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AfterDawn: News

Windows 10 getting biometric authentication support including iris scan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2015 14:06

Windows 10 getting biometric authentication support including iris scan Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 is getting biometric authentication, including the ability to unlock your tablet, PC and smartphone with a finger, iris or face scan.

Dubbed 'Windows Hello,' the authentication of course will require the specialized hardware necessary for such scans "including a fingerprint reader, illuminated IR sensor or other biometric sensors." For the iris or facial recognition, Microsoft says software will accurately verify your identity and the company promises that using a picture or other image won't work. Infrared tech also ensures that even if it is dark out, you can be recognized.

Reads the press release: "Windows Hello introduces system support for biometric authentication – using your face, iris, or fingerprint to unlock your devices – with technology that is much safer than traditional passwords. You– uniquely you– plus your device are the keys to your Windows experience, apps, data and even websites and services – not a random assortment of letters and numbers that are easily forgotten, hacked, or written down and pinned to a bulletin board. Modern sensors recognize your unique personal characteristics to sign-you-in on a supporting Windows 10 device.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony's PlayStation Vue live streaming TV service is here

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2015 13:06

Sony's PlayStation Vue live streaming TV service is here It's finally here, but it won't come cheap.

Sony has officially launched its live streaming TV service, PlayStation Vue, in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.

The live streaming TV service also has on-demand content and will launch with major content partners like CBS, Discovery, Animal Planet, Syfy, Food Network, Fox News and many, many more.

Available for the PS3 and PS4, the service also offers personalization options, cloud-based DVR recording without storage limits for up to 28 days after airing and discovery tools to help you find new programs you may like.

Starting at $50 for a 'core' package of CBS, Fox, NBC and 25 other channels, the service is more expensive than recently launched Sling TV but does offer more bang for the buck. For $60, you get Core plus regional sports and some movie channels and for $70 you get the "Elite" package of everything and an additional 25 "lifestyle, music and family channels." At $70, however, are you really saving much off your cable subscription?

Full list of channels:

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AfterDawn: News

Facebook Messenger adds ability to send money to friends, family

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2015 12:54

Facebook Messenger adds ability to send money to friends, family After being rumored for months, Facebook has officially added the ability to send and receive money through its Messenger application.

The service is completely free and all you have to do is hit the "$" icon in Messenger to get started. The funds are sent immediately but depending on your bank, could take 1-3 business days to show up. You will need to use a Visa or MasterCard debit card for the service, as it does not accept credit cards as of writing.

"We use secure systems that encrypt the connection between you and Facebook as well as your card information when you ask us to store it for you," and users can add an additional PIN or iOS Touch ID for added protection.

Facebook is so transparent about the security that it has even created teams separate from its normal employees for the new system. "These payment systems are kept in a secured environment that is separate from other parts of the Facebook network and that receive additional monitoring and control. A team of anti-fraud specialists monitor for suspicious purchase activity to help keep accounts safe," added the company.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft testing Windows 10 ROM that can turn your Android phone into a Windows phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2015 11:42

Microsoft testing Windows 10 ROM that can turn your Android phone into a Windows phone Among other big news revealed this week, Microsoft has also announced that it is trying out Windows 10 software that can effectively turn an Android device into a Windows device.

The company is testing the ROM with Xiaomi Mi 4 users and sources says "that it effectively overrides Android, turning the Xiaomi phone into a Windows 10 device complete with Microsoft services."

Of course, the overall goal is to have the new software impress users so that they might move away from Google and towards Microsoft, which may be a hard task. Microsoft was quick to note that the software is not a dual-boot option, but a full ROM, similar to Cyanogen and other developers have used to push their operating system to existing devices.

Says Microsoft: "As part of the Windows Insider Program, Microsoft will partner with Xiaomi to offer Windows 10 free downloads to a select group of Xiaomi Mi4 users. Xiaomi Mi4 users will get the ability to flash their phones with the new Windows 10 OS and provide feedback to Xiaomi and Microsoft on their experience. This partnership will allow Xiaomi and Microsoft to get direct user feedback and continue to improve the experience for China. Microsoft is thrilled to see Xiaomi embracing Windows 10 and offering this great value to their customers. We're excited to see the feedback we receive from this audience.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft wants to kill off the Internet Explorer brand

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2015 10:52

Microsoft wants to kill off the Internet Explorer brand Microsoft has confirmed that its upcoming browser, codenamed Project Spartan, will not keep the Internet Explorer name used for the last 20 years.

