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AfterDawn: News

Report: Apple to delay Chinese launch of iPhone 6 until next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2014 22:58

Report: Apple to delay Chinese launch of iPhone 6 until next year According to multiple sources, Apple may have to delay their iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launches in China until next year.

It appears that Apple has not yet received Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) approval, which is necessary to begin selling in the nation. A date for a re-application has not been determined, meaning it could be until 2015 until the phone can go on sale.

The delay would be a setback for the company that was able to launch its iPhone 5S in China in its initial wave of launch nations. With an official delay, the company will once again have to deal with grey market resellers who import the devices from other countries to sell them at a hefty premium for buyers that just must have them.

Apple announced its largest iPhones yet last week, and saw 4 million pre-orders in just one day. The device will be available for consumers in the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore and the UK on Friday followed by another 20 countries next Friday.


AfterDawn: News

Netflix orders two seasons of new Judd Apatow comedy series

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2014 20:27

Netflix orders two seasons of new Judd Apatow comedy series Netflix has purchased two seasons of Judd Apatow's new comedy series "Love," meaning the series will be available on the streaming service and nowhere else.

The series will debut in 2016 with a 10-episode season followed the next year by a 12-episode second season.

'Love' "follows Gus (Paul Rust) and Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) as they navigate the exhilaration and humiliations of intimacy, commitment, and other things they were hoping to avoid," reads the description.

"Judd Apatow has a unique comedic voice that manages to be delightful, insightful, and shockingly frank -- often at the same time," added Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. "Together with Paul and Lesley, he's bringing a whole new level of agony and ecstasy to this modern day comedy of manners."

Netflix started the trend by giving House of Cards a two season deal without piloting it, and Starz recently upped the ante for comedies by signing a two year deal for a Seth MacFarlane comedy featuring Patrick Stewart.


AfterDawn: News

Apple to get a cut off all Apple Pay transactions

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2014 20:02

Apple to get a cut off all Apple Pay transactions According to new reports, Apple will take a cut of all Apple Pay transactions, a market moving event, if accurate.

Sources say banks and payment networks will pay 0.15 percent of each purchase to Apple. With tens of millions of transactions expected to be done daily in the future with the NFC-based service, Apple will effectively have added another huge revenue stream.

Banks remain at the center of the service, so supposedly Apple Pay was not seen as a threat, and the service will also save the banks and processors millions of dollars per year with less debit/credit cards to replace and less fraudulent transactions to investigate.

Speaking of the security of the service, MasterCard executive Jorn Lambert, explained that Apple Pay uses a token system that encrypts every single step of the payment process. Each credit/debit card is assigned its own Dynamic Account Number token. Every token is then stored securely within the iPhone and each transaction gets its own unique cryptogram. By making a purchase using the Touch ID fingerprint reader, the Touch ID authenticates the security, and then sends the cryptogram along with the token to the merchant. If the network decrypts and authenticates the crypto, it is then passed to the bank who decrypts the token. Your actual card numbers are never shared nor stored anywhere.


AfterDawn: News

Netflix now available in France

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2014 19:21

Netflix now available in France For the last few years, Netflix has been quietly and not-so-quietly expanding into Europe.

As of this week, the streaming giant has made the service available in France, one of its biggest European expansions yet. In addition, Netflix says the expansion should continue over the next week, with five more nations getting access, as well.

It was unclear if Netflix would ever be made available in France, since there is a rule in France that 40 percent of all media provided must be French in origin to promote domestic artists. It appears that Netflix is not technically subject to that law, as the streaming catalog is certainly not 40 percent French.


AfterDawn: News

Invites sent for September 30th 'Windows 9' event

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2014 23:45

Invites sent for September 30th 'Windows 9' event Following a month of rumors, Microsoft's Windows 9 tech preview event is finally official.

Invites have been sent for the Windows event on September 30th, in which top execs Joe Belfiore and Terry Myerson will lead a discussion that is focused "on enterprise and power users" of Windows.

The oft-rumored "Windows Technical Preview" will be made available to enterprise and developers after the event, with many of the operating system's features made available for testing. Virtual desktops, a return of the Start menu, the removal of the Charms bar and an updated Notification Center are key.

Not expected to be included is integrated Cortana support, the voice activated personal assistant found on new Windows Phone devices.

Windows 9 is expected to launch for consumers in March.


AfterDawn: News

New DisplayPort 1.3 standard pushes bandwidth to 32.4 Gbits/sec

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2014 22:43

New DisplayPort 1.3 standard pushes bandwidth to 32.4 Gbits/sec The Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) has announced the new A/V standard DisplayPort 1.3.

Currently, the standard is DisplayPort 1.2a, but the new update will increase the maximum link bandwidth to 32.4 Gbps, "with each of four lanes running at a link rate of 8.1 Gbps/lane--a 50% increase from the previous version of the DisplayPort standard. Allowing for transport overhead, DisplayPort's 32.4 Gbps combined link rate delivers 25.92 Gbps of uncompressed video data."

With higher bandwidth, 5K monitors should be able to use a single DP 1.3 cable, without any compression, a very impressive feat given the 5120 x 2880 resolution necessary.

