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AfterDawn: News

What did Apple's Jony Ive want with NBA star Kobe Bryant?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 13:12

What did Apple's Jony Ive want with NBA star Kobe Bryant? Earlier this week, NBA star Kobe Bryant was photographed on the Apple campus meeting with Apple executive and lead designer Jony Ive.

The media was quick to report that Ive wanted Kobe's thoughts on the upcoming iWatch, which will supposedly have a number of innovative health and fitness features.

Kobe did not reveal what was discussed specifically but did say that he "spent the day talking with Jony picking his brain about product." What did Jony ask him? "Jony wanted to know, how do I prepare? How do I prepare, how do I study, how do I view the game. How do you build your game. My response was much like you build products. You think sequentially. Yeah, you look at the end result of what you want to create, but there are so many other little things that go into this massive entity or device. It's no different than building my basketball game. You start with where you want your game to be, where you want to make your game the most unstoppable, or hard to deal with, and now you work backwards from there and you start building it one piece at a time, one move at a time, one counter at a time. There's a lot of similarities there."


AfterDawn: News

Amazon Prime Music adds hundreds of thousands more tracks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 12:58

Amazon Prime Music adds hundreds of thousands more tracks Amazon has added hundreds of thousands of tracks to its fledgling Prime Music streaming service.

In June, the e-commerce giant said the service launched with over a million tracks and hundreds of curated playlists, which have now been expanded, as well. The service allows for unlimited streaming without any ads as long as you are a Prime subscriber. Prime costs $99 per year and offers free 2-day shipping on millions of products, free access to Amazon's streaming movie/TV catalog and hundreds of thousands of books for free via Kindle.

A few of the more popular artists added (or updated) today are David Guetta, Al Green, Miles Davis, Kendrick Lamar, Linkin Park, Shakira, Deadmau5, Ella Fitzgerald, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Neil Young, DJ Snake & Lil Jon, Young the Giant, A$AP Rocky, Elvis, Oasis, Kacey Musgraves, Ray Charles, Panic! at the Disco, Wyclef Jean, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Skrillex and John Coltrane, says the company.

While the deal is certainly great for Prime users, there are some notable songs and artists missing. As of writing, Universal Music Group's entire massive catalog is not available, unless you want to purchase the tracks via Aamzon MP3. Additionally, there are no brand new tracks like you would find on Spotify, as all the tracks available are older than six months.

AfterDawn: News

Try it: Mac OS X Yosemite goes into public beta tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 12:44

Try it: Mac OS X Yosemite goes into public beta tomorrow Starting tomorrow, Apple's new Mac OS X Yosemite will go into public beta, allowing anyone with an Apple ID to test it out.

The updated operating system has a refreshed design, better integration with your iOS devices and features flatter icons well known to iPhone users.

Apple does note that the beta will be limited and not include all promised features of the final consumer release. This is mainly because a lot of those features are directly dependent on iOS 8, which will not be released until September.

When Yosemite does launch in full in September or October, it will be free for all current Mac users.

Get started with the beta tomorrow using this link here.

AfterDawn: News

Vuze releases new lightweight 'Leap' torrent client

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 12:30

Vuze releases new lightweight 'Leap' torrent client Popular torrent company Vuze has released a new lightweight client for users that may not necessarily need the plethora of features found in their namesake client.

Vuze Leap is now in beta and features a more simple interface that will use up much less of your computer's resources.

Says the company: "We sought to deliver a simpler experience as a counterpart to the powerful, full-featured core Vuze BitTorrent Client that has pleased millions of users for years. Even with file-sharing being a part of internet usage for years, we continued to hear, from some users a desire to have a simpler experience that was less resource intensive."

The Vuze Leap offers built-in search, allowing you to search without having to go to individual sites or ever leaving the software. The search appears to bring back mainly results that could be done with a Google search but will likely integrate more torrent trackers in the future.


AfterDawn: News

Satya Nadella clarifies what 'one Windows' really means

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 11:50

Satya Nadella clarifies what 'one Windows' really means During Microsoft's recent quarterly earnings report, new CEO Satya Nadella made headlines by stating that "we will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes."

The news would have certainly been massive, given that Windows is currently available in multiple iterations depending on what type of device you have. Phones have Windows Phones, tablets have Windows RT or Windows 8/8.1 and desktops have Windows 8.1 (not to mention all iterations of Windows before that).

Later in the conference call, however, Nadella clarified what he meant, and the announcement is no longer as spectacular as it could have been.

In his clarification, the CEO says "one Windows" means that moving forward a single team will work on all Windows iterations, including Windows Embedded and the Xbox One OS. That team works under the unified Operating System Group. Each version of Windows will be built on a "common core," otherwise known as the NT core. Each OS will be built on top of the core to make best use of form factor/screen size.


