DigitalOutbox Episode 108
In this episode the team discuss Privacy, Piracy, 4G in the UK and the Sony Vita.
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1:15 – New Privacy Rights
– Six of the world’s top consumer technology companies – including Apple, Google and Microsoft – have agreed that apps will provide greaterprivacy disclosures before users download them so as to protect consumers’ personal data, California’s attorney general said on Wednesday.
– The move comes amid increasing criticism over “data grabs” by a number of third-party applications which don’t offer clear disclosure about how much of a user’s personal data such as their address book they will store on their servers.
– The new agreement binds Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion (RIM), and Hewlett-Packard – and developers on their platforms – to disclose how they use private data before an app may be downloaded, Attorney General Kamala Harris said.
– The Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights will give Internet users the right to: control what data is collected, how their personal data is used and shared; avoid having information collected in one context and then used for another purpose; have data held securely; and to know who is accountable for the misuse of the data. It applies to personal data, which means any data–including aggregations of data–that is linkable to a specific individual.
– The policy change would give Google access to user information across its products, such as GMail and Google Plus, without the proper ability for consumers to opt out, said the 36 US attorneys general in their letter. EU authorities have asked Google to halt the policy change until regulators can investigate the matter.
– Meanwhile the US’s Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has put up a page explaining how people can wipe clean their Google Search History before the changes take effect on 1 March. But it noted that this will not prevent some tracking.
– Google mobile safari issue
– on iOS, by default, safari disables third party cookies
– google invisibly posting a form in an iframe in the background without telling you
– google by doing above got round the above setting – once revealed google have stopped doing this
– before stopping this if this was set, google could set cookies and track as they usually do
– who’s at fault – Apple for breaking an accepted web practice by default?
– Google for clearly working around a browser setting that you have set
8:02 – Real world Google Goggles
– According to several Google employees familiar with the project who asked not to be named, the glasses will go on sale to the public by the end of the year. These people said they are expected “to cost around the price of current smartphones,” or $250 to $600.
– The people familiar with the Google glasses said they would be Android-based, and will include a small screen that will sit a few inches from someone’s eye. They will also have a 3G or 4G data connection and a number of sensors including motion and GPS.
– A Google spokesman declined to comment on the project.
– They will also have a unique navigation system. “The navigation system currently used is a head tilting to scroll and click,” Mr. Weintraub wrote this month. “We are told it is very quick to learn and once the user is adept at navigation, it becomes second nature and almost indistinguishable to outside users.”
– The glasses will have a low-resolution built-in camera that will be able to monitor the world in real time and overlay information about locations, surrounding buildings and friends who might be nearby, according to the Google employees. The glasses are not designed to be worn constantly — although Google expects some of the nerdiest users will wear them a lot — but will be more like smartphones, used when needed.
13:24 – Pirate Bay could be blocked in UK
– Major music groups want British internet service providers (ISPs), such as BT and BSkyB, to prevent their millions of customers from accessing The Pirate Bay in the UK.
In a judgment handed down at the high court in London on Monday, Mr Justice Arnold ruled that The Pirate Bay and its users unlawfully share copyrighted music.
– The Pirate Bay is one of the world’s longest-running and biggest filesharing sites. According to record labels, it generated up to $3m in advertising revenue in October last year by making 4m copies of music and films available to its 30 million worldwide users. The site has 3.7 million users in the UK, according to comScore.
– The high court is expected to rule in June whether the ISPs should prevent their customers from accessing The Pirate Bay.
Mr Justice Arnold said in a written judgment: “In my judgment, the operators of [The Pirate Bay] do authorise its users’ infringing acts of copying and communication to the public. They go far beyond merely enabling or assisting.
– “I conclude that both users and the operators of [The Pirate Bay] infringe the copyrights of the claimants … in the UK.”
15:27 – The Oatmeal on Piracy
– Great comic on the problem with piracy
– So many agreed but Andy Ihnatko had an interesting take…
– The single least-attractive attribute of many of the people who download content illegally is their smug sense of entitlement.
