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AfterDawn: News

All Warner's blockbusters premiere online in 2021

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 04 Dec 2020 10:50

All Warner's blockbusters premiere online in 2021 There are a few industries that have suffered in the most harsh way imaginable from the coronavirus pandemic. Hotels aren't doing well, neither are airlines, but perhaps the worst off of them all are movie theaters.

During some of the worst weeks box office figures went down 99,99997%, and still they are down something like 90-95%.

Movie studios of course know that people aren't risking it because they can get entertainment delivered to their living rooms in one form or another. Warner is the first to announce that all of their 2021 blockbuster premieres will be available online.

The premieres will be shown on HBO Max, which is owned by AT&T like Warner, at the same time as they are shown in theaters.

However, there's an interesting twist. After the first month, the movies will be removed from HBO Max during which they can only be seen in the theaters.

All titles will be available in 4K Ultra HD and HDR on HBO Max. Some of the more important titles include "The Little Things," "Judas and the Black Messiah," "Tom & Jerry," "Godzilla vs. Kong," "Mortal Kombat," "Those Who Wish Me Dead," "The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It," "In The Heights," "Space Jam: A New Legacy," "The Suicide Squad," "Reminiscence," "Malignant," "Dune," "The Many Saints of Newark," "King Richard," "Cry Macho" and "Matrix 4."




AfterDawn: News

Geeky Holiday: Microsoft sells its own ugly holiday sweaters

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 03 Dec 2020 2:58

Geeky Holiday: Microsoft sells its own ugly holiday sweaters The tradition of ugly holiday sweaters has grown each year and some of the biggest names in technology have joined the phenomenom.

This year, Microsoft is selling ugly holiday sweaters based on some of its most iconic products. Namely, Windows XP, Windows 95 and MS Paint all got their own sweater designs.

Both Windows-themed sweaters have been available previous years, too, but MS Paint version is new for this year.

And true to the idea, all of the sweaters are hideos - and very fitting for the holiday season.

MS Paint ugly holiday sweater 2020


Microsoft will donate $20 to Girls Who Code charity for each purchase that exceeds $50.

Windows 95 ugly holiday sweater

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AfterDawn: News

Welcome to 2020s: Cloud goes down - smart doorbells, robovacs stop working

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 26 Nov 2020 4:05

Welcome to 2020s: Cloud goes down - smart doorbells, robovacs stop working As more and more companies, websites and net-based services rely on cloud computing, the risks have also increased dramatically. Yesterday, we saw what happens when such services go crashing down.

Amazon is the dominant player in cloud computing, with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) having 45 percent market share, crushing the competition, most notably, Google and Microsoft.

Yesterday, AWS experienced major outage, that lasted for several hours. The outage was mostly isolated to AWS's one U.S. region, dubbed as us-east-1 region. Despite the limited geographical scale, the services that relied only on that AWS datacenter, were hit badly.

Some of the largest services that were deeply hit included Adobe's cloud services and Roku streaming services. Amazon's biggest clients, such as Apple and Netflix, didn't experience outages - probably because they use several different AWS datacenters and were able to re-route their traffic to other locations.

Most interesting outcomes of the outage were experienced by users who had adopted various smart, connected home appliances. For example, Roomba robotic vacuums stopped working through the iRobot Home app.

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AfterDawn: News

Google Pay wants to be your bank, too

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 Nov 2020 11:32

Google Pay wants to be your bank, too Electronic payment apps and NFC shopping has been available on both major mobile platforms for a while now. Apple wasn't happy with just offering an app for payments but also introduced a credit card to replace the one you already have.

Google isn't far behind, and now wants to replace some of your bank's functions too. Improved Google Pay "helps you save money and gives you insights into your spending." In 2021, you'll be able to apply for a new digital bank account.

Spending is divided into three sets of conversation-like dialogs: people, groups, and businesses. It will make it easier to keep up with the IOUs, deal with splitting the bill, and paying for services. There's also support for coupons and promo codes.

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AfterDawn: News

Google to remove free unlimited Google Photos

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Nov 2020 5:12

Google to remove free unlimited Google Photos Google's cloud storage service for photos is undoubtedly one of the better photo storing options, especially for Google phones. In fact it's such a good service, they've often used it against iPhones in ads.

One of the better aspects of the service is that you don't even have to own a Pixel phone to get unlimited storage space. You just need to set the quality to "good" instead of "original", and you are free to backup unlimited amount of photos and videos.

Even better, there isn't even any compression if they are at most 16 MP images or Full HD video. The free 15 gigabyte storage would almost never end then, although it is shared with your Gmail and Drive.

However, now it seems that people aren't buying Google's new subscription-based cloud service Google One, since Google is removing the free unlimited storage next year.

Starting on June 1, 2021, Google will start counting all the megabytes and gigabytes of even those "good quality" photos you upload. This means that you'll likely start running out of cloud storage pretty fast, depending on your rate of upload.

It is worth noting, though, that pictures and videos uploaded prior to June 1 aren't counted, so if you have to digitize your childhood photo albums, you might want to do it before the change.

