DigitalOutbox Episode 91

DigitalOutbox Episode 91
In this episode the team discuss Lion, Quarterly Numbers and the new Macbook Air and Mac Mini’s.

Playback
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Shownotes
2:11 – The Hackers Get Hacked
– Looks like hacker group LulzSec is back in action, this time redirecting the homepage of the Murdoch-owned The Sun (http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/) to a fake story about Murdoch’s death from a drug overdose located on the Murdoch-owned URL used to broadcast theLondon Times’ redesign http://www.new-times.co.uk/sun. After the amount of requests caused a 404 failure on the Times site, the group then redirected The Sun’s homepage to the @LuzSecTwitter account. (The original page is archived at http://freze.it/pX)
– From what I can see the fake story was meant to mirror an actual The Sun story about the latest development in the messy Murdoch/New Corp/News of the World scandal, “Ex News of the World journalist found dead.” After about 10 minutes of being up (and I swear the real Sun homepage was redirecting) the fake story was pulled from the UK Times site.
– E-mails also grabbed
5:13 – Apple Earnings
– Cupertino just reported its best quarter ever, with earnings of $7.79 per share, revenue totaling $28.57 billion, and a net profit of $7.31 billion. We know you’re probably more interested in sales figures, however, and as you might expect, Apple’s continued to ship iPhones and iPads at a steady pace, with 20.34 million smartphones and 9.25 million tablets sold last quarter. It’s also shipped 3.95 million Macs — a 14 percent jump over Q3 2010’s numbers. Fewer iPods made it out the door this quarter, however, totaling 7.54 million compared to the 9.41 million Apple sold in Q3 2010.
7:26 – Google Earnings
– “We had a great quarter, with revenue up 32% year on year for a record breaking over $9 billion of revenue,” said Larry Page, CEO of Google. “I’m super excited about the amazing response to Google+ which lets you share just like in real life.”
– £3.5 billion in profit
– 550,000 android activations per day
13:30 – Microsoft Earnings
– The US technology giant Microsoft said its annual revenues hit a record of $69.94bn (£43.4bn).
– Sales of the company’s Xbox 360 videogame console and its Office software helped fuel the growth.
– Net income at the world’s biggest software maker jumped 23% to 23.15bn for the year.
– The figures, which beat forecasts, showed final quarter revenues reached a record high of $17.37bn, leading to profits of $5.87bn.
– Sales rose 8% to $17.37 billion, a boosted chiefly by sales of Office, Xbox and server software behind Microsoft’s push into cloud computing.
– Microsoft’s business division, which sells the Office suite of programs, including Outlook, SharePoint and Excel, was the company’s biggest seller in the quarter, increasing sales by 7% to $5.8bn.
– The company’s online services unit, which runs the Bing search engine and MSN internet portal, increased sales by 16.5% to $662m, but saw losses increase to $728m as it struggles to fight competitor Google.
– One weaker spot was sales of its widely-used Windows product, which are slowing as tablet PC sales eat into demand for traditional PCs.
16:43 – Nokia Earnings
– The Finnish phone-maker Nokia crashed to a loss for the second quarter as its smartphone and mobile business collapsed, leaving it in third place in the sector behind Samsung and Apple, and with no clear sign of any improvement in the short term.
Overall the company made a loss of €368m despite receiving a one-off payment of €430m from Apple to settle a long-running patent dispute. Revenues fell overall by 7% to €9.3bn.
