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T-Mobile CEO mocks new Verizon logo, claims carrier screws over its customers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Sep 2015 12:08

T-Mobile CEO mocks new Verizon logo, claims carrier screws over its customers Earlier this week, Verizon updated its long-standing logo, modernizing the look and downplaying the giant check mark of the past logo.

While most agree the logo is a nice improvement, T-Mobile CEO John Legere has taken the opportunity to mock the logo and use it against Verizon and its practices.

Legere, who does not hold any punches, says Verizon 'screws over customers,' 'keeps all your unused data' and offers 'no early upgrade options.' Legere even trolled Verizon some more by asking Twitter users to add their own using the hashtag #NewVerizon.

T-Mobile, which recently became the 3rd largest carrier in the U.S., surpassing Sprint, has seen incredible growth since Legere came on board as the carrier has decidedly gone anti-establishment and started offering plenty of perks at great prices.

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AfterDawn: News

E-book sales get crushed after prices go up on Amazon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Sep 2015 11:58

E-book sales get crushed after prices go up on Amazon Over the past few months, e-book distributors have been signing new deals with e-commerce giant Amazon, and you've likely noticed that the prices of e-books have gone way up, almost in-line with what a physical book sells for.

While the publishers were likely happy that they got to price gouge (and Amazon could no longer discount), revenues have already taken a huge hit so the publishers' strategy has unsurprisingly backfired.

Majors Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers and Simon & Schuster all reported major declining e-book revenue in the last quarter. Hachette, for example, saw e-books fall to just 24 percent of its U.S. net revenue for the first 6 months of 2015, compared to 29 percent a year earlier. The company also had a large 7.8 percent drop in revenue for the period.

On the other hand, most of the publishers have claimed that lack of blockbuster titles have been the cause of declines but that remains to be seen.

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AfterDawn: News

The Google Play Store could finally be headed back to China

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Sep 2015 11:43

The Google Play Store could finally be headed back to China After years of being banned from the nation, Google could be well on its way to having the Google Play Store return to China this fall.

According to a new report, the store could return, in a censored version, after Google removed its services from China in 2010 over surveillance and censorship concerns. Those concerns are not likely to have changed but what has certainly changed since 2010 is China's smartphone market base, which has exploded over 300 percent.

Google will reportedly use its close partners like Huawei to get back into the country, asking the major phone maker to include the Play Store with its Android phones sold in the nation. Even with a Chinese partner, the Play Store will require government approval, which almost certainly means a neutered offering that restricts popular apps like Twitter and Facebook. Google will also have to restrict what movies, books and music it sells in the nation, if it's even allowed to do so, at all.

Finally, the report claims that the Play Store will only work with Android Marshmallow devices, which means the launch will by tiny in the fall. The new operating system is expected to launch early next month alongside a new Huawei-built Nexus flagship.

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AfterDawn: News

Is the oft-rumored iPad Pro coming next week?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Sep 2015 11:32

Is the oft-rumored iPad Pro coming next week? According to a new report, Apple's upcoming September 9th event will be one of the biggest in the company's history.

In addition to showing off the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, the company will also unveil a brand new Apple TV set-top and new Apple Watch bands. But, if sources are correct, then the company will also launch the oft-rumored iPad Pro and even a new iPad Mini.

While most of those items were expected, the iPad Pro has been rumored for almost two years now and has never been more than just rumor. The iPad Pro will be a giant tablet, possibly 12.2-inches, that could launch as early as November. The tablet has been most recently rumored to have stereo speakers, run iOS 9.1 and support Force Touch.

Apple has not confirmed anything except to say that the event will include an "unprecedented" number of product launches, and indeed, the company has rented out an auditorium that fits 7000.

Whether you are an Apple fan or not, next week should be interesting at the least.

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AfterDawn: News

Windows 10 now with bigger market share than OS X Yosemite

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Sep 2015 11:11

Windows 10 now with bigger market share than OS X Yosemite Microsoft Windows 10, on the market since the end of July, has now surpassed Apple's OS X Yosemite in market share.

According to the latest figures from Statista, the operating system has 5.2 percent market share, ahead of Yosemite at 4.8 percent. Although Mac has a much smaller share of the overall market, the number is still significant as Yosemite was launched last November.

As expected, Windows 7 is far and away the leader, at 57.7 percent share, followed by the 14-year old (wow) Windows XP at 12.1 percent. Windows 8.1, in its short time on the market, has 11.4 percent share and that share is expected to disappear in the coming months as Windows 10 cannibalizes it.

Windows 10 is free to legal owners of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 and the operating system is also available on different ecosystems including Raspberry Pi, tablets, Windows Phones and soon on the Xbox One.

