AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (9 / 2010)

AfterDawn: News

'Google Phone Gallery' gives users a chance to compare Android devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Sep 2010 19:38

'Google Phone Gallery' gives users a chance to compare Android devices Google has launched a new Android comparison Web page this week, giving would-be consumers a place to compare all the current Android smartphones against each other before making a purchase.

You can check the site at google.com/phone and search through a "showcase of Android-powered devices."

Adds Ben Serridge, product manager for Android: "There are tools that make it easy to compare phones side by side: you can filter phones by country, manufacturer, and carrier; view and compare technical specifications and features; and find where each phone is available for sale."

You can sort the devices alphabetically or by "newest devices" first. The last listed phones are the Motorola Charm, Samsung Epic 4G, and the Droid 2.

Each phone has an "add to compare" button and a "buy from" link. You can compare up to three devices side-by-side at one time.




AfterDawn: News

New QNX OS headed to BlackBerrys, says report

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Sep 2010 15:27

New QNX OS headed to BlackBerrys, says report An RIM executive has apparently confirmed today that upcoming BlackBerry smartphones will no longer run the BB operating system but will instead move to the open-source QNX OS that was revealed with the PlayBook tablet.

Speaking at the BlackBerry Developer Conference, an unnamed RIM VP confirmed the move towards QNX.

The move will take time however, and BlackBerry OS 7 will likely be a "transitional" operating system.

RIM remains the top smartphone maker in the United States at around 40 percent, followed by Apple and Android which account for another 40 percent combined.

Although they have the most share, growth has slowed and even gone negative over the past few quarters while Android's has exploded and Apple's has grown steadily.

RIM launched the BlackBerry 6 OS last month with the release of the Torch slider.




AfterDawn: News

'Star Wars' films to be re-released in 3D starting in 2012

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Sep 2010 14:40

'Star Wars' films to be re-released in 3D starting in 2012 20th Century Fox and Lucasfilms are set to re-release Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace in February, 2012, this time in converted 3D.

George Lucas, the man behind Star Wars, says releasing the film early in the year and not during the summer blockbuster season will give the movie a chance to run at the box office.

Furthermore, subsequent Star Wars films will be released annually during the same month.

Although unconfirmed, Hollywood Reporter expects the release date to be February 15th.

The Star Wars films are expected to hit Blu-ray next year and most likely in 3D Blu-ray the year after.




AfterDawn: News

YouTube adds Arabic to interface list

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Sep 2010 14:21

YouTube adds Arabic to interface list Google has finally added Arabic to its YouTube language list, giving hundreds of millions of native Arabic speakers a chance to change their YouTube interface to their native language.

Arabic is now the 36th language available to YouTube fans.

Reports have claimed the new interface is still buggy, however, and lacking compared to the English version.

Last year, telecom executives in Jordan said a full 40 percent of all Internet traffic in Arab nations goes to YouTube.

Google is releasing six new languages this month, including Lithuanian, Slovenian and Vietnamese.




AfterDawn: News

Congress passes bill that will limit TV commercial volume

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Sep 2010 13:56

Congress passes bill that will limit TV commercial volume The United States Senate has passed a bill this week that will limit the volume of TV commercials, effectively putting the FCC in charge of regulating the new limits.

Dubbed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM), the bill passed the House last year and will return there for a final vote before President Obama signs it into law.

For decades, avid TV viewers have complained about the lack of volume control on commercials which can sometimes be much louder than the program you were watching.

"Every American has likely experienced the frustration of abrasively loud television commercials," adds Senator Sheldon Whitehouse. "While this may be an effective way for ads to grab attention, it also adds unnecessary stress to the daily lives of many Americans. Last night’s action in the Senate will help end this annoying practice."

Whitehouse introduced the bill in the Senate.

"It's about time we turned down the volume on loud commercials that try to startle TV watchers into paying attention. This is a simple step that will keep ads at the same decibel level as the programs they are interrupting," notes Senator Charles Schumer, a co-sponsors. "TV viewers should be able to watch their favorite programs without fear of losing their hearing when the show goes to a commercial."




AfterDawn: News

Dell close to launching 7-inch tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Sep 2010 22:20

Dell close to launching 7-inch tablet Dell Greater China President Amit Midha has said today that the company is launching a 7-inch tablet within weeks and a larger 10-inch device within a year.

The computer giant currently sells the Streak, a 5-inch hybrid phone/tablet that runs Android.

Dell CEO Michael Dell briefly showed off the device at an Oracle conference last month, but gave no timeframe for its release.

"It was showed off at Oracle World by Michael last week and we'll be launching very, very soon—within the next few weeks," says Midha.

Furthermore, Dell will be releasing smaller new products, as well, including a number of smartphones running Windows Phone 7 and Android.

"In fact, very much in the near future we'll be launching the seven-inch tablet as well as the additional three-inch product," says the president.

Dell has said it is still considering whether to create a product that runs Google's upcoming Chrome OS.




AfterDawn: News

Best Buy wants to carry RIM PlayBook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Sep 2010 22:05

Best Buy wants to carry RIM PlayBook According to CEO Brian Dunn, Best Buy is already in talks with RIM in an effort to bring the upcoming PlayBook tablet to brick-and-mortar stores around the nation.

"When it comes to market, we’re going to be very happy to offer it to our customers," says Dunn.

Because the device does not have built-in 3G, there were questions about how the PlayBook would be distributed. Other tablet makers have deals with wireless carriers and therefore the tablets are offered in-store at thousands of locations.

Best Buy currently offers the iPad and Dell Streak.

The tablet will measure in smaller than the iPad at just 7 inches, but it is thinner at 9.7 millimeters. Furthermore, the tablet has a rear and front-facing camera, and the ability to natively playback Flash videos.

BlackBerry smartphone owners can tether their devices and use the 3G via the tablet.

The Playbook will not run on RIM's new BlackBerry 6 OS, instead it will run on a brand new mobile operating system created by QNX Software, which was acquired by RIM earlier in the year.




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile G2 shipping to early pre-orderers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Sep 2010 21:46

T-Mobile G2 shipping to early pre-orderers A number of early pre-orderers have reported today that their T-Mobile G2 has shipped, over a week before the device hits retail stores and Best Buy.

The G2 will be T-Mobile's first device to support HSPA+, the carrier's very fast 3.5G/4G data network.

Furthermore, the device will have an 800MHz Snapdragon MSM7230 processor, which has the HSPA+ support built-in. While slower than current 1GHz chips, the processor can still record 720p video and handle Flash videos and is as powerful as those 1GHz chips.

The G2 will also run a stock Android 2.2 (with no custom UI) and will have Swype as the default keypad.

Made by HTC, the phone has a 3.7-inch multi-touch screen, an optical trackpad, a 5MP camera with LED flash, 4GB of internal memory and an extra 8GB microSDHC card.

Upgrade price is $200 with contract, $500 without.




AfterDawn: News

RIM defends low 'App World' app count

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Sep 2010 21:29

RIM defends low 'App World' app count RIM VP of product platform management Alan Panezic has defended the low BlackBerry App World app count today, saying "we don't need 200 fart apps."

The App World currently has just over 10,000 apps, tiny in comparison to Android's 100,000 and Apple's 250,000.

Continuing on, Panezic says: "Those are apps you'll use three or four times then never open again (the fart apps). You're not looking at ads, clicking on ads or buying premium upgrades, and the app isn't adding any value to your device."

RIM mainly adds "super apps" to its store, apps that will be heavily used and improve the phone as a whole.

Panezic says Android and iOS app counts are "deceptive" since many are useless and a significant amount are redundancies with different names and slight differences.

With all that being said, the VP did note that BlackBerry app sales are poor due to how expensive their apps are compared to other stores. Until a month ago, RIM forced a $3 minimum for paid apps.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone 4 sales in China top 100,000

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Sep 2010 20:54

iPhone 4 sales in China top 100,000 China Unicom has said they are doing their best to get iPhone 4 smartphones to buyers who pre-ordered the device last week.

Over 200,000 pre-orders were taken before the device went on sale last Saturday but Unicom only got 50,000 out on launch day before exhausting their supply.

As of today, 100,000 units have been sold, meaning there are still a significant number of consumers waiting for their device.

Unicom says they should be getting their next shipment on October 1st.

In 2009, Unicom began selling the iPhone 3G, but saw only 100,000 units sold in its first two months of availability.




AfterDawn: News

R.I.P: Mobile Firefox development for iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Sep 2010 18:21

R.I.P: Mobile Firefox development for iPhone Speaking about the future of Firefox Home, Mozilla has said today that a true mobile Firefox app for the iPhone is likely not happening, ever.

Firefox Home is the current iPhone app that gives users a way to sync their Firefox history, bookmarks and open tabs from their desktops to their mobile device.

Says the post:

"We are working to bring as much of your Firefox experience as possible to Firefox Home. People have asked about adding more browser-like features to Firefox Home, but there are technical and logistical restrictions that make it difficult, if not impossible, to build the full Firefox browser for the iPhone. We are focused on building Firefox Home as a rich, cloud-based application and making it a valuable product that people will continue to love and use."


Earlier in the year Apple allowed the Opera browser into the App Store, marking the first time a "rival" browser had been made freely available.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo 3DS release dates revealed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Sep 2010 18:07

Nintendo 3DS release dates revealed Following months of speculation, Nintendo has finally revealed the release dates for its upcoming Nintendo 3DS handheld.

President Satoru Iwata says the 3DS will hit Japanese stores on February 26th, 2011, and then the US/European markets one month later.

In Japan the handheld will retail for ¥25,000 (about $300 USD) but the prices for the European and American models were not revealed.

At launch, the system will be available in "Aqua Blue" and "Cosmo Black" colorways.

The company also revealed the first 10 launch games for the system which are: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, Nintendogs + Cats, Pilotwings Resort, Pro Baseball Spirits, Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle, Ridge Racer 3D, Samurai Warriors Chronicle, Steel Diver, Super Monkey Ball, and Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Hulu Plus headed to TiVo, Roku boxes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Sep 2010 17:52

Hulu Plus headed to TiVo, Roku boxes Both Roku and TiVo have announced today that Hulu Plus will be headed to their set-top boxes in the upcoming weeks.

Hulu Plus is the premium streaming subscription service from NBCU, ABC and Fox that offers back catalogs for popular TV shows.

The service is $10 a month.

Roku offers set-tops for as low as $60 while TiVo's "Premiere" boxes will run you $300, plus a monthly $13 subscription fee.

Although there have been discussions, CBS remains the lone holdout from the major broadcasters to join Hulu, preferring to have its shows available from CBS.com.




AfterDawn: News

New iPad will have camera, USB port, be lighter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Sep 2010 17:48

New iPad will have camera, USB port, be lighter Financial firm Goldman Sachs has said today that Apple's second-generation iPad tablet will include a camera and a mini-USB port.

The device will also be lighter than the current iteration.

Apple may also be planning a smaller device, most likely at 7-inches.

If accurate, the device will fall in line with other new tablets, such as the RIM PlayBook and Samsung's Tab, both of which have cameras, USB ports and 7-inch diagonal screens.

Goldman's analysts also say Apple should have no problem fending off new tablets but next summer the real "battle" will begin, when tablets with Android 3.0 are hitting the market.

The new iPad should be released in the Spring of 2011, likely around the one-year anniversary of the launch of the original.




AfterDawn: News

New AppleTV already jailbroken

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Sep 2010 17:24

New AppleTV already jailbroken Thanks to the iPhone Dev Team, consumers will soon be able to jailbreak and install apps on their new AppleTVs.

Using a tool dubbed Shatter, users can unlock the Apple TV firmware.

Shatter has already been used to jailbreak the iPod Touch 4 and AppleTV uses the same operating system.

Wired says "the hack was carried out on the firmware restore download that has just been posted by Apple. This file, which contains the entire OS of the Apple TV, is an IPSW file, the file-extension for iPhone and iPad OS files."

Existing AppleTV hacks may work on the updated devices, and new apps like Hulu on the iPad may be able to work, as well.

Apparently, all the binaries of the new AppleTV are marked iPad-compatible.




AfterDawn: News

TechCrunch acquired by AOL

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Sep 2010 15:38

TechCrunch acquired by AOL AOL CEO Tim Armstrong has confirmed today they have acquired the very popular technology blog TechCrunch.

TechCrunch was founded in 2005 by Michael Arrington.

GigaOM, a rival tech blog, first broke the news yesterday that a deal was in the works.

At TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference, Arrington and Armstrong signed the actual contract on stage, in front of a full audience.

AOL's only condition is that Arrington stay as part of the site until 2013, at least.

The reported price for the acquisition is $25 million, even though the site reportedly brings in $10 million per year.




AfterDawn: News

DDoS attack takes down more anti-piracy sites

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Sep 2010 15:04

DDoS attack takes down more anti-piracy sites Last week we reported that the group "Anonymous" had taken down multiple websites relating to anti-piracy firms, starting with the MPAA and AiPlex Software and then taking down the RIAA.

Dubbed "Operation Payback," the protest revolves around DDoS attacks on the firm's main sites.

Following on from the other DDoS attacks, another wave has hit anti-piracy sites, this time taking down AFACT, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft.

AFACT adds that a large number of sites hosted by their host (Negregistry), have been attacked as well.

8000 sites to be exact. "A lot of these sites are small Australian businesses and Government web sites," says Negregistry. "They have been affected by this senseless act."

With that, Operation Payback continues.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to show off Windows Phone 7 devices on October 11th?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Sep 2010 14:32

Microsoft to show off Windows Phone 7 devices on October 11th? Microsoft has announced it will hold a press conference in Europe on October 11th and it is expected that the company will officially announced the first Windows Phone 7 devices.

The press event will be held in London and will offer a "hands-on opportunities with WP7 devices."

Dates have been conflicting since Microsoft has yet to give an official launch date for the devices, with many sites claiming October 21st while others claim November 8th.

There is a chance that all the numbers will be correct in some way, with the company showing off the phones on the 11th, announcing pricing on the 21st, and having phones hit stores the next month on the 8th.

Microsoft recently said tethering, along with copy/paste and full multitasking have all been stripped from the 1.0 software release, but will make comebacks in future firmware updates.




AfterDawn: News

Newark Mayor is 40 percent of the way to matching Zuckerberg pledge

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Sep 2010 22:43

Newark Mayor is 40 percent of the way to matching Zuckerberg pledge Just days after receiving a pledge of $100 million from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Newark Mayor Cory Booker has said he has raised $40 million from private donors in his ongoing effort to match the gift.

"I am so grateful that so many are stepping forward after Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement to answer our call to action and share our commitment in the limitless potential of Newark’s students," says Booker.

The money will all go towards the struggling Newark public school system, which is one of the nation's highest funded but one of its most under performing.

Newark has 280,000 residents, 70,000 of which make under $10,830, the Federal Poverty Level. Only 51 percent of students graduate high school, and 85 percent of those that do need remedial help in English or Math.

Booker says the city may close the worst schools and fire teachers, and that the money will not be used towards private-schools.




AfterDawn: News

Mad Catz will replace any controllers blocked by latest PS3 firmware update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Sep 2010 21:58

Mad Catz will replace any controllers blocked by latest PS3 firmware update Following many reports that Sony's latest PlayStation 3 firmware update, version 3.50, blocks third-party controllers, popular accessory maker Mad Catz has said it will replace any affected controller.

That being said, Mad Catz says that "all Mad Catz products will continue to function" even after the update, with the exception of a few models from 2008 and earlier.

3.50, as reported by angry PS3 owners, blocks third party peripherals, accessories and USB storage devices.

Sony's response was that the ban would block "dangerous counterfeits," mainly controllers that Sony says have a chance of exploding. Most seem to think the move is a way to stop more products from being used to jailbreak the console.

Users have claimed that Mad Catz's 2008 Wireless PS3 GamePad, 2008 Wired PS3 GamePad and PS3 Wireless MicroCon have all ceased working after the update.

Says the accessory maker: "Mad Catz would like to take this opportunity to put gamers' minds at ease. With the exception of a small quantity of controllers sold before 2008, we believe that all Mad Catz products will continue to function as they did prior to the 3.50 Firmware update."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Motorola Droid R2-D2 goes on sale Wednesday

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Sep 2010 19:16

Motorola Droid R2-D2 goes on sale Wednesday Verizon will release the limited edition Motorola Droid R2-D2 smartphone on September 30th, says the carrier, making it available online and in retail stores.

The phone is a Droid 2 customized with a Star Wars theme, running on Android 2.1.

Verizon is selling the device for $350 with contract, but buyers receive a $100 debit-card rebate with the purchase.

The regular Droid 2 costs $200 with contract.

Droid R2-D2s comes in "a custom box resembling carbonite," and is stocked with "Star Wars-related ringtones and wallpapers."




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo 3DS hitting Japan on November 11th?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Sep 2010 18:51

Nintendo 3DS hitting Japan on November 11th? The German tabloid Bild is reporting today that the upcoming Nintendo 3DS will hit Japan on November 11th and then the EU in the "Spring of 2011."

Additionally, the tabloid says in Europe the handheld will be priced at €200.

In the past the paper has made some accurate reports on upcoming gadgets, including predicting Satoro Iwata's announcement of the Wii-mote in 2005.

The Bild is the best selling paper in all of Europe, but it is important to take this story as rumor because the tabloid tendencies of the paper and its shaky reputation for accountable reporting.

