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AfterDawn: News

You can thank Apple for the Nexus 6's missing fingerprint scanner

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2015 20:55

You can thank Apple for the Nexus 6's missing fingerprint scanner According to former Motorola Mobility CEO Dennis Woodside, Nexus 6 owners can blame Apple for their device's lack of a fingerprint sensor.

Motorola had planned to place a fingerprint scanner in the dimple on the back of the device that now holds the Motorola logo, but Apple bought fingerprint sensor maker AuthenTec, who was the "best supplier."

When asked why the device has the dimple that is completely unused, Woodside said "the secret behind that is that it was supposed to be fingerprint recognition, and Apple bought the best supplier. So the second-best supplier was the only one available to everyone else in the industry and they weren't there yet."

AuthenTec was the first supplier with tech that allowed users to just hold their finger over the sensor for recognition. All other companies at the time required some sort of swiping motion. Apple first used the tech for its Touch ID sensor in the iPhone 5S.

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AfterDawn: News

Lizard Squad defaces Malaysia Airlines site, promises data dump

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2015 20:15

Lizard Squad defaces Malaysia Airlines site, promises data dump Lizard Squad, the group behind the DDoS that managed to take down Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network on Christmas, has defaced Malaysia Airlines' site today, adding a tasteless joke, as well.

Besides their standard lizard with a top hat and monocle, the site added the text "404-Plane Not Found" referencing flight 370, which disappeared in March, killing over 200 passengers. Additionally, the group said "Hacked by LIZARD SQUAD-OFFICIAL CYBER CALIPHATE," referencing the group that claims association with the extremist terrorist group ISIS.

Malaysia Airlines confirmed the DNS compromise, but said they expect to be fully up and running within 72 hours. All user data is said to be secure, but Lizard Squad still promised a data dump and showed a screenshot purporting to show passenger's itineraries.

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AfterDawn: News

isoHunt offers plentiful bounty to developers, mod and uploaders for 'Old Pirate Bay'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2015 19:32

isoHunt offers plentiful bounty to developers, mod and uploaders for 'Old Pirate Bay' Last month, following the raids and take down of The Pirate Bay, the team behind isoHunt launched The Old Pirate Bay, a copy of the original, but without some key features.

Regardless, the site now has over 1 million visitors per day, as it brings together torrent links from other sources into one repository. isoHunt is now offering money to make sure the site continues to develop. The Old Pirate Bay is offering $100,000 in Bitcoins to uploaders, developers and moderators who can clean the site over the next six months.

Reads the posting: "In order to boost that process we are announcing an unprecedented move. $100,000 for developing OldPirateBay.org, are you ready for that?! Anyone can take part in the website development and moderation which will result in public recognition. Also addition to your pay check would be a nice surprise."

Starting on March 1st, Old Pirate bay is adding upload and moderator capabilities, and $5000 a month will be split between the top contributors and mods for that month. $10,000 a month will be divied up between the developers who contribute the best features to the code of the site.

"The idea behind this message is to empower the community to create OldPirateBay.org as they see it. And we're ready to reward the most active participants along the way," the Isohunt.to team added. "The main idea is that community should develop the site in the way they want. So if there will be enough initiative the site will be developed by people. We just want to stimulate it."

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AfterDawn: News

20th anniversary Sony PlayStation 4 with serial 00001 sells for $128,000 at auction

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2015 19:14

20th anniversary Sony PlayStation 4 with serial 00001 sells for $128,000 at auction During a recent auction, a buyer paid the incredible sum of ¥15,135,000 ($128,000 USD) to be the proud owner of the first 20th anniversary Sony PlayStation 4.

Sony announced in December that it would be celebrating the history of the PlayStation console by launching a special edition PlayStation 4 in the gray colorway of its two-decade old predecessor.

The winning buyer will now have serial 00001 of 12,300 special consoles, and all the proceeds have been donated to the "Save the Children Japan" charity.

Sony was surprised and delighted at the success of the auction: "We appreciate all who participated in the auction and are surprised at the highest bid price, which was higher than our expectations".

Other, later serial models have been selling on eBay for over $2000, on average.

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AfterDawn: News

Cyanogen wants to have no ties to Google in the future

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2015 18:22

Cyanogen wants to have no ties to Google in the future Cyanogen Inc. CEO Kirt McMaster really, really, really wants to break his company's dependence on Google.

Based on the open-source Android operating system, CyanogenMod is an OS that is built for speed, efficiency and openness, and the company recently raised millions of dollars from venture capitalists as it looks to expand from beyond a niche player.

