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AfterDawn: News

Update: Google Glass is definitely not available to the public

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Apr 2014 21:40

Update: Google Glass is definitely not available to the public Earlier today, consumers got a rush when it appeared that Google Glass headsets were available to the public, without need for an invite.

The page remained up allowing for would-be owners to purchase the glasses without signing up for the Explorer program, at the standard Explorer price of $1500.

Unfortunately, later in the day Google apologized for the mistake, saying they just neglected to pull down the URL from the April 15th one-day sale. The site should be down soon, they added, and anyone who ordered will most likely not get a device as the search giant noted that any customer not already "in the pipeline" will not receive a unit.

Google has not set a release date for the device, which has received rave reviews from techies but criticism from the media.

If you want to get notice of when the devices will really be available to all, check here.

Source:
Engadget




AfterDawn: News

Nest smart thermostat now available through Google Play Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Apr 2014 21:29

Nest smart thermostat now available through Google Play Store Earlier this week, Google made their smart thermostat Nest available for sale via the hardware Play Store.

The learning thermostat is selling for $250 and will ship within 2 business days, according to the page.

Nest's Learning Thermostat "programs itself and automatically helps save energy when you're away. And you can control it from anywhere using your smartphone." It does so by creating a personalized schedule based on the temperature adjustments you make and continually adapts to your changing life. The whole process takes just a week.

The device features a 320x320 LCD display.

Google acquired Nest Labs in January for over $3 billion.

Check the device here: Nest Learning Thermostat at Google Play Store




AfterDawn: News

Accessories for alleged Microsoft Surface Mini appear on Amazon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Apr 2014 21:08

Accessories for alleged Microsoft Surface Mini appear on Amazon Microsoft has never officially confirmed it but more and more evidence is mounting for a Surface "Mini," an 8-inch version of the company's flagship Windows tablet.

The tablets would be compliments to the company's Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 tablets, which have 10.6-inch screens. Apple and Google have been very successful with their smaller tablets, the Nexus 7 and iPad Mini, and Microsoft will need to eventually launch one if it wishes to remain relevant at that form factor.

Amazon is the source of the latest piece of evidence, where accessories maker VSTN has listed multiple cases and attachments for a Surface Mini.

Among the listings are a Bluetooth keyboard case and a smart cover, which promise to "only fit Microsoft Surface Mini 8-inch tablet." The accessories go on sale on May 18th, which could imply an upcoming release for the tablet.

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AfterDawn: News

LulzSec informant Sabu led cyber attacks against Pakistan, Syria, others

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Apr 2014 20:36

LulzSec informant Sabu led cyber attacks against Pakistan, Syria, others Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka Sabu, reportedly led cyber attacks against Syria, Iran, Pakistan and possibly other nations.

Sabu, best known for turning on LulzSec and Anonymous as an FBI informant, also directed attacks against the Polish Embassy in England and Iraq's Ministry of Electricity, read the newly released court documents. At the time, Sabu was already an FBI informant, following his arrest for multiple high profile cases.

Intelligence firm Stratfor was among the most notable attacks, and Sabu's testimony was key in convicting hacker and activist Jeremy Hammond.

It remains unclear whether the attacks were part of a broad plan to entrap Anonymous hackers, as Sabu recruited plenty, or if the FBI (or other agencies) were directing attacks on other nations using the talented hacker.

Source:
New York Times

Pic via Ars




AfterDawn: News

Tim Cook: Apple is closer than ever to unveiling a new product line

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Apr 2014 20:16

Tim Cook: Apple is closer than ever to unveiling a new product line Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated that the company is "closer than it's ever been" to launching a new product line, following years of the executive claiming that a new product is finally coming.

Of course, Cook reiterated that "you want to take the time to get it right," when asked why the process has taken so long for a new product. "To do things really well, it takes time," Cook said in his interview. "You can see a lot of products that have been brought to market where the thinking isn't really deep and, as a consequence, these things don't do very well."

Among the most rumored products are an Apple-powered HDTV, a smartwatch with fitness focus, or a full fitness band. Cook did not mention any specific products or leave any hints as to a time frame.

Additionally, mobile payments have been oft-rumored as an industry that Apple could take over, due to having hundreds of millions of customers signed into iTunes with a credit card attached. Cook said the Touch ID fingerprint scanner could be integrated into a mobile payments platform but that the whole industry is "an area where nobody has figured it out yet. I realize that there are some companies playing in it, but you still have a wallet in your back pocket and I do too which probably means it hasn't been figured out just yet."