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AfterDawn: News

YouTube Premium subs now get free Stadia

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Nov 2020 2:21

YouTube Premium subs now get free Stadia Google's struggles in the subscription video business are well known. The company own the largest video platform in the world but hasn't really been able to transition from ads to more lucrative subscription model.

Obviously things like YouTube Premium, with all its predecessors, and YouTube TV are around but people seem to enjoy free YouTube a little too much.

Now Google is trying to lure you in with a bundle that combines YouTube Premium and cloud gaming platform Stadia. The deal was initially available only in the UK, but has now expanded to include the US and Canada. According to XDA, it will be available in other European countries soon too.

If you have YouTube Premium subscription and would like a free Stadia Premium package, you might have already spotted the offer on your phone's YouTube app. If not, worry not, you might be able to acquire it by visiting this link.

The deal seems to last until December 31, so you should have plenty of time to collect your reward.

It is noteworthy that according to reports, you will need to have had a YouTube Premium membership before November 7th to qualify for the deal.




AfterDawn: News

Apple refreshed the Mac mini with new M1 chip

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 11 Nov 2020 4:04

Apple refreshed the Mac mini with new M1 chip If there's one device in Apple's Mac lineup that isn't a laptop and would benefit the most from the new M1 chip it's certainly the Mac mini.

People weren't necessarily expecting Apple to announce a new Mac mini, not because it doesn't make sense – it does, a lot – but it just isn't among Apple's most important products.

However, for those that enjoy a tiny computer, it's really nice to see a refresh after two years of silence. The new Mac mini with M1 has massive improvements in terms of performance while retaining its minimal footprint.

Compared to the previous generation Mac mini, the new one offers three times the CPU performance and up to six times the GPU performance. Machine learning performance gets an even bigger boost thanks to a dedicated Neural Engine.

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AfterDawn: News

New MacBook Pro with M1: You can't upgrade the RAM

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 11 Nov 2020 3:24

New MacBook Pro with M1: You can't upgrade the RAM Apple's yesterday's press event gave us the first Mac silicon, namely the Apple M1. While announcing the chip was big news, the company also had already some M1-equipped devices to unveil as well. Here's a look at the most powerful of them, the new MacBook Pro.

According to Apple, the new MacBook Pro with M1 is much more powerful than the predecessor and outperforms competing Windows PCs in both processing power and battery life.

Apple likes to throw around numbers like 5x the performance, but at this point there weren't any exact benchmarks or the company didn't disclose exactly to what they were comparing the devices to. Needless to say, however, that according to them, the new devices offer much more performance and especially efficiency than competitors.

This is evident in battery life claims, which are perhaps the only good and accurate measures Apple revealed. MacBook Pro with M1 comes with up to 17 hours of wireless web browsing and an insane 20 hours of video playback.


Perhaps the biggest con of the new MacBooks with M1, especially this one geared towards professionals, is that you cannot change or upgrade the RAM because it is integrated into the SoC. It also means that getting 16GB instead of the default 8GB will cost you a very premium $200.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple's new MacBook Air with M1: Everything is faster and more efficient

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 11 Nov 2020 12:42

Apple's new MacBook Air with M1: Everything is faster and more efficient Apple first M1 product announcement yesterday was the most popular 13-inch laptop in the world, MacBook Air. MacBook Air is the perfect device for Apple's new Mac silicon, thanks to its size.

If you think about the Apple M1 like a amped-up version of the A1 found in iPhones and iPads, which is pretty much is, the first device you'd put it in is the lightest and least power-hungry of the Apple laptops, and that is exactly what Apple did.

According to Apple, the MacBoook Air with M1 offers 3 times the performance of a comparable Windows laptop – whatever that is – and only the top 2 percent of Windows laptops sold in the past year are faster than this ultra light from Apple.

The figures are even more impressive when compared to the previous generation MacBook Air. M1 gives the new one 5x the CPU performance and 3.5x the GPU performance, although all of these performance claims seem worth a very close revisit when the devices and benchmarks are out.

Even the SSD is said to be twice as fast.

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AfterDawn: News

Mac Silicon is now official: Here's Apple M1

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 11 Nov 2020 11:50

Mac Silicon is now official: Here's Apple M1 Apple had revealed earlier this year already that is going to start transitioning the Mac lineup from Intel chips to their own silicon. Now it is official as Apple announces their first chip, Apple M1.

Yesterday's official launch marks the introduction of Apple silicon into Mac computers. The company's first take at it is a ARM-based SoC (system-on-chip) that hosts many of the more important components underneath one cover.

It is basically a bigger and better version of smartphone SoC's like the Apple A chips found on iPhones and iPads.

The company said that M1 includes the world's fastest CPU and GPU, and ones that are far less power hungry than the Intel (and AMD) chips used in competing PCs.

In terms of spec you are looking at eight CPU cores, four of which are high performance and four low power cores, with 16 billion transistors. GPU is also an octa-core chip.

