DigitalOutbox Episode 14

DigitalOutbox Episode 14
In this episode the team discuss…stuff. It’s also The Tired Edition. Chris is hungover, Shakeel is tired and emotional and Ian – who knows! Enjoy.

Playback
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Shownotes
0:47 – Sony Chooses Google Chrome
– Google has struck a deal with Sony to include their browser on Sony hardware.
– Google say similar deals will be announced in future with other manufacturers.
– Good move. MS still have 2/3 share of browser market largely as a result of lack of pre-installed options.
– Should see Google’s 3% share increase.
– Good for developers – Chrome is fastest, most compliant browser currently available.
– Chrome now one year old. Market share still growing – Mac version looking much better – proper release soon?
2:56 – O2 Broadband Security Issue
– Remote attackers can view/change settings and access home networks without permission.
– User discovered a security problem with the O2 Wireless Box II & III ADSL routers.
– Initially hard to get through to O2 and raise issue
– Press got hold of it, Be also got in touch to raise on users behalf
– O2 now acknowledge issue and are working on fix with Thomson. Allegedly.
– O2 Broadband customers can mitigate the risk of attack by enabling authentication on their router’s HTTP configuration interface (by default, the device lets you browse directly to http://192.168.1.254 without requiring a password)
5:08 – eBay Sells Skype
– eBay will sell 65% of Skype to a group of private investors.
– Selling the share for $2bn – valuing skype at $2.75bn total – more than the $2.6bn that ebay bought it for.
– Seems a good deal all round. Skype makes good profits. eBay was never the correct owner really.
– Hopefully its new owners can now push forward the technology and see the future of Skype confirmed.
6:27 – Windows Mobile 6.5
– After a strong caveat that what we’re looking at is preproduction software, a Sony Ericsson rep admitted that Windows Mobile 6.5 isn’t all it could be
8:22 – Apple News
– Apple Event Confirmed
– Sept 9th
– It’s only rock and roll but we like it
– Rock Band Beatles released on same day – coincidence?
– Apple TV update?
– Loopt Background Location Service on iPhone
– http://mashable.com/2009/09/04/loopt-iphone-background/
– No app running in background – connects to AT&T location server. All mobiles updating provider with location
– Loopt taps into that stream to find out where you are and report that to others
– 5000 users in an invitation only trial
– Will cost $3.99 a month via AT&T
– GTA Chinatown Wars…for iPhone?
– http://www.tuaw.com/2009/09/01/gta-chinatown-coming-to-the-iphone/
21:19 – Sony News
– Betting on 2010 for 3D
– Sony actively engaged in 3D programming for Bravia and Blu-ray disc players with content next year.
– http://www.sonyinsider.com/2009/09/02/sonys-upcoming-icf-cl75ip-is-an-alarm-clock-digital-frame-and-dock-for-your-ipodiphone/
– $150?
– Looks lovely!
– PS3 3D Mode – 2010
– http://www.engadget.com/2009/09/04/ps3s-new-3d-mode-captured-on-video-coming-in-2010-to-all-exist/
– Will be available ‘in 2010’
– Enables 3D for all games
– Need a 3D TV, but not just a Sony Bravia 3D tv
– Migraines and motion sickness here we come
– Sony rep now says it’s conducting a technological investigation and there is no plan for the market launch of this at this time
– God Of War Collection
– God of War 1 & 2 on Blu-Ray
– 720p
– $40 + trophy support
– PS3 Firmware 3.0
– Thoughts?
30:11 – Left 4 Dead – Paid Content on Xbox
– Valve have said that MS insisted on making the DLC available in October, “paid for” content.
– Free for PC users but MS “wanted to make sure there’s an economy of value there”
– Download will cost 560 Microsoft Points (£4.76 / €6.72)
32:44 – OnLive Enters Beta
– Now open. US only
– http://www.onlive.com/beta_program.html
– The future of gaming? Will it scale? Good for casual games but not good enough for dedicated gamer?

Picks
Ian
Remember the Milk
– Web based todo manager
– On the surface it’s simple but easy to extend and configure to match GTD concepts

DigitalOutbox Episode 13 – Snow Leopard

DigitalOutbox Episode 13
In this episode the team discuss Snow Leopard.

