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AfterDawn: News

Logitech ends its line of Harmony remotes

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 12 Apr 2021 3:52

Logitech ends its line of Harmony remotes Logitech, best known for its keyboards and mice, has decidedd to end its once-popular Harmony line of universal remote controls.

Logitechh's Harmony remotes have been praised by many and they had their heyday in first decade of 2000s. About 15 years ago many countries went through digtalization of TVs and there was a need for separate STB in order to get digital TV transmissions to old, analog TV sets. Furthermore, the decade also marked the peak time for DVDs. Thus, many households had several peripherals connected to the TV: STB, DVD player and various others. So, the need for remotes that could command them all was also at its peak.

Since then, things have changed: streaming services have largely replaced DVDs, TVs themselves have the streaming service apps integrated into them and built-in digital TV receivers are commonplace with TV sets. So, the need for universal remotes has also diminished.

Company predicted the trend early on and considered selling its Harmony business back in 2013, but decided to keep it in house instead. But now, Logitech has announced that they have stopped manufacturing Harmony remotes for good.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony Pictures licenses its upcoming movies to Netflix, exclusively

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 09 Apr 2021 5:08

Sony Pictures licenses its upcoming movies to Netflix, exclusively One of the few major studios that hasn't tried to create its own Netflix competitor is Sony Pictures. Now, Sony Pictures has decided to license all its upcoming movie releases exclusively to Netflix.

Deal includes upcoming sequels to award-winning 2018 Spider-Man animation film, Uncharted movies and more. All Sony's big screen releases from year 2022 onwards will be made available to Netflix shortly after their theatrical release.

Furthermore, the deal includes also all Sony Pictures' direct-to-streaming movies and select past titles from its vast movie catalog. It should be noted that while Marvel is nowadays part of Disney empire, Sony has full film rights to some Marvel's characters - most notably, to those appearing in Spider-Man universe. Thus, while other Marvel movies and series are moving to Disney+, those owned by Sony will be Netflix-exclusive.

Sony's press release doesn't give out much more information about the deal. The length nor the price of the deal are not made public.

Sony's Spider-Mar: Into the Spider-verse won the best animated film Academy Award back in 2019. All its upcoming sequels can be found on Netflix under this deal.

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AfterDawn: News

World's largest demo party stream banned by Twitch, during the event

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 06 Apr 2021 11:59

World's largest demo party stream banned by Twitch, during the event World's largest pure demo party, Revision has been held annually in Germany since 2011. This time around the event was held remotely, due the global COVID-19 pandemic. But during the event, the streaming platform provider Twitch decided to ban the event's stream, without warning.

Twitch has recently expanded to various gaming and demo events, trying to expand its reach beyond game streaming platform. Thus, Revision had chosen Twitch as its streaming provider in order to cater the event, competitions and all things involved to its virtual visitors.

During the Saturday afternoon, however, Twitch hhad decided to block the Revision's stream - without warning and with no reason given why they banned the stream. Revision party relies heavily on volunteers who have poured thousands of hours of work to ensure that the event runs as smoothly as possible. Not to mention all the demo groups that have invested hundreds of hours to their art that was meant to be showcased in Revision competition.

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AfterDawn: News

Long-lost Soviet Lord of the Rings movie was found and is now at YouTube

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 06 Apr 2021 7:36

Long-lost Soviet Lord of the Rings movie was found and is now at YouTube On the very last days of the Soviet Union, a local TV channel in Leningrad released its own movie version of iconic J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings book trilogy. Movie was aired once and was thought to be lost forever, until now.

The TV channel Leningrad Television aired the movie on the very same year the Soviet Union eventually collapsed. As years passed by, many enthusiasts have tried to find the movie - or even bootleg copies of it, to no avail. But just over the Easter weekend, the TV channel's successor, 5TV, added the entire movie to YouTube.

