AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Andre Yoskowitz (July, 2011)

AfterDawn: News

Spotify sued over its music streaming technology

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2011 3:26

Spotify sued over its music streaming technology It's only been in the U.S. for two weeks (read our review here) but Spotify is already facing a patent lawsuit.

The unlimited streaming music service has been sued here and in Europe by PacketVideo, who claims to own two patents that cover "methods of streaming music over data networks," says the BBC.

Spotify says it will "strongly contest" all claims on the patents, which were filed in 1995 when streaming music and data networks were not relevant.

PacketVideo says it tried to "amicably resolve" the dispute out of court but was shot down.

Spotify, in response to the suit says:

Our success is due to highly innovative, proprietary hybrid technology that incorporates peer-to-peer technology.

PacketVideo is claiming that by distributing music over the internet, Spotify (and by inference any other similar digital music service) has infringed one of the patents that has previously been acquired by PacketVideo. Spotify is strongly contesting PacketVideo's claim.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Google starts hotel booking service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2011 3:15

Google starts hotel booking service Google gets itself into a new arena.

Months after acquiring ITA, a leader in flight comparison software, the search giant has now launched a service for finding and booking hotels.

"Google Hotel Finder is an "experimental search tool," says the company, who has launched the service in the US for the time being.

Integrating Google Maps, the service will help users refine their choices with price, stars, user rating and geographic location.

Interested users can then create a list of choices and book the hotel directly through Priceline, Travelocity, Expedia, Hotels.com and others.





AfterDawn: News

Nortel patent trove purchase facing extra scrutiny from DOJ

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2011 3:01

Nortel patent trove purchase facing extra scrutiny from DOJ Earlier this month, Apple and a consortium that includes RIM, Sony, Ericsson, EMC and Microsoft outbid Google and purchased 6000 patents from bankrupt telecom Nortel Networks.

Google opened the auction at $900 million but the final bid was a massive $4.5 billion.

The patents covered a wide range of topics from wireless, data and optical networking, voice, Internet and semiconductors.

Today, the Department of Justice has let it be known that they are "intensifying" investigations into what the patents will be used for by their new owners.

Specifically, the DOJ wants to know whether the patents were purchased with the sole intention of starting lawsuits against Google over the Android platform. The DOJ reserves the right to place rules and conditions on the sale depending on what the answers are from the companies involved.

Google, in their initial bid, said they were buying the patents to protect themselves from litigation.





AfterDawn: News

Rovi sues Hulu over patent infringement

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2011 2:53

Rovi sues Hulu over patent infringement Rovi, the interactive programing guide vendor has sued Hulu this week, over alleged patent violations.

The three patents are US Patent #6,396,546, US Patent #7,103,906 and US Patent #7,769,775 and each relates to, unsurprisingly, online TV program guides and search products.

Rovi is seeking monetary damages and attorney fees in the case.

In 2010, the company sued Toshiba over similar patents, and in the end, Toshiba agreed to license the products and will use Rovi's TotalGuide interactive guide in upcoming TVs.

No stranger to litigation, Rovi tried a similar case against Virgin Media in 2008 and despite winning the case in 2011, the patents were ruled invalid and stripped from their inventory.

Additionally, the company formerly known as Macrovision is in a current suit with IMDB (and parent Amazon) over 5 patents relating to program guides.





AfterDawn: News

Anonymous hacks government contractor

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2011 2:43

Anonymous hacks government contractor AntiSec, the group formed by Anonymous and LulzSec, has claimed a new victim, the government security contractor ManTech International.

The group published 400MB of internal documents to the Pirate Bay last night.

ManTech has the FBI, the departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, Energy and Justice and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as customers.

Reads the message with the leaked documents:

[W]e pwned ManTech utterly and throughly; and we did not need hundreds of millions for it. In fact, we did not require any funds at all, we did it with Lulz.

We are providing these ManTech documents so the public can see for themselves how their tax money is being spent. But don't you worry, the U.S. is a rich country and can afford to waste money, right?


Most of the documents involve ManTech's dealings with NATO.





AfterDawn: News

Google buys up 1029 IBM patents

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2011 2:36

Google buys up 1029 IBM patents Google has confirmed they have purchased 1029 patents from IBM this week, for wide-ranging tech.

All 1029 are listed here thanks to SEObythesea and relate to everything from SEO to routers, microprocessing chips and object oriented programming.

Financials of the purchase were not revealed, but it was likely not cheap.

Says Google of the deal (via IB):

Like many tech companies, at times we'll acquire patents that are relevant to our business needs. Bad software patent litigation is a wasteful war that no one will win.


Patents have become somewhat of a battlefield in recent years, following the rise of smartphones. Oracle is currently in a suit against Google over Java use in Android and is seeking billions of dollars in damages and royalties. Apple, the king of the smartphone, is currently in fights with Samsung, HTC and Nokia.





AfterDawn: News

Premium Hulu subscriptions to go ad-free?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2011 2:27

Premium Hulu subscriptions to go ad-free? According to a Hulu Support Team tweet, it appears that the company is looking into going ad-free for their premium subscription packages.

Currently, despite paying $7.99 per month, Hulu Plus users still get ads with their TV and movie playback.

Reads the tweet:

We’re currently an ad-supported service but looking into the option of a higher price ad-free version.


Hulu has put itself up for sale and is said to be valued at around $2 billion, as long as certain conditions are met such as exclusive licensing agreements for up to 5 years.

Apple, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are all said to have at least had opening talks with the on-demand streaming company.





AfterDawn: News

Opera users are smart, Internet Explorer users are dumb

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jul 2011 11:15

Opera users are smart, Internet Explorer users are dumb According to a new survey by consulting company AptiQuant, Internet Explorer users scored lower than other browser users on a standard IQ test.

The group tested 100,000 participants while monitoring what browser they used.

A "population average" for IQ tests is 100, but Internet Explorer users scored below average. IE 6 users scored the worst of all, at just over 80. IE6 was released in 2001.

Users of Opera, Camino and Explorer with Chrome Frame scored the highest, with over 110. Opera users scored over 120.

Chrome, Firefox and Safari users were slightly above average.

Internet Explorer remains the world's most popular browser, since it comes pre-installed in new Windows builds. The browser has 43 percent market share, according to StatCounter, ahead of Firefox at 29 percent and Chrome at 19 percent.





AfterDawn: News

Dell shows off Streak 10 Pro in China

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jul 2011 10:26

Dell shows off Streak 10 Pro in China Dell has launched its Streak 10 Pro tablet in China this week.

The Honeycomb tablet is the company's first 10-inch model and is priced competitively at 2,999 yuan ($465 USD).

Streak 10 Pros feature a 1280x800 resolution, dual-cameras, edge-to-edge glass, Tegra dual-core processor, an SD slot, and is just 0.47-inches thick while weighing 1.5 lbs.

Dell also sells a dock that adds multiple USB ports including a "Host mode" which allows for PC emualtion.

John Thode, a Dell vice president and manager of Dell's mobility business, told Cnet why the company chose China for launch:

This...avoids a bunch of the inhibitors and barriers to success that we've seen in the U.S. market. Things like confusion over what exactly Android is bringing to the table.





AfterDawn: News

Ubisoft sees decline in piracy thanks to draconian DRM

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jul 2011 5:01

Ubisoft sees decline in piracy thanks to draconian DRM Ubisoft has been in the headlines the last year due to its use of DRM that requires an "always-on" Internet connection.

If you ever have a connection hiccup, or just plain lose service, you are returned to the main menu. With the DRM, you cannot play games offline, even in "single player" modes. This has happened multiple times where an Ubisoft authorization server has gone down, leaving legitimate players standing idle while those with pirated copies play happily.

The most recent game to feature the DRM is "Driver: San Francisco," which will launch in August.

In an interview with PCG, the developer says the DRM has been a success, seeing "a clear reduction in piracy of our titles which required a persistent online connection."

Despite the outcry over the DRM, it appears Ubisoft believes it is here to stay.





AfterDawn: News

PayPal gives up the goods on 1000 Anonymous DDoS attackers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jul 2011 4:39

PayPal gives up the goods on 1000 Anonymous DDoS attackers Last December, hacktivist group Anonymous carried out a DDoS attack on online transaction giant PayPal.

The company says today that they collected well over 1000 IP addresses for those responsible and have passed on the info to the FBI.

PayPal was targeted because they froze the donation account of WikiLeaks.

The site says they collected traffic logs via a Radware intrusion prevention system installed on its network.

FBI officials say the 1000 IP addresses handed over were responsible for most of the malicious packets sent during the attack.

A lot of the packets contained strings that included "wikileaks," and "goodnight."





AfterDawn: News

Nintendo to lose money on all 3DS now following price cut?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jul 2011 4:21

Nintendo to lose money on all 3DS now following price cut? Yesterday, we reported that Nintendo had announced a price drop for the 3DS handheld, following lackluster sales.

Starting August 12th, the console will cost just $170, down from $250.

Blaming himself for the poor sales performance of the device, president Satoru Iwata cut his salary in half, an almost unprecedented move for an exec.

Research firm IHS iSuppli recently did a component teardown of the console and found that the cost of parts was $100.71. Manufacturing costs turned the bill into $103.25. An old adage is that companies wholesale the items at half the retail price (unless you are Apple), so it can be implied that Nintendo is wholesaling the 3DS at $85 per unit, which would leave them with a glaring loss per sale.

This is of course speculation, however, as it is unclear what price Nintendo is and will sell their console for to retailers.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft video attacks Gmail

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jul 2011 3:34

Microsoft video attacks Gmail Thanks to a leaked video, we can see how Microsoft employees really feel about Gmail.

The video shows "Gmail Man," who is some kind of delivery man that scans your snail mail and then shows a related ad after finding certain keywords.

Furthermore, the video pushes Microsoft's Office 365 as an alternative.

Microsoft created the video just days after Google launched their "Email Intervention" campaign, in an effort to get Hotmail/Live and Yahoo Mail users to switch over to Gmail.

Both are decently funny.

Google's Email Intervention video:



Microsoft's leaked video:





AfterDawn: News

Apple now top smartphone vendor in the world

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jul 2011 3:03

Apple now top smartphone vendor in the world Market research firm IDC has noted this week that global mobile phone growth was not as strong as expected.

Sales of smartphones, however, were up 76 percent as the world moves away from feature phone to always-connected devices.

Feature phone sales declined 4 percent, the first decline since 2009, leading to overall growth of just 11.3 percent in the quarter.

Says IDC analyst Ramon Llamas:

While this is not a new trend—smartphones have been the primary engine of growth for the last several quarters—it does mark something of a transition point, as demonstrated by the growing number and variety of smartphones featured in the vendors’ portfolios.


Apple was the top smartphone vendor in the world and fourth overall, despite only having one phone and no feature phones.

Nokia remained the top phone seller in the world, and fell dramatically to third in smartphone sales behind Samsung.





AfterDawn: News

Android keeps taking more smartphone market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jul 2011 3:28

Android keeps taking more smartphone market share Android continued its trek for control of the smartphone market in June, taking 39 percent of the U.S. market.

Apple's iOS continued to grow, as well, despite only having one phone, with the iPhone taking 28 percent share for the month.

RIM lost share, as expected, down to 20 percent for the month. As recently as 2009, RIM had over 45 percent share.

In terms of handset vendors, Apple remained the clear leader with 28 percent share with HTC in second at 20 percent. HTC sells Android phones and Windows-based devices, as well.

Motorola, which only sells Android, took 11 percent followed by Samsung at 10 percent.





AfterDawn: News

U.S. DOJ needs more info on Google, AdMeld deal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jul 2011 2:34

U.S. DOJ needs more info on Google, AdMeld deal The U.S. DOJ has requested more info from Google over its acquisition of AdMeld.

Google acquired the large advertising optimization platform for publishers for $400 million in June, pending anti-trust review.

Says Neal Mohan,VP of display advertising at Google:

This doesn’t surprise us, as today’s display advertising industry is very new and highly complex."But we’ll work to enable this review to be concluded as quickly as possible—display advertising is highly competitive and fast moving, and we don’t want our efforts to bring better services to our clients to be delayed.


The move is the third major acquisition for Google in the online ad space, with the search giant paying $3.1 billion for DoubleClick in 2007 and $750 million for AdMob in 2009.





AfterDawn: News

It's finally here, the $8.2 million iPad with dinosaur fossil

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jul 2011 1:37

It's finally here, the $8.2 million iPad with dinosaur fossil Stuart Hughes has outdone itself this time.

The brand behind such excess as the $3 million iPhone and the £200,000 PlayStation 3 has gone prehistoric this week, designing the "iPad 2 History Edition."

Selling for the very reasonable price of £5,000,000 ($8.2 million USD), the iPad 2 has a frame built from T-Rex dinosaur fossil, alongside the usual diamonds and gold.

Reads the description:

Undoubtably the world?s most unique gadget is the Ipad 2 Gold History Edition. Encrusted with 12.5 cts of I'F' Flawless diamonds, a magnificent total of 53 individually set sparkling gems dwell beautifully in solid 24ct Apple logo with rear section formed again in 24ct gold weighing an immense 2,000 grams.

The unrivalled imagination towards the craftmanship of the iapd is down to its main front frame which is made from the oldest rock the world has to offer in the form of Ammolite , sourced from Canada this stone is over 75 million years old. However to make this masterpiece even more individual, sections of a 65 million year old T-REX Dinosaur's thigh bone was splintered and then shaved into the Ammolite , then finished off with ultimate jewel , as single cut 8.5ct flawless diamond inlaid in its own platinum surround with 12 outer flawless diamonds.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Alibaba shows off new mobile OS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jul 2011 1:20

Alibaba shows off new mobile OS Alibaba, one of China's largest e-commerce companies, has announced the launch of its own mobile OS today.

The OS will run on smartphones and tablets.

Dubbed "Aliyun OS", the Linux-based OS was launched with the aim of promoting Alibaba's online products in China.

The company showed off a smartphone with the OS and said it will go on sale Saturday in China for 2,680 yuan ($415).

Aliyun can run Android apps and HTML5/JavaScript Web-based apps.

Each Aliyun smartphone will have 20 built-in Cloud-based apps that access Alibaba's numerous services. The apps include Internet search, barcode scanner, and a daily deal/group buying app.

The first phone with the OS is called the K-Touch Cloud-Smart Phone W700, and includes a Nvidia Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor and 3.8-inch touchscreen.





AfterDawn: News

Lightsquared, Sprint sign 15-year expansion deal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jul 2011 1:02

Lightsquared, Sprint sign 15-year expansion deal LightSquared and Sprint have signed a 15-year deal, with the former paying Sprint to build and operate a nationwide LTE network.

The company will pay Sprint $9 billion in cash in the first 11 years, along with $4.5 billion in credits. Sprint can use those credits to acquire capacity from LightSquared once the network is up and running.

Says LS CEO Sanjiv Ahuja:

The benefit this provides is an acceleration of our buildout and at very efficient costs. This is very, very significant for LightSquared’s ability to build its business.


LS says with the deal it can offer services to 260 million Americans by the end of 2014, a year earlier than previously expected.

Sprint already had $5 billion earmarked for network upgrades within the next 5 years, so the latest deal will be a good source of revenue for the carrier. Additionally, the company can use LightSquared's network if capacity on their own WiMax network becomes overburdened.





AfterDawn: News

Aol launches "AOL HD" app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jul 2011 11:43

Aol launches "AOL HD" app Aol has announced the launch of their "AOL HD" app, which will "deliver rich high-definition video to users across connected TV platforms."

The free app will give access to AOL video and audio content, on platforms like Boxee and Roku, which have dedicated channels.

Says Rob DelaCruz, General Manager for AOL HD:

There has been explosive growth in the number of users who watch and interact with internet content on their televisions. We’re uniquely positioned to serve this audience, delivering premium original content in a rich high definition experience and engaging users across all of their screens.


AOL HD will feature content from Huffington Post, Engadget and Moviefone alongside AOL Music’s full CD Listening Party (CDLP) audio content.