– The company’s mobile revenue, normally the stalwart of its business, fell by 20% year on year to €5.47bn and made a loss of €247m, as the number of phones sold dropped by the same amount, to 88m – both figures not seen since 2006. Its existing Symbian smartphone business, which it has said that it will phase out in favour of phones using Microsoft Windows Phone from later this year, fell by 30% year on year to just 16.7m.
– The Navteq mapping and Nokia Siemens Network (NSN) businesses offered no comfort either, both racking up operating losses of €58m and €111m respectively, although sales at NSN were up by 20%.
20:11 – Lion
– Out for £21
– Digital download only
– Ian – speedier, like Mission Control, restore, versioning and some nice touches but overall a bit meh
– Ian – love Mail – hateful design choices on iCal and Address Book
– Ian – gestures is very nice, full screen turning to a Space is good…but OTT on a 27” iMac
– Ian – natural scrolling – disabled as use windows so much – too much adjustment
– August – available from Apple stores on USB stick
– http://www.apple.com/macosx/recovery/
– Lion has Recovery options and new Air and Mini can be recovered from the Internet
– iTunes 10.4 – 64 bit, Cocoa, Full screen
– iWork – updated to support full screen and versioning
– Xcode – 4.1 now free on the app store
37:19 – New Apple Hardware
– Airs – double the speed, more ram, better chip, backlit keyboard and thunderbolt – same price – lovely
– Mini – thunderbolt, better chip, no drive – cheaper – £650 down to £525
– White Macbook – dead
– The 27-inch Thunderbolt Display has an LED-backlit, 2560-by-1440 pixel, 16:9, in-plane switching (IPS) screen, which Apple says has a brightness of 375 cd/m2 and a 1000:1 contrast ratio. A single two-ended cable attaches to a Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Pro or Air, one lead going to the notebook’s MagSafe power port, and the other to its Thunderbolt port.
-The display has three powered USB 2.0 ports, plus one FireWire 800 and one Gigabit Ethernet port, all connected to its Thunderbolty host – MacBook Pro or Air, Mac mini, or iMac – through that single Thunderbolt cable. The display also has its own Thunderbolt port so you can daisy-chain up to five more Thunderbolt devices
– The display also has Apple’s FaceTime HD camera – an upgrade from the earlier iSight camera – and a 2.1 speaker system with 49 watts of oomph. There’s also an ambient light sensor that’ll adjust display brightness based on the level of lighting in its surrounding environment.
– £900
44:40 – Apple updates International App Store Prices
– Apple update international pricing
– Uk – £0.59 is now £0.69
– Apple’s iWork apps now cost £13.99, up from £11.99, on the Mac App Store in the U.K., while the popular iOS versions have jumped from £5.99 to £6.99.
– Most rises around 10-15% – £1.19 per issue will now pay £1.49 – a 25 per cent price rise
– No warning – magazines running adverts caught out
– Lion price of £20.99 should have been a clue of impending changes in price points
– Certainly interesting that no pre-warning!
46:37 – HTC (Android) Infringes two Apple Patents
– ITC judge prelim judgement finds in favour of Apple – HTC infringes Apple in two areas…
– Decision needs ratifying by a panel.
– Will outcome be ban of product? Damages? Technology Licence?
– And now HTC are willing to negotiate with Apple
50:19 – Fake Apple Stores in China
– Fake stores, look real, sell real products
– Same branding, staff where same brands
– Staff even thought it was real
– Apple are aware…and China are now shutting them down.
51:52 – Illegal Film Downloads up 30% in UK
– The number of illegally downloaded films in the UK has gone up nearly 30% in five years, new figures suggest.
– That research, from internet consultancy firm Envisional, indicates that the top five box office movies were illegally downloaded in the UK a total of 1.4 million times last year.
