AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (11 / 2010)

AfterDawn: News

PlayStation Move sales hit 4.1 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Nov 2010 12:21

PlayStation Move sales hit 4.1 million Sony has sold 4.1 million Move motion control systems since launch in September.

The company says today that worldwide sales passed 4 million this week thanks to strong holiday demand.

"The milestone was reached in just two months since its release in September for North America, Europe/PAL territories and Asia, and 1 month since the release in October for Japan," added Sony.

"The number not only shows clear success of the launch of the new motion sensing controller but also indicates positive momentum going in to the holiday season and to the year 2011."

Move is supported by 25 games.

Over the holiday, Microsoft announced it had sold 2.5 million Kinect motion control systems since launch this month.




AfterDawn: News

Developer paying $1000 to first person who can root Google TV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Nov 2010 1:01

Developer paying $1000 to first person who can root Google TV Developer Howard Harte has offered a $1000 reward to the first person who can show him how to root a Google TV device, allowing him to install third-party apps.

The only other catch is that the hack must be available before Google officially adds third-party support.

With the ability to root, Harte will port his Better Terminal Emulator Pro Android app to the Google TV.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Upcoming Windows Phone 7 software update to bring multitasking, copy/paste

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2010 22:28

Upcoming Windows Phone 7 software update to bring multitasking, copy/paste According to posts via Twitter, Microsoft is ready to release a giant update for Windows Phone 7, one that will bring many of the features that users hoped for when the smartphones launched earlier this month.

With the software update will come the following updates:

-Bing turn-by-turn directions, improvements
-Custom ringer support
-Copy/Paste
-Multitasking

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft Kinect sales hit 2.5 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2010 21:30

Microsoft Kinect sales hit 2.5 million Microsoft has announced today that strong Thanksgiving week demand has led to strong sales of the Kinect motion control system.

The software giant says sales have now hit 2.5 million worldwide since launch on November 4th.

Adds Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft:



"We are thrilled about the consumer response to Kinect, and are working hard with our retail and manufacturing partners to expedite production and shipments of Kinect to restock shelves as fast as possible to keep up with demand. With sales already exceeding two and a half million units in just 25 days, we are on pace to reach our forecast of 5 million units sold to consumers this holiday."


Kinect is available in 38 countries.




AfterDawn: News

Mozilla exec goes off on Apple, Google, Microsoft over 'evil' Firefox plugins

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2010 19:50

Mozilla exec goes off on Apple, Google, Microsoft over 'evil' Firefox plugins Mozilla's senior exec Asa Dotzler has gone off on Google, Apple and Microsoft this week, ranting on the "evils" of their plugins which install in Firefox without asking the user permission.

Says Dotzler:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ultrasn0w for iOS 4.2.1 almost ready

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2010 19:11

Ultrasn0w for iOS 4.2.1 almost ready The iPhone Dev Team has said today that Ultrasn0w for Apple iOS 4.2.1 is about ready for distribution, giving users with the latest firmware update a way to unlock their iPhones.

Apple released the update on November 22nd.

The Dev Team already released an updated version of redsn0w, the tool used to easily jailbreak your devices, but many iPhone owners were waiting for a way to unlock their smartphones.

Unfortunately, the software only works with older iPhones, the 3G and 3GS models.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo sees strong console sales during holiday week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2010 14:24

Nintendo sees strong console sales during holiday week Nintendo has said today that they have already seen strong Holiday demand for their Wii and DS consoles, with 1.5 million being sold last week.

For the individual week of Thanksgiving, the gaming giant sold 900,000 DS handhelds and 600,000 Wii consoles, far out pacing past full months.

Adds NoA president Reggie Fils-Aime: "U.S. shoppers bought about 9,000 Nintendo hardware systems nonstop for every hour of every day during the week of Black Friday."

Year-over-year, DS sales were down from 1 million, but Wii sales rose from 550,000.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google rumored to have purchased Groupon for $2.5 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2010 14:09

Google rumored to have purchased Groupon for $2.5 billion Although still unconfirmed, multiple sources are reporting today that search giant Google has acquired daily deal site Groupon after weeks of discussions.

The rumored price is $2.5 billion, in line with past estimates that said Groupon could command up to a $3 billion price tag.

Groupon is a giant in the daily deal world, and was valued at over $1 billion in April. Since then, traffic has continued to explode, with small business owners lining up to get on the site.

Yahoo was also rumored to have been interested in Groupon, offering as much as $4 billion for the site, but that bid was never confirmed, either.

If accurate, the purchase will be Google's largest this year, and their second largest ever, behind the purchase of DoubleClick in 2008 for $3.2 billion.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to start streaming TV service?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2010 13:51

Microsoft to start streaming TV service? Microsoft is currently in discussions with media companies in an effort to start a new subscription TV service through the Xbox 360, a service that will directly compete with Hulu Plus and Netflix.

The software giant has even gone as far as to say it could become a "virtual cable operator," delivering the shows over the Internet to subscribers paying a monthly fee.

A second option would be to use the 360 console to give current cable subscribers "enhanced interactivity" of shows they might be currently watching.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

How popularity on Facebook and Twitter helped predict the election

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2010 17:20

How popularity on Facebook and Twitter helped predict the election It appears that how popular you are on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter actually had a real world effect on the November elections in the United States.

Candidates with more "likes" on Facebook won 71 percent of the time in the Senate elections while candidates with more Twitter followers won 74 percent of the time.

Facebook said that in 77 of the 118 races it followed in the Senate and the House, the winner had more "likes" than the opponent did.

If you had double the amount of "likes," the average margin of victory was 3.9 percent.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Kinect hacked to control original Super Mario Bros. game

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2010 16:53

Kinect hacked to control original Super Mario Bros. game One gamer, under the alias 'Yankeyan' has posted a video this week showing himself playing the original Super Mario Bros. game using Microsoft's new Kinect motion control system.

Says Yankeyan:

"I programmed it to recognize my motions and passed the virtual button presses to the NES emulator. I could have placed a simulated keypad right in front of me that I can press with my hands, but I thought full body gestures were more in the spirit of Kinect. Of course, Mario isn't designed to be played like this, so this is really really hard."


He isn't kidding when he says the game is tough, with simple gestures like jumping taking a few tries, but it is definitely an incredible feat.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

April 11, 1954 was most boring day since 1900, says computer

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2010 17:29

April 11, 1954 was most boring day since 1900, says computer According to Cambridge computer scientist William Tunstall-Pedoe, April 11th, 1954 was the most boring day since 1900, with almost nothing of note occurring.

A general election happened in Belgium, a Turkish academic was born and Jack Shufflebotham, a famous soccer player for Oldham Athletic, passed away. Other than that, nothing of note happened on April 11th, 1954.

Tunstall-Pedoe used his computer program True Knowledge to come to that conclusion.

The program was fed 300 million facts about "people, places, business and events" that made news (even small-town local) and uses complex algorithms to link information together.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

More sources claim iPad 2 will have USB, Retina Display, more

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2010 17:03

More sources claim iPad 2 will have USB, Retina Display, more New sources have reported that the upcoming iPad 2 will include 5 new "key" features, ones that will likely boost the tablet's sales exponentially.

If accurate, the reports say the iPad 2 will add a front-facing camera for video conferencing (and FaceTime), USB ports, Retina Display, 3-axis gyroscope and a carbon fiber (lighter/thinnner) body.

The most notable of the features may be the addition of USB ports, which Apple has never added to any of their iOS devices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Boxee Box sees first firmware update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2010 16:10

Boxee Box sees first firmware update Boxee has released the first major firmware update for their recently launched Boxee Box set-top, addressing some of the major bugs in the hardware.

The update will fix video artifacts seen in 1080i content via the Internet.

Networking has seen an overhaul, as well, with Boxes now having a "more accurate signal meter" when connected or trying to connect to Wi-Fi. All encryption modes are now supported, as well, and setup is streamlined for faster access.

Shared media will now work better, especially if you are using a Mac computer.

Scaling issues with the browser are now fixed, also, compensating for TV overscan.

Boxee sells the Box for $200, as a universal streaming device.




AfterDawn: News

Windows Phone 7 hits 3000 apps, 15,000 developers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2010 15:37

Windows Phone 7 hits 3000 apps, 15,000 developers Microsoft has said this week that there are now 15,000 registered Windows Phone 7 developers, and a total of 3000 apps in the WP7 store.

The number of developers is jumping at an incredible pace, moving from just 8,000 in September, and 13,000 on November 1st.

Marketplace app count has jumped significantly, as well, moving from 1000 last month to the current 3000.

Says Todd Brix, Group Product Planner for the Mobile and Embedded Devices Division at Microsoft (via WR):

"Clearly we’re just getting warmed up. We know that many Windows Phone developers have gone to great lengths to ensure that their apps and games are in Windows Phone Marketplace this holiday season…We’re heading into one of the biggest shopping weeks of the year and we’re on pace to offer roughly 3,000 apps and games by the end of this week."


As a way to promote the apps, Microsoft says Bing Visual search will prominently list WP7 games and apps.

Earlier this week, ChevronWP7 hit the net, giving users a chance to unlock their phone and install homebrew or unsigned apps.




AfterDawn: News

Caltech sues Nokia, LG, Pantech over patents

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2010 15:00

Caltech sues Nokia, LG, Pantech over patents Caltech (California Institute of Technology) has sued Nokia, LG, Pantech and a number of chipmakers this week, claiming phones made by the companies have components that infringe on their patents.

The university says the mobile phone makers infringe on nine patents relating to camera technology.

Caltech is seeking monetary damages.

Similarly, last year Caltech sued Canon, Nikon and 4 other digital-camera makers, for infringing on six patents relating to pixel sensors in digital cameras.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft responds to ChevronWP7 unlocking software

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2010 14:48

Microsoft responds to ChevronWP7 unlocking software Microsoft has posted an official response to the emergence of ChevronWP7, the unlocking software used to "jailbreak" Windows Phone 7 devices.

ChevronWP7 gives WP7 owners a chance to install homebrew and unsigned applications on their smartphones.

Until this week, you had to have a Marketplace developer account, which costs $99 per year to side load apps.

Microsoft has said today that using Chevron may brick your device, so would-be hackers should take note (via WinR):

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Pirate Bay founders lose appeal in file-sharing case

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2010 1:19

Pirate Bay founders lose appeal in file-sharing case Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundstrom, the founders of infamous torrent tracker The Pirate Bay have lost their appeal this week, in a file sharing case that convicted each of helping millions of users break Swedish copyright law.

The Svea Appeals Court upheld the convictions on all three men, but reduced their possible jail time to 4-10 months, down from one year.

However, the appeals court raised the penalty the men will have to pay the entertainment industry to $6.5 million, up from $4.5 million in the lower court.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

News Corp, Apple 'Daily' digital paper may be delayed until 2011

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2010 1:07

News Corp, Apple 'Daily' digital paper may be delayed until 2011 'The Daily,' the upcoming daily digital newspaper from News Corp and Apple may be delayed until 2011, say multiple sources, as Apple has yet to agree to allow recurring subscriptions.

Rumor has it that Apple was planning an iOS 4.3 update for next month that would add subscription support to iTunes. If the delay is accurate, 4.3 may be pushed back until January, as well.

"The Daily" will be available on the iPad to start, and will cost 99 cents per week. The paper will be updated three times per day and be a mix of "tabloid-style" and broadsheets.

A lot of the content will include videos, or audio.

When it launches, analysts have concluded that the Daily will need 800,000 subscriptions to hit profit and revenue targets.




AfterDawn: News

Vizio, Toshiba set to intro Google TV products at CES

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2010 0:57

Vizio, Toshiba set to intro Google TV products at CES Toshiba and Vizio will introduce Google TV products at the upcoming CES event, says Bloomberg, adding to the growing number of companies with such products in the pipeline.

CES 2011 begins in early January, and the source says that Samsung may also unveil an HDTV with Google TV at the event.

Currently, Sony and Logitech have released Google TV products, including an HDTV, a set-top box and a Blu-ray player.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

U.S. government takes down Torrent-Finder, others

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2010 0:39

U.S. government takes down Torrent-Finder, others The U.S. government has taken down Torrent-Finder.com today, among others, seizing the sites without any prior warnings.

A number of other sites, such as 2009jerseys.com, and Dvdcollects.com, were also seized, because they link to counterfeit goods.

Torrent-Finder offers links to unauthorized music tracks and movies.

The homepage of the sites now say: "This domain name has been seized by ICE--Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court."

In the notices, the Department of Justice, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm of Homeland Security Investigations are all named.

Torrent-Finder did not have its own tracker, however, and instead acted as a "search engine" for public links to copyrighted material.




AfterDawn: News

BBC unveils new video games for iOS devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2010 2:31

BBC unveils new video games for iOS devices BBC Worldwide has said today that their new move back into video games could eventually lead to £50 million a year for the media company.

The company went as far as to say the move is "like growing a new limb."

BBC has just revealed its first self-published games for the iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad, which include Doctor Who: The Mazes of Time, Top Gear: Stunt School and Teletubbies: My First App.

In 2009, the company explained its want to return to gaming, after a numerous year hiatus.

If the £50 million expected revenue is accurate, the gaming section will account for over 10 percent of the company's total revenue by 2012.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Windows Phone 7 unlocking tool now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2010 2:18

Windows Phone 7 unlocking tool now available ChevronWP7 is here, the first Windows Phone 7 unlocking tool.

As with tools used to "jailbreak" iOS devices, the purpose of ChevronWP7 is to give users a chance to install homebrew and unsigned applications on their smartphones.

Reads the post from Rafael Rivera, Chris Walsh and Long Zheng:

Today we have an exciting breakthrough for the Windows Phone 7 homebrew community - the ability for anyone to unlock a WP7 device without a Marketplace developer account.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Chrome OS still expected to launch next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2010 2:17

Chrome OS still expected to launch next month Despite their note that Chrome OS would not be available on any hardware in 2010, the search giant has said today that the operating system may still launch next month, in a limited software beta.

The company would "not go into details" on when or in what condition the operating system will launch, but it does confirm a public release is scheduled for this year.

Bugs in the software have dwindled, and a pre-release build is in the works.

The operating system will work on all PCs and tablets, but is designed to run best on netbooks.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Acer unveils Android device with massive screen

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2010 1:49

Acer unveils Android device with massive screen Acer has unveiled its latest Android device this week, a smartphone with a massive 4.8-inch display and 1024x480 resolution.

The device runs on Android 2.2 Froyo, a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, and 8MP camera with AF and LED flash and a front-facing 2MP camera, as well.

Acer's unnamed device will also have HSDPA 14.4Mbps support, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, DLNA streaming, 6-axis motion sensing, and an HDMI-out port.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

20 percent of Facebook 'news feed' posts are malware

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2010 1:30

20 percent of Facebook 'news feed' posts are malware Security company BitDefender has said today that 20 percent of posts that Facebook users see on their "news feed" are actually malware.

60 percent of those attacks come from third-party apps.

22 percent of the malware apps say they will help you see who has been viewing your profile, 15 percent offer "extras" for games you might have like FarmVille, 11 percent offer a "dislike" button (it doesn't exist) and another 7 percent offer links to games.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Blockbuster app 'Angry Birds' headed to consoles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2010 0:59

Blockbuster app 'Angry Birds' headed to consoles Rovio Mobile's blockbuster app "Angry Birds" is headed to home consoles, and soon.

The developer also says they are currently working on an Angry Birds 2 game for mobile users.

Rovio's new version of the game will work on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii, opening up the game to a whole new giant customer set.

CEO Peter Vesterbacka says the console version will hit next year, likely in the Q1.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Acer notebook has dual touchscreens

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2010 14:12

Acer notebook has dual touchscreens Acer has unveiled their latest Iconia notebook today, one that includes dual touchscreens, with no physical buttons necessary.

Each multi-touch display is 14.1-inches.

Additionally, the gadget has an Intel Core i5 processor, a minimum 320GB HDD, 4GB RAM and Windows 7 Home Premium.

Each display is LED-backlit, with an HD resolution of 1366x768. Both displays also have Gorilla Glass protection, protecting from scratches and smudging.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android is now most popular smartphone OS in Asia

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2010 13:46

Android is now most popular smartphone OS in Asia According to new data from GfK, Android has surpassed Symbian as the most popular smartphone OS in Asia.

Smartphone sales in Asia have grown 270 percent year-over-year to 4.7 million units.

In defining "Asia," GfK uses sales from Hong Kong, Macau, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

"Our Q3 report shows that Android has recently overtaken Symbian as the most popular smartphone OS in the context of Asia as a whole, in both value and unit sales. However, it is interesting to note the difference in OS trends when we look at findings in North and Southeast Asia separately," says the research firm.

Globally, Android has jumped to second place, with over 26 percent share, behind Symbian at around 38 percent.




AfterDawn: News

Google in talks to buy digital rights for Miramax catalog

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2010 0:52

Google in talks to buy digital rights for Miramax catalog Google is currently in talks with Filmyard Holdings in an effort to purchase the digital rights to Miramax's extensive movie archive.

The rights would help Google give YouTube a larger collection of feature-length content, which it currently lacks.

Miramax has over 700 films in its catalog.

Although unconfirmed, Netflix has been said to be in talks with Miramax, as well, trying to secure the rights to add the library to its "Watch Instantly" streaming service. Netflix currently offers 20,000 movies and TV shows.

Miramax was just sold earlier this year by Disney for $660 million.

YouTube has said recently that 36 hours of video are posted every minute to the video sharing site.




AfterDawn: News

DVDFab releases Blu-ray 3D-to-3D video ripper

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2010 0:30

DVDFab releases Blu-ray 3D-to-3D video ripper DVDFab has released the first Blu-ray 3D-to-3D video ripper today, making the software available for $50.

Making the software more notable is the fact that it will not require any other utility to tip or convert the video.

The company says the software can do the following:


-Rip any Blu-ray 3D to 3D video. Blu-ray 3D Ripper can remove all known AACS copy protections, all known BD+ copy protections including newest 3D BD+, region code, BD-Live, UOPs, MKB V18 and MKB V19, so any Blu-ray 3D content can be ripped. And the output 3D video can be AVI, MP4, WMV, or MKV, and can be played on 3D display devices.

-Support side-by-side 3D. Blu-ray 3D Ripper supports side-by-side 3D format -- a current popular format for 3D content transmission, which has been already used by some cable TV providers.
3D type can be left/right or top/bottom, 50% or 100%. The 3D type can be left/right (side by side) or top/bottom to meet different requirements from different display devices; and the video frame size can be full (100%) or half (50%) according to your specific need.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Axl Rose sues Activision over track in 'Guitar Hero'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Nov 2010 23:28

Axl Rose sues Activision over track in 'Guitar Hero' Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose has sued Activision this week for $20 million, claiming that the developer's use of the song "Welcome to the Jungle" in the game Guitar Hero 3 violated an imagery deal.

Rose says Activision had promised to not include any images of former band member "Slash" in exchange for Rose authorizing the song to be used in the game. Additionally, Rose made it clear he wanted no mention of Slash's new band, Velvet Revolver, in the game.

The complaint says: "Activision began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intentions to not only feature Slash and VR prominently in 'GH III,' but also promote the game by emphasizing and reinforcing an association between Slash and Guns N Roses and the band's song 'Welcome to the Jungle.'"

