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Netflix testing promo videos between episodes, Twitter erupts

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Aug 2018 13:04

Netflix testing promo videos between episodes, Twitter erupts Netflix has truly become a force to be reckoned with in the TV industry. For ten years now the company has managed to steal away cable customers with its ever-increasing content library and more expensive original programming.

Over the years Netflix has also improved the streaming technology, the performance and functionality of the service. This requires a lot of A/B testing and most of those tests will never see the light of day amongst the general public.

Netflix prides itself the king of binge, and the nonstop action is one of the more important reasons why people love Netflix over the old world competitors. Now Netflix is testing something that is definitely one of the most controversial features we've heard of from the streaming service.

The company has been offering test subjects promotional videos between episodes, which, for many, changes everything. When you are watching Netflix you just want to go through episode after episode with no intrusion.

However, the videos aren't the traditional kind of commercials you might see on Hulu for example, they are personalized content from Netflix promoted to the user. So maybe, just maybe, someone could get something out of them. After all you might find your next favorite show from the promo videos.


AfterDawn: News

OnePlus 6T arrives in October - First model to get U.S. carrier partner

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 18 Aug 2018 9:28

OnePlus 6T arrives in October - First model to get U.S. carrier partner OnePlus has been one of the most rapidly growing Android manufacturers in the World. OnePlus has followed its own, pretty unique path and has typically just one phone model available at the time. OnePlus models are praised for offering the flagship phone features, but with almost half the price of those of big name manufacturers' flagship phones. But until now, company has had hard time conquering the U.S. market, where most phones are sold via carriers with the monthly contract.

Now, it seems that OnePlus is finally getting a carrier partner in the U.S. According to CNET's article, the upcoming OnePlus 6T model that is expected to launch in October, will be backed by T-Mobile in the United States. T-Mobile will get short-ish period when it will be the only operator to have the OnePlus 6T available. After that period, OnePlus will release an unlocked model to be used in other U.S. operators' networks.

Most important thing for OnePlus is to get to T-Mobile's selection that it will offer to its existing customers when they change phones. Enthusiasts have always managed to get unlocked OnePlus devices if they wanted to, but due the fact how economics work in phone business in the U.S., those sales can't be very big.


AfterDawn: News

Google loses a court case - Ordered to remove search results that include personal information of a convicted murderer

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 17 Aug 2018 5:15

Google loses a court case - Ordered to remove search results that include personal information of a convicted murderer Google has just lost a court case in Finland. The Supreme Administrative Court of Finland decided today that the search engine giant has to remove search results from its index that include the personal details of a convicted murderer.

The case was brought against Google by the Finnish Data Protection Ombudsmand, the government entity that enforces privacy regulation in Finland. The Ombudsman's office asked Google to remove the results back in 2016, but the search giant refused, citing public interest and freedom of speech.

At the core of the dispute is a murder case that happened in 2012. The man in question was found guilty of murder but was also deemed to be mentally unstable. He was jailed for 10 years but was released last year.

In today's decision, The Supreme Administrative Court decided that the ability for anyone to find details of this person's medical history and illness on Google was detrimental to his life, extending beyond the prison time he served for his crimes.

Google now has to remove all search results listed on the court case from its index. Obviously, the information itself will stay in the Internet, but Google won't show links to those pages anymore.

AfterDawn: News

Google One replaces Google Drive – here's what's new

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 16 Aug 2018 14:41

Google One replaces Google Drive – here's what's new As we already knew after their announcement in May, Google is revamping, and even rebranding, their cloud drive solution.

The search giant is trying to unify their cloud services by focusing everything under the same brand, Google One. This means that the cloud storage known as Google Drive will be in the future under the Google One umbrella.

This also means that if you're paying for a Google Drive service, you'll be automatically transferred to Google One. And don't worry, the deals are in many cases better.

The cheapest version (100 GB) is still $1.99/mo but there's now also another inexpensive 200 GB and $2.99 option that you couldn't get on the legacy service. The pricier $9.99 option is now 2 TB instead of Google Drive's 1 TB.

With the updated Google One, Google has also improved the cloud storage integration with Gmail and Google Photos. You can also add family members to your plan so you can share the storage efficiently, and get help from Google experts.

