AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (4 / 2010)

AfterDawn: News

Some Avatar buyers still cannot play their Blu-rays

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Apr 2010 17:07

Some Avatar buyers still cannot play their Blu-rays Thanks to a glitch, some Avatar Blu-ray owners can still not play their purchased discs, leading to understandable irritation.

Says one angry customer: "When 3 out of 3 players in my house (Denon, Samsung and PC) won't play it, then 20th Century Fox should be slapped with losses on this one."

The customer's anger is aimed at the wrong place, however. Fox is not the issue but instead it is the Blu-ray players and their respective firmwares. Avatar, requires, in most cases, the latest firmware, but owners of older players without active Internet connections are usually not the most up to date.

For some people, the glitches get weirder. Users have reported chapter pop-up boxes showing up throughout the movie, sometimes without leaving.

It is unclear how Fox will try to help users who cannot play the discs or are receiving the glitches, but likely the number of users is still small, yet vocal.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

James Cameron and NASA team up for new Mars exploration 3D camera

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Apr 2010 16:21

James Cameron and NASA team up for new Mars exploration 3D camera NASA is teaming up with blockbuster director James Cameron to help build a new 3D camera that will be mounted on the new Mars rover, Curiosity.

Curiosity will launch next year.

NASA had originally scrapped plans for a 3D camera in 2007 saying the "upcoming flagship mission to Mars was consistently over budget and behind schedule." Comically, most of James Cameron's movies over the past decade have also been "consistently over budget and behind schedule" so it seems like a match made in heaven.

The director lobbied to NASA administrator Charles Bolden, who agreed that the rover would need a cinema quality camera to help the public connect to the mission.

The 3D camera is now being built by Malin Space Science Systems.




AfterDawn: News

Apple to shut down Lala music service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Apr 2010 13:37

Apple to shut down Lala music service Just 5 months after purchasing the music streaming service, Apple has decided to shut down Lala, likely signalling that it will be integrated into iTunes.com.

All current members have until May 31st to continue using the service, but as of today the site is not accepting any new members.

Lala is a download and streaming music service that gives members a "digital locker" to store their music. What made the company different from iTunes, Amazon MP3, etc, is that Lala would also sell streaming rights to tracks for pennies, allowing for unlimited streaming online of the track, but no download.

Current members will be given a credit for songs they have purchased to use at iTunes.

Apple is now expected to open a Web-based iTunes that will be based on the Lala framework and will do much of the same things, such as a digital locker for "Web-only" versions of the tracks.




AfterDawn: News

Valve confirms Steam for Mac release date

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Apr 2010 12:58

Valve confirms Steam for Mac release date Valve has finally confirmed the official release date for Steam on the Mac platform, with the streaming service confirmed for a May 12th launch.

The service has been in beta since mid-March.

Doug Lombardi, Valve's VP of developer marketing says the first two games to be ported will be Portal and Team Fortress 2.

Among the features available at launch will be Steam Play, which allows gamers to play a game on the PC, then continue to play on a Mac, right where they left off, as long as the game is available for both platforms.

Additionally, Mac users will play in the same multiplayer "universe" says GI, meaning all platforms can play on the same servers.




AfterDawn: News

Sony to announce HDTVs with Android, Intel chips

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Apr 2010 12:16

Sony to announce HDTVs with Android, Intel chips Sony, the former #1 TV maker that has seen recent declines in sales, will begin launching new HDTVs with Intel processors and running the Android operating system, say sources cited by Bloomberg.

The electronics giant will unveil the products at an event in San Francisco on May 19th, a conference sponsored by Google, the company behind Android.

The sources say the Intel chip will be a customized Atom chip, and the OS will be a customized Android dubbed "Dragonpoint."

All three companies are also working with Logitech to create a keyboard that will work as a remote and would allow for easier typing when using a browser via the TV.

Sony has recently fallen to third place in the TV market, behind Samsung and LG globally, and behind Samsung and Vizio in the United States.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft scraps plan for Courier tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Apr 2010 11:21

Microsoft scraps plan for Courier tablet Gizmodo, the site that first uncovered Microsof'ts plans to release a "digital journal" dubbed the Courier, is reporting this week that the company has scrapped those plans.

Execs were told by CEO Steve Ballmer that the tablet would no longer be supported, which seems reasonable given that the Courier was never publicly acknowledged as an upcoming device.

In the videos released by Gizmodo and then Engadget, the Courier seemed to be in its final stages of development, but it appears, at least from an outsider's view, that Ballmer does not want to directly compete with the iPad, and eventually the HP Slate or Dell Streak.

Adds Microsoft Corporate VP of Communications Frank Shaw: "At any given time, we're looking at new ideas, investigating, testing, incubating them. It's in our DNA to develop new form factors and natural user interfaces to foster productivity and creativity. The Courier project is an example of this type of effort. It will be evaluated for use in future offerings, but we have no plans to build such a device at this time."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Hugo Chavez joins Twitter, gets 120,000 followers after two tweets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Apr 2010 1:43

Hugo Chavez joins Twitter, gets 120,000 followers after two tweets Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez, known globally for calling ex-President George Bush a "devil" among other slights has set up a Twitter account and has quickly amassed 120,000 followers.

The president even had 12,000 followers before his first Tweet, which came right before midnight on April 27th.

Venezuela is said to have 200,000 "active" Twitter users and it seems that a good portion have signed up to follow their elected leader.

Chavez's first Tweet says: "Epa que tal? Aparecí como lo dije: a la medianoche. Pa Brasil me voy. Y muy contento a trabajar por Venezuela. Venceremos!!" Roughly translated that says "What's up? Came as promised, at midnight. Headed to Brazil now. I'm very happy to work for Venezuela. We will win!!"

If you want to check out some Chavez tweets, head here: http://twitter.com/chavezcandanga




AfterDawn: News

Pre-alpha version of Mozilla Fennec released for Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Apr 2010 1:23

Pre-alpha version of Mozilla Fennec released for Android Mozilla has finally released the "pre-alpha" of the Fennec browser today for Android devices, bringing an early version of mobile Firefox to testers.

Says Mozilla developer Vladimir Vukićević: The release is "usable enough that we wanted to get some feedback on it."

The developer is fast to warn that the release is very buggy and will give Android users a lot of "force close" notifications, with some of the bugs even crashing the phone. The browser may not even work on phones that aren't the Droid or Nexus One.

The new release does have some notable features including "Weave" support, allowing for bookmark syncing from your desktop version of Firefox.

You can get it here but don't expect a fun-filled ride: http://bit.ly/fennec-android




AfterDawn: News

Apple vs. Adobe Round 2: Steve Jobs and Shantanu Narayen duke it out

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Apr 2010 17:43

Apple vs. Adobe Round 2: Steve Jobs and Shantanu Narayen duke it out The battle over Apple's decision to keep Flash of its iPad and iPhone devices has taken a new turn this week, with the CEOs of the companies slugging it out with rant posts.

Over the course of a few months, the niceties between Apple and Adobe have broken down, with Apple practically saying Flash is not good enough to be on the iPad and one Adobe developer going as far as to tell Apple to screw itself.

This week, round two of the "epic" battle began, with Apple CEO Steve Jobs posting a 1700 word rant with his thoughts on Adobe and Flash, and why HTML5 is better. He also takes aim at Flash by saying it affects battery life negatively, is hard to use on touchscreen devices, and is not secure. I will post the letter at the end of the article, but Jobs concludes his post by saying:

"Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short. The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 200,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games. New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony sued over PS3 firmware update that removes 'OtherOS' feature

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Apr 2010 17:21

Sony sued over PS3 firmware update that removes 'OtherOS' feature Sony has been sued this week in California over its recent firmware update that removed the "OtherOS" feature of the PlayStation 3, a feature that had allowed for the installation of Linux on an HDD partition.

The firmware update, version 3.21, was released last month.

The case was brought by Anthony Ventura who is claiming that the update is an "intentional disamblement of the valuable functionality originally advertised as available." Ventura adds that millions of customers purchased their consoles with OtherOS advertised, and that Sony has broken the terms of its contract with these customers.

Additionally, Ventura says there are no "security concerns," as Sony claims, and the real reason the feature was removed was to prevent homebrew and piracy. Piracy has decimated PSP software sales, and it seems Sony would like to stop that on the PS3 before it even gets started.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Bungie signs exclusive 10 year pact with Activision

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Apr 2010 16:50

Bungie signs exclusive 10 year pact with Activision Bungie, the developer behind the Halo franchise has announced they have signed an exclusive 10 year pact with Activision that will bring the developer's "next big action game universe to market."

For the next decade Activision will have exclusive, worldwide rights to publish and distribute future Bungie games "based on the new intellectual property on multiple platforms and devices."

Financials of the deal were not disclosed.

Bungie formally had an exclusive partnership with Microsoft, but the two split in 2007.

"We chose to partner with Activision on our next IP because of their global reach, multi-platform experience and marketing expertise," adds Bungie President Harold Ryan. "From working together over the past nine months on this agreement, it is clear that Activision supports our commitment to giving our fans the best possible gaming experiences."

The Halo franchise has so far brought in $1.5 billion in revenue, and Bungie has sold over 25 million units worldwide.

"Bungie is one of the premier studios in our industry and we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with their talented team over the next decade,"
says Thomas Tippl, Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard. "Bungie has developed some of the most compelling and successful games, multiplayer experiences and thriving fan communities, and this alliance underscores our long-standing commitment to foster the industry’s best creative talent. Our unprecedented partnership with Bungie will enable us to broaden our pipeline of exciting new games as we continue to strengthen our industry position and pursue long-term growth opportunities."




AfterDawn: News

Hulu for the UK killed off, for now

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2010 19:50

Hulu for the UK killed off, for now Hulu has shelved plans to expand the streaming service to the UK, citing failed negotiations with British broadcasters.

The extremely popular online video service has been a U.S. exclusive since its launch.

All content deals with the ITV and the BBC have fallen apart, mainly because both now have their own streaming services.

"Hulu’s talks with ITV have come to a halt because the broadcaster wants to focus on growing its own catch up service – ITV Player and not syndicate its content out to a third party at the moment. Conversations with Channel 4 and Five have also not come to any fruition because Hulu wants to sell the advertising inventory around both broadcasters’ content – like it does with US content - and this is not something either broadcaster is willing to concede ON. Hulu has told several people at the British broadcasters that it has been forced to abandon its UK expansion plans after failing to sign any content deals," says a "senior TV executive," via The Telegraph.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android 2.2 will have Flash support built-in

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2010 19:30

Android 2.2 will have Flash support built-in Google's Andy Rubin has revealed this week that the upcoming Android firmware, version 2.2 (froyo) will have built-in full Flash support.

Rubin managed to take a subtle shot at Apple during the interview with the NYTimes, in regards to the "openness" of the Android operating system.

When asked if consumers acutally cared whether a smartphone OS is open, he compared closed platforms, like that of the iPhone OS to totalitarian governments.

"When they can't have something, people do care. Look at the way politics work. I just don’t want to live in North Korea," Rubin says.

He adds: "Sometimes being open means not being militant about the things consumer are actually enjoying."

It is unclear when 2.2 will begin hitting smartphones, but it is expected, at least on the Nexus One and other top-end phones within the next couple of months.




AfterDawn: News

Nexus One pre-orders sell out in UK

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2010 19:09

Nexus One pre-orders sell out in UK The Google Nexus One is set to go on sale in the UK via Vodafone starting on April 30th with the "superphone" being available for as cheap as free depending on the contract.

After just a couple of days on pre-order, the phone is already sold out, meaning either demand was very high or supply was low, with many assuming the latter.

For anyone ordering the device, Vodafone is sending off this message: "Thank you for placing your order, reference number [redacted]. Unfortunately we have suffered a surprisingly high demand for the Nexus One From Google, which means that it is unexpectedly out of stock. Please accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience caused. We hope to have further stock available within 7-10 working days and will contact you again once your order has been dispatched."

The U.S. launch was considered rather sluggish, but Google says the phone has already helped their bottom line.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo Wii, now available in black

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2010 18:42

Nintendo Wii, now available in black After over three years of release, the Nintendo Wii finally has a new colorway, a slick black headed to U.S. retail shelves on May 9th.

So far the date has been confirmed by Target and GameStop in the U.S., and confirmed for May 23rd in Canada by Future Shop.

The Wii itself will be completely identical to the white model currently available (minus the color, obviously) and will come bundled with a Wii remote, Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and a Wii MotionPlus for $199.

The black colorway has been available in Japan since late last year, and has sold pretty well.

Worldwide, Nintendo has sold 70 million Wii units.





AfterDawn: News

AOL sells off ICQ for $187.5 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2010 18:08

AOL sells off ICQ for $187.5 million AOL has sold one of the pioneers of instant messaging, ICQ, to Digital Sky Technologies Limited (DST) for $187.5 million USD.

Despite losing popularity in the United States to other services such as MSN Messenger and AIM, ICQ remains the most popular IM service in Russia and other smaller international markets.

"The acquisition of ICQ is a strategic enhancement of our business in Russia and Eastern Europe. ICQ’s long-standing brand name and its sizeable loyal customer base together represent a very attractive opportunity to further strengthen our position in the region," says Yuri Milner, Chief Executive Officer of DST.

ICQ was created in 1996 by Mirabilis of Israel, and AOL purchased the parent company in 1998.

Besides Russia, ICQ is a leader in Israel and the Czech Republic, where users spend over 5 hours a day on the service.

Adds Tim Armstrong, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AOL: "As AOL continues its turnaround effort, we’re fortunate to find a great home for ICQ with DST. DST is a leading innovator in the Internet investment space and has a significant presence in the markets where ICQ is strong. Founded and run in Israel, ICQ has been a revolutionary company on the Internet. We wish them great success as a part of DST and will be rooting for them going forward."




AfterDawn: News

HP agrees to buy Palm for $1.2 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2010 17:04

HP agrees to buy Palm for $1.2 billion Giant computer manufacturer HP has agreed to purchase the struggling smartphone maker Palm today for $1.2 billion in cash, including assuming Palm's debt.

Palm put itself up for sale in the last two months after it became clear that the company's phones were not selling and it only had enough cash to last the next 12 months. Palm was entertaining offers from HTC, Lenovo, RIM and others, but HP was never really listed as a likely candidate.

Although Palm has arguably the best smartphone OS available (WebOS), the company has struggled to sell its flagship Pre (Plus) and Pixi (Plus) models, forcing retailers to slash the price to as low as $0 in an effort to get them off shelves.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Gizmodo's Jason Chen has computers seized

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2010 17:43

Gizmodo's Jason Chen has computers seized Gizmodo editor Jason Chen has had his home computers seized this week by California's Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team.

The team was working on a warrant from the Superior Court of San Mateo.

Chen recently revealed the upcoming iPhone 4G/HD, which was dropped in a bar by Apple developer Gray Powell, and eventually purchased by Gizmodo for $5000 USD.

New to the "iPhone HD," are a front-facing camera for video conferencing, a better standard camera (including larger lens and flash), a Micro-SIM slot (just like the iPad), 960x640 resolution, a second mic, metallic exterior (not plastic) and split side buttons for volume.

After the report went up, Apple demanded its prototype back.

All pics via Gizmodo:










AfterDawn: News

Xbox Live Arcade sales explode in March

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2010 17:15

Xbox Live Arcade sales explode in March According to data from market research firm FADE (Forecasting and Analyzing Digital Entertainment), Xbox Live Arcade sales in March 2010 were the best ever, with a full 41 percent year-on-year growth from last year.

Revenue topped $10 million USD for the first month ever, and growth was strong from the preceding months, where revenue were under $7 million each month.

Overall, for 2010, revenue has grown by 5 percent year-on-year but if March's trend continues, expect that number to be much higher.

Analysts have attributed the boost to Microsoft's "Block Party" promotion, which highlighted a group of games, including the popular Toy Soldiers which brought in $3 million in revenue by itself.

The full list, via GI:

* Toy Soliders - 209,000 units ($3.14m)
* Perfect Dark - 161,000 units ($1.61m)
* Trials HD - 53,000 units ($0.80m)
* Battlefield 1943 - 37,000 units ($0.56m)
* Castle Crashers - 34,000 units ($0.51m)
* Hasbro Family Game Night - 32,000 units ($0.32m)
* Scrap Metal - 18,000 units ($0.27m)
* Marvel vs. Capcom - 25,000 units ($0.25m)
* Shadow Complex - 13,000 units ($0.20m)
* Magic: The Gathering - 16,000 units ($0.16m)




AfterDawn: News

Datel antitrust case against Microsoft cleared to move forward

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2010 17:03

Datel antitrust case against Microsoft cleared to move forward In late October we reported that Microsoft was blocking all "unlicensed" Xbox 360 storage devices, successfully forcing gamers to only purchase memory cards sold by Microsoft, at a higher price.

Large peripheral manufacturer Datel struck back in late November, filing an antitrust lawsuit.

In response, Microsoft filed motions to have the case dismissed but a judge has thrown out those motions today, clearing the way for Datel's suit to move forward. Because the motions were dismissed, the two parties will now meet in preparation of their upcoming June 2nd hearing.

Microsoft recently sued the UK-based accessory maker over its Xbox 360 controllers, claiming the company illegally copied the design.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Verizon adds YouTube and Internet Radio to FiOS TV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2010 16:51

Verizon adds YouTube and Internet Radio to FiOS TV Verizon has announced that FiOS TV users can now stream YouTube and Internet Radio directly from their displays, using their remote controls or smartphone.

Subscribers can access the music and video sharing site via Media Manager, which is now available to all FiOS TV owners, instead of just DVR customers.

"Adding YouTube and Internet Radio to FiOS TV further expands our customers' digital home-entertainment world by giving them access to an unprecedented amount of online content on the biggest screen in their home – their TV,"
adds Shawn Strickland, vice president of consumer strategy for Verizon. "When customers connect their homes to our all-fiber network, their TV and Internet worlds seamlessly come together to create experiences cable can't deliver. We are working with some of the most popular companies on the Web to create a high-quality, engaging Internet-to-TV experience that will only grow richer with time."

Users can even use their Motorola Droid phone as a remote control if they download a free "Mobile Remote" app from the Android Market.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: RIM BlackBerry OS 6 in action

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2010 12:27

Video Daily: RIM BlackBerry OS 6 in action Research In Motion has shown off their upcoming BlackBerry OS 6 today, which improves on most of the past OS features, with much improved touch support.

Th new browser has tab switching, favorites, multi-touch, using WebKit. The tabs have transparent overlay.

There is an updated media player, one that looks much more like the cover-flow used by Apple in the iPhone.

BGR adds: "RIM has finally implemented system-wide kinetic scrolling with rubberbanding. This makes the experience a bit more fluid when scrolling through lists, web pages, emails, and the like. There is also multitouch system-wide, from the web browser to the photos application, and yes, pinch to zoom is in there."

Overall, the OS looks more modern, with the messaging/email inbox's looking much cleaner and updated. Thumbnails are larger and clearer so users can see where the messages they are receiving originated from (Twitter, email, text, Facebook, etc)

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

USB drive has built-in PIN keypad

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2010 11:55

USB drive has built-in PIN keypad LOK-IT has unveiled their latest Secure Flash Drive, a portable drive with a full PIN keypad.

There are two versions available, one with a five-key PIN, or a second with ten keys. Both drives use 256-bit AES encryption and remain encrypted until the correct PIN code is typed in.

The drives can be used in Windows, Mac or Linux computers.

Anyone trying to brute force hack the PIN number will be stopped in their tracks, as after ten failed attempts the drive must be reformatted.

There are 2GB, 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities available.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nook outsells Kindle, iPad outsells both?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2010 11:12

Nook outsells Kindle, iPad outsells both? According to a new DigiTimes report, the Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader outsold the Amazon Kindle, although both were outsold by the Apple iPad.

Mingchi Kuo, analyst at Digitimes, says manufacturers shipped more Nooks than Kindles, with the Nook accounting for 53 percent of all e-readers shipped to the U.S. for the month of March 2010.

That being said, shipped units does not always lead to sold units (speak to Palm about that), but it still appears that Nook devices are selling well and demand remains high.

Overall, global e-reader shipments for the Q1 2010 were 1.43 million units.

Although the iPad is not considered solely an e-reader, the device outsold both the Kindle and the Nook, with 750,000 units already sold in the U.S.




AfterDawn: News

Slim Xbox 360, new Metal Gear Solid for 360 to be revealed at E3?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2010 10:45

Slim Xbox 360, new Metal Gear Solid for 360 to be revealed at E3? SurferGirl, known for her pretty spot-on predictions regarding Microsoft and the Xbox 360 has put a blog post this week with two main highlights.

She says Microsoft will be revealing a Slim Xbox 360 bundled with Natal at one of their press conferences during the upcoming E3 event.

Additionally, the updated console will be getting a new logo, and all Slim models will also be in a black colorway, including Natal. The underlying feeling is that most HDTV owners own glossy black televisions, and a white Natal would not fit in.

The second highlight of the post is SurferGirl saying that an Xbox 360 version of Metal Gear Solid is coming, and will work with Natal.

You can read the post here: SurferGirl Strikes Back




AfterDawn: News

New PS3 internals should make the hardware profitable

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2010 0:49

New PS3 internals should make the hardware profitable PlayStation University is reporting today that Sony's latest PlayStation 3 hardware updates should help the console finally become profitable without the aid of software sales.

The new motherboard of the Slim units have an improved RSX GPU, one that uses about 15 percent less power, and almost completely eliminates the possibility of the 'yellow light of death'.

There has not been a breakdown completed yet of the new hardware, but the original Slim PS3 was said to bring the console to almost breakeven in terms of profitability so the new GPU should likely make the hardware profitable for the first time since the console's launch in 2006.

The new RSX GPU is 40nm, an update from the larger, less efficient 65nm version seen in all past models.

Adding to the efficiency, the new Slim unit features two 128MB XDR RAM chips instead of four 64MB chips, a new cooling assembly, as well as a lighter power supply.




AfterDawn: News

RLSLOG taken offline after complaint from UMG

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2010 23:31

RLSLOG taken offline after complaint from UMG RLSLOG, the most popular torrent release news site, has been taken down this week after its hosting company received a takedown request from Universal Music Group.

The site says it is moving to a new host, as it does not, and will not ever host copyrighted material.

Regulars of the site were greeted with this message: "RLSLOG.net was suspended by its German hosting company after removal request from law firm representing Universal Music, although we never hosted any files or copyrighted data on our server. Our site is strictly informative."

TF interviewed the founder of the site that said the site was not given any prior notice before being taken down, and apologized for the downtime.

Last year Google took action to filter some of RLSLOG'S pages from its search engine results, after complaints were filed by copyright holders.




AfterDawn: News

Avatar Blu-ray smashes all sales records

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2010 23:07

Avatar Blu-ray smashes all sales records The world's highest grossing movie of all-time, the blockbuster Avatar, has now also become the fastest-selling Blu-ray disc of all-time, selling 2.7 million units in just four days.

The previous record holder was the blockbuster The Dark Knight, which has sold 2.5 million discs in 18 months.

Avatar, on DVD and Blu-ray has already sold upwards of 7 million units, putting it on pace to become the best-selling title of the decade.

