AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Andre Yoskowitz (June, 2012)

AfterDawn: News

Report: Apple's Siri works poorly

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jun 2012 7:25

Report: Apple's Siri works poorly According to a new report by analyst firm Piper Jaffray, Apple's Siri virtual assistant works poorly, if at all.

This has been the general consensus amongst iPhone 4S users for some time, but the report is the first to say so much in a note to potential investors.

After performing 1600 common searches, the virtual assistant only accurately resolved the request 62 percent of the time when in a noisy environment and 68 percent in a quieter setting, like being at home.

The report gave the tech a "D" (on an A-F scale) for accuracy.

Says analyst Gene Munster: "You're playing the lottery when you're using Siri. They have a plan to be more competitive, but it's going to take a couple of years."

In terms of "comprehension," Siri accurately deciphered what the user was saying 83 percent of the time in loud environments and then 89 percent of the time in quieter settings. Jaffray gave the comprehension a rating of 'B.'





AfterDawn: News

HP will stick to Windows 8 Pro tablets, not RT

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jun 2012 6:20

HP will stick to Windows 8 Pro tablets, not RT HP has confirmed today that it will be sticking to Intel-based Windows 8 Pro tablets when they start selling the devices later this year, staying away from ARM-based Windows RT tablets.

Microsoft had hoped to have its partners release multiple devices based on the different operating systems, but right from the onset there seem to be issues with the strategy as most are sticking to Intel (and eventually AMD) chipsets.

For its part, Microsoft is preparing RT and Pro tablets for the end of the year, the recently revealed Surface line.

HP's response to the move: "The robust and established ecosystem of x86 applications provides the best customer experience at this time and in the immediate future."

The company was one of a few loyal partners to receive early code for Windows RT and considered creating a tablet with a Qualcomm ARM chip, but decided against it.





AfterDawn: News

Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram all see downtime

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jun 2012 5:01

Netflix, Pinterest, Instagram all see downtime Late last night, a major storm in Virgina took down some major servers at Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, causing extended downtime for major services like Netflix, Pinterest and Instagram.

Netflix was down for many on the West Coast late into the night, but service was running just fine here on the East Coast as early as 1 AM last night, confirmed by myself.

Instragram was still down until the morning, and Pinterest, as well. In separate Tweets last night, both companies apologized, with Pinterest blaming "server outages" and Instagram being vague by saying it was "technical difficulties."

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.





AfterDawn: News

Twitter dumps LinkedIn

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Jun 2012 4:32

Twitter dumps LinkedIn LinkedIn has confirmed that Twitter will no longer sync updates on the business social networking site.

The partnership had begun in 2009 but has ceased as of this week.

LinkedIn users can still add updates to the site and share them to Twitter but can no longer do the same when starting over at Twitter.

The most likely reason for the break-up is due to a disagreement over advertising revenue, says Mashable.

Over the past year, Twitter has moved to highlighting partner content and feeding sponsored/promoted advertisements. It is unclear how LinkedIn was monetizing such sponsorship.





AfterDawn: News

Hacker gets jail time for selling rooted cable boxes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jun 2012 2:06

Hacker gets jail time for selling rooted cable boxes Cable modem modifier Ryan Harris has received jail time for selling rooted cable boxes to customers who wished to not pay for their cable access.

Authorities had claimed Harris was selling hacked cable modems and software "that allowed users to bypass restrictions that providers placed on cable modems to filter content and cap usage."

The hacker was sentenced to three year in prison for the alleged $1 million scheme.

Says US District Judge Mark L. Wolf: "I think you committed a very serious crime." Harris was convicted on seven counts of wire fraud for selling the hacked modems.

Harris sold the rooted boxes which allowed buyers to steal free Internet or bypass any kind of speed/bandwidth limits. Harris sold the boxes via his company TCNiSO, for up to $99.99. Additionally, he included tools and software to help users steal access. Finally, Harris published the book "Hacking the Cable Modem: What Cable Companies Don't Want You to Know."





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft unveils Windows 8 upgrade plans

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jun 2012 1:48

Microsoft unveils Windows 8 upgrade plans Microsoft has detailed its Windows 8 upgrade plans, including how it works for XP, Vista and Win 7 users.

If you are running Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, or Home Premium, you can upgrade to Windows 8 Pro with all of your system settings, personal files, and applications intact.

Windows 7 Pro or Enterprise owners can update to Windows 8 Enterprise with system settings, personal files, and applications intact.

If you are running Vista without SP1 will only have personal files preserved. Vista SP1 users will have personal files and system settings transferred.

XP owners with SP3 can upgrade directly to Windows 8, but only personal files will be saved. XP SP1 and XP SP2 users, well, sorry.

In regards to cross-architecture upgrades, 32bit can only upgrade to 32bit, and the same for 64bit.





AfterDawn: News

Chromebooks headed to retailers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jun 2012 12:53

Chromebooks headed to retailers During their I/O event, Google announced that the cloud-based Chromebooks will be headed to retailers across the U.S.

The first stop is Best Buy, where 100 stores will get access to the thin, fast notebooks.

By the end of the year, Google is looking to expand the program to "many more retailers."

Google recently launched new Chromebooks and the first desktop Chromebox, while updating the operating system.

Read our review of Chrome OS 21 here: Reviewing Chrome OS 21: Google gives the operating system a face lift





AfterDawn: News

Micron finishes Elpida acquisition

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jun 2012 12:27

Micron finishes Elpida acquisition Micron has finished its acquisition of bankrupt DRAM maker Elpida Memory.

The US memory maker will pay about $2.5 billion for Elpida's assets, just two months after the Japanese company declared bankruptcy.

Micron Technology "has since assessed Elpida production facilities and technologies and held negotiations on debt forgiveness with creditors of Elpida, including financial institutions, leasing companies, and major holders of Elpida bonds," says Xbit.

For the $2.5 billion price tag, Micron will get all of Elpida's manufacturing facilities, intellectual properties and other assets. $1.7 billion will go to the creditors of Elpida, and another $800 million will go to uncollaterized loan holders.





AfterDawn: News

Gmail now the world's largest email service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jun 2012 11:55

Gmail now the world's largest email service Google has announced today that their Gmail email service is now the largest in the world.

The service has surpassed long-time rival Hotmail, and now has over 425 million monthly active users.

Yahoo Mail used to be the market leader, but has since lost its luster. A year ago, Hotmail announced it had reached 360 million unique users per month, after 15 years. Google launched Gmail, as an invite-only service, in 2004.

Google has seen large growth in the past few months alone, moving from 350 million monthly active users in January to 425 million now.

comScore, however, had a different tale to tell, claiming Google is still in third. The analytics company claims Hotmail is in first with 325 million uniques, Yahoo in second with 298 million and Gmail in third at 289 million uniques.

The analytics company did note, however, that it did not include smartphone, tablet or Internet cafe usage.





AfterDawn: News

Android Jelly Bean to no longer support Flash

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Jun 2012 10:23

Android Jelly Bean to no longer support Flash The end of Flash on smartphones is upon us.

Adobe has confirmed today that there were will be no "certified implementations" of Flash for the upcoming Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

The company hasn't even been developing and testing Flash for the OS effectively putting an end to the era of Flash on Android.

Google removed Flash support from their Chrome browser, and Chrome recently came out of beta, soon to become the default browser for Android phones.

After August 15th, Flash won't even be available in the Google Play Store, meaning if you want it you will have to find the APK online and install it manually, or download it now.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft planning Xbox music service to rival iTunes?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jun 2012 8:08

Microsoft planning Xbox music service to rival iTunes? According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is looking to unveil a large Xbox music service that will include Spotify-esque streaming and a la carte downloads.

Additionally, the service will have cloud storage functionality similar to that of iTunes and Google Music. The streaming service will cost a certain price per month, or per year, that remains unclear.

Microsoft is in negotiations with the major record labels and indies for the licensing rights, and expect to close the deals and launch the service before the end of the year.

All former Zune Music users will be migrated to the new Xbox Music service, say the sources.

Microsoft has been busy this month, introducing their own branded tablet and showing off updated to the upcoming Windows 8 operating system.





AfterDawn: News

Chrome for Android now out of beta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jun 2012 7:23

Chrome for Android now out of beta Google has announced that its popular Chrome browser has come out of beta for Android devices.

The browser was launched in beta back in February, and it was updated earlier this month to be more stable. The update also brought a number of performance tweaks.

If you don't already have it, the app is available in the Google Play Store and is about 20MB. You will need Android 4.x or higher.

The recently launched Nexus 7 tablet will also be the first to have Chrome as its native browser, moving away from the Android browser seen on all Android devices before it.

Says Google: "This update picks up important stability and performance fixes since the last Beta, along with some minor UI adjustments, especially for tablets. Known issues are available on the Chrome support site."





AfterDawn: News

They had a good run, but it's time to say goodnight to RIM

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jun 2012 6:44

They had a good run, but it's time to say goodnight to RIM Dying smartphone maker Research in Motion (RIM) has posted their latest quarterly earnings today, and unsurprisingly they were horrendous.

On top of a large loss, the company says they are laying off 5000 employees and delaying BlackBerry 10, again. RIM lost $518 million for the quarter, compared to a profit of $695 million in the same quarter last year. Revenue fell to $2.8 billion, well below the company's own expectations.

Expected to be launched last year, the new operating system (and its line of phones) will not see retail shelves until at least the first quarter of 2013.

The layoffs will equal 24 percent of RIM's entire work force, and will help them to reach their goal of slashing $1 billion in costs per year.

New CEO Thorsten Heins had this to say of the work force reduction: "It is necessary to change the scale and refocus the company. I fully understand the impact a workforce reduction of this size has on our employees and the communities in which we operate. I assure you that we wouldn't move forward with a change of this size if we didn't think it was critical for our future."

Shares of the stock fell another 16 percent to $7.70. The company hit its high of $144 the week the iPhone 3G was released in 2008.





AfterDawn: News

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in-depth

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Jun 2012 12:26

Android 4.1 Jelly Bean in-depth While Android 4.1 is more of a minor update compared to what 4.0 was to 2.3, Jelly Bean brings some impressive new features to Android.

Jelly Bean will be the fastest, smoothest and most responsive OS yet, as it offers the lowest touch latency, says the company. Additionally, 4.1 "extends vsync timing across all drawing and animation done by the Android framework. Everything runs in lockstep against a 16 millisecond vsync heartbeat -- application rendering, touch events, screen composition, and display refresh - so frames don't get ahead or behind."

Major Updates





4.1 also adds a new Accessibility settings for handling gestures. Accessibility services can link their own tutorials into the Accessibility settings, to help users configure and use their services.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Mac users pay more for hotels than Windows users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jun 2012 9:30

Mac users pay more for hotels than Windows users While it is well known that Apple customers pay heavy premiums for the Mac products, it appears they may pay extra for regular items, as well.

According to the WSJ, citing travel site Orbitz, Mac users pay $20-$30 more for hotels than Windows users do.

The site has been experimenting with segmenting their audience by operating system. Reads the report: "The sort of targeting undertaken by Orbitz is likely to become more commonplace as online retailers scramble to identify new ways in which people's browsing data can be used to boost online sales."

Orbitz even admitted that Mac users were seeing targeted ads/search engine hits with higher prices than Window's counterparts were seeing.

For now, it is safe to say that Mac users will likely not be buying through Orbitz, especially when Expedia and other rivals are not "experimenting" with higher prices.





AfterDawn: News

Kindle Fire 2 coming next month to rival Nexus 7?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jun 2012 9:06

Kindle Fire 2 coming next month to rival Nexus 7? According to new reports, the Amazon Kindle Fire 2 will be unveiled next month to rival the newly launched Google Nexus 7.

The Kindle Fire was first released last November and quickly became Amazon's best-selling item of all time. The tablet is also the best-selling Android-based tablet of all-time, although its sales numbers are far below that of the Apple iPad.

Launched just today, the Nexus 7 features a quad-core processor, all the major Google apps and a front-side camera, all of which the Kindle does not have.

The Kindle Fire 2 will keep the $199 price tag of its predecessor, while adding a camera and better resolution to the display.

Additionally, the original Kindle will drop $50 to $150, marking a price point that Amazon hopes will attract more customers.





AfterDawn: News

Google+ hits new milestone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jun 2012 8:36

Google+ hits new milestone Google Vice President Vic Gundotra announced some important Google+ milestones today.

The exec says Google+ has reached 250 million users around the globe, a strong number for the social network that launched last year.

Rival Facebook, around since 2004, has 925 million users.

Of the 250 million users, 150 million sign in at least once per month, and 75 million sign in daily.

Most notably, it appears users spend about 12 minutes each time they use Google+, and most users access the site via their mobile devices.

Thanks to the strong demand, Google has launched a dedicated Google+ app for tablets: "We think it's the best version of Google+ we're ever designed."





AfterDawn: News

The Google Nexus Q social streaming player

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jun 2012 8:14

The Google Nexus Q social streaming player During its I/O event this afternoon, Google unveiled its entry in the fight for the living room, showing off its mysterious orb, the Google Nexus Q.

As Google describes it: "Nexus Q streams your favorite entertainment directly from the cloud to your living room. Just use the Google Play and YouTube apps on your Android phone or tablet to surf an ocean of music, TV, movies and music, and Nexus Q will play it all on the biggest speakers and screen in the house. There are no downloads, no syncing, no running out of space. Just the stuff you love -- at home and out loud."

The all black orb has a flat bottom to place it on tables and a middle LED strip that goes on when the Q is being used to stream songs, videos and other content.

In terms of connectivity, there's a Micro-HDMI output, an optical audio port, Ethernet jack, plus a Micro-USB port, a set of banana jack speaker outputs, dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC (near-field communication) support. The banana jacks allow for speakers to connect to the built-in 25-watt amp with no separate AV receiver required.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

The Google Nexus 7 Tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Jun 2012 7:39

The Google Nexus 7 Tablet As expected, Google unveiled their first branded tablet today at the much-hyped I/O event.

The Google Nexus 7, built by Asus, will hit hands in 3 weeks, with pre-orders already available through the Google Play Store.

Google's first tablet has a 7-inch 1280x800 HD (216 ppi) back-lit IPS display, is powered by a quad-core Tegra 3 SoC and comes in 8GB or 16GB models. Additionally, the device is the first with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which is a slight update to Ice Cream Sandwich that adds a slightly "frosted" look to the OS and also adds Google's own version of Siri or S-Voice.

Additionally, the tablet has a large 4325 mAh battery for 8 hours of use, has built-in NFC, GPS and a 1.2MP front-facing camera.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Vizio looks to own Google TV market with the 'Co-Star'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jun 2012 10:08

Vizio looks to own Google TV market with the 'Co-Star' Vizio has introduced their first entry into the Google TV market, at a price that will likely crush the competition.

The $99 Co-Star will also be the first Google TV device to have built-in OnLive support, allowing for cloud-based gaming.

On top the standard Google TV features, the gadget will have pre-loaded Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, iHeartRadio, and OnLive apps.

"Our focus to deliver the best consumer experience continues with today's announcement of the Co-Star, which delivers a superior smart TV interface that anyone can add to their existing HDTV," Matt McRae, VIZIO's Chief Technology Officer said in a released statement. "We combined the powerful features of Google TV with an intuitive and easy to use interface, giving users the power to enjoy an entire world of entertainment."

The Co-Star will come with a dual-sided Bluetooth remote, with one side being a full QWERTY keypad. The set-top has 802.11n Wi-Fi and USB ports.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Bloomberg 'confirms' Google tablet coming tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jun 2012 9:25

Bloomberg 'confirms' Google tablet coming tomorrow According to Bloomberg, Google will in fact unveil their first branded tablet tomorrow at their annual I/O event.

The tablet will be built by Asus and retail for $199, say the sources speaking with the site.

As rumored, the tablet will also come with Jelly Bean, the latest iteration of Android, said to be version 4.1.

Although completely unconfirmed, the rumored specs are a 7-inch WXGA 1280x800 IPS display, a powerful 1.3GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and a 12-core GPU. Furthermore the tablet will have 8GB of internal storage, Android Beam, NFC and Google Wallet.





AfterDawn: News

Facebook makes Facebook email the default for all users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jun 2012 9:15

Facebook makes Facebook email the default for all users Starting this week, Facebook has changed everyone's default email address to their Facebook one.

