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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft and Google agree to stop fighting

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2016 22:40

Microsoft and Google agree to stop fighting Microsoft and Google have agreed to drop all pending regulatory complaints against each other and have also agreed to settle future issues amongst themselves before filing a complaint.

"Microsoft has agreed to withdraw its regulatory complaints against Google, reflecting our changing legal priorities," said a Microsoft rep. "We will continue to focus on competing vigorously for business and for customers."

The two companies say the deal has been in the works for some time, but neither would comment on the current EU inquiry against Android. Microsoft was instrumental in that complaint through their membership in FairSearch and ICOMP, two groups supporting the antitrust inquiry.

But that was a different era, with different leadership, and it appears that CEOs Satya Nadella and Larry Page are much more willing to embrace partnerships than the previous management team.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung heads to Silicon Valley to gain outside business for its chip business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2016 21:17

Samsung heads to Silicon Valley to gain outside business for its chip business According to new reports, Samsung executives have been all over Silicon Valley this past week in efforts to secure more deals for their chipmaking business.

Samsung recently signed massive deals with Apple and Qualcomm and has been aiming to convince existing and new potential clients that it will rule the next generation of chip technology, just like it has with the current 14nm manufacturing process.

"We think we are leading again,"
Samsung Semiconductor senior director Kelvin Low added. "This is not a one-time success story."

The ultimate goal is to have a 10nm chip in production by the end of the year, and a new cost-optimized 14nm process, as well.

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AfterDawn: News

China bans Apple's iBooks Store and iTunes Movies Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2016 12:28

China bans Apple's iBooks Store and iTunes Movies Store The Chinese government has banned Apple's iBooks Store and iTunes Movies store in the nation, following new regulations that put strict regulations on foreign online publishing.

The Chinese State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television had demanded Apple shut down the service pending the new rules. "We hope to make books and movies available again to our customers in China as soon as possible," said Apple when asked for comment.

China is Apple's second-largest market so it makes sense to have the stores brought up to "code" to ensure they are available to hundreds of millions of consumers.

Last month, the regulations came into effect, implicitly stating that all content must be stored on servers in China. Additionally, there were prohibitions made on foreign ownership in online publishing.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft earnings: Surface sales up, Windows Phone sales down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2016 11:57

Microsoft earnings: Surface sales up, Windows Phone sales down Earlier this week, Microsoft stated their Q3 2016 fiscal earnings report and unsurprisingly Windows Phone sales fell again while Surface sales increased.

Overall, the company made $3.8 billion in net profit on $20.5 billion in revenue, down year-over-year but still near record highs for the company.

Surface revenue was up large, at $1.1 billion for the quarter, 61 percent growth year-over-year, thanks to strong sales of the new Surface Book and Surface Pro 4.

On the other end of the spectrum, Windows Phone sales nosedived, with Microsoft selling just 2.3 million Lumia phones during the quarter, down 73 percent year-over-year. Revenue fell 46 percent for the phones.

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AfterDawn: News

Report: Apple hires former Tesla engineer for car project

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2016 11:11

Report: Apple hires former Tesla engineer for car project Apple's "Project Titan" may have just gotten a new boss.

According to multiple reports, former Tesla VP of vehicle engineering Chris Porritt left the company in September 2015 and will begin working for Apple, likely as the head of their electric car project.

There has been some serious poaching between the two companies in recent years, with reports stating Tesla has hired over 150 Apple employees, some of which were poached directly. On the reverse end, Tesla CEO Elon Musk made it clear that nobody goes from Tesla to Apple. "Important engineers? They have hired people we've fired," Musk said. "We always jokingly call Apple the 'Tesla Graveyard' If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I'm not kidding."

Porritt, however, was certainly an important executive. Before Tesla, Porritt worked at Aston Martin, creating the One-77, and before that he spent 10 years at Land Rover leaving as principal engineer in vehicle dynamics.

With the addition of Porritt, there may be some more proof that Project Titan isn't just vaporware.

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AfterDawn: News

Facebook adds group voice calls to popular Messenger app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2016 10:43

Facebook adds group voice calls to popular Messenger app Facebook has announced the addition of group voice calls to their popular Messenger app, starting with the latest update for iOS and Android.

Messenger currently has 900 million users, and Facebook says once you update you will see a "new phone icon" when in group conversations. Hitting the icon will start a phone call with everyone in the group.

The new addition gives Messenger nearly all the features of Skype, the only difference being that you need to have a Facebook account to use Messenger and not everyone cares to have one. Skype also offers group video chat, which we assume is Facebook's next logical update for Messenger.

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AfterDawn: News

Opera adds free built-in VPN to browser

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2016 14:29

Opera adds free built-in VPN to browser Opera has added an incredible new perk to their web browser, a free and unlimited VPN.

If you download the developer version of the browser, you "Now, you don't have to download VPN extensions or pay for VPN subscriptions to access blocked websites and to shield your browsing when on public Wi-Fi," said the company.

Opera notes that nearly 500 million people have tried or are currently running VPNs to protect their browsing and that number could jump if a significant amount of Opera's nearly 100 million active users switch over.

In addition, Opera has improved their built-in ad-blocking software, making the browser pretty formidable.

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AfterDawn: News

Google celebrates the release of Chrome 50 with a large infographic

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2016 13:55

Google celebrates the release of Chrome 50 with a large infographic Google has celebrated the release of Chrome 50 this week, the 50th major update of the popular web browser, with a fun infographic.

