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AfterDawn: News

LG to unveil G5 flagship on February 21st

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Feb 2016 10:29

LG to unveil G5 flagship on February 21st LG Mobile has confirmed this week that their upcoming G5 flagship will be officially unveiled on February 21st.

There had been much speculation as to whether LG would announce the device at the upcoming Mobile World Congress event, but it appears the company had decided to unveil a day before, likely to be able to demo its features throughout the show.

LG will have some heavy hitters to face off against, especially the Galaxy S7, which will be unveiled the same day.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung's ad-blocker app is removed from Google Play Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2016 22:33

Samsung's ad-blocker app is removed from Google Play Store Just days after it was launched, Samsung's Android ad blocking app Adblock Fast has been removed from the Google Play Store.

The plug-in came from startup developer Rocketship Apps, and worked within Samsung's pre-installed mobile browser.

Google shut out the app for violations of the Developer Distribution Agreement, namely section 4.4. 4.4 states that apps and plugins cannot "interfere or disrupt devices, networks, or services of third parties."

Reads the email the company received:

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft recalling 2 million Surface power chargers following 61 complaints

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2016 21:14

Microsoft recalling 2 million Surface power chargers following 61 complaints Microsoft has announced it will be recalling 2 million Surface chargers after it received 56 complaints of overheating or fire and an additional 5 complaints of electric shocks.

The recall was initially announced last month but the amount of complaints and the scope of the recall were unknown.

Affected chargers were sold before March 2015 in North America and before July 2015 for everywhere else.

"As a result of damage caused by AC power cords being wound too tightly, twisted or pinched over an extended period of time, a very small proportion of Surface Pro customers have reported issues with their AC power cord," said Microsoft in a statement. If you own a Surface Pro, Pro 2 or Pro 3 please check here to see if you are affected.




AfterDawn: News

Yahoo has written down the value of Tumblr by $230 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2016 20:57

Yahoo has written down the value of Tumblr by $230 million Yahoo has written down the value of Tumblr by $230 million, yet another misfire by CEO Marissa Mayer.

The company purchased Tumblr for about $1 billion in cash in 2013, despite the fact that it made no money and usership had grown relatively stagnant.

Overall, Yahoo took a $4.5 billion goodwill impairment, writing down nearly every division in the company,

When Mayer acquired the company, she projected Yahoo's user base would jump to 1 billion within weeks, but it actually ended up taking around 18 months until Yahoo announced they had hit the milestone. That number, however, is questionable. Yahoo began using a new "undisclosed metric" to calculate its user base. Traditional research firms, like comScore, still have Yahoo well below the billion mark.

Mayer also estimated that Tumblr would bring in $100 million in revenue for 2015, but that didn't happen either. "In 2015, we experienced a slower ramp in monetization than we initially expected, and coupled with the sales realignment, the business didn't deliver that $100 million revenue goal for the year," Mayer noted.

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AfterDawn: News

Android Marshmallow is still only installed on 1.2 percent of devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2016 20:33

Android Marshmallow is still only installed on 1.2 percent of devices Google's latest operating system is still being used by an insignificant amount of users.

Android 6.0 Marshmallow is installed on just 1.2 percent of devices, placing it well behind all other Android versions including Android 2.3, an operating system launched in 2011.

Google reveals the figures every month, hashing out the market share by checking which devices visited the Google Play Store during a seven-day period.

The low numbers are not completely unsurprising. As of writing, the OS is only available on the Nexus 5, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P and LG G4, although a number of other manufacturers including Samsung have announced roadmaps to upgrade early this year.

Android 5.x Lollipop is up to 34.1 percent share, right behind the aging Android 4.4 KitKat at 35.5 percent, which is an encouraging sign, at least.

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AfterDawn: News

Xiaomi denies its phones will be available in the U.S. officially

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Feb 2016 22:33

Xiaomi denies its phones will be available in the U.S. officially Xiaomi has denied reports that it will finally bring its popular phones to the U.S.

