AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Matti Vähäkainu

AfterDawn: News

Leaked Apple document reveals the iPhones models becoming obsolete

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 May 2015 6:50

Leaked Apple document reveals the iPhones models becoming obsolete In a document leaked by 9to5Mac Apple lists the products that will become obsolete (or vintage) in June this year. This means that they will lose their repair support.

Included in the devices are the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS as well as a couple of iMacs and MacBook Pro models. In most markets the status is "obsolete" but in Turkey and in California they are considered "vintage" because of the required support.

The products listed below will enter the new status in June 9, 2015. This means that repair support is no longer offered via Apple retail stores or authorized partners.

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Lenovo's "world's lightest" LaVie Z goes on sale

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 May 2015 9:27

Lenovo's "world's lightest" LaVie Z goes on sale In January, Lenovo unveiled its super-light LaVie Z laptop. Weighing only 777 grams or 1.7 lbs its more lightweight than the new MacBook. Now the miracle laptop Lenovo calls the world's lightest 13-incher is available to purchase via Lenovo's website.

On the website there's one version of LaVie Z and one version of its touchscreen-equipped sibling (with Yoga-like hinge) LaVie Z 360. Both of them feature a 13-inch QHD (2650x1440) display, 8 gigabytes of RAM, 256 GB SSD, and a Core i7 processor. LaVie Z is on sale for $1499 (original price $1699) and LaVie Z 360 for $1699 (original price $1849).

When revealing the product Lenovo said that the starting price will be $1299, exactly what the new MacBook starts at. This Core i5 version is yet to be added to the online store but I will provide a much better performance in a lighter body thanks to the Core i5 processor. MacBook however is slimmer and the Core M processor provides a much better battery life.





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Microsoft discontinues Windows Media Center

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 May 2015 9:11

Microsoft discontinues Windows Media Center Microsoft has been unveiling more about its upcoming operating system this past week at Build conference in San Francisco. The company also told to ZDNet that it will be killing off the Windows Media Center.

Windows Media Center was released in 2001 as a full screen media experience for Windows XP. The development halted already in 2009 but the software has been included to this day in Windows 8. Now it seems however that the interface will not be seen on Windows 10.

The software was meant for media consumption of music, video, photos, and TV. It was designed to be intuitive with a remove controller, often provided with the Windows Media Center PCs. Even if the software will not make a return in Windows 10 the functionality largely will surely be in place – if not by Microsoft, by 3rd party developers.





AfterDawn: News

Windows 10 will not be ready for phones this summer

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 02 May 2015 10:34

Windows 10 will not be ready for phones this summer Microsoft is readying its Windows 10 launch this summer and has been promoting its new features this week at its Build conference in San Francisco. According to The Verge the operating system will not be ready for phones quite as soon though.

Windows 10 is an operating system that by large is the same for both mobile devices as well as desktop and laptop computers. Microsoft says that much of the underlying technology is shared by all of the Windows 10 versions. However the phone OS release will have to wait until early fall.

This will also probably mean that the new Lumia hardware powered by the new version of Microsoft's operating system will be released in fall as well. The official word from Microsoft's Joe Belfiore is that phone version will arrive "after PC version". Thus no dates have been revealed as of yet.





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WhatsApp sees huge growth, soon has a billion users

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Apr 2015 10:03

WhatsApp sees huge growth, soon has a billion users When Facebook last year announced it will acquire WhatsApp many sighed in frustration and went even so far as switching messengers. There was a slight rebellion behind the scenes, also fueled by the decisions concerning Facebook's own Messenger.

It seems that the move has anything but reduced the popularity of the world's most popular IM software. New figures suggest that WhatsApp has already over 800 million users and is closing fast on a billion.

The messenger platform is finding new users in a never before seen pace. In the past three months alone it has increased its user base by an incredible one hundred million.

Facebook is yet the only one to break the coveted billion user base but even its own Messenger has "only" 600 million users.

One of the more important factors to such an aggressive growth is most likely the addition of free calls to other WhatsApp users. If WhatsApp continues on this pace it'll reach the goal later this year.





AfterDawn: News

WikiLeaks' Sony hack archives reveal upcoming Sony smartphone?

