AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Matti Vähäkainu

AfterDawn: News

FBI: Even government defenses could have surrendered to the Sony hackers

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Dec 2014 9:06

FBI: Even government defenses could have surrendered to the Sony hackers The malware that penetrated the cyber defenses of Sony and allegedly captured terabytes of data was a difficult one to deal with, says FBI official to the Congress.

Speaking to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee assistant director of the FBI's cyber division Joseph Demarest said that nine out of ten corporate cyber defenses would have been helpless against the malware.

Malware that the security company Sony hired to investigate called "unprecedented" did not penetrate because of lack of preparation. According to Demarest the attack could have posed serious threat even to state government security systems.

Ars Technica notes that there has yet to be any clarification on behalf of Sony, the security company Mandidant or the FBI what made the malware unprecedented and so dangerous. And even if Sony is let off the hook on cyber defense, it is still under question if they could have prevented a leak of such magnitude.





AfterDawn: News

Netflix to soon have up to 20 originals a year

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 10 Dec 2014 10:43

Netflix to soon have up to 20 originals a year Netflix has been increasing their portfolio of tv shows steadily during the past couple of years. The pace is only going to get higher says the Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos in an interview at a media conference.

Sarandos said that customers will be able to expect as much as 20 premieres a year from Netflix in five years. These premieres would be either brand new Netflix original tv shows or new season premieres. That would mean that in average there would be a new premiere almost every two weeks.

Sarandos also made it clear that it is always in Netflix's interest to increase the availability of its service and new regions will be added in the future.

In addition to increasing its tv show production the streaming giant is launching more original movies to further reduce the dependence on Hollywood studios and their content.





AfterDawn: News

The slimmer the better? This is now slimmest smartphone: Vivo X5Max

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 10 Dec 2014 9:03

The slimmer the better? This is now slimmest smartphone: Vivo X5Max The Chinese love their slim smartphones. The world's thinnest smartphone has been a three horse race between Oppo, Gionee, and Vivo – all of which are from China. Now the latter has introduced the newest king of the hill.

Called Vivo X5Max the slimmest smartphone on the planet is just 4,75 millimeters thin. Regardless of its thinness the phone is packed with almost everything you'd expect from a modern smartphone. It has a 5.5 inch Full HD display, 13 and 5 megapixel cameras, 16 gigs of microSD expandable memory and 2 gigs of RAM.

The phone is powered by the mid range Snapdragon 615 chip that is a quad-core SoC with 64-bit capabilities that can be taken advantage of as soon as the phone gets updated to Android Lollipop.

The battery is "only" 2200 mAh due to the thinness but Vivo has managed to retain the 3.5 mm audio plug unlike its competitor Oppo.

Vivo says that X5Max packs the audio experience you'd expect from its siblings, and even surpasses them. Also the karaoke function gets a mention.

Vivo begins selling the phone in China this Friday for what is just under $500. There is no word on European or US variants.





AfterDawn: News

Exclusive: HTC One Mini M8 leaked by retailers

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 08 May 2014 5:18

Exclusive: HTC One Mini M8 leaked by retailers We've known for quite a while that HTC One (M8) will have a little brother like its predecessor. HTC One mini 2 or whatever it might be called has been rumored and leaked since February. Now we've got assurance that it indeed is coming – and we have a price as well!

According to rumors the smaller version of M8 will sport the same aluminum body but the display has been reduced to 4.5 inches. The resolution of the display is said to be 720p, the SOAC is Snapdragon 400 instead of 801 and the camera loses its UltraPixel name but gains megapixels (13mpix vs 4mpix).

According to the two different online retailers in Finland the model will be released next Tuesday, May 13th. It will be priced at around 520 euros which is a whopping $720 and approximately $580 before taxes. That doesn't sound too inexpensive for a smartphone with a 720p display.

It's also worth noting that the retailers call it HTC One Mini M8 instead of the rumored HTC One mini 2.