– The world does not OWE you Season 1 of “Game Of Thrones” in the form you want it at the moment you want it at the price you want to pay for it. If it’s not available under 100% your terms, you have the free-and-clear option of not having it.
– I sometimes wonder if this simple, grown-up fact gets ignored during all of these discussions about digital distribution.
18:21 – Nightline visits Foxconn
– It takes 141 steps to make an iPhone, and the devices are essentially all handmade
– It takes five days and 325 hands to make a single iPad
– Foxconn produces 300k iPad camera modules per day
– Foxconn workers pay for their own food — about $.70 per meal, and work 12 hour shifts
– Workers who live in the dorms sleep six to eight a room, and pay $17.50 a month to do so
– Workers make $1.78 an hour
– New employees at Foxconn undergo three days of training and “team building” exercises before they begin
– The FLA (Fair Labor Association – which Apple brought in to audit Foxconn) is interested in whether or not workers will look up at visitors in a factory — if they’ll be “willing to look at curiosities”
– Apple paid $250,000 to join the FLA, and is paying for its audit
– Louis Woo, when asked if he would accept Apple demanding double pay for employees replied “Why not?”
21:11 – 4G Rollout – up to 1 million will need TV filters
– Almost a million UK homes will need to have filters installed to prevent TV interference from 4G mobile signals – at a cost of £108m. The filter, which is fitted to a digital TV box, blocks out unwanted noise from the 4G signal.
It can be fitted without the help of an engineer – but over-75s and disabled people will be given assistance if needed.
– A smaller number of homes – about 10,000 – will need to switch to satellite or cable TV services in order to avoid degraded picture quality.
– Homes that cannot receive these alternative platforms (around 500) will receive up to £10,000 each to “find a solution”.
– Costs will be met by the winner of a spectrum auction later this year.
In these cases, expected to be in rural areas, up to £10,000 per household will be provided to fund alternative solutions to receiving television – such as having fibre cabling installed.
24:47 – 4G Broadband could hit the UK this year
– Customers of phone company Everything Everywhere, the largest UK network with 27 million subscribers, will have access to super-fast 4G mobile broadband before the end of the year if regulators grant permission. EE says it wants to put 4G into the hands of its Orange and T-Mobile customers, as well as those of Three, Virgin Media and other brands that use its network, a year ahead of schedule.
– The UK has slipped behind other nations, including the US, Germany and Sweden, in the mobile broadband speed stakes, and those wanting to access the internet on the go using smartphones and laptops can find the experience frustratingly slow.
– The British auction, the largest ever sale of national airwaves, has been delayed by legal wrangling between the operators and will not conclude until early next year. A full national rollout is now not scheduled until the end of 2013.
– EE has asked telecoms watchdog Ofcom for permission to convert some of its existing 1800MHz (megahertz) spectrum, already used to carry voice calls, texts, and slower 3G internet connections, to 4G.
– Created through the merger of two mobile networks and with a mast sharing agreement with Three, EE has enough spare capacity to offer a limited commercial service without having to buy new spectrum. With few 4G phones available, EE’s service will at first work only on dongles – gadgets which plug into laptops to provide an internet connection via the mobile phone networks.
– EE’s service, which will be on trial in Bristol from April, could launch by the end of 2012 if Ofcom grants approval by April or May.
– A spokesman for the regulator said: “Ofcom has received an application from EE to vary its licence for 4G use. Ofcom is considering that application and once it arrives at a view it will consult with stakeholders.” The process could take between eight and 12 weeks, and will involve soundings with rival mobile phone networks and any other interested parties.
27:34 – Sky Go hits Android
– BSkyB has launched its Sky Go app for Android, following its debut on iOS in 2011. It provides live access of up to 22 Sky channels depending on the user’s home subscription status. Up to two devices can be registered, but it appears to be smartphone-only at the moment: supported at launch are the HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible, HTC Sensation, Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy S II
– Sky did say it would be ‘the year of the app’
– Also confirmed at the weekend a dedicated Formula 1 app will launch
30:06 – Sony Vita
– No doubting quality of the new Sony handheld
– Pricey for what it is.
– Will it be last dedicated handheld platform?
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