AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (1 / 2014)

AfterDawn: News

Canalys: Android on 79 percent of nearly 1 billion smartphones shipped in 2013

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2014 17:33

Canalys: Android on 79 percent of nearly 1 billion smartphones shipped in 2013 While other firms reported that smartphone shipments broke 1 billion in 2013, Canalys believes the world got very close but did not hit the milestone.

The research firm says 998 million smartphones were shipped last year, up 44 percent year-over-year.

Android remained king, being the operating system on 79 percent of the shipped devices, up from 68 percent in 2012. Apple's share fell to 15 percent from 20 percent even though shipments increased to 154 million.

Microsoft had the strongest growth, with shipments increasing 90 percent to 32.1 million. Windows Phone now has just over 3 percent market share. BlackBerry continued its fall, shipping just 19.8 million units for the year.

Windows Phone is an interesting entrant to the current duopoly that is the smartphone market, but Microsoft/Nokia will still need a lot of work to move the needle.

Samsung was the top smartphone maker in the world, followed by Apple, Huawei and Lenovo.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung officially unveils cheaper Galaxy Note Neo phablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2014 17:05

Samsung officially unveils cheaper Galaxy Note Neo phablets Samsung has launched their Galaxy Note 3 Neo phablet today, a cheaper model of the popular Note smartphone.

The Note Neo 3 (which comes in HSPA+ and LTE+ models), has a 5.5-inch 720p sAMOLED display, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, a 3100mAh, an included S Pen stylus and a microSD slot. The LTE version has a "hexa-core combo that consists of a 1.7GHz dual-core A15 cluster and a 1.3GHz quad-core A7 cluster" and the HSPA+ version has a standard 1.6GHz quad-core processor.

Both will run on Android 4.3 at launch, with updates expected for the future. As with other Samsung devices, the Android base includes the TouchWiz user interface and its plethora of apps and features. If you own a Galaxy Gear smartwatch, compatibility is included right out of the box.

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon considering raising price of Prime service by up to $40

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2014 22:32

Amazon considering raising price of Prime service by up to $40 Amazon has said today that it is actively considering raising the price of its popular Prime service by up to $40.

The service currently costs $79 per year for most people and gives Amazon users free 2-day shipping on millions of items and access to the Amazon Prime Instant Video streaming service and free books via Kindle.

CFO Tom Szkutak cited higher costs of shipping goods as the reason for the potential price raise.

Amazon has never released exact figures, but there are over 20 million global Prime users. 19 million items on Amazon are Prime-eligible, and the company also offers discounts for mothers and students.

The company recently raised the price for free shipping for non-Prime members from $25 to $35, the first time that price had been raised in a decade.




AfterDawn: News

IDC: U.S. tablet market reaching saturation

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2014 21:17

IDC: U.S. tablet market reaching saturation According to research firm IDC, the U.S. tablet market may already be reaching saturation, just four years after Apple unveiled the original iPad.

Says the firm: "It's becoming increasingly clear that markets such as the US are reaching high levels of consumer saturation and while emerging markets continue to show strong growth this has not been enough to sustain the dramatic worldwide growth rates of years past."

Overall shipments grew to 76.9 million in the Q4, up 28.3 percent year-over-year.

Apple remained the market leader for the quarter, shipping 26 million iPads, good for 33.8 percent share. Samsung came in second at 14.5 million units shipped, followed by Amazon at 5.8 million Kindle Fires shipped. Those figures gave the companies 18.8 percent and 7.6 percent market share, respectively.

Amazon saw a significant drop year-over-year, while Lenovo saw the biggest jump, at 325 percent from the same quarter in 2012.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft preparing to name Satya Nadella its new CEO

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2014 20:20

Microsoft preparing to name Satya Nadella its new CEO Microsoft's board of directors are preparing to name current enterprise and cloud head Satya Nadella as the new CEO for the software giant.

Additionally, founder Bill Gates may be replaced as chairman, possibly by Microsoft lead independent director John Thompson. Gates would stay on for product development, however.

Outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer will leave the company once the replacement is selected, and investors are eagerly awaiting that time as Ballmer's tenure has been marred by failed expensive decisions.

Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992, and has been a high-level executive in divisions for cloud services, server software, Internet search and business applications. Microsoft has been moving towards hardware and cloud services, while continuing to print money through their legacy Windows and Office software.

In just two years, Nadella has boosted revenue 20 percent for Microsoft's server businesses (now cloud and enterprise).




AfterDawn: News

Slim PS Vita to replace existing OLED model in Europe

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2014 19:52

Slim PS Vita to replace existing OLED model in Europe Sony has confirmed that the slimmer model of the PS Vita released in Japan last year will replace the existing OLED model of the handheld for the European markets.

Once inventory is drained for the old model, no more will be manufactured for the continent. "The PS Vita PCH-2000 series will replace the existing PS Vita PCH-1000 series as stock of the older model is exhausted," says the company.

Sony released the slim Vita in Japan last October, with a 20 percent slimmer and 15 percent lighter design. The model also has an HD five-inch LCD screen, has better battery life, 1GB internal storage and replaces Sony's proprietary charing port with a micro USB.

The slim model will hit the UK first on February 7th for £180.




AfterDawn: News

Evleaks confirms 2K display, fingerprint scanner for upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2014 19:38

Evleaks confirms 2K display, fingerprint scanner for upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 Master of the art of "leak" @Evleaks has posted images today with his tweets, seemingly confirming that the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 will have a 2K display and a fingerprint scanner.

The word comes via APK files for the S5, which are FingerprintService.apk and 3DTourViewer_WQHD_K.apk. It is unclear what features will come with the Fingerprint service, and whether it will be similar to Apple's TouchID.

WQHD, which is a shorthand for 2560x1440 resolution, which should lead to a massive PPI for the expected 5.2-inch device.

Smasung is expected to unveil the device at the end of February, so we will see if Evleaks is correct yet again. The S5 will go on sale at the end of April.








AfterDawn: News

Microsoft offering $100 off Xbox One if you trade in working PS3, slim Xbox 360

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jan 2014 19:15

Microsoft offering $100 off Xbox One if you trade in working PS3, slim Xbox 360 Microsoft has quietly started a promotion to bring over PS3 users to the next-gen Xbox One.

If you bring in a working Sony PlayStation 3, or an existing Xbox 360 S or Xbox 360 E to a Microsoft Store, you will receive $100 Store Credit to be used towards the purchase of an Xbox One.

Reads the ad:

Trade up and get your hands on the new Xbox One. Welcome to a new generation of games and entertainment. Where games push the boundaries of realism. And television obeys your every command. Where listening to music while playing a game is a snap. And you can jump from TV to movies to music to a game in an instant. Where your experience is custom tailored to you. And the entertainment you love is all in one place. Welcome to the all-in-one, Xbox One.

For a limited time, bring in your PS3, Xbox 360 S or Xbox 360 E and receive $100 of Microsoft retail store credit.

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AfterDawn: News

White Xbox One coming this fall, 1TB model coming this year?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2014 22:40

White Xbox One coming this fall, 1TB model coming this year? According to multiple sources, the Microsoft Xbox One will be getting some significant software and hardware updates this year.

First, sometime in March, the Xbox One will see its first major firmware update, with system fixes, and update for Xbox Live, new placement for social media and party-chat problems addressed.

Additionally, the white employee-only model will launch in October, and the 1TB internal storage model will see release a month later in November. Other potential updates are a Bluetooth adapter and a version without an optical drive.

We had previously heard that Microsoft was testing Blu-ray-drive-less consoles, but it appears closer to confirmed now.

Finally, Microsoft will be headed to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Russia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Colombia, Chile, and Argentina in April.




AfterDawn: News

PlayStation Now beta invites now being sent out

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2014 22:09

PlayStation Now beta invites now being sent out PlayStation Now, which allows gamers to stream PlayStation games on the PS4, PS3, PlayStation Vita, tablets, smartphones and TVs is now available to select beta testers.

Sent directly to your email if you signed up to be a beta tester for the service, some users have already received their invites.

"You are invited to participate in the PlayStation Now Private Beta" reads the subject title, and a Neogaf thread appears to confirm that so far only PlayStation 3 owners have been receiving the invites.

The cloud service will go live in the Q2 in the US, the Q4 for Japan and the Q1 2015 for Europe.

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AfterDawn: News

Nintendo president takes drastic pay cut following poor fiscal year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2014 21:19

Nintendo president takes drastic pay cut following poor fiscal year Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has cut his salary in half following an earnings report in which the company saw a loss for its fiscal year, and slashed expectations for its Wii U console by over 60 percent.

Iwata will take the price cut for five months, and other board members will see their salaries reduced by up to 30 percent.

The company is prepared to a hold a conference tomorrow in which it will outline new business strategies that could include some content for mobile devices. Iwata says "how to utilise smart devices is the theme of our management policy conference (Thursday)".

Nintendo has been hit hard by terrible sales of the Wii U, which has been hurt by a limited game selection and now has brand new rivals in the Sony PS4 and Microsoft Xbox One.

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AfterDawn: News

Lenovo acquires Motorola Mobility from Google for $2.91 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jan 2014 20:22

Lenovo acquires Motorola Mobility from Google for $2.91 billion In easily the biggest tech news of the day, Lenovo has agreed to acquire the Motorola Mobility smartphone business purchased by Google in 2011.

Lenovo finally gets their entry into the North American market (as well as a better foothold in Western Europe), and Google gets to dump a division that has been hemorrhaging money for years. Google purchased Motorola Mobility for its patents over two years ago for over $12 billion.

Google will receive $1.41 billion upfront (cash and shares) and the rest to be paid over the course of three years. Google will keep most of the patents but Lenovo will still receive 2000 patent assets, the Moto Mobility brand, and all of its trademarks. Lenovo will license the rest of the patents and IP.

"The acquisition of such an iconic brand, innovative product portfolio and incredibly talented global team will immediately make Lenovo a strong global competitor in smartphones. We will immediately have the opportunity to become a strong global player in the fast-growing mobile space," said Yang Yuanqing, chairman and CEO of Lenovo. "We are confident that we can bring together the best of both companies to deliver products customers will love and a strong, growing business. Lenovo has a proven track record of successfully embracing and strengthening great brands – as we did with IBM's Think brand – and smoothly and efficiently integrating companies around-the-world. I am confident we will be successful with this process, and that our companies will not only maintain our current momentum in the market, but also build a strong foundation for the future."

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AfterDawn: News

Rockstar releases GTA: San Andreas for Windows Phone, month after rival operating systems

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2014 23:08

Rockstar releases GTA: San Andreas for Windows Phone, month after rival operating systems Just a month after the game was released for iOS and Android, Rockstar Games has released their GTA: San Andreas for the Windows Phone platform.

It is important to note that the game will not work with all Windows Phone 8 devices.

The Nokia Lumia 1520, 1320, 822, 820, 810 and HTC 8XT are supported. There are reports that other devices, including the Lumia 1020, run the game fine, so it appears that all you need is 1GB RAM.

Equally important to note is the game takes up about 2.5GB internal storage and requires Wi-Fi and the phone to be plugged in to download.

Get the game here.




AfterDawn: News

Google Glass now with new prescription and sunglasses frames, shades

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2014 22:47

Google Glass now with new prescription and sunglasses frames, shades Google has announced new prescription frames and sunglasses shades for their Google Glass eyewear.

The frames and shades are available now if you are a Google Glass early adopter, and will remain available through the general launch of the glasses later this year.

Among the new designs are "bold, curve, thin and split" choices and the sunglasses shades will come in "classic and edge" designs. With the new editions there are now a total of 40 different style combinations, says Google.

"This marks the next phase in the evolution of Glass as we move toward a wider consumer launch later in 2014," Google said in its statement.

The frames cost $225, the sunglasses are $150, and invited early adopters have to pay $1500 for the glasses. Google partnered with VSP for the frames and Google says those that "purchase the new frames take their device, the frames and their prescription to one of Google's preferred eye care professionals, who can cut and fit prescription lenses. For now, those professionals are only in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Google said VSP will reimburse members for their frames and lenses based on their prescription plan."




AfterDawn: News

Report: Samsung to unveil Galaxy Glass wearable in September

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2014 20:54

Report: Samsung to unveil Galaxy Glass wearable in September According to a report from the Korea Times this week, Samsung is actively developing a competitor to Google's Glass smart eye wear.

The aptly named Galaxy Glass could make its debut at the IFA event in Berlin.

An unnamed Samsung official is quoted in the report as saying "wearable devices can't generate profits immediately. Steady releases of devices are showing our firm commitment as a leader in new markets." The company made a similar statement when releasing the critically panned Galaxy Gear smartwatch at last year's IFA.

If true, it would appear that Samsung is willing to push profits aside to establish themselves as a market leader in future growth markets like smartwatches, eye wear and other wearables.

The Galaxy Glass would allow you to handle phone calls, listen to music and view emails and texts.




AfterDawn: News

IDC: Smartphones surpassed 1 billion shipments in 2013

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2014 20:24

IDC: Smartphones surpassed 1 billion shipments in 2013 As forecasted last year by research firm IDC, smartphone shipments reached over 1 billion in 2013.

At 1.04 billion units, shipments were up 38.4 percent from 2012. Cheaper, low-end smartphones were seen as the big boost to the figures, with India and China and other emerging markets seeing most of their growth due to the cheaper phones.

Samsung continued to be king, with 313.9 million units sold and a 31.3 percent market share. Notably however, the company lost some share to its rivals during the fourth quarter.

Apple took second place with 15.3 percent and 153.4 million units shipped for the year. The company appears to have stagnated though, seeing the lowest year-over-year increase among all the top five vendors, by far.

Chinese giants Huawei and Lenovo came in third and fifth, with Lenovo seeing the largest annual growth. LG jumped to fourth after seeing significant growth, thanks to hits like the G2 and Nexus 5. Each of the companies had between 4.5 and 4.9 percent market share.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Report: Nintendo to make minigames for mobile devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jan 2014 19:43

Report: Nintendo to make minigames for mobile devices The Japanese business daily Nikkei has reported that Nintendo will create smartphone-based minigames for its more popular titles.

Following a rough quarterly earnings report this month, president Satoru Iwata told investors that the company was actively discussing ways to use mobile platforms like iOS and Android. Some more details from these internal discussions are expected by the end of the week, reads the report.

Besides the minigames, the company will also include playable demos of console titles, as well as exclusive videos and information. All of the content will be free.

Of course, the end game is to have gamers love the content so much that they go and purchase it on a respective Nintendo console.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft buys the rights to hit 'Gears of War' series

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2014 21:18

Microsoft buys the rights to hit 'Gears of War' series Microsoft has announced the acquisition of the rights to the blockbuster franchise 'Gears of War' series, guaranteeing it remains an Xbox exclusive.

The company purchased the rights from Epic Games, known best for GoW and other game development software. Former director of production Rod Fergusson will join Microsoft to help with future editions of the franchise.

"This franchise, and these fans, are part of the soul of Xbox," said Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of videogame development for the Xbox, in a statement. "By acquiring this franchise, Microsoft Studios will continue to offer them more of their favorite games and entertainment experiences from the 'Gears of War' universe."

Gears of War, first released in 2006 for the Xbox 360, has sold 22 million units and grossed over $1 billion.

Moving forward, Microsoft's Black Tusk studio will lead GoW development, with a new title expected to be announced during the year.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft renames its SkyDrive cloud service 'OneDrive'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2014 20:56

Microsoft renames its SkyDrive cloud service 'OneDrive' Microsoft has announced that its SkyDrive cloud storage service is now named "OneDrive."

The name change is official but the services will keep SkyDrive for a short transitional period. Microsoft says the service "will continue to operate as you expect and all of your content will be available on OneDrive and OneDrive for Business respectively as the new name is rolled out across the portfolio."

Microsoft lost a trademark dispute with BSkyB last year, and was told to rename the service or face consequences. It took the Redmond giant over six months to come up with the new name and to begin the transition.

"Changing the name of a product as loved as SkyDrive wasn't easy," notes Microsoft's Ryan Gavin. "We believe the new OneDrive name conveys the value we can deliver for you and best represents our vision for the future. We are excited about what is to come, and can't wait to share more."

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AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Google to drop Nexus devices, stick with Play Edition phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2014 20:38

Rumor: Google to drop Nexus devices, stick with Play Edition phones According to blogger Eldar Murtazin, Google is preparing to drop their popular Nexus line starting next year.

Murtazin, who has leaked some big news in the past but in recent times has been mostly full of misinformation, says the devices will be dropped in 2015 and replaced by Play Edition versions of more devices from Android OEMs like Samsung, LG, HTC and Sony.

Additionally, "Play Edition" itself will be rebranded, to a more consumer-friendly name.

There are currently a handful of Play Edition devices, including the popular HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 and Sony Z Ultra.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung settles patent dispute with Ericsson

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2014 20:23

Samsung settles patent dispute with Ericsson After announcing a cross-licensing deal with Google over the weekend, Samsung has also settled with Ericsson over their long-standing patent dispute.

Although the full details were not disclosed, Ericsson did say the settlement would boost their quarterly net income by $512.5 million. Besides the upfront payment, Samsung will also pay ongoing royalties to Ericsson.

The agreement will end all current global patent disputes between the tech giants, including complaints that are already being investigated by the U.S. International Trade Commission.

"We are pleased that we could reach a mutually fair and reasonable agreement with Samsung. We always viewed litigation as a last resort," Ericsson Chief Intellectual Property Officer Kasim Alfalahi said in a statement. "This agreement allows us to continue to focus on bringing new technology to the global market and provides an incentive to other innovators to share their own ideas."




AfterDawn: News

Convert your Chrome browser into a Spotify alternative with 'Streamus'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2014 20:08

Convert your Chrome browser into a Spotify alternative with 'Streamus' A new Chrome extension, Streamus, will allow you to turn your Chrome browser into a Spotify alternative using YouTube's massive music library.

When added to the browser, the extension allows you to search for a song and then begin playing it, without leaving your current tab.

Crunch put together a nice .GIF of how it works, which you can see after the jump.

Type "Streamus" into the URL bar, hit "Tab" and then search for the song/artist and you will see a dropdown with plenty of YouTube results. Click on it and the Streamus will begin playing the song in the background of what you are currently doing.

While the extension has little functionality besides that (so far), there is the ability to create playlists, which can be saved for later and the ability to shuffle new songs based on previously played artists, like the radio function of Pandora or Spotify.

Try it here: Streamus

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

LG: G2 and Nexus 5 smartphones boosted our sales immensely

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2014 19:11

LG: G2 and Nexus 5 smartphones boosted our sales immensely Last night, Korean giant LG released its quarterly earnings report, showing a huge boost in smartphone sales.

For the Q4, the company grew smartphone sales to 13.2 million units, up 54 percent year-over-year, thanks to strong sales of the flagship G2 and the Nexus 5, built for Google.

LTE-capable phones jumped 110 percent for the company, mainly again thanks to the Nexus and G2.

Total revenue for the LG mobile division was $11.85 billion, up 29 percent year-over-year. Despite the strong quarter, pricing and higher advertising costs did lead to a negative operating margin for the business, down from a positive 2 percent during the same quarter in 2012.

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AfterDawn: News

Google, Samsung reach 10-year cross-licensing patent deal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jan 2014 18:38

Google, Samsung reach 10-year cross-licensing patent deal Samsung and Google have reached a broad ranging deal that will entitle both companies to cross-license each other's patents.

The deal will cover both existing patents and those that may be filed in the next ten years. The deal also extends beyond just Android and mobile and will cover other product categories.

While Samsung and Google have been "friends" for the most part in the global patent wars, the deal will likely help Samsung in its ongoing battles against Apple.

"This agreement with Google is highly significant for the technology industry," said Dr. Seungho Ahn, the Head of Samsung's Intellectual Property Center. "Samsung and Google are showing the rest of the industry that there is more to gain from cooperating than engaging in unnecessary patent disputes."

Google deputy general counsel Allen Lo also added: "By working together on agreements like this, companies can reduce the potential for litigation and focus instead on innovation."




AfterDawn: News

Google buys AI company DeepMind

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 27 Jan 2014 5:09

Google buys AI company DeepMind The search giant Google likes to buy companies – Wikipedia lists a total of 143 acquisitions during 14 years. The most recent acquisition is now an artificial intelligence company DeepMind.

According to website Re/code, Google has bought the London AI company DeepMind for $400 million. The Information however says that Google had to shell out $500 million. Neither of them is a lot when you compare to Nest, a locations company bought for 2.3 billion just a couple of weeks ago (or a billion dollar Waze), but for a more niche segment and not being a household name it's quite a price tag.

DeepMind website describes what it does as "building learning algorithms for simulations, e-commerce and games". Re/code's sources say that in the AI community DeepMind is considered a "formidable player" and competed against the likes of Google for talent. They also said that it has secured more than $50 million in funding.

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AfterDawn: News

The latest iWatch concept is probably the coolest one yet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2014 14:33

The latest iWatch concept is probably the coolest one yet Designer Todd Hamilton has released the latest in a long line of mocks and concepts for the possibly upcoming Apple iWatch smartwatch.

The iWatch has been rumored for years but Apple has never even confirmed that the device exists.

Hamilton posted a video of his concept, including the homescreen, lock screen and how the watch could work for Siri or making calls.

Check the photos and video:

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AfterDawn: News

South Korea says 'no more!' to mobile bloatware

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2014 13:26

South Korea says 'no more!' to mobile bloatware Thanks to new industry guidelines beginning in April, South Korean smartphone users will be able to delete all the bloatware pre-installed on their new phones.

"The move aims to rectify an abnormal practice that causes inconvenience to smartphone users and causes unfair competition among industry players," said the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

By having the ability to delete apps, users will have more storage space and improved battery life, says the Ministry.

With the exception of a few "necessary items" related to Wi-Fi, NFC and App Store connectivity, carriers and OEMs will have to make all other pre-installed apps deletable.

One example noted by the Ministry is the Galaxy S4 released by Korean carrier SK Telecom. The device has 80 pre-installed apps, 39 by Samsung, 25 by SK and 16 by Google. When the guidelines hit, at least 50 percent of those 80 will be deletable.




AfterDawn: News

Minecraft on PS3 reaches 1 million sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2014 12:48

Minecraft on PS3 reaches 1 million sales Mojang, the makers of blockbuster hit Minecraft, has proudly boasted that the game has reached 1 million sales for their PlayStation 3 edition.

Says the company: "Hope you are enjoying the picking and placing of blocks! Just wanted to let you know that Minecraft on PS3 recently sold over 1 million copies (that has to be some kind of record on PSN, no?). It is crazy considering the game was released just before Christmas last year. We are super grateful for the support and we are very thankful for your dedication and I hope you will like the future updates we have planned for you."

The hit game has sold tens of million of copies, on PC, mobile, Xbox and other platforms allowing fans to build and re-create their favorite environments.

Additionally, Minecraft is expected to eventually make the jump to Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One, which should lead to millions of more sales.




AfterDawn: News

Apple working on iWallet to allow for physical purchases through your iTunes account

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2014 12:35

Apple working on iWallet to allow for physical purchases through your iTunes account According to the WSJ, Apple is looking into creating a platform to allow users to purchase goods at physical stores through their iTunes accounts.

Eddy Cue, Apple's App Store boss, has been meeting with industry executives to discuss the company's interest in a payments platform for goods and services.

The industry for mobile payments is getting somewhat crowded with PayPal, Google, Square, Stripe and others fighting for your business. Forrester Research estimates that $90 billion in mobile transactions will be processed in the US by 2017, up from $12.8 billion in 2012.

