DigitalOutbox Episode 279

Chris and Ian discuss Drones, Macbooks and the Xbox 360

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DigitalOutbox Episode 239

We are back! Chris and Ian discuss the weeks news and catch up on Mobile World Congress, Game Developers Conference and the Apple Keynote. It’s a long one!

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Picks
Ian
Cities: Skylines
– £22.99
– Mac, PC, Linux
– Sim city builder
– Addictive and you need a bit of strategy especially around transport
– Some bits tedious – water and sewers done manually, demolition of abandoned buildings
– Overall awesome 🙂
– Mods
– Custom buildings, fixes etc
– Save Games
– GTA map, completed cities
– Maps
– Many towns from around the world
– Can make your own

DigitalOutbox Episode 151

DigitalOutbox Episode 151
DigitalOutbox Episode 151 – iOS issues, Mailbox and naughty Nike

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1:07 – Hold off updating your iPhone 4S to iOS 6.1 European carriers warn customers
2:41 – iPhone lockscreen can be bypassed with new iOS 6.1 trick
4:39 – Mailbox
11:24 – Apple drop prices spec bump on laptops
13:23 – First digital magazine sales figures in the UK
15:57 – BBC to broadcast shows on iPlayer before TV transmission
19:45 – 4G to affect TV reception in two million homes
21:21 – Nike has no plans for Fuelband Android app
23:07 – Fitbit brings Bluetooth 4.0 support to Android app
24:41 – Minecraft Pi Edition

Picks
Ian
Kickstarter for iPhone
– Free
– See all messages
– Keep up to date on pledges
– Staff highlights, whats popular
– Easy to buy into new campaigns
– Easy to check on status of a campaign that you are running

DigitalOutbox Episode 139

DigitalOutbox Episode 139
DigitalOutbox Episode 139 – Apple iPad mini, Macbook 13 Inch Retina, iPad 4th Gen and EE Pricing

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1:44 – Apple Keynote
23:07 – Windows 8
29:36 – UK Digital TV Digital Switchover Complete
30:13 – EE finally reveal 4G pricing
35:51 – More UK piracy sites to be blocked

Picks
Ian
Letterpress
– iOS – free with in app purchase for $0.99
– New game from Loren Brichter, developer of Tweetie
– Simple, addictive word game
– Gorgeous clear visual design
– Make a word, score points, friend makes a word, block out area’s of the game board

DigitalOutbox Episode 122

DigitalOutbox Episode 122
DigitalOutbox Episode 122 – WWDC

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0:32 – WWDC Retina Macbook Pro
400 million store accounts, 650,000 apps, 30billion downloads – lots of other ‘facts’
– Notebook changes
– Macbook Air – new cpus up to 2ghz dual core, up to 8GB of ram, 512 of flash, USB 3, 720p camera, 1366*768
– Macbook Pro’s – 13 – new cpu’s up to 2.7ghz, Nvidia GeForce GT 650m graphics, USB 3, 1280*800 – 15 – quad core – 1440*900 – both shipping today
– New model – Next Gen Macbook pro – 2880 x 1800 – retina – better than my 27” imac in a15 inch screen, 75% less glare!, as thin as a macbook air, updated version of Lion to support display – will it be less buggy? Apps updated too as well as professional apps, wow – Adobe Photoshop updated for new display, Diablo 3, quad i5 or i7, 8gb ram, 256gb of flash, $2199 – out today – truely a top spec laptop
9:32 – WWDC – Mountain Lion
– OS X
– Detail 8 new features
– iCloud
– With Mountain Lion we built support for iCloud right in. When you sign in with your account, we configure all of your apps and your content is up to date across devices.
– “And we introduce three new apps: messages, reminders, and notes
– “We’re also bringing integration with your documents, with a feature we’re calling Documents in the Cloud.”
– “When you launch Pages, it shows all the docs you have in the cloud. And it makes these available across all of your devices.”

