AfterDawn: Tech news

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AfterDawn: News

New Moto E offers LTE, larger display for same low price

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2015 23:48

New Moto E offers LTE, larger display for same low price Motorola has unveiled their second-generation Moto E today, adding a larger display and LTE for the same low price: $149.

The new smartphone has a 4.5-inch screen (540 x 960 resolution), 4G LTE networking and an improved Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor. Additionally, the device has a 5MP rear camera, a VGA front side camera, and 8GB internal storage to go with Android 5.0 which is basically stock.

Almost identical to its predecessor in design, the backplate has different color options.

If you don't need LTE, you can get the 3G model for $119, making the phone even a better value.

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AfterDawn: News

Lenovo site defaced by Lizard Squad

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2015 23:34

Lenovo site defaced by Lizard Squad Earlier today, Lenovo.com got defaced by someone claiming to be the Lizard Squad, an embarrassing take down and more bad PR for the company still reeling from the fallout of pre-installing adware on some of their PCs.

At around 4PM, visitors to the site saw a slideshow of teens with 'Breaking Free' from High School Musical playing in the background.

The attackers are said to have hijacked Lenovo's domain record, having the ability to redirect Lenovo.com to a third-party server. In the source code of the hijacked pages, you can find the sentence "the new and improved rebranded Lenovo website featuring Ryan King and Rory Andrew Godfrey."

Both names have been identified as members of Lizard Squad, but it is unclear if they were really behind the attack.

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AfterDawn: News

After nearly a decade, YouTube is still not profitable

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2015 23:19

After nearly a decade, YouTube is still not profitable According to sources, YouTube is still not profitable, despite being owned by Google for nearly a decade.

Thanks to Google's new push for premium ads, revenue for the site increased by 25 percent to $4 billion in 2014, but profits were still elusive.

Google says most of their traffic comes directly from YouTube.com or from their mobile apps, but the sources claimed differently, saying a majority of the traffic comes from embedded videos or from links on social media, for example.

Additionally, the audience is very narrow and is dominated by younger people. One source estimates 'that 9% of viewers account for 85% of online-video views,' a staggering figure. Even YouTube's CEO admitted that he had never heard of YouTube star PewDiePie (who has 35 million followers) until he became CEO at the company.

It will be interesting to see the next steps for YouTube in its long road to profits.

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix adds new original kids programming including 'Inspector Gadget' reboot

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2015 22:53

Netflix adds new original kids programming including 'Inspector Gadget' reboot Netflix has announced today that it will be expanding its original programming for kids with the addition of five new shows, include some remakes of 'classic' shows.

'Inspector Gadget,' the classic 80s cartoon, has been signed up for a 26-episode reboot and the popular British animated show 'Danger Mouse' will also get a remake.

Rounding out the rest of the lineup is an animated series called 'Bottersnikes & Gumbles,' based on books by the same name, the PLAYMOBIL-based SUPER 4 and the live action series about a toy shop called 'Some Assembly Required.'

Gadget will go live on March 7th, followed by SUPER 4 in April and Some Assembly Required in August. The other two shows will hit in early 2016.

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AfterDawn: News

OnePlus One to get stable Android Lollipop in March

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2015 22:27

OnePlus One to get stable Android Lollipop in March OnePlus One owners will have to wait a little bit longer for a stable version of Android 5.0 Lollipop.

While you can currently use an alpha nightly build of CyanogenMod 12S to get your Lollipop kicks, those waiting for a fully stable release will need to wait a few more weeks until March to get.

OnePlus One founder Carl Pei says the global model will get the stable CM12S while the Indian model of the device will get the company's own OxygenOS.

Pei blamed the delay on "proprietary drivers, code, QA, certifications."

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AfterDawn: News

Android and iOS hold 96.3 smartphone OS market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2015 21:53

Android and iOS hold 96.3 smartphone OS market share According to IDC, Android and iOS continue to take share of the smartphone operating system market, now at an astounding 96.3 percent.

For the year ended December 31st, 2014, Android and iOS accounted for 96.3 percent of all global smartphone shipments, up from 93.8 percent year-over-year.

"Many of the same drivers were in play for Android and iOS to tighten their grip on the market,"
said Ramon Llamas, Research Manager with IDC's Mobile Phone team. "A combination of strong end-user demand, refreshed product portfolios, and the availability of low-cost devices – particularly for Android – drove volumes higher."

