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AfterDawn: News

Don't forget to download over $200 in free apps from Amazon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Dec 2014 21:07

Don't forget to download over $200 in free apps from Amazon Amazon has made over $200 of apps free as long as you download the Amazon App Store for Android.

There are games and apps from all over the spectrum, and we have a picture of all the apps, below.

"The Muscular System Manual" is the biggest "savings" of all the apps, down from $65 to free, but there is little doubt that it is one of the more unpopular apps and probably had a hard time selling at its original price tag.

Additionally, Amazon has some nice discounts on ebooks, Instant Video titles and most of their hardware devices.

Amazon says the free apps promo will end on December 26th.

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AfterDawn: News

Merry Christmas: Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network are both down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Dec 2014 17:17

Merry Christmas: Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network are both down A group of hackers calling themselves the 'Lizard Squad' have taken down both Xbox Live and the PlayStation Network today, denying gamers access to multiplayer gaming and other online downloads.

The Lizard Squad confessed to hitting both networks with DDoS attacks, and is using the attack to gain followers on Twitter. The group was asking for favorites and retweets to bring the networks back online, and have done so multiple times before shutting them down again.

Sony confirmed the service issue, but did not mention the DDoS. Microsoft did not acknowledge.

Whatever demands the group wanted, they do not appear to have been successful in getting what they wanted. "Lizard Squad" first issued the threat of taking down both networks on Christmas last week.

A rival group, "FinestSquad," has been working on getting Lizard Squad off Twitter, and is also giving advice to Sony and Microsoft on how to avoid the DDoS attack.

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AfterDawn: News

'The Interview' available now on Google Play, Xbox Video and directly from Sony

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Dec 2014 17:41

'The Interview' available now on Google Play, Xbox Video and directly from Sony As of 1pm today, Sony Picture's satirical comedy 'The Interview' starring James Franco and Seth Rogen is available online for rental and purchase, hours before a few independent theaters release the film on the big screen.

The controversial movie is available via Google Play, YouTube Movies, Xbox Video and Sony's own SeeTheInterview. A rental will set you back $5.99 or you can own the movie for $14.99.

Sony's online rollout, the day before the film was originally set to be released in theaters, is easily the highest-profile film to make its debut on the Web. Depending on its success, it could also be a harbinger for the future of film releases.

Google added a little statement with the release: "Last Wednesday Sony began contacting a number of companies, including Google, to ask if we'd be able to make their movie, "The Interview," available online. We'd had a similar thought and were eager to help--though given everything that's happened, the security implications were very much at the front of our minds.

Of course it was tempting to hope that something else would happen to ensure this movie saw the light of day. But after discussing all the issues, Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be)."

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AfterDawn: News

Superstar Pharrell made just pennies for millions of streams on Pandora

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Dec 2014 17:01

Superstar Pharrell made just pennies for millions of streams on Pandora According to an angry email from music publisher Sony/ATV CEO Marty Bandier, Pharrell and other music artists are not being paid properly for their popularity on the Internet Radio giant Pandora.

In fact, superstar Pharrell made just $2700 in publisher and songwriter royalties from his 43 million streams of the hit "Happy" for the first quarter of 2014, a measly $63 per million streams.

"This is a totally unacceptable situation and one that cannot be allowed to continue," Bandier wrote. "We at Sony/ATV want these digital music services to be successful because they are a great way for music fans to listen to music and have the potential to generate significant new revenues for everyone. However, this success should not come at the expense of songwriters whose songs are essential for these services to exist and thrive."

Others in the industry pointed out that Bandier's numbers did not include performance rights royalty rates, and that Pharrell's earnings were likely around $25,000 - although that figure is nothing to be too proud of either.

Pandora was quick to respond:

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AfterDawn: News

'The Interview' will be released on Christmas in a few theaters and VOD

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2014 22:47

'The Interview' will be released on Christmas in a few theaters and VOD Sony Pictures has confirmed that the now infamous 'The Interview' will get its Christmas release date, after all.

CEO Michael Lynton added in a statement: "We have never given up on releasing The Interview and we're excited our movie will be in a number of theaters on Christmas Day. At the same time, we are continuing our efforts to secure more platforms and more theaters so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience."

Independent theater chains will show the films although it appears as of now that only about 200 screens will be playing the comedy.

Most notably, THR says that Sony will almost definitely release the movie on VOD simultaneously, meaning consumers will able to download and watch the film from home.

"I want to thank our talent on The Interview and our employees, who have worked tirelessly through the many challenges we have all faced over the last month," Lynton added. "While we hope this is only the first step of the film's release, we are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech."

