AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (10 / 2011)

AfterDawn: News

HP to sell last TouchPads bundled with PCs through Best Buy

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 31 Oct 2011 17:58

HP to sell last TouchPads bundled with PCs through Best Buy HP and Best Buy will be running a promotion to liquidate the remaining stock of 32GB TouchPads. They will be offered for $149.99 exclusively to customers who buy a HP or Compaq desktop or laptop computer.

After being discontinued in August and subsequently selling out at bargain basement prices, HP produced one last batch of TouchPads to fulfill supplier contracts. Some of them were offered to HP employees, while others were used to fulfill backorders.

Rather than simply taking a loss on the rest, HP has decided to use them to help drive PC sales.

Although the TouchPad comes with WebOS installed, thanks to the work of CyanogenMod developers, there should soon be a fully functional Android ROM available for it.




AfterDawn: News

Barnes & Noble to unveil successor to Nook Color next week

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 31 Oct 2011 15:43

Barnes & Noble to unveil successor to Nook Color next week Barnes & Noble is expected to unveil the successor to their Nook Color a week from today, on November 7.

The Nook Color is an Android-based tablet marketed primarily as an eReader. Introduced in October of last year, it became the most popular eReader in the world in the first quarter of this year.

According to Business Week, Barnes & Noble has sent out invitations to a media event next Monday.

While the invitation is short on details, sources inside Barnes & Noble previously told The Digital Reader about a major revamp of their stores intended to showcase more than the current 2 Nook models currently available.

The success of the Nook Color was one of the biggest reasons Amazon decided to enter the tablet market with their Kindle Fire and start taking pre-orders more than a month before it was available.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ubuntu Linux in the works for smartphones and tablets

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 31 Oct 2011 14:31

Ubuntu Linux in the works for smartphones and tablets Earlier today Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth announced plans to transform his company's Ubuntu Linux distribution into a universal platform capable of running on any type of device, including tablets and smartphones.

Shuttleworth made the announcement during his keynote address at the Ubuntu Developer's Summit in Florida.

In a blog post afterward, he wrote:

By 14.04 LTS Ubuntu will power tablets, phones, TVs and smart screens from the car to the office kitchen, and it will connect those devices cleanly and seamlessly to the desktop, the server and the cloud.

Unity, the desktop interface in today?s Ubuntu 11.10, was designed with this specific vision in mind. While the interface for each form factor is shaped appropriately, Unity?s core elements are arranged in exactly the way we need to create coherence across all of those devices. This was the origin of the name Unity ? a single core interface framework, that scales across all screens, and supports all toolkits.


Although it has long been popular for applications like web and database servers, Linux has never caught on as a mainstream desktop OS for the average consumer. With the rise of the smartphone market, Linux is finally coming into its own.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Major reorganization of Sony's TV business in the works

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 31 Oct 2011 12:29

Major reorganization of Sony's TV business in the works Tomorrow Sony is expected to announce a plan to split their TV business into 3 separate divisions.

Sony has been under fire for their TV division's losses. Despite losing money for 8 straight years, Sony executives have insisted, as recently as August, they will not exit the TV business.

According to Reuters, their plan to split the business into 3 divisions will be announced tomorrow. Company spokeswoman Ayano Iguchi told them the goal is to, "make clearer the mission" of each.

The divisions will be LCD TVs, next-generation TVs, and outsourcing. Despite Sony's claim to the contrary, this seems like it might be a precursor to selling portions of their TV business.

They may already be planning to sell Samsung their stake in the joint TV manufacturing venture between the 2 companies, a move they have been trying hard to avoid.




AfterDawn: News

Deals with Netflix and Amazon expand ABC Television's streaming footprint

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 31 Oct 2011 11:39

Deals with Netflix and Amazon expand ABC Television's streaming footprint Disney's ABC Television Group is increasing their presence in the US subscription streaming market via new deals with Netflix and Amazon.

The Netflix deal extends an existing agreement which gives Watch Instantly subscribers access to completed TV series like Lost and previous seasons of ongoing series like Desparate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy. Amazon's deal will match that for Amazon Prime customers.

Where the Netflix deal distinguishes itself is adding access to ABC TV shows just 30 days after they first air.

The Amazon deal, in particular, seems to indicate serious competition for Netflix streaming may be on the horizon. Amazon is one of several companies looking to take advantage of Netflix's weakened position after their recent price increase.

Amazon still has a lot of catching up to do if they want to be a serious competitor for Netflix. In particular, Netflix has a significant lead in streaming clients for smart TVs, Blu-ray players, and game consoles.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Gazelle: BlackBerry trade-ins are at all-time high

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Oct 2011 15:07

Gazelle: BlackBerry trade-ins are at all-time high Gazelle, a site to trade-in your electronics for cash with free shipping, has said this week that BlackBerry trade-ins are at all-time highs, even jumping as high as 80 percent the week the iPhone 4S was released.

To a much lesser degree, Android and iPhone 3GS, 4 trade-ins saw spikes, as well.

Additionally, RIM's recent network issues, in which users lost emails and instant messages for almost 48 hours, helped cause the mass exodus from the struggling smartphone maker.

For an example of what Gazelle does, you head to the site, input the product you are looking to trade-in, post if there are any functional or cosmetic issues and then the site gives you a buy back price. If you accept the price, you send in the device with a provided label and are credited the money.

Older BlackBerrys like the Bold 9000 trade-in for under $40 while the new Bold 9900 can net you back $300.




AfterDawn: News

ZTE passes Apple as world's fourth largest mobile phone maker

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Oct 2011 14:45

ZTE passes Apple as world's fourth largest mobile phone maker China-based mobile phone maker ZTE has passed Apple to jump into fourth place.

ZTE shipped 18 million mobile phones in the Q3, just ahead of Apple's 17.1 million, says Strategy Analytics.

Despite seeing negative growth, Nokia remained the top vendor at 106.6 million.

Samsung came in second at 88 million, thanks to strong smartphone growth.

LG managed to hold to third despite a huge decline to 21.1 million handsets shipped.

Says the research firm:

Despite ongoing economic volatility, global handset shipments grew a relatively healthy 14 percent annually to reach 390 million units in Q3 2011. ZTE was the star performer as it captured 5 percent market share and overtook Apple to become the world?s fourth largest handset vendor. ZTE?s growth is being driven by competitive pricing of entry-level models for feature phones and Android smartphones.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony says no Vita hardware shortages at launch

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Oct 2011 6:45

Sony says no Vita hardware shortages at launch Sony has "learned its lessons."

After having to put up with product shortages in the past, it would be no surprise if the launch of Sony's PlayStation Vita handheld console has marred by the same troubles. However, having learned the lessons of the past, Sony has taken steps to ensure that won't happen.

"We've increased production materially since E3," John Koller, Sony hardware marketing directory, told AllThingsD. "We learned our lesson to make sure you have enough product."

When asked about the level of concern at Sony about increasing competition from smartphones and tablets, as well as Nintendo's continued push of the 3DS handheld, Koller aid they aren't expecting it to be much of a problem.

?This is a larger game experience. We think we are insulated from the competition," Koller said. "We love mobile games. Mobile and tablets games are additive."

The PlayStation Vita will launch in Japan in December, followed by the U.S. and other areas on February 22, 2012.




AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: Microsoft envisions future of productivity

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Oct 2011 6:10

VIDEO: Microsoft envisions future of productivity Speech and touch rule the roost.

So it seems Microsoft's "officevideos" channel has gone on some kind-of futurist craze over the past few days, ending with a video titled "Productivity Future Vision". The video shows Microsoft's view is on the future of productivity - how we manage our day to day activities and responsibilities at home, at work, and so forth.

"We create these videos to help tell the story we see unfolding in technology, and how it will impact our lives in the future," wrote Kurt DelBene, President of the Microsoft Office Division.

"The video shows our vision for a future where technology extends and highlights our productive capabilities; it helps us manage our time better, focus our attention on the most important things, and foster meaningful connections with the people we care about."

DelBene points out that all of the ideas in the video are based on real technology; some of the speech recognition, real time collaboration and data visualization already exists and is in use, while other features not commercially available are based on active research and development at Microsoft's, and other's labs.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

YouTube now UK's third most popular site

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Oct 2011 5:52

YouTube now UK's third most popular site Music videos push video-sharing guide up behind Facebook.

Figures released by Internet research company Experian Hitwise show that visits to video-sharing websites have gone up by more than a third in the UK in the past year. Predictably, YouTube has taken the bulk of this new traffic, accounting for about 70 percent of the increase.

The main driver of more UK users flocking to web videos is music, which accounts for about 33 percent of the hits. Music videos are followed by TV shows at 17 percent, films at 11 percent, gaming content at 10 percent and news at 9 percent.

Of the music being sought by UK users, Lady Gaga was the most popular artist.

The research was carried out between September 2010, and September 2011. UK users spend about 240 million hours per month watching videos, with YouTube accounting for more than 184 million hours itself.

While YouTube is now in third place in the UK behind Google and Facebook, it is still a long way off social networking in terms of usage. The same research showed that UK users spent upwards of 800 million hours on social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook.




AfterDawn: News

Ebook best sellers list added to The Wall Street Journal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2011 22:40

Ebook best sellers list added to The Wall Street Journal The Wall Street Journal has seen the future, and it is ebooks.

Future print and online publications of the popular newspaper will now include bestseller rankings for ebook sales, alongside their print counterparts.

There will be four lists added, says Mash, "combined ebook and hard copy sales of fiction, combined ebook and hard copy sales of non-fiction, ebook-only sales of fiction, and ebook-only sales of non-fiction."

Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and Google will be among the retailers that pass on numbers to Nielsen, where the WSJ takes its figures from.

The WSJ will follow the New York Times and USA Today who include similar lists.




AfterDawn: News

CBS, Warner add CW content to Hulu

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2011 22:16

CBS, Warner add CW content to Hulu Hulu has announced today that they have signed an agreement to stream in-season episodes of CW content.

Very similar to the deal just made with Netflix, the agreement allows for episodes for the next 5 years. Hulu Plus subscribers will get in-season episodes of the content the next day.

Free Hulu users will get the in-season episodes 8 days after they air.

The shows available are "Ringer," "Hart of Dixie, "The Secret Circle," "The Vampire Diaries," "Gossip Girl," "Supernatural," "Nikita," "90210" and "America's Next Top Model."

Says the CW:

Our new arrangement with Hulu only affirms the incredible value of The CW?s series, as well as amplifying the immense power of the broadcast network model. As we increase the amount of year round original programming on The CW, this deal provides our shows with greater exposure on a new platform, helping build even more awareness that will drive viewers back to the network and its affiliates. We see this as a win for everyone involved, the network, the stations, Hulu and ultimately, the viewers.




AfterDawn: News

That was fast: MPAA gets Zediva shut down, for good

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2011 18:15

That was fast: MPAA gets Zediva shut down, for good Because the MPAA took down the service so quickly I doubt anyone here go to use it, I will first post a bit of history.

Zediva launched in January and has become very popular because it streamed new releases and did not have delay windows like Netflix and Redbox do for physical discs.

The company "rents" users a physical DVD player at Zediva and a DVD and allows them to control it via online streaming. What had helped the company become so popular was the prices of the movies. You could buy 10 streams for $10, including new releases. Zediva claimed to be legal and argued it did not need licenses because it is just like a brick-and-mortar rental company. When a customer rented a DVD, that physical DVD was then taken out of circulation, and the company did not create any digital copies.

In April, the MPAA set out on a crusade to shut the service down and they have now succeeded.

The MPAA argued that Zediva wasn't holding private exhibitions of its movies as it claimed but was instead infringing its "exclusive rights to perform their works publicly." The Judge agreed.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google TV 2.0 unveiled with Android app support

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 28 Oct 2011 17:39

Google TV 2.0 unveiled with Android app support Google has announced version 2.0 of Google TV which will be available for Sony TVs next week and Logitech set-top boxes at some point in the future.

Google TV's revamped interface includes a home screen which you can populate with Android apps, better integration with YouTube, and content recommendations.

The selection of Android apps compatible with Google TV will be small initially. Most existing apps won't be compatible because of their reliance on the hardware found on mobile devices.

According to Google's announcement:

Android developers can now bring existing mobile apps or entirely new ones to TV. Initially, the number of apps won?t be large ? apps requiring a touch screen, GPS, or telephony won?t show up ? but 50 developers have seeded the Market with cool and useful apps for the TV.


The biggest question right now is whether Google TV is a product in search of market. Their current strategy of relying on third parties to provide compatible hardware has limited its exposure.

With their 2 existing partners, Sony and Logitech, both cutting prices on Google TV hardware earlier this year, it's unlikely other vendors will be coming on board any time soon.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nook Color 2 coming early November?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2011 16:18

Nook Color 2 coming early November? Barnes and Noble will release their Nook Color 2 e-reader/tablet on November 7th, a full week before Amazon jumps into the market with the Kindle Fire.

The first Nook Color, released earlier this year, was very popular as it was only $250 and was easily hacked to run its native operating system, Android 2.2.

Additionally, custom ROMs like CyanogenMod were easily flashable turning the cheap device into a fully fledged Android tablet, albeit underpowered.

The Kindle Fire will be the cheapest tablet on the market at $199, and include Amazon's ecosystem of music, video, Kindle ebooks, cloud storage and shopping. Additionally, the tablet will run on the "Silk" browser for faster performance and quicker loading times.




AfterDawn: News

LG says no to Ice Cream Sandwich update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2011 15:49

LG says no to Ice Cream Sandwich update LG has posted today that they will not be updating the Optimus 2X to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Via their Facebook page and in response to a question, LG wrote:

"We will not be introducing Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich updates on LG Optimus 2X P990. Keep watching this space for further updates."

The Optimus 2X is LG's flagship Android device, launched in February with Android 2.2.

LG has still not updated the device to 2.3, with the long-planned update being delayed again.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung easily surpasses Apple as top smartphone maker in the Q3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2011 15:34

Samsung easily surpasses Apple as top smartphone maker in the Q3 Samsung easily leaped past Apple as the world's top smartphone maker in the Q3.

For the quarter ended September 30th, Samsung saw a 44 percent jump in shipments and raised guidance for the holiday quarter.

Overall, Samsung shipped 27.8 million for the quarter, good for 23.8 percent of the global market. While Apple does not release "shipped" figures, the company only sold 17.1 million iPhones during the quarter and there is literally no chance that there were 10.7 million unsold devices.

Profits from the division (smartphones, tablets, feature phones) accounted for 60 percent of the company's $2.2 billion profit.

While the number is certainly nice for Samsung, the figures are expected to tighten in the Q4 thanks to the holiday seasonality and the release of the iPhone 4S.




AfterDawn: News

HP releasing MBA ultrabook competitor soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2011 14:30

HP releasing MBA ultrabook competitor soon HP has confirmed that it will soon release a competitor to the MacBook Air in the ultraportable market.

"Ultrabooks," as they are called, are extremely light, fast and have long battery life due to integrated graphics chips.

Says Todd Bradley, executive vice president of HP's Personal Systems Group:

We're very focused on having a suite in that ultramobile space, and you'll see that very soon.


Following in the market pioneered by Apple and Dell; Acer, Toshiba, Asus and Lenovo have released ultrabooks in the past few months, mainly 13.3-inch devices that weigh in under 3 pounds.




AfterDawn: News

BT must block Newzbin2 within days

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Oct 2011 14:22

BT must block Newzbin2 within days Block order hailed as win for UK's creative industries.

BT was originally ordered to block access to Newzbin2 back in July, and was told by the High Court how to implement the block on October 26. BT was, at the time, given 14 days to comply with the order.

Last March, Newzbin.com was found to be in violating of copyright law in the UK and was ordered by the High Court to implement filters. The site never implemented a filter as it was relaunched outside the UK.

Movie studios represented by the Motion Picture Association then brought BT to court to force it to block access to the website. The block will also apply to any variations of the Newzbin site to prevent operators of Newzbin from circumventing the law.

"This is a very significant day for the UK?s creative industries. The law is clear. Industrial online piracy is illegal and can be stopped." Lord Puttnam CBE, President of the Film Distributors' Association, said.




AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: The PC is not dead, Intel insists

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Oct 2011 13:58

VIDEO: The PC is not dead, Intel insists Chipmaker dismisses "tabloid" headlines.

Intel put together a video responding to claims that the PC is coming to its end. The gist of the argument against the PC is that shipments of tablet PCs and smartphones are on the rise, people are using them to do much of the daily tasks they used to do with their PCs and therefore, the PC era may be coming to its end.

"That may sell the tabloids, but here in the real world, the PC remains alive and well," the voice-over assets. It claims that with 400 million new PCs sold in 2011, and with new form factors such as all-in-one PCs and Ultrabooks, "you might want to hold off on writing that obituary."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Public Knowledge: DNS anti-piracy blocks are ineffective, dangerous

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Oct 2011 9:50

Public Knowledge: DNS anti-piracy blocks are ineffective, dangerous Public-interest group targets provisions in PROTECT IP (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Public Knowledge is opposed to using DNS blocking techniques to limit access to websites accused of peddling pirated content. Far from just being demonstrably ineffective in the first place, Public Knowledge believes that the practice would threaten the functioning, freedom, and economic potential of the Internet.

The provisions for website blocking in SOPA and PIPA short-circuit the legal system by giving rightsholders a fast-track to shutting down websites they accuse of infringing activities. This must be viewed as a precedent that could be applied to any kind of website that is opposed by a special interest in the future.

By using DNS blocking in particular, you create conflicts between DNS servers on the Internet, make the system less secure and create potential for identity theft.

Possibly the most important point for Americans however is the sanctioning government interference with the Internet, while at the same time the U.S. State Department blasts cencorship and firewalls used in China, or in more recent and volatile examples, such as Syria.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

RIAA targets Russian social network, cyber-lockers in report

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Oct 2011 9:16

RIAA targets Russian social network, cyber-lockers in report RIAA submits report on "notorious markets".

First in the firing line for the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) was VKontakte, a Russian social networking website. It claims that the social site's unlicensed music service is undermining the growth of the legitimate music marketplace.

VKontakte touts more than 120 million registered users, and is ranked amongst the most visited websites within Russia, and also is listed among the top 50 globally.

The trade group said that VKontakte's music functionality is ?specifically designed to enable members to upload music and video files, hundreds of thousands of which contain unlicensed copyright works. Its dedicated content search engine enables other members to search and instantly stream unlicensed music and movies, giving VKontakte an unfair competitive edge over other social networks that do not offer free access to unlicensed material."

The RIAA also targeted China's Sogou website, which offers a "Sogou MP3" feature providing access to links to download or stream music from unlicensed sources. Dispelling any claim that it acts just as a search engine, the RIAA points out that Sogou maintains a database of unlicensed music, broken into categories such as "US Billboard Chart," "UK Chart," "Albums TOP 100" and so forth.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: Xbox Companion app on Nokia Lumia demo

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Oct 2011 9:02

VIDEO: Xbox Companion app on Nokia Lumia demo Interacting with Xbox 360 using a Nokia Lumia smartphone.

Running the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango operating system, Nokia's Lumia smartphones can take advantage of Xbox Live features. In a demo video, posted by Nokia Conversations, "Krissy" from Microsoft demonstrates using a Nokia Lumia prototype phone to connect with an Xbox 360 console nearby.

In blog posts describing the demo, it's admitted that there were limits as to what could be shown from the demo stand at this time, with apparently plenty more to come in the near-future.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HP to retain PC division following review

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Oct 2011 8:45

HP to retain PC division following review HP will keep Personal Systems Group (PSG) after evaluation.

The company announced on Thursday that it has completed an evaluation of strategic alternatives for its PSG division, deciding that the unit will remain part of the company.

The evaluation revealed the depth of the integration that has occurred across key operations such as supply chain, IT and procurement. It also detailed the significant extent to which PSG contributes to HP's solutions portfolio and overall brand value.

"HP objectively evaluated the strategic, financial and operational impact of spinning off PSG. It?s clear after our analysis that keeping PSG within HP is right for customers and partners, right for shareholders, and right for employees," said Meg Whitman, HP president and chief executive officer.

"HP is committed to PSG, and together we are stronger."

PSG is the No.1 manufacture of personal computers in the world, with revenues totalling $40.7 billion last year.




AfterDawn: News

Grand Central Apple store set for open before Black Friday

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Oct 2011 23:06

Grand Central Apple store set for open before Black Friday According to multiple sources, the upcoming massive Apple Store in Grand Central is set for launch before Black Friday, the official start of the holiday shopping season.

Construction on the store will end on November 11th.

Apple bought out the space currently rented by Charlie Palmer's Metrazur restaurant for $5 million, ensuring Palmer breaks his lease 8 years early.

The MTA says Apple will pay $1.1 million rent per year, a significantly higher amount than Metrazur, which was paying $263,997.

Besides the space in the east balcony, Apple will take the vacant, adjacent balcony, as well. Overall, the company will occupy 23,000 square feet, making Grand Central its 3rd largest store.





AfterDawn: News

iPhone customers use 50% less data says Sprint

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 27 Oct 2011 18:46

iPhone customers use 50% less data says Sprint During their Q3 earnings call today, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse told analysts they expect the lifetime value of an iPhone customer to be 50 percent higher than for other smartphone users.

Although the iPhone was not available through Sprint until just after the beginning of Q4, meaning its impact isn't reflected in the Q3 numbers, Hesse and CFO Joe Euteneuer made a point of emphasizing the importance of the iPhone to their operations over the life of their 4 year deal with Apple.

Over that period, Sprint is obligated to spend a minimum of around $15.5 billion according to Eutenuer. This is nearly $5 billion less than was previously rumored.

Hesse predicted:

We expect the customer lifetime value of an iPhone customer to be at least 50 percent, yes at least 50 percent, greater than a typical smartphone user, driven primarily by more efficient use of our network and lower churn.


Additionally, he said:

iPhone users are expected to use significantly less 3G than the typical user of a dual mode 3G/4G device. Even adjusting for more total new customers being added to the network, we believe we'll put less load on our 3G network than we would have if we did not carry the iPhone.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

LightSquared announces more solutions for proposed LTE network's GPS interference

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 27 Oct 2011 16:47

LightSquared announces more solutions for proposed LTE network's GPS interference LightSquared, a US company intent on building a nationwide wholesale LTE network, has announced yet another proposed solution for the GPS interference issues which have delayed FCC approval of their service.

LightSquared's problems stem from their proposal to transmit terrestrial mobile data on frequencies normally reserved for satellite communication. The frequency range they would be using is directly adjacent to the frequencies used for high precision GPS.

Because they are terrestrial, rather than satellite based, LightSquared's signals would be significantly more powerful, resulting in them overpowering the GPS signals. This would render GPS units used for applications ranging from aviation to agriculture to military operations effectively useless.

Despite claims in the past that a new antenna design for their towers would alleviate the problem, testing by the government's National Telecommunications and Information Administration resulted in a different conclusion. FCC approval of their service is contingent on NTIA approval.

In September the company announced the development of a filter which could be used to retrofit existing GPS equipment to filter out LightSquared's signal, but only offered to pay for the cost of modifying those units used by the federal government.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Coinstar raises price on rentals from Redbox kiosks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Oct 2011 16:25

Coinstar raises price on rentals from Redbox kiosks Coinstar has announced their quarterly earnings today, surprising some.

The company is raising the price on Redbox kiosk rentals from $1 to $1.20, effective the end of the month.

Execs say Blu-rays and video game rentals will still cost $1.50 and $2.00 with no price hikes.

Says the company:

We remain committed to providing redbox consumers access to the latest movies at an incredible value. This marks the first price increase for a redbox standard definition DVD rental in eight years. The change is primarily due to the increase in operating expenses, including the recent increase in debit card interchange fees as a result of the Durbin Amendment.


Overall, Coinstar says their Redbox business surpassed $1 billion dollars in revenue for the year.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo confirms it will have first yearly loss, ever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Oct 2011 16:14

Nintendo confirms it will have first yearly loss, ever Nintendo has confirmed today that it will see its first ever annual net loss, mainly due to a strong yen and weak sales of their software and hardware.

Because the yen continues to strengthen against the USD and the euro, Nintendo has been forced to reduce its earnings.

Additionally, the failed 3DS handheld has caused losses as Nintendo was forced to slash the price of the device just months after launch.

Nintendo will see a loss of 20 billion yen ($258 million) for the quarter. Last year the company had a 30 billion yen gain.

Finally, Nintendo chopped its forecast for 3DS sales down 30 percent to 50 million in its first year of availability.




AfterDawn: News

New optional Firefox comes with default Awesome Bar, Bing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Oct 2011 14:30

New optional Firefox comes with default Awesome Bar, Bing In 2010, Mozilla added Bing as a search option when launching Firefox for the first time.

Before that, Google was the default option.

Today, Mozilla has introduced a new version of Firefox that comes with Bing as default and includes the Bing Awesome Bar.

The company says:

Now Firefox users who are Bing enthusiasts can use Firefox with Bing to use the Web the way they want without having to take extra steps to navigate or customize their settings to Bing.

Firefox with Bing offers the latest version of Firefox with Bing set as your home page and the default setting in the search box and AwesomeBar (where you can also type in queries as well as Web addresses). If you already have the latest version of Firefox, then you just need to download the Bing Search for Firefox Add-on to set the same preferences.


The new version, optional to those who want it, is available here: Firefox with Bing




AfterDawn: News

New E-PARASITE Act would gut DMCA protections

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 27 Oct 2011 14:05

New E-PARASITE Act would gut DMCA protections A version of PROTECT IP, the bill designed to allow the government or copyright holders to effectively shut down websites accused of IP infringement via blacklisting, has been introduced in the US House of Representatives.

Note: This bill has since been renamed SOPA, or The Stop Online Piracy Act

If you thought PROTECT IP was bad, you're really going to hate the House version, called The E-PARASITE Act. It expands on the language in PROTECT IP, which would already give private IP holders get court orders blacklisting websites and forcing ad and payment providers to suspend their accounts.

E-PARASITE includes language allowing those private entities to demand ad and payment providers cut off alleged infringers without involving the courts at all. What's worse, this right would apply to any website which:

is taking, or has taken deliberate actions to avoid confirming a high probability of the use of the U.S.-directed site to carry out acts that constitute a violation of section 501 or 1201 of title 17, United States Code.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Warner pulls a Disney, will put Harry Potter films in the "vault"

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Oct 2011 13:51

Warner pulls a Disney, will put Harry Potter films in the "vault" Warner Bros. has announced that they will do their best Disney impression and soon take Harry Potter films out of distribution and into a "vault" of sorts.

On December 29th, the studio will stop shipping copies of all 8 movies in the historic franchise.

The studio will release the films again in the future as special re-release editions, likely with a higher price tag.

'Harry Potter' DVDs have grossed $5 billion worldwide for Warner Bros. and over $7 billion in theaters.

Disney began the trend of archiving their titles to release them later at full price as special "limited" editions.




AfterDawn: News

Warner pulls new releases from Blockbuster following release window argument

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Oct 2011 12:26

Warner pulls new releases from Blockbuster following release window argument Blockbuster (now part of Dish Network), has been forced to buy new Warner releases on the open market, as the studio wants to expand its 28-day rental release window to the company.

Warner, and all the major studios, have had similar deals in place with rivals Netflix and Redbox for some time now.

With a 28-day delayed release window, rental companies get new releases 28 days after their physical release, giving studios one uninterrupted month for potential DVD/Blu-ray sales.

In response, Blockbuster has purchased new films like Horrible Bosses and The Green Lantern on the open market and made them available to subscribers.

Commented Warner (via THR):

They felt it was important to continue to offer day-and-date rental so rather than work with us they went around us.

The question is: how do we make ownership more valuable and attractive? We have started the process of creating a window in bricks-and-mortar DVD and Blu-ray rental.




AfterDawn: News

Sony spends a billion euros to buyout handset partner Ericsson

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 27 Oct 2011 12:10

Sony spends a billion euros to buyout handset partner Ericsson Sony has succeeded in their bid to buy out Ericsson's share of their jointly owned Sony Ericsson handset and mobile device company. The deal will cost Sony $1.05 euros and also include a patent cross-licensing deal.

More importantly for Sony, gaining full ownership of Sony Ericsson will clear the way to integrate the company's devices into Sony's online entertainment network and offer a broad range of Sony owned content from companies like Sony Pictures and Sony Music Entertainment.

According to a statement from Sony Chairman, CEO & President Howard Stringer:

We can more rapidly and more widely offer consumers smartphones, laptops, tablets and televisions that seamlessly connect with one another and open up new worlds of online entertainment. This includes Sony?s own acclaimed network services, like the PlayStation Network and Sony Entertainment Network,


The deal is expected to close next January.




AfterDawn: News

NinjaVideo admins plead guilty and face jailtime

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Oct 2011 11:19

NinjaVideo admins plead guilty and face jailtime The once-popular NinjaVideo pirated movie streaming site, taken down in 2010 as part of the government's ongoing "Operation in our Sites" initiative has now seen two more admins plead guilty to their part in running the site.

NV's "head of security" Jeremy Lynn Andrew of Oregon and "uploader supervisor" Joshua David Evans of Washington now face up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for copyright infringement and conspiracy.

Evans was responsible for supervising all uploaders to the site and carrying out background checks on anyone looking to speak the admin team. Evans pleaded guilty to pre-release of the movie Iron Man 2 before its American release date.

Andrew was the moderator of the site and monitored the NV servers for any hack attacks.

NinjaVideo made $505,000 in income during its run and most of that money will have to be paid back by the guilty admins. The head admin of NV, Hana Beshara, recently pleaded guilty to negotiating agreements with advertisers and is said to have pocketed $200,000 of the income. Her sentencing is set for January and she will have to pay the money back. Evans will have to pay back $26,600 and Andrew $5250. Co-founder Matthew Smith pleaded guilty to the same charges as Evans and will be sentenced in December.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Appeal of Australian Galaxy Tab ban to be expedited, Italian iPhone 4S ban not so much

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 27 Oct 2011 10:30

Appeal of Australian Galaxy Tab ban to be expedited, Italian iPhone 4S ban not so much An Australian appeals court has granted Samsung's request to take another look at the preliminary injunction barring sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in that country as soon as possible.