20th Century Fox, the distributor behind the film says cumulative first day sales were 3.2 million, with 2 million coming from DVD sales and the rest from Blu-ray. In recent memory, the Dark Knight launched with 2.7 million units (2.1 million on DVD) and Twilight: New Moon saw 4 million units sold in its first two days. Avatar's two-day number was around 5.5 million.

Says James Finn of Fox, via Deadline: "Grocery and drug stores sold more Avatar [2D] in one day than they sold of The Dark Knight during its entire life on shelves. This shows that the audience for the home entertainment release far out weighs the fan boy base. It's a cultural phenomenon…again. Employees and customers alike are dressing up as Na'vis in stores around the country, and this is a home entertainment release like no other."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android Market hits new milestone, 50,000 apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2010 22:34

Android Market hits new milestone, 50,000 apps After just 18 months, the Android Market has hit its latest milestone, 50,000 apps available in the marketplace.

The company reported in December 2009 that it the store had reached 16,000 apps.

By mid-March 2010, the store had doubled its apps available to 30,000.

The stats site AndroLib says the breakdown of the 50,000 apps, in terms of free vs. paid, is 59 percent to 41 percent, the closest number is recent memory.

In comparison, the Apple App Store hit 50,000 in 12 months, and now sits at around 190,000.

Adds Asad Rafi of Android Spin: "With this rapid increase in the number of applications with in such a short time period, it will only a matter of time before the Android market will cross 100,000 application mark."




AfterDawn: News

Google tells Verizon users to buy HTC Incredible over Nexus One

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2010 22:17

Google tells Verizon users to buy HTC Incredible over Nexus One Although Google promised the Nexus One smartphone for Verizon when it launched the device, the search giant has changed its stance today, instead telling Verizon subscribers to instead purchase the HTC Incredible, if they want a high-end Android device.

As posted earlier today in the official Google phones portal, instead of saying to buy the Nexus One for Verizon in the spring, it now reads: "For Verizon's network, you can buy the Droid Incredible by HTC."

When asked for an elaboration on the word change, Google added the following: "We won't be selling a Nexus One with Verizon, and this is a reflection of the amazing innovation happening across the open Android ecosystem. Verizon Wireless customers who want an Android phone with the power of the Nexus One can get the Droid Incredible by HTC."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Vodafone to sell Google Nexus One in UK starting next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2010 21:59

Vodafone to sell Google Nexus One in UK starting next week The Google Nexus One will go on sale in the UK via Vodafone starting on April 30th, reads a press release from the companies, with the "superphone" available for as cheap as free depending on the contract.

Vodafone is the first carrier in the EU to offer the phone, and they will offer the device for free if you sign up for a two-year contract at £35 a month.

Unlike in the U.S., where the phone is only available online, Vodafone will make the smartphone available in stores and online, with direct support for both types of purchase.

Owners get up to 1GB of data with their plans, as well as a free 1GB of data at "premium BT Openzone hotspots" around the nations. Wi-Fi is unlimited.

The Nexus One has a 3.7″ AMOLED 480x800 WVGA display, a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 5MP camera with autofocus and flash, 512MB RAM and ROM, a microSD slot and noise suppression.




AfterDawn: News

Sony discontinues floppy disks in Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2010 23:30

Sony discontinues floppy disks in Japan Sony has announced this weekend that they will be discontinuing all sales of the 3.5-inch floppy disc in Japan starting in 2011, effectively killing off the three decade old disk type.

The company helped pioneer the disk in 1981, introducing the technology that year and then starting to sell the discs in 1983.

At its height in the year 2000, Sony shipped 47 million disks, but that number has progressively fallen, reaching just 8.5 million in 2009. However, that also begs the question, why were so many floppies shipped even in 2009 and who is still using them?

Sony holds 70 percent of the Japanese market share for the disks, compared to around 40 percent globally.

The company cited lack of demand as the main reasoning behind the decision, given the cheap prices of much smaller and higher capacity devices, like USB flash drives.




AfterDawn: News

Palm Pixi now free with contract through Sprint

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2010 22:29

Palm Pixi now free with contract through Sprint Sprint has dropped the price of the Palm Pixi to free with a two-year contract, the final price drop on a phone that Sprint has struggled to sell.

So far, the deal is only online, so if you are looking to test the phone before buying you will have to hit a retail store, then go home and buy it online to get the discount.

The story behind the price drop is much larger.

Palm has put itself up for sale in a last-ditch effort to avoid possible imminent bankruptcy, and potential suitors keep dwindling.

Just last week, Michael Abbott, their software and services chief, resigned, and the company had to pay large bonuses to keep some other key employees on.




AfterDawn: News

Prototype iPod Touch models with cameras hit eBay

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2010 21:51

Prototype iPod Touch models with cameras hit eBay Two prototypes of upcoming iPod Touch models hit eBay this weekend, each sporting cameras and development team tags.

The first prototype was marked with DVT-1 and the second, predictably with DVT-2, with one holding an 'Apple Development Team' label.

The prototypes were running an OS that only the hardware team gets to test when the phones are in development. The apps pictured are special diagnostic and testing apps.

The auctions were quickly taken down, but the pics were saved.

The latest "leak" follows the highly publicized revealing of the upcoming "iPhone 4G/HD," after developer Gray Powell left the device in a bar.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Instructions for installing Android on older iPhones released

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2010 19:18

Instructions for installing Android on older iPhones released Last week, iPhone Dev Team member "planetbeing" released a video today showing off a huge accomplishment, the Android OS running on a first-gen iPhone.

The hack has been in development for months, and is still in alpha stages. So far the phone only works on the 2G model, with 3G happening likely in the near future. The 3GS, is a whole different ball game, however.

After being hacked, the iPhone can run both Android and the iPhone OS, in a "Bootcamp"-esque way, allowing for the boot of multiple OS on one Apple device.

Today, Androidalot has released instructions and a video on how to run the hack yourself, if you have a iPhone 2G just laying around.

The instructions are here: HOW TO: Install Android On An iPhone 2G

The video is here:

Guide to Installing Android on iPhone 2G from AndroidALot on Vimeo.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: Office running on Windows Phone 7

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2010 18:44

Video Daily: Office running on Windows Phone 7 MobilityDigest has posted a few videos today relating to Microsoft Office playback on upcoming Windows Phone 7 smartphones, and the productivity suite looks great.

The clips are short, but they show off how email and calendar support will work, how PowerPoint and Word will act, and how the overall "Office hub" will look and feel.

First announced in February, the smartphone OS tries to differentiate itself from the iPhone and Android phones, which use home screens of widgets and icons, by blending applications together for a more "integrated experience," allowing the OS and applications to "share information with the user in a natural and seamless fashion."

Read more about the OS here: http://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2010/02/15/video_daily_the_introduction_of_windows_phone_7_series

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPad ban in Israel lifted

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2010 18:17

iPad ban in Israel lifted The nation of Israel has ended its ban on the Apple iPad, with the Israel Communications Ministry saying that after a second technical review, the device will be re-allowed into the country.

The device was banned right after launch earlier this month with the CM saying that the device's wireless strengths violated Israeli law and would overpower other wireless devices in the country.

10 of the devices were seized from citizens and tourists, with tourists only getting their devices back when they left the country.

Starting today, they are once again allowed in the country.

Apple, at the time of the ban, had said: "The iPad complies with international industry standards for Wi-Fi specifications."




AfterDawn: News

SEC was watching porn while the financial markets collapsed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2010 13:26

SEC was watching porn while the financial markets collapsed Although this story is slightly outside of our niche, it is still particularly interesting. Republicans have come out swinging today, claiming that the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) was too busy watching pornography to properly police the nation's financial system as it collapsed in 2008.

Says California Rep. Darrell Issa, the head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee: "It is disturbing that high-ranking officials within the SEC were spending more time looking at porn than taking action to help stave off the events that put our nation's economy on the brink of collapse."

The SEC internally had talks with 33 employees that were caught looking at "explicit images" over the past five year, all on their government-issued computers. 31 of those problems have come since 2008, when the stock market and the nation's financial system almost came full crashing down thanks to billion dollar losses caused by derivatives.

The SEC Inspector General, in response to a probe by Republicans, added some incredible findings to the already devastating situation.

Reads the Chicago Tribune:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HTC drops out, Lenovo now front-runner to pick up Palm pieces

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2010 13:02

HTC drops out, Lenovo now front-runner to pick up Palm pieces After HTC dropped out of the hunt, it appears that Lenovo is now the front-runner to purchase struggling smartphone maker Palm.

Lenovo is the world's fourth largest PC maker, but has struggled to make any headway into the phone market.

"A most suitable candidate will be a mainland Chinese company," adds Lu Chialin, an analyst at Macquarie Securities in Taipei. "They've got a lot more free cash and don't have the brand presence in the United States, so that will all give them that boost they need."

HTC passed on bidding after reviewing Palm's balance sheet and books, leaving Lenovo as the top "mainland Chinese" company left in the running.

"There just weren't enough synergies to take the deal forward," says an anonymous HTC source, via Reuters.

Officials from all three companies declined to comment.




AfterDawn: News

Airline Lufthansa offers Apple developer Gray Powell a free beer

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2010 12:51

Airline Lufthansa offers Apple developer Gray Powell a free beer The German airline Lufthansa has said today it would fly Apple developer Gray Powell (the guy who lost the iPhone HD) to Munich for free beers, on them.

Nicola Lange, the airline's director of marketing and customer relations says she knows "how frustrating it can be to lose personal items, especially when it is such a unique item." Also, because Powell lost the phone in a Beer Garden, Lange says he "can literally pick up where you last left off," after he flies to Germany.

Powell has yet to take up the offer, but he likely should, given how mad CEO Steve Jobs most likely is at Apple's latest product being leaked months before launch.

New to the "iPhone HD," are a front-facing camera for video conferencing, a better standard camera (including larger lens and flash), a Micro-SIM slot (just like the iPad), 960x640 resolution, a second mic, metallic exterior (not plastic) and split side buttons for volume.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Xbox TV channel in the works?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2010 12:36

Xbox TV channel in the works? According to Bloomberg, Microsoft and ex-News Corp. president Peter Chernin are discussing creating a TV channel dedicated to the Xbox 360 gaming console.

The channel would be available only to Xbox Live Gold subscribers, which may see its monthly price rise by $1 for the added programming.

The "Xbox TV" channel would be owned by Chernin and Microsoft jointly, and the channel would offer original programming as well as reruns.

Chernin's publicist would not comment but to say: "Peter is talking to lots of people about lots of ideas in the digital space." Microsoft declined to comment.

The former president stepped down from News Corp. in June, and took a film and production deal with Twentieth Century Fox.




AfterDawn: News

Consoles will help Netflix increase subscriptions by 3 million this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2010 12:19

Consoles will help Netflix increase subscriptions by 3 million this year Wedbush Morgan video game analyst Michael Pachter has said today that he expects video game consoles to add 3 million subscriptions to Netflix in 2010.

Netflix gained about 800,000 subscribers in 2009 after they made the streaming service available on the Xbox 360 and Pachter says he expects at least the same amount of additions from the PS3 and Wii.

After Netflix's recent earnings report, Pachter said (via GI): "Subscriber growth exceeded our expectations in Q1. And the company increased full year subscriber guidance by 1 million, implying that contribution from the consoles may be running closer to 3 million this year."

Overall, 55 percent of those with Netflix subscriptions are now "actively" streaming content, up from 48 percent last year.

Additionally, Pachter says that once the current installed base of consoles has been saturated by Netflix, Netflix will make subscribers of about 5-to-10 percent of all new console purchases for the year, expected to add up to 1 million for all three consoles.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ubisoft 'always on' DRM cracked for good?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2010 11:53

Ubisoft 'always on' DRM cracked for good? A group of hackers with the group name "SkidRow" have announced today that they have found a way to completely circumvent Ubisoft's "always on" DRM, DRM that forces gamers to remain connected to the Internet at all times or lose the ability to play their legitimately purchased game.

The controversial DRM was implemented first in Assassin's Creed II and Silent Hunter 5 but Ubisoft said recently they would keep the DRM on for all upcoming games.

The new hack (a modified .exe) by SkidRow disables the DRM entirely and allows for users to play their game without worrying about losing their progress if their Internet cuts out for a second.

As an extra poke at Ubisoft, the .NFO file attached to the hack says: "Thank you Ubisoft, this was quite a challenge for us, but nothing stops the leading force from doing what we do. Next time focus on the game and not on the DRM. It was probably horrible for all legit users. We just make their lives easier."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft's Entertainment division shows strong profit

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2010 11:33

Microsoft's Entertainment division shows strong profit Microsoft's Entertainment division, which includes the Xbox 360, Zune and PC software has shown a strong profit for the Q1 2010, along with larger revenue.

The company saw a rise in revenue to $1.67 billion from $1.63 billion year-on-year, and showed a profit of $165 million USD. Overall, the company had a record month, bringing in $14.5 billion in revenue and $4.01 billion in net profit.

Microsoft sold 1.5 million consoles during the quarter, which was down from 1.7 million for the same quarter in 2009, and 8.8 million consoles in the last nine months, which was down from 10 million in the comparable period a year before.

Despite the drop in sales, manufacturing costs for the 360 fell 22 percent, helping to lead to the strong profit. Sales and marketing expenses fell 6 percent as well, or $60 million. On the other end, R&D costs increased by $31 million, and Xbox Live operating costs increased as well.

Mainly, the growth was attributed to the strong launch of Windows 7, as well as strong growth in Xbox Live revenue.




AfterDawn: News

Google denies free 'Navigation GPS' is headed to iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2010 11:10

Google denies free 'Navigation GPS' is headed to iPhone Google has denied today that it will be bringing its free Navigation GPS system to the iPhone, squashing rumors that had started earlier in the week.

The rumors had started when a Google executive was quoted as saying the search giant was planning to bring the GPS to unspecified mobile platforms in the future.

"We did not say we would bring it to iPhone, we said to date we've had it on Android and that in the future it may come to other platforms but did not confirm this will be coming to iPhone at all,"
says Google, via PCWorld.

Maps Navigation, which is completely free and available for Android 1.6-2.1 users, offers 3D maps, turn-by-turn voice navigation, rerouting, real-time traffic, weather and more.

The software also pre-caches the entire route, so if you lose your data connection for a few minutes you can still see your progress towards the destination.




AfterDawn: News

Apple rep says iPhone OS is open, Flash is closed and proprietary

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Apr 2010 1:05

Apple rep says iPhone OS is open, Flash is closed and proprietary The war of words between Adobe and Apple over the latter company's apparent campaign to dethrone Flash as a standard web development technology continues to escalate.

Besides declining to work with Adobe to bring Flash to the iPhone OS, Apple has recently changed the Terms of Service for the iPhone SDK to disallow development with unauthorized tools like Adobe's new Creative Studio 5.

Earlier this week Adobe's Mike Chambers indicated that due to the new restrictions in the iPhone SDK TOS, Adobe won't contine development of tools to create iPhone apps in Flash CS5. Chambers wrote that Apple wants to "make it difficult for developers to target other platforms."

Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller shot back in a statement pointing out that the iPhone OS supports common open standards like HTML5, CSS, Javascript and H.264, calling Flash "closed and proprietary."

But does support for open standards actually make the iPhone OS itself open? After all, Flash also supports H.264, but as Muller correctly points out that doesn't stop it from being closed.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile USA to carry first Android-powered Garmin smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2010 0:38

T-Mobile USA to carry first Android-powered Garmin smartphone  T-Mobile USA has announced that it will become the exclusive carrier of GPS maker Garmin's first ever smartphone, the Android-based Garminfone.

The phone has a 3.5-inch screen, 3MP camera with autofocus, and because of the GPS, the pictures can be geo-tagged. The GPS, as standard, works over 3G and Wi-Fi.

While those specs are not impressive, the Garminfone is notable because of its GPS system, which has on-board US maps, text-to-speech, full driving/walking/public transportation directions, real-time traffic, weather, local events, movie listings and even gas prices.

The next best feature is "Garmin Voice Studio" which lets users "record and customize voice directions which can also be shared with family and friends."

Because it is more a GPS with phone capabilities than anything else, the device will come with a charging window and a dashboard mount for the car.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Blizzards removes 320,000 'cheaters' from Battle.net

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2010 15:05

Blizzards removes 320,000 'cheaters' from Battle.net Blizzard has announced today that they have removed 320,000 "cheaters" from Battle.net, shutting down the accounts of those playing Warcraft III and Diablo II and using hacks.

A first time ban gets your account suspended for 30 days, and a second time offender will be banned for good.

"We would like all players to remember that abuse of unintended mechanics and/or use of third party programs is a violation of the agreement made when signing on to Battle.net, and can subject your account to disciplinary action up to and including a permanent ban of its access to the service,"
says the Blizzard forum post. "These types of activities can severely impact the stability of our servers, and we'll continue to aggressively monitor Battle.net in order to protect the service and its players from the harmful effects of cheating."

The account closures are final, and the company says most of those banned were first reported by legitimate users who emailed the company claiming those users were cheating.

The company says if you know of any other cheaters or sites responsible for distributing hacks, email them at hacks@blizzard.com.




AfterDawn: News

YouTube video rental store now open

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2010 14:37

YouTube video rental store now open YouTube has opened their video rental store today, offering up movies and TV episodes for .99 to $3.99.

The rentals last for 48 hours and to buy them all you need is a Google Checkout account.

There aren't any big names movies so far, with most of the current catalog being independent, Bollywood, Manga and documentaries.

In February, YouTube expanded the store from just Sundance films, but the catalog is still small.

You can check the Store here: http://www.youtube.com/store




AfterDawn: News

Nokia shipped 21.5 million smartphones this quarter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2010 14:13

Nokia shipped 21.5 million smartphones this quarter Nokia reported today that their smartphone business saw strong growth, shipping 21.5 million units in the Q1 2010, a 57 percent jump year-on-year.

That number is expected to give Nokia a 41 percent share of the global smartphone market.

Overall mobile phone shipments grew 16 percent to 107.8 million which helped Nokia boost its quarterly profit 60 percent year-on-year.

Apple, on the other hand, saw 131 percent growth in the quarter, thanks to strong sales in China of the iPhone.

Nokia says the entire smartphone industry will continue to grow 10 percent in 2010, but the company says its share of the market will remain flat. Says CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo: Nokia faces "tough competition with respect to the high end of our mobile device portfolio."

The smartphone maker's new operating system, Symbian^3, has been delayed until the summer.




AfterDawn: News

Latest iPhone prototype is very close to final product, says Gruber

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2010 12:59

Latest iPhone prototype is very close to final product, says Gruber DaringFireball's John Gruber, known for his top connections inside Apple, says that the prototype "iPhone HD" revealed by Gizmodo earlier this week is very close to the final product, and may even be the final design.

The barcode on the back shows the label N90_DVT_GE4X_0493, with n90 known internally as the codename for the upcoming iPhone, and DVT standing for Design Verification Test, a unit only made "very late" into the development of a new product.

Gruber adds that the company has told him there will likely be only minor changes to the final design, so the phone lost in a bar last week is likely the iPhone 4G/HD as we know it.

New to the "iPhone HD," are a front-facing camera for video conferencing, a better standard camera (including larger lens and flash), a Micro-SIM slot (just like the iPad), 960x640 resolution, a second mic, metallic exterior (not plastic) and split side buttons for volume.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Dell releasing high-end Android, Windows Phone 7 smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2010 12:24

Dell releasing high-end Android, Windows Phone 7 smartphones Engadget has leaked four new Dell smartphones, Lightning, Thunder, Smoke and Flash, four high-end phones that will use Android or Windows Phone 7 as their operating systems.

First off is the Lightning:


The phones uses Windows Phone 7, has a large 4.1-inch OLED screen, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a full QWERTY keypad, 512MB RAM, 1GB ROM, 8GB of internal storage for music, movies, etc, a 5MP camera with LED flash, and Adobe Flash, DivX and Microsoft Silverlight support.

The phone will be available before Christmas for GSM carriers AT&T and T-Mobile.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple to purchase ARM for $8 billion?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2010 11:52

Apple to purchase ARM for $8 billion? If multiple reports are correct, it appears that Apple is considering acquiring ARM Holdings for $8 billion USD.

ARM is the company behind the processors in most of the world's current smartphones, including the iPhone.

The latest rumor comes via the London Evening Standard, which says Apple is looking to purchase ARM for 5.2 billion pounds, the equivalent of about $8 billion USD.

Although this is still speculation, Apple has over $25 billion in cash reserves and no debt, meaning the deal could be completed easily.

The move would have two positives for Apple. They would bring chip technology in-house, allowing for more "Apple-ized" processors, and secondly, Apple could potentially block ARM processors from being used in rival smartphones, such as those made by HTC with the Android OS.

The second "positive" may never come to fruition, given the notoriously strict nature of European anti-trust regulators, but it still a possibility.




AfterDawn: News

Hulu to start $10 per month premium subscription

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2010 11:25

Hulu to start $10 per month premium subscription Hulu, one of the most popular video streaming sites in America has announced it will begin testing a $10 per month premium subscription starting on May 24th.

The service, called Hulu Plus, will allow users to watch additional episodes than those that are currently made available to free users. Free users can, for the most part, watch the last five episodes of a current season of a show.

News Corp., NBCU and Disney, the three media giants behind the streaming site say Hulu has been profitable for two quarters now, with over $100 million in revenue coming from advertisers. Of course $100 million is a drop in the bucket compared to profits from "traditional media" outlets.

On top of the subscription model, Hulu is expected to eventually add as many commercial breaks as current TV has, 9 minutes for every 21 minutes of programming.

Despite being the second most popular streaming video site behind YouTube, Nielsen Online reports that unique viewership has almost flatlined, still growing but barely.




AfterDawn: News

Streaming baseball headed to the PS3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2010 11:02

Streaming baseball headed to the PS3 Sony has announced they will be bringing Major League Baseball to the PS3, in one of the biggest streaming deals announced in the history of the console.

Peter Dille, senior vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment America, agrees: "This is one of the biggest deals we're bringing to the PS3, and it won't be the last one, there's lots of conversations going on."

The games will be broadcast in 720p HD through MLB.TV, which costs $25 a month or $120 a year for a subscription.

The PS3 will get a custom MLB.TV interface which allows users to scroll through live games or archived games. You can also pause, rewind and jump forward during games, just as if it had been recorded with a DVR.

Notably, due to "blackout rules," users cannot watch their own local market teams.

"We're excited about bringing MLB onto the console ... this is something you can't find on any other console," Dille continues, via Reuters.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: Android OS running on first-gen iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2010 0:01

Video Daily: Android OS running on first-gen iPhone iPhone Dev Team member "planetbeing" has released a video today showing off a huge accomplishment, the Android OS running on a first-gen iPhone.

The hack is currently still in alpha stages, but planetbeing says it should get the ball rolling, and that it will be an "easy port forward to the iPhone 3G." Users with the latest iteration, the iPhone 3GS, will probably not even get to test the second OS for some time, however.

Making the video even more notable is that the device is running both the iPhone OS and Android, working like "Bootcamp" does on Mac computers, allowing for booting of multiple operating systems.

Watch the video, it's pretty incredible.




