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Tesla: Full autonomous driving "feature ready" by end of 2019, robotaxi service to launch in 2020

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 22 Apr 2019 5:29

Tesla: Full autonomous driving "feature ready" by end of 2019, robotaxi service to launch in 2020 Tesla just hosted its Tesla Autonomy Day today where it addressed its plans for autonomous driving. Company has massive plans for the near future, if everything goes as they hope fot.

Firstly, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk said that the company expects their autopilot to achieve the "Level 5" autonomous driving by end fo the year, meaning that it would be capable of driving without a human driver in nearly all possible scenarios imaginable.

Secondly, company outlined its plans for the year 2020 with its robotaxi service. Tesla recently changed the lease contracts of its new customers by stating that after the lease period is over, Tesla wont allow the lessee to buy the car, but instead, Tesla will own it. Now, according to Musk, company will use these previously leased cars, mostly Model 3 vehicles, as the core of its planned fully autonomous ride hailing service, dubbed as Tesla robotaxi.

Telsa expects, in company slides, to get first regulatory approvals for the fully autonomous ride hailing service by end of the year 2020.

You can watch the entire presentation here:




AfterDawn: News

Here's how to transfer all the important data from an old Android phone to a new one

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 21 Apr 2019 8:10

Here's how to transfer all the important data from an old Android phone to a new one Switching smartphones can be a pain in the behind, especially if you are switching platforms. However, even getting a new Android phone to replace an old one can be stress inducing when you think about what data you might lose in the midst of it all.

We'll try to guide you through most of the type of data you might want to keep and move to your new device, and go step by step how to retain your important data while adopting a new device.

Fortunately, Google does offer quite a good set of tools for backups and even dedicated for switching devices, especially when done between two Android devices, so let's get going.

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon Prime Music is available now for free too, kind of

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 20 Apr 2019 11:32

Amazon Prime Music is available now for free too, kind of Amazon has introduced a new tier to its subscription music streaming service. Prime Music is from now on available also for free, and without a Prime membership.

Obviously there is no such thing as free lunch, and Amazon's new free tier is no different. Just like Spotify, you'll have to bear with some ads playing in between of your precious playlists' songs.

The good news is that there are no limits to how much you can listen. You have unlimited access to Prime Music catalog of artists and albums.

The bad news is that you get access to it only alongside Alexa. So you'll need either Amazon's own smart speaker Echo or some other Alexa-supported device.

There's also a very annoying caveat. See, you cannot play any song you want when you want it. Instead you can tell Alexa to play songs from specific artist or genre and it'll generate a playlist.

The feature is currently limited to Alexa-enable devices in the United States.

You can use following methods to enjoy free music on Alexa-enabled devices:

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AfterDawn: News

Google and Amazon settle differences with Prime Video, YouTube, Chromecast

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Apr 2019 11:45

Google and Amazon settle differences with Prime Video, YouTube, Chromecast A dispute broke out between Google and Amazon approximately two years ago when Amazon released the first smart display, Echo Show. The device combined a display with smart speaker functionality, and they promoted the device with what was perhaps the most obvious use case, YouTube viewing.

Google wasn't happy about it, most likely because even they didn't have a device that could show YouTube's hundreds and thousands of cooking instructions on a smart home device, and they blocked YouTube from Echo Show. This strife grew more bitter and it has meant that viewing YouTube content on Amazon devices and vice versa has been a pain, if possible at all.

Fortunately, especially for us the customers with both Amazon and Google devices and services, the two companies have come to an agreement today about integrating with each others offerings.

YouTube will be making a comeback to Amazon's Fire TV devices and Prime Video will start supporting Google's streaming platform Chromecast. In addition Amazon promised to extend Prime Video's support on Android TVs.

Unfortunately, and somewhat ironically, the agreement doesn't bring YouTube to Echo Show, which sparked the conflict to begin with. Perhaps there indeed was something wrong with the YouTube implementation on Echo Show, like previously Google argued.

