DigitalOutbox Episode 127

DigitalOutbox Episode 127
DigitalOutbox Episode 127 – Marissa Mayer, Office 13, Apple Woes and don’t criticise the Olympics

Playback
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Listen via M4A
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Shownotes
1:05 – O2 Compensation
– The firm says customers who pay monthly will get back 10% of their July subscription, the equivalent of three days’ charges, applied to their September bill.
– Pay-as-you-go customers will get back 10% on their first top-up in September.
– All customers, even those who were not affected, will also be given a £10 voucher to spend in one of its stores.
2:14 – UK Texts more than Talks
– Mobile voice calls in decline for the first time ever, as more switch to text and online communications
– Newer ways of communicating led by 16-24s, with texting and social networking more frequently used than either phone calls or face to face communications
– The average Briton now sends 50 texts per week
– Two fifths of UK adults now own a smartphone, with the same proportion saying their phone is the most important device for accessing the internet
– Tablet ownership has jumped from 2% to 11% in 12 months
5:29 – Marissa Mayer is Yahoos new CEO
– Marissa Mayer, one of the top executives at Google, will be the next chief of Yahoo, making her one of the most prominent women in Silicon Valley and corporate America.
– The appointment of Ms. Mayer is consider a coup for Yahoo, which has struggled in recent years to attract top talent in its battle with competitors. One of the few public faces of Google, Ms. Mayer, 37, has been responsible for the look and feel of some of the search company’s most popular products.
– The move to Yahoo is an opportunity for Ms. Mayer to step out on her own and claim a bigger stage. Ms. Mayer, an engineer by training whose first job at Google included computer programming, was behind the famously unadorned white search home page and the way users interacted with Gmail, Google News and Google Images. She also sat on Google’s operating committee, part of a small circle of senior executives who had the ear of Google’s co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
– Marissa Mayer, the Google (GOOG) executive who today was named Yahoo’s (YHOO) new chief executive, is pregnant.
– Mayer told Fortune exclusively that her first child is due October 7. It’s a boy!
“He’s super-active,” Mayer told me in a phone call tonight, three hours after Yahoo announced her appointment. “He moves around a lot. My doctor says that he takes after his parents.”
– Great move by Yahoo – bold and looks to have put someone in place that will actually do something with the assets they have.
9:29 – Office 2013
– a “modern” version of the software that is used on a billion PCs worldwide. Cloud-connected and designed to work well on Windows 8 tablets, Office 2013 signals a shift to document collaboration and anywhere any device access. Notably, Microsoft is introducing an on-demand subscription version of Office 2013 that can be streamed from any Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC, with the ability to sync settings and documents.
– Perhaps the biggest change to Office 2013 isn’t the way it looks or its features, but rather the way documents are delivered along with some important under-the-hood changes. Microsoft is really pushing the ability to create a Word document on a Windows PC and edit it on a Windows Phone, Windows 8 tablet, or any Windows 7- or Windows 8-based PC with an internet connection. Home users can store documents in Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud storage and businesses can use a range of the company’s SharePoint offerings. Office 2013’s big innovation is its ability to let users stream a full-featured version of Office to a PC with personal settings intact — an on-demand Office suite whenever you require it.