Playback
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Shownotes
– Snow Leopard
– Thoughts on install and changes?
– Install was painless – around an hour
– On boot SL asked for ‘System Events.app’ – located in /System/Library/CoreServices/ – pointed to it – never had error again
– Expose update nice
– Clearer
– Click and hold in dock – expose for that app on it’s own
– Works with drag and drop of a file
– Allegedly – doesn’t work for me – drag a file to Textmate, windows pop up in expose mode, drag file – nothing. Drag file from finder to window – success. Buggy?
– Hold down space over a window to zoom to a readable size
– Dock – meus changed, stacks updated to scroll through grids, click on folder to drill within stack view, change yellow minimize behaviour so it shrinks to dock icon instead of it’s own icon on RHS of dock – ctrl click or right click on dock or hold and expose to view
– Quicktime – excellent front end
– Screencasting built in which is simple but won’t replace dedicated screen capture app
– Trim similar to 3GS control – very simple
– Cut out many of the Quicktime Pro controls – bundle Quicktime Pro 7 to soften the blow
– Dumbing down app? Similar to iMovie HD?
– Speed – finder, mail, spotlight
– http://gizmodo.com/5345354/snow-leopard-benchmarks
– Big time savings on boot, loading in preview etc. Noticable that on app’s not optimised for Snow Leopard there’s virtually no difference. Should see improvements in 3-6 months?
– 15-20gb of disk space back
– Snow Leopard reports disk size correctly
– http://lifehacker.com/5349204/snow-leopard-reports-hard-drive-capacity-correctly-in-base-10
– In Snow Leopard MacOS 10.6 storage capacity is now reported the way storage vendors specify it: in base 10, not base 2
– New Wake on Demand
– http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2009/08/wake-on-demand-could-lead-to-appletv-bliss.ars
– Need 2007 (or newer) AirPort Extreme Base Station or a 2008 (or newer) Time Capsule
– Works over wireless if you have a 2009 Mac
– New soft keyboard – http://www.9to5mac.com/snow-leopard-soft-keyboard
– XL iTablet?
– rumours of 13″ and 15″ tablets in addition to 10″. One of them running OS X
– rumour comes from a “100% reliable” source …. hmmm
– “two touchscreen prototypes…shape of large iphone…in a factory in Shenzuen…one of them running OS X” – claims the source
– could they just be internal prototypes or maybe in future devices??? – Smaller, faster O/S
– Malware scanning tool
– Oops
– Only detects 2 malwares but can be updated
– Is that why theres a subtle change in latest mac vs pc ad’s from ‘no viruses’ to ‘without thousands of viruses’
– Preview – selecting text easier and markup PDF’s with comments now added
– One for the future, once apps support it, but Mac OS X now has system-wide, user-definable text substitution—see the Text tab of Language & Text in System Preferences.
– Services and automator updated
– http://www.macosxautomation.com/services/index.html
– http://www.pixelcorps.tv/macbreak235
– Services now application specific
– Use automator, you can create a service
– HDTV ready
– http://www.tuaw.com/2009/08/31/mac-os-x-now-hdtv-ready-with-10-6/
– Software compatibility list
– http://digs.by/7lx
– Lot’s of updates yesterday and today – coda, launchbar, superduper, wiretap studio, pathfinder, omni group app’s
– iStat menu’s came out today – lovely app
– Dan Benjamin – Those of you using Adobe Lightroom under Snow Leopard, get info (command-i) and verify that 32-but is *un-checked* for a huge speed boost
– Biggest improvements still to be seen – switch of 3rd party app’s to 64 bit and the increased performance that will bring
– Issues
– Mail – stops working after a couple of days – shutdown and restart fixes it – may delete accounts and create again
– Flash – older version included so download latest version – http://www.adobe.com/flashplatform/
– Licence and installation
– Needs to be an Intel Mac
– It is an upgrade licence…but you can install from fresh using Snow Leopard without using Leopard disk
– http://www.tuaw.com/2009/09/03/snow-leopard-in-eula-we-trust/
– Recommend AppFresh to check your installed app’s and make sure you get up to date software
– 64 bit computing
– http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9137229/What_s_the_real_deal_with_64_bit_computing_in_Snow_Leopard_
– Apple app’s are 64 bit – most others aren’t
– Kernel loads in 32 bit for most users, can force 64 by holding down 6 and 4 on boot – can be flaky
– Foundations now in place for dev’s to move to 64 bit
– Leopard could run 64 bit apps but all core were 32
– Half way – next major OS fully 64 bit?
– Proper Review
– http://arstechnica.com/apple/reviews/2009/08/mac-os-x-10-6.ars
– John Siracusa – 23 pages, full and factual
– 10.6.1. seeded to testers

DigitalOutbox Episode 12

DigitalOutbox Episode 12
In this episode the team discuss this weeks tech news.

