DigitalOutbox Episode 94
In this episode the team discuss Steve Jobs, Google, Touchpad and Windows 8
1:43 – Steve Jobs Resigns
– Steve Jobs steps down and will now act as Chairman of Apple and the board
– Tim Cook installed as CEO
– So Steve will still work at Apple, be involved but you’ve got to wonder for how much longer
– Ian – can’t help but feel sad about this, not because of the impact at Apple but how illness looks to have forced Steve Jobs out of a role that he excelled at and whether you like what Apple stands for or not, has shaped the digital world we live in
– Felt quite sad at the almost obituaries that were posted but then at the same time it was almost universal praise and some great storeis
– Ians fav – Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering at Google
– One Sunday morning, January 6th, 2008 I was attending religious services when my cell phone vibrated. As discreetly as possible, I checked the phone and noticed that my phone said “Caller ID unknown”. I choose to ignore.
After services, as I was walking to my car with my family, I checked my cell phone messages. The message left was from Steve Jobs. “Vic, can you call me at home? I have something urgent to discuss” it said.
Before I even reached my car, I called Steve Jobs back. I was responsible for all mobile applications at Google, and in that role, had regular dealings with Steve. It was one of the perks of the job.
“Hey Steve – this is Vic”, I said. “I’m sorry I didn’t answer your call earlier. I was in religious services, and the caller ID said unknown, so I didn’t pick up”.
Steve laughed. He said, “Vic, unless the Caller ID said ‘GOD’, you should never pick up during services”.
I laughed nervously. After all, while it was customary for Steve to call during the week upset about something, it was unusual for him to call me on Sunday and ask me to call his home. I wondered what was so important?
“So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I’ve already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow” said Steve.
“I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?”
Of course this was okay with me. A few minutes later on that Sunday I received an email from Steve with the subject “Icon Ambulance”. The email directed me to work with Greg Christie to fix the icon.
Since I was 11 years old and fell in love with an Apple II, I have dozens of stories to tell about Apple products. They have been a part of my life for decades. Even when I worked for 15 years for Bill Gates at Microsoft, I had a huge admiration for Steve and what Apple had produced.
But in the end, when I think about leadership, passion and attention to detail, I think back to the call I received from Steve Jobs on a Sunday morning in January. It was a lesson I’ll never forget. CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday.
To one of the greatest leaders I’ve ever met, my prayers and hopes are with you Steve.
16:01 – Facebook Privacy Changes
– Makes privacy easier…and looks like a direct response to Google+
– You can now approve photo’s you’ve been tagged in BEFORE they appear on your wall
– Making privacy around status updates more obvious – Everyone changed to Public
– Every post is more obviously tagged with how you are sharing it with
– Rolling out gradually
– Biggest/best privacy change they have made yet?
18:48 – Patent Folly
– Samsung cites Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ movie as prior art against iPad design patent
– Apple get granted an injunction against sale/distribution of Samsung phones in Holland… which happens to be major European distribution centre for Samsung… dickishtm
22:18 – Government Backdown
– The government has climbed down on plans to ban suspected rioters from social networking websites including Facebook and Twitter in times of civil unrest.
– Unprecedented measures such as shutting down websites and banning users are understood to have been dismissed by all sides early at a Home Office summit between the home secretary, Theresa May, and the major social networks on Thursday afternoon.
– The one-hour discussion focused on how law enforcement can better use Twitter and Facebook as part of day-to-day operations as well as in emergencies.
– Focussed on how authorities can use networks to spread messages, dispel fears, gather information
25:56 – Google TV coming to the UK within 6 months
– Priority for Google
– Sure to feature iPlayer and ITV Player but what else?
– Flopped in America, does it really matter anymore?
33:49 – Google brings back offline modes
– Chrome app’s give offline access to GMail, Calendar and Google Docs
– Been a gap since they dropped Google Gears
– Takes advantage of HTML5
– Available in the Chrome store
36:27 – Google Updates +1
– Now lets you share your +1’s on Google+
37:58 – Fall Spring Clean
Google closing many products as they start to focus on whats important
– Aardvark: Aardvark was a start-up we acquired in 2010. An experiment in a new kind of social search, it helped people answer each other’s questions. While Aardvark will be closing, we’ll continue to work on tools that enable people to connect and discover richer knowledge about the world.
