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AfterDawn: News

Kodak to unveil Android devices at CES

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Dec 2014 1:05

Kodak to unveil Android devices at CES One-time photo giant Kodak, newly out of bankruptcy, will try its hand in the mobile device arena starting with the launch of an Android smartphone at next month's CES event.

The company has teamed up with the Bullitt Group for the devices, which will eventually include a line of tablets, as well.

Reads the press release: "Aimed at - but not exclusively for - consumers who want a high-end experience but aren't always as comfortable using increasingly complicated mobile devices as they would like to be, the range of smartphones and tablets will come pre-loaded with bespoke image capture, management and sharing features to offer a rich user experience.

In addition, advanced remote management software will be pre-installed, allowing family members and friends to provide help and support if needed."


Besides the smartphone and tablet, Kodak also says it will launch a Web-connected camera.

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AfterDawn: News

Report: The MPAA settled with Hotfile for $4 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Dec 2014 0:02

Report: The MPAA settled with Hotfile for $4 million Last year, the MPAA seemingly shook up the file sharing industry when they announced they had won a suit against once-popular file hosting site Hotfile and agreed to an $80 million settlement.

According to a new report, however, that headline figure was way exaggerated, and that the cyber locker really settled for just $4 million.

The news comes via a leaked Sony Pictures email. "The studios and Hotfile have reached agreement on settlement, a week before trial was to start. Hotfile has agreed to pay us $4 million, and has entered into a stipulation to have an $80 million judgment entered and the website shut down," read the email from Sony's SVP Legal.

Hotfile was allowed to continue operating after the settlement was entered, but they had to implement an MPAA-approved filter that would supposedly remove all unauthorized content from the their servers. Instead, Hotfile just shut down.

It does appear that the payment was made, in full, but it is unclear how much the MPAA paid out in attorney's fees for the high-profile case.

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AfterDawn: News

VLC returning to iOS in very near future

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Dec 2014 23:08

VLC returning to iOS in very near future Since the launch of iOS 8, Videolan's popular media player VLC has been silently absent from the App Store. It appears after three months of silence, it may be returning.

Videolan has not given any update to the disappearance of the app except to say that they did it and not Apple. There was word that the app would return eventually but with no clear timetable.

Felix Paul Kuehne of Videolan says your wait is most likely almost over, however, as the app will return "but probably early next year due to the iTunes Connect holiday shutdown."

Most likely that means the app has been submitted to Apple for approval and that the code is ready to run.

The annual shutdown is in effect from December 22nd to the 29th so iOS fans could see the best media player app available in time for the new year.

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AfterDawn: News

Did Kim Dotcom help get Xbox Live and PSN back online yesterday?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Dec 2014 0:23

Did Kim Dotcom help get Xbox Live and PSN back online yesterday? According to Kim Dotcom himself, the larger-than-life founder of MEGA helped save Christmas for gamers.

Yesterday we reported that hacking group 'Lizard Squad' had taken down both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network through a large DDoS attack. Late in the evening, however, access to the networks was slowly being restored, as new console owners finally got a chance to try out their multiplayer gaming.

Dotcom was able to get the DDoS to stop by pretty much bribing the attackers with potentially lifetime free vouchers to Mega's encrypted cloud service.

The Mega founder sent out 3000 free subscriptions that normally cost $99 each, so that he could get back to gaming and so that Lizard Squad would not attack the networks again in the future.

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AfterDawn: News

Don't forget to download over $200 in free apps from Amazon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Dec 2014 21:07

Don't forget to download over $200 in free apps from Amazon Amazon has made over $200 of apps free as long as you download the Amazon App Store for Android.

There are games and apps from all over the spectrum, and we have a picture of all the apps, below.

"The Muscular System Manual" is the biggest "savings" of all the apps, down from $65 to free, but there is little doubt that it is one of the more unpopular apps and probably had a hard time selling at its original price tag.

Additionally, Amazon has some nice discounts on ebooks, Instant Video titles and most of their hardware devices.

Amazon says the free apps promo will end on December 26th.

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AfterDawn: News

Merry Christmas: Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network are both down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Dec 2014 17:17

Merry Christmas: Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network are both down A group of hackers calling themselves the 'Lizard Squad' have taken down both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network today, denying gamers access to multiplayer gaming and other online downloads.

The Lizard Squad confessed to hitting both networks with DDoS attacks, and is using the attack to gain followers on Twitter. The group was asking for favorites and retweets to bring the networks back online, and have done so multiple times before shutting them down again.

