DigitalOutbox Episode 39

DigitalOutbox Episode 39
In this episode the team discuss BBC cuts, broadband…plus our best pick ever!

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:31 – BBC Cuts
– Websites to half – online budget cut by a quarter
– Six Music and Asian network – six music is great!
– Cut on import spending
– Max spend on sport events of £300m
– Link out to newspapers, pull out of teen market, appease commercial rivals
8:00 – Google Bosses Convicted
– Italian court has convicted three Google executives in a trial over a video showing an autistic teenager being bullied
– The Google employees were accused of breaking Italian law by allowing the video to be posted online.
– Google removed the video within hours of being notified of its existence
– Convicted on privacy violations
– The UK’s former Information Commissioner Richard Thomas said the case gave privacy laws a “bad name”.
– David Drummond, chief legal officer at Google and one of those convicted, said he was “outraged” by the decision.
– “I intend to vigorously appeal this dangerous ruling. It sets a chilling precedent,” he said.
“If individuals like myself and my Google colleagues who had nothing to do with the harassing incident, its filming or its uploading onto Google Video can be held criminally liable solely by virtue of our position at Google, every employee of any internet hosting service faces similar liability,” he added.
– Ramifications inevitable
– Scan content before allowing viewing? Impossible. (20hrs every minute uploaded? 1200 employees would be needed just to keep up and that wouldn’t cover the privacy issues raised in this case.)
11:57 – Google Streetview Fight
– Europe wants Google to refresh google streetview images every 6 months instead of every 12
– They also want Google to tell people they will be taking pictures ahead of them doing it
– Switzerland is suing Google, asking for images of walled gardens and private streets to be deleted
– http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/04/street_view_eu/
– Google says if EU gets it’s way “it would consider whether we want to drive through Europe again, because it would make the expense so draining”.
16:21 – Facebook News Feed Patent
– The world’s largest social network now own the patent for the news feed.
– Abstract: A method for displaying a news feed in a social network environment is described. The method includes generating news items regarding activities associated with a user of a social network environment and attaching an informational link associated with at least one of the activities, to at least one of the news items, as well as limiting access to the news items to a predetermined set of viewers and assigning an order to the news items. The method further may further include displaying the news items in the assigned order to at least one viewing user of the predetermined set of viewers and dynamically limiting the number of news items displayed.
– How can this be patented for something that was launched in 2006
– Flickr – news stream 2004, activity stream Jan 2006
– Twitter – July 2006
22:34 – Google Granted Location Based Advertising Patent
– Google was awarded last Tuesday a patent for location-based advertising, the potential bread and butter of a number of emerging mobile applications.
– covers using location for targeting, setting a minimum price bid for an ad, offering performance analytics, and modifying the content of an ad
– Now, companies like Yelp, Foursquare, Gowalla and BrightKite have to be wondering what this means for them, as do some of the established big-time players, like Facebook and Apple.
24:11 – Apple Goes After HTC
– Apple has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against the cell phone manufacturer.
– The suit involves “20 Apple patents related to the iPhone’s user interface, underlying architecture and hardware
– We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.
– Why HTC and not Android?
– But that was from press release – actual lawsuit is…
– certain mobile communication devices including cellular phones and smart phones, including at least phones incorporating the Android Operating System (collectively, “the Accused Products”).
– It’s Google and Android and patents mention multi-touch
– Not for money…
– But the fact that the lawsuit was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) as well as in a U.S. District Court in Delaware suggests that Apple is really going for the jugular. “The ITC does not award damages,” says Peter Toren, a patent lawyer with New York City law firm Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman. The only remedy the ITC can award is an order to stop the importation of the infringing product. HTC is based in Taiwan.
– Looks like Google may get involved. This may call Apple’s bluff. HTC getting the money of Google behind this lawsuit could lead to interesting results.
– Minority Report was out before the iPhone right? Seen as nearly all the gestures we use come from this concept (and no doubt other places before) they can go take a jump.
– This modern trend for patenting every single sneeze that happens during development is getting ridiculous – however the fact that US appear willing to grant the patents on those sneezes is even more farcical. It’s a waste of money and time and we end up paying for it by more expensive products and also for a delay in tech innovation.
