AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by James Delahunty

AfterDawn: News

YouTube 'not liable' for copyright infringement

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Feb 2016 8:09

YouTube 'not liable' for copyright infringement A German court has found that YouTube is not liable for copyright infringement when a user uploads a video to the service illegally.

The sole responsibility for such infringement lies with the uploader and not YouTube, according to the Higher Regional Court Munich (OLG). GEMA, an organization representing songwriters and publishers, was disappointed with the decision of the court.

"Today's decision is most regrettable. The court has obviously followed YouTube's argument that it is only the uploaders who are responsible for the contents that are retrievable via the service", said GEMA General Counsel, Dr Tobias Holzmuller, reports Music Business Worldwide.

"We consider this to be wrong. Furthermore, the decision is not justified from an economic perspective, as it continues to enable YouTube to generate high advertising revenues without passing them on to musical authors."

GEMA - which represents more than 70,000 members - maintains that YouTube should obtain licences for the use of content just like any other music service online. To date, YouTube has never paid any licence fee to the group.


Source: www.musicbusinessworldwide.com





AfterDawn: News

Illegal football sites are 'dangerous', study suggests

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Feb 2016 8:00

Illegal football sites are 'dangerous', study suggests Malware and malicious adverts are common on unauthorized football streaming sites, it has been warned.

Illegal sports streaming has become increasingly popular in recent years with hundreds of streaming portals offering live feeds of sports in varying quality for free. Some sites pull more than eight million visits per month from users seeking access to feeds.

However, a study from Stony Brook University that thoroughly detailed how such streaming services work found that around half of the sites fed malicious software to users' devices either through malvertising or other deceptive measures, such as directing a user to a "plug-in" download.

"[To watch the stream] you have to install the extension, and once the user installs the extensions, it can infect any website the user is visiting," lead researcher Zubair Rafique told the BBC News website.

"So, if a person installs an extension to watch a stream, and then visits a site like BBC.com, this extension can actually change the contents of BBC.com and include malicious links. This is extremely dangerous."

Some countries already have forced ISPs to block sites offering unauthorized streaming of sports events, but with so many portals popping up it is impossible to block everything.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Samsung to pay $548 million to Apple

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Dec 2015 7:56

Samsung to pay $548 million to Apple Samsung will pay $548 million to Apple by December 14, the latest news in a patent dispute that stretches back almost five years.

Apple filed the complaint against Samsung in early 2011, accusing the South Korean consumer electronics giant of patent infringement related to certain features in its smartphones. The iPhone maker ultimately won and was initially awarded $1 billion (it had sought $2.5 billion), which was later reduced to $548 million.

In a joint court statement, Samsung has pledged to pay Apple the $548 million by December 14, if Apple produces an invoice before the coming weekend.

The South Korean firm hasn't thrown in the towel fully yet, however, and asserts its right of reimbursement in the event of more favourable legal judgements in the near future.

"Samsung further reserves all rights to reclaim or obtain reimbursement of any judgment amounts paid by Samsung to any entity in the event the partial judgment is reversed, modified, vacated or set aside on appeal or otherwise, including as a result of any proceedings before the USPTO addressing the patents at issue or as a result of any petition for writ of certiorari filed with the Supreme Court."

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AfterDawn: News

Volvo lets a 4 year old drive and trash a truck with RC

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Dec 2015 7:23

Volvo lets a 4 year old drive and trash a truck with RC To show off how tough its new Volvo FMX is, Volvo allowed a 4 year old girl to drive one with a remote control.

The video was filmed in Serbia in a closed-off gravel pit with all buildings empty, locked and sealed. The remote control system was specially made for the the experiment, which saw little Sophie torture the full-size dump truck and thoroughly enjoy it.

"This live test was set up to demonstrate the sturdiness and mobility of the Volvo FMX," Volvo's video description reads.

"A unique cage construction, cast-iron front plus corners and skidplate of high-grade steel make this a very tough truck indeed. And thanks to Automatic Traction Control a revolutionary new feature that automatically engages the front axle when you need it you won't get stuck."

It's an excellent PR stunt for Volvo's product, and worth a watch!

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AfterDawn: News

Google rejects EFF claims it spies on school kids

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Dec 2015 11:51

Google rejects EFF claims it spies on school kids EFF files a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging that Google collected and data mined children's personal information.

Google has rejected the Electronic Frontier Foundation's concerning claims with regard to how it collects and uses data when child students use school-issued devices, like Chromebooks, and Google's own Google Apps for Education (GAFE) core and non-core services.

Key among the EFF's complaint is the Google Sync service used by the Chrome web browser, and how Google utilizes student's information when using non-Core (or "consumer") services, including YouTube, Maps and Books.