Sony confirmed the service issue, but did not mention the DDoS. Microsoft did not acknowledge.

Whatever demands the group wanted, they do not appear to have been successful in getting what they wanted. "Lizard Squad" first issued the threat of taking down both networks on Christmas last week.

A rival group, "FinestSquad," has been working on getting Lizard Squad off Twitter, and is also giving advice to Sony and Microsoft on how to avoid the DDoS attack.

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AfterDawn: News

'The Interview' available now on Google Play, Xbox Video and directly from Sony

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Dec 2014 17:41

'The Interview' available now on Google Play, Xbox Video and directly from Sony As of 1pm today, Sony Picture's satirical comedy 'The Interview' starring James Franco and Seth Rogen is available online for rental and purchase, hours before a few independent theaters release the film on the big screen.

The controversial movie is available via Google Play, YouTube Movies, Xbox Video and Sony's own SeeTheInterview. A rental will set you back $5.99 or you can own the movie for $14.99.

Sony's online rollout, the day before the film was originally set to be released in theaters, is easily the highest-profile film to make its debut on the Web. Depending on its success, it could also be a harbinger for the future of film releases.

Google added a little statement with the release: "Last Wednesday Sony began contacting a number of companies, including Google, to ask if we'd be able to make their movie, "The Interview," available online. We'd had a similar thought and were eager to help--though given everything that's happened, the security implications were very much at the front of our minds.

Of course it was tempting to hope that something else would happen to ensure this movie saw the light of day. But after discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be)."

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AfterDawn: News

Superstar Pharrell made just pennies for millions of streams on Pandora

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Dec 2014 17:01

Superstar Pharrell made just pennies for millions of streams on Pandora According to an angry email from music publisher Sony/ATV CEO Marty Bandier, Pharrell and other music artists are not being paid properly for their popularity on the Internet Radio giant Pandora.

In fact, superstar Pharrell made just $2700 in publisher and songwriter royalties from his 43 million streams of the hit "Happy" for the first quarter of 2014, a measly $63 per million streams.

"This is a totally unacceptable situation and one that cannot be allowed to continue," Bandier wrote. "We at Sony/ATV want these digital music services to be successful because they are a great way for music fans to listen to music and have the potential to generate significant new revenues for everyone. However, this success should not come at the expense of songwriters whose songs are essential for these services to exist and thrive."

Others in the industry pointed out that Bandier's numbers did not include performance rights royalty rates, and that Pharrell's earnings were likely around $25,000 - although that figure is nothing to be too proud of either.

Pandora was quick to respond:

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AfterDawn: News

'The Interview' will be released on Christmas in a few theaters and VOD

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2014 22:47

'The Interview' will be released on Christmas in a few theaters and VOD Sony Pictures has confirmed that the now infamous 'The Interview' will get its Christmas release date, after all.

CEO Michael Lynton added in a statement: "We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day. At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience."

Independent theater chains will show the films although it appears as of now that only about 200 screens will be playing the comedy.

Most notably, THR says that Sony will almost definitely release the movie on VOD simultaneously, meaning consumers will able to download and watch the film from home.

"I want to thank our talent on The Interview and our employees, who have worked tirelessly through the many challenges we have all faced over the last month," Lynton added. "While we hope this is only the first step of the film's release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech."

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AfterDawn: News

Apple products are back in Russia, but with significant price boost

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2014 22:20

Apple products are back in Russia, but with significant price boost Last week, we reported that Apple shut down their Russian online store due to the "extreme" depreciation of the Russian currency, rubles.

At the time, Apple said: "Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing. We apologize to customers for any inconvenience."

The store is now back up in the nation, but consumers will have to pay up heavily to get their new iPhone. Apple has raised the price of the iPhone 6 by 35 percent, with the base model now selling for 53,990 rubles (about $1000 USD). In November, Apple raised the price 25 percent and the combined price jumps now make Russia one of the most expensive places in the world to get an iPhone.

Russia's national currency, the ruble, has been demolished in recent weeks against the strength of the US Dollar, and it now takes 54 rubles to get one USD. More much of the last five years, the rate was about 20:1. The currency has recovered somewhat in the last week, when it touched 80:1.




AfterDawn: News

Disney World will accept Apple Pay, Google Wallet starting tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2014 21:43

Disney World will accept Apple Pay, Google Wallet starting tomorrow Disney has confirmed that Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will begin accepting Apple Pay and Google Wallet tomorrow.

