AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Andre Yoskowitz

AfterDawn: News

Man loses copyright case brought by porn studio, may now have to pay over a million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 15:18

Man loses copyright case brought by porn studio, may now have to pay over a million Don Bui, an immigrant from Vietnam who is now a naturalized US citizen, will possibly owe porn studio Malibu Media $1.7 million after the judge ruled against him in a copyright case.

The studio has filed thousands of lawsuits against "John Doe" defendants in the U.S., collecting a couple of thousands of dollars from scared file sharers who do not want to go to court. Nearly all of the cases have been settled but Bui decided to let the case go to judgement.

Bui admitted to downloading and keeping 57 unauthorized Malibu Media movies from Kickass Torrents. He tried to blame the torrent protocol and Kickass Torrents, however, claiming that he had no idea how torrents work saw nothing wrong in "ordering movies" from Kickass Torrents. The torrent tracker should have told users that the files were unauthorized, argued the lawyer who went as far as to call Malibu "copyright trolls," a term they have heard countless times in the past years.

Read US District Court Judge Jonker's ruling:

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AfterDawn: News

'Destiny' beta now available for Xbox owners

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 14:38

'Destiny' beta now available for Xbox owners Following a quick maintenance that took the game offline, Bungie's 'Destiny' beta is now available for Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners.

Codes for the Xbox beta have been (and are currently) being sent via email if you pre-ordered the game or received a code from a different method.

PlayStation owners have been using the beta since last week thanks to an exclusive pact between Sony and Bungie, and the beta ends on July 27th.

If you log in and play after 2PM Pacific on Saturday, July 26, Bungie says you will get an "exclusive emblem" that can be used in the final version.

Destiny is set for launch on the PS3, PS4, XBO and Xbox 360 on September 9th.

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AfterDawn: News

You can now unlock your Moto X with 'digital tattoos'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 14:23

You can now unlock your Moto X with 'digital tattoos' While it is likely more convenient to use a fingerprint reader, Motorola has introduced new 'digital tattoos' that will allow you to unlock your smartphone without having to input a password or PIN.

Moto X owners in the U.S. can purchase the temporary tattoos (10 for $10) from Vivalnk, which are basically NFC stickers that are flexible enough and thin enough to be worn on the body unobtrusively.

The company says the tattoos should last about one work week, and are waterproof. They can be removed at any point.

To unlock the device you just tap your Moto X to the tattoo, which is certainly convenient but paying $10 every 50 days to unlock your phone in a "fun" way is going to be a dealbreaker for most.

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AfterDawn: News

What did Apple's Jony Ive want with NBA star Kobe Bryant?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 13:12

What did Apple's Jony Ive want with NBA star Kobe Bryant? Earlier this week, NBA star Kobe Bryant was photographed on the Apple campus meeting with Apple executive and lead designer Jony Ive.

The media was quick to report that Ive wanted Kobe's thoughts on the upcoming iWatch, which will supposedly have a number of innovative health and fitness features.

Kobe did not reveal what was discussed specifically but did say that he "spent the day talking with Jony picking his brain about product." What did Jony ask him? "Jony wanted to know, how do I prepare? How do I prepare, how do I study, how do I view the game. How do you build your game. My response was much like you build products. You think sequentially. Yeah, you look at the end result of what you want to create, but there are so many other little things that go into this massive entity or device. It's no different than building my basketball game. You start with where you want your game to be, where you want to make your game the most unstoppable, or hard to deal with, and now you work backwards from there and you start building it one piece at a time, one move at a time, one counter at a time. There's a lot of similarities there."

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon Prime Music adds hundreds of thousands more tracks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 12:58

Amazon Prime Music adds hundreds of thousands more tracks Amazon has added hundreds of thousands of tracks to its fledgling Prime Music streaming service.

In June, the e-commerce giant said the service launched with over a million tracks and hundreds of curated playlists, which have now been expanded, as well. The service allows for unlimited streaming without any ads as long as you are a Prime subscriber. Prime costs $99 per year and offers free 2-day shipping on millions of products, free access to Amazon's streaming movie/TV catalog and hundreds of thousands of books for free via Kindle.

A few of the more popular artists added (or updated) today are David Guetta, Al Green, Miles Davis, Kendrick Lamar, Linkin Park, Shakira, Deadmau5, Ella Fitzgerald, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Neil Young, DJ Snake & Lil Jon, Young the Giant, A$AP Rocky, Elvis, Oasis, Kacey Musgraves, Ray Charles, Panic! at the Disco, Wyclef Jean, Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Skrillex and John Coltrane, says the company.

While the deal is certainly great for Prime users, there are some notable songs and artists missing. As of writing, Universal Music Group's entire massive catalog is not available, unless you want to purchase the tracks via Aamzon MP3. Additionally, there are no brand new tracks like you would find on Spotify, as all the tracks available are older than six months.





