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AfterDawn: News

Amazon to purchase video game live footage service Twitch for almost a billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2014 21:19

Amazon to purchase video game live footage service Twitch for almost a billion Amazon has acquired video game live streaming video service Twitch.tv for $970 million, following an earlier rumor that the company was looking to pay up to one billion.

"Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. "Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community."

Twitch will remain independent but will have Amazon's resources to "bring you an even better Twitch," added Twitch CEO Emmett Shear.

The live streaming company has over 55 million unique visitors and over 15 billion minutes of content published. Twitch is built-in to the Xbox One and the PS4 allowing for easy uploading of game footage right from the console.




AfterDawn: News

Is this what Google's music subscription service 'YouTube Music Key' will look like?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2014 22:44

Is this what Google's music subscription service 'YouTube Music Key' will look like? Thanks to new leaks, we have a pretty vivid picture of what Google's upcoming unified music subscription service will look and feel like.

If accurate, the new YouTube-based service will be called YouTube Music Key, and Google will rebrand its awfully named Google Play Music All Access to Google Play Music Key to avoid brand confusion.

YouTube Music Key will offer ad-free music through the video site, as well as background/screen-off listening and offline caching and playback. Background listening is a huge, huge deal, since mobile users can save their battery now if they don't necessarily care for the video itself and just want the music (or other audio).

The service will be free for the first month, and then cost $9.99 per month and subscribers will get both YouTube Music Key and Google Play Music Key. Google Play Music All Access currently offers a Spotify-esque catalog of tracks for unlimited listening on desktops or mobile devices.

Making YouTube Music Key a great complement to audio-only streaming services, is the fact that you get ad-free access to officialy concert footage, remixes and covers.

It remains unclear when the services will launch, as Google still needs to negotiate new licensing deals with the major record labels and major indies as well as some popular individuals.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

British pirate receives 33 month prison sentence for CAM version of Fast and Furious 6

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2014 15:58

British pirate receives 33 month prison sentence for CAM version of Fast and Furious 6 25-year-old Philip Danks of the UK has been sentenced to 33 months in prison after he was convicted of filming "Fast and Furious 6" and being the first person to upload the film to piracy sites in May 2013.

Allegedly, his camera copy of the popular film was downloaded over 700,000, with distributor Universal Pictures claiming that copy cost the studio 2.5 million. In addition to uploading the film, Danks, who went by the online handle "Thecod3r," sold DVD copies for 1.50 each, netting near 1,000 in total.

Danks was arrested six days after uploading the film, after police and Universal Pictures connected very easy dots to find his identity. Searching the Web for any reference to "Thecod3r," they found a comment on a piracy site by "Thecod3r" and also that "Thecod3r" was Danks' handle on the dating site Plenty of Fish.

Even after being caught and arrested, Danks decided to continue being stupid, posting "Seven billion people and I was the first. F*** you Universal Pictures" on his Facebook page.

As expected, the judge gave an extremely harsh sentence to Danks due to his attitude and blatant lack of remorse. "This was bold, arrogant, and cocksure offending. Your approach to the film industry was made clear in the posting you made on Facebook two days after your arrest. I accept the personal profit was modest, but the real seriousness of this case is the loss caused to the film industry as a whole," wrote the judge.

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AfterDawn: News

Android L is really 'Lemon Meringue Pie'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2014 15:35

Android L is really 'Lemon Meringue Pie' A few documents and lines of code seem to suggest that Android L will get its dessert nickname in due time: Lemon Meringue Pie.

The code shows Android L as "LMP," for example the official preview SDK referencing "lmp-preview-release" and HTC's Wi-Fi certification (the Nexus 8) showing multiple LMP entries, as well.

Of course, Google could still pull an audible and team up with another candy company for a branded effort like Android 4.4 KitKat was.

There had also been rumors that L was short for Lollipop but that seems squashed at this point.

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AfterDawn: News

LG G Watch R with round face coming next week at IFA

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2014 14:49

LG G Watch R with round face coming next week at IFA LG, who was the first OEM to introduce an Android Wear-backed smartwatch earlier this year (see our review here), is already preparing a sequel, set for launch at the IFA event next week.

The new device will have a round face and will be a direct competitor to the upcoming Moto 360, which is also set to be officially unveiled at an event in early September.

Dubbed the LG G Watch R, so far all we have is a teaser trailer (below) that shows the round face and some new exciting watchfaces. The device also appears to have a button on the side (probably a "confirm" or a power button), which the original G Watch did not include.