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AfterDawn: News

Vic Gundotra, head of Google+, is leaving the company

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Apr 2014 19:52

Vic Gundotra, head of Google+, is leaving the company Longtime Google executive and Google+ boss Vic Gundotra has confirmed he is leaving the company.

"Now is the time for a new journey," said Gundotra, via his Google+ page. "A continuation."

Reportedly, the search giant's social network will now be headed by Google VP of engineering David Besbris. Gundotra joined the company eight years ago after leaving Microsoft and was recently responsible for many of Google+'s features including "circles."

While the social network never caught on like Facebook, it does have over 540 million active users, and Google says 300 million regularly visit the Plus homepage.

Reads the rest of his post:

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung Galaxy Tab4 line goes on sale May 1st in U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Apr 2014 19:36

Samsung Galaxy Tab4 line goes on sale May 1st in U.S. Samsung has announced that their low and mid-range Galaxy Tab4 line of tablets will be headed to the U.S. on May 1st.

Three devices are in the lineup, the Galaxy Tab4 7.0, Galaxy Tab4 8.0 and Galaxy Tab 4 10.1, each differentiated in name by the size of the display.

The design of the tablets is certainly improved from previous models, and has thinner bezels and a lighter form factor. The design is reminiscent of the company's high-end Galaxy TabPRO and NotePRO series.

Under the hood is a different story, as the devices are not packed with high-end specs. The devices have 1200x800 resolution displays, a 1.2GHz quad-core processor, Android 4.4 with Samsung TouchWiz, 1.5GB RAM, 16GB internal storage as a base, a microSD slot for expanded storage, LTE support, and dual cameras: 1.3MP/3MP.

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AfterDawn: News

AT&T building its own streaming video service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Apr 2014 19:15

AT&T building its own streaming video service AT&T and media powerhouse the Chernin Group have invested $500 million in building a new streaming video service.

The venture will specifically acquire content before launching a video streaming service that could rival Netflix and Amazon. The Chernin Group will contribute their majority stake in Crunchyroll, a niche subscription VOD service, to the new venture.

Reads the joint press release: "'A critical part of The Chernin Group's strategy has been our significant focus on the online video industry, and joining forces with AT&T only further underscores our strategic commitment in this area as operators, investors and programmers,' said Peter Chernin, Chairman and CEO, The Chernin Group. 'Consumers are increasingly viewing video content on their phones, tablets, computers, game consoles and connected TVs on mobile and broadband networks. AT&T's massive reach on those platforms across mobile and broadband and their commitment to the online video space make them the perfect fit for this venture with us.'"

There will certainly be more to come about the venture, especially because it is unclear what content AT&T is looking to offer, and what kind of business model will be employed.




AfterDawn: News

Apple has stellar quarterly earnings, despite iPad, iPod sales falling off cliff

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Apr 2014 18:56

Apple has stellar quarterly earnings, despite iPad, iPod sales falling off cliff Yesterday, Apple reported its quarterly earnings while also announcing a stock buyback and a stock split. Investors loved the report, and the company saw its shares fly today.

However, despite the stellar report, there were a few interesting numbers on the hardware side.

iPad sales were down 16 percent year-over-year, and fell well below analyst expectations. The company sold 16.3 million iPads, which it claims was on the high-end of its internal projections, but far behind the 19.8 million expected consensus.

The company's ancient iPod line, which was not even refreshed last year, continued its quick fall to obscurity, with just 2.76 million sold during the quarter. Eventually that figure will fall to sub-1 million, and could be a minor drag on earnings.

Otherwise, the company reported massive numbers, as usual, earning $10.2 billion in profit on $45.6 billion in revenue. The company sold 43.7 million iPhones, up from 37.4 million YoY, and they sold 4.1 million Macs, up from 3.9 million YoY. Macs remain a small player in the industry but appear to at least be seeing small growth compared to declines in other PC areas. Gross margins were a ridiculous 39.3 percent, higher than expected.

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AfterDawn: News

Vevo sees monthly traffic jump nearly 50 percent from 2013

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Apr 2014 18:30

Vevo sees monthly traffic jump nearly 50 percent from 2013 Music video giant Vevo has announced that monthly average traffic topped 6 billion in December, a huge 46 percent rise from the same month in 2013.

Rio Caraeff, CEO, Vevo, confirmed the figure, and also noted that over 65 percent of the videos were being viewed on mobile devices like phones and tablets.

