DigitalOutbox Episode 186

DigitalOutbox Episode 186
DigitalOutbox Episode 186 – Tablets, Tablets, Tablets

Playback
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Shownotes
2:26 – WH Smith takes website offline after porn e-book scandal
5:48 – Googles Project Shield offers free protection from DDoS attacks
7:44 – Argos launches own-brand budget tablet for tweenies

9:46 – Amazons new Kindle Fire HDX tablets – pre-orders open in the UK
11:00 – Nokia Keynote
15:19 – Apple Keynote
30:58 – Apple poaches Burberry CEO Ahrendts to be its new retail chief
32:58 – Windows 8.1 now out
35:57 – Twitter Solves The Follow-Back Tango, Enables Direct Messages From All Your Followers
37:12 – BBM app coming back to Apple App Store and Google Play today
38:19 – LinkedIns Intro Feature Is Very Cool And A Spectacularly Bad Idea
42:13 – Ubisoft Delays Watchdogs
44:41 – DriveClub officially delayed until 2014

DigitalOutbox Episode 183

DigitalOutbox Episode 183
DigitalOutbox Episode 183 – RIM retreats, Easyjet stumbles and a plethora of tablets.

Playback
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Shownotes
0:56 – BlackBerry to fire 4,500 employees as sales of new device plummet
2:59 – BBM’s Android And iOS Launch Weekend Going About As Badly As Possible
4:56 – BlackBerry Signs Letter Of Intent To Go Private For $9 Per Share In Deal Valued At $4.7 Billion
9:04 – iPhone 5s and 5c sales top 9m over Apples opening weekend
11:33 – The iPhones Fingerprint Sensor Has Already Been Hacked
13:42 – Argos and eBay join forces for click-and-collect service
16:28 – EasyJet under fire after claims it refused to let The Drum columnist Mark Leiser on board for sending critical tweet
19:13 – Rural superfast broadband chaos due BT’s ‘near monopoly’, say MPs
23:21 – Roku launches new TV streaming boxes and brings Roku 3 to the UK and Ireland
25:35 – Tesco enters the tablet fray with Hudl
28:15 – Surface Pro 2: hands-on with Microsoft’s new tablet powerhouse
31:31 – Amazons Kindle Fire HDX
35:28 – Amazon’s new $139 Kindle Fire HD is the cheap tablet to buy
37:02 – Valve announces SteamOS, a living room operating system for games
39:47 – Valve announces Steam Machines, the Steam Box hardware beta

Picks
Ian
Instacast
– Excellent Podcast player for iOS and Mac
– Mac – $19.99
– iOS – £2.99
– Excellent player, syncs really well between clients
– Supports downloading in the background
– iTunes update this week was the final push for me to try other clients – and this is great
– If you want to keep podcasts in sync over Android and iOS try Pocketcasts