LG will have to compete with more than just the Moto 360 for the holidays, as Asus is said to be launching a cheap square smartwatch at IFA and HTC has been rumored for months to be completing their own watch. Let's also not forget that Samsung has released a few watches already, and Apple has been rumored to be working on the iTime for three years now.

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AfterDawn: News

Google receives a million takedown notices daily

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2014 14:33

Google receives a million takedown notices daily According to a new report, Google received over 1 million takedown notices per day over the last week, for a total of 7.8 million for the week, 10 percent higher than the previous record that was set just one week prior.

When Google first began publishing the amount of DMCA notices it was receiving, it was in the low hundreds for the year, mainly from the same record labels and outfits like the MPAA. That number has grown exponentially over time, and only seems to be getting larger.

While Google's bots are very good at catching what is truly piracy and what is not, the company has confirmed that some links are removed in error whether or not they really have anything infringing.

Millions of these requests are mistakes, abuses or do not include any copyright material so Google disregards them. Of course, plenty really do have pirated material. One thing is clear, 1 million takedown notices per day is just the beginning.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

DDoS attack on Sony has taken down the PlayStation Network, Sony still working on it

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2014 14:08

DDoS attack on Sony has taken down the PlayStation Network, Sony still working on it The Sony PlayStation Network remains down thanks to a DDoS attack earlier this morning.

Hacking group 'Lizard Squad' claimed credit for the attack, which has flooded the massive network with data and taken down legitimate services.

Sony says its engineers are working on bringing the services back online but did not confirm the attack.

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AfterDawn: News

SoundCloud getting ads, securing licensing deals with labels

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2014 18:58

SoundCloud getting ads, securing licensing deals with labels SoundCloud, the extremely popular streaming site that allows anyone to upload audio, will soon have a business model.

Tracks from major artists have become hits thanks to SoundCloud, as have podcasts and many an up-and-coming DJ. Until now, however, artists nor labels were compensated, which is part of the agreement when uploading audio.

The company recently announced that it now has 175 million monthly listeners, more than double that of Pandora, and over four times the number of Spotify active listeners.

As part of a new licensing deals with entertainment companies, SoundCloud will also start offering advertising. Artists and labels will also be able to collect royalties as part of the deal, making the company "legit" in the eyes of the industry. In the near future, SoundCloud will also offer a paid subscription to skip ads, just like Spotify and Pandora do.

In addition to the new deal, some of the labels and indies are negotiating for equity stakes in the company. In exchange for the stakes, the labels have agreed not to sue SoundCloud for any past copyright infringements, a very big deal for a startup. That being said, the labels have not secured the deals just yet, as it is hard to figure out royalty compensation for many of the tracks, which can include mashups.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple iPhone 6 reportedly to come in 128GB variant

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2014 17:35

Apple iPhone 6 reportedly to come in 128GB variant According to a pair of leaked documents, Apple may offer a 128GB model iPhone 6 when it launches next month.

So far, Apple has only sold iPhones in 16, 32 and 64 GB iterations. There are 128GB iPads available, but never for the flagship smartphone.

In the documents, it appears Apple will offer 16GB and 64GB iPhone 6 with the flash storage built by Hynix, Nynix, and SanDisk. The 128GB model will be built by Toshiba.

Apple charges $199 on-contract for 16GB models, and adds $100 every time you double up the internal storage. If that model continues, the 128GB capacity should cost $499 off-contract, a hefty investment.

Previous reports had also claimed a 128GB variant, but that it would be reserved for the rumored 5.5-inch iPhone phablet.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple: Some iPhone 5s have battery problems, will be replaced

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2014 16:52

Apple: Some iPhone 5s have battery problems, will be replaced Apple has confirmed that a "very small percentage" of iPhone 5s that were sold in the U.S. or China have battery issues and will be replaced.

The batteries "may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently."

Reads the company's page on the matter: "Apple has determined that a very small percentage of iPhone 5 devices may suddenly experience shorter battery life or need to be charged more frequently. The affected iPhone 5 devices were sold between September 2012 and January 2013 and fall within a limited serial number range.

If your iPhone 5 is experiencing these symptoms and meets the eligibility requirements noted below, Apple will replace your iPhone 5 battery, free of charge."


Worried your phone may be affected? Check Apple's support page here.




AfterDawn: News

AfterDawn congratulates Dela on his 10 years of service

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 23 Aug 2014 7:24

AfterDawn congratulates Dela on his 10 years of service Today marks as a milestone for both AfterDawn, and our Irish senior staff member, James "Dela" Delahunty. He was the first hired employee of AfterDawn back in August 2004 when our site was slowly evolving from a hobby to a business.

Dela has been, and still is, an integral part of our team of tech journalists and has published several thousand news articles on our site through the past 10 years. His articles and guides have been read by millions and millions of people over the years.