The social networking giant unveiled the email service in 2010, but it appears to be DOA, with hardly anyone using it.

Using your @facebook.com email address allows you to send emails as you normally would through traditional email services, except you have to be logged into Facebook.

For now, on your profile page, Facebook has made the @Facebook.com address your default contact address.

If you changed your Facebook URL, that is your email address, if you haven't, then Facebook will just assign you some random numbers, making for an easy to forget email.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft shoots down rumor of own Windows Phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jun 2012 7:50

Microsoft shoots down rumor of own Windows Phone Microsoft has shot down the rumors that it is looking into creating its own branded smartphone.

The rumors were started by Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund, who said Microsoft was looking into ways to make their own smartphone. The device would be used to boost the presence of the upcoming Windows Phone 8 operating system, said the analyst.

This week, Greg Sullivan, the senior marketing manager for Windows Phone, was asked if the company had a branded strategy in which he responded, "No. We do not."

Microsoft recently unveiled their own branded tablet, the Surface, at an event last week which was a mystery even to Microsoft's closest partners until just days before.

The tablets will run on Windows RT and Windows 8 Pro, and be released when the new operating systems are launched, likely in October.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft completes purchase of Yammer for $1.2 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jun 2012 12:07

Microsoft completes purchase of Yammer for $1.2 billion Microsoft has finally confirmed its acquisition of Yammer, for $1.2 billion.

CEO David Sacks will continue to lead the company as it is integrated into Microsoft's Office division.

Adds Microsoft: "Yammer will be an important addition to Microsoft's cloud services and this acquisition underscores our commitment to helping customers move to the cloud. Together we'll deliver the most complete solution in the marketplace."

Original Story:

Microsoft will be purchasing the business social networking site at an unheralded price.
Yammer, which is little known outside of corporate circles, has been called "Facebook for the workplace" due to its ability to create private social networks within companies.

The company launched in 2008 and was started by PayPal's former COO and has raised $140 million in venture capital since its founding.

Last year, Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5 billion, in its largest acquisition, ever.

By buying Yammer, many expect Microsoft to add more social features to its popular Office suite. Office brings the company over $20 billion revenue per year.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

More specs revealed for Google Nexus 7 tablet?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jun 2012 11:46

More specs revealed for Google Nexus 7 tablet? Although it remains unconfirmed, many expect Google to reveal their so-called Nexus 7 tablet at this week's Google I/O event.

Today, Gizmodo Australia has posted some more specs for the device, which is supposedly manufactured by Asus.

If accurate, the Nexus 7 will sell for $149 (with 8GB internal storage) and $249 (with 16GB storage), run on a powerful 1.3GHz Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and a 12-core GPU.

Additionally, the 7-inch tablet will have a WXGA 1280x800 IPS display, Android Beam, NFC and Google Wallet.

Finally, there is a chance that the tablet will be unveiled with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, the first device to have the updated operating system.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung expecting to sell 10 million Galaxy S III next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Jun 2012 1:53

Samsung expecting to sell 10 million Galaxy S III next month Samsung has said today it expects Galaxy S III sales to top 10 million next month, making it one of the largest smartphone launches of all time.

JK Shin, head of its telecommunications business, noted that the sales will be a tally of the global sales of the device.

Europe first received the devices on May 29th, and the U.S. saw its initial rollout this week.

The phone was set for launch on Thursday in the U.S. but Sprint was the first to warn of a delay in the U.S, followed by AT&T.

Thanks to "overwhelming demand," Sprint and AT&T had to push back the available date for the new flagship iPhone rival.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to phase out Office 2010 Starter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jun 2012 6:59

Microsoft to phase out Office 2010 Starter It appears that Microsoft is ready to discontinue their free Office 2010 Starter edition.

Over the past few years, Microsoft has made an ad-supported version of their popular suite available to anyone with a new Windows 7 computer. The Starter edition comes with Word and Excel and lacks features of the fully paid version, but nonetheless the software was popular.

Into the future, starting with the release of Windows 8, new buyers will get links to trial versions of full Office, instead of a pre-loaded Starter like in the past.

Despite being the clear leader in the market, Microsoft has seen increasing competition in past few years. OpenOffice and LibreOffice offer full office suites, for free, and Google Docs is preparing to gain offline capabilities, making it another free alternative.

Microsoft Office ranges from $99 to $499 depending on the type of package.





AfterDawn: News

Sony and Panasonic to announce OLED partnership

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jun 2012 6:28

Sony and Panasonic to announce OLED partnership According to Reuters sources, Sony and Pansonic will team up for an OLED TV partnership.

The deal will be announced next week and be an "agreement to cooperate in developing ways to mass produce next generation organic light emitting diode (OLED) televisions."

Both companies will develop tech to build the displays cheaper. Sony and Panasonic are looking to compete against South Korea's LG and Samsung, the companies which knocked them from their perch as the kings of TV sales due to aggressive pricing.

The new deal will have both companies pool their research and development resources to regain some of that ground.





AfterDawn: News

HTC to drop out of Brazilian market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jun 2012 6:05

HTC to drop out of Brazilian market HTC has confirmed it is dropping out of the Brazilian market.

The manufacturer will be "completely shutting down their operations in Brazil" including laying off employees.

All device wholesales will be ceased, immediately, say the phone company.

Although new devices like the HTC One phones will not make it to the country, HTC promises to continue support for all existing devices.

Concluded the company: "After analyzing the sales numbers, we have decided to pull out of the Brazilian market."htc





AfterDawn: News

Sony to buy stake in Olympus?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jun 2012 4:32

Sony to buy stake in Olympus? According to multiple sources, Sony will look to invest $620 million into the desperate digital camera maker Olympus.

The once-giant company was rocked by an accounting scandal earlier this year, with most major executives being forced to resign. The company had to restate their past earnings to show losses in the billions that had been hidden in off-balance sheet vehicles.

If accurate, the deal would make Sony the company's largest shareholder with an 11 percent stake.

Both companies declined comment but the sources expect the deal to close net month.

Using its position, Sony will likely team up with Olympus on camera technology and its medical equipment business.





AfterDawn: News

RIM to split its business in two?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jun 2012 3:43

RIM to split its business in two? According to the UK's Sunday Times, RIM may be looking to split its business to stay alive.

RIM could separate its handset manufacturing division from its popular messaging network, and has hired JP Morgan and RBC Capital to look into "its strategic options."

Most likely, the report reads, RIM will sell its handset division rather than just split it into its own listed company.

Potential buyers are Facebook and Amazon, notes the paper, without citing sources.

RIM's messaging network will also likely be opened to Apple and Google as a way to generate income through licensing.





AfterDawn: News

Amazon Studios selects their first original series

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jun 2012 3:18

Amazon Studios selects their first original series Taking aim at Netflix, Amazon Studios has selected their first four original series.

Three of the shows will be comedies and the final will be a kid's show.

Amazon Studios has been taking scripts from writers, and anyone chosen for the Series Development Slate is awarded $10,000.

The series will eventually be streamed via the Amazon Instant Video digital video service. The service is free to all Prime members.

Overall, 9000 scripts have been submitted, with 1000 series pilots submitted, as well, in the last two years.

Via TNW, the four projects are:

The 100 Deaths of Mort Grimley Where a man kills himself, then is forced to become an avatar of Hell, with the duty to get a special list of 100 people to commit suicide in his stead, or else be damned to spend all of eternity next to his cruel, smothering mother.

Magic Monkey Billionaire - When their magician owner dies after winning the lottery, Rabbit and Monkey are shocked to learn that he left his money to happy moron Monkey and donated evil genius Rabbit to a 2nd grade class. In each episode, Rabbit hatches a plan to steal Monkey's billions.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Interesting: Video leaked of the Nokia Air line

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Jun 2012 2:43

Interesting: Video leaked of the Nokia Air line Leaked video of the upcoming Nokia Air line of products has made its way to YouTube.

The "Air" operating system is cloud-based that allows you to have all of your apps and data in the cloud, without needing to actually download the services to the phone.

On the hardware side, the devices are sleek, metallic and the UI itself seems to be based on MeeGo.

There is a tablet, a slider phone, and a full-sized smartphone device.

Check the video here before someone takes it down:





AfterDawn: News

Has Facebook reached its peak in the U.S.?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jun 2012 8:07

Has Facebook reached its peak in the U.S.? According to new comScore figures, Facebook's unique visitors from the U.S. declined in April and May, although the drops were not drastic.

In March, the social networking giant had 158.93 million uniques, which fell to 158.69 in April and finally 158.01 in May. The trend is down (at least for now) but a 0.06 percent drop is surely not scaring Facebook.

A fair comparison to 2011's results is impossible as comScore recently changed their calculation methods.

On the bright side, users who access the site used it for a longer period, spending an average of 380.8 minutes per month. That figure was 378.9 minutes in April.

Facebook has over 915 million users across the globe.





AfterDawn: News

Judge rules against Apple in Motorola case

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jun 2012 6:43

Judge rules against Apple in Motorola case A U.S. federal judge has put the kibosh on Apple's case against Motorola Mobility, now a division of Google.

The judge ruled that Apple cannot pursue an injunction against Motorola Mobility, dismissing the litigation with prejudice, meaning it can't ever be brought again.

Writes Judge Richard Posner: "Apple is complaining that Motorola's phones as a whole ripped off the iPhone as a whole. But Motorola's desire to sell products that compete with the iPhone is a separate harm -- and a perfectly legal one -- from any harm caused by patent infringement."

Motorola Mobility was pleased by the ruling, and Apple did not comment.

Apple had sought to bar all Motorola products using Apple's patented technology.

The parties can appeal.





AfterDawn: News

Apple, book publisher price fixing trial set for 2013

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jun 2012 5:42

Apple, book publisher price fixing trial set for 2013 This week, a U.S. judge has set the trial date for the price fixing case brought against Apple and the major book publishers by the U.S. government.

U.S. District Judge Denise Cote has set the trial to begin on June 3rd, 2013.

Earlier this year, the Justice Department accused Apple and the five major publishers of colluding to jack up the price of ebooks in 2010 and take market share away from leader Amazon. Apple was launching the first generation of their iPad tablet at the time.

Amazon had been selling new release books for $9.99, but the complaints claims the publishers, at the behest of Apple, colluded to "create a real mainstream e-books market at $12.99 and $14.99."

HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Hachette each settled to avoid court, but Apple, Penguin and Pearson are fighting the charges.





AfterDawn: News

Larry Page: "Nothing seriously wrong" with health

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Jun 2012 5:07

Larry Page: "Nothing seriously wrong" with health Amid concerns that there is may be something seriously wrong with him, Google CEO Larry Page has told employees that there is "nothing seriously wrong with me."

Page has an unspecified condition that affects his vocal chords and will keep from speaking at Google's important I/O event and forced him to miss the annual shareholder's meeting.

Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt told the media and shareholders at the meeting that Page had "lost his voice" without elaborating.

The company says Page still runs the everyday business, but has been asked to rest his voice by physicians.

Thanks to former Apple CEO Steve Job's ongoing health concerns before his passing last year, whenever major executives miss prolonged periods of time there is a bigger spotlight placed on them, and not only by investors/shareholders.





AfterDawn: News

Motorola Droid models get ICS update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jun 2012 6:22

Motorola Droid models get ICS update The Motorola Droid Razr and Razr Maxx will be finally getting the Ice Cream Sandwich update.

Verizon has announced that the two popular Motorola devices will be upgrading to the latest Android operating system.

As of today, phones have begun receiving the update, via the usual update methods.

With the update comes improved video calls, improved voice-to-text dictation and the same standard 4.0 upgrades like Face Unlock.

Perhaps more important, the update brings new "lock screen buttons for easy camera, text message and dialer functionality."





AfterDawn: News

Galaxy S III for Sprint, AT&T delayed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jun 2012 5:00

Galaxy S III for Sprint, AT&T delayed Sprint and AT&T have been forced to delay the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S III until next week.

The phone was set for launch on Thursday but Sprint was the first to warn of a delay in the U.S.

Thanks to "overwhelming demand," Sprint had to push back the available date. 16GB pre-orders have already shipped, but 32GB models will not until next week.

AT&T had a similar statement: "Manufacturer supply constraints of the 4G LTE Samsung Galaxy S III have caused a delay to expected preorder shipments. Customers who were previously quoted a delivery date of June 21st should now expect their device to arrive no later than Monday, June 25th."

The S III is available through T-Mobile and Verizon, as well, although the demand does not appear to be hampering either carrier.





AfterDawn: News

Facebook to finally let you edit comments

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jun 2012 4:36

Facebook to finally let you edit comments After years of user complaints, Facebook has finally given in.

Users can now edit comments they have posted to the site, instead of having to delete it and comment again. The old method was annoying because your friend would get two notifications and you'd have to re-type everything even for a basic typo.

The edit option looks like a small pencil on the right side of the comment. Clicking it will bring a dropdown menu with the options to edit or delete as usual.

Additionally, the social networking giant will be "showing the editing history for a comment so that subsequent commenters or likers have the full context of the conversation."





AfterDawn: News

SSD prices have fallen 48 percent in the last year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jun 2012 4:10

SSD prices have fallen 48 percent in the last year Although they are still not necessarily "cheap," prices for SSD have fallen dramatically in the last year.

Overall, the average cost of an SSD has fallen 48 percent over the last 12 months, while the prices of traditional hard drives have remained inflated following the Thai floods.

Larger drives saw the biggest drop, with the 240GB and 256GB model prices falling over 50 percent.

The Intel 320 Series, and most of Intel's drives remained expensive, thanks to its proprietary Intel controller.

Several drives finally reached a milestone, though, falling to under $1 per GB. Most HDD cost around 10 cents per GB now at inflated prices.

See all the charts here: Techreport





AfterDawn: News

Report: Microsoft Surface to sell for $599

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jun 2012 11:48

Report: Microsoft Surface to sell for $599 Bloomberg reported earlier today that sources are claiming to have early access to Microsoft's pricing of the Surface tablets.

The sources say the tablets will be Wi-Fi-only to begin with, in an effort to keep costs down.

Thanks to such a move, the lower-end Windows RT-based tablet will sell for $599, likely meaning the "Pro" version will cost $799 or so.

If accurate, Microsoft will have to compete on price with Apple devices that offer 4G LTE connectivity although Apple has admitted that there aren't too many people who care about anything other than Wi-Fi.

For more information on the Surface, check here: Microsoft unveils Surface





AfterDawn: News

Nintendo announces 3DS XL

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Jun 2012 11:38

Nintendo announces 3DS XL During this week's Nintendo Direct Conference, the gaming giant has introduced a larger version of their 3DS handheld.

Dubbed the 3DS XL, the console has a large 4.88-inch stereoscopic 3D top screen and a 4.18-inch second screen. The current (first-gen) version of the handheld has a 3.53-inch top screen and 3.02-inch bottom screen.

Additionally, the company is throwing in an extended battery which will give up to 6.5 hours of playtime per charge, depending on the brightness.

Nintendo will include a 4GB SD card, as well, larger than the current 2GB card offered.

All software from the 3DS is compatible and hardware included the charger.

The 3DS XL will hit retailers on July 28th in Japan and Europe and on August 19th in the U.S. alongside New Super Mario Bros. 2.





AfterDawn: News

Analyst: Microsoft making its own phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jun 2012 11:31

Analyst: Microsoft making its own phone According to Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund, Microsoft is looking into ways to make their own smartphone.

The device will be used to boost the presence of the upcoming Windows Phone 8 operating system.

"Our industry sources tell us that Microsoft may be working with a contract manufacturer to develop their own handset for Windows Phone 8," wrote Sherlund in a client note.

"It is unclear to us whether this would be a reference platform or whether this may be a go-to market Microsoft-branded handset."

Sherlund's input is notable as he has covered the company since 1986. Microsoft would not comment on the report.

Microsoft just announced the update yesterday, showing off new features like customizable tiles, an editable homescreen, better multitasking and better supported hardware options.





AfterDawn: News

Android Jelly Bean coming next week?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jun 2012 10:21

Android Jelly Bean coming next week? Google has updated their listing of the unlocked HSPA+ version of the Galaxy Nexus, implying that Android 4.1 Jelly Bean is on the way.

The description, in the company's Google Play Store, now says "Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ The latest smartphone from Google, soon the first phone with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean..."

