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Samsung has finally determined what caused Note7 to explode

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 16 Jan 2017 13:55

Samsung has finally determined what caused Note7 to explode Samsung has conducted an internal investigation regarding last years Note7 and its exploding tendencies. The company has now finally found out after more than four months of investigation what caused the problems.

The problem seemed to have in, wait for it, the battery! Yes, according to Reuters the investigation found out that the reason the battery spontaneously combusted was a flaw in the battery. Well, to be honest it isn't that simple and the fault could have been elsewhere.

For Samsung it must be hard to come to the conclusion – maybe that's why it took four months – because the batteries were made in-house. The batteries built by Samsung SDI have been the prime suspect all along but the company has also suspected the battery controller.

Samsung had certified the batteries in their own CTIA laboratories unlike most companies that use a third party companies to make sure batteries are safe and work properly.

It seemed that Samsung managed to pivot from the catastrophic failure of fall 2016 to new models coming in early 2017. Thus, official statements of these sorts are probably going to be released when the damage can be minimized.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung and Apple to fight once more in Court of Appeals

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Jan 2017 14:20

Samsung and Apple to fight once more in Court of Appeals Remember six years ago when Apple and Samsung were in court because of the claims that Samsung had copied iPhone's design and thus infringed on Apple's patents. Well, that case is still ongoing as the Supreme Court throws it back to the Court of Appeals.

Earlier this week the U.S. Supreme Court released documents saying it couldn't determine whether the reimbursement previous court ruled would be correct in the case. Thus it decided to put it on Court of Appeals to figure out how much Samsung owes Apple.

For a long time it hasn't been a debate whether Samsung abused Apple's design patents but instead the fight continues about how much they should pay Apple. Previous judgment of $399 million in damages was now overturned by Supreme Court because it wasn't sure that calculating the figures straight from Samsung's profits was right in this case.

Apple's view is that the blatant copying of patented features is stealing and needs to be punished accordingly. The Cupertino giant, as well as fashion designers rooting for the company, have made the point that design makes, and sells the product. Samsung wants the courts to determine the damages from certain components that infringed the patents, which, lets be honest, is going to be hard to calculate.

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AfterDawn: News

More information, game footage, and price details on Nintendo's new Switch gaming console

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Jan 2017 13:52

More information, game footage, and price details on Nintendo's new Switch gaming console Nintendo has today announced new details on its newest gaming machine Switch. In a press conference earlier today the company gave us the pricing, release timeline, and some game footage.

In the United States the Switch will be available in March 3rd and suggested retail price is $299.99. In addition to the US, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong and some markets in Europe will get Switch in early March.

Switch is a hybrid console that serves as a traditional gaming system connected to a TV as well as a portable tablet for gaming on the go. Switch includes a 6.2 inch 1280 x 720 HD display, an Nvidia chip, and 32 gigabytes of storage.

As you can see from the tweet below, the package includes the console, TV dock, left and right Joy-Con controller, Joy-Con grip, AC adapter, and an HDMI cable. Additional controllers cost $50 separately and $80 for a L/R combo. A pro controller which is meant only for the TV playing mode will also be available.

You can see game presentations, including Super Mario Odyssey, in the video of the press conference below. There are currently over 80 games, Skyrim and Fifa for example, in development for the Switch.

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AfterDawn: News

PC sales continues the decline of five years

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Jan 2017 13:04

PC sales continues the decline of five years The inevitable decline of personal computer, as it was designed, has been documented in recent years. The so-called post PC era, predicted by the likes of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, might not quite yet be here but according to sales statistics the trend is obvious.

The technology and market research companies IDC and Gartner have released their newest figures on PC sales. According to IDC, PC sales dropped 1.2 percent while the latter estimated the decline to be 3.7 percent.

During the last five years the sales has fallen 25 percent, a total of approximately hundred million units.

While sales of traditional PCs has fallen drastically there are some niches that have managed to keep the momentum. One is gaming gear which is selling better than perhaps ever. Most of the PC manufacturers have their own gaming brands that are trying to capitalize in the very competitive market.

