DigitalOutbox Episode 106

DigitalOutbox Episode 106
In this episode the team discuss Apple legal woes, Path choose the wrong way and rumours.

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Shownotes
1:05 – Apple lose lawsuit in Germany
– Lose lawsuit against Motorola
– Motorola won a court ruling in December relating to an alleged infringement of wireless patents for 3G connections by Apple handsets including the iPhone 4 and the 3G version of the iPad 2.
– MMI won a separate court injunction against Apple on Friday that could force the US electronics giant to block a key function of its iCloud email system for users in Germany. That would require MMI first to post a €100m (£83m) bond to cover potential outcomes.
– Forced to pull iPhone and iPad from sale online in Germany – still on sale in stores
– They appeal and the products are back for sale by the end of the day
– We said it months ago when this kicked off – it’s going to get ugly and it’s the customer that will lose
– Pretty funny though that Apple lost
6:46 – Apple faces $38m fine in China trademark case
– The future of Apple’s iPad is under threat in China after local firm Proview Technology Shenzhen claimed ownership of the trademark and demanded sales of the device be halted, reports the China Daily.
– Apple could also be slapped with a $38 million fine as authorities in Beijing weigh up the case.
– The lawsuit is the latest twist in a saga that began in October 2010, when Proview Technology’s parent company Proview International sued Apple for 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion), claiming it had rights over the iPad trademark.
– The controversy stems from the fact that two of its subsidiaries, Proview Taipei and the aforementioned Proview Technology Shenzhen, both registered the iPad trademark in different territories and at different times more than 10 years ago. Proview Taipei later sold its rights to the trademark to U.K.-based IP Application Development Ltd, which in turn sold it to Apple for a mere £10.
9:57 – FBI releases Steve Jobs file
– Some of the titbits revealed in the 191 pages of documents include that that he was a negligent father who would “twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals,” according to documents released by the FBI.
– The FBI interviewed Jobs and at least 29 people who knew him as part of a background check. Their investigations took place in the 1990s, after Jobs had been fired from Apple and before his triumphant return to the company.
– “Several individuals questioned Mr Jobs’ honesty stating that Mr Jobs will twist the truth and distort reality in order to achieve his goals. They also commented that, in the past, Mr Jobs was not supportive of [redacted] and their daughter; however, recently has become supportive,” according to the documents.
– Another source characterised Jobs as “a deceptive individual who who is not completely forthright and honest”. The files paint a picture of a complicated man, full of contradictions.
11:30 – Path choose the wrong way
– http://mclov.in/2012/02/08/path-uploads-your-entire-address-book-to-their-servers.html
– Arun Thampi found that Path uploads your entire iOS address book to their servers without asking or telling you that it’s done so
– used http://mitmproxy.org/ – provides a console interface that allows traffic flows to be inspected and edited on the fly.
– Issue for me is the downloading and retaining on server rather than accessing the address book – if I leave service is my address book deleted?
– path apologises – deletes all data from servers and releases new app askin gyou to opt in – good blog post from Dave Morin
– http://blog.path.com/post/17274932484/we-are-sorry?c8f39750
– but problem is much more widespread says ins tapper dev
– iOS Address Book access should prompt the user for permission
– http://www.marco.org/2012/02/09/ios-address-book-should-prompt-users
17:36 – Googles Bouncer for Android
– Bouncer scanning software, developed by Google, is designed to search the Android market for software that could be malicious
– Bouncer will scan current and new applications, plus developer accounts. The blog post explained how the service will function.
– “Here’s how it works: once an application is uploaded, the service immediately starts analyzing it for known malware, spyware and trojans. It also looks for behaviors that indicate an application might be misbehaving, and compares it against previously analyzed apps to detect possible red flags. We actually run every application on Google’s cloud infrastructure and simulate how it will run on an Android device to look for hidden, malicious behavior. We also analyze new developer accounts to help prevent malicious and repeat-offending developers from coming back.”
– Bouncer was tested in 2011 and comparing the first half of the year to the second, Google Mobile reported a 40% decrease in malicious downloads.
19:32 – Chrome beta for Android
– Only for Ice Cream Sandwich
– No flash support
– Fast, but Android browser is faster
– Big draw though, is how it ties into your desktop experience. When you first launch Chrome it’ll ask you to sign into your Google account. After doing that, all of your bookmarks, Omnibar results and open tabs are automatically synced. Opening a new tab not only offers you quick access to your most frequently visited sites, recently closed tabs and bookmarks (just like the desktop version), but also any tabs you might still have open on another machine.
– Will we see Chrome browser for Windows mobile and iOS?
23:58 – Rumours
– iPad 3 to be unveiled first week of March
– What do you expect?
– What do you want?
– http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052970204369404577211961645711988-lMyQjAxMTAyMDAwODEwNDgyWj.html
– Google cloud drive service to launch soon called Drive
– Rival to Dropbox
– The Google service, which is expected to launch in the coming weeks or months, will be free for most consumers and businesses. Google will charge a fee to those who want to store a large amount of files, the people familiar with the matter said.

