DigitalOutbox Episode 32

DigitalOutbox Episode 32
In this episode the team discuss Nexus, Apple Tablet and some CES discussion.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
2:21 – London Datastore
– More than 200 data sets detailing life in London are to be put online by the capital’s governing body.
– Opens on Jan 29th
– Information about planning decisions, crime rates, abandoned vehicles, house prices, road accidents and many other metrics will form the London datastore.
– Those who come up with the most innovative ways to harness the data could get a substantial grant to help them bring their idea to life.
– 4iP, Channel 4’s Innovation for the Public Fund, said it would back the best ideas with a £200,000 cash pot.
– Data list – http://data.london.gov.uk/datastore/data-packages-launch
5:13 – Project Canvas Approved
– Internet access for the TV via set top box
– BBC Trust has given the go-ahead for the corporation to push on
– The consortium of six firms is now looking for “expressions of interest” for other partners to join the platform
– Project Canvas now includes the BBC, ITV, BT, Five, Channel 4 and Talk Talk. Sky is likely to vocally object to the Trust’s apparent approval – its press office was unavailable at press time.
– “By seamlessly converging broadband and broadcast content, Project Canvas can help secure the future of free-to-air broadcasting and create an open platform that gives online services a route to the TV set.
6:57 – Videogames Bigger Than Film
– More money was spent on video games than on films – including both trips to the cinema and films on DVD – figures compiled for The Daily Telegraph indicate.
– In the twelve months to the end of September 2009, £1.73 billion was spent on video games, according to the data company GFK Chart-Track.
– According to the UK Film Council exactly £1 billion was spent at the British box office during the same period, with a further £198 million spent on film titles released on DVD and Blu-ray
– Only television – including DVDs of television shows, along with the cost of the license and satellite subscriptions – and music are bigger forms of entertainment.
– Industry figures show there the number of games consoles being used in Britain has shot up from 13.5 million in 2008 ago to well over 25 million earlier this year, with enough consoles for nine out of every ten households in the country to have one.
9:32 – Orange to launch HD Calls
– Orange will begin trials of the new and improved, 3G-facilitated service early in the new year
– fully roll it out along with a “range of handsets” before the end of the year.
10:27 – Nexus One
– Jan 5th launch
– http://gizmodo.com/5436673/rumor-nexus-one-will-be-530-unlocked-180-with-t+mobile
– 3.7-inch OLED display, HVGA (480 x 800) — deep contrast. 1GHz Snapdragon
– Trackball with multi-color notification LED
– Ah, so those contact points enable inline remotes and mics. Inline noise cancellation: two mics, front and back, which enables nose suppression. Custom engraving on the lower bezel!
– Live wallpaper – looks pretty junky to be honest
– Voice – any text box – demo – spoken english, server based translation to text – it worked! Voice looked amazing, as do all voice demo’s
– Google Earth demo
– www.google.com/phone – buy Nexus 1 plus other devices ‘soon’ – was this really the big announcement?
– Nexus One unlocked and without service: $529. Buy it with service from T-Mobile for $179.
– Will be shipping to UK from today + Singapore & Hong Kong
– On Vodafone in the UK in a ‘few short weeks’
20:03 – Apple Tablet
– Apple has reportedly scheduled a media event at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco on Wednesday Jan. 27, 2010, for a major product announcement.
– Selected app developers asked to make sure their app’s work…full screen
– 10″ screen is seemingly the size but lots of sites reporting 7″ too
– APple have owned iSlate domain since 2006/7 – iSlate?
– Is it tablet or high res iPhone?
– 5MP camera’s also rumoured
24:08 – Microsoft at CES
– Power cut – classy start
– Lame introduction – Crazy Steve Balmer ain’t no Steve Jobs
– Xbox – first up and sales looking good
– Bing – good year, growing market share – can’t argue
– Car – growing market
– Zune doing well, Windows Mobile – more next month
– Windows 7 – fastest selling OS in history, 94% satisfcation rating, 300M pc’s shipped, 4 million windows applications – there’s an app for that
– Some of the laptops looked…interesting
– Software – Blio, e-book reader, Office demo – snore, Bing maps again, Recording 4 HD streams – demo, Media everywhere – nice demo of media on tv, comp, phone, xbox – Microsoft Mediaroom – demo’d and talked about IPTV so many times – still not taking off
