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AfterDawn: News

Some tidbits about the OnePlus 2 revealed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2014 21:28

Some tidbits about the OnePlus 2 revealed Although the details are unconfirmed, we have some reported tidbits about the upcoming OnePlus 2 smartphone.

The original OnePlus One became famous for packing great specs into a slim body with a cheap price tag, and the sequel is set for launch next year from the Chinese OEM.

Sources speaking to BI, say the following are true of the new device:

It will probably be more customizable, since the company is aiming to produce more of its StyleSwap back covers around the time the phone launches, our source said. OnePlus released a Bamboo-style back cover for its One phone, but discontinued it in September due to manufacturing issues. OnePlus sold a few of those covers earlier this month, but since they were so limited you need an invitation to buy them. The company previously said it would release its StyleSwap backs in different materials such as wood, denim, and Kevlar, but we have yet to see any of these launch. There's no guarantee manufacturing issues won't arise this time around, but based on what our source says it sounds like the company is trying to produce more to coincide with the phone's launch.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony ups revenue forecast for PlayStation division

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2014 20:12

Sony ups revenue forecast for PlayStation division Sony Computer Entertainment President and CEO Andrew House has confirmed the company's revenue expectations for their PlayStation division have been increased for the future.

The "Game and Network Services" segment is now expected to see revenue of between 1.4 trillion yen and 1.6 trillion yen ($11.8 billion and $13.5 billion) for the 2017 fiscal year. For the 2015 fiscal year, the company expects 1.29 trillion yen in sales ($11 billion).

Perhaps most notably for Sony, the company expects operating income margin of over 5 percent in 2017, compared to just 2.7 percent for this fiscal year.

Sony's PlayStation 4 continues to outsell its rival, the Xbox One, on a monthly basis, thanks in part to strong sales of hit games.

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AfterDawn: News

Two arrested in pre-release leak of 'The Expendables 3'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2014 19:39

Two arrested in pre-release leak of 'The Expendables 3' Earlier this year, in one of the highest profile movie leaks in history, a DVD-quality copy of 'The Expendables 3' was leaked to the Internet a full three weeks before its release in the U.S.

This week, two men accused of leaking the film have been arrested in the U.K. The authorities claim that the two men stole a digital advance copy and then illegally distributed it. In August, Lionsgate Studio had filed a lawsuit against 10 anonymous individuals who they claimed were behind the leak.

"The public need to be aware that piracy is not a victimless crime," said Danny Medlycott, head of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (UK anti-piracy unit). "By downloading illegal music, film, TV and books, not only are you exposing your own computer to the risk of viruses and malware, but you are also putting hard-working people's livelihoods at risk as piracy threatens the security of thousands of jobs in the UK's creative industries."

Lionsgate blamed the leak on the film's poor box office showing, with the movie making just $39 million in domestic receipts, compared to $100 million for the first in the series and $85 million for the sequel.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony planning an E-Paper smartwatch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2014 18:49

Sony planning an E-Paper smartwatch According to new reports, Sony is preparing an E-Paper smartwarch that could launch next year and would be an interesting new device in the fledgling industry.

Reportedly, Sony's watch "face and wrist band will be made from a patented material that allows the entire surface area to function as a display and change its appearance."

In addition, the watch will emphasize style over tech features, which it hopes will take the device out of the geek category and more mainstream.

CEO Kazuo Hirai created a new division this year to accelerate promising products and the watch will be the first of a few new, innovative devices. Another such device is called "MESH," a collection of LED, sensors and buttons in small blocks that can be operated via an easy to use tablet UI.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony Pictures computers still down for second day, following massive hacker attack

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2014 23:41

Sony Pictures computers still down for second day, following massive hacker attack Sony Pictures' computer systems are still down following yesterday's massive attack by a group that called itself #GOP.

Yesterday, the company's computers all saw a screen with a skull on it, with a warning message from a group calling itself #GOP. The group threatened that the warning was just the beginning and they would begin dropping stolen data until they get what they want. The demands were unclear, however.

Sources within Sony claimed yesterday that "We are down, completely paralyzed."

Sony did not have much to say except that "Sony Pictures Entertainment experienced a system disruption, which we are working diligently to resolve."

