DigitalOutbox Episode 75

DigitalOutbox Episode 75
In this episode the team discuss Egypt blocking the internet, Sony NGP and O2 rolls out free wifi.

Playback
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Shownotes
1:05 – Egypt Blocks the Internet
– Started off with rumour of Facebook and Twitter being blocked
– Vodafone said it wasn’t them – govt were blocking
– Internet and SMS and Mobile phone networks now being blocked
– Follows a week of protests and escalating violence on the streets – protests over ruling government – demonstrators demanding the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak
– Tim Bray, an engineer at Google, tweeted: “I feel that as soon as the world can’t use the net to watch, awful things will start happening.”
– http://gigaom.com/2011/01/28/how-egypt-switched-off-the-internet/
– http://www.renesys.com/blog/2011/01/egypt-leaves-the-internet.shtml
4:53 – BBC Cuts
– 360 staff to lose jobs
– Online budget to drop to £103m by 2013 – 25% cut
– BBC said it will meet with commercial rivals twice a year to clarify its online plans, increase links to external sites to generate 22m referrals within three years and will halve the number of top level domains it operates.
– Blast, Switch and h2g2 are among the sites to be ditched.
Other closures will include the standalone websites for the BBC Radio 5 Live 606 phone-in show and 1Xtra, 5 Live Sports Extra, 6 Music and Radio 7 digital stations.
– In all, the BBC is pledging to close half of its 400 top level domains – with 180 to be gone ahead of schedule later this year.
– The 606 site and iPlayer Message Boards close. iPlayer will become focused on “long form video content” – no radio via iPlayer – http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/2011/01/delivering-quality-first.shtml
– While BBC iPlayer has been a good home for online radio, the way audiences want to interact with radio and music online is different to TV. Radio and music will come out of BBC iPlayer, and we’ll develop a new stand-alone product. All radio station sites, music events, podcasts and programme pages will be integrated to focus on highly interactive live radio, quick and seamless access to programming, support for new music and personalisation – on whatever internet-connected device you happen to have.
9:26 – Sites Hacked/a>
– Lush has it’s site hacked
– anyone who made online purchases on the handmade cosmetic company’s UK site between October 4th and January 20th is at risk of having their credit cards used fraudulently
– Site was hacked on Christmas Day but Lush only took down their site on Friday 21st
– Many people angry at the delay – no wonder – Lush say they were investigating the hackers intentions – only when they started to use small test payments using stolen card details did they take action
– Paypal driven website to launch shortly
– Trapster’s site also compromised
– http://www.itpro.co.uk/630250/trapster-passwords-leaked-after-hack
– 10 million e-mail addreses and passwords potentially stolen
– Ouch
– If you used a common password, nows the time to change it
– E-mail addresses and passwords now ‘in the hands of hackers’
14:48 – ACS Law stops chasing file sharers
– The patent court in London is currently scrutinising 26 cases brought by ACS: Law on behalf of its client MediaCAT. The law firm had sent thousands of letters to alleged file-sharers.
– Those who received such letters may pursue ACS: Law for harrassment, said law firm Ralli, which represents some of the defendants.
– In a statement read to the court, solicitor Andrew Crossley said he had now ceased all such work
– “I have ceased my work…I have been subject to criminal attack. My e-mails have been hacked. I have had death threats and bomb threats,” he said in the statement, read to the court by MediaCAT’s barrister Tim Ludbrook.
“It has caused immense hassle to me and my family,” he added.
16:51 – Google censoring torrents
– The search engine now actively censors terms including BitTorrent, torrent, utorrent, RapidShare and Megaupload from its instant and autocomplete services. The reactions from affected companies and services are not mild, with BitTorrent Inc., RapidShare and Vodo all speaking out against this act of commercial censorship.
– What is most surprising about the new filter is that the keywords appear to be picked arbitrarily. It includes BitTorrent clients such as uTorrent and Xunlei, but not BitComet and Vuze. While cyberlockers such as RapidShare and Megaupload are banned, prominent sites such as 4shared, HotFile and MediaFire are not.
– In addition, all the names of popular torrent sites including The Pirate Bay are not included in Google’s banlist either. BitTorrent’s Simon Morris agrees that this is odd, to say the least.
21:23 – Amazons Record Quarter
– Significant milestone – tipping point?
– Sold 115 kindle books for every 100 paperbacks – doesn’t include free downloads
– Ian – been enjoying using Kindle software, not hardware
– Amazon in general doing really well – sales up %40 on last year – first $10 billion quarter
23:46 – Microsofts Great Quarter
– Kinects – 8 million in 60 days
– Entertainment division doing well
– Office 2010 – fastest selling consumer version of Office yet – licence sales 50% ahead of 2007 at this stage
– Windows 7 – fastest selling op system yet – sold more than 300 million licences
– Windows phone 7 – umm – 100 new apps per day?
27:08 – O2 Rolls Out UK WiFi
– O2 is planning to deploy 13,000 Wi-Fi hotspots over the next two years, with free internet access in exchange for your mobile number and a few quid from the venue.
– Free for all, no matter what network your on
