AfterDawn: Tech news

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AfterDawn: News

Yahoo searching a way to abandon Bing?

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 29 Mar 2015 10:49

Yahoo searching a way to abandon Bing? Yahoo has been using Microsoft's Bing since 2010 when the company decided to scrap its own search engine. The continuation of the collaboration is currently under scrutiny and it seems that there are some problems finding a solution, Reuters reports.

The ongoing negotiations between Yahoo and Microsoft have been extended by another month after the original deadline was set to February 23. Obviously a solution that satisfies both parties is yet to be found, even after not one but two extensions.

The original contract is valid for 10 years but included was an agreement for possible reconsideration after half way point – where we are at now in 2015. The partnership has not managed to sway search engine usage much to their favor as Google still dominates.

Both Microsoft and Yahoo CEOs have changed in the past five years. Especially under the leadership of the new CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo has been said to be investing in areas that would allow it to separate from the Microsoft partnership




AfterDawn: News

Amazon revamps its Cloud Drive pricing with Unlimited plans

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 29 Mar 2015 6:14

Amazon revamps its Cloud Drive pricing with Unlimited plans Amazon has made huge efforts to offering a more competitive cloud storage to compete the likes of Google, Apple, and Microsoft. The new unlimited services provide the market leading value without a doubt.

The $12 a year Unlimited Photos package provides exactly that; storage for unlimited amount of photos plus another five gigabytes for other files. The more comprehensive $60 a year Unlimited Everything allows you to store all kinds of files without a cap.

The service is now four times cheaper than Apple's and twice as cheap as Google's offerings. Both of which offer a terabyte of storage. It even tops Microsoft's $7/month package, although Microsoft currently offers compellingly Office 365 along with it.

Where Amazon might go wrong is that – at least as far as we've noticed &;ndash; in the new scheme it does not offer a free service at all – unless you count the three month trial period. Microsoft and Google give you 15 gigabytes and Apple 5 gigabytes just for registering an account.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft makes 'Forza Horizon 2: Presents Fast & Furious' free for Xbox One, Xbox 360

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2015 0:21

Microsoft makes 'Forza Horizon 2: Presents Fast & Furious' free for Xbox One, Xbox 360 If you are a fan of the Fast and Furious series, the Forza series, or just a fan of free things, Microsoft has made your day.

Via the Xbox Live Marketplace, the standalone game "Forza Horizon 2: Presents Fast & Furious" is available for free from now until April 10th, even if you don't have a gold subscription.

Reads the bio: "This standalone expansion will be available at no additional cost until April 10, 2015. The next great automotive adventure begins with the Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious standalone expansion for Xbox One! For the first time ever, the Forza experience of thrilling driving and amazing cars is combining with the unstoppable Fast & Furious movie franchise to create an original adventure filled with adrenaline-fueled automotive action."

Even after the free download period, the game will be available to play forever without restrictions. I cannot speak for the 360 version but the Xbox One version was about 15GB when I downloaded it.

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AfterDawn: News

Another HTC head designer leaves the company

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2015 0:09

Another HTC head designer leaves the company Yet another one of HTC's head designers has left the company, confirming his departure via Twitter.

HTC's VP of Industrial Design, Jonah Becker, had the position for less than a year. Becker originally joined the company when his design firm One & Co was acquired in 2008.

One & Co.'s other principal Claude Zellweger remains at HTC, but Becker is being replaced by Creative Director Daniel Hundt. Zellweger will remain in charge of design for 'connected products' like the RE Camera.

HTC seems to always be in transition, with top executives leaving or being transferred regularly as the company tries to refocus on profitability.

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AfterDawn: News

HTC selling One M9 right now unlocked, via their own site

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2015 0:11

HTC selling One M9 right now unlocked, via their own site HTC One fans can get the next flagship earlier than the global release on April 10th.

Beginning right now at midnight, customers can head over to the HTC website and purchase the One M9 unlocked for $649 in silver/gold and gunmetal gray.

HTC also offers 'Uh Oh' warranty protection, meaning they will replaced damaged devices for one year after purchase including "cracked screens, water damage" and they will also send you a new phone if you need a "different carrier variant for customers wanting or needing to switch networks." That's pretty awesome.