Movie, called Khraniteli, has gathered already over 700'000 views online, despite it being - well, obviously - in Russian language. As the budget wasn't exactly a match to the movies made by Peter Jackson in early 2000s, it is still a notable piece of history.

You can watch the entire movie here, it has been split into two parts:

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AfterDawn: News

LG to quit mobile phone business for good

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 01 Apr 2021 9:11

LG to quit mobile phone business for good Korean tech giant LG is reported to end its mobile phone business line completely.

Company's phone business has been a loss-maker for more than 6 years now and company has previously announced that it is seeking for "various options" for its mobile phone business. Now, according to Korean sources it seems that company has made a decision to quit the mobile phone business completely.

According to the reports by The Korean Times, LG will shift its current mobile phone workforce to company's other business segments and to cease the mobile phone business for good.

Meanwhile, LG's shares have soared in Korean stock market, boosted by strong demand for its flat-screen TVs and home appliances. It has also grown to be one of the biggest component providers for electronic vehicles, boosted by its strong presence in battery manufacturing business.

Company hasn't officially confirmed the rumors about its mobile phone business yet, but according to The Korean Times, such announcement is expected on early next week.




AfterDawn: News

Android 11 update tracker - What phones will get it?

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 26 Mar 2021 2:58

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.

Samsung


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
  • Galaxy S10
  • Galaxy S10+
  • Galaxy S10e
  • Galaxy Fold
  • Galaxy Z Fold2
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite
  • Samsung Galaxy M31
  • Samsung Galaxy A51 (OTA rolled out in Europe: 5th of Feb, 2021)
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
  • Samsung Galaxy M21
  • Samsung Galaxy M31s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
  • Samsung Galaxy A51 5G
  • Samsung Galaxy A71

April 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A50
  • Samsung Galaxy A50s
  • Samsung Galaxy A80
  • Samsung Galaxy M51

May 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A70s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
  • 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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AfterDawn: News

Review: OnePlus 9 Pro - Finally a worthy contender

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 24 Mar 2021 1:00

Review: OnePlus 9 Pro - Finally a worthy contender Back in the day, OnePlus made its mark among tech enthusiasts by bringing high-end phone features to the mid-range price segment. It originally dubbed its phones as "flagship killers" and managed to do exactly that. However, as the competition has intensified, OnePlus has had to push its pricing up each year to maintain its position as a manufacturer with extremely fast Android phones.

This time around, OnePlus's main focus is on camera technology, as it has been widely regarded as the only area where the company's phones haven't been able to properly compete against the big guys like Samsung and Apple. To push its cameras to the next level, OnePlus has partnered with iconic Swedish camera brand, Hasselblad, and has also continued its on-going partnership with Sony to develop a custom imaging sensor for its flagship device.

We got the OnePlus 9 Pro for our review team well before its launch, so we had time to assess whether the company has finally managed to create a phone that is truly superb, in all areas possible.



Tech specs


Dimensions163,2mm x 73,6mm x 8,7mm
Weight197 grams
Display6,7" ; 20.1:9 ; 3216 x 1440px (525 ppi)
120 Hz AMOLED LTPO
Gorilla Glass 5
SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 888
Memory8GB / 12GB
Storage128GB / 256GB
CamerasMain:
48 MP ; OIS ; EIS ; f/1.8 ; Somy IMX789
Ultra-wide:
50 MP ; f/2.2 ; Sony IMX766
Tele:
8 MP
Selfie camera16 MP, fixed focus
Battery4'500 mAh
OSAndroid 11
OtherDouble-SIM, 5G, 50W wireless charging, 65W wired charging

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AfterDawn: News

OnePlus unveiled their first smartwatch: Here's OnePlus Watch

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 23 Mar 2021 12:03

OnePlus unveiled their first smartwatch: Here's OnePlus Watch The Chinese smartphone company has today announced their highly anticipated smartwatch, OnePlus Watch. The company's first smartwatch was accompanied by the release of the new OnePlus 9 Series smarpthones.

