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This is how Netflix packages its new offline content

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 05 Dec 2016 11:22

This is how Netflix packages its new offline content One of the most anticipated features of all time on Netflix must have been offline viewing. This feature that has been largely shrugged off by Netflix and even been denied of any viability finally made it and was made official last week.

Now, what this means is that you can enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows even when you don't have an internet connection, given that you've downloaded the content beforehand. There are some limitations as Netflix is rolling it to more content over the coming months but if the show or movie is downloadable it has a Download link right next to the "Add to My List" button on movies or next to the play button of each episode in shows.

One thing that needs to be remembered though before downloading all 52 episodes of House of Cards in case you need to take a flight at some point. Downloading TV shows and movies takes up a lot of space.

Netflix has done their home work and know how to encode and package their content for offline viewing, but there's a some oddities too. During the fall the company tested both HEVC and VP9 with a sample size of over 5000 videos grabbed from over 500 shows and movies.

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AfterDawn: News

Chrome kills Flash on Mac, Windows, and Linux in one big swing

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Dec 2016 16:17

Chrome kills Flash on Mac, Windows, and Linux in one big swing Google released the version 55 of Chrome browser this week and it has one of the biggest updates in recent history. The new browser no longer plays Flash videos on default.

Google has for a long time been a proponent of HTML5 video and this has been evident especially in its video platform YouTube. Now the company has decided to reduce Flash on all three major desktop browsers to an even less meaningful status.

Flash will still be used if that is all the website offers, 9to5Google points out, but defaulting to HTML5 video will reduce dramatically which video technology the majority will use. This will be remembered as one of the final nails in the coffin for Adobe Flash.

This is an extremely good thing for users in many ways. HTML5 is far more secure, power efficient, and especially offers performance that is leaps and bounds beyond Flash, and this update will force many web developers to switch away from the old technology.

Chrome users will now be prompted if they want to enable Flash when entering a site with Flash content. However, the top 10 sites (YouTube.com, Facebook.com, Yahoo.com, VK.com, Live.com, Yandex.ru, OK.ru, Twitch.tv, Amazon.com, and Mail.ru) in the world in addition to website that have no HTML5 support are exempt from the rule for the next 12 months.




AfterDawn: News

Apple's device lock can be bypassed with a simple trick

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Dec 2016 16:03

Apple's device lock can be bypassed with a simple trick A new video has surfaced that shows how simple it is to bypass the iPhone and iPad device lock activation. This means that a thief that got their hands on your iDevice could get in with a simple trick.

Apple's devices provide a device lock feature which allows to lock out the device even after it's been lost. The remote lock however seems to be far from perfect, because of a bug in device lock activation.

According to a video uploaded to YouTube this bug can be exploted so that the activation will be bypassed. Normally the device can be unlocked only with Apple ID and password.

To unlock the device user can join a WiFi network of choice. By entering network name and other fields that exceed a certain limit the software crashes and for a split second shows the home screen. If you are quick you can enter the device by pressing the power button or accessing Siri.

Both iOS 10.1 and 10.1.1 are vulnerable with this type of exploit, Security Week reports.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple is investing more in Maps, challenging Google with drones

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 01 Dec 2016 16:36

Apple is investing more in Maps, challenging Google with drones Apple's 2012 released Maps-application was early on a far cry from what its main competitor Google had to offer. After four years of development the service has improved immensely – certainly not making you drive to ocean as much – but is still playing catch-up to Google Maps.

According to Bloomberg< Apple is trying to take on Google Maps with new investments in few different technologies. The first one is to use drones to quicker update maps instead of using camera vans that move slower.

Drones would probably not replace the data coming from ground level cameras but the sources say that they could quickly see changes in roads, examine street signs and spot construction sites.

According to the sources the other way Apple intends to improve the maps is by adding indoor viewing to Maps with a technology bought last year. Known as indoor.io (previously What A Map) the indoor mapping project aims to guide iPhone users within high population density settings such as airports. It uses a variety of ways to determine the location, including pressure sensors, GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth.

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AfterDawn: News

Android malware leads to 1 million Google account breaches

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2016 13:44

Android malware leads to 1 million Google account breaches A new variant of Android malware has resulted in over 1 million Google account breaches, according to a security firm.

Check Point discovered the new variant of the 'Gooligan' malware recently, and has exposed the damage done to victims. It roots Android devices and steals e-mail addresses and authentication tokens, allowing attackers to access Gmail, Google Photos, Google Docs, Google Play, Google Drive, and G Suite.

Many breached accounts are associated with enterprises around the world, according to Check Point's data.

The Gooligan variant is infecting an estimated over 13,000 new devices every day, most of which are in Asia. It is delivered through infected apps when they are installed on an Android device, and also by malicious links that unsuspecting victims open.

Gooligan targets devices on Android 4 (Jelly Bean, KitKat) and 5 (Lollipop), which represents about 74% of Android devices in use.