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AfterDawn: News

Apple products are back in Russia, but with significant price boost

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2014 22:20

Apple products are back in Russia, but with significant price boost Last week, we reported that Apple shut down their Russian online store due to the "extreme" depreciation of the Russian currency, rubles.

At the time, Apple said: "Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing. We apologize to customers for any inconvenience."

The store is now back up in the nation, but consumers will have to pay up heavily to get their new iPhone. Apple has raised the price of the iPhone 6 by 35 percent, with the base model now selling for 53,990 rubles (about $1000 USD). In November, Apple raised the price 25 percent and the combined price jumps now make Russia one of the most expensive places in the world to get an iPhone.

Russia's national currency, the ruble, has been demolished in recent weeks against the strength of the US Dollar, and it now takes 54 rubles to get one USD. More much of the last five years, the rate was about 20:1. The currency has recovered somewhat in the last week, when it touched 80:1.




AfterDawn: News

Disney World will accept Apple Pay, Google Wallet starting tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2014 21:43

Disney World will accept Apple Pay, Google Wallet starting tomorrow Disney has confirmed that Walt Disney World Resort in Florida will begin accepting Apple Pay and Google Wallet tomorrow.

Any guest with an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, and the upcoming Apple Watch will be able pay quickly and securely using any card they have linked to their Apple Pay accounts. Any Android device with NFC and Google Wallet will also be able to make payments, although Wallet has been much less popular among consumers.

Disney also confirmed that most other contactless payments services, like contactless RFID credit cards, will also work.

Most stores, bars, ticket sales booths and quick-serve restaurants or snack stations will accept the payments.

Finally, in a few months, Disney says the Disneyland Resort in California will get contactless payments.

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AfterDawn: News

North Korean Internet still having intermittent blackouts

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2014 21:20

North Korean Internet still having intermittent blackouts According to multiple reports, North Korea is having its second day of intermittent Internet blackouts.

Yesterday, most of North Korea's Internet network was down for a good portion of the day, but was restored during the evening.

There has been rampant speculation about the source of the downtime, with many accusing the U.S. of retaliating for the attack on Sony Pictures. Other reports had claimed China was to blame, but the Chinese government has denounced any such reports.

Earlier this week, the FBI formally blamed North Korea for the devastating hack on Sony Pictures that led to 100 terabytes of sensitive data being stolen. President Obama promised a "proportional response" to the alleged hackers.

Even with widespread downtime, it is unclear how many are really affected. Most citizens only have access to a government-approved intranet, while North Korean officials and other "trusted elite" have access to the true World Wide Web.

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AfterDawn: News

Popcorn Time: Windows and Mac versions get minor updates as iOS gets a major promise

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2014 0:32

Popcorn Time: Windows and Mac versions get minor updates as iOS gets a major promise The team behind Popcorn Time has made a few changes to their Mac and Windows versions of the software and made a strong promise for the upcoming iOS update.

First, the Windows version has been updated to beta 5.1:

After learning about how awesome beta 5.0 is, but also what's not working so well in it, we worked hard on solving the issues and we believe we managed to fix many bugs that were bugging you guys!! First of all, Chromecast should work well again for those who experienced issues with it recently... So go a head and enjoy a good movie on your TV screen again, no problemo!

Other than that we fixed many player issues, the cache folder bug and we increased download speed, enabled support of a bigger variety of torrents and in general we improved the watching experience, so go and watch something and tell us how it feels!!


The Mac beta has been updated to version 4.9.1:

First of all to the burning question you all are probably asking: Why isn't Mac on beta 5.X yet?
Well, with all that's been going on recently, we had to invest a lot of time making sure that Popcorn Time will not be shut down, and that time took a bite from the time we had for development.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony: 'The Interview' will be released eventually

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Dec 2014 23:45

Sony: 'The Interview' will be released eventually Sony attorney David Boies has seemingly confirmed that the studio will eventually release 'The Interview,' although the when and the how are still very much unclear.

Boies stated that the now infamous comedy "will be distributed." He added, "Sony only delayed this. Sony has been fighting to get this picture distributed. It will be distributed. How it's going to be distributed, I don't think anybody knows quite yet. But it's going to be distributed."

This is a stark change from last Wednesday, when the studio said there were "no further release plans" for the film following its theatrical cancellation. There have been reports that Sony will release the film via their free streaming service - Crackle, but that is nowhere near confirmed.

The attorney also added to President Obama's recent comments about the attack. "I think that what we have to do is use the president's recognition of the importance of this issue as a rallying cry, so that all Americans can unite against what is really a threat to our national security," added Boies. "If state-sponsored criminal acts like this can be directed against Sony, it can be directed against anybody."