AfterDawn: News

Chinese iPhone sales see incredible growth

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2010 23:48

Chinese iPhone sales see incredible growth Out of all of the interesting news that came out of Apple's earnings report yesterday, one of the most interesting pieces was the incredible growth seen in iPhone sales in China.

Overall, Apple sold 8.752 million iPhones in the Q2 2010, beating even the most ambitious analyst projection by 20 percent.

In the earnings conference call (transcripted by CNNMoney, Apple COO TIm Cook talked with Barclay's Ben Reitzes. The conversation went like this:

Reitzes: Did China meet your expectations?

Cook: China has been interesting. If you look at greater China which we define as mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, the iPhone units were up year-over-year over 9 times. We added another 800 points of distribution in China. The revenue, we have never released this number before but I will do this in this particular case, through the first half of the fiscal year that we just completed for the six month period our revenue from greater China was almost $1.3 billion and this is up over 200% year-over-year. So we are well pleased with how the company is positioned to take advantage of the growth in greater China.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile VOD+ service for Android phones gets new partner

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2010 19:13

T-Mobile VOD+ service for Android phones gets new partner T-Mobile's VOD+ movie service has now signed its latest partner, Warner Bros., which will make a plethora of films available to users with Android handsets.

Users can rent and download the movie and then watch it on the PC or on their mobile phones.

Saffron Digital, the video delivery platform behind VOD+ has deals with Nokia, Vodafone, LG, Sony Pictures, Paramount and Fox.

The first seven movies available for rental through the VOD+ service are Driving Aphrodite, Superman 2, Matrix Revolutions, Lethal Weapon, Interview With a Vampire, The Hangover, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

More films are expected over the course of the year.

"We anticipate the Desire being one of our most popular handsets of 2010, and the VOD+ service makes it even greater value for our customers – giving them even more functionality on top of an already impressive features list," says Nicola Shenton, Head of Handset and Device Marketing at T-Mobile, via DT. "As the service is unique to T-Mobile, it will also be a key differentiator for us as we compete with other networks."




AfterDawn: News

Apple countersues Kodak over patent suit

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2010 18:46

Apple countersues Kodak over patent suit In January, Eastman Kodak said it was suing RIM and Apple over patent violations relating to the cameras used in BlackBerrys and the iPhone.

Today, Apple countersued Kodak, accusing the film pioneer of violating two digital photography patents that Apple owns.

Apple has accused EK of violating patents 6,031,964 and RE38,911, which are "a system and method for using a unified memory architecture to implement a digital camera device," and a "modular digital image processing via an image processing chain with modifiable parameter controls."

Adds Kodak: "As regards our intellectual property, Kodak has a long history of digital imaging innovation and we have invested hundreds of millions of dollars creating our industry-leading patent portfolio. We have an obligation to our shareholders and the other licensees to protect their interests. When others use our technology, we merely seek fair compensation for that use, in the same way that many other leading technology companies pay us to license Kodak technology."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Facebook 'Lite' shutdown

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2010 18:36

Facebook 'Lite' shutdown Facebook has shutdown their "Lite" version of the site which launched last year in India and the U.S. and was aimed at Internet users with dialup or slow DSL connections.

The stripped-down site was available since September.

Adds Ray Valdes of Gartner Research: "I think a lot of the Facebook experience was left out of Lite, especially the monetisable parts...the other part of this decision is probably because they have improved the performance sufficiently with the main part of Facebook and made things run better that they didn't need this back-up approach to cover a situation of low performance."

FB Lite only allowed users to write on walls, post video and photos and browse other profiles while all other features, such as applications, were stripped out.

There was no official word on why it shutdown but it seems that there was no point to keeping it open due to lack of users.

"It would seem not enough people were using it but then there was not a lot of awareness about the product. Tears will not be shed over the loss of Facebook Lite," wrote Nick O'Neil via the BBC.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo blames piracy for large drop in European DS sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2010 18:17

Nintendo blames piracy for large drop in European DS sales According to Asahi, Nintendo is blaming piracy for the huge 50 percent drop it has seen in DS software sales over the past year in Europe.

The company says it loses "trillions of Yen to piracy each year," with flash carts such as the R4 or the M3 blamed for most of the piracy.

Flash carts are used to run homebrew and other legal features on the Nintendo DS handheld, but also allow for the easy playback of pirated ROMs.

The company says there were about 238 million illegal downloads in 2009 of software, with the main offenders coming from Spain, France and Italy. If the numbers are accurate, Nintendo forecasted $10.7 billion in losses due to the piracy.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google finally brings full GPS to Android users in UK

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2010 17:58

Google finally brings full GPS to Android users in UK Google has finally released their free turn-by-turn GPS software, Google Maps Navigation for Android users in the UK, a full six months after it was launched in the United States.

Navigation will work with any Android phone running firmware 1.6 or higher.

Google mobile maps chief Steve Lee says the huge delay between the US and UK releases had to do with "a number of issues that came up during development." One of the technical issues included the excess of roundabouts in road layouts.

Additionally, Lee says that the Navigation will pre-cache the entire route you have selected, meaning users will not be affected by data connection drops.

One important note that Google says to watch out for is if you are using the voice command feature: "If someone has a really strong accent, it's going to be a bit more tricky" for Navigation to work correctly, says the company.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon Kindle to go on sale at Target this week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2010 17:28

Amazon Kindle to go on sale at Target this week Target has announced that it will begin selling the e-reader market leader Amazon Kindle in its brick-and-mortar stores starting April 25th, marking the first time the device will be available in stores.

Until this announcement, Amazon had remained the exclusive e-tailer for the Kindle.

To start, the device will only be available at 103 retail stores, with a larger rollout expected as the year progresses.

The Kindle sells for $259, putting it in direct competition with the Barnes & Noble Nook and less directly with the newly launched Apple iPad which sells for $500 but has more features than just e-reading.

"We're excited to be working with Amazon to help even more readers discover Kindle, in-store only at Target,"
adds Mark Schindele, senior vice president of Target, via MarketWatch. "We strive to enhance our product offerings to include surprising products and services at great values so we're proud to be the first brick-and-mortar retailer to sell Kindle, allowing our guests to feel how lightweight and easy on the eyes Kindle is."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Robber steals iPad, takes part of man's finger with it

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2010 17:04

Robber steals iPad, takes part of man's finger with it Police in Denver have released a surveillance video showing a thief stealing an iPad from a man leaving the mall, at the same time ripping off part of his left pinky finger.

The victim, Bill Jordan, was buying the tablet device at the Cherry Creek Mall for a co-worker.

"I kind of wrapped it around my fingers so I didn't drop it on the way out. It was a heavy duty bag they put it in, and had real thick cords," says Jordan, via KDVR.

As Jordan left the store, the attacker followed him, finally going for the theft when Jordan reached the door to leave the mall.

"The next thing I know, I'm spun around. I see this kid, his rear end almost on the ground, and he's pulling it out of my hand. I just remember seeing this kid pulling and pulling and pulling till it got caught. Took the flesh right off and the tendons and everything. There was nothing but bone,"
says the victim.

Jordan had to have his left pinky amputated after the incident.

Here is the surveillance video picture of the attacker:




AfterDawn: News

Teenage girls send over 100 texts a day, on average

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2010 21:11

Teenage girls send over 100 texts a day, on average According to a new report by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project, texting among American teenagers has exploded over the past years, with 14-to-17-year old girls averaging over 100 sent and received per day.

Overall, over 30 percent of all those surveyed sent 100 per day while 50 percent send over 50.

As of September 2009, 54 percent of teenagers sent at least one message daily, an increase from the 38 percent figure in Pew's data taken a year before.

Teenage boys only averaged 20 per day.

Says the report: "They are using [mobile phones] to share stories and photos. They are using them to entertain themselves when they are bored. They are using them to microcoordinate their schedules and face-to-face gather­ings. And some are using their phones to go online to browse the Web, to participate in social networks and check their e-mails."

On the other hand, the report goes into the "darker" aspects of the texting growth saying: "Teens are also using mobile phones to cheat on tests and to skirt rules at school and with their parents. Some are using their phones to send sexts, others are sleeping with buzzing phones under their pillows, and some are using their phones to place calls and text while driving."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo 3DS to launch as soon as October?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2010 20:47

Nintendo 3DS to launch as soon as October? According to CVG, the Nintendo 3DS handheld will be released in October, a full six months earlier than previous reports.

The device will be unveiled at the E3 event, and CVG says "UK industry sources" have told them the handheld will hit store shelves in October, right before the holiday season.

All previous reports, including quotes from Nintendo themselves, had said only that the handheld would be launched before March of 2011.

Says one of the sources: "In my experience, you don't launch a product that early to Christmas unless you're confident in it - and going to spend a lot of money on it. We're reassured that Nintendo is going to give it some decent backing in Q4."

The 3DS, which has scant details so far, will give users a chance to enjoy "3D" software without need for glasses, and the system will be backward compatible for DS titles.

Nintendo also says the system will not just be a minor reiteration of the DS (like the DSi, and the XL) but instead a brand new console.




AfterDawn: News

iPad being banned from university campuses

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2010 20:21

iPad being banned from university campuses A few of America's larger universities have banned the Apple iPad from their campuses, saying the tablet device causes problems with their wireless networks.

For example, Princeton University recently blocked 20 percent of the iPads on campus because of "malfunctions that can affect the entire school's computer system." The University says the iPad is the root of DHCP client malfunctions, meaning it causes interference for other devices on the school's network.

In another situation, George Washington University said: "Our current authentication system isn't supported by the iPhone or the iPad." That means the devices aren't banned, but cant log in to the network.

Princeton said it is actively working with Apple to solve the problem, GWU said it will likely not be fixed until next year.

On the other hand, rival Ivy League school Cornell says they have about 80 iPad's connected to their network, with no problems whatsoever.

The news comes after the entire country of Israel decided to ban the device, citing a conflict in Wi-Fi standards used.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: WebOS hacked through SMS flaw

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2010 15:28

Video Daily: WebOS hacked through SMS flaw Intrepidus Group, a firm specializing in security and risk, has found an exploit for Palm WebOS firmware version 1.3.5, with the researchers sending a specially formatted SMS message that contains malicious HTML used to execute commands.

Says the group: "The security team was able to send SMS messages that would automatically open webpages and dial numbers to shut off the handsets radio . They say the reason the attacks are possible is because the OS is essentially a web browser written in javascript and HTML."

It is important to note that the exploit is for 1.3.5, and the newly released 1.4 fixes the vulnerabilities, although not all carriers have offered the new firmware OTA.

Palm has been struggling, with the company putting itself up for sale, with the company's software chief leaving, and retailers slashing prices just to get the phones off the shelves.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Comcast denies connection to 'Tea Party TV' venture

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2010 14:55

Comcast denies connection to 'Tea Party TV' venture Comcast has denied today that is has any connection to RightNetwork, a start-up venture that will launch in the Republican states and will "reflect and reinforce their perspective and worldview.”

The large ISP had been identified as a key partner, and The Huffington Post went as far to call the new venture "Tea Party TV," alluding to the anti-tax protesters.

Comcast vehemently denies: "The blog reports that Comcast is an investor in, or partner of the RightNetwork are inaccurate. We have no partnership with this venture and have no plans to launch or distribute the network," says Comcast spokeswoman Jennifer Khoury.

Khoury does admit that they met with RightNetwork reps.

RightNetwork has since taken down the quote that they have partnered with Comcast, but the independently owned media company will debut sometime in 2010.

You can check some trailers of the programming here: http://rightnetwork.com/




AfterDawn: News

If you want porn, get an Android phone, says Steve Jobs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2010 14:17

If you want porn, get an Android phone, says Steve Jobs Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been responding to customer emails a lot lately, but his latest email has made the headlines, probably because it involves pornography.

When asked by customer Matthew Browning about Apple's role in being gatekeepers, Jobs responded: "We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone."

This is the second time in the last month that Jobs has made a public connection between rival operating system Android and porn. At a Q&A after the unveiling of OS 4.0, Jobs had said: "You know, there’s a porn store for Android. You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That’s a place we don’t want to go – so we’re not going to go there."

Apple and Google are just in the beginning stages of what should end up being the biggest rivalry in the smartphone market, and it seems for now Apple is trying to make some subtle slights at Android.

Here is the email back-and-forth, through TechCrunch:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple wants its iPhone prototype back

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2010 13:52

Apple wants its iPhone prototype back Yesterday, Gizmodo broke what promises to be the most popular story of the next few weeks, revealing what they believe to be a prototype of Apple's upcoming "iPhone HD/4G," the fourth generation model of the extremely popular smartphone.

Today, Apple has made it abundantly clear that they want the phone back, with Gizmodo's editorial director Brian Lam saying that they have received an official letter.

The phone was found on the floor in a bar in Redwood City, with a case that camouflaged it to look like a current generation iPhone 3GS, and Gizmodo says they paid the guy who found it $5000 for the device. The prototype belonged to Apple software engineer Gray Powell. By the morning, the phone had been wiped using the MobileMe remote service.

Whether or not Apple is mad or not, Gizmodo's $5000 investment has brought them over 6 million page views in under 30 hours, a massive spike even for the largest of sites.

For the full story and pictures of the device please check here: Gizmodo reveals upcoming iPhone model

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ubisoft to kill off paper manuals from video games

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2010 13:26

Ubisoft to kill off paper manuals from video games Ubisoft has announced this week that it plans to kill off paper manuals for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, "going green" if you will, in an effort that will save up to 2300 trees in the next year.

The publisher will eliminate about six million paper manuals from video game packaging.

"Ubisoft is often recognized for making great games, but it's a special privilege to be the industry leader at saving trees," notes North American president of Ubisoft Laurent Detoc. "Introducing in-game digital manuals is just the latest example of Ubisoft's ongoing commitment to being a more environmentally conscious company."

Instead of the paper manuals, the company will include digitized manuals on the game discs. Last month, Ubisoft switched to in-game digital manuals for PC games.

"We are taking steps to become an industry leader in environmentally conscious packaging," adds Ubisoft vice president of operations Rich Kubiszewski. "This obviously has impacts to the environment and the consumer, both positive. No more losing the manual, and we can provide more robust content."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Xbox 360 sales hit milestone in Australia, NZ

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2010 13:12

Xbox 360 sales hit milestone in Australia, NZ Microsoft has announced today that Xbox 360 sales have surpassed one million in Australia and New Zealand.

"Reaching the one million console milestone is a great achievement and one that puts us in a great position for the coming year," added Frazer Scott, acting marketing director of entertainment and devices for Microsoft New Zealand. "Since 2006, we've taken the lead in the innovation space and driven the growth in online entertainment. Our online community, Xbox Live, is one of the largest online communities in the ANZ region with more than 525,000 subscribers. We also offer services such as Facebook and Twitter on Xbox Live and movies streamed in HD direct to your television, which really sets us apart from our competition."

As a way to celebrate the milestone, GI.biz says the company will be auctioning off celebrity-designed 360 units, as a way to aid the David Peachey Foundation, named after the former professional rugby player.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Seagate HD media players add streaming video

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2010 2:12

Seagate HD media players add streaming video Seagate has announced today that their FreeAgent Theater+ HD Media Players will soon be updated to include streaming video such as Netflix and YouTube.

The media players allow for easy playback of video files on user's TVs, and the company says besides the big two, streaming access is also available for vTuner and Mediafly.

The new features will come via a firmware update in the near future, and the firmware will be pre-installed on all future media player shipments.

The FreeAgent players allow for video playback from memory drives, hard drives, the web, or streamed from a computer network.




AfterDawn: News

Dell Mini 5 tablet headed to T-Mobile?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2010 1:43

Dell Mini 5 tablet headed to T-Mobile? Users looking through FCC filings have found what seems to be proof that the Dell Mini 5 tablet will eventually head to T-Mobile, with the filing showing off the WCDMA bands of the carrier.

The Mini 5 has already been approved for AT&T, so it seems that the company is looking to reach as many consumers as it can with GSM, distributing through a couple of carriers.

The Dell Mini 5, the company's first true tablet, will have a larger 5-inch display with WVGA (800x480 resolution) which is fully multi-touch supported.

It is unclear which Android firmware it will run, with reports differing from 1.6 all the way up to the latest, 2.1. The device will use a powerful 1 GHz processor. As with all tablets, 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support is standard. Separating it even further from the iPad is the addition of a front-facing camera, allowing for video conferencing.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide details revealed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2010 18:35

T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide details revealed The specs for the upcoming myTouch 3G Slide have been revealed this week by an employee who was given the phone to test, and it seems that G1 users finally have their successor.

The phone includes a 600 MHz ARM processor, Android 2.1 with HTC Sense and multi-touch support, 512MB of RAM, 512MB internal storage, a 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash, and a free 8GB MicroSD card.

The only feature missing from the 2.1 included with the new Slide is "live wallpapers," interactive backgrounds that can be found on high-end devices such as the Nexus One and HTC Incredible.

The smartphone will also come with Swype as the default keyboard, giving users the chance to use the record-breaking text input system that has been in closed beta for some time now.

Additionally, the game "Abduction" will come pre-installed, as well as a music streaming service that is similar to Pandora.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Radio Shack to drop Palm phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2010 18:13

Radio Shack to drop Palm phones According to a blurb in Barron's, Radio Shack will begin to phase out its available Palm Pre and Pixi supply for two new smartphones.

Sprint, the carrier of the phones, has confirmed the new move:

"This is in line with Radio Shack’s normal product planning process - there is a designated amount of space in stores for handsets and they work to keep the line up of devices as current as possible,"
says Sprint spokesman Scott Sloat.

It is unclear what two phones will replace the Palm devices, but Sloat says one will be "a BlackBerry device" and the other will be a "message-centric device."

Palm, the struggling smartphone maker that has put itself up for sale in a last-ditch effort to avoid possible imminent bankruptcy, has seen its share price collapse over the past few months, and just this week reported that Michael Abbott, their software and services chief has resigned, another blow to the company's future.




AfterDawn: News

HTC Incredible now up for pre-order through Verizon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2010 15:40

HTC Incredible now up for pre-order through Verizon Earlier this week, Verizon finally launched the much-hyped HTC Incredible, an Android smartphone that will become the company's new "flagship" model.

Today, the device has gone up for pre-order through Verizon, with a delivery date of April 29th. The phone sells for $200 with two-year agreement, or you can buy it without contract for $530.

The phone has a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, an 8MP camera with dual-LED flashes, Android 2.1 built-in and the latest HTC Sense UI.

Additionally, the phone has a 3.7-inch multi-touch 800x480 screen, GPS, Wi-Fi, 3G and is seen as the sequel to the popular Desire smartphone.

Incredible buyers will also be some of the first to use the Skype VoIP app, allowing for instant messaging and long distance calls with a Skype account.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: The McDonalds Nintendo DSi

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2010 15:29

Video Daily: The McDonalds Nintendo DSi Kotaku has showed off a screencap pic of the McDonald's Nintendo DSi, a fully branded handheld used by Japanese McDonald's restaurants to train new employees.

There are two DSi units for every McDonald's restaurant in Japan, all 3700 of them.

The giant fast food company says the handhelds cut training time in half, at the same time giving new employees a more interactive way to learn the business.

Collaborations between the two companies is not new, with Nintendo loaning out Mario in the late 80s for McDonald's ads.

The following video is from Bloomberg and shows off the training software in action.




AfterDawn: News

Apple delays iPad 3G launch until May 7th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2010 14:54

Apple delays iPad 3G launch until May 7th According to the official company site, the iPad 3G model will begin shipping "by" May 7th, a slight delay from the formerly promised "end of April" launch.

All three versions, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB will be available.

The Wi-Fi-only "cheap" versions of the tablet remain on sale, with a minimum price of $499. Apple says over 600,000 units have already been sold.

Thanks to such strong demand, Apple had to delay the international launch of the iPad, pushing the launch to late May.

The new Wi-Fi + 3G models retail for $629 at minimum and $829 for the higher capacity model.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Gizmodo reveals upcoming iPhone model

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2010 14:29

Gizmodo reveals upcoming iPhone model Gizmodo has broken what promises to be the most popular story of the next few weeks today, revealing what they believe to be a prototype of Apple's upcoming "iPhone HD," the fourth generation model of the extremely popular smartphone.

The report says the phone was found on the floor in a bar in Redwood City, with a case that camouflaged it to look like a current generation iPhone 3GS.

The hardware, as well as the form factor is very different than the last three models of the phone, and I will post a few of the pictures of the hardware after the article.

New to the "iPhone HD," are a front-facing camera for video conferencing, a better standard camera (including larger lens and flash), a Micro-SIM slot (just like the iPad), 960x640 resolution, a second mic, metallic exterior (not plastic) and split side buttons for volume.

The form factor is very different as well. The back is flat and not rounded, slightly smaller screen, a more "square" design all around with less wasted space, a larger battery, and smaller internal components.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Osama Bin Laden Facebook fan page shut down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2010 0:59

Osama Bin Laden Facebook fan page shut down A Facebook fan page for Osama Bin Laden has been shut down today, after 1000 "fans" signed up to watch posts linking to speeches and recordings of the Islamic extremist.

The page went up in late March, and refers to bin Laden as the "Prince of Mujahideen."

Although it is unclear who started the page, Facebook says they doubt there is any direct link, and the page was likely put up by supporters in the Middle East.

Adds the social networking site: "People often attempt to register fake accounts under the name of famous or infamous people. There is no evidence to suggest that the account in question or the other dozens of people who have tried to present themselves as Osama bin Laden have any relation to the terrorist. As is our standard practice, we have disabled the account."

Spokesman Andrew Noyes says the company has access to the IP addresses and email addresses used by a profile or a group.

"These pages do pop up,"
Noyes adds, via ABC. "Sometimes they are able to slip through the cracks, but we do end up taking them down."




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: HTC Incredible in action

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2010 0:42

Video Daily: HTC Incredible in action Earlier this week, Verizon finally launched the much-hyped HTC Incredible, an Android smartphone that will become the company's new "flagship" model.

The phone has a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, an 8MP camera with dual-LED flashes, Android 2.1 built-in and the latest HTC Sense UI.

Additionally, the phone has a 3.7-inch multi-touch 800x480 screen, GPS, Wi-Fi, 3G and is seen as the sequel to the popular Desire smartphone.

The Incredible will go on sale on April 29th, with pre-orders starting on the 19th.

The smartphone will sell for $200 with contract, the same price as the Droid initially cost when it launched last November.

Today, BGR has posted a video walk through of the phone, and it looks very good:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Adobe Flash for Android, WebOS delayed again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2010 0:27

Adobe Flash for Android, WebOS delayed again Last year, Adobe confidently proclaimed that it would bring a Flash Player for the smartphone operating systems Android and WebOS, saying they would have the launch ready for the Q2 of 2010.

Today, the company has said the player is not ready and will not be available until the "second half" of the year, putting a damper on the hopes of many Android and WebOS owners.

The player, Flash 10.1, will likely not be available until at least September says CEO Shantanu Narayen, adding that a BlackBerry version will also be made available at the same time.

The full player, which is available for Windows and Mac machines, will support all Flash video, as well as sites that use Flash for navigation or have Flash splash screens.

Adobe says the software will take advantage of the differing capabilities of the phone it is being run on, including multi-touch support and hardware acceleration.