Google also promises extra benefits from other Google services, such as Google Play credits.


AfterDawn: News

Google Home catching up to Echo, Apple far behind

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 16 Aug 2018 14:17

Google Home catching up to Echo, Apple far behind Smart speakers are one of the most prominent technology trends over the past few years. After Amazon's original Echo, released in 2014, every major technology giant has joined in on the party and released their own voice assistant powered devices.

Now, most notably, we have the Amazon Echo, Google Home as well as Apple HomePod released earlier this year. But how do they compare when it comes to popularity?

Well, Amazon has been leading the pack with quite the margin until now. New 2018 Q2 figures from Strategy Analytics suggest that the lead is quickly narrowing.

Amazon still has the first place with a 41 percent market share but Google is on its heels with 27.6%. Only a year ago Amazon had still three quarters of the market to themselves.

Google has managed to more than quintuple the sales since last year's Q2. Apple hasn't yet made the mark they probably hoped for and still lack behind on the fourth place with a 5.9% marketshare behind the Chinese company Alibaba.

In total smart speaker sales volumes tripled from last years to 11.7 million units. Expect even bigger numbers in the future as the likes of Samsung get theirs on the market.


AfterDawn: News

Want an Apple Car and Apple Glasses? You might be in luck soon

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Aug 2018 11:45

Want an Apple Car and Apple Glasses? You might be in luck soon The first trillion dollar company in the world, Apple, makes fair few different products. Be it the iconic iMac, what seems like a hobby horse Apple TV, or the ultimate money making machine which is obviously the iPhone.

However, in Cupertino they've been very hesitant at engaging in new businesses, and with good results. There might be a few other products that could make a lot of money for Tim Cook and his friends but chances are that most ventures would fail. And that would be unlike Apple.

Behind the scenes Apple is of course developing all kinds of technology and rumors have been suggesting for years that things like Apple car are in development. Now we have more evidence that it actually might be happening, reports AppleInsider.

One of the more revered Apple analysts, Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities, has suggested that Apple is planning on entering the car market with a vehicle in a few years. According to Kuo, Apple Car, or perhaps iCar, will be unveiled in 2023-2025.

His feelings are, and that's pretty much all it is for now, that Apple would not be willing to stay a bystander as the revolution in vehicles is happening. One would expect electric and autonomous vehicles from a technology powerhouse like Apple.


AfterDawn: News

Apple halts iOS 12 beta, users experiencing problems

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Aug 2018 18:41

Apple halts iOS 12 beta, users experiencing problems Apple released the seventh beta version of their newest mobile operating system, the iOS 12. Not long after the update shipped yesterday the Cupertino giant had to, however, take it back.

Users were reporting major problems with the update and Apple decided to pull the update. Many of the beta users were complaining about performance issues that struck right after updating their device.

Reports said apps are slow to start and the lock screen animations are sluggish, laggy or can even halt altogether. Some have also complained about problems in the Notification Center.

Even though the problems occurred in a pre-production beta version, Apple has decided that they are too severe to wait for another update. That is understandable as testing the platform would be hard if it keeps freezing and lagging.

Apple did not pull the update from all channels, though. Over-the-air (OTA) updates were stopped but developers can still access iOS 12 beta 7 manually.

AfterDawn: News

Nvidia unveils Turing architecture, teases next week's gaming GPUs

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Aug 2018 17:55

Nvidia unveils Turing architecture, teases next week's gaming GPUs The leading GPU manufacturer Nvidia has finally gave us some Turing news, and to start with it has revealed its most powerful professional GPU.

Turing is of course the company's new architecture that it will apply not only in the new Quadro RTX 8000 already revealed but also the upcoming, more gamer-friendly, GPUs that are expected from Gamescom next week.

Aforementioned Quadro RTX 8000 is a powerhouse of a GPU that professionals of all ilk working with extreme cases of graphics intensive workloads would appreciate. The unit includes 567 Tensor cores that have been upgraded to Turing specs.

That includes a dedicated RT Core unit which is responsible for raytracing calculations. Obviously that'll give the other processing cores more time to focus on other tasks whether they'd be AI calculations or more general purpose tasks.

