AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (11 / 2013)

AfterDawn: News

Instagram announces record-breaking Thanksgiving

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Nov 2013 17:43

Instagram announces record-breaking Thanksgiving Instagram has announced that Thanksgiving 2013 was the busiest day of all-time for the photo sharing service, thanks to the expected flood of food-related photos and videos and the addition of Hanukkah-related photos.

The company did not announce specific figures, as of yet, unlike last year when they celebrated a record-breaking day with a blog full of data.

This year, the company offered the vague sentence, "We saw record usage as Instagrammers shared a heaping help of holiday cheer."

Instagram, not including the new Thanksgiving data, has seen over 16 billion photos uploaded and 55 million new photos every day.

Reads the post:

Thursday marked a once-in-a-lifetime holiday as Thanksgiving and the first full day of Hanukkah shared the same calendar date for the first time since 1888, a confluence that won't occur again for tens of thousands of years.

Images of turkeys and latkes--and even an occasional "menurky"--from around the world flooded our Instagram feeds as friends and families gathered to celebrate and share these special holiday events.

We saw record usage as Instagrammers shared a heaping helping of holiday cheer. Your Thanksgiving and Hanukkah-related photos and videos helped make yesterday our busiest day on Instagram so far.




AfterDawn: News

Gigabyte seeing strong motherboard sales, growth in 2013

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Nov 2013 17:14

Gigabyte seeing strong motherboard sales, growth in 2013 The world's second-largest PC motherboard maker, Gigabyte, has seen strong growth for 2013.

In 2012, the company shipped 19 million units, second to Asus at 22 million. So far, in 2013 (as of October 30th), the company has shipped 17.5 million units, giving it a forecast of 21 million for the year. If the company does reach the projection, it will be the highest ever volume shipped for Gigabyte, which has been in the business for 28 years.

Asus as shipped 15.5 million units in the same time frame, with a forecast of 20.5 million for the year.

Industry watchers believe Gigabyte could potentially surpass Asus this year, if the forecasts are accurate. Gigabyte ships motherboards for consumer PCs, workstations and servers, and both for AMD and Intel.




AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry drops price of unlocked Z10 to $199, while supplies last

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Nov 2013 16:48

BlackBerry drops price of unlocked Z10 to $199, while supplies last BlackBerry, getting in the holiday spirit, has dropped the price of their Z10 smartphone to just $199 off-contract, while supplies last.

The unlocked device works with all GSM carriers, including T-Mobile and AT&T here in the States, and is available in white and black.

Reads the company's site:

"Get $200 off an unlocked BlackBerry Z10 (your choice of black or white)

Enter code BFEMAILZ10 at checkout

Offer ends December 2, 2013, or while supplies last. Quantities are limited. Offer is not transferable. Orders placed under this offer must use the original offer recipients email address."


The Z10 features a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Dual Core CPU, 2GB RAM, 16GB Internal Memory (expandable with microSD), a 4.2" 1280x768 Display w/ 8MP Rear Camera & 2MP Front Camera, a small 1800mAh Battery and the most recent BlackBerry 10 OS.

Get it here.




AfterDawn: News

Sony Europe starts massive PSP, Vita, PS3 sale for the weekend

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2013 23:44

Sony Europe starts massive PSP, Vita, PS3 sale for the weekend Sony Europe has started a major sale through the European PlayStation Store, with the sales available from today through December 2nd.

The games are up to 80 percent off.

Full list (via CVG):

PS3 Games:

Deep Black, Was €14.99/AU$21.95/£11.99, Now €4.94/AU$7.24/£3.95, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Terraria, Was €14.99/AU$21.95/£11.99, now €4.94/AU$5.92/£3.95, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition, Was €14.99/AU$17.95/£10.99, now €4.94/AU$7.24/£3.62, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? ACTIVE Bundle, Was €14.99/AU$21.95/£11.99, now €4.94/AU$7.24/£3.95, Not available in South Africa, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Disney Universe, Was €16.99/AU$24.95/£12.99, now €4.41/AU$6.48/£3.37, Not available in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Divekick, Was €9.99/AU$14.45/£7.99, now €4.99/AU$7.22/£3.99, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Port Royale 3, Was €29.99/AU$39.95/£19.99, now €5.09/AU$6.79/£3.39, Not available in Russia and South Africa, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
WRC 3 FIA World Rally Championship, Was €29.99/AU$39.95/£19.99, now €5.09/AU$6.79/£3.39, Not available in Norway, Finland, South Africa, Turkey, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
MUD - FIM Motocross World Championship, Was €39.99/AU$58.95/£31.99, now €6.79/AU$10.02/£5.43, Not available in Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, Turkey, Ukraine, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Aliens: Colonial Marines, Was €29.99/AU$39.95/£19.99, now €5.09/AU$6.79/£3.39, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
The Cave, Was €12.99/AU$18.45/£9.99, now €4.93/AU$7.01/£3.79, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Kayne and Lynch: Dead Men, Was €19.99/AU$24.95/£15.99, now €4.99/AU$6.23/£3.99, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Kayne and Lynch 2: Dog Days, Was €21.99/AU$32.95/£7.99, now €5.05/AU$7.57/£4.13, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Was €14.99/AU$21.95/£11.99, now €4.94/AU$7.24/£3.95, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Jurassic Park The Game, Was €29.99/AU$43.95/£23.99, now €5.09/AU$7.47/£4.07, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Back to the Future: The Game - 5 Game Series, Was €29.99/AU$43.95/£23.99, now €5.09/AU$7.47/£4.07, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Trilogy HD, Was €29.99/AU$43.95/£23.99, now €5.09/AU$7.47/£4.07, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Shaun White Snowboarding, Was €14.99/AU$17.95/£10.99, now €4.94/AU$5.92/£3.62, Not available in Turkey, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Shaun White Skateboarding, Was €14.99/AU$21.95/£11.99, now €4.94/AU$7.24/£3.95, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
From Dust, Was €14.99/AU$21.95/£11.99, now €4.94/AU$7.24/£3.95, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Call of Juarez Gunslinger, Was €14.99/AU$21.95/£11.99, now €4.94/AU$7.24/£3.95, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Call of Juarez Bound in Blood, Was €14.99/AU$17.95/£10.99, now €4.94/AU$5.92/£3.62, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Magic 2014 - Duels of the Planeswalkers, Was €7.99/AU$11.75/£6.49, now €3.99/AU$5.87/£3.24
Magic 2014 - Duels of the Planeswalkers Expansion, Was €3.99/AU$5.85/£3.19, now €1.99/AU$2.92/£1.59
Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends, Was €29.99/AU$43.95/£23.99, now €5.09/AU$7.47/£4.07, Only available in Australia, Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, UK
Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara, Was €14.99/AU$21.95/£11.99, now €4.94/AU$7.24/£3.95, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Prince of Persia Classic, Was €9.99/AU$14.45/£7.99, now €4.99/AU$7.22/£3.99, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Israel, Kuwait, Qatar, Ukraine, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Prince of Persia, Was €14.99/AU$17.95/£10.99, now €4.94/AU$5.92/£3.62, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Prince of Persia The Forgotten Sands, Was €14.99/$21.95/£11.99, now €4.94/$7.24/£3.95, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Racket Sports, Was €9.99/AU$12.95/£7.99, now €4.99/AU$6.47/£3.99, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Cloudberry Kingdom, Was €9.99/AU$14.45/£7.99, now €4.99/AU$7.22/£3.99, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Fatal Conspiracy, Was €14.99/AU$17.95/£10.99, now €4.94/AU$5.92/£3.62, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Flashback, Was €9.99/AU$14.45/£7.99, now €4.99/AU$7.22/£3.99, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Blazing Angels 2: The Secret Missions of WWII, Was €14.99/AU$17.95/£10.99, now €4.94/AU$5.92/£3.62, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Everybody's Golf 2, Was €4.99/AU$7.35/£3.99, now €1.99/AU$2.94/£1.59, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Jet Rider, Was €4.99/AU$7.35/£3.99, now €1.99/AU$2.94/£1.59, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Jet Rider 2, Was €4.99/AU$7.35/£3.99, now €1.99/AU$2.94/£1.59, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Kula World, Was €4.99/AU$7.35/£3.99, now €2.99/AU$4.41/£2.39, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Motor Toon Grand Prix 2, Was €4.99/AU$7.35/£3.99, now €1.99/AU$2.94/£1.59, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
PAIN, Was €7.99/AU$11.75/£6.49, now €3.99/AU$5.87/£3.24, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Rally Cross, Was €4.99/AU$7.35/£3.99, now €1.99/AU$2.94/£1.59, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Syphon Filter 3, Was €4.99/AU$7.35/£3.99, now €2.99/AU$4.41/£2.39, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Toy Home, Was €7.99/AU$11.75/£6.49, now €2.95/AU$4.34/£2.40, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Warhawk, Was €4.99/AU$7.35/£3.99, now €1.99/AU$2.94/£1.59, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Blast Factor Advanced, Was €7.99/AU$11.75/£6.49, now €3.99/AU$5.87/£3.24, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Operation Creature Feature, Was €4.99/AU$7.35/£3.99, now €1.99/AU$2.94/£1.59, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Snakeball, Was €7.99/AU$11.75/£6.49, now €2.95/AU$4.34/£2.40, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Crash Commando, Was €7.99/AU$11.75/£6.49, now €3.99/AU$5.87/£3.24, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
The Trials of Topoq, Was €4.99/AU$7.35/£3.99, now €2.99/AU$4.41/£2.39, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Beat Sketcher, Was €9.99/AU$14.45/£7.99, now €3.99/AU$5.78/£3.19, Not available in Israel, Kuwait, Ukraine, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Dark Mist, Was €7.99/AU$11.75/£6.49, now €3.99/AU$5.87/£3.24, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Tori Emaki, Was €2.99/AU$4.35/£2.39, now €0.98/AU$1.43/£0.78, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Mesmerize (Distort), Was €2.99/AU$4.35/£2.39, now €0.98/AU$1.43/£0.78, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
Elefunk, Was €7.99/AU$11.75/£6.49, now €2.95/AU$4.34/£2.40, Not available in Bulgaria, Hungary, Qatar, Additional 10% discount for PS Plus members
PSP/Vita Games:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung spent $14 billion in marketing for 2013

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2013 23:20

Samsung spent $14 billion in marketing for 2013 According to Reuters, Samsung will have spent $14 billion on marketing and advertising in 2013, an enormous figure.

Samsung has an overall market value of $227 billion, below Apple at $500 billion but still one of the largest tech companies in the world.

Does Samsung get its money worth, however? Not everyone believes so.

"Samsung's marketing is too much focused on projecting an image they aspire to: being innovative and ahead of the pack," says Oh Jung-suk, associate professor at the business school of Seoul National University. "They are failing to efficiently bridge the gap between the aspiration and how consumers actually respond to the campaign. It's got to be more aligned."

By percent, Samsung spends the largest amount of its annual revenues on advertising, at 5.4 percent. By comparison, Apple spends just 0.6 percent. "When your brand doesn't have a clear identity, as is the case with Samsung, to keep spending is probably the best strategy," adds Moon Ji-hun, head of brand consultant Interbrand's Korean operation. "But maintaining marketing spend at that level in the longer term wouldn't bring much more benefit. No one can beat Samsung in terms of (ad) presence, and I doubt whether keeping investing at this level is effective."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Walmart sells 1.4 million tablets on Thanksgiving, Black Friday

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2013 22:58

Walmart sells 1.4 million tablets on Thanksgiving, Black Friday Walmart boastfully reported today that the company had a 'record-breaking' Black Friday, boosted by tech sales.

"We said Black Friday is the Super Bowl of retail, we ran a play that only Walmart could deliver and our customers loved it," added Bill Simon, president and CEO of Walmart U.S. "Our Black Friday events were bigger, better, faster, cheaper and safer than ever. More customers chose us, we had the prices and products they were looking for, and we're not finished yet. Helping families get ready for a great Christmas – and get a lot of great deals while they're at it – is exactly what we're going to continue to do."

The company says the top sellers were HDTVs, the iPad Mini, notebooks, the new Xbox One and PS4 and Call of Duty Ghosts. Online, SLRs and the Nintendo 3DS were major sellers, as well.

Altogether, the company sold an incredible 1.4 million tablets.




AfterDawn: News

Moto G now available for pre-order on Amazon, as well

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2013 22:43

Moto G now available for pre-order on Amazon, as well Earlier this week we reported that Motorola had put the Moto G smartphone up for pre-order direct through their own store with a December 2nd ship date.

Today, Amazon has followed suit, but with a December 4th ship date.

The unlocked global GSM-based phone sells for just $179 (8GB) or $199 (16GB) without contract and features a 4.5-inch 720p LCD TFT display, a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB RAM and dual cameras, 1.3MP/5MP. On the design side, the Moto G looks just like its more powerful and expensive brother, the Moto X with some minor cosmetic differences.

Moto G handsets will start with Android 4.3, but KitKat will be rolled out by December. The Moto G was not given access to Moto X's software gestures, like Active Notifications, Quick Capture, and Touchless Control, due to its lack of the Moto X's specialized CPU/GPU.




AfterDawn: News

New Google Chromecast purchases to include Google Play credit

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2013 22:29

New Google Chromecast purchases to include Google Play credit Google has begun offering $6 in Google Play credit with all new Chromecast purchases.

From Black Friday until December 7th, the credit is included if you buy the device through Amazon, Best Buy and directly from Google.

The offer is "valid for any movie rental or other content on Google Play valued at $6 or less," reads the offer, but you cannot put the credit towards new devices (Nexus, accessories, etc) or subscriptions.

At launch, Google offered three months of Netflix for free ($21 value) even for existing customers, and that deal does come back on occasion, as well.

Chromecast devices offer native Netflix, Hulu Plus, Pandora and HBO Go 'casting' ability.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon sells Pebble smartwatch for $150, sells out quickly

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Nov 2013 21:15

Amazon sells Pebble smartwatch for $150, sells out quickly Amazon users in the U.S. were able to buy the Pebble smartwatch today for Black Friday, but the device quickly sold out.

Selling, on sale for $150, the smartwatch is still available on Pebble's official site, although without Prime shipping.

The Kickstarter crowdfunded watch is available in black, grey, red, orange, and white.

Outside of Amazon and Pebble, the smartwatch is available at Best Buy, as well.

Although very buggy at launch, the device recently updated to add iOS 7 Notification Center integration, allowing for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram alerts, a huge boost in functionality for the watch.




AfterDawn: News

PS4 selling out fast in UK

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2013 15:02

PS4 selling out fast in UK The PlayStation 4 (PS4) launched in the UK and wider European area last night, and is already starting to burn through supplies.

The console went on sale at midnight and those who had pre-ordered waited to get their hands on Sony's shiny new system. Beyond pre-orders, it was a case of first-come first-served of course, but Sony reports that supplies are already running low.

"We are starting to sell out - very rapidly but [we] will continue to work with all parts of the supply chain including our partners at retail to get more, as and when we can," a Sony spokesperson said.

Sony will setup a stock tracker website to help consumers hoping to get a console before Christmas.

Those who had pre-ordered with Amazon had the option to get their console on launch day, but anyone who failed to pre-order before November 14 would have to wait until after Christmas to get the console shipped.

The absence of supplies is already seen driving web scams that hope to entice parents desperate to get the new consoles in time for the holidays, according to NetNames.

"To avoid falling victim to the latest online scams, consumers need to remember that if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is," said NetNames product director of brand protection, Haydn Simpson.




AfterDawn: News

Skype tightens privacy protection in China

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2013 14:55

Skype tightens privacy protection in China According to an advocacy group, Microsoft has made changes to Skype that will make monitoring and censorship of activity much more difficult in China.

The service had announced the end of an eight-year partnership with Hong Kong-based TOM Group, and has found a new partner in Guangming Founder (GMF), a joint-venture of Beijing-based newspaper Guangming Daily and the Founder Group.

According to advocacy group, GreatFire, Microsoft also has made changes to how its service works that should thwart Chinese monitoring and censorship activities.

"All user calls, chats and login information are encrypted and being communicated directly to Microsoft via HTTPS. This is a complete about-face for Microsoft from the TOM-Skype era, when all information was processed by TOM and stored by TOM on servers located in China with absolutely no privacy controls in place," the group said.




AfterDawn: News

India probes Ericsson in patent row

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2013 14:47

India probes Ericsson in patent row India's CCI has launched an investigation into Ericsson's patent dispute with Micromax after the latter filed a complaint with the body.

Swedish firm Ericsson sued Micromax in March of this year alleging patent infringement, and confirmed that the dispute is now being reviewed by India's Competition Commission.

"The CCI has now decided to refer the case to the director general for an in-depth investigation," Ericsson said in a statement.

While Ericsson claims it has attempted on multiple occasions to reach a license agreement with Micromax on FRAND - fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory - terms, Micromax alleges that it is using its dominant position to impose "exorbitant royalty rates."

It claims that royalties demanded for Ericsson patents should be based on the value of the technology used, rather than the sale price of a smartphone.




AfterDawn: News

Google violated data protection laws, Dutch regulator says

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2013 14:39

Google violated data protection laws, Dutch regulator says Google's policy of combining personal data from its multiple online services violated Dutch data protection laws.

The Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) finds that the way in which Google pools users' data across its multiple services - such as GMail and YouTube - violates Dutch laws concerning data protection.

Ever since Google revamped its privacy policies in this way last year, many entities across Europe have been up in arms. Lawmakers and privacy advocates alike are concerned about individuals losing control of their personal information and how it is used, as much of it is stored outside of Europe.

In addition, the revelations about the scope of U.S. spying has raised even more concerns about data held by U.S. firms on European citizens.

"Google spins an invisible web of our personal data, without consent," said Jacob Kohnstamm, the chairman of the DPA. "That is forbidden by law."

Google feels that its privacy policy is in line with European laws and said it has cooperated with the Dutch group, and will continue to do so.

"Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services. We have engaged fully with the Dutch DPA throughout this process and will continue to do so going forward," Google said.




AfterDawn: News

U.S. government pays $50 million for piracy

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2013 14:27

U.S. government pays $50 million for piracy The U.S. Government has agreed to pay $50 million to a software company after it emerged that its software had been copied onto thousands of systems without licenses.

The software in question was provided by Texas-based Apptricity, which has provided logistics programs to the U.S. army since 2004. The company discovered in 2012 that its software had been copied onto thousands more systems than had been licensed for.

The software is used to track the movements of soldiers and key supplies. While the military could legally had the software used by around 500 users, Apptricity said there was an estimated additional 9,000 users beyond that.

During a presentation, a U.S. Army official had referred to the software as running on "thousands" of devices, which sparked Apptricity's curiosity.

The Texas firm sought $224 million but the U.S. has agreed to pay $50 million to settle the dispute.

"Apptricity is now incredibly energised to use the settlement resolution as a catalyst for aggressive investment in our team, our solutions and our untapped market opportunities," said Randy Lieberman, Apptricity's chief financial officer, reported the BBC News website.




AfterDawn: News

ZTE to build smartwatch, as well

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2013 13:45

ZTE to build smartwatch, as well Chinese giant ZTE has confirmed that the company is working on a smartwatch.

Lu Qianhao, the company's head of handset marketing strategy, made the announcement this week.

"We are focusing on the mainstream market," says Qianhao. The watch will be similar in feature set to the existing watches on the market, such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear and Sony Smartwatch 2, but will be significantly cheaper.

The watch will be unveiled in the Q1 and getting into consumer's hands in the Q2 of next year. The watch will only be compatible with ZTE smartphones, just like the Galaxy Gear only works with Samsung devices

As expected, ZTE will sell the device in China first, but eventually it is expected to make its way to the EU and U.S.




AfterDawn: News

Kim Dotcom's MEGA cloud storage service now with native iOS app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2013 12:36

Kim Dotcom's MEGA cloud storage service now with native iOS app Kim Dotcom's cloud storage service Mega has made its way to iOS 7, five months after launching on Android.

The app allows users to manage any content they may have stored to their cloud locker.

Additionally, iOS users can preview and stream a multitude of supported media files, and you can send links and files directly from within the application.

If you don't already have it, you can subscribe to Mega's $11 per month premium tier via an in-app purchase and get 500GB of storage and 1TB of bandwidth per month.

As iPad app is on the way, as well.




AfterDawn: News

Mandatory PlayStation 4 system 1.51 patch now available in Europe

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2013 12:07

Mandatory PlayStation 4 system 1.51 patch now available in Europe The latest mandatory PlayStation 4 system 1.51 patch is now available in Europe.

Released in North America earlier in the week, the 300MB+ download is now available to European gamers and must be installed before you can access PSN features on the console, which launches tomorrow around the continent.

The update improves "stability" for the system and makes other minor tweaks.

As a precaution following the issues plaguing the NA versions of the system, the patch can be placed on a USB drive and installed using the PS4's safe mode.

Sony listed the features included in the update:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

CTIA completes blacklist database for stolen phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2013 11:44

CTIA completes blacklist database for stolen phones The major carriers in the U.S.; Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint have completed their database system for stolen phones, nearly a year after it was first launched.

Wireless industry trade group CTIA president and CEO Steve Largent announced that the completed database will allow carriers to block activation of stolen 3G and LTE smartphones in the U.S. and around the globe. "As more countries and more carriers around the world participate in the 3G and 4G/LTE databases, criminals will have fewer outlets since these stolen phones would be blacklisted and could not be reactivated," adds Largent.

While the database has been marginally successful in the U.S., the biggest issue is with international carriers, who rarely enforce such rules. Officials in New York and San Francisco say efforts to block stolen devices have been fruitless since the devices are quickly sent overseas. Both cities have been asking US carriers and OEMs to install 'kill switches' into all new smartphones that allow consumers to deactivate the phones permanently if they are stolen.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple class action suit over data privacy dismissed outright

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2013 11:27

Apple class action suit over data privacy dismissed outright A federal judge has dismissed a class action lawsuit against Apple over data privacy, stating that the plaintiffs failed to "show they had relied on any alleged company misrepresentations and that they had suffered harm."

In 2011, four plaintiffs claimed that Apple violated its own privacy policy by designing iOS to "easily transmit personal information to third parties that collect and analyze such data without user consent or detection." The accusers claimed they suffered damages by losing storage space on their iPhones and that they overpaid for the devices.

"Plaintiffs must be able to provide some evidence that they saw one or more of Apple's alleged misrepresentations, that they actually relied on those misrepresentations, and that they were harmed thereby," Judge Lucu Koh said.

The case is just one of 19 similar lawsuits filed across the nation that Koh is overseeing. Others may be more successful.




AfterDawn: News

South Korea's National Intelligence Service accused of abusing Twitter to sway elections

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2013 11:11

South Korea's National Intelligence Service accused of abusing Twitter to sway elections Prosecutors have claimed that South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) abused Twitter in an effort to support Park Geun-hye for president during last year's elections.

The president ended up winning by one million votes last December and many have accused the campaign team of foul play ever since.

Allegedly, NIS agents posted over 1.2 million tweets in praise of Park and her policies, as well as tweets that slandered her rivals, dubbing them North Korea sympathizers.

There were 26,550 original tweets that computer programs then disseminated on Twitter, adding up to over 1.2 million total tweets or retweets.

"What's clear so far is that the National Intelligence Service and other state agencies had engaged in a systematic and massive intervention in elections," opposition party leader Kim Han-gil stated after the news was released.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook looking to take on offline read-it-later apps like Pocket

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2013 11:03

Facebook looking to take on offline read-it-later apps like Pocket Facebook is testing a read-it-later feature that will help the company compete with standalone apps like Instapaper and Pocket.

The social network giant will let you save links posted to Facebook for reading later, whether you are online or offline, and some users will see a "Saved" option in their mobile app next to the Facebook apps.

It is unclear whether the feature will go live for everyone ever, as Facebook, like Google, is infamous for experimenting with features but eventually abandoning them.

When asked for comment, the company simply said, "We're constantly testing new features, but we have nothing further to share at this time." Regardless, the experimental feature does not have robust features like Pocket does, which continues to improve daily and is cross-platform with deep integration into your browser and mobile devices.




AfterDawn: News

Acer prices new C720P touchscreen Chromebook at just $299

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2013 10:54

Acer prices new C720P touchscreen Chromebook at just $299 Acer has announced that their upcoming C720P touchscreen Chromebook will be priced at just $299, a very affordable price given the specs.

Until the C720P launches, the only Chromebook option with a touchscreen is Google's pricey high-end Pixel, which is a $1299 reference device.

Besides the multi-touch 11.6-inch HD LED back-lit display (1366Χ768 resolution), the notebook has a Haswell-based Intel Celeron, 32GB internal storage, 2GB RAM and the company claims a 7 second startup with 7.5 hour battery life.

Additionally, the new device features an integrated HD webcam, dual speaker design, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports, an HDMI port and 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi. It measures 0.78-inches and weighs just 2.98 pounds.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google Maps can now be embedded in websites

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2013 10:36

Google Maps can now be embedded in websites Google has announced that their popular Maps service has been updated to allow for the embedding of maps into websites.

Ken Hoetmer of Google Maps says: "[Earlier this week] we introduced a feature in the new Google Maps that enables you to embed a Google Map by copying and pasting an HTML snippet. Make sure you're opted in, and then head over to Google Maps, click on the gear icon on the lower right, and give it a go.

Like the new Google Maps, embedded maps are now built for you. Your users can sign in to these maps to see relevant content, like their saved places from Google Maps. Conversely, they can also save a location from your embedded map for viewing on Google Maps for desktop or mobile. To top it off, embedded maps are free of usage limits, so you don't have to worry about quotas."


Additionally, Google has updated their ad experience to include more relevant local businesses.

Head over to Maps on your mobile device or desktop to get the update.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon expands Instant Video streaming service to Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2013 9:40

Amazon expands Instant Video streaming service to Japan Amazon has announced that its Instant Video streaming service has been expanded to Japan.

The service will have 26,000 global and local movies and TV shows available for streaming, download rental and purchase.

Rental fees will start at 99 cents, (100 yen) for older titles and newer titles will start at $5 to rent or $15 to purchase.

As a launch promotion, the company says the first episode of the first season of programs (including local hit Boys over Flowers) are being offered completely free of charge.

You are allowed to download the titles to just one device, but stream to two.




AfterDawn: News

It's official: Nokia is the only Windows Phone maker that anyone cares about

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2013 9:18

It's official: Nokia is the only Windows Phone maker that anyone cares about According to the latest figures from AdDuplex, Windows Phone is now dominated by just one manufacturer, Nokia.

The Finnish smartphone maker (soon to be part of Microsoft) controls 90 percent share of the OS, followed by HTC at 7 percent and everyone else at a measly 3 percent.

As far as devices go, the cheap but excellent Lumia 520 continues to take share, now at 26.5 percent share, far and away the most for an individual model. The more powerful (and larger) Nokia Lumia 920 and 620 follow with 8.8 and 8.6 percent share, respectively. The Nokia 521 (which is the same device as the 520 but optimized for T-Mobile in the US) has another 3.5 percent share, effectively giving the Lumia 520 a massive 30 percent share of current Windows Phones.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

CyanogenMod Installer app taken down from the Google Play Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Nov 2013 9:02

CyanogenMod Installer app taken down from the Google Play Store Cyanogen Inc. has confirmed that their CyanogenMod Installer application, which we reviewed here, has been removed from the Google Play Store.

Reads the post:

Today, we were contacted by the Google Play Support team to say that our CyanogenMod Installer application is in violation of Google Play's developer terms.

They advised us to voluntarily remove the application, or they would be forced to remove it administratively. We have complied with their wishes while we wait for a more favorable resolution.

To those unfamiliar with the application, it has a single function – to guide users to enable "ADB", a built in development and debugging tool, and then navigates the user to the desktop installer. The desktop application then performs the installation of the CyanogenMod on their Android device.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

SSD maker OCZ declares bankruptcy, has offer from Toshiba for assets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2013 21:48

SSD maker OCZ declares bankruptcy, has offer from Toshiba for assets SSD hard drive maker OCZ Technology Group has announced bankruptcy, also confirming it has received an offer from Toshiba to buy the company's remaining assets.

OCZ had a market value of $43 million before the news but the company's stock fell 75 percent, leaving it with a capitalization of just $11 million.

The company will file its official bankruptcy after completing the asset purchase agreement with Toshiba and Hercules Technology Growth Capital Inc, one of their current lenders. If the deal falls apart, the company would immediately file for bankruptcy and liquidate.

OCZ has been hit with a shortage of NAND flash memory storage chips for the last year, and has not had a full-year profit in over five years.

Majors players in the industry such as Seagate, Western Digital and Micron had long been rumored to be acquirers for the struggling SSD maker, but it seems Japan's largest chipmaker, Toshiba, stepped in.




AfterDawn: News

Intel looking to sell its DOA Internet TV service for $500 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2013 23:36

Intel looking to sell its DOA Internet TV service for $500 million Intel, which has been working on their OnCue Internet TV platform for two years, is looking to sell the project for $500 million and to complete the deal before the end of the year.

The service, which has been delayed three times as Intel struggles to close deals with content providers, could be sold in part to Verizon Communications.

In 2011, Intel began its venture into Web TV by hiring Erik Huggers, who previously led web video for the BBC. Huggers was put in charge of creating an Intel-built set-top box and an Intel-branded pay TV service that could be accessed via desktops, the set-top or other Internet-connected devices.

As expected, Intel had issues gaining content for the "OnCue" service due to its lack of connections in the industry, and a mid-July 2013 launch was pushed back indefinitely.

Intel then began looking for strategic partnerships to help distribute OnCue, talking with Netflix and Amazon to no avail. Verizon, on the other hand, already offers pay TV via FiOS and also offer Redbox Instant, a movie rental service.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft making tiny profit on Xbox One hardware sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2013 22:04

Microsoft making tiny profit on Xbox One hardware sales According to research firm IHS, Microsoft, just like its rival Sony and its Playstation 4, is making a very tiny profit on each unit sold of the new Xbox One.

The Xbox One, which costs $499 to consumers, costs $471 to build, not including R&D and advertising costs which could certainly add up to $20 or more per unit.

Sony, which sells its PS4 for $399, spends $381 to build the console.

Microsoft's added costs come mainly via the Kinect motion control sensor, which costs $75 and the AMD CPU/GPU at $110.

Both console makers lost significant money for their PS3 and Xbox 360 consoles, respectively, with Sony losing as much as $300 per unit for over a year. While they may not be making more than a few pennies this time around, the figures certainly seem better than a loss.




AfterDawn: News

Low-cost but powerful Moto G reaches the U.S. much earlier than expected

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2013 21:35

Low-cost but powerful Moto G reaches the U.S. much earlier than expected Motorola Mobility has made the new Moto G available in the U.S. a lot earlier than expected, with pre-orders now being taken directly at Motorola.com.

The unlocked global GSM-based phone sells for just $179 without contract but still packs a punch, especially at that price. The change in plans is significant as CEO Dennis Woodside had originally planned a January launch for the device.

For your money, you get a 4.5-inch 720p LCD TFT display, a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage and dual cameras, 1.3MP/5MP. On the design side, the Moto G looks just like its more powerful and expensive brother, the Moto X with some minor cosmetic differences.

You cannot use the Moto Maker customization site for the Moto G, but the backplate is removable and blue, teal, red, yellow, purple, white, and black covers are available at launch. Additionally, there are rugged versions and flip-style portfolio covers. Although you can take off the cover, the battery is non-removable.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Petition to turn Winamp into open-source software hits 25,000 signatures

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2013 21:01

Petition to turn Winamp into open-source software hits 25,000 signatures Our most read article of the past week was the news that AOL had announced the shutdown of popular cross-platform media player Winamp.

Despite rumors that Microsoft may come to save the day, one fan took matters into his own hands, starting a petition on Change.org the day of the announcement begging AOL to make the software open-source rather than shutting it down for good.

The petition has now reached 27,000 signatures, with 35,000 being the necessary minimum for "change."

Reads the page:

After more than 15 years and millions of users worldwide, Winamp Media Player will cease forever as of 20th Dec 2013.

Winamp is the best media player ever built. If there were other alternatives that would be fine. But there is nothing that can do what Winamp can do. It is the most versatile media player on earth.

It can't be left to die. It must live on.

If AOL allows it to go open source it WILL live on forever and be in the hands of people who love it and use it every day.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Galaxy S5 to feature 2600x1440 display?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2013 20:32

Galaxy S5 to feature 2600x1440 display? After hinting during their annual Analyst Day that an upcoming device would feature 560 ppi, reports are claiming that device will be the upcoming flagship Galaxy S5.

Samsung Display CEO Kinam Kim made a whole presentation on the company's 2014 lineup, and with it he confirmed a 560 ppi Super AMOLED phone display.

At an expected 5.3-inch screen, that would suggest a resolution of 2600x1440. Samsung calls that display a WQHD resolution, and the standard calls for a 2560x1440 resolution (3.7 million pixels).

