AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (1 / 2012)

AfterDawn: News

UK box office breaks billion pound milestone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2012 13:47

UK box office breaks billion pound milestone The UK box office broke 1 billion pounds last year, for the first time in history.

The British Film Institute's research says the market can thank Harry Potter, a stuttering king and "The Inbetweeners."

Overall sales came in at just over £1.04 billion ($1.63 billion) excluding Irish sales.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 came in first with £73 million in sales, followed by King's Speech at £46 million and the Inbetweeners at £45 million. The overall market rose 5 percent from 2010 as did admissions.

The milestone was likely hit not only due to strong ticket sales, however. Ticket prices rose 17.5 percent across the board starting in January 2011.

Concludes the Institute (via THR): "2011's production figures are further evidence that the UK is home to some of the world's most talented and sought-after film-making talent. Coupled with our excellent infrastructure and facilities, the U.K. film industry is continuing to have a positive impact on the economy, which at the moment is something which should be celebrated and of which we should be proud."




AfterDawn: News

RedLynx denies leaking its own game to torrent sites

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2012 13:37

RedLynx denies leaking its own game to torrent sites RedLynx, a Finnish video game developer that was purchased by Ubisoft last year, has denied this week that it leaked its own game to torrent sites.

Their latest game, Trials Evolution, recently made its public debut via The Pirate Bay, and immediate blame was thrown back on the developers, who have been known to be pirates.

In 2009, CEO Tero Virtala admitted that the company put the first "Trials" game online, "taking advantage" of piracy: "What we did actually, on day one, we put [the PC edition of Trials] immediately on all the torrent networks ourselves."

Virtala was quick to deny this leak, however: "We want to be clear that [leaking Trials Evolution] is not something we did ourselves."




AfterDawn: News

Megaupload data gets reprieve from deletion for two weeks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2012 13:28

Megaupload data gets reprieve from deletion for two weeks Yesterday we reported that the hosting companies behind Megaupload's data were about ready to pull the plug on the data since the company could no longer pay them. All of the cyberlocker's assets are currently frozen.

Today, Megaupload users can rejoice as the two services have negotiated a deal to buy the data an extra two weeks of life. The deal could last even longer, says Megaupload lead attorney Ira Rothken:

"The hosting companies have been gracious enough to provide additional time so we can work out some kind of arrangement with the government."

Original Story:

According to the AP, all of the data ever stored on Megaupload could be deleted as soon as Thursday.

The mass-erase will not discriminate with the files, either, legal or illegal.

Megaupload has used the companies Carpathia Hosting Inc. and Cogent Communications Group Inc to store user data, but because the service's assets are frozen, they can no longer afford to pay the hosting companies.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Major tech companies form DMARC to fight phishing attacks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2012 23:07

Major tech companies form DMARC to fight phishing attacks Major email providers Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL have teamed up with PayPal, Bank of America, Fidelity and other companies to create DMARC.org, a technical specification to fight off the ever-increasing amount of phishing attacks.

To get even more technical, the site reads as follows: "DMARC, which stands for "Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance", is a technical specification created by a group of organizations that want to help reduce the potential for email-based abuse by solving a couple of long-standing operational, deployment, and reporting issues related to email authentication protocols.

DMARC standardizes how email receivers perform email authentication using the well-known SPF and DKIM mechanisms. This means that senders will experience consistent authentication results for their messages at AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo! and any other email receiver implementing DMARC. We hope this will encourage senders to more broadly authenticate their outbound email which can make email a more reliable way to communicate."


The other companies involved are Comcast, Facebook, TDP, Agari, American Greetings, LinkedIn, Cloudmark and ReturnPath.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPhone 5 rumor: 'Strong NFC support'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2012 22:28

iPhone 5 rumor: 'Strong NFC support' 9to5mac has reported today that the upcoming iPhone 5 will have NFC support, and developers are already building apps.

Apparently, Apple iOS engineers are "heavy into NFC" and devs are "confident enough to bet the app development on."

What remains unclear is who Apple will partner with for its payment systems, and the report has some speculation based on recent reports and interviews.

First comes from Ed McLaughlin, the boss of emerging payments at MasterCard: "The timeline is always as rapid as it makes sense for consumers. (In regards to mass NFC adoption) That's a combination of having a critical mass of the merchants, which is what you're seeing right now, and getting devices into the hands of consumers. I don't know of a handset manufacturer that isn't in process of making sure their stuff is PayPass ready."

McLaughlin would not specifically say Apple, however except to say, "well, anytime someone with a major base moves forward, it advances what you're doing. So of course [Apple is necessary in NFC reaching critical mass]."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

EA looking to fix Battlefield 3 player ban glitch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2012 21:52

EA looking to fix Battlefield 3 player ban glitch Over the past few days, innocent Battlefield 3 fans have been banned from playing the game, causing widespread anger.

Electronic Arts (EA) has addressed the issues today, blaming "select 3rd party services" for the issues.

In a blog post, the publisher says: "Together with the 3rd party service providers we have taken steps to remove the faulty bans, and improve the protection against future fake bans. We have determined that the root cause resulting in the server bans is not directly related to Battlefield 3, but rather related to select 3rd party services which server owners can use in conjunction with PunkBuster to protect their servers.

"If you are able to log in to Battlelog, your account has not been banned by EA or DICE so there is no need to contact Customer Support. This issue did not affect Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 players of Battlefield 3."


For now, the post also tells affected players to try "joining other PunkBuster enabled servers."




AfterDawn: News

Analyst: Amazon Kindle Fire approaching 6 million units sold

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2012 21:38

Analyst: Amazon Kindle Fire approaching 6 million units sold According to Stifel Nicolaus analyst Jordan Rohan, Amazon Kindle Fire sales are approaching 6 million.

The analyst raised his estimate of Q4 sales to six million from the previous five million.

Reads the analyst's note to clients: "Kindle Fire has staked out an important market position due to its loyal Amazon customer base and attractive (low) device pricing. We believe the lower hardware price will correlate with high e-book and video content attach rates."

In conclusion: "We believe that software attach rates correlate inversely with the hardware price. From Amazon's perspective, this could drive real upside in its North American media segment revenues. From a cost perspective, the shift to digital delivery of content could help Amazon avoid costly free shipping subsidies. Hence, we believe there is a great deal more to the Kindle device strategy than most have discounted."

The Amazon Kindle Fire has proven to be the first tablet to compete (somewhat) with the Apple iPad on a volume scale.




AfterDawn: News

AP: Megaupload data will soon be deleted

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2012 21:22

AP: Megaupload data will soon be deleted According to the AP, all of the data ever stored on Megaupload could be deleted as soon as Thursday.

The mass-erase will not discriminate with the files, either, legal or illegal.

Megaupload has used the companies Carpathia Hosting Inc. and Cogent Communications Group Inc to store user data, but because the service's assets are frozen, they can no longer afford to pay the hosting companies.

The file sharing company's lawyer Ira Rothken says he is doing his best to keep the data from being wiped: "We're cautiously optimistic at this point that because the United States, as well as Megaupload, should have a common desire to protect consumers, that this type of agreement will get done."

Rothken added that around 50 million Megaupload users will have their data erased, and that the company wants its data to remain untouched also so it can defend itself in the upcoming legal case.




AfterDawn: News

Leaked image may show Verizon's plans for shared data plans

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 30 Jan 2012 17:10

Leaked image may show Verizon's plans for shared data plans Near the end of last year Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam suggested the company was working on simplifying data plans for customers with multiple devices.

Shared data plans seem like an inevitable development in the current environment where a single account may have multiple smartphones and carriers are also hoping to sell hotspot and tablet access. Besides the potential advantage for customers, it also means lower costs for the carrier according to McAdam.

Now Engadget has posted an image reportedly leaked from inside Verizon. It shows what appears to be an upcoming option for an account level data plan in their account management software. They say the image comes from Verizon training material.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon and Barnes & Noble's tablet battle may be heating up

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 30 Jan 2012 14:56

Amazon and Barnes & Noble's tablet battle may be heating up When Amazon launched their Kindle Fire tablet last year, there were significant questions about the wisdom of selling it below cost and counting on content and app revenue to make it profitability.

Less than six months later, after it became the hottest Android tablet in the world, there are significant signs that strategy has paid off in a big way. This time last year Samsung was considered the up and coming competitor for Apple in the tablet market. Now it appears the battle for Android supremacy could come down to the competition between Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

It would be fair to say Barnes & Noble fired the first shot when they introduced the Nook Color back in 2010. Although marketed as an eReader, at the time it was perhaps the first serious sub-$300 tablet. It didn't reach anything approaching iPad sales levels, but it did help Barnes & Noble take over the top spot in eReader sales during the first quarter of 2011.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Quick note: Google+ Hangout with President Obama tonight at 5:30 EST

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2012 14:19

Quick note: Google+ Hangout with President Obama tonight at 5:30 EST As a very quick note for anyone interested, U.S. President Obama is having a Google+ "Hangout" tonight, for the first time, ever.

Reads the note:

Hangout with President Obama tonight! In the first completely virtual interview from the White House, the President will answer questions submitted by people across the country through a Google+ Hangout. Watch the interview live on January 30th at 5:30 p.m. EST right here on the White House Google+ page.


That page is here: Google+ To use Hangout, simply hit the "Hangouts" button to go live.




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile designates six Android phones as "near EOL"

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2012 14:15

T-Mobile designates six Android phones as "near EOL" It looks like T-Mobile is preparing for a whole new lineup of Android devices this spring.

Six popular phones have been designated "near EOL (end of life)," meaning their time left on the carrier is likely short. However, the designation could also mean that they just have an overabundance of inventory, which they expect to last for some time.

The devices are the HTC myTouch 4G Slide, HTC Sensation 4G, HTC Amaze 4G, LG Doubleplay, LG myTouch and the LG myTouch Q.

Most of the devices were released in the Q3 last year, so the news is pretty significant. Most notably, the three HTC devices have 4G support and are considered "flagship" devices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Galaxy Note coming next month for $300 on AT&T

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2012 13:52

Galaxy Note coming next month for $300 on AT&T First announced at CES, AT&T has finally revealed the date and pricing of the mini-tablet/phone Samsung Galaxy Note.

Pre-orders on the device begin on February 5th for release on February 17th. If you do not want to pre-order or want to pick it up in a store, launch is February 19th.

The device will sell for $300 with 2-year contract and will require a data package.

Galaxy Note devices have a massive 5.3-inch HD Super AMOLED screen (1280×800 resolution), run on dual-core 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S3 processors, have 1 GB RAM, LTE support and Samsung's own input tool called S-Pen.

Says Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Devices, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets: "The Galaxy Note brings a new level of efficiency to busy customers who would normally rely on multiple devices. This new breed of smartphone helps consumers accomplish more with a single device than ever before. The unique all-in-one experience can simplify daily life while tapping into AT&T's 4G LTE network to let customers work even faster."




AfterDawn: News

Anonymous takes down Mexican gov websites

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2012 21:47

Anonymous takes down Mexican gov websites The hacktivist group Anonymous had turned its sights on the Mexican government.

Earlier in the week, the group took down sites belonging to the Interior Ministry, the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Most of the sites remained down for at least a small portion of the day on Friday.

The attacks are in protest of the proposed bill that will bring file-sharing fines to over $100,000 (1 million pesos). "We demand the Mexican government not continue with this law because they will take away our freedom of speech and file sharing," read an Anonymous statement. The proposal has been dubbed the Mexican version of SOPA.

In the U.S., the SOPA/PIPA bills have been shelved indefinitely, but Mexicans may not be so lucky.

The politician behind the bill, Frederico Doring, took to Twitter to deride the actions. Doring says Anonymous has the right to protest his proposal but not attack websites.




AfterDawn: News

New record set, 13 game consoles played in 60 seconds

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2012 21:19

New record set, 13 game consoles played in 60 seconds Just a week after late-night TV host Jimmy Fallon set the record for most video game consoles played in 60 seconds, Ohayocon Tournament Coordinator Ryan Sullivan of Ohio has shattered the record.

Fallon played 9 consoles, while Sullivan played 13.

The consoles and games were as follows:

Super Nintendo- Super Mario World
Wii- Wii Sports Resort (100 Pin Bowling)
Xbox 360- Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition
Gamecube - Super Smash Bros. Melee
NES - Legend of Zelda
Dreamcast - Crazy Taxi
Playstation - Gex
Genesis - Sonic The Hedgehog
Xbox - Halo 2
PS2 - Namco Museum 50th Anniversary (Rolling Thunder)
Sega Saturn - Revolution X
PS3 - Tekken 6
Atari VCS - Missile Command

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

BitDefender: 'Frankenware' mutant virus now in the wild

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2012 20:29

BitDefender: 'Frankenware' mutant virus now in the wild According to security firm BitDefender, there are numerous "frankenware" viruses in the wild, viruses that have mutated with other computer malware.

The new software is "dangerously unpredictable" and can be very hard to defend against, notes the firm.

Says Catalin Cosoi, head of the Online Threats Lab at BitDefender: "As with evolution, these things happen accidentally. The combination doesn't usually work, but sometimes it does." After searching through 10 million pieces of malicious software and code, the labs says it found 40,000 "frankenwares."

Usually, the mixture occurs when the two malwares have complementary features, like for example, "if one is a keylogger while the other is designed with a wormlike ability to propagate quickly." Because most anti-virus programs use signature definitions, the new hybrids are generally easier to detect. However, since the mutants have different file sizes then their creators, some detection tools may completely miss them.

Rival Symantec says they have not seen anything "of the sort."




AfterDawn: News

Nook Tablet rooted with SD card

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2012 14:35

Nook Tablet rooted with SD card Although the Nook Tablet has been rootable out of the box, the process was notoriously user unfriendly.

This week, the devs over at XDA have found a much easier way to root the tablet, (which still has a locked bootloader) using a microSD card. Writing some files to the microSD and booting will bring you to ClockworkMod recovery, effectively opening up the device.

AC has the instructions: "All you have to do to get the custom recovery files to boot is copy the files provided to a card, insert it into the tablet and reboot. (You don't even have to format the card, unlike some Nook Color methods.) Once inside ClockworkMod Recovery, you can flash custom software or use another hack to get ADB file pushing from your computer. Flash the root ZIP file and you're done."

For now the root method works on Nook Tablets with firmware 1.4.1 or older.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile to give unlocked iPhone customers support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2012 14:15

T-Mobile to give unlocked iPhone customers support Starting on January 30th, T-Mobile will offer unlocked iPhone customers additional support.

There are over 1 million people using unlocked iPhones on T-Mobile's network, even though the phone has never been officially released for the carrier.

Leaked documents claim the new support includes "common procedures, information about feature and specifications and other basic device questions."

Furthermore, the T-Mobile Community iPhone site will be updated to "fit in with the rest of the T-Mobile supported device pages and "Integrated Scope of Support" for representatives."

T-Mobile remains the only major U.S. carrier to not have an official iPhone, but that could change in 2012 since the large AT&T acquisition failed to materialize, meaning T-Mobile will be around for the long haul.




AfterDawn: News

Google Earth now one smooth image

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2012 18:57

Google Earth now one smooth image With the release of Google Earth 6.2 this week, Google was very proud to announce that the earth mapping software now has one smooth satellite image of the planet instead of a map patched together by images taken at different times.

The globe looked a bit like a quilt instead of a fluid image, but that challenge has now been eliminated.

Says Google: "We're introducing a new way of rendering imagery that smooths out this quilt of images. The end result is a beautiful new Earth-viewing experience that preserves the unique textures of the world's most defining geographic landscapes?without the quilt effect."

The effect can be seen on all updates to the app, including mobile and desktop version. All older versions of the software before 6.2 will have it, as well, but Google, as with all software makers, is encouraging users to update to the latest.

Additionally, you can now share your screenshots via Google+ directly if you have an account. Finally, the software now has included biking, transit and walking directions.




AfterDawn: News

Jon Rubinstein leaves HP

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2012 12:50

Jon Rubinstein leaves HP In April 2010, HP announced it was purchasing the struggling smartphone maker Palm for $1.2 billion, after at least four other companies gave serious bids.

Palm had put itself up for sale that March after it became clear that the company's phones were not selling and it only had enough cash to last the next 12 months.

With the acquisition, former Palm CEO Jon Rubinstein came on board as high-ranking executive at HP, with a commitment to stay 12-24 months.

After a rough year at HP, in which the company discontinued all of its webOS hardware projects and then turned the software open-source after unsuccessfully trying to sell it, Rubinstein has left. Says HP: "Jon has fulfilled his commitment to HP. We wish him well."

A spokesperson for Rubinstein says the exec is "going to take a well deserved break after four and a half years of developing webOS."




AfterDawn: News

Twitter to make DMCA takedown notices available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2012 12:33

Twitter to make DMCA takedown notices available Twitter will be making takedown notices and orders sent to Twitter publicly available for all to see.

The company is working with "Chilling Effects" on the transparency, which is available at chillingeffects.org/twitter.

There are already thousands of DMCA takedown notices in the database, which appears to be updated every few weeks. Here is an example: Takedown notice

In the notices there are links to movies, books, photographs and TV, all of which are unauthorized downloads. Twitter must then delete the tweets.

Additionally, Twitter will take orders for takedowns of content from governments of certain nations. The Tweet will then be deleted in that country but still available in other nations.




AfterDawn: News

Steam app headed to iOS, Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2012 12:08

Steam app headed to iOS, Android Valve has announced this week that a Steam app is headed to Android and iOS devices.

The application will support screenshots, chat, groups and be able to purchase games on the run.

Gabe Newell, Valve boss, says: "Seeing which of your friends are online and playing a game, sending quick messages, looking at screenshots for an upcoming game, or catching a sale.. these are all features customers have requested. Mobile is changing way people interact, play games and consume media, and the Steam app is part of our commitment to meet customer demands and expand the service functionality of Steam to make it richer and more accessible for everyone."

For now, the app is available in closed beta, with Valve sending out invites "as the service ramps up."




AfterDawn: News

Transformer Prime ICS lockups to be fixed next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2012 11:37

Transformer Prime ICS lockups to be fixed next month Hundreds of users have complained of "random lockups" of their Transformer Prime after updating to Android 4.0 ICS, but that should be a problem of the past, soon.

Asus says it "hope[s] to have a fix available in early February" for the issue.

Most of the users who had the issue saw lockups of the tablet while browsing or in high-performance mode. There are about 400 replies in the XDA Developers thread in response to the issue.

The first ever quad-core tablet has been marred by issues since its launch, including Wi-Fi signal and Bluetooth problems. The tablet has built-in GPS but it so useless Asus has removed it from the spec sheet.

Furthermore, Asus is releasing an unlock tool for the bootloader next month, as well, making it easier for devs to create custom ROMs.




AfterDawn: News

Apple to reward employees with massive discount on products

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2012 10:46

Apple to reward employees with massive discount on products CEO Tim Cook has noted this week that employees will be given a major discount on Apple products, starting in June.

Employees already get 25 percent off Macs and iOS products, but in a few months they will also be given an extra $500 off Macs and $250 off iPads. For example, the low-end Macbook Air will cost just $250 after the discount and new credit. Whether you hate Apple or not, $250 for the MBA is an extremely good deal.

The new credit comes with a few caveats, says 9to5, which are you must be working for Apple for three months to use the credit and you can only use the credit once every three years.

Mac Minis are excluded since they are so cheap already, but everything else seems fair game on the Mac end.

Seems Apple is putting some of that $97.7 billion in cash to good use.




AfterDawn: News

Megauploader users to sue U.S. over lost files

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2012 10:17

Megauploader users to sue U.S. over lost files A number of angry users are contemplating suing the U.S., following the loss of terabytes of legal files when Megaupload was taken down last week.

Despite its title as a "piracy haven," hundreds of thousands of users used Megaupload to share personal videos, photos, research data and more. All of those files are possibly gone now that the site remains offline, and in the possession of the U.S. Department of Justice.

There is still a chance users will get their files back, but it is not a foregone conclusion.

According to Freak, Pirate Parties around the world are preparing to file an official complaint against the U.S: "The widespread damage caused by the sudden closure of Megaupload is unjustified and completely disproportionate to the aim intended."

Additionally, "For this reason Pirates of Catalonia, in collaboration with Pirate Parties International and other Pirate Parties, have begun investigating these potential breaches of law and will facilitate submission of complaints against the US authorities in as many countries as possible, to ensure a positive and just result. This initiative is a starting point for legitimate internet users to help defend themselves from the legal abuses promoted by those wishing to aggressively lock away cultural materials for their own financial gain."




AfterDawn: News

Is Nintendo considering changing the name of the Wii U?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2012 20:27

Is Nintendo considering changing the name of the Wii U? CVG is reporting this week that Nintendo is considering changing the name of the upcoming Wii U console.

Citing "sources close to the platform," Nintendo may looks to rebrand in the very near future. Nintendo allegedly cited public confusion over the 3DS, which has similar packaging and obviously, a similar name to its predecessor, the DS and DSi.

Indeed, president Satoru Iwata told investors last year that Nintendo learned "a bitter lesson" from the 3DS name fiasco.

The Wii U, which was revealed at E3 last year, is a very tiny console with a touchscreen controller that powers the gaming and the console. The Wii U means "Wii (we) can all play as a family or in group formats and yet can be played in "unique" (hence U)."




AfterDawn: News

Motorola shipped 1 million tablets last year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2012 19:36

Motorola shipped 1 million tablets last year Motorola shipped 1 million Android tablets in 2011.

According to the company's quarterly earnings, it appears that Motorola shipped 200,000 tablets during the Q4 pushing the total to about 1 million.

Motorola brought the first Honeycomb tablet to market in February 2011 with the launch of the XOOM. More recently, the company introduced the Droid XYBOARD 8.2 and XYBOARD 10.1, but each of those went on sale in January, likely meaning shipments will be included in the next quarter's earnings.

There are three models of the Xoom available, a Wi-Fi-only, a 3G-only, and a 3G/4G model, which was the last to be released.

Altogether, 10.5 million Android tablets were shipped in the last quarter of 2011, compared to 15.2 million iPads, making Motorola's share minuscule.




AfterDawn: News

Google says goodbye to the Android menu button

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2012 19:06

Google says goodbye to the Android menu button Google has hinted at it for months, but it's finally done; the Android hardware "Menu" button is dead and will no longer be needed going forward.

Starting in the next few months, all Google-approved Android devices will launch without a hardware Menu button.

Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich tablet users should be used to soft keys instead of hardware keys, but everyone running Gingerbread (like 98 percent of us) have likely grown accustomed to pressing an actual button.

Replacing the Menu button is the Action Bar, which Google explains is "A window feature at the top of the activity that may display the activity title, navigation modes, and other interactive items." Google has kindly asked all devs to begin using the Action Bar in their coding, saying: "In order to provide the most intuitive and consistent user experience in your apps, you should migrate your designs away from using the Menu button and toward using the action bar. This isn't a new concept - the action bar pattern has been around on Android even before Honeycomb - but as Ice Cream Sandwich rolls out to more devices, it's important that you begin to migrate your designs to the action bar in order to promote a consistent Android user experience."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

South Korea moving to 1 gigabit Internet connections

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2012 18:40

South Korea moving to 1 gigabit Internet connections The New York Times is reporting that South Korea is preparing to increase their already fast Internet speeds.

South Korea already has the fastest residential speeds in the world, with every household having a connection that downloads at about 16 Mbits per second.

Reads the report: "By the end of 2012, South Korea intends to connect every home in the country to the Internet at one gigabit per second. That would be a tenfold increase from the already blazing national standard and more than 200 times as fast as the average household setup in the United States."

While South Koreans download at over 16 Mbits per second, the average American is running a much slower connection at 4.6 Mbits per second. There are, of course, 100 Mbit connections in the U.S., but they are certainly not commonplace.

While having superior speeds, South Koreans also pay less, paying the equivalent of $38 USD per month. The average American is paying $46 per month for their connection.

A bigger list of average speeds found here: Global Internet connection speeds




AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm going to create one Android game every year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2012 14:27

Qualcomm going to create one Android game every year Earlier this month, chip maker Qualcomm launched their GameCommand application for Android devices.

The app shows off what games in the market are optimized for their Snapdragon CPUs, including single and dual core models. To even download the application you need to have a device with a Snapdragon CPU.

Dave Durnil, Director of Advanced Content and Gaming at Qualcomm (via AandMe), says the second, much-improved version of the app is coming next month at the Mobile World Congress. The updated app will bring the ability to add custom RSS feeds and new filters to sort games by publisher, size, etc.

Additionally, tablet layout support will be much improved.

Finally, and most notably, Qualcomm has now invested in an in-house studio which will create 1 major Android title every year. The studio currently has one "mini-title," the popular "Desert Winds."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Textbook ordered from Amazon comes with cocaine in it

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2012 14:18

Textbook ordered from Amazon comes with cocaine in it Sophia Stockton of MidAmerica Nazarene University walked into a police station today in Kansas to report that the textbook she had ordered from Amazon had come with a little extra surprise, a bag of cocaine.

Stockton says when first opening the book, a clear plastic bag fell out filled with white powder. Scared the powder might be dangerous, the student took the book and bag to the local police station.

Officers tested the substance, which turned out to be cocaine: "He put some gloves on and put it in a plastic bag, he took it back to test it and like 10 minutes later he came back and said, 'Did you happen to order some cocaine with your textbook?,'" said Stockton.

Stockton says the book came from Amazon, not a third-party vendor, and it came entirely wrapped. The book was ironically "Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues."

Police destroyed the cocaine and have asked Amazon for comment.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix kills game rental idea

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2012 14:10

Netflix kills game rental idea During Netflix's quarterly earnings report, CEO Reed Hastings made it clear that the company's possible endeavor in to game rentals is dead.

The CEO simply stated the company has "no plans to enter video games."

During the summer, as Netflix prepared to spin-off its DVD-by-mail service into "Qwikster," the company hinted that it was preparing to get into the game rental business, making Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii titles available by mail. Within weeks, however, Qwikster was dead and the game rental idea was put on the shelf.

With Netflix bowing out, GameFly remains the only major by-mail rental outfit for games, but the price can be hefty at $16 per month for one game out at a time, and $23 for two.

Although the company did not disclose why it killed the idea, it is likely because the expense of signing deals with major publishers was too much to handle for the company that is expanding streaming internationally and building its catalog at a fast pace.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox Next will use Blu-ray, not play used games

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2012 0:15

Xbox Next will use Blu-ray, not play used games According to Kotaku, Microsoft's upcoming console will play Blu-ray discs, catching up to Sony 7 years after the launch of the PS3.

