AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Matti Vähäkainu

AfterDawn: News

Netflix to spend $8 billion in programming next year

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Oct 2017 14:23

Netflix to spend $8 billion in programming next year There's no bigger player in the streaming TV and movies scene than Netflix – no matter how much you want it YouTube. This year the streaming giant will spend approximately $6 billion in programming, only to increase the spending by quite a margin in 2018.

According to Bloomberg, Netflix is going to up the game another 33% in 2018 bringing the total program spending to a whopping $8 billion. This obviously means that there will be tons of new and popular returning TV shows, host of exciting documentaries as well as record number of original movies.

Netflix's content chief Ted Sarandos told in an investor call that Netflix will release 80 original movies next year, more than three biggest Hollywood studios (Disney, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures) combined. Not every single one of them, or even most, are big budget blockbuster type of movies but there are those too.

In addition to increasing the content altogether, Netflix has focused their efforts in few specific niches. The upcoming year will bring along Netflix's first ever Danish show (The Rain, a post-apocalyptic adventure) as well as its first Swedish series (Quicksand, a suspenseful crime drama) among other foreign content. This year the company released their first Italian and German shows.


AfterDawn: News

Google Fiber launched in Louisville

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Oct 2017 12:29

Google Fiber launched in Louisville Google Fiber has been officially launched in Louisville, KY. Louisville becomes the tenth city to get search giant's super fast internet service.

Google has been working on San Antonio, TX as well as Louisville for a while now. San Antonio is still under construction but today first customers will be able to apply for Google Fiber in Kentucky's largest city.

Louisville mayor Greg Fischer welcomed Google Fiber earlier today to the city with Google representatives visiting the city. The availability is fairly limited at this point, and only available in three neighborhoods (Portland, Newburg and Strathmoor). Google hasn't revealed the exact number of potential customers reached with the launch.

Louisville is the first city to not get Google Fiber as a Internet and TV bundle. Instead, you'll have separate Google Fiber internet connection which you can pair up with the new YouTube TV streaming service that costs you an additional $35/mo.

The internet service itself, however, is priced just like in other Google Fiber cities. 100/100Mbit for $50 and 1000/1000Mbit for $70/mo.


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft updates Macbook Pro competitor, here's the new Surface Book 2

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Oct 2017 18:10

Microsoft updates Macbook Pro competitor, here's the new Surface Book 2 Microsoft has announced today a new Surface Book 2, the second generation of the hybrid laptop. It is aimed solely at competing against the MacBook Pro, which Microsoft promises it will blow out of the water.

According to Microsoft's Panos Panay, the new Surface Book 2 offers double the performance compared to Apple's offering. What this exactly means is questionable but it definitely offers impressive specs.

The device comes now in two form factors, 13.5" and 15", which offer either Core i5 (for 13.5") or Core i7 (both) processors, GeForce GTX 1050 or 1060 graphics chips, massive 70 (13.5") or 80 Wh (15") batteries, improved hinge mechanism that allows multiple use cases, and detachable display for tablet use.

With big battery (and touchscreen) comes big burden: 13.5 inch Surface Book 2 weighs in at 3.38 lbs while the bigger one is fairly hefty at 4.2 lbs. Fortunately Microsoft promises up to 5 hours battery life in tablet mode and a whopping 17 hours with the keyboard base.

Storage options include 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1TB SSDs, the display is either a 10-point PixelSense touchscreen with 3000 x 2000 (267 PPI) on the 13.5" or 3240 x 2160 (260 PPI) on the 15" model.

Surface Book comes with a more impressive array of connectivity compared to MacBook Pro. While it only has one USB-C, capable of charging and data transfer, many will appreciate two USB-A ports as well as the integrated memory card reader.


AfterDawn: News

Huawei's Mate 10 flagships also got a Lite version

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Oct 2017 15:37

Huawei's Mate 10 flagships also got a Lite version Huawei unveiled yesterday the new Mate 10 lineup that included two flagship phones with newly found AI prowess. There was however a third new release as well, a much more affordable one.

The Chinese manufacturer's third option is Mate 10 Lite which is in many ways the lightest of the bunch. If is the slimmest at 7.5mm, the lightest at 164 grams or 5.78 oz, and definitely weighs the lightest on your wallet at 400 euros (approx. $470).