Playback
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Shownotes
1:06 – UK Stance on Illegal File Sharing
– ISP’s angry at Government stance that repeat offenders could be cut off from net
– Seems that accusations alone could be enough to cut off someone’s connection.
– Proportional punishment? You can be a hacker, spamer, fraudster or other criminal and still have access to the internet. Seems if you share a Myley Cyrus track over the internet – someone whom clearly adds immense value to the creative landscape of modern culture…. Mmm – you can have, what is in effect, an essential service cut off.
– Where is the balance of proof? What about people who share an IP? What about parents who have no idea that their child is sharing files?
– Mandelson ordered an amendment to the digital Britain report – an unelected member of parliament throwing his weight around. Proposals are:
– Blocking access to download sites
– Reducing broadband speeds
– Temporarily suspending the individual’s Internet account as a last resort
– Most downloaded TV (4% is uk) – http://www.broadbandtvnews.com/2009/08/28/heroes-tops-file-sharing-list/
– Top 10 Worldwide TV Torrents
– Heroes; 54,562,012 (2.18 million UK)
– Lost; 51,151,396 (2 million UK)
– 24; 34,119,093 (1.4 million UK)
– Who would police this? Can evidence and proof be 100% guaranteed?
6:44 – Pirate Bay Takedown
– The court ordered the site’s major bandwidth supplier, Black Internet, to disconnect TPB from the Internet or face penalties of 500,000 kroner ($70,600). The ISP complied, saying that it had no choice but to uphold the law.
– Shares in GGF suspended
– GGF chairman resigned
– Owed money to taxman
– Goodbye, it was fun whilst it lasted. Next.
– Alternative pirate bays already appearing… plus it’s not as if this was the only site out there anyway. Closing one site will not remedy the problem.
8:12 – Nokia Ovi and Netbook
– Ovi
– Appstore for Nokia
– http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/nokias_ovi_to_compete_with_iphone_app_store.php
– Applications for all 75 of it’s handsets – challenging
– Booklet 3G
– http://mashable.com/2009/08/24/nokia-laptop-booklet-3g/
– Their first pc – Netbook – wifi, 3g, bluetooth, sim card slot
– 10.1 inch screen
– 12 hours battery life – wow (if true)
– Windows 7
– Looks quite nice!
– Fingers crossed for a sensibly priced, sensibly specified data bundle
12:30 – Bing and Wolfram
– Microsoft has apparently struck a licensing deal with Wolfram Alpha to include some of Wolfram’s search results within Bing.
– No comments yet from either MS or Wolfram.
– MS really do appear to be chasing the search market hard… with Yahoo taking the large majority of ad revenue you’ve got to question why? Longer term I expect they want to cash in on the Google billions that they collect through paid for advertising once the Yahoo agreement is over
14:14 – Microsoft Suck At Photoshop
– Polish version of photo has black head removed replaced with a white head but keeping the black hands
– What were they thinking?
– But this probably happens a lot
16:16 – Microsoft STILL amending prices for Windows 7
– From 1st Sept, no longer upgrade price for full version.
– There are now separate prices for upgrade and full
– Have now confirmed the family pack for install on 3 machines
– Doesn’t affect those already pre-ordered
– SORT IT OUT!
19:19 – Facebook Changing Privacy Policy
– Facebook has agreed to change its privacy policy in response to recommendations made by courts in Canada.
– Existing policy is in violation of Canadian law – specifically its holding onto users data for an indeterminate length of time
– Amends will be put in place that allow users to not only suspend their accounts but offer an easy option to delete their account and permanently delete data.
– However, Facebook has said this could take 12 months to implement… REALLY… 12 MONTHS!!! Facebook must really respect users privacy and the Canadian courts for it to be so high up their development schedules to only allow it to be rolled out in 12 months.
– Facebook 3.0 released on the appstore
– very nice update
– much more refined interface, easy to use and logical
– create your own iPhone-like pages
25:14 – Apple News
– Apple Care about your apps…
– http://crave.cnet.co.uk/software/0,39029471,49303437,00.htm
– Apple’s App Approval Team spend, on average, 6 mins per app to make a decision to approve/reject if Apple’s figures are to be believed.
– This process is carried out by 2 people, therefore a total of 12 mins per app.
– Victim of their own success? Stretching their staff a little thin?
– Yelp
– First augmented reality app
– Hidden option – shake three times and a dialogue appears offerring to enable ‘monacle’
– Once enabled, see reviews as you spin around iPhone – 3GS only
– Awesome 🙂
– Spotify
– annual subscription increased to £119.88
– adds social networking – share your music on Twitter, Facebook, Delicious
-iPhone app approved
– should be available to download soon
– will be interesting to see how it performs over 3G and wifi
– App is free but you need to be premium member to use the app to stream. (£10 month)
39:24 – Xbox Price Drop…and increase!
– XBox price cuts anounced
– Arcade = £159.99; Elite = £199.99
– No HDMI cable in Elite box.
– Possibly new Xbox Super Elite in October. 250GB HDD, includes 2 wireless controllers + Forza 3?… going to be an expensive bundle.

