AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Andre Yoskowitz (August, 2012)

AfterDawn: News

Apple buying back iPhones before new phone launch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2012 1:33

Apple buying back iPhones before new phone launch Apple has started a new Reuse and Recycle program, allowing Apple fans to trade in their existing iPhones for cash.

All iPhones are eligible (original, 3G, 3GS, 4, or 4S) with a max rebate of $345 if you trade in a 64GB iPhone 4S in like new condition.

You go through a quick online wizard, inputting your model and then the wizard will ask about the condition of the device. Apple will then reveal the trade-in price dependent on the variables.

On the low-end of the scale are obviously the original model iPhones, and even a cracked scree iPhone 4 will get you back $50.

You must include a power cable in the package you send back to Apple and the company will return you a gift card to be redeemed on a new iPhone.

Apple is expected to launch the new iPhone on September 12th and ship it on the 21st.





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Apple, publishers to offer concessions in EU antitrust case

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2012 10:14

Apple, publishers to offer concessions in EU antitrust case According to multiple sources, Apple and four major book publishers will let retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to sell ebooks at a discount for two years if it will end the EU antitrust investigations against them.

The EU began an investigation into the publishers and their ebook pricing deal with Apple last December, claiming it hampered competition in on the continent.

Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette Livre and Macmillan are the publishers in question.

Each of the publishers had agreed to deals with Apple in which the digital versions would sell for set prices on iTunes. The deals stipulated that other retailers could not sell the books for lower prices, thus forcing Amazon to bring prices up.

"The European Commission is market testing the commitments on an informal basis," added the sources.





AfterDawn: News

Google allows Grooveshark app back into App Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2012 2:26

Google allows Grooveshark app back into App Store Google has allowed the controversial Grooveshark application back into the Google Play Store, after removing it last year.

At the time, the company says the app violated Google's terms of service and was removed immediately.

Grooveshark is currently embroiled in multiple copyright infringement suits with the major labels and has lost nearly all of its legal music partnerships.

Says the streaming service's CEO Sam Tarantino: "We look forward to continuing to build a relationship with Android. The company tried to address copyright owners' concerns responsibly. We're not trying to stick up our middle fingers to people," he said. "We're trying to build a legitimate business."

Original article (from April 2011):

Google has pulled the popular Grooveshark music app from the Android Market, following accusations from the record labels that the service facilitates piracy.

When asked for comment, Google only said that it "removes apps from Android Market that violate [its] terms of service."

Apple removed the app from the iOS store last August after it received a complaint from the Universal Music Group.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Apple injunction case against Samsung will begin in December

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2012 2:04

Apple injunction case against Samsung will begin in December After its victory over Samsung, Apple asked for an injunction on a few of the Korean giant's current devices.

The bans would be on the Galaxy S 4G, two versions of the Galaxy S II, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G, Galaxy S Showcase, Droid Charge, and the Galaxy Prevail. None of those devices are really "new" persay, but some still command some sales.

Unfortunately for Apple, the first hearing will not be until December 6th, a point in which the devices will all be hugely outdated.

Samsung has until October 19th to file any formal response, and Apple has until November 9th to reply.

There are some stipulations, however, explains PCM: "Samsung must make its case in 35 pages or less and Cupertino only has 15 pages."

Samsung has also asked to have a ban on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 overturned, since a iPad design patent was ruled to not be violated. Apple has a week to respond to that request, followed by Samsung getting another week to reply. The hearing will take place on September 20th or not at all if the judge agrees to lift the ban earlier.





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Samsung bringing Jelly Bean to Note, GS III soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2012 1:50

Samsung bringing Jelly Bean to Note, GS III soon Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy S III, Note and Note 10.1 will be getting Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, soon.

Each of the devices is currently running on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich.

During their IFA press conference, the company said the updates are coming "very soon" but did not elaborate on a precise time frame.

A number of leaked ROMs for the GS III, which are almost final, means the development has been going fine and is almost complete, at least for the smartphone.

For now it is a wait and see but we would anticipate a late September release.





AfterDawn: News

Asus shows off Vivo Windows 8 tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2012 1:26

Asus shows off Vivo Windows 8 tablets Asus has unveiled their first Windows 8 tablets, the Vivo Tab and Vivo Tab RT.

In development, the two devices were knows as Asus Tablet 600 and Tablet 810, so the new names are certainly a step up.

The Vivo Tab has an 11.6-inch IPS+ display with 1366x768 resolution. The display offers a 10-point multitouch and has a Wacom digitizer and an included stylus makes drawing and taking notes easier. The tab is 0.34-inches thick and weighs 1.48 pounds. Inside is an Intel Atom, 2GB RAM and 64GB internal storage.

Furthermore, the tablet has dual cameras, 8MP/2MP with autofocus and LED flash and NFC. Like most Asus mobile products, there is a docking keyboard with full size chiclet keyboard and trackpad, with two USB ports. A second battery should extend battery life by 5 hours.

The Vivo Tab RT runs on Windows RT, has a Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, a 12-core GPU, 32GB storage, dual cameras, NFC, GPS, G-sensor, Light sensor, gyroscope, and compass. The screen is 10.1-inches with 1366 x 768 resolution IPS+ display.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Spotify partners with Deutsche Telekom

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2012 12:58

Spotify partners with Deutsche Telekom Deutsche Telekom, the owners of T-Mobile, have announced a new partnership with Spotify.

Starting in October, the telco will make 18 million Spotify tracks available to its 35.4 million subscribers in Germany. Making the deal better is the fact that and data usage associated with the streaming app will not count against a user's data usage/limits.

The deal is the second of its kind for Spotify, who has a similar partnership with Virgin Media in the UK.

Additionally, the unlimited streaming company has deals with Yahoo in the U.S., SFR in France and KPN in the Netherlands.

The premium service costs €10 per month for unlimited streaming on mobile devices with no ads.

Spotify has 15 million subscribers in 15 countries and is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.





