DigitalOutbox Episode 87

DigitalOutbox Episode 87
In this episode the team discuss Twitter, Eric Schmidt and Activision.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
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

Picks
Chris
The Website Is Down
– Very funny videos for anyone in IT
Henry
Polychord for iPad
– Music creation app for iPad
– Easy to use with loads of features

DigitalOutbox Episode 77

DigitalOutbox Episode 77
In this episode the team discuss Microsoft pwning Nokia, HP, Sony and Motorola devices and Guitar Hero goes bye bye.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:11 – Microsoft and Nokia sign partnership
– Stephen Elop, Nokia’s recently appointed chief executive, said Nokia will use Windows Mobile 7 as its primary smartphone platform. Elop has also shaken up the senior management team, having warned staff this week that the company was standing on a “burning platform”.
– Speaking in London this morning, Elop said the partnership meant the mobile market was now a “three horse race”, with Nokia-Microsoft competing strongly with Apple, and Google’s Android platform. Mmmm – what about RIM?
– Under the plan, Nokia said it would use its expertise in hardware design, imaging and mapping to improve the Windows Mobile platform. The two companies will work together on marketing, and develop a common roadmap. Bing, Microsoft’s search service, will be integrated into Nokia devices.
– Nokia said it will continue to make phones running its Symbian operating system, thus “leveraging previous investments to harvest additional value”. Symbian, though, will be relegated to the status of a “franchise partner”.
– Job losses expected at Nokia
– Around 1000 Nokia employees walk out in protest – http://www.ubergizmo.com/2011/02/nokia-employees-walk-out-in-protest-of-microsoft-deal/
– Elop wouldn’t promise that Nokia will remain profitable while the Symbian-to-Windows Phone transition takes place.
– Nokia Windows Phone devices will start shipping in volume in 2012 but under pressure to deliver this year
– Symbian phones still coming out over the next 12-18 months – who will buy one of these now? It’d a dead platform.
– Nokia shares…down 14%
– Microsoft allegedly handing over billions in this deal – http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9209259/Microsoft_to_pay_out_billions_as_part_of_Nokia_deal
– Elop referred to a slide that Nokia displayed last week that showed marketing resources and other investments flowing from Microsoft to Nokia as part of the deal. While speculation has had that number in the millions or tens of millions of dollars, the figure is actually much higher than that, he said. “In fact the value transferred to Nokia is measured in B’s not M’s,” he said.
– Elop’s first priority – beat Android
– So is it Microkia or Nosoft?
10:25 – HP Event
– HP Veer (no more Palm)
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/09/the-hp-veer/
– Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 7230 processor at 800MHz.
– a 2.6-inch 320 x 400 display, 5 megapixel EDoF camera,
– HSPA+ support, 8GB of storage, an accelerometer, proximity and light sensors (as usual), Touchstone compatibility, and mobile hotspot support
– Cute and hands on from engadget and gizmodo say it’s fast – mini per2 has a lot to like
– Web OS 2.2
– HP Pre 3
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/09/the-hp-pre-3/
– QWERTY slider with the all-too-familiar form factor has a 3.6-inch 800 x 480 display (a marked improvement over past Pres)
– 5 megapixel camera with AF and LED flash, HD video, a front-facing camera for video calling, mobile hotspot.
– Qualcomm CPU running at 1.4GHz (!), HSPA+ and EVDO Rev A — yep, it’s a world phone — and the same RAM as the Pre 2 (that’s 512MB DRAM).
– Touchstone compatible, naturally, and will switch to Exhibition mode when docked to show pictures and upcoming appointments.
– availability is this summer with both 8GB and 16GB storage options.
– Web OS 2.2
– HP TouchPad
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/09/the-hp-touchpad/
– is shaped almost exactly like the iPad. It tips the scales at 1.6 pounds and measures 13.7mm thick,
– HP’s shipping this one with its own Beats audio engine, Touch-to-Share (a feature that lets users easily transfer a website, document, song, text or call from the phone to the tablet — or vice versa — simply by tapping the two devices together) and a huge reliance on the cloud.
– Other specifications include webOS 3.0, a 9.7-inch display (1024 x 768 screen resolution), a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon CPU (!), inbuilt gyroscope, accelerometer, compass and 16GB / 32GB of internal storage space.
– There’s also a front-facing 1.3 megapixel webcam, support for video calling, 802.11b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, “twice the memory of a Pre 2” and a set of stereo speakers.