– Film industry bosses say it is costing £170m every year and putting thousands of jobs at risk.
– But it’s not just illegal film downloading that’s on the rise – research suggests people are illegally downloading more TV shows too.
– The top five most popular shows were illegally downloaded a total of 1.24 million times in the UK last year. That’s a 33% increase from 2006 figures.
– Surely that just reflects the larger capacity broadband that we’re all now getting our hands on (well, some of us at least). Again – the end game is surely that better legit delivery methods need to be put in place. This takes time – so no doubt we’ll see more letters being sent in the mean-time.
53:15 – Cheaper broadband for rural users
– Up to 3m homes and businesses in rural parts of the UK could receive better value broadband services by the end of the year, following an Ofcom decision to force BT Wholesale to reduce the amount it charges other internet service providers (ISPs) to use its networks.
– The communications regulator has ruled that BT must reduce its charge to ISPs each year, by a rate of at least 12 percentage points below inflation. For example, if the RPI inflation rate is 5%, BT will have to cut its charges by 7%.
– The ruling is to take effect by mid-August 2011 and remain in force until 31 March 2014, and paves the way for cheaper broadband prices for millions of consumers and businesses in less densely populated areas across the UK.
– The rural areas set to benefit from the change include parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as Norfolk, Yorkshire, Cumbria, Northumberland, the south-west of England and other areas. These are predominantly areas lacking in competition among ISPs.
55:12 – Govt releases more data
– Following their pledge and success of data released so far, Cameron has announced another set of data that will be published and available to public and devleopers
– NHS, Education (single portal to compare schools), Crime (more detailed local crime maps), Transport (rail data will be hot), Govt financial transactions – every spend above £500
57:11 – Google detects and warns on malware
– “Recently, we found some unusual search traffic while performing routine maintenance on one of our data centers. After collaborating with security engineers at several companies that were sending this modified traffic, we determined that the computers exhibiting this behavior were infected with a particular strain of malicious software, or “malware.” As a result of this discovery, today some people will see a prominent notification at the top of their Google web search results.”
– Windows malware only
58:43 – Google to kill labs
– Google just announced it is ending its Labs program, in an effort to focus more on its existing products, For many of Google’s hard-core or even medium-core users, certain labs features have become essential tools to personalize the apps to their needs.
– a Google spokesman said that Gmail Labs, Calendar Labs and other Labs will not be shut down, merely the Labs program that brought us such applications as Google Goggles and Google Reader. There are still cool affected apps, but it’s not the end of my personal world.
– 20% projects still exist though
1:00:42 – Think with Google
– The new online channel will feature each new issue of Google’s Think Quarterly along with Think Voices, which showcases the shared experiences and insights of marketing leaders, digital influencers and academics. The content is filled with bite-sized TED-like videos for inspiring ideas on topics like the latest in digital technology, the future of marketing and how to channel innovation to inspire your business decisions.
– add link to youtube channel