US Mobile had begun selling the Xiaomi Redmi 2, Mi 3, Note 2 and Mi 4, but the phones are not optimized for the U.S. and don't even support LTE for US Mobile (T-Mobile network).

Says the Chinese startup giant: "Recent reports have indicated that Xiaomi products will be available in the US. Xiaomi only offers a small selection of accessories for sale in the US through Mi.com. There are no plans to sell smartphones through any authorised distributors in the US. US Mobile is not authorised to sell Xiaomi products in the US."

Despite this lack of support from Xiaomi, US Mobile will still sell the devices and provide full services and support for the phones.

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AfterDawn: News

Out of the blue: Uber changes logo and branding

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Feb 2016 22:15

Out of the blue: Uber changes logo and branding Seemingly overnight, Uber has changed their entire branding, including their logo.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick made the announcement today with a large blog post, which I have posted here:

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AfterDawn: News

Zagg to buy smartphone battery pack and case maker Mophie for $100 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Feb 2016 22:02

Zagg to buy smartphone battery pack and case maker Mophie for $100 million Zagg has announced it will be acquiring smartphone battery pack and case maker Mophie for $100 million.

Besides the $100 million, Mophie can actually earn more money depending on how well the company performs from April 2016 until March 31, 2017.

Zagg believes the synergies of both companies will lead to "numerous opportunities" for boosting revenue due to the company's respective strengths and distribution networks.

Mophie is best known or their JuicePack battery cases but the company also has 140 global patents and a plethora of retial relationships in the U.S.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to reportedly buy SwiftKey for $250 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Feb 2016 21:50

Microsoft to reportedly buy SwiftKey for $250 million Despite the fact that Microsoft has arguably the best mobile keyboard of the major operating systems, multiple reports claim that the software giant is preparing to buy SwiftKey for $250 million.

SwiftKey has long been a popular keyboard for Android and more recently for iOS, but the alleged selling price still seems high given that the company's main source of revenue is from in-app payments for different themes and emojis.

FT speculates that the deal and the high price has nothing to do with the keyboard but more to do with SwiftKey's current research in artificial intelligence and their new keyboard that uses a neural network rather than algorithms for predicting what you are typing.

Regardless of how they use the IP, Microsoft continues to make smart investments in smart teams as the company expands its cross-platform services.




AfterDawn: News

Yahoo to lay off 15 percent of employees

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Feb 2016 21:24

Yahoo to lay off 15 percent of employees Marissa Mayer's company is in deep trouble.

Yahoo reported their quarterly earnings this week, making $63 million in net profit on $1.27 billion in revenue. Four years ago, when Mayer was hired to turn around the company, the company had higher revenue showing that despite all of her efforts to make Yahoo 'cool' again, there has been very little to show for it.

After the report, the company announced it will be laying off 15 percent of its employees in a cost-cutting measure that will save it $400 million over time, likely a move to help the company be sold. At the same time, Yahoo is reportedly having issues selling their core assets, since investors value the company at little to nothing outside of the company's Alibaba stake and the cash it has on-hand.

Furthermore, Mayer killed off Yahoo Smart TV and Yahoo Games, with the company focusing now on Search, Mail and Tumblr, and four verticals - News, Sports, Finance, and Lifestyle.

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AfterDawn: News

YouTube 'not liable' for copyright infringement

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Feb 2016 8:09

YouTube 'not liable' for copyright infringement A German court has found that YouTube is not liable for copyright infringement when a user uploads a video to the service illegally.

The sole responsibility for such infringement lies with the uploader and not YouTube, according to the Higher Regional Court Munich (OLG). GEMA, an organization representing songwriters and publishers, was disappointed with the decision of the court.

"Today's decision is most regrettable. The court has obviously followed YouTube's argument that it is only the uploaders who are responsible for the contents that are retrievable via the service", said GEMA General Counsel, Dr Tobias Holzmuller, reports Music Business Worldwide.