AfterDawn: News

Apple loses patent case to Samsung in Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Aug 2012 12:41

Apple loses patent case to Samsung in Japan Over the past week, there has been a lot reported on Apple's victory over Samsung in the U.S. over 7 claims of patent infringement.

A jury ruled that Samsung owes Apple $1.05 billion for the infringement, and Apple is seeking an injunction on some of its rival's older devices, like the Galaxy S II.

What has been reported less, however, is the fact that Samsung has been winning the same case in pretty much every other court it has filed a case, including its home country of Korea and Germany.

Today, a Tokyo court has ruled in favor of Samsung, ruling that the company did not violate any of Apple's patents.

Apple has long asserted that Samsung copied from the iPhone and iPad when creating their Galaxy products.





AfterDawn: News

Amazon Appstore now live in Europe

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2012 11:59

Amazon Appstore now live in Europe Amazon has expanded the Appstore for Android apps to five European nations.

The Appstore is now live in Germany, the UK, France, Spain and Italy.

Each version of the store will offer free and paid Android apps for tablets and smartphones, exactly the same as the North American version.

As with the U.S. version, Amazon will offer the Free App of the Day, starting with Angry Birds premium and Plants v. Zombies. The store will have its own Android app, as well.

"Customers in the US have purchased millions of apps, games, in-app items and subscriptions since the store launched last year, and we've received great feedback about discovery features like Free App of the Day," added Amazon's VP of Amazon Appstore Jim Adkins. "Amazon has spent years developing innovative features that help customers find and discover the products that are right for them and have applied that know-how to the Amazon Appstore. We're delighted to extend that experience to our European customers."





AfterDawn: News

Publishers agree on ebook price-fixing lawsuit settlement pay

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2012 11:40

Publishers agree on ebook price-fixing lawsuit settlement pay After being sued over alleged ebook price fixing earlier this year, three publishers instantly settled, avoiding a trial.

Those publishers; Hachette, HarperCollins, and Simon & Schuster, have now agreed on a payout, agreeing to pay $69 million to American consumers.

If approved by a federal judge, the settlement will then go into effect 30 days later. Any customer who purchased an agency-priced ebook between April 2010 and May 21st, 2012 are eligible for part of the settlement.

The payout is dependent on the State you are in, and Minnesota is the only state to not be involved.

Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google, Kobo and Sony will all notify eligible customers via email. Sony will automatically give checks out.





AfterDawn: News

President Obama broke Reddit

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2012 9:43

President Obama broke Reddit President Obama managed to break Reddit yesterday.

The President had his own AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit yesterday, giving users a 30 minute block to ask him anything. During the time, he only answered 10 questions out of the many hundreds asked, but many were locked out since the traffic managed to take down even the mighty servers at Reddit.

The popular site, which is one of the 50 biggest sites (by traffic) in the entire U.S., has remained somewhat obscure despite growth that most sites on the planet would envy.

Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian called the event a 'huge day for Reddit.'

Read the President's responses here: Barack Obama AMA





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft drops price of Windows 8 upgrade in UK

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2012 8:46

Microsoft drops price of Windows 8 upgrade in UK Microsoft has dropped the price for a Windows 8 Pro upgrade, from the previously stated £39.99 to £24.99 in the UK.

The original statement, with the higher price, upset Windows fans in the nation, who would have been paying much more than their U.S. counterparts, who get the upgrade for $40 USD.

Microsoft says the original price was a mis-communication between the company and its press agency.

Windows 8 will be available on October 26th.

The operating system is the centerpiece of the company's overhaul, which includes a new Office suite, Windows Phone 8, and Windows RT, built for ARM-based tablets.





AfterDawn: News

Metal Gear movie finally a reality

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2012 8:34

Metal Gear movie finally a reality Columbia Pictures has formally announced that they will be developing a Metal Gear Solid movie.

The blockbuster video game series film will be produced by Avi Arad, the CEO of Marvel Studios and producer on all previous Marvel films.

Over the last half decade, companies have tried to begin projects, but all have failed or been abandoned.

Metal Gear, which was first released in 1987, became a sensation in the late 90s when it reached the Sony PSX. Most recently, the game was critically acclaimed in its latest adaptation for the PS3.

There is no director, or actors attached to the project of yet, but we can't imagine it would be hard to find them if the script is right.





AfterDawn: News

The Amazon Kindle Fire has sold out

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2012 2:09

The Amazon Kindle Fire has sold out Today, Amazon has announced that the Kindle Fire tablet has sold out.

The company called the device the best selling product on the site, by a long shot and also that it had taken 22 percent of the tablet share market in the U.S. in just 9 months.

Amazon is expected to unveil the tablet's sequel at an event next week, with the original Kindle Fire likely coming back as a budget option. Some have even speculated that it could be dropped to $99 while the new device launches at the Fire's old price of $199.

Adds CEO and founder Jeff Bezos: "We're grateful to the millions of customers who have made Kindle Fire the most successful product launch in the history of Amazon. This has been a big year for digital products on Amazon--all of the top 10 sellers on Amazon.com since Kindle Fire launched just less than a year ago are digital products. Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead--we will continue to offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem."

The Kindle Fire offers Amazon's entire ecosystem of shopping, books, movies, TV and apps all in one cheap package. The tablet received some mixed reviews due to the lack of hardware features like a mic and camera.





AfterDawn: News

Another LulzSec hacker arrested

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Aug 2012 1:56

Another LulzSec hacker arrested 20-year-old Raynaldo Rivera has been arrested this week for his alleged connection to the once-notorious hacking group LulzSec.

Rivera has been charged with conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer for his alleged part in hacking Sony Pictures back in mid-2011.

Arrested in Tempe, Arizona, Rivera surrendered less than a week after a federal grand jury issued an indictment. The hacker is said to have worked alongside Cody Kretsinger, another hacker who plead guilty to charges in April and will be sentenced in October.

In June of last year, LulzSec took credit for attacking Sony Pictures using an SQL injection. The group stole 1 million user accounts, including unencrypted data like passwords, email addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth.

That attack followed the take down of the PlayStation Network, and the robbery of 100 million user accounts and personal information. LulzSec did not take credit for that hit, one of the largest in history.