AfterDawn: News

Palm's software chief to leave company next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2010 16:06

Palm's software chief to leave company next week Palm, the struggling smartphone maker that has put itself up for sale in a last-ditch effort to avoid possible imminent bankruptcy, has taken another hit today reporting that Michael Abbott, their software and services chief will leave the company at the end of next week.

Abbott resigned on Monday and will leave on April 23rd, reads the SEC filing.

The chief was a lead proponent of the WebOS operating system.

In the same regulatory filing, Palm said it was paying two key executives a $250,000 bonus to stay on board. Each will also receive restricted stock. Both perks pay out over two years, given the company is still alive and the execs are still working for Palm.

Over the past few days, since Palm confirmed it was up for sale, a plethora of big names of been noted as possible buyers including rivals RIM, Lenovo and Dell, each of which have smartphones in the market. The latest in the list is Huawei of China.




AfterDawn: News

Israel explains iPad ban

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2010 15:39

Israel explains iPad ban On Thursday we reported that the Israeli newspaper Haaretz had reported that the Apple iPad has been blocked from entering Israel, with customs officials confiscating all devices upon entry.

Today, the Israeli Ministry of Communications has elaborated on their reasoning behind the ban.

Says spokesperson Yechiel Shavi: "This device's wireless strengths violate Israeli law and will overpower other wireless devices in Israel."

Shavi added that if Apple releases a new version that complies with EU Wi-Fi standards, the ban will be overturned. Apple, in rebuttal says: "The iPad complies with international industry standards for Wi-Fi specifications."

The ban makes little sense to anyone outside of Israel. Apple uses a standard Wi-Fi chip that is industry-wide. From a technical standpoint, the ban doesn't make sense, says Richard Doherty, an analyst with the technology consulting firm Envisioneering Group, via the WSJ.

We will certainly keep you updated on any development, as this story keeps getting stranger and stranger.




AfterDawn: News

Dell Aero, Mini 5 devices to launch for AT&T in June?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2010 15:17

Dell Aero, Mini 5 devices to launch for AT&T in June? According to new reports, AT&T will launch the Aero smartphone and the Mini 5 tablet in June.

Both will run some iterations of the Android operating system but that is where the comparisons end.

The Aero, Dell's first American smartphone since the death of their Axim line in 2007, features a 3.5" nHD display with 360x640resolution, a 5MP camera, Flash Lite for better Internet video support and full GPS.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

141,000 DSi XL units sold in U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2010 14:36

141,000 DSi XL units sold in U.S. The new, larger iteration of the DS handheld series, the DSi XL had a strong debut month in March says video game analyst Michael Pachter.

Although it was only available for four days in March, Nintendo still sold 141,000 units, with the full line (DS Lite, DSi and the XL) selling 701,000 units for the month.

If accurate, the number is very high considering the XL sells for $190, a premium price from the DS Lite (MSRP $130) and DSi (MSRP $170).

The screen of the XL is 93 percent bigger than the DSi, and Nintendo has said it is aimed at users that want to use the Internet more, making the text easier to read.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Verizon launches HTC Incredible Android device

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2010 14:07

Verizon launches HTC Incredible Android device Verizon has finally launched the much-hyped HTC Incredible, an Android smartphone dubbed as the latest in a long line of "iPhone killers."

The phone has a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, an 8MP camera with dual-LED flashes, Android 2.1 built-in and the latest HTC Sense UI.

Additionally, the phone has a 3.7-inch multi-touch 800x480 screen, GPS, Wi-Fi, 3G and is seen as the sequel to the popular Desire smartphone.

The Incredible will go on sale on April 29th, with pre-orders starting on the 19th.

The smartphone will sell for $200 with contract, the same price as the Droid initially cost when it launched last November.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone launch confirmed for June?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2010 13:30

iPhone launch confirmed for June? For the third year in a row, BGR is reporting that they have confirmed with AT&T insider sources that employee vacations have been blocked in June, almost confirming that a new iPhone launch is imminent this summer, in either June or early July.

This fourth generation iPhone has been a device of rumor for some time now, with most claiming it will be called the iPhone HD.

In March, the WSJ reported that a new iPhone was coming this summer, but they offered very few details other than saying it would be thinner and include a more powerful processor.

DaringFireball, as reported here, added some more fuel to the fire, saying that the iPhone HD will include an A4-family CPU system-on-a-chip, a 960 × 640 double-resolution display, a front facing camera in addition to the standard camera, as well as iPhone OS 4.0 built-in, with multitasking.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Popbox SDK released, still no launch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2010 13:09

Popbox SDK released, still no launch The much-anticipated Popbox launch is on its way, says parent company Syabas, but for the time being the company has released the popbox SDK 1.0, allowing developers to create Flash applications that use the popbox API.

When launched, the new interface includes "infopops" which show off the weather, Twitter feeds, and other data. The interface also includes a cover-flow-esque visual thumbnails selection for videos, music and other data, as well as universal search.

More notably, the interface can handle Flash, Java and QT meaning Netflix is now available. Also available is Hulu, CBS and ABC content, which can now include the in-video ads required for playback. Facebook, Twitter, Shoutcast MP3, Revision3 and other Popcorn Hour content will rollover to the new box.

For video, full 1080p at 100Mbps is now supported, along with the standard MPEG formats, H.264, VC-1, WMV, MKV, XviD and other containers. The player can also support most subtitle files, including Microsoft's proprietary one. For streaming, the Popbox can recognize iTunes via Bonjour, and DLNA and UPnP sources.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nook 'Lite' and Nook 2 e-readers coming soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2010 3:15

Nook 'Lite' and Nook 2 e-readers coming soon Gizmodo has posted today that a "tipster" has sent them credible information that Barnes & Noble will be releasing two new e-reader devices this year, a Nook 'Lite' and the Nook 2.

Additionally, the book company is releasing an firmware update for the original Nook that will add a full browser.

The Nook Lite will have Wi-Fi only, stripping the "free" 3G support. It is unclear what will be new in the Nook 2.

The Lite will sell for $199, making the device the cheapest of the major e-readers, and significantly cheaper than the $499 "cheap" model of the iPad.

The firmware update, v1.4, should be available next week for download.

The original Nook will begin selling in all Best Buy locations starting tomorrow, the first time the device is available outside of B&N.




AfterDawn: News

Sony cancels development of 'PlayStation Room' on PSP

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2010 2:46

Sony cancels development of 'PlayStation Room' on PSP Sony Japan has canceled all plans and development for their previously announced PlayStation Room PSP service, the virtual world social network that would have been like the handheld version of the PlayStation Home world currently popular on the PS3.

The company announced the new move on their Japanese language site, saying that following a beta testing period, they have decided to cancel development.

They did not give any particular reason for the cancellation, but poor user feedback may be to blame.

Beta testers of the service owned and customized their own virtual rooms, including 3D avatars, says GI.biz. You could then invite other users to chat rooms, as well as share images.

PlayStation Room would have been free, with some content (like dressing the avatar, and furnishing the room) costing some money.




AfterDawn: News

XPERIA X10 will receive Android 2.1 update in September

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2010 2:32

XPERIA X10 will receive Android 2.1 update in September According to multiple reports, the Sony Ericsson XPERIA X10 smartphone will finally get the Android 2.1 update this year, however, users will have to wait until September to get it.

Coming with 2.1 will be multi-touch support, which has been one of the X10's biggest criticisms.

Mobile.co.uk says the phone will launch with Android 1.6.

The X10, which will launch this month, features a 4-inch touch screen with 480x854 resolution, a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250 processor, UMTS HSPA 800/1900/2100 and GSM GPRS/EDGE 850/900/1800/1900, 8.1MP camera with 16x zoom, image stabilization and flash and an included 8GB memory card. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and 3G are standard as well.







AfterDawn: News

Zune, Zune HD hacked, XNA limitations removed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2010 1:42

Zune, Zune HD hacked, XNA limitations removed A ZuneBoards post today has revealed that the Zune and Zune HD media devices have finally been hacked, as of today, meaning all XNA limitations are no longer a problem.

A few of the current XNA limitations are no 3D, no Internet access, and performance peaks that are not very high given the hardware.

The ZuneBoards Development Front, which consists of "itsnotabigtruck", "Netrix" and "Nurta," says that all Zune models, past and present are now hacked and will "for the first time, run applications directly on top of the Zune firmware," giving users and developers full access to the firmware and hardware, without limitations.

Dubbed OpenZDK, the hackers behind it say there have been very few apps written so far, but admittedly OpenZDK is newly released.

That being said, developers can now add emulators, 3D games, port classic games, and also create full-on app stores, like Cydia for jailbroken iPhones.

Read the OpenZDK wiki here: OpenZDK Dev Wiki




AfterDawn: News

China reports millions of Conficker worm infections

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Apr 2010 16:51

China reports millions of Conficker worm infections An official report in China has shown the reach of a widespread variant of Conficker B in the country as of late last year. The report from the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (CNCERT) reported 7 million Internet-connected machines in the country infected with the Conficker B in the first half of 2009.

In the second half of the year, the number of Conficker infections in the country varied but only spent one week under 5 million PCs. From the figures, China had up to 28 percent of the worldwide Conficker reach within its borders, depending on the week.

Chinese users are found to be hit more easily by worms that in other areas of the world. About 4 percent of the country's 380 million Internet users run no security software at all, and the higher rates of pirate software also has an impact with services such as Automatic Updates being disabled.

China also had anywhere from 125,000 to over 300,000 IPs infected with Conficker C during the second half of last year, giving it up to 20 percent of the world's infections for that variant.




AfterDawn: News

Irish High Court ruling paves way for Internet connection suspension for pirates

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Apr 2010 16:32

Irish High Court ruling paves way for Internet connection suspension for pirates A ruling by the High Court in Ireland has paved way for subscribers of Eircom's Internet services to have their service suspended for repeatedly sharing music illegally despite warnings. Eircom is the country's largest ISP, but the ruling is expected to have an effect on other ISPs in Ireland.

In a settlement deal last year, Eircom agreed to implement measures aimed at stopping illegal downloading, including handing over subscribers' identities when they are caught sharing files illegally. The Data Protection Commissioner had concerns about the settlement, questioning whether the measures violated rights of access to the Internet.

Mr Justice Peter Charleton rejected the concerns, ruling that the anti-piracy measures were lawful and compatible with the data protection legislation. He said that young people are now in the habit of file sharing that they appear to believe they have an entitlement to take what is not theirs.

"The right to be identified with and to reasonably exploit one's own original creative endeavour I regard as a human right," he commented, referring to what he said was a fundamental right to copyright in Irish law.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung guidelines warns about 3D viewing health risks

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Apr 2010 16:09

Samsung guidelines warns about 3D viewing health risks Samsung has offered some guidelines for 3D television viewing and possible associated health risks and side effects. While most likely being the result of pressure from lawyers, the health warnings would probably take a bit of enthusiasm about 3D away from anybody who reads them.

"Some viewers may experience an epileptic seizure or stroke when exposed to certain flashing images or lights contained in certain television pictures or video games. If you suffer from, or have a family history of epilepsy or strokes, please consult with a medical specialist before using the 3D function," the warnings read.

"Even those without a personal or family history of epilepsy or stroke may have an undiagnosed condition that can cause photosensitive epileptic seizures. Pregnant women, the elderly, sufferers of serious medical conditions, those who are sleep deprived or under the influence of alcohol should avoid utilising the unit’s 3D functionality."

"Viewing 3D television may also cause motion sickness, perceptual after effects, disorientation, eye strain and decreased postural stability. It is recommended that users take frequent breaks to lessen the potential of these effects. If your eyes show signs of fatigue or dryness or if you have any of the above symptoms, immediately discontinue use of this device and do not resume using it for at least thirty minutes after the symptoms have subsided."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

First Sony 3D HDTV to go on sale in June

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Apr 2010 0:17

First Sony 3D HDTV to go on sale in June Sony has announced that their first Bravia 3D HDTV for the UK will go on sale in June and the company will be bundling four 3D games for early adopters.

The TV, the Bravia HX803 has 200Hz high frame rate technology, a "simulated 3D" feature which converts standard 2D pictures into simulated 3D. The TV will also feature 'high speed precision' technology, which reduces the mixing of 3D images assigned to each eye.

The TV will require 3D glasses, and Sony will sell pairs with expected 100 hour battery life.

The four HD games, Wipeout HD, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift, PAIN and Super Stardust HD are all PSN games that will be re-released with 3D optimization, says GI.biz.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Boxee app headed to iPhone, iPad, Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Apr 2010 22:45

Boxee app headed to iPhone, iPad, Android According to Boxee CEO Avner Ronen, the company is working on an app for the iPhone,iPad and Android devices.

The iPad app is already in development while the Android app is so far, just a "coming soon." Boxee recently listed a job opening for "lead developer on software for Apple's mobile operating systems."

There is currently an iPhone app, but it serves as little more than a remote control for the desktop software. The new app would allow for users to stream video on their portable devices.

Speaking about the iPad, Ronen says (via LATimes): "It's perfect for video. You can start watching in bed. And then just take it with you."

The company is also looking to add more content providers, better social networking features and to introduce a centralized payment platform.

A recent study showed that 75 percent of all digital companies were actively looking for a strategy for video on the iPad, meaning the tablet may be a little more than a "fad."




AfterDawn: News

Amazon Kindle sales figures released?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Apr 2010 22:29

Amazon Kindle sales figures released? According to new figures from Display Search, the Amazon Kindle has sold 3.3 million units to date.

So far Amazon has kept sales figures under wraps, normally changing the topic to promoting their e-book business.

The data figures say e-paper displays increased to five million units in 2009, up over 400 percent from the 950,000 units in 2008. E-paper displays are used primarily in e-readers.

"Seeing this growth for a new application, especially in the second half of last year, is a vote of confidence from consumers who seem to have embraced e-books,"
notes Hiroshi Hayase, DisplaySearch director of small- to medium-size displays. "Momentum from e-book popularity last year combined with new, larger-size products hitting the market right now means that this trend will continue, so we will see large shipment volume increases in the first half of 2010."

The Kindle had 66 percent of the e-paper market in 2009, and DisplaySearch says it expects the Amazon device to continue to dominate.

"Boosted by success from e-books thus far, Amazon is expanding its service offering to help customers access more timely books at low cost. We expect to see other service providers increase their presence in the US and expand e-book adoption in Europe and Asia as well," Hayase continued.




AfterDawn: News

First iPhone OS 4.0 beta jailbreak hits

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Apr 2010 22:01

First iPhone OS 4.0 beta jailbreak hits MuscleNerd has just Tweeted that the first iPhone OS 4.0 beta jailbreak is now available, using the same pwnage2 DFU exploit that has been available since 2008.

Reads the Tweet: "1st public 4.0b1 jailbreak [ link ] ..Only JB devs til they fix their SW! iPhone3G+Mac only til more is working."

That link leads to the redsn0w 0.9.5 BETA page which now says "4.0beta1 FW only (for now)" under the supported firmwares list. On the page comes a note however: YOU SHOULD STAY CLEAR OF THIS BETA SOFTWARE IF YOU RELY ON A CARRIER UNLOCK. That's because the beta redsn0w works only if your device has already been upgraded to the stock 4.0beta1 IPSW from Apple, which contains a baseband update. If you installed that IPSW, you've already lost the carrier unlock until the next planned release of ultrasn0w and blacksn0w.

Last week, hacker iH8sn0w said that he has already jailbroken the brand new iPhone 4.0 OS beta, posting the keys and claiming that he will be releasing the jailbreak in the near future.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Intel wants USB 3.0 replaced with Light Peak cables

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Apr 2010 21:51

Intel wants USB 3.0 replaced with Light Peak cables Intel's lack of a USB 3.0 chipset has signaled to observers that the company may be bypassing USB 3.0 in favor of optical technology. Whether that is true or not remains to be seen, but Intel has been promoting its Light Peak technology which promises transmission speeds of between 10Gbps and 100Gbps.

Light Peak technology was unveiled in 2009 and is expected to become available for manufacturers later in 2010. Devices containing the technology are expected to reach the market by early 2011.

Intel fellow Kevin Kahn discussed the technology at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing on Wednesday, showing off a laptop with a thin Light Peak cable. Kahn's prototype had the cable running through a modified USB 3.0 port adapter. He said that the size of the port could be reduced significantly with Light Peak technology which is good news for mobile gadgets in particular.

Kahn said that Light Peak is not necessarily competitive with USB, but instead the two technologies could be complementary. USB protocols could run over a Light Peak cable.

Kahn told the crowd in attendance that Intel would like to build the "last cable you'll ever need."




AfterDawn: News

Following Russian office raid, HP accused of bribery

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Apr 2010 21:37

Following Russian office raid, HP accused of bribery After a formal request from German authorities, the Moscow offices of HP were raided yesterday and the company has since been accused of bribing the prosecutor general of the Russian Federation over $10 million USD to secure a communications product contract worth $40 million.

In response, HP said: The "conduct that occurred almost seven years ago, largely by employees no longer with HP. We are cooperating fully with the German and Russian authorities." HP will also be conducting an internal investigation into the allegations.

The Wall Street Journal takes it a step further saying that HP has created shell companies in the US, UK, Switzerland, New Zealand, the British Virgin Islands, Latvia, Austria, Lithuania that funnel payments.

The investigation includes claims of breach of trust, tax evasion, bribery and money laundering.

HP itself cannot be charged under German law, but the executives can, and HP's illegal profits can be taken.




AfterDawn: News

Security researchers hunt for bugs in archive file formats

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Apr 2010 21:34

Security researchers hunt for bugs in archive file formats Security researchers have put attention on archive file formats such as RAR and ZIP files because of their potential security vulnerabilities. Up until recently many antivirus programs weren't capable of detecting malicious software in commonly used archival formats, but most antivirus vendors patched their products for better detection.

Tomislav Pericin, founder of RLPack, Mario Vuksan, an independent security researcher and Brian Karney, COO of Access Data, gave a presentation at the Black Hat security conference where they demonstrated how it is possible to tamper with popular archive formats to insert malicious code such as the Conficker worm.

Malware authors had been taking advantage of how packing malicious software in compressed archive files could trick security software, but antivirus companies stepped up efforts in detection of malware hidden in such files. However, the three researchers showed that it is still possible to evade gateway products that analyze file attachments.

"The problem is the AV vendors and the archive vendors have two different solutions. If they don't work in sync, the user can extract an archive on their PC, but the AV won't be able to, and that's a problem," Pericin said.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Israel bans iPad from the country

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Apr 2010 21:18

Israel bans iPad from the country The Israeli newspaper Haaretz has reported today that the Apple iPad has been blocked from entering Israel, with customs officials confiscating all devices upon entry.

10 devices have already been seized, and tourists visiting the country only get their iPads back when they leave.

The problem seems to be with the iPad's built-in Wi-Fi, which will disrupt the signals of other devices that use different standards.

"If you operate equipment in a frequency band which is different from the others that operate on that frequency band, then there will be interference,"
says Nati Schubert, a senior deputy director for the Israeli Communications Ministry. "We don't care where people buy their equipment. ... But without regulation, you would have chaos."

In the U.S., devices with built-in Wi-Fi have the capability to broadcast at higher power levels than are allowed by "European standards."

While consumers and tourists alike have complained about the ban, some developers were able to get the device imported before the ban and will use it to develop apps.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google, Yahoo countersue Xerox over patent complaint

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Apr 2010 21:17

Google, Yahoo countersue Xerox over patent complaint Google Inc, YouTube and Yahoo! have filed counterclaims against Xerox Corp in response to a lawsuit accusing the companies of patent infringement. Xerox claims that the accused infringed several of its patents relating to Internet search functions.

The defendants are now seeking declarations that they did not infringe on the patents at issue or that the patents are invalid. The counterclaims were filed in a Delaware federal court on Thursday. Xerox claims that Google services such as Google Maps and YouTube, and also Yahoo Shopping, infringed patents it has held.

The patents date back as far as 2001. Xerox contends that the patents cover technology such as a system for generating queries for information relating to a document. It is seeking compensations for all past infringements and a ban on the use of the technology by the defendants.




AfterDawn: News

U.S. video game sales rise in March

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Apr 2010 20:51

U.S. video game sales rise in March The video game industry has experienced a small sales jump in March after declining for two straight months. Industry tracker NPD said that sales of video game products in the U.S. jumped 6 percent, to $1.52 billion, in March, even though hardware sales did still decline.

Hardware sales during the month were down 4 percent, to $440.5 million. Nintendo's Wii console topped the monthly charts (home consoles) with 557,500 units sold. Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox 360 console came in second place with a sales tally of 338,400 units, just pushing Sony's PlayStation 3 (PS3) console to third place with 313,900 units sold. The older PS2 title reached 118,300 sales.

In sales of handheld consoles, Nintendo's DS handhelds sold 700,800 units, following by Sony's PlayStation Portable (PSP) with a total of 119,900 units.

Software sales were up 10 percent to $795 million, with God of War III for PS3 topping the charts with 1.1 million units sold. If you combine the sales of titles across platforms, then you would out Final Fantasy XIII at #1 with 1.322 million units sold, 828,200 copies on the PS3 and 493,900 on the Xbox 360.




AfterDawn: News

Android Market almost at 40,000 apps, Nexus One is profitable

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Apr 2010 20:30

Android Market almost at 40,000 apps, Nexus One is profitable During Google's earnings call earlier today, the search giant showed off strong earnings (20 percent year-on-year revenue growth and 30 percent net income growth) and additionally gave some interesting news on their latest venture, Android.

The Android Market has now hit 38,000 apps, very strong growth considering Google said one month ago that the market had 30,000 apps.

The market hit 10,000 apps in September of last year, and doubled by January.

Secondly, Google stated that the Nexus One 'superphone' is already profitable, despite numerous reports that have called the phone's launch a "failure."

Google added that they are "driving the business to be a profitable business from the get go," and are very satisfied with the sales of the phone.




AfterDawn: News

Opera celebrates 1 million downloads on iPhone on first day

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Apr 2010 20:02

Opera celebrates 1 million downloads on iPhone on first day Opera has a right to be very happy with the immediate results of its browser software for the iPhone becoming available. After being approved by Apple Inc. for the iPhone, the Opera browser went on to be downloaded over one million times by iPhone users on its first day of availability.

Apple's approval of the Opera browser for iPhone on April 13 opened a new market that Apple had safely guarded up until this point. "Apple said 'Yes', and iPhone users around the world said, 'Yes, please'," the Norwegian firm said in a statement.

Opera's browsers claims to have some advantages over Apple's own loaded browser. For one thing, it claims it can deliver downloads six time faster than Apple's own browser, and that it could cut data traffic by up to 90 percent, an area where the iPhone has come to attention.

Some mobile phone networks have experienced problems from the heavy data traffic demands from iPhone users.




AfterDawn: News

Dreamworks to convert older Shrek titles to 3D

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Apr 2010 20:02

Dreamworks to convert older Shrek titles to 3D Ahead of the May 21 release of "Shrek Forever After", Dreamworks Animation has confirmed that it is planning to convert the older Shrek titles to 3D for release on Blu-ray. "Our movies exist in digital files to begin with. To go back and rebuild to a quality 3D experience is not inexpensive, but we are about to achieve a pretty high quality result," company CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg said Wednesday.

