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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.


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.


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.


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:


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:


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.

AfterDawn: News

Netflix continues European expansion to Germany

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Sep 2014 23:52

Netflix continues European expansion to Germany Netflix has announced the official launch of the streaming service in Germany, including support for the Apple TV that is lacking in other nations.

The company said: "Guten Morgen! Netflix ist in Deutschland. Und ganz bald auch in Österreich und der Schweiz" Roughly translated, the message was "Good Morning! Netflix is in Germany. And very soon in Austria and Switzerland"

Netflix recently expanded to France and will continue its expansion very soon to Switzerland, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg. The international expansion has been top priority for the company as it greatly expands its catalog of original programming and exclusive programming.

The service will start at 7.99 euros per month and include German content, and Netflix's own original content and other movies and shows. "We are proud to bring the future of television to Germany," added Netflix CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings. "German consumers now have instant access to a great selection of shows and movies, anytime and anywhere."


AfterDawn: News

Xbox One controller for Windows coming in near future

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Sep 2014 23:37

Xbox One controller for Windows coming in near future Microsoft is making its Xbox One controller for Windows PCs available in the very near future for its millions of PC gamers.

The software and gaming giant will add the controller to its existing lineup that includes the Xbox 360 controller for Windows, and the new controller will be wireless and wired if using on your actually console.

Reads the bio: "Experience the action like never before with the Xbox One Controller + Cable for Windows. Redesigned thumbsticks and an all new D-pad provide greater precision. Enjoy the reliable wired connection to your PC – and forget about replacing batteries. The Xbox One Controller + Cable for Windows can be used as wired or wireless on your Xbox One."

The new controller is compatible with Windows 7, 8 and 8.1.

Priced at $59.99 Microsoft says the controller is coming "soon."


AfterDawn: News

Chromecast adds support for Twitch, iHeartRadio

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Sep 2014 22:19

Chromecast adds support for Twitch, iHeartRadio Chromecast has added more support for popular streaming apps.

As of this week, the HDMI dongle has support for WATCH Disney, WATCH Disney Junior and WATCH Disney XD apps. The apps include on-demand access as long as you have a TV provider login, right from your iOS or Android apps.

iHeartRadio support has been added, as well, which allows you to stream thousands of radio stations from the U.S.

Perhaps most notably is the addition of Twitch, allowing for the streaming of next-gen gaming content and other content from 60 million registered gamers.

Finally, Google has added support for DramaFever, which has over 15,000 TV episodes from foreign dramas.


AfterDawn: News

Report: Apple to delay Chinese launch of iPhone 6 until next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2014 22:58

Report: Apple to delay Chinese launch of iPhone 6 until next year According to multiple sources, Apple may have to delay their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launches in China until next year.

It appears that Apple has not yet received Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) approval, which is necessary to begin selling in the nation. A date for a re-application has not been determined, meaning it could be until 2015 until the phone can go on sale.

The delay would be a setback for the company that was able to launch its iPhone 5S in China in its initial wave of launch nations. With an official delay, the company will once again have to deal with grey market resellers who import the devices from other countries to sell them at a hefty premium for buyers that just must have them.

Apple announced its largest iPhones yet last week, and saw 4 million pre-orders in just one day. The device will be available for consumers in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK on Friday followed by another 20 countries next Friday.


AfterDawn: News

Netflix orders two seasons of new Judd Apatow comedy series

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2014 20:27

Netflix orders two seasons of new Judd Apatow comedy series Netflix has purchased two seasons of Judd Apatow's new comedy series "Love," meaning the series will be available on the streaming service and nowhere else.

The series will debut in 2016 with a 10-episode season followed the next year by a 12-episode second season.

'Love' "follows Gus (Paul Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) as they navigate the exhilaration and humiliations of intimacy, commitment, and other things they were hoping to avoid," reads the description.

"Judd Apatow has a unique comedic voice that manages to be delightful, insightful, and shockingly frank -- often at the same time," added Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. "Together with Paul and Lesley, he's bringing a whole new level of agony and ecstasy to this modern day comedy of manners."

Netflix started the trend by giving House of Cards a two season deal without piloting it, and Starz recently upped the ante for comedies by signing a two year deal for a Seth MacFarlane comedy featuring Patrick Stewart.