30:13 – App Store Crackdown
– 5000 app’s and counting removed from AppStore
– Apple has changed policy on app’s, removing an app if its overtly sexual
– Seeing as there is an age rating feature on the iPhone, why do this now?
– 7 new rules
– http://www.tuaw.com/2010/02/21/apples-7-commandments-of-app-sex/
– I have spoken with Apple, and the following are the new rules:
No images of women in bikinis (Ice skating tights are not OK either)
No images of men in bikinis! (I didn’t ask about Ice Skating tights for men)
No skin (he seriously said this) (I asked if a Burqa was OK, and the Apple guy got angry)
No silhouettes that indicate that Wobble can be used for wobbling boobs
No sexual connotations or innuendo: boobs, babes, booty, sex – all banned
Nothing that can be sexually arousing!!
No apps will be approved that in any way imply sexual content (not sure how Playboy is still in the store, but …)
– From developer of Wobble
– Probably a good move as more adult content could be found in lots of categories
– Phil speaks!
– “It came to the point where we were getting customer complaints from women who found the content getting too degrading and objectionable, as well as parents who were upset with what their kids were able to see”
– “When asked about the Sports Illustrated app, Mr. Schiller said Apple took the source and intent of an app into consideration. “The difference is this is a well-known company with previously published material available broadly in a well-accepted format,” he said.”
– Now wi-fi detectors are being removed
– http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/04/wifi_stumbling_iphone/
– Wi-Fi detection is something of a niche: there were never more than a handful of such applications in iTunes.
– But now even those have vanished as Apple decided they were using a “private framework”, and has pulled them off the shelves without explanation or apology.
– This is complete bullshit
– Why do Playboy and Sports illustrated get a pass but 500 other app’s don’t?
– Why do things like comics and other app’s get a 17 warning and Mobile Safari doesn’t?
– Fix it so that these app’s don’t appear if your parental settings prohibit it
– I don’t care about buying these app’s, it’s the hypocrisy and the app store built on moving sand
– Apple are getting themselves into tricker and tricker waters. Other main platforms all have better solutions.
– Android – free for all
– Win Mo 6.5 = controlled app store but anything goes if you want to install from other locations.
– Soon, they will control the sites you can visit on the internet. Then control the views you’re allowed to have. Exclude people from using the products who aren’t worthy. Where does this stop? They’re as bad as China.
38:50 – iPad News
– April 3rd in US
– Pre-order wi-fi and 3G from March 12th but pick up wi-fi only from 3rd
– Late April in UK
– With sterling crashing, £400+ is expected price now
– WSJ a lock in for iPad
– http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/04/penguins-ipad-formatted-books-shown-off-making-waves/
– Penguin books show options for iPad – future of books?
43:03 – We7
– Another music streaming option for UK
– £4.99 a month for advert free, higher quality streaming of music
– Millions of tracks
– £9.99 – iPhone app support (which is free), Android coming soon
– Similar to Spotify – offline playlists, 192kbps, no adverts
44:08 – Browser Choice
– From 1st March millions of Windows users in Europe will get to choose their default browser
– Choices are: Avant
Chrome
Firefox
Flock
Green Browser
Internet Explorer
K-meleon
Maxthon
Opera
Safari
Sleipnir
Slim
– Only guaranteed to see it if IE is default browser
– Opera, Firefox, Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer browsers are randomly ordered on the first section of this screen.
– Lots of bitching still. Some complaining about sideways scroll to see lesser known browsers. Others complaining that 5 of the browsers use Trident (IE based renderer) 3 use Gecko 1 webkit and one opera based so not as much choice as it appears…
47:43 – Virgin to offer 100Mb in 2010
– Virgin Media to offer 100Mb/s by end of 2010
– No word on pricing
– Virgin currently offers three broadband packages: 10Mb/s, 20Mb/s and 50Mb/s, priced at £20, £30 and £38 per month on a broadband-only subscription.
– Also extending 200mb/s trial to Coventry
– Virgin Media’s chief executive, Neil Berkett, said: “There is nothing we can’t do with our fibre-optic cable network, and the upcoming launch of our flagship 100Mbps service will give our customers the ultimate broadband experience.”
– Ian – got my first BT Infinity Mail Shot – up to 40Mb, 2Mb up, 20GB limit, throttling in place, £50 activation, 18 month contract
50:17 – PS3 – The Fat Death
– We hope to resolve this problem within the next 24 hours. In the meantime, if you have a model other than the new slim PS3, we advise that you do not use your PS3 system, as doing so may result in errors in some functionality, such as recording obtained trophies, and not being able to restore certain data.
– One day later…fixed
54:00 – iPhone Competitor from Sony
– Sony set to launch Sony Online Service to take on iTunes and provide games, music, films to PSP, Sony Ericsson phones and they’re also planning a PSP phone and a tablet.
– Hopefully better than the PSP Go, and is it too little too late anyway?