Picks
Ian
Tweetbot for iPad
– £1.99
– Fast, clear, great UI, mute options, tweetmarker support
– So much better than Twitter official client on iPad and iPhone
– Hope twitter don’t buy these guys…

Chris
FontSquirrel
– As free web fonts ramp up – this site offers another selection of free (including commercial use) font packages that allow you to give your sites a little something different.
– Another great feature of the site is the ability to upload a font you already own (and have the web licence for!) and use their online tool to deliver back down a full browser pack that will mean your fonts display cross browser/operating system.
– TrueType Fonts for Firefox 3.5+ , Opera 10+, Safari 3.1+, Chrome 4.0.249.4+
– EOT fonts for Internet Explorer 4+
– WOFF fonts for Firefox 3.6+, Internet Explorer 9+, Chrome 5+
– SVG fonts for iPad and iPhone
– Cufón fonts in case you want them
– http://hellohappy.org/beautiful-web-type/ – great examples from the free Google fonts collection

DigitalOutbox Episode 94

DigitalOutbox Episode 94
In this episode the team discuss Steve Jobs, Google, Touchpad and Windows 8

Playback
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Shownotes
1:43 – Steve Jobs Resigns
– Steve Jobs steps down and will now act as Chairman of Apple and the board
– Tim Cook installed as CEO
– So Steve will still work at Apple, be involved but you’ve got to wonder for how much longer
– Ian – can’t help but feel sad about this, not because of the impact at Apple but how illness looks to have forced Steve Jobs out of a role that he excelled at and whether you like what Apple stands for or not, has shaped the digital world we live in
– Felt quite sad at the almost obituaries that were posted but then at the same time it was almost universal praise and some great storeis
– Ians fav – Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering at Google
– One Sunday morning, January 6th, 2008 I was attending religious services when my cell phone vibrated. As discreetly as possible, I checked the phone and noticed that my phone said “Caller ID unknown”. I choose to ignore.

After services, as I was walking to my car with my family, I checked my cell phone messages. The message left was from Steve Jobs. “Vic, can you call me at home? I have something urgent to discuss” it said.

Before I even reached my car, I called Steve Jobs back. I was responsible for all mobile applications at Google, and in that role, had regular dealings with Steve. It was one of the perks of the job.

“Hey Steve – this is Vic”, I said. “I’m sorry I didn’t answer your call earlier. I was in religious services, and the caller ID said unknown, so I didn’t pick up”.

Steve laughed. He said, “Vic, unless the Caller ID said ‘GOD’, you should never pick up during services”.

I laughed nervously. After all, while it was customary for Steve to call during the week upset about something, it was unusual for him to call me on Sunday and ask me to call his home. I wondered what was so important?

“So Vic, we have an urgent issue, one that I need addressed right away. I’ve already assigned someone from my team to help you, and I hope you can fix this tomorrow” said Steve.

“I’ve been looking at the Google logo on the iPhone and I’m not happy with the icon. The second O in Google doesn’t have the right yellow gradient. It’s just wrong and I’m going to have Greg fix it tomorrow. Is that okay with you?”

Of course this was okay with me. A few minutes later on that Sunday I received an email from Steve with the subject “Icon Ambulance”. The email directed me to work with Greg Christie to fix the icon.

Since I was 11 years old and fell in love with an Apple II, I have dozens of stories to tell about Apple products. They have been a part of my life for decades. Even when I worked for 15 years for Bill Gates at Microsoft, I had a huge admiration for Steve and what Apple had produced.

But in the end, when I think about leadership, passion and attention to detail, I think back to the call I received from Steve Jobs on a Sunday morning in January. It was a lesson I’ll never forget. CEOs should care about details. Even shades of yellow. On a Sunday.

To one of the greatest leaders I’ve ever met, my prayers and hopes are with you Steve.