Picks
Shakeel
Your camera and the Law

Ian
TripIt
– Itinery planner
– E-mail travel e-mails to plans@tripit.com
– So far all my travel plans have imported well – if there is a mistake then you edit
– Free tripit iphone app to view all travel details, booking numbers and contact phone numbers – no paper required
– Stats on how much you’ve travelled and where each year – geeky but nice
– Social too – friends can see your travel plans, where your staying etc
– share plans via iCal feed, rss, linked in, blog etc
– Other app’s can import data automatically

Chris
Let the “Internet” decide what music you should listen to!
– Dynamically generated Spotify playlist generated by wearehanted.com by trawling as many social networks, blogs etc as possible to see what music people are talking about most at any time.
– List of about 99 tracks.
– Like this for the mashup aspect as well as the fact that the tracks I’ve heard through it have been good – and different from the char

DigitalOutbox Episode 11

DigitalOutbox Episode 11
In this episode the team discuss Sony PS3 Slim and Apple.

Playback
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Shownotes
– Android
– Developers finding switch from iPhone development to Android .. lacking .. severly – http://daringfireball.net/2009/08/the_android_opportunity
– the Android state-of-the-art is today further behind the iPhone state-of-the-art than it was when the G1 debuted last October
– must do better
– iPhone needs decent competition to benefit everybody
– Layar – Augmented Reality Browser
– http://mashable.com/2009/08/18/layar/
– On android, iPhone coming soon
– Data layed on top of real world
– Shopping, finding places, games, house prices, restaurant reviews, find friends, geo-tagged images, tours
– Imagine translation layer – foreign country and the phone translates

– Twitter
– Geolocation API
– http://blog.twitter.com/2009/08/location-location-location.html
– Tweets near you
– tweets about a location – trending places?
– Users can connect locally – on the web site etc
– Retweet rework
– http://blog.twitter.com/2009/08/project-retweet-phase-one.html
– did this need to be re-worked?
– Business accounts
– With analytics and other metrics to help businesses

– Windows Mobile OS – 2 “current” versions next year?
– It’s looking likely that MS will run with 2 mobile operating systems concurrently
– WM 6.5 as an incremental upgrade over the current 6.0 edition
– WM 7 as a radical overhaul to for high end, touch based devices which MS will work in collaboration with manufacturers.
– MS have said they know they have been slow to respond (Version 7 has been in development or a long time) but they are solving this.
– With hardware development ramping up across the board and with Android / Windows Mobile development being focussed on – can Apple keep up? Do they want/need to?
– Could the same thing happen to phones as happened with MP3 players? I.e. iPod wasn’t the best player available but best infrastructure locked people in… This isn’t an issue whilst the iPhone remains the best phone on many levels but that’s not going to last forever(?!).

– Video adverts in print media!
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8211209.stm
– Slim-line screens, roughly size of mobile screens, sat in traditional paper magazines.
– Chip can hold up to 40 mins of video!
– Pepsi and CBS first to advertise in US based Entertainment Weekly magazine.
– Wowsers! Feels like something out of Minority Report.

– Apple
– FCC Inquiry
– AT&T – not involved in Google Voice rejection
– http://www.engadget.com/2009/08/21/atandt-tells-the-fcc-it-had-no-role-in-removing-google-voice-fro/
– Apple – http://www.apple.com/hotnews/apple-answers-fcc-questions/
– Not rejected, still looking at Google Voice app’s
– Says it has not rejected the Google Voice application and “continues to study it.”
– Apple’s concerned Google Voice alters “the iPhone’s distinctive user experience” and “disables Apple’s Visual Voicemail.”
– “The iPhone user’s entire Contacts database is transferred to Google’s servers, and we have yet to obtain any assurances from Google that this data will only be used in appropriate ways.” [Doesn’t Mac OS X do this when it syncs Address Book to Google? What’s the issue? — ed.] GV Mobile, GVDialer, and VoiceCentral all have the same issues.
– Says its “covering new ground and doing things that had never been done before,” and that “many of the issues we face are difficult and new.”
– Apple did not consult with AT&T about whether to approve Google Voice, and Apple alone makes the final decision on whether or not to approve iPhone apps, although part of the AT&T / Apple contract forbids Apple from approving VoIP apps that run on the cell network.
– “Most of the review process is consumed with quality issues and software bugs.”
– SlingPlayer Mobile was “initially rejected because redirecting a TV signal to an iPhone using AT&T’s cellular network is prohibited by AT&T’s customer Terms of Service.” [That’s pretty much the opposite of what AT&T promised us. — ed.]
– There are more than 40 full-time trained iPhone app reviewers, and at least two different reviewers go over each app. There’s also an App Store Executive Review Board that meets weekly to determine procedures and sets policy for the review process, and also reviews apps that are escalated to the board because they “raise new or complex issues.” [Hello, Phil Schiller!]
– Apple gets 8,500 new apps and updates a week, and it claims only 20 percent are not approved as originally submitted.
– Googles Response
– http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/08/21/googles-response-to-the-fcc/
– Redacted content
– What will happen? I think Google Voice will soon become an accepted app
– Apple are lying – they told the other Google Voice developers that their was rejected – not what they’ve said here
– App Store is changing – Qik now can upload over 3G, Obama art app which was rejected is now accepted with an expedited route through approval, developer of C64 emulator contacted by senior Apple rep and told him big news is coming soon

– iPhone 3GS best selling phone in Japan!!!! Reason? it’s free!!!