The ban was ordered 2 weeks ago in Apple's patent infringement case. Previously Apple rejected a last minute licensing agreement offered by Samsung in an attempt to get the tablet on store shelves before Christmas.

According to The Australian, Federal Court Justice Lindsay Foster ruled that the hearing will take place, "on a date or dates to be notified to the parties by the court as soon as practicable."

Meanwhile, Apple is also taking their fight directly to online resellers who continue to sell the tablet to Australian customers. Although the ban only applies to Samsung, it does open the door for Apple to get separate injunctions against individual retailers.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PlayStation Vita will not have Flash support at launch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Oct 2011 23:52

PlayStation Vita will not have Flash support at launch According to a Japanese report, the upcoming Sony PlayStation Vita handheld will not have Flash support at launch.

The device will have HTML5 support, however, along with JavaScript 1.7 and cookies.

While Flash may not be supported at launch, the report suggests it could be added in a later firmware update.

The original PSP faced a similar problem, and basic support was only added a year later via firmware.

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. Furthermore, the Vita has 512MB memory and 128MB VRAM in its graphics processor.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix's foray into game rentals still unclear

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Oct 2011 21:21

Netflix's foray into game rentals still unclear During the summer, when Netflix decided to split its streaming and by-mail services, the company also announced it would begin renting video games.

Earlier this month, however, Netflix cancelled its decision and left the gaming rental addition up in the air.

CEO Reed Hastings says the company is still undecided:

We have yet to decide whether or not to offer video game discs. The decision will have little financial impact either way.


Originally, the CEO had said: "Members have been asking for video games for many years, and now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done."




AfterDawn: News

Apple continues to collect touchscreen patents

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 26 Oct 2011 20:11

Apple continues to collect touchscreen patents Apple has just been granted yet another patent on basic touchscreen technology in the US. Their latest patent, granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), is for the swipe-to-unlock feature they first used on the iPhone.

This patent is an extension of one granted by the USPTO last year which covered locking devices until an appropriate swipe gesture was performed. This latest patent adds the specifics of Apple's iOS GUI:

  • movement of the unlock image from the first predefined location to a predefined unlock region
  • wherein the moving comprises movement along any desired path
  • wherein the moving comprises movement along a predefined channel from the first predefined location to the predefined unlock region
  • further comprising displaying visual cues to communicate a direction of movement of the unlock image required to unlock the device
  • wherein the visual cues comprise text
  • wherein said visual cues comprise an arrow indicating a general direction of movement
  • A portable electronic device... wherein the unlock image is a graphical, interactive user-interface object with which a user interacts in order to unlock the device; and to unlock the hand-held electronic device if the unlock image is moved from the first predefined location on the touch screen to a predefined unlock region on the touch-sensitive display

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sprint needs $7 billion moving forward

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Oct 2011 14:53

Sprint needs $7 billion moving forward Sprint, following its 16th straight losing quarter, has said today that it may need up to $7 billion in capital going forward to pay for its upcoming network upgrade and new handsets, including the iPhone.

The company will refinance $4 billion of its current debt and look to secure $1-$3 billion in new financing from suppliers.

What is clear, however, is that company is in trouble. Sprint has $20 billion in outstanding debt, with 60 percent coming due before 2016. The company only has $4 billion in cash and liquid investments.

Additionally, the company's massive $20 billion bet on the iPhone has cost their credit rating, which is now B1, well below "investment grade" and barely above "junk."

For the quarter, the company lost $300 million, down from a $900 million loss year-over-year.




AfterDawn: News

Sprint looking into how to fix slow 3G speeds for iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Oct 2011 14:38

Sprint looking into how to fix slow 3G speeds for iPhone Sprint, Apple's newest iPhone 4S partner, has been seeing an increasing amount of criticism for the extremely slow speeds of its 3G network when using the device.

A leaked internal email shows that Sprint is aware of the "nationwide issue" relating to the slow data and is looking into ways to fix it.

Reviewers and critics says the 3G speed, thanks to the new influx of iPhone owners, was down to an average of just 400 kbps, well below the over 1 Mbps seen on rival carriers.

Despite the internal email, the company's public statement paints a very different picture:

Overall, iPhone performance on the Sprint network is consistent with our expectations and the rest of our high-end portfolio. Sprint also did benchmarking of Sprint's iPhone against competitor's iPhones and the testing showed little to no performance difference.


Sprint allegedly broke the bank for the iPhone, paying Apple $20 billion over the next 4 years for iPhone devices.




AfterDawn: News

Ice Cream Sandwich update: Nexus S yes, Nexus One no

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Oct 2011 13:47

Ice Cream Sandwich update: Nexus S yes, Nexus One no Nexus One owners, it may finally be time to upgrade your handsets.

Google has confirmed today that the original Google flagship device, the Nexus One, is "too old" to receive the update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and therefore will not be getting the update.

Nexus S users, on the other hand, will be getting the upgrade "within weeks" of its launch.

The Nexus One was released in January 2010 and was the first device to run Android 2.1.

Finally, responding to Microsoft CEO's statement that users "need a computer science degree" to use Android phones, Google's Hugo Barra says "Android, especially this new version 4.0, is an incredibly intuitive platform - the best one we've ever built. There are power user features, but there is no need for an instruction manual or a computer science degree."




AfterDawn: News

Apple iPad would have used Atom processor but Intel was too slow, inflexible

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Oct 2011 13:06

Apple iPad would have used Atom processor but Intel was too slow, inflexible According to the Steve Jobs biography the Apple iPad was initially slated to run on an Intel Atom processor before execs convinced the former CEO that ARM SoC would work better.

Jobs and Jonathan Ive, the VP of Industrial Design at Apple and one of Job's best friends, began development on the tablet in 2004, filing for patent applications and creating sketches of the multi-touch-based iOS. How the tablet would be powered was very much up for discussion, however.

In 2005, Apple made the move to Intel x86 chips in its Mac computers and the company had a good working relationship with Intel. Jobs expected to use the Atom processors in its upcoming iPad tablets.

In 2008, however, the company purchased PA Semi, who was creating the SoC for the iPhones. Jobs was very satisfied with the chips and later would say that Intel "too slow and not too flexible" to create something for the iOS devices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nokia intros Lumia 710, Lumia 800 WP7 smartphones

Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Oct 2011 7:19

Nokia intros Lumia 710, Lumia 800 WP7 smartphones Nokia finally gives us some Windows Phone 7 handsets.

The release of the Nokia N9 smartphone was a bitter-sweet event. On one hand, it was praised for its sleek design and simple (MeeGo) user interface. On the other, it's absence from major markets, along with the very uncertain future of MeeGo, served as the ultimate buzz kill to Nokia's party.

Today, Nokia has shown an evolution of the N9, featuring the Windows Phone 7.5 Mango mobile operating system. It comes in the form of two new smartphones, the Lumia 800 and the Lumia 710.
 

Nokia Lumia 800


The Nokia Lumia 800 comes in cyan, megenta and black, featuring a 3.7-inch AMOLED ClearBlack display. It is powered by a 1.4GHz processor and features hardware accelerated graphics. It comes with 16GB of internal memory, and also uses 25GB of SkyDrive cloud storage.


Nokia Lumia 800 Specifications
  • Dimensions: H - 116.5mm; W - 61.2mm; D - 12.1mm. Weighs 142g.
  • Display: 3.7-inch AMOLED ClearBlack capacitive touch-screen, 800x480px.
  • Processor: Qualcomm MSM8255 1.4GHz.
  • Memory: 512MB SDRAM.
  • Operating Band: GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900; WCDMA Band V (850), I (2100), II (1900), VIII (900).
  • Data Bearer: WCDMA, EDGE Class B, GPRS Class B, HSUPA Cat6 5.76 Mbps, HSDPA Cat10 14.4 Mbps, WLAN IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, Dual Transfer Mode (MSC 32).
  • Local Connectivity: WiFi, Micro USB, USB Mass Storage, Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR, USB 2.0 High-Speed, 3.5mm AHJ Connector, Bluetooth Stereo Audio.
  • WLAN Support: 802.11b/g/n, WEP, WPA, WPA2-Personal, WPA-Enterprise.
  • Storage/User Memory: 16GB mass memory; SkyDrive 25GB cloud storage.
  • Camera: 8 megapixels; Photo - 3984x2992; Video - 1280x720, 30fps, MPEG-4.
  • Camera Digital Zoom: 3x.
  • Music: Supported Codecs - AAC, M4B, MP3, WMA, EVRC, MP42, QCELP; Formats - FLAC, Ogg Vorbis.
  • Video: Formats - ASF, AVI, VC-1, WMV-9, MPEG-4, H.264/AVC, 3GPP formats (H.263).
  • Navigation: GPS, A-GPS, CellID, SA-GPS, WiFi Positioning.
  • Internet: Internet Explorer 9 Mobile.
  • Operating System: Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.
  • Battery: BV-5JW 3.7V 1450mAh, USB charged.
  • Battery Charge: 2G Talk - 13 hours; GSM Standby - 265 hours; 3G Talk - 9.5 hours; 3G Standby - 335 hours; Music Playback - 55 hours; Video Playback - 7 Hours.
  • Other: TV-Out; Micro SIM; Nokia Maps; Bing Maps; Flight Mode; Nokia Drive; Nokia Music; Nokia Store; 2 Microphones; Microsoft Lync; 3D Accelerometer; Proximity Sensor; Megnetometer Sensor; Ambient Light Sensor; Nokia Contacts Transfer.
The new Nokia Lumia 800 is now available in select countries for pre-order on www.nokia.com and is scheduled to roll-out across France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK in November, with 31 leading operators and retailers providing unprecedented marketing support in those first six countries. It is scheduled to be available in Hong Kong, India, Russia, Singapore and Taiwan before the end of the year, and in further markets in early 2012.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Report puts Nintendo loss at $1.32 billion

Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Oct 2011 3:45

Report puts Nintendo loss at $1.32 billion Nintendo's fiscal H1 results are eagerly awaited.

The company will report its financial figures for the fiscal first half on Thursday. It had previously forecast a loss of ¥55 billion (around $720 million) for the period, but a report is now suggesting that the loss could be far worse than Nintendo itself anticipated.

The online edition of the Nikkei business daily has reported that the loss will be closer to ¥100 billion, or around $1.32 billion, for the fiscal first half ending September 30. At a point after the news, Nintendo shares took a 7.5 percent plunge.

Nintendo is experiencing increased competition from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, which are appealing to casual gamers. Nintendo heavily targeted casual gamers with its Wii home console and DS handhelds. Recently, it has seen interest in both the Wii, and the DS, wane.

The Nintendo 3DS handheld, for example, has only managed to sold 4.32 million units since it was launched, while total Nintendo DS sales since its 2004 launch, top 150 million across all revisions.

To add to the problems of increased competition and waning interest in its products, Nintendo also suffers as a result of the surging yen currency, hitting the value of overseas earnings for exporters in Japan.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Hacked anti-piracy firm gets back to work

Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Oct 2011 3:33

Hacked anti-piracy firm gets back to work Anti-piracy firm back tracking down web pirates in France.

Back in May, plans to implement a three strikes policy in France that could lead to the disconnection of Internet users caught sharing illegal files were put on hold after it was revealed the company tasked with tracking activity had been hacked.

Trident Media Guard (TMG) was found to be using very insecure servers that were easily penetrated by hackers. They were running a custom administrative program written in Delphi, which didn't require any authentication at all, meaning anyone could connect to port 8500 and start sending commands.

Even though the commands that could be carried out were limited, they were sufficient for hackers to figure out how to do, more or less, whatever they wanted. Hackers had figured out that they could specify any FTP server as the update server and deliver their own malicious updates to be installed.

TMG had to provide details on the breach to the French government. Since the breach, TMG has tightened up its security and the French data authority says it is now happy with the level of security deployed, meaning TMG can continue to track IP addresses of suspected Internet pirates.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon profit sinks on Kindle tablet investment

Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Oct 2011 3:23

Amazon profit sinks on Kindle tablet investment Third quarter net income reported at $63 million.

Amazon's profits have dropped 73 percent after the company invested heavily in the Kindle Fire tablet computer, according to the online retailer. As a result, Amazon's shared dropped 12 percent in after hours trading with questions about the web giant's business in the air.

Still, Amazon said that sales had grown by 44 percent. On September 28, it experienced its biggest ever day for Kindle orders, surpassing even previous peak sales during holiday seasons.

"In the three weeks since launch, orders for electronic ink Kindles are double the previous launch. And based on what we're seeing with Kindle Fire pre-orders, we're increasing capacity and building millions more than we'd already planned," said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.

The web giant forecast lower-than-expected sales during the next quarter, despite the holiday season , and warned it could see an operating loss as it continues to invest in the Kindle Fire tablet.




AfterDawn: News

Dropbox gives 5GB cloud storage to HTC Android smartphones

Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Oct 2011 3:13

Dropbox gives 5GB cloud storage to HTC Android smartphones Taiwanese company announces deal with popular cloud storage provider.

Dropbox is a cloud storage service, founded in 2007, that lets you bring your files (documents, photos, videos etc.) everywhere with you. It has a free option that provides 2GB of storage space (can be extended by recruiting others).

The service has more than 45 million registered users to date, with over 1 million files being saved every five minutes. Pro Dropbox accounts provide storage space up to 100GB. Saving files into a Dropbox folder means they will be synched / available across all devices you have Dropbox software installed on.

HTC has confirmed that it is partnering with Dropbox to pre-install the Dropbox app on all new Android phones. The devices will receive 5GB worth of cloud storage at no extra cost.

HTC didn't provide details about the deal with Dropbox, nor did it suggest whether the extra free storage space would be available to existing users of its Android smartphones.




AfterDawn: News

Japan's Parliament network infected with virus

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Oct 2011 1:32

Japan's Parliament network infected with virus Japanese officials have confirmed that computers in the Parliament have been infected with a nasty virus.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura told reporters that a server and three computers used by members of the lower house were infected. Local media reported that the virus was used to hack into the computers to steal log-in info and e-mails.

The reports says the virus spread after members opened email attachments.

Last month, Japanese defense contractors were hit by similar attacks, with the attackers looking to steal classified military data.

There was no indication on where the attacks are coming from.




AfterDawn: News

First DreamWorks titles now on Netflix

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Oct 2011 21:58

First DreamWorks titles now on Netflix In September, Netflix announced it had signed a streaming content deal for upcoming movies with DreamWorks Animation, the studio behind blockbuster hits like the Shrek franchise.

While the deal is already signed, Netflix will begin streaming the brand new films in 2013. Catalog movies like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Antz and more will be added over time. In 2013, DWA has three titles set for release, "The Croods," "Turbo," and "Peabody & Sherman."

Today, the first pieces of content from DWA are available to Netflix subscribers; "spooky" Haloween mini-series including characters from "Shrek" and "Monsters vs. Aliens."

Additionally, animated TV show "Father of the Pride" and the movie "Joseph, King of Dreams" are now available.




AfterDawn: News

Report: iPhone 5 will support 4G LTE

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Oct 2011 15:07

Report: iPhone 5 will support 4G LTE According to Digitimes, Apple's iPhone 5 will support 4G LTE, the first iPhone to do so.

The iPhone 5, which will likely have a June 2012 release date, will come with the embedded 4G LTE radio giving access to fast speeds on AT&T and Verizon in the U.S.

Furthermore, in the report, the site says Nokia, RIM and Sony Ericsson will launch their first LTE phones next year, as well.

HTC, Samsung, Motorola and LG will continue to sell 4G phones, obviously.

Currently there are 35 active LTE networks in the world but that number is expected to jump to 100 by Christmas 2012.




AfterDawn: News

JP Morgan expecting 5 million Kindle Fire to be sold this quarter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Oct 2011 14:25

JP Morgan expecting 5 million Kindle Fire to be sold this quarter JP Morgan analyst Douglas Anmuth has upped his expectation for Kindle Fire sales in the Q4, from 3 million to 5 million.

Basing the new number on supply chain checks, the analyst says "production momentum" for the tablet is ever-increasing, suggesting extremely strong pre-order demand.

Manufacturers have been experiencing rush orders in the past weeks, reads the research note.

Furthermore, the note says that Amazon will create a 10-inch model next year with a 3G radio.

Some reports have Amazon seeing 50,000 pre-orders per day for the $199 tablet which is built around the Amazon ecosystem but lacks some standard features like a mic and camera.




AfterDawn: News

Motorola gives statement on Ice Cream Sandwich update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Oct 2011 14:08

Motorola gives statement on Ice Cream Sandwich update Motorola has announced when and what devices will receive the hotly anticipated Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 update, Google's biggest Android update ever.

The company says a number of devices will receive the update exactly 6 weeks after Google releases the final version of the operating system.

Google and Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Nexus (with 4.0) last week to great applause. The device will go on sale next month and will be the first device with the upgrade.

Motorola says the first three devices to receive the update are the Droid Razr, Droid Bionic, and the Xoom tablet.

Additionally, the company says they'll confirm other devices after Google pushes the final operating system to the public.




AfterDawn: News

RIM hit with trademark lawsuit over new BlackBerry operating system

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Oct 2011 13:53

RIM hit with trademark lawsuit over new BlackBerry operating system RIM has been sued over the name "BBX," the name of their upcoming smartphone operating system based on QNX software.

Basis International, a New Mexican company, owns the trademark for BBX, and has owned it since 1995.

As the company explains, "Basis' BBX is a set of tools and languages that help developers write programs for multiple operating systems. Basis has been using the BBX name since as early as 1985 and got a trademark in 1995."

There is one small discrepancy, and that is the fact that Basis uses the term "BBx" with a lower case x. BBx stands for Business BASIC eXtended.

Reads the complaint (via Ars):

The parties' respective BBX products are clearly related. By way of example only, a software application created with BASIS' BBX to run on the Android or iOS mobile devices will also run on RIM's BBX for BlackBerry products.

[Our customers and prospective customers are] likely to wrongly believe that software applications created using BASIS' development tools are only compatible with RIM's BBX operating system, thus impairing and destroying BASIS' reputation for providing software development tools for cross-platform development.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android Market app downloads finally surpass iOS App Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Oct 2011 13:38

Android Market app downloads finally surpass iOS App Store According to the latest figures from ABI Research, Android Market app downloads have finally surpassed those of the iOS App Store.

Of all apps downloaded, Android devices now account for a full 44 percent of the market compared to 31 percent for Apple devices.

Says the research firm (via PCM):

Android's open source strategy is the main factor for its success. Being a free platform has expanded the Android device install base, which in turn has driven growth in the number of third party multi-platform and mobile operator app stores.


The expansion of the install base is indeed coming at a fast pace. In the last quarter alone, as users waited for the iPhone 4S, Android shipments grew 36 percent.

Apple users appear to use more apps, however, or at least test them out more. For every 1 Android app downloaded, Apple users download 2, says the firm.




AfterDawn: News

Grand Theft Auto V announced, first trailer dated

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Oct 2011 8:26

Grand Theft Auto V announced, first trailer dated Roskstar Games officially announced Grand Theft Auto V.

We wish we had a whole bunch of details to tell you about Grand Theft Auto V, but in Rockstar Games' typical fashion, the only thing that has been confirmed is that, yes, the game is coming and the date of the first trailer.

The trailer will drop on Wednesday next week, November 2. Before then, we will of course have to endure rumors and all kinds of detail leaks, but at least we have not long to wait.

Rockstar's announcement just came as a big Grand Theft Auto V (complete with the word FIVE on the logo.. just in case your Roman Numerals suck that bad) logo and a trailer release date at rockstargames.com.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Wikileaks ceases publishing files as funds run dry

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Oct 2011 8:10

Wikileaks ceases publishing files as funds run dry Secret spiller has to take time off to raise cash.

Wikileaks has suspended publishing files, saying it must cease operations in order to raise funds and ensure the survival of the website. It alleges that U.S.-based financial companies have mounted a "blockade" that has gravely impacted its operations.

Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has called the blockade "arbitrary and unlawful,", pointing the finger of blame at Bank of America, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Western Union. He alleges that this activity has dried up 95 percent of all revenue to Wikileaks.

"A handful of US finance companies cannot be allowed to decide how the whole world votes with its pocket," he said. Wikileaks will take pre-litigation action in Iceland, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Brussels, the United States and Australia, and it has lodged an official complaint with the European Commission.

Of the companies that Assange alleges are part of the blockade, PayPal told the BBC that Wikileaks violates its Acceptable Usage Policy, because it encourages the release of classified material in violation of U.S. law.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo expected to report troubling first half earnings

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Oct 2011 7:59

Nintendo expected to report troubling first half earnings Japanese gaming firm expected to report sore losses.

Nintendo has found itself in a battle for casual gamers who are tempted by mobile gaming on other platforms. The Japanese firm has reached out to casual gamers with its Nintendo DS handheld, originally launched in 2004, and its Wii home console.

In recent years, smartphones have become portable gaming devices in their own right, and have massive catalogs of games available that would tempt a casual gamer.

Nintendo's latest DS iteration, the 3DS, has failed to get anywhere near as much attention as previous releases in the line have. While total Nintendo DS sales top a staggering 150 million units worldwide, the Nintendo 3DS has only sold 4.32 million units worldwide since launch.

To prop up its offerings for the holiday season, Nintendo has slashed the price of the 3DS handheld and is pushing out some new software titles, including 3D versions of its Super Mario franchise. In the United States, Nintendo is also offering on-demand service of movies and TV shows on the 3DS and Wii console.

Still, Nintendo will have to put up with more competition as Sony preps the PlayStation Vita for a December 17 launch in Japan, with the U.S. and Europe following early next year.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Intel seeks lower price Ultrabooks

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Oct 2011 7:44

Intel seeks lower price Ultrabooks Ultrabooks must become more affordable if they are to compete in the market.

Intel Corp. has said it will work with suppliers and manufacturers to bring down the cost of Ultrabooks, a product that it is betting can revive the traditional computer as tablet PCs up the ante.

The super-thin laptops need to come down in price to notebook levels. Acer Inc.'s recent Ultrabook model retails for $899, while the target now is seen at around $699. Intel aims for Ultrabooks to account for 40 percent of the consumer PC market by the end of 2012.

"At some point you'll have to be at that price point, but it doesn't have to be overnight. It takes time to engineer a cost down," said Navin Shenoy, Intel's vice president of sales and marketing.

"More work needs to happen in the ecosystem. Even if we're giving the chips away for free, we couldn't hit the price point we want to hit if we don't work with the rest of the industry."

Ultrabooks will not be affected by the flooding in Thailand, which has forced the shutting down of plants responsible for half of the world's hard disk drives. Ultrabooks do not use traditional HDDs, but opt for solid-state drives for a performance / energy boost instead.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon details new KF8 - HTML5, CSS3 e-book format

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Oct 2011 6:31

Amazon details new KF8 - HTML5, CSS3 e-book format KF8 brings HTML5 and CSS3 to the Kindle and Amazon Fire tablet.

KF8 (Kindle Format 8) is the next generation file format for Kindle books, serving as a replacement for the Mobi 7 format. KF8 enables publishers to create great-looking books in categories that require rich formatting and design such as children?s picture books, comics & graphic novels, technical & engineering books and cookbooks.

It adds over 150 new formatting capabilities, including fixed layouts, nested tables, callouts, sidebars and Scalable Vector Graphics.

KF8 will make its way to the Amazon Fire tablet first. In the coming months, KF8 abilities will be rolled out for latest generation Kindle e-ink devices as well as the free Kindle reading applications available for other platforms (iPad etc.).

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: How Nokia makes N9 smartphone

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Oct 2011 6:06

VIDEO: How Nokia makes N9 smartphone Video gives glimpse inside Nokia's manufacturing process of N9 smartphone.

The N9 is not likely to have that much of an exciting life, being only available in a limited number of territories and amidst major changes at Nokia. When it was unveiled in June 2011, it received mostly positive feedback for its design and the user-interface of the MeeGo (Harmattan) operating system.

It's release raised questions about Nokia's decision to embrace the Windows Phone operating system, given the potential of MeeGo and the N9's positive reception.

Yesterday, Nokia uploaded a video showing the "Nokia N9 Journey", which is worth a look.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amped pushes Wi-Fi coverage to 1.5 miles

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Oct 2011 5:50

Amped pushes Wi-Fi coverage to 1.5 miles Amped Wireless adds to its line of Professional Series High Power Wi-Fi Solutions for indoor and outdoor applications, providing Wi-Fi coverage for large homes, office buildings, outdoor areas, boats, and RVs.

The new AP600EX High Power Wireless-N 600mW Professional Series Access Point provides "extreme" Wi-Fi range and coverage to an existing wireless network, and the new SR600EX High Power Wireless-N 600mW Professional Series Smart Repeater extends the range of any indoor or outdoor Wi-Fi network.

All Amped Wireless Professional Series High Power Wi-Fi Solutions feature a weatherproof enclosure for indoor and outdoor use, an advanced 600mW amplifier for professional Wi-Fi range, and a high gain directional antenna to achieve strong, wireless connections up to 1.5 miles.

Amped Wireless Professional Series products are designed for consumers and businesses that require demanding Wi-Fi performance and range for their home, business or special application.

With a high power 600mW amplifier and a high gain bi-directional antenna, the SR600EX is capable of repeating networks up to 1.5 miles away. The Pro Smart Repeater features 2 network ports for connecting additional PCs, network switches, and other devices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

U.S. probing use of American-made censorship equipment in Syria

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Oct 2011 5:33

U.S. probing use of American-made censorship equipment in Syria Syria appears to be using American-made devices to block citizens' access to Internet, hackers say.

The United States imposed sanctions against Syria back in 2004 which prohibit the export of products from the U.S. to the country, except in cases of food or medicine. For that reason, the U.S. State Department is looking into claims made by hackers that Syria's Internet censorship relies on equipment made by Blue Coat.

The equipment that the hackers allege is in use can be used to limit website access, and possibly spy on activity of dissidents. Blue Coat has said it does not offer its equipment or services to the country.

"We are actively investigating recent allegations that certain Blue Coat products have been sold or transferred into Syria and are being used by the Syrian government," the company said. "Blue Coat does not sell its products into Syria, and prohibits its partners from selling Blue Coat products into Syria or other embargoed countries."

Syria would not have to deal with Blue Coat directly to get the hardware, of course. Still, the State Department seems to think the issue is worth looking into.

"We are concerned about reports of the use of technology by repressive regimes in general, but Syria in particular, to target activists and dissidents," said Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the US State Department. "We are reviewing the information that we have and monitoring the facts."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Leaked roadmap points to Aug 2012 launch of Windows 8

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Oct 2011 5:18

Leaked roadmap points to Aug 2012 launch of Windows 8 Roadmap also details planned schedules for other Microsoft products, and mentions Windows 9.

The roadmap marked the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January as the target to release a beta of the Windows 8 operating system, along with the first "Tango" update for the Windows Phone OS, and WinStore Beta.

A release candidate of Windows 8 is scheduled to be rolled out at MIX 2012 along with the online market beta and the Kinect commercial SDK. The Windows 8 RTM (release to manufacturer) build is scheduled for release around June next year.

CES is also noted to bring the Xbox 360 SDK for creating apps, Apollo SDK for Windows Phone and a bunch of new third-generation Kinect video games.

The roadmap also mentions "Windows 9", slotting a developer preview in for the BUILD 2013 conference, and a beta release at CES 2014. MIX 2014 would get a release candidate build of Windows 9 and an RTM build would roll out at BUILD 2014. A commercial release for the OS is targeted for November 2014.

Of course, these dates need to be greeted with skepticism. Microsoft has not confirmed any dates for Windows 8's commercial release, let alone Windows 9, and the 2014 target for Windows 9 seems very early if Windows 8 launches in August 2012. Even if the roadmap is real, the projected events are not set in stone.




AfterDawn: News

More rumors: Apple iTV coming early next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Oct 2011 0:02

More rumors: Apple iTV coming early next year Following comments in the "Steve Jobs" biography in which the Apple founder says he "finally cracked" the secret into making a great TV, Apple analyst Gene Munster has said this week that the company is readying an HDTV for launch next year.

Munster says Apple is working on prototypes as we speak and there will be a 50-inch model "iTV" on the market by September.

Finally, former Apple employee Jordan Golson says he expects the announcement as early as January, citing unnamed sources.

Golson says he has heard Apple is working "with a Korean manufacturer," (LG or Samsung) on the sourcing panels.

The writer believes that the "revolutionary" product Steve Jobs is said to have been working on the week of his death is the iTV, not next year's iPhone 5.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix lost 800,000 subscribers this quarter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Oct 2011 16:50

Netflix lost 800,000 subscribers this quarter In September, Netflix outraged subscribers by announcing that they would be splitting the DVD-by-mail and streaming services of their company. The new company for DVDs, called Qwikster, would have its own login portal and would require subscribers to log in to both Netflix and Qwikster if they want to change their respective queues.

The move came on top of the already unpopular decision by Netflix to raise prices on those that wanted both services, from $9 to $16. Fortunately, the company decided to kill of the idea of Qwikster, but it was already too late and the damage had been done.

During today's quarterly earnings report, Netflix says they lost 800,000 subscribers, finishing the quarter at 23.8 million. The company had expected to stay above 24 million.

While the company expected a drop in mail customers, streaming customers took a hit also, down to 21.45 million from 21.8 million.

CEO Reed Hastings admitted the price rise "hurt our hard‐earned reputation, and stalled our domestic growth." More shockingly, the company says all its expansions will force earnings into the red in the Q1 2012.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Teacher wins $1 million pitching perfect game in video game

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Oct 2011 16:27

Teacher wins $1 million pitching perfect game in video game Music teacher Brian Kingrey has won $1 million for throwing a perfect game in MLB 2K11.

2K sports offered the prize to the first person to throw a perfect game after the game's April launch.

The teacher says he knew nothing about baseball, and even had to go to Google to learn the basics of the game.

After researching for two weeks, Kingrey decided to use ace pitcher Roy Halladay against the leagues worst team, the Houston Astros.

Halladay finished the season 19-6 with a 2.35 ERA and 208 strikeouts. The Astros, on the other hand, finished the season 56-106.