As you might imagine with half the price of the Mate 10 Pro you can't exactly get all the specs. That means no AI powered Kirin 970, instead more of a mid range Kirin 659.

However, Mate 10 Lite is still not horribly stripped-down – there's still a dual camera setup, actually two. In the back you'll have a 16MP + 2MP setup and in the front a dual 13 MP selfie camera. The battery is still an impressive 3340, and the display is the same resolution as Mate 10 Pro with Full HD+ or 1080 x 2040. The size is very comparable too, 5.9 inch vs the Pro's 6.0 inch.

It is definitely one of the cheaper large displays that shrink the bezels enough to squeeze out even the home button. Fingerprint sensor, however, is still there in the back.


AfterDawn: News

Huawei revealed two new Mate 10 flagships with AI and dual cameras

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Oct 2017 13:07

Huawei revealed two new Mate 10 flagships with AI and dual cameras In yesterday's press event Huawei unveiled this years Mate-lineup. That included two new flagship phones Huawei promised even before the launch would blow iPhones out of the water when it comes to AI.

Both of the new flagships, Mate 10 (top picture) and Mate 10 Pro (bottom picture), include the AI enabled HiSilicon Kirin 970 chipset. Armed with a Neural Processing Unit, or NPU, the Mate 10 duo should be able of some impressive feats, right?

Well, yes and no. It might be able to do things most smartphones can't do but currently it is used very sparingly. The Chinese smartphone manufacturer said that the phones smart features include context-aware camera that changes its settings to match the place and subject. Also Mate 10 (yes, the Pro as well) knows how dim the screen depending on more than just the ambient light sensor, and improve battery life according to your usage.

However, according to Huawei it is up to 3rd party developers to fully unshackle the power of Kirin 970 and its NPU.

Fortunately Huawei's new flagships aren't all about AI unlike you might have imagined after such a strong AI focused marketing campaign before the launch. The Mate 10 features a 5.9 inch QHD resolution (1440x2560) display, 64GB microSD expandable storage, 4 GB of RAM.


AfterDawn: News

OnePlus decides collecting private data isn't nice after all

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Oct 2017 18:17

OnePlus decides collecting private data isn't nice after all The Chinese smartphone OnePlus was a few days ago caught pants in their ankles collecting data from their customers. A OnePlus 2 user found the phone sending strangely irrelevant data to OnePlus servers.

Later on it was found that all OnePlus models, including last year's OnePlus 3 and the latest flagship OnePlus 5 send data regularly to OnePlus operated AWS server. After OnePlus was confronted about it, and after the OnePlus Twitter support was unhelpful, the company claimed that it was all about after-sales support data and usage analytics transmitted securely.

Even though there's likely no malicious intent, collecting data like when the user is turning on their screen, with timestamps even, seems awfully unnecessary.

Now OnePlus has come out and given another statement. According to the company it will stop collecting private data. OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei says in the post that while none of the information has ever been given to third parties the company has decided to stop collecting such data as telephone numbers, MAC addresses, and WiFi SSIDs.

Additionally all Oxygen OS phones will have a new setup wizard that will ask if the user wants to join the user experience program, the one collecting data to improve the OnePlus user experience, and "indicate that the program collects usage analytics."


AfterDawn: News

Tesla fired hundreds as a part of 'performance review'

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Oct 2017 16:19

Tesla fired hundreds as a part of 'performance review' Tesla has fired hundreds of workers this week, Reuters reports. According to the numbers received around 400 employees have had to go.

A former Tesla employee told Reuters yesterday that this includes workers across different positions. He worked on the assembly line but claimed the fired included associates, team leaders and supervisors, but couldn't confirm how high up the firings went.

The electric car company has said, full statement below, that it has over 33 000 employees and the it has been an annual performance review period which means that some people are going to be receiving hefty bonuses, other are being let go. The Reuters informant, however, claims he had never received a bad review.

Tesla is currently challenged by the Model 3 production. Model 3 is Tesla's first high volume affordable car meant for the masses. It'll be revealing the electric semi-truck on November 16.


AfterDawn: News

Two smart iPhone X features revealed ahead of launch

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Oct 2017 13:03

Two smart iPhone X features revealed ahead of launch The iPhone X is one of the most anticipated smartphones is years. First major revamp in the iPhone design in three years, and first of its kind ever.