AfterDawn: News

Amazon signs licensing agreement with NBCU

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jul 2011 11:09

Amazon signs licensing agreement with NBCU Within days of signing a content streaming deal with CBS, Amazon has now signed a similar deal with NBCUniversal.

The new licensing agreement will give Amazon Prime members access to movies from Universal Pictures.

A few of the titles (no new releases) are “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Elizabeth,” "Gosford Park," "Babe,” “Flipper,” “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” “Notting Hill,” “Being John Malkovich”, “Fletch,” and “Billy Elliott.”

Amazon has around 9000 movies and TV shows available for free to Amazon Prime subscribers on over 300 compatible devices.

The e-tailer's recent CBS deal was mainly for TV shows.

Rival Netflix has over 20,000 videos in its "Watch Instantly" streaming catalog.





AfterDawn: News

That was fast: Nintendo dropping price of 3DS significantly

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jul 2011 10:44

That was fast: Nintendo dropping price of 3DS significantly Nintendo has announced today that it will be dropping the price of the 3DS handheld, starting August 12th.

The company is taking a huge chunk off the MSRP, dropping the price from $250 to $170.

Adds NoA President Reggie Fils-Aime:

For anyone who was on the fence about buying a Nintendo 3DS, this is a huge motivation to buy now. We are giving shoppers every incentive to pick up a Nintendo 3DS, from an amazing new price to a rapid-fire succession of great games.


The move will "create momentum for the Nintendo 3DS and accelerate its market penetration toward the year end sales season, when the lineup for the applicable software shall be enriched," adds the company.

Nintendo says it has sold 830,000 3DS in the U.S. since launch, and all current owners will be offered 20 free games from the newly launched Nintendo eShop.

Additionally, users who take advantage of the eShop deal are also enrolled in the "3DS Ambassador program," which allows for 10 free NES Virutal Console downloads like Super Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong Jr. Finally, "Ambassadors" will also get 10 free Game Boy Advance Virtual Console games like Mario vs. Donkey Kong and Mario Kart: Super Circuit.





AfterDawn: News

Verizon releasing 4G-capable Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets on Thursday

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jul 2011 1:44

Verizon releasing 4G-capable Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets on Thursday Verizon says it will release the much-anticipated LTE-enabled Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet on Thursday for $529 (16GB) or $629 (32GB).

Data plans for tablets on Verizon start at $30 for 2GB with 2-year contract.

Chances are, however, that you will need the more expensive plans if you are an active user, $50 for 5GB or $80 for 10GB.

The Wi-Fi-only version of the tablet sells for $500.

Featuring Android 3.1 Honeycomb, the Tab 10.1 has a 10.1" WXGA TFT LCD display with 1280x800 resolution and a dual-core 1GHz processor.

The device weighs just 1.24 pounds, and has a standard 8MP camera with 1080p recording support and a 2MP front-side camera.





AfterDawn: News

Actor blames entertainment industry for piracy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2011 10:20

Actor blames entertainment industry for piracy Actor Will Wheaton (of 'Stand By Me' and a ton of TV shows) has blamed the entertainment industry for video piracy, noting that honest consumers are getting frustrated with the lack of ease for legal alternatives compared to piracy.

The video comes via an interview with ScreenRant, and includes a guest appearance with Colin Ferguson of SyFy show 'Eureka.'

A couple of quotes from the interview:

As soon as the entertainment industry provides an alternative to bit-torrent -- or an alternative to piracy -- that makes it easy for honest people to get access to the program, then the piracy dries up.


Gabe Newell [CEO of Valve] says that pirates provide better customer service. How many times have you paid for a DRM license for something and the server goes down, or you travel across the border? I rented some episodes on Amazon of Doctor Who: when I went to Canada -- I paid for them in America; I live in America -- they say “you can’t watch it anymore because you’re not in America anymore.” That made me angry because I was being honest; I was an honest person. If I had stolen it, I would be watching it.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

50% of Netflix users view via gaming consoles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2011 10:04

50% of Netflix users view via gaming consoles Nielsen has posted figures on Hulu and Netflix usage, by device, and it appears that a full 50 percent of all users stream the service via gaming consoles.

For Netflix, 42 percent watch via their computers, 25 percent watch from their Wii, 14 percent stream from their TV (hooked up to computer), 13 percent use their PS3 and 12 percent use the Xbox 360.

Because the 12,000 users surveyed were allowed to give multiple answers, it is unclear how many use consoles or their computer exclusively.

Many users also connected via Blu-ray players, set-top boxes, and mobile phones.

For Hulu, 89 percent used their computers, unsurprisingly since the service costs money on any mobile device or console.

73 percent of Hulu users "primarily" watched TV shows while Netflix had that figure at 11 percent.





AfterDawn: News

Sundance Institute will partner up with Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, YouTube and Netflix

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2011 9:43

Sundance Institute will partner up with Amazon, Hulu, iTunes, YouTube and Netflix The Sundance Institute has announced they have partnered up with with major online video providers, broadening the scope of the indie filmmakers.

As part of the Artist Services Initiative, the Institute has partnered with Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, Netflix, SundanceNOW and YouTube.

Says Sundance Institute executive director Keri Putnam:

The landscape has changed a lot. So we built this new initiative to support the filmmakers who want to find new opportunities. We heard from our community that they needed help.


Distributor New Video will act as the portal, with both the Institute and New Video taking a small percentage of all revenue with the rest going to the filmmakers, who keep all ownership and licensing rights to their film.

Adds New Video’s Susan Margolin (via THR):

They’re on board with the mission of providing maximum exposure for the films, providing new revenue streams and bringing these very important films to new audiences for the first time. I see this as nothing short of revolutionary.





AfterDawn: News

BitTorrent to launch premium µTorrent Plus

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2011 4:36

BitTorrent to launch premium µTorrent Plus BitTorrent has said today that they will release a premium version of the popular µTorrent client, dubbed µTorrent Plus.

The company did not say how much they will charge for the torrent client, but did say it would not supplant the free offering, which will continue to see the "same level of commitment and development" as it does currently.

Not all of the details are clear yet, but BT says Plus is built for those that need a "single solution" for finding content on the web, and playing it on any number of devices.

µTorrent, in its free variation, is now up to version 3.0, which added over 20 new features. BitTorrent and µTorrent have 100 million monthly users.

If you are interested in Plus, you can keep with updates here: uTorrent Plus.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft reveals new Xbox 360 Media Remote

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2011 4:04

Microsoft reveals new Xbox 360 Media Remote Microsoft has announced a new Media Remote for the Xbox 360, alongside a new Bluetooth wireless headset.

Both products should be released in early November.

The controller, as implied, will serve owners who use their console for its media center capabilities, including streaming and video/music playback via the dashboard UI.

Additionally, the remote can control live TV if you have it via your cable TV provider.

Microsoft is selling the controller for $20.

The Bluetooth headset will retail for $60 and include two ear adapters and a cable with a micro USB connection for charging.

Watch Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb with the headset:





AfterDawn: News

Toshiba announces first WP7 Mango phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2011 2:07

Toshiba announces first WP7 Mango phone Fujitsu-Toshiba have announced the first Windows Phone 7 device with Mango, today, the IS12T.

The device will launch very soon, and Mango has gone Release to Manufacturing (RTM), as well.

Toshiba's new device will have a 3.7-inch LCD, single-core 1.5GHz processor and 32GB internal memory.

Additionally, the device will be water and dustproof.

'Mango' adds 500 features to the WP7 operating system including multi-tasking, Internet Explorer 9, HTML5 support, Twitter and Facebook integration.





AfterDawn: News

LulzSec spokesperson 'Topiary' arrested

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2011 12:38

LulzSec spokesperson 'Topiary' arrested Scotland Yard has announced that LulzSec spokesperson 'Topiary' has been arrested today.

A specialist cybercrime group raided a house in Scotland's Shetland Islands, arresting the 19-year-old.

Topiary, who is said to only be the spokesperson for the group and not actually involved in any of the "hacking," has given a handful of interviews in the past weeks.

The teen also gave interviews when he was a part of Anonymous.

LulzSec, despite disbanding last month, the group caused 50 days of mayhem, hacking police officials, corporations and revealing emails/passwords.





AfterDawn: News

Current free Fox TV shows to disappear behind pay wall

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2011 1:14

Current free Fox TV shows to disappear behind pay wall News Corp. has confirmed today that it will delay free online access to new episodes of Fox programming for 8 days after its TV broadcast.

You can get earlier access to the shows, on-demand, if you have a Hulu Plus subscription or any other participating pay-TV service.

The paywall will begin on August 15th with the new seasons of the hit shows "Family Guy" and "The Simpsons."

Fox says the move is designed to "enhance the value" of pay-TV subscriptions, and it is the first broadcaster to do so.

ABC and CBS are also expected to start a paywall in the future, says Bloomberg.





AfterDawn: News

WD to launch two new raptor HDDs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2011 12:43

WD to launch two new raptor HDDs Western Digital has announced it will launch two new Velociraptor HDDs, offering 10,000rpm speeds to users who may not be ready to jump on the SSD bandwagon.

The 5th generation drives, released last year in 450GB and 600GB varieties, will now be available in 150GB and 300GB models.

Each drive will have native SATA 6Gbps support and 32MB of cache, replacing the older SATA II interface and 16MB cache.

Despite being HDD tech, the drives are still not too cheap, with the 150GB model starting at €120 ($175 USD) and the 300GB model at €144 ($210 USD).

The drives are available at a few retailers with greater availability in the next few weeks.





AfterDawn: News

Wal-Mart is back in the movie rental business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jul 2011 12:15

Wal-Mart is back in the movie rental business Wal-Mart has announced it has gotten back into the movie rental business for the first time since early 2010.

The retail giant has begun streaming and renting movies online, day-and-date with their physical DVD counterparts.

Wal-Mart bought VUDU last year, and the companies now offer 20,000 titles.

A few devices that support VUDU are the PS3, Blu-ray players, Sony Bravia HDTVs and a number of set-top boxes.

Rentals cost $1-$5.99 at walmart.com.





AfterDawn: News

iPhone 5 coming September 5th?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jul 2011 5:09

iPhone 5 coming September 5th? According to multiple reports, the iPhone 5 will be announced next month with a September 5th launch date.

The early September launch will be for U.S.-only, however, with international launches being rolled out starting in October.

Allegedly, Apple is hiring more staff for next month, and AT&T has begun training employees for the upcoming release.

Apple broke its traditional June launch cycle for the iPhone, instead introducing iOS 5, OS X Lion and the iCloud.

It is still unclear if the iPhone 5 will be the only new model introduced by Apple, as many reports expect the company to also launch an "iPhone 4S," a slightly improved version of the current model which Apple will sell as pre-paid.





AfterDawn: News

Apple planning store in Grand Central (pics included)

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jul 2011 1:20

Apple planning store in Grand Central (pics included) The MTA has showed off a rendering of the proposed Apple Store in Grand Central, which is expected to be approved today.

If approved, Apple will begin building immediately and have construction completed by December.

Apple bought out the space currently rented by Charlie Palmer’s Metrazur restaurant for $5 million, ensuring Palmer breaks his lease 8 years early.

The MTA says Apple will pay $1.1 million rent per year, a significantly higher amount than Metrazur which was paying $263,997.

Besides the space in the east balcony, Apple will take the vacant, adjacent balcony, as well. Overall, the company will occupy 23,000 square feet, making Grand Central its 3rd largest store.

Finally, the Authority also noted that popular hamburger joint Shake Shack would be moving into Grand Central, says the WSJ.






AfterDawn: News

HTC willing to work patent deal with Apple

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jul 2011 12:53

HTC willing to work patent deal with Apple Following a year-long debate, Apple recently gained the upper hand in its patent debate with HTC.

In an early decision, an ITC Judge ruled that HTC was violating two patents owned by Apple.

HTC, may have its own case, however, as S3 Graphics recently won its lawsuit against Apple, with the ITC ruling Apple violated two patents owned by S3. HTC just completed an acquisition of S3 for $300 million.

Today, HTC CFO Winston Yung says the company may be willing to put all this behind them and settle out of court with a licensing agreement.

A settlement will likely include a one-time royalty payment and then ongoing licensing fees.





AfterDawn: News

Norway terrorist used video games to train

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jul 2011 12:35

Norway terrorist used video games to train Anders Behring Breivik, the 32-year-old psychopath behind this week's tragedy in Norway, has detailed how he used video games to train for the massacre.

On Monday, Breivik set off a bomb outside of a government building then shot up a labor party youth camp, killing 93 people (mainly teenagers) in his spree.

In a 1500 page manifesto, the terrorist explains his use of Modern Warfare 2:

I just bought Modern Warfare 2, the game. It is probably the best military simulator out there and it’s one of the hottest games this year. I see MW2 more as a part of my training-simulation than anything else.


The killer published the manifesto, in English, giving a view into his violent philosophy and the extensive planning that took place before the attack. Breivik was considered extreme right-wing in his political stance.

Adds Breivik in the manifesto (via ITP):

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

AT&T: 2011 Android devices will all receive Gingerbread

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jul 2011 12:22

AT&T: 2011 Android devices will all receive Gingerbread AT&T has noted this week that all Android phones released in 2011 will be updated to Gingerbread, a welcome development for consumers.

So far, those phones are the HTC Inspire 4G, LG Phoenix, Motorola ATRIX 4G, Pantech Crossover, Samsung Captivate and the Samsung Infuse 4G.

Google released Gingerbread (2.3) last December with the launch of the Nexus S, and the firmware has been updated to 2.3.4 since. However, the majority of current Android phones still do not have the update, especially if your phone was released earlier than this summer.

AT&T did add that some of the phones will get the updates OTA but others will require a manual download.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry maker to cut 2000 more jobs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jul 2011 2:20

BlackBerry maker to cut 2000 more jobs RIM, the company behind the BlackBerry line of smartphones, says they will cut another 2000 jobs, around 11 percent of their current workforce.

The new cuts are part of a broader plan to "focus on areas that offer the highest growth opportunities."

Officials will notify the employees in North America (and some outside of Canada and the US) this week, as part of their "cost optimization" program.

With the cuts, RIM will eliminate redundancies and reallocate the funds to areas that offer "the highest growth opportunity" in RIM's new plans.

All those fired will be given a severance package and outplacement support.

RIM has quickly moved from top U.S. smartphone vendor to third place behind Android and iPhone, as growth and popularity have sputtered.





AfterDawn: News

Zynga, Tencent team up for Chinese version of 'CityVille'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jul 2011 1:24

Zynga, Tencent team up for Chinese version of 'CityVille' Social gaming giant Zynga has announced today that they have teamed up with Tencent to begin offering a Chinese version of the popular 'CityVille' game.

Dubbed "Zynga City," the new game will be available via Tencent’s Pengyou service, in Chinese language, and with new elements that integrate Chinese traditional and pop culture, says BW.

Tencent is China's largest provider of online games, and Zynga is the largest social gaming company on Facebook with 271 million active monthly users playing games like CityVille, FarmVille, Live Hold Em Poker Pro and Empires & Allies.

CityVille, by itself, has 88 million monthly users on Facebook.

Zynga plans to IPO next month, raising $1 billion for itself with a $16-$20 billion valuation.





AfterDawn: News

Netflix gets crushed following earnings report

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jul 2011 1:00

Netflix gets crushed following earnings report Two weeks ago, Netflix announced that it had separated its DVD and streaming services, which means if you want both, the price just increased substantially.

1-DVD-at-time unlimited plans will cost $7.99 per month, the cheapest it has ever been, but if you want unlimited streaming you will need to pay an additional $7.99. That is a $6 price hike if you subscribe to the current $9.99 mixed plan.

Tonight, the company's stock is being crushed following an earnings report that was "okay" at best.

The stock is down 10 percent as the company said it expects much slower subscriber growth into the future due to the price raise.

Additionally, the company put rumors to rest that it will be integrating with Facebook, saying they will indeed, but not in the U.S due to video sharing restrictions.