We'll now take a look at the EFF's allegations about Google's practices, and the response from the Search giant, based on the information available publicly at this time.

EFF's Spying on Students campaign

The FTC complaint has arisen as a result of a noble cause, which is the EFF's "Spying on Students" campaign. Its goal is simply to raise awareness about privacy risks associated with devices and software provided by schools to children as young as 7 years old.

As part of this program, the EFF examined Chromebooks sold to schools by Google, and also examined its GAFE Core services (including email, Calendar, Talk/Hangouts, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Sites, Contacts and the Apps Vault) and non-Core services as used by students.

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AfterDawn: News

Popcorn Time returns with new Community Edition fork

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Dec 2015 22:56

Popcorn Time returns with new Community Edition fork The MPAA may have had success in knocking out the most popular fork of the 'pirate Netflix' known as Popcorn Time, but as usual another fork has risen form the ashes.

The movie industry trade group managed to force PopcornTime.io development into uncertainly with lawsuits in Canada, forcing developers to back off. Other variants of the application were still available and working though, and efforts were made to force the PopcornTime.io application to work again.

Out of those ongoing efforts to keep that popular variant alive comes a new fork, Popcorn Time Community Edition (PTCE). It is parked at Popcorntime.ml, which provides downloads for the new PTCE fork for Windows, Mac and Linux.

The development team already lost two members due to legal action from Dutch anti-piracy outfit BREIN.

"We wish the two developers all the best and we really miss them, other than that we have no comment on that or the legal debate regarding this software," PTCE developers told the TorrentFreak site.

"Popcorn Time will probably never go away, despite the efforts made by organizations such as BREIN, the MPAA and others. Instead of fighting this great software they should embrace it."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Chrome update could cut 70% of data usage on Android

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Dec 2015 2:14

Chrome update could cut 70% of data usage on Android Google's Chrome browser for Android is getting a new improvement that can save up to 70 percent of data usage while browsing the web.

The Data Saver mode is made to reduce the amount of data downloaded when you open a webpage, and by impeding the loading of images it can reduce data usage significantly and improve the experience on a slow connection.

A user can load the image by tapping on any individual image, or there's an option to tap to load all images.

Chrome users in India and Indonesia will be the first to get this expanded Data Saver mode, with additional countries in the coming months.

When available, it can be enabled in the Advanced Settings in the browser.


More Info: support.google.com





AfterDawn: News

GTA V mod adds 4K textures, improves weapons, vehicles, relationships and much more

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Dec 2015 2:11

GTA V mod adds 4K textures, improves weapons, vehicles, relationships and much more The Pinnacle of V mod touches on almost every aspect of the GTA V universe, including the weather, the vehicles, weapons, people and more.

The most striking and immediately noticeable changes are to the visuals, where almost everything gets some kind of improvement or change. Brand new 4K textures are added for Clouds, Water, Stars, the Moon, Plants and Grass, Blood, Fire Spries, Coronas, Rain Drops and Splash Textures, Cloud Noise and Vehicle Bottom Shadows.

Every car, truck, van, SUV, commercial, utility, transportation, water, and air vehicle has been modded to provide realistic deformation, top speeds, weight, handling, crash physics, avoidance control, AI control and more!

The mod brings the city to life too, with population levels changed to reflect areas of the city, the time of day, the day of the week etc., meaning that there are now rush hours in Los Santos if you use the mod. Relationships between characters are also altered, with gangs and police battling it out on the streets, and the player enjoying better encounters with animals.

Weapons have also been modified to have realistic recoil, bullet spread, tracer fx, muzzle flash fx, reload animation speeds and more. Bullets now will travel at a realistic speed rather than being instantly delivered to the target, while some materials in the game can now be shot through and destroyed with gunfire.

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AfterDawn: News

Pirate Bay ban verdict to be appealed by copyright holders

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Dec 2015 2:09

Pirate Bay ban verdict to be appealed by copyright holders A recent and significant win in court for the Pirate Bay will face an appeal as media companies stay determined to have the torrent site blocked everywhere they can.

On Friday, the Diustrict Court of Stockholm refused to order ISP Bredbandsbolaget to block access to the Pirate Bay website. The block had been sought by entertainment and media companies that have been fighting to get rid of the Pirate Bay for more than a decade.

Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film and the Swedish Film Industry wanted the court to force the Swedish Internet service provider to block access to the site and asserted that failing to do so bestowed culpability on the ISP for copyright infringement committed by subscribers.

There are similar blocks either already in effect or coming soon in most European countries now.