Picks
Henry
Attachment Scanner for Mail.app
– Don’t you just hate it when you send an email referring to an attachment, but forget the attachment?
– That never need happen again with this mail plugin for OS X. It scans your email for words like attach, attachment, attached etc and if there’s no attachment in those emails, it simply pops up a message box asking if you still want to send the message anyway.
– Simple, invisible, free.

Shakeel
Words with Friends
– £1.79 or Free
– turn based Scrabble type word game
– over 500,000 players
– 20 simultaneous games
– Push notifications tell you when it’s your turn
– invite friends through Facebook and Twitter
– very addictive
– some dirty sneaky cheaters cheesing me off though

Ian
Plants vs Zombies
– Superb game for iPhone
– Perfect pick up, play, stop 20 mins later…or 2 hours
– 300,000 copies sold in……………..9 days!
– More than $1 million in sales
– Current fav games

DigitalOutbox Episode 29

DigitalOutbox Episode 29
In this episode the team discuss Snow and Swine Flu.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:33 – 4G Network
– First speeds on 4G dongle – 42.78Mbps over a wireless data card, 5.3Mbps upload and 37ms ping
– TeliaSonera bundles the 4G service with 30GB of data for just 599kr (85$) per month
– Why mobile?
– http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/morgan_stanley_mobile_internet_market.php
– Mobile Internet market will be “at least 2x size of Desktop Internet,”
– Apparently, O2 4G trial also happening in Slough!
7:25 – Facebook Privacy Concerns
– Unfortunately, the truth is that almost everything is accessible to quiz authors.: Even if you have your profile information and content set to “private,” quizzes can see almost everything that you share with your friends on Facebook: your politics and religion, embarassing photos, comments you leave on your friends’ Wall. It doesn’t seem like a quiz developer has any reason to poke around in your profile, but it’s temptingly easy to do so.
– What info about you can a quiz see when your friends take a quiz? Nope – once again, the correct answer is: Almost everything on your profile. Yes, that’s right: when your friend takes a quiz, the quiz maker gets access to your information! So even if you’re being careful, if you haven’t changed the right privacy settings, your information could be collected by anyone who writes a quiz that your friends take!
– Developer’s aren’t vetted
– http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/12/15/facebook-lie-terms-of-service/
– Facebook suggest lying about your hometown and profile picture to protect yourself
– That in itself is against Facebooks T&C’s
Court Action Looming?
– 10 US based privacy groups have filed complaint to the federal trade commission over facebooks new privacy settings.
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8420431.stm
16:50 – Windows Mobile 7 Delayed
– Microsoft UK head of mobility Phil Moore addressed the thorny subject of Windows Mobile saying: “We’re still playing catch-up. When Apple came on to the scene a couple of years ago, it threw away the rulebook and reinvented it. We unfortunately don’t have that luxury. It’s true, Apple caught us all napping. It launched something that was very iconic, new and unseen with a very good user interface.”
– “It has been put back until late next year but it is definitely coming.”
19:46 – Palm Ares Beta
– Ares is the first complete set of integrated mobile development tools hosted entirely in the browser
– features a drag-and-drop interface builder, a robust code editor, a visual debugger, and built-in source control integration. Ares dramatically lowers the barriers for web developers to jump into mobile development and makes building webOS apps even easier and faster than before.
– drag-and-drop UI creation and the ability to deploy to your device from the browser (albeit so long as you’ve got the Mojo SDK installed).
21:59 – iMac Delays
– Flickering and other graphic card issues forcing 27″ iMac delays
– According to resellers, graphic cards are being replaced
– Lots of feedback in discussions on the website – http://imac.squeaked.com/
24:50 – Apple wins court battle against Psystar
– Judge bans Psystar from:
– Copying, selling, offering to sell, distributing or creating derivative works of Mac OS X without authorization from Apple
– Intentionally inducing, aiding, assisting, abetting or encouraging any other person or entity to infringe Apple’s copyrighted Mac OS X software
– Circumventing any technological measure that effectively controls access Mac OS X, including, but not limited to, the technological measure used by Apple to prevent unauthorized copying of Mac OS X on non-Apple computers
– Playing any part in a product intended to circumvent Apple’s methods for controlling Mac OS X, such as the methods used to prevent unauthorized copying of Mac OS X on non-Apple computers
– Doing anything to circumvent the rights held by Apple under the Copyright Act with respect to Mac OS X
– Rebel EFI software not specifically included in the ruling, because Psystar avoided describing specifically what the software does. However it is unlikely Psystar would be able to sell the software without finding itself in contempt if investigated again.
– It was reported earlier that Psystar was totally shutting down, but it has now emerged that is not the case
28:10 – Kindle App on Appstore
– Buy and read digital books
37:02 – BluRay 3D Spec
– Will work with PS3
– First, that the Blu-ray Disc Association has chosen the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec to store 3D, so that even though it is now providing a full 1080p frame for each eye, it will only require about 50% more storage space compared to the 2D version, and all discs will be fully backwards compatible, in 2D, on existing players
– Better than backwards compatibility, the PlayStation 3 will be forwards compatible with the new discs — a new HDTV setup (the spec promises to work with plasmas, LCDs or projectors equally well) with IR emitters and glasses will still be necessary
40:21 – PSP Digital Comics
– Launched on Wed 16th
– Marvel, IDW, Titan, iVerse and 2000AD
– http://playstationcomics.com
– Interesting – may need to charge up the PSP
41:27 – Gran Turismo Time Trial
– Dissapointing
– 1 track, tuned and ord version of car
– Handling….iffy – car difficult to control with joypad
– Aiming for wheel market? All fastest times by those with a wheel – forums reckon wheel trims 1-2 seconds from lap time
– Graphically underwhelming too – even saw a few stutters
42:55 – PSN Subscriptions
– Seems inevitable