Nintendo has long said the 3DS would be released in 2011, and Iwata will announce the launch dates and pricing on Wednesday during a press event.

Three of the handheld's launch titles will be Mario Kart 3D, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D, and Professor Layton and the Mask of Miracle.




AfterDawn: News

RIM unveils 'Playbook' tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Sep 2010 18:00

RIM unveils 'Playbook' tablet RIM has unveiled their long-anticipated Playbook tablet today, throwing their contender into the market dominated by the Apple iPad.

"Every successful professional has a great PlayBook," said Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of RIM.

The tablet will measure in smaller than the iPad at just 7 inches, but it is thinner at 9.7 millimeters.

Furthermore, the tablet has a rear and front-facing camera, and the ability to natively playback Flash videos.

BlackBerry smartphone owners can tether their devices and use the 3G on the tablet.

The Playbook will not run on RIM's new BlackBerry 6 OS, however, instead it will run on a brand new mobile operating system created by QNX Software, which was acquired by RIM earlier in the year.




AfterDawn: News

Blockbuster files Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Sep 2010 23:53

Blockbuster files Chapter 11 bankruptcy On Thursday, Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, meaning hundreds of stores will close over the next month as the company restructures.

Through bankruptcy, the company will eliminate about $900 million in debt, leaving the company with $125 million in debt to its senior bondholders. Other bondholders have been wiped out. Blockbuster's common stock currently trades at 5 cents, meaning for the most part, all long term shareholders have been wiped out, as well.

CEO Jim Keyes said the restructuring will allow Blockbuster to "continue to transform our business model to meet the evolving preferences of our customers."

Blockbuster has "a well-established brand name, an exceptional library of more than 125,000 titles, and our position as the only operator that provides access across multiple delivery channels -- stores, kiosks, by-mail and digital," added Keyes.

The company has about 3000 stores currently, with plans to close up to 1800 over the next year. 1000 closings were unveiled before the bankruptcy.

Throughout the bankruptcy, all stores and kiosks will remain open for current members.




AfterDawn: News

Windows 7 Phone will not have tethering at launch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Sep 2010 23:22

Windows 7 Phone will not have tethering at launch Microsoft has said this weekend that its upcoming Windows Phone 7 will not support tethering.

The new statement directly contradicts the past statement from the Brandon Watson, the Director for Windows Phone 7.

In May, Watson said the ability would be enabled from launch.

Microsoft has promised that tethered connection sharing will be a reality eventually, but not in October when the first phones hit the market.

Tethering, along with copy/paste and full multitasking have all been stripped from the 1.0 software release, but will make comebacks in future firmware updates.




AfterDawn: News

GHSA endorses total cell phone ban during driving

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Sep 2010 22:37

GHSA endorses total cell phone ban during driving The Goverrnors Highway Safety Association has endorsed a total ban on mobile phone usage while driving, making their decision after carefully analyzing the results of a study by the American Journal of Public Health.

AJPH's findings saw a 28 percent rise in "distracted driving fatalities" from 2005 to 2008.

Furthermore, the report showed 16,000 vehicle-related fatalities from 2001 until 2007 were caused by drivers texting at the wheel.

"It doesn't take a Ph.D. to know that cell phone use and driving is dangerous and that lives have been lost due to this practice," says Jonathan Adkins, a spokesman for the Association.

A few states, such as California, have already banned cell phone use whilst driving, voice and texting.

The Association is a group of state highway safety officials from across the US. The group has helped shape many past transportation safety policies in the past.




AfterDawn: News

Sony Ericsson drops Symbian

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Sep 2010 17:51

Sony Ericsson drops Symbian Sony Ericsson has confirmed this week that it has no plans for future Symbian-based smartphones, moving most support over to Android.

Says an SE rep: "We have no plans for the time being to develop any new products to the Symbian Foundation standard or operating system."

Symbian remains the most popular smartphone operating system thanks only to Nokia, which still uses it on its smartphones. However, market share for the mobile OS fell to 41.2 percent in the Q2 from 51 percent in the same period last year.

In the same time frame, iOS and Android have grown exponentially, with Android expected to take the top spot as soon as 2013.

Over the course of the year many prominent smartphone makers have dropped or significantly cut back support for Symbian including Samsung and LG.




AfterDawn: News

Chinese iPhone 4 supply already exhausted

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Sep 2010 16:51

Chinese iPhone 4 supply already exhausted The WSJ is reporting this weekend that China Unicom's supply of iPhone 4s has already been exhausted.

Furthermore, the Journal reports that Unicom did not have enough supply for the launch weekend to begin with.

The carrier is said to received 200,000 pre-orders before Saturday morning when the phone launched in the nation.

Only 50,000 buyers got their phones on Saturday.

In 2009, Unicom began selling the iPhone 3G, but saw only 100,000 units sold in its first two months of availability.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon getting rid of unlimited data plans

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Sep 2010 16:01

Verizon getting rid of unlimited data plans Verizon Wireless is expected to stop selling unlimited data plans to new customers within six months, says the WSJ, instead opting to offer two plans with monthly bandwidth caps.

In June, AT&T made a similar move, dropping the unlimited 3G data plan while starting to offer three capped plans.

Earlier in the week, Sprint said the company may have to cap unlimited 4G data plans, especially if usage increases exponentially.

For the Q1 2010, average smartphone data consumption jumped to 298MB per month, from an average of 90MB during the period in 2009.

Nielsen research recently concluded that usage-based pricing models are actually fair, as the average smartphone user does not need unlimited. After reviewing 60,000 phone bills, Nielsen says the top 6 percent of smartphone data users use 49 percent of all bandwidth. That leaves the other 94 percent of users for the other half.

It is unclear what the new tiered plans will look like, but most expect them to be similar to AT&T's, which cost $15 for 200MB and $25 for 2GB. Unlimited plans currently cost $30.




AfterDawn: News

PSGroove ported to Sansa players with Rockbox

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Sep 2010 15:23

PSGroove ported to Sansa players with Rockbox A forum member of PSX-Scene has ported PSGroove to Sansa media devices running RockBox, giving more potential users a chance to jaibreak their PlayStation 3 using items they may already have at home.

For now, the port has been tested on the Sansa e200 and c200v1 series running Rockbox.

You can read full instructions, including downloads of the necessary software, here: PSGroove Ported to Rockbox

Last month, PSJailbreak showed the world that the PS3's security model was open to be exploited, and Sony was quick to shut down the project.

PSGroove, the "open source PSJailbreak," was released for the masses in early September, giving owners a chance to jailbreak their PS3 using development boards and other items such as Android smartphones.




AfterDawn: News

Custom PS3 operating system in the works

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Sep 2010 14:38

Custom PS3 operating system in the works A member of the PS3Hax forum has posted this weekend early screenshots of a custom PlayStation 3 operating system, one that can be installed if you have a jailbroken PS3 console.

The developer has dubbed the custom OS "PlayOS."

PlayOS is Linux-based, will run on firmware 3.41, and will take 730MB of external HDD since it runs off the Backup Manager.

The OS has a built-in dedicated web browser dubbed "PlayBrowse."

Because of hardware acceleration, the developer says users will be able to playback 1080p .mkv files.

Furthermore, the OS has support for .zip, .tar, .gz, .mp3, .avi, .mp4, and .divx.

It is important to note that you will need a development board, as it won't work with systems jailbroken with a smartphone.

Screenshots:




AfterDawn: News

Netflix to start streaming-only plan?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Sep 2010 1:52

Netflix to start streaming-only plan? Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said today that the company may offer a streaming-only plan for the United States, cutting out the ability to receive physical media in the mail.

The subscription would be cheaper than Netflix's current plans, which are $8.99 minimum for renting and streaming and would give users a chance to access 15,000 movies and shows via Watch Instantly.

"A cheaper subscription plan could be more attractive to new (subscribers) and it would also likely carry higher gross margins and potentially even higher gross profit (over time), given the extremely low cost of delivering streaming content," adds analyst Douglas Anmuth of Barclays Capital in a research note.

The rental company recently signed a multi-year deal to increase its NBCU streaming content, including all the seasons of "Eureka," "The Office," "Battlestar Galactica," and others. Additionally, Saturday Night Live episodes will be available the day after they air.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: The incredible Mozilla Labs concept smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Sep 2010 1:09

Video Daily: The incredible Mozilla Labs concept smartphone Mozilla Labs has shown off the Seabird concept smartphone this week, the conclusion of the "Open Web Concept Phone" project which began in early 2009.

The "Mozilla Labs Concept Series" asks the world what they want to see out of certain future devices, as long as they revolve around Firefox, Mozilla and the Open Web.

Billy May, working directly off all the community feedback, has now released a video for "Seabird."

The main new features of the smartphone are dual Pico-projectors, which allow for a fully projected keyboard, effectively turning your phone into a notebook.

Form factor is very slick for the touchscreen concept as well as very thin, while leaving enough room for the dual projectors.

There are no plans for the release of the phone or a Mozilla OS (the Seabird runs on Android), but I'll take a leap here and say there would be few people who wouldn't want to see this phone as a real device.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix adds more TV shows from NBCU

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Sep 2010 14:15

Netflix adds more TV shows from NBCU Netflix has announced today that they have expanded their licensing agreement with NBC Universal, making more NBC TV shows available through the "Watch Instantly" streaming catalog.

The deal will include more seasons of hit shows like "30 Rock," "The Office," "Friday Night Lights" and "Law & Order: SVU."

"Saturday Night Live" episodes will be available the day after they air from now on.

Furthermore, the new deal adds episodes of "Battlestar Galactica," "Destination Truth" and "Eureka."

"This agreement adds meaningfully to the wide variety of content that can be streamed from Netflix and breaks new ground in our relationship with NBC Universal," adds Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer (via the WSJ).

Netflix continues to add movie and TV content on a regular basis, striking deals with Starz, Relativity Media, Fox and NBCU.




AfterDawn: News

'Scrabble' is first paid app on the Amazon Kindle

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Sep 2010 14:02

'Scrabble' is first paid app on the Amazon Kindle iReader Review has noted today that Scrabble has become the first paid, third-party app for the Amazon Kindle.

EA has quietly added the app to the Kindle Store, at a hefty price of $4.99.

To play the game, you will need a second or third generation Kindle, or a Kindle DX.

You will not even be able to download the game if you have a first-generation Kindle e-reader.

While the Kindles have Internet access via either 3G or Wi-Fi, or both, the game only supports multi-player on the device, not online.




AfterDawn: News

Target to carry iPad starting October 3rd

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Sep 2010 13:50

Target to carry iPad starting October 3rd Target has finally officially announced it will begin carrying the Apple iPad in its brick-and-mortar stores.

The retailer will begin selling all six models of the popular tablet on October 3rd.

Starting with the 16GB/Wi-Fi model at $499, all the way to the 64GB/3G/Wi-Fi model at $829, the retailer says all Target credit-card holders will receive a 5 percent discount.

There are currently 1743 Targets in the United States, with the company planning to remodel 400 of the stores in 2011.

Additionally in its press statement, the company announced it was expanding 450 stores to add groceries.




AfterDawn: News

HBO to launch 3D channel next year, kickoff with Inception 3D

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Sep 2010 13:35

HBO to launch 3D channel next year, kickoff with Inception 3D According to multiple sources, HBO is set to launch a 3D on-demand channel in the Q1 2011.

HBO has not officially announced the channel, but a service spokesperson confirmed the plans.

Furthermore, the channel will launch with a world premiere of a 3D version of the blockbuster Inception.

For now, Warner Bros. says there are no plans for an Inception 3D conversion.

It was reported earlier in the year that Warner tried to convert Inception to 3D before its initial theater run, but director Christopher Nolan would not sign off on it, citing "Clash of the Titans'" poor reviews.

Looking to the future, Warner is expected to begin filming the third Batman movie in 3D next year.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: Prototype unveiled for glasses-free 3D on Android phones, tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Sep 2010 12:55

Video Daily: Prototype unveiled for glasses-free 3D on Android phones, tablets Androidandme has posted video today of a prototype device unveiled at the GTC 2010 show, one that features a glasses-free 3D display.

A gaming UI company called Scaleform was showing off the prototype, which was built by Master Image and runs on a Nvidia Tegra 2 processor.

The device runs on the Android mobile OS.

Androidanme says the visual display was very impressive and that a device using the screen and features could be available as soon as the Q2 2011.




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile G2 goes up for pre-order from carrier

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Sep 2010 12:33

T-Mobile G2 goes up for pre-order from carrier Despite Best Buy having the device up for pre-order for a couple of weeks, T-Mobile had not yet officially put the flagship G2 up for sale.

That has changed this week, with existing T-Mobile smartphone owners being sent an email offering them the chance to pre-order directly from the carrier.

The G2 will be T-Mobile's first device to support HSPA+, the carrier's very fast 3.5G/4G data network.

Furthermore, the device will have an 800MHz Snapdragon MSM7230 processor, which has the HSPA+ support built-in. While slower than current 1GHz chips, the processor can still record 720p video and handle Flash videos.

The G2 will also run a stock Android 2.2 (with no custom UI) and will have Swype as the default keypad.

Made by HTC, the phone has a 3.7-inch multi-touch screen, an optical trackpad, a 5MP camera with LED flash, 4GB of internal memory and an extra 8GB microSDHC card.

Upgrade price is $200 with contract, $500 without.




AfterDawn: News

Warning: Your counterfeit PS3 controller may explode

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Sep 2010 12:10

Warning: Your counterfeit PS3 controller may explode Sony has warned gamers this week that counterfeit PlayStation 3 controllers are likely to explode or ignite when used.

The controllers, which are "identical in appearance to genuine PlayStation 3 wireless controllers," are becoming more popular, says the company.

While cheaper than the official PS3 controllers, Sony says the "quality, reliability, and safety of counterfeit products is uncertain."

It is unclear which counterfeit controllers Sony is directly talking about, or what company's are selling them, but the products may "ignite or explode, resulting in injury or damage to the user, your PlayStation 3, or other property."

Furthermore, the "SCEA does not support continued functionality of counterfeit or unlicensed controllers in system software updates and these devices may cease to function in the future because of system software updates."




AfterDawn: News

Marvell building triple-core 1.5GHz mobile chip

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Sep 2010 2:27

Marvell building triple-core 1.5GHz mobile chip Marvell has unveiled their latest mobile SoC (system-on-a-chip) this week, the ARMADA 628.

The latest chip promises to be a "game changer," running three-cores and clocking in at 1.5GHz.

Marvell says the SoC will run on an ARM v7 infrastructure, likely the Cortex A9 MPCore.

With that computing power, a phone running the chip could playback two simultaneous 1080p 3D video-streams.

Without revealing the capacity of the battery, Marvell says "advanced power-saving features also mean that the chip can play back a high-def video for around ten hours 'on a single charge.'"

Additionally, the company says the first two cores run at high performance, but the final core is "optimized for low-power operation and is clocked at only 624MHz." Because of the low clock speed, the chip can run system-level operations without killing battery by using the more powerful cores.

The chip should make its way into tablets and smartphones within 12 months.




AfterDawn: News

Roku launches three new set-top boxes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Sep 2010 1:40

Roku launches three new set-top boxes Roku has announced three new set-top boxes this week, each of which are cheaper, smaller and perform better than their predecessors.

The new Roku HD will sell for $60, the Roku XD will sell for $80 and the Roku XDS will sell for $100.

On the lower end, the HD offers 720p streaming, with wired and wireless connectivity. The device is very similar to 2009's Roku HD box, but in a smaller 1" x 5" case. The HD has composite and HDMI outputs.

The mid-level XD has 1080p streaming, with wired and wireless connectivity, including support for 802.11n. Like the HD, the XD has composite and HDMI outputs.

On the high-end, the XDS has 1080p HD streaming, support for dual-band 802.11n, composite and HDMI outputs, optical video output, and a USB port that allows for playback of a number of video files off connected devices, a first for any Roku device.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

YouTube cannot be held liable for copyright infringement, rules Spanish court

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Sep 2010 1:11

YouTube cannot be held liable for copyright infringement, rules Spanish court A federal court in Spain has dismissed all charges against YouTube today, ruling the popular video sharing site cannot be held liable for copyright infringement.

YouTube had been sued by Spanish TV broadcaster Gestevision Telecinco after hours of their content was found available for free on the site.

Google posted the results of the ruling on its European Public Policy Blog.

Telecinco was hoping to have YouTube held liable when users upload copyright-infringing material.

Says Google: "This win confirms what we have always said: 'YouTube operates within the law.'"

"The court recognized that YouTube is merely a content hosting platform and should not be made to pre-screen videos before they are uploaded," the search giant concluded.




AfterDawn: News

Intel slashing Atom, Core processor prices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Sep 2010 0:30

Intel slashing Atom, Core processor prices According to Bobby Burleson, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity, Intel is sharply cutting prices on their Atom and Core processors, due to unexpectedly low sales in Europe and China.

The analyst says the slow sales were thanks to unexpected overall economic weakness in Asia and Europe.

Within his client note, Burleson says Intel has slashed prices on their Atom and Core i3, i5 and i7 processors by up to 50 percent, while also reducing the price of a few chipsets by 15 percent.

The move is to stimulate demand and clear out excess inventory, adds the note.