Rivera, who went by "royal" and "wildicv," could face up to 15 years in prison.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung shows off world's first Windows Phone 8 device

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2012 9:01

Samsung shows off world's first Windows Phone 8 device Today, Samsung unveiled the world's first Windows Phone 8 device, the ATIV S.

The device has a large 4.8-inch HD SuperAMOLED display with Gorilla Glass 2. The phone has an extremely thin 8.7mm brushed aluminum chassis, as well.

Inside, there is a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, dual cameras 1.9/8MP, 16/32GB internal storage and a microSD slot with expansion for up to 32GB more.

Already expected to have good battery life due to the streamlined nature of the OS, the phone should have great life thanks to a 2300mAh battery.

Pics of the phone (via STB):







AfterDawn: News

Sony hopes for turnaround with three new Android smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2012 7:54

Sony hopes for turnaround with three new Android smartphones During their press event today at the IFA trade show, Sony unveiled three new Android smartphones in their efforts to turnaround years of massive losses and a degrading reputation.

The Xperia T is the company's new global flagship. The device has a 4.6-inch HD Reality display powered by Sony Mobile's Bravia engine. Under the hood is a dual-core processor at 1.5GHz, LTE and NFC support and Android 4.0.4 at launch with a promised update to Jelly Bean. The device is PlayStation Certified and will have access to PSOne classic games. Sony says it will be available globally in the next month.

Moving down the line, the Xperia V has a 4.3-inch HD display with Bravia, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, LTE, NFC and is also PlayStation Certified. Additionally, the phone will offer the "highest level of water resistance available in a smartphone."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveils the impressive Galaxy Note II

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2012 7:26

Samsung unveils the impressive Galaxy Note II As expected, Samsung has shown off the impressive Galaxy Note II today, with specs that should make even the pickiest consumers happy.

The new device runs on Android 4.1, has a 5.5-inch screen, a new 16:9 aspect ratio meaning 1280x720 resolution.

Additionally, despite having a larger screen, the Note II is actually thinner than its predecessor, at 9.4mm. The new S Pen is longer, and also thicker than last year's, but with a more ergonomic grip.

Under the hood, the phone is powered by a quad-core 1.6GHz processor and 2GB RAM. The device has an 8MP LED rear camera and a 1.9MP front-side camera, a microSD slot, MHL, NFC, dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS and Glonass, Wi-Fi Direct, 21 Mbps HSPA+ or 4G LTE support.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Sony unveils Xperia S tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2012 1:31

Sony unveils Xperia S tablet Sony has unveiled their latest Android tablet, an actual competitor in the space.

Following the failed launches of their under-powered and expensive Tablet S and Tablet P models, the new Xperia S will actually be able to compete with other leaders in the space.

Using the ergonomic wedge design and integrated IR remote from the Tablet S, Sony has added Android 4.0, a Tegra 3 quad-core processor at 1.3GHz, removed the proprietary charger, and dropped the price a bit.

The tablet has a 9.4-inch IPS screen with 1,280x800-pixel resolution and a Sony TruBlack panel, leading to more "vibrant colors, deeper blacks, and minimal screen reflections," says the company.

Additionally, the tablet has 1GB RAM, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 3.0, a gyroscope, and an accelerometer. There is a full SD card slot and an HDMI input, as well as dual cameras 1/8MP.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Samsung Galaxy S III now in new colors

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2012 9:19

Samsung Galaxy S III now in new colors Samsung has officially launched new colorways for the popular Galaxy S III flagship.

At launch, the device came in blue and white. Although there weren't very many complaints about the colors, there is a whole segment of consumers who like to have black phones that were left out.

That should no longer be an issue.

The new colors are "Amber brown," "Garnet red," "Sapphire black," and "Titanium grey."

There was no word on when the colorways would be hitting retail shelves, but Samsung says "soon" and that they will be available in all existing markets.








AfterDawn: News

Motorola, Intel plan press event for September 18th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Aug 2012 9:01

Motorola, Intel plan press event for September 18th Motorola and Intel have sent out invites for a press event on September 18th, finally coming through on their CES promise of a collaboration.

The invite leaves little info except to say "Let us take you to the edge," with most anticipating a new smartphone.

If it is indeed a smartphone, it will likely be Motorola's first Medfield-based device. Medfield is the mobile chip codename being used by Intel for their new processors aimed at smartphones and tablets. The company has long fallen behind in the smartphone world, due to poor battery life caused by their powerful chips. This has allowed ARM-based chip makers like Texas Instruments, Nvidia and Qualcom to take large shares.

There is little else known about the device except that it is rumored to be Android 4.1, which is not surprising given that Motorola is owned by Google.

We will have a full update on the 18th.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft releases native SkyDrive app for Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2012 11:00

Microsoft releases native SkyDrive app for Android Microsoft has continued its push to make SkyDrive the cloud storage service of choice.

The company has created a native app for Android.

Here are the features (via TNW):

Access your SkyDrive--documents, photos, and other files, plus the files other people have shared with you.

View recently used documents.

Choose multiple photos or videos to upload from your phone.

Share your files and photos--send a link in email or in another app.

Open your SkyDrive files from other Android apps.

Easily manage your files--delete or create new folders.

It does exactly what you would expect, in other words.


The service offers 7GB of storage, for free.

Get it here: Android SkyDrive





AfterDawn: News

It's finally official: The LG Optimus G beast is here

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2012 10:28

It's finally official: The LG Optimus G beast is here After a week of rumors and half-leaks, LG has officially unveiled the Optimus G, their new flagship Android smartphone.

The phone is powered by a 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4, a chip that should blow away the performance of anything currently in consumer's hands.

LG's latest has a large 4.7-inch IPS display at 1280x768 resolution, along with "G2 Touch Hybrid Display technology which uses a unibody unit that eliminates the gap between the glass and the LCD panel, ultimately reducing its thickness by 30 percent."