Picks
Shakeel
Guardian App
– Guardian app hits the app store
– £2.39 so a bit of a stink from people saying that the website is free so why pay for the app?
– Writing in his blog about the application, The Guardian’s mobile product manager Jonathon Moore answered criticism of the decision to charge for it. “At an early stage we decided to set the bar high, which hopefully means the app has been planned, designed, tested and developed to offer a truly engaging experience,” he said. “The investment involved in this requires us to ask a small fee in return,” he said.
– The app offers an offline mode which allows you to stay in touch even if you don’t have a signal;
– easy access to audio and podcasts (including ‘download for listening later’);
– elegant personalisation;
– a topic-based search engine;
– the ability to follow all your favourite Guardian authors and contributors, and superb picture galleries

Ian
360 Live
– Great app for checking Xbox Live friends list
– Was paid for, now free
– So much better than other app’s – delve into frineds details, games played etc
– Can message from app as well

Perian
– Perian is a free, open source QuickTime component that adds native support for many popular video formats.
– Do away with need for VLC

Chris
Doodlejump
– bouncy dude.
– Keep him bouncing on platforms and everything will be fine!
– Use the tools – like jet packs, springs, helicopter hats to help you on the way.
– Avoid black holes and shoot the baddies on the way.
– Fantastically simple. Annoyingly addictive. 59p.

