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AfterDawn: News

Trump's last hurrah against Huawei

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Jan 2021 4:09

Trump's last hurrah against Huawei Trump administration has issued more restrictions to Huawei before leaving the White House. According to a Reuters report, Trump admin is now denying licenses that Huawei was required to work with American companies.

After May 2019 and the addition to the U.S. government's "entity list", Huawei's road has been a rocky one. While specific licenses made it possible for it to continue buying technology and products from U.S. based companies, it has had to get rid of Google services on its phones.

Now it seems that other products and technology from the United States might not be anymore available to the Chinese smartphone and wireless powerhouse.

Just before leaving office, Trump admin has started denying the licenses Huawei needs to buy products from the U.S. companies. This includes companies like Intel, whose chip shipments to Huawei will cease.

A total of eight licenses to four different companies have been denied and the source expects this to continue. Not only is this tough for Huawei, it's affecting the companies that are losing business and a massive customer at that.


AfterDawn: News

Steam releases "2020 Year in Review," reveals player numbers

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Jan 2021 2:31

Steam releases "2020 Year in Review," reveals player numbers Steam has revealed their 2020 figures in a post they call "2020 Year in Review." The company's fifth annual review includes some stats, including player numbers and most popular games.

The service broke new records with a whopping 120 million monthly active users and 62.6 million active users every day on average.

Steam recorded a peak to 24.8 million concurrent players, which happened during the bug-ridden Cyberpunk 2077 launch.

The situation the world has been for the past year has no doubt tremendously increased the usage of this online platform as well. A total game time recorded was 31.3 billion hours which is a massive 50.7% increase to the previous year with around 20 billion hours.


AfterDawn: News

DuckDuckGo reaches new heights: 100 million searches a day

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Jan 2021 11:06

DuckDuckGo reaches new heights: 100 million searches a day Perhaps the most serious competition to Google's search engine comes not from Microsoft and Bing but a different perspective altogether. DuckDuckGo promises to keep browsing private and search results untailored.

The 2008 launched website has gained traction in recent years due to privacy issues with the Silicon Valley giants. Now, SearchEngineJournal has spotted that DDG has managed to break a new one-day record.

A week ago on January 11, DuckDuckGo was used to search a total of 102 million times. This is the first time the search has passed 100 million searches in a single day.

Just last fall DDG was hovering at around 40 million searches a day. Average in January will be around 90 million likely, unless the site gets a huge bump in the latter half.

DDG is a small player still, considering even Yahoo and Bing still clearly outrank in marketshare, and for a comparison Google's searches per day are counted in trillions.

However, people are becoming more privacy oriented my the minute, so who knows if DDG will start trending soon in the same vein as Signal just did.


AfterDawn: News

Trump admin blacklists Xiaomi

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Jan 2021 7:44

Trump admin blacklists Xiaomi The Pentagon has designated nine companies to their black list for being associated with the Chinese military, Reuters reported. Among the added are the world's third largest smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, Chinese aircraft manufacturer Comac.

This is a separate black list from the one Huawei is in, and has the specific distinction to being controlled by the Chinese military. This also means that the companies on this list aren't necessarily barred from cooperating with U.S. companies, so Xiaomi should be able to continue using the Google ecosystem on their phones.

What they are barring is shareholding from U.S. individuals and companies. Holdings in these companies have to be divested by November 11. The list previously included companies like the Chinese chip maker SMIC.

There's a possibility that Xiaomi will be added to the entity list that makes it harder to work with U.S. companies and technologies, too. This happened to the Chinese oil company CNOOC which was on the military black list and was according to FT just recently added to the entity list.


AfterDawn: News

Samsung's new wireless earbuds have ANC and new two-way design

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Jan 2021 2:39

Samsung's new wireless earbuds have ANC and new two-way design Samsung announced today the new Galaxy S21 lineup that includes, as expect, the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra. As has become a custom, the company also refreshed their earbuds.

