DigitalOutbox Episode 205

DigitalOutbox Episode 205
DigitalOutbox Episode 205 – Apple and Facebook Earnings, Vic leaves Google+

Playback
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Shownotes

1:52 – Apple profits surprise investors as company launches charm offensive
8:18 – Nike fires majority of FuelBand team, will stop making wearable hardware
10:56 – Apple opens OS X Mavericks beta program to the public
13:33 – Apple releases Heartbleed fix for AirPort Base Stations
14:12 – Tech companies and the Linux Foundation try to prevent the next Heartbleed
16:14 – Facebook profits triple as revenues surge on mobile platform success
18:40 – Facebook Acquires Fitness And Activity Tracking App Moves
20:20 – Google+ Head Vic Gundotra Leaving Company
24:14 – Google’s Street View now lets you step back in time
25:53 – Amazon Makes a Big Move, Snags Older HBO Shows For Web Streaming
31:38 – Legendary British newsreel collection is now free to watch

Picks
Ian
Hitman Go
– iOS
– £2.99
– a great looking turn based strategy.
– You control your agent, dictating which path he takes through a level solving various puzzles as you go.
– One note of caution is that there is an element of in app purchasing for hints and unlocks but they aren’t needed to play the game and it doesn’t get in the way when I’m playing.
– An impressive game which will take some time to complete.

DigitalOutbox Episode 125

DigitalOutbox Episode 125
DigitalOutbox Episode 125 – RIM, Twitter, Facebook and YouView