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon slashes price of new Fire HDX 8.9 tablet by 30 percent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Dec 2014 23:02

Amazon slashes price of new Fire HDX 8.9 tablet by 30 percent Amazon has dumped the price of their new Fire HDX 8.9 tablet, giving consumers a chance to get the device at 30 percent off.

The 32GB/Wi-Fi model is selling for $300 today, down from $430. If you need cellular data and more storage, the 64GB/LTE model is down to $414 from $594, a pretty decent deal given the specs.

Amazon's tablet has an 8.9" "HDX" display with 2560x1600 resolution, a 2.5GHz quad-core processor, 2GB RAM and an Adreno 420 GPU for smoother gaming and video playback.

In addition, Amazon has added free one-day shipping for all buyers of the tablets for the next day, ensuring you can get it by Christmas.

Interested parties can check the tablets here: Amazon Fire HDX 8.9




AfterDawn: News

Instagram now valued at over $35 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Dec 2014 22:41

Instagram now valued at over $35 billion In 2012, social networking giant Facebook purchased photo sharing giant Instagram for $1 billion. At the time, many cited the deal as a sign that the tech world was in a bubble.

Just two and a half years later, the acquisition is looking like the steal of the century.

Large international bank Citigroup has raised their valuation of Instagram significantly, valuing the company at over $35 billion. Last year, the bank had placed a valuation of $19 billion on the company, in of itself a huge increase from the original purchase price.

Instagram now has over 300 million monthly active users and Citigroup believes the photo sharing service could eventually bring in over $2 billion in annual revenue.

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AfterDawn: News

Anonymous: Sony Pictures attack definitely did not come from North Korea

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Dec 2014 22:16

Anonymous: Sony Pictures attack definitely did not come from North Korea Anonymous, the group behind some of the largest corporate cyber attacks in recent history, claims the FBI are wrong in claiming North Korea is behind the hack on Sony Pictures.

Last week, the FBI claimed that the North Korean government was responsible for the attack on Sony's servers, which netted the hackers as much as 100 terabytes of sensitive information. The hackers also then threatened movie theaters if they showed the comedy "The Interview," which was eventually forced to be canceled by Sony since no one would distribute it.

At the time, the FBI claimed that "technical analysis of the data deletion malware used in this attack revealed links to other malware that the FBI knows North Korean actors previously developed. For example, there were similarities in specific lines of code, encryption algorithms, data deletion methods, and compromised networks." Additionally, the FBI found IP addresses that were associated with Korean infrastructure that were communicating with the IPs hardcoded into some of the malware used during the hack.

Many saw an obvious connection, but there were quite a few doubters, as well. For their part, North Korea still denies any involvement and has proposed a joint task force to find the real culprits. Guardians of Peace, the group that took credit for the attack, also mocked the FBI's investigation, calling the officials 'idiots.'

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AfterDawn: News

Report: Sony to release 'The Interview' for free on their Crackle service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2014 13:44

Report: Sony to release 'The Interview' for free on their Crackle service Less than a week after Sony announced they were canceling the release of 'The Interview' and that they had 'no future plans for its release," we have some encouraging news this weekend.

Sources claim the studio will release the now infamous comedy for free on Crackle, their free streaming service that has a catalog of older content.

Sony canceled the release after their attackers threatened terrorist attacks against movie theaters and movie goers. The movie theater chains refused the show the film, and Sony says that streaming sites also refused to take the film for distribution.

It will be interesting to see if the studio will keep their original release date of Christmas, December 25th.

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AfterDawn: News

Notch outbids Jay Z and Beyonce for new mansion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Dec 2014 18:13

Notch outbids Jay Z and Beyonce for new mansion It appears that being the most powerful couple in entertainment is not enough to compete with Minecraft money.

Markus 'Notch' Persson, the creator of the blockbuster game, became a billionaire in September when Microsoft acquired Mojang AB for $2.5 billion. Notch is said to have owned 70 percent of the gaming studio, netting the developer $1.75 billion before taxes.

The dev is now the proud owner of a $70 million mansion in Beverly Hills, California, outbidding Beyoncé and Jay Z, who were expected to win.

Curbed has an apt description of the ridiculous house: "It's outfitted with a candy room, a car showroom, vodka and tequila bars, a 54-foot curved glass door that opens onto the pool, eight bedrooms, 15 bathrooms, apartment-sized closets, and a movie theater, and even the listing called it 'an overwhelming sensory experience.'"

You can see more pictures at the source.





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