AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Andre Yoskowitz (March, 2012)

AfterDawn: News

RIM denies it is leaving the consumer market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Mar 2012 0:17

RIM denies it is leaving the consumer market RIM has denied the multiple reports that it is planning to leave the consumer smartphone market.

Following horrendous earnings from the one-time powerful smartphone maker, speculation began that the company would move into enterprise and security, leaving the consumer market for good.

The Canadian company has said today that is not true: "The claim that RIM has said it will withdraw from the consumer market is wholly inaccurate," says Patrick Spence, RIM's managing director of Global Sales & Regional Marketing (via Pocket-lint)

"While we announced plans to re-focus our efforts on our core strengths, and on our enterprise customer base, we were very explicit that we will continue to build on our strengths to go after targeted consumer segments. We listed BBM, as well as the security and manageability of our platform, among these strengths."

The company recently revealed its Q4 2011 earnings, showing a huge dip to $4.2 billion in revenue and a loss of $125 million, down from a $1 billion profit in the same quarter in 2010.

Former Co-CEO Jim Balsillie, following the announcement, decided to resign from his only remaining position as a board member, and the company's CTO David Yach resigned, as well.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Spotify extends its unlimited free service, indefinitely

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2012 13:16

Spotify extends its unlimited free service, indefinitely Although the service was supposed to end after six months, Spotify has announced it has extended its unlimited free streaming indefinitely.

Spotify, which has different tiers, will leave the free (with advertising) service available to all customers who do not wish to purchase a premium $10 subscription. For $10 per month, the ads are removed and you can stream the service from mobile devices like phones and tablets.

The service has been very successful since its launch in 2011 in the U.S., converting 3 million of its 10 million "active users" to paying accounts.

It is unclear why Spotify has decided to extend the "honeymoon" (their word, not mine) but many speculate it is because they have advertisers lining up due to their popularity.





AfterDawn: News

Has Android only brought in $550 million revenue, ever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2012 13:01

Has Android only brought in $550 million revenue, ever It appears that Android has only brought Google $550 million in revenue since its launch in 2008.

The numbers came to light as part of Google's ongoing settlement talks with Oracle ahead of the patent infringement trial that will begin in mid-April.

Additionally, Apple products have brought Google four times as much revenue as Android did, thanks to Google Search via Safari, the iPhone/iPad and Google Maps.

The figure suggests the company makes less than $10 per Android handset per year, with over 220 million devices activated since 2008.

In the lawsuit, Google had offered to pay Oracle a small percentage of Android revenue if the company could prove Google had violated patents related to the mobile OS. Oracle scoffed at the deal, claiming it was too low, and instead took the search giant to court. The company sued Google in 2010 and is looking for billions in damages.

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AfterDawn: News

Hulu Plus adds support for more tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2012 23:13

Hulu Plus adds support for more tablets While Hulu Plus has been available for numerous Android devices since last year, only two of those devices were tablets, leaving fans out in the cold.

As of today, Hulu has made its Plus service available for 7 new tablets, along with a new UI.

The new devices are the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, Eee Pad Transformer, Motorola Xoom, Motorola Xyboard 10.1, Toshiba Thrive, Acer Iconia, and LG G-Slate.

Hulu's new UI has a completely "updated design with large, colorful thumbnails for each show, and side-to-side navigation," says Verge.

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AfterDawn: News

WSJ: Google will begin selling own tablets this year, open online store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2012 22:55

WSJ: Google will begin selling own tablets this year, open online store According to the WSJ, Google will indeed begin selling its own tablets this year, as rumored.

The move will be a way for the company to drive Android tablet sales, which have been lackluster over the past two years in competing against Apple.

Over the past few months, rumors have surfaced repeatedly that Asus is building a "Nexus" tablet that will sell for $150 and include specs that beat out the $200 Amazon Kindle Fire.

The tablet will feature "vanilla" Android 4.0 or even Android 5.0 Jelly Bean, staying away from user interfaces like HTC's Sense or Samsung's TouchWiz. Jelly Bean is expected to be launched in June.

More importantly, Google will open its own online store to sell the tablets, similar to how it sold the Nexus One in 2009. That move should help the company better compete with Amazon and Apple, who promote their products right from their highly trafficked homepages.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft responds to rumors of 'Xbox Lite'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2012 22:22

Microsoft responds to rumors of 'Xbox Lite' Over the past few days, rumors of a $100 'Xbox Lite' being released next year have been making the rounds.

The rumor came via famous "Microsoft leaker" MS Nerd, who says the cheap console will launch next year with an ARM processor.

Additionally, the Lite will run all games, media apps and support the Kinect, making it a fully functional Xbox console, at a $100 price point not seen on gaming consoles since Sony dropped the price of its PS2 to $99.

The device will come before (or possibly alongside) the rumored next-generation Xbox Next (Xbox 720/Durango), which is expected to be a powerhouse and will likely launch with a hefty price tag expected to be above $500.

Microsoft did not deny the rumor, but rather left with the standard "no comment:"

The Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend its lifecycle like introducing the world to controller-free experiences with Kinect and re-inventing the console with a new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention. Beyond that we do not comment on rumors or speculation.





AfterDawn: News

Google offered to pay Oracle revenue from Android, was rebuffed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2012 12:58

Google offered to pay Oracle revenue from Android, was rebuffed According to a new court filing, Google had offered to pay Oracle a small percentage of Android revenue if the company could prove Google had violated patents related to the mobile OS.

Oracle scoffed at the deal, claiming it was too low, and instead took the search giant to court. The company sued Google in 2010 and is looking for billions in damages.

Google offered to pay 0.5 percent of Android revenue on one of the patents in question until December 2012 and 0.015 percent on the second patent until April 2018. Additionally, the search giant offered $2.8 million as a settlement for the infringement.

Judge William Alsup also told Oracle that its original claim of seven patents was too bloated, so the company reduced it to two.

The trial will begin on April 16th if there is no settlement.





AfterDawn: News

Facebook preparing for IPO in May

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2012 12:45

Facebook preparing for IPO in May According to the WSJ, Facebook is aiming for May to go public.

The newspaper says Facebook has halted all trading of its shares on the secondary market, likely meaning it is looking to give a final count on outstanding shares.

Facebook filed for the IPO in February with the SEC.

Mark Zuckerberg and co. are expected to raise around $5 billion, giving the company a value of $100 billion. With such a valuation the company will be one of the largest tech companies in the world, only behind behemoths like IBM, Google, Apple, Microsoft and Intel.

Zuckerberg will become the world's youngest multi-billionaire as he owns 28 percent of the company. Others employees will become rich, as well, including Napster founder Sean Parker, who was an early investor and once held the title of President.





AfterDawn: News

Report: PS4 is codenamed Orbis, no used games allowed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2012 23:10

Report: PS4 is codenamed Orbis, no used games allowed According to Kotaku, the successor to the PlayStation 3 is codenamed "Orbis" and will be released in 2013.

The details "come from a reliable source who is not authorized to talk publicly about next-gen hardware but has shared correct information with us before," says Kotaku.

Orbis in itself does not mean too much, standing for "circle" or "ring" in Latin. The site speculates, however, that it could be called Orbis Vita, which in turn means "the circle of life." The PS Vita, Sony's newly released handheld, could have a large part in the next-generation console if this is true.

Adding to confirmation of "Orbis" is the active developer portal. Just like vita.scedevnet.com is the portal for Vita devs, orbis.scedev.net leads to a working address.

Some bad news on the front of gaming is that the Orbis will not be backwards compatible with PS3 games, nor will it allow used games. The console (and your PSN account) will lock out games already attached to other people's consoles. This rumor is start to steam roll, after sites speculated Microsoft was working on a similar scheme.

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AfterDawn: News

Motorola Xoom getting Android 4.0.4?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2012 20:40

Motorola Xoom getting Android 4.0.4? Motorola's one-time flagship tablet, the Motorola Xoom, is likely to get the Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich update in the near future.

There is one small hitch, however, as it seems that only Xoom Wi-Fi owners will get the update, not those that locked in a contract with Verizon for 3G service.

The Xoom was recently updated to Android 4.0.3, which is significantly better than the outdated Gingerbread Android 2.3 seen on some newer tablets (not to mention Honeycomb). Ice Cream Sandwich was Google's biggest update to the operating system, ever.

Motorola released the device in February 2011. The tablet has a 10.1-inch screen, a dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 32GB storage, and still sells for $499 retail.

Get an early version of the update here: Xoom 4.0.4

Changelog here: Xoom enhancements





AfterDawn: News

iPad buyers in Australia offered refunds

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2012 20:06

iPad buyers in Australia offered refunds Apple is emailing all buyers of the new iPad in Australia offering them a refund for their purchase.

The move comes right after Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission accused the company of misleading advertising. The group has also taken legal action to "ensure Apple makes consumers aware its third-generation iPad cannot connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia due to technical incompatibility."

Apple has also agreed to post warnings that the third-generation iPad "is not compatible with current Australian 4G LTE networks and WiMAX networks."

Australia only has one LTE network, run by carrier Telstra. Telstra's network, however, works on different frequencies than one compatible with the new iPad. In its advertising, Apple said the "iPad with WiFi can, with a SIM card, connect to a 4G mobile data network in Australia, which it cannot do," complains the ACCC.

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AfterDawn: News

Steve Jobs was not a fan of the name 'Siri'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2012 19:43

Steve Jobs was not a fan of the name 'Siri' According to VentureBeat, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was never a fan of the name "Siri" for the company's virtual assistant technology.

Dag Kittlaus, the co-founder of Siri, says Jobs was very reluctant with keeping the name when it came time to integrate it into the iPhone 4S, but eventually signed off.

Kittlaus says Siri means "beautiful woman who leads you to victory" in Norwegian, and it also happened to be the name he was going to give his daughter, until he ended up having a baby boy. The name always stuck, however, and was first in his mind when it came time to name the software.

This was not the first time that Jobs was resistant to a name that later became iconic. Jobs famously disliked the name 'iPod' before it went on to define an era of digital music.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung ships 5 million Galaxy Notes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2012 12:51

Samsung ships 5 million Galaxy Notes Samsung has announced it has shipped 5 million Galaxy Note units since launch last October.

The number is impressive for what was expected to be a niche device, given its large display and included stylus pen.

Additionally, the Note should arrive in Japan on April 6th, thanks to carrier NTT DoCoMo. NTT says they will have the 4G LTE version of the phone, with the actual device being dubbed the "Docomo Next Series Galaxy Note SC-05D."

The device is just the third LTE phone in the nation, and will run on NTT's "Xi" LTE network.

Galaxy Note devices in Japan have a large 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED screen (1280×800 resolution), run on dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S3 processors, have 1 GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, LTE support and Samsung's own stylus pen with input software called S-Pen





AfterDawn: News

Hasbro denied sales injunction in 'Transformer Prime' riff with Asus

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2012 12:43

Hasbro denied sales injunction in 'Transformer Prime' riff with Asus In December, Hasbro sued Asus over the Transformer Prime name used in the company's new flagship tablet.

The toy company was seeking an injunction on the tablet due to brand copyright violations. Transformers Prime is an animated TV series that launched in 2010, a new generation of the popular TV series from the 80s.

As of this week, the case has been thrown out, with a judge not agreeing with Hasbro's claims: "There is nothing gimmicky about the Eee Pad Transformer or the Eee Pad Transformer Prime, nor can it be said that there is any similarity in the use or function between Hasbro and Asus's products."

Asus seems to have won the case because their device does indeed "transform" from a tablet to a laptop when adding the optional dock.

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AfterDawn: News

Google Drive cloud storage platform coming in April?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2012 16:42

Google Drive cloud storage platform coming in April? After years of rumor, it appears that Google's cloud storage platform "Drive" is finally ready to be launched.

According to Om, the platform will launch in the first week of April with 1GB of free storage for users.

Market leader Dropbox offers 2GB of storage and easy ways to gain more. Amazon, Apple and Microsoft also offer cloud solutions with more free storage, putting Google at a disadvantage right from the start, at least in terms of available space. However, the API is expected to allow third-party apps to store data to your Drive, which would be a fantastic addition for Android owners. If accurate, you could back up all your apps and data right to Drive and restore it from another device when you log in, similar to how Titanium Backup uses Dropbox if you have a rooted device.

Last month, a leaked screenshot of the interface made its way around the Web, showing a deep integration with the Google suite of applications and services.





AfterDawn: News

News Corp. firm accused of helping consumers pirate ITV services

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2012 16:19

News Corp. firm accused of helping consumers pirate ITV services A conditional access software developer that Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. purchased in 1992 has been accused of hacking a rival's systems in order to sabotage them.

The rival, ITV Digital, closed up shop in 2002.

NDS, the accused developer, is said to have hacked ITV, leaking codes and other information that allowed pirates to counterfeit smart cards, giving anyone access to paid TV, for free.

Lee Gibling, who set up the popular 90s website "The House of Ill-Compute," is the whistleblower in the new case against a News Corp. company. Gibling says he was paid to publish the stolen info and codes, and he was hired by NDS' Ray Adams, who at the time was the head of UK-based security.

After ITV went under, News Corp.'s SkyTV became the UK's only pay network.





AfterDawn: News

HTC buys share of SyncTV to add to ecosystem

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2012 15:44

HTC buys share of SyncTV to add to ecosystem HTC has purchased a 20 percent stake in SyncTV, the online video platform for content providers.

The stake is part of a bigger investment partnership between HTC and SyncTV parent company Intertrust Technologies.

HTC has decided to finally create an ecosystem that can differentiate it from other handset makers. Outside of SyncTV, the company recently purchased Beats Audio and MOG. All new HTC devices come with Beats Audio support and special headphones and future devices will likely come with MOG apps built-in, either subsidized or not, for music streaming.

The company has run into some struggles of late, as sales growth has come to a screeching halt. The company hopes their recent acquisitions will help them get a leg up in the smartphone market for which it was once a huge player.

SyncTV comes with a "cloud-based video service that supports Android and Windows Phone. Included in the deal is a license for Intertrust?s Marlin DRM software, used to manage and secure content by providers in Japan, China and Europe," says Om.





AfterDawn: News

Rovio purchases Futuremark Game Studios

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2012 15:00

Rovio purchases Futuremark Game Studios Rovio, the developers behind the 'Angry Birds' blockbuster franchise, has announced today the acquisition of Futuremark Game Studios.

FGS is owned by Futuremark, the company behind the popular benchmarking software, but is its own division.

Says Rovio Entertainment CEO Mikael Hed: "They are an incredibly talented and experienced team, and we are thrilled to have them on board. Rovio's success is founded on the excellence of our team, and Futuremark Games Studio is going to be a superb addition."

"I am proud to see the potential of our talented games team recognized by Rovio," adds Jukka Mäkinen, Futuremark CEO. "Futuremark will now focus on supporting gamers and industry with 3DMark, our professional grade benchmark which, in a new version to be released later this year, will allow unified gaming performance comparison across operating systems and form factors for the first time."

Rovio recently announced a partnership with Wal-Mart to offer merchandise to million of Americans.





AfterDawn: News

'Harry Potter' official ebooks now available on Pottermore

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2012 14:06

'Harry Potter' official ebooks now available on Pottermore The popular franchise is now available in multiple formats from Pottermore.

Five years after the release of the last novel and almost a year after the release of the last movie in the series, you can now download the highly-anticipated official ebooks for the series.

Last year, author JK Rowling created the Pottermore site with the expectation that ebooks would eventually be made available. The books are now available in ePub, Kindle, Nook, Google Play and Sony Reader formats.

Once you register at Pottermore, you can buy the first three books for $7.99 each and the last four for $9.99 each, or buy the whole set for a discounted $57.50. After purchase, you can download the books up to eight times, in any choice of formats, from Pottermore. Once it is connected to your Kindle or Nook account, for example, it can be downloaded an unlimited amount of times for those devices.

While pirates have had access to each of the ebooks for years now, many fans will appreciate the formatting of the new books, including original illustrations. Into the future, "enhanced editions" will bring audio and video content.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Play Android apps on Windows: BlueStacks hits beta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2012 13:38

Play Android apps on Windows: BlueStacks hits beta BlueStacks app player, the software that allows Windows fans to run Android apps on their devices, has gone into beta.

The startup company has raised $14 million in capital from venture firms and large corporations like AMD and Citrix.

In BlueStack's previous alpha of the software, Windows users were given access to Android apps, but graphics-intensive apps, like many of the popular games on the platform, had severe issues.

The new beta will give access to all 450,000 Android apps, including full screen support for all intensive apps, as well. Crunch explains that this "new functionality is made possible by the company?s new patent-pending technology, called Layercake, which allows Android apps to run on x86-based PCs, including apps that are written for the ARM processor."

BlueStack's latest update will use your PC's video card to run the apps that need it, including hardware acceleration. The beta also comes with accelerometer tilting and pinch-to-zoom, using your PC's arrow keys.

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AfterDawn: News

Google I/O tickets sell out in 20 minutes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2012 13:17

Google I/O tickets sell out in 20 minutes Tickets for Google's 2012 I/O conference sold out in 20 minutes, says the search giant.

Google's Vic Gundotra has posted today that 6250 queries hit their servers every second starting at 7:00AM, when the tickets went on sale.

The sell-out is impressive given that Google doubled the price to $900 for general admission, hoping to make the event more exclusive. Google gives away many expensive items each year, including a Samsung Tablet 10.1, a Chromebook and a 4G Mobile Hotspot to 2011 attendees.

Intended for devs and other Google fans, the event will take place from June 27th to June 29th in San Fransisco.

Google will stream the keynote and other sessions live, with all the videos made available online within 24 hours for download.





AfterDawn: News

Xbox Live adds HBO Go, MLB.TV and Xfinity TV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2012 12:58

Xbox Live adds HBO Go, MLB.TV and Xfinity TV Microsoft is preparing to announce that Xbox Live owners will be getting access to even more TV and movies, via partnerships with HBO Go, Comcast's Xfinity TV and Major League Baseball's MLB.TV.

Each app will also be controllable with gesture or voice controls if you are using a Kinect device.

Microsoft recently noted that entertainment usage had actually surpassed multiplayer game usage on the Xbox 360.

MLB.TV will supply 2430 live games over the next baseball season, along with archives including all of last year's games. HBO GO, just like the desktop service, will bring HBO's entire catalog of original programming.

Xfinity, from ISP Comcast, is an on-demand TV service.

The Xbox 360 has 35 million Xbox Live users who pay for their subscriptions.





AfterDawn: News

Apple flies 25 billionth app downloader to Beijing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2012 12:28

Apple flies 25 billionth app downloader to Beijing Earlier this month, Apple announced they had reached 25 billion app downloads via the iOS App Store.

The person who downloaded the 25 billionth app was set to receive a $10,000 App Store gift card.

Apple has announced that winner this week, Chinese citizen Fu Chunli.

In addition to the gift card, Chunli was given a tour of Apple's corporate headquarters in Beijing, after being flown to the capital city. Apple also gave her some training for her iPhone, which she had just purchased three weeks before downloading the winning app.

In an interview, Chunli says she believed the original phone call from Apple was a hoax. The company then sent her an email and she received texts from her friends congratulating her, as well.





AfterDawn: News

Google adds 'Play' tab to navigation bar

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2012 12:09

Google adds 'Play' tab to navigation bar Just a couple of weeks after rebranding their services under the Google Play umbrella, Google has added a tab for the Play Store to their navigation bar in Gmail and other Google services.

Whenever you use a Google site, you will see the Play tab on the top black navigation bar. To make it even more obvious, the word "new" will be in red for the near future next to the tab.

Google rebranded the Android Market to Google Play, making the store a one-stop area for apps, e-books, music, and movies/TV shows.

Around the world, however, Google Play will mean something different to different places. In the UK and Canada, it will offer movies, books and Android apps but no music, in Australia, books and apps only; and in Japan, movies and apps only. Every other nation with Android will just offer apps, no content.