– There’s a new paneled email application a Growl-like pop-up notification system, plenty of cal / email integration courtesy of HP Synergy, a slick virtual keyboard, VPN support, wireless printing as well as Google Docs, QuickOffice, Dropbox and Box.net compatibility. One of the killer features that can’t be found on a competing tablet right now is this one’s ability to talk to the Pre 3 — so long as there’s a Touchstone involved, one can have their Pre 3 and TouchPad communicate, even piping over notifications and texts from the phone onto the slate. It’s a brilliant idea, and we’re obviously amped to see just how well it’s implemented.
– Wi-fi initially, 3G and 4G coming later, price – announced on later date as will availability (this summer).
– HP & Time do deal to bring mag subscriptions to TouchPad
– No mention on battery life.
– Gizmodo – The only major issue is the speed.This might be because of the fact that the TouchPad isn’t done, and has six months of development time left, but every app, every notification and every multitasking instance is kinda slow. Again, it’s not unusably slow, if you’ve used the Pre compared to a faster phone, say, a Nexus S or a Motorola Atrix or an iPhone 4, you’ll know how the TouchPad compares to the Motorola Xoom. This is surprising since the TouchPad has a 1.2GHz dual core processor, but, webOS has never been a particularly speedy OS.
– So the big three – price, battery, release date – nothing.
– RIP Palm
– One more thing – Web OS coming to PC market
17:22 – Motorola Xoom
– $800
– Feb 24th
– Feb and March are big for tablets – the Xoom sports an impressive set of features, many of which dwarf the iPad, such as two cameras, 1080p screen resolution and a HDMI output.
– Best Buy pre-order – http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Computers-Promotions/Motorola+XOOM/pcmcat233400050016.c?id=pcmcat233400050016 – $1199 – DOA if thats the price
– Wifi only version coming to Europe in 2nd quarter
19:58 – Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
– like the rest of the upcoming Android 3.0 tablets it’s powered by a dual-core Tegra 2 processor, will be available with 16GB or 32GB of storage, and has a front-facing 2 megapixel camera as well as a 8 megapixel imager around back.
– 1280 x 800-resolution 10.1-inch TFT display, and while it’s not Super AMOLED or Super AMOLED Plus quality, it looked quite bright at a variety of angles. We’d venture to say that Samsung’s using a similar panel as in the original Tab here, which is certainly a good thing. Surrounding the tablet you’ll find a SIM slot, 3.5mm jack, and Samsung’s proprietary charging cable. Sadly, there’s no USB or HDMI ports. The rear 8 megapixel cam has a LED flash and can capture 1080p video, while the 2 megapixel lens centered on the top bezel should suffice for those Google Talk Video calls.
– Launching in March in both Asia and Europe — Vodafone will be the first carrier to nab the Tab — but it had absolutely no timing details for the US market. Price? We’ve got no idea, though we’re told it will be “competitive.”
– Feels light in the hand, plastic but solid, grippy back rather than slippy
– Google experience device – no Samsung front end – pure Honeycomb
27:54 – Sony Phones
– Xperia Neo – able to plug into your HDTV via HDMI and can be controlled with a standard remote. The 3.7-inch screen on the device sports a healthy resolution of 854 x 480 and uses Sony’s Bravia graphics engine. The phone has a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash (and a 2 megapixel front-facing camera), and will be available in an array of colors (silver, red, and blue).
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/13/the-sony-ericsson-xperia-pro/
– Xperia Pro – a slider device with a full QWERTY keyboard. The device sports a 3.7-inch, 854 x 480 display (which uses the company’s Bravia graphics engine technology), runs atop a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU, and is sporting SE’s customized build of Gingerbread (Android 2.3). The phone has an 8 megapixel camera with LED flash, 2 megapixel front facing camera, and will be available in silver, red, and black.
– http://www.engadget.com/2011/02/13/the-sony-ericsson-xperia-play/
– run Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor with Qualcomm Adreno 205 graphics and display those games on a sizable 4-inch, 854 x 480 multi-touch LCD screen, the combination of which Sony says will provide 60 frames per second playback and manage up to 5 hours, 35 minutes of battery life in a single game session with the slide-out PlayStation Certified controller
– PS1 games plus Android games
– Available March
31:15 – How popular is Android
– Google I/O conference sells out
– Big deal
– I/O sold out in 90 days in 2009, 50 days in 2010 and 59 minutes in 2011
– Previous years has seen free handsets handed out, making the $450 conference fee a bit of a bargain – cheapest way of getting a development device without contract – we’ll see on May 10th, 11th later this year
– But previous attendees got to pre-register this year.
35:31 – Google 2 Step Verification
– Two-step verification offers a more secure way for Google to verify that you are who you say you are when you’re logging into your Google account on a new web browser, through a new application, or on a new mobile device. With two-step verification, your password isn’t enough by itself. As Google put it:
– 2 step verification requires two independent factors for authentication, much like you might see on your banking website: your password, plus a code you only use once.
