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AfterDawn: News

Ouch: Sony looking to slash smartphone forecast, again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Oct 2014 22:10

Ouch: Sony looking to slash smartphone forecast, again According to sources, Sony is preparing to slash its smartphone forecast once again, potentially a death knell for the company's turnaround efforts in the smartphone world.

If true, the company will slash its forecast from the current 43 million (for the year ended March 2015), and it will mark the third drop in the forecast since last April. The initial expectation was 50 million.

The company recently shocked investors and analysts by lowering its fiscal year earnings forecast to a loss of $2.14 billion, much higher than its original $400 million loss forecast.

Sony's latest forecast update is due to the company pulling its entry-level devices from emerging markets including China where they were complete flops. Besides being beat in the entry-level market by more popular and cheaper devices (like Xiaomi), the company cannot compete in the high-end, where Samsung and Apple continue with a duopoly.

The company confirmed Xperia devices will remain part of Sony's focus and turnaround efforts, but that they will only be high-end devices and that the company is no longer looking to take large global share, but just to stay relevant.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple gets back to their old ways and crushes earnings on strong iPhone sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2014 22:18

Apple gets back to their old ways and crushes earnings on strong iPhone sales Apple reported their quarterly earnings today, crushing estimates in nearly all categories but especially in revenue and iPhone and Mac sales.

Thanks to the new launch of the iPhone 6 and the large iPhone 6 Plus, Apple had a strong quarter in which Apple CEO Tim Cook was even quoted as saying, "we're selling everything we make."

Overall, revenue increased to $42.12 billion, up 12 percent year-over-year, blowing out expectations of $39.85 billion. Profits were up to $8.5 billion, up 20 percent year-over-year, and also beating expectations. iPhone sales were up 16 percent year-over-year, to 39.3 million, and Macs were another big winner up 21 percent YoY to 5.52 million.

The iPad remained a drag, with sales falling 13 percent to 12.3 million as the tablet market has generally stagnated despite some innovations. iPods continued their long-standing phase out, but still saw 2.64 million in sales, down 24 percent YoY.

Likely the best news for Apple was the iPhone ASP (average selling price), which jumped to $602.92 from $561.06, suggesting a nice amount of sales of the iPhone 6 Plus, which carries a very large price tag that starts at $750.

Let's not forget that Apple also has $155 billion in cash, which by taken by itself would make the company one of the largest twenty tech companies in the world.

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AfterDawn: News

'Call of Duty Advanced Warfare' trailer shows off a grim future, and a lot of Kevin Spacey

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2014 21:50

'Call of Duty Advanced Warfare' trailer shows off a grim future, and a lot of Kevin Spacey Activision has shown off the official launch trailer for the upcoming blockbuster smash "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare," ahead of its global November 4th launch.

The game (via the launch post) "takes players to a future devastated by a global attack. Rising from the chaos is Atlas, a Private Military Corporation led by the cunning Jonathan Irons. With the most powerful military force in the world, Atlas has effectively become a superpower for hire. Playing as Jack Mitchell, suit up in an advanced exoskeleton and join a highly-trained unit committed to restoring order.

The exoskeleton carries over into Multiplayer, where an all-new movement system changes the way players traverse the terrain. Chain together boost actions like jump, dodge, and dash in a fast and fluid style of play. Equip all-new abilities and armaments in the revamped Create-a-Class. Earn additional weapons and gear through in-game Supply Drops, outfitting your operator in the deepest customization experience in franchise history."

In the trailer, you will also see your fair share of an evil but powerful looking Kevin Spacey.

Check out the trailer here:




AfterDawn: News

Ubuntu 15.04 named: Say hello to 'Vivid Vervet'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2014 21:32

Ubuntu 15.04 named: Say hello to 'Vivid Vervet' Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth has announced the new monkey-themed name for the latest Ubuntu build (15.04), dubbing the operating system 'Vivid Vervet.'

Now, if you are not a huge monkey fan and have never heard of the breed (trust me, I had not), Shuttleworth explains that the Vervet is 'upstart' and 'volant' in nature, just like the new update.

Reads the founder's ever loquacious blog post: "In my favourite places, the smartest thing around is a particular kind of monkey. Vexatious at times, volant and vogie at others, a vervet gets in anywhere and delights in teasing cats and dogs alike. As the upstart monkey in this business I can think of no better mascot. And so let's launch our vicenary cycle, our verist varlet, the Vivid Vervet!"

The latest Ubuntu is set for release in April 2015.

If you want an interested read (think V from V for Vendetta), read Shuttleworth's post here.




AfterDawn: News

Latest 'Call of Duty' requires 6GB RAM for PC gamers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2014 21:13

Latest 'Call of Duty' requires 6GB RAM for PC gamers Activision's new blockbuster "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" is about ready to launch and if you are a PC gamer you will need a decent rig if you want to get in the game.