Additionally, the slideshow includes plans for bending, foldable and stretchable designs that will likely be the first of their kind.




AfterDawn: News

Report: Apple strikes deal with China Mobile for iPhones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2013 20:59

Report: Apple strikes deal with China Mobile for iPhones According to reports from the Chinese government, Apple has struck a deal with China Mobile to finally bring 4G-capable iPhones to the world's largest carrier.

The reports say China Mobile will start 4G services on December 18th, announcing the iPhone deal on that date, as well.

China Mobile uses TD-LTE, and Apple received the final government license needed to run their phones on that network back in September.

The carrier has 745 million subscribers, making it far and away the largest carrier on the planet.




AfterDawn: News

Hundreds of Xbox One users: Our disc drives don't work

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2013 20:39

Hundreds of Xbox One users: Our disc drives don't work According to Kotaku, there are at least hundreds, if not thousands of new Xbox One owners whose disc drives simply don't work.

Microsoft does not have any response other than to contact customer service.

Angry customers have begun calling the drive the "Disc Drive of Doom," as it does not read discs and produces a loud grinding noise when optical media is inserted.

As even more proof of the issue, launch edition consoles sent to major gaming outlets IGN, Polygon and GamesRadar all had faulty drives.

Adds Microsoft: "The issue is affecting a very small number of Xbox One customers. We're working directly with those affected to get a replacement console to them as soon as possible through our advance exchange program. Rest assured, we are taking care of our customers.

Customers have the option for us to send a replacement console right away without waiting until they have returned their old one. This means a customer only has to wait a matter of days, rather than weeks to get back up and running."




AfterDawn: News

Samsung shows off mid-range Galaxy Grand 2 smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2013 20:19

Samsung shows off mid-range Galaxy Grand 2 smartphone Samsung has announced the launch of the Galaxy Grand 2, another phablet to round out their line of Galaxy smartphones.

The Grand 2 features a 5.25-inch 720p display, a quad-core 1.2GHz processor, 1.5GB RAM and a 2,600 mAh battery. For cameras, the smartphone has two; an 8MP AF/LED Flash rear camera and a 1.9MP front camera.

Running on Android 4.3, the phone has 8GB internal storage, a microSD slot, WiFi a/b/g/n, BT4.0, GPS + Glonass along with dual-SIM capabilities.

"This evolution of the Galaxy Grand series brings meaningful upgrades to its predecessor including an improved HD viewing experience, enhanced performance, and many other intuitive features," Samsung adds.




AfterDawn: News

Next Amazon Kindle Paperwhite to have 300 ppi screen?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2013 19:50

Next Amazon Kindle Paperwhite to have 300 ppi screen? According to sources, Amazon is preparing a new Kindle White for release in the Q2 2014, one that includes a high-end 300 ppi display.

Besides the upgraded display, the e-reader will also move to matte glass instead of plastic and the front screen will be "flush with the edges of the device, rather than recessed."

Current model Paperwhite have a 212 ppi screen but others in the market, such as the Kobo Aura HD, have higher pixel density at similar prices. E Ink, the company which manufactures the Pearl E Ink, is said to have drawn the ire of Amazon after the Aura HD hit retail shelves with a 265 ppi display.

Outside of the display, there is not expected to be any other updates to the Kindle software except that it will be upscaled properly for the new pixel density. Additionally, Amazon will be working on a custom-built font that is supposedly better for reading.




AfterDawn: News

Apple confirms purchase of 3D gesture tech maker PrimeSense

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2013 16:57

Apple confirms purchase of 3D gesture tech maker PrimeSense Apple has confirmed their purchase of PrimeSense, the Israeli 3D sensor startup.

The reported price was about $360 million for the company that created the tech behind the original Microsoft Kinect.

Says Apple: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans." PrimeSense was a bit more forthcoming: "We can confirm the deal with Apple. Further than that, we cannot comment at this stage."

There had been reports of Apple purchasing the company since July, at prices varying from $280-$360 million.

PrimeSense has been working on creating new, smaller sensors more a wider variety of devices, with the expectation that 3D gesture based tech will eventually be added to smartphones.




AfterDawn: News

Developer ports iOS core to Nokia N900

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2013 10:16

Developer ports iOS core to Nokia N900 The well-regarded developer Winocm has been quietly working on porting Apple's iOS to non-Apple hardware, and he appears to have succeeded in achieving the first "core milestone."

Winocm has now managed to port the core elements of iOS, getting them to work on a Nokia N900 phone.

As of writing there are really no benefits for the average user, but as a basis for future development it could be huge. The hardware was released in 2009 by Nokia, running the Maemo 5 OS. Additionally, the port will work on the following hardware:

ARM RealView Emulation Baseboard (ARMPBA8_ALT)
ARM RealView Platform Baseboard for Cortex-A8 (ARMPBA8)
Texas Instruments OMAP3530 (BeagleBoard/BeagleBoard xM) (OMAP3530)
Texas Instruments OMAP3430 (Nokia N900) (OMAP3430_RX51)
Texas Instruments AM335x (BeagleBone/BeagleBone Black) (OMAP335X)

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft: There will not be three versions of the Windows in the future

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2013 9:29

Microsoft: There will not be three versions of the Windows in the future Windows RT, the failed experiment that has cost numerous companies, including Microsoft, billions in writedowns, may be at the end of its life.

Microsoft's EVP of the Devices and Studios Julie Larson-Green has fueled the rumor while speaking at the UBS Global Technology Summit.

When asked about the future of Windows, Larson-Green responded: "We have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We're not going to have three. We do think there's a world where there is a more mobile operating system that doesn't have the risks to battery life, or the risks to security. But, it also comes at the cost of flexibility. So we believe in that vision and that direction and we're continuing down that path."

The important quote to take from her speech is the fact that she says "we're not going to have three." It's quite clear that Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 are going nowhere so that leaves Windows RT as the odd man out.




AfterDawn: News

Did Sony buy the IP for Crash Bandicoot?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2013 15:22

Did Sony buy the IP for Crash Bandicoot? Sony, which was rumored to have purchased the IP for the once extremely popular Crash Bandicoot series, does not appear to have done so.

Activision, the current owner, took down the official Crash Bandicoot site earlier this week, leading to speculation that it had sold the rights and moved on. All Crash references were also removed from the publisher's web properties.

Sony had been rumored as a buyer as there was a supposed easter egg in the recent PS4 launch trailer (below), which appeared to show Crash moving from Activision to Sony Computer Entertainment.

Crash was a huge hit franchise for the original PSone and PS2, and was originally created by Naughty Dog for Sony. The last game for consoles was "Activision's Crash: Mind Over Mutant" which launched in 2008 to mild success.

Says Activision of the series: "Activision owns Crash Bandicoot and we continue to explore ways in which we could bring the beloved series back to life."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Latest Pokemon titles are fastest 3DS games to reach 1 million sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2013 10:34

Latest Pokemon titles are fastest 3DS games to reach 1 million sales Pokemon X and Y, the latest games in the blockbuster franchise, are the fastest ever to reach 1 million sales on the 3DS handheld, says Nintendo.

The titles took just one day to reach the milestone, beating out first-party winners like Mario Kart 7 which took a few weeks.

Nintendo offered a little bit of everything in the new games, including 3D battles, legacy Pokemon, new "mega-evolutions" and just general updates to the gameplay.

Check this interesting infographic for more on the release and milestones of the game:




AfterDawn: News

Moto X Android 4.4 update now rolling out to T-Mobile, AT&T

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2013 10:21

Moto X Android 4.4 update now rolling out to T-Mobile, AT&T Last week, the Android 4.4 update began rolling out for the Moto X, as long as you were a Verizon customer.

As of today, the new operating system is now headed to T-Mobile and AT&T users, as well. Following the news, Sprint is the only carrier without the update.

The rollout will begin just a month after the launch of the Google Nexus 5 (and with it, KitKat) and it even beats Google's older Nexus devices like the Nexus 4, and the Google Play Experience versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One.

Android 4.4 adds SMS/MMS support in Hangouts, aesthetic changes and performance tweaks under the hood.




AfterDawn: News

Chromebook users can now use 'OK Google' voice activation

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2013 10:05

Chromebook users can now use 'OK Google' voice activation All Google Chromebook users will soon be able to use voice activation like their Android 4.4 counterparts.

The new update will give Chromebook users the ability to say "Okay Google" to activate voice search within ChromeOS offline and online.

Developer channel users will get the update first, but the service is likely to be in an early beta at first launch.

If you are in the developer channel, Google says to head over to chrome://flags/#enable-app-launcher-start-page to enable experimental updates.

Outside of being available for the Nexus 5, Google has also been testing it for the Chrome browser although without a timeframe for release.




AfterDawn: News

Spotify now valued above $4 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2013 9:38

Spotify now valued above $4 billion According to sources, streaming music giant Spotify has secured $250 million in financing that now values the company at over $4 billion.

The money will be used to help global expansion, as the company is already well established in the U.S. and Western European nations. Spotify is looking to expand to nations like Japan.

Spotify, at a valuation north of $4 billion, would approach the market value of Pandora, which is the only public streaming music company. Pandora IPOd in 2011 and is now valued at $5.7 billion.

The company generated revenue of $585 million but the company has never earned a profit as expansion expenses increase.

Spotify has over 6 million paying subscribers, paying either $5 or $10 per month for premium features like unlimited ad-free streaming and mobile access. The company has 24 million active free users.




AfterDawn: News

Acer's struggles leads to ouster of CEO, President

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2013 9:12

Acer's struggles leads to ouster of CEO, President The major Taiwanese PC maker, which continues to struggle financially, has accepted the resignations of Chairman and CEO J.T. Wang and President Jim Wong.

Making the news even more major is the fact that Wong had been long rumored to be replacing Wang if he ever left as CEO.

Company founder Stan Shih has taken over the positions as the company searches both internally and externally for a new candidate. The title of CEO will be eliminated and those responsibilities will be transferred to the chairman.

Shih will not take a salary for his new role, and Wang and Wong will stay on as advisers. "I will honor and complete all the public affairs and event engagements that I have committed to, but I will also fully support Acer's ICT (information and communications technology) device business and carry out the company transformation," Shih said in a statement. "In addition, George Huang who is one of my co-founding partners of Acer will join with me and the management team to lead our company at this time."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HTC One Max makes its way to Verizon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2013 8:56

HTC One Max makes its way to Verizon Verizon has become the second carrier to get the HTC One Max phablet.

The device features a 5.9-inch 1920x1080 LCD, is powered by a quad-core 1.7GHz processor, 2GB RAM has 32GB internal storage and a large 3300mAh battery.

Additionally, the phone has an UltraPixel camera with an f/2.0, 28mm wide angle lens.

The phone will not come cheap. Verizon has priced the Max at $299.99 with two-year contract, and will also be available for $25 per month through Verizon Edge. Sprint is offering the phone for $249 or $149 for brand new customers.

Check the product page.




AfterDawn: News

Google adds Middle-Earth maps to Chrome for 'Hobbit' fans

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2013 8:38

Google adds Middle-Earth maps to Chrome for 'Hobbit' fans Fans of J.R.R Tolkien, rejoice, Google has created a new Chrome 'experiment' for Middle-Earth, building large detailed interactive maps as "a showcase of web experiments written by the creative coding community."

The maps come just weeks before the hugely anticipated release of the "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" on December 13th. The film is the second of a new trilogy for Lord of The Rings fans.

Within the maps there are three interactive locations; The Trollshaws, the Elven refuge of Rivendell and the fortress of Dol Guldur.

If you click through, you will get an audio introduction and the bios of different characters that you can swipe through to learn more about. There are a few mini-games, as well, playable through the Chrome browser or on Android.

Google says new locations will be added in the near future, including Lake Town and Lonely Mountain (where the dragon Smaug lives). The map is zoomable and includes all of the major landmarks and towns.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Xbox One reaches 1 million sales on first day of availability

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Nov 2013 23:10

Xbox One reaches 1 million sales on first day of availability Microsoft has boasted that over 1 million Xbox One units were sold during the console's first day of availability.

The figure surpasses that of Microsoft's predecessor, the Xbox 360, and matches Sony's recent PlayStation 4 launch.

Xbox One consoles went on sale in 13 markets on November 22nd, and Microsoft also added that many retailers had sold out and that the company was working to replenish stock.

Sony and Microsoft are leading a revival of the gaming industry, which just had its biggest growth in over two years, even before the launch of the new next-generation consoles.




AfterDawn: News

Video game industry sees strongest growth in over two years

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2013 21:15

Video game industry sees strongest growth in over two years According to research firm NPD, the video game industry had its best quarter in over two years.

For the quarter ended September 30th, US gamers spent $3.45 billion, a large 17 percent year-over-year increase.

Digital sales, which include social network casual games, full games, DLC, subscriptions and mobile games jumped to $1.72 billion, followed by new physical game sales at $1.3 billion and used games accounting for $436 million.

Digital content sales were up 35 percent, and new physical games were up 20 percent.

The fourth quarter is expected to be massive for the industry, following the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Each console saw over 1 million unit sales in their first days of launch, and game sales are expected to get a large boost across the board.




AfterDawn: News

HBO Go now available through Google Chromecast

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2013 20:18

HBO Go now available through Google Chromecast Game of Thrones fans received some great news this week as HBO announced that their popular HBO Go platform is now available through Google's Chromecast HDMI dongle.

Says the search giant: "Grab your favorite snack and get cozy on your Iron Throne, because HBO GO has added Chromecast support to their Android, iOS and web app. Now you can easily enjoy "Game of Thrones," "Boardwalk Empire," "Girls" and your favorite movies on your TV by casting from the HBO GO app or website.

To start casting from HBO GO, just check that you have the latest version of the app for Android or iOS. You can also cast from hbogo.com using Chrome browser on your laptop or any Chromebook. The mobile and web apps will be rolling out over the next few days."


As with other services, once you download the app or visit the web page, you just have to hit the "cast" button to send the stream to your TV via your home network.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung must pay $290 million in additional damages to Apple

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Nov 2013 22:49

Samsung must pay $290 million in additional damages to Apple A jury has ruled today that Samsung must pay Apple $290 million in additional damages for their patent infringement loss. Apple had been requesting $380 million.

Altogether, the damages award now totals $930 million. Samsung had argued that it only owed $52 million in additional damages.

"For Apple, this case has always been about more than patents and money," Apple said in a statement. "It has been about innovation and the hard work that goes into inventing products that people love. While it's impossible to put a price tag on those values, we are grateful to the jury for showing Samsung that copying has a cost."

Samsung will of course be appealing, and says they are "disappointed by today's decision, which is based in large part on a patent that the US Patent and Trademark Office has recently deemed invalid."

Last year, a jury ruled that Samsung infringed on five Apple patents related to design and functionality. From the first trial, Samsung owed $640 million in damages. The new award ruling was dependent on what the two sides what agree to in regards to Apple's lost profits, Samsung's profits, and the amount that would have been paid in royalties. What was eventually agreed upon was that Samsung sold 10.7 million devices that infringed on Apple patents, generating a whopping $3.5 billion in revenue.




AfterDawn: News

Will Microsoft ride in as white knight to save Winamp from its imminent demise?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Nov 2013 21:26

Will Microsoft ride in as white knight to save Winamp from its imminent demise? Yesterday we reported that popular media player Winamp was being shutdown by its owner AOL at the end of December.

The outpour of support for the software was great, and a petition on Change.org reached nearly 6000 signatures overnight to save the media player or at least make it open source. While many were sad the software was to be shut down, there may be an unlikely white knight; Microsoft.

Crunch is reporting that AOL and Microsoft are currently in talks for the software giant to potentially purchase Winamp along with media streaming service Shoutcast.

If the deal does not go through, the report states that AOL will announce the shut down of Shoutcast next week, as well.

AOL purchased Winamp creator Nullsoft for $80 million in 1999 but has never really cared about making the service mainstream. The software just made it to Android in 2011.




AfterDawn: News

Sad news: Winamp closing down shop forever on December 20th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2013 15:00

Sad news: Winamp closing down shop forever on December 20th After 15 years, the end of an era is here. Media player Winamp will shut down for good on December 20th.

Its parent company, AOL, announced today that the music player and all related services will be closed.

The player was first released in 1997 and offered a light playback tool for MP3s and other audio and video files. More recently, the software added online music streaming, and Gracenote integration.

Reads the Winamp homepage: "Winamp.com and associated web services will no longer be available past December 20, 2013. Additionally, Winamp Media players will no longer be available for download. Please download the latest version before that date. See release notes for latest improvements to this last release.
Thanks for supporting the Winamp community for over 15 years."


You can still get the media player here at Afterdawn: Winamp v5




AfterDawn: News

Windows Phone finally gets Instagram, but you can't take pictures

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2013 14:48

Windows Phone finally gets Instagram, but you can't take pictures Years after it made its introduction on iOS and Android, Windows Phone has finally gotten an official Instagram app.

Reads the blog post:

In that past year, however, Instagram isn't all that's grown. We've also seen the rise of a new mobile platform as tens of millions of people around the world have taken to Windows Phones. Our mission is to give everyone the ability to capture and share the moments around them, so our team has been working hard to bring Instagram to Windows Phone users everywhere.

We wanted to make Instagram available to people with Windows Phones as quickly as possible, so we focused on creating an awesome experience with Instagram's core features. We're not finished, and our team will continue developing the Windows Phone app to keep releasing features and bringing you the best Instagram possible.

Instagram is a place where people come to be inspired and connect with others, and we're thrilled to welcome Windows Phone users to the community. We can't wait to see what you'll create.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony PlayStation 4 firmware update 1.51 now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2013 14:28

Sony PlayStation 4 firmware update 1.51 now available Sony has pushed out PS4 firmware version 1.51 today, "boosting" overall stability of the console.

In addition, the minor patch brings some UI tweaks, says Sony.

Reads the blog post: "With this minor required update, stability of system software has been improved. In addition, minor refinements to elements of the system UI (such as clearly indicating when a user downloads a game and a game patch at the same time) have been introduced."

"In the North American region, automatic downloads for system and game updates are enabled by default when PS4 is in stand-by mode," added Lempel. "Once system software update 1.51 is available later tonight, your PS4 will automatically download it, enabling you to update quickly and easily."

The system launched on November 15th and has seen two required updates so far.




AfterDawn: News

Apple Store gets its own dedicated app for iPad

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2013 14:03

Apple Store gets its own dedicated app for iPad For Apple fans who like to shop online, your experience just got easier.

The Cupertino giant has released their dedicated Apple Store app for the iPad, bringing a gesture-based UI and a list of all available Apple products, including tablets, smartphones and accessories.

As compared to its iPhone equivalent, the iPad app allows you to change the amount of products shown on the screen with pinch to zoom, and you can even remove all texts to see a minimalist 4 x 6 grid of product photos.

Would-be buyers can purchase and customize the products directly through the app before purchasing or setting up in-store pickup.

Additionally, the app brings a "Now Trending" section, an always updating listing of the most popular products based on user purchases, reviews or what they are sharing socially.

Get the app here.




AfterDawn: News

Sorry niche online daters, Cupid Media got hacked and they stored your information in plain text

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2013 13:25

Sorry niche online daters, Cupid Media got hacked and they stored your information in plain text Cupid Media, the company behind niche online dating sites like ChristianCupid.com, was hacked earlier this year and over 42 million unencrypted names, dates of birth, emails and passwords were stolen.

The hack took place in January, and the company did not admit to it until forced to by security researcher Brian Krebs.

Krebs discovered the files on the same server where user information stolen from Adobe last month was being stored. Adobe used some low-end encryption on their data, but Cupid Media almost shockingly stored everything in plain text.

Cupid Media's managing director Andrew Bolton says that in January when the hack occurred, "we took what we believed to be appropriate actions to notify affected customers and reset passwords for a particular group of user accounts. We are currently in the process of double-checking that all affected accounts have had their passwords reset and have received an email notification."

Only active users have been notified, which Bolton says "is considerably less than the 42 million that you have previously quoted". Since the breach, the company has begun salting and hashing, an industry standard that is also easily broken but at least offers some protection.




AfterDawn: News

First iOS game controller, MOGA Ace Power, now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2013 12:51

First iOS game controller, MOGA Ace Power, now available MOGA has announced the launch of the first iOS 7 game controller today, the Ace Power.

The controller plugs into the lightning port of the iPhone 5, 5C, 5S and fifth-generation iPod Touch, and has standard dual analog sticks, a D-pad, multiple action buttons and trigger L1/R1/L2/R2 buttons.

Additionally, the controller will charge your device while in use, allowing for extended gameplay time.

Many who have reviewed the controller have panned it, however, citing a lack of testing by developers who may have already implemented support into their apps. For example, the virtual buttons still show up on the screen regardless of whether the controller is plugged in or not.

Furthermore, there is huge noticeable lag when trying to play via AirPlay, making it unusable.

At $99, most reviewers claim the controller feels cheap, but it will be available in Apple retail stores as well as online if you want to test it.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon selling Verizon Moto X for $0.01

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2013 12:23

Amazon selling Verizon Moto X for $0.01 Amazon has dropped the price of the Verizon model of the Motorola Moto X, selling the standard black and white case units for just one cent with a new two-year contract.

The deal represents the cheapest offer on the flagship device, so far, as it costs $99 to get a customized version through Moto Maker.

Yesterday, Motorola began rolling out Android 4.4 KitKat for the device, so at one penny the Moto X from Amazon is certainly the cheapest way to get your hands on the latest Android.

The device has a 4.7-inch AMOLED 720p display, Android 4.4 (with minor Motorola bloat), a 10MP "ClearPixel" camera, and a new Motorola X8 chipset that includes a powerful 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, an Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB RAM and built-in specialized processors for natural language processing. The Moto X has a motion-sensitive Active Display, always-on Google Now voice commands and a camera activation gesture that requires just two wrist twists.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple 'spaceship' Campus 2 gets final approval

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2013 11:55

Apple 'spaceship' Campus 2 gets final approval In October, Apple CEO Tim Cook took to Twitter to celebrate the approval of Apple's new 'spaceship' campus by the Cupertino City Council.

After that approval, the council needed one more approval vote (mainly a formality) and as of this morning, the campus has received its final approval.

Construction is slated to begin this year as Apple demolishes the current HP office buildings that stand at the site.

As part of the approval, Apple will begin a 20-year-long development agreement with Cupertino and increase the annual taxes it pays to the city. Last year, the council refunded 50 percent of the taxes Apple paid, $12.7 million, and moving forward that figure will be 35 percent.

Apple has dubbed the building "Campus 2," and it is almost one mile in circumference with 3.1 million square feet. The location will house an Office, Research and Development Building, a 1,000 seat Corporate Auditorium, a Corporate Fitness Center, 300,000 feet of Research Facilities, a Central Plant, a 150-acre interior courtyard and be home to 12,000 employees.




AfterDawn: News

Russian email giant Mail.ru makes new services available in the U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2013 11:46

Russian email giant Mail.ru makes new services available in the U.S. Russian email giant Mail.ru has expanded to the U.S. with the new brand name, My.com, launching an email, IM and gaming service.

myMail is an email client for iOS and Android users that allows for Gmail, AOL, Outlook and Yahoo to be supported (and other POP/IMAP) and includes realtime push notifications when you receive emails.

Mail.ru's new myChat application is an IM service similar to WhatsApp, Line and others, and offers instant messaging, VoIP and voice calling. There is also, of course, emojis and stickers.

The company confirmed that the myCamera photo editing app would be coming soon.

Check out the new offerings here.




AfterDawn: News

Comcast starts Xfinity TV Store allowing for movie downloads through your cable box

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2013 11:13

Comcast starts Xfinity TV Store allowing for movie downloads through your cable box As leaked last month, Comcast has made their Xfinity TV Store available, selling movies and TV shows through user's cable boxes.

Until now, Comcast had offered pay-per-view and VOD rentals, but the new Store offers permanent downloads.

Pricing will be similar to rivals, such as Vudu, iTunes, Google and Amazon.

Comcast says you can steam the videos on PCs if you prefer using the Xfinity Purchases site, and iOS and Android apps are already available, as well.

More information via Comcast's video:




AfterDawn: News

Gaming co. fined $1 million for turning gamers into Bitcoin mining botnet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2013 10:56

Gaming co. fined $1 million for turning gamers into Bitcoin mining botnet Gaming sotfware company E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA) has been fined $1 million after it was discovered they secretly added Bitcoin mining software as part of a standard product update this year.

14,000 customers received the code, which helped ESEA mine 30 Bitcoins over two weeks in May. At current prices, those coins are worth a little over $17,000. "What transpired the past two weeks is a case of an employee acting on his own and without authorization to access our community through our company's resources," ESEA co-founder Craig Levine said at the time.

The company blamed a single employee, who has been fired. Regardless, the company is facing a class-action lawsuit in California over the situation.

As part of the settlement, ESEA will pay $325,000 of the fine, and will only need to pay the rest of the penalty if it is ever caught "misbehaving" again. "These defendants illegally hijacked thousands of people's personal computers without their knowledge or consent, and in doing so gained the ability to monitor their activities, mine for virtual currency that had real dollar value, and otherwise invade and damage their computers," the attorney general's office said.




AfterDawn: News

New Qualcomm Snapdragon processors include 4K video support, improved efficiency

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2013 10:40

New Qualcomm Snapdragon processors include 4K video support, improved efficiency Qualcomm unveiled a new set of chips today, including the Snapdragon 805 aimed at mobile devices and UltraHD streaming.

The quad-core processor will "deliver the highest-quality mobile video, imaging, and graphics experiences" and the company confirms it is the best performing chip to date. The Snapdragon 805 includes the Adreno 420 graphics processor, "with up to 40 percent more graphics processing power" than current Adreno 330 chips. The chip can be clocked up to 2.5 GHz per core. Furthermore, it's "able to stream more video content at higher quality using less power and it allows for sharper, higher resolution photos in low light and advanced post-processing features."

Additionally, the company also unveiled its Gobi 9x35 fourth-generation 4G LTE modem, and a new RF transceiver chip, the WTR3925. Both of these wildly improved chips display "significant improvements in performance, power consumption, and printed circuit board area requirements." The Gobi 9x35 used 20nm dye, the smallest yet, allowing for even thinner and lighter devices moving forward.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite gets update to OS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2013 23:36

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite gets update to OS Amazon has updated the operating system of their popular Kindle Paperwhite e-reader, following a similar update to their Kindle Fire HD line of tablets.

Among the new enhancements are Goodreads integration and new parental controls. Amazon says the rollout is expected wirelessly over the coming days or it can be manually installed by downloading the file through Amazon.

For Goodreads, which Amazon purchased earlier this year, you will be able to directly share passages from the book with Goodreads friends, as well as see what others are reading. You can then rate the book after you are done.

On the parental control side, Kindle "FreeTime" allows parents to set daily and long-term reading goals, which come with achievement awards




AfterDawn: News

Nexus Wireless Charger now available through Google Play

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2013 23:00

Nexus Wireless Charger now available through Google Play Google has made their Nexus Wireless Charger available this week through the Google Play Store.

The charger is a small, 60 x 60 x 12.5 mm all-black box that can charge a Nexus 4, Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 FHD (along with other Qi-compatible devices).

Priced at $49.99, the charger will ship in one to two business days.

If you are interested, you can get the charger here: Nexus Wireless Charger

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Snapchat users now uploading more photos than Facebookers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2013 22:39

Snapchat users now uploading more photos than Facebookers According to a Snapchat spokesperson, the company is now processing 400 million photos per day, even more than Facebook.

Facebook, the king of social media, said recently that users upload 350 million photos per day.

It is unclear how Snapchat is calculating their figure, but Cnet suggests that the company counts the same "snap" multiple times as most Snapchat users send the same message to multiple friends.

Numbers appear to be jumping, as CEO Evan Spiegel announced in June that 200 million snaps were being uploaded daily.

Snapchat recently turned down multiple cash offers above $3 billion, waiting instead for higher offers or to go public.




AfterDawn: News

Android 4.4 KitKat makes its way to the Moto X

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2013 21:59

Android 4.4 KitKat makes its way to the Moto X Motorola has announced today that the new Android 4.4 KitKat operating system is now available to Moto X owners, at least if you are on Verizon.

The rollout will begin just three weeks after the launch of the Google Nexus 5 (and with it, KitKat) and it even beats Google's older Nexus devices like the Nexus 4, and the Google Play Experience versions of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One.

Motorola's Moto X, which features an almost stock Android, will get the 4.4 updates, including the new UI refresh, emojis, smart dialer and Google Now enhancements.

Other carriers will begin their Moto X Android 4.4 rollouts "very soon."

More info here.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox One live gameplay streaming is delayed until next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2013 21:41

Xbox One live gameplay streaming is delayed until next year Microsoft has confirmed today that its live gameplay streaming feature has been delayed until next year.

The streaming, which uses Twitch.tv, will be made available during the "first part" of 2014.

Says Microsoft: "We know the ability to instantly broadcast gameplay is something the gaming community is excited about, and we are too. We are working to ensure the initial Twitch on Xbox One broadcasting experience meets the expectations of the Twitch community, so while this feature won't be available right away, we'll let you know as soon as it is ready. Our goal is to deliver it during the first part of 2014."

Twitch and live streaming is available on the PlayStation 4, which has quickly become one of the more popular features of the new console.

Although the streaming is delayed, Xbox One owners will still be able to record gameplay clips for up to five minutes and then upload them to SkyDrive or Xbox Live. Gamers can also view outside streams through Twitch while they wait for the app to be updated next year.




AfterDawn: News

Nokia Lumia 1520 sales begin in France, U.S. to follow this week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2013 21:16

Nokia Lumia 1520 sales begin in France, U.S. to follow this week Nokia's highly-anticipated Lumia 1520 phablet has gone on sale in France, the first country in a global launch.

Later this week, the smartphone will hit the U.S., Italy, Russia and Hong Kong.

The powerful device features a 6-inch 1080p FullHD display, a quad-core 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB RAM along with 32GB internal storage and a microSD slot.

Additionally, the device has a 20MP PureView camera with OIS, a huge draw for cameraphone fans.

Other features include pre-installed Microsoft Office and wireless charging capabilities.




AfterDawn: News

Ouya launches 16GB 'limited edition' model of the console

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2013 21:02

Ouya launches 16GB 'limited edition' model of the console The Android-based gaming console maker Ouya has started taking pre-orders for a new 'limited edition' model of the box.

Identical to its predecessor for the most part, the new Ouya is white in color and includes double the internal storage, at 16GB instead of 8GB.

Available only in the U.S., the limited edition white Ouya has a 1.7GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, a USB 2.0 port, a micro USB port, HDMI output, a wireless controller and runs on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Ouya has increased the price to $129 for the added storage, and the console will ship to those that preorder on December 8th.




AfterDawn: News

Google completes upgrading all SSL certificates to 2048-bit RSA (or better)

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2013 20:47

Google completes upgrading all SSL certificates to 2048-bit RSA (or better) Google has confirmed today that they have finished upgrading all of their SSL certificates to 2048-bit RSA or better, a process they began in May of this year.

Says the search giant:

Coming in ahead of schedule, we have completed this process, which will allow the industry to start removing trust from weaker, 1024-bit keys next year.

Thanks to our use of forward secrecy, the confidentiality of SSL connections to Google services from modern browsers was never dependent on our 1024-bit RSA keys. But the deprecation of 1024-bit RSA is an industry-wide effort that we're happy to support, particularly light of concerns about overbroad government surveillance and other forms of unwanted intrusion.

The hardware security module (HSM) that contained our old, 1024-bit, intermediate certificate has served us well. Its final duty after all outstanding certificates were revoked, was to be carefully destroyed. With the demolition of the HSM and revocation of the old certificates, Google Internet Authority G2 will issue 2048-bit certificates for Google web sites and properties going forward.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung: 800,000 Galaxy Gear sold to date

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2013 20:33

Samsung: 800,000 Galaxy Gear sold to date Samsung has announced Galaxy Gear smartwatch sales figures for the first time today, and they are higher than expected.

The company has sold 800,000 units to date, including 50,000 in South Korea.

In an effort to boost sales, Samsung has been bundling the Gear with its Note 3 phablet with a discount, and some retailers in the UK have gone even further and made the Gear free with contract and a Note purchase.

According to the report, Samsung now calls the Gear the "most sold wearable watch available in the marketplace," although the competition is not great with only Sony and Pebble as competitors.

Additionally, the company says it will continue to add Gear support to more of its devices, and offer more promotions for the holidays.




AfterDawn: News

IHS: Sony PlayStation 4 costs $381 to build

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2013 20:05

IHS: Sony PlayStation 4 costs $381 to build According to research firm IHS iSuppli, Sony may be eking out a small profit on PlayStation 4 hardware sales.

