DigitalOutbox Episode 127
DigitalOutbox Episode 127 – Marissa Mayer, Office 13, Apple Woes and don’t criticise the Olympics
1:05 – O2 Compensation
– The firm says customers who pay monthly will get back 10% of their July subscription, the equivalent of three days’ charges, applied to their September bill.
– Pay-as-you-go customers will get back 10% on their first top-up in September.
– All customers, even those who were not affected, will also be given a £10 voucher to spend in one of its stores.
2:14 – UK Texts more than Talks
– Mobile voice calls in decline for the first time ever, as more switch to text and online communications
– Newer ways of communicating led by 16-24s, with texting and social networking more frequently used than either phone calls or face to face communications
– The average Briton now sends 50 texts per week
– Two fifths of UK adults now own a smartphone, with the same proportion saying their phone is the most important device for accessing the internet
– Tablet ownership has jumped from 2% to 11% in 12 months
5:29 – Marissa Mayer is Yahoos new CEO
– Marissa Mayer, one of the top executives at Google, will be the next chief of Yahoo, making her one of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley and corporate America.
– The appointment of Ms. Mayer is consider a coup for Yahoo, which has struggled in recent years to attract top talent in its battle with competitors. One of the few public faces of Google, Ms. Mayer, 37, has been responsible for the look and feel of some of the search company’s most popular products.
– The move to Yahoo is an opportunity for Ms. Mayer to step out on her own and claim a bigger stage. Ms. Mayer, an engineer by training whose first job at Google included computer programming, was behind the famously unadorned white search home page and the way users interacted with Gmail, Google News and Google Images. She also sat on Google’s operating committee, part of a small circle of senior executives who had the ear of Google’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
– Marissa Mayer, the Google (GOOG) executive who today was named Yahoo’s (YHOO) new chief executive, is pregnant.
– Mayer told Fortune exclusively that her first child is due October 7. It’s a boy!
“He’s super-active,” Mayer told me in a phone call tonight, three hours after Yahoo announced her appointment. “He moves around a lot. My doctor says that he takes after his parents.”
– Great move by Yahoo – bold and looks to have put someone in place that will actually do something with the assets they have.
9:29 – Office 2013
– a “modern” version of the software that is used on a billion PCs worldwide. Cloud-connected and designed to work well on Windows 8 tablets, Office 2013 signals a shift to document collaboration and anywhere any device access. Notably, Microsoft is introducing an on-demand subscription version of Office 2013 that can be streamed from any Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC, with the ability to sync settings and documents.
– Perhaps the biggest change to Office 2013 isn’t the way it looks or its features, but rather the way documents are delivered along with some important under-the-hood changes. Microsoft is really pushing the ability to create a Word document on a Windows PC and edit it on a Windows Phone, Windows 8 tablet, or any Windows 7- or Windows 8-based PC with an internet connection. Home users can store documents in Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage and businesses can use a range of the company’s SharePoint offerings. Office 2013’s big innovation is its ability to let users stream a full-featured version of Office to a PC with personal settings intact — an on-demand Office suite whenever you require it.
– Office on demand is a powerful aspect to Microsoft’s Office 2013 subscription offering, providing a way to access a full version of Office wherever you are. The service lets you stream a full-featured Office application to any internet-connected PC running Windows 7 and Windows 8, providing access to the settings and documents you use regularly. Simply put, you can sign in to a streaming version of Office at a friend’s PC and finish a document; the app will then be removed from the PC once it’s closed. This all requires an Office 365 Home Premium subscription, but its ease-of-use makes it a compelling prospect for users who are comfortable using Microsoft’s Office suite and require more document editing functionality than Google Docs or Microsoft’s own Office Web Apps provide. Despite this, you can still opt to simply buy a standalone version of the Office 2013 desktop software and utilize SkyDrive as an online storage hub for documents. You won’t get the streaming Office 2013 apps, but you’ll benefit from the cloud and avoid having to pay a subscription fee.