As pictured, the cover of Guitar Hero 3 has a pretty obvious animated Slash, prominently in the center of the cover art.

Rose says he immediately rescinded all authorization for the song, but Activision "lied" and claimed the Slash-character was just for promotional use.

"This lawsuit is about protecting Guns N' Roses and 'Welcome to the Jungle,' and is about holding Activision accountable for its misuse of these incredibly valuable assets,"
adds Rose's lawyer Skip Miller. "The relief we are seeking is disgorgement of profits and compensatory and punitive damages."




AfterDawn: News

Apple 1 computer sells for $174,000

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Nov 2010 22:44

Apple 1 computer sells for $174,000 Expected to fetch up to $200,000 in auction, a 1976 Apple 1 computer, one of just 200 ever built, has sold for $174,000 through Christie's auction house.

Each Apple I computer was hand-built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

The device up for sale was #82 of the 200, and sold with original packaging, manuals and a letter from CEO Steve Jobs. There are only 30-50 left in the world.

Apple I computers have 8KB of memory and an eight-bit processor.

Read the auction description:


"The first Apple computer, and the first personal computer with a fully assembled motherboard, heralding the home computer revolution.

"Introduced in July 1976, the Apple I was sold without a casing, power supply, keyboard or monitor. However, because the motherboard was completely pre-assembled, it represented a major step forward in comparison with the competing self-assembly kits of the day."


The computer was purchased by Italian businessman and private collector Marco Boglione. With taxes, the 34 year old computer will cost the businessman $210,000.




AfterDawn: News

News Corp, Apple daily digital paper coming on December 9th?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Nov 2010 0:34

News Corp, Apple daily digital paper coming on December 9th? News Corp and Apple's rumored digital-only newspaper, dubbed "The Daily," may be hitting tablets as soon as December 9th, say new sources.

The Daily will be available on the iPad at launch, exclusively, with an event planned for December 9th to launch the paper.

Both Rupert Murdoch and Steve Jobs will be in attendance.

So far, it seems like the newspaper will be a national paper with "tabloid sensibility with a broadsheet intelligence" that is more "fun" to read than traditional papers.

News Corp will hire 100 staff writers for the project, each of which is expect to cover breaking news and other "beats."

The Daily will cost just $.99 per week.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon adds new 150Mbit/sec tier to FiOS lineup

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2010 23:53

Verizon adds new 150Mbit/sec tier to FiOS lineup Verizon has announced this week that it will be adding a new, speedier tier to its FiOS fiber broadband offering, offering as high as 150Mbit/sec downstream and 34Mbit upstream.

The service will cost users $195 per month.

So far, Verizon is rolling out the service to 12 U.S. states, and D.C., with small businesses and residential consumers expected to be able to use it fully by the end of the year.

Verizon currently offers a 50/20Mbit plan for $140 per month, their fastest offering.

New customers or upgrading customers must sign up for a one-year agreement to get the $195 price for the new incredibly fast option.

FiOS is currently available to 12.5 million households in the U.S. with Verizon expecting to expand reach to 18 million.

With a 150Mbit connection, users can download full two-hour 1080p HD movies in under 4 minutes and average music tracks in 300 milliseconds.




AfterDawn: News

Spotify saw large loss in 2009

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2010 22:33

Spotify saw large loss in 2009 Spotify has revealed their 2009 financials today, and it appears that the company saw a hefty loss for the last year.

Revenue grew to £11.32 million but costs rose to £18.82 million, not including distribution costs of £608,711 and administrative expenses of £8.29 million.

Overall, the company saw a £16.4 million loss.

Revenue came mainly from subscriptions, with £6.81 million coming from monthly subscribers. The rest of the revenue came from advertisements, to the tune of £4.51 million.

Spotify had seven million users in Europe by the end of the financial year, but only 250,000 paying subscribers.

"2009 saw us focus on establishing a new and innovative music service and bringing it to millions of people across Europe. The groundwork laid in our launch year has been crucial to the significant achievements made in 2010. Further strengthening and expansion of the service remains our top priority," says the company.




AfterDawn: News

Apple launches iOS 4.2

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2010 22:12

Apple launches iOS 4.2 Apple has announced today that iOS 4.2 is now available for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, adding a number of new features.

Perhaps more notably is the fact that iPad users will finally get multitasking.

"iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season," added CEO Steve Jobs. "Once again, the iPad with iOS 4.2 will define the target that other tablets will aspire to, but very few, if any, will ever be able to hit."

All iOS device owners will now have multitasking, Folders, Unified Inbox, Game Center, AirPlay and AirPrint.

AirPlay allows for wireless streaming of music, videos and photos from any iOS device to the Apple TV.

AirPrint lets you wirelessly print photos, email, web pages, and documents from your iPad to any AirPrint-enabled printer.

For a more in depth look into the new features, click here: Apple’s iOS 4.2 Available Today for iPad, iPhone & iPod touch




AfterDawn: News

Samsung Galaxy Tab sales hit 600,000

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2010 19:17

Samsung Galaxy Tab sales hit 600,000 Samsung Electronics has already sold 600,000 units of the Galaxy Tab tablet, says The Korea Herald, in less than a month after launch.

The tablet is available in 30 countries.

In Samsung's home country, Korea, SK Telecom has sold 30,000 units since launch last week.

"We believe tablet PCs will take over a bigger portion of the market next year," adds Samsung’s mobile division head Shin Jong-kyun. "For this year, we’re projecting to sell up to 1 million units."

Apple, the market leader, has sold 8 million iPad tablets since launch in April.

Samsung's tablet runs on Android 2.2, has a 1GHz processor, a 7-inch multi-touch screen and dual cameras.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix starts streaming-only plan, raises price of other plans

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2010 17:54

Netflix starts streaming-only plan, raises price of other plans Netflix has started their long-anticipated streaming-only plan in the U.S., while also raising the price of its other mixed media subscriptions.

Shares of the company have exploded $15 dollars today following the news, good for an 8 percent gain.

The streaming only plans will be $8 per month, giving users unlimited access to the company's "Watch Instantly" catalog.

All other plans, those that include access to physical discs, as well, will see a price jump, however.

Those price jumps are immediate for new subscribers or will go into effect in January for current subs.

User with a $9 subscription (1-DVD-out) will see their subscription now cost $10. Prices for other plans are seeing similar increases.

Over the years, Netflix has spent close to $1 billion on putting together a streaming catalog that now encompasses 20,000 movies and TV shows.




AfterDawn: News

Afraid of the TSA body scanners? Try this new underwear

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2010 0:16

Afraid of the TSA body scanners? Try this new underwear Inventor Jeff Buske has said he has created new clothing products that should protect flyers from TSA body scanner radiation.

Additionally, the new bras and underwear should help flyers who want to keep their private parts a mystery.

Dubbed "Rocky Flats Gear," Buske says he does not care about the politics of the situation, but instead wants to protect citizens from unwanted radiation.

Women can wear special bras or underwear, and men can wear underwear with a fig leaf design that has properties that will block radiation.

The flexible metals will not trip detectors.

Buske has also made it clear that while the fig leaf will hide your genitals it will not hide a weapon or other items from the scanners.

Check the items here: Rocky Flats Gear

(Pic and story via KFDM)




AfterDawn: News

Mozilla's revenue shot up in 2009

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Nov 2010 20:37

Mozilla's revenue shot up in 2009 Mozilla has released their 2009 earnings statement this week, which shows explosive revenue growth for the company.

In 2008, Mozilla had $78 million in revenue, with sales surging to $104 million last year.

It is still unclear how exactly sales jumped so much, but the statement says "a majority of Mozilla revenue continues to be generated from the search functionality included in Mozilla's Firefox product from organizations such as Google, Yahoo, Yandex, Amazon, eBay and a handful of others."

One such example is how Google gives Mozilla a tiny piece of its search ad revenue as long as Mozilla makes Google the default search engine in the popular Firefox browser.

That deal will last through the end of 2011.

Expenses increased to $61 million in 2009.

140 million users worldwide actively use the Firefox browser.




AfterDawn: News

iPad 2 coming in April, say analyst

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Nov 2010 20:20

iPad 2 coming in April, say analyst Gleacher & Co analyst Brian Marshall has said today that he believes the upcoming iPad 2 will hit in April 2011, a year after the launch of the first-generation tablet.

Marshall basis the theory on "new manufacturing information."

The new device will likely be available for multiple carriers, and include dual cameras, features that should help it outsell its predecessor.

Says Marshall: "I think April is the proper time-frame for an iPad 2. Since I’m projecting that Apple will release a CDMA iPhone in March, both will help to equalize Apple’s seasonality."

The analyst noted that Apple has commissioned a few Taiwanese companies to "manufacture the iPad 2’s HDI (high density interconnect) boards in early February."

Finally, Marshall says the new iPad may also have a standard mini-USB connection, instead of its proprietary port.




AfterDawn: News

Apple, News Corp planning digital-only newspaper

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Nov 2010 19:04

Apple, News Corp planning digital-only newspaper The latest rumor making its rounds today is that News Corp and Apple are preparing to launch a digital-only newspaper, dubbed "The Daily."

"The Daily" will stream to your iPad and other tablets for $.99 per week.

So far, it seems like the newspaper will be a national paper with "tabloid sensibility with a broadsheet intelligence" that is more "fun" to read than traditional papers.

News Corp will hire 100 staff writers for the project, each of which is expect to cover breaking news and other "beats."

Initially, the beta will only be on the iPad, but a full launch is expected early next year, for all devices.

Apple is said to be searching for newspaper subscription plans that would work with iOS App Store, giving Apple a cut of each subscription, and the ad revenue.




AfterDawn: News

WebOS 2.0 coming 'in the coming months'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2010 16:23

WebOS 2.0 coming 'in the coming months' Palm, acquired by HP in April, has promised that WebOS 2.0 should be headed to all current Palm smartphones "in the coming months," remaining intentionally vague.

The confirmation comes from Palm Developer Josh Marinacci during the WebOS Developer Day in NYC.

All current devices includes the low-end Pixi all the way to the new Pre 2.

The company also says if you are looking to develop apps for 2.0, you should join the Early Access Program. The reason for such a move is because the 2.0 SDK is still under an NDA and not available to the public.

Palm says the SDK will go public when the current devices receive OTA updates for their devices.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon Kindles now offer e-book gifting feature

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2010 15:55

Amazon Kindles now offer e-book gifting feature Amazon Kindle owners can now "gift" their Kindle e-books, passing the digital copies over to friends or family.

"We are thrilled to make it easier than ever for our customers to give their favorite Kindle book to a friend or family member as a gift," adds Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Kindle VP.

Open the Kindle Store, find the book you want to gift, and hit the "Give as a Gift" option, which will send the e-book to your friend's e-mail address.

The option should help the Kindle close the gap on the feature, which the Barnes & Noble Nook and other competing e-readers have had for months.

While not dedicated, the popular Apple iPad tablet also offers a full e-book store.




AfterDawn: News

Despite leak, latest 'Harry Potter' film has opening weekend record in sights

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2010 15:34

Despite leak, latest 'Harry Potter' film has opening weekend record in sights Despite the first 36 minutes of the film being leaked to the Internet earlier this week, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 has set its sights on the highest box office open of all-time.

For the midnight Thursday showings, the film made $24 million, with total Friday sales totaling $61.2 million, the fifth biggest opening day of all-time.

Twilight: New Moon, owns that record, at $72 million.

That figure is also the highest opening for a Harry Potter movie, surpassing 2009's "Half-Blood Prince."

If the film mimics previous movies in the franchise, sales are expected to dip 9 percent on Saturday (from Friday) and 30 percent on Sunday, which would leave the latest film at $156 million for opening weekend. That figure will put the film within fighting distance of the current biggest opening, 2008's The Dark Knight, at just over $158 million.

Warner Bros. has said it is looking into the leak, not that it really matters anymore: "This constitutes a serious breach of copyright violation and theft of Warner Bros. property. We are vigorously investigating this matter and will prosecute those involved to the full extent of the law."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Air Force to soldiers: Watch out with geotagging services

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2010 22:52

Air Force to soldiers: Watch out with geotagging services The U.S. Air Force has warned soldiers this month that geotagging services, especially incredibly popular ones such as Facebook Places and Foursquare, can inadvertently reveal the location of a team to the enemy, putting lives at risk.

Posted on the Air Force internal website earlier this month, the military branch says: "Careless use of these services by airmen can have devastating operations security and privacy implications."

Furthermore, Air Force commanders have been instructed to spread the word to their teams.

Over the next couple of weeks, the Army and Navy will receive similar instructions.

Using services like Foursquare, or even Twitter (with geolocating on), whenever a user posts, their location (including latitude and longitude) is posted alongside the note.

There are currently 145,000 American troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.




AfterDawn: News

OnLive launches MicroConsole instant-play gaming system

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2010 22:06

OnLive launches MicroConsole instant-play gaming system OnLive, the cloud streaming games service, has announced today the launch of the MicroConsole instant-play system, with pre-orders starting now for a December 2nd release.

Users can play video games from the OnLive catalog, on their TVs, using the set-top, eliminating the need for downloads or discs.

The system will sell for $99 and include a wireless controller and a free game.

"The OnLive Game System marks the start of a new era for video games and home entertainment,"
says Steve Perlman, founder and CEO of OnLive, via IW. "Not only is the OnLive Game System the fastest, simplest way to play, watch, and test-drive top-tier games instantly on the living room big screen, it also opens the door to a new world of options for gaming and entertainment -- from media-rich social networking and massive spectating to game portability across TV, PC, Mac, and mobile devices."

OnLive has 35 games available as of now, including Assassin's Creed II, Mass Effect 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Just Cause 2 and NBA 2K11.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Groupon actively considering acquisition by Google

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2010 17:48

Groupon actively considering acquisition by Google According to Bloomberg, Groupon is actively considering an acquisition by search giant Google, which has offered an unknown amount for the daily deal site.

Groupon was recently valued at over $3 billion.

The daily deal giant is also still weighing whether to rebuff the offer, and instead have another round of funding.

Groupon will likely take until the end of the year to make their decision, say the sources.

If the deal goes through, the acquisition will almost certainly become Google's most expensive ever, topping the $3.2 billion they paid for online advertising provider DoubleClick two years ago.

Overall, Google has spent $1.6 billion on acquisitions this year alone, picking up 21 companies. That number does not include the pending $700 million acquisition of travel data aggregator ITA.

Groupon has 300 markets in 29 countries, with revenues expected to top $500 million this year.




AfterDawn: News

Next gen iPad to have dual-mode chip support, dual cameras?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2010 17:26

Next gen iPad to have dual-mode chip support, dual cameras? One analyst has said today that Apple's upcoming second-generation iPad tablet will have a dual-mode chip that will support both EVDO and HSPA for 3G data connectivity.

Citing "supplier checks," Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair has said the upcoming model will be a true "World iPad," supporting all carriers.

Current models will cease production by the end of January, as Apple readies the new edition.

The new model will also have rear and front facing cameras, features notably missing from the first generation device.

New models will also be significantly thinner with unibody construction, says Electronista.

For now, the description must be taken as rumor, although the details do directly correlate with supply checks that have cropped up over the past months.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon selling all Verizon Droid phones for 1 cent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2010 17:02

Amazon selling all Verizon Droid phones for 1 cent BGR has spotted today that Amazon has begun selling high-end Verizon Android devices for just 1 cent, as long as you sign up for a two-year contract with the popular carrier.

The Droid Incredible, Droid X, Droid 2 and Droid Pro are all available now for just 1 cent, a hefty discount from in-store and online prices at Verizon.

For example, the Droid X sells for $200 through Verizon online, with contract.

Additionally, the Amazon offer gives you free activation of the device. Verizon normally charges $35 to activate your new phone.

The offer ends on November 22nd.

Check the Amazon sale here




AfterDawn: News

Samsung steps back from Bada, will offer majority Windows Phone 7 next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2010 12:43

Samsung steps back from Bada, will offer majority Windows Phone 7 next year Chinese site iMobile has posted a pie chart revealing Samungs' smartphone plans for 2011, and surprisingly the company has moved away from its own Bada OS and moved most resources into Windows Phone 7.

Samsung will sell 63 percent Windows Phone 7 devices, 32 percent Android devices, and just 5 percent Bada.

Windows Phone 7 saw its global launch this month, to mixed reviews and sales.

Android has jumped quickly into the second spot in global mobile OS sales, with tons of more powerful devices already promised for next year, including the flagship Nexus S, allegedly built by Samsung.

Regardless, it appears Microsoft's latest operating system fits into Samsung's future plans for smartphone "domination."




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: Apple TV hacked to add web browsing, Last.fm

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2010 11:22

Video Daily: Apple TV hacked to add web browsing, Last.fm FireCore has announced this week that their upcoming aTV Flash Black software installer for the second generation Apple TV will be ready for beta by the end of the month.

aTV Flash Black adds web browsing to the set-top, as well as a Last.fm app.

The company says the installer is 95 percent complete, "communicating directly with the AppleTV (no wires or USB drives required)," giving fans a chance to install aTV Flash Black on the set-top in a matter of minutes.

"Couch Surfer," FireCore's web browsing app, is 65 percent complete. (Video shown below)

Last.fm is about 85 percent complete, and should be ready to go by the beta launch. (Video shown below, as well)

The company does say they have hit major hurdles with a final component of the software, however:


Additional Video Codecs & NAS Streaming - 15% Complete

Not surprisingly this has turned out to be no trivial task - because of this we've teamed up with a few outside developers to move things along a bit more quickly. We'll have more info as things progress but unfortunately this probably won't make it into the initial beta version. The end goal however remains the same - robust support for non-itunes media (including DVD files).

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

TiVo launches in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 19 Nov 2010 6:47

TiVo launches in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland Nordic satellite pay-TV operator Canal Digital announced today that it has signed a deal with TiVo to bring TiVo's PVR devices available to its customers in four Nordic countries, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

TiVo's PVR solutions aren't that much different from any standard DVB-S / DVB-S2 PVR devices (which is a standardized platform where any manufacturer can build compatible set-top boxes), but the main differences between "traditional" DVB-S set-top PVRs and TiVo are the GUI and backend logic solutions -- and the fact that TiVo's devices will also integrate into video material available on the Internet. As Canal Digital already offers on-demand services online, those services will most likely become integrated into Canal Digital's TiVo solutions.

TiVo's devices in Nordic will use the standardized Conax encryption mechanism, meaning that the devices -- theoretically -- should also work with any other Conax / DVB-S compatible TV channel, but it is more than likely that at least all the advanced features are restricted to Canal Digital only.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google offered up to $4 billion for Twitter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2010 22:55

Google offered up to $4 billion for Twitter According to multiple sources, Google offered up to $4 billion for microblogging sensation Twitter earlier this year, but the offer was turned down.

Originally, Google offered $2.5 billion, which Twitter execs called "insulting."

As recently as 3 months ago, Google upped the bid to $4 billion, which was turned down, as well.

Each of the sources suggested that Microsoft bid on the service, also, although the software giant's offers are unknown.

The sources also suggested, however, that if Twitter was to really put itself up for sale, both companies would bid aggressively against each other.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: The new Dell Inspiron Duo Tablet/Netbook hybrid

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2010 21:35

Video Daily: The new Dell Inspiron Duo Tablet/Netbook hybrid Dell has announced the upcoming availability of the Inspiron Duo tablet/netbook hybrid today, as well as pricing for the device.

