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The Loop denies report that Apple tried to buy Square

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Sep 2014 1:00

The Loop denies report that Apple tried to buy Square Earlier today, TechCrunch reported on Square's recent $100 million raise, at a $6 billion valuation that firmly places the mobile payment service as one of the hottest tech startups in the world.

Interestingly, the report also claimed that Apple had talked with Square over a possible acquisition, but that Square was the one to walk away. Read the report:

"Separately, TechCrunch has heard from multiple sources that Square and Apple were recently in acquisition talks, but that Square walked away. Apple wanted the company to come aboard, according to one source, but the discussed price was a sticking point: The tipster held that Apple wanted to buy Square for less than half of the $6 billion valuation it eventually would raise at (around $3 billion). Square, valued at the time at a firm 66 percent delta to that price point, declined to accept.

Apple also showed Square a software register, restaurant and spa booking services and a payment system for iPhones said the same source. This did not sit well with Square execs, who felt like the products would compete with their own offerings."


Longtime Apple insider Jim Dalrymple was quick to refute that report, however, simply saying "nope" to the fact that the talks even happened. We tend to agree with the latter, as there is no way Apple could justify paying $3 billion or more for a hardware based solution when they were working on a digital solution for mobile payments.

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AfterDawn: News

GTA 5 release dates for PC, PS4, Xbox One revealed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Sep 2014 0:19

GTA 5 release dates for PC, PS4, Xbox One revealed Rockstar has revealed the release dates for Grand Theft Auto V for PC, the PS4 and the Xbox One.

Current-gen gamers will be happy to know the game will be available on November 18th, while PC gamers will have to wait a few more months until January 27th, 2015.

In addition to the slightly improved graphics and higher resolution, the games also have increased draw distances, and denser traffic and foliage as well as new vehicles, weapons and extended activities. Pre-orderers will also get $1 million in-game cash.

Since the music is a big part of the game, as well, Rockstar has added 100 new songs and DJ mixes to the radio.

If you own the game for Xbox 360 and PS3, you can migrate your character to the current-gen systems and keep on playing.

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AfterDawn: News

Consumer Oculus Rift VR headset could begin roll out by summer of next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2014 22:39

Consumer Oculus Rift VR headset could begin roll out by summer of next year According to multiple source, Oculus VR could begin rolling out their Oculus Rift VR headset for consumers starting next summer.

Supposedly, a beta model will be released in limited quantities as early as April.

Currently, there have been tens of thousands of Dev Kits released including those sent to backers of the crowdfunded company.

How expensive can we expect the consumer model to be? Co-founders Palmer Luckey and Nate Micthell say they would prefer to keep the prices the same as the Dev Kits, which are $300-$400. "We want to stay in that $200-$400 price range," said Micthell. "That could slide in either direction depending on scale, pre-orders, the components we end up using, business negotiations..." Luckey added.

Oculus' final consumer tech is said to be so great that gamers are eagerly awaiting its release. Oculus even has some "secret" tech that supposedly was so mind blowing that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a bid for the company immediately after having tested it. The company ended up buying Oculus VR for $2 billion.

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AfterDawn: News

Video: Windows 9 Start Menu in action

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2014 22:10

Video: Windows 9 Start Menu in action German tech site WinFuture has posted a few videos showing off the features of the upcoming Start Menu for Windows 9.

Microsoft also showed a demo earlier this year, mixing Live Tiles, Modern apps and legacy apps.

Account options are pinned to the top, while shutdown/restart have their own button. The Start Menu itself has two sections, one for legacy apps and then a second section on the right for modern apps with Live Tiles. It will work in general like the Windows 7 start menu, allowing for pinned apps, favorites, recently used and a full list of your installed apps.

Tablet users can continue to use their regular Start Screen, but keyboard/mouse users can choose to default right to the desktop.

Check the videos here:


Windows 9: Startmenü geht auch ganz ohne Live Tiles






AfterDawn: News

Historic Atari games found in landfill to be sold on eBay or donated to museums

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Sep 2014 21:26

Historic Atari games found in landfill to be sold on eBay or donated to museums A few months ago, following decades of myth, construction workers and a documentary crew were able to find over 1200 Atari 2600 games including the infamously bad E.T. in a landfill in New Mexico.

The games had been dumped in 1983 when the video game industry crashed, and the story had never been confirmed until they were unearthed.