Interestingly, OnePlus has decided to not go with Google's smartphone OS, or any other common smartphone platform, instead they've created their own.

This Apple-like move might make it easier for OnePlus to customize the experience but amount and quality of apps is reliant on OnePlus as well.

The smartwatch has a clear focus on health but it's packed with features, like GPS and Warp fast charging. You can charge week's battery life in just 20 minutes.

OnePlus has created the body from stainless steel, although there's also a special cobalt version, and watch face is measured at 46 mm.

While the watch is designed to be used alongside OnePlus 9, you can use it with any Android device or even iPhones, although that is still a work in progress.

OnePlus Watch is IP68 water and dust resistant, has a 15 day battery life, features over 110 workout modes, can measure blood oxygen, and offers 4 gigabytes storage for in-device music

OnePlus Watch starts at $159 with Cobalt special edition coming later.




AfterDawn: News

OnePlus announced new OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 23 Mar 2021 11:48

OnePlus announced new OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro OnePlus has today announced their new OnePlus 9 Series smartphones. The new OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro aim to impress you with new Hasselblad cameras, better performance, and improved displays.

Let's take the most drastic change first which comes with the cooperation between the Chinese smartphone manufacturer and one of the world's most celebrated camera brands, Hasselblad. OnePlus promises that this has resulted in one of the best cameras on any phone.

The Hasselblad Camera for Mobile platform provides more accurate colors and better allround photo quality, OnePlus says. Behind the tuning of the colors and quality are hundreds of tests provided by Hasselblad ambassadors and professional photographers.

Both models have the largely the same camera specs including a 48 MP default shooter and a 50 MP wide angle camera, but only the OnePlus 9 Pro has a telephoto camera capable of optical zoom.

OnePlus collaboration with Hasselblad

Hasselblad Camera for Mobile can be found on both phones.

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AfterDawn: News

Nasa and SpaceX agree on traffic laws for space

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 22 Mar 2021 7:32

Nasa and SpaceX agree on traffic laws for space As the Elon Musk's company, SpaceX expands its Starlink satellite constellation, the need for traffic laws for space has grown significantly. Now, SpaceX and Nasa have agreed to create traffic rules for space.

SpaceX's Starlink satellite network requires unholy amount of small communication satellites, located in Earth's geostationary orbit. Company has applied permissions for a whopping 42'000 Starlink satellites to be deployed. Currently there are over 1'200 Starlink satellites in the orbit already.

Such massive number of satellites poses a potential disaster for other organizations operating in space. Thus, the agreement, dubbed as Joint Spaceflight Safety Agreement, was announced by both, Nasa and SpaceX.

Under the agreement, both parties agree that in case of an inevitable collision, it is SpaceX that will steer away, using the ion thrusters on each hStarlink satellite. Without such agreement in place, a situation could happen where both, Nasa and SpaceX try to avoid collision and direct their instruments to the same direction, causing the collision anyway.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix to crack down on password sharing with friends

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 12 Mar 2021 8:11

Netflix to crack down on password sharing with friends As the world is littered with online streaming services, the habit of sharing streaming service passwords with your friends has become a standard practice for many. This has been the de facto status for Netflix for years now, but company hasn't cared much about it. Not until now, it seems.

Handful of people all across the world have seen lately a message from Netflix asking whether they live with the account owner or not. Message has stated simply:

If you don't live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching.

To continue watching after this notification, Netflix has sent a confirmation code via email or SMS to the account owner. Only by entering the confirmation code, could the watching be continued.

Netflix has stated that this is a small-scale test it is conducting. Netflix's official Terms of service clearly states that sharing passwords to those who don't live within the same household is banned. Their ToS states that account is for "personal and non-commercial use only and may not be shared with individuals beyond your household".

The test might hint that company is about to end account sharing among friends somehow in near future. Spotify started cracking down on unauthorized family account sharing back in 2019, so it might be that Netflix has watched Spotify to do the dirty work - and realize that it didn't have any negative impact on Spotify.




