DigitalOutbox Episode 76
In this episode the team discuss Bing copying Google, Honeycomb news, Apple geting greedy and the launch of The Daily.
1:37 – Bing is copying Google
– Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google’s results, then uses that information to improve Bing’s own search listings. Bing doesn’t deny this.
– As a result of the apparent monitoring, Bing’s relevancy is potentially improving (or getting worse) on the back of Google’s own work. Google likens it to the digital equivalent of Bing leaning over during an exam and copying off of Google’s test.
– “I’ve spent my career in pursuit of a good search engine,” says Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow who oversees the search engine’s ranking algorithm. “I’ve got no problem with a competitor developing an innovative algorithm. But copying is not innovation, in my book.”
– Is it copying or being clever?
– Whatever your view, read how Google caught Bing on searchengineland – great article
– MS and Google employees also have flame war on twitter – very entertaining
– Plays out on search panel too – http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-bing/
– Seems to go back to Bing bar or IE8 install – encrypts and returns search results from Google to MS if user has turned on Suggested Sites feature
– If MS is using 1000 signals to return results, why does one link that Google have created deliberately also get generated in Bing?
6:15 – Microsoft release H.264 plugin for…Chrome
– Today, as part of the interoperability bridges work we do on this team, we are making available the Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome, which is an extension for Google Chrome to enable Windows 7 customers who use Chrome to continue to play H.264 video.
…but it’s not all bad for google
8:15 – Speak2Tweet
– Google team up with SayNow (which they bought last week) and twitter to launch a speak to tweet service
– It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.
– No net connection required
10:20 – Art Project by Google
– Virtual tour of many of the worlds art galleries
– Similar to street view, walk around gallaries
– Click on + button to view hi rez art
12:38 – Android Honeycomb Event
– Showing off fragments which let developers break up components of an app into different pane.
– Modular development is an important part of the app framework
– All 2D Drawing that developers have been doing can be hardware accelerated
– Developers can also tap into an animation framework, allowing developers to fluidly move between views
– RenderScript: A new rendering engine optimized for high performance 3D graphics. Showing off the new YouTube app, which takes advantage of RenderScript.
– New music app, Google body, demo game ported from PS3 – graphics similar to PS2, new camera app with image stabilisation built in
– Announcing the release of the Android Market Webstore. This is big — it was previewed at Google I/O last year, and now users can go to browser and browse entire catalog and install/purchase apps direct from the web.
– When you click to buy, it shows which permissions it needs, asks which device you want to install to, — click ‘complete your purchase’. As soon as the credit card transaction completes, you get a notification on your phone, and the app is downloading to your phone. Very cool. “No wires, no syncing with computers, none of that sort of nonsense.
– In-app purchasing coming to Android
18:37 – Greedy Apple
– NY Times report – Apple blocked Sony’s e-reader application from the iPhone and mandated that it would need to sell content via In-App purchases:
– The company has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer sell content, like e-books, within their apps, or let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store.
Apple rejected Sony’s iPhone application, which would have let people buy and read e-books bought from the Sony Reader Store.
– Apple told Sony that from now on, all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple, said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division.
– Many Apple loyalists dismissed the report saying it was weak – Kindle won’t be affected as they hand off purchasing to Safari
– LOL at Sony as they would struggle to implement there own payment system – they are that bad
– Now an Apple spokesperson has given us this statement:
“We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines. We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.”
– What? This is a change in policy.
– The most relevant passage from Apple’s developer guidelines — which were only published in September, mind you — appears to be section 11.2, which states:
Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected.
– So what about Spotify, RTM, Comics, Netflix, Wired…the list goes on?
– Why just books?
– Is this related to subscription options coming soon?
– Whatever, as it stands this is plain wrong and the dangers of a company like Apple, running a closed system and changing the goalposts looks set to bite
– It’s also so greedy – no matter what you sell, we want our 30%
– Amazon and others can’t afford that other 30% cut
– Ian – with Honeycomb coming out it may be time to look elsewhere for mobile devices
– Loving the backtracking from the loyalists…I mean fanboys
– More to come on Feb 2nd surely? Reduce 30% on in app content?
24:47 – The Daily launches
– Murdoch notes that a growing population of news consumers no longer read print or even watch TV. His aim with The Daily is to combine “the magic of great newspapers” with the magic of technology. “The Daily is not a legacy barnd moving from the print to the digital world. We have license to experiment. We believe The Daily will be the model for how stories are told.”
– A new edition will come out every day, with updates throughout the day. it will feature a carousel navigation that looks like Coverflow, an dinclude video and 360-degree photographs.