Furthermore, 75 percent of new subscribers were streaming-only, and Netflix says it expects they will have 12 million DVD+Streaming, 10 million streaming-only, and 3 million DVD-only customers by the end of the next quarter. In their mind, DVD-only subscriptions have "peaked" noted the rental company.





AfterDawn: News

OS X Lion breaks over a dozen Adobe products

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jul 2011 9:01

OS X Lion breaks over a dozen Adobe products Adobe has confirmed today that Apple's latest operating system, OS X Lion, breaks over 12 of their products, another stage in the ongoing saga between the two companies that began with Apple banning Flash from running on iOS devices.

The software company notes that most of its products are currently missing functionality in Lion.

Apple banned Flash from iOS devices like the iPhone, citing performance, security and battery life concerns.

Says Adobe of the Lion fiasco:

The cat is out of the bag! Mac OS X 10.7 aka Lion is roaming the streets and you brave Mac IT admins have been deemed Lion Tamers by the public at large. Or at least by me. I've managed a few OS compatibility assessments in my past and it is no easy task to gather up all the necessary info from the software publishers that are used in your environment, run/coordinate testing, etc.


Popular software affected include Acrobat, Adobe Drive, Contribute, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash Builder, Flash Catalyst, Flash Player, Lightroom, LiveCycle, Photoshop and Premiere Pro.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Apple considering launching white iPod Touch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jul 2011 8:31

Apple considering launching white iPod Touch According to multiple leaked images, it appears Apple is at least considering launching a white iPod Touch 5th generation, perhaps as soon as September when the devices are expected to launch.

One analyst, Concord Security's Ming-Chi Kuo says both the white and standard black models will launch in tandem, like how Verizon did so with their iPhone launch earlier this year.

Furthermore, the device is expected to have a similar form factor to the current 4th generation model.

Like the iPhone, the Touch is also expected to see an upgrade to a dual-core A5 processor, and a better camera.

Leaked photo via 9to5:





AfterDawn: News

Firefox headed to Honeycomb tablets this year?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jul 2011 7:48

Firefox headed to Honeycomb tablets this year? According to multiple sources, Mozilla's upcoming Firefox 8 may be headed to Honeycomb tablets by the end of the year.

The popular browser has been in alpha version for mobile devices for some time now.

Mozilla is planning to bring a "rich, touch-friendly, magazine-like feel to web browsing," including the Awesome bar and other tweaked UI features from the desktop version.

For the most part, the Honeycomb version will be a tweaked version of the mobile app, optimized for larger resolutions and screen sizes.

Here are a few mockups, via Laze:







AfterDawn: News

PayPal joins IFPI in effort to shut down illegal music sites

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jul 2011 3:05

PayPal joins IFPI in effort to shut down illegal music sites PayPal UK has announced today they have joined with the IFPI and the City Of London Police in an effort to "starve" websites which make money off the sharing of unauthorized music.

Says the press release:

When presented with sufficient evidence of unlicensed downloading from a site, the United Kingdom's PayPal branch will require the retailer to submit proof of licensing for the music offered by the retailer.


One official added:

We've always banned PayPal's use for the sale of content that infringes copyright, and the new system will make life even harder for illegal operators. Our partnership with the music industry helps rights holders make money from their own content while stopping the pirates in their tracks.


Additionally, the anti-piracy groups have created a set of "best practice procedures" for credit card companies "to distribute both internally and to banks that use their services, which help identify infringing websites and prevent them from being granted card payment facilities."

The IFPI says credit card payment services have already been withdrawn from 24 unauthorized music stores.





AfterDawn: News

Jammie Thomas-Rasset has massive file sharing penalty reduced

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2011 10:06

Jammie Thomas-Rasset has massive file sharing penalty reduced In 2006, Jammie Thomas-Rasset was sent a letter asking her to settle (for $3300) over alleged unauthorized file sharing of 24 tracks.

She refused and decided to take the case to court.

In 2007, Thomas-Rasset was found liable for $1.92 million in damages, but a retrial saw the fine dropped to $220,000. In 2010, however, a judge reduced the award to $54,000. The RIAA told Thomas-Rasset that they would accept $25,000, if she would agree to ask the judge to remove the decision from the record. She did not accept the terms of the deal and the trial went to part 3. Later that year, Thomas lost again in court, with a jury finding her liable for $1.5 million in copyright infringement damages. The Minnesota woman appealed.

Fast forward to today, and it appears that another judge has reduced the verdict to $54,000 again, calling the original jury award "appalling."

The RIAA has said it is considering appealing in what has to be the longest saga ever involving pirated music tracks.





AfterDawn: News

Sony insurer doesn't want to pay, following PSN breach

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jul 2011 9:49

Sony insurer doesn't want to pay, following PSN breach Zurich American Insurance has sued today, asking a court to declare that it does not have to pay to defend Sony against class-action suits related to the PSN security breach.

The company does not want to "defend or indemnify Sony against any claims asserted in the class-action lawsuits, miscellaneous claims, or potential future actions instituted by any state attorney general."

Additionally, the insurance company has sued Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, AIG and ACE asking the court to "clarify their responsibilities under policies" written for Sony.

Adds attorney Richard Bortnick, of a firm not involved with the case (via Retuers):

Zurich doesn't think there's coverage, but to the extent there may be a duty to defend it wants to make sure all of the insurers with a potential duty to defend are contributing.


The company plans to argue that the general liability insurance they wrote for the electronics company does not cover cyber attacks.

In April, a massive attack on the PSN managed to net hackers personal details on 100 million users. Sony has the attack will cost them $178 million this year and is looking for insurers to help pay.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft doubles profit in Xbox division

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jul 2011 9:22

Microsoft doubles profit in Xbox division Thanks to strong sales of the Xbox 360 hardware, Microsoft's Entertainment and Devices division saw its profit double, on strong revenue.

There were 13.7 million Xbox sold in 2011, up from 10.3 million in 2010, with profits growing from $618 million to $1.32 billion.

Said the company in a statement:

Entertainment & Devices Division revenue grew 30% for the fourth quarter and 45% for the full year, due to the ongoing momentum of the console, Kinect, and Xbox Live. Xbox 360 has been the top-selling game console in the U.S. over the past twelve months.


Additionally:

EDD revenue increased primarily reflecting higher Xbox 360 platform revenue. Xbox 360 platform revenue grew $2.7 billion or 48%, led by increased volumes of Xbox 360 consoles, sales of Kinect sensors, and higher Xbox LIVE revenue.


Overall, the company saw $17.37 billion revenue for the Q4.





AfterDawn: News

Winklevoss twins get shut down once again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jul 2011 8:57

Winklevoss twins get shut down once again The Winklevoss twins have been shut down, once again, in their quest to squeeze more money out of Facebook.

US District Judge Douglas Woodlock granted Facebook's request for a dismissal and did not even provide a reasoning.

Original story after the break.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Former China Mobile exec sentenced to death over bribery conviction

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jul 2011 8:32

Former China Mobile exec sentenced to death over bribery conviction Zhang Chunjiang, former vice chairman of China Mobile, has been sentenced to death today following a bribery conviction.

Chunjiang was accused of accepting over $1.15 million in bribes while working for state-owned telecoms between 1994 and 2009.

Fortunately for the exec, his sentence offers a two-year reprieve before execution meaning Zhang can get his sentenced reduced to life in prison for good behavior over the next 24 months.

Before China Mobile, Zhang worked as a deputy director the Liaoning Provincial Postal administration and as a general manager of China Netcom Group.

The sentence would not be the first time a Chinese exec has been executed over corruption charges, with the the head of the country's Food and Drug Administration being executed just this week, says PCM.





AfterDawn: News

Netflix ready to bid for second original program

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jul 2011 8:14

Netflix ready to bid for second original program In March, Netflix confirmed it had beaten out HBO and AMC for the drama "House of Cards," starring Kevin Spacey and directed by David Fincher, the man behind 'Fight Club' and 'The Social Network,' among other hits.

'House of Cards' will be Netflix' first original program, and puts the company in direct competition with HBO and Showtime, which have had years of original hits that have helped raise their subscriber bases.

Today, it appears that Netflix will be bidding on their second original program, a comedy series from Jenji Kohan, the mind behind "Weeds" on Showtime.

The streaming and DVD rental company is currently in talks with Lionsgate TV over the show.

While details are still shaky, the show will allegedly be based on the Piper Kerman memoir 'Orange Is the New Black: My Year In a Women's Prison.' Kerman spent a year in a minimum-security prison in Connecticut for a small part in a money laundering scheme and met a number of colorful characters.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Google+ hits 20 million users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jul 2011 7:41

Google+ hits 20 million users One week after the company announced 10 million Google+ users, Google has now hit the next milestone, 20 million users.

The latest data comes via comScore, who says over 5 million are in the U.S., alone.

Says the research firm: "It is definitely the fastest ascent to 20 million visitors that I can think of."

For raw comparison, it took Twitter 750 days to reach its first 10 million, and Facebook 825 days to hit the same milestone, but of course those numbers are skewed given that they were pioneers of "social media" and startups.

CEO Larry Page noted during last week's earnings call that Google+ will remain in "field trial" open beta for the time being as it continues to expand access and functionality.





AfterDawn: News

Apple Mac OS X Lion sees 1 million downloads in first day

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2011 4:46

Apple Mac OS X Lion sees 1 million downloads in first day Apple says Mac OS X Lion (10.7) is the biggest OS launch in the company's history.

The OS cost $30 and is only available as a digital download to those Mac users running 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.

Says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing:

Lion is off to a great start, user reviews and industry reaction have been fantastic. Lion is a huge step forward, it’s not only packed with innovative features but it’s incredibly easy for users to update their Macs to the best OS we’ve ever made.


Lion has 250 new features, with a lot relating to Mac App Store support.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft unveils Star Wars Xbox 360 Kinect bundle

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2011 4:34

Microsoft unveils Star Wars Xbox 360 Kinect bundle LucasArts and Microsoft have just unveiled the Limited Edition Kinect Star Wars bundle, which includes an R2-D2-themed console.

Additionally, the bundle has a white Kinect sensor (normally black) and a gold controller.

The console will make R2-D2's beep when turned on, or when a game is inserted.

Finally, the console will have a 320GB HDD.

LucasArts says the limited edition console will go on sale sometime in 2011 for $450 and include the Star Wars Kinect game.





AfterDawn: News

AT&T getting Nexus S at discounted $99 with contract

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2011 4:24

AT&T getting Nexus S at discounted $99 with contract Samsung has said today that they will offer the Nexus S flagship Android phone via AT&T.

Starting on July 24th, the flagship will go on sale for $99 with 2-year contract, six months after being released for rival carriers and unlocked.

Sprint recently dropped the price on the device to $99 with contract, as well.

The device has Android 2.3, a 4-inch Super AMOLED screen, 1GHz processor, NFC and dual cameras.

Unfortunately, the phone does not have LTE support.





AfterDawn: News

Has Android jumped to 30 percent tablet market share?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2011 3:29

Has Android jumped to 30 percent tablet market share? According to a new report from research group Strategy Analytics, Android has jumped to 30 percent market share, taking a large bite out of Apple's once near-100 percent share.

The report says there were just 100,000 Android tablets shipped in the Q2 2010, but that number has jumped to 4.6 million as of the latest quarter.

Apple sold 9.3 million tablets in the last quarter (good for 61.3 percent share), and growth does not appear to be slowing for either mobile operating system.

In July 2010, Android had a 3 percent share, but SA says that number is now 30.1 percent.

Director Neil Mawston says (via TG):

No Android vendor yet offers a blockbuster model to rival the iPad, and demand for many Android vendors' products remains patchy.

If Amazon decides to enter the Android tablet category later this year, that will bring fresh excitement and buzz to the Android community, but Amazon will need to deliver a truly standout offering if it really wants to make headway against the popular iPad.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Apple finally surpasses Nokia as top smartphone vendor

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2011 3:10

Apple finally surpasses Nokia as top smartphone vendor Thanks to Nokia's latest earnings report we now know that Apple has become the largest smartphone seller in the world, surpassing Nokia.

The Finnish company said it shipped 16.7 million smartphones last quarter, down 34 percent year-over-year.

Apple recently just announced a record 20.3 million iPhone sales, up 142 percent year-over-year.

Additionally, Apple is making much more money per phone, with revenue of $13.3 billion compared to Nokia's $3.4 billion.

A chart via Splatf:





AfterDawn: News

New Roku 2 line adds gaming

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2011 2:10

New Roku 2 line adds gaming Roku has updated its popular line of set-top boxes for 2011, adding gaming, a bluetooth motion remote and a much smaller form factor.

'Angry Birds' is the first game available for the boxes and its free if you buy the Roku 2 XS.

Cutting size down significantly, the Roku 2 boxes are just 3.3-inches, and under 1-inch high.

As with previous set-tops, Roku 2 owners will have access to 250 streaming media channels, most notably Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Instant among sports channels like MLB, NHL, NBA and UFC.

The low-end Roku 2 HD will sell for $60 with 720p output, the Roku 2 XD will sell for $80 with 1080p output and the flagship Roku 2 XS will sell for $100 including an ethernet port, USB port and 1080p output.

Each box will use 802.11n Wi-Fi and include a MicroSD slot but the remote is not bundled with the cheapest model.





AfterDawn: News

'Anonymous' releases NATO document

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2011 1:28

'Anonymous' releases NATO document The hacktivist group 'Anonymous' has released a 'restricted' North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) document today, dated from 2007.

At 36-pages, the document outlines budget and equipment needs for a new "HQ ISAF JOINT CIS CONTROL CENTRE."

Anonymous also said it has over 1GB of NATO documents but they will not reveal as it would be "irresponsible" to do so.

The group says the data was stolen via "a simple injection."

Taking a final shot at the FBI, the group also added:

Your threats to arrest us are meaningless to us as you cannot arrest an idea. Any attempt to do so will make your citizens more angry until they will roar in one gigantic choir.





AfterDawn: News

Ex-Harvard president: The Winklevoss twins are ***holes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2011 1:01

Ex-Harvard president: The Winklevoss twins are ***holes For anyone who has seen the critically acclaimed 'The Social Network,' it was very clear what former Harvard president Larry Summers thought of the Winklevoss twins (it wasn't good).

Today, Summers reaffirmed his view, calling the twins a pair of "***holes."

Says Summers:

Rarely, have I encountered such swagger, and I tried to respond in kind. One of the things you learn as a college president is that if an undergraduate is wearing a tie and jacket on Thursday afternoon at three o'clock, there are two possibilities. One is that they're looking for a job and have an interview; the other is that they are an a**hole. This was the latter case.


Along with Harvard classmate, Divya Narendra, the twins filed suit against Facebook in 2004 alleging that the concept for Facebook was stolen from them and their early work on HarvardConnection.

In 2008, Facebook agreed to settle, giving the trio a deal worth $65 million ($45 million in stock), with the majority in Facebook stock.

With Facebook now valued at $100 billion the Winklevoss/Narendra shares in Facebook are worth just over $300 million, an appreciation of 660 percent in just three years.

For more information on the ongoing trial against Facebook, check here: UPDATE: The Winklevoss twins just can't let Facebook suit die





AfterDawn: News

Google shuts down Google Labs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jul 2011 12:33

Google shuts down Google Labs Google has said this week that it will begin winding down "Google Labs," the company's more experimental prototypes.

Says the search giant:

While we’ve learned a huge amount by launching very early prototypes in Labs, we believe that greater focus is crucial if we’re to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities ahead.

In many cases, this will mean ending Labs experiments—in others we’ll incorporate Labs products and technologies into different product areas. And many of the Labs products that are Android apps today will continue to be available on Android Market.


The company does note that they will not be ending the in-product experimentation channels like Gmail Labs. "We'll continue to experiment with new features in each of our products," adds Google.





