AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Andre Yoskowitz

AfterDawn: News

Facebook Messenger reaches 1 billion users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2016 22:44

Facebook Messenger reaches 1 billion users Facebook has yet another service that has reached 1 billion users.

The company's "Messenger" messaging and payments service hit the milestone this month, following in the footsteps of Facebook itself, and WhatsApp. The company's Instagram photo-sharing service has 500 million users, as well.

"As part of this journey to 1 billion, we focused on creating the best possible experiences in modern day communications. We remain focused on helping connect people to the people and businesses who matter most," said David Marcus, VP of Messenger, in a statement.

Less importantly, Facebook also says 22 million GIFs are sent via Messenger daily.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft ends Skype support for Windows Phone and Androids before 4.03

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2016 22:24

Microsoft ends Skype support for Windows Phone and Androids before 4.03 Microsoft has announced today that it will no longer support Skype for those using Windows Phones and users with Android versions before 4.03.

There will be continued support for iOS 8 and newer (which is most Apple users) and Windows 10 Mobile users (which is not most of Windows phone users).

You can continue to use Skype if you have those old operating systems, but you will not be receiving any future updates which will likely include new and improved features over time.

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Ukranian man arrested and charged with copyright infringement for running KAT

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2016 21:01

Ukranian man arrested and charged with copyright infringement for running KAT U.S. authorities have charged Ukranian Artem Vaulin with copyright infringement, alleging that he ran the world's most popular torrent site, Kickass Torrents.

Vaulin was arrested in Poland and the U.S. is actively looking to extradite him.

Prosecutors in Chicago claim the site offers unauthorized downloads of music, movies, games, ebooks and more valued at over $1 billion.

It also appears that domains have been seized.

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AfterDawn: News

Deezer launches subscription streaming service in the U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2016 11:56

Deezer launches subscription streaming service in the U.S. Deezer, an on-demand music streaming service popular in parts of Europe, has launched in the U.S.

The company was available in 180 countries and had plans to go public last year, but competition from Apple, Spotify and others delayed and eventually killed their offering.

U.S. users will not get an ad-supported tier like Deezer offers in other countries, and so will have to pay $9.99 a month for the service, in-line with other competitors. Deezer offers 40 million tracks, 40,000 podcasts, "Flow" personalized radio stations based on your habits, lyrics and more.

Deezer currently has 6.3 million users and will have to pick up significant steam if it wants to compete against Spotify and Apple.

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Tesla officially shortens its web address, name change likely soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2016 11:33

Tesla officially shortens its web address, name change likely soon There is growing evidence that Tesla Motors will soon be just Tesla.

The electric vehicle giant has changed its web address from teslamotors.com to tesla.com, less than a year after the company purchased the domain. All traffic to Tesla Motors is now redirected to Tesla.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been cryptically tweeting about his upcoming "Master Plan" part 2, and this could be the initial step. Tesla is trying to acquire the Musk-founded SolarCity, and is expected to begin testing on driverless electric trucks that can drive hundreds of miles at a time. By changing to just Tesla, the company could be suggesting a pivot in the company from "just" a car company.

Last month, Musk said a merger of SolarCity and Tesla would build "a combined automotive and power storage and power generation company," that would feature stationary storage batteries, electric vehicles, and solar panels.

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AfterDawn: News

Nintendo stock doubles since launch of Pokemon GO

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2016 11:16

Nintendo stock doubles since launch of Pokemon GO Despite the fact that Nintendo is only a partner in the game, shares of the gaming giant have doubled since the July 6 launch of Pokemon GO.

The game has become a global phenomenon, shocking even the game's creators, and the game has now expanded to 35 countries. Japan is the next country where Pokemon GO will launch, and it is expected to be a massive hit there, as well.

Nintendo isn't the only company expected to be helped by the launch of "GO." Apple and Google are expected to see hundreds of millions in profits from their cut of in-app purchases, and other companies have begun using Pokemon GO as a way to get traffic to their sites or retail locations.

