Handbrake and Perian

Handbrake is a great video ripping utility for the Mac. Handbrake was initially a DVD ripping tool which was always reliable but for video transcoding I relied on VisualHub. That was until the company behind VisualHub shuttered development. For a few months there was a bit of a gap in the Mac market but Handbrake stepped in and not only does it do DVD ripping but it covers video transcoding as well.

Handbrake is open-source, GPL-licencsed, multi-platform and multi-threaded. The latest update to version 0.9.4 included over 1000 updates and a 64 bit version for Snow Leopard. It includes support for presets which come with Handbrake so it’s easy to create a video for Apple TV or iPhone – the settings are automatically set making encoding very easy. You can create your own presets so if you want to repeatedly output video in a particular format you can create a preset which guarantees the sam format each and every time.

There are a massive amount of settings and options in Handbrake which can affect the final output. You can see a preview of the video as it will appear allowing you to check for any quality issues before running an encode and you can add multiple video’s to the encode queue so Handbrake can run through your queue while your away.

When downloading Handbrake you can opt to grab the command line version instead of the GUI and that becomes useful when you want to automate your ripping process. For example, this fantastic tutorial – How-To: Automate DVD & Blu-Ray (Backup, Encoding & Tagging) on the Handbrake forums takes you through the process of ripping, tagging and moving your content automatically on the Mac – something I hope to be setting up in the new year. If you have any problems the forums are definitely the first place to visit as it’s a goldmine of information.

That covers encoding but what about playback? On the Mac Quicktime is the default video player but many install VLC as it supports many more codecs than Quicktime but there is an alternative – Perian.

Perian is a free, open source QuickTime component that adds native support for many popular video formats. A full list of the formats can be found here. Perian is easy to install and once complete it’s settings can be accessed via a Systems Preference pane. Like Handbrake there is an active forum where you can find answers to any questions but for me it’s been trouble free. A great plugin for any Mac, especially if your using yours for media playback.