The Optimus G has 2GB RAM, 32GB internal storage, a 13MP rear camera, a 1.3MP front-facing camera, LTE, and a large 2100mAH battery which provides up to 800 charges, compared to 500 for current devices.

Although the phone will launch with Android 4.0.4, an update to 4.1 Jelly Bean is already in the works.





AfterDawn: News

Facebook help forum overrun by spam

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2012 10:14

Facebook help forum overrun by spam Last year, Facebook saw its Help Center community forum taken over by spam.

This week, it has happened again, leaving the forum completely overrun.

The forums, which have 23 different sections, let users answer questions about various different topics.

Most of the spam, which should be familiar to anyone with a site or blog, focuses on streaming live sports matches and other links to unauthorized content. Most of the accounts are fake, but some others seem to have been hacked.

It looks like Facebook will have to crack down again before its gets too bad.





AfterDawn: News

It looks like T-Mobile may be left out of iPhone race again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2012 9:59

It looks like T-Mobile may be left out of iPhone race again According to leaked memos, it appears T-Mobile will be left out of the iPhone race, once again.

Available now on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and two regional carriers, T-Mobile has been notably left out when it comes to getting the popular Apple device.

In the first memo, we see that T-Mobile management is educating its sales teams on "selling against the iPhone" beginning on September 21st.

Although the date has not been confirmed, Apple is expected to unveil the device on the 12th for release on the 21st.

The second memo shows how customers can save money by bringing their iPhones to T-Mobile, unlocked. Although the devices will not be able to access 3G or 4G data, some customers may find the savings worth it.

v





AfterDawn: News

Nexus 7 makes its way to Germany, Spain and France

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2012 9:26

Nexus 7 makes its way to Germany, Spain and France Google has announced that the popular Nexus 7 tablet is now available in Germany, Spain and France.

Until today, the device had only been available in the U.S., UK, Canada and Australia.

In each of the European nations, the Nexus 7 will sell for €199 (8GB) or €249 (16GB). The tablet is available via the Google Play hardware store.

There was no word on when the device would reach other European nations or Asia or South America.

The Nexus 7 should get some competition soon, with the expected launch of the Kindle Fire 2 and iPad Mini in the next two months.





AfterDawn: News

Another printer company exits the printer business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2012 9:21

Another printer company exits the printer business Printer company Lexmark has announced that it will be exiting the inkjet printer business.

Unfortunately, the company will also be firing 1700 employees and completely shutdown a factory in the Philippines.

Additionally, the company will look to sell of its entire inkjet printer operations and focus on managed laser imaging services, which bring in much higher margins.

The move will save Lexmark $95 million per year. Investors seemed to appreciate the move with shares jumping 13 percent.

Recently, the bankrupt pioneer Kodak announced it was selling its printer business, as well, due to low sales and margins. HP, during their recent earnings announcement, also announced a large slowdown in printer sales.





AfterDawn: News

Kim Dotcom speaks of new Megaupload; "Bye bye Echelon. Hello Freedom"

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2012 9:08

Kim Dotcom speaks of new Megaupload; "Bye bye Echelon. Hello Freedom" Kim Dotcom has come out swinging, again.

The founder of file-sharing public enemy #1 Megaupload, has said the site will be back, and this time bigger and better than ever.

Says Dotcom (via Freak): "MEGA will return. Bigger. Better. Faster. Free of charge & shielded from attacks. Evolution!"

"Developers get ready. The Mega API [application programming interface] will provide incredible powers. Our API and your Mega tools will change the world."


Hosters around the world will be able to connect to the network to add servers and bandwidth, as long as you aren't U.S.-based: "We are building a massive global network. All non-US hosters will be able to connect servers & bandwidth."

Dotcom says he has been in contact with developers of file managers, email and fax tools, VoIP and video streaming apps. Most importantly, the new Mega will provide more privacy including one-click encryption of every transfer, for free, and on-the-fly.

Read more...




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Chinese OEM gets into Google TV set-top market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Aug 2012 8:53

Chinese OEM gets into Google TV set-top market Chinese OEM Hisense has announced their entry into the Google TV set-top box market, with their 'Pulse' device.

Like rival devices, the Pulse will give instant access to Google-centric apps like Chrome, YouTube, Google Play and Search as well as pre-loaded apps like Netflix, Pandora and Spotify.

Hisense says the box will support H.264, MPEG-4, AVC and 1080p. For connectivity, the box has HDMI, USB and Wi-Fi.

The controller is double-sided and includes a full QWERTY, a dedicated Netflix button and a touchpad.

"This box effectively bridges the gap to the latest in home entertainment, without the need for expensive hardware upgrades," adds Hisense marketing director JoAnne Foist. "Compared to other streaming devices, the Hisense Pulse with Google TV allows consumers to experience a new level of smart content discovery and viewing recommendations."

Read more...




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Digitimes: Android to be on 70 percent of smartphone shipments this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2012 10:56

Digitimes: Android to be on 70 percent of smartphone shipments this year According to Digitimes Research, Android-powered devices will control 70 percent of all smartphones shipped in the second half of 2012.

Despite the highly anticipated launch of the iPhone 5, Android devices will continue to grow at a faster pace, increasing its global dominance.

Android shipments will surpass the 400 million milestone in the coming months, up a full 90 percent year-over-year.

Major OEMs like Samsung, Huawei, ZTE and LG will ramp up production, says the source, and smaller, local brands (including white-box players) will introduce entry-level phones targeted at the average Chinese user.

The report claims Apple will ship 125 million iPhones in 2012, a large 35 percent growth year-over-year. Windows Phone shipments will jump to 21 million this year, up 107.8 percent year-over-year. RIM is expected to nosedive, 41.4 percent, thanks to the delay of BlackBerry 10.





AfterDawn: News

RapidShare back up for UK users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2012 10:20

RapidShare back up for UK users Over the course of the day, a number of UK customers were unable to reach the popular file-hosting service RapidShare.

Earlier in the day, the company responded (via Freak): "We have thoroughly looked into the reported cases and cannot find a cause on our end.

Traffic on our servers is normal and the majority of our customers should be able to use our services without any interference.