– iPhone to become most popular camera on Flickr
– http://mashable.com/2009/08/17/iphone-flickr/
– Despite poor image quality
– Watch it boom if iPod touch and nano come with camera
– iPhone, the number 1 camera on Flickr – surprise? I think so …

– TomTom GPS car kit will work with iPod Touch and other 3rd party S/W apps (CoPilot?) http://gizmodo.com/5339070/confirmed-tomtoms-gps-car-kit-will-work-with-ipod-touch-third-party-apps

– Event scheduled for Sep 9th?
– http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20090817/apple-event-scheduled-for-wednesday-sept-9-music-only-no-tablet/?mod=ATD_rss
– iPod’s, iTunes, no tablet
– Beatles – how many times have we heard this now?
– What is the massive data centre Apple is building going to be used for?

– Twitterific 2.1 update
– video recording and uploading
– updated contact sheet for better viewing
– numerous bug fixes and tweaks

– Gadgets n’ Games
– Sony Gamescom news
– PS3 slim unveiled – http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=221475
– launched first week of September worldwide
– €299 worldwide, $299 in US, £249 in UK
– Talk of shortages from retailers but denied by Sony
– 30% lighter, 32% smaller, 34% less power consumption
– current PS3 to get price cut
– looks like a matte finish (less of a dust magnet)
– hi-res pics here http://www.joystiq.com/photos/playstation-3-slim/2216305/full/
– $24 for a stand! Slim can’t stand vertically without another peripheral
– Faster gaming (improved chip speed?), supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio bitstream output to your receiver
– HDD is removable – http://www.engadget.com/2009/08/21/video-another-look-at-ps3-slim-and-its-removable-hdd/

– PS3 video store to launch in in Eur in Nov
– rent or buy SD/HD videos
– PS3 firmware 3.0 out on 1st Sept
– animated themes – hurrah
– “What’s New?” section
– BBC iPlayer
– ‘other’ interface tweaks
– PS3 Home 1.3 this september
– http://blog.us.playstation.com/2009/08/19/playstation-home-v1-3-coming-this-september/
– Universal Game launching form within Home
– From Home to Start menu of game without signing out of home
– In store item previews
– Additional portable Objects
– Everyone will get a free camera – snap from 1st or 3rd person view, photo’s saved to photos in XMB
– More to come like…a bubble machine
– More gestures and poses for your avatar
– PS3 drops price immediately – £249
– LBP to get water levels – maybe time for me to dig it out again
– New Heavy Rain trailer reveals new character and ‘love’ theme
– New Uncharted 2 video looking as amazing as before – cannot wait for this
– Stunning GOW III in-game images from Gamescom http://www.joystiq.com/photos/god-of-war-3-gamescom/2217198/full
– more motion control goodies to be revealed at TGS in September
– PSP GO buyers in first 10 days of release to receive GT for free (register your PSP GO before Oct 10)
– PSP mini games available on PSN from Oct
– limited to 100MB each
– low dev costs
– iPhone inspired ??
– Fieldrunners, Hero of Sparta, Tetris and MiniGore and others successful on the iPhone will appear as mini games
– 50 titles by year end

– Dante’s Inferno trailer looking promising ..
– Pre-order Guitar Hero 5 from Amazon, get GHWT (game only) for FREE!!!! (game is £70 with guitar)
– PixelJunk Shooter looking awesome

– XBox360 Arcade to get £30 price hike? http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=221412
– Fable 3 in 2010
– Fable 2 goes episodic this year
– Logitech G27 steering wheel – looks awesome but £329.99. http://www.trustedreviews.com/peripherals/news/2009/08/18/Logitech-G27-Steering-Wheel-Debuts/p1

– Batman Arkham Asylum – played demo, rather bloody enjoyable, great atmosphere, detective mode is very cool, can be a button basher though

– Do UK Retailers Limit Game Market?
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8210622.stm
– US market also depressed – http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=24837
– Exchange rate and pricing structure makes it difficult to break into UK
– Second hand market hurting game companies, restricting innovation
– Madden 10 – Online franchise needs code from within the pack when bought – second hand have to pay $10/800 MS Points to join
– Madden also has VIP lobbies, game type and server access – $4.99 or 400 points – I can understand the server access but not an increased difficulty.
– Digital Distribution the answer? Kill of Game etc?