Another part of the report that will certainly be notable if true, is the notion that Microsoft will "incorporate some sort of anti-used game system" in the new console. It is unclear how this system would work, but it will likely not be foolproof, regardless.

Additionally, Microsoft is likely to launch the console with the Kinect 2 motion control system including a built-in processor. The processor would allow the Kinect to process motions more accurately and smoother.

Microsoft would only say this: "As an innovator we're always thinking about what is next and how we can push the boundaries of technology like we did with Kinect. We believe the key to extending the lifespan of a console is not just about the console hardware, but about the games and entertainment experiences being delivered to consumers. Beyond that we don't comment on rumors or speculation."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android moves to 39 percent tablet market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2012 21:48

Android moves to 39 percent tablet market share Android is well on its way to controlling the tablet market, although Apple continues to see impressive growth in the sector, as well.

Apple, which at one point had 97 percent of the global market share, is down to 57.6 percent share, followed by 39.1 percent for Android. In the Q4 2011, Apple sold 15.4 million iPads while a handful of manufacturers including Asus, Motorola, HTC and Samsung sold 10.5 million Android-based tablets.

Microsoft was a distant third with 1.5 percent share, with 400,000 Windows 7 tablets being sold during the quarter.

To show how strong Android's growth is, Apple had 68.2 percent share in the Q4 2010, and Android was in second at 29 percent. Says one analyst: "Dozens of Android models distributed across multiple countries by numerous brands such as Amazon, Samsung, Asus and others have been driving volumes. Android is so far proving relatively popular with tablet manufacturers despite nagging concerns about fragmentation of Android's operating system, user-interface and app store ecosystem."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Rhapsody acquires Napster International

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2012 21:33

Rhapsody acquires Napster International Just a few months after acquiring Napster US, Rhapsody has announced their acquisition of Napster International.

The company will now operate the music service in Germany and the UK.

Adds Rhapsody president Jon Irwin: "The acquisition of Napster and its subscriber base in the UK and Germany gives us an ideal entry to the European market. Through the benefit of scale, the strength of our editorial programming and strategic partnerships, we can now bring the Napster service to even more consumers on a variety of platforms."

Current Napster subscribers will be migrated to "the Rhapsody infrastructure" in March, gaining features and keeping their current libraries.

Rhapsody, which launched in 2001, is the first and largest subscription music service in the U.S. with 1 million paying subscribers and 14 million tracks available. The service is popular as it is available on all smartphone platforms.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox Live headed to Android, iOS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2012 13:18

Xbox Live headed to Android, iOS Microsoft has confirmed it is working on bringing 'Xbox experiences' to Android and iOS devices.

Xbox Live, the company's online gaming and social network, remains compatible with just Windows Phone devices for now, but that should change within the year.

Says a spokesman to Forbes: "While the Xbox Live experiences and games always work best on the Windows platform, we understand that some Xbox fans may be using other types of devices. To satisfy that need, we are working to extend a few of our Xbox experiences and titles to other platforms."

Microsoft already has a "My Xbox Live app" on iOS but the app only helps you track your achievements and talk with friends.

Additionally, Microsoft recently announced the end of its points currency on Xbox Live, which will move back to actual dollar amounts by the end of the year. Many had criticized the currency and its exchange rate as many people were left with small amounts of points that were useless and required a new block purchase just to buy an item they wanted.




AfterDawn: News

RealNetworks sells $120 million worth of patents, software to Intel

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2012 13:08

RealNetworks sells $120 million worth of patents, software to Intel RealNetworks has announced they have sold about $120 million worth of video software and patents to Intel.

The company retains the right to use the technology, and Intel gets to build up their portfolio of patents in the realm of smartphones, notebooks and other portables. Real will also work with Intel on continued development of all patents and software involved.

Intel will be paying for 190 patents and 170 patent applications, as well streaming video compression/decompression software.

Says Real CEO Thomas Nielsen: "To bring new technology like that [video software] to market requires significant reach into the consumer and business markets. A partner like Intel has the capacity and size to do that."

Streaming video, especially on smartphones and tablets, is showing exponential growth and many companies are jousting for a chance at market share and to offer the best experience.




AfterDawn: News

Logitech: We are out of Revue units

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2012 12:56

Logitech: We are out of Revue units Following the company's quarterly earnings report, it was revealed that Logitech has finally sold out of the Revue set-top box, the failed Google TV experiment that caused the previous CEO to be fired.

Logitech has also taken its name of the Google TV supporter list, but says there is a chance they can return in the future.

The company took a massive loss on the boxes, being forced to drop the price from $299 to $99 after just a few months on the market. CEO Guerrino de Luca admitted the company was far too bullish on the technology when it launched the box, overinvesting at a time when it was still unclear whether the technology would be widely embraced.

Google TV allows users to stream videos and access sites and apps via their TVs using a set-top box and impressive keyboard. Media companies have mostly blocked access to their streaming sites via Google TV, however, making the service useless in its current form.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPhone 5 ready for production?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2012 0:11

iPhone 5 ready for production? 9to5Mac is citing a Foxconn employee who has apparently spilled some of the beans on the upcoming iPhone 5.

Word is the iPhone 5 is almost ready for production, with sample devices already available.

For the actual device, the iPhone 5 will have a 4-inch display, will not have a tear-drop form factor like rumored, will have a different form factor than the iPhone 4S, and will include LTE support.

While none of this is confirmed, of course, the sources say the iPhone 5 is coming this summer, as Apple moves back to its normal June release schedule.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix CEO: DVD subscriptions will decline, forever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2012 22:41

Netflix CEO: DVD subscriptions will decline, forever After a very rough 2011, Netflix came through today with stronger than expected earnings and a boost in subscribers.

The company will continue to see losses in 2012, mainly thanks to the extreme costs of rolling out streaming services internationally.

During the report, Netflix revealed for the first time the kind of margins the company makes on its two products, DVD subscriptions and streaming subscriptions. Streaming comes in at just 11 percent profit margin, while the DVD rental business has a hefty 52 percent margin.

Unfortunately for Netflix, CEO Reed Hastings confirms that the DVD rental business is a dying one: "We expect DVD Subscribers to decline every quarter.. forever." In the Q4 2011, the company lost 2.76 million DVD subscribers whilst gaining 220,000 streaming customers. One the other hand, however, Hastings says "profitability of each new streaming subscriber is almost twice what it is for DVDs -we'd obviously like them to do both, but if they're only going to use one, we'd much prefer they use streaming."

Netflix recently expanded to the UK and Ireland and will compete with LoveFilm in the region.




AfterDawn: News

Ex-Microsoft employee suspect in Kelihos botnet attacks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2012 22:17

Ex-Microsoft employee suspect in Kelihos botnet attacks Microsoft has confirmed this week that it suspects a former employee is behind the massive Kelihos botnet attacks.

The man, Russian citizen Andrey Sabelnikov "wrote and/or participated in creating" the software which infected over 40,000 machines in 2011. Kelihos was used to send spam and malware before being shutdown last September.

Sabelnikov was a former employee in Microsoft's anti-virus division. Sabelnikov is currently working on a freelance basis with a software development and consulting firm, says the BBC. The company notes that thousands of PCs remain infected to this day.

Microsoft bases its allegations "on evidence Microsoft investigators uncovered while analyzing the Kelihos malware."

Kelihos was in charge of 41,000 infected machines sending over 3.8 billion spam emails per day at its peak.




AfterDawn: News

RIAA comments on the death of Megaupload

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2012 19:39

RIAA comments on the death of Megaupload Last week, the U.S. government shut down Megaupload.com, one of the largest and longest running cyberlockers in the business. Its founders, Kim Dotcom and a handful of employees were also arrested, charged with copyright infringement.

Megaupload and its owners are accused of taking over $500 million from copyright holders due to piracy, and cashing in on $175 million in profits from ads and premium subscriptions. At its peak, Megaupload had 150 million registered users and 50 million daily uniques, placing it in the top 25 most trafficked websites on the entire planet.

Today, the RIAA has posted its response to the closure, and why it is so important for the world. (Post in its entirety):

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Putting Apple's $97.6 billion cash into perspective

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2012 19:27

Putting Apple's $97.6 billion cash into perspective Yesterday, we reported that Apple's strong earnings had sent the company's hoard of cash to an unprecedented $97.7 billion.

Bloomberg has a fantastic article on what Apple could do with the money (none of which are logical, of course) and it also put the amount of money in perspective.

First, the news site says Apple could effectively bail-out Greece, by paying its debt payments for the next two years. Greece, which is on the verge of bankruptcy, has been bailed out twice by its European Union counterparts, but remains in trouble.

Secondly, Apple's revenue for this quarter, alone, was 4 times larger than South African nation Zambia's annual GDP.

Third, Apple now has a market value larger than Exxon Mobil, which literally prints money with its oil sales and has more cash.

Fourth, Apple's cash is larger than the combined market value of Boeing, Alcoa and Travelers, three of just thirty companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the most watched stock market index.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nokia Lumia 900 to cost just $99 with contract?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2012 15:27

Nokia Lumia 900 to cost just $99 with contract? BGR is reporting today that Nokia's Lumia 900 may come with just a $99 price tag when it launches later this year, becoming a "game changer" for Microsoft and Windows Phone.

Citing a first quarter 2012 roadmap from AT&T sources, the expected launch date for the phone is March 18th, but that is certainly not set in stone.

The phone is still looking to receive technical acceptance in the U.S., which could push the launch date.

At $99 and with a nice spec sheet, especially for a Windows Phone device, the launch could certainly be a game changer for the operating system which has yet to really gain traction, at least not in the U.S.

The Lumia 900 has 4.3-inch AMOLED display, 1.4GHz single-core processor, Nokia's ClearBlack technology, LTE support, an 1830 mAh battery, 512MB RAM, 16GB internal storage and an 8MP Carl Zeiss camera with large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm). The phone also has a 1MP front facing camera.




AfterDawn: News

Here are the rumored Xbox Next specs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2012 15:08

Here are the rumored Xbox Next specs 2013's Xbox Next (or Xbox 720, whatever you prefer) has seen its first rumored spec sheet today, courtesy of IGN.

The successor to the seven-year-old console will run on a Radeon 6000 series GPU, making it "six times more powerful" than the current system.

These specs come via "sources close to the project," and the GPU will be a variant of the Radeon HD 6670. Surprisingly the console will not use AMD's new Radeon 7900 lineup. The 6670 can be found for under $80 for the PC as it is over a year old.

Additionally, the Xbox Next will provide "20 percent greater performance" than the upcoming Wii U.

Finally, the console will launch in early November of next year, reads the report.




AfterDawn: News

Jimmy Wales says the MPAA should fire Chris Dodd

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 25 Jan 2012 14:48

Jimmy Wales says the MPAA should fire Chris Dodd SOPA and PIPA may have been dealt a setback by last week's widespread protests, but neither has been withdrawn completely. Likewise, opponents of overreaching anti-piracy legislation continue to speak out.

No individual has received more attention than Wikimedia's Jimmy Wales. Wikipedia was certainly the biggest website to go dark on January 18 in protest of the two bills. While the decision to join the blackout was based on widespread community support, it was Wales who got the ball rolling last year, and ultimately the choice was in his hands.

MPAA Chairman, and former US Senator, Chris Dodd responded to the blackout by calling it "an abuse of power." Later he appeared on Fox News and blatantly threatened to cut off campaign funding for politicians over their opposition to the bills.

Speaking at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich, Wales responded to the MPAA rhetoric. He said of the protests "that?s democracy," adding that Dodd "had best get used to it." He then went even further and suggested the MPAA should fire Dodd.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPad and Mac sales push Apple past HP as the top computer brand

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 25 Jan 2012 11:30

iPad and Mac sales push Apple past HP as the top computer brand Apple's sales in the final quarter of last year were impressive by any objective standard.

They sold 37 million iPhones, making them the number one smartphone brand once again, while continuing to generate impressive margins. But what may be even more significant is the iPad's showing. In fact, if you combine iPad and Mac sales, Apple appears to have become the top computer company in the world.

Two weeks ago a Gartner report indicated that HP shipped 14.7 million PCs over the same period. For a fair comparison, you would have to add their last batch of TouchPads, estimated at 200,000 units and refurbished TouchPads, almost certainly totaling no more than another 100,000. Apple's iPad sales, amounting to 15.4 million units, beat that on their own. Add in desktops and laptops and the number climbs to 20.6 million units.

Source: Gartner


Company
4Q11 Shipments4Q11 Market Share (%)4Q10 Shipments4Q10 Market Share (%)4Q11-4Q10 Growth (%)
HP14,712,26616.017,554,18118.8-16.2
Lenovo12,931,13614.010,516,77211.323.0
Dell11,633,88012.610,796,31711.67.8
Acer Group9,823,21410.712,043,60612.9-18.4
Asus6,243,1186.85,180,9135.520.5
Others36,827,66640.037,358,78640.0-1.4
Total92,171,280100.093,450,575100.0-1.4
Note: Data includes desk-based PCs, mobile PCs, including mini-notebooks but not media tablets such as the iPad.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

WD: Hard drive prices are 47 percent higher since Thai floods

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jan 2012 23:38

WD: Hard drive prices are 47 percent higher since Thai floods Western Digital has reported their quarterly earnings today, and there are finally some hard numbers to show off the effect of the floods in Thailand.

Year-over-year, the company saw a huge drop in drives shipped, down to 28.5 million down from 52.2 million. The company took a $200 million loss in expenses related to the floods, and a $500 million drop in total revenue.

On the other hand, prices jumped 47 percent to $69 per unit over last year, thanks in part to a large gross margin increase. Margins are now at a hefty 32.5 percent compared to 19.2 percent last year.

Thai factories are expected to be up and running to pre-flood capacities by September and a full pipeline ready by March 2013.

Other hard drive makers have made similar statements so do not expect hard drive prices to return to their all-time lows (summer 2011) anytime soon.




AfterDawn: News

Apple has almost $100 billion in cash

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jan 2012 23:17

Apple has almost $100 billion in cash Thanks to Apple's strong earnings this past quarter, the company's hoard of cash has reached $97.7 billion.

As the company's cash balloons, executives have finally hinted that they have "big plans" for the money, after sitting on it for years.

At the end of the last quarter, Apple had $81.6 billion in cash.

Says Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer: "We're actively discussing uses of our cash balance, and have no specifics to share. In the meantime, we continue to be disciplined with cash, and are not letting it burn a hole in our pockets.

"We have always discussed, internally with the management team and with our board, our cash. We recognize that the cash is growing for all of the right reasons. And I would characterize our discussions today as actiive as what makes the most sense to do."


Although the company is actively discussing ways to use the cash, the company is in no hurry to do so.

Chart from Hoarce Deidu:




AfterDawn: News

Paramount first to offer UltraViolet films directly

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jan 2012 22:57

Paramount first to offer UltraViolet films directly Paramount Pictures has become the first studio to offer UltraViolet films directly, not just including them in Blu-ray purchases.

Additionally, the studio has joined Warner, Sony and Universal in including UltraViolet digital copies in its upcoming Blu-ray films.

If you click to ParamountMovies.com, you can browse through the collection and either rent or purchase the film of your choice. Renting does not use UltraViolet but purchases do. As expected, Paramount has not put their entire catalog up, but there are new and older films, including Super 8 and Chinatown.

After purchasing the films, you can download them or stream. iOS streaming is also available, but offline viewing is not for the devices. There is also no support for set-top boxes or the PS3/Xbox 360 yet, either.

SD titles cost $12.99 and HD cost $19.99. Ultraviolet titles remain in your digital locker forever.




AfterDawn: News

Kim Dotcom loses title of top Modern Warfare 3 player

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jan 2012 22:04

Kim Dotcom loses title of top Modern Warfare 3 player Last week we reported that Kim Dotcom, the larger-than-life founder of Megaupload, was also apparently the top Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3 player in the world.

Dotcom, who was arrested last week as the DOJ shutdown Megaupload, went by the name "MEGARACER" in MW3 multi-player and had over 180,000 kills as of his arrest.

Adding to the man's rough week is the fact that he has already been surpassed as the top player in the blockbuster game. A player with the handle "Arazos" is now the top player, and will likely remain there as Dotcom sits in prison awaiting a hearing.

Arazos has 9.09 million points on the MW3 leader boards, just eking past MEGARACER's 9.05 million. Arazos also has 181,000 kills to just 63,418 death, a ratio of 2.87 compared to Dotcom's 2.10.

The 6'6 285 pound Dotcom has been held without bail thanks to his history of fleeing criminal charges and his access to millions of dollars and guns.




AfterDawn: News

Audiobooks.com starts unlimited subscription service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jan 2012 21:47

Audiobooks.com starts unlimited subscription service Audiobooks.com, the popular destination for audio books, has started an unlimited subscription package.

For $25 per month, the company will give you unlimited access to 11,000 audio books either through the website or an HTML5 mobile app.

The company's more popular rival, Audible, has a monthly membership, but users pay a certain fee for "credits" to access a certain amount of books.

Despite being the first company to offer an unlimited package for audio books, there are certainly tradeoffs if you are a current Audible member. Audible has 100,000 titles and only "three of the top five New York Times bestselling non-fiction books and two of the five bestselling fiction books are available on" Audiobooks, compared to all 10 on Audible, says Mash.

Additionally, Audible books are downloadable and kept while Audiobooks expire when you stop paying.




AfterDawn: News

Apple destroys earnings, stock heads to all-time high

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jan 2012 21:00

Apple destroys earnings, stock heads to all-time high Apple has crushed their fourth quarter earnings report this afternoon, selling a record amount of iPhones, iPads and Mac computers.

The company brought in $46.3 billion in revenue, another record, with $13 billion profit, yet another record. For the year, sales were up 73 percent, and profit was up 105 percent year-over-year.

Smashing their previous record for iPhone sales, the company sold 37 million units during the quarter. Analysts had expected a number closer to 32 million. iPhone sales were up 128 percent from the same quarter in 2010.

CEO Tim Cook noted that there were still shortages in some nations as demand remains strong: "We made a very bold bet in the quarter about what demand would be, and we were [still] short of supply throughout the quarter. The situation has improved some from the end of the quarter until now, but we are still short in some key geographic areas."

Even in the U.S., iPhone 4S devices still take five days to ship.

For iPads, Apple sold 15.4 million of the tablets, up 111 percent from the Q4 in 2010. Apple also sold 5.2 million Macs, breaking the record set last quarter.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple loses again - Dutch judge says Samsung can keep selling tablets

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 24 Jan 2012 17:34

Apple loses again - Dutch judge says Samsung can keep selling tablets Samsung has notched another victory against Apple in the continuing saga of lawsuits over mobile device patents. A Dutch court has upheld last year's denial of a preliminary injunction against sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

This is not a final ruling in the patent suit, but it does allow Samsung to sell their tablets while the lawsuit continues. The Dutch ruling runs counter to a German ruling in Apple's favor.

Germany and the Netherlands were chosen for Apple's European lawsuits because that's where Samsung's distribution centers are located. If they are banned in those two countries, they would effectively be unavailable throughout the EU.

In a post on his FOSS Patents blog, Florian Mueller explained the difference between the two decisions, which are both based on the same patents, and also explained why this may be a sign the German decision could be overturned. He also included some analysis of a similar decision in the US:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

TV support comes to the Boxee Box

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 24 Jan 2012 16:16

TV support comes to the Boxee Box Today Boxee 1.5 has been released for their set-top box and pre-orders of TV tuners for the Boxee Box began shipping.

The combination of the new software and USB TV tuner stick allow Boxee Boxes to be used for watching live TV. As of now, there is no DVR functionality, but the company is looking into the possibility of adding it in the future.

Boxee 1.5 for Windows, OS X, and Linux was released late last year, but doesn't include all the features in the set-top box version. Most notably, it doesn't include tuner support. In fact, at the end of this month they are discontinuing it completely to concentrate on the Boxee Box.

So why should you use a Boxee Box for watching TV? In his announcement today, Boxee's Andrew Kippen laid out some reasons:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Cyanogenmod dev suggests a new banned-by-Google app store

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 24 Jan 2012 15:37

Cyanogenmod dev suggests a new banned-by-Google app store One of the major reasons some people favor Android over iOS is Google's generally lax standards for Android Market submissions.

Which isn't to say there aren't any standards at all. In fact, one of the provisions of the Android Market developer agreement forbids any app which allows the user to bypass carrier restrictions. That includes apps for rooting or unauthorized tethering.

Koushik Dutta, a CyanogenMod developer and creator of the widely used ClockworkMod and ROM Manager, has floated the idea of a new store for apps which are disallowed by this provision. In a post to Google+, he threw out some suggestions for discussion.

He began by explaining his personal motivation. Primarily, he is unhappy with Google's policy of bowing to carrier demands:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Western Digital agrees hard drive prices won't drop until 2013

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 24 Jan 2012 14:14

Western Digital agrees hard drive prices won't drop until 2013 Western Digital executives expect hard drive production, which took a hit thanks to flooding in Thailand last year, to return to normal levels in the second quarter of 2012, reaching retailers some time in the following quarter.

Prior to the floods, Thailand was home to multiple hard drive manufacturing plants, including the single largest drive spindle manufacturing facility in the world.

The comments, from Western Digital CEO John Coyne and COO Timothy Leyden, came during the company's quarterly earnings call with analysts yesterday. Coyne indicated the company doesn't expect retailers to reach pre-flood inventory levels until some time in 2013.

During this time he sees demand outpacing supply in reaction to current shortages. This mirrors the thoughts of Seagate CEO Stephen Luczo from last November.

Leyden provided additional details. He said that while Western Digital's assembly capacity has returned to normal, they are limited by the availability of crucial components. Specifically, he said, there is a shortage of sliders, which are an essential part of the read/write head assembly in a hard drive.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Do Apple's app store policies unfairly limit innovation?

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 24 Jan 2012 12:36

Do Apple's app store policies unfairly limit innovation? One of the hallmarks of the iPhone app environment is Apple's review process. In part, this process is used to maintain a unified look and feel between apps, which is generally good for their customers.

A unified interface makes it easier for the average user to start using a new app because certain design elements are universally consistent. But sometimes this control has a down side as well. It is impossible, to distinguish between poor design and innovation based purely on a simple set of rules.

Take, for example, the Air Dictate app from Avatron. Air Dictate allows iPhone 4S users to utilitze Siri's voice recognition as a text entry tool for Mac applications via Wi-Fi. It uses one of the simplest and most intuitive interfaces you will find in any app - for any OS.

Now, thanks to Apple's review process, Avatron has decided to discontinue development of Air Dictate. According to an email sent to The Unofficial Apple Weblog by Avatron CEO Dave Howell, Apple didn't like Avatron's use of the keyboard in a non-standard way.

Howell explained:

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AfterDawn: News

Original Asus Transformer getting ICS update next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2012 23:36

Original Asus Transformer getting ICS update next month Asus has confirmed today that the original Transformer will get the highly-anticipated Ice Cream Sandwich update in February.

Responding to a question on Facebook, which read, "Asus, i know Google is in the process of approving the tf101 ICS update, but how long does that process usually take?," the company said "You should be receiving your update in mid-February."

The tablet currently runs on Android 3.2 Honeycomb. The update will be OTA, and Wi-Fi-only.

Asus' new Prime tablet, which is very similar but packing a quad-core processor, received the update last week.




AfterDawn: News

Absinthe jailbreak now available for Windows

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2012 21:17

Absinthe jailbreak now available for Windows Two days ago, the iOS jailbreaking "dream team" of the iPhone Dev Team, Chronic Dev Team and pod2G began offering a jailbreak solution for iPhone 4S and iPad 2 users.

Unfortunately for those with A5 iOS devices, the untethered jailbreak tools required OS X.

Today, the "Absinthe" tool is available for Windows users. Additionally, "the iPhone Dev Team has announced its command-line interface tool is now ready for download. The tool uses the same system as Absinthe to jailbreak, but allows users to go through the motions step-by-step, with the aim being to isolate any bugs that occur during the process. The team intends to update its GUI-based application, redsn0w "once all the bugs in the flow are worked out,'" explains Verge.

Users who want to jailbreak their iPhone 4S or iPad 2 can use Absinthe which will rely on the Chronic Dev Team's servers via a VPN tunnel. Because of this, there is no guarantees your jailbreaking will be successful the first time.




AfterDawn: News

BioWare reveals PC specs needed for new Mass Effect 3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2012 20:20

BioWare reveals PC specs needed for new Mass Effect 3 Developer BioWare has revealed the specs necessary for the new Mass Effect 3 PC game (or at least for the first demo).

The minimum specs:

CPU - 1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (equivalent AMD CPU)

RAM - 1GB for XP / 2GB RAM for Vista/Win 7

Disc Drive - 1x speed

Hard Drive - 15 GB of free space

Video - 256 MB* (with Pixel Shader 3.0 support)

Sound - DirectX 9.0c compatible

DirectX - DirectX 9.0c August 2009 (included)


The recommended specs:

OS - Windows XP SP3/Vista SP1, Win 7

CPU - 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo (equivalent AMD CPU)

RAM - 2GB for XP / 4GB RAM for Vista/Win 7

Disc Drive - 1x speed

Hard Drive - 15 GB of free space

Video - AMD/ATI Radeon HD 4850 512 MB or greater, NVidia GeForce 9800 GT 512 MB or greater

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

YouTube: 4 billion videos served daily

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2012 20:09

YouTube: 4 billion videos served daily Back in November, YouTube VP of global sales Lucas Watson noted that the global video site was serving up 3.5 billion videos every day.

Today, the site is now streaming 4 billion videos per day, huge growth for such a short period. Overall, the site has seen massive 25 percent growth since May.

Additionally, the site says 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute, compared with 48 hours worth in May.

Google acquired YouTube back in 2006 for $1.65 billion, and is finally on the verge of being profitable. Graphical display ads that run in YouTube videos now generate "$5 billion in revenue on an annualized run rate basis."

While that number is large, only 3 billion YouTube videos are monetized every week, while the rest make no money or have little to no viewership.




AfterDawn: News

The Pirate Bay says they are like early Hollywood pirates

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Jan 2012 17:12

The Pirate Bay says they are like early Hollywood pirates The Pirate Bay has been cited by the MPAA and RIAA as one of the biggest reasons new anti-piracy laws are needed, along with the recently taken down MegaUpload.

During last week's blackout to protest SOPA and PIPA, they made a protest of their own via a blog post titled, "That pipe of trash that someone smoked." It contains a press release which compares the legal issues surrounding file sharing with the early days of Hollywood.