Most reported cases seem to be coming from customers in the UK (we are also aware of some cases in India, Spain and Greece), most of which are using British Telecom as their provider. This leads us to believe that this could be a provider/routing related problem, but we are investigating other possibilities as well to be on the safe side and help our customers to solve this issue as quickly as possible."


As of posting, the issues seem to have been resolved, with little to no users reporting problems.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung posts internal memo regarding loss to Apple

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2012 10:04

Samsung posts internal memo regarding loss to Apple As undoubtedly the entire world knows by now, Apple recently won its patent lawsuit against its largest rival, Samsung.

The jury ruled that Samsung owes $1.049 billion in damages for infringing on seven patents that Apple owns, mainly related to design and certain functions of smartphones.

Samsung has released an internal memo, showing they do not plan to give up, especially since they won the same case in multiple other nations before losing here.

The memo:

On Friday, August 24, 2012, the jury verdict in our trial against Apple was announced at the US District Court for the Northern District of California.

We initially proposed to negotiate with Apple instead of going to court, as they had been one of our most important customers. However, Apple pressed on with a lawsuit, and we have had little choice but to counter-sue, so that we can protect our company.

Certainly, we are very disappointed by the verdict at the US District Court for the Northern District of California (NDCA), and it is regrettable that the verdict has caused concern amongst our employees, as well as our loyal customers.

However, the judge's final ruling remains, along with a number of other procedures. We will continue to do our utmost until our arguments have been accepted.

The NDCA verdict starkly contrasts decisions made by courts in a number of other countries, such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, and Korea, which have previously ruled that we did not copy Apple's designs. These courts also recognized our arguments concerning our standards patents.

History has shown there has yet to be a company that has won the hearts and minds of consumers and achieved continuous growth, when its primary means to competition has been the outright abuse of patent law, not the pursuit of innovation.

We trust that the consumers and the market will side with those who prioritize innovation over litigation, and we will prove this beyond doubt.





AfterDawn: News

Sony to no longer produce optical disc drives

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2012 10:01

Sony to no longer produce optical disc drives According to multiple reports, Sony is closing its Optiarc division.

Sony Optiarc, which is its own subsidiary responsible for the company's production of optical disc drives, will completely shut down operations by March of next year.

Optiarc was formerly a joint venture with NEC, but Sony bought out NEC's stake back in 2008.

The company has a 15 percent market share of the optical disc drive market, but has been running at a loss for years now. This is thanks to 'fierce competition' from overseas, say the sources.

After ceasing operations next year, the company will liquidate everything remaining, so stay tuned for some cheaper DVD drives.

Additionally, 400 employees will be laid off, or leave the company via an early retirement package.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveils new Galaxy Player 5.8 PMP

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2012 9:52

Samsung unveils new Galaxy Player 5.8 PMP Samsung has announced the launch of their new Galaxy Player 5.8, adding the new size to the current range of PMPs including the 3.6, 4.2 and 5.0.

The new 5.8 features a 960 x 540 LCD and includes front-facing speakers, 1GB RAM, 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, and educational apps and content already pre-loaded.

Android 4.0 is installed at launch, and should be 10.8mm thick.

So far the device has only been announced for Korea, so a global launch is unknown as is pricing.

It is also unclear how Apple's recent patent victory will affect the launch.





AfterDawn: News

LG offers some specs for upcoming flagship phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2012 9:21

LG offers some specs for upcoming flagship phone After seeing some information leak yesterday, LG has issued a statement leaving some more info for their upcoming Optimus G.

The flagship device will have a powerful quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 chipset and a 4.65-inch display that is "30 percent thinner" and a "True HD IPS+ display generating 470 nits of brightness."

LG says the device will feature a 1280 x 768 resolution and a pixel density of 320ppi.

Notably, the company also says the new battery is rated for 800 charges, 60 percent higher than today's current batteries.

The G will likely be revealed at the upcoming IFA event.





AfterDawn: News

HTC wants to get back into the tablet market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2012 8:58

HTC wants to get back into the tablet market According to the Digitimes, HTC wants to get back into the tablet game.

Supposedly, the company is in talks with major Chinese manufacturer Pegatron to build a tablet before the end of the year.

The phone maker is still deciding on whether to create a 7-inch or a 10-inch tablet, however.

In the past, HTC has sold just two tablets, the Flyer and Jetstream. Each was over-priced, by a lot, and saw little sales. The sources say HTC will readjust its price strategy to actually be competitive this time around.

Microsoft has blocked HTC from Windows RT tablets, so the device will certainly be Android.





AfterDawn: News

USDOJ orders seizure of sites popular for Android piracy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Aug 2012 8:29

USDOJ orders seizure of sites popular for Android piracy The US DOJ has ordered the seizure of three web domain names that are currently in engaging in the illegal distribution of pirated Android apps.

Officials say this is the first time domains linking to pirated smartphone app marketplaces have been seized.

The three domains are applanet.net, appbucket.net and snappzmarket.com and are now in the custody of the government. The government says the "seizures are the result of a comprehensive enforcement action taken to prevent the infringement of copyrighted mobile device apps. The operation was coordinated with international law enforcement, including Dutch and French law enforcement officials."

Adds Assistant Attorney General Breuer: "Cracking down on piracy of copyrighted works – including popular apps – is a top priority of the Criminal Division. Software apps have become an increasingly essential part of our nation's economy and creative culture, and the Criminal Division is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect the creators of these apps and other forms of intellectual property from those who seek to steal it."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Scoblelizer: Samsung loss to Apple actually a victory

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Aug 2012 11:38

Scoblelizer: Samsung loss to Apple actually a victory Robert Scoble, the author of the popular 'Scobelizer' blog, has said that Apple's win over Samsung this week, is actually a 'sizeable' victory for the Korean tech giant.

Samsung has to pay $1.049 billion for infringing on seven Apple patents, but during the time it stole ideas, it became the largest mobile company in the world, and the second most profitable (behind Apple).