– Office on demand is a powerful aspect to Microsoft’s Office 2013 subscription offering, providing a way to access a full version of Office wherever you are. The service lets you stream a full-featured Office application to any internet-connected PC running Windows 7 and Windows 8, providing access to the settings and documents you use regularly. Simply put, you can sign in to a streaming version of Office at a friend’s PC and finish a document; the app will then be removed from the PC once it’s closed. This all requires an Office 365 Home Premium subscription, but its ease-of-use makes it a compelling prospect for users who are comfortable using Microsoft’s Office suite and require more document editing functionality than Google Docs or Microsoft’s own Office Web Apps provide. Despite this, you can still opt to simply buy a standalone version of the Office 2013 desktop software and utilize SkyDrive as an online storage hub for documents. You won’t get the streaming Office 2013 apps, but you’ll benefit from the cloud and avoid having to pay a subscription fee.
– Lots of different editions – Office 365, the company’s software plus services platform for Office, will power Office 2013 as a subscription service for those who want to avoid the up-front costs of a perpetual license and take advantage of some of the on-demand features. Available in Home Premium, Small Business Premium, Pro Plus, and Enterprise — Office 365 has a variety of offerings that are flexible based on needs, but like many of its other products there’s still no one size that fits all. The new Home Premium product allows a family to install Office 2013 on up to five PCs and get an additional 20GB of online SkyDrive storage to share documents online. Home Premium includes access to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, and Publisher through an Internet-connected Windows 7 or Windows 8 PC. Documents and settings, and even the actual apps will roam across whatever PC you choose to use Office 365 with. Other editions, like ProPlus and above, include additional user accounts and access to apps like InfoPath and Lync — designed for businesses. Office 365 will also include access to Office for Mac.
– Metro look and feel – A Touch Mode feature is present in each Office 2013 application, but it does very little. Although hit targets become larger, making it slightly easier to navigate with touch, and it’s easy to navigate or type data in documents, the feature feels a little gimmicky and is hidden away from immediate view.
– Word – open, edit and save pdf’s, embed web video, better layout options
– Outlook sees most improvements, but mostly back end
– OneNote look nice – could be great on a surface device
15:43 – Nokia Woes
– The woes at the Finnish mobile phone company Nokia continue to mount, with further losses in its main division in the second quarter of 2012, and a €220m (£170m) write-off on unsold stock of its smartphones.
– Nokia also admitted its high-profile attempt to break back into the US smartphone market with its new range of Lumia phones, running Microsoft’s Windows Phone software, had led to only about 600,000 sales in the US – down on the 1.5m sold in the same period a year ago when the company was only offering its outdated Symbian software.
– The mobile phone division recorded an operating loss of €474m, its second successive quarter of losses, on revenues down 26% year-on-year to €4.02bn. Overall, the company recorded a loss, including one-off restructuring costs, of €826m compared to a loss of €487m in the same period in 2011. Without the restructuring costs, losses would be €327m.
– Elop said Nokia had delivered 4m Lumia smartphones in the second quarter, and that he expected Microsoft’s launch of the new Windows Phone 8 software in the autumn would be “an important catalyst”.
– Existing Lumia phones won’t run the new Windows Phone 8 software…
18:15 – Man assaulted for wearing digital eye by McDonalds staff
– Steve Mann pioneered and wears a digital eye glass
– Think a more permanently attached Google Glass
– On the evening of 2012 July 1st, my wife and children and I went to McDonalds at 140, Avenue Champs Elysees, Paris, France, after a day of sightseeing (8 museums and other landmark sights, as part of a boat cruise package), and while we were standing in line at McDonalds, I was stopped by a person who subsequently stated that he was a McDonalds employee, and he asked about my eyeglass (digital computer vision system, i.e. EyeTap).
– Because we’d spent the day going to various museums and historical landmark sites guarded by military and police, I had brought with me the letter from my doctor regarding my computer vision eyeglass, along with documentation, etc., although I’d not needed to present any of this at any of the other places I visited (McDonald’s was the only establishement that seemed to have any problem with my eyeglass during our entire 2 week trip).