The loss in Sweden came as a shock to the copyright holders however, given that the block campaign has been successfully implemented almost everywhere else in Europe, and Sweden is the home of the notorious Pirate Bay.

The decision was unanimous however. "A unanimous District Court considers, therefore, that it is not in a position to authorize such a ban as the rights holders want and therefore rejects their request," said presiding Chief Magistrate Anders Dereborg.

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AfterDawn: News

Adele cold on music streaming, bemoans the decline of CDs

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Dec 2015 21:41

Adele cold on music streaming, bemoans the decline of CDs Music streaming services are probably the future, but Adele clings to the past when it comes to the consumption of music.

The superstar's new album, 25, is only available to stream via Pandora as she continues to snub several major platforms that consumers turn to for their music needs. She's not the first major music artist to be cold on music streaming and she won't be the last, but at least she is acknowledging that music streaming is "probably" the future.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, the artist reveals she isn't a subscriber of any of the music streaming services, and she really prefers having music on CDs.

"It probably is the future, but, eh," she said. "There are kids I know who are, like, nine who don't even know what a f**king CD is! I've got my CDs out on display in my house just to prove a point. Maybe CDs will have a massive comeback like vinyl did."

She probably shouldn't hold her breath on that one. While CDs are certainly better than the Destiny's Child cassette tapes she still owns, they are fragile, prone to scratching and damage and who didn't have a CD player laser slowly wither and die on them more than once? Even worse, they take up space!

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AfterDawn: News

PlayStation 4 bundles for $300 will be available soon

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Dec 2015 21:16

PlayStation 4 bundles for $300 will be available soon Sony has announced two tempting PlayStation 4 (PS4) bundles that will sell for a limiting time this month.

The Star Wars Battlefront Standard Edition PS4 bundle and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection PS4 bundle will be available for $299.99 for just under two weeks - between Sunday, December 6, and Saturday, December 19. So if you didn't pick up a console on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, you haven't completely missed out.

Star Wars Battlefront Standard Edition PS4 bundle



The Star Wars bundle includes a jet black 500GB PlayStation 4 console and DualShock 4 controller. It comes with Star Wars Battlefront, and a digital voucher to download Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter, and Star Wars Bounty Hunter.

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection PS4 bundle

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AfterDawn: News

Mark Zuckerberg in $45 billion giving pledge as he welcomes new daughter

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Dec 2015 20:49

Mark Zuckerberg in $45 billion giving pledge as he welcomes new daughter Facebook founder & wife pledge to donate 99 percent of Facebook shares to good causes as they announce the birth of daughter Max.

Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, are celebrating the birth of their daughter Max by announcing that 99 percent of their shares in Facebook will be given away to good causes, currently worth about $45 billion. The announcement was made as part of a publicly-posted letter to Max by her Dad on Facebook.

"Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today," Mark writes.

Throughout the letter, Mark reflects on the fight against disease and human suffering, observing that medicine has only really been grounded properly in Science for less than a century, and yet has eliminated many diseases completely and alleviated much human suffering.

Beyond medicine, Zuckerberg also speaks of equality and the cost of inequality. Promoting equality, Zuckerberg argues, is about ensuring that every has access to opportunities regardless of the circumstances they are born into. Without these opportunities, our society is robbed of the potential so many have to offer.

"The only way to achieve our full potential is to channel the talents, ideas and contributions of every person in the world," Zuckerberg writes.

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AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile data hack exposes 15 million customers

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Oct 2015 12:21

T-Mobile data hack exposes 15 million customers A data breach at a credit agency has exposed personal data of over 15 million T-Mobile customers, or potential customers, the carrier has warned.

Experian, which processes credit applications on behalf of T-Mobile, has publicly disclosed a security breach detected on Sept 15th, which may affect millions of T-Mobile's customers. The data breach affected a server that contained personal information for consumers who applied for T-Mobile USA postpaid services between Sept. 1, 2013 and Sept. 16, 2015.

While no payment card information or banking information was exposed during the breach, the information that was accessible may put millions of individuals at increased risk of identity theft. The server stored records containing names, addresses, social security number, date of birth, ID information (drivers license, passport numbers etc.) and other information used for T-Mobile's credit assessment.

While the social security numbers and I.D. information was encrypted on the server, Experian has determined that the encryption may have been compromised.

Experian has notified federal and international law enforcement agencies of the hack and is cooperating with the investigation. It is also notifying the individuals who may have been affected and is offering free credit monitoring and identity resolution services for two years through ProtectMyID.

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AfterDawn: News

Which Xbox One holiday bundle should you buy this year?

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Oct 2015 11:33

Which Xbox One holiday bundle should you buy this year? Microsoft has announced six Xbox One holiday bundles that will go on sale before the end of 2015, here is a quick comparison of what they all offer.