There's no telling, though, if the we will hit any kind of plateau yet thanks to gaming or if the decline is going to go on. However, people are most certainly going to use PCs for work for a long time still thanks to their superior performance and other advantages.

The largest PC manufacturer was again Lenovo with 55 million units sold followed by HP, Dell, Apple, and Asus.




AfterDawn: News

Alphabet axed the internet sharing drone, balloon still alive

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Jan 2017 12:05

Alphabet axed the internet sharing drone, balloon still alive Google has been trying to reach more customers in a time when growth comes largely from new internet users. This means that one way to get customers is to offer internet connection to people that do now yet have one.

Enter Project Loon. Formerly known as Google X, now it's own company called X under the parent company Alphabet, has been developing a way to reach rural and remote areas with the power of internet. As you might guess from the project name it is done with balloons. Weather balloons to be more exact.

However, Alphabet also has another remote access internet project in terms of a company called Titan Aerospacen which was bought 2014. That one tries to achieve the same thing with drones. As drones are getting better stunningly fast you would imagine Alphabet would put most of its focus on this high tech instead of balloons.

Well, you'd be wrong. Alphabet is shutting down the development of Titan Aerospace as a part of savings strategy, 9to5Google reports. Project Loon, however, has not yet been touched, although, this probably makes them work that much harder.

In addition to Titan Aerospace projects like the modular smartphone Ara and imaging satellite business Terra Bella have been recently axed. Much of the workforce have been reallocated to other project within Alphabet's subsidiaries, including Project Loon.




AfterDawn: News

A video reveals two iPhone prototypes with competing operating systems

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Jan 2017 11:38

A video reveals two iPhone prototypes with competing operating systems It's been ten years since the iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs. Sparking the smartphone revolution the iPhone was essentially the same thing it is today. Just a big touchscreen with apps.

It always wasn't meant to be like that though. A newly surfaced video shows what two different prototypes of iOS looked like. In the video, shared on YouTube by Sonny Dickson, P1 and P2 are compared. The former is a version that was built based on the iPod OS by a team lead by Tony Fadell and the latter is one based on OS X by Scott Forstall's team.

As you can see neither one really looks like the current, or even the first released iOS, but it is in fact the one on the right that was developed to be the first iPhone's operating system. Even though the iPod system seems more finished one can easily see how frustrating and limiting it would be to use a virtual click wheel to navigate.

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AfterDawn: News

LG unveils a 2.57 mm thin OLED TV, calls it "Wallpaper"

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 05 Jan 2017 9:57

LG unveils a 2.57 mm thin OLED TV, calls it "Wallpaper" The Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has yet to officially start but some of the major manufacturers have already unveiled their most anticipated pieces of new equipment. For LG that is the new OLED TV, or set of TVs, called the W Series.

Announced was the ultra high end W7, which comes in 65 and 77 inch versions and boasts a canvas-like OLED-panel. LG says that the simplicity, and perfection, comes from the beautifully thin panel that is not disturbed by speakers on the side or thick bezels.

The company plays around a lot with the thinness, which is understandable when you consider that it is only 2.57 millimeters thick. That is approximately one tenth of an inch which is so thin that you can bend the TV from the corners. No wonder LG calls it Picture-on-Wall and says that the W in it's name might as well come from either Wallpaper or Window, especially since the W Series can be attached straight to the wall.

The TV is connected to its Dolby Atmos enabled base unit by one cable and features industry leading infinite contrast typical to OLED displays. LG has been working with Dolby and Technicolor, as well as several HDR formats, to provide the best possible audio and picture quality.

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AfterDawn: News

Intel finally unveiled desktop Kaby Lake processors

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Jan 2017 14:27

Intel finally unveiled desktop Kaby Lake processors Intel has today unveiled their seventh generation Core processors for desktop computers. Codename Kaby Lake is heavily based on the previous generation and bring only slight performance boosts but there are some improvements.