Says Burleson (via Xbit): "While notebook demand is likely to uptick near term following these cuts. It will be in large part the result of channel fill by Intel’s OEM customers, especially in China. [...]What is of particular concern is the risk of inventory overshoot as the PC supply chain focuses on China in an aggressive effort to offset weakness in the US and stagnation in Europe."




AfterDawn: News

Good Old Games re-opens

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Sep 2010 16:20

Good Old Games re-opens Last week we announced that Good Old Games, the European gaming company that gives gamers the chance to download old PC games that are very hard to find legally or have been abandoned, had shut down just two years after going live.

This afternoon, the site has re-opened, with a full refresh.

At the same time, the site's owners apologized for closing the service down so abruptly and without warning.

Says the site's blog:

"We know our little game with closing down the site made some of you angry. Once again we'd like to apologize to everyone who felt deceived by us closing down GOG.com without any warning and without giving you access to your games. We apologize for that from the bottom of our hearts, it was done with the best of intentions and hopefully we can make it up to you!"


Finally moving out of beta, the company says the "new sleek new design makes it even easier to browse through the huge catalog, share one's passion for classic games via popular social media, get to know more about the classic games available and recommend favorite titles to other gamers."

Furthermore, the site has introduced GOGmixes, user-created lists of games based on certain themes.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Zuckerberg to give $100 million to Newark public schools

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Sep 2010 23:58

Zuckerberg to give $100 million to Newark public schools According to the NYTimes, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will donate $100 million dollars to the Newark, New Jersey public school system, which has long been underfunded.

The donation will be made official on an upcoming Oprah Winfrey show.

Furthermore, the gift would be the first "installment in an education endowment" to be started by the world's youngest multi-billionaire.

While he is currently not worth much, when Facebook eventually goes public Zuckerberg's fortune has been estimated at between $5 - $7 billion.

Currently, the Newark schools have an $800 million annual operating budget, so Zuckerberg's gift is more than significant.

The only condition of the gift is that the state give back "some" control of the city's school system to mayor Cory Booker.




AfterDawn: News

JetBlue to go fully Wi-Fi starting in mid-2012

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Sep 2010 23:42

JetBlue to go fully Wi-Fi starting in mid-2012 JetBlue has said today that its full fleet of over 150 planes will be getting in-flight broadband starting in mid-2012, after taking months to decide on its wireless strategy.

Most of JetBlue's biggest competitors, including low-cost Southwest Airlines have already begun offering Wi-Fi through Gogo Inflight Internet, or are deploying the service to their fleet currently.

When asked for the reason for the late deployment, CEO Dave Barger said: "This system will be designed for the 21st century, not just for today’s personal connectivity needs, but with the bandwidth to expand to meet tomorrow’s needs as well."

Instead of using a Gogo package, JetBlue will build its service from scratch, partnering with the satellite company ViaSat.

ViaSat currently "serves satellite Internet to over 400,000 subscribers through resellers like DirectTV and DISH Network," says Mashable.

When it launches, the JetBlue in-flight broadband package is expected to have 30-50Mbps downstream.




AfterDawn: News

Nvidia Tegra 3 is almost ready

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Sep 2010 17:58

Nvidia Tegra 3 is almost ready During his GTC keynote speech, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang made it clear that the Tegra 3 mobile system-on-a-chip (SoC) was well on its way to being completed, even though devices using the Tegra 2 SoC have still not hit the market.

Early development of the Tegra 4 has already started, added Huang.

The CEO says the plan is to release a new ARM-based processor each year, meaning the Tegra 4 should hit in 2012.

While the timetable sounds nice, the real question will be whether Nvidia can stick to it. The original Tegra was not used in many devices, with the Microsoft Zune HD being the highest-profile device to equip the chip. The ill-fated Kin smartphones also used the SoC.

The dual-core Tegra 2 has been promised for many smartphones and devices, but so far none have hit the market. The Boxee Box, available for pre-order now, was supposed to use a Tegra 2 but the company switched to an Intel processor very late in the manufacturing process.




AfterDawn: News

RIM to reveal iPad competitor next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Sep 2010 17:24

RIM to reveal iPad competitor next week According to the WSJ, RIM is set to unveil their iPad competitor next week, during a developer's conference in California.

Nicknamed the "BlackPad," the tablet should be released during the Q4.

The tablet will have a 7-inch screen, two built-in cameras, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and 3G access when connected to a BlackBerry smartphone.

Perhaps more notably is the notion that RIM is tossing out its BlackBerry OS in favor of a completely new and unknown OS built by QNX Software, the software company purchased by RIM earlier this year.

QNX has created operating systems since the 1980s.

Eventually, RIM is expected to transition all their BlackBerry devices to the new QNX OS.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft sees 2 million downloads of Internet Explorer 9 beta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Sep 2010 17:09

Microsoft sees 2 million downloads of Internet Explorer 9 beta Microsoft has released figures today relating to their launch of the Internet Explorer 9 beta and downloads have been very strong.

Released on the 15th, the software giant says 2.1 million people downloaded the beta over the first 48 hours of availability.

By comparison, only 1.3 million downloaded the IE8 beta during its first five days in 2008.

Additionally, the company says it has seen 26 million page views to the "Beauty of the Web" IE9 main page in its first week.

The newly revamped browser includes a combined search/URL bar, tighter integration with the Windows Taskbar, "tear-off" tabs, site pinning, JumpLists and new HTML 5 support.

For more information, including a free download of the beta, visit here: Internet Explorer 9

TAKE NOTE: The IE9 beta does not work in Windows XP.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix launches in Canada

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Sep 2010 15:32

Netflix launches in Canada Netflix has officially launched in Canada today, after first being announced early in July.

Canadian users will be able to stream unlimited movies and TV episodes starting at $7.99 CAD.

All new users are eligible for a one-month free trial (similar to users in the U.S.).

Netflix does make one important note, however, that the service only works in English for the time being, meaning French Canadians will not have a service for them for the time being.

The Canadadian service will only include streaming, with no physical media rentals plans in the works.

"With our launch today in Canada, Netflix is focused on adding meaningfully to the entertainment choices available to Canadian consumers," says CEO Reed Hastings. "Convenience, selection and value are at the heart of the Netflix service, and it is our hope that this resonates with Canadians."

You can check here for more pricing details.




AfterDawn: News

Blockbuster bankruptcy coming within days

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Sep 2010 12:34

Blockbuster bankruptcy coming within days Multiple sources are reporting today that Blockbuster's long-expected Chapter 11 bankruptcy should be filed within the week.

Blockbuster has over $900 million in debt and will use the bankruptcy to restructure most of that debt whilst also closing under-performing stores.

Some sources say the filing could come as early as later today.

"We continue to explore all of our options and are making good progress in our recapitalization process,"
said Blockbuster this morning. "Our discussions with the studios and bondholders continue to be productive, and we have every reason to believe we will come out of the recapitalization process financially stronger and more competitively positioned for the future."

Under the plan, senior bondholders would have $630 million of their debt converted into equity of the new company. All lower bondholders and all shareholders would be wiped out.

Additionally, senior bondholders will give the company a $125 million loan to operate while under bankruptcy protection.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix to unveil new service in Canada

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Sep 2010 19:21

Netflix to unveil new service in Canada Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is in Canada this week, as part of the company's launch of a new online video subscription service.

The new service will give Canadians a chance to stream thousands of movies and TV shows for a set monthly fee.

Expanding to Canada marks Netflix's first move to a foreign nation. Apple and Boxee are also preparing Canadian launches in the near future.

Netflix in Canada will only include streaming, with no physical media rentals plans in the works.

Hastings does say there could be some issues: "In Canada, the challenges are licensing the right content... and then taking advantage of the right marketing channels at the right cost."




AfterDawn: News

Rumors of smaller iPad are back

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Sep 2010 18:45

Rumors of smaller iPad are back According to a new research note by Rodman & Renshaw analyst Ashok Kumar, rumors of a smaller, 7-inch Apple iPad have resurfaced.

Kumar says the company will release the smaller iPad during 2011, with a Q1 launch likely.

The analyst bases his conclusions on talks with top Asian component manufacturers such as Pegatron. Pegatron supplies Apple with iPhone and iPad parts.

Kumar also went as far as to say that the manufacturer is currently assembling 20 million CDMA iPhone 4s, meaning the incredibly popular smartphone should be hitting Verizon soon.

The current iPad has a 9.7-inch display and Kumar adds that the upcoming smaller iPad will also include standard and front-facing cameras, allowing for video conferencing.

While it is unclear what benefits a smaller iPad could bring to the market, Kumar suggests that Apple may be trying to drop prices to a more competitive price point.

The cheapest current-gen iPad (16GB/Wi-Fi) costs $499 with the most expensive (64GB/Wi-Fi/3G) costing $829.




AfterDawn: News

Latest Pokemon sales crush estimates

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Sep 2010 17:53

Latest Pokemon sales crush estimates Nintendo and Game Freak launched the latest Pokemon games (Black and White) on September 18th in Japan, and according to el33tonline, sales have crushed all estimates.

Pokemon, since its launch in the 90s, has long been one of Nintendo's biggest cash cows, bringing in strong sales for every new iteration of the franchise.

The latest games have all-new Pokemon, a fully revamped visual style, new ways to connect online, and even new battling options, giving the series a serious makeover for the first time in years.

Pre-orders for the game exceeded 1 million and the source says 2.63 million units of the game were sold in its first 48 hours of release.

The last releases, 2009's HeartGold/SoulSilver sold 3,382,597 copies, total.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: 'HTC Mozart' Windows Phone 7 device has specs leaked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Sep 2010 17:26

Video Daily: 'HTC Mozart' Windows Phone 7 device has specs leaked WMPU has posted the full specs for the upcoming HTC 'Mozart' smartphone this week, along with video of its playback.

The device is one of the first Windows Phone 7 smartphones, Microsoft's final chance to stop the erosion of their mobile OS market share.

Leaked specs show the Mozart running on a 1GHz Qualcomm QSD 8250 along with 512MB ROM and 576MB RAM and a 3.7-inch WVGA Super LCD display .

The smartphone has 8GB of internal memory and an 8MP CMOS camera with Xenon Flash.

Furthermore, Mozart is dual mode UMTS/HSPA (2100/900) and quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900 MHz).




AfterDawn: News

Nokia exec takes shot at Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Sep 2010 17:12

Nokia exec takes shot at Android One of Nokia's top mobile phone division executives, Anssi Vanjoki, has taken a shot at Android today, just weeks before the exec leaves the company.

Vanjoki likened manufacturers who use Android to "Finnish boys who pee their pants for warmth in the winter," calling the OS sloppy.

Continuing on, the exec said Android would eventually hurt the branding of the manufacturers, as consumers will eventually begin purchasing phones for the mobile OS, not caring about the phone maker.

While Vanjoki may have some point to his rant, the fact of the matter remains that there are no Symbian^3 or MeeGo devices on the market, while there are plenty of Android devices now, with many of them being synonymous with their manufacturer, such as the Motorla Droid line, and the HTC Incredible.

Anssi Vanjoki is, for the time being, Nokia's executive vice president and general manager of mobile solutions.




AfterDawn: News

Edit your Google Docs via Android devices, iPad

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Sep 2010 16:53

Edit your Google Docs via Android devices, iPad Google has said today that mobile editing capabilities for Google Docs are headed to Android devices and the Apple iPad in the near future.

Enterprise President Dave Girouard said the new feature should be implemented within weeks.

Girouard added that Google Apps now has 3 million business customers, and most would appreciate the ability to edit their documents saved to Google Docs.

"In the next few weeks, co-workers around the world will soon be able to co-edit files simultaneously from an even wider array of devices," noted the Enterprise president.

Currently, users can only view their documents.




AfterDawn: News

Zune marketplace expands to UK

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Sep 2010 16:36

Zune marketplace expands to UK Microsoft has announced this week that they will be expanding the Zune music and movie store to the UK this fall, giving users in the region a chance to visit the Zune Marketplace.

Additionally, UK consumers can soon use the Zune Passmusic subscription service, which gives you unlimited downloads and streaming for £8.99 as long as you keep the subscription.

The move coincides with the upcoming release of Window Phone 7 devices, and the content will be synced through the phones as well as through Xbox Live.

Says Craig Eisler, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business Group: "The integration between Zune, Windows Phone 7 and Xbox Live is an exciting advance in our entertainment offering."

"Zune enables users access to the entertainment they want, wherever they want it - and now, more people than ever will be able to enjoy the freedom and flexibility that the Zune service offers."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Twitter ravaged by XSS exploit

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Sep 2010 16:18

Twitter ravaged by XSS exploit Popular micro-blogging site Twitter was hit pretty hard today by a newly exposed site exploit, with hundreds of thousands of users affected.

The "onMouseOver" incident, as dubbed by Twitter itself, started early in the morning (around 6 am EST) and was all patched by 12 pm EST, with the main problems fixed by 10 am.

Twitter says the security exploit was caused by cross-site scripting (XSS), which is "the practice of placing code from an untrusted website into another one."

In the case of this morning, hackers submitted javascript code as plain text in tweets that was then executed when others clicked it.

Twitter explains further: "Early this morning, a user noticed the security hole and took advantage of it on Twitter.com. First, someone created an account that exploited the issue by turning tweets different colors and causing a pop-up box with text to appear when someone hovered over the link in the Tweet. This is why folks are referring to this an “onMouseOver” flaw -- the exploit occurred when someone moused over a link."

The exploit only affected users of the Twitter website, with 3rd-party platforms and the mobile versions of the site being unaffected.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AT&T launches pre-paid data plans

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Sep 2010 1:25

AT&T launches pre-paid data plans AT&T has launched new pre-paid data plans for netbooks and notebooks, dubbed DataConnect Pass.

The service will not require a multi-year contract.

A one-day pass, up to 100MB, will cost $15, a week-long pass and 300MB will cost $30, and a monthly pass (1GB) will cost $50.

"Demand for high-functioning, lightweight, mobile computing devices remains strong among consumers and small business customers who want access to the Internet while on the go," says David Haight, VP of product development, AT&T emerging devices. "By offering the DataConnect Pass Plans, customers receive added value, choice, and flexibility to decide when to consume data within the parameters of their personal budget, for a more consumer-centric and convenient experience."

Additionally, the company has launched three new netbooks, all ranging between 10.1 and 11.6 inches, and weighing about 3 pounds.




AfterDawn: News

Sony launches 'Classics by Request' service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Sep 2010 0:23

Sony launches 'Classics by Request' service Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has launched "Screen Classics by Request" this week, an online service that allows classic movie fans to purchase films from Columbia Picture's catalog, on-demand, for the first time ever.

Visitors to www.Columbia-Classics.com can choose to purchase films released as far back as the 1930s, on-demand, for $20 plus shipping.

Some films are even available in Blu-ray and include the original theatrical box art when available.

The on-demand program will allow the studios to bring the the content to the market in the most cost-effective way, only when the consumer actually wants it.

"The launch of ‘Screen Classics By Request’ is an important step in the evolution of our multiplatform distribution strategy," adds John Calkins, EVP of global digital and commercial innovation with SPHE.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon makes bid for 'Lovefilm'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Sep 2010 21:45

Amazon makes bid for 'Lovefilm' Amazon has bid 199 million pounds for the large European movie-rental company Lovefilm, says The Sunday Times, although both companies have declined comment.

The world's largest e-tailer already owns a 42 percent stake of the rental company.

In 2008, Amazon merged its European rental operation with Lovefilm's, while at the same time buying the stake of one of the company's venture capitalists.

Earlier this year, Lovefilm announced it was ramping up its digital movie services, making deals with Sony and Samsung for on-demand streaming.

Every few months, Amazon is rumored to be purchasing Neflix, the largest rental company in the United States.




AfterDawn: News

Apple's new deal with Rovi evidence of upcoming Apple HDTV?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Sep 2010 19:21

Apple's new deal with Rovi evidence of upcoming Apple HDTV? Apple has signed a new confidential licensing deal with Rovi today, a deal that has at least one analyst claiming Apple will release a Web-connected HDTV with live TV and DVR in the future.

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray calls the deal strong evidence of an upcoming HDTV.

Rovi is the company behind the interactive program guide used by many cable/satellite operators and set-top box makers.

Says Munster (via AI): "We believe this announcement is further evidence that Apple is developing live TV and DVR features for its Apple TV product, and will likely launch an all-in-one Apple Television in the next 2-4 years. Following its deal with Rovi, Apple would be clear to add live TV, DVR and guidance features to its Apple TV product, which we believe is a critical step towards an all-in-one Apple Television."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

'Halo Reach' users seeing disc read errors

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Sep 2010 17:46

'Halo Reach' users seeing disc read errors Microsoft has noted today that some Halo Reach users have been experiencing disc read errors when trying to play the popular game.

"We are aware of a very small number of customers reporting that their copy of Halo Reach is causing a 'disc read' error," says the software giant. "Those affected should contact Microsoft customer support at 1-800-4MY-XBOX for troubleshooting assistance."

Most users with the issue are playing on a 20GB Xbox 360 Pro which was on sale from late 2005 until 2008.

A minority amount of users also reported issues with the 120GB Xbox 360 Elite.

Halo Reach is a prequel to the original Halo, the original Xbox's second-highest selling game.




AfterDawn: News

Apple approves iPhone Google Voice related apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Sep 2010 0:20

Apple approves iPhone Google Voice related apps Two apps that access the Google Voice service have now appeared in the iPhone App Store, marking the first time such GV-related apps have been seen in the store since July 2009, when the official GV app was declined by Apple.

