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AfterDawn: News

The Pirate Bay is back following two month downtime, with errors

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Feb 2015 0:34

The Pirate Bay is back following two month downtime, with errors The Pirate Bay has figuratively risen from the ashes today, after nearly two weeks of downtime following a police raid by Swedish authorities back in December.

The infamous torrent tracker has replaced its iconic pirate ship logo with a phoenix, at least for the time being.

Back in its original form, including the .se domain, the Pirate Bay had promised a return by February 1st. Some features remain down, and there are no ads yet on the site but the actual torrent magnets appear to be back up, as are user accounts. Over the last hour, I have seen 502 errors intermittently, meaning not all is well yet with the site.

Uploaders are likely to be in overdrive mode for the coming days, as the latest uploads are from early December, the day the servers were raided.

In its downtime, clones and rivals have emerged, most notably isoHunt's "The Old Pirate Bay," which now has millions of unique daily visitors. It will be interesting to see if the original site can take back its visitors.




AfterDawn: News

Apple nearly becomes top smartphone maker in the world following record quarter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Feb 2015 0:14

Apple nearly becomes top smartphone maker in the world following record quarter According to IDC, Apple narrowly missed out on becoming the world's top smartphone maker in the Q4 following its record quarter of 74.5 million iPhones sold.

Samsung shipped 75.1 million smartphones for the quarter, good for 20.01 percent market share, beating out Apple at 19.85 percent. Compared to the same quarter last year, Samsung's shipments declined 11 percent compared to Apple whose growth was up 46 percent. The rest of the top five also saw major growth.

Lenovo/Motorola shipped 24.7 million, good for 6.59 percent share and 77.9 percent growth, followed by Huawei in fourth place with 23.5 million units shipped for the quarter. Xiaomi has insane 178.6 percent year-over-year growth, as it took fifth place.

In total, 375.2 million smartphones shipped for the month, 28.2 percent growth for the industry.

"Most of the industry expected an extremely strong holiday quarter from Apple, especially with regards to the iPhone. However, worldwide shipments of 74.5 million units beat everyone's expectations," said Ryan Reith, Program Director with IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. "Beyond the record-setting quarter, a few impressive things stand out with regard to Apple. First, at a time when average selling prices (ASPs) for smartphone are rapidly declining, Apple managed to increase its reported ASPs in the fourth quarter due to higher-cost new models. Second, the growth of iPhone sales in both the U.S., which is considered a saturated market, and China, which presents the dual challenges of strong local competitors and serious price sensitivity, were remarkable. Sustaining this growth and higher ASPs a year from now could prove challenging, but right now there is no question that Apple is leading the way."

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AfterDawn: News

OnePlus will reveal more info about its Android ROM on February 12th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2015 23:09

OnePlus will reveal more info about its Android ROM on February 12th Earlier this month, OnePlus announced that it would be unveiling its own Android ROM after a falling out with lead Android fork maker Cyanogen.

On February 12th, the company will reveal more about the custom operating system, which will be released only for OnePlus One and OnePlus Two devices.

Codenamed 'OxygenOS,' the operating system is "open, customizable, and free of bloat and unnecessary features." "We've spent a lot of time thinking about what this ROM means to us and our fans. We realized that, like everything we do, our true goal is to make the product that we ourselves would want to use--to make great technology more accessible for everyone," OnePlus added in a statement.

Since its falling out with Cyanogen, which provided the CyanogenMod operating system, OnePlus has been using stock Android for its devices.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony replaces their own music service with PlayStation Music, powered by Spotify

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2015 22:33

Sony replaces their own music service with PlayStation Music, powered by Spotify Earlier this week, Sony announced the end of their own Sony Music Unlimited service and the introduction of PlayStation Music, powered by Spotify.

PlayStation Music + Spotify will be available in 41 markets "by Spring," says Sony.

Reads the post:

We know how important music is to our community of gamers, and this partnership combines the best in music with the best in gaming. PlayStation Network users will enjoy the convenience of linking your accounts to Spotify, making it easy to sign-up with your existing ID and subscribe to Spotify's Premium service. You can also use Spotify while playing games on PS4, enabling you to soundtrack your gaming sessions with your favorite songs in the background. Want something heavy and rocking for an intense Destiny Raid? How about some old school hip hop while taking the field in Madden NFL? With more than 30 million songs and 1.5 billion playlists, Spotify on PlayStation Music has it covered. As we get closer to launch we look forward to telling you about some of the other great features that will be available exclusively through Spotify on PlayStation Music.