In addition, a single connection can now use two 4K monitors using DisplayPort's Multi-Stream feature.

For connectivity, DP 1.3 keeps its VGA, DVI and HDMI. DisplayPort 1.3 support and adds HDCP 2.2 and HDMI 2.0 with CEC, support for 4K video with copy protection and new support for a "4:2:0 pixel structure, a video format commonly used on consumer digital television interfaces, which enables support for future 8K x 4K displays."

"While becoming a mainstream video standard, DisplayPort continues to be at the cutting edge of A/V transport," said VESA Board of Directors Chair Alan Kobayashi, Fellow & Executive R&D Management for DisplayPort Group at MegaChips Technology America. "These new enhancements to DisplayPort will facilitate both higher resolution displays, as well as easier integration of DisplayPort into multi-protocol data transports, which will satisfy consumer's desire for simplicity and ease-of-use."


AfterDawn: News

Apple hits another record: Over 4 million iPhone 6, 6 Plus pre-ordered in first 24 hours

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2014 22:11

Apple hits another record: Over 4 million iPhone 6, 6 Plus pre-ordered in first 24 hours Apple has proudly boasted of a new record for their iPhone sales, with 4 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus pre-ordered in the first 24 hours of availability.

As always, Apple does not have enough supply to keep up and most iPhone 6 Plus orders are shipping in mid-October (or later) now directly from Apple. Carriers and Apple Stores will have some additional supply on the 19th, adds Apple.

"iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are better in every way, and we are thrilled customers love them as much as we do," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "Pre-orders for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus set a new record for Apple, and we can't wait to get our best iPhones yet into the hands of customers starting this Friday."

The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are the largest iPhones yet, featuring 4.7 and 5.5-inch screens, respectively. The phones are available in 10 countries this Friday followed by another 20 next week.

Read more on the devices here at AfterDawn.

AfterDawn: News

Microsoft acquires Minecraft creator Mojang for $2.5 billion, Notch will not stay on

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2014 21:44

Microsoft acquires Minecraft creator Mojang for $2.5 billion, Notch will not stay on Microsoft has confirmed it is acquiring Minecraft creator Mojang AB for $2.5 billion, a huge bet that the popular game will remain popular into the future, and that the company can build other hits, as well.

Mojang founder Markus 'Notch' Persson, who is notably anti-corporation and thus a popular figure among gamers, will not remain with the company after the sale, effectively "selling out" for nine figures and going back to his roots. Notch says he can't wait to going back to being "a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter."

While the company rejected previous offers outright, it became clear over the summer that the founders were finally ready to sell. With all three founders leaving, that leaves just 37 other employees. Microsoft did not reveal plans for the company's current office nor employees.

Minecraft has sold over 50 million copies since launch in 2009, across platforms that include the PC, PlayStation, Xbox and phones. The game is also wildly profitable, with Mojang bringing in over $100 million in profit last year from game and merchandise sales. The company had nearly $300 million in revenue last year. Mojang has also recently signed licensing deals with Scholastic for tutorial books, LEGO for toys and even Warner Bros. for a feature film.


AfterDawn: News

Apple spent over $100 million when they gave away U2's 'Songs of Innocence' to 500 million iTunes account holders

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2014 0:08

Apple spent over $100 million when they gave away U2's 'Songs of Innocence' to 500 million iTunes account holders Earlier this week, when Apple announced its new iPhone 6, 6 Plus, Apple Watch and iOS 8, it made a less splashy but also significant announcement: It would be giving away U2's new 'Songs of Innocence" album, for free, to all iTunes users.

Over 500 million people have iTunes accounts, and U2 lead singer Bono joked around that Apple "would have to pay for it. Because we're not going in for the free music around here."

Apple is spending over $100 million to market the album, and paid U2 an undisclosed lump sum for the album itself, making it one of the biggest album launches of all-time. The company is integrating U2 into its new iPhone TV spots, billboards and more, thus helping themselves, as well.

The giant has over $160 billion in cash on hand (more than most countries), so the figure is a drop in the bucket but it certainly shows the power an A-list musician has and how little power the record industry has nowadays in a world where people will always prefer to consume their music for free.


AfterDawn: News

Meizu confirms new MX4 with Ubuntu Touch for this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Sep 2014 23:11

Meizu confirms new MX4 with Ubuntu Touch for this year Canonical will launch its first commercial Ubuntu Touch-based phone in conjunction with partner Meizu later this year.

The Meizu MX4 will feature the Linux operating system, and should be released in December.

Meizu, Bq and Canonical announced the first Ubuntu Touch partnership back in February, but only gave a "Fall 2014" time frame for the first phone release. Canonical devs have been working on the RTM version of the software, but it still needs stability and performance tweaks before it can go live.

"Under the request of some fans that have contacted Canonical, they assured us that from December will be available on Ubuntu Touch Meizu MX4 with MediaTek SoC MT 6595 . Still no details regarding the variant "pro" of the device, which should be announced in the coming weeks , but we feel pretty confident in saying that the OS will be developed for it, with the timing probably a little more dilated," read the Google translation of Meizu's Italian blog.