The device will be available during the first week of December, and the base model will sell for $549.

Dell's unique hybrid has a 10.1-inch multi-touch display.

The device runs on a dual-core Intel Atom N550 processor, has 2GB of RAM, a Broadcom Crystal HD accelerator, 250GB of storage, and Windows 7 Home Premium as the operating system.

When flipped into a tablet, the 1366x768-resolution display uses Dell's Duo Stage UI layer, which is much more touch-friendly than standard Windows 7.

A few of the installed apps are Dell's MusicStage, VideoStage, PhotoStage, and BookStage.

Vid via Engadget:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Picture: The Avatar mosaic made from 4000 Blu-ray discs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2010 19:29

Picture: The Avatar mosaic made from 4000 Blu-ray discs Laura Hadland, just weeks after creating a "toast" mosaic from over 9000 pieces of toast has moved on to her next project, an Avatar mosaic that uses 4000 Blu-ray discs.

Hadland says 20th Century Fox commercially printed her the discs (in the colors she needed) and from there the mosaic was completed within a few hours.

The mosaic was a gift to her husband, who was a big fan of the movie.

It was put together on the floor of the London Film Museum.

Avatar is the top selling movie of all time, making $2.8 billion worldwide. Sequels are slated for 2013 and later.




AfterDawn: News

T.J. Maxx, Marshalls starts selling iPad with $100 discount

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2010 19:15

T.J. Maxx, Marshalls starts selling iPad with $100 discount Retailers T.J. Maxx and Marshalls have begun selling the cheapest model of the iPad for $400 this week, offering a full $100 discount off Apple's pricing.

The cheapest model is 16GB and offers Wi-Fi support.

T.J. Maxx confirmed the deal on its Twitter page today, saying: "The rumors are TRUE! Select (unadvertised) locations/limited quant."

Earlier in the week, Sam's Club began selling the iPad, offering $12 off retail for all models, the biggest discount seen until today.

It is still unclear how the companies can offer the iPad at such a low price, especially without losing a significant amount of money per sale. Apple has not suggested any price drop is coming on the iPad.

Although unconfirmed, it appears that some Marshalls stores will be selling only 300 of the devices over a three-day period.




AfterDawn: News

Chinese woman retweets joke, gets one year in prison labor camp

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2010 18:50

Chinese woman retweets joke, gets one year in prison labor camp Cheng Jianping, a 46-year-old woman from China has been sentenced to a full year of "Re-education Through Labor" after she retweeted a joke her fiance had posted.

Her soon-to-be husband tweeted the following:

Anti-Japanese demonstrations, smashing Japanese products, that was all done years ago by Guo Quan [an activist and expert on the Nanjing Massacre]. It’s no new trick. If you really wanted to kick it up a notch, you’d immediately fly to Shanghai to smash the Japanese Expo pavilion.


The tweet was in regards to China's recent dispute with Japan over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. Nationalists in China began smashing Japanese products in protest over the situation.

Jianping retweeted her fiance's message and added the following words: "Charge, angry youth."

Both Jianping and her fiance "disappeared" a week after the tweets went up, and the news came out this week that Jianping had been sentenced to one year of labor camp without trial, for "disturbing social order." Her fiance was released without any charges.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon to invest $100 million in LivingSocial

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2010 18:22

Amazon to invest $100 million in LivingSocial VB has posted today that giant e-tailer Amazon is set to invest $100 million in daily-deal site LivingSocial.

The "strategic investment" talks are underway, but there is nothing set in stone.

Daily-deal sites have boomed in the past year thanks mainly to the popularity of market leaders Groupon and Living Social.

All daily-deal sites offer discounts on products, services, activities, and meals from merchants, small and large.

Amazon currently has a foundation in the deals business, as it purchased Woot earlier this year.

Living Social raised money in March and April, but more investment would lead to a larger expansion into new cities and even new countries.

Just last month, Groupon was valued at over $3 billion.




AfterDawn: News

Vudu headed to PS3s next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2010 17:29

Vudu headed to PS3s next week Sony has said this week that the popular VOD service Vudu will launch on PlayStation 3 consoles starting on November 23rd.

Via the PSN, Vudu will offer 1080p HD and Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound streaming.

Vudu says the "PS3 will be the first and only system with dedicated gaming functionality to offer this service," implying a partnership with the Xbox 360 isn't in the cards, at least for now.

The streaming movie service currently has 4000 movies available in full HD, and new releases are available the same day as their Blu-ray and DVD counterparts.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: Google adds editing capabilities to mobile Google Docs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2010 0:26

Video Daily: Google adds editing capabilities to mobile Google Docs Google has announced that its updated version of Google Docs for Android and iOS will allow users to edit their documents, right in the mobile browser.

Until now, users could only open and view their documents, but not edit. The search giant had promised to add editing capabilities to future updates.

There is a catch, however. You must be running iOS 3.0 or higher and Android 2.2 to be able to access the latest Docs.

If you meet those requirements, navigate to docs.google.com from the mobile browser and sign into your Gmail account.

Users should be able to see a new "edit" button now. Android users can change text, edit tables, and add text via spoken dictation. It is still unclear whether more advanced features such as adding links and images is available.




AfterDawn: News

Hulu launches Hulu Plus, with price cut

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2010 23:42

Hulu launches Hulu Plus, with price cut Hulu has officially launched their Plus premium service today, after months of beta.

Originally set at $10, Hulu has instead launched the service for $8, accepting the fact that $10 was too expensive.

Any subscriber who used Hulu Plus during the beta period will be credited the $2 difference, per month.

Plus offers back catalogs for NBC, Fox and ABC shows like "30 Rock" and "Glee."

The popular free Hulu site shows only the last 3-5 episodes of any given TV show.




AfterDawn: News

Google and Amazon fought for Beatles deal, as well

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2010 23:20

Google and Amazon fought for Beatles deal, as well Yesterday, we reported that iTunes had begun selling the music catalog of the Beatles, marking the first time legal digital versions of the tracks are available online.

Apple, EMI and the Beatles knocked out a deal after a few months of negotiations, moving forward mostly when new EMI CEO Roger Faxon came on board in June.

Today, industry sources are saying that Google and Amazon both tried to secure rights to the tracks for their digital music stores, but were clearly unsuccessful.

All indications are that iTunes has exclusive rights to the tracks until January, at least.

After it was clear that a deal was in the works, Apple, Google, and Amazon were approached by Apple Corps CEO Jeff Jones (Apple Corps being the arts-promotion company where the Beatles are the board members) over the availability of the digital rights.

Apple won, flat out.

One senior music exec made it clear why: "Who else are they going to do a deal with? Apple dominates the digital market."




AfterDawn: News

Warner Bros. investigating into 36 minute leak of latest Harry Potter film

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2010 22:19

Warner Bros. investigating into 36 minute leak of latest Harry Potter film Yesterday, we reported that the first 36 minutes of the latest Harry Potter film was made widely available on the Internet, via a leak.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, will debut in the U.S. on Friday and is in theaters in some countries already.

The "extended clip," which is tagged as a DVD-Screener, has a large Warner Bros. watermark but is an otherwise intact first 36 minutes of the film.

Today, Warner Bros. has said they are looking into the leak, and will prosecute whoever leaked the movie.

Says the studio: "This constitutes a serious breach of copyright violation and theft of Warner Bros. property. We are vigorously investigating this matter and will prosecute those involved to the full extent of the law."




AfterDawn: News

LG 'Star' will feature Android, Tegra 2, 8MP camera

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2010 22:56

LG 'Star' will feature Android, Tegra 2, 8MP camera Engadget has posted new pics of the upcoming LG 'Star' smartphone, the new flagship in the company's Android Optimus line.

The device will run at least Android 2.2 out of the gate, and be the first smartphone to run on a powerful Nvidia Tegra 2 processor.

Additionally it will feature an 8MP camera with 1080p video recording, and a front-facing camera.

With a January release date planned, the smartphone will be the first to use a dual-core processor.

Furthermore, the site says it hears the Android will be "vanilla," with no extra interface layers.

Earlier in the day, LG said they sold 1 million Optimus smartphones around the world in just 40 days.




AfterDawn: News

Google CEO explains why Chrome OS is different than Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2010 16:31

Google CEO explains why Chrome OS is different than Android Google CEO Eric Schmidt has explained what will differentiate their Android OS from their upcoming Chrome OS, saying mainly that Chrome OS was created for devices that have full keyboards, whereas Android is better for touchscreen devices.

Chrome OS will soon be available on PCs, notebooks and netbooks, which will always include full keyboards, even if they have touchscreen interfaces.

Android, on the other hand, is best suited for smartphones and (eventually) tablets, which may sometimes have keyboards, but will always have a touchscreen.

When asked about Android fragmentation, Schmidt noted that he wants to make sure that in the future, the same apps can be run on all Android devices, no matter what version or what device.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread is expected in the coming weeks while Chrome OS is expected by January.




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T sign up for Isis

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2010 15:35

T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T sign up for Isis Major U.S. carriers T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T have announced today the launch of Isis, a joint venture that will give customers a chance to pay for services and products via their phones.

The payment network will use Discover Financial Services (DFS).

"This is an unprecedented partnership, one that's necessary," says Michael Abbott, who will run the venture.

The initiative is open and Abbot says that Barclays' Barclaycard will be the first issuer.

"Barclaycard will have the first mover advantage as an issuer of multiple mobile payment products. It gives us great access to [the telcos'] 200 million customer base," added Amer Sajed, CEO of Barclaycard US.

Visa and Mastercard are not expected to sign up for the venture, however, as both are starting their own systems.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung announces Google TV sets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2010 15:01

Samsung announces Google TV sets Samsung Electronics has said today that the company is planning on introducing HDTVs with Google TV at the CES event in January.

The company is the world's largest TV maker.

Yoon Boo Keun, head of Samsung’s TV business, did not leave any other details except to say it was "open to using" new chips made by Intel for its TVs.

Last month, Sony began selling the first HDTVs with Google TV and sales have met expectations.

Fans of Google TV, however, have been disappointed as all the major broadcasters have blocked their signals from use through the service.




AfterDawn: News

Lenovo to introduce LePad tablet in the U.S. next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2010 14:29

Lenovo to introduce LePad tablet in the U.S. next year Lenovo has said today it will launch its LePad Android tablet in the U.S. next year, looking to compete in the ever-growing market for fast, portable, touchscreen gadgets running mobile operating systems.

CEO Yan Yuanqing confirmed the device which was first spoken about over the summer.

The American tablet market has grown exponentially since Apple launched the iPad in April. Dell, HP, RIMM, Samsung, Toshiba and LG have all released or promised to release tablets within the next quarter.

Lenovo did not put a price on the tablet just yet but did note it will launch in China early next year, as well.

The company is also heavily investing in a "program to support developers of mobile Internet applications and services as the firm looks to expand its application download store, which will work with the LePad," says the WSJ.




AfterDawn: News

First 36 minutes of latest 'Harry Potter' leaked online

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2010 14:06

First 36 minutes of latest 'Harry Potter' leaked online In what is certainly the most notable movie leak in some time, the first 36 minutes of the latest Harry Potter film are now widely available on the Internet.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, will debut in the U.S. on Friday.

The "extended clip," which is tagged as a DVD-Screener, has a large Warner Bros. watermark but is otherwise intact.

In 2007, a PDF of the book was leaked the week before the title was set for release.

The question now remains as to why the screener is only 36 minutes long, but the consensus is that Warner Bros. was so scared of a leak that they cut down the amount shown in the screeners they sent out.

It could also be that Warner just leaked the clip themselves to add to the hype, not that the Harry Potter series, especially this film, needs any more.

Regardless, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 will make over $100 million at the Box Office this weekend.




AfterDawn: News

Official: Beatles music headed to iTunes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2010 13:34

Official: Beatles music headed to iTunes Apple has officially announced today that iTunes will begin offering tracks from the Beatles, marking the first time a digital platform has been given access to the catalog.

The Beatles had long kept to selling their re-mastered tracks on CDs and records.

All 13 re-mastered Beatles albums are now available via iTunes, with each individual track costing $1.29.

Albums sell for either $13 or $20, depending on the length.

If you are an avid fan, Apple is also offering the "Beatles Box Set" for $150. The set includes film of their "Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964" concert. The concert was the band's first in the U.S.

With the Beatles now checked off the list, remaining notable major artists that do sell on iTunes include AC/DC, Kid Rock and Black Sabbath.




AfterDawn: News

Kinect hits 1 million units sold

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2010 23:58

Kinect hits 1 million units sold Microsoft has confirmed that the Kinect motion control system has hit its first major milestone today, reaching 1 million in unit sales.

The accessory went on sale in the U.S. and Canada just 10 days ago, and in the E.U. last week.

As a standalone device, Microsoft sells the system for $150. The software giant says it expects to sell 5 million by the end of the year.

Kinect is headed to broader Asia and finally Japan starting this week.

Microsoft sells Kinect as part of console bundles or standalone.




AfterDawn: News

HP Slate sees unexpectedly high demand

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2010 23:36

HP Slate sees unexpectedly high demand The HP Slate 500 tablet is seeing stronger demand than expected, say multiple sources, with HP having trouble keeping up.

HP showed off the Slate at CES in January, and even shelved plans to release it before reviving it late in the summer.

The tablet sells for $800 and is dubbed as an "enterprise-only" device.

HP wanted to launch the tablet on November 12th but all pre-orderers are now seeing a two-week delay. The company says they do not have "on-hand stock" to complete orders.

"Due to high demand on the portable system you have selected we will not be able to fulfill the order from on hand stock, therefore we have routed your order to manufacturing for your product to be built. The average lead time to get these portables ready to ship may vary from 10 to 15 business days," reads the note.

One source says the company only had 5000 in supply but received over 9000 pre-orders. Angry customers are even being offered up to $100 off of the device for waiting.




AfterDawn: News

Google shows off Nexus S with NFC features

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2010 20:09

Google shows off Nexus S with NFC features Google CEO Eric Schmidt has shown off the upcoming Nexus S device today at the Web 2.0 summit, finally confirming that the device at least exists.

It will launch via T-Mobile, likely before the end of the year.

Outside of those facts, Schmidt would only call the Nexus S an "unannounced phone" from "an unannounced manufacturer" although most leaks seem to indicate it will come from Samsung.

The CEO also confirmed that Android 2.3 Gingerbread is coming within the "next few weeks" and definitely before Christmas.

A new key technology for Google is apparently the addition of NFC chips, a standard that should make commerce even easier than swiping a physical credit card.

For more info on NFC, check here: NFC

Pic via Engadget




AfterDawn: News

Xbox 360 used for gaming only 60 percent of the time

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2010 19:23

Xbox 360 used for gaming only 60 percent of the time According to Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business CFO Dennis Durkin, gamers of the Xbox 360 are using the console less and less for actual gaming, with the console being used to play games only 60 percent of the time now.

Non-gaming activities include streaming movies, streaming music, Internet browsing, Twitter, Facebook and more.

"What we found is the core gamer might be the person who brought the console into the house, but as you widen the choices of content, it broadens what people can do with the system,"
added Durkin (via Cnet).

Xbox Live subscribers also spend an average of three hours online, every day, notes Durkin.

Microsoft recently upped the price of a Gold subscription to XBL by 20 percent, citing heavily increased infrastructure costs, thanks mainly to a large increase in streaming.




AfterDawn: News

Windows Phone 7 devices get their first 'certified' microSD card

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2010 18:27

Windows Phone 7 devices get their first 'certified' microSD card Yesterday we reported that Windows Phone 7 devices like the Samsung Focus could not have their storage easily upgraded, as you will need special "Certified for Windows Phone 7" microSDHC cards.

Owners who attempt to update with a "regular" microSD card run the risk of messing up their phones, with AT&T even going as far as to put a sticker on the microSD card holding bracket with the capital letters "STOP!"

Today, however, SanDisk has confirmed the first "certified" card, with Samsung's support pages saying the following:

Compatible micro SD cards will be branded as “Windows Phone 7 Compatible” on the packaging. Approved cards can be obtained from the manufacturer or carrier. (The SanDisk 8GB class 2 micro SD card has been certified.)


The company also warns that once you use the card in your WP7 device, it will become unusable for other devices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Coming soon to iTunes: Beatles music

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2010 18:08

Coming soon to iTunes: Beatles music After years of negotiations, Apple has secured rights to the Beatles catalog of music, says WSJ, with the company expected to announce the deal tomorrow.

Negotiations between Apple, EMI, and the Beatles had been ongoing for years, with a deal being ironed out just last week.

That being said, the sources also say that while the deal is done, the Beatles or Apple could change plans at the last minute.

The two companies had long been in a legal dispute thanks to the name "Apple." In 1978, the Beatles sued Apple, claiming the computer maker was infringing on the band's trademark. When the Beatles started, they worked under Apple Records, which was owned by the arts-promotion company Apple Corps. Beatles albums all had a picture of an apple (the fruit) on them, similar to the logo of the technology company.

If accurate, Apple would have scored a major deal, as the Beatles have so far not made their music legally available digitally on any platform with the exception of some limited edition flash drives.




AfterDawn: News

All PS3 firmwares now jailbroken

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2010 16:12

All PS3 firmwares now jailbroken The devs that created PSJailbreak have revealed breaking news today, a downgrading software that will allow PS3 users with firmwares above 3.41 to jailbreak their consoles.

PSDowngrade says jailbreaking is now open to all 44 million PS3 owners.

The original PSJailbreak device cost over $100, but soon an open-source variant was released, giving would-be jailbreakers a chance to open up their systems using devices they may already own, such as Dual Shock controllers, Sansa players, iPods and USB Dev boards.

PSDowngrade software can be installed on pre-existing PSJailbreak devices and will downgrade your firmware to 3.41, or any other previous firmware.

For those that want it, you can downgrade to 3.15 and get back OtherOS Linux support.

The devs also say: "[PSDowngrade is] completely safe to use, and does not void your warranty. PS Downgrade is completely undetecable by manufacturer, there is no history or log of your downgrade."

PSJailbreak + PSDowngrade costs $125.

Check it here: PS Downgrade




AfterDawn: News

Windows Phone 7 devices need 'certified' MicroSD cards

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2010 18:21

Windows Phone 7 devices need 'certified' MicroSD cards AT&T has said today that Windows Phone 7 devices like the Samsung Focus will need special MicroSDHC cards, as removable storage is not yet supported officially by the new mobile OS.

However, Microsoft is certifying certain cards that are set for release soon, each of which will have a "Certified for Windows Phone 7" sticker that means they can be used in WP7 devices.

The cards will each have "optimal performance" and current cards on the market do not qualify.

Because the Focus and other WP7 devices do not have expandable storage, you need to replace the on-board storage, which requires a full wipe of the device.

Users who try to replace the storage on their Focus are greeted by a Stop! message from AT&T, warning them that they might brick their device.




AfterDawn: News

Japan gets first LTE service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2010 17:41

Japan gets first LTE service NTT DoCoMo has announced this week the launch of Xi, the first LTE (Long Term Evolution) data service in Japan.

The carrier will begin the rollout on December 24th.

Xi should offer download speeds as high as 75 Mbps, ten times faster than the carrier's current FOMA 3G.