Speaking at the National Association of Broadcasters convention, he was optimistic about the rate of innovation in 3D filmmaking. "We are just beginning to see big capital investments made into the area of post 2D-to-3D conversion. Right now it's at the most rudimentary," he said.

The recent release of "Clash of the Titans" has received much scrutiny, prompting some concerns within the industry that poor 3D releases will threaten the rollout of the "format". Concerns aside, Katzenberg feels comfortable enough with 3D to be optimistic about its potential with older titles.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

DigiProtect defends anti-piracy Internet hunt tactics

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Apr 2010 17:27

DigiProtect defends anti-piracy Internet hunt tactics DigiProtect, which works with ACS:Law in the UK to send thousands of threatening letters to alleged Internet pirates, has defended its work from growing criticism. UK consumer magazine Which? received complaints from people saying they were wrongly accused of copyright infringement crimes.

The letters sent to Internet users orders them to either pay a fine or face going to court. However, the firm told the BBC that it is just acting to protect its rights-holders, whom it declined to mention by name but described as "musicians or producers."

DigiProtect identifies when a client's content is being shared illegally on a network and attempts to acquire the IP address of the sharer. With this information, its lawyers can get a court order enabling the retrieval of the physical address of the user associated with the Internet connection account.

Users receive letters telling them to pay around £700 per infringement or face court action. Service provider O2 has not been impressed with the targeting of its customers, condemning attempts to "bully or threaten" them.

ACS:Law and DigiProtect deny that they bully O2 customers. "The approach we use is the only proven effective proceeding," DigiProtect told the BBC. "With the infinite number of products offered on file-sharing networks, no other process would even be possible, this is just another example of the astronomical dimensions that file-sharing has taken on."

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AfterDawn: News

Toshiba PC sales surge in U.S.

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Apr 2010 17:27

Toshiba PC sales surge in U.S. Toshiba Corp. got a boost from surging PC sales in the United States in the first quarter of the year, jumping 50 percent compared to the same period of 2009. Jeff Barney, general manager of digital products for Toshiba America, said the company sold 1.5 million PC units in the January - March period in the United States thanks to growing consumer demand.

Barney revealed that average selling prices leveled during the quarter after falling for some time. He said he expected 35 percent growth in the U.S. consumer PC market in the coming six months along with single-digit growth from enterprise customers. Toshiba is the fourth largest PC vendor in the United States and the fifth largest globally.

The company is also planning to roll out tablet-style computing devices similar to the iPad later in the year. Barney said the plan was to launch "slate" PCs this year running either Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system, or Google's mobile Android OS.

"We definitely see a place for the slate, we see there's a market there. It'll be expansive like netbooks, it won't be cannibalistic," he said. He added that a Windows version of the tablet would be priced higher than Android, but that Android users could tap thousands of programs available in the Android Market.




AfterDawn: News

BitTorrent exploit causes buzz after UK anti-piracy law passes

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Apr 2010 17:27

BitTorrent exploit causes buzz after UK anti-piracy law passes New attention has been given to a BitTorrent exploit that surfaced in November last year following the passing of the Digital Economy Bill in the UK. The widespread belief - or hope - appears to be that this 86 lines of C# can actually make BitTorrent downloading untraceable.

The code, named SeedFuc*er (though not censored), can be used by a BitTorrent user to fake the IP address of a source where a file could be downloaded, or it could be used to flood a BitTorrent with dozens of fake peers.

The truth is this probably wouldn't help a user to escape identification at all, although it could be used as an annoyance for investigators by flooding them with fake peers and fake data. Tracking companies confirm what material is being shared and from where, so there is no reason to believe the 86 lines of code will make the slightest bit of a difference to a user.

However, changes in legislation or the outcomes of civil cases have had an effect on how some users share files. Napster's downfall was largely the centralized nature of its network and was then replaced with decentralized networks. Warnings and other threats prompted users to stop using public BitTorrent trackers and opt for private trackers instead.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

FCC to collect data US broadband performance data

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 15 Apr 2010 12:42

FCC to collect data US broadband performance data The FCC will, for the first time ever, be collecting data about the performance of consumer broadband internet connections across the US.

In the past data has been provided by ISPs, and FCC officials have admitted it was worthless while still releasing reports based on it.

In order to get some real world data the FCC has contracted with SamKnows, a company who has worked with UK telecom regulators at Ofcom for similar purposes. Their most recent work showed that users of the most popular UK broadband services were only getting about half the speed advertised.

After soliciting volunteers who have broadband internet service from across the US, SamKnows will be providing specially modified routers which will analyze various aspects of each user's connection. In addition to providing the data and analysis to the FCC, SamKnows will allow participants to view data about their individual connections.

Details on the methodology to be used for the study will be released by the FCC within the next few days.

According to SamKnows' website they will begin taking applications from the public to participate in the study "in the next couple of weeks."




AfterDawn: News

Congress blocks caller ID 'spoofing'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Apr 2010 0:45

Congress blocks caller ID 'spoofing' The House of Representatives has just passed a new legislation that will ban all forms of malicious Caller ID "spoofing," the art of using a fake caller ID to trick victims into revealing personal information.

The bill, which passed with a "voice vote," is intended to stop spoofing before it gets more prominent. Proponents of the bill say new technology is making spoofing much easier, and the technology is cheap or even free.

Rep. Eliot Engel, a Democrat in N.Y. who is also the chief sponsor of the bill, cited one case where the police busted an identify theft ring which had stolen over $15 million from 6000 victims using different spoofing scams including pretending to be banks.

The bill, H.R. 1258, will completely outlaw spoofing technology if it used for deceiving or harmful intent. Legitimate uses, such as spoofing to protect identities of certain users or companies, will still be allowed. Those found to be abusing the technology can be fined and even spend time in jail.

The legislation still requires Senate approval.




AfterDawn: News

Opera Mini tops all of Apple's top app charts

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Apr 2010 0:25

Opera Mini tops all of Apple's top app charts Submitted last month and accepted just yesterday by Apple, the Opera Mini 5 application is now at the head of all "Top Apps" lists, from every country in which the App Store is available.

There are over 50 million Opera Mini users globally.

Opera Mini uses Opera's servers to render and compress pages, thus increasing speed for the end user, and also working around Apple's stringent rules.

The company says users of the iPhone over AT&T's slower 2G Edge data will definitely feel the "uptake in speed."

Whether all the downloads are just a curiosity or proof that iPhone/iPod Touch users are looking for choice within their hardware remains to be seen, but it seems pretty clear that Opera will be gaining a significant amount of users.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android to finally get official Twitter app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2010 23:53

Android to finally get official Twitter app Speaking at the "Chirp" conference earlier today, Twitter founder Evan Williams has said that Android devices will finally be getting an official Twitter app in the near future.

What remains unclear is whether the official app will be a rehash of "Tweetie," (the very popular app which was just purchased by Twitter), a new app developed by the company, or an app created jointly with mobile device makers, such as the BlackBerry Twitter App for, you guessed it, Blackberrys.

Tweetie, one of the most popular Twitter apps for the iPhone, was just acquired last Saturday and will be renamed "Twitter for iPhone," as well as go free.

The Blackberry Twitter App was also dubbed the "official" Twitter app for the platform.

The company also announced two days ago that an official Twitter iPad app was on the way.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft probing reports of hard conditions at Chinese factory

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Apr 2010 23:37

Microsoft probing reports of hard conditions at Chinese factory Microsoft Corp. revealed on Wednesday that it is investigating reports of harsh working conditions at a Chinese factory that products products for the Redmond-based software giant. The National Labor Committee released a report on Tuesday about harsh treatment of workers at a KYE Systems Corp. factory in the city of Dongguan in Guangdong province.

It accuses KYE of recruiting hundreds of 16 and 17 year olds who work 15 hour shifts, six and seven days a week. The report said that in 2007 and 2008 before the economic downturn hit badly, workers were at the factory as many as 97 hours per week, whilst working for over 80 of those hours.

In 2009, workers were at the facility 83 hours a week and working 68 hours. In addition to the long working hours - for which workers were paid just 65 cents an hour of which only 52 cents is "take-home pay" after deductions are made for factory food expenses - workers were not allowed to talk, listen to any music or even use the bathroom during working hours.

Workers who broke the "rules" were forced to clean the factory's bathrooms as punishment. "The workers have no rights, as every single labor law in China is violated," the report alleged. "Microsoft's and other companies' codes of conduct have zero impact."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Japan adult entertainment firms threaten piracy lawsuits in Taiwan

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Apr 2010 23:24

Japan adult entertainment firms threaten piracy lawsuits in Taiwan Japanese adult entertainment firms are threatening lawsuits against companies located in Taiwan for copyright infringement. Among those threatened parties are Internet and mobile phones operators and cable channels. A lawyer for eight separate Japanese adult entertainment firms said they have lost millions of dollars in potential revenue over the illegal activity.

"My clients suffered huge losses because they cannot collect royalties for the adult videos," said lawyer Michael Chien, estimating it to be around 1 billion Taiwan dollars, or roughly US$33 Million, every year. "Screening and selling the videos without authorisation is unacceptable. Taiwan should do more to protect intellectual property rights."

Chunghwa Telecom and Taiwan Mobile, the largest mobile phone operators in the country, have been identified by the eight adult entertainment producers as violators of the their copyright.

The companies, which account for about a third of all Japanese pornography content, have demanded that the firms pay royalties and remove unlicensed videos from their services within a month.




AfterDawn: News

Twitter has over 105 million registered users

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Apr 2010 23:13

Twitter has over 105 million registered users Twitter co-founder Biz Stone revealed on Wednesday that the popular micro-blogging source has over 105 million registered users. The site is now adding 300,000 new users a day to its service, which launched back in 2006. The site receives about 180 million unique visitors a month, Stone revealed to software developers at the "Chirp" development conference.

Speaking to over 1,000 software developers in attendance, he revealed the figures of registered users and traffic for the first time. The company told of how many Twitter users access the service through software applications created by third-party developers. Twitter has started to create its own similar software solutions as well as buying up some, which might not be good news for many of the developers.

"It is clearly a tension and it is why we are trying to show where we are going," Twitter co-founder Evan Williams said, adding that it was natural for Internet services to have both complementary and competitive relationships with third parties that develop software building on its technology platforms.

"There are thousands of ways to use Twitter that haven't even been imagined yet. There is so much left to invent. It is really early and we can do it together," Evans told the crowd.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Adobe on verge of suing Apple?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2010 22:50

Adobe on verge of suing Apple? According to an ITWorld report, Adobe is on the verge of suing Apple, as the two companies continue to battle over Apple's strong rejection of Flash support on their devices.

The report cites "sources close to Adobe" when saying a lawsuit is in the works in the coming weeks.

Over the course of a few months, the niceties between the two companies has broken down, with Apple practically saying Flash is not good enough to be on the iPad and one Adobe developer going as far as to tell Apple to screw itself.

Officially, Adobe is keeping mum on the subject and says it is still creating a Packager for iPhone OS tech, although it has almost been completely banned by Apple thanks to new SDK language which bans cross-platform compilers as the one launched with Adobe Creative Suite 5. Not just targeting Adobe, the new SDK language also blocks Microsoft Silverlight.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple iPad international launch gets delayed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2010 22:35

Apple iPad international launch gets delayed According to Apple press contact Natalie Harrison, the company will need to delay the international launch of the iPad, citing extremely high demand, and supply that can't hold up.

As of April 8th, CEO Steve Jobs said the company had sold 450,000 iPads, in the United States alone, and that number is likely over 600,000 now.

Reads the press statement:

"Although we have delivered more than 500,000 iPads during its first week, demand is far higher than we predicted and will likely continue to exceed our supply over the next several weeks as more people see and touch an iPad™. We have also taken a large number of pre-orders for iPad 3G models for delivery by the end of April."

Additionally, the press release says the "surprisingly strong demand" has forced Apple to rethink their international launch, and the devices won't hit overseas until the end of May.

On May 10th, international pre-orders will go live and Apple will give pricing for the different models of the device.




AfterDawn: News

PS3 has highest percentage of 'connected' users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2010 20:09

PS3 has highest percentage of 'connected' users According to new data by the research firm The Diffusion Group, the Sony PlayStation 3 has the highest percentage of 'connected' console users, with 78 percent of users connected to the Internet.

Rival Xbox 360 had 73 percent connected, and the Nintendo Wii came in third at 54 percent.

Although it is the leader, the number for the PS3 is actually surprisingly low given the fact that the console has built-in Wi-Fi.

Adds Diffusion Group director of research Michael Greeson (via Gamasutra): "Today's game consoles are increasingly connected to the internet, not just to enhance their gaming experience but to access the growing variety of online media-video."

The survey polled 2000 console users with broadband, in the U.S.

Concluding the report, Greeson says that all three consoles "are best positioned to become the first mainstream over-the-top (OTT) video delivery platform," especially given that Netflix free streaming is now available for all three platforms.




AfterDawn: News

US government using made up piracy figures says GAO report

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Apr 2010 7:30

US government using made up piracy figures says GAO report Last year in the US the PRO-IP bill was signed into law. It created a new head of copyright enforcement in the Justice Department and called for public input on ways to address intellectual property infringement.

It also mandated that the GAO (Government Accountability Office) identify and quantify the presumed harm to the US economy from IP infringement. In a report issued on Monday they were critical of both government agencies and industry groups for promoting facts and figures.

On the government side they looked at three figures which have been widely used to argue in favor of increased IP enforcement. According to the GAO, none of the numbers stand up to scrutiny because they, "cannot be substantiated or traced back to an underlying data source or methodology."

These include a FBI estimate that US businesses lose $200 to $250 billion annually due to counterfeiting. These figures were originally found in a FBI press release, but the agency, "has no record of source data or methodology for generating the estimate."

Other reports from US Customs and Border Protection and the Federal Trade Commission were similarly criticized for being short on facts, and even discredited by the agencies themselves.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

McAfee sued over pop-ups

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2010 22:15

McAfee sued over pop-ups Melissa Ferrington and Cheryl Schmidt of California have sued the Internet security company McAfee this week, claiming that subscribers were "duped" into purchasing third-party services. They also claim credit card information was passed on to other firms without consent.

The suit has the possibility to go class-action, and the women are asking for monetary damages.

Going into more detail, the women describe that after purchasing McAfee software, a pop-up emerges with a giant "Try It Now" button.

"The pop-up, mimicking the look of the other pages on the McAfee site, thanks the customer for purchasing McAfee software, and prompts McAfee's customers to click a red button to 'Try it Now'...The pop-up contains no obvious visual cues or conspicuous text indicating that it is an advertisement for another product, or that clicking on 'Try it Now' will lead not to the delivery of the McAfee product but rather to the purchase of a completely different product. Instead, all the visual cues suggest that 'Try It Now' is a necessary step in downloading the McAfee software," reads the suit.

If you "Try It Now," you agree to pay $5 to some company called Arpu, which specializes in "one-click" purchases through ads.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple approves Opera Mini app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2010 21:50

Apple approves Opera Mini app Submitted last month, the Opera Mini 5 application has been accepted by Apple into the App Store, and is now available for free download.

There are over 50 million Opera Mini users globally and the Opera Mini app was initially rejected when it was submitted last year.

Opera Mini uses Opera's servers to render and compress pages, thus increasing speed for the end user, and also working around Apple's stringent rules.

The company says users of the iPhone over AT&T's slower 2G Edge data will definitely feel the "uptake in speed."

"We are delighted to offer iPhone and iPod touch users a great browsing experience with the Opera Mini App," added Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera. "This app is another step toward Opera's goal of bringing the Web to more people in more places."




AfterDawn: News

List of possible Palm buyers keeps growing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2010 21:38

List of possible Palm buyers keeps growing Huawei of China has surfaced as the latest name in a growing list of possible buyers of the struggling smartphone maker Palm.

Palm has been in contact with Huawei since February, although talks have stalled of late.

Just yesterday, Palm confirmed it put itself up for sale, and the company has a handful of suitors already considering buying the smartphone pioneer.

The most notable names mentioned are rivals RIM, Lenovo and Dell, each of which have smartphones in the market.

Says one analyst: "I think its someone who is on the outside looking in to the U.S. smartphone market -- someone who wants to participate but isn't there currently -- a Huaweh or a Lenovo. It's those types that would be the best fit," reads an Avian Securities analyst Matthew Thornton note.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PlayStation 3 hits milestone in Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2010 21:09

PlayStation 3 hits milestone in Japan According to new figures from Enterbrain, the Sony PlayStation 3 has now hit a new milestone in Japan, 5 million units sold.

The console launched in the nation in November 2006.

The figures also included the best selling games list, with Final Fantasy XIII becoming the biggest seller with 1.8 million copies sold. Metal Gear Solid 4 was a distant second, with 706,000 copies sold in the country.

According to VGChartz, the Wii is still the leader in Japan, with over 10 million units sold, but it appears the PS3 is trying to play catchup. The Xbox 360 has sold just over 1.28 million units.

Globally, the Wii is the dominant market share leader with over 70 million units sold. The Xbox 360 is in second with almost 40 million units sold, and the PS3 is in third with almost 34 million units.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to launch bundle with Slim 360 and Natal, says Pachter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2010 20:57

Microsoft to launch bundle with Slim 360 and Natal, says Pachter According to Wedbush Morgan gaming analyst Michael Pachter, Microsoft will likely launch a "slim" Xbox 360 later this year, one with a 250GB HDD, and one that will likely be bundled with a Project Natal motion controller.

The bundle will also sell for $299, a pretty significant discount considering the three pieces bundled.

Additionally, Pachter says Microsoft will do an across-the-board price slash on current Xbox 360 models by August, if Sony continues to show strong growth.

"At a minimum, we anticipate the introduction of a more feature-packed Xbox 360 as the standard SKU in late 2010 (likely with a 250GB hard drive) at the same $299 price point, and think that Microsoft will cut price before the fall only if it begins to lose significant market share to Sony,"
says Pachter, via GI.Biz.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple confirms dropping of support for iPhone 2G

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2010 20:29

Apple confirms dropping of support for iPhone 2G Last week, Apple showed off the upcoming iPhone OS 4.0, which includes multitasking, notable UI improvements, a social gaming network, and the opening of the iAd mobile advertising network.

Notably missing from the supported hardware list for iPhone OS 4.0? The original iPhone 2G.

Macstories is reporting that CEO Steve Jobs has confirmed this fact, responding to an email asking about future support with the blunt answer: "Sorry, no."

In addition to dropping support for the iPhone 2G completely, first and second generation iPod Touches, as well as iPhone 3G (missing the 'S') will not be able to work new features of the 4.0 OS, including multitasking.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo wins patent appeal over controllers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2010 20:06

Nintendo wins patent appeal over controllers In late 2006, Texas-based Anascape filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft and Nintendo for allegedly infringing a number of controller-related technology patents.

12 patents filed by Brad Armstrong were added in the claim including US Patent 5,999,084, granted in 1999 which covers a "sensor having a housing" and a depressible actuator in a "resilient dome cap," appearing to cover pressure-sensitive controller buttons. Patents 6,102,802, 6,135,886, 6,343,991, 6,351,205, 6,400,303, and 6,208,271 all basically cover the concept of controllers that include analog pressure-sensitive buttons. At the time, the company also claimed that the following patents had been violated: 6,906,700 (3D Controller with Vibration), 6,344,791 (Variable Sensor with Tactile Feedback), 6,347,997 (Analog Controls Housed with Electronic Displays) and 6,222,525 (Image Controller with Sheet Connected Sensors).

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google getting ready to set VP8 free

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 13 Apr 2010 7:39

Google getting ready to set VP8 free As we predicted last year, it appears Google is preparing to turn On2's VP8 video standard into an open source project.

The purchase of On2, which was finalized earlier this year, is part of a larger campaign by Google to include open source, and therefore royalty free, standards in HTML5. As you can see from ChromeOS, Google's web browser-based netbook OS, they are clearly focused completely on web-based computing and even traditional applications using web technology.

NewTeeVee is reporting that Google will make their plans for VP8 official at a developer's conference next month.

This development is part of an ongoing debate between web browser developers about what video format(s) should be supported by HTML5's <video> tag. Supporters of the two leading candidates, H.264 (aka MPEG-4 AVC) and OGG Theora (aka VP3) primarily disagree about royalty models.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix discs for Wii now shipping for all

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2010 0:25

Netflix discs for Wii now shipping for all The free Netflix streaming discs for the Wii console is now shipping for all users that have asked to receive one, two weeks or so after a lucky few got their discs in the mail.

Says the Netflix blog:

"Jessie Becker here from Marketing and we’re thrilled to let you know that we are now shipping instant streaming discs for the Wii to ALL members who want one today! If you didn’t reserve a disc already, click here and we will ship you an instant streaming disc so you can instantly watch TV episodes and movies streamed from Netflix via your Wii console. All you need is a Netflix unlimited plan starting at $8.99 a month, a Wii console and a broadband Internet connection. What is the first movie you are going to instantly watch via Wii?"

If anyone has tried the service, feel free to comment on the quality in the comments section.




AfterDawn: News

Sharp will sell 3D HDTVs in Japan, US, Europe, China

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2010 14:33

Sharp will sell 3D HDTVs in Japan, US, Europe, China Sharp has announced today that it will begin selling 3D HDTVs in the U.S., China, Europe and Japan starting this summer, in an effort to play catchup with rivals Sony, Samsung and Panasonic.

The company had originally played down 3D TVs, calling them little more than gimmicks, but with 3D becoming the new trend, they have quickly switched gears.

Japan will get the first displays, starting in July, with the other markets getting them in the Q1 2011.

There was no word on pricing or other details as of yet, but they did say the displays will use Quatron technology, which adds yellow to the standard R'G'B (red, green, blue) to make tons of new vivid colors.

Says Shigeaki Mizushima, group general manager: "Our product shows a far brighter image. The difference is going to be clear to anyone. Brightness is just so easy to understand."




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft launches Kin One and Kin Two phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2010 14:05

Microsoft launches Kin One and Kin Two phones Microsoft has finally launched their formerly dubbed 'Pink' phones today, the Kin One and Kin Two, aimed at the teenager set.


Kin One:


- Has a compact full QWERTY keypad
- Multitouch screen
- 5MP camera with LED flash
- 4GB memory
- "Media player powered by Zune."

Kin Two:


- Full QWERTY keypad
- Multitouch screen
- 8MP camera with LED flash, HD video recording
- 8GB memory
- "Media player powered by Zune."

They both go on sale via Verizon in the near future. No price tag as of yet.




AfterDawn: News

Barnes & Noble Nook to sell at Best Buy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2010 13:30

Barnes & Noble Nook to sell at Best Buy The Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader will sell at Best Buy, says the retailer, expanding distribution of the popular device as it faces off against the Kindle and the iPad.

Best Buy has over 1000 brick-and-mortar retail stores, and the Nook will be available in all starting on April 18th, with the same price of $260 USD. Until now, the device was only at sale at B&N stores and online.

As part of the deal, Best Buy will also add BN eReader software to some of the laptops it sells.

Apple has already sold over 450,000 iPads and the Kindle remains the clear leader in the e-reader market.




