AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Andre Yoskowitz

AfterDawn: News

Here are the leaked specs for the OnePlus 3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Apr 2016 20:45

Here are the leaked specs for the OnePlus 3 Thanks to a couple of leaks, we have the alleged specs for OnePlus' upcoming flagship, the OnePlus 3, as well as price.

The phone is expected to be officially launched in late May, with a release date expected in June.

Thanks to benchmark tests, we know the device will sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor, either 3GB, 4GB or 6GB of RAM depending on the configuration, dual 8/16MP cameras and NFC and fingerprint support. Strangely, the tests also cite 5-inch, 5.2-inch and 5.5-inch screens, suggesting there may be multiple models available.

OnePlus 3 devices will launch with an Android 6.0-based Oxygen OS and you can choose 32GB, 64GB or 128GB of internal storage.

According to other reports, we have a price, as well. $350 will get you the base model (likely 3GB RAM/32GB storage), with the price going up for each improved spec, although it is unclear by how much.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple Music now boasts 13 million subscribers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2016 0:48

Apple Music now boasts 13 million subscribers Despite an overall rough earnings report, Apple did have some promising tidbits of note.

One such note was Apple Music, which now boasts 13 million subscribers.

Apple last noted a Music milestone in February, and the number was 11 million, so growth remains strong. Industry leader Spotify has over 30 million paying subscribers, but the service has been around since 2009. Apple Music launched just 9 months ago.

Overall, Apple's "services" divison, which includes Apple Pay, Music and iCloud, saw large 20 percent growth to $6 billion in revenue, making it the second biggest division for the company behind the iPhone.

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AfterDawn: News

Nintendo NX to launch in March 2017

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2016 23:20

Nintendo NX to launch in March 2017 Nintendo has announced today that their upcoming NX console will launch in March 2017.

The company gave little more details but they did also announce that the highly-anticipated Legend of Zelda open-world title will launch simultaneously with the NX, tacking on at least a six-month delay for the game, which had been expected for the Wii U.

While many had hoped to see the console launched at E3 this year, but that is not happening. There is still likely to be a lot more revealed this June at the event, however.

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AfterDawn: News

Gmail for Android adds Microsoft Exchange support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2016 22:44

Gmail for Android adds Microsoft Exchange support Google has updated Gmail for Android to add support for Microsoft Exchange.

Previously, only Google Nexus owners had the Exchange support but the ability has been expanded to a billion other Android owners. "Exchange support was previously only available on our Nexus devices, but as of today, Exchange support covers mail, contacts, and calendar data in Android across all devices," a Google spokesperson added.

While Microsoft Outlook is more popular, Exchange is still the defacto standard for many corporate email systems, as well as calendar syncing.

Thanks to the new support, business employees can now use Exchange through their Gmail app, getting their work email, contacts and calendars without the need for a separate app.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony to add two-factor authentication to PlayStation Network

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2016 22:05

Sony to add two-factor authentication to PlayStation Network Nearly five years after a major cyberattack exposed the data of nearly 100 million users, Sony has announced two-factor authentication for the PlayStation Network.

The company did not give a timeframe for when the service would be available, or what Sony would use for the 2-factor. Many services use one-time verification codes sent via text or email, but others use authenticator apps connected to your phones or other methods.

For Sony and the PSN, two-factor is a big deal. The company currently has 110 million users and 65 million monthly active users that access the network via the PlayStation 3 or 4, PlayStation Vita, the PlayStation mobile app or even through the site. Rival Microsoft has used two-factor since 2014 for the Xbox Live gaming platform.

Back in 2011, Anonymous claimed responsibility for the attack that took down the PlayStation Network for weeks and exposed the account names, birth dates, email addresses and encrypted credit card numbers for nearly 100 million gamers.

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AfterDawn: News

Nokia acquires Withings to get into the health wearables business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2016 0:05

Nokia acquires Withings to get into the health wearables business Nokia has announced their acquisition of Withings, the French health and wearables company.

The one-time handset giant will pay €170 million ($191 million) for the company, and Nokia says Withings will become a division of Nokia Technologies. NT currently houses the Ozo Camera and the Android-based N1 tablet.

"We have said consistently that digital health was an area of strategic interest to Nokia, and we are now taking concrete action to tap the opportunity in this large and important market," said Rajeev Suri, president & CEO of Nokia. "With this acquisition, Nokia is strengthening its position in the Internet of Things in a way that leverages the power of our trusted brand, fits with our company purpose of expanding the human possibilities of the connected world, and puts us at the heart of a very large addressable market where we can make a meaningful difference in peoples' lives."

Withings creates stylish fitness wearables and smartwatches including the popular Withings Activité

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AfterDawn: News

Sling TV to add Comedy Central, BET, Spike, MTV, Nick and more

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2016 22:18

Sling TV to add Comedy Central, BET, Spike, MTV, Nick and more Dish Network and Viacom have signed a new licensing deal, meaning Comedy Central, BET, Spike, MTV, Nick and more are headed to the Sling TV service.

"We appreciate Viacom's willingness to continue with us on our journey as we work to deliver the best, most innovative television services available," said Charlie Ergen, DISH chairman and CEO. "This creative, bold and consumer-friendly approach extends a nearly 20-year-old relationship." Read more...





AfterDawn: News

Bitcasa shuts down Drive cloud service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2016 21:59

Bitcasa shuts down Drive cloud service Bitcasa has discontinued its Drive cloud service, with the service shutting down completely on May 20th.

