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Amazon starts new 'Prime Day' full of deals to celebrate 20th anniversary

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2015 23:20

Amazon starts new 'Prime Day' full of deals to celebrate 20th anniversary Amazon is celebrating their 20th anniversary with the aptly named "Prime Day," a shopping day that the retailer hopes will trump Black Friday.

Says the company: "Next week, Amazon turns 20 and on the eve of its birthday, the company introduces Prime Day, a global shopping event, offering more deals than Black Friday, exclusively for Prime members in the U.S., U.K., Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and Austria.

On Wednesday, July 15, new and existing members in the U.S. will find deals starting at midnight, with new deals starting as often as every ten minutes. They can shop thousands of Lightning Deals, seven popular Deals of the Day and receive unlimited fast, free shipping."


Amazon is even extending the festivities to new customers who sign up for the 30-day free trial of Prime, as long as they've signed up before the 15th. Amazon has promised Lightning Deals from nearly every category, so there could certainly be some great deals available.

Source:
Amazon




AfterDawn: News

U.S. streaming music sees major growth as digital downloads slow again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2015 23:01

U.S. streaming music sees major growth as digital downloads slow again According to Nielsen, consumers in the U.S. are streaming almost twice as much music as they were last year.

For the first half of 2015, streaming jumped 92 percent year-over-year to 135.2 billion songs streamed. Digital downloads fell 10 percent year-over-year, as the medium is slowly being replaced.

Interestingly, video streams increased 109 percent to 76.6 billion, suggesting more music fans prefer to watch music videos or the convenience of sites like YouTube to streaming audio.

Overall, there were 160 million individual songs downloaded and 116.1 million total albums downloaded, still strong numbers for a format that brings the record labels and artists much more money than individual streams do.

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AfterDawn: News

Casio prepares to enter the smartwatch market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2015 22:17

Casio prepares to enter the smartwatch market Japanese watchmaker Casio is ready to jump into the smartwatch market.

Casio says its watch will be a watch first and foremost, one that tries to be smart. The company says other watch makers have made smart devices that have tried to be watches, and have therefore failed.

The watch maker first introduced digital watches 40 years ago, and is the maker of the extremely popular G-Shock series. Casio's watch have included schedule managers, heart-rate monitors and other messaging features in the past, but so far the company has stayed away from the smart watch arena.

"We are trying to bring our smartwatch to a level of watch perfection: a device that won't break easily, is simple to put on and feels good to wear," said Kazuhiro Kashio, the company's new president. It turns out the company has been working on a device for 4 years with the same team but prototype after prototype has been rejected.

Casio is expected to launch the smartwatch for around $400 during the Spring of 2016.

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AfterDawn: News

Lucky gamer finds rare prototype Nintendo PlayStation console

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2015 21:53

Lucky gamer finds rare prototype Nintendo PlayStation console Back in the early 1990's, Sony tried to partner with Nintendo to create a console that would have allowed SNES gamers to gain CD-ROM support while still playing older cartridge titles.

Over time, the partnership broke up over licensing issues and Sony went on to create the PlayStation console in 1994 and become the undisputed king of the gaming market.

A few days ago, we got a glimpse into the SNES-CD PlayStation console (the Nintendo Play Station), thanks to a lucky gamer who found a prototype sitting in a box. Reddit user Analogueboy posted photos and a video of the device, claiming he found it in a box of his dad's old things. His dad had worked with someone "named Olaf I think" who had worked for Nintendo and left the box behind.

There is a chance that Olaf could be Sony Interactive Entertainment founder Ólafur Jóhann Ólafsson, which would make perfect sense, but it will be hard to prove. For now, check out the photos and video and see one of the rarest items in the gaming world in action.

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AfterDawn: News

Everyone should now have Google's new Gmail update packed with themes, emojis

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2015 21:25

Everyone should now have Google's new Gmail update packed with themes, emojis Earlier this week, Google announced that Gmail would be getting hundreds of new themes, emojis and background image choices and as of writing all Gmail users should now have them.

Read Google's original post: "Your inbox is home to some of your most meaningful and entertaining messages--from that acceptance letter, to those throwback photos--so we think it's important for Gmail to feel just as personal (and fun!). That's why we offer lots of ways to customize your experience--from inbox categories, to email formatting, to shareable selfies--and why today we're expanding your options with additional themes, and emoji."

There are hundreds of new HQ photos taken by "fellow Googlers" and you have the option to upload your own, as well. You can also now use editing tools and add text to your background image.

The emojis will look very familiar to Android and Hangouts users, and they update the very old emoticons that Gmail used to include.