– Slate pc’s – ugggghhhhhhh – would Steve have said slate if the Apple rumours weren’t so rabid?
– Touch demo on slate fails 🙂
– Xbox – Mass Effect 2 – Jan, Splinter Cell Conviction – Feb, Spring – Mod War 2 expansion packs exclusively first on Xbox, Fable 3, Crackdown 2, Alan Wake – physiological action thriller – episodic with more episodes on Xbox Live, Halo Reach – demo not streamed due to intellectual property – Fall 2010, multiplayer demo in Spring
– Game Room – Personal Arcade, games in original cabinets, 30 original arcade classics from Spring, invite friends to custom arcade and let them try your collection, 1000 games coming!
– Natal – coming this year, holiday 2010, works with current 360, uses 10-15% of 360’s processing power
35:18 – Sony at CES
– 3D TV’s a go-go – top end come with two glasses and transmitter
– Using SD in camera’s!
– BDP-S770 – 3D blu-ray player, wi-fi, netflix and a free iphone app controller
– Sony Dash – 7inch, $199 running Chumby OS, not portable
– 24.5 inch OLED…getting bigger
– PS3 will play 3D movies through 3D Bravias
– PS3
– Heavy Rain – Feb 26th
– God of War III – March in Japan
– No mention of GT5!
40:54 – Skype goes HD
– 720p from Windows
– HD Camera’s coming
– Directly form TV’s – LG and Panasonic
42:21 – Boxee
– Plays everything the normal Boxee software does
– Under $200
– Powered by the Tegra 2 (T20) — a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 CPU
– NVIDIA Graphicsthat can play 1080p video from locally stored content and stream HD content
– Utilizes Adobe Flash 10.1, meaning HD and web content should play back smoother and require fewer resources
– RF remote (so you can hide the box behind a cabinet)
– 802.11n
– No hard drive, no IR
– Remote looks great with chatpad on the back – I want for my Mac Mini
– Boxee Beta software now available to download – http://blog.boxee.tv/2010/01/07/boxee-beta-goes-public-download-now/
44:29 – Kindle DX On Sale Worldwide
– On sale on 100 countries
– $489, ships Jan 19th
– Includes wireless deal, get content wirelessly wherever you are
45:03 – Chrome OS Netbook Specs
– According to IBTimes, the Google netbook will house an Nvidia Tegra platform with an ARM CPU. If the rumors hold up, it will also have a 10.1″ multi-touch screen that supports HD, come with a 64GB SSD, 2GB of RAM, and other standards like Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, a webcam, and so on. Not surprisingly, the netbook will run Chrome OS and come pre-installed with a suite of Google Apps.
– The rumors also indicate that the netbook will be available by holiday season 2010 for a subsidized price of under $300, which is impressive for the type of hardware they’re talking about. It would sold directly from Google’s website, and they may partner with a network operator to sell it as a bundled 3G plan. – If previous experience is anything to go by, the data-bundle costs will no doubt be pretty crippling – especially for a device that is online only. Does the device need all the power to simply run web applications…
46:11 – iMac Woes Continue
– Resolves graphic card flicker
– The 27-inch iMac Graphics Firmware Update applies to the graphics firmware on ATI Radeon HD 4670 and 4850 graphics cards to address issues that may cause image corruption or the display to flicker.
– If your screen remains black after applying the updater or if you continue to experience image corruption or display flickering after successfully completing this update, contact AppleCare or an Apple Authorized Service Provider
– So not only does Cupertino seem to be blaming ATI for the issue, it’s not actually promising to necessarily fix anything with this update, either
– Couple of days after the firmware release, the flickering still continues for many – OUCH!
47:42 – Unreal 3 Engine on the iPhone
– It’s using a modified Unreal Tournament level previously shown off at GDC. A virtual thumbstick on the left side of the screen controls your movement, while tracking your thumb in the lower right corner of the screen controls the camera. Just tap the screen to shoot. Mark said this is a tech test bed and they’re experimenting with several different control schemes including ones with tilt.
– OpenGL2 only so 3GS or 3rd gen iPod touch
48:03 – AppStore – 3 Billion Downloads
– From 2-3 billion downloads in 3 months, 1 week
– Wowsers
48:22 – Apple Store Madness
– Apple stores don’t have “no smoking” signs. Legally they need them but they “ruin the design of the store”, so for every apple store in the UK they pay £50 a day to keep their windows sign free

