AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Andre Yoskowitz

AfterDawn: News

Watch out Pokemon Go cheaters, you could be banned permanently

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2016 22:48

Watch out Pokemon Go cheaters, you could be banned permanently Developer Niantic has warned gamers that they could be permanently banned from Pokemon Go if they go about violating the game's terms of service.

For the most part, those that are getting banned have used GPS spoofing or bots/automation to help themselves in the game, and Niantic isn't having it anymore.

The message gamers have been receiving:

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AfterDawn: News

New York Times acquires a VR company

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2016 22:31

New York Times acquires a VR company Newspaper company The New York Times has acquired VR firm Fake Love as the company looks to expand its offerings.

Fake Love, based in Brooklyn, will continue to operate and brand independent of the NYT. The company has 50 employees.

"We're really interested in playing a bigger role in the marketing services value chain -- coming up with an idea, creating it, distributing the idea, measuring it," said Sebastian Tomich, SVP of advertising and innovation at the Times.

Fake Love will help the Times with special requests regarding augmented reality (think Pokemon Go), and VR projects.

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AfterDawn: News

Silk Road admin to be extradited to US

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2016 21:57

Silk Road admin to be extradited to US The Irish High Court has ruled that Gary Davis, aka Libertas, will be extradited to the U.S. to face charges that he was the top administrator for the online black market "Silk Road."

Davis, along with other alleged staffers, are accused of narcotics trafficking conspiracy, computer hacking conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy. The Silk Road's founder, Ross Ulbricht, was convicted last year and is currently serving a life sentence. Another administrator pled guilty and served 60 days.

The accused says he expects to challenge the seizure of servers related to Silk Road:

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AfterDawn: News

Google fined $6.8 million in Russia over antitrust violations

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2016 23:42

Google fined $6.8 million in Russia over antitrust violations Russian officials have fined search giant Google $6.8 million for antitrust violations.

The antitrust authorities ruled that Google favored its digital services over those of rivals and did so by abusing their massive market lead with Android. In the ruling, the Federation Antimonopoly Service said that Google blocked out rivals from including their own services on Android, such as Maps, search and more.

"We have received notice of the fine from F.A.S. and will analyze closely before deciding our next steps," Google said in a statement on Thursday.

Google has faced similar allegations from the EU and other countries and is facing much larger fines.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft acquires game streaming service Beam

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2016 22:18

Microsoft acquires game streaming service Beam Microsoft has used a small portion of its huge cash position to acquire interactive game streaming service Beam.

Beam allows viewers to "play along" with streamers as they watch, giving them ways to interact with gamers - a nice step-up from similar services like Twitch. The service would let you "do things like setting which weapon loadout they take into battle for multiplayer shooters [or the] ability to help players pick quests, and... assign challenges that alter the gameplay considerably from what you'd get via a typical play through," says TechCrunch.

The team at Beam will merge into Microsoft's Xbox team. "I'm really excited about Xbox's focus on community," said Beam founder and CEO Matt Salsamendi. "Beam is fundamentally built on a connected group of passionate individuals that love gaming, and Xbox is super in tune with that."

Terms were undisclosed.





AfterDawn: News

Netflix launches FAST speed test app for iOS, Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2016 21:36

Netflix launches FAST speed test app for iOS, Android Earlier this year, Netflix launched Fast.com, a very simple site for testing your connection speed.

The streaming giant has now expanded their services to mobile users, launching FAST speed test apps for iOS and Android. Install the app and open the app to see your current Internet speed. There are no other options in the app except a refresh button if you want to run the test again.

FAST will only show you your download speed unlike rival Speedtest.net that shows both download and upload and Netflix says most users don't care about upload speed (and they are right).

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AfterDawn: News

Hulu to get rid of free, ad-supported service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2016 21:06

Hulu to get rid of free, ad-supported service Hulu has gone full-premium by announcing the elimination of its free, ad-supported service.

The company also announced an expanded distribution deal with Yahoo, which includes the launch of Yahoo View. Yahoo View will give users the five most recent episodes of shows from NBC, ABC and Fox for free (with ads), eight days after they air on live TV.

Hulu is owned by Disney, Fox, Comcast and Time Warner.

"For the past couple years, we've been focused on building a subscription service that provides the deepest, most personalized content experience possible to our viewers," said Hulu senior VP and head of experience Ben Smith. "As we have continued to enhance that offering with new originals, exclusive acquisitions, and movies, the free service became very limited and no longer aligned with the Hulu experience or content strategy."

The service costs $7.99 per month with minimal ads, or $11.99 without them.

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AfterDawn: News

Tesla confirms Semi and minibus for next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2016 21:37

Tesla confirms Semi and minibus for next year Tesla CEO Elon Musk has confirmed that the car company will unveil an electric semi truck and minibus next year, part of his ambitious "master plan part 2."

"We expect to unveil those for the middle of next year, maybe the next six to nine months type of thing. And then [we'd] have a better, more fleshed-out plan for when those would enter production," Musk said.

As with most things Tesla does, the timing seems aggressive especially given the fact that there was no acknowledgment of the electric trucks even existing until last week.

Both models "would enter production within low-single digit years," added Musk, although we hope that is closer to 1 then, say, 5.

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AfterDawn: News

Designers back Apple in long-standing fight against Samsung

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2016 20:16

Designers back Apple in long-standing fight against Samsung Over 100 designers have signed a court brief on behalf of Apple, taking sides in a patent battle that has hundreds of millions of dollars in damages waiting.