Says Scoble (via Twitter): "I think this is actually a sizable win for Samsung. Why? It only cost $1 billion to become the #2 most profitable mobile company. Remember how much Microsoft paid for Skype? $8 billion. So, for 1/8th of a Skype, Samsung took RIM's place and kicked HTC's behind.

Not too bad. Unless the judge rules Samsung can't sell its products. Even then I bet Samsung arrives at a nice licensing deal with Apple."


Scoble went as far as to say that other companies should have copied Apple, as well: "I bet that RIM wishes it had copied the iPhone a lot sooner than it did. So does Nokia, and HTC and a raft of other manufacturers I bet. Samsung is a much healthier company than any of those BECAUSE it copied the iPhone."





AfterDawn: News

Dev: Next-gen video game consoles will be 'quantum leap'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Aug 2012 11:07

Dev: Next-gen video game consoles will be 'quantum leap' Oskari Häkkinen, head of franchise development at Remedy Entertainment, has confirmed the existence of the PlayStation 4 'Orbis' and the Xbox 8, calling both a 'quantum leap' from current consoles.

Häkkinen, who is a very high-level exec at the company which created Max Payne and Alan Wake, had this to say: "Currently, we are working with a relatively small team on a next-gen project. One question you always ask yourself in this phase is: can the upcoming consoles really be so much better compared to the current gen? I can rest assure you, they are. It is a quantum leap."

The exec allegedly noted that Remedy currently has a full team of 20 working on the next-gen title.

Each of the consoles are expected to launch in late 2013, although neither Sony nor Microsoft has even confirmed their existence.





AfterDawn: News

IDC: PC growth to slow significantly this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Aug 2012 10:38

IDC: PC growth to slow significantly this year According to IDC, the worldwide PC market will grow just 0.9 percent this year, especially as mid-year shipments slow.

The research firm says 367 million PCs will ship this year, up from 363 million last year.

Slowing growth in Asia has negated strong emerging market growth, and saturated markets like Western Europe and the U.S. have started seeing a volume decline.

Ultrabooks and Windows 8 should help, but the environment has became so competitive, that the growth may not be enough.

"The U.S. market will remain depressed until Windows 8 products hit the shelves in the fourth quarter of 2012. The industry is responding by reducing shipments of PCs and clearing Windows 7-based inventories to pave the way for a new generation of systems. But, as we move into the tail end of the third quarter, PC activity will continue to slow as demand drops. The third-quarter back to school season is also proving to be a challenging period, despite prices dropping to their lowest levels. We expect the year will end with shipments in the U.S. falling by 3.7 percent, marking the second consecutive year of contraction," said David Daoud, research director, Personal Computing at IDC.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

RIM: Canadian carriers love BlackBerry 10

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Aug 2012 10:19

RIM: Canadian carriers love BlackBerry 10 RIM's upcoming BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system, which is the company's last chance to get back to relevancy in the smartphone world, is apparently a hit with Canadian carriers.

The company's execs have been showing off the progress of the OS to their carrier partners for some time now.

Says Andrew McLeod, managing director of RIM's Canadian operations: "The response that we got back from the executive team at some of the Canadian carriers was tremendous. They were visibly positive and visibly enthusiastic."

The demos were held in Canada and the U.S. and led by new CEO Thorsten Heins.

"We're in the process of finalizing the software," McLeod added. "It was at a point where we had a confidence level that we could really demonstrate the validity of the products and software. Obviously, you don't want to show something that is not going to wow folks. People were excited with what they saw."

BB10 is expected to launch in the first quarter of 2013 and will have to compete with iOS, Windows Phone 8 and Android.





AfterDawn: News

Analyst: Apple HDTV not coming anytime soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Aug 2012 9:47

Analyst: Apple HDTV not coming anytime soon According to Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves, the oft-rumored Apple HDTV is not coming anytime soon.

Hargreaves says the source behind his note is Apple executive Eddie Cue. Cue is the Apple SVP of Internet Software and Services.

Reads the note: "Cue reiterated the company's mantra that it will enter markets where it feels it can create great customer experiences and address key problems. The key problems in the television market are the poor quality of the user interface and the forced bundling of pay TV content, in our view. While Apple could almost certainly create a better user interface, Mr. Cue's commentary suggested that this would be an incomplete solution from Apple's perspective unless it could deliver content in a way that is different from the current multichannel pay TV model. Read more...





AfterDawn: News

Chromebooks now have ability to play Google Play Store movies

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Aug 2012 9:13

Chromebooks now have ability to play Google Play Store movies Google has updated its cloud operating system, Chrome OS, giving consumers the ability to watch movies they have purchased through the Google Play Store.

If you were already in the dev or beta channels, you have the update, but those in the stable release channel had to wait until this week.

Also included was a better app list, and a number of bug fixes.

Unfortunately, one of those bug fixes has caused some consumers from connecting to Wi-Fi, so Google has temporarily stopped pushing it.

Regardless, if you are a CR-48 or Chromebook owner, you should be able to watch your purchased/rented movies soon enough.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung to unveil transforming Windows 8 notebook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Aug 2012 10:53

Samsung to unveil transforming Windows 8 notebook According to a new teaser trailer posted by Samsung, the company is preparing to reveal a transforming Windows 8 notebook.

In the video, we see small glimpses of the device, which include a thin keyboard profile, a tablet-looking display, and an integrated stylus.

Samsung showed off its Series 5 transformer prototype over the summer, and the video seems to show a finished product.

The company says the "time is almost near for the big reveal."





AfterDawn: News

Eastman Kodak selling retail print, document imaging businesses

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2012 8:52

Eastman Kodak selling retail print, document imaging businesses The bankrupt photography pioneer Eastman Kodak is looking to sell its consumer and document imaging businesses, moving its focus to the commercial side of imaging.

CEO Antonio Perez says he hopes the sales will be complete by mid-2013. The company is currently working on auctioning off its digital patent portfolio, although bids have been over 50 percent lower than they hoped for.

The company will need to raise $690 million to exit bankruptcy and pay back their creditors.