While it will not immediately be available for smartphone owners, the company will start selling USB dongles in December that will allow computers to connect to the lightning fast data service.

Phones with Xi support will start shipping in April, 2011.

Initial cities to have the service are Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka.

DoCoMo will offer two billing plans, each with contract. The first is for up to 5GB per cycle, but pricing is unavailable. The unlimited plan will cost 4935 yen, or about $60 USD.




AfterDawn: News

Intel slashes prices on SSDs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2010 17:32

Intel slashes prices on SSDs Intel has slashed the prices on their range of SSDs today, as well as adding a new, larger 120GB version to the line.

The line of X25-M maninstream drives will each see a solid discount as the holiday season approaches.

Starting with the 160GB model, the MSRP will drop to $415, the 80GB model will drop to $200 and the small 40GB will drop to $100.

The new 120GB model will sell for $250. The new version will offer the best per/GB value of the entire line.

For now the new prices seem effective only in the U.S., but expect it to be extended to the U.K., as well.




AfterDawn: News

Man convicted over Tweet loses appeal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2010 17:15

Man convicted over Tweet loses appeal In May, UK citizen Paul Chambers was convicted of sending a 'menacing' tweet via Twitter, with the British Court fining him £2500 and slapping him with a criminal record.

In early January, the airport in South Yorkshire was closed due to excessive snow and Chambers was so mad that he wrote: "Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your s*** together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!"

Airport security officials saw the tweet and then passed on the complaint to the local authorities.

Chambers lost his job after being arrested, and was the first person to ever be convicted of a crime just for tweeting.

This week, a judge has refused to overturn the conviction, effectively ending Chamber's appeal.

The judge then yelled at the courtroom as a number of those sitting in the crowd were tweeting updates as the case progressed.

Thousands of Chamber's supporters took to Twitter after the decision, using the "trending topic" #IAmSpartacus to post menacing messages, with some threatening to blow up the White House, Downing Street, "everyone" and all other types of nouns.




AfterDawn: News

Boxee Box launches in 33 countries, promises Netflix, Hulu Plu, more

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2010 16:44

Boxee Box launches in 33 countries, promises Netflix, Hulu Plu, more The D-Link Boxee Box set-top has launched in 33 countries this week, with the company promising Hulu Plus and Netflix support in the near future.

Boxee's first set-top is a streaming device which also has support or a plethora of codecs.

The device sells for $200, more expensive than the rival Apple TV but cheaper than the Google TV-supporting Logitech Revue.

Additionally, the Box has expandable content through apps, and can also read content from external drives or wireless networks.

Besides Hulu Plus and Netflix, Boxee has also promised premium subscription apps for VUDU, MUBI, OpenFilm, IndieMoviesOnline, EZTakes, MLB TV, NHL GameCenter, Flickr, and Pandora.

All videos are viewable at 1080p and the Box comes with a complete WebKit browser, including HTML5 support.




AfterDawn: News

Google teases Android 2.3 Gingerbread

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2010 15:31

Google teases Android 2.3 Gingerbread Google has teased this weekend that Android 2.3 Gingerbread is likely to be officially launched in the very near future, taking to Twitter to pass on the message.

The company's Tweet reads: "Our cafes are baking something sweet."

Attached to the Tweet was the picture to the left.

Many had believed Google would launch Gingerbread last week, but now most expect an announcement at the upcoming Web 2.0 conference next week.

Google has already placed a gigantic Gingerbread statue, alongside Eclair and Froyo, on their on campus.




AfterDawn: News

Chinese supercomputer leads Top 500 list

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2010 15:13

Chinese supercomputer leads Top 500 list A new Chinese supercomputer has blown away the competition, easily taking the top spot in the semi-annual Top 500 Supercomputers list.

The Tianjin National Supercomputer Center's Tianhe-1A system ripped 2.67 petaflops (quadrillion floating-point calculations per second), beating out the former leader, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility's Cray XT5 Jaguar system, benchmarked at 1.75 petaflops.

U.S.-built systems had topped the list for the last six years, after an IBM BlueGene/L system overtook the spot from Japan's NEC Earth Simulator system.

The U.S. has 275 systems in the Top 500, beating out China which is in second at 42.

"Governments around the world are recognizing the deployment of this technology is a prerequisite to sustaining economic competitiveness," says Dave Turek, vice president of deep computing for IBM (via CW). "It lets you do better product designs, basic research, life sciences, fundamental research in materials."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Saudi Arabia restores access to Facebook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2010 14:42

Saudi Arabia restores access to Facebook Saudi Arabia has restored access to social networking giant Facebook, just hours after it blocked the site from its population of 27 million.

Officials in the country say Facebook "crossed a line" in regards to the nation's conservative values.

Hours later, the country reversed its stance, restoring access. For those hours, anyone trying to visit the site were given a "content restricted" error screen.

Earlier in the year, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Turkey banned access to the social networking site, in an attempt to block certain pages that did not fit within government or religious policy.

While Arabia's ban only lasted a few hours, the other bans lasted as long as a week.

It is unclear what pages caused Arabian officials to block access.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: New Microsoft ad takes shot at Mac's lack of Blu-ray

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2010 2:05

Video Daily: New Microsoft ad takes shot at Mac's lack of Blu-ray Microsoft's latest ad takes a shot at Macs, and most notably their lack of Blu-ray support.

The commercial, which is all animated, shows two notebooks (a PC and a Mac) flying on an airplane. The PC begins playing Avatar, on Blu-ray and the awestruck Mac asks what it is.

""Oh it's Blu-Ray, it's built in -- you want to watch?" responds the Windows machine.

Taking an extra shot at Macs and their aluminum casing, a stewardess walks by asking if the Mac "needs a dusting."

It's a short commercial and very well made. Worth the watch:




AfterDawn: News

Apple stock falls as iPad sales expected to miss estimates

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2010 15:01

Apple stock falls as iPad sales expected to miss estimates Apple's stock fell almost 3 percent on Friday as one analyst said that the iPad will likely miss sales estimates for the upcoming quarter.

Rodman & Renshaw say they expect consumers to cut back spending, and opt for cheaper notebooks or smartphones instead.

Apple sold 4.19 million iPads in the Q3, well above estimates, but R&R note that the company should have trouble selling the estimated 6 million in the Q4.

Analyst Ashok Kumar says Apple will likely sell just over 5 million for the period.

"It’s a nice-to-have product, for those of us who don’t have a budget, but is it a must-have product? I don’t think so," adds Kumar.

The iPad is on sale now at Verizon, AT&T, Wal-Mart and Best Buy stores.




AfterDawn: News

Apple 1 computer goes up for auction, expected to fetch $200,000

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2010 14:51

Apple 1 computer goes up for auction, expected to fetch $200,000 A 1976 Apple 1 computer, one of just 200 ever built, will go up for auction through Christies on November 23rd, with the Mac expected to fetch around $200,000.

Each Apple I computer was hand-built by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

The device going up for sale is #82 of the 200, and will sell with original packaging, manuals and a letter from CEO Steve Jobs.

Apple I computers have 8KB of memory and an eight-bit processor.

Reads the auction description:

"The first Apple computer, and the first personal computer with a fully assembled motherboard, heralding the home computer revolution.

"Introduced in July 1976, the Apple I was sold without a casing, power supply, keyboard or monitor. However, because the motherboard was completely pre-assembled, it represented a major step forward in comparison with the competing self-assembly kits of the day."


The auction house believes the computer will sell for up to £150,000 ($205,000 USD). It cost just under $700 to build in 1976.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung roadmap shows off 'Flagship' Android 2.3 device

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2010 14:38

Samsung roadmap shows off 'Flagship' Android 2.3 device Engadget has been given a roadmap which shows off a new Samsung "flagship" device, one that will be available early next year.

The site suggests it will be unveiled during the Mobile World Congress, in February.

Samsung's new flagship will have a massive 4.5-inch Super AMOLED 2 display, an "ultra sleek design" and a fast 1.2GHz processor.

It will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, has 16GB internal storage, and fast 14.4Mbps HSDPA data connection.

Additionally the device will have an 8MP camera with LED flash and full 1080p recording and playback.

Finally, the device will have a "universal e-book reader" and "clouding services."




AfterDawn: News

Netflix for Android hitting 'select' devices early next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2010 14:16

Netflix for Android hitting 'select' devices early next year Greg Peters, head of Netflix product development, has said today that Netflix for Android will hit a few 'select' smartphones beginning early next year.

Currently, Netflix streaming apps are available on the iPad, iPhone and Windows Phone 7 devices.

Says the company via their blog:



We regard Android as an exciting technology that drives a range of great devices that our members could use to instantly watch TV shows and movies from Netflix. We are eager to launch on these devices and are disappointed that we haven’t been able to do so already. The hurdle has been the lack of a generic and complete platform security and content protection mechanism available for Android. The same security issues that have led to piracy concerns on the Android platform have made it difficult for us to secure a common Digital Rights Management (DRM) system on these devices. Setting aside the debate around the value of content protection and DRM, they are requirements we must fulfill in order to obtain content from major studios for our subscribers to enjoy. Although we don’t have a common platform security mechanism and DRM, we are able to work with individual handset manufacturers to add content protection to their devices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Facebook ready to unveil e-mail?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2010 0:18

Facebook ready to unveil e-mail? Multiple sources are reporting today that Facebook is set to unveil an e-mail service, one that will be instantly available to all 500 million members of the social networking giant.

If every current member signs up for an account, Facebook would leap into the top spot for email providers, surpassing Microsoft, who has 361 million users of Hotmail and Live. Yahoo is in second with 273 million, followed by Google's Gmail at 193 million.

The company has invited the press to a "significant" announcement on Monday, where it will unveil an alelged "Gmail killer."

An analyst with Gartner said this: "There is a huge opportunity for these guys to fundamentally change the nature of e-mail."

The analyst says the Facebook system could likely prioritize emails based on closeness to the sender, or make email exchanges into a conversation between a number of users, turning the "dinosaur" that is email into a social service.

We will be reporting on the situation on Monday.




AfterDawn: News

Windows Phone 7 well on its way to being jailbroken

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2010 23:34

Windows Phone 7 well on its way to being jailbroken It has been less than a month since Microsoft has launched their Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system but it appears it is already on the verge of being jailbroken.

The Australian developer Chris Walshie has already been able to "run native unmanaged code" on his stock WP7 device, giving hope that easy root access and eventually a jailbreak is upcoming.

It seems that the Samsung Network Profile application in WP7 runs on native code (and not Silverlight-DRM code), leaving an opening.

After looking deeper:

(Hounsell) documented some interesting characteristics of the application that gave it its native capabilities – most notably a DLL called “Microsoft.Phone.InteropServices”, which if poked the right way provided COM access.


Walshie, using that idea, was able to gain root access by deploying a WP7 app using the developer sideloading process.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nexus S delayed because Android 2.3 not optimized for dual-core?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2010 23:04

Nexus S delayed because Android 2.3 not optimized for dual-core? AndroidandMe has put together a long article today, collecting all the info it could on the upcoming Nexus S "superphone," which will sell on T-Mobile, likely before the end of the year or in early January.

Apparently, the Nexus S might already in customer's hands had final prototypes not been scrapped at the last minute so Samsung could add a dual-core processor to the device.

Because the addition of a dual-core processor was last-minute, Google is still working on optimizing Android 2.3 Gingerbread to work with the processors.

The site says the pictures leaked to Engadget earlier this week were also leaked right from the source, an effort by Samsung to keep buzz going for the delayed device.

It is unclear what dual-core processor is in the device, but many are speculating it is the new Samsung Orion, which runs both cores at 1GHz.




AfterDawn: News

All major broadcasters are now blocking Google TV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2010 1:46

All major broadcasters are now blocking Google TV Fox has said today that it will join its competitors ABC, CBS and NBC in blocking video from playing on Google's new Google TV service.

Last month, the first three broadcasters began blocking streams with Fox being the lone holdout. That has changed, as of this week.

Google responded: "Google TV enables access to all the Web content you already get today on your phone and PC, but it is ultimately the content owners’ choice to restrict their fans from accessing their content on the platform."

Google TV gives users a chance to watch web videos and browse websites alongside their regular TV shows.




AfterDawn: News

Motorola counter-sues Microsoft over patents

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2010 0:58

Motorola counter-sues Microsoft over patents Yesterday we reported that Microsoft was suing Motorola over patents relating to the Xbox 360 gaming system.

Today, Motorola has counter-sued, accusing Microsoft of infringing on 16 patents with their Xbox, Windows for servers, PCs, and mobile devices.

Says Motorola (via Cnet):

"The Motorola patents directed to PC and server software relate to Windows OS, digital video coding, e-mail technology including Exchange, Messenger, and Outlook, Windows Live instant messaging, and object-oriented software architecture. The Motorola patents directed to Windows mobile software relate to Windows Marketplace, Bing maps, and object-oriented software architecture."


Continues the company: "Motorola's R&D and intellectual property are of great importance to the Company and are renowned worldwide. We are committed to protecting the interests of our shareholders, customers and other stakeholders and are bringing this action against Microsoft in order to halt its infringement of key Motorola patents. Motorola has invested billions of dollars in R&D to create a deep and broad intellectual property portfolio and we will continue to do what is necessary to protect our proprietary technology. It is unfortunate that Microsoft has chosen the litigation path rather than entering into comprehensive licensing negotiations, as Motorola has mutually beneficial licensing relationships with the great majority of technology companies industrywide."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Wal-Mart begins offering free shipping for online purchases

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2010 0:17

Wal-Mart begins offering free shipping for online purchases Wal-Mart has kicked off the holiday shopping season by offering free shipping on online purchases of 60,000 items, with no minimum purchase requirement.

The promotion will run from now until December 20th and is good on most items the company sells.

Says the company: "We want cost-conscious shoppers to save money so they can bring home more for less this holiday season."

Large rivals Target and J.C. Penney have also started free shipping promotions, but those have minimums. Target's is $50 and JCP's is $69.

The company says its offer will save customers up to $25 million during the holidays.

Orders will be in customer's hands within five business days, and if you are unsatisfied, return shipping is also free. You can also return an item to a local Wal-Mart if one is in your area.

Wal-Mart had 2010 fiscal revenue of $405 billion.




AfterDawn: News

Pictures leak of the upcoming Nexus S smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2010 23:58

Pictures leak of the upcoming Nexus S smartphone Although the company has denied it exists, pictures of the upcoming Samsung Nexus S Android smartphone have surfaced, leaving very little to the imagination.

Furthermore, Best Buy's Website has let it slip that a "Pure Google" Nexus S will be available "this holiday season."

The site also says the device will sell for T-Mobile.

Rumor has it that Best Buy will be the exclusive retailer of the device, which is still unconfirmed by Google.

The device will be the first to run Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and it may be the first to have native video chat available through an updated Google Talk app.

Furthermore, the phone will run on a 1.2GHz Hummingbird processor, feature a 4-inch Super-AMOLED display, a 5MP camera with autofocus and HD video recording, a 1.3MP front-side camera, 512MB RAM, and 16GB internal memory.





AfterDawn: News

LimeWire sending out cease-and-desist letters on LimeWire Pirate Edition

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2010 15:12

LimeWire sending out cease-and-desist letters on LimeWire Pirate Edition Earlier this week we reported that just two weeks after LimeWire was permanently shut down by a federal ruling, a "secret dev team" had brought the P2P client back, dubbing it the LimeWire Pirate Edition (LPE).

The LPE has the Ask.com toolbar removed, all need for the LimeWire LLC servers removed, all remote settings disabled, and all LimeWire Pro features activated, for free. There is also no adware or spyware.

LPE has been circulating via warez, P2P and torrents sites for a couple of days now.

Apparently, the real LimeWire is not a fan.

"We have very recently become aware of unauthorized applications on the Internet purporting to use the LimeWire name," reads a notice on the LimeWire site.

"We demand that all persons using the LimeWire software, name, or trademark in order to upload or download copyrighted works in any manner cease and desist from doing so. We further remind you that the unauthorized uploading and downloading of copyrighted works is illegal."




AfterDawn: News

How to install Android 2.2 on jailbroken iPhone without PC

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2010 20:24

How to install Android 2.2 on jailbroken iPhone without PC Redmond Pie has put up very interesting instructions this week on how to install Android 2.2 Froyo on jailbroken iPhones without needing a PC.

The site uses Bootlace 2.1, a new piece of software similar to iPhoDroid.

Bootlace works on the iPhone 2G with iOS 3.1.2 or 3.1.3 and the iPhone 3G running iOS 3.1.2, 3.1.3, 4.0, 4.0.1, 4.0.2 and 4.1.

The software works with jailbreaking tools PwnageTool, Redsn0w and Blackra1n.

While Android runs painfully slow on the iPhone (say reviewers), you can check the instructions here: Install Android 2.2 on 2G/3G iPhone




AfterDawn: News

Hulu CEO releases numbers, including expected revenue for 2010

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2010 20:01

Hulu CEO releases numbers, including expected revenue for 2010 Hulu CEO Jason Kilar has posted some interesting numbers for the popular streaming service today, as of the end of October.

The service has 30 million monthly users with users watching 260 million content streams. An individual TV episode is counted as content stream.

Hulu has 800 million ad impressions and 352 ad partners.

The big number is revenue. Hulu is on-track to earn $240 million for 2010, up from $25 million in 2008 and $108 million last year.

Hulu, a joint service by NBCU, Fox and ABC, just started Hulu Plus, a $10-a-month premium version of the service which offers back catalogs of available TV shows.




AfterDawn: News

Android moves to second place in global smartphone sales by OS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2010 19:13

Android moves to second place in global smartphone sales by OS According to Gartner, Android has moved into second place in global smartphone sales, as of the Q3 2010.

The mobile OS saw 1400 percent growth year-over-year, thanks to strong sales of new devices.

Apple continued strong growth as well, seeing 91 percent growth year-on-year on an already established brand.

Adds Gartner research vice president Carolina Milanesi: "This is the third consecutive double-digit increase in sales year-on-year, indicating that consumer demand is healthy. This quarter saw Apple and Android drive record smartphone sales."

Smartphone sales almost doubled, exploding from 41 million to 81 million year-over-year.

In the smartphone market, Symbian remained king, with a 36.6 percent market share. Android took second at 25.5 percent, and iOS took 16.7 percent, good for third. BlackBerry moved down to fourth, with 14.8 percent.

Windows Mobile and other mobile OS accounted for the remaining 6.4 percent.




AfterDawn: News

Sprint accessory adds 3G to iPod Touch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2010 18:54

Sprint accessory adds 3G to iPod Touch Starting next week, Sprint customers can purchase a Zte Peel, which will add 3G capabilities to the Apple iPod Touch.

The Peel attaches to 2G and 3G Touches.

User slide their Touch devices into the the Peel and instantly connect to Sprint's 3G data network by pressing a button.

There are many texting applications in the App Store as well as Skype so the iPod Touch can be used as a bulky smartphone of sorts, as long as you are willing to pay $30 a month for 1GB of 3G data bandwidth through Sprint.

The Peel itself costs $80.

"ZTE PEEL unlocks the wonderful user interface and Web experience of Apple's popular iPod touch and transforms it into a powerful mobile device using the Sprint 3G network," adds Fared Adib, vice president-Product Development. "When combined with Sprint's 3G network, ZTE PEEL turns an iPod touch from a portable device limited by the availability of Wi-Fi to a mobility tool free to browse the Web and use applications anytime, anywhere while on Sprint's 3G network."