Says the teacher:

My best match-up was going to be the Phillies with their star pitcher, Roy Halladay, against the Houston Astros. I'd research, play for five hours, eat, sleep, repeat for two weeks.


There are issues with embedding, but you can view the video here:

Brian Kingrey: Perfection




AfterDawn: News

Android tablets account for 27 percent of the market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Oct 2011 15:21

Android tablets account for 27 percent of the market According to the latest figures by Strategy Analytics, Android tablets now account for 27 percent of the market.

In the Q3, 4.5 million Android tablets were shipped, with Apple taking the lion's share at 67 percent.

Apple sold 11.1 million units during the quarter (read: sold not shipped) and the rest of the pie was WebOS, BlackBerry and Windows tablets.

Windows had a 2 percent share, BlackBerry had 1 percent and the rest came from the WebOS firesale.

Overall, sales increased 280 percent year-over-year to 16.7 million units.




AfterDawn: News

Apple pumps up specs of MacBook Pros, keeps same price

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Oct 2011 13:09

Apple pumps up specs of MacBook Pros, keeps same price Apple has announced today that the MacBook Pro line will see improved specs, with the price remaining the same.

The 13, 15 and 17-inch models will all see the across-the-board upgrades.

Starting at $1200, the 13-inch Pro will now run a 2.4Ghz dual-core Intel i5 processor, 4GB RAM and a 500GB hard drive.

The larger models will run on 2.4GHz quad-core i7 processors, 4GB RAM and 750GB hard drives.

For the GPUs, the smaller models come with AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB RAM or you can upgrade to an AMD Radeon HD 6770M with 1GB RAM for $400 more. The 17-inch model will run the AMD 6770M with 1GB RAM.

Surprisingly, Apple has decided to stick with older Bluetooth tech instead of upgrading to 4.0 like it did for its MacBook Air refresh this year.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix streaming headed to UK, Ireland

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Oct 2011 12:28

Netflix streaming headed to UK, Ireland Netflix has said today it will expand its streaming catalog to the UK and Ireland starting next year.

The move will put Netflix in direct competition with Amazon's LoveFilm, which has literally been called "the Netflix of the UK" for some time now.

There was no word on the pricing, but the service costs $7.99 per month in the U.S.

Netflix is not likely to introduce their DVD-by-mail service in the new nations.

The Watch Instantly streaming library now has 21,000 titles. The full catalog is available to U.S. users and Canadian users have a smaller catalog. The company is expanding, this year, into Latin America and the Caribbean.




AfterDawn: News

'Anonymous' hacktivists take down child porn sites, reveal members

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Oct 2011 12:18

'Anonymous' hacktivists take down child porn sites, reveal members Anonymous has taken credit for taking down 40 child pornography sites and leaking the names of 1500 members of one of those sites.

Starting last week, Anonymous members were browsing "the Hidden Wiki," a secret 'guidebook' site that indexes hundreds of "underground" pages that are invisible to to search engines and to regular everyday users.

The 1589 pedophiles of a child porn picture sharing site called Lolita City got their info posted to Pastebin.

All of the sites taken down are part of a "darknet," invisible, anonymous and encrypted. Some of the hidden sites in the TOR-based darknet include ways to get fake IDs, steroids or even hire assassins.

To access the site you must have a TOR browser plug-in installed.

Anonymous says they found a site called "Hard Candy" initially, which promised links to child pornography. All of the sites linked were hosted at Freedom Hosting. The group issued a warning to the host to take down the links immediately, which they refused to do. The group then took down the server. It was back up the next day but Anonymous took it down, once again.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android movie rental store goes live in UK

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Oct 2011 11:55

Android movie rental store goes live in UK Google has announced that their digital movie rental store for Android devices is now live in the UK.

The store offers 1000 films, and the rentals start at £2.49.

New titles like 'Green Lantern' and 'Fast & Furious Five' are available as well as British classics like 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.'

As is standard, the titles must be viewed within 48 hours after you hit play, but you have 30 days to start watching the movie.

The Android Video app is available at market.android.com/movies.

(Pic via Hexus)




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft's YouTube channel gets hacked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Oct 2011 23:00

Microsoft's YouTube channel gets hacked Hackers got the best of Microsoft's popular YouTube channel this weekend.

The channel, which has 8 million views and over 25,000 subscribers, had 5 videos posted to it and now sits blank.

Posted to the channel by the hacker earlier in the day was the message "I DID NOTHING WRONG I SIMPLY SIGNED INTO MY ACCOUNT THAT I MADE IN 2006 :/."

Says Microsoft of the situation:

We are aware that someone has altered the YouTube channel devoted to Microsoft videos. We are working with YouTube to rectify the situation.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft signs yet another Android licensing agreement

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Oct 2011 21:44

Microsoft signs yet another Android licensing agreement Microsoft has signed their 10th Android patent deal this weekend, coming into money via Compal Electronics of China.

The company has coerced deals out of Samsung, HTC, Wistron, Quanta, Acer and General Dynamics Itronix.

As with past deals the patent agreement covers all Android or Chrome OS tablets, smartphones and e-readers Compal creates.

Compal, while not a household name in the U.S., produces smartphones/tablets/e-readers for third parties and has a massive $28 billion revenue per year.

Says Microsoft (via Crunch):

We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Compal, one of the leaders in the original design manufacturing, or ODM, industry. Together with the license agreements signed in the past few months with Wistron and Quanta Computer, today's agreement with Compal means more than half of the world's ODM industry for Android and Chrome devices is now under license to Microsoft's patent portfolio.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AT&T seeing strong demand for iPhone 3GS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Oct 2011 21:22

AT&T seeing strong demand for iPhone 3GS During the company's quarterly conference call, AT&T mobility CEO Ralph de la Vega noted that following the release of the iPhone 4S, iPhone 3GS demand has increased significantly.

AT&T dropped the price of the now two-year old device to $0 with 2-year contract, the first time an Apple smartphone has been available for free.

Added Vega (via Rumors):

We have another device that I think is going to dramatically change those people that are on smartphones and quick messaging devices, the [iPhone] 3GS, which is free with a 2-year contract. We've seen a tremendous, tremendous demand for that device even though it's a generation old. And actually, we're getting more new subscribers coming on the 3GS on the average than other devices. So we also have an inventory sold out on that device.


iPhone 4S sales have been through the roof for AT&T, Verizon and Sprint following its release last week and the death of founder Steve Jobs.




AfterDawn: News

OnLive giving away games for $1

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Oct 2011 1:05

OnLive giving away games for $1 Earlier this year, cloud gaming company OnLive started a challenge on its Facebook page.

If the company's Facebook page got 62,791 "likes," the company would offer every user one game for $1.

As of today, the number has been hit and OnLive is making good, with no fine print.

Any game in the library is yours (if you have an account) for $1, including newer games like Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

OnLive says new users can just log-in and have access to the cheap game while existing users will be sent a promo code.




AfterDawn: News

Unsurprisingly, Google sites top most visited video content pages

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Oct 2011 0:47

Unsurprisingly, Google sites top most visited video content pages According to the latest comScore "Video Metrix" figures, 182 million U.S. Web users watched online video content in September, with a total of 39.8 billion videos viewed.

On average, each viewer watched 19.5 hours for the month.

Google Sites (aka YouTube) led the way with 161 million uniques, with legal music video service VEVO in second at 57.3 million. Google sites accounted for 18.6 billion of the videos viewed.

Microsoft Sites were in third at 54 million uniques followed closely by Viacom Digital at 53 million.

Also notably, Hulu saw 27 million uniques for the month.

Full chart (via comScore):




AfterDawn: News

MetroPCS is front runner for T-Mobile, AT&T assets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Oct 2011 22:10

MetroPCS is front runner for T-Mobile, AT&T assets MetroPCS, the fifth largest carrier in the U.S., has turned into the front runner for AT&T, T-Mobile assets including spectrum and subscribers.

The companies are forced to sell the assets if they want the $39 billion merger to go through.

People familiar with the deal say MetroPCS' deal would be under $3 billion and is still being negotiated.

AT&T is said to have approached MetroPCS, Dish Network, Leap Wireless and others to sell off the assets. Metro has the strongest balance sheet, and the largest cash hoard.

MetroPCS has 9.1 million subscribers, compared to 91 million for AT&T and 34 million for T-Mobile. The spectrum would help them cut capital costs and expand.




AfterDawn: News

Is Google crazy enough to buy Yahoo?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Oct 2011 21:08

Is Google crazy enough to buy Yahoo? According to multiple sources, Google is potentially looking into buying Yahoo.

The search giant would partner with two private-equity firms to fund the purchase, which would be only for Yahoo's core business.

While the talks are early stage and Google could just be seeing what the selling price is for a rival, there is little chance a deal would pass anti-trust regulators, regardless.

Google is said to be looking into the deal as it would love to sell ads on Yahoo's web sites, some of which, like Yahoo Finance and Mail bring in hundreds of millions of visitors per month.

Yahoo, which is up for sale after dumping their CEO and seeing their stock struggle, has seen a rumored plethora of potential suitors including AOL, Alibaba and Microsoft.




AfterDawn: News

Vizio giving away 3 months of free Hulu Plus with their tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Oct 2011 20:26

Vizio giving away 3 months of free Hulu Plus with their tablet Vizio has noted today that they are bundling 90 free days of Hulu Plus to anyone who purchases the Vizio 8 tablet.

If you have already purchased the tablet, update the application and the 3-month freebie will be installed.

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.

The tablet retails for $299 but is cheaper on Wal-Mart and Amazon.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon sees strong earnings thanks to iPhone, Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Oct 2011 20:10

Verizon sees strong earnings thanks to iPhone, Android Despite a two-week union strike from 40,000 of its workers, Verizon had a strong earnings quarter, mainly thanks to brisk sales of Android and iPhone phones.

The carrier activated 2 million iPhones in the quarter, while rival AT&T activated 2.7 million.

Overall, Verizon activated 1.3 million new wireless users, with 882,000 going under new contracts.

Francis J. Shammo, CFO of Verizon, noted of the iPhone activations (which were considered light):

We anticipate that the strong demand we're seeing for the new iPhone 4S will bring even more new customers.


80 percent of iPhone activations were upgrades, while 20 percent came from rival carriers.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon confirms it will be selling the Galaxy Nexus

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Oct 2011 19:14

Verizon confirms it will be selling the Galaxy Nexus Although it was abundantly clear the carrier was going to have the device, Verizon has finally made it official.

The Galaxy Nexus, unveiled earlier this week as the new Android 4.0 flagship device will be available "later this year," says the carrier.

For Verizon, the specs of the device are:

· 4G LTE customers can expect fast download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G LTE mobile broadband coverage areas
· Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich
· First smartphone to feature a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED display (1280 x 720)
· 1.2 GHz dual-core processor with 1GB RAM
· 5-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, zero shutter lag and 1080p full HD video capture
· 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for video chatting
· Near Field Communications (NFC) enabled
· Android Beam allows customers to quickly share Web pages, apps and YouTube videos with friends by simply tapping compatible phones together
· Support for Google mobile services, Android Market, Gmail, Google Maps 5.0 with 3D maps, Google Earth, Movie Studio, YouTube, syncing with Google Calendar and a redesigned Google+ app

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

2 legit 2 quit: MC Hammer launches search engine WireDoo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Oct 2011 17:21

2 legit 2 quit: MC Hammer launches search engine WireDoo Stanley "MC Hammer" Burrell has announced the launch of his own search engine, dubbed WireDoo.

The former popular 90's rapper made the announcement at this week's Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

Hammer's search engine will go up against behemoth rivals Google and Bing but the plan is to create "relationship-driven searches" and "go beyond the generalities that give you more relative information in a consistent way in a new environment," says CBS.

The first example given was a simple search for a zip code. WireDoo will bring you the relevant info, but will also add info like schools, homes and hospitals. Going "deeper," clicking on schools, for example, brings you to detailed info like academic performance index scores, teachers' credentials and truancy rates.

WireDoo has a planned launch date of December.




AfterDawn: News

Sprint kills off its unlimited 4G plan for notebooks, tablets, more

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Oct 2011 16:59

Sprint kills off its unlimited 4G plan for notebooks, tablets, more Sprint has said this week that they are removing the unlimited 4G data option that has been available for tablets, notebooks, USB cards, Mobile Hotspot modems for over a year.

The broadband service will not see a price hike, but the unlimited 4G feature will be removed as of next month.

Users will still have their limited 3G data plan they pay for (3GB, 5GB, 10GB) but the free unlimited 4G feature will be removed.

Sprint had offered the free add-on as they rolled out their 4G WiMax offering to new cities.

Smartphone owners, especially new iPhone 4S buyers should not fret, however:

This change does not apply to phone plans. Sprint continues to be the only national wireless carrier to offer unlimited data use without throttling for smartphones, on both our 3G and 4G networks.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus hitting US on November 13

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2011 23:36

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus hitting US on November 13 Samsung has finally given the official pricing and release details for their upcoming Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus.

Last month, Samsung introduced the small form factor tablet to their Galaxy line.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus has Android 3.2, runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 4G, 1GB RAM, 16GB or 32GB internal storage and a microSD slot.

Additionally, the device has 1080p playback support, dual-cameras 3/2MP with LED flash.

Samsung is charging $399 for the 16GB model or $499 for the 32GB version with a November 13th release date.




AfterDawn: News

Studio's 'Ultraviolet' getting a bad rap

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2011 15:16

Studio's 'Ultraviolet' getting a bad rap Ultraviolet appears to be a fail, for now.

The service, which comes included with physical movie discs and allows users to have a digital copy remain in a "digital locker" for viewing has been hit with terrible reviews on Amazon and elsewhere.

"Green Lantern," by Warner Bros., is the first film to come including the service.

Here are two examples of reviews the service is getting:

This review does not relate to the movie, but it is focused on the ridiculous process to download the digital copy. After creating accounts for both Flixster and Ultraviolet, linking the accounts, enabling WB to view my personal information, the system hangs and doesn't download the movie. I contacted Ultraviolet first with the issues and error messages. After a day, I was told this is not an Ultraviolet issue, but a Flixster problem. I then contacted Flixster. They responded by sending me to the FAQ. To date, I have not gotten a proper response from Flixster on the error messages. I plan on canceling both accounts and will NEVER buy another DVD tied to Ultraviolet. This is a complete rip off and WB should be ashamed of this dreadful service. Please do yourself a favor and don't buy the movie with the digital copy. If you want a digital version, just got to iTunes.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Analyst: PS4 coming before Xbox Next

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2011 14:05

Analyst: PS4 coming before Xbox Next RW Baird analyst Colin Sebastian has said today that he expects the PlayStation 4 to launch before the Xbox Next.

Recent rumors have pegged the Xbox Next as having a late 2013, early 2014 launch.

Baird believes that Sony does not want to give Microsoft "first mover's advantage" like they had with the launch of the Xbox 360.

Says the analyst:

I doubt they will be ready for launch in 2013. Between Sony and Microsoft, we expect Sony to be first to market perhaps as early as 2013, but more likely in 2014. There is still a lot of investment for both companies to recoup in the current generation.


Sony has been rumored to have already begun development on PS4 titles, as has Microsoft, although neither company has commented.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo adds Hulu Plus, 3D video recording to 3DS, Wii

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2011 13:43

Nintendo adds Hulu Plus, 3D video recording to 3DS, Wii Nintendo has said today that a new firmware update to the 3DS and Wii will bring a couple of anticipated features.

For the 3DS and Wii, Nintendo is adding Hulu Plus support. The service costs $8 per month and gives users a chance to watch current and full back catalogs of TV shows like "The Office," "Family Guy," "Lost" and many more.

ABC, Fox and NBC are owners of the streaming content site.

For the 3DS by itself, Nintendo is adding support for 3D video recording.

Gamers can record 10 minutes of video and even build their own stop-motion animation videos.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android Market at 320,000 apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2011 13:18

Android Market at 320,000 apps According to mobile research firm Research2Guidance, the Android Market is quickly catching up with the iOS App Store in raw amount of apps available.

Currently, the Android Market has 320,000 apps, with 500,000 apps submitted since launch in 2008.

37 percent of Android apps submitted have been removed, a rather large churn rate when compared to rivals.

The iOS App Store has a 24 percent churn rate and 460,000 active apps.

Although its a new entrant, the firm added the Windows Phone Marketplace to the list. It has a 13 percent churn rate.




AfterDawn: News

PlayStation 3 jailbroken again for games all the way up to v3.73

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2011 12:44

PlayStation 3 jailbroken again for games all the way up to v3.73 This has been a rumor since Wednesday but now appears to be confirmed.

The PlayStation 3 has been jailbroken again, with users playing pirated games that require the latest firmware, v3.73.

Dubbed JB2 (Jailbreak 2), the new jailbreak, is a dongle available in Indonesia.

JB2 costs $45 and can play a large amount of games on burnt/pressed BD media, but not off of the PS3's HDD like in past jailbreaks.

The details on how to burn the games yourself will be available next week, but for now games like PES 2012, FIFA 2012 and God of War Origins have all been confirmed via video:






AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile responds to C Spire getting iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2011 12:25

T-Mobile responds to C Spire getting iPhone Earlier this week we reported that C Spire Wireless, a tiny carrier with just 1 million subscribers was set to become the fourth provider in the U.S. to get the iPhone 4S.

T-Mobile, which has 33.6 million subscribers, is the fourth largest carrier in the nation and the only major to not have the Apple smartphone.

Says the company:

We think the iPhone is a good device and we've expressed our interest to Apple to offer it to our customers. Ultimately, it is Apple's decision. The issue remains that Apple has not developed a version of the iPhone with technology that works on our fast 3G and 4G networks.

We believe a capable version of the iPhone for our 3G and 4G networks would offer an additional compelling option for our customers on a fast 4G network. However, the iPhone is not the only option to experience the benefit that smartphones offer.


For now, T-Mobile says they believe their "portfolio will give any iPhone a run for its money," and points out that a lot of their Android devices have better specs, regardless.




AfterDawn: News

UK legislators propose changes to defamation law to protect website operators

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 21 Oct 2011 7:44

UK legislators propose changes to defamation law to protect website operators A Joint Committee of MPs and Lords in the UK has issued a report recommending website operators get additional protection from liability for content posted by their users.

Under current UK law website operators are considered secondary publishers of information posted by people using their services. That is, if you operate a forum, social media site, or other service where users may contribute content, and someone writes something defamatory, you can be held liable for its publication.

The committee is recommending changes to those rules which would create a notice and take down process. Any website operator who complies with the procedure would be immune from liability as a secondary publisher.

Under their proposal, 2 sets of rules would be created. One would apply to content posted by someone under their real name, while the other would cover content posted anonymously or under a pseudonym.

For the first category, where the poster could be readily identified, their proposal would require a notice to be attached to the content:

a) Where a complaint is received about allegedly defamatory material that is written by an identifiable author, the host or service provider must publish promptly a notice of complaint alongside that material. If the host or provider does not do so, it can only rely on the standard defences available to a primary publisher, if sued for defamation. The notice reduces the sting of the alleged libel but protects free speech by not requiring the host or service provider to remove what has been said; and

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Biography details Steve Jobs' anger over Android

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 21 Oct 2011 5:11

Biography details Steve Jobs' anger over Android A biography of Steve Jobs, set to go on sale Monday, goes into detail about his near obsession with Android.

Walter Isaacson worked on the book for more than 2 years, interviewing Jobs multiple times, as well as numerous friends, family members, colleagues, and competitors of the visionary, and sometimes abrasive, Apple co-founder.

According to an AP article on the book, it paints a picture of Jobs as a man dedicated to destroying Android. He described Android as, "a stolen product."

Jobs recounted turning down an offer from Google's Eric Schmidt to settle an Android related lawsuit. He told Schmidt:

I don't want your money. If you offer me $5 billion, I won't want it. I've got plenty of money. I want you to stop using our ideas in Android, that's all I want.


Of course, Steve Jobs had no aversion to copying ideas from others. In a 1994 interview he famously laid out a completely different philosophy when he said:

Picasso had a saying. He said, "Good artists copy. Great artists steal," and we have, you know, always been shameless about stealing great ideas.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AT&T cleans up on the iPhone 4S

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 21 Oct 2011 3:52

AT&T cleans up on the iPhone 4S It appears AT&T may be have been the biggest beneficiary of a record iPhone launch last weekend. Sales of the new Apple smartphone topped 4 million units in the first 3 days.

Yesterday AT&T said they had already activated more than 1 million iPhone 4Ses already. The announcement came during their quarterly earnings call.

Although they haven't released specific numbers, Sprint reported record sales less than half way through the day the new iPhone went on sale.

Verizon also hasn't released sales figures, but we should know more after their earnings call which is scheduled for today. Don't be surprised if those numbers are less impressive.

Unlike AT&T, who was the exclusive US iPhone carrier until last February, Verizon sold their first iPhones earlier this year. That should translate into fewer immediate upgrades from the iPhone 4, and obviously none from earlier iPhones.

That may, however, be a good thing for Apple. It could mean steadier US iPhone sales through next year, with Verizon customers upgrading later.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

RIM sued for trademark infringement for BBX OS

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 21 Oct 2011 2:13

RIM sued for trademark infringement for BBX OS A New Mexico software company is suing Research In Motion for trademark infringement over the name of their new mobile OS.

BASIS International develops and sells a programming language called BBx. BBX is also the name chosen for the new RIM OS which merges their older BlackBerry OS and more recent QNX.

On the surface, it seems like BASIS' trademark infringement claim is shaky. Trademark protection isn't universal. It extends only to products which compete in the same market.

BASIS Chairman and CEO, Nico Spence claims the two products are, in fact, in the same market. In a statement released the day after RIM's announcement, he said:

We have thousands of product licenses installed worldwide with the 'BBX' prefix that run on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, and other proprietary UNIX OSs from IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and SUN, with mobile clients running Apple iOS, Google Android, and Windows Mobile. We are fielding numerous customer inquiries voicing their confusion about the RIM announcement.


RIM is not the first company to get into a smartphone related trademark dispute. In 2007 Apple was sued by Cisco over the iPhone name.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung is the top smartphone vendor? Not so fast

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 21 Oct 2011 1:14

Samsung is the top smartphone vendor? Not so fast Since yesterday the web has been full of reports that Samsung may have become the top smartphone manufacturer in the world. Before you buy into the hype, there are a few things you should consider.

Without a doubt, Samsung is the fastest rising star in the smartphone market. Their Galaxy S II Android phone has generated more buzz than any non-iPhone handset in recent years.

Now The Wall Street Journal is reporting Samsung shipped 20 million smartphones in Q3, beating both Apple and Nokia. That's impressive to be sure, but does it really make them the market leader?

The most obvious problem with that assumption is that shipments aren't sales. Based on Apple's recent financial report, we know they sold just over 17 million iPhones in the same period.

If Samsung had actually sold more smartphones than Apple in the third quarter, it seems likely they would have said so. Since they haven't made such a statement, it's probably safe to conclude that's not the case.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Will Google Music add P2P file sharing?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2011 0:08

Will Google Music add P2P file sharing? Google Music, the cloud locker that is set to expand into a fully fledged music download service in the coming weeks, could be coming with a twist, P2P file sharing.

How the service will work is anyone who purchases a song can share it with friends who can then play it a limited amount of times before deciding if they want to purchase it or not.

If true, the file sharing could be what Andy Rubin was alluding too when he said Music would come with "a little twist - it will have a little Google in it. It won't just be selling 99-cent tracks."

There has been word that Google is missing the catalog of a major label (here's looking at you Warner) but that the company plans to launch the store in the coming weeks, regardless.

Google Music will come into a market dominated by Apple (and to a lesser degree Amazon), but Google certainly has the ecosystem (and Android) to get the service out to millions of consumers.




AfterDawn: News

Rumor: 2013 release date for 'Xbox Next'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2011 23:33

Rumor: 2013 release date for 'Xbox Next' According to Develop, there are already several projects underway for the upcoming "Xbox Next" console.

Microsoft is looking to a 2013 release for the console, which has been dubbed by some as the "Xbox 720."

Multiple sources, including processor chip manufacturers and middleware firms, say they expect the console to launch in 2013, but early 2014 is a possibility.

Microsoft, of course, declined to comment.

In recent memory, a few tidbits of info have emerged that point towards at least development of the console and one funny easter egg is the reference to an "Xbox 720" in the futuristic robot fighting movie "Real Steel."

(Picture is random mockup)




AfterDawn: News

Rockstar bringing GTA III to Android, iOS; shows off 10th anniversary video

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2011 15:44

Rockstar bringing GTA III to Android, iOS; shows off 10th anniversary video Last week, Rockstar announced that as a 10-year-anniversary treat, the developer would be re-releasing GTA III for Android and iOS devices.

The game will be about 660MB large but will only be available on certain devices:

Apple iOS Devices: iPad 2, iPhone 4S
Android Phones: Droid X2, HTC Evo 2, LG Optimus 2X, Motorola Atrix, Samsung Galaxy S2
Android Tablets: Acer Iconia, Asus Eee Pad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android ICS will allow you to kill and hide bloatware

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2011 14:54

Android ICS will allow you to kill and hide bloatware Google has confirmed.

Matias Duarte, Senior Director of Android Experience at Google, let it be known after the company's launch of Android 4.0 ICS that all system applications can be removed, including the Chrome-variant browser and email client.

Today, thanks to the SDK, it is clear that carriers were not given the right to override that requirement and users can easily disable and hide such unwanted apps.

Hitting disable will give users the chance to bring the apps back, but disabling will also remove the icon and stop the app from ever running.

For more info on Ice Cream Sandwich, check here: Samsung unveils Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0, SDK available now

Pic via Verge:




AfterDawn: News

Chrome passes Firefox in market share, for a day

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2011 14:24

Chrome passes Firefox in market share, for a day According to a note from research firm StatCounter, Google Chrome managed to pass Firefox as the second most used browser last Sunday.

Globally, Chrome took a 26.22 percent share compared to Firefox's 26.16.

The spike did only last a day, however, and Chrome is on pace to move to 24.85 percent share for the month of October, while Firefox falls slightly to 26.68.

Perhaps most notably is the fact that StatCounter says Internet Explorer has fallen under 40 percent for the first time ever, to 39.99 percent.

Just like with all browsers, the market share for Chrome is different on all continents. In North America it sits at just above 20 percent share while in South America it is just under 41 percent share.




AfterDawn: News

The next Asus tablet is quad-core, says chairman

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2011 14:12

The next Asus tablet is quad-core, says chairman Asus chairman Jonney Shih has noted today that the company's upcoming Transformer tablet update will run on a Nvidia "Kal-El" quad-core processor.

The Transformer Prime will launch on November 9th and be just 8.3mm thick.

Shih would not give any other details but to say that the Prime will include a USB and mini-HDMI port, as well.

The Prime will look and feel similar to the company's current EeePad Transformer, except for the updated processor.

Likely, the Prime will also come with Ice Cream Sandwich 4.0 installed.

Shih says the company hopes to outsell all other Android tablet makers with its line of Transformers.




AfterDawn: News

Digitimes: 7-inch tablet prices will continue to fall as makers compete

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2011 13:43

Digitimes: 7-inch tablet prices will continue to fall as makers compete According to sources close to tablet PC vendors, 7-inch devices will continue to see price drops as makers compete for share.

7-inch tablets do not have a baseline model like the iPad is for the 10-inch sector so tablet makers can continue to tweak pricing to attract first-time buyers with the smaller tablets.

In just a few months, the average price of 7-inch tablets has dived to $300 from $450, and that number is expected to fall much further now that Amazon has launched the $199 Kindle Fire.

ViewSonic has just released their latest, as well, the ViewPad 7e, which has a 1GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB internal storage, Android 2.3.4 and a $200 price tag.

Amazon's Kindle Fire will start shipping on November 15th and has seen over 500,000 pre-orders already.




AfterDawn: News

Sony's 3D PlayStation TV coming on November 13th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2011 13:19

Sony's 3D PlayStation TV coming on November 13th Sony has launched its 3D PlayStation display today, with a November 13th release date.

First unveiled at the E3 event this summer, the display is Sony's first "gaming display" for the PlayStation console.

Rather than answer everyone's questions about the display individually, Sony released a huge FAQ which I have posted parts of here:


I pre-ordered the PlayStation 3D Display from a retailer that was offering a free copy of Resistance 3, but I notice that the promotion is no longer being promoted on the website. Am I still getting Resistance 3 for free?
Yes. If you pre-ordered the PlayStation 3D Display from a retailer that advertised a free copy of Resistance 3 on or before September 30, 2011, you will still be getting a copy of the game with your shipment. The offer officially ended on October 1st, 2011 and that's the reason retailers had taken down the promotion from their website.
What do I get in the box?
The 3D Display was made to play 3D games right out of the box. For the MSRP of $499.99, you get the 3D Display, one pair of 3D Glasses, MotorStorm Apocalypse Blu-ray game, and an HDMI cable. All you need to do is hook up your PS3 system and you?re ready to go.
Does the 3D Display work in normal 2D mode?
Yes. You can choose to play games and watch movies in regular high-definition 2D.
What's the difference between Active 3D technology used on the 3D Display and Passive 3D technology used on Passive 3D displays?
The most notable difference between the two is the 3D resolution. With active 3D, you get full HD 3D playback. With passive 3D, you will get half the resolution. Active 3D displays require active 3D glasses and passive 3D displays require polarized passive 3D glasses. The 3D Display supports active 3D and the highest resolution.
What 3D games are available right now on the PS3 system?
A full list of currently available 3D games is available here. Check back soon - it's updated frequently!

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google+ plans to allow fake names in the future

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 20 Oct 2011 3:33

Google+ plans to allow fake names in the future Google Senior Vice-President of Social Business Vic Gundotra told an interviewer at the Web 2.0 Summit that support for pseudonyms in Google+ is coming at some point in the future.

In July, at about the same time Google+ reached 20 million users, the company began suspending accounts where people weren't using their real names as Google+ user IDs.

They defended this by pointing out their terms of service specifically require users to go by their real names:

To help fight spam and prevent fake profiles, use the name your friends, family or co-workers usually call you. For example, if your full legal name is Charles Jones Jr. but you normally use Chuck Jones or Junior Jones, either of those would be acceptable.


