AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Matti Vähäkainu

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.


AfterDawn: News

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

AfterDawn: News

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.


AfterDawn: News

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.

AfterDawn: News

The first Galaxy S6 camera samples have been released

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Mar 2015 11:39

The first Galaxy S6 camera samples have been released Samsung has released eight sample photos that the company claims they have taken with the freshly announced Galaxy S6 (or the Galaxy S6 edge).

Obviously the settings have been optimized for the best result whether it is the lighting or stationary objects or the camera but the photos should give you a sense of what kind of quality you can expect in a perfect situation.

The first five of the pictures have been taken with Galaxy S6's 16 megapixel camera in the back and the last three with the five megapixel selfie shooter. The size of the selfie photos are around 2,5 megabytes but the size of the 16 megapixel ones range from just over three to nearly seven megabytes depending on the quality and amount of detail.


AfterDawn: News

HTC reveals One M9, fails to impress

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Mar 2015 11:14

HTC reveals One M9, fails to impress HTC's this years flagship reveal was as expected the One M9. A new versio of last year's One was just that – a new version.

Starting with the five inch Full HD display everything seems to be pretty much as it is with the company's offering. They have made a change in the camera department and switched the UltraPixel camera in the back for a 20 megapixel one that will improve the detail but that seems to be it.

The aluminum shelled One M9 features a Snapdragon 810, outperformed by the Samsung's own Exynos chip, 3 gigabytes of RAM, 32 gigabytes of microSD expandable storage and a UltraPixel selfie camera that claims to provide low light performance to the facial shots that you desire.

The phone has a 2840 mAh battery and an improved front facing duo BoomSound speakers that support Dolby Surround.

HTC One M9 is expected to land on all major carriers "early spring" with a $199 on two year contract price tag.

AfterDawn: News

Sony's new Z4 Tablet is lighter than Air – or Air 2

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Mar 2015 9:22

Sony's new Z4 Tablet is lighter than Air – or Air 2 Sony has revealed a new tablet device at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The Xperia Z4 Tablet is super lightweight Android-tablet that is water and dust proof.

Xperia Z4 Tablet is the successor to the last year's slim Xperia Z2 Tablet and carries the same design pedigree. The new offering however is even slimmer and lighter. In fact it is as slim as Apple's iPad Air 2 and weighs considerably less.

Inside you get a 10,1 inch 2K resolution display (2560 x 1600), three gigabytes of RAM, 32 gigabytes of microSD expandable storage and the octa-core Snapdragon 810 SoC. Sony tells us that the device will hits the stores this spring but has not yet revealed the pricing.

AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveiled Galaxy S6, S6 edge

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 02 Mar 2015 11:22

Samsung unveiled Galaxy S6, S6 edge As anticipated Samsung unveiled new flagship smartphones to start off the Mobile World Congress for the Korean company. The new Galaxy takes a page from Apple's book and tries to lure customers with high end design and materials.

Both new models share a metal and Gorilla Glass design which was first introduces in Samsung devices with the Alpha series. The main difference between the two models is of course the world's first two way curved display on the S6 edge (below).

The Galaxy S6 comes with a 5,1 inch AMOLED display with QHD resolution (2650 x 1440). Back facing camera is 16 megapixel shooter that is said to beat even the likes of iPhone 6 Plus in low light. Selfie camera boasts 5 megapixels.

As per usual Samsung has packed the phone full of technical gimmicks but this time has listened to the customer to remove software clutter and disorder.

The prices of Samsung Galaxy S6 have yet to be released but the euro prices have already leaked. Prepare to shell out some serious cash, prices start at 699 euros ($784) for the regular Galaxy S6 and 849 euros ($953) for the Galaxy S6 edge. The top of the line edge is said to sell for 1099 euros ($1234).


AfterDawn: News

Windows Defender fights Superfish vulnerability

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 21 Feb 2015 17:07

Windows Defender fights Superfish vulnerability Earlier this week it was revealed that Lenovo's consumer grade laptops have a serious security vulnerability via the Superfish software pre-installed by the manufacturer.