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AfterDawn: News

Good deal alert: Amazon slashes price of Fire Phone to $199, GSM unlocked, with a free year of Prime

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2014 23:07

Good deal alert: Amazon slashes price of Fire Phone to $199, GSM unlocked, with a free year of Prime As if there needed to be more proof that Amazon's foray into the smartphone hardware has been a complete disaster, the company has now slashed the price of the device to almost as low as it can go.

Amazon is offering the 32GB model, GSM unlocked for $199 (originally priced at $599 unlocked), including a free year of Amazon Prime, which is $99 per year.

If you were already a Prime member, the device is effectively down to $100, well within the price range of anyone looking for a smartphone with mid to high-end specs.

If the "fire" sale on the Fire Phone, interests you, check the page here while supplies last.

For a more in-depth look at the Fire Phone, see our past articles here.




AfterDawn: News

Apple to drop Google as default search engine starting next year?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2014 22:47

Apple to drop Google as default search engine starting next year? According to a new report, Apple may be ditching Google as its default search engine for the Safari browser starting next year.

Google's deal with Apple expires in 2015, and Microsoft and Yahoo have already each pitched their respective search engines to Apple SVP Eddy Cue.

Microsoft already has their Bing engine as default for Apple's personal assistant Siri, and on the new Mac OS X Yosemite, the "Spotlight" feature uses Bing results, as well.

While Yahoo doesn't have any inroads with Apple, they recently announced that Mozilla's Firefox browser would use Yahoo as default for the next five years, a major win for the world's third-largest search engine.

Of course, no matter what the default engine is, you are free to switch it right back to Google although some less tech-savvy consumers may not know or care to change it back.

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AfterDawn: News

'Jurassic World' official trailer is here: Killer dinos are back

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2014 19:45

'Jurassic World' official trailer is here: Killer dinos are back Universal has dropped the new "Jurassic World" trailer two days ahead of time, finally giving fans a look at the movie outside of tiny teaser trailers and set pics.

In the video, the park is open to the public and is wildly popular, but of course that is never enough and the scientists and engineers behind the rebirth of the dinosaurs have created a genetically modified hybrid that, of course, starts running wild and killing things.

Reads the video's small blurb: "Steven Spielberg returns to executive produce the long-awaited next installment of his groundbreaking Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World. Colin Trevorrow directs the epic action-adventure from a screenplay he wrote with Derek Connolly. Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley join the team as producers."

The movie hits theaters next June.

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AfterDawn: News

Get all 'Angry Birds' games for free on Windows Phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2014 18:22

Get all 'Angry Birds' games for free on Windows Phone As the popularity of their franchise games wanes, Rovio has made all of their Angry Birds game free for Windows Phone users.

Among the included freebies are hits like the original Angry Birds, Angry Birds Epic, Angry Birds Space, Angry Birds Star Wars, Bad Piggies and Angry Birds Roost.

Notably absent is the latest in the series, Angry Birds Transformers, which is still not available for the platform but will be early next year. It is also expected to be free.

Check the full listing here and download away: Windows Phone Store




AfterDawn: News

VLC for Windows Phone now in beta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2014 12:35

VLC for Windows Phone now in beta Although the limited beta invites quickly got eaten up, Windows Phone users can look forward to being able to use the VLC media player in the near future.

The media player is one of the most popular for Windows, given its feature set, software acceleration and ability to play nearly everything thrown at it.

Videolan, the team behind VLC, created a desktop Windows VLC with the modern/metro style for Windows 8 but there have been issues building the software for ARM devices.

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AfterDawn: News

BT looking to buy back O2

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2014 16:40

BT looking to buy back O2 British Telecom (BT) appears to be in talks to buy back major UK carrier O2, the company it sold back in 2005 for 18 billion.

Telefonica, of Spain, was the acquirer and could sell the carrier back in exchange for a 20 percent stake in BT as a whole. The "strategic alliance" could benefit the pair, say early reports.

The report did note that talks are still early, and could fall apart.

In a statement, BT added that they are "assessing the merits of an acquisition of a mobile network operator in the UK," without mentioning any names.

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AfterDawn: News

Yahoo acquire mobile photo app maker Cooliris

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2014 16:20

Yahoo acquire mobile photo app maker Cooliris Yahoo has acquired yet another startup, the photo app maker Cooliris.