Speaking at the "Next Phase of Android" event in San Francisco, McCaster made it very clear that the future of Cyanogen is devoid of Google. In introducing himself, McCaster said: "I'm the CEO of Cyanogen. We're attempting to take Android away from Google. We're making a version of Android that is more open so we can integrate with more partners so their servicers can be tier one services, so startups working on [artificial intelligence] or other problems don't get stuck having you have to launch a stupid little application that inevitably gets acquired by Google or Apple. These companies can thrive on non-Google Android."

The company wants to bill itself as a platform where other companies can build services that integrate into the core of Android, like Google's own Google Now. Google would not approve of that, so Cyanogen wants to break all ties:

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AfterDawn: News

The cable industry does not want to give Americans faster Internet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2015 15:54

The cable industry does not want to give Americans faster Internet The cable industry apparently does not want to give Americans faster Internet, with the industry's lobbying group opposing the FCC's wishes.

In 2014, the FCC set in motion plans to change the definition of 'broadband' to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up, meaning ISPs offering slower connections could no longer market their Internet as broadband. The numbers certainly seemed fair, as the U.S. currently has some of the slowest broadband speeds on the planet, with the most expensive prices.

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) opposes this notion: "25Mbps/3Mbps isn't necessary to meet the legal definition of high-speed, switched, broadband telecommunications capability that enables users to originate and receive high-quality voice, data, graphics, and video telecommunications using any technology," the NCTA added. "Notably, no party provides any justification for adopting an upload speed benchmark of 3Mbps. And the two parties that specifically urge the Commission to adopt a download speed benchmark of 25 Mbps--Netflix and Public Knowledge--both offer examples of applications that go well beyond the 'current' and 'regular' uses that ordinarily inform the Commission's inquiry under Section 706" of the Telecommunications Act."

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AfterDawn: News

Week in Review: Microsoft shows off Windows 10 and HoloLens, WhatsApp hits your browser, Google getting into wireless carrier business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2015 21:48

Week in Review: Microsoft shows off Windows 10 and HoloLens, WhatsApp hits your browser, Google getting into wireless carrier business This week was pretty heavy in major tech news, headlined by Microsoft's unveiling of Windows 10 and HoloLens.

Here were the top stories for the week:



Microsoft shows off Windows 10 on PC, smartphones and tablets
Microsoft unveiled Windows 10 for PC, smartphones and tablets, the first of their operating systems to be truly universal. More importantly, Microsoft says the OS will be available as a free upgrade for devices running Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.

Read more about all of the new features of Windows 10, here: Windows 10 in-depth at Afterdawn



WATCH: Microsoft's HoloLens fills world with holograms
Microsoft also unveiled the first stages of HoloLens, an incredible piece of tech that allows you to interact with your world via holograms. It is easier to watch the video, and read on to learn more here at Afterdawn.

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AfterDawn: News

Google issues statement in response to Android's WebView security issues

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2015 19:52

Google issues statement in response to Android's WebView security issues Over the past month, there have been multiple major reports relating to the web security flaw of older versions of Android that could allow for remote attacks.

The flaw is related to WebView, the mobile framework that allows apps to display websites without a separate browser.

Adrian Ludwig has posted a long Google+ article discussing why Google cannot upgrade older versions of Android and what hundreds of millions of users can do to stay protected. Read it in full, here:

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AfterDawn: News

IMAX, Carnival announce first theater on a ship

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2015 13:23

IMAX, Carnival announce first theater on a ship IMAX and massive cruise line operator Carnival have unveiled the "world's first IMAX Theatre on a ship."

The theater will be part of Carnival's new monster ship, the Carnival Vista. The ship will be ready to sail in March 2016, and is the largest in the fleet.

Both companies say the the ship features an "IMAX screen three decks high, providing guests with the most immersive cinematic experience. Guest will be able to take in the latest Hollywood blockbusters and IMAX documentaries."

Here's a few mocks of the ship and the IMAX display:

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AfterDawn: News

Celebrating 100 years since the first transcontinental phone call was completed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2015 11:39

Celebrating 100 years since the first transcontinental phone call was completed Flying way under the radar today is the 100th anniversary of a major historical event: the first ever transcontinental phone call being completed.

On January 25th, 1915 a four-way call was made "between Alexander Graham Bell in New York; his assistant, Thomas Watson, in San Francisco; President Woodrow Wilson in Washington, DC; and Theodore Vail, President of American Telephone and Telegraph company (AT&T) in Jekyll Island, GA."

The words spoken for the first ever call? "Ahoy! Ahoy! Mr. Watson, are you there? Do you hear me?"

It took over 3400 miles of wire on three circuits to connect San Francisco to NY, with 130,000 telephone poles and thousands of tons of copper. All of the infrastructure work was done by horse and wagon, as trucks were not yet truly viable.