– Since I happened to have it with me, I showed this doctor’s letter and the documentation to the purported McDonalds employee who had stopped me in the McDonalds line.
– After reviewing the documentation, the purported McDonalds employee accepted me (and my family) as a customer, and left us to place our order. In what follows, I will refer to this person as “Possible Witness 1”.
– We ordered two Ranch Wraps, one burger, and one mango McFlurry, from a cashier who I will refer to as “Possible Witness 2”. My daughter handled the cash to pay Possible Witness 2, as my daughter wanted to practice her French. Possible Witness 2 complimented my daughter on her fluency in French.
Next my family and I seated ourselves in the restaurant right by the entrance, so we could watch people walking along Avenue Champs Elysees while we ate our meal.
– Subsequently another person within McDonalds physically assaulted me, while I was in McDonand’s, eating my McDonand’s Ranch Wrap that I had just purchased at this McDonald’s. He angrily grabbed my eyeglass, and tried to pull it off my head. The eyeglass is permanently attached and does not come off my skull without special tools.
– I tried to calm him down and I showed him the letter from my doctor and the documentation I had brought with me. He (who I will refer to as Perpetrator 1) then brought me to two other persons. He was standing in the middle, right in front of me, and there was another person to my left seated at a table (who I will refer to as Perpetrator 2), and a third person to my right. The third person (who I will refer to as Perpetrator 3) was holding a broom and dustpan, and wearing a shirt with a McDonald’s logo on it. The person in the center (Perpetrator 1) handed the materials I had given him to the person to my left (Perpetrator 2), while the three of them reviewed my doctor’s letter and the documentation.
– After all three of them reviewed this material, and deliberated on it for some time, Perpetrator 2 angrily crumpled and ripped up the letter from my doctor. My other documentation was also destroyed by Perpetrator 1.
– I noticed that Perpetrator 1 was wearing a name tag clipped to his belt. When I looked down at it, he quickly covered it up with his hand, and pulled it off and turned it around so that it was facing inwards, so that only the blank white backside of it was then facing outwards.
– Perpetrator 1 pushed me out the door, onto the street.
– The computerized eyeglass processes imagery using Augmediated Reality, in order to help the wearer see better, and when the computer is damaged, e.g. by falling and hitting the ground (or by a physical assault), buffered pictures for processing remain in its memory, and are not overwritten with new ones by the then non-functioning computer vision system.
– As a result of Perpetrator 1’s actions, therefore images that would not have otherwise been captured were captured. Therefore by damaging the Eye Glass, Perpetrator 1 photographed himself and others within McDonalds.
21:40 – Apple ordered to run Samsung didn’t copy ad’s
– A UK judge has ordered Apple to publish announcements that Samsung did not copy the design of its iPad, according to the Bloomberg news agency.
– It said the judge said one notice should remain on Apple’s website for at least six months, while other adverts should be placed in various newspapers and magazines.
– It follows the US company’s failed attempt to block sales of the South Korean firm’s Galaxy Tab tablets.
– Apple has not commented on the news.
– The order did not feature in Judge Colin Birss’s judgement published on 9 July, but Bloomberg said the matter was discussed in the court following the verdict.
– It said the notices must make reference to the court case and should be designed to “correct the damaging impression” that Samsung’s tablets had aped the look of Apple’s products.
23:08 – Apples in-app purchasing circumvented