AfterDawn: News

Apple has mundane earnings report as iPad sales fall, Asian sales grow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 11:14

Apple has mundane earnings report as iPad sales fall, Asian sales grow Apple reported their latest earnings yesterday and the company had another standard if not mundane quarter.

The company had $37.43 billion in revenue for the quarter, and $7.7 billion in profit.

iPad sales were the biggest disappointment, with the company selling 13.3 million tablets compared to an expected 13.8 million. Sales of the device were down 9 percent year-over-year.

The sales slowdown was mainly in the U.S., but sales of the iPad saw over 50 percent growth in China and over 60 percent in the Middle East. Thanks to the new partnership with IBM, Apple expects tablet sales to continue to grow around the world, especially in the enterprise market.

iPhone sales were in-line, up 13 percent year-over-year to 35.2 million with the iPhone 5C overtaking the old iPhone 4S for low-end sales.

Macs saw some of the best growth, up 18 percent to 4.4 million as the company continues to lower prices on popular items like the Macbook Air. iPod sales are down to 2.9 million, down 36 percent year-over-year, although the amount of units sold were more than expected.


AfterDawn: News

Yahoo to buy analytics firm Flurry for over $200 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2014 23:32

Yahoo to buy analytics firm Flurry for over $200 million Flurry, well known in the mobile industry for its in-depth analytics, has been acquired for over $200 million by Yahoo.

Yahoo continues to eat up startups in its ongoing efforts "to re-imagine users' daily habits" and focus on mobile.

As the company says of the acquisition: "Analytics are critical for all mobile developers to understand and optimize their applications. Yahoo and Flurry are reinvesting in developers and continuing to build great analytics products. The combined scale of the two companies will accelerate revenue growth for thousands of developers and publishers across the mobile ecosystem."

Flurry posted some of their more impressive data points, including the fact that 170,000 developers use Flurry Analytics, the company sees over 5.5 billion app sessions per day, app activity from 1.4 billion devices per month and the fact that Flurry works in 150 countries gaining extensive reach. Flurry Analytics are seen in 7 apps per device, quite a high number.

"Yahoo's growth in mobile traffic comes from great people and great products," said Scott Burke, SVP Advertising Technology. "Flurry's success is the result of years of committed investment by a passionate team to create an indispensable platform for mobile developers. We want to harness our collective innovative spirit and bolster the mobile ecosystem by providing developers the analytics and monetization solutions to drive their success."


AfterDawn: News

Aereo only had 77,596 subscribers at the end of last year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2014 23:11

Aereo only had 77,596 subscribers at the end of last year Aereo became a household name over the past year as the tiny startup took on broadcast giants like CBS, Fox and Disney in an effort to stay alive.

The Supreme Court recently stomped on that dream, ruling that Aereo, which offers cloud DVR access to the broadcast channels in HD anywhere for $8 per month, violates the copyrights of the content providers. Aereo then tried to become a cable company, but that was rejected, as well, as the company awaits its final fate via a lower court ruling.

Even though the company was famous, it does not appear that the brand recognition really helped sales, at least not as of December 31, 2013.

According to a U.S. Copyright Office letter, as of the end of last year Aereo only had 77,596 subscribers, with over 30 percent coming from New York City where Aereo first launched. The company expanded significantly in 2014, so the figures could conceivably be much higher now, but even with 100 percent growth the numbers will still be low when compared to popular streaming services.


AfterDawn: News

Here is the new Nvidia SHIELD tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2014 23:38

Here is the new Nvidia SHIELD tablet While the images of the upcoming NVIDIA SHIELD tablet leaked earlier this month, it remained unclear what was under the hood. We now have the full spec sheet and a release date, as well.

"The newest member of the SHIELD family" is set to be officially launched on July 22nd, and will join the SHIELD gaming handheld.

While the handheld gaming device had excellent specs, the software ecosystem was severely lacking at launch and the device was priced too high, leading to lackluster sales. After a few months, however, Nvidia updated the software, adding some killer features like Gamepad Mapper and GameStream.

The new tablet will include all the same features but will also be a tablet, giving flexibility to consumers who may not want just a gaming device. The specs are also excellent, and the device is one of the first with Nvidia's K1 processor.

Full specs:

Tegra K1 Processor (192 core Kepler GPU, 2.2 GHz Quad Core A15 CPU)
8-inch Full HD IPS display (19201200)
Front facing stereo speakers and dual bass reflex port
4K Ultra-HD ready
Micro SD slot
Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, dual-band a/b/g/n WiFI
Integrated Stylus
19.75 WHr battery (up to 10-hours HD video playback)


AfterDawn: News

One million Chromebooks were sold to schools in the last quarter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2014 22:38

One million Chromebooks were sold to schools in the last quarter Earlier this week, during its quarterly earnings conference call, Google announced that its partners have sold over one million Chromebooks to schools in the last quarter.