Although Gundrota's answer seemed to be spinning what happened to save face, he did say the Google will be changing their policy in the future:

It was largely an issue of development priorities. It's complicated to get this right. It's complicated on multiple dimensions. One of the dimensions it's complicated on is atmosphere. You know if you're a woman and you post a photo and Captain Crunch or Dogfart comments on it, it changes the atmosphere of the product. And so we wanted the product to be a product where you could discover people you know. And they're not called Captain Crunch. They're called Lisa Adams, and that's how you discover the people that you know.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Groupon looking to IPO with $12 billion value

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2011 2:41

Groupon looking to IPO with $12 billion value Despite shaky earnings, Groupon is looking to sell shares in an IPO that would value the company at around $12 billion.

While likely still grossly overvalued, the value is a lot smaller than the $25 billion the company was expected to be valued at earlier this year when it first made mention of going public.

The expectations have fallen in recent months alongside a falling stock market and Groupon's revision to its reported revenue, twice cutting it down.

Groupon itself would likely sell shares worth about $500 million to the company.

The daily deal giant has 115 million subscribers in 220 markets. The company also has 9,600 employees. Through the first half of the year, the company had revenue of $688.1 million but remains far from profitable.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon Prime Instant Video adds PBS content

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2011 2:26

Amazon Prime Instant Video adds PBS content Amazon has announced the expansion of their content deal with PBS, adding classic series like Sesame Street and Frontline.

Through its $79-a-year Amazon Prime service, users are given free 2-day shipping on all items through Amazon, and free access to over 12,000 shows and movies on their PCs, tablets and TVs.

Most notably, Amazon Prime Instant Video is a major selling point for the new Kindle Fire, Amazon's first foray into the tablet market. The $199 device is built around Amazon's ecosystem of services including Cloud Drive, Prime, MP3, VOD and their e-tailing store.

Says Amazon:

Our expanded relationship with PBS will bring the total number of titles available for Prime instant video to over 12,000. We are committed to bringing Prime Members and Kindle Fire owners even more compelling content very soon.

PBS joins recently announced FOX television shows 24, Arrested Development, The X-Files, Ally McBeal, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and The Wonder Years.

Coming soon, we'll be adding Malcolm in the Middle, King of the Hill, and episodes from Julia Child's classic cooking series, The French Chef.




AfterDawn: News

French 3 strikes law used in another email scam

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 20 Oct 2011 2:07

French 3 strikes law used in another email scam France's 3 strikes law to combat file sharing may not be making any more money for musicians, but it has, apparently been used to line the pockets of some online scammers.

The law, commonly known as HADOPI, the name of the agency tasked with policing the Internet for copyright infringement, involves sending out email notices to suspected infringers.

The scam took advantage of that by sending out notices which appeared to be legitimate but contained a link to a phishing site apparently setup by hacking the server of a legitimate online retailer. The page, which has since been taken down, instructed visitors to either send text messages or place a phone call to premium numbers, resulting in a payment to the scammers.

According to TorrentFreak, the SMS numbers have been identified as the same ones used in another scam.

This is the second online scam which has taken advantage of the HADOPI program. Just over a year ago a phishing scam was uncovered which used fake notices instructing the recipient to visit a website to pay a fine.




AfterDawn: News

Evolution of Start Menu Search continues in Windows 8

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 20 Oct 2011 1:58

Evolution of Start Menu Search continues in Windows 8 In Windows 8, Microsoft continues to refine the Start Menu search feature first introduced in Windows Vista according to the latest entry on the Building Windows 8 blog.

In Windows 7, Start Menu searching was expanded to include Control Panel apps and email messages and contacts. Since few email developers added support for this functionality, Windows 8 is dropping that feature.

What you will get from the Start Menu Search in Windows 8 is the option to search for Apps, Settings, or Files. Also, unlike Windows 7, the results will all be displayed in the Start Menu, instead of having a 'See more results' option to see the complete list in Windows Explorer.



Essentially what they've done is expand Start Menu Search so it can fill the entire desktop. That way you don't need a separate window for viewing detailed results.

As with Windows 7, the most commonly accessed items will appear higher in the list.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPhone 4S owners complaining of yellow screens

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 20 Oct 2011 1:45

iPhone 4S owners complaining of yellow screens A number of iPhone 4S buyers have complained that the screens on their new phones don't look right. They say the displays appear washed out and have a yellowish tint.

Based on posts from Apple's official support forum, the problem appears to be most common on black iPhones, although some people also report seeing it on white models as well.

Last year, many early iPhone 4 buyers had issues with yellow patches on the display, which Apple explained was because they had been put together very recently and the glue needed time to finish drying.

The problem this time around appears to be different, as it affects the entire screen, not just small areas.

While some people are suggesting this is an intentional calibration change on Apple's part, that wouldn't explain why some iPhones don't seem to have the problem at all and others appear to have either a blue or green tint, rather than yellow.

Others have speculated it's a result of Apple getting displays from multiple manufacturers. It may be that the screens are the component which was causing the rumored production shortages last month.




AfterDawn: News

Could the Galaxy Nexus replace the Galaxy S II?

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 20 Oct 2011 1:23

Could the Galaxy Nexus replace the Galaxy S II? In less than a year, the Galaxy S II has taken the world by storm. It was the first in a long line of so-called iPhone killers which appeared to live up to the title.

But along with all the hype and rave reviews came a campaign of lawsuits from Apple asking for Samsung phones and tablets running Android to be banned in nearly every major market in the world.

While most companies use their patents to extract licensing fees from their competitors, Apple has made it clear they have no intention of allowing other companies access to theirs.

Clearly that has led to a shift in strategy from Samsung. According to Korea's Yonhap News Service, Shin Jong-kyun, president of Samsung's mobile division, told reporters his company took great pains to ensure the Galaxy Nexus doesn't infringe on any Apple patents.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

The long-awaited Google Music store is coming soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2011 1:18

The long-awaited Google Music store is coming soon According to the owner of a large indie label, Google's long-awaited music store will launch in the coming months, with the Big 4 labels attached.

The indie owner, whose distributor is run by one of the majors, says he was contacted and let know that Google Music will launch in the Q4 with major catalog titles first and more "obscure" titles to follow.

Other sources say Google is allegedly hoping to have the store up and running "in weeks" but is having issues signing on at least one major label.

Google's own head of Android Andy Rubin has confirmed that the service will be "coming soon" but could not confirm any of the other questions posed by the sources.

Rubin did say the service will have "a little twist -it will have a little Google in it. It won't just be selling 99 cent tracks."

For now, Google Music is a free cloud locker for unlimited music that allows streaming on mobiles and any computer where you can log in.




AfterDawn: News

Spotify brings mobile app to some BlackBerry devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2011 0:52

Spotify brings mobile app to some BlackBerry devices Spotify has expanded its mobile app line to include BlackBerry.

Months after expanding to the U.S. and launching iOS and Android apps, the app has finally made its way to BlackBerry smartphones.

RIM lists the new features:


Million of songs available instantly on your BlackBerry.
Offline playlists listen to music with no mobile connection and avoid using your data allowance
Create and sync playlists
Star your favourite tracks
Search tracks, artists, album
Browse Whats new and Top tracks
Scrobble tracks to Last.fm
Receive music from friends via the inbox


For now, the app only works on GSM devices, the 9780 Bold, 9700 Bold, 9300 Curve, 9000 Bold, and 8520 Curve.

Just like on rival devices, the mobile Spotify requires a $10 premium subscription.




AfterDawn: News

Steve Ballmer: Microsoft 'lucky' it got rejected by Yahoo in 2008

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Oct 2011 23:59

Steve Ballmer: Microsoft 'lucky' it got rejected by Yahoo in 2008 Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco this week, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said the company is lucky it did not purchase Yahoo! in 2008.

When asked by the speaker "Are you glad you didn't buy Yahoo?," Ballmer responded, "You know, times change. When you ask any CEO [that type of question] after the market has fallen apart, it's 'hallelujah.' Sometimes, you're lucky."

In 2008, Microsoft made a massive unsolicited $47.5 billion bid for Yahoo, in an effort to merge the companies and better compete against Google in major markets. Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang rejected the offer using a poison pill plan.

At the time, Yahoo was valued at around $40 billion. That figure has collapsed to just over $20 billion today, so it does seem that Microsoft got "lucky" in getting rejected.

Microsoft still signed a deal with Yahoo, which allows Microsoft's Bing tech to power Yahoo's search, in exchange for advertising sales.




AfterDawn: News

Honeycomb tablets get Netflix streaming

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Oct 2011 23:39

Honeycomb tablets get Netflix streaming Netflix has announced today that they have added streaming support for Android 3.0 Honeycomb tablets.

Additionally, Android users in Canada and Latin America now have streaming access via their smartphones and tablets.

While there are not all that many Honeycomb tablets, users of the Xoom, Iconia, Galaxy Tab and others can download the updated app in the Android Market today.

Android 2.2 and 2.3 (and now 3.x) users have access to streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix's extensive catalog.

Users must be subscribers to Netflix's $7.99 streaming plan.




AfterDawn: News

C Spire Wireless inks iPhone 4S deal in U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Oct 2011 15:49

C Spire Wireless inks iPhone 4S deal in U.S. Much to the chagrin of T-Mobile users, the fourth carrier in the U.S. to have the iPhone 4S is C Spire Wireless, a small regional carrier.

T-Mobile remains the only major carrier in the nation to not have access to the iPhone, with Sprint "betting the bank" to get the device this fall.

C Spire was formerly known as Cellular South and has over 1 million customers in just 4 states. T-Mobile, the smallest of the majors, has 33.6 million customers.

There was no other word on the deal except that C Spire says the phone will only be available to contract subscribers, not pay-as-you-go.




AfterDawn: News

Video: Senator Ron Wyden explains his opposition to PROTECT IP

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Oct 2011 15:28

Video: Senator Ron Wyden explains his opposition to PROTECT IP On Monday, at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, US Senator Ron Wyden was interviewed by Jon Heilemann of New York Magazine about a range of legislative issues, including his opposition to the PROTECT IP Act.

PROTECT IP is a bill which would mandate the creation of a domain name blacklist based on accusations from law enforcement and private companies accuse of copyright infringement. ISPs would be required to use DNS filtering to prevent their customers from reaching those domains.

In part, PROTECT IP is simply pointless since it's trivially easy to simply change your computer's DNS settings to route around the affected servers. At the same time, it would set a dangerour precedent by giving private companies law enforcement powers and dealing a significant blow to due process.

Wyden is no stranger to laws which pit content producers against Internet services. In the 1990s he was one of 2 US legislators to get language inserted in Communications Decency Act to shield Internet service providers from liability for their users' actions.

Last year it was thanks to Wyden that a bill nearly identical to PROTECT IP called COICA (Combatting Online Infringement and Counterfeits ACT) was killed. Just last week, it was Wyden who sent a letter to President Obama demanding the ACTA agreement be submitted to the Senate for ratification since it is effectively a treaty.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google starts promoting encrypted search to protect user privacy

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Oct 2011 6:02

Google starts promoting encrypted search to protect user privacy Google is working to add some additional privacy in the form of a secure search page.

As they roll it out, people signed into Google accounts will find themselves redirected to an SSL encrypted page for searching by default. If you are not logged into a Google account, you will still be able to access their secure search by typing https://www.google.com into your browser's address field.

Make sure you include 'www' in the address or else it will send you to the normal (unencrypted) Google search.

This is intended primarily as a measure for people using unsecured Internet connections, such as public Wi-Fi, where your communications are particularly susceptible to being intercepted without your knowlege.

However, it will also affect what information is available to websites you visit via Google searches.

According to Evelyn Kao, product manager at Google:

When you search from https://www.google.com websites you visit from our organic search listings will still know that you came from Google, but won't receive information about each individual query. They can also receive an aggregated list of the top 1,000 search queries that drove traffic to their site for each of the past 30 days through Google Webmaster Tools.




AfterDawn: News

Google promo indicates Verizon will be getting the Galaxy Nexus

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Oct 2011 4:52

Google promo indicates Verizon will be getting the Galaxy Nexus A promotional video released for Google and Samsung's new Galaxy Nexus smartphone seems to confirm it will be coming to Verizon some time soon.

The Galaxy Nexus will be the first phone to run Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), and is expected to be available some time next month.

At one point there was speculation that Verizon might be the only US carrier to get the new phone, but thanks to the announcement of both LTE and HSPA+ versions, it could very well come to AT&T and T-Mobile eventually.

Sprint is currently the only US carrier completely out of the running as they bet on WiMAX as the next generation data standard and won't have their replacement LTE network in place for quite some time.

What we can tell for sure from the video is that a Verizon version is in the works for sure. At one point, when the new notification screen for Android 4.0 is shown, you can clearly see that the phone is a Verizon handset.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft CEO finds Android confusing

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Oct 2011 3:44

Microsoft CEO finds Android confusing Watching an interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco, you could easily get the impression Google is struggling to compete in cloud computing and smartphones.

According to Ballmer, when it comes to the competition for enterprise cloud services, Microsoft is "Winning, winning, winning, winning, winning."

You certainly wouldn't guess Google's smartphone OS was a market leader based on his comments. He said Android is too complicated and the handsets too cheap.

"You don't need to be a computer scientist to use a Windows phone," said Ballmer, "and I think you do to use an Android phone." He called Android handsets "inconsistent," and complained that they "don't look alike." He added, "the cheapest phones on the market this holiday will still probably be the Android phones - the very rock bottom cheapest."

And how does Windows Phone stack up? According to Ballmer it will attract consumers because the phones will look good and feel nice in your hand. But primarily, he says, they will succeed because Windows Phone is "putting your information front and center," instead of "seas of icons."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Bill Gates to defend Microsoft in one final Windows 95 antitrust suit

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Oct 2011 2:12

Bill Gates to defend Microsoft in one final Windows 95 antitrust suit Bill Gates is expected to be testifying in another antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft over Windows. Although the lawsuit filed by Novell only dates back to 2004, the allegations go all the way back to the mid-1990s.

In their suit, Novell accuses Microsoft of deliberately misleading competing software vendors to reduce the competition for software on computers running Windows 95 and then pressuring OEMs to bundle Microsoft Office, rather than WordPerfect, with new computers.

Specifically, they say Microsoft conspired to kill the WordPerfect productivity software Novell had purchased for nearly a billion dollars. Less than than 2 years after buying it, Novell sold WordPerfect to Corel in 1996 for just over $100 million.

In his opening statement yesterday, Novell lawyer Jeff Johnson cited a number of Microsoft emails about Windows 95 development, including some from Gates, and alleged, "Microsoft seriously crippled Novell's ability to produce a competitive product in a timely manner."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PlayStation Vita gets set NA, EU release dates

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Oct 2011 0:38

PlayStation Vita gets set NA, EU release dates Sony has finally announced the release date for the PS Vita in North America and Europe.

The handheld is set for release in Japan in December but the rest of the world has been told simply to wait while Sony finalized the details.

It appears today that the date is February 22nd, 2012, for everywhere that isn't Japan.

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. Furthermore, the Vita has 512MB memory and 128MB VRAM in its graphics processor.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveils Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0, SDK available now

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Oct 2011 22:22

Samsung unveils Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0, SDK available now Samsung just live streamed the event here: http://www.youtube.com/android

The Android 4.0 ICS device will have a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED screen and dual cameras 1.3/5 MP. Curved design, thin, impressive no-shutter lag camera.

Galaxy Nexus goes on sale in November.

Android 4.0 ICS is far and away the most impressive part of the device, however.

Interface



The new typeface in ICS is dubbed "Roboto" and is specifically designed for HD displays. There are also now live wallpapers available for the lock screen. Speaking of the lock screen, instead of a need for a password or pin, ICS has facial recognition as an option.

Screenshots are now available for all devices, with a quick touch of the power + down volume.

Virtual soft keys run on the bottom of the device and hide when not in use. Widgets are resizable and can drag dropped from the widgets tab into any home screen.

Folders are easily made, such as "games" or "multimedia" and apps just drop right in. To close an app that is open (when multitasking) just flick it off the screen.


Keyboard


The new keyboard has improved error correction, and the spell checker/dictionary are improved, as well. Talk-to-type now writes out words as you speak them, not waiting until after you are done.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Next iPhone was reportedly Steve Jobs' last big project

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 18 Oct 2011 17:06

Next iPhone was reportedly Steve Jobs' last big project Now that the iPhone 4S has been released it seems the never ending cycle of iPhone rumors is spinning up again.

Speculation is already flying about the next iPhone, which was supposedly Apple founder Steve Jobs' last project for the company.

According to CNET, multiple sources have indicated Jobs intended the iPhone 5 to be the major overhaul to the platform many people expected this time around, including a larger screen and LTE support.

It will, reportedly, be redesigned on the outside and be introduced at Apple's WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) next year.

The idea of Apple introducing a new iPhone so soon seems a little strange, but keep in mind every iPhone launch before this year has been at that event. In fact, it's entirely possible the timing of this year's iPhone launch had more to do with manufacturing difficulties than anything else.

Keep in mind this is nothing more than rumor and speculation for the moment, but of course, given Apple's policy of strict secrecy, that's about all we can expect until a new iPhone is officially announced.




AfterDawn: News

Woman hit with $200,000 mobile phone bill due to deaf brothers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Oct 2011 17:01

Woman hit with $200,000 mobile phone bill due to deaf brothers Celina Aarons was shocked, to say the least, when her last cellphone bill topped $200,000.

Aarons has two deaf brothers on her plan and since they cannot speak the whole family has unlimited texting and data.

Her usual plan, with T-Mobile, costs $175 per month for the three of them.

The crazy bill came after her brothers spent two weeks in Canada and Aarons was not informed she needed to switch to an international plan. Because they can not speak, her brothers sent around 2,000 texts and downloaded videos (with captions), that sometimes amounted to $2000 per video.

Because clearly no one can afford to pay such a bill, Aarons called the TV show "Help Me Howard" who explained to the carrier the situation.

T-Mobile has reduced the charge to $2500 and given Aarons six months to pay it off, interest-free.




AfterDawn: News

Apple misses earnings for first time since 2004

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Oct 2011 16:47

Apple misses earnings for first time since 2004 Apple has reported their quarterly earnings this afternoon, missing analyst expectations after seven straight years of huge beats.

The company reported Q4 earnings of $7.05, well below the $7.28 estimate. Revenue came in soft, as well, at $28.3 billion versus the $29.45 billion estimate.

Looking forward to next quarter, the company raised its profit and revenue predictions.

While still wildly profitable, the company sold much less iPhones than expected in the quarter, most likely due to consumers in the U.S. waiting for the iPhone 4S.

Apple sold 17.07 million iPhones in the quarter versus 20 million estimated, while also selling 11.1 million iPads, well above consensus.

Mac sales were also strong, at 4.89 million sold versus 4.4 million estimated.

iPods continued their slow descent into the abyss of items people don't need anymore, at 6.3 million sold compared to lowball estimates of 6.6 million.




AfterDawn: News

Viacom begins appeal of YouTube ruling

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 18 Oct 2011 16:19

Viacom begins appeal of YouTube ruling Viacom's appeal of their lawsuit against YouTube for copyright infringement started today with oral arguments from both parties.

They are appealing a summary judgement issued last June in which a federal judge sided with Google (owner of YouTube) on the key point of what constitutes "red flag" knowledge of copyright infringement. Under the DMCA, a service provider is responsible for taking down content which they is obviously infringing due to so-called red flags.

In the 2010 decision, Judge Louis Stanton found that Viacom's reading of the law in a way that would make YouTube responsible to determine which videos are infringing didn't match either the legislative history or judicial precedent of the DMCA. General knowledge that copyright infringement is occuring, he said, does not constitute a red flag.

Viacom lawyers took up that argument again today. Their arguments are essentially built on around comparing YouTube to Grokster.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

NTT DoCoMo reveals Galaxy Nexus images and specs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Oct 2011 15:24

NTT DoCoMo reveals Galaxy Nexus images and specs Although Samsung is preparing to unveil the Galaxy Nexus (Nexus Prime) in a few hours, NTT DoCoMo has leaked the specs and a picture of the upcoming device.

The Android 4.0 ICS device will have a 1.2GHz dual-core OMAP4460 processor, a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED screen and dual cameras 1.3/5 MP.

Samsung is prepared to unveil the phone tonight, a week after its original launch date, with a release date in early November.

Android 4.0 ICS is supposed to be Google's largest firmware update yet, combining the code of Honeycomb 3.0 and Gingerbread 2.3.x.

Pics via Verge:





AfterDawn: News

Mac notebook shipments could be potentially affected

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Oct 2011 14:42

Mac notebook shipments could be potentially affected Catcher Technology, the Taiwanese manufacturer, has shutdown one factory in eastern China this week due to "strange odors" coming from the plant.

The plant is notable because it produces over 60 percent of Apple's Mac uni-body enclosures. The cases are seen on all current MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models. The factory also produces cases for Acer, Dell, Lenovo and Sony, says AI.

Catcher president Allen Horng says shipments from the factory will fall 20 percent this month and as much as 40 percent next month if the plant is not cleared to re-open. "Shipments to our customers will inevitably be affected, We already asked them to make adjustments to their (casings) procurement," says Horng.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

New DROID RAZR smartphone to offer an array of docking solutions

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 18 Oct 2011 14:35

New DROID RAZR smartphone to offer an array of docking solutions Motorola Mobility and Verizon Wireless have officially unveiled the DROID RAZR Android smartphone. It will be go on sale to Verizon customers next month for $299.99 with a 2 year contract.

It will run Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread) and have a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and a 4.3 inch Gorilla Glass display. In addition, it has an 8 megapixel rear camera with 1080p video recording capability and a front facing camera for video chat.

The two companies are emphasizing the phone's thin profile - just 7.1mm, Kevlar body, and water resistant coating.

"DROID RAZR by Motorola is a testament to the innovation and design possibilities that stem from a strong partnership between Motorola Mobility and Verizon Wireless," said Sanjay Jha, Chairman and CEO, Motorola Mobility. "We set out to design the best smartphone on the planet and delivered DROID RAZR which is thinner, smarter, stronger than any device on the market."

A more interesting aspect of the DROID RAZR is an array of accessories which will be available for it, including a number of different docks and a wireless keyboard and trackpad.

The docks include 2 different laptop-style units, one with a 14" screen and another with a 10" screen. There will also be docks designed for connecting the phone to external displays (including HDTVs) and speakers, as well as a vehicle navigation dock for mounting it in a car.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung starts its own mobile messaging app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Oct 2011 13:36

Samsung starts its own mobile messaging app Samsung has announced the launch of "ChatOn," the company's first mobile messaging service.

The app will be preloaded in Bada devices and most future Samsung Android devices.

ChatOn will be released for iOS and BB/BBX in the near future, says the company.

Additionally, the service will be available via desktop, as well.

Although Windows Phone 7 was not specifically mentioned, the app should make its way to the OS eventually, especially considering Samsung is one of the major hardware builders for the platform.

As with rivals like BBM, iOS Messenger, Google Talk and more, users can talk to each other and exchange audio/video when connected to the Internet.




AfterDawn: News

RIM announces the launch of BBX, the 'future' of the company

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Oct 2011 12:23

RIM announces the launch of BBX, the 'future' of the company At today's BlackBerry DevCon Americas 2011, RIM has announced the launch of BBX, the future of the company.

RIM says the "next generation mobile platform takes the best of the BlackBerry platform and the best of the QNX platform to connect people, devices, content and services."

Additionally, RIM has updated their developer tools, including WebWorks for BlackBerry smartphones and tablets, the Native SDK for the BlackBerry PlayBook and a developer beta of BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 with support for running Android applications.

Says Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO:

With nearly 5 million BlackBerry apps downloaded daily, our customers have made BlackBerry one of the most profitable platforms for developers. At DevCon today, we're giving developers the tools they need to build richer applications and we're providing direction on how to best develop their smartphone and tablet apps as the BlackBerry and QNX platforms converge into our next generation BBX platform.


BBX-OS will support BlackBerry cloud services and all apps created for the PlayBook including Native SDK, Adobe AIR/Flash and WebWorks/HTML5, as well as the BlackBerry Runtime for Android Apps.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

ITC denies HTC request for US ban on Apple products

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 18 Oct 2011 12:14

ITC denies HTC request for US ban on Apple products HTC's patent claims against Apple in the US have been dealt a blow by the International Trade Commission. An ITC judge released a preliminary decision finding that Apple devices do not infringe on HTC patents.

HTC was asking for a ban on importing Apple devices. The complaint was in response to Apple's own patent lawsuits against the Taiwanese handset maker.

In a statement to Rueters, HTC general counsel Grace Lei downplayed the decision. She wrote, "This is only one step of many in these legal proceedings. We are confident we have a strong case for the ITC appeals process and are fully prepared to protect our intellectual property."

The decision will not be final until it is reviewed by the full commission in February. It does not cover the additional complaint from HTC regarding the patents acquired from Google earlier this year.

This decision may actually end up being irrelevant thanks to HTC's purchase of S3 Graphics earlier this year. S3 already has already won a preliminary judgement against Apple, which is also waiting to be heard by the commission.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple Stores face iPhone shortages

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 18 Oct 2011 11:16

Apple Stores face iPhone shortages Apple appears to be having problems meeting demand for the iPhone 4S, at least for Apple Store customers.

Rumors of production problems started circulating last month. It was even suggested they might result in the new iPhone not being available until the end of October.

Although the iPhone 4S launched on schedule last Friday, there are signs those rumors may have been accurate.

If you are ordering an iPhone online, the process is the same as always. But if you plan to buy an iPhone 4S from an Apple Store, you will need to reserve it the night before from Apple's website.



Apple hasn't released any information about the cause of the shortage or how long it is expected to last. It may simply be a side effect of adding 2 new US carriers and an accelerated launch schedule.

Sales of the iPhone 4S over the first weekend were higher than for any previous iPhone. This was, in part, due to launching in an unprecedented 7 countries at once and the addition of both Verizon and Sprint in the US.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung already producing quad-core A6 chips for Apple

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2011 23:57

Samsung already producing quad-core A6 chips for Apple According to The Korean Times, Samsung is already producing the quad-core A6 processor that will be seen in the iPad 3 and iPhone 5.

Apple had allegedly signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) for the processors, but now it appears that deal may not be in the works anymore.

The new report says the buyer/supplier relationship will remain into the foreseeable future, as Apple has declared the company a critical partner.

TSMC will still produce a small amount of the chips, perhaps under 10 percent.

Samsung has streamlined the process and is producing the chips at their new plant in Texas.




AfterDawn: News

Google+ hits 40 million users but with falling traffic

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2011 23:26

Google+ hits 40 million users but with falling traffic After just four months, Google+ has reached 40 million users.

Speaking after the company's blowout earnings report, CEO Larry Page said:

We had a great quarter. Revenue was up 33% year on year and our quarterly revenue was just short of $10 billion. Google+ is now open to everyone and we just passed the 40 million user mark. People are flocking into Google+ at an incredible rate and we are just getting started!


Despite the strong amount of signups, traffic has been dwindling as less people find use for the service. When the service moved out of beta, traffic exploded 1200 percent, but the spike was short lived, falling as much as 60 percent from the peak, says Chitika Insights.

Rival Facebook has 750 million users and is the top visited site in the U.S.




AfterDawn: News

Uh oh, Skype founders working on Vdio, a rival to Netflix

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2011 22:20

Uh oh, Skype founders working on Vdio, a rival to Netflix According to GigaOM, Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennström are working on an online video service that will compete against market leader Netflix.

The service is to be called Vdio, similar to the entrepreneur's online streaming service Rdio.

For now, the site for Vdio is just a landing page with a "coming soon" sign, but Om says "Skype's founders have apparently been quietly assembling an A-team of media and web technology experts to launch a site that seems destined to replicate the model behind their music subscription site Rdio in the video space."

The service has been secretly under development for two years.

An upcoming closed beta service will let users "instantly watch the best in TV and movies."

More info when it becomes available.




AfterDawn: News

EC looks to get 9.2 billion euro broadband investment approved

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2011 21:12

EC looks to get 9.2 billion euro broadband investment approved The EC is preparing to invest about 9.2 billion euro into broadband infrastructure as the Commission wants faster Internet speeds across the European Union.

Mainly, the plan is aimed at stimulating investment into rural broadband.

Additionally, the EC wants all European households to have, at minimum, 30Mbps broadband connections by 2020, with over 50 percent of the population with 100Mbps by then.

Doing so will make the region for competitive, says the BBC.

The investments, if approved, would begin in 2014 and end in 2020.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft giving more money to Nokia, Samsung in effort to push Windows Phone 7

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2011 17:29

Microsoft giving more money to Nokia, Samsung in effort to push Windows Phone 7 According to sources, Microsoft will pay $44 million total to Nokia and Samsung in the coming months to pump Windows Phone 7 in the UK.

Nokia will get the lion's share of the money ($31.5 million) and their first promo images have already leaked for the Nokia 800 (pictured).

Samsung will use the money to promote the Omnia W, which has a 3.7 inch 800 × 480 pixel Super AMOLED display, 1.4GHz processor, dual cameras and HSPA+ 14.4Mbps data support.

Nokia's "Nokia World" event is set for 10 days from now and the company is likely to unveil 2 new devices, each running Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.




AfterDawn: News

Mobile phone users should now worry less about 'bill shock'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2011 16:38

Mobile phone users should now worry less about 'bill shock' New voluntary industry standards will force carrier to send customers who want them real-time alerts if they are near their monthly voice, data or text messaging limits.

The deal with the FCC has been in the works over the last year after reports of "bill shock" has increased significantly. Bill shock is the term given to monthly phone bills that have a severe excess of fees, usually because the user unknowingly went over their data limits.

Over the past year, there have been a few high-profile cases where the bill went as high as $20,000.

Carriers have agreed to start the real-time alerts within 12-18 months.

The EU has had similar rules in place since 2010.