– a Russian developer has published a method of obtaining in-app purchases from iOS apps for free. First noticed by Russian blog i-ekb.ru, the “in-app proxy” method does not require a jailbreak, can be completed by novices in three steps using just an iOS device, and allows users to install in-app content for free. The hack also works on all devices running iOS 3.0 to 6.0. We confirmed the method works (at least temporarily), and the published instructions are starting to get attention, so we decided to publish this story as a warning to the Apple developer community.
– The hack appears to come from Russian developer ZonD80 who posted the above video demonstration. ZonD80 also appears to run a website called In-AppStore.com, where donations are being accepted to support the development of the project and help keep servers up and running. The developer explained the three steps of the hack, which include the installation of CA certificate, the installation of in-appstore.com certificate, and the changing of DNS record in Wi-Fi settings. After the quick process, users are presented with the message pictured above when installing in-app purchases, opposed to Apple’s usual purchase confirmation dialog. The fact that this hack is being used to steal in-app purchase content is perhaps just as troubling as the developer’s terms of service. Below is a list of data processed through the devs servers as part of the process (but again, we are imploring readers not to try this):
-restriction level of app
-id of app
-id of version
-guid of your idevice
-quantity of in-app purchase
-offer name of in-app purchase
-language you are using
-identifier of application
-version of application
-your locale
– Developers concerned – in app purchasing is a major source of revenue
– Apple has responded to The Loop regarding the situation with the following statement:
“The security of the App Store is incredibly important to us and the developer community,” Apple representative Natalie Harrison, told The Loop. “We take reports of fraudulent activity very seriously and we are investigating.”
– One of the suggestions for a method by which Apple could improve the security of In App Purchasing was to include a unique identifier in validation receipts, and we’ve received word that developers are now seeing something along those lines coming from receipts issued by Apple since late yesterday. The receipts carry a new field called “unique_identifer” that appears to include the Unique Device Identifier (UDID) for the device making the In App Purchase – 5 days after the above report Apple has updated the purchase process
26:08 – Apple reverses course on EPEAT environmental standard
– Apple has posted a letter from retiring senior VP of hardware engineering Bob Mansfield to its website, walking back the company’s abandonment of the EPEAT certification for its eligible products. Per the letter:
– We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.
– There’s a corresponding statement from EPEAT president Robert Frisbee on the organization’s site. It was only last week that Apple’s 39 EPEAT-eligible products were pulled from the industry registry at the company’s request.
– As recently as this Tuesday, Apple’s PR team was pointing out that the company’s environmental efforts are continuing and include many areas of progress not covered by the outdated EPEAT standards. It’s likely that the “loyal Apple customers” who raised their concerns with Mansfield and Apple management included many large institutional and government accounts, which may have purchasing rules mandating EPEAT-eligible gear when possible.
– Both Mansfield and Frisbee emphasize that this experience has strengthened the collaborative efforts of Apple and EPEAT, and that Apple’s input will be crucial in evolving the standard to deal with more modern devices.
28:32 – Betaworks Acquires Digg
– Betaworks, the company behind bit.ly, news.me, Chartbeat and a number of other successful products, has acquired the social news site Digg.com for an undisclosed amount. Betaworks’ founder John Borthwick will become the new CEO of Digg. The site’s current CEO Matt Williams will join Andreessen Horowitz as Entrepreneur in Residence after the Betaworks transition is complete. Digg’s founder Kevin Rose joined Google a few months ago after the search engine acquired his latest startup Milk.
– Betaworks promises to turn Digg “back into a startup,” with low budgets, a small team and fast update cycles. None of the remaining Digg employees, it seems, are moving to Betaworks. Instead, the News.me team will take over the management of the site. Betaworks, says Digg, will soon unveil a new “cloud-based version of Digg” that will complement News.me’s iPhone and iPad apps.