Currently, Apple controls payments for digital books, movies, music and TV purchased through iTunes, as well as paid apps. Customers in Apple retails stores can also buy some products by scanning the item and using their connected credit card, as well. So far, however, buying physical goods and services is not an option using your linked iTunes account, meaning you must re-type your credit card information manually.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony to lower forecasts due to slow PC, TV sales, again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2014 12:06

Sony to lower forecasts due to slow PC, TV sales, again Just a couple of weeks after Nintendo slashed its forecasts drastically following a rough year for console sales, analysts believe that Sony will be the next to slash guidance, as well.

The industry analysts believe that net income for the fiscal year will be 23.1 billion yen ($221 million), 20 percent lower than Sony's previous forecasts.

Falling demand for TVs and PCs will lead to another rough quarter for the company and new CEO Kazuo Hirai, who has been trying to focus the company better after years of losses.

According to recent research, TV, camera and notebooks all had a weak holiday season, and those electronics are the bread and butter of Sony's lineup (not including smartphones and consoles). Estimates have global TV shipments falling 11 percent year-over-year and Sony recently slashed their internal Bravia TV forecasts by nearly 7 percent. Sony's TV unit has had losses for the last nine years.

PC sales saw a similar slowdown, down 10 percent year-over-year globally.




AfterDawn: News

EA denies that 'Nintendo is dead' to them

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jan 2014 11:45

EA denies that 'Nintendo is dead' to them Earlier this week, a CVG report claimed that an EA source had called Nintendo "dead to us," an unsurprising fact given that games for the Wii U from EA have been few and far between as the platform struggles.

The source had also said Nintendo was in the "kids game" business, and EA wasn't. "It became a kids IP platform and we don't really make games for kids. That was pretty true across the other labels too. Even the Mass Effect title on Wii U, which was a solid effort, could never do big business, and EA like Activision is only focused on games that can be big franchises," read the report.

EA COO Peter Moore, however, feels differently, at least from a PR standpoint. Tweeting back at the original author of the report and in general, Moore says: "Don't trust "anonymous sources". Nintendo's a great partner. They never have been, and never will be, 'dead' to EA..."

Of course, an employee or off-the-record source will talk more candidly than a high-level executive, so it just depends on who you believe at this point. That being said, nearly all major EA titles have conveniently skipped the Wii U console.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Update 1 coming as soon as March? Will work much better for mouse and keyboard users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2014 20:42

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Update 1 coming as soon as March? Will work much better for mouse and keyboard users Leaked screenshots of the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 seems to suggest the updated operating system will be available starting in March.

One source claims that Microsoft is aiming for a March 11th release date, the date of its normal monthly security patches.

Microsoft's BUILD conference is in April, so that timeframe had been expected for 8.1 U1, but it appears it may be a smaller update.

The new update is set to improve the OS for mouse/keyboard users and low-cost tablet owners alike. Search and Shut Down/Power options will now be more easily accessible, pinned taskbar apps will get previews, Metro apps will get close and minimize options just like regular apps, and right clicking on Metro apps will give you a full mouse-friendly context bar if you are not using a touch interface.

If these updates are accurate, Microsoft may finally win back the users it has alienated since launching Windows 8.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Chess grandmaster beats Bill Gates in just over a minute

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2014 20:19

Chess grandmaster beats Bill Gates in just over a minute Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft and the world's second-richest man, decided it might be fun to challenge the best chess player on the planet to a match. The results were not pretty.

Gates challenged Mangun Carlsen to a match broadcasted on the Norwegian talk show Skavlan and the chess master defeated the tech genius in 79 seconds, outmatching him from the first move on.

Check the video here (only 90 seconds long):




AfterDawn: News

New 'Glyph' VR headset nearly triples its Kickstarter goal in just four days

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2014 20:02

New 'Glyph' VR headset nearly triples its Kickstarter goal in just four days After smashing its goal in just 24 hours, the Avegant Glyph VR headset has now nearly tripled its goal in just four days.

Needing $250,000, the company has now raised $671,847 from 1400 backers on the crowdfunding platform.

The Glyph in of itself is a very interesting concept. The VR noise-canceling headset has a flip down feature that turns the device into a personal display, compatible with nearly all of your devices, including consoles, smartphones and computers.

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AfterDawn: News

Tizen isn't dead yet: Samsung sends out invites for event next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2014 19:37

Tizen isn't dead yet: Samsung sends out invites for event next month Tizen, the oft-delayed operating system backed mainly by Samsung, may not be dead just yet.

Samsung has sent out invites for a dedicated Tizen event at next month's Mobile World Congress. The company promises to show off the latest devices, but who knows what those devices will be since the OS is only powering one digital camera, to date.

Slated for February 23rd, the event is invite-only and will also include representatives from major Korean carriers SK Telecom, KT and LG U+.

NTT DoCoMo, the largest carrier in Japan, recently canceled all plans for Tizen devices, stating that there just isn't enough growth in Japan for a a third operating system to gain traction (after Android and iOS).




AfterDawn: News

Rare NES title sells for over $99,000 on eBay

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jan 2014 19:20

Rare NES title sells for over $99,000 on eBay Earlier this week, eBay user muresan began an auction for the extremely rare "Nintendo World Championships" game for the original NES.

There were only 116 copies of the game created, and it was never sold to consumers. The game was given out to gamers in 1990 at a special event where fans competed in games like Tetris and Super Mario.

Read the auction:

This is your chance to own the Super RARE Nintendo World Championship Cart for the NES!!!! As you can see by the pictures, this is an authentic, true to life original cart; no reproduction cart here.

Obviously, you'll immediately notice the ripped label. This is quite unfortunate but happened many decades ago by this point in time. No one knows the exact number of this cart (as each NWC cart was individually labeled upon production) as it appears in the upper left-hand corner of the cart label. This is known as the infamous "Mario" NWC cart that someone probably wrote on there long ago not having a clue what they actually had. Still, case in point, this is an authentic, original NWC cart from the championship back in the early 90s. The cart plays just fine and may some day be worth much more if someone decides to investigate a forensics lab's involvement to see if they can determine the official number by running tests on the cart.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony teases "slimmest" PlayStation device headed to UK this month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jan 2014 20:27

Sony teases "slimmest" PlayStation device headed to UK this month Sony has sent out an invite for a UK press event in which the company will unveil the "slimmest" PlayStation device for the region.

Engadget says the company will not be launching a new device but rather unveiling the PlayStation Vita TV that has been available in Japan, only, so far.

The micro-console, at 6.5cm x 10.5cm x 1.3cm, competes Android-based gaming set-tops like the Ouya. Allowing you to play Vita games on your TV, the hardware has a slot that lets you load games from the handheld and then play it with a standard DualShock 3 or 4 PlayStation controller.

Additionally, the hardware lets you use streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu Plus and eventually will let you play your PlayStation 4 via Remote Play with DualShock 4, an impressive feature. Finally, if you have a controller, you can play PSOne Classic and original PSP games, as well.




AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm acquires iPAQ, Palm, Bitfone patents from HP

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2014 23:12

Qualcomm acquires iPAQ, Palm, Bitfone patents from HP Massive mobile processor maker Qualcomm has acquired a portfolio of patents that has been jumping around for years including those once owned by defunct smartphone maker Palm.

HP was the current owner of the patent portfolio, and the figure of the sale is undisclosed.

Qualcomm will use the 1400 US patents and 1000 foreign patents to strengthen their mobile computing technology, says the company.

In 2010, HP acquired Palm and its patents for $1 billion, in an effort to get into the tablet and smartphone market. HP failed to make any headway, and bowed out of the industry until just recently when they began selling Android-based tablets.

iPAQ patents include those related to the Pocket PC and personal digital assistants unveiled at the turn of the century by Compaq, which was eventually purchased by HP.




AfterDawn: News

Lenovo purchases IBM's x86 server business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2014 18:09

Lenovo purchases IBM's x86 server business Chinese giant Lenovo has announced their acquisition of IBM's x86 server hardware division for $2.3 billion.

The division includes IBM's "System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and associated software, blade networking and maintenance operations."

As part of the deal, IBM will keep their System z mainframes, Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power-based Flex servers, and PureApplication and PureData appliances.

Lenovo will pay $2.07 billion and cash and the rest in stock.

While the servers are low-end, Lenovo should have a strong start in the enterprise hardware market. Lenovo already sells servers and storage in China. HP, IBM and Dell lead the market, accounting for about 70 percent of all server sales.




AfterDawn: News

Rockstar Consortium drops longstanding patent suit against Chinese giant Huawei

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2014 17:40

Rockstar Consortium drops longstanding patent suit against Chinese giant Huawei The Rockstar Consortium, which is an alliance between Apple, Microsoft, BlackBerry, Ericsson, and Sony, has dropped their longstanding patent infringement suit against Chinese telecom manufacturer Huawei.

Both parties have requested the dismissal of the suit, which had accused Huawei of violating patents that the group acquired through the bankruptcy of Nortel a few years ago. It was unclear if the suit was dropped outright or if a settlement and licensing agreement had been reached.

Other lawsuits against Google and other Android device makers remain in play, however. Nortel's patents (over 6000 in total) included wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, Internet, and semiconductor tech.

In 2011, during a heated auction, Google lost out on buying the patents by a mere $100 million, with Rockstar paying $4.5 billion for the portfolio. Google then bought Motorola Mobility in 2012 for $12.5 billion, mainly for their patents.




AfterDawn: News

Pope: The Internet is a 'gift from God'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2014 13:48

Pope: The Internet is a 'gift from God' Pope Francis has said today in a statement that the Internet is "a gift from God" and that the net offers "immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity."

As part of the 48th annual World Communications Day, the pontiff released a statement in which he discussed both the pros and cons of the digital age, the sharing of ideas and information, social media and the Internet in general.

The statement in its entirety:

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today we are living in a world which is growing ever "smaller" and where, as a result, it would seem to be easier for all of us to be neighbours. Developments in travel and communications technology are bringing us closer together and making us more connected, even as globalization makes us increasingly interdependent. Nonetheless, divisions, which are sometimes quite deep, continue to exist within our human family. On the global level we see a scandalous gap between the opulence of the wealthy and the utter destitution of the poor. Often we need only walk the streets of a city to see the contrast between people living on the street and the brilliant lights of the store windows. We have become so accustomed to these things that they no longer unsettle us. Our world suffers from many forms of exclusion, marginalization and poverty, to say nothing of conflicts born of a combination of economic, political, ideological, and, sadly, even religious motives.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

WSJ: Apple will release two larger screened iPhones this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2014 13:19

WSJ: Apple will release two larger screened iPhones this year According to the WSJ, Apple will finally be releasing iPhones with screens that can compete with Android and Windows Phone.

The paper says two devices will be released this year, one with a 4.5-inch display and one with a display larger than 5 inches.

Additionally, Apple will dump the iPhone 5C and its plastic style after one year of the failed experiment. All new phones will keep the metal design of the iPhone 5 and 5S. The iPhone 6 with the 4.5-inch display is already ready for mass production, while the other is still in development.

Just like in previous years, the iPhone will be released in September of this year.




AfterDawn: News

LG Nexus 5 to get new colorways soon?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2014 12:51

LG Nexus 5 to get new colorways soon? According to PhoneArena, the Google Nexus 5 is likely to get new colorways in the near future.

A leaked screenshot (and video) of the overhauled Google Play Hardware Store shows the Nexus 5 available in Black, White, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Purple.

It is unclear when the new colors will become available (if they ever do) but it would mark the first time a Nexus device would be available outside of the standard black or white colorways.


Original Video- More videos at TinyPic




AfterDawn: News

Hacker that leaked George W. Bush paintings reportedly arrested

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2014 11:50

Hacker that leaked George W. Bush paintings reportedly arrested According to Romanian media, the infamous hacker "Guccifer," convicted of multiple cyber crimes over the past couple of years, has been arrested.

40-year-old Marcel Lazar Lehel is best known for hacking the emails of former President George W. Bush and releasing his pet paintings. Additionally, the hacker also broke into the emails of numerous other celebrities and politicians including actor Steve Martin, Colin Powell and many others.

Since the breach of the Bush's accounts last February the US Secret Service has been investigating into the hacker.

Inside Romania, the hacker was even more infamous after breaching the accounts of George-Cristian Maior, the head of Romania's Intelligence Service. When Lehel released those emails, it came with the warning that he might "disappear" soon if law enforcement in the nation captured him.




AfterDawn: News

Sharp's first smartphone and tablet with IGZO displays are on the way, to Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2014 11:28

Sharp's first smartphone and tablet with IGZO displays are on the way, to Japan Sharp's first smartphone and tablet with IGZO displays are on the way, months after they were first rumored.

The Aquos Pad tablet and Aquos Phone Serie mini smartphone will both feature the technology and will be released in Japan through carrier KDDI.

Both feature high-end specs, with the Aquos Pad including a 7.0 inch 1080p IGZO display, a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage with a microSD slot, a 4080 mAh battery and dual 13.1MP/2.1MP cameras.

The camera, besides having a large sensor, also has an f/1.9 aperture, "BrightEye" technology for image processing and 0.4 second booting time.

On the smartphone side, the device has a 4.5-inch 1080p IGZO display, a 2.2GHz Snapdragon 800 processor, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, a 2120 mAh battery the same cameras and features.

Both devices are also waterproof, says the carrier.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix reaches 44 million subscribers, responds to net neutrality ruling

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2014 10:47

Netflix reaches 44 million subscribers, responds to net neutrality ruling Netflix reported its quarterly earnings yesterday, showing a profit and strong subscriber momentum.

Profit grew to $48.4 million and the company added another 4 million global subscribers, with the total now reaching 44 million. Netflix says it expects to reach 48 million by the end of March.

The company also used its earnings call to address a giant elephant in the room: net neutrality. An appeals court recently ruled for the major ISPs (and against the FCC), killing net neutrality laws in the U.S., and allowing the companies to throttle Internet speeds at their own discretion. Theoretically, the ISPs can also make Netflix pay added fees to stop the throttling of their service, which would almost certainly be passed on to the consumer eventually.

"Were this draconian scenario to unfold with some ISP, we would vigorously protest and encourage our members to demand the open Internet they are paying their ISP to deliver," says the company. "The most likely case, however, is that ISPs will avoid this consumer-unfriendly path of discrimination. ISPs are generally aware of the broad public support for Net neutrality and don't want to galvanize government action."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix moving to three pricing tiers for new subscribers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jan 2014 9:36

Netflix moving to three pricing tiers for new subscribers Following their quarterly earnings report, Netflix has announced that it will move to three pricing tiers for new subscribers.

CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells noted the change, which would be the first time the company had offered more than two price tiers for its streaming service. Say the execs: "Last April we introduced a 4-concurrent stream $11.99 option to begin our evaluation of plan tiering. Since late last year, we have also been testing 1-stream and 3-stream variants, as well as SD/HD variations, at various price points. Eventually, we hope to be able to offer new members a selection of three simple options to fit everyone's taste."

All existing members would get "generous grandfathering of their existing plans and prices," but the company also noted there is no timeframe for the new plans, as the company continues to test different options.

Hastings then added, "We try to make our pricing as straight-forward as possible. But it's not clear that one price fits all."




AfterDawn: News

Toshiba completes acquisition of SSD maker OCZ's assets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2014 22:38

Toshiba completes acquisition of SSD maker OCZ's assets In December, SSD maker OCZ filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after striking an agreement with Toshiba for the electronics company to purchase most of its valuable assets.

As of today, the deal has been completed.

OCZ had been seeing years of revenue falling, with losses mounting as the company was having issues with their supply chain.

Under Toshiba, OCZ will operate independently, and supply should no longer be an issue given that Toshiba is one of the largest makers of flash memory chips.

Last month, OCZ had this to say of the acquisition: "Over the past year, OCZ has dealt with numerous issues which have stressed the company's capital structure and operating model, posing a challenge to achieving near term profitability. The combination of NAND flash supply constraints and credit issues have impacted our ability to satisfy the demands of our customers; this combined with increased pricing pressure in our industry have contributed to our on-going operating losses. On an operational basis, we completed a complex investigation, several restructurings and a multi-year restatement that added significantly to our working capital requirements. We have been working diligently on this partnership with Toshiba and we believe that this is the best outcome under our current corporate conditions."




AfterDawn: News

Jolla's Sailfish OS ported to Google Nexus 4

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2014 21:27

Jolla's Sailfish OS ported to Google Nexus 4 Developers have managed to port the open-source Jolla Sailfish operating system to the Google Nexus 4 hardware.

You'll be able to flash Sailfish using the standard ClockworkMod Recovery, which can flash all kinds of Android ROMs including CyanogenMod and even Ubuntu.

Jolla has long said they plan to offer dedicated tools for installing the OS on phones and tablets as long as they have unlocked bootloaders.

For those with a Nexus 4, you can check the video here from YouTube user "sledge":

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple iBooks Textbooks expands to new markets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jan 2014 20:41

Apple iBooks Textbooks expands to new markets Apple has announced that its iBooks Textbooks and iTunes U Course Manager educational apps have been expanded to new markets including countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Among the new major additions are Brazil, Italy and Japan and iBooks Textbooks is now avilable in 51 countries compared to 70 for iTunes U.

"The incredible content and tools available for iPad provide teachers with new ways to customize learning unlike ever before," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "We can't wait to see how teachers in even more countries will create their new lesson plans with interactive textbooks, apps and rich digital content."

Textbooks was launched in early 2012, allowing for fullscreen textbooks featuring interactive animations and other nifty features. There are now 25,000 titles available that "cover 100 percent of U.S. high school core curriculum and the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) core curriculum in the U.K."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry secures Pentagon order

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2014 19:53

BlackBerry secures Pentagon order BlackBerry shares have jumped 10 percent today and are now up 82 percent in the last two months, following more good news from the struggling smartphone maker.

The Pentagon has announced that it will install 80,000 new BlackBerry handsets on its network by the end of the month, as part of "new mobile program for unclassified work."

The mobile program also includes 1800 iOS and Samsung Galaxy Android devices.

BlackBerry shares fell to $5.50 last month, after news that the company had abandoned selling itself and was instead shaking up its management team and moving away from consumer hardware.

New CEO John Chen announced a deal with Foxconn in which inventory risk is offset and the executive will be focusing on enterprise and security.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon completes purchase of Intel Media

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2014 18:28

Verizon completes purchase of Intel Media After months of negotiations, Verizon has completed their purchase of Intel's Internet TV division, Intel Media.

The price was not disclosed but has been rumored to be between $180-$220 million.

Intel Media had been working on an Internet TV service called OnCue, allowing users to watch live and VOD programming through the Internet and via a set-top box. The service also would have allowed for recording of live programming directly on Intel's servers without the need for a dedicated DVR.

Verizon has purchased the IP of Intel Media and will keep most of the 350 employees. The ISP will use Intel Media to improve its FiOS cable and TV service, "by improving users' ability to search for content both on a television set and on a Verizon smartphone or tablet."

"Strategically we're setting ourselves up in order to respond to the ecosystem as it evolves," Fran Shammo, Verizon chief financial officer, added.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

LG G Flex headed to 20 European markets in coming months

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2014 17:37

LG G Flex headed to 20 European markets in coming months LG has announced that the LG G Flex will be headed to 20 European markets in the coming weeks and months.

U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Sweden and Austria are among the nations noted by the phone maker, adding to availability in Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and the U.S.

The device feature 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

Beats Music streaming service now live

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2014 17:01

Beats Music streaming service now live Beats Music is now available in the U.S. on iPhone, Windows Mobile, Android, PC and Mac.

The headphone company, run by music industry exec Jimmy Iovine and famous producer Dr. Dre, says all U.S. consumers can try the service for free for 30 days and can download or stream unlimited music for $10 per month afterwards. For $15 a month, a family of five can access the service through a deal will AT&T. The charge will be part of your regular monthly bill.

Unlimited downloads will allow you to listen to music offline, but the downloads expire and disappear when your membership ends.

To differentiate itself from rivals like Google Play Music All Access, Spotify, Rdio and others, Beats Music combines algorithms with specialized curated programming from "tastemakers." The service itself comes from "the trust that comes from excellent handpicked music with the personalization that knows you're an individual and that a handful of stations can't satisfy all listeners," says the company.

"In our experience it's always been a living, breathing human who has brought us that song we fell in love with. The song you couldn't stop playing over and over. The album you deemed a headphone masterpiece. The mix tape that made you think "I'm gonna marry this one." We tried to remember a time a robot found us magic but all we could find were the times the robot made us laugh: "You like Pantera? Have you heard of Black Sabbath?" "You like Mumford and Sons? Here's another song with banjos!," jokes the company in its blog post.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Here are the alleged specs for Nintendo's upcoming consoles, codename 'Fusion'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jan 2014 16:35

Here are the alleged specs for Nintendo's upcoming consoles, codename 'Fusion' Rumors of Nintendo working on next-gen consoles have picked up in pace recently, and now we have a full alleged spec sheet to accompany the rumors.

The next-gen consoles are now codenamed "Fusion Terminal" and "Fusion DS" (for the handheld).

Here are the rumored specs (via Gaminrealm):

FUSION DS

CPU: ARMv8-A Cortex-A53 GPU: Custom Adreno 420-based AMD GPU
COM MEMORY: 3 GB LPDDR3 (2 GB Games, 1 GB OS)
>2 130 mm DVGA (960 x 640) Capacitive Touchscreen
>Slide Out Design with Custom Swivel Tilt Hinge
>Upper Screen made of Gorilla Glass, Comes with Magnetic Cover
>Low End Vibration for Gameplay and App Alerts
>2 Motorized Circle Pads for Haptic Feedback
>Thumbprint Security Scanner with Pulse Sensing Feedback
>2 1mp Stereoptic Cameras
>Multi-Array Microphone
>A, B, X, Y, D-Pad, L, R, 1, 2 Buttons
>3 Axis Tuning Fork Gyroscope, 3 Axis Accelerometer, Magnetometer
>NFC Reader
>3G Chip with GPS Location
>Bluetooth v4.0 BLE Command Node used to Interface with Bluetooth Devices such as Cell Phones, Tablets
>16 Gigabytes of Internal Flash Storage (Possible Future Unit With 32 Gigbytes)
>Nintendo 3DS Cart Slot
>SDHC "Holographic Enhanced" Card Slot up to 128 Gigabyte Limit
>Mini USB I/O
>3300 mAh Li-Ion battery

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Leaked: The Sony Xperia Z2

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 21:07

Leaked: The Sony Xperia Z2 It appears that most of the specs for the upcoming Sony Xperia Z2 flagship have now been leaked.

The device will be powered by a Qualcomm MSM8974AB chipset with 2.3GHz quad-core processor and Adreno 330 graphics and includes a larger 5.2-inch 1080p display.

Among the impressive specs are 3GB RAM, a 20.7MP rear camera and Android 4.4 KitKat at launch.

In one of the leaked shot, the display shows a smaller size and lesser resolution but this is excluding the virtual buttons of Android devices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

95 percent of ATMs run on Windows XP and XP loses Microsoft support in April

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 11:58

95 percent of ATMs run on Windows XP and XP loses Microsoft support in April On April 8th, Microsoft will end their support of the ancient Windows XP operating system, and with that deadline comes an interesting time for the world's banks and the estimated 3 million ATMs around the globe.