Check a screenshot of the new addition here:





AfterDawn: News

HTC Titan II headed to AT&T next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Mar 2012 23:18

HTC Titan II headed to AT&T next month AT&T has announced that in addition to the launch of the Nokia Lumia 900, the carrier will also be launching the HTC Titan II on April 8th.

The Windows Phone 7.5 device will also include 4G LTE support, making the two devices the first in the U.S. to have such a radio.

While the Lumia will sell for just $99 with contract, the Titan II will sell for $199 with two-year contract.

The original Titan was one of the more popular WP7 devices, due to its sleek aluminum casing, although the sequel removes that feature in exchange for a plastic one.

Titan II phones have a large 4.7-inch SuperLCD display, a massive 16MP camera with dual-LED flash, 4G LTE and Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.





AfterDawn: News

GameStop CEO does not believe next Xbox will block used games

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Mar 2012 20:54

GameStop CEO does not believe next Xbox will block used games Among the rumors about the Xbox successor is the notion that Microsoft will "incorporate some sort of anti-used game system" in the new console.

GameStop CEO Paul Raines does not believe this to be true, despite the persistence of the rumor.

"We think it's unlikely that there would be that in the next-gen console because the model simply hasn't been proven to work," says Raines.

Although it is unclear how a system like that would work, but essentially the technology will "create a one-to-one relationship between a game disc and the console" says Slash. If you played a new game, it would be forever registered to your system, blocking any used game sales.

There are of course inherent flaws with this design, such as if your Xbox breaks, or if you want to bring a game over to a friend's house for split-screen or non-online multiplayer.

GameStop also has good reason to hope the next console does not include such tech, as the company makes most of its margin from the sale of used games and accessories.





AfterDawn: News

Lady walks into Apple glass door, sues for $1 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Mar 2012 19:20

Lady walks into Apple glass door, sues for $1 million In what is likely one of the more ridiculous stories you'll read today, an 83-year-old grandma is suing Apple after she walked right into the famous all-glass doors of a Manhasset-area Apple Store.

Evelyn Paswall, a former VP at a fur-company in Manahattan, smashed her face into the glass door of the Long Island location after she failed to see the doors there.

Reads a statement from her attorney: "Apple wants to be cool and modern and have the type of architecture that would appeal to the tech crowd. But on the other hand, they have to appreciate the danger that this high-tech modern architecture poses to some people."

On her way to return an iPhone, Paswall broke her nose after walking right into the wall of glass Apple has made famous for storefronts: "The defendant was negligent...in allowing a clear, see-through glass wall and/or door to exist without proper warning," reads the suit.

Paswall is now suing for $1 million in damages, and hopes Apple will put better warnings in place.





AfterDawn: News

HTC closes down HTCSense.com for now

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Mar 2012 19:00

HTC closes down HTCSense.com for now HTC has announced today it will be shutting down its HTCSense.com information retention service until a renovation of the service is complete.

The service will go offline on the last day of April after a couple years of activity.

Users had previously used the site to sync your Contacts, Messages, Footprints or Call History.

In order to download your saved data, HTC has given some quick instructions:

-Visit [ link ]

-Log in with your HTCSense.com username and password

-Click the 'Download' button in the Account Overview section

-A .zip file containing your data will download to your computer for easy viewing


It is unclear why HTC is making such a move instead of working on the update simultaneously, but the company says "If you would like phone location or backup services for your device, please visit Google Play (formerly Android Market) and download an application that best meets your needs."

The full notification is here: HTCSense Service Change





AfterDawn: News

AT&T to sell Lumia 900 for $100

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Mar 2012 18:50

AT&T to sell Lumia 900 for $100 AT&T has finally confirmed it will be selling the flagship Nokia Lumia 900 for just $100.

The device will be released on April 8th in the U.S. Nokia said the phone is the first to be designed specifically for the North American market.

With 2-year contract, the Lumia 900 will sell for just $100, well below the price of other 4G LTE smartphones, which sell for $200 with contract on AT&T and up to $300 with contract on Verizon. The Lumia 900 is also the first LTE Windows Phone smartphone to reach the States.

Black and blue models will go up for sale at launch, while a white model will go on sale on April 22nd. Pre-orders begin on Friday.

Says AT&T: "Consider Lumia 900 as Nokia's triumphant return to the U.S. smartphone market."

The Lumia 900 has 4.3-inch AMOLED display, 1.4GHz single-core processor, Nokia's ClearBlack technology, LTE support, an 1830 mAh battery, 512MB RAM, 16GB internal storage and an 8MP Carl Zeiss camera with large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm). The phone also has a 1MP front facing camera.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft allowing you to swap old smartphones for brand new WP7 device

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Mar 2012 18:40

Microsoft allowing you to swap old smartphones for brand new WP7 device Microsoft's "Smoked by Windows Phone" campaign is allowing smartphone owners near Microsoft retail stores to trade in any old smartphone (that is activated) for a brand new Windows Phone 7.5 device.

The promotion is completely free, the only issue is you must walk into an actual retail store, and there aren't too many, especially not on the east coast.

Additionally, the Nokia Lumia 800 is excluded from the deal.

How it works (instructions via SD):

1) Get an old smartphone (you may already own one); Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, PalmOS, WebOS, Symbian
2) Get it activated somehow (although not every store checks, some do, so you'll want to make sure it has phone and data on it when you go into the store).
3) Go to your local B&M Microsoft Store and tell them you want to take the "Windows Phone Challenge."
4) Lose the contest.
5) Fill out recycling paperwork.
6) Give them your old smartphone (make sure you format it beforehand as you don't get to keep your old phone).
7) Walk away with a brand new Windows Phone with no contract attached.

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AfterDawn: News

Online streaming finally overtakes physical discs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Mar 2012 14:56

Online streaming finally overtakes physical discs According to a new report from IHS Screen Digest, streamed videos will overtake physical discs for the first time ever, in 2012.

In the U.S., consumers will stream videos 3.4 billion times, compared to watching 2.4 billion physical discs.

It is the end of an era, notes Dan Cryan of IHS: "After more than 30 years of buying and renting movies on tapes and discs, this year marks the tipping point."

"U.S. consumers now are making a historic switch to Internet-based consumption, setting the stage for a worldwide migration of consumption from physical to online. We are looking at the beginning of the end of the age of movies on physical media like DVD and Blu-ray. But the transition is likely to take time: almost nine years after the launch of the iTunes Store, CDs are still a vital part of the music business," he continues.

Last year, the "ratio was 2.6 billion views of films on disc to one billion online," notes TheDailyMail.

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AfterDawn: News

UK video game retailer Game Group files for bankruptcy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Mar 2012 14:42

UK video game retailer Game Group files for bankruptcy The company had been teetering on the brink for months now.

Game Group, based in the UK, has filed for bankruptcy protection, with UK and Ireland operations being turned over to Pricewaterhousecoopers, the massive accounting firm.

The company was behind the brands of GAME Group plc, Game Stores Group Limited, Gameplay (GB) Limited, Game (Stores) Limited, Games Station Limited, Game (retail) Limited and Gamestation Limited.

Pricewaterhousecoopers (PWC) has already closed down 277 of the company's 610 stores and has taken down the company's website for much needed maintenance. In addition, 2,104 employees are getting laid off.

"A number of parties who have expressed an interest in purchasing part or all of the business and assets of the group," added PWC (via TC). The gaming retailer had suspended trading of its stock on March 21st.

The company went bankrupt due to "serious cashflow and profit issues" brought on by high fixed-costs, "fluctuating capital requirements" and an international strategy that bombed.





AfterDawn: News

Man steals laptop, comes back to apologize, steals second laptop

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2012 13:40

Man steals laptop, comes back to apologize, steals second laptop A report in the Daily Mail shows the shocking story of Ivan Barker, who had the audacity to rob the same person twice, in broad daylight.

Barker recently stoke the laptop of wheelchair-bound Jacque Mathley. Barker, feeling guilty, later returned to Mathley's house and knocked on the front door. When Mathley answered, Barker said the police had instructed him to apologize and return the device.

Mathley let Barker in the house, and the two chatted. When he eventually went to the bathroom, Barker stole his replacement laptop and left the house.

This time, with a full name and description of the thief, Mathley testified and Barker was given four months in prison.





AfterDawn: News

Xbox Live to add Zynga games?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2012 13:24

Xbox Live to add Zynga games? According to a recent interview, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus says the company is working on its back-end tech in an effort to get their popular games available on home consoles.

The tech revolves around transferring save-states between multiple gaming platforms, says Zebo, and the Xbox 360 was specifically mentioned by the CEO.

Zynga is the social gaming giant behind hits like Mafia Wars, CityVille and FarmVille. On Facebook alone, 200 million gamers play Zynga games each month.

Expanding to consoles is a natural progression for the company, although Zynga developer Brian Reynolds called the Xbox Live demographic "too small" during a presentation last year. Microsoft has over 30 million Xbox Live Gold subscribers.

Additionally, many of the company's popular games rely on touchscreens or are "point-and-click," neither of which will work well with an Xbox 360 controller.

It will be interesting to see if Zynga tries to expand, and what kind of games will make their way over to the console set.





AfterDawn: News

AOL looking to sell patent portfolio

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2012 12:37

AOL looking to sell patent portfolio AOL has hired Evercore Partners to help it sell its 800-strong patent portfolio.

The company has confirmed it has received numerous buyout offers from private equity firms, with the firms wanting to take AOL private. Such firms include Providence Equity Partners Inc, TPG Capital and Silver Lake.

So far, no deal has been struck yet.

Starboard Value, a hedge fund that owns 5 percent of AOL, says the firms believe AOL's patent portfolio could bring in over $1 billion in licensing income if used correctly.

The company, once valued at over $100 billion, now has a market cap of just $1.75 billion thanks to slowing advertising growth and the decade-long decline of dial-up revenue.





AfterDawn: News

TiVo adds more storage, changes price of Premiere lineup

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2012 12:24

TiVo adds more storage, changes price of Premiere lineup TiVo has announced changes to its Premiere lineup today.

The current 320GB model will be replaced with a 500GB HDD model, which the company says will be good to store up to 75 hours of HD content.

Along with the storage add comes a price hike, however. The set-top will cost $150, which is compared to the current $100 price tag. The monthly service fee for the box will drop to just $15 per month with a one-year contract, making the box's price hike more easy to swallow.

If you need multiple boxes for the home, that price will drop to $12.99 per box.

Additonally, the other models in the lineup will see price hikes, as well:


- TiVo Premiere XL $249.99: Records two shows at once and up to 150 hours of HD content

- TiVo Premiere Elite $399.99: Records four shows at once and up to 300 hours of HD content


Just like before, to buy any of the boxes with a lifetime of service and support, that price is $500.

Check the models here: TiVo Premiere Lineup





AfterDawn: News

Sign-up page made available for Instagram for Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2012 12:11

Sign-up page made available for Instagram for Android Earlier this month we reported that Instagram, the massively popular iOS photo-filter and sharing app, is finally headed to Android.

Co-founder Kevin Systrom had demoed the app at and even noted that "in some ways, it's better than our iOS app. It's crazy." The app will give Android owners a chance to share their filtered photos on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and other social networks in addition to email and messaging.

Today, the company has made a sign-up page available to Android owners, allowing them to be first when the app is eventually released.

By adding your email, you will be notified when the beta is made available. The app is expected to launch in early April.

Register here: Instagram Android

(Pic via NextWeb)





AfterDawn: News

MOG for iPad app makes debut

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2012 12:00

MOG for iPad app makes debut MOG has released its free iPad app this week.

The company's official iPad app follows the release of its native Windows app on Friday.

MOG, the digital music subscription service is already available for iPod Touch, iPhone and Android. MOG has 500,000 active users although it is unclear how many are paying subscribers. To use the mobile apps you will need to be a subscriber.

The company has been in the news recently as it appears Beats Audio, the producer of audio products and equipment is close to purchasing the service.

HTC recently purchased Beats Audio, which was started by hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre and executive Jimmy Iovine, and it appears the companies are not done with acquisitions. Allegedly, Beats and MOG have been in talks for weeks and an announcement could be made next week.

MOG has already raised $33 million in venture capital since launch from investors, and the buyout price is expected to be higher than the current investment. MOG also owns a very successful ad network for music sites.

If accurate, HTC will likely discount the service or even offer it for free with new HTC smartphones as a way to entice new customers. HTC has struggled to keep their growth afloat thanks to the rise of Samsung in the smartphone market.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

RIM giving new BlackBerry prototypes to devs in May

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2012 11:51

RIM giving new BlackBerry prototypes to devs in May Research In Motion has announced that it will be giving developers prototypes of its new BlackBerry devices starting in early May.

2000 BlackBerry 10 models will be given out at the BlackBerry Jam conference in Florida, giving the devs a chance to build apps for the newly created operating system.

Says Alec Saunders, RIM's vice-president developer relations: "It's a huge step forward on our path to eventually launching BB10. It's tangible evidence of the company making progress to finally shipping the device."

While the underlying OS will be the same in the test models, the company says the UI will be completely different on finished consumer models: "The experience on this device from a consumer's perspective is not in any way indicative of what the final experience on BlackBerry 10 will be like. We are holding that back to create the interest around that at launch time."

The BlackBerry 10 smartphones are expected to go on sale in September and will be RIM's last hope at relevancy in the smartphone market in which it is now only a bit player.





AfterDawn: News

Facebook is against employers asking for login details

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Mar 2012 17:43

Facebook is against employers asking for login details Following a recent report that employers are now asking for Facebook details for prospective employees, the social networking giant has responded.

Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan says: "If you are a Facebook user you should never have to share your password, let anyone access your account, or do anything that might jeopardize the security of your account or violate the privacy of your friends...As a user, you shouldn't be forced to share your private information and communications just to get a job."

Lawmakers and civil rights groups have been up in arms since the report was published, and with good reason.

Facebook also added: "If an employer sees on Facebook that someone is a member of a protected group [e.g., over a certain age, etc.], that employer may open themselves up to claims of discrimination if they don't hire that person."

A congressional bill blocking employers from seeing prospective employee's Facebook pages is in the works, as well.





AfterDawn: News

The new iPad's battery gauge is lying to you

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Mar 2012 14:19

The new iPad's battery gauge is lying to you Dr. Raymond Soneira of Displaymate Technologies has reported this week that the new iPad's battery gauge is lying when it says "100 percent."

The new iPad holds a significantly larger battery than its predecessor, the iPad 2, and therefore requires many more hours to charge than previous generations.

Soneira says: "I measured the power actually drawn by the AC adapter and found that the new iPad continues to charge for up to 1 hour after it claims to reach 100%. This affects the battery run time if you stop charging when it says 100%."

As stated, if you want full capacity from your new iPad battery, you will need to keep charging the battery for another hour after it says "100 percent" in the meter.

The iPad is certainly not the first device to have a battery gauge which lies but it is likely the most high profile. Apple could potentially fix the issue in future firmware updates.





AfterDawn: News

Rovio says 'Angry Birds Space' not headed to Windows Phone for now

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Mar 2012 13:50

Rovio says 'Angry Birds Space' not headed to Windows Phone for now Rovio has said today that "Angry Birds Space" will not be headed to Windows Phone devices, which should hurt the fledgling operating system.

Says the developer: "We're the No. 1 app in the Windows Phone app store, but it's a big undertaking to support it, and you have to completely rewrite the application."

The popular developer has no plans to bring the game to the platform in the near future although the company did leave the door open saying it is looking to bring the game to "all relevant platforms."

Analysts see the move as a huge blow to Microsoft and Nokia, who are the primary backers of the operating system and have invested many millions into marketing and new designs: "This is a worrying development for Windows Phone because it suggests that Rovio does not have much confidence in its future," says Nomura analyst Richard Windsor. "As the standard version is already number one on the Windows Phone app store, it gives a strong indication that no one else will expect to be making money writing for this platform either."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

France: It is now illegal to visit terrorist Web sites

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Mar 2012 13:30

France: It is now illegal to visit terrorist Web sites French President Nicolas Sarkozy has made it illegal for French citizens to visit Web sites that encourage terrorism or hate crimes.

The move comes after the psychotic al-Qaeda-affiliated Mohamed Merah killed Jewish children and French soldiers before dying in a firefight with police officers.

Says Sarkozy: "From now on, any person who habitually consults Web sites that advocate terrorism or that call for hatred and violence will be criminally punished. France will not tolerate forced recruitment or ideological indoctrination on its soil."

The EFF believes Sarkozy has gone too far, saying: "There's no guarantee that criminalizing access to hate speech or terrorist content will end the very real problems of hate crime and terrorism. Extremist violence didn't start with the Internet and it won't end with it, either."

Sarkozy is no stranger to censorship, either. Last month he was caught censoring Twitter users who were critical of him or his administration.





AfterDawn: News

Confirmed: Facebook bought IBM patents

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Mar 2012 13:14

Confirmed: Facebook bought IBM patents Facebook has confirmed that it did indeed purchase patents from IBM.

"I can confirm that there was a purchase but I don't have any other details to share," said Facebook spokesman Larry Yu.

The purchase was in response to a lawsuit brought by Yahoo, which Facebook also responded to: "We're disappointed that Yahoo!, a longtime business partner of Facebook and a company that has substantially benefited from its association with Facebook, has decided to resort to litigation."

Original story:

According to a new report, Facebook has purchased 750 patents from IBM.

The patents will be used protection as the company defends itself from a new lawsuit brought by Yahoo.

USAT says the patents cover "technologies dealing with software and networking."

Yahoo recently sued Facebook over patent infringement, claiming the social networking giant infringed on up to 10 patents relating to advertising, privacy controls and social networking. Facebook rejected the claims and says it will defend itself in court.

Both IBM and Facebook declined comment on the purchase.





AfterDawn: News

Spotify valued at massive $3.5 billion?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Mar 2012 12:54

Spotify valued at massive $3.5 billion? According to multiple investors, the unlimited music streaming service Spotify is raising money again, with a huge valuation.

If accurate, management is valuing the company at about $3.5 billion, a huge jump from its valuation just last year of $1 billion. During the summer of last year, the company raised $100 million at that $1 billion valuation.

So far, investors have been reluctant to invest at the new valuation given that Spotify does not own any of its own content nor does it have exclusive rights to that music content. If the major labels were to pull their music from the service, Spotify would be worthless.

Spotify, which was wildly popular in Europe and expanded to the U.S. during the summer of 2011, allows users to choose music to listen to and stream, for free, for a limited amount of hours per month. Premium accounts, which range from $5-$10 per month, allow unlimited access to the music, including from mobile devices, and higher quality recordings.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Report: New iPhone will have same screen size, LTE, new connector

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Mar 2012 11:59

Report: New iPhone will have same screen size, LTE, new connector If iMore is correct, the next iPhone will be more of the same, with little in the way of innovation.

The iPhone 5 (or possibly just "new iPhone") will have a similar sized screen to current models, at 3.5-inches, while the market has moved towards larger screens, with some even getting as big as 5-inches.

In an effort to make the phone more powerful, the company is looking to "reduce the size of the traditional 30-pin dock connector to something closer akin to a micro-dock so there?d be more room inside for other components" says the site, which will be the most innovative addition to the device.

As expected, the phone will have 4G LTE compatibility and an upgraded processor, either the A5X or an even newer A6 quad-core chip.

The phone will be released in October alongside the launch of iOS 6.





AfterDawn: News

Another analyst speculates on Xbox Next

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Mar 2012 11:30

Another analyst speculates on Xbox Next Cowan & Company analyst Doug Creutz has weighed on the upcoming next-generation Xbox.

The analyst says he believes the console, codenamed Durango, will not launch until the fall of next year, and will include physical discs.

Many other analysts have speculated that the console will do away with physical game media and move to a digital-only platform.