They point out the reason movie studios first re-located to California from New York was to avoid patent litigation from a patent holding company formed by Thomas Edison. In fact, the company established to control the movie industry via Edison's patents was eventually found guilty of antitrust violations in 1915.

Here is the full text of their press release:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

US advocacy group lobbies European Commission to block Google's Motorola buyout

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Jan 2012 16:15

US advocacy group lobbies European Commission to block Google's Motorola buyout US based Consumer Watchdog is lobbying EU regulators to block Google's proposed buyout of Motorola Mobility.

Consumer Watchdog is a nonprofit advocacy group who investigates allegations of corporate misconduct and corruption. They have been engaged in a campaign against Google over their data collection and search practices for several years.

In a letter to the European Commission, the body who must ok the deal in Europe, Consumer Watchdog's John Simpson claims Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility, combined with their dominance in mobile search and advertising, would create "a virtually unstoppable juggernaut."

Most of their allegations about Google's practices are based on claims from numerous companies who consider Google a competitor. These claims have already resulted in antitrust investigations by the European Commission in Europe and FTC in the US. In addition, Simpson claims Google is pressuring handset vendors to favor Google applications, but fails to cite any evidence in the letter.

He further goes on to suggest a number of other measures he believes are appropriate to reduce Google's power over Internet users around the world:

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AfterDawn: News

Cambridge research may lead to longer smartphone battery life

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Jan 2012 15:18

Cambridge research may lead to longer smartphone battery life With all the emphasis on processing and network speed, perhaps the biggest challenge in smartphone design today is energy efficiency.

Multitasking operating systems running on Multi-core processors, combined with 4G data connections, can severely limit the usefulness of a phone if you don't have access to a computer, wall outlet, or car battery to charge it in the middle of the day.

Some mobile operating systems, use scaled back multitasking and lower power processors to address the issue. The iPhone 4S is notable for underclocking its processor to increase batter life at the expense of performance. Android phones, on the other hand, tend to sacrifice battery life in favor of performance.

Now researchers at the Cambridge Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics are experimenting with harnessing wasted light from OLED panels as a secondary power source. They have accomplished this through the use of solar cells built into the display panel, which are used to charge a capacitor.

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AfterDawn: News

Official numbers exaggerated the impact of Google+

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Jan 2012 14:10

Official numbers exaggerated the impact of Google+ In the time since Google+ left beta status last year, numerous signs have emerged that it is not the Facebook killer proponents, primarily within Google, have suggested.

Despite significant interest in Google+ when the beta started, it seemed to have levelled off by the time it opened to the public in September. There was another spike in activity at that point, but once again it was short lived.

Google appeared to be looking for ways to drive interest when they announced plans to support pseudonyms in addition to real names, and later implemented the ability to create brand accounts for companies and organizations. Even the public launch of Google Music, which features Google+ integration, looks like it may have been rushed to spark interest in Google+.

But evidence continued to mount suggesting most people just aren't using Google+, which made it a little surprising when Ancestry.com's Paul Allen pointed out, in December, there were already 62 million Google+ users. Last week, Google made an equally astonishing announcement in their fiscal year 2011 earnings announcement, saying there are now 90 million Google+ users.

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AfterDawn: News

RIM co-founder loses control in management shakeup

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Jan 2012 12:43

RIM co-founder loses control in management shakeup In the wake of declining market share and serious criticism about a lack of oversight from the board of directors, Research In Motion (RIM) Co-CEOs Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie have stepped down.

The pair have also relinquished their co-chairmanship of the BlackBerry maker's board of directors. Many company outsiders, including a growing number of investors, have voiced frustration with the apparent conflict of interest caused by operations and oversight being in the same hands. In Lazaridis' case, this was magnified by his status as co-founder of the company.

Both men will remain on the board of directors, with Lazaridis becoming vice chair and also chairman of RIM's new Innovation Committee. That committee will be tasked with advising new CEO and former Chief Operations Officer Thorsten Heins regarding the company's future direction.

It remains to be seen if the changes are too little, too late to save RIM. With their next generation of BlackBerry devices not scheduled to appear until the second half of this year, the new CEO still has to convince existing customers not to jump ship to Android or iOS.

He will also need to make sure the new operating system, BBOS 10, is worth the wait. Apparently giving credence to the leaked report last year that unfinished software is the root of their product delays, Heins said, "I can't wait to see it."

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AfterDawn: News

Filesonic is down for the count, cyberlockers falling left and right

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2012 23:16

Filesonic is down for the count, cyberlockers falling left and right Following this week's mega news (no pun intended) of Megaupload being shut down by the DOJ, other cyberlockers are starting to fall, starting with popular service Filesonic.

The service has disabled the ability to share files, making the, erm, file-sharing service completely useless except for cloud storage of your own files.

Additionally, many of the site's biggest uploaders have been banned and had their files deleted, as it seems Filesonic is quickly trying to remove evidence of piracy.

Although unconfirmed, Fileserve is said to be doing the same to its uploaders, as cyberlockers run and hide in the wake of the Megaupload takedown.

One, Rapidshare, says they are not worried as "file hosting itself is a legitimate business." Rapidshare has been around for many years now, and is considered a grandfather of file sharing.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon creating fulfillment center in India

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2012 21:17

Amazon creating fulfillment center in India Amazon is preparing to break into the world's second most populated nation, creating its first fulfillment center in India.

Fulfillment centers, which Amazon has in a few nations, are massive warehouses used to store products and house logistics teams for shipping and returns. The new center is going up in Mumbai, the largest city in India.

The company has posted many immediate job positions including IT Manager, Stations Operations Manager and financial analyst.

India has a $550 billion retail market, and it is clear Amazon wants a bigger piece. The company is the largest e-tailer on the planet, with expensive fulfillment centers in the U.S., Germany, China and the UK. Amazon does have multiple software development centers in Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad and a customer-service center in Hyderabad, says Reuters.

Amazon is already popular in India due to its free shipping and free customs on all books, music and DVDs bought from Amazon.co.uk and sold to Indians.




AfterDawn: News

IRMA launches action against Ireland over pirated music

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2012 20:34

IRMA launches action against Ireland over pirated music The Irish Music Rights Association (IRMA) has launched a formal action against Ireland over unauthorized music downloads.

What seems to be the issue at hand is the Irish government promised last year to allow copyright holders to "compel" ISPs to block access to sites known to engage in music piracy. Since then, however, not much has happened and IRMA believes they are "dragging their feet" on the issues.

IRMA represents over 100 labels.

Says IRMA chairman and EMI Ireland chief executive, Willie Kavanagh of the supposed instrument the government will offer IRMA and others in the fight against piracy: "We have not yet received it, leading me to believe it?s unlikely to satisfy the music industry's requirement for injunctive relief."

The government will publish details on their expected plan next month.




AfterDawn: News

Olympus to be sued by shareholders over fraud

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2012 17:58

Olympus to be sued by shareholders over fraud 30 consumer affairs lawyers have asked Olympus shareholders to sue the company for damages after it was revealed last year that former execs covered up billions in investment losses fraudulently.

The disgraced Japanese camera company hid up to $1.7 billion in losses through fraudulent accounting over the past decade. Although there was rumors of Yakuza ties, the panel investigating has not found sufficient proof.

In an effort to hide losses from poor investments, Olympus went through a huge series of mergers and acquisitions and then inflated the administration fees paid out for the acquisition to companies that did not exist or were owned by Olympus.

The legal team is also considering action against the company's auditing firms, which signed off on the books each year despite noticeable red flags.




AfterDawn: News

Sony to move lithium battery construction out of Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2012 16:59

Sony to move lithium battery construction out of Japan Sony has confirmed today that it is looking to move domestic construction of lithium ion batteries out of Japan by March 2014.

The company is hoping to overcome a yen that is at its strongest price since World War II.

Moving the construction to China and Singapore will allow the company to turn the current factories into research facilities. 500 workers will be asked to relocate or retire voluntarily. Everyone else will likely have to begin looking for work.

After years of being the dominant lithium ion battery producers, the Japanese have fallen behind South Korean rivals like Samsung.

The batteries are used in phones, tablets, laptops, electric cars and more.




AfterDawn: News

Kim Dotcom had the most kills in Modern Warfare 3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2012 16:25

Kim Dotcom had the most kills in Modern Warfare 3 Kim Dotcom, the larger-than-life founder of Megaupload, was also apparently the top Call Of Duty Modern Warfare 3 player in the world.

Dotcom, who was arrested two days ago as the DOJ shutdown Megaupload, went by the name "MEGARACER" in MW3 multi-player and had over 150,000 kills as of the beginning of the year.

There are 15 million players of the game, which is the fastest selling title of all-time making Dotcom's feat very notable.

Thanks to Megaupload subscriptions and ad money, Dotcom is said to have a net worth of $175 million, bringing in $42 million last year, alone. Among his assets were a Rolls Royce, 4 other cars including Mercedes-Benz, a large mansion, cash and guns.

In the video, Dotcom has a celebration for himself as he moves up the ranks to the top:




AfterDawn: News

Time Warner and MSG nowhere near a deal on content

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2012 15:44

Time Warner and MSG nowhere near a deal on content After years of negotiations, earlier this month, MSG was removed from Time Warner Cable's lineup leaving sports fans in New York without Knicks, Rangers, Sabres, Devils or Islanders games.

The two companies had been fighting over how much MSG should be paid and each had an ad campaign blasting the other side. MSG was asking for a 53 percent price increase for their sports programming. Both companies continue to negotiate, but for the New Year, cable subscribers are left with nothing but a blacked out channel.

Today, sources close to the situation tell the NYP that the sides are nowhere close to an agreement.

Confirmed by an MSG spokesman: "We have had no meaningful discussions in over a month and remain miles apart."

MSG is urging consumers to switch cable providers, but unfortunately many in New York City do not have any other options. If you are not in an area with Cablevision or Verizon FioS, Time Warner has a complete monopoly.




AfterDawn: News

Thunderbolt ports headed to Acer, Asus, Lenovo ultrabooks in Q2

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2012 15:20

Thunderbolt ports headed to Acer, Asus, Lenovo ultrabooks in Q2 According to industry sources, Acer, Asus and Lenovo will begin to offer ultrabooks with Thunderbolt-enabled motherboards in the Q2 2012.

The ultrabooks, which are thin and offer significant power and battery efficiency, will also run on Intel's new Ivy Bridge platform, allowing for the Thunderbolt ports.

Thunderbolt combines DisplayPort and PCI Express, but is currently very expensive and has only been adopted in high-end devices. Adding the port is said to cost over $20 as of now.

For the new ultrabooks, Gigabyte Tech will be the manufacturer of the motherboards.

Ivy Bridge is expected to be fully standardized by 2013.




AfterDawn: News

PS Vita hardware cost $160 to make

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2012 14:57

PS Vita hardware cost $160 to make UBM TechInsights has torn down the new PlayStation Vita, and revealed that it costs about $160 to make.

The 3G model was torn apart and overall, the components came to $159.10. The cost breakdown does not include the small cost for R&D and shipping. The handheld sells for $300, meaning Sony seems to be making a nice margin right from launch.

For comparison, Sony sold the PlayStation 3 at a loss for at least the first two years, relying on accessories and software to make up the difference.

Here is the breakdown:

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AfterDawn: News

Developer: Next round of gaming consoles will be the last

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2012 14:23

Developer: Next round of gaming consoles will be the last According to Fredrik Wester, the CEO of developer Paradox Interactive, the next round of gaming consoles will be the last generation.

Says the exec: "The next generation of console hardware will probably be the last. I'd be surprised if we see another generation after that."

Wester also says boxed products will eventually disappear, giving way to "open" platforms like the PC, mobile/tablets and social networks. Many companies would prefer to use direct download services like Steam to distribute their games, cutting out physical discs and the theoretical "middle man."

Paradox, for example, has seen a 97 percent rise in digital revenue in just two years, along with a 250 percent rise in income.

(Mock PS4 via Rant)




AfterDawn: News

Zynga heading into the real gambling business?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2012 15:38

Zynga heading into the real gambling business? Zynga has confirmed it is in "active conversations with potential partners" to break into the real gambling business.

Following a ruling last month by the U.S. Department of Justice that only online sports betting is illegal, some states are moving forward to legalize online gambling of other sorts, including card games.

To break into the $36 billion market, Bloomberg says Zynga would need to partner with a casino or other operator that could get an Internet gambling license and then only operate in a state where gambling is legalized.

The social gaming company is behind hits like FarmVille, CityVille, MafiaWars, Empires and Allies, Words with Friends, and Zynga Poker. The company has 4 of the top 5 most popular games on Facebook, and has over 200 million monthly users. 30 million players alone play Poker on a monthly basis. That does not include its popular Hold'Em and other game apps.

Zynga makes money through virtual item sales like new guns, poker chips, and upgrades for your farm and there are certainly players out there who would like the ability to win real money.




AfterDawn: News

Details leak for LG's new flagship, the X3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2012 15:15

Details leak for LG's new flagship, the X3 Following the announcement of the Optimus Pad LTE, details have leaked for a high-end LG smartphone, their most powerful yet.

If accurate, rumors have LG unveiling the monster device at next month's Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona.

The LG X3 will run on a quad-core Tegra 3 CPU, have a large 1,280x720-pixel 4.7-inch display, run on Android 4.0.x, have dual cameras 8MP/1.3MP, 16GB internal storage, LTE and HSPA+ radios, NFC and a large 2000mAh battery. Additionally, the device will be relatively thin, at just under 9mm.

LG is one of the largest phone makers in the world, by volume, but its smartphones have not necessarily caught fire in the United States. Cnet speculates the new phone will hit the States in April or May.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung most 'preferred' brand amongst Android vendors

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2012 14:12

Samsung most 'preferred' brand amongst Android vendors According to a new iGR Research survey, Samsung is the most 'preferred' brand amongst Android vendors.

Furthermore, the research puts Android's market share at 47 percent in the U.S., almost doubling up on Apple at 24 percent share.

For those surveyed, Samsung was the preferred brand among consumers, followed right behind by Motorola, HTC and then LG. Major Asian brands ZTE and Huawei rounded out the bottom, but both companies barely have any share of the American market.

iGR also says that 45 percent of Android users have researched the OS before buying and went out specifically to purchase one. 27 percent of those selected the OS because of Google's backing and reputation.

Reads the research note: "Understanding why consumers select specific brands and certain smartphones is critical to the success of OEMs in the highly competitive U.S. handset market. While a user's current handset brand influences the selection of a new Android smartphone, many other factors also come into play. For example, handset display quality and functionality also highly influenced the smartphone purchase decision."




AfterDawn: News

Survey: Kindle Fire already profitable for Amazon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2012 13:55

Survey: Kindle Fire already profitable for Amazon Despite selling the actual hardware at a loss, the Kindle Fire appears to already be profitable for Amazon.

RBC Capital analyst Ross Sandler came to the conclusion after a proprietary survey of 216 Kindle Fire owners: "One high level conclusion is that Kindle Fire unit economics are likely to be more favorable than consensus expectations, based primarily on frequency of digital goods purchases.

Our assumption is that AMZN could sell 3-4 million Kindle Fire units in Q4, and that those units are accretive to company-average operating margin within the first six months of ownership. Our analysis assigns a cumulative lifetime operating income per unit of $136, with a cumulative operating margin of over 20%. We believe these insights could ease some investor concerns around operating margin compression per Kindle Fire unit in 2012, which bodes well for Amazon shares."


From the survey, a few more points of interest, thanks to Forbes:

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AfterDawn: News

Apple sues Samsung for patent violation in Galaxy Nexus

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2012 13:37

Apple sues Samsung for patent violation in Galaxy Nexus Apple has sued Samsung today, again, escalating its already massive attack on the company and its smartphones.

The latest suit is related to the new Galaxy Nexus, which Apple claims infringes on the company's "slide-to-unlock" feature patent.

Apple patented the feature with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in October 2011. In 2006, Apple received a "utility model" registration for the same feature, in Germany. As explained by FOSS Patent a "utility model is a limited fast-track patent that companies are allowed to file for alongside traditional patents, and Apple has done both for the "slide-to-unlock" in Germany."

Because utility models do not carry the "presumption of validity" needed for court rulings, the new case is not expected to be settled soon.




AfterDawn: News

Notion Ink confirms Adam II tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2012 13:09

Notion Ink confirms Adam II tablet Notion Ink has revealed their upcoming Adam II tablet.

The device will run on a Texas Instruments 4400 series dual-core processor, Android 4.0.x ICS and a PowerVR SGX5xx GPU.

Furthermore, Notion Ink will be using a slightly tweaked Android OS, "using a restructured Modular Based Software Architecture. These "Application Authoring Tools" will give developers and would-be programmers the ability to customize apps via a new drag-and-drop system," says Notion.

Adds the company: "This System will help consumers, professionals and students become productive as they will be able to use the tablet as a logic analyzer, medical imaging device, signal acquisition and processing, 3D modeling and multi-media."

There was no word on price or release date. The original Adam just received Android 4.0 in alpha form.




AfterDawn: News

Swizz Beatz was not CEO of Megaupload

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2012 12:49

Swizz Beatz was not CEO of Megaupload Yesterday, the U.S. government shut down Megaupload.com, one of the largest and longest running cyberlockers in the business. Its founder, Kim Dotcom, and a handful of employees were arrested and charged with copyright infringement.

One of the more interesting points of the story is the fact that on the now-defunct site, the rapper and producer Swizz Beatz was noted as the CEO of the company. Beatz, whose real name is Kasseem Dean had been listed with the title for months but was nowhere to be seen in the 72-page indictment.

Time did some investigating and found that Dean was negotiating to be CEO, but it never came to fruition.

Says Megaupload's lawyer: "To my knowledge, Swizz Beatz was never involved in any meaningful way. He was negotiating to become the CEO, but it was never official."

The rapper has yet to comment on the shut down.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Singapore carrier now offering camera-less iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2012 12:11

Singapore carrier now offering camera-less iPhone The Singapore carrier M1 has made their camera-less iPhone available to the masses, a week after leaking the product pages for the device.

Phones with cameras are not allowed to be used by soldiers in the nation, and all citizens are required to fulfill two years of mandatory military service.

The modified iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S will cost S$49 ($38 USD) than the versions with cameras. You also have to purchase the devices with a 2-year data contract, as there is no unlocked model available. Apple's original warranty is also void due to the modification, so bear that in mind.

If you are a current iPhone owner, the carrier will not service the phone to remove the camera.

M1 will also offer a one-year warranty for the hefty cost of S$321 ($250 USD).

Other carriers in the nation are looking to offer similar deals, soon.




AfterDawn: News

Windows Store apps restricted to 5 Windows 8 devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2012 23:41

Windows Store apps restricted to 5 Windows 8 devices Last month, Microsoft unveiled the Windows 8 Windows Store, where developers can sell apps.

Starting in February, devs can sell apps for a minimum $1.49 up to $999. Like other app stores Microsoft will take 30 percent revenue, but if your app is popular and brings over $25,000, the cut is reduced to 20 percent.

In-app transactions have the same split, if they use Microsoft's billing system. Windows Store developer accounts cost $49.

More details were revealed today by the software giant including that purchased apps will be restricted to five Windows 8 PCs. If you have a new device, you will need to remove another authorized user from the mix.

Additionally, "the install experience of Windows 8 apps is designed to be simple, with minimal download details, rather like Microsoft's Metro design," explains Verge. "We don?t believe you should have to stare at a progress bar and count every second as it goes by," notes Microsoft's Jonathan Wang. Users will be sent a notification when the download is complete.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPad 2, iPhone 4S see new untethered jailbreak

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2012 22:29

iPad 2, iPhone 4S see new untethered jailbreak The iOS jailbreaking "dream team" of the iPhone Dev Team, Chronic Dev Team and pod2G have gotten a working jailbreak solution for iPhone 4S and iPad 2 users.

A4-powered iOS devices, such as the iPhone 4, have had the untethered jailbreak since last month.

The Chronic Dev Team has released the "Absinthe" tool for OSX, with Windows and Linux versions coming soon.

Get more details here: http://pod2g-ios.blogspot.com/




AfterDawn: News

SOPA and PIPA: Bills postponed indefinitely

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2012 20:43

SOPA and PIPA: Bills postponed indefinitely Just 48 hours after an Internet-wide protest "blackout," congressional leaders have indefinitely postponed the SOPA and PIPA anti-piracy bills.

Democratic majority leader Senator Harry Reid made the announcement this afternoon via Twitter, the microblogging service that was instrumental in getting the word out about the bills in the first place.

While the voting on the bills has been killed for now, the underlying issues will still be fiercely debated and will likely come back in another form later. Says Reid (using Twitter shortening and slang): "There's no reason that legitimate issues raised about PROTECT IP can't be resolved. Counterfeiting & piracy cost 1000s of jobs yearly. Americans rightfully expect to be fairly compensated 4 their work. I'm optimistic that we can reach compromise on PROTECT IP in coming week."

Republican rep Lamar Smith, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, called off his plans to draft a version of the anti-piracy act: "The committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation. The House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

ZTE pays £20 to license Windows Phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jan 2012 23:13

ZTE pays £20 to license Windows Phone ZTE has let it slip this week that it costs £20 ($30 USD) to license Windows Phone 7, far more than previously assumed.

TrustedReviews came with the news after being told by Portfolio Manager for ZTE UK, Santiago Sierra at the UK launch of the ZTE Tania.

Android, on the other hand, costs $0 to license, but Microsoft has their hand in that cookie jar, as well. The software giant receives license royalties from 70 percent of Android handset makers, taking between $5-$15 for each device sold.

Most notably, Microsoft receives payments from Samsung, LG and HTC, three of the largest smartphone makers in the world.




AfterDawn: News

Infographic: Pulse app sees huge surge in downloads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jan 2012 22:57

Infographic: Pulse app sees huge surge in downloads Thanks to Amazon's Kindle Fire, the news collecting app Pulse has seen a huge surge in downloads.

The Pulse app, which uses RSS-feeds to bring together the news you want to read from the sites you want to read, was the de-facto news reader for the Kindle Fire, as Amazon placed it on its homescreen right out of the box.

Additionally, the app is popular on Honeycomb tablets and on the iPad, but downloads were flat until the Fire. In fact, in 2011, Pulse downloads went from 1 million to 11 million and the app is now seeing 1.5 million downloads every month. Altogether, users have read 1.39 billion stories and shared 9.8 million stories.

Over the course of the year, Pulse managed to secure 250 publishing partners including ESPN and the WSJ.

AfterDawn has a great quick guide on how to add our stream to your Pulse news reader.

Infographic via TC:




AfterDawn: News

DOJ brings the hammer down on Megaupload

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jan 2012 20:59

DOJ brings the hammer down on Megaupload Earlier today, the U.S. government shut down Megaupload.com, one of the largest and longest running cyberlockers in the business.

Its founders and a handful of employees have been arrested, as well, and charged with copyright infringement.

The indictment and arrests come just one day after major websites including Wikipedia and Google staged anti-SOPA "blackouts." SOPA was created to fight piracy, but has seen massive criticism due to its ability to shut down sites with very little appeal time, at the behest of media companies or other content owners.

Megaupload and its owners are accused of taking over $500 million from copyright holders due to piracy, and cashing in on $175 million in profits from ads and premium subscriptions.

Calling the group "Mega Conspiracy," the indictment reads: "In exchange for payment, the Mega Conspiracy provides fast reproduction and distribution of infringing copies of copyrighted works from its servers located around the world."

On top of the arrests, 18 domain names were seized, $50 million in assets were seized, and 20 search warrants were executed around the world.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Hold up, Tizen and Bada merger not set in stone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jan 2012 20:32

Hold up, Tizen and Bada merger not set in stone Samsung announced last week it was merging its own touchscreen OS, Bada, with the Linux-based Tizen OS.

Tizen is a joint collaboration between Intel and Samsung. Tizen was born from the ashes of MeeGo, which was an Intel-Nokia smartphone OS before Nokia left it for dead and jumped to Windows Phone.

Today, it appears the mobile phone giant is stepping back from its announcement, claiming that no decision has been made: "We are carefully looking at it as an option to make the platforms serve better for customers."

Most likely, Samsung will confirm the merger once a final product is done.

Samsung launched Bada in 2010 in an effort to update the operating system on their low-end smartphones and their touchscreen feature phones. The OS has multi-tasking, an app store and a completely rehauled UI that looks somewhat similar to Android.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Anonymous retaliates for Megaupload shutdown by hitting multiple sites

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jan 2012 19:41

Anonymous retaliates for Megaupload shutdown by hitting multiple sites Following news that Megaupload and Megavideo were shut down by ICE, the hacktivist group Anonymous set off on a tale of vengeance.

The group managed to take down the sites for the RIAA, the MPAA, Universal Music Group and Justice.org, the Department of Justice's official Web page.

Anonymous' twitter accounts @Anonops, @AnonymousIRC and @YourAnonNews confirmed the hits and some of the sites remain down or slow. The hacking collective added (in jest) that the MPAA, UMG and RIAA should just say, "for #SOPA supporters their#SOPAblackout is today."

SOPA and PIPA, the two bills trying to make their way through Congress, have been in the headlines for weeks now as major tech companies and hundreds of thousands of everyday Internet users fight to have freedom from censorship.

By taking down 10 sites in 20 minutes, Anonymous managed to pull off their largest attack, ever, this morning.




AfterDawn: News

Apple textbooks - a great idea, but still lots of questions

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Jan 2012 13:48

Apple textbooks - a great idea, but still lots of questions Today Apple held a press event in New York City to show off the new textbook oriented iBooks app with improved HTML5 support.

These improvements are being used in newly added high school textbooks from publishers who cover 90 percent of the market.

The textbooks will offer interactive content like you might see on the web and advanced features for taking notes. There is also a free WYSIWYG authoring app available from the Mac App Store.

With prices limited to $14.99 per textbook and students owning them forever, it seems like a good deal on the surface. But is it really? Actually there seem to be more questions than answers.

If the student owns the textbook, does that mean schools will have to buy one for each student every year? If so, is it really worth the price? Sure, they can keep using them indefinitely, but how many will?

And who will be paying for all the iPads required? You won't find many schools with that kind of money. They haven't said anything about DRM, so presumably the textbooks will use it. Doesn't that mean no desktop, laptop, or Android support?

Until we have meaningful answers to those questions, it's hard to get behind the textbook initiative. On the other hand, if you have an interest in electronic reference books, the improvements to iBooks seem promising.