– According to Digg’s outgoing CEO Matt Williams, his team “considered many options of where Digg could go, and frankly many of them could not live up to the reason Digg was invented in the first place — to discover the best stuff on the web. We wanted to find a way to take Digg back to its startup roots.” Betaworks says it’s planning to “build Digg for 2012.”
– Update: Rumor has it that the price was just $500k, but that number doesn’t really make a lot of sense, given that the site still gets enough traffic to make more than that in a year by just selling ads. Talking to AllThingsD, Digg CEO Matt Williams confirmed that “the overall consideration is significantly larger” and includes a combination of cash and equity. Another source close to the negotiations tells us that the price was indeed not $500k. We haven’t been able to pinpoint the exact price yet.
31:56 – Now TV Launched
– BSkyB is to launch its internet service Now TV on Tuesday, with the aim of taking on rivals such as Netflix and LoveFilm, offering movies for £15 a month or up to £3.49 per view.
– The service, which will launch this week on PC, Mac and some Android smartphones, will initially only offer Sky Movies content at launch with access to 600 films and 11 channels.
– However a typically aggressive rollout plan will see Sky Sports content including Premier League, cricket, rugby and golf before the end of the year, as well as channels including Sky1, Sky Arts and Sky Atlantic.
– Now TV will be priced at £15 a month for customers who want to access Sky Movies content, with a “pay and play” option of selecting individual films from 99p to £3.49.
– Sky is aiming to break beyond its pay-TV roots and target the 13m UK households who refuse to sign up for what can be costly subscription packages.
– BSkyB has more than 10m pay-TV customers, however the number of new sign ups has dwindled to as low as 15,000 per quarter.
– The launch of Now TV is seen as potentially as important as BSkyB’s move into the broadband market in 2006, a move to protect and grow its business model to tap into shifting consumer viewing habits such as watching TV on mobile and handheld devices.
– “We are targeting the 13m non-pay TV households out there with a no commitment, no contract way of delivering Sky content they want in a dip in and dip out way,” said BSkyB managing director of sales and marketing Stephen van Rooyen. “The whole idea is to have something ‘not Sky’, it is purposely designed to attract new customers.”
– BSkyB intends to roll out the availability of Now TV rapidly to other devices including iPhone, iPad, Microsoft Xbox and Roku, while the company is also in discussions to bring it to the PlayStation 3.
36:04 – You can’t link to Olympics website if you say something mean about them
– For years, we’ve highlighted the overaggressive nature of the Olympics in over-protecting their intellectual property — even to the level of getting host countries to pass special IP laws that only apply to the Olympics. But this sense of ultimate entitlement seems to pervade everything that the Olympics does. It was recently noted that the terms of use for the London 2012 website include a restriction on how you can link to the site:
Links to the Site. You may create your own link to the Site, provided that your link is in a text-only format. You may not use any link to the Site as a method of creating an unauthorised association between an organisation, business, goods or services and London 2012, and agree that no such link shall portray us or any other official London 2012 organisations (or our or their activities, products or services) in a false, misleading, derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner. The use of our logo or any other Olympic or London 2012 Mark(s) as a link to the Site is not permitted. View our guidelines on Use of the Games’ Marks.
– Either way, this claim that you can’t link to their site in a “derogatory or otherwise objectionable manner” has inspired the creativity of the internet, it appears. Specifically, lots of folks have taken to Twitter to share their own derogatory or otherwise objectionable statements along with links to the website.