– The network won’t just be for O2 customers: anyone with a mobile phone will be able to sign up to the service, which will provide free internet access while logging the customer’s location and details for better delivery of targeted advertising. This will all be paid for by the venue, which might also like to make use of that advertising channel.
– Users wanting to take advantage will need to provide a mobile phone number, from any network, which will be confirmed with a text message. O2 then links the number to the MAC code (unique identity) of the kit connected, enabling it to automatically authorise future connections as well as spotting when the customer enters an area covered – enabling the delivery of the aforementioned advertising by text message or MMS.
-You can opt out of O2 Wi-Fi altogether, which will prevent you from receiving content from the venue.
– The system will only know you’re there if the equipment with the registered MAC address is switched on when you pass by, so advertising should only really happen when you try to use the service. That will change over time – modern smartphones constantly monitor for Wi-Fi networks, and connect to them when they are available, which will be enough for O2 to consider you fair game for a text message.
– But at least O2 won’t be tracking usage or browsing habits, nor will it be filtering content beyond what’s legal and in contrast to the mobile network. All UK mobile operators are required to block access to pornography and other adult services over their mobile networks until the customer presents proof of age, but it seems the same company can provide internet access over Wi-Fi without any such obligation: a strange double standard that surely can’t be allowed to continue.
31:12 – BSkyB buys The Cloud
– The acquisition gives us ownership of over 5,000 public Wi-Fi locations across the UK, ensuring that customers can access our online service at a network of convenient locations,” it said in a statement.
– “In addition, the initiative will complement our existing broadband services by offering customers a comprehensive option for Wi-Fi connectivity while they are on the move.”
32:28 – Galaxy Tab Price Drop
– Amazon and Tesco have also chopped their prices to a palatable £341.24 ($542) and £359.20 ($571)
– Dropped $250 in America
– Not selling too well or new updates coming in next 3 months or so?
– Honeycomb can be installed seemingly on the tab
34:35 – Android 3 Honeycomb Previewed
– Built for tablets – looks really, really good
– I like how they’ve made more changes due to screen seize, especially on home screen – iPad missed opportunity in many ways – lots of widgets and stacks
– Latest Android SDK includes an early Android 3.0 system image for developers
37:09 – Runkeeper Pro Free Forever
– Formerly priced at $9.99, fitness-tracker RunKeeper was one of the first 200 apps in the iTunes app store and became one of the store’s top sellers. After a month of free downloads, the company announced today that the product will remain free indefinitely. It’s not about app sales – it’s all about the platform.
– “We are less concerned about short term monetization,” founding CEO Jason Jacobs told us by email today, “and more concerned about building up the biggest, most engaged community of fitness enthusiasts that we can.”
– Jacobs told us that three million users had downloaded a RunKeeper app over the past 2 years, 1 million of whom downloaded Pro for free in a single week in January. The free and Pro versions of the app both made Apple’s top free and grossing apps of 2010 lists.
39:36 – Playstation Suite
– Sony unveiled a cross-platform software framework called PlayStation Suite, which sounds rather boring in those words, but what it amounts to is an official PlayStation Store filled with games for your Android tablets and cellphones.
– Sony’s starting with an emulator for existing PSOne titles and is promising an Android game store later this year, but soon it might be much, much more: the company’s calling PlayStation Suite a “hardware-neutral” development framework to make games portable for all sorts of handhelds, and says that “new and exciting content” is also on the way.
– PlayStation Suite requires Android 2.3 at a minimum
– Emulate touch screen controls
41:01 – Sony NGP
– 5 key concepts – Revolutionary User Interface, Social Connectivity, Location-based Entertainment, Converging Real and Virtual (augmented) Reality
– Specs include a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 5-inch touchscreen OLED display with 960 x 544 resolution, dual analog sticks (not nubs as on the current generation), 3G, WiFi, GPS, a rear-mounted touchpad, the same accelerometer / gyroscope motion sensing as in the PlayStation Move, an electronic compass, and cameras on both the front and back.
– Games will come on “new media,” not UMD anymore, but we’re unclear on what sort of flash memory is being used. Sony’s rather proud of the fact it’s offering the world’s first dual analog stick combo on a portable device, though we’re more geeked about the quadrupling of pixel count from the original PSP.
– touch panel on the back is the same size and positioned directly under the front OLED touchscreen, which allows for some pretty sophisticated controls when using the two simultaneously.
– In closing its presentation, Sony trotted out Hideo Kojima to show off a cutscene from MGS 4 rendered in real time on the NGP. It was pulled directly from the PS3 version of the game and ran at 20fps, which looked very smooth indeed
– Allegedly…the power of a PS3 and will deliver PS3 like graphics
– Out in 2011…in at least one territory