There are over 1 billion mobile users, says Google, suggesting that a significant amount of Android users have continued to use the default browser and that Apple and Windows users may be using Chrome, as well.

Check out the infographic embedded here:

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AfterDawn: News

Apple settles Siri lawsuit for $25 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2016 13:16

Apple settles Siri lawsuit for $25 million Apple has agreed to pay $25 million to settle a long-standing lawsuit brought by Dynamic Advances over alleged patent infringement.

The tech giant had been accused of violating patents with its Siri voice tech, with the suit claiming that Siri was really created at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and then licensed to Dynamic before Apple introduced it in 2011 with the iPhone 4S.

Under the settlement, Dynamic Advances will receive $5 million immediately and the other $20 million after conditions are met. Apple will receive a patent license in exchange.

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AfterDawn: News

Report: Many families rely on just mobile Internet, cut out home connections

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2016 12:43

Report: Many families rely on just mobile Internet, cut out home connections According to new data, Americans are curring back on home wired Internet, with many (especially poorer) families opting for just mobile web.

The data is from a sample of 53,000 Americans and the study was conducted by the U.S. Commerce Department.

Over 30 percent of households that earn less than $25,000 per year exclusively use mobile Internet, up from 16 percent just 3 years ago. Additionally, 18 percent of households that make $50,000 to $75,000 are now mobile-only, 17 percent of households making $75,000 to $100,000 are mobile-only and even 15 percent of households earning over $100,000 have made the switch.

While it makes the most sense to see lower-income families sticking to just one form of paid Internet, the higher income families making the consciensous choice to go mobile-only is certainly interesting.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft finally discontinues Xbox 360

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2016 22:28

Microsoft finally discontinues Xbox 360 Following the console's 10-year anniversary, Microsoft has stopped manufacturing the Xbox 360, letting it retire as rumors of an Xbox One successor swirl.

The Xbox 360 was an incredibly popular console, selling over 85 million units since launch in 2006.

Reads Microsoft's statement:

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AfterDawn: News

New 12-inch MacBook offers better battery life, new colors

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2016 23:21

New 12-inch MacBook offers better battery life, new colors Apple has launched new MacBooks today, adding a rose gold color and better battery life in addition to other new standard features.

The new 12-inch ultra has a Retina Display, a Force Touch trackpad, USB-C charging and syncing and a ridiculously thin and tiny frame at just 13.1 millimeters thin and 2 pounds.

Apple's base model has a sixth-generation dual-core Intel Core M processor, Intel HD Graphics 515, 8 GB RAM and 256GB internal storage for $1299.

The company says battery life is now up to 11 hours for standard web browsing.

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AfterDawn: News

Report: Apple actively seeking talent for original content via Apple TV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2016 22:30

Report: Apple actively seeking talent for original content via Apple TV According to new reports, Apple is actively seeking "triple A-list" talent for new content that will stream exclusively via the Apple TV set-top box and iTunes.

Industry watchers say the push is similar to that of Amazon who went all-out and spent millions to hire former "Top Gear" hosts for original programming via Amazon Prime.

To start, Apple is looking to develop an original TV series in-house although other sources say Apple is looking to push out multiple series at once, in efforts to steal significant market in a short period of time.

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix is down for Sean Parker's controversial 'The Screening Room' rental service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2016 21:26

Netflix is down for Sean Parker's controversial 'The Screening Room' rental service Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos made an interesting note during yesterday's earnings conference call, saying the company is open to having Netflix's original content available via Sean Parker's "The Screening Room" rental service.

The service (which has never been confirmed), would allow users to rent films that are currently in theaters for $50, allowing families and friends to watch new movies from the comfort of their homes.

"We wouldn't mind having our films available on that product," Sarandos said. "To me, it would be a great way to get content to consumers, if they want to pay for it."

The Screening Room is a very interesting concept, albeit controversial for the very traditional film industry. In concept, you pay $150 upfront for a specialized set-top box, and then $50 per 48-hour rental. For the price you will also reportedly get 2 tickets to see the film in theaters, thus keeping the theater chains and distributors happy, as well.

Of course, the expectation is that Netflix will not charge $50 to rent their films, especially since you can sign up for a month for $9.99 and get unlimited access to the same movie and hundreds of others.

Source:
BI




AfterDawn: News

Report: PS4.5 'Neo' brings 4K, faster CPU, GPU and RAM

Written by James Delahunty @ 19 Apr 2016 3:43

Report: PS4.5 'Neo' brings 4K, faster CPU, GPU and RAM According to a report, Sony's new PS4.5, codenamed 'Neo', will feature support for 4K output and improve the CPU, GPU and RAM.

Specifically, the Neo will also have a CPU with 8 Jaguar Cores but clocked at 2.1 GHz, compared to the original PS4. It also features an Improved GPU: AMD GCN, 36 CUs at 911 MHz. Like the original, it will pack 8 GB GDDR5 RAM, but will kick up to 218 GB/s from 176 GB/s.

The specs come from Giant Bomb, cited from documents obtained by the site.

Owners of PS4s should be happy that Sony will require that all games run on both the original and Neo hardware, although of course they will run better on the Neo. Older games can also be patched to take advantage of the upgraded specs too, perhaps pushing up the framerate.

Developers also won't be permitted to offer exclusive options or unlockables for Neo owners.

The documents don't provide a release schedule for the upgraded hardware, but do state that all games shipping in October or later will need to support the Neo.





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