DigitalOutbox Episode 29

DigitalOutbox Episode 29
In this episode the team discuss Snow and Swine Flu.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:33 – 4G Network
– First speeds on 4G dongle – 42.78Mbps over a wireless data card, 5.3Mbps upload and 37ms ping
– TeliaSonera bundles the 4G service with 30GB of data for just 599kr (85$) per month
– Why mobile?
– http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/morgan_stanley_mobile_internet_market.php
– Mobile Internet market will be “at least 2x size of Desktop Internet,”
– Apparently, O2 4G trial also happening in Slough!
7:25 – Facebook Privacy Concerns
– Unfortunately, the truth is that almost everything is accessible to quiz authors.: Even if you have your profile information and content set to “private,” quizzes can see almost everything that you share with your friends on Facebook: your politics and religion, embarassing photos, comments you leave on your friends’ Wall. It doesn’t seem like a quiz developer has any reason to poke around in your profile, but it’s temptingly easy to do so.
– What info about you can a quiz see when your friends take a quiz? Nope – once again, the correct answer is: Almost everything on your profile. Yes, that’s right: when your friend takes a quiz, the quiz maker gets access to your information! So even if you’re being careful, if you haven’t changed the right privacy settings, your information could be collected by anyone who writes a quiz that your friends take!
– Developer’s aren’t vetted
– http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/12/15/facebook-lie-terms-of-service/
– Facebook suggest lying about your hometown and profile picture to protect yourself
– That in itself is against Facebooks T&C’s
Court Action Looming?
– 10 US based privacy groups have filed complaint to the federal trade commission over facebooks new privacy settings.
– http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/8420431.stm
16:50 – Windows Mobile 7 Delayed
– Microsoft UK head of mobility Phil Moore addressed the thorny subject of Windows Mobile saying: “We’re still playing catch-up. When Apple came on to the scene a couple of years ago, it threw away the rulebook and reinvented it. We unfortunately don’t have that luxury. It’s true, Apple caught us all napping. It launched something that was very iconic, new and unseen with a very good user interface.”
– “It has been put back until late next year but it is definitely coming.”
19:46 – Palm Ares Beta
– Ares is the first complete set of integrated mobile development tools hosted entirely in the browser
– features a drag-and-drop interface builder, a robust code editor, a visual debugger, and built-in source control integration. Ares dramatically lowers the barriers for web developers to jump into mobile development and makes building webOS apps even easier and faster than before.
– drag-and-drop UI creation and the ability to deploy to your device from the browser (albeit so long as you’ve got the Mojo SDK installed).
21:59 – iMac Delays
– Flickering and other graphic card issues forcing 27″ iMac delays
– According to resellers, graphic cards are being replaced
– Lots of feedback in discussions on the website – http://imac.squeaked.com/
24:50 – Apple wins court battle against Psystar
– Judge bans Psystar from:
– Copying, selling, offering to sell, distributing or creating derivative works of Mac OS X without authorization from Apple
– Intentionally inducing, aiding, assisting, abetting or encouraging any other person or entity to infringe Apple’s copyrighted Mac OS X software
– Circumventing any technological measure that effectively controls access Mac OS X, including, but not limited to, the technological measure used by Apple to prevent unauthorized copying of Mac OS X on non-Apple computers
– Playing any part in a product intended to circumvent Apple’s methods for controlling Mac OS X, such as the methods used to prevent unauthorized copying of Mac OS X on non-Apple computers
– Doing anything to circumvent the rights held by Apple under the Copyright Act with respect to Mac OS X
– Rebel EFI software not specifically included in the ruling, because Psystar avoided describing specifically what the software does. However it is unlikely Psystar would be able to sell the software without finding itself in contempt if investigated again.
– It was reported earlier that Psystar was totally shutting down, but it has now emerged that is not the case
28:10 – Kindle App on Appstore
– Buy and read digital books
37:02 – BluRay 3D Spec
– Will work with PS3
– First, that the Blu-ray Disc Association has chosen the Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec to store 3D, so that even though it is now providing a full 1080p frame for each eye, it will only require about 50% more storage space compared to the 2D version, and all discs will be fully backwards compatible, in 2D, on existing players
– Better than backwards compatibility, the PlayStation 3 will be forwards compatible with the new discs — a new HDTV setup (the spec promises to work with plasmas, LCDs or projectors equally well) with IR emitters and glasses will still be necessary
40:21 – PSP Digital Comics
– Launched on Wed 16th
– Marvel, IDW, Titan, iVerse and 2000AD
– http://playstationcomics.com
– Interesting – may need to charge up the PSP
41:27 – Gran Turismo Time Trial
– Dissapointing
– 1 track, tuned and ord version of car
– Handling….iffy – car difficult to control with joypad
– Aiming for wheel market? All fastest times by those with a wheel – forums reckon wheel trims 1-2 seconds from lap time
– Graphically underwhelming too – even saw a few stutters
42:55 – PSN Subscriptions
– Seems inevitable

Picks
Shakeel
Guardian App
– Guardian app hits the app store
– £2.39 so a bit of a stink from people saying that the website is free so why pay for the app?
– Writing in his blog about the application, The Guardian’s mobile product manager Jonathon Moore answered criticism of the decision to charge for it. “At an early stage we decided to set the bar high, which hopefully means the app has been planned, designed, tested and developed to offer a truly engaging experience,” he said. “The investment involved in this requires us to ask a small fee in return,” he said.
– The app offers an offline mode which allows you to stay in touch even if you don’t have a signal;
– easy access to audio and podcasts (including ‘download for listening later’);
– elegant personalisation;
– a topic-based search engine;
– the ability to follow all your favourite Guardian authors and contributors, and superb picture galleries

Ian
360 Live
– Great app for checking Xbox Live friends list
– Was paid for, now free
– So much better than other app’s – delve into frineds details, games played etc
– Can message from app as well

Perian
– Perian is a free, open source QuickTime component that adds native support for many popular video formats.
– Do away with need for VLC

Chris
Doodlejump
– bouncy dude.
– Keep him bouncing on platforms and everything will be fine!
– Use the tools – like jet packs, springs, helicopter hats to help you on the way.
– Avoid black holes and shoot the baddies on the way.
– Fantastically simple. Annoyingly addictive. 59p.

