DigitalOutbox Episode 59
In this episode the team discuss Gamescon, Facebook Places and naughty BT.
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1:38 – BT and Net Neutrality
– “[A]t the moment with our TV service, BT Vision, we deliver entertainment content, video, at peak time to consumers via our network and we prioritise the traffic in order to be able to do this.”
– Jon Hurry, the commercial director at BT Retail speaking to BBC click
– it’s making it clear that its own online television service gets prioritised at the expense of its rivals
– After a call to the BT press office I wasn’t much clearer. I was told that Mr Hurry had perhaps not made the best choice of words in talking of prioritising traffic. What he meant was that BT Retail bought a product from BT Wholesale – there is an arms length relationship between the two divisions – which gave it an “assured quality of service” for BT Vision.
– It was described to me as a kind of internet bus lane, which meant that users even on a 2Mbps line would get a reliable television service without the buffering and freezing that you can experience with web video. BT insists that this does not affect other web users in any way – although in my experience a bus lane always means a slower ride for other traffic – but also says that other web video operators are free to pay for a similar service.
5:53 – Wired Declares the death of the Web
– Say we don’t use the web anymore but spent all our time on the internet
– Skype, Xbox, video, mobile app’s but no web
– Even has funky graph to prove it…but
– doesn’t account for the increase in internet traffic over the same period. The use of proportion of the total as the vertical axis instead of the actual total is a interesting editorial choice
– between 1995 and 2006, the total amount of web traffic went from about 10 terabytes a month to 1,000,000 terabytes (or 1 exabyte). According to Cisco, the same source Wired used for its projections, total internet traffic rose then from about 1 exabyte to 7 exabytes between 2005 and 2010
– So web hasn’t slowed at all, indeed it’s increased, rather it’sbeen joined by even more explosive growth in file-sharing and video, which is often embedded in the web in any case
– This isn’t the first time Wired has declared the web’s death – 1997 – http://web.archive.org/web/19980207164310/www.wired.com/wired/4.04/features/wipeout.html
– Still, it achieved it’s aim by getting everyone talking about it – biggest surprise is Wired is still going in paper and digital formats – will it still be here in 5 years time?
9:49 – Chrome Web Store launches October
– Gaming portal 1Up.com has detailed a presentation given by Google developer advocates Mark DeLoura and Michael Mahemoff at GDC Europe that contains new details about the Chrome Web Store — a feature first announced at Google I/O that will allow users to purchase web applications from their Chrome web browsers
– Store will probably launch late October
– when the Web Store was first announced, Google VP of Product Sundar Pichai indicated that there would be a standard 70/30 (developer/Google) split — the same as on Apple’s App Store and Android Market. However the fee is actually 5% plus an additional 30 cents per transaction — which obviously represents a more significant chunk if your app is only selling for $1.99. Also note that the minimum price here is $1.99, not 99 cents as it is on the App Store. However, you don’t have to use Google’s integrated web store payments — you’re free to integrate another payment system into your app.
– There’s also a one-time fee of $5, which is meant to help cut back on fraudulent activity. And yes, you can sell apps for free.
– Also interesting: the web store will completely replace Chrome’s themes and extensions galleries when it launches, and it will allow developers to distribute and sell themes and extensions (in addition to the aforementioned apps).
– Google may make less money from this in the short term, but if it helps the web win out over native apps then it’s a decision that will pay off for Google in a big way.
– ore will launch with support for free trials, subscriptions, and other in-app payment platforms. At launch you’ll be able to purchase apps from anywhere in the world using Google Checkout, but only with US dollars (multiple currencies and in-app transactions are slated for the first half of 2011).
– applications will be auto-approved and published “most of the time” (the report doesn’t indicate what the exception to the rule might be). Each application profile will include customer reviews including those left by your friends.
14:39 – Twifficiency
– Exploded on twitter on Tuesday and Wednesday
– Annoyed many as it auto tweeted your twitter efficiency
– Then rumours spread it grabbed passwords etc
– Turns out developer was a 17 year old scot – James Cunningham
– Was using this to learn oAuth
– Many people annoyed by it, seeing it as spam – https://www.businesszone.co.uk/blogs/dan-martin/dan-martin-editor039s-blog/twifficiency-hard-lesson-how-business-news-travels-fast
– But a few were impressed by the creativity and ingenuity
– Interviewed by Time – http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/08/17/twifficiency-by-james-cunningham-better-than-a-college-diploma/
– Now updated with checkbox and traffic still growing – check the server logs below
19:07 – Facebook Places
– Help you share where you are, help you find where your friends are, and discover new places around you. It launches on mobile devices (web) and in the company’s new iPhone app tonight.
