AfterDawn: Tech news

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In a first, Bitcoin value tops that of Gold

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Mar 2017 13:34

In a first, Bitcoin value tops that of Gold The value of a Bitcoin unit has surpassed the value of an ounce of gold for the first time since the cryptocurrency appeared in 2009.

At time of writing, Bitcoin is valued at roughly $1,270 (coindesk) whereas a gram of gold is valued at roughly $1,230. It marks an interesting milestone for Bitcoin, which has had a volatile existence in its young life.

After collapsing in value in 2014, Bitcoin has been surging again lately due to its popularity in China, where the authorities are trying to crack down on its use, claiming that the crytocurrency is used to move money out of the country illegally.

It has also been scrutinized in the Western world because it is the currency of choice for black market trade online.

AfterDawn: News

Windows 10 updates changes will reduce disruptive reboots

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Mar 2017 13:18

Windows 10 updates changes will reduce disruptive reboots Windows 10 users who are annoyed by the operating system's updates and reboots will soon have more control over when updates are installed.

Disruptive reboots due to Windows 10 update installations have prompted complaints from users since the OS was released less than two years ago. As it stands, some updates cannot be deferred and will install automatically, and often require that the system reboots.

As part of the Creators Update project, Windows 10 users will soon be able to schedule the installation of updates at a specified time, or to hit the "snooze" button to pause updates for up to three days. This should make reboots less disruptive but could come at a security cost.

John Cable, director of program management at Microsoft, also said that the firm is exploring changes to privacy settings in Windows 10, which has been another issue for users since its release.


AfterDawn: News

Spotify celebrates 50 million paid subscribers

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Mar 2017 13:04

Spotify celebrates 50 million paid subscribers More than 50 million Spotify users now pay for its Premium music, podcast and video streaming services.

The Stockholm-based firm announced that it has reached 50 million paid subscribers through social media, after crossing 40 million just in September 2016.

When Apple launched its own subscription service, there were fears about the future of Spotify, but almost two years on it seems that Apple has done little to slow the service's growth.

Apple Music reached 20 million paid subscribers in December last year.


AfterDawn: News

ExtraTorrent loses main domain

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Mar 2017 10:54

ExtraTorrent loses main domain It appears that ExtraTorrent has lost its primary domain name,, but is still accessible through backups.

The domain name seems to have been disconnected by the registrar, Internet BS, according to a report coming from TorrentFreak, an excellent source for news about developments in the online copyright and piracy wars.

ExtraTorrent is a huge source for torrents online, second probably only to the notorious Pirate Bay in terms of visitors.

A WHOIS probe of returns a status of "clienthold," typically associated with legal disputes, non-payment or domain deletion.

TorrentFreak notes that the site is still accessible through various backups, such as

AfterDawn: News

Chevrolet offers unlimited 4G data plan with cars

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Mar 2017 10:28

Chevrolet offers unlimited 4G data plan with cars Chevrolet has become the first automaker to offer an unlimited data plan to owners of its vehicles.

In partnership with AT&T, owners of Chevrolet vehicles with an in-vehicle OnStar 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot can avail of an unlimited prepaid data plan for only $20 per month, starting Friday, March 3.

According to Chevrolet, drivers of its vehicles used more than 4 million gigabytes of data in 2016, which was twice as much as the previous year. To put this data usage in perspective, Chevrolet owners and their passengers streamed the equivalent of more than 17.5 million hours of video in 2016.

Since June 2014, Chevrolet has sold more than 3.1 million OnStar 4G LTE-connected vehicles, meaning it has more LTE-connected cars on the road than any other carmaker.

"We're pleased to deliver this special unlimited data plan to Chevy owners," said Chris Penrose, president, IoT Solutions, AT&T.

"Accessing the internet through AT&T's 4G LTE Wi-Fi, passengers now can access all of their content and enjoy endless entertainment on the go."

For more information, see

AfterDawn: News

Gmail bumps attachment limit to 50MB

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Mar 2017 10:04

Gmail bumps attachment limit to 50MB Google has bumped the size limit for attachments Gmail users can receive to 50MB from 25MB.

From today, users will be able to receive e-mails with attachments up to 50MB in size, but will still only be able to send e-mails with a 25MB limit on attachments.

The change is useful for attachments coming in from non-Google sources, but currently users experience no attachment limits (outside of storage limits) if they use Google Drive.

