AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Matti Vähäkainu

AfterDawn: News

Google to establish massive scale free WiFi in New York

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 28 Jun 2015 11:55

Google to establish massive scale free WiFi in New York Google-owned company Sidewalk Labs has announced acquisition of Control Group and Titan, two companies that are building a free city wide WiFi. The project will launch in September in New York City, Bloomberg reports.

The project aims to bring free and "superfast" WiFi to the city of New York and especially for tourists to exploit. It will use old phone booths – which there are thousands of – to provide WiFi hotspots as well as free phone charging, phone calling, and internet browsing.

It's been estimated that over $500 million can be made from the advertisements over the next 12 years.

Google has been interested in global free WiFi for quite some time and this is the first big push into that area. We will certainly hear more about similar plans in new cities in the future.

AfterDawn: News

Taylor Swift "happily" gives 1989 for Apple to stream

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 26 Jun 2015 13:25

Taylor Swift "happily" gives 1989 for Apple to stream Apple Music has done it. Convincing Taylor Swift that streaming music is a good thing. Well, good enough even for her newest baby, 1989.

Last year Taylor Swift removed all her music from the world's most popular music streaming service Spotify. Other streaming services that did not have an ad-supported free model got to keep her music. However, the new album, titled 1989, was never added to any music streaming service.

Some, including yours truly, thought the pop princess wanted to keep it strictly off streaming and reap profit solely from traditional album sales. After saying no to Rhapsody, Tidal, and Apple Music it seemed the only possible outcome. But after over five million albums sold, it has come time to give a streaming service 1989.

Quick backstory to Apple vs Swift: Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to Apple stating that she didn't like that they wouldn't pay artists from listens during the Apple Music three months trial. That, in fact, she said was the reason 1989 was not going to be on Apple Music. She gave Apple an opportunity to make it all better, though, by simply paying the artists.


AfterDawn: News

Netflix is en route to top all network channels in viewership

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 26 Jun 2015 11:23

Netflix is en route to top all network channels in viewership Netflix's rate of expansion and popularity in the US and beyond has been impressive the past few years. It has challenged cable channels like HBO but new analysis suggests that network channels are the next target.

FBR Capital analyst Barton Crockett said that according to the first quarter numbers Netflix is on par with ABC and NBC. The streaming giant which is not included in the Nielsen ratings would score an average of 2.6 with its three month 10 billion hours streamed, says Crockett.

Disney's ABC and Comcast's NBC are at same 2.6 but their ratings are declining unlike Netflix's viewership. Netflix recently announced it will be expanding to Spain and Portugal in October which will increase the impressive "40%-plus compound annual rate" Crockett told investors about.

AfterDawn: News

Apple caves to Taylor Swift's request

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 22 Jun 2015 10:26

Apple caves to Taylor Swift's request Apple introduced it's new music streaming service with a three month trial period. For customers a three month free of pay trial period seems like a great deal. However, for artists the news wasn't that good. In fact, Apple said that it won't be paying artists for the listens during the three month period at all.

Taylor Swift argued that it was a shocking and disappointing in an open letter released on Tumblr. Only hours after it was released Apple took another look at the policy and decided to change it.

Apple boss Eddy Cue announced on Twitter that Apple will be paying artists for the listens during the three month trial period as well. At this point it is unknown though how the pay compares to pay from a normal listen. Also it is unclear if Taylor Swift will indeed now bring the hugely successful album 1989 to Apple Music That would make Apple Music the first music streaming service to feature the album in question.

AfterDawn: News

Taylor Swift declares Apple Music "shocking, disappointing"

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 21 Jun 2015 10:08

Taylor Swift declares Apple Music "shocking, disappointing" As we reported earlier this week Taylor Swift has denied Apple Music her latest masterpiece called 1989. Now the pop princess explains herself in an open letter to Apple.

This open letter, dubbed "To Apple, Love Taylor", starts off by explaining what a great relationship she has had with one of the most influential companies in history – both technologically and in the music industry. The letter, however, quickly turns for the worse for Apple.

Swift says she's been shocked and disappointed by Apple Music's three month trial period during which it doesn't pay the artists for the songs listened. According to Swift this is not what "historically progressive and generous company" should do.

She continues to explain that this is not about her – even though it is just her one album – but instead the starting and struggling artists that are rid of one quarter of a year's pay. Swift makes sure to say multiple times how much she respects Apple as a company and what they've done but says this particular thing is wrong.