After performing a teardown and cost analysis on the new console, the company says the component and cost of assembly breaks down to about $381. The electronics giant sells the console for $399. The analysis does not include R&D, marketing and shipping costs, which more than likely could add up to $15 per console, leaving Sony with a tiny profit margin per hardware unit sold.

Most of the cost comes from the AMD-designed APU and the 8GB of GDDR5 RAM, which clock in at $100 and $88. The 500GB HDD cost $37, the Blu-ray drive cost $28 and the new Dualshock 4 controller costs $18.

This entire situation should be a relief to Sony, who took a bath on the PS3 for years before the manufacturing process got cheap enough for them to make a profit. At its launch, Sony sold the PS3 for $599 but it was coting them about $800 to build due to its proprietary Cell processor and the (at the time) brand new Blu-ray drive.




AfterDawn: News

Google settles over unauthorized tracking in Apple's Safari browser

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2013 0:25

Google settles over unauthorized tracking in Apple's Safari browser Google has settled today with 37 states (and D.C.) over allegations that it had used unauthorized cookies in Apple's Safari browser to collect data on millions of users from 2011 to 2012.

The search giant had been using a loophole that enabled their DoubleClick advertising network "to shadow unwitting Safari users, even though Apple prohibited the tracking without obtaining a person's permission." By following the Safari browsing habits, DoubleClick was able to target ads.

Last year, the FTC fined Google $22.5 million for the same violation, and Google has settled with the States for $17 million. The violations took place between June 2011 and February 2012.

Google, for their part, has said the "snooping" was an inadvertent side effect in their ongoing efforts to target ads better.

"We work hard to get privacy right at Google and have taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple's browsers," the company added. "We're pleased to have worked with the state attorneys general to reach this agreement."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm's Toq smartwatch is here, priced at $350

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2013 23:31

Qualcomm's Toq smartwatch is here, priced at $350 Qualcomm has made their Toq smartwatch available, after announcing the wearable device in September.

Toq devices go on sale directly from the company on December 2nd, selling at $350 directly rivaling the Galaxy Gear.

The Android-based device uses the company's Mirasol low-energy display tech, which has struggled to catch on with other device makers. The tech will make reading the device in direct sunlight easier, and will make battery life significantly better than rival devices.

Qualcomm says the device will last five days per charge, compared to one day for the Galaxy Gear.

Users can connect to all Android 4.0.3 or higher devices to accept calls, read texts, notifications and reminders, as well as control music playback. Additionally, the device can pull stock quotes, weather and will feature different watch face designs.

For charging, you can "simply set the device down on its case to charge the Toq without the need for plugs or clunky cables" adds the company.




AfterDawn: News

Raspberry Pi hits 2 million units sold

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2013 22:26

Raspberry Pi hits 2 million units sold Ten months after announcing they had sold 500,000 units, the team behind the Raspberry Pi has confirmed that they have now reached 2 million sold as of the end of October.

The team says they had initially expected to reach the milestone by February of next year, so there was a "bit of a shock" when it was hit so early.

Raspberry Pi devices are mini-computer created by UK programmers that sell for $35. What makes the computer so impressive (besides its price tag) is the fact that it can play 1080p HD video with no issues. The devices are intended to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools or at home. The company is looking to promote the Python programming language, alongside Basic and C among others.

For your $35 you get a 3.3-inch wide board with a 700 MHz ARM11, 256MB RAM, HDMI-out, SD card slot, a USB port, ethernet, audio jack and Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU.




AfterDawn: News

Did Apple buy 3D sensor maker PrimeSense for real this time?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2013 16:38

Did Apple buy 3D sensor maker PrimeSense for real this time? For the second time this year, it has been reported that Apple has purchased Israeli startup PrimeSense.

The company created the technology behind the original Microsoft Kinect sensor and makes the 3D sensors allowing you to control devices through gestures.

Reportedly, the deal was for $345 million and will be announced officially before the end of the year.

PrimeSense released this statement when asked about the report: "PrimeSense is the leading 3D technology in the market. We are focused on building a prosperous company while bringing 3D sensing and Natural Interaction to the mass market in a variety of markets such as interactive living room and mobile devices. We do not comment on what any of our partners, customers or potential customers are doing and we do not relate to rumors or recycled rumors."

Back in July, the same outlet reported Apple had purchased the company for $300 million.




AfterDawn: News

Google Play Music finally arrives for iOS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2013 15:33

Google Play Music finally arrives for iOS Google has finally made its Google Play Music app available for the iPhone.

At its core, the free download allows you to listen to any song you have saved to Google's cloud, up to 20,000 free of charge. You get to use Google's radio and instant mix features, while streaming at 320kbps (if your uploads were at that quality).

If you pay $10 per month, you get Google All Access. You can download or stream (on your desktop or mobile device) from Google's 20 million-strong catalog of music, similar to Spotify or Rdio. Using their own algorithms, Google will recommend tracks based on your listening history, and you can create as many ad-free stations as you want.

Additionally, as part of the app's "Explore" tab, you get to see playlists created by humans and not alogrithms, including starter playlists for over 200 genres.

The new app can connect to speakers and TVs via AirPlay and Bluetooth and is available in 20 countries.




AfterDawn: News

Sony PlayStation 4 reaches 1 million units sold in first day

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2013 14:57

Sony PlayStation 4 reaches 1 million units sold in first day Sony has noted this weekend that they sold over 1 million PlayStation 4 units in the console's first 24 hours of availability.

The console went on sale in the U.S. and Canada on November 15th.

"PS4 was designed with an unwavering commitment to gamers, and we are thrilled that consumer reaction has been so phenomenal," said Andrew House, President and Group CEO, Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc. "Sales remain very strong in North America, and we expect continued enthusiasm as we launch the PlayStation 4 in Europe and Latin America on November 29. We are extremely grateful for the passion of PlayStation fans and thank them for their continued support."

Sony recently stated they are aiming to sell 5 million PS4 units by the end of their fiscal year, March 31.

The PS4 sells for $399 in the U.S.




AfterDawn: News

Guide and Review: The new CyanogenMod Installer

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2013 10:55

Guide and Review: The new CyanogenMod Installer In September, CyanogenMod, the popular custom Android developer became a real company, Cyanogen Inc., and raised $7 million in venture capital funding as it provided plans to become the third biggest operating system in the world behind Android and iOS.

Founder Steve Kondik admitted at the time that in its current state, installing CyanogenMod was not accessible to the average smartphone user, as rooting and flashing are not the most simple of processes, even for experienced Android owners.

To remedy the situation, Cyanogen Inc. began work on the CyanogenMod Installer, an app that walks you through the process of get your phone to the latest version of CyanogenMod. It requires a PC currently (OS X support coming soon) and there are only a handful of phones that can use it so far, but the eventual goal is to make it available to all Android handsets.

For this guide and review, I used an unlocked Google Nexus 4, running on stock Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. Read ahead for the process and initial thoughts on the operating system.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

FBI: 'Anonymous' has stolen sensitive data from U.S. government computers for the last year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2013 21:27

FBI: 'Anonymous' has stolen sensitive data from U.S. government computers for the last year According to the FBI, Anonymous hackers have been stealing sensitive information from U.S. government computers are multiple agencies for a year now.

Exploiting a flaw in Adobe's ColdFusion software, the activist hackers entered the computers, left back doors, and returned multiple times to steal new information.

In their memo, the FBI called the attacks "a widespread problem that should be addressed" and claimed it affected the U.S. Army, Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services and more. The FBI adds that it believes the attacks are still ongoing.

System administrators were given instructions on what to look for to see if their systems have been compromised.

One example, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz' chief of staff, Kevin Knobloch says the data stolen included personal information on 104,000 employees, contractors, family members and others associated with the Department of Energy. Even worse, over 2000 bank account details were stolen.

The attacks are related to the case of UK resident Lauri Love who was recently indicted for hacking US government agency computers.




AfterDawn: News

The MPAA releases report on best methods to prevent movie theater piracy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2013 21:06

The MPAA releases report on best methods to prevent movie theater piracy The MPAA has released its annual "Best Practices to Prevent Film Theft" for movie theater owners, and as expected the trade group wants theaters to use extreme measures to avoid camera-based piracy.

"The MPAA recommends that theaters adopt a Zero Tolerance policy that prohibits the video or audio recording and the taking of photographs of any portion of a movie," the MPAA says in the report.

Thankfully, the MPAA has removed a paragraph from last year's edition in which they claimed the industry loses billions every year due to piracy as that figure has been generally debunked.

Now, if a suspect individual is spotted recording, the MPAA says movie theater employees should take immediate action and have the local police notified. "Theater managers should immediately alert law enforcement authorities whenever they suspect prohibited activity is taking place. Do not assume that a cell phone or digital camera is being used to take still photographs and not a full-length video recording. Let the proper authorities determine what laws may have been violated and what enforcement action should be taken."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony: PlayStation 4 PSN problems have been mostly resolved

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2013 20:38

Sony: PlayStation 4 PSN problems have been mostly resolved Newly launched on Friday, the new Sony PlayStation 4 was hit with some early problems, most notably with the PlayStation Network (PSN) and with redeeming included vouchers for Sony Unlimited and PlayStation Plus.

According to Sony's official channels, most of those problems have been solved as of this afternoon.

The first issue was customers having issues just signing into PSN:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

BitTorrent: Netflix is hogging all the bandwidth in the U.S. and it's not right

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2013 20:32

BitTorrent: Netflix is hogging all the bandwidth in the U.S. and it's not right BitTorrent, the company that created the P2P protocol, says reports that Netflix is responsible for just about a third of U.S. peak time download traffic is nothing to be proud of, as it is inefficient and hurts ISPs.

Sandvine published the report earlier this year, showing Netflix being responsible for 31 percent of peak download traffic, with YouTube taking another 18 percent. BitTorrent, by comparison, was at just 4 percent. Of course, BitTorrent controlled a much bigger share of upload traffic, due to the fact that all files being downloaded via BitTorrent must be shared by another peer.

"Netflix is hogging all of the bandwidth in North America," BitTorrent's vice president of marketing, Matt Mason (via Guardian). "This is a problem for Netflix. They're talking about [the super-high-definition TV format] 4K, but they're crushing the network already; if they deliver 4K they're going to completely grind it to a halt. All the ISPs are pissed at Netflix, because this is an unsustainable situation.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

London will have its own domain name by next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2013 20:04

London will have its own domain name by next year Officials in London have confirmed that the city will become one of the first in the world to get its own domain name, ".london," sometime in 2014.

Internet overseer ICANN has approved the city for its own top level domain.

London-based businesses, organizations and individuals can begin applying for web addresses starting in the spring, and at least thirty thousand businesses have already expressed interest.

"Adopting the .london suffix will enable organisations to more closely associate themselves with our great city's powerful global brand," says mayor Boris Johnson. "This is also an excellent opportunity to expand London's digital presence, which in turn is set to generate funds to invest back into the city."

While there is expected to be squatters, ICANN will offer a trademark claims service to prevent third parties from sitting on new domains in your name.




AfterDawn: News

'Anonymous' hacker Jeremy Hammond gets 10 year sentence

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2013 19:44

'Anonymous' hacker Jeremy Hammond gets 10 year sentence Jeremy Hammond, the infamous Anonymous hacktivist that pleaded guilty to hacking into private intelligence firm Stratfor and then releasing millions of private emails, has been sentenced to ten years in prison for his crime.

In addition, Hammond will see another three years of supervised release.

The hacktivist pleaded guilty to one count under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), and was sentenced to the maximum time of ten years.

Calling the extremely lengthy prison sentence a "vengeful, spiteful act," Hammond says the government made an example of him to stop the rise of political-based hacking.

Speaking of his prosecutors, Hammond says "they have made it clear they are trying to send a message to others who come after me. A lot of it is because they got slapped around, they were embarrassed by Anonymous and they feel that they need to save face."

During his time with Anonymous, Hammond often worked with Hector Xavier "Sabu" Monsegur, the leader of Lulzsec and also secretly an FBI informant. Sabu provided the targets, and Hammond and others did the dirty work. "It is kind of funny that here they are sentencing me for hacking Stratfor, but at the same time as I was doing that an FBI informant was suggesting to me foreign targets to hit. So you have to wonder how much they really care about protecting the security of websites."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google aims to dominate low-end market with new Moto G, priced at $179 off-contract

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2013 14:27

Google aims to dominate low-end market with new Moto G, priced at $179 off-contract Earlier this week, Google took the wrapping off its Moto G device, an entry-level smartphone that the company hopes will help it dominate the low-cost market.

Google has priced that device at $179 off-contract and unlocked, making it easily one of the best deals for an Android phone, ever. Google says carrier partners will sell it for much less, with the potential for the device to sell for $49 or less.

For your money, you get a 4.5-inch 720p LCD TFT display, a quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, 1GB RAM, 8GB internal storage and dual cameras, 1.3MP/5MP. On the design side, the Moto G looks just like its more powerful and expensive brother, the Moto X with some minor cosmetic differences.

You cannot use the Moto Maker customization site for the Moto G, but the backplate is removable and blue, teal, red, yellow, purple, white, and black covers are available at launch. Additionally, there are rugged versions and flip-style portfolio covers. Although you can take off the cover, the battery is non-removable.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

RAM going DDR4 starting next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2013 13:43

RAM going DDR4 starting next month According to major memory maker Crucial, DDR4 RAM will be available starting next month.

The company provided a comparison to DDR3, and the new memory will use only 1.2Volts, while moving to double the speed of DDR3 Memory. DDR4 will have a base speed of 2133MHz, and 4GB will be the smallest density.

DDR4 will be 100 percent faster than its predecessor, have 300 percent more density, and require 20 percent less voltage. Finally, a smaller die will allow for more memory per RAM and up to 16GB per stick.

It is important to note that DDR4 has a different architecture, so if you are in the market you will need a motherboard that can handle it.




AfterDawn: News

Baidu hit with major piracy lawsuit

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2013 13:07

Baidu hit with major piracy lawsuit A group of Chinese companies including major video hosts Youku, Sohu and Tencent's v.qq.com have joined together for a $48.9 million lawsuit against market leading search engine Baidu.

Baidu currently feeds content to its mobile video services, Baidu Yingyin, Baidu Video App, and Baidu TV Stick. However, the video search also leads users to places where they can download copyrighted material.

"We cannot keep competing because where thieves and robbers are having their way, law-abiding companies cannot survive," Sohu chairman Charles Zhang recently noted.

Baidu has blocked videos in the past and also paid licensing fees to music content producers, but it appears that has not been enough. Lawyers in the nation suggested many more lawsuits were coming.

As expected, the MPA praised the announcement of the lawsuit.




AfterDawn: News

Report: Google rebuffed after offering $4 billion for Snapchat

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2013 12:30

Report: Google rebuffed after offering $4 billion for Snapchat Just days after it was revealed that Facebook tried to buy popular mobile app Snapchat for $3 billion and was turned down, it appears that Google tried make a similar offer, to no avail.

The reports say Google offered $4 billion in cash, but the search giant was also rebuffed.

It appears that Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel believes the company's growth is so exponential that it is worth more than $4 billion in the future. Spiegel had originally looked to Google for "a strategic investment" in the app.

Google would have left the app as a standalone, the same way Facebook did with Instagram after purchasing it for over $1 billion last year.

Snapchat is currently in a funding round that would value the company at around $3.8 billion.




AfterDawn: News

iOS update 7.0.4 now available with FaceTime bug fix

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2013 18:18

iOS update 7.0.4 now available with FaceTime bug fix Apple has released iOS 7.0.4 today, bringing "bug fixes and improvements" but no new features.

Most notably, the patch eliminates a FaceTime bug that caused calls to repeatedly fail for some users.

The small update is 17MB, but Apple's downloader says you need 765MB of free storage before you can download it.

You can read more about the update here: Apple Support




AfterDawn: News

South Park does its duty to troll new consoles and fanboys

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2013 23:21

South Park does its duty to troll new consoles and fanboys Last night, just days before the Sony PlayStation 4 launch, popular comedy show South Park did their duty to troll console fanboys.

For the episode titled "Black Friday," the show mixed Game of Thrones references along with Black Friday craziness and the console war craziness.

Of course, Cartman wins with the quote of the night, "Let these Sony f***s wallow in their limited voice-control functionality."

Check the video here:




AfterDawn: News

Moto Maker now available for all U.S. carriers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2013 22:19

Moto Maker now available for all U.S. carriers Two months after debuting exclusively for AT&T, the Motorola Moto Maker site is now available for all major U.S. carriers.

The site allows buyers to customize their Moto X smartphone, including thousands of different color options, accents and combos.

Now available for Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, US Cellular customers will have to wait some more time to get the service.

Motorola builds the device in the U.S., so shipping times to U.S. buyers is four days or less from purchase.

The Moto X costs $99 for the base 16GB model with two year contract.




AfterDawn: News

Comcast to open movie download, streaming store available through set-top cable boxes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2013 21:35

Comcast to open movie download, streaming store available through set-top cable boxes Comcast has plans to open a movie download and streaming store that will be available to subscribers through the company's set-top boxes and its Xfinity TV site.

The major ISP and cable provider hopes to launch the service before the end of the year, say the sources.

At launch, the service will include a wide range of titles "from several Hollywood studios that include new releases, older movies and some TV shows."

Currently, Comcast offers free on-demand movies and pay rentals during a specific period. Hollywood is actively looking to boost their digital sales as more customers move away from DVD and Blu-ray purchases, and Comcast is a major player in the industry.




AfterDawn: News

Nokia Windows Phone 8.1 device to include '3D Touch' features

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2013 21:27

Nokia Windows Phone 8.1 device to include '3D Touch' features According to leaking pro @evleaks, Nokia's upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 device will include '3D Touch' features.

The source says the company is actually planning two phones, codenamed 'Goldfinger' and 'Moneypenny,' with Gold being the flagship.

3D Touch, which Nokia has been working on for quite some time, uses the hardware sensors "to detect interactions that are off-the-glass."

Supposedly, the new features will make use of off-glass gestures above and to the side of the device. According to the source, the new gestures "currently under consideration include scrolling and flipping to let Windows Phone 8.1 users navigate around a phone without touching the screen."

Windows Phone 8.1 is currently under development and should be launched in time for the Mobile World Congress 2014 in February.





AfterDawn: News

MacRumors forum hacked and nearly a million accounts compromised, but hacker won't share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2013 18:50

MacRumors forum hacked and nearly a million accounts compromised, but hacker won't share The Mac and iOS-based news site MacRumors confirmed this week that their forums were attacked by hackers, with 860,000 usernames and passwords being stolen.

Fortunately, the hacker says he will not leak any of the passwords stolen, but MacRumors has still begged users to change their password on the site and on other sites where they might have used the same pass and username combo.

"We're not terrorists," says the attacker, who goes by "lol." "Stop worrying, and stop blaming it on Macrumors when it was your own fault for reusing passwords in the first place."

The hacker accessed a moderator account for the vBulletin software that runs the site, then escalated their access privileges, eventually dumping a database containing all the usernames, email addresses and passwords. The passwords were md5 hashed and salted, which means they will be cracked within days if not sooner. MacRumors was upfront with their users and confirmed that hash/salt is not secure and reported the breach within hours of it occurring, unlike major corporations, many of which have waited days following attacks to say anything.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple II source code now available to the public, 35 years after launch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2013 18:31

Apple II source code now available to the public, 35 years after launch Apple II's source code, which was released 35 years ago and was the company's first mass-market computer, is now available to the public.

The Computer History Museum has made the original DOS code available after it was donated by Paul Laughton, the man who created the operating system on a strict deadline from Apple founder Steve Jobs.

Apple II used a cassette tape for data storage and needed just 4KB of memory to run.

The OS took Laughton seven weeks to build and he was paid $13,000 for his work.

Read more on the OS and get the source code here: Computer History




AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Galaxy S5 to include 64-bit processor, 16MP camera

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2013 22:03

Rumor: Galaxy S5 to include 64-bit processor, 16MP camera As expected, the rumor mill is heating up for 2014's Samsung Galaxy S5.

Following the company's analyst day, we have a few confirmations about the device.

The smartphone will include a 16MP camera with ISOCELL technology which "allows for better photography in low light settings as well as improved color, sharpness, and richness," say the sources.

In addition, the device will use a 64-bit Exynos chip. The processor is built on an ARM design, and then "optimized" by Samsung who licenses the designs and then brands it as Exynos.

Samsung announced the S4 last March for sale in April. It is rumored that the upcoming S5 will be released even earlier, perhaps during February.




AfterDawn: News

Google Glass gets new music-based features Google Play Music support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2013 19:20

Google Glass gets new music-based features Google Play Music support Google has announced new music-based features for its Google Glass wearable device.

Glass now has Google Play Music support, which can be accessed by saying "Okay Glass, listen to..." and stating whatever track you would like to begin with.

Additionally, you will have access to All Access, Google's unlimited streaming catalog (if you pay for it).

To use Google's Sound Search feature, you can say "Okay Google, what song is this?" and it will provide you then name of the track along with the artist and an image of the album cover or track image.

Finally, Google will begin selling stereo earbuds for $85, including 5 interchangeable color caps.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix gets 'biggest update in its history' for the TV experience

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2013 18:21

Netflix gets 'biggest update in its history' for the TV experience Netflix has announced this week that it has just undergone the "biggest update in Netflix history to our TV experience"

The update affects the universal Netflix on TV experience, including the platforms for Roku 3, Smart TVs, Blu-ray players and consoles.

As Netflix explains, the "new experience evolved through a process of design exploration, iteration and testing that extended throughout all parts of the Netflix TV experience. We set out to deliver an update that would make it even easier to discover something great to watch and we think we succeeded."

Throughout the navigation of the streaming library, there will be three large images for each show/movie and full context about the title rather than just the name. Furthermore, there is a "shorter, more descriptive synopsis as well as personalized information to provide more detail about why you should watch a specific title."That information includes info based on your viewing habits, taste preferences or your social networking.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nokia empowers Windows Phone devs to create sophisticated imaging apps with new SDK

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Nov 2013 7:14

Nokia empowers Windows Phone devs to create sophisticated imaging apps with new SDK Nokia has announced the latest version of its Imagine SDK (v1.0) for Windows Phone developers, providing the tools to create much more powerful imaging apps.

The iconic Finnish firm promised the SDK provides a boatload of new features and functionality to developers of Windows Phone apps for its Lumia-branded smartphones. A recent report from IDC found that Nokia accounts for a staggering 93.2 percent of all Windows Phone shipments.

App developers will want take every advantage possible of the hardware at their disposal, and the new Nokia Imaging SDK will make it possible to develop much more sophisticated, feature-rich, yet efficient, imaging apps.

It includes over 50 built-in features such as Sepia, Black & White, Mirror, Tones. The Chromakey feature enables "green screen" magic within apps, allowing the developer to provide a background to render objects in, and developers can now also create their own custom filters and add previously unseen effects.

The SDK is made to handle memory management more efficiently than the beta versions of the SDK too. It uses the Random Access JPEG (RAJPEG) format, enabling the selective compression and decompression of images, taking a load off the memory and CPU resource requirements.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Review: The latest Android flagship, the Google Nexus 5

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2013 6:00

Review: The latest Android flagship, the Google Nexus 5 At the end of October, Google officially unveiled the Nexus 5, the latest flagship device for the company that offers a pure Android experience along with higher-end specs.

The device sold out of initial supply through the Google Play Store within hours and moved to expected one week shipping and then two week shipping before the launch day was completed. The experience was significantly better than the Nexus 4 launch, which saw server crashes and delays and shipping times as long as 10 weeks.

I've been able to test the new reference device for about a week now, and the question is not whether it is the best phone in its price range (which it certainly is), but whether it can compete with the best-in-class devices such as the iPhone 5S, Lumia 1020, HTC One, Galaxy S4 and some would argue, the Note III.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android 4.4 KitKat roll-out to Nexus 7, Nexus 10 begins today

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 23:54

Android 4.4 KitKat roll-out to Nexus 7, Nexus 10 begins today Owners of Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 Wi-Fi models can start to get the Android v4.4 KitKat update starting today, though mobile data models still have to wait.

The Android Google+ page was used to announce the availability of the latest Android update for the 7-inch tablets.

"Starting today, Nexus 7 (2012 and 2013) and Nexus 10 will be getting a tasty update to Android 4.4, KitKat. Stay tuned, Nexus 4 and Nexus 7 versions with mobile data will be getting the update soon!" the Google+ page reads.

It was also announced on Twitter:




(via: Engadget)




AfterDawn: News

WSJ: Hulu in talks with Pay TV providers

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 23:48

WSJ: Hulu in talks with Pay TV providers Hulu is in talks with several U.S. TV providers to bundle Hulu Plus subscriptions, according to the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Wall Street Journal (behind paywall) report, Hulu is speaking to AT&T, Comcast, Cox, Time Warner Cable and Verizon about bundling its premium Internet video streaming service with their TV subscription models.

In the case of AT&T, talks included bundling a Hulu Plus subscription with wireless broadband services.

Services like Hulu and Netflix would get immediate benefit from deals that would make their content available through set-top-boxes over cable networks. Netflix has signed three of such deals in Europe over the past few months, and has reportedly been talking with U.S. firms too.

The talks between Hulu and U.S. companies are described as being in the very early stages. Some already offer their own on-demand video services.




AfterDawn: News

IDC: Android claims 81 percent of smartphone market, Windows Phone growing

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 23:40

IDC: Android claims 81 percent of smartphone market, Windows Phone growing According to IDC's new Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, Android has surpassed 80 percent of the global smartphone market.

A recent study from Strategy Analytics found similar figures for Android, estimating an 81.3 percent share of the smartphone market for the Google-led operating system. IDC's figures show an 81 percent share of the market during the third quarter of 2013, up from 74.9 percent.

By contrast, iOS has dropped to 12.9 percent from 14.4 percent, though Apple's smartphone shipments were up just under 8 million units over the same period of 2012.

Total Q3 2013 smartphone shipments hit 261.1 million units, up from 186.7 million in Q3 2012. Android shipments rose from 139.9 million in 2012 to 211.6 million in 2013, with Samsung the main beneficiary with over 39 percent of all Android shipments during the quarter.

Windows Phone claimed 3.6 percent of the worldwide market, up from 2.0 percent over the same period of 2012. Shipments of Windows Phone devices increased from 3.7 million during Q3 2012, to 9.5 million in Q3 2013. Nokia claimed 93.2 percent of WP shipments.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PS4 will get MP3 and CD support with update, DLNA also being considered

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 23:26

PS4 will get MP3 and CD support with update, DLNA also being considered Shuhei Yoshida, head of Sony Worldwide Studios, has said that the PlayStation 4 (PS4) will get MP3 and CD playback abilities in a post launch update.

Yoshida said that the company was surprised by the reaction from consumers to the news that the PS4 would not support MP3 playback, or CD playback, right away. However, he said adding support was always intended, it just wasn't prioritized.

"The biggest surprise for us all internally at Sony was there are so many people who passionately reacted to our announcement that there's no MP3 support or CD support on day one. Its not like we actively decided; let's not do this feature so people will have to subscribe to Music Unlimited," he said in a a recent ep of GiantBomb's Interview Dumptruck.

"The focus has been more on the game features. Some of the features we wanted but we couldn't get in on day one. We didn't really think about MP3 or CD. We thought 'we're going to do that eventually.'"

The Sony bass also revealed that they are kicking around the possibility of DLNA support via an update. The Xbox One is currently in the process of being certified for DLNA.




AfterDawn: News

Apple, Samsung back in court over $1 billion damages award

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 22:07

Apple, Samsung back in court over $1 billion damages award Apple and Samsung are back in a U.S. court where a $1 billion damages award given to Apple is to be reassessed.

In August 2012, a U.S. jury found that Samsung had infringed patents held by Apple in the design of several of its Galaxy-branded smartphones and tablets. It awarded $1 billion to Apple. In March of this year, a judge found that the jury had incorrectly estimated $450 million of the damages and that it would need to be assessed at a new trial.

The $450 million chunk of the award could be increased or decreased. Apple originally had sought $2.5 billion in damages from the South Korean firm.

To this day, Samsung still denies that it stole anything from Apple, saying it was designing similar devices with a screen and single button before the iPhone was first revealed.

Apple did fail to get an import ban imposed on the products covered in the trial, but has appealed the Judge's finding that the company could be adequately compensated instead.

Both companies can still appeal the outcome of the new trial, and unless a settlement is reached, that is likely to happen.




AfterDawn: News

Sony expects to sell 3 million PS4s this year

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 21:55

Sony expects to sell 3 million PS4s this year Sony remains confident that it can keep up with supple and the expectations of analysts in selling 3 million PlayStation 4 (PS4) consoles by the end of the year.

Sony had previously set an optimistic estimate of selling 5 million PS4 consoles by the end of March 2014. Analysts expect that the Japanese consumer electronics giant can shift over 3 million before the end of 2013, thanks of course to the busy holiday season.

Jack Tretton, President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment of America, said that Sony will have adequate supplies of the $400 console to handle demand during the holidays.

"This is a marathon, not a sprint, but getting out to a nice start is a good thing," Tretton said, reports Bloomberg.

"That hurdle has been cleared. We're very, very confident we're in great shape."

Sony's 2006 launch of the PlayStation 3 (PS3) console was hit by supply constraints not long after it landed on the market. It's European release had to be pushed back from the 2006 holiday season to March 2007.

This time around, Sony's PS4 launches in just two days in North America, on Friday, November 15. It then launches in Europe on November 29.




AfterDawn: News

Google Chrome now shows what Tab sound is coming from

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 21:47

Google Chrome now shows what Tab sound is coming from Google has now made it easier to figure out what tab in your browser is responsible for sounds or music coming from your speakers.

Have you ever had a pile of tabs open and suddenly hear sounds from an ad or video that is playing? All you can do about it is look through all of your open tabs to figure out which site is responsible for the sound, or of course mute your system altogether.

Google has finally made it a lot easier to identify the source. In the latest Chrome beta release, there will be a speaker icon visible on any tab that is currently playing sounds.



There are also icons for which tabs are being cast to your TV via Chromecast, and which tab is using your webcam.

The latest beta also adds an app launcher for Chrome in Metro mode on Windows 8, and will automatically block malware files.




AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: SkyDrive on Xbox One

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 21:39

VIDEO: SkyDrive on Xbox One Microsoft has announced that SkyDrive is coming to Xbox One on launch day and its Channel 9 offers a video demo.

The SkyDrive app on Xbox One lets you view all your photos and videos you have uploaded to SkyDrive and also view videos or photos that have been shared with you by other users of the cloud service.

You can open photo albums from channels in the OneGuide, play music alongside your slide show with Xbox Music, and control the whole app with gestures and voice, courtesy of Kinect. And, of course, you launch the app by saying "Xbox: Go to SkyDrive".

Here is a demo from Channel 9 featuring Jeff Henshaw, head of the Xbox Incubation team...

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Call of Duty app released for iOS, Android, WP8 and Windows 8

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 21:28

Call of Duty app released for iOS, Android, WP8 and Windows 8 A Call of Duty app for iOS, Android, WP8 and Windows 8 has been released following the launch of Call of Duty: Ghosts.

The free app lets users create or join a clan, and communication with clan members through clan chat. After November 25, you can battle for territory against multiple Clans with locations on the Call of Duty Clan Wars map tied directly to Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer game modes.

Also coming later will be the ability to use a smartphone or tablet for various second-screen features. It will allow players to do things like make last-second changes to loadouts before a match begins or get extended information about players after a match ends.

Check this dmeo video about the app:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix launches on Virgin Media in UK

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 21:18

Netflix launches on Virgin Media in UK Netflix has launched on Virgin Media's service in the UK, coming to over 1.8 million Virgin Media TiVo homes.

To celebrate the launch, Virgin Media is offering a six-month gift subscription to Netflix to new or existing customers who sign-up to Virgin Media's Premiere or VIP Collections. Virgin Media TiVo customers on other packages will be able to make the most of the one-month free trial offered to all new Netflix members.

The brand new Netflix app complements Virgin Media's huge collection of On Demand entertainment, with over 6,000 hours all ready to watch instantly. This includes a choice of films from Virgin Movies, Sky Movies, PictureBox and now Netflix.

"With the addition of our Netflix app, Virgin Media customers have an unbeatable line-up of movies and TV series to choose from. Whether it's part of a subscription or pay-per-view, Virgin Media TiVo will help you find everything from the classic gem you've always wanted to watch to this summer's biggest hits, all seamlessly integrated for simple, easy viewing," said Dana Strong, Virgin Media's chief operating officer.

"People love watching with Virgin Media TiVo and we continue to lead the way as the fastest growing pay TV service in the country. In two years, 1.8 million homes have signed up to Virgin Media TiVo and what we believe is the best way to watch television."




AfterDawn: News

Seiki offering a 55-inch 4K TV for $1500

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2013 20:58

Seiki offering a 55-inch 4K TV for $1500 Seiki has unveiled the cheapest large 4K display to date, available exclusively at Sears.