DigitalOutbox Episode 28

DigitalOutbox Episode 28
In this episode the team discuss Google, JooJoo, Boxee and Tweeting during sex.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:56 – Google Search Event
– innovations combining these trends and mobile phones. Search by sight. Search by location, and search by voice.
– Near Instant Voice Translation
– showed a demo of “talk in English, run voice recognition, translate into Spanish, then do voice synthesis in Spanish.” So basically a Babel fish
– bake location into the Google.com homepage. New feature: “Near me now” on Google.com mobile. Hit Near Me now and it shows you nearby restaurants, coffee shops, Bars, ATMS. Hit the down arrow, and it will show all the locations nearby.
– Today we have a new version of Google Mobile Maps for Android. Among new features are What’s Nearby feature. Longpress on a location hit What’s Nearby, and it has a list of nearby POIs.
– Google Goggles
– Take a picture of an item, and use that picture as the query. Say you have a bottle of wine to see if it’s any good. Take a picture. Looks it up, shows it has hints of apricots, etc. It’s in labs for two reasons. It’s nascent. Works in certain types of objects in certain categories. We want to be able to do any image. Today you have to frame a photo. In the future, just have to point at an object. We’re a long way from that. But today marks the beginning of that journey.
– Crap name
– How long before face recognition search?
– Great demo – http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/12/07/google-goggles-video
– Currently android only but will come to iPhone
– Google Real-Time Search
– http://google.com/trends / http://google.co.uk/trends
– http://www.google.com/search?q=google%20goggles&hl=en&gl=us&esrch=RTSearch&rtfu=1260216053&usg=9073
– Does a query for “Obama” into Google, results page comes up. Latest results for Obama streaming in. There is a widget on the standard results page, with results sliding by. They’re nested in the standard results page. This is the first time any search engine has integrated real time web into the results page. Google’s Matt Cutts just tweeted something, and it immediately showed up in the search results. This is huge.
– This is the first time we are presenting real-time web on the results page. What you see in this realtime section. Is a scroll bar to the right. You can scroll back and go forward. Shows the source (twitter.com). This is a comprehensive real-time web. With Tweets. News Articles, blog articles.
– New link under search options. “Latest results”. In addition to old ones, “Past hour, past 24 hours, past week, past year”. Available today. iPhone and Android
– Google trends is also leaving labs today.Rolling out real time search product over the next couple of days. You can always go to Google.com/trends page and clicking on a hot topic will show Google’s real time results.
– Two huge new partner announcements. Facebook will be providing us with a feed from Facebook Pages (shared publicly, obviously). Appearing in Google’s real time results. The second is MySpace.
– Q: How much real-time data are you crawling?
A: We’re crawling a lot of content ~1 billion pages a day. Many sources. Both new sources, and if a company announces a new product and does a release, we get that. And new blog posts. So we’re casting a very wide net. The key here is comprehensiveness of realtime integration.
– Q: How do you prevent spammers from taking advantage of real-time search results.
A: We have the best systems in place to prevent gaming of the system. Our spam lead out here (Matt Cutts) runs the best spam prevention team that there is out there. We have had experience with this for so long. We’ve developer algorithms so we can counter things almost before they happen. Real-Time is moving from minutes to seconds.
7:26 – Broadband Tax Details Revealed
– Alistair Darling in pre-budget report. £6 a year for all fixed line phone users so that people in Wales can have Broadband.
– Superfast broadband to 90% of the country by 2017… 2 0 1 7!!! In technology time-scales that’s just plain ridiculous.
– “It is estimated that the broadband tax would raise around £170m a year, which is some way short of BT’s estimate of £5bn needed to provide super-fast fibre services to every UK home.”
– Apparently, the Conservatives have pledged to scrap the tax if they win the election next year… So we should probably just ignore this until it goes away? But is there a need for this tax?
10:12 – Web Firms Oppose Digital Britain Clause
– Facebook, Google, Yahoo and eBay
– Want removal of clause 17 that gives any future Secretary of State powers to change copyright law as they see fit.
11:06 – Postcode Data to be free in 2010
– Currently organisations that want access to datasets that tie postcodes to physical locations cannot do so without incurring a charge.
– Following a brief consultation, the postcode information is set to be freed in April 2010.
– As part of this push, the government said it would start “consulting on making Ordnance Survey mapping and postcode datasets available for free reuse from April 2010.”
– The dataset that is likely to be freed is that which ties postcodes to geographic locations. Many more commercial organisations use the Postcode Address File (PAF) that ties post codes to addresses. Currently access to either data set incurs a charge.
– Harry Metcalfe, who helped sites get at postcode data, said he was “cautiously optimistic” about the decision to open up the OS data sets.
“If the right data is released in the right way, this will be a positive development,” he said.
– Unlikely to be the PAF – http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/12/10/ordnance_survey_data_postcode_paf/
– Woo hoo – just hope it’s released without strings.
12:50 – US Games Company sues British Blogger
– In an internet defamation case that lawyers say could set an “extraordinary precedent”, an American games company is suing a British blogger in the Australian courts.
– Evony, an online games company registered in the US state of Delaware, is suing Coventry-based blogger Bruce Everiss for libel over a series of allegations made on his website. In a bizarre twist, however, Evony has decided not to pursue its case in Britain or America, but 10,000 miles away.
– A hearing in Sydney on Monday will determine whether or not the supreme court of New South Wales has jurisdiction – with the potential to set a precedent for the way defamation laws are applied to the online world.
– Evony’s owners, who boast that the game has more than 11 million players worldwide, have accused Everiss – a 30-year veteran of the computer games industry – of damaging their reputation with a series of claims made on his blog. Among the allegations that Evony is objecting to are claims that the game is exploitative and has links to another company that is already being sued for fraud by Microsoft.
– Evony’s lawyers did not respond to a request for comment, but have previously said that the company intends to seek worldwide damages – a move believed to be a first in a case of this kind.
– The blogger himself, who does not intend to make an appearance in Sydney, has responded angrily to the action and accused Evony of libel tourism.