Unfortunately, there isn't much else to go on, but it doesn't seem to be a Google typo.

The company's I/O event is next week and would make a good time to announce the OS update. As seen in the Nexus's photo, there appears to be a bit of a "frosted" look but otherwise the OS still looks the same as 4.0.4.





AfterDawn: News

Twitter sees extended downtime

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jun 2012 8:17

Twitter sees extended downtime Earlier today, Twitter went down for hours, leaving addicts without their portal to the world of sports, news and popular culture.

Starting at around 12PM EST the main Twitter site went offline, returning within the hour before going down again for another extended period.

At 1:42PM, Twitter posted to its status blog that "the issue has been resolved and all services are currently operational." About a half an hour later, the blog had to backtrack, posting that "the issue is on-going."

Finally, at about 3PM, the site confirmed the problem was caused by "a cascaded bug in one of our infrastructure components." As of writing, the site has been back up with no issues but the downtime was one of the longest in the service's 6 year history.

The crash was so bad that Twitter's infamous "fail whale" did not even appear at all (pictured).





AfterDawn: News

Report: Next iPhone will support China Mobile's 3G

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jun 2012 6:12

Report: Next iPhone will support China Mobile's 3G According to tech analyst Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee, the next-generation iPhone will support China Mobile's own 3G network, making it the first Apple device to be truly a "world phone."

Support for the TD-SCDMA 3G network will be one of the new "key features" of the iPhone 5, says Wu.

China Mobile has over 650 million mobile subscribers, making it far and away the largest carrier on the planet.

LTE is not too important in the short term for China, as the nation has only been trialing the networks, with full rollouts expected in 2 years.

Apple will also be adding Chinese-language enhancements to iOS 6, including giving Siri the ability to understand and speak Mandarin and Cantonese. Mandarin is the most spoken language on Earth. Additionally, the phones are expected to have easier Chinese character input.

The new phone will likely launch in October, a year after the iPhone 4S and the phone is expected to have a new form factor, a larger 4-inch screen, and LTE.





AfterDawn: News

Sprint to pay $19 million to settle MMS case

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Jun 2012 5:28

Sprint to pay $19 million to settle MMS case Sprint has announced today that it will settle its ongoing MMS-based lawsuit for $19 million.

The carrier had been accused of improperly charging users to send picture messages (MMS).

Users had been part of Sprint's unlimited "Everything Messaging" plans but were still charged for the picture messages. The suit accused the carrier of not explaining how to properly use their phones to avoid unnecessary charges.

Sprint denied wrongdoing in the settlement but will skip a trial and litigation.

The new settlement covers all customers from January 2008 to June 2012 and the customers will have a choice of either free service, fee waivers, credit adjustments, gift cards or cash. From the $19 million, Sprint will pay $3 million towards its own administrative costs and cash payments with lawyers for the plaintiffs getting another $3.5 million.





AfterDawn: News

Judge approves Apple settlement over misleading 4G ads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jun 2012 11:44

Judge approves Apple settlement over misleading 4G ads The fine has been approved by the Australian judge in charge of the case,just two weeks after Apple agreement on the settlement.

Apple had gotten in trouble for misleading buyers into believing that their 4G iPad models worked on all carriers in Australia.

Original story:

Apple has settled with Australian officials over misleading iPad "4G" advertising.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had brought the case against Apple back in March, after the launch of the third-generation iPad.

ACCC has claimed that Apple misled consumers in the nation by advertising the iPad's 4G compatibility despite knowing that Australian tablet fans could not actually use the LTE networks.

Pending a final approval, the settlement is for $2.25 million with Apple also expected to pay all court costs as well, which are over $300,000.

Previously, Apple announced it would give full refunds to any customer who felt misled by the advertising. On its website, the company updated the LTE notes: "The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model can roam worldwide on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. When you travel internationally, you can use a micro-SIM card from a local carrier. You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada."





AfterDawn: News

Apple retail employees to get a raise

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jun 2012 11:28

Apple retail employees to get a raise Apple has begun raising salaries for its retail employees, depending on their market and performance.

The raises are up to 25 percent and will begin with July's paychecks.

Employees had often complained about their wages during internal reviews, with 'Genius' techs being the most frustrated.

The average employee makes between $9 and $15 per hour with some 'Geniuses' getting up to $30 on rare occurrences.

Apple currently has 357 stores, and is actively expanding. 70 percent or so are here in the States. Sales in retail stores reached $14 billion in 2011.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft didn't tell partners about Surface until last week?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jun 2012 10:52

Microsoft didn't tell partners about Surface until last week? According to multiple sources, Microsoft did not alert its hardware partners of its plans for the Surface tablet until last week, just days before their public announcement.

Many of its long-standing partners, companies like Dell and the like, did not learn of the gadget until Friday, just three days before the company unveiled the device at a public event for the media.

Windows chief Steven Sinofsky called partners on Friday but did not even reveal the name of the tablet.

Dell, Acer and Asus each confirmed that they were not told details of the device.

For more information on the Surface, check our initial review here: Microsoft Surface Tablet





AfterDawn: News

Android continues to take Chinese market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jun 2012 10:19

Android continues to take Chinese market share According to new iMedia figures, Android is crushing Chinese smartphone market share.

Android is now on 55.4 percent of all active smartphones, jumping from 47.3 percent last quarter.

iOS continued its growth as well, albeit at a much slower pace, increasing from 11.7 percent to 12.4 percent.

The other major player is Nokia's Symbian, which remains a cheap viable option for some in the market where it once controlled almost 100 percent share. Over the last quarter, Symbian's share fell from 32.3 percent to 25.6 percent.

Windows Phone 7 just made its way over there last month, so overall share remains very low. WP7 and older Windows Mobile devices account for just 2.4 percent share.

Android's pace doesn't look to be slowing its pace anytime soon either, accounting for almost 70 percent of all new device sales.





AfterDawn: News

Wii U price, release date leaked?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jun 2012 9:46

Wii U price, release date leaked? Although it is likely inaccurate, the Nintendo Wii U's price and release date have been leaked by Amazon's German site.

The site, which has had the listing up for hours, shows the console selling for 399.

Additionally, the listing has the console going on sale just three days before Christmas, on December 21st.

That being said, the entire listing seems to be just a placeholder, as the numbers and especially the date, do not make any sense.

Why would Nintendo release the console just three days before the biggest holiday of the year when most people have already bought their gifts? Why would Nintendo sell at a price that would put them at a serious disadvantage against the PS3 and the Xbox 360? They wouldn't.

Check the page here: Amazon.de





AfterDawn: News

Acer: Microsoft Surface tablet is just marketing ploy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jun 2012 9:19

Acer: Microsoft Surface tablet is just marketing ploy While most of the media seems to agree that the Microsoft Surface tablet is a potential game-changer, one company sees it as a marketing ploy.

Acer founder Stan Shih says the device was unveiled to push device makers to bring out Windows 8 tablets, and that Microsoft will eventually withdraw itself from the market once that is done.

The software giant does not even have a "real intention to sell own-brand tablet PCs," says Shih. "Once the purpose is realized, Microsoft will not offer more models."

Shih believes that the Surface is a way to "encourage" third-party device makers to bring out similar tablets. Microsoft makes much higher profit margins by licensing software and therefore does not need to sell hardware, says the founder.

The Acer boss concluded: "Vendors adopting Windows 8 should interpret Microsoft's intentions positively, as they will benefit from Microsoft's marketing."





AfterDawn: News

LG says no more to tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jun 2012 8:53

LG says no more to tablets Although no one even knew they sold tablets, LG has announced they are pulling out of the market.

LG, the world's fourth biggest phone maker, says they will move their focus to smaller devices like smartphones, rather than competing with the iPad.

"We've decided to put all new tablet development on the back burner for the time being in order to focus on smartphones," says Ken Hong, a spokesman for LG.

Most recently, LG introduced its second tablet, the Optimus Pad LTE, to little fanfare.





AfterDawn: News

Japan: New law could give pirates jailtime

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jun 2012 8:35

Japan: New law could give pirates jailtime Japanese legislators are looking to pass a new law that would make piracy a criminal offense with potential jail time.

Anyone convicted of making unauthorized copies of movies, games or other content or downloading the content could face two years in prison or a two million yen (about $25,400) fine.

More importantly, the law would affect anyone making copies of their own DVDs/Blu-rays to their hard drives or making copies to portable devices.

The new law is on the floor of the Upper House, being debated.

"Allowing illegal downloads to exist as they do now will harm the growth of the Internet," argued Lower House member Hakubun Shimomura, a strong supporter.

Member Takeshi Miyamoto took the opposite side: "The illegal flow of material is a problem, but rather than strengthening the penalties, we should bolster the deletion of illegally uploaded content."





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8, WP7 users will not get it

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jun 2012 8:04

Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8, WP7 users will not get it During its announced developers conference today, Microsoft unveiled its Windows Phone 8 smartphone platform.

Codenamed 'Apollo,' the OS will not be available to any current Windows Phone user, which should anger the small but growing population of its users. This includes the Nokia Lumia 900, the flagship device recently launched on AT&T and around the world.

Amongst the new features are enhanced gaming functionality, a digital wallet and improved multitasking.

Most importantly, the phones have moved forward technologically. There is new support for multi-core processors (like dual-core and quad-core) and resolutions up to 1280x720. All Windows Phone 8 devices will have included microSD slots, allowing for extra storage space.

Like rival operating systems, Apollo will soon have its own "digital wallet," giving WP users the ability to make payments right from their phone with connected credit/debit cards and other options. All WP8 phones will come equipped with NFC to take advantage of the wallet when the details have been worked out with the carriers.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Upcoming Galaxy Note II to feature unbreakable plane display and quad-core processor?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Jun 2012 12:18

Upcoming Galaxy Note II to feature unbreakable plane display and quad-core processor? According to a new report out of Asia.

The Galaxy Note was undoubtedly one of the surprise hits of 2011, and it appears Samsung is working on a sequel.

If the reports are accurate, the Galaxy Note II will debut in October, around the same time Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 5.

The device will feature ultra-thin "unbreakable plane display (UBP)," which is "a precursor to flexible display technology, and leaves room for a thinner design without sacrificing internal hardware," reveals Verge.

Furthermore, the phone will run on a quad-core processor and have a 12MP camera, making it an elite device.

Finally, the sources claim the device will have an even large screen than its predecessor, which has the largest screen of current devices, at 5.3-inches.





AfterDawn: News

Sharp intros 90-inch HDTV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jun 2012 11:20

Sharp intros 90-inch HDTV The struggling Japanese TV maker has unveiled the world's biggest commercial LED TV.

The 90-inch Aquos LED TV is a full four feet tall, 8 feet diagonally and 6 feet wide with a depth of 5 inches. The TV is a very hefty 141 pounds, as can be expected.

Beyond its size, the TV features Sharp's own SmartCentral service, which has apps for Netflix, YouTube, Hulu Plus and other content providers. Being 3D ready, Sharp is throwing in 2 pairs of glasses, as well.

Sharp will sell the massive television at a massive price tag, $11,000.





AfterDawn: News

Nokia 808 Pureview with 41MP camera to sell for $699 unlocked in U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jun 2012 7:21

Nokia 808 Pureview with 41MP camera to sell for $699 unlocked in U.S. As expected, Nokia has launched the 808 Pureview for the United States.

The device is notable because it runs Nokia's discontinued Symbian operating system and also includes a 41MP camera sensor. The average smartphone in the U.S. has an 8MP sensor.

Nokia has made the product page available for the U.S.. The phone will eventually sell through Amazon for $699, unlocked for GSM carriers.

The device will work on T-Mobile and AT&T's 3G radio bands.

Pre-orders begin this week but there is no word yet on actual release.





AfterDawn: News

Spoitfy launches free radio for iOS users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jun 2012 12:18

Spoitfy launches free radio for iOS users The unlimited music streaming service Spotify will offer a free radio service to iPad and iPhone users in the U.S.

Spotify's move will put it into even tighter competition with Pandora, Slacker and others.

Until today, the mobile access cost $10 per month, but the new free subscription adds audio ads. The ads will entice users to pay for the subscription service, which will strip all ads and still offer unlimited music on mobiles.

"We found those that use radio are really some of the most highly engaged users of Spotify," said Charlie Hellman, Spotify's vice president of product. "They stay longer and are more likely to upgrade."

Spotify has 3 million paying subscribers, and just over 10 million active users.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft's unveils 'Surface' Windows tablet with multitouch keyboard

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jun 2012 7:15

Microsoft's unveils 'Surface' Windows tablet with multitouch keyboard Microsoft has used their impromptu 'mystery' event to unveil the rumored 'Surface' Windows RT tablet.

So far, from the specs revealed we can see that the device is a 16:9 display, 10.6-inch screen, the edges are beveled at 22 degrees, and is just 9.3mm thick. The display has Gorilla Glass 2 and you can connect to "the strongest Wi-Fi connection ever."

The case is built of magnesium, and the "liquid metal is formed into an ultra rigid and light frame" while weighing just 1.5 lbs.

Additionally, the device has access to all Windows apps for music, movies and more, and all games from the Windows Store. Full Microsoft Office is installed, as well.

Surface will be a line of products including a Windows RT version and a Windows 8 Pro model. The RT model is powered by a Tegra 3 processor and the Pro is powered by an Intel i5.

The Surface has two digitizers, one for touch, one for digital ink, and 600 DPI, allowing for full editing using a stylus.

There was no word on price except to say it will be "competitive" with other ARM-based tablets. This means $500 or more.

More notably, is the case, which doubles as a kickstand and a full multi-touch keyboard. Check the pictures for the awesome look of the new case:

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Survey: Developers prefer iOS over Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jun 2012 5:07

Survey: Developers prefer iOS over Android Although it is a relatively well known fact, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster conducted a recent survey to see what mobile operating system is most popular with developers.

After surveying 100 developers at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), the consensus was that iOS was the most preferable.

"iOS was the clear favorite in two categories: ease of development and future revenue growth," said Munster. "Among the 55 developers who work with both operating systems, 84% said iOS was best for ease of development, with Android at 5%, Windows at 2% and 9% unsure."

While all the devs at the event (unsurprisingly) coded for Apple, 55 percent also coded apps for Android, with 14 percent coding for Windows and another 9 percent writing BlackBerry software.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Facebook buys Face.com for $100 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jun 2012 4:45

Facebook buys Face.com for $100 million Facebook has announced its acquisition of Face.com.

Face.com is an Israeli-based facial recognition technology company, and will likely be quickly integrated into the social networking giant.

The companies did not disclose the final price of the deal, but nearly all sources place the acquisition price at $100 million.

It is unclear how Facebook will use the service, but most speculate they will use the technology to boost their mobile offering, giving users an easier way to upload and tag photos.

Facebook recently purchased Instagram for $1 billion, showing its commitment to its mobile app.





AfterDawn: News

Barnes & Noble is not part of Microsoft's announcement

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jun 2012 4:03

Barnes & Noble is not part of Microsoft's announcement Barnes & Noble has confirmed today that it is not part of Microsoft's mysterious news conference tonight at 7PM EST.

When asked, a B&N spokesperson frankly said "we are not participating."

There had been speculation that Microsoft was introducing a new tablet/e-reader along with their partner B&N to compete with the Amazon Kindle Fire and the alleged upcoming Google Nexus tablet.

Microsoft has invested $300 million to become a large stake holder in the book chain's digital content subsidiary.

We will have coverage of the event at 7PM.





AfterDawn: News

Verizon makes 300Mbps FiOS package official

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jun 2012 3:46

Verizon makes 300Mbps FiOS package official Verizon has finally made their ultra-fast service official.

The company has dubbed the service "FiOS Quantum," and it will offer users 300Mbps downstream and 65Mbps upstream.

For $210 per month, you can access the fast fiber Internet, or get a discount to $205 per month if you sign up for a 2-year contract.

There are all new tiers and pricing now, outside of the Quantum. Verizon's "cheap" base plan of 15 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up will now cost $65 per month with a two-year contract, a far cry from the current $55 with one-year contract. That's where the bad news ends for Verizon fans, fortunately.

The current 25/25 tier is being replaced by a 50/25 plan, which will cost the same ($75) with two-year contract. The 50/20 is being replaced by a 150/65 plan that costs $95 per month.

