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PS4 outsells Xbox One in November in U.S.

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Dec 2016 16:22

PS4 outsells Xbox One in November in U.S. Sony's PlayStation 4 (PS4) consoles outsold Microsoft's Xbox One during November, ending a trend that had the Xbox One on top since July.

The report comes from Gamespot, which cites a Sony spokesperson, but does not give a number of units sold. The NPD Group figures for video game sales are not due to be released until next week.

Sony released its slim PS4 revision in September this year, then followed it up with PlayStation VR in October. In November, it released the PlayStation 4 Pro which comes with 4K output. To what degree the newer consoles made up PS4 sales in November is not clear at this point, but November is a good month to get back on top.

Globally the PS4 is far ahead of the Xbox One, having sold more than 50 million units as of this week after around three years on the market. Microsoft's Xbox One sales are estimated between 25-30 million globally.

Source: Gamespot




AfterDawn: News

YouTube to dish out million in unclaimed songwriter royalties

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Dec 2016 15:19

YouTube to dish out million in unclaimed songwriter royalties YouTube is to pay out millions of dollars in unclaimed songwriter royalties for tracks on the service between August 2012, and December 2015.

In an agreement with the National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA) it will attempt to pay royalties for tracks with unknown owners. While the official figure was not made public, the New York Times puts it at more than $40 million. Publishers need to opt in to claim royalties.

Those who do opt in will be provided with a list and have a window in which to claim ownership of certain tracks. This opt-in period opens next Monday, December 12, and ends on February 28, 2017.

As part of the arrangement with the NMPA, the same process will be repeated over the next three years.

"It is essential that we work with digital services like YouTube... to fix the challenge of incomplete ownership information to ensure royalties are no longer unmatched and music owners are paid accurately by the platforms that rely on their work," said NMPA founder and chief executive David Israelite in a statement.

YouTube recently celebrated paying out over $1 billion in revenue to the music industry in a twelve month period, but the IFPI responded with skepticism and calls for legislation to address the "value gap" in online music consumption.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Election Hacking: Obama orders review of cyber attacks, foreign interference

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Dec 2016 14:51

Election Hacking: Obama orders review of cyber attacks, foreign interference U.S. President Barack Obama has ordered intelligence agencies to conduct a full review of cyber attacks and foreign interference in the run up to the Presidential election.

In October, The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) accused the Russian government of directing the compromises of e-mails belong to U.S. persons and institutions, with the hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) being the most significant breach.

The hacked information made its way to several organizations, including Wikileaks, and then published for public consumption.

Lisa Monaco, Obama's homeland security advisor, said the President has made it clear he wants the report to be completed and presented before he leaves office on January 20, 2017.

"The president has directed the intelligence community to conduct a full review of what happened during the 2016 election process ... and to capture lessons learned from that and to report to a range of stakeholders, to include the Congress," Monaco said, reports the Reuters News Agency.

This is not the first time that a Presidential election has been subject to such attacks. In 2008, the campaigns of both then-Senator Barack Obama, and Senator John McCain, were subject to cyber attacks believed to have originated in China.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony cuts $50 from PS4 bundle price this month

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2016 7:46

Sony cuts $50 from PS4 bundle price this month Sony is once again taking $50 off the price of a PS4 bundle for two weeks this month.

If you missed out on Black Friday deals for a PlayStation 4, then this offer might interest you. Just as it did last December, Sony is offering a $50 discount on a bundle - the Uncharted 4 PS4 Bundle - between December 11 and December 24.

During that period, U.S. customers can get the Bundle for $249.99. In Canada, you can pick up the Uncharted 4 PlayStation 4 Bundle for $329.99 CAD until December 29th.

The Uncharted 4 PS4 bundle includes the slimmer PS4 model with a 500 GB hard drive, a DualShock 4, and the critically acclaimed Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. The new cooperative and solo mode, Uncharted 4: Survival, launches this month.