AfterDawn: News

Try it: Mac OS X Yosemite goes into public beta tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 12:44

Try it: Mac OS X Yosemite goes into public beta tomorrow Starting tomorrow, Apple's new Mac OS X Yosemite will go into public beta, allowing anyone with an Apple ID to test it out.

The updated operating system has a refreshed design, better integration with your iOS devices and features flatter icons well known to iPhone users.

Apple does note that the beta will be limited and not include all promised features of the final consumer release. This is mainly because a lot of those features are directly dependent on iOS 8, which will not be released until September.

When Yosemite does launch in full in September or October, it will be free for all current Mac users.

Get started with the beta tomorrow using this link here.





AfterDawn: News

Vuze releases new lightweight 'Leap' torrent client

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 12:30

Vuze releases new lightweight 'Leap' torrent client Popular torrent company Vuze has released a new lightweight client for users that may not necessarily need the plethora of features found in their namesake client.

Vuze Leap is now in beta and features a more simple interface that will use up much less of your computer's resources.

Says the company: "We sought to deliver a simpler experience as a counterpart to the powerful, full-featured core Vuze BitTorrent Client that has pleased millions of users for years. Even with file-sharing being a part of internet usage for years, we continued to hear, from some users a desire to have a simpler experience that was less resource intensive."

The Vuze Leap offers built-in search, allowing you to search without having to go to individual sites or ever leaving the software. The search appears to bring back mainly results that could be done with a Google search but will likely integrate more torrent trackers in the future.

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AfterDawn: News

Satya Nadella clarifies what 'one Windows' really means

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 11:50

Satya Nadella clarifies what 'one Windows' really means During Microsoft's recent quarterly earnings report, new CEO Satya Nadella made headlines by stating that "we will streamline the next version of Windows from three operating systems into one single converged operating system for screens of all sizes."

The news would have certainly been massive, given that Windows is currently available in multiple iterations depending on what type of device you have. Phones have Windows Phones, tablets have Windows RT or Windows 8/8.1 and desktops have Windows 8.1 (not to mention all iterations of Windows before that).

Later in the conference call, however, Nadella clarified what he meant, and the announcement is no longer as spectacular as it could have been.

In his clarification, the CEO says "one Windows" means that moving forward a single team will work on all Windows iterations, including Windows Embedded and the Xbox One OS. That team works under the unified Operating System Group. Each version of Windows will be built on a "common core," otherwise known as the NT core. Each OS will be built on top of the core to make best use of form factor/screen size.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple has mundane earnings report as iPad sales fall, Asian sales grow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2014 11:14

Apple has mundane earnings report as iPad sales fall, Asian sales grow Apple reported their latest earnings yesterday and the company had another standard if not mundane quarter.

The company had $37.43 billion in revenue for the quarter, and $7.7 billion in profit.

iPad sales were the biggest disappointment, with the company selling 13.3 million tablets compared to an expected 13.8 million. Sales of the device were down 9 percent year-over-year.

The sales slowdown was mainly in the U.S., but sales of the iPad saw over 50 percent growth in China and over 60 percent in the Middle East. Thanks to the new partnership with IBM, Apple expects tablet sales to continue to grow around the world, especially in the enterprise market.

iPhone sales were in-line, up 13 percent year-over-year to 35.2 million with the iPhone 5C overtaking the old iPhone 4S for low-end sales.

Macs saw some of the best growth, up 18 percent to 4.4 million as the company continues to lower prices on popular items like the Macbook Air. iPod sales are down to 2.9 million, down 36 percent year-over-year, although the amount of units sold were more than expected.

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AfterDawn: News

Yahoo to buy analytics firm Flurry for over $200 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2014 23:32

Yahoo to buy analytics firm Flurry for over $200 million Flurry, well known in the mobile industry for its in-depth analytics, has been acquired for over $200 million by Yahoo.

Yahoo continues to eat up startups in its ongoing efforts "to re-imagine users' daily habits" and focus on mobile.

As the company says of the acquisition: "Analytics are critical for all mobile developers to understand and optimize their applications. Yahoo and Flurry are reinvesting in developers and continuing to build great analytics products. The combined scale of the two companies will accelerate revenue growth for thousands of developers and publishers across the mobile ecosystem."

Flurry posted some of their more impressive data points, including the fact that 170,000 developers use Flurry Analytics, the company sees over 5.5 billion app sessions per day, app activity from 1.4 billion devices per month and the fact that Flurry works in 150 countries gaining extensive reach. Flurry Analytics are seen in 7 apps per device, quite a high number.