-Vic
16:01 – Facebook Privacy Changes
– Makes privacy easier…and looks like a direct response to Google+
– You can now approve photo’s you’ve been tagged in BEFORE they appear on your wall
– Making privacy around status updates more obvious – Everyone changed to Public
– Every post is more obviously tagged with how you are sharing it with
– Rolling out gradually
– Biggest/best privacy change they have made yet?
18:48 – Patent Folly
– Samsung cites Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ movie as prior art against iPad design patent
– Amazing
– Apple get granted an injunction against sale/distribution of Samsung phones in Holland… which happens to be major European distribution centre for Samsung… dickishtm
22:18 – Government Backdown
– The government has climbed down on plans to ban suspected rioters from social networking websites including Facebook and Twitter in times of civil unrest.
– Unprecedented measures such as shutting down websites and banning users are understood to have been dismissed by all sides early at a Home Office summit between the home secretary, Theresa May, and the major social networks on Thursday afternoon.
– The one-hour discussion focused on how law enforcement can better use Twitter and Facebook as part of day-to-day operations as well as in emergencies.
– Focussed on how authorities can use networks to spread messages, dispel fears, gather information
25:56 – Google TV coming to the UK within 6 months
– Priority for Google
– Sure to feature iPlayer and ITV Player but what else?
– Flopped in America, does it really matter anymore?
33:49 – Google brings back offline modes
– Chrome app’s give offline access to GMail, Calendar and Google Docs
– Been a gap since they dropped Google Gears
– Takes advantage of HTML5
– Available in the Chrome store
36:27 – Google Updates +1
– Now lets you share your +1’s on Google+
– Finally!
37:58 – Fall Spring Clean
Google closing many products as they start to focus on whats important
– Aardvark: Aardvark was a start-up we acquired in 2010. An experiment in a new kind of social search, it helped people answer each other’s questions. While Aardvark will be closing, we’ll continue to work on tools that enable people to connect and discover richer knowledge about the world.
– Desktop: In the last few years, there’s been a huge shift from local to cloud-based storage and computing, as well as the integration of search and gadget functionality into most modern operating systems. People now have instant access to their data, whether online or offline. As this was the goal of Google Desktop, the product will be discontinued on September 14, including all the associated APIs, services, plugins, gadgets and support.
– Fast Flip: Fast Flip was started to help pioneer news content browsing and reading experiences for the web and mobile devices. For the past two years, in collaboration with publishers, the Fast Flip experiment has fueled a new approach to faster, richer content display on the web. This approach will live on in our other display and delivery tools.
– Google Maps API for Flash: The Google Maps API for Flash was launched to provide ActionScript developers a way to integrate Google Maps into their applications. Although we’re deprecating the API, we’ll keep supporting existing Google Maps API Premier customers using the Google Maps API for Flash and we’ll focus our attention on the JavaScript Maps API v3 going forward.
– Google Pack: Due to the rapidly decreasing demand for downloadable software in favor of web apps, we will discontinue Google Pack today. People will still be able to access Google’s and our partners’ software quickly and easily through direct links on the Google Pack website.
– Google Web Security: Google Web Security came to Google as part of the Postini acquisition in 2007, and since then we’ve integrated much of the web security functionality directly into existing Google products, such as safe browsing in Chrome. Although our previous sales channel will be discontinued, we’ll continue to support our existing customers.
– Image Labeler: We began Google Image Labeler as a fun game to help people explore and label the images on the web. Although it will be discontinued, a wide variety ofonline games from Google are still available.
Notebook: Google Notebook enabled people to combine clipped URLs from the web and free-form notes into documents they could share and publish. We’ll be shutting down Google Notebook in the coming months, but we’ll automatically export all notebook data to Google Docs.
– Sidewiki: Over the past few years, we’ve seen extraordinary innovation in terms of making the web collaborative. So we’ve decided to discontinue Sidewiki and focus instead on our broader social initiatives. Sidewiki authors will be given more details about this closure in the weeks ahead, and they’ll have a number of months to download their content.
– Subscribed Links: Subscribed Links enabled developers to create specialized search results that were added to the normal Google search results on relevant queries for subscribed users. Although we’ll be discontinuing Subscribed Links, developers will be able to access and download their data until September 15, at which point subscribed links will no longer appear in people’s search results.
42:43 – BBC Crowdsources mobile data
– Coverage not 90% as mobile operators state
– Concentrated on how signal varied with normal use cases – not static.
– Liked this story more for the innovative use of croudsourcing data – we’ll see this more no doubt.
43:51 – Touchpad
– HP drops it
– Price slash.
– MADDDDD rush to pick up for £89
– Sells out everywhere.
– Now HP say they will perhaps build more…
– People trying to get Android onto hardware (and succeeding – although not fully baked yet)
48:50 – Amazon Tablet
– The tablet is reportedly going to have a 7-inch touchscreen with a backlit LCD for the display. The design is said to be very similar to RIM’s BlackBerry Playbook (hence the Photoshopped image above) and based on Android. However, Android will be little more than the underpinnings here, likeSony’s Reader Wi-Fi and Fusion Garage’s Grid 10, the entire UI is custom. The homescreen will be a Cover Flow-like series of images representing your content. Navigation will come via a row of buttons on the bottom that appear on a single tap. There will also be a status bar for notifications, battery life, and so on.
– Amazon has been creating the necessary building blocks for a tablet ecosystem devoid of Google services for some time now, having released the Amazon App Store for Android Apps, Amazon Instant Video for movies and television, Amazon Music play for cloud-based music, and of course Kindle for ebooks. So while this is technically based on Android, it’s fully an Amazon tablet with no Google involvement or Google apps. While we will need to see just how fully-featured the Kindle Tablet is when it’s released, for the time-being it looks like it will be be directly taking on the Nook, which is also an Android-powered ereader at the same price point.
– If everything works out as above, we should expect a late-November release for a very-affordable $250. The initial version will be a Wi-Fi-only device, with 3G and potentially even a 10-inch version coming later depending on how well the original Kindle Tablet does on the market.
54:18 – Windows Explorer 8
– Blog post on the research Microsoft has done into the new Windows 8 UI
– Lots of great facts…but that ribbon UI on explorer looks awful
– Real split in direction between Mac and Windows
– Ian’s tablet woes!!!!!!!