Android amazingly surpassed one billion units shipped, up 32 percent year-over-year. Apple shipped an incredible 192 million iPhones, up 25.6 percent YoY, thanks to a strong fourth quarter. Windows Phone grew 4.2 percent to 34.9 million units shipped, and BlackBerry continued its collapse, down another 70 percent to just 5.8 million units. The "Other" category, which includes Tizen, Cyanogen, Firefox and Sailfish saw substantial growth percentages, but only managed to take 0.6 percent share.

Check the data here:




AfterDawn: News

Check out the new sleek LG Watch Urbane in action

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2015 23:53

Check out the new sleek LG Watch Urbane in action Earlier this week, LG teased their latest smartwatch, the Watch Urbane, easily one of the nicest looking smartwatches to date.

The all-metal device is available in gold or silver, and the default watch face is "as close to analog" as you will find on an Android Wear device.

LG also highlighted the band customizations in the small video.

To read more about what we know about the watch, read here.

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AfterDawn: News

New color screen smartwatch Pebble Time shatters Kickstarter records

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2015 23:38

New color screen smartwatch Pebble Time shatters Kickstarter records Pebble, the team behind the original e-paper display Pebble smartwatch, unveiled the Pebble Time today, and it's already crushing Kickstarter records.

The new smartwatch has a color display, is thinner than its predecessors, and runs a fully revamped version of the Pebble operating system including a new user interface dubbed Timeline. The new watch also includes a built-in microphone for text replies, but the functionality can be expanded in the future.

Each Pebble Time has three buttons on the side. The top button takes you app notifications from the past, the bottom button takes you to future notifications (calendar events) while the middle is for the 'present,' any connected app.

The Pebble Time also promises the best battery life yet, 7 days per charge, crushing Android Wear rivals and the upcoming Apple Watch.

In less than a day, the Kickstarter campaign has reached over 35,000 backers and $7,467,755 in funding. The device will ship in June at $199, but Kickstarter backers can get it in May at just $179 if you go quick.

Check out the campaign here: Pebble Time on Kickstarter

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AfterDawn: News

Take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 via new teasers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2015 23:18

Take a look at the Samsung Galaxy S6 via new teasers Thanks to AT&T and T-Mobile, we have another look at the upcoming Samsung Galaxy 6 ahead of its unveiling on March 1st.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere and AT&T both posted tweets showing off the S6's curved display, which is at least the fifth teaser in the last month for the device.

Samsung has added the curved display, which appears to be on both sides (not sure how that works) and the fake leather on the back has been replaced by a metal back.

Take a look:

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AfterDawn: News

Google confirms Chromebook Pixel 2 is coming

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2015 22:52

Google confirms Chromebook Pixel 2 is coming In 2013, Google unveiled their Chromebook Pixel, a high-end notebook running on Chrome OS that was aimed at developers.

The notebook was not too popular given its $1300 price tag (especially compared to other Chromebooks at $299), but Google has a confirmed a sequel is on the way.

Google's Renee Niemi said the device is 'coming soon' and that like its predecessor, it will also be a "proof of concept.'

The last Pixel had a high-resolution display, a touchscreen, 4G LTE support, and a sleek high-end design. The new notebook is expected to have a 13-inch display with 3200x1800 resolution.

Due to its price and its status as a device aimed specifically at developers, Niemi noted there would be limited supply.

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AfterDawn: News

Mozilla Firefox 36 is here

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2015 22:29

Mozilla Firefox 36 is here Mozilla has released Firefox 36 to the public today, giving fans of the browser a stable version while the beta moves to 37 and the nightly alphas move to 39.

On the surface, the update is minor but there are some tweaks under the surface that users should certainly appreciate.

Firefox 36 adds full HTTP/2 support, a newly released update to the HTTP protocol which should lead to faster browsing, reduced bandwidth usage and better security for connections.

Additionally, the update includes Partial Media Source Extensions (MSE) support, allowing for better support of native HTML5 playback on YouTube, but only for videos at 720p or under.

Finally, Firefox 36 adds 'Flash Protected Mode' which runs Flash as a 'low integrity process.' Basically, if you're terrified of having Flash run but have to have it installed, the protected mode should work wonders.