What will they do with the game now that the documentary has been completed? "The primary goal is that they go into museums and the story be told," said dig site manager Joe Lewandowski. "The second is that they go into the city inventory for whatever we decide to do with them. The balance is what we will sell."

That being said, about 800 of the cartridges will be sold, and the first lot is headed to eBay in the coming weeks. Some of the titles are expected to get a couple of hundred each, but the story itself is much more important than the actual games. There was also a lot less games found then had been rumored. Most of the rumors of the last three decades had assumed there were over 500,000 games buried, but the final figure was a fraction of that.

It is unclear which museums will have interest in the collection.

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AfterDawn: News

New Nintendo 3DS XL looks like an NES controller

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Sep 2014 22:30

New Nintendo 3DS XL looks like an NES controller Nintendo has unveiled a new model of the 3DS XL that should excite some retro gamers.

The new device is themed after the original NES, with the device looking like a controller and the box designed like the console. Nintendo says the handheld will be available on October 10th for $200, but if you want it you will have to get it through Gamestop, who has the exclusive.

In the past, Nintendo also offered the Gameboy SP and the Gameboy Micro with an NES design so it's not a completely original idea.

If you don't care for the NES but still want an updated 3DS XL, Nintendo is also offering a red Super Smash Bros starting next week, and a blue Persona Q available in November, both for $199.99. Shockingly, Nintendo is not including the games with the themed DS consoles.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft trying to say goodbye to Windows Phone and Nokia brands

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 20:43

Microsoft trying to say goodbye to Windows Phone and Nokia brands Microsoft will drop the Nokia and Windows Phone brands after the holiday season, sticking instead with Lumia and Windows for their products.

The evidence comes via an alleged internal document, although Microsoft had not yet confirmed the move.

In the document, Microsoft says "As part of our phased transition, we will drop the manufacturer name [Nokia] from product references during the Holiday campaign. Windows will take the place of Windows Phone, with Lumia for phone models."

The move to get rid of the Nokia name makes perfect sense given that Nokia is still an active company and Microsoft only acquired their handset business. Getting rid of Windows Phone as a brand also makes sense since the company is looking to complete its Windows ecosystem. Windows Phone and Windows RT are the odd men out.

Most new Lumia commercials and spots don't even show Windows Phone anywhere now, so the move is not unexpected.

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AfterDawn: News

The Xbox One October system update adds great features including MKV support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 13:25

The Xbox One October system update adds great features including MKV support Microsoft has released the changelog for the upcoming October system update, which adds a ton of new features and highly anticipated updates.

Those who are part of the invite-only preview program are already seeing some of the features via an early rollout.

The full changelog:

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon Android app update brings Prime Instant Video to your smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 12:43

Amazon Android app update brings Prime Instant Video to your smartphones Amazon has updated their Android phone app this week, adding Prime Instant Video streaming services for users in the U.S., UK and Germany.

In addition to being able to shop as usual from the app, Prime subscribers can also watch tens of thousands of TV episodes and movies.

Unfortunately, Amazon has made it a bit of a process to actually start watching the shows and films. Once you update your Amazon app, you will be re-directed to an in-app download of the Amazon Instant Video player app, which needs to be downloaded from the Amazon Appstore, not the Googly Play Store. To be able to download from the Amazon App Store you will have to change your phone settings to be able to install apps from "unknown sources."

Not the easiest process, but it only has to be done once. If you don't feel comfortable downloading from "unknown sources" (even a giant like Amazon) you will not be able to stream the video on your phone.

Amazon has recently made some big deals for their streaming service, including adding older HBO shows and adding a number of original shows. Prime costs $99 per year and gives you free two-day shipping on most items, free Prime Instant Video, free Kindle books and free Amazon Prime Music.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft Xbox One has horrible launch in Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 12:15

Microsoft Xbox One has horrible launch in Japan Following its recent launch in the nation, the Microsoft Xbox One had a rough time selling in Japan.

Just like its predecessor, the Xbox One had a terrible launch, selling just 23,562 units in its first week of availability. While the Xbox 360 was also a failure, it sold over 60,000 in its first week back in 2005.

Japanese-based Sony and Nintendo had much more impressive launches for their current-gen consoles, with the Wii U seeing 300,000 units sold in two days and the PS4 seeing 322,000 in its first week.

Microsoft just launched the console in 27 new nations including Japan.