Says Creutz's research note (CVG): "Although not yet confirmed by Microsoft, we believe the next generation Xbox console could launch in the fall of 2013. We believe a digital-only next-gen Xbox is unlikely given risks to both Microsoft's market share and the gaming ecosystem as a whole from any attempt to kill used games.

"However, we do believe that Microsoft may be targeting a cheaper physical solution in an effort to get the initial price of the box down and speed up new console adoption, which would be bullish for software publishers."


Microsoft recently noted that there will be no talk of the upcoming Xbox at this year's E3 or "anytime soon."





AfterDawn: News

Acer Iconia Tab A510 coming with Tegra 3 and Android 4.0

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Mar 2012 11:16

Acer Iconia Tab A510 coming with Tegra 3 and Android 4.0 First announced back at CES, the Acer Iconia Tab A510 is now official.

The powerful tablet will run on a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and be powered by Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich.

Acer will be launching the tablet in the U.S. and Canada, although the actual release date remains unknown.

Furthermore, the Iconia Tab A510 has a 10.1-inch, 1280 x 800 display and a giant 9800mAh battery expected to offer 13 hours of battery life, longer than the Asus Transformer Prime and the iPad.

The other features are pretty standard, including dual cameras and 32GB internal storage.

Acer will undercut the price of the most popular 10-inch devices and sell for $450.





AfterDawn: News

British former owner of TVShack to be extradited to U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Mar 2012 1:10

British former owner of TVShack to be extradited to U.S. 23-year-old British student Richard O'Dwyer will be extradited to the U.S. to face multiple copyright infringement charges, despite never having been to the country.

The former owner and creator of TVShack's plight will set an unfortunate precedence in the UK, as others in the future can likely face similar charges. O'Dwyer, according to UK law, is completely innocent, but he will likely not be so lucky in the U.S.

TVShack was a streaming link aggregator site that hosted no content itself but linked to third-party sites, (like Megavideo), where users could stream unauthorized TV and movies for free.

Additionally, the servers were based in Sweden but the domain was under the jurisdiction of the United States. U.S. authorities can seize domains registered outside of the country because most, if not all registrars are based in the U.S.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has accused O'Dwyer of making $230,000 in advertising revenue from the site.

Despite never being to the U.S., the student now faces 5 years in an American prison.





AfterDawn: News

Google Play to add movie purchases?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2012 21:32

Google Play to add movie purchases? According to Cnet, Google Play may be adding movie purchases in the near future.

The newly rebranded Android Market currently only offers movie rentals.

Sources within the film industry say Google has shown an interest in giving Android users a way to purchase films rather than just rent although nothing is set in stone.

The same sources say Universal and other major Hollywood studios are making it a requirement that Google also sell titles if they want to keep offering rentals.

If true, the Google Play store may have the first titles available this summer.

Earlier this month, Google rebranded its Music, Books and Android Market services under the Google Play banner, making a more centralized area for all your media needs.





AfterDawn: News

Vevo rolling out to 6 new countries

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2012 21:17

Vevo rolling out to 6 new countries The popular music video distributor service Vevo has announced today it plans to expand to 6 new countries.

Says CEO Rio Caraeff (PaidContent): "This year we're hoping to launch in at least another six countries. Our big priority is to make the service more available in more countries."

Vevo is currently in the U.S., Canada and UK only.

It is unclear what the new nations to receive the service are, but Australia is one of the countries under consideration.

Vevo has been expanding to new partners over the past few months, including the Xbox 360, AOL and Yahoo, to complement their YouTube partnership. The service sees 3.5 billion views per month, with 30 percent coming from YouTube.





AfterDawn: News

iPhone 5 will have 4.6-inch Retina Display?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2012 20:58

iPhone 5 will have 4.6-inch Retina Display? According to a South Korean media report, Apple's upcoming iPhone 5 will have a large 4.6-inch Retina display.

Current iPhones have small 3.5-inch displays, and Apple has been rumored to be introducing a larger phone for years now.

If accurate, the report states that Apple has already placed orders with suppliers for a late Q2 launch of the device.

It is unclear what resolution the retina display will be, but is expected to be full 1080p HD.

There is little known of the upcoming device except that the phone will use either the souped-up dual-core A5X or A6 quad-core processor and have an improved camera.





AfterDawn: News

AT&T reveals phones getting ICS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2012 19:54

AT&T reveals phones getting ICS AT&T has listed its smartphones that will be getting the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the coming months.

Those devices are the LG Nitro, Motorola ATRIX 2, Motorola ATRIX 4G, Pantech Burst, Pantech Element, Samsung Captivate Glide, Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy S II, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, and Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9.

The carrier made sure to note that it will take months for the updates to roll out to your device, but at least those are confirmed.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile USA to cut jobs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2012 19:33

T-Mobile USA to cut jobs T-Mobile USA has announced today that it is cutting 1900 jobs in the U.S. after it consolidates its call centers.

The consolidation should help reduce costs and help the carrier remain competitive among the other majors in the nation.

T-Mobile will slash the amount of call centers from 24 to 17 by June and that the cuts will affect 50 percent of the current T-Mobile call center staff in the U.S.

The centers to be closed are in Allentown, Pa.; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Frisco, Texas; Brownsville, Texas; Lenexa, Kansas; Thornton, Colo. and Redmond, Ore.

Adds Philipp Humm, CEO and President of T-Mobile: "These are not easy steps to take, but they are necessary to realize efficiency in order to invest for growth."





AfterDawn: News

Facebook acquires 750 patents from IBM?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2012 19:18

Facebook acquires 750 patents from IBM? According to a new report, Facebook has purchased 750 patents from IBM.

The patents will be used protection as the company defends itself from a new lawsuit brought by Yahoo.

USAT says the patents cover "technologies dealing with software and networking."

Yahoo recently sued Facebook over patent infringement, claiming the social networking giant infringed on up to 10 patents relating to advertising, privacy controls and social networking. Facebook rejected the claims and says it will defend itself in court.

Both IBM and Facebook declined comment on the purchase.





AfterDawn: News

Government sues AT&T over improper billing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2012 19:07

Government sues AT&T over improper billing The U.S. DOJ has sued AT&T, claiming the carrier improperly billed them for services that are used by deaf and hard-of-hearing subscribers.

Those users can place calls by typing messages over the Internet.

Explains USA Today: "The system has been abused by callers overseas who use it to defraud U.S. merchants by ordering goods with stolen credit cards and counterfeit checks. In response, the federal government ordered telecom companies to register their users.

The Justice Department lawsuit AT&T failed to adopt procedures to detect or prevent fraudulent users from registering. The government said the company feared its call volumes would drop once fraudulent users were prevented from calling on the system. The government reimbursed AT&T $1.30 per minute for every call on this system."


AT&T says they followed FCC rules for the services and was justified in getting their reimbursements. The DOJ, on the other hand, says 95 percent of the calls since November 2009 have been made by fraudulent users, many of which are from Nigeria.

Due to the Americans With Disabilities Act, the government must "ensure the availability of telecom relay services allowing the hearing- or speech-impaired in the U.S. to place phone calls." The service in question is Internet Protocol Relay.





AfterDawn: News

Twitter has 140 million active users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Mar 2012 21:36

Twitter has 140 million active users Twitter has 140 million active users, although inactive accounts are much higher.

On the eve of the company's sixth birthday, the micro-blogging service boasted some stats including the active user rate. Those users also now send 340 million tweets per day.

While the active user rate is extremely high, there are 300 million inactive accounts, as well. Inactive accounts include accounts that have never tweeted or which have not tweeted in a year.

Twitter founder Jack Dorsey made the first public tweet six years ago to the day, writing "Just setting up my twttr." In the early days of the company, Twitter was known as "twttr."

In September, the company announced 100 million active users showing how quickly the platform is being adopted.





AfterDawn: News

The new iPad is on fire, literally

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Mar 2012 21:14

The new iPad is on fire, literally Consumer Reports has reported today that the new iPad runs a lot hotter than its predecessor, the iPad 2.

While playing games, the new iPad runs 13 degrees hotter than the iPad 2 playing the same game.

The firm used a thermal imaging camera to record temperatures, and the new iPad got as shockingly high as 116 degrees while playing "Infinity Blade II." Consumer Report's article follows numerous complaints around the Web of the iPad overheating when playing games, streaming movies or during heavy downloads.

Says Consumer Reports: "We ran our test while the new iPad was propped on the iPad Smart Cover, plugged in, and after it had run Infinity Blade II uninterrupted for about 45 minutes. The device's 4G connection was not turned on, though its Wi-fi link was. The ambient room temperature was about 72 degrees. (Apple recommends not using the iPad in environments over 95 degrees.) Read more...





AfterDawn: News

Windows Phone makes its Chinese debut

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Mar 2012 20:52

Windows Phone makes its Chinese debut Windows Phone has made it to the world's most populous nation.

The first device to reach China is the HTC Eternity (known as the Titan in the U.S.). The smartphone will come unlocked and pre-installed with "a slew of popular Chinese apps" and a Chinese user interface.

HTC will only have a small headstart, however, as Nokia will unveil three phones next week. Although it is still unknown which phones the phone maker is releasing, it is assumed one will be the Lumia 719, a slightly redesigned version of the Lumia 710.

ZTE, one of China's most popular smartphone makers, will also be releasing their "budget-friendly" Tango phone later in the year, as well.

The Eternity will have a hefty price tag of ¥4,000 ($632) but Nokia is likely to sell their devices for half of that price.





AfterDawn: News

Chrome surpasses IE as most used browser, for a day

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Mar 2012 20:32

Chrome surpasses IE as most used browser, for a day Over the weekend, Chrome finally dethroned Internet Explorer as the most used Web browser.

On Sunday, for a number of hours, Chrome was the most used browser in the world, taking 32.7 percent share. IE, the leader for the last decade, fell to second at 32.5 percent.

When Monday rolled around, however, and everyone went back to work, the numbers returned to IE, with the browser taking 35 percent to Chromes' 30 percent share.

The figures come via research firm StatCounter: "While it is only one day, this is a milestone. At weekends, when people are free to choose what browser to use, many of them are selecting Chrome in preference to IE."

Overall, Chrome kept a 31 percent market share for March, while Internet Explorer remains on top at 35 percent. Year-over-year, the trend is undeniable, as Chrome jumped from 17 percent share and IE fell from 45 percent.

Firefox, one of the most popular browsers in Europe, kept a steady 25 percent share.





AfterDawn: News

Here is the alleged Samsung Galaxy S III press shot, specs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Mar 2012 20:17

Here is the alleged Samsung Galaxy S III press shot, specs GSM Helpdesk has the first alleged press shot of the much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S III.

Alongside the picture came the alleged specs, as well, which are extremely powerful.

The new smartphone will be smaller and narrower than its predecessor at 131 x 64 x 8 mm. The device will weigh just 0.27 pounds, as well.

The featured specs are a large 4.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus display with 1280 x 720 resolution, a 1.5Ghz quad-core Samsung processor, 1GB RAM, Android 4.0.x, dual-cameras (12MP/1.3MP), 32GB internal storage and a decently sized 1750 mAh battery.

Recent reports have the device being launched in April although Samsung has not confirmed.





AfterDawn: News

Google backs Hotfile in copyright fight against MPAA

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Mar 2012 15:06

Google backs Hotfile in copyright fight against MPAA Google has backed Hotfile in its fight against the major movie studios.

The search giant has filed an amicus brief on behalf of the cyberlocker, which the MPAA has called "indistinguishable" from the recently overthrown Megaupload.

In the brief, the company asks the ruling judge to be "careful about accepting Hollywood's interpretation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, specifically the provisions relating to when ISPs enjoy safe harbor from liability," says THR.

Google specifically states that the DMCA puts sole responsibility of enforcement of copyright infringement on copyright owners and that cyberlockers like Hotfile, as long as they remove infringing material when asked, remain protected by the safe harbor act.

That argument may sound familiar because Google used it to defend a $1 billion lawsuit from Viacom a few years ago. Google won, but Viacom has appealed. Another similar decision was UMG v. Veoh, which ruled in favor of Veoh and not the music label.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Zynga expected to buy 'Draw Something' developer

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Mar 2012 14:54

Zynga expected to buy 'Draw Something' developer Zynga has announced a press conference at 3PM EST, and the gaming company is expected to announce an acquisition.

The social gaming giant is expected to announce the acquisition of OMGPOP, the developer behind blockbuster hit 'Draw Something.'

If previous reports are accurate, the buy price will be between $150-$200 million.

Draw Something has seen over 20 million downloads in the iOS store and an almost equal amount in the Google Play Store, in just under 2 months of availability.

In a staggeringly short period of time, the game has already eclipsed the popularity of Zynga's "Words with Friends," says BI, their most popular game in the mobile world.





AfterDawn: News

Sharp releases outdated tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2012 23:08

Sharp releases outdated tablet Sharp has released a new tablet in Japan with outdated specs.

The 10-inch device, dubbed the Sharp RW-T110, has a 1280 x 800 display, a 1 GHz TI OMAP 4430 dual-core processor and runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

Additionally, the device only has a 6240mAh battery and 8GB of internal storage and weighs in at 1.4 pounds.

Separating the device from tablets with the same old specs is the fact that the RW-T110 has an NFC chip, allowing for wireless mobile payments and other short-range transactions.

Going on sale next week, there was no word on international availability or price.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft: No talk of next console 'anytime soon'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2012 22:56

Microsoft: No talk of next console 'anytime soon' Microsoft has announced today that it will not be announcing its Xbox sequel "anytime soon."

Says Microsoft Corporate Communications chief Frank Shaw: "While we appreciate all the interest in our long-range plans for the future, we can confirm that there will be no talk of new Xbox hardware at E3 or anytime soon. For us, 2012 is all about Xbox 360."

The Xbox 360 has remained a constant winner over the past year, beating out rivals Nintendo and Sony handily. Last month, Microsoft sold 426,000 Xbox 360 units, beating out the Wii at 228,000 units. Sony did not disclose PS3 sales.

Microsoft's yet un-named Xbox successor is codenamed 'Durango,' say sources.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

New York Times makes it even harder to read articles for free

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2012 20:56

New York Times makes it even harder to read articles for free Just one year after starting their "paywall," the New York Times is making it even harder to read free articles.

The company has 480,000 paying subscribers, so the paywall has been very successful.

Readers with free accounts can read up to 20 articles per month currently, but as of next month that number will be cut in half to just 10 free articles per month.

As is the current deal, if you end up at an article through Twitter, Facebook or Google News, you can read an unlimited amount of free news.

At the end of 2011, circulation revenue was up thanks to the digital subscriptions, but overall revenue has been falling for the better part of a decade thanks to advertisers taking their money elsewhere.





AfterDawn: News

Windows Phone surpasses Symbian share, in U.K.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2012 20:33

Windows Phone surpasses Symbian share, in U.K. Windows Phone has surpassed Symbian in terms of market share, at least in the U.S.

Thanks to decently strong sales of Nokia-made devices, the operating system is now the proud owner of 2.5 percent of market, beating out the Symbian OS created by Nokia, as well, which used to dominate the market.

Year-over-year, Symbian share fell from 12.4 percent to 2.4 percent, with the operating system being completely discontinued.

The Nokia Lumia 800 accounted for 87 percent of all Windows Phone 7 sales in Europe, and has helped the OS go "mainstream."

Says one analyst (via BW): "The fact that Windows Phone sales have overtaken Symbian based on one handset is encouraging. However, Nokia will need to expand the range quickly in order to keep up with the slew of next generation competitor products being launched in quarter two."





AfterDawn: News

'Angry Birds' partners up with 'major U.S. retail chain'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2012 19:47

'Angry Birds' partners up with 'major U.S. retail chain' Angry Birds maker Rovio has announced today it is teaming up with a "major U.S. retail chain" to have its branded toys, books and T-shirts available at thousands of stores nationwide.

The Finnish company would not reveal which company, however. Many have speculated the partner is Target, but that remains to be seen.

Rovio will launch the partnership later this week alongside the launch of Angry Birds Space, the highly-anticipated next entry in the series. The game features "zero-gravity" levels, adding a new twist to the game.

Angry Birds has been downloaded over 700 million times on iOS, Android, PCs and Macs.

In just two years, the company has grown from nothing to being valued at over $3 billion by some in the industry.





AfterDawn: News

Beats Audio preparing to buy MOG

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2012 19:18

Beats Audio preparing to buy MOG Beats Audio, the producer of audio products and equipment is close to purchasing the digital music subscription service MOG, say sources.

HTC recently purchased Beats Audio, which was started by hip-hop mogul Dr. Dre and executive Jimmy Iovine, and it appears the companies are not done with acquisitions.

Allegedly, Beats and MOG have been in talks for weeks and an announcement could be made this week. Both companies declined comment.

MOG has already raised $33 million in venture capital since launch from investors, and the buyout price is expected to be higher than the current investment. MOG also owns a very successful ad network for music sites.

The service has 500,000 active users although it is unclear how many are paying subscribers.

If accurate, HTC will likely discount the service or even offer it for free with new HTC smartphones as a way to entice new customers. HTC has struggled to keep their growth afloat thanks to the rise of Samsung in the smartphone market.





AfterDawn: News

Apple sued over pirated ebooks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Mar 2012 21:40

Apple sued over pirated ebooks A group of Chinese authors has sued Apple this week, claiming the tech giant has been selling unlicensed copies of their ebooks via their iOS App Store.

The 12 writers are seeking $3.5 million in damages for 59 books and three separate lawsuits.

While it was assumed the books were being sold via Apple's iBookstore, the titles are not. They are instead being distributed as apps in the App Store. Many e-books were distributed this way before the launch of the store in 2010.

Apple has said it is looking into the complaints and will respond "promptly and appropriately."

Wang Guohua, attorney for the writers, says third-party devs uploaded the apps, without the permission of the writers. Apple deleted many of the apps in January after a complaint but they were re-uploaded.

Says Wang: "Some developers, with whom Apple has contracts, put them back online again. It is encouragement in disguise, because they did not punish the developers. The developers could have been kicked out. But nothing happened to them."





AfterDawn: News

Pew: Teen texting up, voice calling down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Mar 2012 21:23

Pew: Teen texting up, voice calling down According to a new report from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, teens are texting more and calling less, following a decade long trend.

The report says the "volume of texting among teens has risen from 50 texts a day in 2009 to 60 texts for the median teen text user" in 2011, while 75 percent of teens with phones actively text.

In its "Teens, Smartphones and Texting," annual report, Pew also confirms that older teens (14-17 year-olds) saw the biggest increase, from a median of 60 per day in 2009 to 100 in 2011. Older girls are the "most enthusiastic" tweeters, steady at a bit over 100 texts per day in 2011.

Boys of the same age average 50 per day.

Although 63 percent of teens text each day, only 39 percent use their phones for voice calling daily. Only 14 percent on teens use a landline to make calls.

Another trend is the growing amount of smartphones amongst teens, up to 31 percent.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung posts Ice Cream Sandwich source code for Galaxy S II

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Mar 2012 15:48

Samsung posts Ice Cream Sandwich source code for Galaxy S II Samsung has posted the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code for the Galaxy S II, letting developers have an easier go at making custom ROMs.

The company just recently started updating the phone, so the release has come as a surprise to the Android dev community. Samsung has also released the source code for the last three versions of Android 2.3 Gingerbread in the past.

For now, the ICS source-code will only be relevant to those in the Korean and European markets, as large markets like the UK and US have not received the update yet.

The source code comes with the company's TouchWiz UI, but interested parties should be able to strip it.





AfterDawn: News

Sprint hit on report of potential bankruptcy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Mar 2012 15:43

Sprint hit on report of potential bankruptcy Sprint shares are down 5 percent today after an analyst downgraded the company.

In his report, Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett says the company has a substantial risk of bankruptcy in the next few years. The analyst used a financial "swap agreement" known as credit-default swaps (CDS) to make the assumption.

Moffett says there is a 50 percent chance of the company seeking bankruptcy protection in the next five years: "We suspect that this implied probability of bankruptcy will come as a surprise to most equity investors."