95 percent of current ATMs run on Windows XP and when support ends, that means security patches will no longer be executed for the machines, putting them out of compliance with industry standards. With billions of dollars involved, the banks will be forced to upgrade the machines to Windows 7.

Robert Johnston, a marketing director at NCR, the largest ATM supplier in the U.S., says the need to upgrade will affect machines differently. For example, older machines will need to be completely scrapped since their internals cannot support Windows 7. JPMorgan Chase, which has 19,000 ATMs, says 3000 of its machines will need to have its components upgraded before the transition can even begin.

Aravinda Korala, chief executive officer of ATM software provider KAL, says the world is not ready for the dealine: "The ATM world is not really ready, and that's not unusual. ATMs move more slowly than PCs." In fact, Korala says only 15 percent of devices will be ready by April 8th.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HBO is okay with you sharing HBO Go logins

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 11:12

HBO is okay with you sharing HBO Go logins We all know you are sharing that HBO Go login with all of your friends, but HBO is okay with it.

According to HBO CEO Richard Plepler, account sharing is a "terrific marketing vehicle for the next generation of viewers."

"It presents the brand to more and more people and gives them an opportunity, hopefully, to become addicted to it," adds the exec. "What we're in the business of is building addicts, building video addicts, and the way we do that is exposing our product and our shows and our brand to more and more people."

When asked if he was worried that the account sharing would be negative on the bottom line, Plepler was not: "It's not that we're unmindful of it, it just has no impact on the business." Eventually the account sharing will lead to more subscriptions, says the company.




AfterDawn: News

Kim Dotcom's 'Baboom' music streaming site now live in beta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 10:51

Kim Dotcom's 'Baboom' music streaming site now live in beta Kim Dotcom, the larger-than-life founder of Megaupload and now "MEGA," has introduced his Baboom music streaming site in beta.

In its preview mode, there is just one album, a europop album made by Dotcom himself which includes some contributions from unknown artists, including his wife Mona Dotcom.

Eventually, when it fully launches, Baboom will let you stream and download music, including HD file types like FLAC.

Differentiating itself from other services, Dotcom will allow users to install an advertising plugin to their current browser and be rewarded with ongoing free music.

Baboom reported 80,000 plays in its first hour online.

Check the site here.




AfterDawn: News

WhatsApp message traffic now exceeds that of SMS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 10:17

WhatsApp message traffic now exceeds that of SMS WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum has announced that the popular cross-platform messaging app now handles up to 54 billion messages per day on average.

Outbound messages accounted for 36 billion and inbound for the rest.

Mobile analyst Benedict Evans tweeted, following the news, suggesting that WhatsApp traffic now exceeds that of global SMS sent daily.

WhatsApp has over 400 million active monthly users, each of which pay just $1 a year for the service. The numbers are even more impresive given that the company has just 50 employees and has never spent any money on marketing.





AfterDawn: News

J.J. Abrams: Star Wars Episode VII script just completed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 9:39

J.J. Abrams: Star Wars Episode VII script just completed The director has confirmed that the script for the upcoming blockbuster was just recently completed.

"We're working really hard and we've got our script and we're in deep prep," Abrams noted, "full steam ahead, y'know."

Speaking at a press event, Abrams also confirmed that Jesse Plemons (recently of Breaking Bad) is being considered for a role in the film, saying he "is one of the actors that we've talked to."

Unfortunately, Abrams also revealed that the movie would be shot on film, and not in IMAX. When asked why, the director says the cameras are "very loud ... very unreliable," and "you can't really do intimate scenes with it."

Episode VII will be released in December 2015.




AfterDawn: News

HP to prominently sell PCs with Windows 7, with the OS 'back by popular demand'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 9:15

HP to prominently sell PCs with Windows 7, with the OS 'back by popular demand' HP, the world's second largest PC maker, has begun emailing customers that "Windows 7 is back" as an option for those looking to buy new PCs.

The new promotion comes along with "$150 in savings" and the PC maker claims the operating system is "back by popular demand."

By heading over to the HP desktop PC section, all computers are set to Windows 7 by default, with Windows 8.1 only available through customization. Under the all-in-one section, HP's Android device is positioned favorably over Windows 8 models.

The move is a huge blow to Microsoft, which has tried to make Windows 8 more popular after a rough launch. In the past, when the failed Windows Vista launched, manufacturers made similar "back by popular demand" promotions for Windows XP.





AfterDawn: News

Paramount drops 35mm film, will release movies in digital format only

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 8:57

Paramount drops 35mm film, will release movies in digital format only Paramount Pictures has become the first major studio to drop film as its distribution method, moving to digital-only for its U.S. releases.

The studio started its plan with the recent release of the blockbuster "The Wolf of Wall Street," with Paramount letting theater owners know that the comedy "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues," (released last month) would be the last to be released on 35mm film.

"It's of huge significance because Paramount is the first studio to make this policy known," said Jan-Christopher Horak, director of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. "For 120 years, film and 35 mm has been the format of choice for theatrical presentations. Now we're seeing the end of that. I'm not shocked that it's happened, but how quickly it has happened."

There are about 8 percent of theaters in the U.S. that have not yet embraced digital and only play traditional film, despite the huge added cost. Digital distribution costs around $100 while film prints cost between $1000 and $2000 per movie. Internationally, Paramount will still ship film, as most theaters (especially in Europe and Latin America) cannot support digital.




AfterDawn: News

NPD: Xbox One leads hardware sales for December

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 8:25

NPD: Xbox One leads hardware sales for December Microsoft has boasted of having the top-selling hardware for December in the U.S., citing the most recent NPD figures.

The Xbox One sold 908,000 units in December, beating out the PlayStation 4, and the Xbox 360 saw 643,000 units sold, good for third place.

"We're grateful for the excitement and support of our fans - many purchasing their next Xbox console and many joining the Xbox family for the first time," said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of marketing, strategy and business for Xbox.

Sony did not reveal exact figures, but made sure not note that the console still has the cumulative lead: "PlayStation 4 remains the cumulative leader for next gen console sales in the US since the launch on November 15," said Sony's senior director of corporate communications, Dan Race. "We sold every PS4 available at retail in the US and were out of stock in December due to overwhelming consumer demand. With more than 4.2 million PS4 systems sold worldwide, it's clear that the PS4's gaming and entertainment features are resonating with large audiences and we're doing our best to provide additional inventory in all of the 53 countries where it's available."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Intel's Bay Trail tablet chip available on Android devices starting in the Q2

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 8:10

Intel's Bay Trail tablet chip available on Android devices starting in the Q2 According to CEO Brian Krzanich, Intel's quad-core Bay Trail processors will reach Android tablets starting in the Q2.

"Most of the Bay Trail Android tablets really start showing up more in Q2...remember we made a shift, the original program for Bay Trail was all Windows," noted the executive. Mid-way through their original plan, the shift began to Android, thus causing the delays.

When asked about 64-bit processing, which Apple moved to last year with the iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display, Krzanich talked about the many advantages of such a platform: "[Device makers] who build with our products now can already go out and start to utilize 64-bit. We are out there working with the OSs, all of the OSs and the OEMs to go enable that. The real usages...are going to be in those high compute areas, things like video, things like media, transfer media manipulation. All the classic things around computing that you saw drive the compute cycles on PC and people are doing more and more with tablets and phones or that will be the same things that drive 64-bit utilization on these mobile devices."

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AfterDawn: News

Cisco: Java exploits behind 90 percent of security attacks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 7:56

Cisco: Java exploits behind 90 percent of security attacks Cisco, in their 2014 Annual Security Report, blames Java for being far and away the leading cause of security exploits.

In fact, "Java represented 91 percent of all Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) in 2013," says the report. This means Java exploits were the "final payload observed" in a huge majority of all attacks throughout the year.

"I was surprised to see that the Java IOC number was 91 percent," Levi Gundert, technical lead, Cisco Threat Research, Analysis, and Communications, added. "There were a number of Java zero days that were used in various attacks, but there were also a ton of well-known Java vulnerabilities that were packaged into various exploit packs."

Oracle, which runs Java after their acquisition of Sun Microsystems, has had to constantly update the software, including an update for 51 vulnerabilities just this week.

In the report, Cisco notes that Java exploits tend to work well for attackers because people do not patch their Java as regularly as they should. This is likely true since Java needs updates sometimes weekly. Exploits are also successful since Java is easily portable and works on nearly all operating systems. Business customers can not always patch as quickly as necessary, either, as patches could break functionality.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Russian teen was author of malware behind Target, Neiman Marcus, other attacks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 7:34

Russian teen was author of malware behind Target, Neiman Marcus, other attacks According to security firm IntelCrawler, a Russian teenager was the author of the malware that was used in attacks on Target, Neiman Marcus and other retailers that has so far revealed credit, debit card and other personal information on over 70 million customers.

The report states that the teen has sold over 60 versions of the software to cyber criminals, suggesting more attacks are on the horizon.

Allegedly, the 17-year-old is based in St. Petersburg and has a reputation for his malicious code programming skills

Dubbed BlackPOS, the software was sold by the teen and then run by numerous attackers who "entered retailers' systems by trying several easy passwords to access the registers remotely."

Even worse, the point-of-sale servers do not appear to have restrictions for many large retailers, possibly allowing easy access to back-office servers.




AfterDawn: News

Intel slashing 5000 jobs this year following bleak period for PC sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 7:19

Intel slashing 5000 jobs this year following bleak period for PC sales This week, Intel has announced it will slash 5350 jobs in 2014, a full five percent of its workforce, following another poor year for traditional PC sales.

"This is part of aligning our human resources to meet business needs," spokesman Chris Kraeuter said. The company has a global workforce of 107,000.

The layoffs may include voluntary programs and retirements with severance, says the spokesperson.

Intel, to offset the reduced PC sales, will focus instead on low-power chips for phones and tablets and other faster growing areas like data center technology. Smartphones and tablets are dominated by Qualcomm and Samsung chips, but Intel has been increasing their share, especially through Windows 8.1 tablets and devices.

Additionally, the company also said this week it would not be building its $5 billion factory in Arizona that was set to produce 14nm chips and said instead that the existing factories will be re-fitted.




AfterDawn: News

Twitter working on deal with Stripe that would allow for product purchases directly through the network

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 7:01

Twitter working on deal with Stripe that would allow for product purchases directly through the network According to sources, Twitter is preparing to let its hundreds of millions of users purchase products directly through the network thanks to an upcoming deal with e-commerce payments startup Stripe.

The deal is said to be in the final stages and will allow the social network to accept credit card payments.

If completed, the deal will make it much easier for brands, retailers and manufacturers to sell their products directly. Twitter tested the concept last year with Starbucks and American Express, both of which required syncing your account to a card or account for the third-party.

Commerce is likely the next revenue strategy for Twitter, which has only recently begun to expand their monetization of the company and its services.

Stripe allows for payments to be accepted through websites and mobile apps within one day of signing up with the company, due to their APIs, and the startup is backed by over $40 million in venture capital.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo to consider mobile after another rough year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jan 2014 6:43

Nintendo to consider mobile after another rough year Earlier in the week, Nintendo reported expectations for their upcoming earnings, and even slashed their Wii U sales forecast by over 70 percent.

The company will have its third straight fiscal year with an operating loss as strong 3DS game sales are not enough to turn around the company's fortunes.

In light of the earnings, and a 20 percent drop in the company's stock price as a result, it appears Nintendo may finally be "studying" new business models.

"We are thinking about a new business structure," says Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. "Given the expansion of smart devices, we are naturally studying how smart devices can be used to grow the game-player business. It's not as simple as enabling Mario to move on a smartphone."

The Wii U saw reduced projections multiple times last year and the company slashed its fiscal year Wii U sales forecast to 2.8 million from 9 million, a devastatingly low estimate. 3DS sales were also guided down to 13.5 million units from 18 million units.




AfterDawn: News

Spotify removes playback limitations from free, ad-supported versions

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jan 2014 10:55

Spotify removes playback limitations from free, ad-supported versions Spotify has removed all playback limitations on their free, ad-supported versions for all countries.

Until this week, web users who did not pay for premium versions of the service got six months of unlimited listening but were then limited (dependent on country) to as low as 2.5 hours per week.

The streaming service continues to be more accessible to users on all platforms. Last month, Spotify launched a free, ad-supported service for tablets. Mobile versions had previously been $10 a month but the new service is limited to shuffling (just like Pandora except that you can hear more of the artist you search for) rather than a full on-demand offering.

Spotify may have dropped the limit as the industry gets more and more competitive. Beats recently launched a new rival service, and Google and Apple each have their own, as well.




AfterDawn: News

Mozilla testing its first Firefox OS tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jan 2014 10:12

Mozilla testing its first Firefox OS tablet According to Asa Dotzler, Mozilla has begun testing its Firefox OS on a tablet prototype.

The tablet, as expected, has mid-range specs featuring a 10-inch 1280x800 display, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and a 1GHz quad-core processor.

Aimed at emerging markets, the Firefox OS tablet will likely never see the light of day in the U.S, just like Mozilla's current low-end smartphone offerings.

Full specs:

Brand/Model: InFocus New tab F1, Wi-Fi
Processor: A31 (ARM Cortex A7) Quad-Core 1.0GHz w/ PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU
Memory: 2GB DDR3
Hard Disk: 16GB Flash
Screen: 10.1 IPS capacitive multi-touch @ 1280x800
Camera: Dual cameras, 2MP/5MP
Wireless Network: 802.11b/g/n
Ports: Micro SD, Micro USB, headphone
Other: GPS, Bluetooth, Gyroscope
Battery:7000mAh




AfterDawn: News

LG's curved G Flex to reach Sprint at the end of the month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2014 23:19

LG's curved G Flex to reach Sprint at the end of the month Sprint has announced that LG's curved G Flex smartphone will reach the carrier on January 31st with a $299.99 price tag on contract.

LG said earlier this month that the device would be headed to AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile over the winter, and Sprint is the first to give a timeframe.

"Continuing to raise the bar in innovation, we are thrilled to once again team up with LG to bring a top-of-the-line device to our customers," said David Owens, vice president of product, Sprint. "LG G Flex combines everything in a single device and provides Sprint customers curved ergonomic comfort and a cinematic viewing experience that will make movie buffs rejoice. With the multitude of Android™ apps available for download, LG G Flex with Sprint Spark, combined with Sprint's new Sprint Framily Plan, make an ideal pair for today's multimedia, multitasking lifestyles."

The device feature 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

Microsoft responds to blogger's 2014 Windows Phone co-marketing budget estimate

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2014 21:12

Microsoft responds to blogger's 2014 Windows Phone co-marketing budget estimate Earlier in the week, occasionally accurate Russian blogger Eldar Murtazin claimed that Microsoft was setting aside $2.6 billion for Windows Phone OEMs like Sony, Samsung and HTC as a co-marketing budget.

While the company confirmed there was such a budget for co-marketing, Corporate VP of Communications Frank X. Shaw says the numbers are completely untrue and "fiction."

Murtazin quickly responded that his numbers are correct but that Microsoft could spend a good portion of it on funding R&D and other expenses.





AfterDawn: News

Toshiba's 4K display laptop to launch in the Q3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2014 20:21

Toshiba's 4K display laptop to launch in the Q3 Toshiba has introduced their Satellite P50t notebook, featuring a 4K display.

The 15.6-inch screen has 3,840 x 2,160 resolution, the highest yet seen on a consumer notebook.

Toshiba expects the laptop to be released in the late Q2 or early Q3.

It is unclear what is under the hood, except that it will include a Haswell Core i7 processor.

Check a photo of how small some objects will be on the display, via Engadget.




AfterDawn: News

iOS finally gets Google Play Movies and TV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2014 19:49

iOS finally gets Google Play Movies and TV Google has finally made their Google Play Movies and TV store available on iOS.

The move follows earlier launches of Google Play Books and Google Play Music in 2013.

You will not be able to buy content directly through the app, due to Apple's restrictions, so you will have to buy the content via the web client first and then play them through your app.

Another downside is the video will only stream in SD, but can be viewed in HD if streaming through a Chromecast. Continuing the disappointments, the content will be Wi-Fi-only and cannot be saved for offline viewing. Finally, the app is missing "info cards" when the films are paused.

As with nearly all Google products, however, the apps are crippled at launch for iOS and then eventually reach parity with their Android counterparts.

Get the app here: Google Play Movies and TV




AfterDawn: News

NTT DoCoMo drops plans to release a Tizen device

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2014 19:08

NTT DoCoMo drops plans to release a Tizen device Japan's largest carrier NTT DoCoMo, has dropped plans to release a smartphone running on the Tizen operating system.

DoCoMo says the stagnant Japanese market could not support a third smartphone OS. According to IDC, the country's smartphone market only grew 2.2 percent year-over-year for the six month period ended September 30th.

Samsung, the biggest backer of Tizen, will likely be disappointed with the decision. The company uses Android for all of its devices, but has been developing Tizen to hedge its bet on the single operating system and also to increase revenue of app sales by controlling the entire environment.

Additional backers of Tizen are Intel, Orange and Vodafone, each of which has remained relatively quiet about the OS.

The carrier says they will continue to work with the Tizen Association moving forward.




AfterDawn: News

Sony PS3, PS4 get native HBO Go app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2014 18:11

Sony PS3, PS4 get native HBO Go app Following streaming deals with all the major content providers over the past few years, Sony will now be bringing hit shows like "Game of Thrones" and "True Blood" to their PS3 and PS4 consoles via the HBO Go app.

The older PlayStation 3 will be the first to get the app, followed by the PS4 later in the year.

"With the HBO Go app on your PlayStation system and an HBO subscription via your cable or satellite provider, you'll have unlimited, on-demand access to your favorite HBO shows, like 'Game of Thrones,' 'Boardwalk Empire,' and 'True Detective'," Sony Computer Entertainment America's senior vice president of business development Phil Rosenberg writes. "HBO Go offers every episode of every season of the network's best shows. You can also enjoy hit movies, sports, documentaries, and comedy specials, as well as special behind-the-scenes extras."

HBO Go continues to see expansion, as well, most recently being added to the Google Chromecast.




AfterDawn: News

China developing its own operating system for PCs, mobile devices, set-tops

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2014 17:56

China developing its own operating system for PCs, mobile devices, set-tops The government-backed Chinese Academy of Sciences, in conjunction with Shanghai Liantong Network Communications Technology, are developing their own secure OS to rival Android, Windows and Ubuntu.

China Operating System (COS) will eventually work on PCs, smartphone, tablets and PCs. There is already a prototype of a set-top box running the OS, but the groups have not yet secured any deals with smartphone or PC vendors.

"The operating system has already risen to become a national security matter," said Shanghai Liantong Network Communications Technology in a press statement.

There are scarce details about the operating system except that it supports HTML5 and can run over 100,000 legacy apps. Liantong says current open source operating systems can often include security flaws and may include interfaces that do not agree with standard Chinese user habits.

Additionally, there have been clashes between Chinese tech firms and U.S lawmakers in the past, leading Liantong to conclude that an independent OS is necessary.




AfterDawn: News

Report: HTC to build bigger model of One flagship

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2014 17:33

Report: HTC to build bigger model of One flagship According to new reports, HTC is preparing to release a bigger-screened version of the One smartphone.

The display will be larger at 5-inches compared to the current 4.7-inch devices. The smartphone will also add a camera with "a so-called 'twin-sensor' rear-facing camera" and the latest Snapdragon quad-core processor. Otherwise, the form factor and design will be the same.

By adding twin sensors, the camera will have 'better focus, depth of field and image quality.'

HTC has been desperately trying to turn around their fortunes following years of falling revenue, profit and handset sales.




AfterDawn: News

Infographic: Skype now rules the international phone calling market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jan 2014 17:08

Infographic: Skype now rules the international phone calling market According to telco research company TeleGeography, Skype now controls the international calling market, even as more traditional landline and mobile networks continue to grow, as well.

Last year, Skype users made 214 billion minutes of international "on-net" calls (Skype to Skype), up 36 percent year-over-year. Skype's traffic amounted to 40 percent of the entire international telecom market, far and away larger than any other company.

At a growth of 54 billion minutes, Skype outpaced the the whole rest of the industry which grew 35 billion minutes.

While the numbers are impressive, the report does note that public switched telephone networks (PSTNs) (traditional landline and mobile networks) are not going away anytime soon: "The PSTN will not disappear anytime soon. While Facebook has approximately 1.2 billion monthly users, at year-end 2013, the PSTN connected to just over 8 billion fixed and mobile subscribers worldwide."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony PlayStation Now to launch in Europe in Q1 2015, US in Q2

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jan 2014 22:35

Sony PlayStation Now to launch in Europe in Q1 2015, US in Q2 According to a new report, Sony's PlayStation Now streaming service will not launch in Europe until the Q1 2015.

Additionally, the full U.S. launch is slated for the Q2 of this year, say the sources, within Sony's "summer launch" time frame.

Japan and Korea will also see PlayStation Now by the end of the year.

The reports cite an internal Sony presentation slideshow which reveals a time table for the service as well as other devices.

PlayStation Now will allow gamers to stream PlayStation games on the PS4, PS3, PlayStation Vita, tablets, smartphones and TVs.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo expects another annual loss, reduces sales expectations

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jan 2014 21:29

Nintendo expects another annual loss, reduces sales expectations Nintendo has reversed its sales guidance expectations, with the gaming company now expecting an annual fiscal operating loss of 35 billion yen ($336 million) as compared to its previous forecast of a 100 billion yen profit.

The guidance is bad news for the company which will now have its third straight year of operating losses following half a decade of record sales.

"We failed to reach our target for hardware sales during the year-end, when revenues are the highest," says the company. "As a result, the sale of high-margin software fell far short of our projections."

The Wii U was once again the biggest culprit, as the company has reduced projections every months since the console's release in 2012. The company slashed its fiscal year Wii U sales forecast to 2.8 million from 9 million, a devastatingly low estimate. 3DS sales were guided down to 13.5 million units from 18 million units.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Intel puts the kibosh on new Arizona manufacturing chip plant

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2014 18:48

Intel puts the kibosh on new Arizona manufacturing chip plant Intel has announced it has indefinitely postponed its "Fab 42" chip factory that was set to be opened in Arizona.

The $5 billion plant would create Intel's most high-end and advanced chips, but will no remain closed while Intel upgrades other factories within the same site.

"The new construction is going to be left vacant for now and it will be targeted at future technologies," said the company. Despite shutting the high-end factory, Intel has hired over 1000 employees since 2011, and will receive state tax benefits for doing so.

Intel would have used the plant to manufacture tiny and efficient 14 nanometer microchips. The existing factories currently manufacture 22nm chips but are gradually being converted to the more advanced architecture. "It boils down to better capital utilization," added the company.




AfterDawn: News

EU: Google, you only have a couple of weeks to provide more concessions before formal anti-trust charges are filed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2014 17:29

EU: Google, you only have a couple of weeks to provide more concessions before formal anti-trust charges are filed In December, EU antitrust boss Joaquin Almunia rejected Google's offer to settle a European Union anti-trust investigation, claiming there were not enough concessions. At the time, the official said Google had "some" time to return with a new offer.

It appears that time has come.

Almunia has said today that the commission is still waiting for Google's response, having heard nothing in the last three weeks. "We need more and we need more not during the next year, we need more during the next weeks," he said.

Google has been under investigation by the European Commission antitrust regulators since 2010 over complaints that they block competition, such as Microsoft and Foundem, from search results. The Commission asked 125 Google competitors for feedback on the previous settlement offers, and they have rejected each of the deals so far.

Really, what the EU is looking for is a removal of concerns about vertical searches, which are the specialized searches for individual products.