AfterDawn: News

MPAA CEO makes statement on anti-SOPA blackout

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2012 22:50

MPAA CEO makes statement on anti-SOPA blackout As you've undoubtedly noticed, today was the anti-SOPA blackout for hundreds of major sites in the U.S., most notably Wikipedia, which remains dark in silent protest.

AfterDawn is also using Google's blackout landing page.

Today, former Senator and current MPAA CEO Chris Dodd had his say on the blackout:

Only days after the White House and chief sponsors of the legislation responded to the major concern expressed by opponents and then called for all parties to work cooperatively together, some technology business interests are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns, rather than coming to the table to find solutions to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging.

It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It?s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony ready to shut down Dash

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2012 22:34

Sony ready to shut down Dash Sony looks like it is about ready to shut down its failed "Dash" experiment.

The "personal Internet viewer" alarm clocks saw some popularity when they were released but horrible reviews nailed the coffin.

Reads Sony's site: "Beginning February 29, 2012, the Sony dash developer website (http://dash.sonydeveloper.com) will close and no longer support development of new applications. This closure includes the dash developer forum and dash developer support email address (dash-support@sonydeveloper.com) which will close on March 31, 2012. Sony dash applications will remain available. Thank you for your contributions and we encourage you to continue your development activity on Sony's other platforms available at SonyDeveloper.com."

The original Dash machine has a 7-inch touchscreen, 800x480 resolution, a 500Mhz processor and 256MB DDR2 RAM.

What makes the alarm clocks popular is access to 1500 apps for weather, traffic, social networking, movies, music and games.




AfterDawn: News

Analyst: 48 million iPads to be sold this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2012 20:56

Analyst: 48 million iPads to be sold this year Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu has come out with the most bold iPad prediction yet, 48 million units expected sold in 2012.

That number will be greatly boosted by the launch of the iPad 3 sometime in the next few months. Rumors have ranged from February to May. The iPad 3 is said to have a Retina Display with a massive resolution, a quad-core processor, LTE support and other slight aesthetic fixes.

Says Wu: "We believe this significant refresh will likely help drive higher iPad sales and help further differentiate from arguably the only real competitor in the market, Amazon?s Kindle Fire, and not to mention the myriad of Android offerings out there. We are currently modeling 48 million iPad shipments for calendar 2012."

Wu would go on to say that number is his firm's "conservative" figure. The analyst has been accurate in the tech sector over the past decade, and does a lot of work on Amazon and Apple.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AT&T adds new data plans for smartphone users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2012 20:16

AT&T adds new data plans for smartphone users AT&T has expanded its wireless data plans, adding new options for smartphone users.

As of January 22nd, AT&T will offer a new 300MB plan for $20 per month, a 3GB plan for $30 and a 5GB plan for $50. The current plans are $15 for 200MB and $25 for 2GB.

The carrier removed unlimited data plans last year, in an effort to cap excessive use. AT&T says, however, that data usage is increasing at a blistering 40 percent per year and they want to give users more options.

"Customers are using more data than ever before," adds David Christopher, chief marketing officer for AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "Our new plans are driven by this increasing demand in a highly competitive environment and continue to deliver a great value to customers."

Rival Verizon offers similar plans, while T-Mobile offers "unlimited" data up to 2GB with throttled speeds above it for a much cheaper price. Sprint offers unlimited data, with no restrictions, but charges all smartphone owners a $10 4G fee, even if their phones don't have 4G radios.




AfterDawn: News

Is Microsoft being honest about Windows 8 for ARM?

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 18 Jan 2012 0:56

Is Microsoft being honest about Windows 8 for ARM? Microsoft's minimum hardware requirements for Windows 8 OEM tablet partners is out in the wild. Most of them are fairly routine, representting a reasonable baseline.

But there's one particular item which has sparked a lot of discussion and accusations against Microsoft. It's the requirement that tablets with ARM processors not allow the user to disable secure boot.

Secure boot is a feature supported by the use of special UEFI (Unified Extensible Firmware Interface) firmware. It prevents malware attacks which occur between a computer's initial boot process and the operating system taking control. Support for UEFI has been in Windows for a while.

In Windows 8 Microsoft decided to go a step further, at least with their OEM partners. Computers sold with Windows 8 must have UEFI firmware to pass Windows Certification, and it must be enabled by default. All of that seems fine. Secure boot is good, and turning it on by default makes sense.

What's confusing is why you would forbid the tablet's owner from disabling it. Sometimes you may want to run software, like an operating system installer or antivirus scanner, without secure boot getting in the way. In fact, when Microsoft first announced the secure boot requirement, it caused enough of an uproar for Steven Sinofsky, head of the Windows division, to address it personally:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Zappos sued over account data theft

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jan 2012 21:49

Zappos sued over account data theft Following this weekend's big story on Zappos being hacked, the shoe retailer has been sued by an angry customer.

The customer claims Zappos did not properly "maintain adequate procedures for protecting customers? personal information." 24 million accounts were compromised over the weekend in the largest breach of security since the PSN hack in April 2011.

Original Story:

Late last night, I received an email, as did 24 million other account holders, that our Zappos accounts had been hacked and we needed to change our passwords.

The popular shoe retailer owned by Amazon says that information such as names, email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers, the last four digits of credit card numbers and encrypted versions of account passwords were likely compromised.

Zappos says all credit card numbers and other payment information were not accessed, since they were housed in a different database.

Additionally, Zappo's discounted 6PM.com site was also hacked in the same attack. At 24 million compromised, the attack is the largest since Sony's PlayStation Network was taken down in April 2011, compromising data on 101 million gamers.

The retailer reset everyone's passwords, but has shut off its phone lines, meaning all customer service requests will go to email.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung denies it has interest in buying RIM

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jan 2012 21:33

Samsung denies it has interest in buying RIM Just hours after multiple sources reported that BlackBerry maker RIM was seeing interest from buyers, one of the alleged companies has denied the rumors.

Samsung, the second largest phone maker in the world (by volume) has said they have no interest in acquiring RIM. RIM's stock had jumped 10 percent during the day on the rumor, but has since faded after the denial.

More specifically, Samsung spokesman James Chung says: "We haven't considered acquiring the firm and are not interested in (buying RIM)."

Chung also noted that RIM had not contacted them looking for a takeover.

The earlier rumors had claimed that RIM co-chief executive Jim Balsillie was negotiating with companies that were looking to license its software or buying part or all of the company.




AfterDawn: News

Yahoo founder Yang resigns from board of directors

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jan 2012 21:23

Yahoo founder Yang resigns from board of directors Yahoo's co-founder Jerry Yang has resigned from his position on the company's board of directors, sending the company's shares up significantly.

Additionally, Yang will step down from any remaining positions at the company.

In his resignation letter, Yang writes: "My time at Yahoo!, from its founding to the present, has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life. However, the time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo! As I leave the company I co-founded nearly 17 years ago, I am enthusiastic about the appointment of Scott Thompson as Chief Executive Officer and his ability, along with the entire Yahoo! leadership team, to guide Yahoo! into an exciting and successful future."

The company just hired top Paypal exec Thompson to fill the CEO position after the firing of the erratic Carol Bartz. Over the tenure of Yang and Bartz from 2007 until late 2011, Yahoo's market value has fallen from $40 billion to just $19 billion.

Yang has an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion.




AfterDawn: News

Sprint removing Carrier IQ from smartphones, starting this month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jan 2012 19:37

Sprint removing Carrier IQ from smartphones, starting this month Sprint has confirmed today that it will be providing maintenance releases to its smartphone devices to remove Carrier IQ.

In December, Sprint, the largest user of Carrier IQ software in the U.S., said it was completely disabling the software in all of its devices. Although it was disabled, the remnants remained dormant. The carrier also admitted to using the software since 2006, and that it is installed on 26 million Sprint smartphones and tablets.

The new updates will also provide security enhancements and bug fixes, says the carrier.

Last month, following customer concerns over the rootkit, Sprint stopped collecting data using Carrier IQ even though they said they only used Carrier IQ to collect network- and device-related information for quality-of-service-related purposes.

Carrier IQ, which is installed in over 140 million Android, iOS and BlackBerry devices, can read the state of your phone at all times, log all keystrokes, see who you called, see who you texted, see what terms you have searched for, and log sleep/uptime.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix facing new lawsuit over 'misleading statements' to investors

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jan 2012 19:09

Netflix facing new lawsuit over 'misleading statements' to investors Netflix is now facing a class action lawsuit in California from investors who allege that the streaming giant misled its shareholders while cashing in their own stock.

Senior executives are accused "of issuing materially false and misleading statements regarding the company's business practices and its contracts with content providers" while at the same time cashing in $90 million worth of stock at "inflated prices." A few of the defendants named are chief executive Reed Hastings, finance director David Wells, chief content officer Ted Sarandos, chief product officer Neil Hunt and marketing director Leslie Kilgore.

Reads the lawsuit: "Defendants' statements about Netflix's ability to secure content and maintain profit margins were crucial to investors' evaluation of Netflix. Rather than fully disclose the devastating cost increases which were then threatening Netflix's entire business, defendants talked about its ability to grow. Specifically, defendants concealed negative trends in Netflix's business."

Netflix reached $305 a share during the summer, before falling to $63 in December in practically a straight line. Insiders managed to sell 388,000 shares at prices above $200. The shares closed today near $100.




AfterDawn: News

Group behind Koobface virus are Russian

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jan 2012 18:50

Group behind Koobface virus are Russian Security researchers have unmasked the gang behind the Koobface computer virus.

The group members are said to be "hiding in plain sight" in St. Petersburg, Russia. Koobface, which used Facebook and other malware tactics to gain "zombie" computers for a large botnet, has been around since 2008.

SophosLabs, the noted online security firm, says the identities of five of the Russian suspects have been handed over to law enforcement.

Through Facebook and email phishing with subject lines such as "You look just awesome in this new movie," the Koobface virus spread. Users who clicked through were met with an error message that their Flash player was out of date or their anti-virus software was no longer working. When they downloaded the new software, their computer became infected and PC joined the legion of zombie bots controlled by the Russian gang.

Last March, Facebook Security took down the Russian "Command and Control" server:

"This remained the case until last March, when Facebook Security was able to perform a technical takedown of this 'Command & Control' Mothership. Since then we have had no new sightings of Koobface for over nine months and our teams are working hard to keep it that way. While we have been able to keep Koobface off Facebook, we won't declare victory against the virus until its authors are brought to justice," added Facebook.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung plans big investment in processors and displays

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Jan 2012 16:47

Samsung plans big investment in processors and displays It's hard to imagine how Samsung could have had a better year in 2011. It seemed like everything they touched turned to gold.

Android smartphones flew off the shelves, building on the foundation laid by the Galaxy S in 2010. Starting with the Galaxy S II and continuing with numerous other models, they even partnered with Google for the latest Nexus. Thanks to that partnership, the Galaxy Nexus was even the launchpad for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Samsung reversed their fortunes in the TV market after a weak 2010, with sales really picking up steam in November. At year's end they added an exclamation point by buying out Sony's stake in their joint TV venture. Despite relatively good sales, TVs have been one of many culprits for Sony's recent financial woes.

This year analysts expect Samsung to invest much of last year's windfall on continued product development. Based on the wide range of TV and Blu-ray developments they showed off at CES last week, and a major smartphone chip initiative announced last month, they appear to have plenty of projects to spend a reported $41.4 billion.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Woz loves his iPhone, but prefers Android for navigation and voice recognition

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Jan 2012 9:08

Woz loves his iPhone, but prefers Android for navigation and voice recognition Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak always made something of an odd pair during the early days of Apple.

In many ways they were opposites, but really they complemented each other in a unique way. Where Jobs was more of an artist, excelling at design and usability, Wozniak, better known as just Woz, was the technical wizard. In fact many people still refer to him as the Wizard of Woz.

Given those differences, perhaps it should come as no surprise that Woz doesn't share his later partner's hatred of Android. In fact he prefers it to his iPhone for a number of everyday tasks.

He's particularly impressed with the Google Maps powered navigation app, and even its voice recognition. In fact, he prefers Android's voice recognition to Apple's Siri, and believes Siri was better before being purchased by Apple.

A few days ago, Woz told The Daily Beast:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

New ReFS file system to debut in Windows 8

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 17 Jan 2012 7:09

New ReFS file system to debut in Windows 8 In Windows 8 Microsoft will be introducing a new file system called ReFS. It borrows a number of features from the NTFS file system which has been available on Windows NT (NT 3.1 - 4, 2000, XP, Vista, 7) computers from 1993 on.

This is not the same as the database driven WinFS file system announced for, and later pulled from Windows Vista. That file system has since been abandoned by Microsoft, with parts of it being used in their database products.

The underlying technology of ReFS features a number of improvements over NTFS. While these changes should be invisible to the average user, the performance and resiliency improvements should be obvious in certain circumstances.

One of the changes is switching from journaling to write-on-allocate for metadata updates. In NTFS, when metadata for a file or folder (name, security permissions, and other information) is altered, those changes are also recorded in a journal in case they need to be rolled back. Normally this is reliable, but data may be corrupted if the drive loses power in the middle of an operation.

The write-on-allocate strategy used in ReFS improves on that by making all metadata changes to a different location (ie copying, rather than overwriting) so the original metadata is left completely intact. If the drive loses power while metadata is being changed, the original will still be available.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HTC Dev unlock tool adds six more devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jan 2012 0:41

HTC Dev unlock tool adds six more devices The HTC Dev unlock tool is now expanded for even more consumers.

HTC smartphone owners can use the tool to unlock the bootloaders on their device, legally, making it easier to add custom ROMs.

The new devices to be supported by the tool are the Droid Incredible, Desire Z, T-Mobile G2, Aria, ChaCha, and Status. There are now 28 different devices that are supported, with more to be added into the future. Most of the devices on the list are newer devices but the company promises older devices will continue to be added.

HTC added the Wildfire S, Wildfire, Salsa, Merge and Desire just last week.

CEO Peter Chou noted last year that all new devices would have unlocked bootloaders, following criticism from the developer community.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Wal-Mart offering Nokia Lumia 710 for free with contract

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jan 2012 0:31

Wal-Mart offering Nokia Lumia 710 for free with contract Massive retailer Wal-Mart has put the brand new Nokia Lumia 710 up for sale for free with contract with T-Mobile.

The device is Nokia's first Windows Phone to hit the U.S., a couple of months before the more powerful Lumia 800 and 900 reach our shores.

Making the deal notable is the fact that T-Mobile itself is selling the device for $50. Existing users can potentially get the price down to $20, but there seems to be some extra work required, like a rebate.

The Lumia 710 runs on Windows Phone 7.5, a Qualcomm 1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor, has 512MB of RAM, 8GB storage, Gorilla Glass and a 5MP camera.

Nokia's entry-level device has a 3.7-inch TFT display.




AfterDawn: News

No Microsoft TV service any time soon says report

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 16 Jan 2012 22:10

No Microsoft TV service any time soon says report Last year stories started circulating about a Microsoft plan to integrate pay TV into Xbox Live. Reports claimed they were close to finalizing deals with companies including Time Warner, the BBC, and HBO.

However, it now appears they weren't as close as originally reported and their plans have been put on hold indefinitely. It seems TV executives weren't impressed enough to offer terms acceptable to Microsoft, and the deal fizzled.

Citing an unnamed media executive personally involved in the negotiations, Reuters says Microsoft got so far as demonstrating their TV platform in action, but ultimately decided the price of programming was too high. Their source reportedly said, "They built Microsoft TV, they demoed it for us, they asked for rate cards but then said 'ooh ah, that's expensive."

Combining this new information with previous reports about Microsoft TV, it appears their plan was to provide both Netflix-style video on demand, but with more current content, and a traditional (but web-based) pay TV service. In addition, they seemed to be considering producing exclusive content of their own.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

THQ denies it has cancelled its 2014 lineup due to financial woes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Jan 2012 22:01

THQ denies it has cancelled its 2014 lineup due to financial woes Over the weekened, IGDA's Kevin Dent posted that video game developer THQ was cancelling its entire 2014 lineup, due to financial troubles.

The news would have been notable because the highly-anticipated "Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online" would have been cancelled, as well.

Dent's Tweet had read: "Apparently, The Game Workshops MMO has been cancelled by THQ because the company needs to preserve cash." Dent would then go on to say that the company was offering itself up for sale to Asian firms.

THQ was quick to respond, stating:

THQ has not cancelled its 2014 line-up, and has not made any decisions regarding the planned MMO.

As part of the ongoing review of our business, we have made decisions to ensure that the company is strategically addressing the most attractive markets. As we have previously announced, we have dramatically reduced our commitment to the kids' boxed games sector which leads to a significantly more focused release schedule moving forward. Our slate for calendar 2012 and beyond is focused on high-quality core games and continues to build our digital platform and business. We are excited for our pipeline of original and high-quality content along with our relationships with some of the best talent in the industry.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

China: We have over 500 million Internet users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Jan 2012 21:45

China: We have over 500 million Internet users The Chinese Internet Network Information Center has announced today that the nation now has 513 million Internet users as of December 2011.

CINIC is China's government-run Internet registry.

The group says Web users increased 12 percent from 2010. Additionally, microblogging usage exploded, to 250 million users. That figure is 400 percent higher than 2010. That growth will likely slow significantly this year as new regulations put into place in 2011 by the government make freedom of speech less free. All microblogging services have to monitor postings more closely and remove objectionable material.

Twitter and Facebook are blocked in China, but Chinese sites like Sohu and Sina are not.

356 million Chinese go online using handheld devices, up 17.5 percent from 2010. The Apple iPhone 4S launch was shut down last week as angry fans threw eggs at the Apple Store when it did not open on time. The company cancelled the opening launch to protect its workers.




AfterDawn: News

Politically charged hackers hit Israel again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Jan 2012 21:22

Politically charged hackers hit Israel again Hackers that claim to be Saudi have escalated their cyber war against Israel, this time attacking the nation's stock exchange and their El-Al national airline.

Earlier this month, a hacker calling himself OxOmar released personal information on 21,000 accounts hacked from a popular Israeli sports website. Overall, the hackers claim to have stolen 400,000 credit card accounts from the attack, although banks have called that number bogus.

The group calls themselves a "gift to the world for the New Year designed to hurt the Zionist pocket." The group claims to be pro-Palestine.

In retaliation for the first attack, Israeli hackers posted personal information on Saudis, Egyptians, Syrians and others.

The new attack took down the El Al Airlines website, but the company says no flights or booking were delayed. The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange website was "overwhelmed by electronic requests that slowed it down dramatically" but the site remained operational and all trading was unaffected.




AfterDawn: News

Zappos hacked: 24 million accounts potentially compromised

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Jan 2012 20:20

Zappos hacked: 24 million accounts potentially compromised Late last night, I received an email, as did 24 million other account holders, that our Zappos accounts had been hacked and we needed to change our passwords.

The popular shoe retailer owned by Amazon says that information such as names, email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers, the last four digits of credit card numbers and encrypted versions of account passwords were likely compromised.

Zappos says all credit card numbers and other payment information were not accessed, since they were housed in a different database.

Additionally, Zappo's discounted 6PM.com site was also hacked in the same attack. At 24 million compromised, the attack is the largest since Sony's PlayStation Network was taken down in April 2011, compromising data on 101 million gamers.

The retailer reset everyone's passwords, but has shut off its phone lines, meaning all customer service requests will go to email.




AfterDawn: News

Angry Birds Seasons updating to add "Year of the Dragon" levels

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Jan 2012 19:54

Angry Birds Seasons updating to add "Year of the Dragon" levels Rovio has teased its upcoming levels for Angry Birds Seasons.

The game, which is the most popular mobile game of all-time will see its second China-themed update, this one called "Year of the Dragon." Back in September, Rovio updated the game with "Chinese Moon Festival" levels, including hidden mooncakes.

Says the developer of the new levels: "Fireworks popping, lanterns glowing, red envelopes bursting with money - it's Chinese New Year!"

This year, the Chinese New Year falls on the 23rd, and the levels will launch on the 20th.

Angry Birds Seasons is available on iOS for $1 and free in the Android Market (with ads).




AfterDawn: News

Wikipedia joins January 18 SOPA/PIPA protest

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 16 Jan 2012 18:38

Wikipedia joins January 18 SOPA/PIPA protest With all the reports of many measures in SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) being opposed publicly by a growing number of Washington politicians, you may have gotten the impression its opponents have won.

Many opponents aren't convinced, including Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales. Today he announced, via Twitter, that Wikipedia intends to replace all English language Wikipedia pages with information about SOPA and it's companion bill in the US Senate known as PIPA or PROTECT IP.

He said the blackout will affect all users worldwide who attempt to view any English language Wikipedia page during a 24 hour period starting at midnight Washington DC time (5 AM GMT). The exact contents of they page to be used in place of the requested content is still being determined via discussion on Wikipedia.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple fails to convince ITC to ban Motorola smatphones in the US

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 16 Jan 2012 16:21

Apple fails to convince ITC to ban Motorola smatphones in the US When it comes to Apple's patent campaign against Android, one patent arguably carries more serious implications than any other.

The patent deals with adding a multi-touch interface to a capacitive touchscreen - the standard interface and touchscreen used for smartphones and tablets. Apple claims their patent restricts other companies from selling standard multi-touch displays without their permission. It is named in numerous lawsuits against companies including Samsung, HTC, and Motorola Mobility in around the world.

Last Friday the US International Trade Commission (ITC) released a preliminary ruling on an Apple complaint against Motorola Mobility which shoots down three patent claims, including infringement on that patent. Analyzing the ruling for his FOSS Patents blog, patent expert Florian Mueller characterized the ruling as potentially damaging to Apple's similar ITC action against Samsung.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Reviewing Bitcasa, the infinite cloud storage solution

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 22:01

Reviewing Bitcasa, the infinite cloud storage solution

What is Bitcasa?



Bitcasa is a start-up begun by former execs at Mastercard, VeriSign and Mozy and is the latest entrant to the cloud storage market.

What makes Bitcasa different is that the service offers you truly infinite storage, all for just $10 per month. In fact, when you add your first folder, you are told that you have over 500TB of remaining free space, and the start-up says that number is only there because Windows and Mac machines cannot display higher numbers.


How does Bitcasa offer unlimited storage?



The company's CEO says it can offer unlimited storage, "because 60 percent of their data is identical." Simply, when you "cloudify" a music track or movie, the chances are someone else has the same exact track or movie on their computer.

Bitcasa uses "patented de-duplication algorithms, compression techniques, and encryption" to identify duplicate files and therefore the company only keeps a couple, (or even one) of of the files in its servers. By doing so, the company can keep its costs significantly down and offer infinite storage to its users.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung merges Bada with Tizen

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 19:13

Samsung merges Bada with Tizen Samsung has announced it will merge its own touchscreen OS, Bada, with the Linux-based Tizen OS.

Tizen is a joint collaboration between Intel and Samsung. Tizen was born from the ashes of MeeGo, which was an Intel-Nokia smartphone OS before Nokia left it for dead and jumped to Windows Phone.

Samsung launched Bada in 2010 in an effort to update the operating system on their low-end smartphones and their touchscreen feature phones. The OS has multi-tasking, an app store and a completely rehauled UI that looks somewhat similar to Android.

Over 10 million Bada devices were sold last year, making it a marginal success for the company.

Bada will fold into Tizen, but all current apps and the SDK is backward compatible with the new OS. There is a chance that Bada devices, like the Wave phone, will be updated to Tizen later this year via an OTA update.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Latest Facebook phish attack steals your account, financial information

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 18:52

Latest Facebook phish attack steals your account, financial information In what has got to be one of the most idiotic attacks I have ever heard of, Kaspersky Lab is reporting today that Facebook users are being phished in an effort to steal their accounts and full credit card details.

The attack begins with a private message, purportedly from "The Facebook Team," that reads "Last Warning: Your Facebook account will be turned off Because someone has reported you. Please do re-confirm your account security by: http://apps-xxxx-xxxxx-user.de.vu."

If you are naive enough to click, you are led to a Web site that first asks for your first and last name, Facebook password, birthday and email address. When you complete that first page, you are then led to a page to fill out financial information.

On that second page, the nice scammers write "We will never ask you for your full credit card number, but we may ask for the first six digits." Despite that kind warning, the next page then asks for full credit card number, four-digit security code, expiration date and your billing address. As a note, the phishing page says the info will only be used to purchase Facebook Credits for games.

Writes Kaspersky Lab: "These scams are just getting more popular and we really recommend not giving out personal information, especially not email, password and credit card information over social medias. It is also recommend[ed] that you contact your security vendor and the social media vendor if you encounter these sites."




AfterDawn: News

Internet addiction can lead to brain damage

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 18:35

Internet addiction can lead to brain damage According to a small study conducted in China, an "addiction" to the Internet can lead to structural damage of your brain.

The research studied 17 teens with Internet Addiction Disorder and found that each had "structural and functional interference in the part of the brain that regulates organization, possibly causing cognitive impairment similar to that caused by gambling and alcoholism." (Mashable)

During the course of the study, researchers took MRI scans of the subjects to measure the organization of the brain via white matter. The method, fractional anisotropy (FA), was shown to be lower in the teens with IAD.

Reads the report: "Overall, our findings indicate that Internet addiction disorder has abnormal white matter integrity in brain regions involved in emotional generation and processing, executive attention, decision making and cognitive control. The results also suggest that IAD may share psychological and neural mechanisms with other types of substance addiction and impulse control disorders."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Notion Ink releases Android 4.0 alpha for the Adam tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 16:55

Notion Ink releases Android 4.0 alpha for the Adam tablet Notion Ink has released a fixed alpha of Android 4.0.3 for their Adam tablet.

The original software launch, in "pre-alpha," offered Ice Cream Sandwich goodness with a side of broken audio, Bluetooth and GPS. Each of the features should be working fine now, and there are other updates, as well. However, the company says the camera and USB mass storage will still not work, sleep mode is buggy, and HDMI output may still not have sound.

Notion Ink's 10-inch tablet uses a dual-core Tegra 2 and has a Pixel Qi sunlight-readable display. The device is innovative but the company ran into some issues with supply and orders and the Android version placed on the device was very buggy at launch.

There is much more information here on what is updated and what is coming, via Notion Ink.

Video of the OS in action:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ultrathin HTC Ville rumored to be headed to T-Mobile

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 16:42

Ultrathin HTC Ville rumored to be headed to T-Mobile T-Mobile will begin selling HTC's ultrathin Ville smartphone this spring, if the report from PocketNow is accurate.