DigitalOutbox Episode 135

DigitalOutbox Episode 135
DigitalOutbox Episode 135 – iOS6, Maps and UK Pirates

Playback
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Shownotes
2:31 – Manchester is the UK piracy capital
– Manchester has been named the piracy capital of the UK, according to a new study seen exclusively by the BBC. The research said there were more illegal downloads per person in the city than any other in the country, followed by Nottingham and Southampton.
– The statistics, from monitoring service Musicmetric, conclude that in the first half of 2012, UK users illegally shared over 40 million albums and singles.
– The data, collected independently by Musicmetric and seen exclusively by the BBC, is believed to be the biggest analysis of its kind to be conducted.
– Globally, the research suggested that the UK is a significant player on the world stage as a country of illegal music downloaders. The country was placed second in the world in terms of pure volume of illegal activity, with Musicmetric logging 43,263,582 downloads in the first six months of this year.
– The US topped the list, with 96,681,133 downloads tracked in the same period. Italy (33,158,943), Canada (23,959,924) and Brazil (19,724,522) made up the remainder of the top five.
– Musicmetric’s findings said that singer Ed Sheeran was the most pirated act in the UK for the first half of 2012, followed by hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks and Barbadian megastar Rihanna. The data suggested that Ed Sheeran’s 2011 album + (Plus) was illegally downloaded an average of 55,512 times every month, and was the most popular download in over 460 towns and cities in the UK.
– Legal UK sales of his album in the first half of 2012 hit the 448,000 mark – making it the fourth most popular album behind releases from Adele, Emeli Sande and Lana Del Rey.
6:44 – Amazon brings Cloud Player music service to the UK
– Amazon Cloud Player now live in the UK as of now, offering 5GB of online storage and the ability to stream 250 of your tracks (or 256Kbps matched versions) to a range of devices free of charge. Adding extra storage will cost from £6 per year for 20GB, rising to £320 p/a for a full terabyte. If you’re a heavy user, though, you may also need to fork out £22 p/a for the right to stream up to 250,000 of your tracks.
9:11 – iOS6 – updated maps disappoint
– iOS6 released
– 200 new features – allegedly
– Maps is one of the high profile changes
– Replaces Google maps with Apple’s own version
– Cleaner look, free navigation, 3d maps for a few select citites
– Local transit features gone
– Many satellite images are poor especially across the UK
– Searching is poor or worse innacurate
– Among the user complaints regarding Apple’s maps sent to the BBC were:
– Users have complained about the quality of satellite images in the new software (bottom)
– Some towns appear to be missing, such as Stratford-upon-Avon and Solihull.
– Others, like Uckfield in East Sussex, are in the wrong location.
– Satellite images of various locations, particularly in Scotland, are obscured by cloud.
– A search for Manchester United Football Club directs users to Sale United Football Club, a community team for ages five and above.
– Users also reported missing local places, such as schools, or strange locations. Another screenshot showed a furniture museum that was apparently located in a river.
– But don’t worry – Apple want US to fix it – http://www.imore.com/how-add-location-or-report-problem-ios-6-maps
– Crowd sourcing will address the shortfalls over time
18:34 – Record preorders for the boring iPhone 5
– Apple today announced that it managed to rack up 2 million pre-orders for the iPhone 5 in 24 hours, two times as many as it managed for the iPhone 4S last year, which sold over 1 million devices during its first 24 hours of pre-order sales. That’s a new record, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been watching the progress of iPhone pre-order sales since the device originally hit the market.
– The iPhone 4S eventually went on to sell more than 4 million devices over the course of its first weekend actually on store shelves, so expect the iPhone 5 to blow past that milestone, too. The iPhone 5 is initially available in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the U.K., adding two new countries (Hong Kong and Singapore) to the list of launch regions for the iPhone 4s, so expect that to influence early sales as well, especially since Hong Kong is a popular destination for those looking to resell the iPhone at a premium on the grey market in China.
20:22 – HTC Windows Phone 8X
– HTC is unveiling its flagship Windows Phone 8 handset today, the Windows Phone 8X. The branding might sound Microsoft-like, but there’s a good reason for that — the two companies have joined forces on a marketing campaign that will make HTC the face of Windows Phone 8.
– The 8X will ship in a choice of four colors in early November, ones that represent the bold colors of Windows Phone 8. California Blue, Graphite Black, Flame Red and Limelight Yellow will all be available — with accent colors in the Windows Phone 8 interface to match the hardware color. European operators will only stock blue, black, and yellow versions — and while HTC refused to reveal which operators will stock each color, it insisted that it is not restricting colors to certain carriers at this time. The 8X takes advantage of a 4.3-inch 720p HD super LCD 2 display with a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and NFC support.
– HTC is shipping Beats Audio support on both of its Windows Phone 8 handsets, with an extra amplifier for audio out on the 8X to power larger headphones in the Beats range without distortion. A notification will launch the Beats Audio app on Windows Phone 8 once headphones are plugged in, allowing users to turn the Beats integration on or off.
– On the camera side of things, HTC has opted to include an 8-megapixel shooter on the rear of the device with the usual LED flash. That’s a fairly standard affair for most flagship smartphones these days, but HTC has gone one step further with the front facing camera. A 2.1-megapixel camera is available for Skype or forward facing shots, with an f/2.0 lens and BSI sensor to help with low-light shots. The 88 degrees wide angle lens will also work well for forward facing group shots and 1080p video recording.
23:11 – MS Employees to get Surface Tablet
– Microsoft has found an eager early audience for its Windows-8-powered Surface Ultrabook: its own employees.
– The software giant is reportedly giving each of its 94,000 full-time staff a Surface computer for work and home use, in a gesture of mass Windows 8 munificence announced at the company’s annual staff meeting in Seattle’s KeyArena.
– Employees are also getting new Windows Phone 8 handsets – a repeat of the giveaway Microsoft made of phones running Windows 7.
24:07 – Yahoo replace RIM smartphones
– New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer just sent an email to all of Yahoo’s full time and part time employees in the US, promising them a new Apple, Samsung, Nokia, or HTC smartphone.
– We learned about this plan from an internal memo, which we received from one source and confirmed with another.
– Through the program, Yahoo employees will have a choice of phones: iPhone 5, Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, HTC EVO 4G LTE, or Nokia Lumia 920.
– Yahoo is also going to pay its employees data and phone bills.
25:20 – Twitter hearts Facebook
– Changes to profiles and mobile app’s ape Facebook
– Starting today you can make your presence on Twitter more meaningful with new Twitter profiles. Upload an all-new header photo on mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Android or twitter.com, and the same image will appear whenever anyone views your profile on the web or these apps. You can upload your header photo, which appears above your Tweets, to express yourself instantly, anywhere.
– New profiles also help you get to know people better through their pictures. Photo streams now appear below anyone’s most recent Tweets on iPhone, Android and iPad. Swipe through the stream to see the photos other users have shared or tap any thumbnail to view their photos in fullscreen.
– While the header photo keeps your profile simple and consistent on iPhone, iPad and Android, you will also still have an additional photo – a background photo – on twitter.com. Upload a background image to complement your header and profile photos.
28:51 – Google acquire Snapseed
– Google has agreed to acquire Nik Software, the German developer of photography app Snapseed, for an undisclosed amount. Sources close to the deal tell The Verge that while Nik Software produces all sorts of apps for photographers like Color Efex Pro and Dfine for Mac and Windows, iOS app Snapseed was the golden egg in the acquisition. The $4.99 app won Apple’s coveted iPad App Of The Year award in 2011 for its inventive multitouch photo editing interface, and gaines over nine million users during its first year on sale. Nik Software also sells Snapseed for Mac and Windows, and the company is apparently working on an Android app as well.
– “We want to help our users create photos they absolutely love, and in our experience Nik does this better than anyone,” Google+ boss Vic Gundotra wrote in a blog post. Snapseed is no Instagram in terms of popularity, but the two apps’ use of filters and various means of manipulating images serve a similar purpose. The portion of Nik Software that worked on Snapseed, which includes the company’s San Diego outpost, will relocate to Google headquarters in Mountain View to work directly on Google+, sources say.
29:37 – BBC announce new media player and updates for iPlayer on Android
– The BBC has confirmed plans to launch a new version of its iPlayer app for Android devices which will use its own BBC Media Player technology to securely stream audio and video, replacing Flash on android
– The technology, which was developed in-house at the BBC’s Future Media division, is already being used for the mobile website version of iPlayer according to a blog post by executive product manager Chris Yanda.
– “Next week we plan to release a new version of BBC iPlayer on Android which will use this player. Other applications and websites will follow,” he writes, before telling Android owners that “I want to reassure you that Android is an important platform for us”.
31:33 – New slimmer PS3
– The PS3 Even Slimmer takes up just three-quarters of the space the PS3 Slim does. It’ll come in 12GB and 500GB capacities, Sony said today at the console revamp’s Tokyo Game Show debut.
– The former contains Flash storage only – though Sony will offer a 250GB HDD add-on. It’s aimed at folk keen to use the PS3 as a media player.
– The 500GB PS3 will arrive on 28 September, priced at €299 (£240) and bundled with Fifa 13. The 12GB model will cost €229 (£184) and will arrive on 12 October.