Finally, there is a new 75/35 tier for $85.





AfterDawn: News

Is Nokia Pureview ready to hit the States?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Jun 2012 3:07

Is Nokia Pureview ready to hit the States? Nokia's 808 PureView, the smartphone the company introduced this year with a 41MP sensor, is expected to reach the States today.

According to a number of teasers posted on the Nokia U.S. Facebook page, the date 06.18.12 will be important, as will the number 808.

The device has already launched in Russia and India, but Nokia has never confirmed its release anywhere else except for the UK, where it will be released next week.

Nokia's teasers included an aerial photo of the Hawaiian islands, which use the 808 area code, and then posted a picture of the Roland TR-808 drum machine. The final post read "808 reasons to be excited about Monday."

The 808 runs on the now defunct Symbian operating system and could on sale as early as this week.





AfterDawn: News

Reviewing Chrome OS 21: Google gives the operating system a face lift

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jun 2012 11:28

Reviewing Chrome OS 21: Google gives the operating system a face lift Over the last few weeks, Google has introduced new Chrome OS products like the Samsung Chromebox and a line of new notebooks.

More importantly, however, was the unveiling of Chrome OS 20, the first real "face lift" for the operating system.

For this review, we will take a look at what's new in version 20 and 21, as used on the Google CR-48 beta Chromebook.

First off, I will be clear in saying that Chrome OS cannot yet compete with Microsoft, Apple or Linux, but it is slowly but surely getting there. The lack of offline abilities (for now) and the need to have apps for most tasks make it a bit daunting for consumers used to the openness of traditional operating systems. Then again, the main benefits of Chrome OS is quick boot-up, and the ability to survive without very much internal storage, thanks to cloud storage of your files. If you are a power user, who needs video/photo editing and other memory intensive apps, Chrome OS will not be for you, probably ever. For the average consumer, however, Chrome OS is becoming a viable alternative.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile HSPA+42 users average 1.3GB data consumption per month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jun 2012 9:07

T-Mobile HSPA+42 users average 1.3GB data consumption per month According to consulting firm Chetan Sharma and T-Mobile USA CTO Neville Ray, it appears that carrier's "4G" HSPA+42 users consume much more data than other T-Mobile smartphone users.

The average 4G user consumes 1.3GB per month, just about double the 760MB used by its total smartphone base, including slower HSPA+21 users.

In the U.S., only 30 percent of smartphone users consume over 1GB of data per month, in general.

Ray noted that 48 percent of overall HSPA+ traffic was due to video accounts like Amazon Instant and Netflix and YouTube.

While technically HSPA+42 is not "real" 4G, speeds are still on par with the low end of Verizon and AT&T's LTE, at around 8Mbps.





AfterDawn: News

Dell XPS 14, 15 ultrabook specs leak

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jun 2012 5:45

Dell XPS 14, 15 ultrabook specs leak Specs for the upcoming Dell XPS 14 and 15 ultrabooks have been revealed by Chinese site IT168.

Alongside just a couple of pics, the specs are none too surprising, but do surpass most other high-end ultras.

The XPS 14 will run on an Ivy Bridge Core i7, 8GB RAM, have video powered by a NVIDIA GT 630M 1GB GPU and a 1600 x 900 LCD display.

Internal storage is a mixed 32GB SSD and a 500GB standard HDD. Battery life is claimed at 11 and a half hours.

Moving up, the XPS 15 also runs on an i7 Ivy Bridge and 8GB of RAM, along with a NVIDIA GT 640M 2GB and 1920x1080 display. Internal storage is a huge 256GB SSD and a 1TB HDD. The ultra also has a slot-loading optical disc drive. Battery life is unsurprisingly shorter and rated at 8 hours.

Both devices have backlit keyboards, HDMI, DisplayPort and USB 3.0 ports. The displays are protected by Gorilla Glass.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

MacBook Pro with Retina Display battery replacement price revealed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jun 2012 4:25

MacBook Pro with Retina Display battery replacement price revealed Earlier in the week, we reported that the MacBook Pro with Retina Display had received iFixit's lowest score for ability to upgrade or replace internal parts.

Today, thanks to Apple's documentation, we have the cost of replacing the integrated battery.

Previous 15-inch models cost $129 to replace the battery, but the Retina model will set you back $199. At that price, it is the most expensive Apple product to have the battery replaced.

It is unclear why there is such a huge price jump, but likely has to do with the fact that the battery packs are tightly glued in place, "sandwiching the trackpad cable between them and the chassis in the process," says Slash.

As you can imagine, with such tightly packed components, replacement can get tricky.

In Apple's documents, they claim the notebook's battery can hold 1,000 charges before hold drops to 80 percent capacity. This should give most average users three years of full battery life.





AfterDawn: News

Linux chief architect says 'F*** you Nvidia' for lacking support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jun 2012 3:37

Linux chief architect says 'F*** you Nvidia' for lacking support Linus Torvalds, the Finnish-born chief architect behind the Linux kernel (and project coordinator), had some choice words for Nvidia this week.

Nvidia does not support Linux with its Optimus technology, and that makes Torvalds not a fan.

The developer called Nvidia "the single worst company we've ever dealt with" and then dropped the F-bomb alongside with gesture using a certain finger.

Furthermore, Torvalds seems pissed that Nvidia and their Tegra line of processors are selling so well because of Android, the OS that is based on Linux. Fortunately, Nvidias stance is "the exception rather than the rule."

Here is the full video, it's long but the reason you are here is at the 49th minute:





AfterDawn: News

Tomorrow's major Microsoft announcement to involve Barnes & Noble?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jun 2012 3:05

Tomorrow's major Microsoft announcement to involve Barnes & Noble? That is a strong possibility, says The Verge's Tom Warren.

Microsoft is rumored to be announcing a Windows RT tablet tomorrow, one built without third-party manufacturers. The tablet is said to be a new competitor to the iPad and the Kindle Fire, and likely to Google's anticipated Nexus tablet.

Another rumor is that tomorrow's announcement will be a deal with Hulu, to purchase and then integrate the streaming service to upcoming Windows products.

Neither of those is happening, says the site. In April, Microsoft invested $300 million in Barnes & Noble as part of a strategic partnership and new subsidiary. The company was created to "accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices." Former Windows Phone boss Andy Lees has been in charge of a project for some time now, which an SEC filing uncovered reveals is a "Microsoft Reader." Furthermore, Windows 8 and Windows Phone will have their own dedicated Barnes & Noble app with access to all content.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Twitter will now show exact retweet count

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jun 2012 2:26

Twitter will now show exact retweet count Until recently, popular Twitter users were stuck with not seeing how many people retweeted or favorited their posts.

The posts would simply state "50+" if you got over 50 retweets or favorites, but now the site will show the exact count, even for past posts.

As one can imagine, Justin Bieber has a few posts with shockingly high amounts of retweets, including one where all he said was "New York City. #BELIEVE." That post saw 22,276 retweets.

A more important tweet, from Bill Gates promoting polio awareness, saw 1,178 retweets and 119 favorites. (Via Crunch).





AfterDawn: News

Facebook settles privacy suit for $10 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jun 2012 2:03

Facebook settles privacy suit for $10 million Facebook will pay $10 million to charity in order to settle a privacy suit brought against them.

The suit accused the social networking giant of violating user's right to control their own likenesses, including photos and names.

Five angry Facebook users brought the suit after they believe they "violated California law by publicizing users' "likes" of certain advertisers on its "Sponsored Stories" feature without paying them or giving them a way to opt out," says Reuters.

"Sponsored Stories" are ads that show up on the right side of the screen and include one of your friend's names, sometimes their picture, and the assertion that they "liked" the advertiser.

Had the suit gone class-action, it could have affected over 100 million Americans and likely would have cost Facebook billions.





AfterDawn: News

Amazon Cloud gets full music label licensing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jun 2012 1:05

Amazon Cloud gets full music label licensing According to Cnet, Amazon's cloud music service has now been fully licensed by the Big 4 major labels.

If accurate, Amazon will start rolling out new features for the service in July.

The cloud deals, who's intricacies remain unclear, are with Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music and EMI. One source says Amazon will introduce a Scan and Match feature just like Apple's iCloud. iCloud, for $25 a year, will let you convert all your thousands of songs to "official" tracks through iTunes. Supposedly, the Amazon service will work exactly the same, just with Amazon MP3.

As Cnet explains: "When Amazon launched its cloud music service last year, the retailer required users to upload each of their individual song files to the company's servers. For people with a lot of music, this was a hassle. Amazon now has the rights to scan each user's hard drive to see what songs they possess. Then the merchant can just give users to access to copies of the songs stored on Amazon's library. They're listening to the same song but not their own song files."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Functioning Apple 1 sold at auction with Steve Jobs memo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jun 2012 12:49

Functioning Apple 1 sold at auction with Steve Jobs memo Sotheby's has auctioned off a functioning Apple 1 computer, alongside a memo written by Steve Jobs during his time at Atari.

The computer sold for double the estimate, reaching $374,500. The memo sold for $27,500, also much higher than expected.

In total, there were about 200 Apple 1s ever created, as each was hand-built by co-founder Steve Wozniak. The fully assembled circuit board cost $666.66 when they originally sold in 1976. The Woz chose the number because "it was easier to type."

There are only 50 the boards expected to still be in existence, with much less actually functioning.

Job's four-page note was written in 1974 and included his thoughts on how to improve its arcade football game "World Cup."





AfterDawn: News

Leaked document: Xbox 720 to cost $299 with Kinect 2

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jun 2012 2:36

Leaked document: Xbox 720 to cost $299 with Kinect 2 Thanks to a 56-page leaked document that has since been removed by Microsoft from the social publishing site Scribd, we have a clearer look at next year's Xbox 720.

The presentation is almost two years old but references newly introduced features like the Metro dashboard and SmartGlass.

If accurate, the next-gen console will support Blu-ray, native 3D output, multi-tasking apps, Kinect 2 and Kinect glasses.

The console promises a 6x performance boost from the Xbox 360, and either "six or eight ARM or x86 cores clocked at 2GHz each with 4GB of DDR4 memory alongside three PPC cores clocked at 3.2GHz each for backwards compatibility with existing Xbox 360 titles," says Verge.

Additionally, the console will have an "always-on" state, allowing for a quick return to gaming and background DVR function.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile looking to deploy LTE Release 10 network

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Jun 2012 2:11

T-Mobile looking to deploy LTE Release 10 network T-Mobile is looking to be the first carrier to support LTE Release 10, the next generation of the 4G network.

The carrier is already deploying base stations and will go live with the network next year, besting rivals like Verizon and AT&T, which are still rolling out their first generation LTE networks.

Release 10 supports up to 40MHz channels, carrier aggregation, 8x8 MIMO antennas and has the ability to "use separate spectrum bands in a single service." This means much higher peak data rates and theoretically much more reliable connections for users.

"We're excited about the capabilities of what we can bring with Release 10," says Neville Ray, chief technology officer.

The carrier aggregation is seen as the most important aspect of the network, as the industry is struggling to find more spectrum. T-Mobile will spend $4 billion over the next two years deploying the network. The money comes via AT&T, who had to pay the large break-up fee after their acquisition plans were denied.

Reportedly, T-Mobile will also be the first to deploy Voice over LTE, removing the need for 3G networks to carry voice: "I think they want to run voice service on LTE to put as many users into the new network as possible and hopefully migrate their existing users to it and shut down old network. That's sensible, and it's what I would do," says a source (via EET).





AfterDawn: News

Samsung, Apple account for 90 percent of smartphone profits

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Jun 2012 5:45

Samsung, Apple account for 90 percent of smartphone profits According to the latest ABI research, Samsung and Apple account for 90 percent of all smartphone market profits, leaving little room for competition like HTC, LG and Nokia.

The market itself grew 41 percent year-over-year, marking the fifth consecutive year of exponential growth.

Apple and Samsung are in a league of their own, however, taking 55 percent share of phone shipments in the Q1 2012. Samsung shipped 43 million devices, with Apple close behind at 35 million.

Rounding out the top 5 were Nokia and RIM at 11.9 million and 11.1 million respectively and Sony at 7 million.

Apple is said to bring in 70 percent of the profits in the industry, which would leave Samsung with 20 and everyone else fighting for 10. Samsung is also Apple's largest component maker, meaning they make money even when their main rival sells phones.





AfterDawn: News

Making a Skype call in Ethiopia comes with jail time

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Jun 2012 5:17

Making a Skype call in Ethiopia comes with jail time Thanks to new legislation passed by the government, using Skype in Ethiopia can come with a 15-year jail sentence.

The legislation actually criminalizes the use of VoIP in the country, and that includes notable services like Skype and Google Voice.

In the nation, all citizen's communications are monitored by authorities, but VoIP was the exception.

Ethio Teleco is the only communications infrastructure in the country, and it is run by the government. The new legislation also bans video chatting, social media, e-mail, and "any other data transfer service capable of communicating information."

Finally, the new law also "gives the government the right to inspect any imported voice communication equipment as well as the power to ban any inbound packages that don't have prior permission from the state," says VB.

Long story short, using the Internet to make phone calls can get you 15 years in jail and a large fine. Using VPN and Tor may not work either, as the government has installed a system to block access to such services.





AfterDawn: News

Vizio officially enters the PC market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Jun 2012 4:36

Vizio officially enters the PC market Vizio has officially entered the PC market this week, launching their first all-in-ones and notebooks first announced at CES.

Starting off the Vizio lineup is the Thin + Light ultrabook, which comes in 14-inch or 15.6-inch models. The book runs on new Ivy Bridge processors and Windows 7.

The 14-inch Thin + Light also has two USB 3.0 ports, an HDMI output, 1600x900 resolution, SRS Premium Sound and claimed 7 hours of continuous battery life. The device is only 0.66-inches thick, as well.

Each of the Vizio All-in-One models (24-inch and 27-inch) can double as HDTVs, says the company.

Both devices have a base price of $898, placing them in the "value" category for their markets.







AfterDawn: News

Zynga working with CBS to turn 'Draw Something' into TV gameshow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jun 2012 11:35

Zynga working with CBS to turn 'Draw Something' into TV gameshow Earlier this year, social gaming giant Zynga purchased developer OMGPOP for $210 million, gaining full rights to the popular 'Draw Something' mobile game.

It was unclear how the company planned to monetize the purchase, but it appears now we know how.

Zynga is working with broadcaster CBS to turn the game into a new primetime game show, with the show produced by Sony Pictures Television, Ryan Seacrest Productions, and Embassy Row.

According to Variety, the "pilot concept will reportedly pit multiple celebrities and users against each other in front of a studio audience."

Viewers at home will be able to play along, as well, although it is unclear how they will interact.

If picked up, the show will likely begin airing in 2013.





AfterDawn: News

Motorola Solutions acquires Psion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jun 2012 11:13

Motorola Solutions acquires Psion Motorola Solutions has announced their acquisition of Psion, the designer and manufacturer of rugged mobile handheld computers for commercial and industrial applications.

The acquisition will cost Motorola $200 million, or 88 pence in cash per Psion share.

"Psion is a compelling opportunity to strengthen our industry-leading, mobile-computing portfolio with ruggedized handheld products and vehicle-mount terminals that will deepen our presence in the global markets in which we compete," reads the press release.

The company has 830 employees, "customers in more than 50 countries and delivered 2011 revenues of 176 million."

Adds John Hawkins, chairman of Psion: "The Psion directors are pleased to unanimously recommend this offer by Motorola Solutions at a price which offers a significant cash premium to both the current and recent market prices. Psion continues to successfully deliver on its strategy of introducing exciting new products while strictly managing the cost base. The offer by Motorola Solutions provides Psion's shareholders with certainty in an environment where certainty is in short supply."





AfterDawn: News

Nintendo's Iwata questions spec bumps for PS4, Xbox Next

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jun 2012 6:48

Nintendo's Iwata questions spec bumps for PS4, Xbox Next During a lengthy interview with the Telegraph, Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata has given his thoughts on the competition, the yet unconfirmed PS4 and Xbox Next.

The CEO mainly questioned whether the expected boost in specs for the consoles will live up to expectations of gamers.

Adds Iwata: "If they decide to increase the spec numbers, will the consumers be able to realise the difference enough so that they can understand it's much superior to today's machine?"