The Meizu MX4 runs on an octa-core MediaTek MT6595 processor, has a 5.4-inch display, runs on Android 4.4.4 and has a 20.7MP camera, making it a high spec juggernaut that should easily run Ubuntu.

AfterDawn: News

Samsung's Gear Blink could be ready to rival Google Glass by March

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Sep 2014 22:09

Samsung's Gear Blink could be ready to rival Google Glass by March According to multiple sources, Samsung is preparing their 'Gear Blink' Google Glass rival for launch in March of next year.

If accurate, the launch would coincide with the expected launch of the Galaxy S6 flagship phone.

Among the features of the Gear Blink are an augmented reality app that will turn your hands (or possibly other surfaces) into virtual keyboards. Although it is a bit difficult to decipher, it appears that the patents show one-handed and two-handed variations of the virtual keyboard, with letters specified to different parts of your fingers.

The Blink itself seems to look like a sportier version of the Google Glass, but otherwise looks very familiar. It charges via standard microUSB.

Just like their new Gear S smartwatch, Samsung is expected to run the Blink on a variant of the Tizen OS.


AfterDawn: News

The Loop denies report that Apple tried to buy Square

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Sep 2014 1:00

The Loop denies report that Apple tried to buy Square Earlier today, TechCrunch reported on Square's recent $100 million raise, at a $6 billion valuation that firmly places the mobile payment service as one of the hottest tech startups in the world.

Interestingly, the report also claimed that Apple had talked with Square over a possible acquisition, but that Square was the one to walk away. Read the report:

"Separately, TechCrunch has heard from multiple sources that Square and Apple were recently in acquisition talks, but that Square walked away. Apple wanted the company to come aboard, according to one source, but the discussed price was a sticking point: The tipster held that Apple wanted to buy Square for less than half of the $6 billion valuation it eventually would raise at (around $3 billion). Square, valued at the time at a firm 66 percent delta to that price point, declined to accept.

Apple also showed Square a software register, restaurant and spa booking services and a payment system for iPhones said the same source. This did not sit well with Square execs, who felt like the products would compete with their own offerings."

Longtime Apple insider Jim Dalrymple was quick to refute that report, however, simply saying "nope" to the fact that the talks even happened. We tend to agree with the latter, as there is no way Apple could justify paying $3 billion or more for a hardware based solution when they were working on a digital solution for mobile payments.


AfterDawn: News

GTA 5 release dates for PC, PS4, Xbox One revealed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Sep 2014 0:19

GTA 5 release dates for PC, PS4, Xbox One revealed Rockstar has revealed the release dates for Grand Theft Auto V for PC, the PS4 and the Xbox One.

Current-gen gamers will be happy to know the game will be available on November 18th, while PC gamers will have to wait a few more months until January 27th, 2015.

In addition to the slightly improved graphics and higher resolution, the games also have increased draw distances, and denser traffic and foliage as well as new vehicles, weapons and extended activities. Pre-orderers will also get $1 million in-game cash.

Since the music is a big part of the game, as well, Rockstar has added 100 new songs and DJ mixes to the radio.

If you own the game for Xbox 360 and PS3, you can migrate your character to the current-gen systems and keep on playing.


AfterDawn: News

Consumer Oculus Rift VR headset could begin roll out by summer of next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2014 22:39

Consumer Oculus Rift VR headset could begin roll out by summer of next year According to multiple source, Oculus VR could begin rolling out their Oculus Rift VR headset for consumers starting next summer.

Supposedly, a beta model will be released in limited quantities as early as April.

Currently, there have been tens of thousands of Dev Kits released including those sent to backers of the crowdfunded company.

How expensive can we expect the consumer model to be? Co-founders Palmer Luckey and Nate Micthell say they would prefer to keep the prices the same as the Dev Kits, which are $300-$400. "We want to stay in that $200-$400 price range," said Micthell. "That could slide in either direction depending on scale, pre-orders, the components we end up using, business negotiations..." Luckey added.

Oculus' final consumer tech is said to be so great that gamers are eagerly awaiting its release. Oculus even has some "secret" tech that supposedly was so mind blowing that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a bid for the company immediately after having tested it. The company ended up buying Oculus VR for $2 billion.


AfterDawn: News

Video: Windows 9 Start Menu in action

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2014 22:10

Video: Windows 9 Start Menu in action German tech site WinFuture has posted a few videos showing off the features of the upcoming Start Menu for Windows 9.

Microsoft also showed a demo earlier this year, mixing Live Tiles, Modern apps and legacy apps.

Account options are pinned to the top, while shutdown/restart have their own button. The Start Menu itself has two sections, one for legacy apps and then a second section on the right for modern apps with Live Tiles. It will work in general like the Windows 7 start menu, allowing for pinned apps, favorites, recently used and a full list of your installed apps.

Tablet users can continue to use their regular Start Screen, but keyboard/mouse users can choose to default right to the desktop.

Check the videos here:

Windows 9: Startmenü geht auch ganz ohne Live Tiles

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