Picks
Ian
Sketchbook Express
– Free from Autodesk
– Supports tablets – bamboo and higher spec tablets from Wacom – great mockup tool for free
– Pro version for £44.99 (was £19.99 at Mac store launch) has more tools, layers and export options

Chris
Speedlight SB-400
– A great compact flash from Nikon
– Makes a big difference when shooting, especially indoors

DigitalOutbox Episode 51

DigitalOutbox Episode 51
In this episode the team discuss WWDC – iPhone 4.

Playback
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Shownotes
2:33 – Government to publish entire spending database
– The government will today give the public free access to its accounting books for the first time, publishing the entire contents of its spending database – a total of 24m individual entries documenting where public money comes from, what it is spent on and whose pocket it ends up in.
– The complex, 120GB Combined Online Information System (Coins) database won’t, however, be accessible to the public until an industry has emerged to analyse and digest the information.
– Tom Steinberg, the founder of mySociety, a non-profit organisation that runs several democracy websites in the UK, was this week appointed to a new government committee chaired by the cabinet minister Francis Maude to look at how to open up government data further.
– Also publishing rates of hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA on a weekly basis.

– http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/jun/02/hospital-infections-mrsa-cdiff-data
– Already, shows the government spent £1.8bn on consultants last year
– Guardian already has a database up and running – http://coins.guardian.co.uk/coins-explorer/search
– Also, it was published via bittorrent
4:17 – Sky and Virgin
– Sky buys Virgin TV channels
– At the same time, Virgin for an increased fee, will be able to show Sky Sports and Movies in HD and will also get access to Sky’s basic HD channels
– http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/digitaltv/news/a223210/sky-unveils-anytime-vod-service.html
– Sky announce Anytime +, their VOD service
– When it launches later in the year, Anytime+ will offer around 1,000 hours of content from Sky Arts, Sky Movies, Sky1 and Sky Sports, along with material from other broadcasters, such as ESPN and National Geographic. A “key focus” for the service will be movies, with around 500 being made available at launch.
– Anytime+ will be offered without charge to all Sky customers with IP-enabled Sky+ HD boxes. However, access to premium content such as sport and movies will depend on the subscriber’s package.
– initially only be made available to Sky customers with a Sky Broadband connection, meaning anyone on another internet service provider will miss out
– Allegedly until service is stable
10:26 – Intel Dealys USB 3
– Intel is holding up USB 3.0 adoption by delaying its motherboard chipset until 2012.
– The USB 3.0 spec was introduced in November 2008 and it looks like it’s going to be another two years before the mightiest computing chip-maker on the planet gets the trivial-to-design-and-build chipsets needed out of its fabs.
– Anyone think Intel had a hidden agenda here? Is the company trying to make the market more receptive to Light Peak, its new optical connect?
11:15 – Office Web Apps Now Live
– Word, Excel and Powerpoint with 25gb of storage
– Basic but probably more functional than Google equivalents
– Real time collaboration
12:06 – HP and Google Tackle Cloud Printing
– Handy for printing from your phone or iPad.
– I just see a massive opportunity for spam. Just now, the pile of spam faxes to be binned in the office every day is bad enough, but can you imagine how annoyed you’ll be when your expensive photo paper is defaced by images from the murkier recesses of the internet.
13:11 – Google Phasing Out Windows
– search giant is abandoning Windows due to concerns over security
– slowly phasing out the use of Windows internally since January
– new hires are no longer offered Windows PCs — the choices are now an Apple Mac computer or a PC loaded with Linux
– Most are moving to Mac
– Change with Chrome OS coming?
– Important to state that this hasn’t been officially confirmed by Google (although it is coming from a number of internal sources apparently.) Stems from vulnerabilities in operating system/IE uncovered in the China hacking.