The HTC One M9 has a 5-inch 1080p display, runs Android 5.1, has a Snapdragon 810 octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage (expandable to 2TB through microSD), BoomSound speakers with Dolby tech, an UltraPixel selfie camera with flash and a 20MP rear camera.

Get it here: HTC One M9




AfterDawn: News

Facebook launches Messenger Platform for developers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Mar 2015 23:43

Facebook launches Messenger Platform for developers Facebook has announced this week the launch of Messenger Platform, a devoted effort to have third-party devs build content and services for Facebook's popular Messenger instant messaging app.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg said there are a few projects already in the works, like the ability to have Messenger track purchases you've made and then being able to message a retailer directly to change or cancel orders.

In addition, Facebook wants to adds GIF and meme support to the app, which other similar apps like GroupMe have used for years. Facebook says you may be able to connect to services like Bitmoji soon to send content other than just text and emojis.

Last week, Facebook added P2P payments to Messenger, the first expansion of the service with plenty more to come.

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AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile offering a free year of Netflix to Galaxy S6 buyers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2015 13:49

T-Mobile offering a free year of Netflix to Galaxy S6 buyers T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere has confirmed today that the carrier is offering a full free year of Netflix if you purchase a new Samsung Galaxy S6.

Normally, a Netflix account costs $8.99 per month so a year free is a pretty nice deal.

The upcoming Galaxy S6 will sell for over $600 unlocked and T-Mobile does not have contracts but does offering monthly financing.

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AfterDawn: News

HP drops Beats audio and partners with Bang & Olufsen

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2015 13:10

HP drops Beats audio and partners with Bang & Olufsen After years of using Beats audio technology for its PCs and tablets, HP has dropped its old partner and teamed up with Bang & Olufsen.

The move makes sense since Beats was recently acquired by Apple, a rival in the tablet and notebook space.

HP says the companies will "custom tune" audio for each PC model, depending on hardware and software specs.

Omen, Spectre and Envy models will get the Bang & Olufsen brand right on the computer, while lower-end Pavilion PCs and tablets will see the 'B&O Play' brand label. Additionally, HP will sell B&O accessories.

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AfterDawn: News

OpenTable for Android now allows you to pay for your meals direct from the app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2015 12:37

OpenTable for Android now allows you to pay for your meals direct from the app OpenTable has added a mobile payments option to its popular restaurant booking app for Android users, a few months after iOS users.

Because of OpenTable's integration into the house software of the restaurant, including reservation and seating assignments, the new update will also let the host know when a user wants to pay via app so that the server can also be advised.

There are over 30,000 restaurants that use OpenTable, currently.

For app users, you simply open the app, click on the image of their check and swipe to pay with an attacked card. For the time being, splitting is not yet supported.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft makes Office free for all devices smaller than 10 inches

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2015 12:21

Microsoft makes Office free for all devices smaller than 10 inches The world's most popular productivity suite will now be free for all devices under 10 inches in size.

Kirk Koenigsbauer, Microsoft CVP for Office 365 Client Apps and Services, said that editing and viewing docs on smaller screen devices will remain free as those devices are personal compared to anything above 10.1-inches, which it considers 'professional.'

"Currently, we are also using screen size to delineate between professional and personal use," Koenigsbauer wrote. "Based on our research, we are classifying anything with a screen size of 10.1 inches or less as a true mobile device: You're probably using it on the go, when it's not practical to use a larger computing device such as a PC or a Mac. You probably aren't using a mouse or a keyboard, instead navigating via touch interface. It's probably not a "pro" category tablet that is used for design or presentations."

Update: Microsoft reached out to inform us that the Office 365 subscription will allow you to create, edit and view documents from your mobile device.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony PlayStation 4 system update 2.50 available tomorrow including suspend/resume and external backups

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2015 11:58

Sony PlayStation 4 system update 2.50 available tomorrow including suspend/resume and external backups After a long wait, Sony PlayStation 4 owners will get their system update to version 2.50, bringing a plethora of new and highly awaited features.

The update is codenamed 'Yukimura' and Sony says it will streamline the PS4 experience.