The two apps are GV Mobile + and GV Connect, approved after Apple revised its App Store Review Guidelines earlier in the month.

Google's own official Voice application has still not been accepted, however.

Last year, Apple did not accept Google Voice into the App Store, without actually rejecting it. The company just kept Voice "in consideration."

That "in consideration" stage lasted for almost a year, including an FCC inquiry into Apple's App Store application process.




AfterDawn: News

'Good Old Games' shuts down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2010 23:45

'Good Old Games' shuts down Good Old Games, the European gaming company that gives gamers the chance to download old PC games that are very hard to find legally or have been abandoned, has shut down this week, just two years after going live.

The company provided titles from as far back as the early 80's in a downloadable format that was completely DRM-free. The games were also reasonably priced, ranging from $5.99 to $9.99 per title.

Additionally, once you had purchased the title, you could download it whenever you wanted, all the times you wanted.

A statement on the site now says: "We have recently had to give serious thought to whether we could really keep GOG.com the way it is. We've debated on it for quite some time and, unfortunately, we've decided that GOG.com simply cannot remain in its current form."

While the service is now closed, the owners seem to leave some optimism for the future of the company.

Reads the end of the statement: "This doesn't mean the idea behind GOG.com is gone forever. We're closing down the service and putting this era behind us as new challenges await."




AfterDawn: News

Intel to charge $50 to fully unlock their CPUs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2010 23:20

Intel to charge $50 to fully unlock their CPUs Intel has begun testing a new way to fleece consumers of their money, selling "upgrade cards" that will allow buyers to fully unlock CPUs they have just purchased.

The first CPU added to the program is the cheap Pentium G6951 processor, which for an $50 upgrade card, can be unlocked to a full 1MB of L3 cache and HyperThreading support.

Each of those features are on the chip from the get-go, but stay hidden unless you buy the upgrade codes.

Once you purchase the upgrade code, you head to Intel's site, enter the code and run some software to unlock the full features.

Intel says it is currently only "testing this upgrade mechanism at the budget end of the market in selected markets."




AfterDawn: News

Apple bringing iPhone 4 to China this month, iPad now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2010 22:36

Apple bringing iPhone 4 to China this month, iPad now available China Unicom has said it will begin selling the popular Apple iPhone 4 in China beginning this coming Saturday, the 25th.

The carrier says it has already taken 50,000 pre-orders for the smartphone.

In separate news, the carrier began selling the iPad tablet on Friday, with Apple Stores being bombarded by consumers.

Apple's store in Beijing had fans waiting since Tuesday to be the first to get the device, and a similar line is expected for the iPhone.

Says David Han, one of the first to get a tablet: "I came straight here from work on Tuesday to be first in line. I could have bought an imported gray-market or pirated iPad, but I waited to buy the iPad directly from an Apple Retail Store."

So far, Apple is only selling the Wi-Fi model of the iPad with the Wi-Fi/3G model listed as "coming soon."




AfterDawn: News

RIAA becomes latest target of DDoS attack

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2010 22:03

RIAA becomes latest target of DDoS attack Since Friday night, the group "Anonymous" has taken down multiple websites relating to anti-piracy firms, starting with the MPAA and AiPlex Software and taking down the RIAA just a few hours ago.

Dubbed "Operation Payback," the protest revolves around DDoS attacks on the firm's main sites, located at MPAA.com, MPAA.org, RIAA.com and Aiplex.com.

As of writing, all the sites listed except for MPAA.org are still down.

While the RIAA and MPAA are well known, AiPlex was not until recently when they announced they had been hired by the movie studios to take down The Pirate Bay, the world's largest public tracker.

According to tweets and other notes from the group, it appears the BPI may be the next target for the DDoS attack.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook working on smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2010 3:40

Facebook working on smartphone According to a source speaking to TC, Facebook is currently working on a smartphone, one that they hope will rival Android and iOS devices.

Facebook is developing the mobile OS and UI, then working with a third-party to build the actual hardware.

The source says it has become apparent to the social networking giant that iOS and Android are becoming very powerful platforms, and that Facebook's official apps may not be enough to stay competitive.

Joe Hewitt and Matthew Papakipos, two of Facebook's highest-level employees, are said to be working on the project, which would deeply integrate the many social networking features of the site into user's contacts lists.

Hewitt was on the original team that created Firefox and was on the team working on "Parakey" before Facebook purchased it in 2007. Parakey was supposed to be a "Web-based OS." He has also created Facebook's "mobile" and "touch" versions, and the native iPhone apps.

Papkipos was working on the Google Chrome OS until he jumped ship to Facebook this year.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Intel will sue you if you use HDCP 'Master Key'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2010 3:09

Intel will sue you if you use HDCP 'Master Key' Intel has said this weekend that it will sue anyone who uses the HDCP "Master Key" that was recently leaked to the Web.

The crypto key can be used to break the HDCP tech that limits users from recording digital TV streams and Blu-ray discs.

The technology giant, which developed HDCP, says: "There are laws to protect both the intellectual property involved as well as the content that is created and owned by the content providers. Should a circumvention device be created using this information, we and others would avail ourselves, as appropriate, of those remedies."

Earlier in the week, Intel confirmed that the "master key" was authentic, and could be used to break the content protection scheme.

The HDCP master key, which is 28200 letters and numbers, can be used to create "device keys," thus making all current and future devices "HDCP-free" given the right hardware.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

New Apple patent will let iPod Touch users make phone calls

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2010 2:53

New Apple patent will let iPod Touch users make phone calls PatentlyApple has discovered a few new patents Apple has filed for this year, and one stood out from the rest.

The Accessory Transceiver would allow iPod Touch owners to make phone calls.

iPod Touches could use the transceiver to connect directly or wirelessly, using the device to enable phone calling.

Apple filed for the patent in the first quarter of 2010 but it has not been granted yet.

It is also important to note that large corporations like Apple have thousands of patents, many for accessories and devices that never come to fruition.

Last month, a Chinese company released the Apple Peel 520, a dock for the iPod Touch which adds a SIM card slot and other functions, for $59.99.




AfterDawn: News

Motorola to release their Android tablet in early 2011?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2010 2:33

Motorola to release their Android tablet in early 2011? Motorola Co-CEO Sanjay Jha has said today that their much-anticipated Android tablet will be released in early 2011, slightly later than most expected.

Says Jha: "Just as Droid was competitive I think with iPhone, we want to make sure that any tablet that we deliver is competitive in the marketplace. We will only deliver that when that occurs. Hopefully that’s early next year."

Sources close to the project (via Bloomberg) say the tablet will be around 10 inches, just like the rival iPad.

The upcoming tablet will have a TV service built-in, marketed with Verizon.

Motorola's tablet will feature at least Android 2.2 (and possibly 3.0), meaning Adobe Flash playback will be native, giving it another feature not available on the iPad.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon will not sell Windows Phone 7 devices until 2011

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Sep 2010 2:15

Verizon will not sell Windows Phone 7 devices until 2011 Verizon has said this week that it will not sell Windows Phone 7 smartphones until 2011, putting an early dent in Microsoft's plan to sell to a broad market.

Brenda Raney, a spokeswoman for the carrier, said they will support the operating system, but not this year. Despite the move, Raney says: "Our relationship with Microsoft is solid."

Verizon is the most popular carrier in the United States.

One analyst believes that the announcement is certainly not a positive, but also not the end of the world. Says Michael Gartenberg of the Altimeter Group : "The more carriers and the more devices they can bring early on, the more chance they have for mainstream success, but not having Verizon will not make or break it. Look at the iPhone -- you don’t need Verizon to be successful in the U.S. in mobile. On the other hand, it would be good for Microsoft to count Verizon in as a named partner early on."

Microsoft and Verizon had a recent collaboration, the Kin smartphone devices, but sales were extremely low and Verizon shipped back their excess inventory to Microsoft just two months after launch.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Activision to sell game cutscenes as movies for $20-$30

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Sep 2010 4:21

Activision to sell game cutscenes as movies for $20-$30 Activision CEO Bobby Kotick has said this week that the company will begin to sell video game cutscenes as full-length movies in the near future.

The company plans to sell the movies for "$20 or $30," making them more expensive than the average Blu-ray disc.

Speaking at the Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference, Kotick says games like StarCraft II have such spectacular in-game cinematics that the publisher could edit them into a single full-length feature film which would then be distributed digitally to fans.

Kotick expects to begin selling said films within 5 years.

"If we were to take that hour, or hour an a half, and take it out of the game and we were to go to our audiences, who we have their credit card information a direct relationship, and say to them 'Would you like to have the StarCraft movie?," the CEO asked.

Continuing, Kotick says (via IGN): "My guess is unlike film studios that are really stuck with a model that goes through theatrical distribution and takes a signification amount of the profit away, if we were to go to an audience and say 'We have this great hour and a half of linear video that we'd like to make available to you at a $20 or $30 price point,' you'd have the biggest opening weekend of any film ever."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony PSP2 is "pretty powerful," says dev

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Sep 2010 3:53

Sony PSP2 is "pretty powerful," says dev Despite their best efforts to hide the existence of the handheld, Mortal Kombat's executive producer Shaun Himmerick has said this week that the company has a "PSP2 in the house."

Himmerick had been asked if the developer was creating a game for the PSP or for the 3DS, or both.

His response: "We're not launching day one on all consoles like that. We are looking at them; we have a PSP2 in the house and we're looking at the engine, like what can it support."

"Always a big thing for us is the performance. We're running at 60 fps, what can we do and do we have to build all the art assets over. We're definitely looking at them. PSP2 looks like it's a pretty powerful machine. We don't have a 3DS system in house yet, but we're looking to get one, and we'll certainly look at what its power is."


If the company is already sending PSP2 units out, before Nintendo is sending out the 3DS (which has been officially launched but not priced), there is a chance the handheld could be here in time for the holidays.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

President backs 'STEM Video Game Challenge'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2010 23:21

President backs 'STEM Video Game Challenge' U.S. President Barack Obama has endorsed the National STEM Video Game Challenge, a campaign to "promote and support student learning" in the areas of science, tech, engineering and math (STEM) by developing video games.

Says the President: "Our success as a nation depends on strengthening America's role as the world's engine of discovery and innovation. I applaud partners in the National STEM Video Game Challenge for lending their resources, expertise, and their enthusiasm to the task of strengthening America's leadership in the 21st century by improving education in science, technology, engineering and math."

There are two categories for game developers, the "Developer Prize" for developers creating games aimed at children aged 4-9, and the "Youth Prize" for actual kid developers aged 10-13.

The top reward in the "Developer Prize" is $50,000. Other prizes inlcude "a Collegiate Prize of $25K for the best undergraduate or graduate student submission" and a "prize of $25K for the best submission that has the greatest potential to reach undeserved populations."

Adds Michael Gallagher of the ESA: "Video games are improving and advancing the way Americans are living, working and playing. The acknowledgement and appreciation of President Obama, our partners in this campaign and leading child advocates, is a strong endorsement of the amazing potential and benefit that games can have on children."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony says it will meet PS3 sales forecast

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2010 21:55

Sony says it will meet PS3 sales forecast Sony has said today that the company is well on its way to meet its forecasted PlayStation 3 fiscal year sales target of 15 million units.

The current fiscal year ends in March 2011.

"As of the end of August, sales look a bit better than we expected,"
noted Kazuo Hirai, president of Sony Computer Entertainment (via Reuters).

Hirai, although bullish on the forecast, did remain somewhat muted, adding that the year-end holiday shopping season would be the real marker of how many units gets sold for the year.

Overall, the gaming industry has seen strong losses this year compared to 2009, with August alone seeing a 10 percent decline.

Sony plans to release its upcoming Move motion control system later this month.




AfterDawn: News

Apple to start newspaper subscription plan on iPad

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2010 18:53

Apple to start newspaper subscription plan on iPad Multiple outlets are reporting this week that Apple is set to announce a newspaper subscription plan for the iPad tablet, one where revenue will be shared by the publishers and Apple.

As part of the deal, Apple will implement an opt-in feature that will let users share their personal info with publications. The publishers need that info to share demographics with advertisers.

Both parties have been in negotiations for such a plan since before the iPad launched in April. Publishers would not agree to the plan without the opt-in feature, calling demographic data "the most valuable asset."

Although the exact figures are unclear, it is believed the deal will give Apple a 30 percent cut of all subscriptions sold, similar to the share they take for music.

Additionally, Apple might take as much as 40 percent of advertising revenue.




AfterDawn: News

Yahoo, Bing take search share in August

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2010 18:32

Yahoo, Bing take search share in August According to the latest comScore figures, Google slightly lost some share in the search engine market for August, with Yahoo and Bing picking up the slack.

For the month, Google fell to 65.4 percent from 65.8 percent in July and 66.2 percent in June.

Yahoo rose to 17.4 percent, up from 16.7 percent in June and 17.1 percent in July.

Microsoft's Bing engine remained about flat, moving from 11.0 percent in June and July to 11.1 percent in August.

Rounding out the top 5 were Ask at 3.8 percent and AOL at 2.3 percent, both flat.

Overall, about 15.7 billion explicit core searches were conducted in August.




AfterDawn: News

Sony PS3 getting Blu-ray 3D support September 21st

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2010 18:12

Sony PS3 getting Blu-ray 3D support September 21st Speaking at the Sony TGS press conference, the company has let it be known that PlayStation 3 firmware update 3.50 will be released September 21st.

The firmware update is notable because it will give gamers Blu-ray 3D support for their console.

PS3 owners have had 3D gaming support for months, thanks to a past firmware update.

Sony recently updated the console to version 3.42, which breaks the ability of users to jailbreak the console using PSJailbreak/PSGroove/PSFreedom.

The BDA signed off on the final Blu-ray 3D specification in December.




AfterDawn: News

PS2 playback headed back to PS3 via peripheral?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Sep 2010 1:12

PS2 playback headed back to PS3 via peripheral? Thanks to a Japanese forum poster, we now have concrete evidence that Sony is at least considering creating a peripheral that would give PlayStation 3 owners a way to play their PS2 games.

The new patent filed by Sony Computer Entertainment Japan shows off a "Compatibility Adapter," a peripheral that contains necessary parts to playback PS2 games, but will work when attached to a PS3.

When the PS3 launched in 2006, gamers were given full hardware backward compatibility, but later versions of the console removed the hardware and added software-based emulation instead.

Sony later removed all backward compatibility, in an effort to shed costs.

While the peripheral is interesting, there cannot be too many people still wanting to play PS2 games out there, especially as the console reaches the very end stages of its life.

View the patent here: PS2 compatibility adapter patent (Warning, it's in Japanese)




AfterDawn: News

Google engineer fired for violating privacy policies

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2010 16:28

Google engineer fired for violating privacy policies Google has confirmed this week that they have fired David Barksdale, an engineer who was accused of accessing Gmail and Google Voice accounts of minors and then using the information from chat logs and emails.

Barksdale was a site reliability engineer, a position which granted him access to user accounts.

The dismissed employee accessed the accounts of teenagers he met at a local technology group, then taunted them with information he uncovered.

Google fired Barksdale in July, after receiving multiple complaints from the parents of a few of the teenagers.

"We dismissed David Barksdale for breaking Google's strict internal privacy policies,"
said Bill Coughran, senior vice president of engineering at Google (via PCM). "We carefully control the number of employees who have access to our systems, and we regularly upgrade our security controls--for example, we are significantly increasing the amount of time we spend auditing our logs to ensure those controls are effective. That said, a limited number of people will always need to access these systems if we are to operate them properly--which is why we take any breach so seriously."




AfterDawn: News

iOS devices surpass PSP in gaming

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2010 16:12

iOS devices surpass PSP in gaming According to the International Gamers Survey 2010, Apple's iOS devices have surpassed the Sony PSP as a gaming platform in the United States, while closing in on the popular Nintendo DS.

The group says about 77 million Americans play games on portable devices and mobile phones, with a whopping 40.1 million using iOS devices such as the iPhone/iTouch or iPad.

That number far surpasses the 18 million figure for Sony PSP gamers, and closing in on the 41 million figure for the very popular Nintendo DS. The survey only includes gamers aged 10 and up.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

No, Steve Jobs is not a ninja

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2010 15:25

No, Steve Jobs is not a ninja SPA! magazine, a Japanese tabloid, recently wrote a report on Apple CEO Steve Jobs claiming that Jobs would never return to Japan after airport officials would not allow him on his private plane with a luggage bag full of "ninja" throwing stars.

Going through a standard security scan at the Kansai International Airport in Japan, security detected a number of throwing stars in Job's carry-on luggage.

When the stars were taken away, Jobs angrily told officials he would never return to Japan, and that it didn't make sense that Jobs would try to hijack his own plane, especially with throwing stars.

Apple has made sure to dismiss the story today, saying: "Steve did visit Japan this summer for a vacation in Kyoto, but the incidents described at the airport are pure fiction. Steve had a great time and hopes to visit Japan again soon."

A spokesperson at the Kansai airport did confirm that a passenger in a private plane was stopped in late July for carrying throwing stars and other knives but the passenger was not identified.




AfterDawn: News

HTC to launch Android 3.0 tablet during Q1 2011

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2010 15:11

HTC to launch Android 3.0 tablet during Q1 2011 According to a new Digitimes report, HTC is preparing to launch an Android 3.0 tablet during the Q1 2011.