Picks

DigitalOutbox Episode 51

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

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

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

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

Ian
iPad Walls
– Great site for iPad wallpapers

DigitalOutbox Episode 33

DigitalOutbox Episode 33
In this episode the team discuss Google vs China, MS Word Banned and Apple Rumours.

Playback
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Shownotes
0:45 – Google vs China
– “highly sophisticated and targeted attack” on their corporate infrastructure that occurred last month.
– The attack originated in China and resulted in the “theft of intellectual property from Google.”
– Attack, as confirmed by MS, was through IE (one of the vectors) and MS is working with Google and partners and developing a patch for the hole
– In light of the attack Google is making sweeping changes to its Chinese operations
– The company says that a minimal amount of user information was compromised, but has come to the alarming conclusion that the attacks were targeting the information of Chinese human rights activists
– In light of the attacks, and after attempts by the Chinese government to further restrict free speech on the web, Google has decided it will deploy a fully uncensored version of its search engine in China.
– This is a major change: since January 2006, Google has made concessions to the Chinese government and offered a censored (and highly controversial) version of its search engine at Google.cn.
– Should the Chinese government decide that an uncensored engine is illegal, then Google may cease operations in China entirely
– Huge, huge step. Massive corporate switch in strategy
– Should be applauded – too often corporations chasing the lucrative untapped chinese market have made concessions to the regime that they would never contemplate anywhere else
– Was this done, as some blogs are stating, due to google losing in China? Google says no – best quarter ever was the latest quarter
– One more thing…..Google hacked the hackers – PC in Taiwan, gathering evidence the attacks originated from mainland China, possibly orchestrated by the government. Hacked 33 other companies including Adobe.
6:08 – Nexus One Support Issues
– It seems that Google / T-Mobile (America) / HTC don’t really know who is supporting the Nexus Phone.
– Google have no dedicated support line and are only offering support through a forum and via email.
– Good product but bad support = fail.
– Google have said they are now working with their partners to offer support via a number of channels.
– Early termination cost greater than cost of full hardware cost. (Google claim back as do T-Mobile…)
11:45 – GDrive but not in name
– soon upload any file type at all to Google Docs, not just the dozen or so Office formats that the service allowed as of yesterday. Video files. Images. Audio Files. Even Zip files. As long as those files are 250 MB or smaller, you’re good.
– The new feature will roll out over the next several weeks, says Google.
– Like other documents in Google docs, files can be kept private, made public or shared with a few users.
– Google Viewer can be used to view many file types, with the notable exception of video.
– Regular users have 1 GB of free storage and can purchase more for $0.25/GB.
– Enterprise customer pay higher prices, starting at $17/year for 5 GB. There are no bandwidth charges.
15:38 – MS banned from selling Word and Office
– The US courts upheld the initial judgement that MS has infringed i4i’s “Custom XML” patent in their Office suite and Monday 11th saw that start of the ban on selling the products.
– As it happens, MS has now produced a version that no longer violates the patent and so “This process will be imperceptible to the vast majority of customers”.
– MS also had to pay i4i damages of £183m.
– MS are planning to appeal further.
22:56 – Free laptops for low income families
– A new scheme to give free laptops to some 270,000 pupils from low income families has begun.
– The Home Access Scheme will follow similar eligibility criteria to those offered free school meals and will see a grant for a computer and also funding for a broadband connection for 1 year.
25:05 – OINK Admin Acquitted on fraud charge
– Alan Ellis, 26, was the first person in the UK to be prosecuted for illegal file-sharing.
– He operated the site, called Oink, from his flat in Middlesbrough from 2004 until it was closed down in a police raid in October 2007.
In that time Oink facilitated the download of 21 million music files.
– At the end of the two week trial the jury returned a unanimous verdict (12 to 0). Alan Ellis is not guilty of Conspiracy to Defraud the music industry. He walked out of Teesside Crown Court a free man today, his name cleared.
– The verdict cannot be appealed and Ellis can finally put the past behind him and move on.
– So, crack on with torrenting then….
28:59 – Blippy goes live
– Social network for your spending
– Hook up your iTunes account, Amazon account, audible, godaddy, netflix, blockbuster, credit card or bank account
– Blippy will then broadcast your purchases
– People can follow you and see/comment on your purchases
– Step too far?
– It’s got lots of investors – I just don’t feel comfortable putting my accounts into this service.
35:14 – Marks and Spencer Netbook Range
– What the hey!
36:36 – Binged.it
– URL shortener
– Longer than bing?
39:38 – Tablet Rumours
– Orange exec confirms it and a built in webcam….then denies it
– Lots of 10.1 inch oled screens ordered,
– Gruber – no camera, webcam or otherwise on The Tablet
41:25 – iPhone Rumours
– oled, video chat, removable battery, twice the battery life and mobile tv
– touch sensitive back ala magic mouse – why – does that solve the game controller problem Chris mentioned?
– go figure
– Question – what would you want in os 4.0?
47:29 – Vodafone launches sat nav app
– Vodafone Navigation
– The application promises turn-by-turn navigation, with voice instructions and speed camera alerts, for any location in the UK.
– While the application is currently free, at the end of April 2010, customers can decide to keep the application for the length of their contract for just £3 a month, or choose to take it month by month for £5 a month.
– Only works with iPhone and a Vodafone SIM card
– They also sold 50,000 iPhones on first day

Picks
Ian
Readability
– Cleans up cluttered pages
– Great for reading long form stories – run through readability first then store to Instapaper or Evernote

Henry
Appzapper 2
– The uninstaller that Apple forgot
– Easy to use – keeps your mac clean of old apps