Picks
Henry
Halftone
– Halftone goes beyond typical “photo filter” apps to give images a unique, vintage style that makes them look like they came from an old comic strip.
– Easy to use
Comic Life
– Make comics on teh iPad
– Again easy to use with lots of effects that can be added to images

Ian
Conquist 2
– Great strategy game for the iPad
– Lots of singleplayer options – variations on Risk
– Now includes multiplayer

DigitalOutbox Episode 78

DigitalOutbox Episode 78
In this episode the team discuss Apple and Googles Subscription battle, the HTC Flyer and Plex for Windows.

Playback
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Shownotes
1:00 – Android Market Share
– So last time we said Android was popular
– According to a chart making the rounds from UK-based research firm IHS, Android Market revenues in 2010 came in at an estimated $102 million, up from $11 million the year before.
– And how did that compare to revenues from Apple’s App Store? Apple App Store revenues came in at an estimated $1.7 billion in 2010, almost 20 times bigger than Android. And Apple App Store revenue grew at a not-too-shabby 131.9 percent rate.
– More importantly, Apple accounts for 83 percent of the total estimated app store revenues.
– iOS also dominates Euro smartphone usage
– http://www.reghardware.com/2011/02/21/uk_europe_smartphone_usage/
– In the UK, Apple and Research in Motion are the two key smartphone players, each battling the other, with one’s rise accompanies by the other’s fall, oscillating about a line at 42 per cent.
– These numbers broadly mirror over-the-counter sales.
– Android usage is growing here too, but it’s still below 15 per cent and has only just begun to get clear space ahead of its nearest rivals. But it is rising, and that will push down the line over which iOS and BlackBerry are fighting.
5:39 – Microsoft Update Goes Awry
– MS started to roll out their first update for Win MO FO 7 – then had to stop
– It was at best causing problems, at worst, bricking samsung handsets with slightly older firmware….
– oooooppppssss.
8:59 – Apple Launches Subscriptions for Content Publishers on the App Store
– When Apple brings a new subscriber to the app, Apple earns a 30 percent share; when the publisher brings an existing or new subscriber to the app, the publisher keeps 100 percent and Apple earns nothing. We’ve pasted the release below.
– Apple also says that if publishers are selling a digital subscription outside of the app, that same subscription offer must be made available, at the same price or less, to App Store customers (which we had previously reported). In addition, publishers may no longer provide links within their apps that would allow the customer to purchase content or subscriptions outside of the app.
– So in app subscriptions now offered from within Apps and managed easily from within iTunes. Easy for consumers, easy for publishers to offer
– Apple betting that publishers will be willing to pay the 30% in return for Apple dealing with customers and payments and the customer base/ease of use that iOS brings
– So this impact Amazon, Book, Magazine and Newspaper publishers. So Guardian will be affected as will The Times etc. Also impacts on streaming music services – Rhapsody, Last.fm, Spotify. What about Netflix and Hulu Plus – affects them too.
– What about Dropbox, Evernote, Remember the Milk which offer paid for premium options on top of the free client deals?
– What about iPlayer – I need a TV licence to legally watch iPlayer content. To stay within rules will the iPlayer app need to offer an option to buy licence fee from within the app?
– Great post from MG Siegler – http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/15/apple-in-app-subscriptions/
– This new subscription system is great for Apple as they’ll make a lot of money and create a new, better experience for their customers (and maybe publishers too). But if it backfires, they could lose a significant part of their ecosystem support. And if some companies pull their apps, consumers may start to leave.
– The new system is awesome for customers as Apple has enabled a way for them to easily get new content on their devices at a fair price. But if companies back out of the App Store as a result, they will be shafted.
– This new system sucks for companies that provider subscription services, as they’ll now be forced into Apple’s way of doing things and must pay them 30 percent for it. But if it leads to a massive amount of new customers, it could actually be a very good thing.
– Magazines show up supporting in app subs – Elle, Popular Science, T3
– Later Tuesday, Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller confirmed that those rules apply not only to newspaper and magazine publishers, but also to content sellers like Amazon.com, which offers a Kindle app for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
– To meet Apple’s guidelines, Amazon must remove its “Shop in Kindle Store” link from its Kindle application. That link, which opens the iOS browser and displays Amazon’s Web-based e-bookstore, is currently the easiest way for Kindle app users to purchase new books.
– Rhapsody – new iOS subs are economically entenable – http://musically.com/blog/2011/02/16/apples-new-ios-subscriptions-is-economically-untenable-says-rhapsody/
– An Apple-imposed arrangement that requires us to pay 30 percent of our revenue to Apple, in addition to content fees that we pay to the music labels, publishers and artists, is economically untenable,” says the statement.
– “The bottom line is we would not be able to offer our service through the iTunes store if subjected to Apple’s 30 percent monthly fee vs. a typical 2.5 percent credit card fee.”
– The statement also makes menacing legal noises. “We will be collaborating with our market peers in determining an appropriate legal and business response to this latest development.”