Here is a full list of the updates:

Suspend/Resume -- Supported by nearly all of your PS4 games, you can jump in and out of your games with just the press of the PS button. Quickly switch from Rest Mode to powered-up so you can pick up where you left off.
•Back-Up and Restore HDD to USB -- Back-up and restore your hard disc drive data associated with users on your PS4, including settings, saved data, screenshots and video clips as well as games, patches and download data, to and from an external USB drive.
•Find and Connect with Friends -- "Yukimura" adds to an already robust set of social tools, bringing several updates to continue making PS4 the best place to play with your friends, including: •Facebook Friend Finder -- Using your linked account, you can expand your network by searching and connecting with your Facebook friends.
•Improved Friend requests -- Friend requests and Real Name requests can be sent together in one step when adding a friend on PS4.
•Streamlined Party process -- The process to create a Party has been streamlined with a reduction in the number of steps required.
•Find Friends who play your games -- Easily view what friends are playing on each game detail page with a real-time "Friends Who Play This" section, which also highlights which friends are currently online and playing it, and if you own the game, allows you to jump directly into the game.
•Join Friends directly from news feed -- A new tile will be added on your What's New feed where you can see what your friends are currently playing, enabling you to join in the game if you own it.

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AfterDawn: News

TomTom returns to Android market with 'free' GO Mobile navigation app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2015 11:46

TomTom returns to Android market with 'free' GO Mobile navigation app TomTom has unveiled their new Android navigation app, GO Mobile, a "free" app that includes high-end features seen in TomTom's GPS devices.

The app allows drivers to navigate up to 75km per month for free, with 'premium' navigation and real-time traffic info.

"The TomTom GO Mobile app for Android is made for drivers who want to experience the best of TomTom on their smartphone," says Corinne Vigreux, Managing Director, TomTom Consumer. "We entirely rethought our Mobile solution so every driver has the chance to try navigation with TomTom Traffic. Now all Android owners can avoid the traffic jams and get to their destinations faster, every day."

Most notably, TomTom GO does add the ability for offline maps, which is great if you reach a deadzone data area and speed camera warnings.

To upgrade to unlimited navigation, the in-app purchase will set you back €19.99 for a one year subscription or €44.99 for three years.

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AfterDawn: News

YouTube to take on Twitch with plans to relaunch livestreaming service for gaming videos

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2015 11:32

YouTube to take on Twitch with plans to relaunch livestreaming service for gaming videos According to multiple sources, YouTube is planning to relaunch its livestreaming service in an effort to take on Twitch, with the platform focusing on live gaming video and esports.

"Gaming and esports in particular are going to be a big driving force for the new-look YouTube Live," one source said. "There'll be huge opportunities for established streamers and organizations soon and I would say that the record numbers of esports viewers are only going to grow when Google start promoting and partnering with these events."

Google first used YouTube to livestream events in 2010, including Indian Premier League cricket matches, but popularity waned after an initial spike. By the end of last year, there were no more live streaming events on YouTube.

Twitch, which is the undisputed leader in the live gaming industry, was a target for Google last year but Amazon ending up purchasing the company for $1 billion.

Reportedly, Google has already hired 50 engineers with streaming backgrounds and the company is expected to officially launch the service at E3 in June.

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AfterDawn: News

Salt Lake City is the next lucky city to get Google Fiber gigabit Internet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2015 11:19

Salt Lake City is the next lucky city to get Google Fiber gigabit Internet Google has announced that Salt Lake City, Utah is the next lucky city to get access to Google Fiber Internet and TV.

The Internet service, which offers 1 gigabit download speeds that are on average 40 times faster than average cable connections, is currently only available in 7 regions.

Google says the city is now being fitted for fiber-optic cables and the build out is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Earlier this year, Google began rolling out cable in Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville and Raleigh-Durham. Google Fiber is already live in Kansas City, Austin and Provo.

Read more here.




AfterDawn: News

Google working on new Gmail feature to allow payments right from email

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2015 11:09

Google working on new Gmail feature to allow payments right from email Google is reportedly working on 'Pony Express,' a new feature for Gmail that will allow users to receive and pay their bills without leaving their email inbox.

Internally, the company is calling the service "the future of paper mail" and it could roll out before the Q4 this year.

How does the service work? Reports say users will need to provide lots of personal information about themselves, including full social security numbers, and their identities will be verified by a third-party. Once that is completed, you will be able to receive bills right to your inbox (Gmail or Inbox), and pay them, as well.

It appears you will be able to pay via credit/debit card and also link up a bank account.

Finally, Pony Express allows you to forward bills to others to split the balance, for example if you live with roommates and they help split that electricity or cable bill.

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