DigitalOutbox Episode 21

DigitalOutbox Episode 21
In this episode the team discuss Windows 7 and new Apple hardware. Game on.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:20 – Google Audio
– announcement next Wednesday 28th
– downloads? streaming? subscription? – unknown
– partnered with iLike, LaLa
– iLike = social music discovery service, available on Facebook, helps people share music recommendations, playlists
-LaLa = music streamed from browser (US only service)
– service to be integrated into Google Search
– US only (initially?)
3:11 – Twitter real time search deals
– Bing integration
– http://www.bing.com/twitter/
– Microsoft’s new integration with Twitter is essentially integrating Twitter search within Bing. It updates in real-time. Here’s the kicker though: you can search tweets by not only recency, but by relevancy.
– Microsoft is using information such as the number of retweets, captions, the quality of tweets, and keywords in order to sort tweets by relevancy.
– Bing will display the “hottest” (trending) topics on Twitter in the form of a tag cloud
– Google announcement – http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2009/10/rt-google-tweets-and-updates-and-search.html
– Google also announced Social Search
– Coming in labs soon
– The bottom of search results will soon have social networking information from your friends, like their Flickr photos or their status updates. It’s a blended search integration, similar to seeing news or image results.
– These are pulled from social networks connected to your Google Profile. The more that are connected, the more social information that will appear in search results.
– They have also improved searching for images using social networks. Images become more relevant using social networking data.
– Bing also announce Facebook data in search results coming soon
6:02 – Flickr introduces people tagging
– Allows you to tag people in photo’s
– people can be flickr members or non members
– lot’s of control around who can tag, whether you can be tagged etc.
– profile page updated to support this feature
7:48 – Windows 7
– breaks Amazon pre-order volume record
– more sales in first 8 hours of pre-order availability than total Vista was able to do
– The launch of Windows 7 has superseded everyone’s expectations, storming ahead of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows as the biggest grossing pre-order product of all-time at Amazon.co.uk, and demand is still going strong.
– Launch – http://gizmodo.com/5387614/live-from-the-windows-7-launch
– Amazon multi-touch Kindle app for Windows 7—full color photos, pinch zooming to enlarge text, looks awesome. Could be a much-needed killer app for Windows 7 tablets. Maybe. Sign up here – http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311
– Streaming to 16 different screens from one Windows 7 PC using Play-To feature is actually kind of impressive.
– Noteworthy Features
– Taskbar – more intuitive, can pin to taskbar, reorder app’s you have open, no more quicklaunch (quick launch still in – but hidden away.)
– Aero – hover over taskbar icon and window appears with content – aero peek, drag window to top – maximise – drag left or right to snap to half the screen – aero snap, throw cursor to bottom right – show desktop – just like expose
– Well done to MS on the interface – makes windows much better to use, focus on tasks, easier to use – a great upgrade to the interface which is welcome and puts it on a par with mac – needs an expose rip-off and it would be better than mac interface for usability
– libraries – virtual grouping of files and folders, folder can be on any computer or drive on home network – very powerful
– media sharing – stream to other computers on home network (or external network if credentials applied both ends)
– better search (5 seconds to index new files)
– quicker is debatable looking at many of the reviews – boot time’s on par with vista or worse
– ie8, media player, control panel aren’t really that good and haven’t changed much – probably use alternative browser and media player
– feels like a service pack with a new theme and a new app controlling desktop
– UAC can be customised. Default setting down one step on Vista (only asks for confirmation when app wants to make a change to computer, not when you make changes). Possible to step it down a couple more steps, firstly doesn’t dim (i.e. lock out) the computer awaiting confirmation and final step turns it off, not recommended by MS.
– Microsoft store
– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9Hk0ZCqRxg&feature=player_embedded
– It’s an Apple store…selling windows
– Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
– New Mac ads
– http://www.apple.com/getamac/ads/#
– Broken Promises is actually pretty funny
– It’s boring, arrogant, twatty and flies in the face of tech buzz, therefore sounds out of touch. It was funny 3 years ago when MacOS was a huge step above – it is no longer funny or true… – Chris
26:59 – New Apple hardware
– Clearly waited until resident fanboi Shak was well enough to return to Digitaloutbox before releasing New Hardware.
– New Hardware – shak
– Mac Mini
– http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_mac/family/mac_mini
– Speed bump
– Double the RAM
– £499, 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB memory, 160GB hard drive
– £649, 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB memory, 320GB hard drive
– £799, 2.53GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB memory, Dual 500GB hard drives, Snow Leopard Server
– Macbook
– http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_mac/family/macbook?mco=MTA4MTY5NzU
– 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR3 memory, 250GB hard drive
– 7 hour battery (built in)
– 13inch LED screen
– Glass multitouch
– £799
– iMac
– http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_mac/family/imac?mco=MTA4MTU3NzI
– Bigger screens, true HD 16*9 ratio’s, backlit LED
– Can also act as a screen for other devices – consoles, blu-ray players etc. A first for the iMac
– SD card slot below superdrive
– First quad core option for an iMac
– Magic mouse
– Speed bump, higher disks, higher ram, lower price, new remote
– £949, 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 21.5″ 1920 x 1080 resolution, 4GB, 500GB
– £1,199, 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 21.5″ 1920 x 1080 resolution, 4GB, 1TB
– £1,349, 3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo , 27″ 2560 x 1440 resolution, 4GB, 1TB
– £1,599, 2.66GHz Intel Core i5, 27″ 2560 x 1440 resolution, 4GB, 1TB