"Yahoo's growth in mobile traffic comes from great people and great products," said Scott Burke, SVP Advertising Technology. "Flurry's success is the result of years of committed investment by a passionate team to create an indispensable platform for mobile developers. We want to harness our collective innovative spirit and bolster the mobile ecosystem by providing developers the analytics and monetization solutions to drive their success." Read more...





AfterDawn: News

Aereo only had 77,596 subscribers at the end of last year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2014 23:11

Aereo only had 77,596 subscribers at the end of last year Aereo became a household name over the past year as the tiny startup took on broadcast giants like CBS, Fox and Disney in an effort to stay alive.

The Supreme Court recently stomped on that dream, ruling that Aereo, which offers cloud DVR access to the broadcast channels in HD anywhere for $8 per month, violates the copyrights of the content providers. Aereo then tried to become a cable company, but that was rejected, as well, as the company awaits its final fate via a lower court ruling.

Even though the company was famous, it does not appear that the brand recognition really helped sales, at least not as of December 31, 2013.

According to a U.S. Copyright Office letter, as of the end of last year Aereo only had 77,596 subscribers, with over 30 percent coming from New York City where Aereo first launched. The company expanded significantly in 2014, so the figures could conceivably be much higher now, but even with 100 percent growth the numbers will still be low when compared to popular streaming services.

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AfterDawn: News

Here is the new Nvidia SHIELD tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2014 23:38

Here is the new Nvidia SHIELD tablet While the images of the upcoming NVIDIA SHIELD tablet leaked earlier this month, it remained unclear what was under the hood. We now have the full spec sheet and a release date, as well.

"The newest member of the SHIELD family" is set to be officially launched on July 22nd, and will join the SHIELD gaming handheld.

While the handheld gaming device had excellent specs, the software ecosystem was severely lacking at launch and the device was priced too high, leading to lackluster sales. After a few months, however, Nvidia updated the software, adding some killer features like Gamepad Mapper and GameStream.

The new tablet will include all the same features but will also be a tablet, giving flexibility to consumers who may not want just a gaming device. The specs are also excellent, and the device is one of the first with Nvidia's K1 processor.

Full specs:

Tegra K1 Processor (192 core Kepler GPU, 2.2 GHz Quad Core A15 CPU)
2GB RAM
8-inch Full HD IPS display (19201200)
Front facing stereo speakers and dual bass reflex port
4K Ultra-HD ready
Micro SD slot
Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, dual-band a/b/g/n WiFI
Integrated Stylus
19.75 WHr battery (up to 10-hours HD video playback)

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AfterDawn: News

One million Chromebooks were sold to schools in the last quarter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2014 22:38

One million Chromebooks were sold to schools in the last quarter Earlier this week, during its quarterly earnings conference call, Google announced that its partners have sold over one million Chromebooks to schools in the last quarter.

Overall, there were about 76 million PCs sold in the whole world for the quarter, so 1 million for a niche product selling to a niche market is incredibly strong.

Chromebooks are popular in schools due to their price, full keyboards when compared to iPads, and easier administrator tools from a single console.

Looking to the future, Google recently announced the expansion of their Google Play for Education app and e-book store to Chromebooks from tablets, meaning more educational tools and textbooks will be available for the devices. Additionally, a school can share and fund a Google Play for Education account for teachers allowing them to buy apps, books and more for the class or individual students.

Source:
Crunch





AfterDawn: News

BBM for Windows Phone now available in beta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2014 8:46

BBM for Windows Phone now available in beta If you own a Windows Phone device and have been dying to get your hands on BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), your time has almost come.

The application is available now in the Windows Phone Store, but only those in the beta tester program will be able to download and use it. BlackBerry opened the beta program last week and it filled up within a couple of days.

BBM hit Android and iOS last year, and has been popular since. The company says the move added over 40 million registered users from September to December of last year.

Windows Phone beta users will incur significant bugs, a few of which have already been documented including:

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft details August Xbox One update: Mobile purchase, 3D Blu-ray, much more

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2014 20:20

Microsoft details August Xbox One update: Mobile purchase, 3D Blu-ray, much more Microsoft has revealed the details of the upcoming August Xbox One update, which include eight featured additions/changes.

The features are new activity feed updates, an expansion for the Friends section on Home, low battery notifications, the ability to disable notifications when playing video, mobile purchases, 3D Blu-ray support, OneGuide expansion and a 'last time seen' addition to your Friends list.

In the console's activity feed interface, the layout will now be a single scrolling list "that is longer and includes more content." In addition, you can now post on your feeds and "like" and comment on other items, similar to Facebook. You can also share your game clips either privately or publicly to the feed. SmartGlass will be integrated, as well.

If you are looking to kinda stalk your friends list, it will now reveal the last time your friend has been online and what they were playing. The Home area has been expanded showing friend's current activity, the top trending games they could be playing and also a Gamerscore leaderboard.

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