AfterDawn: News

Meet the Blackphone: A privacy heavy high-end Android device

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2014 17:14

Meet the Blackphone: A privacy heavy high-end Android device Silent Circle, the encrypted email service provider, and Geeksphone, the small Spanish smartphone startup best known for its early Firefox OS devices have launched a new device, the Blackphone, a smartphone that was created to enable completely encrypted and secure communications, private browsing, and of course, secure file-sharing.

Says the company: "Blackphone is the world's first smartphone which prioritizes the user's privacy and control, without any hooks to carriers or vendors. It comes preinstalled with all the tools you need to move throughout the world, conduct business, and stay in touch, while shielding you from prying eyes."

Amongst the privacy controls placed in user's hands are the ability to make and receive "secure phone calls; exchange secure texts; exchange and store secure files; have secure video chat; browse privately; and anonymize your activity through a VPN."

Running on an Android variant called PrivatOS, there is little else known about the device except that it is GSM unlocked and that its "performance benchmarks put it among the top performers from any manufacturer."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Walter Isaacson: Google is now more innovative than Apple

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2014 16:51

Walter Isaacson: Google is now more innovative than Apple According to Walter Isaacson, the author of the "Steve Jobs" biography, Google has unseated Apple as the most innovative company in the world right now.

Speaking to CNBC, Isaacson says Google buying Nest Labs was a much bigger deal than Apple beginning to sell iPhones through China Mobile. Of course, the Apple deal will be great for the company's bottom line, he acknowledged, but the Nest buy shows the "amazingly strong integrated strategy that Google has to connect all of our devices, all of our lives, from our car, to our navigation system, to how our garage doors are going to open."

While Apple has not really introduced anything new in quite some time with the exception of the TouchID fingerprint scanning of the iPhone 5S, Google has quietly (and not so quietly) been working on robots, self-driving cars, Google Glass and now, smart hubs for the home through Nest.

Isaacson also noted that grabbing Nest CEO Tony Fadell is a huge part of the deal for Google. "Fadell was one of the team that created the iPod. He was very deep into the Apple culture ... when Apple was so innovative," says the author.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HP returns to the mobile market with two tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2014 16:19

HP returns to the mobile market with two tablets HP has announced today that it has returned to the smartphone/tablet market after a two year hiatus, building two "voice-enabled" tablets that will launch in India this year.

The Slate 6 VoiceTab and the Slate 7 VoiceTab will run on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean and there are no plans for the tablets outside of India.

Ron Coughlin, Senior VP for the consumer PC business, notes: "We see a need in India that we can meet. Consumers are looking for a way to consolidate devices. We think there's an opportunity to enter a growing market where there's an unmet need."

At just 6 inches, the Slate 6 is a small tablet (or an oversized phone) but the 7-inch Slate 7 fills the normal form factor slot owned by the Kindle Fire, Nexus 7 and Galaxy Tabs. Both devices have 720p displays, quad-core processors (likely from MediaTek), 16GB internal storage and microSD slots. Both have dual 2MP/5MP cameras.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft once again denies 'Halo' feature film

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2014 13:28

Microsoft once again denies 'Halo' feature film For at least the last eight years, there have been rumors that there would be a Halo feature film, but Microsoft has repeatedly denied or kept quiet on it.

Today, the software giant has denied the most recent rumors, stating "As we've previously stated, we have no plans for a 'Halo' motion picture at this time."

In 2005, blockbuster director Peter Jackson was rumored to be involved in a Halo movie, even going as far as to say, "as a gaming fan, I'm excited to bring Halo's premise, action, and settings to the screen with all the specificity and reality today's technology can provide."

the project was initially postponed back in 2006 and the entire script and its concept were scrapped in 2009. Last year, District 9 and Elysium director Neill Blomkamp expressed interest in a revival.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon's new product will be 'bigger than Kindle'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2014 12:43

Amazon's new product will be 'bigger than Kindle' Amazon has sent out invites for a recruiting event in Massachusetts that hints on something huge brewing for the e-tailing giant.

As with most invites or press releases from Amazon, there is a lot left to the imagination, but the secret project promises to be "bigger than Kindle!"

The invite comes via the Kindle New Initiatives team and the product or service will "deliver digital media to our customers in new ways and disrupt the marketplace."

Most likely, the device will be Amazon's oft-rumored streaming set-top box, although there is a chance it could be Amazon's Kindle phone that has been rumored for over two years.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Motorola Moto G gets Google Play Edition

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2014 12:17

Motorola Moto G gets Google Play Edition Even though the device was practically stock Android to begin with, Google is now selling a Google Play Edition version of the Moto G.

The Play Edition will offer a fully stock Android 4.4, and remove the three or four Motorola apps that were pre-installed with the device (even though those apps were excellent). The current Moto G runs on Android 4.4, as well.

Priced at $179 for the 8GB and $199 for the 16GB model, the prices are exactly the same as the Motorola models. The devices will work on AT&T and T-Mobile and are U.S.-only.

The device has a 4.5-inch 720p display, a mid-range 1.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400, 1GB RAM and no LTE support.

Read our review of the Moto G here: Hands-On Review: Does the Motorola Moto G give you your money's worth for $179?




AfterDawn: News

Foxconn has shipped nearly 1.4 million iPhone 5S to China Mobile

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jan 2014 11:59

Foxconn has shipped nearly 1.4 million iPhone 5S to China Mobile According to multiple sources, Foxconn shipped nearly 1.4 million iPhone 5S units to China Mobile last week, well above expectations.

The phone will officially launch on the world's largest carrier on Friday and China Mobile has been taking pre-orders since December 25th.

"Shipping one million or more iPhones to a single carrier per month is substantial. But we have limited visibility beyond this month as Apple hasn't informed Foxconn of the volume for the next shipment to China Mobile," said the source.

China Mobile has 745 million subscribers, so the base for growth is certainly massive. Most analysts believe the deal will help Apple sell another 20 million iPhones in 2014.

Through deals with other carriers in the nation, Apple sold 18.5 million iPhones in China for the first three quarters of 2013.




AfterDawn: News

R.I.P. Net Neutrality

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jan 2014 22:01

R.I.P. Net Neutrality Your traffic will no longer be treated equally.

The Court of Appeals for the D.C. circuit has effectively killed net neutrality in the U.S., striking down a 2010 Federal Communications Commission plan to block ISPs from playing favorites among websites.

For example, the major ISPs (not including Comcast that has to adhere to net neutrality rules until 2018), can now throttle speeds for services or websites based on whatever reasons they want. Many traffic hogs like torrent site, cyberlockers and streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus are likely going to be the big losers with the decision.

"AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast will be able to deliver some sites and services more quickly and reliably than others for any reason," telecommunications lawyer Marvin Ammori says (via WaPo). "Whim. Envy. Ignorance. Competition. Vengeance. Whatever. Or, no reason at all."

The telecom companies, most notably Verizon, AT&T, Charter and Time Warner all claim that no net neutrality will allow them to better service all customers. Of course, this is untrue, as the ISPs have been already been caught throttling traffic from video services that competed with their own.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix orders new original series based on adventurer Marco Polo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jan 2014 21:30

Netflix orders new original series based on adventurer Marco Polo Netflix has confirmed their next original series, based on Marco Polo in 13th-century China.

The series is described as having "elements of action, adventure, politics, and war."

Nine episodes have been ordered for "Marco Polo," which will premiere in late 2014. The drama had originally been developed at Starz, but different issues caused it to be sent back to its producers, The Weinstein Co. The series will begin shooting in Malaysia in the coming months.

"John Fusco and his team have created a timeless tale of power, adventure, betrayal and lust that combines deft storytelling and cinematic ambition," Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said. "It is a fantastic addition to our slate of original series, both because of its quality and because it is the kind of gripping action-adventure that Netflix members love."

Adds Harvey Weinstein: "With the glowing success of series like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, it's clear that Netflix is breaking tremendous ground in the realm of streaming original content. We could not be more excited to partner with them on this project, along with the creative tour de force of John Fusco and his talented team."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Your smartphone camera can detect radiation

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jan 2014 21:02

Your smartphone camera can detect radiation A test lab in the U.S., led by researcher Joshua Cogliati has confirmed that your smartphone can detect the presence of radiation.

Early last year, an app called "GammaPix" turned smartphones into faux Geiger Counters under the theory that CMOS sensors should also be able to make a signal when near radiation.

The team at Idaho National Labs found this to be true, and even went as far as to find which phones were best. Using their own app called CellRad, the team found the Nexus S found the most radiation per image. Other Galaxy and other Nexus smartphone devices were tested, as well, and the Galaxy S III was found to produce too much noise.

CellRad tested for Selenium, Iridium, Caesium, Cobalt and Americium.




AfterDawn: News

Time Warner Cable rejects $61 billion 'low-ball' acquisition offer from Charter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jan 2014 21:02

Time Warner Cable rejects $61 billion 'low-ball' acquisition offer from Charter Time Warner Cable has rejected Charter's $61 billion offer for the U.S.' second-largest cable provider.

Earlier today, Charter offered $132.50 per share for Time Warner Cable, which is $61 billion in current value including Time Warner's nearly $24 billion in debt.

The proposal is the third largest offer on record since 2009, and Charter would pay $83 cash per share and the rest in its own stock.

Tom Rutledge, CEO of Charter, has been in talks with Time Warner for some time now. Charter has a market value nearly one-third the size of Time Warner, and previous non-public offers from the smaller cable company were laughed off as "grossly inadequate."

Time Warner Cable's stock has jumped nearly 40 percent in the last six months, on speculation that they are a takeover candidate.

"We're really trying to engage the shareholders of Time Warner Cable because we haven't been able to engage the management and the board," Rutledge said (via FT). "This is an offer that we think is quite compelling and creates tremendous value for Time Warner Cable and for Charter."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: Aaron Swartz, SOPA, NSA and 'The Day we Fight Back'

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 19:32

VIDEO: Aaron Swartz, SOPA, NSA and 'The Day we Fight Back' Civil and digital rights activists are targeting February 11 as 'the day we fight back' against widespread state surveillance, using the life, work and words of Aaron Swartz as motivation.

It's over a year now since Aaron Swartz took his own life while being prosecuted for the alleged theft of millions of documents from MIT and JSTOR. The 26 year old had given a considerable amount of his time to digital rights and confronting government attempts to infringe too heavily on the free and open Internet.

Swartz gained a lot of respect from his efforts against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which was shelved after a global protest against its proposed measures to tackle Internet piracy. His life and work are now the subject of an upcoming documentary called, "The Internet's Own Boy."

Now, just after the anniversary of his untimely death, Internet activists are fired up to make the next month count, and culminate it with an Internet-wide protest on February 11 similar to the protests that shocked the U.S. congress into turning against the controversial SOPA act. This time the target is on the NSA and its activities.

For more information, check out thedaywefightback.org

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple bid to have antitrust monitor blocked denied by federal judge

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 19:18

Apple bid to have antitrust monitor blocked denied by federal judge A U.S. federal judge has blocked Apple's attempt to have antitrust monitor, Michael Bromwich, removed from position.

Apple was found to have conspired to fix e-book prices after a length investigation by the U.S. government which also included settlements from major publishers who were also involved.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan appointed Michael Bromiwch as an antitrust monitor in October, 2013. Since then, Apple made several complaints about Bromwich. First, it complained that Bromwich was aggressively trying to interview top execs at the company in November, despite his mandate calling for him to review Apple's antitrust policies after 90 days. The iPhone-maker also objected to the $1,100 per hour fee.

Bromwich filed a declaration disputing Apple's claims and detailing difficulties in getting cooperation from the company, prompting Apple to claim he had a personal bias against it. The Justice Department has accused Apple of carrying out a campaign of character assassination against Bromwich.

If that's the case, it hasn't yet been successful as Judge Cote denied Apple's move, saying she wanted the monitorship to work for Apple, which now has an option to appeal.




AfterDawn: News

UK's Channel 4 pulls full-length videos from YouTube

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 19:04

UK's Channel 4 pulls full-length videos from YouTube UK broadcaster Channel 4 has decided to pull its full length programming from YouTube, directing users to its own 4oD catch-up services instead.

Back in 2009, Channel 4 and YouTube announced a partnership that would put the content from its 4oD catch up service on YouTube, hailing it as the first time that a broadcaster had made a comprehensive catch-up schedule available through the service.

Fast forward to 2014 and Channel 4 has had a change of heart.

"As a not-for-profit broadcaster funded by advertising, we put our money back into the programmes themselves," a statement reads when users try to watch full-length programming on YouTube.

"To make the best of this investment, we've decided to focus on bringing online viewers of our full-length shows to our own 4oD apps - such as those on iOS, Android and channel4.com. These apps also allow us to encourage more viewing by recommending programmes we think people will appreciate and to provide viewers with additional services."

Channel 4 will still upload trailers, clips, interviews and other short-length content to YouTube.




AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: Weird new Xbox One ad touts realism of gameplay

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 18:54

VIDEO: Weird new Xbox One ad touts realism of gameplay 'If it was any more real, it would be real,' claims a new strange ad for Xbox One from Microsoft.

The new advert shows a man washing his face in the bathroom, while having strange flashbacks of Xbox One gameplay and seeing wounds acquired in virtual battles momentarily become real on his body.

The message is easy to get; the Xbox One is so real, that if it were any more real, it would be real - yes, that's actually how the ad puts it.

There was a recent study - though controversial over its use of forum users as subjects - that linked extended gameplay with hallucinations of sorts, so maybe it's not the best time to be showing something like that in an ad. Either way, the ad is strange enough to get people to write about it, so it works.

Check it out.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

U.S. Supreme Court snubs Newegg 'shopping cart' patent case

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 17:49

U.S. Supreme Court snubs Newegg 'shopping cart' patent case The U.S. Supreme Court will not re-examine the ruling of an appeals court in favor of Newegg that found its Internet shopping cart system did not violate patents held by Soverain.

Soverain Software LLC holds patents related to the "shopping cart" checkout method in use on many e-commerce websites, including Newegg. It filed lawsuits against a long list of companies who use this familiar system for facilitating a virtual online point of exchange.

In a case filed against Newegg, Soverain was successful in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, but after Newegg sppealed, it lost in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The appeals court sided with Newegg on the grounds that the three patents in question referenced an obvious method of transaction.

"Petitioner's notorious 'shopping cart' patent merely applies the common sense concept of a shopping cart to the Internet," Newegg argued in a filing with the Supreme Court.

The top court in the U.S. must have agreed because it decided not to review the case.

"The witch is dead, hurray," Lee Cheng, chief legal office for Newegg, said.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google to buy Nest Labs for $3.2 billion

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 17:41

Google to buy Nest Labs for $3.2 billion Google has announced that it has entered into an agreement to buy Nest Labs, Inc. for $3.2 billion in cash.

Nest Labs specializes in reinventing common household items in clever ways. It's Nest Learning Thermostat has been a best seller and its recently released Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm launched to considerable acclaim and attention.

"Nest's founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family. They're already delivering amazing products you can buy right now--thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe. We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams," said Larry Page, CEO of Google.

Those founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, both worked on the iPod at Apple in their past, and you can even get the Thermostat at Apple stores.

On its official blog, Nest said that it will continue to operate as a separate company under Google's ownership, and that of course, iOS devices will still be able to interact with Nest products.

"We're thrilled to join Google. With their support, Nest will be even better placed to build simple, thoughtful devices that make life easier at home, and that have a positive impact on the world," Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest, said.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PS Plus subscribes get BioShock Infinite free, and Sony kicks off '14 for '14' sale

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 17:29

PS Plus subscribes get BioShock Infinite free, and Sony kicks off '14 for '14' sale BioShock Infinite will be available free to PlayStation Plus subscribers from tomorrow, and Sony is launching its 14 for '14 set of discounts for PS3 and PS Vita games.

The critically-acclaimed chapter in the BioShock franchise will be available free to PS Plus subscribers on PlayStation 3 (PS3) through Instant Game Collection from tomorrow. The game typically sells for $40 in the PlayStation Store.

In addition, Sony announced that the 14 for '14 Sale starts tomorrow offering huge discounts on selected PS3 and PlayStation Vita titles.

"Starting tomorrow, January 14th, and running through January 20th, we've got a sweet lineup of 14 PS3 games and 14 PS Vita games on sale," Sony announced via the PlayStation Blog.

For PS Plus subscribers, discounts are as high as 75 percent off - here's the details.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

SimCity Offline Mode coming soon

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 13:57

SimCity Offline Mode coming soon SimCity players who were bugged about the requirement to keep a constant-on Internet connection to play single player games will be happy to hear that will soon change.

The upcoming Update 10 will make it possible to play SimCity offline, it has been announced. "When we launch it, all of your previously downloaded content will be available to you anytime, anywhere, without the need for an internet connection," said Patrick Buechner, General Manager of the Maxis Emeryville studio.

"We are in the late phases of wrapping up its development and while we want to get it into your hands as soon as possible, our priority is to make sure that it's as polished as possible before we release it."

Your saved games in Single Player Mode are stored locally, so you can save and load to your heart's content.

Buechner noted that the update is also good news for the community of Modders.

"They can now make modifications to the game and its components without compromising the integrity of the Online game," he said.

The launch of SimCity last year was marred by server problems that made playing the game impossible for many players.




AfterDawn: News

U.S. court orders anonymous critics be identified

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 9:37

U.S. court orders anonymous critics be identified A U.S. court has found that users who posted anonymous negative reviews of a carpet cleaning business should be identified.

The users posted negative reviews about Hadeed Carpet Cleaning - owned by complainant Joe Hadeed - to the Yelp service, which enables consumers to post reviews of local businesses and counts 47 million reviews over the past decade.

Mr Hadeed argues that seven negative reviewers had never used his service, and so their anonymity should not be protected. The Virginia court found that Hadeen provided sufficient reason for it to think that the reviewers may never have used the carpet-cleaning service.

"Generally, a Yelp review is entitled to First Amendment protection because it is a person's opinion about a business that they patronised," the Judge said in a statement, reports the BBC.

"If the reviewer was never a customer of the business, then the review is not an opinion; instead the review is based on a false statement."

If the review is based on a false statement, then the reviewer is not protected by the First Amendment, according to the Judge.

Yelp strongly disagrees with the court's ruling. "We are disappointed that the Virginia Court of Appeals has issued a ruling that fails to adequately protect free speech rights on the internet, and which allows businesses to seek personal details about website users -- without any evidence of wrongdoing -- in efforts to silence online critics," said Vince Sollitto, a spokesman for Yelp.




AfterDawn: News

China writing rules for game content after lifting console ban

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 9:23

China writing rules for game content after lifting console ban China is lifting its 13 year ban on gaming consoles in the region, but is writing new rules that consoles and content need to abide by to be sold in the market.

The news that China was lifting its ban on game consoles - enacted in the year 2000 - will undoubtedly have grabbed the attention of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony, as it may give them access to a $10 billion market dominated by PC games and mobile gaming.

However, you have to remember this is China we're talking about, so there's likely to be strings. Cai Wu, who heads up China's Ministry of Culture, said at a press conference that the government body is drafting new rules on video game consoles that will be sold in the Shanghai free-trade zone.

"Things that are hostile to China, or not in conformity with the outlook of China's government, won't be allowed," Cai said, reports Bloomberg, which attended the Beijing press conference.

"We want to open the window a crack to get some fresh air, but we still need a screen to block the flies and mosquitoes."

Consoles have long been made in China and sold in the rest of the world due to the lower production costs in the country, but Chinese citizens were not allowed to own one. Consoles were still sold in China though through the country's considerable black markets.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft blog, Twitter accounts compromised by pro-Syria group

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 8:37

Microsoft blog, Twitter accounts compromised by pro-Syria group Microsoft's official blog on its Technet website, and two of its Twitter feeds were compromised by the Syrian Electronic Army over the weekend.

Messages were posted to the blog and to the Twitter accounts informing users to avoid using Microsoft services. The two Twitter accounts in question were the @MSFTnews and @XboxSupport accounts, which Microsoft shut down for "maintenance".

It has since said the accounts were temporarily affected but that no customer information had been stolen or leaked in any attack.

The SEA group - which frequently posts messages in support of Bashar al-Assad - apparently have relied on phishing attacks in the past to get login credentials from targets within media organizations, such as the Washington Post, the BBC, AP, Skype, the New York Times, the Guardian, the Financial Times and Reuters.

In a separate incident over the weekend, the MIT website was compromised for about an hour by group claiming to be Anonymous. The homepage redirected users to a page about web surveillance. It appeared to be timed with the one-year anniversary of the death of Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide on January 11 2013 in the middle of an aggressive prosecution campaign against him for allegedly downloading millions of academic articles from a database run out of MIT.




AfterDawn: News

Cyber attacks hit three more U.S. retailers during the holidays

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 8:24

Cyber attacks hit three more U.S. retailers during the holidays According to a report, three more well-known U.S. retailers suffered cyber attacks and data breaches over the holidays.

U.S. retailers Target and Neiman Marcus already disclosed data breaches that hit them during the holiday season last year. In Target's case, as many as 110 million people may have been affected by the data breaches which included some credit card information, but mostly other personal information such as names, e-mail addresses and so on.

Now, a Reuters report cites sources saying that three more U.S. retailers suffered similar attacks over the holidays or earlier in the year, but these have not been made public yet. The sources did not identify which retailers were hacked, only to say they had outlets in malls and are well known.

The attacks are believed to originate in Eastern Europe, and may be linked. Stolen credit card information can be used to make counterfeit cards, while other personal information can be used in phishing attacks against victims or identity theft.




AfterDawn: News

TV and Film source code use exposed in blog

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 8:13

TV and Film source code use exposed in blog A blog that displays and details source code shown on screen in TV Shows and movies is gaining considerable attention.

Have you ever watched a TV show or a movie that used either science- or techno-jargon too liberally as part of its plot? This could probably apply to a lot of Sci-Fi shows and movies, where the characters have gotten themselves into a spot of bother, only to have their sharp intellect and admirable knowledge of physics or whatever it may be, come to the rescue.

Quite often we are treated to a Chopra-like avalanche of sciency-sounding words which lead to a conclusion. The sciency stuff is not supposed to matter, it is not supposed to be scrutinized, all you should care about as the viewer is what it enables the characters to do. That can be difficult if you have even the slightest bit of knowledge in a field potentially being butchered on screen, so you have to work that little bit harder to suspend your disbelief.

When it comes to physics and other science stuff though, sometimes we can chalk it up to the story being set in the future when we know more about the nature of reality and can exploit the natural world that little bit more efficiently.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix claims first Golden Globe award for House of Cards Actress

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 7:33

Netflix claims first Golden Globe award for House of Cards Actress A Netflix show has just claimed its first Golden Globe award, further cementing the provider's ability to produce content on par with shows made for TV.

The Golden Globe went to Robin Wright for Best Actress in a TV Drama for her work in House of Cards. Wright plays Claire Underwood, wife of Kevin Spacey's Francis Underwood, in the drama that covers Francis' revenge on those who betrayed him when he was stepped over for the position of Secretary of State.

House of Cards was also nominated for nine Emmy Awards last September, of which it won three, making Netflix the first company to win the awards for shows only available online.

Turning to producing its own content for exclusive streaming on Netflix was a natural move for the company, but still considerably risky. Services like Netflix find themselves, in many ways, at the mercy of content providers and broadcasters as they seek to license shows for customers to watch. Such fees could eat away at revenue and could increase when it comes time to renew deals.