The device has been seen in leaks for months, but is officially expected to be unveiled at next month's Mobile World Congress.

Here are the rumored specs (via AandMe):


1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4
Adreno 225 GPU
4.3-inch Super AMOLED qHD display
Beats Audio
Backside-illuminated 8 megapixel camera capable of rivaling point-and-shoot quality
1650mAh battery


Additionally, the device will have Android 4.0.x and HTC's own Sense 4 UI.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

LG, Google in talks for new Google 'Nexus' TV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 16:23

LG, Google in talks for new Google 'Nexus' TV According to Bloomberg, LG and Google are in talks for a new Google TV, one that would be released by the end of the year.

The current negotiations are to see if Google will give LG access (like it has to Android manufacturers) to its future Google TV software so it can create a "Nexus" model. In the Android world, phones like the Nexus One and Galaxy Nexus received the next software update before anyone else, and release the phones with a "Vanilla" offering, meaning no carrier or manufacturer bloatware or special user interfaces.

Google TV has seen a revival in the last two months, as the company finally updated the software for current devices and multiple big manufacturers announced plans for Google TVs or set-top boxes.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Best Buy reorganizing to emphasize phones, tablets, PCs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 16:10

Best Buy reorganizing to emphasize phones, tablets, PCs In an effort to boost its struggling revenue stream, Best Buy has reorganized and combined a few of its retail groups into the "connectivity business group."

The Group will sell connected devices, such as smartphones, tablets, PCs and e-readers, along with the service plans necessary to remain connected. The devices will be prominent in Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores.

CBG will be very similar to the current Best Buy Mobile initiative, but with a "broader mission," says Forbes.

The company is moving 35,000 employees to CBG, 20,000 from computers and tablets in standard Best Buys and 15,000 from Best Buy Mobile. Extra training will likely be required, up to 40 hours worth, so everyone gets to the same level. Each of the sectors emphasized by the group are the hottest trends in global electronics, with the exception of PCs, which have seen an extensive dip at the hands of the recession a few years ago and strong demand for tablets.

Best Buy did express hope that carriers would make activating their connected devices easier, as it can take up to 20 minutes to get started with your new 4G plan, for example.




AfterDawn: News

CyanogenMod custom ROMs reach 1 million active users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 15:42

CyanogenMod custom ROMs reach 1 million active users CyanogenMod, by far the most popular custom ROM available to Android users, has surpassed 1 million active users this week.

The ROM, which is available to users who have rooted devices and custom recovery loaders, is continuously updated for a large number of smartphones and tablets. The current stable version, 7.1, is based on Google's Android 2.3.7 and an alpha version of 9.0 (which is the CM version of ICS) is available for some devices, as well.

Most fans of CyanogenMod point to its speed, functionality and ease of use, all of which are usually better than the bloated versions of the operating system found on HTC, Motorola or Samsung devices.

The group has posted figures here on the amount of downloads, what versions and for phones:

Official Installs 599,760
Unofficial Installs (KANGs) 430,454
TOTAL 1,030,214

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

All smartphones from this point on will have 4G LTE, says Verizon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 15:15

All smartphones from this point on will have 4G LTE, says Verizon Verizon has noted this week that it has made it a requirement for all of its smartphones and tablets to have 4G LTE chips into the future.

Feature phones and "push-to-talk" devices will still be 3G-only, but Verizon doesn't really push those devices, anyways (ever stepped into a Verizon store?)

Keith Lampron, Verizon's associate director of device marketing, also added that the company will eventually move to Windows Phone devices, which only just recently (at CES) saw announcements for their first 4G LTE phones. Devices like the HTC Titan II and Nokia Lumia 900 (or variants) have a good chance of making Verizon's lineup later in the year. Additionally, the iPhone 5 is expected to have LTE support.

Verizon, which began rolling out its LTE network last year, will have its infrastructure completed by the end of 2013. When complete, "190 markets and 200 million people" will be covered by LTE, says Cnet.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

The latest iPhone 5 rumor; quad-mode LTE support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 1:53

The latest iPhone 5 rumor; quad-mode LTE support Investment bank Morgan Stanley has added their say to the ever-growing iPhone 5 rumor pool.

The bank says the next-gen iPhone, which will likely be released in October, will include a quad-mode LTE/4G chip from Qualcomm allowing for fast data access no matter what carrier you have.

Additionally, newer touch panel tech will mean the iPhone 5 is thinner. The company could use new casing materials, as well.

Says the MS analyst (via Insider): "What is clear about iPhone 5 is that Apple and its supply chain are positively surprised by the demand for iPhone 4S, which increases confidence in strong sales for iPhone 5 later this year. Overall, the supply chain looks for stronger than market growth for both the iPhone (50%+ y/y vs. market 20-30%) and the iPad (20-40% growth, higher with a lower priced iPad 2)"

Furthermore, the bank says the upcoming iPad 3 will go on sale in March with much upgraded features including a quad-core processor, LTE 4G support, and a high-resolution Retina Display at 2048x1536 resolution.




AfterDawn: News

BBC considering charging for access to digital TV shows

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 1:11

BBC considering charging for access to digital TV shows The BBC has confirmed they are considering charging viewers to watch TV shows from its digital archives.

If implemented, the new "pay-per-view" scheme would charge viewers to watch content after its time on the iPlayer has passed. The BBC says it is considering the plan as a way to make up the cost of making the millions of hours of shows available online.

The idea has already been met with hate, from license-fee payers who already pay £145.50 a year for access to BBC's shows.

Says a BBC spokesperson (via Guardian): "We never stop future-gazing at the BBC and there are always a number of new ideas under discussion. Any such ideas would need to be developed in conjunction with the industry and with rights-holders and they would certainly not lead to a two-tier licence fee."

The plan would only be a small fee and would not be implemented until 2016, if BBC chooses to go that way.




AfterDawn: News

Murdoch admits company "screwed up" after buying MySpace

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 0:53

Murdoch admits company "screwed up" after buying MySpace News Corp. billionaire CEO Rupert Murdoch has come clean on how his company "screwed up" after buying social network MySpace.

Says the CEO on Twitter: "Many questions and jokes about My Space.simple answer - we screwed up in every way possible, learned lots of valuable expensive lessons."

The company purchased MySpace for $580 million in 2005, right at its peak. The company then quickly saw its prized possession disintegrate. From 2010 to 2011 alone, MySpace traffic fell 48 percent to 35 million unique U.S. visitors. The company had an operating loss of $165 million in 2010 and likely saw a similar number in 2011.

Although you will be very hard pressed to find someone who still uses the site for the reasons it was started, the social network still brings in significant traffic, and was purchased by Specific Media for $35 million last year. The company is a very large ad-targeting firm and could likely make nice business off one of the most trafficked sites in the world.




AfterDawn: News

FTC expands antitrust case against Google to include Google+

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2012 0:34

FTC expands antitrust case against Google to include Google+ The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has expanded its antitrust investigation into Google, adding the Google+ social network to the probe.

FTC investigators are looking into whether Google promotes its own services higher in search results and if they do, whether that practice violates antitrust laws.

The news comes just a week after Google started its "Search, Plus your World" feature, which shows photos, news and comments from Google+ in Google search results. If you have a Google+ account, you will see personal info from friends and circles when you enter a relevant search result.

Google said, at launch, of the new product: "We believe that our improvements to search will benefit consumers. The laws are designed to help consumers benefit from innovation, not to help competitors."

One major critic, Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land, had this to say: "Google's job as a search engine is to direct searchers to the most relevant information on the Web, not just to information that Google may have an interest in. Google has faced a lot of accusations that it's favoring its own services. Most allegations haven't held up. This is different. Google is suggesting to people that they may want to follow social media accounts -- but not all social media accounts, just Google's."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon reveals 2011's best-selling PC games

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jan 2012 21:07

Amazon reveals 2011's best-selling PC games Amazon has revealed last year's best-selling PC games, both physical and through digital distribution.

Speaking to Joystiq, the giant e-tailer's list had very little surprises in the physical copy market, although the digital distribution list did offer a surprise at the top.

Leading the physical list, as expected, was Call of Duty: MW3. The game brought in over $1 billion in revenue, and is a blockbuster by any standard. On the digital side, COD was not as popular, placing in 8th. Following behind COD in physical sales were non-surprises like Just Dance, Skyrim, Battlefield 3 and Batman: Arkham City.

The leader on the digital side was more surprising, with the list being led by Square Enix's Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the third game in the series. The game, while popular, was critically panned for the most part for being "too boring."

Full lists here:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Skype app for Windows Phone coming soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jan 2012 20:37

Skype app for Windows Phone coming soon According to Skype's VP of products Rick Osterloh, a Skype app for Windows Phone devices is coming soon.

The exec noted that the company is actively "working on a Windows Phone product that will be coming out soon," after being asked during CES.

Microsoft, which now owns Skype, has kept updates on the video/voice calling service quiet since the acquisition. The company had initially called for a late 2011 release date for the app, but that timeline passed without any mention.

The Verge says, through its own sources, that the initial Skype 1.0 app will not be fully featured. The "deep" Windows Phone integrated app will not come until Microsoft updates the operating system to "Apollo," which is likely Windows Phone 7.6.

Although Osterloh would not go further than to say "soon," the company is likely to show off the app at next months Mobile World Congress event in Spain.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook on pace for 1 billion users by August

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jan 2012 19:57

Facebook on pace for 1 billion users by August According to a new report by iCrossing, Facebook's current growth rate will propel them to 1 billion users by August 2012.

The company recently confirmed it hit 800 million active users, just a few months after confirming 750 million. It is unclear what Facebook defines as "active," however.

Reads iCrossing's note: "Using a process of linear regression on the data from the end of 2008 onwards we expect Facebook to hit a billion active users around August 2012. Looking from the data from 2006-mid-2008 it looks like Facebook was growing at an exponential rate, however more recent data suggests it's growing in a linear fashion."

Facebook's growth rate has stopped in nations like the U.S. and U.K., where the market has been saturated. Chances are if you haven't signed up for an account since 2004, you don't want one. In other nations, like India and Brazil, growth is exploding, with year-over-year figures almost doubling. Growth is expected to continue its lightning paced growth in the developing nations, each of which have large populations and expanding Internet populations.

If the projection proves correct, 14 percent of the entire planet will be using Facebook by the end of the summer.




AfterDawn: News

White House opposes key SOPA provisions but promises future anti-piracy law

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Jan 2012 19:16

White House opposes key SOPA provisions but promises future anti-piracy law The White House has formally responded to a pair of online petitions against SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act).

The petitions were posted to the White House website, using a feature called 'We The People,' which was created for just that purpose. Between them, they have attracted more than 100,000 signatures. While agreeing with many of the sentiments expressed by SOPA's critics, the response seems to whitewash one of SOPA's worst provisions.

It was written by Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinol, whose position was PROTECT IP), U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, and Cybersecurity Coordinator for National Security Staff Howard Schmidt.

The White House response addresses, in general terms, the issues of censorship and online security. These are the two areas most often cited as concerns by SOPA/PIPA opponents:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

UK judge okays extradition of college student for copyright infringement case

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Jan 2012 16:31

UK judge okays extradition of college student for copyright infringement case A UK college student targeted by the US government for alleged criminal copyright infringement lost his initial bid to block extradition to the US.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of the US Department of Homeland Security, wants Richard O'Dwyer extradited for operating a website, called TV Shack, where links pointing to infringing streams and downloads from other websites were documented.

TV Shack was one of the first websites targeted by ICE as part of Operation In Our Sites, under which they have seized numerous domain names. They claim to have that right based on the use of domain names which fall under the authority of US-based Verisign.

Even though several of the domain names seized have been connected to individuals outside the US, so far O'Dwyer is the only person to face extradition in connection with the ICE operation. This is apparently a side effect of changes to the extradition agreement between the US and UK in 2003. Under the new rules, UK judges are not given the opportunity to evaluate or consider US evidence in their decision.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPad 3 to feature quad-core processor, LTE support, Retina Display

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jan 2012 0:40

iPad 3 to feature quad-core processor, LTE support, Retina Display According to Bloomberg, the upcoming iPad 3 will go on sale in March with much upgraded features.

The tablet will see a bump to a quad-core processor, have LTE 4G support, and a high-resolution Retina Display at 2048x1536.

Manufacturing partners in Asia have already begun producing the device with expected peak volumes to be hit in February.

Retina Display, says Bloomberg, will "have pixels small enough to make the images look like printed material, according to the person. Videos begin playing almost instantly because of the additional graphics processing."

Apple has sold over 40 million iPads in just two years, making it the clear market leader.




AfterDawn: News

EA says digital revenue surpasses $1 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jan 2012 23:55

EA says digital revenue surpasses $1 billion Electronic Arts (EA) has announced this week that 2011 saw its digital businesses bring in over $1 billion revenue.

The gaming publisher has spent significant money moving towards a digital strategy and away from retail, and it finally appears to be paying some dividends.

EA spent billions purchasing "casual" and "social" gaming companies like Playfish, PopCap and Chillingo over the last two years and also recently launched its own digital distribution portal, dubbed "Origin." Additionally, the publisher started strategies like "Online Pass" and "Season Pass," which give you access to online features and bonus content for your games.

For 2012, EA says it will be folding its "EA Interactive Label" division into other divisions, meaning social and casual games will be part of the general company and not separate.

Social gaming giant Zynga also noted that they had hired former EA Interactive Label boss Barry Cottle to be executive VP of business and corporate development, joining two other experienced execs who left EA for Zynga in the last 3 months.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox 360 is lone bright spot in bad year for video game industry

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jan 2012 23:26

Xbox 360 is lone bright spot in bad year for video game industry According to the latest NPD figures, the Xbox 360 was the lone bright spot for the video game industry in 2011.

Overall U.S. retail sales fell 8 percent year-over-year, while Microsoft's sales grew. Revenue for Microsoft came to $6.7 billion, up from $6.2 billion in 2010.

$4.6 billion of that figure came from software and accessories with the rest from hardware sales. Kinect sales were through the roof, reaching 18 million worldwide.

While they did not disclose the exact figures, NPD's Anita Frazier says the Wii and PS3 were "neck and neck for second place."

Overall, total retail sales fell to $17.02 billion, non-PC hardware fell 11 percent to $5.58 billion and non-PC software fell 6 percent to $8.83 billion. Accessories saw the biggest slide, down just over 11 percent to $2.61 billion.




AfterDawn: News

CD Projekt RED drops their harsh anti-piracy stance

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jan 2012 18:45

CD Projekt RED drops their harsh anti-piracy stance CD Projekt RED, the developers behind the popular "Witcher" series, have ended their controversial methods of using law firms and torrent-watching private companies to find pirates of their games and sue them.

The devs, which are anti-DRM, lost most respect with gamers after deciding to go the route of the RIAA and other groups in their actions against pirates. The company, through the law firms, was sending letters demanding 900 euros to alleged pirates found via their IP addresses.

Regardless, the company has now flipped, and will no longer be suing alleged downloaders:

CD Projekt's CEO Marcin Iwinski says:
In early December, [a TorrentFreak] article was published about a law firm acting on behalf of CD Projekt RED, contacting individuals who had downloaded The Witcher 2 illegally and seeking financial compensation for copyright infringement. The news about our decision to combat piracy directly, instead of with DRM, spread quickly and with it came a number of concerns from the community.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Foxconn has resolved its dispute with factory workers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jan 2012 22:55

Foxconn has resolved its dispute with factory workers Yesterday we reported that 300 disgruntled workers at Foxconn's Technology Park in Wuhan, China allegedly threatened to commit suicide following a pay dispute with their boss.

The company, which has 1.1 million workers and is a major supplier for Apple, Microsoft and other electronics behemoths, says it has resolved the issues, and most of the workers are back to work. 45 of those involved had resigned, however.

One of the workers who returned to the company says that following negotiations with the company and government officials, they will be given the additional compensation they had been promised. Foxconn employees 32,000 workers for that plant, alone, so the incident appears to have been blown a bit out of proportion.

Foxconn is notorious for poor working conditions and was a daily headline in the last few years as workers committed suicide to have their families collect death compensation that was worth over 10 years of standard work pay. The company was even forced to install nets around their campuses to catch would-be jumpers. Psychiatrists have been installed in the factories, as well.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft's extortion continues as company inks another Android licensing deal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jan 2012 20:36

Microsoft's extortion continues as company inks another Android licensing deal Microsoft continues to force Android makers to pay up, and the company is now bragging that it owns 70 percent of the Android market.

Thanks to a rock solid patent portfolio, Microsoft has spent the last two years negotiating licensing deals with Android and Chrome OS makers, forcing them to pay Microsoft a piece every time a device sells. Like with other deals, the terms were not disclosed.

Says Microsoft: "We are pleased to have built upon our longstanding relationship with LG to reach a mutually beneficial agreement. Together with our ten previous agreements with Android and Chrome OS device manufacturers, including HTC, Samsung and Acer, this agreement with LG means that more than seventy percent of all Android smartphones sold in the U.S. are now receiving coverage under Microsoft's patent portfolio. We are proud of the continued success of our program in resolving the IP issues surrounding Android and Chrome OS."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Hulu revenue grew to $420 million last year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jan 2012 20:11

Hulu revenue grew to $420 million last year Hulu has posted their results for 2011, and it appears the streaming site's strong growth has continued.

CEO Jason Kilar says revenue grew 60 percent from $240 million to $420 million, although the company had internal projections of $500 million.

Hulu Plus now has over 1.5 million paying subscribers who pay $7.99 per month to have mobile access to Hulu's complete catalog of content. Users can watch back episodes of shows like Family Guy and 30 Rock on hundreds of devices, with minor ads.

More than double the amount of subscribers are signing up per day that were in 2010, adds Kilar.

Additionally, Hulu's content grew 40 percent year-over-year and Hulu Plus' content grew 105 percent in the same period.

Kilar concludes that the company will invest approximately $500 million in content in 2012.




AfterDawn: News

Target to experiment with larger selection of Apple products

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 12 Jan 2012 19:38

Target to experiment with larger selection of Apple products US retail giant Target is planning to add their own Apple stores to a small number of locations, likely to be expanded to more stores if successful.

In reality they will not be actual Apple Stores, but were instead described to the New York Times as "expanded displays" by a Target spokesman. No details have been provided about what Apple products will be involved.

Initially only 25 Target stores will be getting the expanded Apple displays. Presumably that will be expanded if it proves to be a profitable move. It will be particularly interesting to see if desktops or laptops might be added to their existing selection of iPods, iPhones, and iPads.

This change was announced alongside the addition of a number of boutique shops being added to various Target locations to showcase exclusive products from various local businesses. Presumably both are part of an attempt to move Target more into department store territory and away from discounters like Walmart.




AfterDawn: News

Morgan Stanley: Nokia will sell 37 million Windows Phones this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jan 2012 18:49

Morgan Stanley: Nokia will sell 37 million Windows Phones this year Investment bank Morgan Stanley has dubbed 2012 the year of the breakout for Windows Phone.

The bank expects Nokia to sell 37 million of the devices in the year, followed by 64 million in 2013. The handset maker has just launched its first devices, the Lumia 710, 800 and 900, some of which are launching around the world as we speak. The 900 flagship device was just announced at CES.

Furthermore, Morgan Stanley says HTC will sell 6 million of the devices this year. The bank did not have estimates from Samsung or other handset makers, but the total could be over 50 million when all is said and done.

Microsoft is expected to begin a large marketing campaign for the smartphone operating system, as is Nokia.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Artists are doing better than ever according to the US Labor Department

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 12 Jan 2012 18:45

Artists are doing better than ever according to the US Labor Department The principle reason used by entertainment industry executives for new anti-piracy laws like SOPA and PIPA is the harm illegal copying supposedly does to the economy. Specifically, they say it destroys jobs for "artists."

In numerous debates in Washington figures provided by the MPAA, RIAA, and other trade groups are trotted out to show how jobs are being lost every day. If only there were a more objective source of information on the subject...

In fact there is such a source. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, part of the Department of Labor, publishes all the data you need to come up with real world estimates, and contrary to all those job-loss claims they paint a pretty rosy picture.

In fact, according to the official US government numbers, the number of jobs in "arts, entertainment, and recreation" increased nearly 20% between 1998 and 2008. Even better, total compensation for those jobs (adjusted for inflation) increased almost 30% over the same period.

If you narrow the numbers down to just "independent artists, writers, and performers," the increases were even bigger. In fact those jobs inceased at nearly twice the rate as the industry category overall.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Congressman asks gaming community to take action against SOPA

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 12 Jan 2012 14:02

Congressman asks gaming community to take action against SOPA One of the biggest reasons politicians around the world feel comfortable crafting anti-piracy legislation which relies on restricting the Internet itself is a lack of leaders who actually understand the technology they seek to regulate.

Nowhere has this been more evident than in the House Judiciary Committee hearing over SOPA last month. During the hearing, Iowa Representative Steve King actually admitted (via Twitter) that he wasn't even paying attention.

Representative Jared Polis, representing Colorado's 2nd District, is perhaps the best example of someone who actually does understand tech issues. And not just in a general way from researching it, but from actual first hand experience.

Before entering politics, Polis was a successful Internet entrepeneur who founded multiple companies, including online florist ProFlowers. He is also, apparently, an avid online gamer. He recently joined a discussion on the League of Legends community forum about SOPA and PIPA to urge fellow gamers to take action.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

CES: What is the future of Motoblur when Google takes over Motorola?

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 12 Jan 2012 11:59

CES: What is the future of Motoblur when Google takes over Motorola? If there's one issue where Google and every major handset and tablet vendor disagree, it's the question of what's best for the Android user interface.

From the beginning, Google has insisted that using the "vanilla" Android UI they provide is preferable to vendors creating alternatives like Sense, TouchWiz, or Motoblur. Clearly the top device vendors disagree.

Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha addressed the issue in a conversation at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this week. Motorola, he says, has no plan to drop their custom UI in favor of the stock Android alternative.

He told The Verge, "Verizon and AT&T don't want seven stock ICS devices on their shelves."

Certainly it's no big surprise to find out Android handset vendors place an emphasis on their own customer interfaces. Samsung and HTC are certainly known for the same attitude. On the other hand, Google isn't buying Samsung or HTC.

Pending regulatory approval, they are buying Motorola Mobility. While they have said Motorola will continue to operate independently, that doesn't mean the top executives won't be replaced with individuals who share Google's vision for Android.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

CES: Multi-room DVR client becomes standard in Samsung Smart TVs

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 12 Jan 2012 8:57

CES: Multi-room DVR client becomes standard in Samsung Smart TVs At CES in Las Vegas, Samsung announced that all their future Smart TVs will support the RVU (R-View) protocol, allowing them to work with multi-room media players and DVRs.

They made the announcement in conjunction with DirecTV, whose RVU enabled HR34 Home Media Center HD-DVR was launched late last year. The two companies first showcased the technology at last year's CES. RVU works by means of a server, which in this case is part of the DirecTV DVR, which provides a UI to networked TV clients.

Last year Samsung introduced the D6000 line of Smart TVs (D6000, D6400, D6420), which can be firmware upgraded with RVU support. Now it seems a RVU client will be a standard feature on all future (Smart TV) models.

Stephen Goldstein, vice president of Samsung Electronics America, said in a statement:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PS Vita 3G is region-free, but carrier-locked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2012 23:11

PS Vita 3G is region-free, but carrier-locked AT&T has noted today that the upcoming PS Vita with 3G will be carrier locked, meaning only AT&T SIM cards will work in the handheld.

All international GSM SIM and T-Mobile in the U.S. will give an error when turned on.

Yesterday, the carrier revealed pricing for the 3G data plans. The carrier says 250MB will run you $15 per month, and $25 will get you 2GB. Those prices come on top of the extra $50 premium the 3G model demands on the base price.

Although the device is carrier-locked, Sony revealed that device will at least be region-free, meaning Japanese games will work on American handhelds, and every other combination.

With a release date in late February for the U.S. and Europe, 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

Gaikai: Sony or Microsoft will completely skip this next generation of gaming consoles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2012 21:25

Gaikai: Sony or Microsoft will completely skip this next generation of gaming consoles Just a day after Sony confirmed it would not be unveiling a new console at this year's E3 event, one company is saying that either Microsoft or Sony will completely skip this upcoming generation of gaming systems.

Gaikai, is a cloud gaming service similar to OnLive. CPO Nanea Reeves says: "Not all of the current console makers will have one more generation. That will be the big news at E3."

Because Nintendo has already announced and showed off parts of the Wii U, that leaves Sony and Microsoft. The Wii U will be completely revealed at E3 with a holiday release schedule.

Sony execs like Kaz Hirai have said they believe the PS3 will last its promised 10-year life cycle so the speculation is on Sony skipping this generation. Microsoft's console, which has a DVD optical drive and a less powerful processor than the PS3, can likely not last too much longer without upgrading. Top games already fill up multiple DVDs.




AfterDawn: News

Sony: No PS4 announcement or news at E3 this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2012 20:27

Sony: No PS4 announcement or news at E3 this year Sony boss Kaz Hirai confirmed today what other Sony execs have said; there will be no PS4 (PlayStation 4) announcement at this year's E3 event.

Nintendo will reveal their Wii U at the event, a year after unveiling the tablet controller for the console.

Hirai, along with Sony Computer Entertainment president Andrew House, say they believe the device will live up to its 10-year life cycle, with no need to change that. By bowing out of this year's E3, it is likely that the PS4 will be coming in 2014, at the earliest.

Microsoft is rumored to unveil some details of its Xbox Next (720) at the event, with a late 2013 launch expected. The Wii U could be ready to ship by the end of the year, although everything here is speculation.

While the PS3 is powerful and includes Blu-ray, many of its exclusive developers have said that they are beginning to max out the console's potential.




AfterDawn: News

Apple making special "education announcement" next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2012 20:07

Apple making special "education announcement" next week Apple has invited the media to a special "education announcement" in New York for next week, January 19th, although the contents of the event remain unknown, in true Apple fashion.

The invite, which features a NY skyline, says "Join us for an educational event in the Big Apple." The event will take place at 10 a.m. at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum on the upper east side.

Although completely unconfirmed, the general Internet consensus is that Apple will announce their entry into the e-textbook business. In his biography, Steve Jobs spoke about a subscription textbook-on-iPad plan.

Of course, Apple could be going a whole different way with it. We will update you after the event.




AfterDawn: News

CES: Google TV gets OnLive app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2012 19:32

CES: Google TV gets OnLive app Google has announced that streaming gaming company OnLive has developed an app for its Google TV platform.