Speaking of general purpose tasks, there are 4608 CUDA cores on board the new RTX 8000, and a completely insane 48 gigabytes of GDDR6 memory.

As you might expect, specs like that don't come cheap. In fact the price for RTX 8000 is an insane $10,000. Worry not, though, there will be more affordable Turing cards in the near future.

The company has teased upcoming gamer GPUs on a YouTube video. Nvidia is expected to release new GPUs at Gamescom on August 20.


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo targets ROM sites in legal crackdown

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Aug 2018 8:28

Nintendo targets ROM sites in legal crackdown Nintendo is targeting websites that distribute ROM copies of its classic video games from legacy platforms with lawsuits.

The Japanese gamemaker filed legal action recently in Arizona, targeting LoveRetro and LoveRoms, which offered ROMs of classic games from Sega, Sony, and Atari. It is seeking $150,000 for each Nintendo game offered, and up to $2 million for each trademark infringement.

Responding to the legal action elsewhere, EmuParadise voluntarily removed ROMs from its website. It said that it will continue to operate but will take the website in a different direction.

"We run EmuParadise for the love of retro games and for you to be able to revisit those good times. Unfortunately, it's not possible right now to do so in a way that makes everyone happy and keeps us out of trouble," wrote MasJ, founder of EmuParadise.

Nintendo will be launching a subscription service for its Switch console later this year, and will be offering access to some retro titles.

AfterDawn: News

Musk facing lawsuit over Tesla comments

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Aug 2018 7:52

Musk facing lawsuit over Tesla comments Tesla and founder Elon Musk are the targets of lawsuits from short sellers over comments made by Musk on Twitter.

Tweets made by Elon Musk on August 7 stunned the market as he openly stated his desire to take Tesla private at $420 per share. The proposed $72 billion transaction, for which Musk claimed he had 'secured' funding, pushed Tesla shares up initially by around 13 percent. While much of the gain was lost afterwards, short sellers were hit and are now targeting the firm and its CEO in two lawsuits.

In one lawsuit, Kalman Isaacs claimed that Musk's tweets were false and misleading, and amounted to a nuclear attack designed to completely decimate short sellers. Among with another lawsuit from William Chamberlain, Isaacs alleges that Musk's conduct artificially inflated Tesla's stock price and violated federal securities laws.

Both lawsuits were filed in San Francisco, three days after Musk's original tweets. Isaacs alleges that Musk's conduct cost short sellers hundreds of millions of dollars from having to cover their short positions.


AfterDawn: News

WATCH: Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay in stunning environment

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2018 6:15

WATCH: Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay in stunning environment Rockstar Games is teasing us again ahead of the release of the eagerly-anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2, dropping an official gameplay trailer that shows off the gorgeous world within.

We had already been treated to some shorts of the gorgeous landscapes and environments that will be present in Red Dead Redemption 2, and now Rockstar has given us a taste of the gameplay we can expect. It shows us life in the gritty but stunning American Old West in 1899, during the decline of the age of gunslingers and outlaws.

From outlaw Arthur Morgan's point of view, the player will roam this open world environment with seemingly endless possibilities for interaction and activity. Retained, though improved, from the 2010 original is the Honor system which will allow you to determine Auther's moral compass as you interact with NPCs and come across unseemly situations. You will have a choice of how to react to events you witness and this will determine much about your character.

Combat has been greatly improved since the original game to be more immersive and realistic. Firearm usage is made to feel more accurate right down to the recoil and kickback. The deadeye targeting system which allows the protagonist to aim at multiple individuals in a slow-motion sequence has been improved.


AfterDawn: News

Samsung reveals Galaxy Watch with LTE, long-lasting battery life

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2018 5:53

Samsung reveals Galaxy Watch with LTE, long-lasting battery life Samsung has revealed the new Galaxy Watch with LTE connectivity, long-lasting battery life and a bunch of Health and Productivity focused elements.

The new Galaxy Watch is LTE connected, supported across 30+ carriers and 15+ countries, meaning it can be untethered from a smartphone and deliver messaging, mapping, music and calls. Two separate sizes are available; 42mm and 46mm. The former is available in Midnight Black or Rose Gold, while the latter is available only in Silver.