Via the Steam official game page, we now have a full list of required minimums for the PC version of the game:

OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit / Windows 8.1 64-Bit
Processor: Intel® CoreTM i3-530 @ 2.93 GHz / AMD PhenomTM II X4 810 @ 2.80 GHz or better
Memory: 6 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce® GTS 450 @ 1GB / ATI® Radeon™ HD 5870 @ 1GB or better
DirectX: Version 11
Network: Broadband Internet connection
Hard Drive: 55 GB available space
Sound Card: DirectX-compatible


While most PC gamers will easily meet the requirements, they are interesting as 64-bit OS and 6GB RAM is far from the norm for the average consumer.

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AfterDawn: News

OnePlus One to go up for pre-order next week, but will still be tough to get

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2014 20:48

OnePlus One to go up for pre-order next week, but will still be tough to get OnePlus' One device, the high-end $300 smartphone that has so far only been available to those with an invite from the company or from others that have purchased the phone, will soon go mainstream.

The company says pre-orders will begin next week, but with a major catch. Beginning on October 27th at 11am, the pre-order window will be only an hour long meaning you have a very short time to make sure your order gets in.

Says the company in their blog post: "We now have an exciting alternative to invites. With our pre-order system, you'll be able to place your order for the One and immediately be told the estimated shipping time. Starting today, for the seven days prior to pre-orders you will be able to arrange your shopping cart and save it just how you like it to ensure your checkout goes quickly and smoothly during the pre-orders hour. If you get an invite after submitting your pre-order, you can use it to skip the queue and get your device shipped right away."

In addition, the company will slash the prices of OnePlus One accessories during the one-hour sale, including the new JBL E1+ headphones at just $25.

Read more here.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft fitness wearable coming 'within weeks'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2014 20:29

Microsoft fitness wearable coming 'within weeks' According to multiple reports, Microsoft is preparing their fitness wearable device for release in the coming weeks.

The wearable will be a smartwatch that can also "passively track a wearer's heart rate and work across different mobile platforms."

Perhaps most importantly compared to current watches on the market, the Microsoft watch will offer battery life that should exceed two days with normal use. The top watches on the market, including the Moto 360, must be charged daily. In addition, the watch will sync with iOS, Android and Windows Phone, a huge boost for consumers that may have multiple devices with multiple operating systems. It also allows Microsoft to tap into a much bigger market of smartphone users, as Windows Phone remains a niche player.

Sadly, it is unclear what the company will sell the device for it, or what it will be named.

Source:
Forbes




AfterDawn: News

'Halo: The Master Chief Collection' requires a 20GB patch to play

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2014 20:13

'Halo: The Master Chief Collection' requires a 20GB patch to play 343 Industries, the team behind the new 'Halo: The Master Chief Collection,' has said that the game uses all of the space of a Blu-ray disc and will require a massive patch just to be able to play.

On day one, the patch will be over 20GB and be required before you can play the title.

Says 343 Industries Executive Producer Dan Ayoub: "From the start, our philosophy has been to give Halo fans the best possible experience and not compromise the quality or features of the collection. The result is that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will take up almost all of the usable space of a single Blu-ray (45 GB), and we will also issue a content update at launch that is estimated to be 20 GB."

If you want to get ahead of the pack, and you've pre-ordered the game, you can get started on the download.

The game is set for release November 11th in the U.S. and the UK exclusively for the Xbox One.

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AfterDawn: News

Rdio's library has been upgraded to 320kbps AAC

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Oct 2014 19:48

Rdio's library has been upgraded to 320kbps AAC Streaming music service Rdio has upgraded their entire library to 320kpbs AAC for premium subscribers, says the company, but free users will also get a quality boost.

The company had previously offered their library in just 96kbps MP3 as a default, but "Unlimited" $9.99 per month subscribers can choose between 64kbps, 96kbps, 192kbps and 320kbps in the settings now. Of course, the higher bitrate will require more data usage, so mobile users will have to keep that in mind. Free users can now use up to 192kbps.

In addition to the streaming, you can also choose the bitrate for offline listening downloads.

Rdio says the update is for all users, in all nations and is available now as a free update on the Web or via the iOS App Store or Google Play.




AfterDawn: News

'Super Smash Bros.' for Nintendo 3DS sells over 700,000 units in 48 hours

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Oct 2014 17:55

'Super Smash Bros.' for Nintendo 3DS sells over 700,000 units in 48 hours Nintendo has announced that their popular new blockbuster "Super Smash Bros." for 3DS sold over 705,000 units in just 48 hours of sale.

The gaming giant made the announcement of Friday, and there is a good chance the game is well over 1 million given that it was released two weeks ago. Nintendo also noted that 135,000 copies were sold completely digitally via the Nintendo eShop.

As is standard with hit games, SSB helped increase console sales, as well, with 3DS handheld sales increasing 55 percent month-over-month to just over 140,000.

Nintendo is expected to have another hit on their hands when the Wii U version hits on November 21st in North America and then in December for Japan and Europe.

