AfterDawn: Tech news

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AfterDawn: News

EA, Microsoft agree to subscription game service on Xbox One

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jul 2014 0:03

EA, Microsoft agree to subscription game service on Xbox One EA and Microsoft have announced a new subscription game service for Xbox One gamers.

The new service, EA Access, will cost $5 per month or $30 per year and give access to downloadable games through "The Vault," a small but growing collection of EA games.

At launch, EA Access will have just four games: FIFA 14, Madden NFL 25, Peggle 2, and Battlefield 4, with the promise of more being added in the near future.

In addition to the cheap gaming on older games, EA Access members also get 10 percent off EA games and other content including DLC and free trials of new EA games up to five days before their retail dates.

You can buy passes to EA Access on Amazon and at GameStop.

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AfterDawn: News

Rhapsody reaches 2 million paying customers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jul 2014 23:13

Rhapsody reaches 2 million paying customers Rhapsody has announced that its music streaming services now have over 2 million paying subscribers.

The company owns Rhapsody, Napster and the newer unRadio services.

Altogether, the services are available in 32 countries but growth has been notably slow. The company announced 1 million paying subscribers back in 2011.

In its efforts to strengthen growth, the company is expanding further into Europe, using the assets it acquired in the UK, France and Germany from Napster in 2012.

"We are very satisfied with the development of Napster in France and the successful co-operation with SFR,"
said Thorsten Schliesche, Napster SVP and GM for Europe, noted in a statement. "France is one of the fastest growing markets in Europe. The success of our service proves that customers are eager for a blend of on-demand and mobile data bundles."

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AfterDawn: News

Apple's $3 billion Beats acquisition gets cleared in Europe

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jul 2014 0:02

Apple's $3 billion Beats acquisition gets cleared in Europe Apple has received European clearance for its $3 billion acquisition of premium headphone maker Beats Electronics.

The European Commission says the merger "did not raise concerns because the combined (headphone) market share of Apple and Beats Electronics is low."

There have not been any real concerns about the acquisition, given that Beats has plenty of competition in the industry including Bose, Sony, Sennheiser, and many more.

Apple has no dedicated headphone presence, and the deal is expected to pass in the U.S. in the very near future.

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AfterDawn: News

Facebook's standalone Messenger app is now mandatory if you want to chat

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jul 2014 23:19

Facebook's standalone Messenger app is now mandatory if you want to chat Facebook will be removing messaging functionality from its iPhone and Android apps in the next week, meaning if you want to continue to use the social network to chat you will need to get the standalone Messenger app for your device.

The company first required European users to download Messenger back in April, and the results have been "positive."

If you are accessing Facebook from Windows Phones, iPads, the mobile Web site, Paper or via desktops, you can continue to use the built-in chat without the need for a separate app.

Facebook is sending push notifications that chat is disappearing without the standalone app, and an email will also be sent explaining the move.

Says the social network: "In the next few days, we're continuing to notify more people that if they want to send and receive Facebook messages, they'll need to download the Messenger app. As we've said, our goal is to focus development efforts on making Messenger the best mobile messaging experience possible and avoid the confusion of having separate Facebook mobile messaging experiences. Messenger is used by more than 200 million people every month, and we'll keep working to make it an even more engaging way to connect with people."

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AfterDawn: News

Xiaomi gets into fitness tracker market with $13 Mi Band

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2014 22:48

Xiaomi gets into fitness tracker market with $13 Mi Band Chinese powerhouse startup Xiaomi has expanded into the fitness tracker market, unveiling the new Mi Band.

The tracker is ridiculously cheap at CN79 ($13 USD) although Xiaomi does not sell outside of China yet, so getting a Mi Band in the U.S. will require going through an unlicensed third party.

Mi Bands will track your steps, track your sleeping patterns, work as a smart alarm clock (vibrate to wake you) and can last up to 30 days on a single charge, putting the Fitbit to shame by a huge margin.

