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AfterDawn: News

Aussies and Kiwis finally getting Netflix this month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2015 22:34

Aussies and Kiwis finally getting Netflix this month Netflix has announced that fans in Australia and New Zealand will finally get access to the company's streaming catalog.

Many Aussies and Kiwis have heard a lot about Netflix over the years, and we're excited they'll get to experience our unique blend of Netflix original content, local series and films, and popular movies and TV shows from around the world, all for a low monthly price," said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and chief executive officer.

Starting on March 24th, consumers can choose between three service plans: single stream SD, two-stream HD and a four-stream 4K 'family plan.' Pricing is not official yet, but it is expected to be in line with global prices, which are $7.99 for the base plan, $1 more for the HD plan and $3 more for the family plan.

Most notably, Australian customers of ISP iiNet, which has a bandwidth cap, will not see Netflix counted towards their monthly quota, a relief as Netflix and other streaming services can quickly and quietly eat up your monthly data cap in no time.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony PlayStation 4 reaches 20 million consoles sold

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2015 22:11

Sony PlayStation 4 reaches 20 million consoles sold Sony has boasted today that global PlayStation 4 sales have reached a new milestone: 20 million units.

"We are so grateful for the enormous support from PlayStation fans worldwide, and we are truly humbled that gamers around the globe have continued to select PS4 as the best place to play," added Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Andrew House. "We remain steadfast in our commitment to deliver unique and interactive entertainment experiences powered by the network and the PS4 system's deep social capabilities."

The company expects sales to continue to be strong with an upcoming lineup of games including Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, Bloodborne, Until Dawn, Tearaway Unfolded, and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.

Major rival Microsoft has not had any new milestones to share since November when they reached 10 million units sold, but undoubtedly the Redmond giant has sold millions since given the exceptionally strong holiday season the company had thanks to a price cut across the board on its console and bundles.

Source:
Sony




AfterDawn: News

Netflix's original sci-fi series from the Wachowskis will be here June 5th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2015 21:40

Netflix's original sci-fi series from the Wachowskis will be here June 5th Netflix's first original sci-fi program 'Sense8' will launch on June 5th via the streaming service.

The drama follows the story of eight 'sensates' - people that are linked to each other technologically following an accident.

Sense8 was created by the Wachowskis (The Matrix), and written by J. Michael Straczynski (most recently Thor, World War Z).

"We're excited to work with Netflix and Georgeville Television on this project, and we've wanted to work with Joe Straczynski for years, chiefly due to the fact his name is harder to pronounce than ours, but also because we share a love of genre and all things nerdy," added Andy and Lana Wachowski when the show was first announced. "Several years ago, we had a late night conversation about the ways technology simultaneously unites and divides us, and out of that paradox Sense8 was born."

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix acquires rights to 'Beasts of No Nation' for $12 million for Oscar run

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2015 21:20

Netflix acquires rights to 'Beasts of No Nation' for $12 million for Oscar run Netflix has acquired the worldwide rights to African war drama 'Beasts of No Nation' as the streaming giant sets on a path to win an Oscar.

The movie, which stars Idris Elba, will be available for a limited theatrical run and then available around the globe on Netflix later the same day.

Netflix paid $11.9 million for the rights, and industry sources say the company will make a strong Oscar push for the film, hence the reason it is going to theaters at all. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences rules states "films that in any version, receive their first public exhibition or distribution in any manner other than as a theatrical motion picture release will not be eligible for Academy Awards in any category."

The film is the story of an African child forced to join a group of soldiers.

Outside of their own exclusive original TV programming, Netflix has made a strong move into feature films. The streaming service will host 4 original Adam Sandler films, a sequel to "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," 4 original films from comedy and drama writers Jay and Mark Duplass and 'Jodatville,' starring Jamie Dorman of recent Fifty Shades of Grey fame.

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AfterDawn: News

The first Galaxy S6 camera samples have been released

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Mar 2015 11:39

The first Galaxy S6 camera samples have been released Samsung has released eight sample photos that the company claims they have taken with the freshly announced Galaxy S6 (or the Galaxy S6 edge).

Obviously the settings have been optimized for the best result whether it is the lighting or stationary objects or the camera but the photos should give you a sense of what kind of quality you can expect in a perfect situation.

The first five of the pictures have been taken with Galaxy S6's 16 megapixel camera in the back and the last three with the five megapixel selfie shooter. The size of the selfie photos are around 2,5 megabytes but the size of the 16 megapixel ones range from just over three to nearly seven megabytes depending on the quality and amount of detail.