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AfterDawn: News

Chinese consumer group files lawsuits against Samsung and Oppo over bloatware

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2015 12:53

Chinese consumer group files lawsuits against Samsung and Oppo over bloatware The Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission has filed lawsuits against Samsung and Oppo this week, specifically over the large amount of "bloatware" that comes pre-installed on the company's smartphones.

Both manufacturer's devices have apps that come pre-installed and cannot be removed, allege the suits, and many of them even "steal" cellular data without users knowing.

For example, the Oppo X9007 came pre-installed with 71 apps and the Samsung SM-N9008S (Galaxy Note 3) had 44 pre-installed apps.

The Commission filed the suits after complaints from consumers. The lawsuit is seeking to force smartphone makers to "clearly state on the product's packaging what apps have been installed, and give consumers instructions on how to remove unwanted software. It also wants to compel the companies to inform consumers about the amount of memory that pre-installed apps take up."

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft will roll out Windows 10 in phases meaning not everyone will have it on July 29th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2015 12:18

Microsoft will roll out Windows 10 in phases meaning not everyone will have it on July 29th In order to "manage demand" Microsoft has decided to roll out Windows 10 in phases, meaning not everyone with an eligible PC will actually receive it on launch day: July 29th.

The first fans to receive the update are those who have signed up to be Windows Insiders and are currently beta testing the operating system.

Microsoft expects 100 million upgrades to Windows 10, so it does make sense to have a phased roll out but it won't make everyone happy especially if you have reserved a copy for months now.

Says the company: "Starting on July 29, we will start rolling out Windows 10 to our Windows Insiders. From there, we will start notifying reserved systems in waves, slowly scaling up after July 29th. Each day of the roll-out, we will listen, learn and update the experience for all Windows 10 users.

If you reserved your copy of Windows 10, we will notify you once our compatibility work confirms you will have a great experience, and Windows 10 has been downloaded on your system."


You can read more about the phased roll out here: Microsoft




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft seals the coffin of Silverlight

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jul 2015 14:52

Microsoft seals the coffin of Silverlight Microsoft has effectively killed off its own Silverlight browser media player, confirming that its upcoming Microsoft Edge browser will not support the framework.

The software giant had noted in the past that Edge will kill off support for ActiveX-based plug-ins but had never specifically mentioned Silverlight.

Says the company: "Support for ActiveX has been discontinued in Microsoft Edge, and that includes removing support for Silverlight. The reasons for this have been discussed in previous blogs and include the emergence of viable and secure media solutions based on HTML5 extensions. Microsoft continues to support Silverlight, and Silverlight out-of-browser apps can continue to use it. Silverlight will also continue to be supported in Internet Explorer 11, so sites continue to have Silverlight options in Windows 10. At the same time, we encourage companies that are using Silverlight for media to begin the transition to DASH/MSE/CENC/EME based designs and to follow a single, DRM-interoperable encoding work flow enabled by CENC. This represents the most broadly interoperable solution across browsers, platforms, content and devices going forward."

Silverlight was first introduced in 2007 and grew popular thanks to Netflix selecting it for its desktop streaming service. Microsoft continued to update the framework until Silverlight 5 in 2011. Silverlight is no longer widely used and Netflix has transitioned to HTML5.

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AfterDawn: News

Approval for AT&T, DirecTV merger expected this month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jul 2015 10:10

Approval for AT&T, DirecTV merger expected this month AT&T is expected to get U.S. regulatory approval later this month for its proposed $48.5 billion acquisition of satellite TV giant DirecTV.

According to source, the U.S Department of Justice has already completed their review into whether the deal breaks anti-trust laws and is just waiting on the Federal Communications Commission to do the same.

The FCC is expected to approve the deal with numerous conditions as early as next week.

AT&T is the #2 carrier in the U.S. and DirecTV is the largest pay-tv satellite company in the nation. Combined, they will form the country's biggest pay-tv company and the move will give DirecTV access to a broadband product that they can offer as part of a bundle.

As part of the expected conditions, AT&T will be forced to offer affordable high-speed Internet of at least 6Mbit/s as a standalone product without a TV bundle, and AT&T has already agreed to such a condition.

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AfterDawn: News

Xiaomi has sold 34.7 million phones so far in 2015

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jul 2015 23:23

Xiaomi has sold 34.7 million phones so far in 2015 Xiaomi, the world's third-largest smartphone maker, has sold 34.7 million phones in the first half of 2015, representing 33 percent growth year-over-year.

The company is aiming to sell 100 million smartphones this year so it looks like they will need a massive holiday quarter to do so, but whether or not they do hit the internal target, Xiaomi is certainly having a solid year.

