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AfterDawn: News

Strange new BlackBerry Passport to cost $599 unlocked at launch in the U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Sep 2014 15:14

Strange new BlackBerry Passport to cost $599 unlocked at launch in the U.S. BlackBerry's strange new square-shaped Passport smartphone will go on sale on Wednesday at $599 unlocked, once again guaranteeing that they will sell no units.

The device has a full physical keyboard and a 4.5-inch square touchscreen at 1440x1440 resolution. Under the hood is a quad-core Snapdragon MSM8974 processor and 3GB RAM with Adreno 330 OpenGL. A 3450mAh battery will allegedly provide better battery life than high-end iPhones and Android devices.

Little else is known about the device, or at least confirmed, but we should know more on Wednesday.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen seems happy about the phone and pricing, claiming that they could sell it for $700 to be in line with other devices of its caliber, "but I figure that to try to get the market interested, we're going to start a little lower than that."

Besides the keyboard, Chen says the strange screen will benefit users who need to read more or be more productive on their phones. "You really are seeing a more entire picture than seeing a sliver of a screen," he added.

The device may have some enterprise or international fans, but nobody in the U.S. is going to pay $599 for the Passport when the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S5 cost $650 unlocked. Sorry.

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AfterDawn: News

The BPI sends their 100 millionth DMCA URL takedown notice to Google

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Sep 2014 12:55

The BPI sends their 100 millionth DMCA URL takedown notice to Google According to a new report, the BPI (British Phonographic Industry) industry trade group has sent nearly 275,000 DMCA takedown notices, encompassing 100 million URLs.

Despite the huge figure and Google's speed at taking down infringing links, the trade group believes ISPs and the search giant can do more to stop widespread piracy.

BPI sent their first takedown notice in June 2011, and the URL count was at 50 million just 10 months ago showing how much more efficient the group is getting at sending them out, whether they are accurate or not. BPI just beat out "multimedia protection company" Degban, who has 99 million URLs reported, and everyone's favorite music trade group RIAA, at 57 million.

A BPI spokesperson discussed the "milestone," and begged Google to do more to stop piracy:

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AfterDawn: News

HTC confirmed as partner for new Nexus 9 Android reference tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Sep 2014 12:38

HTC confirmed as partner for new Nexus 9 Android reference tablet According to the WSJ, Google has selected HTC as its partner for the upcoming Nexus 9, the company's new Android reference tablet set for release in the coming months.

HTC has not touched tablets since its failed Flyer hybrid tablet in 2011, but executives did say in 2012 that if a tablet could make an impact in the market, they would reconsider getting back in the market. It appears that that time is now.

Google and HTC have a long history, and HTC even built the original Android device; the T-Mobile G1. Google has worked with HTC, Samsung and LG for its line of Nexus smartphones and tablets. By having a broad base of manufacturers for its products, Google avoids creating a monopoly or favoritism for one OEM.

HTC has created excellent smartphones over the years, and many have their 2014 One (M8) as the top phone of the year. However, sales have remained stagnant and the company has lost major share to Samsung, LG and even Motorola over the past few years.

There have been quite a few rumors about the Nexus 9 in recent months, to the point where we believe we have a full spec sheet on the device.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple crushes records with 10 million iPhone 6, 6 Plus sold in first weekend

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Sep 2014 12:13

Apple crushes records with 10 million iPhone 6, 6 Plus sold in first weekend Apple has crushed their own records for launch weekend smartphone sales, confirming 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus being sold over the weekend.

Last year, the company sold 9 million iPhone 5S and 5C, but that included sales in China, which makes the new numbers more impressive.

Also of note, Apple has only included pre-orders and sales that shipped or were sold over the first weekend, so pre-orders from last week that aren't shipping until next month are not included. With those figures included, the numbers were expected to be over 13 million.

"Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn't be happier," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible."

The new, larger iPhones will launch in 20 more nations starting this Friday.

Source:
Apple




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft doubles free OneDrive storage to 30GB

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Sep 2014 11:52

Microsoft doubles free OneDrive storage to 30GB Microsoft has doubled its free OneDrive cloud storage, taking advantage of Apple user's recent troubles with upgrading to iOS 8 due to a lack of available storage.

Says the software giant of the move: "We've been listening to the commentary about storage on the new iPhones released today and we wanted to get you more storage right away. We think you'll appreciate having more free storage while setting up your iPhone 6 or upgrading to iOS 8."

Apple angered some fans when its iOS 8 updated required tons of space, as much as 6.9GB depending on your device. With most iPhone and iPad owners owning 16GB models that have just 12GB available to start, the required storage meant deleting photos, apps, games or texts. Alternatively, you could have hooked up to your PC/Mac's iTunes and upgraded that way, but not everyone was in front of a computer with hours to spare.

Microsoft has made the offer available until the end of September, and it includes the OneDrive camera roll seeing a jump from 3GB to 15GB.

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AfterDawn: News

Google no longer makes Google+ registration mandatory for new accounts

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Sep 2014 11:46

Google no longer makes Google+ registration mandatory for new accounts Google has listened to the people and made Google+ registration no longer mandatory for new accounts.