The boss also notes that if the machines do in fact launch with high-end specs, it will just prove to be a hindrance for devs who will have a steep learning curve.

Iwata believes the uniqueness and experience of the Wii U should leave gamers unconcerned about the next-generation of consoles: "I never think in terms of how we can compete against the other companies, rather our primary focus is to make consumers feel the uniqueness and attractiveness of our products. So any improvements in graphics are just a portion of what we want people to enjoy from Nintendo. More importantly, I want people to say Nintendo are offering unique experiences."





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft unveiling its own Windows RT tablet on Monday?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jun 2012 1:43

Microsoft unveiling its own Windows RT tablet on Monday? According to multiple credible sources, Microsoft is preparing to unveil their rival to Apple, Google and Amazon at an event on Monday.

The new tablet will run on Windows RT, the software giant's tablet version of Windows 8.

Windows RT runs on ARM processors, so the tablet may be the first with Windows to run on an ARM processor.

AllThingsD says the decision was made after "Microsoft concluded that it needs its own tablet, with the company designing both the hardware and software in an effort to better compete against Apple's strengths."

Microsoft will also be manufacturing the device itself, cutting out third-party manufacturers.





AfterDawn: News

Report: PC GPUs now 24 times more powerful than Xbox 360

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Jun 2012 1:31

Report: PC GPUs now 24 times more powerful than Xbox 360 According to a new report by New Scientist, new release GPUs for PCs are 24x more powerful than the one in 2005's Xbox 360 console.

The source, Nvidia engineer Simon Green, says one of the company's most recent card, the GTX 680 is the only card needed to demo the new Unreal Engine 4.

Nvidia's most recent, the GTX 690, is twice as powerful as the 680 and will play all games at the highest framerate possible.

The real future is in cloud gaming, says Green, with the "the whole idea of owning a separate piece of hardware to play games on might be completely redundant" as technology evolves.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft buys Yammer for $1 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jun 2012 11:20

Microsoft buys Yammer for $1 billion Microsoft will be purchasing the business social networking site at an unheralded price.

Yammer, which is little known outside of corporate circles, has been called "Facebook for the workplace" due to its ability to create private social networks within companies.

The company launched in 2008 and was started by PayPal's former COO and has raised $140 million in venture capital since its founding.

Last year, Microsoft purchased Skype for $8.5 billion, in its largest acquisition, ever.

By buying Yammer, many expect Microsoft to add more social features to its popular Office suite. Office brings the company over $20 billion revenue per year.

Yammer has 4 million corporate customers but only 20 percent pay for the premium subscriptions.





AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile giving away all 4G phones for free on Father's Day

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jun 2012 9:58

T-Mobile giving away all 4G phones for free on Father's Day T-Mobile has announced that on June 15th and 16th, they will be offering all 4G phones for free with new contract.

The promotion is thanks to Father's Day, and all prices are after mail-in-rebate.

Current and new T-Mobile subscribers are eligible for the deals although "current Classic subscribers are subject to the standard upgrade eligibility rules if they decide to stay with a Classic plan."

All the phones will cost money out of pocket, some with substantial amounts, but they all net out to be free after the rebates.

"We want to say thanks to fathers for all they do and keep them easily and affordably connected to family throughout the entire year," said Andrew Sherrard, senior vice president of marketing for T-Mobile USA. "Whether through voice calls, photos, texts, video conferencing or social media updates, T-Mobile's 'All Phones Free' promotion provides families a great opportunity to get the latest cutting-edge smartphones running on lightning-fast speeds via America's Largest 4G Network."

Check the phones here:





AfterDawn: News

Ryan Cleary charged in LulzSec hacking case

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jun 2012 8:53

Ryan Cleary charged in LulzSec hacking case Ryan Cleary, the 20-year old British student arrested last year for his alleged part in the LulzSec hacking episodes, has been charged with hacking Fox, PBS and Sony sites to steal personal information.

The federal grand jury has indicted Cleary "on conspiracy and hacking charges for allegedly hacking sites for the talent competition "The X-Factor," the site for "PBS NewsHour," Sony Pictures and others," reads the Bloomberg report.

Allegedly, Cleary and other LulzSec members would exploit security vulnerabilities in the sites of major companies to gain unauthorized access to administrative panels. Many of the sites were defaced while others were completely taken down.

Cleary was arrested last year in the UK over allegations he hacked various British music sites and law enforcement agencies.

In the PBS hack, Cleary and LulzSec posted a fake story claiming deceased rapper Tupac Shakur was actually living in New Zealand. The hits on Sony and Fox were to steal personal info.

The young adult faces up to 25 years in prison.





AfterDawn: News

Nokia to lay off 10,000

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jun 2012 8:01

Nokia to lay off 10,000 Nokia will layoff up to 10,000 jobs around the world by the end of next year.

The cost cutting will help Nokia save $1.6 billion by the end of 2013, says the handset maker.

As part of the plan, the company also announced the acquisition of imaging specialists and all technologies and intellectual property from Scalado of Sweden.

The company has also shaken up its senior management, including appointing Juha Putkiranta, formerly senior vice president of supply chain, as executive vice president of operations, says CW.

Finally, the company will reduce expenses in research and development projects including the planned closures of offices in Ulm, Germany and Burnaby, Canada.





AfterDawn: News

Online retailer to penalize users who use Internet Explorer 7

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jun 2012 7:16

Online retailer to penalize users who use Internet Explorer 7 The online electronics retailer Kogan has announced on its site today that it will be charging any customer using the site through Internet Explorer 7 with a 6.8 percent tax on their purchase.

Why 6.8 percent? "That's 0.1 per cent for each month IE7 has been on the market," reads the post.

Founder Ruslan Kogan says the tax is because he is forced to spend too much energy (and money) on making the site usable for IE7 users:

"Internet Explorer 7 has long since passed its use-by date. It's a constant source of frustration for our web guys and we're sick of burning cash on a browser that hit the market nearly six years ago. It goes against everything Kogan stands for."

In order to remove the penalty, users can switch to any other modern browser, including IE 8 or later, Chrome, Opera, Firefox or Safari.

Read Kogan's post here: New IE7 tax





AfterDawn: News

Nintendo already developing next-gen 3DS successor

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Jun 2012 6:40

Nintendo already developing next-gen 3DS successor For pretty much every generation of their handheld consoles, Nintendo has elongated the life span of the device by creating updated models introducing new features.

That does not appear to be the case for their most recent, the 3DS. There will be no 3DSi or 3DSXL as Nintendo has moved on to their next-generation handheld.

"I really feel like I am satisfied with the 3DS hardware as it is. I feel like it is the best for this generation. What we are thinking about right now is probably going to be for a future generation of handheld," said Shigeru Miyamoto, the general manager of Nintendo entertainment analysis and development.

In the past, when the company released the Game Boy, they extended its life with the Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Light. For the Game Boy Advance, the company extended its life with the GB Advance SP and the GB Micro.





AfterDawn: News

Want to fix the Retina Display MacBook Pro yourself? Forget it, you can't

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jun 2012 11:37

Want to fix the Retina Display MacBook Pro yourself? Forget it, you can't The news comes via popular DIY tech site iFixit.

iFixit was able to get their hands on the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display and has some bad news for eager Mac fans.

The site took the notebook apart and gave it the worst repair score possible, a heinous 1 out of 10.

"This is, to date, the least-repairable laptop we've taken apart," added Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit. "Apple has packed all the things we hate into one beautiful little package. Laptops are expensive. It's critical that consumers have the option to repair things that go wrong, as well as upgrade their own hardware to keep it relevant as new technologies roll out."

Weins is not kidding. The base model of the new MacBook is $2199. Unfortunately, it's non-upgradeable and almost impossible to fix yourself:

"The new MacBook Pro is virtually non-upgradeable -- making it the first MacBook Pro that will be unable to adapt to future advances in memory and storage technology," noted Wiens.

Just like in the MacBook Air, the new notebooks have "proprietary screws, copious amounts of glue and expensive parts" that must be replaced by Apple even after a minor failure. The RAM is soldered to the logic board, making RAM upgrades impossible. Apple charges almost triple the price for RAM upgrades as it would cost you to purchase on (for example, NewEgg) and install yourself.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Apple preparing to kill off failed Ping social network

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jun 2012 11:21

Rumor: Apple preparing to kill off failed Ping social network According to multiple reports, Apple is preparing to kill of its failed Ping music social network.

Ping was launched in September 2010 to little fanfare, and has remained unpopular amongst Apple users.

If accurate, the reports claim Ping will disappear with the release of iTunes 10.6.4 and iOS 6, set for release in the fall.

One analyst believes Apple will now focus on integrating better with Twitter and Facebook: "It's fair to say Ping has been a flop," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research. "I think it was always too limited... It makes all the sense it the world to leverage the large social networks that are out there."

"Apple doesn't fail at things very often," concludes the analyst. "The lesson is to stick to your core competency and leverage what's available... But if you don't fail at things, you're not taking enough risks. You're always being safe. The key is to know that if you've failed, not to continue throwing good money after bad and they're not doing that."





AfterDawn: News

Nokia on verge of selling luxury subsidiary Vertu

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jun 2012 11:13

Nokia on verge of selling luxury subsidiary Vertu The Finnish handset maker is preparing to sell the luxury line after months of searching for a buyer.

If accurate, reports have the company selling Vertu for $250 million to private equity group EQT.

There are still some roadblocks due to the "difficulty of carving the unit out of Nokia," but the sources expect the deal to close within a week.

Vertu sells ridiculously expensive phones, most costing $300,000 due to crystal displays, gold cases and keys made of sapphire.

Nokia, in an effort to raise cash and focus on their core smartphone division is selling "non-core assets".





AfterDawn: News

Here are the leaked Windows Phone 8 screenshots

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jun 2012 5:39

Here are the leaked Windows Phone 8 screenshots Microsoft is expected to unveil the updated operating system next week, but leaked screenshots of Windows Phone 8 Apollo are already here.

The alleged shots show off the expected Skype integration, RCSe and more features. RCSe stands for "Rich communication suite."

Outside of Skype, one screen shows the updated camera app and new button, although it is unclear what the "Lenses" function performs.

There is a data usage app similar Android 4.0's which shows data, how many days left in your monthly cycle and allows you to block data at certain points or adjust accordingly.

IE 10, the new browser, will use "data compression" to help those with smaller data plans, and it is expected to reduce data up to 30 percent.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

All upcoming Crytek games to be free-to-play

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Jun 2012 2:08

All upcoming Crytek games to be free-to-play Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli has confirmed today that all future titles from the studio will be free-to-play.

Each of the games will also be "AAA" titles, meaning they will hold nothing back. The new move will take effect after the release of Crysis 3 and Homefront 2, which are both in development.

The future games will keep budgets between $10-$30 million to ensure "the best quality, console game quality," and will also support the social gaming platform Gface.

"As we were developing console games we knew very clearly that the future is online and free-to-play," Yerli added (via GS). "Right now we are in the transitional phase of our company, transitioning from packaged goods games into an entirely free-to-play experience."

Yerli also noted what most consumers think, in saying: "If you look at what kind of games are done in the packaged goods market, with DLCs and premium services and whatnot, it's literally milking the customers to death."





AfterDawn: News

Seton Hall University to give all freshman a free Lumia 900

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jun 2012 11:09

Seton Hall University to give all freshman a free Lumia 900 Seton Hall University has announced it is giving all freshman students a new Nokia Lumia 900.

The move is part of Seton Hall's Mobile Computing Initiative and was jointly announced by Nokia, AT&T, Microsoft and the school.

All freshman that are coming in September will receive the smartphones to "support the university's mission of providing state of the art technology tools to enhance the student experience and prepare students for success in a rapidly changing world."

The phone will come pre-loaded with an app called the 'Freshman Experience' which adds "social media integration, direct communication channels with other freshman, academic advisors, housing information and roommates."

"Nokia has a long history of innovation and their partnership with Microsoft allows us to extend the core academic and community resources of the University into the pocket of our students," added David Middleton, Executive Director, Center for Mobile Research and Innovation, and Assistant Vice President of Administration at Seton Hall University. "By providing our new incoming students with the Nokia Lumia 900, Seton Hall University can expand our existing Windows services and infrastructure while providing a unique, high quality, dynamic and engaging mobile experience."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Yahoo search share continues downtrend

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jun 2012 10:48

Yahoo search share continues downtrend Yahoo has lost share in the search market for the ninth straight month.

The info comes via research firm comScore, who pulls together data on a daily basis for the major search engines in the U.S.

For May 2012, Yahoo's share fell 0.1 percent to 13.4 percent.

Back in August 2011, Yahoo was at 16.2 percent so the decline has been slow but notable.

Yahoo's loss has been Google's gain, as the search giant ate two of those percentage points. Microsoft's Bing took the rest although Microsoft and Yahoo are partners.

Chart:





AfterDawn: News

Verizon Wireless finally unveils 'Share Everything' plan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jun 2012 9:00

Verizon Wireless finally unveils 'Share Everything' plan The new plan will allow Verizon subscribers to share their minutes, texts and data between devices.

Called the "Share Everything" plan, subscribers can share unlimited minutes, texts, MMS, and 1GB data for $50 between up to 10 devices. For $100 you can share 10GB. Of course, there are tons of other charges on there, and it ends up being $250 per month for 8GB for four smartphones, for example.

Possibly more importantly, the new plans will include mobile hotspot services for up to all 10 devices.

Both new and existing customers are eligible for the plan that begins on June 28th.

All new smartphone buyers will need to use the new contract, meaning they will have unlimited voice and texts even if they don't need them.

An advantage of the new plan, especially for a family, is usage controls by the bill payer. For example, if the family has a 10GB bucket, they can limit how many gigs each family member can get, before they are cut off.

For more info, click the picture:





AfterDawn: News

Spotify for Android 4.0 goes live

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jun 2012 1:37

Spotify for Android 4.0 goes live After going into public beta in April, Spotify has now launched officially for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The application is available in the Google Play Store currently, along with new features not seen in the beta.

Full feature list:

Totally new app with full support for Android 4.0
All-new slide-out navigation
Crossfade/gapless playback settings
Widget - control Spotify from the home screen
Folder support - organise and order your playlists
Even more social - check out friends' profile pages and playlists on the go
Artist imagery in high resolution
Related artist view - available for the first time on mobile
'Extreme' sound quality setting for 320kbps listening
Play queue
Last.fm scrobbling
Speed improvements


The play queue is not available in the iOS app but mostly everything else is ported.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft charges $85 for Windows RT license

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Jun 2012 1:31

Microsoft charges $85 for Windows RT license It appears that Microsoft is charging tablet OEMs $85 to license Windows RT.

Many had speculated that Microsoft would drop the price in order to push Windows tablets, but that does not seem to be the case. OEMs speaking at the Computex event say they are being charged between $80 and 95 dollars, although most were at $85.

Because of this charge, it is highly unlikely that Windows RT devices will be able to match the price of Android alternatives. Android is free to use thus allowing for more flexibility with components and price.

To be fair, Windows RT comes with Microsoft Office included, which is expensive in its own right but the move makes it clear that we won't be seeing sub-$500 Windows RT tablets, at least not at launch.

At Computex, the most commonly cited prices ranged from $549-799.





AfterDawn: News

State Department strikes deal to buy Kindle Fires, content

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jun 2012 11:50

State Department strikes deal to buy Kindle Fires, content The State Department has signed a large $16.5 million deal to purchase Kindle Fire tablets and extra content from Amazon.

As part of the 5-year contract, the agency will also get access to an English-language teaching program.

2500 Kindle Fires are the initial order, and it is unclear what the final amount shipped will be.

The tablets will be used completely for educational purposes and will be placed in libraries, educational centers, reading rooms and other locations. Additionally, the devices will "also be used as a tool in the Department of State's English Access Microscholarship Program," reads the GeekWire report.

Finally, Amazon will provide content, customer support, international shipping, protective covers "and the appropriate country-specific power adapter" for each device.

Why Amazon got the deal was because the State Department required text-to-speech, a long-lasting battery and free Wi-Fi.





AfterDawn: News

WWDC: Apple shows off iOS 6, updated Siri

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jun 2012 11:05

WWDC: Apple shows off iOS 6, updated Siri One of the highlights of today's event was Apple's unveiling of iOS 6 alongside an updated Siri.