The 55-inch display with 4K resolution will cost just $1499, and be available at over 500 US Sears retail stores.

In addition, the company is offering a 39-inch model for $699. Each TV has 'UltraHD' resolution of 3840 x 2160, use a 120 Hz refresh rate for 1080p and a 30Hz rate for 4K content.

The TVs have a USB port for built-in audio and photo viewing, and HDMI v1.4 for connectivity.

Check more about the devices here.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon launches PlayStation Network Store

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 20:54

Amazon launches PlayStation Network Store Amazon has launched its own store to sell digital games and DLC for PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles.

The Amazon store offers another venue to buy digital items for the Sony consoles, and probably will mean there will be more offers and promotions to look forward to.

FOr the launch of the store, Amazon is offering $5 PSN credit to anyone who buys select digital purchases and for those who participate in today's buy 2 get 1 free offer for PS4 games.

A list of games that qualify for the $5 credit includes Assassins's Creed IV Black Flag, Batman Arkham Origins, Battlefield 4, The Last of Us, FIFA 14 and more than you can see here.

"We will send you confirmation of your credit via email within two days after your qualifying order is completed," Amazon's store reads.

"This credit must be used by 12/31/2014 (and cannot be used on Amazon.com Gift Cards or PlayStation Network Gift Cards)."

More Info: Amazon PlayStation Network Store




AfterDawn: News

Seiki offers 55-inch 4K TV for $1,500 through Sears

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 20:46

Seiki offers 55-inch 4K TV for $1,500 through Sears Seiki is once again offering a relatively low cost 4K UltraHD TV - this time through Sears for $1,500.

The Seiki SE55UY04 is a 55-inch 4K UltraHD LED television for just $1,500, quite a lot cheaper than the competition on the market. It's not the first time Seiki turned heads with the cost of its 4K line-up, previously unveiling a 39-inch 4K TV for just $700.

The TV stats show a refresh rate of 120Hz for 1080p (30Hz for 4K), with image brightness of 320 - 400 cd/m2. It featues 2 USB inputs.

There's not much 4K content around but some manufacturers, like Sony, do have 4K products on the market. It is speculated that both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be updated in time to support 4K video playback too.

More Info: Sears




AfterDawn: News

Pioneer getting back in the TV business, in Europe

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2013 20:32

Pioneer getting back in the TV business, in Europe Pioneer quietly bowed out of the TV market in 2010, saddening fans of the high-quality Kuro plasma displays.

It appears now that the company is getting back into the business, building exclusively for Dixons/Currys, the large retailer in the UK and other parts of Europe.

The new TVs will all be 1080p LED models in 40-, 46- and 55-inch sizes along with 3D and Smart TV capabilities. Each has built-in Wi-Fi, USB and HDMI ports.

Yoshihide Beppu, Business Planning Director of Pioneer Home Electronics Corporation said:

"We're delighted to collaborate with Dixons Retail. With our unparalleled reputation for cutting edge technology and sophisticated designs, we know these technologically advanced high-end TVs have a unique place within the market. Our decision to work with Dixons Retail was a natural one, as we highly value their clear customer focus, market leading positions and innovative approach to retailing. With their highly respectful approach to the premium positioning of the Pioneer brand, alongside our loyal customer base, we believe this is a winning combination and we're excited to watch these new products transport customers in to a world of fun, entertainment and interactivity."




AfterDawn: News

Apple surprises with quiet launch of new iPad Mini with Retina

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2013 20:10

Apple surprises with quiet launch of new iPad Mini with Retina Apple has quietly put up the new iPad Mini with Retina for sale today through it online store, a surprisingly low-key launch for the hotly anticipated device.

The company had unveiled the tablet at its major product event three weeks ago, but so far all of the hype and press has been for the full-sized iPad Air.

Most of the Wi-Fi tablet variations have a 1-3 business day shipping estimate, while the bigger capacity LTE models have 5-10 business day shipping times.

Prices for the base models are $399, and get as expensive as $829 for the 128GB LTE + Wi-Fi model.

CEO Tim Cook said last month that "it's unclear whether we will have enough for the quarter or not," when asked about supply, and the quiet launch seems to imply that there really may not be enough devices to go around.

The tablet will reach consumers on November 20th.




AfterDawn: News

BBC iPlayer headed to Xbox One

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2013 19:36

BBC iPlayer headed to Xbox One The BBC has confirmed this week that it is currently developing an Xbox One version of its popular iPlayer app.

Unfortunately, the app will not be completely ready for the Xbox One's November 22nd launch, but it is far into development.

"BBC iPlayer is already available to audiences on over 1,000 devices and platforms in the UK," reads a general statement from the BBC. "While we are working to bring BBC iPlayer to Xbox One in the future, we have no further details to share at this time."

The PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 currently have iPlayer apps, and it is unclear if the PS4 will get the app.




AfterDawn: News

Famitsu: Here are Japan's top selling games of the 21st century

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2013 19:12

Famitsu: Here are Japan's top selling games of the 21st century Famitsu has released an interesting list this week, the top 100 best-selling games in Japan for the 21st century.

Sales are for the period beginning January 1, 2001 and ending September 29, 2013.

Posted below are the top 40, which are lead by 2006's New Super Mario Bros. for the DS with 6.5 million copies sold.

Here is the top 40, which is unsurprisingly filled with Nintendo hits:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Warez group spies on pirates who download cracked software

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 4:56

Warez group spies on pirates who download cracked software A Warez group has been exposed for collecting information on pirates who downloaded cracked software they released.

The group, "MeGaHeRTZ", has allegedly been including malicious elements in its cracks for popular software, including SmartFTP, DVDFab, FlashFXP, Incredimail, Traktor and BurnAware Professional.

Somebody noticed unusual firewall activity with a cracked version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro and investigated further, finding that the software had been e-mailing information back to a number of addresses, all of which have account names containing some variation of the MeGaHeRTZ group name.

The information it sent back included the username, computer/drive serial from the Windows API, and the host machines's IP address.

All software they released has since been "nuked", but its all out there now.

Cracked software containing malware is nothing new, but its very rare that the malware is added by the originating group. Typically the malware is added later and spread on P2P networks, file sharing forums or BitTorrent trackers.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox One video boasts 'ultimate realism', says cinematic gameplay rivals Hollywood

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 4:46

Xbox One video boasts 'ultimate realism', says cinematic gameplay rivals Hollywood A new Xbox One video from Microsoft touts that the console delivers ultimate realism that rivals Hollywood.

With the launch of the next generation console systems this month, new information and videos are coming thick and fast. Microsoft has posted another promotional video for its Xbox One console, due to be released November 22.

This video shows some of the Xbox One's features and some gameplay clips from Forza Motorsport 5, FIFA 14, Titanfall and Son of Rome.

The video clearly sells the Xbox One as the ultimate device for your living room's entertainment needs., reminding you of its movie and live TV abilities.

Check it out.

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AfterDawn: News

RIAA, MPAA-backed group targets school kids with copyright cirriculum

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 4:40

RIAA, MPAA-backed group targets school kids with copyright cirriculum A non-profit copyright group backed by the MPAA and RIAA is trying to bring Hollywood's anti-piracy message to elementary school children.

The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) has commissioned a school curriculum aimed at elementary-aged children to teach them the value of copyright and creativity, according to an LA Times report.

The proposed curriculum is titled "Be a Creator," and it includes lesson plans, videos and activities for patents and teachers to educate students about the importance of "being creative and protecting creativity." Topics include "Respect the Person: Give Credit," "It's Great to Create," and "Copyright Matters."

"It's important to prepare children to succeed and thrive and learn how to share and create and move files in a way that's ethical and responsible," said Marsali Hancock, president of iKeepSafe, a non-profit that aids children in the digital environment which is also involved in the plan.

The LA Times references one 45 second video that shows a student browsing a photo collection to decide which he wants to share, post online or sell. "You're not old enough yet to be selling your pictures online, but pretty soon you will be. And you'll appreciate if the rest of us respect your work by not copying it and doing whatever we want with it," a teacher is supposed to say after the video.

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix, YouTube dominate Internet traffic in North America, file sharing still shrinking

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Nov 2013 3:58

Netflix, YouTube dominate Internet traffic in North America, file sharing still shrinking Netflix and YouTube account for more than half of all downstream traffic in North America, trumping Amazon, Hulu and even filesharing traffic.

That's according to Sandvine's latest Global Internet Phenomena Report. Combined, Netflix and Amazon account for 50.31 percent of all downstream traffic in North America. It breaks down to 31.62 percent for Netflix and 18.69 percent for YouTube.

Rivals Amazon Instant Video and Hulu only account for 1.61 percent and 1.29 percent, respectively, and BitTorrent downstream is down to 4.05 percent - though BitTorrent upstream is in first place at 36.35 percent.

HTTP traffic accounts for 9.74 percent downstream, while iTunes claims 3.27 percent. Facebook downstream traffic is in 9th place with 1.31 percent.




AfterDawn: News

Sony can monitor, record your PSN activity and communications

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2013 14:29

Sony can monitor, record your PSN activity and communications Sony's most recent update to their terms and conditions makes it clear that the company can actively monitor and record your PSN activity and communications between players.

In the new Software Usage Terms, there is a section that reads 'Are we monitoring PSN?', where the company reveals that it is indeed able to monitor.

The company says it reserves the right to "monitor and record" text or voice communication, or user-generated media (UGM) if they feel it is necessary. One such example would be if a player submits a grief report about another player.

Reads the section:

Are we monitoring PSN?
Yes but we can't monitor all PSN activity and we make no commitment to do so. However, we reserve the right in our sole discretion to monitor and record any or all of your PSN activity and to remove any of your UGM at our sole discretion, without further notice to you.

Your use of PSN and our community features may be recorded and collected by us or sent to us by other users as described in 13.1.

Any information collected in this way, for example, your UGM, the content of your voice and text communications, video of your gameplay, the time and location of your activities, and your name, your PSN Online ID and IP address, may be used by us or our affiliated companies to enforce these Terms and the SEN Terms of Service, to comply with the law, to protect our rights and those of our licensors and users, and to protect the personal safety of our employees and users.

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AfterDawn: News

Intel purchases Kno in effort to expand into interactive textbook market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2013 14:00

Intel purchases Kno in effort to expand into interactive textbook market Intel has acquired Kno, an education startup that provides apps for interactive versions of digitized textbooks.

John Galvin, the GM of Intel Education, confirmed the move (via Crunch):

"The acquisition of Kno boosts Intel's global digital content library to more than 225,000 higher education and K-12 titles through existing partnerships with 75 educational publishers. Even more, the Kno platform provides administrators and teachers with the tools they need to easily assign, manage and monitor their digital learning content and assessments ... We're looking forward to combining our expertise with Kno's rich content so that together, we can help teachers create classroom environments and personalized learning experiences that lead to student success."

Kno has apps for iPad, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Android.




AfterDawn: News

Cross platform messaging app Line reaches $100 million in quarterly revenue

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2013 13:32

Cross platform messaging app Line reaches $100 million in quarterly revenue Line, the cross platform messaging app, has now reached $100 million in quarterly revenue.

Net revenue for the quarter ending in September reached 9.9 billion yen ($99.9 million), and overall revenue, which includes what Line pays to app stores and developers, jumped to 15.6 billion yen ($157.6 million).

When asked about an IPO, Line responded: "Of course you're going to ask questions about an IPO. It's a strategy we're thinking about, especially looking at services like Twitter. But at the current moment, we don't believe that it's something that we have to do right away. We currently have enough cash and we don't have a pressing need to do an IPO."

Line opened for business in 2011 in Japan, and now has 280 million registered users. The app has 49 million registered users in Japan, over one-third of the whole population there. Line has also expanded to the gaming world, with 39 published titles or deals in the works.

Games now make up 60 percent of revenue for the company, followed by stickers at 20 percent and then sponsored accounts and merchandising.




AfterDawn: News

Oppo's N1 smartphone with CyanogenMod to launch next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2013 12:24

Oppo's N1 smartphone with CyanogenMod to launch next month Chinese OEM Oppo has announced that their N1 smartphone, running CyanogenMod as its operating system, will see a global launch next month.

Oppo is known for its quality receivers and Blu-ray/DVD players, but more recently they have introduced cheap yet powerful Android devices.

Cyanogen, which recently became it a real company and raised money as it tries to take on Android, Windows Phone and iOS, announced Oppo as its first partner back in September.

The device has a 6-inch 1080 display, a 1.6GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600, 2GB RAM and a very intriguing rotating camera that allows you to use the better rear camera for video chat and portrait shots, as well. A limited quantity will be built with CyanogenMod already pre-installed, while the rest of the production will start with Android but have the application and instructions ready for Cyanogen.

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AfterDawn: News

Steam opens up beta for 'In-Home Streaming' service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2013 11:59

Steam opens up beta for 'In-Home Streaming' service Steam In-Home Streaming, a new feature that will allow people to stream games from one computer to another anywhere in their house, is open for beta applications.

The service will go to beta later this year, and the participants will be selected at random from members who sign up for the group here.

Right now the community website has over 16,000 members, and it is unclear how many beta testers will be selected.

Steam says the service will compliment its upcoming SteamOS Linux-based operating system, set for launch next year.




AfterDawn: News

HP unveils Omni 10 tablet with Windows 8.1, 1080p display

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2013 10:54

HP unveils Omni 10 tablet with Windows 8.1, 1080p display HP has quietly unveiled their new Omni 10 tablet, running on Windows 8.1.

The tablet has a 10.1-inch 1080p display with Gorilla Glass 3 and runs on the new 22nm Bay Trail Atom Z3770.

Clocked at 1.5GHz, the quad-core processor can boost to 2.4GHz if it is needed by the tasks at hand.

Under the hood is 2GB LPDDR3 RAM, 32GB internal storage, an 8MP Auto Focus/LED Flash rear camera and 2MP front camera, Micro HDMI slot, Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11a (b/g/n), and a battery that should last up to 8.5 hours with standard use.

On the design side, the tablet is extremely generic, heavy and has large bezels. The device costs $399 for the 32GB model and it is unclear if there are more storage configurations available.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft turns 30 years old

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2013 10:09

Microsoft turns 30 years old Microsoft's Windows operating system turned 30 on November 10th, after first being unveiled in 1983 by founder Bill Gates.

The story goes a little bit further back, when Gates and friend Paul Allen started what was then called 'Micro-Soft' in an Albuquerque garage in 1975. By 1980, IBM asked Microsoft to create an OS for its PC, and the company purchased the operating system QDOS, before changing it to MS-DOS before licensing it to IBM.

MS-DOS was hard to use, and required a good knowledge of the command line, so the company began working on a better graphical interface that used a mouse and on-screen icons, menus and scroll bars.

Windows was then announced in 1983 and eventually version 1.0 was launched in November 1985. Windows 2.0 came later, in December 1987, followed by Version 3.0 in May 1990. Windows 3.1 became a huge commercial success, selling 10 million copies.

In 1993, the company revealed the first 32-bit OS, Windows NT, which became a basis for later versions. Windows 95 added the Start button, taskbar and built-in Internet support for dial-up networking. In 1998, Windows 98 added USB and DVD support, and was the last version of the OS to be based off of DOS.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung: First Tizen device is a camera

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2013 9:31

Samsung: First Tizen device is a camera Samsung has finally confirmed what their first Tizen-based device will be, and surprised by saying it was already launched.

The NX300M camera is the first commercial product with the operating system, and it launched in October in Korea.

Samsung executive VP Jong-Deok Choi showed off the camera, which runs on the Tizen Camera Platform, with the OS at its core. The device has 200 percent faster booting speed compared to other Linux-based cameras, says Choi, and improved capture performance of 9 shots per second at a 20MP resolution.

The first Tizen smartphones, however, have been pushed again, this time until the Q1 2014. This marks the third time Samsung has pushed back the operating system's smartphone launch. The device, whatever it is, will run on Tizen 2.2.1, as Samsung works on Tizen 3.0 for the Q3 2014.

Tizen 3.0 will bring multi-user accounts, 64bit architecture for Intel, ARM chips and 3D rendering.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon Prime members to get Sunday delivery via USPS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2013 8:42

Amazon Prime members to get Sunday delivery via USPS Amazon has confirmed that it will be teaming up with the United States Postal Service to deliver packages on Sundays.

At launch, the Sunday delivery will only be in the LA and New York City metro areas.

Amazon Prime, which costs $79 per year, gives unlimited, free two-day shipping, discounted one-day shipping and free access to hundreds of thousands of TV episodes and movies via Amazon Prime Instant Video.

The Sunday service will expand in 2014 to Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix and other major metros, adds the company.

"If you're an Amazon Prime member, you can order a backpack for your child on Friday and be packing it for them Sunday night," said Dave Clark, Amazon's vice president of worldwide operations and customer service. "We're excited that now every day is an Amazon delivery day and we know our Prime members, who voraciously shop on Amazon, will love the additional convenience they will experience as part of this new service."

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AfterDawn: News

Sony unboxes PlayStation 4 with Daft Punk Parody

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2013 8:16

Sony unboxes PlayStation 4 with Daft Punk Parody Sony's marketing team has released an unboxing video for their upcoming PlayStation 4 console, parodying Daft Punk.

Rather than a step-by-step unboxing of what's under the hood of the device, Sony put the console in the same server room used in Daft Punk's Random Access Memories unboxing.

In the video, a pair of hands belonging to Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios, inspects each of the box's contents, including the PSN voucher, a quick start guide, a DualShock 4 controller, an HDMI cable, an AC cord, a mono headset, and a USB cable.





AfterDawn: News

World of Warcraft continues to lose subscribers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2013 22:52

World of Warcraft continues to lose subscribers Activision Blizzard has announced this quarter that their hit franchise World of Warcraft once again lost subscribers, although the drop was significantly better than last time.

The game now has 7.6 million subscribers, down from 7.7 million last quarter. The quarter previously the game had 8.3 million subs.

WoW remains the top-subscription based game in the MMO world, says Activision, although its competition is not what it used to be. Most major games have moved to the free-to-play model.

The company added that "significant and exciting new content" was coming soon, but no other details were revealed. Blizzard recently trademarked "Warlords of Draenor," which many believe is some sort of DLC for the MMO.




AfterDawn: News

Promo: Buy 2 PS4 games, Get 1 FREE at Amazon from Tuesday

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Nov 2013 22:35

Promo: Buy 2 PS4 games, Get 1 FREE at Amazon from Tuesday Amazon will run a "buy two, get one free" promotion from Tuesday morning for PS4 games ahead of the console's launch on Friday, November 15.

The promotion will begin at 9 AM (PST), 12 PM (EST) on Tuesday (Nov 12), and is valid for a limited time only. Supplies are limited so you should probably put your order in as soon as you can on Tuesday. To avail of the promotion, you just need to enter the promotional code GR8TNESS at the checkout and the discount will be reflected in your Order Summary.

The promotion applies only to qualifying items displaying the offer message on the promotional landing page, and only to items sold and shipped by Amazon itself, not other sellers.

The promotion includes:

  • Angry Birds: Star Wars - PlayStation 4
  • Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - PlayStation 4
  • Battlefield 4 - PlayStation 4
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts - PlayStation 4
  • FIFA 14 - PlayStation 4
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition - PlayStation 4 Standard Edition
  • Just Dance 2014 - PlayStation 4
  • Killzone: Shadow Fall (PlayStation 4)
  • Knack (PlayStation 4)
  • LEGO Marvel Super Heroes - PlayStation 4
  • Madden NFL 25 - PlayStation 4
  • NBA 2K14 - PlayStation 4
  • Skylanders SWAP Force - PlayStation 4
The promotion is limited to one per customer and each title is limited to 1 per customer, so you and your buddies cannot get three of the same game. Standard shipping and handling rates apply so whether you get the games in time for the PS4 launch on Friday depends on your shipping options.

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AfterDawn: News

Judge rules against Samsung in Apple leaked document trial

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2013 22:16

Judge rules against Samsung in Apple leaked document trial A judge has agreed that Samsung violated a court-ordered agreement and leaked sensitive Apple documents to attorney and employees.

Judge Paul Grewal took a month to review all of the documents himself, and "having finally crawled out from under the boxes," the judge says he believes "sanctions against Samsung and its attorneys are warranted."

Apple had given Samsung copies of the sensitive documents profiling the patent licensing agreements with Sharp, Nokia and Philips as part of the legal discovery process.

In the motion, Apple claimed that Dr. Seungho Ahn, a Samsung executive, knew the terms of the settlement and leveraged that knowledge to 'negotiate other potential patent settlements in Samsung's favor.' In the complaint, Apple says the licensing terms were given to Samsung's lawyers clearly marked "Highly Confidential -- Attorneys' Eyes Only", but the files were shared anyway.

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AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: PS4 dashboard demo from Hong Kong event

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Nov 2013 22:16

VIDEO: PS4 dashboard demo from Hong Kong event The PlayStation 4 (PS4) UI/Dashboard was shown off at an event in Hong Kong several days ago.

Microsoft has already shown off the Dashboard of the Xbox One ahead of its November 22 launch, but even though the PS4 is only days away from its North American released, Sony has not done the same yet.

If you want to take a look at the Dashboard, a video has shown up that shows a demonstration of the PS4 dashboard. It is from a recent Hong Kong event, and is in both Japanese and Cantonese, but the Dashboard itself is very easy to understand.

The video is embedded below, but you should skip to around 4:40 to start the demonstration. Sony will likely provide something more informative in English before Friday.

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AfterDawn: News

FBI hunts elusive malware author, offers $50k for information

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Nov 2013 21:59

FBI hunts elusive malware author, offers $50k for information The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has identified a malware author as one of its most wanted, and is offering a reward up to $50,000 for information.

The FBI identifies the individual (pictured) as Carlos Enrique Perez-Melara. His alleged crime is authoring malicious software that he sold to customers to use to spy on people. At first, his spyware was called "Email PI" but changed its name to "Lover Spy" in summer 2003, sold to customers as a way to catch a cheating partner.

The Feds allege that the program would periodically send e-mail messages back to the purchasers of the service containing the acquired communications, including the victims' passwords, lists of visited websites, intercepted e-mail messages, and keystroke logs.

The malware was delivered to a victim by e-mail, posing as an electronic greeting card.

So what's the big deal? Of course, the use of such software and its marketing is illegal but isn't there more serious cybercrime to worry about than a piece of software that's over a decade old?

Well it would appear that Perez-Melara is coming under increased scrutiny because he is simply elusive. An arrest warrant was issued for the El Salvadoran on July 21, 2005, but in the eight years that have passed since, he has dropped completely off law enforcement radar.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft: We could have focused more on PC gaming

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Nov 2013 21:49

Microsoft: We could have focused more on PC gaming Microsoft has admitted that it could have done more in the PC gaming space, and that it was probably too focused purely on console.

The comments came from Microsoft's Phil Spencer, who had some praise for Valve's Steam platform and some apparent regrets from Microsoft's point of view.

"Valve is right down the street from us. They've done a great job of keeping the PC ecosystem strong at a time where I don't mind saying that we could have been more focused on what was going on in PC gaming," Spencer told GamesBeat.

"We were probably too focused purely on console. With Steam, Valve has done an amazing job of building this thing that, in a lot of ways, we should have been building as well at Microsoft."

Spencer did have some warnings for Valve though, regarding the release of Steam machines and SteamOS.

"That's an evolutionary jump. They made the jump from building Half-Life to having a set of franchises to running Steam. They did a good job of learning through that. Now they're taking the next job to become a platform company--in some sense a hardware company, but in the truest sense more of an OS company. That's not an easy transition," he said.

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AfterDawn: News

U-Turn! Skype to retain call recording, compatibility with hardware devices

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Nov 2013 21:42

U-Turn! Skype to retain call recording, compatibility with hardware devices Skype has performed a bit of a u-turn by announcing it will retain support for call recording and compatibility with hardware devices that use the service.

Skype had initially warned that Skype plug-ins and hardware would stop working with the service as soon as the old Desktop API was due to be retired. The change would also effect the use of Skype through third party applications.

However, Skype has now announced that it will retain support for hardware devices and for call recording until it determines alternative options or retires the current solution.

Unfortunately, third party applications will cease to work as previously communicated by the Microsoft service.

"The current Desktop API extensibility model wasn't built for the cloud connected world – as extensibility is only available on the Windows Desktop and Mac clients, leaving the Windows 8 store app, mobile apps, web experiences, and Xbox out of the [always] connected experience. The extensibility model of running only on one type of end point needs to evolve to benefit from this new design pattern," Skype's Noah Edelstein, wrote earlier this week.




AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry rejected any breakup proposals

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2013 21:12

BlackBerry rejected any breakup proposals BlackBerry's board of directors rejected any proposals that required the company to be broken up, as it does not believe a breakup is in best interest of the company or investors.

Microsoft, Apple, Lenovo and many others expressed interest in parts (but not the whole) of BlackBerry over the past three months.

Cisco, Google and Lenovo had interest in unknown parts of the company, while Apple and Microsoft wanted the company's IP and patents.

Last week, BlackBerry announced it had scrapped its tentative $4.7 billion plan to go private and would instead remain public with a new $1 billion investment from multiple shareholders. CEO Thorsten Heins has been replaced, and is stepping down immediately with John Chen taking over on an interim basis. Chen was the former CEO of Sybase Inc.

The company has sold $1 billion of convertible debt to large shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and a number of other institutional investors. Fairfax owns 10 percent of BlackBerry already.




AfterDawn: News

Kickstarter scammer backed over 100 projects

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2013 20:41

Kickstarter scammer backed over 100 projects Kickstarter has confirmed it has permanently banned one backer who made malicious donations to over 100 different campaigns.

The user would pay, wait until the reward or product was shipped and then dispute the credit card charge, scamming the product maker and the credit card companies.

Chargeback scams like this have been around forever online, and in smaller iterations on Kickstarter, as well. The pledger in question went by the name Encik Farhan, and his donations were also all cancelled. Says Kickstarter: "Kickstarter and Amazon Payments, our US payments processor, were recently alerted to a series of malicious pledges by a single individual to more than 100 Kickstarter projects. Upon learning this information, we shut down this person's account, canceled their live pledges, and permanently banned them from Kickstarter."

"Kickstarter and Amazon are working together to investigate this situation. We won't let a single bad apple harm the integrity or goodwill of our incredible community," adds the crowdfunding giant.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox One owner banned from LIVE is invited to launch event

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Nov 2013 19:26

Xbox One owner banned from LIVE is invited to launch event The man who spilled loads of details and images to Twitter after receiving an Xbox One from Target by mistake has been invited to the Xbox One launch.

Andrι Weingarten - aka @Moonlightswami - got a pleasant surprise when his standard edition Xbox One console arrived on Friday ahead of the its November 22 launch. He immediately went to GameStop and got Call of Duty: Ghosts which is already on sale.

When he returned home, he had to download a 500MB day one update and setup Kinect. He took to Twitter to spill details about the Xbox One and also posted an unboxing video to YouTube. Within hours however, the video was removed from YouTube on copyright grounds and Weingarten's console was banned from Xbox Live.

Seeing what had happened, Xbox's Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb reached out to Weingarten.


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AfterDawn: News

Google's mysterious barge off San Francisco will be a "technology exhibition space"

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2013 19:01

Google's mysterious barge off San Francisco will be a "technology exhibition space" For months now, a mysterious four-story barge has been being built at the port of San Francisco, and more recently it was revealed Google was the owner, although it was unclear what the barge would hold.

It has now been revealed that the barge will be a "technology exhibition space" that will migrate to a few ports in the San Francisco Bay area and other West coast locations for the next two years.

"We believe this curious and visually stunning structure will be a welcome addition to the waterfront; an experience unlike any other that celebrates community, local organizations and the history of San Francisco," reads a 36-page document submitted to the port.

Google, as a response, says they are "exploring using the barge as an interactive space where people can learn about new technology," but that the plans could ultimately change.

The barge will have over 13,000 square feet of studio space, and will include catwalks and a rooftop deck, reads the document. The space will stay open from 10am to 10pm, and the entire second and third floors will house technology demonstrations.

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AfterDawn: News

PIC: Amazon teases army of PS4s waiting to be shipped

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Nov 2013 18:28

PIC: Amazon teases army of PS4s waiting to be shipped Amazon has used its Amazon Video Games Twitter account to show off its growing stock of the PlayStation 4 (PS4) console.

The PlayStation 4 launches this coming Friday, November 15, in North America. It will launch in Europe on November 29.

Amazon just wanted to show all of you who have made pre-orders and are eagerly anticipating the console's launch that it is filling its warehouses with them, getting ready to ship them out.

"Greatness has arrived. Will it be coming to you?" Amazon's Twitter account teases, with this picture.




(Image Source: @amazongames




AfterDawn: News

Amount of mobile malware strains for Android increasing quickly

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2013 17:12

Amount of mobile malware strains for Android increasing quickly According to the latest F-Secure report, mobile malware threat families rose 26 percent quarter-over-quarter, to 259.

The security firm says it uses data from the Google Play Store and Apple's App Store, third-party app markets and other anonymized data from F-Secure's own mobile security customers.

As expected, most of the threats are aimed at Google's open Android, with the company saying 97 percent of the malware is for the operating system. The other three percent is aimed at Symbian, the now defunct OS previously run by Nokia. The figure is none too surprising either, given that Android owns 80 percent of the global market share for smartphones.

There was no malware found for iOS, BlackBerry 7 or 10, or Windows Phone.

Most notably, a toolkit for Android malware was created called 'Androrat APK binder,' which helps those who want to insert malicious code in legitimate Android apps. This development is scary for Android device owners and developers alike. Additionally, there was an increase in threats that used infected devices to send premium-rate SMS messages without the owners consent. Some of the SMS-sending trojan families are called FakeInst, OpFake, PremiumSms and SmsSend.

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AfterDawn: News

Report: iPhones with 4.7-inch curved display coming next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2013 15:02

Report: iPhones with 4.7-inch curved display coming next year According to Bloomberg, Apple is designing new iPhones with bigger screens and curved glass that will include enhanced sensors to detect levels of pressure.

The devices, one with a 4.7-inch display and the other with 5.5-inches, will be easily Apple's largest phones, ever. The displays will curve downward at the edges.

Rivals Samsung and LG recently revealed their curved glass smartphones, the Round and G Flex, respectively although the practical uses of a flexible display remain low, at least in 2013.

In addition, the company continues to test the pressure-sensitive technology, although it may not be ready for 2014 edition iPhones.




AfterDawn: News

Seagate reveals 'world's thinnest' 2TB HDD

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2013 13:55

Seagate reveals 'world's thinnest' 2TB HDD Seagate has announced their new Samsung-branded Spinpoint M9T, an HDD the company calls the world's thinnest at the 2TB storage point.

The 2.5-inch drive is just 9.5mm thin, and Seagate also offers it in a 1.5TB capacity.

"The M9T combines the highest areal density shipping in a single storage device with an innovative design that fits into mainstream notebook applications. While other 2TB are solutions on the market are 15 mm thick, the vast majority of mobile devices are designed to use a 9.5 mm drive; with the M9T, those devices can now have 2TB of storage, enabling a richer computing experience," noted Dave Frankovich, senior product line manager, Samsung HDD.

"Samsung HDD with the new Spinpoint M9T continues to lead the effort in aerial density in a small form factor to supply our channel partners and customers with the highest-capacity and thinnest storage solution in the market," added Doug DeHaan, general manager, Samsung HDD division. "With consumer demand for storage capacity continuing to grow in mobile applications, the M9T answers this demand and is positioned to fulfill capacity needs in virtually any application."

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AfterDawn: News

Oops! Target admits shipping Xbox One consoles accidentally

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Nov 2013 3:55

Oops! Target admits shipping Xbox One consoles accidentally Target has admitted that one of its distribution centers shipped Xbox One consoles to a small number of customers ahead of the its November 22 launch.

Over the past couple of days it became clear that Xbox One consoles had made their way into the hands of some people who pre-ordered them. A couple of them have been removed from eBay, after sellers listed them for a considerable write-up of their $500 value.

Target has admitted that the mistake was made by one of its distribution centers. Basically, Target had restricted the shipping of Day One edition Xbox One consoles until November 22, but didn't have such a restriction on the standard edition consoles which arrived later.

Most distribution centers realized the mistake in time and kept their stock in place, but apparently one jumped the gun and shipped to a small number of people.

"Due to a systems error, Target shipped a small number of video game consoles prior to the street date," a Target spokesperson said in a statement to Kotaku.

"The vast majority of video game preorders are slated to arrive on the street date."

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AfterDawn: News

PSN friends list limit increased to 2,000

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Nov 2013 3:49

PSN friends list limit increased to 2,000 You can now have 2,000 friends on Sony's PlayStation Network (PSN) service, but you're still stuck on 100 on PlayStation 3.