– Has Ian ordered one yet?
– Price is amazing for what you get – http://www.marco.org/222434049
– Magic Mouse
– http://store.apple.com/uk/product/MB829?mco=Nzc1MjM2OQ
– £55
– It loses the scroll ball found on the Mighty Mouse, but adds support for scrolling gestures. This mouse is also wireless, using Bluetooth, and has a four month battery life.
– no buttons at all and sports a “seamless multi-touch surface.” which roughly translates to “awkward in the extreme”.
– Remain unconvinced of it’s usefulness compared to my logitech revolution
– New remote (fugly?), airport extreme and time capsule now 802.11n, not draft n, 50% better performance, 25% better range
46:43 – Psystar
– sells Rebel EFI software on website allowing intel based PC’s to run OS X – Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, i7 or Xeon Nehalem
– 8MB download – $89.99 but currently listed with $40 discount
– requires 38 steps for installation
– Free to try with limited hardware functionality and 2 hours run-time
49:26 – Piracy and the App Store
– %age of pirated scores submitted in first week 80-90%
– Now most pirates will tell you that they just like to try before they buy. If it’s a good game, then they’ll buy it. Well, from this data we can conclude that 0% of pirates think the game is worth buying
– Apple not doing much
54:03 – Apple Slate?
– Off the record comment:
– If you look at the transcript of his chat, or the 8:20 mark in the video, you’ll see him refer to delivery of journalism to mobile platforms, and then he mentions the “impending Apple slate.
– Now on video
55:32 – Motorola Droid
– Android 2.0, same processor as iPhone, physical keyboard
– Advert takes it to Apple – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPYM-XTqcec
– First proper competition to iPhone?
1:00:43 – Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm on the 360
– Preview program – dash update then download individual packages
– Work like separate app’s n the 360
– Last.fm – nice, visuals alongside music – scrobbles tracks, can’t play in background
– Twitter – simple interface, can tweet, see trends, see recent tweets from friends, can’t click on links or view pics
– facebook – clunky at first but it’s ok – nice way of browsing friends pictures
– Add’s functionality but not wow

Picks
Shakeel
Superhero Squad
– Free online comic creator
– create a quick 3 panel comic strip or a multi-page comic book
– use predefined assets to create your design: backgrounds, characters, objects, sound f/x, speech bubbles
– good fun

Ian
Amazon on the iPhone
– allowing users to shop using their phone
– Among the features of the application, which is free from the Apple Store, is the ‘Amazon Remembers’ service. Users can take a photo of an item using the iPhone and email it to Amazon. The retailer will try and find an item like the one in the photo and email a list of suggestions to the user.
– Customers can also access more than one million Amazon.co.uk products using the phone. They are also able to access wishlists, payment details and use One Click ordering for products.

Chris
Broadband Speed Checker
– Broadband speed checker that places your result plus provider on map and lets you look around. Are you getting a good service in your area?