The platform is seeing something of a revival at this year's event, with four major companies announcing new devices and 200 developers announcing they are working on applications for the service.

OnLive says their "Viewer" app is available now, but it is kind of useless at the moment. For now you can just use the social features or watch other players play their games via the "Arena." Adds Google: "As we do with most new platforms, OnLive is starting out with a Viewer on Google TV, so for now, you can just watch and use OnLive social features. But hang in there, OnLive is working closely with Google to enable full gameplay with OnLive gamers from around the world on Google TV. And more Google TV devices are coming, with OnLive built right in."

The company sells their $49.99 OnLive Universal Controller which is compatible with set-top boxes, Android, iOS, OnLive TVs and eventually with Google TV.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple confirms its purchase of Israeli flash memory company

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2012 18:56

Apple confirms its purchase of Israeli flash memory company After weeks of speculation, Apple has confirmed its purchase of Anobit Technologies.

The Israeli flash memory maker has its tech already used in most of Apple's iOS devices and Mac laptops. Although the company would not reveal its purchase price, two shareholders say the final buyout was about $390 million. The company had been seeking more, and Israeli newspapers had been speculating for weeks that the price was high as $500 million.

By owning the company, Apple has a full supply of a key component of its iPhone and iPads and can customize the tech to better suit its devices.

Apple is the largest purchaser of NAND flash memory in the world, accounting for a full 23 percent of the planet's consumption in the Q3 2011.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox 360 factory workers threaten suicide in China?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2012 18:34

Xbox 360 factory workers threaten suicide in China? Allegedly, 300 disgruntled workers at Foxconn's Technology Park in Wuhan, China threatened to commit suicide today by jumping off a building.

The factory builds parts used in the Xbox 360.

Apparently the threats came after a payment dispute with their boss. After asking for a raise last week, the boss told them to quit with a small severance or continue to work without a raise. Most of the workers took the severance but the company reportedly then reneged on the deal, not paying them the extra compensation and not giving them their jobs back.

Foxconn had a different statement, however, saying 150 employees took part "in a workplace incident" over being transferred to a different unit within the same massive campus. The company says Foxconn officials and government representatives resolved the issue, with 45 employees resigning and the rest staying on.

Microsoft released a statement, as well: "Microsoft takes working conditions in the factories that manufacture its products very seriously, and we are currently investigating this issue. We have a stringent Vendor Code of Conduct that spells out our expectations, and we monitor working conditions closely on an ongoing basis and address issues as they emerge. Microsoft is committed to the fair treatment and safety of workers employed by our vendors, and to ensuring conformance with Microsoft policy."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

CES: Motorola will make Android phones with Atom processors

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 11 Jan 2012 17:43

CES: Motorola will make Android phones with Atom processors At CES today, Intel announced two deals designed to put their latest Atom processors on the mobile device map.

New partnerships, with Motorola and Lenovo, are the culmination of some major changes in the chipmaker's Atom platform, along with development work to ensure Android compatibility. The new Z2460 Atom processor is their first true SoC (System on a Chip) mobile processor.

Starting in the second half of this year, the new processor will be appearing in Android handsets from Motorola, who signed a two year deal to produce Atom-based smartphones and tablets. Before that, in Q2, the Z2460 will be used to power a Lenovo Android phone destined for the Chinese market.

In the past, Atom processors had been generally avoided for mobile devices because they used too much power. That was largely due to their failure to build everything into the same chip. In addition to moving to an SoC design, the new Atom processors also address the power efficiency issue by using a 32nm process.

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AfterDawn: News

CES: Samsung and Amazon join UltraViolet supporters this year

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 11 Jan 2012 15:57

CES: Samsung and Amazon join UltraViolet supporters this year This year Samsung will begin selling a pair of Blu-ray players with support for the UltraViolet (UVVU) rights locker system favored by the majority of major Hollywood studios.

Currently the only retailer who actually supports UltraViolet is Warner Bros owned Flixster. The Samsung Blu-ray players will interface with both the UltraViolet and Flixster services using a recently announced Rovi solution.

Basically it will work like this. First you must purchase a qualifying title on disc. When you put it in your Blu-ray player, you can register it with your UltraViolet account and pay a so-far unspecified "nominal fee" to access it through Flixster.

The obvious problem with this system, aside from Flixster's problems getting customers access to their UltraViolet registered content, is that you must pay a second time to watch content you have already purchased on disc.

Warner content is an exception for now. Currently they are offering UltraViolet copies of their movies for three years through Flixster. Of course, if other retailers decide to participate in the UltraViolet program they aren't obligated to match Warner's offer.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Reddit to go dark for 12 hours in protest of SOPA/PIPA

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 11 Jan 2012 12:34

Reddit to go dark for 12 hours in protest of SOPA/PIPA The Reddit community has been on the front lines of the fight against SOPA and PIPA, the US anti-piracy bills which have been widely criticized for threatening the very foundations of the Internet.

Internet engineers, law professors, service providers, venture capitalists, and political activists from across the spectrum have criticized the two bills for their implications on both free speech and the technical underpinnings of the Internet. Nowhere has that criticism garnered more attention than on Reddit, where movements to boycott GoDaddy and unseat prominent US congressman Paul Ryan have led to both publicly opposing SOPA.

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AfterDawn: News

Warner pushes Netflix into a 56 day delay for new releases

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 11 Jan 2012 10:56

Warner pushes Netflix into a 56 day delay for new releases Warner Bros is pushing DVD and Blu-ray rental outlets to wait nearly two months to offer their new releases to customers.

Yesterday Netflix became the first, and perhaps only, rental outlet to agree to Warner's proposed 56 day delay from the time a movie is released for sale on disc to when it's available to rent. Previously Netflix and Redbox had both agreed to a 28 day window.

Redbox, however, has not agreed to the new terms. That's not surprising considering they were already considering ditching the arrangement when their agreement ends at the end of this month.

If they opt to skip a new deal with Warner entirely, Redbox would actually be able to get new releases sooner by purchasing them from alternate sources. In fact, last October a company spokesman indicated they were prepared to do just that.

Dish Network owned Blockbuster also appears to be balking at Warner's new plan. Of course they were already fighting Warner over the 28 day window, which was extended to brick and mortar rental outlets last year.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Roku now available in UK, Ireland

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jan 2012 23:25

Roku now available in UK, Ireland Roku has announced today that its set-top boxes are now available in the UK and Ireland.

For now, only two models, the Roku LT and the Roku 2 XS will be available, at £49.99 and £99.99 respectively from Amazon.co.uk.

Says the company: "Roku launched the first ever streaming player to deliver Netflix to consumers in the U.S. and now we are among the first to bring Netflix to residents of the U.K. and Ireland. n addition to Netflix, we are launching with a variety of entertainment channels and look forward to expanding our content selection in the same way that we have in the U.S. where we have more than 400 channels today."

The Roku boxes have access to 40 channels in the UK and Ireland, including Crackle, Netflix, MLB.tv and UFC. Additionally, the boxes have access to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook, Flickr and even Angry Birds.

Roku's LT box is the cheapest they offer because it only offers 720p output. Regardless, the device has built-in Wi-Fi. The Roku 2 XS has 1080p support, Wi-Fi, ethernet and a USB port to play movies, music and pictures.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung: We will beat out Nokia in 2012

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jan 2012 23:03

Samsung: We will beat out Nokia in 2012 Samsung has made a bold statement (or is it) this week, claiming it will definitely surpass Nokia in 2012 as the world's top phone maker, by volume.

Nokia has held the top spot since 1996. In 2011, Samsung surpassed Nokia in the Q3 but could not overtake the Finnish company in the overall yearly stats.

Samsung saw a huge surge thanks to its popular Android devices, most notably the Galaxy S1 and Galaxy SII, both of which were international best sellers. Nokia, on the other hand, has struggled to make waves but is looking to reverse fortunes with its new Windows Phone devices, namely the Lumia 710, 800 and 900.

At least one analyst agrees with Samsung's statement, Tim Shepherd of technology research firm Canalys: "It really highlights the level to which Nokia has struggled to retain momentum through 2011. Samsung is really charging forward at the moment. It is delivering really compelling products to the market and consumers are responding."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

CES: Asus unveils updated Transformer Prime with 1920x1200 display

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jan 2012 20:38

CES: Asus unveils updated Transformer Prime with 1920x1200 display Today at CES, Asus has unveiled their next iteration of the Transformer Prime line of tablets, one that has a 1920x1200 resolution display.

The new Transformer Prime (model TF700) will have the same sized screen as its recently released brother, but with a high-density display that should "make the individual pixels difficult to see even with the screen inches from one's face."

Other than the resolution, the only other update to the consumer hardware is a 2MP front-side camera which will enable 1080p video chats. The current model has a 1.2MP camera.

Additionally, Asus has changed the chassis, "taking the spin out of the aluminum back panel and inserting a plastic strip that's supposed to improve Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS reception." The Prime, at least in review units, was panned for poor Wi-Fi reception. Asus was even forced to remove GPS from the Prime's spec sheet since it worked so poorly.

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AfterDawn: News

Time Warner subscribers now have access to HBO Go, Max Go

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jan 2012 19:56

Time Warner subscribers now have access to HBO Go, Max Go After just a three week beta, HBO Go is now live for Time Warner subscribers.

Says the cable company: Finally, something we have all been waiting for. You have no idea how much it pleases me to be able to say this. Today, right this minute, after a long negotiation and a brief beta test:

TIME WARNER CABLE CUSTOMERS WITH SUBSCRIPTIONS TO HBO/CINEMAX ARE NOW ABLE TO USE THE HBO GO/MAX GO APPS.

They're available for download in the Apple app store and Android Market now.


On December 17th, the company announced it would be giving its subscibers access to the massively popular HBO GO service and Cinemax subscribers access to MAX GO, as well.

Both services, which give users access to streaming TV on-demand as long as you are a subscriber, are available on iOS and Android devices as well as in-browser or through Roku set-top boxes. HBO says they have 1400 titles available right now, including all seasons of original programs like Game of Thrones, True Blood, and Boardwalk Empire. Furthermore, HBO GO also streams full-length features, docus and sporting events. MAX GO has 400 Cinemax titles available now, and is always changing.

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AfterDawn: News

Google takes back market share from Bing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jan 2012 19:40

Google takes back market share from Bing Marking the third time since September that it has done so, Google has taken back search engine market share from rival Bing.

ComScore says that for December 2011, Google jumped to 65.9 percent, up half a percentage point. Bing lost an equal amount, down to 14.5 percent. Yahoo remain unchanged at 15.1 percent.

Even though Yahoo uses Bing's search engine technology, the searches are still considered different.

Bing managed to take a decent chunk of share over the past 12 months, thanks to an expensive marketing campaign from Microsoft and promotions like Bing Cashback. Since the fall, however, Google has fought back, taking back share in three of the last four months.

Additionally, Yahoo and Bing seem to switch back and forth every other month, running in place.

If including mobile queries, Macquarie Equity Research says: We estimate that as much as 10%-15% of all Internet search traffic is coming from mobile devices currently and that it will grow to 25%-30% by 2012. Moreover, Google recently indicated that in certain categories, such as restaurants, almost 30% of queries are already coming from mobile devices (other key categories such as Consumer Electronics, Beauty & Personal, Finance/Insurance, and Autos have between 14%-16% mobile queries).




AfterDawn: News

Kinect for Windows coming February 1st

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jan 2012 18:50

Kinect for Windows coming February 1st Last night, during Microsoft's final CES keynote, CEO Steve Ballmer announced a definitive date for Kinect hitting Windows.

Starting on February 1st, the company's extremely popular and powerful gesture-recognition technology will be available for Windows PC users. An SDK has been available for over a month, and hackers have been using the Kinect sensor for Windows since its launch.

The Kinect for Windows will likely look similar to the Xbox 360 version.

Microsoft has said, and Ballmer reiterated, that 200 companies are working on Kinect apps and they now have a much broader audience.

We will have more information as it becomes available.




AfterDawn: News

CES: Lenovo shows off Yoga; Windows 8 tablet/notebook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2012 23:34

CES: Lenovo shows off Yoga; Windows 8 tablet/notebook Today at CES, Lenovo showed of their aptly named Yoga tablet/notebook hybrid, which runs on the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.

The IdeaPad Yoga is a 13.3-inch notebook that, when flipped, can be used as a standalone tablet.

Although there is not too much known about what the computer's final hardware will be, it is apparently just 0.67-inches thick and made to look like Lenovo's current IdeaPad U300 line. Lenovo says the laptop can be easily flipped to look like a tablet for made to stand V-shaped in "tent" mode, as seen in the pics. The device is very light at just 3.1 pounds.

Additionally, the display is 1600 x 900-resolution and the current prototype has an i7 processor.

Lenovo will release the hybrid soon after Windows 8 launches this fall, with a price tag of $1200.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

CES: PlayStation Vita news roundup

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2012 21:08

CES: PlayStation Vita news roundup AT&T has finally revealed the price if you want 3G data on your PlayStation Vita.

The carrier says 250MB will run you $15 per month, and $25 will get you 2GB.

This price comes on top of the extra $50 premium the 3G model demands on the base price.

Additionally, Sony later announced that the Vita would be getting Netflix access. A streaming subscription to Netflix costs $7.99 per month.

With a release date in late February for the U.S. and Europe, 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

Sony takes one last shot at the media player industry with Tegra 2 and Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2012 20:40

Sony takes one last shot at the media player industry with Tegra 2 and Android Sony has decided to take one last crack at the aging media player business with their Walkman NWZ-Z1000.

The device will take on the iPod Touch and the Samsung Galaxy Player 4.0. The new Walkman will feature a 4.3-inch WVGA display, Android 2.3, and a dual-core Tegra 2 processor. The Android will have access to the Market and the full Google suite, meaning the media player will have 250,000 apps at its disposal.

Sony says they are boosting the audio with its own S-Master MX sound tech, xLoud compact integrated speaker and access to its Music Unlimited service. Furthermore, the device will have an FM radio and a dedicated "W" (for Walkman) button that will lead to "instant music playback."

The players will be expensive, as is standard with Sony, with the 8GB version priced at $250. For comparison, the iPod Touch is $50 cheaper and the Galaxy Player is $100 cheaper. The 16GB model will cost $280 and the 32GB will cost $330.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

CES: Asus shows off 7-inch quad-core ICS tablet for $250

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2012 20:20

CES: Asus shows off 7-inch quad-core ICS tablet for $250 Looking to take on Amazon and Barnes & Noble directly, Asus has revealed their yet-to-be-named 7-inch tablet priced competitively at $250.

The price and size are where the comparisons stop, however. The tablet will come with a Tegra 3 quad-core processor (including 5th stealth core like in the Prime) and run on Ice Cream Sandwich.

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang says the tablet will be "almost" as powerful as its full-sized brother, the Transformer Prime, which is the world's first quad-core tablet and the first device to receive the official Ice Cream Sandwich. The Prime sells for $500 so getting the price down to $250 seems to be quite the accomplishment.

The resolution of the screen is an impressive 1280x800, which should lead to a large pixel density.

Huang did not mention a timeline for the tablet's release, or a name, but it should be available within months.

(Pic via Crunch)

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Tim Cook given massive stock award from Apple

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2012 19:38

Tim Cook given massive stock award from Apple Tim Cook has just been given a massive stock award from Apple for his 5 months as CEO of the company.

The executive, on top of his $900,000 salary, will receive restricted stock and options valued at $376 million. For 2012, Cook's salary will increase to $1.4 million, as well.

In their award, the Apple board of directors said (via Cnet) the pay is based on "Cook's performance in assuming responsibility for the company's day-to-day operations during Mr. Jobs's prior leaves of absence. The Board also took into account the 10-year vesting period of the award, the importance of retaining Mr. Cook, and the opportunities Mr. Cook would likely have if he were to seek other employment."

Cook was previously the COO under former CEO Steve Jobs and took over his role all three times Jobs was forced to take medical leaves for his cancer treatments and his liver transplant.

The compensation package is not the first for Cook, who was given 1 million restricted shares of Apple stock that vest in 5 years. At current value, those shares are worth over $400 million.




AfterDawn: News

CES: Samsung unveils 55-inch Super OLED TV with voice control

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2012 19:25

CES: Samsung unveils 55-inch Super OLED TV with voice control Samsung has followed in LG's footsteps in unveiling a 55-inch OLED TV for the masses.

Differentiating the TV is its "Super OLED" panel which "has self-emitting RGB sub-pixels and is faster than LED," says the company. OLED panels will provide "accurate color reproduction and 'true-to-life picture quality,'" which was certainly visible today, say spectators.

The OLED display will "virtually eliminate motion blur," as well, notes Samsung.

Furthermore, the TV will include Samsung's newly introduced "Smart Interaction" technology, which includes an integrated webcam and two mics for motion and voice control. For example, you can turn on/off the TV, raise the volume, use some apps, facial recognition and even search via the built-in browser using the interface.

The TV will be powered by a dual-core processor.

Samsung says the OLED will be available in the second half of the year. The company wouldn't say, but expect a $10,000 price tag.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nokia introduces their high-end Windows Phone -- Lumia 900

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 09 Jan 2012 18:48

Nokia introduces their high-end Windows Phone -- Lumia 900 Nokia has today announced their third Windows Phone and the first ever LTE Nokia device. Lumia 900 follows the design path of Lumia 800 and N9. The main difference in the design is the size you get with the 4,3 inch AMOLED display.

As with the the previously announced Nokia Windows Phones you get a 1,4 gigahertz single-core processor but they've increased the display size to 4,3 inches. The AMOLED display relies on the Nokia's own ClearBlack technology. Battery is said to be 1830 mAh which is quite a bit more than with Lumia 800 (1450 mAh) or Lumia 710 (1320 mAh).

The phone also packs a Carl Zeiss camera with large aperture (F2.2) and wide angle focal length (28mm). It produces 8 megapixel stills and 720p/30fps video.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Influential US legislator bows to Reddit pressure and speaks out against SOPA

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Jan 2012 17:40

Influential US legislator bows to Reddit pressure and speaks out against SOPA Members of the online community Reddit, often referred to as redditors, have notched another minor victory in the war against SOPA, the widely criticized anti-piracy bill being considered in the US House of Representatives.

Last month redditors were behind a campaign to boycott Internet domain name registrar GoDaddy because of their support for SOPA. When the dust settled, GoDaddy lost a lot of customers and ultimately decided to retract their official support for the bill.

Fresh off that victory, redditors set their sights on unseating a federal legislator. After much debate, which actually involved a number of issues besides SOPA, a target was chosen. That target was Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan.

Ryan was not one of SOPA's sponsors, and in fact had never made a statement of any kind on the bill before the Reddit campaign started. Today that changed when the following was posted on his official page:

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AfterDawn: News

CES: AT&T teases new 4G Nokia Windows Phone and details Android additions

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Jan 2012 16:44

CES: AT&T teases new 4G Nokia Windows Phone and details Android additions During today's build up to the opening of this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, which officially starts tomorrow, AT&T has announced some major additions to their lineup of LTE smartphones.

Perhaps the most anticipated announcement was a teaser for the new Nokia Windows Phone, which is set to be formally unveiled at a Nokia press conference in a couple hours. However they did offer significantly more details about the HTC Titan II, which has a 4.7 inch display, a 16 megapixel camera, and is powered by a 1.5GHz Qualcomm.

Leaks, rumors, and general speculation from around the web about the Nokia phone tell us it's an updated version of the Lumia 800 with a bigger display, and of course, LTE support as well. That last part AT&T has officially confirmed.

Today they also officially announced an Android smartphone everyone knew was coming. Samsung's Galaxy Note has been upgraded with LTE support and some new capacitive buttons. They also announced two other Samsung Android models, the Galaxy S II Skyrocket HD with a 720p (1280×720) display and the eco-friendly Exhilarate, which is made from 80% recycled material.

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AfterDawn: News

CES: BitTorrent shows off certified home theater hardware

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Jan 2012 15:22

CES: BitTorrent shows off certified home theater hardware BitTorrent is making a big splash at CES in Las Vegas with the introduction of new partners in the BitTorrent Certified program. These companies will be making TVs, Blu-ray players, as well Set-top and NAS (Network Attached Storage) boxes with BitTorrent support.

Although primarily identified with illegal file sharing, BitTorrent was designed from the beginning for content delivery. Having been largely ignored by commercial content providers, the company has focused more on products to make it easier for consumers to share their own content, such as personal pictures and home movies.

These new devices focus largely on that task, as well as enabling the sharing of content with multiple devices on the same home network. The company will be demonstrating prototypes of most of these devices privately this week.

Dune HD and Antik Technology will be making BitTorrent certified set-top boxes. AirTies will also be producing set-top boxes, as well as NAS units and routers. BBK Electronics' products will include TVs and Blu-ray players. Each of the new BitTorrent partners sees personal content, particularly the explosion of HD video, as a key motivator for adopting the technology.

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AfterDawn: News

CES: Rovi announces an UltraViolet content access solution

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Jan 2012 13:56

CES: Rovi announces an UltraViolet content access solution Rovi, the software company who bought Sonic Solutions a few months ago, is introducing a new framework for offering consumers digital copies of their DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

Rovi Digital Copy Solution is designed to be integrated into computer software and consumer electronics devices as a client for viewing content licensed via the UltraViolet, aka UVVU or UV, rights management system.

UltraViolet is a "digital rights locker" which allows you to register Blu-rays or DVDs which have the UVVU logo on them. In theory this allows you to stream or download them to a variety of devices, but the process of enabling this is convoluted to say the least.

For starters, UltraViolet doesn't actually provide any copies. It is nothing more than a clearinghouse for content licenses. They keep track of what content you have purchased, but you have to find a third party service provider to actually get copies of the content.

That's where the new Rovi solution comes in. It can be built into clients for software or consumer electronics devices, allowing them to automatically identify and help you register your UVVU discs. It also provides an interface for service providers to find out what UVVU titles you have registered.

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AfterDawn: News

CES: Victorinox introduces 1TB mobile SSD

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Jan 2012 11:34

CES: Victorinox introduces 1TB mobile SSD During the lead up to CES today, Victorinox is unveiling a new line of mobile SSD drives with capacities up to 1 terabyte. Victorinox is best known for their Swiss Army knives, but in recent years has added USB flash drives to their product lineup.

Fittingly, the new Victorinox SSD drives could perhaps be best described as the Swiss Army knives of mobile storage. They offer USB 2, USB 3, and eSATA compatibility through a single connector. In addition to the 1TB option, there will also be 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB versions available.

They will also be showing off their new Victorinox Slim 3.0 line of USB flash drives. As the name suggests, these drives feature USB 3 support. They will be available in capacities ranging from 16GB to 128GB.

As with all their solid state storage products, both new lines use knife bodies to protect the drive. The Slim 3.0 will be offered either with the standard selection of knife and tool blades or in a flight friendly blade-free version. The SSD drives will include both housings, allowing you to switch between them.

Victorinox Head of Electronics Andrea Huder said in a statement:

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AfterDawn: News

Finnish ISP forced to block The Pirate Bay

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 09 Jan 2012 6:47

Finnish ISP forced to block The Pirate Bay The district court of Helsinki has ordered one of the Finland's largest internet service providers to seize access to the popular filesharing site The Pirate Bay. Extending the original ruling in October last year the court has specified the domain names and IP addresses that are to be blocked.

Block has only been forced on the ISP Elisa which is said to be the most frequently used ISP amongst TPB users in Finland. In the press release by Elisa, the company calls the block temporary and has already appealed.

The ISP refused to block the filesharing sites under the original ruling because of not specific enough terms. Now that the domain names and IP addresses have been named the block is in effect.

Included in the blocked addresses are most of the domain names and IP addresses owned by The Pirate Bay as well as at least one URL which now redirects to Electronic Frontier Finland (EFFI) foundation. The domain in question (piraattilahti.fi) has previously redirected to thepiratebay.org but is operated by an individual not connected to The Pirate Bay.




AfterDawn: News

CES: Lenovo unveils TV running on Android 4.0

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2012 23:40

CES: Lenovo unveils TV running on Android 4.0 Lenovo has shown off their first TV today at CES.

Making the HDTV special is the fact that it runs on Android 4.0, the only television that has ever done so.

Dubbed the Lenovo K91 Smart TV, Lenovo says the device will be available first in China and could eventually make its way overseas.

Lenovo has created their own custom interface called "Sandwich" that uses video on demand, apps and standard TV functionality. It is important to note that Lenovo is using Android instead of Google's struggling Google TV platform. Powering ICS is a Qualcomm 1.5Ghz dual-core processor and include a 5MP camera for video chatting. There will be 42-inch and 50-inch 3D LED models.

Lenovo says the TV will have access to thousands of apps via the Android Market and the Lenovo Store.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

CES 2012: Toshiba unveils world's thinnest tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2012 22:42

CES 2012: Toshiba unveils world's thinnest tablet Toshiba has announced the Excite X10 tablet today at the CES event, the world's thinnest tablet.

The X10 is just 7.7mm thick, very impressive for a 10.1-inch IPS display. For comparison, the iPad 2 is 8.8mm thick. Additionally, the tablet has a Micro USB port, a Micro HDMI port, an SD card slot and a dock connector.

Toshiba's latest tablet runs on a dual-core 1.2GHz processor with 1GB of RAM, along with a 2MP front facing camera and a 5MP rear facing camera. The device will come with either Android 3.2 or Android 4.0 ICS, it is unclear so far.

BI says the tablet is made out of magnesium alloy instead of the titanium seen in other tablets, which makes it lighter, "but not as resilient."

The Excite X10 will go on sale in the "first quarter of 2012" for $529.99 (16 GB) and $599.99 (32 GB).

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Apple to open stores in Target locations

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2012 20:21

Rumor: Apple to open stores in Target locations According to sources, Apple will open stores within Target locations around the U.S.

By doing so, Apple can cheaply expand into smaller metro areas.

If accurate, Apple will open Apple-branded stores in 25 of the larger Targets at points during this year.

Of course, the launch will be a small test, as Target has 1752 stores in the U.S. Apple has 359 of its own stores around the world, including 245 in the U.S. Apple currently has a similar setup in 600 Best Buy stores. Some of the stores even have Apple Solution Consultants and are dubbed "Apple Shops."

Apple had previous retail relationships with Circuit City, Office Max and Sears until a decade ago, when they began opening their own retail stores. The Best Buy deal is relatively new.

Target has long sold Apple products, starting with the iPod in 2002.




AfterDawn: News

ViewSonic releasing ViewPhone3 Android phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2012 18:59

ViewSonic releasing ViewPhone3 Android phone ViewSonic is expanding into the Android market.