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AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm dogged by overheating in its Snapdragon 810 chip

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2015 10:47

Qualcomm dogged by overheating in its Snapdragon 810 chip Over the past week, Qualcomm has been dogged by reports that claim that its new high-end Snapdragon 810 chip generates too much heat and smartphone makers are staying away.

One major report from the week claimed that Samsung is being forced to use their own Exynos chip for the upcoming Galaxy S6 flagship because the 810 overheated the phone too much. Qualcomm is working on an updated version, but it is unclear if it will be ready in time for the launch of the new device.

LG, on the other hand, is said to have worked around the heating issues by updating the cooling system for their upcoming high-end devices, including the G Flex 2.
"Heat levels don't depend entirely on the CPU (mobile processor) but also on how the phone's internal cooling system is designed," said Choi Yong-su, a vice president for LG's smartphone development.

Qualcomm is the biggest chipmaker in the world, and the Snapdragon 810 is a big part of its 2015 sales plans. Some analysts estimate profits could be reduced by up to 8 percent if the Snapdragon 810 is a dud.

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AfterDawn: News

China denies it hacked Microsoft's Outlook email service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2015 10:10

China denies it hacked Microsoft's Outlook email service China's cyberspace regulator has outright denied that the Chinese government had anything to do with an alleged hacking of Microsoft's Outlook email service last weekend.

On Monday, GreatFire.org, an online censorship watchdog, reported that the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) was responsible for a "man-in-the-middle" attack in which it took control of the channel to monitor communications.

CAC spokesperson called the accusation "groundless slander" aimed to "incite dissatisfaction and smear China's cyberspace management system."

The news comes just a day after reports began surfacing of Chinese authorities blocking VPN services that were allowing Chinese citizens to access Google-based properties like Gmail and Google Drive, which are banned in the nation.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony is giving away freebies to settle PlayStation Network hack lawsuit from 2011

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2015 9:53

Sony is giving away freebies to settle PlayStation Network hack lawsuit from 2011 Sony has announced today that is taking claims to settle the class action lawsuit that was brought against it over the massive PlayStation Network hacking in 2011 that took down the network for a week and saw the personal details of nearly 100 million people stolen.

Reads the settlement page: "There is a proposed settlement with Sony Network Entertainment International LLC ("SNE"), Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC ("SCEA"), and Sony Online Entertainment LLC ("SOE") in a class action lawsuit about the illegal and unauthorized attacks in April 2011 on the computer network systems used to provide the Sony PlayStation Network, Qriocity, and SOE services (the "Intrusions").

Accountholders can get benefits if they had a PlayStation Network ("PSN") account, a Qriocity account, or an SOE account at any time before May 15, 2011."


There are, sadly, quite a few restrictions including Sony looking into how active your account has been since the hacks and whether you have any credits in your account. Also, the options depend on whether you took advantage of the freebies the company gave out in 2011 as part of their 'Welcome Back" promotion. Regardless, you are either going to get a free old game, free themes, or a free 90 day subscription to PS Plus, but current subscribers are not eligible.

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AfterDawn: News

Skype team reveals Windows 10 UI

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 25 Jan 2015 7:44

Skype team reveals Windows 10 UI Microsoft has been revealing the makings of Windows 10 this week. One of the most important aspects of all of its OS versions is the messaging. Now Skype team shows what its been up to.

The new Skype will come preloaded on all Windows 10 platforms be it phone, tablet, or PC. The new and updated Skype has been designed Windows 10 in mind but will of course land on Mac, iOS, and Android among others.

Microsoft's efforts are indeed in creating one app to rule them all. Like the competitor's iMessage it allows both SMS and instant messages to be sent from the same app, enabled by the linking of phone numbers and Skype names. It is available on all major platforms too, unlike the Apple's offering.

The new layout divides the view on panels and has a clean, simple look. Round icons are familiar from both Apple's and Google's messengers, as well as earlier versions of Skype.

Skype team promises more updates during the development in the next few months, and well keep you posted.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony delays their earnings report due to last year's massive cyber attack

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2015 0:07

Sony delays their earnings report due to last year's massive cyber attack Sony has said this week that it is delaying the reporting of its quarterly earnings as it continues to assess the damage from the cyberattack that took down Sony Pictures last year.

The company says it will still have a news conference on February 4th, but will not announce the results until later this year. Sony will give updated financial forecasts for the quarter, as well.

Hackers hit the company, taking down servers and entire networks while claiming to have stolen 100TB of data. Thousands of emails were released, often with humiliating results for Sony Pictures execs and celebrity actors. Five of the company's films, including 'Annie' and 'Fury' were also leaked, which hurt financially because many of the movies had not even hit theaters yet.

In addition, the company's financial and accounting software have been offline since the attack, along with other important platforms.

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