– Desktop: In the last few years, there’s been a huge shift from local to cloud-based storage and computing, as well as the integration of search and gadget functionality into most modern operating systems. People now have instant access to their data, whether online or offline. As this was the goal of Google Desktop, the product will be discontinued on September 14, including all the associated APIs, services, plugins, gadgets and support.
– Fast Flip: Fast Flip was started to help pioneer news content browsing and reading experiences for the web and mobile devices. For the past two years, in collaboration with publishers, the Fast Flip experiment has fueled a new approach to faster, richer content display on the web. This approach will live on in our other display and delivery tools.
– Google Pack: Due to the rapidly decreasing demand for downloadable software in favor of web apps, we will discontinue Google Pack today. People will still be able to access Google’s and our partners’ software quickly and easily through direct links on the Google Pack website.
– Google Web Security: Google Web Security came to Google as part of the Postini acquisition in 2007, and since then we’ve integrated much of the web security functionality directly into existing Google products, such as safe browsing in Chrome. Although our previous sales channel will be discontinued, we’ll continue to support our existing customers.
– Image Labeler: We began Google Image Labeler as a fun game to help people explore and label the images on the web. Although it will be discontinued, a wide variety ofonline games from Google are still available.
Notebook: Google Notebook enabled people to combine clipped URLs from the web and free-form notes into documents they could share and publish. We’ll be shutting down Google Notebook in the coming months, but we’ll automatically export all notebook data to Google Docs.
– Sidewiki: Over the past few years, we’ve seen extraordinary innovation in terms of making the web collaborative. So we’ve decided to discontinue Sidewiki and focus instead on our broader social initiatives. Sidewiki authors will be given more details about this closure in the weeks ahead, and they’ll have a number of months to download their content.
– Subscribed Links: Subscribed Links enabled developers to create specialized search results that were added to the normal Google search results on relevant queries for subscribed users. Although we’ll be discontinuing Subscribed Links, developers will be able to access and download their data until September 15, at which point subscribed links will no longer appear in people’s search results.
42:43 – BBC Crowdsources mobile data
– Coverage not 90% as mobile operators state
– Concentrated on how signal varied with normal use cases – not static.
– Liked this story more for the innovative use of croudsourcing data – we’ll see this more no doubt.
43:51 – Touchpad
– HP drops it
– Price slash.
– MADDDDD rush to pick up for £89
– Sells out everywhere.
– Now HP say they will perhaps build more…
– People trying to get Android onto hardware (and succeeding – although not fully baked yet)
48:50 – Amazon Tablet
– The tablet is reportedly going to have a 7-inch touchscreen with a backlit LCD for the display. The design is said to be very similar to RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook (hence the Photoshopped image above) and based on Android. However, Android will be little more than the underpinnings here, likeSony’s Reader Wi-Fi and Fusion Garage’s Grid 10, the entire UI is custom. The homescreen will be a Cover Flow-like series of images representing your content. Navigation will come via a row of buttons on the bottom that appear on a single tap. There will also be a status bar for notifications, battery life, and so on.
– Amazon has been creating the necessary building blocks for a tablet ecosystem devoid of Google services for some time now, having released the Amazon App Store for Android Apps, Amazon Instant Video for movies and television, Amazon Music play for cloud-based music, and of course Kindle for ebooks. So while this is technically based on Android, it’s fully an Amazon tablet with no Google involvement or Google apps. While we will need to see just how fully-featured the Kindle Tablet is when it’s released, for the time-being it looks like it will be be directly taking on the Nook, which is also an Android-powered ereader at the same price point.
– If everything works out as above, we should expect a late-November release for a very-affordable $250. The initial version will be a Wi-Fi-only device, with 3G and potentially even a 10-inch version coming later depending on how well the original Kindle Tablet does on the market.
54:18 – Windows Explorer 8
– Blog post on the research Microsoft has done into the new Windows 8 UI
– Lots of great facts…but that ribbon UI on explorer looks awful
– Real split in direction between Mac and Windows
– Ian’s tablet woes!!!!!!!
– Online lectures/courses freely available from major universities around the world. (US focus, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, MIT etc
– Tonnes of topics – all available to watch/comment/interact free.
– Real lectures as you would receive if attending these places.
– Plenty of topics for a geek looking for self improvement
– Watch online – or even subscribe to all of a course as a pod/vodcast via itunes
– Syncs your position in twitter timeline
– Twitterrific, Tweetbot and Tweetings currently support it
– Simple but very very handy