Picks
Ian
Unison 2
– newsgroup app for mac
– looks amazing

Chris
Beautiful People
– The 5000 people who were kicked off of beautifulpeople.com for getting too fat over Christmas!
– To you I say… WAHHHHHHHHHH!

DigitalOutbox Episode 28

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

Playback
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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

Google Public DNS

Google made a big splash last week when it announced Google Public DNS. By changing your DNS settings on your Mac, PC or router you can take advantage of Google’s DNS service and speed up your internet experience. That’s the theory but does it work? First off, what is DNS?

DNS takes the meaningful domain names that you type in your browser and turns that into a numerical identifier that computers understand. An analogy that is often made is DNS is the phone book for the internet. Wikipedia has more if you want to delve deeper. With that out the way onto some testing. My current ISP is O2 but I actually use OpenDNS for DNS lookups. They’ve proven to be faster than my previous two ISP’s but I was interested in comparing O2, OpenDNS and Google Public DNS. To do that I followed the advice on TechSutra and ran the following code:


for i in "rememberthemilk.com" "digitaloutbox.com" "apple.com" "google.com" "flickr.com" "bbc.co.uk" "iand.net" "twitter.com" "digitalspy.co.uk"
do
for j in "87.194.0.51" "8.8.8.8" "208.67.222.222"
do
echo $j $i `dig @$j $i | grep Query | awk -F ":" '{print $2}'`
done
done

This basically compared the lookup time for the three DNS providers for a variety of sites that I used daily. The results of the test can be seen in the table below:

Domain O2 Google OpenDNS
rememberthemilk.com 111ms 69ms 29ms
digitaloutbox.com 179ms 36ms 27ms
apple.com 28ms 36ms 27ms
google.com 28ms 55ms 29ms
flickr.com 28ms 34ms 27ms
bbc.co.uk 28ms 35ms 27ms
iand.net 160ms 38ms 28ms
twitter.com 28ms 35ms 30ms
digitalspy.co.uk 29ms 35ms 28ms

As can be seen OpenDNS provided by far the best speeds out of the three I tested. I ran the test a few times and took average times to rule out any issues but the results were fairly consistent. Another method of testing is to try Namebench. This is a Google 20% app for Mac, PC and Linux. It compares a list of known DNS providers against your current DNS provider and provides a set of graphs and charts allowing you to benchmark any potential gains. It’s very slick.

My findings which seem to be backed up by others is that OpenDNS, for UK users, is a better option for speed than Google Public DNS. Do remember though that OpenDNS does redirect certain sites to protect from malware and domain misspellings, serving up adverts at the same time. In comparison Google offers no redirects at all which many people prefer.

The speed differences you do see may look small but remember that every little bit helps to improve your browsing experience and switching to a fast and reliable DNS provider can make a noticeable difference in your day to day usage.

So did you change your DNS after testing? We’d love to hear who you switched to and your findings – leave a comment below.