Picks

DigitalOutbox Episode 104

DigitalOutbox Episode 104
In this episode the team discuss MegaUpload, Is Google Evil, Acta and Apple’s record quarter.

Playback
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Shownotes
1:12 – MegaUpload Shutdown
The FBI has indicted MegaUpload on racketeering and criminal copyright infringement charges, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The FBI apparently got help from law enforcement authorities around the world, as MegaUpload’s servers have been taken down. The WSJ is also reporting that four people have been arrested in New Zealand.
– Kim Schmitz, who has recently been calling himself Kim Dotcom, is amongst those arrested. Schmitz used to live in Germany, but relocated to New Zealand a few years ago. The FBI has said in a press release that it and other law enforcement agencies have executed 20 search warrants in eight countries, seizing $50 million in assets and taking down MegaUpload’s servers.
– Never used it, but always assumed it was 99% illegal content
– News on Radio 1 – 5 or 6 people furious as they used it to share legit files?
– Anonymous not happy – http://techcrunch.com/2012/01/19/anonymous-megaupload-department-of-justice/
– the group claimed responsibility for taking down the Universal Music, RIAA (the record industry’s lobbying arm), MPAA (the movie industry’s lobbying arm), and Department of Justice websites, among others. The group also claimed that the current attacks were “the largest attack ever by Anonymous,” with 5,635 participants. And it looks like the campaign is ongoing — Anonymous says it’s going after the FBI’s website next…which they did
– Sends jitters through industry – http://torrentfreak.com/cyberlocker-ecosystem-shocked-as-big-players-take-drastic-action-120123/
– Over the past 48 to 72 hours, the operators of many prominent cyberlocker services have been taking unprecedented actions that can not simply be explained away by mere coincidence. The details in the Megaupload indictment clearly have some players in the file-hosting world spooked.
– Filesonic, a top 10 player in the file-sharing world with a billion pageviews a month, not only withdrew its affiliate rewards program, but also banned any third parties downloading files. Simply put, users can now only download files from the service that they uploaded themselves.
– But according to reports, there’s no guarantee of that. Account owners report that their files are being mass deleted, that’s if their entire account has been banned already.
– Fileserve, another leading player, also ended its affiliate program this weekend. Additionally, this morning TorrentFreak received news that Fileserve has now joined Filesonic in banning all 3rd party downloads.
– Uploaded.to banned all US IP addresses in what appears to be an effort to distance itself from US jurisdiction. Its affiliate program is still listed as operational but the same cannot be said about those run by some of its competitors.
– VideoBB and VideoZer have both reportedly closed their rewards program and according to reports have also been mass deleting accounts and huge numbers of files.
– Other sites closing their affiliate programs and/or deleting accounts/files includeFileJungle, UploadStation and FilePost.
– Smaller host UploadBox calls it quits. “All files will be deleted on January 30th. Feel free to download the files you store with UploadBox until this date.”
– Another host, x7.to, shuts down.
– FileJungle and UploadStation have disabled all 3rd party downloads.
– 4shared cancels affiilate program.
6:29 – Google user data to be merged across all sites under contentious plan
– Google is getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.
– Contentious with privacy campaigners
– “If you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services,” Google’s director of privacy, product and engineering, Alma Whitten, wrote in a blogpost.
– After the new policy comes into effect, user information from most Google products – such as YouTube, Gmail, Google Maps, Google+ and Android mobile – will be treated as a single trove of data, which the company could use for targeted advertising or other revenue-raising purposes.
– An article in the Washington Post raised concerns about details of people’s private meetings, health, politics and finances becoming part of their digital dossier kept by Google. Confidential discussions via Gmail of a meeting location might be transferred to Google Maps without the user’s consent, for example.
– “There is no way anyone expected this,” Jeffrey Chester, executive director of privacy advocacy group the Centre for Digital Democracy, told the Washington Post. “There is no way a user can comprehend the implication of Google collecting across platforms for information about your health, political opinions and financial concerns.”[see update]
Google said it expected to roll out the revised guidelines on 1 March, consolidating more than 70 privacy policies covering all of its products.
– I think this is great to be honest – shorter, clearer and to be honest I expected data to be shared amongst my Google profile
– One issue – if you say no you can’t access your gmail or documents – people are forced to accept this really
9:54 – Focus on the user
Google search changes rumble on
– This proof of concept was built by some engineers at Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, in consultation with several other social networking companies. We are open-sourcing the code so that anyone may use it or make it even better.
– How much better would social search be if Google surfaced results from all across the web? The results speak for themselves. We created a tool that uses Google’s own relevance measure—the ranking of their organic search results—to determine what social content should appear in the areas where Google+ results are currently hardcoded.