Picks
Chris
Academic Earth
– Online lectures/courses freely available from major universities around the world. (US focus, Princeton, Yale, Harvard, MIT etc
– Tonnes of topics – all available to watch/comment/interact free.
– Real lectures as you would receive if attending these places.
– Plenty of topics for a geek looking for self improvement
– Watch online – or even subscribe to all of a course as a pod/vodcast via itunes
Ian
Tweetmarker
– Syncs your position in twitter timeline
– Twitterrific, Tweetbot and Tweetings currently support it
– Simple but very very handy

DigitalOutbox Episode 92

DigitalOutbox Episode 92
In this episode the team discuss Newsbin Blocked, UK Copyright Laws Updated, Google Patent Issues, trouble for Nintendo and Sony handhelds and don’t mess with Duncan Bannatyne

Playback
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Shownotes
1:42 – Police charge Scottish Teen over SOCA attack
– UK police have charged an 18-year-old with hacking the Serious Organised Crime Agency’s (Soca) website as part of an ongoing investigation into the infamous LulzSec and Anonymous hacktivist crews.
– Jake Davis, who allegedly used the online nickname Topiary and acted as a spokesman for the groups, will face five computer hacking charges at a hearing at the City of Westminster Magistrates Court on Monday.
– The rap sheet includes a charge related to participating in denial of service attacks that floored Soca’s website in June.
– Davis, who was arrested in the Shetland Islands last week, is the second person to be arrested over attacks on Soca’s website, following the arrest of Ryan Cleary, 19, of Wickford, Essex, last month. A 16-year-old teenager from South London was arrested and questioned by police around the same time as Cleary’s arrest and bailed to return in late August, pending further inquiries.
4:39 – BT Ordered to block links to Newzbin 2
– A High Court judge has ruled that BT must block access to a website which provides links to pirated movies.
Newzbin 2 is a members-only site which aggregates a large amount of the illegally copied material found on Usenet discussion forums.
– The landmark case is the first time that an ISP has been ordered to block access to such a site. It paves the way for other sites to be blocked as part of a major crackdown on piracy.
– In his ruling, Mr Justice Arnold stated: “In my judgment it follows that BT has actual knowledge of other persons using its service to infringe copyright: it knows that the users and operators of Newzbin 2 infringe copyright on a large scale, and in particular infringe the copyrights of the studios in large numbers of their films and television programmes.”
– He continued: “It knows that the users of Newzbin 2 include BT subscribers, and it knows those users use its service to receive infringing copies of copyright works made available to them by Newzbin 2.” BT and the Motion Picture Association (MPA), which brought the case, will be back in court in October to work out how the blocking will work. BT said it will not appeal the ruling.
– Justice Arnold ruled that BT must use its blocking technology CleanFeed – which is currently used to prevent access to websites featuring child sexual abuse – to block Newzbin 2. In an email interview before the verdict, Newzbin 2 threatened to break BT’s filters.
– “We would be appalled if any group were to try to sabotage this technology as it helps to protect the innocent from highly offensive and illegal content,” said a spokesman for BT.
– The Internet Service Providers’ Association has been a fierce critic of web blocking. It said that using blocking technology designed to protect the public from images of child abuse, was inappropriate.
10:46 – UK Proposing changes to Copyright and Website Blocking Rules
– Plans to block websites that host copyright infringing material are to be dumped by the government. Website blocking was one of the key provision contained in the Digital Economy Act. Internet Service Providers had objected to the idea that copyright owners could compel them to cut off some sites.
– Speaking to the BBC, Vince Cable appeared to suggest that the Newzbin2 case had opened up other legal avenues.”We’ve discovered that the drafting of the original laws, which took place a year or so ago, were not tight.
– The government’s decision to drop the DEA’s blocking provision was criticised by UK Music, the body which represents musicians and record labels in the UK. Its chief executive, Fergal Sharkey said: “Who wants to tell the 80% of music businesses that employ fewer than five people, and the thousands of artists who self-finance the production of their own albums, that to enjoy the protection of the law, all they need now is to have millions of pounds and spend years in court to protect their work.”
– Mr Cable also announced a raft of measures intended to update the UK’s copyright laws. The changes are based on the Hargreaves Review which was set up to examine current legislation’s fitness for purpose in the digital age. One of the most significant recommendations that the government plans to implement is the legalisation of “format shifting” – where users rip content from CDs or DVDs for their own personal use.
– “Bringing the laws more up-to-date to have a proper balance which allows consumers and businesses to operate more freely, but at the same time protect genuinely creative artists and penalise pirates.” The business secretary said the economy would benefit by £8bn over the next few years by updating the legislation.