In 2005, the carrier acquired Nextel, which will likely prove to be the company's downfall, says Moffett. Subscribers have been leaving Nextel at an alarming pace, while Sprint remains in charge of upkeep of the Nextel network, which is different from their own CDMA network.

Additionally, CEO Dan Hesse made a "all-in" bet this year on the iPhone, paying Apple $15 billion for rights to the popular smartphone over the next 5 years.





AfterDawn: News

Sony quietly working on ICS, Tegra 3 tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Mar 2012 15:37

Sony quietly working on ICS, Tegra 3 tablet The Android benchmarking app NenaMark is showing a new leader today.

A mysterious Sony entry now tops the leaderboard, suggesting the company is quietly working on a quad-core Tegra 3 tablet.

According to the app, the new device has Android 4.0.3 and a 1280 x 800 screen resolution.

A user with the name "sony s1" ran the test, although it was run on an older, less accurate version of the app.

For now it remains speculation, but Sony will need a hit on their hand if they wish to remain relevant in the tablet market.

Pic via Verge:





AfterDawn: News

Latest iPad breaks sales records, says AT&T

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Mar 2012 15:31

Latest iPad breaks sales records, says AT&T Despite the claim by numerous analysts that iPad sales were light, both Apple and AT&T have said today that the new tablet is breaking records.

Apple CEO Tim Cook noted this morning that he is "very thrilled" with a "record weekend" of iPad sales.

AT&T for their part said that Friday was a record-day for iPad sales and activations, with new records for both.

Verizon, Apple's other partner on the iPad, has not made a comment on the tablet or its sales, as of yet.

Calls to most Apple stores will reveal the stores still have some stock of the tablets, eve though pre-order models were sold out a week before launch. It is unclear whether this is attributed to more supply of the tablets than usual, or weaker sales but for now Apple and AT&T are at least claiming that the new device is selling at a record pace.





AfterDawn: News

As expected, Apple announces dividend and share buyback program

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Mar 2012 8:54

As expected, Apple announces dividend and share buyback program Apple has used a special conference to announce a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share, and to authorize a share buyback program.

The company says it expected to spend about $45 billion over the first three years of the plans, which will start in July.

Apple is expected to make $150 billion over the period, and should likely not have to dip into their current $97 billion cash hoarde.

Starting in October, Apple will have the option to buy back $10 billion worth of stock, making each share more valuable for investors.

Reads the release:

Apple® today announced plans to initiate a dividend and share repurchase program commencing later this year. Subject to declaration by the Board of Directors, the Company plans to initiate a quarterly dividend of $2.65 per share sometime in the fourth quarter of its fiscal 2012, which begins on July 1, 2012.
Additionally, the Company's Board of Directors has authorized a $10 billion share repurchase program commencing in the Company's fiscal 2013, which begins on September 30, 2012. The repurchase program is expected to be executed over three years, with the primary objective of neutralizing the impact of dilution from future employee equity grants and employee stock purchase programs.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Rapidshare ordered to proactively filter pirated content

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Mar 2012 0:00

Rapidshare ordered to proactively filter pirated content A higher court in Germany has ruled this week that cyberlocker Rapidshare must proactively filter pirated content from its site.

The decision upholds similar rulings from lower courts, each of which said the cyberlocker did not do enough to prevent piracy on its servers.

Germany's ruling covers both music and book downloads and dated back to an original case in 2009 brought by GEMA, a German organization representing that country's composers, vocalists, and music publishers.

Although the ruling has not been made public yet, reports say Rapidshare will have to monitor all the files uploaded before they are made available to download via the site.

Because such an endeavor would be impossible for Rapidshare staff, the cyberlocker will clearly need to create a software or script to filter the content.





AfterDawn: News

Apple holding conference tomorrow to reveal its decision on what to do with $97 billion cash

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2012 23:10

Apple holding conference tomorrow to reveal its decision on what to do with $97 billion cash Apple announced earlier today that it has made a decision on what to do with its almost $100 billion in cash.

As of the company's latest quarterly earnings report, the company now has $97 billion in cash and cash equivalents on their books, more money than even the U.S. government has on hand.

Reads the tech company's investor page: "Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, and Peter Oppenheimer, Apple's CFO, will host a Conference Call on Monday, March 19, 2012 at 6:00 a.m. PT to announce the outcome of the Company's discussions concerning its cash balance. Apple will not be providing an update on the current quarter nor will any topics be discussed other than cash."

Many feel the company will give a special one-time dividend to investors, although there are many other options and routes the company can take.

You can listen to the call tomorrow here: Apple Conference Call





AfterDawn: News

Capcom intentionally left content out of game, to sell later as DLC

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2012 17:36

Capcom intentionally left content out of game, to sell later as DLC Capcom has confirmed that they intentionally included but then locked out numerous features of the just-released Street Fighter X Tekken in an effort to later sell that content as DLC (downloadable content).

On the retail disc, the content is available but locked down, including 14 new unannounced characters and costumes, character colors, gems and quick combo presets.

To unlock all the characters will cost you $20, and Capcom will only make them available later this year after the game is released for the Vita.

Each alternate costume will cost $1 and the gems and colors will likely cost a bit less than that. Altogether, to unlock all the character and clothes and other DLC, it will cost gamers $120 for the content which already exists on the retail disc.

Additionally, Capcom advertised a multiplayer feature for the Xbox 360 but removed it right before launch, quietly. In fact, the feature, which is a mix and match of online and offline players for scramble battles and pair play battles, is still noted in the instruction manual.





AfterDawn: News

iSuppli: Apple making less money per unit on iPad 3 than iPad 2, mostly

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2012 16:37

iSuppli: Apple making less money per unit on iPad 3 than iPad 2, mostly According to research firm IHS iSuppli, Apple is making less money per iPad 3 sold than they did on the corresponding iPad 2 models, for the most part.

The new tablet just went on sale on Friday in the U.S. and 9 other nations, where base models start at $500 just like in previous generations.

For example, the new 32GB LTE third generation iPad, which costs $729, costs Apple $375.10 to produce, including the bill of materials and manufacturing costs. The smaller capacity 16GB LTE version has an assembly cost of $358.30, while the largest 64GB LTE model has an assembly cost of $408.70.

Non-LTE versions, those that only include Wi-Fi capability, cost $316 for 16GB model, the 32GB model comes in at $333, and the 64GB version comes in at $366 total assembly costs.

As expected, the Retina Display and touchscreen are the most expensive component, at $137. The flash memory costs $16.80 (16GB), $33.60 (32GB), or $67.20 (64GB) and the ARM-based A5X processor comes in at $23. The new battery costs $42. The new-and-improved camera costs $12.35 while the WLAN/BT/FM module costs $15.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Google to penalize sites that overly use SEO

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2012 16:08

Google to penalize sites that overly use SEO According to a new report, Google is expected to begin penalizing sites that overly use SEO (search engine optimization) techniques, pushing them behind sites that have more solid content.

The report comes via SEL, who has an audio clip of Google engineer Matt Cutts discussing the situation at SXSW.

Google will "level the playing field" against "all those people doing, for lack of a better word, over optimization or overly SEO--versus those making great content and great sites."

"We are trying to make GoogleBot smarter, make our relevance better, and we are also looking for those who abuse it, like too many keywords on a page, or exchange way too many links or go well beyond what you normally expect," concludes Mutts.

Earlier in the week, the WSJ made a similar report, claiming Google was preparing to embark on their biggest rehaul of the search engine, to date.





AfterDawn: News

TWC TV app in NYC now has 26 local channels

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2012 15:15

TWC TV app in NYC now has 26 local channels Last year, Time Warner Cable released their TWC TV app for the iPad, Android, iPhone and desktop giving subscribers a chance to stream some live cable channels on their devices as long as they were connected to their home Wi-Fi.

As of today, in New York City customers will now have 26 local channels.

The company will be expanding the local channel offering to "a few more markets" by the end of the year, as well.

Full lineup:

WCBS HDTV (CBS)
WNBC HDTV (NBC)
NBC NY Nonstop
WNYW HD (Fox)
WABC HDTV (ABC)
Live Well HD
WABC News Now
WWOR HD (My9)
WPIX-HD (PIX11)
WPXN HD (ION)
WXTV HD (Univision)
WFUT HD (Telefutura)
WNJU HD (Telemundo)
WFME
WLIW (PBS)
World
WLNY (TV 10/55)
WMBC
WNJN HD (or WNJB or NJN1) - PBS
WNYE (NYC TV Life)
WRNN
WNET (Thirteen HD)
V-ME
Create
Kids13
Rise (Al Jazeera)





AfterDawn: News

Video games get own exhibit at Smithsonian

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2012 14:37

Video games get own exhibit at Smithsonian The Smithsonian American Art Museum has created a major exhibition celebrating the history of video games.

"The Art of Video Games" spans the last 40 years of video games, in all forms.

"While this exhibition is not the first exhibition that actually uses video games, it is the first I believe that actually looks at video games themselves as an art form," notes curator Chris Melissinos (via MI). The exhibition comes on the heels of a US Supreme Court ruling that ruled the First Amendment covers video games. "This is not about the art within video games," continues the curator. "This is about video games themselves as an artistic medium."

"The Art of Video Games" will spotlight 20 gaming systems starting with the Atari VCS and ending with the PS3. Additionally, the exhibition will spotlight 80 games, all of which are "touchstones" of their respective generations.

Pac-Man, Super Mario Brothers, The Secret of Monkey Island, Myst and Flower will each be available with their original joysticks and controllers for visitors to play on wall-sized screens.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

AT&T loses court case over data throttling

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2012 13:53

AT&T loses court case over data throttling AT&T has lost a court case to 39-year-old Matt Spaccarelli, over smartphone data throttling.

Spaccarelli is an iPhone owner who has AT&T's grandfathered unlimited data plan. In 2010, the carrier discontinued the plan and moved to tiered pricing. In 2011, the carrier began to throttle heavy data users down from 3G to 2G. Spaccarelli says his device began to see the slow speeds after just 1.5GB of data used in a billing cycle by early 2012.

In his interview, Spaccarelli showed off horrendous 0.31 Mbps speed in California, down from the nationwide average of 1.7 Mbps. The iPhone owner claimed that due to AT&T's actions, he cannot stream video or even browse the Web without complications.

Judge Russell Nadel of small claims court has ruled this week that AT&T violated the terms of the unlimited data plan and must pay $850, "an estimation of the data usage over the remainder of Spaccarelli's contract, plus $85 for court costs."

The elated iPhone owner says he will use the money to get a new smartphone on a better carrier and also travel to the AT&T stockholders meeting in April.





AfterDawn: News

Lady Gaga made $30 million last year from Twitter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Mar 2012 19:36

Lady Gaga made $30 million last year from Twitter According to the WSJ, Lady Gaga made an estimated $30 million through Twitter last year, capitalizing on her huge fan base.

The artist has almost 21 million followers on the microblogging platform. The $30 million figure was roughly one-third of her overall earnings last year, meaning Twitter likely made her more money than her CD sales did.

Lady Gaga is the most popular person on Twitter, beating out Justin Beiber, Katy Perry, Rihanna and President Barack Obama among others.

"She really engages them and re-tweets stuff they say as if she was one of them," says John Bonini, content marketing manager of Impact Branding & Design.

The singer's latest album "Born This Way" has sold over 6 million units and has spawned a number of #1 hits on the charts.





AfterDawn: News

Sean Parker: Spotify will overtake iTunes in two years

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Mar 2012 19:11

Sean Parker: Spotify will overtake iTunes in two years Sean Parker, former Facebook president and founder of Napster, has claimed today that Spotify will overtake iTunes in two years due to the store's "slowness."

Speaking at SXSW, Parker says the unlimited streaming service is much more capable of bringing in revenue for the record companies than Apple is. Parker has also invested $15 million in Spotify.

Spotify, which was wildly popular in Europe and expanded to the U.S. during the summer of 2011, allows users to choose music to listen to and stream, for free, for a limited amount of hours per month. Premium accounts, which range from $5-$10 per month, allow unlimited access to the music, including from mobile devices, and higher quality recordings.

Says Parker (via NME): "Spotify is returning a HUGE amount of money [to the record labels]. If we continue growing at its current rate in terms of subscribers and users, we will overtake iTunes in terms of the amount of revenue we contribute to the music labels in under two years. The iTunes store, to this day, is so slow. I'm amazed."





AfterDawn: News

Source: Google Nexus Tablet is 'done deal,' possibly at $149

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Mar 2012 18:49

Source: Google Nexus Tablet is 'done deal,' possibly at $149 At CES this year, Asus revealed their MeMo tablet, a 7-inch quad-core beast that the company was set to sell for $249.

Today, sources are claiming that the MeMo will actually end up being the Google Nexus Tablet, and the price tag will be significantly lower.

According to a "senior employee at a supply chain company based in the United States," the Nexus Tablet is a "done deal" and will retail for either $149 or $199.

To get to that price tag, however, Asus will be stripping the quad-core Tegra 3 out of the tablet and replacing it with a dual-core Texas Instruments OMAP 4.

If accurate, the device will launch at the CTIA Wireless show on May 8th and come with the latest version of Android 4.x Ice Cream Sandwich.





AfterDawn: News

Nexus S owners getting Ice Cream Sandwich

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Mar 2012 13:21

Nexus S owners getting Ice Cream Sandwich The Google Nexus S, the second flagship device from the search giant, will be getting the Ice Cream Sandwich Android update, say sources.

Built by Samsung, the popular device was the first with Android 2.3 Gingerbread (in vanilla form) and was supposed to be the first to get the latest updates.

If true, the sources say the update will be hitting the device in the "next few weeks."

Nexus S owners started receiving the update in December of last year, but there were severe battery life issues, causing the company to pull the update.

T-Mobile Nexus S users were able to download manually so that ROM is available out there, but other carriers were not so lucky.





AfterDawn: News

Google+ integrated into YouTube

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Mar 2012 13:14

Google+ integrated into YouTube If you are looking to sign up for a YouTube account, Google has made it easier to create the account, by using your Google+ social networking account.

Says YouTube: "Today we're adding a feature that lets you sign up for a new YouTube channel using your existing Google+ profile. You can now use your Google+ profile name and photo on a new YouTube channel, giving you one consistent identity across platforms when uploading videos, sharing, commenting and other public activities."

Google has said it plans to integrate all of the company's services with Google+, adding a social layer to applications and services hundreds of millions use every week.

If you still prefer to stay anonymous, you of course have the option to choose a regular username on YouTube.

However, if you have a login already, and a Google+ account, the integration is default.





AfterDawn: News

J.D. Powers: Nokia, RIM lowest in consumer satisfaction

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Mar 2012 13:05

J.D. Powers: Nokia, RIM lowest in consumer satisfaction J.D. Powers and Associates has released their latest smartphone satisfaction ratings, based on a survey of over 7000 smartphone owners.

The ratings work by combining key factors which are performance (35%); ease of operation (24%); features (21%); and physical design (20%).

1000 points is a perfect score, which no company received, but Apple unsurprisingly topped the list at 839. HTC followed close behind at 798 points, both beating out the industry average of 774.

Following the leaders were Samsung at 769 points, Motorola at 758 points, LG and RIM at 733 points and finally Nokia at 702 points. Palm actually rated lower, but it is hard to include the now dead company in the list.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Lenovo to be first with Windows 8 tablet?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Mar 2012 22:02

Lenovo to be first with Windows 8 tablet? Even though Dell recently announced they would be releasing a business tablet running Windows 8 the "exact day" the operating system is released, it appears the company will have some immediate competition.

The Verge says Lenovo will have a tablet running the upcoming OS on the same day, which they internally believe to be in mid-October.

Most speculate the device will be the 13.3-inch IdeaPad Yoga, which was unveiled at CES in January.

The IdeaPad Yoga is a 13.3-inch notebook that, when flipped, can be used as a standalone tablet.

Although there is not too much known about what the computer's final hardware will be, it is apparently just 0.67-inches thick and made to look like Lenovo's current IdeaPad U300 line. Lenovo says the laptop can be easily flipped to look like a tablet for made to stand V-shaped in "tent" mode, as seen in the pics. The device is very light at just 3.1 pounds.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile retires Sidekick 4G, leaves door open for future branded devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Mar 2012 21:43

T-Mobile retires Sidekick 4G, leaves door open for future branded devices T-Mobile has retired the Sidekick 4G smartphone, almost one year after its release.

The highly rated device, which features a full QWERTY keyboard, even won an iF Design award.

Although the device has been retired, the carrier has left the door open for future Sidekick devices: "While the T-Mobile Sidekick 4G is being retired, it doesn't mean we are discontinuing the T-Mobile Sidekick line. T-Mobile continues to update and expand its 4G product portfolio and we'll keep you posted when we have news to share on T-Mobile's latest 4G devices."

The phone is still available on T-Mobile for free with contract or overpriced at $329.99 without one.

T-Mobile's Sidekick 4G has a 3.5-inchscreen and a single-core 1GHz processor.





AfterDawn: News

Hulu.com now has a larger video player

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Mar 2012 21:08

Hulu.com now has a larger video player Hulu has announced a new update to their video streaming interface, including a 55 percent increase in the size of the video player.

Additionally, the update will bring some design changes. The name of the show, episode title, runtime and other details will be moved under the video player and the area behind the video player will be made darker.

With the update also comes the removal of some features, however. The "dim the lights" option is removed and the ability to pop out the video player to its own window have been moved into the "more" section.

Says Hulu: "While watching Hulu on your browser today, you may have noticed something different. Dwight Shrute's head appears bigger, Sue Sylvester's tracksuit seems starchier and Phil Dunphy's parenting just got cooler.

I'm pleased to present to you our beautiful, new Hulu video player. Your favorite shows just got bigger.

Today, we replaced our old video player with an update that's 55% larger. It has a new frame and a drop shadow and sits on top of a large, dark gray video matte for easy viewing. We moved all of the video details below the player and cleaned up the pattern and style for a cleaner, crisper look."





AfterDawn: News

Amazon to offer $10 gift cards for $5

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Mar 2012 20:50

Amazon to offer $10 gift cards for $5 Amazon has announced it will sell $10 Amazon gift cards for 50 percent off on its daily deals site AmazonLocal on Tuesday.

The daily deal site is nine-months old but has seen little consumer interest compared to behemoths like Groupon and LivingSocial.

Says AmazonLocal VP Mike George: "Some folks, even if they're Amazon customers, don't know about us yet. This is going to draw a whole bunch of people to check us out.

It's hard for me to imagine anyone who wouldn't be interested in the deal. Amazon sells everything from Brazilian keratin treatments to snowblowers."


Amazon made a similar promo via LivingSocial last year, selling 1.4 million $20 gift cards for half off in just two days.

Local is available in 90 cities and is still expanding.





AfterDawn: News

'Anonymous OS Live' is fake, full of trojans

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Mar 2012 13:26

'Anonymous OS Live' is fake, full of trojans The "Anonymous OS Live" open-source operating system is actually fake and full of Trojans, says the group.

SourceForge is hosting the 32-bit OS download, which is pre-loaded with a plethora of hacking tools.

Reads the description: AOSL was "created for educational purposes, to checking the security of Web pages." Users are also encouraged to "use any tool to destroy any Web page :) If you attack to any Web page, might end up in jail because is a crime in most countries!"

The @AnonOps Twitter account says however that the OS is "wrapped in Trojans" and not authorized by the group. So far the OS has been downloaded 37,000 times.

AOSL is built on Ubuntu and many suspect the "Anonymous" branding is just used to bring hits to the page.





AfterDawn: News

Apple shares hit a new milestone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Mar 2012 13:16

Apple shares hit a new milestone Apple, the world's most valuable public company, has seen another milestone today, a $600 per share stock price.

At the time of Steve Jobs' death, the share price was $380 but the company continues to have record quarters and sales despite the passing of the company's founder and visionary.

