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Apple spent over $100 million when they gave away U2's 'Songs of Innocence' to 500 million iTunes account holders

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2014 0:08

Apple spent over $100 million when they gave away U2's 'Songs of Innocence' to 500 million iTunes account holders Earlier this week, when Apple announced its new iPhone 6, 6 Plus, Apple Watch and iOS 8, it made a less splashy but also significant announcement: It would be giving away U2's new 'Songs of Innocence" album, for free, to all iTunes users.

Over 500 million people have iTunes accounts, and U2 lead singer Bono joked around that Apple "would have to pay for it. Because we're not going in for the free music around here."

Apple is spending over $100 million to market the album, and paid U2 an undisclosed lump sum for the album itself, making it one of the biggest album launches of all-time. The company is integrating U2 into its new iPhone TV spots, billboards and more, thus helping themselves, as well.

The giant has over $160 billion in cash on hand (more than most countries), so the figure is a drop in the bucket but it certainly shows the power an A-list musician has and how little power the record industry has nowadays in a world where people will always prefer to consume their music for free.

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AfterDawn: News

Meizu confirms new MX4 with Ubuntu Touch for this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Sep 2014 23:11

Meizu confirms new MX4 with Ubuntu Touch for this year Canonical will launch its first commercial Ubuntu Touch-based phone in conjunction with partner Meizu later this year.

The Meizu MX4 will feature the Linux operating system, and should be released in December.

Meizu, Bq and Canonical announced the first Ubuntu Touch partnership back in February, but only gave a "Fall 2014" time frame for the first phone release. Canonical devs have been working on the RTM version of the software, but it still needs stability and performance tweaks before it can go live.

"Under the request of some fans that have contacted Canonical, they assured us that from December will be available on Ubuntu Touch Meizu MX4 with MediaTek SoC MT 6595 . Still no details regarding the variant "pro" of the device, which should be announced in the coming weeks , but we feel pretty confident in saying that the OS will be developed for it, with the timing probably a little more dilated," read the Google translation of Meizu's Italian blog.

The Meizu MX4 runs on an octa-core MediaTek MT6595 processor, has a 5.4-inch display, runs on Android 4.4.4 and has a 20.7MP camera, making it a high spec juggernaut that should easily run Ubuntu.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung's Gear Blink could be ready to rival Google Glass by March

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Sep 2014 22:09

Samsung's Gear Blink could be ready to rival Google Glass by March According to multiple sources, Samsung is preparing their 'Gear Blink' Google Glass rival for launch in March of next year.

If accurate, the launch would coincide with the expected launch of the Galaxy S6 flagship phone.

Among the features of the Gear Blink are an augmented reality app that will turn your hands (or possibly other surfaces) into virtual keyboards. Although it is a bit difficult to decipher, it appears that the patents show one-handed and two-handed variations of the virtual keyboard, with letters specified to different parts of your fingers.

The Blink itself seems to look like a sportier version of the Google Glass, but otherwise looks very familiar. It charges via standard microUSB.

Just like their new Gear S smartwatch, Samsung is expected to run the Blink on a variant of the Tizen OS.

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AfterDawn: News

The Loop denies report that Apple tried to buy Square

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Sep 2014 1:00

The Loop denies report that Apple tried to buy Square Earlier today, TechCrunch reported on Square's recent $100 million raise, at a $6 billion valuation that firmly places the mobile payment service as one of the hottest tech startups in the world.

Interestingly, the report also claimed that Apple had talked with Square over a possible acquisition, but that Square was the one to walk away. Read the report:

"Separately, TechCrunch has heard from multiple sources that Square and Apple were recently in acquisition talks, but that Square walked away. Apple wanted the company to come aboard, according to one source, but the discussed price was a sticking point: The tipster held that Apple wanted to buy Square for less than half of the $6 billion valuation it eventually would raise at (around $3 billion). Square, valued at the time at a firm 66 percent delta to that price point, declined to accept.

Apple also showed Square a software register, restaurant and spa booking services and a payment system for iPhones said the same source. This did not sit well with Square execs, who felt like the products would compete with their own offerings."


Longtime Apple insider Jim Dalrymple was quick to refute that report, however, simply saying "nope" to the fact that the talks even happened. We tend to agree with the latter, as there is no way Apple could justify paying $3 billion or more for a hardware based solution when they were working on a digital solution for mobile payments.