In addition to stealing e-mail addresses and authentication tokens, it also fraudulently downloads and rates apps from Google Play to the victim's devices. Check Point estimates that around 30,000 apps are fraudulently installed on devices every day by the malware.

If you suspect you might be a victim, you can use Check Point's free online tool to check your e-mail address against known breached accounts.

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AfterDawn: News

Trump election prompts Archive.org to plan Canadian website

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2016 13:21

Trump election prompts Archive.org to plan Canadian website Archive.org has cited the U.S. President Election result as a reason why it plans to open a backup site in Canada in order to protect its library.

Opening with a reminder that the history of libraries is one of loss, Archive.org details its plan to setup a second operation outside of the United States in order to protect its content. The Web archive stores billions of copies of webpages and archives content from 300 million websites every week, making it possible for Internet users to go back in time to view webpages as they were years ago (sometimes up to 20 years).

It also archives more than 3 million e-books, old software, games and audio recordings. The Political TV Ad Archive is often users by journalists when fact checking political candidates.

"On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change," the archive.org announcement reads.

"For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions."

Read more from Archive.org




AfterDawn: News

No Man's Sky developer didn't mislead customers, regulator says

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2016 13:00

No Man's Sky developer didn't mislead customers, regulator says The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK has cleared Hello Games, the developer of No Man's Sky, of false advertising following complaints from players.

Many players were very underwhelmed with the product they purchased and felt they had been misled by Hello Games, pointing to the screenshots and videos that were put out ahead of the game's release. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received enough complaints in the UK to prompt its own investigation, and has now issued its verdict.

The ASA has found that the content put out ahead of release and its Steam page were largely representative of the final product, and unlikely to have mislead customers. Some differences between the trailer and the final product were noted by the ASA, but were not deemed significant deviations by the regulator.

A recent "Foundation" update to No Man's Sky was positively received and reportedly brought thousands of disgruntled players back to playing, at least initially.

You van view the ASA's final report on its investigation of No Man's Sky on its website.




AfterDawn: News

Brits will soon get Piracy Alerts from ISPs

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2016 12:49

Brits will soon get Piracy Alerts from ISPs Starting next year, British Internet users may get Piracy Alert notices through their Internet Service Provider if illegal file sharing is detected.

The alert system will be similar to one in the United States, only there does not seem to be any punitive measures on the table for alleged pirates in Britain who receive such an alert. The focus instead is to be educational, following on from PR campaigns aimed at the public and schools by the Creative Content UK (CCUK) initiative.

Primarily, the focus will be on repeat offenders. The alert will provide details on the files being illegally shared and instruct the alleged pirate on how to stop sharing them, while also suggesting legal alternatives.

"Educational emails will help account owners and others who use their accounts to do the right thing and get their content from legitimate sources," a spokesperson told the TorrentFreak blog.

"As well as providing links to help the customer find legal sources of content in future, the email will direct the user to further resources to answer any questions they may have about how the information was obtained and how to make sure their account is not used to infringe content again."

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AfterDawn: News

YouTube now supports 4K Live Streaming

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2016 12:40

YouTube now supports 4K Live Streaming YouTube now supports 4K Live Streaming for both standard video and for 360-degree video, and you can watch it tomorrow.

The video giant wants to show off its shiny new feature by streaming the Game Awards tomorrow in 4K resolution. 4K video displays 8 million pixels (2160p), with four times more image definition than Full HD 1080p video (hence the name).

YouTube will support 4K 2160p live streaming on its services at 30 frames per second, or 60 frames per second.

Support for 4K video uploads and playback was enabled by YouTube more than six years ago, but now with so much focus on Live Streaming and 360-degree video content, YouTube is trying to lead the way as 4K screens become less expensive and in our devices.

YouTube has added technical information on streaming 4k / 2160p @30fps and 4K / 2160p @60fps to its YouTube Help pages.

You can view the Game Awards live in 4K tomorrow from here.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix now supports Film and TV Series downloads for Offline Viewing

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2016 12:29

Netflix now supports Film and TV Series downloads for Offline Viewing Netflix has finally enabled offline viewing for its millions of subscribers, allowing Films and TV shows to be downloaded at no extra cost.

It has been one of the most requested features from customers of the streaming giant for years, and finally Netflix has given in. Subscribers will now be able to download film and TV show video to their devices in order to view them offline when they don't have access to a reliable connection.

A download option will be present on the details page for film or a TV show, so you can just download it and watch it later on.

Initially, not all content will be available for download but plenty of popular options already are, including Orange is The New Black, Narcos and The Crown.

You need to update your Netflix app to the latest version to enable downloading. For now, the feature is available on iOS and Android platforms.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft is working on a major design update for Windows

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 28 Nov 2016 12:05

Microsoft is working on a major design update for Windows Windows 10 has been largely a success for the Redmond giant but there's still work to do. The company is obviously trying to figure out how to lure all the remaining Windows 8 users to the new version and especially trying to stop people choosing macOS over Windows.