– Since there are no trucks and no printing costs, The Daily will cost 14 cents a day or about $1 a week. The first two weeks are free, thanks to a sponsorship by Verizon. You will be able to download it live at noon ET.
– Apple exec Eddie Cue announced today at The Daily launch, as expected, that Apple will be enabling subscription pricing for news apps. There will be one-click subscription billing either weekly (99 cents) or yearly ($39.99). Apple is starting with The Daily, but Cue says “you will hear an announcement very soon for other publications
– The subscription billing solves a business model problem for media companies, but now they have to create compelling products that people will not only want to pay for but keep paying for over time.
– Asked whether The Daily would come to other tablets, Rupert Murdoch says, “As other tablets get established, we expect to be on all the major tablets.” But he also notes, “We believe this year, and maybe next year belong to Apple.
– Ian – nothing here for UK users, not available in UK store (or anywhere else apart from US) and the content isn’t the best. App feels a bit slow…and news is out of date. Comments were mostly – first or noise – nothing of any consequence. However the movie/music news was ok and some feature articles were good. Lots of movies and photo’s, including 360 degree photo’s. But, it’s just more of the same – no WOW. Updates also take quite a while – couple of minutes before you can start to read new edition. More of a WOW – it took $30 million to get to this point
– The Daily official twitter account did say they they are looking forward to getting to the UK soon. With subs, I’d pay for Guardian on the iPad to be delivered digitally.
– Want to see all the articles but you’ve not got an iPad – http://thedailyindexed.tumblr.com/
– Andy Baio is creating an index for the articles which are published on the web for free but not indexed well
– Up at moment but no sure for how long
33:06 – Real Broadcast Competition May be on the way
– Pub landlady in Portmsouth used cheaper Greek satalite decoders to show Premiership footy in pub. Much cheaper than Sky… who have exclusive broadcast rights to premiership footy games in UK.
– Landlady initially fined £8000 – she took it to European court on grounds that the exclusive territorial rights were a breach of European market laws… judge upheld the argument.
– Judgement from Advocate is not binding but judges generally follow the advice.
– Have every confidence that this won’t see an end to the monopoly – but in the short term it does seem to intimate that you are free to by decoders from any EU country and watch their broadcasts.
38:57 – England & Wales Crime Maps Launched
– Enter street name or postcode and see crimes in that area
– Cost £300,000 to develop – totally overloaded on day 1 – 75,000 hits per minute
– Information on crime is broken down into six categories – burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, violence, other crime and anti-social behaviour. Sex crimes have been included in the “other” category, along with crimes such as theft and shoplifting, to help prevent victims from being identified.
– Also lists details of local police team
42:30 – Flickr accidentally deletes users Pro account
– IT architect and Flickr user Mirco Wilhelm couldn’t log on to his 5-year old account yesterday, and when he asked the Flickr team about this issue they flat out told him they had accidentally flushed his entire account, and the 4,000 photos that were in it, straight down the drain.
Apparently Wilhelm reported a Flickr user with an account that held ‘obviously stolen material’ to the company last weekend, but a staff member erroneously incinerated his account instead of the culprit’s.
– Offer 4 years pro usage to say sorry – they can’t restore the account and it’s photo’s, content etc once it’s deleted
– This practice of deleting accounts without any way of reversing it is a disgrace
– Yahoo finally say something +ve:
– Yesterday, Flickr mistakenly deleted a member’s account due to human error. Flickr takes user trust very seriously and we, like our users, take great pride in being able to take, post and share photos. Our teams are in touch with the member and are currently working hard to try to restore the contents of his account. In addition, we are providing the member with 25 years of free Flickr Pro membership. We are also actively working on a process that will allow us to easily restore deleted accounts and will roll this functionality out soon.
47:22 – Facebook Deals
– Finally launches in Europe
– Check into via Facebook Places and you may receive a deal – 20% of or such
– Starbucks, Debenhams and O2 already signed up
50:39 – Immigration officer fired after putting wife on list of terrorists to stop her flying home
– An immigration officer tried to rid himself of his wife by adding her name to a list of terrorist suspects.
– He used his access to security databases to include his wife on a watch list of people banned from boarding flights into Britain because their presence in the country is ‘not conducive to the public good’.
– As a result the woman was unable for three years to return from Pakistan after travelling to the county to visit family.
– The tampering went undetected until the immigration officer was selected for promotion and his wife name was found on the suspects’ list during a vetting inquiry.
– The Home Office confirmed today that the officer has been sacked for gross misconduct.
Instant Heart Rate
– Thought it was a gimmick but it actually works
– Uses camera to track colour change
– Accurate, allows for charting and also measures recovery rate after excercise
– Great on 4g due to camera – needs good light for other iPhones