– Millions of people regularly convert movies on DVDs and music on CDs into a format that they can move around more easily, although most do not realise that it is technically illegal. “The review pointed out that if you have a situation where 90% of your population is doing something, then it’s not really a very good law,” said Simon Levine, head of the intellectual property and technology group at DLA Piper.
– Legalising non-commercial copying for private use would bring the UK into line with many other nations and also meet the “reasonable expectations” of consumers, said the government.
– Could also include fair usage and re-use clauses so that fan fiction, remixes etc are now legal and can be published online without threat of takedown
16:21 – Smartphone Watershed in the UK
– for the first time, smartphone sales outstripped sales of regular mobiles in the first half of this year as the enormous demand continues to rise. Just over half of the total 13.6m mobile sales from January to June 2011 were smartphones, according to research by GfK Retail and Technology UK.
– Of the new generation of smartphone users, 60% of teenagers classed themselves as “highly addicted” to their device, compared to 37% of adults.
– “Our research into the use of smartphones, in particular, reveals how quickly people become reliant on new technology – to the point of feeling addicted. As more and more people acquire smartphones, they are becoming an essential tool in peoples’ social lives whether they are out with friends socialising or using Facebook on the move.”
– Facebook remains far and away the most popular website for mobile users, with users spending almost four times the amount of time socialising online than using Google or any other website. Unsurprisingly, multi-tasking teenagers said they were less likely to read books if they owned a smartphone. But they also said that owning a smartphone made them more likely to ditch games consoles like the PS3 and the computer, in favour of their pocket-sized handset.
– The huge boost in smartphone sales has led to a 67% increase in mobile data use as phone users watched videos and sent emails on the go. Mobile operators, such as O2 and Vodafone, have been put under huge strain by the new load. But Thickett said the carriers are coping with the enormous demand.
– Over half (51 per cent) of adults and two thirds (65 per cent) of teenagers say they have used their smartphone while socialising with others, nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of adults and a third (34 per cent) of teenagers have used them during mealtimes and over a fifth (22 per cent) of adult and nearly half (47 per cent) of teenage smartphone users admitted using or answering their handset in the bathroom or toilet.
19:56 – BBC Launches Global iPlayer App
– The BBC is launching an international version of its on-demand video service, the iPlayer, for Apple iPad users.
– Customers who pay a monthly subscription will get access to a range of current and classic programmes. The app will have one feature not available in the UK – the ability to download content and watch offline.
– The project is being run BBC Worldwide– the corporation’s commercial arm – which said that money earned would help supplement licence-fee income. Initially, global iPlayer will be available in 11 European countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, The Republic of Ireland, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland.
– It will cost 6.99 euro per month (£6.14), with the option of an annual subscription priced at 49.99 euro (£44). According to BBC Worldwide, the international product will look and feel similar to the UK iPlayer, but function in a different way.
– Rather than a seven-day catch-up service, it will offer a showcase of BBC shows, old and new. Examples given include Fawlty towers, Only Fools and Horses, Sherlock and Doctor Who.
– It is possible that may provoke questions from viewers in the UK who do not have access to older shows.
21:14 – Amazon App Store – Rotten to the Core
– Amazon’s biggest feature by far, has been their Free App Of The Day promotion. Publicly their terms say that they pay developers 20% of the asking price of an app, even when they give it away free. To both consumers and naive developers alike, this seems like a big chance to make something rare in the Android world: real money. But here’s the dirty secret Amazon don’t want you to know, they don’t pay developers a single cent.
– Did the exposure count for much in the days afterwards? That’s also a big no, the day after saw a blip in sales, followed by things going back to exactly where we started, selling a few apps a day. In fact Amazon decided to rub salt in the wounds a little further by discounting our app to 99 cents for a few days after the free promotion. All we got was about 300 emails a day to answer over the space of a few weeks, that left us tired and burnt out. For all we know most of the people who wanted our application, now have it. To add insult to injury Pocket Casts relies on a server to parse podcast feeds (allowing instant updates on your phone), and all these new users forced us to buy more hardware just to meet demand. Hardware that we are going to have to support indefinitely at our own cost.
– But that’s not our only beef with Amazon:
Lengthy review times of anywhere up to 2 weeks (I’ve lost count of the amount of emails from people asking why our Google Market app is newer)