– All of the information in this demo comes from Google itself, and all of the ranking decisions are made by Google’s own algorithms. No other services or APIs are accessed.
– When engaged, this “Don’t be evil” bookmarklet does one simple thing: It turns back the hands of time, and made Google work the way it did before the integration of Google+ earlier this month.
– Its a very elegant hack, using a number of Google’s own tools – including its “rich snippet” webmaster tool and its own organic search listings, to re-order not only the search engine results, but also the results of the promotional Google+ boxes on the right side of the results, as well as the “typeahead” results that now feature only Google+ accounts (see example below, the first a search on my name using “normal Google” and then one using the bookmarklet).
– Video is well worth watching – https://www.focusontheuser.org/video.php
– Extensions for Chrome, Firefox and Safari available
15:37 – Apples Record Quarter
– Apple more than doubled its profits: to $13.06bn (£8.35bn), compared with $6bn for the same quarter in 2010. The result easily beat analysts’ forecasts, taking pressure off the chief executive, Tim Cook, handpicked by Jobs as his successor. Last October Apple shares recorded their biggest single-day dollar drop after iPhone sales missed their forecast.
– Cook said he was thrilled the company sold a record 37.04m iPhones in the final quarter of 2011, a 128% rise on a year ago. “We could have sold more if we’d had more supply,” he said. The recently launched iPhone 4S proved to be the company’s best seller in the quarter. “We could not be happier,” said Cook.
– In record sales across nearly all product categories, Apple sold a record 15.43m iPads over the quarter, more than double a year ago. It sold 5.2m Macs during the quarter, a 26% unit increase.
– 2nd largest quarterly earning of all time – http://parislemon.com/post/16436735313/this-is-actually-the-craziest-chart-about-apple
– Other 20 are all oil companies
– Sitting on $97 billion – isn’t that a bit obscene?
– http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/business/apple-america-and-a-squeezed-middle-class.html?_r=1&pagewanted=1
– Why the iPhone is made in China
22:08 – RIMs CEOs step down
– BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) has said its co-chief executives, Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, have bowed to investor pressure and resigned.
– The pair, who together built Lazaridis’s 1985 startup into a global business with $20bn in sales last year, have weathered a storm of criticism in recent years as Apple’s iPhone and the army of devices powered by Google’s innovative Android system eclipsed their email-focused BlackBerry.
– “There comes a time in the growth of every successful company when the founders recognise the need to pass the baton to new leadership,” Lazaridis said in an interview at RIM’s Waterloo headquarters in Ontario.
– “Jim and I went to the board and told them that we thought that time was now.” They have been replaced by Thorsten Heins, a former Siemens executive who has risen steadily through RIM’s upper management ranks since joining the Canadian company in late 2007.
– Too little too late – company is in a mess. Should jump on Windows or Android
– http://www.theverge.com/2012/1/23/2727096/rim-open-to-licensing-BB10-blackberry-ceo
– But they are open to licensing BB10
23:48 – UK signs ACTA
– The UK and 21 other European Union member states have signed the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, better known as ACTA – also known as right to be forgotten law
– The countries signed the treaty, which aims to harmonise copyright enforcement across much of the world, in Tokyo on Thursday. However, the signatures of the EU member states and the EU itself will count for nothing unless the European Parliament gives its approval to ACTA in June, and digital activists have urged citizens to lobby their MEPs against voting yes.
– However, five EU countries did not sign, namely Germany, the Netherlands, Estonia, Cyprus and Slovakia. Many other countries, such as the US, Japan and Australia,signed the document in September.
– Although ACTA is primarily concerned with the enforcement of intellectual property rights (IPR), its designation as a trade treaty meant it could be negotiated behind closed doors. This lengthy process, led by the US and Japan, was exposed in a series of leaks — some via Wikileaks — that revealed what was going on.
– The final version of ACTA is very different to earlier drafts, which would have forced countries to disconnect internet users if they were found to be repeatedly sharing copyrighted content. The EU rejected this proposal, and other ideas, such as criminalising the use of a mobile phone camera in a cinema, also fell by the wayside.
– Problem is understanding what it actually means which will hopefully come out over the next few weeks and months
– http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120126/11014317553/european-parliament-official-charge-acta-quits-denounces-masquerade-behind-acta.shtml
– European parliamentary official asked to investigate ACTA resigned over it today
I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament’s demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly.
As rapporteur of this text, I have faced never-before-seen manoeuvres from the right wing of this Parliament to impose a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens’ legitimate demands.”
Everyone knows the ACTA agreement is problematic, whether it is its impact on civil liberties, the way it makes Internet access providers liable, its consequences on generic drugs manufacturing, or how little protection it gives to our geographical indications.
This agreement might have major consequences on citizens’ lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.