The newest rumor has it that Microsoft has a secretive Project NEON in development that will bring some wanted flair to Windows 10. Behind the codename is said to be a design update that will make Windows 10 more streamlined.

Released perhaps with the Redstone 3 update in early Fall 2017, the NEON update will bring new design elements in play. Cassim Ketfi at Numerama.com has called it even "Metro 2," which is to say that it'll bring smoother transitions and more motion in the rather flat UI.

One can only hope that there's been a lot of development if Metro indeed would be the starting point, as it brought a lot of grief for Windows 8 users. Thankfully sources tell that the update has been in the works for over a year and thus doesn't seem like Microsoft would just backpedal to Metro.

There's still plenty of time until the rumored update will see the light of the day officially but you can be sure to see more leaks about this one in the upcoming six months.




AfterDawn: News

VLC adds support for 360° videos

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 27 Nov 2016 13:02

VLC adds support for 360° videos If there's something that VLC can't play, I haven't been told about it. The media player developed by VideoLAN has been proud to support the widest variety of video and photo formats for a long time. Now the company has added support for 360 degree videos.

VLC's new 3.0 versio will be launched in just couple of days but the company has released a preview version, which lets you try the newest feature. The feature allows PC and Mac users to view 360 degree videos and photos as well as panoramas.

You can navigate the picture with either keyboard or mouse just like in Google Maps Street View for example. VideoLAN's 360 website includes even a few sample videos and a panorama from Giroptic to try out the feature.

The company promises to deliver the same feature later on for mobile devices and to support VR headsets like HTC Vive, Google Daydream, and Oculus Rift in the future.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix brings 4K to PC, but only if you have the right PC

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 27 Nov 2016 12:43

Netflix brings 4K to PC, but only if you have the right PC Netflix has been bringing 4K content to different platforms now for a couple of years but only platform you'd expect to get it hasn't seen it until now. Personal computers, which have come with enough calculation power to easily process 4K video have apparently given the access to UHD content.

Netflix hasn't announced anything so there are obviously some quirks with the feature. Not only are the 4K videos playable only with the Edge browser introduces in Windows 10 but they even require specific hardware to decode the DRM.

At the moment the only computers are the ones that have Kaby Lake generation (7th gen) Intel processors. This limits the computer selection to just a handful of new laptop models. However, rest assured that 4K on PC will be available to more people as the new chips come more popular and become available on desktop computers. Also, Netflix might make it available on other processors as well.

Right now, though, it is far easier to watch Netflix in 4K with a Chromecast Ultra or a 4K-capable TV.




AfterDawn: News

The crowdsourced Eve V laptop surpassed $1 million in just days

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 26 Nov 2016 16:42

The crowdsourced Eve V laptop surpassed $1 million in just days Current PC industry seems to be fairly stagnant. Even if you count Microsoft's Surface devices, there aren't that many exciting new products in the PC category these days. This has definitely changed a little bit as the Finnish startup Eve Tech has introduces its crowdsourced laptop.

Eve Tech calls its laptop, Eve V, the first ever crowd developed laptop. According to the company this means that they've really listened to what people want in a laptop and delivered exactly that. Well, delivered at least to the crowdsourcing website Indiegogo, that is.

Added to the site this week it has already gathered over a million dollars worth of funding and met 1416% of it's $75 000 goal. Estimated to hit the market in February 2017 this hybrid tablet/laptop has either Core m, i5 or i7 processor, up to 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD, 12 hour battery, 2734x1824 resolution IGZO display, detachable keyboard (not unlike Surface Pro tablets), tons of ports (USB, 3.5mm, Thunderbolt, microSD) and no bloatware.

For the crowdsourcers the prices start from $699 for the Core m3/8GB/128GB, $959 for the Core i5/8GB/256GB version and $1399 for the Core i7/16GB/512GB version. A bargain compared to the similarly specced Surface Pro 4 which costs almost a thousand dollars more.

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AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Samsung to sell its laptop business

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 26 Nov 2016 15:06

Rumor: Samsung to sell its laptop business Samsung has been reorganizing its company structure and even buying some important assets this year but it seems like there might be quite a bombshell still incoming.

A Korean finance and business paper The Bell has it that Samsung is negotiating selling its personal computer business. Rumors say that the Korean company is looking to close a deal with Lenovo.

The Chinese manufacturer is the largest manufacturer of PCs in the world and would seem like a logical buyer.

Traditional computer business has been slowly declining and Samsung's PC business is no different. Recent problems with smartphones meant that Samsung's other divisions have to carry the weight even more.

This fall Samsung told that it was selling the printer business to HP and buying the audio and car entertainment system manufacturer Harman for $8 billion.





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