DigitalOutbox Episode 27

DigitalOutbox Episode 27
In this episode the team discuss Apple Lala, Google gaga.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
2:29 – Johnston Press Charge for Online Content
– The Johnston Press websites will either ask users to pay £5 for a three-month subscription to read the full articles, or direct them to buy the newspapers for 6 regional newspapers
– Sites in the pilot scheme include the Worksop Guardian, the Ripley & Heanor News and the Whitby Gazette. The Northumberland Gazette is also included in the trial. In Scotland, the Carrick Gazette and Southern Reporter are taking part. They own The Scotsman that does similar. FT also charges
– Johnston, which owns more than 300 papers across Britain and has suffered from a drop in advertising revenues, says the introduction of “paywalls” is an experiment to assess the impact of charging for content.
– Once you start restricting access on the websites, if you have content that can broadly be found somewhere else, then you really restrict the number of people coming to websites,” the Guardian’s director of digital content Emily Bell told the BBC. “I think it’s great that people are experimenting with lots of different models because undoubtedly we need to find more money in the market,” she added.
5:40 – Google Changes News Service
– Google limits access to free news
– Newspaper publishers will now be able to set a limit on the number of free news articles people can read through Google
– Under the First Click Free programme, publishers can now prevent unrestricted access to subscription websites.
– Users who click on more than five articles in a day may be routed to payment or registration pages.
– Change to spiders and robot – can index only preview pages – first couple of para’s only, subscribed content locked away
– If a publisher chooses to have spiders crawl their articles in this manner, they will be labeled with “subscription” within Google News
– Google blinked
8:46 – Google Public DNS
– Google launches DNS resolver
– http://code.google.com/speed/public-dns/
– Easy to change
– According to Google’s FAQ, the company will only keep temporary logs and erase all the information it collects through the public DNS service within 24 to 45 hours. The company promises not to keep any information that is linked to IP addresses in its permanent logs.
– I’ve switched – it’s fast but any faster than opendns?
– test via this site – http://www.manu-j.com/blog/opendns-alternative-google-dns-rocks/403/
– test shows opendns still faster, for me in the UK at least
16:05 – Google Dictionary
16:37 – Google UK Property Dimension
18:10 – Bing Maps Beta
– Needs Silverlight
– Street View (Street Side in Bing), Photosynth, Apps
– Nice animations, slick but hate the need for plugin
– Many of the features are US only at the moment
– Google search event this Monday – isn’t competition great
24:13 – Apple buys Lala
– Lala, unlike Apple’s iTunes, lets users play the music they own from the Web — or in tech industry parlance, from the cloud.
– Is it buying the company or the engineering talent?
– Lala’s engineers have built a service that music enthusiasts say is very easy to use. Lala scans the hard drives of its users and creates an online music library that matches the user’s collection, making it painless (and free) for people to get their music in the cloud.
– is this what the massive data centre that Apple is building is for?
– 2010 – the year of streaming wars
27:36 – iTunes 12 Days of Christmas
– 26 Dec – 6 Jan
– Free song or music video, app, TV episode or film
– Offer runs for 24 hours each day
28:55 – Square
– Let people quickly and easily accept physical credit card payments from their mobile phone
– small device attaches to the phone via the headset/microphone jack
– Device is free, works on iPhone and Droid
– Receipts via e-mail, sms
– Sign with your finger on iPhone screen
– Associate photo with account so vendor can check it is actually you
– Looks awesome – quick and a great way to pay
32:39 – End of the Crunchpad
– It’s no more – another mythical tablet bites the dust
– Breakup of the team, grubby takeover attempt by hardware partner – they got screwed basically.
– Looks like it was days/weeks from demo/launch
– Now to be settled in court – this will run and run
– Only one side of the story at the moment
– Could someone not step in and save it? Something smells fishy.
– Media event planned for Monday – Chandrasekar “Chandra” Rathakrishnan, founder and CEO of Fusion Garage, (who arrington blamed for killing the crunchpad) will speak to reporters (give his side of the story) and demonstrate “the device” both in a video call and in private briefings scheduled for later Monday at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco
37:12 – GT5 Time Trial Demo
– Dec 17th, Time Trial Competition
– participants will be able to race a Nissan 370Z around a new Gran Turismo 5 circuit. The fastest times recorded in each of the 20 participating countries will be advanced to a national final. An elite group of 20 drivers will then secure a place at the GT Academy.
– Still on track for March 2010 release
39:20 – World Cup shot in 3D
– Up to 25 games shot in 3D
– Using Sony tech
– No announcements on broadcasting – in the coming months more will be announced
– selected games will be broadcast live at “Fan Fest” locations in seven cities around the world: London, Berlin, Mexico City, Paris, Rio De Janeiro, Rome, and Sydney
– World Cup in 2006 saw many jump on the HD bandwagon – will 3D see same take up?