AfterDawn: News

Next-gen Xbox will offer 'Avatar'-esque graphics

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2011 4:38

Next-gen Xbox will offer 'Avatar'-esque graphics AMD, the company behind the Xbox 360's GPU, has said this week that the upcoming next-gen Xbox model will offer graphics on par with those seen in the blockbuster film "Avatar."

The company says the Xbox will launch with those graphic capabilities, making it much more powerful and advanced than current gaming consoles and PCs, even those with the most expensive video cards.

Director of ISV relationships at AMD Neal Robison would not confirm that the company is working on the hardware for the Xbox, but it would make sense for Microsoft to keep their existing relationships in tact.

Furthermore, Robison says AI in games like Grand Theft Auto will be given individual mentalities, removing them from the unrealistic "mob mentality" of current games.

For example, Robison notes (via Examiner), that in current games, if someone is shot, the entire group around will likely run away and yell in a mob. In the future, each pedestrian will have their own mindset and perform their own action.





AfterDawn: News

Amazon adds thousands of CBS TV episodes to streaming platform

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jul 2011 3:07

Amazon adds thousands of CBS TV episodes to streaming platform Amazon has signed a new agreement with CBS that will Amazon Prime users access to 2000 new TV episodes.

The deal includes full seasons of newer content like "Numb3rs" and "Medium" along with older content like "Star Trek."

Amazon Prime costs $79 per year and gives users free access to all the streaming content and free 2-day shipping on all items they purchase.

The Prime library now has over 8000 movies and shows, small in comparison to Netflix's more established 20,000-strong library.

With the new deal, Amazon is no longer expected to bid for on-demand streaming platform Hulu.





AfterDawn: News

Yahoo willing to bid $2 billion for Hulu, with certain demands

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2011 9:26

Yahoo willing to bid $2 billion for Hulu, with certain demands According to BI, Yahoo would be willing to purchase on-demand streaming TV service Hulu for $2 billion, as long as certain demands are met.

Hulu is owned by Disney (ABC), News Corp. (Fox), Comcast (NBCU) and private equity firm Providence.

Yahoo is only willing to make the deal if Hulu guarantees them 4-5 years of exclusive access to the media content.

Hulu, on the other hand, seems to be only willing to give 2 years of exclusivity, albeit with 5 years guaranteed access to the content.

Says one source:

If [Hulu's content creating owners] came out and said, we've renewed [Hulu's exclusive rights] for four years at the same terms we have today – it's really easy to model [a valuation between] $1 billion and $2 billion – maybe more.

Without four or five years of exclusive streaming rights to TV shows and movies, Hulu is not worth anything.


If Hulu does offer 5 year exclusivity, Yahoo would have enough time to "build enough equity with consumers that you've created a real leader in premium content and premium advertising," adds the source.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Apple crushes earnings on record iPad, iPhone sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2011 8:59

Apple crushes earnings on record iPad, iPhone sales Apple has completely blown out their quarterly earnings report this afternoon, on the back of strong growth in China and record iPad sales.

Profits for the quarter were $7.31 billion, up 125 percent year-over-year, and revenue was $28.57 billion, up 82 percent YoY.

Following the report, Apple, which closed the day at $376.85 jumped to as high as $405 per share, a new all-time high.

Additionally, the company confirmed it will be releasing Mac OS X 10.7 Lion tomorrow, as reported earlier.

iPhone sales jumped 142 percent to 20.34 million units (a record) and iPad sales jumped to 9.25 million units (also a record).

Says CEO Steve Jobs:

We're thrilled to deliver our best quarter ever, with revenue up 82 percent and profits up 125 percent. Right now, we're very focused and excited about bringing iOS 5 and iCloud to our users this fall.


Sales in China, and the Asia-Pacific region in general, had the most explosive growth with COO Peter Oppenheimer saying overall sales in China are up 600 percent "and just beginning."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

China's Internet population reaches 485 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2011 4:17

China's Internet population reaches 485 million China's Internet population has risen to 485 million, but growth is slowing.

For the six months ended June, China's online population rose 6.1 percent, still strong but significantly lower than the 9.4 percent increase for the first six months of 2010.

In 2008, growth was 20.5 percent, and overall China has doubled their Internet population since 2007.

Total Chinese Internet penetration stands at just 36.2 percent, while the U.S. is at 77.3 percent and other nations have 90+ percent penetration.

With over 800 million Chinese still without Internet (or even computers in a lot of cases) there is still room for explosive growth in the nation, says the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC)





AfterDawn: News

Facebook lagging in customer satisfaction

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2011 3:38

Facebook lagging in customer satisfaction Social networking behemoth Facebook is severely lagging in customer satisfaction, says the 2011 American Customer Satisfaction Index E-Business Report produced by ForeSee Results (via Cnet).

The network was last in the report which analyzed how users feel about news sites, search engines, and social networks.

Facebook got a 66/100, the lowest of all companies measured.

Says Facebook of the report:

We take user feedback seriously, and strive to create a simple, fast, and innovative service that enables people to connect with their friends in a safe environment. More than half of our users visit Facebook every day, and we're constantly enhancing our products to offer people the best possible experience. Indeed, a report published last month by the Pew Internet and American Life Project highlighted the positive impact Facebook has had in people's lives.


Social Media in general scored poorly, only ahead of airline and newspapers.

The full results are here: Free annual ACSI E-Business report





AfterDawn: News

FBI to arrest 15 alleged 'Anonymous' hackers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2011 2:37

FBI to arrest 15 alleged 'Anonymous' hackers The FBI will have arrested 15 alleged 'Anonymous' hackers by the end of today, in a nationwide raid.

A few of the arrests took place in San Francisco, New Jersey and Florida, and warrants have been executed in NY and other states, say authorities.

Agents seized computers and other records.

The hacktivists have been linked in the past to attacks on the CIA, Sony, Fox News, the Arizona Department of Corrections, Booz Allen Hamilton and more.

More information on the ongoing raids here: More Than a Dozen Suspected 'Anonymous' Hackers Arrested in Nationwide Sweep





AfterDawn: News

'Anonymous' to start social network

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2011 2:07

'Anonymous' to start social network It appears that the hacktivist group Anonymous has been kicked from Google+, along with the group having lost their Gmail and other Google accounts.

The account, "Your Anon News" was taken down for not violating "Community Standards."

Says the group:

What we didn't know at the time is that we were just one of a [handful] of Anonymous accounts that was silenced."


Additionally, the group is preparing its own social network, dubbed AnonPlus:

Not only did a few people organized an Operation [against] Google+, but we have started to build our own Social Network.... Welcome to AnonPlus.

AnonPlus was meant to [thwart] government censorship - so that in the case of a government blackout - the people can still be heard.

This social network will also incorporate and facilitate an open source educational environment...allow open communication of ideas - and is essentially a cyber-anarchy formatted environment...allow open exchange of currency via alternative currency....This social network is essentially: The [activists'] dashboard.





AfterDawn: News

Valve tweaking Steam to boost download speeds

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2011 1:47

Valve tweaking Steam to boost download speeds Valve has announced this week that it will be tweaking its Steam digital distribution platform in order to boost the speed of game downloads.

Currently, new releases and major sales will cause Steam to slow down significantly, due to the spike in traffic.

The new tweaks will add a larger bandwidth threshold and "Steam will be able to serve content from more locations to reach international users better, and all content will be sent via HTTP."

Furthermore, Steam will be tweaked so users do not have to download as much data. When an update is passed, you will only have to download the modified bits, not the full update.

Finally, the company says "users can also expect new client features, such as download scheduling and priorities, bandwidth throttling, and the ability to update a game while playing."





AfterDawn: News

LulzSec will release Murdoch emails

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2011 1:25

LulzSec will release Murdoch emails LulzSec has said that they will release a trove of Rupert Murdoch emails later today, following yesterday's stunt where they hacked The Sun's main page and added their own frontpage article.

On the page, the hacktivists planted a fake story claiming Murdoch had died.

It appears that the hack also gave LulzSec access to News International's email database.

So far, the group has released the email login details of former News International chief exec Rebekah Brooks.

Additionally they posted the mobile phone numbers of three News International execs.





AfterDawn: News

Mac OS X Lion coming tomorrow?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2011 12:59

Mac OS X Lion coming tomorrow? Although unconfirmed, multiple reports are claiming that Apple's Mac OS X Lion operating system will be available tomorrow.

The upgrade is available as a digital download only, for Mac users running 10.6.8 Snow Leopard, and will cost just $30.

Apple retail stores have allegedly received final copies of Lion, in order to upgrade in-store demo units.

Additionally, Apple will be holding employees overnight in order to train them on the new operating system.

For more information on OS X 10.7 Lion check here: Apple WWDC 2011: $30 OS X Lion, iOS 5, free iCloud





AfterDawn: News

Baidu starts licensed music service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2011 1:23

Baidu starts licensed music service Baidu has started a licensed digital music service this week, thanks to an agreement with One-Stop China, a joint venture that includes Universal Music Group, Warner Music and Sony Music among many other smaller labels from China.

OSC will license Baidu all of their catalogs and new releases, all of which can be streamed or downloaded.

Baidu says they will "remunerate music content owners on a per-play and per-download basis for all tracks delivered through the Baidu MP3 Search service, as well as Baidu's newly launched social music platform, ting!."

Membership for ting! is free, and the service is ad-supported.

Adds Baidu CFO Jennifer Li:

Baidu has always striven to provide the best possible experience to our users. Our partnership with One-Stop China marks an exciting new beginning. I'm confident that Baidu, the Chinese music fans, recording artists, and the record companies alike will all benefit from this win-win partnership.





AfterDawn: News

Amazon begins renting textbooks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2011 1:02

Amazon begins renting textbooks Amazon has begun renting textbooks that can be read on its popular Kindle e-reader.

The giant e-tailer says you can now rent tens of thousands of textbooks from the online Kindle Store.

As an added incentive, Amazon says its prices are as much as 80 percent cheaper than physical book list prices.

Students can rent the books for 30 days at minimum and 1 year as maximum, and renters can buy extra days or even purchase the book in full.

More information is here: Save up to 80% with Kindle Textbook Rental





AfterDawn: News

'News of the World' phone hacking whistle blower found dead

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jul 2011 12:02

'News of the World' phone hacking whistle blower found dead Former 'News of the World' journalist Sean Hoare has been found dead today, just as news about the scandal involving the paper hits new heights.

Undoubtedly, over the past week, you have read the scandal revolving around the Rupert Murdoch-owned paper, where a young murdered school girl had her phone repeatedly hacked by the paper in an effort to listen to voicemails.

Because the voicemails kept being deleted from the phone, the girl's carrier and parents believed her to be alive for days after her disappearance.

Hoare made it public that former editor Andy Coulson was fully aware of the hacking, and even encouraged it.

Police say they have no reason to believe there was anything suspicious in the journalist's death and did confirm that he was fired from the paper "for drugs and drinking problems."

Coulson was arrested this week as part of a police investigation into misconduct at the paper.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft offering large reward for info on Rustock botnet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jul 2011 11:27

Microsoft offering large reward for info on Rustock botnet In March, Microsoft and federal law enforcement jointly took down the spam giant Rustock botnet, seizing computers, servers, and other equipment from hosting providers in Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle, Scranton, Pa., and Columbus.

The devices were "command-and-control" machines, from where operators of the botnet controlled over one million infected PCs, globally.

Microsoft, at the time, called the seizures a "decapitation" of the botnet, which was sending out as many as 30 billion spam emails every day.

The software giant is now offering "$250,000 for new information that results in the identification, arrest and criminal conviction of such individual(s)," meaning anyone involved with the botnet.

Says the company:

This reward offer stems from Microsoft’s recognition that the Rustock botnet is responsible for a number of criminal activities and serves to underscore our commitment to tracking down those behind it. While the primary goal for our legal and technical operation has been to stop and disrupt the threat that Rustock has posed for everyone affected by it, we also believe the Rustock bot-herders should be held accountable for their actions.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Borders forced to liquidate, 11,000 employees to lose jobs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jul 2011 10:31

Borders forced to liquidate, 11,000 employees to lose jobs Borders Group has cancelled its bankruptcy auction and will begin liquidation, winding down its remaining 399 stores and sending 11,000 employees to the unemployment line.

Says President Mike Edwards:

We are saddened by this development. We were all working hard towards a different outcome, but the headwinds we have been facing for quite some time ... have brought us to where we are now.


Earlier this month, a deal with invester Jahm Najafi fell apart after months of talks. Najafi had offered $215 million for the company, plus the assumption of $220 million in liabilities, assuming publishers would give him normal trade terms. They did not, and Najafi withdrew his bid.

There were no other bidders or proposals for the struggling book chain.

Borders will now sell itself to the Hilco liquidation firm, which will begin liquidating on Friday. All stores will be closed by September and the liquidation is expected to bring in $280 million.





AfterDawn: News

70-year old grandma accused of sharing porn via torrent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jul 2011 1:54

70-year old grandma accused of sharing porn via torrent Over the years we have posted many, many cases of Americans being sued over unauthorized BitTorrent sharing.

A few of these cases, however, have been so ridiculous that there are little redeeming factors for the groups that brought them, such as the RIAA, MPAA and others. Some of those cases involved grandmothers, others involved kindergartners, one involved a networked printer and one even involved the recently deceased.

Today, another such case has hit the media, with a 70-year old widow being accused of sharing hardcore porn via torrents.

The group that brought the case will allow her to settle for $3400, or she will have to go to court and risk a fine of $150,000.

Without giving into the horrendous suit, the grandma (who admits she does not even know what a torrent is) will not settle and will fight the case, defending herself.

The Jane Doe says she has a quick line of defense (via TF)

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Hotmail to ban common passwords like 'password'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jul 2011 1:31

Hotmail to ban common passwords like 'password' Microsoft will soon change its Hotmail password policy, banning common passwords like "password."

Outside of blocking passwords like "password" and "123456," Microsoft will also block common terms like "ilovecats."

For now, the new policy will only be for new accounts but will likely extend to all existing accounts in the future.

Additionally, Hotmail will add a new feature that allows you to report if your friend's account has been hacked (if say, perhaps they send you spam). Their account will then be blocked to stop the hacker from using and your friend will go through an account recovery process to regain access to the account.

For more information on passwords, read our report from February: How secure is your password?





AfterDawn: News

Consumers upset over Sears iPad price mistake

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jul 2011 12:41

Consumers upset over Sears iPad price mistake Earlier today, Sears inadvertently made 16GB/Wi-Fi iPad 2 available for $69, a healthy $430 of its retail price, and over $600 cheaper than Sears normally sells it through third-party vendor "GSM on Sale."

After seeing at least hundreds of purchases, Sears fixed the ad, cancelled all orders and apologized to buyers.

Said Sears:

Unfortunately ... one of the Marketplace third party sellers told us that they mistakenly posted incorrect pricing on two Apple iPad models on the Marketplace portion of the website.

If you purchased either of these products recently, your order has been cancelled and your account will be credited. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.


The second model that was selling was the 32GB/Wi-Fi version, with a $179 price tag.

Angry consumers took to Twitter and Sear's own marketplace review page to vent frustrations but there is little they can do except accept that they aren't getting a $500 device for $69.





AfterDawn: News

iOS 4.3.4 gets jailbroken

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jul 2011 12:19

iOS 4.3.4 gets jailbroken Developers have already jailbroken Apple's latest firmware, 4.3.4, although if you own an iPad 2 you are out of luck, for the time being.

The new jailbreak will require a PC, unlike browser-based hacks of the past, but an untethered jailbreak is expected to replace the current one, soon.

Apple released 4.3.4 last week to close the exploit used to jailbreak 4.3.3 (as seen here).

If you want to jailbreak your new 4.3.4 device, get out the USB cable and use the latest versions of redsn0w and PwnageTool.

For iPad 2 owners, if you update to 4.3.4 and lose your jailbreak, you will not be able to downgrade so the developers behind the jailbreaks warn to stay away from the latest firmware for the time being.