Sony has increased the amount of friends you have have on PlayStation Network (PSN) from 100 to 2,000. The limit change had been previously announced and was expected to coincide with the launch of the PlayStation 4 this coming Friday, November 15.

However, Sony has made the change already and if you have a PS Vita you can already take advantage of the increase.

On the PlayStation 3, the limit remains 100 but even if you add extra friends through PS Vita, or through PS4 from next week, network servers will automatically filter your friend's list when you play on the PS3, showing your active friends.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox Video to be cut from WP7, Zune client and Zune devices

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Nov 2013 3:42

Xbox Video to be cut from WP7, Zune client and Zune devices If you own a Windows Phone 7 device, or a Zune device and have bought content from Xbox Video, then you'd better read this.

Microsoft has revealed that from February, Windows Phone 7 devices, Zune devices and the Zune PC client will no longer be able to play Xbox Video content. So if you have previously purchased content from Xbox Video, you won't be able to play it on that hardware/software.

"This update will allow us to more quickly and efficiently add the highest quality video content to the Xbox Video service," The Xbox Video Team said.

For content that you have purchased, you can still view it on your PC or Mac at XboxVideo.com, or on an Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows 8 / 8.1 PC or on a Windows Phone 8 device.

Support for Windows Phone 7 devices, Zune devices and the Zune PC client will be cut from "late February 2014."

You've been warned!




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo forced to add content warnings to its Wii Karaoke U app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2013 0:33

Nintendo forced to add content warnings to its Wii Karaoke U app Nintendo has confirmed it will add content warnings to its Wii Karaoke U app after it became clear that the game does not censor mature lyrics.

The app lets you sing to unedited versions of songs using your favorite Mii avatar. The app has songs of all genres.

Since launch, the app had a notice informing gamers that the songs were not being rated by ratings groups but now Nintendo will issue a new warning even before download that the game has mature content.

"It is however very important to us that all users of Wii Karaoke U by Joysound understand that some lyrics contained within songs may not be suitable for all audiences and as such we will immediately be implementing an additional message within the Nintendo eShop (prior to downloading the application and ticket purchase) as well as on the Wii Karaoke U by Joysound website pages," Nintendo added. "In the near future this message will also be incorporated within the notification that is displayed as the Wii Karaoke U by Joysound application is launched."




AfterDawn: News

LG G Flex hitting Korea next week for $900

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2013 19:50

LG G Flex hitting Korea next week for $900 LG's upcoming G Flex flexible display smartphone will be available in Korea starting next week.

The company had previously announced the device, along with specs and features, but had not supplied a price.

Beginning November 12th, the device will sell for 999,900 Korean Won (about $935 USD), a price that will likely scare away most would-be buyers unless you just need to have it.

European carriers will get the curved device starting next month.

The G Flex features a 720p 6-inch curved P-OLED, which LG claims is ultra-light, ultra-thin and flexible. The device runs on Android 4.2.2, is powered by a 2.26GHz Snapdragon 800, an Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB RAM and a 3500mAh battery.

In addition, the device has a 13-megapixel rear camera, and a 2.1-megapixel front camera. The OLED panel is also built with plastic substrates, for better durability. The display also includes Real RGB technology for all three sub-pixels in one pixel, increasing brightness.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Mozilla Firefox turns nine years old

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2013 19:19

Mozilla Firefox turns nine years old This week, Mozilla's popular Firefox browser turned nine years old.

The browser turned nine today, and the Firefox team says the browser was created to "be an amazingly fun, safe and fast Web browser that embodies the values of our mission to promote openness, innovation and opportunity online."

In order to celebrate, Mozilla put together a list of nine contributions they have made to the Web (and Firefox) this year. The list:

Firefox in Mobile: Firefox has always made a significant impact on the Web and we've recently grown Firefox to support not just Windows, Mac and Linux, but also Android phones and tablets. As more and more people access the Web from a mobile device than ever before, our Firefox for Android Web browser consistently offers users an amazing browsing experience, receives 4.5 stars in the Google Play Store and has been downloaded millions of times.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Dell, Asus suppliers accused of exploiting underage labor

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2013 18:29

Dell, Asus suppliers accused of exploiting underage labor Earlier this week, two labor rights watchdogs accused Dell and other company's Chinese-based suppliers of exploiting their factory workers, including some of which are minors.

The Danish nonprofit DanWatch says the factories in China's Guangdong and Jiangsu region force workers to work for up to 74 hours per week, at below the Chinese minimum wage. The workers are also subject to verbal abuse, adds the report.

Additionally, the China Labor Watch (CLW) says the companies are employing underage labor, making the gross abuses even worse.

"When companies compete on supplying computers in the cheapest way possible, and when our public buyers aim for the cheapest wares on the market, a high human cost is paid," Eva Hesse Lundstrφm, DanWatch editor, added. "Our research shows that the conditions at Dell's suppliers violate [International Labour Organization] conventions and Chinese labor law as well as Dell's own policy."

Four factories building PC parts for Dell, Asus, HP, Samsung and Microsoft were part of the investigation.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Demonoid is coming back, asks for donations in Bitcoin

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2013 17:37

Demonoid is coming back, asks for donations in Bitcoin Fifteen months after shutting down, it looks like infamous semi-private torrent tracker Demonoid may be trying to make a comeback.

A notice on the site seems to imply the site is coming back, with the owners of the site asking for Bitcoin donations to help rebuild.

TorrentFreak confirms the site is being resurrected, although the admin would not give any type of timetable or other specifics. "I can't give you any specifics at the moment, but yeah, we are planning to bring the site back," says the site's owner.

Demonoid was taken down last August after its Ukranian host received a takedown notice from Interpol as part of a criminal investigation into the site's owners, who are believed to be in Mexico.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox One doesn't support 3D Blu-ray

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Nov 2013 8:52

Xbox One doesn't support 3D Blu-ray Microsoft has confirmed that the Xbox One console will not play 3D Blu-ray movies at launch.

The Xbox One console of course packs a Blu-ray disc drive, but for those of you who have a 3D TV at home and enjoy the experience, don't expect to play your 3D movies on the Xbox One, at least for now.

Microsoft confirmed to CNET that 3D Blu-ray isn't supported right now, but didn't rule out adding the functionality at a later date. The PlayStation 4 (PS4) does support playback of 3D Blu-ray discs.

Still, the demand for 3D at home hasn't been overwhelming by any means. In the long run, support for 4K video output for example might be a more interesting development. HDMI 1.4 supports 4K2K (though at 30fps), so it's likely that both consoles will support video in 4K before long as more 4K TVs roll-out onto the market over the coming years, while the consoles age and update to stay relevant.

According to Sony, the PS4 does not currently support 4K but it has said in the past that the hardware is there, and it technically is (for video playback rather than gaming). Microsoft's 'Major Nelson' made a statement that every Xbox One console ships with a "4K HDMI cable", but that's a worthless statement given that all high-speed HDMI 1.4 complaint cables are technically 4K-ready. It doesn't tell you anything about playing 4K video with the Xbox One.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPad explodes in Vodafone store

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Nov 2013 8:34

iPad explodes in Vodafone store A Vodafone store was evacuated on Wednesday after an iPad reportedly exploded, filling the store with smoke.

Nobody was reported injured when the iPad combusted in a Vodafone store in Canberra, Australia. According to the reports, a burst of flames appeared from a charging port of an iPad demo model in the store.

Customers were evacuated from the store and the fire department were called in to handle the situation, as sparks continued to come from the charging port.

An Apple rep is reported to have visited the store later in the day to collect the device for testing to figure out the cause. So far the suspicion is circling around the charging station the iPad was at.

iPads and other electronic devices are powered by Lithium-Ion batteries, which under the right circumstances (damage, bad chargers etc.) have been known to burn up. Just this week, a Tesla Model S became the third electric vehicle from Tesla in just five weeks to experience a fire after it hit debris on a highway, damaging the battery. Even though car fires are certainly not uncommon with regular petroleum-powered cars, it still raises questions about Lithium-Ion safety.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Xbox One gets 6-months free Skype group video calls, 100 free worldwide minutes per month

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Nov 2013 4:41

Xbox One gets 6-months free Skype group video calls, 100 free worldwide minutes per month Microsoft has revealed that Xbox Live Gold subscribers who buy Xbox One will get six moths free Skype group video calls and free worldwide minutes each of those months.

Skype's video calling is obviously a free service, but it charges a fee of $4.99 per month to be able to use group video calling. For Xbox One owners with an Xbox Live Gold membership, group calling will be free for six months.

Additionally, Redmond is giving 100 worldwide minutes free each month for six months, which will allow Xbox One owners to call mobiles and landline phones in over 50 countries.

Microsoft offers a similar deal to those who buy a Surface 2 tablet.




AfterDawn: News

Nexus 5 launches on T-Mobile November 14, at retail on November 20

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Nov 2013 4:32

Nexus 5 launches on T-Mobile November 14, at retail on November 20 T-Mobile will begin offering the Nexus 5 smartphone to its customers online on November 14, and at its retail outlets from November 20.

The carrier will sell the in-demand Android smartphone for $449.99 - or $41.99 down and 24 equal monthly device payments of $17 with T-Mobile's Simple Choice Plan.

That's for the 16GB Nexus 5, which sells from Google Play for $349, and will work fine on T-Mobile's network. However, ordering the Nexus 5 from Google Play right now guarantees that you'll have to wait weeks to get the device.

Google is apparently selling the Nexus 5 at a loss, which is not something carriers simply cannot do. Sprint also offers the Nexus 5 online and at retail stores for $449.99.

Nexus 5 is co-developed by Google and LG Electronics. The LTE device packs a quad-core Snapdragon 800 SoC at 2.26GHz, with 2GB of RAM. It is available with 16GB or 32GB internal storage, and sports a 5-inch 1080p display and 8-megapixel rear-facing camera.

It is the first device to ship with Android 4.4 KitKat.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox One consoles ship early, Microsoft bans console of Twitter user

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Nov 2013 4:14

Xbox One consoles ship early, Microsoft bans console of Twitter user Target has reportedly shipped standard edition Xbox One consoles to customers who ordered recently.

One showed up on eBay with a hefty price tag of $1,000 but was promptly removed from the auction site. An unboxing video from Twitter user @Moonlightswami was also removed from YouTube on copyright grounds after a complaint from Microsoft Corporation.

After unboxing his Xbox One, @Moonlightswami successfully downloaded the day one update which reportedly adds up to around 500MB in size.

He then went on to start spilling details on the size of Xbox One game downloads and dumping images of the Dashboard.

Apparently, Microsoft wasn't best pleased and banned his console already, which has kicked off something of a furore on Twitter.

Check out his twitter feed for loads of pics and information: @Moonlightswami (warning, its very active)




AfterDawn: News

Try out Xbox One at Microsoft retail stores

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Nov 2013 3:57

Try out Xbox One at Microsoft retail stores You can now try out Forza Motorsport 5 on Xbox One at Microsoft Retail Stores ahead of the November 22 launch day.

The next-generation console is now on display and playable at Microsoft Retail Stores across the United States and Canada. There are more than 75 Microsoft retail stores across North America, which really isn't that many but you can find the closest location here anyway.

Everyone who tries out the Xbox One will be entered to win the Forza Motorsport 5 Living Room Sweepstakes. The winner will get a great Forza Motorsport 5 Living Room package with a Forza Motorsport branded playseat, Polk Audio N1 Gaming SurroundBar, Thrustmaster TX Racing Wheel Ferrari 458 Italia Edition, and a $2,000 gift card to use towards completing the living room with a big screen TV.

Major Nelson will even be around to talk about Xbox One when he visits the new stores at Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas and at Penn Square Mall in Oklahoma City when they open later this month.




AfterDawn: News

PS4 buyers get $10 store credit, 30-day trials of PlayStation Plus, Music Unlimited

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Nov 2013 3:50

PS4 buyers get $10 store credit, 30-day trials of PlayStation Plus, Music Unlimited Sony has announced a "triple surprise" for early buyers of the PlayStation 4 (PS4) console next week.

Buyers will get $10 Sony Entertainment Network wallet credit to use in the PlayStation Store. They will also get to check out PlayStation Plus through PS4 for free for 30 days.

Additionally, Sony will provide a 30-day free trial for its Music Unlimited service.

"Out of the box, you can immediately experience everything PlayStation Plus for PS4 has to offer and have access to millions and millions of songs through Music Unlimited," said Eric Lempel, Sony Network Entertainment VP.

"The $10 credit can be used towards anything in the store including new PS4 launch titles, such as Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty Ghosts, and Killzone Shadow Fall."




AfterDawn: News

Activision: New Call of Duty, Skylanders games confirmed for 2014

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2013 21:39

Activision: New Call of Duty, Skylanders games confirmed for 2014 Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick has confirmed a new Call of Duty and a new Skylanders title for 2014.

"We also expect to launch new Call of Duty and Skylanders titles and a major new potential franchise with Bungie's Destiny," Kotick added.

The company did not provide any other details about the upcoming titles. Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games are said to be working on the new games.

Additionally, the company continues to develop the Call of Duty online free-to-play series aimed at the Chinese market.

The most recent in the series, Call of Duty Ghosts, was released on November 5th for the PS3, Wii U, PC and Xbox 360.




AfterDawn: News

Panasonic 20-inch 4K tablet to go on sale in January

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2013 21:19

Panasonic 20-inch 4K tablet to go on sale in January Panasonic has announced that their 20-inch 4K resolution Windows 8 tablet, the Toughpad 4K, will go on sale in January.

The tablet has a 3840 x 2560 LCD display, and Panasonic says it's the "world's lightest and thinnest 20-inch tablet," even though the competition in that market is almost non-existent.

Under the hood is a 1.9GHz Intel i5, 256GB of SSD and 8GB RAM.

In addition, the device has a USB 3.0 port, SD card slot, and built-in smart card reader. Due to the power necessary for the monitor and the powerful specs Panasonic says you will only get two hours of battery life with normal use, making this tablet much less portable than you would hope for.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nvidia promises Tegra 4i chip with built-in LTE modem for next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2013 20:47

Nvidia promises Tegra 4i chip with built-in LTE modem for next year Nvidia confirmed that its Tegra 4 SoC has not fared particularly well, reporting that overall Tegra revenue fell 54 percent, year-over-year.

The processor is in the new Microsoft Surface 2 and is also in many automotive systems, but as far as Android devices go, Tegra lost whatever share it had to Qualcomm and its Snapdragon processors. Nearly every major company uses a Snapdragon 600 or 800 in its flagships, including LG, Sony, Google and HTC.

CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has now moved up the timetable for its upcoming Tegra 4i, which has a built-in LTE modem and will be the first of the company's chips to be able to compete with Qualcomm.

The new chip will begin shipping in the Q2 2014 at the latest, says the exec, with a full unveiling likely for CES in January. Huang says AT&T has already certified use of the 4i, so there is the possibility the company could make a return to the smartphone Android market.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile users can now send MMS through Google Voice

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2013 20:07

T-Mobile users can now send MMS through Google Voice Google has confirmed that T-Mobile users can now send MMS messages (picture/audio/video messages) through Google Voice.

Sprint users were the first with the perk, getting access last month.

While it sounds good in theory, the actual process is not that great. Rather than seeing the MMS in your Voice account, you get a text message saying a multimedia message was sent to your Gmail as an attachment, where you can then view it.

Reads the post: "Last week +Nikhyl Singhal announced MMS support is coming to Google Voice. We're happy to announce this week another step towards improving MMS support for Google Voice. T-Mobile has allowed MMS messages from their users to be sent to Google Voice users. Similar to MMS messages from Sprint users, these messages will appear in Gmail, and you can be notified of the message via SMS. We continue to work with other carriers to broaden support for messaging and bring MMS to Hangouts. More good things are coming!"




AfterDawn: News

Price cuts for PS4 and Xbox One may come sooner, claims Activison CEO

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Nov 2013 18:31

Price cuts for PS4 and Xbox One may come sooner, claims Activison CEO Activision Blizzard CEO Robert Kotick believes that price cuts will come quicker for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One than they did for the current generation of consoles.

When the Xbox 360 launched it was priced at $300-$400 depending on the model you bought, and when the PS3 launched it was priced at $500-$600. It took Microsoft over 20 months to cut the price of the Xbox 360 consoles while Sony did so just seven months after - although the PS3 arrived on the market around a year after the Xbox 360 did.

This time around, we could see price cuts sooner according to Kotick.

"They've made more investments in the back office than ever before. I think you've got lots of efficiency in manufacturing costs that could potentially drive hardware prices down sooner in the cycle," Kotick said during a post-earnings financial call.

"There's no indication, from our perspective, that you're going to see anything other than a very successful next seven or eight years."

Microsoft will launch the Xbox One on November 22, priced at $500, with Sony launching the PS4 on November 15, priced at $400.




AfterDawn: News

Google Chrome extensions must be hosted in Chrome Store from January

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Nov 2013 18:18

Google Chrome extensions must be hosted in Chrome Store from January Google has alerted developers that extensions for its Google Chrome web browser must be hosted by the Chrome Web Store from January.

Google claims it is enforcing this policy in response to complaints from Windows users about malicious extensions that bypass the typical installation prompt and silently install, usually making changes to browser settings such as the homepage or search engines.

"Since these malicious extensions are not hosted on the Chrome Web Store, it's difficult to limit the damage they can cause to our users," wrote Erik Kay, Engineering Director, on the Chromium Blog.

"Starting in January on the Windows stable and beta channels, we'll require all extensions to be hosted in the Chrome Web Store. We'll continue to support local extension installs during development as well as installs via Enterprise policy, and Chrome Apps will also continue to be supported normally."

Kay explains that developers can choose to keep their extensions hidden on the Web Store if they like, but that protecting Chrome users is a key priority.




AfterDawn: News

Bitcoin Heist! Man claims over $1 million worth of Bitcoins stolen

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Nov 2013 18:12

Bitcoin Heist! Man claims over $1 million worth of Bitcoins stolen An Australian man who ran a Bitcoin wallet service claims that hackers have stolen over $1 million worth of Bitcoins.

Identified only as TradeFortress, the man said 4,100 Bitcoins (about $1.04 million) were stolen in two separate attacks on the service he operated. He would not report the crime to the police however, claiming Bitcoin transactions are virtually impossible to trace.

"I know this doesn't mean much, but I'm sorry, and saying that I'm very sad that this has happened is an understatement," he wrote on the website.

"Please don't store Bitcoins on an internet-connected device, regardless if it is your own or a service's."

Of course, there are many suggestions that this was an inside job, which he denied outright in an interview with ABC News.




AfterDawn: News

Star Wars: Episode VII to open December 18, 2015

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Nov 2013 17:57

Star Wars: Episode VII to open December 18, 2015 The next instalment in the Star Wars franchise has been slated for a December 18, 2015 release as pre-production begins.

Shooting is scheduled to begin on the film in Spring, 2014 at Pinewood Studios.

Star Wars: Episode VII will be directed by J.J. Abrams, who directed Super 8, Mission Impossible III and Star Trek. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) will work on the script.

Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk wil, produce with Tommy Harper (Star Trek: Into Darkness) and Jason McGatlin (War of the Worlds) serving as executive producers.

"We're very excited to share the official 2015 release date for Star Wars: Episode VII, where it will not only anchor the popular holiday filmgoing season but also ensure our extraordinary filmmaking team has the time needed to deliver a sensational picture," said Alan Horn, chairman of The Walt Disney Studios.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox One entertainment apps listed by country

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Nov 2013 17:43

Xbox One entertainment apps listed by country Microsoft has listed digital entertainment apps that will be available for the Xbox One console between launch (November 22) and Spring 2014.

The apps have been listed by country.

"The list is just the first wave of third-party apps that are coming to Xbox One over the course of the next few months," Microsoft's Xbox news site reads.

"We will continue to announce more apps coming to the platform and both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 entertainment app portfolios will continue to grow weekly."

Here is the list:

Australia

  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Network Ten's tenplay
  • Quickflix
  • SBS On Demand
  • TED
  • Twitch

Austria
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • TED
  • Twitch

Brazil
  • Crackle
  • Muu
  • Netflix
  • Saraiva Player
  • Sky Online
  • SporTV
  • TED
  • Telecine
  • Twitch
  • Vivo Play

Canada
  • CinemaNow
  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • Rogers Anyplace TV
  • Sportsnet
  • TED
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • Twitch

France
  • 6Play
  • Canal+/CanalSat
  • France 2,3,4,5
  • La TV d'Orange
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • MyTF1
  • MYTF1VOD
  • SFR TV
  • TED
  • Twitch

Germany
  • AmazonLOVEFiLM
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Watchever
  • Zattoo

Ireland
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • TED
  • Twitch

Italy
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Premium Play
  • TED
  • Twitch

Mexico
  • Clarovideo
  • Crackle
  • Machinima
  • Netflix
  • TED
  • Televisa
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • TV Azteca
  • Twitch
  • Veo

New Zealand
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Quickflix
  • TED
  • Twitch

Spain
  • Eurosport
  • Gol Televisiσn
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • RTVE
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Wuaki.tv
  • Zattoo

United Kingdom
  • 4oD
  • AmazonLOVEFiLM
  • blinkbox
  • Crackle
  • Demand 5
  • Eurosport
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • NOW TV
  • TED
  • Twitch
  • Wuaki.tv

United States
  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Crackle
  • The CW
  • ESPN
  • FOX NOW
  • FXNOW
  • HBO GO (coming soon)
  • Hulu Plus
  • Machinima
  • MUZU TV
  • Netflix
  • Redbox Instant by Verizon
  • Target Ticket
  • TED
  • The NFL on Xbox One
  • Twitch
  • Univision Deportes
  • Verizon FiOS TV
  • VUDU




AfterDawn: News

Xbox One 12-minute demonstration shows UI, Biometric sign-in, Instant switching, Live TV, Skype with Kinect, game DVR and more

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Nov 2013 15:46

Xbox One 12-minute demonstration shows UI, Biometric sign-in, Instant switching, Live TV, Skype with Kinect, game DVR and more Microsoft has uploaded a 12 minute video giving us a tour of the Xbox One user interface (Dashboard), Kinect and apps on the soon-to-launch console.

The Xbox One demo is given by Microsoft's Marc Whitten and Yusuf Mehdi, showing off instant switching, biometric sign-in, watching Live TV, using the Kinect's 1080p camera with Skype, the game Digital Video Recorder (DVR) feature, OneGuide and plenty more.

It shows how responsive the Xbox One console is when switching between apps, such as switching from a game to Live TV and then returning quickly to the game, all with voice commands.

Skype does look excellent with the Kinect 1080p camera, which follows the caller around the room.

Here's the 12 minute demonstration video, enjoy:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Xbox One is almost useless without immediate update

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Nov 2013 14:59

Xbox One is almost useless without immediate update Be warned: Microsoft's Xbox One console requires an immediate update on launch day without which it won't function properly at all.

Having a good Internet connection at home is obviously a boost for gaming nowadays - some would say an absolutely necessity even. Still, there are people who don't have a home Internet connection or perhaps an inadequate/unreliable connection.

For those folks, Xbox One launch day might be no fun at all as the system requires an immediate Day One update to function properly.

Even if you have a new game on a physical disc to play, you still need the update. That's according to Microsoft senior director of product management, Albert Penello, who was asked about it by Engadget.

The tech site proposed a scenario to him of a customer returning home to find their Internet connection is unavailable, but they have bought a game, so what can they do with an Xbox One out of the box without the update on launch day?

"Nothing. You need the Day One update," he said.

Ouch. That's not likely to affect most people who buy an Xbox One at launch of course, but it will be a real downer to those in areas where an Internet connection is either unavailable or unreliable.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Elop would consider selling Xbox, scrapping Bing if he was Microsoft CEO: Bloomberg

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Nov 2013 13:22

Elop would consider selling Xbox, scrapping Bing if he was Microsoft CEO: Bloomberg Bloomberg is citing people close to Stephen Elop in reporting that he would make some big chances to Microsoft's traditional business practices as CEO.

The main shift Bloomberg's sources say would be to end Microsoft's use of popular applications like Word and Excel to drive demand for Windows operating systems. Elop would rather make these applications available on a broad variety of devices, including those made by rivals like Apple.

He would also reportedly considering selling healthy businesses, like Microsoft's Xbox business, if he didn't feel it was critical to the company's strategy. Microsoft's Bing - an expensive attempt to compete with Google - could also face being scrapped by Elop as CEO.

When he took over at Nokia, Elop made the decision almost immediately to stop development of Symbian, which was at the time the dominant smartphone operating system in the world, albeit in decline. He also cut 40,000 jobs at the Finnish giant to reduce operating expenses.

Bloomberg's sources say Microsoft would face similar re-adjustments, with job cuts and downsizing of teams.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

SD Card format for 4K video announced; defines 30 MB/s minimum write speed

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Nov 2013 13:01

SD Card format for 4K video announced; defines 30 MB/s minimum write speed The SD Card Association has announced the new Ultra High Speed Class 3 (U3) card format, made for devices that record 4K2K (UltraHD) video.

The new Ultra High Speed (UHS) Speed Class 3 (U3) symbol will indicate products capable of recording 4K2K video and will operate exclusively on SDXC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices and SDHC UHS-I and UHS-II memory cards and devices.

This SD card class defines 30 MB/s constant minimum write speed to be able to make such recordings without issues.

"The world's favorite SD memory card continues to evolve and meet shifting industry needs," said Brian Kumagai, president of the SD Association.

"Our new UHS Speed Class 3 standard will give consumers and businesses more flexibility and capability as the market shifts to 4K2K video formats. Both SDXC and SDHC memory card standards already offer the massive storage needed to support 4K2K video with enough room to store photos, music, documents and other data on a single portable card."




AfterDawn: News

Internet Explorer 11 final comes to Windows 7

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Nov 2013 12:57

Internet Explorer 11 final comes to Windows 7 Windows 7 users can now download the latest version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer for the Windows 7 operating system.

Up until now, Internet Explorer 11 was only available as a release preview for the Windows 7. The final build of Internet Explorer 11 is now available to download, and it brings considerable performance improvements with it over IE10.

Pre-fetch and pre-render features deliver faster loading times than previous versions of the browser, and a "Flip Ahead" feature makes switching back and forth between pages on a site must faster.

Download Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 7 from: windows.microsoft.com

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Lenovo wanted BlackBerry but Canadian government blocked it

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2013 20:47

Lenovo wanted BlackBerry but Canadian government blocked it Lenovo, the world's biggest PC maker, actively tried to bid for BlackBerry, but the Canadian government told them it would not accept a Chinese takeover due to national security concerns.

BlackBerry, which is a source of national pride and is also tied into Canada's telecom infrastructure, never received a formal bid due to the government making their decision known to Lenovo executives.

Earlier this week, the company dropped its plans to go private, and instead took a $1 billion financing injection from a group including major shareholder Fairfax Financial.

Lenovo operates in over 60 countries and is a public company, but 32 percent of its shares are owned by Legend Holdings Ltd., a Chinese investment firm that is widely believed to be run by the Chinese government. BlackBerry says its infrastructure sees 30 petabytes of data traffic each month.

The Canadian government recently rejected an Egyptian bid to purchase a division of Manitoba Telecom Services, also due to unspecified national security concerns about the national fibre-optic network.




AfterDawn: News

Dell Venue 11 Pro now available in the U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2013 20:03

Dell Venue 11 Pro now available in the U.S. The hotly anticipated Dell Venue 11 Pro is now available in the U.S.

Based on a Bay Trail-based 1.5GHz Atom chip and Windows 8.1, the tablet has a 10.8 inch IPS Display with FHD (1920 x 1080) resolution and 10-pt capacitive touch.

In addition, the device has 2GB DDR3 Memory, Intel Gen7 graphics, 64GB internal storage, Dell Wireless 1538 Dual-Band 2x2 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and dual cameras 8/2 MP.

At $499 for this base model, Dell may have issues competing with the new iPad Air.

Moving up to more premium models, you can get a Y-series Core i3 with 128GB for $800 or a Core i5 with 128GB storage for $850.

The tablet ships December 5th.




AfterDawn: News

Apple stores will be able repair iPhone 5C, 5S in-store soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2013 19:30

Apple stores will be able repair iPhone 5C, 5S in-store soon Apple is in the process of equipping its retail stores to handle repairs for the iPhone 5S and 5C.

The move will expand on Apple's launch of the in-house repair program for the iPhone 5 earlier this year.

If you are no longer under warranty, you will have to pay a fee depending the damage to the device. For example, a broken screen will cost $150 to repair, replacement batteries will cost $79 and a stuck or damaged Home button for the 5C will cost $29. It is unclear what damaged Touch ID sensors cost to repair.

Any iPhone owner covered by AppleCare will receive free repairs.




AfterDawn: News

Google survey app pays Google Play credits to users

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Nov 2013 18:59

Google survey app pays Google Play credits to users The Google Opinion Rewards app on Google Play will reward users for filling out periodic surveys with Google Play credits that can be used in the store.

For now it appears limited to the United States. It requires that you link it to your Google Wallet so your credits can be deposited, which Google claims will happen immediately after filling out surveys.

That can be done as part of the app setup, which also requires you enter certain information about yourself such as what age group you belong to.

When new surveys are available for you to take part in (typically 10 questions) it will show on your Android devices' notification bar.

Get the app at: Google Play

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PS4 counts 11 entertainment apps at launch

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Nov 2013 18:54

PS4 counts 11 entertainment apps at launch When the PlayStation 4 (PS4) launches next Friday, November 15, there will be 11 digital entertainment apps available immediately.

The apps available at PS4 launch include:

  • Amazon Instant Video - Offering 150,000 titles to rent or purchase.
  • Crackle - Sony Pictures Television multi-platform television network delivering original series
  • Crunchyroll - For Japanese Anime enthusiasts
  • EPIX - Stream more than 3,000 titles on-demand
  • Hulu Plus - Unlimited instant streaming of popular shows like Family Guy, South Park, The Simpsons etc.
  • NBA Game Time - Stay connected to Live out-of-market NBA game action on the PS4 system with NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband on an authenticated basis for subscribers.
  • Netflix - It would be immoral not to include Netflix.
  • NHL GameCenter LIVE - Instantly stream live out-of-market games in HD quality with your NHL GameCenter LIVE subscription.
  • Redbox Instant by Verizon - Verizon subscribers can stream a library of movies and receive 4 DVD or Blu-Ray rental nights every month for new releases at the Redbox kiosk. On-demand available for non-subscribers.
  • VUDU - Watch the world's largest selection of HD movies and TV shows,
  • YuppTV - 150 Indian TV channels Live and on demand, including a selection of over 600 Movies to watch anytime, anywhere.
So, there's no need to turn on your PS3 for Netflix at least.




AfterDawn: News

Photos allegedly show back of HTC One successor, codenamed 'M8'

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Nov 2013 18:42

Photos allegedly show back of HTC One successor, codenamed 'M8' Photos posted to the Baidu Tieba forum allegedly show the back cover of HTC's 'M8', the successor to the HTC One.

HTC is expected to announce a new flagship smartphone around February, after the HTC One launch failed to turnaround the firms business despite good shipping numbers.

The back cover that allegedly is from an early M8 prototype is very similar that of the ONE, except it has an extra hole on top above the camera.

Suggestions are that the hole is there for a fingerprint reader as your index finger would naturally rest in that spot while holding the device.

The rumored specifications for the HTC M8 include the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, 3GB or RAM and that it will also be the first device to use HTC's upcoming Sense 6 UI.



Source: tieba.baidu.com

(Pic via: unwiredview.com)




AfterDawn: News

Marvel and Netflix to develop 4 original series, followed by 'The Defenders' mini-series

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Nov 2013 18:30

Marvel and Netflix to develop 4 original series, followed by 'The Defenders' mini-series Deal between Netflix and Disney's Marvel will bring the flawed heroes of Hell's Kitchen, led by 'Daredevil,' to the leading Internet streaming service.

The pair announced an agreement to bring multiple original series of live-action adventures of four of Marvel's most popular characters exclusively to Netflix, starting in 2015.

Led by a series focused on "Daredevil," followed by "Jessica Jones," "Iron Fist" and "Luke Cage," the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell's Kitchen, New York.

The streaming service has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series, which will be followed by a culminating "The Defenders" mini-series event.

"Marvel's movies, such as 'Iron Man' and Marvel's 'The Avengers', are huge favorites on our service around the world. Like Disney, Marvel is a known and loved brand that travels," said Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos.

"With 'House of Cards' and our other original series, we have pioneered new approaches to storytelling and to global distribution and we're thrilled to be working with Disney and Marvel to take our brand of television to new levels with a creative project of this magnitude."




AfterDawn: News

PS4 tear-down shows console's internals ahead of launch

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Nov 2013 18:19

PS4 tear-down shows console's internals ahead of launch Sony stripped a PlayStaion 4 (PS4) to its motherboard for Wired, showing off the design of its next generation console.