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Apr 2015 8:22

WikiLeaks' Sony hack archives reveal upcoming Sony smartphone? Sony was infamously hacked and its secrets revealed last year. Now a few months later WikiLeaks has made the thousands of documents and hundreds of thousands of emails more accessible by creating a searchable database.

A lot of people have obviously been going through the archive and found all kinds of "new" information. In addition to highly confidential emails between the US government and Sony there's been less high profile leaks. A new one suggests that we might have our hands on an upcoming Sony flagship smartphone.

The device pictured in this article portrays close to what has been rumored of the next flagship smartphone by Sony. Xperia Z4 is expected to feature a new all-metal design, a reimagined power button with a fingerprint sensor, and a wholly updated user experience.

Even though the latter cannot be confimed from the pictures it does seem like the all-metal design is evident as is the redesigned and larger power button that might in fact have a sensor being rumored of.

These pictures seem like valid confidential Sony renders but they still can be just drafts that will never see the light of day. However it is also possible that they are in fact one of the first renders of the upcoming Z4.

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GameStop to buy and sell retro games and consoles

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Apr 2015 7:31

GameStop to buy and sell retro games and consoles GameStop has revealed that it will buy off your dusty retro gaming consoles, games, and accessories for in-store credit, reports IGN.

Beginning next week, April 25, GameStop's 250-ish stores around NYC and Birmingham will start accepting your old gaming hardware and software.

Reports say that amongst accepted systems are Nintendo Entertainment Systems (NES), SEGA Genesis, PlayStation, N64, and SEGA Dreamcast. The devices will go through GameStop's refurbishing and will be resold with a warranty like the other (new) hardware.

Two months after starting the buying of retro games the stores will start reselling them. That means that you can expect to buy your own NES maybe in late May or early June.





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Data confirms: Black Sport the most popular Apple Watch

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Apr 2015 9:25

Data confirms: Black Sport the most popular Apple Watch A reserach company specializing in digital commerce, Slice Intelligence, has revealed their first date for Apple Watch purchases. The data is an estimate based on around nine thousands online customers and suggests that the Sport version of Apple Watch was the most popular as expected.

According to the data 957 000 Americans ordered an average of 1.3 Apple Watch products. 62 percent of the over one million Apple Watches were the cheaper Sport version. The average cost of the Apple Watch Sport was $382.83 and the stainless steel Apple Watch $707.04. The all around average spending was $503.83.

As much as 71 percept opted for the larger 42 mm version and the smaller 38mm case was more popular amongst the Sport byuers. The Black Sports Band was the most popular choice amongst both Apple Watch and Apple Watch Sports buyers. Just over a half of the Apple Watches were bought with the Black Sports Band.

Slice also reported that approximately 48 000 of the recently announced new Macbooks were sold. A whopping 42 percent of whom also pre-ordered an Apple Watch.





AfterDawn: News

First four episodes of Game of Thrones' new season leaked

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Apr 2015 8:24

First four episodes of Game of Thrones' new season leaked HBO's smash hit Game of Thrones returns today with season five but quite a few have already acquired the first four episodes. The first four episodes of the new season are already out on BitTorrent sites – and therefore for millions to grab.

According to TorrentFreak the episodes were downloaded over 100 000 times in the first three hours and they quickly spread to all popular BitTorrent sites. The video and the sources suggest that it was leaked from review copies sent to the press.

If there's a silver lining to this it might be that the videos are relatively low quality and the first episode will officially air in approximately 12 hours in all the 170 countries it is shown.





AfterDawn: News

Chinese CEO compares Apple to Hitler

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 29 Mar 2015 12:00

Chinese CEO compares Apple to Hitler By Godwin's law it was inevitable that Apple was to be called nazis and/or Hitler on heated internet discussions but for it to come up in a smartphone platform war between the companies themselves was a little unexpected.

Jia Yueting, the CEO of a Chinese online video service LeTV, has just compared the offerings of Apple to the National Socialists lead by the Führer himself.

As LeTV is looking to enter the smartphone market with an upcoming X600, it wants to depict Apple's platform as if controlled by an evil dictator that doesn't allow anything fun. Android on the other hand is depicted as the young people who do what they want.

Of course the X600 comes equipped with the latter and according to The Verge it might feature 4GB of RAM and a 5.5-inch display.

The fellow Chinese manufacturers, like Xiaomi, offer more obvious competition to LeTV in their home market and although an easier target, Apple and how its perceived will probably not be determining the success of LeTV.