AfterDawn: News

Windows 7 surpasses Windows XP in market share, globally

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2011 15:39

Windows 7 surpasses Windows XP in market share, globally According to new StatCouter figures, it took two years but Windows 7 has surpassed its older brother XP in market share.

In April, Windows 7 passed XP in the U.S., but the international count stood at 46.8 percent for XP and just 31.5 percent.for 7.

That number has now quickly reversed, with Windows 7 gaining to 40.15 percent and XP falling to 38.78 percent.

Vista also gained a bit to 11.14 per cent.

Apple's Mac OS X saw another uptick to 7.26 percent.




AfterDawn: News

US Congressman wants answers from Amazon about Kindle Fire privacy questions

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Oct 2011 13:59

US Congressman wants answers from Amazon about Kindle Fire privacy questions A US legislator is asking Amazon to answer some questions about potential privacy implications related to their Kindle Fire tablet.

Representative Ed Markey sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking for detailed information about data the company plans to collect via the Kindle Fire's Silk web browser. Silk will use a new Amazon cloud service to speed up browsing.

In order to make that service to work, Amazon will collect data on user behavior in order to make an educated guess about what content they may request next.

In a New York Times article which sparked Markey's interest, Jenna Wortham pointed to concerns being voiced by some technology experts about the implications of Amazon's data collection. She mentioned comments by Apple's Chris Espinosa, who wrote:

People who cringe at the data-mining implications of the Facebook Timeline ought to be just floored by the magnitude of Amazon's opportunity here. Amazon now has what every storefront lusts for: the knowledge of what other stores your customers are shopping in and what prices they're being offered there. What's more, Amazon is getting this not by expensive, proactive scraping the Web, like Google has to do; they?re getting it passively by offering a simple caching service, and letting Fire users do the hard work of crawling the Web. In essence the Fire user base is Amazon's Mechanical Turk, scraping the Web for free and providing Amazon with the most valuable cache of user behavior in existence.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

YouTube announces new merchandising program for musicians

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Oct 2011 12:46

YouTube announces new merchandising program for musicians A new service for musical acts will help them sell merchandise, tickets, and music downloads through YouTube.

In their announcement, YouTube was vague about the details, but did say it will be rolled out around the world in the next few weeks.

On the official YouTube Blog, they wrote:

Fans will be able to buy artists' merchandise, digital downloads, concert tickets and even unique experiences like meetups. These features are made possible through affiliates like Topspin for merchandise, concert tickets and experiences; Songkick for concerts; and iTunes and Amazon for music downloads.


More details will be announced at a panel hosted by YouTube in New York City's Mercury Lounge on October 20. The panel will include a number of independent artists who have used YouTube to further their careers.

If you wish to attend the event, you can RSVP via an online form.




AfterDawn: News

RIM offers free apps and tech support to compensate for service outage

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Oct 2011 12:02

RIM offers free apps and tech support to compensate for service outage RIM will be giving away free apps with a total value of more than US $100 to BlackBerry owners affected by an outage of the the company's services for more than 3 days last week.

Unlike other smartphone makers, RIM's business is built in large part around their own service offerings which include messaging and email servers. They primarily cater to businesses, which is why they were the number 1 smartphone platform in the US before the iPhone came along.

In a statement, RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said:

We truly appreciate and value our relationship with our customers. We've worked hard to earn their trust over the past 12 years, and we're committed to providing the high standard of reliability they expect, today and in the future.


The apps will be available from RIM's BlackBerry App World through the end of the year. They include:

  • SIMS 3
  • Bejeweled
  • N.O.V.A.
  • Texas Hold'em Poker 2
  • Bubble Bash 2
  • Photo Editor Ultimate
  • DriveSafe.ly Pro
  • Drive Safe.ly Enterprise
  • iSpeech Translator Pro
  • Nobex Radio Premium
  • Shazam Encore
  • Vlingo Plus: Virtual Assistant

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple reports record iPhone 4S sales over first weekend

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Oct 2011 10:56

Apple reports record iPhone 4S sales over first weekend More than 4 million of the new iPhone 4S have been sold already according to Apple. This matches a prediction on Friday by Bloomberg.

While sales have beat every other iPhone launch, it's important to keep things in perspective. The iPhone 4S was launched simultaneously in 7 countries, compared to just 5 for the iPhone 4.

In the US, this is also the first time the iPhone has launched on 3 of the 4 national carriers compared to just AT&T for previous models.

Apple is arguably facing bigger obstacles to selling iPhones today than ever before. Besides increased competition from other handset makers, the number of people who already have a smartphone has also increased dramatically.

In the past, there was an overwhelming public perception that Android vendors were playing catch up with Apple. Increasingly, people are questioning whether Apple is falling behind in areas like display size and processor speed.

Those may be valid concerns, but keep in mind Apple is still competing primarily with themselves. Any other company would be thrilled with the kind of success the iPhone 4S has had to this point.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Galaxy Tab 10.1 is available to Australians despite last week's ban

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Oct 2011 9:06

Galaxy Tab 10.1 is available to Australians despite last week's ban An injunction barring Samsung from selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia doesn't mean consumers can't get their hands on one.

In a story reminiscent of the German Galaxy Tab ban handed down earlier this year, an Australian court granted Apple's request for an injunction preventing Samsung from selling the tablet. And just like in that case, consumers still have access to the tablet thanks to a steady supply coming from outside the country.

According to the Australian portal for GetPrice, a shopping comparison service, Australians can buy the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from more than a dozen different online sources.

Meanwhile, Samsung continues to file what can only be described as nuisance lawsuits against Apple. These suits, requesting the iPhone 4S be banned, revolve almost entirely around wireless patents which are covered by FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory) licensing obligations.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Updated, slimmer Wii headed to U.S. on October 23

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2011 2:55

Updated, slimmer Wii headed to U.S. on October 23 Nintendo has announced today that the launch of their new slimmed down Wii console, part of the "Holiday Edition" bundle which removes GameCube support, will hit the U.S. on the 23rd.

The console is 30 percent smaller than the original Wii and sits horizontally, saving space by removing GameCube memory card and controller slots.

Bundled with the black colorway console is the New Super Mario Bros. game, a special Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack CD, a black Wii Remote Plus controller and a black Nunchuk controller.

Nintendo is offering the console with an MSRP of $150.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Bids for EMI are underwhelming

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2011 2:28

Bids for EMI are underwhelming EMI Group, the fourth largest record label, is seeing underwhelming bids, say sources close to its owner Citigroup.

The bank was forced to take over the label this year after the former owner, private equity firm Terra Firma, could not pay back its debts.

Five months ago, the Warner Group (world's 3rd largest label) sold for $3.3 billion, giving Citi faith that they could command a similar price for the label which has 1.3 million songs including recordings by the Beatles, Coldplay and Katy Perry.

EMI has been up for sale since June, after Citi was forced to write down the label's debt by $3.5 billion.

For now, it appears the only bidders on EMI's recorded music division are other labels, with each bidding as high as $1.3 billion, well short of the $3.5 billion Citi hoped for. EMI's publishing unit has received bids as high as $2 billion.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung sues Apple to halt iPhone 4S sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2011 2:11

Samsung sues Apple to halt iPhone 4S sales The saga never ends.

Samsung has filed suit against Apple in Japan and Australia this weekend in an effort to stop sales of the iPhone 4S.

The company filed similar complaints in France and Italy earlier this week.

Additionally, the company is looking for injunctions on the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2, at least in Japan.

The patents cited in all the complaints are related to telecommunications, three user-interface patents and three covering wireless communications technologies.

Apple and Samsung now have over 10 outstanding patent suits against each other, with Apple looking to get an injunction on sales of the Galaxy Tab and Galaxy line of smartphone and with Samsung looking to get sales of the iPhone and iPad blocked.




AfterDawn: News

Kodak licenses some patents to IMAX

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2011 1:59

Kodak licenses some patents to IMAX Kodak has confirmed today that the company has licensed some of its vast patent portfolio to IMAX, in an effort to stave off bankruptcy and stay viable.

IMAX will license 100 patents related to laser-projection technology used in giant-screen movie theaters.

The deal is not huge, however, with only $50 million in upfront fees and royalties into the future.

Says IMAX (via NYT):

This Kodak intellectual property is truly cutting edge, and will be used by IMAX?s esteemed technology group to enhance the cinematic experience for consumers, enable the application of digital technology in our larger and institutional theatres, and make being in business with IMAX even easier and more profitable.


Kodak hopes to sell 1100 patents, and soon, as the company struggles despite sitting on a patent portfolio worth over $2 billion. Kodak has not posted one profitable quarter since 2004.




AfterDawn: News

Spotify U.S. hits 250,000 paying subscribers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2011 1:46

Spotify U.S. hits 250,000 paying subscribers According to different sources close to the company, Spotify U.S. now has 250,000 paying subscribers.

The number is certainly notable as the platform only launched in the States in July in invite-only beta.

Globally, the company has over 2.5 million paying subscribers.

Spotify continues to expand and has just reached Denmark, the 9th nation to have the service.

The service, which lets users stream limited amounts of music for free (with some ads) or pay a premium for unlimited access (including smartphone/tablet streaming), has been very successful in Europe and the U.S. and has been seen as a strong piracy deterrent.




AfterDawn: News

Firefox to dump XUL tech in Android apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Oct 2011 16:00

Firefox to dump XUL tech in Android apps Mozilla Director of Firefox Engineering Johnathan Nightingale has announced this week that the Android version of their platform will dump the XUL technology used in all desktop Firefox editions.

"Firefox on Android is a critical part of supporting the open Web, and this decision puts us in a position to build the best Firefox possible," added Nightingale.

While Firefox has over 20 percent market share on PCs, it has yet to meaningfully break into the mobile market which is controlled by Apple's Safari and Android's Chrome variant.

By moving away from XUL and into a native Android interface, the browser should use less memory and have a much faster boot time, stuff even the average Joe user cares about.

Concludes Nightingale: "After substantial discussion, we have decided to build future versions of Firefox on Android with a native UI [user interface] instead of the current XUL implementation."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon brings back 1 cent Verizon smartphone promotion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Oct 2011 14:40

Amazon brings back 1 cent Verizon smartphone promotion Amazon has brought back their popular 1 cent Verizon smartphone promotion, and you have until Monday to get in on it.

There are 31 models available for just 1 cent (excluding any applicable activation fees from the carrier) and shipping is free two-day for any device purchased.

New phones are available, including the Motorola Droid Bionic and the HTC Thunderbolt which normally cost $300 and $250 with contract, respectively.

There is one Windows Phone 7 device in the bunch, the HTC Trophy.

New customers can sign up and existing customers must add a new line to take advantage.

Check the list here: Amazon Penny Pincher




AfterDawn: News

Android ICS is 'gangbusters,' statue unveiled

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Oct 2011 14:26

Android ICS is 'gangbusters,' statue unveiled Google's CEO Larry Page, after announcing quarterly earnings on Thursday afternoon, had some choice words for the company's upcoming Android 4.0 release.

"You won't believe what we have managed to do in this release. We see Android going gangbusters, and we don't see anything that will stop that," says the CEO.

On the same morning, the Google campus received delivery of the giant Ice Cream Sandwich statue (embedded video).

For quarterly earnings, revenue rose to $7.51 billion, well above analyst expectations and profit was $9.72 per share, almost $1 higher than analyst estimates.

Google and Samsung are expected to announce the Nexus Prime flagship phone (and first device with ICS) on October 19th.




AfterDawn: News

Google Voice adds MMS support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Oct 2011 14:06

Google Voice adds MMS support Since its inception, users of the popular Google Voice service have requested the addition of MMS support.

This week, Google has figured out a way to add MMS support, due to a small workaround.

If sending an MMS to a Google Voice number, the picture/video message will now be forwarded to your email.

For now, the service is said to only be perfect on Sprint and Virgin Mobile with Google adding carriers as we speak.

If interested, it takes about 4 seconds to activate the MMS support:




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft finalizes acquisition of Skype

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Oct 2011 13:54

Microsoft finalizes acquisition of Skype Microsoft has announced this week the closing of their $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype.

Notes Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer:

Skype is a phenomenal product and brand that is loved by hundreds of millions of people around the world. We look forward to working with the Skype team to create new ways for people to stay connected to family, friends, clients and colleagues ? anytime, anywhere.


The VoIP service will have its own new business division within Microsoft.

Skype CEO Tony Bates will remain as the president of the new Skype division and there will be no layoffs.

Eventually, Skype will be integrated into most of Microsoft's products as part of the suite that includes Zune music, Xbox Live and more.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone 4S speed test: Verizon rocks, Sprint sucks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Oct 2011 0:50

iPhone 4S speed test: Verizon rocks, Sprint sucks The guys over at iDownloadBlog have put together an unscientific test on the download/browsing speeds of the different iPhone 4S carriers.

What is clear from the video is that Verizon is best browsing experience, AT&T has the quickest raw download speed, and Sprint fails at everything.

Of course, take the video with a grain of salt as it was taken from a single area, where service for each company may not have been "perfect," including the SpeedTest.

Check the video here:




AfterDawn: News

BBC launches global iPlayer for more countries

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Oct 2011 23:41

BBC launches global iPlayer for more countries BBC Worldwide has announced the launch of the global BBC iPlayer App for more countries this week, starting with Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

The player launched in 11 nations in July, and Australia last month.

Subscriptions for the streaming service are ?6.99 a month (or ?64.99 for an annual subscription) and the player is available at bbc.com/iplayer/tv.

iPlayer content come from eight genres: News Specials & Documentaries; Entertainment; Drama; Comedy; Science & Nature; Family & Kids and Music & Culture and Lifestyle.

Matthew Littleford, General Manager for Global iPlayer added:

We're proud to be one of the first international broadcasters to give access to our shows in a perfectly packaged app. Reviews of the app have been overwhelmingly positive since its launch in 11 other Western European countries and in Australia earlier this year.

The extension into Finland, Sweden and Denmark is an important step in our strategy of pursuing multiple platforms for our programmes and brands, taking British programmes to new digital audiences around the world in an innovative, creative and easily accessible format. During this pilot phase we have an exciting vision for what this service could become and will develop it based on feedback from within all markets.




AfterDawn: News

Google kills off useless 'Buzz' service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Oct 2011 22:56

Google kills off useless 'Buzz' service Google has announced the death of Buzz, the company's foray into social networking before Google+.

The network gave the company issues when it automatically opted-in all 200 million Gmail users without asking for permission. Google paid $8.5 million to settle the case.

Says Google of the move:

In a few weeks we'll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won't be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout...

...Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today's announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.


Google Plus has over 40 million users and has been critically applauded for its features.




AfterDawn: News

Apple to sell 4 million iPhone 4S this weekend

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Oct 2011 22:29

Apple to sell 4 million iPhone 4S this weekend Bloomberg is reporting today that Apple is on pace to sell up to 4 million iPhone 4S this weekend, the first weekend of availability.

The phone went on sale today in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. and will easily outpace last year's 1.7 million iPhone 4 sold in the first weekend.

That figure is not too surprising, however, as the iPhone 4S is now available on three of the major carriers in the U.S.; Sprint, AT&T and Verizon. Last year's June launch was only for A&T.

While the average estimate is for 2.5 million sold, Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe set the high with 4 million.

As with past releases, all Apple stores had lines that filled the block with eager buyers.

The news has sent Apple's stock to within pennies of its all-time high at $422 per share, up 14 percent since the death of founder and former CEO Steve Jobs.




AfterDawn: News

Motorola launches Xoom Family for $379

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Oct 2011 15:05

Motorola launches Xoom Family for $379 Motorola has launced their Xoom Family edition today.

The tablet runs on Android 3.1, has a 10.1-inch IPS screen, dual-core 1GHz processor, a 5MP camera and 16GB of internal storage.

Most notably, the price has been dropped to $379 and comes with $40 worth of "family" apps. One app is Kid Zone Zoodles, which doesn't allow kids to access apps unless otherwise allowed by the parent.

Additionally, pre-loaded are SimCity Deluxe, Asphalt 6, Netflix, Quickoffice Pro HD and the "MotoPack."

Best Buy is the exclusive seller beginning on October 16th.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft signs another patent agreement based on Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Oct 2011 14:25

Microsoft signs another patent agreement based on Android Microsoft and Quanta Computers have signed a patent agreement that will cover Android devices.

The agreement will give Quanta coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio and include the company's smartphones, tablets and "any device running the Android or Chrome Platform."

Just like with past agreements Microsoft has made, the company will receive somewhere in the $5-15 range per device sold.

Says Microsoft:

We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Quanta, and proud of the continued success of our Android licensing program in resolving IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome devices in the marketplace.

The patent agreement is another example of the important role IP plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem. Since Microsoft launched its IP licensing program in December 2003, the company has entered into more than 700 licensing agreements and continues to develop programs that make it possible for customers, partners and competitors to access its IP portfolio. The program was developed to open access to Microsoft's significant R&D investments and its growing, broad patent and IP portfolio.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung denied iPhone 4S ban in Netherlands

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Oct 2011 12:47

Samsung denied iPhone 4S ban in Netherlands A Dutch court has rejected Samsung's request for an injunction barring sales of the iPhone 4S for patent violations.

Samsung filed for the injunction in reaction to Apple's barrage of patent lawsuits over various Galaxy smartphones and tablets around the world. Unlike Apple's lawsuits, Samsung's claims revolve around technology essential to mobile phone communications.

Ultimately, that was the reason for the judge's decision. Owners of patents for technology essential to mobile standards are required to offer FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, And Non-Discriminatory) licensing terms to any and all manufacturers.

According to AFP, a panel of judges found that Samsung is "obliged to grant a licence to Apple according to the terms of FRAND for the patents."

Ultimately, this is the same decision expected in other jurisdictions where Samsung has filed similar lawsuits. In fact, lawsuits of this type are exactly the reason FRAND licensing exists.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

What you need to know about AppleCare before buying an iPhone 4S

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Oct 2011 3:17

What you need to know about AppleCare before buying an iPhone 4S Apple has made some changes to the AppleCare extended warranty plan for the iPhone 4S which you should understand before you buy one.

The new plan is called AppleCare+, and is the only extended warranty option available from Apple for the iPhone 4S. This is separate from any replacement plan which may be offered by your carrier.

The primary reason you will need to understand how AppleCare+ works before buying your phone is you can't wait until later to purchase it.

Every new iPhone comes with a limited warranty on the hardware for 1 year and 90 days of technical support. Previously you could purchase AppleCare for your iPhone any time during that first year.

With the iPhone 4S you won't have that option. AppleCare+ must be purchased with the phone.

There is an exception if you pre-ordered the iPhone 4S. In that case, you will have until November 14 to buy an AppleCare+ plan for your new iPhone by calling 1-800-275-2273.

Not every mobile provider will offer AppleCare+ plans to subscribers. An Apple rep told PCMag.com you will still be able to buy a plan directly from them, but you should make sure not to wait until after your phone is activated.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

FCC wants answers about job claims before approving AT&T purchase of T-Mobile

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Oct 2011 2:05

FCC wants answers about job claims before approving AT&T purchase of T-Mobile The FCC has sent a letter to AT&T asking for more details about the number of US jobs which would be created and eliminated by their proposed buyout of T-Mobile USA.

AT&T, the number 2 wireless carrier in the US, is attempting to buy the number 4 carrier from corporate parent Deutsche Telekom. The deal is opposed by the Justice Department on antitrust grounds.

In their letter, FCC commissioners complain that AT&T has "produced almost nothing" in response to their request for details about the affect on jobs in both operations.

Certainly there is reason to be concerned about the matter. AT&T has made a big deal about planning to bring 5,000 call center jobs back to the US which had previously been outsourced to other countries.

At the same time, one of their promises to shareholders was a savings of $10 billion in support costs, which includes call centers, over the next 3 years.

The obvious question, then, is how they plan to save money while increasing payroll. That appears to be exactly what the FCC is looking to answer.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Hulu isn't for sale say owners

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 13 Oct 2011 23:43

Hulu isn't for sale say owners The bidding for Hulu has ended with the company's owners deciding not to sell.

The saga of Hulu's quest for a buyer began in June with an unsolicited offer from Yahoo. In the weeks that followed, other companies, including Google and Amazon got involved.

Eventually Yahoo dropped out of the deal, thanks to the recent corporate shakeup which resulted in the firing of CEO Carol Bartz over the phone.

When the dust settled, the 2 top bidders were reportedly Dish Network and Google. Google offered the most money, but demanded longer guarantees for content than Hulu's controlling owners, News Corp, Disney, and Providence Equity Partners, were interested in.

Dish Network was willing to agree to their terms, but offered significantly less money. In the end, both offers were rejected.

Today a statement was released on the official Hulu blog stating:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung reschedules Nexus Prime event for next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Oct 2011 16:18

Samsung reschedules Nexus Prime event for next week After delaying the launch party of the Nexus Prime (and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich), Samsung has sent out invites for the new release party.

The announcement is set for October 19th in Hong Kong.

Samsung's Nexus Prime will be an ultra-thin 9mm device with a large 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED HD display.

For screenshots of Ice Cream Sandwich, check here: Hello, gorgeous: Ice Cream Sandwich screenshots leaked




AfterDawn: News

Apple granted sales ban against Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 13 Oct 2011 16:14

Apple granted sales ban against Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia Samsung will not be selling the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia in the foreseeable future now that Apple's request for an injunction barring sales of the the tablet has been approved.

The injunction is the latest development in Apple's patent lawsuit filed in April over touchscreen technology. Samsung had agreed to delay the Australian launch of the tablet until Justice Annabelle Bennett ruled on the matter.

The ruling, which prohibits sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 pending a conclusion to the lawsuit, comes less than 2 weeks after Samsung offered Apple a temporary settlement. That offer was rejected last week.

While not the end of the lawsuit, it does appear to have put an end to Samsung's plan to sell the tablet in Australia before Christmas.

Samsung seems to be hoping to change the focus to their own lawsuit against Apple, whom they accuse of violating wireless communications patents. According to the Sidney Morning Herald, a statement from Samsung said:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HP TouchPad gets CyanogenMod alpha

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Oct 2011 15:15

HP TouchPad gets CyanogenMod alpha The CyanogenMod team has ported Android to the HP TouchPad, but the devs are encouraging you not to download it yet.

In public alpha, the ROM is still very buggy, and the devs say most apps probably still don't work.

For now, ClockWorkrecovery, multiboot support, ten-point multitouch, functional WiFi, camera support for video chat and limited GPU acceleration are working now, but are also buggy. Wi-Fi disconnects are aplenty, sleep doesn't really work so battery drain is significant

For a full list of working features and an install guide, check here: [RELEASE][ALPHA][Discussion] CyanogenMod team Touchpad port

AfterDawn will not be putting together a guide on rooting and adding CM7 to your TouchPad until the platform reaches a stable release or at least a beta.




AfterDawn: News

US Senator demands congressional oversight of ACTA

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 13 Oct 2011 14:41

US Senator demands congressional oversight of ACTA Senator Ron Wyden has sent a letter to President Obama protesting the signing of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) as an executive agreement.

The secretly negotiated intellectual property agreement was signed by representatives of 8 countries, including the United States, on October 1. A few parties to the negotations, including the European Union, have yet to add their signatures.

In his letter, Wyden accuses the president of overstepping his authority by entering into an agreement which covers international trade and intellectual property. He explains that authority for both are explicitly assigned to Congress by the US Constitution.

His criticism also extends to the office of the US Trade Representative (USTR), who negotiated ACTA on behalf of the US, for misleading statements about its legality.

He wrote:

The USTR long asserts authority to enter ACTA as a "sole executive agreement" with no congressional authorization or approval. In its latest explanation on this topic, the ISTR stated:

ACTA is consistent with U.S. law and does not require the enactment of implementing legislation. The United States may therefore enter into and carry out the requirements of the Agreement under existing legal authority, just as it has done with other trade agreements.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Here are the 10 most downloaded movies of all-time

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Oct 2011 14:41

Here are the 10 most downloaded movies of all-time TorrentFreak has posted a list of the 10 most pirated films of all-time, using weekly data they have compiled since 2006.

What is clear from the list, however, is that despite being massively pirated, all the films did particulary well at the box office, breaking Hollywood's mantra of "piracy killing ticket sales."

The data is gathered from only public torrent trackers since 2006, so please keep that in mind as there are certainly other ways to pirate movies including private trackers, warez sites, p2p and newsgroups. None of those figures are included.

In first is the highest-banking film of all-time, Avatar, followed by the $1 billion grossing The Dark Knight in second.

The rest of the list:




AfterDawn: News

Lenovo passes Dell for second in PC shipments

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Oct 2011 14:27

Lenovo passes Dell for second in PC shipments According to research firms Gartner and IDC, HP remains the top PC company but for the first time ever Lenovo has moved into second, surpassing Dell.

HP controls 17.7 percent share of PC shipments, up from 17.3 percent last year, says Gartner. IDC has similar numbers, with HP at 18.1 percent.

Lenovo, thanks to a huge influx of laptop sales, moved to 13.5 percent from 11.1 percent last year.

Dell remained about even at 11.6 percent.

While sales have been shrinking for a couple of years due to recession and the development of tablets, IDC says there will likely be a large bounce back next year when "ultrabooks" become mainstream.

Ultrabooks are ultra light notebooks with lots of battery life and network connectivity.




AfterDawn: News

Apple's "Siri" has a sense of humor

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Oct 2011 14:13

Apple's "Siri" has a sense of humor The Verge's Joshua Topolsky has posted a note today about Siri's sense of humor.

Last week, Apple launched the iPhone 4S, a minor hardware upgrade to the iPhone 4 and saw 1 million pre-order sales in just 24 hours.

Along with the iPhone 4S, Apple also launched iOS 5 which adds 200 new features.

One of the main sells of the iPhone 4S is the addition of "Siri," a voice activated personal assistant.

As Apple explains: "Siri on iPhone 4S lets you use your voice to send messages, schedule meetings, place phone calls, and more. Ask Siri to do things just by talking the way you talk. Siri understands what you say, knows what you mean, and even talks back. Siri is so easy to use and does so much, you?ll keep finding more and more ways to use it."

It appears, though, that Apple's Siri has a sense of humor when asked certain questions.

I will post a few here, and you can check the rest here.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry user rejoice, you have service again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Oct 2011 14:00

BlackBerry user rejoice, you have service again After an epic global three-day fail, RIM has confirmed that all BlackBerry services are back up and running.

The outages began in Africa, the Middle East and Asia on Monday but had spread to the U.S. and Canada by yesterday.

RIM says all stalled messages and emails have been sent out to devices so users are warned they may have a large influx today.

Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis did note, however, if you are still having issues you will need to pull the battery of your device, reinsert and then reboot.

The CEOs said they might compensate customers:

That is something we plan to come back to these customers on very soon. ... Our priority right up until this moment (has been) making sure the system's up and running. We're going to fully commit to win that trust back.




AfterDawn: News

redsn0w tethered jailbreak for iOS5 available now

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Oct 2011 13:47

redsn0w tethered jailbreak for iOS5 available now The iPhone Dev Team have now released the updated beta of redsn0w, the popular tethered jailbreak solution for iOS devices, allowing for jailbreaking of iOS 5.

Because it is in beta, the group says the new iPhone 4S is not yet supported but all other eligible devices should be.

Those devices include the iPod Touch 3G, 4G, iPhone 3GS, 4 and iPad 1, 2.

Although it likely works, the group says the beta is intended for "devs of jailbroken apps that want to debug their applications." Regular users are asked to stay away, for now.

For more info on the jailbreak check here: redsn0w iOS5beta

For more info on iOS 5.0 check here: iOS 5 available now




AfterDawn: News

Netflix signs new streaming deals with Warner, CBS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Oct 2011 13:25

Netflix signs new streaming deals with Warner, CBS Netflix has signed new streaming distribution deals with Warner Bros. and CBS today, allowing subscribers to watch shows from The CW.

The deal is good for four years and includes access to the station's most popular programs like "The Vampire Diaries," "Gossip Girl," "One Tree Hill," and "Nikita," "Supernatural," "Ringer," "Hart of Dixie," and "The Secret Circle."

Episodes of previous seasons will be available on October 15th with the exception of Supernatural and 90210 which will start in January.

The deal is worth $1 billion over its life.

Says CBS CEO Les Moonves:

This is a forward-thinking agreement for a network whose programming occupies a unique space in the content marketplace. It is a model that opens a new door for The CW programming to expand its audience reach through the terrific Netflix service, and creates a brand-new window for CBS and Warner Bros. to be paid for the content we supply the network. It also further illustrates how new distribution systems are providing premium content suppliers with additive revenue streams while still preserving traditional monetization windows.




AfterDawn: News

iOS 5 available now

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Oct 2011 0:17

iOS 5 available now Apple has released iOS 5.0 officially today.

The new software update adds 200 new features and can be downloaded for the iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S and iPod Touch 3G, 4G.

A few of the most notable updates are Newsstand, iMessage, Notification Center, Wi-Fi Sync, Twitter and iCloud.

Newsstand updates the iBooks app to include magazine and newspaper subscriptions.

iMessage, similar to Google Talk will allow users with iOS devices to send unlimited instant messages without the need for a texting plan.

The Notification Center, similar to rival Android, will let you swipe down from the top of the screen to see all of your notifications.

For Twitter, iOS has added its own integrated client so you don't have to download third-party app if you don't want.

By far the most important update is the addition of iCloud. iCloud integration gives all users 5GB of free cloud storage to backup your files.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

WD to delay some production due to floods in Thailand

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Oct 2011 16:54

WD to delay some production due to floods in Thailand Western Digital has announced today that production on hard drives will be slowed down in the next quarter due to severe flooding in Bangkok, Thailand.

The HDD maker has a few facilities in the region.

Floods have caused problems in the region, including transportation and utilities and has even flooded worker's homes.

The company did note that all of its 37,000 employees are currently safe.

Last quarter, WD shipped 32 million HDD from its Thai facilities.




AfterDawn: News

Spotify expands to ninth country

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Oct 2011 13:37

Spotify expands to ninth country Spotify has announced today their expansion into Denmark, the ninth nation to get access to the unlimited streaming music service.