The tear-down - carried out by Yasuhiro Ootori - shows off the console motherboard, glimpses of the custom AMD processor and companion chip, the Wi-Fi antenna and so on. The specs of the PS4 have been public for a long time.

What is interesting in the tear-down is it shows how Sony packed the hardware and the power supply unit into such a small space, and how its cooling system will keep it all from overheating.

The tear-down pictures and video show how it moves heat of the relatively slim case (for the first design) using two heat pipes and a custom centrifugal fan.

Of course, once the PS4 is out in the wild we will see far more detailed tear-downs of the system, though we think we'll pass on such experiments with ours.

View pics of the PS4 teardown at: wired.com

View a video of the teardown at: wired.com




AfterDawn: News

Real Madrid in talks with Microsoft to rename iconic Santiago Bernabeu

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Nov 2013 17:15

Real Madrid in talks with Microsoft to rename iconic Santiago Bernabeu Microsoft are in talks with football giant Real Madrid about potentially acquiring the naming rights to the iconic Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

It is named after the former footballer and President of Real Madrid, Santiago Bernabιu, who was President of the club for 35 years and is credited with turning it into a giant in Spanish and European football.

Changing the name of the stadium is guaranteed to face opposition from Real Madrid supporters, but with Real Madrid reportedly close to €600 million in debt, such a deal would be welcoming to the executives at the top.

Real Madrid can afford to splash out up to €100 million - depending on what reports you read - on Gareth Bale and have broken the bank for players in the past, such as Cristiano Ronaldo (£80 million), because the Spanish club has very healthy revenues, with the latest Deloitte Money League report calculating they had become the first football club to break the €500 million revenue barrier.

In Spain, Real Madrid and Barcelona get a much larger chunk of TV rights than others in the La Liga, whereas in other countries it is more equitable between clubs in the top leagues. It also reportedly managed to gain a 30 percent increase in a shirt sponsorship deal with the Emirates airline, whom it switched to from Bwin.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

GTA Online stimulus package rolling out; Rockstar depositing $500k into players' in-game accounts

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Nov 2013 16:44

GTA Online stimulus package rolling out; Rockstar depositing $500k into players' in-game accounts Rockstar had begun rolling out its stimulus package for Grand Theft Auto: Online, depositing $500,000 into players' in-game bank accounts.

The developer announced the start of the program on its blog yesterday. The GTA$500,000 deposit applies to all GTA Online players in the month of October 2013. It will take around two full days to complete, and Rockstar will update everyone on Friday.

The chaotic world of Grand Theft Auto Online was marred somewhat in its early days by bugs and problems experienced by players.

"Thanks go out to everyone for their continued patience and understanding while we worked through these issues, and we can't wait to bring more into the world of GTA Online," Rockstar staff write.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon won't support Nexus 7 on LTE until after KitKat update

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Nov 2013 16:29

Verizon won't support Nexus 7 on LTE until after KitKat update Verizon has revealed that the Nexus 7 won't be supported on its LTE network until after it had gotten the Android KitKat update.

The problem, according to Verizon is with the Jelly Bean OS running on the Nexus 7. The carrier claims that Google and ASUS requested that it halt the certification program for Nexus 7 after finding the issue, and not to resume until the KitKat update is pushed out for the device.

According to Google, that will only take a few weeks but it is a few weeks more that Nexus 7 owners will be locked out of Verizon after already been locked out since launch.

Here is a statement put out by Verizon (via: Engadget)

"During the certification process for the Nexus 7, Google, Asus and Verizon uncovered a systems issue that required Google and Asus to undertake additional work with the Jelly Bean OS running on the device. Since Google was about to launch its new Kit Kat OS, rather than undertake this work, Google and Asus asked Verizon to suspend its certification process until Google's new OS was available on the Nexus 7."




AfterDawn: News

Kim Dotcom's MEGA exits beta, promises encrypted messaging and video chat next year

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Nov 2013 16:21

Kim Dotcom's MEGA exits beta, promises encrypted messaging and video chat next year Kim Dotcom's MEGA cloud storage solution has exited beta with a bunch of improvements, and is promising some interesting new features for next year.

The service now loads faster after the code was made more efficient and dynamic feature fetching was implemented. The user interface has had a major revamp, dramatically reducing CPU overhead, while local caching will be used to speed up subsequent logins.

Navigating the site while file transfers are in progress is now supported. Your transfer queue will shrink to a small transfer widget in the lower left corner whenever you leave the file manager. User can also now use avatars and contact management has been improved.

You can now see the number of files a user is sharing with you, along with the last modified date/time. This is useful for tracking changes (in addition to the instant notifications).



The Firefox extension will reduce loading times, improve download performance and strengthen security, with downloaded data written directly to your hard drive instead of buffering it in the browser. It also allows you to download entire folder structures.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft, Facebook and Google team up to secure Internet with bug bounty program

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Nov 2013 16:04

Microsoft, Facebook and Google team up to secure Internet with bug bounty program Three of the biggest names on the web - and in business in general - are combining efforts to safeguard the Internet by offering cash rewards to hackers.

It is pretty standard in the industry now for tech firms to have bug bounty programs to entice white hat hackers to go bug hunting in their code. It fixes flaws that could be found by criminals and exploited in ways that could make their customers less safe, and their products less reliable.

The new Internet Bug Bounty has more ambition than just safeguarding some company's software, instead it seeks to find bugs that could threaten more damage to the Internet. The program is sponsored by Microsoft and Facebook, while a Google security expert who helped to develop the program will sit on a panel that evaluates submissions.

"We've selected some of the most important software that supports the internet stack, and we want you to hack it. If the public is demonstrably safer as a result of your contribution to internet security, we'd like to be the first to recognize your work and say "thanks" by sending some cash to you or your favorite non-profit," the program's webpage reads.

Cash rewards up to $5,000 are offered depending on where the bug is found and its consequences, but the cash reward can be increased if the panel sees reason to do so.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

"How much money can you make with Spotify?" - Finnish artist answers, with exact monthly details

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 07 Nov 2013 3:18

"How much money can you make with Spotify?" - Finnish artist answers, with exact monthly details "How much money you can earn with Spotify?" is the question that has popped up during the past couple of years. Some big name artists have pulled their music from Spotify, blaming extremely bad revenue shares and even labelling Spotify as the main reason for the music industry's decline. However, nobody has come out with the exact figures to back up that claim -- or disprove it. Until now.

Anssi Kela, a Finnish singer-songwriter, released his hit single "Levoton tyttφ" earlier this year and he wanted to share his Spotify income details with his fans. He did it by drilling down the figures by month, and differentiating them to revenue coming from Spotify Premium, Spotify Unlimited and Spotify's free version.

First of all, he wanted to note that the revenue he got paid actually includes all the streaming revenue from all the streaming services where his song has been played. However, as other streaming services are virtually non-existent in Finland - with the song being in the Finnish language and with Finland being one of the first countries to actually get Spotify - Spotify stands as the de facto equivalent of music streaming services in the country, so it is fair to say that the figures represent revenue from Spotify, with maybe approximately 1 - 2 percent of the revenue coming from other services.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Verizon begins selling its own branded 7-inch tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2013 22:05

Verizon begins selling its own branded 7-inch tablet Verizon has launched its own branded tablet, following a few weeks of leaks and speculation.

The Ellipsis 7 is based on Android and has low-end specs compared to newer devices.

Ellipsis 7 tablets have a 1280 x 800, 7-inch IPS display, 8GB of storage, 1GB of RAM, and a 1.2GHz quad-core processor. Additionally, the device has LTE connectivity and a front-side camera and runs on a near-stock Android 4.2.

The device goes on sale tomorrow, November 7th for $249.99 off-contract, which is pricier than the Nexus 7, which boasts much nicer specs.

One notable feature, is the addition of Verizon Messages. The carrier says the service allows "users to send and receive text messages from their tablet. And with the most recent app update, users can send customized photos with collages for a more personal messaging experience."




AfterDawn: News

PS4 launch to stream live next Thursday night, November 14

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Nov 2013 19:23

PS4 launch to stream live next Thursday night, November 14 Sony is inviting you to watch the live PS4 All Access: Greatness Awaits launch event next Thursday night before the mid-night launch of the PS4.

PlayStation teams up with SpikeTV to cover the event live in New York City on November 14th starting at 11:00pm Eastern Time/Pacific Time on regular cable providers; and 11pm Eastern Time/8pm Pacific Time on DirecTV. You can also watch it on Ustream or from the PlayStation U.S. Blog.

"Tune in to see exclusive world premieres and announcements about the PS4 games that will define 2014 and beyond," wrote Sid Shuman, Playstation Social Media Manager.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Xbox One won't get ad-supported Xbox Music service

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Nov 2013 19:16

Xbox One won't get ad-supported Xbox Music service Contrary to earlier reports, Microsoft's Xbox One console will not be receiving ad-supported free music streaming from Xbox Music.

Instead, Xbox One includes a very limited trial of Xbox Music that lets users play 15 songs free before they require a Music Pass, with new users able to sign up for a 30-day free trial.

That essentially means that the Xbox One is in the same boat as the Xbox 360 when it comes to the music streaming service.

A tweet by Albert Penello, who heads up Xbox One product planning, had indicated that Microsoft had moved to an ad-supported free model for the Xbox One.

He recanted his statement and apologized in a follow-up tweet this morning.





AfterDawn: News

Facebook redesigns 'Like' and 'Share' buttons

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Nov 2013 19:08

Facebook redesigns 'Like' and 'Share' buttons After introducing its 'Like' and 'Share' buttons in 2010, the social network giant has decided they need a make-over.

Say goodbye to the tiny thumbs-up Like button that has forced its way into your Internet life in the past three years. Facebook has decided that a blue button with a little 'f' icon and the word 'like' is the way to go to get your attention from now on.

Believe it or not, the Like and Share buttons from Facebook are on more than 7.5 million websites in the world, and are viewed more than 22 billion times daily by Internet users. Therefore, redesigning them is not a risk-free task.

Facebook has positive data on its side though, with Facebook's Ray C. He indicating that the change has already produced improvement.

"We're already seeing a favorable increase in Likes and Shares with the new design and will be rolling these buttons out to everyone in the coming weeks," he wrote.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon now giving indie bookstores a Kindle discount, incentives

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2013 18:58

Amazon now giving indie bookstores a Kindle discount, incentives Amazon is looking to greatly expand its Kindle retail availability, by offering the e-reader to indie bookstores at a discount.

Dubbed 'Amazon Source,' the program lets local small businesses purchase the hardware, as well as accessories for resale at a slightly discounted rate. Additionally, Amazon will also give 10 percent of all ebook sales made by a consumer to the retailer where that Kindle was originally purchased.

The incentive runs for two years from original purchase date.

"We believe that retailers, online or offline, small or large, should be striving to offer customers what they want--and many customers want to read both digital and print books," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. "For many years, bookstores have successfully sold print books on Amazon--now Amazon Source extends this opportunity to digital. With Amazon Source, customers don't have to choose between e-books and their favorite neighborhood bookstore--they can have both."

Finally, Amazon says retailers can get an ever bigger discount on the hardware if they choose to opt-out of the 10% deal.




AfterDawn: News

PS3 moves 80 million units in 7 years

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Nov 2013 18:56

PS3 moves 80 million units in 7 years Sony announced that it has sold 80 million PlayStation 3 consoles since it launched almost exactly seven years ago.

The 80 million figure is a sell-in figure, meaning its the number of consoles Sony has shipped to retailers. It is also the same figure as was revealed by Microsoft for life-time sales of the Xbox 360 console, which has been on the market a year longer than the PS3.

The PS3 system continues to gain strong support from 3rd party developers and publishers worldwide with the cumulative number of software titles released for the PS3 system reaching 4,332 worldwide, as of September 30, 2013.

As it heads into the holiday season for the seventh time, the PS3 will witness the release of Gran Turismo 6, from the popular series that has sold 70 million copies worldwide.

The launch of the PS3 also saw the launch of the PlayStation Network (PSN), which not claims more than 150 million cumulative registered accounts. The PlayStation Store offers a global catalogue of more than 222,000 digital content options, including 72,000 game content.

Sony's next generation console, the PlayStation 4, launches in North America next Friday.




AfterDawn: News

Blockbuster's last 300 stores to close in U.S.

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Nov 2013 18:43

Blockbuster's last 300 stores to close in U.S. Dish Network has announced that all Blockbuster retail stores are to close by January 2014, and the Blockbuster By Mail service is being axed too.

After rescuing Blockbuster in 2011 by buying it for $320 million, Dish has found itself closing store after store and laying off employees. At this point, there are only around 300 Blockbuster stores left in the United States, but they too will close down by January.

"This is not an easy decision, yet consumer demand is clearly moving to digital distribution of video entertainment," said Joseph P. Clayton, DISH president and chief executive officer.

"Despite our closing of the physical distribution elements of the business, we continue to see value in the Blockbuster brand, and we expect to leverage that brand as we continue to expand our digital offerings."

Additionally, the Blockbuster By Mail service that originally was setup to challenge Netflix' DVD mail service will cease operations mid-December.

The Blockbuster brand will live on however with Dish retaining its licensing rights. The Blockbuster @Home service will continue to be offered to Dish subscribers.




AfterDawn: News

Humble Bundle goes dark knight

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2013 18:40

Humble Bundle goes dark knight Warner Bros. has started the next Humble Bundle pack, offering a few notable games including Batman for whatever you feel like donating.

If you donate over $1, you get access to Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin and F.E.A.R. 3 and Lord of the Rings: War in the North.

Paying over $4.63 gets you Scribblenauts Unlimited and the sequel to Arkham Asylum, Batman: Arkham City Game of the Year Edition.

As with all Humble Bundles, you get to choose how your donation goes, split between Humble Bundle, the creator of the games and a charity, in this case 'We Can Be Heroes.'

Check the bundle here.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung analyst day: 560 PPI displays next year and 4K phones in two years

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2013 18:19

Samsung analyst day: 560 PPI displays next year and 4K phones in two years Samsung completed their annual analyst day in South Korea today, and there was certainly some interesting news to be had.

The company confirmed that it is now working on its own application processor. Rather than licensing from ARM and then moving those cores into their own chips, the Exynos line, the company will now design their own. Qualcomm, with its Krait cores (Snapdragon chips) and Apple do the same.

In addition, Samsung seems to be really stepping up their display features. In 2014, the company will have AMOLED panels with a massive 560 ppi. By 2015, the displays will have 3840 x 2160 UltraHD resolutions.

Samsung made it clear that they are trying to innovate in the areas of display, memory and processing, as the high-end smartphone market has likely peaked for the time being.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Call of Duty: Ghosts on PS4 has framerate issues too?

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Nov 2013 17:58

Call of Duty: Ghosts on PS4 has framerate issues too? Some reviewers of the PS4 version of Call of Duty: Ghosts have noted framerate issues at certain points in the game.

Infinity Ward revealed last week that the Xbox One version of Call of Duty: Ghosts would render at 720p, and be upscaled to 1080p for video output by the console. The developer later explained that the problem arose when trying to keep a consistent 60fps framerate. The perception was that the Xbox One, for whatever reason, was incapable of rendering the game at 1080p when its nemesis - the PS4 - was.

However, numerous reviewers are noting problems with the framerate on the PS4 too. "The PlayStation 4 version... has noticeable technical issues, sometimes slowing to a crawl, particularly during set-piece moments with multiple effects," reports Joystiq in a review.

"Frame rate hitches happen throughout the campaign on PlayStation 4 and, in a series known for its Hollywood-inspired bombast, it detracted from the experience."

Now Gamer also reported issues with the multiplayer mode. "It's not something we've seen in any Call of Duty multiplayer before, so it stood out as particularly odd and unfortunate, given the frame-rate stutter is significant enough to let targets escape to safety or see you killed during the general mayhem."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ouya now has 500 games available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2013 17:55

Ouya now has 500 games available Ouya has announced today that the console's games store now has over 500 games available.

The Android-powered system now has 507 games, according to an internal ticker on the website.

All Ouya games are free to download and try, and the milestone was hit four months after the company's hardware launch in June.

A few of the major games include Sonic the Hedgehog, AVP: Evolution, Final Fantasy III and soon, the blockbuster hit 'The Walking Dead' episodic series.

Ouya has never disclosed hardware sales.




AfterDawn: News

Silk Road drug market is back online

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Nov 2013 17:46

Silk Road drug market is back online The Silk Road appears to be back online and being run by some of those involved in running it before it was shut down by the FBI last month.

The administrator of the revived Silk Road is using the handle Dread Pirate Roberts, which is the handle the Feds allege was used by 29-year-old Ross Ulbricht who has been charged with running the service. Ulbricht is denying the charges.

There were some suggestions that the new Silk Road could be a scam, but Ken Westin, a researcher with security firm TripWire, said the site looks genuine. "It appears to be run by the same folks that were running it before," he said.

"They are not going to be able to kill it. It is going to be a game of cat and mouse with the FBI."

We checked to see if the site was online and were greeted with an edited law enforcement seizure notice that crossed out "been seized" and also added a stamp that reads "This site has risen again." A login prompt appears over the image when you place the pointer on it.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft narrows its list for new CEO

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2013 17:34

Microsoft narrows its list for new CEO According to a new Reuters report, Microsoft has narrowed down its list of candidates for their CEO position being vacated by longtime exec Steve Ballmer.

Besides external candidates, there are a few internal candidates, as well, including Microsoft's business development boss Tony Bates (former CEO of Skype) and Satya Nadella, the head of cloud and enterprise.

The list had started at about 40 names and has been pruned, say the sources, but the process will still take a few more months. Ballmer announced his retirement in August, giving a twelve months or less timeframe.

A few of the most speculated about names are Ford's Alan Mulally and Computer Sciences' Mike Lawrie, both of which are known as "turnaround experts" and have certainly done so for their respective companies. Ford called the report speculation.

Stephen Elop, who left Microsoft to run Nokia into the ground before returning after Microsoft acquired the company, is also up for the position.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft warns of Office exploit in the wild, releases temporary fix

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Nov 2013 17:33

Microsoft warns of Office exploit in the wild, releases temporary fix Microsoft is warning users of some of its Microsoft Office software that a zero-day flaw is being exploited in the wild by attackers.

The flaw affects Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office 2007 on all Windows platforms, and Microsoft Office 2010 on Windows XP or Windows Server 2003.

Microsoft was made aware of attacks using a zero-day flaw in its software mostly in the Middle East and South Asia regions. It involves a specially-crafted Word document that, when opened, would exploit the vulnerability to execute arbitrary code on the system.

"An attacker who successfully exploited the vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the current user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights," Microsoft said in a security advisory, issued yesterday.

Microsoft has issued a temporary work around in the form of a "Fix It" download that you can get at support.microsoft.com.




AfterDawn: News

Call of Duty: Ghosts passes $1 billion in sell-in sales to retailers

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Nov 2013 17:26

Call of Duty: Ghosts passes $1 billion in sell-in sales to retailers Activision Blizzard has revealed that Call of Duty: Ghosts has surpassed $1 billion in sales to retailers already.

That's not to be confused with direct sales at retail to customers, which haven't been announced yet. Instead, "sell-in" sales are the number of copies shipped by the publisher to retailers. Call of Duty: Ghosts has launched for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 (PS3), Wii U and on PC already. It is available to buy for the PS4 already but the console won't go on sale until November 15, and it's also an Xbox One launch title.

Its predecessor in the mega-pupular series, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, hit $500 million in retail sales on the first day, and proceeded to surpass $1 billion in 15 days. It held that record until September 2013, when Grand Theft Auto V generated $800 million in sales by the end of its first day on the market, and crossed $1 billion in three days.

How "Ghosts" will fare in sales through retail channels remains to be seen, but Infinity Ward was expecting sales to be slower initially as some gamers will wait until they buy an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4 before they pick up a copy.




AfterDawn: News

Apple received 1000-2000 data requests from U.S. agencies in H1 2013

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Nov 2013 17:14

Apple received 1000-2000 data requests from U.S. agencies in H1 2013 Apple has given details about the number of information requests it has received from law enforcement agencies in the United States for the first six months of 2013.

Similar figures were already published by Yahoo and Facebook. They give an idea of the amount of requests a web giant receives for information on accounts/users from authorities, but they are short on specific numbers due to government-enforced restrictions.

Apple claims it received between 1000 and 2000 information requests from U.S agencies between January and June of this year (they can only reveal figures in ranges of 1000). Those requests affected between 2000 and 3000 accounts. The amount of times Apple complied with requests ranged from 0-1000 (yes, vague).

More specific numbers were given for device information requests though. In the 6 month period, Apple received device info requests 3,542 times, affecting 8,605 devices. Apple complied with 3,110 of the requests. Most of these requests involve lost or stolen devices.

Here is Apple's report (PDF): 131105reportongovernmentinforequests2.pdf




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo: Xbox One, PS4 launch will be good for us

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2013 17:07

Nintendo: Xbox One, PS4 launch will be good for us According to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, the upcoming launch of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One will be good for the struggling gaming giant.

The new launch will generate buzz for the entire industry, which could overlap to the Wii U.

"I think the launch of other video game systems is also good for us because they energize the video game industry as a whole," Iwata added. "Though there are some who take the view that intensified competition means overseas competition will be tough for Nintendo, no matter how Nintendo does domestically, I do not necessarily see it that way. This year, what Nintendo is promoting is, conversely, to stand out in the game industry for individuality. I believe we have become a unique value."

In order to boost interest in the Wii U, Nintendo will also introduce a whole slate of new family-friendly games. "We have an offering of software for the end of this calendar year that encourages family fun at home," Iwata added, such as Super Mario 3D World, Wii Party U, Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, Wii Sports Club, and Wii Fit U.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile USA adds 1 million customers as new plans and prices pay off

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2013 16:51

T-Mobile USA adds 1 million customers as new plans and prices pay off T-Mobile, which recently moved away from contracts and began innovating in the industry that has been stagnant for years, has added over 1 million new customers in the last quarter, beating out larger rivals Verizon, AT&T and Sprint.

The carrier ended the period with 45 million customers, as growth has been accelerating. "Our momentum is great and we have confidence that we can continue to deliver sustainable and profitable growth," CEO John Legere said in a statement.

Revenue jumped 37 percent to $6.69 billion, above estimates. The turnaround is thanks to T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" initiative, which included a move to no contracts, free international roaming, unlimited data (with some throttling after certain points), cheaper service and an industry-first early upgrade program for new devices.

In the same quarter, Sprint lost 313,000 customers, AT&T admitted all of its feature phone customers were jumping ship and Verizon's growth slowed.

T-Mobile says now it expects to see 1.8 million new customers for the year, up from their original projection of 1.2 million.




AfterDawn: News

IHS: iPad Air base model costs $274 to build

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2013 23:33

IHS: iPad Air base model costs $274 to build According to a teardown by research firm IHS, Apple has managed to build its new iPad Air with even less cost than previous models.

The base model device costs $274 to build, and Apple sells the tablet for $499.

As expected, the Retina display is the most costly component, clocking in at $90. The multitouch adds another $43, for a total of $133 for the display.

Overall, despite getting thinner and lighter and more powerful, the device is $42 cheaper to produce than the third-generation iPad base model.

Surprisingly, the new 64-bit A7 processor cost only $18, a full $5 cheaper than last years A-series processor.




AfterDawn: News

HTC to move to low-cost handsets, slash costs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2013 22:20

HTC to move to low-cost handsets, slash costs HTC has announced it will begin selling low-cost smartphones and slash costs significantly in order to try to save the company.

The company also warned that it expects revenue to be 15 percent lower than last quarter, well below analyst expectations.

In the Q3, the company had its first ever quarterly loss, but the company expects to eke out a tiny profit for the Q4. After racing to 11 percent global market share in 2011, the company now controls about 2.5 percent share.

To help remain profitable, the company says it will slash expenses by 24 percent quarter-over-quarter. Additionally, the company is looking into selling lower-cost handsets: "We're looking at broader products in this quarter...we aim for higher volume into 2014 that will give better profitability."

HTC had previously tried to break into the high-end smartphone market, specifically in China, to little success.




AfterDawn: News

Join LG developer program, get a free G2 flagship

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2013 21:27

Join LG developer program, get a free G2 flagship LG has started its new 'loaner' program, loaning devices to developers who create apps for LG devices.

The program loans devices to devs free of charge, but LG does expect you to design proprietary apps. Additionally, if you have non-exclusive apps, you can test actively test it on your G2.

Reads the site: "LG is pleased to offer the LG Device Loaner Program. The LG Device Loaner Program is designed to make it easier for developers to test and debug their apps on LG smartphones or tablets. Registered developers in the US and Canada will be able to borrow an LG device for a 30-day period.

Please sign in to gain access to the customer prospect demo order form and process. This sign-in process will be required only once while your web browser remains open. If you have questions, please contact us via email."


If you are a developer, check the program here.




AfterDawn: News

Here is the latest Grand Turismo 6 concept trailer along with new information

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2013 21:13

Here is the latest Grand Turismo 6 concept trailer along with new information Sony has posted the latest concept movie for the upcoming Gran Turismo 6 blockbuster.

The company says over 120 new cars have been added to the game, with a new total of about 1220. Additionally, track layouts have increased to 100, with new circuits such as Ascari, Spain "and the world famous Silverstone, Goodwood and Mount Panorama tracks."

More importantly, Sony says there is a "completely overhauled physics engine making gameplay even more dynamic and realistic, a new interface, and enhanced online functionality to allow you to tailor your multiplayer gaming sessions as you wish."

One of the features is 'GPS Logger'. The GPS Logger "will employ the GPS function of your phone or tablet and Gran Turismo's in-game Course Maker to recreate your everyday school run or work commute as a circuit." Very cool.

Kazunori Yamauchi, creator of the Gran Turismo series, added: "With the release of GT6 we are celebrating 15 years of Gran Turismo. It has been a privilege to have seen so many advancements made over this period, with GT6 now continuing to set new standards that blur the line between virtual and reality racing. With GT6 we will make it even more flexible and expandable by continuing to develop and add new content throughout its life."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Canalys: Over 250 million smartphones shipped in Q3 2012

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2013 20:33

Canalys: Over 250 million smartphones shipped in Q3 2012 According to the latest figures from Canalys, smartphone shipments jumped 44 percent year-over-year, surpassing 250 million for the Q3 2013.

Samsung and Apple unsurprisingly led the pack, followed by Huawei, Lenovo and LG. Samsung had 34 percent market share, followed by Apple at 15 percent.

Android remained king, as well, followed by iOS, and Windows Phone managed to jump 185 percent to 4 percent market share. Windows Phone was the second most popular OS in 19 countries, including Finland (home of Nokia) at 39 percent share, Italy at 15 percent share and Russia at 8 percent share.

Another interesting fact was the breakdown of devices by size. 5" or larger display smartphones accounted for 22 percent of total shipments, with 66 percent of those devices having a 5-inch display. 3 percent had larger than a 6" display.




AfterDawn: News

AMD Radeon R9 290 arrives for $399, promises stunning 4K performance

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Nov 2013 18:43

AMD Radeon R9 290 arrives for $399, promises stunning 4K performance AMD has launched its new AMD Radeon R9 290 graphics card promising stunning UltraHD (4K) performance for $399, or €289 in the Eurozone (excluding VAT).

"With the AMD Radeon R9 290 GPU, AMD cements its position as the provider of ultimate gaming experiences," said Matt Skynner, general manager and corporate vice president, AMD Graphics Business Unit.

"We deliver on the promise of world-class performance and features with the R9 Series graphics cards. With new innovations like Mantle and AMD TrueAudio technology, AMD brings an exceptional gaming experience for enthusiasts while defying the limits of audio and visual realism."

AMD Radeon R9 290 feature information:

  • 2,560 stream processing units
  • Up to 947MHz engine clock
  • 4GB GDDR5 memory
  • Up to 5.0Gbps memory clock speed
  • 320GB/s memory bandwidth (maximum)
  • 4.85 TFLOPS Single Precision compute power
  • API support for DirectX 11.2, OpenGL 4.3 and Mantle

More Info: amd.com/R9




AfterDawn: News

Target offering $200 credit for any iPad until November 9

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Nov 2013 18:33

Target offering $200 credit for any iPad until November 9 Target is offering $200 in store credit in exchange for working, undamaged iPads - including the first generation iPad.

The exchange can only be made at a Target store, and the iPad must power on properly and not be scratched or damaged. In exchange, Target will issue $200 credit.

The promotional material for the Target offer suggests that the credit is being given "towards the purchase of a new iPad" but customers who have already availed of the offer said they could use it for anything. Still, be sure to ask first.

If you have an old 2010 iPad lying around, you could take it to a Target store and put it toward a newer iPad when you have the chance. You could pick up an iPad Air for $299 with the trade-in or an iPad mini without retina display for $99. But remember, according to the promotional material the offer is only in place "November 3rd thru 9th" so make up your mind soon.

More Info: Target

(Via: Engadget)




AfterDawn: News

Pandora sees market share increase despite iTunes Radio launch.

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Nov 2013 18:24

Pandora sees market share increase despite iTunes Radio launch. Internet radio service Pandora witnessed its market share grow last month, despite the launch of Apple's competing iTunes Radio service.

Pandora CFO Michael Herring said that hours of listening grew 9 percent in October over September, and its share of U.S. radio listening grow to 8.06 percent from 7.77 percent when iTunes Radio began operations.

"October data was in line with our expectations and showed the resilience of our business," he told a Morgan Stanley conference in San Francisco yesterday.

The service streamed 1.47 billion hours of content during the month of October, though the number of active users fell from 72.7 million in September to 70.9 million in October.

Pandora is considering whether to use some of the $400 million it raised in a stock offering in September toward overseas expansion beyond the U.S., Australia and New Zealand. Such an expansion will force Pandora to seek licensing agreements with record companies.




AfterDawn: News

Huawei targets 10Gbps mobile speed by 2020, invests $600 million in 5G development

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Nov 2013 18:15

Huawei targets 10Gbps mobile speed by 2020, invests $600 million in 5G development At the Huawei Mobile Broadband Forum in London, the Chinese company revealed it expects 10Gbps mobile speeds by 2020.

To help achieve this goal, it announced it will invest $600 million in 5G technologies and solutions with the hope of getting high-speed mobile connectivity to the market faster.

"Today's theme is mobile broadband. In this area, we continuously invest in innovation. We started our investment in 5G early, in 2009, and we have demonstrated our 5G prototype capable of 50Gbps speeds," said Huawei's Eric Xu.

"We want to develop a system that will not break, that will support up to one billion connections and offer users speeds of up to 10Gbps. Of course, there are a lot of issues to work out before we get there. We are committed to helping the operators build more efficient and integrated systems, that can link people to people, people to things, and things to things."

Of course, proper 4G networks aren't even available in a lot of European countries at the commercial level, so true 5G technology is still a long ways away for the masses.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft targets Google again over Gmail privacy

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Nov 2013 18:09

Microsoft targets Google again over Gmail privacy Microsoft is back attacking Google services again, with a new webpage and PDF that shows how Google uses content from e-mails to deliver ads.

On the "Keep Your Email Private" page, Microsoft is offering a PDF with information on "how they do it", as well as some screenshots showing ads that are strikingly similar to the content of emails.

For example, one screenshot shows how a mention of "Caribbean" and "South Africa" brought up ads for a Thompson Caribbean Holiday and cheap flights to South African locations. Another email that mentioned divorce proceedings produced an ad for legal advice.

"All email service providers protect your inbox by scanning for spam, phishing attempts and malware, but not all email providers use the words from your email to show you ads," Microsoft's document reads.

By scanning all of your sent and received email messages to display targeted ads, Microsoft said that people who have never even used the service are caught up in Google's advertising reach.

Of course, Microsoft's primary goal is to get users to switch to Outlook.

Have a look: www.keepyouremailprivate.com/HowTheyDoIt




AfterDawn: News

Google reveals Helpouts to connect people with experts through video

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Nov 2013 13:17

Google reveals Helpouts to connect people with experts through video Google has launched Helpouts to 'help people help each other' using the convenience of the web and video conferencing.

The goal is to make it possible to find help for almost any problem you might have like how to fix your garage door, or how to remove a computer virus; or it might be guidance completing a project, like building a deck, or to learn to have a basic conversation in a different language.

With Helpouts, you can choose who you get help from based on their qualifications, their availability, their price, their ratings and reviews. Brands already touted by Google as getting involved include Sephora, One Medical, Weight Watchers, Redbeacon (a Home Depot company), and Rosetta Stone.

Once you're in a Helpout, you can do more than just talk--you can share your computer screen, collaboratively edit a presentation, or record your Helpout.

Putting its money where its mouth is, Google offers a full money back guarantee if your experience lags your expectations.

For Now, Google Helpouts is starting small with only a few categories, but swing by helpouts.google.com and see what's available anyway.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Bitcoin vulnerable to attack, researchers have warned

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Nov 2013 13:02

Bitcoin vulnerable to attack, researchers have warned A group of researchers are Cornell University have warned that the Bitcoin system is vulnerable to an attack that could allow a group to gradually take control over it.