– Notification Centre
– Messages
– Dictation
– Sharing
– New Safari – unified smart search just like Chrome – sue them google! iCloud tabs, tabview – if the speed is good I may be switching back to Safari
– Power Nap (Apple really do like cheesy names) – Wouldn’t it be great if our computers still worked for us when we weren’t working? Now it can.” – Keeps your Mac up to date while it sleeps. Oh thank heavens — will backup while sleeping. – Automatically refreshes data, silent, power efficient. Works with MacBook Airs and the new MBP. Thats impressive. So the new Macbooks work like iOS devices doing ‘stuff’ in the background!
– Airplay Mirroring
– Game Centre
– “We support turn based and head-to-head gaming, across platforms.” More new apps I guess – Words with Friends for the mac 🙂
– $19.99, ships July!
17:03 – WWDC – iOS6
– iOS
– 1 1/2 trillion push notifications, 7 billion a day, 1 billion messages a day
– iOS 6
– Siri – whole load of american sports questions, yelp, opentable, movies (rotten tomatoes) – all american – I fear that nothing will come to UK. Ask about actors, directors. Launch apps via Siri, tweet, english premier league mentioned. Eyes free – We’re working with car manufacturers to include a button that will bring up Siri — so you can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. A number of manufacturers have committed to delivering this in the next 12 months. Mobile search – US only is now around the world. Looks like commitment is there. Bringing it to the new iPad
– Facebook – Integrated like Twitter with API support – “We’ve also integrated it with Siri. And we’ve taken this deep integration and made it a public API so it’s easy for apps in the app store to integrate with Facebook. We’ve also integrated it in the app store, so you can like apps and see what apps your friends like — same with music, TV shows, and movies.” Contact integration, calendar integration and on the Mac too.
– Phone (low hanging fruit?) – Reply instead of answering – “If you choose reply with message, you can choose any of these, or if you choose remind me later, you can be reminded in an hour… or remind me when I leave, which will set up a geofence and remind you when you leave the building.” Do Not Disturb – “I can see many of you are like me and you’ve been awakened in the middle of the night — this tells your phone not to bother you. The messages will still come to your phone, it just won’t light up the screen or make a sound.””You also get fine grain control over which phone calls you can receive.” This is nice — you can also do groups. “You can also set up repeated calls — if someone calls a second time in 3 mins, it will come through.”
– Facetime – over cellular (not 3g?) – Integrate mobile number and apple ID – “Also, we’re unifying your phone number and Apple ID. So if someone calls you on your phone number for Facetime, you can answer it on your iPad or Mac. And we’re doing the same thing with iMessage.”
– Safari – “We’re adding iCloud tabs, and offline reading list.” Smart App Banners – for publishers – instead of popup you can have users jump right into the app or to download the app. Sync between web activity and app activity.
– Shared Photo Streams – Photo Stream sharing with friends. Choose the photos, choose the friends — friends will get a notification. The photos will appear in an album… and friends can comment. Weird, this is like a Facebook feature. Almost like Apple’s own social network.
– Mail – mark friends as VIP’s, attachments
– Messages – pull to refresh
– Passbook – This is a place to collect boarding passes, store cards, and movie ticket apps. Like a wallet. Geolocate will pull up your card when you’re nearby a store. Like when you get to your local Starbucks.
– Guided Access – “We were surprised at how many kids with autism have been using the phones, but there are controls in apps that you don’t want them hitting.” You can now select parts of apps to disable.
– Maps – “In iOS 6 we’ve built an entirely new mapping solution from the ground up, and it is beautiful. We’re doing all the cartography ourselves… this is a worldwide effort, we’re covering the world.”
– Integrated apps to replicate transit services – so missing transit info that Google supplies
– Traffic service
– Anonymous realtime incident reports.
– Built in turn-by-turn navigation – partnership with tom tom
– Quick Route –
– Siri integration
– 3D maps — very much like Google’s 3D mode on Android.
– Flyover – Wow, Flyover is very visually impressive. Detailed 3D. Huge applause in the room right now. “This is being rendered in realtime.” The level of details is insane.
– No streetview. Quality of maps isn’t as good as Googles. This is a big miss. Question – will Google release a maps app, will Apple approve it?
– Redesigned Stores – interesting. Chomp? New iTunes later in year?
– Beta for iOS 6 – today
– Full wrap smart cover, updated airport express, updated Mac pro – processor bump!
– iPad 1 not supported by iOS 6, iPhone 4 will not support turn by turn and flyover
– A big FU to Google really. Facebook alongside Twitter, no Google+, no Google Maps
44:52 – So Tom Tom and other sat nav providers dead with iOS 6 imminent
– Smartphones have been slowly killing the satnav but they could now revive TomTom, Europe’s largest navigation device company.
– TomTom’s shares soared as high as 16.5% on the Amsterdam stock exchange on Tuesday, after the company said its technology was being used in Apple’s latest phone software.
– “TomTom has signed a global agreement with Apple for maps and related information,” the Dutch company said, while declining to give further information on its deal with the notoriously secretive Californian group.
– According to the following legal notice Waze is included as a source for iOS 6 Maps, in addition to Getchee, Localeze, Urban Mapping, DMTI, MapData Sciences and, of course, TomTom.
46:44 – Android hits 900,000 activations a day
– Andy Rubin, the founder of Android (the company) and head of Android (the mobile software division at Google) is not leaving Google.
– And, simultaneously but unrelated, Android device activations are now running at more than 900,000 per day, according to the latest tweet from Rubin. Based on previously given figures (850,000 activations per day, and 300m devices activated, from the Google Mobile blog in February) that suggests that there have been a total of 390m Android devices activated in total.