– Your average hard-core gamer is no longer a teenager, but a 35 year old, over-weight, sad bastard http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2009/08/gamers-are-sad

– Sony stalling mass production of OLED displays due to recent losses they’ve sustained

– James Cameron’s Avatar – looks fantastic
– District 9 – a most welcome, low budget, low hyped spectacle. compared to the usual Hollywood, high-budget bores dished out by the ton

Picks
– Shakeel – PS3 Media Server
– no nonsense, free, easy to use media server for PS3
– best feature – streams MKV’s, allowing use of subs and DTS, all on the fly
– no encoding required

http://code.google.com/p/ps3mediaserver/
– Ian – BrowserLabs
– http://browserlab.adobe.com/
– Compare a web site in a variety of browsers without launching them OR booting into a different OS
– Firefox 2.0 – XP, Firefox 2.0 – OS X, Firefox 3.0 – XP, Firefox 3.0 – OS X, IE6 – XP, IE7 – XP, Safari OS X
– Not extensive but easier to hit this than use parallels or multiple machines
– Compare side by side or onion skin – overlap two browsers
– Chris – Sumo Paint & Pixlr
– http://www.sumopaint.com/
– http://pixlr.com/
– Wowsers! Online alternatives to Photoshop?
– Serious pieces of Flex coding. These kind of applications make you realise that we could one day spend life in the cloud.

CoPilot Live

For all of the App Store restrictions, the lack of proper turn by turn sat nav software seemed to cause the most grief. The iPhone was more than capable of running the software but Apple restricted the sale of turn by turn navigation software until OS 3.0 was launched. Alongside that announcement was the news that Tom Tom would be coming to the iPhone with a software and hardware add-on. Many have waited for Tom tom due to it’s history and market share but I plumped for CoPilot Live, partly due to it’s good reviews and partly it’s price of £25.99, less than half that of Tom Tom.

Even though the price is excellent this isn’t an under featured sat nav. The features include (yes, lazy cut and paste from their website):

  • Full spoken turn-by-turn voice directions
  • Detailed street maps of UK and Ireland with full UK post codes stored on your iPhone
  • Clear 3D and 2D driving views with SmartZoom™ speed-variable zoom and street names
  • Navigate to a house number, street, intersection or address book contact
  • Automatic portrait and landscape display switching
  • Comprehensive multi-stop pre-trip planning and preview
  • Route optimizer works out the best way around multiple stops
  • Intelligent navigation provides guidance in tunnels and underpasses
  • Automatic day/night mode
  • Navigate to thousands of Points of Interest
  • Lane indicator & CoPilot ClearTurn™ provides a more realistic view of motorway exits and junctions
  • Real Signpost display matches real-life signs
  • LiveLink™ location sharing and messaging: keep track of your CoPilot friends, live on-screen!
  • Live 5 day weather forecast for your location or destination
  • Roadside Assistance helps you contact your breakdown company and tell them your location
  • Huge range of customization features to suit the way you travel
  • Customized trip status displays, including eta, distance remaining and more

CoPilotNot a bad list of features but does it work? I tried it last week when I was away on business and driving between Bristol and Bath I had no issues – in fact I was really quite impressed. Once the GPS had locked onto my location I entered the postcode of my destination and CoPilot quickly worked out a route. One issue I do have is that you can’t easily see an overview of your route. You can move around the map and zoom out but it would be nice to see the total route before commencing your journey. For the first journey CoPilot recommended a different route from normal – I trusted the normal route and pleasingly CoPilot recalculated in 2-4 seconds which I was happy with. I read some comments on the App Store reviews that people thought this was slow but I don’t see it as an issue.

The rest of the journey went really well – clear instructions on both vocally and on the screen and the GPS positioning was excellent. Chris also picked up CoPilot and felt that when the car was stopped, CoPilot would ‘shut-down’ and would take 10-20 seconds to start working again once he had started moving. I haven’t noticed this issue but others are reporting it and it will allegedly be addressed in the next CoPilot update.

Other journeys have worked really well. I found the controls a bit odd though. Unlike other app’s on the iphone this doesn’t really take advantage of iPhone controls. It feels like a sat nav – big buttons and a non qwerty keyboard (fix in next version). I’m mixed on the looks – it’s functional but isn’t the best looking. Looking at Tom Tom they seemed to have delivered an ap that looks and feels like other iPhone app’s. Time will tell which design approach makes most sense.

CoPilot 2Despite reservations with the menu’s, I think the map graphics are excellent. Clear in either 3D or 2D modes with support for different colourings and night modes. No complaints there. The audio is also very clear with six different voice options. The maps display Points of Interest and they can also be selected and navigated to. One update for the next version is the ability to call a Point of Interest like a hotel or museum which will be handy. One large omission is speed camera’s which CoPilot’s rivals do have. Again this will be addressed in the next update. It looks like CoPilot decided to get this release into the App Store as quick as possible ahead of Tom Tom. Ultimately this is a smart move as the software is more than capable on this release and at this price is an absolute steal. There are also some Live services included – you can see friends on the maps as long as they let you follow them, see a 5 day weather forecast for current location and also contact emergency services with your current location. One Live Service which will be a paid for (I guess monthly subscription) is traffic reports, similar to other sat nav systems.