The latest speculation follows recent talk that Motorola is set to launch a 3.0 tablet, as well.

Digitimes cites Taiwanese component makers who place the launch early next year. The timeline makes sense as Google has promised 3.0 (Gingerbread) by the end of the year.

HTC had reportedly been set to release a tablet based on the Chrome OS.

Google and HTC have long had a close relationship, with the latter company building the first ever Android device, the T-Mobile G1, and more recently, flagships like the Nexus One and HTC EVO 4G.




AfterDawn: News

Intel launches App Store for netbooks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2010 14:41

Intel launches App Store for netbooks Intel has launched a dedicated App Store for netbooks this week, 8 months after showing off the beta at the CES event.

Dubbed AppUp, the beta is now open to everyone.

The store is compatible with all Windows 7, Windows XP and Moblin netbooks.

To download the main AppUp Center, you can visit AppUp.com or BestBuy.com.

Asus says their netbooks will come preloaded with an Asus-specific version starting this month.

The AppUp store, just like the Android Market and Apple App Store, will offer paid and free apps for news, weather, multimedia, productivity, social networking and more.

So far, Adobe, Accuweather, Barnes & Noble, Funkitron, Gibson Guitars, iWin, Kaplan, KONAMI, and Lifetime have submitted apps.




AfterDawn: News

Streaming TV headed to Android devices, via Bitbop

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2010 14:19

Streaming TV headed to Android devices, via Bitbop Speaking at the DEMO event this week, Fox Mobile-backed Bitbop has revealed their smartphone app, bringing streaming TV to your Android devices.

Users can play the full-length TV shows over 3G or Wi-Fi.

The app is now available on the Motorola Droid, HTC Droid Incredible, HTC EVO 4G, Droid 2, Droid X and Nexus One .

Bitbop has been in early beta for BlackBerry since the beginning of the summer.

The service costs $10 per month, but a free trial will let you watch three shows for free.

Bitbop offers a catalog similar to Hulu Plus, however the streaming TV is commercial-free and users can download the shows for playback at a later time, making it quite different than Hulu.




AfterDawn: News

HDCP encryption permanently cracked?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2010 13:21

HDCP encryption permanently cracked? According to multiple sources, hackers have released the HDCP 'master key' this week, cracking the copy protection permanently.

High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection's main focus is to stop the unencrypted transmission of high definition video content from a source like a Blu-ray player and a display monitor / TV set. HDCP is used with the Digital Video Interface (DVI), DisplayPort and High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) .

HDCP is required for all equipment that uses a HDMI connection. Since HDCP is a proprietary technology, it requires a license to be implemented and as part of the license agreement, a manufacturer must agree to limit the capabilities of the other video outputs on a device. This means that in effect, a movie disc can instruct a source player to downgrade the video quality if a user attempts to transmit high definition video content through a connection that doesn't feature HDCP.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

John Mayer closes Twitter account, leaves millions of fans

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Sep 2010 1:07

John Mayer closes Twitter account, leaves millions of fans John Mayer has deleted his Twitter account this week, leaving millions of followers stranded without updates from the pop star.

At 3.7 million followers, Mayer was in 11th place, behind the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Beiber and Barack Obama.

When asked why he shutdown the account, Mayer said it was because his recent tour was "now at a close and a return to the studio planned."

Mayer was an active "tweeter" and even used the micro-blogging site to defend his statements made during a now infamous Playboy interview. During the interview, he used the "N-word" and also discussed his sexual past with Jessica Simpson.

Despite leaving Twitter, Mayer says he will continue to give updates through Tumblr.

"I think I made the right choice," he said. "I now have an even larger Tumblr addiction but it's sort of like a book addiction, or a gambling addiction where you always walk away with the casino's money."




AfterDawn: News

iPad will be available in all Best Buys starting the 26th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Sep 2010 23:42

iPad will be available in all Best Buys starting the 26th Best Buy has announced today that the Apple iPad will soon be available in all 1093 nationwide stores.

Starting on September 26th, Best Buy will offer the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi/3G models as well as a plethora of accessories at all their brick and mortar locations.

Currently, the iPad is available in just 673 Best Buy locations (as well as online).

"Technology is becoming more and more personal, and our customers say they really value visiting a Best Buy store to touch and try the iPad for themselves," says Wendy Fritz, senior vice president of computing at Best Buy. "We’re delighted that we’ll soon make that opportunity available to everyone who’d like to come see us, and experience this device in any Best Buy store nationwide."

The 16GB/Wi-Fi will sell for $500, and the 16GB Wi-Fi/3G model will sell for $630.




AfterDawn: News

Nokia launches new business smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Sep 2010 18:15

Nokia launches new business smartphone During the Nokia World event, Nokia has launched new smartphones running the latest Symbian^3 mobile operating system.

The company, still the world's largest phone maker, says each of the devices will be integrated with Ovi services and apps.

"Today our fight back to smartphone leadership shifts into high gear," says Niklas Savander, Executive Vice President, Markets, Nokia. "Despite new competition, Symbian remains the most widely used smartphone platform in the world. Our new family of smartphones introduced today feature the all-new Symbian OS, rewritten to be faster, easier to use, more efficient and more developer friendly."

The flagship business device is the Nokia E7:



Touted as a business smartphone, the device adds Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and secure access to corporate email boxes, alongside a number of business apps.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

New ruling could eventually lead to blocking of used game sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Sep 2010 17:31

New ruling could eventually lead to blocking of used game sales Thanks to a new judgement made by the United States Court of Appeals, used game and software sales may be a thing of the past.

The decision (linked below) rules that "a software user is a licensee rather than an owner."

Originally, the suit was brought forward by Autodesk, the makers of the expensive AutoCAD software, who were angry a consumer purchased many copies of the software and then resold them on auction site eBay.

Autodesk wanted to know who, legally, had the rights to the software.

This new ruling does not implicitly imply video games, but games are considered software, so the ruling could affect the used game market, as well.

It will be interesting to see how the major publishers run with this ruling, and we will certainly keep you updated.

View the ruling here: Vernor v. Autodesk




AfterDawn: News

Boxee Box will ship in November

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Sep 2010 16:58

Boxee Box will ship in November Boxee has announced this week that it will begin shipping its highly anticipated Boxee Box starting in November, after first unveiling the device last December.

Speaking to PCWorld, Boxee says the box will run on an Intel Atom CE4100 processor, different than the expected Nvidia Tegra 2. The company says the processor will still allow the box to handle 1080p flawlessly.

Additionally, the box will have both a wired and wireless 802.11n connection, a QWERTY keypad and come with an RF remote.

Boxee Box's software is very similar to Boxee on Windows/Mac, including a WebKit browser with Flash support.

The box is now available for pre-order on Amazon for $200.

Anyone ordering from Amazon will receive their box a week before other buyers, notes D-Link, the manufacturer of the box.




AfterDawn: News

Google to start social networking site within six months, says Facebook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Sep 2010 16:21

Google to start social networking site within six months, says Facebook Facebook has said today that Google is likely to launch a social networking site within six months.

Says Stephen Dolan, commercial director for Asia at Facebook (via Bloomberg): We expect Google to start "a fairly significant social media platform."

When asked for a time frame, Dolan said he expected "three to six months."

Google has been quickly moving towards a social networking launch since Facebook overtook the search giant in weekly traffic earlier this year.

"Facebook is the leader in the emerging Social Web and will face challenges from many players, both large and small," adds Ray Valdes, an analyst for research firm Gartner. "Google is Facebook’s most direct competitor, because Google is dominant in the previous generation of the Web, the content-centric Web."




AfterDawn: News

Froyo 2.2 now on 28 percent of Android devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Sep 2010 2:02

Froyo 2.2 now on 28 percent of Android devices According to the latest figures from Android Developers, 2.2 Froyo has quickly taken a large chunk of the distribution of Android devices.

While still in the clear lead, Android 2.1 has fallen to 41.7 percent of the distribution, while 2.2 has jumped to 28.7 percent.

The strong jump is thanks to the release of the Droid 2, and updates to the EVO 4G, Moto Droid and HTC Incredible.

Surprisingly, however, Android 1.5 devices still account for 12 percent and 1.6 devices account for another 17.5 percent.

Google is expected to release Android 3.0 (Gingerbread) by the end of the year.





AfterDawn: News

New Amazon Kindle ad takes shot at iPad

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Sep 2010 0:46

New Amazon Kindle ad takes shot at iPad Amazon has launched a new TV ad campaign this week, taking direct aim at the Apple iPad.

The ad shows off the Amazon Kindle e-reader, and boasts of its superiority over the iPad's display, when used in direct sunlight.

In the 30-second ad (posted below), two people are sitting by a pool, with the man using an iPad, and the lady using a Kindle. The man is struggling to read on his iPad and he eventually asks the woman how she can possibly read in the harsh sunlight. Her response, obviously, pro-Kindle.

The ad is somewhat surprising given Amazon's former stance towards the iPad, placing it in a whole different category than the strictly e-reader Kindle.




AfterDawn: News

Happy 25th birthday, 'Super Mario Bros.'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Sep 2010 23:06

Happy 25th birthday, 'Super Mario Bros.' Today, in 1985, the original Super Mario Bros. was released in Japan, with the U.S. version coming a month later.

The blockbuster smash landed on the Nintendo Entertainment System, and through multiple iterations, the franchise has now hit 222 million units sold worldwide.

Wired has put together a timeline of all the Mario games, starting with the original, all the way to the recent Mario Galaxy 2. (Below)

The original Super Mario Bros game sold 40.24 million copies (thanks to being bundled with the NES), the best-selling game of all-time until Wii Sports surpassed it in 2008.

Overall, the character of Mario has appeared in over 200 video games.




AfterDawn: News

Wal-Mart starts own wireless plan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Sep 2010 22:29

Wal-Mart starts own wireless plan Wal-Mart has introduced their own wireless plan today, using Wal-Mart branding.

The Wal-Mart Family Mobile service will run on the T-Mobile USA network, with the giant retailer giving users unlimited calling and texts for $45 per month, and $25 for each additional line in the family.

Wal-Mart will begin offering the service next week in most of its stores.

Starting in 2009, the retailer began selling the Straight Talk and Common Cents services, which run through Verizon and Sprint. The difference, however, is both those services are prepaid plans.

Family Mobile is like a traditional "contract" cell plan, with families being billed at the end of each month, however there is no set amount of contract months.

The cheapest phone available for the service will be a Nokia for $35, with the most expensive being the Motorola Cliq XT, for $249.

Family Mobile users will only get a small amount of free Internet data, with each extra 1GB costing a massive $40.




AfterDawn: News

Apple to begin selling iPad in China

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Sep 2010 21:54

Apple to begin selling iPad in China Apple has announced today that it will begin selling the Wi-Fi version of the iPad in China, via Apple Stores and authorized resellers.

The company will sell the 16GB version for 3,988 yuan ($589 USD), the 32GB version for 4,788 yuan ($707 USD) and the larger capacity 64GB version for 5,588 yuan ($825 USD).

Additionally, Apple will continue rolling out the iPad to other nations, announcing those release dates at a later time.

A recent rumor circulating says that an iPad with a front-facing camera and FaceTime will likely be released soon, breaking Apple's traditional 12-month product cycle for "i" devices.

The sources claim that the refreshed iPad is already in advanced testing stages, just five months after the launch of the first-generation tablet.

Expected launch date for the second-generation iPad? The Q1 2011.




AfterDawn: News

JPMorgan, UBS to test Android, iPhone as alternative to BlackBerrys

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Sep 2010 0:04

JPMorgan, UBS to test Android, iPhone as alternative to BlackBerrys According to Bloomberg, JPMorgan Chase is looking into alternatives for their corporate email needs, moving away from BlackBerrys whilst testing out the Apple iPhone and Android alternatives.

The move would be significant as the bank has 22,000 employees worldwide.

UBS, Switzerland's largest banks, has also said it is testing iPhones to connect to the company's email. UBS has 63,000 employees.

Earlier this year, Standard Chartered Bank Plc distributed 15,000 iPhones to employees that had been using BlackBerrys.

Responds one analyst: "This phenomenon is very new and we expect it to put increased pressure on RIM’s performance," says Pierre Ferragu, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein Ltd. "BlackBerry isn’t the only alternative to offer employees mobile e-mail."




AfterDawn: News

Japan to get Nintendo 3DS on November 20th?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2010 21:14

Japan to get Nintendo 3DS on November 20th? Thanks to a tweet from a Japanese product designer, we have a new rumored Nintendo 3DS release date, at least for Japan.

Reads the tweet (translated by 3DSblog): "On November 20th, the 11 goods I designed for use with the 3DS will go on sale simultaneously. Those of you buying the 3DS, please buy them while you’re at it! This will be officially announced on the homepage eventually, lol. Best regards."

That designer works for keysfactory, an accessory maker that has built screen protectors, cases and chargers for the DS line.

The date is still speculation for now, but Nintendo has promised to unveil the pricing and release date for the handheld on September 29th.

In the past, Nintendo has released new hardware on Saturdays, so the 20th of November seems even more possible.

The DSi XL was released on Saturday, November 21st, last year.




AfterDawn: News

Target to begin selling iPad on October 3rd?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2010 20:50

Target to begin selling iPad on October 3rd? According to a new report by Engadget, the Apple iPad may be headed to retailer Target starting October 3rd.

The source sent in a picture of Target's inventory system, which shows six versions of an unknown device coming soon, each of which lines up with current iPad prices.

Another photo of a Target PDA shows that the devices are headed to the "Digital Audio" section of the store, right next to the Amazon Kindle, the most popular e-reader on the market.

Both Apple and Target declined to comment on the rumor.

The Kindle is available from Amazon, through Staples, Target and now Best Buy. The iPad is available through Apple and Best Buy, currently.




AfterDawn: News

New security flaw exploited on Adobe Reader and Acrobat

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2010 20:09

New security flaw exploited on Adobe Reader and Acrobat Adobe has warned this week that a new security flaw in Reader and Acrobat is now being exploited, allowing for hackers to take over victim's systems.

The company says the vulnerability can "cause a crash and potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system."

Affected softwares are Adobe Reader 9.3.4 and earlier for Windows and Mac, and Acrobat versions 9.3.4 and earlier for both operating systems.

While Adobe would not give technical details on the flaw, security firm Secunia said it was caused by a "boundary error within the font parsing in CoolType.dll and can be exploited to cause a stack-based buffer overflow by ... tricking a user into opening a specially crafted PDF file."

Adobe says they are working with the security community to work on a patch.




AfterDawn: News

Android 2.2 tablets will not have access to the Market?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2010 19:29

Android 2.2 tablets will not have access to the Market? Google has noted today that current versions of Android are not suitable for tablets, and devices released now will likely not be able to compete with the popular Apple iPad.

One of the main reasons it will not be able to compete is the fact that the Android Market will not work well on tablets.

Says Hugo Barra, director of products for mobile at Google: "Android is an open platform. We saw at IFA 2010 all sorts of devices running Android, so it already running on tablets."

"But the way Android Market works is it's not going to be available on devices that don't allow applications to run correctly."

Continuing on about Froyo, in regards to tablets, Barra says:

"Froyo is not optimised for use on tablets. If you want Android market on that platform, the apps just wouldn't run, [Froyo] is just not designed for that form factor.

"We want to make sure that we're going to create a application distribution mechanism for the Android market, to ensure our users have right experience."


Despite those words, Google has already stated that upcoming software updates, Gingerbread and Honeycomb will be tablet-optimized.




AfterDawn: News

PSP emulator for the PS3 in the works

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2010 18:53

PSP emulator for the PS3 in the works PSX-Scene forum user "dimmudroid" has posted this weekend that he his actively working on a PSP emulator for the PlayStation 3, however, the emulator is still in very early stages.

Says dimmudroid:

"I'd like to announce a project i've been working on, PS3P. Basically it's the ability to load PSP games on PS3.

As you may know, the PS3 can play PSP Minis, which are installed just like any other package. And most PSP games have nearly identical structures and files as PS3 games.

Thus far I've been able to achieve a few steps in the right direction, but I'm not ready to share my work just yet. I've been working on this in my free time (aka outside of work and family) and it will be done when it's done.

If you'd like to know more, or keep on the up and up, feel free to find me on Twitter.com/dimmudroid

I may need a few alpha testers soon, I'll post requirements and such later today."


The user has posted a few updates this morning, which you can find at the source.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Vulnerability in OpenX advertisement server - AfterDawn's ads affected as well

Written by Jari Ketola @ 12 Sep 2010 6:40

Vulnerability in OpenX advertisement server - AfterDawn's ads affected as well There is an un-patched vulnerability in OpenX advertisement server that affected the advertisement delivery at AfterDawn.com for short while today. The vulnerability was used to tamper specific files on our advertisement server, which caused advertisements fail to load. Advertisements are served from an isolated server, and no other AfterDawn services were affected at any stage.

The vulnerability is not in OpenX itself, but in an included component of Open Flash Chart 2. The vulnerability has been known for a long time but has not been patched to date. It's effects to OpenX and instructions for fixing and cleaning up after the issue are explained at kreativrauschen.com blog.