The company has a current market capitalization of $550 billion, far and away the most valuable in the world, even ahead of Exxon Mobil.

Shares of the company were just $180 before the launch of the iPhone in 2008.

Apple had $127.8 billion in sales for 2011, making a profit of $43.82 billion. The company now has $100 billion in cash and short-term liquid assets.





AfterDawn: News

Google: We are working on Metro Chrome for Windows 8

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2012 22:13

Google: We are working on Metro Chrome for Windows 8 Google has said today it is working on a 'Metro' version of Chrome that will work in Windows 8.

The news follows Mozilla's announcement that they too are working on a Metro version of Firefox.

Says Google: "Our goal is to be able to offer our users a speedy, simple, secure Chrome experience across all platforms, which includes both the desktop and Metro versions of Windows 8. To that end we're in the process of building a Metro version of Chrome along with improving desktop Chrome in Windows 8 such as adding enhanced touch support."

The browser will be based on the desktop version, not the Android version, adds the search giant. Chrome will be optimized for touch, as well, although it will work with a mouse and keyboard.

Windows 8 was just released in Consumer Preview for public testing and will likely be released in September.





AfterDawn: News

HTC confirms Ice Cream Sandwich updates

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2012 21:20

HTC confirms Ice Cream Sandwich updates HTC has posted today on which devices will be receiving the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and some notes, as well.

The devices are the DROID Incredible 2 by HTC, HTC Amaze 4G, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC EVO 3D, HTC EVO Design 4G, HTC Incredible S, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL, HTC Sensation 4G, HTC Sensation XE, HTC Raider, HTC Rezound, HTC Rhyme, HTC Thunderbolt and HTC Vivid.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

SEGA bringing popular games to Origin platform

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2012 20:58

SEGA bringing popular games to Origin platform EA has announced today that SEGA will bring most of its most popular PC games to Origin, the digital distribution platform.

Alongside SEGA, EA says Team 17 Software Limited, Rebellion and Kalypso Media Digital have also signed up, bringing the amount of publishers/developers to 35.

Says Origin: "By partnering with publishers like SEGA, we're able to bring even more of the industry's best games to players on Origin. With 11 million registered users around the world, Origin is fast becoming the destination for consumers looking for fresh new content to play with their friends."

Adds SEGA (via TPU): "We're delighted to be partnering with Origin. The PC Market is continuing to grow and the prospect of offering the Total War franchise and the SEGA range of PC titles to the Origin audience is very exciting."

Additionally, SEGA says Total War Shogun 2: Fall of the Samurai is now available for pre-order on Origin.





AfterDawn: News

Amazon adds 3,000 more titles to Prime Instant Video

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2012 20:32

Amazon adds 3,000 more titles to Prime Instant Video Amazon announces "biggest addition yet" to its Prime Video catalog.

The giant e-tailer says they have added 3000 new titles thanks to a deal with Discovery Networks.

Says CEO Jeff Bezons: "We've struck a deal with Discovery Networks to bring some of the highest quality, non-fiction, informative and entertaining content about the world to our Amazon Prime customers. Rolling out over the next few weeks are TV shows from Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, and Science. Prime members, at no additional cost, can now stream more than 17,000 titles.

The new titles include hits such as Deadliest Catch, Mythbusters, Man vs. Wild, Dirty Jobs, Gold Rush: Alaska, and Shark Week, TLC series like Say Yes to the Dress and Cake Boss, as well as content like How It's Made from Science, and The Jeff Corwin Experience from Animal Planet."


Prime Video is available, for free, to Amazon Prime users, members who pay $79 a year and get access to free two-day shipping on most items and free access to thousands of Kindle books.

Users can watch the Prime Instant Videos on tablets, Roku set-tops, Macs, PCs and Blu-ray players.





AfterDawn: News

Nokia Lumia 900 gets another rumored launch date

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2012 13:17

Nokia Lumia 900 gets another rumored launch date The Nokia Lumia 900 has another rumored launch date for AT&T in the U.S.

After the company's announcement of the flagship device at January's CES event, speculation has been rampant as to when Americans would be receiving the phone.

The first rumored date was March 18th (with a $99 price point) but that has clearly come and gone. Sources then speculated April 22nd, and that remains to be seen.

Today, however, Verge is claiming that AT&T has April 8th as a tentative date for the release. The claim comes via an assistant manager at an AT&T store in California. Additionally, "Microsoft Stores are expecting shipments of Lumia 900 handsets ready for the second week of April," says the site.

The Lumia 900 has 4.3-inch AMOLED display, 1.4GHz single-core processor, Nokia's ClearBlack technology, LTE support, an 1830 mAh battery, 512MB RAM, 16GB internal storage and an 8MP Carl Zeiss camera with large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm). The phone also has a 1MP front facing camera.





AfterDawn: News

Turntable.fm signs licensing deals with Big 4

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2012 13:12

Turntable.fm signs licensing deals with Big 4 The popular virtual DJ startup Turntable.fm has signed a licensing agreement with all the major labels, turning the company "legitimate."

Turntable exploded last year in popularity as it allows users to share music and become DJs in virtual rooms with friends or strangers who vote to keep you as DJ or boot you if they do not like the music. Each room has its own theme.

Co-founders Billy Chasen and Seth Goldstein made the announcement today at SXSW.

Goldstein admitted that the founders did not know anything about music licensing when they created the service: "We went into it without being worried about [licensing]. I didn't, and still don't know what the DMCA [Digital Millennium Copyright Act] stands for. We didn't know about the restrictions, the per-play rates, international [licensing differences], and the publishers, and the PROs [Performing Rights Organizations] - it was all gobbledegook...Intellectually, it [was] a huge challenge to navigate through a lot of these partnerships and label negotiations."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Verizon to double 4G LTE sites by end of year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2012 13:05

Verizon to double 4G LTE sites by end of year Verizon has announced today that it is actively increasing 4G LTE sites in the U.S. and expects to have a network that covers 260 million people by the end of the year.

Chief Technical Officer David Small noted Verizon will have "at least 400 markets" with 4G LTE sites by the start of 2013. Verizon's current network, which is the largest in the U.S., covers 200 million Americans and has 200 sites.

Rival AT&T made a similar announcement this week, but their network is still lagging behind. AT&T currently covers 75 million Americans with the carrier expecting to cover 150 million by the end of the year.

Small did note that 4G LTE is still a relatively small market for Verizon, with only 5 percent of its subscribers using the fast data network.





AfterDawn: News

Encyclopedia Britannica goes digital, stops printing books

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2012 21:50

Encyclopedia Britannica goes digital, stops printing books Encyclopedia Britannica has announced it will stop producing its classic multi-volume book sets after 244 years in print.

The company printed a new set every two years but has announced there will be no 2012 edition, leaving 2010 as the last in the series. Into the future, the company will continue to update the encyclopedia digitally and produce education tools.

Says Britannica president Jorge Cauz: "Everyone will want to call this the end of an era, and I understand that. But there's no sad moment for us. I think outsiders are more nostalgic about the books than I am."

While the 32-book sets are what come to mind when the word Britannica is said, Cauz says the printed sets account for just 1 percent of overall revenue. 85 percent of revenue comes from education products including online learning tools and curriculum products

The digital phone and tablet app of Britannica costs $2 per month.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung tips that Apple is creating iPad Mini?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2012 21:21

Samsung tips that Apple is creating iPad Mini? According to the Korea Times, Samsung has confirmed that the oft-rumored "iPad Mini" is in fact coming later this year.

The tablet will be 7.85-inches and the official allegedly said that Apple will buy $11 billion worth of components for their range of devices this year. The current contract is for $9.7 billion worth of hardware, but Apple will need more display panels, flash storage and chips.

Last year, Apple purchased about $8 billion in parts from Samsung, making it the largest single customer of the manufacturer.

By creating a smaller form factor iPad, Apple will directly compete with Amazon, which has sold over 5 million Kindle Fire tablets since launch in November, taking a strong majority share at that size.

The smaller iPad will sell at $249 or $299, making it more expensive than the Kindle Fire, but certainly within striking distance given Apple's brand power.





AfterDawn: News

Wal-Mart unveils its Ultraviolet 'disc-to-digital' initiative

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2012 16:03

Wal-Mart unveils its Ultraviolet 'disc-to-digital' initiative Wal-Mart has launched its UltraViolet "disc-to-digital" initiative today, giving disc owners a chance to have access to a digital copy of their movie, for a nominal price.

The program will go live on April 16th at 3500 Wal-mart stores and users can pay $2 for an SD digital copy of a DVD or $5 to get an HD copy. If you bring in Blu-rays, you can get an HD digital copy for $2.

Says Wal-Mart: The new program "allows customers to reconnect with the movies they already own on a variety of new devices, while preserving the investments they've already made in disc purchases."

The digital copies will be available via Vudu, Wal-Mart's streaming and download service that is available on hundreds of Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, gaming consoles and of course on PC. Each license will also be available in your UltraViolet cloud library for streaming.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Instagram finally headed to Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2012 14:47

Instagram finally headed to Android Instagram, the massively popular iOS photo-filter and sharing app is finally headed to Android.

The company has said this weekend that the Android version is almost ready, and co-founder Kevin Systrom even demoed the app at SXSW. The Android app is in private beta currently, notes the exec.

Says Systrom (via Mash): "In some ways, it's better than our iOS app. It's crazy."

The app will give Android owners a chance to share their filtered photos on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and other social networks in addition to email and messaging.

When asked why it took so long to make an Android app, Systrom says: "I don't think it took us so long. We just had priorities. Had we tried to be both on Android and iPhone at the same time, it would've been tough to innovate in the way that we have."





AfterDawn: News

Samsung starts Android 4.0 rollout process for Galaxy S II

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2012 14:03

Samsung starts Android 4.0 rollout process for Galaxy S II Samsung has begun rolling out Android 4.0 to its Galaxy S II owners around the globe.

For starters, the update is now available to users in Korea, Hungary, Poland and Sweden.

The company will continue its "gradual roll out" in the coming weeks and months: "Samsung Electronics announced the availability of Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) software upgrade for GALAXY SII. The upgrade will begin in European countries including Poland, Hungary, Sweden, as well as Korea today and gradually roll out to other markets."

In the update, users will receive features like Face Unlock, a completely re-done UI and new widgets and homescreen updates.

Galaxy Note 10.1, Tab 8.9 and Tab 10.1 owners will be receiving the update soon, as well, says Crunch.





AfterDawn: News

Dell purchases security firm SonicWall

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2012 13:36

Dell purchases security firm SonicWall Dell has announced this morning that it will purchase the security vendor SonicWall.

The company specializes in corporate firewalls, anti-spam tech and network security.

Although terms were not disclosed, Dell is expected to be paying between $1.2 and $1.5 billion.

SonicWall has 300,000 customers across the world, but more importantly Dell will add 130 registered and pending patents for its ever-expanding enterprise security portfolio. SonicWall also has a channel program with 15,000 resellers which will be integrated into Dell's existing PartnerDirect network.

Dell says that all of Sonic's 950 employees will move to Dell and the company will continue to invest in Sonic's current security products.





AfterDawn: News

Barnes & Noble releases Nook Simple firmware update to fix issues

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2012 13:18

Barnes & Noble releases Nook Simple firmware update to fix issues Barnes & Noble has released another software update for the Nook Touch Simple, one that should fix any Wi-Fi issues.

Owners of the popular touch e-reader device have complained of some Wi-Fi connectivity issues since the recent 1.1 firmware update.

The new update, 1.1.2, officially provides "minor system enhancements," but the company has also confirmed the Wi-Fi fix will be part of the update.

B&N says the update will be rolling out as OTA update over the coming weeks, or you can download it manually.

Find the update and change log here: Nook Simple 1.1.2





AfterDawn: News

Rovio: Five 'Angry Birds' games this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2012 13:00

Rovio: Five 'Angry Birds' games this year During an interview with BI, Rovio CMO Peter Vesterbacka has noted that the company will launch five new Angry Birds titles in 2012.

The first of those titles will be the highly anticipated "Angry Birds Space" and the other four games have already been planned.

Angry Birds Space will introduce zero-gravity gameplay and the levels will include floating rocks, planets, birds with new powers and gravity fields that are ever-changing.

Additionally, Space will launch with a full line of merchandise, helping the company become an "entertainment" company, rather than just a game company.

Finally, the company is set to introduce its first non-Angry Birds game since 2009 by the end of the year, as well.





AfterDawn: News

Tag Heuer launches carbon fiber Android phone with huge price tag

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2012 12:14

Tag Heuer launches carbon fiber Android phone with huge price tag Popular Swiss watchmaker Tag Heuer has announced the launch of their $3600 "The Racer" Android smartphone.

The phone's design is inspired by Formula 1 and GT racing, and has "unparalleled torsional strength."

Racer handsets will be built with carbon fiber and titanium elements and have a shockproof rubber chassis.

Tag did not provide any specs on the device but does say it will run on the "latest Android software," implying Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The device will hit luxury stores in July.

More info here: Racer Heuer collection





AfterDawn: News

Aereo countersues the major broadcasters

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Mar 2012 22:51

Aereo countersues the major broadcasters Last week, the major broadcasters Fox, ABC, CBS and NBCU sued Aereo, citing copyright violation concerns.

The firm was set to launch an Internet TV service starting in New York. The service allows customers to view broadcast TV over the Internet from anywhere they have access.

In their suit, the broadcasters claimed that "Aereo will infringe their copyrights by making available technology which enables consumers to access broadcast television via a remote antenna and DVR."

Today, the company, backed by billionaire Barry Diller, has countersued.

Aereo says its tech lets viewers "do no more than what they are entitled to do," which is watch broadcast TV programs using antennas.

The countersuit was filed against ABC, CBS, NBCU, Fox, Telemundo and others.





AfterDawn: News

Weibo users will be forced to verify identities by March 16th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Mar 2012 22:15

Weibo users will be forced to verify identities by March 16th Chinese fans of the micro-blogging network Sina Weibo will be forced to verify their identities if they want to keep posting past March 16th, the government's mandated deadline.

Weibo says it only expects 60 percent of users to reveal their name and phone number before the deadline, with the other 40 percent being kicked off the service until they verify their info.

The service, which is almost identical to Twitter, has 260 million users. Twitter, based in the U.S., is blocked in China.

Chinese officials mandated the deadline in an effort to "stop the spread of harmful false rumors" in the nation.

The "Great Firewall of China" closely monitors social networks, news sites and blogs and blocks Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites where news can spread quickly and efficiently.





AfterDawn: News

Intel wants to become a 'virtual cable operator'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Mar 2012 21:36

Intel wants to become a 'virtual cable operator' Intel is currently developing an Internet-based TV service that will make the chipmaker a "virtual cable operator," says the WSJ.

The company is said to have been pitching the idea for months now in an effort to have media companies stream their U.S.-based TV channels over the Internet in a bundle that is similar to monthly cable/satellite subscriptions.

Intel will be creating its own set-top box to carry the service, and the box will carry the Intel name. The company has already shown off the user interface to content holders.

It appears the company wants to launch the service before the end of the year, although that goal may be unrealistic given the recent trend of cracking down on bandwidth by certain ISPs.

Intel has long stated they want to expand into the TV business but has so far been unsuccessful with their attempts. The new move would help the company expand out of its bread-and-butter business of processing chips.





AfterDawn: News

Wal-Mart to charge up to $4 for DVD conversion to UltraViolet?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Mar 2012 19:10

Wal-Mart to charge up to $4 for DVD conversion to UltraViolet? Earlier this week, we reported that Warner is working with retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy to offer technology that will allow consumers to bring in their discs and have them uploaded to the UltraViolet cloud for playback anywhere.

All converted files will have the UV DRM embedded.

Wal-Mart will announce the details on their UltraViolet offering tomorrow at 1pm, alongside partners Warner, Paramount, Universal, Fox and Sony.

According to SMB, the retailer will charge $2-$4 to convert each of your DVDs to UltraViolet, and the range will depend on the quality you want for the files. After conversion, your films will be available digitally wherever you have Internet.

After the DVD is converted, the disc will "be stamped" so others cannot use the same disc to get a digital copy, as well.





AfterDawn: News

Nokia Windows 8 tablet coming by end of year?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Mar 2012 14:49

Nokia Windows 8 tablet coming by end of year? According to Digitimes, Nokia is preparing to enter the Windows 8-on-ARM market, with their own tablet by the end of the year.

The tablet will be powered (obviously) by Windows 8, and run on a dual-core Qualcomm SoC.

Getting specific, the site says the Q4 2012 will be the earliest that Nokia could offer the tablet, which makes sense given that the operating system is expected to be released in September in final form.

On the processor side, while there are quad-core chips available, the tablet will be powered by the very efficient Snapdragon S4. The S4 was just recently introduced on devices like the HTC One S, and shows extreme improvements in power efficiency compared to past dual-core chips.

If accurate, the site says Compal Electronics will be the manufacturer with a standing order of 200,000 of the 10-inch devices.





AfterDawn: News

Mashable close to being acquired by CNN?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Mar 2012 14:41

Mashable close to being acquired by CNN? The major rumor of the day is that social news web giant Mashable is about to be acquired by CNN.

CNN is already one of the most popular news sites in the U.S., but the company does lack in the social media department. Mashable, on the other hand, specializes in social media news as well as tech news.

Felix Salmon of Reuters first reported the rumor last night, saying the buying price could be as high as $200 million.

Mashable CEO Pete Cashmore, however, rejected that idea, telling his staff that the "rumor going around on Twitter that Mashable will be acquired this week" is not true. The email did leave the door open for an acquisition in the future, however. Fueling that fire was a move by Adam Ostrow, the executive editor of Mashable, who "liked" Salmon's story on Facebook.

CNN recently purchased Zite, an iPad app company that determines what users want to read for a price, for $25 million.





AfterDawn: News

Cable operators say 'no' to a Netflix channel

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Mar 2012 14:33

Cable operators say 'no' to a Netflix channel Last week, we reported that Netflix has been meeting with cable companies in the past weeks in an effort to get their own channel.

If CEO Reed Hastings is successful, Netflix would become available as an on-demand option for cable subscribers, similar to rivals HBO and Showtime. The channel would offer Netflix's streaming catalog of 25,000 TV episodes and movies.

Although Netflix wants this move to happen, it appears that the cable and satellite operators do not.

Comcast, DirectTV and Dish Network have all said "no" to Netflix, say sources, knocking out three major players in the industry already.

Dish and Comcast already have streaming services of their own, which makes their decisions understandable, but still a large blow to Netflix. The three operators control 56 percent of the U.S.' TV subscribers.

Verizon is expected to say no, as well, as they work on a rival service with Redbox.





AfterDawn: News

AT&T LTE rollout reaching 12 new cities this spring

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Mar 2012 14:24

AT&T LTE rollout reaching 12 new cities this spring AT&T has announced the newest markets to receive their LTE network.

By the "early summer," 12 new cities will be included in the carrier's network, including some relatively small markets, as well.

Those cities are:

Cleveland, OH
Akron, OH
Canton, OH
Naples, FL
Bloomington, IN
Lafayette, IN
Muncie, IN
Baton Rouge, LA
New Orleans, LA
St. Louis, MO
Bryan-College Station, TX
Staten Island, NYC, NY

Most of the cities will begin to go live through April and May although there is no specific timeframe.

When the next 12 go live, AT&T will have 40 cities with LTE coverage. That number is still well behind Verizon, but they are quickly playing catch-up.





AfterDawn: News

Wii closes in on 40 million sales in the U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Mar 2012 0:22

Wii closes in on 40 million sales in the U.S. Nintendo has announced today that the Wii console is closing in on 40 million units sold in the U.S.

After selling 228,000 units in February, the console reached 39 million lifetime sales.

Outside of the Wii, Nintendo also sold 262,000 3DS and 135,000 DS handhelds during the month.

Finally, the company announced that Super Mario Galaxy has surpassed 5 million unit sales in the US, the 9th Wii title to reach the milestone.