There's was a lot to talk about a month back for Apple at the Steve Jobs Theater as pretty much the entire smartphone had been redesigned ground up. It might have not been just a case of limited time but Apple probably wanted to keep some features under wraps for the launch, or to be unveiled during the waiting period.

Now, two features previously not revealed have surfaced. And they are pretty impressive.

First there's a feature that combines iOS notifications and the new TrueDepth camera. As you turn on the display you'll see the app notifications, just like you would on your iPhone 8 or iPhone 7.

However, Phone Arena has discovered that on iPhone X the Face ID camera detects whether it is you holding the phone and shows further information instead of showing just the name of the app.


AfterDawn: News

Reddit thread showing iPhone X running Pokémon GO sparks discussion about screen estate

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Oct 2017 17:15

Reddit thread showing iPhone X running Pokémon GO sparks discussion about screen estate There's still almost a month until Apple's hyped iPhone X will hit the Apple Stores – and Town Squares, *sigh*. Since there's been an unprecedented amount of time between the unveiling and release of iPhone X, people have been paying close attention to all the pictures posted online.

One of them is a picture showing an iPhone X users playing Pokémon GO on the streets of perhaps Cupertino. Likely held by an Apple employee, this iPhone X revealed on Reddit shows how not all screen estate is in use, contrary to the way you'd probably want it to be.

Obviously its just a pre-production model, and only one app, but it does spark an interesting discussion about what type of concerns people have with the new aspect ratio.

Of course iPhone X's screen is the first time iOS device has a 2.17:1 aspect ratio – close to 2:1 aspect ratio in many Android phones – which means that apps need to be customized for it if they want to use all that extra space. As this picture shows at least Pokémon GO, one of the more popular mobile games, does not take advantage of this and there's a visible forehead and chin.


AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile adds another limit to its 'unlimited' data plans

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Oct 2017 16:44

T-Mobile adds another limit to its 'unlimited' data plans As with most, if not all, so-called unlimited data plans the T-Mobile ONE and T-Mobile ONE Plus are limited in some ways. You will get unlimited amount of data but after a certain cap the service provider will slow down the connection or throttle.

With T-Mobile ONE and ONE Plus the limit is 50 gigabytes. After using the 50GB of LTE data you'll likely be slowed down to a crawl, especially during the more congested hours.

After unveiling a new 'Mobile Without Borders' deal in 2015 to all ONE and ONE Plus customers, you've been able to enjoy that oh so sweet LTE data abroad in Mexico and Canada. For now.

T-Mobile is going to limit LTE data further, and starting next month customers with T-Mobile ONE and ONE Plus plans only get 5 GB of guaranteed LTE data in Mexico and Canada. After that you'll be throttled to 256kbps connection with ONE Plus and 128kbps with ONE, BGR reports.

According to T-Mobile less than one percent use more than 5 GB of data on their trips abroad. The company is trying to "prevent usage beyond the intent of the product" with the new 4G LTE limit.

The limits go into effect on November 12.

AfterDawn: News

A new nerd phone promises true, open Linux and security

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 11 Oct 2017 16:20

A new nerd phone promises true, open Linux and security A group of open source advocates started a few years back a company called Purism. The idea behind the company was to attain crowdsourcing for a new type of computer and operating system, known as PureOS. Now the same company has decided to develop a smartphone.

Like the computer the new smartphone, called Librem 5, runs PureOS, a Linux-based operating system. Purism markets the phone as the truly pure GNU+Linux-based smartphone product.

While Android is based on Linux too, PureOS is based on GNU free software and Debian Linux distribution and is entirely open source. This means that Librem 5 owners can, for example, change the Linux distribution to something else if they don't like PureOS.

In addition to being the holy grail of nerd smartphones with a proper Linux operating system, Purism hypes the security aspects of the phone. According to the company because of the open source nature of the operating system it is completely transparent. Thus you'll never be snooped through hidden backdoors, and your information won't be used to profit the manufacturer.

Librem 5 has been succesfully crowdfunded via the company's website. As of writing this it has $1,612,858 in funding which is 107.52% of the $1.5 million goal, and there are still 12 days to go.