Microsoft has gone a little Bundle crazy this year, but we will only focus on the six detailed in the past week and not previously announced bundles, such as the Halo 5 bundle or the Xbox One Elite bundle. We'll take a look at what's on offer, when they are available (and for pre-order) and what they will cost.

The six new Xbox One bundles announced this week by Microsoft are:

  • Xbox One Rise Of The Tomb Raider Bundle
  • Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle
  • Xbox One The LEGO Movie Videogame Bundle
  • Xbox One Special Edition Gears Of War Bundle
  • Xbox One With Kinect Bundle
  • Xbox One Fallout 4 Bundle
So let's take a look at what comes with each bundle!

Xbox One Rise Of The Tomb Raider Bundle


The Rise of the Tomb Raider bundle will be available starting in November for $399 USD. Here's what you get:
  • Xbox One console with 1TB HDD
  • Full-game download of the highly anticipated Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • The exclusive Tactical Survival Kit Content Pack, which contains a new outfit and weapon skin for Lara
  • Full-game download of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
You can pre-order the bundle now from the Microsoft Store.

Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle


The Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle will be available starting 28 October for $399 USD. Here's what you get:
  • 1TB Xbox One console
  • Xbox One wireless controller with 3.5mm headset jack
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Rare Replay, featuring 30 iconic games from Rare
  • Ori and the Blind Forest full game download
  • Xbox 360 Gears of War collection
You can pre-order it from the Microsoft store now.

Xbox One The LEGO Movie Videogame Bundle



The Xbox One The LEGO Movie Videogame bundle will be available in October for $349 USD. Here's what's included with the bundle:
  • 500GB Xbox One console
  • Xbox One wireless controller with 3.5mm headset jack
  • The LEGO Movie Videogame
It is already available from the Microsoft Store and other outlets.

Xbox One With Kinect Bundle


The Xbox One with Kinect Bundle will be available starting in October for $499 USD. The bundle will include:
  • Xbox One 500GB Console
  • Kinect for Xbox One
  • Full game download of Dance Central Spotlight
  • Full game download of Kinect Sports Rival
  • Full Game Download of Zoo Tycoon
The exact date isn't announced yet but it is available to pre-order from Microsoft already.

Xbox One Special Edition Gears Of War Bundle


The Xbox One Special Edition Gears of War Bundle will be available starting in November for $349 USD. The bundle includes:
  • Xbox One 500GB Cirrus White console and controller
  • Full download of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Superstar Cole multiplayer skin
  • Early access to the Gears of War 4 Beta
While not exclusively part of the bundle, it is worth pointing out that for a limited time, when you play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on the Xbox Live service, you will also receive the Xbox 360 Gears of War collection playable on Xbox One for free. This bundle is exclusive to Walmart in the United States.

Xbox One Fallout 4 Bundle


The Xbox One Fallout 4 Bundle will be available 10 November for $399 USD. You can already pre-order the bundle today. This what you will get in the bundle:
  • 1TB Xbox One console
  • Xbox One wireless controller with 3.5mm headset jack
  • Fallout 4 full game download
  • Fallout 3 full game download, now playable on Xbox One
  • 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial

For me, the Fallout 4 bundle would appeal the most, but it comes down to personal preferences. Microsoft previously announced a whole bunch of bundles available in multiple territories to cater to different tastes as the holidays approach.

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AfterDawn: News

HTML5 replacing Flash? BBC is latest to edge away

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Oct 2015 21:39

HTML5 replacing Flash? BBC is latest to edge away Why is everybody seemingly running with open arms to HTML5, and away from Adobe Flash?

Back in 2007, it was considered a drawback that Apple would snub Adobe's Flash plugin in the browser on its brand new iPhone, and it would later continue to ignore Flash products in future iPhones, iPods and iPads. Adobe even stated that Apple's decision meant that users were being denied a full web experience, citing the extremely high rate of Flash support on Desktop web browsers and its use on millions of webpages.

It wasn't until 2010 that Steve Jobs explained to customers why Flash won't be supported in Apple's mobile products. Chief among Jobs' concerns were the proprietary nature of Flash, its chequered security track record and its efficiency for video playback. Jobs' favoured the comparably open HTML5 standard to Flash, and the advantage of hardware decoding for H.264 video (which Flash supported by then, but hardware decoding support was inconsistent between sites).

Security concerns stood out for Jobs for good reason. The Adobe Flash plugin for major web browsers has been a consistent target for hackers seeking vulnerabilities as a means to attack web users. New Adobe Flash security flaws are still very common, and it seems Adobe is in a constant race to save the image of Flash.

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