– As the fury dies, news that Readability app has been rejected – http://techcrunch.com/2011/02/21/readability-app-rejection/
– http://blog.readability.com/2011/02/an-open-letter-to-apple/
– Reason – 11.2 Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected.
– Wow – so they really are chasing after everything?
– Allegedly subscriptions apply to ‘publishing apps’ only – e-mail attributed to one Steve Jobs
– Ian’s thoughts – Wed 16th – Step too far from Apple. This is evil. Android is now compelling enough to replace iOS for me. I won’t be moving from Mac anytime soon but if I see magazines, books, music only available on everything but iOS then I’ll move. Yet again it’s Apple changing the goalposts. I can’t believe people are saying this is what Apple have been saying all along. If so, why the change in dev guidelines. Again. Whats next? What if Apple say it’s not 30% but 40%. 50%? Then again, is this to force people OFF the platform so that everyone buys via iTunes, iBooks? Are they wanting to remove streaming music options so a future offer from Apple is more desirable? Long game at play and things will change – Amazon did use to charge 70/30 in there favour for Kindle originally. What I’m not sure is how much of the cover price of a magazine goes to the publisher and how much go to the newsagent? Thats why they can offer sub’s at lower price i.e. wired is half price to subscribe to. Looking online it’s 70-75% of the cover price goes to the publisher.
Chris – As consumers, there’s a lot to like about Apple’s stance. Everything wrapped up in the one ecosystem and the knowledge that they may as well buy in-app because they can’t get their subscription cheaper elsewhere. But this is a MASSIVE deal for companies with subscription models (a business model that is essential to companies today). 30% is a massive cut – and impossible to cater for in highly competitive and/or restrictive markets (like the music industry for eg).
Apple’s rolling the dice here a bit and, perhaps rightly, have come to the conclusion that their phone/tablet ecosystem is strong enough to force developers through it. But is Amazon really going to give away 30% of it’s book sales…???!!! Not without a fight I wouldn’t imagine.
It’s also worth noting that if this move is successful, it is consumers who will end up paying for the Apple tax… so it’s certainly an issue that should be paid close attention to.
24:18 – Google One Pass
– a service that lets publishers set their own prices and terms for their digital content. With Google One Pass, publishers can maintain direct relationships with their customers and give readers access to digital content across websites and mobile apps.
– Readers who purchase from a One Pass publisher can access their content on tablets, smartphones and websites using a single sign-on with an email and password. Importantly, the service helps publishers authenticate existing subscribers so that readers don’t have to re-subscribe in order to access their content on new devices.
– With Google One Pass, publishers can customize how and when they charge for content while experimenting with different models to see what works best for them—offering subscriptions, metered access, “freemium” content or even single articles for sale from their websites or mobile apps. The service also lets publishers give existing print subscribers free (or discounted) access to digital content. We take care of the rest, including payments technology handled via Google Checkout.
– No mention on cut but The Wall Street Journal said Google will take 10 percent of the revenue. That makes sense because One Pass rides atop existing websites and web apps. But it’s also smart in that it gives publishers more of the margins they expect for their content. Google said it expects periodicals will be the first customers of this, but it could extend to other properties that want to use micro-transactions. Google One Pass is currently available in France, Germany, Spain, the UK, the US and Canada.
– Provides alternative to Apple’s model and far less of a cut – interesting
– Also, by default Google will share your information with publishers which can be switched off. With the Apple deal, Apple will only share this info if you allow it – it’s off by default. Google One Pass is far more publisher friendly – could see a real shift from iOS to Android
29:56 – Kindle Publishing Costs
– Amazon charges 10p per MB for delivery of newspapers and magazines in the UK. By Amazon’s own estimates, a “typical newspaper” with 100 articles and 15 to 20 images would have a file size of between 0.5MB and 1MB – or around 10% of the overall revenue, considering most newspapers sell for 99p per day. It would be an even greater share of the publisher’s profits if users signed up for a cheaper subscription.
– Applies to delivery over 3G
32:07 – New Chrome Beta
– The latest beta release of chrome now has settings and options appear in browser tabs rather than popup windows. Makes sense and feels natural.
– Also reports that they could do away with an address bar!
– Well, they are looking at the possibility of rescuing yet more vertical space by having the address bar as a tab. Clearly those 30px are important!
35:16 – HTC Flyer
– Best specc’d 7” Android tablet?
– Not running Honeycomb – Gingerbread with HTC Sense on top
– Comes with OnLive service built in
– Stylus (pressure sensitive) with Scribe technology for recognizing hand writing
– Standard screen res, fast processor and good camera – aluminium unibody style design
– $730 so not bad
38:59 – Plex for Windows
– Plex Media Server launched for Windows
– Plex for Android also launched
– Watch content from your Plex library on Android devices
– Cheap media pc with blu-ray player and Plex is best solution for under the TV