29:06 – Use pcAnywhere – disable it
– Symantec has confirmed that the hacker group Anonymous stole source code from the 2006 versions of several Norton security products and the pcAnywhere remote access tool.
Although Symantec says the theft actually occurred in 2006, the issue did not come to light until this month when hackers related to Anonymous said they had the source code and would release it publicly. Users of the Norton products in question are not at any increased risk of attack because of the age of the source code and security improvements made in the years since the breach, but the vendor acknowledged on Tuesday night that “Customers of Symantec’s pcAnywhere have increased risk as a result of this incident.”
– Symantec pointed customers to a white paper that recommends disabling pcAnywhere, unless it is needed for business-critical use, because malicious users with access to the source code could identify vulnerabilities and launch new exploits. “At this time, Symantec recommends disabling the product until Symantec releases a final set of software updates that resolve currently known vulnerability risks,” the company said.
30:37 – O2 Share your mobile number
– O2 has apologised for an error that shared users’ mobile phone numbers with the websites they visited.
– An experiment set up by Lewis Peckover, a 28-year-old web systems administrator, called attention to the problem last night.
– Peckover showed that O2 was providing websites with the mobile number of users who visited. The numbers were included as plain text in the header information sent by the phone to the website.
– As well as being a potential breach of the Data Protection Act, this raised the prospect that unscrupulous website owners could collect the phone numbers and send spam SMS or marketing calls.
– O2 admitted that the problem began on January 10th and said it was the “unintended effect” of some routine maintenance that the network carried out earlier this month. They said the issue was fixed this afternoon.
– In a statement, the company said: “We investigated, identified and fixed it this afternoon. We would like to apologise for the concern we have caused.”
– The company added: “The only information websites had access to is your mobile number, which could not have been linked to any other identifying information we have about customers.”

Picks
Ian
Snapseed
– Easy way t enhance photo’s
– Great effects can be added
– New for Mac’s, coming soon for Android
– iOS – £2.99, Mac – £13.99
Henry
Muvizu for PC
– 3d animation software
– free for non-commercial use
– based on unreal 3d engine
– from Digimania in Glasgow