The streaming company says there will be three versions available, just like in other regions:

Spotify Free. With an invite, you can enjoy on-demand, buffer-free access to millions of songs on your computer, and great social features. Manage your own music files through Spotify, and sync with your mobile phone or iPod. Features occasional advertising.

Spotify Unlimited. All the special features of our free service, but with uninterrupted, ad-free access to Spotify on your computer. All for only 49kr a month.

Spotify Premium. The top-of-the-range Spotify experience. Premium gives you access to all the music, all the time. Listen online or offline, on your computer, your mobile phone and a whole heap of other devices. Enjoy enhanced sound quality and access to exclusive content, competitions and special offers. Premium costs just 99kr a month and is also available in all 7-Eleven stores in Denmark.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung gets around Dutch sales ban by changing feature on phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Oct 2011 13:17

Samsung gets around Dutch sales ban by changing feature on phone According to the Yonhap news agency, Samsung will replace a feature of their Galaxy smartphones in order to get around a sales ban in the Netherlands.

The feature, which relates to a patent for browsing pictures, will be replaced.

Apple and Samsung have been battling over the past year over smartphone patents, with both companies looking to get sales of the rival's devices banned.

The Dutch injunction on the Galaxy mobile smartphones will start on Thursday so Samsung needs to be quick with their software update.




AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry fail is now global

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Oct 2011 12:33

BlackBerry fail is now global After being hit with outages in Europe, Asia and Africa over the past few days, the BlackBerry outages have now hit home, with Canadian and U.S. users losing access to their email and messaging, as well.

RIM confirmed the outages:

BlackBerry subscribers in the Americas may be experiencing intermittent service delays this [Wednesday] morning. We are working to resolve the situation as quickly as possible and we apologize to our customers for any inconvenience. We will provide a further update as soon as more information is available.


Verizon, Bell Canada and AT&T all noted the outage as well, and said it was up to BlackBerry to fix the problem.

For now, users can expect to experience missed emails followed by flurries of emails as outages switch on and off.




AfterDawn: News

HTC shows off first Mango devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Oct 2011 12:21

HTC shows off first Mango devices Smartphone maker HTC has announced today the launch of their first Windows Phone 7 Mango devices.

The devices, the "Titan" and "Radar," will launch in Taiwan this month and elsewhere in the near future.

Titan has a massive 4.7-inch screen, dual cameras (8MP/1.3MP) and a 1.5GHz Snapdragon processor.

Radar has a 3.8-inch touch screen with 480 x 800 resolution and a 5.0 megapixel camera.

Mango devices integrate Zune music and Xbox Live gaming among many other features.




AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Apple to release 'iPad Mini' next year to compete with Kindle Fire

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Oct 2011 11:51

Rumor: Apple to release 'iPad Mini' next year to compete with Kindle Fire The latest rumor circulating today is that Apple will begin developing an 'iPad Mini' for release next year.

Apple's new tablet will compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire and its $200 price tag.

The report comes from Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White (via AI) who says during his tour of China and Taiwan and meeting with component suppliers there have been discussions of Apple's upcoming lower-priced entry to the tablet market.

White says the device will launch in the first months of 2012, a few months after Amazon's November launch date for the Kindle Fire.

Says the analyst:

We believe this lower priced iPad could be priced in the mid-to-high-$200 range. We expect this will be followed by a much more powerful, feature rich standard-priced iPad 3 in (the second quarter of 2012).




AfterDawn: News

Sony recalls 1.6 million Bravia HDTVs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Oct 2011 11:33

Sony recalls 1.6 million Bravia HDTVs Sony has recalled 1.6 million Bravia HDTVs this week after it was revealed that faulty components could lead to fires.

The TVs were sold in the last 4 years and there have been 11 reported incidents in Japan since 2008. While there have been no injuries, a recent report of a "small fire and smoke" coming from a customer's TV prompted the recall.

Spokesperson Yuki Shima says the faulty components are in the backlight systems. These can lead to overheating, melting of the top of the LCD set, or even a small fire.

Sony has been hit with a number of recalls in the past years including one just last month with 2 million batteries in Sony mobile phones needing to be replaced due to overheating.

While there haven't been any reports outside of Japan, the recall is global.

The models affected are KDL-40D3400, KLD-40D3500, KDL-40D3550, KDL-40D3660, KDL-40V3000, KDL-40W3000, KDL-40X3000 and KDL-40X3500.




AfterDawn: News

Multiple Sony servers attacked, again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Oct 2011 2:04

Multiple Sony servers attacked, again Sony has noted tonight that they have locked down 93,000 user accounts after a new security breach.

Hackers "using very large sets of sign-in IDs and passwords" gained access to 60,000 PSN accounts and 33,000 Sony Online Entertainment accounts.

The attacks occurred throughout the weekend, notes Sony, and affected "less than one-tenth of 1 percent" of all PSN and SOE accounts.

While the hackers did manage to verify sign-in IDs and passwords, credit card info and other personal data were never at risk.

Says Sony Chief Information Security Officer Philip Reitinger (via Cnet):

In this case, given that the data tested against our network consisted of sign-in ID-password pairs, and that the overwhelming majority of the pairs resulted in failed matching attempts, it is likely the data came from another source and not from our Networks.


Making matter worse, the compromised accounts also "showed additional activity prior to being locked," likely meaning unauthorized purchases were made.




AfterDawn: News

Zynga launches 10 more products in its effort to control the social gaming market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Oct 2011 0:49

Zynga launches 10 more products in its effort to control the social gaming market Zynga, the social gaming giant, has launched 10 new products today, their biggest push ever as the company competes to control the market.

The company is behind behemoths like CityVille, MafiaWars on Facebook and Live Hold'Em on iOS and Android.

Zynga has now placed "the world's biggest macro bet on social gaming," says CEO Mark Pincus.

Despite being wildly profitable in 2010, net profit fell to just $1.4 million in the Q2 2011, down 90 percent year-over-year.

Five of the new products are for mobiles and some are HTML5 Facebook titles.

The new games are (via Guardian):

- CastleVille, the latest in the popular "Ville" franchise after FarmVille and CityVille

- Hidden Chronicles, a new genre based on finding hidden objects with friends

- Zynga Bingo joins Zynga Poker as the latest in the new Zynga Casino franchise

- Dream Zoo, the compay's first zoo-themed game

- Mafia Wars 2 launched on Monday, but on Tuesday launched on Facebook rival, Google+

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Roku launches cheaper LT set-top with HBO Go support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Oct 2011 21:02

Roku launches cheaper LT set-top with HBO Go support Roku has unveiled a new $50 set-top box, the LT, which adds HBO Go support.

The device is the cheapest the company offers, with their most expensive (and popular) device, the XL, selling for $100.

As with other set-tops in their line, the LT offers access to 300 channels including Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant, Hulu Plus, Epix, MLB and NHL packages.

Because of its low price, the LT will not have SD card or Bluetooth support.

All of the current Roku boxes will also receive HBO Go support, when the LT hits stores this month. HBO Go gives HBO subscribers a chance to play back all their favorite shows on their computers, tablets, smartphones and set-top boxes.




AfterDawn: News

SlingPlayer optimized for Android tablets released

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Oct 2011 15:13

SlingPlayer optimized for Android tablets released Sling Media has announced the launch of a SlingPlayer that is optimized for Android tablets running Honeycomb.

SlingPlayer lets SlingBox hardware owners "extend" their TV to their tablets.

The new software will take advantage of the larger resolutions of tablets alongside performance boosts.

Sling Media says that "new to this release of SlingPlayer is a revamped program guide that makes it easy to browse content choices while continuing to watch TV." On-screen controls are almost exactly as they are on the big-screen.

Adds the company:

A Slingbox is the perfect accessory to an Android tablet. When combined with SlingPlayer, now anyone with an Android device can enjoy a beautiful, personalized TV experience anywhere in the world.


The Sling Player for Honeycomb app costs $29.99, JPY ¥2600, UK GBP £20.99 or Euro EUR 23.99 in the Android Market.




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile adds Bobsled VoIP service to Android, iOS devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Oct 2011 14:58

T-Mobile adds Bobsled VoIP service to Android, iOS devices T-Mobile has announced today that they are bringing the Bobsled VoIP service to Android and iOS devices.

The service, which is currently for desktop only, was developed by Vivox for the carrier.

Bobsled lets users call Facebook friends for free from your devices, which include tablets and smartphones now.

Instead of having to type a number, Bobsled lets you hit a Facebook friend and call/leave voice message with the other user.

Additionally, on the desktop version, users can now make free calls to any mobile or landline device in the U.S. or Canada.




AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Nexus Prime launch pushed to November 3rd

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Oct 2011 13:50

Rumor: Nexus Prime launch pushed to November 3rd Last week, Google and Samsung shocked the world by postponing the launch of the Nexus Prime.

The device was expected to be "unpacked" today at CTIA.

There was speculation that the postponing was due to the recent death of Apple founder Steve Jobs but there is new speculation that there could be patent issues relating to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which will be officially launched with the device.

Despite the delay, Phandroid, citing a Verizon insider, says the new launch party will be on November 3rd.

The source is said to be confirmed, although Phandroid cannot explain how they did so.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung reveals pricing for Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Oct 2011 13:35

Samsung reveals pricing for Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus Last month, Samsung introduced another small form factor tablet to their Galaxy line.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus has Android 3.2, runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 4G, 16GB or 32GB internal storage and a microSD slot.

Samsung now has a 7-inch tablet, a 7.7-inch model, an 8.9-inch option and a 10.1-inch tablet.

Today, the company has revealed the price in the U.S. for the tablet.

Would-be consumers will have to drop $399 for the 16GB model or $499 for the 32GB version.

it is unclear when the device will hit the U.S. but it is currently available in Europe and Asia.




AfterDawn: News

Even with revenue up huge, Spotify still posted loss for 2010

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Oct 2011 12:50

Even with revenue up huge, Spotify still posted loss for 2010 Spotify, the unlimited music streaming service that launched in the U.S. earlier this year saw a huge growth in revenue in 2010, but still posted a net loss.

Revenue jumped from 11.3 million pounds in 2009 to 63.2 million pounds last year and is expected to jump to 100 million pounds (at least) in 2011 thanks to U.S. exposure.

The streaming service did have a large 26.5 million pound loss for the year, however. In 2009 it had a 16 million pound operating loss.

Most of the growth in revenue came from a jump in European premium subscribers and in advertising.

Spotify has 2 million premium subscribers in Europe. It is unclear how their new American business is performing.




AfterDawn: News

It appears that Apple's iPhone 4S is underclocked to 800MHz

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Oct 2011 12:38

It appears that Apple's iPhone 4S is underclocked to 800MHz While Apple does not reveal the exact specifications of its processing units, it appears that the new dual-core A5 chip in the iPhone 4S is underclocked to 800MHz, 200MHz less than the same chip in the iPad 2.

Despite the clocked speed, Apple has lived up to their advertising claims for the iPhone 4S.

Apple says the iPhone 4S has web browsing speeds twice as fast as the iPhone 4 and "7 times the graphic performance." The SunSpider Javascript benchmark, (run by AnandTech for browser speed) measured the 4S at 2,222ms compared to the iPhone 4's 3,921ms.

For the performance claim, Apple scored 73.1 on the GLBenchmark 2.1 compared to 11.2 for the iPhone 4.

Given the benchmark tests, the site believes the clock speed to be around 800Mhz, but as a dual-core it has significant improvements from the A4, which was underclocked to 800MHz, as well, albeit with a single core.




AfterDawn: News

Interest in Google+ plummets after promising start

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 11 Oct 2011 9:50

Interest in Google+ plummets after promising start Google+ may end up being just another failed experiment in social networking if recent traffic figures are any indication.

Even before the beta of Google+ opened to the public last month, there were signs of trouble. Traffic had already been stagnant since July for the invitation-only version of the service.

There was a traffic spike of more than 1000 percent after Google+ opened to the public, but it wasn't clear whether that would last.

It's one thing to generate interest for a new product. It's another entirely to truly compete with a market leader like Facebook. Even with their September gains, Google+ wasn't even a blip on Facebook's radar.

According to Chitika, an advertising analytics firm, that spike was short lived. In fact, it appears the influx of new users had absolutely no long term affect on traffic, which later returned to a level similar to the private beta phase.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Rumor: New Apple TV will have A5, 1080p support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Oct 2011 1:35

Rumor: New Apple TV will have A5, 1080p support According to new references found in the iOS 5 code, Apple's next Apple TV set-top box will likely add a dual-core A5 processor and 1080p support for the first time.

The A5 processor was just introduced for the new iPhone 4S and has been in the iPad 2 since the Spring.

Currently, the Apple TV is model 2,1, says VB, while the software refers to 3,1.

Thanks to the new processor, 1080p playback will finally be supported as the A4 could only handle up to 720p.

A new Apple TV wouldn't be expected until 2012.




AfterDawn: News

Barnes & Nobles removes DC graphic novels from stores following Amazon deal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Oct 2011 21:38

Barnes & Nobles removes DC graphic novels from stores following Amazon deal Following DC Entertainment's exclusive deal to bring graphic novels to the upcoming Kindle Fire, rival Barnes & Nobles has now removed 100 graphic novels from its brick-and-mortar stores.

A few of the most notable books are "Watchmen," "Batman: Arkham City" and "Superman: Earth One."

The move is the first time the retailer has been forced to remove books thanks to a rival's decision. B&N says it won't sell titles in-store that it cannot sell in all formats, and that remains a firm policy.

Says DC Entertainment (via WSJ):

We are disappointed that Barnes & Noble has made the decision to remove these books off their shelves and make them unavailable to their customers.

DC Entertainment will continue to make our content available to our fans and new readers through multiple distribution channels including independent bookstores, locally owned comic book retailers and other widespread means such as online through Amazon and through our apps on iOS and select Android-powered devices as well as new and exciting devices going forward.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Motorola expected to unveil Xoom 2, Droid RAZR next Tuesday

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 10 Oct 2011 16:02

Motorola expected to unveil Xoom 2, Droid RAZR next Tuesday Motorola Mobility and Verizon will be holding a press event next week in New York City where they may be unveiling 4 new products.

A new video on Motorola's official YouTube channel includes a comment promising "Four reasons to get excited." The video is ambiguous about nearly everything but the date of the presentation scheduled for October 18.

One of the images in the video, a razor blade, seems to hint at one of the devices to be officially announced. Pictures of the Droid RAZR, also rumored to be called the Droid HD or Droid Spyder leaked last month.

A primary focus of the event could be Motorola's upcoming tablet, the Xoom 2. Like the Droid RAZR, pictures of a tablet believed to be the Xoom 2 have appeared on the web recently.

The Xoom 2 is believed to be 9mm thick, compared to almost 13mm for the original version. That would explain the video's allusion to something thinner.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

RIM confirms global BlackBerry outages

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Oct 2011 15:33

RIM confirms global BlackBerry outages RIM has admitted today that European, Middle Eastern and African customers may be experiencing service issues.

In the affected regions, carriers are calling the "service issues" total outages, however.

The maker of BlackBerrys tweeted today: "@BlackBerryHelp Some users in EMEA are experiencing issues. We're investigating, and we apologise for any inconvenience."

"We apologize to any of our customers in Europe, Middle East & Africa still experiencing issues. We'll bring you an update as soon as we can."


Due to the Columbus Day holiday in the U.S. and Thanksgiving holiday in Canada, RIM is understaffed for the issue.

Because RIM's BlackBerry services are managed by RIM's centralized servers outages would stop users from receiving their emails, a potentially catastrophic issue.




AfterDawn: News

'Mass Effect 3' will be first in series with multiplayer

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Oct 2011 14:47

'Mass Effect 3' will be first in series with multiplayer Confirming the rumors, BioWare has said today that Mass Effect 3 will be the first in the series with multiplayer components.

Reads a tweet from the company: "Full details soon, so wait until then before making your decision. We think you'll like it!"

The rumored was introduced when Official Xbox Magazine posted a report this week, albeit without specifics.

Earlier this year, at the E3 event, the developer made it clear that the game was moving in a new direction from previous in the series.

Mass Effect 3 launches next year, and the article in OXM should be available when the December edition hits newsstands.




AfterDawn: News

Apple: 1 million iPhone 4S sold on first day of pre-order

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Oct 2011 13:38

Apple: 1 million iPhone 4S sold on first day of pre-order Apple has announced today that iPhone 4S per-orders have topped 1 million on their first day of availability, beating out the record previously set by the iPhone 4.

That previous record was 600,000, in June 2010.

Says Apple of the achievement:

We are blown away with the incredible customer response to iPhone 4S. The first day pre-orders for iPhone 4S have been the most for any new product that Apple has ever launched and we are thrilled that customers love iPhone 4S as much as we do.


While the number does seem impressive, it is important to note that Apple's iPhone 4 pre-order period was cut short last year due to an AT&T technical glitch.

Additionally, there are now 90 new carriers with access to the device, which means pre-orders may not be as huge as the number suggests.

More info on the device here: Apple unveils iPhone 4S




AfterDawn: News

Dual-Core, LTE Windows Phone 7 devices coming soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Oct 2011 13:00

Dual-Core, LTE Windows Phone 7 devices coming soon Windows Phone boss Andy Lees has said today that dual-core, LTE-supporting Windows Phone 7 devices are coming soon, as the company pushes its way back into smartphone relevancy.

Notes Lees:

We're not making specific predictions but I think that our momentum is going to build. Our first [release] was about mindshare, and really getting the credibility, and I think [Mango] is really about starting to build unit volume and market share.


The exec says the phone platform is in a good position against the competition, Apple's iOS and Google's Android.

When asked about when dual-core, LTE devices are coming, Lees says soon. He also explains how current devices hold up:

They're all single core, but I suspect that they will be faster in usage than any dual-core phone that you put against it, and that's the point.

The first LTE phones were big and big (users) of the battery, and I think it's possible to do it in a way that is far more efficient, and that's what we will be doing.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony updates PS3 Blu-ray remote to have TV controls

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Oct 2011 12:20

Sony updates PS3 Blu-ray remote to have TV controls Later this month, Sony will release an updated version of its PS3/Blu-ray remote control, one that adds TV controls.

Additionally, the controller should make it easier to use Netflix via Sony devices, says the company.

The new controller has TV and Volume controls and the other standard features of the remote, including PS3 controls (including shoulders buttons).

Sony released the controller in Japan all the way back in March and is now releasing it in the U.S.

Expected price is $25-30.

Check the controller here.




AfterDawn: News

Researchers say DRM drives away legitimate customers

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 10 Oct 2011 11:41

Researchers say DRM drives away legitimate customers According to research set to be published in the November-December issue of Marketing Science, DRM drives some consumers to piracy but doesn't affect those who were already predisposed to it.

Dinah Vernik from the Jones Graduate School of Business at Rice University along with Devavrat Purohit and Preyas Desai of Duke's Fuqua School of Business came to a number of conclusions which directly contradict entrenched positions in the entertainment industry.

If you have ever read or heard a statement from an executive at a record label, movie studio, or book publisher, you're likely familiar with the set of assumptions:

  1. Piracy is the biggest threat to sales
  2. Deterring piracy will mean higher profits
  3. DRM restrictions reduce piracy


Obviously, if you buy into these assumptions, the logical conclusion is that more DRM means less piracy and higher profits. As the Duke and Rice researchers show, none of these things should actually be assumed.

Although their research was restricted to music, they say their findings apply equally to other types of content, such as video and e-books. Their principle finding was that DRM doesn't reduce piracy. In fact, they found it has just the opposite effect.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix kills off idea for splitting streaming, DVD-by-mail

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Oct 2011 11:15

Netflix kills off idea for splitting streaming, DVD-by-mail Last month, Netflix outraged subscribers by announcing that they would be splitting the DVD-by-mail and streaming services of their company.

The new company for DVDs, called Qwikster, would have its own login portal and would require subscribers to log in to both Netflix and Qwikster if they want to change their respective queues.

This move came on top of the already unpopular decision by Netflix to raise prices on those that wanted both services, from $9 to $16.

Today, Netflix has shut down the idea for Qwikster, based on user feedback.

Says CEO Reed Hastings (via Bloomberg):

Consumers value the simplicity Netflix has always offered and we respect that. There is a difference between moving quickly -- which Netflix has done very well for years -- and moving too fast, which is what we did in this case.


Users can switch their DVD and streaming queue from Netflix.com as usual, with their usual login.




AfterDawn: News

EA "loves" the Wii U

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Oct 2011 23:10

EA "loves" the Wii U Peter Moore, Electronic Arts' (EA) COO, has said today that the company loves the Wii U and expects it to be successful.

The console was shown off to great enthusiasm at this year's E3 event.

Nintendo's upcoming console has a small tablet for a controller, and HD resolution.

Says Moore:

There are no indications that there's anything that feels like it's off target. From our perspective right now, specs are a big deal.


Moore will make a trip to Japan this month in an effort to gain more insight into the console's graphic and computer processing units, along with its price and potential release date.

Concludes Moore (Reuters):
No one thinks its going to replace an iPad 2 but it is playing into what a consumer feels comfortable with. Our teams are working on it around the world. Our key franchises will be there. We've made that commitment to Nintendo.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix signs deal to add 'The Walking Dead'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Oct 2011 21:25

Netflix signs deal to add 'The Walking Dead' Netflix has announced this weekend that they have signed a new licensing agreement to stream AMC's hit zombie show "The Walking Dead."

The streaming company will have the exclusive rights in the United States and Canada.

Additionally, Netflix will have the non-exclusive rights for more AMC, IFC and Sundance Channel content.

Thanks to previous deals, Netflix streams "Mad Men" and "Breaking Bad," the two most popular shows on AMC.

While adding content at a blistering pace, Netflix has seen a reversal of fortune this year after a few key business moves. In the summer, they announced that the very popular streaming/1-DVD-out plan would no longer be available for $9 and instead would be split into two $8 services. Netflix then completely spun-off its DVD service, naming the new platform Qwikster.

Netflix's stock has fallen from $300 to $115 since June following the announcements.




AfterDawn: News

Almost all U.S. adults aged 18-24 use social media

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Oct 2011 19:59

Almost all U.S. adults aged 18-24 use social media According to Experian Simmons, about 129 million people of the U.S. population uses social media.

That figure amounts to 41 percent of the entire population of the nation.

98 percent of online users, aged 18-24, use social media, an astounding number, while 97 percent of adults aged 24-34 use the platforms. Even the older generation, 65 and older, have 73 percent of people using social media.

It is unclear exactly how these figures are calculated but Experian "claims it uses leading technologies to format, cleanse and load data that is acquired directly from government sources and industry leading vendors," says TNW.

A few other notable statistics include the fact that 46 percent of online adults use social media to communicated with friends, up from just 32 percent in 2009 and 30 percent of Hispanic consumers saying they use social media to follow companies and music artists, compared to 18 percent for non-Hispanic population.




AfterDawn: News

Hulu Plus is going big time, says CEO

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Oct 2011 0:07

Hulu Plus is going big time, says CEO Hulu CEO Jason Killar has noted today that premium subscription service Hulu Plus will soon amount to over half of the company's revenue.

Free Hulu allows users to stream the last 3-5 episodes of a current season, while Hulu Plus offers full back catalogs. Both services have ads.

Hulu has content from Fox, ABC and NBC.

Killar says Hulu Plus reached one million paying subscribers in August:

Based on our research, we believe this represents the fastest ramp ever to 1 million paid subscribers among any video subscription service in the US.


The service is also now available in Japan and on 120 million devices including mobile devices, tablets and Blu-ray players.

Hulu Plus costs $8 per month with no contract.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix looking to revive Reno 911!

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Oct 2011 21:30

Netflix looking to revive Reno 911! It appears that movie streaming giant Netflix is looking to revive the Comedy Central comedy "Reno 911!"

Netflix's chief creative officer Ted Sarandos has had meetings with Reno 911! producers Michael Shamberg and Stacy Sher, although that is as far as the process has gone. The show was cancelled in 2009.

For now, the lead stars of the show, Thomas Lennon, Kerri Kenney-Silver and Robert Ben Garant, have not signed any deal that would lead to them returning but they absolutely could.

Additionally, Comedy Central still retains the rights to the show. Netflix would have first run rights, but eventually syndicated episodes would be available back on Comedy Central, say industry insiders.

Netflix has been in headlines recently for their bidding war with Showtime over new episodes of the extremely popular but cancelled show "Arrested Development."




AfterDawn: News

Sony Pictures already acquiring rights for Steve Jobs film

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Oct 2011 21:04

Sony Pictures already acquiring rights for Steve Jobs film Sony Pictures is preparing a very large bid to acquire the feature rights to the upcoming "Steve Jobs" biography written by CNN chairman and Time Magazine managing editor Walter Isaacson.

The deal is expected to be at least "$1 million against $3 million" for the rights and Mark Gordon seems to be signed up to produce. Gordon is best known for Saving Private Ryan.

Sony Pictures recently put together the Social Network and Moneyball based off popular books so the new move seems to be a "good fit."

Isaacson's book was set for a November 21st release but following the passing of Jobs this week, the book's release date has been pushed to October 24th.

"Steve Jobs" is the only autobiography ever authorized by the former Apple CEO.




AfterDawn: News

200,000 iPhone 4S sold in first 12 hours

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Oct 2011 16:20

200,000 iPhone 4S sold in first 12 hours AT&T has revealed that 200,000 Apple iPhone 4S were sold in the first 12 hours of availability.

The carrier is seeing "extraordinary demand" for the smartphone, which was revealed the day before the passing of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs.

Verizon and Sprint did not reveal pre-order figures but demand is expected to be strong for both carriers, as well. Sprint is a first-time entry into the iPhone market.

The iPhone set the record last June, with 1.7 million devices being sold in the first 72 hours. This was when AT&T was the exclusive carrier.

Apple is expected to sell 27 million iPhones this quarter.




AfterDawn: News

Drone pilot's computers hit with keylogger

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Oct 2011 15:25

Drone pilot's computers hit with keylogger Although unconfirmed by the military, it appears that the computers used to control Reaper and Predator drones have been hit by a nasty keylogger.

The drone control facility, located at Nevada's Creech Air Force Base, controls the unmanned flights on missions into Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and other nations.

Because of the nature of the missions, computers at the base are not allowed to be connected to the Internet, in an effort to block hacking or the infection of malware. The Creech base, however, is one of few permitted to use USB flash drives to transfer mission data between computers.

It is this special permission that seems to have allowed the computers to become infected.

For now, the keylogger has not cause any issues (as all it does is record keystrokes) but the base is having issues removing it from the system. Flights are still being manned remotely, day in and day out.




AfterDawn: News

15 percent of Americans own e-readers, many more want

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Oct 2011 14:59

15 percent of Americans own e-readers, many more want According to the latest poll from Harris Interactive, 15 percent of Americans currently own an e-reader while at least another 15 percent want to purchase one in the near future (six months).

The ownership figure was just 8 percent last year.

Adds Regina A. Corso, director of the Harris Poll (via BizR):

Overall, two in five Americans (40%) read 11 or more books a year with one in five reading 21 or more books in a year (19%). But among those who have an e-reader, over one-third read 11-20 books a year (36%) and over one-quarter read 21 or more books in an average year (26%).


The research makes the obvious conclusion that e-readers are the future.

There will always be a place for books in hard cover or paperback. But, there must also be a place for reading devices as well. Readers are quickly catching on to this wave as have the booksellers. This is a huge transition time for publishing companies and how they adapt will determine who is still standing ten years from now.




AfterDawn: News

Dell backing out of all their WP7 Mango devices?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Oct 2011 2:48

Dell backing out of all their WP7 Mango devices? According to sources, Dell may be backing out of their planned Windows Phone 7 Mango devices.

It appears that the computer giant could even be considering dropping out of WP7 devices, in general.

A leaked roadmap earlier this year showed Dell was developing an updated Venue Pro but that seems to be scratched for now.

According to a "high ranking exec" in Dell, the company will not offer any WP devices until Windows Phone 8 Apollo. The company will, however, continue support for the Venue Pro.

All existing WP7 devices will be updated to Mango, soon.




AfterDawn: News

111 arrested in massive NYC identity theft ring

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2011 21:22

111 arrested in massive NYC identity theft ring 111 men and women were arrested tonight for their part in a massive identity theft ring.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown called the fraud case the largest he'd ever seen, and that the police were still seeking more to arrest. Five "criminal enterprises" were taken down, and theose arrested have been hit with hundreds of criminal charges.

The fraud, based in Queens, has been operating since at least 2010 and involved bank tellers, restaurant employees and other service employees.

Thousands were robbed from in a ring that stretched as far as China and the Middle East.

Like in past identity theft scams, the criminals would first steal the credit card numbers and relevant info when the customer paid, for example, for dinner at a restaurant. Those numbers were then passed on to "manufacturers" who forge forge Visas, MasterCards, Discover and American Express cards onto blank cards.

The forged cards would then be given to "shoppers," usually younger, pretty women who spend upwards of $1000 at a time at high-end luxury stores. That merchandise was then resold oversees to Chinese, European and the Middle Eastern customers.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sprint just about nails Clearwire's coffin shut

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2011 20:48

Sprint just about nails Clearwire's coffin shut Sprint has said today that they will stop selling smartphones and modems that are compatible with Clearwire's WiMax 4G at the end of 2012.

The carrier is expected to transition to its own higher-speed 4G network at that time.

Following the move, Clearwire's stock fell to an all-time low at $1.32, down 30 percent from yesterday.

Sprint is by far Clearwire's largest customer and Sprint is a majority owner of the 4G network.

President of network operations, Steve Elfman, says Sprint's own 4G network will be as large as Clearwire's by the end of 2012, and significantly larger by the end of 2013.

Sprint is moving to LTE, the same network spectrum used by AT&T and Verizon.




AfterDawn: News

Mobile app downloads to almost top 100 billion by 2015

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2011 17:26

Mobile app downloads to almost top 100 billion by 2015 According to new figures by Berg Insight, mobile app downloads will reach 98 billion by 2015.

The number will compound at a rate of 56.6 percent from 2010 to 2015.

Revenue from app stores like the Android Market and iOS App Store will jump to $11.8 billion by 2015, as well.