In our case the advertisement server simply broke down and delivered no advertisements at all. Access to the server caused Chrome to throw an "Error 330 (net::ERR_CONTENT_DECODING_FAILED): Unknown error" error while Firefox displayed "Content Encoding Error: The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because it uses an invalid or unsupported form of compression."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPhone owners have more apps than Android, BlackBerry

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Sep 2010 21:56

iPhone owners have more apps than Android, BlackBerry According to a new study from Nielsen, iPhone owners have the most installed apps in the smartphone market.

After surveying 4000 people, the survey found that iPhone users, on average, have 40 apps installed.

Android users have, on average, 25 apps installed. BlackBerry owners round out the list at an average of 14 apps per user.

Numbers are up across the board, showing off a growing interest in applications, as a whole.

Games headed the list of most downloaded apps, with 61 percent of those surveyed having downloaded at least one. Weather followed closely at 55 percent, followed by mapping/search apps at 50 percent. Social networking and music rounded out the list, at 49 and 42 percent, respectively.




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile G2 now official, rumored early October release

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Sep 2010 20:26

T-Mobile G2 now official, rumored early October release T-Mobile has officially confirmed the G2 this week, the long-awaited successor to the first ever Android device, the G1.

The G2 will be T-Mobile's first device to support HSPA+, the carrier's very fast 3.5G/4G data network.

Furthermore, the device will have an 800MHz Snapdragon MSM7230 processor, which has the HSPA+ support built-in. While slower than current 1GHz chips, the processor can still record 720p video and handle Flash videos.

The G2 will also run a stock Android 2.2 (with no custom UI) and will have Swype as the default keypad.

Made by HTC, the phone has a 3.7-inch multi-touch screen, an optical trackpad, a 5MP camera with LED flash, 4GB of internal memory and an extra 8GB microSDHC card.

Although the price and release date have not been confirmed, leaks have priced the device at $200 with contract ($500 without) with an October 6th release date.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: PSGroove working with TI-84 Plus calculator

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Sep 2010 19:14

Video Daily: PSGroove working with TI-84 Plus calculator Last month PSJailbreak showed the world that the PS3's security model was open to be exploited, and Sony was quick to shut down the project.

Last week, PSGroove, the "open source PSJailbreak," was released to the masses, giving owners a chance to jailbreak their PS3 for a lot cheaper than the $170 PSJailbreak.

The code can be run on a hacked a $25 Teensy++ USB development board or a $30 AT90USBkey, and now, on a TI-84 calculator.

Writes Brandon Wilson, who created the jailbreak for the calculators: PS3JB is a FLASH application for the TI-84 Plus and TI-84 Plus Silver Edition that implements the PSGroove exploit for the Playstation 3 console. By connecting a USB cable between a PS3 and your calculator and running the application, you can trigger the PSGroove exploit from your graphing calculator.

There is more info (if you are a TI-84 owner) here: PS3JB - PS3 Jailbreak for TI-84 Plus and TI-84 Plus Silver Edition




AfterDawn: News

Apple to begin using Qualcomm chips in their iOS devices?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Sep 2010 18:37

Apple to begin using Qualcomm chips in their iOS devices? According to a recent China Times article, Apple may be moving to Qualcomm for the iPhone's next baseband chips.

Currently, the company uses Infineon chips for their iOS devices.

Infineon was recently purchased by Intel for $1.4 billion, with Intel having the idea in mind of having a built-in stake in the smartphone market.

"The acquired technology will be used in Intel Core processor-based laptops, and myriad of Intel Atom processor-based devices, including smartphones, netbooks, tablets and embedded computers," said Intel after the purchase.

Infineon chips support GSM only, while Qualcomm makes chips for both GSM and CDMA, which could mean Apple is finally looking to create devices for Sprint or Verizon.




AfterDawn: News

VLC for iPad app submitted to App Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Sep 2010 18:01

VLC for iPad app submitted to App Store Videolan has submitted their VLC for iPad app to the App Store this week, giving users a chance to playback all different types of video files on their tablet.

While we still wait for Apple's official blessing, the site AppAdvice was given a test build of the universal binary, and they put up a small preview.

The app supports Xvid, AVI, and DivX file formats flawlessly, as well as MKV, a container normally used for high-resolution video.

Unfortunately, unlike other third-party media players, VLC will not let you access your videos wirelessly from other computers, but that is hardly a deal breaker.

VLC for iPad is still pending approval, but should appear in the App Store next week, for free.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

GoDaddy.com goes up for sale

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Sep 2010 17:30

GoDaddy.com goes up for sale GoDaddy.com, the extremely popular site used to register domain names online, has said this week that it is putting itself up for sale.

The site is expected to receive a bid over $1 billion.

GoDaddy, the world's largest domain name registrar, has 43 million domains under management.

The privately-held company was started by CEO Bob Parsons in 1997, and is well known for its advertising campaigns, such as the "Go Daddy Girls" ads shown off during recent Super Bowls.

Because the company is private, it does not have reveal its finances, but sources close to the site say the site posted revenue of almost $800 million last year.

Small rival Register.com was sold earlier in the year for $135 million.




AfterDawn: News

Consumers hate 3D glasses, says Nielsen study

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Sep 2010 17:00

Consumers hate 3D glasses, says Nielsen study According to a new consumer study by Nielsen, users who have experienced 3D HDTVs, ones that require special glasses, are less interested in buying a 3D set than those that have not.

"It's a marketing challenge," adds Frank Stagliano, Nielsen's general manager of TV Primary Research.

The report, titled "Focusing on the 3DTV Experience," is the "first professional study of a group that represents the whole country and has experienced 3D TV firsthand," says Stagliano.

Stereoscopic glasses were the biggest deal breaker in regards to purchasing a set, with almost 50 percent of the 425 people surveyed complaining that they are uncomfortable or a "hassle."

89 percent of those surveyed complained that wearing the glasses made it almost impossible to do anything else.

Says the study: "A lot of consumers, especially younger ones, like to multitask and were irritated that they can't."

Additionally, rival technologies and the expensive price of the glasses are additional "turn-offs" for 3D TVs.

Says Stagliano (via USA Today): "If I bring my Sony glasses over to a friend's house with a Samsung (3D TV set), they won't work. Viewers really get upset at that stuff."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

New iPad with FaceTime coming soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Sep 2010 16:28

New iPad with FaceTime coming soon According to sources cited by AppleInsider, an iPad with a front-facing camera and FaceTime will likely be released soon, breaking Apple's traditional 12-month product cycle for "i" devices.

The sources claim that the refreshed iPad is already in advanced testing stages, just five months after the launch of the first-generation tablet.

Expected launch date for the second-generation iPad? The Q1 2011.

The site also speculated that Apple is hoping to embed FaceTime into all its iOS devices before opening up the standard to the community.

FaceTime has become the main selling point for all new iOS device, with new TV ads boasting about the software rather than new hardware enhancements to the devices.




AfterDawn: News

Apple ending free iPhone 4 case program at the end of the month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Sep 2010 15:22

Apple ending free iPhone 4 case program at the end of the month In late July, following the PR disaster that was "antennagate," Apple announced it would be providing free cases to iPhone 4 buyers that were experiencing trouble with dropped calls when the phone was held in their left hand.

Apple set aside $175 million for the program, sending all owners a free "bumper" case, and giving refunds to anyone who purchased a bumper since the phone's launch.

Today, Apple says they will be ending the program at the end of the month, because the antenna problem was actually "smaller" than original projections.

Despite the program ending, Apple did say it will continue to provide cases to the "small percentage of iPhone 4 users" that may still need one.

Says Apple's announcement: "We now know that the iPhone 4 antenna attenuation issue is even smaller than we originally thought. A small percentage of iPhone 4 users need a case and we want to continue providing them a Bumper case for free."




AfterDawn: News

Nokia fires Kallasvuo - new CEO from Microsoft

Written by Jari Ketola @ 10 Sep 2010 2:16

Nokia fires Kallasvuo - new CEO from Microsoft Nokia's Board of Directors has appointed Stephen Elop President and Chief Executive Officer of Nokia as of September 21. Elop currently heads Microsoft's Business Division. Before joining Microsoft, Elop held senior executive positions in a number of US-based public companies, including Juniper Networks, Adobe Systems Inc. and Macromedia Inc. He holds a degree in computer engineering and management from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, which is his home country.

Elop commented on his new Nokia position:

I am extremely excited to become part of a team dedicated to strengthening Nokia's position as the undisputed leader of the mobile communications industry, with a relentless focus on meeting the needs and expectations of customers. Nokia has a unique global position as well as a great brand upon which we can build. The company has deeply talented and dedicated people, and I am confident that together we can continue to deliver innovative products that meet the needs of consumers. The Nokia slogan clearly states our key mission: Connecting People, which will acquire new dimensions as we build our portfolio of products, solutions and services.

Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo will leave his current position as President and CEO of Nokia on September 20, 2010 and his position on the Nokia Board of Directors with immediate effect. He will continue to chair the Board of Nokia Siemens Networks in a non-executive capacity.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Panasonic adds Netflix to HDTVs, Blu-ray players

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2010 1:10

Panasonic adds Netflix to HDTVs, Blu-ray players Panasonic has said today that they will be adding Netflix streaming to their 2010 Viera HDTVs and Blu-ray players.

Owners of said devices will have access to Netflix's "Watch Instantly" catalog, which includes over 15,000 movies and TV episodes.

To use Watch Instantly, you will need a Netflix subscription of at least $8.99 per month.

Panasonic says owners can use the USB connections on their TVs to add wireless keyboards, making the service more accessible.

The company currently offers Skype, Twitter, Pandora, Amazon VOD, YouTube, Picasa, Bloomberg News and weather on their Viera Internet-enabled devices.




AfterDawn: News

iTunes costs almost $1 billion to run per year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2010 0:50

iTunes costs almost $1 billion to run per year According to a new report from asymco, Apple is now paying over $900 million per year to run the iTunes Store.

Apple now has to budget $75 million per month towards operational expenses, and the site says that number may actually be higher if book transactions are taken into account.

Asymco says the expenses are much higher than in 2009, where monthly expenses barely exceeded $30 million per month.

Apple currently has 160 million users on iTunes, along with 12 million songs and 250,000 apps.

The company has long said, however, that the iTunes store is break-even in regards to profit and that its main purpose is to drive Apple hardware, such as the iPhone and iPods.




AfterDawn: News

Best Buy will sell Amazon Kindle

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2010 0:21

Best Buy will sell Amazon Kindle Best Buy has announced today that it will begin selling the popular Amazon Kindle in the coming months, bringing the e-reader to thousands of brick-and-mortar shops.

The company said all the e-readers it carries will be placed together so consumers can compare. Best Buy carries the B&N Nook and all three variations of Sony's Reader line.

Best Buy will carry the $140 Kindle Wi-Fi and the latest generation 3G/Wi-Fi model, which sells for $190. The Nook's rival players cost $150 and $200. Sony's players, on the other hand, range from $180 to $250.

Says the retailer (via IW): "Our goal is to help people choose the device that's right for them by providing the broadest selection of popular e-readers of any retailer, in one convenient place that enables people to easily see, touch, try and buy."

Additionally, Best Buy has said that later in the year they will begin selling the Amazon Kindle DX, with its large 9.7-inch display, for $290.




AfterDawn: News

U.S. video game industry sales dive in August

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Sep 2010 23:59

U.S. video game industry sales dive in August According to the latest figures from market research firm NPD Group, U.S. videogame industry sales took a dive in August, falling 10 percent year-on-year (YoY).

Overall sales fell to $819 million USD, with software revenue collapsing 14 percent and hardware falling 5 percent.

Almost reaching the point of saturation, the Nintendo Wii saw its lowest sales since November 2006, falling 12 percent to just 244,300 units sold for the month.

The perennial hardware leader, the Nintendo DS line, fell 38 percent to 342,700 units sold. DS sales have now fallen in each month since April.

Dead-in-the-water handheld PSP sales dove 43 percent, with Sony selling just 79,400 units for the month.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple allowing Flash-based apps into the App Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Sep 2010 12:39

Apple allowing Flash-based apps into the App Store In a surprise about-face, Apple has loosened up on the restrictions in their App Store Review Guidelines, allowing for games and apps based on Adobe Flash technology to be submitted to the iPhone/iTouch/iPad App Store.

While the decision is certainly a move in the right direction, users of "i" devices will still not be able to view Flash videos while browsing the Web, however.

Reads the statement from Apple: "We are continually trying to make the App Store even better. We have listened to our developers and taken much of their feedback to heart. Based on their input, today we are making some important changes to our iOS Developer Program license in sections 3.3.1, 3.3.2 and 3.3.9 to relax some restrictions we put in place earlier this year."

"In particular, we are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code. This should give developers the flexibility they want, while preserving the security we need."


Apple's newly launched "GameCenter" will likely now be flooded with Flash-based games, and Apple's mobile advertisers are likely very excited at the prospect of being able to use Flash, as well.




AfterDawn: News

Latest DSi firmware blocks flashcart usage

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Sep 2010 12:09

Latest DSi firmware blocks flashcart usage Nintendo has updated the system firmware for the DSi handheld this week, blocking a number of flashcarts regularly used by gamers to run homebrew and pirated games.

The previous DSi firmware update, released a year ago, enhanced the built-in browser, added the ability to upload photos to Facebook and some subtle anti-piracy measures.

This week's update does not improve anything, as Nintendo says "This update provides behind-the-scenes improvements to system performance."

TinyCartridge says the firmware, version 1.4.1U blocks the following carts: Acekard 2i, DSTTi, iPlayer, M3i Zero and the Supercard DSTwo.

Additionally, GBAtemp is reporting that Nintendo is prepping firmware 1.4.2C, which will block any remaining carts, such as the EZ-Flash Vi, iSmart DS and Hyper R4i.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

LG confirms upcoming smartphones will use Nvidia Tegra 2 processors

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Sep 2010 0:18

LG confirms upcoming smartphones will use Nvidia Tegra 2 processors LG has confirmed today that it will be introducing new smartphones during the Q4 this year that will run on Nvidia Tegra 2 mobile processors.

The Tegra 2 is the world's first dual-core CPU mobile processor.

LG will introduce the phones as part of their Optimus series.

"LG is committed to making its Optimus Series smart devices the de facto standard in speed and graphics performance," says Chang Ma, Vice President of Marketing Strategy Team, LG Mobile Communications Company. "We selected NVIDIA because it is the visual computing leader and has a long history of creating amazing consumer experiences."

The CPU uses dual-1GHz chips and is the first processor to enable 1080p video recording.

Nvidia promises that the Tegra 2 will offer up to 500 percent better gaming performance and 200 percent faster Web browsing.

"The ultimate smartphones will be powered by Tegra, the world’s most advanced mobile processor," added Phil Carmack, senior vice president of NVIDIA’s mobile business. "LG is one of the most popular consumer brands, and their Optimus Series of devices with Tegra is further validation of the processor’s ability to deliver an unrivaled, turbocharged media experience."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple releases iOS 4.1 update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Sep 2010 23:48

Apple releases iOS 4.1 update Apple has released the updated iOS 4.1 software today for iPhone and iPod touch owners.

The company unveiled the update, along with a new Apple TV, revamped iPods and iTunes 10 last week at their September media event.

With 4.1 comes HDR photography support, 'Game Center,' HD video uploads and TV show rentals.

Furthermore, the update will fix bugs and other issues from the original 4.1 release. iPhone 3G owners should be ecstatic as 4.1 should eliminate the excessive slowdown caused by the OS.

The update will work on the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 and all iPod touch models after the first generation. All 4.1 features will be compatible with the latest iPhones and iTouches, but older models will not get all the new features.

iOS 4.1 is about 590 MB for those who may have slower Internet connections.




AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragon chips to launch next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Sep 2010 23:28

Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragon chips to launch next year Qualcomm has confirmed that two dual-core Snapdragon CPUs will be hitting devices next year, boasting clock speeds as high as 1.5GHz.

The 1.2GHz dual-core 8260 will go into volume production during the first half of next year, and the more powerful 1.5GHz dual core 8672 processor will being hitting devices in the Q3.

Initially, CEO Paul Jacobs had said that the 8672 would ship during the first six months of the year, also, but the company later delayed the chip.

Additionally, Qualcomm will begin to ship its 800MHz 7X30 and 1GHz 8X65 chips, which boost performance from previous chips at the same clock speeds.

The current 1GHz chips have become standard in recent Android devices, and likely for upcoming Windows 7 devices, as well.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft reveals $400 Xbox Kinect bundle

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Sep 2010 23:09

Microsoft reveals $400 Xbox Kinect bundle Microsoft has announced their first Kinect bundle today, setting a November 4th release date for the U.S.

The bundle will come with a 250GB slim Xbox 360 console, the Kinect motion control system and Kinect Adventures game for $399.99.

If purchased separately, the console would cost $300, the motion system would cost $150 and the game would cost $40, so the bundle does in fact offer a decent savings.

The bundle will be released in Europe on November 10th, and later in Japan on November 22nd.

You can pre-order the bundle now from Target, Amazon, GameStop and Best Buy.

"All you have to do is play [Kinect], or watch people play it," says Takashi Sensui, head of Microsoft's home and entertainment division in Japan. "It's nothing you've seen, and it's a brand new experience that I think a lot of people will be attracted to."




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile USA to get iPhone 3GS, but not 4?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Sep 2010 22:51

T-Mobile USA to get iPhone 3GS, but not 4? Thanks to the editor-in-chief of Wired, Chris Anderson, T-Mobile USA may be getting the iPhone 3GS later this year, breaking AT&T's multiple-year exclusivity on the popular smartphone.