Noted Perez: "For ensuring sufficient funding for successful emergence (from bankruptcy), the sale of these businesses is important in that regard.

You can't succeed these days without focusing in certain areas and putting all your money in areas that are synergetic with each other."


It is unclear what the open market values the divisions to be sold.





AfterDawn: News

Tim Cook's memo to employees following Samsung verdict

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2012 6:45

Tim Cook's memo to employees following Samsung verdict Last night, a jury awarded Apple $1.05 billion in a sweeping victory over Samsung.

Samsung had been accused of infringing on 7 Apple patents, and it was ruled that they in fact had, on all 7 counts.

The case had been thrown out in pretty much every court in the world, including Germany and Korea, but not in the U.S.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has sent a memo to all employees, following the ruling:

Today was an important day for Apple and for innovators everywhere.

Many of you have been closely following the trial against Samsung in San Jose for the past few weeks. We chose legal action very reluctantly and only after repeatedly asking Samsung to stop copying our work. For us this lawsuit has always been about something much more important than patents or money. It's about values. We value originality and innovation and pour our lives into making the best products on earth. And we do this to delight our customers, not for competitors to flagrantly copy.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the jury who invested their time in listening to our story. We were thrilled to finally have the opportunity to tell it. The mountain of evidence presented during the trial showed that Samsung's copying went far deeper than we knew.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Analyst: Microsoft to sell 3 million Surface RT tablets this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2012 6:13

Analyst: Microsoft to sell 3 million Surface RT tablets this year IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell has said this week that Microsoft plans to sell 3 million ARM-based Surface tablets this year, a strong figure considering it is a new product and will not launch until late October.

The company is releasing its first ever tablet built for ARM processors, on October 26th.

Microsoft will not release its Intel/AMD-based Surface until early 2013.

For comparison's sake, Apple sold 17 million iPads last quarter, and Amazon sold 5 million Kindle Fire in the popular holiday quarter of last year.

Although rumored at a $199 price point, most believe it will likely launch at $299, if not higher.

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





AfterDawn: News

Amazon adds hundreds of NBC shows

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2012 5:28

Amazon adds hundreds of NBC shows Amazon has announced this week that it will be adding hundreds of NBC shows to its Prime Instant Video catalog.

A few of the most notable shows are full seasons of Friday Night Lights, Parks and Recreation, Heroes and Battlestar Galactica.

Says Amazon: "We are excited to be working with NBCUniversal to add their award-winning lineup of TV shows such as Parks and Recreation and Friday Night Lights to Prime Instant Video. We continue to invest heavily in our content selection for Prime members, and have now reached over 22,000 movies and TV episodes available instantly with unlimited streaming."

Adds NBCU: "We are thrilled to have several of our iconic programs available to subscribers of Amazon Prime, a service focused on the best possible consumer experience. We look forward to further expanding NBCU's content offering available to Prime subscribers in the near future."

The service is free with an Amazon Prime subscription, which costs $79 per year and gives buyers free 2-day shipping on millions of items and discounted overnight shipping.





AfterDawn: News

Almost half of American consumers don't care about LTE

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2012 4:44

Almost half of American consumers don't care about LTE A new survey shows that a good portion of Americans don't care about 4G or 4G LTE.

Via research firm Piper Jaffray, the survey of 3000 U.S. consumers found that 47 percent don't feel that they need 4G, while 26 percent suggested they believe all 4G networks are exactly the same.

15 percent of those polled claimed 4G LTE is the best network technology, with the final 12 percent saying '4G' is.

When asked about which carrier has the best service, 51 percent said they don't know, or believed all to be equal, which is certainly not true.

Verizon has the fastest true LTE network, followed by AT&T. T-Mobile has their fast HSPA+ 4G network, which will be upgraded to LTE next year. Sprint has the slowest data, and has just begun upgrading to a real 4G network.





AfterDawn: News

Joel Tenenbaum must pay RIAA $675,000

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2012 1:55

Joel Tenenbaum must pay RIAA $675,000 Joel Tenenbaum has lost another appeal this week, and must pay the RIAA $675,000 in statutory damages.

The new ruling upheld the original jury trial verdict from back in 2009.

At one point during the trial, which has taken almost half a decade, the fine was reduced to just $27,500, but the 1st Circuit Court of Appeal reinstated the original verdict in 2011. The Supreme Court declined to review the case this year.

80-year old US District Court judge Rya Zobel ruled that the damages awarded to the RIAA were proportionate given the fact he had pirated for an 8-year period and showed no remorse during the trials: "In spite of the overwhelming evidence from which the jury could conclude that Tenenbaum's activities were willful, the award of $22,500 per infringement not only was at the low end of the range – only 15% of the statutory maximum – for willful infringement, but was below the statutory maximum for non-willful infringement. Considering all of the aforementioned evidence, the jury's damage award was not so excessive as to merit remittitur."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Norway blocks law firm from monitoring file sharers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2012 1:32

Norway blocks law firm from monitoring file sharers This week, Norway blocked the only law firm in the country that had rights to monitor file sharers.

The firm, Simonsen law, lost their current license and were denied a renewal.

Simonsen obtained the license from the country's data protection office, allowing it to collect IP addresses since 2007.

Adds Cecilie Rønnevik, senior advisor to the Norwegian Data Inspectorate: "As of today no hunting of file-sharers is allowed in Norway."

Simonsen, which worked on behalf of groups like the MPAA, RIAA and IFPI, had this to say of the decision (via Freak): "When no one is authorized to process personal data in order to stop copyright infringement, it weakens licensees' ability to pursue violations happening online, and thus their ability to protect their interests. We hope and believe that this problem will soon be solved."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

AllThingsD: Apple confirms iPad Mini launch for October

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2012 1:22

AllThingsD: Apple confirms iPad Mini launch for October Citing multiple sources, AllThingsD is reporting today that Apple will launch their 'iPad Mini' tablet in October, after the launch of the new iPhone in September.

The new iPad will get its own dedicated event, and come in at the rumored size of 7.85-inches.