AfterDawn: News

100 million now using Opera browser

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2010 13:10

100 million now using Opera browser Opera browsers, in all variations, are now being used by 100 million people globally, says the company, with 50 million using it on Windows, Macs and Linux computers, with the other 50 using Opera Mini on their mobile phones.

Thanks to the popularity of the mobile version, as well as the new "ballot box" on new Windows computers in the EU, Opera says year-on-year growth is 30 percent.

Additionally, more users access the Web using Opera through their gaming consoles and set-top boxes.

"Our focus on speed, security, innovation and usability continues to yield results. We always listen to the needs and wants of our users, and they reward us by choosing Opera,"
added Jon von Tetzchner, Co-founder, Opera Software.

"Opera's record growth shows that we are on the right track, and that as user needs grow, we are growing right along with them," says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. "Opera for Desktop delivers the fastest browsing experience on the planet, with a visionary approach to features and a user-friendly design."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Palm puts itself up for sale

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2010 12:51

Palm puts itself up for sale Palm, the struggling smartphone maker, has said today that the company is up for sale, and already seeking bids.

It is still unclear who would be willing to purchase the company, but HTC and Lenovo are expected to at least bid. Goldman Sachs will be doing the underwriting.

Palm's shares, which had fallen over 60 percent since February, have rebounded in the last two days, with shares now back over $6, from a low of $3.65 in March.

"Palm still has quite a good brand in the U.S. market, and some strong technology, so you can do something with it," adds Frank He, a technology analyst at BOC International Holdings Ltd. "The shares have gone down a lot and the company may become attractive to anyone looking for a turnaround play."

Despite having arguably the best smartphone OS on the market, Palm can barely even give away their Pre and Pixi (and Plus models) phones, with Verizon and Spint needing to slash prices to almost free to get them off shelves.




AfterDawn: News

Bing gains market share for tenth straight month, says comScore

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2010 12:30

Bing gains market share for tenth straight month, says comScore According to the latest comScore figures, Bing has increased its search market share for the 10th straight month in March, moving to 11.7 percent, a slight increase from 11.5 percent in February.

Yahoo moved up slightly as well, to 16.9 percent from 16.8 percent in February.

Despite seeing a decrease in March, Google remained the clear leader, at 65.1 percent. The search giant held 65.5 percent in February.

In fourth place was Ask which increased again, to 3.8 percent from 3.7 percent.

Alongside a giant $100 million USD advertising campaign, Microsoft launched Bing last June, revamping its struggling "Live" search engine.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft restructures MS Points

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2010 12:09

Microsoft restructures MS Points Microsoft has quietly restructured the MS Points system used for purchases in the Xbox Live Marketplace, changing the increments available for sale, making it so users do not have so many leftover points after purchases.

The increments have been changed to 400 from 500. 400 points is $5, 800 points is $10, 1600 points is $20 and 4000 points is $50.

Most items in the marketplace run on a 400 increment basis, so many gamers should be happy by the change. There will of course be situations that leave you with leftover points, but it's a start.




AfterDawn: News

Video: Verizon CEO says net neutrality is anti competitive

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 12 Apr 2010 11:58

Video: Verizon CEO says net neutrality is anti competitive In remarks at a Q&A session for the Council on Foreign Relations, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg characterized the entire net neutrality debate as a false dilemma invented by software companies to protect them from competition.

He said, "I think people who... fashioned this Net neutrality argument did it for competitive reasons."

Seidenberg continued, "their view was anything that Verizon, or AT&T, or any of the carriers did was an encroachment on the software business. So the best thing is to come up with a strategy that defines "network" and segments it away from software, and therefore you create a whole argument around Net neutrality."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Paramount, Seagate team up to pre-load movies on external drives

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2010 11:55

Paramount, Seagate team up to pre-load movies on external drives Paramount Pictures and Seagate have teamed up to pre-load certain films on external HDDs, a first of its kind deal.

Buyers of the new FreeAgent Go 500GB HDD will get 21 movies pre-loaded, although only one will be free, the new Star Trek. The other 20 will be loaded, but you cannot watch unless you buy a passcode for anywhere between $10 and $15 USD.

The movies will only work on Windows-compatible computers, adds Seagate.




AfterDawn: News

Nero Burning ROM 10 released, bundled

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Apr 2010 10:49

Nero Burning ROM 10 released, bundled The popular burning software Nero Burning ROM has been updated to version 10. The new version is now available in a bundle with Nero Vision Xtra and Nero BackItUp & Burn. The software package containing the trio is called Nero Multimedia Suite 10.

The bundle makes the software even more compelling and comprehensive with video editing and authoring software Vision Xtra and backup tool BackItUp & Burn. Nero Multimedia Suite 10 is available for a free 15-day trial from our software section. Currently there is no option for downloading the trial versions of the new programs separately.

Unfortunately Nero hasn't released the changelogs so we don't know what kind of updates or new features the Nero Multimedia Suite 10 offers. However, if you want to try it out click the link below.

Download Nero Multimedia Suite 10




AfterDawn: News

Apple removes references to 'Google' in Safari search

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Apr 2010 23:31

Apple removes references to 'Google' in Safari search It appears that in the iPhone 4.0 OS Apple has decided to remove references to "Google" in the Safari browser, changing the auto-complete button from "Google" to "Search," despite the fact that it will still use the Google search engine.

The move has started the rumor mill, with some reporting that Apple is set to change over to Bing as a default search engine, as a way to get back at Google for encroaching on Apple's smartphone territory with the launch of Android.

The tech giants are also now competing in the mobile ad market, with Apple starting iAd as a way to rival Google's potential purchase of mobile ad giant AdMob.

Pic via Electronista:




AfterDawn: News

Nokia buys MetaCarta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Apr 2010 22:26

Nokia buys MetaCarta Nokia has announced it has purchased the location services vendor MetaCarta, adding that it will use the company's service "in the area of local search in location and other services."

MetaCarta has Geosearch technology that can find content, data and information about a certain area and then "present it in a single view and its Geotag technology can be used to find geographic references in various types of content, which then can be used in other applications."

BusinessWeek gives an example of the service by saying that the "NewsMap" app searches a news article, extracts the places mentioned in the article and then can overlay that area on a digital map.

Nokia recently purchased Novarra, a mobile browsing company.




AfterDawn: News

New GE lightbulb lasts 17 years

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Apr 2010 22:11

New GE lightbulb lasts 17 years GE has launched a new lightbulb this week, one that uses LED technology instead of compact fluorescents and that has a life expectancy of 17 years. The catch? The bulb costs $50 USD.

The new bulb uses only 9 watts and "provides a 77% energy savings" while lasting up to 25 times longer than a current 40-watt CFL (compact fluorescent).

The bulb is dubbed the GE Energy Smart LED Bulb, and will work in any normal incandescent socket.

The U.S. government recently passed new lighting efficiency standards, meaning 100-watt incandescent bulbs will soon be phased out (starting in 2012), with 75-watt bulbs getting phased out in 2013, and 60 and 40-watt bulbs getting the boot in 2014.




AfterDawn: News

64GB Zune HD now up for sale

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2010 14:32

64GB Zune HD now up for sale Although set for launch next week, it appears Microsoft has jumped the gun and begun selling the 64GB model of the Zune HD early.

The model sells for $349 USD, which is a $50 discount from the comparable iPod Touch model.

Additionally, Microsoft has dropped the price of smaller capacity models, with the 16GB model dropping to an MSRP of $200 and the 32GB model to $270. Of course, Amazon has the players for much cheaper, ($170 for the 16GB for example) but seeing the MSRP drop is a good start for other e-tailers.

Check it here: Zune HD 64GB model




AfterDawn: News

RIM ordering displays for BlackBerry tablet?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2010 14:16

RIM ordering displays for BlackBerry tablet? Crackberry has got the rumor mill in full spin today by saying that RIM could possibly be developing a BlackBerry tablet, and is already ordering 8.9-inch displays.

Says the report: "The source (of the rumors) is from a research firm that specializes in component supply chain information - and the company sent out a brief report this week touting "RIMM to Launch Own Tablet in Late 2010" which got the industry insiders buzzing. Three sources have confirmed that RIM has placed an order with supplier Hon Hai for 8.9" displays for use in a tablet."

If true, the move would be a stark contrast from RIM's old position on tablets. Just a few months ago CEO Mike Lazaridis said this about tablets: "I don't see the benefits of a tablet over a notebook... A lot of technology falls in the middle."

The report says the more likely use of the 8.9-inch displays will be for in-car touchscreen systems, especially given the company's recent acquisition of QNX Software, the "leading provider of superior realtime operating system (RTOS) software, development tools, and services for embedded design."




AfterDawn: News

Mexico to force identity registration for mobile phone purchases

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2010 13:54

Mexico to force identity registration for mobile phone purchases The Mexican government, in an effort to fight crime, has been urging residents to register their mobile phones and identities, however it appears that over 30 million line still have not and those will likely be shut down in the coming weeks.

The law was passed in 2009 "to stop criminals from using cellphones for extortion and to negotiate ransoms in kidnappings," says Reuters.

Critics of the law have called it ineffective, as criminals will now be more likely to pay off poor citizens to register the phones under their names.

America Movil, which controls 70 percent of the Mexican market, will lose about $10 million USD in revenue daily if those 30 million unregisterd lines are shutdown. The company has been trying to get an extension on the deadline for registering.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: Microsoft 'Pink' phone spotted

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2010 13:31

Video Daily: Microsoft 'Pink' phone spotted Microsoft is set to officially reveal their new mobile phone series on April 12th during a media event, introducing the phones that have been developed under the working title "Pink."

The "Pink" phones will feature social networking tools, and will be aimed at teens.

Today, one of the phones, dubbed "Turtle" by the media for its rounded shape, has been "seen in the wild."

The video clip is short and it's hard to see much, but it certainly does look like the MS Turtle mockup that sites have been floating around for months.




AfterDawn: News

Apple, HP, Dell, more sued over Bluetooth patent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2010 13:02

Apple, HP, Dell, more sued over Bluetooth patent Wi-Lan, the Canadian technology licensing company, has sued Apple, HP, Dell and 16 other companies over a patent related to Bluetooth technology used in mobile phones.

The Canadian company says all 19 companies are infringing on their 1996 patent, which calls for a "method for frequency sharing and frequency punchout in frequency hopping communications network."

Wi-Lan is looking for monetary damages as well as "triple damage" for "willful" infringement.

None of the companies sued have commented yet.




AfterDawn: News

Adobe Flash platform evangelist to Apple: 'Go Screw Yourself'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2010 12:48

Adobe Flash platform evangelist to Apple: 'Go Screw Yourself' There was a rant posted today by Lee Brimelow, a Platform Evangelist at Adobe focusing on the Flash, Flex, and AIR developer communities on The Flash Blog and it's all aimed at Apple.

Reads the blog post:

[Adobe would like me to make it clear that the opinions below are not the official views of the company and are entirely my own.]

By now you have surely heard about the new iPhone 4.0 SDK language that appears to make creating applications in any non-Apple-approved languages a violation of terms. Obviously Adobe is looking into this wording carefully so I will not comment any further until there is an official conclusion.

[Sentence regarding Apple's intentions redacted at request from Adobe]. This has nothing to do whatsoever with bringing the Flash player to Apple’s devices. That is a separate discussion entirely. What they are saying is that they won’t allow applications onto their marketplace solely because of what language was originally used to create them. This is a frightening move that has no rational defense other than wanting tyrannical control over developers and more importantly, wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe. This does not just affect Adobe but also other technologies like Unity3D.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Firefox 3.6 is much more stable than 3.5, says Mozilla Metrics

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2010 12:27

Firefox 3.6 is much more stable than 3.5, says Mozilla Metrics According to Mozilla's official "Metrics" blog, Firefox has seen a gigantic improvement in stability over the past five months, with the launch of v3.6 being a big reason why, especially compared to v3.5.

To get their number, they used the "Crash Reports" data as well as the "Aggregate View of FF Crashes" data, which can be viewed at the end of the article.

Says Ken Kovash: "As mentioned previously, improving Firefox stability was a top level objective of the Mozilla community during the last few months of 2009. That effort was led by a variety of folks across a wide breath of the community… people who saw the many complaints about crashes, collected the data, figured out what was causing the most pain, addressed those issues (sometimes in code, sometimes by working with partners) and saw product improvements."

Well done.





AfterDawn: News

Apple developing smaller-sized iPad for 2011?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2010 22:46

Apple developing smaller-sized iPad for 2011? According to Digitimes Research senior analyst Mingchi Kuo, Apple is already developing a smaller version of the iPad, reportedly anywhere from 5-to-7 inches, which it will launch in early 2011.

Kuo based his conclusion on talks "with upstream component sources," and he also concludes that the smaller iPad will sell for somewhere between $300 and $400.

The device will be targeted at at the "highly-portable mobile device market and consumers that focus mainly on reading and do not have a high demand for text input," meaning it will basically be an e-reader that additionally has all the other perks of an iPad.

When asked about the HP Slate, Kuo says it will not be any competition to the iPad, mainly due to its low battery life.




AfterDawn: News

DS line back on top of Japanese hardware sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2010 15:21

DS line back on top of Japanese hardware sales Sales of the Nintendo DS line, including the DS Lite, DSi, and DSi LL have combined to retake the top spot in the Japanese hardware market, closely followed by the PSP.

The DS series sold 41,219 units for the week ended April 4th, with the Sony PS3 close behind at 38,877 units sold.

The PSP-300 handheld, and the DS' biggest rival, sold 37,445 units, but when adding the minuscule sales of the PSPGo (1803 units), it outsold the PS3 and almost rivaled the DS.

The Wii continued to lag in fourth, with 30,938 units sold, and the Xbox 360 held the bottom with a measly 2676 units sold.




AfterDawn: News

Ubisoft 'always on' DRM is here to stay

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2010 14:48

Ubisoft 'always on' DRM is here to stay According to an interview with Eurogamer, Ubisoft has said today that their "always on" DRM is here to stay and the developer will continue to "evolve and improve" it as gaming evolves.

"Most forthcoming Ubisoft PC titles will use our online services platform," said a spokesperson speaking about the DRM. "As with any online technology, we are constantly working to evolve and improve it."

The controversial DRM makes it so gamers must stay online at all times or not be able to play their games. If the Internet ever cuts out, or the Ubi servers go down, gamers are returned to the main menu, unable to play.




AfterDawn: News

Gears of War 3 release month leaked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2010 14:12

Gears of War 3 release month leaked Kotaku has posted an accidentally leaked promotional page for the upcoming Gears of War 3 game for the Xbox 360 which shows that the game will hit retail shelves next April.

The ad says: "The epic story concludes April 2011".

The ad was supposed to have been revealed on Monday, when Epic Game's Cliff Bleszinski is expected to have an appearance on Jimmy Fallon's late night show.

There is little other information, but the new game is expected to include new features such as underwater combat.

Gears of War 2 was one of the platform's biggest selling games of all-time.




AfterDawn: News

Creative launches new media devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2010 13:37

Creative launches new media devices Creative has announced the launch of a few new media devices today, the Zen X-Fi Style and the Zen Style series.

"In line with the upcoming Pure Audio Campaign where Creative is set to deliver pure sounding high performance speakers and premium noise isolation earphones, we are pleased to unveil the ZEN X-Fi Style and the ZEN Style series - the embodiment of the purest-sounding music on-the-go experience on the market,"
says Joseph Liow, Vice President for Personal Digital Entertainment Products at Creative.


ZEN X-Fi Style:


* Bright 2.4-inch TFT display
* X-Fi technology for crystal clear music
* Video Out in X-Fi audio quality for watching movies on the TV
* Lossless audio support (FLAC)
* Up to 25 hours of audio playback, up to 5 hours video
* FM radio, alarm clock, calendar and voice recorder
* 8GB, 16GB & 32GB capacities
* Built-in speaker for music sharing
* Playback for downloaded RSS feeds
* Available in black and white for the 8GB, 16GB and 32GB models. Also available in red for the 8GB and 16GB models exclusively at www.creative.com/shop

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ankeena acquired by Juniper for almost $100 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2010 13:08

Ankeena acquired by Juniper for almost $100 million Ankeena, the maker of server software that helps improve streaming of "multiple streams of simultaneous video over various network types," has been acquired by tech giant Juniper for just under $100 million.

The acquired company has claimed their streaming and data caching tech is "superior" to other current video delivery methods.

Ankeena makes software that runs on x86-based servers to improve performance of multiple streams of simultaneous video over various network types. The company claims its streaming and data caching technology is "superior" to other methods of video delivery.

"Juniper's acquisition of Ankeena reflects our commitment to transforming the experience and economics of networking — in this case by delivering an enhanced TV-like user experience of both fixed and mobile video traffic, while enabling crucial TCO reductions for operators,"
adds Manoj Leelanivas, head of the JUNOS (Juniper operating system) product efforts.




AfterDawn: News

Modern Warfare 2 DLC for PC, PS3 coming next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2010 12:42

Modern Warfare 2 DLC for PC, PS3 coming next month Infinity Ward has said today that it plans to release the Modern Warfare 2 DLC "Stimulus Package" for the PS3 and PC on May 4th, two months after its release on the Xbox 360.

Says IW community manager Robert Bowling via Tweet: "The Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Package DLC will hit PS3 in North America on May 4th, everywhere else May 5th. PC gets it worldwide on May 4th."

Coinciding with the release, IW will "host a double XP event," allowing gamers to make double experience points while playing multiplayer.

The pack will cost $15 USD, just like it does for the 360, and will add 5 new maps.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix makes deals with Universal, Fox over rentals

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2010 12:04

Netflix makes deals with Universal, Fox over rentals Popular video rental company Netflix has announced today that they have signed agreements with Twentieth Century Fox and Universal, which means subscribers will have to wait 28 days to get new releases from the studios, similar to the deal signed with Warner a few months ago.

As part of the deal, Fox will give Netflix a streaming license for Fox TV shows, meaning there is a chance popular shows such as Family Guy will soon be available through Netflix's free "Watch Instantly" service.

Universal, for their part, said that as part of the deal Netflix would get "significantly" more units after the release delay, as well as more streaming movies.

Because of the deal, subscribers will have to wait an extra month for Avatar, the $2 billion blockbuster smash hit that has an April 22nd release date.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone OS 4.0 beta already jailbroken

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2010 23:57

iPhone OS 4.0 beta already jailbroken Hacker iH8sn0w has said today that he has already jailbroken the brand new iPhone 4.0 OS beta, posting the keys and claiming that he will be releasing the jailbreak in the near future.

Of course, being that the OS is still in beta, Apple will have ample time to patch the exploits before releasing the final product.

Here are the keys:




AfterDawn: News

Mac vs. PC ads may be coming to an end

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2010 15:09

Mac vs. PC ads may be coming to an end According to Justin Long, the "Mac" in Apple's popular Mac vs. PC commercials, the ad campaign may be close to its conclusion, ending one of the more effective ad series in history.

Long said that he heard from "PC" John Hodgman that Apple is planning to move on.

"You know, I think they might be done," said Long about the future of the campaign. "In fact, I heard from John, I think they're going to move on. I can't say definitively, which is sad, because not only am I going to miss doing them, but also working with John."

Although he seemed sure, Long would not guarantee the end of the campaign and could not provide any reasons why Apple would end it.




AfterDawn: News

Apple has sold 450,000 iPads, says CEO Jobs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2010 14:38

Apple has sold 450,000 iPads, says CEO Jobs During the Apple press event today, CEO Steve Jobs says the company has sold 450,000 iPads, a strong figure for only 4 full days of sales.

Users have downloaded 3.5 million iPad apps, and downloaded 600,000 iBooks from the iBookstore.

Jobs also noted that the device is sold out at best Buy, and that the company plans to ramp up supply over the coming months.

The launch of the iPad was one of the biggest in Apple's history, with 300,000 units sold on the first day at an average price of over $500 USD.




AfterDawn: News

Nook going on sale at Best Buy soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2010 13:52

Nook going on sale at Best Buy soon Engadget has reported today that the Barnes & Noble Nook is set to go on sale at Best Buy brick-and-mortar stores starting April 18th.

The recently launched Apple iPad sells at Best Buy locations as well, and both devices directly compete in the e-reader market.

The iPad sells for $499 at its cheapest, while the Nook sells for $259.

Pic via the source:




AfterDawn: News

Ubuntu changes Firefox default search back to Google

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2010 13:09

Ubuntu changes Firefox default search back to Google Back in January, we reported that Canonical, the group behind Ubuntu Lucid releases, had made a deal with Yahoo to make Yahoo the default Firefox search engine instead of Google.

Today, Canonical has done an about-face, announcing they are switching back to Google with the release of Ubuntu 10.04.

Says Rick Spencer, of Canonical: "However, for the final release, we will use Google as the default provider. I have asked the Ubuntu Desktop team to change the default back to Google as soon as reasonably possible, but certainly by final freeze on April 15th. It was not our intention to “flap” between providers, but the underlying circumstances can change unpredictably. In this case, choosing Google will be familiar to everybody upgrading from 9.10 to 10.04 and the change will only be visible to those who have been part of the development cycle for 10.04."




AfterDawn: News

RCMP arrest Canadian man for modding console

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2010 12:56

RCMP arrest Canadian man for modding console Michael Geist has reported today that "the RCMP has arrested a Quebec man after a seizure uncovered hundreds of counterfeit video games. The RCMP release states that 'modifying a console and computer is considered an illegal act under Section 342.1 of the Criminal Code and is punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years.'"

At the end of March, the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) raided a home in Quebec, which eventually led to the "seizure of hundreds of counterfeit video games and the arrest of one suspect." 300 games were seized and "materials used to modify consoles and illegally reproduce video games" were also taken.

It is unclear what kind of mod chips were found, or for what system, but we will keep you updated.




AfterDawn: News

Nokia 'Comes With Music' now DRM-free in China

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2010 12:42

Nokia 'Comes With Music' now DRM-free in China Nokia has announced the launch of their Comes With Music service in China this week, offering a DRM-free subscription model for those with Nokia handsets.

At launch, the service will be supported on these phones: The Nokia X6 32GB and Nokia X6 16GB, Nokia 5230, Nokia 5330, Nokia 5800w, Nokia 6700s, Nokia E52 and Nokia E72i.

"It’s not an operator-based offering, it’s a retail-based offering. Consumers can walk into those 80,000 stores, buy the Nokia handset and activate Comes With Music," says Nokia’s director of global music Adam Mirabella, via Music Ally.

The company says the catalog will be 50 percent "local repertoire."

China is infamous for its high piracy rates, but Mirabella says going DRM-free, among other things, should win over some fans: "People will be getting all the metadata and album art, good clean files authorised by the music companies, the highest quality files and something that's virus-free. This marketplace is begging for a legal opportunity. The music companies, publishing companies and artists have not really been able to generate any revenue in this marketplace. They're all looking for somebody with a strong footprint and presence, to see if there’s something they can do to build the business back."




AfterDawn: News

Geohot follows through on promise, 'OtherOS' still available with firmware update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2010 12:26

Geohot follows through on promise, 'OtherOS' still available with firmware update As promised earlier this month, hacker Geohot has made it so users can continue to use the OtherOS feature stripped by Sony with firmware update v3.21.