Picks
Ian
Click 2 Flash
– safari
– Block evil Adobe Flash
– Displays nice grey background allowing you to click if you want to use it
– Improve cpu, better battery life
– Higher quality YouTube, Play videos in QuickTime (H.264), not Flash

Chris
TrueCrypt
– The mother of all encryption
– Creates an encrypted drive that, once mounted works on the fly.
– Can encrypt a whole drive. Can encrypt a whole system. Can create mini encrypted areas (mount them as drives.)
– Can even create a “false bottom” drive if you want.
– PC, MAC & Linux

DigitalOutbox Episode 25

DigitalOutbox Episode 25
In this episode the team discuss everything but Apple.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:20 – T-Mobile Staff Sold Customer Data
– Staff at mobile phone company T-Mobile passed on millions of records from thousands of customers, a spokesman for the firm has confirmed.
– Company did not know about this
– Exactly our point from last week – who watches the watchers
– How do we keep data secure?
– The Data Protection Act bans the selling on of data without prior permission from the customer and a fine of £5,000 can be imposed following a successful prosecution.
– Rubbish – far meatier punishment required
5:48 – UK Govt to Free OS Maps
– We were pretty nasty to Sir Tim Berners Lee a few weeks ago when he admitted // were redundant, but the government has taken his advice to make the Ordnance Survey maps free to all from 2010. So credit where it’s due: “Good job this time, Sir Tim!”.
– Great news for developers and I’m already looking forward to new iphone apps.
7:56 – Chrome OS
– First, it’s all about the web. All apps are web apps. The entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications. This means users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs
– We focus on three things. Speed. Simplicity. Security.
– Want Chrome the browser on Chrome the OS to be almost instant on
– It takes about 7 seconds to to go the log-in screen. And another 3 seconds to log in to your application. And we’re working to make that faster.
– project opened up today a year ahead of release
– The File System: It’s always auto-updated. There are a few areas of the hard disk. The root partition is read-only. This is locked down, which is unusual in OSes today. User data is always encrypted. This is key for safety of your data. So important if you lose your machine. All user data is synced with the cloud at all times. If you lose your machine, it’s not really gone.
– what is google chrome os – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0QRO3gKj3qw – wow – google thinks it’s users are…dumb
– ui concept video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJ57xzo287U
– it’s an OS that boots in under 10 seconds and gives you a WebKit browser. It does more than a browser, like by recognizing when USB mass storage devices (cameras, Android phones, etc.) are plugged in, but you don’t do things like deal with a local file system or install applications. You turn it on, you use the Web.
– os built for use on wi-fi – we don’t have blanket wi-fi coverage
– Turning On a PC Should Be Like Turning On Your TV – shit – x factor? strictly? doomed.
– if in any doubt 1) browser is OS 2) it fixes itself 3) all apps are web apps – no installs 4) no drivers, won’t install on current hardware – it only works with solid-state hard drives. It is meant for netbooks. Many hardware manufacturers are going to have to tweak their netbook designs to support Chrome OS 5) start up speed is truly impressive
16:53 – Digital Economy Bill
– Three strikes still in
– No broadband tax
– Age ratings on video games to be made compulsory for all games aimed at players aged 12 and over
20:50 – Twitter Ad Network
– inserts ads once a day to your twitter stream.
– publishers choose which ads to approve
– A potential Google/microsoft acquistion?
25:49 – Office 2010 Beta
– Five different packs – why?
– Now comes in 64 bit
– Ribbon everywhere
– Sharepoint Workspace 2010 now part of the suite – want full Office 2010, you need sharepoint
– Anyone tried it?
28:42 – PS3 – Facebook and 3D gaming
– Facebook coming to PS3
– By linking your PlayStation Network account to your Facebook account, you will have the option for the PS3 to automatically update your Facebook News Feed with Trophy and PlayStation Store activity.
– This update also enables developers to set specific criteria in their titles to publish additional game information to your News Feed.
– Lame. This is just spam and noise.
– PS3 3D Confirmed? – ian
– http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2009/11/20/ps3_3d_confirmed/
– 3D gaming confirmed as advantage of PS3
– All units firmware up-datable to support 3D
– Coming in 2010
31:40 – Microsoft Store Video
– WTF

