AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (8 / 2011)

AfterDawn: News

AOL looking to go private

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2011 16:24

AOL looking to go private AOL is in talks with banks in an effort to take the struggling company private.

For now, the discussion are revolving around a per share price in which AOL's management would consider being taken private.

The company, and its shares have struggled massively as the management tries to complete a restructuring into a digital content company.

Since IPOing in 2009, stock in the company has fallen from as high as $30 to $15 as of today, and as low as $10, last week.

AOL has tried to become a web content company, with its biggest purchase being The Huffington Post for $300 million last year.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook to reveal music service this month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2011 15:28

Facebook to reveal music service this month CNBC is saying today that Facebook will launch a streaming music player, likely in partnership with MOG or Spotify.

Says CNBC's Jon Fortt:

Yes indeed, next month is going to be a big one for music. I'm hearing from someone familiar with the plans that Facebook will launch its long rumored music service at the F8 conference on September 22nd.

Now it seems likely that Facebook won't actually host the music, but will partner with others who do that. But Facebook to launch their platform at F8 on September 22nd.


BI speculates MOG will be the partner due to what their CEO recently said:

MOG, a subscription-based music streaming service, already has a strong relationship with Facebook. It uses Facebook's social graph to help subscribers discover new artists based on those their friends already "like" on Facebook.

No other music service has that kind of access to Facebook's social graph. MOG also has a new HTML5-based player that Hyman said could be easily integrated directly into Facebook.




AfterDawn: News

Sony unveils world's lightest e-reader

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2011 15:02

Sony unveils world's lightest e-reader Sony has unveiled its latest Reader e-reading device, the world's lightest ever.

The company says the Reader weighs 5.9 ounces and is just 8.9mm thin with one-month of standby battery life.

Sony's Reader Wi-Fi uses an E Ink Pearl display and can handle EPUB, PDF and TXT formats. Everything else is pretty standard for an e-reader.

Featuring 2GB storage, Sony says you can fit 1200 eBooks, and there is a microSD slot, regardless.

Finally, Sony is also offering a limited edition Pottermore version of the Reader Wi-Fi which includes a voucher for a free download of the first version of the popular Harry Potter series.

Full specs:

Model name

PRS-T1

Display:

E-Ink Pearl™ v220
- Screen Size: 15.2cm (6 inches)
- Gray Scale: 16-levels gray scale
- Resolution: 600 x 800 pixels

Touch-screen

Clear Touch Infrared technology

Battery life (continuous playback)

-A single charge lasts over one month with wireless off based on a half-hour of daily reading time. *1
-Read on a single battery charge up to 3 weeks with wireless on. *1

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

CNN purchases iPad app Zite

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2011 13:12

CNN purchases iPad app Zite CNN has purchased the popular iPad media company Zite.

Zite, which has digital magazine/newspaper tech, delivers media depending on the user's personal preferences.

If you are a finance fan, your Zite magazine will be packed with finance-based articles and media. Same goes for sports, tech, politics, gaming, etc.

CNN says it will let Zite run as it currently is, with no layoffs or shakeups.

The news company has a notoriously ugly mobile site and so could eventually begin using Zite's tech to create an improved experience for its own users.




AfterDawn: News

Sony's Tablet S is here

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2011 12:51

Sony's Tablet S is here Sony has now shown off the specs of the Tablet S, set for release this month.

The tablet has a 9.4-inch screen, a "magazine" form factor, a Tegra 2 dual core processor, dual cameras and Honeycomb.

If you purchase the Wi-Fi-only version you get Honeycomb 3.1 (with Sony UI overlay) and if you buy the more expensive Wi-Fi/3G version you get 3.2 (with similar UI overlay).

The tablet comes with either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, DLNA compatibility, an IR port (to use as universal remote), an SD card slot, Sony's Crackle and eReader apps and Sony's "QuickView" tech for faster browsing.

Finally, the tablet is the first to be Playstation Certified which means it can play PSX games from the PS Store.

The tablet costs $499 for the base 16GB/Wi-Fi model.




AfterDawn: News

First Android 3.1 tablet headed to AT&T

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2011 11:55

First Android 3.1 tablet headed to AT&T AT&T has announced that the first tablet with Android 3.1, the HTC Jetstream, will hit the carrier next week.

The 10-inch tablet (with 1280x768 resolution) weighs 1.56 pounds, runs on a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, has 8MP and 1.3MP cameras, 32GB internal storage and 4G support.

Furthermore, HTC says the device will have the popular Sense UI overlay.

Going on sale on September 4th, the tablet will cost $700 with contract or $850 without.

Additionally, if you want 4G data, AT&T is offering $15/250MB, $25/2GB and $35/3GB per month.




AfterDawn: News

Is 30,000 apps for Windows Phone 7 a big deal?

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 31 Aug 2011 11:53

Is 30,000 apps for Windows Phone 7 a big deal? The Windows Phone 7 Marketplace has, according to one unofficial source, reached 30,000 apps.

To put the number in perspective, there are close to 500,000 iPhone apps available in the iTunes store and Android Market boasts more than 200,000 apps. Of course between them they also serve nearly two thirds of the global smartphone market.

According to Windows Phone Applist, who track various statistics about Windows Phone development, there are currently just over 30,000 apps in the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

U.S. files antitrust complaint vs AT&T to block T-Mobile takeover

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2011 10:38

U.S. files antitrust complaint vs AT&T to block T-Mobile takeover The U.S. government has filed to block AT&T much maligned proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA for $39 billion.

If successfully blocked, AT&T will have to pay a huge breakup fee of $3 billion to Deutsche Telekom (TMo's parent company) as well as $4 billion worth of wireless spectrum.

Says the DOJ:

AT&T’s elimination of T-Mobile as an independent, low- priced rival would remove a significant competitive force from the market.


The DOJ complaint seeks a court order blocking any arrangement implementing the deal.

Additionally, the DOJ says blocking the deal will help save jobs in the U.S.

AT&T just responded:

We are surprised and disappointed by today’s action, particularly since we have met repeatedly with the DOJ.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung finally announces Galaxy S II for Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2011 18:29

Samsung finally announces Galaxy S II for Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T It has been available for months in Europe, and has set pre-sale records in the U.S., but Samsung has finally announced the Galaxy S II for three major U.S. carriers.

For Sprint, the device will be called the Samsung Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G and for T-Mobile the device will be called the T-Mobile Galaxy S II. AT&T only said their device would be unveiled in "the coming weeks."

Sprint's model came with a full spec sheet, pricing and availability:


Android 2.3
4.52″ Super AMOLED Plus display
1.2 Ghz dual-core CPU (Samsung Exynos)
WiMax 4G
8 Megapixel rear camera
2 Megapixel front camera
Preloaded apps: Nova 2 HD, Swype, Polaris Office
Bluetooth 3.0
Sprint ID
802.11b/g/n WiFi
WiFi Hotspot for up to 8 device

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Woman scammed into buying block of wood with Apple logo sold as an iPad

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2011 18:15

Woman scammed into buying block of wood with Apple logo sold as an iPad 22-year-old Ashley McDowell of South Carolina was duped out of $180 after two men approached her in a McDonald's parking lot and offered to sell her an iPad.

One of the men, who had a gold tooth, says McDowell, explained that they purchased the tablets in bulk from overseas and were selling for $300. The woman said she only had $180 on her and they quickly accepted her price.

When McDowell got home, she opened the box (a Fedex box, not even an iPad box, mind you) to find a piece of wood with the Apple logo painted on it as well as a "screen" with a replica iPad home screen.

Adding insult to injury, the scammers threw a fake Best Buy sales ticket on top.

Despite dusting the box and "tablet" for prints, the police say they have no leads.




AfterDawn: News

HP will produce another batch of TouchPads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2011 17:51

HP will produce another batch of TouchPads HP, in an unlikely move, will build more TouchPads, in an effort to "meet unfulfilled demand."

Analyst Shawn Wu says the move is just HP fulfilling its contract with Taiwanese manufacturer Compal, which it had cancelled half way through when it shut down the tablet project.

HP is assumed to have ordered 550,000 tablets through Compal.

The TouchPads will be on shelves starting in two weeks and will run through October 31st.

Each retailer has been given the rights to price any inventory at whatever they choose with the base at $99.

More info here: HP will not leave TouchPad users out to dry, one more update coming




AfterDawn: News

Pirate Bay boys launch legal cyberlocker 'BayFiles'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2011 15:22

Pirate Bay boys launch legal cyberlocker 'BayFiles' The founders of the infamous torrent tracker The Pirate Bay have announced the launch of their own legal cyberlocker, called BayFiles.

The service, like rivals, allows users to upload files and share them online.

BayFiles is also registered as a DMCA agent, meaning they will take down all files that are flagged as unauthorized due to copyright infringement and bans multiple-time offenders.

In the future, the company hopes to expand BayFiles into a "feature-rich" cloud service, a la Dropbox. Just like new services from Amazon, Google and Apple, the platform will allow you to upload your music and stream it from a phone (or from anywhere) as long as you have Internet access.

The service is free to sign up, and free members can upload files up to 500MB.

Premium members (at $7 a month or $63 a year) can upload 5GB files with unlimited storage.




AfterDawn: News

Windows 8: Major overhaul for Explorer and native support for disc images

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 30 Aug 2011 14:39

Windows 8: Major overhaul for Explorer and native support for disc images Microsoft is upgrading Windows Explorer in Windows 8 by replacing traditional menus and toolbars with a ribbon interface.

The ribbon interface is the biggest of several changes intended to make Windows Explorer more efficient for common activities, which Microsoft research indicates are currently performed primarily from the context (right-click) menu or keyboard shortcuts.

Thanks to an incomplete selection of options, Windows Explorer's buttons and menus account for less than 15% of all user operations, including copying/moving, viewing properties, renaming, and creating/deleting.

Microsoft concentrated primarily on those common operations in designing the Windows Explorer ribbon's Home tab. The percentages listed for each button indicates how often the operation is expected to be performed.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

July comScore: Android is killing it

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2011 13:56

July comScore: Android is killing it comScore has released their latest numbers on top smartphone platforms and unsurprisingly Android and Apple continue to grow at the expense of everyone else.

For the three months ended July, Android increased a full 5.4 points from April to 41.8 percent while Apple took a 1 point increase to 27 percent despite only having one device.

RIM got killed, again, with the BlackBerry maker dropping 4 points to 21.7 percent.

Microsoft, even with the launch of Windows Phone 7, continues to get killed also, down another point to 5.7 percent share.

Somehow, Symbian still has some share, 1.9 percent, despite being left for dead by Nokia.




AfterDawn: News

HP will not leave TouchPad users out to dry, one more update coming

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2011 13:32

HP will not leave TouchPad users out to dry, one more update coming According to Cnet, HP will release at least one future update for its discontinued TouchPad tablet.

On the 19th, HP slashed the price of its 16GB base model to $99 from $499 MSRP in a firesale intended to liquidate all remaining stock. The move worked and HP is said to have sold out nearly all of its inventory.

The company also added that it would no longer create webOS-based hardware, as the company moves increasingly into the software business.

Says HP:

We expect that HP TouchPad owners can look forward to an over-the-air update that will enhance the platform and add functionality and a growing applications catalog.

HP is fully committed to the ongoing support and service of customers who purchased webOS devices...We plan to continue to investigate the best ways to leverage WebOS software and grow the applications.


The company is also giving away free apps.




AfterDawn: News

Forrester: Amazon could sell 5 million of unconfirmed tablet next quarter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2011 23:08

Forrester: Amazon could sell 5 million of unconfirmed tablet next quarter According to Forrester Research, Amazon could sell 5 million of its still unconfirmed tablet in the Q4, making it a viable competitor to Apple and the iPad.

When the tablet is eventually launched, it is expected to sell for $299 or even $199, well below Apple's base price of $499.

Says the firm:

Thus far, Apple has faced many would-be competitors, but none have gained significant market share. Not only does Amazon have the potential to gain share quickly but its willingness to sell hardware at a loss, as it did with the Kindle, makes Amazon a nasty competitor.


One issue is the amount of native apps for Android tablets, which stand under 300. There are over 100,000 iPad native apps, by comparison.

Amazon will take a loss on every tablet sold but has an extremely strong ecosystem including the Kindle book store for ebooks, Cloud player/Amazon MP3 for music, the Amazon Video store for movies and TV shows, and the Amazon Appstore for Android, where the company takes a 30% chunk of each app sold.




AfterDawn: News

Would Samsung really buy webOS off of HP?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2011 22:26

Would Samsung really buy webOS off of HP? In April 2010, HP purchase Palm, along with webOS and all of the company's patents for $1.2 billion, stopping the struggling phone maker from an imminent bankruptcy.

Two weeks ago, HP admitted failure and announced they would not be building any more devices with webOS, while at the same time liquidating their current inventory, which included Palm Pre phones and TouchPad tablets.

At the same time, Google purchased Motorola Mobility in a shock $12.5 billion move, which has scared current smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, LG and HTC who are afraid the acquired company could be given favorable advantage with the Android operating system.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

China bans 100 more songs from the Internet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2011 21:49

China bans 100 more songs from the Internet The Chinese ministry of culture has banned 100 songs from the Internet saying that any track that "harm the security of state culture must be cleaned up and regulated under the law."

It is unclear why exactly the songs were banned, but China is known for censoring anything it deems politically sensitive or potentially offensive.

Included in the list are songs from The Backstreet Boys, Beyonce, Simple Plan and four songs from Lady Gaga.

The list also banned music from Taiwan's Chang Hui-mei. China is currently in a spat with Taiwan over its territory.

Past music on the banned list included tracks from artists like Avril Lavigne and the Rolling Stones.

Currently, all songs posted on web sites in China need prior approval before they can be embedded.




AfterDawn: News

CyanogenMod running on HP TouchPad

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2011 20:16

CyanogenMod running on HP TouchPad The popular Android devs CyanogenMod have released a video this week showing off Android running on the HP TouchPad tablet, the tablet that normally runs on the webOS platform.

Says the team, via RootzWiki:

Our ultimate vision is to create a multiboot solution where the end user will be able to boot into WebOS, Cyanogenmod, and/or other OSes.


CyanogenMod, now in its 7th iteration (running on Android 2.3.4 as a base) is available for a plethora of smartphones and tablets that can be rooted.

Check the video here of the first alpha version of the software:




AfterDawn: News

Missed out on the HP TouchPad firesale? No worries, drawings are up for sale on eBay

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2011 19:32

Missed out on the HP TouchPad firesale? No worries, drawings are up for sale on eBay Ten days ago, HP puts its TouchPad tablet in firesale at $99, sending sales into a frenzy.

Earlier that week, HP announced they would not create any more webOS-based tablets and smartphones, and would begin liquidating their Pre phones and TouchPad tablet.

The firesale price was significant as a teardown of the tablet revealed the parts cost over $250 not including R&D and shipping. It also meant HP is taking a significant hit on each device sold, as they will likely subsidize retailers liquidating.

This week, it appears the TouchPad craze has reached a likely top, as hand drawn drawings of the TouchPad are now up for sale on eBay.

Reads one auction (currently going for $0.49):

This is an original drawing of an HP Touchpad.

Sold out in stores, this item is in high demand.

More customizable than the iPad, this drawing of an HP Touchpad can display any picture or game you want - simply cut a hole for the screen and place it over your REAL TOUCHPAD (not included).

This drawing is of a 64GB HP Touchpad WITH USB Charger and Wall Adapter.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony S2 named Sony Tablet P

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2011 16:33

Sony S2 named Sony Tablet P Last week, the tablet formerly known as S1 was given its official name, the "Tablet S."

Set for launch in September, the device will run on Honeycomb 3.1 and support an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. The tablet has a 9.4-inch screen, runs on a Tegra 2 processor and is the first tablet to have PlayStation certification. The device will have Wi-Fi, 3G and DLNA connectivity.

Today, Sony has let slip more info on the clam shell designed S2, giving it its official name of "Tablet P."

The dual-screened device will have 512MB RAM, 4GB storage, 4G support, a Tegra 2 processor and weigh just 13 ounces.

Pricing is still unknown.




AfterDawn: News

Mozilla: We are sticking with Firefox version numbers after all

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2011 16:00

Mozilla: We are sticking with Firefox version numbers after all Two weeks ago, Mozilla's Asa Dotzler confirmed that the company would begin hiding the version number of Firefox in the "Help-> About" window dialog.

If you wanted to check the version number, you would have to head over to the about:support page.

This week, however, the company has reversed course and says they will keep the current system in place:

There are no plans to adjust the version number. It will remain in its current place in the About window, and we are going to continue with the current numbering scheme.


The whole episode was blamed on a "miscommunication inside of the [user experience] team."

Earlier this year, Mozilla announced it would be moving to a more Chrome-like release schedule, and has since moved from Firefox 4 to Firefox 7 nightly (Aurora) in just 6 months.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung shows off updated LTE versions of Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 8.9

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2011 15:42

Samsung shows off updated LTE versions of Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 8.9 Samsung has announced the LTE versions of their Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 8.9 devices.

The company will show off the devices, as well as pricing and availability, at next week's IFA event in Germany.

Adds JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business:

With the introduction of GALAXY S II LTE and GALAXY Tab 8.9 LTE, we will take the capabilities of these devices to a whole new level. LTE redefines the user experience made possible by these devices and opens entirely new possibilities in terms of content viewing, sharing, quality and connectivity.

This is a milestone in our commitment to lead the charge in 4G mobile telephony around the world, both in terms of back-end network solutions for service providers and the development of powerful consumer handsets.

Besides adding 4G connectivity, the devices will also be bumped up to 1.5GHz dual core processors, the most powerful on the market.




AfterDawn: News

GameStop offering compensation after Deus Ex coupon fiasco

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2011 15:25

GameStop offering compensation after Deus Ex coupon fiasco Last week, GameStop made headlines by pulling coupons for a competitor out of boxes for Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Square Enix, the company behind the game, had placed vouchers for a free OnLive version of the game worth $50 in every box sold but GameStop, who has a competing cloud service, pulled the vouchers before selling the PC game.

Today, as a compensation to angry gamers, GameStop is offering a $50 gift card and a "buy two-get one free" offer on all used games.

Square Enix, for its part, has also apologized, stating that they did not tell GameStop of the vouchers in advance and the company will remove the coupon in all unsold copies and future shipments.

Says GameStop CEO Paul Raines (via PCW):

We regret the events surrounding this title release and that our customers were put in the middle of this issue between GameStop and Square Enix, the publisher of this game. And for this, we are truly sorry.




AfterDawn: News

Western Digital forced to raise prices on HDDs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2011 14:49

Western Digital forced to raise prices on HDDs Western Digital has been forced to raise the prices of its HDDs, says Hexus, thanks to the continued demand and scarce supply for rare earth elements.

The move is effective immediately, with WD already informing partners of the price hike.

Prices are expected to be hiked 10 percent for 500GB drives and 5 percent for 1TB drives.

Rare earth elements, the supply of which is controlled by China, have been increasing in price for a year now, as the nation intentionally holds back supply to make as much profit as possible from desperate manufacturers.

It is unclear whether the price increases on WD drives will make their way to consumers or if the manufacturers will have to eat the charges, for now.




AfterDawn: News

Judge: False advertising lawsuit against Groupon can proceed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2011 21:48

Judge: False advertising lawsuit against Groupon can proceed Earlier this year, a proposed class action lawsuit was filed against daily deal giant Groupon alleging that the company used bait and switch advertising.

Today, a U.S. judge has said a few parts of the lawsuit can proceed to court.

The suit, brought by San Francisco-based tour operator, alleges that Groupon buys many tour-related keywords on Google's AdWords service but when you click through they rarely actually offer tour coupons. By using such bait-and-switch tactics, the cost of keywords have skyrocketed and the tour company's ads on Google have declined in prominence.

Although some of the claims were tossed, the plaintiffs can rewrite their allegations.

Says the main plaintiff (via Reuters):

We're very happy we're going to get to go forward with these claims to address what we think is classic bait and switch advertising. Only now its done through Google instead of through the newspaper.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook says goodbye to newly launched 'Deals' program

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2011 20:34

Facebook says goodbye to newly launched 'Deals' program Facebook has announced the end of the "Deals" program they launched in April.

The service was set to compete with daily deal sites like Groupon, LivingSocial and Gilt.

Says the social networking giant of the move:

After testing Deals for four months, we've decided to end our Deals product in the coming weeks.

We think there is a lot of power in a social approach to driving people into local businesses. We've learned a lot from our test and we'll continue to evaluate how to best serve local businesses.


Four months ago, Facebook starting testing the service in Atlanta, Dallas, Austin, San Francisco and San Diego, in an effort to boost its revenue sources.

The daily deal site market is quickly becoming oversaturated, with Groupon now facing competition from cash-rich behemoths like Google and Amazon.




AfterDawn: News

iTunes kills off 99 cent TV show rentals

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2011 19:59

iTunes kills off 99 cent TV show rentals Apple has quietly killed off its 99 cent TV show rentals via iTunes, sticking with the more successful a-la carte purchasing option.

An SD-quality TV episode costs $2 to purchase while its HD counterpart costs $3.

Rentals were introduced last year alongside the second generation Apple TV set-top box.

Apple says:

iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows. iTunes in the Cloud lets customers download and watch their past TV purchases from their iOS devices, Apple TV, Mac or PC allowing them to enjoy their programming whenever and however they choose.


Although they would not mention the services by name, it is clear that Hulu and Netflix were the reason for the lack of rentals. Hulu offers episodes, for free, the day after they air and Netflix has full series of TV episodes, with no ads, for just $7.99 per month.




AfterDawn: News

Google TV headed to Europe in 2012

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2011 19:10

Google TV headed to Europe in 2012 According to chairman Eric Schmidt, Google is preparing to launch Google TV in Europe in early 2012.

The search giant is looking to expand its Google TV platform, which has floundered in the U.S. thanks to the restrictive nature of the media companies.

Additionally, the company will continue to fund broadcasting content but will not produce any itself.

Says Schmidt:

Just as smartphones sparked a whole new era of innovation for the Internet, we hope Google TV can help do the same for television, creating more value for all.

We’re agnostic when it comes to whether free or paid content models are best. It’s up to content owners to decide if they want to charge, and it’s up to users to decide if they want to pay.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon is ready to take over the tablet market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2011 18:16

Amazon is ready to take over the tablet market Amazon is ready to hit the tablet market hard, says the NYPost, as early as late September.

Sources claim the e-tailing giant will release an Android-powered device in either late September or early October, while severely undercutting the iPad's market making $500 price tag.

The tablet will sell for either $199 or $299 (the price is still unclear), a price seen by only one tablet in recent memory, the newly launched Vizio Tablet (formerly VIA).

Additionally, it has become clear that users who were on the fence about tablets will buy in droves if the price is right. When HP put their Touchpad on firesale last week at $99 (down from $499), the company managed to sell hundreds of thousands per day, with the popularity taking down servers of big and small companies alike.

Because Amazon is expected to have higher-end specs in their tablet, the company is also expected to take a loss on each tablet sold, in order to make up the deficit in app, music, movie and e-book sales.




AfterDawn: News

AT&T, T-Mobile submit enough info for FCC to continue deal review

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Aug 2011 14:51

AT&T, T-Mobile submit enough info for FCC to continue deal review The FCC has said this morning that both AT&T and T-Mobile have provided enough info so that the regulatory agency can now continue its review on the proposed $39 billion deal acquisition.

82 days into a 180-day review "clock," the FCC halted the review but has now restarted it.

The FCC needed new information on the "economic modeling" AT&T provided last month, as it there were a lack of substantial arguments about efficiencies created by the huge merger.

Officials received enough info now on the new modeling and can continue its review.

Bob Quinn, AT&T's senior vice president of federal regulatory issues says they are now "confident that the commission will move expeditiously to complete its review."




AfterDawn: News

Pandora's losses highlight DMCA's effect on Internet radio

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 26 Aug 2011 13:07

Pandora's losses highlight DMCA's effect on Internet radio Pandora, the popular Internet radio service, continues to grow at an amazing pace, so why is it they can't seem to turn a profit?

The answer lies in a fateful ruling from the Copyright Royalty Board. The CRB's existence is the result of a DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) provision mandating arbitration to determine fair Internet radio royalties in the event rights holders and webcasters couldn't reach their own agreement.

In theory this guaranteed that Internet radio providers would be on equal footing with the much larger music labels in royalgy negotiations. In practice it didn't work out that way.

In 2006 SoundExchange, a royalty collection agency created by the RIAA, entered into arbitration with a variety of webcasters entered into arbitration. The Copyright Royalty Board was created, under a 2004 law, to act as arbitrators, fulfilling the DMCA mandate.

The key point to understand is exactly what that mandate is:

In establishing rates and terms for transmissions by eligible nonsubscription services and new subscription services, the copyright arbitration royalty panel shall establish rates and terms that most clearly represent the rates and terms that would have been negotiated in the marketplace between a willing buyer and a willing seller

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AOL considered buying Apple in the 90s

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Aug 2011 12:43

AOL considered buying Apple in the 90s According to former Vice Chairman Ted Leonsis, AOL considered buying Apple in the 90s, as the computer maker floundered.

In 1996, Apple was on the verge of bankruptcy and AOL was growing at exponential rates and had reached 10 million dial-up customers.

Says Leonsis (via BizJ):

Ironically, at one point at AOL, we looked at acquiring Apple and saving it. We were all concerned that it wasn’t going to do well. Little did we know.


The company would have bundled AOL software onto Macs, as it was widely expected that Microsoft would build something similar into Windows.

Today, Apple is the most valuable company in the tech world, while AOL has lost 98 percent of its value since 2000.




AfterDawn: News

Google shuts down Slide just 12 months after purchase

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Aug 2011 12:05

Google shuts down Slide just 12 months after purchase In August 2010, Google confirmed that they acquired Slide, the social networking gaming site created in 2005 by Max Levchin, the co-founder of PayPal.

The company's two most popular apps were SuperPoke and SPP Ranch. The first allowed you to adopt a virtual pet, and exchange money for virtual goods. Google purchased the company for around $200 million.

Today, Google has announced the shut down of the company and its apps.

Says Slide:

We created products with the goal of providing a fun way for people to connect, communicate and share. While we are incredibly grateful to our users and for all of the wonderful feedback over the years, many of these products are no longer as active or haven't caught on as we originally hoped.




AfterDawn: News

iOS jailbreaker takes internship at Apple

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Aug 2011 11:26

iOS jailbreaker takes internship at Apple iOS hacking star Nicholas Allegra (aka Comex) has taken an internship at Apple.

The hacker/developer is known for creating JailbreakMe 2 and 3, hacks that allow iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users to run homebrew apps on their devices.

Says Allegra:

It’s been really, really fun, but it’s also been a while and I’ve been getting bored.So, the week after next I will be starting an internship with Apple.


Allegra says he will likely be helping Apple tighten security now, which he called "kind of refreshing."




AfterDawn: News

Guide spotlight: Extracting content from a Blu-ray disc

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 26 Aug 2011 0:59

Guide spotlight: Extracting content from a Blu-ray disc Last week we introduced you to a number of new guides and videos from AfterDawn. This week we are going to shine the spotlight a little closer on one of them.

If you are used to extracting and converting titles from DVDs, it can be quite a shock to move up to the world of Blu-ray.

Thanks to features like Picture-In-Picture, BD-Java, and multiple video formats and resolutions, just figuring out what files you need can be a daunting task if you have never done it before.

Making things even more complicated, there is no single, all-purpose tool like DVD Shrink for Blu-ray discs.

In our guide for Extracting Content From A Blu-ray Disc we break the process down into two steps.

In the first part, Analysis, we cover using BDInfo to analyze various aspects of the playlists (MPLS files) on a Blu-ray disc. Then we explain how to use Media Player Classic - Home Cinema to preview titles to help you decide which ones you want to keep.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile to get iPhone in October, as well?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Aug 2011 0:57

T-Mobile to get iPhone in October, as well? According to 'sources' inside T-mobile, the U.S.' fourth largest carrier will be getting the iPhone 5 in October.

Verizon and AT&T will for sure be getting the upcoming device (whenever it launches), but strong rumors have surfaced the past few days that Sprint will also be getting the popular smartphone.

Says one report:

The informant, who requested to remain anonymous, went on to claim that the iPhone 5 would also operate at 3G speeds on T-Mobile US network. Current unlocked iPhone 4 units can only operate at 2G 'edge' speeds on T-Mobile's network, and lack certain network-dependent features, such as Visual Voicemail.


There is also speculation that an unlocked world phone version of the iPhone 5 will be launched in October, good for any carrier in the world.




AfterDawn: News

PROTECT IP threatens the future of DNS security

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 25 Aug 2011 23:46

PROTECT IP threatens the future of DNS security PROTECT IP is the name of a bill which is working its way through the US Senate with a version also expected to be introduced in the House of Representatives next month. It would require the Attorney General's office to compile of list of domain names which DNS operators (in the US) will be required to block.

According to some critics, it threatens to undo more than a decade of Internet security development in a single stroke.

To understand exactly what that means, I talked to one of those critics - Paul Vixie of the Internet Systems Consortium (ISC). You may not be familiar with ISC, but you almost certainly make use of their software every day.

ISC is a non-profit corporation which develops BIND, the most widely used DNS server software on the planet. When you type a domain name like AfterDawn.com into your web browser, your computer relies on a worldwide network of DNS servers to translate it into an IP address.

As part of BIND development, ISC has put significant resources into making DNS more secure through the use of an extension called DNSSEC. DNSSEC adds an encrypted signature to DNS records, making it possible to ensure the IP address you get from a DNS server is authentic.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Wal-mart cuts price of 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2011 19:30

Wal-mart cuts price of 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle Joystiq posted a picture earlier in which Wal-Mart had discounted the price of the 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle.

The picture led to speculation that Microsoft would do an across-the-board price cut on their consoles following Sony's recent price cut on the PlayStation 3.

For the week beginning August 28th, Wal-Mart is slashing the price $50 to $249, in-line with the PS3 (non-bundled).

Microsoft has responded to the price cut, saying:

Walmart made an independent decision to implement this temporary price cut. We've made no announcements about price drops, and do not discuss our pricing plans in advance. Xbox is the number-one selling console in the U.S. for 13 of the past 14 months, and is showing record growth. With an incredible line-up of games and entertainment, we're expecting the biggest year in Xbox history as the best-selling console worldwide.




