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Hackers threaten to DDoS Xbox Live and PSN on Christmas

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 24 Dec 2016 10:01

Hackers threaten to DDoS Xbox Live and PSN on Christmas A group of hackers that recently took down Tumblr have threatened to attack gamers next. The group called R.I.U. Star Patrol has said that the next targets are online console gaming services from Microsoft and Sony.

The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on Tumblr earlier this week took the service down for a couple hours. R.I.U. Star Patrol, a group that is apparently newly formed or not previously active in hacking, took credit for the attack. Now the group told in a YouTube interview with Gaming news site 7421Max that it is planning to shut down Xbox Live and PlayStation Network.

Not only are they attacking two extremely popular gaming services, they plan to execute the attack on Christmas day. The group says there are no motives outside of just having a little bit of fun.

If the DDoS attacks do take down the services it is certainly not going to be fun for thousands of people opening their presents and finding a new online game. One can only hope that Sony and Microsoft have taken all the necessary measures to ensure working services to the best of their abilities.

PlayStation Network and Xbox Live were taken down on Christmas 2014 by a group called Lizard Squad.

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AfterDawn: News

The new MacBook Pro is plagued by battery problems

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 23 Dec 2016 14:27

The new MacBook Pro is plagued by battery problems Apple latest and greatest laptop, the new MacBook Pro, is obviously lighter and more powerful than ever but there might be some caveats you should be aware of. Many have been mesmerized by the new Touch Bar but there might be a problem under the hood that you didn't expect.

Many early adopters (or reviewers) have complained that the battery doesn't meet the expectations. Some have said that it doesn't improve the battery life from the previous model, as you would expect with an Apple product, others have gone as far as saying that it is way worse than with the predecessor.

Now Consumer Reports have declined a recommendation for the MacBook Pro because it found severe problems with the battery life. In the same test all the MacBook models they tested (both 13" and 15" and with or without Touch Bar) got hugely varying results.

For example on Touch Bar enabled 13 inch model, you could get a fairly good 16 hours but later with the same test not even finish four hours of testing.

Customers Reports explains that its test includes only visiting websites on default settings (and default browser, Safari) for as long as the battery lasts. It's certainly should not be CPU or battery intensive so results on the upper end are expected.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft admits it pushed Windows 10 update too aggressively

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 23 Dec 2016 11:40

Microsoft admits it pushed Windows 10 update too aggressively Microsoft's unofficial podcast Windows Weekly had a surprise guest in Microsoft's Chief Marketing Officer Chris Capossela. In the podcast he reviewed the year for the Redmond giant.

Even though the year was very successful to the company – and in some fronts not, *ahem* smartphones *ahem* – there definitely were things that could've been done better. One of the things was how Windows 10 was marketed and pushed to customers. Mr. Capossela admitted that Windows 10 update procedure went too far in terms of pushing the update, Softpedia reports.

According to Capossela the exact moment when Microsoft crossed the line was when the red X in the dialog box no longer cancelled the update but instead ran it in the background. He said it was clear fairly soon that they went too far but backpedaling and releasing another update took some time.

Some people said that the update was pushed on to their systems even when they didn't want this. This was painful to hear, said Capossela.

Even though there was a lot of criticism towards the pushy updates, Microsoft knew all along that being aggressive and pushing the envelope is going to be needed in order to get update numbers they were aiming for. Windows 10 was adopted far faster than its recent predecessors.

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AfterDawn: News

Nokia just sued Apple over patent dispute in 11 countries

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 22 Dec 2016 14:27

Nokia just sued Apple over patent dispute in 11 countries There probably isn't a smartphone company that has not been in patent disputes with a rival. However, Apple is especially plagued with the lawsuits, possible because it is reaping all the profits of the industry.

For years it seems like Samsung and Apple have been fighting over patents but a new name has entered the courtroom. Well, not a new name per se, but let's say a newly reformed name.