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AfterDawn: News

Android will soon offer EU users to switch to another search engine and browser

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 18 Apr 2019 8:20

Android will soon offer EU users to switch to another search engine and browser European Union slapped Google a 4.3 billion euro ($5bn) fine last year for breaking EU's competition laws with Android operating system. Now Google has outlined its plans on how it will comply with EU legislation in future.

Google was fined for forcing manufacturers to bundle Google's search engine and Google's browser, Chrome, with the Android operating system if manufacturer wanted to have an access to other Google products. Company was also found guilty of preventing manufacturers to ship devices with modified Android versions, such as Lineage OS.

Basically this meant that if a phone manufacturer wanted to offer, say, Bing as the pre-installed search engine on its devices, Google wouldn't allow company to ship the device with certain Google products, such as YouTube. Most importantly, Google wouldn't allow manufacturers who didn't comply, to install Google Play to their devices, basically forcing users out of the de facto Android app store.

Now, to soften its grip on users, Google will provide two options for Android users in Europe: Firstly, it will ask whether the user would like to install another search provider to their phone. Secondly, Android will offer user to install other web browsers to their phones. If user installs another browser or search engine, Android will also guide user on how to set up the new installation as the system default. Furthermore, Chrome will offer user to choose an alternative search provider to be used within Chrome browser.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung investigating Galaxy Fold screen problems

Written by James Delahunty @ 18 Apr 2019 5:23

Samsung investigating Galaxy Fold screen problems Samsung is investigating multiple reports that its ambitious Galaxy Fold device broke under normal usage.

The $2,000 foldable smartphone / tablet from Samsung stole the show when it was unveiled at the Unpacked event earlier this year. Audience members reacted positively to a demonstration of the powerful smartphone being folded out into a tablet device on stage. It all looked rather easy and an excellent bit of engineering.

Unfortunately, the device has now run into some pretty serious issues as units have been shipped out for review. Multiple reviewers took to their websites and to social media to show how the device had broken under normal usage typically after a couple of days.

"We will thoroughly inspect these units ... to determine the cause of the matter," Samsung said in a statement about the issues, reports Reuters.


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AfterDawn: News

Apple and Qualcomm settle patent dispute, strike a 5G deal

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Apr 2019 12:44

Apple and Qualcomm settle patent dispute, strike a 5G deal Apple and Qualcomm has been called the new Apple and Samsung of patent disputes. The latter two fought over multitude of patents over a time span of a decade, and the former just starter their war of attrition.

One could've easily seen this feud go for years and years, but in a surprising turn of events, it has ended as quickly as it began. Apple and Qualcomm have decided to settle their differences.

Both have dropped all of their litigation against the other, whether it was Apple for calling out Qualcomm's so-called unfair licensing practices or on the other hand Qualcomm claiming Apple has stolen their chip secrets among other things.

The beneficiary of this settlement was Qualcomm, which is going to receive a payment, amount of which wasn't revealed.

It seems like a very odd thing for Apple, but if you've been following Intel's latest news, this settlement comes as no surprise.

Intel, the Apple's chip partner has decided to call it quits with their 5G chip development. This means that Apple needs to quickly move towards a deal with another 5G chip developer.

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AfterDawn: News

Intel ends 5G development, leaves iPhone without a modem

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Apr 2019 12:29

Intel ends 5G development, leaves iPhone without a modem Intel has revealed yesterday that it will be folding its 5G smartphone modem business. The chip partner of Apple has had trouble with its 5G modem development, and apparently they've been too hard to overcome.

Delays have plagued Intel's 5G modems, and Apple has reportedly looked elsewhere for a chip provider. Intel is continuing other 5G operations, including both networking and PC side of things.

They are also committed to providing existing 4G products for smartphones, but no 5G modems for smartphones will be unveiled, including the ones planned for release next year and heading to iPhones.

This leaves the door open for others, including Qualcomm who have expressed interest in providing chips to Apple despite a patent dispute looming in the background. In fact, Qualcomm and Apple settled their lawsuits and agreed on a six-year licensing deal.