AfterDawn: News

Updated Skype released for Android devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2010 18:29

Updated Skype released for Android devices Skype has released the updated Skype for Android software today, version 1.0.1.

Amongst the most notable improvements are:

* 320*240 and 240*400 screen resolutions are now supported.
* Hardware back key is now supported.
* Signing out from Skype now exits Skype.
* Reduced power consumption in idle mode.
* Improved login stability and behavior.
* Improved performance with large contact lists.
* Reduced application size.
* General bug fixes.


More phones are now supported by the popular software, including devices with "lower screen resolutions" such as the WildFire, which has 320x240 resolution.

Skype has added hardware back key support, meaning if you hit the back key on your smartphone, the user interface will close but the program will still run in the background, allowing you to continue receiving messages and calls.

If you sign out, then the Skype application exits.

You can download the software from the Android Market.




AfterDawn: News

BBC iPlayer is going global

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2010 18:10

BBC iPlayer is going global BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith has said today that the popular iPlayer streaming service will go global next year, giving users around the world a chance to enjoy shows like Top Gear and Doctor Who, which normally air in the UK.

The service will likely be free with ads, although the BBC may decide to charge a subscription fee.

After receiving the approval of the BBC Trust, Smith says the plans are now to introduce the service next year. Executives in the company have said the Trust's decision will allow them to raise funds. Earlier this year the government froze the license fee.

Adds Smith: "Not only will that mean international fans of, for example, Doctor Who can get their fix legitimately [rather than downloading programmes illegally], but it has the potential of opening up a new revenue stream for the entire UK production industry, alongside sales to traditional broadcasters."

Notes Luke Bradley-Jones, MD of Global iPlayer: "Our research has shown there is an international audience of British TV fans that are frequently watching TV online – and we are excited about rolling out our iPlayer VOD [video-on-demand] service to meet and grow this demand. We strongly believe the Global iPlayer is going to offer an excellent opportunity for the UK's creative industry to directly reach much sought after digital audiences and revenue streams around the world."




AfterDawn: News

RIM to sell PlayBook tablet for 'under $500'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2010 17:52

RIM to sell PlayBook tablet for 'under $500' Research In Motion will sell their upcoming BlackBerry PlayBook for "under $500," undercutting the prices of the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Says Co-CEO Jim Balsillie: "The product will be very competitively priced."

The PlayBook will go on sale in the U.S. and Canada in the Q1 2011 and internationally in the Q2.

Apple's iPad, the clear market leader, sells for $499 at cheapest, for a model that only includes Wi-Fi and 16GB storage. The most expensive, which includes Wi-Fi, 3G and 32GB storage sells for $829.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab sells for $400, with a 2 year contract from the major wireless carriers.

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.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Motorola sued by Microsoft over Xbox patent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2010 12:49

Motorola sued by Microsoft over Xbox patent Microsoft has filed a lawsuit against Motorola today, accusing the mobile phone maker of charging "excessive royalties on network technology used in Microsoft's Xbox game system."

The suit is the second in the last month, as Microsoft sued the phone company over patents related to the Android mobile OS in October.

Reuters says the suit "alleges that Motorola breached its commitments to standards organizations that allow other companies to license its patents relating to wireless technology and video coding."

Those patents are used by Microsoft's gaming console.

The software giant is seeking monetary compensation.




AfterDawn: News

Yahoo wants to buy Groupon for $4 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2010 21:31

Yahoo wants to buy Groupon for $4 billion According to multiple sources, Yahoo has made it clear it is willing to purchase deal-of-the-day behemoth Groupon for up to $4 billion USD.

Groupon localizes multiple deals per day to major markets in the United States. Offers range from coupons off food, to discounts on major surgeries, like laser eye corrective surgery.

Once a certain amount of users purchase the Groupon, the deal is activated.

Small businesses use Groupon as a way to get new clients in the door.

Although many other smaller rival services have popped up in the last year, Groupon remains the top dog in the market.

Yahoo has almost $3 billion in cash, and little debt.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft only sold 40,000 WP7 devices on launch day in U.S.?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2010 21:10

Microsoft only sold 40,000 WP7 devices on launch day in U.S.? TheStreet.com has said today that Microsoft only managed to sell 40,000 Windows Phone 7 devices on launch day in the U.S., not including the 90,000 given out to Microsoft employees.

While Microsoft would not comment on the report, T-Mobile said they were "receiving strong interest from our customers right out of the gate" for the HTC HD7.

In comparison, Apple says it sells 160,000 iPhones per day, while Google says 200,000 Android devices are activated daily.

One strategist says the Monday launch date did not help matters.

"Mondays aren't great launch days. They poured all that cash into it but they lost track of the fact that Fridays or Saturdays are the best launch days,"
said Michael Cote of Cote Collaborative.

Microsoft is said to have spent $100 million on advertising for WP7.




AfterDawn: News

AT&T slashes price of BlackBerry Torch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2010 20:46

AT&T slashes price of BlackBerry Torch AT&T has slashed the price of the new RIM BlackBerry Torch in half today, just two months after its launch.

The price is now $99.99 directly from the carrier, with a two-year contract. Without contract the smartphone sells for $500.

AT&T must be having trouble selling the device, especially with Amazon selling it for 1 cent with contract.

When asked for comment, the carrier says the price cut is a holiday promotion.

Says AT&T: "Promotional pricing for wireless devices, especially in the holiday season is business-as-usual for AT&T and other carriers. We are pleased with consumer and business customer response to the BlackBerry Torch and we’re excited for the opportunity to offer it at such a compelling price point in time for the holiday."




AfterDawn: News

Think you might have an STD? There's an app for that

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2010 19:46

Think you might have an STD? There's an app for that If you think you may have an STD (sexually-transmitted disease) but are too embarrassed to see a doctor about it, you may be in luck soon.

British health officials are currently developing a mobile phone app that will allow users to get diagnosed within minutes, and without needing to head to a clinic or a doctor's office.

The impressive app would work as follows (via Guardian): "A user would put urine or saliva on a computer chip about the size of a USB chip and then plug it into their phone or computer. And voila, a diagnosis will appear right before their eyes."

There have been over $6 million dollars invested into the project already by the U.K. Clinical Research Collaboration.

Lead researcher Dr. Tariq Sadiq, consultant physician in sexual health and HIV at St. George's, University of London says: "Your mobile phone can be your mobile doctor. We need to tackle the rising epidemic of STIs, which have been going up and up and up. Britain is one of the worst [countries] in western Europe for teenage pregnancy and STIs."

If the app confirms you have an STD, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea or herpes, the app "tells you where to go next to get treatment."




AfterDawn: News

Moto Cliq users get Android 2.1, 1.5 almost completely gone now

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2010 19:07

Moto Cliq users get Android 2.1, 1.5 almost completely gone now T-Mobile has finally released the Android 2.1 software update for the Motorola Cliq smartphone today, meaning Android 1.5 may finally be gone.

Until this week, about 8 percent of all Android handsets available were still running 1.5, which launched in March 2009.

The update is not available OTA yet, so users will have to download it manually. The instructions link is posted at the bottom of this article as the process is somewhat complicated.

With 2.1 comes turn-by-turn navigation for Google Maps, voice search, updated Media Gallery and Connected Music Player apps, and speech-to-text.

There will now be six more home screens, widgets can be rearranged and resized, quick actions are added, and favorites can be given a space on the homepages.

The Exchange server has been updated, as well as battery-life saving widgets such as the Power Control toolbar. Users will also get a built-in Task Manager.

More importantly, Cliq users will finally be able to download most of the apps in the Android Market. There were very few still fully compatible with 1.5.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Upcoming HTC App Store will support Win7, Android phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2010 18:39

Upcoming HTC App Store will support Win7, Android phones Smartphone maker HTC is allegedly creating its own app store for games, books and other applications, one that will be supported by Android and Windows Phone 7 devices.

Sources say "the team [behind the store] is understood initially to include a small number of staff based in Taiwan, with plans to expand to 100 people in different locations around the world."

HTC makes some of the world's most popular Android devices, such as the EVO 4G, Incredible, the MyTouch line and the G2.

The company has also just begun selling WP7 devices, including the HD7 and the Surround.

Says one analyst of the anticipated move: "App stores are table stakes," says Roger Kay of Endpoint Technologies (via EW). "The phone makers feel they have to have them. Even Qualcomm, a phone chip supplier, offers an app store infrastructure to its customers, the phone makers. Companies feel obliged to provide ‘a complete stack’ or else they're out of the game."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon to give magazine, newspaper publishers 70 percent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2010 15:30

Amazon to give magazine, newspaper publishers 70 percent Amazon has said today that it will begin paying publishers 70 percent of the retail price (after delivery costs) for all magazines and newspapers they sell via the Kindle Store.

The new move will take effect on December 1st.

Amazon says (via the WSJ), "newspapers and magazines will qualify for the new rate only if customers can read the title on all Kindle devices and applications, and in all countries where the publisher has rights."

Giving an example, Amazon says any newspaper that delivers 9MB of content per month would make $6.05 per subscription, after subtracting $1.35 for delivery costs.

Says Peter Larsen, director of Kindle Periodicals: "Increased revenue sharing is a great new tool for making Kindle better and easier than ever for publishers."




AfterDawn: News

LimeWire is back, this time as 'LimeWire Pirate Edition'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2010 14:25

LimeWire is back, this time as 'LimeWire Pirate Edition' Just two weeks after LimeWire was permanently shut down by a federal ruling, a "secret dev team" has brought the P2P client back, dubbed the LimeWire Pirate Edition (LPE).

Says the team (via PCW): "On October 26 the remaining LimeWire developers were forced to shut down the company's servers and modify remote settings in the filesharing client to try to harm the Gnutella network. They were then laid off.

"Shortly after, a horde of piratical monkeys climbed aboard the abandoned ship, mended its sails, polished its cannons, and released it free to the community."


LPE is based off the LimeWire 5.6 beta, and is now available via warez and torrents sites.

The new updated client has the Ask.com toolbar removed, all need for the LimeWire LLC servers removed, all remote settings disabled, and all LimeWire Pro features activated, for free. There is also no adware or spyware.




AfterDawn: News

Kno's 28-inch tablet goes on sale for $900

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2010 11:32

Kno's 28-inch tablet goes on sale for $900 Kno has launched their massive 28-inch dual-screen tablet this week, selling it for $900.

A single-screen (not 28-inches) version will sell for $600.

CEO Osman Rashid said of the device (via BI): "Our long term direction is to be a platform, not just a hardware company. We have priced the product accordingly. It's about building a long term relationship with students."

That being said, the tablet maker will have a "maniacal focus on education," built not "as just another tablet with touchscreen" but as an "education device for the millions of students in the world."

Pre-orders start today for a December release date.

Tech sites should be getting review models in early December.




AfterDawn: News

Toshiba launches Regza smartphone with Android, 12MP camera

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2010 0:26

Toshiba launches Regza smartphone with Android, 12MP camera Toshiba has launched their first Android smartphone today, branding it with the popular Regza name normally only used on HDTVs.

Dubbed the Regza T-01C, the smartphone has a 4-inch display with 480x854 resolution.

Making it a high-end device is a massive 12.2MP camera, a 1Seg TV Tuner, and a fully waterproof body. The device will launch with Android 2.1, with an update to 2.2 coming in the Q1 2011.

As is standard, the device has 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 and GPS.

Additionally, the device comes with a landscape stand to make TV watching easier.

The phone will go on sale in December in Japan.




AfterDawn: News

Sony PS3 will win holiday sales war, says study

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2010 23:49

Sony PS3 will win holiday sales war, says study The online retailer Kelkoo, along with market research firm GameVision Europe, have said today that they expect the Sony PlayStation 3 to win the holiday console sales "war," beating out the Xbox 360 and Wii.

A study from the companies showed that 1.8 million consumers in the UK plan to buy a console for the holidays.

Sales will be buoyed by the launch of the PlayStation Move and Microsoft Kinect.

Of those 1.8 millon sales, the PS3 will account for 41 percent, or 750,000 units.

The Wii is expected to sell 650,000 units and the 360 is expected to sell 400,000.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung Continuum is official, launching on the 11th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2010 22:20

Samsung Continuum is official, launching on the 11th Verizon has officially unveiled the Samsung Continuum today, with a release date of November 11th.

The new Samsung smartphone will be the first to include a secondary display, a small 400x96 AMOLED ticker that displays live news, weather, time and texts/emails/IMs.

A special sensor turns on the small ticker display when users grab the bottom of the phone.

The main hardware uses a 3.4-inch 800x480 Super AMOLED display while the phone runs on a 1GHz Hummingbird processor. The smartphone has 8GB of internal memory and a 5MP camera with HD recording.

Unfortunately it will launch with the outdated Android 2.1 mobile OS.

Pricing starts at $199 with contract.




AfterDawn: News

Google giving three airlines free in-flight Wi-Fi for the holidays

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2010 19:55

Google giving three airlines free in-flight Wi-Fi for the holidays Google has announced today that it has partnered with Delta, AirTran and Virgin America to offer holiday travelers free in-flight Wi-Fi for domestic flights in the U.S.

The promotion starts on the 20th and will end on January 2nd, 2011.

Google will offer the Wi-Fi through Gogo, which normally costs $11 per day for in-flight broadband.

The Google Chrome team is sponsoring the free Wi-Fi, but the company made sure to note you can access it with any browser.

Overall, the promotion is expected to affect 15 million travelers on 700 planes.

Google offered the same promotion last year for the same period.




AfterDawn: News

Hanvon unveils e-reader with color E-Ink display

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2010 18:51

Hanvon unveils e-reader with color E-Ink display Tomorrow at the FPD International 2010 trade show in Japan, the Chinese company Hanvon will unveil the first e-reader to include a color e-ink display, giving it a distinct advantage over rivals like the Amazon Kindle and B&N Nook.

Black-and-white e-ink displays are currently used in 90 percent of the world's e-readers, says the NYTimes.

The Apple iPad and the recently launched Nook Color both use LCD color screens.

Jennifer K. Colegrove, director of display technologies at DisplaySearch, described the moment: "This is a very important development. It will bring e-readers to a higher level."

While it is simple to make e-readers with LCD screens, the LCDs tend to take away many advantages of the devices. E-ink screens consume much less battery power and energy and are also readable no matter how bad glare is from sunlight.

Color e-ink screens do have their downsides, however, compared to LCDs. LCD screens will be much sharper, more colorful, and able to handle video. Color e-ink screens have "muted" colors and can only handle "simple animations," notes the NYTimes.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Report: Leaving notebooks on your lap may reduce sperm quality

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2010 18:30

Report: Leaving notebooks on your lap may reduce sperm quality According to a new study published in Fertility and Sterility, using a notebook on your lap for extended periods of time can lead to reduced sperm quality, and there is really nothing we can do about it.

Yelim Sheynkin, a urologist that lead the study from the State University of New York at Stony Brook said: "Millions and millions of men are using laptops now, especially those in the reproductive age range. Within 10 or 15 minutes their scrotal temperature is already above what we consider safe, but they don't feel it."

For the study, 29 men had their scrotal temperature taken with thermometers as they balanced notebooks on their laps.

Even if you are using a lap pad, the temperatures were still dangerous.

Warming the scrotum just 2 degrees Fahrenheit can lead to damaged sperm, adds Sheynkin. After one hour of having a notebook on your lap, your scrotum can heat up as much as 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

One in every six couples in the U.S. has trouble conceiving a baby, with a main culprit being male infertility, says the American Urological Association.

What should you do? Every 15 minutes give your "boys" some time to cool down.




AfterDawn: News

Via the MPAA: Say hello to the world's most 'notorious markets' for pirated digital goods

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2010 1:01

Via the MPAA: Say hello to the world's most 'notorious markets' for pirated digital goods Responding to a request from the Office of the US Trade Representative, the MPAA has posted a list of the most "notorious markets" for pirated digital goods outside of the U.S.

The list includes a number of torrent and warez sites that are well known, as well as file-hosting sites and newsgroups clients.

Bob Pisano, interim CEO and President of the MPAA, submitted the list in response to the Office of the US Trade Representative's request for a list of "notorious markets" outside of the U.S.

Pisano noted that 46 percent of revenue brought in by MPAA-member companies is from overseas.

"MPAA has a strong interest in the health and sustainability of these international markets and appreciates USTR’s interest in identifying notorious markets that threaten legitimate commerce, impair legitimate markets’ viability and curb U.S. competitiveness and hurt our overall economic strength. It is critical that our trading partners protect and enforce intellectual property rights," says Pisano.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung expects to sell 1 million Galaxy Tab devices by the end of the year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2010 0:36

Samsung expects to sell 1 million Galaxy Tab devices by the end of the year Samsung has said today that it expects to sell 1 million Galaxy Tab devices by the end of the year, despite just beginning to sell it this week.

The tablet will be available on all four major carriers in the U.S., and on major carriers in the UK, Canada and other nations beginning this week with a staggered roll out.

Says Samsung president of mobile business JK Shin: "I estimate we will be able to sell more than a million units worldwide by the end of this year."

Samsung's tablet runs on Android 2.2, has a 1GHz processor, a 7-inch multi-touch screen and dual cameras.

The Galaxy Tab is also expected to be the first tablet that can actually compete with the clear market leader, the Apple iPad.




AfterDawn: News

Queen Elizabeth II is now on Facebook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2010 0:09

Queen Elizabeth II is now on Facebook Queen Elizabeth II, the 84-year old British monarch, is now on Facebook, launching a number of official pages that will give updates on her life.

The pages will have videos, photos and news items.

Starting tomorrow, the Queen's pages, as well as Princes Harry and William's, will go live.

Using the pages, 500 million Facebook users can leave comments for Buckingham Palace, or find royal events in their neighborhoods.

The Queen authorized the decision but the pages will be corporate, therefore no one can request friendship from the Royal family.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: Microsoft Kinect hacked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2010 23:37

Video Daily: Microsoft Kinect hacked Last week, Adafruit Industries sent notice that it was giving a $2000 USD prize to anyone who could hack the new Microsoft Kinect to run on devices that aren't the Xbox 360.

Reads the notice:

"Upload your code, examples and documentation to GitHub. First person / group to get RGB out with distance values being used wins, you're smart – you know what would be useful for the community out there. All the code needs to be open source and/or public domain."


Today, user "AlexP" of the NUI Group Community Forums has posted a video doing exactly what the contest asks for, so it seems like that $2000 may have a new owner.

The Kinect is being controlled via a PC in the video, but there are little other details.

When shown the video, Microsoft was not happy with the "hacking."

"Microsoft does not condone the modification of its products. With Kinect, Microsoft built in numerous hardware and software safeguards designed to reduce the chances of product tampering. Microsoft will continue to make advances in these types of safeguards and work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant," says the company, via Cnet.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Bank of America, Citigroup considering Apple iPhone for corporate email?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2010 1:30

Bank of America, Citigroup considering Apple iPhone for corporate email? Bank of America and Citigroup, two of the U.S.' largest banks, are prepared to allow employees use of the Apple iPhone for their corporate email needs, moving away from the BlackBerrys.