Chris
Dragon Age:Origins

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 16

DigitalOutbox Episode 16
In this episode the team discuss Eid Mubarak and some tech news too.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:57 – EBay Sued
– Follow up to the previous story – Joltid, the licence holders for technology underlying Skype – are filing suite to eBay. They say the 100,000 or so downloads of Skype made every day are seeing the suite grow by $75m per day for continued breaches of licence.
– Story details updated that eBay sourced unauthorised copies of the Joltid source code, made unauthorised amends and made the code available to third persons.
– eBay respond via spokesman John Pluhowski: “Their allegations and claims are without merit and are founded on fundamental legal and factual errors,”
5:41 – PAF Leaks Online
– Postcode Address File (PAF) leaks online. 241mb, 1,841,177 postcodes – no names and addresses in each file
– Useful – should this data not be free?
– Data will quickly go out of date – 4000 new entries, 2000 removals per month
8:07 – BBC Watchdog reports on faulty PS3’s
– Watchdog report suggests a manufacturing defect in the 1st gen 60gb PS3’s after being contacted by 155 viewers with faulty consoles, and from the opinion of 3 commercial repair technicians.
– faulty units displayed a high number of “voids” – faults in the solder
– sets up repair team ‘PRAT’ outside Sony London offices, offering free repairs for PS3’s that Sony charges for (but it seems PRAT’s repairs are not free!!)
– Gamesindustry.biz claims the repair stunt falls flat http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/watchdogs-ps3-repairs-stunt-falls-flat-interview
– “11 users getting their consoles repaired for free. During the show tonight, it admitted four of those consoles repaired by “experts” were no longer working”
– “report claimed the PlayStation 3 costs “£400” and with repair will total “£528” according to show presenter Anne Robinson, who also said “thousands upon thousands” had broken”
– ” x-ray of the PlayStation 3 showing “trapped gas”, although no explanation of this was offered.”
– Sony claims the ‘YLOD’ is non-specific indicator of a fault and doesn’t necessarily mean the console has died.
– nothing but a publicity stunt
– Watchdog criticised for wasting tax-payers money on producing an inaccurate and biased report http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/sony/6206575/BBC-Watchdog-criticised-over-PS3-story.html
– the number of faulty consoles with yellow light, reported to Sony complaints, represent less than 1/2% of 2.5m PS3’s sold. Hardly conclusive of an inherent fault
– compare that to 360’s confirmed failure rate 54.2%
– claims of bias as Iain Lee, one of the ‘reporters’, is an XBox fan.
– TheSixthAxis games site sends an open complaints letter to BBC http://www.thesixthaxis.com/2009/09/18/an-open-letter-to-bbc-complaints/comment-page-3/
– “You then skimmed over a six-page letter from SCEUK, summarising their lengthy (and apparently warranted) misgivings about the way you were handling the issue, in a few smirking sentences.”
– “you failed to mention that your “free” fix wasn’t actually free”
– “here was no indication of why the problem occurred, no discussion of which models it was being reported for and no information regarding possible preventative measures. ”
17:18 – BBC Protecting HD Content
– BBC have approached Ofcom to request the ability for them to encrypt TV listings for their HD content.
– Request made in response to content providers fears for illegal pirating of content.
– BBC aren’t allowed to encrypt their actual broadcast but by encrypting the channel listings and only permitting licences for trusted hardware manufacturers they are effectively render the station useless to users with non-trusted hardware.
– Usual arguments about the fact that this will not be effectual at all in stopping someone looking to pirate but will massively effect the everyday user and low end/cheap hardware manufacturers using open source operating systems for their products.
20:48 – Pay for News
– Wall Street Journal to charge weekly fee for web and mobile access
– $1 – applies to iPhone and Blackberry app’s
22:30 – Microsoft Application Store
– There was concern over a “kill switch” that had been implemented to allow MS to pull apps off of users devices. This has since been clarified by MS to only relate in cases where software causes harm or “unforeseen effects” and refunds will be issued in such cases. Most cases where the app is removed from the store for whatever reason will not remove the app from the users device.
