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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft updates Macbook Pro competitor, here's the new Surface Book 2

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Oct 2017 18:10

Microsoft updates Macbook Pro competitor, here's the new Surface Book 2 Microsoft has announced today a new Surface Book 2, the second generation of the hybrid laptop. It is aimed solely at competing against the MacBook Pro, which Microsoft promises it will blow out of the water.

According to Microsoft's Panos Panay, the new Surface Book 2 offers double the performance compared to Apple's offering. What this exactly means is questionable but it definitely offers impressive specs.

The device comes now in two form factors, 13.5" and 15", which offer either Core i5 (for 13.5") or Core i7 (both) processors, GeForce GTX 1050 or 1060 graphics chips, massive 70 (13.5") or 80 Wh (15") batteries, improved hinge mechanism that allows multiple use cases, and detachable display for tablet use.

With big battery (and touchscreen) comes big burden: 13.5 inch Surface Book 2 weighs in at 3.38 lbs while the bigger one is fairly hefty at 4.2 lbs. Fortunately Microsoft promises up to 5 hours battery life in tablet mode and a whopping 17 hours with the keyboard base.

Storage options include 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1TB SSDs, the display is either a 10-point PixelSense touchscreen with 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI) on the 13.5" or 3240 x 2160 (260 PPI) on the 15" model.

Surface Book comes with a more impressive array of connectivity compared to MacBook Pro. While it only has one USB-C, capable of charging and data transfer, many will appreciate two USB-A ports as well as the integrated memory card reader.

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AfterDawn: News

Huawei's Mate 10 flagships also got a Lite version

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Oct 2017 15:37

Huawei's Mate 10 flagships also got a Lite version Huawei unveiled yesterday the new Mate 10 lineup that included two flagship phones with newly found AI prowess. There was however a third new release as well, a much more affordable one.

The Chinese manufacturer's third option is Mate 10 Lite which is in many ways the lightest of the bunch. If is the slimmest at 7.5mm, the lightest at 164 grams or 5.78 oz, and definitely weighs the lightest on your wallet at 400 euros (approx. $470).

As you might imagine with half the price of the Mate 10 Pro you can't exactly get all the specs. That means no AI powered Kirin 970, instead more of a mid range Kirin 659.

However, Mate 10 Lite is still not horribly stripped-down – there's still a dual camera setup, actually two. In the back you'll have a 16MP + 2MP setup and in the front a dual 13 MP selfie camera. The battery is still an impressive 3340, and the display is the same resolution as Mate 10 Pro with Full HD+ or 1080 x 2040. The size is very comparable too, 5.9 inch vs the Pro's 6.0 inch.

It is definitely one of the cheaper large displays that shrink the bezels enough to squeeze out even the home button. Fingerprint sensor, however, is still there in the back.

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AfterDawn: News

Huawei revealed two new Mate 10 flagships with AI and dual cameras

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Oct 2017 13:07

Huawei revealed two new Mate 10 flagships with AI and dual cameras In yesterday's press event Huawei unveiled this years Mate-lineup. That included two new flagship phones Huawei promised even before the launch would blow iPhones out of the water when it comes to AI.

Both of the new flagships, Mate 10 (top picture) and Mate 10 Pro (bottom picture), include the AI enabled HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset. Armed with a Neural Processing Unit, or NPU, the Mate 10 duo should be able of some impressive feats, right?

Well, yes and no. It might be able to do things most smartphones can't do but currently it is used very sparingly. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer said that the phones smart features include context-aware camera that changes its settings to match the place and subject. Also Mate 10 (yes, the Pro as well) knows how dim the screen depending on more than just the ambient light sensor, and improve battery life according to your usage.

However, according to Huawei it is up to 3rd party developers to fully unshackle the power of Kirin 970 and its NPU.

Fortunately Huawei's new flagships aren't all about AI unlike you might have imagined after such a strong AI focused marketing campaign before the launch. The Mate 10 features a 5.9 inch QHD resolution (1440x2560) display, 64GB microSD expandable storage, 4 GB of RAM.