– Check-ins are part of the platform. So is adding places. One difference between it and Foursquare is that Facebook doesn’t just show you nearby places, but places it thinks are relevant to you.
– Place Pages on the web. It has maps and who’s checked in…more on it in a moment
– Photo tagging has been taken to places. You can “tag” friends that are with you at a specific location. Thus, everybody doesn’t have to check-in on their own. Tagging seems to be a selling point of the platform, but does this present a privacy issue?
– There’s a “not now” feature to not broadcast your location.
– You can remove any check-in, settings are defaulted to friends only. “Here Now” is on after you check-in. Tagging only lets you tag your friends and notifies you whenever you’re tagged. You can always remove any tag.
– You can report a place on the iPhone if it’s inaccurate or don’t want it on the system (say your home, for example).
– Now the company is talking about the API and developers. There’s a Read API for reading check-ins and learning more about check-in pages. There’s a Search and Write API for making check-ins and searching through them. Gowalla and Foursquare building alongside Facebook. Yelp the same – when you check in you can share with Facebook.
– Rolling out in the US first
– There will be obvious privacy concerns – friends creating places like your house, auto checking you in when you don’t want to.
– First step – change your settings to stop friends checking you in- http://gizmodo.com/5616338/the-first-thing-you-should-do-with-facebook-places-dont-let-other-people-tag-you
25:21 – iMac Touch Patents
– Patent filed by Apple in January explains how future iMacs could switch between keyboard and mouse and touch interfaces.
30:32 – Windows Phone Xbox Live Titles
– Castlevania, Halo: Waypoint, Star Wars, Crackdown, and Guitar Hero, alongside a handful of newer properties like the ultra-cute ilomilo, produced in-house by Microsoft Game Studios
– will launch with over 60 game titles, with new offerings appearing every week in the Xbox Live Marketplace
– Live on WP7 will allow for full avatar integration (we’re talking fully rendered, interactive avatars) along with customization (clothes, accessories, and more). The company has even crafted an avatar-centric version of familiar phone utilities like flashlight apps and levels, adding some whimsy to what would normally be pretty staid affairs. Additionally, messaging, friend lists / status, achievements, and leaderboards (with friend comparisons) are all here as well, making for a pretty complete mobile Xbox Live experience
– Can demo all games before you buy
– Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst, the game utilizes Bing maps to create levels (not unlike the PSN title The Last Guy), and logic in the software is able to recognize things like roads for enemies to make their way down. Tower defence game using Crackdown assets
– Unfortunately, for the launch of Windows Phone 7 there won’t be any true multiplayer options besides turn-based games, though Kevin seemed to indicate that head-to-head gaming (whether over a local or wide network) was in the roadmap. It only makes sense considering this is Xbox Live we’re talking about, and it seems like something that would have been baked in from the beginning.
– Though we didn’t get to see a lot of titles (we particularly would have liked to see something like Castlevania), the polish and speed of the games we played was definitely competitive with iPhone or Palm Pre gaming.
36:50 – Gamescon Roundup
– GTA5 – Nov 3rd in EU, looks like 5th in the UK
– Will have track/course editor – generate their own courses based around a complex scheme of parameters and share them with the wider community. There are four themes to choose from and a dizzying array of settings to tweak, including the number of turns, track length, weather, topography and speed of sectors.
– A-Spec – driver, B-Spec mode – Racing Simulator RPG – you are a team manager
– Fifa 11 – released October 1st
– will include 11 vs 11 online – goalkeepers fully controllable
– video editing, new career mode, more customisable
– PES 2011 – released day before on Sep 30th
– Halo Reach – Sep 16th
– Medal of Honour – Looks pretty awesome, but most games do at this stage
– 2 new PS3’s – 160GB replacing 120 and a 320GB
– ITV Player, it’s tv catch up service, will be available on ps3 by end of the year
– Portal 2 – Feb 2011
43:59 – Realtime Worlds Goes Bust
– 250 jobs at risk after poor take up of APB.
– Lets be store files in my own Amazon S3 account
– Schedule whatever files for backup – anything from monthly, weekly etc down to every 5 mins.
– Only does bit change updates – ie. only uploads part of file that’s changed
– $2 per month plus Amazon storage costs – about $0.15 per gig per month
– Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) is an online storage web service offered by Amazon Web Services. Amazon S3 provides unlimited storage through a simple web services interface. Amazon launched S3, its first publicly-available web service, in the United States in March 2006 and in Europe in November 2007.
– online presentation app.
– Free version and annual subscriptions from $59
The Photographer’s Ephemeris
– The Photographer’s Ephemeris (TPE) is a tool to help with the planning of all types of outdoor photography, but particularly landscape and urban scenes.
– It is a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land.