Playback
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Shownotes
0:38 – RIM in trouble
– Blackberry 10 pushed back to 2013
– Loss of $518m in last three months compared to $695m profit for the same quarter last year
– Announce another 5000 job losses
– Wow – in freefall. Shares dropped 70% in last year, down 18% after this announcement
– Either bought or they will focus on their service rather than hardware
4:27 – Twitter restricting third party access
– Post on developer blog hints at future restrictions – The gist of the posts was that Twitter was cracking down on how third parties were using its APIs. LinkedIn’s display of the entire Twitter feed in its users profiles was the first casualty of this new stricter interpretation of the rules, but it won’t be the last.
– these two passages provide a very interesting juxtaposition:
– Back in March of 2011, my colleague Ryan Sarver said that developers should not “build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience.” That guidance continues to apply as much as ever today. Related to that, we’ve already begun to more thoroughly enforce our Developer Rules of the Road with partners, for example with branding, and in the coming weeks, we will be introducing stricter guidelines around how the Twitter API is used.
– And this one:
– We’re building tools for publishers and investing more and more in our own apps to ensure that you have a great experience everywhere you experience Twitter, no matter what device you’re using. You need to be able to see expanded Tweets and other features that make Twitter more engaging and easier to use. These are the features that bring people closer to the things they care about. These are the features that make Twitter Twitter.
– Third party clients really made twitter for me – would hate to see functionalit or app’s have their access removed
8:30 – Facebook blames e-mail problems on confused users
– Couple of weeks back facebook updated EVERY users profile to say their primary e-mail address was their Facebook address – yep – the one that no one uses
– Also, one that you can’t delete from your profile
– Several bloggers and users raised complaints late last week and over the weekend about missing messages. But a Facebook spokesperson said the missing messages may stem from confusion over how Facebook’s mail system categorizes messages, and that engineers were looking into complaints about a phone syncing issue that made it appear as if users were losing information about their contacts.
– “By default, messages from friends or friends of friends go into your Inbox. Everything else goes to your Other folder,” Facebook spokesperson Meredith Chin said in an email. “That is likely where the messages are being sent from other people’s emails. Even if that person is friends with them on Facebook, if the friend doesn’t have that email on their Facebook account, the message could end up in the Other folder.”
– Worse, many phones that sync Facebook with local contacts have overwirtten working e-mail addresses with these Facebook ones
– Android affected, so is iOS 6
– This morning my mother was complaining that many of the e-mail addresses in her Droid Razr contacts had been replaced with Facebook ones.
– It would seem the Facebook app had been populating her address book with e-mails and contact photos, and decided to migrate all her Facebook-using contacts over to this convenient new system.
– I sync my phone with Facebook for many of my contacts. Now I have an address book full of bogus e-mail addresses where they were correct before.
– What a mess
11:59 – British Airways flies into privacy storm over Google identity checks on passengers
– British Airways today faced a backlash from privacy campaigners after it revealed plans to use the internet to create “dossiers” on passengers.
– The airline said it wanted to be able to deliver a more personal touch by researching passengers. The “Know Me” programme will use Google images to find pictures of passengers so that staff can approach them as they arrive at the terminal or plane.
– BA staff will also search individual data held by the airline, including if a regular traveller has experienced problems on previous flights, such as delays, so that crew are primed to apologise.
– Jo Boswell, head of customer analysis at BA, said: “We’re essentially trying to recreate the feeling of recognition you get in a favourite restaurant when you’re welcomed there, but in our case it will be delivered by thousands of staff to millions of customers. This is just the start — the system has a myriad of possibilities for the future.”
– A BA spokesman added: “The most recent advancement of the system enables the British Airways team to search Google images for a photo of specific customers so they can recognise them and proactively approach them. The airline is aiming to send 4,500 personal recognition messages a day by the end of the year.”
– But Nick Pickles, director of privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch, said: “Since when has buying a flight ticket meant giving your airline permission to start hunting for information about you on the internet?
– “If British Airways want more information about us they can ask us for it, rather than ignoring people’s privacy and storing data without us having any idea what data they are storing.”
15:03 – Flash player for Android finally dead
– Flash on mobile – which at one point was held up as the key differentiator between Apple’s iOS platform and others including RIM’s PlayBook – is having the dates for its death laid out.
– Adobe has announced in a blog post that from 15 August 2012 it will stop any new installations of its Flash Player onto Android devices, and that only devices which already have a mobile version of its Flash player already installed will be updated.
– It’s a logical conclusion to the process that Adobe announced in November 2011, when it said that it would no longer be updating Flash Player for new devices, apart from bug fixes and security updates; effectively, Flash on mobile was a zombie from that point on.
– Given that smartphones and tablets now outsell PCs by a substantial margin, of about 50% – around 150m per quarter compared to 100m at most – the decision renews the question of how much longer Flash on the desktop will survive.
16:59 – Windows Pro 8 Upgrade for $39.99
– We’ve known for a while that Microsoft is offering some upgrade promotions for its new OS, but the company has now said that it will be selling Windows 8 Pro upgrades online for $39.99. In stores, the price will be quite a bit higher: $69.99. The offer is eligible to anyone currently running any version of Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7; it will last until January 31st, 2013. That’s the same time frame offered for the current $14.99 upgrade deal, but it applies to any current Windows users, not just those who purchase a new PC in the lead-up to Windows 8’s launch. Microsoft says the offer will be available in 131 markets, and that it will release more details as we get closer to launch.
– We’ve also got some more details on the upgrade process for older versions of Windows. An upgrade assistant will help users migrate files, settings, and apps from Windows 7, files and settings from Windows Vista, and files only from Windows XP. As before. After the upgrade, you can add Windows Media Center for free through the “add features” option. The online version obviously comes as a download, but it’s possible to buy a backup DVD for $15.
18:46 – YouView finally launched
– The YouView TV service – a joint venture between the BBC, ITV, BT, Channel 4, Channel 5, Arqiva and TalkTalk – will be set at £299 when the set-top boxes hit shelves just ahead of the launch of the London 2012 Olympics at the end of July.
– Sugar, who was parachuted in as the new chairman last March to put the problem-plagued service back on track, aims to create a subscription-free successor to Freeview that will take on pay-TV heavyweights such as BSkyB and Virgin Media.
– “This is a great moment in British television,” said Sugar, unveiling the product to assembled media at the London Film Museum. “I had something to do with the launch of Sky TV with Rupert Murdoch in the late 1980s, and then Sky+. It is a revolutionary product and I am proud to be associated with it.”
– Now the service is weeks from launch, BSkyB, which has vociferously criticised YouView and aggressively attempted to block its launch at every regulatory opportunity, has signed up as the first new content partner and will launch its new Now TV service on YouView.
– Now TV, the new internet TV service from BSkyB, will not appear as a main channel on the YouView electronic programming guide but will be available as a “portal” on the service.
– Sky is expected to offer live and on-demand programming including Sky Movies, Sky Sports and then entertainment channels such as Sky1 and Sky Living.
– Sugar said the steep price of the first set-top box from Humax, which will be stocked at six retail chains including John Lewis, Currys, Argos and Amazon, will drop as more hit the market.
– “When Sky+ launched, it was at that kind of level,” he said. “Will I be surprised if boxes in the retail channel in two years are £99? Not really. My audience … is the Freeview audience that don’t want to be tied to a subscription. They only need this box, my ambition is that this replaces the Freeview box.”
– No YouTube, no Lovefilm. Looks really limited compared to what is out there already
21:16 – Google Play movies, shows and mags not coming to the UK
– At this year’s Google I/O, the company announced updates to the Google Play store with movies, TV shows, and magazines, but because of differing copyright laws many of these new features will not be available in the UK with the launch of the Nexus 7. The Inquirer spoke to a Google representative who confirmed that the new Play store content is only currently available in the US. This means that Google’s new tablet, priced at just £159 in the UK, will have to do without a lot of the content advertised to US consumers. Google aimed to beat Amazon’s Kindle Fire with international distribution, and although the company never claimed that these features would be available outside the US, it’s still a disappointment for international consumers considering a Nexus 7.
23:43 – Google indoor maps comes to UK
– over 40 venues covered right now — a mix of museums, stations, malls and airports in the main — and most of them in London. With building owners being able to upload their own maps, however, this should / could expand quickly. Good news either way, though if you can get lost at London Bridge Station, then no amount of maps will likely help.
24:32 – Sony buys cloud gaming company Gaikai for $380m
– Sony confirmed today that it has bought the cloud gaming company Gaikai for $380m (£242m). A deal has been rumoured for several weeks and was expected to be announced at the major E3 video game conference in June.
– Formed in 2008 by industry veteran Dave Perry, Gaikai is a cloud-based game service which allows users to play high-end PC titles by streaming the content via a broadband connection.
– Consumers never need to download the games, and don’t need advanced PCs to play because the content is running across the web.
– Late last year, publishers EA and Ubisoft integrated the service into their websites to provide playable demos of new titles to gamers. In April, the service launched on Facebook. The deal will see Sony acquire Gaikai’s cloud-based infrastructure and survivor network.
– Commenting on the purchase, Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House said: “By combining Gaikai’s resources including its technological strength and engineering talent with SCE’s extensive game platform knowledge and experience, SCE will provide users with unparalleled cloud entertainment experiences.
– “SCE will deliver a world-class cloud-streaming service that allows users to instantly enjoy a broad array of content ranging from immersive core games with rich graphics to casual content anytime, anywhere on a variety of internet-connected devices.”
26:11 – needadebitcard
– @NeedADebitCard pillages the Twittersphere for unsuspecting users who posted completely legible photos of their credit and debit cards on the web. Its sole purpose: to shame those foolish enough to post Twitpics or Instagrams that contain their credit or debit card information.
– “Please quit posting pictures of your debit cards, people,” reads the account’s bio. It has posted 55 pictures and gained more than 2,000 followers since first tweeting on May 25.
– While some users are wise enough to blur or cover up some of their card’s data, others are exposing it all. One user even included the hashtag #smartidea at the end of her tweet, which showed off her totally transparent cell phone case-credit card holder hybrid.