In addition, if you have a Xiaomi phone, the band can unlock it wirelessly if close enough.

Xiaomi currently has a value of over $10 billion, especially notable for a three-year old company.

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AfterDawn: News

Sims 2 Ultimate now available for free via Origin

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2014 21:31

Sims 2 Ultimate now available for free via Origin EA has made their old Sims 2 Ultimate Collection available for free via Origin until July 31st.

The game launched in 2004 from original developer Maxis and had expansion packs and other DLC released until 2008. In 2009, there was the release of Sims 3 and later this year will see the release of Sims 4.

If you want the game, EA has provided instructions:

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AfterDawn: News

Google and Motorola working on new 5.9-inch flagship Nexus smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2014 21:15

Google and Motorola working on new 5.9-inch flagship Nexus smartphone According to a new report, Google and Motorola are working on a new flagship smartphone that will be significantly larger than any previous Nexus device.

The device will be 5.9 inches and include a fingerprint reader, reads the report.

Most of the basis for the report comes from screenshot of Google's issue tracker that references a device running Android L on a Google-built kernel, suggesting a Nexus device although not guaranteeing.

There had been reports that Google was looking to kill off its Nexus program in exchange for the new Android Silver OEM program, but Google later denied those reports, at least for this 2014.

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AfterDawn: News

Beats sued over headphone noise-cancellation patents by Bose

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2014 20:30

Beats sued over headphone noise-cancellation patents by Bose Premium audio hardware maker Bose has sued Beats Electronics over alleged patent infringement related to noise cancelling headphones.

Bose has accused the company of willfully infringing on five of its patents. By claiming the infringement was willful, Bose says it lost profits and sales and will be seeking large damages.

The patents are related to "active noise reduction" technology, which Bose has been using in consumer products since the early 2000s.

In addition, Bose filed a complaint with the U.S. ITC, seeking an injunction on imports of Beat's noise-cancelling headphones into the country. "We are committed to protecting our investment, protecting our customers, and defending the patents we own," said Bose.

Beats was recently acquired by Apple for $3 billion, so the startup's attorney team has seen a significant upgrade.

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AfterDawn: News

21st Century Fox sells billions in assets as it pursues Time Warner

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2014 11:44

21st Century Fox sells billions in assets as it pursues Time Warner Pay TV giant BSkyB will pay about $9 billion to purchase 21st Century Fox assets in Germany and Italy, creating an empire that will have over 20 million customers in Europe.

BSkyB will pay in cash, debt, its entire stake in the popular The National Geographic Channel (valued at near $600 million) and also with a stock offering.

The deal adds to Fox's cash hoard as it looks to purchase media giant Time Warner and its prized jewel: HBO. Fox chairman Rupert Murdoch bid $80 billion for Time Warner last month but was rejected in his initial offering.

With the acquisition of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia, BSkyB will now operate in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy. BSkyB has over 10 million subscribers in Britain, where it offers pay TV, premium sports, movies and even U.S.-based programming.

While Pay TV is a standard in the U.S. and Britain, the rest of Europe has not signed up with similar gusto. Only 30 million of the 97 million households in Germany and Italy currently have Pay TV packages.

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AfterDawn: News

Jimmy Kimmel proves Apple fanboyism is still alive and well with iTime prank

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jul 2014 22:36

Jimmy Kimmel proves Apple fanboyism is still alive and well with iTime prank Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel decided to have some fun on Hollywood Boulevard with Apple fanboys and the non-techie crowd, showing off the alleged new Apple iTime smartwatch.

The show bought a $20 Casio watch, glued an Apple logo to the back, and went around asking people if they liked features like "being able to tell time and see the date" and if they liked the fact that the watch was "always in airplane mode."

A few Apple fanboys only cared that it was an Apple device, and didn't care that it clearly was not a real smartwatch.