Reads the tweet: "A T-Mobile manager casually mentioned to me that they're going to get the iPhone 3GS (but not 4, oddly) later this year. Common knowledge?"

While this is not the first rumor placing T-Mobile with iPhones, it is the first to suggest that the carrier will only get the older 3GS model.

AT&T still sells the 8GB iPhone 3GS for $99 with contract so it would be logical to assume that T-Mobile will offer the device at near the same price.

To offer an iPhone for T-Mobile, Apple would have to modify the device, as it currently does not support T-Mobile's 3G frequencies at 1700MHz and 2100MHz.




AfterDawn: News

Fort Gay, West Virginia gamer blocked on Xbox 360

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Sep 2010 22:37

Fort Gay, West Virginia gamer blocked on Xbox 360 Microsoft and its chief rules enforcer for Xbox Live have issued an apology today after they blocked a Fort Gay, West Virginia resident from XBL, claiming "fort gay" was offensive and against the service's code of conduct.

Josh Moore was suspended from XBL for a few days until he could prove to the enforcement team that "fort gay WV" (as posted in the 'Location' box of his profile) wasn't a slur.

A quick Google search for the term "Fort Gay" brings up its coordinates, population and other facts about the legitimate town, which begs the question of how the enforcement team made such an error.

Fort Gay is right on the border of WV and Kentucky, and has a population under 1000.

Says Moore of the situation: "At first I thought, 'Wow, somebody's thinking I live in the gayest town in West Virginia or something.' I was mad. ... It makes me feel like they hate gay people. I'm not even gay, and it makes me feel like they were discriminating.

Continuing his story, Moore adds: "I figured, I'll explain to them, 'Look in my account. Fort Gay is a real place. I told him, Google it — 25514! (the zip code)...He said, 'I can't help you.'"

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Online music retailer Amie Street purchased by Amazon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Sep 2010 15:33

Online music retailer Amie Street purchased by Amazon Online music retailer Amie Street has confirmed today that is has been purchased by Amazon, for an undisclosed amount.

Amazon is actively looking to expand its market share in the music download market where Apple's iTunes remains the clear leader.

Amie Street said today that Amazon first invested in the company in 2006.

Separating Amie Street from other music retailers was the fact that the site allowed users to purchase songs (when they are newly released) for 1 cent, and the price continued to go up the more popular the song becomes.

Starting September 22nd, AmieStreet.com traffic will be forwarded to Amazon MP3.




AfterDawn: News

Licensing issues keeping iTunes track samples at 30 seconds, for time being

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Sep 2010 1:50

Licensing issues keeping iTunes track samples at 30 seconds, for time being Before Apple's much-hyped media event on the 1st, it was reported that CEO Steve Jobs was actively trying to get iTunes Store track samples extended to 60, or even 90 seconds, from the current 30.

The event came and passed, and nothing about the time lengths of the samples was discussed by Jobs or the country.

Cnet says today that licensing issues are holding up the process, but that Jobs is still in active discussions to get the samples extended to 90 seconds.

Says Hanna Pantle, a spokeswoman for BMI, one of the organizations that collects royalties for publishers and songwriters: "We are in active negotiations with Apple."

Furthermore, Apple has already received the go ahead to extend the samples, from the record labels. Their existing contract with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) also allows for 90 seconds, so it appears to be just a couple of holdouts keeping the update from occurring.




AfterDawn: News

'Big-O' packs Xbox 360 and PC into one case

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Sep 2010 0:26

'Big-O' packs Xbox 360 and PC into one case Origin has launched the ultra-high-powered Big O gaming rig today, one that packs both a high-end PC and an Xbox 360 into a single case.

The base model of the system costs a hefty $7669 but the specs are pretty intense.

Big-O, in its base configuration, has a liquid-cooled Intel Core i7 930 overclocked to 4.0GHz on a liquid-cooled ASUS Rampage III Extreme Motherboard with 6GB of Corsair Dominator 1600Mhz RAM.

Additionally, it runs a liquid-cooled Nvidia GTX 480 in SLI, dual OCZ 50GB SSD in RAID 0 with a 2TB HDD on the side. Theres also a 12x Pioneer Blu-ray burner and a Creative Fatal1ty sound card. Let's not forget the liquid cooled Xbox 360 in there, also.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google TV to launch globally in 2011

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Sep 2010 23:30

Google TV to launch globally in 2011 Google has said today that it plans to launch the Google TV platform internationally in 2011, bringing the search engine to Internet-connected HDTVs around the globe.

Showing off the technology at the IFA trade fair, Google says it wants to "bridge the gap" between TV and the Internet.

Google TV projects a search bar onto the top of the screen, giving users a chance to surf/search the Web and search live TV listings.

The product should hit the U.S. market in the next few months.

Google is currently working on bringing content to Google TV from major providers, as well as Android app support. Users will soon be able to change the channel with voice recognition.

"The Internet is creating a great Internet disruption and that disruption is changing so many things,"
added CEO Eric Schmidt.




AfterDawn: News

New PS3 firmware update shuts down jailbreak

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Sep 2010 13:26

New PS3 firmware update shuts down jailbreak Sony has released the minor firmware update version 3.42 today, which brings nothing new to the table but blocks the use of PSGroove, the open-source jailbreaking software used to allow homebrew on the console.

If you do not update to 3.42, you cannot connect to the PlayStation Network, effectively forcing most users to update.

The jailbreak method, which involves running some code from a plugged in USB dongle, has been around for just over a week.

Aside from homebrew, gamers could also copy their purchased games to the PS3 HDD and store them as ISO files, or even download the full ISOs from warez sites and play them back.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

European police target warez servers in several countries

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Sep 2010 9:49

European police target warez servers in several countries Police have carried out anti-piracy operations in up to 14 countries across Europe. The operation, which reportedly has been in the making for the past two years, targeted top sites - or the servers at the top of the Internet piracy pyramid. The actions also appear to have left some popular file sharing websites like the Pirate Bay offline for now.

WikiLeaks host, PRQ, was also targeted by police but Swedish Prosecutor Frederick Ingblad told Swedish news outlet Expressen.se that WikiLeaks was not part of the operation. Early details indicate that raids were carried out in several European countires at the request of the Belgian authorities. Unsurprisingly, Sweden appears to have taken the lions share of the operation, with actions in Stockholm, Malmö, Umeå (at University), Eskilstuna and Solna.

"At 9:00 this morning, five policemen were here," explained PRQ's Mikael Viberg. "They were interested in who were using two IP addresses from 2009 and onwards. We have no records of our clients but we're handing over the e-mail addresses for those behind the IPs. However, it’s rare that our clients have mail addresses that are traceable."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Leak reveals largest Google ad purchasers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Sep 2010 20:07

Leak reveals largest Google ad purchasers Thanks to a new internal Google document leaked by Advertising Age, there were multiple companies that spent over $1 million in June to buy ads in Google's search results.

The largest jump came from BP, who spent $3.59 million for the month, jumping from $57,000 a month before their tragic oil spill.

At $3.6 million, BP moved into sixth place among companies spending large amounts of cash on ads through Google.

AT&T, thanks to the launch of the high profile iPhone 4, topped the list, spending $8.08 million for the month of June. Apollo Group, the company behind the University of Phoenix, came in second, spending $6.67 million for the period.

Those companies were followed by Expedia, Amazon, eBay, BP, Hotels.com, JC Penney, Living Social and ADT Security to round out the top 10.

Google did not confirm the document, but AdAge says multiple sources with "direct knowledge of spending levels" verify the data as accurate.

Overall, 47 companies spent over $1 million in June, another 71 spent between $500,000 and $1 million and another 357 spent between $100,000 and $500,000.




AfterDawn: News

Time Warner adds ESPN3 in new deal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Sep 2010 15:55

Time Warner adds ESPN3 in new deal Time Warner Cable has signed a new deal with Disney this week, giving their subscribers free access to the sports site ESPN3.

Because of the deal, 12.7 million Time Warner subscribers and 2.4 million Bright House subscribers will get free access to the site, and the ability to stream full games.

During the recent World Cup, ESPN says almost 8 million people tuned into the site at one point during the tournament.

The cable companies had long held out on ESPN3, citing excessive fees from Disney.

Additionally, the agreement will allow TW and BH to continue carrying the Disney Channel, ABC Family, Disney XD and ESPN 3D.




AfterDawn: News

Redbox hits one billion rentals

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Sep 2010 15:33

Redbox hits one billion rentals DVD and Blu-ray rental company Redbox has hit a major milestone this weekend, one billion movie rentals.

As a promotion, the company is now giving away free rentals to users and starting a contest to give away a full Sony Entertainment System.

Redbox, which started a revolution when it began offering DVD rentals for $1 a day via thousands of kiosks, now says users rent almost 10 million movies per week.

The company has 24,000 rental kiosks in the U.S.

Redbox says (via NewTeeVee) the 1 billionth rental was a copy of "Clash of the Titans," rented from a kiosk in Florida.

Earlier this year, Redbox expanded its business by offering Blu-ray rentals, at $1.50 per night.




AfterDawn: News

Apple iOS 4.1 launching on Wednesday

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Sep 2010 15:14

Apple iOS 4.1 launching on Wednesday Apple's UK site has revealed this weekend that the iOS 4.1 software update will be released on September 8th.

The American site still lists the update as "coming soon."

Apple unveiled the update, along with a new Apple TV, revamped iPods and iTunes 10 last week at their September media event.

With 4.1 comes HDR photography support, 'Game Center,' HD video uploads and TV show rentals.

Furthermore, the update will fix bugs and other issues from the original 4.1 release. iPhone 3G owners should be ecstatic as 4.1 should eliminate the excessive slowdown caused by the OS.

It is important to note that iPad owners will not receive 4.1 and will have to wait for 4.2 to receive all the upgrades.




AfterDawn: News

FCC info leaked about HTC Android GSM/CDMA Slider

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Sep 2010 14:48

FCC info leaked about HTC Android GSM/CDMA Slider First leaked last month, but now finally official thanks to testing results posted by the FCC, HTC is launching a slider that will run dual 3G modems, one for CDMA, and one for GSM.

The pictures also reveal the smartphone will be headed to Verizon, likely within months.

While the internals have not been confirmed, the device does have a 4-inch multi-touch screen, a standard camera with single-LED flash and a full slide-out keypad.

Its most notable feature is the dual 3G modems, CDMA 2000 for EV-DO Rev. A access and a GSM 850 modem. The dual modems will allow owners to use the phone practically anywhere in the world.

Additionally, the phone is rumored to have an extremely fast 1.2GHz processor, although that is still rumor.




AfterDawn: News

'Duke Nukem Forever' finally coming in 2011

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Sep 2010 14:24

'Duke Nukem Forever' finally coming in 2011 In 1997, the game Duke Nukem Forever was announced by George Broussard, one of the developers of the popular franchise.

Thirteen years later, the game has still not been released and "Forever" has become infamous.

Just this year, developer 3D Realms shut down the project, after it had been revived in 2009.

Finally, however, it appears the game will be hitting retail shelves, as the franchise rights have been transferred to Gearbox, the team behind Half-Life and Brothers in Arms.

Duke Nukem Forever will now launch for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows PCs in 2011.

Says Broussard: "Gearbox was the only home appropriate for the Duke Nukem brand. This will be a win-win situation for everyone involved, especially the fans."

"Fifteen years ago,Duke Nukem 3D helped launch my professional video game development career,” adds Gearbox president Randy Pitchford. "The Gearbox Software team and I are ecstatic that we have grown to a position to be able to pick up and carry the torch and help Duke rise back to glory in his time of need."




AfterDawn: News

RIM purchases app developer DataViz?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Sep 2010 14:06

RIM purchases app developer DataViz? According to multiple reports, RIM has acquired the popular app developer DataViz for $50 million USD.

DataViz is the company behind Documents To Go, the very popular mobile productivity suite found on Android, BlackBerry, iOS and Maemo devices.

The company had been working on a WebOS version, but recently suspended development.

Outside of blog speculation, more concrete evidence of the acquisition comes via LinkedIn, where many DataViz employees have begun listing RIM as their employer.

Neither company has confirmed the purchase, as of yet.




AfterDawn: News

Android now controls a quarter of U.S. web traffic

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Sep 2010 13:25

Android now controls a quarter of U.S. web traffic According to Quantcast, Android continues to close the gap with Apple's iOS in regards to overall web traffic in the United States.

Android has pushed to 25 percent of the overall market, with Apple remaining the leader at 56 percent.

At its peak in September 2009, Apple controlled about 68 percent of the market. During the same period, Android only had 8 percent.

RIM, despite having a large share of the U.S. smartphone market, remained flat at 9 percent, thanks largely to a non-user-friendly Web browsing experience.

All other mobile OS' accounted for the remaining 10 percent of the web traffic.




AfterDawn: News

iPad with camera seen in picture?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Sep 2010 1:27

iPad with camera seen in picture? Thanks to 9to5mac, the world now has a blurry picture of an alleged next-generation iPad, one that includes a front-facing camera and the ability to use FaceTime, Apple's video conferencing software.

The picture shows the tablet in debugging mode for video calls. The site says field-tested iPhone 4 models had the same debugging mode revealed before its eventual launch.

While the photo is of debatable authenticity, most consumers and industry insiders have anticipated that the next-generation tablet will include at least one camera.

During the recent September media event, CEO Steve Jobs said HDR photography was headed to the iPad with the upcoming iOS firmware update, to version 4.2. The feature would seem useless without a camera.

Apple's new competitors, such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Toshiba Folio 100, include cameras, giving them a leg up on the iPad, in at least that feature.




AfterDawn: News

New Droid 2 ad taunts the iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Sep 2010 1:04

New Droid 2 ad taunts the iPhone Motorola's latest ad, promoting the Droid 2, has taunted the Apple iPhone, playing on the company's "there's an app for that" ad lineup.

The Droid 2 ad is simple, asking the question: "Flash websites? There's a phone for that."

Motorola's full-page ad was seen in newspapers over the weekend.

Continues the ad: "Flash sites require Flash capabilities. Seemed pretty simple to us." The Apple iPhone cannot playback Flash content, as CEO Steve Jobs wants to push HTML5 for Web browsing.

While Flash playback on Android 2.2 devices is far from perfect, it is better to at least have the ability.

Motorola and Apple have traded jabs recently, mainly over signal problems for the iPhone 4 and the Droid X.

Pic via Electronista:




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile to release entry-level Android 2.2 smartphone from Huawei?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Sep 2010 0:50

T-Mobile to release entry-level Android 2.2 smartphone from Huawei? According to multiple reports, Huawei's recently unveiled Ideos Android smartphone is headed to T-Mobile USA, and it will be cheap.

The Ideos runs Android 2.2, Google's latest firmware update for the mobile OS.

If the reports prove accurate, T-Mobile will sell the entry-level device for just $49 with contract or $199 without, creating a very cheap way for users to get into updated Android smartphones.

The price point works for both sides because T-Mobile is looking to increase their smartphone market share and Huawei is looking to break into the American market.

Huawei's Ideos has a small 2.8-inch capacitive QVGA touch screen and 3G with support for 7.2Mbps HSDPA.




AfterDawn: News

'Medal of Honor' blocked from U.S. military bases

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Sep 2010 0:39

'Medal of Honor' blocked from U.S. military bases Medal of Honor, the latest game in the long-standing franchise has been blocked from 49 GameStop locations and all U.S. military bases worldwide.

The game was banned because in the game's multiplayer mode you can play as either the Americans (and allies) or as the Taliban insurgents, a fact that angered former vets and parents of vets.

"I don't see how shooting soldiers based on real Americans is entertainment while people are dying every day for this country," said Karen Meredith. Meredith's son, a former Army lieutenant, was killed during the Iraqi conflict in 2004.

"How can they say it's OK for someone to play the Taliban? You'll have people sitting at home, drinking beer, shooting at American soldiers, maybe missing, then starting over. Well, Ken didn't have a chance to start over," finished Meredith.

The decision in the U.S. is the second time an allied country has made a fuss over the title, with British Defense Secretary Liam Fox asking retailers to not stock the game.




AfterDawn: News

iSuppli: Dell retakes second place in computer market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Sep 2010 3:02

iSuppli: Dell retakes second place in computer market After falling to third place last year behind perennial leader HP and Acer, iSuppli has reported this week that Dell has retaken second place in the PC manufacturing market.

Overall, PC shipments increased this quarter to 82 million, with Dell taking a 12.8 percent share, just beating out Acer at 12.4 percent.

HP remained the leader at 18 percent.

Despite a decent jump in overall sales, all three of the top manufacturers saw a sales decline. Lenovo, on the other hand, saw an 18.6 percent jump in sales, good enough to take 10.1 percent of the market.

Acer and HP saw the largest declines, with sales falling 6.2 and 6.3 percent, respectively, from the quarter preceding this one.

HP has spent the last sixteen quarters in first place.

Graph via iSuppli:




AfterDawn: News

New scam alert: Fake copyright infringement letters

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Sep 2010 0:06

New scam alert: Fake copyright infringement letters The French high authority HADOPI, which was put in place to oversee the country's recently passed "three strikes" anti-piracy laws has a new problem on its hands; phishers and scammers using the authority's name to trick people into giving up personal information.