(Chart via BI from Statista)

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AfterDawn: News

Your baby monitor is currently being hacked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Sep 2015 10:11

Your baby monitor is currently being hacked According to a new report, a few of the most popular web-connected baby monitors are extremely vulnerable to being attacked as they lack even the most basic security features.

Besides giving cyber attackers an in to watch your baby, it may also give access to other Wi-Fi enabled devices around the home.

Security firm Rapid7 Inc. reported on nine baby monitors that are popular and range from $55 to $260 in price. "There's a certain leap of faith you're taking with your child when you use one of these," says Mark Stanislav, a senior security consultant at Rapid7. All of the monitors record and send the video to your app or to a personal site (cloud). Some can even record audio and motion and alert the watcher.

The biggest problems found with the devices was lack of data encryption. Many of the monitors did not encrypt their data streams, or their web or mobile features were lacking strong encryption. Perhaps more scary was the fact that some has hidden passwords for access to the device, but those passwords were listed online or in manuals and were unchangeable by the user.

Of the nine researched, 8 of the monitors received an "F" rating while received a "D-," but all have been notified and some have already begun making changes. "When one gets an 'F' and one gets a 'D minus,' there isn't an appreciable difference," Stanislav says. "And unlike a laptop where you can install firewalls and antimalware, you can't do that here."

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AfterDawn: News

First minor Windows 10 update is slated for November

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Sep 2015 22:45

First minor Windows 10 update is slated for November According to multiple source, Microsoft's first non-patch update for Windows 10 (codename Threshold 2) is now slated for release in November.

Originally, the update had been planned for late October so it appears there is just a slight delay as Microsoft works out some kinks and continues developing the update.

Reportedly, Microsoft will simply name the update "Windows 10 November Update" or drop the name/identity completely.

Unfortunately for Windows 10 fans, there don't appear to be any killer features with Threshold 2 but the first major update, codename Redstone, will bring a universal messaging app and Edge extensions.

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AfterDawn: News

WhatsApp reaches 900 million users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Sep 2015 20:39

WhatsApp reaches 900 million users WhatsApp founder Jan Koum has announced this week that the popular messenger app has now reached 900 million monthly active users.

The Facebook-owned company has grown by 100 million users in the last five months, and 200 million in less than a year, but growth is slowing from the ferocious pace it had before.

Parent Facebook has 1.49 billion monthly active users and its own Messenger app has 700 million users so it seems that Facebook really is connecting the world.

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AfterDawn: News

Feds: Ex Tesla engineer hacked boss's email, leaked confidential information

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Sep 2015 20:27

Feds: Ex Tesla engineer hacked boss's email, leaked confidential information A former Tesla engineer has been charged with computer crime offenses after allegedly accessing his former Boss's e-mail account and leaking information.

Nima Kalbasi, a 28 year old Canadian citizen, was fired from Tesla Motors in December, but later allegedly accessed Tesla's e-mail servers without authorization. Once gaining access to his former Boss's e-mail account, Kalbasi is accused of stealing confidential information, including employee assessments, which he then shared with former colleagues.

He also is alleged to have leaked confidential information online and attempting to harm Tesla's reputation and credibility by making false and misleading comments.

Kalbasi was apprehended while crossing the border from Canada to the United States on August 24. He appeared in U.S. District Court in San Jose on August 27, and is charged with two counts of felony computer intrusion, and one count of misdemeanor computer intrusion.

If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of five years in prison for the felony charges, and one year in prison for the misdemeanor charge.

Tesla Motors is based in Palo Alto, California, designing and manufacturing high-end electric vehicles, including the Tesla Model S. The firm just announced that its mass market Model 3 vehicle will be available to pre-order from March, 2016, starting at $35,000. The car itself won't go into production for two years as Tesla waits on the output from its highly-ambitious Gigafactory, under construction in Nevada.

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AfterDawn: News

UK resident arrested for Pirate Bay torrents

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Sep 2015 19:39

UK resident arrested for Pirate Bay torrents British police arrested a man on Thursday morning for allegedly uploading torrents to popular sites to help distribute music files.

The 38-year old was arrested in Everton, Liverpool, during a raid carried out by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), which investigates copyright infringement and counterfeiting in the United Kingdom.

According to the TorrentFreak blog, the man was a regular uploader of torrents to the Pirate Bay, and also to KickassTorrents. He would, allegedly, upload torrents that could be used to download and share compilations of popular music, such as the UK Top 40 hits.

In the past five years, he allegedly uploaded hundreds of torrents.

According to the PIPCU, the man also ran a separate site that offered individual tracks and acapella versions, and generated a "significant" amount of revenue through advertisements. The man was tracked down through a PIPCU investigation with cooperation from PRS for Music.

"He is also believed to be illegally uploading the UK Top 40 Singles to various torrent sites on a weekly basis as they are published by the official charts company," a PIPCU release reads.