Marketing head Chris Capossela says the company is working on a new brand and name for the browser, and is actively testing with focus groups. "We're now researching what the new brand, or the new name, for our browser should be in Windows 10," said Capossela. "We'll continue to have Internet Explorer, but we'll also have a new browser called Project Spartan, which is codenamed Project Spartan. We have to name the thing."

Internet Explorer will not be completely dead, as it will remain around for enterprise compatibility, but Project Spartan is the future. The new browser will also likely use Microsoft in the title, as just having the name Microsoft has shown to increase appeal, added Capossela.

While the name may not be 'appealing,' Internet Explorer still controls over 40 percent of global market share.

Source:
Verge




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft letting all Chinese Windows users upgrade to Windows 10 for free, even from pirated versions

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2015 10:04

Microsoft letting all Chinese Windows users upgrade to Windows 10 for free, even from pirated versions Microsoft has made an unprecedented move today, announcing that all Chinese Windows users will be able to upgrade to Windows 10, for free - even if you are running a pirated version.

Over the past decade, studies have found that between 60-75 percent of Chinese users run pirated versions of Windows, with most of those users running Windows XP, which is over a decade old and vulnerable to security exploits.

Terry Myerson, head of Microsoft's Windows division, announced the move this week: "We are upgrading all qualified PCs, genuine and non-genuine, to Windows 10." He did not say much else except to note that the company is looking to "re-engage" with hundreds of millions of Chinese Windows users.

Besides the desktop OS, Microsoft is working with Qihoo, Tencent and Lenovo in China to bring Windows to the mainstream, and the companies are actively working on Windows Phone devices, or Windows 10 apps for their software.

Outside of China, Microsoft is offering Windows 10 for free to licensed Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 owners, the first time it has offered an operating system upgrade for free.

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AfterDawn: News

Nintendo confirms next-generation console, codenamed 'NX'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Mar 2015 22:31

Nintendo confirms next-generation console, codenamed 'NX' Alongside its announcement that it would be creating mobile games, Nintendo also confirmed it's already working on a next-gen console, codenamed 'NX.'

CEO Satoru Iwata says the NX is "a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept" although he did not elaborate.

Iwata noted that more information would be revealed 'next year,' either at E3 or at a dedicated press event.

"As proof that Nintendo maintains strong enthusiasm for the dedicated game system business, let me confirm that Nintendo is currently developing a dedicated game platform with a brand-new concept under the development codename 'NX,'" Iwata said.

Check the video here:




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo fans rejoice as first-party characters are headed to mobile devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Mar 2015 22:00

Nintendo fans rejoice as first-party characters are headed to mobile devices After years of rejecting the notion, Nintendo has announced that it will begin making games for mobile devices thanks to a partnership with large Japanese mobile gaming company DeNA.

Investors were extremely happy with the news, taking the company's stock up over 30 percent following the announcement.

DeNA is set to begin developing new smartphone and tablet games featuring Nintendo characters this year. Each company also invested $181 million in each other, giving Nintendo a 10 percent stake in DeNA and giving DeNA a near 1 percent stake in Nintendo.

There are not expected to be any first-party titles headed to iOS and Android (including no ports), but instead games that are designed for smartphones including characters like Mario, Donkey Kong and Link, for example.

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AfterDawn: News

Google offers $50 in Google Play Store credit for new Nexus 6, 9 and Android Wear purchases

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Mar 2015 21:35

Google offers $50 in Google Play Store credit for new Nexus 6, 9 and Android Wear purchases Google has begun offering $50 in free Play Store Credit with any new purchase of a Nexus 6, Nexus 9 or any Android Wear device.

Valid through March 31st, you must purchase directly through Google to take advantage of the promotion.

In addition, Google has dropped the price of the Sony SmartWatch 3 to $150 from its normal $200 and you still get the credit. Anyone who was on the fence before for the Sony watch, this may be the ideal time.

Check the terms here: Google Play Store




AfterDawn: News

The Snapdragon 810 really does have an overheating problem

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Mar 2015 20:05

The Snapdragon 810 really does have an overheating problem Over the past couple of months, there has been a persistent rumor that Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 processor has a horrible overheating problem.

No company has openly confirmed the rumor, but Samsung did come pretty close when it ditched the processor for its upcoming Galaxy S6 flagship.

Tweakers.net put a few devices to the test with a thermal camera while they were running the intensive GFXBench benchmark application, and the HTC One M9, which is powered by the 810, saw temperatures as high as 55.4 degrees Celsius, a scorching 132 degrees Fahrenheit.

The other phones tested were all significantly cooler, all of which were around 40 degrees Celsius (about 104 degrees F).