Picks
Chris
HulloMail
– One of the gotcha’s with T-Mobile is that they (criminally) don’t include calls to their voicemail system inside your monthly allowance. However, a quick search around pointed me to the free HulloMail service. Essentially, this takes over from your carrier default voicemail service and the numbers you access the messages through ARE included in your monthly allowance.
– Signing up on Nexus S was as simple as downloading the app, creating an account and clicking “Apply Settings”. I’ve been running with it since Fri evening and it’s been great.
– The default application is free, but add supported. You can buy a year add free version for around £3.
Ian
Google Personal Blocklist
– Chrome extension that allows you to block a domain from being returned in your search results
– If installed, the extension also sends blocked site information to Google, and we will study the resulting feedback and explore using it as a potential ranking signal for our search results.
– Can edit your blocked sites to unblock them
– Early test but a must have extension

DigitalOutbox Episode 62

DigitalOutbox Episode 62
In this episode the team discuss Twitter and the Tokyo Game Show.

Playback
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Shownotes
0:40 – Twitter Updates
– Seeing massive growth – 370,000 new signups per day
– 90 million tweets per day, 25% contain links
– Twitter.com is the biggest Twitter client
– Announcement: Today we’re launching a new Twitter.com — faster, easier, richer. Ev is playing a video to help explain/promote it. It shows pictures in the stream. You can click on a tweet and pull up more information on a person, on a n image, on a tweet, etc. YouTube videos are supported
– Looks similar to iPad app with slide out panel
– The mini-profile has arrived. You can bring up information on a user in the timeline, follow users, etc.
– 16 partners – Vimeo, Ustream, TwitpIc, Flickr, Justin.tv and others.
– Flickr set – tweet a link and the full set images and slideshow viewable from twitter
– No more ‘more’ button – endless tweets
– Keyboard shortcuts just like Google Reader, GMail etc
4:48 – Twitter Hijacked
– At the root of the problem is a cross-site scripting vulnerability that allows users to post JavaScript code – in this instance onMouseOver – inside tweets.
– Some using it for fun and games… but plenty of malicious users spreading porn sites, malware sites etc around.
– Rolling over a link (no need to click) re-directs user to the website and also re-tweets the message to spread the mal-link further.
7:13 – Facebook Places
– Finally launched in the UK
8:17 – HTC Mobiles and Services
– dashboard connected services for backup, security and handset control
– Can locate the phone from website and ring it
– Backup contacts, text etc
– New/updated Sense UI
– HTC Desire Z – qwerty slider – great first impressions
– Desire HD – EVO for the rest of the world
– 4.3 inch screen, blah, blah, blah – October
12:28 – iOS 4.2 Beta
– Now out for developers
– Also announced is AirPrint
– AirPrint automatically finds printers on local networks and can print text, photos and graphics to them wirelessly over Wi-Fi without the need to install drivers or download software. HP’s existing and upcoming ePrint enabled printers will be the first to support printing direct from iOS devices.
14:49 – VLC on the iPad
– Multi codec support
– Basically – play any medi file on that closed iPad
– To Apple developers the VLC approval is as symbolic as Google Voice was a couple of days ago. You can’t get more open than the free VLC which comes with a bunch of Codecs so you can basically play anything, and is open source meaning that developers can build on top of it. Giddy off of their newfound Apple seal of approval, Apptitudes, the company behind the app, holds that they plan on making an iPhone version soon.
– Brave new world?
– Google voice apps now available, Basic is a feature on the C64 emulator
19:28 – Google Brings 2 Step Authentication
– http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2010/09/three-million-businesses-have-gone.html
– Google is announcing that it’s bringing the security feature to its millions of users: the feature will be rolling out first for Google Apps Premiere, Education, and Government edition customers, with plans to bring it to all Google users (even those who aren’t using its Apps suite) in the next few months.
– More secure systems are common in large businesses, and often require both a password and a physical card or dongle to login — these are called ‘two-factor’ systems, because they require both your password and another key, and are far more secure because a hacker probably isn’t going to have that physical token. Unfortunately these security systems are generally quite expensive. But Google is bringing one to the masses.
– Google’s system doesn’t require a physical keycard. Instead, it relies on your mobile phone. First, you need to activate the optional feature from your settings page (again, this is only available to certain Google Apps customers at first). Then, when you go to sign in to your Google account, you’ll first be asked to enter your password as usual. Next, you’ll be brought to a screen asking for a verification code (see the screenshot above).
– Could this be the start of the end of RSA and SecurID’s? http://www.rsa.com/node.aspx?id=1156
– Also, Google Docs editing FINALLY coming to iPad and Android
24:29 – IE9 Beta
– UI – less is more – streamlined
– Pinned sites
– Enhanced download manager and tabs – can tear them off now
– Search in the address bar – thanks Chrome
– Hardware acceleration
– Standards – big step up from IE8, lots of HTML5 support
– First impressions (not mine) – fast and clean
– Can also pin pages (and web apps) as apps in Windows 7
27:44 – Tokyo Game Show
– http://www.joystiq.com/2010/09/16/ps3-firmware-update-3-50-coming-september-21-adds-3d-blu-ray-su/
– PS3 to get 3D blu-ray support on Sept 21
– Already supports 3D games
– http://www.joystiq.com/2010/09/16/gran-turismo-anywhere-brings-the-web-more-features-to-gt5/
– Gran Turismo Anywhere
– ” a new web portal for the racing sim. Features of GTA – actually, let’s just call it Gran Turismo Anywhere – include My Home, which includes message boards, photo sharing, and the like, as well as Remote Races, which isn’t real-time racing over the web, but rather a racing team management simulation.
– Last Guardian – Holiday 2011
– http://www.joystiq.com/2010/09/16/ico-shadow-of-the-colossus-collection-revealed-not-only-hd-bu/
– ICO / Shadow of the Colossus HD remakes coming to PS3
– Spring 2011
– Also supports 3D

