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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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AfterDawn: News

Facebook changes its logo, kinda

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jul 2015 19:33

Facebook changes its logo, kinda Earlier this week, Facebook introduced a new updated logo, although there have been minimal changes.

"When Facebook's logo was first created in 2005, the company was just getting started and we wanted the logo to feel grown up and to be taken seriously. Now that we are established, we set out to modernize the logo to make it feel more friendly and approachable. While we explored many directions, ultimately we decided that we only needed an update, and not a full redesign. We worked with Eric Olson -- whose typeface Klavika was used in the original logo -- and developed a custom typeface to reflect where we are now and where we are headed," said the company.

Most of the changes are very subtle including the double-story "A" now being single-story, but otherwise the logo is relatively the same with a more "grown up" presence.

Source:
Underconsideration




AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Does Microsoft have interest in acquiring AMD?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jul 2015 0:45

Rumor: Does Microsoft have interest in acquiring AMD? According to a new report, Microsoft is looking into acquiring struggling chip maker AMD, a move that would help the software giant to revive its own chip operations and save on costs.

Microsoft had its own chip design division nearly a decade ago, but has since moved on to AMD and Nvidia for its consoles and other hardware. Microsoft uses a specialized AMD SoC for its Xbox One.

AMD was once valued at over $20 billion, but now has a market value of just $1.8 billion, a figure that would be nothing to Microsoft who has a value of $350 billion including over $90 billion in cash.

For its Xbox One console, Microsoft pays an estimated $100 to AMD for use the SoC, and at nearly 13 million units sold to date, AMD appears to only be alive thanks to its Xbox One partnership. If Microsoft were to acquire and integrate AMD, it could save money on its consoles and potentially in the future save on smartphones and tablet if they can get AMD chips on par with Qualcomm and Intel in the mobile realm.

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon launches retail operations in Mexico

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jun 2015 23:52

Amazon launches retail operations in Mexico Amazon has announced today the launch of retail operations in Mexico, giving customers in the nation the chance to buy millions of items.

Until now, Mexicans only had access to the Kindle e-book store, and today's launch was Amazon's largest ever, internationally.

The site is Spanish language and Amazon has also rolled out iOS and Android apps as well as fulfillment services for marketplace users.

Due to a notoriously shaky postal system in Mexico, Amazon has also made it possible to pick up many of your items from hundreds of locations across the nation. These will not be Amazon Lockers, but rather pickup location operated by trusted business partners.

"The expansion of Amazon.com.mx represents Amazon's biggest international launch ever," said Juan Carlos Garca, Amazon's Country Manager for Amazon Mexico. "With convenient and secure payment options and fast delivery, our goal is to deliver a world-class shopping experience for customers in Mexico."

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AfterDawn: News

Xiaomi launches first smartphone outside of Asia

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jun 2015 23:32

Xiaomi launches first smartphone outside of Asia Chinese startup giant Xiaomi has released their first smartphone outside of Asia today with the Redmi 2 now available in Brazil.

Besides being sold in Brazil, the company is also manufacturing the devices there. By doing so, Xiaomi gets to avoid the massive taxation electronics companies face on imports. However, the labor and parts are much more expensive in Brazil than they would be back in China.

Brazilian smartphone sales are expected to jump to 64 million this year, making it one of the largest markets on the planet, coveted by all the major smartphone makers.

"It's a major undertaking because up until today, we didn't have that complexity in our supply chain," said Xiaomi's global VP Hugo Barra. Brazil is tough because "it requires re-architecting a lot of our supply chain from the components suppliers to financial systems to everything else."

The Redmi 2 will sell for just 499 reais ($159 USD). The device runs on Xiaomi's own Android-based MIUI operating system, a 720p 4.7-inch IPS display, a Snapdragon 410 64-bit processor and 2MP/8MP cameras.

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AfterDawn: News

Facebook Messenger payment platform now available to all in the U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jun 2015 22:37

Facebook Messenger payment platform now available to all in the U.S. Following its initial rollout to users in New York City, Facebook's Messenger payment platform is now available to all U.S. users.

Says the company: "To pay friends via Messenger, all you have to do is add a debit card so you can pay straight from your checking account without fees. To request payments, simply type the dollar amount and it will hyperlink users to a payment window. Alternatively, you can click the coin icon below the text box."

Facebook recommends keeping your checking accounts synced to Messenger (of course they do), but if you do not feel comfortable doing so you can enter your information anytime you make or receive a payment.

Notably, you do not even need a Facebook account any longer to use Messenger, making it even easier to pay your friends.

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AfterDawn: News

Siri does not like being asked "what is zero divided by zero"

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jun 2015 22:07

Siri does not like being asked "what is zero divided by zero" The Internet seemed to take offense to a 'sassy' response from Siri when asked "what is zero divided by zero."

Siri has been known to be sarcastic, but this answer goes right for your self-esteem.

This is what Siri will respond: "Imagine that you have zero cookies and you split them evenly among zero friends. How many cookies does each person get? See? It doesn't make sense. And Cookie Monster is sad that there are no cookies, and you are sad that you have no friends."

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AfterDawn: News

Vivendi acquires video sharing site Dailymotion for $242 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jun 2015 21:33

Vivendi acquires video sharing site Dailymotion for $242 million Media and content giant Vivendi has announced their acquisition of an 80 percent share in video sharing site Dailymotion.

The company paid 217 million euros for the stake, which is owned by European telco Orange.

Vivendi says the acquisition will give them access to "particularly attractive music and audiovisual content." Dailymotion offers content from independent producers, premium partners and millions of regular users.

The content behemoth also owns Universal Music Group and Canal+ Group, and adding Dailymotion to the mix will allow for "the joint development of original and distinctive content and formats that will meet the expectations of a whole new generation of digital consumers."

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AfterDawn: News

AC/DC will finally join streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jun 2015 23:28

AC/DC will finally join streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music AC/DC, one of the most notable bands to not be available on streaming services, is finally signing up.

The rock band - which has sold over 72 million albums in the U.S. - has long been against digital in general and just had their catalog added to iTunes in 2012, nine years after the store launched.

This week, the band's catalog will be available via streaming services like Spotify and Rdio and the new Apple Music.

AC/DC remained a holdout well after other bands bit the bullet, including Metallica, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, each of which joined in 2012 after years of rejecting the format.

Source:
NYT




AfterDawn: News

Samsung wants to build more Tizen phones this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jun 2015 23:05

Samsung wants to build more Tizen phones this year Samsung has confirmed plans to build more handsets running its own Tizen operating system, with launch scheduled for this year.

According to the sources, Samsung will launch a few Tizen phones at different price points although specs and design are still unknown.

Samsung has been long trying to break their dependence on Google's Android, and thus built Tizen which now runs their smartwatches and smart TV sets.

The company has been selling its sole Tizen smartphone in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and has sold over 1 million units to date.

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