Full roll-out of the Gmail change will be completed within the next three days.

AfterDawn: News

Oculus offers Rift plus Touch for $598

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Mar 2017 17:20

Oculus offers Rift plus Touch for $598 Oculus has announced that the all-in price of Rift and Touch has been cut to $598 as it aims to lure more gamers to its VR system.

The new $598 price point is down from $798 previously. If you already have Rift, Touch is now only $99, and the price of an additional Oculus Sensor is now $59.

Additionally, Oculus announced that Robo Recall, the brand-new VR shooter from Epic Games is now available for free with Touch.

Oculus aims to bring the cost of entry to Rift as much as it can, and has been working with hardware partners to offer Oculus-ready machines.

HTC's VR unit Vive said in a statement later in the day that it would not match the price cut being offered by rival Oculus, according to Reuters.

AfterDawn: News

Reports: Spotify Hi-Fi will deliver lossless audio for an extra fee

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Mar 2017 16:37

Reports: Spotify Hi-Fi will deliver lossless audio for an extra fee Spotify is preparing to offer high quality lossless audio to subscribers for $20 per month, according to reports.

Along with competitors like Apple Music, Spotify delivers lossy audio to subscribers, whereas a selling point of Tidal was that it streamed lossless audio with noticeable results for listeners.

Some Spotify users that participated in a recent closed survey were asked if they'd consider spending an extra $5 for lossless audio quality, and some users also reported being offered "Spotify Hi-Fi" for $20 per month in-app.

The privilege of lossless audio would add $7.50 on top of the Premium fee.

Would you consider paying an extra fee for lossless audio?

AfterDawn: News

Samsung Galaxy S8 press image leaked

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Mar 2017 11:18

Samsung Galaxy S8 press image leaked Samsung's hotly anticipated Galaxy S8 smartphone will be unveiled at the end of the month, but we can already see what it looks like.

Leaked by Evan Blass (@evleaks), a press shot of the Samsung Galaxy S8 shows its curved, edge-to-edge display that has been detailed in previous leaks, and you also immediately notice the absence of the Home button.

The image just shows the lock screen of the Galaxy S8, but do take notice of the mention of the date Wed, March 29, which is when Samsung says it will officially unveil the SG8.

Other noticeable details are an additional key on the left, which is expected to be a shortcut key to launch Bixby, Samsung's assistant. There is also an Iris Scanner sensor on the front, and an indentation at the bottom seems to be from a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Surely more details will flood out in leaks before March 29.

AfterDawn: News

Xbox Game Pass offers 100 games for $9.99 per month

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Mar 2017 10:57

Xbox Game Pass offers 100 games for $9.99 per month The new Xbox Game Pass grants access to over 100 Xbox One and backwards-compatible Xbox 360 titles for a cost of $9.99 per month.

It includes titles from publishers such as 2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, SNK CORPORATION, THQ Nordic GmbH, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Microsoft Studios.

Fan favorite games like Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16 and SoulCalibur II will be included when the service launches this spring.

The 100 titles available will change monthly, with some new titles cycling in and out. Subscribers will be able to purchase game titles permanently at a discount if they choose to. All titles can be downloaded directly to the Xbox One HDD and so you won't need to rely on streaming.

Microsoft will be testing Xbox Game Pass with select members of the Xbox Insider Program in the Alpha Preview ring starting today with a very limited number of titles.

For more information, see

AfterDawn: News

YouTube unveils live TV streaming & cloud DVR service

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Mar 2017 10:41

YouTube unveils live TV streaming & cloud DVR service YouTube has unveiled its own live TV service carrying major U.S. broadcast networks, regional sports networks and some cable networks.

Major networks including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and ESPN are part of the new YouTube TV service, which promises to break customers away from commitments and viewing limitations associated with subscription TV services.

The servicer also offers dozens of additional cable channels like MSNBC, Fox News, FX, USA, E!, Bravo, the Disney Channel, Sprout and more.

YouTube TV costs $35 per month, but you can choose to cancel it at any time rather than committing to a long contract.

A cloud DVR service can also be used to record programming and store it for nine months. You can watch YouTube TV on any screen, whether mobile, tablet or computer, and you can easily stream to your TV with a Google Chromecast or Chromecast built-in TV.

YouTube TV membership also provides access to YouTube Red original content.

Every YouTube TV membership comes with six accounts, each with its own unique recommendations and personal DVR with no storage limits. You can watch up to three concurrent streams at a time.