At 132 degrees, the phone is certainly uncomfortable to hold, and could be dangerous if, for example, a battery catches on fire. By comparison, the site says a desktop GPU could run at 132 degrees when playing a high-end game, but those cards have better ways to dissipate heat.

Source:
Tweakers




AfterDawn: News

Yahoo creating 'on-demand' passwords

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Mar 2015 19:35

Yahoo creating 'on-demand' passwords Yahoo has confirmed what most of us already know, that the password system is antiquated and does not protect you from anything.

The tech giant has taken the first step to eliminate passwords, creating an "on-demand" password system that allows you to login with just your username and a unique code that is sent to your registered linked phone.

Basically, the system is like two-step authentication, although without the password portion of it, so in essence it seems just as secure as normal two-step but with the added luxury of not needing to remember a password.

If you live in the U.S., you can activate the new on-demand system now through the account info page and then "security."

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AfterDawn: News

Valve gets lowest possible customer service rating from BBB

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Mar 2015 18:59

Valve gets lowest possible customer service rating from BBB Gaming company Valve has received the lowest possible rating for customer service from the Better Business Bureau, an F on a scale that ranges from F to A+.

Reads the BBB's page: "On June 25, 2013, BBB recognized a pattern of complaints from consumers regarding product, service and customer service issues. Consumers allege the games they purchase from Valve Corporation or Steam malfunction, do not work or have an invalid CD key. Consumers also claim the company blocks users from accessing their library of games. Consumers further allege they attempt to contact the company for assistance, but Valve Corporation fails to correct the gaming issues, does not correct credit card charges or issue a refund, or does not respond at all."

Overall, there were 718 complaints filed against Valve and Valve did not respond to 503 of them, a shockingly high figure. Another 17 received a response but were not resolved.

Valve was quick to respond to the low rating, although they didn't seem to care too much about the BBB but did admit that customer support needed some work. "We don't use them for much. They don't provide us as useful of data as customers emailing us, posting on Reddit, posting on Twitter, and so on," said Valve's Erik Johnson. "The more important thing is that we don't feel like our customer service support is where it needs to be right now. We think customers are right."

"When they say our support's bad, our initial reaction isn't to say, 'No, it's actually good. Look at all of this.' It's to say that, no, they're probably right, because they usually are when it comes to this kind of thing. We hear those complaints, and that's gonna be a big focus for us throughout the year. We have a lot of work to do there. We have to do better."

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AfterDawn: News

YouTube launching subscription VOD service?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Mar 2015 18:33

YouTube launching subscription VOD service? According to a new report, YouTube may be considering a subscription VOD service for its most popular original content.

Most likely, this means ad-free videos from 'YouTube Originals' content makers.

If accurate, the service would be similar to the new YouTube Music Key, which gives users free unlimited streaming from Google Play Music in addition to access to select ad-free music videos on YouTube for $9.99 per month.

The move would make sense in the ongoing content wars as rivals continue to offer lucrative deals to poach hitmakers.

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AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry has unveiled the SecuTABLET, a new secure tablet for governments, enterprises

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Mar 2015 12:55

BlackBerry has unveiled the SecuTABLET, a new secure tablet for governments, enterprises In a new partnership with IBM and Samsung, BlackBerry has announced a new secure tablet aimed at enterprises and governments.

The SecuTABLET is based on the Galaxy Tab S 10.5.

"Security is ingrained in every part of BlackBerry's portfolio, which includes voice and data encryption solutions," said Dr. Hans-Christoph Quelle, CEO of Secusmart GmbH, a BlackBerry company. "National and international government customers have entrusted their voice and data communications with the Secusmart Security Card for years. This same technology is what secures the new SecuTABLET. Working alongside IBM and Samsung, we have added the last link in the chain of the Federal Security Network. Subject to certification of the SecuTABLET, German government agencies will have a new way to access BlackBerry's most secure and complete communications network in the world."

For more on the tablet and its security certifications, check the release: Cebit 2105 News




AfterDawn: News

Cyanogen close to raising another $110 million in its efforts to take on Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Mar 2015 12:24

Cyanogen close to raising another $110 million in its efforts to take on Android Cyanogen, the company trying to disrupt the mobile operating system space, is close to raising $110 million in new funding.

Notably absent from the funding round is Microsoft, who had been negotiating but decided not to invest. The software giant is expected to continue negotiating a commercial deal, however, one that would get some of its software on Cyanogen devices.

Leading the investment round is PremjiInvest, the investment company of the chairman of massive Indian IT firm Wipro. The reports suggest Cyanogen could be giving up significant equity for the funds, which could value the company at $500 million.

Cyanogen builds an operating system built on Android that allows users more customization and offers speed and efficiency.

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