AfterDawn: News

Chromebooks continue to sell well, at least on Amazon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jul 2011 12:00

Chromebooks continue to sell well, at least on Amazon After just one month of availability, and mixed critical reviews, sales of the Google Chrome OS-based Chromebooks are still strong, at least on Amazon.

In Amazon's best selling laptops section, Acer's $349 Chromebook is in fourth place, and has been for most of the 40 days of availability. Samsung's $500 Chromebook is in 11th, likely due to its higher pricetag.

Apple's new MacBook Pro and a couple of powerful Toshiba books are in first-third.

Following their release, many critics boldly stated the books would be a flop, but it appears that there is a least some demand for the new netbooks.

Based on Google's Chrome OS operating system, each of the netbooks must always be connected to the Internet to work but have outstanding battery life and powerful enough hardware to run without any issues.

Chrome OS is still evolving and Google sends out new updates at least once a week to my Googlebook.





AfterDawn: News

Google launching Android 3.2 by early next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Jul 2011 7:42

Google launching Android 3.2 by early next month According to IBtimes, Google will have launched Android 3.2 Honeycomb by very early next month, with production partners likely receiving at that time or very late July.

3.2 will optimize Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips, popular processors in tablets and smartphones and will generally improve compatibility with Android apps.

Additionally, 3.2 will upgrade or add Movie Studio, Movies, Music and Widget.

Over the next few months a plethora of tablets are expected to be released running Android 3.2, and HTC is even said to be updating their Gingerbread HTC Flyer to Honeycomb soon.

During their quarterly earnings this week, Google said the Android Market has 250,000 apps and has seen 6 billion apps installed since 2008. 550,000 Android devices are activated every day now, with 135 million active Android devices around the world.





AfterDawn: News

Apple to leave Samsung for TSMC on A6 chips?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Jul 2011 7:29

Apple to leave Samsung for TSMC on A6 chips? According to Reuters, Apple has begun using TSMC to manufacture its upcoming A6 processing chips, potentially dumping long time partner Samsung in the process.

Fubon Securities analyst William Wang believes that Apple will remain with Samsung but diversify its manufacturing with TSMC:

Apple is trying to diversify its orders but it will still maintain some kind of relationship with Samsung. I think TSMC will get the new chip orders, the issue however is allocation. Apple won't give the whole 100 percent to TSMC. Maybe it'll allocate only 20-30 percent.


TSMC is the world's largest chip maker.

Moving completely away from Samsung would be near impossible, say industry analysts, as Samsung has designed the current chips and owns the intellectual property on system design and memory packaging.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft sued over Windows Phone 7 ads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jul 2011 3:49

Microsoft sued over Windows Phone 7 ads Cellrderm, a Florida-based novelty company has sued Microsoft this week, claiming the company copied their ads with their Windows Phone 7 ad campaign.

The ads in question are the "Really?" ads, "Bedroom Really" and "Bathroom Really."

Says the suit:

The Microsoft Commercials copy both the sequence of events and the character interplay found in the Cellrderm Commercials. The Microsoft Commercials also copy other copyrightable expression, including but not limited to clothing, gestures, character appearance, camera angles, and other visual elements from the Cellrderm Commercials.


Added in the suit is Microsoft's marketing firm, Crispin Porter + Bogusky.

Cellrderm is looking for an injunction, and a part of the profits derived from the ads.

Judge for yourself:







AfterDawn: News

Motorola preparing a quad-core, Android 4.0 monster?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jul 2011 3:26

Motorola preparing a quad-core, Android 4.0 monster? According to multiple reports, Motorola is already testing a prototype for the tablet that will succeed the Xoom.

The device is allegedly much thinner than the Xoom and will include the same 10-inch display as its predecessor.

Additionally, the new tablet will run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, have a 2048x1536 resolution and be powered by a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 processor.

Speculation is the tablet will hit in time for Christmas, but there is the possibility Motorola will release it in February, a year after the launch of the Xoom.

We will keep you updated.





AfterDawn: News

Ubisoft starts 'Uplay Passport' in effort to profit from used game sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jul 2011 3:05

Ubisoft starts 'Uplay Passport' in effort to profit from used game sales Ubisoft has announced their "Uplay Passport" this week, a system similar to EA's and Sony's "online passes."

The online passes work to profit from used game sales, a market the publishers have been looking to act upon for over a decade.

EA started the online pass system in 2010 with the introduction of Mass Effect 2. The first owner of the game pays full price from retail and has access to online and all features. If that consumer then wants to sell the game online or back to the store, the second buyer will need to pay $9.99 to the publisher to access online multiplayer and other features, on top of the price they paid for the game.

In this way, the publisher can "double dip" on their games, leading to extra revenue.

Ubisoft's first title to use the system will be "Driver: San Francisco."

Uplay will "provide players with access to bonus content, exclusive offers, and online multiplayer play for many of Ubisoft's popular core games," for a price of $10.





AfterDawn: News

Google confirms; 10 million G+ users and 550,000 Android daily activations

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jul 2011 8:32

Google confirms; 10 million G+ users and 550,000 Android daily activations Google reported their quarterly earnings tonight, blowing away estimates with revenue coming in at $6.92 billion.

Additionally, Google says it now has $39 billion in cash.

For Android, the search giant says it is activating 550,000 users each day, a number that is 50,000 higher than Google's last announcement on the matter, just two weeks ago.

The company expects to be activating 1 million devices per day by the end of the year (if current growth continues).

Google also confirmed there are slightly over 250,000 apps in the Android Market, with 6 billion downloads. There are also 130 million Android devices now out there.

Despite rumors that Google+ was approaching 20 million users already, CEO Larry Page said the social network has over 10 million users, sharing 1 billion items and 2.3 billion +1 clicks each day after launching just two weeks ago.





AfterDawn: News

Google adds movie rentals to Android Market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jul 2011 8:12

Google adds movie rentals to Android Market Google has updated its Android Market platform this week, allowing U.S. users to rent movies or purchase books right to their smartphone.

As long as you have Android 2.2 or later you can now rent movies through Google's Videos app.

The app has been around for Android 3.1 Honeycomb users for some time but less than 2 percent of all Android users have 3.0 so the store saw little popularity.

Renting costs between $2 and $4 for new releases and purchases stay in the cloud, so you can play it on any of your Android devices.

Says Google (via EWeek):

There's no more waiting for downloads, syncing, or worrying about storage space. Simply sign into Android Market with your Google account, and you can rent movies from anywhere—the Web, or your Android phone or tablet—and start watching instantly.


The rentals can also be played while offline after downloaded, not requiring any type of authentication.





AfterDawn: News

iPhone headed to T-Mobile, Sprint says report

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jul 2011 7:33

iPhone headed to T-Mobile, Sprint says report According to Piper Jaffray analyst Chris Larsen, the upcoming iPhone 5 (whenever it comes out) will be released to Sprint and T-Mobile, as well, making it available on all four of the largest U.S. carriers.

This is the second time an analyst has claimed such, with one saying in May that an "iPhone 4S," (slightly updated iPhone 4) would hit the two carriers in time for the holidays.

Earlier this week, ChipHazard reported that Apple was testing its iPhone 5 on AT&T's networks and once all tests were passed, the phone would given to manufacturers to move into mass production.

That rumor coincides with the expected September launch for the device.

The smartphone, by all accounts, will have a thinner redesigned body, a dual-core processor and 8MP camera.





AfterDawn: News

Add phone capabilities to your iPad for $10 a month with Line2

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jul 2011 3:44

Add phone capabilities to your iPad for $10 a month with Line2 Line2 has demo'd its upcoming software this week that will turn your iPad into a phone for $10 a month.

The service goes live at the end of the month and Line2 shows it off in the embedded video.

When it's live, you will be able to use Line2 to make/receive calls, manage visual voicemails and send/receive texts, as well.

Best of all, it works via 3G and Wi-Fi unlike certain Apple apps.

For more info click here: Line2





AfterDawn: News

Poll: 52% of Netflix users will cancel following price hike

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jul 2011 3:30

Poll: 52% of Netflix users will cancel following price hike On Tuesday, Netflix announced that it has separated its DVD and streaming services, which means if you want both, the price just increased substantially.

1-DVD-at-time unlimited plans will cost $7.99 per month, the cheapest it has ever been, but if you want unlimited streaming you will need to pay an additional $7.99. That is a $6 price hike if you subscribe to the current $9.99 mixed plan.

BusinessInsider conducted a poll of over 2000 readers asking what they would do with their subscription and an overwhelming 52 percent say they will cancel.

29 percent said they will move to streaming only.

The full poll:





AfterDawn: News

Beware of Zeus, the Trojan hits Android devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jul 2011 2:58

Beware of Zeus, the Trojan hits Android devices The infamous Zeus Trojan has found its way to Android smartphones, a potentially devastating event.

Security firm Fortinet says Zeus, which hijacks bank accounts, is now being used by criminals "to steal one-time passwords sent by banks to authenticate mobile transactions."

The attack comes via Trusteer's Rapport software, which is used to confirm that users are securely logged into their bank's online site.

"In the background, [Zeus] listens to all incoming SMS messages and forwards them to a remote Web server," says Fortinet.

Criminals can then steal money or other credentials from within the portal.

For now, if you do not use a protective app like AVG or Lookout, simply don't log into your bank from your Android device.





AfterDawn: News

Review: Spotify Free for U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jul 2011 12:42

Review: Spotify Free for U.S. Following almost two years of delays, Spotify for the U.S. has launched today, in three variations.

Spotify U.S. has an invite-only free version, a $4.99-per-month ad-free version, and a $10 ad-free "premium" version which allows for unlimited streaming on mobile.

The service has had a free offering in Europe, limited to 10 hours a week, while monthly subscriptions cost £9.99 for unlimited music via your PC or mobile device.

I was given access to the free ad-supported version of Spotify U.S. this morning and so far it has been fantastic.

Read the review here: Spotify Free for U.S., worth the wait?










AfterDawn: News

Chinese government shut down 1.3 million sites last year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jul 2011 12:24

Chinese government shut down 1.3 million sites last year According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Chinese government shut down 1.3 million sites in 2010.

That number accounted for 41 percent of all Chinese websites.

Following its policy of censorship, China began a massive crackdown on pornography in 2009, and there have been hundreds of thousands of porn-based sites shut down in the last two years.

Despite the huge drop, Academy researcher Liu Ruisheng said China has a "high level of freedom of online speech" and that overall number of web pages increased to 60 billion in 2010, up 79% year-over-year.

"This means our content is getting stronger, while our supervision is getting more strict and more regulated," added Ruisheng (via BBC).

Social media sites like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter have all been censored in the past to restrict easy sharing of activist ideals.





AfterDawn: News

Nintendo 3DS firmware update adds Netflix streaming

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jul 2011 12:14

Nintendo 3DS firmware update adds Netflix streaming Nintendo has released the latest firmware update for the Nintendo 3DS today, adding Netflix streaming.

Additionally, the Japanese owners of the console will be given access to the Video Store, while North American and European console owners wait until August for the app.

If you have a $7.99 streaming-only or higher Netflix mixed subscription, you can use the handheld to watch movies and TV shows from the "Watch Instantly" catalog.

Says Nintendo:

This free downloadable application allows Netflix members with an unlimited streaming plan, a Nintendo 3DS system and a broadband Internet connection to instantly watch TV shows and movies on their Nintendo 3DS.


Finally, Nintendo has made a few new titles available for download in the eShop including Baseball, Puzzle Fever, Just SING! 80s Collection, 3D Pixel Racing, AfterZoom, Game & Watch Gallery and Extreme Hangman 2.





AfterDawn: News

'Ultraviolet' digital rights locker coming this fall?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jul 2011 11:26

'Ultraviolet' digital rights locker coming this fall? Last July, Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), a syndicate of technology, cable and entertainment companies introduced their long awaited cloud-based digital locker today, dubbing the service Ultraviolet.

Today, it appears the group is readying Ultraviolet for a fall launch.

When it launches, the service will allow users to stream their music and movies anywhere, as long as it is legally purchased.

Content providers will get to use one cloud-based platform to create a set of Web standards for DRM on digital content.

Says Mark Teitell, the general manager of UltraViolet (via RWW):

Consumers are looking for a better value proposition to own and collect digital movies and TV shows - a proposition that provides downloads, streaming and physical copy viewing options which are accessible on multiple platforms.


The files will play on all devices that conform to Ultraviolet standards, including Blu-ray players, HDTVs, smartphones, tablets and PCs.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Borders now on the brink of death

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jul 2011 11:10

Borders now on the brink of death It appears that a recent Borders deal with invester Jahm Najafi has fallen apart today, leaving the struggling book store chain on the brink of death.

Najafi offered $215 million for the company, plus the assumption of $220 million in liabilities, assuming publishers would give him normal trade terms.

As of today, many had agreed, but a few major ones had not, leaving the company on the brink as Najafi withdrew his bid.

Furthermore, a liquidating group has offered $252 million for the chain, which creditors believe to be a better deal.

If sold to the liquidator group, however, all 399 stores will be closed and 11,000 employees will be out of work.

Borders President Mike Edwards has told employees he is hopeful that new bidders will come in before next week, when the bankrupt chain goes into auction, but if no one steps up then the world has seen the end of Borders.





AfterDawn: News

Google+ on pace to reach 20 million users by this weekend

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jul 2011 10:32

Google+ on pace to reach 20 million users by this weekend According to analysis from Ancestry.com founder Paul Allen, Google's Google+ social network will hit 20 million users by this weekend.

Allen says the 10 million mark was hit Tuesday afternoon, and the overall user base has increased 350 percent in the last 6 days.

Using "surname-based analysis," Allen used U.S. Census Bureau data about last name popularity and compared it to Google Plus users with the same last name. The researcher used similar tactics for the international markets.

RWW explains that "Allen used a sample of 100 to 200 surnames to estimate the total percentage of the U.S. population who has signed up for Google Plus. He then used that number and a calculated ratio of U.S. to non-U.S. users (one U.S. user for every 2.12 non-U.S. users) to generate his worldwide estimates."

On July 4th, the model had user count at 1.7 million, and by July 9th that had jumped to 4.5 million.

Google+ is available to all Gmail users, and on Android. An iOS app is awaiting Apple approval.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

EA finalizes acquisition of PopCap Games

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jul 2011 9:48

EA finalizes acquisition of PopCap Games Following weeks of speculation, Electronic Arts (EA) has announced their acquisition of popular casual gaming company PopCap Games.

PopCap, the company behind blockbuster games like Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled, made over $100 million in revenue last year and is a top social/mobile gaming outfit with around 4.3 million active daily gamers.

The final price is $650 million in cash and $100 million in EA stock.

Furthermore, if PopCap hits certain volume and financial goals by the end of the 2013, the company will earn a $550 million bonus earn-out.

Says EA CEO John Riccitiello:

EA and PopCap are a compelling combination. PopCap’s great studio talent and powerful IP add to EA’s momentum and accelerate our drive towards a $1 billion digital business. EA’s global studio and publishing network will help PopCap rapidly expand their business to more digital devices, more countries, and more channels.


Concludes PopCap:

We picked EA because they have recast their culture around making great digital games. By working with EA, we'll scale our games and services to deliver more social, mobile, casual fun to an even bigger, global audience.





AfterDawn: News

New PS3 models remove ability to play Blu-ray movies via component

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jul 2011 9:24

New PS3 models remove ability to play Blu-ray movies via component Sony has confirmed today that all upcoming PS3 revisions will remove the ability for users to watch Blu-ray films via component cables.

The move, the company says, is to comply with the AACS Final Adaptor Agreement.

Says Sony (via Ars):

The new CECH-3000 series PS3 requires HDMI only for BD movie output in HD, in compliance with AACS standards. PS3 continues to support component output for HD gaming and streaming content.


The latest Agreement states that all complying device must restrict analog outputs to 960 x 540, blocking analog capture devices.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Spotify is coming to the U.S. tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jul 2011 9:00

Spotify is coming to the U.S. tomorrow Spotify will launch in the United States tomorrow, says FT.

The unlimited streaming music service is very popular in Europe but has been delayed in the U.S. for 18 months following an initial announcement.