For more information see

AfterDawn: News

Report: iPhone 8 will have USB-C port & curved display

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Feb 2017 14:24

Report: iPhone 8 will have USB-C port & curved display Apple's next iPhones will feature a curved screen and ditch the proprietary Lightning connector for industry standard USB, according to a report.

The report comes from the Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with Apple's forthcoming iPhone revisions, typically referred to as iPhone 7s, iPhone 7s Plus iPhone 8. If the sources are correct, then Apple will follow rivals like Samsung with a curved OLED display for its new 'iPhone 8'.

More interesting though is the claim that Apple is preparing to dump the proprietary Lightning connector, used for charging and data transfer, and instead use industry-standard USB-C. As had previously been rumored, the iPhone 8 models won't feature a Home button.

Other recent rumors about Apple's iPhone upgrades include a camera that can sense depth on the front of the phone, producing 3D selfies and also enabling accurate facial recognition.

This year will mark the tenth anniversary of the original iPhone that made waves when it was unveiled in 2007, and an expensive "10th anniversary edition" iPhone has also been rumored, expected to have a price tag around ~$1,000.

Source: Wall Street Journal

AfterDawn: News

SpaceX to fly people around the Moon in 2018

Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Feb 2017 17:23

SpaceX to fly people around the Moon in 2018 SpaceX is planning to fly private citizens beyond the Moon next year, according to chief executive Elon Musk.

According to the rocket firm, two private citizens have already paid a significant deposit for a trip that would see them fly out to the orbit of the Moon and return. Initial training and health probes will be begin later this year.

The private citizens will ride atop a Falcon Heavy rocket, which is set for a demonstration flight in 2017. Dragon v2 (or Crew Dragon), which is SpaceX' human-rated capsule, will hold the passengers for the journey.

SpaceX will demonstrate the Crew Dragon later this year, and then intends to fly American astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on contract from NASA. The firm is currently contracted to perform an average of four Dragon 2 missions to the ISS per year, three carrying cargo and one carrying crew.

"Once operational Crew Dragon missions are underway for NASA, SpaceX will launch the private mission on a journey to circumnavigate the moon and return to Earth," SpaceX announced.

"Lift-off will be from Kennedy Space Center's historic Pad 39A near Cape Canaveral the same launch pad used by the Apollo program for its lunar missions. This presents an opportunity for humans to return to deep space for the first time in 45 years and they will travel faster and further into the Solar System than any before them."

AfterDawn: News

iPhone storage full? SanDisk has a solution

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 27 Feb 2017 8:09

iPhone storage full? SanDisk has a solution At the ongoing Mobile World Congress, SanDisk has released a flash memory storage solution for iPhone and iPad that connects seamlessly to the iOS device.

iXpand Flash Drive series connects at USB3 speeds to iPhone or iPad via Lightning connector and has storage capacity of up to 256GB.

256GB version costs 170 or 210 in Europe, $200 in United States. With the "clip" form factor, the memory stick attached seamlessly to the iDevice. It also has USB connector in case one wants to transfer the files to PC - and obviously, via Lightning connector, you can connect the stick to Mac, too.

AfterDawn: News

Here are Nokia's 'pure Android' smartphones

Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Feb 2017 19:48

Here are Nokia's 'pure Android' smartphones The new Nokia-branded Android devices are not aimed at taking on flagships from heavyweights like Samsung, but instead target the affordable end of the market with competitive pricing and decent specs.

Among the new Nokia gear is the Nokia 6, Nokia 5 and Nokia 3. The Nokia 6 was introduced in China in January this year and immediately roused interest, with over a million reservations being placed, and soon it will be availble in more markets.

It features a 5.5-inch 1080p display, 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage with a microSD slot if you need more. A special edition Nokia 6 "Arte Black" will bump memory to 4GB RAM and internal storage to 64GB.

The Nokia 5 features a 5.2-inch 720p display, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage with a microSD slot for expansion up to 128GB. It packs a 13 megapixel camera on the back and 8 megapixel on the front. Like the Nokia 6, it is powered by a 3000mAh battery.

Both the Nokia 6 and Nokia 5 pack a Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 but the lowest cost option, the Nokia 3, downgrades to a MediaTek 6737. It also has 2GB of RAM and 16GB internal storage, but no microSD slot, while the battery downgrades to 2650mAh.


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