AfterDawn: News

Apple exec page has changed, Jony Ive missing

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Feb 2014 5:46

Apple exec page has changed, Jony Ive missing The design guru of Apple Jonathan Ive has disappeared from the Executive Profiles page on Apple website. The profile of Apple Senior VP of Design is still available via a direct link and the Google cache shows him on the Executive Profiles.

Last summer missing went the technologies executive Bob Mansfield who had been transferred. Therefore the removal doesn't necessarily mean that Jony Ive has left the company.

It seems that there are also other errors on the website currently so we'll be waiting for confirmation or correction by Apple.

Jony Ive has been an Apple executive since 1997 when he joined to lead the company's design team. After iOS boss Scott Forstall left the company Ive totally revamped the design of the mobile operating system as well.

Edit: Jony Ive is back on the page.





AfterDawn: News

Google buys AI company DeepMind

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 27 Jan 2014 5:09

Google buys AI company DeepMind The search giant Google likes to buy companies – Wikipedia lists a total of 143 acquisitions during 14 years. The most recent acquisition is now an artificial intelligence company DeepMind.

According to website Re/code, Google has bought the London AI company DeepMind for $400 million. The Information however says that Google had to shell out $500 million. Neither of them is a lot when you compare to Nest, a locations company bought for 2.3 billion just a couple of weeks ago (or a billion dollar Waze), but for a more niche segment and not being a household name it's quite a price tag.

DeepMind website describes what it does as "building learning algorithms for simulations, e-commerce and games". Re/code's sources say that in the AI community DeepMind is considered a "formidable player" and competed against the likes of Google for talent. They also said that it has secured more than $50 million in funding.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Exclusive: Nokia's formerly owned LTE business to be sold to Broadcom

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 04 Sep 2013 7:15

Exclusive: Nokia's formerly owned LTE business to be sold to Broadcom Just after Nokia has sold its phone business to Microsoft, AfterDawn has learned that Renesas Mobile Europe Oy will be sold to Broadcom. Renesas Mobile Europe was formed after Renesas' acquisition of Nokia's modem business in 2010.

According to the documents we have received, Renesas Electronics has decided to transfer all the shares of Renesas Mobile Europe Oy and Renesas Mobile India Private Limited to Broadcom. Also certain assets related to the LTE Modem technology will transfer to Broadcom.

The expected purchase price will be approximately USD 164 million. Nokia's modem business was sold to Renesas three years ago for 200 million US dollars.

In July, Renesas announced that it will shut down the operations of Renesas Mobile Europe. According to AfterDawn's sources this will mean that previously announced mass terminations have been canceled.

Update: Broadcom's press release is here.





AfterDawn: News

Hands-on: $99 Android game console OUYA

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 26 Jun 2013 9:48

Hands-on: $99 Android game console OUYA The crowd-funded Android-based console, OUYA, was launched yesterday.

Raising over 8 million dollars in funding via Kickstarter, the company called BOXER8 (since renamed to OUYA) has been maufacturing the low-cost ($99) and open home console, and since AfterDawn was a part of the crowd funding, we got the console a bit beforehand. So let's take a look.

OUYA is an Android based gaming console that is packed into a tiny 3-inch cube. Underneath the shiny cover, it is powered by the quad-core 1,7GHz Tegra 3 T33-P-A SoC, and packs 1GB DDR3 SDRAM.

OUYA outputs to a display via HDMI (v1.4), up to full 1080p with stereoscopic 3D support. For connectivity, it sports a USB 2.0 port, and a microUSB port. For network/wireless connectivity, OUYA has a standard Ethernet port, Wi-FI (802.11 b/g/n) and support for Bluetooth 4.0 (which provides controller connectivity).

One controller is bundled with the OUYA, powered by double A batteries. The controller is wireless and uses Bluetooth. You can have four controllers attached to OUYA.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Nokia Lumia 920 vs 808 PureView: Camera shootout

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Nov 2012 11:02

Nokia Lumia 920 vs 808 PureView: Camera shootout We received the latest, greatest, and most hyped Nokia phone for a review and decided to take the camera for a spin. In addition to the super sensitive HD+ touch screen and wireless charging, the most important selling point of Lumia 920 must be the camera. Nokia has branded it PureView like the 41 megapixel monster on Nokia 808 PureView but does it deliver like a PureView camera should?