Picks
Ian
Halo Reach
– Ultimate Halo
– Auto mute, bans players temporarily if they leave early too often
– Stats
– 31,000,000 games have been played since launch.
– 98,000,000 player games have been recorded.
– 8,214,338 Daily Challenges have been completed.
– 255,996 Weekly Challenges have been completed.
– 78,499,560,895 total credits have been earned.
– 953 years have been spent in match-made games.
– 1,365 years have been spent in campaign.
– 854,107 files have been uploaded.
– 577,804 recommendations have been sent to friends.
– 4,619,455 files have been downloaded.

DigitalOutbox Episode 39

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

Playback
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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 4

DigitalOutbox Episode 4
In this episode the team discuss the iPhone 3GS again, Michael Jackson, some other phone news and a little bit on games. A digital smorgasbord. Listen out for the Fighting Talk homage!

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
– iPhone Sales
– 1 million in 3 days – http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2009/06/22iphone.html
– Steve Jobs quoted in press release – he’s back
– YouTube mobile uploads increased by 400% one week after 3GS launch
– issues with icons since 3.0 upgrade?
– some apps displaying icons from other apps
– sometimes app icons not displayed, get a grey box placeholder instead
– 3GS uses more powerful PowerVR SGX 535 GPU. Pre uses 530, 3G uses 520
– for comparison:
520 = 7 mill polys
530 = 14 mill polys
535 = 28 mill polys!!!!!!!
– Sony designing mobile/PSP (again!) to give iPhone better competition?
– if they can provide a quality, user-friendly interface then with power of PSP it could work
– cos they already have a huge back catalogue of games
– BUT, iPhone is a success mainly due to apps, not just games
– where does XMB, Sony’ baby, fit in to this?
– designing a phone around a console doesn’t quite work. Apple got it right by giving us a phone with good enough hardware for supporting games, which came later once the hardware had already become established
– form factor – current PSP just not suitable, again Apple got it spot on, not too small not too big, durable(ish)

– New MacBook Air
– slower than previous model despite clock speed increase?