Nintendo has been quiet of late as it prepares to launch its Wii U at this year's E3.





AfterDawn: News

China Mobile releasing 3G-capable Windows Phone device

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Mar 2012 0:05

China Mobile releasing 3G-capable Windows Phone device China Mobile has announced that it will be releasing a Windows Phone 7 device that is compatible with the carrier's 3G network.

The move is significant for Microsoft and Nokia as China Mobile has 655 million mobile phone subscribers, by far the most in the world.

Apple has yet to get an iPhone available through China Mobile and many believe that fact will keep Apple a bit player in the world's most populous nation.

Pan Zhiyong, general manager of China Mobile's Guangzhou branch, says the phone will be available "imminently" and support the China Mobile 3G (TD-SCDMA) network. It is still unclear which device will be launched.

The device is widely expected to be the upcoming Nokia Lumia 900, although neither the company nor the carrier would confirm.





AfterDawn: News

Tajikistan restores access to news sites, Facebook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Mar 2012 21:33

Tajikistan restores access to news sites, Facebook After one week of being blocked, officials in Tajikistan have restored access to Facebook and certain news sites.

"Yes, we've allowed access to Facebook but we don't know how long it will last," says one ISP. "If we again receive a signal to shut it down we will have to comply."

Following the publication of an article critical of the country's long-standing president, Tajikistan had blocked all access to two Russian-language news sites and the social networking giant Facebook on March 4th.
ISPs in the nation said the shutdown was ordered by the state-run communications service. Any user who had tried to access the sites were met with a redirect to their homepage, or the homepage of their ISP.

The news sites, tjknews.com and zvezda.ru, had published a story critical of President Emomali Rakhmon, who assumed power in 1992. It is well-known around the world that Rakhmon stole the 2006 election by fraud, and WikiLeaks brought to light that the president and his family have pillaged the country's coffers for years, including taking all profits from the state-run Tajik Aluminium Company (TALCO). The country is the poorest of the former Soviet states.

Tjknews.com had posted an article headlined 'Tajikistan on the eve of a revolution.'

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Zynga gaming platform signs major partner

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Mar 2012 21:08

Zynga gaming platform signs major partner Zynga has announced that it has signed a deal with developer Konami for content on its new 'Zynga Platform.'

Additionally, the company has inked deals with minor developers Rebellion and Playdemic.

The social gaming company launched the site earlier this month, in an effort to be less dependent on Facebook, the company for which it produces 12 percent of total revenue. Although the new service is still "fully Facebook-connected," the company will also open up its gaming platform to third parties.

Available so far in the beta of the platform are blockbuster hits like CastleVille, Zynga Poker, Hidden Chronicles, and CityVille.

Konami is behind classic games like Metal Gear Solid, Contra and Silent Hill, and will certainly bring some much needed "legitimacy" to the platform. It is unclear what content/games the new partners will bring to the service.

If you have a Facebook login, you can test the service at zynga.com





AfterDawn: News

As expected, Facebook shuts down Gowalla

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Mar 2012 20:53

As expected, Facebook shuts down Gowalla Three months after being acquired, the location-sharing app company Gowalla has shut down, as expected.

Says the statement: "Thank you for going out with Gowalla. It was a pleasure to journey with you around the world. Download your check-ins, photos and lists here soon."

The company launched in 2009, and had over 600,000 users in 2011.

Gowalla, which was made popular due to its "check-ins," had recently redesigned its mobile apps to move towards "user-generated place recommendations." The site was beginning to feel the heat from check-in services like FourSquare and from daily deal behemoths Groupon and Google before being acquired.

Some employees, including Gowalla's co-founders, will be making the move to Palo Alto to work on Facebook's Timeline initiative.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung continues to gain phone share in China

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Mar 2012 20:36

Samsung continues to gain phone share in China Samsung continues to crush the competition in the smartphone market in China.

The Korean phone maker took 24.3 percent market share in last quarter, easily beating out Apple which came in at 7.5 percent share. Samsung has had phones available on all three major carriers in the nation since 2009, while Apple has only been allied with one.

Apple recently signed a deal with a second carrier, China Telecom, just last week to make the iPhone available to millions of more potential buyers. Telecom is the smallest of the majors in China, with 123 million mobile phone subscribers, however, so the extent is somewhat limited.

China is expected to see a large bump in smartphone sales this year, up 50 percent to 137 million units. If the number is accurate, China will surpass the U.S. to become the world's largest market.

Apple does not have a deal in place with China Mobile, which is the largest carrier in the nation with 655 million mobile phone subscribers.





AfterDawn: News

New iPad already sold out

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Mar 2012 18:37

New iPad already sold out Apple has announced that the new iPad is already sold out, so fans who wanted to pre-order the device will have to wait a bit longer to get their tablet.

All pre-order supply have sold out, but the device goes on sale on March 16th through Apple retail stores and authorized resellers like AT&T, Verizon, Target and Best Buy.

Says Apple: "Customer response to the new iPad has been off the charts."

As of now, the new iPad pre-orders will ship by March 19th, later than launch day, which should come as a surprise to eager buyers.

Apple launched the LTE iPad on March 7th. The device features a Retina Display (2048x1536) screen, an A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a new iSight camera with an f/2.4 aperture and a five-element lens, capable of 1080p video recording with improved software stabilization.





AfterDawn: News

Dell to create business-focused Windows 8 tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Mar 2012 17:37

Dell to create business-focused Windows 8 tablet Dell CEO Michael Dell has noted this week that the company will increase its efforts in the corporate market after the release of Windows 8.

In fact, the company will release the tablet "on the exact day" that Windows 8 becomes publicly available. The operating system is expected to be released in September, although Microsoft has not set an exact date.

The goal of the new tablet is to have access to Office applications like Word and Excel, and to be able to securely connect to corporate networks, two features that the iPad does not have.

Says the CEO (via BW): "Having a secure Windows tablet that works with all the Windows applications -- we're hearing a lot of demand for that and we think that will be quite attractive."

Windows 8 was recently released in "Consumer Preview" form for tablets and PCs last month to mixed reviews.





AfterDawn: News

Lenovo recalling All-In-One PCs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2012 15:02

Lenovo recalling All-In-One PCs Lenovo has announced it will be recalling 160,000 ThinkCentre M70z and ThinkCentre M90z all-in-one (AIO) desktop PCs.

The move comes in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for computers sold between May 2010 and January 2012.

Due to a failure in the power supply, the system has a small chance of overheating and being a fire hazard and is therefore being recalled. The company received two customer reports in the last year of fires that resulted in damage to the computers in question.

All affected systems can be identified by machine type and serial number here at the Lenovo support page and if yours is affected Lenovo says "you should immediately stop using the affected desktop PC, and unplug the power cord."

Effective today, Lenovo will send free power-supply replacements for all affected ThinkCentre M90z and ThinkCentre M70z.





AfterDawn: News

Analyst: Verizon to sell more LTE iPad than AT&T

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2012 14:49

Analyst: Verizon to sell more LTE iPad than AT&T According to one analyst, Verizon will sell more LTE iPads than rival AT&T.

Kevin Smithen of Macquarie Securities USA says Verizon will sell 3-4 million of the new iPad this year while AT&T lags behind at 2 million units. Both companies have LTE networks, although Verizon's covers a significantly higher portion of the population.

The carrier will likely benefit more from the tablet's launch due to its wider footprint and the fact that the tablet can be used as a mobile hotspot with Verizon and not with AT&T.

Verizon's LTE network covers 200 million customers while AT&T's only covers 74 million.

Apple launched the LTE iPad on March 7th for release on the 16th. The device features a Retina Display (2048x1536) screen, an A5X chip with quad-core graphics and a new iSight camera with an f/2.4 aperture and a five-element lens, capable of 1080p video recording with improved software stabilization.





AfterDawn: News

Warner wants to convert your existing disc collection to UltraViolet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2012 13:36

Warner wants to convert your existing disc collection to UltraViolet Since its launch, the UltraViolet movie cloud locker service has seen its share of ups-and-downs, but it appears to now be receiving a large push from Warner Home Entertainment.

Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Home Entertainment Group, says the group will start a disc-to-digital program that will help drive adoption of UV, as well as bring traffic to the movie recommendation site Flixster.

Tsujihara says there are currently 20 billion movie discs owned in domestic households around the world and there are only 32 UV releases with another 150 planned for release this year.

Warner is working with retailers like Wal-Mart and Best Buy to offer technology that will allow consumers to bring in their discs and have them uploaded to the UltraViolet cloud for playback anywhere. If you purchase your discs online (via Amazon for example) you will be sent emails asking if you want to convert the discs to UV. All converted files will have the UV DRM embedded.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Apple to create new jobs with new campus in Texas

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2012 13:18

Apple to create new jobs with new campus in Texas Apple has announced it will invest $300 million to build a new campus in Austin, Texas.

The new campus will bring 3600 jobs with it over the next decade, doubling the current workforce the company has in Austin.

Apple's current workforce in the city take care of customer support and complaints via the Web and phone.

Says spokesman Steve Dowling (Reuters): "Our operations in Austin has grown dramatically over the past decade from less than 1,000 in 2004 to more than 3,500 today."

The new jobs will be again in customer support but also include sales and accounting.

Texas governor Rick Perry signed off on the deal, and Apple will be getting some small incentives from Austin and $21 million over 10 years in investment from a state fund.





AfterDawn: News

Turntable.fm signs deal with EMI?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2012 13:11

Turntable.fm signs deal with EMI? According to a Cnet report, the popular DJ-ing startup Turntable.fm has signed a licensing agreement with EMI and may be on the verge of signing deals with the other majors, as well.

Turntable exploded last year in popularity as it allows users to share music and become DJs in virtual rooms with friends or strangers who vote to keep you as DJ or boot you if they do not like the music.

The deal with EMI is a "recorded-music deal" and the site is close to agreements with Sony and UMG. Warner Music., always the laggard in licensing deals, is still in talks with the service.

Last year, Turntable signed an agreement with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, the group that collects royalties for song writers and then began to negotiate with the Big 4.





AfterDawn: News

Sony VP: We messed up with PlayStation Move

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2012 12:47

Sony VP: We messed up with PlayStation Move Sony Computer Entertainment UK's new managing director Fergal Gara has admitted this week that the company did not use PlayStation Move to its fullest potential.

Since its launch in 2010, the company has shipped 10.5 million Move controllers and it is unclear how many of those have been sold. Microsoft's popular rival, the Kinect system, has sold over 10 million and continues to be updated and expanded.

Gara says: "[Sony] could have done a better job on the titles," and adds that maybe the system should be used for the casual market instead.

There are very little games that scream "Move!" with the exception of the new GoldenEye 007 title, and the controllers are not cheap.

Microsoft is expected to launch its game-changing Kinect 2 with the unveiling of the Xbox Next (720) either this year or next.





AfterDawn: News

Sony Tablet P already rooted

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2012 12:38

Sony Tablet P already rooted Just 4 days after launch, the Sony Tablet P has been rooted, with very little effort.

All that is required is an ADB installer and a special Sony Tablet Root tool. If you own a Tablet P (doubtful) the instructions to root are here: Pocketables.

After over seven months of delays, Sony released its foldable Tablet P device last Sunday to poor reviews.

AT&T is offering the device on-contract or off and the tablet costs $550 with no contract, and $400 with a two-year contract making it more expensive than the iPad.

Running on Android 3.2, the device has dual 5.5-inch displays with 1024x480 resolution each, a 1GHz Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, dual cameras 0.3/5MP and just 4GB internal storage. The tablet does have 4G HSPA+ capability, as well.





AfterDawn: News

Over half of U.S. households own current-gen console, says Nielsen

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2012 12:31

Over half of U.S. households own current-gen console, says Nielsen According to Nielsen, 56 percent of U.S. households have at least one current generation gaming console.

That figure is up from 50 percent last year, and is accurate as of January.

Additionally, the firm says there "is increasing overlap and competition in the mobile / handheld / tablet gaming space with 66 percent of households with kids age 6-12 that own a Nintendo DS or Sony PSP also having an Apple iOS device."

On the other end of the spectrum, Android OS gaming is peak amongst adults aged 25-34.

Gamers are also increasingly getting distracted and play across multiple devices. 24 percent play on a combination of two consoles, PCs or handheld/tablet/mobile phones and 6 percent play on all three.





AfterDawn: News

Feds: Hacker 'Sabu' also sold drugs, was being evicted

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2012 12:16

Feds: Hacker 'Sabu' also sold drugs, was being evicted According to unsealed court documents, Hector Xavier Monsegur aka "Sabu," was not only a top hacker but also a drug dealer who carried around an armed gun.

Earlier in the week it was revealed that Sabu has been working with the government since August, in secret, collecting information to arrest the other members of the team that caused havoc and headlines for a brief period in 2011. Last summer, Sabu plead guilty to 12 counts of conspiracy, computer hacking, aggravated identity theft, and bank fraud.

Among Sabu's past crimes included illegal handgun possession and two attempts to sell over 1 pound of marijuana. Additionally, the hacker was about to be evicted from his apartment in a housing project on the lower east side of Manhattan after two years of legal proceedings. Sabu "has not been a legal tenant in good standing," read the statement.

On top of all the other charges, the hacker is also facing a misdemeanor charge for impersonating a federal agent. The case is likely to be thrown out however, given the circumstances and his work as an informant.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

CD Project Red: No more DRM, ever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2012 23:40

CD Project Red: No more DRM, ever Speaking at the GDC event, CD Project Red CEO Marcin Iwinski has noted that the developer will never use DRM ever again.

The developer is behind the hit 'Witcher' games, and has been an advocate in the past of removing DRM from the industry.

Says Iwinski: "Every subsequent game we will never use any DRM anymore, it's just over-complicating things. We release the game. It's cracked in two hours, it was no time for Witcher 2. What really surprised me is that the pirates didn't use the GOG version, which was not protected. They took the SecuROM retail version, cracked it and said 'we cracked it' -- meanwhile there's a non-secure version with a simultaneous release. You'd think the GOG version would be the one floating around."

The company sold over 1 million copies of Witcher 2 after building the game on a "modest budget."

Concluded the CEO: "DRM does not protect your game. If there are examples that it does, then people maybe should consider it, but then there are complications with legit users."





AfterDawn: News

Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T coming April 22nd?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2012 23:14

Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T coming April 22nd? While Nokia has been notably silent on the release date for its upcoming flagship device, sources now say the Lumia 900 will hit the States in late April.

Past expectations had Nokia and Microsoft releasing the phone on March 18th but the latest rumor is for an April 22nd launch.

The Lumia 900 has 4.3-inch AMOLED display, 1.4GHz single-core processor, Nokia's ClearBlack technology, LTE support, an 1830 mAh battery, 512MB RAM, 16GB internal storage and an 8MP Carl Zeiss camera with large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm). The phone also has a 1MP front facing camera.

More importantly, however, is the rumored price. Sources say the phone will sell for just $99 with contract, making it a very attractive device for the price.





AfterDawn: News

Asus, Google 'Nexus Tablet' coming as soon as May?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2012 22:02

Asus, Google 'Nexus Tablet' coming as soon as May? According to industry sources, the Google and Asus 'Nexus Tablet' could be launched as soon as May.

Although the device is still unconfirmed, many expect the companies to team up to create the first Nexus tablet, a 7-inch device with vanilla Android and a price point that will compete with the 7-inch market leader, the Kindle Fire.

The sources claim the device will come with Android 4.0 and sell for $199-$249, which will put it in direct competition with the underpowered but extremely popular Amazon device.

Google had tried to co-brand with HTC at the end of 2011, but the company believed that such a low-priced device would cannibalize its other products. Acer was another potential partner, but the company did "not have in-house R&D capability." Asus was finally chosen for its strong brand image in the tablet market, and good product quality.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft shutting down Windows 6.x Marketplace

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2012 21:35

Microsoft shutting down Windows 6.x Marketplace Microsoft has announced today that it will be shutting down the Windows Marketplace for devices running Windows Mobile 6.x.

The old operating system has since been discontinued with the launch of Windows Phone 7, and Microsoft is slowly phasing the OS out.

In an email to Windows Mobile 6.x customers, the company says:

Beginning May 9, 2012, the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace service will no longer be available. Starting on this date, you will no longer be able to browse, buy or download applications directly on your Windows Mobile 6.x phone using the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace application and service.

Applications and games acquired from the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace service installed on your Windows Mobile 6.x phone will continue to work after the service is discontinued on May 9, 2012. However, additional downloads of these applications and games from the Windows Mobile 6.x Marketplace service will no longer be available.


To break that down even more simply, as of May 9th, if you are still running a Windows Mobile 6 device, you will not be able to download any new apps via the store, or get updates. If you ever hard reset (factory wipe) your device, the apps will be lost forever, as well.





AfterDawn: News

'Angry Birds Space' trailer shows off zero-gravity

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2012 21:05

'Angry Birds Space' trailer shows off zero-gravity Rovio has unveiled the first gameplay trailer of the highly-anticipated Angry Birds Space game.

For the first time, 'Space' will introduce zero-gravity gameplay and the levels will include floating rocks, planets, birds with new powers and gravity fields that are ever-changing.

At launch, the game will have 60 levels but new levels will be made available in the future through free updates and in-app paid upgrades.

Rovio also announced that the game will launch on iOS, Android, PC and Macs on March 22nd.

The developer announced the trailer via NASA, who was stationed in space (Gameplay starts at 3:00):





AfterDawn: News

Netflix to pick up the canceled 'Terra Nova'?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Mar 2012 23:21

Netflix to pick up the canceled 'Terra Nova'? Earlier this week, Fox announced that it was cancelling the expensive, failed show "Terra Nova."

It now appears that the show may find a new home, and a second season, on the streaming Netflix service. Netflix and 20th Century Fox have been in preliminary discussions over a sale of the series, and both sides seem to be excited by the prospect.

Terra Nova cost $4 million per episode and was canceled after just one season due to low ratings and a unanimous hatred by critics. The show revolved around time travel/dimension jumping, and dinosaurs.

The move would be in line with Netflix's recent transition into original content. The company's first original show, "Lilyhammer" became available for streaming last month. The company will also stream the fourth season of the cult classic "Arrested Development," which was canceled in 2006.

ScreenRant says "Fox will be footing the bill for all of the series' visual effects, any previously created visual effects will be able to be reused without any additional financing," which should make production cheaper for Netflix if they were to indeed purchase the show.





AfterDawn: News

NPD: Video game industry had another rough month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Mar 2012 21:28

NPD: Video game industry had another rough month NPD has released their monthly video game industry report, and it appears to be another rough month.

The lone bright spot was an increase month-over-month for hardware sales, but overall sales were down year-over-year, again.

Software, hardware and accessory sales came in at $1.06 billion, down a massive 20 percent from the same month in 2011. Hardware was down 18 percent YoY to $381.4 million and software got smacked down 23 percent to $464.4 million. Accessory sales were down 16 percent to $215.2 million.

From January, however, hardware sales were up significantly, up 87 percent.

For the month the top selling games were:

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (360, PS3, Wii, PC)
Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3, 360)
UFC Undisputed 3 (360, PS3)
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (360, PS3, PC)
Just Dance 3 (Wii, 360, PS3)
NBA 2K12 (360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PC, PS2)
SoulCalibur 5 (360, PS3)
Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (360, PS3, PC)
Twisted Metal 2012 (PS3)
Battlefield 3 (360, PS3, PC)





AfterDawn: News

Amazon to launch new tablets this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Mar 2012 21:03

Amazon to launch new tablets this year According to a report in Digitimes, Amazon will reveal their Amazon Kindle sequel and a 10-inch tablet later this year.

Past rumors had speculated that Amazon would release an 8.9-inch version of the tablet, but the new report says Amazon will release two new tablets, a 7-inch sequel and a 10-inch version.

Both models will be released in the Q3 or Q4 of this year, say the sources.