Both banks are currently testing smartphone software that will make the iPhone secure enough for corporate messages, says Bloomberg.

RIM BlackBerrys, once the standard for corporate smartphones, have been abandoned by a number of large corporations, with the latest being Dell, which said it would be switching from BBs to Windows Phone 7 devices made by themselves.

Says one analyst: "People are delighted with their iPhones and Android phones and they want to use them for work. The result is RIM now has real competition for corporate customers."

Apple CEO Steve Jobs said last month that a full 80 percent of the Fortune 500 list is testing software that will let their employees use iPhones or Android devices for corporate email, moving away from BlackBerrys.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple could have had Kinect but was a 'pain in the ass'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2010 1:50

Apple could have had Kinect but was a 'pain in the ass' CultofMac is reporting today that Apple was first offered the technology behind the newly launched Kinect motion control system, but they were too much of a "pain in the ass" for a deal to work.

The site reports of a flight from Europe to San Francisco where the editor had a chance to meet with Inon Beracha, the CEO of PrimeSense, the company behind Kinect's motion control tech.

Engineers in the Israeli military created the technology and Beracha was trying to find a big time partner to commercialize it. The company expected it to "revolutionize" gaming and computer interfaces.

PrimeSense was shopping the tech in 2008, and went first to Apple, who seemed like a "natural" fit.

However, Apple, in Apple-esque fashion, asked Beracha to sign tons of NDAs (Non-Disclosure Agreements) and legal agreements which the CEO would not agree to, saying the tech was "so hot" he could sell it to anyone.

"Apple is a pain in the ass," he concluded, with a smile.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft CEO sells $1.3 billion worth of shares

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2010 1:19

Microsoft CEO sells $1.3 billion worth of shares On Friday, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer sold $1.3 billion worth of his shares in the company, while downplaying any worries that he was planning to leave the company or had lost faith in its future.

The sale will reduce Ballmer's share in the software giant by almost 12 percent.

Ballmer also noted that he will sell hundreds of millions worth of more shares by the end of the year as the 54-year old exec is planning to "diversify his investments and plan for taxes," says Reuters.

Says the CEO: "Even though this is a personal financial matter, I want to be clear about this to avoid any confusion. I am excited about our new products and the potential for our technology to change people's lives, and I remain fully committed to Microsoft and its success."

Ballmer started in the company as a business manager in 1980, becoming CEO in 2000.

The CEO sold 49 million shares and plans to sell another 26 by the end of the year. After the sales, Ballmer will still have over 325 million shares of the company, which is currently trading at $26.85 a share.




AfterDawn: News

'Google Instant' now available on smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2010 21:25

'Google Instant' now available on smartphones Google has confirmed today that the query prediction technology Google Instant is now available on smartphones, as promised in September by the search giant.

'Instant' anticipates users' searches while they type it, a feature which is invaluable on smartphones as loading times can be slower than on desktops. Typing is often more of a hassle, as well.

"Like the desktop version of Google Instant, when you type on your mobile device you’ll see predictions of what you might be searching for," said Google engineer Steve Kanefsky.

Google predicts the searches by using analysis of billions of queries. By doing so, the company can guess the letters and word combos a user was likely to type.

IW explains that "AJAX and HTML implementation updates search results pages dynamically so as to eliminate the need to load a new page with every new query."

Android 2.2 and iPhone users can enable Instant from the Google homepage via their phones.




AfterDawn: News

Skyfire is back in the iOS App Store, kinda

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2010 20:44

Skyfire is back in the iOS App Store, kinda Skyfire, the browser application which promises Flash playback on iOS devices, is back in the App Store now, "in batches," after being pulled from the iOS App Store yesterday thanks to extreme demand.

Five hours after going up to sale, the app was showing as "sold out" as the company looked to increase its server capacity.

Skyfire is popular because it takes Flash video, renders and translates it to HTML5 and then redisplays it, showing users a thumbnail they can click to play the video. The browser also works for some Silverlight videos.

The company said at the time: "The user experience was performing well for the first few hours, but as the surge continued, the peak load on our servers and bandwidth caused the video experience to degrade."

CEO Jeff Glueck says today that the browser will be available "in batches" for first time downloaders over the coming week.

"We are taking this approach because Skyfire believes a good user experience should come first, and we would rather have fewer, happier customers, and add new users as we can support them," Glueck added. "We will open the first batches to US users only, with additional country support to follow shortly."




AfterDawn: News

Dell to replace employee BlackBerrys with Windows Phone 7 devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2010 20:29

Dell to replace employee BlackBerrys with Windows Phone 7 devices Dell says it will replace its employees' RIM BlackBerry smartphones with Dell phones using Windows Phone 7, starting the transition "soon."

The company says the move will save them 25 percent on their smartphone expenses.

Dell will move all 25,000 employees to the Venue Pro, the recently launched WP7 device.

If you are a current Dell employee and use a BlackBerry, you will be given a Venue Pro along with a voice and data plan. If you do not have a BlackBerry, you will also get the Venue Pro, but with no data plan. Users can hop onto company Wi-Fi when at work or use Wi-Fi at home or around town.

Because they are eliminating BlackBerrys and the need for BlackBerry servers, Dell expects to shave 25 percent off their mobile communications costs.

Dell is also in talks with T-Mobile and Microsoft, looking for other discounts and better plans.

With a parting shot, Dell CFO Brian Gladden added (via EW): "Clearly in this decision we are competing with RIM, because we're kicking them out."




AfterDawn: News

Is Microsoft's Kinect racist? No, says Consumer Reports

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2010 16:39

Is Microsoft's Kinect racist? No, says Consumer Reports Following Microsoft's launch of the Kinect motion control system yesterday, a couple of reviews from notable sites came in claiming that the "facial recognition" feature of the device was having trouble detecting people of darker skin.

One review, from GameSpot, had this to say: "Testing suggests facial recognition features of Microsoft's motion-sensing camera system might not work properly for some gamers... In testing the Kinect, two dark-skinned GameSpot employees had problems getting the system's facial recognition features to work."

Consumer Reports immediately took to the case, and has reported that Kinect is not "racist" in any way.

The site says that the facial recognition problems stems from lighting in the room and not from a player's skin tone. White or black, if you are in a room with low-level lighting, the system will have problems recognizing your face.

As for actually following the movements of players, CR says even in a pitch black room they had no issues with the Kinect seeing them.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Appeals court will see Amazon, Overstock sales tax case

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2010 16:13

Appeals court will see Amazon, Overstock sales tax case A New York appeals court has reinstated Amazon and Overstock's lawsuit over sales taxes today, a decision that could shape Internet taxation for the future.

Both e-tailers have claimed that New York's state law forcing them to collect sales tax on online purchases is unconstitutional.

The original complaint had been dismissed.

Amazon and Overstock filed their cases in early 2008 and have been collecting taxes on purchases from NY buyers ever since while they await the case.

Cnet got a quote from Brad Maione of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance: "We're pleased with the decision in light of the fact that the court found that the statute is indeed constitutional. We are confident that we will prevail in the end."

The case should have its merits as a 1992 Supreme Court ruling found that retailers cannot be forced to collect sales tax from customers in other states if they don't have an office in that state. Neither e-tailer has an office in New York state.

New York, when it enacted the law, said online retailers that do not collect taxes have an unfair advantage over brick-and-mortar companies that have to, by law, collect taxes.




AfterDawn: News

'Gingerbread' almost done baking?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2010 14:26

'Gingerbread' almost done baking? IntoMobile has reported today that Android 2.3 Gingerbread may almost be done baking, with an SDK launch expected on November 11th.

Google put up the statue for Gingerbread on their campus two weeks ago, making the firmware update "official" for the first time.

With the statue in place, most expected the upgrade to hit within a month, and November 11th fits that time frame.

The site calls its tipster a "trusted source" for Android news but for now the date must be seen as rumor.

Samsung also has a big smartphone event prepared for next week, where it is expected to launch the Continuum. Rumor has had it that Samsung will also announce the Nexus Two, the first phone to have 2.3.




AfterDawn: News

Hulu Plus: Now for all PS3 users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2010 0:42

Hulu Plus: Now for all PS3 users Sony has announced today that Hulu Plus will now be available to 2010 Bravia HDTV owners with BRAVIA Internet Video Link.

That same luxury will be expanded to Sony Blu-ray player, Blu-ray Home Theater System, Network Media Player and DASH owners in the next couple of months.

Notably, Hulu Plus will also be available to all PlayStation 3 users. Until the announcement, you needed to be a PlayStation Plus subscriber to have access to Hulu Plus.

Furthermore, the service will go out of beta/invite next week, with all PSN members having a chance to sign up.

Hulu Plus costs $10 per month and will give you access to complete back catalogs for current shows such as Glee, Family Guy, Saturday Night Live, Modern Family and others.




AfterDawn: News

LG getting into the tablet business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2010 0:20

LG getting into the tablet business LG Electronics has unveiled plans to release an Android tablet early next year, becoming the next company to try to get in to the quickly growing tablet market.

The company, which is also the world's third largest mobile phone vendor, says the tablet will be 8.9-inches and run on the upcoming Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

In addition to the market leader iPad, Dell, Samsung and Toshiba have already launched tablets and HP, RIM and others have promised devices for next year.

Earlier this year, LG abandoned plans to launch an Android 2.2 tablet claiming the OS was not suitable for tablets.

There was little other details revealed about the upcoming tablet.




AfterDawn: News

Apple sued over iOS 4 performance on iPhone 3G/S

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2010 0:03

Apple sued over iOS 4 performance on iPhone 3G/S Bianca Wofford of San Diego has sued Apple today claiming the company violated the Consumer Legal Remedies Act while also using false and deceptive advertising.

The suit also claims that Apple used unfair business practices.

Wofford, an iPhone 3GS owner, claims that since she upgraded her device to iOS 4, her smartphone has experienced slow keyboard response times, lag, and fast battery drain.

She is certainly not the only one to have the same experience. iPhone 3G owners, especially, have complained of the same symptoms since updating their devices to iOS 4 in June.

In the suit, Wofford claims that iOS 4 has made her 3GS practically unusable, and Apple has left her no options but to upgrade to the iPhone 4 or jailbreak her device so she can downgrade back to iOS 3. The latter option is legal, but will void her warranty.

Wofford is looking for class action status and asking for $5000 USD for everyone whose phone is now unusable after the update.

Cnet has posted the full suit:
iOS 4 Lawsuit




AfterDawn: News

Skyfire unavailable in App Store after huge demand takes down servers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Nov 2010 23:34

Skyfire unavailable in App Store after huge demand takes down servers Skyfire, the new browser application which promises Flash playback on iOS device has been pulled from the iOS App Store, showing as "sold out" as the company looks to increase its server capacity.

Says one developer with the company: "Please bear with us as we bring our capacity in line with the incredible demand -- stay tuned."

There is no timetable for the browser's return to the App Store.

Skyfire gets around Apple's ban on Flash by taking Flash video, rendering and translating it to HTML5 and then redisplaying it, showing users a thumbnail they can click to play the video. This in turn lead to the capacity problems.

"The user experience was performing well for the first few hours, but as the surge continued, the peak load on our servers and bandwidth caused the video experience to degrade," said the developer (via IW).

Skyfire for iOS sells for $3 in the App Store.




AfterDawn: News

Jammie Thomas hit with another gigantic P2P verdict

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Nov 2010 22:37

Jammie Thomas hit with another gigantic P2P verdict Jammie Thomas-Rasset must be kicking herself today.

Thomas-Rasset, the American woman who has been fighting the RIAA in court for the last four years over 24 unauthorized songs she downloaded and shared online, has lost again in court, with a jury finding her liable for $1.5 million in copyright infringement damages.

That equals out to $62,500 per song she shared.

The RIAA was ecstatic with the decision (via Cnet): "We are again thankful to the jury for its service in this matter and that they recognized the severity of the defendant's misconduct. Now with three jury decisions behind us along with a clear affirmation of Ms. Thomas-Rasset's willful liability, it is our hope that she finally accepts responsibility for her actions."

In 2007, Thomas-Rasset was found liable for $1.92 million in damages, but a retrial saw the fine dropped to $220,000.

Earlier this year, however, a Federal judge found the fine to be "shocking" and reduced it to just $54,000. The RIAA told Thomas-Rasset that they would accept $25,000, if she would agree to ask the judge to remove the decision from the record. She did not accept the terms of the deal.

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AfterDawn: News

Toshiba Folio 100 tablet now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Nov 2010 22:09

Toshiba Folio 100 tablet now available The Toshiba Folio 100 tablet is now available in Europe, however only the Wi-Fi model is currently available with 3G versions hitting in February.

Toshiba's first Android tablet will run 2.2 Froyo and have a large 10-inch with 1024x600 resolution.

Additionally, the tablet has support for Flash 10.1, 16GB of internal memory, a front-side 1.3MP camera, HDMI out and an SD slot for added memory.

The Folio runs on a Nvidia Tegra 250 chip, making it one of the few mobile devices to use Nvidia's powerful line of processors.

Toshiba has placed their own Toshiba Market Place on the tablet, as access to the Android Market is still not supported. The Toshiba Market has 2000 apps available.

The Folio 100 is selling in Europe for £329 now.




AfterDawn: News

Google has converted 80 percent of YouTube videos to WebM

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Nov 2010 21:43

Google has converted 80 percent of YouTube videos to WebM Google has said today that it has converted 80 percent of all YouTube videos into the open-source WebM video format, while at the same time working with manufacturers to add more hardware support for the codec.

WebM is H.264's largest rival in the video format world.

Product Manager John Luther noted that Google has been diligent in developments over the past months, but there is still a long road ahead for WebM.

For now, WebM is not widely supported, but it will be in Firefox 4, Opera 10.5+ and Chrome 6.

You can view the videos via Safari or Internet Explorer using third-party additions.

Google added that the first hardware chips with native WebM support will hit in the Q1 2011.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft acquires 3D chip maker Canesta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Nov 2010 0:30

Microsoft acquires 3D chip maker Canesta Microsoft has confirmed that it is purchasing Canesta, a small 3D chip making company that specializes in gesture-recognition tech.

Canesta is best known for chips that, when coupled with digital cameras, give many devices a 3D effect, and a sense of depth perception (as pictured).

The Redmond giant did not disclose how much it paid for the chip maker.

Notably, the 3D tech used in the newly-launched Kinect motion control system was created by Canesta's rival PrimeSense.

"I'm excited to be way out in front and want to push the pedal on that," added CEO Steve Ballmer, when he was asked about company plans to advance gesture technology outside of just Kinect.

Analysts speculate Microsoft will use the Canesta tech to begin equipping PCs, HDTVs and Windows Phone 7 devices with gesture-recognition tech.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon to announce iPhone launch on November 9th?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Nov 2010 0:00

Verizon to announce iPhone launch on November 9th? TUAW has posted a picture today that has lead to speculation that Verizon will announce the much-anticipated launch of the CDMA iPhone on November 9th.

Verizon has been adding service staff in the last month, with TUAW speculating that the carrier has doubled its service staff "assigned to handle number porting requests."

There would be little reason for Verizon to add so much staff if not expecting a lot of users to port from other carriers.

The picture shows a training notice sent out to customer service staff describing an upcoming "iconic device" that will go on pre-order starting November 9th.

TUAW does note that the Motorola Droid Pro has been given the same "Iconic Device" tag, so the validity of the rumor is still up in the air.

Could make for an interesting Tuesday.




AfterDawn: News

Cameron has big tech plans for East London

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 23:32

Cameron has big tech plans for East London Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, is set to announce big plans for establishing East London as one of the world's great technology centers.

Looking to spur the creation of private sector jobs to make up for public sector losses due to state spending cuts, British Prime Minister David Cameron has identified the tech industries as a safe bet for government backing and investment in the UK.

Later today, he is expected to announce that the likes of Facebook and Google are set to invest in the East London Tech City plan. He wants the area, which include Olympic Park, to give Silicon Valley a run for its money over the coming years.

"Right now, Silicon Valley is the leading place in the world for hi-tech growth and innovation," Cameron will say in a speech to businesses and entrepreneurs. "But there's no reason why it has to be so predominant. Our ambition is to bring together the creativity and energy of Shoreditch and the incredible possibilities of the Olympic Park to help make east London one of the world's great technology centres."

He will report that the response from international technology firms and venture capitalists to the plan has been overwhelming, and announce several firms that have agreed to invest in the area, including Intel, Cisco and BT.




AfterDawn: News

YouTube removes Islamic cleric's radical videos from service

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 23:32

YouTube removes Islamic cleric's radical videos from service Following the discovery of viable bomb materials hidden in parcels destined for Chicago, YouTube has decided to remove videos featuring an American-born radical cleric.

Anwar al-Awlaki reportedly appeared in over 700 videos available on the YouTube, the world's largest video hub, which amounted to a total of 3.5 million views. He was recently charged in absentia in Yemen with incitement to kill foreigners after the discovery of U.S.-bound explosives.

Following the developments, YouTube repeatedly received calls from British and American officials requesting that the cleric's videos, which often contained calls for a holy war, be removed from the service. In September 2008, YouTube already changed its policies, banning the upload of videos "that incite others to commit violent acts, videos on activities such as how to make bombs and footage of sniper attacks."

However, YouTube's system depends on users actually reporting videos that do not adhere to the upload guidelines. US Congressman Anthony Weiner, a Democrat from New York, who has dubbed al-Awlaki as the "bin Laden of the Internet," wrote to YouTube requesting that the site move to rid itself of the cleric's message.

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AfterDawn: News

Viewsonic unveils glasses-free 3D camcorder

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2010 23:31

Viewsonic unveils glasses-free 3D camcorder Viewsonic has unveiled their new 3DV5 pocket-camcorder this week, giving consumers a chance to record film in 3D without the need for glasses.

The device has a 2.4 inch autosterescopic screen, similar to the one used in the upcoming Nintendo 3DS handheld. The 3DV5 also has an HDMI output for users who want to playback the recordings on 3D HDTVs.

Outside of its 3D aspects, the camcorder is not all that special, costing £150 and bringing just 10MB of internal memory. You will need to purchase an SD card to use the device.

The 3DV5 will record in 720p HD.

Says the company: "Everyone has watched 3D movies at the cinema, and lots of people are considering purchasing a 3D compatible display, whether a TV, monitor or projector. However, there is a lack of available 3D content, and people want to create 3D content that they will be able to watch for years to come."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Dell buys up Boomi cloud company

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 23:31

Dell buys up Boomi cloud company Dell has announced a deal to buy a cloud-computing company after it recently lost a bidding war with Hewlett-Packard for cloud firm 3Par.

Dell has been eager to buy into cloud computing, which allows users to access files, services, software and all kinds of other content remotely using the Internet. All around the world, businesses are turning to the cloud for solutions to cut costs on servers and local software licenses, and all the big tech companies want a piece of the action.

Dell, the world's third largest computer maker, said that Boomi would help businesses reap the full benefits of cloud computing. "Twenty-six years ago we helped accelerate the move to client-server computing," said Steve Felice, president of Dell's consumer and small and medium-sized businesses division.

"Today we'll help drive a similar transformation with customers turning to the cloud to drive costs down and innovation up."