"We consider this to be wrong. Furthermore, the decision is not justified from an economic perspective, as it continues to enable YouTube to generate high advertising revenues without passing them on to musical authors."

GEMA - which represents more than 70,000 members - maintains that YouTube should obtain licences for the use of content just like any other music service online. To date, YouTube has never paid any licence fee to the group.


Source: www.musicbusinessworldwide.com




AfterDawn: News

Illegal football sites are 'dangerous', study suggests

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Feb 2016 8:00

Illegal football sites are 'dangerous', study suggests Malware and malicious adverts are common on unauthorized football streaming sites, it has been warned.

Illegal sports streaming has become increasingly popular in recent years with hundreds of streaming portals offering live feeds of sports in varying quality for free. Some sites pull more than eight million visits per month from users seeking access to feeds.

However, a study from Stony Brook University that thoroughly detailed how such streaming services work found that around half of the sites fed malicious software to users' devices either through malvertising or other deceptive measures, such as directing a user to a "plug-in" download.

"[To watch the stream] you have to install the extension, and once the user installs the extensions, it can infect any website the user is visiting," lead researcher Zubair Rafique told the BBC News website.

"So, if a person installs an extension to watch a stream, and then visits a site like BBC.com, this extension can actually change the contents of BBC.com and include malicious links. This is extremely dangerous."

Some countries already have forced ISPs to block sites offering unauthorized streaming of sports events, but with so many portals popping up it is impossible to block everything.

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AfterDawn: News

'House of Cards' will return for fifth season on Netflix

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2016 11:58

'House of Cards' will return for fifth season on Netflix Despite the departure of series creator Beau Willimon, Netflix has confirmed that 'House of Cards' will return for a fifth season via the streaming service.

The renewal comes just ahead of the launch of the show's fourth season, which begins in early March. The next season will begin filming in 2017, without Willimon, who left to try his hand at other projects.

"I'm grateful to Netflix and MRC, my fellow executive producers, our two incandescent stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, our talented writers, as well as the incredible cast and crew with whom I've had the privilege to work,"
Willimon said last week. "After five years and four seasons, it's time for me to move on to new endeavors, but I'm supremely proud of what we've built together, wish the show much continued success, and leave it in the hands of a very capable team."

If you are already excited for season 5, don't miss the trailer for season 4, here:

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AfterDawn: News

OnePlus X now available to all, no invite necessary

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2016 11:49

OnePlus X now available to all, no invite necessary OnePlus has begun selling its OnePlus X smartphone to all, without the need for an invite.

The X sells for just $249 and comes with high mid-range specs. The X has a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, dual-SIM slots, 16GB internal storage (with microSD slot), dual 13MP/8MP cameras and a 2525 mAh battery.

OnePlus launched the device in November and says the move to general availability is its quickest ever for a phone.

The device has been generally well received, however, in the U.S. it is mainly useless as it is lacking LTE bands required by GSM providers here in the states.

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AfterDawn: News

The Jolla tablet is dead, but you may get a refund by the end of 2016

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2016 11:36

The Jolla tablet is dead, but you may get a refund by the end of 2016 Finnish startup Jolla has confirmed that just under 700 crowd-funded Jolla Tablets will ever reach consumers, and over 21,000 backers will eventually receive refunds.

The original Indiegogo campaign concluded in November 2014 and raised $2.5 million, hitting every stretch goal. So far, the company has only shipped 121 units running the company's own Sailfish OS 2.0, which remains in beta and will likely always remain in beta.

Says Jolla: "We have been analyzing different alternatives regarding the Jolla Tablet project situation. But no matter how you come at it, the tight financial situation remains a major constraint and, therefore, a main driver of the solution. Furthermore, due to the delays in the latest financing round it has simply become too late to produce all the tablets for the project. The supplier no longer has the needed components and many of them are no longer available. Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done now to change this."

Unfortunately for backers, you will get a refund but it will likely not be until the Q4 2016. Word of advice: The next time a company claims it can 'disrupt' the Apple/Google duopoly, just close the web page and put your wallet away.

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