Amazon gets to set the price of your app to whatever they want, without any input from you, or even the chance to reject their price
Amazon re-writes your description, and in ours they even made up things like ‘add up to 100 podcasts’. No idea where on earth they got that number from
Amazon don’t provide error reports like Google do making it hard to fix errors
They don’t yet support Google’s new multiple APK initiative
Amazon pays far later than Google does, and to date we haven’t received any cheques from them, even though we are listed as being ‘payed’
US Only
Much less real-time sales information than Google
Update: (and this one surprised us) you can’t remove apps from their store! You have to ask them for permission via an email. Every other store lets you remove apps from sale.
28:09 – Trojan risk for Android phones
– A mobile application for Google’s Android smartphones can secretly record users’ phone calls and transmit them to malicious hackers,security researchers have found.
Once downloaded by a user, the app – which the researcher has not named, but seems to have a name relating to “System Messages” – surreptitiously stores a recording of the user’s incoming and outgoing calls to the phone’s memory card, according to the New York-based security experts CA Technologies.
– In a blog post unveiling the finding, researcher Dinesh Venkatesan said the so-called “Trojan app” is one of the most invasive they have ever uncovered. He also warned that there is an increasing trend targeting smartphones using Google’s Android software, which allows developers to submit apps with little vetting.
– Google had not returned requests for comment at the time of publication.
– Venkateskan wrote on the researcher’s official blog: “In one of our earlier blogs, we have demonstrated how a Trojan logs all the details of incoming/outgoing calls and call duration in a text file.
– “This Trojan is more advanced as it records the conversation itself in ‘amr’ format [which is optimised for recording speech]. Also it has many other malicious activities that we have seen in many of the earlier malware incidents targeted for Android platform.”
– The app, which was not named by the researchers for security reasons, asks users’ permission to intercept outgoing calls and record audio before it is installed. Once downloaded, all calls the user makes will be logged on the phone’s memory – which can potentially be accessed by the app’s makers. The sound is filed in a folder called shangzhou/callrecord, suggesting that its author is Chinese.
30:39 – Nortel Patent Argument Continues
– Remember the group of tech companies that bought the Nortel patents for $4.5 billion – Microsoft, Apple et all?
– Google is still smarting – In a post just put up on the main Google Blog, Google SVP and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond takes shot after shot at Google’s competitors. By name, he calls out Microsoft, Apple, and Oracle. What’s this all about? What else? Patents.
– “I have worked in the tech sector for over two decades. Microsoft and Apple have always been at each other’s throats, so when they get into bed together you have to start wondering what’s going on,” is the way Drummond kicks off his post. He goes on to lay out what he believes is a “hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents.”
– While Drummond says that their rival’s “anti-competitive strategy” is driving up the price of patents on the market to insane levels, he believes the law will eventually prevail and “this patent bubble will pop”.
– “In this instance we thought it was important to speak out and make it clear that we’re determined to preserve Android as a competitive choice for consumers, by stopping those who are trying to strangle it,” he notes, going on to say that the Department of Justice is currently looking into if Apple and Microsoft’s acquisition of the Nortel patents was for anti-competitive means.
– “We’re also looking at other ways to reduce the anti-competitive threats against Android by strengthening our own patent portfolio. Unless we act, consumers could face rising costs for Android devices — and fewer choices for their next phone,” is how the post ends.
– Typical Google – painting themselves as the white knight in amongst these big bad companies who are out to destroy, not innovate…yawn. Post also doesn’t mention that Google bid over $4 billion as well.
– A couple of hours later…“Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no,” Brad Smith, Microsoft General Counsel tweeted out in response.
– Just in case that wasn’t enough, Frank Shaw, Microsoft Head of Communications, followed up with the real heat-seeker. “Free advice for David Drummond – next time check with Kent Walker before you blog. tweeted, referring to another Google SVP and General Counsel. Attached to that tweet was the picture of an email Walker apparently sent to Smith on October 28, 2010. It reads as follows:
Brad –
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you — I came down with a 24-hour bug on the way back from San Antonio. After talking with people here, it sounds as though for various reasons a joint bid wouldn’t be advisable for us on this one. But I appreciate your flagging it, and we’re open to discussing other similar opportunities in the future.
I hope the rest of your travels go well, and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
– Kent