Picks
Ian
Reeder
– Google reader app – 1.19
– Better than byline
– quicker too, looks lovely
– get your feeds, star

Henry
Emotion
– Unique art package for Mac

Chris
Colour Scheme Designer 3.0
– For those of us who are not design minded but have to create web interfaces. Or even those people who are design minded but are lazy or looking for inspiration.
– Pick a starting colour and generate a colour pallet for your interface/website that is balanced.
– Fine grained control over the number of colours, variants, whether the colours are complimentary or balanced, how contrasty everything is etc. Tweak to your hearts content.
– See how different visual disabilities affect how people will see the colours.
– See how text overlay will look.
– Various export options, including HTML+CSS or XML

DigitalOutbox Episode 24

DigitalOutbox Episode 24
In this episode the team discuss Modern Warfare 2.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:02 – Big Brother Is Watching
– Home office to push ahead with plans to require communication companies to record all transactions
– Home office worried that existing legislation relates to phone rather than net
– Content of communication not recorded – but source and destination logged
– Internet service providers and telecommunication companies will be legally required to store records of all personal communications for one year
– That data will be made available to a wide range of 653 public bodies including police, fire and ambulance services, the Financial Services Authority, prison governors and local councils. Obtaining access to the data won’t even require the permission of a judge; authorization from a senior police official or equivalent department head at a local authority will suffice.
– Cost – £2 billion over next 10 years. Yeah, right. Double that estimate please. Wankers.
5:01 – Murdoch to Block Google Indexing
– As part of the push to charge for content from the Murdoch empire, it looks like Rupert may be looking at ways to block google indexing.
– According to Murdoch, Google’s indexing of headlines and intro paras is not fair use and represents illegal use of his content.
– Happening within months and quarters, not weeks
– Highlights the problem facing all content creators. How to get the $$ (or ££) return on investment?
– It’s possibly the most foolish business decision since Electrolux turned down Dyson.
11:33 – Google buys Admob
– AdMob is a mobile advert vendor on device such as iPhone and others
– Many iPhone apps that display adverts are served by AdMob
– AdMob have served almost 125.5billion ads and counting
– the deal will make Google the market leader in mobile advertising … evil
– apparently Apple were also interested in AdMob before Google purchased it
14:15 – Google Go
– Another new programming language
– http://golang.org/
– combines the performance and security benefits associated with using a compiled language like C++ with the speed of a dynamic language like Python
– All about speed and flexibility
– Mascot is……..Gordon The Gopher
– should you learn it? Good advice from last year by Giles: http://gilesbowkett.blogspot.com/2008/12/no-new-language-in-2009-new-habits.html
17:00 – Bing Maps UK
– At last, bye bye multimap
– Great London maps
– Ordnance Survey maps – superb!
– Nearby Stations
– Explore wikipedia, photo’s, tweets
– Walking routes, draggable routes, embedable maps
20:38 – Worm attacks iPhone
– Only on jailbroken phones
– Only if default password isn’t changed after installing ssh
– Harmless worm, changes background picture to rick astley but source code made available – other nastier versions surely to follow
– make jailbreaking easy, this is what can happen
– Shoddy reporting from BBC
22:45 – 10.6.2 Update
– fixes the much publicised ‘loss of data when logged in as Guest’ bug amongst others.