Apple is being taken to court by Nokia. Yes, Nokia, the company that sold its smartphone business years ago to Microsoft – which has already pretty much killed it off too. Actually the patent case is an old one which the companies resolved in 2011. Now that the contract is expiring Apple has declined to continue paying for using the patents, Nokia claims.

Nokia is now suing Apple in 11 countries, including the US, and a total of 14 different districts. The dispute is over 40 different patents and cover such technologies as display, user interface, software, antenna, chipsets and video coding. In the US the cases will be handled by Eastern District of Texas (18 patents) and International Trade Commission (8 patents).




AfterDawn: News

Blade Runner 2049 gets first trailer, premiere date

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Dec 2016 15:18

Blade Runner 2049 gets first trailer, premiere date One of the more anticipated movie relaunches is definitely Blade Runner. The sequel to the 80s cult classic sci-fi flick has been in the works for quite some time and now we've been presented with the first bite sized trailer.

Blade Runner 2049 continues the story of the original movie 30 years later, as the name suggests. This time the story follows a new blade runner, a police special operative, that has been sent to seek for a lost blade runner, original movie's Rick Deckard.

The new blade runner is played by Ryan Gosling and Deckard is again starred by Harrison Ford. As the trailer shows, the dark alleys, neon signs, and what seems like a endless rain of the original are back. The director of the original movie, Ridley Scott, is the executive producer this time around and Denis Villeneuve (of Arrival fame for example) is directing Blade Runner 2049.

There's still quite a bit of time before we'll see whether the movie will be worthy of a true Blade Runner sequel or not. The premiere is set to October 6 next year but I'm sure we'll be treated with more trailers during the coming months.

As for now, just play this one back a few dozen times.




AfterDawn: News

This is how dead Windows phones are

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Dec 2016 14:44

This is how dead Windows phones are Even when Microsoft was focusing on smartphones more than ever Windows Phones were barely staying afloat. After Microsoft discontinued manufacturing both dumb and smart phones this summer it was clear that there is really no future for Windows phones in current form.

Some companies still believe that there is room for a third operating system, and many people agree. Can there still be a successful smartphone with Windows in it? Microsoft seems to believe so, after all, CEO Satya Nadella has recently promised that the company will deliver something unique in the future.

If you want to see what kind of traction a traditional Windows 10 powered smartphone with nothing unique creates then look no further than Moly X1. Moly X1 was featured on the crowd-funding site Indiegogo and the startup behind the concept was looking for $100,000 for its work oriented smartphone.

The campaign was a fiasco, and that's a kind way of putting it. A total of 30 funders managed to gather a total of $2,569, that's under 3 percent of the goal. Only 14 backers wanted to invest the products value, around $180. The rest were struggling to give five dollars for a case or a mere digital booklet.

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AfterDawn: News

One of the most popular Torrent sites of all time brought back to life

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Dec 2016 12:51

One of the most popular Torrent sites of all time brought back to life If you don't count The Pirate Bay, KickassTorrents might be the most notorious torrent site around. Or used to be until it was closed by the U.S. officials in July. Well, now the site has come online again.

To be clear, the site was already online before but only hosted forums. Now it is providing links to torrent files again but tells TorrentFreak that it is operating according to the U.S. law and features a valid DMCA takedown procedure.

KickassTorrents' admin Ukranian Artem Vaulin was arrested in Poland and the domain seized in July after Homeland Security and Department of Justice had started an investigation on the world's most popular torrent site at the time.

In August the DOJ indicted three Ukranian individuals, one of which was Mr. Vaulin. The three suspects had been linked to other illegal websites, including Leechmonster.com, Solarmovie, iWatchfilm.com, and Hippomovies.com.

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AfterDawn: News

Yahoo revealed another hack, makes the largest in history look insignificant

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Dec 2016 14:01

Yahoo revealed another hack, makes the largest in history look insignificant Yahoo released a statement yesterday saying again that its servers have been hacked. This time unauthorized third party was able to collect data from up to one billion user accounts.