– Windows 7 prices
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8118749.stm
– Microsoft is in the middle of another epic battle during its long war with the European Commission over the alleged abuse of its monopoly position. This time the issue is the bundling Internet Explorer with Windows, the subject of complaints from rival browser makers. Earlier this month Microsoft came up with a ploy it thought might satisfy the Commission, promising that Windows 7 would be released in Europe without any browser.
Today we learned that this would mean that European users who wanted to upgrade would have to install the full version – if they’d been offered the simpler upgrade, that would have simply imported their existing browser, almost certainly Internet Explorer, into their new setup.
But Microsoft says it’s giving European users that full version for the same price that it would normally charge for an upgrade – £79.99 in the UK.
But here’s the problem. You upgrade from XP or Vista to Windows 7, and then find you’ve got no browser. No problem, I hear you say, you just go and download one – say Firefox, or Chrome, or Safari or maybe Internet Explorer 8. Using your browser. Ahh…right.
Microsoft told me “we will have some answers” to this issue, but admitted there were “challenges and complexities” involved. But the company pointed out to me that the vast majority of Windows 7 users were likely to be people buying new computers, and the manufacturers were likely to pre-install a browser on those machines.
– America – Those with Windows XP or Vista already installed can start pre-ordering Windows 7 upgrade discs, costing $50 for Home Premium and $100 for Professional. Those deals are for a “limited time,” with no specifics given, from Microsoft directly and most computer retailers, and Ultimate may or may not see an upgrade pre-order deal. Vista and XP users will need to pony up $119.99, $199.99, or $219.99 on October 22 to score their Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate upgrade, and those of you who want a full retail disc will need to roll up with $199.99, $299.99, or $319.99

– Google Voice
– http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/google_voice_is_opening_up_today_here_is_what_you_can_expect.php

– Vodafone Access Gateway
– http://online.vodafone.co.uk/dispatch/Portal/appmanager/vodafone/wrp?_nfpb=true&_pageLabel=templateCClamp&pageID=PPP_0061
– Gives you a great 3G signal through your house
– Need a broadband line and Vodafone gateway
– makes use of femtoecll technology
– Offloads calls onto broadband network
– Hits your broadband performance?
– Interference with other femto cells?
– 1st July Launch – £160 to buy outright, or for monthly fee as part of a plan

– Safari 4/Firefox 3.5
– Safari 4 is very fast, like Top Sites and Coverflow for history is nice but….
– Ian – crashy, Google Reader failures, can’t connect to local router
– Couldn’t customise toolbar, changes wouldn’t be saved, home/library/preferences and delete com.apple.Safari.plist file. Then it worked.
– Looks like a rushed release.
– Using SAFT to get more out of Safari – http://haoli.dnsalias.com/Saft/
– Firefox 3.5 RC3 out this week, proper release rumoured for this coming week
– Improved speed, support for HTML5, private browsing mode, Location Aware browsing, tear tabs off and move them from one firefox window to another, history – recently closed tabs and windows, downloadable fonts
– http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/video/firefox-3.5.html
– Just hope it’s more stable on Mac

– HTC Hero
– http://www.htc.com/www/product/hero/overview.html
– 3rd android phone
– Looks a bit fugly
– Too many buttons
– Uses own UI called Sense – won’t be available on other android platforms
– T-mobile and Orange in the UK next month, no prices yet
– Teflon coating on the back which is seemingly very good at keeping the phone clean
– Has flash support – love the adverts – take that Apple fanboys

– Michael Jackson/Iran Uprising
– Massive impact on social sites – twitter, facebook, google etc
– News as it happens – BBC relying on twitter and youtube for much of it’s Iran coverage
– How do we know it’s true? Volume doesn’t lead to accuracy
– Jeff Goldblum death for example – http://searchengineland.com/jeff-goldblum-is-not-dead-despite-what-google-says-21588
– MJ music dominates iTunes music downloads
– currently 8 albums in top 10
– Jackson’s death impact:

– Spotify
– planning on introducing 320kbps Ogg Vorbis streaming for subscribed user. Could this be the biggest challenge to the ‘purchase and download’ business model for music? £9.99 a month,

– Quickies
– Zune HD 16/32GB due September
– Tekken 6 wireless arcade joysticks from HORI $150
– http://www.gamecriticsawards.com/winners.html
– Uncharted 2 – best of show
– PlayStation
– Final Fantasy VII on PSN store
– Original Final Fantasy coming
– Zen pinball coming in May
– Firmware 2.8 soon, nothing special

Picks
– DropBox
– XLD – http://tmkk.hp.infoseek.co.jp/xld/index_e.html – Lossless audio decoder for Mac OS X
– (Ogg) FLAC (.flac/.ogg)
– Monkey’s Audio (.ape)
– Wavpack (.wv)
– TTA (.tta)
– Apple Lossless (.mp3) [10.4 and later]
– AIFF, WAV, etc