By taking the role as content producer as well, Netflix can avoid such problems, but still has to invest considerable resources to have the shows produced, as well as the cost of featuring stars.




AfterDawn: News

Nokia Android prototype leaks in photo

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 7:16

Nokia Android prototype leaks in photo A photo allegedly showing another view of the prototype Nokia smartphone running Android has surfaced.

It emerged late last year that Nokia had been testing an Android prototype device in case it was unsuccessful with Windows Phone smartphones. Of course, when Microsoft announced it was to acquire Nokia's phone business, such a prototype likely lost any chance of ever coming to fruition.

Still, details and some photos have previously leaked allegedly showing Nokia's prototype design, and here is another one that surfaced from a microblog in China.





The protective case hides some of the design, but it reportedly appears to be an Android alternative to Nokia's Asha devices, aimed primarily at emerging markets.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to ship Windows 9 'Threshold' in April 2015?

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jan 2014 7:07

Microsoft to ship Windows 9 'Threshold' in April 2015? According to a report, Microsoft's upcoming 'Threshold' will be shipped as 'Windows 9' in April 2015.

That's according to Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows, which has previously disclosed information about a major revamp at Microsoft called 'Threshold'.

Microsoft is currently working on Update 1 for Windows 8.1, and on Windows Phone 8.1, but apparently is quite eager to get the "Windows 8" generation well and truly over. According to Thurrott, Microsoft will reveal its plans publicly for the next major Windows version (codename Threshold) at BUILD 2014 this April, which Microsoft will brand as "Windows 9."

At BUILD, Microsoft will provide its vision for the next generation of Windows, scaling back the secrecy of the Sinofsky era. There will be no alpha builds of the operating system though as it won't even enter development until that month.

Within the next year, before BUILD 2015, Microsoft will deliver three milestones of the operating system before final release (betas, release candidate and so forth.) Threshold will reportedly fix the Metro design language used by Windows, which may include a rumored Windowed mode that works on the Destkop as well.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sprint One Up retired after just four months as carrier launches 'Framily' plans

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jan 2014 18:33

Sprint One Up retired after just four months as carrier launches 'Framily' plans Sprint has retired their One Up annual upgrade program after just four months in existence and the company has unveiled new "Framily" plans that allow up to 10 friends and family members to sign up together as a group and receive discounts.

Each member of the plan gets their own bills, and the discount could be as much as 50 percent off standard individual or family plans. Just like with rival T-Mobile, you will have to buy your smartphone without subsidy, either upfront or through an installment plan.

One example of the plan is having unlimited text and voice along with 1GB of data for a group of seven people for about $25 per month. An individual would pay $55 for the same service. If anyone leaves the plan, the price goes up for everybody else.

Sprint's One Up service allowed paying customers to upgrade their device every 12 months when financing their phones and returning the old phone at the time. It was generally considered a failure as other carriers offered better deals.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Xbox One live gameplay streaming still has no ETA

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jan 2014 18:12

Xbox One live gameplay streaming still has no ETA Before the launch of the Xbox One, Microsoft promised one killer feature it could not deliver: live gameplay streaming via Twitch.tv.

It appears there is still no ETA for the launch of the feature, at least according to Twitch.

Microsoft has not given any update, so Twitch says the launch could be in "a few more months."

What is the reason for the extended delay? It remains unclear, but one theory is that Microsoft does not yet know how to deal with potentially offensive or sexual video. On the PlayStation 4, which did launch with Twitch, gamers using the augmented reality demo The Playroom filmed themselves having sex and the service was subsequently banned from being used with that game.





AfterDawn: News

U.S. states probe Target data breach

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Jan 2014 14:18

U.S. states probe Target data breach A nationwide probe has been launched in the United States involving more than 30 states, examining the data breach that affected tens of millions of Target customers.

Target had originally revealed that card details of more than 40 million had been stolen in a data breach during the busy holiday period. It then confirmed earlier this week that as many as 70 million guest users had also had their personal information compromised to some degree.

"A breach of this magnitude is extremely disconcerting and we are participating in a multi-state investigation to discover the circumstances that led to this breach," Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley said.

The stolen credit card details could be used to make false magnetic strip credit cards, security experts have warned. Other personal information can also be used in phishing attacks.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox Live gamers spent $1 million on Pizza through app in four months

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Jan 2014 14:13

Xbox Live gamers spent $1 million on Pizza through app in four months Pizza Hut has said that Xbox Live gamers bought over a million dollars worth of pizzas from its Xbox Live apps in four months.

The Pizza Hut app on Xbox Live launched in April of last year, featuring the chain's menu and also supporting Kinect and voice commands for customers to customize their own pizzas.

"It's been a source of unbelievable growth for us," Pizza Hut director of public relations Doug Terfehr told Polygon.

"Just the explosion of people who wanted to download it, experiment with it, play with it with Kinect. As soon as we did one, everyone was contacting us to do the next [one]."

Terfehr said that Pizza Hut is certainly not done in the space, but did not elaborate on whether the chain plans to bring apps to other gaming platforms.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung: Affordable OLED years away, 4K transition will happen faster

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Jan 2014 14:07

Samsung: Affordable OLED years away, 4K transition will happen faster Samsung's executive VP of its visual display business HS Kim believes affordable OLED TVs are still several years away, but is optimistic on the transition to UHD.

Samsung and LG were the only two companies to sell OLED televisions in 2013, but with prices starting from around $9,000. OLED televisions make good impressions on reviewers but they are priced far out of the wider market that Samsung has dominated for years.

"Not many consumers tried to purchase OLED TVs at that price," Kim said. "Price was our greatest barrier. So our attempt to expand the market didn't really go well. I'm really, really terribly sorry to say this, but it will take more time. ... I believe it will take around three to four years."

Just a year ago, Kim had predicted it would take 2-3 years to make mass market OLED televisions, but there are difficulties plaguing the manufacturing process of OLED TVs.

Kim believes that the transition to Ultra-HD content will happen much faster than the transition to High-definition did nearly a decade ago. Content providers have made intentions clear to start offering 4K this year, with companies like Netflix in a prime position to benefit from the change.




AfterDawn: News

GameStop wants to sell PlayStation Now to customers

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Jan 2014 13:58

GameStop wants to sell PlayStation Now to customers GameStop has said it wants to sell PlayStation Now services to its customers, despite the launch of the PlayStation Now posing some questions about the future of its business model.

Right after Sony detailed PlayStation Now at the Consumer Electronics Show, shares in the GameSpot claim plummeted around 9 percent. Sony intends to to stream back-catalogue games from the cloud to customers either as individual digital rentals, or through a subscription service.

A beta for the service launches this month, starting with Sony's PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 consoles. Support for PSVita, Bravia TVs and other devices will come later.

"GameStop has built a $600MM digital business, with most of the digital games sold through our stores. Similar to how we worked closely with our partner Sony to successfully sell the PlayStation Plus service, we are looking forward to working with them on including the new PlayStation Now service as part of our portfolio of gaming products we offer our customers," a representative for the company told GameSpot.




AfterDawn: News

Apple does not violate Motorola patents, appeals court says

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Jan 2014 13:31

Apple does not violate Motorola patents, appeals court says A U.S. appeals court has said that Apple does not infringe patents held by Google's Motorola Mobility in the production of its iPhone smartphones.

It upheld a decision made by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in April, 2013. The case stems back to a 2010 complaint from Motorola that Apple's technology infringes six patents held by the firm, but the ITC found that Apple violates none of the six.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit only examined one of the six in the appeal, and sided with Apple and the ITC.

"We're disappointed in this decision and are evaluating our options," Motorola said in a statement.




AfterDawn: News

U.S. Supreme Court to review Aereo case

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Jan 2014 13:25

U.S. Supreme Court to review Aereo case The U.S. Supreme Court will review broadcasters case against Aereo, which transmits broadcast TV signals to Internet-connected devices.

Thus far, Aereo has survived in its legal tussle with U.S. broadcasters. The service uses tiny dime-sized antennas to pick up broadcast signals. It then allows users to sign up and use those antennas to watch broadcast TV from any support device, and also offers DVR functionality.

Broadcasters, including Fox, Comcast, CBS, ABC and Disney, have argued that Aereo violates copyright law by broadcasting signals without paying fees.

Aereo also urged the Supreme Court to review the case as it seeks legal clarity to move ahead with plans to expand its service to new areas.

The court will hear arguments from both sides in April and make a decision by July.




AfterDawn: News

Beats Music streaming service launching January 21st

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jan 2014 13:18

Beats Music streaming service launching January 21st Beats Music, the streaming service run by Beats Electronics, will launch on January 21st.

The headphone company, run by music industry exec Jimmy Iovine and famous producer Dr. Dre, says all U.S. consumers can try the service for free and AT&T customers can download or stream unlimited music for $10 per month. For $15 a month, a family of five can access the service. The charge will be part of your regular monthly bill.

Beats Music will be available on iPhone, Windows Mobile, Android, PC and Mac, and eventually through set-top boxes and other Web-connected devices.

The unlimited downloads will allow you to listen to music offline, but the downloads expire and disappear when your membership ends.

To differentiate itself from rivals like Google Play Music All Access, Spotify, Rdio and others, Beats Music combines algorithms with specialized curated programming from "tastemakers." The service itself comes from "the trust that comes from excellent handpicked music with the personalization that knows you're an individual and that a handful of stations can't satisfy all listeners," says the company.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung responds to smartphone security flaw claims

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Jan 2014 13:17

Samsung responds to smartphone security flaw claims Samsung has responded to a previous report that some of its smartphones are affected by serious security vulnerabilities.

The initial report claimed the discovery of serious security vulnerabilities in the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone, and other models made by the Korean firm that run its KNOX security software, that could allow attackers to intercept data sent to and from Samsung devices.

Samsung now claims that the research details a classic Man in the Middle attack, and does not identify a flaw in its KNOX system.

  • After discussing the research with the original researchers, Samsung has verified that the exploit uses legitimate Android network functions in an unintended way to intercept unencrypted network connections from/to applications on the mobile device. This research did not identify a flaw or bug in Samsung KNOX or Android; it demonstrated a classic Man in the Middle (MitM) attack, which is possible at any point on the network to see unencrypted application data. The research specifically showed this is also possible via a user-installed program, reaffirming the importance of encrypting application data before sending it to the Internet. Android development practices encourage that this be done by each application using SSL/TLS. Where that's not possible (for example, to support standards-based unencrypted protocols, such as HTTP), Android provides built-in VPN and support for third-party VPN solutions to protect data. Use of either of those standard security technologies would have prevented an attack based on a user-installed local application.

  • Samsung provides more information about the research and how KNOX works to protect against Man in the Middle attacks at its Samsung KNOX website.




    AfterDawn: News

    Target breach affected up to 70 million guests

    Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Jan 2014 13:11

    Target breach affected up to 70 million guests Target has revealed that guest visitors to its service were also affected by the previously disclosed security breaches.

    This theft is not a new breach, but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation. At this time, the investigation has determined that the stolen information includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million individuals.

    These are separate from the payment card data previously disclosed by the retailer.

    The data stolen is partial in nature, but in cases where Target has an e-mail address it will attempt to contact those affected.

    "I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target.

    "I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team."

    Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all guests who shopped its U.S. stores.

    More Information: target.com/databreach




    AfterDawn: News

    Naughty America to begin shooting porn in 4K

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jan 2014 12:45

    Naughty America to begin shooting porn in 4K Naughty America, a maker of pornographic films, has begun shooting their latest material in UltraHD 4K resolution.

    UltraHD offers a resolution of 3840 x 2160, double the current 1080p standard.

    4K was the big theme of this year's CES event, with all the big boys unveiling new 4K TVs or deals to stream 4K content in 2014.

    Both Amazon and Netflix also noted that their upcoming original content would be filmed in 4K. Sony also launched its own 4K video download service with over 140 older titles.

    CEO Andreas Hronopoulos says the company is investing hundreds of thousands, and the investment is the largest ever for the smaller company. If the standard does not take off as expected, the company could go under. There are certainly high barriers to entry in 4K, as a standard 4K video can be over 1TB and will need to be backed up on servers.

    Even so, Hronopoulos believes the investment is worth it. "Yes, you need a lot of computing power," he adds (via WSJ). "But, the closer we can come to making it feel like you're there, the more successful we are."

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Jelly Bean reaches nearly 60 percent of Android market share

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jan 2014 11:58

    Jelly Bean reaches nearly 60 percent of Android market share As they do every month, Google has released the latest market share figures for every version of Android.

    Android Jelly Bean, which encompasses versions 4.1.x through 4.3.x, now has 59.1 percent share, far and away the most of any version.

    Gingerbread, versions 2.3.x, despite being released over two years ago, still has the second largest share, at 21.2 percent but the percentage continues to drop every month slowly.

    KitKat, version 4.4, rose to 1.4 percent as it remains available on less than a handful of devices but that figure is also expected to grow significantly in the coming months.

    Check the full stats here.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Sony: You will need a DualShock controller to play PS3 games via PlayStation Now

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jan 2014 11:16

    Sony: You will need a DualShock controller to play PS3 games via PlayStation Now Last week, Sony used CES to unveil the highly-anticipated 'PlayStation Now' cloud gaming service for TVs and mobile devices. The service allows gamers to stream PlayStation games on the PS4, PS3, PlayStation Vita, tablets, smartphones and TVs.

    Even though PlayStation 3 games will be available on touchscreen devices, you will be required to use a DualShock controller, says PlayStation marketing VP John Koller. Quite simply, "you need to have the DualShock to be able to play."

    Of course, the PS Vita's buttons will work the same, and a DualShock 4 controller will work for PS4 games. If you are using the service through a Web-connected TV or a tablet or smartphone, you will need a DualShock 3 controller.

    When asked about why the controller is a requirement, Koller says: "It's a lot of how these games were developed. We want to continue the experiences as they were meant to be played on the controller." For example, if you are playing at home on your PS3 or PS4, Koller says you can move to the next device and not have to learn new gamepad controls.




    AfterDawn: News

    Interim CEO John Chen becomes permanent at BlackBerry

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2014 20:56

    Interim CEO John Chen becomes permanent at BlackBerry BlackBerry's interim CEO John Chen has become the permanent chief executive at the struggling smartphone maker.

    "After earnings, and again in meetings with media and analysts at C.E.S., John said that he would be BlackBerry's C.E.O. until the company is back on solid financial footing," says the company. "The search for a CEO has been put on the back burner for now."

    BlackBerry fired the previous CEO, Thorsten Heins, after years of mounting losses and after months of searching for a potential buyer.

    Since his hiring, Chen has fired many former senior executives and signed a deal with manufacturer Foxconn, in which the company will outsource both design and most of the risk of its handset business. Additionally, the company will focus on government and enterprise users again, as its consumer ship has mostly sailed.




    AfterDawn: News

    DDoS attack brings a brief outage to AfterDawn

    Written by Jari Ketola @ 11 Jan 2014 14:36

    DDoS attack brings a brief outage to AfterDawn A part of the AfterDawn network was unreachable for 1-2 hours this morning (around 10:00 AM Eastern Time, 15:00 GMT). The outage was caused by a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack towards our servers that saturated the downlink of our rack cabinet.

    Most of the English language sites were available again within an hour, but much of the international sites were unreachable for nearly two hours.

    DDoS attack a considerable amount if traffic is directed at a server or servers in an attempt to bring down the server or the network infrasturcture. In our case the 1GBps network link of the rack cabinet couldn't handle all the incoming traffic. In response the traffic to the affected services was blackholed.


    Graph of network traffic caused by a DDoS attack

    The attack did not cause security issues with our services.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    HP to release cheap Android phone this month

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2014 10:56

    HP to release cheap Android phone this month According to 9to5G, HP is preparing to release a cheap Android smartphone aimed at the emerging markets, possibly as soon as next week.

    Expected to be priced at $199 off-contract, HP is said to have been working on the device for the last 18 months. Former Nokia Meego engineer and now SVP of Mobility at HP Alberto Torres is said to be leading the group in charge of the devices.

    If accurate, the rumored device will have a 5.5-inch display with 720p resolution and other cost-cutting measures to ensure the cheap price.

    CEO Meg Whitman had suggested a smartphone was coming from HP, after a failed experiment with webOS. At the time, Whitman said: "[HP has] to ultimately offer a smartphone, because in many countries in the world that is your first computing device. You know, there will be countries around the world where people may never own a tablet or a PC or desktop. They will do everything on the smartphone. We're a computing company, we have to take advantage of that form factor."

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Don't expect Tizen phones to reach U.S. shores in the near future

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2014 10:47

    Don't expect Tizen phones to reach U.S. shores in the near future According to a Samsung executive, the company's first smartphones running on the Tizen operating system will not reach the U.S. market.

    Ryan Bidan, Samsung's director of product marketing for its U.S. mobile operations, says competition is too great in the U.S. for the intial line of Tizen devices.

    "We don't feel the U.S. is a great test market for those kinds of products," he said, noting that Samsung will likely roll out Linux-based Tizen phones in other regions of the world. The U.S. market is pretty mature. Bringing a new entrant here that doesn't meet a certain performance bar would be a challenge. Recognizing that, we don't want to set ourselves up for failure," says Bidan.

    The Tizen devices will begin selling at the end of March, in Japan, Europe and also in emerging markets.

    Tizen, the open source operating system born from the death and merger of MeeGo and LiMo, has Samsung as its main backer and also has backing from Sprint, Intel, Huawei, Orange and Vodafone among others.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Nintendo: We had record 3DS game sales in 2013

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2014 10:43

    Nintendo: We had record 3DS game sales in 2013 Nintendo has proudly boasted that 3DS games sold in record numbers in 2013, with the company expecting the momentum to continue in 2014.

    Overall, 16 million combined packaged and digital 3DS games were sold for the year, a massive 45 percent increase over 2012.

    "We're not slowing down in 2014. With more games featuring fan-favorite franchises on the way, the best days of Nintendo 3DS are still to come," says Nintendo.

    Including 3DS XL and 2DS handhelds, total lifetime sales of the 3DS family are now 11.5 million in the U.S.

    For the new year, the company has promised new blockbusters including Yoshi's New Island, Disney Magical World and Square Enix's Bravely Default. Additionally, the latest sequel of the popular "Professor Layton" series will launch at the end of February.




    AfterDawn: News

    [UPDATED] Dropbox was taken down by hackers last night, back up now

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2014 10:00

    [UPDATED] Dropbox was taken down by hackers last night, back up now Late last night, the website for Dropbox was taken down, potentially by hackers, although it is back up now.

    Dropbox released a statement saying the downtime was due to "routine internal maintenance," but the hacker group 'The 1775 Sec' had already taken claim on Twitter minutes before the site went down. They claim it was done to honor the late developer and activist Aaron Swartz who killed himself a year ago following an extended trial against him by the U.S. government that many called a "witch hunt."

    1775 Sec followed up their original tweets by saying they were giving Dropbox time to resolve known vulnerabilities in the site before they dump the database.

    They later laughed off the tweet about the database dump, claiming they had just performed a DDoS attack and nothing else.


    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Yikes: Retailer Neiman Marcus also hit by cyber attack, customer data stolen

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2014 8:25

    Yikes: Retailer Neiman Marcus also hit by cyber attack, customer data stolen On the heels of Target's major data leak, in which 70 million customers had their credit and debit card information stolen along with email addresses and mailing addresses, it appears a second smaller attack occurred at luxury retailer Neiman Marcus.

    The company does not yet know the amount of customers affected, or what information was stolen besides the card information.

    Neiman Marcus says they received alerts from their credit card processor in December "about potential unauthorized payment card activities" and that the U.S. Secret Service is investigating the matter.

    Third-party security firms confirmed the attack on January 1st.




    AfterDawn: News

    [UPDATED]Microsoft confirms Sony will release a Windows Phone

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jan 2014 8:14

    [UPDATED]Microsoft confirms Sony will release a Windows Phone Update 3:35 PM EST: Microsoft has emailed us with word that Greg Sullivan did not confirm the news, and the original news sources have pulled the quotes.

    After a couple of weeks of rumors that Sony may be ready to start developing a Windows Phone, Microsoft has confirmed the move.

    Sony officials had only confirmed "discussions" and "negotiations," but now Microsoft's Windows Phone Director Greg Sullivan has confirmed during an interview, simply saying, "a Sony official today confirmed they will launch a Windows Phone smartphone."

    Often inaccurate Asian publication Digitimes also noted that the Sony Windows Phone handset was already in production.

    Of course, there are zero other details about the upcoming device, but we will keep you updated on any news.




    AfterDawn: News

    It's live: Overstock.com now accepting Bitcoin

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2014 23:41

    It's live: Overstock.com now accepting Bitcoin Last month, large e-tailer Overstock.com announced that it would begin accepting Bitcoin as a payment option in 2014. As of today, the company is now accepting the digital currency, much earlier than anticipated.

    CEO Patrick Byrne says the company got in touch with Coinbase.com (large Bitcoin payment processor) last week, who informed them that with a dedicated team they could launch in a week.

    "They actually came back with a plan on the evening of New Year's Day on how get live in a week, we've had 40 people from diff parts of company, [on the project], including customer service agents," added the exec.

    Within two hours of launch, Byrne says over $10,000 worth of Bitcoins were used by over 100 purchasers.





    AfterDawn: News

    Gartner: PC shipments have worst yearly decline, ever

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2014 22:10

    Gartner: PC shipments have worst yearly decline, ever According to research firm Gartner, the PC industry had its worst ever yearly decline in 2013.

    For the fourth quarter, shipments were down 6.9 percent year-over-year to 82.6 million units. For the year, shipments totaled 315.9 million units, a full 10 percent decline from 2012. The overall units shipped were equal to 2009's level.

    Lenovo and Dell saw growth but the rest of the market saw declines, including major players HP, Acer and Asus.

    The Chinese giant now has an 18.1 percent share of the market, followed by HP at 16.4 percent and Dell at 11.8 percent. Lenovo overtook HP for the crown early last year.

    In the U.S. market, Apple saw the largest growth, moving to 13.7 percent share (up 28 percent YoY), but globally they are little more than a blip.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Snapchat finally apologizes for massive phone number leak

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2014 21:32

    Snapchat finally apologizes for massive phone number leak Following the major security breach last month that allowed hackers to collect the usernames and phone numbers of 4.6 million users, Snapchat said earlier this week that it would update the application with a more secure version.

    The new version will allow users to opt out of the "Find Friends" feature that was the cause of the breach. The company also says it will block all future attempts to abuse the service or its features.

    Over a week after the hack, the company has finally apologized, as well.

    Reads the company's blog post:

    This morning we released a Snapchat update for Android and iOS that improves Find Friends functionality and allows Snapchatters to opt-out of linking their phone number with their username. This option is available in Settings > Mobile #.

    This update also requires new Snapchatters to verify their phone number before using the Find Friends service.

    Our team continues to make improvements to the Snapchat service to prevent future attempts to abuse our API. We are sorry for any problems this issue may have caused you and we really appreciate your patience and support.




    AfterDawn: News

    Motorola giving away Chromecast for free with unlocked Moto X

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2014 21:11

    Motorola giving away Chromecast for free with unlocked Moto X Motorola has sweetened the pot for its Moto X, adding a free Google Chromecast dongle with purchases of the unlocked device.

    The device costs $399 off-contract, and the Chromecast sells for $35 normally through retailers.

    From today until January 14th, anyone purchasing the Moto X from Motorola's website will get the dongle free.