Check the video here and laugh, or cry:

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AfterDawn: News

DVD-quality copy of 'Expendables 3' leaks online, 3 weeks before theatrical release

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jul 2014 22:16

DVD-quality copy of 'Expendables 3' leaks online, 3 weeks before theatrical release Yesterday, the piracy scene erupted when a DVD-quality release of the upcoming 'Expendables 3' was leaked, a full three weeks before the movie's U.S. release date on August 15th.

In 24 hours, multiple versions of the movies have been downloaded well over 1 million times and it is still unclear how such a good copy was available so early and who leaked it.

While many movies see camera versions released within days (if not hours) of their release, DVD-quality copies are a whole different story. During Academy Award season it is not uncommon to see blockbusters leak online, but the Expendables 3 is not likely to be nominated for anything.

There have been some notable leaks in the past including workprint versions (missing some final effects and scenes) of X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, although there have not been any recently.

It is notable to note that production company Nu Image sued over 20,000 BitTorrent downloaders of the original Expendables film and could be gearing up to do so again.

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AfterDawn: News

The Pirate Bay now has a true mobile site

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jul 2014 21:53

The Pirate Bay now has a true mobile site After ten years of existence, The Pirate Bay finally has a real mobile site that makes the torrent tracker easier to access from your smartphones and tablets.

Dubbed "The Mobile Bay," the mobile site is the first of a few upcoming expansions by the site. Expected in the future are dedicated TV, movie and music sites.

Eventually, an RSS portal is also expected.

Until now, without a dedicated app or mobile site, users had to muddle through the desktop version of the site on their mobile devices. The new Mobile Bay offers much better functionality and an interface that can actually be navigated easily with a touchscreen.

Check a comparison of after and before:



(Via Ernesto)




AfterDawn: News

Sony PS4 getting 3D Blu-ray support with next firmware update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jul 2014 21:38

Sony PS4 getting 3D Blu-ray support with next firmware update Sony will follow in Microsoft's footsteps and add 3D Blu-ray support for their next-gen console with the release of system firmware update v1.75.

Rival Microsoft just revealed that their dashboard update would include 3D Blu-ray support, among other notable features.

1.75 is set for release next week, following this week's mandatory 1.74 update which brought minor stability and performance enhancements.

While the update is great for headlines, it will likely matter very little for consumers who do not have a 3D-capable TV nor care for 3D Blu-rays.

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AfterDawn: News

Uber app finally available on Windows Phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jul 2014 22:26

Uber app finally available on Windows Phone Windows Phone users now have an official Uber app.

Until this week, Windows Phone owners needed to access Uber through their browser, which was not as mobile-friendly as a standalone app is.

Uber is a billion-dollar startup that allows would-be passengers to use mobile apps to connect with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services. Passengers can also track which cars are around their area using the apps.

The taxi service company is now available in 150 cities in 41 countries, despite still being banned and protested in many places due to its ability to destroy the existing taxi industry.

Just like the existing iOS and Android apps, the Windows Phone version allows you to track vehicles, save a credit card on file to never worry about having enough cash, and compare rates for calling for a vehicle.




AfterDawn: News

Man loses copyright case brought by porn studio, may now have to pay over a million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 15:18

Man loses copyright case brought by porn studio, may now have to pay over a million Don Bui, an immigrant from Vietnam who is now a naturalized US citizen, will possibly owe porn studio Malibu Media $1.7 million after the judge ruled against him in a copyright case.

The studio has filed thousands of lawsuits against "John Doe" defendants in the U.S., collecting a couple of thousands of dollars from scared file sharers who do not want to go to court. Nearly all of the cases have been settled but Bui decided to let the case go to judgement.

Bui admitted to downloading and keeping 57 unauthorized Malibu Media movies from Kickass Torrents. He tried to blame the torrent protocol and Kickass Torrents, however, claiming that he had no idea how torrents work saw nothing wrong in "ordering movies" from Kickass Torrents. The torrent tracker should have told users that the files were unauthorized, argued the lawyer who went as far as to call Malibu "copyright trolls," a term they have heard countless times in the past years.

Read US District Court Judge Jonker's ruling:

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