– Revenue shared 70% / 30% in favour of the developer. Any carrier costs will be taken off MS share.
– $99 for first 5 submissions – then $99 for each subsequent submission
– Apps replacing core functionality – including mapping and navigation – will be rejected
– However, any apps rejected are still supported by the platform – just not via the app store.
– Video of free app on Zune – 30 sec video add everytime you start chess – http://vimeo.com/6612641
– 12 hours to convert an iPhone app to the Zune HD – impressive – http://mashable.com/2009/09/19/iphone-zune-hd-port/
26:27 – Office Online
– MS response to Google Docs.
– CNET UK got a taste. Brief summary being:
– Excel and Powerpoint both functioning. Both good online representations of the full PC apps. But slower thatn Google Docs because of that.
– Word Online not yet available for anything other than viewing word docs. View looks fine. Apparently, when editing is released it won’t add collaborative simultaneous editing on release, although it is on the roadmap.
– Sharing is currently achieved in a arse about tit way and needs addressing ASAP – based on folder shares rather than doc shares.
– Won’t work on Google Chrome – although will work on IE, Firefox and Safari. MS say that’s about “prioritising” ready for 2010 release.
– Summary – should be good for individual users looking for feature rich apps but slower than Google Docs and doesn’t have the simultaneous collaboration in Word. Sharing is terrible and needs to be addressed.
28:51 – Google
– Google Data Liberation
– http://www.dataliberation.org/home
– How to get your data into and out of Google tools
– Important consideration for cloud computing
– Google FastFlip
– Labs app – read the news by flipping quickly between sites
– Quick, works on iPhone and Android too
– Shares advertising revenue between Google and partner sites
– Can’t click on the links on each page. Nice for tablet???
– Google Chrome 3
– Faster, omnibox improvement, HTML support, themes
– Still no mac version (by year end)
– Currently 3% market share, in the next year 5%, within 2 years 10%
– Google Voice
– Google claim that it was rejected by Apple (Phil Schiller)
– http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/09/fcc-releases-confidential-details-of-google-voice-app-rejection.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss
– This is going to get messy
– Someone is lying – who?
– Rumour – Google has screenshot of app rejection.
33:48 – Apple TV Price Drops
– Apple TV Price Drops – shakeel
– $229 in US for 160GB, no more 40gb
– £219 in the UK for 160gb – was £263 in UK for 160GB, £195 for 40gb
– iMac and MacBook refreshes due within weeks http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/09/09/16/apple_predicted_to_release_new_imacs_macbooks_in_weeks.html
40:17 – OS 3.1 Issues
– The latest iPhone OS (3.1) now blocks the teathering option on any unlocked handset.
– This affects officially unlocked handsets legitimately being used on alternate carriers, as well as unofficially unlocked and jail-broken.
– Apple Customer Support = “Nothing we can do to help”.
– other issues post 3.1 update
– random shut downs (yes, I’ve been a victim of this)
– occasional screen freezes
– poor(er) battery life
48:51 – Copyright in games gets sneeky
– Code inserted into Batman: Arkham Asylum removes essential controls from the game if you are running a pirate copy.
– Caught out a person on Eidos forum who posted about a bug in the game only to be told he had a bug in his moral code!

Picks
Shakeel
Create your own iPhone/Touch dock
– French designer Julien Madérou, has designed a template which can be downloaded and printed to a card.
– Then cut and fold into shape of a sturdy dock – cool!

Ian
Runkeeper
– Great for tracking your runs, cycles, walks etc on the iphone
– Great website
– 100% reliable for me
– Can edit routes, export to Google Earth
– Leave auto tweets and facebook updates on comleted runs/walks
– RunKeeper Free is ad-supported and RunKeeper Pro is ad-free. RunKeeper Pro also has audio cues (hear your stats via your headphones), and we recently added training workouts as well (hear intervals via your headphones).
– @runkeeper

Chris
Jing
– create screencasts on Mac / PC for free
– http://www.jingproject.com/
– Capture windows, screen areas or whole desktops.
– Capture microphone as well for commentary.
– Save as SWF – either host on screencast.com or save locally (Mp4, youtube possible in Pro version)
– Limited to 5 mins.
– Take a look at the Google Chrome overview to see the outcome!