Sony announced this week that it has sold more than 50 million PS4 consoles since its initial release in 2013. This Black Friday weekend was the best weekend for the "PlayStation brand" in its history, and is the reason why this special offer has been extended to a further two week period this month.




AfterDawn: News

Google to use 100% renewable energy by 2017

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2016 7:35

Google to use 100% renewable energy by 2017 Google's operations around the globe will be powered by renewable sources of energy by next year.

It will reach 100% renewable energy usage for its global operations, including its energy-gobbling data centers and its offices. Google is the world;s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 gigawatts (2,600 megawatts) of wind and solar energy.

The cost of wind and solar energy has decreased 60 percent and 80 percent, respectively, in just six years, according to Google. Its renewable energy purchase commitments to date result in infrastructure investments of more than $3.5 billion globally.

"Operating our business in an environmentally sustainable way has been a core value from the beginning, and we're always working on new ideas to make sustainability a reality," wrote Urs Hölzle, Senior Vice President or Technical Infrastructure, Google.




AfterDawn: News

BBC tests Planet Earth II in 4K, HDR on iPlayer

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2016 7:19

BBC tests Planet Earth II in 4K, HDR on iPlayer The BBC has started running a test delivery of Planet Earth II content in 4K Ultra HD in HDR.

For now, it is limited to a number of recent Smart TV models that can than run the iPlayer app, and it will become available on more TVs and devices over time.

The test includes footage from the superb Planet Earth II documentary series. The content sports four times as many pixels as full HD 1080p, and also a superior colorful image due to high dynamic range (HDR), which is supported in a lot of newer smart TVs and monitors.

"One of the clips is a frog on a leaf with lots of rain, and the reason this is so interesting is that the redness of the frog is a really deep Ferrari red that you would never get in broadcast television at the moment," explained Phil Layton, head of broadcast and connected systems at BBC Research & Development.

"We want to show that this is how the BBC could make ultra-high definition HDR material available to iPlayer and we want to use this as a trigger to work with manufacturers to get their products updated so there's a pathway there for future on-demand BBC content."

It will be quite some time before 4K and HDR broadcasts will become common at the BBC however, due to higher production costs and a low rate of support for either advancement in televisions in British households.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

FIFA 17 pushing 'gay propaganda', Russian MPs claim

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2016 7:00

FIFA 17 pushing 'gay propaganda', Russian MPs claim Russian MPs are seeking a probe of EA Sports' FIFA 17, claiming it is in violation of a 2013 law banning homosexual propaganda.

The bizarre complaint from the MPs stems from a campaign in England last month by Stonewall, an LGBT rights advocacy group. The rainbow laces campaign saw Premier League footballers wearing rainbow colored laces on their boots during matches.

In response, EA Sports backed the campaign and allowed FIFA 17 players to obtain a free rainbow-colored kit (pictures) in-play.

This is what prompted Russian parliamentarians to raise questions about the legality of the game since the passing of legislation in 2013 that outlaws "gay propaganda".

They have asked consumer protection and communications oversight agencies to launch a probe into the game, with some suggestions that it may even be illegal in the country. Irina Rodnina, MP for the United Russia party, said that authorities need to "verify the possibility of distributing this game on the territory of the Russian Federation."

Others have suggested that an age-rating change may be required.

Read more at The Guardian.




AfterDawn: News

Supreme Court sides with Samsung, throws out $399 million ruling

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2016 6:46

Supreme Court sides with Samsung, throws out $399 million ruling Samsung was handed a major win in its global patent fight with Apple over its Galaxy smartphones and tablets.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Samsung, dismissing a $399 million ruling against the South Korean firm in a case over alleged patent infringement in the design of several of Samsung's Galaxy-branded smartphones and devices.

In an 8-0 decision, the Supreme Court threw out an appeals court ruling that ordered Samsung to pay $399 million to Apple. The ruling, written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, found that a patent violator does not have to pay out the entire profit from the sales of products that used infringing design elements, if the infighting designs only covered certain components.