– Lots of different editions – Office 365, the company’s software plus services platform for Office, will power Office 2013 as a subscription service for those who want to avoid the up-front costs of a perpetual license and take advantage of some of the on-demand features. Available in Home Premium, Small Business Premium, Pro Plus, and Enterprise — Office 365 has a variety of offerings that are flexible based on needs, but like many of its other products there’s still no one size that fits all. The new Home Premium product allows a family to install Office 2013 on up to five PCs and get an additional 20GB of online SkyDrive storage to share documents online. Home Premium includes access to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher through an Internet-connected Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC. Documents and settings, and even the actual apps will roam across whatever PC you choose to use Office 365 with. Other editions, like ProPlus and above, include additional user accounts and access to apps like InfoPath and Lync — designed for businesses. Office 365 will also include access to Office for Mac.
– Metro look and feel – A Touch Mode feature is present in each Office 2013 application, but it does very little. Although hit targets become larger, making it slightly easier to navigate with touch, and it’s easy to navigate or type data in documents, the feature feels a little gimmicky and is hidden away from immediate view.
– Word – open, edit and save pdf’s, embed web video, better layout options
– Outlook sees most improvements, but mostly back end
– OneNote look nice – could be great on a surface device
15:43 – Nokia Woes
– The woes at the Finnish mobile phone company Nokia continue to mount, with further losses in its main division in the second quarter of 2012, and a €220m (£170m) write-off on unsold stock of its smartphones.
– Nokia also admitted its high-profile attempt to break back into the US smartphone market with its new range of Lumia phones, running Microsoft’s Windows Phone software, had led to only about 600,000 sales in the US – down on the 1.5m sold in the same period a year ago when the company was only offering its outdated Symbian software.
– The mobile phone division recorded an operating loss of €474m, its second successive quarter of losses, on revenues down 26% year-on-year to €4.02bn. Overall, the company recorded a loss, including one-off restructuring costs, of €826m compared to a loss of €487m in the same period in 2011. Without the restructuring costs, losses would be €327m.
– Elop said Nokia had delivered 4m Lumia smartphones in the second quarter, and that he expected Microsoft’s launch of the new Windows Phone 8 software in the autumn would be “an important catalyst”.
– Existing Lumia phones won’t run the new Windows Phone 8 software…
18:15 – Man assaulted for wearing digital eye by McDonalds staff
– Steve Mann pioneered and wears a digital eye glass
– Think a more permanently attached Google Glass
– On the evening of 2012 July 1st, my wife and children and I went to McDonalds at 140, Avenue Champs Elysees, Paris, France, after a day of sightseeing (8 museums and other landmark sights, as part of a boat cruise package), and while we were standing in line at McDonalds, I was stopped by a person who subsequently stated that he was a McDonalds employee, and he asked about my eyeglass (digital computer vision system, i.e. EyeTap).
– Because we’d spent the day going to various museums and historical landmark sites guarded by military and police, I had brought with me the letter from my doctor regarding my computer vision eyeglass, along with documentation, etc., although I’d not needed to present any of this at any of the other places I visited (McDonald’s was the only establishement that seemed to have any problem with my eyeglass during our entire 2 week trip).
– Since I happened to have it with me, I showed this doctor’s letter and the documentation to the purported McDonalds employee who had stopped me in the McDonalds line.
– After reviewing the documentation, the purported McDonalds employee accepted me (and my family) as a customer, and left us to place our order. In what follows, I will refer to this person as “Possible Witness 1”.
– We ordered two Ranch Wraps, one burger, and one mango McFlurry, from a cashier who I will refer to as “Possible Witness 2”. My daughter handled the cash to pay Possible Witness 2, as my daughter wanted to practice her French. Possible Witness 2 complimented my daughter on her fluency in French.
Next my family and I seated ourselves in the restaurant right by the entrance, so we could watch people walking along Avenue Champs Elysees while we ate our meal.
– Subsequently another person within McDonalds physically assaulted me, while I was in McDonand’s, eating my McDonand’s Ranch Wrap that I had just purchased at this McDonald’s. He angrily grabbed my eyeglass, and tried to pull it off my head. The eyeglass is permanently attached and does not come off my skull without special tools.
– I tried to calm him down and I showed him the letter from my doctor and the documentation I had brought with me. He (who I will refer to as Perpetrator 1) then brought me to two other persons. He was standing in the middle, right in front of me, and there was another person to my left seated at a table (who I will refer to as Perpetrator 2), and a third person to my right. The third person (who I will refer to as Perpetrator 3) was holding a broom and dustpan, and wearing a shirt with a McDonald’s logo on it. The person in the center (Perpetrator 1) handed the materials I had given him to the person to my left (Perpetrator 2), while the three of them reviewed my doctor’s letter and the documentation.