We took quite a few photos and videos in different situations but decided to have emphasis on the most noted feature of Lumia 920's camera, the optical image stabilization. This feature faced controversy after Nokia admitted to have faked the OIS video footage on their promotional video. We wanted to see if the low light pictures and shaky video really benefit from the floating lens technology.

We tried to use identical settings for each batch of photos but due to resolution and technology variance there might be slight differences. Most of the photos were shot by hand and the proportions of objects may differ as well. The flash settings were identical in each comparison and no zoom of any kind was used. The videos were recorded with each device held in a simple homemade stand to maintain a consistent amount of movement from one to the next.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Netflix launches in the Nordics, CEO Hastings looking to excel and expand

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 22 Oct 2012 12:58

Netflix launches in the Nordics, CEO Hastings looking to excel and expand Netflix announced the launch of their service in the Nordics last week. The on-demand streaming service is now open in four new countries: Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark.

During the launch event in Helsinki, Finland on Thursday, we briefly met with the CEO and founder of Netflix Reed Hastings and discussed a little bit about launch in the Nordic region and future plans.

Netflix launched with an expected monthly price of 7,99 euros sporting a broad device support that is their trademark.

Reed Hastings confirmed that having broad device support is one of the most important aspects. However, in the bigger picture, it is important to offer an easy-to-use experience, which comes down to more than device support.

Talking about the competition and entering the Nordic market, Hastings said that it's not important to think about the competition. They have more experience in the field than anyone else and they trust what they've managed to build.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

450,000 Yahoo passwords leaked -- check if yours is amongst them

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Jul 2012 8:57

450,000 Yahoo passwords leaked -- check if yours is amongst them Today more than 450,000 login details for Yahoo have been leaked. A hacking collective that calls themselves D33Ds Company has taken responsibility of the breach.

D33Ds Company told Ars Technica that they used SQL injection technique for one of the Yahoo's subdomains. Their intention was to bring up the security concerns on subdomains.

The hackers posted all of the 453,492 plain text usernames and passwords for all to see. We won't be linking to the leaked list with passwords for obvious security reasons. However, we have gathered the list of affected email addresses and made a search that you can safely use to find out if your account is amongst the leaked. We do NOT store any of the passwords in the searchable database.

To see if you should be changing your passwords visit:
http://www.afterdawn.com/yahoo_password_leak.cfm





AfterDawn: News

MWC: Nokia unveiled six new phones

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 27 Feb 2012 8:47

MWC: Nokia unveiled six new phones Nokia has revealed new mobile phones in Barcelona. Nokia's Mobile World Congress event brought us three new affordable Asha phones, two new Windows Phones and a new Symbian powered camera phone.

Starting with the three affordable Asha phones that have been designed mainly for the emerging markets. The models are Asha 202, Asha 203 and Asha 302. All of them have estimated retail price (before taxes) of less than 100 euros and have 2,4 (202, 203) or 2,6 inch (302) touch screen. The Asha 302 has a QWERTY keyboard and the other two come with an alphanumeric keypad.



Nokia's new Lumia phones are as expected the HSPA+ version of Lumia 900 and the more affordable Lumia 610. The first is a copy of the LTE version, only dropping the LTE for HSPA+ connectivity. Lumia 610 on the other hand is a totally new handset. It comes with 3,7 inch touch screen, 256 mb of RAM, 800MHz processor and a price tag of 189 euros before taxes. Both Lumia phones are expected to launch in second quarter.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Nokia introduces their high-end Windows Phone -- Lumia 900

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 09 Jan 2012 18:48

Nokia introduces their high-end Windows Phone -- Lumia 900 Nokia has today announced their third Windows Phone and the first ever LTE Nokia device. Lumia 900 follows the design path of Lumia 800 and N9. The main difference in the design is the size you get with the 4,3 inch AMOLED display.