AfterDawn: News

Capcom's Home Arcade is a new take on retro gaming

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Apr 2019 8:06

Capcom's Home Arcade is a new take on retro gaming Retro consoles, or mini consoles, have been immensely popular in the past couple of years. Started by Nintendo in 2016 with the NES Classic, which sold millions, companies like Sony, Sega and Atari have joined in.

Now Capcom, game company behind many retro hit games, has decided to create their own gaming system. It is called Capcom Home Arcade, and isn't quite the console others have made.

In fact, Capcom's device is more of a mini arcade, a plug-and-play arcade controller that you connect straight to your TV. According to Capcom, there is a total of 16 preloaded arcade hits from when some of us were kids (exhaustive list below).

The controller, shaped like a Capcom logo, has two Sanwa JLF-TP-8YT joysticks and eight OBSF buttons for up to two players. Video output is HDMI and charging happens via microUSB. It also supports WiFi for linking to global leaderboards.

Capcom is bringing the console to stores on May 25 in Europe for £199.99/€229.99. North American launch is said to happen shortly after.

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix is trying out top 10 lists for recommendations

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Apr 2019 7:47

Netflix is trying out top 10 lists for recommendations Netflix is fairly sneaky with different kinds of A/B testing, which we probably most of the time don't even notice. The company also can change features on a whim it seems, like it did with ratings.

Now the company is testing a feature to recommend content more efficiently. According to reports, Netflix is bringing top 10 lists to the service.

The Verge reports that Netflix is starting the test in the UK later this quarter. Each genre and category will get their own top 10, and the lists will be updated weekly.

This is one of the first ways we, the customers, get to see which shows and movies are really performing. Netflix hasn't previously shared much statistics at all, except for the odd mention of movies with 80 million viewers.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has expressed that the test will be expanded, or ended, within a few months from the start. One can only hope for the former so we can see which Netflix Original shows take the crowns.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox One without disc drive gets launch date

Written by James Delahunty @ 17 Apr 2019 5:59

Xbox One without disc drive gets launch date Microsoft will release an Xbox One S console without an included Blu-ray Disc drive as has been rumored since late last year.

The new Xbox One S All-Digital Edition will be released on May 7 for $250, which is $50 less than a typical Xbox One S that has an optical disc drive. It comes with an Xbox Wireless controller, a 1TB hard drive and with three popular Microsoft-owned titles: Minecraft, Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 3.

Rumors that Microsoft was working on an Xbox One without a disc drive started in late 2018. It is aimed at customers who download their games, or are subscribers to the Xbox Game Pass service. It also comes ahead of Microsoft's upcoming game streaming platform, dubbed Project xCloud.

To coincide with the forthcoming release of the all-digital version of the Xbox One, Microsoft is also offering access to Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold for a $15 per month fee. That cost is actually the same as if you had subscribed to Game Pass, which is $10 per month, and had an annual Xbox Live subscription at $60 per year (and so, $5 per month), though of course the latter would have to be paid in full for a year rather than monthly.

More info: Xbox.com




AfterDawn: News

Almost 3 million Americans still use Netflix as a DVD rental service rather than streaming service

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 17 Apr 2019 3:27

Almost 3 million Americans still use Netflix as a DVD rental service rather than streaming service Most of the world knows Netflix only as a gigantic streaming service, but only few people outside the U.S. know that the company was founded as a DVD rental service back in 1998. It might come as a shock that this DVD rental service still exists - and is doing just fine.

Netflix's DVD rental service still works exactly like it used to work: the subscriber pays a flat monthly fee and for that fee receives one DVD by mail to his/her home, along with a pre-paid return envelope. Once the user is done with the DVD, he/she sends the DVD back prompting Netflix to send the user a new DVD in an envelope. The DVDs are shipped from user's "I want these" type of list, in priority order, if the DVD is available. If not, the next in line ships.

Pricing starts from $7.99 for "one DVD disc at a time" service and increases to $14.99 premier pricing, which allows user to have two DVDs rented at the same time - and to use Blu-Ray instead of DVDs. Netflix has revealed in its latest financials that a whopping 2.7 million people in the United States still use the Netflix's DVD.com service.