    Live now, you have to use the promo "STREAM" during checkout.

    Get the device here.




    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Lenovo to offer numerous Chromebooks this year

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2014 20:56

    CES 2014: Lenovo to offer numerous Chromebooks this year Lenovo will expand their Chromebook offerings in the next few months, giving yet another boost to Google's operating system.

    Jay Parker, president for Lenovo's North American operations, says there will be "multiple Chromebook models" by the summer at different price points. Lenovo offers Chromebooks for the education market currently.

    "I think Chromebooks can be very impactful in the market really quickly," Parker added. "We believe the market will accelerate greatly in the next 12 months."

    Lenovo is the world's biggest PC maker, with just over 17 percent market share. The company has been expanding to tablets, smartphones and smart TVs over the past two years.




    AfterDawn: News

    Dish Network to drop bid for spectrum owner LightSquared

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2014 20:19

    Dish Network to drop bid for spectrum owner LightSquared According to the WSJ, Dish Network will drop their $2.2 billion bid for the bankrupt spectrum owner LightSquared.

    The company bid for LightSquared last May after it declared bankruptcy following the FCC denying its application to use L-block spectrum.

    Dish has been actively looking to diversify over the past two years, but has been denied at every turn. The company tried to purchase wireless ISP Clearwire but was beaten out by Sprint. The company then tried to buy Sprint, but was outbid by Japanese carrier Softbank. LightSquared was another option for the satellite TV provider.

    L-block spectrum is normally used for satellites, but LightSquared spent hundreds of millions redesigning networks to use the spectrum for 4G LTE networks. The FCC denied the application, saying the spectrum would interfere with current GPS services. Dish bid for the company for the spectrum, which they could use for satellite, or to re-apply with a different strategy.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: WWE announces its own streaming network with full access to shows, live PPV

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jan 2014 19:59

    CES 2014: WWE announces its own streaming network with full access to shows, live PPV The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has announced a new streaming TV app, ushering a new generation for the company that will not tie it to cable networks.

    Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, and Paul Levesque (aka Triple H) announced the WWE Network, which will archive all old WWE material and also stream current shows, PPV events and new, original series that will stream exclusively online.

    The WWE Network will work on PC and Mac, Android, iOS, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox and other set-tops, as well. Google Chromecast is not officially on the list just yet, but eventually will be.

    For $10 a month, users get access to the network, which will replay all currently aired shows (available on TV on USA, Ion and Syfy) and all 12 PPV events, including WrestleMania, will air live through the app with no added charge. The PPVs will likely be the biggest seller of the service, since the events cost $40 each to order.

    WWE is a large enough brand that the move, if successful, could lead to more a la carte offerings. The network launches on February 24th in the U.S.




    AfterDawn: News

    IBM to invest $1 billion in Watson supercomputer division

    Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Jan 2014 10:22

    IBM to invest $1 billion in Watson supercomputer division IBM has announced that it will invest $1 billion in a new Watson supercomputing division to exploit its abilities.

    Watson is famous for wiping the floor with its human opponents on the U.S. TV quiz show Jeopardy in 2011, displaying its ability interpret natural language, mine massive amounts of information very quickly and respond in natural language.

    It did so by rampaging through 200 million pages of stored information (including the entire of Wikipedia), identifying possible answers and providing the one with the highest probability.

    Since Jeopardy, Watson went on to be used for utilization management decisions in lung cancer treatment at Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center.

    IBM believes there are more commercial and scientific uses for Watson's abilities and so will invest $1 billion creating a division for it.

    "I think [IBM has] developed something that takes us to the next step where information management needs to go," said Gartner researcher, Jamie Popkin.




    AfterDawn: News

    Google fined €150k for ignoring French data protection watchdog

    Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Jan 2014 10:04

    Google fined €150k for ignoring French data protection watchdog Google has been fined €150,000 by a French watchdog after it ignored a three month ultimatum to bring its privacy policies in line with French law.

    The dispute stems back to a March 2012 decision by Google to consolidate dozens of privacy policies across its web services into one policy that covers all its services, such as GMail, YouTube and Google+. It would combine its data collection and storage practices on its users across all services.

    This immediately got the attention of consumer and privacy watchdogs around the world, particularly in Europe, as Google gave its users no choice to opt out of the change.

    France's CNIL eventually ordered Google to change its practices to reflect the law in France, but Google apparently ignored the order, prompting the €150,000 fine. CNIL also ordered Google to display its ruling on its French homepage for a 48 hour period within 8 days of being informed.

    "The company does not sufficiently inform its users of the conditions in which their personal data are processed, nor of the purposes of this processing," CNIL said in a statement.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Yahoo malware turns PCs into Bitcoin mining slaves

    Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Jan 2014 9:55

    Yahoo malware turns PCs into Bitcoin mining slaves Malicious advertisements that made their way onto Yahoo's mainpage may have turned millions of PCs into Bitcoin mining slaves.

    Yahoo admitted that for a four day period, the malicious advertisements had managed to get onto its mainpage, putting its users in Europe at risk. Users in the United States, Asia and Latin America escaped the attack, but Dutch cybersecurity firm estimates as many as 27,000 infections were caused every hour.

    "From December 31 to January 3 on our European sites, we served some advertisements that did not meet our editorial guidelines - specifically, they spread malware," a statement from Yahoo read.

    For those affected, the attack essentially turned the infected machine into a Bitcoin mining bot for the attackers. This would affect the performance of the computer, and also use more electricity / battery charge.

    Such Bitcoin mining botnets - or bitnets - are becoming more common as cybercriminals exploit the value of the creation process of Bitcoin currency and its real-world value to generate revenue.




    AfterDawn: News

    Amazon gains 'Extant' streaming rights from CBS

    Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Jan 2014 9:47

    Amazon gains 'Extant' streaming rights from CBS Amazon will stream episodes of CBS' upcoming Spielberg-produced science fiction drama Extant four days after their air.

    It will stream the new TV show episodes through its Prime Instant Video on Kindle and on game consoles, free to subscribers of the service, mirroring a similar deal it has with PBS for Downton Abbey.

    Extant is a new science fiction drama that will air on CBS. It claims Steven Spielberg as executive producer and will star Halle Berry as Molly, a female astronaut who returns home to her family after spending a year in space.

    CBS places a 13-episode straight-to-series order in August 2013. It will debut this summer.




    AfterDawn: News

    Samsung Galaxy S5 by April with possible Eye scanner

    Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Jan 2014 9:35

    Samsung Galaxy S5 by April with possible Eye scanner Samsung intends to release the Galaxy S5 smartphone by April with significant design improvements, and is also studying the use of eye-scanning technology.

    Samsung executive Lee Young Hee told Bloomberg that the South Korean firm is aware that its customers didn't notice much of a difference - in terms of design - between the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4 smartphones, but that there will be considerable changes for the Galaxy S5's design.

    "When we moved to S4 from S3, it's partly true that consumers couldn't really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn't as big," she said.

    "For the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it's about the display and the feel of the cover."

    Of course, working on the cover and display will only get you so far in this highly competitive business, and given that the launch of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c appeared to cut into the Galaxy S4, the next Samsung flagship smartphone will have to find other ways to differentiate.

    One area could be the use of an eye-scanner in Samsung's high-end devices.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Apple, Samsung CEOs to attend mediation session before March patent trial

    Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Jan 2014 9:26

    Apple, Samsung CEOs to attend mediation session before March patent trial The chief executives of Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics have agreed to attend a mediation session in the coming weeks as they prepare to go to trial in a patent row.

    The meeting will take place sometime between now and February 19, with only in-house lawyers accompanying Samsung CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon and Apple CEO Tim Cook. Legal teams for both consumer electronics firms reportedly met on January 6 to discuss settlement opportunities.

    The mediation agreement comes ahead of a trial showdown in March over Apple's claims that Samsung infringed its patents in the design of its Galaxy-branded mobile devices.

    U.S. juries have so far awarded Apple around $930 million in damages in previous trials between the two.




    AfterDawn: News

    Microsoft: Halo TV show to be done 'the right way'

    Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Jan 2014 9:18

    Microsoft: Halo TV show to be done 'the right way' The upcoming Halo TV show will not be 'filler' and will be 'done the right way', Microsoft's Phil Spencer has assured fans of the popular franchise.

    The show is in production at the Xbox Entertainment Studios and will be produced by Steven Spielberg, but Microsoft is not expanding the popular franchise to new media just to do it. That's according to Microsoft Studios VP Phil Spencer, who insists it will not be 'filler'.

    "I definitely don't think of it as filler. Halo, you could argue, is the most important entertainment IP that Microsoft owns," Spencer said to OXM.

    "I can't use the word filler anywhere near Halo, it just won't work. If we're going to do a television series with Halo, we're going to do it the right way, and we're going to do it because we think it really matters."

    Spencer referred the Walking Dead series as an example of a successful IP across media.

    "I'm a big Walking Dead fan. I've read the comics and graphic novels; the IP has grown and became more accessible as it hit TV, then went to video games where it did incredibly well, and I think that strategy of growing and deepening what the franchise and IP is about is a good strategy for an IP holder," he said.




    AfterDawn: News

    GameStop shares fell on PlayStation Now announcement

    Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Jan 2014 9:11

    GameStop shares fell on PlayStation Now announcement Shares in retailer GameStop fell 9 percent earlier this week as Sony detailed its new PlayStation Now game streaming/rental service at CES.

    It would appear investors are cooling to GameStop as Sony offers customers a way to stream older PlayStation games to their PS4 and other devices. Customers will use PlayStation Now as a rental service either on a game by game basis, or through a subscription package.

    The service is powered by Gaikai, which was acquired by Sony for $380 million in mid-2012.

    PlayStation Now and similar services could affect GameStop's business if it reduces the number of customers shopping for games from previous generations. Of course, PlayStation Now and other streaming services still face limitations in the form of high-speed Internet availability for seamless gameplay.

    Just under three years ago, GameStop acquired Spawn Labs' streaming service, which is being worked on by the retailers' R&D department.




    AfterDawn: News

    Motorola sends out invites for new product launch

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2014 22:14

    Motorola sends out invites for new product launch Motorola has sent out press invites for an event on January 14th where the company will launch a new "addition to the European Motorola family of products."

    It is unclear what the next product will be, but it will most likely be the next in the Moto X family that launched last year.

    At the time, the company said, "essentially, the Moto X is the first device in a new product portfolio, basically a new family of devices. Because it is the first one, the Moto X has had a real buzz around it, but the US launch is not about the US being Motorola's priority at all, there are devices coming to Europe. We can't share what they are as of yet, but they are from the same family. They are cool and they are exciting and there is a lot in Europe coming up."

    The event takes place in London.




    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Dell unveils 4K monitor with $699 price tag

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2014 21:03

    CES 2014: Dell unveils 4K monitor with $699 price tag Dell promised to unveil a 4K PC monitor for "sub-$1000" at CES and they have certainly followed through on that promise.

    The company has revealed their 28-inch P2815Q UltraHD monitor for just $699, going on sale later this month. The monitor has 3840x2160 resolution.

    Dell did not reveal other specs. Even Dell's other UltraSharp 4K models are priced at double or triple the P2815Q so the specs are likely lower everywhere except for the screen.

    The monitor will likely lose some of the ports seen in previous models, such as DisplayPort, mini-DisplayPort, and 6-in-1 media card readers, but that remains unclear.

    Both Lenovo and Asus also used CES to unveil cheaper 4K monitors at the 28-inch size, but theirs will sell for $799.




    AfterDawn: News

    T-Mobile CEO calls Sprint 'a pile of spectrum waiting to be turned into a capability' but will not deny possible merger

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2014 20:38

    T-Mobile CEO calls Sprint 'a pile of spectrum waiting to be turned into a capability' but will not deny possible merger T-Mobile CEO John Legere, infamous for his tirades and pointed attacks on rival carriers (including cursing), got his fill again today during the company's Uncarrier 4.0 event.

    The exec began the press conference with tirades against Sprint, Verizon and AT&T: "I give Verizon huge credit for admitting their network is overloaded. But in this industry you should be able to leave if the network doesn't live up," he began. He then mocked Sprint for CEO Dan Hesse's comments to "pardon our dust" as they upgrade their slow networks. "Sprint is a pile of spectrum waiting to be turned into a capability," he said, followed by T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray adding: "My goodness, 'Pardon our dust?' It's a shitstorm!"

    AT&T, the company's only GSM-based rival, got the brunt of the tirade. Both companies have been at each other's throats all year, including commercials attacking one another. "AT&T is a total source of amusement for me," he said. "They are the ones that take my bullshit. Dumb move. They take the bait. Why don't you have the balls to answer the question: is this targeted at T-Mobile because they are taking a piece out of you?"

    Legere then added, "We are either going to take over this whole industry, or these bastards will change and we'll still be wildly successful. I'm going to love watching the peckers scream." The exec then took a pot shot at AT&T Mobility CEO Ralph De La Vega before concluding.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    T-Mobile has best quarter in nearly a decade, adds 1.6 million subscribers

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2014 20:21

    T-Mobile has best quarter in nearly a decade, adds 1.6 million subscribers T-Mobile's "Uncarrier" initiative appears to have paid off handsomely in 2013, with the carrier adding 4.4 million customers for the year.

    For the most recent quarter, net customer additions totaled 1.645 million, up from 1.023 million in the third quarter of 2013 and a stark difference from the 32,000 subscribers lost in the Q4 2012.

    Prepaid customers saw growth, as well, up to 112,000 for the quarter, compared to 24,000 in the third quarter.

    "Our Un-carrier moves have clearly upended this industry," said John Legere, President and CEO of T-Mobile. "Over the past 12 months, 4.4 million customers have come to T-Mobile in response to greater flexibility and choice. We have clearly struck a chord with customers and will continue to look for ways to expand on that in 2014."

    Perhaps most importantly for the carrier, churn fell to 1.7 percent, down from 2.5 percent the previous quarter as more and more users are staying put.




    AfterDawn: News

    T-Mobile will pay your early termination fee if you switch over

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2014 20:00

    T-Mobile will pay your early termination fee if you switch over T-Mobile has announced that it will pay your early termination fee if you switch from rivals Sprint, AT&T or Verizon, another huge step in the carrier's efforts to grow their subscriber base.

    The company will pay up to $350 per line to cover early termination fees, as long as you port your number, trade in your existing phone and buy a new T-Mobile phone.

    Whatever you pay to get out of your contract, T-Mobile will cover, as long as you send proof in via mail or through a dedicated website. T-Mobile will also pay up to $300 for your existing phone, which will likely net you money if you have a new iPhone or Galaxy Note, for example. Switching to a new T-Mobile phone is also not bad since nearly all the devices are $0 down.

    "We're giving families a 'Get Out of Jail Free Card,'" said John Legere, president and chief executive officer of T-Mobile. "Carriers have counted on staggered contract end dates and hefty early termination fees to keep people bound to them forever. But now families can switch to T-Mobile without paying a single red cent to leave them behind."




    AfterDawn: News

    PlayStation 4 game sales near 10 million

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2014 19:46

    PlayStation 4 game sales near 10 million Sony has announced today that nearly 10 million PlayStation 4 games have been sold since launch.

    Included in the totals (9.7 million) are physical copies and games purchased through the PlayStation Store.

    The company recently announced they had sold 4.2 million PS4 consoles, to date, meaning the system's attach rate is a solid but not outstanding, 2.3.

    As expected, topping the list of best-selling games were Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, and Killzone: Shadow Fall.

    In addition, global PlayStation Plus subscriptions have jumped 90 percent since the launch of the PS4 in mid-November. The PS4 is available in 53 countries but has not yet reached the company's home territory of Japan.




    AfterDawn: News

    Sprint expands 'Spark' to six new markets

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jan 2014 9:16

    Sprint expands 'Spark' to six new markets Sprint has expanded its higher speed, higher bandwidth "Spark" LTE network to six new markets.

    The network is now available in 11 major markets, and Sprint noted that they plan to make the service available to its Virgin Mobile prepaid customers, as well.

    Having initially launched last year in NY, LA, Chicago, Miami and Tampa, the network is now also available in Austin, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio.

    The network promises "wireless peak data speeds of up to 50 – 60 Mbps" although the speeds are likely to be reduced the more people access the network.

    "Sprint Spark is all about performance," said Stephen Bye, chief technology officer for Sprint. "When we bring Sprint Spark into a market, it is like trading up to the fastest sports car on the showroom floor. I am excited to see where we will take this technology in 2014 because I know we are bringing our customers an unprecedented network experience."




    AfterDawn: News

    ISP tweaks porn block to unblock TorrentFreak

    Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Jan 2014 6:57

    ISP tweaks porn block to unblock TorrentFreak Sky, an Internet provider in the UK, has tweaked its pornography filter to allow access to the TorrentFreak news website.

    It emerged that TorrentFreak was blocked from subscribers of Sky Internet services if the ISP's pornography filter was enabled. By default, all new Sky customers have to opt out, rather than opt in to the pornography censorship program.

    While these blocks - mandated by the UK government - are intended to protect children from stumbling across pornographic content, they also have the side effect of blocking file sharing websites. TorrentFreak presents a lot of news around the legal and technical issues of file sharing services, and in the past has published content objecting to censorship. Somehow, this non-erotic source was included in Sky's porn filter.

    That's not much of a surprise however, as past examples of unintended blocking included sites that offer sex education content, and even rape victim support sources.

    "The categorisation of torrentfreak.com has now been updated so that the site will no longer be filtered by Sky Broadband Shield," the firm told the BBC.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Virtual Coinye currency launches despite Kanye West' legal threat

    Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Jan 2014 6:27

    Virtual Coinye currency launches despite Kanye West' legal threat A virtual currency has launched early despite a legal threat sent from a representative of the artist Kanye West.

    Originally called Coinye West, the new virtual currency decided to change its name to CoinyeCoin after a lawyer of Kanye West sent a cease and desist letter. In the letter, Kanye's lawyer claimed that consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that Mr West is the source of the service.

    It was due to launch on Saturday, but has instead begun operations now and from a domain name registered in India after switching from a US-Based domain provider.

    The virtual currency can now be mined using software that can be downloaded from the website at coinyeco.in.

    "We want to release this to the public before the man can try to crush it," the Wall Street Journal reported one of the developers as saying. "They'll still come after us, but that's OK."




    AfterDawn: News

    MPAA joins W3C, giving it a voice on the future of the web

    Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Jan 2014 6:05

    MPAA joins W3C, giving it a voice on the future of the web The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has joined the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), it has been announced.

    As a member, the MPAA will be represented on the advisory committee and be a part of the standards review process, gaining access to W3C materials before public release. Needless to say this announcement - made via Twitter - raises more than a few eyebrows.

    The W3C is one of the most respected organizations in the tech universe, and for good reason. It is considered - and behaves as - the international standards organization for the World Wide Web. It counts not far from 400 members, and is led by founder Tim Berners-Lee, who is often described as the inventor of the World Wide Web which are you using now.

    W3C standards are vitally important because they are adhered to by browser/application developers and acknowledged in the design of most of the world's web services. If you think about the most problematic elements of your WWW experience, they typically are associated with web sources that stray from W3C standards to add additional functionality or usability, such as sites that use Adobe's proprietary Flash plug-in to operator correctly.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Vizio unveils $1,000 4K 50-inch LED TV

    Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Jan 2014 5:22

    CES 2014: Vizio unveils $1,000 4K 50-inch LED TV Vizio has unveiled its first P-Series Ultra HD TVs, starting at just $1,000 for a 50-inch LED-backlit set.

    Vizio has unveiled its beautiful new range of Ultra HD TVs. The new P-Series Ultra HD Full-Array LED Smart TV collection starts at $999.99 for a 50-inch set, and ranges to $2,5999.99 for a 70-inch set.

    All P-Series TVs features a backlight that consists of 64 Active LED Zones, fine-tuned to the smallest detail with Active Pixel Tuning technology. The result is Dynamic Contrast Ratios up to 50,000,000:1. For Ultra HD (4K) video content, P-Series TVs pack a dedicated VM50 motion and picture-processing engine that renders every image with incredible detail and the latest HDMI standard for display of Ultra HD content up to 60fps.

    The P-Series are Smart TVs with a wide range of apps and features, powered by a new V6 processor which combines a quad-core GPU and a dual-core CPU. For connection to the web, all of the models features 802.11ac Wi-Fi support.

    Since 4K content is likely to be delivered primarily from web streaming sources, each P-Series model has a HEVC (H.265) codec built-in, which can be used by Ultra HD-enabled apps like Netflix.

    Controlling the Smart TV can be done using a backlit QWERTY keyboard remote, or some apps can be controlled using Android and Apple iOS smartphones and tablets when the TV and device are on the same WiFi network. YouTube and Netflix provide initial support for this "second screen" control, where you can use your mobile device to select content to play on screen.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Intel, Nuance bring speech commands to PCs

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jan 2014 21:54

    CES 2014: Intel, Nuance bring speech commands to PCs Intel and Nuance Communications have teamed up to ensure that Nuance's Dragon Assistant speech command technology is included in the latest PCs from Acer, Dell, Lenovo and HP.

    The technology allows computer users to tweet, play music, write documents and more using voice commands.

    PCs and tablets running on Intel Core and Atom processors will have the software included. Dragon Assistant will be constantly running in the background, adds Nuance.

    "Our objective working with Intel was to bring the PC into the era that tablets have been enjoying with the launch of [Apple's] Siri over the past few years," Matt Revis, the vice president and general manager of Dragon Devices for Nuance Communications said.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Sony officially launches 'PlayStation Now' cloud gaming, DVR, VOD service for mobile, TV

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jan 2014 21:26

    CES 2014: Sony officially launches 'PlayStation Now' cloud gaming, DVR, VOD service for mobile, TV Sony has used CES to unveil the highly-anticipated 'PlayStation Now' cloud gaming service for TVs and mobile devices.

    The service will allow gamers to stream PlayStation games on the PS4, PS3, PlayStation Vita, tablets, smartphones and TVs.

    Sony purchased cloud gaming technology co. Gaikai in June 2012, so Sony's service has been widely expected for some time. The service allows for rentals of games, or if you have a subscription you can "explore a range of titles."

    A closed beta will launch in the U.S. later this month, with a full rollout expected by the end of the summer, although Europe seems to have some hurdles: "When it comes to broadband provision, Europe is a considerably more complex region, with a huge number of different providers and varying connection speeds from country to country. In short, we need a little more time to ensure a smooth and successful roll-out."

    Somehow, Sony has figured out a way to have their server farms emulate PlayStation 3 games, but latency (lag) will likely still be an issue depending on your Internet connection. Online multiplayer, trophies and messages are also supported. Besides games, the cloud service will include VOD and DVR functionality.




    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Panasonic, Mozilla working on Firefox OS TVs

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jan 2014 20:42

    CES 2014: Panasonic, Mozilla working on Firefox OS TVs Mozilla will work with Panasonic to take a shot at the living room.

    The two companies have begun working on Smart TVs that will run on the Firefox OS that has so far only been seen on a few low-end smartphones. The eventual goal is to center future "Smart Homes" around the operating system.

    Mozilla says the partnership will allow developers "to build apps and cloud services into future televisions based on the same APIs that underpin Mozilla's web and mobile offerings." It remains unclear how the interface will work and how it will be improvised for the big screen.

    Smart TVs have been the centerpieces of CES this year, with LG showing their webOS revival for the big screen, and Vizio, Samsung and others all showing new 4K devices with fully enabled Smart TV controls.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Sony sold 4.2 million PS4s by December 28

    Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jan 2014 14:26

    Sony sold 4.2 million PS4s by December 28 Sony has revealed that as of December 28, 2013, it had sold 4.2 million PlayStation 4 (PS4) consoles.