47:45 – Three launches unlimited roaming data in Europe for £5 per day
– UK mobile operator Three is launching its new Euro Internet Pass today, offering unlimited roaming data to its customers who travel throughout Europe. For £5 ($8) per day, Three customers can use as much data as they like in most European countries, with some exceptions including The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Norway.
– The day pass can be activated for £5 ($8) as soon as data roaming is enabled on a handset.
48:51 – Internet trolls targeted
– Major reforms of the libel laws will see a duty placed on internet service providers to try to identify internet trolls without victims needing to resort to costly legal action.
Websites will also be given greater protection from being sued if they help to identify those posting defamatory messages, under government plans.
– The defamation bill, which will be debated in the Commons on Tuesday, will also see would-be claimants having to show they have suffered serious harm to their reputations, or are likely to do so, before they can take a defamation case forward.
– “Our proposed approach will mean that website operators have a defence against libel as long as they comply with a procedure to help identify the authors of allegedly defamatory material.”
– He added: “The government wants a libel regime for the internet that makes it possible for people to protect their reputations effectively but also ensures that information online can’t be easily censored by casual threats of litigation against website operators.
– “It will be very important to ensure that these measures do not inadvertently expose genuine whistleblowers, and we are committed to getting the detail right to minimise this risk.”
51:47 – Icann reveals new internet top-level domain name claims
– The full list of submissions for new internet address endings has been published by the global organisation co-ordinating the expansion.
– Requests to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) include .porn, .ninja, and .ferrari.
– The BBC was among the applicants, applying for .bbc as an alternative to .co.uk and .com.
– Several top-level domains have been applied for by more than one party, including .sex, .home and .diy.
– Both the US drugmaker Merck & Co and its German rival Merck KGaA appear to have applied for the .merck ending, which may trigger an auction process.
– However the .uk manager, Nominet, looks likely to secure .wales and .cymru after no-one filed identical claims.
– Likewise the Dot Scot Registry was the only organisation to apply for .scot and the League of Arab States the only body to claim .arab.
– Coca-Cola and the cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s, which also signed a petition in protest, have abstained.
– By contrast Google has applied for dozens of the generic top-level domain (gTLD) name strings.
– Obvious choices included .google and .youtube, but there were also unexpected inclusions such as .and, .boo, .dad and .new.
– The search giant has also requested .music, which has been claimed by seven other organisations including the online retailer Amazon.
– Other gTLDs attracting multiple requests include .art, .book, .news, .play, .shop and .vip. The most contested name is .app which received 13 applications.
– In the case of the names that have multiple bids, ICANN will evaluate the applicants on technical merits and in some cases have an auction. The applications cost a non-refundable $185,000 each and successful bidders will be obliged to pay high ongoing annual fees to ICANN. Many of the new domain names are expected to go live next year.
– Icann and domain registrars are the only beneficieries here. This will confuse the consumer, and break many assumptions around domain names going forward. What a mess. Icann should have ownership of this stripped and passed to a non profit, multi national owned company.
55:00 – Twitter launches tailored trends
– In order to show emerging topics that matter more to you, today we’re improving our algorithms to tailor Trends based on your location and who you follow on Twitter.
– These Trends lists are tailored for you by default on twitter.com and mobile apps like Twitter for iPhone and Twitter for Android. If you don’t wish to see tailored Trends, but instead want to see a more general list of Trends, just change your location on twitter.com.
55:59 – 4Seven – the TV channel with programs chosen by Facebook
– Channel 4 will launch a new TV channel called 4Seven next month screening repeats of the programmes viewers and critics have most talked about from the previous seven days, prefaced by a snappy selection of their comments, good and bad.
– The channel, which takes its place alongside E4, More4 and Film4, will keep open the weekday 8pm and 10pm slots so that shows that create a critical buzz in newspapers, chatter on social media through Twitter and Facebook, and reaction on the overnight log of comments kept by the broadcaster can be repeated the next day.
– “We think it is the first time a channel has incorporated the views of viewers into what goes on air. We will run a montage of comments before the programme starts, the rough with the smooth, not just propaganda,” said Dan Brooke, Channel 4’s chief marketing and communications officer. The rest of the programmes on 4Seven will be reruns of the most popular ones of the week, with the 9pm slot reserved for the programme shown on Channel 4 at 9pm the previous day. Weekends will be devoted to multiple repeats of the best-rated programmes of the past seven days.
– It is also a recognition by the broadcaster, marking its 30th birthday in November, that although there has been massive growth in people using on-demand services, which accounts for 5% of viewing, and catching up on computers via the iPlayer or 4OD service – where use is up 15% on last year – many more viewers still prefer to watch channels scheduled for them.

Picks

DigitalOutbox Episode 91

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

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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