After using CoPilot for two weeks I have no regrets picking this over Tom Tom or the other sat nav app’s available on the iPhone. CoPilot works well, it’s location searching hasn’t failed me yet and the software has a lot of features that work well. It also removes the need for separate sat nav hardware and at £26 that a bargain thats hard to ignore. Hopefully the 1.1 update will address the shortfalls mentioned above and there is one niggle that I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere – will map updates cost money i.e. yearly updates? Only time will tell.

To see a comparison of all the iPhone sat nav app features, see this comparison chart.

DigitalOutbox Episode 10

DigitalOutbox Episode 10
In this episode the team discuss the latest tech news.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:23 – Feedback
– Not feedback as much as an apology to the residents of Portsmouth! My facts were wrong. The people of Paulsgrove merely staged demonstrations, fire bombed houses and cars and made people flee their homes – often innocent residents – and had 5 year-old kids holding some pretty sick placards and chanting hate messages. It was the people of Newport, Wales, that forced a Paediatrition to leave her home after vandalism thought to have come from confusion over her job title…
– Tam – http://code.google.com/p/ps3mediaserver/ – PS3 Media Server
– Installed this and am able to play mkv on PS3. Java, no codecs to install, supported on Windows, Mac and Linux. say goodbye to mkv2vob
– Lewis – We are Apple fanboys – take a look at Windows Media Server PC – Plays everything, Full library of movies, Pictures, Music, High def output, Plays blurays and HD, and downloads, Works with a remote control, Records TV, Even Hi-Def (via Freesat), Costs a lot less than devices to do all that would.
– Jim – volume issues, hopefully fixed this week
4:24 – Facebook buys FriendFeed
– Some duplication but Facebook have bought a great team
– Maybe people will use more of friendfeed
– Will friendfeed remain a seperate service (doubt it) and what of it’s API’s?
– FriendFeed may still live as a seperate site
– Who are Facebook fighting – Twitter? Google? Both. Real time search and feeds becoming hot topic
– Where does Facebook benefit – search, real time, content aggregation, comment tracking, im tracking
– Facebook turns on realtime searching just a few hours later – http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/08/10/facebook-flips-the-switch-on-real-time-search-goes-after-twitter-where-it-hurts/
– $50 million in stocks and shares
– http://mashable.com/2009/08/10/friendfeed-tips-saved-searches/
– Facebook Lite to launch – simpler, quicker to load, like a mobile site, like friendfeed or a facebook alternative to twitter?
– None of that – for parts of the world where broadband is slow, flaky
8:04 – Google Reader and Search Engine Updates
– Twitter, facebook etc sharing via send to
– Also add custom send to, like send to pdf generation service. Be nice to have evernote – http://lifehacker.com/5336606/convert-google-reader-items-to-pdfs#comments – http://blog.evernote.com/2009/08/14/send-blog-posts-from-google-reader-to-evernote/
– Easily subscribe to people you follow’s blogs, flickr etc
– Mark as read – older than a day, older than a week
13:11 – Mobile Privacy
– iPhone app’s doing the same
– http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/dear_iphone_users_your_apps_are_spying_on_you.php
– Not Apple app’s
– He says applications using Pinch Media track the following information:
iPhone’s unique ID, iPhone Model, OS Version, Application version (in this case, camera zoom 1.x)
If the application is cracked/pirated, If your iPhone is jailbroken, Time & date you start the application
Time & date you close the application, Your current latitude & longitude, Your gender (if Facebook enabled)
Your birth month (if Facebook enabled), Your birth year (if Facebook enabled)
What’s worse is that you’re often never told that the app will be performing this level of detailed tracking and you’re often never given the opportunity to opt-out. The data recorded is continuously tracked every time you use the application. This violation of user privacy is so egregious that the developer even goes so far as to call Pinch Media “iPhone spyware.”