Samsung and Apple will return to court once again, as the case has been sent back to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington.

In response, Samsung lauded the ruling as a victory for those who promote creativity, innovation and competition, while Apple said it remains confident that the lower courts will send a powerful signal that "stealing isn't right."

Source: Reuters




AfterDawn: News

Music industry unimpressed with $1 billion revenue from YouTube

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2016 6:01

Music industry unimpressed with $1 billion revenue from YouTube YouTube has paid over $1 billion to the music industry from advertising revenue, and that is apparently not enough!

Earlier this week, Robert Kyncl, Chief Business Officer at YouTube, wrote a blog post titled, "A billion reasons to celebrate music on YouTube," in which he revealed that the video service had paid over $1 billion to the music industry in the past 12 months, sourced from advertising revenue alone.

Kyncl went on to observe that this demonstrates that multiple platforms and models for monetizing music are coexisting and generating significant revenues for music companies.

He also hit an optimistic note about the growth in online advertising, at the expense of other forms of media, and what it means for generating revenue for music going forward.

$1 billion is a lot of money, but not enough according to the IFPI, which in response seemed to question even the validity of the claim.

"Google has today issued more unexplained numbers on what it claims YouTube pays the music industry," a spokesperson for the IFPI wrote.

Even if the figure is accurate, it still provides little reason to celebrate for the IFPI.

"With 800 million music users worldwide, YouTube is generating revenues of just over US$1 per user for the entire year. This pales in comparison to the revenue generated by other services, ranging from Apple to Deezer to Spotify," the IFPI responds.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple Music hits 20 million paid subscribers in 18 months

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2016 5:48

Apple Music hits 20 million paid subscribers in 18 months Apple's music subscription service has already hit an impression 20 million paying subscribers.

Apple Music launched on June 30, 2015, and has already managed to tally up 20 million paying subscribers, which grew by more than 3 million since September. More than half of these paying subscribers are not U.S.-based, and according to Apple's Eddie Cue, more than 60 percent of customers that use Apple Music have not purchased content from the iTunes Store in the past year.

The vast majority are "new customers", rather than dormant users, Cue told Billboard.

Apple Music is available to paying subscribers in over 100 countries around the world already. By managing to bag high profile exclusives to its service initially, Apple managed to link its service to some of the past 18 months' biggest music releases from artists including Drake, Frank Ocean, DJ Khaled and Travis Scott.

Cue expects to see more growth for Apple Music, and more growth for music streaming services overall as the total number is still comparatively low to the number of music consumers online. Apple Music rival Spotify claims more than 40 million paying subscribers, and more than 100 million users in total.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Windows 10 running soon on Snapdragon chips

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2016 5:32

Windows 10 running soon on Snapdragon chips Microsoft and Qualcomm have revealed that full featured Windows 10 will run on the next generation of Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors.

Microsoft will try bringing its flagship Desktop OS, Windows 10, to ARM-based chips once again, following the disappointing attempt at running a version of Windows 8 on ARM architecture, Windows RT.

This development is very different to the limited Windows RT, this will be the full version of Windows 10 with legacy support for Win32 software and support for universal Windows applications, so running Photoshop, or Microsoft Office suites or Windows 10 games shouldn't be a problem.

"We are excited to bring Windows 10 to the ARM ecosystem with Qualcomm Technologies," said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft.

"We continue to look for ways to empower our customers to create wherever they are. Bringing Windows 10 to life with a range of thin, light, power-efficient and always-connected devices, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform, is the next step in delivering the innovations our customers love - touch, pen, Windows Hello, and more - anytime, anywhere."

We are told to expect the first Snapdragon-based devices running Windows 10 as early as next year.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony PS4 passes major sales milestone

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2016 5:11

Sony PS4 passes major sales milestone Having been available for three years, Sony's PlayStation 4 games console has just passed a key sales milestone this month.