– After all three of them reviewed this material, and deliberated on it for some time, Perpetrator 2 angrily crumpled and ripped up the letter from my doctor. My other documentation was also destroyed by Perpetrator 1.
– I noticed that Perpetrator 1 was wearing a name tag clipped to his belt. When I looked down at it, he quickly covered it up with his hand, and pulled it off and turned it around so that it was facing inwards, so that only the blank white backside of it was then facing outwards.
– Perpetrator 1 pushed me out the door, onto the street.
– The computerized eyeglass processes imagery using Augmediated Reality, in order to help the wearer see better, and when the computer is damaged, e.g. by falling and hitting the ground (or by a physical assault), buffered pictures for processing remain in its memory, and are not overwritten with new ones by the then non-functioning computer vision system.
– As a result of Perpetrator 1’s actions, therefore images that would not have otherwise been captured were captured. Therefore by damaging the Eye Glass, Perpetrator 1 photographed himself and others within McDonalds.
21:40 – Apple ordered to run Samsung didn’t copy ad’s
– A UK judge has ordered Apple to publish announcements that Samsung did not copy the design of its iPad, according to the Bloomberg news agency.
– It said the judge said one notice should remain on Apple’s website for at least six months, while other adverts should be placed in various newspapers and magazines.
– It follows the US company’s failed attempt to block sales of the South Korean firm’s Galaxy Tab tablets.
– Apple has not commented on the news.
– The order did not feature in Judge Colin Birss’s judgement published on 9 July, but Bloomberg said the matter was discussed in the court following the verdict.
– It said the notices must make reference to the court case and should be designed to “correct the damaging impression” that Samsung’s tablets had aped the look of Apple’s products.
23:08 – Apples in-app purchasing circumvented
– a Russian developer has published a method of obtaining in-app purchases from iOS apps for free. First noticed by Russian blog i-ekb.ru, the “in-app proxy” method does not require a jailbreak, can be completed by novices in three steps using just an iOS device, and allows users to install in-app content for free. The hack also works on all devices running iOS 3.0 to 6.0. We confirmed the method works (at least temporarily), and the published instructions are starting to get attention, so we decided to publish this story as a warning to the Apple developer community.
– The hack appears to come from Russian developer ZonD80 who posted the above video demonstration. ZonD80 also appears to run a website called In-AppStore.com, where donations are being accepted to support the development of the project and help keep servers up and running. The developer explained the three steps of the hack, which include the installation of CA certificate, the installation of in-appstore.com certificate, and the changing of DNS record in Wi-Fi settings. After the quick process, users are presented with the message pictured above when installing in-app purchases, opposed to Apple’s usual purchase confirmation dialog. The fact that this hack is being used to steal in-app purchase content is perhaps just as troubling as the developer’s terms of service. Below is a list of data processed through the devs servers as part of the process (but again, we are imploring readers not to try this):
-restriction level of app
-id of app
-id of version
-guid of your idevice
-quantity of in-app purchase
-offer name of in-app purchase
-language you are using
-identifier of application
-version of application
– Developers concerned – in app purchasing is a major source of revenue
– Apple has responded to The Loop regarding the situation with the following statement:
“The security of the App Store is incredibly important to us and the developer community,” Apple representative Natalie Harrison, told The Loop. “We take reports of fraudulent activity very seriously and we are investigating.”
– One of the suggestions for a method by which Apple could improve the security of In App Purchasing was to include a unique identifier in validation receipts, and we’ve received word that developers are now seeing something along those lines coming from receipts issued by Apple since late yesterday. The receipts carry a new field called “unique_identifer” that appears to include the Unique Device Identifier (UDID) for the device making the In App Purchase – 5 days after the above report Apple has updated the purchase process
26:08 – Apple reverses course on EPEAT environmental standard
– Apple has posted a letter from retiring senior VP of hardware engineering Bob Mansfield to its website, walking back the company’s abandonment of the EPEAT certification for its eligible products. Per the letter:
– We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.
– There’s a corresponding statement from EPEAT president Robert Frisbee on the organization’s site. It was only last week that Apple’s 39 EPEAT-eligible products were pulled from the industry registry at the company’s request.