In addition, a recent post on the iPhone Dev Team blog, the site hosted by the developers who release the jailbreaking and unlocking applications for the iPhone, also calls out Pinch Media for tracking your location even when it’s unnecessary to do so. In the example they cited, an tip calculator app was identified as tracking your geographical location through time and uploading that data to Pinch Media.
– Why do they need this? Is this an issue?
16:47 – Microsoft Can’t Sell Word
– Patent infringement on XML structured document storage – ie how Office documents are stored as docx, docm etc.
– Judge in Texas has ruled that a patent held by i4i has been infringed and therefore Microsoft must stop selling Word or importing Word into the USA…
– Some pretty woolly distinctions on what the companies “invention” is – they call it “custom XML”
– There are lots of other products that apparently infringe the “invention” – such as OpenOffice – but they haven’t gone after them.
– Isn’t all XML custom!!?? Isn’t that the whole point!!??
– Looks like i4i may well just be chasing a cheque
– Pretty ironic that MS gets whacked for trying to open up their document formats. After years of proprietary formats.
– Ultimate outcome of ruling unknown… looks for all thr world that i4i are looking for a nice fat cheque.
20:21 – Download the Pirate Bay
– “The index has 873671 torrents, ranging from id 3211594 to 5051940 (2009-08-13).
I only got 873671 torrents, but according to the website the tracker tracks over 2 million torrents.
The discrepancy is most likely due to many torrent files including the TPB tracker but has not been uploaded to the web site.”
– Only a few days to grab the torrent
22:06 – Apple Rumours
– Keynote – September 7th?
– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNQWIDZLyLQ
– iPod’s with camera’s and mic’s
– iTunes 9
– http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2009/08/08/apple-itunes-9-details-blu-ray-app-organization/
– Blu Ray support
– App organisation
– twitter, facebook, last.fm integration
– iPod event in September?
– iTablet to feature an 8-10″ OLED screen???
– 2010 rather than september or this year?
– Matte screen option now available for an upgrade fee of $50 http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/08/11/apple_again_offers_matte_screen_option_for_15_inch_macbook_pro.html

– RUMOUR but nice if true!!! Apple possibly developing their own social networking app for integration with iTunes, iLife etc?? http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2009/08/11/more-itunes-9-details-apple-developing-social-networking-application/
– seems to be part of a bigger social networking push by Apple. Apple has plans to tie iTunes 9 into a “Social” application that they plan to release in the future. It was said that the application (separate from iTunes) will be similar to Yahoo’s OneConnect offering and consolidate all your social networking services. (iPhone application? Desktop app?).
– The application will allow you to broadcast what music you’re currently listening to, allow you to share your music with people on your network, connect with your friend’s friends (?), and update all of your statuses at the same time. ITunes 9 will let you broadcast music statuses as well.
– Big Phil’s talking again
– http://stevenf.tumblr.com/post/160726521/on-saturday-night-we-drove-up-to-seattle-to
– Apple are listening, realising they have not just a PR issue but an app store with issues and unhapp devs + real competition
– Interesting to understand the changes that ill come from this
– Snow Leopard – Gold Master
– http://www.macrumors.com/2009/08/11/mac-os-x-snow-leopard-build-10a432-designated-gold-master/
– Out before end of the month?
– Packaging – http://www.macrumors.com/2009/08/15/photos-of-snow-leopard-disc-and-retail-packaging/
– Outlook for Mac
– Bye bye entourage
– End of 2010
– Mail’s enough for me
36:15 – Toshiba Eats Humble Pie
– Toshiba finally eats humble pie and moves to blu-ray
– will continue with it’s upscaling technology which no-one really gives a shit about
– still adamant HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray war was necessary
39:06 – Zune HD
Great interface
– 720p playback from the dock to tv
– 16:9 OLED screen
– Zune HD’s launch date (September 15th). Prices are $219.99 for the black 16GB version and $289.99 for the “platinum” 32GB edition.
– Web browser, search by Bing
– HD radio
44:20 – PSP Go
– Not what you think – Nintendo DSi and DS advert

Picks
Ian
CoPilot
– £25.99
– Sat Nav app for the iPhone
– Enter destination – postcode search, street with number, point of interest in city or local
– Stores Home, Work, Recent and fav’s
– Quick stop – pick Gas Station, Restaurant, Hotels, Vehicle Repair
– Can plan a trip or add a detour – avoid a road for example
– 3D and 2D views – clear graphics although zooming in with pinch is slow
– Live Services – Live Link, Live Weather and Roadside Assistance – Live Traffic is there but greyed out – pay for upgrade?
– Driving Views – 3D,2D, Itinerary, 2D Next Turn (can change colours to be most suitable, auto swap at night to something clearer)
– Routing works out quickest route – does this very quickly. Can set vehicle type including walking, avoid tolls, congestion
– Change POI display and alerts
– Speed limit warnings
– Turn warnings can be set to 2 miles, 1 mile etc
– 6 voices
– Test last week – worked 3 out of 3 times in built up and open areas
– Recalculated quickly when I took the printed google maps route…which turned out to be a slower route
– GPS can take a while to lock
– Updated position well – kept up with car without issue
– Interface looks like a sat nav, not an iPhone app which is a bit odd. Keyboard isn’t qwerty – next update
– No speed camera’s – promised for next update
– For me, light sat nav usage, ideal. Tom Tom – £60 – good reviews so far, looks like an iphone app but i’m more than happy with this purchase

Chris
The Edge of Flash
– Some inspiring, highly creative and generally amazing Flash based applications.
– It’s worth going through the back archive of the Adobe Edge magazine: http://www.adobe.com/newsletters/edge/ just to see what’s on offer.
– I’ll pick out one or two memorable ones as:
– http://soytuaire.labuat.com/ An absolutely stunning interactive music application
– http://thankyou.thisisgrow.com/TFWA – how to sell clothing in the modern world