– He has suggested that if the case is allowed to proceed “it will create a precedent and open the floodgates for anyone to litigate anywhere against anyone they don’t like”.
15:44 – Facebook Changes Privacy Controls
– Facebook has rolled out its long touted updates to the privacy controls. Great.
– They are fine grained and allow you to control many aspects. They are clear and well implemented.
– But why the heck does it default to fully open!
– As a user, you are presented with a box informing you to update your settings.
23:15 – Tweet During Sex
– Best man rigs bed to tweet while couple are having sex – start time, end time, frenzy rating
– http://twitter.com/newlywedsontjob
26:03 – Google Chrome Beta for Mac
– Finally comes to the mac
– No extension support (there is in dev build) – in fact bookmakrs manager, app mode, task manager and gears support missing
– No flash blocker!
– Very fast though, faster than safari, for me anyway
– Needs xmarks support before I can use it seriously
– Also announced Extensions (previously dev only)
– http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/12/08/chrome-extensions-live/
– https://chrome.google.com/extensions
– Rem The Milk, Xmarks, Adblock etc etc – happy days
30:16 – UStream Live Recorder
– Live video streaming finally comes to iPhone
– 10-20 secodn delay but quality is fine
– App is free
– record videos right to the web, and allow others to watch them as they’re being recorded. These videos can also be archived so that people can watch them later, if they choose.
– easy to automatically tweet out when you go live, as well as to do things like share the videos on Facebook and YouTube. The live broadcast can also send out your location, if you’re into that sort of thing. The app also allows for chatting with viewers, and yes/no polling.
33:46 – Tesco iPhone Pricing
– For the 3Gs, £20 x 12 months + £407 = £647 or £60 x 24 months + £50 = £1,490
– Highest cost per month on 3GS or 3G but appealing 12 month contract instead of 18 or 2 years
– £60 – unlimited but limited by Fair Usage Policy…which is 1 TB of data!
– £20 – low minutes and texts
– Different but a bad different from current UK deals
– http://crave.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/0,39029453,49304500,00.htm?s_cid=82
– cnet uk analysis implies that when you compare like for life cost of ownership over the same period, Tesco deals are best out there.
38:07 – Apple Sues Nokia
– Nokia sued Apple in Nov for 10 patent infringements
– apple now sues Nokia for 13 patent infringements
– “Other companies must compete with us by inventing their own technologies, not just by stealing ours.” That was the only official Apple statement we’ve yet seen on the matter, by Bruce Sewell, Apple’s General Counsel and senior vice president.
44:47 – Boxee Beta and Boxee Box
– private beta with a new and improved look
– users are greeted by a dashboard with three columns in the form of a newsfeed, featured content and a program queue
– newsfeed offers starred content and comments from Boxee, Twitter and Facebook friends
– center column is reserved for featured community content
– the program queue lets you to keep track of your Netflix queue and latest Boxee-related TV subscriptions
– In the past users were asked to differentiate between their local and web files. Boxee Beta mixes local and web content in recognition that users simply want to watch their favorite programs regardless of the formats or location of files
– plan to open up the Beta to the public on Jan 7th (at CES) – Over the next 4 weeks we will gradually release invitations to our early access users
– Also announced Boxee Box
– http://mashable.com/2009/12/07/boxee-box-dlink/
– Hardware partner is D-Link
– Wi-fi enabled, SD slot, HDMI, SPDIF and RCA Audio connections, plus two USB ports – full specs in Jan
– $200
– Design is pretty unique – height of a coke can
– But would your money be better spent on a laptop/mini-desktop that you can install the software on and use for other purposes?
50:50 – Google Phone
– A Google branded android phone which, if rumours are true, will be sold unlocked
– Game changer
– Android dogfood – http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/2009/12/android-dogfood-diet-for-holidays.html
– The phone itself is being built by HTC, with a lot of input from Google. It seems to be a tailored version of the HTC Passion or the related HD2 (Unlocker scored some leaked pictures back in October which are of the same phone).
– From tweets: Yeah, it’s a hot, sexy mess. And I mean that in a good way. Similar form-factor to the iPhone, but with a smooth-brushed-metal-looking shell instead of a glossy one. And perhaps a smidgen lighter. Super fast, speech-to-text in EVERY app, awesome “live wallpapers” in the background that respond to touch in really beautiful ways. Like water ripples that emanate out from a touch.
– Rumours of January launch, but is it not just a rebrand of another phone?
– Called the Nexus One, It’s built by HTC, Google put a lot of effort into tweaking the stock Android interface, they’ll sell the phone direct online, and you’ll BYO service plan
55:43 – Milestone Sells Out In UK
– Retailer eXpansys is reporting that the just-launched Droid clone for GSM became “the fastest selling gadget in the website’s 11 year history, even more successful than the iPhone” when it sold out inside of three hours on its site on top of the roughly 1,000 preorders they had taken prior to the 10th.
– Expansys is a reasonably big seller in the UK, but only the geeks know it exists.
– The general public in the UK haven’t a clue what a milestone/droid is.
– It is only with Expansys exclusively for 2 weeks. From 21 December Play.com will also have it and from next year, it should be sold at phone shops from different networks
58:48 – Crunchpad is now the JooJoo
– Is available as pre-order (shipping within 8-10weeks) on thejoojoo.com – $499. Desktop stand $30.
– Boot to the internet in 9 seconds – fastest out there
– Could deliver HD on the go (Although it only mentions HD YouTube, Hulu and other Internet sites… screams – NOT 720p to me.)
– It’s a web browser with a touch interface – too dear, people will wait for Apple, damaged goods. (But what if Apple device does cost rumored $1000)
– After a long background story about how and why he partnered with Arrington on the Crunchpad (”I guess I had him at hello”), Rathakrishnan got down and dirty: “Unfortunately, Michael was unable to deliver. Michael was completely unable to deliver.” Rathakrishnan also criticized Arrington’s Internet-celebrity approach to talking up the Crunchpad before its launch. “Publishing pictures of an unfinished product on a blog … is not a recipe for success,” he said. In Rathakrishnan’s version of the story, Arrington spent his time blowing hot air about what he was going to do, while Fusion Garage did all the work to finish the design and build the product.
– Chris – But this clearly worked as there has been more buzz around this than plenty of other MID’s.
– http://news.cnet.com/8301-19882_3-10410960-250.html
– First hands on – good, fast to boot, no app’s, no storage, web browser and touch screen – too focussed, too expensive