A few of the big names include Calvin Klein, Paul Smith and Alexander Wang, who claim Samsung should pay damages for infringing on Apple's design patents and that by stealing the designs, Samsung made more sales due to their appeal.

In 2012, a jury awarded Apple $548 million for copying "the designs of the iPhone's rounded-corner front face, bezels and grid of icons." Samsung is fighting $399 million of the damages, claiming the infringing designs were a minimal part of a much more complex phone and that the Supreme Court should look into whether one patent infringement should lead to them paying for all missed profits by Apple.

The designers, for their part, say the "look of the product comes to represent the underlying features, functions, and total user experience," and that stealing the design certainly leads to lost sales for Apple. On the other side, Samsung has some tech giants including Facebook and Google who claim that such a decision against Samsung "could lead to diminished innovation, pave the way for design troll patent litigation and negatively impact the economy and consumers."

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AfterDawn: News

Report: Nintendo NX to launch with Zelda, Mario and Pokemon titles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2016 19:32

Report: Nintendo NX to launch with Zelda, Mario and Pokemon titles In a move that will certainly delight fans, it is being reported that Nintendo will launch their upcoming NX console next year with Zelda, Mario and Pokemon titles.

The console is set for release in March 2017, and Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has already been announced. The reports claim that the unnamed Mario and Pokemon titles will launch within 6 months of the console's launch, within the "launch window" that can often make or break a system.

In addition, Nintendo will be getting some help from some old friends that left the Wii U for dead, as the reports claim Sega, Activision, Warner Bros, Ubisoft and Square Enix have all promised titles and appear to be all-in.

Furthermore, the sources claim the console will be less powerful than the PS4 and that the rumored detachable handheld controllers are indeed part of the console.

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AfterDawn: News

Cook: Developers have earned over $50 billion from App Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2016 18:59

Cook: Developers have earned over $50 billion from App Store Apple CEO Tim Cook has proudly tweeted that developers on the App Store have earned over $50 billion since the marketplace launched in late 2008.

July 2016 was a record-crushing month for the Store, as well, and many speculate it was due to Pokemon Go. Cook thanked and congratulated developers on their "success and such inspired creativity".

Growth remains strong for the App Store, as we have seen $10 billion paid to developers since Apple's last announcement in January 2016, following $20 billion in 2015 and $20 billion for the entire 2008-2014 period.

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AfterDawn: News

Wal-Mart in talks to buy Jet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2016 18:46

Wal-Mart in talks to buy Jet According to the WSJ, giant retailer Wal-Mart is in talks to buy the one-time "Amazon killer," Jet.

The move is expected to give Wal-Mart an improved e-commerce solution to better fend off Amazon, which has recently become the largest retailer by market cap.

Sources claim Jet could be valued as high as $3 billion, even though it has been unprofitable since launch. Jet launched last year as an "Amazon killer" but it has yet to make a dent. The company also had to backtrack on a subscription fee they began charging after sales were significantly affected.

Wal-Mart could certainly use the e-commerce help, as the company's e-commerce sales were just $14 billion last year, a measly 3% of their total revenue. Online growth has been slowing for two years, as well, while Amazon's has done nothing but grow at an exponential rate for the last decade.

Jet, started by Diapers.com founder Marc Lore, has some interesting technology. The company is able to reduce prices (and usually undercut Amazon, others) using sophisticated pricing algorithms that take into account the size of your cart, your proximity to suppliers, and more.





AfterDawn: News

Cyanogen clears up 'misinformation' about the future of its operating system

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jul 2016 21:16

Cyanogen clears up 'misinformation' about the future of its operating system Over the past week, there have been multiple reports about the future of Cyanogen Inc., the company behind the popular CyanogenMod Android fork. None were good.

Today, founder Steve Kondik addressed the "misinformation" and seems to suggest that Cyanogen is doing just fine:

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AfterDawn: News

Apple: Pokemon Go has most downloads in first week, ever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jul 2016 22:46

Apple: Pokemon Go has most downloads in first week, ever Without giving specific details, Apple has confirmed that Pokemon Go had the most downloads in its first week of availability than any other app in history.

The game launched in North America earlier this month and just released in Japan, where it is expected to continue its blockbuster run. The game is currently the top free and top-grossing app on Google Play and iTunes.

Most estimates from experts place revenue at $1-$2.3 million per day for the game, putting it on par with hits like Clash Royale.

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AfterDawn: News

Verizon to buy Yahoo core assets for $4.8 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jul 2016 21:47

Verizon to buy Yahoo core assets for $4.8 billion As expected, Verizon will bid $4.8 billion for Yahoo's core assets, ending the Web pioneer company's sad decline since its peak in the early 2000s.

Verizon will acquire the core internet operations and land holdings but not the company's highly valuable Alibaba stake, giving Verizon access to 1 billion visitors per month across a portfolio of media assets like the popular Yahoo Finance.

Revenue and profits for Yahoo have fallen for the last half decade, and the company's high-profile acquisitions like Tumblr have all misfired.

Marissa Mayer, the Yahoo CEO brought in 2012 to turn around the fortunes of the company but who did the exact opposite, will receive an extra $55 million in severance after the sale, giving yet another example of how executive pay is usually outrageous.

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