24:16 – Apple wins Attack of the Clones
– Apple has won its case against the clone Mac maker Psystar.
– Are EULAs a good thing? This case proves that they’re clearly enforceable by law, at least in the US.
28:24 – Modern Warfare 2
– MP typical aghast reaction to game – another MP reacts to give gamers a voice (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8342589.stm). This is an 18 certificate game. This is a game played by adults. WHEN will MPs realise that gaming is not the preserve of kids and that the average age of gamers is over 30!!!
– Controversial scene – on side on terrorists mowing down civilians in an airport
– Was the scene really that bad when you get constantly abused on Live?
– Case in point – first night of mulitplayer and three guys from liverpool talk about how this game makes them feel like a paki – ha ha – you even look like a paki – ha ha – i’m going to shoot your paki ass etc etc – when will we address those kind of issues instead of worrying about an 18 certificate game and some action scenes
– also – they were kids – why were they playing the game – whole big nasty issue around certification and the lack of policing by parents
– As for the game, single player excellent but a little dull (I hate single player games)
– Multiplayer — two hours of play and every map different. Felt lost, maps disorientating, weapons rubbish, everyone better etc etc. Halo tactics don’t work here. Then start to get a few double kills etc. First five kill streak, drop in a missile – awesome. Start to level up, create a class, get a better gun. Lovely. By the end of the night I was grinning. Great game. Bad – no party chat in some multiplayer modes means you have to listen to absolute fucking morons. Bad call from Infinity Ward
39:35 – XBox Banhammer
– Just ahead of Modern Warfare, MS has banned multiple consoles from XBOX live.
– No exact figures given, but perhaps 600,000 accounts banned.
– All MS have said is – a small proportion of the 20,000,000 live users have been banned.
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/hi/technology/newsid_10000000/newsid_10002900/10002915.stm
– Raz – 25 year old and he’s gutted
– Twat – shouldn’t have pirated then
– MS confirm it’s permanent – of course it’s fucking permamnent
– Tell you what, lets call FAST, get the police around and arrest or fine you for software piracy. Fanny.
44:25 – Natal Priced and Dated
46:15 – iPlayer for Wii
– WHEN for my 360!!! I’m more than happy to swap the Sky Player/Twitter/Facebook etc for an iPlayer channel.

Picks
Shakeel
Paint.net
– Paint.Net: a free Photoshop alternative for Windows
– a great program for developers for doing photo editing without having to purchase Photoshop
– offers many Photoshop-like features and offers almost everything for the average user/developer
– layers, special f/x’s, unlimited Undos
– received it’s first update in years, now at version 3.5
– now includes blurs and distortion f/x’s
– improved performance
– visual makeover (enhanced for Aero/Glass)
– growing online community, many tutorials, even plugins are available

Ian
Viewfinder
– small focussed app for the mac
– flickr browser, searcher, downloader
– great keynote integration

Henry
Teleport
– teleport lets you use a single mouse and keyboard to control several Macs.
– Simply reach an edge of your screen, and your mouse teleports to your nearby Mac, which also becomes controlled by your keyboard. The pasteboard can be synchronized, and you can even drag & drop files between your Macs.
– Freeware, but please donate by paypal.
– If you’d like a Windows equivalent, try Synergy – http://synergy2.sourceforge.net/index.html

Chris
Best of Youtube
– Does exactly what it says on the tin.
– Also available as a Vodcast throgh iTunes.