Reads geohot's blog post:

OtherOS Supported on "3.21OO"
Here is a video demoing my "custom firmware". It's not any sort of version string change; I would have added something showing off the new features of 3.21, but oh wait, there aren't any.

This can be installed without having to open up your PS3, just by restoring a custom generated PUP file, but only from 3.15 or previous. It's possible this CFW will also work on the slim to actually *enable* OtherOS; I'll know when my infectus gets here.

No release date yet, use the proxy hack to play online with 3.15

Note to the people who removed OtherOS, you are potentially turning 100000+ legit users into "hackers." There was a huge(20x) traffic spike to this blog after the announcement of 3.21. If I had ads on this site I guess I'd be thanking you.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple shows off iPhone OS v4 including multitasking

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 08 Apr 2010 12:18

Apple shows off iPhone OS v4 including multitasking Today Apple gave a sneak peek of the next generation of their iPhone OS software. This is the operating system that powers the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

Steve Jobs took the stage at Apple's Cupertino, California headquarters at 10AM and began by talking about the success of the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. Then he moved on to the changes in version 4 of the iPhone OS.


Multitasking
As expected there will be multitasking available for third party apps. That functionality is currently only available to the built in iPod software.

Jobs said, "we weren't the first to this party, but we're gonna be the best. Just like cut and paste."

Demonstrating the multitasking capabilities on an iPhone, he double-clicked the phone's Home button and a list of running apps appeared above the Dock at the bottom of the screen.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AOL to sell or shutdown Bebo social networking site

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2010 12:10

AOL to sell or shutdown Bebo social networking site AOL, infamous for terrible investments, has announced that they will either sell or shut down the social networking site Bebo, which they bought for $850 million just two years ago.

"Bebo, unfortunately, is a business that has been declining and, as a result, would require significant investment in order to compete in the competitive social networking space," said Jon Brod, executive vice president of AOL. "AOL is not in a position at this time to further fund and support Bebo in pursuing a turnaround in social networking."

At the time of the acquisition, AOL was still part of Time Warner, part of a merger that many have called the worst deal of all-time. (AOL had to take a $99 billion dollar loss in 2002.)

Bebo saw only 5 million unique visitors last month, compared to 112 million for Facebook, and Bebo continues to see declining traffic.




AfterDawn: News

Modern Warfare 2 DLC sets record

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2010 2:06

 Modern Warfare 2 DLC sets record Infinity Ward, the developer behind the blockbuster Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has said today that sales of the Stimulus Package DLC have jumped to 2.5 million in its first week of availability.

The DLC costs $15 USD and adds three multiplayer maps alongside updating two of the original maps.

The developer also notes that the DLC was downloaded 1 million times in its first 24 hours of availability.

Activision, the publisher behind the game, also added that the sales were a record for the Xbox 360.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft Silverlight 4 coming next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2010 0:57

Microsoft Silverlight 4 coming next week Microsoft has announced it will be launching Silverlight 4 next week, just a month after releasing the Release Candidate at the MIX10 event.

Silverlight is a web application framework that brings together multimedia, graphics, animations and interactivity into one runtime environment.

Says a spokesman: "April 13 is the launch, but we haven't announced a specific date for the release. Silverlight 4 will be available later this month.")

Here is a list of the updated features for the new software: http://timheuer.com/blog/archive/2010/03/15/whats-new-in-silverlight-4-rc-mix10.aspx




AfterDawn: News

Google sued by photographers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2010 0:04

Google sued by photographers The American Society of Media Photographers, the Graphic Artists Guild, the Picture Archive Council of America, the North American Nature Photography Association, and the Professional Photographers of America have all joined together to sue Google over copyright infringement, claiming that the search giant has scanned millions of books and magazines that include copyrighted images, then displaying those images without consent.

The suit was filed in the same court where Google's long standing Book Search settlement is being considered. In that case, Google agreed to pay a $125 million settlement to compensate the rights holders.

Adds ASMP General Counsel Victor Perlman: "We are seeking justice and fair compensation for visual artists whose work appears in the twelve million books and other publications Google has illegally scanned to date. In doing so, we are giving voice to thousands of disenfranchised creators of visual artworks whose rights we hope to enforce through this class action."

Google responded, via eweek: "We are confident that Google Books is fully compliant with U.S. and international copyright law."




AfterDawn: News

iPad only costs $260 to build

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2010 23:35

iPad only costs $260 to build iSuppli has done a full component teardown of the Apple iPad, and the cost of the hardware for the cheapest model comes out to about $260 USD. It is also important to note, however, that the teardown is only for the hardware, and does not include R&D or shipping.

The cheapest iPad, which includes 16GB of flash memory sells for $499.

The 32 GB version, with a $599 price tag, has $289.10 worth of hardware. The top of the line 64GB version, which sells for $699, has $348.10 worth of hardware.

The most expensive components are, as expected, the touchscreen and the processor. The multitouch display adds $95 USD to costs and the Samsung processor is $26.80. Flash memory depends on the capacity: $29.50 for the 16GB memory, $59 for the 32GB, and $118 for the 64GB.

The aluminum back casing adds $10.50. There are more components of course, but they cost under $10 a piece.




AfterDawn: News

Google, Bing lose market share to Ask, Yahoo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2010 22:54

Google, Bing lose market share to Ask, Yahoo According to the latest Experian Hitwise figures, two of the major search engines lost market share in March to Ask.com, which increased for the fourth consecutive month, and Yahoo.

Google fell marginally to 69.97 percent, Yahoo increased their share 3 percent to 15.04 percent and Bing fell for the third straight month, falling 1 percent to 9.62 percent.

Ask was the big winner, increasing 21 percent month-on-month to 3.44 percent.

Experian says 69 other search engines account for the remaining 1.93 percent.




AfterDawn: News

Personal info is embedded in non-DRM tracks from Apple, others

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2010 22:31

Personal info is embedded in non-DRM tracks from Apple, others Techcrunch has a very interesting article today that speaks about "new DRM," the embedding of personal info into tracks purchased from major retailers such Apple and Wal-Mart.

Here is their post from an anonymous music industry 'insider':

Hidden in purchased music files from popular stores such as Apple and Walmart is information to identify the buyer and/or the transaction. You won’t find it disclosed in their published terms of use. It’s nowhere in their support documentation. There’s no mention in the digital receipt. Consumers are largely oblivious to this, but it could have future ramifications as the music industry takes another stab at locking down music files.

Here’s how it works. During the buying process a username and transaction ID are known by the online retailers. Before making the song available for download their software embeds into the file either an account name or a transaction number or both. Once downloaded, the file has squirreled away this personal information in a manner where you can’t easily see it, but if someone knows where to look they can. This information doesn’t affect the audio fidelity, but it does permanently attach to the file data which can be used to trace back to the original purchaser which could be used at a later date.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon Kindles headed to Target?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2010 22:00

Amazon Kindles headed to Target? Engadget is reporting today that the top selling e-reader, the Amazon Kindle, may be reaching Target retail shelves as soon as April 25th, marking the first time the device will be available outside of Amazon.

The move would make sense given the new launch of the Apple iPad, which is available in brick-and-mortar Apple and Best Buy locations and had extremely strong sales opening weekend. Additionally, the popular Nook is available in Barnes & Nobles retail stores.

Amazon and Target have been partners for almost a decade, with Amazon running Target's e-commerce website.

So far, both Amazon and Target have said they "do not comment on rumor or speculation."




AfterDawn: News

Court rules FCC has no authority to enforce net neutrality

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Apr 2010 13:13

Court rules FCC has no authority to enforce net neutrality The US Court Of Appeals For The District Of Columbia has ruled that the FCC lacks the authority to enforce network neutrality rules for broadband internet providers.

The ruling came in Comcast's appeal of the that agency's 2008 ruling on the cable giant's practice of throttling P2P traffic.

Although the court's decision means the FCC doesn't have the authority to punish Comcast for their "network management" practices, their legal problems aren't over yet. In fact it clears the way for lawsuits pending in federal court which have been held up by the question of FCC jurisdiction.

There's also the potential for action by the Federal Trade Commission over alleged false advertising of their service.

What makes things more complicated is that the FCC may still be able to establish jurisdiction over net neutrality by revisiting a 2002 ruling on the nature of internet service. At that time it was determined that broadband internet was merely an information service, and therefore not subject to the same level of regulation as common carrier service like traditional phone lines.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo 3DS mockup seen on Japanese site

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2010 20:27

Nintendo 3DS mockup seen on Japanese site Nintendo has announced that they will be unveiling the next iteration of the DS line, the 3DS at the E3 event later this year, but today mockup pictures have shown up on a Japanese blog, and the design shown off by the site is interesting to say the least.

Their is one large touchscreen, which splits two simulated screen for DS backward compatibility, and games can be played vertically and horizontally.

The device can also take pictures, scan pictures, place 3D images on real backgrounds, "3D pointing," and more. 3D Pointing "tracks the movement of the user's finger, including distance, to manipulate an object on screen," says Kotaku.

Although the mockup is definitely a fake, it is still a pretty cool idea. Here are all the pictures posted:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: SuperNES on iPad

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2010 20:07

Video Daily: SuperNES on iPad ZodTTD, the developer behind the Snes4iphone emulator has made a video this week playing Super Mario Kart for the SNES on the new iPad.

Says the developer: "I just got my iPad and the first thing I did was install a build of snes4iphone made specifically for non-jailbroken iDevices. This is the video of the first test. I have 2x scale enabled on the iPad to make it full screen, and I enabled smooth scaling in the emulator. I'm playing Super Mario Kart on my iPad and it looks, sounds, and plays great! This is going to be amazing."

Unfortunately, the emulator app is not available to the public yet, and will likely need your iPad to be jailbroken.

Check the video here, it looks great:




AfterDawn: News

Hori launches add-on LCD, speakers for PS3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2010 19:48

Hori launches add-on LCD, speakers for PS3 Accessory maker Hori has unveiled an add-on LCD screen with speakers for the Slim PS3, making the console "portable."

The Hori HP3-87 is an 11.6-inch LCD with a resolution of 1366x786, allowing for 720p playback.

The system arrives in Japan on May 27th, and has a 500:1 contrast ratio, 7ms response time, stereo speakers, two headphone jacks and RCA and component inputs.

The HP3-87 has a $275 USD equivalent price tag.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon confirms they want the iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2010 13:24

Verizon confirms they want the iPhone Yesterday we reported that the iPhone OS 3.2 may have clues about rumored Verizon iPhone and today Verizon's CEO Ivan Seidenberg has confirmed the wireless company wants to carry the iPhone.

Speaking before the Council on Foreign Relations, Seidenberg would not give too much details, but did say the company is actively trying to get the iPhone over to Verizon's networks.

So far, the iPhone is only available for AT&T, and the phone uses the GSM standard. Verizon runs on CDMA.




AfterDawn: News

iPads selling for up to $5000 overseas

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2010 12:49

iPads selling for up to $5000 overseas Bloomberg has reported today that listings of the Apple iPad have surged on eBay since launch this past weekend, mainly due to early adopters overseas who want the device.

At its craziest, a buyer in the UK purchased a 64GB Wi-Fi version for $5000 USD, an 800 percent premium from the U.S. retail price. The iPad goes on sale in Europe later this month.

Adds Carl Howe, analyst at the Yankee Group: "This happens with nearly any hot product. Some people buy up copies and try to sell them on EBay to make a profit. There were iPhones going for $2,000 when they first came out."

eBay says the average selling price for an iPad heading into launch was $777 USD.

Pic via Tuaw:




AfterDawn: News

Rhapsody drops prices, expands to Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2010 12:08

Rhapsody drops prices, expands to Android Rhapsody, which was recently spun-off from RealNetworks and is now an independent company, has announced two major events today, the lowering of their standard subscription, and the release of an Android app.

The company is dropping the price to $9.99 per month, allowing for unlimited music on your home computer and playback on one additional media device.

The app, released into the Android Market, should help to expand Rhapsody's userbase, just like the Rhapsody iPhone app did over the past year.

Says Jon Irwin, president of Rhapsody: "We've got a large fan base ... and we heard loud and clear -- they wanted a more affordable price, and they wanted greater portability. That's where we're headed with these two announcements."

The monthly subscription used to cost $12.99 per month.




AfterDawn: News

USB Memory Support for Xbox 360 now live

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2010 11:10

USB Memory Support for Xbox 360 now live As of this morning, Xbox 360 USB Memory Support has gone live, as promised by the company in late March.

The support allows for USB flash drives to be used for storing profiles, game saves, demos and other data.

For more information on the update, check our previous posting here: Xbox 360 USB Memory Support coming April 6th




AfterDawn: News

Time Magazine to charge same price for iPad app as print edition

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2010 1:44

Time Magazine to charge same price for iPad app as print edition AllThingsD is reporting today that Time Magazine is setting the price of their iPad app at $5 per week, the same price as the print edition costs at a newsstand.

While the digital version will include bonuses such as video, it is clear that delivery of the electronic version is cheaper than a print edition, yet the price does reflect the difference.

The blog asked Time why the pricing scheme and got this response: "We are offering a compelling, robust and beautiful product. The production of this high quality, fact-checked reporting takes resources. We believe there is a real value to this product and as consumers experience it, they will agree. We are currently only offering single copy sales, just like at your local newsstand–and, the price is the same as the physical newsstand. We will soon be offering subscriptions–both digital subscriptions and print/digital bundled subscriptions. We anticipate these subscriptions will be discounted off the newsstand price."

At this point, however, the expensive price point doesn't seem to matter, as the app is top 25 in "top paid."




AfterDawn: News

Windows 7 passes 10 percent market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Apr 2010 23:10

Windows 7 passes 10 percent market share According to new stats from Net Applications, Windows 7 has hit 10 percent market share, doing so much faster than Vista did after launch.

Overall, Microsoft controls 91.6 percent of the operating system market, with Windows XP holding 64.5 percent and Vista with 16 percent.

Vista has dropped, market share-wise for five consecutive months, and will likely fall to under 10 percent by the end of the year. On the other end, Windows 7 is expected to surpass Vista by late May.

Back when it launched in February 2007, Vista took 16 months to reach the 10 percent mark, as it was mired in poor reviews and stability issues.




AfterDawn: News

HP Slate vs iPad: Specs compared

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Apr 2010 22:46

HP Slate vs iPad: Specs compared Engadget has got their hands on an HP memo that compares the upcoming HP Slate tablet to the much-hyped iPad.

The Slate will run on Windows 7, will cost $549 at its cheapest, and will include an 8.9-inch 1024x600 multi-touch screen.

Separating it from the iPad even further is the 1.6GHz Atom Z530 processor, 1GB RAM, SDHC slot (with support up to 128GB), two cameras, a USB port, a SIM card slot, and five-hour battery life.

Check the screenshot here:




AfterDawn: News

iPhone OS 3.2 may have clues about rumored Verizon iPhone

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Apr 2010 22:36

iPhone OS 3.2 may have clues about rumored Verizon iPhone Apple may have more than one version of the next iPhone planned according to some hints found in the iPad file system.

The first clues about the new model of iPhone, expected later this year, first appeared last year in version 3.1 of the OS. But at that time there was only one listing.

Boy Genius Report has published a screenshot from the latest iPhone OS update, version 3.2, showing two new phones listed which should have essentially the same hardware.

The original iPhone and iPhone 3G are noted as 'iPhone 1,1' and 'iPhone 1,2' respectively. This indicates that the general platform is mostly the same in terms of hardware.

The iPhone 3GS is listed as 'iPhone 2,1' which is logical since the hardware in it is significantly different than the previous two models.

Then there is a listing for 'iPhone 3,1'. This is reportedly the model which Apple began testing last November. References to it first showed up in version 3.1 of the iPhone OS.

The two other models listed, 'iPhone 3,2' and 'iPhone 3,3' are new in iPhone OS version 3.2. Based on the numbering used for the first two iPhones it's almost certain they share the same basic hardware as the previously discovered new model.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to show off 'Pink' phone series on April 12th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Apr 2010 22:25

Microsoft to show off 'Pink' phone series on April 12th Microsoft is planning to reveal their new mobile phone series on April 12th during a media event, introducing the phones that have been developed under the working title "Pink."

The "Pink" phones will feature social networking tools, and will be aimed at teens.

The WSJ is reporting that the media has been invited to the event in San Francisco, which has the title "It's time to share," a play off the social networking features of the devices.

The phones will be available in the U.S. only at first, with an eventual international launch.




AfterDawn: News

Zune HD firmware v4.5 now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Apr 2010 21:59

Zune HD firmware v4.5 now available The long-anticipated Microsoft Zune HD firmware v4.5 is now available to Zune HD owners, bringing native XviD support to the device as well as streaming Smart DJ.

The player will now has native support for the MPEG-4 Part 2 ASP codec, and the player will playback XviD videos, which is still the codec of choice for most videos downloaded online. The format will play via your HDTV as well if you own the Zune HD Dock.

Smart DJ playlists, a "Genius"-esque song playlist creator, is also available on the player and not just the desktop software. If you are connected via Wi-Fi you will be able to to create Smart DJ playlists that incorporate streamed content from the Zune Marketplace, besides the songs already stored on the player.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple to talk about upcoming iPhone OS features on Thursday

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Apr 2010 18:04

Apple to talk about upcoming iPhone OS features on Thursday Less than a week after the iPad went on sale in the US it seems that Apple is getting ready for a preview of the next version of iPhone OS.

Like both the iPhone and iPod Touch, the iPad uses this stripped down version of OS X as its operating system.

Engadget has reported getting an invitation to a press event which promises a "sneak peek of the next generation of iPhone OS software." It will be held this Thursday (April 8) at 10AM Pacific Time.

As with every version of the iPhone OS, there has been rampant speculation about what features will be added in version 4. The iPad, with it's increased emphasis on apps similar to what you might use on a laptop or desktop, has only added to the rumors.

Perhaps the hottest rumor right now is the introduction of multitasking. The current version of the OS doesn't allow applications other than the built-in iPod software to run in the background.

With other smartphone vendors, particularly Nokia and Microsoft, making a big deal about their upcoming phones featuring multitasking superior to the iPhone this would make a lot of sense.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Most of iPad buyers were Apple 'fanboys,' says survey

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Apr 2010 13:40

Most of iPad buyers were Apple 'fanboys,' says survey Research firm Piper Jaffray has released a survey today that includes the results of 448 launch day iPad buyers, and it appears that most are what could be considered Apple "fanboys."

74 percent of the buyers were current Mac users, and 96 percent of those were completely satisfied with their Mac computers.

66 percent of the buyers own iPhones. 13 percent owned Amazon Kindle e-readers but 58 percent were set to replace it with the iPad.

The most popular model purchased was the cheap $499 16GB model, at 39 percent of all buys, followed by the more expensive 32GB model at 32 percent.

74 percent of all buyers will use the iPad for Internet surfing, with 38 percent using the device for e-book reading.




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile offering credit to buyers of HD2 if they trade in their iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Apr 2010 13:05

T-Mobile offering credit to buyers of HD2 if they trade in their iPhone T-Mobile is set to start a new promotion that will credit users that trade-in their iPhone with $350 USD to purchase a new HTC HD2.

The HD2 uses Windows Mobile 6.5, and most reviews call the phone excellent.

The offer is available until May 19th.




AfterDawn: News

Apple confirms 300,000 iPads sold on launch day

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Apr 2010 11:47

Apple confirms 300,000 iPads sold on launch day Apple has released the official figures today for U.S. iPad sales, saying that including pre-orders, the company has sold 300,000 units on launch date.

Analyst Gene Munster had predicted 700,000 unit sales yesterday, but he was clearly wrong. The 300,000 number is still a large number however, surpassing all conservative predictions.

On launch day, one million apps were downloaded, and 250,000 e-books were downloaded from the iBookStore, notes Apple.

The iPad is available today starting at $499, for the Wi-Fi only version. 3G data versions will be available by the end of April.




AfterDawn: News

Adobe shows off another impressive Photoshop CS5 feature

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Apr 2010 1:09

Adobe shows off another impressive Photoshop CS5 feature Earlier this week we reported on the new impressive Photoshop CS5 feature "Content-Aware Fill," which Adobe was giving a "sneak peak" of.

Content-Aware Fill can be used for everything from simple photo retouching operations like getting rid of artifacts like lens flare to creating entire new areas of an image based on existing elements.

Today, the company is showing off "Puppet Warp," a tool used for bending and twisting images with ease. Although the tool was a staple of "After Effects CS4," it has never been used in Photoshop.

Check it out:




AfterDawn: News

'Windows Phone 7 Series' gets small name change

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2010 22:24

'Windows Phone 7 Series' gets small name change Since the launch of their latest mobile OS in February, Microsoft has fielded criticism over the name, Windows Phone 7 Series.

Most complaints were over the fact that the name is overly long, and that it not the easiest phrase to say.

Microsoft has listened and decided to slightly change the name, and the Windows Phone team has Tweeted about it.

Says the Tweet: "Tis the season for Series finales. We've got one too - dropping the ‘Series’ and keeping the 'Windows Phone 7.' Done."

Most reporters had dropped the "Series" already anyways, but now it appears to be official.




AfterDawn: News

ESPN3 launched with optimized video streaming, social networking

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2010 22:05

ESPN3 launched with optimized video streaming, social networking Previously run as "ESPN360.com," the sports network has relaunched the site as ESPN3.com today, with optimized Flash 10 video quality as well as new social networking features.

Says ESPN of the new features:

* New Viewing Modes – Multiple options to watch live events, including picture-in-picture and split screens;
* New Scoreboard Module – Up-to-the-minute scores from hundreds of sports leagues from around the world;
* Stats – In-depth event stats that allow fans to track the event they’re watching;
* Chat – Interact with other fans watching the game;
* Enhanced Schedule – Users will be able to find a specific event via improved navigation;
* Social Networking Tools –Update your Facebook and Twitter status.


Additionally, starting later in April and then in June, the company will offer "downloadable enhancements" such as:

* More HD-quality streaming with the NBA Playoffs followed by the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2010 US Open tennis;
* DVR functionality where fans will be able to pause, rewind and fast forward through live programming;
* A Key Plays feature where users will be able to jump to key scoring plays and pivotal moments at any time during the game.




AfterDawn: News

New York Times ups price of e-subscriptions

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2010 21:20

New York Times ups price of e-subscriptions The New York Times has upped the price of its e-subscription packages, jacking up the price to $20 per month from $15 for e-edition and Kindle subscribers. The e-edition of the paper available to iPad users will cost $20, as well.

Current users will get to keep their current prices until October 2nd, while any new subscribers will have to pay the new prices starting this week.

It is unclear how many users will pay the extra money to have the specially produced versions of the sites instead of just using the free version of the site available online, but most analysts expect that number will not be high.

Most consumers are smart enough to know the price of delivering an e-product is a lot cheaper than the print counterpart, but at $20 per month, the price difference is not very significant.




AfterDawn: News

Hyundai to include iPad with owner's manual with purchase of Equus sedan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2010 20:33

Hyundai to include iPad with owner's manual with purchase of Equus sedan Hyundai has announced that all new buyers of the Equus luxury sedan will receive an Apple iPad, one that comes pre-loaded with a digital version of the car's owner's manual.

The tablet will also have a pre-loaded Hyundai app which will make service appointments easier.

