AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Andre Yoskowitz

AfterDawn: News

Sprint settles long-standing lawsuit over Nextel acquisition for $131 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2015 23:13

Sprint settles long-standing lawsuit over Nextel acquisition for $131 million Sprint has agreed to pay $131 million to settle a long-standing class-action lawsuit dating back to their disastrous acquisition of Nextel in 2005.

At the time, Sprint merged with Nextel for $36 billion, and the company stated at the time that a merger would add billions of dollars in benefits and improve the subscriber base. The suit claimed that Sprint's former CEO Gary Forsee and other officials inflated the stock price of the company based on those claims, which turned out to be completely false.

Sprint never properly integrated Nextel and lost hundreds of thousands of subscribers between 2006 and 2008 eventually taking a $30 billion loss on the acquisition of Nextel.

The calculated damages were $1.07 billion so the settlement is very large considering what similar cases have gone for.

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix wants universal content for all of its libraries

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2015 22:27

Netflix wants universal content for all of its libraries Netflix is tired of trying to deal with VPN and proxy users and CEO Reed Hastings says the company's ultimate goal is universal content across the globe.

"The VPN thing is a small little asterisk compared to piracy,"
Hastings added. "Piracy is really the problem around the world."

"The basic solution is for Netflix to get global and have its content be the same all around the world so there's no incentive to [use a VPN]," he explained. "Then we can work on the more important part which is piracy. The key thing about piracy is that some fraction of it is because [users] couldn't get the content. That part we can fix.

"Some part of piracy however is because they just don't want to pay. That's a harder part. As an industry, we need to fix global content."


Hastings obviously has a point. Netflix has nearly 60 million paying subscribers, and many watch over 50 hours a week of content. The demand is out there for paying subscribers but it is unfair for catalogs to be different based on stupid and outdated laws.

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AfterDawn: News

Two federal agents accused of stealing Bitcoins seized from the Silk Road

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2015 21:08

Two federal agents accused of stealing Bitcoins seized from the Silk Road Two former federal agents, one from the DEA and one from the U.S. Secret Service, have been accused of stealing Bitcoins after millions of dollars were seized from the online drug bazaar Silk Road.

The agents have been charged with wire fraud, money laundering and other offenses for the alleged theft, which took place before and after the raid that took down the black market in 2013.

DEA agent Carl Force was the lead agent in the murder-for-hire case against convicted Silk Road operator Ross Ulbricht and U.S. Secret Service agent Shaun Bridges was a computer forensics expert on the case.

Allegedly, Force set up fake online profiles in attempts to extort funds from Ulbricht. At one point, Force extorted $100,000 in Bitcoin from Ulbricht, which was deposited to his personal accounts and later wired to an account in Panama to launder the funds.

Additionally, Force was an investor in CoinMKT, and he used his position as an executive to illegally seize accounts and Bitcoin, taking as much as $297,000.

Bridges allegedly stole $820,000 from Silk Road and was also the person who signed off on the seizure of about $33 million in bitcoin from Ulbricht and the Silk Road.

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AfterDawn: News

Redbox, Warner Bros. extend their Blu-ray, DVD deal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2015 23:29

Redbox, Warner Bros. extend their Blu-ray, DVD deal Redbox has announced a new two-year deal with Warner Bros. to release top Blu-ray and DVD discs in Redbox kiosks after the standard 28-day delay window.

"As America's destination for new-release home entertainment, Redbox is pleased to establish a new deal with Warner Bros. that allows us to continue to add value to our customers and content creators,"
said Mark Horak, president of Redbox. "Redbox remains committed to driving substantial industry revenue and providing consumers with affordable access to new-release movies."

"Redbox is an important partner,"
said Ron Sanders, president, Warner Bros. World Wide Home Entertainment Distribution. "And I am very pleased that we have finalized a new two year agreement."

Redbox has 35,000 locations around the world.

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AfterDawn: News

LG G4 announcement expected on April 28th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2015 23:10

LG G4 announcement expected on April 28th LG has sent out press invites for events on April 28th and 29th around the globe in NY, London, Seoul, Paris, Singapore and Istanbul in which the tech giant is expected to announce the LG G4 flagship.