The new model carries the name Galaxy Buds Pro and, according to the company, they also provide audio experience that even professionals would appreciate.

One has to doubt that any serious audio professional is going to switch their monitor headset for there but there are some improvements that should provide better audio.

Samsung has developed a two-way design that allow two difference elements, separate woofer and tweeter, inside the tiny shell. It remains to be seen how much this actually improves the audio quality.

The new design also features a more streamlined profile and a new addition of a wind chamber should capture most of the wind that is trying to get to the microphones to ruin your phone calls.


AfterDawn: News

Samsung announced new Galaxy S21 series from $799 to $1199

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Jan 2021 2:20

Samsung announced new Galaxy S21 series from $799 to $1199 Samsung announced today three new Samsung Galaxy S21 models as expected. At the first Unpacked event of the year Samsung introduced Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra.

The lineup hasn't really changed from last year in terms of the trio of devices hitting different price points and specs preferences but there are some important upgrades to the last year's models.

All the new Galaxy S21 models have a new and improved display panels that offer better peak brightness and now also 120 hz refresh rate at maximum resolution.

The S21 and S21+ feature a Full HD+ display and Ultra has a QHD+ panel. All of them feature a more durable Gorilla Glass Victus on top of the panels. Peak brightness hits 1300 nits on S21 and S21+, and 1500 nits on Ultra.

As you might guess, there are some size differences. S21 display is 6.2" while S21+ is 6.7" and Ultra 6.8", which means that S21 and S21+ display size stayed the same while Ultra got tiny bit smaller from last year, although it does now support S Pen.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and S Pen


AfterDawn: News

Signal has revealed new features after hitting #1 on App Store

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Jan 2021 4:14

Signal has revealed new features after hitting #1 on App Store Signal has been trending ever after Facebook announced in the new EULA that all WhatsApp users need to share their information with Facebook.

Elon Musk decided to give people a push they might need in order to switch from a messenger to another by tweeting simply "Use Signal." And people most definitely have been switching according to App Store and Google Play ranks.

Signal is now number one app on both platforms, and there's probably a lot of people that are yet to switch. The non-profit running Signal are certainly trying abuse the fact that they've seemed to catch lightning in a bottle.

They've not announced on Twitter a few new features that will be soon landing on Signal. According to the tweet in a few days you'll get:

  • Chat wallpapers!
  • About field for your Signal profile
  • Animated stickers
  • For iOS: Media auto-download settings and full-screen profile photos (to match Android)

  • Signal added a "Good morning India!" at the end of the tweet which might mean that the rollout will start from India. It's a little unclear, here's the tweet:


AfterDawn: News

Nvidia announces GeForce RTX 3060 at CES

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Jan 2021 11:35

Nvidia announces GeForce RTX 3060 at CES Nvidia has announced their newest addition to their RTX graphics card lineup at the virtual CES that runs this week. The most budget friendly of the new 3000 series cards will be available late next month.

The new 3060 fills the gap that Nvidia left last month when they announced RTX 3060 Ti. Now with the regular 3060, they've got a fairly affordable new generation card, that a lot of people have been waiting for.

GeForce RTX 3060 features 12 GB of GDDR6 memory, 3584 CUDA cores, 192-bit memory interface, and a clock of speed of 1.32 GHz (boost at 1.78 GHz). Nvidia recommends a 550 watt PSU for the GPU that uses up to around 170 watts.

Nvidia compared the new card to the latest GTX predecessors, the GTX 1060, and specifically their ray tracing capabilities. A rather odd comparison, considering that it has been well established that ray tracing is pretty much the one trick the new RTX cards have to offer.

Nonetheless, the new RTX 3060 can provide up to 10 times the ray tracing performance to GTX 1060. Nvidia also promised 60 fps, ray tracing enabled, in new games.

As mentioned, RTX 3060 will be available late February, although expect stock to be limited, starting at $329.