"We are discontinuing our Bitcasa Drive service in order to focus our full attention on our growing platform business," the company said. "All account owners must take action to avoid losing their files. For more information, please visit our Help Center. Thank you for being a Bitcasa Drive user. We have appreciated all of your support."

Bitcasa also offers the CloudFS API that lets companies embed the Bitcasa tech into their applications. The consumer product had too much competition, from notably larger companies like Amazon, Box, Google, Microsoft and Dropbox, and just did not have the name recognition.

In addition, Bitcasa got rid of unlimited storage in 2014, and then got rid of the 5GB free tier last year. They did offer a good deal, however, at 1TB for $10 per month.

When the service launched we reviewed the product, which at the time had promised to be the "infinite cloud storage solution." You can check that old review here: Afterdawn

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AfterDawn: News

HBO Now available on Xbox One, 360 and Samsung Smart TVs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2016 20:39

HBO Now available on Xbox One, 360 and Samsung Smart TVs After launching a year ago exclusively on the Apple TV, HBO Now is now available on some Samsung Smart TVs, the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One.

HBO Now is a $15 per month standalone streaming service that gives you access to HBO's large catalog of original shows, documentaries, movies, comedy specials and boxing without the need for a cable subscription.

Interestingly enough, you won't be able to sign up for HBO Now via your Xbox, so you have to actually sign up via your iOS or Android device, or through your Verizon and Optimum homepages if you use them as your ISP.

Samsung Smart TV owners can sign up directly through their TVs or through the other options.

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AfterDawn: News

SpyEye botnet makers get combined 24 years in prison

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2016 23:58

SpyEye botnet makers get combined 24 years in prison Two cybercriminals convicted of creating the SpyEye botnet were sentenced this week to a combined 24 years in prison.

Aleksandr "Harderman" Panin, of Russia, and Hamza "Bx1" Bendelladj, of Algeria, were convicted of creating the software that infected hundreds of thousands of computers and helped steal millions from victims.

Panin received nine years for conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, as he was the core developer and distributor of SpyEye. Bendelladj received 15 years for his part in creating the botnet kit and for also running his own botnet using the kit, stealing 200,000 credit card numbers and causing tens of millions of dollars.

"It is difficult to over state the significance of this case, not only in terms of bringing two prolific computer hackers to justice, but also in disrupting and preventing immeasurable financial losses to individuals and the financial industry around the world," said John Horn, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

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AfterDawn: News

1 million people now use Facebook through Tor

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2016 23:26

1 million people now use Facebook through Tor Facebook has announced today that over 1 million people now access the social media site through Tor for "a variety of reasons related to privacy, security and safety."

Reads the company's post:

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft and Google agree to stop fighting

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2016 22:40

Microsoft and Google agree to stop fighting Microsoft and Google have agreed to drop all pending regulatory complaints against each other and have also agreed to settle future issues amongst themselves before filing a complaint.

"Microsoft has agreed to withdraw its regulatory complaints against Google, reflecting our changing legal priorities," said a Microsoft rep. "We will continue to focus on competing vigorously for business and for customers."

The two companies say the deal has been in the works for some time, but neither would comment on the current EU inquiry against Android. Microsoft was instrumental in that complaint through their membership in FairSearch and ICOMP, two groups supporting the antitrust inquiry.

But that was a different era, with different leadership, and it appears that CEOs Satya Nadella and Larry Page are much more willing to embrace partnerships than the previous management team.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung heads to Silicon Valley to gain outside business for its chip business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2016 21:17

Samsung heads to Silicon Valley to gain outside business for its chip business According to new reports, Samsung executives have been all over Silicon Valley this past week in efforts to secure more deals for their chipmaking business.

Samsung recently signed massive deals with Apple and Qualcomm and has been aiming to convince existing and new potential clients that it will rule the next generation of chip technology, just like it has with the current 14nm manufacturing process.

"We think we are leading again,"
Samsung Semiconductor senior director Kelvin Low added. "This is not a one-time success story."

The ultimate goal is to have a 10nm chip in production by the end of the year, and a new cost-optimized 14nm process, as well.

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AfterDawn: News

China bans Apple's iBooks Store and iTunes Movies Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2016 12:28

China bans Apple's iBooks Store and iTunes Movies Store The Chinese government has banned Apple's iBooks Store and iTunes Movies store in the nation, following new regulations that put strict regulations on foreign online publishing.

The Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television had demanded Apple shut down the service pending the new rules. "We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible," said Apple when asked for comment.

China is Apple's second-largest market so it makes sense to have the stores brought up to "code" to ensure they are available to hundreds of millions of consumers.

Last month, the regulations came into effect, implicitly stating that all content must be stored on servers in China. Additionally, there were prohibitions made on foreign ownership in online publishing.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft earnings: Surface sales up, Windows Phone sales down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2016 11:57

Microsoft earnings: Surface sales up, Windows Phone sales down Earlier this week, Microsoft stated their Q3 2016 fiscal earnings report and unsurprisingly Windows Phone sales fell again while Surface sales increased.

Overall, the company made $3.8 billion in net profit on $20.5 billion in revenue, down year-over-year but still near record highs for the company.

Surface revenue was up large, at $1.1 billion for the quarter, 61 percent growth year-over-year, thanks to strong sales of the new Surface Book and Surface Pro 4.

On the other end of the spectrum, Windows Phone sales nosedived, with Microsoft selling just 2.3 million Lumia phones during the quarter, down 73 percent year-over-year. Revenue fell 46 percent for the phones.

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