Those two factors are:
– Your password (just like always)
– A single-use verification code that Google sends to your phone in one of three ways: 1) Using the Google Authenticator app available for Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry, 2) via SMS, or 3) through a voice call (meaning you could even use a landline if you didn’t have a cellphone—basically the call would read off the code to you).
– Set up via your Google account page
37:51 – Google hitting the iPhone Hard
– Google Shopper now available
– Search via photo, voice, text or barcode
– Returns list of stores both off and online and best prices/availability
– Select shop, read reviews and in certain cases check stock
– Keeps history and can share results on Twitter, Facebook – what, no Buzz?
– Google Translate now available
– Speak to translate – voice input for 15 languages, translate a word or phrase to 50 languages
– Listen to translations – listen to translations spoken out loud in up to 23 languages
– Full screen mode to display translated text
– Still doesn’t have the conversation mode in android which translates ‘live’, speaking the translation
40:21 – iPlayer Apps
– Coming to iPad and Android
– iPad
– The new app takes better advantage of the touchscreen user interface, says the BBC, which is a popular feature on the “iPad-ified” website.
– Both the iPad app and Android app will offer live TV streams and radio, the latter which was never before available to mobile devices.
– Mobile users can also access the full BBC catalog of “catch-up” programs (TV you may have missed), seven days’ worth of TV and radio on demand and the “series stacking” feature that’s also available on the Web, this last item being a feature that allows viewers to watch older programs from selected series up until the series has ended.
– Android
– On Android, the iPlayer app will not be available for all devices, only on those running the Android 2.2 (“Froyo”) version of the mobile operating system and Adobe Flash 10.1. This is because the player’s Flash streams require “a powerful mobile phone processor and a Wi-Fi connection,” says the BBC.
– The speculation is that BBC had to implement the streaming service in Flash because of content provider pressure, not technical requirements. Content providers are concerned about pirating – that same fear is why the Netflix application for Android has not yet launched either.
– Not on iPhone, global iPlayer app coming later this year with a subscription service
– Video quality on iPad is excellent, live radio is nice, can shift audio via AirPlay, expect video in 4.3 (double click home button – eh?)
43:17 – Last.fm moves to mobile subscription model
– Free ride for mobiles is over – radio service will become an ad-free, subscriber-only feature on iPhones and Androids, starting February 15
– Cost is £3 or $3 a month
– Less than Spotify but with Spotify you can choose what you want to play – Last.fm does not let you play tracks on demand
– Last.fm Radio will remain free via its website and desktop app as well as for U.S. and U.K. users of Xbox Live and Windows Mobile 7 phones.
Last.fm Radio offers a personalized station, playing full song tracks based on users’ preferences. Currently, that streaming service is free in the U.S. and U.K. via an ad-supported app.
44:52 – Activision Job and Title Cuts
– Guitar Hero, DJ Hero and True Crime series all cancelled
– They can’t make these games profitable
– 500 job cuts
47:35 – Geek saves 172 BBC Websites
– User spiders and archives the 172 websites that the BBC is axing
– They then made all the content available via a torrent – http://178.63.252.42/bbc.closing.sites.archive.torrent
– The purpose of this project is to show how the entire 172 public facing websites that are earmarked for deletion have been copied, archived, distributed and republished online – independently – for the price of a cup of Starbucks coffee (around $3.99).” In other words, the cost-savings from the BBC’s gutting of its online presence: minimal.
The act also has a political side. “The purpose of this project is to expose the ‘cost savings’ of this proposed exercise as nothing more than a charade to appease the detractors to a strong BBC and to curry favour with the current government. BBC’s current senior management has demonstrated a lack of leadership and a lack of courage in pushing back on these demands.”
– But maybe the data won’t be deleted after all – http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/bbcinternet/2011/02/bbc_online_and_deleting_websit.html

Picks
Chris
SuperTooth Buddy
– Visor Handsfree BlueTooth device.
– No installation – simple clip onto visor and attaches via magnet.
– Auto connect – can connect to 2 different devices
– 20h talk time – 1000h standby
– Power, Volume, Pickup call, Stop call on face. Micro USB port for chanrgin at rear.
– Nice loud audio in car and voice pickup seems good.
– For multi-car / multi-device homes, a great simple solution to handsfree..
– Currently just a bit over £35 on Amazon.

Henry
GiffGaff
– the social mobile network.
– No phones, Just PAYG tarriffs from £5

Ian
Alupen
– Great stylus for the iPad
– £14