DigitalOutbox Episode 100

DigitalOutbox Episode 100
In this episode the team discuss New New Twitter, Spotify App’s, new iOS apps and make some predictions.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
2:32 – New New Twitter
– Redesign web and mobile clients
– As a company, create the simplest, fastest service in the world that will allow us to reach every person on the planet. Went through entire service. Mobile, web, got it down to four key elements.
– Home Timeline (browser-style “home” icon). First navigational element. Simple, clean, universe of tweet is now contained within the tweet on multiple platforms. Web site, iPhone, Android, HTML5 mobile, Tweetdeck, etc. Retweets, favorites, etc. all right there. Additionally, click on tweet, copy embed code, stick in the story. Everything follows it in. Wasn’t just a change in the interface. Not just adding a couple features to Twitter. Product engineers, infrastructure engineers focused on making it as fast as possible.
– Connect (@ symbol). We wanted to create the easiest way to reach others. Enter username. Or retweet. Where you’re being mentioned. Any conversations that you have. Everything that you’re doing socially on Twitter is in here.
Discover (# symbol). The newest navigation element. When people see a hashtag on a billboard, can click on the symbol, enter the tag they say, and relevant conversations will surface. Come to Twitter and want to see what’s happening in your world. More than 250 million tweets per day, we’ll surface whatever seems relevant to your world. Discover experience is personalized, so the more you engage, the more personalized they’ll become. Activities. What tweets are my friends following. Who are friends following.
Me (profile outline icon). We wanted to group everything that happens about you in one specific area. Favorites, media, tweets. Wanted to tell more compelling stories. Profile pages for individual users much richer. Media: pictures, videos, etc. Best place to represent yourself on the internet. Also for brands.
– Also providing bigger branding pages
– Twitter for iPhone and Android also available right now. Downloading app unlocks new version on web site. Roll out new version to 100% of users in the next few weeks.
– Tweetdeck also rewritten for Mac – native and no longer written in Adobe Air but missing many of the power features of Tweetdeck
8:04 – Spotify Apps
– Not a pivot, but Spotify is adding apps
– Spotify is letting third party developers expand on its functionality using its API and offering the results to users in a new HTML5 app directory, CEO Daniel Ek announced today in New York.
– Developers have already have already built apps with features like the ability to find and purchase concert tickets, a way to display a song’s lyrics on-screen through TuneWiki and deeper Last.fm integration for better music recommendations.
– Rolling Stone cofounder and publisher Jann Wenner took to the stage to sing Spotify’s praises, just before Ek unveiled the application that Rolling Stone built to work within Spotify. It takes publication-curated playlists to a new level with a rich HTML5 interface and more room for editorial content.
– The move attempts to rebrand Spotify as more of a platform, much as Facebook once did when it opened up the ability for developers to build applications on top of the social network. It’s a wise move for Spotify, which faces a rapidly-expanding user base and only a limited capacity to roll out new features itself. By opening up its platform to developers, Spotify allows for more rapid innovation without distracting itself from the core product.
– Other available apps include SongKick, The Guardian, Billboard and Soundrop, presumably with plenty more to come. Any developer can code apps for Spotify but they do have to be approved by the company before appearing in the directory.
– Loving this – great playlists – really helps with discovery
– Brought me back to Spotify…but don’t know for how long
11:39 – Super Connected Cities coming to the UK
– The government will take £100m from the £5bn national infrastructure investment pot over the course of this Parliament in a move to speed up broadband networks in selected urban areas. Rural areas, meanwhile, have been passed over. George Osborne announced the extra cash that the likes of BT and Virgin Media will be able to bid for in his autumn statement today.
– “The government will invest £100m to create up to 10 ‘super-connected cities’ across the UK, with 80-100 megabits per second broadband and city-wide high-speed mobile connectivity,” said the government in its National Infrastructure Programme report, which was published immediately after the chancellor finished his mini budget speech in the Commons today.
– “There will be a particular focus on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and strategic employment zones to support economic growth. Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London will all receive support from this fund, and a UK-wide competition will decide up to six further cities that will also receive funding.”
– That investment comes on top of the £530m Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) funds already dished out by the government to local authorities and Scotland.
Over the government’s next fiscal year (2012-2013), £20m will be allocated to help fun “super-connected cities”. In 2013/14 a further £60m will be spent, then in 2014/15 the final £20m left in that pot will be used.
– But, surprisingly, no extra cash was set aside by Osborne today for rural areas that are crying out for investment in broadband.
14:58 – Ofcom 2012/2013 Plans
– The auctioning off of the 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrums for 4G internet is coming as soon as the British FCC has booted off the remaining TV services that still use ’em.
– It’s will open an online complaints site (for when the Saturday evening show of your choice offends you), crack down on slow broadband speeds and keep the airways clear for the Olympic Games.
19:12 – Carrier IQ
– Carrier IQ software secretly installed on millions of mobile phones reports most everything a user does on a phone. Numbers called, text messages, websites visited, passwords – everything. Shudder.
– Android only…..so everyone thought
– On Blackberry and iOS too
– But then a lot of carriers said it wasn’t installed – certainly not in the UK
23:52 – Jawbone UP
– Released recently but having charging and bricking issues
– Jawbone is offering consumers who have problems a full refund, no questions asked, even if they choose to keep their $99 device. Or they can ask for a new device. Consumers can request their refund starting Dec. 9 here. People who received an UP as a gift will also be able to participate in the refund. As an alternative to the refund, Jawbone is also offering users credit toward a purchase of another Jawbone product.
– The company said it will resume taking orders once the issues have been fixed. And it will continue to push out software updates.
– Finally, Fitbit can be bought in the UK – £79.99 – from end of December
26:33 – Netherlands Anti-Piracy Group caught Pirating
– Anti-piracy group BREIN is caught up in a huge copyright scandal in the Netherlands. A musician who composed a track for use at a local film festival later found it being used without permission in an anti-piracy campaign. He is now claiming at least a million euros for the unauthorized distribution of his work on DVDs. To make matters even worse, a board member of a royalty collection agency offered to help the composer to recoup the money, but only if he received 33% of the loot.
29:53 – RIM take a charge
– announced it will book a $485 million write down on its large PlayBook tablet inventory in the company’s fiscal third quarter.
– The struggling Canadian device maker said it shipped around 150,000 PlayBooks to its channel partners during Q3, but sell-through to end users over the same period was higher than that amount, indicating retailers had leftover inventory. By comparison RIM shipped 200,000 tablets during its fiscal second quarter, and half a million in Q1 when the PlayBook first went on sale.
– In a statement RIM said it will require “an increase in promotional activity” to drive sales to end users, blaming weak demand on the competitive tablet market and the delay in the release of its PlayBook OS 2.0 software update.
31:52 – Web OS is Open Sourced
– HP to open source Web OS
– Say’s that new HP hardware will use Web OS
– Says they will make updates to it
– Reality is it’s dead? Android is the open source winner in the mobile and tablet space – can’t see it ever getting traction
33:08 – Facebook buys Gowalla
– Talent buy or killing a rival?
– Won’t buy app or data
– Service will wind down in January – plan to provide a way of exporting data
35:43 – Path v2
– For iOS and Android
– Private social network – quite lovely – so many novel design features
38:15 – Flipboard
– Really well done implementation of the iPad app
39:41 – iPlayer Update
– Now for iPhone, iPod Touch
– Also supports Airplay
– Streaming over 3G
– The Android version of the app remains restricted to wi-fi connections for the time being, but the BBC said a web version of the software would support 3G streams soon.
– The BBC said it had worked closely with network operators, but analysts fear it could put their systems under strain.
40:20 – Micorsoft release iOS Apps
– Skydrive – simple cloud app
– Kinectimals – good version of Xbox game
41:44 – GTA III for iOS and Android
– High end devices only
– Dec 15th – $4.99
– iOS: iPad 1 and 2, iPhone 4 and 4S, iPod touch 4th Generation
Android Phones: HTC Rezound, LG Optimus 2x, Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung Galaxy R, T-Mobile G2x
Android Tablets: Acer Iconia, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, Dell Streak 7, LG Optimus Pad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, Sony Tablet S, Toshiba Thrive
– Virtual controls will be awkward?
42:44 – Skyrim
– Don’t look too close, and it’s absolutely beautiful – and soooo atmospheric.
– Personally find it quite hard but a fantastic time-sink.
– Only scratched the outer surface but impressed.
– Paul has got totally consumed by this game – which is extremely unlike him.
44:06 – XBox Dash Update
– New look – Metro UI
– New features – cloud storage of profile, Windows Phone app, iOS app – big surprise, voice search via connect, beacon
– Better?
– BBC not available until 2012, still not sure what will actually appear