AfterDawn: News

NFL team moves from paper playbooks to iPads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2011 19:13

NFL team moves from paper playbooks to iPads Tampa Bay Buccaneers (of the NFL) coach Raheem Morris has confirmed today that his entire team has been issued iPad 2 tablets, moving away from paper playbooks.

The 90 players on the team have been informed to bring their new iPads to all practices and games instead of their older 500 page paper playbooks.

Each player can also use the tablets at home to review practice, situational and game footage.

Says safety Cody Grimm:

It’s crazy how much technology has changed the game. Back in the day, I think probably the whole team had to sit down with a projector and a reel, and watch the film together. They’d have the whole offense in the same meeting room. Now we all have our own iPad.


Additionally, the team says from a security standpoint, the tablets are more secure as they can be remotely wiped. Players in the past have lost their paper playbooks, forcing the team to remake plays and strategies.




AfterDawn: News

UK retailers already set to drop price of new slim Wii

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2011 18:42

UK retailers already set to drop price of new slim Wii Last week, Nintendo announced the launch of a new slimmed down Wii console, part of the "Family Edition" bundle, which removes GameCube support completely.

The console is 30 percent smaller than the original Wii, comes with a Wii Remote Plus + Nunchuk, Wii Party and Wii Sports and has an MSRP of £99.

This week, it has become clear that UK retailers are already expected to drop the price at launch, down to £79.99 or even lower.

A number of retailers have confirmed to MCV that the sale will last through the holiday period.




AfterDawn: News

Ubisoft removes always-on DRM from 'From Dust'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2011 18:02

Ubisoft removes always-on DRM from 'From Dust' Ubisoft's highly anticipated "From Dust" has been met with massive criticism since launch.

The game, like all new Ubisoft titles, comes with the draconian "always-on" Internet connection DRM.

If you ever have a connection hiccup, or just plain lose service, you are returned to the main menu. With the DRM, you cannot play games offline, even in "single player" modes. This has happened multiple times where an Ubisoft authorization server has gone down, leaving legitimate players standing idle while those with pirated copies play happily.

Additionally, From Dust is currently missing graphics options, is extremely buggy, and is capped at 30fps, no matter what GPU you are running.

As of writing, Ubisoft has listened to the significant outcry about the game and will be sending out a patch in the next two weeks to remove the always-on DRM. Furthermore, they are offering a full refund to Steam users who purchased the game and "are dissatisfied."




AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry Messenger Music enters beta

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 25 Aug 2011 17:11

BlackBerry Messenger Music enters beta Research In Motion (RIM) has just begun a closed beta for their BlackBerry Messenger based subscription music service, BBM Music. Beta testing is being conducted exclusively in Canada, the US and the UK.

The full service is expected to launch in Australia, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, the US, and the UK later this year.

As we reported earlier this week, BBM Music will cost $4.99 USD. Prices may vary by country.

Mike Lazaridis, RIM President and Co-CEO, said:

We have partnered with leading music companies to provide a ‘full track’ music sharing and discovery experience that will provide users with quality music on demand and allow them to connect with friends on a whole new level.


BBM Music's features are basically what we already reported, although we have a few more details.
  • Music from all four major labels is available
  • You can select up to 50 songs
  • No more than 25 song selections may be swapped out per month
  • Songs may be downloaded to the subscriber's BlackBerry or streamed across an internet connection
  • You can setup a personal "community" to share BBM Music tracks. Other people's tracks don't count against your 50 song limit
  • You can create playlists which include both your own and your friends' music




AfterDawn: News

DMCA safe harbors reaffirmed in MP3tunes ruling

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 25 Aug 2011 14:48

DMCA safe harbors reaffirmed in MP3tunes ruling Earlier this week a federal judge presiding over EMI's copyright infringement lawsuit against MP3tunes dismissed the label's claim that the file locker service does not qualify for DMCA safe harbor protection.

Safe harbors are intended to shield service providers from third party liability for copyright infringement. In other words, if someone infringes using your service, there is no legal claim against the service.

To qualify for safe harbor protection, a service provider must comply with various other provisions of the DMCA. Among them is a requirement the provider, "does not have actual knowledge that the material or an activity using the material on the system or network is infringing" and "is not aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent."

MP3tunes operates a music file locker service which allows subscribers to store copies of free music they find on the Internet. They call this sideloading.

MP3tunes also operates a partner website called Sideload, which keeps an index of links to songs which have been sideloaded to subscribers' lockers.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung denies interest in HP's PC division

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 25 Aug 2011 10:49

Samsung denies interest in HP's PC division Samsung has stated in no uncertain terms they won't be buying Hewlett-Packard's PC business.

A statement on the South Korean electronics giant's official blog states, "The recent rumors that Samsung Electronics will be taking over Hewlett-Packard Co.'s personal computer business are not true."

Samsung chief executive Choi Gee-sung also issued a separate statement with additional details:

Hewlett-Packard is the global leader in the PC business, while Samsung is an emerging player in the category. Based on the significant disparity in scale with Samsung's own PC business and lack of synergies, Samsung is not interested in the acquisition.


Rumors about an acquisition came on the heels of HP's decision to spin off their PC business (Personal Systems Group) into a separate unit, with an eye towards selling it. HP is currently the market leader in PC sales.

There are several reasons it probably doesn't make sense for Samsung to buy HP's PC division, starting with the uncertain future of the PC market as a whole.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Steve Jobs resigns from Apple

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2011 18:37

Steve Jobs resigns from Apple Apple’s Board of Directors have announced that CEO Steve Jobs has resigned his position, and the Board has named Tim Cook, previously Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, as the company’s new CEO.

Jobs has been elected Chairman of the Board and Cook will join the Board, effective immediately.

"I hereby resign as CEO of Apple . I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee," said Jobs.

Apple has had Cook as the next in line for a few years now as Steve Job's health has been in flux.

"Steve’s extraordinary vision and leadership saved Apple and guided it to its position as the world’s most innovative and valuable technology company," added Art Levinson, Chairman of Genentech, and Apple Board member. "Steve has made countless contributions to Apple’s success, and he has attracted and inspired Apple’s immensely creative employees and world class executive team. In his new role as Chairman of the Board, Steve will continue to serve Apple with his unique insights, creativity and inspiration."

"The Board has complete confidence that Tim is the right person to be our next CEO," added Levinson. "Tim’s 13 years of service to Apple have been marked by outstanding performance, and he has demonstrated remarkable talent and sound judgment in everything he does."




AfterDawn: News

Fox's misleading response to piracy report

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 24 Aug 2011 16:58

Fox's misleading response to piracy report A Fox Network executive responded to TorrentFreak's report of an increase in piracy caused by the network's change in online video policy with a statement that completely dodges the issue.

Earlier this week TorrentFreak pointed out how Fox's decision to delay the availability of their shows for free online viewing had already resulted in more piracy.

As of last week, the free streams for Fox shows aren't available on Hulu until 8 days after they air. Instead, they are only available to Hulu Plus or Dish Network subscribers.

Fox is also working on other pay TV providers. Fox Television senior vice president Scott Grogin told The Hollywood Reporter:

We are actively in negotiations with all cable/satellite/telco providers regarding authentication of their customers. We hope to announce several more agreements before the start of the new television season in mid-September.


He also claims the network is, "pursuing a strategy where the 90+ million households who pay to watch our programming via cable/satellite/telco will ultimately receive maximum benefit."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Windows 8 to improve file transfer experience

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 24 Aug 2011 14:09

Windows 8 to improve file transfer experience If you have ever gotten frustrated with the file transfer dialog in Windows, you should be happy to find out it is getting some long overdue improvements in Windows 8.

The dialog which appears when you copy or move files is arguably one of the least useful parts of Windows. It estimates time remaining for a transfer operation which is completely unreliable. On top of that, if you start multiple move or copy operations each one opens a separate dialog.

Perhaps worst of all, there is no pause option. If you want to temporarily stop a transfer and then resume where you left off, you are out of luck.

The new dialog for Windows 8, which was revealed by Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky, looks to address all those issues.

The basic dialog will combine all ongoing file copy or move operations in a single window, adding pause and resume buttons for each.

Rather than predicting how much time is remaining, which often varies from one second to another in the current dialog, it simply lists the completion percentage.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

QNX-based BlackBerrys will run Android apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2011 13:50

QNX-based BlackBerrys will run Android apps According to BusinessWeek, Android apps are headed to BlackBerrys, soon.

QNX-based Blackberrys, set for launch in early 2012, will have the ability to run Android apps, allegedly almost as well as they would run on Android devices.

The brand new BlackBerry 7 phones will not be upgrade-able to QNX, and therefore will not have access to Android apps.

Although the RIM PlayBook runs on QNX, it has not yet been given the "Android Player" necessary to run the apps. That technology will come built-in to the new phones.

The Android Market has 250,000 apps while the BlackBerry App World has around 45,000.




AfterDawn: News

Google settles with government over illegal pharmaceutical ads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2011 13:02

Google settles with government over illegal pharmaceutical ads Google has settled with the Department of Justice today for $500 million, over their part in showing illegal ads for Canadian pharmacies.

The investigation began in May, and Google said at the time it was setting aside $500 million for a potential settlement.

Google was investigated for showing ads from the companies that were selling counterfeit drugs or selling drugs without a prescription.

Over the years, Google has agreed it is a problem as pharmacies prove a "cat-and-mouse game" by finding new ways to get around Google's ad rules.

Notes Google (via NYT):

We banned the advertising of prescription drugs in the U.S. by Canadian pharmacies some time ago. However, it’s obvious with hindsight that we shouldn’t have allowed these ads on Google in the first place. Given the extensive coverage this settlement has already received, we won’t be commenting further.




AfterDawn: News

Sony Tablet S coming in September

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2011 12:13

Sony Tablet S coming in September Formerly known as the S1, Sony has officially named its upcoming tablet the "Tablet S."

Set for launch in September, the device will run on Honeycomb 3.1 and support an upgrade to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The tablet has a 9.4-inch screen, runs on a Tegra 2 processor and is the first tablet to have PlayStation certification. The device will have Wi-Fi, 3G and DLNA connectivity.

Sony's tablet will have built-in integration for Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited services, will be able to control all devices in the home via an IR blaster.

The tablet will have dual cameras, 5MP on the back, 3MP up front, have "True Black" display technology and likely cost $600 at launch.

(Pic via Engadget)




AfterDawn: News

Apple preparing to introduce discount iPhone in China?

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 24 Aug 2011 11:58

Apple preparing to introduce discount iPhone in China? It is being reported that Apple plans to introduce a scaled down iPhone for emerging markets.

Despite plenty of consumer and carrier interest, these markets have eluded Apple domination due to the iPhone being exclusively a high end product. The price puts them out of the reach of many potential customers in countries like China.

According to Reuters, production of the new phone, which will have 8GB of storage and be based on the iPhone 4, is already underway.

They also say Chinese carriers China Mobile Ltd and China Telecom Corp Ltd are in talks with Apple to carry the unit.

Channing Smith, co-manager of the Capital Advisors Growth Fund, said, "A lower-priced version of iPhone 4 seems to be a necessary evil at this point in the iPhone adoption cycle, especially in emerging markets where the average income of individuals is much lower."

The discount model is not expected to be sold in the US, Europe, or other well established iPhone markets.

In fact, as market research from NPD Group showed earlier this year, Apple is already capable of competing effectively at the low end in the US. At that time, the iPhone 3GS ranked second in unit sales only to the iPhone 4.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AT&T already looking to dump Facebook phone?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2011 11:45

AT&T already looking to dump Facebook phone? Although AT&T has so far denied the rumor, it appears that the first-ever Facebook phone, the HTC Status, may be on its way out.

The move comes just 35 days after launch.

For now, AT&T says: "The HTC Status is a great product and our plans for it to be part of our portfolio haven’t changed." Where have we heard that before, though?

The HTC Status is dubbed the FB phone because it has its own Facebook button underneath the keypad which gives users a chance to use a deeply integrated Facebook app.

For example, if you are listening to music, by hitting the Facebook button you can instantly share what song you are playing, and same goes for Web browsing and pictures. Simply hit the button to share the site you are on or upload the picture you just took. When a friend calls, you will see their Facebook picture and current status on the home screen.

The device itself runs on Android 2.3 with HTC Sense overlay, have a 2.6-inch touch screen with 480 x 320 resolution, 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM, dual-cameras and an 800MHz processor.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung to expand Galaxy smartphone line

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 24 Aug 2011 4:37

Samsung to expand Galaxy smartphone line Samsung has just announced four upcoming additions to their Galaxy line of smartphones, named the Galaxy W, Galaxy M Pro, Galaxy Y & Galaxy Y Pro.

Along with the phones comes a new naming scheme with varying letter designations indicating price/performance levels. The letters, and corresponding levels, are (from highest to lowest):

  • S (Super Smart)
  • R (Royal / Refined)
  • W (Wonder)
  • M (Magical)
  • Y (Young)

In addition, the designations "Pro", "Plus", and "LTE" may be added to indicate a QWERTY keyboard, an upgrade from an existing model, or LTE connectivity respectively.

We have introduced steps to ensure users can simply identify the device designed to deliver the perfect experience for them," said JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business.

The Galaxy W will feature a 1.4GHz processor & 3.7" touch screen.
The Galaxy M Pro will have a 1GHz processor, 2.66" touch screen & QWERTY keyboard.
The Galaxy Y will offer a 832MHz processor and a 3" touch screen.
The Galaxy Y Pro will be similar to the regular Galaxy Y, with a 2.6" screen & QWERTY keyboard.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

WSJ: Sprint getting iPhone 5

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2011 15:34

WSJ: Sprint getting iPhone 5 According to a new WSJ report (tweeted out), Sprint will be getting the iPhone 5 at launch, although launch date is still unclear.

Apple has made the iPhone available to AT&T customers since inception, and this year to Verizon customers. Adding Sprint to the mix would mean the iPhone will be available on the three biggest carriers in the U.S. The fourth carrier, T-Mobile, is set to be acquired by AT&T next year for $39 billion.

Will update when more news is available.




AfterDawn: News

Lenovo MeeGo netbook now available in Europe

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2011 15:05

Lenovo MeeGo netbook now available in Europe First announced at last month's Computex 2011, the Lenovo IdeaPad S100 is now available in Europe.

The device is notable because it runs on MeeGo, Intel and Nokia's joint mobile OS.

Stores have listed the price at €185.

The IdeaPad S100 has a 10.1-inch (1024 x 600) display, a 1.33 GHz Atom N435 processor, 1GB of RAM, a 160GB hard drive, integrated graphics, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, 10/100 LAN, a webcam and 7 hours of battery life.

Lenovo says there will be 3 colorways, black, red and blue.




AfterDawn: News

South Korea to create own smartphone OS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2011 14:11

South Korea to create own smartphone OS South Korea is set to create its own alternative to Android and iOS, building a new smartphone OS for hometown champs LG and Samsung.

The country will allegedly begin developing the project by the end of the year.

Says Kim Jae-hong, deputy minister at the Ministry of Knowledge Economy:

We will forge ahead in developing a new kind of operating system, which is being seen as a next-generation product, in order to build the kind of advantage we do not enjoy in the market for smartphones and tablet PCs, which is dominated by Google and Apple.


Jae-hong confirmed that Google's move to purchase Motorola was the catalyst for the new OS, as LG and Samsung are afraid Google may eventually enter the hardware business and cannibalize everyone else.

The new OS will be open, and accessible by the general community.




AfterDawn: News

Tablet sales to reach 250 million by 2017

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2011 13:38

Tablet sales to reach 250 million by 2017 Research firm InStat has concluded today that tablet sales will reach 250 million by 2017.

Tablets will continue to grow in sales as the market has reached an "inflection point through the combination of a new device (the Apple iPad), new business models supported by wireless operators, and new usage models through cloud computing and mobile applications."

Many different companies are also joining in the mix, like RIM and Microsoft which should lead to exponential growth starting next year.

Says Jim McGregor, Chief Technology Strategist:

The tablet market and its associated ecosystem are still evolving. Over the next few generations we will see more differentiation between devices that are targeting different market segments and usage models. In addition, competitive device and service pricing will bring tablets into the mainstream consumer and enterprise markets. Tablets are joining an array of smart-connected devices that allow users almost unlimited access to content and communications. These new devices mark a significant change in the value change of the electronics industry where the content and applications are now the key differentiators and innovation drivers.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo to release revamped 3DS in 2012

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2011 12:55

Nintendo to release revamped 3DS in 2012 The latest Nintendo rumor has the company already developing a revised 3DS hardware, one that will launch next year.

Featuring a second analog stick, the console will also tone down the 3D capabilities of the system, which has proven to be a bust.

01net, which leaked initial specs of the Wii U, is the site behind the latest rumor, which could prove credible.

The site says its sources indicated Nintendo is concerned they marketed the 3D aspects of the console too aggressively, scaring away consumers who don't care for it and just want to play games on the go.

Nintendo recently dropped the price of its 3DS from $250 to $170, while offering 20 free games to early adopters.




AfterDawn: News

Fox's 8-day delay on Hulu videos causing piracy?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2011 12:23

Fox's 8-day delay on Hulu videos causing piracy? Starting last week, Fox began delaying posting its new shows on Hulu for 8 days, unless you have a Hulu Plus subscription or are a DISH Network subscriber.

TorrentFreak is now saying that this new mandate is already causing a large spike in piracy.

Shows such as Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef have seen piracy increase 114 percent and 189 percent, respectively, in just the first 5 days.

Other, more popular shows like Family Guy and The Simpsons are likely to see even bigger spikes in piracy, when they return for new seasons.

It should be pretty obvious to media companies by now that if you are not making shows available for free online, users are not going to just stop watching them, they will use whatever methods possible to watch them as soon as they can.




AfterDawn: News

Will BlackBerry Music be a killer feature or just a footnote?

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Aug 2011 11:00

Will BlackBerry Music be a killer feature or just a footnote? Details are emerging about RIM's upcoming BlackBerry music service. They will reportedly offer BlackBerry Messenger users access to a wide selection of music from all four major labels.

As a subscription service, history tells us BlackBerry Music has some big hurdles to clear. To date, subscription music hasn't exactly been big business.

A report from from The Wall Street Journal, provides some specifics.

At $5 a month the price isn't bad, assuming the music selection is as good as reported.

Subscribers will get access to 50 songs at a time, which doesn't sound like much. But how many songs does the average person actually listen to in a week or a month?

As long as subscribers can regularly and easily change their selections it's not necessarily a big deal. Plus they will be able to share songs with other subscribers who are also BlackBerry Messenger contacts.

The songs will only play on a BlackBerry device running their music app, which may not matter much to most people. One of the reasons many people buy smartphones is their music capabilities.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HP Pre 3 on firesale in Europe

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2011 2:36

HP Pre 3 on firesale in Europe Last week, HP decided to get out of the webOS hardware business, effectively shutting the door on its Palm purchase from last year.

The company put the TouchPad tablet on firesale for $99 and has sold an estimated 500,000 in the past three days alone.

HP has said today that they will not bring the Pre 3 smartphone to the U.S. but will firesale it in Europe for 75 euro, unlocked.

If anyone in the U.S. is willing to import the device, it will work with GSM carrier AT&T and T-mobile, says the company.

The Pre3 has a 3.58-inch touch screen at 480x800 resolution, a 1.4-GHz Qualcomm processor and dual cameras.




AfterDawn: News

The PSP E-1000's specs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2011 2:17

The PSP E-1000's specs Last week, Sony Europe announced the launch of a new PSP, dubbed the E-1000, which will sell for just €99.

Additionally, the company said it will relaunch some UMD titles like FIFA 12 and Invizimals as "PSP Essentials" for just €9.99.

Today, the company has released all the specs for the new device, which strips Wi-Fi (among other features) in order to save on costs.

Spec list (via GR):

LCD screen: 4.3 inches / 10.9 cm (16:9) full-transparent type, TFT drive. Approximately 16,770,000 colours displayed.
Sound: Monaural speaker.
Internal disc drive: Read-only Universal Media Disc drive.
Interface: DC IN 5V connector. Hi-Speed USB (USB 2.0 compliant). DC OUT connector. Headset connector. Memory Stick PRO DuoTM slot.
Power source: AC Adaptor: DC 5.0 V. Lithium-Ion rechargeable Battery Pack.
Maximum power consumption: Approx. 6 W (when charging).
External dimensions: Approx. 172.4 × 73.4 × 21.6 mm (width × height × depth) (excludes largest projection).
Weight: Approx. 223 g (including Battery Pack).
Compatible codecs: Universal Media Disc Video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Main Profile Level 3. Music: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Main Profile Level 3, Linear PCM, ATRAC3plusTM Memory StickTM For details, refer to the User’s Guide.
Universal Media Disc laser
Input: AC 100-240 V, 50/60 Hz.
Output: DC 5 V, Max. 1500 mA.
External dimensions: Approx. 61 × 23 × 84 mm (width × height × depth) (excludes largest projection).
Weight: Approx. 62 g.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HTC CEO: We are not running away from Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2011 2:05

HTC CEO: We are not running away from Android HTC's CEO Peter Chou has confirmed that the company will remain committed to Android following Google's decision to buy Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion.

Chou says it will "leverage partnerships" with both Google and Microsoft while at the same time creating something "unique in the smartphone ecosystem."

HTC has hired 1000 new R&D staff and will release 8 new phones by the end of the year.

The huge addition of new employees lead many to believe that the company is building its own OS, likely based off the Sense UI.

Says Chou:

This acquisition is more to enhance Google's patent portfolio, to support us, to protect us...It’s not the operating system, it’s the ecosystem…We think we can find a way to differentiate to add value, but at the same time leverage our partners, Google and Microsoft, since we have such a great relationship with them.




AfterDawn: News

RIAA appeals Thomas-Rasset case

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2011 1:52

RIAA appeals Thomas-Rasset case As expected, the RIAA has appealed the latest Jammie Thomas-Rasset decision.

Citing the court's failure to classify Thomas-Rasset's actions as a "distribution" under 106(3) of the Copyright Act, the RIAA believes the defendant will likely repeat her previous actions and violate the Copyright Act.

If the jury can define "distribution" as the RIAA wants it, it will likely result in a third trial.

Here is the backstory:

In 2006, Jammie Thomas-Rasset was sent a letter asking her to settle (for $3300) over alleged unauthorized file sharing of 24 tracks.

She refused and decided to take the case to court.

In 2007, Thomas-Rasset was found liable for $1.92 million in damages, but a retrial saw the fine dropped to $220,000. In 2010, however, a judge reduced the award to $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 and the trial went to part 3. Later that year, Thomas lost again in court, with a jury finding her liable for $1.5 million in copyright infringement damages. The Minnesota woman appealed.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Hulu opening acquisition bids

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2011 1:42

Hulu opening acquisition bids On-demand streaming site Hulu is ready to begin accepting opening bids on Wednesday, says the WSJ.

Google, Yahoo, Amazon and DirecTV are expected to bid, with bids likely to range from $500 million to $2 billion.

Yahoo sent an unsolicited bid in June, which started the ball rolling.

Hulu CEO Jason Kilar has long said that the site can never reach its full potential as content providers pullback from offering free content. Fox recently started an 8-day delay window on its content, which will likely prove detrimental.

For now, Yahoo appears to be the top bidder with Google in second, as long as certain conditions are met.




AfterDawn: News

Residents of Tripoli get Internet back, momentarily

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Aug 2011 15:26

Residents of Tripoli get Internet back, momentarily After months of downtime, local Internet access in Tripoli, Libya was restored momentarily on Saturday night.

The Web is said to be down again in the capital city, as of today.

DSL-based Internet has been blocked since the spring, when rebels began an attack to remove leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Says a Tripoli resident:

Service was restored suddenly in Tripoli, flickered on and off for a couple of hours, and then died, with the majority of the country's international BGP (Border Gateway Protocol) routes withdrawn from service for good measure




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft looking to poach webOS devs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Aug 2011 14:29

Microsoft looking to poach webOS devs Following HP's decision to kill off all webOS-based hardware and firesale their Pre phones and TouchPad tablet for $49 and $99, respectively, Microsoft is looking to bring talented webOS devs over to the floundering Windows Phone 7 platform.

Microsoft has had good success in bringing developers over to WP7 and despite mediocre hardware sales the platform has 30,000 apps in record time.

Director for Windows Phone 7, Brandon Watson, has tweeted this weekend:

To any published webOS devs: We'll give you what you need to be successful on #WindowsPhone, including free phones, dev tools, and training, etc


Microsoft is said to have strong tools and a strong training program for WP7 devs.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook and Twitter continue to see record traffic

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Aug 2011 13:39

Facebook and Twitter continue to see record traffic According to comScore's July numbers for the U.S., both Twitter and Facebook saw record traffic (unique visitors), although growth is slowing slightly for Facebook.

In May, Facebook had 157.2 million uniques, followed by June's 160.8 million and now July's 162 million.

Twitter continued to post strong growth, moving from 27 million unique visitors in May, to 30.6 million in June and 32.8 million in July.

As of August, Twitter has completed its switch to the newly redesigned web page, which continues to add new features.

By comparison, MySpace continues to lose traffic, falling from 35 million uniques in May to 32.8 million in July.

Google+, the new social network from Google, was not added to the numbers, yet, despite having 20 million registered users.




AfterDawn: News

Windows ups anti-piracy measures for Windows 8

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Aug 2011 13:22

Windows ups anti-piracy measures for Windows 8 Following years of piracy of their operating system, Microsoft has begun upping anti-piracy measures for its early Windows 8 builds.

In recent memory, Windows 7 builds were easily pirated but the company is shutting down the generic volume license keys of yesteryear. Additionally, product keys will no longer be shipped in the prodkey.txt file included in new build packages.

Anyone installing the latest Windows 8 builds will need to get their unique key from a secure Microsoft web page.

Furthermore, the company may begin using its "fast booting patent" which ET explains could help Microsoft use a remote server to push OS code to systems at boot time with embedded activation-related programming.

Windows 8 is set for a 2012 release on PCs and tablets.




AfterDawn: News

YouTube adds Google+ 'Hangouts'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Aug 2011 22:48

YouTube adds Google+ 'Hangouts' Google has announced this weekend the addition of Google+'s Hangouts to YouTube.

By using the Hangouts feature, YouTube users can have a shared video watching experience.

To take advantage of the new feature, Google+ users need to hit "Share" under the video pane of the video they are watching, then hit "Watch with your friends: Start a Google+ Hangout."

You will also need the Google Voice and Video plugin (most people who use Gtalk will have this already) or you can install it when prompted.

Finally, hit anybody in your Circles that you want to share the video with and voila, group video watching.




AfterDawn: News

HTC bootloader unlocking tools now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Aug 2011 22:09

HTC bootloader unlocking tools now available In May, HTC CEO Peter Chou announced that his company would be moving back to open bootloaders on their devices, following considerable customer outcry.

The first phones to receive the unlocked boots are the EVO 3D and Sensation 4G.

Said the CEO at the time:

There has been overwhelmingly [sic] customer feedback that people want access to open bootloaders on HTC phones. I want you to know that we've listened. Today, I'm confirming we will no longer be locking the bootloaders on our devices. Thanks for your passion, support and patience.


Two weeks ago, HTC started HTCDev.com, allowing those who like to tinker with their devices an opportunity to do so more easily. The site gives access to the OpenSense SDK and access to the kernel source repository, as well as the unlocking tools.

As of this weekend, HTC has made the first unlocking tools available in the U.S., a week after the U.K:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Analyst: RIM worth $25 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Aug 2011 21:15

Analyst: RIM worth $25 billion According to analyst firm Morgan Keegan, BlackBerry maker RIM should be worth $25 billion in a buyout.

The analysis comes days after Google's surprise purchase of Motorola Mobility and all its patents for $12.5 billion.

Morgan Keegan notes RIM could sell for $47 per share, due to its large hoard of smartphone patents.

A different research firm, Stewart Capital, believes Samsung or Microsoft could be potential buyers.

Microsoft would certainly make an interesting candidate as they would instantly acquire a large customer base to help spread their Windows Phone 7 platform to.




AfterDawn: News

Reports: AT&T VP confirms iPhone 5 for October

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Aug 2011 20:44

Reports: AT&T VP confirms iPhone 5 for October According to multiple reports, an AT&T VP has confirmed an October release date for the iPhone 5.

The executive is said to have told managers that stores will get increasingly busy in the next 30 to 50 days, tasking them to prepare their teams in anticipation.

Apple sources have also told multiple publications that the next 60 days will be extremely busy, without citing why.

There has been unlimited speculation on when the iPhone 5 would be released after the company launched the iPhone 4 for Verizon in February, breaking its customary June cycle for new releases.

For now, October seems like the strongest bet for the release of the iPhone 5, and potentially a cloud-based iPhone 4S.




AfterDawn: News

'Sexting' is now part of the dictionary

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Aug 2011 20:17

'Sexting' is now part of the dictionary The 12th edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary has added 400 new words, including such mainstays as "sexting," "woot," "jeggings" and "retweet."

Another notable entry is "cyberbullying" which has been used in the mainstream media for years now.

Each new word is selected after its ubiquity is proven via a database of over 2 billion words drawn from contemporary websites and texts.

Says the dictionary's editor Angus Stevenson:

It's how the dictionary has always worked - we get as much evidence as we can so we know it's not just a small number of people using the word and it's not going to disappear.

There's no official panel of cabinet ministers for new words or anything like that.




AfterDawn: News

Will Uncharted 3 not fit on a single Blu-ray?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Aug 2011 18:23

Will Uncharted 3 not fit on a single Blu-ray? The PS3's Uncharted 2 was in the news years ago as it barely fit on a 25GB Blu-ray disc but it appears its sequel has taken it a step further.

Naughty Dog's upcoming addition to the blockbuster franchise is so far larger than a 50GB dual-layer Blu-ray disc and could eventually have the distinction of being the first game to require multiple discs.

Says Naughty Dog community manager Arne Meyer:

Uncharted 2 barely made it to 25GB, while Naughty Dog is going over 50GB this time, for Uncharted 3. But in the end we’ll be under 50. We’ll be one disc.