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AfterDawn: News

Spotify to raise $500 million with a value nearing $7 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2015 0:36

Spotify to raise $500 million with a value nearing $7 billion Unlimited streaming music giant Spotify is working on raising $500 million in new funding valuing the company at about $7 billion.

The raise would be Spotify's largest to date and its first since November 2013, when it raised $250 million from venture capital investors.

If true, such a huge investment round would likely delay an IPO, which has been planned over the past year. Besides venture capitalist, the major record labels combined own about 15 percent of the company, as well.

Spotify has over 60 million users, and 15 million paying subscribers. In 2013, the company had revenue of 747 million ($842 million) but lost 57.8 million ($65 million) and the company has never been profitable. With massive competition and most of the revenue going to royalties, it is unclear how soon the company could even become profitable.

Source:
WSJ




AfterDawn: News

Adobe, Autodesk sue retailer Forever 21 for using pirated software like Photoshop

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2015 23:15

Adobe, Autodesk sue retailer Forever 21 for using pirated software like Photoshop Popular fast fashion retailer Forever 21 has been sued by Adobe, Autodesk and Corel over their alleged use of pirated software including Photoshop.

Adobe filed suit claiming that they found 63 instances of copyright infringement for software such as Photoshop, Acrobat and Illustrator and Autodesk and Corel found instances of pirated copies of Autodesk, WinZip and PaintShopPro.

The company claims to have registration numbers and dates for each instance of piracy, which it claims is "willful, intentional, and malicious copyright infringement." The companies have asked the court for an injunction and damages to cover lost revenue, court costs, and additional damages for willful infringment.

Forever 21 had revenue of $4 billion last year so it is unclear why employees were using pirated software on their systems.

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon launches its own enterprise email service: WorkMail

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2015 22:41

Amazon launches its own enterprise email service: WorkMail For years, Microsoft's Exchange has been the defacto service for the enterprise world and now Amazon wants to take a bite out of the monopoly.

The e-commerce giant has announced the launch of WorkMail, an enterprise secure email and calendar platform.

Similar to existing services, you can use WorkMail with existing email clients including as far back as Outlook 2007, you can share inboxes, share calendars and add a global, company-wide address book, an important perk for small or larger companies.

On the security end, Amazon took its experience from AWS and is ensuring the service is as secure as possible. The company uses encrypted private keys and will be even let clients choose the geographic region to store their emails. Scared of the NSA spying? Store them elsewhere, no problem.

For pricing, Amazon does not break the mold and will cost $4 per user per month for a 50GB mailbox. Amazon expects WorkMail to launch in the Q2.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft unveils Outlook for iOS and Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2015 21:46

Microsoft unveils Outlook for iOS and Android Microsoft has unveiled their Outlook app for Android and iOS devices today, and it is quickly gaining praise for being one of the best email apps ever.

Over the coming months, Microsoft will discontinue their previous Outlook.com app and their Office 365 Outlook apps, none of which worked particularly great and replace it with the new Outlook apps.

Microsoft purchased email app Acompli for $200 million last year and that app is the basis of the new Outlook apps. "We brought that team in and it's now a core part of the our Outlook team," said Microsoft's Julia White.

The new Outlook apps will support Office 365, Exchange, Outlook.com, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail and most other email providers. In addition, the new app will allow you to send attachments through cloud services like Dropbox, OneDrive and Google Drive, allowing for larger files to be sent.

There is one major caveat to note. The iOS version (for iPhone and iPad) is a full release, while the Android version is considered a "Preview" due to Android hugely varying "hardware ecosystem." Expect a fully supported version for Android in the coming months.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft preparing to invest in Cyanogen and its goal of taking down Google

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2015 14:48

Microsoft preparing to invest in Cyanogen and its goal of taking down Google Cyanogen, the maker of the CyanogenMod operating system based on Android, may have a powerful new investor.

Sources claim that Microsoft is prepared to invest in the startup, especially as the company is preparing a version of CyanogenMod that does not need to be tied to Google or its apps.

Microsoft would be part of the $70 million expected to be raised in the coming weeks that values Cyanogen at over $800 million. Of course, the move would be unorthodox for the software giant as it offers its own Windows Phone operating system and sells nearly 40 million units per year. It appears that Microsoft wants to be part of the team that takes some power away from Google's near monopoly in the smartphone industry.

Recently, Cyanogen CEO Kirt McMaster made bold statements, specifically saying "We're going to take Android away from Google."

There are over 50 million people using some version of CyanogenMod, and McMaster says nearly 9000 developers are voluntarily working on building the nightly builds of the operating system.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft's new Spartan browser will support extensions

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2015 22:54

Microsoft's new Spartan browser will support extensions Last week, Microsoft announced its Internet Explorer successor, codenamed Project Spartan, a browser experience focused on the "modern web."