Predictions
Ian
– Best Tech – iMac, Airport Extreme, Fitbit, Halo Reach
– Worst Tech – PS3
– 2012 Predictions
– iPad 3 – retina display iPad – will be buying
– See the new Xbox
– New Wii a flop compared to previous Nintendo consoles
– Apple growth slows – reaching a saturation point on iOS
Chris
– Best Tech – iPad 2 is a great bit of kit that has seeped into my daily routines. Love my Blue Yeti Pro mic.
– Worst Tech – Not so much worst tech – but annoyance that some of the biggest moves have been “US Only” this year. Kindle Fire is now rumoured for UK in new year… but still no announcements on content deals. iCloud ahead of the curve of peoples internet connections. No tablets taking it to Apple yet. PS hate the magic mouse. I know it’s not a “this year” thing! But I detest it that much, this one spans the ages.
– 2012 Predictions
– I will lose some of my life to rFactor 2,Looking forward to Mass Effect 3 and surely new Ghost Recon will be out! PS3/XBOX rumours will ramp up – if one gets announced, the other will be hot on the tails. Believe that they want current boxes to last till 2013 though. Surely iPlayer WILL make it to XBOX this year!!!
– Siri to iPad 3. Apple need some bigger (less incremental) products to herald the “post Jobs” era. Return of the “One more thing”. A lot of Bull Crap will be spread about iPad 3 and iPhone 5 that never materialises.
– Haven’t seen the “next big thing” that I see killing it next year… guess that’s the state of the economy… So an evolution year likely. Tweaks rather than revolution.
Henry
– Best Tech – iPad 2, trello.com
– Worst Tech – NFC – not so much bad tech as just not delivering on promise.
– 2012 Predictions
– Samsung to become #1 mobile manufacturer by market share
– Apple will not release a TV