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AfterDawn: News

Every WiFi network in the World is now non-secure - WPA2 encryption broken

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 17 Oct 2017 3:58

Every WiFi network in the World is now non-secure - WPA2 encryption broken Researchers from Belgian university KU Leuven have managed to find a way to break WPA2 encryption used as the "strongest" encryption available in WiFi networks. They published their findings yesterday and now the security organizations across the globe are trying to find ways to curb the problem.

Researchers managed to break the WPA2 encryption by using so-called KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack) attack against the encrypted network. Breaking the network encryptyin isn't exactly a trivial one, as it requires installing a WiFi router with fake MAC address and to place that router within the WLAN network's reach.

Those most in danger now are the corporations that handle sensitive data within their networks and transfer messages within their own WiFi network without further encryption, relying on WPA2-encrypted network.

Thus, security organizations now recommend that eveyrbody who handles sensitive data and transmits that within a WiFi network should start using SSL/TLS (basically, all web connections that are used for, say, intranet, should use https), SSH and VPN connections.

Basically all WiFi networks should now be treated as non-secure and shouldn't be used to transmit sensitive data within or from them without further encryption.

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AfterDawn: News

AfterDawn's own news aggregator app, HIGH.FI for Android, updated to new version

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 17 Oct 2017 3:05

AfterDawn's own news aggregator app, HIGH.FI for Android, updated to new version Ever wanted to see all the tech news in one widget? Wanted to follow not tens, but thousands of news sites with one app? Our own app, HIGH.FI News reader for Android does exactly that. It follows thousands of news sites across the globe, categorizes the headlines to seven different languages and hundreds of categories - and you can simply get a full view of what is happening in the world, right now.

Now, we've just updated the app to a new version. v1.136 finally brings source filtering to homescreen widget, too. So, if you hate a specific news site and never want to see that site's headlines in your feed again, you can do exactly that by adjusting the settings - and now those settings take effect on our flexible homescreen widget, too.

We follow pretty much all the tech sites in U.S., UK, Italy, Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, etc and show you the headlines in correct categories. Headlines are updated constantly and we tens of thousands of headlines each and every day´.

Download HIGH.FI News Reader for Android

P.S. All the headlines can be viewed through HIGH.FI website, too.




AfterDawn: News

OnePlus decides collecting private data isn't nice after all

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Oct 2017 18:17

OnePlus decides collecting private data isn't nice after all The Chinese smartphone OnePlus was a few days ago caught pants in their ankles collecting data from their customers. A OnePlus 2 user found the phone sending strangely irrelevant data to OnePlus servers.

Later on it was found that all OnePlus models, including last year's OnePlus 3 and the latest flagship OnePlus 5 send data regularly to OnePlus operated AWS server. After OnePlus was confronted about it, and after the OnePlus Twitter support was unhelpful, the company claimed that it was all about after-sales support data and usage analytics transmitted securely.

Even though there's likely no malicious intent, collecting data like when the user is turning on their screen, with timestamps even, seems awfully unnecessary.

Now OnePlus has come out and given another statement. According to the company it will stop collecting private data. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei says in the post that while none of the information has ever been given to third parties the company has decided to stop collecting such data as telephone numbers, MAC addresses, and WiFi SSIDs.

Additionally all Oxygen OS phones will have a new setup wizard that will ask if the user wants to join the user experience program, the one collecting data to improve the OnePlus user experience, and "indicate that the program collects usage analytics."

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AfterDawn: News

Top countries in the world by mobile data usage per month

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 15 Oct 2017 13:27

Top countries in the world by mobile data usage per month OECD released a report recently that lists various digital trends across the globe. One of the interesting points was the usage of mobile data and number in various countries.

While some Asian countries have high profile in terms of their mobile internet usage, one Western country tops them all - by wide margin: Finland.

In Finland, average mobile data consumption is a whopping 11 gigabytes per month, while the next country in the list, Latvia, uses 9GB per month. For comparison, U.S. users consume 2.7GB data each month and UK users only 1.8GB.

The massive data consumption in Nordic country is simply due the country's extremely cheap and literally uncapped mobile data plans - an uncapped, unmetered 4G package, with no restrictions, costs about 20 euros (appx $24). As the data caps don't apply at all, usage of WiFi is deemed unnecessary by most people and all the Netflix viewing, Facebook browsing and app updating is done via mobile data - even at own home, where most people have fixed-line net connection with WiFi available.