Amazon has sold about 5 million Kindle Fire to date, making it the second best selling tablet of all-time.

Additionally, the report says "while still sourcing touch panels from Wintek and TPK Holdings, Amazon is expected to outsource production of the 10-inch model to Quanta Computer and Foxconn Electronics."





AfterDawn: News

Sony Music Unlimited adds Vita, offline support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Mar 2012 20:25

Sony Music Unlimited adds Vita, offline support Sony Music Unlimited gets updated.

The paid unlimited streaming service has been updated to include PS Vita support, adding to the current Walkman PMPs and PlayStation 3 support.

Interested users can download the app from the PlayStation Store and use the Basic service for $3.99 per month or the Premium service for $9.99. If you have pay for the Premium service, the newest update will also allow you to listen to your playlists offline.

Outside of playlists offline on your devices, Android users will be able to play their music offline, as well, through the mobile app of the version.

Finally, the company will be bringing the app to iOS devices next month.





AfterDawn: News

Gartner: PC shipment growth will be stagnant

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Mar 2012 15:38

Gartner: PC shipment growth will be stagnant According to research firm Gartner, PC shipments will remain weak this year, thanks to ever-increasing competition from tablets and smartphones.

Shipments will grow a paltry 4.4 percent in 2012, to 368 million units, says Gartner, a strong improvement from the 0.5 percent rate in 2011, but well below historical averages.

Says research director Ranjit Atwal: "PC shipments will remain weak in 2012, as the PC market plays catch up in bringing a new level of innovation that consumers want to see in devices they purchase. The real question is whether Windows 8 (Microsoft's upcoming operating system) and ultrabooks will create the compelling offering that gets the earlier adopter of devices excited about PCs again."

The iPad will not be the only competition, however, says Atwal. Smartphones have become so high-end that they to have eaten the PC's share of the market: "The use of applications such as email, social networking and Internet access, that were traditionally the domain of the PC, are now being used across media tablets and smartphones, making these devices in some cases more valued and attractive propositions. Consumers will now look at a task that they have to perform, and they will determine which device will allow them to perform such a task in the most effective, fun and convenient way. The device has to meet the user needs not the other way round."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Sprint does not get new iPad

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Mar 2012 15:25

Sprint does not get new iPad Sprint has confirmed today that it will not be getting a version of Apple's new LTE-supportive iPad.

Apple announced the device at an event yesterday, also confirming that Verizon and AT&T would be receiving models that work on their respective 4G networks. The tablet goes on sale next week.

The move does make sense since Sprint has not even launched its LTE network yet, but the company is planning to do so in June in 10 major cities. Verizon on the other hand has a network that covers 200 million people in the U.S. and AT&T's relatively new network covers 74 million.

It is unclear whether Apple will release a model for Sprint after their network is up and running, however, which is a possibility. The carrier has announced 15 LTE devices for 2012, so far.

Says the carrier: "At this time, Sprint is not a carrier for Apple's iPad products. We have nothing to announce at this time."





AfterDawn: News

Samsung files another lawsuit against Apple

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Mar 2012 23:15

Samsung files another lawsuit against Apple The next step in an ongoing patent dispute that spans three continents, Samsung has sued Apple again in South Korea.

In their suit, Samsung claims that the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S infringe on three patents relating to user interface, SMS and display data.

Altogether, the two companies have 30 open patent disputes in 10 countries.

Apple started the war last April when it alleged that Samsung copied the iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy line of devices.

While neither company has been particularly successful in their suits, Apple did manage to get an injunction on the Galaxy Tab in Germany.





AfterDawn: News

Google Play to add audiobooks?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Mar 2012 21:51

Google Play to add audiobooks? Google Play may be adding audiobooks to its inventory.

The platform, which was just unveiled yesterday as an umbrella for Google's Android Market, Google Music and Google Books services, could add an audiobook section sooner rather than later.

Evidence of the move comes via keen Google fans who found an empty page in the help section of the Google Play website labeled "Audio books."

Furthermore, in the ebook store section, there are two genres that make references to audio books.

While the following is speculation, Google has also been registering many domains for Google Play that imply an expansion into magazines and newspapers.





AfterDawn: News

iOS app OTA limit increased to 50MB

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Mar 2012 21:33

iOS app OTA limit increased to 50MB Apple has announced today that the limit on OTA downloads in the App Store is now 50MB.

Until today, the store only allowed up to 20MB.

When users attempted to download a bigger app, a pop-up error would interrupt telling iOS device owners that a Wi-Fi network was necessary to download bigger apps.

The limit is in effect as of today, and supports everything in the store including games, apps, music and movies (if you can find any at under 50MB).

Apple made the announcement as part of their iPad HD announcement. View more info on that here: Apple's new iPad announcement





AfterDawn: News

Apple TV will let users sign up for Netflix through iTunes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Mar 2012 21:15

Apple TV will let users sign up for Netflix through iTunes Netflix will be better integrated with Apple products into the future.

The streaming company has announced today that owners of Apple TV set-tops will be able to sign up for the service and pay right through their iTunes accounts.

As of today, the upgrade is rolling out in all markets, says Apple. Those markets include the U.S., Canada, Latin America, the UK and Ireland.

Earlier this week, reports came out that Netflix has been meeting with cable companies in the past weeks in an effort to get their own channel. If CEO Reed Hastings is successful, Netflix would become available as an on-demand option for cable subscribers, similar to rivals HBO and Showtime.

The channel would offer Netflix's streaming catalog of 25,000 TV episodes and movies.

Netflix is also set to offer 5 of its own original programs in 2013, including the cult classic "Arrested Development" back for a new season.





AfterDawn: News

Google looking to sell Motorola set-top box division

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Mar 2012 20:50

Google looking to sell Motorola set-top box division According to sources, Google is looking to sell the cable set-top box division of its newly acquired Motorola Mobility.

Last year, Google CEO Larry Page said the set-top business would have its place in Google's portfolio, but it is possible that the company has changed its mind on the hardware.

Additionally, the same sources say Cisco, Pace and Technicolor are also looking to sell their respective set-top box businesses. From that group, only Cisco has denied the claim.

Sources put the value of the business at anywhere between $2.5 billion and $4 billion, and the company is said to have already hired acquisition specialists Qatayst Partners for the sale.

The sale makes sense if you believe Infonetics, a company that tracks the set-top box market. The firm says 2011 was the peak for the business and sales will decline into the future starting in 2012.





AfterDawn: News

Verizon confirms what devices will get Android 4.0

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Mar 2012 22:48

Verizon confirms what devices will get Android 4.0 Verizon has confirmed today which 14 of its devices will receive the Android 4.0 update.

The carrier did not give timeframes on the updates, but some are expected to get the update this month.

Here is the list (via AandMe):


HTC:
HTC ThunderBolt
DROID Incredible 2 by HTC
HTC Rhyme
HTC Rezound

Motorola:
Motorola XOOM
DROID BIONIC
DROID RAZR
DROID RAZR MAXX
DROID 4
DROID XYBOARD 8.2
DROID XYBOARD 10.1

Samsung:
Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Apple offers patent settlements to Samsung and Motorola

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Mar 2012 22:33

Apple offers patent settlements to Samsung and Motorola According to multiple credible sources, Samsung and Motorola have been approached by Apple who is asking for $5-$15 per handset in patent licensing fees.

Microsoft took a similar approach, and has managed to extract around $10 per handset from over 40 percent of the world's Android makers. The software giant is still fighting with companies that refuse to pay up, including Motorola and Barnes & Noble.

According to the same sources, Apple doesn't care about the money they will make from Android, but care more about making Android more expensive for resellers.

Apple, HTC, Motorola and Samsung remain embroiled in lawsuits across the world over patents relating to their smartphones and tablet devices that will likely not all be settled for years to come.





AfterDawn: News

The UK is about to get tougher on pirates

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Mar 2012 22:14

The UK is about to get tougher on pirates ISPs BT and TalkTalk have lost their appeal against the UK government's "Digital Economy Act."

The act, which will force ISPs to send warning letters to alleged pirates and eventually cut them off the web for extended periods, should now be free to go into effect.

Both ISPs had argued that law would put an unfair financial burden on the companies, who will have to foot part of the bill for the crackdown on piracy at the behest of the media companies.

As part of the bill, the ISPs will still have to pay 25 percent "of the qualifying costs incurred by media regulator Ofcom in running and setting up an appeals body for alleged illicit file sharers," says THR.

Additionally, the ISPs will have to pay "25 percent of relevant costs, which are operating fees incurred when identifying which subscribers are accused of illegal downloading."





AfterDawn: News

Google celebrates Google Play with discounted apps, games, movies

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Mar 2012 20:19

Google celebrates Google Play with discounted apps, games, movies In celebration of their launch of Google Play rebranding, the search giant is offering tons of games and apps for the discounted price of $0.49.

Additionally, the company is offering $0.25 movie rentals and music.

Says the company: "To celebrate, we'll be offering a different album, book, video rental and Android app at a special price each day for the next week in our "7 Days to Play" sale. In the U.S., today's titles include the collection of top 40 hits Now That's What I Call Music 41, the popular game Where's My Water, the novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and the movie Puncture for just 25 cents each. In addition, you'll find great collections of hip-hop, rock and country albums for $3.99 all week, detective novels from $2.99, some of our editorial team's favorite movies from 99 cents, and our favorite apps from 49 cents."

The apps/games available:

Where's My Water ($0.25)
World of Goo
Jamie's 20 Minute Meals
SHADOWGUN
Osmos HD
TuneIn Radio Pro
I Just Forgot ? Little Critter
Sprinkle
Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
Asphalt 6: Adrenaline
Dead Space
Business Calendar
SoundHound
mSecure - Password Manager
NFL Flick Quarterback
N.O.V.A. 2
Quell Reflect
Endomondo Sports Tracker Pro
Flick Golf Extreme
They Need To Be Fed
Paper Camera
ZOOKEEPER DX TouchEdition
SwiftKey X Keyboard
Camera ZOOM FX
It's Tyrannosaurus Rex!
Pocket League Story
Sniper Vs Sniper: Online
Colosseum
Homerun Battle 3D

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Top LulzSec members arrested after leader, Sabu, flips

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Mar 2012 19:44

Top LulzSec members arrested after leader, Sabu, flips Law enforcement agents across the U.S. and Europe have arrested all the top members of the "LulzSec" hacking group today, thanks to evidence collected by the former leader of the group.

Hector Xavier Monsegur, better known as "Sabu," has been working with the government since August, in secret, collecting information to arrest the other members of the team that caused havoc and headlines for a brief period in 2011.

"This is devastating to the organization," said an FBI official involved with the investigation. (via Fox News) "We're chopping off the head of LulzSec."

In August, Sabu plead guilty to 12 counts of conspiracy, computer hacking, aggravated identity theft, and bank fraud.

Of the new arrests, two men are from the UK, two from Ireland and one from Chicago. Four are charged with conspiracy. The group, in just two months, caused billions of dollars in damages to governments, banks and corporations. Sabu, a 28-year-old unemployed father, commanded the team from his project apartment in New York. The hacker was arrested in June, and quickly flipped and began working for the FBI.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Android Market, other Google apps are now rebranded 'Google Play'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Mar 2012 19:10

Android Market, other Google apps are now rebranded 'Google Play' Google has announced today that its Google Music, Google Books and Android Market apps will be re-branded under the new umbrella of "Google Play."

Google Play will allow you to buy music, books, movies and apps all in one place and everything is saved to the cloud. You can start a book on one device and continue right where you left off on another device without missing a beat.

The new move will create the true Google ecosystem that many have been waiting for for years. Rivals Amazon and Apple have hardware and software ecosystems, and both are incredibly popular. If Google were to release its rumored "Nexus" tablet this year, the company could certainly compete on a head-to-head level with its rivals.

On the same note, none of Google's apps are as popular as those made by other companies. iTunes remains the defacto movie/TV rental store, and Amazon's Kindle Store is still the most popular place to download books.

"Entertainment is supposed to be fun," says Jamie Rosenberg, Google's Director of Digital Content. "But in reality, getting everything to work can be the exact opposite-moving files between your computers, endless syncing across your devices, and wires, lots of wires. Today we're eliminating all that hassle."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Netflix in talks with cable companies for own channel

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Mar 2012 18:48

Netflix in talks with cable companies for own channel According to Reuters, Netflix has been meeting with cable companies in the past weeks in an effort to get their own channel.

If CEO Reed Hastings is successful, Netflix would become available as an on-demand option for cable subscribers, similar to rivals HBO and Showtime.

The channel would offer Netflix's streaming catalog of 25,000 TV episodes and movies.

Says Hastings: "It's not in the short term, but it's in the natural direction for us in the long term. Many (cable service providers) would like to have a competitor to HBO, and they would bid us off of HBO." The sources say at least one cable operator is considering experimenting with a Netflix offer by the end of the year.

One cable operator that will not talk to Netflix is Comcast, which recently launched its own service with similar content.





AfterDawn: News

AT&T to begin offering Dr. Dre 'Beatbox'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Mar 2012 23:19

AT&T to begin offering Dr. Dre 'Beatbox' Starting next week, AT&T will begin offering products by the Beats by Dr. Dre brand.

The carrier has announced it will soon be exclusively offering a version of the "Monster Beats by Dr. Dre Beatbox" in stores and online for $400.

As the company describes it, the Beatbox is a wireless audio system that also comes with a built-in dock connector for smartphones. The speaker system has Bluetooth connectivity, a remote control, handles and runs on six D-batteries.

On top of the Beatbox, the carrier will also sell wireless HD stereo Bluetooth headphones, Beats Solo HD Headphones, and UR Beats In-ear Headphones, says Cnet.





AfterDawn: News

Apple's next iPad to be called iPad HD?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Mar 2012 22:51

 Apple's next iPad to be called iPad HD? According to sources speaking to CNET, the upcoming Apple iPad will be called iPad HD and not iPad 3 as expected.

The site spoke with a "trustworthy" developer who has provided good information in the past in regards to iOS devices, giving some credibility to the rumor.

Last week, accessory maker Griffin outted the name, as well, listing cases with the name "iPad HD (3)." The popular application Tapatalk also noted the name, putting down the "iPad HD" as a supported device.

For now, iPadHD.com and iPadHD.biz are taken domains, but this wouldn't be the first time Apple has waited until the last minute or even after-the-fact to purchase a domain or trademark for their product.

The Apple iPad 3 (or iPad HD) will be unveiled on Wednesday during a special event.





AfterDawn: News

Android Market app download limit moved to 4GB

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Mar 2012 22:38

Android Market app download limit moved to 4GB Google has confirmed today that direct downloads from the Android Market are now capped at 4GB, compared to the previous 50MB for APK files.

The extra resources are allowed to be up to 2GB, in two files, for a total of 4GB. Developers can now have users download (for the most part) the full app, instead of just downloading an APK from the Market, and then downloading all the additional game files after installation.

This move is big news for games, a lot of which require over 500MB of game files. In the market, Android owners can also now see the real size of the application before downloading, and adjust accordingly.

Perhaps most notably, the 15-minute "refund period" for Android apps/games will now actually be effective, since it will start after the full app is downloaded, not after the APK is. Many users have complained over the years that they did not get ample time to even download and install the game before the refund period was over due to the 2-part download process.





AfterDawn: News

Android Key Lime Pie to follow Jelly Bean

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Mar 2012 14:56

Android Key Lime Pie to follow Jelly Bean Verge has said today that Google will name their future Android update "Key Lime Pie," following the yet unreleased "Jelly Bean."

Google confirmed Android 5.0 Jelly Bean earlier this week, but sources have already tipped the company's hand on the update to follow. 5.0 is expected to be launched in the Q4 of 2012.

Says Verge: "We were tipped by a reliable source today that Google will be using the name "Key Lime Pie" for the version of Android that comes after Jelly Bean (in fact, the information comes from the very same source that tipped us to the Jelly Bean codename last year)."

Google recently launched Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and the OS is only on 3 percent of devices. The update is the largest to date, and completely transforms the interface and integration of popular Android apps.





AfterDawn: News

Facebook Messenger now available for Windows

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Mar 2012 14:45

Facebook Messenger now available for Windows Although the app leaked last year, Facebook has made their Messenger software available officially today.

The app will roll out to all users over the coming weeks.

There will be conversation tabs, navigation buttons similar to the touch and mobile versions of the site, pop-up notifications and even News Tickers. The app is exactly like the leaked version from December but Facebook says that version was just a "test."

Furthermore, the company says a Mac version is coming soon, but did not provide a time frame.

Video chat and group chat are missing, but can be accessed through the web interface.

More info here: Messenger for Windows





AfterDawn: News

Kodak sells online business to Shutterfly

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2012 16:31

Kodak sells online business to Shutterfly Eastman Kodak, the bankrupt photography pioneer, has sold their online photo services to Shutterfly.

The final price on the deal was $23.8 million and should be the first round of asset sales for the company as it tries to emerge from bankruptcy as a leaner, profitable company.

In their bankruptcy proceedings, the company has already announced they will quit the digital camera market and sell their potent patent portfolio, which should fetch over $1 billion.

Shutterfly says it will transfer all current Kodak Gallery customer accounts and images over to Shutterfly. Users can opt out if they do not want to be transferred over, however.

Kodak Gallery has 75 million users and is a service exactly like Shutterfly allowing customers to upload and share images or get them printed in books, cards, mugs, etc.





AfterDawn: News

Tajikistan begins blocking access to news sites, Facebook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2012 15:13

Tajikistan begins blocking access to news sites, Facebook Following the publication of an article critical of the country's long-standing president, Tajikistan has blocked all access to two Russian-language news sites and the social networking giant Facebook.

ISPs in the nation say the shutdown was ordered by the state-run communications service. Any user who tries to access the sites will be met with a redirect to their homepage, or the homepage of their ISP.

"This morning, we carried out the instruction of the communications service and blocked the sites facebook.com, tjknews.com and zvezda.ru," said one ISP. "We could not refuse to carry out this instruction."

The news sites had published a story critical of President Emomali Rakhmon, who assumed power in 1992. It is well-known around the world that Rakhmon stole the 2006 election by fraud, and WikiLeaks brought to light that the president and his family have pillaged the country's coffers for years, including taking all profits from the state-run Tajik Aluminium Company (TALCO). The country is the poorest of the former Soviet states.

Tjknews.com had posted an article headlined 'Tajikistan on the eve of a revolution.'

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

'Anonymous' DDoS software contained trojan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2012 14:47

'Anonymous' DDoS software contained trojan The hacktivist collective known as Anonymous was hit with a "taste of its own medicine," says security software company Symantec.

Anonymous recommends a DDoS software called Slowloris, says the firm, and the software appears to have contained a nasty trojan that was stealing financial information from anyone who installed it. contained an insidious Trojan that was stealing financial info from people using it.

The group began recommending the software after the take down of Megaupload in late January. Anonymous members DDoS'd UMG, the U.S. DOJ, the FBI, RIAA, MPAA and many others in retaliation of the raid.

Because the software is so easy to use, Symantec believes thousands of people opened themselves up to the trojan: "Not only will supporters be breaking the law by participating in DoS attacks on Anonymous hacktivism targets, but may also be at risk of having their online banking and email credentials stolen. The joining of malicious financial and identity fraud malware, Anonymous hacktivism objectives, and Anonymous supporter deception is a dangerous development for the online world."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Huawei joins Tizen Association

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2012 14:21

Huawei joins Tizen Association The popular Chinese handset maker Huawei has joined the Tizen Association, meaning the company will be launching Linux-based handsets in the future.

Furthermore, the group has noted today that a beta version of the Tizen OS source code and SDK are now available.

Compared with the earlier code preview, the beta has additional features, tools, and other improvements, including:

SDK support for Windows, in addition to Ubuntu
SDK source code is now available
Tizen Web UI framework extends jQuery Mobile to make developing web applications easier with optimized widgets.
Tizen Web API provides more features, such as setting an alarm, accessing media contents, retrieving system information, and more.