DigitalOutbox Episode 20

DigitalOutbox Episode 20
In this episode the team discuss Windows 7, people power on Twitter, Apple bugs and some great picks.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:20 – Windows 7 Review
– The conclusion? First all of all, you’ll get much better battery life running OS X on Mac laptops than running Windows.
– Secondly, performance-wise, Windows 7 is probably a better choice if you are a gamer (there are more games developed for Windows, anyway), even on Mac hardware.
– Third, if you can get by with just software designed by Apple and if money is not a big issue, you will be happy with a Mac. Examples of these software choices are iTunes, iLife, QuickTime, Safari, iChat, and so on (and you probably won’t need much more than those for daily entertainment and communication needs).
– Finally, if money is not an issue–and it definitely is for most of us–you should get a Mac anyway. It’s the only platform, for now, that can run both Windows and OS X.
5:03 – Family Guy to Promote Windows 7
– Full half-hour show of Family Guy related content with Seth MacFarlane and crew. No ads – other than the huge one of the show itself!
– Is this really a match? Can it work? It will be watched for sure but who’s going to gain? Family Guy probably isn’t.
6:33 – Sidekick Data Found
– Last week we reported about the cloud computing loss of data.
– Statement released by t-mobile/MS warning users not to turn off/hard reset their device otherwise all data would be lost.
– Appears that the data has now been recovered and they are more confident that nobody should lose out.
– Vulnerability of cloud data – out of our control. Hopefully will focus cloud services to ensure redundancy as well as consumers to their responsibility.
8:12 – Guardian Gagged
– Guardian gagged from reporting parliamentary proceedings
– Twitter, blogs go wild
– Most of the info is online anyway
– Trafigura employed legal firm Carter-Ruck, known for it’s media gagging expertese to enforce the ban which stopped the Guardian speaking about this : “To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of legislation to protect (a) whistleblowers and (b) press freedom following the injunctions obtained in the High Court by (i) Barclays and Freshfields solicitors on 19 March 2009 on the publication of internal Barclays reports documenting alleged tax avoidance schemes and (ii) Trafigura and Carter-Ruck solicitors on 11 September 2009 on the publication of the Minton report on the alleged dumping of toxic waste in the Ivory Coast, commissioned by Trafigura.”
– Parliament order book lists the question – http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200809/cmordbk2/91014o01.htm – blogs started to piece the story together, spreading the news on twitter
– http://order-order.com/2009/10/12/guardian-gagged-from-reporting-parliament/
– Later, gag is lifted – http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/oct/13/guardian-gagged-parliamentary-question – The existence of a previously secret injunction against the media by oil traders Trafigura can now be revealed.
– Wikileaks has the report – http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Minton_report:_Trafigura_Toxic_dumping_along_the_Ivory_Coast_broke_EU_regulations,_14_Sep_2006
– Does this highlight the futility of media gag’s?
– To many people can publish, too much information distributed, too easy to spread word quickly and effectively on twitter
12:09 – Jan Moir and Daily Mail
– Links death to unnatural causes and links gay marriage and death
– Spouts shite basically
– Twitter outrage, quite rightly so
– Response from Charlie Brooker
– http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/oct/16/stephen-gately-jan-moir
– Daily Mail – orchestrated internet campaign
– PCC (Press Complaints Commission) under severe load – http://www.pcc.org.uk/
– Right wingers bemoan the lack of free speech
– So why did Jonathon Ross and Russell Brand get targeted by the Mail over Sachs comments and where was the freedom of speech there?
– Power of the mob, power of free speech on twitter, mass spread of information
– telegraph’s 50 things killed by the internet – 2) Fear that you are the only person unmoved by a celebrity’s death
– Digital pulse, soapbox for todays generation
– No where to hide for journalists and large corperations when power of the public can be harnessed in this way
– http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/oct/16/jan-moir-stephen-gately-response
15:40 – Sir Tim Berners-Lee apologises to your fingers
– Sir Tim, inventor of the WWW was asked if there was one thing he would change about the net if he had his time again. He said the “//” after the “http:” are completely unnecessary!
– Bastard!
16:55 – Spotify moving ever closer to iTunes
– You can now buy DRM-free 320Kbs MP3’s direct from within the Spotify app.
– It’s like iTunes with full song/album preview against everything. If you want a track to keep, no problem. If you want to remove adverts and listen on the move, no problem.