Picks

Episode 74 Updates

Quick post to update you on a couple of points. Firstly, the App Store did hit 10 Billion downloads before we got the podcast published – oops.

What was great about the winner of the competition though was that she was from the UK…and the app she downloaded was from a small UK developer – double woo-hoo. Gail Davis downloaded the app Paper Glider from Neon Play. Just a shame that she can’t use the $10,000 to buy Apple hardware. I also wonder what conversion rate Apple will use when awarding the prize. Using todays exchange rate, $10,000 works out at just under £6,250. However Apple’s exchange rate used when calculating the price of an Apple TV ($99 in America against £101 in the UK) would mean the prize works out to be £10,202. I think I know which route Apple will be taking. And before any fanboys drop by, yes, I need to educate myself.

One last podcast update – this was the view for the last 20 minutes of the podcast. Henry’s chair proved just as insightful as the good man himself but not as funny. Henry’s mid podcasts escapes are proving legendary 🙂

DigitalOutbox Episode 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Episode 1 Feedback

Just a quick post to say thanks for the comments, tweets and e-mails on our first podcast. Lot’s of great feedback and useful advice which we’ll try and incorporate on our next episode which should with a bit of luck will be out over the weekend. One thing we didn’t expect was this:

digitaloutbox-week-1-2

Caught this snap on Sunday (I think) so I’m not sure if we were higher than this at some point. Call us stat whores – we were delighted! Easily pleased even though we’ve no idea how iTunes calculates it’s charts. Hopefully we won’t become obsessive over this though as I fear a fall in the near future if we do.

One thing we will be trying to do is make the podcast a bit shorter, more punchy. One snag – new iPhone this week. Someone gag me now.