    That represents a very encouraging early result for Sony, which has a long-stated goal of selling five million PS4s by the end of its current financial year, ending March.

    By contrast, Microsoft sold 3 million Xbox One consoles before the end of December. The PlayStation 4 (PS4) launched two weeks before the Xbox One in North America though.

    Sony sold over a million PS4s on day one, and saw that figure rise to 2.1 million by early December. Strong holiday demand doubled the tally by December 28.

    The figures were revealed by Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.




    AfterDawn: News

    Apple App Store tops $10 billion in 2013

    Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jan 2014 9:48

    Apple App Store tops $10 billion in 2013 Apple's App Store has an incredible year in 2013, with customers spending more than $10 billion on the service.

    In December alone, Apple customers downloaded more than 3 billion apps from the service, generating over $1 billion in just that month. To date, developers have earned over $15 billion from the App Store.

    "We'd like to thank our customers for making 2013 the best year ever for the App Store," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services.

    "The lineup of apps for the holiday season was astonishing and we look forward to seeing what developers create in 2014."

    The revolutionary App Store offers more than one million apps to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users in 155 countries around the world, with more than 500,000 native iPad apps available.

    App Store customers can choose from an incredible range of apps in 24 categories, including newspapers and magazines offered in Newsstand, games, business, news, sports, health & fitness, travel and kids.




    AfterDawn: News

    Gartner: 1 Billion Android sales in 2014

    Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jan 2014 9:40

    Gartner: 1 Billion Android sales in 2014 According to a forecast from research group Gartner, more than one billion devices running Android will be sold in 2014.

    It is predicting a 26 percent increase over 2013, amounting to over 1.1 billion tablets, phones and other tech gadgets that will be sold running the operating system. China is one of those major sources of growth, though Gartner doesn't see this as particularly good news for Google as devices sold with Android in the country typically have Google services stripped.

    "Android has the volume even if you can say Apple still has the value," said Ranjit Atwal, research director at Gartner's Global Forecasting team.

    "But the question for Google is how it leverages its huge number of users. Many of the handset owners in emerging markets will have bought low-end phones and won't be buying many apps at this stage. The key for Google is to ensure they upgrade to other mid-tier Android devices."

    Sales of devices running iOS and Mac OS will hit 344 million in 2014, according to Gartner, while devices sold running Microsoft's Windows operating systems will hit 360 million - increases of 28 percent and 10 percent respectively.




    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Toshiba unveils 13-inch Chromebook

    Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jan 2014 9:32

    CES 2014: Toshiba unveils 13-inch Chromebook Toshiba has unveiled its first entry into the growing Chromebook market, featuring a 13.3-inch screen.

    The Haswell-driven Chromebook will be available for $279.99 MSRP from February. It features a 13.3-inch diagonal HD TruBrite display with a native 1366 x 768 screen resolution, and weighs just 3.3lb with a 0.8-inch profile.

    Under the hood, it packs a Haswell-based Intel Celeron processor plus 2GB of RAM, and a 16GB solid state drive (with 100GB Google Drive storage). It features two USB 3.0 ports, a full-sized HDMI output port, a security lock slot and memory card reader.

    For connectivity it supports Bluetooth 4.0 and 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-F. The battery lasts up to 9 hours from a full charge.


    "We see great potential in Chrome OS as it offers both consumers and educators a simple and easy-to-use computing experience," said Carl Pinto, vice president of marketing, Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc., Digital Products Division.

    "We believe that bringing a more versatile 13-inch model to market will help drive the entire category forward by giving customers an option that opens new doors for productivity, not only for consumers, but also students and educators."




    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Rovi demos DivX HEVC 4K streaming

    Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jan 2014 8:23

    CES 2014: Rovi demos DivX HEVC 4K streaming Rovi will demonstrate some new DivX technologies at CES, including High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC/H.265) streaming in 4K.

    DivX plans to host a range of demonstrations of DivX HEVC technology including DivX Live and DivX HEVC UltraHD/4K in collaboration with industry leaders. DivX is also launching updates to DivX 10 and its MainConcept HEVC SDK to enable consumers and professionals to apply the benefits of the latest compression technology to reduce file sizes and create UltraHD/4K content experiences.

    DivX 10.1 supports the free creation, playback and streaming of high-quality DivX HEVC video up to 4K. The latest update also adds new pre-defined encoding modes to DivX Converter, a DLNA Controller to DivX Player, and support for offline playback of DivX Plus Streaming content.

    During the CES show, DivX will demo live encoding and decoding flow of streaming DivX HEVC UltraHD (4K) video to a set top box. The low power live Ultra HD HEVC encoder is planned to run on the KALRAY MPPA MANYCORE processor and stream to a Bouygues Telecom Bbox set top box service.

    HEVC (H.265) promises much better compression rates than AVC/H.264, up to 50 percent in tests, putting it in a great position to drive the switch to 4K streaming.




    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Alienware shows glimpse of Steam Machine

    Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jan 2014 8:12

    CES 2014: Alienware shows glimpse of Steam Machine You can now see what Alienware's first official Steam Machine will look like before it launches this year.

    The prototype is certainly small and compact compared to the gaming PC line-up offered under Dell's Alienware brand, but the now-private firm is offering up next to no details about this product ahead of its launch this year, only that its designed with a quiet cooling system and will perform in line with a gaming notebook.

    "With the introduction of the X51 system nearly two years ago, Alienware kicked off an evolution of small form factor PC gaming systems designed for every living area," said Frank Azor, Co-Founder and General Manager of Alienware.

    "When Valve and Alienware began collaborating on our vision for a PC gaming console several years ago we could clearly see we were on to revolutionizing PC Gaming forever."

    Additionally, Dell announced that the Alienware X51 desktop will be available as a Steam Machine in 2014.




    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Gorilla Glass kills bacteria, fungi and more on your devices

    Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jan 2014 7:55

    CES 2014: Gorilla Glass kills bacteria, fungi and more on your devices Corning Incorporated has announced its new Antimicrobial Corning Gorilla Glass at the Consumer Electronics Show.

    Like door handles, counter tops, remote controls and gaming controllers, mobile devices and touch screens can easily accumulate all kinds of microbiology as people use them. In fact, some research into mobile phones would make germaphobes shiver at the nasties that can be found lurking on their expensive devices.

    Corning Incorporated is looking to exploit our collective distaste for our microscopic distant cousins with its new Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass. It will inhibit the growth of algae, mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria with the help of ionic silver, which is incorporated into the glass surface for sustained activity.

    "This innovation combines best-in-class antimicrobial function without compromising Gorilla Glass properties. Our specialty glass provides an excellent substrate for engineering antimicrobial and other functional attributes to help expand the capabilities of our Corning Gorilla Glass and address the needs of new markets," said James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Specialty Materials.

    The new glass is being tested by a variety of manufacturers with high volume production demonstrated. There are already solutions in the market for devices and shared-touch surfaces, like antibacterial wipes, but each manufacturer has different advice on their use.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Intel dumps McAfee, rebranding to Intel Security

    Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jan 2014 7:29

    Intel dumps McAfee, rebranding to Intel Security Intel will stop using the McAfee brand name through this year, distancing itself from the brand associated with controversial founder John McAfee.

    The chipmaker announced at CES it would be rebranding products as "Intel Security" instead, and that it could take up to a year to make the switch. The McAfee company will survive as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel though.

    John McAfee's antics probably prompted Intel to rebrand its products. In June 2013, John was featured in a video with instructions on how to remove McAfee Antivirus from your computer. Of course, the video was laced with guns, women, drugs and plenty of profanity, and ended with a permanent uninstall solution delivered with a gun.

    What does John feel about this rebranding? He's ecstatic!

    "I am now everlastingly grateful to Intel for freeing me from this terrible association with the worst software on the planet. These are not my words, but the words of millions of irate users," he said, reports the BBC News website.

    "My elation at Intel's decision is beyond words."

    Video: How to Uninstall McAfee Antivirus with John McAfee (CONTENT WARNING!)




    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: LG unveils flexible 77-inch 4K OLED TV

    Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jan 2014 6:11

    CES 2014: LG unveils flexible 77-inch 4K OLED TV LG is showing off its new flexible 77-inch OLED TV at the Consumer Electronics Show.

    OLED panels, curved form factor and 4K (UHD) resolution are what seem to be the buzz in the past year as the hype of 3D viewing at home wanes. LG has packed all three into its beautiful 77-inch TV at CES.

    You can manually adjust the curvature of the display using the remote control to suit your preferences, which is why LG is describing it as the first "bendable" UHD OLED TV.

    "LG's Flexible OLED TV is a product that has to be seen to be believed because it defies description," said H. H. (Hyun-hwoi) Ha President and CEO of LG's Home Entertainment Company.

    "What curved is to flat, flexible is to curved. LG continues to lead the evolution of televisions into the next generation."

    LG will bring the final product to the U.S. market either in the second half of 2014, or early next year.




    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Samsung unveils 105-inch curved UHD TV in new UHD line-up

    Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jan 2014 5:54

    CES 2014: Samsung unveils 105-inch curved UHD TV in new UHD line-up Samsung has revealed its 2014 UHD TV line-up at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, including a 105-inch curved set.

    The 105-inch curved LCD TV touts a 5120 x 2160 resolution and a 21:9 aspect ratio. The 11 million pixel display is complimented with Samsung's Auto Depth Enhancer technology (exclusive to its curved UHD TV sets only).

    It can produce a more immersive experience by examining images to identify areas that are in the background of the shot, and adjusting the contrast to produce a 3D-like effect without glasses.


    Samsung's U9000 Series Curved UHD TV sets will be available in 55-, 65- and 78-inch varieties, also touting the Auto Depth Enhancer feature and Samsung's PurColor for superior color expression.


    Outside of its curved line-up, Samsung's remaining UHD TV line-up includes a monster 110-inch UHD TV set, as part of its S9 series, and its U8550 Series brings 4K video in 50-, 55-, 60-, 65- and 75-inch packages.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Android heads to Audi, Honda, GM and Hyundai vehicles through new alliance

    Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jan 2014 5:13

    Android heads to Audi, Honda, GM and Hyundai vehicles through new alliance Google's Android operating system will be integrated with vehicles made by Audi, Honda, GM and Hyunda through the new Open Automotive Alliance (OAA).

    The Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) is a group consisting of Audi, GM, Google, Honda, Hyundai and NVIDIA with the stated goal of bringing the Android platform to cars throughout 2014 and beyond. The OAA is dedicated to a common platform that will drive innovation, and make technology in the car safer and more intuitive for everyone.

    "Millions of people are already familiar with Android and use it everyday," said Sundar Pichai, SVP of Android, Chrome & Apps at Google.

    "The expansion of the Android platform into automotive will allow our industry partners to more easily integrate mobile technology into cars and offer drivers a familiar, seamless experience so they can focus on the road."

    The first cars with Android integration are expected by the end of 2014, with an open invitation being issued to other car manufacturers to join the OAA.

    Website: openautoalliance.net




    AfterDawn: News

    China allows game console sales temporarily

    Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jan 2014 5:04

    China allows game console sales temporarily China has suspended a ban on the sale of foreign video game consoles that was enforced in 2000.

    At the time, the Chinese authorities cited possible negative effects on the mental health and well-being of players. Of course, since then consoles have been available at a premium cost through China's enormous black market.

    For those unwilling to break the law, PC gaming is more than enough in the $14 billion market.

    China's State Council announced the temporary suspension of the sales ban on its website, but did not elaborate on how long console sales will be permitted, or why the ban was lifted now.

    Internet cafes in China are frequently packed with online gamers, as PC gaming dominates the market with over a two-thirds share. Browser gaming accounted for 15.4 percent of the market, followed by mobile gaming at 13.5 percent.

    The Chinese gaming market grew to 83.17 billion yuan (US$ 13.7 billion) in 2013, up 38 percent from 2012.




    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Intel confirms 'Dual OS' platform for booting Android and Windows on same PC

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jan 2014 0:19

    CES 2014: Intel confirms 'Dual OS' platform for booting Android and Windows on same PC Rumored as "PC Plus" over the last month, Intel has confirmed the "Dual OS" platform, meaning there will be computers that will be able to easily switch between Windows and Android in the near future.

    Intel says their processors will power PCs with the platform soon, which can switch between the operating systems with just a quick button press.

    The company also introduced "Intel Device Protection Technology," a set of ideas that will help Intel-based Android devices to meet enterprise security standards.

    Details remain scarce, but the announcement comes just hours after AMD and BlueStacks announced a partnership to use BlueStacks technology to run fullscreen and tabbed Android apps within Windows on new AMD chips designed with ARM processor cores that can run Android code natively.




    AfterDawn: News

    Amazon adds new major 4K streaming partners including Warner, Samsung

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2014 23:48

    Amazon adds new major 4K streaming partners including Warner, Samsung Amazon has announced new major partnerships with major Hollywood studios and hardware makers to bring 4K Ultra HD to Amazon Instant Video.

    Among the new partners are Samsung, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, 20th Century Fox and Discovery and Amazon Studios has promised to shoot all original programming in 4K, as well.

    "Customers are excited about the future of 4K and the next evolution of high resolution video. We're working with consumer electronics leaders and Hollywood studios to make that a reality," said Bill Carr, Vice President of Digital Video and Music for Amazon. "There are a number of elements that need to work together to create a true 4K experience for customers--you need great content and compatible devices but you also need a service that can deliver that content to your devices so that it plays beautifully--we're excited about making that a reality."

    The studios and companies added: "Warner Bros. is looking forward to working with Amazon as they offer their customers a fantastic 4K home entertainment experience," said Ron Sanders President, Warner Bros. Worldwide Home Entertainment Distribution. "The new 4K Ultra HD displays provide viewers with a superior picture, bringing new life to movies and TV shows, and for content that is not available in 4K, the Ultra HD displays will make every detail of your Blu-ray collection more vivid and crisp compared to standard 1080p screens."

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Vizio unveils first consumer 4K TVs, high-end 'Reference' TVs and kills off all 3D support

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2014 22:45

    CES 2014: Vizio unveils first consumer 4K TVs, high-end 'Reference' TVs and kills off all 3D support Vizio has announced their first consumer 4K televisions today at CES, the P Series.

    The P Series TVs will range in size from 50 to 70 inches and the company says they are "the culmination of advanced picture quality, powerful performance and a beautifully simple Ultra HD experience."

    Each of the TVs use Vizio's own custom silicon, a backlight with "64 Active LED Zones" and advanced local dimming, which should lead to excellent picture quality (if they work correctly).

    Outside of the 4K devices, the company also revealed "Reference Series" TVs, which are aimed at "custom integrators" and videophiles and have the best picture quality of any Vizio TV, ever, without question. The company says it built the devices after two years of dedicated R&D and they include specialized High Dynamic Range (HDR). The HDR "creates a contrast range with true-to-life intensity, more accurately reproducing the nuances of the picture and revealing fine details found in real scenes." The TVs have a backlight that can hit 800 nits and Vizio also supports the newly announced Dolby Vision technology that allows for such brightness.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Pebble moves to its second-generation with stylish Pebble Steel smartwatches

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2014 22:25

    CES 2014: Pebble moves to its second-generation with stylish Pebble Steel smartwatches Crowdfunded star Pebble made major announcements today, unveiling the second-generation of their smartwatch: the Pebble Steel.

    The new watch uses higher-end materials and will use milled stainless steel and Corning Gorilla Glass to protect the face. There are silver steel and black matte versions, and each includes leather bands for those who prefer that look over metal.

    Pebble says the new device is based off feedback from 300,000 Pebble users around the world. The original watch sells for $150 and will remain in sale as an "entry-level" model. Customers had complained that the original Pebble face was "too long" so the new model has been shortened while keeping the same physical display space (less bezel).

    Specs remain almost exactly the same, including the e-paper display, the battery, the full software and hardware ecosystems, and RAM has been doubled to 8MB. The Pebble app store opens soon, and the company also announced Pandora as a new partner.

    The watches cost $250 and you can pre-order now for an early February ship date (stated January 28th ship date was for the first few thousand orders only).

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Samsung reveals Galaxy TabPro, NotePro tablets including 12.2-inch model

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2014 22:04

    CES 2014: Samsung reveals Galaxy TabPro, NotePro tablets including 12.2-inch model Samsung took to the CES stage today to unveil their best tablets to date, the new Galaxy TabPro and NotePro, in exciting sizes including a large 12.2-inch version.

    On the specs side, both of the tablets run on Android 4.4, have 2560 x 1600 pixel displays, Snapdragon 800 processors, 2 or 3GB RAM, Wi-Fi/LTE and 8MP/2MP cameras. The TabPro is available in 8.4-inch, 10.1-inch, and 12.2-inch varieties while NotePro is only available in the largest size.

    Samsung has aimed to create "professional" tablets that can be used instead of a regular laptop. This is the same goal Microsoft has tried to achieve with their Surface Pro Windows tablets. For example, the NotePro (and 12 inch TabPro) include four-pane multiwindow multitasking, and all the tablets include layered pop-up windows for multitasking. You can resize the windows and even open up the same app twice. Bluetooth accessories will be offered through Samsung.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: Nvidia unveils 192-core Tegra K1 'super chip'

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2014 21:41

    CES 2014: Nvidia unveils 192-core Tegra K1 'super chip' Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang took to the stage this morning to unveil the company's new "super chip," the Tegra K1 and its 192 CUDA cores.

    A successor to the Tegra 4 chip, the K1 integrates a CPU, GPU and memory controller and can be used in 4K televisions, consoles, cars and the standard tablets/smartphones.

    The graphical capabilities of the SoC are supposed to be incredible, with one released video (below) showing the chip easily render Unreal Engine 4. The 192 cores surpass the 72 cores of the Tegra 4, and the company says that the Kepler GPU of the K1 "has more raw computing power than the PlayStation 3."

    There will be two versions of the Tegra K1 available: a 32-bit quad-core ARM Cortex A15 and a more powerful 64-bit custom dual-core ARM CPU that is built by Nvidia. The A15 model can clock in at up to 2.3GHz while the 64-bit model can top out at 2.5GHz.

    32-bit models will be powering Android devices in the first half of the year and the 64-bit models will be powering devices by the Q3.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    CES 2014: LG has major plans to revive webOS

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2014 21:18

    CES 2014: LG has major plans to revive webOS Nearly five years after Palm unveiled the intuitive and smooth operating system on its smartphones, LG used CES to reveal its plans for webOS.

    LG looks to be bringing the operating system to the big screen, and about 60 percent of the company's TV releases in 2014 will run webOS TV.

    Differentiating from current Smart TV operating systems, the new flexible webOS is arranged completely horizontally, including the home screen, which is an overlay on top of whatever you are watching rather than the standard grid of apps.

    As former Palm owners remembers, webOS pretty much created the cards system that Android and iOS integrate today, and the TV version still has cards of your favorite apps and the last app you had open. Another card makes recommendations based on your viewing habits. More importantly, it doesn't matter what input you are on, as the cards integrate everything. For example, if you plug in a new PlayStation 4, it shows up as a PS4 card, not a generic "HDMI 1," right next to the live TV card, YouTube, etc.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    T-Mobile buys $2.3 billion in spectrum from Verizon

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2014 20:58

    T-Mobile buys $2.3 billion in spectrum from Verizon T-Mobile has acquired significant spectrum today from Verizon Wireless that should help boost the company's networks.

    The 700 MHz A-Block spectrum will cost the carrier $2.365 billion in cash and the "transfer of certain AWS and PCS spectrum licenses will have an aggregate estimated value of approximately $950 million."

    After the deal is completed, T-Mobile will have low-band spectrum in 9 of the top 10 and 21 of the top 30 markets across the United States.

    T-Mobile CEO and President John Legere was very pleased by the acquisition, calling it a "great opportunity to secure low-band spectrum in many of the top markets in America." He added: "These transactions represent our biggest move yet in a series of initiatives that are rapidly expanding our already lightning fast network and improving its performance across the country. We will continue to find ways to advance our customers' network experience just as our bold Un-carrier moves have shaken up the wireless industry to benefit consumers."




    AfterDawn: News

    World of Warcraft players beware, there is a trojan out to steal your account but there is a cure

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2014 20:49

    World of Warcraft players beware, there is a trojan out to steal your account but there is a cure Blizzard has issued a warning that a new trojan is being used to compromise accounts.

    Even if you are using a specialized authenticator for added security, the publisher says you are still at risk.

    "We've been receiving reports regarding a dangerous Trojan that is being used to compromise player's accounts even if they are using an authenticator for protection. The Trojan acts in real time to do this by stealing both your account information and the authenticator password at the time you enter them," reads Blizzard's post.

    It seems that the trojan comes via a fake add-on management application.

    If you have been infected, the publisher has posted instructions on how to remove the trojan. You can view that here: WoW Forums




    AfterDawn: News

    Microsoft sold 3 million Xbox One units last year

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jan 2014 20:19

    Microsoft sold 3 million Xbox One units last year Microsoft has announced that the company sold 3 million Xbox One consoles in 2013.

    The system launched at the end of November and quickly reached 2 million units sold by December 11th. The pace did not slow down too greatly as it took just over two more weeks to reach the 3 million milestone.

    Says Microsoft: "Over 3 million Xbox One consoles were sold to consumers in 13 countries before the end of 2013. It's been incredible to see Xbox One selling at a record-setting pace for Xbox, and we were honored to see Xbox One become the fastest-selling console in the U.S. during our launch month in November. Since our launch, demand for Xbox One has been strong, selling out throughout the holidays at most retailers worldwide. We are continuing to work hard to deliver additional consoles to retailers as fast as possible."

    Sony announced that its PlayStation 4 had reached 2 million sales in 16 days from mid-November launch but has not disclosed figures since.




    AfterDawn: News

    Giant crop circle actually a Nvidia CES stunt?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2014 18:34

    Giant crop circle actually a Nvidia CES stunt? A massive crop circle shaped like a computer chip appears to have been a Nvidia stunt for the upcoming CES event.

    The crop circle, in a field outside of San Francisco in the town of Chualar, is shaped like a Nvidia Tegra 4 chip and if true, was likely a publicity stunt in an effort to boost interest in the upcoming Tegra 5 system-on-a-chip.

    Tegra 5 chips combine a CPU, GPU, and memory controller and should be much more energy efficient than its predecessor.

    Scott Anthony, the owner of the field in which the crop circle was pressed, returned home from a trip and quickly hired a crew to plow the circle.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Square, Griffin show off integrated case reader for merchants

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2014 18:11

    Square, Griffin show off integrated case reader for merchants Square and accessory maker Griffin have unveiled a new case for iPhone owners that integrates Square's mobile card reader.

    The "Merchant" case is a standard protective case that comes with a Square reader that can be tucked away in the case and has space on the bottom to perfectly fit a Square Reader.

    Griffin and Square have reasonably priced the case at just $19.99, although shipping is backordered by two weeks.

    Additionally, Square has announced "Works with Square," a new program that allows devs and third-party companies to build accessories for Square businesses. Griffin is the first to be part of the initiative.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Hundreds of thousands of Yahoo.com users hit with malware

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2014 17:58

    Hundreds of thousands of Yahoo.com users hit with malware Yahoo has confirmed that their advertising servers had been hijacked allowing malware to be distributed to hundreds of thousands of users.