DigitalOutbox Episode 97

DigitalOutbox Episode 97
In this episode the team discuss Apple, Android 4 and poor old RIM.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
3:31 – Apple
– Steve Jobs dies
– iOS 5 – error 3200 trending world wide on twitter, Ian- reboot machine after each iOS device upgrade failed
– Newsstand working well
– Wired supports it, and print subscribers will get access to iPad editions at no extra cost – lovely
– Guardian iPad app supporting Newsstand as well
– Lots and lots of Future mags supporting Newsstand
– iPhone 4S
– In non-U.S. countries, or if you’re not using U.S. English as your device language, Siri can’t look for businesses, use maps or access traffic info. So asking it to find the best route to your cousin’s house in Germany won’t produce results, nor will inquiring about restaurants in your immediate vicinity.
– iCloud – took 36 hours before I could move and enable
– Half baked – Mac syncing of docs gone, many third party app’s in the dark. Sharing docs with the Mac is pretty awful
– Despite that, 4 million 4S’s sold in three days – double the sale rate of iPhone 4 at launch
21:11 – Box.net
– Twenty-four hours after Apple released iOS 5 and accompanying iCloud storage offering, Box has announced that they’re offering iPad and iPhone users 50 gigabytes of free storage starting tonight. It’s also increasing file upload limit from 25 MB to 100 MB.
To get that amount of storage from iCloud, users have to fork over $100 per year to Apple.
– Box’s promotion is good for the next 50 days, but once redeemed, the data is good for life. To activate it, simply download the latest version of Box for iOS and log into (or create) your account.
22:43 – Blackberry Outage
– Down for three days
– No internet, twitter, Facebook or BBM
– Horrible time for this to happen
– Affected people on 4 continents and indeed spread to America
– Apology from CEO
– Failure allegedly in Slough
26:30 – Google Fall Sweep
– At the start of September Google killed a slew of products – now it’s killing a few more
– Here’s the latest update on what’s happening:
Code Search, which was designed to help people search for open source code all over the web, will be shut down along with the Code Search API on January 15, 2012.
– In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it usingGoogle Takeout.
– Jaiku, a product we acquired in 2007 that let users send updates to friends, will shut down on January 15, 2012. We’ll be working to enable users to export their data from Jaiku.
– Several years ago, we gave people the ability to interact socially on iGoogle. With our new focus on Google+, we will remove iGoogle’s social features on January 15, 2012. iGoogle itself, and non-social iGoogle applications, will stay as they are.
– The University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to our search results for a small number of approved academic researchers, will close on January 15, 2012.
– In addition, later today the Google Labs site will shut down, and as previously announced, Boutiques.com and the former Like.com websites will be replaced by Google Product Search.
29:03 – Youtube offers film rentals in the UK
– Video site YouTube has started a movie rental service in the UK.
Blockbusters such as The Dark Knight and classics including The Birds can be watched via the site. In total, about 1,000 movies have been made available.
– New releases will cost £3.49 to rent and library titles £2.49. Users have 30 days to begin watching a film, and 48 hours to finish it once they start.
– Most aren’t HD – 480p, DVD quality
– Does show ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and information about the films from elsewhere
31:09 – Google Books hits the UK
– Readers in the UK now have access to the world’s largest ebooks collection, with hundreds of thousands of ebooks for sale – from major UK publishers like Hachette, Random House and Penguin – as well as more than two million public domain ebooks for free.
– Just as in the US, we’ve designed the Google eBooks platform in the UK to be open. You can purchase, download and view Google eBooks on many devices: Android and Apple tablets and smartphones, the Google eBooks Web Reader and eReaders from Sony, Kobo, Elonex, and more. Your Google eBooks are stored in the cloud, so you can easily access them and continue reading wherever you last left off, regardless of which device you were on.
– We’ve partnered with independent booksellers, so you will soon be able to buy Google eBooks through your favourite bookstore. Booksellers like Gardners’ Hive, as well as others to come, will be selling Google eBooks in the UK. We’re also working with local retailers like Blackwell’s as affiliate partners.
32:24 – New Android Devices
41:08 – Android 4 – Ice Cream Sandwich revealed
– New UI – toned down honeycomb but still has that Tronesque UI
– No more physical buttons
– Native resolution – 720p
– Near instantaneous voice dictation
– Face unlock
– Android Beam – uses NFC to communicate between Android devices – contacts, video’s, URLS – API to come to allow developers to use it
– Camera app – brings many of the iOS UI features, gallery also improved bringing filters
– Lots of cloud enhancements
– Lots of tweaks throughout the OS
– SDK for dev’s already released
– Most gingerbread running phones should be able to run 4
47:24 – WH Smiths to launch e-book reader
– The UK newsagent will begin selling the Kobo reader from the Canadian company of the same name on 17 October.
– Kobo has e-book stores in Canada and Australia, and the WHSmith deal will bring its 2.2m – of which 1m are freebies: out-of-copyright classics and the like – to UK high streets.
– WHSmith will offer two devices: a basic £90 model and an upgraded version with a touch-sensitive screen for £110.
48:38 – Shopping centre calls police for father taking illegal pictures of his daughter
– Chris White claims a security guard told him that the pictures, taken at the Braehead centre near Glasgow on Friday afternoon, were “illegal”.
– The guard allegedly then asked Mr White to delete the photographs, taken on his mobile phone. Mr White, a mental health trainer, said: “I told him I had taken two photographs of my daughter Hazel, and that since I had already posted them on Facebook there was little point in deleting the pictures.
“The guard then told me to ‘remain right there’ while he called police, which I chose to do.”
– According to Mr White, Hazel was in tears while they waited five minutes for officers to arrive at the scene. He said he was then quizzed by two uniformed policemen who told him there had been a complaint about him taking photographs and that there were “clear signs” in the centre stating that the use of cameras was forbidden.
– Police issued a statement denying the above
– After the story exploded on Twitter and Facebook, Braehead issued an apology
– A spokesman for the centre said it was changing its photography policy with immediate effect to allow people to take pictures of family and friends in the mall. “We have listened to the very public debate surrounding our photography policy and as a result, with immediate effect, are changing the policy to allow family and friends to take photos in the mall. “We will publicise this more clearly in the mall and on our website. We will reserve the right to challenge suspicious behaviour for the safety and enjoyment of our shoppers. “We wish to apologise to Mr White for the distress we may have caused to him and his family and we will be in direct contact with him to apologise properly.”
51:53 – Playstation Vita UK Details
– The Wi-Fi only model will be yours for £230.
– The higher-specced 3G edition will cost £280.
– They’ll arrive on 22 February, 2012
57:24 – Lytro Details
– You won’t be able to get one until early 2012, but you can order one now for $399 (and $499 for a more advanced version).
– In design, Lytro takes more than a couple of cues from Apple. It’s supremely simple, with just two buttons and a slider for zooming. Plus, it’s available in a variety of colors. Hit the shutter button and it takes a picture instantly — no need to wait for it to focus.
– The Lytro is long, thin and small, like a viewfinder with a rubberized end (and nothing at all like a regular camera). Its “electric blue” and “graphite” models will have 8 GB of storage on board, which the company says is enough for 350 light-field pictures. For $100 more, you get 16 GB, with room for 750 pictures and a “fire red” design. (See the different colors below).
– The battery is a selling point, too. You should be able to fill up the entire camera with pictures on a single charge. That translates to about two weeks of battery time, with regular usage.
– Desktop editor only supports Mac

Picks
Ian
PressPausePlay
– The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent of people in an unprecedented way, unleashing unlimited creative opportunites.
– But does democratized culture mean better art, film, music and literature or is true talent instead flooded and drowned in the vast digital ocean of mass culture? Is it cultural democracy or mediocrity?
– This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the world’s most influential creators of the digital era.
– Buy on iTunes (£9.99, or rent) or Amazon….or download via torrent for free