– While it’s only one instance, this really does undercut Google’s entire argument. Google was attempting to set up a pattern of Microsoft teaming up with other Google rivals to damage them. But the first instance listed was actually the result of Google turning Microsoft down, as the email shows. That doesn’t not look good for Google.
– Love this – Google are pussies – http://brianshall.com/content/google-are-pussies
39:44 – Push Pop Press acquired…by Facebook
– Now we’re taking our publishing technology and everything we’ve learned and are setting off to help design the world’s largest book, Facebook.
– Although Facebook isn’t planning to start publishing digital books, the ideas and technology behind Push Pop Press will be integrated with Facebook, giving people even richer ways to share their stories. With millions of people publishing to Facebook each day, we think it’s going to be a great home for Push Pop Press.
– Al Gore’s Our Choice will remain available for purchase, and we’ve decided that our future profits from the book will be donated to The Climate Reality Project. There are no plans to continue publishing new titles or building out our publishing platform that was in private beta. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported and expressed interest in Push Pop Press.
– Both Push Pop Press and Facebook share a passion for improving the way we share and explore ideas and we couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds.
– Good for them, sad for everyone else? Good talent acquire by Facebook but that future of digital publishing that worked so well for Our Choice and promised so much has now gone. However Mike Matas, lead at Push Pop Press, was part of the iPhone UI team at Apple. Rumours of Facebook phone still around and there’s no doubting hat Facebook UI as they move into HTML5 is in need of help.
42:49 – Vita in Europe…next year
– Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai has today been quoted as saying that the portable console will not be available in the US or Europe until “early next year.” Japan, he hastens to add, is still on track for the “holiday season” release window we’ve been hearing since the PlayStation Vita’s first announcement under the NGP moniker.
– So import if you want it this year looks to be only option
44:22 – Nintendo 3DS Price Drop
– Price to drop by around a third
– Trying to kickstart poor sales
– Additionally, Nintendo Europe plans to offer an exclusive Nintendo 3DS Ambassador Programme to consumers who have purchased the Nintendo 3DS at the original launch price.
– The programme will enable these Nintendo 3DS owners to download ten NES games and ten Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games for free.
– To register for this programme, Nintendo 3DS owners need to connect to the Nintendo eShop before the 12th of August. The free software will then be made available at a later stage.
– Currently, the machine has a recommended retail price of £269.99, which retailers have already eroded to a street price of £199.99 with a game bundled in. But from 12 August, presuming that retailers resist the urge to increase their margins on the 3DS, we can anticipate a new RRP of around £170 – equating to a street price of between £130 and £140.
– Why is it struggling – EA results – http://investor.ea.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=594196
– iPad is fastest growing platform and consoles used to account for 80% of sales…now 40%
47:49 – EA launches Sports Season ticket
– $25 or 2000 points a year
– It will grant full access to digital versions of games three days before their retail launch, offer a 20-percent discount on DLC, and enable “free premium web content” and brand you as a paying customer (i.e. “membership recognition”).
– However…”The digitally downloaded game will time out when the game is available at retail and consumers have the option to purchase the same full game on disc at retail.” If we’re reading that correctly, it means you get to download the game three days early, but you still have to go to the store to actually buy it.
– What?
– 5 games supported – Madden NFL 12, along with NHL,FIFA, Tiger Woods PGA TOUR golf and NCAA Football
51:05 – Don’t Mess With Duncan Bannatyne
– The Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne has been forced to delete tweets after offering a £50,000 reward for anyone who broke the arms of a man who used Twitter to threaten his daughter.
– Someone going by the name of Yuri Vasilyev tweeted Bannatyne three days ago, saying: “I’m looking for a £35,000 investment to stop us hurting your Hollie Bannatyne. We will bring hurt and pain into your life. We are watching her. She is very attractive. Want photos?”
– After revealing that police had been informed of the threat, Bannatynetold his 371,653 Twitter followers: “I offer £25,000 reward for the capture of the coward who calls himself @YuriVasilyev_ Double if his arms are broken first.”
– Got lots of criticism on twitter
– The criticism appeared to bring about a change of heart, and Bannatyne deleted the offending tweets and amended his offer to “£30,000 reward for info leading to his arrest”.
However, he kept up the pressure, telling his followers he had tracked the alleged criminal to an internet cafe in Moscow.
– “@YuriVasilyev_ My people are getting closer to you every minute, run and hide you little coward in Moscow,” he tweeted. “Go home to your mum and cry we are closing in on you little boy.”