AfterDawn: News

Adobe Flash - no more

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Jan 2021 4:22

Adobe Flash - no more Flash has been dying for a while now. Ever since HTML5 video over a decade ago people were ready to give up their Flash Players for the less resource heavy option.

Now after years of scaling down, Microsoft being among the last to remove Flash, Adobe has finally pulled the plug.

The company has fought for the unoptimized, resource-hogging security problem for long enough. It is time to let it go.

As of today, 12th of January, 2021, Adobe Flash asks you to uninstall itself from your computer. Furthermore, all Flash content will refuse to work after this day.

In the release notes, Adobe thanks all customers and collaborators for the 30 year lifespan of Flash Player.

AfterDawn: News

Google, Apple, Amazon ban Twitter competitor Parler

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 10 Jan 2021 10:56

Google, Apple, Amazon ban Twitter competitor Parler There is some sort of social media purge going on right now. After President Donald Trump was ejected from Twitter, other platforms have followed suit with bans of their own.

In addition to several social media platforms removing Trump's accounts or restricting access, tech companies – or monopolies as the Congress addresses them – have joined in.

Google and Apple have removed the Twitter competitor Parler citing "public safety threat" and "insufficient measures to remove threats" respectively.

Parler was built to provide more free speech focused social media platform for those that do not appreciate Twitter's arguably rather selective and/or restrictive measures, or those that have no choice in the matter.

Parler CEO John Matze posted a statement to Apple banning Parler. He brought up Apple's hypocrisy with threats as Parler was banned while #HangMikePence was trending on Twitter.

In addition to the two mobile platform giants, Amazon, the provider of Parler's cloud computing, has decided to shut down their servers.


AfterDawn: News

Roku has bought Quibi's shows

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 09 Jan 2021 12:42

Roku has bought Quibi's shows The not-so-successful short-form mobile streaming platform Quibi has found a new home. Perhaps a little surprisingly it's none of the traditional large media conglomerates, instead you can spot Chrissy Teigen now on The Roku Channel.

Roku has announced that is has acquired much of what is Quibi's show library. This includes both original shows and documentaries that were originally developed for Quibi.

The Roku Channel will be the new home to shows such as #FreeRayshawn, Chrissy's Court, Die Hart, Dummy, Flipped, Most Dangerous Game, Punk'd, Reno 911!, and Survive. There are a total of more than 75 shows and hundreds of hours of content.

Roku also namedropped some of the entertainment stars that join Roku's catalog, including Idris Elba, Kevin Hart, Liam Hemsworth, Anna Kendrick, Nicole Richie, and Chrissy Teigen.

According to the company, all this content is going to be available to you for free in the near future.

AfterDawn: News

Hyundai source suggests Apple Car might be coming

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 08 Jan 2021 3:18

Hyundai source suggests Apple Car might be coming For years we've had rumors, or at least hopes, that Apple would enter the car market. Redefining the industry might not be as easy as it was before Tesla, but information that has been leaked in the past years suggests that Apple is seriously looking at the possibility of an iCar.

The Cupertino-based company bought an autonomous driving company in 2019 and has been seeking talent beforeyears before – and after that to compliment the automotive business they might engage in later on.

Even the respected KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggested that an Apple car might be in the making for a release in 2023 to 2025.

Now the news comes from a Korean source that Apple has been in talks with Hyundai about their EV.


AfterDawn: News

Critical vulnerabilities found in Chrome, Edge, and Firefox

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 08 Jan 2021 12:02

Critical vulnerabilities found in Chrome, Edge, and Firefox Major web browser vulnerabilities have been discovered this week. The two separate security problems are found in Firefox and Chromium that is the basis for both Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge.

The former is a cookie-related vulnerability that makes Firefox a hazard for the entire system. The vulnerability is known as use-after-free and was notified about couple days ago by the Firefox team.