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AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm introduces Snapdragon 210 mid-range chipset for affordable devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 11:47

Qualcomm introduces Snapdragon 210 mid-range chipset for affordable devices Qualcomm has introduced their Snapdragon 210 chipset for mid-range devices, offering solid specs at an affordable price.

The chipset adds LTE Cat.4 connectivity and dual-SIM support among other features.

Boasting a quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with up to 1.1 GHz, the chip has an Adreno 304 GPU with 720p display support, 8MP camera support, 1080p video recording/playback, the aforementioned LTE and dual-SIM LTE support.

Additionally, the chip has Quick Charge 2.0 support allowing for faster charging.

Qualcomm says it believes the chip will be used in the world's first sub-$100 LTE-A smartphones starting in the Q1 2015.

Source:
GSMA




AfterDawn: News

Russian hacker releases 5 million old Gmail accounts and passwords

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 11:03

Russian hacker releases 5 million old Gmail accounts and passwords Russian hacker 'tvskit' has released 4.93 million Gmail email addresses and passwords on the popular Russian Bitcoin forum BTSec, although the forum was quick to remove the files and also redact the passwords.

Tvskit claimed that 60 percent of the passwords were still valid, but Google denied that claim, stating that the list was created from previous lists of compromised email addresses, and that current accounts are unaffected.

Other forum users say the list had passwords that were upwards of 10 years old, and that many of the accounts had been deactivated or suspended for some time.

Besides the Gmail list, there was also a smaller list for Yandex emails.

Source:
DailyDot




AfterDawn: News

R.I.P. Apple iPod Classic

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Sep 2014 0:26

R.I.P. Apple iPod Classic Hidden among their high profile announcements today, Apple quietly discontinued the iPod Classic and the old 30-pin connector.

With today's website refresh to add the Apple Watch and iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, Apple has removed the iPod Classic page, leaving just the iPod Touch as the only dedicated media player.

The death of the Classic was a long time coming. The original design started in 2004, and the Classic was last updated 5 years ago when they added a large HDD model. Audiophiles were fans because you could store tons of music on the devices, but they featured old-school clickwheels and did not fit in Apple's elegant touchscreen lineup.

In addition to the iPod Classic, Apple also said goodbye to the iPhone 4S, meaning they no longer offer devices with the old 30-pin connector, so that to has been removed from the site.




AfterDawn: News

EA Access for Xbox One adds 'Need for Speed Rivals'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Sep 2014 23:19

EA Access for Xbox One adds 'Need for Speed Rivals' Electronic Arts, who recently took their EA Access gaming subscription service out of beta, has added a new title.

As of writing, EA Access subs can now play Need for Speed Rivals, joining Battlefield 4, FIFA 14, Peggle 2, and Madden NFL 25 as fully playable titles.

The service is available in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, UK, and the US. The service costs $5 per month or $30 per year and give access to downloadable games through "The Vault," a small but growing collection of EA games.

In addition to the cheap gaming on older games, EA Access members also get 10 percent off EA games and other content including DLC and free trials of new EA games up to five days before their retail dates.

You can buy passes to EA Access on Amazon and at GameStop.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft on verge of deal to purchase Minecraft creator Mojang

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Sep 2014 22:47

Microsoft on verge of deal to purchase Minecraft creator Mojang According to multiple sources, Microsoft is in deep discussions to buy 'Minecraft' maker Mojang AB, at a $2 billion price tag.

The Swedish gaming company has so far stayed away from investments, especially from major corporations, giving founder Markus 'Notch' Persson a highly regarded reputation amongst gamers.

Minecraft has sold over 50 million copies since launch in 2009, across platforms that include the PC, PlayStation, Xbox and phones. The game is also wildly profitable, with Mojang bringing in over $100 million in profit last year from game and merchandise sales. The company only has 40 employees, and had nearly $300 million in revenue last year. Mojang has also recently signed licensing deals with Scholastic for tutorial books, LEGO for toys and even Warner Bros. for a feature film.

Mojang also charges a one-time fee for their games, unlike most others that offer freemium models. The games range from $7-$30 depending on system.

A Microsoft purchase would be a move away from new CEO Satya Nadella's decision to focus on core products, although adding Minecraft could help the company's mobile division, its Xbox gaming division and and its PC Windows division if used correctly. The game has never been available for Windows Phone and Windows 8 users have to download it directly from Mojang as Notch refuses to have it available through the Windows Store, where Microsoft takes a cut.

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