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AfterDawn: News

New executive move seems to suggest the next step of the ongoing Android and Chrome convergence

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Oct 2014 17:13

New executive move seems to suggest the next step of the ongoing Android and Chrome convergence Over time there has been a clear convergence of Google's Android and Chrome operating systems and a new executive change seems to suggest that even more is yet to come.

Google VP of engineering for Android Hiroshi Lockheimer has now been put in charge of overseeing engineering for Chrome OS, as well.

Since 2013, both teams have been under the direction of Sundar Pichai, whose title is now SVP of Chrome, Android and apps. If Chrome OS and Android are eventually merged, it would certainly make it easier for developers, many of who have different versions of their popular apps for the different operating systems.

Sources say the change heavily suggests that Android is the future, which makes sense given the global brand awareness of Android and the operating system's recent expansion into smartwatches, TVs and car dashboards.

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AfterDawn: News

Second generation Google Chromecast in the works as documents pass FCC

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Oct 2014 16:26

Second generation Google Chromecast in the works as documents pass FCC Thanks to new documents that have passed through the FCC, it appears that Google is working on a second-generation Chromecast, although there do not appear to be any killer new features.

In fact, a Chromecast team member posted to Reddit that "most users won't notice a difference" when the update hits. His post, in full, said: "No plans for big announcement on this one. Mostly because it will have the same features as the original and most users won't notice a difference."

While there are still many questions remaining about the hardware, but what we do know is that the device will still connect via HDMI and a microUSB cable, and will have built-in 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi. Interestingly, the report does mention 5GHz Wi-Fi support, but it does not appear to have been tested yet.

In addition, the second-generation model is likely to have a slightly improved CPU or at least more RAM, but we will learn more soon.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony SmartWatch 3 now live in the Google Play Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Oct 2014 14:38

Sony SmartWatch 3 now live in the Google Play Store We didn't have a set release date for the new Sony SmartWatch 3 - the first from the company to use Android Wear, but at least now the launch seems imminent.

Google has put the SmartWatch 3 up in the Google Play Store, including the price at $249 and the words "Coming Soon."

The company says the watch will work as a standalone and will also sync to your Android Wear capable smartphone for better functionality.

Sony's SmartWatch 3 has a 1.6 inch 320 x 320 LCD touch display, a stainless steel body, and IP68 dust and water-resistance. Under the hood is a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 chip at 1.2GHz, 512MB RAM and 4GB internal storage. As is standard, the device has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, NFC, GPS, an ambient light sensor, accelerometer, magnetometer and a gyroscope. Most importantly is the microphone which allows for voice control.Better than other current devices, the SW3 has a 420mAh battery good for 48 hours of usage. The watch is also extremely light at 38 grams.

The company has also stuck with the "athletic" look of its past smartwatches, but at that price it will likely have a hard time competing with more elegant devices like the Moto 360 and LG G Watch R.

Check out the Google Play page here.




AfterDawn: News

'Destiny' leads PlayStation 4 to a record month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Oct 2014 0:01

'Destiny' leads PlayStation 4 to a record month According to Sony, the blockbuster game 'Destiny' helped move consoles, with PS4 sales tripling month-over-month.

"Destiny broke PlayStation Network sales records across several categories, taking the top spot for pre-orders, day one sales, and week one sales," added the consumer electronics giant. "One month after the game's launch, engagement among PlayStation fans continues to soar, as Destiny is the most-played title on the PlayStation 4 system with 125 million hours of gameplay."

Without providing figures, Sony says PS4 had its biggest month of the year in September, and it remained the top console in the U.S. although the Xbox One also likely saw a boost from the game.

'Destiny' came with exclusive branding for PS4 fans, including exclusive features and Sony is also offering a Destiny bundle that includes a white PS4 and dual shock controller.

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AfterDawn: News

CBS goes all-in on digital and starts own SVOD service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2014 21:36

CBS goes all-in on digital and starts own SVOD service CBS has launched their own subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service, dubbed CBS All Access.

All Access costs $5.99 per month and will offer thousands of episodes of popular CBS shows, include back catalogs. Current season shows will have the episodes available the day after they air, and some shows will have past seasons. In addition, there is a library of "classic CBS series" and local CBS stations can be live streamed in 14 metro markets.

CBS says the service will be available through all major digital platforms, and will also be available on desktops and via mobile apps. CBS CEO Leslie Moonves added: "CBS All Access is another key step in the company's long-standing strategy of monetizing our local and national content in the ways that viewers want it."

The service will "complement" CBS's offerings on other streaming services, like Netflix, and the company also admits that the service is certainly not for everyone. "If you are interested in a large bundle of channels that has a lot of various things in it, you may not be a subscriber to this service. But if you're deeply interested in one, two or many of our shows, getting our content outside of your home or buying earlier access to our content on mobile devices, then you're one of our superfans and you're going to convert," added the media giant.

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