The company is expected to reveal their new low-end ViewPhone3 at CES next week.

Sources say the company will sell unlocked in the U.S. for T-Mobile and AT&T but will be aimed at emerging Latin Markets like Brazil.

The ViewPhone3 will run on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and an 800MHz Qualcomm processor. The device has a 3.5-inch display, 512MB, dual-SIM slots and a 5MP camera.

ViewSonic will sell the phone directly through their website for $250 with no contracts.

As you can see from the specs, the device is very outdated and not too powerful, but the dual-SIM slots are interesting and not seen on too many American phones.




AfterDawn: News

HTC Dev unlock tool now supports five more devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2012 18:06

HTC Dev unlock tool now supports five more devices The HTC Dev unlock tool is now expanded for more consumers.

HTC smartphone owners can use the tool to unlock the bootloaders on their device, legally, making it easier to add custom ROMs.

The new devices to be supported by the tool are the Wildfire S, Wildfire, Salsa, Merge and Desire. There are now 22 different devices that are supported, with more to be added into the future. Most of the devices on the list are newer devices but the company promises older devices will continue to be added.

CEO Peter Chou noted last year that all new devices would have unlocked bootloaders, following criticism from the developer community.

With unlocked bootloaders, users can install ROMs like CyanogenMod thanks to the ability to add custom recoveries.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix launching in UK with tons of promotions

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2012 17:16

Netflix launching in UK with tons of promotions Netflix is preparing to launch in the UK this week, and the company will have an expensive marketing campaign alongside a number of promotions for discounted or free films and TV shows.

The streaming service will compete with Amazon's established LoveFilm service in the nations.

Netflix is expected to add new deals with Sony, Disney, Paramount, Channel 4 and ITV in the coming weeks to compliment the current deals it has announced with BBC, Miramax, Lionsgate and MGM. Popular British shows like Top Gear and Doctor who will be available to rent from launch.

Despite having a monopoly for years in the U.S. (no longer), Netflix will have a much harder time with its expansion into the UK. Besides LoveFilm, BSkyB and Blinkbox are also established competitors with good brand reputations.

Netflix has a lot invested in its UK service, as CEO Reed Hastings noted earlier this year that it would halt its international expansion until it can provide an "aggressively priced, compelling service" in the UK.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Asus Transformer getting ICS very soon after the Prime

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2012 16:39

Asus Transformer getting ICS very soon after the Prime Last week, Asus announced that its new Transformer Prime would be getting the Android 4.0 ICS software update on January 12th.

Today the company has confirmed that the original Transformer will also be getting the update, as well, and very soon.

Reads the company's Facebook page: "ICS 4.0 will be coming to existing Eee Pad Transformer TF101. Exact date TBC but we are working on making the FOTA update available a.s.a.p. after Jan 12th launch with Prime TF201."

The Transformer, launched in early 2011, has a 10.1" LED backlit WXGA display with 1280x800 resolution and currently runs on Android 3.2. The tablet is powered by a Tegra 2 processor at 1.2GHz, 1GB RAM, 16 or 32GB internal storage and dual cameras 5MP/1.2MP.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Rihanna is the top selling digital artist, ever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2012 2:57

Rihanna is the top selling digital artist, ever According to Nielsen's 2011 year-end stats, Rihanna has become the top-selling digital artist of all-time.

The Grammy-award winning singer has released six albums and 27 singles since debuting in 2005, making her one of the more prolific musicians of this generation.

Furthermore, Rihanna has produced 20 Hot 100 top-10 singles in the quickest time ever, beating out Madonna.

The full list (via EW):

Artist (downloads)
1. Rihanna (47,571,000)
2. Black Eyed Peas (42,405,000)
3. Eminem (42,290,000)
4. Lady Gaga (42,078,000)
5. Taylor Swift (41,821,000)
6. Katy Perry (37,620,00)
7. Lil Wayne (36,788,000)
8. Beyonce (30,439,000)
9. Kanye West (30,242,000)
10. Britney Spears (28,665,000)




AfterDawn: News

YouTube typo domains transferred back to Google

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2012 2:15

YouTube typo domains transferred back to Google The National Arbitration Forum has transferred so-called "typo domains" into Google's possession after a very quick hearing.

Google filed the complaint (Case No. 1416796) two months ago with the single-member panel.

The names that will now move into Google's possession are youtbe.com, youtub.com, youtue.com, youube.com, and yutube.com.

Each of the domains were being used to steal personal information through sham surveys (as pictured via Fusible).

ICANN, the group in charge of Internet domains and regulations, has a policy where domains can be transferred as long as three elements are satisfied. Those are:

1) the domain name registered by Respondent is identical or confusingly similar to a trademark or service mark in which Complainant has rights; and
2) Respondent has no rights or legitimate interests in respect of the domain name; and
3) the domain name has been registered and is being used in bad faith


Panelist Judge Harold Kalina found all three elements to be easily satisfied in this case, which did not even receive any response from the current domain holder.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Press shots of the upcoming Vizio computers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2012 1:32

Press shots of the upcoming Vizio computers We reported earlier that Vizio plans to disrupt the PC market, with a new line of ultrabooks and all-in-ones.

The company has released press shots of the computers, but a full announcement is coming at CES, hopefully with more details on the specs.

Original story:

Vizio, which quietly took over the U.S. HDTV market with its low-priced offerings, has plans to do the same to the PC market.
The company will show off two desktops and three notebooks at next week's CES show, said Chief Technology Officer Matt McRae. The computers will go on sale in June and McRae says they will sell at "a price that just doesn't seem possible."

Vizio started in 2002 and the company became so popular due to their good quality at low price points that two veterans, Philips and Pioneer, eventually left the market completely. "It's very similar to TV -- we want to get in there and disrupt it," added McRae. "We think most PCs have been designed for the small-business users, that others have not done a very good job of making them entertainment devices."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

NYT says Nokia Lumia 900 coming at CES

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2012 1:04

NYT says Nokia Lumia 900 coming at CES Although unconfirmed by Microsoft and Nokia, the New York Times says the companies will launch the Lumia 900 at CES next week.

The smartphone, codenamed the "Ace" for weeks, will head to AT&T in the U.S. and be the carrier's first LTE Windows Phone.

Because the device is still unconfirmed, there is no official word on the hardware. Luckily, there have been multiple leaks and there is a rumored spec sheet. The Lumia 900 will come with a 4.3-inch WVGA display, 512MB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera, a huge 1,830mAh battery and run on Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Steam continues its unbelievable growth

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2012 0:32

Steam continues its unbelievable growth The Steam digital distribution platform continues to see exponential growth.

Valve has reported on Steam's 2011 accomplishments, which showed 100 unit sales growth for the 7th year in a row. Steam disseminated 780 petabytes of data in 2011, a remarkably huge number.

During the year, the service grew to 40 million accounts, 1800 games and at one point had 5 million concurrent users.

In order to handle the data, Steam had to "more than double its service capacity and a new content delivery architecture was deployed to improve user download rates.

Concludes Valve:

Steam and Steamworks continues to evolve to keep up with customer and developer demands for new services and content. Support for in-game item trading prompted the exchange of over 19 million items. Support for Free to Play (FTP) games, launched in June, has spurred the launch of 18 FTP titles on Steam, with more coming in 2012. Looking forward, we are preparing for the launch of the Big Picture UI mode, which will allow gamers to experience Steam on large displays and in more rooms of the house.




AfterDawn: News

Head's up: Spotify U.S. hitting 6 month anniversary

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jan 2012 23:49

Head's up: Spotify U.S. hitting 6 month anniversary Spotify finally made its way to the U.S. on July 14th, and hundreds of thousands of early adopters got a peak at the new service from invites through services like Klout and from giveaways from tech sites.

AfterDawn posted a quick review of the great service on that day, as well.

Now that almost 6 months have passed, we have to leave a headsup to any reader that may have gotten in the service those first few days. Once the 6 month anniversary passes for your account, the currently unlimited service will move to a restricted 10 hours per month service. Additionally, you will only be able to listen to the same song 5 times per month.

Spotify offers access to millions of tracks from all the top labels in an easy-to-use interface that includes search, sharing, playlists and more.

To get back to a truly unlimited service, you can pay $5 a month for the PC, or pay $10 per month to get unlimited music on the PC, portable devices, and higher bitrate tracks.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Siri causing a huge surge in iPhone data usage

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jan 2012 17:12

Siri causing a huge surge in iPhone data usage According to network firm Arieso, the voice recognition software Siri has led to a huge surge in iPhone data usage.

Because of Siri, iPhone 4S owners are using double the amount of data than their iPhone 4 counterparts.

Arieso Chief Technology Officer Michael Flanagan says voice recognition is leading consumers to "use their smartphones' functions more often." The firm advises major clients like Vodafone and Nokia Siemens on how to manage their wireless networks.

The firm "measured more than 1 million subscribers across a single European network in both urban and rural areas, without identifying the operator" to see the amount of data being used, and from what applications.

Over the past year, carriers have moved away from an unlimited data experience, instead charging customers for tiered plans, which usually top out at 10GB per month of 2G/3G/4G data and can be very expensive. The carriers claim anyone using over 2GB per month begin to put strain on their networks, which are ever expanding. The average smartphone owner uses just 750MB of data per month.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Israel will 'retaliate' against credit card thieves

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jan 2012 16:37

Israel will 'retaliate' against credit card thieves Israeli officials have vowed to retaliate against "Saudi" hackers that stole and posted credit card info on over 20,000 Israeli citizens.

The officials say they will respond to the cyber-attacks in the same way they respond to "violent terrorist acts."

"Such cyber-attacks are a breach of sovereignty comparable to a terrorist operation, and must be treated as such," added Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon. "Israel has active capabilities for striking at those who are trying to harm it, and no agency or hacker will be immune from retaliatory action."

Earlier in the week, an allegedly Saudi hacker with the pen name OxOmar began leaking info stolen from an attack on One.co.il, the largest sports site in Israel. The hackers redirected users to a new site where their login info and other personal data could be stolen. OxOmar, part of the team "Group-XL" says they have credit card details, including expiration dates and security codes listed on the back of the cards, social security numbers, names, addresses, phone numbers and more.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Vizio to unveil computers at CES

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jan 2012 16:12

Vizio to unveil computers at CES Vizio, which quietly took over the U.S. HDTV market with its low-priced offerings, has plans to do the same to the PC market.

The company will show off two desktops and three notebooks at next week's CES show, said Chief Technology Officer Matt McRae. The computers will go on sale in June and McRae says they will sell at "a price that just doesn't seem possible."

Vizio started in 2002 and the company became so popular due to their good quality at low price points that two veterans, Philips and Pioneer, eventually left the market completely. "It's very similar to TV -- we want to get in there and disrupt it," added McRae. "We think most PCs have been designed for the small-business users, that others have not done a very good job of making them entertainment devices."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sprint announces first cities to get LTE

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jan 2012 3:40

Sprint announces first cities to get LTE Sprint has announced the first four cities to receive its upcoming 4G LTE network.

Those cities are Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. Sprint began testing its LTE towers in Kankakee, Ill, last month.

The LTE network is set for release "in the first half of 2012," right alongside improved 3G coverage and improvements including "boosting voice and data quality."

Sprint's current 4G is WiMax, which offers 3-6 MB/s average download speeds but the network is not large and can be spotty. LTE will require new towers and will offer much higher theoretical speeds than WiMax and even the HSPA+ networks used on AT&T and T-Mobile.

Into the future, LTE promises 300MB/s downloads, which is 100 times faster than current 3G and many, many times faster than even the fastest commercial home Internet connections.

Sprint notes that WiMax users will still have access throughout the length of their two-year contracts that are currently signed. There will be 15 new smartphones, tablets and modems/cards with the LTE access to be launched this year.




AfterDawn: News

Sprint: We do not throttle unlimited data users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2012 17:23

Sprint: We do not throttle unlimited data users Following Sprint CEO Dan Hesse's conference call yesterday in which it was implied that the carrier could throttle heavy unlimited data users, the company has released a new statement on the matter.

In his call, Hesse said (transcript via Verge):

By the way, when we say "unlimited," we have terms and conditions. Just like back in the old AT&T days when we launched Digital One Rate, you could abuse it, you know, like roaming, go and use it in your house in rural Montana all the time and you're roaming. We could cut you off. There are certain things in our terms and conditions, those abusers [...] we can manage them and we do that quite aggressively and cut them off. So for the vast majority, your 98-99 percent, to them it's an unlimited experience. But for people that want to abuse it and really run up the big data charge, we can knock them off.


Today, Sprint has announced a clarification:

Sprint does not throttle any postpaid phone data users for on-network or off-network usage. Sprint is the only national carrier offering smartphone users truly unlimited data with no throttling, metering or overages while on the Sprint network.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google TV to be revived at CES

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2012 17:02

Google TV to be revived at CES Google has announced that its once-hyped Google TV platform will be fully revived this year, starting with debuts at next week's CES event.

The search giant has said LG, Sony and Vizio will each show off a Google TV device at CES, with Samsung introducing their devices later in the year.

Marvell and MediaTek will create the ARM-based chips needed to run Google TV. Marvell says its Armada 1500 chip would be used, which had been anticipated for a few weeks now.

Since updating Google TV to 3.0 Honeycomb firmware, Google says there are now over 150 apps in the app store. The lack of apps optimized for large screens was a significant downside to purchasing a Google TV device when it first launched.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft expands Windows Phone Marketplace to new markets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2012 16:23

Microsoft expands Windows Phone Marketplace to new markets Microsoft has said today that they are expanding the Windows Phone Marketplace to six new markets.

Devs can now start creating apps for Argentina, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Peru and the Philippines.

A few of the new markets (the Asian ones) will require devs to sign off additional requirements due to regulations in the nation and other local laws. Microsoft has opened up the submission process very early, with the Marketplace launching later in the year.

Microsoft says the application certification may take a bit longer than usual if you select the "worldwide" option.

Windows Phone has 50,000 apps in the Marketplace even as the OS struggles to take market share from Android and iOS.




AfterDawn: News

Corning Gorilla Glass 2 debuting next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2012 15:04

Corning Gorilla Glass 2 debuting next week Corning has announced that it will use the CES event next week to unveil its Gorilla Glass 2 displays.

The glass, which is damage-resistant and used in smartphones and other devices, will be updated to work with even thinner displays and larger devices like 70-inch TVs.

"Corning Gorilla Glass has been a tremendous success for Corning, enjoying excellent market acceptance across mobile device industries. Handset and tablet device manufacturers are clearly driving toward higher functionality from thinner designs. Corning's latest innovation in Gorilla Glass technology is very well positioned to meet these challenges and enable broader touch technology penetration," added James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Specialty Materials.

More details will be revealed on January 9th.

Steiner continues: "As we did last year, we'll provide consumers and customers visiting the Corning booth the opportunity to test first-hand the outstanding damage resistance and flexibility of this industry-leading, ultra-thin, and tough specialty glass."

Gorilla Glass is featured on 575 different products and available on over 500 million units.




AfterDawn: News

Sony Pictures hacked again by Anonymous

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2012 1:28

Sony Pictures hacked again by Anonymous Anonymous has hacked Sony Pictures, again.

The hacking group Anonymous has confirmed that they have once again hacked Sony Pictures, gaining access to their Facebook account and website.

After taking over the Facebook page, the group left a few comments on the page, proving they had done so.

Anonymous says the hack has been done thanks to Sony's support of SOPA. The group has dubbed the attack as #OpSony.

SOPA was proposed earlier this year. SOPA is the first of two bills being considered by Congress, the second of which is E-PARASITE/Protect-IP. The bills are created to prevent piracy, copyright infringement, and block access to "rogue foreign sites." The bills have been generally panned by the public and the major tech companies due to the fact that companies can get domains and websites shut down if they "engage in, enable or facilitate infringement" or are even accused of it. By creating this blacklist, governments and companies can choose to get sites cut off from search engines and from accepting payments for ads. SOPA only gives accused websites 5 days to file an appeal before they get shut down. If a user posts pirated material in the comments or forum section, the entire site can be shut down for good.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HBO officially declares war on Netflix

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2012 0:42

HBO officially declares war on Netflix HBO has officially declared war on Netflix, telling the company they have to pay full price for DVDs and Blu-rays for their rental service.

The move, which will forbid Netflix from purchasing HBO content at a discount (or rental versions), has made it clear that HBO believes Netflix to be a competitor, one that it will not just roll over for. HBO has significant assets and has seen strong demand for its HBO Go streaming service.

Because of HBO's decision, Netflix must purchase seasons discs of True Blood and other popular series at retail prices. Netflix, for its part, says it will "continue to provide HBO titles on DVD and Blu-ray to our members."

Netflix has tried for over a year to license a deal with HBO for its original content, but the company has not budged. That being said, HBO remains a premium channel, and its HBO Go streaming service is available to anyone who pays for the TV channel.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nokia denies blogger's claim they will sell their smartphone division (again)

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Jan 2012 16:57

Nokia denies blogger's claim they will sell their smartphone division (again) Several months after rumors of a pending Microsoft buyout first surfaced, Nokia is once again denying they will be selling their smartphone division.

There are numerous reasons rumors like this seem inevitable. Most prominently, Nokia CEO and President Stephen Elop, who made the deal to adopt Windows Phone for Nokia smartphones, is a former Microsoft executive.

The latest rumor is really a continuation of one started last year by Russian blogger and Mobile Review contributor Eldar Murtazin. He tweeted:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Barnes & Noble considers separating Nook into a separate brand

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Jan 2012 15:51

Barnes & Noble considers separating Nook into a separate brand After a wildly successful Christmas shopping period, Barnes & Noble is considering spinning their Nook tablet business off from their retail operation.

Thanks in part to the bankruptcy of rival bookstore chain Borders, and likely also helped by the introduction of the Nook Tablet, overall sales were higher during the nine week period leading up to Christmas than the same period last year.

More notably, sales of their Nook line of eReaders and tablets were up 70% from last year. Sales of digital content also improved significantly, up 113% from 2010.

While the Kindle Fire got the lion's share of attention over that period, don't forget it was Barnes & Noble's Nook Color which successfully bridged the gap between eReader and tablet a year earlier. Now the company is looking at the possibility of developing a separate content ecosystem for it.

Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said:

We see substantial value in what we've built with our NOOK business in only two years, and we believe it's the right time to investigate our options to unlock that value,. In NOOK, we've established one of the world's best retail platforms for the sale of digital copyright content. We have a large and growing installed base of millions of satisfied customers buying digital content from us, and we have a NOOK business that's growing rapidly year-over-year and should be approximately $1.5 billion in comparable sales this fiscal year. Between continued projected growth in the U.S., and the opportunity for NOOK internationally in the next 12 months, we expect the business to continue to scale rapidly for the foreseeable future.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Windows 8 Recovery Environment aims to take the pain out of restoring your computer

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Jan 2012 14:49

Windows 8 Recovery Environment aims to take the pain out of restoring your computer Perhaps nothing raises the blood pressure of Windows users more than the prospect of restoring the operating system on their computers.

Depending on whether your copy of Windows came with your computer or you bought it separately, the experience of reinstalling Windows can vary widely. Making matters worse, the experience of forgetting to backup an important file beforehand is nearly universal.

In Windows 8 Microsoft hopes to address some of these headaches with a new feature called the Recovery Environment, or just RE for short. Microsoft had a number of goals in mind when designing the Windows RE.

  • Provide a consistent experience to get the software on any Windows 8 PC back to a good and predictable state.
  • Streamline the process so that getting a PC back to a good state with all the things customers care about can be done quickly instead of taking up the whole day.
  • Make sure that customers don't lose their data in the process.
  • Provide a fully customizable approach for technical enthusiasts to do things their own way.


The first big change is the Windows RE itself, which is used by Windows once you select one of the options found in a Metro Style app on the desktop. The provides two separate options called Reset and Refresh.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Chilean government: All phones must be unlocked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2012 13:17

Chilean government: All phones must be unlocked Government regulators in Chile have mandated that all phones sold in the country must be unlocked.

Having an unlocked phone means the device can be used on any GSM carrier and not be locked down. The rule is now in effect but will become mandatory on January 16th.

Even if you purchased your phone before the new law, the government will make available a new website to help you unlock your device. Add your device info and IMEI number and the site will send you an unlock code.

Chile is now the third country to have such a law. Singapore and Israel have both banned locked handsets.

Hopefully this will be a trend that catches on around the world.




AfterDawn: News

Broadcom to demonstrate 1Gbps Wi-Fi chips at CES next week

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Jan 2012 13:16

Broadcom to demonstrate 1Gbps Wi-Fi chips at CES next week OEM chip maker Broadcom got a jump on next week's CES in Las Vegas with the announcement of new Wi-Fi chips capable of speeds over 1 gigabit per second.

They are based on the upcoming 802.11ac specification, which Broadcom is also referring to as 5G WiFi. The standard is expected to be finalized later this year. Broadcom will be demonstrating the technology at CES next week and providing samples to some OEM partners.

In addition to increased speed, Broadcom says the new technology, combined with their 40nm manufacturing process, results in lower power consumption for transmissions at 802.11n speeds.

This is largely related to the increased bandwidth which allows the radio to be on for less time. Of course, if you are transferring data between 802.11ac and 802.11n devices, the bandwidth advantage won't apply.

Broadcom will be making 802.11ac chips in a variety of configurations. Some will utilize a PCIe interface for PCs and routers, offering speeds up to either 1.3Gbps or 867Mbps across two channels. Others will interface with USB for devices like game consoles, set-top boxes, and TVs, offering up to 433Mbps on a single channel.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft, Nokia, and AT&T plan big promotional push for Windows Phone this year

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Jan 2012 11:34

Microsoft, Nokia, and AT&T plan big promotional push for Windows Phone this year There appears to be a campaign on the horizon to promote Nokia Windows Phone handsets in the US.

A version of Nokia's flagship Lumia 800 smartphone for AT&T has already passed FCC testing. Its little brother, the Lumia 710 will be available from T-Mobile in less than a week.

In addition to the FCC documents, reports from BoyGeniusReport and MobileTechWorld indicate AT&T plans to introduce a LTE variant of the Lumia 800 with a larger display and LTE support. It appears to be designated the Lumia 900 by Nokia, and probably the Nokia Ace by AT&T.

SlashGear is now reporting there is a $100 million promotional campaign planned to promote the Nokia Ace when it launches in late March. Likely there will be more details on the launch given at Nokia's CES presentation next week.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Major League Gaming pulls over 100 domains from GoDaddy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2012 2:53

Major League Gaming pulls over 100 domains from GoDaddy GoDaddy has got to be starting to feel the squeeze.

Two weeks ago, 37,000 domains were pulled from Go Daddy after it was revealed they were formal supporters of the draconian censorship bill dubbed SOPA. Within 2 days, Go Daddy had switched their stance, but the damage had already been done. Many of the domains transferred to companies like NameCheap, who are staunch opponents of the bill.

Three days after that, GoDaddy customers transferred more than 32,000 domains in 36 hours as part of the Move Your Domain Day.

The Move Your Domain Day was a promotion by rival domain registrar NameCheap, which has been making a mint off the poor publicity of Go Daddy.

Today, another large client has left, MLG (Major League Gaming):

MLG would like to officially announce that we have removed our entire network, which encompasses over 100 domains, from GoDaddy.com in response to their support of SOPA. Moving forward, we will be using Namecheap for all of our hosting needs.

MLG is firmly against both the specifics of SOPA and the philosophy behind the bill. We urge all of you to read up on the issue and draw your own conclusions.




AfterDawn: News

Comcast signs distribution deal with Disney

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2012 2:30

Comcast signs distribution deal with Disney Comcast has announced today they have signed a distribution deal with Disney that will add tons of content to their Xfinity TV service.

The cable provider/ISP says "70 services are covered by the broad scope of this new agreement, including: ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN 3D, ESPN GamePlan, ESPN FullCourt and ESPN3 as well as retransmission consent for seven ABC-owned broadcast television stations and more than 10 high-definition networks."

Comcast's new deal is an expansion of their previous content agreement with Disney. The new deal is good for the next 10 years.

If you are an Xfinity TV customer, you can now watch all the above mentioned content live or on demand on your TV, PC, tablet, smartphone or other Wi-Fi enabled mobile device.

Adds Comcast in their press release: "This deal is a big step forward in delivering TV Everywhere and good news for our Xfinity TV customers who will have access to more of the content they love and the flexibility to view it in more places."




AfterDawn: News

1.4 million of the $40 Aakash tablet already sold

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2012 1:51

1.4 million of the $40 Aakash tablet already sold Datawind, the company behind the $40 Aakash tablet, says they have already received orders for 1.4 million units, just 15 days after launch.

The tablet, which sells in India for 2500 rupees ($40), was created to help "students in higher education and to give them the technological skills" that are needed for 2012. At $40, the tablet is affordable almost everywhere in India, where wages remain low. The Indian government subsidizes the price of the tablet, and students at eligible universities can buy it for $20.

Apple's iPads cost over $600 in India, putting it far out of reach for everyone in the nation but very few.

A Datawind spokesperson says the company will build three new factories in 2012 to cope with the huge demand. "We plan to produce 75,000 units per factory per month from around April," the spokeswoman added.

The Aakash has a 7-inch resistive display, runs on Android 2.2, has a 366 MHz processor, 256MB RAM, 2GB internal storage, Wi-Fi, USB slots, SD slot and a tiny 2100 mAh battery.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Google building $199 7-inch Nexus Tablet with ICS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2012 1:35

Rumor: Google building $199 7-inch Nexus Tablet with ICS Two weeks ago, Google chairman Eric Schmidt suggested that the company is working on a Nexus Tablet that will be released in the near future.

During an interview with an Italian paper, Schmidt said "in the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality." It was unclear, however, whether the quote meant Google is putting out a Nexus tablet or whether they will just be putting their marketing muscle behind an upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich device.

Today, we have a new rumor from Digitimes that looks to clear the air.

The site, which is notorious for either being very right (and early) or very, very wrong on their rumors, says Google is indeed planning a Nexus Tablet. The tablet will be of the 7-inch variety and priced at $199 to directly compete with Amazon's popular Kindle Fire.

Additionally, the tablet will be powered by Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.




AfterDawn: News

R.I.P Eastman Kodak

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2012 1:16

R.I.P Eastman Kodak According to the WSJ, Eastman Kodak will head into bankruptcy protection in the next few weeks, ending their long and horrendous tumble from the top.