Picks
Henry
Tilt
– Still developing and updating… may have debugging purpose but really it just looks cool.

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
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

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 22

DigitalOutbox Episode 22
In this episode the team discuss Droid, Google Navigator, Shakeel gets struck off and not much Apple news.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:51 – Internet Turns 40
– Who could have predicted just how engrained it would become
5:26 – Google Maps Navigation
– Connected to net
– Free
– Search in plain english and by voice and search along route
– Traffic flow – shows traffic, easy to find alternative route
– Satellite and street view – great
– Android 2.0 at the moment. Great USP for Android phones – killer app. Google are ‘working with’ Apple in bringing it to iPhone
– UI looks great – if only the other Google app’s had same care and attention (harsh – web based gmail is great)
– Garmin and TomTom shares down 16 ans 20%!
– What happens if you’ve no signal?
– Reviews say it’s not bad but has major UI and usability issues.
13:06 – Droid and Android 2
– Droid
– Nov 6th, $199 (after $100 rebate)
– 3.7inch screen at 480×854 pixels
– Removable 16GB SD memory
– Removable battery
– 5MP camera
– Physical and virtual keyboard
22:46 – Twitter Lists
– Rolled out to all users
– Allows users to create lists of twitter users
– Lists are public by default (but can be made private) and the lists you’ve created are linked from your profile. Other Twitter users can then subscribe to your lists. This means lists have the potential to be an important new discovery mechanism for great tweets and accounts.
– Sounds trivial – replaces follow friday
– Allows groupings of users
– Some great lists out there – http://twitter.com/DigitalOutbox/podcasters
25:40 – Three Strikes Then Disconnect
– cost of monitoring to be spread between ISPs and Rights owners
– ISP’s preparing legal challenge saying proposals are “wrong in principle, and won’t work in practice”
– Lord Mandelson seems more and more clueless whenever he opens his mouth on this issue.
– From 2011 but bill heard in late November
30:59 – Spotify Drop Prices
– Now only £6.99 for the first 6 months – offer ends soon
– CTO has left the building, announced he’d was taking “a better offer” on twitter
– Competition stronger than ever, with a price war going on.
– Noticed that some tracks are now listed as “Premium members only”… hadn’t seen that before but time limited to certain artists and releases – Chris
– Some albums and tracks were released early to premium owners for a couple of months now….I think…maybe – ian
34:38 – Google Powermeter
– Partnered with first:utility, small energy supplier
– See power usage on the web, in igoogle
– Free service
– Also partnered with http://www.alertme.com/
– £69 for device and £3 monthly subscription
36:07 – Microsoft Watches Family Guy
– What a surprise, after seeing a recording of the half hour show, MS have pulled out saying that “the content was not a fit with the Windows brand”
– Apparently jokes about deaf people, the Holocaust and incest – normal Family Guy content then!!
– Chickens
37:27 – VMWare Fusion 3
– Excellent Windows 7 support
– Improved speed of XP too
40:50 – iTunes 9.0.2
– Apple TV 3 support
– Kills Palm pre sync
43:15 – Apple Patents
– iShoe
– head mounted mp3 player
46:43 – iPhone on Orange Nov 10th
– Day after O2 exclusivity finishes (Nov 9th, 2 years from original sale of iPhone)
– Prices….still no news
48:07 – Sky on the 360
– October 27th it’s launched…
– October 27th it’s removed…
51:57 – DSi XL
– New DS, exactly the same functionality, just bigger
– Q1 2010 in Europe – strange time to announce a new product next year
– Interested?
54:24 – Demon’s Soul
– bit of a sleeper hit, gaining a large following world-wide purely through word of mouth and high review scores
– ultra hard
– out in US now, published by Atlus.
– no UK availability, but it’s region free so you can import it from a site such as Video Games Plus for around £41 + P+P
– http://www.videogamesplus.ca/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=demon+souls

Picks
Shakeel
RedLaser
– surprisingly accurate, even with the crap iPhone 3G camera
– searches for items on Amazon and Google
– for me so far, more fun than of real use
– but … if i was out and saw something I wanted to buy, then it could come handy

Ian
Listorious
– The directory of awesome lists on twitter
– View lists by type/tag
– Great way of finding useful content
– Can add your list to listorious

Henry
Mockups
– demo version online allows you to create mockups of web apps, iphone apps etc
– export to PNG or XML, import from XML if you’re collaborating with someone.