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AfterDawn: News

A world first for Netflix, bundle with an ISP

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 10 Nov 2020 12:13

A world first for Netflix, bundle with an ISP Netflix has ventured into a new business model where they partner up with and ISP for a bundled service. The first package like this comes from Finland where Netflix and one of the countries largest ISPs DNA have started offering a combined service.

This is indeed the first time Netflix has offered their service bundled into a internet service under the same invoice. With the deal in question you'll be offered a broadband connection and 4K Netflix subscription.

The bundled service, DNA Netti + Netflix Perhe (DNA Internet + Netflix Family), starts at 37.89 euros a month (saving you a few euros a month compared to non-bundled prices) for the first two years and offers a 200 MP connection and a four-device Family subscription of Netflix.

As the competition starts to really heat up around Netflix, thanks to fairly recent additions like Disney+, the company has more pressure to diversify and add options. Recent reports about the first linear content on Netflix (read: traditional TV channel) could also in the mix for Netflix.




AfterDawn: News

FT: Apple prepping a search engine to replace Google

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 28 Oct 2020 2:18

FT: Apple prepping a search engine to replace Google As you might have noticed in the years that have passed, Apple is trying to create an all-encompassing ecosystem of both hardware and software.

One of the major milestones for the hardware have been getting chip production in-house, which means less dependency on companies like Intel. In terms of software, the latest expansions include Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade among others.

Now, according to Financial Times, Apple is developing a search engine to replace Google. This seems like an odd choice for a company like Apple, but it turns out it's more about necessity than what they'd like to do.

See, The US Department of Justice might soon make it impossible for Apple to sell their default search engine spot to Google. The deal is an important part of Apple's service structure and nets the company each year as much as $12 billion.

Now that the contract might become void, Apple is speeding up the development of some sort of a replacement for Google.

At this point it's unclear what type of solution Apple is looking at. Although Applebot has been roaming the web for years collecting website data, it's unlikely that Apple will take Google's approach.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft finally getting rid of Flash, new update

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 28 Oct 2020 12:37

Microsoft finally getting rid of Flash, new update Microsoft has released a new voluntary update for Windows 10 which removes the official bundled Flash exntension from Windows 10. For years now, Adobe Flash has predominantly been just a nuisance or a security vulnerability, but fortunately all participants are finally ready to move on.

Officially, the death of Flash on Windows 10 will have to wait until next year, but at this point you can be a first adopter of sorts. The update removes the bundled Flash, and doesn't allow the reinstallation of it, but it doesn't remove your standalone Flash applications, like browser extensions.

The rest of the removal will happen starting early 2021, as Microsoft will release a Flash removal tool via Windows Update and end the support for Flash on its Edge browser alongside legacy browsers.

Other parts of Flash, like the developer tools, might hang around for a little bit longer but will be terminated later in the year.

Even Adobe themselves have made it clear that there is no future for Flash. Adobe will stop supporting Flash on December 31, 2020.

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AfterDawn: News

Forget Retina: Samsung and Stanford developed a 10,000 PPI display

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 27 Oct 2020 12:06

Forget Retina: Samsung and Stanford developed a 10,000 PPI display Six years ago in June Steve Jobs revealed the first Retina display in the form of iPhone 4. It wasn't necessarily anything mind boggling, although the concept they used was new.

According to Apple back then, 330 PPI display of the iPhone 4 was enough to outperform your retina from a standard viewing distance. In the coming years Apple's Retina displays and others have improved upon the pixel density and on some Android phones we're looking at nearly 600 PPI.

However, these are minor changes in technology compared to what Samsung and Stanford University researchers have been working on. Stanford has released a paper about an OLED display that could reach 10,000 PPI.

This would mean that the width of one pixel is 0.001 inches, or around 2540 nanometers, and you could create a Full HD resolution screen that measured just around 0.2 inches wide.

As mentioned, the display is based on OLED technology that Samsung is a pioneer in, but some of the insights came actually from science of nanoscale photonics the researchers were using developing in new type of solar panels.

Obviously creating a smartphone display, much less a PC screen or TV, with this sort of pixel density is currently not convenient. You would need much more processing power to run it at full resolution, but in smaller screens that need to be denser, like in VR, it could be revolutionary.

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AfterDawn: News

OnePlus announces two new more affordable smartphones, Nord N10 and Nord N100

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 26 Oct 2020 11:34

OnePlus announces two new more affordable smartphones, Nord N10 and Nord N100 OnePlus has today announced that it will be adding two entirely new smartphone models to its catalog. The new Nord N100 and Nord N10 are the company's most affordable models designed based on the OnePlus Nord released earlier this year.

The original Nord didn't arrive to the U.S. but both of these should be available in the States at a later date. First they will be introduced in Europe.

The cheaper one, OnePlus Nord N100, features a Snapdragon 460 chip, a large 6.52 inch HD+ display, 4 GB RAM, and expandable 64 GB storage. Perhaps the most impressive feature is the 5000 milliamp hour battery. There's also a triple camera setup with 13 MP regular shooter, 2MP macro and 2MP depth sensor.

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