    Two security firms first brought the situation to light, including Fox IT, who wrote: "Clients visiting yahoo.com received advertisements served by ads.yahoo.com. Some of the advertisements are malicious." The regular ads were replaced with an "exploit kit" that "exploits vulnerabilities in Java and installs a host of different malware."

    The malware appears to have started on December 30th, and lasted a few days. Yahoo says, "At Yahoo, we take the safety and privacy of our users seriously. We recently identified an ad designed to spread malware to some of our users. We immediately removed it and will continue to monitor and block any ads being used for this activity."

    While they were active, "malicious payloads were being delivered to around 300,000 users per hour," said Fox IT, who estimates 27,000 users per hour were clicking on them and becoming infected.




    AfterDawn: News

    HTC has yet another awful quarter

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2014 17:46

    HTC has yet another awful quarter HTC, once the poster child for smartphone growth, has had yet another awful quarter.

    For the fourth-quarter, net income was NT$310 million ($10 million), well below the analyst expectations of NT$694 million. The income even included the company's very profitable sale of its stake in Beats Electronics. The company had an operating loss of NT$1.56 billion ($50 million).

    Despite the launch of the One Max phablet and adding Robert Downey Jr. as a promoter of the brand, sales continued their nine-quarter-strong slide.

    The Beats sale netted the company a large $85 million pre-tax profit, but it appears falling revenue and operating costs erased most of that gain.

    Revenue fell to NT$42.9 billion and the company has posted its first full-year annual loss, ever.




    AfterDawn: News

    Apple buys camera app developer SnappyLabs

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2014 17:18

    Apple buys camera app developer SnappyLabs Apple has acquired iOS camera app developer SnappyLabs, run by John Papandriopoulos, an electrical engineering PhD from the University Of Melbourne.

    The dev wrote the app SnappyCam, which is popular with iOS users due to its ability to take full-res photos at up to 30fps, much faster than the native iPhone/iPad app and the ability to take an infinite amount of photos while holding down the shutter, just like an SLR.

    Apple did not comment on their upcoming plans for the app and its founder: "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans."

    The app and its burst-mode technology sold for just $1, and topped the paid app chart on-and-off in multiple countries.

    It is likely a version of the technology will be integrated into future updates for the iOS app.




    AfterDawn: News

    AT&T giving T-Mobile users up to $450 to switch carriers

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2014 17:01

    AT&T giving T-Mobile users up to $450 to switch carriers T-Mobile, which has not-so-quietly been taking back subscribers from rival carriers, seems to have struck a nerve with the U.S' second-largest carrier, AT&T, which is now offering up to $450 to users that switch over.

    AT&T has offered up to $250 for smartphone trade-ins along with $200 credit per phone line.

    T-Mobile started a revolution last year when it eliminated contracts, instead making subscribers purchase their own phones (or finance them) in exchange for much cheaper monthly rates. The company then introduced "Jump," a program that allows customers to upgrade their phones twice per year at a cost of $10 per month. Finally, the company killed off international roaming data fees and dropped the price on minutes and texting when roaming.

    The U.S.' third-largest carrier, Sprint (Softbank), appears to be readying a bid for T-Mobile, and such a merger would create a company large enough to properly compete with Verizon and AT&T, which have created a duopoly in the nation.




    AfterDawn: News

    New Samsung-built Nexus 10 to be revealed at CES?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2014 11:37

    New Samsung-built Nexus 10 to be revealed at CES? According to the least accurate "reporters" in the world, Digitimes, Samsung is slated to unveil the second-generation of the Nexus 10 tablet at next week's CES event.

    Over the past few weeks it has been rumored that Samsung may not be back for the new device, but rather Asus or LG could be the manufacturer. LG was removed from the list after they made their popular LG G Pad 8.3 into a Google Play Edition. Asus is the maker of the very popular Nexus 7 tablets.

    Outside of the new tablet, the publication says Samsung will also show off Exynos 6 eight-core processors with 64-bit support, which is not a stretch since Samsung has already teased Exynos-related announcements.

    Google nor Samsung has confirmed a new Nexus 10 is coming.

    Rumored specs for the device include a 10.1-inch AMOLED screen with 2560x1600 resolution, 2GB RAM and a Snapdragon 800 under the hood.




    AfterDawn: News

    Simpsons, Family Guy pirate must pay Fox $10.5 million

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2014 11:24

    Simpsons, Family Guy pirate must pay Fox $10.5 million A Canadian man who was accused of running streaming websites allowing users to watch "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" illegally online, has been fined $10.5 million in statutory and punitive damages.

    The websites, "Watch The Simpsons Online (WTOS)" and "Watch Family Guy Online," launched in 2008 and lets visitors stream the shows via embedded media players using external video sources including Megavideo and other. The sites did not host the infringing content but made it easier to access.

    Altogether, the sites saw about 87 million visitors and had drawn the ire of Fox, the MPAA, WIPO and more. In October 2013, Fox filed a copyright infringement lawsuit in Canada, and the site's admin had his house raided later that month. The site admin could not afford to try the case against Fox and the case was resolved in his absence.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Zynga testing out Bitcoin payments for popular games like Cityville

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2014 11:10

    Zynga testing out Bitcoin payments for popular games like Cityville Casual gaming company Zynga has begun accepting Bitcoin as a payment option for a few of its most popular games, becoming the first gaming company to do so.

    Zynga has partnered with BitPay as a payment processor for the web versions of FarmVille 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows and CityVille.

    "We wanted to share with the r/bitcoin community that Zynga Inc. is now conducting a Bitcoin test with BitPay (https://bitpay.com/), a leading Bitcoin service provider, in select Zynga.com web games," Zynga wrote in a statement.

    "In response to Bitcoin's rise in popularity around the world, Zynga, with help from BitPay, is testing expanded payment options for players to make in-game purchases using Bitcoin. The Bitcoin test is only available to Zynga.com players playing FarmVille 2, CastleVille, ChefVille, CoasterVille, Hidden Chronicles, Hidden Shadows and CityVille. The games can be accessed at Zynga.com.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    For December, Chrome gains browser market share and IE11 sees strong gains

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jan 2014 0:17

    For December, Chrome gains browser market share and IE11 sees strong gains According to the latest NetApplications data, Chrome has regained some browser market share for December, and Internet Explorer 11 saw the strongest growth as more users upgrade to Windows 8.1.

    Chrome gained 0.78 percentage points to settle at 16.22 percent share, while IE and Firefox each dipped marginally, to 57.91 percent and 18.35 percent, respectively.

    Internet Explorer 11, which is the pre-installed browser for Windows 8.1, saw its share triple to 10.42 percent, with IE10 and IE9 falling an equal amount.

    IE8 remains the world's most popular browser with 20.64 percent, which makes sense given that Windows XP users cannot upgrade past that version.

    NetApp used data captured from 160 million unique visitors each month by monitoring some 40,000 websites for its clients.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    U.S. music industry sees its first decrease in digital music sales, ever

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jan 2014 23:36

    U.S. music industry sees its first decrease in digital music sales, ever For the first time ever, the U.S. music industry has seen a decrease in digital music sales.

    Digital track sales as well as digital album sales fell for the year 2013. Individual track sales fell 5.7 percent to 1.26 billion units, and digital album sales fell 0.1 percent to 117.6 million units.

    It has become clear that streaming services have cannibalized digital sales growth, with popular ad-supported and subscription services like Google Play Music All Access, Spotify, Rdio and others taking strong share.

    Nielsen SoundScan, which provided the annual figures, has not yet released its streaming data, but it appears from early reports that streaming revenue will offset the declines elsewhere.

    Including physical media, album sales fell 8.4 percent to 289.4 million units, although vinyl continued its comeback from the dead, seeing 30 percent growth to 6 million units.

    There was only platinum album for the year, Justin Timberlake's "20/20 Experience," at 2.4 million units, but there were 106 platinum digital tracks, led by "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke at 6.5 million units.




    AfterDawn: News

    Corning readying 3D-shaped Gorilla Glass for wearables, other devices

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jan 2014 23:12

    Corning readying 3D-shaped Gorilla Glass for wearables, other devices Corning has announced its Gorilla Glass standard will soon makes it way to wearables and other curved designs.

    The company has confirmed the availability of "novel 3D glass-forming technology" to shape Gorilla Glass.

    Additionally, the company is working with GTOC to create vertical integration of the manufacturing process. "We can now take Gorilla Glass all the way from flat sheet to a finished 3D-shaped product in Asia, expediting turnaround times and minimizing logistical complexity," said James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Specialty Materials. "That's a win for Corning and our customers."

    According to the press release, the "3D-forming technology can achieve precise tolerances and high throughput on a platform that is more economical than alternative two-mold forming methods. This technology uses Gorilla Glass of uniform thickness, assisting designers to introduce thinner and lighter devices and leverage the emergence of conformable displays for mobile and wearable applications."




    AfterDawn: News

    WaPo: The NSA is working on a quantum computer that can crack any code

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 19:14

    WaPo: The NSA is working on a quantum computer that can crack any code According to Edward Snowden, the NSA is building a quantum computer that will crack any code and break any encryption, including what is used to protect medical, banking and military records.

    The whistle-blower's documents (via Washington Post) revealed a $79.7 million research program designed to build a "cryptologically useful quantum computer."

    Dubbed "Penetrating Hard Targets," the project is in active development, but the documents reveal that the NSA is no closer to building the computer than other developers in the scientific community.

    Quantum computing is not expected to be accessible for at least another five years, unless there is a breakthrough. While standard computers use binary bits (zeroes and ones), quantum computers use quantum bits (simultaneously zero and one), allowing for quicker and more efficient calculations.

    At the heart of the NSA's alleged desire for the computer is for national security purposes as a quantum computer could theoretically crack the RSA 1,024-bit encryption key used for online transactions and to secure financial transactions. Earlier this decade, computer scientists cracked a 768-bit encryption key but it took hundreds of computers and almost two years.




    AfterDawn: News

    YouTube going 4K using Google's own VP9 codec

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 18:50

    YouTube going 4K using Google's own VP9 codec Google has confirmed that YouTube is going 4K at CES, using the company's own VP9 royalty-free codec.

    Most current 4K setups use the H.265 video codec, but Google has been actively developing the Ultra HD streaming codec as an alternative.

    In 2010, Google tried a similar tactic with its VP8 codec, which would have become the default format for plugin-free video streaming but it was opposed by companies trying to establish commercial video formats who ultimately succeeded. Hardware support was limited and the codec was eventually relegated to limited use.

    This does not appear to be an issue this time around, as Google has secured hardware partners including LG, Panasonic, Sony, Intel, ARM, Samsung and Sharp. The list totals 19 partners, some of whom will show off 4K streaming at their CES booths next week.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Samsung shows off Galaxy Camera 2

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 18:27

    Samsung shows off Galaxy Camera 2 Samsung has shown off the sequel to their Galaxy Camera Android-based digital camera, the Galaxy Camera 2.

    The new device has improved specs all across the board and updated the camera to a newer version of Android.

    Equal to the first Galaxy Camera, the 2 has a 1/2.3" BSI sensor with 16.3 MP effective resolution, 21x optical zoom, optical image stabilization and pop-up xenon flash with a dedicated AF light. Additionally, you can shoot at 1080p@30fps, 720p@60fps and 512p@120fps just like the Galaxy Camera.

    The display is the same 4.8-inch Super Clear 720p LCD as its predecessor, as well.

    Under the hood, the Galaxy Camera 2 has a quad-core processor clocked at 1.6GHz, 2GB RAM and 8GB internal storage. Somehow, only 2.8GB are user-accessible, so you will certainly need to add a microSD card if you are an active shooter.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Microsoft: There could have been a disc drive-less Xbox One

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 18:04

    Microsoft: There could have been a disc drive-less Xbox One Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer has noted that the company considered a "purely disc-less console" as late as last year's E3 event, but ultimately decided to go with the optical disc drive we have in the current generation of the console.

    "Obviously, after the announcement and E3, there was some feedback about what people wanted to change," says Spencer. "There was a real discussion about whether we should have an optical disc drive in Xbox One or if we could get away with a purely disc-less console, but when you start looking at bandwidth and game size, it does create issues.

    "So we decided - which I think was the right decision - to go with the Blu-ray drive and give the people an easy way to install a lot of content. From some of those original thoughts, you saw a lot of us really focusing on the digital ecosystem you see on other devices - thinking of and building around that."

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    DreamWorks Animation to release their own tablet aimed at kids

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 17:37

    DreamWorks Animation to release their own tablet aimed at kids DreamWorks Animation has teamed up with OEM Fuhu to build a new tablet aimed at kids, the Dreamtab.

    The Dreamtab will sell for under $300, have an 8-inch form factor and will feature apps and content for children with original content based on DreamWorks characters, as well.

    Animation producer Nancy Bernstein is creating "character moments" for the tablet, like having Shrek characters performing a quick skit explaining how to turn off the tablet when the parental set timer reaches its limit, for example.

    Additionally, the characters will provide drawing lessons and the tablet will include "the same stylus technology that DreamWorks artists use to make movies" to have the kids draw along. A Wacom stylus may be included, but that remains unclear.

    The tablet can be used in "parent mode," say the companies, which "provides roughly the same computing power as an iPad."

    Set for release in the spring, the company also says a 12-inch version is coming later.




    AfterDawn: News

    Pachter: PS4 sales to reach nearly 38 million by end of 2016

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 15:50

    Pachter: PS4 sales to reach nearly 38 million by end of 2016 According to Wedbush gaming industry analyst Michael Pachter, worldwide PlayStation 4 sales will reach 37.7 million by the end of 2016.

    For the same period, the analyst expects Microsoft Xbox One sales to total 29 million.

    In his research note, Pachter adds "We expect Sony's and Microsoft's new consoles to thrive over the next three years, with cumulative worldwide sales of 37.7 million PS4 and 29 million Xbox One consoles by year-end 2016. We do not expect Nintendo's Wii U to fare as well, with cumulative sales of under 20 million by 2016."

    The forecast is not the first for the industry as IHS head of games research Piers Harding-Rolls recently made a similar announcement, anticipating that the PS4 will outsell the Xbox One at 49 million units to 38 million units by the end of 2017.

    Harding-Rolls noted: "IHS believes that Sony's wider geographical brand allegiance - especially across continental Europe and Japan - will be decisive in allowing PS4 to outsell Xbox One on a global basis by the end of 2017."

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Polaroid will unveil 50-inch 4K TV for under $1000 at CES

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 15:29

    Polaroid will unveil 50-inch 4K TV for under $1000 at CES Polaroid has announced today that it will be unveiling a 50-inch 4K TV for $999 at CES next week.

    In addition, the company will release a $599 1080p 50-inch TV that includes a bundled Roku streaming stick that gives access to hundreds of apps just like the Roku set-top boxes do.

    The 50GSR9000 50" 4K Ultra HD TV will provide "stunning colour contrast, fluidity of motion and exceptional clarity." The 50GSR7100 50" Roku Ready Smart has built-in WiFi and an HDMI input with MHL compatibility to allow for the Roku stick and mobile app control of the TV.

    "Not many people realize that Edwin Land was a pioneer in developing the polarizing technology used in modern televisions," said Scott W. Hardy, President and CEO of Polaroid. "Televisions are a natural product extension for the Polaroid brand and we are excited to bring consumers a state-of-the-art product at an affordable price point. Families can share more movie nights together with our new home entertainment options."

    More info will be revealed next week.




    AfterDawn: News

    Acer releases Iconia W4 tablet with Windows 8.1, Bay Trail CPU, 8-inch display

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 15:18

    Acer releases Iconia W4 tablet with Windows 8.1, Bay Trail CPU, 8-inch display Following the failure that was the Iconia W3, Acer has released the updated Iconia W4 tablet with an 8-inch display, Windows 8.1 and an efficient Intel Bay Trail processor.

    Acer was supposed to release the tablet in October, but it was quietly delayed for nearly three months.

    To bring back media attention, the company is re-unveiling the tablet at CES.

    The tablet is thick at 10.75mm, and on the heavier side at 0.92 pounds, and it keeps the plain form factor of its predecessor. The display is a 720p, 16:10 IPS LCD screen using Zero Air Gap technology for anti-glare.

    Under the hood is a 1.8GHz quad-core Intel Bay Trail processor using the company's 4th generation Atom core for peak efficiency. The tablet has dual 2MP/5MP cameras, 32GB internal storage, a microSD slot, and microUSB and microHDMI ports. Promising 10 hours of battery life, the tablet also comes with a free version of Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 for free.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    LG to release webOS-based TV this year

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 14:47

    LG to release webOS-based TV this year According to another leak by the prolific @Evleaks, LG will release a TV this year using the webOS platform made popular for a short period of time by Palm before its demise.

    In the leaked images, you can see a brief snippet of the Cards interface, with a thumbnail overview of apps and content currently running on the TV.

    You can see a web browser, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Skype in the images as well as LG's own SmartShare application.

    Rumors had suggested that the upcoming LG HDTV would run on a 2.2GHz dual-core processor and 1.5GB RAM.





    AfterDawn: News

    Snapchat to patch its application following major security breach last month

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 14:36

    Snapchat to patch its application following major security breach last month Following the major security breach last month that allowed hackers to collect the usernames and phone numbers of 4.6 million users, Snapchat says it will update the application with a more secure version.

    The new version will allow users to opt out of the "Find Friends" feature that was the cause of the breach. The company also says it will block all future attempts to abuse the service or its features.

    Security experts had warned Snapchat and its founders about the vulnerability multiple times but the company stated that the service was secure and that they had implemented "various safeguards."

    The hackers, which released a database of the usernames and phone numbers (without the last four numbers to protect privacy), say their actions were done to protect users and show the company that security is paramount. The biggest issue at hand is the fact that Snapchat ignored a responsible report from reputable security experts.

    Snapchat has over 20 million U.S. users and is valued in the low billions due to its rapid growth and popularity.




    AfterDawn: News

    BlackBerry sues Typo Products over its new iPhone keyboard case

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 14:11

    BlackBerry sues Typo Products over its new iPhone keyboard case BlackBerry has unsurprisingly sued Ryan Seacrest's Typo Products startup for patent infringement over its new Typo iPhone keyboard case.

    "This is a blatant infringement against BlackBerry's iconic keyboard, and we will vigorously protect our intellectual property against any company that attempts to copy our unique design," Steve Zipperstein, BlackBerry's general counsel and chief legal officer, said in a statement.

    The multi-millionaire media personality founded the startup after not wanting to give up both his BlackBerry and iPhone, one of which was used for typing extensively and the other used for everything else.

    Typo was set to officially unveil the accessory at next week's CES event for $99, with the product shipping before the end of the month.

    Zipperstein of BlackBerry added: "From the beginning, BlackBerry has always focused on offering an exceptional typing experience that combines a great design with ergonomic excellence. We are flattered by the desire to graft our keyboard onto other smartphones, but we will not tolerate such activity without fair compensation for using our intellectual property and our technological innovations."




    AfterDawn: News

    Indian smartphone maker reveals device with octa-core processor

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 13:27

    Indian smartphone maker reveals device with octa-core processor Indian smartphone maker Intex has unveiled its Aqua Octa device, powered by MediaTek's latest octa-core chip.

    The Aqua runs on a MediaTek 1.7GHz MT6592, which allows for all 8 cores to be active concurrently. The device has a 6-inch 720p display and 2GB RAM.

    Running on Android 4.2.2, the phone has 16GB internal storage (microSD slot), 13MP/5MP cameras, a 2300mAh battery and 3G connectivity along with all other standard radios.

    The phone is currently selling for 19,999 INR (about $320 USD) but will likely never leave Asia given its lack of LTE support.




    AfterDawn: News

    Lenovo unveils 6-inch phablet, other new devices

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 13:18

    Lenovo unveils 6-inch phablet, other new devices Lenovo has unveiled a whole new lineup of smartphones, meant to offer something for every would-be device owner.

    Starting with the phablet, Lenovo's 6-inch S930 has a polycarbonate body, a 720x1280 LCD IPS display, a MediaTek 1.3GHz quad-core processor (28nm process using four power-efficient ARM Cortex-A7 cores).

    Additionally, there is 1GB RAM, only 8GB internal storage (with microSD), and dual 8MP/1.8MP cameras. The device should last all day with a 3000mAh Li-Polymer cell battery. The phablet will sell for $319 off-contract and includes dual-SIM capabilities, which is a sold price for those who want a large screen but otherwise mediocre specs.



    The new 4.7-inch 540x960 Lenovo S650 is powered by the same 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6582 chipset, 1GB of RAM, 8GB internal storage, dual-SIM and dual 1.8MP/8MP cameras, but with a smaller 2000mAh battery and no stereo speakers. The device will sell for $229 off-contract.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Research: Illegal file sharing leads to more hit music

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 12:54

    Research: Illegal file sharing leads to more hit music According to a new research report published by Tulane University Law Professor Glynn Lunney, illegal file sharing has helped lead to more hit music for record labels and artists.

    This is a sharp contrast to what the RIAA and other trade groups believe, with their claims that piracy leads to billions of dollars in losses every year.

    Lunney says file-sharing actually encourages the distribution of existing music, and is in line with current copyright law. His latest research paper, "A Case Study of File Sharing and Music Output," looks into how file sharing leads to more hits for artists.

    According to TorrentFreak, the paper "shows that the output from existing artists increased, while new artists appeared less frequently in the hit charts. However, since the new material from existing artists was greater than the loss from new artists, the "creation" of new music increased overall."

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    AOL completes sale of Winamp, Shoutcast

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 12:08

    AOL completes sale of Winamp, Shoutcast Earlier this week, AOL completed the sale of Winamp and Shoutcast, ending a month-long search for a new owner after the company had announced it was going to shutdown the popular media player and radio service.

    AOL saw a storm of outrage after they announced Winamp would be shut down in December, with Change.org even getting its own petition to have the software open-sourced and kept alive.

    The acquiring party is Radionomy, a Belgium-based aggregator of online radio stations.

    Radionomy may not be a household name, but it does have 6000 stations in its catalog, with anyone allowed to create their own. Shoutcast, by comparison, has over 50,000 stations in its catalog.




    AfterDawn: News

    Sony to try out Windows Phone in 2014?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 11:42

    Sony to try out Windows Phone in 2014? According to a new report, Sony may be considering releasing a Windows Phone this year.

    Sony currently builds high-end Android devices under the Xperia brand name, and the report says any Sony Windows Phones may be branded under "Vaio," the electronic maker's branding for Windows laptops.

    Allegedly, Sony and Microsoft/Nokia have had discussions about such a phone, and Sony has even revealed designs for a prototype.

    Negotiations hinge on licensing fees and preloaded software requirements, says the report, and could fall apart.

    Windows Phone continues to take global market share, albeit at a slow pace, due to Nokia's Lumia line, which can start with very good global GSM phones for as cheap as $80. Most other OEMs have dropped out of Windows Phone since Microsoft's acquisition of Nokia's hardware division.




    AfterDawn: News

    Pebble: We have a big announcement for CES

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jan 2014 11:31

    Pebble: We have a big announcement for CES Pebble, makers of the Pebble smartwatch, will have a "big announcement" on January 6th at the upcoming CES event.

    The smartwatch maker, which set the Kickstarter record for funding last year, will make the announcement at 11am PST/2pm EST with CEO Eric Migicovsky taking the stage.

    Pebble recently announced the open of their developer portal which will lead to a dedicated app store, which was huge news for the device.

    It is unclear what the new announcement will be but most speculation is it will be a second-generation Pebble with an updated design.

    The current devices sell for $150.

    Read more...



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