In September Yahoo revealed that in 2012 its service was hacked and data from as many as 500 million users had leaked. At that point it was considered the largest hack in history.

Now it was surpassed by another attack that gave hackers access to user data including usernames, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (using MD5) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.

According to Yahoo this attack was done in August 2013 and no credit card information was leaked. The company said that credit card information are stored on a different server.

Yahoo is currently in talks with Verizon about its acquisition. One can see Verizon second-guessing that deal especially after this second revealment.




AfterDawn: News

Dropbox is now available on Xbox One consoles

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Dec 2016 15:12

Dropbox is now available on Xbox One consoles If you have an Xbox One and a Dropbox account, you can now access the content in your cloud storage using the new app for the console.

It's the first universal Windows app for cloud storage on the gaming console, letting you view and share your photos, videos, and other files from the cloud.

With the app you can easily manage your files on an interface designed for TVs, using either a gamepad or media remote. You can upload content from your Xbox One, comment on files and share them.

Media stored in your Dropbox account can also be viewed on your Xbox One, and your video content will stream from Dropbox to the Xbox One to save you storage space on your HDD.

The app can be gotten from the Xbox Store for free.




AfterDawn: News

WATCH: First trailer for 'The OA', Netflix Original Series debuting Friday

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Dec 2016 14:47

WATCH: First trailer for 'The OA', Netflix Original Series debuting Friday Have time for one more mysterious show in 2016? Eight episodes of The OA will debut on Netflix this Friday, December 16, and this trailer should whet your appetite.

The show casts Brit Marling (The East) in its leading role, and it being produced by Plan B and Anonymous Content (Mr Robot, The Revenant). Promotional material has kept details intentionally limited, but from the trailer, the story revolves around a young woman (Prairie Johnson) who has been missing for seven years.

She meets her parents in the trailer, and we are informed that this is the first time she has ever seen them, given that she was blind all of her life - a disability that has mysteriously vanished.

The rest of the trailer seems to be dedicated to giving us glimpses of her memories, some of which may be dream sequences going by the Instagram account for The OA.

Eight hour long episodes of The OA will be available on Netflix from Friday. Will you binge watch it?

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AfterDawn: News

PSA: $25 gift card included with cut-price PS4 Uncharted 4 Bundle at GameStop

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Dec 2016 14:18

PSA: $25 gift card included with cut-price PS4 Uncharted 4 Bundle at GameStop Sony has reduced the Uncharted 4 PS4 Slim bundle price to $249, and now you can also get an additional $25 gift card on top.

The offer is from GameStop and is valid in the United States. Once you purchase the Uncharted 4 PS4 Slim bundle for $249, GameStop will e-mail you a $25 digital gift card in addition. You can see the details of the offer from the GameStop web store.

The bundle includes a new slim 500GB PlayStation 4 console with a matching DualShock 4 controller, and a physical copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.

It is being sold by retailers in the United States at the cut price of $249 and will be until December 24. Of course, the free gift card only comes with an order from GameStop.

Microsoft has also cut $50 off the price of Xbox One S bundles in the United States.

(via: Gamespot)




AfterDawn: News

Blocking Pirate Bay is a 'dangerous' path toward 'censorship', ISPs warn court

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Dec 2016 9:56

Blocking Pirate Bay is a 'dangerous' path toward 'censorship', ISPs warn court Internet Service Providers are arguing in court against the mandated blocking of the Pirate Bay and similar websites, warning about the dangers of censorship and its implications.

The ISPs in question are Sweden's Bredbandsbolaget and Telenor. Both have made their case to an appeals court in the country as rights holders argue that ISPs should be mandated to block websites like the Pirate Bay, otherwise they are complicit in copyright infringement activities of their subscribers.