The letter closes saying that it's not too late for Apple to change its policy and that Apple shouldn't ask for this because "we don't ask you for free iPhones".


AfterDawn: News

Apple "has your back" when it comes to data, Whatsapp doesn't

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 21 Jun 2015 7:53

Apple "has your back" when it comes to data, Whatsapp doesn't EFF has conducted another annual Who Has Your Back? survey and the results are in. The survey which researched the practices relevant to user data handling suggests that the likes of Yahoo and Apple are amongst the best.

The categories were: "Follows industry-accepted best practices", "Tells users about government data demands", "Discloses policies on data retention", "Discloses government content removal requests", and "has a Pro-user public policy: opposes backdoors". A total of eight companies scored a star in all five categories. The companies were Adobe, Apple, Credo Mobile, Dropbox, Sonic, Wikimedia, WordPress, and Yahoo.

Social networks Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin all scored four stars and the tech conglomerates Microsoft and Google joined e-commerce giant Amazon with three stars. The bottom of list were AT&T and alarmingly the massively popular messaging platform Whatsapp.

The whole list of companies and their stars can be found here.

AfterDawn: News

Taylor Swift denies 1989 from Apple Music

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 20 Jun 2015 8:59

Taylor Swift denies 1989 from Apple Music Taylor Swift doesn't like streaming music services. I depends on their business model how much she dislikes them but there has yet been a good enough streaming service for her newest and most precious baby called 1989. At Apple Jimmy Iovine and Tim Cook have tried to convince otherwise her but to no avail.

BuzzFeed reports that like any other streaming service Apple Music will not get the album 1989. However, like other streaming services entirely based on paid subscription the Apple Music will have her older repertoire.

Last year, after the release of her newest album, Swift broke up with the most popular music streaming service in the world, Spotify. Spotify offers a free, ad-supported subscription model unlike Apple Music. According to Taylor Swift that is not how you pay the artists as much as they deserve.

According to reports Taylor Swift has sold over 5 million copies of 1989. Her other albums are currently available to stream, for example, on Rhapsody and Tidal.

AfterDawn: News

Sony surprised by Xbox backwards compatibility, says not in the works for PS4

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 20 Jun 2015 8:47

Sony surprised by Xbox backwards compatibility, says not in the works for PS4 Microsoft announced at E3 this week that its current generation gaming console will be backwards compatible with selected Xbox 360 games later this year.

Microsoft says at first (this year) the target is at hundred games after which it'll expand to hundreds.

The announcement surely was a positive surprise to a lot of gamers but also might have caught Sony off guard. In an interview with Eurogamer Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida told that they had the impression that it wasn't technically possible.

According to Yoshida it would certainly require a lot of work from Sony to implement such compatibility with the PS4 and that is not currently in the works. Yoshida doesn't, however, say that it is not a possibility in the future.

AfterDawn: News

Problem opening The Pirate Bay? There's likely an easy solution

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 20 Jun 2015 7:12

Problem opening The Pirate Bay? There's likely an easy solution Typing in and you are faced with a failed DNS lookup? Remove the www prefix and you are good to go.

Considering the nature of the site and its problems with the legal system it was not a surprise that reports suggested that it had gone offline once again. However, according to TorrentFreak the changes in The Pirate Bay's domain earlier this week were responsible for the mishap.

A month ago Swedish court ordered the seizure of .se domain but as TorrentFreak reports that is currently the one domain that works with the www prefix. The moderators of the site who spoke with TorrentFreak didn't know why the redirects are not working.

AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Features of second gen Apple Watch revealed

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 20 Jun 2015 6:55

Rumor: Features of second gen Apple Watch revealed It has been only a couple of months since the original Apple Watch entered the shelves of Apple retail stores but already we have rumors about the successor. The release will likely be some time next year but already Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac claims to have some information.

Source can be considered fairly reliable but remember that a lot can still change before the actual launch. However, Gurman says that one of the key features added to the second gen device is a Facetime camera. The camera would be likely positioned unlike Samsung's Galaxy Gear, which had it directing forward to take pictures. Apple's would be mainly used for videocalls, and maybe selfies.

A new software feature Find my Watch would be also introduced thanks to a new WiFi chip enabling WiFi triangulation. This however would seem to prove that there is no GPS chip for positionin, a feature many would like to see especially for iPhone free fitness tracking.