AfterDawn: News

Ofcom threatens UK telecom firms over bills

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 23:31

Ofcom threatens UK telecom firms over bills UK communications regulator Ofcom has threatened two telecom firms over bogus bills they had demanded customers pay up.

TalkTalk and Tiscali were threatened with fines by the regulator after they had billed customers for services that were canceled previously. Over 1,000 consumers contacted Ofcom complaining that they received agressive demands from the two providers for the payment of bills they didn't owe to them.

TalkTalk bought Tiscali last year and has blamed a new billing system that was introduced since for the billing errors. Tiscali customers on seven different billing systems are slowly being integrated with TalkTalk's own customer database.

Ofcom has warned that many thousands more customers may have been billed wrongfully. TalkTalk said this problem should not arise again after it fixed problems with the billing system that will now stop it from producing spurious bills for customers who have left the services.

"TalkTalk Group has co-operated fully with Ofcom's investigation and we apologise for the inconvenience caused to this limited group of former customers," the company said.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Vudu starts 'Toy Story 3' digital copy promotion with physical purchase

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2010 23:02

Vudu starts 'Toy Story 3' digital copy promotion with physical purchase Wal-Mart and Vudu have announced this week that all buyers of physical copies of the new release Toy Story 3 from Wal-Mart will receive a free digital copy from Vudu.

The only catch is you will need to purchase the Special Edition 3-Disc Set on either DVD or Blu-ray. Single-disc sets are not included in the promotion.

Buyers can play their Vudu digital copy anywhere with an Internet connection, including via Blu-ray players, the Boxee Box and other set-tops.

The new offer seems to be following a trend started by Amazon last year with the launch of Disc+ which gives users a free digital copy of over 10,000 titles when they are purchased through Amazon.

Wal-Mart acquired Vudu last year.




AfterDawn: News

Skyfire 2.0 app brings Flash to iOS devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2010 22:38

Skyfire 2.0 app brings Flash to iOS devices The SkyFire browser has been accepted into the iOS App Store today, finally giving million of users a chance to watch Flash videos on their devices.

Skyfire 2.0 will go on sale in the App Store tomorrow morning with a price tag of $2.99.

Lack of Flash has been one of the largest drawbacks of owning an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, especially since over 75 percent of online videos are encoded with the standard.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has made it abundantly clear, however, that native Flash will not be supported on Apple devices, ever, as they kill battery life and generally perform poorly on mobiles.

Skyfire gets around this ban by taking Flash video, renders and translates it to HTML5 and redisplays it, showing users a thumbnail they can click to play the video.

"We will attack those pesky blue Flash error messages," added CEO Jeffrey Glueck.

It is important to note, also, that over 50 percent of videos online are also encoded with HTML5.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung Galaxy S handset is first Wi-Fi Direct certified smartphone

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 22:22

Samsung Galaxy S handset is first Wi-Fi Direct certified smartphone Samsung certain likes to be the first a lot, like when it had the first DivX-certified handset, and now the company has done it again.

With the Wi-Fi Alliance just starting to certify Wi-Fi Direct devices last week, Samsung's GT-I9000 handset has already been listed on the Wi-Fi Alliance website as Wi-Fi Direct certified. A lot of modern-era Wi-Fi devices are capable of becoming Wi-Fi Direct certified, most likely through system updates as there is no hardware change in the protocol.

That is likely how the Samsung handset will become Direct-capable, a firmware update of some sort.

Wi-Fi Direct allows compatible devices to communicate with each other using Wi-Fi but without the need for a wireless access point or wireless router. This functionality could be added to a lot of existing smartphones on the market with system updates if the manufacturers follow Samsung's lead.




AfterDawn: News

Firm finds 88 serious security flaws in Android 2.2

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 22:22

Firm finds 88 serious security flaws in Android 2.2 A security firm researching the safety of the mobile Android operating system has discovered a long list of security bugs, with at least some being thought of as a serious risk.

In a report, security firm Coverity claims to have identified several hundred bugs in the Android operating system. The researchers scoured over 60 million lines of open source code in their Coverity Scan Open Source Integrity Report, including the Android OS source used with the HTC Droid Incredible.

In total, 359 bugs were discovered by the team, with 88 of them categorized as being a "high risk". Coverity praised Android for having a lower density of bugs per thousand lines of code than average open source software, but said it had a higher bug density than the Linux kernel. Some of the bugs, it argues, should have been caught before release.

All Android distributions are different in some way or another, but it is thought that most Froyo-based Android phones will be vulnerable to the discovered bugs.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Unknown Internet Explorer bug exploited in attacks

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 22:22

Unknown Internet Explorer bug exploited in attacks A previously unknown Internet Explorer bug has been used in target attacked online, security researchers warned today.

An unidentified website has been breached by the unknown attackers, who injected code that can exploit a flaw in the Internet Explorer browser. The perpetrators sent e-mails to selected individuals who were part of targeted organizations, luring them to the hacked webpage.

If the user was running Internet Explorer 6, or Internet Explorer 7, they may have been infected with a backdoor trojan. No user intervention would have been required for the malware to be delivered if the flaw was exploted successfully. Internet Explorer 8 "might" be technically vulnerable to the flaw, but the browser's built-in Data Execution Protection (DEP) would cause the webpage to crash instead.

"Looking at the log files from this exploited server we know that the malware author had targeted more than a few organizations," Symantec reported. "The files on this server had been accessed by people in lots of organizations in multiple industries across the globe."

The flaw lies in IE's handing of Cascading Style Sheets. The browser under-allocates memory, allowing data to be overwritten in memory vtable pointers. This can allow an attacker to inject code and execute it.

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AfterDawn: News

Supreme Court Justices probe violent games law

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 21:44

Supreme Court Justices probe violent games law As reported during the weekend, the Supreme Court started examining legislation from California that would make the sale of violent video games to minors illegal.

The Schwarzenegger vs EMA case landed in the highest court in the United States and the reaction of the court can only fairly be described as very critical. Justice Antonin Scalia in particular had a lot of questions to ask the California attorney general, who was arguing for the law previously declared unconstitutional by a lower court.

"I am concerned with the First Amendment, which says Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech," Scalia said. "It was always understood that the freedom of speech did not include obscenity. It has never been understood that the freedom of speech did not include portrayals of violence. You are asking us to create a whole new prohibition. What's next after violence? Drinking? Movies that show drinking? Smoking?"

Scalia also took issue with the use of the term "deviant violent videogames" used by proponents of the law. "As opposed to what? A normal violent videogame?" asked Scalia. "Some of the Grimm's fairy tales are quite grim, to tell you the truth... Are you going to ban them too?" he added.

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AfterDawn: News

Google Street View 'broke UK laws'

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 19:10

Google Street View 'broke UK laws' UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham has revealed in a statement that Google Inc. broke UK laws by intercepting payload data from wireless networks while photographic UK streets.

Google recently admitted that regulators around the world found passwords and entire e-mails in the payload data it accidentally retrieved from wireless networks. Investigations are ongoing in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Canada over the privacy breach.

"There was a significant breach of the Data Protection Act when Google Street View cars collected payload data as part of their wi-fi mapping exercise in the UK." Graham said in a statement.

"The Commissioner has rejected calls for a monetary penalty to be imposed but is well placed to take further regulatory action if the undertaking is not fully complied with." The ICO is requiring Google to destroy the data collected in the UK when it becomes legally possible to do so.

Google's Global Privacy Counsel Peter Fleischer apologized to UK Internet users for the mistake. "We are profoundly sorry for mistakenly collecting payload data in the UK from unencrypted wireless networks," he said. "We did not want this data, have never used any of it in our products or services, and have sought to delete it as quickly as possible."




AfterDawn: News

Turkey to ban YouTube again?

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 19:10

Turkey to ban YouTube again? Just days after it was widely reported that Turkey had ended a two year ban on YouTube in the country, it now seems likely that Turkish Internet users will be blocked from accessing the site again.

Access to YouTube had been blocked since May 2008 until just a few days ago due to videos uploaded by users deemed to be offensive to Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. On Saturday, a court in Ankara lifted the ban when the video disappeared from the site.

YouTube was quick to point out that it had not removed the video at Turkey's request. Instead, a German firm had utilized Google tools that are provided to tackle copyright infringement on the website to get it automatically removed. The video has now appeared once again on the popular video sharing website because the company found the copyright claim to be bogus.

A Turkish court has now ruled that the ban should be re-instated, but not because of the original "insulting" videos. This time, the Turkish authorities are mad about a video which allegedly shows the former chairman of the opposition, Deniz Baykal, in a bedroom with a female aide.

Telecommunications Board spokeswoman Guleser Aykara said that the board was notified of the court ruling on Tuesday and that it would make a decision by Thursday on whether or not to implement the ban. "We will first check if the undesirable content still remains on the website," Aykara told Reuters.

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AfterDawn: News

News Corp. warns MySpace over losses

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 19:10

News Corp. warns MySpace over losses News Corp. has sent a warning out to its social networking site MySpace that its continued losses have become a serious problem.

"We've been clear that Myspace is a problem," News Corp. chief operating office Chase Carey said during a conference call. "The current losses are not acceptable or sustainable. Our traffic numbers are not going in the right direction."

MySpace has had to present itself as a hub for musicians and their fans as Facebook has increasingly out-grown it. News Corp. bought MySpace in 2005 for $580 million, and the company now counts about 100 million users worldwide.

Facebook, on the other hand, now counts over 500 million worldwide users and the sites phenomenal growth seems set to continue for the time being. Carey said that News Corp. had been encouraged by a recent relaunch of the MySpace service but that it now needed to make a clear path to profitability.

"We need to make real headway in the coming quarters," he said.




AfterDawn: News

Record label abandons net piracy cases after BT deletes data

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 19:10

Record label abandons net piracy cases after BT deletes data The Ministry of Sound has been forced to abandon targeting thousands of alleged music pirates in the UK after BT deleted most of the data it was seeking.

Solicitors for the record label had been trying to force BT to hand over subscriber information from gathered IP addresses to identify music sharers. Those users would then be contacted and offered a chance to settle a case to avoid going to court.

BT had delayed handing over subscribers details as it demanded to know exactly how the user information would be used and stored. However, BT has since deleted over 80 percent of the data that the solicitors were seeking. Ministry of Sound's solicitors said that BT had deleted 20,000 of the 25,000 requested details. The ISP says it was only complying with data retention policies.

"The Ministry of Sound and its solicitors are well aware of this," said a spokesperson for BT. "Upon request from Ministry of Sound, we saved as much of the specific data sought as we reasonably could and any not preserved must have been too old."

Despite the setback, Ministry of Sound says it remains committed to targeting uploaders of its music on file sharing networks. "We will be making further applications for information from all ISPs," Ministry of Sound CEO Lohan Presencer said.

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AfterDawn: News

WiGig, VESA to collaborate on wireless DisplayPort

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 19:10

WiGig, VESA to collaborate on wireless DisplayPort The Wireless Gigabit Alliance, or WiGig, has announced a partnership with the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA), promising to deliver next generation wireless DisplayPort.

VESA and the WiGig Alliance will share technology expertise and specifications to develop multi-gigabit wireless DisplayPort capabilities. A certification program for wireless DisplayPort products will be developed in parallel.

The ability to connect PCs and handhelds to monitors, projectors and HDTVs wirelessly is highly desired among consumers and IT users. The WiGig-VESA collaboration will deliver a wireless display capability with image quality and I/O experience equal to that of wired interfaces.

"As a high-quality content creator in Hollywood, it is exciting to see the innovative solutions being offered by advanced wireless technology to fulfill the ever-increasing demand for anywhere, anytime content consumption," said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation.

"WiGig technology is a perfect match for DisplayPort since it provides the multi-gigabit bandwidth, packet architecture and bi-directional I/O capabilities needed to support the DisplayPort v1.2 feature set and beyond," said Bruce Montag, VESA chairman.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft expects 5 million Kinect sales over holidays

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 18:16

Microsoft expects 5 million Kinect sales over holidays Microsoft has raised its three million holiday sales prediction of the new Kinect motion sensing system to five million following stronger-than-expected presales figures.

The $150 device that allows a user to control an Xbox 360 and its games software with movements and voice commands is set to go on sale at midnight in over 30,000 stores in the United States. It comes into a market dominated by the Nintendo Wii console and on the heels of Sony's PlayStation Move system for the PS3.

Industry figures hope that the new motion control systems will help to spark more life into the $60 billion industry following a slump brought on by the global recession. Microsoft's prediction of Kinect's success this holiday season, if true, could potentially add up to $750 million in revenue for the Redmond-based giant for the quarter.

"Presales have exceeded expectations," said Mattrick. "People are coming to us and saying this is must-have holiday item." Mattrick has warned that the company expects supply shortages throughout the holidays. "We're anticipating that some of our partners will be sold out at points of time this holiday, and that's something we'll do our best to work through," he said

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AfterDawn: News

Facebook: Third party apps shared user data

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 18:16

Facebook: Third party apps shared user data Facebook has admitted to two U.S. congressmen that third-party applications have shared user data with other companies, and promised to fix the problem.

Republican Congressmsan Joe Barton and Democratic Congressman Edward Markey had written a letter to Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg about reports that third-party applications were sharing user information with other companies. Facebook Vice President Marne Levine responded in a letter, released on Wednesday, and confirmed that some apps have violated the social networking site's policies by sharing user data.

"We have taken enforcement action against the applications in question, and steps to ensure the deletion of the Facebook user data that was improperly transferred," Levine wrote. The Wall Street Journal had previously reported that Farmville and other popular applications on Facebook were transmitting user IDs to outside parties, while Facebook has also revealed that a handful of applications intentionally shared information with a data broker.

"The third-party data broker in question has also agreed not to operate on Facebook Platform in the future," Levine wrote.

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AfterDawn: News

ITC staff sides with Nokia in Apple patent dispute

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2010 18:16

ITC staff sides with Nokia in Apple patent dispute Nokia has gotten a boost in a patent infringement case involving Apple Inc., as staff at the International Trade Commission finds that the company did not violate the iPhone-maker's patents.

The investigative staff at the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) made its opinion clear in a brief submitted on Monday. The staff finding has equal standing before the commission's administrative law judge with statements by other parties arguing their own cases, according to an ITC spokeswoman.

The judge is not required to follow staff advice. The spat between both companies started when Nokia filed suit against Apple in October 2009 in a U.S. district court. The Finnish giant said that the iPhone infringed 10 patents it held. Apple countersued Nokia, and both companies later filed cases with the ITC.

Apple is asking the ITC to halt imports of Nokia devices that it claims infringes on its intellectual property. The judge will provide a ruling, expected by February 2011, and then the ITC will vote whether to follow the judges ruling in the case.

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AfterDawn: News

Hulu is destroying the TV industry, says Dish VP

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2010 17:36

Hulu is destroying the TV industry, says Dish VP Dish Network VP of Online Content Development and Strategy Bruce Eisen has made a bold statement today, saying that popular streaming site Hulu is destroying the TV industry.

"If I can watch Glee tomorrow morning and I don’t have to pay a pay TV service –- I think that’s bad," said Eisen.

Hulu makes new content from Fox, NBCU and ABC available the day after it airs online via Hulu.com, with users getting to watch it at their leisure, with a tiny amount of ads.

Eisen says the shows should only be made available 30 days after they air, and only on authenticated "TV Everywhere" services and devices.

"If people decide that they don’t have to pay for pay TV, then one of the pillars (of the TV industry) starts crumbling," he concluded.

GigaOM also spoke with Greg Kampanis, SVP of Content Strategy and Operations for South Park Digital Studios, who had a completely different take on the situation.

South Park Digital Studios is a site where all previous South Park episodes are available for streaming, from all 14 seasons, with new episodes made available a week after they air. Kampanis says they made the move to create the site after piracy rates for South Park episodes began to explode.

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AfterDawn: News

Windows Phone 7 phones selling out in Europe

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2010 13:50

Windows Phone 7 phones selling out in Europe Windows Phone 7 handsets in Europe are selling extremely well, say multiple sources, with Microsoft already seeing supply shortages.

Carrier Orange has started pre-orders for the handsets, even giving customers £20 HMV vouchers as a way to entice them to hold their pre-orders until new stock comes in.

The new devices, from HTC and Samsung are sold out in most retail shops.

Samsung's supply issues seem to be thanks to a shortage of AMOLED acreens and the HTC issues seem to be stemming from software problems.

Windows Phone 7 is set to launch next week here in the States, and that may be the bigger test of how popular the devices really are.




AfterDawn: News

28 percent of U.S. mobile phone users have smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2010 13:06

28 percent of U.S. mobile phone users have smartphones According to the latest figures from Nielsen, 28 percent of U.S. mobile phone owners own smartphones, as of the Q3 2010.

The strong growth was attributed mainly to an explosion in iPhone and Android device sales.

While all data firms release different numbers for the same data, the consensus is clear. RIM still leads the market, with Apple a close second. Android, seeing incredible growth, continues to take share.

For the quarter, RIM controlled 30 percent of the U.S. market for smartphones, followed by the iPhone at 28 percent. Android has moved to 19 percent share.

Getting into interesting demographics, RIM had the most users over the age of 45, while Apple had the most under 45. Over 50 percent of Android users were under 35 years of age.

Over the past six months, 41 percent of all new phone buyers are choosing to purchase smartphones, a six percent increase from the six month period before it.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon expands Disc+ program to over 10,000 titles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2010 1:48

Amazon expands Disc+ program to over 10,000 titles Amazon has expanded their Disc+ On Demand program to over 10,000 titles this week.

Disc+ is a program that gives customers a chance to watch digital versions of movies they have purchased on DVD/Blu-ray via Amazon Video on Demand.

When a customer purchases a Blu-ray or DVD title from Amazon, if it is a Disc+ title a digital copy will be added to your Video On Demand library.

The copies are playable on PCs, Macs and all Amazon VOD-compatible devices and HDTVs.

"When we launched Disc+ On Demand last year, we were excited by the overwhelmingly positive response from our customers," added Steve Oliver, category leader for Amazon.com DVD. "Customers love instant gratification, and this program allows customers to watch Disc+ On Demand titles instantly, without having to wait for their DVD or Blu-ray to arrive in the mail."

You can check all the titles here: Amazon Disc+ Catalog




AfterDawn: News

Google now offering rewards to users who report bugs, flaws

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2010 0:14

Google now offering rewards to users who report bugs, flaws Following in the footsteps of other companies such as Mozilla, Google has announced today that it is offering a reward for users that find and report security flaws in their software and Websites.

Says the company: "We are announcing an experimental new vulnerability reward program that applies to Google Web properties. As well as enabling us to thank regular contributors in a new way, we hope our new program will attract new researchers and the types of reports that help make our users safer."

Depending on how critical the flaw is, the reward will range from $500 to $3100. If you decide to give the prize to charity, Google will double the donation.

The bugs can be found on Google, YouTube, Blogger, Orkut and others. Android and Picasa are exempt.

Google started a similar program in January for its Chrome browser which they say "uncovered a wide range of great bugs...contributing to a more secure Chromium browser for millions of users."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple extending iTunes music previews to 90 seconds

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2010 23:45

Apple extending iTunes music previews to 90 seconds Apple has begun sending notices to record labels informing them that iTunes will soon move to 90-second song previews, extending the time from the current 30-seconds.

The expanded preview will happen for all songs longer than 2:30 long. For anything under, the 30-second previews will remain.