In 2010, that revenue (paid apps, in-app upgrades, subs) grew exponentially to $2.15 billion.

Into the future, Apple will remain the the largest "direct monetizing force behind of mobile applications," with Android in second and Windows Phone in third.

The report also notes that HTML5 "apps" will eventually rule, but until 2015, downloadable apps, based on Flash, Java and other libraries will continue to grow.




AfterDawn: News

FCC chairman announces plan to increase broadband availability in US

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Oct 2011 16:53

FCC chairman announces plan to increase broadband availability in US Yesterday FCC Chairmain Julius Genachowski outlined a plan he says will increase broadband Internet penetration in rural parts of the US, delivering service to 18 million people.

The plan he is proposing would involve major changes to rules for the Universal Service Fund (USF) and Intercarrier Compensation (ICC) system, both of which were created to subsidize rural phone service.

Explaining his position on the current USF rules, he said:

USF is outdated. It still focuses on the telephone, while high-speed Internet is rapidly becoming our essential communications platform not only for voice, but for text and video, and is an indispensable platform for innovation and job creation.


He was even more critical of the ICC system:

Like USF, the current ICC system is unfair to American consumers: It forces hundreds of millions of consumers across the country to pay higher bills to subsidize monthly local telephone bills as low as $8 for other consumers. The current ICC system is also creating substantial uncertainty and widespread disputes, which are being fought in courthouses and state commissions throughout the country, about the proper treatment of Voice over IP traffic for ICC purposes. And ICC hasn't adapted to technology and marketplace changes, creating competitive distortions and loopholes that companies have exploited in devious ways to game the system.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Swype acquired for over $100 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2011 16:43

Swype acquired for over $100 million Swype, the popular smartphone input technology, has been acquired today for $102.5 million by Nuance.

Nuance is the company behind the FlexT9 keyboard, software that lets users speak, trace, write or tap "Dragon dictation" and "T9 predictive text input technologies" on Android tablets and phones.

Says one analyst of the move (via Reuters):

Nuance is bulking up on the mobile front so that they can have a bigger presence on the next-generation handsets. They can't just stand by and just stick to their core competency of being a voice recognition technology player on mobile.


Swype has quickly become the most popular alternative keyboard for Android and Symbian although rivals are a plenty. TouchType Ltd's SwiftKey X Keyboard, Dasur Ltd's SlideIT Keyboard, Beansoft's Thumb Keyboard and Dexilog LLC's Smart Keyboard Pro are just a few that have gained traction in the past year.

The move is also seen as a way for Nuance to acquire significant patents and create a nicer offering to OEM handset providers.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung and Google postpone Nexus Prime event

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Oct 2011 15:19

Samsung and Google postpone Nexus Prime event Samsung and Google have postponed the much anticipated unveiling of the new Nexus Prime smartphone.

Although they were a little vague on the details, a statement from Samsung indicates they have cancelled the entire Samsung Mobile Unpacked event where the new phone was set to be unveiled in San Diego. Based on its wording, most people are speculating Samsung felt it would be inappropriate to have a big product announcement so soon after the news of Steve Jobs' death.

Samsung's statement on the postponement reads (via BoyGeniusReport):

Samsung and Google have decided to postpone the Samsung Mobile Unpacked event during the CTIA in San Diego, previously scheduled for Oct. 11. Under the current circumstances, both parties have agreed that this is not the appropriate time for the announcement of a new product. We would ask for the understanding of our clients and media for any inconvenience caused. We will announce a new date and venue in due course.


Much of the anticipation over the event was over the phone's use of the new Android release, Ice Cream Sandwich. For now you will have to satisfy your curiosity with screenshots which have already been leaked.




AfterDawn: News

Hello, gorgeous: Ice Cream Sandwich screenshots leaked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2011 14:34

Hello, gorgeous: Ice Cream Sandwich screenshots leaked While Samsung and Google have postponed their Nexus Prime event next week in an apparent show of respect for Steve Jobs, that didn't stop some screenshots of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich from being leaked.

Crunch has 7 shots of the upcoming firmware, and it looks fantastic.

The software update is supposed to blend 3.0 Honeycomb (tablets) with 2.3 Gingerbread (smartphones) while adding new features.

Eventually, the software should integrate Google TV.

Check the pics here, as the world waits for the official launch of the software:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

YouTube starts movie rentals in the UK

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2011 14:10

YouTube starts movie rentals in the UK YouTube has now launched its movie rental service in the UK, the third such region to gain access.

Earlier this year, Google introduced the rentals to Canadian and U.S. users.

For now, there are 1000 different titles including indies and big-ticket films.

Rentals will be somewhat expensive, however, costing £2.49 (USD $3.87) to £3.49 (USD $5.42) for a 48 hour window.

The movies are synced with your YouTube account so you can access it anywhere with Internet during that two day period.

Furthermore, Google says you can access the movie through Google TV devices, Honeycomb tablets and "some" Android phones.

Adds YouTube (via Crunch)

We've got some cracking films to keep everyone entertained through the upcoming winter months and beyond. From blockbusters like The Dark Knight and Reservoir Dogs, to new releases such as Hanna, Fast Five, and Red Riding Hood, and even British classics like Monty Python's The Meaning of Life and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.




AfterDawn: News

Sony hopes for better integration between handsets and content

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Oct 2011 13:12

Sony hopes for better integration between handsets and content Sony's offer to buy Ericsson's stake in the two companies' joint handset operation for a reported $1.3 billion may hint at plans for smartphone content offerings.

Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications was founded 10 years ago as a joint venture between the two companies, combining the handset divisions from both. They are currently engaged in scheduled negotiations over the company's future.

One analyst believes Sony's intent is to create better synergy with their other divisions. According to Reuters, JP Morgan's Yoshiharu Izumi said, "Up to now Sony's products and network services have all been separate. Unifying them would be positive."

Sony is the only company in the world to be a major player in nearly every aspect of movie, television, and music production, as well as selling nearly every type of device you might use to consume their content.

Despite that apparent advantage, they have generally done a poor job of creating synergies between those different divisions for content distribution. For example, Sony lagged significantly behind Microsoft in offering movies and TV shows through their game consoles.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ruling on Galaxy Tab ban in Australia likely next week

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Oct 2011 11:13

Ruling on Galaxy Tab ban in Australia likely next week An Australian judge may rule on Apple's request for a preliminary injunction barring sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 next week.

Since April of this year, Apple has waged a campaign of lawsuits around the world seeking to ban the sales of various Samsung products, claiming they infringe on touch screen patents and "slavishly copy" designs for the iPhone and iPad.

It was speculated the ruling could come this week after arguments were wrapped up on Tuesday. According to Reuters, it is now expected next week, perhaps as early as Monday.

Last week Samsung offered a temporary licensing agreement with Apple which would have allowed them to release the tablet with minor modifications, but still utilizing some of the disputed technology. Apple turned down the deal, saying they prefer to "maintain the status quo."

Reactions to a Q3 earnings estimate released today illustrate just how important the tablet and smartphone markets are to Samsung. Strong sales in those categories have partially offset reduced revenue from displays and memory by the electronics giant.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPhone 4S available for pre-order in the US

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Oct 2011 10:18

iPhone 4S available for pre-order in the US As of today, the iPhone 4S is available for pre-order US carriers AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint. If you prefer, you can also buy directly from Apple.

Pre-orders will be delivered on October 14, the same day as the official US launch. Prices start at $199 for the 16GB model. For $100 more you can get a 32GB version, and the new top of the line model with 64GB of storage costs $399.

Of course, the release of a new iPhone normally means discounted prices for the previous model are on the horizon. Currently AT&T and Verizon are both selling the 8GB iPhone 4 for $99, the 16GB model for $149, and the 32GB model for $199.

Those prices will likely drop some time after the iPhone 4S is actually available. AT&T is currently giving away the iPhone 3GS with a 2 year contract.

In fact, while Apple has been criticized for failing to add a low end phone to their lineup, market research from earlier this year suggests the previous year's model fills that niche already. At that time, sales of the iPhone 3GS in the US were second only to the iPhone 4.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

CinemaNow adds 1080p films to catalog

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2011 2:50

CinemaNow adds 1080p films to catalog Thanks to its Intel Insider tech, Best Buy's CinemaNow has now added 1080p HD films to its digital download catalog.

The films will be from Warner Bros. and Fox.

Intel Insider "is a hardware-based security technology in second-generation Intel Core processors, which is the fastest-shipping Intel product with more than 75 million units shipped to date," says THR.

Reads a statement from Warner Bros. Digital Distribution:

CinemaNow and Intel are making secure HD content distribution a reality on the personal computer.


Adds 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment:

The partnership with Intel and Best Buy's CinemaNow to bring HD digital downloads of our movies to the PC will expand our reach to millions of devices in the U.S. and potentially more around the world.


CinemaNow has 15,000 TV shows and movies, in standard definition.




AfterDawn: News

Sony preparing to buy out Ericsson stake in phone venture

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2011 2:33

Sony preparing to buy out Ericsson stake in phone venture Sony is said to be near a deal to buy out Ericsson's half of the joint smartphone venture Sony Ericsson.

The company is looking to reunify its brand, one that has been split in past years.

Tablets, gaming devices and consumer electronics have been sold under the Sony name while smartphone and media players have been sold under the Sony Ericsson brand.

The 10-year pact between the companies comes up for renewal this month, but it appears unlikely it will be renewed if Sony can get a good price.

A deal could be valued at as high as $1.3 billion, dependent on Ericsson's telecoms patents.

The joint venture lost an astounding 836 million euros in 2010.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon to allow customers to remove "special offers" ads from new Kindles for a price

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Oct 2011 23:32

Amazon to allow customers to remove "special offers" ads from new Kindles for a price Earlier this month, Amazon announced its new line of Kindle e-readers, including Touch models and their long-awaited tablet, the Kindle Fire.

Perhaps equally as notable was the pricing on the devices, including a new low, $79, for the new Wi-Fi Kindle (non-touch). The price is so low because the device includes Amazon's "special offers" ads, ads that scroll when the device is turned on and during screen savers but never during reading or shopping.

Amazon has noted today that users can pay up to have those ads removed permanently, for the price of $30 (the difference in price of the non-special-offers Kindle).

The process is easy and can be done from your Amazon account page. Hit the "Manage your Kindle" tab and then the "Manage your Devices" option. From there simply unsubscribe from Special Offers and you will be charged $30.

Removing the Special Offers is only available on the brand-new keyboard-less $79 Kindle and the $99 Kindle Touch.




AfterDawn: News

WD reveals updated TV Live set-top box

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Oct 2011 22:45

WD reveals updated TV Live set-top box Western Digital has introduced its updated TV Live set-top box today, this time adding support for Spotify.

For Spotify, premium subscribers can stream 15 million songs in 320 kbps quality.

The 802.11n Wi-Fi device also has streaming access to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora, YouTube and many other channels. As in the past, the WD TV Live will play a wide variety of file formats, notably MKV, in full 1080p.

Additionally, WD has shown off their updated WD TV Live Hub, a similar set-top box that also includes 1TB of internal storage. The Hub will require ethernet, however.

Both boxes will also launch with a new "intuitive user interface."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Intel's Core i7-2700K overclocked to 5GHz with just air cooling

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Oct 2011 15:13

Intel's Core i7-2700K overclocked to 5GHz with just air cooling Although it won't hit retailers until later this year, the Intel Core i7-2700K processor has already been overclocked to 5GHz, with just air cooling.

The processor used in the experiment was an engineering sample chip used by Intel's partners.

To overclock to such an extreme, the vCore of the CPU was pushed to 1.384V while its multiplier and BCLK clock were set at 50x and 100MHz, respectively, says Soft.

The upcoming Core i7-2700K was built by Intel to replace the flagship Sandy Bridge 2600K.

At its base, the new CPU will have a clock speed of 3.5GHz.




AfterDawn: News

Sony secures financing from Abu Dhabi to fund their bid for EMI

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Oct 2011 13:29

Sony secures financing from Abu Dhabi to fund their bid for EMI Sony has confirmed it has secured financing from Abu Dhabi to fund their bid for EMI, the fourth largest record label in the world.

Backed by the Abu Dhabi investment fund Mubadala, the company should be able to better compete against other serious bidders which include UMG and WMG, the largest labels in the world.

The current owner of the label is Citigroup, which was forced to take over the company after the old owners could not pay their debts.

Citi is looking for $3 billion for the label.

EMI has labels like Capitol and Virgin, and notable artists like Coldplay and the Beatles.




AfterDawn: News

Rdio is now free and without ads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Oct 2011 12:58

Rdio is now free and without ads Popular music streaming service Rdio has now gone free and without ads.

Anybody using a free plan will have a meter of how much free music they can stream a month, which then refills on the 1st of the next month.

Strangely, there is no set amount of music available. It varies based on how much you listen in a given month.

Just like rival Spotify, the free plan gives access to the desktop version of the software and mobile access will cost a premium.

If you want a premium subscription, its $5 per month for unlimited browser/desktop access and $10 for unlimited browser/desktop, smartphone/tablet streaming and wireless sync for offline listening.

For families, friends, etc, there is a special $18 for 2 or $23 for 3 deal available.




AfterDawn: News

Are these the Nexus Prime specs?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Oct 2011 11:50

Are these the Nexus Prime specs? Sources are posting the alleged specs of the upcoming Samsung Nexus Prime, set for launch on Tuesday.

If accurate, the device will be a Verizon exclusive and come with Ice Cream Sandwich, the first device to do so.

Additionally, the ultra-thin 9mm device will have a large 4.65-inch 1280 x 720 Super AMOLED HD display.

The phone will be powered by a Texas Instrument's 1.2GHz OMAP 4460 dual-core Cortex A9 and 1GB RAM.

32GB integrated storage is standard, as are dual cameras (1.3MP/5MP). The device will be LTE 4G capable and will include WiFi a/b/g/n and NFC (with Google Wallet already installed).

We will report on the event next week.




AfterDawn: News

HTC preparing a patch for huge Android exploit

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Oct 2011 23:48

HTC preparing a patch for huge Android exploit HTC is working on an emergency patch to send to affected Android devices.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that a recent HTC update for its Android phones had left the devices wide open for attack and the leak of personal info. More info here: HTC under fire for smartphone privacy vulnerability

Says HTC:

In our ongoing investigation into this recent claim, we have concluded that while this HTC software itself does no harm to customers' data, there is a vulnerability that could potentially be exploited by a malicious third-party application.

Following a short testing period by our carrier partners, the patch will be sent over-the-air to customers, who will be notified to download and install it. We are working very diligently to quickly release a security update that will resolve the issue on affected devices.


The HTC Sense UI flaw comes thanks to the addition of the HTCLogger.apk file, which stores data used for customer support and troubleshooting.




AfterDawn: News

Google's purchase of ITA cleared by judge

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Oct 2011 22:33

Google's purchase of ITA cleared by judge In April, the Department of Justice approved Google's $700 million purchase of ITA Software, the world's largest flight data company.

As part of the approval, Google had to accept certain restrictions, however. One of the major restrictions was that Google must continue to license ITA software to airfare sites "on commercially reasonable terms" and must promise to continue enhancing the software "in a manner consistent" with ITA's development over the past decade.

Google must also use an internal firewall that will block the company from gaining "competitively sensitive information" off of ITA customers.

Today, a U.S. judge has cleared the purchase, as Google has satisfied all the necessary requirements.

U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins says the agreement is now in "the public interest."




AfterDawn: News

India to sell 100,000 tablets priced at $22

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Oct 2011 21:28

India to sell 100,000 tablets priced at $22 Kapil Sibal, India's telecommunications minister has said today that the government will sell 100,000 tablets at 1,100 rupees ($22 USD) in an effort to boost computer literacy.

The government will first buy the devices from DataWind for 2250 rupees ($46 USD) and then sell the tablets at a subsidized price to schools in the nation.

India will then purchase 10 million tablets over the next 5 years.

The country has one of smallest computer penetration rates, with only 4.2 for every 100 Indians.

Says one analyst (via Bloomberg):

It's going to increase the desirability of computing devices for people who wanted them but couldn't afford the price tag. People who are using this device are not going to get the seamless experience of an iPad or a Samsung. There's no comparison.


The Aakash tablet runs on Android, has a 366MHz processor, 256MB RAM, 2GB internal storage, two USB ports, Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity. Additionally, to keep prices at their extremely low point, the battery only has 3 hours of life per charge.




AfterDawn: News

R.I.P. Steve Jobs, great American innovator

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Oct 2011 20:03

R.I.P. Steve Jobs, great American innovator There is not too much else to be said that Apple has not said in their statement.

Jobs was forced to resign in August as CEO of the company he founded as his health deteriorated. He was diagnosed in 2003 with a rare form of pancreatic cancer and took leave from work again in 2009 for a liver transplant.

We will have more in the coming week on Job's innovation and his contribution to the tech and business world as we know it.

From starting a computer company in his parent's garage in 1976 to being in charge of the most valuable public company in the world, Jobs defined an American icon in the technology business.

R.I.P.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook deploys WebSense anti-phishing platform

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Oct 2011 18:24

Facebook deploys WebSense anti-phishing platform Websense ThreatSeeker Cloud deploying on world's largest social network.

Due to the size of Facebook's userbase, it is a primary target for attack. Facebook users are often enticed to click links that take them to malicious websites that can range from phishing scams, to pages that target web browser vulnerabilities to deliver malware.

The social network giant has decided to make moves to help protect users from this threat. When a user clicks a URL in Facebook, the link will be checked by the Websense ThreatSeeker Cloud platform in real-time.

If the system detects anything suspicious about the page, it will prompt a warning to user. This warning message will give the user three options; return to the previous screen, get more information on why this URL was identified as potentially harmful, or to proceed at their own risk.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony cleared by Australian Privacy Commissioner over PSN hack

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Oct 2011 18:11

Sony cleared by Australian Privacy Commissioner over PSN hack Sony did not breach country's Privacy Act, according to office of the Australian Privacy Commissioner.

The PlayStation-maker should have moved quicker to notify Australian users of its PlayStation Network (PSN) services following a widely-publicized hack in April that exposed personal information of millions of gamers, but it did not technically break the law.

The announcement follows an investigation that was launched shortly after the incident, with the Privacy Commissioner questioning whether Sony Australia violated the Privacy Act, which regulates how firms transfer customer information to third parties.

The leak was the "result of a sophisticated security cyber attack on the Network Platform's systems," the Commissioner's Office said, determining that Sony Australia was not guilty of violating the law. Additionally, Sony Australia held no personal information relating to the incident, as it was stored in a data center in San Diego.

The Commissioner's Office did criticize the seven day delay between the firm becoming aware of the incident, and when it reported it to customers.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Intel acquires mobile navigation company Telmap

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Oct 2011 18:01

Intel acquires mobile navigation company Telmap Intel looks to expand mobile software services capabilities.

No financial details were officially disclosed by either company, but Israeli media claims Intel will pay between $300 million and $350 million for the company. It will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of the chipmaker.

"This move is a step towards expanding our mobile software services capabilities as Intel continues to grow in the area of software and services," Intel's announcement reads. "We are all very excited to have such knowledgeable and respected experts join the company."

Telmap will allow Intel to provide AppUp developers with great, differentiated location capabilities in the form of a standard set of location-based APIs and software that developers can easily integrate into their AppUp apps.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone 4S 32GB likely only costs $203 to build

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Oct 2011 17:18

iPhone 4S 32GB likely only costs $203 to build UBM Techinsights, following the launch of the iPhone 4S yesterday, has released a preliminary cost breakdown for the device and have come up with a $203 cost for the 32GB version.

The component breakdown does not include R&D, shipping or other manufacturing expenses but does give analysts a reasonable way to work out how large a company's margins are on a certain device.

Most expensive, unsurprisingly, were the flash memory at $38, the retina display at $31 and the dual-core Apple A5 chip at $26.

The other "notable" improvements from the iPhone 4, namely the 8MP camera and the dual-mode (CDMA/GSM) radio cost Apple just $9 extra, combined.

For now, the company says the breakdown is preliminary and will be revised when the actual device ships on the 14th.




AfterDawn: News

Oracle, Google trial will likely be postponed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Oct 2011 16:46

Oracle, Google trial will likely be postponed A U.S. judge has noted today that the multi-billion dollar Oracle, Google patent trial will "likely be postponed" well beyond its expected October 31st start date.

Oracle sued Google last year claiming that the search giant's Android operating system infringes on Oracle's Java patents that were acquired from Sun Microsystems in early 2010.

Additionally, Oracle also brought forth copyright infringement claims and is seeking $6 billion in damages.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup said the trial is expected to be postponed, but only because of an unrelated criminal trial that us taking place at the same time.

Google wants the entire case put on hold, indefinitely.




AfterDawn: News

Rare, others already prototyping games for the Xbox 720

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Oct 2011 15:54

Rare, others already prototyping games for the Xbox 720 According to the latest issue of Xbox World magazine, developers Rare, Lionhead and Turn 10 are already prototyping new games for the "Xbox 720," or whatever the console will eventually be named.

"Rare, Lionhead and Turn 10 all have teams in place too. Rare, we hear, are even prototyping ideas for a new 'mature' title," reads the report.

One source says Microsoft will unveil the console at next year's E3 event, for a launch in the holiday season of 2013.

Turn 10, the makers of Forza, have remained on a two year schedule for their games and a late 2013 launch for Forza 5 could perfectly coincide with the release of a new console.

The same goes for Fable and Rare's new "mature" game for the upcoming console.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung is challenging iPad design protection in Europe

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Oct 2011 15:29

Samsung is challenging iPad design protection in Europe Samsung has been relatively quiet about their loss to Apple in German court which resulted in a sales ban on their flagship Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet.

While they did immediately appeal, statements from the company have focused more on other patent fights between the two companies around the world. That may be because they're waiting for the results of a challenge to Apple's Community Design rights for the iPad.

Speaking to the Korea Times about a pending application to nullify Apple's Community Design, a Samsung representative said "Apple claims that the iPad's design is exclusively its own, but the design existed long before the iPad." Samsung filed their challenge with the EU Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market in August.

In case you haven't seen them already, these images from Apple's Community Design filing sum it up:

Click on a thumnail to see a larger image

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon has reportedly pre-sold 250,000 Kindle Fire tablets

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Oct 2011 15:19

Amazon has reportedly pre-sold 250,000 Kindle Fire tablets If figures reportedly leaked from Amazon are accurate, Amazon has already received pre-orders for at least 250,000 Kindle Fire tablets. Previously another source reported Amazon sold 95,000 on the first day alone.

The Kindle Fire is a 7" Android tablet announced at a press event last week, along with the latest Amazon Kindle e-readers. It is based on the same design as RIM's PlayBook.

Cult of Android claims to have gotten their hands on actual sales figures from Amazon showing 250,000 Kindle Fire tablets have already been pre-ordered. That seems like an impressive statement on the Amazon brand if you consider it won't even begin shipping until November 15.

Before we leap to the conclusion that the Kindle Fire is the iPad killer Android fans have been waiting for, it's worth stepping back to take a look at some alternate explanations.

The big question is whether Kindle Fire buyers actually think of it as a tablet. It does, after all, carry the Kindle brand. To many people that means it is primarily an e-reader.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

'Real Steel' movie trailer causes stir with Xbox 720 logo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Oct 2011 15:07

'Real Steel' movie trailer causes stir with Xbox 720 logo Although it is likely a joke by the producers of the movie, or possibly even Microsoft to bring some hype, a logo for an "Xbox 720" is visibly seen in the movie trailer for the film "Real Steel."

If you check at 47 seconds into the trailer (embedded below) you can see the logo alongside other logos in the stadium where two robots are preparing to fight.

Of course, there is no official word that Microsoft will name their next console the Xbox 720, and there is no rush as the next console is not expected until at least 2013.

The console launched in 2005 and Microsoft has long held that it will have a decade-long life.

In 2005, Microsoft created some hype for the Xbox 360 by placing an Xbox with a holographic interface into the sci-fi movie "The Island."






AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Vodafone could possibly purchase RIM

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Oct 2011 14:45

Rumor: Vodafone could possibly purchase RIM Shares of RIM have jumped 14 percent today after an unsubstantiated rumor hit that Vodafone should look into purchasing RIM.

Vodafone declined to comment on the story, but most analysts have brushed off the report. In the past, it has been seen as very unlikely for a wireless carrier to purchase a handset maker.

The Canadian smartphone maker has lost over 60 percent of its value this year and about 84 percent of its value since the launch of iOS and Android.

Alongside delayed products, a failed tablet and a huge decline in revenue, RIM has simply fallen out of favor in the smartphone world, with Android and iOS becoming the only two players in the game. Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 is also being slowly adopted but is being updated faster than any RIM product.

All that being said, RIM still has a market value of $11 billion and is wildly profitable although the those profits are quickly falling.




AfterDawn: News

Supreme Court decides not to hear ASCAP appeal for download royalties

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Oct 2011 13:52

Supreme Court decides not to hear ASCAP appeal for download royalties An effort by US royalty collection society ASCAP to have music downloads classified as performances has ended with the Supreme Court declining to hear their appeal of a lower court ruling.

The judge in the original case concluded a download doesn't meet the legal definition of a performance under US law. A separate ruling in the same case which affected streaming royalties wasn't being challenged by ASCAP.

ASCAP's appeal to the Supreme Court was opposed by the Justice Department who were represented by US Solicitor General Don Verilli. Before working for the Obama administration, Verilli was a prominent Washington DC entertainment industry lawyer.

In the original ruling, the judge ruled:

The fact that the statute defines performance in the audio-visual context as "show[ing]" the work or making it "audible" reinforces the conclusion that "to perform" a musical work entails contemporaneous perceptibility. ASCAP has provided no reason, and we can surmise none, why the statute would require a contemporaneously perceptible event in the context of an audio-visual work, but not in the context of a musical work.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung to file for iPhone 4S ban in France and Italy

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Oct 2011 11:05

Samsung to file for iPhone 4S ban in France and Italy Samsung has put an end to speculation over whether they would sue Apple to block sales of the iPhone by announcing plans to do just that in France and Italy.

For months Samsung has been engaged in a patent war with Apple. Apple is seeking the ban of Samsung tablets and phones in major markets around the world, including the US, Europe, Japan, South Korea, and Australia.

Initially Samsung didn't seem to take these lawsuits too seriously, possibly considering them a prelude to licensing negotiations. With their Galaxy Tab 10.1 already being banned by a German court and its introduction threatened in Australia, their strategy has shifted from defense to offense.

According to a statement from Samsung (via Reuters):

Apple has continued to flagrantly violate our intellectual property rights and free-ride on our technology. We will steadfastly protect our intellectual property.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Should Apple worry if investors aren't impressed by the iPhone 4S?

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Oct 2011 9:41

Should Apple worry if investors aren't impressed by the iPhone 4S? Apple stock price took a hit yesterday after they showed off the iPhone 4S. Following Apple's announcement, their stock price lost almost $20 before recovering to close down just over $2 for the day.

While some people are making a big deal about this, it's important to remember that historically it has been iPhone sales, not announcements, which have pushed stock prices higher. The biggest factor for those sales, at least initially, will be how many current iPhone owners will be upgrading to the latest model.

Coverage of the iPhone 4S seems to be concentrating on what it doesn't have, such as a bigger display or redesigned exterior. But that's not necessarily a new thing either.

The iPhone 3G, for example, was mostly identical to the original iPhone, but with the addition of 3G data support, improved GPS, and some minor tweaks to the case design. Pricing was also improved significantly thanks to strategic changes by Apple.

With many early iPhone buyers opting for the 4GB model, there was a built in demand for the 8GB and 16GB 3G models, which were significantly cheaper (in the US) than the previous year's model.

The iPhone 3GS came out with a faster processor, more RAM, faster data capabilities, an improved camera with video recording capability, and a digital compass. The addition of a 32GB version probably convinced more than a few iPhone owners to upgrade.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

KDDI to get iPhone in Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Oct 2011 1:54

KDDI  to get iPhone in Japan Apple has said today that Softbank will no longer be the exclusive Japanese carrier for the iPhone.

KDDI, the nation's second largest carrier will begin getting the iPhone 4S on October 14th.

Additionally, Apple is launching the 4S in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and Britain on the same day.

Softbank, despite being the third largest carrier in the nation, has had exclusive rights to the iPhone since 2008.

The iPhone 4S adds an A5 processor, an 8MP camera, a built-in "personal assistant" named Siri and will launch with iOS 5.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft finally launches Hotmail/Live Android app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Oct 2011 1:24

Microsoft finally launches Hotmail/Live Android app Microsoft has launched its first native Android app for Hotmail/Live.

The app was created by software developer Seven and directed by Microsoft and will be the first official app for the email service.

Hotmail/Live currently has 360 million active account and is the biggest email provider in the world, ahead of Yahoo and Gmail.

The app will include "push-enabled access to the user inbox, contact list and calendars," says THG.

Microsoft says "it has reengineered Hotmail and the availability of its Android app reflects a commitment to provide a great Hotmail experience to users on whichever smartphones they use."

You can have it synced to your phone from here: Microsoft + Seven Hotmail app or search it from your tablet/smartphone.




AfterDawn: News

HP completes expensive acquisition of Autonomy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Oct 2011 0:10

HP completes expensive acquisition of Autonomy HP has completed its $12 billion acquisition of software maker Autonomy today, with Autonomy shareholders overwhelmingly voting for the deal which paid an 80 percent premium to the company's closing price before HP offered.

The deal, and how expensive it is, cost CEO Leo Apotheker his job recently after just 11 months on the job.

New CEO Meg Whitman says the Autonomy purchase is "integral" to HP's expected software expansion.

Autonomy will run as a separate business under the lead of founder Mike Lynch.

HP rival Oracle admitted it was also approached as a potential buyer but CEO Larry Ellison, one of the world's richest men, called the price "absurdly high."




AfterDawn: News

Adobe announces Touch Apps for Android and Apple tablets

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Oct 2011 18:49

Adobe announces Touch Apps for Android and Apple tablets Adobe will be launching a family of tablet software in November which they're calling Abode Touch Apps.