Mike Bloxham, director of insight and research at Ball State University's Center for Media Design says: "They are trying to position themselves as a modern, in-touch, technologically savvy brand. It is the sort of innovation you would expect from BMW or Mercedes, but not Hyundai."

Hyundai is known for ultra-budget cars but will try to steal some luxury market share from competitors such as Lexus and Mercedes-Benz. The Equus will sell for around $55,000 USD, a far cry from some of Hyundai's budget cars like the Accent which sells for $10,000.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: iPad jailbroken

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2010 19:49

Video Daily: iPad jailbroken Musclenerd, of the iPhone Dev Team has released a video this weekend showing off the iPad, already jailbroken, giving users access to the iPad software.

So far, the root access is just a hack, but within the next month iPad owners will likely be able to jailbreak their devices with a one-click app such as BlackRa1n, and install third-party apps through Cydia or Ice.

The iPad Guide site had this to say about the hack: "The video shows that the jailbreak provides a root shell with what appears to be full access to the iPad filesystem. The video walks shows connection to the iPad via ssh, exploration of the OS and kernel version information (uname), a view of running processes, moving applications out of the iPad's applications directory (and then restarting Springboard via the shell to show the results) and finally, rebooting the iPad via the jailbroken root shell.

Mind you, this isn't yet so functional a jailbreak that it is going to be of much interest to the average user, but as Musclenerd's latest Twitter update indicates, a joint effort by several members of the iPhone Dev Team is now underway to get 'everything working.'"

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Weekend iPad sales: 700,000

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2010 19:37

Weekend iPad sales: 700,000 CNNMoney is reporting today that Apple has outsold even the most radical predictions for the iPad, selling 700,000 units during its launch weekend.

The estimates come from Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster, an analyst who specializes in Apple products.

Reads the article: In a report to clients issued Saturday night, Munster's estimated that by midnight Sunday, Apple will have sold 600,000 to 700,000 iPads, including pre-orders — more than double his relatively conservative pre-launch estimate of 200,000 to 300,000. (Other analysts had published estimates of 300,000 to 400,000.)

When the original iPhone began sales in 2007, Apple took 74 days to hit 1 million sales. The latest iteration however, the iPhone 3GS took 3 days to hit the same milestone.




AfterDawn: News

Blu-ray Discs specification now allows for 128GB storage

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2010 19:24

Blu-ray Discs specification now allows for 128GB storage The Blu-ray Disc Association has revealed this weekend two updates to the Blu-ray specification, the BDXL(High Capacity Recordable and Rewritable discs) and the IH-BD (Intra-Hybrid discs).

BDXL will be aimed at the commercial segment, and will allow for write-once ability on 100GB and 128GB capacity discs. Current dual-layer discs can only hold 50GB. Despite being aimed at the commercial market, the Association says a consumer version of the 3/4 layer discs will be available to Japan and the U.S. as well.

"Professional industries have expressed a desire to find optical disc solutions that enable them to transition away from magnetic media for their archiving needs," adds Victor Matsuda, Blu-ray Disc Association Global Promotions Committee chair. "Leveraging Blu-ray Disc to meet this need provides professional enterprises with a compact, stable and long term solution for archiving large amounts of sensitive data, video and graphic images using a proven and widely accepted optical technology."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix streaming app headed to iPhone in near future

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Apr 2010 0:00

Netflix streaming app headed to iPhone in near future This will be a blurb article as there is not too much info as of yet, but the official Netflix blog has posted an entry this evening all but promising a streaming app for the Apple iPhone.

Reads the post:

"Steve Swasey, VP of Corporate Communications, here. Terrific response to our news today about Netflix on the iPad. For those of you asking whether Netflix will be on the iPhone and iPod Touch: We wouldn't invite you to dinner without planning to serve dessert. In other words, we're working on it so stay tuned."


Netflix has an app already for the iPad tablet, and some sites are already calling it a must-have "killer app."




AfterDawn: News

Sharp shows off 3D displays for mobile devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Apr 2010 23:46

Sharp shows off 3D displays for mobile devices Sharp has shown off new 3D displays this week, displays intended for mobile devices with 3-inch screens.

The devices could handle 3D animation, and the demo showed off 3D photos and 3D video.

Making the tech even better is the fact that it does not require special glasses, as the displays send different images to each eye. The technology can be used with gaming handhelds, mobile phones, and digital cameras.

"The arrival of mobile 3D is just around the corner," says Executive Managing Officer Yoshisuke Hasegawa.

The AP says the demo showed off some notable "ghosting," but Sharp says the final product will have no such problems.

Nintendo announced recently that they would begin selling a new 3DS handheld, which will likely use the Sharp displays.





AfterDawn: News

Facebook acquires photo sharing site Divvyshot

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Apr 2010 23:03

Facebook acquires photo sharing site Divvyshot Facebook has announced they have acquired the photo sharing service Divvyshot, and will be integrating the site in the next few weeks.

3 billion photos are uploaded each month to Facebook, and Divvyshot is a premiere service that makes it easier for multiple users to contribute to an online photo album.

Reads Divvyshot's blog post:

"We are excited to announce that we’ve received an offer we can’t refuse. Facebook recently reached out to us about acquiring Divvyshot. The more we’ve learned about the team, their direction, and their product, the more excited we’ve become about this opportunity.

As a result, we’ve reached an agreement with Facebook for them to acquire many of the company’s assets. We will join the Facebook engineering team and focus on Facebook Photos.

We’re thrilled to work with some of the most talented engineers in the world in a dynamic and fun environment. The choice was easy. Facebook is well known as a company where engineers are given the resources and freedom to build cool stuff and, as a result, the only place where we felt that we would fit in.

Divvyshot will begin winding down operations as of today. Existing users can continue to use Divvyshot; however no new accounts will be issued and our iPhone application will no longer be available for download. We’ve always given users access to their original-resolution photos and we hope that this feature will make the transition off Divvyshot easier. For details on how to download your event’s photos, see our blog post: “How can I download my photos as a ZIP archive?

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Court rules in favor of eBay in Tiffany suit

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Apr 2010 22:46

Court rules in favor of eBay in Tiffany suit In 2004, luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co. sued online auction site eBay over trademark infringement and dilution, accusing eBay of helping in the sale of counterfeit goods via the auction site.

eBay, in its defense, says they do not put any of the goods up for sale themselves, and spend millions each year to track down counterfeiters and remove any such listings.

This week a U.S. appeals court has ruled in favor of eBay, on all accounts.

"It is true that eBay did not itself sell counterfeit Tiffany goods; only the fraudulent vendors did, and that is in part why we conclude that eBay did not infringe Tiffany's mark,"reads the ruling. "But eBay did affirmatively advertise the goods sold through its site as Tiffany merchandise."

Tiffany says it is considering an appeal.




AfterDawn: News

Chinese online gaming market to double by 2014

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Apr 2010 18:04

Chinese online gaming market to double by 2014 Niko Partners, the market research firm, has reported this week that they expect the Chinese video game industry to grow to $9.2 billion USD by 2014, over a double from 2010.

The market was $3.57 billion in 2009, and expected to grow to $4.5 billion this year.

"While the global economic downturn hurt videogame publishers in much of the world, China's online game industry reflected no pain in 2009 and gamers continued to embrace online games as the best inexpensive source of social entertainment available,"
says Lisa Cosmas Hanson, managing partner of Niko Partners. "While the era of online gaming is generating lots of interest and growth opportunity in the West, China is one of the countries where online gaming is a well established market segment that extends its reach to more and more Chinese consumers every year."

Overall, 63 percent of gamers have increased their game playing time in the past year.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: Marvel launches iPad graphic novel reader app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Apr 2010 17:47

Video Daily: Marvel launches iPad graphic novel reader app Marvel Entertainment has launched the impressive Marvel Comics App for the Apple iPad, giving fans a chance to read over 500 graphic novels at launch including Iron Man, Captain America, Spider-Man, Hulk and Thor.

"We're excited to introduce an unparalleled digital comic experience to our fans with the Marvel Comics App for iPad," adds Dan Buckley, publisher & CEO, Marvel Publishing. "The iPad is the first device that offers us a chance to present digital comics that are even close to replicating the experience of reading a print comic. This new world of digital comics distribution provides us great opportunities to reach new readers, allow consumers to sample our diverse stories and characters, and we believe it will drive these new fans into the App Store and local comic shops each week to find even more."

Continues Ira Rubenstein, the Executive Vice President, Marvel Global Digital Media Group: "As Marvel's digital comics program has developed over the last few years, we've focused on delivering the best possible consumer experience across different services and devices. We're confident that the iPad is one of the best ways to read Marvel digital comics from anywhere, at any time. Since the iPad was announced, we have heard from our Marvel fans that this is the device they really wanted to see our comics on. This is just another step in the evolution of Marvel Digital Comics. We hope you love it as much as we do and we will continue to make the consumer experience even better."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Seton Hill to give all incoming freshman iPads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Apr 2010 17:26

Seton Hill to give all incoming freshman iPads Seton Hill University, the popular liberal arts college in Pennsylvania, has told incoming freshman that they will be receiving both MacBooks and an iPad, starting a new "mobile technology program" initiative.

The laptop will be replaced after their sophomore year. Both devices never have to be returned.

"The iPad was chosen by Seton Hill because of its mobility and the ease with which faculty and students, in the future, will have immediate access to e-textbooks and comprehensive and integrated learning,"
says Mary Ann Gawelek, provost and dean of the faculty at Seton Hill.

Additionally, the company has upgraded their wired and wireless network infrastructure, moving to 1Gbps Ethernet, adding 200 802.11n access points, and added support for VoIP.

To pay for the technology initiative, students will pay $1000 each year.




AfterDawn: News

Google buys video hosting site Episodic

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Apr 2010 17:07

Google buys video hosting site Episodic Episodic, the live and on-demand video platform for broadcasting has announced today that they have been acquired by Google, which plans to integrate the service into YouTube while keeping the staff on.

Say Noam Lovinsky and Matias Cudich, co-founders of the company:

We are thrilled to announce that Episodic has been acquired by Google. The entire Episodic team is extremely excited about this new partnership and what it means for our customers and the evolution of online video.

The Episodic team will join Google and continue its work to bring a great video experience to the Web, mobile phones and IPTV devices. There will be no interruption in service for existing Episodic customers.

At Episodic, we have always felt that these are the very early days of online video and that there is far more growth to be had. To put it in perspective, our industry is barely 15 years old. We’ve just received our learner’s permit, we still can’t drive without adult supervision and we’re certainly not old enough to buy a drink…legally.

From our earliest discussions with Google, it was clear that the teams shared this belief and together we obviously see huge potential in online video. Our product visions were also complimentary and together we will continue to produce innovative video technology for our customers and their viewers.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Verizon slashes prices on Pre, Pixi Plus

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Apr 2010 16:43

Verizon slashes prices on Pre, Pixi Plus Because it is apparently the only way to get the devices to sell, Verizon has slashed the price of the Palm Pre and Pixi Plus models, practically giving the smartphones away.

The Pre Plus is now available for $50 USD for two, and the Pixi Plus is now available for $30 for two.

Additionally, "Mobile Hotspot," which turns the smartphones in Wi-Fi hotspots for your other devices, has now been reduced from $40 a month to free.

For the hotspot, you get a 5GB per month usage cap, but for free, the deal is an absolute steal as most other wireless carriers sell standalone USB modems for $50 or higher per month.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft sues Datel over third-party Xbox 360 controllers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Apr 2010 16:22

Microsoft sues Datel over third-party Xbox 360 controllers Microsoft has sued UK-based accessory maker Datel this week over its Xbox 360 controllers, claiming the company illegally copied the design.

The controllers in question are the Datel "TurboFire" and "WildFire" wireless controllers, which sell for $40 USD online. Microsoft says the controllers infringe on a few patents held by the software giant.

Microsoft is seeking monetary damages, royalty payments, or a portion of profits from past sales. Microsoft is also seeking an injunction.

Turbofire controller:




AfterDawn: News

ABC introduces streaming TV app for iPad

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 02 Apr 2010 14:01

ABC introduces streaming TV app for iPad US broadcast network ABC is ready to take advantage of the iPad when it launches tomorrow.

Their new iPhone app is already available in the iTunes Store. It's only compatible with the iPad and won't work on the iPhone or iPod Touch.

Like many internet video sites, ABC's website uses Flash to stream video, which isn't supported by any version of the iPhone OS.

The ABC app allows iPad users to stream full episodes of shows like Lost and Grey's Anatomy. It can also be used to get details of ABC's broadcast schedule.

Based on the description in the iTunes Store it will work only on Wi-Fi, and not across 3G. This isn't surprising given AT&T's history of objections to streaming video applications for the iPhone.




AfterDawn: News

Appeals court declines to reconsider Microsoft patent appeal

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 02 Apr 2010 4:16

Appeals court declines to reconsider Microsoft patent appeal Microsoft's latest appeal of a $290 million patent infringement judgement over XML editing in Word has been rejected by a federal appeals court.

They were requesting that all 11 judges sitting on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit review the case. The appeal has already been denied by a panel of 3 judges.

Loudon Owen, Chairman of i4i, called the decision, "a powerful reinforcement of the message that smaller enterprises and inventors who own intellectual property can and will be protected."

Despite Microsoft's apparent prior knowledge of the patent, held by a Canadian firm called i4i, the judgement against them seems generous to say the least.

The award was based on the number of users estimated to have used Word for editing XML documents, which seems reasonable. The problem is the valuation of the feature, which was set at $98 per copy.

Even if you were to buy Word by itself you wouldn't pay more than $230. If you get it bundled in one of the many versions of the Microsoft Office suite, as most Word users do, it amounts to no more than about $100 of the total price.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Video: Adobe shows off Content-Aware Fill for Photoshop CS5

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 02 Apr 2010 3:09

Video: Adobe shows off Content-Aware Fill for Photoshop CS5 Adobe recently showed off a new feature from the upcoming Photoshop Creative Suite 5 called Content-Aware Fill. Besides saving a lot of time for experienced Photoshop users, it also promises to make serious photo editing operations much more accessible for less skilled users.

Content-Aware Fill can be used for everything from simple photo retouching operations like getting rid of artifacts like lense flare to creating entire new areas of an image based on existing elements.



Photoshop CS5 will be officially unveiled later this month. So far no actual release date has been announced.




AfterDawn: News

Sony Pictures CEO threatens to stop selling DVDs in Spain

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 02 Apr 2010 1:37

Sony Pictures CEO threatens to stop selling DVDs in Spain Blaming illegal file sharing and streaming, Sony Pictures is hinting that they may stop selling DVDs in Spain.

In reality this appears to be just posturing, perhaps intended to put pressure on the Spanish government to criminalize all illegal copying. Under current Spanish law copyright infringement is only illegal if it's done for profit.

According to the LA Times, Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and CEO Michael Lynton said, "Spain is on the brink of no longer being a viable home-entertainment market for us."

Spanish Minister of Culture, and former filmmaker, Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde appears to be firmly on the side of movie studios. He's currently backing legislation that would make it possible for the government to shut down websites for even providing links to unauthorized movie or music downloads with no judicial oversight.

He also apparently believes the people of Spain are simpletons who don't understand the concept of intellectual property. He has said "in Mediterranean countries, it's hard for people to understand that immaterial things can be worth as much as material things."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Record label EMI faces bank takeover due to debts

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2010 23:49

Record label EMI faces bank takeover due to debts EMI, one of the "Big 4" record labels, appears to be on the brink of being taken over by banking behemoth Citigroup after failing to sell off its North American artist distribution rights to other labels.

The label was looking to sell those artist rights to Sony and UMG for $300 million USD, but the negotiations broke down after the two sides could not agree on the price.

EMI, for its part, has a catalog with mega-stars such as Coldplay, Pink Floyd and some of The Beatles tracks.

Now, EMI must raise $180 million USD by June 15th, or face being taken over by creditor Citigroup, which will likely break up the label and sell all its assets to the highest bidders.

EMI was purchased in late 2007, right before "the Great Recession," for over $7 billion USD by Terra Firma Partners, which now owes Citi over $5 billion over the course of the following years.




AfterDawn: News

Albert Gonzalez accomplice gets seven year sentence

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2010 23:39

Albert Gonzalez accomplice gets seven year sentence Christopher Scott, accomplice to the largest heist of credit card numbers, ever, has been sentenced to seven years in prison this week, following buddy Albert Gonzalez (pictured), the mastermind behind the scheme.

Gonzalez was convicted of stealing and reselling over 170 million credit and ATM card numbers, and received 20 years in prison for his role in over 20 counts of identity theft, wire fraud, computer fraud and conspiracy that led to $200 million in losses for banks, insurers and retail companies.

Scott was pegged as a "key lieutenant" to Gonzalez, with Gonzalez allegedly paying up to $400,000 to Scott for his services over the course of their years as thieves.




AfterDawn: News

UPDATED: IsoHunt ordered to take down torrents, site likely to close

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2010 23:31

UPDATED: IsoHunt ordered to take down torrents, site likely to close Update: We have been contacted by Ira P. Rothken: "I am the lawyer for Isohunt in their litigation against the Major Movie Studios. There is no injunction in the Isohunt case. The parties are still briefing what an injunction, if any, will look like."

In a decision that will likely take down the giant torrent indexer, a judge has ordered IsoHunt to remove all torrents linking to infringing content.

The massive site has over 30 million unique users per month, and was one of the largest public trackers behind The Pirate Bay and Mininova.

The MPAA had sued IsoHunt in 2007, and last year a judge ruled against the indexer, saying it created a venue for illegal file sharing.

Writes Judge Stephen Wilson: "It is axiomatic that the availability of free infringing copies of plaintiffs' works through defendants’ websites irreparably undermines the growing legitimate market for consumers to purchase access to the same works." Continuing (via Wired), Wilson says: "Upwards of 95 percent of all dot-torrent files downloaded from defendants' websites return infringing material or works at least highly likely to be infringing."

Gary Fung, the owner of IsoHunt, must now remove all infringing content by April 12th, as well as start filtering against keywords. "It amounts to nothing less than taking down our search engine," says Fung of the request.




AfterDawn: News

Apple App Store now available through Facebook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2010 23:21

Apple App Store now available through Facebook As the headline states, the extremely popular Apple App Store is now available through Facebook as a group you can become a "fan" of.

The link let's you see the top game, both free and paid, as well as search for titles you may already know about.

There is a "Featured" category and a "Discussion" tab, which is full of user comments on games and other apps.

If you are a Facebook user and need your fix of apps you can check the Store here: http://www.facebook.com/AppStore




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: Fennec/Firefox Mobile running on Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2010 23:06

Video Daily: Fennec/Firefox Mobile running on Android MartinSchirr from AndroidForums has compiled a build of Fennec (Firefox Mobile) to run on Android devices, and has documented the browser running on video.

This is all the info provided (he's German), but the videos are more informative:
"maybe it is interesting for you.
I compile Fennec for Android.
It is running on my Motorola Milestone.
I made 2 Videos and a site with further information."


A thread for those testing: [APP] Fennec (Firefox) for Android

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

20,000 sued for alleged illegal movie downloading

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2010 22:59

20,000 sued for alleged illegal movie downloading The Hollywood Reporter is saying today that over 20,000 individuals have been sued for alleged illegal downloading of movies by the under-the-radar US Copyright Group, a firm based in the nation's capital.

Making the suits different from those in the past is that these suits are over small independent films, for example the films "Steam Experiment," "Far Cry," "Uncross the Stars," "Gray Man" and "Call of the Wild 3D."

All of the users were "caught" downloading the films from torrent trackers.

The Group says there are up to 30,000 more suits coming, for five different films.

The users were caught thanks to new German technology dubbed Guardaley IT, which "allows for real-time monitoring of movie downloads on torrents." The software captures IP addresses when a user begins downloading, and then back checks the files to make sure it is the correct copyright protected movie.

We will certainly keep you updated.




AfterDawn: News

Google working on improving Flash support through Chrome browser

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2010 22:49

Google working on improving Flash support through Chrome browser Adobe's Flash is one of the most used plug-ins available for current browsers as it allows for support of a good number of videos, games and other content on the Internet.

Google says the plug-in's interface is limited in capability, however, and varies depending on what OS or browser you are using, which leads in turn to security holes and an overall reduction in performance. They want to change that.

Says the Chromium blog:

"That’s why we are working with Adobe, Mozilla and the broader community to help define the next generation browser plug-in API. This new API aims to address the shortcomings of the current browser plug-in model. There is much to do and we’re eager to get started.

As a first step, we’ve begun collaborating with Adobe to improve the Flash Player experience in Google Chrome. Today, we’re making available an initial integration of Flash Player with Chrome in the developer channel. We plan to bring this functionality to all Chrome users as quickly as we can.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Larger capacity Zune HD model coming this month, other models see price drop

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2010 22:42

Larger capacity Zune HD model coming this month, other models see price drop Microsoft has announced today that they will be releasing a 64GB model of the Zune HD media device, double the largest capacity of currently available units.

The device will be available in Platinum, Black, Blue, Red, Green, Purple and Magenta when it goes on sale on April 12th.

As an added bonus, the company is slashing the price of the 32GB and 16GB models, dropping the MSRP to $270 and $200, a $20 cut.

The Zune HD was recently in the headlines when Microsoft announced that the much-anticipated v4.5 firmware was "coming soon," bringing with it SmartDJ and native Xvid support.




AfterDawn: News

Early reviewers praise iPad

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 01 Apr 2010 14:52

Early reviewers praise iPad A handful of tech journalists and bloggers have been given iPads to try out and the first reviews have appeared. They are overwhelmingly positive.

Most reviewers praised the iPad's speed. That's understandable considering it has a much faster CPU than any generation of the iPhone or iPod Touch, while most of the apps available for it now were actually designed with those devices in mind.

The user interface also got its share of kudos. The Houston Chronicle's Bob LeVitus calls the on screen keyboard "eminently usable," adding that in landscape mode he can almost touch type on it.

Andy Ihnatko of the Chicago Sun Times called the iPad "a computer that’s designed for speed, mobility, and tactile interaction above all other considerations."

But that leaves us to think about what other considerations might be important. Perhaps the biggest is what consumers will expect from a device priced about the same as a budget laptop.

As all the reviewers make clear, the iPad is no substitute for a laptop.

Everyone was quite pleased with its multimedia playback and e-book reader capabilities. But they were equally unanimous about its unsuitability for things like working with word processing or creating spreadsheets.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

New Zealand legislators want to outlaw software patents

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 01 Apr 2010 2:59

New Zealand legislators want to outlaw software patents As part of an effort to update patent law, New Zealand legislators have proposed a bill which would make it impossible to patent software. If it becomes law it would no doubt cause friction with US ACTA negotiators, who are pushing to make software patents standard internationally.

Currently they are recognized in just a few countries, including the US and Japan. Ironically there is a good chance that the court decision which started the software patent mess in the US has recently been reinterpreted, potentially invalidating nearly all of them.

Along with business processes, software has been the most controversial patent subject matter for several years. It's also behind much of the current smartphone patent war. If you own a phone with a touch screen, but not multi-touch, you can thank a software patent for it.

Other notable software patents include Amazon.com's infamous one-click patent for e-commerce websites and Netflix's patent on their queue system.





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