Says the notification:



We are pleased to let you know that we are preparing to increase the length of music previews from 30 seconds to 90 seconds on the iTunes Store in the United States. We believe that giving potential customers more time to listen to your music will lead to more purchases.


The note also says that if the labels do not agree to the new terms, they must remove their music from the iTunes Store.

Apple has been expected to announce this news since early September but apparent licensing issues have delayed the announcement.




AfterDawn: News

Apple releases iOS 4.2 update to developers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2010 22:51

Apple releases iOS 4.2 update to developers According to AppleInsider, Apple has just released the updated iOS 4.2 firmware to developers, meaning consumers should be getting the update in the very near future.

The release is build 8C134, and available for all iOS platforms including the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Coming with 4.2 is AirPlay, which will give iOS owners the chance to stream content from their devices to an Apple TV and then pick up the content on their device again if they leave the room.

Additionally, 4.2 should bring AirPrint, Apple's new "powerful new printing architecture that matches the simplicity of iOS—no set up, no configuration, no printer drivers and no software to download."

Finally, 4.2 should bring multi-tasking, iOS folders, GameCenter and enhanced enterprise support to the iPad.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone what? New T-Mobile ad rips AT&T's lack of 4G

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2010 21:41

iPhone what? New T-Mobile ad rips AT&T's lack of 4G T-Mobile USA has taken their "America's Largest 4G Network" ad campaign to the next level tonight, taking a direct shot at AT&T and the iPhone 4.

In the new ad, dubbed "Piggyback," T-Mobile plays up the fast speeds of its HSPA+ network, which boasts speeds faster than Sprint's 4G.

Playing off Apple's famous "Get a Mac" campaign, T-Mobile starts the commercial with two people standing next to each other, one being a MyTouch 4G and the other being an iPhone 4, piggybacking another person.

The iPhone is being "weighed down" by AT&T 3G network and lack of 4G, with the ad taking time to explain that T-Mobile users can video chat while connected to HSPA+, while iPhone 4 users can only use the FaceTime video chatting app when connected to Wi-Fi.




AfterDawn: News

Chrome OS notebooks coming this month?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2010 21:19

Chrome OS notebooks coming this month? Digitimes is reporting this week that global vendors are expected to begin selling netbooks and notebooks running the Google Chrome OS starting later this month.

Furthermore, Google will also launch its own Google-branded Chrome OS notebook, following a strategy similar to their launch of the Nexus One smartphone earlier this year.

The sources of the report are component makers in Taiwan.

Google's branded device will be manufactured by Inventec with 70,000 expected to ship at launch. The Google Chrome OS notebook will run on "an ARM-based platform" and Google will not sell it through retail channels.

After Google's initial launch, Acer and HP will launch Chrome OS notebooks in late December. ASUS is said to be watching the market before entering.




AfterDawn: News

Logitech unveils first wireless solar keyboard

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2010 22:54

Logitech unveils first wireless solar keyboard Logitech has unveiled their first wireless solar keyboard, dubbed the K750.

The K750 can power itself from all light, include indoor light, eliminating the need for batteries, ever.

"A keyboard is still the best input device for typing emails and IMs, updating your Facebook™ page or posting responses to your favorite blogs – and the Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 is the next big innovation in keyboard technology," added Denis Pavillard, VP of product marketing for Logitech’s keyboards and desktops. "The Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard is powered by light but can work in total darkness for up to three months. Plus, with its PVC-free construction and fully recyclable packaging, it’s designed to minimize its footprint."

The solar panel is integrated right into the keyboard meaning there is no external charger or brick necessary.

Logitech includes a solar power app that "features a lux meter to help you get the necessary light, makes it easy to get at-a-glance information about battery levels, and even alerts you when you need more power."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

LimeWire lays off 29 percent of staff

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2010 20:59

LimeWire lays off 29 percent of staff Last week we reported that LimeWire, once the world's most popular P2P client, had been officially shut down, following a four-year legal battle against the record industry.

A New York federal court issued a permanent injunction against the site, ruling that LimeWire caused a "massive scale of infringement" by intentionally giving users a platform to share millions of unauthorized music tracks.

At its peak, LimeWire was seeing 50 million monthly users.

Following the ruling, LimeWire has had to lay off 29 of its 100 staff members.

Curiously, the company will keep the other 71 working on an unknown new music service.

Says CEO George Searle, via AllThingsD: "Following the court-ordered injunction, we reduced our work force to extend our runway for bringing our new music service to market. Letting go of colleagues is never easy. If we could have brought about another solution, we would have."

The upcoming service is dubbed "Grapevine."




AfterDawn: News

Will VLC be pulled from iOS App Store?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2010 20:45

Will VLC be pulled from iOS App Store? At the end of October, Applidium released an updated VLC for iOS, finally giving iPhone and iPod Touch owners a chance to use the popular media player on their devices.

The move followed Applidium's 1.0 version of the software which runs on the iPad.

Today, it has become clear that a possible licensing conflict may force the app offline.

PCWorld explains:



In addition to being free in the sense that it costs nothing, VLC is also open-source software developed collaboratively under the GNU Public License (GPL), which is designed to promote the creation of software that can be freely modified and redistributed by anyone, as long as they do so in compliance with the license.

In order to maintain the freedom of the software it protects, the GPL imposes several conditions under which redistribution may take place; in particular, the redistribution of the software must be unrestricted under any circumstance, allowing any user to give another user a functional copy under the same original terms.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google sues U.S. government over software contract

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2010 20:19

Google sues U.S. government over software contract Google has filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government this weekend, claiming that the government unfairly gave preference to Microsoft when selecting a new software suite.

In 2009, the Department of the Interior began searching for a "collaboration and messaging suite" for its almost 90,000 employees.

Google says it tried to join the evaluation process but was turned away.

The DOI then selected Microsoft BPOS-Federal Suite, thanks to Microsoft's multi-decade long history of providing software for government departments.

Microsoft's BPOS-Federal Suite includes hosting services, Exchange Online, SharePoint Online, and Office Communications Online.

Google wanted to challenge the BPOS-FS with its Google Apps for Government suite, claiming it could be implemented more cheaply and more effectively than Microsoft's rival service.

The search giant wants the requisition process halted until Google Apps is given a fair chance.




AfterDawn: News

Target Mobile to begin selling iPhone next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2010 19:04

Target Mobile to begin selling iPhone next week Target has announced today that it will begin carrying the Apple iPhone in all 846 stores that include a Target Mobile center.

The phone will go on sale on November 7th.

Target will offer both the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4, as well as free in-store activation if you are a first-time iPhone buyer.

"At Target we continue to offer our guests the best in electronics so we're happy to add iPhone to our Target Mobile offerings," added Mark Schindele, senior VP of merchandising at Target. "With expert support from Target Mobile specialists and in-store activation, our guests will be able to leave the store with a new, working iPhone3GS or iPhone4 in-hand."

The retailer also noted that it was rolling out Target Mobile centers to most Target stores by the end of the Q2 2011.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung denies Nexus Two smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2010 18:45

Samsung denies Nexus Two smartphone Some of the biggest news of the past week has been the rumored unconfirmed launch of the Nexus Two, the successor to Google's very powerful, but ultimately failed smartphone.

The new device was expected to be unveiled by its maker, Samsung, on November 8th during a media event.

Today, however, the phone maker has denied the Nexus Two exists, saying all the rumors are "simply not true."

The November 8th event will actually be to officially launch the Continuum smartphone, a Verizon Android 2.2 device that has two displays.

Making the Continuum noteworthy is the small secondary screen. When the phone is active, the second screen shows off the date, time and weather. When inactive it will show any new messages, emails, missed calls, voice mails, IMs, social notifications and more.

Looks like we will have to wait a bit longer for a sequel to the Nexus One, especially one running 2.3 Gingerbread.




AfterDawn: News

Leaked BlackBerry Storm 3 specs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2010 17:30

Leaked BlackBerry Storm 3 specs BBLeaks has put together a list of leaked specs for the still unconfirmed BlackBerry Storm 3.

If accurate, the device will be RIM's most powerful smartphone to date.

For now, the specs are still just rumored, and the picture is of a prototype of the device:


Display: 3.7-inch AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Memory: 8 or 16 GB storage w/ optional expandable to 32GB, 512 MB or 1GB RAM, 1 GB ROM
Camera: 5MP or 8 MP, fixed focus, dual-LED flash
Optical trackpad
MP3: MP3/WAV/eAAC+/WMA player, MP4/H.264/H.263/WMV player
Bluetooth: Yes, v3.0 with A2DP
3G: HSDPA, 10.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 2 Mbps
Addons: Wi-Fi, USB, GPS, OS, Video
Weight: Standard battery, Li-Ion 1200 mAh (BL-4D)
Talktime: Up to 432 h (2G) / Up to 480 h (3G)
Standby: Up to 9 h (2G) / Up to 5 h (3G)

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PayPal support coming to Android Market tomorrow?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2010 16:56

PayPal support coming to Android Market tomorrow? Since early October, rumor has had it that Google is set to announce PayPal checkout support for the Android Market.

Today, AndroidCentral is reporting that that announcement will come via a press release as early as tomorrow, November 2nd.

The report cites "a very trustworthy source," on that has been accurate on Android news in the past.

Google and eBay (the parent company of PayPal) have been working on a deal for months.

Users have long complained about the current checkout system (especially if you are not a Google Checkout user), and adding PayPal and its user base of 220 million will certainly make the system more fluid, or at least as easy as rival iTunes.




AfterDawn: News

Canalys: Android now top mobile OS in U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2010 16:43

Canalys: Android now top mobile OS in U.S. While the Apple iPhone remained the top individual smartphone in the U.S. for the Q3 2010, the Android OS leaped forward to take strong control of OS market share.

Available on a plethora of devices, the Android OS was on 43.6 percent of all smartphones sold in the U.S. during the quarter.

The figures come via Canalys, the tech industry analysis firm.

Apple came in second with 26.2 percent share, followed by RIM at 24.2 percent.

Rounding out the top 5 was Windows Mobile at 3 percent and all others taking the remaining 3 percent.

In terms of actual hardware sales, 9.1 million Android OS devices were sold during the quarter, 5.5 million iPhones were sold, 5.1 million BlackBerrys were sold and 1.2 million Microsoft and "other" devices were sold.




AfterDawn: News

Blekko search engine uses human filter

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Nov 2010 1:35

Blekko search engine uses human filter A well-backed Silicon Valley company is launching a test version of a new search engine that it says adds a human touch to the process.

Blekko claims that the Internet has become increasingly populated with spam-like websites that have been specifically designed and optimized for good performance through Google's services. Such websites have content heavier on marketing pitches than substantive information, according to the company.

Blekko Chief Executive Rich Skrenta said that the key to eliminating this problem is to narrow searches to groups of websites that have been approved by people. This almost seems like a step backwards when you first hear it since search services have utilized increasingly complex algorithms to order and index the massive amounts of information in cyberspace.

Nevertheless, Blekko has raised $24 million in funding from some big name backers. Investors include Marc Andreessen, who co-authored Mosaic, the first widely-used web browser, and Ron Conway who has previously invested in Google, Foursquare and Twitter.

Blekko is certainly brave to take on Google, as many have tried and failed to dethrone or even significantly compete with it. Cull, which was founded by ex-Google employees, quietly threw in the towel in September, two years after launch.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

GameString Adrenaline brings games to Google TV box

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Nov 2010 1:35

GameString Adrenaline brings games to Google TV box AfterCAD announced a service earlier this week that can bring video games from remote PCs to Google TV devices (amongst others).

The company also uploaded a concept video showing Blizzard's World of Warcraft being played using a LogiTech Revue. "Using GameString Adrenalin, you can now play high quality game titles using the new Google TV." said Chris Boothroyd, CEO of Aftercad.

"The Google TV is pretty cool and we thought it could also serve as a great game console for people who would want to play games they already have on the big screen right along side all of the other great content available on the Google TV. Now you can have it all!"

Concept Video

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Spotify not in talks with Apple, others

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Nov 2010 1:35

Spotify not in talks with Apple, others Spotify is not in talks with Apple about a possible takeover of the music streaming service despite several media reports.

Apple had been reported to have approached Spotify about a possible acquisition, according to TechCrunch. "Apple and Spotify are in on-again, off-again discussions about an acquisition, but at best it's very early in the process," TechCrunch wrote.

"No firm price has been offered, no term sheet tabled. Still, it's interesting that the two are talking."

However, Spotify spokesman Jim Butcher denied that any such talks have ever taken place. "We wouldn't normally comment on this kind of speculation, but we wanted to make it clear that we have absolutely no intention of selling Spotify," he said.

Spotify's journey from Europe, where it has been quite successful, to the United States has been rocky to say the least. The company still insists that it will manage to get its streaming service to the country by the end of the year. There had been reported that at least some of Spotify's troubles could be due to Apple's influence over record companies.




AfterDawn: News

Sprint: We're dedicated to WiMAX

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Nov 2010 1:35

Sprint: We're dedicated to WiMAX Dan Hesse. Chief Executive Officer Sprint Nextel Corporation, has cleared up the providers plans for its 4G services over the coming years.

Hesse said that Sprint's 4G network would use WiMAX "full stop," and that the company only played around with WiMAX' competitor, Long Term Evolution (LTE), for testing purposes in case Spring needed to support multi-mode phones that use both formats in the future.

Sprint made the decision to go with WiMAX for its 4G offerings instead of the widely-adopted LTE technology because it would allow the company to establish a 4G network much quicker than the competition. Verizon won't switch on its 4G network until the end of this year, while 2011 is the target for both AT&T and T-Mobile.

"When we had the opportunity to move into 4G, WiMAX was the only 4G interface, and it was perfect with the spectrum we owned," Hesse said. "We moved to establish the network because we didn’t want to wait, and we believe that being first to the market is an advantage."

Additionally, Hesse dismissed reports that Clearwire (which Sprint has a 54 percent stake in) would be working with T-Mobile after Sprint executives left the Clearwire board.




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile selling Galaxy Tab off-contract for $700?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2010 1:11

T-Mobile selling Galaxy Tab off-contract for $700? Amazon has been begun taking pre-orders for the T-Mobile model of the Samsung Galaxy Tab, with a price tag of $700 with no contract.

That price makes it $100 more expensive than Verizon sells it for without contract.

With contract, the T-Mobile models sells for the same price as all rivals, $400.

Shipping date for the Galaxy Tab is November 9th from Amazon, with buyers getting it on the 10th.

Samsung's tablet runs on Android 2.2, has a 1GHz processor, a 7-inch multi-touch screen and dual cameras.




AfterDawn: News

Wi-Fi Direct certification started this week

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Nov 2010 0:53

Wi-Fi Direct certification started this week Earlier this week, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced that certification of Wi-Fi Direct products had commenced, for device-to-device transmission of data.

With portable content like photos, videos and music taking center stage in the digital consumer experience, Wi-Fi Direct devices meet an important consumer need: directly connecting devices for applications such as content sharing, synching, printing, and gaming anywhere with ease.

Wi-Fi Direct allows the wireless network requirement to be cut out much more easily between popular consumer devices.

"We designed Wi-Fi Direct to unleash a wide variety of applications which require device connections, but do not need the internet or even a traditional network," said Edgar Figueroa, CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

"Wi-Fi Direct empowers users to connect devices – when, where and how they want to, and our certification program delivers products that work well together, regardless of the brand."

Wi-Fi Direct-certified devices can connect with older Wi-Fi certified devices, enabling a vast range of devices already in use to connect with products implementing Wi-Fi Direct from the certification program's inception. With 82 million Wi-Fi-enabled portable consumer electronics and 216 million Wi-Fi enabled handsets set to ship this year, and growing at annual rates of 26 percent through 2014, consumers will be able to use Wi-Fi Direct to connect a huge range of digital devices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Broadcasters hold power in TV disputes

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Nov 2010 0:53

Broadcasters hold power in TV disputes Recent disputes between Fox and several television signal providers has shown that broadcasters have retained an upper hand in disputes over content fees.

Some analysts believe that Cablevision may have allowed a dispute with Fox to go all the way to a channel blackout because it wanted to see what the government would do. If true, the stunt failed to get the Federal Communications Commission to do anything more than offer to act as a mediator between both companies.

When both sides could not reach a deal over fees, Fox blacked out content for three million Cablevision subscribers for 15 days. After viewers had already missed two games of the World Series, Cablevision caved in to terms it said were unfair.

The FCC basically claims its hands are tied in such a situation. "Under the present system, the FCC has very few tools with which to protect consumers' interests," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a letter to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

"Current law does not give the agency the tools necessary to prevent service disruptions," he added.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Fox said Cablevision had engineering the entire dispute in a "misguided efforts to effect regulatory change to their benefit."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Violent video game case headed to Supreme Court

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Nov 2010 0:53

Violent video game case headed to Supreme Court The U.S. Supreme Court is to hear arguments on Tuesday concerning a federal court's decision to throw out a ban on the sale of violent video games to minors in California.

The original legislation was first signed into law by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger back in 2005, but it was declared unconstitutional last year by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. It prohibited the sale of titles that depicted "killing, maiming, dismembering, or sexually assaulting an image of a human being" to anybody below the age of 18.

The federal court found that the law violated the minor's constitutional rights under the first and fourteenth amendment. It also found, as did other courts in other U.S. states, that there was insufficient evidence showing that violent games caused physical or psychological harm to minors.

"It's not so much a video game case as a First Amendment case," said George Rose, chief public policy officer at Activision Blizzard Inc. Other gaming companies and the ESA oppose such legislation, pointing out that the industry already takes steps to protect minors from content inappropriate for them.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Xbox 360 mandatory update comes Monday

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Nov 2010 0:53

Xbox 360 mandatory update comes Monday According to an e-mail sent to subscribers of the Xbox Live service, a mandatory Dashboard update for the Xbox 360 console is due to be pushed out on Monday.

Failing to install the update will make using the Xbox Live service impossible until the update is applied. "On November 1, 2010, there will be a mandatory service update to Xbox LIVE," the message reads. "This update will both add new features to your service and also enhance the interface, navigation, and responsiveness of Xbox LIVE."

A major update for the Xbox 360 Dashboard had been expected before the November launch of the Kinect motion control system for the console, and many users are already using a beta of the update.

"The time required to complete the update will vary based on your Internet connection speed. However, for most users, the update will require between 5 and 10 minutes to complete. You will not be able to use your Xbox 360 console while the update is processing," the message reads.




AfterDawn: News

Asus to release five tablets in 2011

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2010 0:28

Asus to release five tablets in 2011 Asus has said this weekend that the company will release six new tablets in 2011, and one more before the end of 2010.

President Jerry Shen says the company will launch tablets in four different sizes.

The first of the 2011 tablets is a 12-inch slate which will run on an Intel chipset and feature Windows 7. That device will go into mass production in December with sales beginning in January.

THG says Microsoft gave the company a lot of help "when it came to enhancing current touch and UI technologies for the device."

The following two tablets will be of the 7-inch variety, with the first expected to hit in March. The first will be Wi-Fi-only and the second will include "3.5G" data access and phone capabilities.

By the end of March, the company will launch two 9-inch models, the first being a Windows/Intel model and the second being a Nvidia Tegra 2/Android 2.3.





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