Spotify has signed licensing deals with UMG, Sony and EMI and is likely closing with Warner Music Group as we type.

The service has a free offering in Europe, limited to 10 hours a week, while monthly subscriptions cost £9.99 for unlimited music via your PC or mobile device.

Spotify U.S. will have an invite-only free version, a $4.99-per-month ad-free version, and a $10 ad-free "premium" version which allows for unlimited streaming on mobile devices, as well.





AfterDawn: News

Guide to managing your e-books with Calibre

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jul 2011 3:46

Guide to managing your e-books with Calibre According to new figures from Pew Internet Research, e-reader ownership is moving at a blistering pace.

E-reader ownership among U.S. adults has jumped to 12 percent (as of June 2011) and is expected to continue to grow, especially as prices drop.

Current e-readers are priced down as low as $114 with an average of $140.

The following guide will teach you how to use the EXCELLENT and FREE e-book manager Calibre to index, convert and manage your e-book collection.





Please read the full guide here: Guide to managing your e-books with Calibre





AfterDawn: News

Pandora announces redesign, 100 millionth user

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jul 2011 2:12

Pandora announces redesign, 100 millionth user Pandora has announced today that the streaming music service has reached 100 million users, with 36 million being active monthly.

Additionally, the company has completely revamped their design, including the desktop and mobile versions of the site, and the redesign will go live in the very near future.

You can view some pics of the new design (and functionality) here.

Says CTO Tim Conrad:

I’ve been looking at it for seven years. I was ready to give it a fresh coat of paint. We started on it about a year ago. But even earlier than that, we’d been talking about it. There were core navigation problems that needed fixing. At first, we had been talking about more incremental changes, with the site still operating in Flash. But then last summer, it became clear that browsers with full HTML5 capabilities had gained enough support. We realized we could do the full Pandora experience without Flash.


Pandora recently went public, raising over $100 million and now has a market value of $3 billion.

The company says it now has 3.6 percent of the U.S. radio listening market share, a 50 percent increase from last year.





AfterDawn: News

Netflix separates DVD and Streaming services, will cost much more now if you want both

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jul 2011 1:27

Netflix separates DVD and Streaming services, will cost much more now if you want both Netflix has announced today that it has separated its DVD and streaming services, which means if you want both, the price just increased substantially.

1-DVD-at-time unlimited plans will cost $7.99 per month, the cheapest it has ever been, but if you want unlimited streaming you will need to pay an additional $7.99.

Currently, a 1-DVD plus unlimited streaming plan costs just $9.99.

The plan is now effective for new members and will become effective for existing members on September 1st.

Netflix has 24 million subscribers in the U.S. and Canada and is set to expand to South America and Mexico later this year.

The company explains its move:

Last November when we launched our $7.99 unlimited streaming plan, DVDs by mail was treated as a $2 add on to our unlimited streaming plan. At the time, we didn’t anticipate offering DVD only plans. Since then we have realized that there is still a very large continuing demand for DVDs both from our existing members as well as non-members. Given the long life we think DVDs by mail will have, treating DVDs as a $2 add on to our unlimited streaming plan neither makes great financial sense nor satisfies people who just want DVDs. Creating an unlimited DVDs by mail plan (no streaming) at our lowest price ever, $7.99, does make sense and will ensure a long life for our DVDs by mail offering. Reflecting our confidence that DVDs by mail is a long-term business for us, we are also establishing a separate and distinct management team solely focused on DVDs by mail, led by Andy Rendich, our Chief Service and Operations Officer and an 11 year veteran of Netflix.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Apple files new patent suit against HTC

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jul 2011 2:19

Apple files new patent suit against HTC Apple has filed yet another complaint with the U.S. ITC, this time alleging more patent infringement from Taiwanese-based smartphone/tablet maker HTC.

The company initially filed a complaint against HTC last March, claiming they were infringing on 20 patents. HTC then counter-sued Apple, asking the ITC to halt all imports of iOS devices due to alleged patent infringement on 5 of HTC's own patents.

Says HTC of the new suit (via PCW):

HTC is dismayed that Apple has resorted to competition in the courts rather than the market place.


The company says it will fight all the past and present claims and defend their own patents.

Apple sold 17 million iPhones last quarter while HTC sold 9.8 million smartphones.





AfterDawn: News

'Facebook phone' coming this week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jul 2011 2:01

'Facebook phone' coming this week The first "Facebook phone" is officially hitting the United States on July 17th via Best Buy Stores.

HTC's Status will sell for $50 with 2-year contract.

The device itself will run on Android 2.3 with HTC Sense overlay, have a 2.6-inch touch screen with 480 x 320 resolution, 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM, dual-cameras and an 800MHz processor.

Dubbed the Facebook phone because it has its own Facebook button underneath the keypad, owners have a chance to use a deeply integrated Facebook app.

For example, if you are listening to music, by hitting the Facebook button you can instantly share what song you are playing, and same goes for Web browsing and pictures. Simply hit the button to share the site you are on or upload the picture you just took.

When a friend calls, you will see their Facebook picture and current status on the home screen.

Owners can also use the newly added Skype-based Facebook video chats, although you will need Wi-Fi to do so.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Google launches first e-reader, iriver Story HD

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jul 2011 1:07

Google launches first e-reader, iriver Story HD Google has launched their first e-reader this week, via a partnership with iriver.

The iriver Story HD will go on sale on Sunday at $140, the same price as the Kindle 3 and Nook Simple Touch.

Using the device, user can buy and read Google eBooks from the open eBooks platform, and the device is the first to integrate the store.

Google's e-reader is "slim and lightweight with a high-resolution e-ink screen and a QWERTY keyboard for easy searching. It includes over-the-air access to hundreds of thousands of Google eBooks for sale and more than 3 million for free. With the Story HD you can now browse, buy and read Google eBooks with your e-reader through Wi-Fi, rather than downloading and transferring them from computer to e-reader with a cord as you can already do with more than 80 compatible devices."

The search giant adds they now partner with 250 independent bookstores and Google eBooks is available via Chrome Web Store, the Android Market, iOS App Store and all modern browsers.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Cisco set to can 10,000 employees

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jul 2011 12:34

Cisco set to can 10,000 employees Cisco, the world's largest networking-equipment company, is set to fire up to 10,000 employees, a massive 14 percent of their current workforce, say sources.

7000 positions could be eliminated by the end of the summer while the other 3000 will be given "early-retirement packages" for accepting buyouts.

The firings will help Cisco save up to $1 billion in fiscal 2012. In the coming quarter, the company will need to spend an additional $500 million, however, on the severance packages, which include 1 year's pay and medical benefits.

2800 employees declined the retirement packages.

In the last quarter, for global router sales, Cisco lost a full 6.4 points to retain 54.2 percent market, losing share to rivals Dell and Juniper.





AfterDawn: News

DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapters are now illegal to sell

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jul 2011 12:48

DisplayPort-to-HDMI adapters are now illegal to sell All manufacturers of Mini DisplayPort-to-HDMI cables have been notified this week that their products are illegal and should be recalled.

HDMI Org says all DP male-to-HDMI male connectors are unlicensed as they are out of HDMI spec.

DisplayPort is a popular system on Apple Macs, and is also used by some Dell monitors and Toshiba notebooks.

Notes HDMI Org (via TR):

The HDMI specification defines an HDMI cable as having only HDMI connectors on the ends. Anything else is not a licensed use of the specification and therefore, not allowed.

All HDMI products undergo compliance testing as defined by the Compliance Testing Specification.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Facebook to start 'Vibes' music service?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jul 2011 12:18

Facebook to start 'Vibes' music service? Software developer Jeff Rose has uncovered 'Vibes,' an unannounced Facebook music service.

Whilst examining the code for Facebook Video Chat, the developer found some references to Vibes:

I searched around to see what this is all about, and it seems that this is an unannounced feature that has yet to be released. The vibes app connects with a music download dialog in the page though, so I’m guessing that with this release we are seeing the seeds for Facebook’s upcoming music offering.


Vibes is likely a code name, as Video Chat had a codename of "Peep" before it launched.

Rumor has had it that Facebook would partner up with Spotify once it launched in the U.S., which is actually expected this week after 16 months of delays.

The tie-up would let users click on a Spotify icon to install the service on their desktop in the background, "and also allow users to play from Spotify’s library of millions of songs through Facebook. The service will include a function that lets Facebook users listen to music simultaneously with their friends over the social network, one of the sources said.”





AfterDawn: News

Verizon now has 32 percent of iPhone 4 owners

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jul 2011 11:32

Verizon now has 32 percent of iPhone 4 owners According to mobile analytics firm Localytics, Verizon has slowly but surely taken a 32 percent share of the iPhone 4 market.

Apple, following 4 years of exclusivity with AT&T, launched the Verizon iPhone 4 in February.

Daniel Ruby of Localytics says the figure comes from analyzing which version of the iPhone downloaded the 1500 mobile applications the firm uses its software to monitor. A few of the more notable apps the firm monitors are for clients Skype, News Corp. and Turner, each with heavy traffic.

Interestingly, in its first week of availability the number jumped to 20 percent share. That number had hit 25 percent by April and 29 percent last month.

The company believes that with a level playing field (the rumored September iPhone 5 launch), Verizon will have a number closer to 40 percent share right from the get-go.





AfterDawn: News

Report: Amazon makes large tablet order

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jul 2011 11:23

Report: Amazon makes large tablet order While still unconfirmed by the e-tailing giant, it has practically become fact that Amazon is preparing a tablet for the Q3 2011.

A report this weekend states that Amazon has ordered about 1.2 million tablets, second only to Apple who has ordered 15 million iPad 2 for the quarter.

Overall, component suppliers expect shipments to total around 21 million in the quarter.

Speculatively, Amazon will release two tablets, a low-end Tegra 2 device and a much more powerful quad-core Tegra 3 device. Amazon will also give free access to its streaming movie library to all tablet buyers.

CEO Jeff Bezos did note a "potential" tablet months ago, and it was reported that Samsung was building it.

An Amazon tablet would be a powerful addition to the market, as Amazon controls a large ecosystem of content including Amazon MP3 (music downloads), Amazon Instant Video (streaming movies/TV), Amazon Cloud Drive (streaming music, cloud storage), the Amazon Android App Store (Android apps) and the Kindle store (the most popular e-book store).





AfterDawn: News

The HTC Thunderbolt is the most expensive phone ever built

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jul 2011 4:23

The HTC Thunderbolt is the most expensive phone ever built According to a teardown from IHS iSuppli, the popular HTC Thunderbolt is the most expensive phone ever built.

The LTE smartphone, when disassembled, has a total cost of $262.

For comparison's sake, the Verizon iPhone 4 has a teardown cost of $171.35.

Please note that teardowns do not take R&D and shipping costs into account.

iSuppli says the most expensive component is the Qualcomm MDM9600 4G LTE chip, which cost $40 per device.

Adds the company:

It remains to be seen whether the next Apple iPhone set for introduction in September will support 4G LTE. However, if it does, two things are clear. First, the iPhone's minuscule printed circuit board (PCB) will have to grow in size in order to support the first-generation LTE baseband processor as well as all the supporting chipset.

Second, the next iPhone's BOM value certainly will increase substantially compared to the iPhone 4 if LTE is implemented in the same manner as in the HTC Thunderbolt.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Google: We are not shutting down Blogger name

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jul 2011 1:43

Google: We are not shutting down Blogger name Despite a persistent rumor, sources say Google will not be shutting down the "Blogger" brand.

Rumor had it that Google was set to retire the popular Picasa and Blogger brand names, instead choosing to move them to Google Photos and Google Blogs.

The plan, speculation had it, was to unify all the Google brands in sync with the launch of Google+, the social network.

Google, in the past, had made similar moves; Rebranding JotSpot as Google Sites in 2008 and rebranding GrandCentral as Google Voice in 2009.

Blogger and Picasa, however, are household names with reputations that go as far back as Google.





AfterDawn: News

HTC Thunderbolt owners rejoice, reboot glitch fixed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jul 2011 8:13

HTC Thunderbolt owners rejoice, reboot glitch fixed Since its launch, HTC Thunderbolt owners have complained over the excessive amounts of forced reboots caused by their device, having their phone just shut off at random points.

Both Verizon and HTC acknowledged the issue and said a software glitch was to blame, with a fix on the way.

While the update is not for Android 2.3, it is a large maintenance update.

Change log of the update being rolled out:

Improved data connectivity.
Enhanced Call History view.
Reduced number of device power cycles and resets.
Improved Bluetooth Discovery Mode pop-up window.
View App Menu in tabbed layout.
People search function enabled.
Backup Assistant has been added to the All Apps menu.
Preloaded My Verizon, V CAST Music and V CAST Videos.
Desktop cradle App is now available, showing clock in landscape m
NY Times site has been added into the browser bookmarks.





AfterDawn: News

Apple loses patent case to Personal Audio LLC

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jul 2011 7:53

Apple loses patent case to Personal Audio LLC Apple has been ordered to pay $8 million to Personal Audio LLC after losing a patent case.

The patents in question relate to downloadable playlists on the iPod line of music players.

In the case, Personal Audio alleged that Apple infringed on two patents. The company demanded $84 million in damages.

A jury voted in favor of the patent licensing company, ruling that both patents were infringed and valid.

Bloomberg
says the first patent "covers an audio player that can receive navigable playlists" and the second covered "skipping forward or backward through the downloaded list."

Apple had claimed the patents were invalid, and they were not using the inventions.

The final damages award is tiny in relation to overall iPod revenue, which came in a $8.7 billion last year.





AfterDawn: News

Spotify hitting U.S. next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jul 2011 7:33

Spotify hitting U.S. next week Spotify is ready to launch in the United States by the middle of next week, with the company having notified the major labels of their intent.

The unlimited streaming music service is very popular in Europe but has been delayed in the U.S. for 16 months following an initial announcement.

Spotify has signed licensing deals with UMG, Sony and EMI and is still in closing negotiations with Warner Music Group.

However, the service will not launch unless a deal is signed with Warner, say sources.

The service has a free offering in Europe, limited to 10 hours a week, while monthly subscriptions cost £9.99 for unlimited music via your PC or mobile device.

Spotify is expected to unveil a similar subscription package for the U.S., likely at $10 per month.

Earlier this year, the company said it had 10 million users in Europe, with 1 million paying subscribers.





AfterDawn: News

Greedy Oracle is looking to kill Android growth

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jul 2011 1:54

Greedy Oracle is looking to kill Android growth Oracle, who has sued Google over infringing on Java copyrights and patents with its Android operating system is apparently now looking to collect royalties from Google handset makers, trying to squeeze margins even tighter in the industry.

The company, which purchased Sun Microsystems and all of its patents in 2010, is demanding damages of $2.6 billion and an injunction on Android.

It appears, following Microsoft's trend, that Oracle is asking for $15 per handset sold as a licensing fee.

Oracle is asking handset makers to join their "Early Adopter" program, which will lock in the $15 rate. If Oracle wins their case against Google, that number could be much higher.

Additionally, if vendors sign up, Oracle's case against Google will be given a boost as it will be clear that at least some company's believe Oracle is in the right and want to pay out less.

Microsoft recently won settlements with HTC and three smaller handset makers in which all will pay $10-$15 per Android handset sold. Microsoft has also recently demanded Samsung pay the same amount.





AfterDawn: News

R.I.P Sony MiniDisc player

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jul 2011 1:00

R.I.P Sony MiniDisc player Following last October's decision to finally retire the Walkman cassette player, Sony has said today it will also be killing off the MiniDisc Player later this year.

Overall, the company has sold 22 million MiniDisc Players but demand has been lackluster, to say the least, over the past 5 years.

The company will stop production on the players in September.

Sony launched the MiniDisc in 1992 as a rival to cassettes, but the cost of the discs and the eventual mass adoption of CDs and later MP3 players made the devices obsolete.

The company says it will continue to produce MiniDiscs into the future, just not the players.