That being said, it is clear the company will have to try some severe compression techniques before launch in November.




AfterDawn: News

HP has sold 350,000 TouchPads this weekend

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Aug 2011 15:49

HP has sold 350,000 TouchPads this weekend According to sources and retail checks, HP has sold 350,000 TouchPads this weekend, after putting the device on "firesale" price of $99 for the 16GB version and $150 for the 32GB model.

Earlier this week, HP announced they would not create anymore webOS-based tablets and smartphones, and would begin liquidating their Pre phones and TouchPad tablet.

Best Buy allegedly only sold 25,000 units since the July 1st launch date, and is now returning 250,000 they have extra in stock.

The firesale price is significant as a teardown of the tablet revealed the parts cost over $250 not including R&D and shipping. It also means HP is taking a significant hit on each device sold, as they will likely subsidize retailers liquidating.

All retailers that have dropped their prices in the U.S. and Canada are now sold out including Office Depot, Office Max, Microcenter and others.

Notably, Amazon and Newegg have not begun liquidating their stock, and may be returning the devices to HP like Best Buy did.

The HP small business site still has in stock but their site is getting absolutely pummeled. A wiki page here has over 2 million views since last night, and is growing by the second.




AfterDawn: News

Apple curbing knockoff products sold in NYC

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Aug 2011 16:58

Apple curbing knockoff products sold in NYC According to documents newly unsealed by the Brooklyn federal court, Apple has been quietly and effectively curbing knockoff sales of its products in New York City.

Two stores in Queens, NY, have already had all their unauthorized iPod, iPhone and iPad accessories seized. The company is demanding the names of suppliers and customers of the accessories.

One store, called "Apple Story," is also being told to change its name to avoid confusing consumers looking for sanctioned products.

NY resident Janie Po Chiang is the owner of Apple Story and Fun Zone Inc., each of which now have a trademark infringement suit filed against them.

Of the accessories seized, Apple says iPod, iPhone and iPad cases and stereo headsets came housed in packaging that was "nearly an exact duplicate" of genuine Apple products. Additionally, the products said "Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China," and had the official Apple logo.

Both parties are close to a settlement, says Reuters.




AfterDawn: News

German privacy official bans Facebook "like" button

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Aug 2011 15:26

German privacy official bans Facebook "like" button Website operators in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein have until the end of September to get remove all Facebook "like" buttons or face fines up to 50,000 euros.

The announcement came from Data Protection Commissioner’s Office (ULD) in Schleswig-Holstein. A statement explains:

By using the Facebook service traffic and content data are transferred into the USA and a qualified feedback is sent back to the website owner concerning the web page usage, the so called web analytics. Whoever visits facebook.com or uses a plug-in must expect that he or she will be tracked by the company for two years. Facebook builds a broad individual and for members even a personalised profile. Such a profiling infringes German and European data protection law. There is no sufficient information of users and there is no choice; the wording in the conditions of use and privacy statements of Facebook does not nearly meet the legal requirements relevant for compliance of legal notice, privacy consent and general terms of use.


ULD head, Commissioner Thilo Weichert, points the finger for these alleged violations directly at website operators:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Indian company unveils $99 Android tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Aug 2011 15:19

Indian company unveils $99 Android tablet Lakshmi Access Communications Systems of India has launched their $99 Android tablet this week, which it hopes to gain success within a market where iPads and Xooms are just too expensive.

Industry experts in the nation have long believed that tablets would outsell laptops and desktops, although Internet penetration still remains low.

Dubbed the "Magnum Pepper Tablet PC," the device will only have a 4.3-inch display.

"We have made it affordable, we have ensured it fits the pocket," says managing director Mahendraa Kumar.

The tablet will have 3G and Wi-Fi, run on a 800MHz processor, 4GB storage and include 256MB RAM.

Lakshmi will expand to more expensive (and larger) tablets in the future, adds Kumar.

The tablet will be the cheapest in India, under Beetel Teletech's brand new $220 tablet, Apple's $500 iPad 2, and Samsung's $800 Galaxy 10.1.




AfterDawn: News

Apple now worth as much as all the euro zone banks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Aug 2011 14:01

Apple now worth as much as all the euro zone banks On the back of strong iPhone and iPad sales, Apple is now worth as much as the 32 largest euro zone banks.

Over the past month, following a market crash in Europe, Asia and the U.S., banks have been notably crushed, even relatively steady banks like Santander, Deutsche Bank and Sociale Generale.

The 32 members of the DJ STOXX euro zone banks index are valued at $335 billion compared to Apple's current market capitalization of $335.25 billion.

Overall, the euro zone banks have lost 75 percent of their value since 2007, and have lost 33 percent since July after making marginal recoveries in 2009 and 2010.

Earlier today, the WSJ reported that Apple was set to release the iPad 3 in early 2012, and the iPhone 5 in September.




AfterDawn: News

New AfterDawn guides and videos

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Aug 2011 13:30

New AfterDawn guides and videos In recent months AfterDawn has had some major additions to our Guide lineup we hope you will be interested in.

We now have several guides devoted to Blu-ray. If you need help extracting titles from a Blu-ray disc, we have two new guides you may want to check out. Extract Content From A Blu-ray Disc shows you how to use free programs for selecting titles and MeGUI's HD Streams Extractor for extracting video, audio & subtitles for processing.

If you don't want each title extracted into a single Matroska (MKV) file, Create MKV files from Blu-ray titles with MakeMKV may be of interest.

If you have a collection of TV series DVDs you don't plan to replace any time soon, you might want to think about combining them in Blu--ray format, either on a DVD or a Blu-ray disc. You can get help with that in our guides on Extracting Content From A DVD, Converting SUB/IDX Subtitles to BDN XML & Authoring a Basic Blu-ray Disc With EasyBD Lite.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

RIM to launch BlackBerry music service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Aug 2011 13:22

RIM to launch BlackBerry music service BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is prepared to introduce their own music streaming service, say multiple sources.

The company is in late-stage negotiations with UMG, Sony, Warner and EMI and expect to have licensing deals in place by September 5th.

Additionally, the music service could be integrated in BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) which has been getting increasingly more "social" as it updates.

It is unclear whether the music service will help attract new customers, but it may help slow the exodus of its current customers.

Android has quickly become the top smartphone OS in the world, with Apple continuing its slow grind higher despite only having one device.

RIM has recently launched their BlackBerry 7 devices, including full-touch phones, and QNX-based devices are set for launch next year.




AfterDawn: News

iPad 3 coming in 'early 2012,' says WSJ

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Aug 2011 11:55

iPad 3 coming in 'early 2012,' says WSJ Since the day after the iPad 2 launched, there have been rumors as to when Apple would release the iPad 3.

Today, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Apple is already developing the latest tablet, with a launch date set for "early 2012."

The new device will feature a 2048 x 1536 resolution display, the largest yet seen on a tablet.

One component supplier is said to already have an order for 1.5 million iPad 3s in the coming quarter.

Apple sold 9.3 million iPad 2 in the last quarter, alongside a record 20 million iPhones.

The iPad 3 will come at a time where most Android tablets have moved to the larger-screen-optimized Honeycomb OS.

Follow us on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/#!/afterdawn




AfterDawn: News

Social networks to meet with UK Home Secretary

Written by James Delahunty @ 19 Aug 2011 11:49

Social networks to meet with UK Home Secretary Theresa May requests meeting with representatives of social networks.

The meeting will take place next Thursday, and will discuss the role of the social networking sites in the recent riots across England. Facebook, Blackberry and Twitter have been asked to attend, though only Facebook has officially confirmed that it will attend the meeting.

"We look forward to meeting with the home secretary to explain the measures we have been taking to ensure that Facebook is a safe and positive platform for people in the UK at this challenging time," it said in a statement.

BlackBerry has not officially confirmed that it will attend, but previously suggested that it would welcome talks. Twitter has not addressed the issue at all, and didn't respond to a BBC question about its attendance.

Some rioters used services like Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry's BBM instant messaging system to organize their activities during the riots. UK Prime Minister David Cameron hinted that the government would draw up plans for limiting access to such services in the event of further unrest.

"We are working with the police, the intelligence services and industry to look at whether it would be right to stop people communicating via these websites and services when we know they are plotting violence, disorder and criminality," the Prime Minister said whilst addressing Parliament.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ceglia must hand over files and e-mails to Facebook lawyers

Written by James Delahunty @ 19 Aug 2011 11:31

Ceglia must hand over files and e-mails to Facebook lawyers Paul Ceglia, the man at the center of a Facebook ownership lawsuit, ordered to turn over materials by August 29.

Lawyers for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg hope that the contents will help expose Ceglia as a fraud. U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie Foschio ordered Ceglia to turn over the materials by August 29 for review by Facebook's experts, including ink sampling.

Paul Ceglia will also have to provide a sworn affidavit about the contents and also about other materials he doesn't claim to possess. Facebook lawyers have been seeking a storage drive that they believe contains a scanned image of the original contract between both men.

Ceglia claims to have hired Zuckerberg in 2003, when he was a Harvard freshman, to work on a street mapping project. He also claims that he gave Zuckerberg $1,000 as an investment in what would become Facebook. He has shown a contract to that effect, but Facebook claims that it has been doctored.

A few days ago, Facebook lawyers submitted a blurry image of what they claim is the real contract, which makes no reference to such an investment.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ofcom fines TalkTalk and Tiscali UK for incorrect billing

Written by James Delahunty @ 19 Aug 2011 10:52

Ofcom fines TalkTalk and Tiscali UK for incorrect billing UK regulator slaps providers for incorrectly billing customers.

TalkTalk and Tiscali UK were fined a total of £3 million after they incorrectly billed tens of thousands of their customers for services they never received. The fine is the result of an investigation opened in July 2010, after the regulator received complaints from over 1,000 customers.

Ofcom found that the pair billed customers for services they didn't receive, and singled out bills that were given to consumers who had closed their accounts previously. Ofcom issued both with a legally-binding notification in November 2010 and set them a deadline of 2 December 2010 to take steps to sort out their billing problems.

According to Ofcom, while they did take steps to improve their billing departments, they still manages to incorrectly bill almost 3,000 people between December 2, 2010 and March 4 this year.

"Ofcom has therefore issued TalkTalk and Tiscali UK with a financial penalty to reflect the seriousness of their breach of the rules and to act as a deterrent to them and other telecoms companies who must comply with the rules," a statement from the regulator reads.

TalkTalk and Tiscali UK have paid over £2.5 million in refunds and good will payments to over 65,000 affected consumers.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft blog confirms Windows 8 App Store

Written by James Delahunty @ 19 Aug 2011 9:46

Microsoft blog confirms Windows 8 App Store Blog post introducing the Windows 8 team modestly confirms App Store rumors.

The blog entry was written by Steven Sinofsky, President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, to introduce the teams that are working on the firm's Windows 8 products, which will be available for PCs, tablets, smartphones and beyond when launched.

The blog was intended to show just how much work goes into the creation process, spelling out the roles that different employees and different teams have.

"We have several engineering roles, or disciplines, that make up our team. The implementation work on Windows happens when developers write code. This code implements features that come from specifications written by program management along with interaction designs from our product designers. Testers are responsible for making sure the spec is complete and the code does what the spec says it should do. This is a simplified view of the relationship between roles, since we routinely walk a bit in each other's shoes."
The hint at an official App Store for Windows 8 came in a list of teams that Sinofsky published on the blog..
  • App Compatibility and Device Compatibility
  • App Store
  • Applications and Media Experience
  • App Experience
  • Core Experience Evolved
  • Device Connectivity
  • Devices & Networking Experience
  • Ecosystem Fundamentals
  • Engineer Desktop
  • Engineering System
  • Enterprise Networking
  • Global Experience
  • Graphics Platform
  • Hardware Developer Experience
  • Human Interaction Platform
  • Hyper-V
  • In Control of Your PC
  • Kernel Platform
  • Licensing and Deployment
  • Media Platform
  • Networking Core
  • Performance
  • Presentation and Composition
  • Reliability, Security, and Privacy
  • Runtime Experience
  • Search, View, and Command
  • Security & Identity
  • Storage & Files Systems
  • Sustained Engineering
  • Telemetry
  • User-Centered Experience
  • Windows Online
  • Windows Update
  • Wireless and Networking services
  • XAML
Read the full blog post at: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2011/08/17/introducing-the-team.aspx




AfterDawn: News

Understanding why Google needs Motorola's patents

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Aug 2011 9:29

Understanding why Google needs Motorola's patents Unless you've been away from planet Earth since Monday, you should have almost certainly heard about Google's big announcement on Monday that they are buying Motorola Mobility. You probably also know the reason they felt compelled to spend more than $12 billion dollars was a bundle of patents that came with the deal.

What you may be wondering is why a company like Google, with so many innovations under their belt, needs to buy patents. Shouldn't they already be collecting patents daily in the course of normal business?

In fact the answer is no, and that's the not so secret reality of the software patent game. Software patents usually have little or nothing to do with software.

Let's look at one of the most significant software patents in the mobile OS world. US Patent 7,966,578 (full patent documentation below) covers one of the most elementary features of every modern touch interface - moving the display by swiping.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple seeks EU-wide ban on all Galaxy tablets, smartphones

Written by James Delahunty @ 19 Aug 2011 9:28

Apple seeks EU-wide ban on all Galaxy tablets, smartphones Apple's case against Samsung Electronics in the Netherlands is more severe than previously thought.

The iPhone-maker is reportedly demanding an extensive ban on all of Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets in the European market, and even goes as far as demanding that Samsung issue a recall of stock by European distributors and resellers too.

Apple's ban would cover manufacturing, importing, exporting, stocking or selling of all Galaxy-branded devices by Samsung Korea and all of its Dutch subsidiaries. Samsung's Dutch presence is a crucial part of its operations in the European market.

Apple also demands that Samsung send letters to all of their European clients to recall all infringing products within 14 days, and to offer compensation and cover all costs. The letter would also have to notify the client that if they do not comply, then they too will be violating Apple's intellectual property rights.

In the past year, Samsung has rapidly overtaken Apple in shipments in the smartphone market in Europe, and in the Middle East and Africa, while Apple still dominates the tablet market with an 69 percent share compared to Samsung's 7 percent.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Cryptographers can break AES faster with new method

Written by James Delahunty @ 19 Aug 2011 9:18

Cryptographers can break AES faster with new method Widespread encryption system could be broken faster than brute-force.

The Advanced Encryption Scheme (AES) is used to protect everything from e-commerce to government data. AES is the encryption standard of choice for the United States government since 2001, when the it took over from the Digital Encryption Standard (DES).

A paper presented at the Crypto 2011 conference on Wednesday detailed a new technique for attacking the encryption standard. It would allow an attacker to recover AES secret keys up to five times faster than was previously possible, using a technique called biclique cryptanalysis.

"This research is groundbreaking because it is the first method of breaking single-key AES that is (slightly) faster than brute force," said Nate Lawson, a cryptographer and the principal of security consultancy Root Labs. "However, it doesn't compromise AES in any practical way."

By practical way, he means that the method will only do a slightly better job than brute force, and so would still take an unfathomable amount of time - in the trillions of years - to break it.

"This technique is a divide-and-conquer attack. To find an unknown key, they partition all the possible keys into a set of groups. This is possible because AES subkeys only have small differences between rounds," Lawson said. "They can then perform a smaller search for the full key because they can reuse partial bits of the key in later phases of the computation. It's impressive work but there's no better cipher to use than AES for now."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AMD SDK to accelerate development of Stereo 3D

Written by James Delahunty @ 19 Aug 2011 8:59

AMD SDK to accelerate development of Stereo 3D AMD Quad Buffer SDK for AMD HD3D technology announced by the chipmaker.

The tool is intended for developers engaged in building immersive stereo 3D capabilities into upcoming game titles. New Passive and Active monitors from Acer, LG, Samsung and Viewsonic were also released, expanding the support for AMD HD3D technology.

"AMD HD3D technology has reached critical mass, with more games, more movies, and supporting hardware and software from many of the industry's leading vendors," stated Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD Graphics Division.

"The addition of the Quad Buffer SDK can help our many developer partners make stereo 3D a standard part of future game titles."

The SDK (available on AMD Developer Central) provides clear guidelines on how to implement stereo 3D to help ensure that it can be enjoyed across the expanding ecosystem of monitors and stereo 3D glasses supporting AMD HD3D technology. Additionally, the quad buffer can be used to add native support for stereo 3D in video games and supports DirectX 9, 10 and 11.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Artists take steps to secure music against leaks

Written by James Delahunty @ 19 Aug 2011 8:51

Artists take steps to secure music against leaks Music stars ramp up security to avoid leaks of pre-released tracks.

Jay-Z and Kanye West recently released an album called "Watch the Throne", one of the most anticipated hip-hop albums of the year. These days, such a major release would be expected to find its way onto the Internet long before its official retail or digital release, with some tracks often leaking out months in advanced, maybe in an unfinished state.

To avoid their albums suffering the same fate, the artists reportedly stored music and other content on fingerprint-protected hard drives. In studios where they recorded (often pop-up studios in hotel rooms), they made sure there was no Wi-Fi connection turned on on any of the equipment.

Draft versions of songs were not e-mailed to other artists, which is a common practice with Hip-Hop because the albums often feature many collaborators on tracks. For Jay Z and Kanye's album, all collaborators had to come to the temporary studios to hear the music and record their contribution.

Virgil Abloh, art director for the album, joked on Twitter that producer Noah Goldstein had slept with hard drives for over ten months straight. Only people directly involved with the album production had access to the content, and it was only passed on to CD manufacturers after its iTunes debut.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HP admits failure, will kill off tablets, smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Aug 2011 23:38

HP admits failure, will kill off tablets, smartphones Last April, HP saved Palm from death by purchasing the phone maker, webOS and its patents for $1.2 billion.

Today, the company has admitted failure, and will kill off its tablet and smartphone division.

Additionally, the company is set to spinoff its PC division in order to move deeper into the higher margin services and software market.

Best Buy and other resellers of the HP TouchPad are now possibly returning hundreds of thousands of unsold units, leading HP to take a $100 million write-off.

We reported yesterday that Best Buy sold just 25,000 TouchPads in the last 6 weeks, leaving 240,000 in inventory.

It is unclear whether retailers are all returning the units, or taking a subsidy so they can discount the tablet and sell at "firesale" prices.

R.I.P Palm, again.




AfterDawn: News

LG cuts TV sales forecast

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Aug 2011 23:23

LG cuts TV sales forecast LG Electronics has cut its annual TV sales forecast by 20 percent, citing an uncertain global economy.

Rival Sony issued a similar warning just last week.

Market leader Samsung has long held a weak sales outlook for TVs in Europe and the U.S. for the coming quarters.

Says LG:

TV sales are seen sharply below our original target and may come in at around 32 million units this year, as the euro zone fiscal crisis is likely to continue and a U.S. consumption recovery also remains uncertain.


For the year, LG expects 40 million HDTV sales.

Sony dropped its forecast from 27 million to 22 million last week.




AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry Bold 9900 hitting T-Mobile on August 31st

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Aug 2011 22:43

BlackBerry Bold 9900 hitting T-Mobile on August 31st T-Mobile will get their first 4G BlackBerry on August 31st.

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 will cost $300 after rebate with contract, making it more expensive than high-end Android devices like the HTC Sensation 4G.

Running on the BlackBerry 7 OS, with a 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor, the device is also RIM's thinnest phone ever, at 0.41 inches thick.

BlackBerry 7, the last OS before the much anticipated QNX OS, is expected to offer a significantly improved browsing experience and better HTML5 performance.

The device, despite being extremely expensive, has also been critically panned in early reviews, being called a "subtle upgrade" from the Bolds released in 2008 and 2009.




AfterDawn: News

Best Buy bundles Galaxy Tab with HDTV for $1500

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 18 Aug 2011 17:49

Best Buy bundles Galaxy Tab with HDTV for $1500 From August 21 through August 27, Best Buy will be offering a package which includes 16GB Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet bundled with a 3D HDTV.

For $1499.99 you will be able to get a Samsung 46" Class LED 1080p Smart 3D HDTV with your tablet.

For another $500 you can move up to a 55" HDTV plus a 3D Starter Kit with your tablet. The starter kit includes 2 pairs of active Bluetooth 3D glasses, Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek The Third in 3D and mail-in vouchers from Samsung for Megamind and Shrek Forever After in 3D.

Best Buy is hoping to spur interest in tablets as a remote control and second screen for your TV.




AfterDawn: News

IBM announces new chips modeled on the human brain

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 18 Aug 2011 16:31

IBM announces new chips modeled on the human brain IBM has unveiled an experimental new type of microprocessor, called a cognitive computing chip, which is designed to emulate the operation of the human brain.

The primary purpose of the technology, which is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA), is to develop computers capable of doing things computers don't currently do well, but human brains do. For example, a person is much better at facial recognition than a computer.

In order to create their two protypes, IBM began by discarding the standard model for computer architecture, which separates memory and processing into separate components, tying all the memory to a single processor or group of processors using a shared data pathway called a bus.

By contrast, their "neurosynaptic cores," spread both processing and memory throughout the processor similar to the way neurons and synapses are arranged in the brain.

“This is a major initiative to move beyond the von Neumann paradigm that has been ruling computer architecture for more than half a century,” said Dharmendra Modha, project leader for IBM Research.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Court rules ‘do it with a computer’ doesn't make an idea patentable

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 18 Aug 2011 14:09

Court rules ‘do it with a computer’ doesn't make an idea patentable This week seems to be bigger than most for software patent news. Earlier in the week we had Google's announcement they are buying Motorola Mobility to acquire defensive patents. Now we have what could be a landmark ruling against the validity of a software patent on the basis that it describes a mental process.

The decision came from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which is responsible for hearing appeals in patent infringement cases.

What makes it so important is the nature of many, perhaps most, software patents which are nothing more than a description of some common human activity with legalese added which translates to "do it with a computer." They are exactly the type of patents Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is suing companies like eBay, Facebook, and Netflix over.

In this case, the patent covered a system for detecting fraud in credit card transactions. The patent holder argued that since it specified using the Internet for looking up information, the necessity to use a computer transformed it into a machine process.

The court disagreed with this assessment:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PS Vita will indeed have 512MB RAM

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Aug 2011 13:58

PS Vita will indeed have 512MB RAM Sony has released the final specs for its PlayStation Vita handheld, and it appears that despite the rumors, the console will have 512MB RAM.

The Vita will run on an ARM Cortex A9 quad-core processor and be powered by a quad-core PowerVR SGX543MP4+ GPU.

Featuring a 5-inch capacitive multitouch OLED screen (with 16 million colors), the device will be 7.16 by 0.73 by 3.28 inches.

Despite rumors that Sony would skimp out on RAM, the Vita has 512MB memory and 128MB VRAM in its graphics processor.

The rear camera will be capable of 60fps and 640x480 resolution or 120fps at 320x240 resolution.

Sony says the Vita will playback MP3, AAC, WAV (Linear PCM) files and MPEG-4 video including H.264 AVC encodings in high, main, or baseline profiles.

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AfterDawn: News

HP to spin off its PC business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Aug 2011 13:26

HP to spin off its PC business HP has confirmed today it is looking to spin off its PC business.

The spin-off, along with a $10 billion purchase of Autonomy Corp., are expected to be announced today or tomorrow.

Autonomy is an enterprise software company that "develops a variety of enterprise search and knowledge management applications using adaptive pattern recognition techniques centered on Bayesian inference in conjunction with traditional methods."

A few of its customers include multinationals like Coca-Cola and Nestle.

HP has been looking to expand into software and the cloud, which historically have higher margins than PCs.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon VOD catalog hits 100,000 titles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Aug 2011 13:07

Amazon VOD catalog hits 100,000 titles Amazon has said this morning that their VOD catalog has now hit 100,000 movies and TV shows available for purchase or rent.

Prime members get to stream 9000 of those titles for free, with Amazon actively improving the streaming content with licensing agreements.

Streaming rival Netflix has around 20,000 titles and over 25 million subscribers.

Hulu Plus, the premium subscription model of the free Hulu site, has 28,00 TV episodes and 1450 movies. Additionally, however, it has 25,000 clips from shows like Colbert Report and SNL.

Amazon VOD is available through their website or via many Blu-ray players, HDTVs, set-top boxes and gaming consoles.




AfterDawn: News

Man claims Google owes him $500 billion for not cancelling his YouTube account

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 18 Aug 2011 11:59

Man claims Google owes him $500 billion for not cancelling his YouTube account David Stebbins, who has previously demanded $600 billion from Wal-Mart, claiming they entered into a contract with him by responding to an email, has now filed a motion to force Google to pay him $500 billion.

Stebbins claims to have amended YouTube's Terms Of Service (TOS), requiring them to either terminate his account within 30 days or pay him $500 billion. He says those same TOS allow him to do so:

Paragraph B of Section 1 of these terms state that the terms can be unilaterally modified at any time. If the other party does not wish to accept the new terms, they may sever the contractual relationship.

On March 22, 2011, I took Youtube up on that generous offer and sent them an email announcing my own modifications to the Youtube terms of service.
Paragraph B of Section 1 of these terms state that the terms can be unilaterally modified at any time. If the other party does not wish to accept the new terms, they may sever the contractual relationship.


So what were his amendments? Most of them aren't clear in the filing, having been redacted by scribbling over them with a pen.

However, he did leave a portion untouched which he claims entitles him to binding arbitration or, if Google fails to respond to an arbitration request within 24 hours, automatic judgement in his favor.

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AfterDawn: News

Music publishers give up on YouTube infringement lawsuit

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 18 Aug 2011 10:36

Music publishers give up on YouTube infringement lawsuit The National Music Publisher's Association (NMPA) has decided to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube. Neither the NMPA nor YouTube has released details of the settlement, but based on YouTube's history of fighting such suits to the end and winning, they probably didn't have to offer any concessions.

NMPA represents thousands of music publishers for purposes of royalty collection. Through a subsidiary, the Harry Fox Agency (HFA), they collect mechanical royalties for compositions. These are separate from the royalties collected by other organizations for recordings or performances.

NMPA President and CEO David Israelite called the settlement, “a positive conclusion for all parties and one that recognizes and compensates the work of songwriters and publishers going forward.”

On their official blog, YouTube explained what that means:

Going forward, the 46,000 music publishers already affiliated with HFA will be able to license the musical compositions they represent for use by the YouTube community. When these publishers allow YouTube to run ads alongside user generated videos that incorporate their compositions, the publishers, and the songwriters they represent, can make money. We’ll also be working with HFA to invite other publishers to sign up, even if they’re not affiliated with HFA.

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AfterDawn: News

Mozilla to remove Firefox version numbers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Aug 2011 1:44

Mozilla to remove Firefox version numbers Mozilla has confirmed this week that it plans to begin hiding the version number of Firefox in the "Help-> About" window dialog.

Asa Dotzler, community coordinator for Firefox marketing projects added the entry to Bugzilla, and says the dialog will now just offer more general information like "Firefox checked for updates 20 minutes ago, you are running the latest release."

If you now want to check the version number, you will have to head over to the about:support page, says ghacks.

It appears that Mozilla's ultimate goal is simply to make versions less important to the end user.

Earlier this year, Mozilla announced it would be moving to a more Chrome-like release schedule, and has since moved from Firefox 4 to Firefox 8 nightly (Aurora) in just 6 months.




AfterDawn: News

Paul Ceglia accuses Zuckerberg legal team of forgery in Facebook ownership dispute

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Aug 2011 21:39

Paul Ceglia accuses Zuckerberg legal team of forgery in Facebook ownership dispute Responding to reports yesterday of new evidence that his contract with Mark Zuckerberg for partial ownership of Facebook was a forgery, Paul Ceglia has gone back on the attack. Now he is claiming that either Zuckerberg or his lawyers are the real forgers.

Ceglia told ZDNet's Emil Protalinski

I believe based on the fact that Orin Snyder argued almost exclusively for my parents computers, the location where the so called “image” was discovered that either Orin Snyder is clairvoyant and had a premonition that his “smoking gun” was on my parents computer or he knew in advance that it was planted there. Perhaps by Zuckerberg himself and perhaps by Orrick, the firm Eduardo Savrin accused of conspiring with Zuckerberg to deprive him of his shares during his case.

He went on to say:
This “image” they claim is the original is forged and we will prove it has no authenticating properties what so ever. I would have expected more from him and his henchmen.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nokia hires developer to create apps for Windows Phone, Meego & Symbian

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Aug 2011 16:45

Nokia hires developer to create apps for Windows Phone, Meego & Symbian Nokia has announced a partnership with Polar Mobile to provide mobile apps for more than 300 different content providers, including Wired UK, Advertising Age, The Globe and Mail, and Shanghai Daily.

The first 50 apps will be developed for the Symbian OS, and will be available globally through Nokia’s Ovi Store next month. Apps for MeeGo and Windows Phone will come some time later.

Richard White, General Manager, Nokia Canada said, "Nokia is excited about the opportunity to team up with Polar Mobile to bring hundreds of quality apps to consumers around the world. Polar Mobile’s ability to scale and attract a global set of brands is strategic in supporting Nokia’s efforts in offering compelling apps and experiences for our users."

Certainly this move is good for Microsoft. One of the disadvantages faced by the Windows Phone platform is a relatively small number of apps compared to either the iPhone or Android. Bringing a handset vendor on board who will also invest heavily in apps is a big plus for them.

On the other hand, switching to a platform where that's necessary may be a foolish move on Nokia's part. It seems like they might be more concerned with being some platform's flagship brand than choosing the best OS for their phones.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung holds emergency meeting after Google buys Motorola Mobility

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Aug 2011 15:51

Samsung holds emergency meeting after Google buys Motorola Mobility Following Google's surprise $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-Hee had an emergency meeting with the company's execs.

The chairman says the company must continue to develop its software "competitiveness" even if that requires an acquisition.

Says Lee:

(The company) must strengthen the competitiveness of its information technology (IT), secure more human resources and also more actively seek mergers and acquisitions (M&A).


Lee has always stressed the importance of software, including Samsung's own Bada smartphone OS:

We must pay attention to the fact that IT power is moving away from hardware companies such as Samsung to software companies.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix adds new section to website Just for Kids

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Aug 2011 15:18

Netflix adds new section to website Just for Kids Netflix has announced a feature for their Watch Instantly streaming service which is intended to make it more kid friendly. By clicking on the 'Just for Kids' tab at the top of the Netflix website, you can get a listing of titles categorized in a new way.