Investors are clearly betting that Nintendo can hit gold again in the future with their popular catalog of characters including Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda.

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AfterDawn: News

Seagate reveals 10TB Barracuda HDD

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2016 11:02

Seagate reveals 10TB Barracuda HDD It's likely overkill for 99 percent of PC owners, but Seagate has revealed a new 10TB Barracuda Pro HDD this week, giving users a massive amount of storage for their computing needs.

The drive is standard 3.5-inch, 7200RPM so it won't offer too much in terms of features besides capacity, but it is still interesting to see how far we have come.

"The Barracuda family has a rich history of delivering reliable drives at an affordable price point for our customers, who are struggling to keep up with the vast amounts of data they're creating and consuming," said Merle McIntosh, SVP Sales and Marketing, Newegg. "Seagate is pushing the boundaries on capacity and a cost-effective 10TB option is a product our customers will appreciate."

Unfortunately, that "cost-effective" drive will set you back $500, which is certainly less cost-effective than getting two 8TB drives from Seagate for $250 each.

Source:
Seagate





AfterDawn: News

Brazil temporarily banned WhatsApp, again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2016 10:38

Brazil temporarily banned WhatsApp, again For the third time since last December, Brazil temporarily banned the WhatsApp messaging service before a court overturned the ruling.

A Brazilian judge had banned the app after the company (now owned by Facebook) refused to reveal encrypted messages pertaining to an ongoing case. The Federal Supreme Court then reversed that decision, claiming it was "scarcely reasonable or proportional."

WhatsApp said it could not cooperate with the investigation because all of the messages sent are encrypted and are not stored on their servers.

"As we've said in the past, we cannot share information we don't have access to,"
added a WhatsApp spokesperson in a public statement.

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix only adds 1.68 million subscribers, blames media

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2016 10:25

Netflix only adds 1.68 million subscribers, blames media Netflix shares fell over 12 percent yesterday after the streaming giant announced adding just 1.68 million subscribers for the quarter, well below their guidance of 2.5 million.

The company also announced that cancellations were "slightly and unexpectedly" higher during the quarter, which saw Netflix enact a long-ago announced price rise. About 20 million users saw their subscription price rise by either $1 or $2 per month, which apparently is too much for Emmy-nominated original content.

Netflix confirmed the minor slow down both in the U.S. and abroad: "We are growing, but not as fast as we would like or have been." The company partially blamed the media for the miss, as well, citing massive negative press about the price rises, which were initially announced over a year ago.

Despite the challenges, Netflix still saw revenue increase by 28 percent year-over-year.

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AfterDawn: News

Uber reaches incredible milestone: 2 billion rides

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2016 10:12

Uber reaches incredible milestone: 2 billion rides Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has announced this week that the company has reached an incredible milestone: 2 billion rides.

More impressively is the fact that the company hit 1 billion trips just seven months ago, six years after launching.

Uber is now in 450 cities and is the most-funded private company of all-time, having raised $13 billion since inception. The company is now valued at $62.5 billion.

For now the company has no plans to go public but when it does it will be the largest IPO since Alibaba and Facebook.

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AfterDawn: News

Xbox One S to officially launch on August 2nd

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2016 9:56

Xbox One S to officially launch on August 2nd Microsoft has confirmed that its upcoming slimmed-down console, the Xbox One S, will officially launch on August 2nd alongside the Windows 10 Anniversary Edition OS.

The new console is 40 percent smaller than the original Xbox One, and now comes in the "robot white" color scheme. On the outside, the Xbox One S has lost the gigantic power brick of its predecessor and will come with the option to buy a vertical stand.

On the inside, Microsoft has upgraded the raw processing power of the console, adding 4K video support (including 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays), HDR support for gaming and video and a built-in IR blaster. Aesthetically, the USB ports have been moved to a more convenient spot up front, along with the controller pairing button.