Another key difference between the options is the battery. The smaller 42mm option packs a 270mAh battery delivering approximately 45 hours on a full charge with typical use or up to 120 hours with low usage. Meanwhile, the 46mm option has a larger 472mAh battery for up to 80 hours per charge with typical usage, or as much as 168 hours with low usage.

Samsung's Galaxy Watch sports a 1.3-inch, Circular Super AMOLED (360 x 360), Full Color Always On Display, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. There will be over 60,000 faces available for the Galaxy Watch. A daily briefing feature will sync your Calendar and show your appointments on the home screen.

There is a strong focus on Health tracking with the Galaxy Watch too. A new stress management tracker, which automatically detects high levels of stress and offers breathing exercises to help keep users centered and focused. Additionally, a new advanced sleep tracker monitors all levels of sleep, including REM cycles, to help users adjust sleeping habits.


AfterDawn: News

Samsung reveals Galaxy Note 9 with connected S Pen

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2018 5:20

Samsung reveals Galaxy Note 9 with connected S Pen Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 beefs up the specs, improves camera performance and adds a smarter, connected S Pen.

The new Galaxy Note 9 delivers what Samsung says is "all-day performance" starting with the 4,000mAh battery (fast wireless charging supported), the largest ever on a flagship Galaxy phone. Under the hood is a 10nm processor (Snapdragon 845 or a Samsung Exynos, depending on location) and a Water Carbon Cooling system and on-device AI-based performance adjusting algorithm to deliver powerful yet stable performance.

It comes with two internal storage options; 128GB or 512GB. Taking into account the microSD slot, the Note 9 can offer up to a terabyte of storage if you include a 512GB card. The Note 9 sports a 6.4-inch end-to-end screen (2960x1440). When it comes to memory, the 128GB option comes with 6GB of RAM, while the 512GB kicks it up to 8GB.

Incorporated from the Galaxy S9 family are new stereo speakers a variable aperture f/1.5-2.4 12-megapixel primary camera, with an additional 12Mpxl camera on the back. New software AI features improve the quality of your photos too. The software can identify elements of a photo, such as scene and subject, to automatically classify it into one of 20 categories and instantly optimize it based on the category. It can also prompt the user to retake a photo if it detects blurry elements, or if a subject blinked, for example.


AfterDawn: News

LibreOffice v6.1 released - download from here!

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 09 Aug 2018 7:38

LibreOffice v6.1 released - download from here! Free open source alterinative to Microsoft Office, LibreOffice, has been updated to v6.1. The office productivity suite was originally born as a spin-off project from OpenOffice suite. Both, OpenOffice and LibreOffice resembled each other quite a lot for many years, but since then, LibreOffice has become the de facto open source office suite for many users and vendors.

The new LibreOffice v6.1 is mostly a minor improvement over v6.0 branch, but has interesting changes in it. Most importantly, the image management system of the entire suite has been revamped and is now easier and smoother to use, especially when editing files originally created in Microsoft Office.

So, if you're looking for a free Microsoft Office compatible suite, you might want to give LibreOffice a test.

You can download the latest version directly from AfterDawn's software section:

LibreOffice v6.1 for Windows (64-bit)

LibreOffice v6.1 for Windows (32-bit)

LibreOffice v6.1 for Mac OS X

AfterDawn: News

Snap gets a $250 million investment from Saudi Arabia

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 08 Aug 2018 20:28

Snap gets a $250 million investment from Saudi Arabia Snap was once perhaps the hottest prospects in the messaging startup game but they've fallen quite a bit from their perceived glory. Now they've once again been trusted with hundreds of millions of foreign investments.

Thanks to Facebook, and others, who've been copying Snapchat's innovative features, and surpassing them in other ways, Snapchat has been struggling to stay relevant and afloat. A $353 million net loss previous quarter is just one of the signs of the waning platform.

Fortunately now Saudi prince Al-Waleed Talal has put forth $250 million to acquire 2.3% stake in the company.

Snap is nowadays known not only from its self-destructive messages, and AR filters called World Lenses that were released last year, but also social media sunglasses, 2016 launched Spectacles, that were revamped earlier this year.

Snapchat has currently just under 200 million users while Facebook-owned Instagram has recently surpassed a billion users according to Statista.


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