"Kids discover and categorize movies and TV shows differently than adults," said Todd Yellin, Netflix Vice President of Product Innovation. "Just as we have revolutionized the way people find the movies and shows they want to watch when and how they want to, we're making it easier for kids and parents alike to have the best possible Netflix experience."

At the top of the Just for Kids page are icons for many popular characters. Below you will find categories like Dinosaurs, Princesses, Robots, Disney & Girl Power.

To develop these selections, Netflix used ratings and reviews from Common Sense Media, a leading non-profit that provides independent, trustworthy ratings, reviews, and information to help parents make great media choices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo unveils slimmed down Wii with no GameCube support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Aug 2011 14:08

Nintendo unveils slimmed down Wii with no GameCube support Nintendo has announced today the launch of a new slimmed down Wii console, part of the "Family Edition" bundle, which removes GameCube support.

The console will come bundled with a Wii Remote Plus + Nunchuk, Wii Party and Wii Sports.

So far the console, which is 30 percent smaller than the original Wii, has only been announced for the UK, with a release date of "before Christmas."

The Wii (Slim) will sit horizontally and saves space by removing GameCube memory card and controller slots.

There will likely be more bundles announced in the coming month, added Nintendo.




AfterDawn: News

Upcoming Motorola Droid HD to have 720p resolution?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Aug 2011 13:48

Upcoming Motorola Droid HD to have 720p resolution? Leaked photos of the Motorola Droid HD have surfaced this week.

The Droid HD, true to its name, will have a large 4.5-inch screen and a 720p resolution (1280x720), the largest yet seen on a smartphone.

Motorola's new "superphone" will run a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 8MP standard camera with LED flash, a fron-side camera for video chatting, a microUSB and an HDMI port.

Google recently purchased Motorola Mobility (the smartphone and tablet division) of the company for $12.5 billion including all of MM's patents and $3 billion in cash.

The company says it made the purchase to protect itself from a slew of patent lawsuits brought by Oracle and Microsoft amongst others.

Leaked pics via TCM:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon buys rights to Timothy Ferriss' new book

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Aug 2011 13:34

Amazon buys rights to Timothy Ferriss' new book Amazon has purchased the rights to the latest book from best selling self-help guru Timothy Ferriss, in what many are calling its first "major publishing deal."

The e-tailer will begin publishing the book, "The 4-Hour Chef," in digital, print and audiobook starting in April.

Over the course of the past 12 months, Amazon has been moving into publishing, striking deals for imprints covering all genres. Additionally, they hired former Time Warner Book Group CEO Larry Kirshbaum to lead their New York division.

Says Ferriss of his move away from Random House's 'Crown':

It wasn't just a question of which publisher to work with. It was a question of what future of publishing I want to embrace.

My readers are migrating irreversibly into digital, and it made perfect sense to work with Amazon to try and redefine what is possible. This is a chance to really show what the future of books looks like, and to deliver a beautiful experience to my readers, who always come first. I could not be more excited about what we're doing.


Rival publishers are notably scared of the move, with HarperCollins UK's chief executive Victoria Barnsley saying (via Guardian):

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Hotfile to countersue Warner Bros. over anti-piracy abuse

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Aug 2011 13:17

Hotfile to countersue Warner Bros. over anti-piracy abuse The once-popular cyberlocker Hotfile is preparing to countersue Warner Bros., whilst currently in the middle of a lawsuit brought against it by the MPAA and its member studios.

In February, the MPAA sued Hotfile, run by a man in Florida, after the site saw such huge growth that it became a top 100 site in the world, in regards to traffic.

Cyberlockers, like Hotfile and Fileserve (and the fathers of the industry, Rapidshare and Megaupload) allow users to upload and share all files they want, and many use the platforms to share movies and music, while collecting an income. Hotfile, for example, paid $20 for every 1000 downloads of a user's file (with other conditions).

Despite shutting down some of its biggest uploader's accounts, Hotfile has not really gone down without a fight and a judge has so far thrown out the MPAA's case for direct copyright infringement.

Hotfile is also demanding that the film industry begin sharing its anti-piracy investigation techniques with the world, including why DMCA takedown notices are sent and they found such files. The MPAA has flatly said no, saying they are sensitive trade secrets.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Report: Best Buy wants to return 200,000 HP TouchPads

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Aug 2011 12:33

Report: Best Buy wants to return 200,000 HP TouchPads It's no secret that HP's WebOS powered tablet, the TouchPad, hasn't exactly set the world on fire. Now it seems Best Buy may be giving up on the tablet.

According to a report from AllThingsD, Best Buy has sold as few as 25,000 TouchPads and that number is "charitable" once returns are figured in. Sources claim the big box electronics retailer wants to return the remaining stock in their warehouse, over 200,000 units, to HP.

Neither company has commented on the report, which also mentions that a senior HP executive will be visiting Best Buy headquarters to discuss the matter. However, we may know more tomorrow after HP holds their third quarter earnings call with industry analysts.

What we do know is HP has a long way to go if they want the TouchPad to be mentioned alongside tablets from Apple and Samsung as more than a punchline.

HP has already cut prices by $100, but price is only part of the equation, and based on iPad sales probably a small part. A much bigger hurdle for HP to clear is the low visibility of WebOS.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

UK watchdog gives Google a privacy to-do list

Written by James Delahunty @ 17 Aug 2011 8:48

UK watchdog gives Google a privacy to-do list UK Information Commissioner gives suggestions to search giant.

An ICO report into Google's privacy policies and practices was broadly positive, though it did warn that problems could still arise. The commissioner looked into Google after the Street View incident last year, in which Google's Street View cars accidentally sniffed payload data packets from unsecured wireless networks.

The incidents happened across the world and different jurisdictions dealt with the incident in different ways. Since then, Google promised reforms to help ensure better privacy practices later.

It has been praised for improving staff training and for a Privacy Design Document (PDD) which laid out guidelines and safeguards for engineers working on new Google products.

The ICO also welcomes Privacy Stories, a series of tutorials produced by Google for users, outlining what data the company keeps and why. It covers 28 products, but the ICO has called for it to be extended to all products offered by Google.

"We know that there is no perfect solution, so we will continue to improve our current processes and develop new ones so that privacy awareness grows and evolves alongside Google," Alma Whitten, director of Privacy at Google, wrote in response to the report.




AfterDawn: News

Four years in jail for Facebook riot incitement

Written by James Delahunty @ 17 Aug 2011 8:27

Four years in jail for Facebook riot incitement Two British men handed tough punishments for attempting to incite violence.

Last week, people in Britain had to sit back and witness an unprecedented level of peace-time civil unrest in the country, as rioters and looters rampaged through streets damaging homes and businesses, looting and some starting fires.

It became clear that social networks were being used to organize some of the disorder, and police kept tabs on Facebook, Twitter and other online services. Two men in their early 20s have been dealt serious punishments for attempting to organize rioting using their Facebook accounts.

22 year old Perry Sutcliffe-Keenan from Warrington, and 20 year old Jordan Blackshaw from Marston, near Northwich, have been jailed for four years for attempting to incite violence, even though police said their attempts failed.

"If we cast our minds back just a few days to last week and recall the way in which technology was used to spread incitement and bring people together to commit acts of criminality, it is easy to understand the four year sentences that were handed down in court today," said Assistant Chief Constable Phil Thompson.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

RealPlayer update includes security fixes

Written by James Delahunty @ 17 Aug 2011 8:08

RealPlayer update includes security fixes Update addresses vulnerabilities in popular RealPlayer SP.

If you use RealPlayer for Windows, Mac or RealPlayer Enterprise, RealNetworks recommends that you make sure that it is up to date. The latest version of the software patches vulnerabilities and several other software bugs reported by users.

The security vulnerabilities, if exploited, can allow an attacker to run arbitrary code on a victim's PC. All the user has to do for this to happen is to visit a maliciously crafted website, or open a malicious file that targets the security holes.

Users of RealPlayer software should update it at: www.real.com

More information: service.real.com




AfterDawn: News

Apple reportedly investing $1 billion in Sharp LCD plant

Written by James Delahunty @ 17 Aug 2011 8:01

Apple reportedly investing $1 billion in Sharp LCD plant Japanese reports suggest Apple will make move to ensure steady supplies.

The news comes as relations between Apple and Samsung continue to sour over Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets, which Apple claims slavishly clone features of the iPad and iPhone devices. The company is reportedly looking to diversify suppliers.

Japanese chipmakers are hoping that poor relations with Samsung will bring them a lot more business from Apple. "If the situation escalates into a state of war, this could mean a huge shift in orders," a Reuters source said on the situation.

Japanese media has been suggesting a possible investment in a Sharp LCD facility for some time, and Sharp's shares rose on Wednesday after firm, MF Global FXA Securities, talked up the likelihood of the deal in a sales note.

"We think it is highly possible that Apple will make an investment in Sharp's Kameyama plant to the tune of around $1 billion in order to secure a stable supply of screens for iPhones and iPads," MF Global FXA Securities analyst David Rubenstein said.

"This would have a material impact on Sharp's profitability."




AfterDawn: News

Discount HD movie rentals come to PSN

Written by James Delahunty @ 17 Aug 2011 7:33

Discount HD movie rentals come to PSN Low cost standard- and high-def movie rentals to be offered weekly.

Sony Network Entertainment America (SNEA) has introduced a discount movie rental rate for rentals offered over the PlayStation Network (PSN). The online service has offered movies for rent for the past three years, when it was introduced at the E3 conference.

Now U.S. and Canadian PSN users will be able to rent some movies in standard-definition for just $0.99 and some in high-definition for just $1.99. The titles available on this special discount rate will be rotated each week by the service.

The new rentals will appear as part of Sony's Tuesday PSN updates. The titles offered at the discount rate this week include Sicko, The Longshots, Salvage, Tony, Shank, Bonded by Blood, JFK: Reckless Youth (Part 1), JFK: Reckless Youth (Part 2), Deadly Blessing, Carver, Devil in the Flesh 2 and Illuminating Angles & Demons.




AfterDawn: News

South Korean iPhone users sue Apple

Written by James Delahunty @ 17 Aug 2011 7:25

South Korean iPhone users sue Apple iPhone maker targeted by thousands following location info gaffe.

In total, Apple is being sued by 27,612 people in South Korea. They are suing Apple for privacy violations, related to the collection of location information on the iPhone handset. Each is seeking 1 million won in damages, or about $932.

Attorney Kim Hyeong-seok filed a lawsuit against Apple earlier this was and was awarded 1 million won in damages.

Apple's devices stored information on nearby cell towers and WiFi hotspots for up to a year, without users' consent and even if location tracking features had been switched off. It was heavily criticized by privacy groups, who said the information could be used to trace the movements of an iPhone user.

Apple has not commented on the South Korean lawsuit.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo 3DS sales jump in Japan with price cut

Written by James Delahunty @ 17 Aug 2011 7:19

Nintendo 3DS sales jump in Japan with price cut Nintendo finally gets some relief, for now.

According to Enterbrain, Nintendo's 3DS handheld system sold 215,000 units following a price cut in Japan. The price cut was enforced to boost sales of the ailing handheld, which saw a lot less demand than Nintendo had anticipated.

From August 11, the price of a 3DS in Japan dropped from ¥25,000 to ¥15,000. The sales numbers for the following week have been the second highest for the handheld, behind the launch week tally of 371,000 units in the country.

Japanese publication Nikkei also reported a strong week for the 3DS following the price cut, though its sales figures were 8,000 units less than those given by Enterbrain.

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata recently apologized to customers in Japan for the price cut. He admitted that such a sudden price cut not so long after the launch off the device had left some first buyers upset.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox 360 Dashboard Leak - Interface revamp, Skype, Beacons, YouTube and more

Written by James Delahunty @ 17 Aug 2011 7:05

Xbox 360 Dashboard Leak - Interface revamp, Skype, Beacons, YouTube and more Videos show possible new Xbox 360 Dashboard.

YouTube videos showed screenshots and brief usage of a new Xbox 360 Dashboard development that leaked. The Dashboard was clearly in an unfinished state but offered a glimpse into what Microsoft has in store for the next software upgrade to its almost six year old console.

Unfortunately, Microsoft has pounced on any videos uploaded to YouTube with a copyright claim, forcing them down, though that does suggest confirmation of authenticity. The original uploader, ITzLuPo, who got his hands on the new Dashboard also had other revelations that weren't shown in the videos.



The Dash does feature the Windows Mobile-like UI that had been revealed before. The video showed a setting for "Discoverable" mode, described as "Change your settings to allow companion devices discover your Xbox." This could have something to do with recently discovered strings referencing Xbox 360 in the ntoskrnl.exe file on Windows 8 builds.

Windows 8, which has also been shown with the tiled User Interface seemingly coming to Xbox 360, will power tablet PCs and smartphones in the near future.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google's deal to buy Motorola sparks speculation about RIM buyout

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Aug 2011 1:43

Google's deal to buy Motorola sparks speculation about RIM buyout It appears the acquisition of Motorola Mobility by Google could be the best thing to happen to Research In Motion so far this year.

RIM, the company behind the Blackberry brand, has been having a rough year. Their stock price has fallen more than 50% since the year began thanks in no small part to disappointing sales of their Playbook tablet and an extended period between major handset upgrades.

RIM's stock rose nearly 10% based on speculation their patents, which largely center around data synchronization, might make them the next handset maker to be sold. In addition, RIM is part of the alliance which, earlier this year, outbid Google for more than 6000 patents previously owned by now defunct Nortel Networks.

Like the Motorola deal announced on Monday, Google's interest in the Nortel patents was seen as primarily defensive, which raises the question of just how much interest there would be for purchasing RIM. Unlike Google, the companies frequently suggested as potential buyers, Apple, Samsung, HTC & Microsoft already own extensive smartphone related patent portfolios.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

£363 million allocated to England and Scotland for improved broadband networks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2011 19:33

£363 million allocated to England and Scotland for improved broadband networks British Secretary of State for Culture Jeremy Hunt has announced a £363 million investment allocated to improve broadband networks in England and Scotland.

English counties will get the brunt of the investment, £295 million, with Scotland getting the rest.

The investment is part of a wider plan to make sure the UK has the most comprehensive and fastest broadband in Europe by 2015. The goal is for 90 percent of homes to have broadband and minimum 2Mbps.

ISPs like BT and Virgin Media, will be in charge of bringing the broadband to 70 percent of the population and the new government investment will pay for the other 30 percent, which are mainly rural areas.

Additionally, the government has told BT "it must reduce the wholesale price it charges other providers to use its network in less populated areas," says Which.




AfterDawn: News

ViewSonic reveals tablet that dual-boots Android, Windows 7

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2011 18:41

ViewSonic reveals tablet that dual-boots Android, Windows 7 ViewSonic has unveiled their 10-inch tablet today, one that dual-boots Android and Windows 7 and runs on Intel's brand new 1.5GHz Atom Z670 processor.

The ViewPad 10Pro will run Windows 7 Professional (or Home) and Android 2.3, with users able to switch the operating system by pressing one button on the display. The tablet can do so by virtually running Android using BlueStacks technology.

Intel unveiled the chips in April, the first designs that are efficient enough to compete with ARM designs seen in most tablets and smartphones now.

The tablet has a huge 3500 mAh battery and a 1.3MP front-side camera for video conferencing.

Says ViewSonic's vice president of business development, Michael Holstein:

We listened to our customers. We made the ViewPad 10pro dual OS interface as quick and intuitive as possible, while partnering with industry CPU leader Intel to deliver the latest in design and innovation across all fronts.


In terms of pricing, the Windows 7 Professional + 32GB SSD model will sell for $700 and the Windows Home Premium + 16GB model will sell for $599. Both will be available starting next week.




AfterDawn: News

Sony announces new PSP E-1000 for just €99

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2011 18:06

Sony announces new PSP E-1000 for just €99 Today at their gamescom press conference, Sony Europe has announced the launch of a new PSP, dubbed the E-1000, which will sell for just €99.

Additionally, the company says it will relaunch some UMD titles like FIFA 12 and Invizimals as "PSP Essentials" for just €9.99.

In order to hit the sub-€100 mark, Sony has slashed Wi-Fi from the handheld. You better enjoy playing single player campaigns.

The design and form factor are slightly different as well, with a matte feel and "charcoal" color seen on the slim PS3s.

Sony says the console is only available in PAL regions, at least for now.

Some pictures:






AfterDawn: News

Sony cuts PS3 prices to boost sales

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 17:38

Sony cuts PS3 prices to boost sales PlayStation-maker seeks boost in sales to regain ground on Xbox 360.

Sony announced that it will cut the price of its PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles to push up sales and prepare for the holiday season. The announcement comes on the eve of GamesCon, the biggest gaming trade show held in Europe.

From Tuesday, the price of a 160GB PS3 model will drop to $249 from $299 in the United States, to €249 from €299 in Europe and to ¥24,980 from ¥29,980 in Japan.

A 320GB PS3 model will set you back $299 in the United States, down from $349. In Europe, it will cost €299, down from €349 and in Japan, ¥29,980, down from ¥34,980.

The price cuts take affect in Europe and the United States immediately, but not until Thursday in Japan. The new price points for the UK have not yet been published.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook submits evidence in ownership case

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 17:25

Facebook submits evidence in ownership case Lawyers unveil their "smoking gun".

Attorneys for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg have filed new evidence that they previously described as the "smoking gun" which proves the ownership case brought by Paul Ceglia is a fraud. The after-hours filing includes an image of a contract.

Ceglia's case relies on a contract he claims to have made with Mark Zuckerberg back in 2003. He is claiming that it entitles him to a large share of the social networking giant, having allegedly made a $1,000 investment in the year leading up to Facebook's launch.

The new court filing contains an image of a two page contract that refers to a street-mapping database Ceglia was hiring Zuckerberg to work on. It was recovered by digital forensics experts from Ceglia's computer.

"This smoking gun evidence confirms what defendants have said all along: the purported contract attached to the complaint is an outright fabrication," attorney Orin Snyder of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, wrote Monday. They argue that the image is of the original contract made between Zuckerberg and Ceglia, with no mention of any Facebook investment or ownership entitlement.

Ceglia said that he made the $1,000 investment at the same time that he hired Zuckerberg to work on the street mapping project.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Display supply problems force iPad 3 delay

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 17:09

Display supply problems force iPad 3 delay Suppliers say iPad 3 won't make Fall 2011 launch.

Apple has cancelled its suply schedule for the iPad 3 in the second half of 2011, according to sources within Apple's supply partners, reports DigiTimes. Apple's supply schedule has reportedly been between 1.5 million and 2 million iPad 3 units in Q3 2011, and then between 5 million and 6 million units in Q4 2011.

The reason for the change is apparently supply problems with the 2048x1536, 9.7-inch panel. Supply partners reportedly cannot meet the volume requirements for a Fall 2011 launch.

DigiTimes sources also suggest that the higher-resolution panel requires a much larger backlight source, and that a single edge light bar is not cutting it at the moment.

Reports of Apple testing a higher-resolution display surfaced over the past few months. The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was testing a prototype iPad with a higher resolution, though not as high as the panels referenced in the DigiTimes report.




AfterDawn: News

Reporter: News Corp. editors have known about phone hacking for 4 years

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2011 14:40

Reporter: News Corp. editors have known about phone hacking for 4 years According to former reporter Clive Goodman, News of the World executives knew about the phone hacking being used by its journalists since 2007.

Goodman is the only reporter to be arrested for the phone hacking scandal that led to the closure of the 165-year-old tabloid.

The Parliament’s Culture, Media and Sport Committee has been examining and interviewing News Corp. employees, past and present, but cannot conclude on how much the executives knew. There were, however, "devastating revelations" found in the examination.

James Murdoch, son of CEO Rupert, told lawmakers he did not learn about the scandal until 2010, but News of the World's legal manager and top editor told lawmakers they told Murdoch of the phone hacking in 2008.

The phone hacking scandal came to a head two months ago when it was revealed that the tabloid was hacking the voicemail of a missing school girl to clear her inbox, leading the carrier and her family to believe she was still alive when she was not.




AfterDawn: News

Study: TV is killing you quicker

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2011 14:05

Study: TV is killing you quicker According to a new study from Dr. J. Lennert Veerman of the University of Queensland, watching TV will likely contribute to a shortened lifespan.

The study found that anyone who averaged six hours of TV watching per day, lived, on average, 5 years less than a person who did not watch any TV.

After the age of 25, every 30 minutes spent watching TV decreased lifespan by 22 minutes.

Of course, the TV watching is the indirect reason for the decreased lifespan. Explains Dr. David L. Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine:

As a rule, the more time we spend watching TV, the more time we spend eating mindlessly in front of the TV, and the less time we spend being physically active. More eating and less physical activity, in turn, mean greater risk for obesity, and the chronic diseases it tends to anticipate, notably diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Potentially, those that watch excessive TV are lonely, or isolated, or depressed, and these conditions, in turn, may be the real causes of premature mortality.


The study used data on 11,000 people aged 25 or older.




AfterDawn: News

Companies forced to buy .XXX domains as protection

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2011 13:44

Companies forced to buy .XXX domains as protection In March, ICANN, the governing body behind the Internet approved .XXX domains, almost 10 years after the idea was brought to the group.

With a vote of 9-3, and despite objections from the adult industry, the measure passed. Adult sites can choose to use the new domain, but are not required to do so.

The domains will begin launching in December and it appears that large companies have already begun buying up .XXX domains, to protect against "cybersquatters" or others that will use their brand names maliciously.

900,000 "expressions of interest" have already been received by the ICM Registry from companies looking to pre-register their trademarks.

A few companies include Mattel, Viacom and the Red Cross who certainly don't want to see spongebobsquarepants.xxx, redcross.xxx or barbie.xxx used by the wrong person.




AfterDawn: News

Cyanogen hired by Samsung Mobile

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2011 13:22

Cyanogen hired by Samsung Mobile Steve Kondik, aka 'Cyanogen' has been hired by Samsung Mobile.

Hired as a software engineer, the developer says the new job will not affect CyanogenMod and it is not affiliated in any way with Samsung.

CyanogenMod is a custom ROM for Android devices built from scratch from the open source Android.

The ROM is preferred by users who don't want UI overlays like "MotoBLUR" and have rooted their devices.

It should be interesting to see if Cyanogen eventually makes its way to a retail phone, with no root necessary.

(Pic via Phan)




AfterDawn: News

German court lifts Samsung Galaxy Tab injunction outside its borders

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 12:02

German court lifts Samsung Galaxy Tab injunction outside its borders Injunction barring import and marketing of Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 now limited to Germany.

The German court previously had imposed a preliminary injunction at Apple's request, which affected Samsung in most of the European Union. Now, the court has lifted most of the injunction, so it only affects the German market and not areas outside the country.

The Duesseldorf regional court questioned its own authority to impose restrictions on international companies operating outside Germany. Now, the court says the ban is still effective in Germany, but also applies to Samsung GmbH (German Samsung Unit) throughout the European Union.

"We look forward to the opportunity to reassert our intellectual property rights at the hearing scheduled on August 25," Samsung said in a statement.

Apple accused Samsung of slavishly cloning the iPad 2 in its design for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. It has sued Samsung in the United States, Europe, Australia and South Korea, trying to get import bans enforced.




AfterDawn: News

HTC sues Apple, alleging patent infringement

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 10:49

HTC sues Apple, alleging patent infringement The mobile patent war rages on.

Taiwan's HTC Corp. has filed a lawsuit against Apple Inc. alleging patent infringement in Macs, iPhones and iPads. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, seeks a halt to the import of products found to infringe HTC patents.

Additionally, it also seeks compensatory damages and triple damages for "willful infringement." Apple has previously targeted HTC with patent infringement cases of its own, including a filing with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC).

HTC said in July that it would consider trying to settle its patent dispute with Apple.




AfterDawn: News

Apple manipulated picture of Samsung Galaxy Tab in filing?

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 9:46

Apple manipulated picture of Samsung Galaxy Tab in filing? Did Apple manipulate picture to strengthen its case against Samsung in Europe?

Questions are being raised about a photograph in an Apple court filing that compares an Apple iPad 2 with a Samsung Galaxy Tab. Apple has argued that Samsung slavishly clones its products, and that the Galaxy Tab takes considerable liberties in mimicking the iPad 2's design.

So far, Apple has been successful in getting a German court to ban import of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, though a court in The Hague declined to impose an immediate injunction until a decision is made next month.

Dutch publication Webwereld.nl noticed a strange comparison in an Apple court filing. The picture shows an iPad 2, alongside a Samsung Galaxy Tablet, but the dimensions of the Samsung device are considerably different to the device on the market.




The identical proportions shown in the picture lends to the accusation that the Galaxy Tab is very similar to the design of the iPad 2, but the Galaxy Tab is actually widescreen, not as shown in the picture. Some have suggested that the picture could have been of an earlier tablet made by Samsung, but that then should not be used as a case to ban the widescreen Galaxy Tab.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Looter traced by spy software, Facebook ID

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 9:04

Looter traced by spy software, Facebook ID Logging into Facebook on stolen Macbook Pro is a bad idea!

Information security professional Greg Martin, who formerly worked for NASA and the FBI, had his Macbook Pro stolen in West Kensington last week. He had been staying at his girlfriend's house due to troubling occurrences near his home.

Martin had previously installed open source tracking software on the Macbook Pro (http://preyproject.com) and flagged the laptop as missing within Prey.

"Almost two weary days had gone by and I'm at dinner on a business trip in Luxembourg and I received an email which nearly knocked me out of my chair with excitement," Martin wrote on his blog. He then went back to his Hotel room and changed the frequency of reports from the stolen device to every five minutes.



"After two hours hours of watching him surf religious revelation videos, shopping for Mercedes A class on autotrader he finally popped onto facebook," Martin wrote. He went on to gather a treasure trove of information available to him, including the suspect's name, school, address, IP address, ISP, wireless ssid and Facebook profile. He took the information, along with snapshots from the webcam, to the Metropolitan Police.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google CEO: Motorola deal made to protect Android from Microsoft, Apple

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 8:46

Google CEO: Motorola deal made to protect Android from Microsoft, Apple Larry Page gives details in blog post following announcement.

Google and Motorola Mobility announced yesterday that a $12.5 billion acquisition of the Motorola unit, by Google, was agreed. In the press information released, Google said it would run Motorola Mobility as a separate business, and that it would remain dedicated to Android as an open platform, continuing to work with mobile partners.

Larry Page took to the Official Google Blog to tell the world how the acquisition would supercharge the Android operating system, and to reaffirm the commitment to an open Android. He also squeezed in a couple of remarks about other companies that Google recently lashed out at over their patent strategies.

"Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies," Page said in the post.

Google said previously that Microsoft, Apple and others were banding together in an anti-competitive patent attack on Android. He also mentioned in the blog that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had to intervene in the results of a recent patent auction, and is currently looking into the results of the Nortel patent auction.




AfterDawn: News

4G LTE iPhone being tested by carriers?

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 6:29

4G LTE iPhone being tested by carriers? Rumor suggests carriers testing 4G iPhone, though not necessarily iPhone 5.

Boy Genius Report claimed on Monday that Apple's U.S. carrier partners are testing a new prototype iPhone that connects to high-speed Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks. The claim comes from images said to be code from the firmware of an internal iOS test build issued to Apple carriers.

The firmware's .plist (property list) file is where the the indications are found. A key tag allegedly found references, "connected mode LTE Intra-frequency Measurement."

Rumors of Apple pursuing 4G have been around for some time, though the company has said it doesn't need to bring out a 4G iPhone yet. Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook previously said that the company was happy with the performance of its 3G handsets and is in no rush to make the next step.




AfterDawn: News

Firefox 7 to make memory improvements

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 4:10

Firefox 7 to make memory improvements Upcoming browser will use as much as 50 percent less memory.

Mozilla is tackling the amount of memory that its Firefox web browser uses, and how it uses it over prolonged periods of times. For users who keep a lot of tabs open for long periods of times, memory usage might become an issue on some systems.

On Mozilla's blog, programmer Nicholas Nethercote details improvements that are being made to near-future releases of the browser. Mozilla recently switched to a quick release cycle, promising major updates much more quickly than in the past, mimicking Google's release patterns for the Chrome browser.

"Firefox 7 uses less memory than Firefox 6 (and 5 and 4): often 20% to 30% less, and sometimes as much as 50% less," Nethercote wrote. "In particular, Firefox 7′s memory usage will stay steady if you leave it running overnight, and it will free up more memory when you close many tabs."

He credited the improvements to MemShrink, which is a Mozilla effort to improve how Firefox uses memory. Going past Firefox, he said early development versions of Firefox 8 even improve memory usage further.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung Galaxy Tab escapes Dutch ban, for now

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 3:20

Samsung Galaxy Tab escapes Dutch ban, for now Court decides not to impose immediate sales ban in the Netherlands.

Apple targeted Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the Netherlands, hoping to get an injunction against its import and sale placed on the South Korean electronics giant. Samsung will go to court in Germany on August 25 in an attempt to get an injunction overturned there.

Apple accused Samsung of slavishly cloning the iPad with its Galaxy Tab 10.1, and its iPhone models with the line of Galaxy smartphones. It filed legal actions against Samsung in the United States, Australia, Europe and South Korea.

It specifically targeted the Netherlands because Samsung's European distribution center is located there. A court at The Hague declined to impose an immediate sales ban and will reach a decision by September 15. If it sided with Apple, it would mean an injunction would come into effect on October 13.

Samsung has complained that Apple's model registrations, which are a central part of its evidence against Samsung, are far too general. It points out, for example, that a lot of products which pre-date the iPad, featured a similar design, such as its own SPF107H 10-inch Digital Photo Frame.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Game to sell digital PS3 titles

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 2:59

Game to sell digital PS3 titles Announces partnership with SCEE to sell digital titles in stores in the UK and across Europe.

Europe's leading PC and video game retailer, GAME, announced a partnership with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) to sell a range of digital games in its stores. Initially, a range of digital titles will be available in 42 GAME and gamestation stores in the UK, expanding to 620 with over 50 titles by the middle of next month.