The latest iteration of the mobile OS will bring over 200 new features, explained Apple.

Apple has finally relented and allowed Facetime to be used over 3G/4G networks, after originally making it only available via Wi-Fi.

A few of the more notable features include a do-not-disturb mode, set message response for phone calls, and the ability to create a VIP status for people who you want to be notified via alert that their emails are coming in.

To better sync between iPad and iPhone, Apple has consolidated a user's Apple ID and phone number, meaning calls and messages can picked up on either device.

In terms of Siri, the personal assistant will have better responses and be integrated with OpenTable, Rotten Tomates, Yelp, and sports box scores. Additionally, Siri can open apps, update your social networks and speak in different languages like Spanish, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, and Cantonese.





AfterDawn: News

WWDC: 30 billion apps downloaded, 650,000 iOS apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jun 2012 2:41

WWDC: 30 billion apps downloaded, 650,000 iOS apps Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed some facts about the iOS App Store today during WWDC.

There are now over 400 million App Store accounts, thanks to iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users.

The store has 650,000 apps, and users have downloaded 30 billion apps since inception.

Developers have been paid $5 billion since the Store's open, added Cook.

App downloads are moving at a very fast pace, since Cook announced in March that the 25 billion milestone had been hit.

(Pic via Cnet)





AfterDawn: News

WWDC: MacBook Air update gets Ivy Bridge

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jun 2012 2:30

WWDC: MacBook Air update gets Ivy Bridge Apple has updated their MacBook Air line, as expected.

The 11 and 13-inch models will add Ivy Bridge processors, moving in line with ultrabook rivals.

For $999, you get the 11-inch model with a 1.7GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics, 64GB flash storage, and 5 hours of battery life.

At $1099 you get the same specs with double the flash storage.

Moving to the 13-inch model, for $1199 you get a 1440 x 900 display with a 1.8GHz dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, the HD 4000 and 128GB of storage. For $1499, you get 256GB storage.

Connectivity-wise, Apple has added USB 3.

Overall, nothing special here.

(Pic via Verge)





AfterDawn: News

WWDC: The new MacBook Pros are really expensive, include Retina Display

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jun 2012 2:15

WWDC: The new MacBook Pros are really expensive, include Retina Display Today at their annual WWDC event, Apple has unveiled their new line of MacBook Pros.

The new computer will be just 0.71-inches thick, the thinnest Pro model yet, says the company.

Most importantly, the 15.4-inch device will have Retina Display, by far the "the highest resolution" of any notebook on the market, at a hefty 220 pixels per inch. The resolution is 2,880 x 1,800.

Apple has updated each of the native apps like Mail, Safari, and iPhoto to take advantage of the new resolution. Third-party devs are doing the same.

The specs are pretty decent, with i7 quad-core processors up to 2.7GHz, up to 16GB of 1,600MHz RAM, 768GB of Flash storage, a GT650M, USB 3/USB 2 ports, an SD card slot, HDMI, a backlit keyboard, multitouch trackpad, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Verizon selling Sony SmartWatch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jun 2012 12:10

Verizon selling Sony SmartWatch Verizon has begun selling the Sony SmartWatch and accessories.

Available for $150, the watch connects to Android 2.1+ devices via Bluetooth and gives users a chance to read messages, emails or access social networks from their wrists.

There are also 60 "mini-apps" available, including a music player and some games.

Full spec list:

Dimensions: 1.42 X 1.42 X 0.3 in
Weight: 0.55 oz

Display: 1.3" OLED display, 128 x 128 pixels

Compatibility: BluetoothTM 3.0 and AndroidTM 2.1 or above Connectivity: Standard USB charging

Battery life: Up to 4 days

Language support for: English, Spanish, French, Chinese (Traditional), Portuguese, Swedish, Russian, Danish, Polish, Japanese, Czech, German, Modern Greek, Dutch

Notifications: Display notification or vibration

Apps: All events (displays in chronological order), Messaging (SMS/MMS), corporate E-mail (for SonyTM and Sony Ericsson Android phones), Gmail (for all other Android smartphones) Calendar Notifications, FacebookTM, TwitterTM, Music Player, Call handling (call, mute, reject, or answer and send pre-defined SMS), Pre-defined SMS, e.g. missed calls I'm busy, messaging - call me, email ok, Battery strength, Find phone, and Weather widget. Plus lots of apps on AndroidTM market.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

HBO Go now available on Kindle Fire

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jun 2012 12:00

HBO Go now available on Kindle Fire Last week, HBO announced that its popular HBO GO service is now available to Amazon Kindle Fire owners.

HBO Go is a streaming service for desktops and mobile devices that allows HBO subscribers to watch on-demand original content on "the go."

The service includes full seasons of popular shows like True Blood, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and classics like Sopranos and The Wire.

"We are thrilled to offer HBO GO to the growing community of millions of Kindle Fire owners," said Aaron Rubenson, Director of the Amazon Appstore. "The HBO GO app will offer instant access to HBO's incredible lineup of shows. Kindle Fire owners already download and use apps and games frequently on their devices, and we expect that only to increase with the addition of HBO GO and all of its popular content."

The Kindle Fire is the most popular Android-based tablet of all-time and Amazon's top selling product.





AfterDawn: News

Android now at 900,000 daily activations

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jun 2012 11:32

Android now at 900,000 daily activations Android boss Andy Rubin has noted that daily Android activations are now at 900,000.

The activations include tablets and smartphones.

It had been rumored for weeks that Rubin was planning to leave Google but the exec but those to rumors to rest stating bluntly he has "no plans" to leave.

A recent study showed that developers still much prefer iOS, due to much less fragmentation. 69 percent of devs said they preferred iOS to Android, although that number has been falling in the past years. Additionally, it appears iOS devs make more money with Android devs earning just 24 cents for every dollar they'd otherwise be making on Apple devices.

Android has severe fragmentation, making it harder for developers to make apps that work across all versions of the operating system.





AfterDawn: News

A look at the new Lamborghini Android smartphone and tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Jun 2012 10:58

A look at the new Lamborghini Android smartphone and tablet Tonino Lamborghini, founded by the son of the famous automaker, has announced its latest line of "luxury" mobile devices aimed at the Russian market.

The company unveiled three phones and one tablet, although only one of the phones runs on Android.

Dubbed the Lamborghini TL700, the phone runs on Android 2.3, has a 3.7-inch WVGA sapphire crystal display, a 5 MP rear camera, a VGA front-facing camera, 4 GB of internal memory and a small 1,400 mAh battery. It is unclear what processor is in the device, but it said to be from Qualcomm.

While the specs are terrible by current standards, the device comes with a 90,000 RUB/$2,750 price tag. Why? The phone has a case made of gold and a back plate of crocodile skin.

The tablet, the Lamborghini L2800 has a 9.7-inch 1024 768 pixels sapphire crystal display, a 5 megapixel rear-facing camera, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera, 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB of storage capacity, a MicroSD card support and a 1.2 GHz Qualcomm processor. Just like the phone, the tablet runs on Android 2.3.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

The easiest free way to convert YouTube to MP3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jun 2012 4:38

The easiest free way to convert YouTube to MP3 This very quick guide will teach you the easiest way to convert those YouTube videos into MP3s that can be played in your favorite media players like iTunes, Winamp and Windows Media Player.

All you will need for this guide is an active Internet connection.

Getting the Video



Open Video2MP3 and keep it open in a second tab or window.

Head over to YouTube, and find the video you wish to have converted. For this example I've taken the top music video on YouTube as of writing, the unfortunate "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen.



Scroll down towards the middle of the page and hit "share" and then copy the URL of the video, which happens to be http://youtu.be/fWNaR-rxAic for this video.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Cloud security co. Qualys files for IPO

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jun 2012 3:40

Cloud security co. Qualys files for IPO The cloud security provider Qualys has filed for an IPO, looking to raise $100 million.

Qualys provides a cloud computing based platform for companies to secure their IT infrastructure.

The IPO will bring a significant windfall for CEO Philippe Courtot, who owns 40 percent of the company, and the venture capital firm Trident Capital, which owns another 27.4 percent.

Qualys "services are used by more than 5,700 organizations in 100 countries and had a revenue of $21.2 million for the quarter ended March 31," reads the filing.





AfterDawn: News

Student guilty of copyright infringement for running subtitle site

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jun 2012 3:26

Student guilty of copyright infringement for running subtitle site The 25-year-old student owner of Norsub.com has been found guilty of copyright infringement.

Norsub offered downloads to millions of subtitle files for TV shows and movies.

Although they admitted that the man made no money from the site, prosecutors demanded jail time for the charges. In the end, the student received no jail time but will have to pay a $2500 fine.

The subtitle files, which help foreign and deaf people read along with the video, can be downloaded in seconds and enabled through media players like VLC, MPC and others.

Norsub had just reached one million downloads after three years of operation.

The subtitles were available for many pirated video releases, ranging from CAM rips to 1080p Blu-ray copies.





AfterDawn: News

Meebo shutting down most services next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jun 2012 2:58

Meebo shutting down most services next month Meebo has just announced it will be shutting down most of its services, following being acquired by Google.

Reads the post:

Meebo Messenger (shutting down July 11th, 2012)
Downloading chat logs: We have created a page where you can download your chat log history at [link] This page will no longer be available after July 11th, 2012.

Sharing on Meebo (shutting down July 11th, 2012)
This is the product currently at meebo.com, designed to connect users to their interests.
Downloading share history: If you log in to meebo.com you will see a link that will allow you to download your complete share history. This will no longer be available after July 11th, 2012.

Meebo Me (shutting down July 11th, 2012)
All embedded Meebo Me widgets will cease to function. You will still need to remove the Meebo Me embed code from your site.

All Meebo Mobile Apps (shutting down July 11th, 2012)
This includes our iPhone, Android, and Blackberry apps. Chat logs can be downloaded at [link] until July 11th.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Google now default Firefox search engine in Russia

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jun 2012 2:32

Google now default Firefox search engine in Russia Firefox 14, Mozilla's upcoming version of the browser, will hit Russia with a new default search engine.

According to TNW, Firefox will have Google as its new default, moving from Russia's own Yandex.

Yandex currently has 60 percent share of the Russian search engine market, with Google second at 26.5 percent.

It is unclear how Google leveraged such a deal, but it is likely with monetary gain to Mozilla. Last year, the search giant closed a $900 million deal to have Google become the default engine on Firefox in most nations.





AfterDawn: News

Atrix 3 headed to AT&T?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jun 2012 2:18

Atrix 3 headed to AT&T? Multiple sites are reporting on the alleged Atrix 3, codenamed 'Dinara.'

The device was launched last year in China and has been rumored for American release since then.

If accurate, the reports state the device is headed to AT&T on July 26th, with a 720p display and Android 4.0.

The device will also have LTE, and include a variant of MotoBlur.

On the spec end, the Atrix 3 has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, a 4.5 inch 720p display, a 13 megapixel camera capable of shooting 1080p HD video and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera and more.





AfterDawn: News

Logitech forced to lay off employees

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jun 2012 2:02

Logitech forced to lay off employees As part of their global restructuring efforts, Logitech will lay off 450 employees.

The struggling accessory maker's move will reduce workforce by 13 percent, and trim costs by $80 million.

Logitech fired their CEO earlier in the year and just announced his successor would be Whirlpool executive Bracken Darrell.

The company's fortunes turned for the worst when Logitech saw a massive loss due to its failed Revue set-top box.

Former CEO Guerrino de Luca admitted the company was far too bullish on the technology when it launched the box, overinvesting at a time when it was still unclear whether the technology would be widely embraced. Logitech took a $90 million loss on their overstock of the device.





AfterDawn: News

Texting while driving reaches new level

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jun 2012 1:47

Texting while driving reaches new level Over 50 percent of high school students have admitted to texting while driving.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood went as far to call it "a national epidemic."

The survey of the students revealed 58 percent of high school seniors have texted or emailed while driving in the last month, while 43 percent of juniors admitted to the same thing.

"We need to teach kids, who are the most vulnerable drivers, that texting and driving don't mix," added LaHood.

Last year, distracted driving accounted for 16 percent of teen motor vehicle deaths.

Texting while driving is banned in 39 states, and outlawed for teens in another 5, but that does not seem to be the deterrent it should be.





AfterDawn: News

Anonymous protesting internet censorship in India

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jun 2012 1:26

Anonymous protesting internet censorship in India Hactivist group Anonymous has begun staging protests across India, protesting Internet censorship in the nation.

The protests are in 16 cities and have lasted all day.

Says one protester: "India is following China and Iran. They don't want the right information to reach people."

"There are some sites they've blocked for information which is relevant to us. Information which is useful to us as citizens of this country."


Anonymous India organised the event to protest the blocking of file sharing sites by popular ISPs Reliance Communications and Airtel.





AfterDawn: News

Verizon, AT&T Galaxy S III will not have Dropbox promo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Jun 2012 12:55

Verizon, AT&T Galaxy S III will not have Dropbox promo After launching their Galaxy S III, Samsung announced a deal that owners of the upcoming flagship device will receive a huge 50GB of free storage through Dropbox.

Unfortunately, it appears American buyers will not be privy to the promotion.

For everyone else, the deal doubles the recent storage pact between the company and HTC, which was 25GB for anyone with a Sense 4.0 device.

Samsung says the deal will remain valid for two years after you register the Galaxy S III, and afterwards your storage will revert back to whatever you would have had normally.

Notes Dropbox: "Select carriers have opted-out of the promotion on phones otherwise eligible. Unfortunately, AT&T and Verizon are among these carriers not currently participating."





AfterDawn: News

Droid Razr HD pics leak

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jun 2012 11:28

Droid Razr HD pics leak The oft-rumored Droid RAZR HD has seen its first pictures leaked, courtesy of Droid-Life sources.

Although it looks similar to its predecessor RAZR, the new phone has a full kevlar back and upgraded features.

Allegedly, the device will ship with an incredibly speedy Qualcomm 1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4, a 13MP camera and a large 3300mAh battery.

The screen will have 1196 x 720 resolution, a significant upgrade, as well.

Finally, it seems that Motorola will go back to the Bionic model by placing the microHDMI and USB ports on the bottom of the device.

The RAZR HD is expected to hit shelves in August.





AfterDawn: News

Twitter shows off new logo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jun 2012 10:53

Twitter shows off new logo Microblogging service Twitter has updated its logo, leaving a minimalist design.

The new logo (pictured), is of the famous blue bird, without anything else.

Adds creative director Doug Bowman: "Twitter is the bird, the bird is Twitter."

The logo has removed any type, the trademark T, and the wide-eyed bird of previous logos.

Bowman notes that the logo was created from three overlapping circles, a concept that shows how a person can connect their networks, interests and ideas.

"Whether soaring high above the earth to take in a broad view, or flocking with other birds to achieve a common purpose, the bird in flight is the ultimate representation of freedom, hope, and limitless possibility," the blog concluded.





AfterDawn: News

U.S. Navy to install Linux on VTOL drones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jun 2012 7:29

U.S. Navy to install Linux on VTOL drones The U.S. Navy will begin installing the Linux operating system on its vertical take-off (VTOL) drones.

For now, the military branch only has one VTOL drone, but will eventually have 168.

The new deal is with military contractor Raytheon, worth $28 million, and will cover a "Linux transition on the tactical control system software for vertical take-off (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle ground control stations."

A VTOL "has the ability to autonomously take off and land on any aviation-capable warship and at prepared and unprepared landing zones in proximity to the soldier in contact."

The Navy's single MQ-8B Fire Scout is currently used in South America to search for drug smugglers. It can fly as high as 20,000 feet at a speed of 100MPH.

Many believe the move to Linux is due to the malware attack suffered by the Air Force's Windows-based drone system last year.





AfterDawn: News

It's official: 'Game of Thrones' is most pirated show of the year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jun 2012 6:02

It's official: 'Game of Thrones' is most pirated show of the year HBO's blockbuster series 'Game of Thrones' is the most pirated TV show of the year.

The show is averaging 3.9 million downloads per episode, almost at the same level of viewers it has on TV, which is 4.2 million.

Many claim the high-level of piracy is due to availability delays in other nations, like a one week delay in Australia even if you are an HBO subscriber. In the U.S., the high price of HBO and need for a cable subscription have turned some off, while many agree that HBO should offer a standalone HBO GO subscription.