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AfterDawn: News

HTC reveals One M9, fails to impress

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Mar 2015 11:14

HTC reveals One M9, fails to impress HTC's this years flagship reveal was as expected the One M9. A new versio of last year's One was just that – a new version.

Starting with the five inch Full HD display everything seems to be pretty much as it is with the company's offering. They have made a change in the camera department and switched the UltraPixel camera in the back for a 20 megapixel one that will improve the detail but that seems to be it.

The aluminum shelled One M9 features a Snapdragon 810, outperformed by the Samsung's own Exynos chip, 3 gigabytes of RAM, 32 gigabytes of microSD expandable storage and a UltraPixel selfie camera that claims to provide low light performance to the facial shots that you desire.

The phone has a 2840 mAh battery and an improved front facing duo BoomSound speakers that support Dolby Surround.

HTC One M9 is expected to land on all major carriers "early spring" with a $199 on two year contract price tag.




AfterDawn: News

Sony's new Z4 Tablet is lighter than Air – or Air 2

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Mar 2015 9:22

Sony's new Z4 Tablet is lighter than Air – or Air 2 Sony has revealed a new tablet device at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Xperia Z4 Tablet is super lightweight Android-tablet that is water and dust proof.

Xperia Z4 Tablet is the successor to the last year's slim Xperia Z2 Tablet and carries the same design pedigree. The new offering however is even slimmer and lighter. In fact it is as slim as Apple's iPad Air 2 and weighs considerably less.

Inside you get a 10,1 inch 2K resolution display (2560 x 1600), three gigabytes of RAM, 32 gigabytes of microSD expandable storage and the octa-core Snapdragon 810 SoC. Sony tells us that the device will hits the stores this spring but has not yet revealed the pricing.




AfterDawn: News

Google confirms: Google+ is being broken up

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2015 23:04

Google confirms: Google+ is being broken up As suggested last week by Google SVP Sundar Pichai, Google has confirmed it will be breaking its Google+ social network into two different entities.

Google exec Bradley Horowitz confirmed the news, noting that Google+ would be broken into 'Photos' and 'Streams.'

Noted the exec: "Just wanted to confirm that the rumors are true -- I'm excited to be running Google's Photos and Streams products! It's important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users."

Google Photos has been popular among users as it stores all your photos in the cloud and actually organizes it using Google's algos.

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AfterDawn: News

Google's Android Pay is real, and it has an API

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2015 22:30

Google's Android Pay is real, and it has an API Now that Apple Pay is a hit and Samsung just announced their entry to market, Google is not far behind in the blossoming mobile payments world.

Google's SVP Sundar Pichai has confirmed today that the rumored Android Pay is real, and it has an API that will allow developers to build payments right into their apps.

The effort follows Google's recent announcement that its Wallet mobile payment app would be pre-installed on AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile phones following the company's acquisition of SoftCard.

Besides allowing for purchasing in stores using NFC, Android Pay will also work with retailers for online checkout options similar to Apple Pay. Android Pay will also support tokenized card numbers, meaning every transaction will use a one-time number via Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

Source:
Engadget




AfterDawn: News

Jolla announces "Sailfish Secure," a 'security hardened' version of its operating system

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2015 21:55

Jolla announces "Sailfish Secure," a 'security hardened' version of its operating system Jolla, the Finnish smartphone startup, has announced Sailfish Secure, a 'security hardened' version of its operating system.

The company says it will work directly with Finland's SSH Communications to enhance its Sailfish operating system with better security credentials. SSH says it will provide communication encryption and key management.

Says Jolla: "The Sailfish Secure approach will allow solution concept adaptation to e.g. local needs, and also collaboration with other security partners. End customers like governments or large corporations are able to adapt the solution to their preferred hardware platform, i.e. the solution is not tied to a specific hardware configuration."

Who are potential customers for Sailfish Secure? "Customers for the solution can include government officials, and corporations needing a secure mobile solution. The aim is also to make the solution affordable for consumers."

Jolla's secure OS should be available 'during 2016,' notes the company.

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AfterDawn: News

Cyanogen reveals new logo, branding and major partnership with Qualcomm

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2015 21:32

Cyanogen reveals new logo, branding and major partnership with Qualcomm Cyanogen, the brand that is trying to break into the mobile operating system wars and is actually succeeding, has announced a new major partnership with Qualcomm alongside a new logo and branding.

Qualcomm, the world's largest chipmaker, has confirmed it will install the Cyanogen OS on its upcoming Reference Design products starting next month. The Reference Design program lets Qualcomm create "templates" for smartphones that smaller OEMs can easy take and release under their own names.