If you are signing up for a new Gmail, Google Drive, Google Docs account, you will now have the ability to say "No Thanks" to creating a Google+ account. Previously, you had to create a social networking profile whether or not you wanted one.

The latest move follows Google's decision in July to no longer force users to use their real names in Google+. Additionally, reports have Google spinning off Google+ Photos into its own standalone service.

While no one ever really used the service, especially compared to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social networks, Google+ did have its place in the market and was popular among some. Back in April, longtime Google+ chief Vic Gundotra left the company, and since then it appears that the search giant is looking to phase out the product.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft confirms delay of Xbox One launch in China

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Sep 2014 10:11

Microsoft confirms delay of Xbox One launch in China Microsoft has confirmed it will delay the launch of the Xbox One console in China.

The console was set for launch on Tuesday, but Microsoft now says it will be released "before the end of the year."

Microsoft did not give any reason for the delay, but did say the press event on Tuesday would go as planned where they will give away 100 free consoles.

"At Xbox, we pride ourselves on delivering first-rate gaming and entertainment experiences, and to allow us to deliver on that promise, we need to reschedule the launch of Xbox One," a Microsoft spokesperson added. "Working with our partner, BesTV, we look forward to launching in China by the end of this year."

The Chinese government removed its long-standing ban on gaming consoles this year and Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony all promised to bring entertainment to the Chinese mainland. Microsoft would have been first, pricing the console at 3,699 yuan ($602.37) without the Kinect motion detection system and 4,299 yuan ($700) with Kinect. Sony and Nintendo have not given any time frames for the release of their consoles in the nation.

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AfterDawn: News

New owner Microsoft promises to bring Minecraft to Windows Phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Sep 2014 12:45

New owner Microsoft promises to bring Minecraft to Windows Phone Earlier this month, Microsoft confirmed rumors and announced the acquisition of Minecraft creator Mojang AB for $2.5 billion.

Having released the game for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PC and mobile devices, one platform is noticeably absent: Windows Phone.

This week, Xbox boss Phil Spencer took to Twitter to confirm that the game is eventually headed to Windows Phone. The company already noted that all other versions will remain alive and updated, as well.

Using Microsoft's new universal apps infrastructure, a Metro-style Windows 8.1, Windows Phone and even Windows RT version should be easier to create once the acquisition is completed in a few months.

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AfterDawn: News

PSA: Sony drops price of nearly 30 racing games by up to 75 percent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Sep 2014 12:24

PSA: Sony drops price of nearly 30 racing games by up to 75 percent Here at AfterDawn we are always fans of a good deal, and if you are into racing games, Sony has quite a few on sale this weekend.

As part of their "Flash Sale" that ends at 12PM PST on Monday, you can get nearly 30 games for PSP, Vita, PS3 and PS4 for up to 75 percent off.

Here is the full list (console), sale price and original price.


Asphalt: Injection (PS Vita) $6.49 $26.99
Burnout Crash! (PS3) $2.49 $9.99
Cars 2: The Video Game (PS3) $4.99 $19.99
Cel Damage HD (PS3) $2.49 $9.99
Cel Damage HD (PS4) $2.49 $9.99
Cel Damage HD (PS Vita) $2.49 $9.99
Crazy Taxi (PS3) $2.49 $9.99
Driver '76 (PSP) $4.99 $19.99
Fast & Furious: Showdown (PS3) $9.99 $39.99
GRID 2 (PS3) $7.49 $29.99
GRID Autosport (PS3) $12.49 $49.99
How To Train Your Dragon 2 (PS3) $7.49 $29.99
ModNation Racers (PS3) $4.99 $19.99
ModNation Racers: Road Trip (PS3) $3.49 $13.49
MotoGP 13 (PS3) $9.99 $39.99
MotoGP 13 (PS Vita) $7.49 $29.99
MotorStorm Apocalypse (PS3) $4.99 $19.99
MUD FIM Motocross World Championship (PS3) $8.49 $34.99
MUD FIM Motocross World Championship (PS Vita) $7.49 $29.99
Need For Speed Carbon (PSP) $4.99 $19.99
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit (PS3) $4.99 $19.99
Need for Speed Most Wanted (PS3) $4.99 $19.99
Need for Speed Most Wanted (PS Vita) $4.99 $19.99
Need for Speed The Run (PS3) $4.99 $19.99
ATV Pure (PS3) $3.99 $14.99
Ridge Racer 7: 3D License Ver. (PS3) $4.99 $19.99
Ridge Racer (PS Vita) $5.99 $24.99
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (PS3) $9.99 $29.99
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (PS Vita) $9.99 $29.99
Split Second Digital (PS3) $4.99 $19.99
Tour de France 2013 100th Edition (PS3) $7.49 $29.99
WRC 3 FIA World Rally Championship (PS3) $8.49 $34.99
WRC 3 FIA World Rally Championship (PS Vita) $7.49 $29.99
WRC 4 FIA World Rally Championship (PS3) $15.99 $39.99
WRC 4 FIA World Rally Championship (PS Vita) $15.99 $39.99
Zombie Driver HD Complete Edition (PS3) $2.99 $14.99

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AfterDawn: News

Linux users: Prepare, Netflix is finally coming

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Sep 2014 12:01

Linux users: Prepare, Netflix is finally coming While Windows and Mac users have enjoyed the ability to use Netflix from their browser since 2007, a small part of the greater tech community has been left out; Linux.