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Yahoo searching a way to abandon Bing?

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 29 Mar 2015 10:49

Yahoo searching a way to abandon Bing? Yahoo has been using Microsoft's Bing since 2010 when the company decided to scrap its own search engine. The continuation of the collaboration is currently under scrutiny and it seems that there are some problems finding a solution, Reuters reports.

The ongoing negotiations between Yahoo and Microsoft have been extended by another month after the original deadline was set to February 23. Obviously a solution that satisfies both parties is yet to be found, even after not one but two extensions.

The original contract is valid for 10 years but included was an agreement for possible reconsideration after half way point – where we are at now in 2015. The partnership has not managed to sway search engine usage much to their favor as Google still dominates.

Both Microsoft and Yahoo CEOs have changed in the past five years. Especially under the leadership of the new CEO Marissa Mayer, Yahoo has been said to be investing in areas that would allow it to separate from the Microsoft partnership





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Amazon revamps its Cloud Drive pricing with Unlimited plans

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 29 Mar 2015 6:14

Amazon revamps its Cloud Drive pricing with Unlimited plans Amazon has made huge efforts to offering a more competitive cloud storage to compete the likes of Google, Apple, and Microsoft. The new unlimited services provide the market leading value without a doubt.

The $12 a year Unlimited Photos package provides exactly that; storage for unlimited amount of photos plus another five gigabytes for other files. The more comprehensive $60 a year Unlimited Everything allows you to store all kinds of files without a cap.

The service is now four times cheaper than Apple's and twice as cheap as Google's offerings. Both of which offer a terabyte of storage. It even tops Microsoft's $7/month package, although Microsoft currently offers compellingly Office 365 along with it.

Where Amazon might go wrong is that – at least as far as we've noticed &;ndash; in the new scheme it does not offer a free service at all – unless you count the three month trial period. Microsoft and Google give you 15 gigabytes and Apple 5 gigabytes just for registering an account.





AfterDawn: News

Vector is a smartwatch that offers 30 day battery life

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 21 Mar 2015 9:58

Vector is a smartwatch that offers 30 day battery life In a Swiss luxury watch conference the company called Vector introduced an interesting timepiece. Unlike the traditional smartwatches that last a day or two without a charge this one lasts a whole month.

Vector is bringing two different versions of their smartwatch to the market. The more expensive and round Luna starts at $349 while the more affordable and rectangular Meridian will start from as low as $199.

What gives an edge over Apple Watch – if the 40 times better battery life isn't enough for you – is that Luna and Meridian will be supported on iOS, Android as well as Windows devices.

Vector did not disclose what type of operating system their smartwatches run and other details are scarce as well. You'll also have to wait until late summer to get your hands on one.

Engadget reports that Vertex – company lead by a former Timex CEO Joe Santana – will be bringing more premier models to the market later on. Maybe there's a version to compete against the golden Apple Watch selling for over 10 000 dollars.

Read more...




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TWC brings it's TV app to Xbox One

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 08 Mar 2015 7:09

TWC brings it's TV app to Xbox One Time Warner Cable has released their TV app to Microsoft latest and greatest gaming console – the Xbox One. The app as you might guess allows you to watch TV on your Xbox if you have the cable company's subscription.

Engadget notes that unfortunately unlike the Xbox 360 the Xbox One version is still limited to video-on-demand content but will eventually support live TV as well. There is however already support for both Kinect voice controls and Snap multitasking.

You'll find both free and paid content just like on other platforms that include iOS, Android, Roku and Samsung Smart TVs.





AfterDawn: News

New version of uTorrent bundled with secret bitcoin mining software?

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 07 Mar 2015 8:05

New version of uTorrent bundled with secret bitcoin mining software? The users of the uTorrent have found that the new version of the popular BitTorrent client comes with an additional piece of software unseen before. What makes it even worse is that it is installed without consent.

The program is called EpicScale and is a bitcoin mining software. Mining cryptocurrencies uses a lot of your processing power and therefore is extremely power hungry.

BitTorrent has replied and assured that EpicScale is not installed without users consent. Several users seem to disagree and have found the mining software on their computer without agreeing on installing it.

Have you had problems with this program? If you have installed the new update and your CPU is running hot you may want to check your installed programs (via Control Panel) and remove the possible EpicShare.






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