These won't be high-end devices, Qualcomm notes, with the devices being powered by the company's mid-range 200, 400 and 600 processors but no matter it should help Cyanogen reach millions of new consumers for its fast, efficient open-source operating system.

In addition, Cyanogen has rebranded again and created a new logo that they hope gives "a sense of motion and a feeling of inherent energy" and one that "captures our commitment to openness."

Read some more from Cyanogen's MWC blog post here.

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AfterDawn: News

Report: Microsoft Windows' PC market share to fall under 90 percent this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2015 21:00

Report: Microsoft Windows' PC market share to fall under 90 percent this year According to Technalysis Research, Microsoft's Windows will fall under 90 percent share in the PC market.

The firm has predicted that 88.7 percent of units shipped this year will run Windows, down from 90.4 percent in 2014. Apple will take a portion of that pie, extending their Mac share to 6.9 percent from 6.2 percent.

Google's cloud-based Chrome OS operating system will take 2.9 percent share, up from 2.2 percent in 2014. Linux and all other operating systems make up the rest of the share.

Although it is certainly near impossible to forecast far out, Technalysis predicted out to 2020, where Windows is expected to still have 86.7 percent share, with Mac at 8.6 percent and Chrome OS at 3.6 percent.

While the move in Macs is not unprecedented given Apple's brand, Google's share has taken many by surprise. The company's cheap devices have been extremely popular in schools and in the education market, taking as much as 39 percent share by some reports last year.

Overall, PC shipments have peaked, and are likely to stay around 300 million per year for the foreseeable future until a future innovation makes everything we own obsolete.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveiled Galaxy S6, S6 edge

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 02 Mar 2015 11:22

Samsung unveiled Galaxy S6, S6 edge As anticipated Samsung unveiled new flagship smartphones to start off the Mobile World Congress for the Korean company. The new Galaxy takes a page from Apple's book and tries to lure customers with high end design and materials.

Both new models share a metal and Gorilla Glass design which was first introduces in Samsung devices with the Alpha series. The main difference between the two models is of course the world's first two way curved display on the S6 edge (below).

The Galaxy S6 comes with a 5,1 inch AMOLED display with QHD resolution (2650 x 1440). Back facing camera is 16 megapixel shooter that is said to beat even the likes of iPhone 6 Plus in low light. Selfie camera boasts 5 megapixels.

As per usual Samsung has packed the phone full of technical gimmicks but this time has listened to the customer to remove software clutter and disorder.

The prices of Samsung Galaxy S6 have yet to be released but the euro prices have already leaked. Prepare to shell out some serious cash, prices start at 699 euros ($784) for the regular Galaxy S6 and 849 euros ($953) for the Galaxy S6 edge. The top of the line edge is said to sell for 1099 euros ($1234).

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AfterDawn: News

Alcatel shows off nice spec phablet for $249 unlocked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2015 17:25

Alcatel shows off nice spec phablet for $249 unlocked Alcatel, known for their extremely low-priced smartphones, has unveiled a new phablet today at MWC that has nice specs and will sell for $249 unlocked, undercutting every other OEM in the space.

The new Idol 3 has a 5.5-inch 1080p display, an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, dual front-facing speakers powered by JBL, two microphones (meaning you can pick up a phone call from any direction), dual cameras 8MP/13MP (which is great) and both have wide-aperture lenses and LED flash.

Perhaps most importantly, the device packs a relatively large 2,910mAh battery into a thin 7.7mm thick body. The device has LTE support on GSM bands in the U.S.

The Idol 3 will launch with Android 5.0.2 and Alcatel's own UI, which is a slight variant of stock Android.

At $249 unlocked, Alcatel, despite not being a household name by any stretch, should be able to break into the phablet market with a strong showing at such a cheap price. By comparison, Google's Nexus 6 retails for $649 and Apple's iPhone 6 Plus retails for at least $749 when unlocked.

Source:
GSMA




AfterDawn: News

Acer releases budget Windows Phone for the masses

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2015 13:22

Acer releases budget Windows Phone for the masses Acer has used MWC to announce their first Windows Phone, the budget Liquid M220.

Available in Europe for just 79 euros, the device should be able to rival Microsoft's budget Lumia devices, if at least on price.

The phone has a 4-inch display, 512MB RAM, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 4GB internal storage (microSD expandable), 3G radios and dual 2MP/5MP cameras.

Outside of low price and low-end specs, Acer has looked to differentiate themselves with an interesting design. The back has a hashed look which also makes it the device easier to hold, and the sides have a metallic dotted look that breaks up the monotony.

At launch, the device will run Windows 8.1, but will be upgradeable to Windows 10 later this year when the operating system launches.

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