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AfterDawn: News

GTA 5 release dates for PC, PS4, Xbox One revealed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Sep 2014 0:19

GTA 5 release dates for PC, PS4, Xbox One revealed Rockstar has revealed the release dates for Grand Theft Auto V for PC, the PS4 and the Xbox One.

Current-gen gamers will be happy to know the game will be available on November 18th, while PC gamers will have to wait a few more months until January 27th, 2015.

In addition to the slightly improved graphics and higher resolution, the games also have increased draw distances, and denser traffic and foliage as well as new vehicles, weapons and extended activities. Pre-orderers will also get $1 million in-game cash.

Since the music is a big part of the game, as well, Rockstar has added 100 new songs and DJ mixes to the radio.

If you own the game for Xbox 360 and PS3, you can migrate your character to the current-gen systems and keep on playing.

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AfterDawn: News

Consumer Oculus Rift VR headset could begin roll out by summer of next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2014 22:39

Consumer Oculus Rift VR headset could begin roll out by summer of next year According to multiple source, Oculus VR could begin rolling out their Oculus Rift VR headset for consumers starting next summer.

Supposedly, a beta model will be released in limited quantities as early as April.

Currently, there have been tens of thousands of Dev Kits released including those sent to backers of the crowdfunded company.

How expensive can we expect the consumer model to be? Co-founders Palmer Luckey and Nate Micthell say they would prefer to keep the prices the same as the Dev Kits, which are $300-$400. "We want to stay in that $200-$400 price range," said Micthell. "That could slide in either direction depending on scale, pre-orders, the components we end up using, business negotiations..." Luckey added.

Oculus' final consumer tech is said to be so great that gamers are eagerly awaiting its release. Oculus even has some "secret" tech that supposedly was so mind blowing that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a bid for the company immediately after having tested it. The company ended up buying Oculus VR for $2 billion.

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AfterDawn: News

Video: Windows 9 Start Menu in action

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2014 22:10

Video: Windows 9 Start Menu in action German tech site WinFuture has posted a few videos showing off the features of the upcoming Start Menu for Windows 9.

Microsoft also showed a demo earlier this year, mixing Live Tiles, Modern apps and legacy apps.

Account options are pinned to the top, while shutdown/restart have their own button. The Start Menu itself has two sections, one for legacy apps and then a second section on the right for modern apps with Live Tiles. It will work in general like the Windows 7 start menu, allowing for pinned apps, favorites, recently used and a full list of your installed apps.

Tablet users can continue to use their regular Start Screen, but keyboard/mouse users can choose to default right to the desktop.

Check the videos here:


Windows 9: Startmenü geht auch ganz ohne Live Tiles






AfterDawn: News

Historic Atari games found in landfill to be sold on eBay or donated to museums

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2014 21:26

Historic Atari games found in landfill to be sold on eBay or donated to museums A few months ago, following decades of myth, construction workers and a documentary crew were able to find over 1200 Atari 2600 games including the infamously bad E.T. in a landfill in New Mexico.

The games had been dumped in 1983 when the video game industry crashed, and the story had never been confirmed until they were unearthed.

What will they do with the game now that the documentary has been completed? "The primary goal is that they go into museums and the story be told," said dig site manager Joe Lewandowski. "The second is that they go into the city inventory for whatever we decide to do with them. The balance is what we will sell."

That being said, about 800 of the cartridges will be sold, and the first lot is headed to eBay in the coming weeks. Some of the titles are expected to get a couple of hundred each, but the story itself is much more important than the actual games. There was also a lot less games found then had been rumored. Most of the rumors of the last three decades had assumed there were over 500,000 games buried, but the final figure was a fraction of that.

It is unclear which museums will have interest in the collection.

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AfterDawn: News

New Nintendo 3DS XL looks like an NES controller

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Sep 2014 22:30

New Nintendo 3DS XL looks like an NES controller Nintendo has unveiled a new model of the 3DS XL that should excite some retro gamers.

The new device is themed after the original NES, with the device looking like a controller and the box designed like the console. Nintendo says the handheld will be available on October 10th for $200, but if you want it you will have to get it through Gamestop, who has the exclusive.

In the past, Nintendo also offered the Gameboy SP and the Gameboy Micro with an NES design so it's not a completely original idea.

If you don't care for the NES but still want an updated 3DS XL, Nintendo is also offering a red Super Smash Bros starting next week, and a blue Persona Q available in November, both for $199.99. Shockingly, Nintendo is not including the games with the themed DS consoles.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft trying to say goodbye to Windows Phone and Nokia brands

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 20:43

Microsoft trying to say goodbye to Windows Phone and Nokia brands Microsoft will drop the Nokia and Windows Phone brands after the holiday season, sticking instead with Lumia and Windows for their products.