AfterDawn: News

Guide: Create timelapse video with Android phone, using free open source app

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 09 Mar 2021 9:00

Guide: Create timelapse video with Android phone, using free open source app Timelapse videos are getting more and more popular: you can see them in social media and in ads all over the world. We wanted to create a guide on how to make your own timelapse videos with free, open source apps, but with ease and with excellent video quality.

Timelapse videos are basically sped up videos, focused on specific object or scenery for the duration of the video. Most typical timelapse videos show a scenery, from dawn until dusk.

For the purpose of this guide, we went through tons of various timelapse apps and eventually found the best suited for our purposes: Open Camera app for Android. It is fully free, open source app that doesn't have any ads or doesn't try to make you buy more features. Furthermore, it allows full control of video quality, speed of the timelapse video and more.

Sure, many phones ship with manufacturer's own camera app that might have some kind of timelapse feature built-in. However, we feel that Open Camera provides much more flexibility than most stock apps we've seen so far.

  1. What is needed for creating a timelapse video?
  2. Open Cameran settings
  3. Video mode and video settings
  4. Let's do it!
  5. Finally, finished video!

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AfterDawn: News

Guard shared picture of prison's master key - Prison had to change its locks

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 05 Mar 2021 9:49

Guard shared picture of prison's master key - Prison had to change its locks In German prison, a novel breach of security happened that mixed the old and new world quite beautifully.

An intern working at German prison shared picture of the prison's master key to his buddies through WhatsApp. After German Brandenburg's state justify ministry found out about the incident, they ordered all the prison's locks to be changed.

According to Brandenburg's justice ministry, a skilled locksmith could be able to reproduce the prison masterkey just from the shared picture, so they couldn't take the risk that such incident would really happen.

The intern now has to pay for up to 50'000 euros (appx. $59'600) what it costs to replace all 600 locks in the prison complex. Also, his internship was terminated immediately.

Source: The Local (paywall)

picture: Wikipedia




AfterDawn: News

Google's crazy idea: Project Wolverine to bring superhuman hearing to masses

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 04 Mar 2021 10:35

Google's crazy idea: Project Wolverine to bring superhuman hearing to masses Google's parent company, Alphabet, has a "crazy ideas" subsidiary that is simply called as X. Now, rumors say, X is developing something straight out of sci-fi comics.

Dubbed as Wolverine, as a nod to the X-Men character with superhuman senses, thhe device is aimed to enhance human hearing to superhuman levels. Several former Google employees have confirmed the project's existance to Bloomberg.

Wolverine is basically an ear-piece that is connected to extremely sensitive microphones, coupled with sci-fi level of algorithms and pinch of processing power. The aim is to create a device that would allow person to choose one person in a crowded area who they want to listen to. The device would mute out all other background noise and other people's voices, allowing person to listen to selected voice - even from a distance. Imagine a concert where you want to speak to a person standing 10ft apart from you and you might grasp the idea of how useful such device would be.

According to sources, X has worked on the project from 2018 and it has been personally approved by Google co-founder Sergey Brim. X's spokesperson has also hinted about a product related to "future of hearing", which would pretty much confirm the Bloomberg's findings.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple opens all US stores for the first time since COVID-19 pandemic began

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Mar 2021 11:47

Apple opens all US stores for the first time since COVID-19 pandemic began Apple Inc has opened all of its 270 US-based stores for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Over the past year, Apple has been cautious and reactive in the operation of its stores in the United States. In order to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the iPhone maker has not had all of its U.S. stores open at any time.

Instead, Apple has relied on local information and public health policies. In some cases, Apple has decided to shut stores even when it is technically permitted to keep them operating under local health policies.

It also took other measures such as its Express format, which allowed it to sell some items outside the store at sales counters protected by plexiglass.

With the recent opening of several stores in Texas, Apple now has all of its stores opened although some may still have limitations, such as a requirement to make appointments for in-store shopping.





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