"The Xbox One S for us was a realization that first, we want to make a smaller Xbox, but there was also some capability that we saw growing out in the market around HDR and 4K video,"
Xbox head Phil Spencer said last month. "So we said, if we're going to do an upgrade to our console, let's go ahead and embrace some of the technologies that are coming and make those part of our core SKU."

In addition, the console comes with a modified controller that has textured grips and the addition of Bluetooth.

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix will only stream 1080p on Microsoft Edge or IE11

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jul 2016 22:37

Netflix will only stream 1080p on Microsoft Edge or IE11 Last week, Microsoft made headlines by claiming that its Microsoft Edge was the only browser that could handle 1080p streaming on your PC.

It appears that is actually true.

Multiple reports have tested Netflix with Chrome, Firefox, and Opera and found that they all cap at 720p, while Microsoft Edge and IE11 reach 1080p. No browser will stream 4K, no matter what hardware you have.

It is unclear why the Microsoft browsers offer the best quality, but Microsoft gives us a hint in their blog: "From video hardware acceleration to PlayReady Content Protection and the Protected Media Path, Windows 10 is designed to provide the highest quality, most secure, and most power-efficient video playback available on any version of Windows."

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AfterDawn: News

SoftBank to buy ARM Holdings for $32 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jul 2016 22:14

SoftBank to buy ARM Holdings for $32 billion Japanese telecom giant SoftBank has agreed to purchase microprocessor leader ARM Holdings for $32 billion, a huge premium over its recent closing price.

ARMH designs the microprocessors used by Apple and Samsung (among others) and their designs are found in about 95 percent of all smartphones.

The deal appears to show confidence in the British economy and stability following their recent "Brexit" vote. In fact, SoftBank says it plans to double ARMH's current UK team from 1600 to 3200 employees in the next five years.

In 2015, ARM reported revenue of $1.5 billion with profits of $448.4 million, so while the company has a monopoly and has strong margins the deal appears to be rich on the surface. SoftBank likely hopes to make up some money through a new focus on designing chips for routers and the networking industry. ARMH currently has 15 percent share in that industry.

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AfterDawn: News

Nintendo announces "mini" NES Classic Edition with 30 games built-in

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jul 2016 21:52

Nintendo announces "mini" NES Classic Edition with 30 games built-in Nintendo has delighted fans by announcing a "mini replica" of their original NES console, a new version of the classic console that will come with 30 games built-in.

Launching on November 11th for just $59.99, the console will be smaller than the original and include an HDMI port making it compatible with all current generation HDTVs.

A few of the more popular games included with the new console are Super Mario Bros. 1, 2 and 3, The Legend Of Zelda, Punch Out, Final Fantasy and Donkey Kong.

If you want to play some old-school multiplayer, you can buy a second NES control pad for $9.99.

"We wanted to give fans of all ages the opportunity to revisit Nintendo's original system and rediscover why they fell in love with Nintendo in the first place,"
Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime said in a statement. "The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition is ideal for anyone who remembers playing the NES, or who wants to pass on those nostalgic memories to the next generation of gamers."

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Microsoft begins reducing OneDrive storage to 5GB if you didn't opt in

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jul 2016 21:37

Microsoft begins reducing OneDrive storage to 5GB if you didn't opt in Earlier this year, Microsoft sent out a notice to all OneDrive cloud users informing them that their storage space would be reduced unless they opted-in and asked to keep it.

If you did not ask to keep the storage, your space is now significantly smaller. Microsoft has downgraded accounts to just 5GB and removed the 15GB camera roll bonus for Windows 10 and Windows Phone users. The move is a bit shocking, given that Microsoft launched OneDrive years ago by offering 7GB of space.

Microsoft has paid tiers for those who want to keep the extra storage, or you can move over to Amazon, Google, Apple, Dropbox or any other number of cloud solutions.

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