18:24 – Sky Songs
– Launches Oct 19th, Can’t buy tracks, subscribe per month
– For £6.49 a month, users can download one “£6.49 album” or ten individual songs and stream as much music as they want for one month.
– For £7.99, users can download a “£7.99” album or 15 songs and have the same access to streamed music.
– All four major music labels on board
– PC only at the moment?
20:01 – 4OD Moves to Youtube
– Channel 4 has come to a deal with YouTube to hold all Channel 4’s back catalogue and stream in High Quality.
– Google and Channel 4 will split the revenue generated from ads on the Channel 4 content.
– 3 year deal, with all content expected available by early 2010.
– Channel 4 have the option to opt out of iPhone streaming but no decision has been made yet.
22:35 – Google Making Money
– $1.6bn profit off a total $6bn revenue for 3rd quater of year. 7% up on 2008.
24:41 – Snow Leopard Deletes All Your data
– Difficult to reproduce but seems linked to upgrade from Leopard and use of the Guest account.
– What happens, according to numerous reports, is that after logging in and out of a Guest account (which, upon logout, wipes out any data stored within the Guest account’s home folder), and then logging in to a regular account, people are finding that their regular account has been wiped too.
– Looks to occur only if you had guest account enabled prior to Snowy upgrade
– Apple, which is notorious for not commenting on these things, made the unusual step of acknowledging the problem to CNET.
– This is serious. It should never happen. Even Vista doesn’t do that!
– To prevent, if the Guest Account was enabled before you upgraded to Snow Leopard, pop in to your System Preferences and disable it. Close System Preferences and restart your computer. When you next log in, you can choose whether or not you want to re-enable the Guest Account. Doing so after following these steps ought to be safe, since the Guest Account will be recreated with all-new Snow Leopard settings which, it’s assumed, won’t delete all your valuable personal data. Note – community fix and not an official Apple policy. You could also just disable guest accounts if you never use them.
27:57 – Time Capsule Memorial Web Site
– Average lifetime of Time Capsule – 17months, 4 days – 212 people registered
– They get hot and capacitors look to be frying
– Not good for a device that’s to be used for backing up your data too
– Apple not acknowledging issue – surprise surprise
31:05 – Jailbreak for 3.1.2
– For Mac and Windows
– Let’s you install Cydia, etc
– Anyone tried it?
– iPhone 3GS now shipping with new bootrom, resistant to current jailbreaking techniques
33:45 – Layar for iPhone
– Augmented reality
– Lot’s of layars
– Works well and is free – 3GS only
40:10 – Radio App from Apple
– Tipped rumour that the FM chip in iPhone/iPod touch will be used for a new Radio app to be developed by Apple.
– Possible “Buy this song” functionality against currently playing track. Perhaps working in background just like iPod app.
43:58 – Dyson Bladeless fan
– uber-cool, uber-efficient but uber-expensive -£199 from Argos.
47:00 – Sky on the 360
– Channels
– G.O.L.D, Sky Real Lives, Sky Arts 1, Sky Movies 1 & 2, Sky Sports 1, 2, 3 and Xtra, Sky Sports News, British Eurosport, ESPN
ESPN Classic, Sky News, National Geographic, National Geographic Wild, History, Eden, Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Disney Channel
– Oct 27th
– SD only
– Even if you are not a Sky digital customer, you can now subscribe to Sky Player TV from £15/€18 a month for the Entertainment Pack. This includes the live broadcast of over 20 channels including National Geographic, ESPN Classic, G.O.L.D. and Disney Channel. You are also entitled to the free content available from these channels. You can also choose to upgrade this package to include Sky’s premium channels Sky Movies and Sky Sports, making a total of 21 live channels for your delectation. If you subscribe to Sky Multiroom account then you can watch all the live channels in your pack on your Xbox 360, at no extra cost! Sky Multiroom or Sky Broadband Unlimited customers can also watch Live TV on their Xbox 360’s at no extra charge. All other Sky TV customers can subscribe to watch Live TV on Sky Player for £9.75/€14.75 a month.

Picks
Ian
TVCatchup
– Watch 11 channels live on the iphone
– Works well over 3G
– Happy, happy days
– Free

Chris
SpaceSniffer
– A visual representation of space taken up on a disk. Files and folders all represented by blocks on the screen relative to their filesize. Folder blocks contain their constituent files as smaller blocks.
– Hypnotic to watch a scan taking place. Slick ability to zoon in on areas.
– And is very useful in idenfying where you lose all those Gb’s on your once empty HardDrive.
– Going to be useful for clean install of Windows 7.

Henry
Caffeine
– tiny Mac OS X program that sits on the menu bar and stops your mac going to sleep