OECD data on mobile data consumption per capita in the world
Mobile data consumption per capita

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AfterDawn: News

Tesla fired hundreds as a part of 'performance review'

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Oct 2017 16:19

Tesla fired hundreds as a part of 'performance review' Tesla has fired hundreds of workers this week, Reuters reports. According to the numbers received around 400 employees have had to go.

A former Tesla employee told Reuters yesterday that this includes workers across different positions. He worked on the assembly line but claimed the fired included associates, team leaders and supervisors, but couldn't confirm how high up the firings went.

The electric car company has said, full statement below, that it has over 33 000 employees and the it has been an annual performance review period which means that some people are going to be receiving hefty bonuses, other are being let go. The Reuters informant, however, claims he had never received a bad review.

Tesla is currently challenged by the Model 3 production. Model 3 is Tesla's first high volume affordable car meant for the masses. It'll be revealing the electric semi-truck on November 16.

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AfterDawn: News

Two smart iPhone X features revealed ahead of launch

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Oct 2017 13:03

Two smart iPhone X features revealed ahead of launch The iPhone X is one of the most anticipated smartphones is years. First major revamp in the iPhone design in three years, and first of its kind ever.

There's was a lot to talk about a month back for Apple at the Steve Jobs Theater as pretty much the entire smartphone had been redesigned ground up. It might have not been just a case of limited time but Apple probably wanted to keep some features under wraps for the launch, or to be unveiled during the waiting period.

Now, two features previously not revealed have surfaced. And they are pretty impressive.

First there's a feature that combines iOS notifications and the new TrueDepth camera. As you turn on the display you'll see the app notifications, just like you would on your iPhone 8 or iPhone 7.

However, Phone Arena has discovered that on iPhone X the Face ID camera detects whether it is you holding the phone and shows further information instead of showing just the name of the app.

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AfterDawn: News

Reddit thread showing iPhone X running Pokémon GO sparks discussion about screen estate

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Oct 2017 17:15

Reddit thread showing iPhone X running Pokémon GO sparks discussion about screen estate There's still almost a month until Apple's hyped iPhone X will hit the Apple Stores – and Town Squares, *sigh*. Since there's been an unprecedented amount of time between the unveiling and release of iPhone X, people have been paying close attention to all the pictures posted online.

One of them is a picture showing an iPhone X users playing Pokémon GO on the streets of perhaps Cupertino. Likely held by an Apple employee, this iPhone X revealed on Reddit shows how not all screen estate is in use, contrary to the way you'd probably want it to be.

Obviously its just a pre-production model, and only one app, but it does spark an interesting discussion about what type of concerns people have with the new aspect ratio.

Of course iPhone X's screen is the first time iOS device has a 2.17:1 aspect ratio – close to 2:1 aspect ratio in many Android phones – which means that apps need to be customized for it if they want to use all that extra space. As this picture shows at least Pokémon GO, one of the more popular mobile games, does not take advantage of this and there's a visible forehead and chin.

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AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile adds another limit to its 'unlimited' data plans

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Oct 2017 16:44

T-Mobile adds another limit to its 'unlimited' data plans As with most, if not all, so-called unlimited data plans the T-Mobile ONE and T-Mobile ONE Plus are limited in some ways. You will get unlimited amount of data but after a certain cap the service provider will slow down the connection or throttle.

With T-Mobile ONE and ONE Plus the limit is 50 gigabytes. After using the 50GB of LTE data you'll likely be slowed down to a crawl, especially during the more congested hours.

After unveiling a new 'Mobile Without Borders' deal in 2015 to all ONE and ONE Plus customers, you've been able to enjoy that oh so sweet LTE data abroad in Mexico and Canada. For now.

T-Mobile is going to limit LTE data further, and starting next month customers with T-Mobile ONE and ONE Plus plans only get 5 GB of guaranteed LTE data in Mexico and Canada. After that you'll be throttled to 256kbps connection with ONE Plus and 128kbps with ONE, BGR reports.