– It’s happening – Leo Laporte’s ex engineer who went to Google was offered Mac or Linux only
– Microsoft responded “Google’s not so secure either”
http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-20006509-265.html and http://windowsteamblog.com/windows/b/bloggingwindows/archive/2010/06/01/windows-and-security-setting-the-record-straight.aspx
15:06 – iPhone 4
– iPad –
– http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2010/05/31ipad.html
– Pretty amazing sales figures
– Thats one every 3 seconds
– Thats a lot of fanboys 😉
– It’s like the opposite of what normally happens. If you ask people ahead of time, they say they would buy a product when in fact they won’t. This time, everyone said they wouldn’t get one, couldn’t see what it was good for (even after the keynote) and that they wouldn’t pay any more than £400 for one… then they go and get one, at launch, for £800.
– and when we say “people”, it’s obviously not just Ian and Shak.
– iBook minor updates (notes, PDF’s, 1 click bookmark) + coming to iPhone
– 22% of ebook sales
– Farmville on iPhone
– over 225,000 apps in the App Store , 15,000 apps submitted every week, 95% of all apps are approved in 7 days
– iPhone 4
– Thinnest design – as per Gizmodo phone – glass and stainless steel
– Retina Display – at 326 pixels per inch, it’s more pixels than the human retina can see (when the device is held 10 to 12 inches from your face), 960×640, giving it four times as many pixel as the iPhone 3GS. The 800:1 contrast ratio is also four times better than the iPhone 3GS
– A4 chip, better battery life
– gyroscope
– 5mp camera, LED flash, 720p 30 fps recording, $4.99 for iMovie
– iOS 4 (renamed and out on June 21st for current users, gold master today)
– Bing added to iPhone search
– iAds (from 1st July)
– Facetime – wifi only video chat, Open standard
– Launches 24 Jun, 16GB $199, 32GB $299 – good price
– More notable for what wasn’t announced
– Safari 5 came out after keynote – fast, reader view, signed extensions
– xCode 4 also demo’d at WWDC
– All Things D D8 Conference video – full length Steve Jobs vid
46:56 – Adobe Digital Publishing Platform
– magazine viewer technology is but one step in Adobe’s overarching Digital Publishing Platform effort, which will eventually extend to cross-platform app delivery of magazines, books, newpapers, and retail catalogs, but which for now is limited to one magazine on the iPad.
– We expect to use this technology to deliver more of our publications over the coming months,” said Thomas Wallace, editorial director of Condé Nast, Wired’s parent company
– Adobe says that the Digital Publishing Platform will be based on a combination of its Creative Suite 5, which it launched in April of this year, and technologies from the “web analytics and online business optimization software and services” company Omniture, which it acquired for $1.8bn last October. At its creative core is Adobe’s latest version of its QuarkXPress-killer, InDesign CS5.
– The magazine viewer software has not yet been released to developers, but according to Adobe’s Digital Publishing Platform roadmap (PDF), it’s due this summer at Adobe Labs.
– And, no, Apple isn’t making a Flash exception by allowing the Wired app into its App Store store. The Digital Publishing Platform generates applications in Objective C, as per Apple’s demands.
– Ambitious and potentially market grabbing move by Adobe – should Apple not have been doing this alongside announcement of iPad – everyone expected it
50:20 – Green Tech
– No note on pricing but should be available by the end of the year.
– Is this an improvement on existing dynamo/chargers already on the market?
– Orange Power Wellies
– http://newsroom.orange.co.uk/2010/06/06/here-comes-the-hot-stepper-orange-unveils-the-orange-power-wellies/
– Coverts heat from your feet into electricity
– Ideal for Glastonbury

Picks
Chris
Lego Printer
– A fully functioning lego printer! Superb. Complete with lego foremen sitting at control stations and lego horses turning cogs!
– Henry – http://prezi.com/ online Flash based presentation tool. A way to put an end to death by powerpoint?

Ian
iPad Walls
– Great site for iPad wallpapers

DigitalOutbox Episode 19

DigitalOutbox Episode 19
In this episode the team discuss Web security, backups and Broadband news for the UK with lot’s of edits. Cheers Skype!