The reasons behind the decision for some people to stick with DVDs rather than jump the streaming service bandwagon are actually quite logical. In rural areas of the United States, there are still large areas where you can't get a fast-enough Internet connection to watch streaming content - or it simply costs too much.

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AfterDawn: News

First PlayStation 5 hardware details emerge

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Apr 2019 11:19

First PlayStation 5 hardware details emerge Mark Cerny spoke to Wired about the hardware under the hood of the next generation PlayStation console that will replace the PS4.

The video games industry stalwart will serve as lead system architect for the next generation PlayStation console, which we will refer to as PlayStation 5 (PS5). Just how much of an upgrade will the PS5 be? When you consider that Sony has already ramped up the hardware of its current PS4 generation in the PS4 Pro, what can we realistically expect in terms of improvement?

Cerny's revelations in an interview with Wired are encouraging. Capable of producing 8K graphics output, the PS5 is not simply intended to be a minor upgrade over PS4 Pro. It will pack an AMD Rizen CPU with eight cores, based on AMD's 7nm Zen 2 microarchitecture. It's GPU is of AMD's Redeon Navi family, and for the first time in a console it will support ray tracing, which in gaming is limited to very expensive high-end systems.

Ray tracing mimics how light bounces across objects in an environment for much more visually accurate rendering.

PS5 also delivers improvement from the stoage device by packing an SSD. Yes, you can use an external SSD with the PS4 to improve performance, but Cerny is suggesting that the SSD in the PS5 will not be the same as one you put in your laptop.

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AfterDawn: News

Oops: SpaceX' Falcon Heavy core booster falls into sea

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Apr 2019 8:07

Oops: SpaceX' Falcon Heavy core booster falls into sea SpaceX managed an impressive feat when the core booster from its latest Falcon Heavy rocket launch landed on a drone ship at sea, but unfortunately it did not make it back to port.

Last week's SpaceX launch was technoligically and visually stunning as the rocket firm managed a synchronized landing of two side boosters that separated from the core in SpaceX, and then managed to land the core booster on a drone ship at sea. This was only the second time SpaceX flew a Falcon Heavy rocket, and the first time it managed to land all three boosters.

The side boosters were intended to be reused with the very next Falcon Heavy launch. Given that the side boosters are essentially modified Falcon 9 boosters (in fact the first demonstration launch used two previously flown and landed Falcon 9 boosters as side boosters), the design has a track record of success in landing and re-flight.

However, the core is a more fortified, tougher version of the Falcon 9 booster and so has landed successfully only once, and therefore would likely not have been reflown but probed by SpaceX engineers instead.

Unfortunately, while the core landed upright on the drone ship, it never made it back to port. Choppy seas meant that the upright core booster eventually fell over and was lost to the sea. While this is a disappointment for SpaceX, it doesn't take away from the achievement of landing it in the first place. The rocket firm said that it would not compromise on the safety of its workers in recovery operations.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple Watch alerts authorities when 80 year old takes fall

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Apr 2019 5:42

Apple Watch alerts authorities when 80 year old takes fall Emergency services arrived at the residence of an 80 year old lady that had taken a hard fall after her Apple Watch called for help.

The device contacts emergency services in Haidhausen, Munich, after wearer took a heavy fall and failed to tap an option on the screen of the device confirming she was OK. A dispathcer accepted the emergency call from the device which informed him that a person had falled heavily, and then transmitted the coordinates of the scene of the accident.

Additionally, the Watch also contacted the elderly lady's son as he was designated as an emergency contact.

An ambulance was dispatched and arrived at the lady's home based on the coordinates given by the Watch. When they were unable to gain entry to the residence, a fire unit was dispatched and gained entry to the home. Thankfully, the lady was not injured despite taking the fall and the ambulance crew looked her over and waited with her for her son to arrive.

Apple Watch can detect a hard fall and will prompt a message on screen giving the user the option to respond "I'm OK", or to tap "EMERGENCY SOS" to contact authorities. For over 65s, the feature is automatically enabled. If a person fails to respond to the watch after a fall, it will contact authorities and other designated contacts.

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