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AfterDawn: News

New Chrome update will reduce the incredible amount of RAM the browser uses

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Sep 2015 19:23

New Chrome update will reduce the incredible amount of RAM the browser uses Fans of Google's Chrome browser know that if they want to have multiple tabs open then you better have 32GB of RAM free since the browser has inexplicably over time become a huge memory hog.

Google appears to agree and Chrome 45 is now available with focuses on efficiency and better speeds.

"Speed is one of the founding principles of Chrome. As the web evolves and sites take advantage of increasing capabilities, Chrome's performance--how fast pages load, how smooth scrolling is, how much memory is consumed, and how long your battery lasts--becomes even more important. So in the latest release of Chrome we've included a ton of improvements to make your browsing use less memory and power," says Google.

Additionally, Chrome will now restore your tabs in order from how recently they have been used so you can jump right back in even more efficiently. Finally, "Chrome can now detect when a webpage isn't busy with some other task, and use the free time to aggressively clean up old, unused memory. In practice we found that this reduced website memory usage by 10% on average, but the effect is even more dramatic on complex web apps. With Gmail, for example, we can free up nearly a quarter of the memory used by the tab," adds the company.

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AfterDawn: News

Google Chrome to use less memory and power

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Sep 2015 19:15

Google Chrome to use less memory and power Following an update, Google's Chrome browser should use less memory and be less of a burden on battery life.

It's not exactly a secret that Google's Desktop web browser likes to consume a lot of RAM, particularly for users that tend to have a large number of tabs open. There are ways to reduce the memory usage in Chrome manually, such as using add-ons that suspend tabs after a period of inactivity, or setting plug-ins (Flash etc.) as "click to play".

With the latest updates for Chrome, Google aims to ease the burden the browser puts on a system. The browser can now aggressively clean up old, unused memory when a webpage isn't busy with a task, which Google claims reduces memory usage per website by about 10 percent on average.

For complex web apps it is even better, with tests showing that up to a quarter of memory used by the tab can be freed.

Users of the Chrome browser will also have noticed that sometimes the browser can really lock up a system when restoring tabs that were previously opened. Google has made changes to improve tab restoration too, as Chrome will now restore tabs from most to least recently viewed and can detect when the computer is running low on resources and halt tab restoration temporarily.

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AfterDawn: News

Firefox for iOS now available as preview

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Sep 2015 14:56

Firefox for iOS now available as preview Mozilla has announced this week that their first public preview of Firefox for iOS is now available.

The rollout has started modestly just in New Zealand, but should be expanded soon.

Says Mozilla: "Our goal is to create a great browsing experience for iOS with Firefox. With this first public preview we will be collecting feedback in one country, before we extend availability to get feedback in a few more countries prior to a full public launch. Feedback from this preview release will help us build new features and bring Firefox for iOS to the App Store in rest of the world later this year."

The preview includes Mozilla 'Intelligent Search,' which suggests search results and offers answers from multiple search providers. As with other Mozilla products, you can sync over your desktop browser history, passwords and even active tabs.

You can sign up to try the preview here.

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AfterDawn: News

Hulu to offer ad-free version of streaming service for $12

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Sep 2015 1:05

Hulu to offer ad-free version of streaming service for $12 Hulu has announced this week that the company will begin offering an ad-free version of its streaming service for $11.99 per month, marking the first time since its launch that you will be able to watch content without commercials.

Until now, Hulu's premium streaming catalog cost $7.99 per month but still had ads. What made the service premium was the ability to watch shows that are currently on TV the day after they aired on Fox, NBC or ABC, a feature that is so far unmatched by other services.

In its efforts to take on Netflix, (which has 4x the amount of paying subscribers), Hulu recently announced a deal with Epix to bring new movies to the service, including popular titles from Lionsgate and Paramount.

"You can split people into two categories: ad avoiders and ad acceptors," said Hulu. "There are clearly people who just are not going to buy Hulu because there are ads. We think we can bring them back into the fold with new content and this new choice."

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AfterDawn: News

IFA: Samsung unveils first Ultra HD Blu-ray player

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Sep 2015 22:43

IFA: Samsung unveils first Ultra HD Blu-ray player Samsung has unveiled their first Ultra HD Blu-ray player today at IFA 2015.

The players, and the standard, can provide four times the resolution of regular Blu-ray players, and up to 64 times "higher color expression" and 60fps video support.

All discs will be upscaled to UHD and will be compatible with 4K streaming services and HDR video. As is now becoming standard, dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4GHz and 5GHz) is supported, and there is a USB port up front.

In addition, Samsung has promised to expand the fledgling ecosystem for 4K/Ultra HD content and will partner with Netflix, Amazon, Canal Plus and others to create and distribute more UHD content.

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