The Japanese CE firm announced that as of December 6, it has sold more than 50 million PS4 units around the world. That is the number sold to customers and also includes the PS4 Pro variant. For comparison, the PS4 reached 50 million unit sales 17 months faster than its predecessor, the PS3, released in 2006.

By May this year, Sony had sold 40 million PS4s around the world, so sales of the console continue to be strong. In fact, Sony said that the PlayStation brand had its best performing week in its history after this year's Black Friday, though some figures have shown the console was outsold by Xbox Ones.

On the software side, 369.6 million games across retail and digital downloads have been sold, according to Sony.

Sony did not specify how many PS4 Pro units have been sold, nor did it provide official figures for PlayStation VR. Nevertheless, with an estimated 25-30 million Xbox One units sold, Sony is holding on to its lead in the current generation even though the Microsoft console has been outselling the PS4 in recent months.




AfterDawn: News

This is how Netflix packages its new offline content

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 05 Dec 2016 11:22

This is how Netflix packages its new offline content One of the most anticipated features of all time on Netflix must have been offline viewing. This feature that has been largely shrugged off by Netflix and even been denied of any viability finally made it and was made official last week.

Now, what this means is that you can enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows even when you don't have an internet connection, given that you've downloaded the content beforehand. There are some limitations as Netflix is rolling it to more content over the coming months but if the show or movie is downloadable it has a Download link right next to the "Add to My List" button on movies or next to the play button of each episode in shows.

One thing that needs to be remembered though before downloading all 52 episodes of House of Cards in case you need to take a flight at some point. Downloading TV shows and movies takes up a lot of space.

Netflix has done their home work and know how to encode and package their content for offline viewing, but there's a some oddities too. During the fall the company tested both HEVC and VP9 with a sample size of over 5000 videos grabbed from over 500 shows and movies.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Chrome kills Flash on Mac, Windows, and Linux in one big swing

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Dec 2016 16:17

Chrome kills Flash on Mac, Windows, and Linux in one big swing Google released the version 55 of Chrome browser this week and it has one of the biggest updates in recent history. The new browser no longer plays Flash videos on default.

Google has for a long time been a proponent of HTML5 video and this has been evident especially in its video platform YouTube. Now the company has decided to reduce Flash on all three major desktop browsers to an even less meaningful status.

Flash will still be used if that is all the website offers, 9to5Google points out, but defaulting to HTML5 video will reduce dramatically which video technology the majority will use. This will be remembered as one of the final nails in the coffin for Adobe Flash.

This is an extremely good thing for users in many ways. HTML5 is far more secure, power efficient, and especially offers performance that is leaps and bounds beyond Flash, and this update will force many web developers to switch away from the old technology.

Chrome users will now be prompted if they want to enable Flash when entering a site with Flash content. However, the top 10 sites (YouTube.com, Facebook.com, Yahoo.com, VK.com, Live.com, Yandex.ru, OK.ru, Twitch.tv, Amazon.com, and Mail.ru) in the world in addition to website that have no HTML5 support are exempt from the rule for the next 12 months.




AfterDawn: News

Apple's device lock can be bypassed with a simple trick

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Dec 2016 16:03

Apple's device lock can be bypassed with a simple trick A new video has surfaced that shows how simple it is to bypass the iPhone and iPad device lock activation. This means that a thief that got their hands on your iDevice could get in with a simple trick.

Apple's devices provide a device lock feature which allows to lock out the device even after it's been lost. The remote lock however seems to be far from perfect, because of a bug in device lock activation.

According to a video uploaded to YouTube this bug can be exploted so that the activation will be bypassed. Normally the device can be unlocked only with Apple ID and password.

To unlock the device user can join a WiFi network of choice. By entering network name and other fields that exceed a certain limit the software crashes and for a split second shows the home screen. If you are quick you can enter the device by pressing the power button or accessing Siri.

Both iOS 10.1 and 10.1.1 are vulnerable with this type of exploit, Security Week reports.

Read more...



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