– As recently as this Tuesday, Apple’s PR team was pointing out that the company’s environmental efforts are continuing and include many areas of progress not covered by the outdated EPEAT standards. It’s likely that the “loyal Apple customers” who raised their concerns with Mansfield and Apple management included many large institutional and government accounts, which may have purchasing rules mandating EPEAT-eligible gear when possible.
– Both Mansfield and Frisbee emphasize that this experience has strengthened the collaborative efforts of Apple and EPEAT, and that Apple’s input will be crucial in evolving the standard to deal with more modern devices.
28:32 – Betaworks Acquires Digg
– Betaworks, the company behind bit.ly, news.me, Chartbeat and a number of other successful products, has acquired the social news site Digg.com for an undisclosed amount. Betaworks’ founder John Borthwick will become the new CEO of Digg. The site’s current CEO Matt Williams will join Andreessen Horowitz as Entrepreneur in Residence after the Betaworks transition is complete. Digg’s founder Kevin Rose joined Google a few months ago after the search engine acquired his latest startup Milk.
– Betaworks promises to turn Digg “back into a startup,” with low budgets, a small team and fast update cycles. None of the remaining Digg employees, it seems, are moving to Betaworks. Instead, the News.me team will take over the management of the site. Betaworks, says Digg, will soon unveil a new “cloud-based version of Digg” that will complement News.me’s iPhone and iPad apps.
– According to Digg’s outgoing CEO Matt Williams, his team “considered many options of where Digg could go, and frankly many of them could not live up to the reason Digg was invented in the first place — to discover the best stuff on the web. We wanted to find a way to take Digg back to its startup roots.” Betaworks says it’s planning to “build Digg for 2012.”
– Update: Rumor has it that the price was just $500k, but that number doesn’t really make a lot of sense, given that the site still gets enough traffic to make more than that in a year by just selling ads. Talking to AllThingsD, Digg CEO Matt Williams confirmed that “the overall consideration is significantly larger” and includes a combination of cash and equity. Another source close to the negotiations tells us that the price was indeed not $500k. We haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact price yet.
31:56 – Now TV Launched
– BSkyB is to launch its internet service Now TV on Tuesday, with the aim of taking on rivals such as Netflix and LoveFilm, offering movies for £15 a month or up to £3.49 per view.
– The service, which will launch this week on PC, Mac and some Android smartphones, will initially only offer Sky Movies content at launch with access to 600 films and 11 channels.
– However a typically aggressive rollout plan will see Sky Sports content including Premier League, cricket, rugby and golf before the end of the year, as well as channels including Sky1, Sky Arts and Sky Atlantic.
– Now TV will be priced at £15 a month for customers who want to access Sky Movies content, with a “pay and play” option of selecting individual films from 99p to £3.49.
– Sky is aiming to break beyond its pay-TV roots and target the 13m UK households who refuse to sign up for what can be costly subscription packages.
– BSkyB has more than 10m pay-TV customers, however the number of new sign ups has dwindled to as low as 15,000 per quarter.
– The launch of Now TV is seen as potentially as important as BSkyB’s move into the broadband market in 2006, a move to protect and grow its business model to tap into shifting consumer viewing habits such as watching TV on mobile and handheld devices.
– “We are targeting the 13m non-pay TV households out there with a no commitment, no contract way of delivering Sky content they want in a dip in and dip out way,” said BSkyB managing director of sales and marketing Stephen van Rooyen. “The whole idea is to have something ‘not Sky’, it is purposely designed to attract new customers.”
– BSkyB intends to roll out the availability of Now TV rapidly to other devices including iPhone, iPad, Microsoft Xbox and Roku, while the company is also in discussions to bring it to the PlayStation 3.
36:04 – You can’t link to Olympics website if you say something mean about them
Links to the Site. You may create your own link to the Site, provided that your link is in a text-only format. You may not use any link to the Site as a method of creating an unauthorised association between an organisation, business, goods or services and London 2012, and agree that no such link shall portray us or any other official London 2012 organisations (or our or their activities, products or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner. The use of our logo or any other Olympic or London 2012 Mark(s) as a link to the Site is not permitted. View our guidelines on Use of the Games’ Marks.
– Either way, this claim that you can’t link to their site in a “derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner” has inspired the creativity of the internet, it appears. Specifically, lots of folks have taken to Twitter to share their own derogatory or otherwise objectionable statements along with links to the website.