HBO Go is the service that allows HBO subscribers to watch original content, on-demand, online and on mobile devices.

Filling out the list were mainly broadcast giants including How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory and Family Guy.

Full list (via Torrentfreak):





AfterDawn: News

Amazon Kindle Fire goes on sale for limited time

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jun 2012 4:42

Amazon Kindle Fire goes on sale for limited time Amazon has dropped the price of their popular Kindle Fire tablet today, likely meaning a sequel is coming soon.

To take advantage of the deal, head on over to Amazon Local and sign in with your Amazon account.

You will be able to "purchase" a $30 off voucher for free, which will get you a promotional code to buy the tablet.

Head on over to the Kindle product page and purchase as you normally would, adding the promotional code on the final page of checkout.

Furthermore, Amazon is also giving $5 of Amazon Instant Credit to use on media like movies, TV shows and music.





AfterDawn: News

Pocket TV Android computer turns any TV into a 'Smart TV'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Jun 2012 4:23

Pocket TV Android computer turns any TV into a 'Smart TV' The project, by developer Infinitec, has already been fully funded on Kickstarter in less than a week.

Pocket TV is the latest of the "mini computer" trend that started with the "Cotton Candy" and "Raspberry Pi."

The HDMI dongle houses a full mini Android 4.0-based computer and includes a 1GHz ARM Cortex A9 CPU, 512MB of RAM, and 4GB of internal storage. The device has a male HDMI plug and can be directly plugged into any open HDMI slot in your TV. Thanks to Wi-Fi, the dongle instantly turns your HDTV into a Smart TV, with access to the Internet and apps in the Google Play Store.

Additionally, the dongle has a microSD slot, a USB 2.0 port and comes bundled with a standard IR remote. For a higher price, you can get an "Air Remote," which includes a full QWERTY keyboard and a gyroscope.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Bing announces partnership with Encyclopedia Britannica

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jun 2012 11:18

Bing announces partnership with Encyclopedia Britannica The Microsoft search engine will now integrate information from the reference library into search results.

Thanks to the partnership, the Britannica results will contain information on the search target as well as links to other sites with more information.

I tested by typing in a well known historical figure, Christopher Columbus, and did not see a single Britannica reference, so I'm not entirely sure how deep the partnership goes.

Supposedly, the results will show a specially formatted result that includes a person's personal summary, date of birth, religion and links to more complete pages like Britannica and Wikipedia.

Britannica will not receive preferential treatment, as results will fall where they normally would.





AfterDawn: News

Huawei brings first LTE phone to the U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jun 2012 7:45

Huawei brings first LTE phone to the U.S. Popular Chinese smartphone maker Huawei has brought its first LTE phone to the U.S.

The Activa 4G will be available through smaller carrier MetroPCS for $149.

Running on Android 2.3, the device has a 3.5-inch HVGA capacitive touch screen (480-by-320 pixels), a 5-megapixel standard camera with LED flash, and a front-facing VGA camera for video chat.

Additionally, the phone comes with a 4GB microSD card pre-loaded with the animated film "Kung Fu Panda 2."

Unfortunately, the rest of the specs are absolutely terrible. The Activa has an 800 MHz Qualcomm MSM7627T processor, cannot be upgraded to Android 4.0 or higher, and only has enough battery for 4 hours of talk time.

"We are honored to bring our first 4G LTE device to U.S. audiences with the support of MetroPCS' powerful and expansive network," noted Michael Chuang, executive vice president of Huawei Device USA. "MetroPCS is committed to providing customers with advanced, flexible and affordable smartphone options through its no-annual contract services, and is the ideal partner for Huawei's entrance into a new era for smartphones and handsets."





AfterDawn: News

Samsung again rumored to be eyeing Nokia

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jun 2012 7:12

Samsung again rumored to be eyeing Nokia Although both companies declined comment, Samsung is allegedly interested in buying struggling phone maker Nokia.

Analysts were quick to shoot down the rumor. "Samsung is flying at the moment and it is hard to see what it would gain from buying Nokia," Ovum analyst Nick Dillon added. "Any benefit it would gain from Nokia's patent portfolio or manufacturing facilities would likely be outweighed by the complexities of integrating the two companies."

Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight, noted: "This is Friday madness. I can't think of a rational reason why Samsung would want to buy Nokia at present."

Nokia, who used to be the top smartphone maker in the world by a long shot, has quickly seen its market share fall to almost zero.

The company has pinned any revival hopes on Windows Phone, partnering with Microsoft to create flagship devices.





AfterDawn: News

Apple settles over misleading iPad 4G advertising in Australia

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jun 2012 12:53

Apple settles over misleading iPad 4G advertising in Australia Apple has settled with Australian officials over misleading iPad "4G" advertising.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had brought the case against Apple back in March, after the launch of the third-generation iPad.

ACCC has claimed that Apple misled consumers in the nation by advertising the iPad's 4G compatibility despite knowing that Australian tablet fans could not actually use the LTE networks.

Pending a final approval, the settlement is for $2.25 million with Apple also expected to pay all court costs as well, which are over $300,000.

Previously, Apple announced it would give full refunds to any customer who felt misled by the advertising. On its website, the company updated the LTE notes: "The iPad with Wi-Fi + 4G model can roam worldwide on fast GSM/UMTS networks, including HSPA, HSPA+, and DC-HSDPA. When you travel internationally, you can use a micro-SIM card from a local carrier. You can also connect to the 4G LTE networks of AT&T in the U.S. and Bell, Rogers, and Telus in Canada."





AfterDawn: News

Leaked shots of Metro-style Hotmail posted

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jun 2012 12:41

Leaked shots of Metro-style Hotmail posted Following a couple days of rumors, a leaked shot of the upcoming Metro-style Hotmail redesign has emerged.

Via the German site WinFuture, the first screenshot is here, showing off a redesign that fits pretty well with the Metro interface we have grown accustomed to through Windows 8 previews.

If accurate, the design shows colorful flat backgrounds and tile-style icons for Mail, Calendar, Skydrive and Contacts.

There is also said to be a full vertical bar that is currently blank and can't be viewed in the shots.

Windows 8 is expected to be released in October.





AfterDawn: News

02 blocks access to The Pirate Bay

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Jun 2012 12:00

02 blocks access to The Pirate Bay O2 is the latest ISP to block access to The Pirate Bay.

The move follows last month's UK High Court Order, and O2 is just the latest of the broadband companies to follow the order.

Says a spokesperson: "The main U.K. internet providers were ordered by the high court to block access to specific IP addresses and URLs used by The Pirate Bay website."

At the time of the ruling, BPI CEO Geoff Taylor said: "The High Court has confirmed that The Pirate Bay infringes copyright on a massive scale. Its operators line their pockets by commercially exploiting music and other creative works without paying a penny to the people who created them. This is wrong - musicians, sound engineers and video editors deserve to be paid for their work just like everyone else."

Sky, Everything Everywhere, TalkTalk and Virgin Media have already blocked the site. BT is appealing.





AfterDawn: News

Virgin Mobile to offer iPhone this month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jun 2012 11:01

Virgin Mobile to offer iPhone this month Virgin Mobile, the prepaid subsidiary of Sprint, has announced they will begin selling the iPhone this month.

The move will help Sprint reach its $15.5 billion commitment to Apple over the next few years.

Being prepaid, Virgin customers do not have to commit to a contract, but also pay full price for their devices.

Virgin customers will have to pay $649 up front for the iPhone 4S, compared to $200 on most major carriers with contract.

The company will begin selling the device on June 29th, a week after rival Leap Wireless does. Leap will charge less upfront but their monthly fees are higher.

Virgin iPhone plans start at $30 per month while Leap charges $55 minimum.





AfterDawn: News

Last.fm has security breach, passwords leaked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jun 2012 7:40

Last.fm has security breach, passwords leaked The music streaming site Last.fm is looking into a recent security breach in which some user passwords were leaked.

Last.fm is just the latest in a string of major password leaks, starting with LinkedIn and eHarmony earlier this week. It is unclear if all three are connected.

The company did not give an exact figure of users compromised, just saying "a small fraction" of their 40 million users were affected.

Last.fm is asking all users to change their passwords immediately. When you log in, head over to the "settings" page and switch the login details.

As a note, Last.fm says "we will never e-mail you a direct link to update your settings or ask for your password," and that any attempts to do so are from phishers.





AfterDawn: News

HTC blocked from Windows RT?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jun 2012 12:44

HTC blocked from Windows RT? According to Bloomberg, Microsoft is shutting out HTC from developing products for the upcoming Windows RT.

Apparently, HTC doesn't "sell enough devices or have ample experience making tablets," says sources familiar with the situation.

The news comes right on the heels of HTC confirming they are seeing shortages from top chipmaker Qualcomm.

Microsoft's latest update, which will finally run on ARM-based chips, is set for release before the holidays.

The upcoming operating system is called Windows RT on tablets, and Windows 8 on desktops.





AfterDawn: News

EA: Origin won't offer large sales like Steam

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jun 2012 12:29

EA: Origin won't offer large sales like Steam EA has come out swinging against digital sales platform rival Steam.

Steam, well known for offering games at up to 75 percent off many times over the course of the year, has been a hit with gamers since its inception.

EA, which owns rival service Origin, says you will not be seeing such sales via their platform.

Says Origin boss David DeMartini: "We won't be doing that. Obviously they think it's the right thing to do after a certain amount of time. I just think it cheapens your intellectual property.

"I know both sides of it, I understand it. If you want to sell a whole bunch of units, that is certainly a way to do that, to sell a whole bunch of stuff at a low price. The game makers work incredibly hard to make this intellectual property, and we're not trying to be Target. We're trying to be Nordstrom.

"When I say that, I mean good value, we're trying to give you a fair price point, and occasionally there will be things that are on sale you could look for a discount, just don't look for 75 per cent off going-out-of-business sales."


Origin is the second largest direct-to-consumer gaming platform, with 11 million registered users. Steam has 41 million.





AfterDawn: News

Google purchases QuickOffice

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Jun 2012 12:16

Google purchases QuickOffice Earlier this week, Google announced the purchase of the popular MS Office-esque app for Android and iOS devices.

The move comes just a month after Google unveiled Google Drive, their cloud solution that takes over where Google Docs left off, while adding an offline solution.

Reads the release: "Today, consumers, businesses and schools use Google Apps to get stuff done from anywhere, with anyone and on any device. Quickoffice has an established track record of enabling seamless interoperability with popular file formats, and we'll be working on bringing their powerful technology to our Apps product suite.

Quickoffice has a strong base of users, and we look forward to supporting them while we work on an even more seamless, intuitive and integrated experience."


The app itself has been voted a top 5 business app for Android year after year thanks to its strong feature set.





AfterDawn: News

Wii U specs finally official

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jun 2012 7:37

Wii U specs finally official Nintendo has finally confirmed the specs inside the upcoming Wii U.

After a year of speculation, here is the full rundown, via the gaming giant:

Size
Approximately 1.8 inches high, 10.5 inches deep and 6.8 inches long.

Appearance
The new console features a compact design that will make it a natural addition to any home entertainment setup.

Weight
Approximately 3.41 pounds (1.5 kg).

CPU
IBM PowerⓇ-based multi-core processor.

GPU
AMD Radeon-based High Definition GPU.

Storage
Wii U uses an internal flash memory. It also supports SD memory cards and external USB storage.

Media
Wii U and Wii optical discs.

Networking
Wii U can access the Internet via wireless (IEEE 802.11b/g/n) connection. The console features four USB 2.0 connectors - two in the front and two in the rear - that support Wii LAN Adapters.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Review: The T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jun 2012 7:06

Review: The T-Mobile Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier in the U.S., has had its share of nice phones over the years, especially on the Android side where it was the home of the first ever Android smartphone, the G1.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Facebook stock continues to fall apart

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jun 2012 3:24

Facebook stock continues to fall apart Once again, the Facebook stock continues to fall apart, leading to more and more investor losses.

After opening on May 18th at $42 per share, Facebook has fallen to $26 today, a 38 percent drop since its IPO date.

We reported last week that CEO Mark Zuckerberg was losing $16 million every hour, with his massive fortune falling from $19.7 billion on IPO day to just over $13 billion today.

Facebook, as a company, started with a value of $104 billion but that has since been torpedoed to its current $56 billion valuation which many believe is a lot more reasonable for the social networking giant, which has yet to find a long-standing working revenue model.





AfterDawn: News

Corning shows off slim flexible 'Willow Glass'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jun 2012 1:03

Corning shows off slim flexible 'Willow Glass' Corning has revealed their "ultra-slim," flexible Willow Glass.

The glass "could revolutionize the shape and form of next-generation consumer electronic technologies," says the company.

Reads the press release: "Corning Willow Glass will help enable thin, light and cost-efficient applications including today's slim displays and the smart surfaces of the future. The thinness, strength, and flexibility of the glass has the potential to enable displays to be "wrapped" around a device or structure."

Notably, the Willow Glass is processed at temps up to 500 degrees Celsius, a condition not possible with older polymer films. The glass can support thinner backplanes for OLED and LCD devices. The company hopes to use the glass in the future to develop curved displays for "immersive viewing or mounting on non-flat surfaces."

Concludes Dr. Dipak Chowdhury, division vice president and Willow Glass program director: "Displays become more pervasive each day and manufacturers strive to make both portable devices and larger displays thinner. Corning Willow Glass provides the substrate performance to maintain device quality in a thin and light form factor. Currently manufacturing in a sheet-to-sheet process, we expect Corning Willow Glass to eventually allow customers to switch to high throughput, efficient roll-to-roll processing, a long-awaited industry milestone."





AfterDawn: News

PlayStation Mobile signs HTC as first hardware partner

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jun 2012 12:42

PlayStation Mobile signs HTC as first hardware partner During their keynote last night, Sony revealed the next step in their mobile strategy.

The company has renamed their PlayStation Suite to PlayStation Mobile and added their first third-party partner, HTC.

HTC's One X appears to be the first PlayStation Mobile-certified device, giving would-be gamers a chance to play games on a good device not created by Sony.

The PlayStation Mobile developer program has been in open beta since April.

Hopefully Sony will expand these partnerships to all major Android smartphone makers in the near future.





AfterDawn: News

Toshiba shows off new ultrabook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jun 2012 12:29

Toshiba shows off new ultrabook Toshiba has finally revealed the ultrabook they teased at CES, the Satellite U845.

The ultrabook will be the cheapest available, at a $699 MSRP.

For your money, you get a 14-inch display with 1366 x 768 resolution and a 500GB hard drive. The boot drive is a 16GB SSD for faster start-up.

At the base price, your ultrabook is powered by a Sandy Bridge Core i3 CPU. Ivy Bridge will be available at higher price points. Ports include Ethernet, HDMI, VGA, two USB 2.0 sockets and one powered USB 3.0 connection. As with other Toshiba ultras, the keyboard is backlit.

The device is not necessarily light, however, at 3.8 pounds.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

E3 2012 Nintendo: Wii U, Nintendoland, new Pikmin, new Mario

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jun 2012 11:55

E3 2012 Nintendo: Wii U, Nintendoland, new Pikmin, new Mario Nintendo had arguably the best keynote of the week, since they showed off their new hardware, the Wii U.

Reggie Fils-Aime, President of Nintendo of America, started off the program showing the final design of the GamePad tablet and the Wii U hardware itself, in sleek black.

The company then confirmed New Super Mario Bros. U, which is of course similar to past games but with new features and mechanics. 5 players can play, one with the tablet and four others with Wii motes. There also seemed to be a new suit that comes from eating acorns. You can also play with Yoshi.



Next, Fils-Aime announced that Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and YouTube content will be available to Wii U gamers in the future: "In the future, we'll show you how the Wii U will integrate and elevate entertainment in your living room."

The boss then showed a montage of upcoming games including Batman Arkham City: Armor Edition, Darksiders 2, Tank! Tank! Tank!, Tekken Tag Tournament, Trine 2: Director's Cut, Ninja Gaiden 3: Razor's Edge, Mass Effect 3 and Aliens: Colonial Marines. Ubisoft had 8 titles in total with the coolest being ZombiU, which really showcased the Wii U's tablet features:

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Internet Explorer finally headed to Xbox 360

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jun 2012 11:39

Internet Explorer finally headed to Xbox 360 During their keynote yesterday, Microsoft confirmed Internet Explorer is headed to the Xbox 360.