Intel announced the first Kaby Lake chips back in August last year. However, those were only for ultra portable laptops, and PC builders have been craving for new chips ever since. Unfortunately most of the updates are to 4K video processing and VR applications so you won't see huge boosts over for example the gaming performance on Skylake.

The newly announced chips include Series H for performance laptops, Series S for traditional desktop computers, Series T for low-power usage, and Series K for overclockers. The flagship model is the i7-7700K which costs $339 but you also have first ever unlocked and overclocking-ready Core i3 at $169 with the i3-7350K.

Even though there are gradual performance increases compared to the 6th generation Core processors one can easily skip this generation unless looking for specifically increases in 4K video processing. One good thing about the new processors is that they support LGA 1151 which makes upgrading from previous generation easier and more cost-effective.

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AfterDawn: News

Need to get kids to bed early on New Year's Eve? Netflix has you covered

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 30 Dec 2016 13:04

Need to get kids to bed early on New Year's Eve? Netflix has you covered New Year's celebrations often continue to the wee hours and nothing is more annoying than trying to get kids to bed while they want to continue partying with the adults. Well, Netflix has you covered this time around.

The streaming company has released some videos that might make the chore a tad easier. New countdown videos will let kids do the counting with popular characters from the TV and then head off to bed.

There are a total of 10 videos which are mostly covered in the trailer below. Characters range from Madagascar's King Julien to Fuller House cast and from Luna Petunia to Trollhunters. The videos are just a couple minutes long so you'll be able to insert the countdown to whatever situation you might have.

You can find the links to all 10 videos below.

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AfterDawn: News

Hackers threaten to DDoS Xbox Live and PSN on Christmas

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 24 Dec 2016 10:01

Hackers threaten to DDoS Xbox Live and PSN on Christmas A group of hackers that recently took down Tumblr have threatened to attack gamers next. The group called R.I.U. Star Patrol has said that the next targets are online console gaming services from Microsoft and Sony.

The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on Tumblr earlier this week took the service down for a couple hours. R.I.U. Star Patrol, a group that is apparently newly formed or not previously active in hacking, took credit for the attack. Now the group told in a YouTube interview with Gaming news site 7421Max that it is planning to shut down Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.

Not only are they attacking two extremely popular gaming services, they plan to execute the attack on Christmas day. The group says there are no motives outside of just having a little bit of fun.

If the DDoS attacks do take down the services it is certainly not going to be fun for thousands of people opening their presents and finding a new online game. One can only hope that Sony and Microsoft have taken all the necessary measures to ensure working services to the best of their abilities.

PlayStation Network and Xbox Live were taken down on Christmas 2014 by a group called Lizard Squad.

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AfterDawn: News

The new MacBook Pro is plagued by battery problems

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 23 Dec 2016 14:27

The new MacBook Pro is plagued by battery problems Apple latest and greatest laptop, the new MacBook Pro, is obviously lighter and more powerful than ever but there might be some caveats you should be aware of. Many have been mesmerized by the new Touch Bar but there might be a problem under the hood that you didn't expect.

Many early adopters (or reviewers) have complained that the battery doesn't meet the expectations. Some have said that it doesn't improve the battery life from the previous model, as you would expect with an Apple product, others have gone as far as saying that it is way worse than with the predecessor.

Now Consumer Reports have declined a recommendation for the MacBook Pro because it found severe problems with the battery life. In the same test all the MacBook models they tested (both 13" and 15" and with or without Touch Bar) got hugely varying results.

For example on Touch Bar enabled 13 inch model, you could get a fairly good 16 hours but later with the same test not even finish four hours of testing.

Customers Reports explains that its test includes only visiting websites on default settings (and default browser, Safari) for as long as the battery lasts. It's certainly should not be CPU or battery intensive so results on the upper end are expected.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft admits it pushed Windows 10 update too aggressively

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 23 Dec 2016 11:40

Microsoft admits it pushed Windows 10 update too aggressively Microsoft's unofficial podcast Windows Weekly had a surprise guest in Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela. In the podcast he reviewed the year for the Redmond giant.