I personally consider him, not just a colleague, but also my friend. A friend that I have never met in person, but who has been a part of the daily life of the entire AfterDawn team for more than a decade at first, as an active forum member and later, for the past 10 years, as a valuable member of our team.

If the next ten years turn out to be anything like the last, we will all be very happy indeed!

Thank you, mate!

On behalf of Team AfterDawn,

Petteri Pyyny, CEO
AfterDawn Oy



P.S. Here's a link to James' first-ever news article published on our site:


Music downloads in UK rise up 200% since June (23rd August, 2004)




AfterDawn: News

Report: iPhone 6 display hits supply chain 'snag'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Aug 2014 16:08

Report: iPhone 6 display hits supply chain 'snag' According to Reuters, Apple's suppliers have hit a "snag" in iPhone 6 display production, meaning there could be supply issues at launch next month.

Every year there is some sort of rumor about Apple not having enough phones to feed demand and indeed every year there are some delays especially for more popular colors.

It had been rumored previously that Apple's suppliers were already hit with delays thanks to making the screen thinner on the larger 4.7-inch display, which already pushed production back.

The latest problem relates to the backlighting of the display, which Apple believed was not bright enough.

Apple will launch the new iPhone 6 at a press event on September 9th.




AfterDawn: News

Disney unveils new 'Star Wars' mobile game

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Aug 2014 15:22

Disney unveils new 'Star Wars' mobile game Disney Interactive has announced this week the launch of a new mobile game, "Star Wars: Commander," a freemium game for iOS.

The game is the first from Disney after the giant acquired Lucasfilm for over $4 billion in late 2012.

Reads the description:

In the game, fans will join either the Rebel Alliance or the Galactic Empire to recruit and lead an unstoppable force across the Star Wars galaxy in epic battles to claim ultimate victory for their side.

Star Wars: Commander features the full array of vehicles, weapons and technology from the Star Wars universe. Players who rally to the Rebellion will call upon iconic heroes such as Han Solo, Chewbacca and Princess Leia to support missions for justice and freedom, while leaders of the Imperial forces will command AT-ATs, TIE fighters and Stormtroopers to gain control of the galaxy.

Star Wars: Commander also offers an original Star Wars storyline set within the Galactic Civil War of Episodes IV VI, where "commanders" determine if it's the Empire's strength and relentlessness or the Rebellion's heroism and resourcefulness that will win the war.


The game has already drawn comparisons to the incredibly popular Clash of Clans by Supercell, and Star Wars has the upper hand of a rabid fanbase and globally recognized characters.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Want to try a game before buying? Microsoft testing "Free Play Day" for Xbox One

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Aug 2014 13:00

Want to try a game before buying? Microsoft testing "Free Play Day" for Xbox One Microsoft has begun testing a "Free Play Day" feature that would allow Xbox One gamers to download games for free and play it for a 24-hour period as a sort of free trial.

Gamers in the U.S. that are part of the Xbox One console beta reported yesterday that 'Max: The Curse of Brotherhood' was made available as a free, unlocked title. It came with the label "Free Play Day with Gold" suggesting that you must be an Xbox Live Gold subscriber to take advantage.

Microsoft said nothing except that an official announcement would be made "shortly," suggesting it was a brand new feature that was not supposed to go live, yet.

Gold subscribers already get two Xbox One titles for free every month from a limited list so it appears that Microsoft is looking to add significant value to its $60-per-year subscription service.

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AfterDawn: News

PS4's strong sales leaves confused strategy within Sony

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Aug 2014 12:30

PS4's strong sales leaves confused strategy within Sony Earlier this month, Sony proudly boasted that the hit PlayStation 4 console had reached 10 million units sold in just 9 months, a record for the company.

While setting records for sales would normally be seen as a huge positive, the sales have left a confused strategy for Sony's head execs, who are now scrambling to figure out the future of the console.

Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida confirmed during a recent interview that the company does not know why the console is selling so hotly, and that not knowing could bring their team issues moving forward. For example, if the 10 million sales were all to hardcore gamers, once those run out, the company will have a very hard time predicting future sales as "casual gamers" may not find the PS4 a necessary expense.

Says Yoshida: "As soon as we see a great sales number, our instinct tells us we should be concerned about future sales, right? Are we exhausting all the core gamers? If we sell this number of units, there are no more consumers we can sell to. That's a really terrifying prospect."

Of course, there could be a nice mix of consumers purchasing the PS4, including those that simply want a Blu-ray player/set-top box combo. Sony will have a better grasp as the year continues on.

Read more...



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