Picks
Shakeel
Beat It
– Part beat machine, part rhythm (re)creation, totally addictive
– http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/beat-it/id335583964?mt=8
– listen to a track, lay down the beats, match the beat
– super retro 8-bit pixel-art graphics
– http://games.glu.com/game/beat-it

Ian
TuneChecker
– Find the cheapest price of music on the web
– Doesn’t compare quality of the music though so mileage may vary
– Also highlights free tracks
– Developed by moneysavingexpert.com

I Love Stars
– Sits in menu bar and shows you rating, lets you rate iTunes tracks
– Flash or play sound 3/4 way through playback of unrated song
– Supports keyboard shortcuts
– Free

Chris
Acrobat
– Adobe’s online suite. Includes a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation apps.
– Online PDF creation.
– Online meetings – whiteboards, webcams, mics, screen sharing and even screen control.
– Online repository for files.
– All run from Flash player.
– Free account limited to 5 PDF creations per day and 3 people limit in meetings. (Premium subscriptions available to raise limits.)

Tam
Free-OCR.com
– Free-OCR.com is a free online OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool. You can use this to perform OCR on any image you supply.
– This service is free, no registration necessary. We also do not need your email address.
– Just upload your image files. Free-OCR takes either a JPG, GIF, TIFF BMP or PDF (only first page).
– The only restriction is that the images must not be larger than 2MB, no wider or higher than 5000 pixels and there is a limit of 10 image uploads per hour.
– Supported by ad’s but a nice way of getting some OCR done quickly, for free without installing software

DigitalOutbox Episode 15

DigitalOutbox Episode 15
In this episode the team discuss the Apple keynote edition. We’re more awake this week – if you get to the end though you deserve a medal. And a kip!