AfterDawn: News

Dow Jones fake news reported Google buying Apple

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 11 Oct 2017 13:24

Dow Jones fake news reported Google buying Apple Fake news is clearly the meme of the year, and while it might be often thought to infect mostly politics a new case has made stock markets react. Dow Jones Newswire, the news service designed for investors, reported a what would be the acquisition of the century.

According to CNBC Dow Jones reported yesterday that Google was going to buy Apple. The fact of course is that no such thing is going to happen, and no investor would believe such an extraordinary thing without checking another source first.

Obviously, when true, news like these have a huge effect on investors and stock markets, and even though some bots sold and bought stocks because of the news, fortunately this didn't end in a catastrophe.

Perhaps the news was too easily dismissible because the story said Google would pay $9 billion for Apple. Even though it's a large amount of money you'd have to pay probably at least 100 times more for Apple. Apple's market cap is closing on a trillion dollars.

In addition to that there were several other errors that might have hinted at fake news. For one Google would not acquire the likes of Apple but it would instead be the parent company Alphabet.


AfterDawn: News

A new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been released, watch it here!

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 10 Oct 2017 12:18

A new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi has been released, watch it here! Star Wars movie saga is nearing the end, or at least the original nine episodes soon run out. Of course we've seen that Disney is more than willing to spin-off Star Wars in new anthology films.

This December it is time to witness the release of the episode eight, The Last Jedi. Now Disney has released a new official trailer for the upcoming movie.

The trailer features familiar characters, including Luke Skywalker, Leia, Kylo Ren, Finn, Rey, and of course Chewbacca, and show off snippets of epic action and perhaps even teases a few potential monumental plot twists to be experienced.

There's still more than two months until the premiere so you can watch the new trailer over and over again for another 36175 times before you need to shut your phone for the convenience of your fellow moviegoers.

Here, enjoy.


AfterDawn: News

Android manufacturers to abandon new technology to copy Apple's?

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 09 Oct 2017 11:14

Android manufacturers to abandon new technology to copy Apple's? If you spent the first half of this year watching closely at smartphone rumors and leaks, you would have thought that an in-screen fingerprint sensor in smartphones this year is an inevitability. If not for iPhone, it's going to be in one or more Android phones by the end of the year.

This might still, of course, hold true but Apple has already chosen a different technology for authentication, and according to a respected analyst it's not the only one.

Apple chose to remove the fingerprint reader from its upcoming flagship phone iPhone X entirely. It has developed a new type of recognition to replace Touch ID called Face ID. Because there's no room for a fingerprint sensor in the front with the new 'bezel-less' display, and perhaps in-screen sensors weren't up to par yet, Apple developed and introduced a face detection system that could be even better.

According to the company it is even more secure, and, since you are wondering, can take into account that you might grow a beard and occasionally wear a hat. Using so-called TrueDepth camera the iPhone X detects your facial features in three dimensions.

All this sounds very sci-fi, and it's not clear how well the technology works because the phone isn't out yet, but according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo Android manufacturers have already made shifts towards the face detection technology. After the iPhone X reveal manufacturers have been contacting face detection firms in unprecedented pace.


AfterDawn: News

If it wasn't clear already, it's now official: Windows phone is dead

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 09 Oct 2017 10:49

If it wasn't clear already, it's now official: Windows phone is dead Microsoft has finally confirmed that it does not intend to release any new smartphones with Windows 10 Mobile or provide software updates for current hardware. To make it as clear as day it means: Windows phones are done with.

Microsoft doesn't entirely abandon current Windows 10 Mobile customers because there will likely be some bug fixes and security patches but nothing new is being implemented. Microsoft has cut the funding as much as it can, and only tries to keep the current customers, mostly business customers, safe from hackers and other security problems.

Even though it was pretty clear a while ago that this is the fate of Windows phones. Now the Windows mobile boss man himself, Joe Belfiore, has revealed that he has changed to using an Android phone.

That if anything should be a sign that it's time to call it a day and move on from Windows phones. Belfiore didn't reveal what phone exactly is he using but it would be funny if it was one of the new Nokias.

According to Belfiore the company tried their everything to lure in more software developers and thus improve the state of their app store. No amount of money or other incentives proved effective, and that is why Microsoft has decided to give in.


Latest user comments

News archive