The flaw, they allege, involves the process by which new Bitcoin is created. Bitcoins are mined by groups of computers working on a cryptographic problem, and at any given moment thousands of machines and many groups can be working to solve the same puzzle.

Here is where the Cornell researchers find the potential weakness. If one large mining group could game the system to keep the discovery of blocks quiet, then other groups may continue to mine to no avail while they move on. Hence, why it is described as a "selfish" attack.

"Once the system veers away from the happy mode where everyone is honest, there is no force that opposes the growth of really large pools that command control of the currency," wrote Professor Emin Surer.

You can read a more detailed description of the attack from Professor Surer on his blog post titled "Bitcoin is Broken".

Vitalik Buterin, technical editor of Bitcoin Magazine, is sceptical that such an attack would work in practice, because it would require that attackers change fundamental BitCoin software to manipulate the information sharing with the network.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft ad pushes Surface for 'real work', revisits education scenario

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Nov 2013 12:34

Microsoft ad pushes Surface for 'real work', revisits education scenario Microsoft has a new ad for its Surface tablet that claims the device is for 'real work'.

If you recall, Microsoft promoted the Lenovo Yoga with Windows 8 over the iPad in an education setting with an ad that showed a class full of students struggling to type out promptly spoken words from the professor on an iPad, with the predictable exception being the one smiling student with the Windows 8 device using a real keyboard.

Now, without specifically mentioning the iPad, Microsoft has revisited education with a new ad showing a teacher promoting the Surface tablet as being for "real work."

"All my students have the brand new Surface, it has the new Windows, it comes with Office, has a real keyboard so they can do real work," he informs us.

"The battery lasts and lasts so after school, they can Skype, play games, or my favorite - do homework. Change is looking pretty good afterall."

As fascinated as Microsoft is with its own products, it has its work cut out for it as the iPad is clearly the more embraced device so far in an education setting. Just last week, Tim Cook said that Apple now owns 94 percent of the education market.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PS4 Link brings Remote Play to PS Vita in system update

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Nov 2013 12:13

PS4 Link brings Remote Play to PS Vita in system update Sony is pushing out a system update for its PS Vita handheld console that includes PS4 Link - letting you connect with your PS4 system when it launches in ten days.

PS Vita 3.0 adds the PS4 Link app to the home screen. Using PS4 Link, you can use your PS Vita to remotely control a PS4 system, and play a range of PS4 games on your PS Vita screen. When you're playing a game on PS4 that supports second screen features, you can also display information from that game on your PS Vita and use it as a second screen. The previous "Remote Play" app on the PS Vita has been renamed to "PS3 Remote Play".

The update also brings improved Parental Controls to the PS Vita. Parents can use it to manage the duration of game play, and the use of games and videos that have parental controls. You can also control access to certain areas of the system, including the use of the Internet browser and Location Data.

Messaging improvements are also part of the update, with the Group Messaging application name and icon changed to Messages. You can now send and receive messages with friends and players on PS4 or on mobile devices installed with PlayStation App. The icon for the Party application has been changed. You can now voice chat and text chat with friends and players on PS4.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Infinity Ward expects slower Call of Duty sales before PS4, Xbox One

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Nov 2013 11:56

Infinity Ward expects slower Call of Duty sales before PS4, Xbox One Call of Duty: Ghosts has been released but the developer behind the latest title in the franchise is prepared for slower sales due to the transition to next gen.

It took only 15 days for the previous CoD title, Black Ops II, to reach $1 billion in sales. Until the release of Grand Theft Auto V in October 2012, Black Ops II claimed the largest entertainment launch of all time.

With Call of Duty: Ghosts being released for PC, PlayStation 3 (PS3), Xbox 360 and Wii U today, sales will undoubtedly be very high, but Infinity Ward is expecting slower initial sales due to the release of Xbox One and PS4 later this month - both of which claim Ghosts as a launch title.

"Next-gen has historically created a bit of a challenge for all games from a numbers standpoint," Infinity Ward Executive Producer Mark Rubin told the BBC News website.

"It's definitely something we're aware of. I know talking to a lot of people, figuring out what they're going to buy is a problem. I think it will be spread out a little bit - it's harder to do the day-one [sales]... but I think we're in a good spot."

Reviews for Ghosts have been mixed so far, but unlikely to hurt its commercial success.




AfterDawn: News

150 million accounts leaked - check here if you are affected

Written by Jari Ketola @ 05 Nov 2013 11:25

150 million accounts leaked - check here if you are affected About a month ago Adobe confirmed that their systems were breached and user account details were compromised. Security researchers and hackers got their hands on the data and news started circulating the web.

The leaked data contains, among other data, email addresses and encrypted passwords. The encryption key is so far unknown, but it could be just a matter of time before all the data is decrypted and millions of email addresses are linked to corresponding passwords. That is because all the passwords seem to have been encrypted with either a very few keys or a single key. Security analysts have already managed to find the top 100 passwords from the millions of rows of data.

If your account was compromised your Adobe account was already locked a month ago. If, however, you are unsure if your email address was in Adobe's records (and it is quite likely that many of the 150 million users affected are), you can check online if your email address is included in the leaked data. This service is provided by a third party, and AfterDawn is in no way responsible for it's behaviour. While we believe the service is legit, there are no guarantees of it.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Motorola to unveil Moto G on November 13th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Nov 2013 23:00

Motorola to unveil Moto G on November 13th Motorola has confirmed its Moto G smartphone will be launched on November 13.

The device is a cheaper alternative to the company's flagship Moto X, but the manufacturer has not revealed too many specs of yet.

Via leaks, including a Phones4U card, we know that the device will most likely run on a 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon processor, 1GB RAM and have 8GB internal storage and a 5MP camera.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google Nexus 5 now on 2 to 5 week backorder

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Nov 2013 22:39

Google Nexus 5 now on 2 to 5 week backorder The unlocked Google Nexus 5 appears to continue to show strong demand (or dwindling supply).

Google's recently unveiled flagship sold out of initial supply through the Google Play Store within hours and moved to expected 1 week shipping and then 2 week shipping before the launch day was completed.

As of writing, the smartphone is now on 3 to 5 week backorder, depending on which variant you want. The 16GB models, in black and in black/white, are on "4-5 week" backorder, the black 32GB model is on 3-4 week backorder and the white 32GB model (clearly the least popular), is on 2-3 week backorder.

The flagship has a Full HD IPS 4.95" 1920x1080 display (445 ppi) protected by Gorilla Glass 3, runs on the brand new Android 4.4 KitKat and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 at 2.3GHz, 2GB RAM, and an Adreno 330 GPU. The phone weighs just 4.59 oz, has a premium glass design, a 1.3MP front facing camera, an 8MP rear facing camera with Optical Image Stabilization, a 2,300 mAH battery and wireless charging capabilities.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Call of Duty dev explains lower resolution for 'Ghosts' on Xbox One

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Nov 2013 22:05

Call of Duty dev explains lower resolution for 'Ghosts' on Xbox One Infinity Ward Executive Producer Mark Rubin has explained why Call of Duty: Ghosts renders at 720p on Xbox One.

It emerged last week that Call of Duty: Ghosts would render at 720p on the Xbox One console, which had some gamers scratching their heads since it will render at 1080p on the PS4.

According to Rubin, the problem was in the framerate. Infinity Ward wanted 60fps, but couldn't get it while rendering in 1080p.

"It's very possible we can get it to native 1080p [resolution]. I mean I've seen it working at 1080p native," Rubin told Eurogamer.

"It's just we couldn't get the frame rate in the neighborhood we wanted it to be. And it wasn't a lack of effort. It wasn't that it was like last minute. We had the theoretical hardware for a long time. That's the thing you get pretty quickly and that doesn't change dramatically."

He told GameSpot that the game renders at 720p on the Xbox One, and then upscales to 1080p for TV output.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung extends Nokia patent license deal

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Nov 2013 21:51

Samsung extends Nokia patent license deal Nokia has announced that Samsung Electronics has extended a patent license agreement with the Finnish company.

The South Korean CE giant extended a phone patent agreement it has with Nokia by an additional five years, according to Nokia. Nokia will receive additional compensation from Samsung, beginning next year.

Nokia has agreed to sell its phone business to Microsoft. That deal is currently being mulled over by regulators in the European Union. The Finnish company did opt to hold onto its lucrative patent portfolio however.




AfterDawn: News

HGST unveils 6TB HDD filled with Helium

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Nov 2013 21:46

HGST unveils 6TB HDD filled with Helium Western Digital's HGST announced its new hermetically sealed (air-tight) 6TB Ultrastar He6 hard disk drive (HDD) that's filled with helium gas instead of air.

Filling it with the noble gas instead of air makes it possible for the Ultrastar He6 to use a 7-Disk design (7Stac) rather than a 5-Disk design, with helium being only one-seventh the density of air.

The high-capacity HDD is intended for use in enterprise environments, particularly data centers that require ever increasing amounts of storage capacity. Not only does the drive have the highest capacity for a standard 3.5-inch form factor, it also uses 23 percent lower idle power per drive, and boasts 49 percent better watts-per-TB.

"With ever-increasing pressures on corporate and cloud data centers to improve storage efficiencies and reduce costs, HGST is at the forefront delivering a revolutionary new solution that significantly improves data center TCO on virtually every level – capacity, power, cooling and storage density – all in the same 3.5-inch form factor," said Brendan Collins, vice president of product marketing, HGST.

"Not only is our new Ultrastar helium hard drive helping customers solve data center challenges today, our mainstream helium platform will serve as the future building block for new products and technologies moving forward. This is a huge feat, and we are gratified by the support of our customers in the development of this platform."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

NSA: Google chairman blasts reported spying as outrageous, possibly illegal

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Nov 2013 21:22

NSA: Google chairman blasts reported spying as outrageous, possibly illegal Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt has said that reported NSA spying on Google data servers is outrageous.

Recent media reports have suggested that the U.S. Government targeted links between Google's data centers located around the world. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Google chairman Eric Schmidt didn't hold back on condemning the activity if shown to be true.

"It's really outrageous that the National Security Agency was looking between the Google data centers, if that's true. The steps that the organization was willing to do without good judgment to pursue its mission and potentially violate people's privacy, it's not OK," Schmidt said.

"The Snowden revelations have assisted us in understanding that it's perfectly possible that there are more revelations to come."

He told the WSJ that Google has complained to the NSA, to Congress and even to President Barack Obama in the wake of these revelations.

Outside of the reports about Google's data centers, Schmidt also spoke on other data gathering activities carried out by the NSA.

"The NSA allegedly collected the phone records of 320 million people in order to identify roughly 300 people who might be a risk. It's just bad public policy...and perhaps illegal," he said.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Italy weighs 'Google Tax' to raise revenue

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Nov 2013 21:15

Italy weighs 'Google Tax' to raise revenue Elements of the Italian government support measures that would boost tax revenue from Google, Yahoo, Amazon and other major web giants.

Instead of simply taxing the companies directly, a bill has been tabled that oblige companies that advertise and sell online in Italy to do so only through agencies that have a tax presence in the country. The extra revenue to such agency would translate to extra tax to the government. The plan is to raise €1 billion in additional revenue.

The bill was drafted by lower house budget committee Chairman Francesco Boccia, who said it was unacceptable that online companies pay tax abroad on revenue from sales they makes in Italy.

"We shouldn't be trying to raise resources by hiking taxes on fuel, cigarettes or small retailers while our online purchases are raising the profits of companies that have no interest in developing our economy," Boccia said on his website.

Opponents of the proposal have gone as far as to say it is based on wishful thinking that lacks knowledge of how Internet commerce and advertising work.

The Italian government is far from the only one complaining about the level of tax revenue from multinationals however, who are very skilled at paying as low overall tax as possible.




AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry abandons sale, takes investment instead with CEO stepping down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Nov 2013 20:35

BlackBerry abandons sale, takes investment instead with CEO stepping down The BlackBerry circus continues.

After failing to find a buyer for the entire company, BlackBerry has announced it has scrapped its tentative $4.7 billion plan to go private and will instead remain public with a new $1 billion investment from multiple shareholders.

CEO Thorsten Heins will be replaced, and is stepping down immediately with John Chen taking over on an interim basis. Chen was the former CEO of Sybase Inc.

The company's stock collapsed 17 percent today, following the news that it would sell $1 billion of convertible debt to large shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and a number of other institutional investors. Fairfax owns 10 percent of BlackBerry already, and will buy at least $250 million of the new convertible debt. Fairfax had offered $4.7 billion to buy the company in September but it is clear that that deal had some issues.

As part of the deal, CEO Heins will step down and make way for Chen, who will also become chairman. Chen says he needs "a little bit of time" to build a workable plan for the company, but it wants to be a business-focused service. "Obviously there are a lot of assets there," Chen added.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Surface Pro 2 battery life improves after firmware update

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Nov 2013 17:19

Surface Pro 2 battery life improves after firmware update Owners of Microsoft's Surface Pro 2 tablet have noticed a considerable increase in battery life following a firmware update.

While the SurFace Pro 2 already considerably improved battery life over its predecessor, the firmware update has pushed it even further with up to 20 percent extra battery life being reported. Of course it depends on what you are doing with the tablet that will determine the change.

The firmware update lets the Marvell Wi-Fi chipset to operate at lower power states, so the battery improvements will be noticeable for normal browsing habits.

The Surface 2 with Windows RT has not had the same battery improvement through firmware update.




AfterDawn: News

Google to lock access to saved passwords in Chrome?

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Nov 2013 17:10

Google to lock access to saved passwords in Chrome? The last Chromium build for Mac can enable a restriction that forces a user to re-authenticate when trying to view a plain text password.

It was pointed out by Franηois Beaufort on Google+. Once you enable the chrome://flags/#enable-password-manager-reauthentication flag, the re-authentication will start to show when trying to view plain text passwords in chrome://settings/passwords.

Google has come under fire recently for how easy it is to view plain text passwords that have been saved by the Chrome web browser. This latest experimental flag hints that Google might address the problem by allowing Chrome users to protect access to plain text passwords.



(Image Credit & Source: Franηois Beaufort)




AfterDawn: News

Amazon cuts Kindle prices today to celebrate FAA rule changes

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Nov 2013 16:54

Amazon cuts Kindle prices today to celebrate FAA rule changes Amazon is cutting the prices of its Kindle tablets and e-readers for just one day to celebrate rule changes from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA announced last week that air passengers can now use portable electronics during take-off and landing, meaning you can use your gadgets through flights from departure to arrival - though there are still restrictions on cell calls and Internet access (below 15,000 feet).

Still, Amazon sees reason to celebrate by cutting 15 percent off Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HDX 7 and the $69 Kindle - but if you want to avail of these offers you must hurry up because it is only for today.

In order to receive the discount, customers must enter ThhnksFAA at the checkout (yes, that's how the press release spells thanks).

With the discount code, the $69 Kindle can be bought for $59 today. The Kindle Fire HD drops to $118 with the promo code and Kindle Fire HDX 7 drops to $195.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Need for Speed Rivals is a PS4 launch title

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Nov 2013 16:44

Need for Speed Rivals is a PS4 launch title The November 15 launch of the PlayStation 4 (PS4) console in the United States has another confirmed launch title: Need for Speed Rivals.

Shiny new gaming consoles are a beautiful thing, and it's always exciting when a major launch date is on the horizon. It's hard to believe that the PlayStation 4 (PS4) launch is not even two weeks away now, but when we unbox our consoles we will want to get a feel of what they can do. Launch titles are extremely important in that way, and the more the merrier.

Sony, Ghost Games & Electronics Arts have announced that Need for Speed Rivals will be a PS4 launch title this month, dropping on November 15 in the North American market. Rumors had suggested recently that the game was being pushed back to a later date, so this is welcome news.

The game is scheduled to be released for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on November 19, and will of course launch for the Xbox One on November 22 alongside the new Microsoft console.




AfterDawn: News

Wii mini lands in U.S. for $100 with Mario Kart Wii this month

Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Nov 2013 16:25

Wii mini lands in U.S. for $100 with Mario Kart Wii this month Nintendo has announced that it will launch the Wii mini console in the United States this month, bundled with Mario Kart Wii.

The Wii mini will be available starting mid-November at a a suggested retail price of only $99.99, bundled with the Mario Kart Wii game and a red Wii Remote Plus controller and a red Nunchuk controller.

Wii mini is a redesigned version of the extremely successful 2006 console that claims a library of more than 1,300 games. It is matte black with a red border.

"Wii mini offers the same fun experience as Wii, which has been enjoyed by millions of people around the world," said Scott Moffitt, Nintendo of America's executive vice president of Sales & Marketing.

"And it comes packaged with Mario Kart Wii, a multiplayer Mario racing game that is one of the best-selling Wii games. At such a great price, it is an extraordinary value for shoppers this holiday season."

Since its 2006 launch, Nintendo has sold more than 100 million Wii consoles around the world, beating the pricier Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 rivals of the currently winding down generation.

At $99.99, the Wii mini is an affordable way for those left who never bought a Wii console to give the platform a try.




AfterDawn: News

AT&T looking into purchasing Vodafone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2013 23:34

AT&T looking into purchasing Vodafone According to multiple sources, AT&T is preparing for a potential takeover of Europe's biggest mobile carrier, Vodafone.

The complex deal is in early stages, as AT&T needs to know what assets it would retain after the acquisition, and what assets would be sold to others.

If such a deal were to fall through, AT&T also has its eyes on UK-based carrier EE.

AT&T has been actively looking to get into the European mobile market, and approached Verizon Communications earlier this year to try to purchase Vodafone's European operations. Verizon dismissed the deal as too complicated, and did not want to slow down their own $130 billion purchase of Vodafone's stake in U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless.

If merged, Vodafone and AT&T would form the largest wireless telco in the world, with a market capitalization exceeding $250 billion, and over 500 million wireless subscribers.




AfterDawn: News

Girls want iPhones, Boys want PS4 this holiday

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2013 17:57

Girls want iPhones, Boys want PS4 this holiday A survey into what 12-17 year olds want this holiday has found Apple's iPhone and iPad are popular, but boys covet the next generation PlayStation 4.

The survey was performed on behalf of Ebates, a cash-back shopping site. It found that Apple's iPhone is the most wanted product this year among all kids aged 12-17. Over 32 percent of overall respondents wanted the Apple smartphone while just 12 percent wanted a device made by Samsung.

Girls pushed the iPhone into the top spot though, since 41 percent of them wanted an iPhone. Breaking it down by gender though shows that boys prefer Sony's next generation PlayStation 4 (PS4) console this holiday season.

As for parents of teens who took part, over 54 percent identified an Apple product as being their intended purchase for their kids during the holidays.




AfterDawn: News

Bill Gates thinks malaria research should be prioritized ahead of Internet access

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2013 17:46

Bill Gates thinks malaria research should be prioritized ahead of Internet access In an interview with the Financial Times, Bill Gates branded prioritizing Internet access in poor countries ahead of malaria research a 'joke'.

Known worldwide as the co-founder of Microsoft, its former chief executive and being unbelievably rich, Bill Gates spends most of his work time now on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The goals of the Gates foundation are to fight poverty and disease in the developing regions of the world, and to advance education in the United States.

Warren Buffet is one of three trusties that control the foundation, along with Bill and Melinda Gates. The three were recognised in 2007 as the most generous philanthropists in America. Bill Gates has donated $28 billion to the foundation thus far.

Malaria is an obvious target for the Gates Foundation. in 2010, there were an estimated 219 million cases of Malaria with an estimated 660,000 deaths. It is one of the diseases that disproportionately affects poor countries not just in rates of infection, but the impact it has on resources. A malaria vaccine has been a holy grail for researchers - including the U.S. military - for decades but thus far efforts haven't produced the revolutionary weapon against the disease that it coveted.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Viacom v. YouTube lawsuit in appeals court, Viacom claims YouTube 'induced' copyright infringement

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2013 17:13

Viacom v. YouTube lawsuit in appeals court, Viacom claims YouTube 'induced' copyright infringement Viacom is persisting with its billion dollar lawsuit against Google's YouTube, despite previous defeats and drastic changes at the service.

Viacom originally sued YouTube before it had tools like Content I.D. that could be used to control the upload of potentially infringing content on the service. Even so, Viacom already lost this battle when a New York district court didn't agree with its case, and now Viacom is heading to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

YouTube finds protection in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of 1998, specifically the safe harbour provisions that protect service providers like it.

As long as YouTube - as a service provider - does not encourage or induce copyright infringement through its service, and responds and acts on legitimate DMCA requests, it should be safe under the provisions afforded to it in the DMCA, and so far it has.

However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is warning that Viacom's argument to the appeals court is challenging YouTube's protection under the safe harbor provisions and suggesting that YouTube actually induced copyright infringement.

The EFF makes two simple arguments against Viacom's position.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google Play has more downloads than Apple's App Store, but only half the revenue

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2013 17:02

Google Play has more downloads than Apple's App Store, but only half the revenue A report into the state of the major smartphone and tablet app marketplaces - the App Store and Google Play - has found that Google Play edged the Apple store by volume but lags far behind in revenue.

The third quarter 2013 report from App Annie shows that the Google Play store has 25 percent more downloads than Apple's App Store. The big sources of increasing downloads for the Google store are Brazil and Argentina, with game downloads leading the way.

"The increase in Google Play's downloads was primarily driven by Brazil and Argentina with the former climbing one spot in the rankings to #4 behind the US, South Korea and India. Games remained the leading category in Brazil, but gains made by the Communication and Media & Audio categories also helped them achieve their Google Play download ranking," said App Annie in its report.

While Google will be delighted to see its store deliver more apps to users, it only generated half the revenue that Apple's App Store did. Japan was the biggest source of revenue for Google Play, just ahead of South Korea. The United States was in third place.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Intel to fabricate 64-bit ARM chips next year

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2013 16:53

Intel to fabricate 64-bit ARM chips next year In a revelation that nobody expected, Intel will fabricate 64-bit chips based on ARM architecture next year for a client.

Altera announced at the ARM developers conference that the iconic chipmaker will fabricate 64-bit ARM chips for it next year, which came as a surprise. Intel's ATOM chips compete directly with chips based on ARM architecture such as NVIDIA's Tegra, or Snapdragon's chips that power many Android smartphones.

Business is business though and if Intel would not fabricate the chips, somebody else would be happy to.

AppleInsider also notes speculation now that Apple may look to Intel for some of its A-series orders. The A-series SoC's that power its iPhones and iPads (A7 in iPhone 5s and iPad Air) are fabricated by smartphone arch-rival Samsung. Despite Apple striking a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. during the summer, reports circulated that the Taiwan firm was having yield issues due to the 20 nanometer process used in the upcoming A8.

Intel already is tapped by Apple for for its MacBooks, and of course both companies have worked on other projects like Thunderbolt.




AfterDawn: News

Boost Mobile to begin offering iPhone 5C and 5S for $100 off

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2013 16:41

Boost Mobile to begin offering iPhone 5C and 5S for $100 off Boost Mobile, one of the more popular prepaid carriers in the U.S., has announced this weekend that they will begin offering the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, with a $100 discount to boot.

The devices will be available starting on November 8th, and the pricing matches that of Virgin Mobile, another prepaid carrier in the States.

Discounting all versions of the phone, the 5S will retail for 549/$649/$749 for the 16/32/64GB models, respectively. The 16GB 5C will sell for $100 off at $449, but the 32GB model will strangely retail for $649, leaving little incentive to purchase that model when you can get the better 5S for the same price.

The aging iPhone 4S will sell for $300.

Boost offers monthly unlimited everything no-contract plans for $55 that run on Sprint's 4G network.




AfterDawn: News

WATCH: YouTube Music Awards live tonight in NYC

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2013 16:20

WATCH: YouTube Music Awards live tonight in NYC The first YouTube Music Awards will be live tonight from New York, and of course you can watch the proceedings online.

The YouTube Music Awards kick off at 6PM E.T. from Pier 36 in New York City, co-hosted by Jason Schwartzman and Reggie Watts. Each nomination category was created YouTube users' views, comments, likes, subscriptions and shares.

In the lead up to the music awards, an International celebration of music was underway with performances from Seoul, Moscow, Rio and London. The show itself will feature performances from Eminem, Lady Gaga, and Arcade Fire.

Of course the first ever YTMA's will be streamed live online, and you can watch them below.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Skype explains why add-ons might stop working next month

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2013 16:09

Skype explains why add-ons might stop working next month Skype is retiring the Desktop API in December, meaning that third-party add-ons and accessories may not function correctly or at all.

The Skype Desktop API was created in 2004 and it doesn't support mobile application development. This conflicts with Skype's goal of making the service better on mobile platforms. At the moment, Skype is working on significantly improving call quality and the speed of delivery of instant messages, all while lowering the drain on batteries.

"As people are using Skype on more devices, we're also working hard to create a more familiar and consistent Skype experience across all major platforms," the Skype blog reads.

From next month, the old Desktop API will be retired and so the functionality of recording add-ons or other third-party Skype apps will be hit.




AfterDawn: News

Warner promises Batman: Arkham Origins bug fixes this week

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2013 16:04

Warner promises Batman: Arkham Origins bug fixes this week Warner Bros. has apologized to gamers for a range of bugs affecting the Batman: Arkham Origins title across platforms.

Within the next week it promised to issue a patch that will address this range of issues. In particular, players have complained that sometimes they are unable to continue the Story Mode of Arkham Origins from the Main Menu of the game.

Others also said that the "FreeFlow Focus mode" was not unlocking upon reaching "Shadow Vigilante" rank 3, and of course the good old "infinite falling" and falling out of the world bug is back with Arkham Origins. A fix for that bug in particular will push you back to your previous save.

Xbox 360 gamers might have to wait a while for other annoyances to be fixed though, including corrupted saves and ongoing crashes/freezing on the platform. As a temporary workaround for story mode, Warner suggests you disconnect the Xbox 360 from the Internet.




AfterDawn: News

Woz wishes Google and Apple were 'partners in the future'

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2013 15:59

Woz wishes Google and Apple were 'partners in the future' Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has said he wished Apple and Google were partners in the future to make devices smarter.

In an interview with the BBC's Click, Woz admitted that sometimes Siri on his iPhone simply isn't as good as the Android alternative.

"Sometimes I say 'Go to Joe's Diner' and [Siri] doesn't know where Joe's Diner is. And very often usually I find out that Android does," he said. He believes the reason why Android has this extra knowledge is the access to Google's enormous search engine data.

"That is actually the future of intelligence probably for computers getting smarter and getting artificial intelligence. I wish to God that Apple and Google were partners in the future," he said.

Woz believes that encouraging openness and the sharing of information and methods would benefit everyone and the best of technology would result.

"I believe you should have a world where you've got to license something at a fair price. There are good things I see on Samsung phones that I wish were in my iPhone. I wish Apple would use them and could use them, and I don't know if Samsung would stop us," he said.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ebay removes Holocaust memorabilia, apologises

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Nov 2013 15:51

Ebay removes Holocaust memorabilia, apologises Ebay has reportedly removed around 30 items of 'Holocaust memorabilia' from its auction site, and apologized that the items were allowed to be listed.

The items were pointed out to eBay by the Mail on Sunday in the UK, including a complete Auschwitz uniform reportedly worn by a Polish baker who died at the Nazi camp. According to the newspaper, the auction giant offered to donate £25,000 to a suitable charity.

"We are very sorry these items have been listed on eBay and we are removing them. We don't allow listings of this nature, and dedicate thousands of staff to policing our site and use the latest technology to detect items that shouldn't be for sale," eBay said in a statement.

"We very much regret that we didn't live up to our own standards. We have made a donation to charity to reflect our concern."

Shoes, a toothbrush and yellow Star of David armbands were among the other items listed. The Auschwitz uniform was being offered for £11,300 by Viktor Kempf, a Ukranian man living in Canada, but he said he was selling the items to document them and fund history book projects.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Three potential bidders consider teaming up to purchase BlackBerry

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2013 22:45

Three potential bidders consider teaming up to purchase BlackBerry According to the WSJ, three potential bidders are considering joining together for a bid for the struggling smartphone maker, BlackBerry.

Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin, who co-founded the company in 1984, but left the company in the last two years, have been talking with mobile chipset giant Qualcomm and major investor Cerberus Capital Management for a joint bid on the company.

In September, top shareholder Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. offered $9 per share for the company, but it has still not lined up the financing necessary and is likely to get hit with a breakup fee over $100 million for its wasted offer. Fairfax already owns 10 percent of the company. Investors have laughed off the preliminary deal, with the stock closing at $7.77 on Friday, well below the $9 offered.

BlackBerry has been up for sale in the last few months but buyers are cautious as the company only has a few assets worth anything. Its BBM network, its enterprise and security network and its patents are the only parts of the company seen with any value, and those may not be worth more than the company is currently trading for. The company's stock currently gives it a value of $4 billion.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android 4.4 KitKat will ship with Google QuickOffice already pre-installed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2013 22:27

Android 4.4 KitKat will ship with Google QuickOffice already pre-installed Google has announced that Android 4.4 KitKat will ship with the company's own word processing suite, QuickOffice, already pre-installed.

The app, purchased in 2012 by the search giant, allows you to edit Microsoft Office documents, including spreadsheets and presentations.

Before it was acquired, the app sold for up to $9.99 and still had hundreds of thousands of downloads. In December of last year, the company made the app free, as long as you used Google Apps on iPad, iPhone and Android. As of last month, the app is now free to everyone using iOS and Android.

Microsoft offers a version of their market leading Office for Android and iOS, but it requires an Office 365 subscription to use, which is not cheap as it costs at minimum $5 per month.




AfterDawn: News

GTA V took top prize at Golden Joysticks

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 21:11

GTA V took top prize at Golden Joysticks Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto V took 'Game of the Year' at the Golden Joysticks awards last week.

The awards are the the largest publicly-voted video game awards in the world, with over 10 million casting votes for this year's awards.

A new addition to the ceremony is the Lifetime Achievement award, which was presented to Ken Levine (BioShock). "The great thing about the still-maturing nature of video games is you get to be inspired by the work of novices and veterans alike," he said.

"We're all figuring out day by day exactly what the medium is capable of."

Full List of Awards:

  • Game of the Year: Grand Theft Auto V
  • Hall of Fame: Activision: Call of Duty
  • Lifetime Achievement: Ken Levine
  • Best Newcomer: The Last of Us
  • Most Wanted: Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Best Indie Game: Mark of the Ninja
  • Best Visual Design: BioShock Infinite
  • Best Multiplayer: Payday 2
  • Best Gaming Moment: Far Cry 3 - The Definition of Insanity
  • Studio of the Year: Naughty Dog
  • Innovation of the Year: Oculus Rift
  • Best Storytelling: The Last of Us
  • Best Online Game: World of Tanks
  • Best Handheld Game: Assassin's Creed III: Liberation
  • YouTube Gamer Award: Yogscast
  • Best Gaming Platform: Steam
  • Best Mobile/Tablet Game of the Year: XCOM: Enemy Unknown




AfterDawn: News

Man charged with hacking U.S. government networks

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 21:02

Man charged with hacking U.S. government networks A man has been arrested in England on suspicion of hacking into U.S. government networks.

Lauri Love is accused of hacking into U.S. government systems, including military systems, to steal confidential information and to disrupt operations. Three other co-conspirators - two in Australia and one in Sweden - remain unnamed.

Systems that they allegedly attacked included NASA, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency.

"Such conduct endangers the security of our country and is an affront to those who serve," said U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey.

He said that the hacking took place starting in October 2012, and let to personal data of U.S. military personnel being compromised.

Love was arrested by the cybercrime unit of Britain's National Crime Agency on October 25, and is currently out on bail.




AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: Start-up claims Captcha crack

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 20:49

VIDEO: Start-up claims Captcha crack A U.S. start-up claims it has developed software that can accurately answer Captcha prompts 90 percent of the time.

Captchas are a security measure that almost every Internet user has encountered: a graphic or sound that give a human a word to enter in order to fight spam bots. The software is modelled on how the human brain functions to recognise patterns according to its developer, Vicarious.

The Recursive Cortical Network software can operate and even "learn" to a degree by mimicking processes in the brain. The goal of the start-up is to develop the technology for robotics, medical image analysis and world domination - OK I made that last part up.

"The Vicarious algorithms achieve a level of effectiveness and efficiency much closer to actual human brains," Vicarious co-founder D Scott Phoenix said in a statement.

Luis von Ahn, a computer scientist who was part of the team that developed the Captcha system at Carnegie Mellon University, said it was difficult to verify the claims made by Vicarious, but said if necessary Captchas can always be make stronger by increasing distortion.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Startup PLAiR shows off new Chromecast rival with much more app support, features

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2013 14:03

Startup PLAiR shows off new Chromecast rival with much more app support, features Video-streaming startup PLAiR, which last year released an HDMI-dongle very similar to what Google released this year, has now scrambled to release a sequel to take on the giant's entry to the market.