Following the news, the company's shares fell to 0.46 cents, it's lowest ever. The share price values the company at just $126 million, well below the value of their assets and patents. 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 has been hemorrhaging money.

Eastman Kodak, which released the world's first consumer camera in 1888, is still looking to sell off some of its patent portfolio and a successful deal would keep the company out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The company has 1100 very valuable photography and digital photography patents and internally they value the portfolio at around $2 billion. Clearly, other companies do not agree.

Despite inventing the digital camera in 1975, the company never capitalized on it, instead sticking to their film business, which has all but disappeared and had already begun shrinking in the 1990s.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Does Apple's Jony Ive have a 50-Inch iTV in his secret studio?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2012 0:32

Does Apple's Jony Ive have a 50-Inch iTV in his secret studio? According to a former Apple employee interviewed by Scott Martin, Ive, the Apple lead designer and close personal friend of recently deceased CEO Steve Jobs does indeed have a prototype of the much-rumored HDTV.

The anonymous employee used to work in the iTV group, and has intimate knowledge of the still unconfirmed device.

Apparently, the biggest issues Apple is having with the TV is negotiating content. The source says the company is having more than a few issues securing "first-tier TV network programs for an à la carte iTunes TV service."

In regards to the size of the display, the employee says Apple is looking at a 42" screen, which is the sweet spot for most consumers nowadays. The display has seen the full range of rumors, from as small as 32" to as large as 55".

By far the most notable part of the interview is the is the notion that Apple will start a new streaming platform for HD channels, in which users can pick what they want instead of being forced to buy a bundle from a cable company with hundreds of channels they likely don't watch. This had been rumored by analysts last month, but confirmation (of sorts) is good to hear.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Roku announces new product to integrate their platform into future TVs

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Jan 2012 16:34

Roku announces new product to integrate their platform into future TVs Roku has announced a plan to move beyond set-top boxes and produce a new produt they are calling the Streaming Stick which will plug into MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) capable HDMI ports on TVs.

MHL was originally developed as a way for mobile devices to connect to HDTVs via HDMI. Currently MHL-enabled HDMI ports are only available on a small number of TVs, but support can also be added via an external adapter. Notable TV manufacturers behind the the technology include Toshiba and Samsung.

The Roku Streaming Stick essentially packs a Roku Set-top box on a device the size of a USB flash drive. Taking advantage of standard HML features, it will be powered by the HDMI port and controlled by the TV's remote.

Roku Streaming Stick plugged into TV


Because of this integration, Roku sees this as more than a set-top box. They envision it as a replacement for the Smart TV features becoming common on HDTVs. Not only does it allow a regular HDTV to be turned into a Smart TV, it also offers the possibility of upgrading those features without buying a new TV.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix is still the leader in streaming video but an uncertain future looms

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Jan 2012 15:17

Netflix is still the leader in streaming video but an uncertain future looms While many people point to the missteps Netflix made in 2011 as signs of the company's demise, their Watch Instantly service remains far and away the most popular online video platform around.

According to Netflix, they streamed more than 2 billion hours of video to more than 20 million subscribers worldwide in the fourth quarter of 2011. Of course, all that success doesn't come without a price. As Netflix streaming grows, the price of content is rising with it.

Thanks in no small part to concerns Netflix is cannibalizing viewers from traditional broadcast, cable, and satellite channels, Netflix faces higher licensing fees as existing contracts come up for renewal and less content in the near future with the looming end of their deal with Starz.

Meanwhile, Dish Network represents a serious threat to Netflix thanks to their acquisition of Blockbuster. Blockbuster's streaming and online rental services were recently bundled with Dish Network satellite TV service in Blockbuster Movie Pass.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Yahoo hires new CEO and tasks him with revamping the user experience

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Jan 2012 13:08

Yahoo hires new CEO and tasks him with revamping the user experience Yahoo has just appointed former PayPal President Scott Thompson as their new CEO and also appointed him to their board of directors.

Thompson, whose resume includes overseeing product development work at eBay and Visa, takes over the reins from Interim CEO Tim Morse effective today. Morse is returning to his former position as the company's CFO.

The choice of Thompson signals a focus, by Yahoo, on improving their overall platform to attract more users. On a conference call with analysts, Roy Bostock, chairman of Yahoo's board of directors, explained:

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AfterDawn: News

Rumors of upcoming Apple event suggest publishing implications

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Jan 2012 11:29

Rumors of upcoming Apple event suggest publishing implications Apple appears to be planning a content announcement, perhaps related to textbooks, at a media event later this month.

The event, which has not been formally announced, was first reported on Monday by AllThingsD and independently confirmed by TechCrunch.

AllThingsD's Kara Swisher reported Apple Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue will be involved. She also notes the last time he was in town for an event like this was when News Corp's iPad-exclusive publication was announced last year.

TechCrunch ads more details, saying the audience will primarily consist of publishing industry representatives.

Clayton Morris, host of Fox News' Gadgets and Games with Clayton Morris, claims to have even more specific details. According to Morris, the big announcement will be related to iTunes University, Apple's educational content distribution platform. He also says it was originally planned for last year.




AfterDawn: News

Analysts predict record smartphone sales for Samsung in Q4

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Jan 2012 10:27

Analysts predict record smartphone sales for Samsung in Q4 2011 was a success for Samsung in the mobile phone market by any objective measure.

Building on the momentum of their successful Galaxy S, they took the Android world by storm with its successor, the Galaxy S II. Later in the year they partnered with Google on what ammounts to the entire platform's flagship handset, the Galaxy Nexus.

At the same time, they strengthened their Windows Phone partnership with Microsoft and even took significant market share from Nokia in the feature phone market.

Thanks to a delayed iPhone launch, coupled with strong sales around the world, Samsung was the top smartphone vendor in the world in Q3. According to Reuters, the results for Q4 should be even better.

Analysts are expecting Samsung to report 35 million units shipped in Q4 according to a report from the news service. This would be an increase of around 25 percent over Q3. That is particularly impressive if you consider the iPhone 4S launched less than a month into the quarter.

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AfterDawn: News

Windows 7 market share closing in on XP

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jan 2012 0:57

Windows 7 market share closing in on XP According to the latest Net Applications data, Windows 7 is creeping up on its decade-old brother Windows XP in market share.

As of January 1st, Windows XP had 46.52 percent share, down from over 57 percent at the beginning of the year. Windows 7 jumped to 36.99 percent share, up from 24 percent at the start of the year.

Vista, the "in-between" OS that was mostly criticized by consumers, dropped to 8.44 percent, down from over 11 percent at the beginning of the year.

Other operating systems, including Mac OS X and Linux, remained distant followers totaling just 8 percent share.

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AfterDawn: News

Saudi hackers post stolen personal info on 400,000 Israelis online

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jan 2012 0:25

Saudi hackers post stolen personal info on 400,000 Israelis online Saudi hackers going by the name "Group-XP" have allegedly released the stolen personal info of 400,000 Israelis.

The group hacked One.co.il, the largest sports site in Israel, redirecting users to a new site where their login info and other personal data could be stolen. The group says they have credit card details, including expiration dates and security codes listed on the back of the cards, social security numbers, names, addresses, phone numbers and more.

Says the group: "We have hacked a lot of Israeli servers and extracted a lot of information about Israeli people. We decided to give the world a new year gift, about 400,000+ Israeli people information!!!"

One group member, "Oxmar," would go on to say that in total they have 1 million Israeli social security numbers and will release them in the future.

Israeli banks have refuted the claim, however, saying the hackers stole 15,000 credit cards, at most, and that those cards have already been blocked. Victims will be receiving new cards within days.




AfterDawn: News

Chrome surpasses Firefox in browser market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2012 23:53

Chrome surpasses Firefox in browser market share According to the latest data from StatCounter, Google's Chrome browser has finally surpassed Firefox, as Internet Explorer continues its gradual drop in global market share.

As of the new year, Internet Explorer (in all iterations) fell under 40 percent for the first time ever, to 38.65 percent. Chrome increased 1.58 percentage points to 27.27 percent, overtaking Firefox at 25.27 percent.

Google saw, by far, the strongest growth in 2011, jumping a full 11 percentage points. Firefox completely stalled out after years of taking share from Microsoft, and Microsoft has just been slowly falling every years since 2003 when it hit a peak 93 percent share. For the year, Firefox lost 5.41 percentage points.

Safari, thanks to strong Mac sales, moved to over 6 percent share, its highest ever.

There is very little that can stop Mozilla's woes at this point, even though the company just received almost $1 billion (over three years) from Google to have the company's search engine remain the default option on all new downloads. The move is seen as a way for Google to avoid anti-trust issues in the future when Chrome eventually moves to majority market share.

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AfterDawn: News

HP teases 14-inch ultrabook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2012 18:31

HP teases 14-inch ultrabook HP has sent out a "teaser" video today showing off their "Spectre" ultrabook.

The Spectre, which will likely be properly named at CES next week, will be the company's second ultrabook following last year's 13.3-inch Folio. The video itself gives no details on the device, but an FCC filing leaked last week implies it will have a 14-inch display.

Additionally, the device will likely use an extremely efficient Ivy Bridge processor. The processors, from Intel, are set for release in April.

Ultrabooks, which accounted to just 2 percent of all global PC shipments in 2011, are expected to jump to 13 percent this year and over 40 percent in 2015. So far there are no real competitors to the Apple MacBook Air, which was released in 2008 and defines the genre.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft finally kills Internet Explorer 6, in the U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2012 18:08

Microsoft finally kills Internet Explorer 6, in the U.S. Microsoft has celebrated the death of Internet Explorer 6 in the U.S. with a cake frosted with the phrase, "Goodbye IE6!"

The software giant has made it a priority to kill off the decade-old browser, and it appears they have finally succeeded, at least in the U.S. Microsoft says that only 0.9 percent of users were running IE6, as of the new year.

Microsoft used data from Net Applications, which tracks notable data from browsers, operating systems and mobile applications. "IE6 has been the punch line of browser jokes for a while, and we've been as eager as anyone to see it go away," added Roger Capriotti, the head of IE marketing.

IE6 debuted in August 2001, alongside the first RTM of Windows XP.

Microsoft says that most of the IE6 users in the world are now in China, and NetApp says there are such a large amount that IE6 still amounts to 7.3 percent of global browser share. Many of the Chinese users are running pirated Windows XP operating systems, which came integrated with IE6, and are likely too uninformed or scared to try to update and tip off Microsoft to their piracy.




AfterDawn: News

Belarus makes it illegal to visit foreign sites if you own a business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2012 15:46

Belarus makes it illegal to visit foreign sites if you own a business The U.S. Library of Congress has noted this week that the Republic of Belarus has now made it illegal for citizens to visit foreign websites.

Violating the law is considered a misdemeanor and you can be fined up to $125 for breaking it.

Reads the LoC's statement on the law, which goes into effect January 6th:

It appears that business requests from Belarus cannot be served over the Internet if the service provider is using online services located outside of the country. The tax authorities, together with the police and secret police, are authorized to initiate, investigate, and prosecute such violations.

Additionally, the Law states that the owners and administrators of Internet cafés or other places that offer access to the Internet might be found guilty of violating this Law and fined and their businesses might be closed if users of Internet services provided by these places are found visiting websites located outside of Belarus and if such behavior of the clients was not properly identified, recorded, and reported to the authorities. The Law states that this provision may apply to private individuals if they allow other persons to use their home computers for browsing the Internet.

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AfterDawn: News

Transformer Prime getting Android 4.0 on January 12th, along with unlocked bootloader

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2012 15:01

Transformer Prime getting Android 4.0 on January 12th, along with unlocked bootloader That was quick.

Within two days of the community learning that Asus' new quad-core tablet has a locked bootloader, the company has stated that it will be releasing an unlock tool.

Over the weekend, members of the XDA forums posted that the Prime has a 128-bit encrypted bootloader, making it a lot tougher for interested devs to create and run custom ROMs on the tablet.

Says Asus via their Facebook page: Regarding the bootloader, the reason we chose to lock it is due to content providers' requirement for DRM client devices to be as secure as possible. ASUS supports Google DRM in order to provide users with a high quality video rental experience. Also, based on our experience, users who choose to root their devices risk breaking the system completely. However, we know there is demand in the modding community to have an unlocked bootloader. Therefore, ASUS is developing an unlock tool for that community. Please do note that if you choose to unlock your device, the ASUS warranty will be void, and Google video rental will also be unavailable because the device will be no longer protected by security mechanism.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

1.2 billion apps were downloaded in the last week of 2011

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2012 1:59

1.2 billion apps were downloaded in the last week of 2011 Last week, we reported that on Christmas day, alone, 6.8 million iOS and Android devices were activated, 353 percent higher than the average of the first 20 days of the month.

The figures came via Flurry, the mobile app research firm and the data showed off how popular the smartphone operating systems have really become.

Today, the firm has posted an even more impressive record-breaking number, the amount of apps downloaded in the last week of 2011. 1.2 billion apps were downloaded worldwide across both Android and iOS, a large 60 percent jump over the average weekly downloads in December, which normally comes in at 750 million.

On Christmas Day, 242 million applications were downloaded, and Americans downloaded the lion's share at 509 million of the worldwide total. Following the U.S. are China (99 million); the U.K. (81 million); Canada (41 million); Germany and France (40 million each).

(Pic, source)

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AfterDawn: News

Archos begins selling 80 G9 tablet with 250GB HDD

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2012 1:24

Archos begins selling 80 G9 tablet with 250GB HDD Archos has announced the release of their much-anticipated 80 G9 tablet with 250GB storage.

Unlike the base models of the Archos 80, the new G9 uses a 250GB 7mm "Thin HDD" to pack 250GB of internal storage, the most seen on any tablet, by far.

There are four models of the Archos 80, as follows (via Lili):

Archos 80 with dual-core 1 GHz CPU, 8GB flash storage for $299.99
Archos 80 with dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, 16GB flash storage for $319.99
Archos 80 with dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, 250GB hard drive for $369.99
Archos 80 "Turbo" with 1.5 GHz CPU, 16GB flash storage (unknown pricing for now)


The 8-inch tablet has a 1024 x 768 pixel display and comes with Honeycomb 3.2 installed. It is unclear when (or if) the tablets will get Android 4.0.

Buy them here: Archos Store or via Amazon.




AfterDawn: News

In the UK, CD sales fall, digital album downloads continue rise

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2012 1:06

In the UK, CD sales fall, digital album downloads continue rise According to a report from the BPI, digital music continued its gradual growth in the UK, but physical CD sales fell so far that overall the industry saw another decline.

CD sales fell 13 percent to 86.2 million while 26.6 million digital albums were sold, a 24 percent jump. In total, album sales fell 6 percent from 2010.

Fifteen albums had over 100,000 digital sales, led by Adele's "21."

The BPI blamed the UK government and piracy for the figures: "While other countries take positive steps to protect their creative sector, our government is taking too long to act on piracy, while weakening copyright to the benefit of the US tech giants. The UK has already fallen behind Germany as a music market. Unless decisive action is taken in 2012, investment in music could fall again - a creative crunch that will destroy jobs."

While piracy, as it has for the last decade (at least), played a part in the decline, the data seemed to imply that new streaming services were digging into sales, as well. Spotify and other unlimited music streaming services popped up everywhere in 2011, and normally cost the same as one album per month for access to millions of tracks on your PC or smartphone.

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AfterDawn: News

CyanogenMod modding music player for Android 4.0

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Jan 2012 22:18

CyanogenMod modding music player for Android 4.0 As part of CyanogenMod 9, the team behind the popular custom Android ROMs will tweak the default music player in Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, making it available to users with or without root.

The music player, while certainly capable, has very few ways to customize outside of some settings for playback or a tick for Google Music integration. The tweaked player will add a huge amount of customizations, say the Cyanogen team.

According to developer Andrew Neal (via Verge), "you'll be able to set custom shake actions (i.e. for next song or play/pause) that can work throughout the OS or when the screen is off, custom notification area controls that can have as many or few controls as you'd like, the ability to search Android Market, set ringtones and swipe-gestures throughout the app."

Furthermore, Neal is looking to add "a full theme engine" for anyone who wants to customize the looks of the app.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Latest phishing attack targeted Apple users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Jan 2012 21:35

Latest phishing attack targeted Apple users The latest phishing attack targeted Mac users, looking to steal their new Apple ID and credit card info.

RWW explains that the new attack redirects new Apple buyers to sign up for a phishing site that is created to look just like the real Apple sign-in page. The initial phishing email will come from appleid@id.apple.com, which is fraudulent.

Apple notes that all official Apple emails will come from an @apple.com domain and only from there.

Security firm Intego, which brought the attack to national attention, says the redirect link will take users to a numbered IP address and not an Apple URL. The sign-in page asked for personal info and credit card info tied to your Apple ID.

The attack began right after Christmas, preying on the expected surge in Apple Mac purchases.




AfterDawn: News

Google launches 2012 presidential election information hub

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Jan 2012 21:13

Google launches 2012 presidential election information hub Google has launched its information hub for the upcoming 2012 presidential elections, the night before the Iowa Caucuses.

The site, which will have U.S. and Egyptian editions, is the first website Google has exclusively dedicated to elections. Elections have had their place as categories in other Google content pages, like "News," but they have never had a dedicated page.

Google says the information on the page, which will be posted on large screens at the Caucuses, will include a political calendar, news articles on the candidates and their issues, the YouTube politics channel "and a trends dashboard that shows search trends." Mashable also notes the page will show off Google news mentions and YouTube views for each candidate.

Concludes the search giant: "As Nov. 6, 2012, draws closer, the site will evolve into a robust election hub where citizens can watch, learn, discuss, participate and perhaps even make an impact on the digital campaign trail as it blazes forward to the election of the next President of the United States."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Devs: Asus Transformer Prime has locked bootloader

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Jan 2012 20:11

Devs: Asus Transformer Prime has locked bootloader Asus' new quad-core tablet appears to have a locked bootloader, much to the ire of developers.

Members of the XDA forums have posted that the Prime has a 128-bit encrypted bootloader, making it a lot tougher for interested devs to create and run custom ROMs on the tablet.

Motorola has had locked bootloaders for some time now, and HTC recently switched their stance and released software to unlock the bootloader on phones like the HTC Sensation. All future models will not be locked, said HTC CEO Peter Chou. The company's decision came directly after angry devs posted their disdain on sites like XDA.

The Transformer Prime, arguably the best tablet ever built, has the following specs:

Nvidia Quad-Core Tegra 3 Processor
Additional 5th core to reduce power consumption when 2 or 4 cores are not needed
10.1″ IPS+ display with Corning Gorilla Glass and 178 degree viewing angle
1 GB RAM (LP DDR2)
8 megapixel auto-focus rear camera with 1080P video capture and large F2.4 aperature
1.2 megapixel front-facing camera for video conferencing
12 hours of battery life, up to 18 hours when paired with the keyboard dock
2 color schemes: Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold
2 storage options: 32GB and 64GB ($499 and $599 price points) with expandable storage via microSD
8.3 millimeters thick, weighs in at 1.29 lbs.




AfterDawn: News

Apple TV hack allows for full-screen iOS apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Jan 2012 1:22

Apple TV hack allows for full-screen iOS apps Hackers appear to have figured out a way to run full-screen iOS apps on a jailbroken Apple TV set-top.

The Irish dev Steven Troughton-Smith, known mainly for his work on getting Siri to work on older iOS devices, notes he has jailbroken the 2nd gen Apple TV to run iOS applications at 720p, and in full screen. The hack is not yet available to the public, but Smith did post a video on YouTube.

Smith also says the hack in current form was done with a custom springboard.

The dev added (via Cnet)

Nick had written this amazing window manager for the iPad that replaced the entire homescreen, allowing you to run multiple apps side by side, and I realized this could enable iOS apps on the AppleTV for the first time. We've spent the past 2 days modifying everything to work really well on the AppleTV screen size, etc, and getting apps to run.


In his video, a full-screen Angry Birds is "kind of" running, sideways. Check it here:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Orangutans learning to use iPads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jan 2012 22:33

Orangutans learning to use iPads Orangutans at the Milwaukee County Zoo have apparently been using iPads since May and could eventually use the tablets to video-call other apes at other zoos.

Conservationist Richard Zimmerman of the charity Orangutan Outreach says the next step is to give the tablets Wi-Fi access, allowing the apes to watch their primate buddies in other zoos.

The orangutans have been using simple apps like "Doodle Buddy" to draw. Says Zimmerman: "What we really want to do is to allow the orangutans to really play - to do paintings, to watch videos, to do almost as a human child would do with basic curiosity."

Zoo keepers are looking to create reinforced tablets so the apes can have free reign with the tablets without the need for human intervention. The animals love watching bright videos and images, says Zimmerman (BBC) and are especially happy when they recognize the people in the images or see other orangutans.

Continues Zimmerman: "They love moving images. They love bright things. They like to be entertained! They love new things, so one of the first things we're going to do to incorporate that is make sure the facilities have wi-fi capabilities so that the orangutans can actually have access to unlimited information - of course with the keepers guiding them."

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AfterDawn: News

Licensing disagreement leaves Time Warner cable subscribers without MSG, Knicks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jan 2012 21:51

Licensing disagreement leaves Time Warner cable subscribers without MSG, Knicks After years of negotiations, MSG has been removed from Time Warner Cable's lineup leaving sports fans in New York without Knicks, Rangers, Sabres, Devils or Islanders games.

The two companies have been fighting over how much MSG should be paid and each have had an ad campaign blasting the other side. MSG was asking for a 53 percent price increase for their sports programming. Both companies continue to negotiate, but for the New Year, cable subscribers are left with nothing but a blacked out channel.

Michael Blair, president of MSG Media, had this to say of the situation: "All we have asked is for Time Warner Cable to value our programming in the same way as other TV providers -nothing more, nothing less. Unfortunately, they rejected every offer we made to them for almost two years. In the end, they were simply not interested in conducting serious negotiations on behalf of their customers and instead spent their time grossly mischaracterizing our positions to the public."

MSG is urging consumers to switch cable providers, but unfortunately many in New York City do not have any other options. If you are not in an area with Cablevision or Verizon FioS, Time Warner has a complete monopoly.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony slashes price on their S tablet, adds free games

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jan 2012 21:27

Sony slashes price on their S tablet, adds free games Sony has slashed the price on their new S tablet, just months after release.

As of today, the 16GB model will cost $400 and the 32GB will cost you $500, a $100 across the board cut. The price cut follows a holiday-inspired $50 discount that just expired.

Additionally, Sony says: "On top of these savings, Sony is also currently offering (for a limited time) a store credit and five free Video Unlimited movie rentals, five free PlayStation Store game downloads and 180 days of free Music Unlimited service with the purchase of a Tablet."

The Tablet S has a 9.4-inch screen, a "magazine" form factor, a Tegra 2 dual core processor, dual cameras and Honeycomb 3.x. If you purchase the Wi-Fi-only version you get Honeycomb 3.1 (with Sony UI overlay) and if you buy the more expensive Wi-Fi/3G version you get 3.2 (with similar UI overlay). The tablet comes with either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, DLNA compatibility, an IR port (to use as universal remote), an SD card slot, Sony's Crackle and eReader apps and Sony's "QuickView" tech for faster browsing.

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AfterDawn: News

LG shows off new pictures of upcoming 55-inch OLED TV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jan 2012 21:12

LG shows off new pictures of upcoming 55-inch OLED TV LG Display has revealed new pics of its upcoming 55-inch OLED TV. The TV is expected to launch next month at the CES event.

The TV will be the largest ever OLED screen, and LG has hinted that it will be much more affordable (per inch) than past commercial OLED screens. For example, in 2008 Sony released an 11-inch OLED for $2200.

OLED displays are mainly seen now in phones and watches, where they are extremely cost efficient. Adds Beom Han, CEO and Executive Vice President of LG Display: "Our objective has always been to actively define and lead emerging display technology markets. Although OLED technology is seen as the future of TV display, the technology has been limited to smaller display sizes and by high costs, until now. LG Display's 55-inch OLED TV panel has overcome these barriers."

LG says the new TV has wider color gamut than LCD screens, and a contrast ratio of 100,000:1. Furthermore, "the new technology allows light emitting diodes to self-generate light and features a reaction velocity to electric signals over 1000 times faster than liquid crystal."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

The 2011 list of most pirated movies

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jan 2012 20:51

The 2011 list of most pirated movies Just like their annual video game list, TorrentFreak has released the list of the most pirated films of 2011.

Topping the list was Fast Five, the latest in the Vin Diesel car racing franchise series. At 9.26 million, the film was well ahead of the Hangover 2 which came in second at 8.8 million downloads.

A few of the more surprising films on the list were Rango and Sucker Punch which were not very popular movies but found interested pirates. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which both made over $1 billion at the box office, did not crack the top 10, most likely because quality pirated versions did not appear until near the movie's DVD release dates.

For the list, TF uses public trackers and other sources and includes all release formats, from camera versions to Blu-ray copies and everything in between.

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AfterDawn: News

The 2011 list of most pirated video games

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jan 2012 16:48

The 2011 list of most pirated video games As is their annual tradition, TorrentFreak has revealed the top 10 most pirated video games for the year.

The list is accurate as of December 30th and the site has listed for most the major platforms including PC, Xbox 360 and Wii. PS3 downloads are so low they were not worth noting.

For the PC, Crysis 2 topped the list, mainly because it was released early in the year and had a pre-release leak. For the Xbox 360, Gears of War 3 unsurprisingly took the top spot. In the same vein, Super Mario Galaxy 2 took the title for the Nintendo Wii.

One month before its launch, an unfinished copy of Crysis 2 hit the web, leading to an early boost in piracy. TF says the real numbers began when the full version hit in March.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Happy New Year 2012

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 01 Jan 2012 9:05

Happy New Year 2012 The year 2011 is behind us and as a short summary of the past year's tech trends, it could be said that the year belonged to mobile and tablets. Console and PC technology seem to have approached certain level of maturity and major product launches that would've changed the industry just didn't happen. And meanwhile, mobile technology seems to be in middle of a breathtaking evolution process, where market shares, technologies and even company names seem to change completely, from one financial quarter to another.

For us, year 2011 was a year during which we focused on improving our site's backend and usability. For regular users, this meant that major, visible changes didn't occur, but hopefully the site is faster and easier to use than it was a year ago. For 2012, we plan to further improve our site's usability, make some changes to variety of site sections to make them easier to use and navigate. But major layout changes are unlikely to happen during the next year.

Now, I want to thank all of our users, employees, moderators and partners for the past year and wish everybody a happy new year 2012.

-Petteri Pyyny
AfterDawn.com





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