Playback
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Shownotes
2:12 – Web Security
– Phishing scam used to target Google & Hotmail accounts. Account details leaked online. 30,000 accounts.
– How are people still being soooooo stupid as to give out their details to phishing emails?
7:22 – Cloud Issues
– Microsoft/Danger loses all T-Mobile Sidekick customer data
– Statement: Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger’s latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device — such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos — that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low.
– Where was the backup?
– Shows danger of relying on cloud – what happens if service drops, access restricted, data removed?
– As in local data, you should always have a backup
9:52 – Napster Evolves Again
– Cheaper unlimited download service on offer £5 per month – including 5 permanent downloads every month.
– 8 millions songs to choose from.
– Reaction to Spotify threat?
14:00 – Windows Mobile 6.5
6.5 brings a handful of great features to the same old mess that was Windows Mobile
– very small amount of system has been converted for ‘touch’, mainly the home and start screens
– need to use stylus for everything else ie typing, everything other than launching an app etc
– you CAN type with finger but it’s “like trying to sew with your feet”
– huge IE overhaul …. but still sucks
– pages render incorrectly or stall
– “designed by someone in 2002”
– 6.5 is nothing but a spit and polish job on 6.1
18:33 – UK Mobile Coverage
– Ofcom looking at ensuring consumers who don’t get the coverage they need are not locked into contracts.
21:19 – AT and T Allow VOIP over 3G on iPhone
– Due to FCC investigation?
– What about O2, Orange, Vodafone?
– Skype likes this – http://share.skype.com/sites/en/2009/10/good_move_att.html
– Google Voice rumoured – it’s not VOIP
23:19 – Adobe Flash EveryWhere except
– No surprise but is it an issue?
– Adobe do show app’s developed via flash and packaged for iPhone
– http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/10/05/adobe-shows-off-flash-apps-for-iphone-yes-you-read-that-right/
– Could increase app volume even more and bring more dev’s to the platform
– More app’s of the wrong type?
27:19 – BT push fibre
– BT announced one and a half million copper lines into homes and businesses will be joined by optical cables, initially offering broadband at 100Mbit/s downstream and capable of delivering 1Gbit/s.
– BT had previously only publicly committed to one million FTTP installations on building projects where the civil engineering costs of laying fibre would be low.
– The wider deployment means BT plans to run fibre to two and a half million premises by 2012. A further seven and a half million line will be upgraded to fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) services, delivering up to 40Mbit/s downstream.
– Competitors will be able to buy access to the fibre, although BT will have greater control over pricing than it does over ADSL.
– Virgin Media – will it allow access? Does VM want it? comparitively expensive and it’s running its own 50Mbit/s trials with copper from home to new cabinets and new fibre to rest of network http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/08/vm_cornwall/
– No news on areas to benefit
– My exchange – FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) should be in service form 04/01/2010
– http://www.openreach.co.uk/orpg/news/productbriefings/nga/nga04309.do
– Up to 40Mb down, up to 10mb up – £88.08 annual rental. What will retail offer? What price?
32:44 – O2 Starts to Throttle
– introduction of management for peer to peer and newsgroup applications will only affect those O2 broadband customers who are not on the firms own unbundled network.
– Par for the course
37:15 – VMWare Fusion 3
– $80, October 27th
– Designed for Snow Leopard, supports 64bit kernel, allows for virtualisation of 64 bit O/S
– Supports Snow Leopard and Windows 7
– Finally add’s aero support – first tool to do so
43:12 – iPhone 3.1.2 Update
– aims to resolve some of the recent issues reported by users
– sporadic issue that prevents iphone from waking up from sleep mode
– occasional crashes when streaming video
– intermittent cellular service interruptions
45:13 – New Tablet Rumours
– 10.6″ panel
– geared towards e-book functionality
47:48 – Kindle Comes to UK
– As expected, the Amazon Kindle will be coming to Europe, including UK.
– Access via 3G – unspecified carrier at this stage.
– No web browsing but the device should roam happily around 99 countries.
– £175
52:33 – Microsoft Mouse Labs
– Some real innovation
56:56 – Eigenharp
– It’s a Theremin http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theremin (as used by Bill Bailey) crossed with a Tenori-on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenori-on (as used by Little Boots)
– Much cheaper are the http://www.smule.com apps on the iphone – leaf trombone and ocarina, plus numerous Tenori-on wannabee apps.
– Never been a better time to inflict your musical talent on the world through digital instruments. We’re a long way from Rolf Harris’s Stylophone http://www.stylophone.com/

Picks
Ian
Tweetie 2
– The best twitter client for the Mac

Chris
Portal T-shirts
– Hopelessly / tragically /desperately geeky but just brilliant!
– T-shirts with in-built cameras and TFT screens come in Portal Orange and Blue pairs and transmit your cameras picture onto the other persons t-shirt – so creating the look of portals!

Henry
Fission
– MP3 splitter
– $32
– Mac only