The group is allowed to issue sanctions and fines to Internet users accused of piracy, with a "third strike" meaning disconnection from the Web, and a blacklisting.

E-mails, purportedly being sent from HADOPI, have been hitting thousands of inboxes this week, all claiming that the recipient has been accused of copyright violations.

The accused are then pushed to a website to pay off their fine, which leads to phishers stealing their personal info along with the money.

"As expected, this is classic Internet," says HADOPI's Secretary General Éric Walter (via Ars).

HADOPI says it will begin sending out the first real violation letters in the coming months.

(Article pic found here)




AfterDawn: News

Court rules in favor of German man fired over using 2 cents worth of electricity

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Sep 2010 15:10

Court rules in favor of German man fired over using 2 cents worth of electricity Last May, network administrator Oliver Beel was fired from his job after he charged his Segway vehicle using the firm's power source for 90 minutes.

It was revealed that Beel had used 1.8 euro cents worth of electricity and he was fired two days later.

This week, a court has ruled that the firm had no grounds to fire Beel, dismissing the firm's appeal against his reinstatement, says Reuters.

The court says the firing was not appropriate given Beel's offense.

"Minimal electricity cost involved, the plaintiff's 19-year employment by the company and the fact other employees charged mobile phones and digital photo frames at the firm's expense without punishment," were all cited as reasons for the dismissal.




AfterDawn: News

Buffalo Japan releases portable 3D Blu-ray drive

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Sep 2010 14:39

Buffalo Japan releases portable 3D Blu-ray drive Buffalo Japan has announced this week the launch of the BG3D-PI6U2-BK, a portable 3D Blu-ray drive.

Owners can plug the device into their Windows PC via the USB port and view 3D Blu-ray movies. Of course, you will need a 3D-enabled display.

The drive is very thin at 5.39 x 5.78 x 0.78-inches and weighs 340g.

Buffalo's BG3D-PI6U2-BK writes data to BD-R/RDL6 discs at 6x and BD-RE/RE DL discs at 2x.

The drive will sell for 30,000 yen (a bit over $350 USD). It will hit Japan next month, with an expected North American launch later in the year.




AfterDawn: News

Toshiba recalling 41,000 notebooks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Sep 2010 14:21

Toshiba recalling 41,000 notebooks The Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall for 41,000 Toshiba notebooks this week, following reports that some are overheating or even melting.

Before the official mandate, Toshiba posted its own recall of the Satellite T130 notebook.

The CPSC said they had 129 reported instances of "overheating and deforming the plastic casing area around the AC adapter plug."

Four of the reports lead to minor injuries or minor property damage, says the CPSC.

Toshiba explained that the problem came from a "faulty DC-In harness," which could lead to melting.

A BIOS update will fix the problem, says Toshiba. The affected models are: Satellite T135D-S1326, T135D-SP2012L, T135-SP2909R, T135D-SP2012M, T135-SP2013L, T135-SP2013M, T135D-S1322, T135-S1330, T135D-S1328WH, T135D-S1328RD, T135D-S1328, T135D-S1327, T135D-S1325WH, T135D-S1325RD, T135D-S1325, T135D-S1324, T135D-S1320, T135-SP2911R, T135-S1312, T135-S1310WH, T135-S1310RD, T135-S1310, T135-S1309, T135-S1307, T135-S1305WH, T135-S1305RD, T135-S1305, T135-S1300WH, T135-S1300RD, T135-S1300, T135-SP2911C, T135-SP2911A, T135-SP2910R, T135-SP2910C, T135-SP2910A, T135-SP2909C, T135-SP2909A and the Satellite Pro T130-W1302, T130-EZ1301.




AfterDawn: News

LG prices 31-inch 3D OLED TV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Sep 2010 13:28

LG prices 31-inch 3D OLED TV LG showed off the 31-inch 3D OLED HDTV, as promised last week today during the IFA 2010 event, pricing the model as well.

The 1080p screen is detachable from its stand, and the TV can be rotated in place. The stand is bulky as it contains all the ports standard on an HDTV.

Coming in at 2.9mm thick, the OLED display is the thinnest TV yet.

LG says the TV has an "infinite" contrast ratio and has 3D-support if you have special glasses.

The OLED set will begin shipping in March with a handsome price of £6,000.

Pics via Pocket-Lint:




AfterDawn: News

Happy 2nd birthday, Google Chrome

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Sep 2010 12:41

Happy 2nd birthday, Google Chrome Google has celebrated Chrome's second birthday this week by launching Chrome 6 for Windows, Mac and Linux computers.

The search giant introduced the browser on September 2nd, 2008.

Chrome 6 has been placed in Google's "stable" channel.

"The last couple of years we've been focused on speed," added Brian Rakowski (via CW), Chrome's director of product management. "A lot of things have changed in the last two years [in browsers], but the one thing we've learned is that speed matters. It's something Google's always believed in and it resonates with people."

Chrome 6, very importantly, is three times faster at parsing JavaScript than Chrome 1. "That's a pretty big deal," says Rakowski, of the achievement, "but we have a lot more speed improvements to come."

Being tested for the latest versions of Chrome is hardware acceleration, which will move some tasks from the CPU to the GPU in an effort to boost performance.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony re-hauls e-reader line, increases price

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Sep 2010 22:51

Sony re-hauls e-reader line, increases price Sony has re-hauled their e-reader line, increasing the price while adding new features.

The new Reader Pocket Edition will cost $179, up from $149 for the last edition.

Sony's revamped Touch Edition will jump to $229, and the high-end Daily Edition will cost $299.

Each of the devices now features a slimmer and lighter body, more sensitive touchscreens, and higher contrast e-ink screens with better clarity.

Sony's biggest rivals, the Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook sell for under $150, so Sony may be facing an uphill battle trying to steal market share from cheaper and more established devices.

Furthermore, B&N and Amazon have repeatedly cut the prices of their devices while updating new features. Just last week, Borders said it was slashing the price of the Aluratek Libre e-readers to $99.99, the first e-reader to drop under the $100 threshold.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung to prioritize Android, Bada

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Sep 2010 21:59

Samsung to prioritize Android, Bada Samsung, the world's second-largest phone maker has said today that it will prioritize the Android and Bada mobile operating systems, making them key software platforms for their smartphones.

Says YH Lee, head of marketing at Samsung Mobile: "We are Prioritizing our Android platform. Android is very open and flexible, and there is a consumer demand for it."

Android has quickly become the third biggest mobile OS in the world, behind Symbian and RIM, surpassing Apple and Microsoft, which had head starts.

Samsung launched the Bada OS last year and have introduced two phones running the software, the Wave and the Wave 723.

Lee says the company will launch a full lineup of Bada phones in the upcoming quarters.

Despite prioritizing the other smartphone OS', Samsung does say they are releasing a Windows 7 device later in the year.




AfterDawn: News

72 percent of adults now text

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Sep 2010 21:29

72 percent of adults now text According to a new study from the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, 72 percent of American adults now text from their phones, with 87 percent of teens texting, as well.

Adult texting use is up from 65 percent in September 2009 and 58 percent in the same period of 2007.

While more adults are texting now than ever, they still don't do it very often. Typically, adults only send and receive 10 texts per day. Teens average over 50.

Pew surveyed 2,252 adults earlier this year.

"We’ve reached a point where enough other people are texting that (adults) are drawn into using it because they can finally use it to communicate with a substantial number of their friends and family,"
writes Amanda Lenhart, Pew senior research specialist, via MSNBC.

"It may be that folks have been pushed by pricing into unlimited texting plans, which has the effect of encouraging people with those plans to text more, because they no longer think of the cost, and then text more people more often."




AfterDawn: News

Sony unveils 3D Vaio laptop

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Sep 2010 20:49

Sony unveils 3D Vaio laptop At this week's IFA 2010 tech fair, Sony has unveiled a 3D Vaio notebook, one that includes a button that, when pressed, will convert 2D images to 3D.

While the premise is intriguing, there is, of course, a catch. Users will need to wear active shutter glasses to view the 3D.

The glasses, besides being an annoyance, are easy to lose and expensive to replace, making the proposition less interesting.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer says the notebook will be available next Spring, but no word on cost.

The display is full 1080p HD, and can handle 240 fps. Additionally, Sony's "black frame insertion" tech is used, which "which inserts a black frame between normal video frames to improve pixel response and improve black levels," says PCW.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon 3G phones now available with pre-paid plans

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Sep 2010 17:26

Verizon 3G phones now available with pre-paid plans Verizon has announced new monthly pre-paid data packages for users that have 3G smartphones and "multimedia" phones.

For $30 per month, Verizon is offering unlimited data. If you opt for the cheaper $10 multimedia phone plan, you will only get 25MB, with each extra MB costing 20 cents.

The unlimited plan is available to users with the BlackBerry Curve 8330 and 8530; BlackBerry Storm 2; BlackBerry Tour; BlackBerry Bold 9650; Palm Pre Plus; Palm Pixi Plus; Motorola Droid; Droid X; Droid 2; Droid Eris; Droid Incredible; and LG Ally.

Verizon "multimedia" phones include the LG enV Touch; LG enV3; LG Chocolate Touch; LG VX8360; Samsung Alias 2; Samsung Renown; Nokia Twist; and the Casio EXILIM.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Twitter increases security requirements for third party access

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 02 Sep 2010 12:53

Twitter increases security requirements for third party access Two days ago Twitter began requiring third party applications to use a secure method for accessing your account.

Using this login method, called OAuth, a program requests access to your Twitter account without first getting your login information. Twitter then forwards that request to you through their own web interface, allowing you to confirm or deny access.

For example, when you use the 'retweet' link on an Afterdawn news article for the first time you're prompted to connect the TweetMeme service to your Twitter account.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Group releases open-sourced PSGroove PS3 jailbreak

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2010 19:53

Group releases open-sourced PSGroove PS3 jailbreak Last month PSJailbreak showed the world that the PS3's security model was open to be exploited, and Sony was quick to shut down the project.

This week, PSGroove, the "open source PSJailbreak," has been released for the masses, giving owners a chance to jailbreak their PS3 for a lot cheaper than the $170 PSJailbreak.

The code can be run on a hacked PSP, a TI-84 calculator, a $25 Teensy++ USB development board or a $30 AT90USBkey.

Currently, the Teensy is on backorder and buyers will likely receive it a week or so after they order it.

While the software initially had any piracy features disabled, a second build has been released with all features of PSJailbreak enabled. The software will allow for the execution of unsigned 3rd-party apps and games as well as ISOs of PS3 games.

You can view more info here: PSGroove




AfterDawn: News

Sony shows off unlimited Qriocity streaming music service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2010 19:20

Sony shows off unlimited Qriocity streaming music service Sony has launched their own challenge to Apple's iTunes this week, dubbed Qriocity, which will be an unlimited, cloud-based music service available via the PlayStation 3 and other Internet-connected devices such as HDTVs and Blu-ray players.

The service will go live by the end of the year, giving users a chance to stream millions of songs in the cloud.

Besides the PS3, the service will be available on Sony portable media devices, Sony Blu-ray players, Sony home-theater systems, 2010 Web-enabled Bravia HDTVs and Windows PCs.

"We are excited to offer our customers high quality, cloud-based entertainment experiences across many of Sony's network-enabled devices," says Kazuo Hirai, president of Sony's networked products and services group. "Services 'powered by Qriocity' will revolutionize the way that users play, listen, watch, share, communicate, learn, discover and create their digital entertainment content."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon begins selling TV episodes for 99 cents

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2010 18:54

Amazon begins selling TV episodes for 99 cents Amazon has begun selling TV episodes for 99 cents a piece, just hours after Apple announced that they would begin offering 99 cent rentals on recently aired shows.

Disney and Fox shows, such as "Glee," "Lost" and "Bones" are now available via Amazon Video On Demand for 99 cents.

When you purchase the episodes, they are yours to keep. You can download them and they never expire. You can also stream them indefinitely.

Shows from other broadcasters, such as AMC, still cost $1.99, however.

The ability to download is only available on Windows PCs and TiVO HD boxes, but you can stream the shows on Macs, HDTVs, Roku boxes and more.




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile G2 pricing leaked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2010 18:17

T-Mobile G2 pricing leaked Yesterday, pictures of the T-Mobile G2 were leaked alongside with its specs, which should easily make it the carrier's latest Android flagship.

Today, the pricing for the device has been leaked as well, says TMONews, with the smartphone costing $199 with contract or $499 without.

The G2 is T-Mobile's first HSPA+ phone, offering users 4G-speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.

T-Mobile's next device, which is expected to launch at the end of September, will run Android 2.2.

The smartphone will have a 3.7-inch OLED display, run on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, include a full slide-out QWERTY keypad and a 5MP camera.




AfterDawn: News

Apple unveils iTunes 10, 'Ping' music discovery social network

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2010 18:01

Apple unveils iTunes 10, 'Ping' music discovery social network During their September media event this afternoon, Apple unveiled iTunes 10 and Ping, a new social network used to discover music.

Ping is being described as "Twitter and Facebook meet iTunes."

The social network is opt-in and will let iTunes users follow their favorite artists as well as be followed by friends.

Musicians can interact with their followers on iTunes through the iTunes Store page.

Your "circle of friends" allows you to view what your friends are buying, listening to or watching. It will also allow you to keep track of over 15,000 concert listings.

Ping will be a new button in the iTunes Store App on the desktop versions as well as on the iPhone and Touch.

Besides Ping, iTunes 10 also adds (via TC) a "new hybrid view that reorganizes the way the application displays album art in music columns. For albums with more than five songs, iTunes can display an album icon and take up no extra space or require the window to be expanded."




AfterDawn: News

Apple reveals new Apple TV set-top box

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2010 17:26

Apple reveals new Apple TV set-top box Apple was busy today during their highly-anticipated September 1st media event, revealing a new Apple TV, new iPods, iTunes 10 and a music discovery system dubbed Ping.

Available for just $99, the updated Apple TV drops the hard drive of its predecessor and is now small enough to fit in your hand.

The device streams movies from the Web or from smartphones/tablets directly to your HDTV.

Additionally, the second-generation device will stream movies from Netflix's ever expanding "Watch Instantly" catalog and HD movies purchased through iTunes.

The Apple TV has built-in Wi-Fi and an HDMI output.

Jobs has signed content deals with Disney and FOX so far that will give TV fans a chance to rent recently aired TV episodes for 99 cents a piece.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple unveils new, redesigned iPod Touch, Nano, Shuffle

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2010 16:53

Apple unveils new, redesigned iPod Touch, Nano, Shuffle Apple was busy today during their highly-anticipated September 1st media event, revealing a new Apple TV, new iPods, iTunes 10 and a music discovery system dubbed Ping.

Following months of speculation, CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the latest generation iPod Touch, which is slimmed down and includes "Retina Display," the high resolution display found on the iPhone 4.

Additionally, the Touch finally has cameras, including a front-facing one for use with Apple's FaceTime video calling software.

"We've put our most advanced technology inside the new iPod touch," said Jobs. "Whether you're listening to music, playing games, making FaceTime video calls, browsing the Web, capturing HD video or watching TV shows and movies, the new iPod touch with its Retina display, A4 chip, and 3-axis gyro is more fun than ever,"
says Jobs.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony wins the first Other OS case

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 01 Sep 2010 9:21

Sony wins the first Other OS case Sony calmly informed last March that it'll be removing the Other OS feature from PlayStation 3. The feature that allows users to install additional operating systems to their PS3 was removed by a firmware update in April. Users who use their game console as a Linux computer were not amused, to say the least. Actually, after the removal of the feature consumers filed lawsuits against Sony in the US and Australia.

Now according to News.com.au, the first Other OS class action suit has come to a conclusion. Mr. Michael Trebilcock from Adelaide, Australia wanted 800 AUD in compensation for the removal of an important feature. He said it was one of the reasons he bought the PS3 and won't be able to use it as a computer anymore.

The Holden Hill Magistrates Court dismissed Trebilcock's claim. The court was told by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that Sony did nothing wrong when they released the firmware update.

Sony will continue fighting in court over their game console. On upcoming Friday, there will be a court hearing in a case concerning the thumbdrive mod called PSJailBreak where modchip sellers OzModChips, Mod Supplier and Quantronics take on Sony.




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile G2 pics, specs leaked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2010 1:22

T-Mobile G2 pics, specs leaked CPSignal has posted the first pics of the upcoming T-Mobile G2 alongside its specs, which should easily make it the carrier's latest Android flagship.

The G2 is T-Mobile's first HSPA+ phone, offering users 4G-speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.

T-Mobile's next device, which is expected to launch at the end of September, will run Android 2.2 with the HTC Sense UI.

The smartphone will have a 3.7-inch OLED display, run on a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, include a full slide-out QWERTY keypad and a 5MP camera.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon wants to start subscription TV, movie service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Sep 2010 1:12

Amazon wants to start subscription TV, movie service Amazon is in quiet talks with the major media companies in an effort to start a subscription TV and movie service.

The service would offer unlimited views of older TV episodes and movies online.

Amazon has spoken with Viacom, Time Warner and Sony already.

The talks are still young, and the companies seem to be focusing on shows and movies that have already been available on DVD or Blu-ray. Amazon is still in the game, but far behind market leader Apple.

Apple has been in negotiations with Disney, Fox and News Corp. to offer rentals of current TV shows for $0.99, a 50 percent drop from current prices. The shows can be watched for up to 48 hours after purchase.





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