Last year, the company sold 61 million, after selling 18.7 million in 2013. It's growth is far better than Samsung and Apple, although both are starting at massive baseline numbers.

Perhaps more impressively is the fact that Xiaomi only sells smartphones in eight nations, all in Asia, and will begin selling an entry-level phone in Brazil later this month. There have been no talks of expansion to Western Europe or North America, but the company did begin selling accessories like the Mi Band across the globe recently.

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AfterDawn: News

HP will officially split up on November 1st

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jul 2015 22:46

HP will officially split up on November 1st Hewlett-Packard (HP) has filed the paperwork necessary to split the company on November 1st.

The filing, with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, details the balance sheets of the two new split companies, based on their past performances.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise will sell servers, storage and network gear and also provide professional services, financial services, and software. HP Inc. will sell computers and printers and will be considered the parent company.

"We needed to be smaller, more nimble, we needed to be more focused," said CEO Meg Whitman during the company's announcement of the plans. "And we needed to have a capital structure for each company that would allow them to pursue their objectives."

HP, pre-split, is a massive company. There are over 300,000 employees spread out over 170 countries and there are currently 500 employees working solely on making sure the split goes smoothly.

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AfterDawn: News

Former DEA agent pleads guilty to stealing Bitcoin from Silk Road

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jul 2015 22:30

Former DEA agent pleads guilty to stealing Bitcoin from Silk Road In a storyline made for the movies, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent has plead guilty to extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice for his part in stealing Bitcoins from black market bazaar Silk Road.

The Silk Road operated for over two years before it was raided and shut down. During its time, the site and its owner generated over $200 million in sales, most of which came from drug and weapons sales. Ross Ulbricht was charged and convicted of creating and running the marketplace, and will now spend the rest of his life in prison.

Carl Force, the former agent, will be sentenced in October. Force's plea follows that of former Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges, who also stole Bitcoins from Ulbricht and the Silk Road during their investigation.

Force, pretending to be a drug dealer, extorted a $50,000 payment from Ulbricht during the investigation and never reported it to the DEA. He also offered Ulbricht information about the investigation for another payment of $100,000.

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AfterDawn: News

Prince removes his music catalog from streaming services

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jul 2015 22:06

Prince removes his music catalog from streaming services Musician Prince has sent take down notices to most of the major streaming services to have his music removed.

As of writing, Spotify, Rdio, Google and Deezer have already removed the tracks while Tidal still had them available. Apple Music did not have Prince's music to start with.

"Prince's publisher has asked all streaming services to remove his catalog. We have cooperated with the request, and hope to bring his music back as soon as possible," read Spotify's page.

The artist's choice follows that of Taylor Swift, who has vocally been against free streaming music.

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AfterDawn: News

Clash of Clans, Boom Beach maker Supercell shuts down a surprise flop

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jul 2015 21:56

Clash of Clans, Boom Beach maker Supercell shuts down a surprise flop Supercell, the major mobile game maker, is shutting down 'Smash Land' this month, a surprise flop for the company.

The developer behind Clash of Clans, Boom Beach and Hay Day will completely discontinue the game on September 1st.

Smash Land launched just three months ago but could not gain any traction. Clash of Clans remains the top-grossing game for Android and iOS, Boom Beach is #6 and Hay Day is #16, and Supercell was hopeful they had another hit.

"Despite its popularity and positive feedback from players, it was proving difficult to reach the high standards set by our other games," the company said. "We did not want to continue for the sake of continuing as that is not the Supercell way. We won't be accepting any new purchases from today (Wednesday 1 July 2015) and the game will fully shut down on Tuesday 1 September 2015."

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft expands sales of Surface 3 with LTE to Germany, UK

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jul 2015 21:36

Microsoft expands sales of Surface 3 with LTE to Germany, UK Microsoft has announced that their Surface 3 tablet with 4G LTE will now be available in more nations.

The device had been available for the past few weeks in Japan and will now be available in Germany and the UK followed by the U.S., France and Spain later in the year for both business and retail customers.

Says the company: "We see particular excitement for our LTE-enabled Surface 3 with businesses and their sales forces, which is why this initial announcement is focused on business availability. We're already hearing from customers that have deployed Surface Pro 3 that sellers are saving hours per week in many cases. Having a more mobile option in Surface 3 (4G LTE) is only going to create more opportunities."

The devices will run Windows 8.1 Pro and will be upgradeable to Windows 10 later in July. Microsoft is offering two models, each of which has 4GB of RAM and has either 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.

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