Huawei would not commit to a time frame for the new devices, however.

Adds the company: "Our ongoing goal is to work closely with our customers and partners to bring truly innovative handset propositions to consumers in all markets and the new Tizen ecosystem complements our existing areas of focus and provides fresh opportunity for tremendously strengthening Huawei's brand name in the mobile segment."





AfterDawn: News

Android 5.0 'Jelly Bean' finally confirmed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2012 13:53

Android 5.0 'Jelly Bean' finally confirmed Google has confirmed the name of their upcoming Android update, Jelly Bean.

The name was widely expected, and now the company has confirmed it is Android 5.0.

Says Hiroshi Lockheimer, vice president of mobile engineering at Google: "After Android 4 comes 5, and we haven't announced the timing yet, which we're still sorting out... In general, the Android release cadence is one major release a year with some maintenance releases that are substantial still."

There was no timetable for the update's release, but it is expected by the Q4 of this year.

Little other details are known about the updated operating system.





AfterDawn: News

Reminder: Sony PlayStation Network will be down as of 3PM today

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2012 13:31

Reminder: Sony PlayStation Network will be down as of 3PM today Sony has sent out a friendly reminder to PSN users this weekend, reminding them that the service will be down for maintenance.

The scheduled maintenance will begin at 3PM EST and will end at 5AM tomorrow morning.

Originally, the maintenance had been planned for Thursday but Sony ended up delaying it.

Says the company: "Unlike typical maintenance events, consumers who are already signed-in to PSN will be signed-out, and consumers will be unable to sign in for the duration of the maintenance window. During this time, users won't be able to access the PlayStation Store, PlayStation Home, Account Management or play online. PSN enabled websites will not be able to service users, including this one."





AfterDawn: News

Siri-like "Google Assistant" coming by end of year?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2012 12:53

Siri-like "Google Assistant" coming by end of year? Google has been working on a virtual assistant for the Android platform that will rival and surpass Apple's Siri companion, and speculation is the software will be launched in 2012.

The project had been codenamed "Majel" but now has a more official name, Google Assistant, says Crunch.

Google Assistant is said to surpass Siri in many ways, and Google will keep control of all the layers involved in the software.

Crunch's sources say the software will have these three parts:

1) Get the world's knowledge into a format a computer can understand.

2) Create a personalization layer - Experiments like Google +1 and Google+ are Google's way of gathering data on precisely how people interact with content.

3) Build a mobile, voice-centered "Do engine" ('Assistant') that's less about returning search results and more about accomplishing real-life goals.


Unlike Siri, Google Assistant will also be opened to developers. The sources say 2012 is Google's "year of the Assistant."





AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Quad-core Asus Nexus Tablet coming for $199

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2012 12:25

Rumor: Quad-core Asus Nexus Tablet coming for $199 There is a new rumor today that Google's expected "Nexus Tablet" will be built by Asus.

If accurate, the device will be a 7-inch model with the "Pure Google Experience" meaning it will run on a stock Android 4.x Ice Cream Sandwich, with no custom UI or any custom apps brought by a carrier or manufacturer.

More importantly, the device will be powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 processor and sell for just $199.

AandM says the "rumor comes from two different industry sources...that have provided reliable information in the past..and are trustworthy."

At that price point, the tablet will directly compete with the current market leaders, the Amazon Kindle Fire and B&N Nook Tablet.

Any other details? Sources speculate the tablet will be called the Google Play and be released at Google's I/O conference at the end of June.





AfterDawn: News

Roku releases remote control app for Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2012 16:53

Roku releases remote control app for Android Roku has announced that its Roku App is now available in the Android market.

Using the app, owners of Roku set-top boxes can explore channels and content without needing to use the standard Roku remote and instead using their phone or tablet.

The company notes more features:

Instantly replay your favorite movie moments.
Quickly add and remove channels.
Control and switch between multiple Roku players.
Launch rocket ships and make perfect toast. Every time. (Just kidding).
Features a handy keyboard for text entry.


The app requires Android 2.1 or higher and is completely free.

Roku boxes range from $50 to $100 depending on the features.





AfterDawn: News

iOS App Store: 25 billion served

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2012 16:34

iOS App Store: 25 billion served Apple announced earlier today that they had reached 25 billion app downloads via the iOS App Store.

The person who downloaded the 25 billionth app will receive a $10,000 App Store gift card.

On February 20th, the company announced it had reached 24,400,000 downloads and began letting visitors to the site that a milestone was approaching. It apparently only took 12 days to see 600 million downloads, any impressive feat all on its own.

Apple opened the store on July 10th, 2008 and hit 1 billion downloads in 2009.

The company sold over 50 million iOS devices in the fourth quarter of 2011, alone.





AfterDawn: News

Pirated TV show release groups move to new standard, MP4

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2012 16:21

Pirated TV show release groups move to new standard, MP4 Most of the heavy hitters in the TV show piracy scene have moved away from the XviD/AVI standard of the past decade and started releasing files in MP4/x264.

The release groups, SAP, BAJSKORV, C4TV, D2V, DiVERGE, FTP, KYR, LMAO, LOL, MOMENTUM, SYS, TLA and YesTV came together in February and wrote up "The SD x264 TV Releasing Standards 2012" documents, which pretty much details all the technical standards that will be used in the future for TV show releases on torrent and warez sites.

Reads the document (via Freak): "x264 has become the most advanced video codec over the past few years. Compared to Xvid, it is able to provide higher quality and compression at greater SD resolutions. This standard aims to bring quality control back to SD releases. There are many standalone players/streamers such as TviX, Popcorn Hour, WDTV HD Media Player, Boxee, Xtreamer, PS3, XBOX 360, iPad, & HDTVs that can playback H264 and AAC encapsulated in MP4."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Valve creating its own game console?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2012 16:02

Valve creating its own game console? There has been speculation on the matter for some time, but the rumors appear to be heating up.

Verge has uncovered evidence that Valve, the company behind PC game digital distribution platform Steam has been working on a gaming console for some time now.

The console would be called the "Steam Box" and the devices would be made by many partners, with the software made readily available for anyone who wants to sell the device.

Part of the rumor is that during CES, Valve held meetings to demo an in-house version of the Steam Box to potential partners. The specs of the console are a Core i7 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and an unknown NVIDIA GPU. The devices will run all PC titles and will be allowed to load other platforms, like EA's Origin.

Making the system nice for partners is there won't be a required devkit and no licensing fees to create software for the platform. Many current and future USB peripherals will work with the box but Valve is looking to create a proprietary one that ships with all new devices. Said controller will also have swappable components, meaning depending on the game you can switch out or add pads and buttons.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Sony releases new tablet, is once again extremely late to the party

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2012 22:39

Sony releases new tablet, is once again extremely late to the party After over seven months of delays, Sony has released its foldable Tablet P device.

The tablet will be available on Sunday via AT&T, which will be offering the device on-contract or off. The tablet will cost a shockingly high $550 with no contract, and $400 with a two-year contract.

Running on Android 3.2, the device has dual 5.5-inch displays with 1024x480 resolution each, a 1GHz Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, dual cameras 0.3/5MP and just 4GB internal storage.

The only saving grace for the tablet is 4G HSPA+ capability.

If you were to sign up with a contract, AT&T offers two options, 3GB of data for $35 or 5GB of data for $50.





AfterDawn: News

U.S. regional carrier drops price of iPhone 4S

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2012 22:15

U.S. regional carrier drops price of iPhone 4S The U.S. regional carrier C-Spire has lowered the price of the base iPhone 4S to $150 with contract.

Additionally, it has dropped the cost of the 32GB and 64GB models to $249 and $349, with two year contract, as well.

C-Spire became the fourth carrier in the U.S. to get access to the iPhone when it signed a deal last year. C-Spire was formerly known as Cellular South and has over 1 million customers in just 4 states.

The carrier uses the EV-DO 3G network used by Sprint and Verizon and customers can jump on the big carrier's networks whenever they roam out of the south east.

C-Spire offers unlimited everything (with no throttling) for $100 per month.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung sells 2 million Galaxy Notes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2012 21:17

Samsung sells 2 million Galaxy Notes Samsung has announced a milestone for their over-sized Galaxy Note smartphone, 2 million units sold.

Executives noted the figure to Forbes during an interview.

The figure is not mind-blowing, but it is a very strong number for a device that many believed would fail due to its "identity crisis" as a tablet and phone hybrid.

Galaxy Note devices have a massive 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED screen (1280×800 resolution), run on dual-core 1.4 GHz Snapdragon S3 processors, have 1 GB RAM, LTE support and Samsung's own stylus pen with input software called S-Pen.

The company says it hopes to ship 10 million units in 2012.





AfterDawn: News

Huawei to manufacture the next T-Mobile MyTouch devices?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2012 19:39

Huawei to manufacture the next T-Mobile MyTouch devices? According to numerous sources, Huawei will manufacture all of T-Mobile's upcoming myTouch devices.

The manufacturer is popular in China for its low-end smartphones, but creating the myTouch line would certainly help the company get its foot in the door in the U.S.

Additionally, the company is trying to move up into the high-end Android market, and is quietly releasing the quad-core Ascend D Quad soon. A lack of marketing has made the company a relatively unknown.

If accurate, the upcoming myTouch devices (one with full QWERTY, one without) will feature very low-end specs, including Android 2.3 and a WVGA (480×800) resolution. Furthermore, the phone does not even look to have a 4-inch screen.

Hopefully, the rumored specs are just that, a rumor, and the company can come up with a phone that will not be considered a joke right out of the gate.

(Pic via PocketNow)





AfterDawn: News

The top business system password is 'Password1'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2012 13:15

The top business system password is 'Password1' According to a new report, the top password used on business systems is the easily hacked "Password1."

Although the password satisfies the rules needed for most systems (one upper case, one lower case and a number), the password is still quite obviously not secure.

Security firm Trustwave cited the password in its new "2012 Global Security Report," a report which concludes on the firm's "findings from nearly 2 million network vulnerability scans and 300 recent security breach investigations," says CNN.

Overall, 5 percent of all passwords use a variation of the word "password" and over 1 percent use the word "welcome," making them the most used.

During their routine penetration tests on their client's systems, the firm was able to crack 200,000 of the 2.5 million they tried, a shockingly high number.

Recently, Verizon made similar conclusions in their own "2012 Data Breach Investigations Report."

The scariest part of the report was that attackers often remained in victim's networks for months at a time without being detected. Only 18 percent of victims discovered the attacks within a week.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Google sued by man caught peeing in Google Street View

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2012 13:06

Google sued by man caught peeing in Google Street View Google has been sued, again, over invasion of privacy.

The French villager was caught urinating by Google's camera teams, and the image is available on Google's Street View part of Maps.

That photo, the man says, has made him the butt of jokes in his small village. Although it is Google's policy to blur faces, the village is small enough that he was still recognizable.

In the suit, the man is seeking 10,000 euros in damages and demanding the picture be replaced.

A French court will make the ruling on the complaint on March 15.





AfterDawn: News

Redbox, Universal stick with 28-day DVD release delay

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2012 12:55

Redbox, Universal stick with 28-day DVD release delay Redbox has announced today that it will continue to offer Universal titles with a 28-day release delay into the future.

The deal will make Universal Blu-rays and DVDs available to Redbox kiosk users 28 days after their release date, and at a much discounted price to Redbox.

Adds Galen Smith, Senior Vice President, Redbox: "The multi-year agreement between Universal Studios Home Entertainment and Redbox represents a win for consumers, Universal and Redbox. Redbox is committed to forging relationships that provide our consumers with affordable and timely access to new release content."

The deal is effective until August 2014.

Universal's move comes on the heels of Warner Bros pulling their discounted movies from Redbox since the kiosk company would not sign off on a ridiculous 56-day release delay. Redbox now offers Warner titles on the first day, but at a much higher price to themselves (usually retail).





AfterDawn: News

Zynga launches their own gaming platform, site

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2012 22:22

Zynga launches their own gaming platform, site Zynga has made a huge move today, announcing the launch of their own game portal.

The portal will help the company be less dependent on Facebook, the company for which it produces 12 percent of total revenue. Although the new service will still be "fully Facebook-connected," the company will also open up its gaming platform to third parties.

To access the site you will need a Facebook login.

Included in the beta of the platform are blockbuster hits like CastleVille, Zynga Poker, Hidden Chronicles, and CityVille.

Says Zynga:

The Zynga Platform is designed with two simple goals: more access to the best social games and more people to play with. In a few days we're turning on a beta of Zynga.com which will feature our most popular games: Words with Friends, CastleVille, Zynga Poker, Hidden Chronicles and CityVille. Soon after, we will be adding great games from other developers too.Every day, we think about the challenges in enabling play. How can we surface more friends that want to help you build your bridge in CityVille? How do we help you find your perfect match in Words With Friends?

Zynga.com is designed to make it easier for you to play with friends. We're excited to offer new features like the live Social Stream which will enable you to play in real time with your friends and find new ones. Player profiles will let you check your friends? helpfulness score to see who's most likely to help you back. And you?ll be able to chat and play live with your friends and a community of players interested in the same games as you.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Archos launches cheap, Android 4.0 tablet for kids

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2012 21:58

Archos launches cheap, Android 4.0 tablet for kids Tablet maker Archos has announced a tablet for children, but one that packs a bit more punch than others released in the past.

The 7-inch device runs on Android 4.0 and will have a 1GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. The display has a resolution of 1024x600.

Making the tablet aimed at kids (and parents of kids) is the fact that Archos has added a custom skin, pre-loaded games, and strong parental controls including a filtered app store. Among the pre-loaded games are Angry Birds, Pig Rush and Flight Frenzy.

"As a pioneer in the portable audio and Android tablet market we realize the importance of providing a tablet that can offer hours of entertainment for all ages, especially kids," says Henri Crohas, Founder and CEO of Archos. "ARCHOS strives to offer great tablets with only the best of features at affordable prices and we expect this tablet to bring a smile to the faces of kids and parents' everywhere."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft blames Leap Year bug for Azure downtime

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2012 21:40

Microsoft blames Leap Year bug for Azure downtime Microsoft has blamed a Leap Year bug for the downtime Windows Azure users had on February 28th.

Says the software giant: "The issue was quickly triaged, and it was determined to be caused by a software bug. While final root-cause analysis is in progress, this issue appears to be due to a time calculation that was incorrect for the leap year."

After diagnosing the problem, the Azure engineers created a workaround, but they have noted that some customers in the South Central region of the U.S. may still experience slight issues.

Azure is a cloud computing platform used to build, host and scale web applications through Microsoft data centers.





AfterDawn: News

AT&T revises data throttling policy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2012 21:22

AT&T revises data throttling policy AT&T has announced revisions to their data throttling policy today, making the terms less vague.

Until today, AT&T would only say that the "top 5%" of unlimited plan bandwidth hogs were being throttled once they reached a certain point. That number was never stated, either, but most reports had it at around 2GB per month.

Now, the rules are set in stone. If you are using a 4G LTE device, you will be throttled after 5GB and 3G non-LTE users will be throttled after 3GB of usage.

Reads AT&T's statement:

With mobile data usage continuing to skyrocket and the availability of spectrum scarce, AT&T, like other wireless companies, manages its network in the most fair way possible so that we can provide the best possible mobile broadband experience for all our customers.

How we're managing the network only affects a small minority of the heaviest smartphone data users still on unlimited plans. Put another way, this does not impact more than 95 percent of our smartphone customers.

Our unlimited plan customers have told us they want more clarity around how the program works and what they can expect. Here's what customers need to know:

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

More 'iPad Mini' rumors surface

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2012 14:13

More 'iPad Mini' rumors surface Apple is once again the center of rumor, as Digitimes is reporting that the company's oft-rumored "iPad Mini" is already being assembled.

The 7.85-inch model of the iPad will enter full-time production in the Q3.

Digi says samples are being sent to Apple for verification, currently, and barring any major setbacks the volume production would begin in July.

Sources say the model will price in at $249 to $299, which would make it more expensive than the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, although within striking distance.

Apple has long held that 10-inch tablets are the only reasonable size so for now take this rumor and store it with all the others.





AfterDawn: News

Stolen NASA laptop contained space station control codes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2012 14:03

Stolen NASA laptop contained space station control codes According to the findings of an internal investigation, a laptop stolen from NASA last year contained International Space Station command codes, a potentially devastating finding.

The laptop had no encryption either, and is just one of many devices lost or stolen in the past few years from NASA which contained sensitive info.

Says NASA Inspector General Paul K. Martin: "The March 2011 theft of an unencrypted NASA notebook computer resulted in the loss of the algorithms used to command and control the International Space Station."

All in all, 48 agency devices were stolen or lost between April 2009 and April 2011. Most of the devices contained personal info, third party IP and other sensitive info. Additionally, in 2010 and 2011 NASA "experienced 5,408 computer security incidents that resulted in unauthorized access to systems or the installation of unauthorized software, costing the agency an estimated $7 million," says CBS.

The numbers, while shocking, may not, be the full extent either: "NASA cannot consistently measure the amount of sensitive data exposed when employee notebooks are lost or stolen because the agency relies on employees to self-report regarding the lost data rather than determining what was stored on the devices by reviewing backup files."





AfterDawn: News

Quick Guide to installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview in dual-boot

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Feb 2012 22:28

Quick Guide to installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview in dual-boot Earlier today Microsoft made the long-awaited Consumer Preview of Windows 8 available for download and installation.

Before we begin, the very basics are the minimum requirements to install the OS, which are: A 1GHz processor, 1GB of RAM (or 2GB for 64-bit), 16GB of storage (or 20GB for 64-bit), and a DirectX 9 graphics card with WDDM 1.0 support.

That being said, let's get started.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Every South Korean gets free Wi-Fi

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Feb 2012 19:51

Every South Korean gets free Wi-Fi LG U+, a subsidiary of LG, has announced this week that everyone in South Korea will now have free Wi-Fi, no matter what ISP or carrier you have.

To get the free Wi-Fi, Koreans need to register for an LG U+ ID. Once that it is done, they can connect to the company's "Free_U+zone."

The way LG U+ can offer the service is that for every hour you stay connected you will have to sit through one 15 second advertisement. That's it.

South Koreans already have the fastest average Internet speed in the world and now have access to free Wi-Fi no matter where they are in the nation.

More info here (In Korean): http://www.uplus.co.kr/





AfterDawn: News

Studio to release new SNES game in 2013

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Feb 2012 19:28

Studio to release new SNES game in 2013 The studio Super Fighter Team has confirmed today that it is working on a brand new SNES (Super Nintendo) game for release in 2013.

Super Fighter Team will be the first developer to make a game for the system since 1998's release of "Frogger." The new game is called Nightmare Busters, and it has been around on mobile devices.

The studio says the game is a "masterful run and gun game for the Super Nintendo and all compatible gaming systems." They will be putting the first 600 copies up for pre-order later in the year.

If you order the game, you will receive "One copy of the Nightmare Busters game for the SNES, compatible with PAL and NTSC regions. The game also includes an instruction manual and one full colour cardstock box to store the game and manual," says Verge.

Super Fighter Team is also looking to break the bank, as the game will cost $60 + $8 for shipping to the U.S. or $75 shipped to anywhere else.





AfterDawn: News

Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Feb 2012 19:15

Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Microsoft has released their long-awaited Windows 8 Consumer Preview today.

The download is available, and is just a bit over 3GB as a full ISO.

We will be putting up a guide to installing the OS on your current machine in the next few hours, but for now you can download the ISO or set-up tools here.

Windows 8 is a radical departure from past Microsoft operating systems, as it uses the touch-friendly Metro UI, a whole new slew of apps, gestures and a completely overhauled browser. Underneath it all, however, consumers with Windows 7 should not expect anything too far out of the ordinary.

If anyone has any first impressions of Windows 8 before our post, please feel free to add them in the comments.






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