The evidence comes via an alleged internal document, although Microsoft had not yet confirmed the move.

In the document, Microsoft says "As part of our phased transition, we will drop the manufacturer name [Nokia] from product references during the Holiday campaign. Windows will take the place of Windows Phone, with Lumia for phone models."

The move to get rid of the Nokia name makes perfect sense given that Nokia is still an active company and Microsoft only acquired their handset business. Getting rid of Windows Phone as a brand also makes sense since the company is looking to complete its Windows ecosystem. Windows Phone and Windows RT are the odd men out.

Most new Lumia commercials and spots don't even show Windows Phone anywhere now, so the move is not unexpected.

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AfterDawn: News

The Xbox One October system update adds great features including MKV support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 13:25

The Xbox One October system update adds great features including MKV support Microsoft has released the changelog for the upcoming October system update, which adds a ton of new features and highly anticipated updates.

Those who are part of the invite-only preview program are already seeing some of the features via an early rollout.

The full changelog:

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon Android app update brings Prime Instant Video to your smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 12:43

Amazon Android app update brings Prime Instant Video to your smartphones Amazon has updated their Android phone app this week, adding Prime Instant Video streaming services for users in the U.S., UK and Germany.

In addition to being able to shop as usual from the app, Prime subscribers can also watch tens of thousands of TV episodes and movies.

Unfortunately, Amazon has made it a bit of a process to actually start watching the shows and films. Once you update your Amazon app, you will be re-directed to an in-app download of the Amazon Instant Video player app, which needs to be downloaded from the Amazon Appstore, not the Googly Play Store. To be able to download from the Amazon App Store you will have to change your phone settings to be able to install apps from "unknown sources."

Not the easiest process, but it only has to be done once. If you don't feel comfortable downloading from "unknown sources" (even a giant like Amazon) you will not be able to stream the video on your phone.

Amazon has recently made some big deals for their streaming service, including adding older HBO shows and adding a number of original shows. Prime costs $99 per year and gives you free two-day shipping on most items, free Prime Instant Video, free Kindle books and free Amazon Prime Music.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft Xbox One has horrible launch in Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 12:15

Microsoft Xbox One has horrible launch in Japan Following its recent launch in the nation, the Microsoft Xbox One had a rough time selling in Japan.

Just like its predecessor, the Xbox One had a terrible launch, selling just 23,562 units in its first week of availability. While the Xbox 360 was also a failure, it sold over 60,000 in its first week back in 2005.

Japanese-based Sony and Nintendo had much more impressive launches for their current-gen consoles, with the Wii U seeing 300,000 units sold in two days and the PS4 seeing 322,000 in its first week.

Microsoft just launched the console in 27 new nations including Japan.

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Qualcomm introduces Snapdragon 210 mid-range chipset for affordable devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 11:47

Qualcomm introduces Snapdragon 210 mid-range chipset for affordable devices Qualcomm has introduced their Snapdragon 210 chipset for mid-range devices, offering solid specs at an affordable price.

The chipset adds LTE Cat.4 connectivity and dual-SIM support among other features.

Boasting a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with up to 1.1 GHz, the chip has an Adreno 304 GPU with 720p display support, 8MP camera support, 1080p video recording/playback, the aforementioned LTE and dual-SIM LTE support.

Additionally, the chip has Quick Charge 2.0 support allowing for faster charging.

Qualcomm says it believes the chip will be used in the world's first sub-$100 LTE-A smartphones starting in the Q1 2015.

Source:
GSMA




AfterDawn: News

Russian hacker releases 5 million old Gmail accounts and passwords

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 11:03

Russian hacker releases 5 million old Gmail accounts and passwords Russian hacker 'tvskit' has released 4.93 million Gmail email addresses and passwords on the popular Russian Bitcoin forum BTSec, although the forum was quick to remove the files and also redact the passwords.

Tvskit claimed that 60 percent of the passwords were still valid, but Google denied that claim, stating that the list was created from previous lists of compromised email addresses, and that current accounts are unaffected.

Other forum users say the list had passwords that were upwards of 10 years old, and that many of the accounts had been deactivated or suspended for some time.

Besides the Gmail list, there was also a smaller list for Yandex emails.

Source:
DailyDot





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