A district court already disagreed with the rights holders, which reportedly include Universal Music, Sony Music, Warner Music, Nordisk Film and the Swedish Film Industry. That decision is now being appealed and has forced the ISPs to warn the court of the chilling implications of such mandatory blocking.

"It is a dangerous path to go down, which forces Internet providers to monitor and evaluate content on the Internet and block websites with illegal content in order to avoid becoming accomplices," the companies write in a joint statement.

"The copyright holders argue that the blockades they request are similar to those in neighboring Nordic countries. But with the legislation we have in Sweden, it means rightsholders' demands require a form of censorship that has no equivalent in any other EU country."

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AfterDawn: News

PSA: Microsoft offering $50 off all Xbox One S bundles

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Dec 2016 9:41

PSA: Microsoft offering $50 off all Xbox One S bundles You can get an Xbox One S bundle at the moment for $50 less thanks to a holiday season offer from Microsoft.

The offer is valid from now until Saturday, December 24, at all participating retailers in the United States. With the offer, you could pick up the Xbox One S Battlefield 1 Bundle for $249, which includes a 500GB HDD, a full download of Battlefield 1 and a month of EA Access.

Alternatively you could get the Xbox One S Minecraft Favorites Bundle for the same price, which also features a 500GB HDD, full game download of Minecraft for Xbox One and Windows 10, and 13 community-favorite content packs.

If you anticipate the need for more storage space, you can get the Xbox One S Gears of War 4 Bundle which packs a 1TB HDD and a full game download of Gears of War 4 for Xbox One and Windows 10, for $299.

Participating outlets include Amazon, Target, GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart.com and Microsoft Store.




AfterDawn: News

Tesla settles Model S P85D performance lawsuit

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Dec 2016 9:30

Tesla settles Model S P85D performance lawsuit Tesla Motors has reached a settlement deal with 126 customers who claimed the E.V. manufacturer's marketing for the Model S P85D was misleading.

All 126 customers are from Norway, a top market for fully electric vehicles due to government subsidies aimed at boosting fully electric transportation in the country. The American car maker was sued by the customers who claim that the marketing for the Model S P85D was misleading because it overestimated the horsepower.

Tesla has denied that its marketing material was misleading, but it has come to a settlement with the customers.

According to Norwegian paper, Dagens Naeringsliv (DN), Tesla has agreed to pay 65,000 Norwegian crowns ($7,700) to each of the dissatisfied customers, or alternatively they can choose from some car upgrade options.

The settlement amounts to roughly half of what they sought in their lawsuit. Proceedings were due to begin on Monday, but lawyers for the firm and its customers informed the Oslo District Court that they wished to withdraw the case.

The Model S P85D was first introduced in late 2014, but is no longer among the Model S lineup available from the company in Norway.


Source: Reuters News Agency




AfterDawn: News

The Grand Tour is the most pirated TV show ever

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Dec 2016 9:11

The Grand Tour is the most pirated TV show ever The first episodes of Amazon's super expensive 'The Grand Tour' are the most pirated TV show episodes ever, according to an industry analyst.

The Amazon Video exclusive, starring Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, has an astonishing £160 million budget as Amazon looks to lure subscribers to its Prime service. So far the show has been well received and generated many millions of viewers.

However, it has broken another record for viewers that might not prompt much celebration from Amazon, as is reportedly the most pirated show ever. It dethroned HBO's 'Game of Thrones' rather quickly, according to industry analyst Muso, which tracks piracy affecting digitally distributed content.

Muso's numbers show that the pilot episode of The Grand Tour was downloaded illegally more than 7.9 million times. The second episode followed with 6.4 million illegal downloads, and the third at 4.6 million. Pirates in the United Kingdom are responsible for the largest chunk of downloads, at about 13.7 percent.

Given that Amazon was hoping to use the show to bump subscribers in the UK, where the three former Top Gear presenters are very popular. The reboot of BBC's Top Gear after the departure of Clarkson, Hammond and May has been a failure, with Chris Evans already quitting as a host and ratings tanking.

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