Lenovo responding to the criticism shortly after released an automatic removal tool and now Microsoft has joined the fight.

Microsoft has released an update to its Windows Defender software that will detect and remove the adware. The update was noted by a security professional Filippo Valsorda on Twitter today.

Superfish is a piece of software that adds adverts to your web browser. While the adverts are harmless – if annoying – the vulnerability in the program enabled hackers to launch a so called man-in-the-middle attack and potentially capture data from the victim's internet connection.k

You can check if you are affected by Superfish here.


AfterDawn: News

VESA introduces 8K eDP standard for laptops

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 10 Feb 2015 11:21

VESA introduces 8K eDP standard for laptops VESA or Video Electronics Standards Association has introduced a new DiplayPort standard. The Embedded DisplayPort (eDP) 1.4a standard promises 8K resolutions to laptops and other devices with embedded displays.

8K-resolution, which in pixels is 7680 by 4320, is four times more accurate than Full HD both vertically and horizontally. In addition to crisper and more detailed picture eDP 1.4a is bringing also more depth of color and higher refresh rates thanks to higher bandwidth.

All this is said to be delivered in a new embedded system that provides better energy efficiency and flexibility in terms of higher level of integration. The technology supports a new kind of "Segmented Panel Display" architecture which is designed to be thinner, lighter, and cheaper.

The new standard should ship in products with the latest DisplayPort in 2016 but it might be a bit longer than we will actually see a 8K display on a laptop.

AfterDawn: News

Google brings health information to Knowledge Graph

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 10 Feb 2015 9:59

Google brings health information to Knowledge Graph Google is renewing its Knowledge Graph with more search relevant information. Last time it was concerts and gigs and now comes health information.

The Google search in both desktop and mobile will answer your health and disease related questions in a Knowledge Graph box which already delivers information about historical figures, places, sights and the previously mentioned concerts.

Now Google highlights also information about diseases and how to treat them. The addition is made in collaboration with Mayo Clinic and represents information from real doctors. Google however reminds you that in case of diagnosis and treatment you should always contact a health professional.

During the following couple of days the feature will roll out in the US in English. Further language and regions will be added later.


AfterDawn: News

Skype team reveals Windows 10 UI

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 25 Jan 2015 7:44

Skype team reveals Windows 10 UI Microsoft has been revealing the makings of Windows 10 this week. One of the most important aspects of all of its OS versions is the messaging. Now Skype team shows what its been up to.

The new Skype will come preloaded on all Windows 10 platforms be it phone, tablet, or PC. The new and updated Skype has been designed Windows 10 in mind but will of course land on Mac, iOS, and Android among others.

Microsoft's efforts are indeed in creating one app to rule them all. Like the competitor's iMessage it allows both SMS and instant messages to be sent from the same app, enabled by the linking of phone numbers and Skype names. It is available on all major platforms too, unlike the Apple's offering.

The new layout divides the view on panels and has a clean, simple look. Round icons are familiar from both Apple's and Google's messengers, as well as earlier versions of Skype.

Skype team promises more updates during the development in the next few months, and well keep you posted.


AfterDawn: News

Britain wants to ban secure messaging because of terrorists

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Jan 2015 12:00

Britain wants to ban secure messaging because of terrorists As Je suis Charlie has become the trending topic around the internet politicians are pressured to make decisions on new anti-terrorists acts.

In the United Kingdom the Prime Minister David Cameron is calling out for a backdoor to all secure messaging or else ban it.

According to Engadged the UK Prime Minister doesn't want terrorists to have means for private messaging without the possibility of government intervention.

The conservative party leader wants a new legislation in effect in 2016 as the Draft Communications Data Bill will be terminated. Known as the Snooper's Charter the bill requires companies to retain certain information of their users' communication.

This would first mean that the party would have to win this year's election and gain huge amount of traction for such a radical act.

The ban of such services would mean Whatsapp, Snapchat and the likes would be considered illegal – not to mention other encrypted data services – unless the special access is created.

It is highly unlikely the companies behind that messaging platforms would remove the encryption to the extent that it would become insecure.


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