The new apps were announced yesterday at the company's MAX 2011 technology conference, along with a new online service called Adobe Creative Cloud. Creative Cloud will be include hosted services, collaboration tools, and synchronization between devices.

The new apps, which will be released for Android tablets on November 12, when Adobe Creative Cloud is launched, include:

  • Adobe Photoshop Touch - A scaled down version of Adobe's flagship photo processing software.

  • Adobe Collage - An app for combining images which also includes basic support for drawing and adding text.

  • Adobe Debut - A presentation app sith support for opening files from a variety of Adobe products, including Photoshop and Illustrator.

  • Adobe Ideas - A vector based drawing app.

  • Adobe Kuler - A tablet version of Adobe's color theme tool.

  • Adobe Proto - A website prototyping tool

Versions of the apps for the iPad are planned for some time next year.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple says no deal to Samsung in Australian patent suit

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Oct 2011 16:45

Apple says no deal to Samsung in Australian patent suit Apple has turned down Samsung's offer of a licensing agreement for Apple patents in an Australian lawsuit over the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

Apple wants the tablet banned from the Australian market, claiming it infringes on an Apple touchscreen patent. Samsung has already agreed to change the tablet to address two other patents cited in Apple's suit.

Samsung's offer for a preliminary settlement, made last week, would have involved paying Apple an undisclosed amount to license the remaining patent before the lawsuit is decided.

Samsung's goal is getting the tablet on the Australian market in time for Christmas.

Apple lawyer Steven Burley explained to the court, "The main reason we are here is to prevent the launch (of the Galaxy tablet) and maintain the status quo."

That statement may be a harbinger of future problems for Apple. As the tablet market grows, Apple will have to be careful about statements that give the appearance their primary goal is blocking competition.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft Zune goes bye bye

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Oct 2011 16:23

Microsoft Zune goes bye bye Microsoft has announced today that it will shut down its Zune line of media devices.

Reads the support post:

We recently announced that, going forward, Windows Phone will be the focus of our mobile music and video strategy, and that we will no longer be producing Zune players. So what does this mean for our current Zune users? Absolutely nothing. Your device will continue to work with Zune services just as it does today. And we will continue to honor the warranties of all devices for both current owners and those who buy our very last devices. Customer service has been, and will remain a top priority for us.


Software will continue to be updated, as well as apps, but no more hardware will be sold.

Despite being critically praised, the Zune was too little too late, especially being launched 5 years after the first iPod.




AfterDawn: News

Rhapsody buys Napster from Best Buy

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Oct 2011 14:50

Rhapsody buys Napster from Best Buy Rhapsody is buying Napster from Best Buy. Details of the deal weren't disclosed, except that Best Buy will be getting a minority stake in Rhapsody.

Based on statements from Rhapsody executives, it appears this may mark the end of the Napster brand..

Rhapsody President Jon Irwin said:

This deal will further extend Rhapsody's lead over our competitors in the growing on-demand music market. There's substantial value in bringing Napster's subscribers and robust IP portfolio to Rhapsody as we execute on our strategy to expand our business via direct acquisition of members and distribution deals.


He added:

This is a 'go big or go home' business, so our focus is on sustainably growing the company. We're excited to welcome Napster music fans to the best on-demand music experience anywhere. Our new members will have more places to connect to the music they love and to discover new favorites, guided by Rhapsody's rockstar editorial team and the tastes of other Rhapsody members via our innovative social features.


The brand is really all that's left of the original Napster service, which brought file sharing to the masses in 1999 as broadband Internet was taking off.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple unveils iPhone 4S

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Oct 2011 13:58

Apple unveils iPhone 4S New iPhone 4S is confirmed by Apple at 'Let's talk iPhone' event.

After being 'leaked' in an iTunes beta update, Apple has confirmed the existence of the iPhone 4S handset. It has been speculated that Apple would unveil a more affordable iPhone handset (though that's not exactly the case), as fierce rival Samsung has been showing strong growth driven by both high-end and low-end market sales of its devices.

On the outside, it features the same glass finish front and back, Retina Display clarity and the same stainless steel band on the edges. The iPhone 4S is driven by a dual-core A5 chip, as is the iPad 2, up to twice as fast as iPhone 4. It offers dual core graphics, seven times faster than iPhone 4.



To drive home the point about iPhone being a platform for gaming, Epic Games President Mike Capps took the stage to demonstrate Infinity Blade 2, an iOS exclusive. The game will be available from December 1.

For battery life, the iPhone 4S provides up to 8 hours of 3G talk time, 14 hours talk on 2G networks, 6 hours browsing on 3G networks, 9 hours browsing on Wi-Fi, 10 hours playing video and 40 hours pumping out music. The model can automatically switch between two antennas to improve call quality and provide faster data performance. It supports GSM and CDMA networks.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple sold 250 million iOS devices, iOS 5 on October 12

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Oct 2011 13:26

Apple sold 250 million iOS devices, iOS 5 on October 12 Apple gives iOS sales information during 'Let's Talk iPhone' event.

It has been revealed that the company sold 250 million iOS devices in the products' lifespan so far. It is the number 1 mobile operating system with 43 percent of the market. The upcoming iOS 5.0 will launch October 12, along with iCloud.

IHS iSuppli had reported this week that Apple shipped 20.3 million smartphones during the second quarter of 2011, confirming Apple's figures from its quarterly earnings report in July. This puts Apple in pole position as a smartphone vendor, ahead of Samsung on 19.6 million and Nokia on 16.7 million.

Apple says that three out of every four tablet PCs bought are iPads

Over 140,000 apps are now made specifically for iPad, with Apple paying out over $3 billion to developers, according to Scott Forestall.

Earlier, Tim Cook also talked about Apple's retail success and continued momentum. He brought up the new Shanghai store, which is "absolutely gorgeous," and welcomed over 100,000 visitors on its opening weekend, whilst the LA store took a month to reach that milestone.

Apple now has 357 stores in 11 countries.




AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Sprint making $20 billion bet on iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Oct 2011 13:24

Rumor: Sprint making $20 billion bet on iPhone Sprint is preparing to purchase 30.5 million iPhones from Apple, worth around $20 billion, says the WSJ.

The deal will be from 2011-2015 and will finally allow the carrier to become the third in the U.S. to offer the popular smartphones.

At $20 billion over 4 years, CEO Dan Hesse says the company will not begin making money until 2014.

The CEO has told the board of directors that the company will need to double its current customer base to sell that many iPhones, or at least convert all of their current customers.

It appears the board had some reservations, but eventually signed off on the deal. One such reservation was worries that the iPhone would lose popularity by 2015.

The WSJ says the bet is an "all-or-nothing" and could very well bankrupt the company by 2015.




AfterDawn: News

Apple sold over 300 million iPods, 16 billion songs

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Oct 2011 13:16

Apple sold over 300 million iPods, 16 billion songs Apple CEO Tim Cook gives some information on Apple's music-related business.

It has been 10 years since the iPod launched and revolutionized the music industry. The market share of the iPod is more than 70% across the world, and has been for a long time now, Cook demonstrated on stage.

In total, Apple has sold over 300 million iPods around the world since it first launched. 45 million iPods were sold between July 2010 and June 2011, remaining a very strong part of Apple's overall business.

More than 16 billion songs have been downloaded from iTunes, being easily the world's number 1 music store.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone 4S leaked by Apple's Japanese site

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Oct 2011 12:45

iPhone 4S leaked by Apple's Japanese site Just 30 minutes from Apple's keynote address and it seems that the company's Japanese site has leaked pictures of the iPhone 4s.

The banner on the site reads (Google translated):

October 14, from 8:00 am to launch the Apple Store. Let staff help you choose the carrier and rate plan is right for you so the iPhone is ready to start using before leaving the store. Learn more.


Additionally, the Japanese site has let slip that an updated Nano is coming, with more fitness functions and a completely rehauled UI.

Please stay tuned for our full coverage of the event at 1pm EST.




AfterDawn: News

Nexus Prime possibly leaked on same day of iPhone 5 launch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Oct 2011 12:35

Nexus Prime possibly leaked on same day of iPhone 5 launch GSMarena has posted a shot of the upcoming Nexus Prime Android flagship device.

The device will be officially launched next week on the 11th.

Samsung's new Google device, if the picture is accurate, a massive 1280 x 720 HD resolution.

The screen itself will be 4.6-inches, and the display will have a large 320dpi pixel density.

Furthermore, because the phone is based on Ice Cream Sandwich, there are no hardware keys on the device, just soft keys.

Picture here:




AfterDawn: News

Google chairman says they will not play favorites even with Motorola acquisiton

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Oct 2011 2:22

Google chairman says they will not play favorites even with Motorola acquisiton Google chairman Eric Schmidt has said today that despite the company's $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, the company will not pick favorites in the Android market, and that all current partners will remain equally competitive.

Says Schmidt (via Bloomberg):

The Android ecosystem is the No. 1 priority, and that we won?t do anything with Motorola, or anybody else by the way, that would screw up the dynamics of that industry. We need strong, hard competition among all the Android players. We won?t play favorites in the way people are concerned about.


The chairman also noted that the company would be acquiring 17,000 patents in the deal, which will certainly help the search engine giant protect its interests.

Main concerns over the acquisition were that Motorola devices would get access to the most updated versions of Android the soonest, thus leaving other companies like HTC, LG, Samsung and Acer at a disadvantage.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon Kindle Fire sees 95,000 pre-orders on first day

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Oct 2011 1:57

Amazon Kindle Fire sees 95,000 pre-orders on first day According to eDataSource, an online "competitive intelligence" firm, the new Amazon Kindle Fire has 95,000 pre-orders on its first day of availability alone.

Says CEO Carter Nichols:

eDataSource's panel of 800,000 inboxes allows us to gain insight into eCommerce sales. Within hours we can get a read on hot product launches based on sales from leading eCommerce websites.


The company analyzed purchase receipts received by email and can therefore accurately estimate the daily orders places at major ecommerce sites as well as what products are being purchased.

Amazon just launched the Kindle Fire at $199, with a shipping date of November 15th.

The tablet is, by far, the cheapest in the 7-inch category, and even undercuts the price of the Nook Color by $50, which is more of an e-reader but can be rooted to be an Android tablet.

Apple sold 300,000 iPad tablets on its first day, at $500 or more a pop, and remains the strong market leader. RIM, by comparison, only sold 200,000 PLayBooks the entire last quarter, and has been forced to slash prices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

As usual, the next Xbox 360 dashboard update is leaked via video

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Oct 2011 1:34

As usual, the next Xbox 360 dashboard update is leaked via video A video that shows off the upcoming Xbox Live fall dashboard update has been leaked online.

The video is in French, but the changes should be easy to see.

In the video, the dashboard is darker and includes new blades and a layout that seems familiar if you are a Windows Phone 7 owner.

Furthermore, if you are a Kinect owner, you can now control all aspects of the dashboard with the motion control.

Check the video here:




AfterDawn: News

Amazon limiting 3G access on new Kindle Touch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Oct 2011 13:15

Amazon limiting 3G access on new Kindle Touch Just like its rivals, the Kindle Touch 3G will not give full access to 3G networks, limiting the device to shopping in the online Kindle Store and browsing Wikipedia.

The upcoming Kindle Touch, Amazon's first touchscreen e-reader, was announced last week at $99 for Wi-Fi-only and $149 for added free 3G access.

Amazon's Kindle Keyboard 3G, released last year, has unlimited 3G access, including full web browsing.

Reads the full statement (via PCM):

We apologize for the confusion. Our new Kindle Touch 3G enables you to connect to the Kindle Store, download books and periodicals, and access Wikipedia - all over 3G or Wi-Fi. Experimental web browsing (outside of Wikipedia) on Kindle Touch 3G is only available over Wi-Fi. Our Kindle Keyboard 3G will continue to offer experimental web browsing over 3G or Wi-Fi.


Probably not worth the extra $50 now given the wide availability of Wi-Fi hotspots.




AfterDawn: News

'Battlefield 3' beta gets hacked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Oct 2011 12:14

'Battlefield 3' beta gets hacked The Battlefield 3 limited beta has been hacked, with gamers now able to play all game modes, including the 128-player simultaneous Paris map.

The official beta only allows for 32 players at-a-time in the map, which was originally shown off at E3.

Developer DICE is certainly not happy with the development and has threatened to have users banned if they use the new levels.

Says the DICE rep:

Please avoid temptation and remain on those official servers while we work to have these servers dealt with. Playing on those servers can cause your account to become compromised, stats to be altered or other issues to arise which may lead to having your account banned by EA.

If your account gets banned it does mean any EA game you have your account would also be unavailable.




AfterDawn: News

Wal-Mart, T-Mobile to offer no-contract data phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Oct 2011 11:57

Wal-Mart, T-Mobile to offer no-contract data phones Wal-Mart and T-mobile have jointly announced the launch of a new no-contract phone plan for users that need Internet and texting more than minutes.

For $30, users get unlimited Internet access, text messages, and 100 minutes for phone calls. Minutes cost 10 cents a minute after 100.

The deal with the retailer is T-Mobile's first since losing its relationship with RadioShack earlier this year.

T-Mobile will now have six prepaid phones via Wal-Mart, including one 4G device.

As with their contract devices, T-Mobile will throttle your Internet speed after a certain point, which for these phones is 5GB. There are no overages, however, making it a far superior choice to data plans from Verizon or AT&T which cost $50 per month for 5GB and then overages after.




AfterDawn: News

HTC under fire for smartphone privacy vulnerability

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Oct 2011 11:35

HTC under fire for smartphone privacy vulnerability According to researcher Trevor Eckhart, a recent update to HTC Android devices has led to the installation of tools that collect personal info without permission.

The update, which adds android.permission.INTERNET, accesses location history, phone numbers, SMS data and a list of user accounts, but potentially leaks more personal data.

Phones like the EVO 3D now expose network info, including IP addresses; full memory info; active notifications in the notification bar, including notification text; list of installed apps, including permissions used, user ids, versions; and more, says PCM.

HTC, in response, says it "takes our customers' security very seriously, and we are working to investigate this claim as quickly as possible. We will provide an update as soon as we're able to determine the accuracy of the claim and what steps, if any, need to be taken."

If you have a rooted device, you can remove the update "HTCloggers" at /system/app/HtcLoggers.apk.




AfterDawn: News

'Uncharted 3' will use PSN Pass

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Oct 2011 11:03

'Uncharted 3' will use PSN Pass Sony has confirmed this week that the upcoming Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception will require a PSN Pass.

In an interview, Sony Spain Software Manager Juan Jiménez says the PSN Pass will be needed for online play.

The PSN Pass, which means second-hand users need to buy a code from Sony for $10 to be able to play online, was introduced this year with the launch of Resistance 3.

Uncharted 3 is set for release on November 1st.




AfterDawn: News

Did Apple and Facebook have a fight over the HP TouchPad?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Oct 2011 2:16

Did Apple and Facebook have a fight over the HP TouchPad? According to Mashable, Apple and Facebook had a huge falling out due to the, you guessed it, HP TouchPad.

Around three months ago, before the tablet's demise, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs visited Mark Zuckerberg multiple times to yell at him about the company's connection with the webOS-based HP TouchPad.

Facebook was, at the time, preparing to launch a webOS app for the social network.

HP wanted a native Facebook app first and Apple wanted a native FB app first for the iPad. FB develops their own apps for Android and iOS, while HP was in charge of creating their own webOS app, just like RIM and Microsoft do for their respective platforms.

Acquiescing to Apple, Zuckerberg, despite not being able to block HP's launch, restricted HP?s access to its APIs.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

ACTA would allow copyright holders to veto new technology

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 03 Oct 2011 1:49

ACTA would allow copyright holders to veto new technology The entertainment industry would get veto power over new technology under a provision in ACTA, the intellectual property treaty signed on Saturday in Japan.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) is a treaty which has been negotiated in secret over the course of nearly five years. It was signed by the US, Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Singapore, and Morocco.

As various draft versions have been leaked, the language has been watered down significantly, but major problems still remain.

Arguably, none of the text is more troubling than what amounts to a mandate for copyright holders to have the right to veto any new technology which could be used for infringement:

In order to provide the adequate legal protection and effective legal remedies
referred to in paragraph 5, each Party shall provide protection at least against:

(b) the manufacture, importation, or distribution of a device or product, including computer programs, or provision of a service that:

is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of circumventing an effective technological measure; or

has only a limited commercially significant purpose other than circumventing an effective technological measure.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

51 percent of gamers don't want 3D consoles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Oct 2011 23:49

51 percent of gamers don't want 3D consoles According to a survey conducted by Games comparison and marketplace site Playr2.com, 51 percent of gamers don't care for 3D consoles.

The survey of 1001 "self-professed gamers" saw 51 percent vote against the introduction of 3D tech into future console releases while 47 percent said they would welcome the tech. The remaining 2 percent were undecided.

For those that were not in favor, 44 percent called it "unnecessary" and 28 percent said they were unimpressed by previous 3D offerings. The rest felt that the 3D tech would "impair the gaming experience."

Overall, 73 percent of those surveyed called 3DTVs "impractical" in general.

Says Playr (via Gpro):

Rumors are constantly flying around about the next big console releases, so we wanted to see what gamers would think about the possibility of a 3D enabled console. It was surprising to see that the majority were against it, but many seemed to be disappointed by the technology on the Nintendo 3DS and wouldn't like to see the technology spread to other consoles.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google Maps adds birdseye view

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Oct 2011 23:15

Google Maps adds birdseye view Google has added a helicopter 3D view of the route to their popular Maps GPS service.

The new button gives users a chance to see the 3D birdseye view of the route, an addition to all standard navigation/direction features.

After selecting a start and finish point, hit the "3D" button next to "Driving Directions," says DT.

When 3D is pressed, the map will show off the route via Google Earth view, sending you soaring through the directions.

You can pause at any time.

Google says the rollout is starting this week and will hit all regions eventually.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft Security Essentials accidentally kills Google Chrome

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Oct 2011 22:22

Microsoft Security Essentials accidentally kills Google Chrome Microsoft has updated its MSE (Microsoft Security Essentials) antivirus definitions this weekend after an earlier released update began detecting Google Chrome as malware and deleting it.

The first reported incident came from the Chrome help forums:

This morning, after I started up the PC, a Windows Security box popped up and said I had a Security Problem that needed to be removed. I clicked the Details button and saw that it was 'PWS:Win32/Zbot.' I clicked the Remove button and restarted my PC. Now I do not have Chrome. It has been removed or uninstalled.


Microsoft, after updating the definitions, acknowledged and apologized for the mistake:

An incorrect detection for PWS:Win32/Zbot was identified and as a result, Google Chrome was inadvertently blocked and in some cases removed from customers PCs. We have already fixed the issue..., but approximately 3,000 customers were impacted.


Google, forced to act on the stupid mistake, placed a large red banner on its support pages reading "Alert: Google Chrome has been incorrectly marked as malware by Microsoft security software."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Unicom: iPhone 5 will have HSPA+ support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Oct 2011 21:39

Unicom: iPhone 5 will have HSPA+ support China Unicom says Apple's upcoming iPhone 5 will have support for the HSPA+ 21Mbps network, advertised as 4G although not technically 4G.

The large Chinese carrier revealed the info at the Macworld Asia event this week.

Showing off the evolution of the iPhone, the fifth spot (with a blank picture) showed the iPhone 5 and no other mention except for the HSPA+ network support.

Current model iPhones only have 3G support.

The slide leads credence to the rumors that have flatly stated the iPhone 5 will not have an LTE radio. At least it will have an updated modem.

LTE 4G remains elusive in the U.S. and abroad with Verizon's network available in just a few states, and AT&T's just being rolled out this month.




AfterDawn: News

Group builds hardware mockup of iPhone 5

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Oct 2011 19:43

Group builds hardware mockup of iPhone 5 The creative group of fanboys at BENM.AT have built a hardware mockup of the iPhone 5 which they say has a 98 percent chance of being the real thing.

Showing off the device in the video below, the group took all the rumors, supply chain checks and leaked case designs and created the anticipated smartphone.

Their iPhone 5 is significantly thinner, has a curved design like the iPad 2, a wider form factor, and a larger screen.

Finally, the device will have a rectangular and capacitive home button that can be used for swipe gestures including logging in.

Check the video here:




AfterDawn: News

IE loses market share into August, Chrome flat

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Oct 2011 18:06

IE loses market share into August, Chrome flat According to the latest research report from Chitika Insights, Internet Explorer continues its decline in browser market share.

Share dropped from 56 percent in July to 54 percent in August, alone, while Firefox moved from 19 percent to 20 percent in the same time period.

Apple's Safari moved from 8 percent to 9 percent.

Google's Chrome picked up about half a percentage point, but remains the fastest growing browser. Year-over-year, Chrome jumped from 9 percent to 16 percent, while IE stayed about flat from 56 percent. Firefox took the biggest hit, from 24 percent to 20 percent.

The report expects Internet Explorer to remain flat into the future with the release of Windows 8 and IE 10 next year.




AfterDawn: News

Windows PCs now getting Tango video chat

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Oct 2011 17:01

Windows PCs now getting Tango video chat The popular mobile video chat app Tango is now making its way desktop PCs.

Windows-based computers can now make free video calls to other Tango users, even if they are on tablets or smartphones.

For now, the software is not available to Mac users.

If you already have an account, just download the application for your computer and sync the account, simple as that.

When a video call comes in, both the mobile app and the desktop app will ring, giving the user the choice of where to pick up.

Tango became popular, especially on the iPhone, because Apple only allowed FaceTime to work via Wi-Fi. Tango works on 3G and 4G.




AfterDawn: News

Gears of War 3 sells 3 million copies

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Oct 2011 1:45

Gears of War 3 sells 3 million copies Epic Game's blockbuster title Gears of War 3 has sold 3 million copies in just its first week of sales.

An exclusive for the Xbox 360, the game is the finale of a trilogy that has been massively popular for the console.

Says Microsoft of the milestone:

Gears of War 3 has set the bar as the top game launch of the year, kicking off the biggest holiday in Xbox history with a bang. While we don't share sales projections, we're really happy with the results thus far and are kicking off what promises to be our biggest holiday yet in Xbox history.


The companies will also continue their exclusive relationship into the future, possibly with a Kinect title.

Concludes Microsoft:

We've enjoyed a terrific partnership with Epic Games throughout the 'Gears of War' trilogy, and the success of the franchise is a testament to the strength of that relationship and our work together. We look forward to working with Epic in the future.




AfterDawn: News

Alibaba looking to buy Yahoo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Oct 2011 1:25

Alibaba looking to buy Yahoo According to multiple sources, Alibaba CEO Jack Ma is "very interested" in buying Yahoo.

Says the chairman:

We are very interested in Yahoo. Our Alibaba group is important to Yahoo, and Yahoo is important to us? All the serious buyers interested in Yahoo have talked to us.


Alibaba is China-based and is one of the largest online marketplaces for business-to-business trade around the world. Additionally, the group has a payment platform, a shopping search engine, and cloud computing services.

Yahoo has a 40 percent stake in Alibaba.com, and it is one of the company's biggest money producers.

To gain that stake, Yahoo gave its Yahoo China business completely to Alibaba and invested $1 billion.




AfterDawn: News

22,000 alleged 'Hurt Locker' pirates are let off the hook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Oct 2011 0:55

22,000 alleged 'Hurt Locker' pirates are let off the hook Earlier this year, Voltage Pictures filed a lawsuit against 24,583 defendants for allegedly downloading and sharing pirated copies of the Oscar-winning picture "The Hurt Locker."

Today, the studio has let 22,000 of those defendants off the hook, voluntarily dismissing them "without prejudice."

Voltage will still seek damages from the remaining 2500 defendants, although many of those being sued still have not been identified positively. The studio continues to work with ISPs to link the IPs correctly.

The studio had 120 days to serve them with papers, but many of the anonymous defendants filed motions with their ISPs, slowing the process to a crawl.

Via VentureBeat, the recent filing says:

In circumstances where a Doe [unidentified] defendant has not filed the motion and only sent it to the ISP, most ISPs withhold the identifying information so that the Doe defendant can then file the motion with the court. Further, plaintiff's counsel has been informed by the ISPs that numerous Doe defendants have recently re-filed their motions or have filed motions for reconsideration of the Court's prior rulings.




AfterDawn: News

Apple leaks iPhone 4S before official announcement

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Oct 2011 0:28

Apple leaks iPhone 4S before official announcement Apple is expected to launch iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 on Tuesday.

The company has accidentally let slip the iPhone 4S, referencing the product in its latest iTunes beta.

AppleInsider looked into the info.plist file of the MobileDevices bundle in iTunes 10.5 beta 9 and found multiple references to the iPhone 4S, which has yet to be formally launched.

The device is expected to look just like the current iPhone 4 but be dual-mode, meaning it will work on GSM and CDMA networks. It will also likely have a boost in the processor department.

Each of the upcoming devices will run iOS 5, and could have voice recognition technology.




AfterDawn: News

Hitachi, LG plead guilty to price fixing scheme

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Oct 2011 0:04

Hitachi, LG plead guilty to price fixing scheme Hitachi and LG's joint venture has pleaded guilty to price fixing scheme and will pay a $21.1 million fine.

The price fixing and bid-rigging came with the sale of optical disk drives, said the U.S. Justice Department.

Dubbed Hitachi-LG Data Storage, the joint company was accused of 15 counts of conspiracy and wire fraud.

In 2009, Hitachi-LG, Sony, Toshiba and others all received subpoenas from the DOJ in a probe on their sales of disk drives. Said Sharis Pozen, acting head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, at the time: "The bid-rigging and price-fixing conspiracies involving optical disk drives undermined competition and innovation in the high tech industry."

In the plea agreement, the company has agreed to assist the ongoing investigation and work on internal compliance.




AfterDawn: News

Motorola Mobility spent $530,000 lobbying in the Q2

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Oct 2011 23:33

Motorola Mobility spent $530,000 lobbying in the Q2 According to a recent disclosure, Motorola Mobility spent $530,000 lobbying in the Q2.

The company lobbied the federal government on spectrum allocation and patent reform, reads the report.

Additionally, the hardware company lobbied congress on cable set-top boxes, which is half of the company's hardware offerings. The other half is smartphones.

In the first quarter, the company spent $470,000 on lobbying.

Last month, Google purchased Motorola Mobility for $12 billion, in order to gain their patent portfolio and protect Android.




AfterDawn: News

Kodak on the verge of death

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Oct 2011 22:41

Kodak on the verge of death The photography pioneer nears bankruptcy.

Eastman Kodak, which released the world's first consumer camera in 1888, stands as close to bankruptcy as possible, and now has a market value of just $230 million.

In 1997, the company had a market value of $31 billion, before the revolution of digital photography began. The company has not had a profit since early 2007 and its stock market shares now trade for under $1.

The most valuable part of the company is now its digital imaging patents, which have a value of $2 billion.

While Kodak says it has no intention of filing for bankruptcy, the stock has fallen to a price not seen since the 1970s as investors assume the worse.

Potential buyers of the $2 billion patent portfolio have been scared away as they could be sued by Kodak creditors if the company goes bankrupt. Most experts believe Kodak should just go bankrupt and then sell the patents to pay off creditors.

(Pic via Reuters)




AfterDawn: News

IHS: Amazon Kindle Fire costs $210 to make

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Oct 2011 22:14

IHS: Amazon Kindle Fire costs $210 to make According to an IHS iSuppli estimate, the upcoming Amazon Kindle Fire tablet will cost $209.63 to make, meaning Amazon is losing money on every unit sold.

The giant e-tailer is selling the tablet for $199 starting November 21st.

Components that go into the Fire cost $191.65, says IHS, while miscellaneous manufacturing expenses bring the total to the stated estimate. It is unclear if the miscellaneous expenses include shipping and R&D.

If so, Amazon is losing just $10 per device sold, which can easily be made up if user's use the integrated Amazon app store or buy music, movies.

Dubbed the "Gillette model," Amazon loses money upfront, but gets the product into as many hands as possible. It is called the Gillette model because Procter & Gamble sells their Gillette razors at a loss upfront, then makes a killing on selling the blades later at huge markup.

Says the research firm (via Reuters):

When further costs outside of materials and manufacturing are added in -- and the $199 price of the tablet is factored along with the expected sales of digital content per device -- Amazon is likely to generate a marginal profit of $10 on each Kindle Fire sold.




AfterDawn: News

Teen beats man at COD, man beats teen in real life

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Oct 2011 21:54

Teen beats man at COD, man beats teen in real life According to a report in the British papers, Mark Bradford, a father of three, was playing a round of Call of Duty multiplayer online against a teen last week.

The teen sniped Bradford, killing his character repeatedly in the game, and then teased him via headset about it.

Bradford, who is 46, then allegedly drove to the teen's house and choked the child, resulting in a scratch and reddening of the neck, says Cnet.

The adult is now out on bail, but will be back in court later this month.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung welcomes Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Sep 2011 22:53

Samsung welcomes Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus Samsung has added another small form factor tablet to their line.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus has Android 3.2, runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 802.11n Wi-Fi, 4G, 16GB or 32GB internal storage and a microSD slot.

Samsung now has a 7-inch tablet, a 7.7-inch model, an 8.9-inch option and a 10.1-inch tablet.

The company says the tablet will launch in Indonesia and Austria at the end of October, and everywhere else, afterwards.

There was no word on price, but with the Kindle Fire coming in November at $199 the consumer is not likely to pay over $300.




AfterDawn: News

HTC Flyer sees price drop to $299

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Sep 2011 22:28

HTC Flyer sees price drop to $299 Best Buy has dropped the price of the HTC Flyer to $299 from its launch price of $499, effective tomorrow.

While the tablet was popular for the 7-inch demographic, it was clearly overpriced considering the market leader iPad 2, at 9.7-inches, sells for the same price.

The Flyer runs on Android 2.3.3 (upgradeable to Honeycomb eventually), has a 1.5 GHz single-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, a 5MP camera and a 1.3MP front-side camera.

Additionally, the tablet has a Sense 3.0 UI and a special stylus for easier typing.

The price cut is likely due to the launch of the Amazon Kindle Fire, which will retail for $199 and is expected to quickly become the leader in the 7-inch space.





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