Use-after-free is a serious liability as the abuser can take full control of the computer, tablet or phone Firefox is installed on via the browser. Fortunately Firefox has already patched the problem and released an update. However, if you are using Android version 84.1.3 or desktop version 84.0.2 the vulnerability is still present, so update with haste.

The second exploit is found in open source Chromium browser that is the basis for Microsoft's Edge as well as Google's Chrome. Both browsers were affected by the security issue.

Both have also issued a patch to their respective browsers.

This one is serious too, and can be used to control the system. While the Android version of Chrome was fixed a while back, Linux, macOS, and Windows versions still had the vulnerability as recently as last week.


AfterDawn: News

Finnish Customs service to sell its massive bitcoin pile

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 07 Jan 2021 6:08

Finnish Customs service to sell its massive bitcoin pile Over the years, Finnish Customs service has gathered a huge pile of cryptocurrencies that have been seized from criminals and smugglers.

Customs service has kept all the bitcoins in their possession as they are, but now the organization plans to sell them and convert them into more traditional euros. The current value of seized bitcoins is now around 60 million euros (appx. $74M).

Most of the bitcoins in customs possession have been seized back in 2016 with a so-called Douppikauppa (literally "dope store") case where customs raideda an illegal drug-selling site that operated in dark web. Originally the bitcoins seized were worth appx 700 000 euros, but now the value has risen to more than 50 million euros, as the bitcoin's value has risen dramatically over the past five years.

After the sale, customs will transfer the money to Finnish government. Customs has been criticized for holding on to its bitcoins, but for taxpayers, the holding on to the bitcoins has been extremely wise move.

AfterDawn: News

Android 11 update tracker - What phones will get it?

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 04 Jan 2021 6:13

Android 11 update tracker - What phones will get it? Android 11 was released in September, 2020. Only handful of phones in fall of 2020 were actually released with Android 11 operating system, but the list of phones announced that will get the update has grown significantly over the months.

In this list, we try to keep track of all promised, rumored and confirmed Android 11 updates to all major manufacturer phones. Some of the list is based on -Google's own list, some of the list is based on manufacturer's own announcements.

It should be remembered that even when specific phone model is promised to have an Android 11 update, it doesn't necessarily mean that your phone will get it. The models promised to get the update include typically only unlocked phones, not those customized to specific operator - it is up to operators to decide whether their custom models will get the said update or not.

Android 11 has already arrived or has been promised to arrive to these phone models:

Google phones

  • Pixel 2
  • Pixel 2 XL
  • Pixel 3
  • Pixel 3 XL
  • Pixel 3a
  • Pixel 3a XL
  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4a

All the mentioned Google phones can already get the official Android 11 update.


OTA (over-the-air) updates already available:
  • Galaxy S20
  • Galaxy S20+
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Galaxy S20 FE
  • Galaxy Z Flip
  • Galaxy Note 20
  • Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • Galaxy Note 10
  • Galaxy Note 10+
  • Galaxy S10 Lite

January 2021:
  • Galaxy Fold
  • Galaxy S10
  • Galaxy S10+
  • Galaxy S10e
  • Galaxy Z Fold2

March 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
  • Samsung Galaxy A51
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite
  • Samsung Galaxy 31
  • Samsung Galaxy M21

April 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A50
  • Samsung Galaxy A50s
  • Samsung Galaxy A80
  • Samsung Galaxy M51
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

May 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A70s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
  • Samsung Galaxy A71
  • Samsung Galaxy M31s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

June 2021:
  • Samasung Galaxy M40
  • Samsung Galaxy A31
  • Samsung Galaxy M11
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
  • Samsung Galaxy M01
  • Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 (2020 model)

July 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A30
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

August 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A10
  • Samsung Galaxy A10s
  • Samsung Galaxy A20
  • Samsung Galaxy A20s
  • Samsung Galaxy A30s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019 model)

September 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy M10s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2019 model)


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