Colliris was founded in 2006 and created the "3D wall" for easier navigation of photos and media content from different sources. The company now has a popular mobile app of the same name that allows you to do the same: browse photos from across services. Included are your social media sites like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, Instagram and Dropbox

Yahoo will keep all 17 employees of the company but it is unclear what Yahoo will use the company or its products for.

Says Cooliris of the acquisition: "Cooliris is passionate about creating fast, fluid mobile experiences for content and communication as exemplified by our newest product, BeamIt. Yahoo has a clear vision and unwavering commitment to making mobile an intuitive and effortless experience.

This makes Yahoo the perfect partner for Cooliris, and we are excited to come together to bring indispensable products to a worldwide audience.
Cooliris for Mobile and BeamIt Messenger will continue to work as usual for the time being.

We are grateful to our users, mentors, investors, and partners. We have been committed to building innovative products for you, and are pleased that CoolPreviews, PicLens, the 3D Wall, Android Gallery, LiveShare, Cooliris for Mobile, and BeamIt have touched hundreds of millions of users around the world. Know that we will remain focused as we pursue our passion from our new home at Yahoo."

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AfterDawn: News

WSJ: The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a flop

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2014 14:56

WSJ: The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a flop According to a new report by the Wall Street Journal, the flagship Samsung Galaxy S5 is a flop, selling nearly 40 percent lower than the company expected.

Samsung is said to have increased production of the device by 20 percent compared to last year's popular Galaxy S4, but sold just 12 million units in its first 90 days. By comparison, the S4 sold 16 million in the same time frame.

With profits down and innovation waning, the report claims that Samsung could be looking to shake up its high-level executive team, giving current TV/home electronics CEO B.K. Yoon the Samsung Mobile business, as well. Samsung Mobile currently has its own CEO: J.K. Shin.

Earlier this month, the company also confirmed that it would be reducing the amount of phones it introduces by up to 30 percent, looking to focus more on a smaller pool. Samsung has already introduced 56 smartphones this year, well above its competition.

Source:
WSJ




AfterDawn: News

Google shuts down their Glass tech support retail shops

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2014 14:29

Google shuts down their Glass tech support retail shops Google has confirmed the shut down of their "Basecamp" physical stores from which the company offered support for Google Glass headsets.

Spencer Kleyweg seemingly confirmed the move via his Google+ page. Kleyweg explained: "Google Glass Basecamps are the home to demos and one-to-one appointments for Glass. With only four locations (Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, and London) they specialized in showcasing Google's wearable device across the US and a section of Europe. People interested in Glass or Explorers needing support could schedule an appointment at one of the Basecamps. Within the past week I have noticed that the page used to schedule said appointments shows no availability for all the Basecamps.

I contacted Glass Support to see if it was a glitch or if they were no longer taking appointments to which they confirmed that the Basecamps are no longer taking appointments."


In reality, it appears that Google, which is now selling the device online to anyone who wishes to shell out $1500, does not need the stores any more nor the cost. Consumers can purchase and have it shipped next day air, avoiding the need to pick it up at a Basecamp. Additionally, Google offers phone tech support. It is unclear how many early adopters have picked up Glass, but judging by recent developer sentiment, that number is likely low.

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AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile adds more music streaming to its list of streaming services that don't count towards data caps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2014 14:09

T-Mobile adds more music streaming to its list of streaming services that don't count towards data caps Earlier this year, T-Mobile made waves by announcing that its customer's data caps would no longer be affected by music streaming.

Unfortunately, the "Music Freedom" program only launched with a few services including Spotify, iTunes Radio, Pandora, Songza and Rdio and iHeartRadio (most of the biggies), and the carrier has now doubled the services that will be exempt from eating up your precious data.

T-Mobile has added Google Play Music (thankfully), Xbox Music, SoundCloud, RadioTunes, Live365, Mad Genius Radio, radioPup, radio.com, Fit Radio, Fresca Radio, JAZZRADIO, ROCKRADIO, and Saavn to the program, effective immediately.

To take advantage, you must be on the Simple Choice or Pay in Advance plans, and the carrier notes that it does not work when roaming or when using a Mobile Hotspot to tether.

Notably, Beats Music remains unavailable, although that seems to be mainly due to lack of a big enough subscriber base asking for it.

T-Mobile did add an interesting tidbit of info with the press release, stating: "The number of T-Mobile customers streaming music each day has jumped nearly 300%, and they're streaming a whopping 66 million songs per day − or roughly 200 terabytes of data per day."

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