The range will include full game downloads, game add-ons, and subscriptions to the PlayStation Network (PSN). The partnership with SCEE means that GAME will become Europe’s biggest retailer of digital games, with the widest range of digital titles in the largest number of stores.

It follows the announcement in July 2011 that GAME had extended its range of digital pc titles to 1,200 stores across Europe.

"This is a significant step forward in our digital strategy. For the first time, gamers will be able to browse a wide range of digital titles for the PlayStation Network in our stores, alongside a variety of other digital and physical products," said Ian Shepherd, GAME Group CEO.

"This is important because it offers customers more choice, more advice and more control than they can get online. Our partnership with SCEE means that we can offer customers an unbeatable range and great value across all the gaming channels."




AfterDawn: News

Carmack: PS3 is just 'second best' console ever made

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Aug 2011 2:51

Carmack: PS3 is just 'second best' console ever made id Software's John Carmack puts PlayStation 3 (PS3) in second place.

For game developers, having a console with plenty of computational power and with high data capacity available per title is certainly an advantage. For id's John Carmack though, these selling points don't seem to be as important as the development tools available for the platform.

Carmack gave a speech at Quake Con earlier this month, in which he seemed to be leaning away from the PS3 console and toward its main rival, Microsoft's Xbox 360 console. RipTen's Dave Oshry got a chance to talk to Carmack sometime later about the industry, and he decided to ask him about his preferred console.

“Well, it's the second best console ever made," Carmack responded when asked what he really thinks about the PS3 console. When asked the obvious follow-up question of which console he thought was the best, he replied, "The 360."

He admitted that there are parts of the upcoming RAGE title where the PS3 has had an easier time due to the extra computational power under the hood, compared to the Xbox 360, but Carmack said it is not so much about the difference in hardware, it's more the dev tools that push him toward the Microsoft console.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook now valued at around $65 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2011 13:39

Facebook now valued at around $65 billion Interpublic Group has sold out part of their small stake in the social networking giant, valuing the company at $65 billion.

The ad company bought a 0.5 percent stake in 2006, when Facebook was a toddler, and the company has sold half of that today for $133 million.

Because they bought in so early, the company says it expects a "pre-tax gain of $132 million" on the transaction.

Says Interpublic:

Interpublic formed a strategic relationship with Facebook in 2006 that allowed us to fast-track the growth of our social media offerings on behalf of clients.

Facebook has since become a part of daily life for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Its ubiquity has meant the strategic value of our initial investment has moderated, while the financial value of that stake appreciated significantly. As a result, when an attractive opportunity to divest a portion of our position recently presented itself, we decided that it made sense to do so.

Today, we've agreed to sell half of our stake for approximately $130 million. Simultaneously, our board has authorized an increase in our share repurchase program by $150 million. We see this as an opportunity to further enhance shareholder value, and reflects our confidence in the long-term prospects for our company.




AfterDawn: News

Want porn on the iPad? Use the Cinemax app of course

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2011 13:11

Want porn on the iPad? Use the Cinemax app of course Apple has allowed the Cinemax "Max Go" app into the iOS app store this week.

Making that news notable is the fact that the app allows for streaming of Cinemax's more "adult" TV shows, the after-hours "Skinemax" programming.

Apple normally does not allow any adult programming in the app store, and the app even has a warning on the open that there are "frequent/intense sexual content or nudity" not suitable for those under 17.

The adult content is in the "Max After Dark" tab of the app.

Critics of Apple claim the company gives preferential treatment to larger companies in terms of app submission, even with apps that clearly "bend" the rules like the Max Go app.




AfterDawn: News

Fusion Garage reveals Grid10 tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2011 12:05

Fusion Garage reveals Grid10 tablet TabCo is Fusion Garage.

Fusion Garage created the unsuccessful "joojoo" tablet in 2009 which the CEO admits could not live up to the hype surrounding it. Company will send all joojoo owners the new tablet, for free.

The company is calling their 10 inch tablet the Grid10, because it uses the new "Grid" OS. Grid is built from scratch on top of the Android kernel.

FG says the device will ship with Tegra 2 processor, 1366x768 resolution, Grid 1.0.

Grid Desktop is syncing program and brings all content directly to the Grid10. Coolest feature shown off is the Grid homepage, which is one full page, not separate home pages for "Clusters" of apps (social, music, movies, business) etc.

GridStore and Amazon Android store for apps, native email, gallery and more with split-screen capability in the browser. All of it looks very sleek, including movie playback.

Priced at $500 for Wi-Fi only, with September 15th release date. $100 more if you want 3G.








AfterDawn: News

Amazon tablet to sell for under cost at just $250?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2011 11:57

Amazon tablet to sell for under cost at just $250? According to analyst Tim Bajarin, Amazon's mysterious upcoming tablet will likely sell for under cost, but still be wildly profitable over its lifespan.

Bajarian says talks with component makers have the Amazon tablet with an estimated cost of $300. The e-tailer will then likely sell the tablet for just $250, undercutting all other tablets on the market and selling under cost.

Despite taking a $50 loss per unit on the initial sale, Amazon will make up the difference in videos, songs, cloud storage and books sold, with Bajarian saying the company will "reap a profit of anywhere from 10 to 30 percent on the tablet over the last 18 months of the device's accounting period."

The analyst goes further and says, "when measuring by units shipped, this method could make Amazon the king of Android tablets very quickly. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it could 'own' the Android tablet market."

If rumors prove true, Amazon will release a dual-core 7-inch tablet and a quad-core 10-inch tablet sometime later this year.




AfterDawn: News

AT&T may have to dump $8 billion worth of assets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2011 11:29

AT&T may have to dump $8 billion worth of assets AT&T has hired investment bankers to advise it on the sale of spectrum and possibly customers, assets that could be worth $8 billion.

The dump of assets will be one of many concessions expected of the company in its effort to purchase T-Mobile for $39 billion.

AT&T gave a standard response (via Cnet):

As we said on the day we announced the merger with T-Mobile USA, we anticipate there will be some divestitures, as we have had in past mergers, but any speculation about the amount of divestitures is premature.


Regional carriers, like US Cellualr and MetroPCS will eagerly buy up spectrum if it becomes available, as will behemoth Verizon.

Last week, a partially-redacted document accidentally posted by a law firm under contract for AT&T leaked online, via the FCC website revealing that what AT&T has been saying about job gains and network investment with the T-Mobile deal are just untrue. Read that here: Leaked AT&T letter puts damper on potential T-Mobile acquisition




AfterDawn: News

Fake Chinese Apple Store changes name to 'Smart Store'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2011 11:08

Fake Chinese Apple Store changes name to 'Smart Store' Weeks after pictures and video of the unauthorized Apple store in China (including fake Geniuses) made international headlines, the fake store has changed its name to "Smart Store," to avoid any issues with Apple China.

Authorities in the city of Kunming revealed last week that they had found 22 more Apple stores that have not been licensed by the company. Each of the stores have been ordered to stop using the Apple logo anywhere in their stores, and Apple China has accused the stores of unfair competition and trademark infringement.

The re-branded "Smart Store" was facing a shut down if it did not remove Apple trademarks by August 10th, and other stores are facing similar deadlines.

Most likely, each of those stores will change their name and remove the Apple logo from their stores, then continue with business as usual.

Last month, a blogger living abroad revealed the pictures and video of the store, which was so elaborate that the workers even believed they were working for the 'real deal.'




AfterDawn: News

Who is TabCo?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2011 10:12

Who is TabCo? Following a furious ad campaign (below), the question remains, Who is TabCo?

We will answer that question when the tablet is launched in 2 hours.

Tabco is Fusion Garage. Check it here: Fusion Garage unveils Grid10








AfterDawn: News

Noel Gallagher blames video games for UK riots

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Aug 2011 8:32

Noel Gallagher blames video games for UK riots Ex-Oasis fading star crying heart out again over violent video games.

The world watched as parts of British society tore their own cities apart in three days of senseless rioting and looting. Ever since, there has been an ongoing debate about why these regrettable events took place in the UK, and why many of the rioters were clearly very young.

The media has asked politicians, community organizers, psychologists, ex-gang members and even the rioters themselves for their opinion on the disturbances. Of course, who didn't think that eventually video games would be blamed?

Enter Noel Gallagher, the ex-Oasis star currently pursuing a solo career. We wrote about Noel's opinion on Britain's knife crime over three years ago. "People say it's through violent video games and I guess that's got something to do with it," he said in June 2008.

"If kids are sitting up all night smoking super skunk and they come so desensitised to crime because they're playing these videogames, it's really, really scary."

Three years later and Noel is pointing his finger of blame at video games once again, this time as part of the cause for rioting in the UK that claimed several lives, destroyed homes and diminished livelihoods in an already jittery economic climate.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google to buy Motorola Mobility in $12.5 billion deal

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Aug 2011 7:54

Google to buy Motorola Mobility in $12.5 billion deal Search giant agrees to buy Android partner for $40 a share.

Google Inc. and Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. announced this morning that Google will acquire its Android partner in a deal worth $12.5 billion. The board and directors of both firms unanimously approved the deal, which will see Google paying $40 a share, a 63% premium over the closing price of Motorola Mobility on Friday, August 12.

Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of the Android operating system, and Google has said that the OS will remain open. It will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business. The deal is subject to shareholder approval, and will require some regulatory approval in the United States, the European Union and elsewhere.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, or possibly early 2012.

Larry Page, Chief Executive Officer, Google Inc.
"Motorola Mobility's total commitment to Android has created a natural fit for our two companies. Together, we will create amazing user experiences that supercharge the entire Android ecosystem for the benefit of consumers, partners and developers. I look forward to welcoming Motorolans to our family of Googlers."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Electronic Arts confident of strong holiday sales

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Aug 2011 2:25

Electronic Arts confident of strong holiday sales EA puts tremendous amount of faith in "Star Wars: The Old Republic."

EA has invested more than $100 million in the development of the online Star Wars title, which it hopes will gain similar success to World of Warcraft. Activision Blizzard's mega-popular online game boasts more than 12 million subscribers.

"We think it should be a very attractive season for Electronic Arts as we have quite a few blockbusters in the pipeline," said EA's Jens Uwe Intat, head of sales and distribution, Europe. No launch date for Star Wars has yet been announced by the developer.

"We have lots of people who have been subscribing to newsletters and webpages so we are actually feeling very bullish about the game," Intat said, adding that they were still in the process of fine tuning services for the game.

EA also has the launches of Battlefield 3, another Need for Speed iteration and Sims Pet to look forward to. FIFA 12 has also already taken record-breaking pre-orders ahead of its end-of-September launch.

The company has also expanded its avenues of potential revenue online. It is focusing on Facebook games which are free to play, but gain revenue from items sold in-game to enhance the experience. To boost its position in social gaming, EA is turning to its heavyweight franchises, with "The Sims Social" being a perfect example.




AfterDawn: News

Christian Police Association seeks video game ban

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 16:08

Christian Police Association seeks video game ban Focuses on upcoming 2K Games title, The Darkness II.

The heads of the Christian Police Fellowship have taken aim at violent video games, singling out an upcoming title from 2K games, The Darkness II. Its complaint about the video game is that it will create a distorted perspective of police officers for younger gamers.

The group drafted a letter for politicians and game developers explaining their objections to violent content in many video games. It pushed for lawmakers and publishers to stop the same of games with violent content immediately.

"For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," is quoted in the letter, lifted from the Bible.

2K Games responded to the group, telling GameSpot that, "Reported stories regarding police officers in The Darkness II were erroneous. To be clear, there are no police officers in the game."

The Darkness II is due to be released on February 7 next year in the United States.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft sued over Xbox Live bill

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 15:52

Microsoft sued over Xbox Live bill Man accuses Microsoft of charging him for a two year subscription without consent.

The plaintiff, Ryan Graves, claims that he had left his Xbox Live subscription lapse, leaving old credit card details on his account. Upon updating his details while buying a new subscription, he was charged twice. One charge was for the new subscription as planned, and the second was renewal of the expired subscription.

Graves argues that the two year subscription was against his wishes, and that Microsoft refused to refund him for the extra year subscription it charged.

He filed a lawsuit against Microsoft seeking unspecified damages.

"Plaintiff asserts claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion, and violation of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA), 15 U.S.C. § 1693, et seq., on behalf of himself and similarly situated Xbox LIVE Gold members," the legal complaint reads.




AfterDawn: News

PC era ending, says IBM PC engineer

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 15:45

PC era ending, says IBM PC engineer Dr Mark Dean says variety of devices are starting to end the era of the PC.

Dean was one of the engineers of the first IBM PC, holding 3 patents related to the technology. The original IBM PC set several standards that were followed and built-on over the years in the market. Now, Dean says that the era of the PC is ending, being replaced by the socially-mediated innovation brought by the PC itself.

"When I helped design the PC, I didn't think I'd live long enough to witness its decline," wrote Dean. "It's becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact."

Dean, who says his primary computer is now a tablet, said that PCs will be used a lot in the future but are no longer the force for innovation that they were for a couple of decades. "It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people's lives."

He made the comments while commemorating 30 years since the IBM personal computer. Microsoft also marked the occasion with a blog post, but instead said that the world is moving into a "PC-plus" era, pointing out that over 400 million PCs are projected to be sold this year.




AfterDawn: News

Hulu expected to see bids of at least $1.5 billion in auction

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2011 15:27

Hulu expected to see bids of at least $1.5 billion in auction Hulu, the on-demand video site owned by Disney (ABC), News Corp. (Fox), Comcast (NBCU) and private equity firm Providence went up for auction last week, and initial bids are expected by the end of next week.

The owners are currently looking to sell the site and its licenses for $1.5 billion, although some companies have offered to pay more if other conditions are met.

For example, Yahoo is willing to pay $2 billion if Hulu guarantees them 4-5 years of exclusive access to the media content. Hulu, on the other hand, seems to be only willing to give 2 years of exclusivity, albeit with 5 years guaranteed access to the content.

Additionally, News Corp. has said it would like to keep a stake in the company, which should reduce the auction price.

Amazon, Apple, Yahoo, Google and DirecTV have all been said to be potential suitors.




AfterDawn: News

Hackers can attack Android, experts warn

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 15:25

Hackers can attack Android, experts warn Mobile security experts criticize applications for Android OS.

The warnings have come from Riley Hassell, founder of Privateer Labs, and who along with Shane Macaulay, opted to cancel a scheduled appearance at the Black Hat conference last week. Their scheduled talk, "Hacking Androids for Profit," didn't go ahead, disappointing many who had waited for it.

Hassell explained that the decision was made not to publicly identify more than a dozen widely used Android applications with serious security problems. "App developers frequently fail to follow security guidelines and write applications properly," he said.

"Some apps expose themselves to outside contact. If these apps are vulnerable, then an attacker can remotely compromise that app and potentially the phone using something as simple as a text message."

He said that they alerted Google to the problems they had found with widely used applications. A Google spokesman said that Android security experts had discussed the issues with Hassell and found that the problems were not present in Android itself.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google dragged into Patriot Act debate over EU-based data

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 15:09

Google dragged into Patriot Act debate over EU-based data German magazine report drags Google into controversy over Patriot Act requests.

Back in June, Microsoft's Gordon Frazer sparked a debate when he was asked a question about the Patriot Act. According to ZDNet, he was asked if Microsoft could guarantee that information stored in EU-based data centers would be protected even against requests made under the Patriot Act.

Frazer responded that he could not provide such a guarantee, and that neither could any U.S. company. Indeed, the Patriot Act does mandate that firms based in the U.S. handover data stored by foreign subsidiaries when ordered to.

Originally intended as a response to global terrorism, the Patriot Act has been pushed way beyond those boundaries, according to some opponents. In this case, it forces U.S. companies into a conflict with EU data protection laws, which mandate that firms storing information on citizens protect it.

"As a law abiding company, we comply with valid legal process, and that - as for any US based company - means the data stored outside of the U.S. may be subject to lawful access by the U.S. government. That said, we are committed to protecting user privacy when faced with law enforcement requests," a Google statement read.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google+ gets games

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2011 14:21

Google+ gets games Earlier this week, Google confirmed the addition of games to the Google+ social network.

As an icon (next to Stream, Pictures, etc) is a new icon for Games.

The first games available are Angry Birds, Zynga Poker, Dragon Age: Legends and other casual classics like Bejeweled.

In total, Google says there are 16 launch titles.

Different than Facebook, which places all game accomplishments right the on the user's wall, all Games achievements are only shared with circles in the Games page, not clogging up your stream.

You can invite friends, share updates and send messages or gifts from the Games page.




AfterDawn: News

A glimpse into the future: Apple's new 'Spaceship' headquarters

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2011 14:06

A glimpse into the future: Apple's new 'Spaceship' headquarters In June, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled plans to build a new 3.1 million square foot "Spaceship" campus in Cupertino.

The Cupertino mayor said later that month that there was little to no chance that city officials would reject the plans, and they have not. The building will still be required to pass environmental checks and pass a public hearing, likely early next year.

Said Jobs, in his introduction in June:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo investors speak: We want games on iOS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2011 13:23

Nintendo investors speak: We want games on iOS Nintendo's stock is in the toilet and investors have begun to get more vocal on the company's inaction.

Trading as high as ¥71,100 in 2007 with blistering Wii and DS sales, the company's stock has fallen to ¥10,900, its price before the launch of the Wii.

In the last five months alone, following the weak sales of the 3DS handheld, the company's stock has fallen 55 percent.

Investors in the company have finally begun to speak up, and have been encouraging Nintendo President Satoru Iwata to start creating games for iOS and Android, lest they keep losing market share to the mobile platforms, and Facebook.

Iwata has long stated that Nintendo will not create products for platforms that aren't their own, and that strategy has not even slightly shifted. Last month, Pokemon Co., which was formerly owned by Nintendo, announced they were creating a mobile game for Android and iOS, and Nintendo's shares exploded on the possibility Nintendo would follow suit. The shares have since returned and gone even lower.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Dells axes the Streak 5 tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2011 13:02

Dells axes the Streak 5 tablet The company kills off its phone/tablet hybrid after just 14 months on the market.

Dell did say that the Streak 7 will still be available, at least for the near future.

Via the tablet's web page, the company put up a banner that reads "Goodbye, Streak 5. It's been a great ride." The page also shows that the tablet is no longer available from the computer giant.

The tablet launched in the UK last June, and was delayed in the U.S. until August. At 5-inches, the tablet lost most of the pros of a larger screen device, but was too large to comfortably place in a pocket or use in one hand.

Additionally, the device launched with an outdated version of Android, which helped lead to its eventual demise.




AfterDawn: News

In Japan, PSP outsells 3DS by 8.6-to-1 margin

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2011 12:37

In Japan, PSP outsells 3DS by 8.6-to-1 margin For the week ended August 7th.

Following Nintendo's decision to slash prices on their 3DS handheld, sales of the device have collapsed (rightfully so), and sales of the PSP have seen some growth.

3DS sales came in at 4,132 compared to 35,619 for the aging PSP. The PSPGo managed to sell 7 units, which is still somewhat surprising given its price and pointlessness.

That difference is expected to close in the coming weeks, however, as Nintendo just cut the price from $250 to $170 in the U.S. (and similarly in Japan, EU).

All current owners will be offered 20 free games from the newly launched Nintendo eShop. Additionally, users who take advantage of the eShop deal are also enrolled in the "3DS Ambassador program," which allows for 10 free NES Virutal Console downloads like Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong Jr. Finally, "Ambassadors" will also get 10 free Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games like Mario vs. Donkey Kong and Mario Kart: Super Circuit.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung, Apple in German court on August 25

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 8:27

Samsung, Apple in German court on August 25 German court announces date to hear Samsung appeal.

Samsung is seeking to overturn a preliminary injunction that prohibits it from importing its Galaxy Tab 10.1 into the German (and most of the European) market, following a complaint made by Apple Inc. The iPad-maker has accused Samsung of slavishly cloning its products with its Android-packing smartphones and tablet PC.

Despite the injunction, German retailers have continued to sell the Galaxy Tab 10.1 as the injunction does not necessarily apply to them. Apple could go back to court to have the injunction to new "defendants" but is unlikely to do so, as the same retailers are big Apple customers.

Apple has targeted Samsung in the United States, Australia, Europe and South Korea. It has asked a court in The Hague to impose a similar ban for infringement of three patents. If the court agreed, it would stop the Samsung products from being imported to the EU via the Netherlands.

Samsung will get a chance to argue its case on August 25, and a decision will follow within weeks.




AfterDawn: News

Mozilla tightens Firefox policies on third-party add-on install

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 8:20

Mozilla tightens Firefox policies on third-party add-on install Hands more control to users to authorize apps installed by third-party software.

If you are a Firefox user, how many times have you installed software on your computer and noticed later that it installed its own add-on to Firefox (or even other web browsers?). Mozilla has decided to target this common practice, handing more control over to the user on what add-ons can and can't be active.

It found that many of these add-ons can result in reduced performance of Firefox, such as slow browser loading times and slower webpage loading. They also can hit user experience by cluttering the interface with toolbars, and they also can present a problem when they aren't supported by important browser updates.

Therefore, Firefox will changed so as to make the use of such add-on's strictly "opt in" for the user right from the beginning. If Firefox starts and finds that another program has installed an add-on, Firefox will disable the add-on until the user decides to authorize its use.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

CTIA warns of e-mail scam

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 7:59

CTIA warns of e-mail scam Warns Internet users about "you've won a cellphone" scam.

The trade group, which represents the wireless industry in the United States, said it was alerted to an e-mail that used the group's name and logo as part of a scam. Of course, this is nothing new, and they are almost always followed by such a warning.

The contents of this e-mail are what make it more interesting, since it is quite clearly a scam. It should win awards for the sheer lack of effort put in. For additional comic value, the scam e-mail even claims its from the Fraud Prevention Unit at CTIA.

From: C.T.I.A PROMO OFFICE
To:
Sent: Monday, August 8, 2011 6:12 PM
Subject: CTIA PHONE WINNING NOTIFICATION!!!!
CONGRATULATIONS ,
THANKS YOU FOR COMPLLYING WITH US FROM THE TEXT MESSAGE WE UNDERSTAND YOU HAVE NOT BEEN TOLD ABOUT YOU USING YOU MOBLIE PHONE AND QUALIFYING TO WIN. WELL I'LL TAKE THIS TIME TO EDUCATE YOU ON HOW WE CAME UP WITH THIS PROMO THIS YEAR SINCE 1984 WHEN THE ASSOCIATION STARTED WE HAVE NEVER HAD A GOOD OUT SALES BEFORE,SO IN OUR OWN WAY TO SAY THANK YOU TO MOBILE PHONE USERS WE HELD A PROMO DRAW, WE GOT YOUR NUMBER FROM THE INTERNATIONAL NETWORK COMMAND BT TRACKING OUR CELL PHONE CHIPS. in order to to view your WINNINGS you are requested to follow the link below.
Read more...


AfterDawn: News

BPI fund to help Indie labels following fire at Sony distribution center

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 7:59

BPI fund to help Indie labels following fire at Sony distribution center Sony DADC burned in fire impacted smaller independent labels in UK.

So far, more than £100,000 has been made available in interest-free loans to Indie labels in the UK affected by the arson attack on the distribution center in Enfield earlier this week.

"The BPI is founded on the principle that majors and indies should work together and that a vibrant independent sector benefits the recorded music business as a whole," said Geoff Taylor, Chief Executive of BPI.

"For that reason, I am delighted that independent and major members of BPI are showing their solidarity by creating a growing fund to assist indie labels that experience financial difficulties as a result of destruction of stock in the Sony DADC warehouse"

The fund is comprised of cash put up by individual BPI members, which includes scores of Independent labels as well as the usual suspects in the business, and also from BPI's own commercial revenues.




AfterDawn: News

TiVo green lights $100 million stock repurchase

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 7:58

TiVo green lights $100 million stock repurchase Board of Directors OKs repurchase of up to $100 million of its outstanding common shares over two years.

The share repurchase program will be funded through the company's existing cash, according to information provided for the press.

"We believe that the repurchase of our common stock represents one effective use of our capital and underscores our commitment to maximize value for our shareholders, given the significant recent market weakness and the cash on our current balance sheet as well as our NOL position," said Tom Rogers, TiVo President and CEO.

"We are confident in our future growth prospects and believe we have the right elements in place and resources available to drive long term value for our shareholders."

The program will be effective on August 29. The timing, manner, price and amount of any repurchases will be determined by the company in its discretion and will be subject to economic and market conditions, stock price, applicable legal requirements and other factors.

TiVo joins a list of companies that has recently boosting stock buybacks to reward their shareholders. The company has had some struggles in recent quarters, posting wider than expected losses attributed to higher operating costs and lower revenue.




AfterDawn: News

Sony cuts Google TV model prices further

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 6:55

Sony cuts Google TV model prices further Puts down prices to gain more market share.

Sony has dropped the price of Google TV flat-screen models in the United States. The company said that it is not dropping the prices in preparation for a new line of Google TV sets, instead it is attempting to grab more market share in the region.

Amazon lists the Google TV models in the United States, pricing a 24-inch Sony NSX-24GT1, 1080p 60 Hz LCD HDTV Featuring Google TV, at just $298. It also lists a 32-inch model, 40-inch model and 46-inch model but their prices are varied based on the source of the product, while Amazon does not list its own price (though all prices are cheaper than the models previously were marked at.)

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

German retailers continue selling Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 6:55

German retailers continue selling Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Injunction doesn't harm sales of the Android-based tablet in Germany.

The decision by a German court earlier to his that forced a block on the import of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1, has not yet affected the sale of the device in the country. In fact, the leading retail chain MediaMarkt is promoting the Galaxy Tab model at a new lower price of €469 this weekend.

Financial Times Deutschland confirmed that the tablet PC is to stay on sale as usual, quoting a spokeswoman for Media-Saturn, the holding company of all MediaMarkt stores.

The reason that the German retailers can continue to sell the device in the wake of the preliminary injunction, is that it only applies to Samsung. That is, Samsung cannot import the device into the country and it also cannot promote the device within the country, but that injunction does not have to be respected by firms independent of Samsung.

Apple could go back to court and name the retailers as new defendants if it so pleased, but analysts think it is unlikely to do so as those same stores are major Apple customers in Europe.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung offers 6Gbps, 512GB SSDs

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 6:55

Samsung offers 6Gbps, 512GB SSDs High capacity SSD brings Ultra-fast SATA Revision 3.0 interface.

Samsung announced its new PM830 SSDs, touting the Serial ATA Revision 3.0 interface, on Wednesday. SATA 3.0 offers data transmissions at 6 gigabits per second (6Gb/s). The new SSD is available in capacities up to 512GB.

Sample production of the SATA 6Gb/s 512GB SSDs began in May, with volume production initiated earlier this month. The new drives are expected to replace SATA 3Gb/s-based SSDs by year-end.

"Samsung's new line up of advanced SSDs will raise the performance bar to the next level for ultra-slim notebooks and tablets and accelerate growth of the market for high-performance SSDs," said Wanhoon Hong, executive vice president, memory sales & marketing, Device Solutions, Samsung Electronics.

"The industry is expected to quickly embrace SATA 6Gb/s-based SSDs, which also will help increase market interest in 256GB and higher densities significantly."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Beijing: We're under cyber siege too

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 6:55

Beijing: We're under cyber siege too Chinese government says it is a victim too.

When talk of cyber attacks come up, you can be sure that China is highly likely to be mentioned. That's because experts keep tracing the origins of cyber-attacks to places within China, some of which were very high profile cases that made headlines around the world.

However, the Chinese government does not admit to any involvement in such shenanigans, and has insisted that it is a victim of cyber-warfare. It claims that last year, the number of attacks against it totalled almost half a million, with the majority coming from outside the region.

The National Computer Network Emergency Response Coordination Center of China reports that most of those attacks included the use of Trojan horse malware. As for where they came from, a report pointed the finger at the United States as the worst offender, linked to 14.7 percent of the occurrences. India followed in second place, allegedly sourcing 8 percent of the attacks.

The Chinese report came a week after McAfee detailed a mass on-going cyber-attacks against institutions around the world from one unnamed source. Targets included governments, defence contractors and institutions linked to the Olympic games. McAfee says the operation, which is dubbed "Shady RAT", persisted for more than five years, but it did not identify a source.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Games in Australia to get R18+ rating

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 6:55

Games in Australia to get R18+ rating New South Wales government gives in-principle support for new rating.

The government is supporting a move to classify certain video games as R18+, which would bring some considered Adult-Only titles into the R18+ category and also some from the MA15+ category too.

"Few people would dispute the value of a classification system that helps keep adult material beyond the reach of children," New South Wales attorneys-general Greg Smith said in a statement.

"With strong classification guidelines in place, an R18+ rating should result in violent games currently rated MA15+ in Australia being reclassified as adults-only, as they already are in many other countries."

The states' attorneys-general will now draft national guidelines for the new rating. The guidelines will be reviewed by the federal government as part of a larger review of Australia's content classification scheme. The new ratings scheme should be in place by the end of 2011.




AfterDawn: News

Cablevision, Viacom settle iPad streaming dispute

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Aug 2011 6:55

Cablevision, Viacom settle iPad streaming dispute Viacom programming to stay on Cablevision apps.

Viacom had alleged that Cablevision applications were offering unauthorized streams of its content. It argued that Cablevision only had an agreement that would allow it to only distribute Viacom programming over cable TV systems.

Time Warner Cable Inc. had also targeted Cablevision for the same reason, but the case has been on hold since June. Cablevision launched its Optimum Apps for the iPad and other devices in April this year.

"Cablevision and Viacom were able to resolve the iPad matter and an unrelated business matter to their mutual satisfaction," Cablevision and Viacom said in a joint statement. "Neither side is conceding its original legal position or will have further comment."

Due to the growing use of mobile devices for viewing video content, disagreements have been brewing between content providers and cable companies over the rights to distribute programming.




AfterDawn: News

Report: Bing is more effective than Google

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2011 1:56

Report: Bing is more effective than Google Microsoft's Bing search engine is more effective than Google's, says Experian Hitwise.

The active "success rate" for Bing compared to Google, for the month ended July 31st, was 80.04 percent to 67.56 percent, a significant difference.

Success rate is defined by how many search queries with a search engine lead to an actual visit to a website.