AfterDawn: News

Next generation iPod Touch will have 3G?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jul 2011 12:41

Next generation iPod Touch will have 3G? According to a new post from AppleSpot.nl, the next generation iPod Touch will include a SIM card slot that will allow for 3G connectivity.

Translated, the report says:

It will work just like the iPad; you get a 3G enabled simcard from your provider and put that in you iPod Touch. Apple’s choice of bringing 3G to the iPod Touch isn’t all that weird, if it’s true of course. Question remains how the providers will react to this, since the use of, for example, Skype will skyrocket.


The feature would be welcomed by users who do not have easily accessible Wi-Fi hotspots at their favorite hangouts and love their iPod Touch.

Owners could use VoIP apps like Skype or Google Voice to make phone calls and have an inexpensive iPhone.

What the report doesn't say is why Apple would create a product that could cannibalize their own sales and possibly jeopardize long-term working relationships with mobile carriers.





AfterDawn: News

Ubisoft says their creativity is limited by PS3, Xbox 360 hardware

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jul 2011 2:37

Ubisoft says their creativity is limited by PS3, Xbox 360 hardware Ubisoft, the game developer behind blockbuster franchises like Splinter Cell and Assassin's Creed has said this week that its creativity is now being limited by the PS3 and Xbox 360's hardware.

Says Yves Jacquier, Ubisoft's executive director of production services at Ubisoft Montreal:

Our challenge with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox [360] is that we're extremely limited in what we can do.

It's a challenge for the engineers to provide nice graphics and nice AI and nice sound with a very small amount of memory and computation time.


Ubi hopes that they will be able to significantly improve on AI with the next-generation Xbox and PS4:

The challenge is that, if you see an AI coming, you've failed. And that's a problem we have to overcome as we create the impression of flawless, seamless worlds. In general the industry expects that graphics will not be a strong feature any more... Obviously, graphics are better for marketing purposes because you can show things. AI you can't show.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Man claims to own every North American PS2 game

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jul 2011 2:24

Man claims to own every North American PS2 game Thanks to PlayStation Collecting, user Ahans76 has posted his full collection of every North American PS2 game ever sold.

The user says he started buying games on launch day of the PS2 and while it was a small hobby at first, he eventually reached 400 games and decided to go for it.

Every game in the collection is sealed and a first release.

There are a number of "Greatest Hits" in the collection, but only if they add extra content that was not originally available.

A few of the pics here:






AfterDawn: News

Droid 3 now available for pre-order from Verizon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jul 2011 2:00

Droid 3 now available for pre-order from Verizon Verizon has quietly added the Droid 3 to its catalog of smartphones, with the device now up for pre-order.

The phone will cost $200 with two-year contract.

Under the hood, the Droid 3 runs on a dual-core 1GHz processor, and Android 2.3 with Flash 10.3.

The Droid should be very popular among users requiring a full QWERTY keypad, and Motorola is boasting that the Droid 3 has "the word's thinnest full QWERTY."

Furthermore, the Droid 3 has a 4-inch 960x540 display, an 8MP full HD standard camera and VGA front-side camera, no LTE, and can be used globally as its a CDMA/GSM dual-phone.

Finally, the device has 16GB internal memory and can be expanded with a microSD.





AfterDawn: News

5 ISPs agree to help entertainment industry fight online piracy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jul 2011 1:06

5 ISPs agree to help entertainment industry fight online piracy In a move that should have broad implications, 5 major ISPs have signed an agreement with the entertainment industry in an effort to help fight online piracy.

The ISPs are AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision.

Each has agreed to send emails/electronic alerts to customers who are allegedly downloading unauthorized movies, TV shows or music.

After "repeated" alerts, the ISPs can throttle the Internet speed of the offenders or even cut their access temporarily. Users can get their Internet back after either discussing the matter with the ISP or going through an "educational course" on copyright.

The ISPs cannot, fortunately for pirates, completely terminate services or impose any type of fines. The deal will mainly serve as an educational system in which customers will learn about copyright laws and legal sources for downloads like iTunes.

Behind the deal were the MPAA, RIAA and National Cable & Telecommunications Association.





AfterDawn: News

Nintendo Wii U will not have just one online service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jul 2011 12:44

Nintendo Wii U will not have just one online service Nintendo has confirmed that the upcoming Wii U will have multiple online services, not just a singular entity like Xbox Live or the PSN.

NoA president Reggie Fils-Aime says publishers will be in charge of setting up their own platforms.

Says the president (via Forbes):

I don’t think it is an issue for us, and here’s why. We’ve seen what our competitors have done, and we’ve acknowledged that we need to do more online, starting with the launch of our eShop on Nintendo 3DS, and we’re going to continue to build our online capability.For Wii U, we’re going to take that one step further, and what we’re doing is creating a much more flexible system that will allow the best approaches by independent publishers to come to bear.

So instead of a situation where a publisher has their own network and wants that to be the predominant platform, and having arguments with platform holders, we’re going to welcome that. We’re going to welcome that from the best and the brightest of the third party publishers.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Amazon adds unlimited option to Cloud Drive, iPad app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2011 11:03

Amazon adds unlimited option to Cloud Drive, iPad app Amazon has created an unlimited option for its Cloud Drive, giving users a chance to save every song ever written in the cloud for $20 a year.

Additionally, the company has also created a native iPad app, "Cloud Player for the iPad."

The Cloud Player was launched in March for Android devices natively, and as a Web-browser-based option for iOS devices.

Amazon, Google and Apple have all recently unveiled cloud offerings for users with large collections that want to have access on the go.





AfterDawn: News

Facebook adds Skype-backed video chat

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2011 10:31

Facebook adds Skype-backed video chat Facebook has announced it will add Skype-based video chat to its service, a move that should help the company rival Google's newly launched Google+ hangouts.

The social networking behemoth has 750 million users while Skype has slightly over 200 million. The VoIP company is expected to see a large boost in users over the coming months thanks to the partnership.

Skype will also help keep Facebook users engaged, as well as give them a reason to come back and check each day.

While free, the service is limited to two-person Skype-Skype chats. Google's Hangouts allows for up to 10 people in a video chat.

Eventually Skype will introduce a pay service where users can use Facebook/Skype to call mobile/landline phones.

Microsoft recently purchased Skype for $8.5 billion and Microsoft has a 1.6 percent share of Facebook's private shares, valued at an estimated $1.2 billion.

(Pic via Reuters)





AfterDawn: News

Hulu Plus reaches 1 million users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2011 10:01

Hulu Plus reaches 1 million users Hulu CEO Jason Kilar has said this week that the company has already reached 1 million users, with 875,000 being paid subscribers.

The company set a goal last year to reach 1 million paying subscribers by the end of 2011 and appears to be way ahead of schedule.

Because there are at least 125,000 on free trials right now, 1 million could be accessible within months if a good amount convert over.

Kilar notes that June was one of their biggest months ever, with the company adding more subscribers in the month than in April and May combined.

Overall, Gigaom says the service has 15,000 hours of video and 28,000 TV episodes.

Hulu, after receiving an unsolicited bid from Yahoo last month has actively put itself up for sale and has been in talks with Google and Microsoft.





AfterDawn: News

Apple asks ITC to block Samsung imports

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2011 9:39

Apple asks ITC to block Samsung imports The patent war escalates to the next level.

Apple has asked the US International Trade Commission (USITC) to block imports on a number of Samsung smartphones and tablets including the popular 'Galaxy' line.

Says Apple (via Reuters):

Samsung has followed each of Apple's groundbreaking products with imitation products that incorporate Apple's technology and distinctive design


The company even went as far as to call Samsung "one of the principal infringers" of Apple IP.

Last week Samsung upped the ante by asking the USITC to block imports on popular iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad.

For more background check here: Apple seeks injunction against Samsung in patent row





AfterDawn: News

It lives! JailbreakMe 3.0 will jailbreak your iPad 2 untethered

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2011 9:18

It lives! JailbreakMe 3.0 will jailbreak your iPad 2 untethered Comex has released the updated JailbreakMe 3.0 tool which will jailbreak your iPad 2 with iOS 4.3.3 untethered.

If you are using a beta iOS 5 or the older 4.3.0-4.3.2, you are out of luck, for the time being, notes the developer.

Here is the official supported list:

iPad 1: 4.3 to 4.3.3
iPad 2: 4.3.3
iPhone 3GS: 4.3 to 4.3.3
iPhone 4: 4.3 to 4.3.3
iPhone 4 CDMA: 4.2.6 to 4.2.8
iPod touch 3g: 4.3, 4.3.2, 4.3.3
iPod touch 4g: 4.3 to 4.3.3


Additionally, the dev-team has put out a full FAQ/Q&A:

Q: Do the holes discovered by @comex put my device at risk?
A: Yes. We recommend installing “PDF Patcher 2” in Cydia once you’re jailbroken to eliminate this risk (any firmware version).

Q: How does jbme3.0 differ from the existing jailbreaks?
A: jbme3.0 is entirely userland-based, from start to finish. The A5 chip in the iPad2 has no iBoot or bootrom-level exploits yet, so tools like redsn0w, PwnageTool and sn0wbreeze can’t use the limera1n bootrom exploit to inject the jailbreak. Even for those devices where limera1n works, jbme3.0 injects the jailbreak with a userland exploit.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Apple could release 'iPad 2+' later this year?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2011 9:02

Apple could release 'iPad 2+' later this year? According to FBR analyst Craig Berger, Apple may be ready to release an 'iPad +' later this year, the "plus" signifying a premium version of the tablet.

Says the analyst (via Forbes):

We hear Apple could migrate the iPad’s display resolution from a current pixel density of 132 ppi to 250-300 ppi for the ‘iPad 2 Plus’ (note that the iPhone 4′s screen is 326 ppi).

If this device does come out as a high-end iPad for the holidays, then Q4 production volumes could diminish somewhat as screen constraints again arise as LG and/or Samsung would likely have difficulties ramping screen yield rates for these high resolution displays right out of the gate.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Facebook confirms 750 million users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2011 8:37

Facebook confirms 750 million users Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has confirmed today that the social networking platform has hit 750 million users, one year after the company announced it had reached 500 million users.

Says the world's youngest billionaire (via UST):

The metric of the last five years was about user growth. The driving narrative of the next five years is not about wiring up the world, but what cool stuff (apps) can you build with this wiring in place.

We did not report 750 million because we do not believe it is the metric.


Despite the massive growth, some numbers suggest Facebook has reached saturation in the U.S., UK and Canada, where active usership actually fell in May.

Facebook is set to IPO in the next year and has a current market value of $100 billion, making it one of the largest tech companies in the entire world.





AfterDawn: News

Nintendo: We will not create games for iOS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2011 8:01

Nintendo: We will not create games for iOS Following news that Pokemon Co. would begin developing software for iOS and Android, speculation immediately shifted to Nintendo and whether they would follow suit.

The gaming company has flatly denied that it will begin developing software for mobile operating systems saying its "strategy to develop software only for its own hardware hasn’t changed and won’t change."

Pokemon Co., which is 32 percent owned by Nintendo, noted that it will debut a "Pokemon Tap" game this summer for the popular smartphone/tablet devices.

At one point, Nintendo's shares raised 5 percent on optimism that they may create games for iOS and Android. Says analyst Mitsuo Shimizu of Cosmo Securities:

The share movement showed how much investors are hoping for Nintendo to change its strategy. Nintendo should consider developing games for smartphones or players that can also act as mobile phones, as it suits the lifestyles of many people.


Nintendo owns the rights to incredibly popular franchises like Donkey Kong, Mario and Zelda.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft wants $15 for every Samsung Android device sold

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2011 12:25

Microsoft wants $15 for every Samsung Android device sold Android is a very lucrative business for Microsoft.

Following its recent trend of pressuring handset makers to pay up, Microsoft is demanding that Samsung pay $15 to the software giant for each Android smartphone they build.

Microsoft has a large range of patents used in Android and has already gotten four companies (including HTC) to sign similar licensing agreements.

Samsung, however, wants to pay $10 per device and is willing to have a deeper partnership with Microsoft for Windows Phone 7 in exchange for the smaller fee.

In the next year, Microsoft is expected to make hundreds of millions of dollars off of Android devices (which it sells none of), even more money than it anticipates making off sales of its own WP7 devices.





AfterDawn: News

Baidu and Microsoft join together to fight Google

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2011 1:07

Baidu and Microsoft join together to fight Google Microsoft has teamed up with Chinese behemoth Baidu to offer English search services in China.

The move comes 18 months after Google pulled its search engine out of mainland China, following a number of attempted attacks on Google Gmail servers that the company says originated from China.

With the new deal, Microsoft's Bing will now appear on Baidu web pages, offering English results.

Baidu says there are now 10 million English searches on its search engine every day, and the Bing deal should help the company satisfy those users. The company has an 83 percent share for the Chinese search market, even higher than Google's 72 percent in the United States.

Microsoft says it will follow all censorship laws as mandated in the nation.

China has 470 million active Internet users.





AfterDawn: News

Toshiba reveals glasses-free 3D laptops

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2011 12:31

Toshiba reveals glasses-free 3D laptops Toshiba has announced its Qosmio F750 3D will hit Europe in August.

The company has been planning on releasing glasses-free 3D HDTVs and notebooks since 2010, and they appear to finally be on the horizon.

Says Toshiba:

To create a 3D effect without 3D glasses, the left eye needs to see a slightly different perspective to the right eye. The Qosmio F750 3D's state-of-the-art lenticular screen sends Qosmio F750 3D displays 3D images without the need for glasses. Eye-tracking technology ensures 3D effect works regardless of position (15.6") screen allows 2D and 3D images to be viewed simultaneouslytwo images of slightly differing perspectives individually to the left and right eye, which creates the 3D effect.

An integrated webcam also intelligently tracks the user's eye movements, allowing the Qosmio F750 3D to adjust the 3D effect to match the eye position. The Qosmio F750 3D can also display 2D and 3D content simultaneously — allowing users to browse the Internet, for example, in one window and have 3D content playing in another window.


Additionally, the laptop will have an Intel Core i7 processor, 640GB HDD, 6GB DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce 540 GT, RAM, Harman Kardon stereo speakers and Dolby Advanced Audio HDMI-CEC .

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

TI OMAP 4 phones get Netflix HD certification

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Jul 2011 12:13

TI OMAP 4 phones get Netflix HD certification Texas Instruments has said today that Netflix has given their OMAP 4 platform Netflix HD certification, meaning all future OMAP 4-based devices will have built-in capability to stream HD Netflix films.

Says TI (via PCM):

Essentially, [Netflix HD] is a new app, which can be pre-installed on an OEM's device that has itself obtained Netflix certification. The app can also be installed on a certified device that is already on the market, through a secure OTA (over the air) upgrade.


A few OMAP 4 devices coming in the near future are the LG Thrill 4G, the LG Optimus 3D and allegedly the Droid 3.

Netflix is only currently available on a few Android devices, and the company has blatantly said that fragmentation has made it very tough to roll out the service to more devices.

Adds Fred Cohen, director of the OMAP User Experience team at TI:

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AfterDawn: News

Reminder: Verizon unlimited data plans go 'poof' tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2011 11:43

Reminder: Verizon unlimited data plans go 'poof' tomorrow As a reminder, Verizon plans to get rid of its unlimited smartphone data plans beginning tomorrow, July 7th, instead moving to tiered structure just like rival AT&T.

The company will now offer 75MB for $10 a month, 2GB for $30, 5GB for $50 and 10GB for $80.

If you exceed your tier, the cost is $10 per GB above.

It appears the 75MB plan is available only for feature phones, fortunately, as the data is hardly enough to cover a week of use, even for the lightest smartphone users.

Subscribers with unlimited data plans are "grandfathered" in, meaning they can keep it when they upgrade or renew their contracts. If you ever drop it, however, you can never get it back.

Additionally, Verizon is ending its free tethering testing, and users will now have to pay $30 a month to use LTE mobile hotspot.