"On a global stage, it's really all about mobile," says Caraeff. "Mobile and tablet and television are where the majority of the views are happening."

Vevo was founded by Universal Music and Sony Music, and has Google (through YouTube) as a minority owner. Almost all of the company's revenue comes via YouTube, as does most of its traffic. Vevo has been looking to expand and has already had early conversations with potential new investors. "We are continuing to speak to investors as we try to find the right partners to grow the business more rapidly than we've been able to do so far," Caraeff noted. "We're still very active in that process."

The service is available in 13 countries, and about 5 billion of the views occur outside of the U.S., most notably in Germany.

Source:
Reuters




AfterDawn: News

LG G Watch is water resistant, always on

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2014 20:26

LG G Watch is water resistant, always on While not revealing too much, LG has provided more information about their upcoming G-Watch.

The smartwatch will be the first to use the Android Wear operating system, followed later in the year by other devices from Motorola and Samsung.

Among the new revelations is the fact that the device will have an "always-on" screen, will be dust and water proof and will be available in both black and champagne gold.

Android Wear, introduced by Google earlier this year, is built around the Google Now user interface and includes access to Google Maps and built-in voice controls.

Source:
LG G Watch




AfterDawn: News

The Pirate Bay reaches 10 million torrent milestone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2014 19:28

The Pirate Bay reaches 10 million torrent milestone Earlier this week, The Pirate Bay reached a new milestone when its 10 millionth torrent was uploaded to the tracker.

Comically, the site needed to update its code to assist with an extra digit moving forward.

The 10 millionth upload was a pirated copy of the latest in the "IntimateLesbians" porn series, and it was uploaded by a popular VIP uploader known as "Drarb."

While the video was the 10 millionth ever uploaded, there are currently only 3.05 million active torrents in the database. The other torrents have been deleted for one reason or another.

The Pirate Bay says many of the torrents that have been deleted were fake, contained malware or were uploaded by anti-piracy firms. Additionally, if the content does not match the description, moderators will delete it, as well.

As of now, over 10,000 uploads are added daily to the site, meaning the next big milestone will be sooner rather than later.

Source:
TorrentFreak




AfterDawn: News

U.S. regulators: Facebook is okay to buy Oculus VR

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2014 18:31

U.S. regulators: Facebook is okay to buy Oculus VR A month after announcing its acquisition of virtual reality startup Oculus VR for $2 billion, the deal has been approved by U.S. regulators.

The company makes the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset which has just been sent out to developers and is ushering in a new generation of gaming.

Both the FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice approved the deal, which was not expected to have any regulatory hurdles.

The social networking giant purchased the company for mostly stock, just after purchasing giant instant messaging service Whatsapp for $19 billion.

Source:
Reuters




AfterDawn: News

Amazon strikes gold and will exclusively offer older HBO content free with Prime

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2014 17:47

Amazon strikes gold and will exclusively offer older HBO content free with Prime Amazon has announced a blockbuster deal today with original programming king HBO in which Amazon will offer older content for free via its Prime streaming catalog starting May 21st.

The move marks the first time the premium cable channel has licensed its programming to a third party. The company currently allows subscribers to watch content via their own HBO Go streaming app.

Most notably for Amazon, the deal is exclusive and leaves rival Netflix out in the cold. The deal does not include any current seasons or episodes from shows that ended within the last three years. A few other older hits (like Sex and the City) are also excluded because they are currently under contract for syndication deals with cable TV networks.

Included in the deal are past hits like "The Sopranos," "The Wire" and the first seasons of current hits like "True Blood." "Game of Thrones" fans will have to wait a little bit longer.

For fans that purchased Amazon's Fire TV streaming set-top box, there was also some good news, as the HBO Go app will finally make its way to the device in the coming months.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to complete Nokia devices and services acquisition on April 25th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2014 23:49

Microsoft to complete Nokia devices and services acquisition on April 25th Microsoft has confirmed that their acquisition of Nokia's Devices and Service business will close on April 25th.

Reads the company's press release: "Today we are excited to share that we have completed the steps necessary to finalize Microsoft's acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services business. The transaction will be completed this Friday, April 25, when we'll officially welcome the Nokia Devices and Services business as part of the Microsoft family.

The completion of this acquisition follows several months of planning and will mark a key step on the journey towards integration. This acquisition will help Microsoft accelerate innovation and market adoption for Windows Phones. In addition, we look forward to introducing the next billion customers to Microsoft services via Nokia mobile phones."


There had been roadblocks overseas, most notably in China, which were recently resolved.

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