AfterDawn: News

Apple to get a cut off all Apple Pay transactions

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2014 20:02

Apple to get a cut off all Apple Pay transactions According to new reports, Apple will take a cut of all Apple Pay transactions, a market moving event, if accurate.

Sources say banks and payment networks will pay 0.15 percent of each purchase to Apple. With tens of millions of transactions expected to be done daily in the future with the NFC-based service, Apple will effectively have added another huge revenue stream.

Banks remain at the center of the service, so supposedly Apple Pay was not seen as a threat, and the service will also save the banks and processors millions of dollars per year with less debit/credit cards to replace and less fraudulent transactions to investigate.

Speaking of the security of the service, MasterCard executive Jorn Lambert, explained that Apple Pay uses a token system that encrypts every single step of the payment process. Each credit/debit card is assigned its own Dynamic Account Number token. Every token is then stored securely within the iPhone and each transaction gets its own unique cryptogram. By making a purchase using the Touch ID fingerprint reader, the Touch ID authenticates the security, and then sends the cryptogram along with the token to the merchant. If the network decrypts and authenticates the crypto, it is then passed to the bank who decrypts the token. Your actual card numbers are never shared nor stored anywhere.


AfterDawn: News

Netflix now available in France

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2014 19:21

Netflix now available in France For the last few years, Netflix has been quietly and not-so-quietly expanding into Europe.

As of this week, the streaming giant has made the service available in France, one of its biggest European expansions yet. In addition, Netflix says the expansion should continue over the next week, with five more nations getting access, as well.

It was unclear if Netflix would ever be made available in France, since there is a rule in France that 40 percent of all media provided must be French in origin to promote domestic artists. It appears that Netflix is not technically subject to that law, as the streaming catalog is certainly not 40 percent French.


AfterDawn: News

Invites sent for September 30th 'Windows 9' event

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2014 23:45

Invites sent for September 30th 'Windows 9' event Following a month of rumors, Microsoft's Windows 9 tech preview event is finally official.

Invites have been sent for the Windows event on September 30th, in which top execs Joe Belfiore and Terry Myerson will lead a discussion that is focused "on enterprise and power users" of Windows.

The oft-rumored "Windows Technical Preview" will be made available to enterprise and developers after the event, with many of the operating system's features made available for testing. Virtual desktops, a return of the Start menu, the removal of the Charms bar and an updated Notification Center are key.

Not expected to be included is integrated Cortana support, the voice activated personal assistant found on new Windows Phone devices.

Windows 9 is expected to launch for consumers in March.


AfterDawn: News

New DisplayPort 1.3 standard pushes bandwidth to 32.4 Gbits/sec

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2014 22:43

New DisplayPort 1.3 standard pushes bandwidth to 32.4 Gbits/sec The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has announced the new A/V standard DisplayPort 1.3.

Currently, the standard is DisplayPort 1.2a, but the new update will increase the maximum link bandwidth to 32.4 Gbps, "with each of four lanes running at a link rate of 8.1 Gbps/lane--a 50% increase from the previous version of the DisplayPort standard. Allowing for transport overhead, DisplayPort's 32.4 Gbps combined link rate delivers 25.92 Gbps of uncompressed video data."

With higher bandwidth, 5K monitors should be able to use a single DP 1.3 cable, without any compression, a very impressive feat given the 5120 x 2880 resolution necessary.

In addition, a single connection can now use two 4K monitors using DisplayPort's Multi-Stream feature.

For connectivity, DP 1.3 keeps its VGA, DVI and HDMI. DisplayPort 1.3 support and adds HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 with CEC, support for 4K video with copy protection and new support for a "4:2:0 pixel structure, a video format commonly used on consumer digital television interfaces, which enables support for future 8K x 4K displays."

"While becoming a mainstream video standard, DisplayPort continues to be at the cutting edge of A/V transport," said VESA Board of Directors Chair Alan Kobayashi, Fellow & Executive R&D Management for DisplayPort Group at MegaChips Technology America. "These new enhancements to DisplayPort will facilitate both higher resolution displays, as well as easier integration of DisplayPort into multi-protocol data transports, which will satisfy consumer's desire for simplicity and ease-of-use."


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