The invite says "See the Great. Feel the Great," and includes the G series logo.

Last year, LG launched its G3 in the same cities and the invite was eerily similar, as well.

As usual, the upcoming G flagship is expected to include a large screen and top specs.

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AfterDawn: News

PlayStation Music powered by Spotify now available on PS3, PS4, Xperia

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2015 22:12

PlayStation Music powered by Spotify now available on PS3, PS4, Xperia A few months after announcing the service, Sony has launched PlayStation Music on the PS3, PS4 and Xperia devices in 41 markets.

PlayStation Music is powered by Spotify and has over 30 million tracks and 1.5 billion playlists.

Reads the post: "PS4 users can soundtrack their gaming sessions with their favorite songs. To make controlling your music even easier PS4 and PS3 users will be able to take advantage of the Spotify Connect feature on the official Spotify app for Android/iOS. You can select a playlist, skip songs, adjust the volume, and more."

PSN users can link their existing accounts to Spotify but you will need to pay $9.99 per month for the premium subscription that offers unlimited music.

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AfterDawn: News

Some alleged details leak about OnePlus Two

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2015 21:52

Some alleged details leak about OnePlus Two We now have some alleged details about the upcoming OnePlus Two smartphone that is set for release later this year.

OnePlus, a Chinese startup, became pretty popular for its high-end specs and low price. The device was also hard to get since OnePlus had a ridiculous invite system that has only since changed to a more open system.

According to the new reports, the new device will have "laser focus fingerprint identification embedded in the home button." In addition, the phone is said to look like the Oppo Find 7, which is another device with top specs and a low price, especially when compared to the iPhone and Samsung line of devices.

The new OnePlus Two is expected to launch in the Q3, and there will be more details likely in short order.

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AfterDawn: News

Halo 5: Guardians will launch on Xbox One on October 27th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2015 21:21

Halo 5: Guardians will launch on Xbox One on October 27th Microsoft has announced that Halo 5: Guardians will be released for the Xbox One on October 27th.

343 Industries studio head Bonnie Ross also added a little background about the game, noting it deliver "epic scope and scale and drama," while expanding and changing the existing Halo universe.

"We wanted Halo 5: Guardians to be the game that pays off the epic promise of the Halo universe in scope and scale and drama," Ross said. "We want to amaze players with the sheer size of the worlds and battles they'll experience, even as they question everything they thought they knew about its heroes, marvels, and mysteries."

Check the latest trailer here:

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AfterDawn: News

Report: Thousands of stolen Uber accounts on sale for $1 a piece

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2015 23:22

Report: Thousands of stolen Uber accounts on sale for $1 a piece According to a new Vice report, darkweb sellers claim to have thousands of active Uber login credentials for sale, for as low as $1 a piece.

With a username and password, you have access to a user's trip history, as well as the last four digits and expiration date of the attached credit or debit card and their telephone number.

Of course, you can also get a cab with the information and travel anywhere you want on someone else's dime.

Uber says they have not seen any security breaches, but the report verified that quite a few of the accounts were active by calling the users and reading back the info. "We investigated and found no evidence of a breach. Attempting to fraudulently access or sell accounts is illegal and we notified the authorities about this report. This is a good opportunity to remind people to use strong and unique usernames and passwords and to avoid reusing the same credentials across multiple sites and services."

While Uber may not have been directly breached, if Uber user's info was taken from any other breach and they used the same password and user combo on Uber, the info could have been compromised that way.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft and Yahoo extend their search partnership negotiations for another month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2015 17:25

Microsoft and Yahoo extend their search partnership negotiations for another month First started five years ago after Microsoft failed to acquire its smaller rival, the two companies have extended negotiations on a search partnership between their Bing and Yahoo search engines.

The deal is a ten-year deal, but the contract allowed for a termination or re-negotiation after five years.

That point hit on February 23rd, but they have agreed to extend the negotiations to 60 days from 30.

"We value our partnership with Microsoft and continue discussions about plans for the future. We have nothing further to announce at this time,"
Yahoo said in a statement.