Spartan will include a new rendering engine for better performance, will allow you to use your finger (for touch displays) to annotate webpages (or a keyboard and mouse), will include a reading list to save content and sync to other devices, has a reading mode that clears away ads and other noise for easier reading, and will also have the voice activated personal assistant Cortana tech built right in.

In addition, it appears that Spartan will finally bring extension support. Spartan will launch with Windows 10 across PCs, tablets and smartphones.

Microsoft also appears to be testing ways for Chrome extension developers to port their popular extensions over to Spartan.




AfterDawn: News

YouTube puts the final nail in the coffin for Flash, as videos now default to HTML5

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2015 21:57

YouTube puts the final nail in the coffin for Flash, as videos now default to HTML5 In 2011, YouTube began supporting the HTML5 < video > tag for video delivery, helping to start the end for Adobe's often maligned Flash tech.

Today, Google has announced that the HTML5 < video > tag is now default for all videos when used in Chrome, Firefox beta, Safari 8 and IE 11.

For those that are more technically inclined, YouTube spelled out just what had to improve in the last four years before they could truly kill off Flash:

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AfterDawn: News

Sony to cut 1000 more jobs from struggling smartphone division

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2015 21:36

Sony to cut 1000 more jobs from struggling smartphone division According to new reports, Sony is planning to layoff another 1000 employees from its struggling smartphone division.

Most of the jobs are in Europe and China and would be in addition to the 1000 already announced last year.

Employment at Sony's mobile division will drop by 30 percent, to around 5000 by the end of the fiscal year that ends March 2016.

Sony's smartphone struggles have been well televised as the company tries to find ways to sell its Xperia devices to the masses, with little success.

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AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm confirms it lost a major customer for the Snapdragon 810 chip and is forced to cut earnings outlook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2015 21:12

Qualcomm confirms it lost a major customer for the Snapdragon 810 chip and is forced to cut earnings outlook Qualcomm confirmed today that they lost a major customer for their flagship Snapdragon 810 chip, causing the company to revise its earnings outlook down.

Without actually saying it, the company seems to have suggested that Samsung was the major customer that moved away from the 810, which is in line with reports we have been hearing over the past week that Samsung was having overheating issues when using the chip in its upcoming Galaxy S6.

The Snapdragon 810 is still slated to be featured in about 60 devices this year, and that the chip does not have heating issues. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf said the problems were limited to one customer and that "we just wish it had won one more design."

Unlike nearly all Qualcomm processors, the 810 used a licensed core rather than a Qualcomm customized one, in an attempt to get a 64-bit processor mass-produced quicker. The CEO promised the next premium chip will be 64-bit and use a Qualcomm-customized core.

Citing the Samsung fiasco, the company reduced their yearly outlook for profits and revenue, causing the stock to drop 8 percent, to yearly lows.

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AfterDawn: News

Evleaks leaks alleged HTC One M9 renders

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2015 20:46

Evleaks leaks alleged HTC One M9 renders Ahead of the company's March unveiling date for the device, Evan Blass aka @EVleaks has posted two renders of the upcoming HTC One M9, the successor to the popular M8 device released last year.

If the renders prove accurate, there will be two models of the M9, with one destined to be a phablet with a different look.

Although it is hard to tell from the pic, the designs do look sleek, and seem to be a step away from the design of the M8, which is a relief as there had been plenty of rumors that seemed to suggest HTC was just upgrading the inside and not the outside.

The phablet model also has a large home button, which is rumored to be housing a fingerprint scanner otherwise it makes no sense for the device to have a non-virtual button.

We will know more in March, but for now take a look at Evleak's post, which shows his history of leaking important HTC devices:

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AfterDawn: News

Apple shipped their 1 billionth iOS device last year, and they decided to keep it

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2015 19:30

Apple shipped their 1 billionth iOS device last year, and they decided to keep it Apple has announced a major milestone for the iOS operating system: 1 billion devices shipped.

CEO Tim Cook says the company reached the milestone on November 22nd: "It was truly a momentous quarter for iOS. On November 22, we shipped our 1 billionth iOS device. It was a space-gray 64-gigabyte iPhone 6 Plus, which we've saved here at Apple. One billion devices is an almost unfathomable milestone and we are all incredibly proud to be a part of it."

The executive added that the company sold about 34,000 iPhones "every hour, 24 hours a day, every day of the quarter" totaling a record 74.5 million when all was said and done. iOS is the operating system of choice for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.

Google's Android operating system reached the same milestone last year, as well.

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