As with the the previously announced Nokia Windows Phones you get a 1,4 gigahertz single-core processor but they've increased the display size to 4,3 inches. The AMOLED display relies on the Nokia's own ClearBlack technology. Battery is said to be 1830 mAh which is quite a bit more than with Lumia 800 (1450 mAh) or Lumia 710 (1320 mAh).

The phone also packs a Carl Zeiss camera with large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm). It produces 8 megapixel stills and 720p/30fps video.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Finnish ISP forced to block The Pirate Bay

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 09 Jan 2012 6:47

Finnish ISP forced to block The Pirate Bay The district court of Helsinki has ordered one of the Finland's largest internet service providers to seize access to the popular filesharing site The Pirate Bay. Extending the original ruling in October last year the court has specified the domain names and IP addresses that are to be blocked.

Block has only been forced on the ISP Elisa which is said to be the most frequently used ISP amongst TPB users in Finland. In the press release by Elisa, the company calls the block temporary and has already appealed.

The ISP refused to block the filesharing sites under the original ruling because of not specific enough terms. Now that the domain names and IP addresses have been named the block is in effect.

Included in the blocked addresses are most of the domain names and IP addresses owned by The Pirate Bay as well as at least one URL which now redirects to Electronic Frontier Finland (EFFI) foundation. The domain in question (piraattilahti.fi) has previously redirected to thepiratebay.org but is operated by an individual not connected to The Pirate Bay.





AfterDawn: News

Nokia unveiled the first MeeGo phone

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 21 Jun 2011 5:34

Nokia unveiled the first MeeGo phone Nokia unveiled ealier today the company's first MeeGo touting handset. As previously leaked in the pictures the phone comes in a slate form factor and is called Nokia N9. The phone features a 3,9 inch AMOLED display with 854 by 480 pixel resolution, a single-core one gigahertz CPU, up to 64 gigabytes of storage, and runs MeeGo 1.2 Harmattan.

The slate previously dubbed as codename Lankku was indeed released under the name N9, even though rumors from months and months back had N9 in a QWERTY slider form factor. Adding to the 1GHz CPU the MeeGo phone comes with gigabyte of RAM memory, pentaband WCDMA and quadband GSM, 8 megapixel AF camera with dual LED flash, and all the necessary connectivity features including NFC.

Read more...





Actively discussed topics

The hackers win: Sony cancels release of 'The Interview' as movie theaters bail The hackers win: Sony cancels release of 'The Interview' as movie theaters bail (17 Dec 2014 19:39)
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22 user comments
Sony has no plans to ever release 'The Interview' - no DVD, Blu-ray, no VOD, no TV Sony has no plans to ever release 'The Interview' - no DVD, Blu-ray, no VOD, no TV (17 Dec 2014 20:30)
Sony Pictures has now decided against ever releasing 'The Interview' in any form, almost guaranteeing themselves a $100 million loss on the film.
19 user comments
Sony demands media stop reporting on stolen e-mails, delete data Sony demands media stop reporting on stolen e-mails, delete data (15 Dec 2014 10:08)
Several major news media organizations have been threatened by a Sony Pictures lawyer and ordered to stop reporting details from e-mails stolen in November.
9 user comments
LG will unveil a 55-inch 8K TV at CES LG will unveil a 55-inch 8K TV at CES (14 Dec 2014 0:31)
According to a new report, LG is preparing to unveil a new TV with 8K resolution at the upcoming CES event in Las Vegas.
7 user comments
Nearly everyone in Hollywood is outraged by Sony and the movie theater chain's 'act of cowardice' in canceling 'The Interview' Nearly everyone in Hollywood is outraged by Sony and the movie theater chain's 'act of cowardice' in canceling 'The Interview' (17 Dec 2014 20:00)
Following news that all the major U.S. movie theater chains would not be showing 'The Interview,' Sony Pictures announced it was canceling the release of the film, which was slated to open on Christmas in the U.S.
6 user comments

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