According to T-Mobile less than one percent use more than 5 GB of data on their trips abroad. The company is trying to "prevent usage beyond the intent of the product" with the new 4G LTE limit.

The limits go into effect on November 12.




AfterDawn: News

A new nerd phone promises true, open Linux and security

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 11 Oct 2017 16:20

A new nerd phone promises true, open Linux and security A group of open source advocates started a few years back a company called Purism. The idea behind the company was to attain crowdsourcing for a new type of computer and operating system, known as PureOS. Now the same company has decided to develop a smartphone.

Like the computer the new smartphone, called Librem 5, runs PureOS, a Linux-based operating system. Purism markets the phone as the truly pure GNU+Linux-based smartphone product.

While Android is based on Linux too, PureOS is based on GNU free software and Debian Linux distribution and is entirely open source. This means that Librem 5 owners can, for example, change the Linux distribution to something else if they don't like PureOS.

In addition to being the holy grail of nerd smartphones with a proper Linux operating system, Purism hypes the security aspects of the phone. According to the company because of the open source nature of the operating system it is completely transparent. Thus you'll never be snooped through hidden backdoors, and your information won't be used to profit the manufacturer.

Librem 5 has been succesfully crowdfunded via the company's Puri.sm website. As of writing this it has $1,612,858 in funding which is 107.52% of the $1.5 million goal, and there are still 12 days to go.

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AfterDawn: News

Dow Jones fake news reported Google buying Apple

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 11 Oct 2017 13:24

Dow Jones fake news reported Google buying Apple Fake news is clearly the meme of the year, and while it might be often thought to infect mostly politics a new case has made stock markets react. Dow Jones Newswire, the news service designed for investors, reported a what would be the acquisition of the century.

According to CNBC Dow Jones reported yesterday that Google was going to buy Apple. The fact of course is that no such thing is going to happen, and no investor would believe such an extraordinary thing without checking another source first.

Obviously, when true, news like these have a huge effect on investors and stock markets, and even though some bots sold and bought stocks because of the news, fortunately this didn't end in a catastrophe.

Perhaps the news was too easily dismissible because the story said Google would pay $9 billion for Apple. Even though it's a large amount of money you'd have to pay probably at least 100 times more for Apple. Apple's market cap is closing on a trillion dollars.

In addition to that there were several other errors that might have hinted at fake news. For one Google would not acquire the likes of Apple but it would instead be the parent company Alphabet.

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AfterDawn: News

A new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been released, watch it here!

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 10 Oct 2017 12:18

A new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been released, watch it here! Star Wars movie saga is nearing the end, or at least the original nine episodes soon run out. Of course we've seen that Disney is more than willing to spin-off Star Wars in new anthology films.

This December it is time to witness the release of the episode eight, The Last Jedi. Now Disney has released a new official trailer for the upcoming movie.

The trailer features familiar characters, including Luke Skywalker, Leia, Kylo Ren, Finn, Rey, and of course Chewbacca, and show off snippets of epic action and perhaps even teases a few potential monumental plot twists to be experienced.

There's still more than two months until the premiere so you can watch the new trailer over and over again for another 36175 times before you need to shut your phone for the convenience of your fellow moviegoers.

Here, enjoy.

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AfterDawn: News

Does iPhone get slower over time?

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 10 Oct 2017 7:16

Does iPhone get slower over time? It doesn't require much googling to find all sorts of conspiracy theories about Apple intentionally slowing down previous iPhone models shortly after the company has released new models.

According to Google Trends, the search term "iPhone slow" increases dramatically shortly after each new iPhone model is released.

However, developers of 3DMark testing suite have looked at their database of test results and found out that the conspiracy theories don't have truth behind them.

The "slowing down" effect is mostly psychological - users know that there's a new model available that runs faster, has better cameras, etc so the current phone they're using, suddenly feels like an outdated one. Obviously, each new iOS version also adds new features that are best suited for new models, making the old phones *feel* slow when the users start using the newly introduced features, with old hardware.

But Futuremark's findings are clear: neither CPU nor GPU processing power hasn't decreased from iOS9 to iOS11 on any of the models that support those operating system versions.

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