The issue has been Netflix's use of the Microsoft Silverlight video plug-in, which is not and will likely never be supported in Linux officially.

In recent time, Netflix has begun using HTML5, a proven standard, so it appears that Linux users will get official Netflix support in the coming months. Netflix Senior Software Engineer Paul Adolf took to the Ubuntu developers forum and stated that "Netflix will play with Chrome stable in 14.02 if NSS version 3.16.2 or greater is installed." NSS is the Network Security Services founded by Google, Mozilla and Redhat and is key to in-browser application security.

Currently, Ubuntu 14.04 has an older NSS than 3.16.2, but the next version of the operating system will ship next month with the update.

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AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry shows off Q10 with Porsche Design

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2014 14:43

BlackBerry shows off Q10 with Porsche Design Dead smartphone maker BlackBerry has announced a new modified version of the Q10, sporting a "Porsche Design."

The P'9983 modifies some features of the 720x720 3.1-inch touchscreen device, including its full physical keyboard, which now has glass keys.

Under the hood the device sports the same Dual Core 1.5 GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 processor and same RAM, but internal storage has been boosted to 64GB.

There is little else to differentiate the phone from the normal Q10, although BlackBerry did add the following: "Be instantly recognizable amongst Porsche Design users. The Porsche Design P'9983 smartphone from BlackBerry provides an exclusive Porsche Design PIN ID group 2AAXXXXX, which sets you apart and makes you instantly recognizable among other Porsche Design users."

BlackBerry did not announce price but it is expected to command a premium.

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AfterDawn: News

Android L will be fully encrypted right out of the box

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2014 13:49

Android L will be fully encrypted right out of the box Android L will be fully encrypted by default, says Google, part of smartphone makers ongoing efforts to thwart "snooping" from the NSA, police or other government agencies.

While Google has offered encryption for some its Android devices since 2011, the average user has no idea how to turn it on, or figure out what it does. Google is changing that by making encryption default as soon as you activate the device. You must have the devices's password/pin to be able to see anything stored on the device.

"For over three years Android has offered encryption, and keys are not stored off of the device, so they cannot be shared with law enforcement," added Google's Niki Christoff. "As part of our next Android release, encryption will be enabled by default out of the box, so you won't even have to think about turning it on."

Apple's iOS 8 also offers the same out of the box encryption and Windows is likely to move in the same direction in the near future. Apple says the encryption is so good that nobody can unlock or recover data, including law enforcement agencies.

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AfterDawn: News

If you want a OnePlus One you can finally get one without the stupid invite system

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2014 0:57

If you want a OnePlus One you can finally get one without the stupid invite system OnePlus, the Chinese startup behind the cheap and incredibly powerful OnePlus One device, is finally making the device available without the stupid invite-only system that kept thousands and thousands of customers on the sidelines.

The company will offer "flash sales," of the device, with limited quantities being sold on first come, first serve basis. Anyone who orders after the limited quantity are sold, will have their order turned into a pre-order for next time. OnePlus will tell you when it expects to ship your device before you hit "Buy" in the checkout.

Says the company:

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AfterDawn: News

Hilarious Conan video: Apple wants you to appreciate that free U2 album that everyone hates

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2014 0:12

Hilarious Conan video: Apple wants you to appreciate that free U2 album that everyone hates Last 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 with iTunes accounts were given the album for free, but if Twitter and blogs are any judge, nobody was happy with the album, free or not.

Apple was so inundated with complaints that it even set up a website with step-by-step instructions on how to remove the album.

Conan has made a hilarious quick video about how Apple wants to make sure you appreciate the album, by any means necessary.

Watch here:

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AfterDawn: News

Sony raises its annual loss forecast 400 percent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Sep 2014 0:13

Sony raises its annual loss forecast 400 percent In another shocking announcement, Sony has raised the forecast for their expected annual loss by 400 percent to $2.14 billion.

For the fiscal year ended March 30th, 2015, the company expects to lose 230 billion yen, up from an already raised 50 billion yen forecast.

Sony cited poor sales in its smartphone business, due to major competition in the space.

"The new MRP (Mid-Range Plan) was modified to address the significant change in the market and competitive environment of the mobile business," Sony said in a statement. "Under the new MRP, the overarching strategy for the (mobile) segment has been revised to reduce risk and volatility, and to deliver more stable profits. This revision includes changing the strategy of the (mobile) segment in certain geographical areas, concentrating on its premium lineup, and reducing the number of models in its mid-range line up."

Sony has taken significant share in Western Europe, as high as 11 percent by some accounts, but the price reductions and marketing have taken their toll on profits. Sony also has no share in the U.S., at just 0.2 percent of the market dominated by Samsung, Apple and LG.





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