Overall, there were about 76 million PCs sold in the whole world for the quarter, so 1 million for a niche product selling to a niche market is incredibly strong.

Chromebooks are popular in schools due to their price, full keyboards when compared to iPads, and easier administrator tools from a single console.

Looking to the future, Google recently announced the expansion of their Google Play for Education app and e-book store to Chromebooks from tablets, meaning more educational tools and textbooks will be available for the devices. Additionally, a school can share and fund a Google Play for Education account for teachers allowing them to buy apps, books and more for the class or individual students.


AfterDawn: News

BBM for Windows Phone now available in beta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2014 8:46

BBM for Windows Phone now available in beta If you own a Windows Phone device and have been dying to get your hands on BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), your time has almost come.

The application is available now in the Windows Phone Store, but only those in the beta tester program will be able to download and use it. BlackBerry opened the beta program last week and it filled up within a couple of days.

BBM hit Android and iOS last year, and has been popular since. The company says the move added over 40 million registered users from September to December of last year.

Windows Phone beta users will incur significant bugs, a few of which have already been documented including:


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft details August Xbox One update: Mobile purchase, 3D Blu-ray, much more

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2014 20:20

Microsoft details August Xbox One update: Mobile purchase, 3D Blu-ray, much more Microsoft has revealed the details of the upcoming August Xbox One update, which include eight featured additions/changes.

The features are new activity feed updates, an expansion for the Friends section on Home, low battery notifications, the ability to disable notifications when playing video, mobile purchases, 3D Blu-ray support, OneGuide expansion and a 'last time seen' addition to your Friends list.

In the console's activity feed interface, the layout will now be a single scrolling list "that is longer and includes more content." In addition, you can now post on your feeds and "like" and comment on other items, similar to Facebook. You can also share your game clips either privately or publicly to the feed. SmartGlass will be integrated, as well.

If you are looking to kinda stalk your friends list, it will now reveal the last time your friend has been online and what they were playing. The Home area has been expanded showing friend's current activity, the top trending games they could be playing and also a Gamerscore leaderboard.


AfterDawn: News

Yahoo search market share falls to 'all-time low'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2014 19:31

Yahoo search market share falls to 'all-time low' According to the latest comScore data, Yahoo's search market share has reached an all-time low, at just below 10 percent.

Overall, desktop search declined for the fifth month in a row, as mobile continued to grow at a fast pace.

Yahoo's fall has been anticipated since its "search alliance" deal with Microsoft has led to a combined 29 percent for Bing and Yahoo but has made Bing the priority.

Google remained the clear leader for desktop search, at 67.6 percent, followed by Bing at 19.2 percent and Yahoo at 9.8 percent. All others accounted for 3.4 percent.

The report does not include mobile figures but Google is said to have about 85 percent share of the quickly growing mobile market.


AfterDawn: News

Ruling: Aereo is not a cable company

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2014 18:55

Ruling: Aereo is not a cable company Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled against online TV broadcast and DVR startup Aereo, effectively killing the company.

In its efforts to regain its status, Aereo asked to be reconsidered as a "cable company" under copyright law, allowing it to continue operating but with official re-transmission licenses from the major media companies.

This week, US copyright officials have told Aereo executives that they will not consider the startup a cable company under current copyright law. "In the view of the Copyright Office, internet retransmissions of broadcast television fall outside the scope of the Section 111 license," the Copyright Office wrote in its letter to Aereo.

Aereo's filings will not be declined outright, since Aereo has appealed to a lower court and the case is still being heard. The Copyright Office has therefore provisionally accepted the application.

Read more about the Supreme Court decision here.


AfterDawn: News

Google will no longer call games with in-app purchases 'free'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2014 18:35

Google will no longer call games with in-app purchases 'free' As part of their resolution of a European Commission concern, Google has announced that it will no longer call free games that also include in-app purchases "free."

The EU asked both Google and Apple to change the way they market such apps in their app stores, including informing customers about how payments work and adding game developer's contact info.

Besides ending "free" as a term, Google will also create "targeted guidelines" for the games that prevent encouraging kids to buy in-app items.

While Apple disagrees, the EC also says the iPhone and iPad maker has "regrettably" not provided any solutions for the same concerns but has promised to.

Apple responded quickly to the remarks: "Apple takes great pride in leading the industry in parental controls that are incredibly easy to use and help ensure a great experience for parents and children on the App Store. The parental controls in iOS are strong, intuitive and customizable. And over the last year we made sure any app which enables customers to make in-app purchases is clearly marked. We've also created a Kids Section on the App Store with even stronger protections to cover apps designed for children younger than 13.


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