AT&T offers somewhat cheaper plans with 200MB for $15, 2GB for $25 and 4GB with tethering for $45.

(Pic via Techspot)

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AfterDawn: News

ComScore: Apple, Android gain at expense of RIM

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2011 11:11

ComScore: Apple, Android gain at expense of RIM According to the latest figures from research firm ComScore, Android and iOS have once again gained U.S. market share at the expense of RIM.

For the three months ended May 2011, Android jumped 5.1 points to 38.1 percent while Apple took a smaller gain of 1.2 points to 26.6 percent share.

RIM, following the trend of the last three years, saw another large decline, this time of 4.2 points to 24.7 percent.

Microsoft, 6 months after the launch of its Windows Phone 7 OS, lost significant share, as well, down 1.9 points to just 5.8 percent.

U.S. smartphone ownership in itself grew by 11 percent, to 78.6 million owners.

(Pic via Cnet)





AfterDawn: News

Netflix expands to Mexico, South and Central America

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2011 9:55

Netflix expands to Mexico, South and Central America Netflix has announced it will be expanding its streaming service to Mexico, South and Central America and the Caribbea later this year.

The company will expand to 43 new countries with a staggered rollout.

Users in the new countries will be able to watch global and local TV shows in English, Spanish or Portuguese.

Just like in the U.S., the service will be viewable on computers, mobile devices and TVs.

Says the company via its official blog:

Netflix members in the U.S. and Canada have really taken to watching instantly. We feel great about being able to offer the same combination of convenience, choice and value to people in Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean.


In 2010, Netflix expanded the streaming service to Canada, its first step to move internationally.

It is unclear what the service will be priced at in the new nations.





AfterDawn: News

AT&T finally starts offering standard insurance for iPhones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2011 1:52

AT&T finally starts offering standard insurance for iPhones AT&T has noted today that it will finally offer standard insurance for all iPhone models under their Mobile Insurance Program.

Beginning on July 17th, the popular Apple smartphones will be eligible, at $5 a month.

The carrier's standard insurance program offers protection against loss, theft, physical/liquid damage and mechanical/electrical failure.

iPhone 3GS or earlier will have a $50 deductible per claim while the iPhone 4 will have a $125 deductible, standard for smartphones.

One caveat: "Customers can only enroll within 30 days of a new activation or upgrade, prior activations or upgrades outside of 30 days are not eligible."

Until now, you had to pay a ridiculous $12 per month and $200 deductible for iPhone insurance through a third-party supported by AT&T.





AfterDawn: News

Google+ for iPhone now awaiting approval

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2011 1:21

Google+ for iPhone now awaiting approval Google has already submitted a Google+ app for the Apple App Store, and says it is waiting for approval.

The app was submitted sometime "prior to today" so given Apple's standard approval process, users could see an app as soon as this week.

For now, anyone who has access to the social network can run the mobile/touch version of the service from their iPhone, on any browser.

Android users have a native app.

One Google technician does note that she does not know if the app will be optimized for the iPad, but does not believe it will be at launch.

Google+ launched earlier this week on an invite-only basis and Google was even forced to shut down invites due to "insane demand."





AfterDawn: News

Despite scary headlines, Apple 'hack' caused no damage

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2011 12:53

Despite scary headlines, Apple 'hack' caused no damage There were a few 'scary' headlines out there today about Apple being hacked by Anonymous, with many users being scared that their iTunes account had fallen into malevolent hands.

CNNMoney says there is nothing to worry about, as the "hack" only revealed 27 user accounts, and none of those are even iTunes accounts.

The SQL injection managed to steal 27 names and encrypted passwords from an online survey at the Apple Business Intelligence website.

Apple has since taken the survey down.

If you are one of 225 million iTunes users, breathe easy, your details are safe.

More details here: Pastebin





AfterDawn: News

PS4 production starting late 2011 for 2012 release?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2011 12:24

PS4 production starting late 2011 for 2012 release? According to the extremely hit-and-miss Digitimes site, Sony is starting production on the PlayStation 4 (PS4) later this year for an expected 2012 launch.

The report cites Taiwan-based component makers who also claim that the PS4 will feature a Kinect-esque motion control system.

Says Digi:

Sony will have Taiwan-based partners begin production of PlayStation 4 (PS4) featuring body movement-based control like Kinect at the end of 2011 for launch in 2012, according to Taiwan-based component makers.

Foxconn and Pegatron Technology, assemblers of PS3, will undertake assembly of PS4 as well, the sources pointed out. The planned shipment volume of PS4 in 2012 is at least 20 million units, the sources indicated.


Sony has long said the PS3 will enjoy a 10-year lifespan like its predecessor but there have been ongoing rumors for years now that the company is planning the PS4 for 2012 or 2013. The PS3 launched in 2006.





AfterDawn: News

Fox News hacked, hackers tweet about fake Obama assassination

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jul 2011 12:10

Fox News hacked, hackers tweet about fake Obama assassination As pictured, Fox New's political news Twitter stream was hacked last night, with the hackers tweeting fake messages about President Obama being assassinated.

The President is safe and sound in the White House, celebrating the Independence Day holiday.

Shockingly, the hacked tweets remained posted on the stream for over 7 hours (as pictured) before someone in the news organization got the memo to remove them.

Vice president and general manager of Fox News Digital Jeff Misenti says:

We will be requesting a detailed investigation from Twitter about how this occurred, and measures to prevent future unauthorized access into FoxNews.com accounts.






AfterDawn: News

Barnes & Nobles giving away tons of freebies to anyone who switches to a Nook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jul 2011 1:43

Barnes & Nobles giving away tons of freebies to anyone who switches to a Nook Barnes & Noble, the proud owners of the highest-rated dedicated e-reader, ever, are giving users even more incentive to pick up a new Nook.

As of this weekend, anyone who walks into a Barnes & Noble brick-and-mortar store with a rival e-reader and purchases a new Nook Color or Nook Simple Touch will be given a 2GB microSD card filled with "$315" worth of free e-books.

A few of the 30 books provided are classics like "Robinson Crusoe" and "Don Quixote" and you can check the full list here: 30 Free Nook books

The Nook Color (more of a tablet than an e-reader, retails for $250 and the brand-new Nook Simple Touch (the highest-rated dedicated e-reader, ever) retails for just $140.

Barnes & Noble is of course hoping that many will show off their old Amazon Kindle and "upgrade" to the Nook Simple, and the cheap promotion should also help drive foot traffic to the struggling stores.





AfterDawn: News

Twitter announced new milestone, 200 million daily tweets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jul 2011 1:12

Twitter announced new milestone, 200 million daily tweets Twitter has announced a new milestone on its trek to rule the world; there are now 200 million tweets sent every single day.

In 2008, that figure was 500,000, in 2009 it was 2 million and in 2010 the number was 65 million.

Says the micro-blogging company:

For perspective, every day, the world writes the equivalent of a 10 million-page book in Tweets or 8,163 copies of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Reading this much text would take more than 31 years and stacking this many copies of War and Peace would reach the height of about 1,470 feet, nearly the ground-to-roof height of Taiwan’s Taipei 101, the second tallest building in the world.


Twitter also posted the top "Trending Topics" for the first 6 months of 2011 which included AH1N1, Egyptian President Mubarak, Rebecca Black and the infamous Charlie Sheen.





AfterDawn: News

One build of Nvidia Tegra 4 will feature 8 processing cores

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jul 2011 12:55

One build of Nvidia Tegra 4 will feature 8 processing cores Despite the fact that no devices featuring Tegra 3 "Kal-El" processors have hit the market yet, Nvidia is actively working on the Tegra 4, codename "Wayne," say sources.

According to the sources, "Wayne" will come in two separate builds, one for smartphones and one for tablets and low-powered netbooks/notebooks.

The first build will be a quad-core design at 1.5GHz built on the ARM Cortex-A15 and a 24-core GPU. Power consumption should be on the level of the current-generation Kal-El Tegra 3 SoC.

Wayne's second build, however, is almost jaw-dropping, given its purpose is for mobile devices. The build will feature eight ARM processing cores and 32-to-64 GPU cores. Each will be DirectX 11+ compliant and even support OpenGL 4.x, OpenCL 1.x and PhysX.

Nvidia is expected to release the Wayne SoC in fall 2012.





AfterDawn: News

Developers get their hands on Apple's OS X Lion 'gold master' build

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jul 2011 12:36

Developers get their hands on Apple's OS X Lion 'gold master' build Apple has released the "gold master" build of their upcoming Mac OS X Lion operating system to developers, implying the OS is ready to ship and should be available to Mac fans within the next week or two.

"Gold Master" for Apple is what RTM is to Microsoft Windows builds.

Last month, the company showed off the OS, which will only cost $30 because it is available solely as a digital download from the Mac App Store.

Speculation has Apple releasing the OS officially on either July 6th or possibly July 14th.

Because the OS is a bit over 4GB, Apple notes that users with capped bandwidth can head to any Apple retail store and use the Wi-Fi there without any hassle.

For more information on OS X 10.7 Lion check here: Apple WWDC 2011: $30 OS X Lion, iOS 5, free iCloud





AfterDawn: News

Samsung Galaxy S II hits 3 million sales, without even reaching U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jul 2011 10:35

Samsung Galaxy S II hits 3 million sales, without even reaching U.S. Samsung has announced today that the Galaxy S II is the hottest smartphone in the world, hitting 3 million units sold in just 55 days.

Making the number much more impressive is that fact that the device has not even reached U.S. shores yet, with expected launch date sometime in August.

At 3 million in 55 days, the sales eclipse the original Galaxy's 85 days for the milestone.

The phone is also Samsung's fastest selling phone, ever.

When the device hits the U.S., it will sell as the Samsung Function on Verizon, the Within on Sprint and the Attain on AT&T. There is no word on a T-Mobile release, yet.

Samsung has lofty expectations for 10 million sales of the Galaxy S II by the end of the year.





AfterDawn: News

Skype-powered video calls headed to Facebook?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jul 2011 2:24

Skype-powered video calls headed to Facebook? Facebook appears set to add Skype-powered video calls to its service, from within the Facebook interface, at a launch event next week.

If sources are accurate, Skype video chat and calling will be available to anyone with a webcam, anytime they log into the social network.

Skype did not deny the claim, simply saying: "We don't have anything to share at this moment. Will keep you posted if that changes."

Facebook and Skype have long been partners, but to a much smaller degree. You can currently call FB friends through Skype, after logging in and connecting your friends to the account.

Skype was recently purchased by Microsoft for $8.5 billion, and the software giant said its aim was to integrate Skype into every service possible, starting with its own platforms like Windows Phone 7 and Xbox Live. Microsoft was an early investor in Facebook.

Google+, the brand new rival social network from Google, offers group video chat with up to 10 simultaneous users.





AfterDawn: News

EA drops many iPad, iPhone games to 99 cents

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jul 2011 2:02

EA drops many iPad, iPhone games to 99 cents In honor of the July 4th holiday, Electronic Arts (EA) has dropped the price of many of their most popular iOS games to 99 cents.

One of the biggest discounts is "Dead Space," an original chapter of the popular console franchise which originally sold for $10 on iPad and $7 on iPhone

Another big winner is Madden NFL 11, the premiere console football game.

Among the discounted are classics like Tetris, Scrabble, Battleship, Snood and Risk and on the newer side is the brand new (released last week) Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Check out all the games here: http://www.eamobile.com/sale





AfterDawn: News

Tag Heuer releases premium $6700 Android phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jul 2011 1:48

Tag Heuer releases premium $6700 Android phone Tag Heuer, the luxury watch maker, has released its own Android smartphone, one that commands a huge $6700 price tag.

The "Tag Heuer Link" has a very unique design and seems to be built very impressively, but under the hood most tech enthusiasts will not be too excited.

Running the outdated Android 2.2, the Link has a 3.5" TFT screen with Gorilla Glass, a 5MP camera, 256MB of internal memory (expandable to 8GB with included MicroSD).

Full specs from Tag:

Main characteristics
Size: 118mm (H) x 67mm (W) x 16.6mm (D)
OS: Android 2.2
Form factor: Bar type touch screen
Weight: 200 grams (battery included)
3G Talk time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Stand by time: up to 330hrs (~14 days)
Battery included: Li-lon 1400mAh

Messaging
SMS / MMS / Email (Predictive Text Input XT9)
Image formats supported: JPEG / GIF / BMP
Sound formats supported: MP3 / AAC / AAC+ / RA / WMA

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Scottish man convicted of recording in movie theater

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jul 2011 7:33

Scottish man convicted of recording in movie theater Christopher Clarke has become the first person in Scotland to be convicted of illegally filming in a movie theater then uploading the movie for profit.

The 25-year-old pleaded guilty under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and was sentenced to 160 hours of community service.

Clarke was arrested after Cineworld and the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT) investigated into a string of uploaded films.

Says John Dunn, area procurator fiscal for Glasgow (via BBC):

Christopher Clarke repeatedly pirated films from cinema screenings and uploaded them to the internet for profit. Piracy is by no means a victimless crime - it undermines legitimate businesses and the arts sector as a whole, and can be used to channel money into organised crime.

I hope this sends a strong message to all those who believe that they can remain anonymous solely because they commit their crimes over the internet. They should beware that the investigative authorities of Scotland work tirelessly to remain at the forefront of forensic computer analysis and technological specialism - we can and will track down those who pirate films, whether the profit is made in cyberspace or a marketplace.





AfterDawn: News

Google in talks to buy Hulu

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jul 2011 7:17

Google in talks to buy Hulu Google appears to be in talks to buy on-demand streaming video site Hulu, according to sources close to the negotiations.

Hulu, which surprisingly began looking into selling itself earlier this month following an unsolicited bid from Yahoo, has also talked with Microsoft and continues to speak with Yahoo, say the sources.

The streaming site is expected to bring in $500 million in revenue this year from over 600 major brand advertisers, and those relationships appear to be very attractive to Google, alongside licensing agreements for popular shows.

Hulu has over 28 million monthly viewers thanks to its next-day access to popular series like "Glee" and "Modern Family." The site offers the last five episodes of a running series for free (with 2:30 of ads per 22 minute show), which is far superior than TV's 8 minutes of commercials per 22 minute show.

By using Hulu, users can pause/rewind/forward whenever they need to, on their computer, two more huge benefits over TV.

The company is looking for $2 billion.





AfterDawn: News

Apple and group buy Nortel patents for $4.5 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jul 2011 3:27

Apple and group buy Nortel patents for $4.5 billion Apple and a consortium that includes RIM, Sony, Ericsson, EMC and Microsoft have outbid Google and purchased 6000 patents from bankrupt telecom Nortel Networks.

Google opened the auction at $900 million but the final bid was a massive $4.5 billion.

The patents cover a wide range of topics from wireless, data and optical networking, voice, Internet and semiconductors.

Losing the patents is a massive blow to Google and its burgeoning Android platform, which is under attack from many angles and was looking to add the portfolio as a way to protect itself from litigation. There are currently 45 patent infringement lawsuits based on Android and Android devices, the biggest of which is Oracle's billion dollar suit over use of Java.

One analyst was shocked at Google's lack of commitment to Android saying: "In light of Android's patent problems it's surprising that Google didn't outbid everyone else. It could have afforded more than $4.5 billion but it doesn't appear to be truly committed to Android."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Chrome now has over 20 percent global market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jul 2011 2:12

Chrome now has over 20 percent global market share Firefox better stay on its toes.

According to the latest figures from analytics company StatCounter, Google's Chrome browser now has 20.17 percent of global market share, a huge run from the 2.8 percent it had in June 2009.

The clear leaders, Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, have each dropped in the time frame, with IE falling from a commanding 60 percent to 44 percent and Firefox stalling, dropping from 30 percent to 28 percent.

Chrome launched in December 2008 and is now in version 12 (13 if you are beta tester).

The browser took off very quickly due to its sleek "minimalist" design and speed, which have now been replicated by rival browsers looking to win back share.

StatCounter bases data on a sample of 15 billion page views per month from 3 million websites.






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