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:58 – WordPress Hack Outbreak
– Is WordPress the Windows of blog tools?
– Hackers exploiting old version to spread comment spam and diguide links to dubious (spyware/malware) sites
– If your running anything but 2.8.4 you’re at risk
– Easy to update now – one click
– If you customise then updating is more hassle
– Posterous, tumblr even hosted wordpress a better option?
– If you keep vigilant, you should have nothing to fear
– Is wordpress targeted because of it’s size, ease of hacking – both?
– RSS Cloud
– Push notification of blog updates
– http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/09/07/rss-in-the-clouds/
– The idea is to deliver news faster, without relying on a single company to do all the work.
– Lazyfeed and river2 support RSS Cloud – others to follow? The biggie is Google reader though.
– Enabled on wordpress.com, plugin too
– After the Deadline
– http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/09/08/automattic-acquires-spellcheck-plug-in-after-the-deadline/
– Really smart spelling, style and grammer checker
– Plugin – enabled on wordpress.com
7:34 – DSG Facebook Action
– DSG have said they are disturbed by reports that an unofficial facebook group for staff of DSG has seen disparaging comments about their customers posted by staff.
– They will investigate and follow up with action where appropriate.
– Aren’t all PC World customers stupid by definition? They are buying in store when they could by better and cheaper anywhere online!
– Wider issue of paranoid companies starting to sensor their employees even out of work…
10:20 – T-Mobile and Orange Merger
– Merger creates the biggest UK company in the mobile market. (Around 37%).
– O2 current leaders with 27%
– Deal expected to commence in November.
13:10 – Lies, Damned Lies…and Google
– Many stats have UK/Euro focus – way!
– More or Less: Behind the stats
15:55 – Steve Jobs at the Keynote
– Apple Event
– It’s Steve!
– iPhone 3.1
– App store update – genius for app’s
– New list – apps by revenue – is this to support premium app’s i.e. Tom Tom
– Longer backups!
– Save video from mails to photo roll
– 75,000 app’s, 1.8 billion app store downloads (excluding updates) (Really? An average of 36 downloads per device?)
– 50 million iPhone OS devices in existence (30 million iphones)
– Games demo’s – getting quite advanced looking! Nova and Madden look superb
– iTunes 9
– update UI (a bit odd?)
– http://static.maniacalrage.net/bucket/itunes/
– easier to get album info – click on i, all tracks
– uses webkit and html5 for some of the ui
– inconsistent across Mac UI
– Application organisation on iPhone – finally
– Genius Mix – not too bad – genre mixes more than anything else
– No speed improvement (not 64 bit)
– LP’s
– Animations, lyrics, videos etc
– Extras
– DVD extras really
– Better sync options
– Sync by genre, artist
– Sync photos by album, faces, events
– Movies now have better options
– Ringtones
– 30,000 ringtones
– They cost
– Home Sharing
– allows iTunes media to be copied and shared among 5 authorized computers in the same household, with settings available to make copying new purchases automatically
– Currently lax controls on this and apparently you can authorise a remote computer. Share apps and music, then unauthorise again. Effectively stripping and sharing content between accounts. This is sure to be addressed soon.
– Limited social networking – twitter, facebook, upload mix to imix for friends – only share from the store, not your library
– Wish List – add store stuff to wish list – just like Amazons
– This replaces shopping cart – eveything is now one click to buy! Click Buy, it’s bought. Be careful!
– Pre media sync – get out!
– Media organisation
– http://www.tuaw.com/2009/09/10/itunes-9-focus-itunes-media-organization/
– iTunes now automatically adds new music to your library from a watched folder they quietly added to the iTunes Music folder structure. Apple did its darndest to sneak this new feature in under the radar among several who-cares features, but for our money, it’s absolutely the best feature to come to iTunes 9. So how does it work? Just find the folder named Automatically Add to iTunes in your iTunes Music folder (~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Automatically Add to iTunes/ in OS X; C:\Users\Your Username\Music\iTunes\iTunes Media\Automatically Add to iTunes\ in Windows). Any music that finds its way into that folder will automatically be imported into iTunes.
– iTunes Media organization. It moves your folders around into a much more logical structure, with separate folders for audiobooks, iPhone apps, movies, music, podcasts, ringtones, TV shows, and voice memos.
– iPod Touch – 64 gb, reduced prices 8 – £149, 32 – £229, 64 – £299
– No camera!
– 50% faster – what does that mean? Faster than previous Touch?
– Shuffle – reduced prices, colours – 2 – 45, 4 – 59
– Classic – 160gb – 189
– iPod Nano – 8 – 115, 16 – 135
– Camera and mic, speaker
– It’s a video only camera, no stills!
– FM Tuner
– Pedometer
– Spotify on the iPhone
– Awesome
– No last.fm, no background app
– Could background running of a streaming service be an iTunes 9 announcement?
– 4 million tracks to choose from
– C64 Emulator
– Shak?
– Pay per game – deals being made with original IP owners
– Why are people so excited? All games ranged from pretty pap to utter cack…
– Pulled by Apple. They asked for Basic to be removed – dev hid it instead of removing (like Yelp), then told everyone, then Apple removed it. New version uploaded without Basic now. Keep pants on everyone.
– Flickr app
– Official from Yahoo/Flickr
– Free
– Quick
– Upload photo’s and video
– 10.6.1 Update
– Flash, security, minor bugs
– New ad – http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/
1:17:47 – Dreamcast is 10!
– 10 years old!
– memories, thoughts?

Picks
Shakeel
Free on iTunes
– free content to download (every week?)
– Free single of the week
– The Inbetweeners: Series 2 – first 4 episodes currently FREE!!
– good way to build your library for free
– try stuff you probably wouldn’t normally bother with, only to be pleasantly surprised
– Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – 40 Day Dream

Ian
Madden on iPhone
– Good version of Madden
– Controls a bit fiddly
– Graphics good though

Chris
Trials HD
– XBox Arcade – PC as well I believe.
– Kick-start in your living room!
– Great game. Around £10. Good looking.
– Axpansive – user content. Starts easy, gets mega hard. Highly adictive.
– Frustrating at times but has the “one more go” in spades.

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