Yahoo searches were the most efficient, at 81.36 percent, although Yahoo is now considered part of Bing.

Whilst Yahoo and Microsoft are more efficient, Experian believes all three search engines can improve: "The share of unsuccessful searches highlights the opportunity for both the search engines and marketers to evaluate the search engine results pages to ensure that searchers are finding relevant information."

Experian also notes that Google's share of the search market fell to 66.05 percent while Bing-powered searches (Yahoo + Bing) increased, to 28.05 percent.

For more info, check here: Experian Hitwise reports Google share of searches at 66 percent in July 2011




AfterDawn: News

Electronic Arts completes acquisition of PopCap Games

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2011 0:36

Electronic Arts completes acquisition of PopCap Games Electronic Arts (EA) has now completed its previously announced acquisition of popular casual gaming company PopCap Games.

PopCap, the company behind blockbuster games like Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled, made over $100 million in revenue last year and is a top social/mobile gaming outfit with around 4.3 million active daily gamers.

The final price is $650 million in cash and $100 million in EA stock.

Furthermore, if PopCap hits certain volume and financial goals by the end of the 2013, the company will earn a $550 million bonus earn-out.

The company will be melted into EA's casual gaming division.




AfterDawn: News

QR scanning use continues to grow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2011 0:26

QR scanning use continues to grow According to the latest figures from comScore, QR code usage continues to grow in the U.S.

Over 14 million Americans, 6.2 percent of U.S. mobile users, scanned a QR or barcode using their smartphone or tablet in June 2011.

Says Mark Donovan, comScore senior vice president of mobile:

QR codes demonstrate just one of the ways in which mobile marketing can effectively be integrated into existing media and marketing campaigns to help reach desired consumer segments. For marketers, understanding which consumer segments scan QR codes, the source and location of these scans, and the resulting information delivered, is crucial in developing and deploying campaigns that successfully utilize QR codes to further brand engagement.


QR codes are matrix bar codes that are readable with smartphone cameras and include info, or usually point to a web site.

The demographic for users of QR codes were predominantly male, between the age of 18-34 and with an average salary over $100,000.

Product packaging accounted for 35.3 percent of QR scanning, while another 27.4 percent scanned a code from a website on a PC and finally 23.5 percent scanned codes from a poster/flyer/kiosk.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Acer launches world's first 7-inch Honeycomb tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2011 23:57

Acer launches world's first 7-inch Honeycomb tablet Acer has launched the Iconia Tab A100 in the U.S. this weekend, the world's first 7-inch Android tablet to ship with Honeycomb.

The tablet runs on Honeycomb 3.2 (the latest firmware update), a dual-core 1GHz Tegra 2 processor, has a 7-inch touchscreen with 1024x600 resolution, dual cameras, and weighs just 13.9 ounces.

An 8GB model sells for $329.99 and the larger capacity 16GB model will cost $349.99.

Running on Android 3.2 gives the tablet Zoom Mode, which optimizes Android's 200,000+ apps for tablets.

(Pics via PCM)





AfterDawn: News

Apple and five publishers sued over e-book price fixing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2011 23:25

Apple and five publishers sued over e-book price fixing Apple, along with HarperCollins, Hachette, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster, have all been sued today over alleged e-book price fixing.

The suit claims the publishers and Apple colluded to break Amazon's discount pricing strategy with the sole intent of helping the iPad compete against the popular Kindle e-reader.

Furthermore, the suit claims that publishers, after discounting e-books for years to push adoption, feared Amazon's discounted prices would set a new (and permanent) low expectation for pricing of the books.

Says an attorney for the class-action suit:

Fortunately for the publishers, they had a co-conspirator as terrified as they were over Amazon's popularity and pricing structure, and that was Apple. We intend to prove that Apple needed a way to neutralize Amazon's Kindle before its popularity could challenge the upcoming introduction of the iPad, a device Apple intended to compete as an e-reader.


The five publishers in question control 85 percent of the most popular e-books and until the iPad's release, new releases were priced at $9.99. They now are priced in a range from $9.99 to $14.99.




AfterDawn: News

Say hello to the 1000 year lifespan DVD disc

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2011 13:37

Say hello to the 1000 year lifespan DVD disc Utah-based company Millenniata has made a bold claim today, stating that their new M-DISC discs will last for the next millennium.

Millenniata says standard DVDs and Blu-ray Discs only last between 3-5 years before the dyes begin to degrade and data begins to get lost.

The M-DISC, on the other hand, has "actual pits are burned into the recording medium by a laser." M-DISCS are still readable by all DVD drives.



As you can tell from the picture above (via Register), M-DISCS have the same base but are less susceptible to corruption thanks to an "inorganic and synthetic material" data layer.



M-READY drives also engrave the pits in the surface of the disc, for a rock-like surface.

Furthermore, the discs will have somewhere in the 25-50GB range for capacity, well above standard DVDs. The company has partnered with LG, who will release a Super-Multi Drive that can read/write M-DISCS, Blu-ray and DVD. No word on price, yet.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Firefox 6 Final available very soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2011 13:07

Firefox 6 Final available very soon In its ongoing effort to release updates more frequently, Mozilla has unveiled Firefox 6 Final today, with those in the release channel getting access.

However, the public will likely have to wait a few more days to download the release via the in-browser update.

The company expects August 16th to be the official release deadline for the browser.

Furthermore, Firefox 7 Aurora is now available, as well.

A few of the new updates are updated Address Bar functionality, a redesigned Web Developer menu, an improved Firefox Sync and faster startup time.

You can download the latest Firefox 6 Beta here in preparation for the final launch: Mozilla Firefox v6.0 Beta 5




AfterDawn: News

Sprint says no to 4G BlackBerry PlayBook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2011 1:58

Sprint says no to 4G BlackBerry PlayBook Sprint has noted today that it has killed off plans to release a WiMax 4G BlackBerry PlayBook, citing low demand.

RIM, maker of the BlackBerry, and Sprint, said it was a "mutual decision" to cancel the 4G tablet, which was announced in January.

The carrier will continue to sell the Wi-Fi-only model of the device and it is unclear whether AT&T and Verizon will make similar decisions to axe the 4G model.

Says Page Alves, Sprint's head of business services:

Right now the majority of tablets are Wi-Fi only. People use tablets in fixed locations.


The 7-inch PlayBook came to the market to mixed reviews, mainly due to its lack of a native email app.




AfterDawn: News

Spotify U.S. has over 1 million users already

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2011 0:23

Spotify U.S. has over 1 million users already After three weeks of availability, Spotify reportedly has 1.4 million users.

Perhaps more importantly, the service already has 175,000 paying subscribers, which should make the record labels very happy.

In Europe, the service commands 1.6 million paid subscribers, with a total user base of 10.7 million, so the conversion rate is a bit higher in Europe, at least for the time being.

That being said, Americans have very little incentive to upgrade, as there is unlimited streaming on the desktop version, with very little interruption and non-obtrusive ads. That will go away in six months, however, as Spotify moves the U.S. free tier in-line with Europe's, turning unlimited streaming into a limited amount of hours per month.

Read our review of Spotify U.S. here: Spotify Free for U.S., worth the wait?




AfterDawn: News

Samsung Galaxy S II finally gets U.S. release date

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2011 0:11

Samsung Galaxy S II finally gets U.S. release date Despite 5 million sales overseas (and counting), the Samsung Galaxy S II has been rightfully hyped in the U.S.

Today, the company has finally announced the U.S. launch date, August 29th, with a press event slated for early in the day.

Samsung's new "superphone" has a 4.27-inch WVGA Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen, Android 2.3.4, a 1.2GHz Samsung dual-core processor, an 8.49mm thin chassis (at lowest), an 8MP camera with autofocus and 1080p recording, NFC support, 4G, a 2MP front-side camera and HSPA+, WiFi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0+HS.

Furthermore, the device will run on Samsung's updated TouchWiz UI and weighs just 4 ounces.

It is expected to cost $200 with contract from Verizon and AT&T, and possibly Sprint and T-Mobile, as well.




AfterDawn: News

Chinese officials find 22 more fake Apple stores

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2011 23:44

Chinese officials find 22 more fake Apple stores Weeks after pictures and video of an unauthorized Apple store in China (including fake Geniuses) made international headlines, authorities in the city of Kunming have found 22 more Apple stores that have not been licensed by the company.

Each of the stores have been ordered to stop using the Apple logo anywhere in their stores, and Apple China has accused the stores of unfair competition and trademark infringement.

China's Administration for Industry and Commerce in the Yunnan provincial capital says they will increase monitoring of the stores, and set up a complaint hotline.

The Administration did not reveal whether the stores were selling knockoff Apple products, or genuine products that were smuggled into the country to avoid taxes.

Last month, a blogger living abroad revealed the pictures and video of the store, which was so elaborate that the workers even believed they were working for the 'real deal.'




AfterDawn: News

Leaked AT&T letter puts damper on potential T-Mobile acquisition

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2011 23:11

Leaked AT&T letter puts damper on potential T-Mobile acquisition In March, AT&T announced its intention to purchase rival carrier T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, barring any anti-trust setbacks.

Today, a partially-redacted document accidentally posted by a law firm under contract for AT&T leaked online, via the FCC website, and the general consensus is the letter shows that the company is willing to spend over three years of profit just to reduce competition in the market place.

AT&T has been telling regulators that the deal will lead to job gains and network investment, but the new letter, sent to potential investors, shows that is blatantly untrue.

While the carrier has been telling regulators the acquisition will increase network investment by $8 billion, behind the scenes the company is saying the deal will actually help them reduce investment by $10 billion over the next six years.

T-Mobile said last year it planned to spend $3 billion a year in new infrastructure investments.

Additionally, AT&T has been telling regulators that they need T-Mobile in order to increase LTE network coverage, but the letter seems to prove that is also a lie. The letter states that it would cost just $3.8 billion to increase LTE coverage from its current 80 percent to 97 percent (the other 3 percent will likely never get 4G service). Clearly they do not "need" T-Mobile, at a $39 billion premium, when the costs of expanding is just under $4 billion.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple schedules iPhone event for September 7th?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2011 22:39

Apple schedules iPhone event for September 7th? Kodawarisan has reported today that Apple has scheduled an iPhone event for September 7th, with the much-anticipated iPhone shipping either later that month or in October.

Additionally, Apple will launch the next generation of the iPod line, including Touch, Nano and Video models.

The Japanese-based site has accurately reported Apple rumors over the past 2 years, and Apple normally reveals new iPods in September as part of their customary cycle.

Apple is expected to add an A5 dual-core processor to the iPhone 5, along with an 8MP camera and a re-designed form factor.

The company is also rumored to be releasing an "iPhone 4S," a version of the iPhone 4 with less memory and storage that is deeply integrated with the new iCloud platform and will cost $0 with contract.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon CEO patents smartphone air bags

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2011 22:19

Amazon CEO patents smartphone air bags Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has allegedly filed for a patent that would bring an "airbag"-type system to smartphones and other mobile devices.

The patent application, from last February, shows a system where the phone detects it is being dropped and then deploys a damage protection system, similar to airbags in cars.

Reads the patent application (via PCW):

While the size and weight of portable devices make them convenient to carry around, these characteristics often make them more susceptible to damage and loss. With the number of cellular phones in use exceeding several billion and repairs typically exceeding $25, the costs of damage and loss of cellular phones amounts to billions of dollars per year.


There are a few different damage protection systems noted, with one being airbags, a second being springs, and finally "a small explosion of air."




AfterDawn: News

Android now has 20 percent of tablet market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2011 21:59

Android now has 20 percent of tablet market share According to ABI Research’s "Media Tablets" study, Android devices have now taken 20 percent share in the tablet market, slowly but steadily gaining on the iPad, the clear leader in the space.

The study notes that there have not been any "iPad Killers," not even close, and the 20 percent has been a collective effort.

Researcher Jeff Orr blames fragmentation on the hampered growth, with Android devices running a range of operating systems, from 2.2 to 3.2.

Overall, tablet growth should be huge in 2011, with "de-featured, low-cost media tablets are being introduced by more than fifty vendors in 2011," says Orr. "This will certainly help bolster year-over-year growth for the category, but it also creates a negative perception in the minds of the mass consumer audience about the readiness of media tablets to be fully functional within the next several years."

Orr adds that worldwide annual media tablet shipments are expected to top 120 million units in 2015.

More info here: Android Takes 20% Media Tablet Market Share from iPad in Last 12 Months




AfterDawn: News

Is Rovio worth $1.2 billion?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2011 3:26

Is Rovio worth $1.2 billion? Rovio, the Finnish company behind the blockbuster hit 'Angry Birds' series, could be worth $1.2 billion, if reports are accurate.

The developer is allegedly in talks with investors for investments that would value the company well past the billion mark.

In under 2 years, all iterations of Angry Birds have been downloaded over 300 million times, and remain top hits on Android and iOS.

The game is free for Google Chrome users, and PC/Mac users can download a standalone game, as well.

Sources claim the investment will be a "strategic investment from a company in the entertainment business."

While a few names have been tossed around as potential suitors, two that stand out as high probability are Disney and Zynga.




AfterDawn: News

HTC announces investment in Beats by Dr. Dre

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2011 14:44

HTC announces investment in Beats by Dr. Dre HTC has announced an investment in Beats Electronics, the headphone maker.

The financials have not been released, but rumor has it HTC has spent around $500 million to purchase a 51 percent controlling stake in Beats.

Founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre, Beats has quickly become a premiere name in "high-end audio" performance, as well as a status symbol in headphones.

HTC says Beats will continue to run "as usual," and upcoming HTC devices will include Beats audio technology.

It is unclear whether devices will come with a set of Beats headphones, as well.




AfterDawn: News

Apple to reveal 'iCloud iPhone' this year?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2011 14:03

Apple to reveal 'iCloud iPhone' this year? According to Trevor Sheridan of Apple'N'Apps, Apple is looking to release an "iCloud iPhone" this year, alongside the launch of the iPhone 5.

The iCloud device will use the same parts as the iPhone 4, but with less memory and storage (to save money), and could cost $0 with contract.

Integrated directly into the cloud, the iCloud iPhone will help Apple keeps its 40%+ margins whilst releasing a device that can compete on a price level with low-end Android phones.

Says Sheridan:

The iPhone 5 will be a quality upgrade, but the star of the show will be the cheaper iCloud iPhone alternative. Apple wants to offer a lower priced iPhone while still maintaining their industry leading profit margins.

According to our sources, Apple is going to do this by using less on board Flash memory which are also falling in price. When looking at the iSuppli cost breakdown of the parts of the iPhone 4, the storage accounts for 15% of the cost to build the device, and that's true for the 3GS as well. Reducing 15% of the cost across millions of units is a substantial savings. The iCloud model will be for users who will want to use the iCloud heavily for storage, and keep a lot less on the iPhone itself. This will also help Apple make iCloud a feature by itself and reason to use the entire Apple ecosystem.




AfterDawn: News

Intel to invest $300 million in Ultrabook tech developers

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Aug 2011 3:31

Intel to invest $300 million in Ultrabook tech developers World's largest chipmaker puts money where mouth is.

The company will create a $300 million Ultrabook Fund to drive innovation for the new category of devices. Ultrabook systems promise the performance and features of today's high performance laptops will offering today's popular tablet-like features.

Ultrabook devices will deliver a highly responsive and secure experience in a thin, light and elegant design at mainstream prices. The Ultrabook fund will invest in firms building hardware and software solutions that benefit Ultrabooks, such as innovative physical designs, longer battery life and improved storage capacity at small form factors.

"Ultrabook devices are poised to be an important area for innovation in the $261 billion global computer industry," said Arvind Sodhani, president of Intel Capital and Intel executive vice president. "The Intel Capital Ultrabook fund will focus on investing in companies building technologies that will help revolutionize the computing experience and morph today's mobile computers into the next 'must have' device."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony, LG squash patent disputes

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Aug 2011 3:21

Sony, LG squash patent disputes Pair brings end to long-running legal battles over patents.

Sony Corp and LG Electronics announced early on Thursday that the companies have moved to resolve patent disputes over products ranging from Smartphones to Blu-ray players. "LG and Sony recently agreed to drop patent infringement lawsuits against each other," a spokeswoman at South Korea's LG Electronics said.

Both companies have clashed in the United States and the European Union in recent years sine failing to renew a technology sharing agreement. Sony filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that sought a ban on the import of LG smartphones, such as the Rumor Touch.

In March this year, an LG complaint against Sony resulted in the seizure of PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles by customers officers in the Netherlands. LG also told the ITC in the United States that Sony's PS3 violated patents related to the Blu-ray Disc technology.

Sony offered no public comment on the resolution of the global patent fight.




AfterDawn: News

Online gaming service to hit UK next month

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Aug 2011 3:21

Online gaming service to hit UK next month "Cloud console" service to launch in the region on September 22.

Available in the United States for more than a year, Onlive allows gamers to play titles on a variety of hardware and gadgets. That's because the computation is done on remote servers, while only the video and sound is streamed to the user, while the user's commands are sent to the servers.

The promise of such a service is the ability to play high quality and graphically intense video games on systems with very low spec hardware. Onlive is not perfect yet however, but it is a good start and receives mostly favourable reviews.

"There are some sacrifices," said Scott Lowe, executive editor at games website IGN. "You lose a little bit of the clarity and the graphics don't stack up as well as something like a PC or a console, but you do get most of the major gist of the experience."

Onlive has put a lot of effort into making all the underlying hardware as low latency as possible, to minimise any delays in feedback experienced at home.

A concern that the service needs to address in the UK is its need for bandwidth and potential high data usage. It's lowest connection speed (to deliver compressed video) is 1Mbit/s, which can amount to more than 450MB of data downloaded easily per hour.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Some small labels pull music from Spotify, citing declining CD sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2011 2:03

Some small labels pull music from Spotify, citing declining CD sales Small label Century Media, along with its associated labels "InsideOutMusic", “Superballmusic” and “People Like You" have pulled their music from Spotify, citing declining CD sales.

Says the label:

While everyone at the label group believes in the ever changing possibilities of new technology and new ways of bringing music to the fans, Century Media is also of the opinion that Spotify in its present shape and form isn’t the way forward. The income streams to the artists are affected massively and therefore that accelerates the downward spiral, which eventually will lead to artists not being able to record music the way it should be recorded. Ultimately, in some cases, it will completely kill a lot of smaller bands that are already struggling to make ends meet.

At the same time Century Media also believes that Spotify is a great tool to discover new music and is in the process of reintroducing their bands to Spotify by way of putting up samplers of the artists. This way, fans can still discover the great music released by the label.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Facebook releases a standalone app for messaging

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2011 0:21

Facebook releases a standalone app for messaging Facebook has announced the launch of "Facebook Messenger," a standalone app for iOS and Android.

Messenger will focus on chat and messaging, give users a chance to message FB friends directly, without needing to open Facebook and navigate the site.

Additionally, the app will deliver the messages via notifications or texts, so your FB buddies are likely to see it more promptly.

You can create group convos, as well, notes FB.

Finally, the company says:

The Messenger app is an extension of Facebook messages, so all your conversations are in one place, including your texts, chats, emails and messages. Whether you're on your phone or on the web, you can see the full history of all your messages.


The apps are free for Android devices and all iOS devices.




AfterDawn: News

Apple targets Motorola Xoom in Europe

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2011 19:37

Apple targets Motorola Xoom in Europe Court documents indicate iPad-maker is targeting another rival tablet in the EU.

Apple has a lot of patent warfare history with Motorola. In the United States, there are four ongoing federal lawsuits between the pair, and two investigations being carried out by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC). In total, over 40 patents are part of the disputes.

Having scored a victory against Samsung Electronics in Europe by getting a German court to ban the import and sale of Galaxy tablet PCs, it has emerged that Apple is also targeting Motorola's Xoom tablet PC, launched in February, in Europe.

Apple claims that the Xoom tablet infringes its registered EU Community Design for the iPad tablet. In its complaint filed in the German court (against Samsung), Apple also said it filed a complaint against a company called JAY-tech for the same reason, and has obtained a preliminary injunction against it.

It's not clear if Apple has requested an injunction against the import and sale of the Xoom, similar to the one granted against the Samsung Galaxy Tab, yet.




AfterDawn: News

FCC details next gen 911 service proposals

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2011 19:01

FCC details next gen 911 service proposals Federal Communications Commission examines NG911 - Next Generation 911.

With the widespread use of smartphones, wouldn't it be much better if you could use their features in the event of an emergency? The FCC is pushing an upgrade to the 911 emergency system in the U.S. that would let users send video feeds, photos and other communications that would be sent to first responders.

"It's hard to imagine that airlines can send text messages if your flight is delayed, but you can't send a text message to 9-1-1 in an emergency," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said at the 2011 APCO Conference in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Next month, the regulator is expected to address the technical issues behind enabling text, photo and video transmissions to 911 services. One area of concerns is whether the broadband infrastructure can handle the necessary bandwidth for the service to work as proposed.

An official said that NG911 services could be available within 5-10 years, if the program is properly funded.

FCC Five-Step Action Plan to Deploy Next Generation 9-1-1
  • Develop location accuracy mechanisms for NG-911: The FCC's Location Accuracy proceeding (July 2011 agenda item) has launched development of a framework for providing automatic location information in the NG911 environment.
  • Enable consumers to send text, photos, and videos to PSAPs (NPRM): Next month, the FCC will consider an NPRM to accelerate NG911 adoption. The NPRM will help answer practical, technical questions about how to enable text, photo, and video transmission to 911, including how to ensure adequate broadband infrastructure to deliver the bandwidth PSAPs will need to provide NG911. As part of the NPRM, the FCC will examine interim solutions for ensuring that carriers/service providers support transmission of text-to-911.
  • Facilitate the completion and implementation of NG911 technical standards: For NG911 to be effective, we need technical standards for the hardware and software that carriers and public safety answering points (PSAPs) use to communicate NG911 information. The FCC will work with NG911 stakeholders to resolve NG911 standards issues and facilitate consistent and coordinated implementation of a standards-based architecture.
  • Develop a NG911 governance framework: Because no single governing entity has jurisdiction over NG911, the FCC will work with state 911 authorities, other Federal agencies, and other governing entities to provide technical expertise and develop a coordinated approach to NG911 governance.
  • Develop an NG911 Funding Model: To assist 911 authorities and Congress in considering NG911 funding options, the FCC's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau will prepare a cost model focused on the cost-effectiveness of the NG911 network infrastructure linking PSAPs and carriers.




AfterDawn: News

Rootkits fight for control of compromised PCs

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2011 18:49

Rootkits fight for control of compromised PCs Increasingly, malware authors target rivals to keep compromised systems completely under their control.

In one interesting case, reported by The Register, an author of the TDL 3 rootkit decided to make some extra cash by selling the source code of the rootkit. The Russian developer sold the source of one version of the rootkit, while keeping another.

From the rootkit source sale, another called ZeroAccess allegedly rose, with added ClickFraud modules. A second ZeroAccess rootkit also added the ability to target and remove the TDL 3 rootkit using a specific module called anti-TDL.

"The original author of the TDL3 rootkit made two versions of TDL3. He kept the second version of the rootkit code for himself and sold the first version to the guys behind ZeroAccess," Jacques Erasmus of Webroot told The Register.

"TDL3 Authors sold a version of TDL3 sourcecode to ZeroAccess authors. Now ZeroAccess guys are double crossing the TDL3 author by uninstalling the TDL rootkit."

Such measures are becoming more common. TDL-4, which received considerable media attention recently, has the built in ability to remove a host of rival malware, such as ZeuS.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon launched HTML 5 Kindle reader, avoids Apple charges

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2011 18:38

Amazon launched HTML 5 Kindle reader, avoids Apple charges Amazon builds browser app that will save it from paying a 30 percent cut to Apple.

The new Kindle Cloud Reader is optimized for iPads, while directing customers to Amazon's own eBook store. It will work on PCs, Macs and any mobile devices using Apple Safari or the Chrome web browser.

Since the application is web-based instead of being a "native" iPad application, Amazon can avoid Apple policies that would force it to use Apple's purchasing system, and pay a fee. Direct purchasing links are no longer allowed on native iPad applications.

Despite being a web-based application, the Kindle Cloud Reader looks like a native application. Last month, the Financial Times also switched to a HTML 5 newspaper reader application. "We believe that in many cases, native apps are simply a bridging solution while web technologies catch up," said Stephen Pinches, the FT group product manager of emerging Technologies.

"We expect to see more HTML5 apps and fewer native apps. At the FT we believe our customers are paying for the content rather than the channel, and that a single payment and single subscription which works across multiple devices offers significant benefits to users."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Gizmodo blogger escapes charges in iPhone case

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2011 18:23

Gizmodo blogger escapes charges in iPhone case Jason Chen won't face charges for buying prototype iPhone found in a bar.

San Mateo County Assistant District Attorney Morley Pitt said that Chen is protected by California's shield law, that protects the confidentiality of journalists' sources. "The difficulty we faced is that Mr. Chen and Gizmodo were primarily, in their view, engaged in a journalistic endeavor to conduct an investigation into the phone and type of phone it was and they were protected by the shield law," said Pitt.

"We concluded it is a very gray area, they do have a potential claim and this was not the case with which we were going to push the envelope."

Misdemeanor charges were filed against two men however. Brian Hogen and Sage Wallower found and sold the prototype device after it was left at a bar by an Apple employee. Hogan was charged with misappropriation of lost property, as was Wallower who was also charged with possession of stolen property.

After Gizmodo posted images of the prototype iPhone, Chen's home was raided and his computer was seized. The raid was highly criticized in the media, as the state law prohibits the seizure of unpublished notes from journalists.




AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry targeted by hackers over police riot help

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2011 18:23

BlackBerry targeted by hackers over police riot help Offer of assistance to police dealing with riots in English cities results in threats from hackers.

Hacker group, Team Posion, reportedly defaced the official Blackberry blog to post a threat to attack the firm if it hands over user data to authorities that relates to the recent riots in English cities. Blackberry's messaging service is known to have been used by looters to time their crimes around police movements.

The firm pledged to co-operate with the Home Office and police in the affected cities. "We are all for the rioters that are engaging in attacks on the police and government," a message from the group stated. "Innocent members of the public who were at the wrong place at the wrong time and owned a Blackberry will get charged for no reason at all."

It said that if BlackBerry hands over user data to police, it will respond by releasing employee information, including names, addresses and phone numbers of staff. UK law allows police to retrieve mobile data if it related to criminal activity.




AfterDawn: News

Security firm claims GPRS breach

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2011 18:23

Security firm claims GPRS breach German group claim crack of widely used mobile encryption code.

A German newspaper has reported that a Berlin-based security firm has cracked the encryption code for some mobile devices that use the Internet with GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) technology. The report claimed that the group discovered a way to read emails and observe Internet use of phones.

"With our technology we can capture GPRS data communications in a radius of 5 km," Karsten Nohl, head of Security Research Labs, is quoted as saying.

He said that phones using the UMTS standard are obviously safer, but the crack may have implications for industrial equipment, toll systems and other things that rely on GPRS technology. It is often the only type of connection available in remote areas.




AfterDawn: News

Apple wins Samsung Galaxy tablet block in EU

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2011 18:23

Apple wins Samsung Galaxy tablet block in EU Temporary ban affects most of European Union.

A German court has issued a temporary injunction banning Samsung Electronics from selling its Galaxy Tablet in the European Union. The court sided with Apple Inc., which has accused Samsung of slavishly cloning the iPhone and iPad products in its Android-packing smartphones and flagship tablet.

Products already distributed prior to the court order on August 9 may still be sold, with retailers saying they have received no legal instruction to remove stock. Samsung does not expect the injunction to have an immediate impact on EU sales.

The decision hit Samsung a week after the company was forced to delay its Australian launch of the Galaxy tablet following another lawsuit from Apple alleging patent infringement.

"It's no coincidence that Samsung's latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad, from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging," said Apple's London-based spokesman Adam Howorth. "This kind of blatant copying is wrong, and we need to protect Apple's intellectual property when companies steal our ideas."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

The Vizio Tablet is cheap

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Aug 2011 0:32

The Vizio Tablet is cheap After announcing the tablet at this year's CES, Vizio has launched its Vizio Tablet (formerly Vizio Via Plus).

The tablet will be cheap, with an MSRP of just $299, well under rival tablets which normally price at $500.

Amazon, Costco, Sam's Club, Vizio and Walmart each have the tablet in stock now.

The tablet runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, weighs 1.2 pounds, has an 8-inch screen with 1024x768 resolution, Wi-Fi only, 1GHz processor, 4GB storage, MicroSD slot, HDMI slot, three speakers and a front-facing video camera for video chat.

Vizio's main selling point on the tablet outside of the price is its integration with VIA, which will control not only all Vizio devices in the house but also "up to 95 percent of all home theater accessories, including televisions and sound systems" with its IR controller.




AfterDawn: News

Chrome OS finally gets Netflix streaming access

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Aug 2011 0:13

Chrome OS finally gets Netflix streaming access Google promised the feature at the I/O event three months ago and it has delivered.

The search giant has confirmed today that Chromebooks, (the Samsung Series 5, Acer AC700 and CR-48) will finally have Netflix streaming access, a feature that was one of the most requested since the beta CR-48 devices were sent out to testers.

Because Chrome OS does not have native support for Microsoft's Silverlight in-browser plug-in, Netflix just did not work on the devices.

Upgrading to the latest Chrome OS update will give you access to Netflix streaming, says Chrome OS Community Manager Melissa Daniels.

One note for CR-48 owners, you cannot watch HD films, only low-res. This has been verified by me.

For more info here: Using Netflix




AfterDawn: News

Nokia to retire Symbian in the U.S., move forward with WP7

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Aug 2011 23:54

Nokia to retire Symbian in the U.S., move forward with WP7 Nokia has said today that Symbian will be discontinued in the U.S.

The smartphone OS, which was, until recently the most popular in the world, never gained traction in the States despite strong sales in Europe and Africa.

Earlier this year, Nokia signed a deal with Microsoft to place fledgling Windows Phone 7 on Nokia hardware starting in September.

Additionally, the company just released its first MeeGo device, the Nokia N9, which has seen critical success in Europe.