Even though the year was very successful to the company – and in some fronts not, *ahem* smartphones *ahem* – there definitely were things that could've been done better. One of the things was how Windows 10 was marketed and pushed to customers. Mr. Capossela admitted that Windows 10 update procedure went too far in terms of pushing the update, Softpedia reports.

According to Capossela the exact moment when Microsoft crossed the line was when the red X in the dialog box no longer cancelled the update but instead ran it in the background. He said it was clear fairly soon that they went too far but backpedaling and releasing another update took some time.

Some people said that the update was pushed on to their systems even when they didn't want this. This was painful to hear, said Capossela.

Even though there was a lot of criticism towards the pushy updates, Microsoft knew all along that being aggressive and pushing the envelope is going to be needed in order to get update numbers they were aiming for. Windows 10 was adopted far faster than its recent predecessors.

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AfterDawn: News

Nokia just sued Apple over patent dispute in 11 countries

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 22 Dec 2016 14:27

Nokia just sued Apple over patent dispute in 11 countries There probably isn't a smartphone company that has not been in patent disputes with a rival. However, Apple is especially plagued with the lawsuits, possible because it is reaping all the profits of the industry.

For years it seems like Samsung and Apple have been fighting over patents but a new name has entered the courtroom. Well, not a new name per se, but let's say a newly reformed name.

Apple is being taken to court by Nokia. Yes, Nokia, the company that sold its smartphone business years ago to Microsoft – which has already pretty much killed it off too. Actually the patent case is an old one which the companies resolved in 2011. Now that the contract is expiring Apple has declined to continue paying for using the patents, Nokia claims.

Nokia is now suing Apple in 11 countries, including the US, and a total of 14 different districts. The dispute is over 40 different patents and cover such technologies as display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets and video coding. In the US the cases will be handled by Eastern District of Texas (18 patents) and International Trade Commission (8 patents).




AfterDawn: News

Blade Runner 2049 gets first trailer, premiere date

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Dec 2016 15:18

Blade Runner 2049 gets first trailer, premiere date One of the more anticipated movie relaunches is definitely Blade Runner. The sequel to the 80s cult classic sci-fi flick has been in the works for quite some time and now we've been presented with the first bite sized trailer.

Blade Runner 2049 continues the story of the original movie 30 years later, as the name suggests. This time the story follows a new blade runner, a police special operative, that has been sent to seek for a lost blade runner, original movie's Rick Deckard.

The new blade runner is played by Ryan Gosling and Deckard is again starred by Harrison Ford. As the trailer shows, the dark alleys, neon signs, and what seems like a endless rain of the original are back. The director of the original movie, Ridley Scott, is the executive producer this time around and Denis Villeneuve (of Arrival fame for example) is directing Blade Runner 2049.

There's still quite a bit of time before we'll see whether the movie will be worthy of a true Blade Runner sequel or not. The premiere is set to October 6 next year but I'm sure we'll be treated with more trailers during the coming months.

As for now, just play this one back a few dozen times.




AfterDawn: News

This is how dead Windows phones are

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Dec 2016 14:44

This is how dead Windows phones are Even when Microsoft was focusing on smartphones more than ever Windows Phones were barely staying afloat. After Microsoft discontinued manufacturing both dumb and smart phones this summer it was clear that there is really no future for Windows phones in current form.

Some companies still believe that there is room for a third operating system, and many people agree. Can there still be a successful smartphone with Windows in it? Microsoft seems to believe so, after all, CEO Satya Nadella has recently promised that the company will deliver something unique in the future.

If you want to see what kind of traction a traditional Windows 10 powered smartphone with nothing unique creates then look no further than Moly X1. Moly X1 was featured on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo and the startup behind the concept was looking for $100,000 for its work oriented smartphone.

The campaign was a fiasco, and that's a kind way of putting it. A total of 30 funders managed to gather a total of $2,569, that's under 3 percent of the goal. Only 14 backers wanted to invest the products value, around $180. The rest were struggling to give five dollars for a case or a mere digital booklet.

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