The rest of the list (via ghacks):
•Pinned tiles on the new tab page are included in Firefox Sync.
•The -remote startup parameter has been removed from Firefox. It was used to execute commands in an already running instance of the browser (e.g. open a new url)
•Uzbek locale added.
•Insecure RC4 ciphers are no longer accepted if possible
•1024-bit RSA keys are phased out.
•The Crash Reporter is displayed when the shut down hangs.
•Connect Developer Tools and Firefox for Android using WebIDE
•JavaScript code that is evaluated dynamically can be debugged now
•Promise rich output in the web console
•Additional paste options in markup view
•Support for meta name="referrer" added
•EMCAScript 6 Symbol data type enabled by default
•Improved ES6 generators

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AfterDawn: News

It's official: Google buys up IP, tech for Softcard from major U.S. carriers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2015 23:47

It's official: Google buys up IP, tech for Softcard from major U.S. carriers After weeks of rumors, Google has officially announced their acquisition of Softcard from the U.S. carriers that started it.

The search giant will use the technology to upgrade their floundering Google Wallet tap-and-pay NFC app and better take on Apple Pay.

Reads the press release:

We first introduced Google Wallet's tap and pay feature in 2011, and since then, mobile payments have grown rapidly. You can use the Google Wallet app on Android devices, on any carrier network, to tap and pay anywhere NFC is accepted. Over the years, we've received great feedback from people who use this feature and we've continued investing to make it easy and secure for more people to pay with their phones. A big part of this is working with other innovators in the industry to help provide a seamless experience across a wide range of phones and stores.

So today, we're excited to announce that we're working with AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, as well as their mobile payments company Softcard, to help more Android users get the benefits of tap and pay. Under this relationship, the Google Wallet app, including the tap and pay functionality, will come pre-installed on Android phones (running KitKat or higher) sold by these carriers in the US later this year. We're also acquiring some exciting technology and intellectual property from Softcard to make Google Wallet better.

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AfterDawn: News

A Pebble smartwatch with a color display is coming tomorrow and here's proof

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2015 23:08

A Pebble smartwatch with a color display is coming tomorrow and here's proof Pebble is scheduled to announce their next smartwatch tomorrow, and there is now almost no question that the watch will feature a color display.

Besides the color e-paper display, the new watch is also expected to be thinner and include a revamped version of the Pebble operating system.

From a design standpoint, the device seems 'sportier' than the Pebble Steel, including larger bezels and smaller buttons than all previous models. Battery life is expected to match that of the original Pebble, which promised 3 days per full charge.

Fans will also likely enjoy the redesigned operating system, which is powered by former members of the WebOS development team. There will be plenty of more details tomorrow. For now, we have one leaked photo of the smartwatch, compliments of Pebble themselves.

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AfterDawn: News

Report: The Apple Watch Edition will cost over $10,000

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2015 22:33

Report: The Apple Watch Edition will cost over $10,000 The connected Apple insider John Gruber has done his research and believes the most expensive Apple Watch models will cost over $10,000 when its released.

Apple's base 'Sport' model will cost $349, followed by the steel Apple Watch and then the gold Apple Edition.

Speaking to sources and getting his bearings in the watch world, Gruber believes the steel Apple Watch with sport band will start at $749, while the Edition models will retail for $10,000 or higher.

It will be interesting to see if consumers are willing to pay high-end watch prices for a smartwatch.

To read more about Gruber's thought process on the pricing, read here.

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AfterDawn: News

Lenovo already hit by lawsuit over Superfish adware

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2015 21:45

Lenovo already hit by lawsuit over Superfish adware Lenovo pre-loaded the adware Superfish on some of its recent consumer PCs, and it will now have to pay the price.

Angry consumers have proposed a class-action suit against both Lenovo and Superfish, claiming fraudulent business practices and the disregard of privacy.

Superfish plugs itself into your software, adding product recommendations into search results. However, the software can also hijack your connections and leave your PC vulnerable to remote attacks.

Lenovo installed the software on their G Series, U Series, Y Series, Z Series, S Series, Flex, Miix, Yoga and E Series.

Security advisors and Lenovo have already released fixes to safely remove Superfish and its certificates but the damage has been done as some of these PCs have been infected since September.

The class action suit is seeking damages from both companies.

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