Says Nokia's U.S. president Chris Weber:

Once WP7 comes out, we will essentially be out of the Symbian business, the S40 business, etc. It will be Windows Phone and the accessories around that. The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn't matter what we do (elsewhere).


Nokia's first WP7 device should each run on 'Mango,' the much anticipated update for the firmware that brings hundreds of new features.




AfterDawn: News

Apple and Exxon are currently fighting it out to be world's largest publicly traded company, by capitalization

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Aug 2011 13:50

Apple and Exxon are currently fighting it out to be world's largest publicly traded company, by capitalization While the result switches every minute or so, Apple and Exxon Mobile are currently fighting to end the day as the world's largest publicly traded company, by market capitalization.

As of writing, Apple has a market cap of $341.11 billion, while Exxon has a market cap of $342.78 billion. The companies have been interchanging over the past half hour, and at one point Apple was the biggest publicly traded company in the world.

Exxon is one of the largest oil companies on the planet, but has taken a hit recently alongside the decline in crude oil prices.

Apple, the most profitable smartphone maker on the planet, and the market share leader for tablets and media players.

While both companies are the largest publicly traded in the world, they are certainly not the most valuable, as the Saudi Arabian Oil Company is said to be worth $1.2 trillion.




AfterDawn: News

RIM now rushing to bring QNX-based BlackBerry to market in Q1

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2011 20:17

RIM now rushing to bring QNX-based BlackBerry to market in Q1 Earlier this month, RIM announced its new BlackBerry 7 lineup, including new Torch devices and the BlackBerry Bold 9900.

According to BGR, the company is now rushing to push its QNX-based "BlackBerry Colt" to the market in the Q1.

The QNX devices will be the first dual-core BlackBerrys on the market, at a time when other manufacturers are looking to build quad-core devices.

Even though it will likely kill the device before it even launches, the source says RIM is working on a QNX-specific BlackBerry Enterprise Server, and that the first phone will not have native support for BES, one of BlackBerry's only remaining selling points.

However, not all is lost as users can run Microsoft ActiveSync out of the box.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to cut support for Dolby in Windows 8?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2011 15:32

Microsoft to cut support for Dolby in Windows 8? Following an already overly rough year, Dolby announced last week that Microsoft's Windows 8 OS might leave its technology out.

Since 2007, Microsoft has included Dolby surround sound tech in its Windows operating systems, and the licensing agreement accounted for 12 percent of the company's total revenue.

"(We) have recently learned that our technologies are not currently included in the Windows 8 operating system under development. If our technologies are not included in the commercial version of Windows 8, we expect to support DVD playback functionality by increasingly licensing our technologies directly to OEMs and ISVs, and we will seek to extend our technologies to further support online content playback," read Dolby's statement.

Microsoft did not give a public reason for ditching Dolby, but it appears that adding the tech was no longer a selling point so saving the money seemed prudent.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HTC bootloader unlocking coming soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2011 14:48

HTC bootloader unlocking coming soon HTC has started HTCDev.com, allowing those who like to tinker with their devices an opportunity to do so more easily.

The site gives access to the OpenSense SDK and access to the kernel source repository.

Using the SDK will give developers a chance to take adavantage of the popular HTC Sense API, as well as any add-on, including the stylus pen for the HTC Flyer tablet.

Probably most welcome to developers, is the bootloader unlock web tool.

HTC has said all future phones will come with unlocked bootloaders, starting with the Sensation and EVO 3D.




AfterDawn: News

Say hello to Chrome OS on tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2011 13:32

Say hello to Chrome OS on tablets Chrome OS, the web-based operating system commercially released earlier this year by Google, will soon be making its way to tablets.

Web developer Francois Beaufort has posted a video showing off a tablet-optimized version of the OS.

It is unclear when tablets with the OS will hit the market, and at what price.

Chromebooks sell for $350 and require a constant connection to the Internet.

While tablets do sell with 3G/4G connections, the most popular are Wi-Fi only, due to their cheaper price tag.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung to release three new Bada smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2011 12:52

Samsung to release three new Bada smartphones Samsung has noted this week that it will release three new Bada phones in the coming months.

Bada is the company's own smartphone OS, launched last year.

There is very little info known about the new devices, but one appears to be the Samsung Wave 3, successor to the popular line of Bada devices.

The other two phones are the Samsung GT-S5360 and the GT-S7250D, which will run on Bada 2.0.

Samsung said last year it would remove some support from Android and Windows Phone in an effort to try their hand at Bada.

The phones are expected to launch at the IFA event in September.




AfterDawn: News

AntiSec releases tons of police data

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2011 1:38

AntiSec releases tons of police data In retribution for police arresting alleged Anonymous and LulzSec members, the hacktivist group AntiSec has released 10GB worth of data including private emails and info sent by confidential informants.

The hacktivists say they stole the info during attacks on 70 small-town law enforcement agencies.

AntiSec released the database in an effort to "embarrass, discredit and incriminate police officers across the US."

The group hacked Brooks-Jeffrey Marketing, the firm that builds websites for sheriff's agencies in southern states of the U.S. Says AntiSec: "It took less than 24 hours to root BJM's server and copy all their data to our private servers."

Some sites, like the Missouri Sheriffs' Association, remain down, even tonight.




AfterDawn: News

Chrome OS hacked by researchers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2011 1:08

Chrome OS hacked by researchers It appears that Google's Chrome OS has been hacked by researchers, despite the search giant's claim that the OS would be safer than current offerings from Microsoft and Apple.

Chrome OS has only been available (commercially, not as beta) for a few months, so the news is even more disheartening.

Researchers at the recent Black Hat security conference say they hacked the system to access user’s emails, Google Docs, contacts, and Google Voice messages.

The researchers called for Google to fix the flaws, and soon. Hacking the built-in ScratchPad app the team easily grabbed user's contacts.

Google responded:

This conversation is about the web, not Chrome OS. Chromebooks raise security protections on computing hardware to new levels. They are also better equipped to handle the web attacks that can affect browsers on any computing device, thanks in part to a carefully designed extensions model and the advanced security available through Chrome that many users and experts have embraced.




AfterDawn: News

Sprint to sell Samsung Conquer 4G for under $100

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2011 0:52

Sprint to sell Samsung Conquer 4G for under $100 Reaching a new price point for 4G devices, Sprint will begin selling the Samsung Conquer 4G for $99 (with rebate), on August 21st.

The device runs on Android 2.3 Gingerbread, has a 1GHz processor, a 3.5-inch touchscreen, dual cameras and 2GB storage.

While the phone is certainly affordable, Sprint requires an Everything data plan + Premium Data, at $80 a month, to activate the phone.

Sprint's 4G WiMax network is available in 28 states/ 71 cities.




AfterDawn: News

People just aren't ordering porn on their TVs anymore

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2011 0:24

People just aren't ordering porn on their TVs anymore According to the WSJ, cable and satellite TV providers are just not selling as much porn as they used to.

While still wildly profitable, revenue on adult VOD and PPV service have been falling, showing consumer's move to the Internet for their pornography.

Over the course of two weeks, Time Warner and DirecTV has directly stated that PPV profits were weaker than expected thanks to "lower adult buys."

Says the Time Warner CEO:

There's been a fairly steady trend over some time period now for adult to go down largely because there's that kind of material available on the Internet for free.


Overall, adult VOD and PPV brought in $899 million in revenue in 2010 for TV providers.




AfterDawn: News

HTC buying Dashwire to help protect itself

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Aug 2011 23:48

HTC buying Dashwire to help protect itself HTC has acquired mobile app company Dashwire for $18.5 million, likely in an effort to fight against current patent litigation brought by rivals.

The global smartphone maker says the move will help it strengthen its cloud-based services.

Following suits from Apple and others, HTC has used its lush cash supply to begin acquisitions, including a $335 million purchase of S3 Graphics.

That move has already paid off, as S3 won a patent case over Apple two weeks ago.

Dashwire is said to have a portfolio of 20,000 patents purchased from a company called Intellectual Ventures. IV has licensing agreements with Google, Intel and Microsoft, among others, with many related to mobile devices.




AfterDawn: News

Nokia Siemens Networks starts planned layoffs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Aug 2011 1:24

Nokia Siemens Networks starts planned layoffs Following its acquisition of Motorola's networking business for $1.2 billion, Nokia Siemens Networks has begun its layoff of 1500 employees.

The company has 70,000 employees and the layoffs will mainly be research staff.

In June, the company announced the cuts, alongside the relocation of 1200 employees into the LTE and WCDMA divisions.

GMB Union rep Andy Prendergast says (via ZD):

It's real tragedy that these jobs are going [as] they are well-paid, high-skilled jobs of the kind that we should be a world leader in.

The light regulation around labour laws makes it a lot easier to dispense with workers in the UK than in other areas. This is another nail in the coffin of the idea that the Tories have an economic policy built around growth.




AfterDawn: News

EA slashes prices of iOS games in 'Back-To-School' sale

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Aug 2011 23:15

EA slashes prices of iOS games in 'Back-To-School' sale Following up on their popular July 4th sale which slashed iOS games to just $0.99, Electronic Arts (EA) has started a back-to-school sale, slashing 80 percent off prices for their popular mobile games.

A few of the games are also "HD" versions built for the iPad.

Among the discounted are classics like Tetris, Scrabble, Battleship, Snood and Risk and on the newer side is the brand new (released last month) Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Furthermore, popular sports games like Madden NFL 11, Fifa 11 and Fight Night will be available.

Check the list here: EA Back-To-School Sale




AfterDawn: News

Russia getting iPhone 5 in November?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Aug 2011 22:29

Russia getting iPhone 5 in November? Will Russia be getting the iPhone 5 just one month after its expected U.S. launch?

On the heels of word that Apple is actively looking to lease space inside the trade gallery of the historic Hotel Moskva in Moscow for an Apple Store, a Russian paper is claiming that the nation will get the iPhone 5 in November.

The iPhone 5 is expected to launch in September or October in the U.S. and Western Europe.

Citing handset retailers in Russia, the paper says sales of the iPhone 5 will begin "almost immediately" after the U.S. launch.

Russian carriers are in current talks with Apple about speeding up delivery of the smartphone, as previous versions have launched months after the U.S. launch, leading to a huge gray market for iPhones in the nation.




AfterDawn: News

PlayStation Vita goes up for pre-order, in Canada

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Aug 2011 22:15

PlayStation Vita goes up for pre-order, in Canada Despite Sony's recent announcement that its Vita handheld would not be hitting North America or the EU until 2012, Best Buy Canada has still put the console up for pre-order, at least 5 months before any possible retail launch.

The company has a page for the Vita with Wi-Fi-only at $250 and the Vita with 3G/Wi-Fi at $300.

Additionally, Best Buy Canada says March 30th is the expected date for launch, although that is likely educated speculation by the chain.

The device has a massive 5-inch multi-touch OLED screen with 960×544 resolution, a multi-touch panel on the back, dual micro-analog sticks and will run on a quad-core ARM cortex processor.

Pics via Nexus404:




AfterDawn: News

Happy vicennial to the World Wide Web

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Aug 2011 21:43

Happy vicennial to the World Wide Web On this date in 1991, Tim Berners-Lee (no, not Al Gore) published the first website ever on the World Wide Web (WWW).

At the time, Lee was a contractor at CERN, the European nuclear research organization and had access to the largest Internet node on the continent.

The Internet, back then, consisted of computers being able to talk to each other. Lee proposed the WWW system, which would give users a way to access various information sources, from whatever computer they were on using hyperlinks.

Thanks to the WWW, typing in a web address actually leads you to that site's servers, and a visual page.

The first ever website was a part of info.cern.ch and was just an info page with links. You can view a cached version of that page here: The first web page

For more info on the start of the WWW, check here: http://info.cern.ch/




AfterDawn: News

'Spam King' indicted in Las Vegas

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Aug 2011 21:23

'Spam King' indicted in Las Vegas Sanford Wallace, better known as the "Spam King," has been indicted in Las Vegas.

The 40-year-old is accused of sending 27 million spam messages to millions of Facebook users.

From November 2008 to March 2009, Wallace allegedly compromised 500,000 Facebook accounts after sending millions of pieces of spam through the company's servers, says USAT.

In March 2009, Wallace was banned from ever using Facebook, but the indictment claims the "Spam King" started using the site again in April.

Wallace has been sued by Concentric Network, AOL, CompuServe, MySpace and the Federal Trade Commission over spamming and phishing.

The Spam King is facing up to 16 years in jail if convicted on all counts of electronic mail fraud, intentional damage to a protected computer and criminal contempt.




AfterDawn: News

Tethering with Jailbroken iPhone will cost AT&T users their unlimited plans

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Aug 2011 21:54

Tethering with Jailbroken iPhone will cost AT&T users their unlimited plans Customers lucky to still have unlimited data plans are putting it at risk if tethering.

AT&T has confirmed that it will revoke unlimited data plans held by users who are using a Jailbroken iPhone for tethering. It will then lump its 4GB tethering-approved plan on the customer. The carrier has sent out warning letters to those tethering without a plan.

In order to keep tethering, a customer will have to switch plan, but since the unlimited data plan no longer exists, that means taking on a 4GB limit split between smartphone use and tethering. The minimum tethering plan would actually cost a customer with unlimited data an additional $15 per month.

Customers lucky to still have unlimited plans could be forgiven for getting angry about this policy, as there was no state restriction on tethering at the time the unlimited plan was still available.




AfterDawn: News

Gartner: Mobile data revenue to rise 23 percent

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Aug 2011 21:44

Gartner: Mobile data revenue to rise 23 percent Global mobile connections to hit 5.7 billion this year.

Research firm Gartner has said that global mobile data revenue is to rise 22.5 percent this year, to $341.7 billion, compared to 2010. It also projected revenue to increase to $552 billion by 2015.

Driving this demand for data is a rise in mobile connections from 5.6 billion at the end of 2011, to 7.4 billion by 2015. "Data revenue will continue to grow but at a much slower rate," Jessica Ekholm, principal research analyst at Gartner.

"This is causing a decoupling between revenue and data traffic, and is creating an increase in network costs for carriers as they try to sustain growing data traffic." Network operators are trying to strike a balance between capacity and revenue, dumping unlimited data plans for monthly data caps.

"What carriers need are innovative ways to increase data revenue while finding smart solutions to manage a growing demand in data," said Sylvain Fabre, research director at Gartner.

"Ultimately, it will be the consumer who chooses the content he or she wants to use, and carriers need to ensure the quality of experience is good. A sub-standard user experience may lead to higher churn."




AfterDawn: News

Hirai: Sony wont exit TV business

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Aug 2011 21:36

Hirai: Sony wont exit TV business Sony has ruled out exiting the TV business despite continuous losses to its divisions.

Kazuo Hirai, head of Sony's consumer businesses, said that the company was not considering selling off any of its factories, and that it would not exit a TV panel partnership with Samsung Electronics. "Televisions are a core business for Sony and it would be unthinkable for us to shrink that business," Hirai said.

The company has said it will put forth plans to reform its troubles TV business this month, while warning that losses on TVs could widen this year. In the past, it has sold off factories in Spain, Mexico and Slovakia, and outsourced much of its production to third parties.

The company's TV business is heading for an eight straight year of losses, as it struggles to cope with competition from lower-cost Asian rivals, and even with Samsung. Hirai was clear however that the company has no plans to dismantle its partnership with the South Korean firm.

"We are absolutely not thinking of abolishing the joint venture, and it's not something that would be easy to do," he said.




AfterDawn: News

Update: Seagate refutes claim that they are slashing warranties

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Aug 2011 20:14

Update: Seagate refutes claim that they are slashing warranties In an update to our recent article, Seagate has refuted the claim that they are slashing their warranties to 2 years (from 5) in an effort to cut costs.

In mass tweets sent to journalists, bloggers and others who reported the news, the company says simply: "Rumor's wrong. Seagate retail internal drives still have 5-year warranty."

Original story here claimed:

Seagate has noted today that it will shorten the warranty on most of its consumer series HDDs.

In an effort to reduce costs, the warranties will be reduced from 5 years to just 2 years.

Included in the list are Seagate's most popular drives, the Barracuda 7200.12 and Momentus Green product series.

Barracudas are 3.5-inch form factor and used for desktop builds while the slimmer Momentus are 2.5-inch and used for notebooks, or as slim external drives.

Enterprise models, like the XT series, will keep its five-year warranty.

It is unclear when the new move will go into effect.





AfterDawn: News

ComScore: Android now at 40 percent of U.S. market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Aug 2011 17:04

ComScore: Android now at 40 percent of U.S. market share According to the latest figures from comScore MobiLens, Android continues its exponential growth story, taking 40.1 percent of the U.S. market share for smartphones for June.

Overall, 78.5 million Americans owned smartphones, up 8 percent from the period ended March.

Android moved from 34.7 percent to 40.1 percent, holding the top spot. Apple saw smaller growth, but took second place at 26.6 percent.

RIM continues to fall, down from 27.1 to 23.4 percent, but still good for third place.

Microsoft, even with the release of Windows Phone 7 devices, continues to see share erode, down to 5.8 percent from 7.5 percent.

Symbian and WebOS controlled the rest of the pie.




AfterDawn: News

Intel investing $30 million for two new tech centers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Aug 2011 16:47

Intel investing $30 million for two new tech centers Intel Labs has announced today the investment of $30 million into two new Intel Science and Technology Centers (ISTC).

Both will be hosted at Carnegie Mellon University and the labs will focus on cloud and embedded computing research.

The investments are part of a greater $100 million plan to increase "university research and accelerate innovation."

Says the company:

These new ISTCs are expected to open amazing possibilities. Imagine, for example, future cars equipped with embedded sensors and microprocessors to constantly collect and analyze traffic and weather data. That information could be shared and analyzed in the cloud so that drivers could be provided with suggestions for quicker and safer routes.




AfterDawn: News

HP TouchPad sees more discounts

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Aug 2011 16:34

HP TouchPad sees more discounts Earlier this week,HP started a promotion that will chop $50 off the price of their newly-launched WebOS-based TouchPad tablet.

With the discount, the tablet will sell for $450 (16GB model) or $550 (32GB model).

Following the news, the discounts kept on coming, with Staples and other retailers offering the device for $100 off, for this weekend only.

On top of that, Woot is offering the tablet today (16GB) for $380..$120 off the list price.

HP purchased Palm last April to acquire WebOS and all its patents, and the TouchPad, along with a new version of the Palm Pre, are the only new devices consumers have seen with the mobile OS. Developer support has been, understandably, limited.




AfterDawn: News

Sony's custom Honeycomb UI leaked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Aug 2011 16:23

Sony's custom Honeycomb UI leaked Sony's upcoming S1 and S2 tablets will run a custom Honeycomb UI, and pics of the OS have leaked today.

From the pics, the OS doesn't look too heavily altered, but with some additions.

Each tablet will run Android 3.2, with a custom launcher that adds quick access to network connections and access to favorites.

The app drawer will come standard but include Chumby and Zinio, apps for streaming photos, social feeds, weather, stocks.

Additionally, there is a custom keyboard and a music player that looks similar to Google Music.









AfterDawn: News

Acer founder: Tablets, ultrabooks are fads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Aug 2011 15:20

Acer founder: Tablets, ultrabooks are fads Acer founder Stan Shih has made some bold statements today, claiming that popular tablets are just short-term fads.

Additionally, Shih throws ultrabooks in the same basket.

The retired exec also urged notebook makers "to come out with more value-added products through innovation."

Shih complemented the iPad by saying Apple used "outside-the-box thinking" and made the tablet extremely successful.

Acer has a 7-inch tablet coming out soon priced at $345, which Shih expects will cause some price competition in the smaller-screen market.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo will not reveal anymore about Wii U until 2012

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Aug 2011 15:11

Nintendo will not reveal anymore about Wii U until 2012 At this year's E3, Nintendo revealed the Wii U, stating it would be hitting retail shelves in mid-2012.

Today, president Satoru Iwata says they will not reveal anymore details on release date or pricing until 2012, likely 2-3 months before actual launch.

Says the exec:

Since the Wii U we showed you at the E3 show in June was still in the development phase without very specific proposals on the software titles, we are going to announce the release date and the price next year when we are able to explain the specific proposals.


Nintendo has not showed of the console itself, but instead displayed the new controller, which features a touchscreen and streaming capabilities.

The large controller has a 6.2-inch touchscreen and can work as a standalone gaming device, as well. There are two circle pads, a regular d-pad, shoulder buttons, rumble, a camera/speaker/mic and gyroscope/accelerometer sensors.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

French firm complains about Google to EU antitrust regulators

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Aug 2011 13:32

French firm complains about Google to EU antitrust regulators French daily deals company is the latest to pile on Google Inc. in EU antitrust probe.

Deal du Jour filed a complaint with the European Commission on Sunday, joining a group which includes Microsoft that is urging the EC to investigate Google's business practices. The French firm claims that Google illegally removed it from its web index, and also blocked it from using the Adsense advertising service.

The firm told the European Commission that Google's actions were clearly anti-competitive in nature. "We ask the competition regulator to investigate Google as a matter of urgency because our small company is being destroyed by Google," Deal du Jour said in the complaint.

It also filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission in the United States, and with the French competition regulator. Google is now subject to nine antitrust complaints filed with the European Commission and is also being investigated by the FTC.

"We haven't seen a new complaint, but our AdWords program has clear guidelines. We work to ensure these policies are easy to understand and continue to improve our customer service for advertisers," Google spokesman Al Verney said.




AfterDawn: News

Republican senators push AT&T, T-Mobile merger

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Aug 2011 13:24

Republican senators push AT&T, T-Mobile merger Two senators write letter pushing regulators to approve the buyout.

Republican senators Mike Lee (Utah) and John Cornyn (Texas) have written a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) urging them to approve AT&T's proposed buyout of T-Mobile. The proposed deal would be worth about $39 billion, and would consolidate 80 percent of all U.S. mobile users under just two carriers; the new combined AT&T/T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

Lawmakers and consumer groups alike have lashed out at the proposed merger, saying the decrease in competition will result in higher prices for customers. Proponents of the merger say it will enable AT&T to roll-out a next generation 4G network faster.

Both Senators Mike Lee and John Cornyn are two of three Republicans on the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.

Democratic Senator Herb Kohl (Wisconsin) acts as chairman of the subcommittee, and has previously urged the authorities to block the deal on the ground that it would be bad for consumers and would harm competition. Lee and Cornyn's letter urges the FCC and DoJ to focus on the possible benefits too before making a decision.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Skype 2.1 enables video on majority of Android devices

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Aug 2011 13:10

Skype 2.1 enables video on majority of Android devices Skype expands number of Android devices that can use video call features dramatically.

The Skype for Android application has been updated to v2.1, bringing official support for video calling to 17 Android handsets. You can download the updated Skype for Android app from the Android Market or Skype.com/m using your Android phone's browser

The Android handsets that Skype has "officially" added video call support for include the following...


  • Acer A5
  • HTC Desire (2.2)
  • HTC Desire HD
  • HTC Evo 3D
  • HTC Evo 4G
  • HTC Flyer
  • HTC Incredible S
  • HTC Sensation
  • HTC Thunderbolt - Verizon (2.2) (US only)
  • LG Revolution - Verizon (2.2) (US only)
  • Samsung Droid Charge - Verizon (2.2) (US only)
  • Samsung Galaxy S
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia mini pro
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray


If your Android device is not listed, you will be happy to know that if you are using Android 2.2 (Froyo) and above, you should still be able to enable video calling in Skype settings. If the option isn't included, then your decide doesn't meet the minimum requirements for the feature unfortunately.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Seagate slashes warranties for HDDs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2011 18:47

Seagate slashes warranties for HDDs Seagate has noted today that it will shorten the warranty on most of its consumer series HDDs.

In an effort to reduce costs, the warranties will be reduced from 5 years to just 2 years.

Included in the list are Seagate's most popular drives, the Barracuda 7200.12 and Momentus Green product series.

Barracudas are 3.5-inch form factor and used for desktop builds while the slimmer Momentus are 2.5-inch and used for notebooks, or as slim external drives.

Enterprise models, like the XT series, will keep its five-year warranty.

It is unclear when the new move will go into effect.




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile loses subscribers, again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2011 16:55

T-Mobile loses subscribers, again Every quarter it seems that T-Mobile reports customers jumping ship.

This quarter, the bleeding slowed, however, with the carrier losing just 50,000 customers of its 33.6 million large base.

In the corresponding quarter last year, the carrier lost 90,000 customers.

Despite the slow down, parent Deutsche Telekom said: "The contract-customer situation remains unsatisfactory, with the churn rate remaining at 2.4 percent."

Net prepaid subs rose by 231,000, showing that many users are moving to the great prices T-Mobile has for pre-paid.

AT&T has bid $39 billion to purchase T-Mobile, pending anti-trust issues.




AfterDawn: News

Time Warner to launch UltraViolet tech with 'Green Lantern' release

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2011 15:48

Time Warner to launch UltraViolet tech with 'Green Lantern' release Last July, Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), a syndicate of technology, cable and entertainment companies introduced their long awaited cloud-based digital locker today, dubbing the service Ultraviolet.

The group is readying Ultraviolet for a fall launch.

When it launches, the service will allow users to stream their music and movies anywhere, as long as it is legally purchased. Content providers will get to use one cloud-based platform to create a set of Web standards for DRM on digital content.

Time Warner will be adding the UltraViolet technology to its movies in time for the holidays, says the company.

Two of its new releases, Horrible Bosses and Green Lantern, will be the launch films for UltraViolet.

Beginning with the releases of Horrible Bosses and Green Lantern in the fourth quarter, the vast majority of our future home video new releases will be UV enabled. The key part of our plan is to drive use of the UltraViolet is Flixster, the preferred system there.

Today, Flixster is one of the most popular applications for finding information about movies, and over the coming months we'll begin to roll out new upgraded versions of the Flixster service, which will be deeply integrated with UltraViolet.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Here is another purported iPhone 5 pic

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2011 15:23

Here is another purported iPhone 5 pic A poster at MacRumors has posted an alleged picture of the iPhone 5, which is expected to launch in September.

In the image we see a very slim iPhone (thinner than the iPhone 4) with a more rounded body.

The poster says the picture was secretly taken while at the office of a French carrier.

Says the poster:

The only thing I can tell you, is that my iPhone 4 looks really slow now.





AfterDawn: News

PlayStation Vita will not hit U.S. until 2012, says Sony

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2011 15:05

PlayStation Vita will not hit U.S. until 2012, says Sony Japanese buyers will see the console for Christmas, but everyone else has to wait.

Despite the general expectation that Sony would be rolling out the PlayStation Vita handheld before the holiday season, the company has said today that it will not hit Europe or the U.S. until 2012.

Because of the delay, many analysts now expect Sony to have weakened sales of the console, and overall revenue decline.

For controls, the updated handheld adds dual micro-analog sticks, giving gamers a feature they begged for on the original PSP.

The device has a massive 5-inch multi-touch OLED screen with 960×544 resolution, a multi-touch panel on the back and will run on a quad-core ARM cortex processor.

Sony has added tilt-sensitive SIXAXIS controls, standard and front-side cameras, GPS, an electric compass, Wi-Fi and 3G support, and access to Android gaming.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft fires back at Google over patent dispute

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2011 13:09

Microsoft fires back at Google over patent dispute Yesterday, Google came out guns blazing, calling out Oracle, Microsoft and Apple, accusing them of trying to stifle Android growth and development with their lawsuits based on "bogus patents."

The post went on to list all the ways rival companies are trying to attack Android, including Microsoft's continued lawsuits to get $15 licensing fees per Android device, Microsoft's purchase of Novell patents, the CPTN's (Apple, RIM, others) $4.5 billion purchase of 6000 Nortel patents to make sure Google didn't get them, and Apple's current suits against Samsung and Motorola over Android devices.

Last night, Microsoft came back, crushing Google's argument with one email.

Frank Shaw, Microsoft Head of Communications, posted one email from Google SVP Kent Walker that proves that Microsoft asked Google upfront to be a purchasing partner on the Novell patents, and that Google declined:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

UK police warn 'wannabe hacktivists'

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 23:59

UK police warn 'wannabe hacktivists' UK's Metropolitan Police reminds potential hacktivists that the actions are a crime and they will be prosecuted.

Using its official Twitter account, the Met Police directed users toward a notice that stated defacing website,s carrying out denial of service attacks and stealing information from servers is illegal in the UK. It also said that attacks aimed at targets outside the UK can be prosecuted within the country.

The UK's warning comes just days after the arrest of another teenager in an investigation into attacks against the Soca website, the UK's agency for investigation serious cyber crimes.

Across the world recently, more alleged members of hacker groups have been arrested for similar activities. Law enforcement agencies are among the top targets of such attacks, usually in response to arrests that have been made.

Metropolitan Police

The investigation into the criminal activity of so-called "hacktivist" groups #Anonymous and #LulzSec continues. We want to remind people of the law in this area:
The Law Against Computer Misuse

Anyone considering accessing a computer without authority should understand that such acts are unlawful and can carry a term of imprisonment.
Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Security researchers play with Chrome OS bugs

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 23:59

Security researchers play with Chrome OS bugs Chrome OS extensions singled out for analysis.

Google touts the additional security that is offered by Chromebooks. On the level of hardware and the operating system itself, the security aspect cannot be denied. It has no native applications except for a browser and it had built in systems to protect the system from boot.

However, Chromebooks are vulnerable to many of the same threats that affect web users every day already. WhiteHat Security researcher Matt Johansen calls attention to Chrome OS' reliance on extensions, Often times, extensions contain cross-site scripting (XSS) bugs that can be exploited by hackers.

Of particular interest is how a bug in one extension could result in the hijacking of communications of a different, secure, extension. As a demonstration at the Black Hat conference, Johansen and colleagues exploited an XSS bug in an extension to steal passwords from an otherwise secure account on LastPass, a cloud password storage service.

"If any of the other vulnerable extensions have an XSS hole, we can utilize JavaScript to hijack that communication," Johansen said. "LastPass is doing absolutely nothing wrong here. You can have an extension that's perfectly fine, but if you have another that has a cross-site scripting error in it we can still access information in secure applications."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PlayStation Vita could be used as PS3 controller

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 23:59

PlayStation Vita could be used as PS3 controller Developers can incorporate PS Vita controls and features into PS3 titles.