The two tech giants teamed up to take on Google but Google's share has not dipped in the last five years.

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AfterDawn: News

Pebble crushes Kickstarter record, raises $20 million for latest color e-paper Time smartwatch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2015 15:36

Pebble crushes Kickstarter record, raises $20 million for latest color e-paper Time smartwatch Pebble easily crushed crowdfunding records with its latest campaign, which just closed on Friday.

The Pebble Time and Pebble Time Steel watches were the fastest to reach $1 million, taking just 49 minutes to do so. Additionally, by the time the campaign was done, the company had raised $20.3 million, crushing the previous record set by the "smart" cooler 'Coolest Cooler.'

Altogether, 78,463 people pledged, each paying at least $159 for the upcoming watch, which will retail for $199. The Pebble Time Steel will retail for $299.

"We cannot thank the Pebble community enough for their monumental support,"
Eric Migicovsky, Pebble CEO, said in a statement. "We continue to listen to and be inspired by the backers who believed in us and supported our vision from day one."

Differentiating the watch from its predecessors is the color e-paper display, which is the first time Pebble has gone a route other than black and white. The device also has 7 day battery life for the Time and 10 days for the Steel, a big jump from Android Wear and the Apple Watch which normally require a charge in under 24 hours.

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AfterDawn: News

Vine now supports HD video

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2015 15:18

Vine now supports HD video Vine has announced this week that their popular video sharing app will now support higher quality video, jumping from the current 480p max to 720p.

The feature is rolling out now and you should already see existing videos showing up in HD.

In regards to uploads, Vines will upload in HD for iOS starting now but in the coming weeks for Android.

Check out one example here:

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AfterDawn: News

Biohackers test eyedrops that give you temporary night vision without goggles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2015 15:02

Biohackers test eyedrops that give you temporary night vision without goggles Members of the Science for the Masses collective have created eye drops that allow you to see in the dark without the need for specialized goggles.

Using a chemical called Chlorin e6 (Ce6), which has been used safely in cancer treatments and to cure night blindness, the drops gave the biohackers the ability to see in the dark for short periods of time. The chemical compound is extracted from deep sea fish that hunt in the pitch black.

"There are a fair amount of papers talking about having it injected in models like rats, and it's been used intravenously since the '60s as a treatment for different cancers,"
Science for the Masses medical officer Jeffrey Tibbetts said. "After doing the research, you have to take the next step."

The human experiment received 50 microliters of Ce6 into his conjunctiva sacs, which gave him the ability to see in the dark at up to 50 meters.

Fair disclosure: Do not try this at home.

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AfterDawn: News

The Samsung Galaxy S6 - still with tons of bloat

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2015 14:34

The Samsung Galaxy S6 - still with tons of bloat There had been rumors that Samsung had finally listened to complaints and reduced the insane amount of bloatware on its flagship devices, but that does not appear to be true.

Those with early access to the S6 and S6 Edge have counted 56 pre-installed apps, although Samsung of course is not completely to blame. Android owners know that Google has a decent amount of Google-related bloat and carriers add their own, as well, but Samsung has decided to include all their S suite of apps (Voice, Health, etc) and additional apps like Microsoft OneDrive, Facebook, Instagram and more.

By comparison, stock Nexus devices - even those from carriers, have 35 or less apps.

Not all is lost, however, as Samsung will allow you to "disable" the apps, thus removing them from the app drawer and the homescreen, although they remain taking up precious internal storage space, and in cases like Facebook, mining all your personal data and then some.

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AfterDawn: News

Click here to play Super Mario 64 in HD

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2015 14:14

Click here to play Super Mario 64 in HD Nearly 20 years after its console release, Super Mario 64 is back.

Roystan Ross developed a desktop version of the game (well, the first level so far at least), which can be played for Windows, Mac and Linux, and there is a demo of the playback after the jump. The game has been remastered with more modern HD graphics and includes gamepad support including DS3, 4 and Xbox One and 360 controllers.

The developer has put a lot more technical know-how in his blog post, which can be found here.

At the same link, you can download the files, since the browser version does not seem to be working at the moment.

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