Any guest with an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and the upcoming Apple Watch will be able pay quickly and securely using any card they have linked to their Apple Pay accounts. Any Android device with NFC and Google Wallet will also be able to make payments, although Wallet has been much less popular among consumers.

Disney also confirmed that most other contactless payments services, like contactless RFID credit cards, will also work.

Most stores, bars, ticket sales booths and quick-serve restaurants or snack stations will accept the payments.

Finally, in a few months, Disney says the Disneyland Resort in California will get contactless payments.

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AfterDawn: News

North Korean Internet still having intermittent blackouts

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2014 21:20

North Korean Internet still having intermittent blackouts According to multiple reports, North Korea is having its second day of intermittent Internet blackouts.

Yesterday, most of North Korea's Internet network was down for a good portion of the day, but was restored during the evening.

There has been rampant speculation about the source of the downtime, with many accusing the U.S. of retaliating for the attack on Sony Pictures. Other reports had claimed China was to blame, but the Chinese government has denounced any such reports.

Earlier this week, the FBI formally blamed North Korea for the devastating hack on Sony Pictures that led to 100 terabytes of sensitive data being stolen. President Obama promised a "proportional response" to the alleged hackers.

Even with widespread downtime, it is unclear how many are really affected. Most citizens only have access to a government-approved intranet, while North Korean officials and other "trusted elite" have access to the true World Wide Web.

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AfterDawn: News

Popcorn Time: Windows and Mac versions get minor updates as iOS gets a major promise

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2014 0:32

Popcorn Time: Windows and Mac versions get minor updates as iOS gets a major promise The team behind Popcorn Time has made a few changes to their Mac and Windows versions of the software and made a strong promise for the upcoming iOS update.

First, the Windows version has been updated to beta 5.1:

After learning about how awesome beta 5.0 is, but also what's not working so well in it, we worked hard on solving the issues and we believe we managed to fix many bugs that were bugging you guys!! First of all, Chromecast should work well again for those who experienced issues with it recently... So go a head and enjoy a good movie on your TV screen again, no problemo!

Other than that we fixed many player issues, the cache folder bug and we increased download speed, enabled support of a bigger variety of torrents and in general we improved the watching experience, so go and watch something and tell us how it feels!!


The Mac beta has been updated to version 4.9.1:

First of all to the burning question you all are probably asking: Why isn't Mac on beta 5.X yet?
Well, with all that's been going on recently, we had to invest a lot of time making sure that Popcorn Time will not be shut down, and that time took a bite from the time we had for development.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony: 'The Interview' will be released eventually

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Dec 2014 23:45

Sony: 'The Interview' will be released eventually Sony attorney David Boies has seemingly confirmed that the studio will eventually release 'The Interview,' although the when and the how are still very much unclear.

Boies stated that the now infamous comedy "will be distributed." He added, "Sony only delayed this. Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed. It will be distributed. How it's going to be distributed, I don't think anybody knows quite yet. But it's going to be distributed."

This is a stark change from last Wednesday, when the studio said there were "no further release plans" for the film following its theatrical cancellation. There have been reports that Sony will release the film via their free streaming service - Crackle, but that is nowhere near confirmed.

The attorney also added to President Obama's recent comments about the attack. "I think that what we have to do is use the president's recognition of the importance of this issue as a rallying cry, so that all Americans can unite against what is really a threat to our national security," added Boies. "If state-sponsored criminal acts like this can be directed against Sony, it can be directed against anybody."

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon slashes price of new Fire HDX 8.9 tablet by 30 percent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Dec 2014 23:02

Amazon slashes price of new Fire HDX 8.9 tablet by 30 percent Amazon has dumped the price of their new Fire HDX 8.9 tablet, giving consumers a chance to get the device at 30 percent off.

The 32GB/Wi-Fi model is selling for $300 today, down from $430. If you need cellular data and more storage, the 64GB/LTE model is down to $414 from $594, a pretty decent deal given the specs.

Amazon's tablet has an 8.9" "HDX" display with 2560x1600 resolution, a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and an Adreno 420 GPU for smoother gaming and video playback.

In addition, Amazon has added free one-day shipping for all buyers of the tablets for the next day, ensuring you can get it by Christmas.

Interested parties can check the tablets here: Amazon Fire HDX 8.9





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