Sony has confirmed that developers will be able to incorporate features of the PlayStation Vita handheld console into PS3 games. Devs can make use of the handheld's touch screen, gyroscopic features and other elements. The PS Vita handheld features a 5-inch OLED screen.

The functionality was confirmed as possible by Sony Europe R&D manager Phil Rogers at the Develop conference last month. At the time he suggested that Sony would allow cross-talk functions between the two systems most of the time.

"PS3 can send data down to Vita and Vita can display it," Rogers said.

"You could use the unique features [of Vita]--gyroscope, touch front and back--as a control device for a PS3 game. You can run software on both devices and use the network to sync the game states. And that's pretty good because you then have the processing power of PS3 doing that work, Vita [doing] fancy graphics...however you want to do it. You're not sacrificing the PS3's CPU to be able to have a rich experience on Vita."




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo's Iwata apologizes for sudden 3DS price cut

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 23:59

Nintendo's Iwata apologizes for sudden 3DS price cut Nintendo boss apologizes to Japanese early adopters.

Nintendo's Japanese website is hosting a personal letter of apology from company President Satoru Iwata. In the letter, Iwata explains that hardware prices fall eventually in every case, but that the company acknowledges the Nintendo 3DS price cut's timing is unprecedented in the history of the gaming firm.

"We are all too keenly aware that those of you who supported us by purchasing the 3DS in the beginning may feel betrayed and criticise this decision," the letter reads.

"If the software creators and those on the retail side are not confident that the Nintendo 3DS is a worthy successor to the DS and will achieve a similarly broad base, it will be impossible for the 3DS to gain popularity, acquire a wide range of software, and eventually create the product cycle necessary for everyone to be satisfied with the system."

Nintendo's "Ambassador Programme" provides 3DS owners with 20 free downloads games from the Nintendo eShop. Nintendo dropped the price of its 3D handheld console following disappointing sales of the system. It also posted a drastic reduction in Nintendo's annual earnings forecast.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ofcom: Third of UK adults use smartphones

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 23:25

Ofcom: Third of UK adults use smartphones Regulator surveys citizens use of mobile phones.

UK Communications Regulator Ofcom has said that over a third of all UK adults now use smartphones. Apple's iPhone had the most popular with adults, while teenagers appeared to prefer Blackberry handsets instead. Apple's smartphone was the model of choice for 32 percent of adults, while 37 percent of teenagers favour RiM's handsets.

Of adult males, 58 percent owned a smartphone, compared to 42 percent of women, whereas for teens it was the reverse with 52 percent of girls owning a smartphone to 48 percent of teenage boys.

Ofcom said that the growth of smartphone use in the UK has led to a dramatic rise in mobile Internet use. Facebook was the most visited website, with an estimated 43 million hours spent on it in December 2010.

The information on mobile phone usage in the UK was pulled from Ofcom's annual Communications Market Report, which takes a look at the UK's TV, radio, Internet and telecommunications consumption.




AfterDawn: News

Former CIA official draws parallels between terrorism, cyber-threats

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 23:25

Former CIA official draws parallels between terrorism, cyber-threats Former counter-terrorism official warns that same sceptical mindset is being applied to cyber-attacks.

Speaking at the Black Hat conference, former CIA counter-terrorism official Cofer Black recalled the attitude toward al Queda by the United States in the 1990s. He described it as a biased view that while Osama bin Laden was known to fund terrorism, his network did not initiate attacks itself.

He said a problem back then with "validation" applies now to the cyber-threat. Judging the severity of the threat and who is behind it can be tricky at least. In October 2000, the USS Cole was bombed in a Yemeni port, and the demand for validation that it was done on the orders of bin Laden took up to five months, far too long, according to Black.

"Validation of threat and attack will come to your world," he told the audience at the Black Hat conference. He said there was a lack of appreciation for how much of a thread al Queda states before September 11, 2001, and said decision makers now are in the same boat. "They hear it but they don't believe it."

Black said that Stuxnet was an example of cyber-warfare carried out by a nation (suggesting the obvious effort and cost of developing and deploying Stuxnet points at a state operation). "The Stuxnet attack is the Rubicon of our future," he said.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android users 2.5 times more likely to see malware now

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 23:25

Android users 2.5 times more likely to see malware now Research shows the growth of Android-targeting malware.

Research carried out by mobile security firm Lookout suggests that mobile users with Android handsets are 2.5 times more likely to encounter malware now than they were just six months ago. The report said that mobile users have a 30 percent likelihood of clicking on a malicious link.

Of course, most malicious links and crafted pages target PCs and so are harmless even if a mobile user encounters them, but some do not discriminate based on operating system and will attack mobile browsers in use.
Phishing attacks also affect mobile users the same way as desktop users.

The report estimates that half a million people were affected by Android malware in the first half of 2011. In January, 80 apps were known to be infected with malware. That tally rose to 400 by June.

A problem now has also arisen when apps confirmed to be cleaned are updated to include malware. Two of the most prevalent Android threats are DroidDream and GGTracker. The latter is the first known threat designed to steal money from Android users in the U.S. by signing up for a premium text subscription service and costing the user between $10 and $50.




AfterDawn: News

Bully file sharing solicitors fined

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 23:25

Bully file sharing solicitors fined Pair behind threatening letters for alleged piracy given hefty fines.

Davenport Lyons former intellectual property partner Brian Miller, and current equity partner David Gore, have been fined £20,000 each for sending intimidating letters to Internet users accused of illegal file sharing activity. Additionally, the pair have been ordered to pay £150,000 to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) to cover some its costs for bringing the case to prosecution.

The fines here handed down at a hearing before the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT) on Monday. Between 2006 and 2009, Miller and Gore sent over 6,000 letters to alleged pirates on behalf of clients that included Topware Interactive and Atari.

Which? had filed a complaint with the SRA over the letters, saying the solicitors were bullying and being excessive. It also alleged that the letters contained false assertions on copyright infringement, such as a claim that failing to secure an Internet connection was grounds for legal action. The pair also increased the level of compensation claimed over the period of correspondence. The letters typically demanded £500 to be paid in compensation to avoid it going any further.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Toshiba's glasses-free 3D laptop hitting U.S. in two weeks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Aug 2011 23:04

Toshiba's glasses-free 3D laptop hitting U.S. in two weeks Toshiba has announced its Qosmio F755 3D laptop will hit the U.S. on August 16th.

The company has been planning on releasing glasses-free 3D HDTVs and notebooks since 2010, and we finally have an American date. The F750 is set for release in Europe this week.

Price start at $1,699 for a 2GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 750GB HDD, 6GB DDR3 RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 540M, Harman Kardon stereo speakers and Dolby Advanced Audio HDMI-CEC.

Says Toshiba of the 3D aspects:

To create a 3D effect without 3D glasses, the left eye needs to see a slightly different perspective to the right eye. The Qosmio F750 3D's state-of-the-art lenticular screen sends Qosmio F750 3D displays 3D images without the need for glasses. Eye-tracking technology ensures 3D effect works regardless of position (15.6") screen allows 2D and 3D images to be viewed simultaneouslytwo images of slightly differing perspectives individually to the left and right eye, which creates the 3D effect.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HP starts discounting their WebOS tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Aug 2011 22:51

HP starts discounting their WebOS tablet HP has started a promotion today that will chop $50 off the price of their newly-launched WebOS-based TouchPad tablet.

With the discount, the tablet will sell for $450 (16GB model) or $550 (32GB model).

Retailers and channel partners have offered that demand for the TouchPad is very light, so the promotion is not a shock to anyone. What is shocking is how quickly HP had to resort to the price cut after launching the device on July 1st.

One HP partner in the health care market, Denali Advanced Integration, says they have seen interest from a number of hospitals who have requested "try-before-you-buy" units. There have been very little completed sales, however.

The company purchased Palm last April to acquire WebOS and all its patents, and the TouchPad, along with a new version of the Palm Pre, are the only new devices consumers have seen with the mobile OS. Developer support has been, understandably, limited.




AfterDawn: News

Asus launching Meego netbook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Aug 2011 22:27

Asus launching Meego netbook Asus has said today that its Meego-based Eee PC X101 netbook will launch in two weeks in Europe.

The ultraportable is just 17.6mm and weighs 2.03 pounds.

Eee PC X101 feature a 10.1-inch (1024 x 600) LED-backlit display, a 1.33 GHz Atom N435 single-core processor and GMA 3150 graphics.

Each computer also has 1GB of RAM, an 8GB SSD, a 0.3 megapixel webcam, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi, a microSD card slot, and a small 3-cell 2600 mAh battery.

The Eee PC X101 will be one of the first computers to run on Meego, the mobile operating system built by Intel and Nokia.

Priced in euro, the netbook will sell for just 169, and likely have a $199 pricetag when it hits the States.




AfterDawn: News

Google responds to series of lawsuits based on Android, calls out rivals

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Aug 2011 21:37

Google responds to series of lawsuits based on Android, calls out rivals In a surprising post today, Google has called out Oracle, Microsoft and Apple today, accusing them of trying to stifle Android growth and development with their lawsuits based on "bogus patents."

Says Google SVP and Chief Legal Officer David Drummond:

I have worked in the tech sector for over two decades. Microsoft and Apple have always been at each other’s throats, so when they get into bed together you have to start wondering what's going on....

...Android’s success has yielded something else: a hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents....

...Patents were meant to encourage innovation, but lately they are being used as a weapon to stop it.


The post (here) goes on to list all the ways rival companies are trying to attack Android, including Microsoft's continued lawsuits to get $15 licensing fees per Android device, the CPTN's (Apple, RIM, others) $4.5 billion purchase of 6000 Nortel patents to make sure Google didn't get them, and Apple's current suits against Samsung and Motorola over Android devices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Russian interior minister calls for Internet controls

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 20:56

Russian interior minister calls for Internet controls Comments spark fear of state control over Internet.

Russian Interior Minister, Rashid Nurgaliyev, has sparked some web censorship fears in Russia by commenting that limits should be enforced on the Internet to protect cultural values of young people. The 54 year old, ex-KGB officer said that Russia's youth needs to be protected against being corrupted by "lopsided" ideas.

"It is necessary to work out a set of measures for limiting the activities of certain Internet resources without encroaching on the free exchange of information," Nurgaliyev was quoted as saying. "It seems to me that the time has long been ripe to carry out monitoring in the country to find out what they are listening to, what they are reading, what they are watching."

He added: "They have forgotten the love songs of old, the waltzes, everything that united us, our background and our roots."

Russian President Dimitri Medvedev has previously ruled out "draconian controls" of the Internet, but has suggested that more discussion is needed on how to deal with clearly illegal content on the Internet, such as child porn.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

ITC to probe Apple patent claim against Samsung

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 20:56

ITC to probe Apple patent claim against Samsung Trade panel votes to review Apple charges against South Korean rival.

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has said it will investigate claims made by Apple Inc. that Samsung Electronics is violating multiple patents held by Apple. The iPhone-maker has accused Samsung of shamelessly cloning its products.

Samsung's Galaxy smartphones and tablets run Google's Android operating system. Apple filed a complaint with the ITC seeking an injunction against the import of the devices it says infringe its patented technology. Samsung made a similar request to block the import of iPhones and iPads a week before.

The dispute between both of the tech giants has strained an otherwise lucrative business relationship. Apple was Samsung's biggest customer in 2010, providing business worth $5.7 billion throughout the year.

The market for smartphones and tablet PCs is jammed full of patent-related litigation as all the major tech firms look to stake their claim to a piece of the growing pie.




AfterDawn: News

Apple fined in South Korea over location data collection

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 20:56

Apple fined in South Korea over location data collection South Korea is first country to fine iPhone-maker since location collection news broke.

The fine is hardly a problem for the multi-billion dollar corporation, being just 3 million won ($2,855), but it represents the first time that the company has been fined over the unauthorized collection of location data with the iPhone and iPad.

It may also have an affect on the outcome of lawsuits that have been filed against Apple over the issue. Over 27,800 South Korean iPhone and iPad users are part of a class action lawsuit against Apple. In the United States, two separate cases are being built against the company.

In April, it was revealed that Apple's iPhone and iPad collected location data and then stored it for a year on the device, even if location software was turned off. Apple blamed it on a software bug and fixed it with a patch soon after.

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said that it had found loopholes in systems supposed to protect such location data, and ordered that tech giants such as Google and Apple encrypt location data stored on handsets for any purposes.

"Apple is not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so," said Steve Park, a spokesman for Apple Korea.




AfterDawn: News

Website blocking scrapped in UK copyright shake-up

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 17:17

Website blocking scrapped in UK copyright shake-up Regulator found plan was unworkable.

The UK Government will revamp the country's copyright laws in the coming years to bring them in line with the digital age. Besides preventing piracy, the government wants to simplify procedures for buying and selling licenses for copyrighted works, and will broaden the list of exemptions for use of some works.

The moves follow a review by Ian Hargreaves, a professor at Cardiff School of Journalism. It found that the reforms to Britain's intellectual property framework could add up to £8 billion to the economy. The British government is seeking ways to rebalance the economy away from struggling financial services, and the creative industries have been seen as a high potential target.

As reported already, the UK will make copying CDs and DVDs to digital music players or computers for personal use legal. It will also allow commercial and cultural use of "oprhan works" (the copyright owner cannot be contacted).

It will also work to make data mining less restricted by copyright laws. Right now, according to Business Secretary Vince Cable, mass amounts of medical research data is blocked from data mining due to copyright law restrictions.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

McAfee uncovered massive cyber attacks from 'state actor'

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 16:50

McAfee uncovered massive cyber attacks from 'state actor' McAfee finds disturbing evidence of mass global data breaches in analysis of C&C servers.

In total, 72 organizations have been alerted by McAfee about security lapses going back five years. Among those caught up are the United Nations and the United States government. Disturbingly, McAfee tracks all of the intrusions to just one "state actor," which it does not identify. Security experts that examined McAfee's report are pointing the finger at China.

"Even we were surprised by the enormous diversity of the victim organizations and were taken aback by the audacity of the perpetrators," McAfee's vice president of threat research, Dmitri Alperovitch, wrote.

"What is happening to all this data ... is still largely an open question. However, if even a fraction of it is used to build better competing products or beat a competitor at a key negotiation (due to having stolen the other team's playbook), the loss represents a massive economic threat."

McAfee uncovered the global breaches when it was examining log files found on command and control servers discovered and seized in 2009. It has dubbed the attacks "Operation Shady RAT" with "RAT" standing for "Remote Access Tool."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PlayStation Vita to launch in October?

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 16:50

PlayStation Vita to launch in October? Leaker flier gives clue on UK release date.

The successor to the PSP, the PlayStation Vita handheld, is due to be released sometime this fall. Comments from Sony suggest that the global rollout will initiate this fall but its unknown whether it will be available in its three main territories by the end of the year (North America, Europe and Japan).

IGN posted a scan of a Blockbuster flier from the UK that suggests the PS Vita handheld console will be released in the region on October 28. The flier lists it among upcoming games releases, pricing the WiFi only model at £229.99 and 3G model at £279.99.

The flier was posted last week and IGN attempted to contact Blockbuster for confirmation that its real without any luck. Sony only reiterated that the handheld console will started a phased rollout later on in the year.

Source: IGN




AfterDawn: News

RIM shows off new BlackBerry smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Aug 2011 15:06

RIM shows off new BlackBerry smartphones RIMM has confirmed the long-rumored BlackBerry 9900 and a few new "Torch" devices, including a fully touchscreen version.

Each of the phones will run on the new BlackBerry 7 OS. BlackBerry 7 "introduces a next generation BlackBerry browser with a significantly faster, more fluid web browsing experience that is among the best in the industry. Combining the dramatically improved performance of the advanced WebKit browser engine together with the powerful hardware enhancements found in the BlackBerry 7 based smartphones delivers browsing results that are up to 40% faster than BlackBerry® 6 based smartphones and up to 100% faster than BlackBerry® 5 based smartphones*.

Additional enhancements to this next generation BlackBerry browser have also optimized zooming and panning for smoother web navigation and optimized HTML5 performance for incredible gaming and video experiences,"
says the press release. There are also tons of other "goodies" with BB7, including built-in premium apps, and BBM6.

The company says the launch (later this month) will be its largest ever, with 5 phones in total being launched.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android trojan records, uploads phone calls

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 14:51

Android trojan records, uploads phone calls CA Security Advisory details Android call snooping trojan.

There has been a lot of attention focused lately on the growth of malware in circulation for the popular Android smartphone operating system. Some past discoveries include applications that leak private information on Internet and other use, record text messages and information on calls made and received which can be uploaded to a remove server.

This new Trojan takes things a step further by actually recording phone calls to local storage in the AMR format before uploading them to a server specific by the attacker.

The Trojan dubs itself the "Android System Messenger" and asks for permission upon installation to be allowed to incept outgoing calls. This should act as a warning for users, but the truth is most users see these messages all too often and end up just ignoring them. The same problem is seen with User Account Control prompts on Windows, where users allow a program to execute even if they have no idea what it is.

When installed, the malware drops a configuration file to the device which will include information on the remote server to upload the files. When a call is made, the conversation is recorded to a .amr file located in a directory "shangzhou/callrecord". The directory hints at a Chinese origin for the malware.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Court delivers blow to massive BitTorrent lawsuit

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Aug 2011 14:51

Court delivers blow to massive BitTorrent lawsuit Lawsuit against tens of thousands of alleged Expendables pirates suffers jurisdiction setback.

All in all, the lawsuit targeted 23,322 alleged pirates identifiable only by the IP address used. For a time it was the biggest file sharing lawsuit seen yet, though it was surpassed by the Hurt Locker lawsuit later on.

Now a U.S. District Court of Columbia has dealt the case a major setback that casts doubt over whether over 99 percent of the alleged pirates will be pursued at all. Judge Robert Wilkins ruled that the vast majority of alleged pirates cannot be pursued through his court because they fall out of the court's jurisdiction.

"Plaintiff has only shown good cause for, and will only be entitled to discovery related to, those John Does for whom there is a good faith basis to believe may reside in the District of Columbia," Wilkins wrote in his ruling.

"Plaintiff can establish such a good faith basis for residence or personal jurisdiction by utilizing geolocation services that are generally available to the public to derive the approximate location of the IP addresses identified for each punitive defendant."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HBO Go now headed to more devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Aug 2011 14:29

HBO Go now headed to more devices Time Warner has confirmed today that their popular HBO Go streaming service is headed to more devices, including the PS3, Xbox 360 and Internet-connected TVs.

CEO Jeff Bewkes says the service, which has been available via web browsers and smart devices like the iPad, has exceeded expectations of popularity and will therefore be expanded.

If you are an HBO subscriber, you can view all episodes of HBO original series on-demand, streaming from your phone, tablet or browser.

Overall, the apps for the service have been downloaded 4 million times, and users with the app watch more of HBO's content than those with subscriptions that don't use it.

It is unclear when the expansion will occur, or how long the gaming consoles will take to have native apps.




AfterDawn: News

UPDATE: IE users may not be so dumb, survey revealed as elaborate hoax

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Aug 2011 13:45

UPDATE: IE users may not be so dumb, survey revealed as elaborate hoax Last week we reported on a survey by consulting company AptiQuant, which claimed that Internet Explorer users scored lower than other browser users on a standard IQ test.

Following deeper research into the company by the BBC, it appears that the whole survey was a very elaborate hoax.

AptiQuant claimed to have begun in 2006, but their website was actually started on July 14th, 2011.

Furthermore, all of the staff's bios were stolen from an established French company.

The company has not responded to any attempts of contact, and their Twitter page has been suspended.

In the original report, the fake company had claimed:

The group tested 100,000 participants while monitoring what browser they used.

A "population average" for IQ tests is 100, but Internet Explorer users scored below average. IE 6 users scored the worst of all, at just over 80. IE6 was released in 2001.

Users of Opera, Camino and Explorer with Chrome Frame scored the highest, with over 110. Opera users scored over 120.




AfterDawn: News

Chrome beats out Firefox in usage, in UK

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Aug 2011 3:10

Chrome beats out Firefox in usage, in UK According to the latest StatCounter data, Google's Chrome has now become the second most popular browser in the UK, whilst growing to 22.14 percent global share in July.

In June, the browser controlled 20.65 percent share.

Internet Explorer and Firefox lost some share to Chrome with IE falling from 43.58 percent to 42.45 percent and Firefox falling from 28.34 percent to 27.95 percent.

Apple's Safari continued its constant but tortoiselike growth, moving from 5.07 to 5.17 percent share.

If the current trend continues, Chrome may see its way into second place in global share by the end of the year.




AfterDawn: News

UK to finally make personal CD ripping legal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Aug 2011 2:54

UK to finally make personal CD ripping legal According to government sources, the UK will finally legalize the personal ripping of CDs and DVDs for media players or for personal use.

Prime Minister David Cameron recommended the move in his review of the UK IP framework created by Professor Ian Hargreaves a few months ago.

Hargreaves rightfully pronounced that Britain's copyright laws, written 300 years ago, were "obstructing" innovation and growth, and new laws could add 8 billion pounds to the struggling economy.

To date, the practice of ripping CDs for personal use is legal in all European nations except for Ireland, Britain and Malta.

Additionally, the government will begin allowing exception to copyright for parody.




AfterDawn: News

Gmail calling now available in 38 languages

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Aug 2011 2:27

Gmail calling now available in 38 languages Google has announced today that they have expanded their Gmail calling program to 38 languages.

Since 2010, U.S.-based Gmail users could use the email service to call landline and mobile phones directly from their web browser, and that service has now been expanded internationally.

Outside of standard USD, you can now purchase calling credit in Euros, British Pound or Canadian dollars.

Furthermore, the search giant says it has lowered its calling rates, for example, "$0.10 (or €0.08) per minute to call mobile phones in the U.K., France or Germany (landlines are $0.02/min), $0.15/minute to call mobile phones in Mexico and $0.02/min to call any phone number in China and India."

The full list, with 150 destinations is here: Gmail rates page

Google also reiterated that calls within U.S. and Canada will remain free for the rest of 2011.




AfterDawn: News

Windows XP sees its share fall under 50 percent, finally

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Aug 2011 2:12

Windows XP sees its share fall under 50 percent, finally It has taken awhile, but Windows XP's global market share has finally fallen under 50 percent, to 49.69 percent.

Despite the fall, the OS remains the most popular operating system in the world.

Windows 7 was the main reason for the decline of its older brother, with the new OS moving up to 27.92 percent.

Apple's Mac OS X continued its rise, as well, shooting to 5.56 percent share.

Microsoft's "failed" Vista OS controlled third with 9.27 percent share, followed by the iPhone, JavaME, the iPad and Android with much smaller percentages.

Full figures here: NetApplications OS version trend




AfterDawn: News

AfterDawn, Tom's Hardware established in Denmark

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Aug 2011 13:55

AfterDawn, Tom's Hardware established in Denmark Finnish media company AfterDawn Oy has established two new localized versions of Tom's Hardware and AfterDawn.com in Denmark.

AfterDawn.dk hosts AfterDawn's software collection and some other basic services you would find at AfterDawn.com, while Tom's Hardware Denmark (tomshardware.dk) specializes in thorough tech-related news, product reviews and in-depth technical articles primarily edited by Martin Graversen and Michael Larsen, two recent additions to the AfterDawn team with backgrounds in Danish tech media.

Tom's Hardware, which boasts over 30 million readers per month, is owned by Bestofmedia Group. Through a licensing agreement with the French company, AfterDawn Oy is tasked with establishing a presence of Tom's Hardware in all the Nordic countries.

Tom's Hardware Finland went live last year, and AfterDawn Oy will launch Tom's Hardware in Norway over the coming weeks, and in Sweden later on in the year.

Danish AfterDawn: www.afterdawn.dk

Tom's Hardware Denmark: www.tomshardware.dk

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android rules global smartphone share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Aug 2011 23:05

Android rules global smartphone share Android has now taken almost 50 percent of global smartphone market share.

According to research firm Canalys, strong growth in the Asia-Pacific region has helped the smartphone OS to become the top platform in 35 of 56 countries tracked with 48 percent share overall and 51.9 million units shipped.

Apple remained in second place, at 19 percent, after shipping a record 20.3 million iPhones last quarter.

BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion continued its multi-year slide, falling to 12 percent from 33 percent share last year.

Windows Phone 7 brought up the rear at 1 percent share.

Samsung saw strong growth on Android devices, shipping 17 million devices on the back of strong Galaxy S sales. The number was a massive 421 percent larger than last year.




AfterDawn: News

Foxconn will replace some workers with 1 million robots within 3 years

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Aug 2011 2:46

Foxconn will replace some workers with 1 million robots within 3 years Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn has said it will replace some of its workers in the next three years, replacing them with 1 million robots.

The company, most notably known for manufacturing iOS products among thousands of other devices, has 995,000 employees in the Chinese mainland, and another 200,000 elsewhere.

By replacing human workers with robots, the company will curb rising labor expenses and improve efficiency, says chairman Terry Gou (via xinhuanet).

Foxconn has been in the news in the past year due to a string of suicides by workers.

Average line workers at the factory make about 900 yuan ($140 USD) per month.




AfterDawn: News

UPDATED: Sony cutting RAM in upcoming Vita handheld?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Aug 2011 2:10

UPDATED: Sony cutting RAM in upcoming Vita handheld? Update: Sony has said this weekend they will not reduce the RAM in the Vita, but they will also not reveal the final specs meaning it could still be 256MB instead of the rumored 512MB.

According to developer Novarama's CEO Dani Sánchez-Crespo, the upcoming Sony PlayStation Vita will indeed see the rumored RAM reduction.

Originally pegged at 512MB of RAM, the handheld will have just half of that.

When asked if the cut would cause any problems for developers, Sanchez-Crespo says:

That won’t affect us. It’s actually good for developers to work under constraint. Generally for Vita, we still have a whole lot of headroom in terms of GPU power, CPU power and indeed RAM.


The exec also reminded that the original PSP severely lacks powerful specs compared to the Vita:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony says cost of PSN breach will likely be less than expected

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Aug 2011 1:54

Sony says cost of PSN breach will likely be less than expected Following the security breach of the PlayStation Network in April, Sony said the attacks would cost the company $170-178 million over the course of the 2012 fiscal year.

Today, somewhat surprisingly, executive vice president and chief financial officer Masaru Kato said "the [total] cost may be smaller than the original cost estimate."

The exec did say that "that was the May forecast. The first quarter cost was within our expected range."

Furthermore, PSN usership has returned to levels before the hack:

Most recently, user logins to the PlayStation Network in North America have returned to a similar level as before the cyber attacks.

Many customers have already returned to our service. At one point people were concerned, [but the] impact will not be as great as we originally estimated.




AfterDawn: News

OnePlayS launches in Europe

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Aug 2011 1:13

OnePlayS launches in Europe OnePlayS, the gaming rental service, has now gone live in Europe.

The service had been beta testing in Denmark for a few months.

CEO of the company is Lass Jensen, a founder of movie rental property (now owned by Amazon), Lovefilm.

Says Jensen (via GI):

We are extremely happy that our beta-testing have been a success and therefore is it a real pleasure to offer our services to all the European gamers.


OnePlayS has 1500 titles and subscriptions cost as little as €4.99 per month. There are no late fees.

The company also offers an unlimited games per month package for €10.00.




AfterDawn: News

Logitech admits Google TV is epic failure, drops price of Revue to $99

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Aug 2011 0:49

Logitech admits Google TV is epic failure, drops price of Revue to $99 Google TV is a failure.

Logitech, makers of the Google TV-based "Revue" set-top box, lost $30 million in the Q1, following a disastrous $34 million loss thanks to the Revue and its accessories based on the device.

The Revue debuted last October for $250 and was instantly met with criticism for the price and the fact that Google TV was buggy. Additionally, the media companies put a death knell in the service when they began blocking free streaming content from their own sites, like Fox.com or ABChd.com.

New CEO Guerrino De Luca, replacing recently fired Gerald Quindlen, said this of the set-top (eWeek):

We launched Revue with the expectation that it would generate significant sales growth in spite of a relatively high price point and the newness of both the smart TV category and the underlying platform. In hindsight, there are number of things we should have done differently.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Alcatel-Lucent patent victory over Microsoft revised to $70 million in damages

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Aug 2011 0:25

Alcatel-Lucent patent victory over Microsoft revised to $70 million in damages Microsoft has been ordered to pay Alcatel-Lucent $70 million for infringing on a patent.

The patent is used in Microsoft Outlook and two other apps.

Lucent was asking for $75 million in damages and Microsoft asked the jurors to limit the fee to $5 million. It is clear with what side the jury sided.

The patent involved teach for touch-screen form entry. Alcatel-Lucent argued that the tech "played a central role in the entire operation" of Outlook.

Lucent won the case originally in 2008 and was awarded $358 million in damages. An appeals court overturned the damages award however, saying the figure lacked "sufficient evidentiary support."

Says Microsoft (via Bloomberg)

We continue to maintain that current law requires a genuine apportionment of damages when the infringement is directed to a small feature of a feature-rich product. We are reviewing the verdict in that light and considering next steps.




AfterDawn: News

AT&T to throttle unlimited data hogs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2011 23:52

AT&T to throttle unlimited data hogs AT&T has announced this week that it will begin throttling unlimited data hogs on its smartphone networks.

The customers affected will be those in the "top 5 percent" during any billing period and use unlimited plans (which have since been discontinued by the carrier).

Starting on October 1st, the carrier says they will begin reducing speeds on the heaviest users with full speed returned at the end of the billing cycle.

Says AT&T:

Like other wireless companies, we're taking steps to manage exploding demand for mobile data. Many experts agree the country is facing a serious wireless spectrum crunch. We're responding on many levels, including investing billions in our wireless network this year and working to acquire additional network capacity. We're also taking additional, more immediate measures to help address network congestion.

One new measure is a step that may reduce the data throughput speed experienced by a very small minority of smartphone customers who are on unlimited plans - those whose extraordinary level of data usage puts them in the top 5 percent of our heaviest data users in a billing period. In fact, these customers on average use 12 times more data than the average of all other smartphone data customers. This step will not apply to our 15 million smartphone customers on a tiered data plan or the vast majority of smartphone customers who still have unlimited data plans.

Read more...



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