Last year, the fish fin-shaped dongle plugged directly into the TV and allowed for streaming video. It was priced at $99 and was originally marketed to rival Apple TV, including the ability to find local content on your notebook, smartphone, tablet and then send it to the TV.

Chromecast, which does the exact same thing, is sold by Google for $39 and even included a free 90-day subscription to Netflix. So far, Hulu, Netflix and Pandora have created native apps for Chromecast with HBO Go expected later in the year.

The new PLAiR 2, which will sell for $49, is powered by a 1GHz ARM Processor, 1 GB DDR3 RAM, has 802.11n wireless, and a built-in GPU/VPU for full 1080p streaming.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

JetBlue, Delta now allowing for some electronics to remain turned on during takeoff, landing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2013 13:37

JetBlue, Delta now allowing for some electronics to remain turned on during takeoff, landing As of this weekend, JetBlue and Delta airlines will no longer stop fliers from using their electronics during takeoff and landing.

The recent FAA announcement now allows for electronics to remain on during the flight, but phone calls and using cell data is still not allowed (aka airplane mode). Laptops are still not allowed, but only smaller devices like e-readers, smartphones and tablets. While the FAA decision is broad-based, each airline must ask for approval and it is not required for them to follow the new decision.

"We have worked very closely with the FAA to achieve this new policy, which will be a significant improvement in customers' onboard experience," Robin Hayes, JetBlue's chief commercial officer, noted. "JetBlue now allows all customers gate-to-gate use of personal electronic devices, which means customers can now use their devices at any time during their time onboard."

Delta noted that it recently completed the "carrier-defined PED tolerance testing" required to see if electronic device frequencies would interfere with the aircraft's machinery.




AfterDawn: News

Instagram is no longer ad-free

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2013 13:16

Instagram is no longer ad-free As of Friday, popular photo and video-sharing site Instagram is no longer ad-free.

The first official ad (sponsored photo) is from Michael Kors brand, and the picture of a watch saw over 250,000 likes in its first day.

Facebook (owners of Instagram) had an extended preview period allowing the 150 million users of the service to acclimate to seeing occasional ads in their feeds.

All future ads will include the label "sponsored" so users can differentiate and users can hide the ads if they don't care for the content. Eventually that will lead to better product targeting.

Facebook purchased Instagram for $1 billion last year, and the company has been careful in their efforts to begin monetizing the service.




AfterDawn: News

Windows 8.1 jumps to 1.72 percent market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2013 12:57

Windows 8.1 jumps to 1.72 percent market share According to new figures from NetMarketshare, Microsoft saw their new Windows 8.1 operating system take 1.72 percent global market share, following its first few weeks of general availability.

Overall, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 took 9.25 percent share, a tiny 0.36 percentage point gain from the month before. Windows 8 itself fell 0.49 percentage points month-over-month, due to upgrades. Windows 8, as a standalone, likely peaked in September.

Windows 7 remained the champ, at 46.42 percent, although the OS was flat month-over-month.

Moving to Mac, OS X 10.9 was released late in the month, as well, and jumped to 0.84 percent share.

Windows Vista and Windows XP also remained relatively flat, but within major downtrends.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

IMAX bringing home cinemas to China's wealthiest

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 12:51

IMAX bringing home cinemas to China's wealthiest IMAX has formed a joint venture with Shenzhen's TCL Multimedia to offer expensive home cinema systems to the wealthiest people in China.

A pioneer in immersive 3D cinema experiences, IMAX will market expensive home cinema systems to China's wealthy elite. The home theater systems are expected to sell for up to $250,000 in the country, while it also is eyeing Russia, Hong Kong and the middle east for further expansion.

"China now is our second largest market in the world, and our fastest growing market," Imax chief executive Richard Gelfond said.

TCL estimates that the home theater market in China will grow 20 percent per year, as the growing rich in China look to buy more luxury goods.

IMAX has 131 screens installed in China, accounting for 16 percent of its total revenue.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix has begun testing 4K streaming

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2013 12:36

Netflix has begun testing 4K streaming Netflix has confirmed they have begun testing 4K streaming, hoping to become a major provider by the end of 2014.

The company has added a handful of 4K UltraHD videos to its streaming library this week, with a much wider rollout expected in the next few months. Additionally, the company says it "hopes to launch Ultra HD next year."

For now, the titles are really just reference footage, including one title called "El Fuente: 24 MP," with a description that bluntly reads, "an example of 4K at 24 frames per second." The footage is kids playing in a fountain and people riding on bicycles, showing the streaming in different conditions.

Netflix is expected to make its own original content offerings in UltraHD next year, along with some other major content from licensing partners.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft makes Xbox One Kinect privacy assurances

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 12:34

Microsoft makes Xbox One Kinect privacy assurances A Microsoft document details how Xbox One Kinect users' data is protected under the new system.

Questions had been raised about privacy issues with the new Kinect, which can recognize and automatically sign in different players based on information it stores about them. The system measures distance between facial features and converts it into numerical data.

According to Microsoft, nobody would be able to look at this data and determine that it represents the person in question. Nevertheless, the information stays on the Xbox One console and is not shared with third parties or backed up to Microsoft servers.

Users are also in complete control over photos captured by the Kinect device during use, and can determine the sharing of data with titles like Kinect Fitness which track skeletal data.

An "Expressions" feature lets users control the Xbox One in ways using facial expressions, but this information cannot identify an individual user and is destroyed when a session ends.

The GameDVR feature on Xbox One can capture gameplay. In the case of multiplayer games, GameDVR will not capture audio chat. Footage captured with GameDVR can be set to "Blocked", "Friends Only" or everybody - determining its level of visibility.




AfterDawn: News

Sprint begins taking pre-orders for Nexus 5, includes large subsidy on contract for new subscribers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2013 11:45

Sprint begins taking pre-orders for Nexus 5, includes large subsidy on contract for new subscribers Sprint has begun taking pre-orders for the Google Nexus 5, offering the flagship device for $50 with two-year contract (for new customers).

The unlocked model starts at $349 for 16GB and works for AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile.

Sprint's new deal is for new customers only, as it requires you to port your number from an existing carrier. Additionally, the company says the deal has a mail-in-rebate, as well, for $50.

If you are an existing customer, the carrier is charging $150 after rebate, for the 16GB model.

Read more about the new flagship here: Google Nexus 5 on Afterdawn




AfterDawn: News

Time Warner Cable shed 306,000 subscribers during CBS dispute

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 4:24

Time Warner Cable shed 306,000 subscribers during CBS dispute Time Warner Cable lost more subscribers in the third-quarter than any other quarter in its history, and the CBS dispute is being blamed.

The cable co lost more than 306,000 subscribers between July and September, compared to a drop of 29,000 subscribers during the same quarter of last year. The company blames the CBS dispute which resulted in a CBS blackout on the network.

TWC had to provide over $15 million worth of credit to Showtime subscribers for losing service during the dispute too.

Its net income during the quarter dropped to $532 million, compared to $808 for the same period of 2012, while its average cost of programming per subscriber rose 8.4 percent to $34.10 per month.




AfterDawn: News

Tech giants petition congress on NSA, surveillance transparency

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 4:18

Tech giants petition congress on NSA, surveillance transparency U.S. technology and web giants have written a letter to the U.S. Congress asking it to do more to reign in NSA surveillance and make such programs more transparent.

Since the NSA revelations began there has been considerable confusion among Internet users - in America and worldwide - about exactly what is happening to their data. Some of the earliest reports suggested that the NSA has direct access to servers at companies like Google and could come and go as they pleased for users' information.

Google, and others, almost immediately denied that allegation outright and petitioned the U.S. administration to loosen rules on disclosing the types of government requests it gets. While they eventually were permitted to issue figures in transparency reports, they were not allowed to differentiate between them, which means that they could not separate national security requests from, for example, law enforcement requests for data related to missing persons.

This only continued the confusion and led to the misreporting that the NSA was behind 100% of all the data requests revealed by the tech companies.

Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Yahoo, Apple and AOL have written a letter to Congress asking it to do more to make surveillance and government requests more transparent, as well as protecting the privacy of Internet users.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix gains third Cable TV deal in Europe

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 4:07

Netflix gains third Cable TV deal in Europe Netflix has added another useful deal with a European cable TV provider, marking its third in the market.

While there is continued speculation and reports about Netflix tapping Comcast in a similar deal in the United States, it has just added its third deal with a European cable TV provider. Denmark's Waoo service will now provide Netflix functionality to its pay TV customers. It has around 270,000 subscribers.

Previously, Netflix struck its first such deal with Virgin Media in the UK and followed it up with a deal with Sweden's Com Hem. Perhaps Netflix is seeking such a deal with a cable provider in all European states.

In the United States, Netflix is likely to sign a deal that will bring its app to set-top-box subscribers of a cable TV provider, and reports suggest Comcast is the most likely.

While seen as one of the major factors for declining subscriber tallies for cable companies in recent years, Netflix is also seen as a possible solution to stop or slow down subscriber loss, and may also entice cable customers to opt for more expensive, faster Internet packages.




AfterDawn: News

Google Glass results in ticket for California driver

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 4:00

Google Glass results in ticket for California driver A California driver was given a ticket when pulled over by a police officer for speeding and for wearing Google Glass while driving.

Cecilia Abadie posted a picture of the ticket given by the police officer on her Google+ page, seeking legal advice. Abadie claims the Google gear was not even switched on when the cop pulled her over.

On the ticket the officer described her infraction as: "Driving with Monitor visible to Driver (Google Glass)".

Cecilia used her Google+ page to ask if there are any other Google Glass wearers who have been ticketed for having them on while driving.

Commenting on her page, some users pointed out that Google Glass might be covered by exceptions in the state vehicle code 27602 that permits drivers to view displays that show maps, GPS and similar information.


More Info & Pic Source: Cecilia Abadie (Google+)




AfterDawn: News

Eminem's 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2' hits iTunes Radio ahead of release date

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 3:37

Eminem's 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2' hits iTunes Radio ahead of release date Eminem's latest studio album 'The Marshall Mathers LP 2' is available for streaming on iTunes Radio for U.S. users ahead of its November 5 launch day.

This marks the first time that an entire album is being given early access to exclusively through Apple's iTunes Radio service. The official Twitter account for Eminem announced its availability on iTunes Radio on Friday.

It is available through the First Play station on iTunes Radio for U.S. users only at the moment.

The decision to provide the iTunes Radio route may be in response to a leak of the album this week ahead of its release on Tuesday.




(via: 9to5Mac)




AfterDawn: News

PS3 PlayStation Store gets PayPal support

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 3:21

PS3 PlayStation Store gets PayPal support Sony's PS3 PlayStation Store now supports adding funds through PayPal.

In January, Sony made it possible to add funds to a Sony Entertainment Network wallet using the PayPal service on the web. Now it has announced that you can use PayPal to add funds to your Sony Entertainment Network wallet via PayPal directly through the PlayStation Store on PS3.

When checking out from the cart on PlayStation Store, click "Add Funds", then click "PayPal" and transfer any amount from $5 to $150 (the maximum wallet balance amount).




AfterDawn: News

Kindle First offers e-books a month early for $1.99, free for Prime members

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 3:16

Kindle First offers e-books a month early for $1.99, free for Prime members Amazon has announced Kindle First, a new service that offers Kindle users (devices and apps) access to a selection of new e-books a month before official release.

Kindle customers will be able to choose an e-book from a selection picked by Amazon Publishing editors to buy for $1.99 - or for free for Amazon Prime members. You don't need a Kindle device to benefit from Kindle First.

Customers can also sign up to get a monthly e-mail alerting them of new Kindle First selections.

The debut Kindle First picks are Things We Set on Fire, by best-selling author Deborah Reed; No Place for a Dame, by best-selling romance author Connie Brockway; Silent Echo, by best-selling mystery author J.R. Rain; and We Will Survive: True Stories of Encouragement, Inspiration, and the Power of Song, by Grammy-award winning recording artist Gloria Gaynor. All books will be published in December but are available to Kindle First members starting today.

"Prime just keeps getting better for our members, and any customer will find something interesting in our Kindle First picks," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content.

"We also love that these amazing books by Amazon Publishing authors will get a chance to reach a much wider audience."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft hopes to sell 16 million Windows tablets during the holidays

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 3:01

Microsoft hopes to sell 16 million Windows tablets during the holidays Microsoft is hoping to boost sales of Windows tablets this holiday season with better marketing and retail efforts.

To do so it will reportedly focus on making it clear what products it has on the market, as confusion over Windows OS versions is turning off some potential buyers. Right now there are products running Windows RT, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

There is also confusion over the hardware on the market. Microsoft will market Windows 8.1 as "the new Windows" to make it clear its the latest version of its consumer OS.

It will increase its spending on Windows retail to $405 million - up from $241 million - going the "store within a store" route that is followed by competitors like Apple.

Customers who buy Windows touch devices this holiday season will also get $25 gift cards for the Windows, Windows Phone or Xbox online stores.

It's primary goal is to sell 16 million Windows tablets during the busy holiday period, but it will also market its Windows 8.1 PCs as the "only PCs with touch," while also distributing a USB-based Windows 8.1 upgrade kit to retailers since only 20 percent of PCs shipped will have it installed.




AfterDawn: News

Google scraps iGoogle as planned

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 2:47

Google scraps iGoogle as planned Google has officially discontinued the iGoogle service as planned.

iGoogle was a customizable personal web portal that Google launched in 2005 that sought to provide a dynamic homepage that would retrieve information from Google services to one spot. In 2005, such a service was very useful but things have changed considerably on the Internet since.

Last July, Google said that the need for iGoogle was now gone.

"On November 1, 2013, iGoogle will be retired. We originally launched iGoogle in 2005 before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today's web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at your fingertips. With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for iGoogle has eroded over time, so we'll be winding it down. Users will have 16 months to adjust or export their data," the Google Blog warned at the time.

iGoogle will now simply redirect to Google's homepage, as yet another one of Google's collection of services gets thrown onto the scrap heap.




AfterDawn: News

Yahoo offers $15,000 to bug hunters

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 2:39

Yahoo offers $15,000 to bug hunters Yahoo is seeking to entice bug hunters with rewards up to $15,000 depending on the severity of the bug found.

The web giant was criticized by security researchers for paying a measly $12.50 in Yahoo discount vouchers to security researchers at High-Tech Bridge for two cross site scripting (XSS) bugs they had reported. Yahoo's security head, Ramses Martinez, claimed later that he was behind the voucher reward program, and that he basically had been paying for them out of his own pocket.

Out of the embarrassment though has come a much healthier attitude toward white-hat hacking from Yahoo. The web giant has launched its new bug bounty program that allows white hats to submit bugs at bugbounty.yahoo.com and receive rewards between $250 and $15,000, depending on the severity of the bug discovered.

Yahoo has pledged to fix reported problems as quickly as possible, and gives the option for the bug hunter to be listed on its Wall of Fame that will show its top ten all time reporters.

"It is our hope that the official launch of this program will usher in a new, less-shirt-centric era for security at Yahoo. We look forward to open and productive collaboration with the community and doing our part to make the Internet more secure," wrote Martinez.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox One supports DLNA streaming, music CDs

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 2:30

Xbox One supports DLNA streaming, music CDs Microsoft's Xbox One console will support DLNA streaming and will play audio CDs, the company has confirmed.

Earlier this week, Sony revealed on an FAQ that the PlayStation 4 (PS4) console will not be DLNA complaint. Penny Arcade asked Microsoft for information about the media capabilities of the Xbox One.

The next generation Xbox is in the process of being DLNA certified. It also will play audio CDs - if you have any of those left - but its MP3 playback is a little different.

Microsoft said the system is a PlayTo receiver so it can have MP3 streamed from it using PlayTo supported devices like a Windows Phone or a computer running Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, or through Xbox Music Pass.

That suggests that the Xbox One may not play MP3 locally like the Xbox 360 can?




AfterDawn: News

Liberty Reserve co-founder in guilty plea to charges of money laundering

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 1:52

Liberty Reserve co-founder in guilty plea to charges of money laundering A Liberty Reserve co-founder has pleaded guilty to charges of money laundering for criminals.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) alleges that Liberty Reserve laundered up to $6 billion for identity thieves and drug dealers, or roughly $1 billion per year. Vladimir Kats, one of the alleged co-founders was arrested in Brooklyn earlier this year.

Kats had parted ways with Liberty Reserve in 2009, but still was charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and several other serious crimes.

Other arrests were made in Costa Rica, where Liberty Reserve was based.

Liberty Reserve had more than one million users worldwide.




AfterDawn: News

Windows XP malware infections will spike after April 2014

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 1:40

Windows XP malware infections will spike after April 2014 If you are still clinging to Microsoft's 12 year old Windows XP, you might want to consider planning an upgrade before April.

On April 8, 2014, support for Windows XP officially ends. After this date, the ageing operating system will no longer receive security updates, non-security hotfixes or free/paid assisted support options and online technical content updates.

Essentially, this means that as new bugs are discovered that affect Windows, Microsoft will not prepare or distribute fixes for them for Windows XP.

On the second Tuesday of every month, Microsoft releases security patches that are typically downloaded and installed automatically by Windows computers. You may be familiar with this "Patch Tuesday" schedule. The next day however - "Exploit Wednesday" - is when attackers will target unpatched machines (that have not yet gotten the monthly updates) after they dissect Microsoft's updates and attempt to identify the bug that Microsoft is fixing.

If any security vulnerability is discovered that affects an array of Windows operating systems that also includes Windows XP, then this is a serious problem for people still running Windows XP after April 2014, because cybercriminals will become aware of the security bug and Windows XP will not be updated to fix it.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Zynga prevails in 'Scrabble' trademark infringement case

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 1:22

Zynga prevails in 'Scrabble' trademark infringement case Zynga has not infringed the 'Scrabble' trademark owned by toy giant Mattel, the High Court in the UK has found.

Mattel accused Zynga - the company behind online gaming successes like Farmville - of infringing its 'Scrabble' trademark with its "Scramble With Friend". Essentially, Mattel felt that Zynga was trying to confuse users into thinking they were downloading a scrabble game.

While the High Court judge, Mr Justice Peter Smith, did not agree with Mattel's assessment that Zynga's actions constitute trademark infringement, he did concede that a curly letter M in the logo of the game could be confusing for users, who might think the game is Scrabble.

Mattel - the world's largest manufacturer of toys - said it planned to appeal.

"We are pleased that the English High Court today affirmed Mattel's request for an injunction against Zynga, finding that the similarities between their Scramble With Friends logo and Mattel's intellectual property likely would confuse the public into thinking they were in fact downloading Scrabble," said Mattel spokesman Alan Hilowitz, reports BBC News.

"We are, however, disappointed that the court did not rule that Zynga should cease using the Scramble name, which Mattel intends to appeal."




AfterDawn: News

FAA clears smartphones, tablets during U.S. flights from take-off to landing

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Nov 2013 1:11

FAA clears smartphones, tablets during U.S. flights from take-off to landing The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States has considerably relaxed the rules that govern the use of electronic devices lime smartphones, tablets and e-readers during flights.

By the end of the year, U.S. carriers will allow their passengers to use such devices during the entire duration of a flight, including take-off and landing which up until now has been prohibited.

Passengers still won't be able to make cellular voice calls due to the potential interference with radio transmission equipment, and Internet connections will be prohibited below 10,000 feet, but using an e-reader to read a book or a tablet to play a game will be fine.

U.S. carriers will have to demonstrate for the FAA that they can handle the effects that mobile devices can have on flight instruments. Delta Airlines said that it should be able to let passengers use their devices for the duration of flights starting this month.




AfterDawn: News

Pandora unveils app built for Android tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2013 0:42

Pandora unveils app built for Android tablets Popular Internet Radio provider Pandora has unveiled a new version of their app built specifically for Android tablets.

The app, Pandora 5.0 for Android, optimizes the larger tablet screen sizes and resolutions.

Reads the post:

Here are some more details of what you will experience with Pandora 5.0 for Android tablets:

Enhanced Listening Experience & Personalization – App interface is optimized for larger screens and features upgraded core Pandora functionality, such as adding variety to a station and viewing station details, in addition to the ability to easily shuffle, rename and delete stations.

Deeper Music Discovery & Exploration –Explore more about the artist and album that is currently playing with enriched artist pages that include similar artists and genome traits of the current track playing, plus lyrics, artist biographies and album discographies.

Your Personal Profile & Music Feed – Your detailed timeline Capture your music preferences on this detailed timeline, such as stations created, bookmarked tracks and thumb history and choose to make your profile either public or private. The Music Feed offers a centralized place to view music activity, making it easy to explore what friends and other listeners with similar musical tastes are discovering and enjoying on Pandora.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android market share now up to 81.3 percent worldwide

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2013 0:34

Android market share now up to 81.3 percent worldwide According to Strategy Analytics, Android remains the king of the smartphone.

Global smartphone shipments jumped to 251.4 million units in the Q3 2013, up from 172.8 million year-over-year.

Android remains king, with 81.3 percent global share, followed by Apple at 13.4 percent and Windows Phone taking third at 4.1 percent. The growth for Android and Windows Phone was at the expense of iOS and BlackBerry. Apple saw strong growth, but fell from 15.6 percent share in the Q3 2012. BlackBerry just about fell off the map entirely, and now has 1 percent share. Windows Phone shipments doubled year-over-year.

iOS will continue to lose share as it has no presence in the low end market dominated by developing nations in Europe and Asia, says Strategy. Nokia, especially, has made a concentrated effort to create nice, cheap devices to fill that niche.




AfterDawn: News

Consortium sues Google, Samsung, others for patent infringement

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2013 0:20

Consortium sues Google, Samsung, others for patent infringement Rockstar, the consortium that purchased Nortel patents for $4.5 billion in 2011, has sued a number of major wireless industry players for patent infringement.

The group has sued Samsung, Google, HTC, Huawei, Asus and ZTE in the U.S. Rockstar is a group consisting of Apple, Microsoft, Blackberry, Ericsson and Sony. The consortium outbid Google for the patents, forcing the search giant to purchase Motorola Mobility for its patent trove.

Google has been accused of infringing on 7 separate patents, many of which cover tech related to Internet search and relevant advertising. All of the other companies build Android devices, which run on Google software and are deeply integrated with Google services.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ouya 2.0 to begin development early next year, new controller on the way

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Nov 2013 0:18

Ouya 2.0 to begin development early next year, new controller on the way Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman has revealed that the second generation Ouya microconsole will begin development in early 2014 and launch during the year.

Before the Ouya Android microconsole was launched this summer, Ouya CEO Julie Uhrman had pledged that a new upgraded Ouya would be released annually. It appears that the company is sticking to that plan, as Uhrman informed Polygon that Ouya 2.0 will launch next year, with development commencing early in the year.

Additionally, new improved Ouya controllers will roll-out soon that resolve a button-sticking issue, have tighter triggers and textured thumbsticks.

Whether or not the first Ouya console will remain on sale or will be replaced with the second iteration of the console is a decision not yet made by the company.




AfterDawn: News

Apple to fix unresponsive 13-inch MacBook Pros

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Nov 2013 0:11

Apple to fix unresponsive 13-inch MacBook Pros Some users of Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display have encountered a problem with the device.

Apple has said that in some rare cases the MacBook Pro's keyboard and touchpad may become unresponsive. It has pledged to fix the issue as soon as possible with an update.

Until then, it suggests closing the laptop for a minute or so and then re-open, which resets the affected components and will act as a temporary workaround for affected users.

Apple also acknowledged a battery drain problem with its new iPhone 5S smartphone this week.




AfterDawn: News

Google to crack down on third-party Google Voice apps

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Nov 2013 0:03

Google to crack down on third-party Google Voice apps Google will crack down on third-party apps that make use of Google Voice, it has been announced.

Developers of such apps have six months to transition users away from Google Voice by May 15, 2014. The announcement was made by Google's Nikhyl Singhal on Google+.

"We want to make Google Voice as secure as possible. There are a few third-party applications that provide calling and SMS services by making unauthorized use of Google Voice. These apps violate our Terms of Service and pose a threat to your security, so we're notifying these app developers that they must stop making unauthorized use of Google Voice to run their services and transition users by May 15, 2014," Singhal wrote.

He also revealed that a new version of Google+ Hangouts for Android would be released supporting SMS and MMS messages. Unfortunately, today's update does not work with Google Voice numbers unless you've enabled Google Voice on your Sprint phone.

"But rest assured, we're working to support SMS messages for all Google Voice phone numbers by early next year. And don't worry, your Voice number will go unchanged," Singhal wrote.




AfterDawn: News

Panasonic drops out of the plasma TV market, for good

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Nov 2013 0:02

Panasonic drops out of the plasma TV market, for good This may be the final nail in the coffin of plasma display televisions.

Following Pioneer exiting the market earlier this year, Panasonic had confirmed today that they will be exiting the plasma TV market, ending production in December and all related operations by March of next year.

Two of Panasonic's three factories have already ceased production of new plasma displays, and the third will conclude by the end of next month. Last April, the company ceased all research and development on future plasma tech.

Panasonic says that "rapid, drastic changes in the business environment" (including price pressure from cheaper LCD TVs) forced their hand and the end of the plasma.

The company will move future R&D to OLED as Panasonic sees the tech as "one of the key future products" for the industry.




AfterDawn: News

Ubisoft dumps online pass for new games

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Oct 2013 23:56

Ubisoft dumps online pass for new games The Uplay Passport system used by Ubisoft is to be discontinued for all new games, including Assassin's Creed IV.

"The Uplay Passport program was initiated as a means of giving customers full access and support for online multiplayer and features, along with exclusive content, bonuses, and rewards," Ubisoft said in a statement.

"However, games today are blurring the line between offline and online, between what is 'single-player' and what is 'multiplayer.' Based on that and on the feedback we received from you, we recognized that Passport is no longer the best approach for ensuring that all our customers have the best possible experience with all facets of our games."

While Uplay Passport is included with all copies of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, those who won't have one in future will be able to download one for free either through Xbox Live or PSN. Anyone who already bought one should contact the Ubisoft support team.




AfterDawn: News

Finland reveals government network hack

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Oct 2013 23:40

Finland reveals government network hack Finnish foreign minister Erkki Tuomioja has confirmed that the country's government data networks were breached by hackers.

While Mr. Tuomioja did not point the finger of blame himself, TV station MTV3 cited unnamed officials in labelling Russia and China as the primary suspects.

"I can confirm there has been a severe and large hacking in the ministry's data network," he told reporters. The nation's most highly classified information was not affected however.

The hackers seemed to have been targeting communications between Finland and the European Union for years until the breach was discovered in the spring.

Russia and China have been accused of hacking government and corporate entities in the Western World throughout recent years. In 2007, Estonia blamed Russia for a crippling cyber attack against the country.

In weeks, all eyes have been on the National Security Agency in the United States after leaked documents emerged showing widespread surveillance of political targets in Europe, including German chancellor Angela Merkel.




AfterDawn: News

Google Nexus 5 denied by Verizon, AT&T

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Oct 2013 23:37

Google Nexus 5 denied by Verizon, AT&T Alongside its announcement of the Nexus 5 today, Google also revealed that the device would be available through T-Mobile and Sprint, marking the first time a Nexus has been available on more than one carrier at launch.

There had been some reports stating that AT&T would also be carrying the device, but Google clarified by saying that the phone works on its network, but the carrier will not sell the device. Verizon also opted out of the device.

In the past, carrier support has been uneven, to say the least. The original G1 was a T-Mobile exclusive, Google's Nexus One worked on GSM carriers, its Nexus S was a Sprint exclusive (an unlocked version worked on T-Mobile) and the recent Nexus 4 was available unlocked or through T-Mobile only.

The new device works on nearly all bands, for 2G, 3G and 4G, making it a truly universal device. Sprint and T-Mobile will sell the phone in stores, and it is available through the Google Play store online.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Man buys $25 of Bitcoins in 2009, now worth $848,000

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Oct 2013 23:30

Man buys $25 of Bitcoins in 2009, now worth $848,000 A man in Norway received a very pleasant surprise when he realized that 5,000 Bitcoins he bought and forgot about in 2009 had risen in value to $848,000.

Kristoffer Koch bought 150 kroner ($25.43) worth of Bitcoins in 2009 when researching encryption. He discovered Bitcoin as part of his research. In the years that passed, Koch completely forgot about his purchase.

Bitcoin gathered some more attention in the media in recent times, and Koch decided to check how much his ~$25 investment was now worth. To his surprise, the value of his small investment has grown to around $848,000.

He began converting his Bitcoin into cash and was raking in $75,000 per day. With the money he has already bought an apartment that he is currently renovating.




AfterDawn: News

TuneIn app lands on PS3, will arrive on PS Vita next week

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Oct 2013 23:22

TuneIn app lands on PS3, will arrive on PS Vita next week TuneIn has released an app for the PS3 console, and will release an app for the PS Vita handheld next week.

TuneIn offers more than 70,000 AM, FM, and internet radio stations, and over 2 million podcasts from around the world.

Features of the TuneIn app include:

  • World's Radio: With over 70,000 stations and 2 million podcasts from around the world, TuneIn is a leading service for listening to music, sports, and news.
  • Live Music: Live Music on TuneIn lets listeners discover and enjoy unplugged, acoustic, and even local performances from their favorite artists -- plus, TuneIn has partnered with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Austin's SXSW, San Francisco's Outside Lands, and Seattle's Bumbershoot to make live music festivals available to music fans everywhere.
  • Sports: TuneIn offers listeners the ability to catch a wide variety of live sports, including college football, cricket, lacrosse, and baseball.
  • Talk: Listen to the world's best comedians and personalities on TuneIn, like NPR's "Fresh Air," "This American Life," or the Adam Carolla Show.

You can find TuneIn Radio in the "What's New" and "TV/Video Services" sections on the PS3 system XMB, as well as in the "Apps" section of PlayStation Store. The PS Vita version can be found in the Apps subsection in the PS Vita store when it's available next week.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google: The Galaxy Nexus will not receive Android 4.4 KitKat

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Oct 2013 23:14

Google: The Galaxy Nexus will not receive Android 4.4 KitKat Google has confirmed today that the Galaxy Nexus, the company's reference device from two years ago, will not receive the brand new Android 4.4 KitKat.

Sources claim that the issues are related to the Galaxy Nexus' Texas Instruments chipset. TI bowed out of the mobile chipset market in 2012, and therefore cannot offer proper support for new operating systems and compatibility.

The open-source community will likely create a capable Android 4.4 ROM, but Galaxy Nexus owners may not be as happy with needing to root their device when they had Google-fed updates for so long.

Google Nexus 4, 7 and 10 owners will be receiving the update within two weeks. The Nexus 5 will launch with the device, but will require a small update when setting up your phone.




AfterDawn: News

Michael Dell takes Dell private

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Oct 2013 23:14

Michael Dell takes Dell private Dell co-founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners have taken the PC manufacturer private.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Dell stockholders will receive $13.75 in cash for each share of Dell common stock they hold, plus payment of a special cash dividend of $0.13 per share to stockholders of record as of the close of business on Oct. 28, 2013, for total consideration of $13.88 per share in cash.

The total transaction is valued at approximately $24.9 billion.

"Today, Dell enters an exciting new chapter as a private enterprise," said Michael Dell said on Tuesday. "Our 110,000 team members worldwide are 100 percent focused on our customers and aggressively executing our long-term strategy for their benefit."




AfterDawn: News

Chromecast adds Pandora streaming

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Oct 2013 22:59

Chromecast adds Pandora streaming As promised, Google's Chromecast now has native Pandora streaming.

The most recent update to the Android and iPhone app allow for the popular Internet radio service to be 'cast' to the big screen via the HDMI dongle.

Pandora says an iPad app update is on the way, but is not available now.

The popular $35 device now has native streaming apps for Netflix, Hulu and Pandora with HBO Go expected later this year.




AfterDawn: News

Brand new Google Nexus 5 already on backorder of at least two weeks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Oct 2013 20:00

Brand new Google Nexus 5 already on backorder of at least two weeks Google officially announced the Nexus 5 earlier today, following months of leaks that revealed the hardware, its specs and its price.

The flagship has a Full HD IPS 4.95" 1920x1080 display (445 ppi) protected by Gorilla Glass 3, runs on the brand new Android 4.4 KitKat and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 at 2.3GHz, 2GB RAM, and an Adreno 330 GPU.

Additionally, the phone weighs just 4.59 oz, has a premium glass design, a 1.3MP front facing camera, an 8MP rear facing camera with Optical Image Stabilization, a 2,300 mAH battery and wireless charging capabilities.

The LTE-capable device also has dual-band Wi-Fi (2.4G/5G) 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, NFC (Android Beam), Bluetooth 4.0 LE, and a micro USB port with SlimPort enabled for full connectivity options.

Read more...



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