– The social network has passed the name, email address and telephone number of a south Tyneside councillor accused of libelling the local authority via a series of anonymous Twitter accounts. South Tyneside council took the legal fight to the superior court of California, which ordered Twitter, based in San Francisco, to hand over the user’s private details.
– It is believed to be the first time Twitter has bowed to legal pressure to identify anonymous users and comes amid a huge row over privacy and free speech online.
– Ahmed Khan, the south Tyneside councillor accused of being the author of the pseudonymous Twitter accounts, described the council’s move as “Orwellian”. Khan received an email from Twitter earlier this month informing him that the site had handed over his personal information. He denies being the author of the allegedly defamatory material.
– “I don’t fully understand it but it all relates to my Twitter account and it not only breaches my human rights, but it potentially breaches the human rights of anyone who has ever sent me a message on Twitter.
– “A number of whistleblowers have sent me private messages, exposing any wrongdoing in the council, and the authority knows this.”
– He added: “I was never even told they were taking this case to court in California. The first I heard was when Twitter contacted me. I had just 14 days to defend the case and I was expected to fly 6,000 miles and hire my own lawyer – all at my expense.
22:41 – Twitter Integrates photos and improves Search
– New version of search – more relevant tweets – huge opportunity for twitter in realtime search
– Also show relevant photos and videos
– Speaking of photo’s…
– Over the next several weeks, we’ll be releasing a feature to upload a photo and attach it to your Tweet right from Twitter.com. And of course, you’ll soon be able to easily do this from all of our official mobile apps. A special thanks to our partner Photobucket for hosting these photos behind the scenes.
– For users without smartphones, we’re working with mobile carriers around the world so you can also send photos via text message (MMS). Share what’s happening in your world, anywhere you are.
24:38 – Eric Schmidt D9 Revelations
– Google is the default search engine for Apple computers and iOS devices (iPhone and iPad). Google Maps also gets featured placement. That’s going to continue. “We have a very,very good search partnership” and map relationship with Apple, Schmidt said, saying that deals on both have been renewed.
– Schmidt said repeatedly that it would be “useful” to get social data from Facebook or elsewhere to improve its own products: “From Google’s perspective, it would be useful to have the information; it would make our products better.” Later, when asked if Google might need to buy Twitter or some other company, he said: “Our social strategy does not acquire the acquisition of any company, because we can get people to give us that information.”
– Google has facial recognition technology, but it’s uncomfortable with how it might be used, so it has withheld it. That’s apparently pretty unique for Google. “As far as I know, it’s the only technology that Google built and stopped,” Schmidt said.
– “Four years ago, I wrote memos on identity and did nothing …. I clearly knew I had to do something, and I failed to do it,” Schmidt said. Why – “I think I was busy,” Schmidt said. “CEOs should take responsibility. I screwed up.
– Mossberg said that Bing seems to have more direct answers in some cases. “There’s that in some narrow cases,” Schmidt said.
There you go — one of the top three execs at Google admitting that Bing beats Google, even if it’s in a narrow case. I’m sure there have been some statements like that before, but they’re few and far between.
32:07 – Button Plague
– Twitter launch Follow button
– The Follow Button is to establish connections with other Twitter users remotely. So if we were to add a Follow Button to the sidebar on DigitalOutbox, with one click, you could follow our account
– Different from the tweet button that tweets content
– Google +1 for websites
– Do you want to +1 a page while you’re on it. After all, how do you know you want to suggest that recipe for chocolate flan if you haven’t tried it out yet?
– Today, we’re releasing +1 buttons to the whole web. As a result, you might start seeing +1 appear on sites large and small across the Internet.
– All competing with Facebook Like button
34:54 – Amazon launch Mac Download Store
– Amazon launches Mac Download store
– 250 titles including MS Office
– No way for independents to submit titles – for now – works with established software sellers only
– Downloads unlimited, linked to your Amazon account
– Another shot across Apple’s bow’s but will Apple users really care with the Mac App store built into OS X?
40:48 – Microsoft make more money from Android than from Windows Phone 7
– Microsoft gets $5 for every HTC phone running Android, according to Citi analyst Walter Pritchard, who released a big report on Microsoft this morning.
– Microsoft is getting that money thanks to a patent settlement with HTC over intellectual property infringement.
– Microsoft is suing other Android phone makers, and it’s looking for $7.50 to $12.50 per device, says Pritchard.
– A rough estimate of the number of HTC Android devices shipped is 30 million. If HTC paid $5 per unit to Microsoft, that adds up to $150 million Android revenues for Microsoft.
– Microsoft has admitted selling 2 million Windows Phone licenses (though not devices.) Estimating that the license fee is $15/WP phone, that makes Windows Phone revenues to date $30 million.
– So Microsoft has received five times more income from Android than from Windows Phone.
44:12 – BT to embrace IPTV
– British Telecom will change the bulk of its broadband network to use multicast routers as from next year – this will mean that full IPTV services, using quality of service protocols, could then be launched for the first time on the BT network.
– at the Connected TV Summit in London last week Steve White, head of information systems and technology for IPTV at BT, said that the BT network was being upgraded to multicast to allow full IPTV. When asked why, White said: “It’s too expensive renting DVB-T multiplex space to deliver Sky Sports to BT Vision customers, so we want to send it multicast.”
– A multicast network uses a Type D internet addressing system whereby content is sent from one point in a network to another, and any branch along the way can opt to also access that address, or not. It is the basis of the Internet Group Management Protocol and is the basis of modern IPTV systems and saves a huge amount of bandwidth, because each TV channel only has to be sent around a city fiber network once, not as multiple unicast copies. Most public broadband networks across Europe do not cater for multicast, except where they have been specifically upgraded for IPTV.
– Potential for BT to launch hundreds of IPTV channels up to HD quality
48:00 – Apple launch iWork on iPhone
– Keynote, Pages and Numbers now available for iPhone
– Universal version so if you’ve bought them for iPad you can now use them on your phone
– £5.99 each or free if you have them for iPad
– Key part of iCloud next week?
51:49 – Call of Duty Elite
– Activision is set to launch a new social gaming platform for fans of its multi-million selling Call of Duty titles. The long-expected service, named Call of Duty Elite, will feature detailed multiplayer gaming statistics, community elements and user-generated content sharing.
– Downloadable map packs and other similar offerings for all subsequent Call of Duty game releases will be included in the monthly subscription fee.
– A public beta will begin in the summer, with a launch following in autumn. Vitally, basic multiplayer gaming will remain free of charge, despite fears that Activision would seek to monetise online play.
– Elite is essentially a thorough online matchmaking service, combined with elements of FaceBook, YouTube and the “Autolog” in-game social networking concept developed by EA for its Need for Speed titles. Players will create a single Elite profile, which then unites their experiences in all CoD titles. Access Elite via console, PC or mobile
– 4 sections – Career – stats on your CoD games, heatmaps of matches etc – Connect – extension of basic matchmaking, search for players by topic, eg photography, groups and clans – Compete – prize events – Improve – hints and tips
– Price – less than other competing services – rumours of $5 a month