The research Apple has done about the battery life of the watch seem to suggest that customers are happy with it – or enough so – that there won't be any major upgrades to the 18 hour battery.


AfterDawn: News

Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and others leave Microsoft

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Jun 2015 8:23

Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and others leave Microsoft Microsoft has announced that former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and head of mobile phones Jo Harlow will be leaving the company. The two were considered the last standing ex-Nokia executives at Microsoft.

Stephen Elop took the job as Nokia CEO during a devastating decline and became known for the burning platform memo. Eventually his stay in the company lead to Nokia selling its mobile phone business to Microsoft.

Harlow's and Elop's departures are based on a new organizational structures that combine the devices (including Lumia smartphones) and operating systems under one Windows and Devices Group. The new division will be led by Terry Myerson who previously led the Windows division.

In addition to former Nokia execs Mark Penn, the man behind Scroogled campaign, will be leaving the company but his departure is not the result of the organization shake-up.

AfterDawn: News

Amazon unveils a new high-resolution Kindle Paperwhite

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Jun 2015 8:02

Amazon unveils a new high-resolution Kindle Paperwhite Amazon has revealed a new addition to their line of e-readers. The new Kindle Paperwhite features a high-resolution screen that is said to improve the reading experience significantly.

The display of the new version has a 300 PPI (pixels per inch) resolution which is on par with the more expensive Kindle Voyage. The new Paperwhite will not have as bright and as high-contrast display but it is being sold for $119 – $80 less than Voyage.

Amazon says the user experience of the most popular Kindle device has been revamped as well. The new typesetting engine will feature proper hyphenation in addition to more advanced letter spacing among other changes.

AfterDawn: News

Google to rival Twitch with YouTube Gaming

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Jun 2015 10:48

Google to rival Twitch with YouTube Gaming Google has announced a new section for YouTube called YouTube Gaming. YouTube Gaming is – as the name suggests – designed for gaming content in mind.

YouTube Gaming aims to be the social platform for gamers and game streamers much like already is. YouTube says it offers over 25 000 individual games' pages that feature videos and/or streams.

The news didn't come totally out of blue since Google has been rumored to have a game streaming focused YouTube section in the works. It was also reported to be interested in buying Twitch but Amazon was the one to close the deal last year.

According to the website YouTube Gaming will debut in the US and UK this summer.

AfterDawn: News

Praised music critic: Apple Music "is toast"

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Jun 2015 10:18

Praised music critic: Apple Music "is toast" An acclaimed music critic and analyst Bob Lefsetz has published his (strong) opinions about Apple's new music service. The former record label consultant and now a blogging analyst Lefsetz says the service doesn't bring anything new to table.

"It's toast," starts the rant and continues to describe how the new Apple Music is as good as dead before it has even been released to the public. In his Lefsetz Letter blog he says Jimmy Iovine, the former record label mogul recruited by Apple, is not the innovator Apple needs to revolutionize music business.

He believes it's the likes of Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek do the innovating and revolutionizing. "Daniel Ek's story is more interesting than Iovine's. Ek slayed piracy, Iovine sold crappy headphones as fashion items," says Lefsetz. According to the critic in modern era the "faceless techies" are the winners, not the corporate bullies.

The 24/7 radio station Beats 1 isn't what people want, if it were the original Beats would have succeeded. All in all Apple hasn't realized what people want. He acknowledges that Apple Music probably won't completely fail though, but says it won't kill YouTube or even dominate the streaming space.

AfterDawn: News

Moonraker was Nokia's take on the smartwatch

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Jun 2015 14:08

Moonraker was Nokia's take on the smartwatch Every company in the mobile space seems to now have it, a smartwatch. You have the Motorola 360, the Samsung Galaxy Gear, the LG Watch Urbane, and of course the Apple Watch. There was also in the works a device that could have been called the Nokia Watch – or even the Microsoft Watch.

New information leaked by a Microsoft employee suggests that Nokia had been working on a smartwatch resembling Lumia smartphones before the Microsoft acquisition. Codenamed Moonraker, the smartwatch was destined to launch alongside Lumia 930, which was released in last year's April.

We never saw Moonraker but Microsoft did release a wearable they call Microsoft Band.

According to The Verge the leaked pictures are not concept pictures but actual marketing material that was never used. As the pictures show the watch was able to make calls, show emails and play music.


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