The browser's expansion had been oft-alluded to over the course of the last six months.

As with most other features of the Xbox 360, you will need a Xbox Live Gold membership to access it. Microsoft did not give an exact date except to say it will be released in the fall.

Internet Explorer for Xbox will bring "for the first time, a fast, fluid, Web experience in the living room," said Mark Witten during his speech.

The "coolest" part of the demo was the use of Smart Glass. By integrating the platform into the browser, users can "scroll around the page, click links, and pinch and zoom from their smartphone or tablet."

Vid/pic via Cnet:





AfterDawn: News

Sony unveils new ultrabooks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jun 2012 11:28

Sony unveils new ultrabooks Sony has unveiled their first ultrabooks this week, the VAIO T series and VAIO Series Z.

The first is the VAIO T13, an aluminum case with a 13.3-inch display (1366-by-768 resolution), your choice of a new Intel Ivy Bridge ultra-low-voltage processor, an SSD and HDD, and ports like USB, VGA, HDMI, SD and Memory Stick.

Unfortunately, the T13 isn't the lightest or thinnest ultrabook on the market, weighing in at 3.5 pounds and .71-inches thick. It is, however, one of the cheapest around, starting at $769.99.

The Series Z has a 13.1-inch screen with a full 1080p resolution, weighs in at 2.6 pounds and is thinner, at .66-inches thick.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Windows Phone Marketplace hits 100,000 published apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jun 2012 11:11

Windows Phone Marketplace hits 100,000 published apps Although their devices control just 3 percent of the global market, devs are flocking to the Marketplace, which has now seen its 100,000th app published.

AAWP says apps are being published at a rate of 313 per day.

Over the last three months, alone, 26,493 apps have been added. Overall, 23,825 different publishers have submitted apps.

Of the over 100,000 published, there are 88,371 apps live (available for download, across 60 countries).

Surprisingly, the market hit the milestone faster than Android did but slower than iOS.

AAWP also notes that "it took Windows Phone 14 months to reach 50,000 apps, but only another 5 months to double that figure to 100,000. The 50,000 app mark was reached on December 27th, 2011, the 60,000 mark on January 22nd, 2012, the 70,000 mark on February 23rd, and the 80,000 milestone on March 26th, the 90,000 milestone on April 30th. It has taken an additional 33 days to reach the 100,000 mark."





AfterDawn: News

E3 2012: Sony PS Vita news roundup

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jun 2012 10:57

E3 2012: Sony PS Vita news roundup At their press event yesterday, Sony unveiled some important news for the PS Vita handheld.

The company announced that popular apps like Hulu Plus and Crackle will be hitting the handheld, "soon."

Unfortunately for those abroad, the streaming video services are U.S.-only, but they should be welcome additions to those with subscriptions.

Sony recently added a dedicated YouTube app to the device, and MLB.TV, Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, Sony Music Unlimited, and ESPN logo are expected to be added in the future.

Secondly, Sony noted that PSOne Classics are headed to the PS Vita store over the summer, finally giving gamers the chance to purchase the games for their handheld.





AfterDawn: News

E3 2012: Sony shows off beastly 'God of War Ascension' trailer

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Jun 2012 12:41

E3 2012: Sony shows off beastly 'God of War Ascension' trailer Sony hasn't let too much slip about its upcoming blockbuster God of War Ascension but today showed off a few minutes of gameplay that look just as awesome as past games in the series.

Other than explaining that the game will offer a cooperative mode, there is still little else revealed about the game, which is a Playstation exclusive and one of the most popular series for the consoles, ever.

The game is set for release in March 2013.






AfterDawn: News

E3 2012: Sony shows off incredible 'The Last of Us' gameplay footage

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jun 2012 11:04

E3 2012: Sony shows off incredible 'The Last of Us' gameplay footage Sony saved the best for last today during its E3 press conference, showing off amazing gameplay footage for the upcoming "The Last of Us" blockbuster.

The game, developed by Naughty Dog, is a post-apocalyptic third-person survival action-adventure video game with two main protagonists, 14-year old Ellie and the older Joel.

In the footage/trailer, we follow both characters as they fight their way through an abandoned hotel.

Making the gameplay so incredible is the uniqueness of each situation, the subtleties of the environment/atmosphere and the actual fighting itself.

See it here:






AfterDawn: News

Facebook testing ways to let kids join site without lying

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jun 2012 10:33

Facebook testing ways to let kids join site without lying Despite Facebook's ban on kids under the age of 13, there are millions of users out there who simply lie about their age to access the site.

The social networking giant has said today it is now testing ways for those young kids to participate in the site without needing to lie to gain access.

Although unconfirmed, the most likely way will be for the kids to have accounts connected to those of their parents or guardians, in which the parents have supervision of the account.

Facebook currently has the ban since it is federal law to obtain parental consent if a site or company wants to collect information about those under 13. Facebook relies on such information, and likely believes the parental consent requirement is much more extra effort than it's worth so a ban is just easier.

It is estimated there are over 7.5 million children on Facebook under the age of 13 who lied about their age to gain access.





AfterDawn: News

The Halo 4 trailer and footage everyone is talking about

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jun 2012 9:46

The Halo 4 trailer and footage everyone is talking about Today during its E3 keynote, Microsoft showed its first trailer and gameplay footage for the much-anticipated Halo 4 title.

The game will hit shelves on November 6 2012.

Making this game different is the fact that Bungie Studios did not develop this one, after creating the first three. Halo 4 was developed by Microsoft's 343 Industries.

For those that have played the past games, Halo 4 takes place in the aftermath of Halo 3 and will continue the story of Master Chief as he "returns to confront his own destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe."

The Xbox 360 exclusive will supposedly be the start of a new Halo trilogy.

Vid via Cnet:





AfterDawn: News

ABI Research: Kindle Fire disappears in Q1 tablet market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jun 2012 5:16

ABI Research: Kindle Fire disappears in Q1 tablet market share ABI Research has posted their latest "Media Tablet Market Share Tracker" data and with it there were some interesting developments for the Q1 2012.

Apple shipped 11.8 million tablets during the quarter, thanks to the release of the new iPad and a price drop on previous models, crushing the competition.

Samsung came in second place with 1.1 million shipments, followed by Amazon.

Overall, there were 18.2 million devices shipped during the quarter, an 185 percent year-over-year gain. From the fourth quarter, shipments were understandably down significantly, 33 percent from the busy holiday season.

"A pattern similar to smartphones is also occurring in tablets," added Jeff Orr, group director, consumer research. "Apple and Samsung have demonstrated staying power while other tablet vendors ebb and flow like the tide."

RIM saw its shipments explode 233 percent, thanks to a price cut of their PlayBook tablet.

Apple continues to hold a 65 percent market share for shipments.





AfterDawn: News

Updated: Google finishes acquisition of Meebo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jun 2012 4:47

Updated: Google finishes acquisition of Meebo As reported last month, Google has purchased the ad-bar service Meebo.

Says Meebo: "We are happy to announce that Meebo has entered into an agreement to be acquired by Google!
For more than seven years we've been helping publishers find deeper relationships with their users and to make their sites more social and engaging.

Together with Google, we're super jazzed to roll up our sleeves and get cracking on even bigger and better ways to help users and website owners alike.

We've had a blast building Meebo so far and we're really excited to start the next leg of our journey.
Thank you all for coming along for the ride!"


Original story:

Google is on the verge of acquiring the Meebo social and messaging service. If accurate, the price tag could be as high as $100 million, say reliable sources.

The company was created in 2005 as an instant messaging add-on for browsers and has been expanded to a "full suite" of social and mobile apps. More importantly, the apps are available to consumers and publishers, each with the intention of making online communication easier. Meebo also has a new advertising format, the "Meebo Bar," which is found on many popular sites.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Xbox Music service announced for Windows 8, Phone and console

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jun 2012 4:38

Xbox Music service announced for Windows 8, Phone and console As expected, Microsoft has unveiled their Xbox Music service today during E3.

The service will be made available to Xbox 360, Windows 8 and Windows Phone users later in the year.

As is their new ecosystem standard, the service will use the Metro interface, and include a social networking aspect to see what friends are listening to.

Furthermore, Microsoft has kept the Zune Smart DJ feature from years past. The entire library of music will be over 30 million tracks.

Although not expressly saying it, the service will also be available on iOS, Android, and on desktops, as well.



(Pic via Verge)





AfterDawn: News

Galaxy S III headed to five U.S. carriers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jun 2012 4:10

Galaxy S III headed to five U.S. carriers Samsung has finally revealed which American carriers will be receiving the highly-anticipated Galaxy S III smartphone.

The company says Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and US Cellular will each be getting the phonje unfortunately "exact pricing and retail availability will be announced by each of the five carriers in the coming weeks."

Samsung did note that pricing will "start from $199," but we hardly believe that all carriers will bring that low price to the table, especially not Verizon. The device supports LTE and HSPA+ 42Mbps, so each carrier will be offering a "4G" smartphone.

All American models will have 2GB of RAM and will be named GS III, not a confusing variant like in the past. Outside of the radios, there does not seem to be any differences between the models each carrier is getting.

Samsung has sold over 52 million of the original Galaxy S and its sequel, the GSII, and is said to have seen 9 million pre-orders of the latest model.





AfterDawn: News

Nintendo names Wii U controller the 'GamePad'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jun 2012 1:23

Nintendo names Wii U controller the 'GamePad' Nintendo has officially unveiled the final design for its Wii U tablet controller, dubbed the "GamePad."

The tablet has a 6.2-inch touchscreen, two analog sticks, built-in motion sensors and a universal remote.

Additionally, the GamePad also supports NFC, making it easier to read info from special game cards or toys placed on the screen. For example, Skylanders lets users change their character by placing different figurines on the NFC peripheral.

Finally, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata also showed off the "Miiverse," a dedicated social network that uses the customizable "Mii" characters all Wii or 3DS gamers have already created.

Nintendo will show off more details at E3 this week for the console that will be released this holiday season.





AfterDawn: News

Toshiba, Acer, Asus to unveil Windows 8 tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Jun 2012 12:26

Toshiba, Acer, Asus to unveil Windows 8 tablets According to Bloomberg, Toshiba, Acer and Asus will unveil Windows 8 tablets next week.

Asus will show off tablets with optional keyboard docks, just like its current Android devices, say the sources. Toshiba and Acer will show off tablets and notebooks.

Windows 8 is the first Microsoft operating system that will run on ARM-based chips, the processors that dominate over 90 percent of the tablet and smartphone markets.

The Asus device, for one, will run on a Tegra 3 quad-core processor and Acer's device will run on an Intel chip. Toshiba's will be powered by a yet unknown Texas Instruments processor.

Microsoft is expected to release Windows 8 in October.





AfterDawn: News

Move over iTunes, Netflix is the largest online movie service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jun 2012 3:50

Move over iTunes, Netflix is the largest online movie service According to new data from IHS iSuppli, Netflix has surpassed iTunes as the largest U.S. online movie service, when ranked by revenue.

In 2010, Netflix controlled just 1 percent share of revenue, while Apple controlled 60.8 percent. By 2011, however, that number had changed dramatically, with Apple falling to 32.3 percent share to Netflix's 44 percent.

"2011 marked a sea change in the online movies business that saw the balance of consumer spending shift from a DVD-like transactional model to more TV-like subscription approach,"
adds Dan Cryan, research director for digital media at IHS. "The online movie business more than doubled in 2011 to reach $992 million and it is expected to double this year as well."

Netflix's revenue share was directly affected by the same move that alienated customers. Over the summer, the company split its DVD and streaming services, charging $7.99 for each instead of the $9.99 for both model that it had used for over two years.





AfterDawn: News

AT&T: Data-only plans coming within 2 years

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jun 2012 2:43

AT&T: Data-only plans coming within 2 years AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson has said this week that data-only plans are likely coming to a carrier within two years.

For such a plan, voice calls and texts will just be considered data.

Says Stephenson: "I'll be surprised if, in the next 24 months, we don't see people in the market place with data-only plans. I just think that's inevitable."

The plan makes considerable sense, given the trend for smartphones. AT&T for one, has seen a decline in the average of minutes used each month for some time now. Many consumers already use Google Voice and Skype to send texts and make calls that only require data and not actual voice/cell service.

However, carriers still make the brunt of their profits from voice plans and texting, each of which use little to no data.

In order to remove the cell plans and the small fees that carriers charge to connect numbers, a data-only plan will likely be considerably more expensive than current data plans.





AfterDawn: News

Android 4.0 grabs 7.1 percent share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jun 2012 2:21

Android 4.0 grabs 7.1 percent share As they do every month, Google has released the shares for its different Android versions.

Google tracks these numbers by seeing what devices access the Google Play Store (formerly Android Market).

This month, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has continued its slow rise, taking 7.1 percent share. Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the aging OS, has taken 65 percent share, and remains the clear leader.

Android 2.2 Froyo fell to 19.1 percent share while shockingly 6.1 percent of Android users are still on Android 1.5, 1.6 and 2.1.

More info here: Android.com





AfterDawn: News

Report: New Verizon FiOS plan pricing revealed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jun 2012 1:36

Report: New Verizon FiOS plan pricing revealed TheVerge has posted the prices for the upcoming Verizon FiOS expansion plans.

Last week, the ISP noted it was boosting its speeds for FiOS plans, making most of them much faster, and adding new tiers.

The plans will go into effect on June 17th.

Verizon's "cheap" base plan of 15 Mbps down and 5 Mbps up will now cost $65 per month with a two-year contract, a far cry from the current $55 with one-year contract. That's where the bad news ends for Verizon fans, fortunately.

The current 25/25 tier is being replaced by a 50/25 plan, which will cost the same ($75) with two-year contract. The 50/20 is being replaced by a 150/65 plan that costs $95 per month.

Finally, there is a new 75/35 tier for $85 and the new lightning fast 300/65 service for $205 per month.

If you don't want a two-year contract, the plans cost $5 more than stated per month.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung reveals Galaxy line sales numbers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Jun 2012 12:47

Samsung reveals Galaxy line sales numbers Following the launch of the Galaxy S III abroad, Samsung has revealed some sales figures for their current and past Galaxy products.

The large 5.3-inch Galaxy Note has sold 7 million units, an impressive figure for a device which many believed was only aimed at a small niche of Android fans.

Samsung's Galaxy S line, the most popular Android smartphone line, has sold a combined 52 million units since 2010. The original SI sold 24 million while the Galaxy S II has sold 28 million units as of this week.

Although unsubstantiated so far, the company is said to have already received over 9 million pre-orders worldwide for the Galaxy S III.





AfterDawn: News

Facebook, Google looking to invest in Vevo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jun 2012 10:36

Facebook, Google looking to invest in Vevo According to sources, it appears both Google and Facebook are looking to invest in the popular streaming music video service Vevo.

Vevo has hired the investment bank Allen and Co. to explore the possibility of having the service partially or fully sold to the highest bidder.

It is unclear whether the companies are serious, however, but there have been active talks, say the sources.

Vevo, owned by UMG, Sony Music and the Abu Dhabu Media Co. currently has 48 million unique users per month, and is valued at around $1 billion.

The service currently has an exclusive ad-sharing revenue deal with YouTube/Google that expires at the end of the year.





AfterDawn: News

Sony, Microsoft confirm: PS4, Xbox Next will have optical drives

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Jun 2012 9:19

Sony, Microsoft confirm: PS4, Xbox Next will have optical drives Although there have been rumors that both Sony and Microsoft are planning to ditch optical drives for their upcoming consoles, both the console makers have decided against the thought.

Sony did consider moving to download-only, but ultimately decided against the scheme for the upcoming PS4, codenamed Orbis, reads a new WSJ report.

The PS4 will be released at the end of 2013, just like Microsoft's upcoming console, say the same sources.

As noted by critics, Sony decided against the download-only model because Internet connections are too inconsistent around the world. While downloading large games may not be an issue in Western Europe, the same download could take days if not longer in other nations, thus alienating entire fan bases.

Microsoft had a similar epiphany when it concluded that even in fast Internet regions, like the U.S. and Western Europe, users might be hit with bandwidth restrictions, like caps from certain ISPs, or throttling of speed from others.

Read more...





Latest user comments

News archive