Other rumored specs include a quad-core processor, the new dock connector, but no Retina Display. The tablet is rumored to sell for $299, above the Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire, but well below the base 10-inch iPad price.

If accurate, the move makes sense for Apple as the iPhone is the company's key device and there is little reason to divert attention away from it by unveiling a second device at the same time.

Apple will have some competition before the launch of the new iPhone, as Google/Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia and Amazon all have major events planned for the first week of September.





AfterDawn: News

Acer shows off two new Android 4.0 phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2012 1:14

Acer shows off two new Android 4.0 phones Acer has launched two new Android 4.0-based smartphones, the Liquid Gallant and the Gallant Duo.

The phones have the same specs, and both are decent low-end devices.

Featuring a 4.3-inch qHD display, the Gallant and Gallant Duo have a 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 4GB of internal storage, microSD compatibility and a 5MP rear camera. Each also features a 1500mAH battery and dual-LED flash.

The Gallant Duo gets its name thanks to a dual-SIM card design.

Coming in two colorways, 'Gentle Black' and 'Ceramic White,' the devices will go on sale in September for yet unknown prices.





AfterDawn: News

RIAA budget, staff slashed in almost half

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Aug 2012 12:21

RIAA budget, staff slashed in almost half The RIAA has been struggling.

The group's budget, which comes directly from distributors and music labels, has been slashed in almost half, forcing the RIAA to cut its staff, as well.

According to their latest tax filing, the RIAA has seen its budget cut to $29.1 million in 2011 from $51.35 million in 2009. Employees have been slashed from 119 to 72.

The RIAA has also apparently shifted its anti-piracy focus, moving away from spending its entire budget on frivolous lawsuits towards supporting the 'six strikes' notion pioneered by Hadopi in France.

Hadopi has been panned in France, and new President Hollande has actively discussed shutting it down, completely.

Lobbying remained steady at $2.3 million per year.





AfterDawn: News

Apple wants injunctions on Samsung products, Samsung responds

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2012 11:45

Apple wants injunctions on Samsung products, Samsung responds After winning a major victory against its top rival, Apple has announced it expects to file for a sales injunction against Samsung and their devices within the week.

The judge in the case has set September 20th as the hearing date on the proposed injunction, if Apple does in fact go through with it.

Samsung responded to the verdict, in which Apple was awarded $1.05 billion:

Today's verdict should not be viewed as a win for Apple, but as a loss for the American consumer. It will lead to fewer choices, less innovation, and potentially higher prices. It is unfortunate that patent law can be manipulated to give one company a monopoly over rectangles with rounded corners, or technology that is being improved every day by Samsung and other companies.

Consumers have the right to choices, and they know what they are buying when they purchase Samsung products. This is not the final word in this case or in battles being waged in courts and tribunals around the world, some of which have already rejected many of Apple's claims. Samsung will continue to innovate and offer choices for the consumer.





AfterDawn: News

Amazon to hold press conference on September 6th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2012 10:53

Amazon to hold press conference on September 6th Amazon has announced a press conference for September 6th, in which it is expected to unveil an updated line of Kindle devices, including a successor Kindle Fire.

Most believe Amazon will reveal a 10-inch device to complement its current 7-inch model.

The e-tailing giant sent of the invites today for the event in California. Last year, around the same time, CEO Jeff Bezos showed off the Kindle Fire, which was the first full-functioning tablet to come at a cheap $199 price.

Now, however, the Nexus 7 reigns supreme at the $199 price point, with much better specs and a stronger feature set based on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

According to recent research, Kindle Fire sales have slowed to a crawl as consumers wait on the sequel.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung owes Apple $1.05 billion after patent victory

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Aug 2012 10:31

Samsung owes Apple $1.05 billion after patent victory Apple has won its largest decision ever, a sweeping legal victory over rival Samsung.

A U.S. jury found that Samsung had infringed on many of Apple's patents, and awarded the tech giant $1.05 billion in damages.

Apple, the most profitable smartphone maker, and the second-largest, by volume, will likely use the decision to seek full injunctions on Samsung products in the U.S., including the popular Galaxy Note and Galaxy S III devices.

The jury deliberated for just 60 hours before coming back with their decision on the seven patent claims. Apple has long claimed that Samsung stole and copied key features of the iPad and iPhone to create their own devices.

Earlier today, a South Korean court found that both companies were equally to blame and banned the iPhone 4, the iPad and 10 Samsung products like the Galaxy S II.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile to offer unlimited data, without throttling

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2012 8:26

T-Mobile to offer unlimited data, without throttling While T-Mobile has always offered unlimited data, it has never truly been 'unlimited' as customers with 3G and 4G phones began seeing 2G/EDGE speeds once they reached the 2GB plateau.

Today, the carrier has moved away from the throttling; as long as you pay a little extra.

The company has introduced its "Unlimited Nationwide 4G Data," add-on for customers, costing $20 for customers on "Value" plans and $30 for those who are not.

One large catch, however, is Hotspot is removed for unlimited users. The pricing is "not promotional," says T-Mobile, meaning it will likely be around until next year when the carrier unveils its 4G LTE network.

As of September 5th (when the plans go live), a truly unlimited voice, text and data plan will cost $90 per month, compared to $110 at Verizon and AT&T (for 4GB capped) and $110 on Sprint, which offers fully unlimited, as well, but with terrible data speeds.





AfterDawn: News

Sony Mobile to cut 15 percent of workforce

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2012 10:21

Sony Mobile to cut 15 percent of workforce Struggling electronics giant Sony will cut 15 percent of its Sony Mobile employees, in an effort to turn around the money losing division.

15 percent will amount to around 1000 jobs lost.

Sony paid Ericsson over $1 billion earlier this year to buy back a complete stake in Sony Ericsson, quickly renaming it to Sony Mobile. However, the company's Xperia devices have not caught on with consumers, leading to more losses at the division.

The company is moving its Sony Mobile corporate headquarters from Lund, Sweden to Tokyo in October. Among those being fired are 650 Lund plant workers and 350 consultants.

Those remaining in Lund will move their focus to software and application development.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft unveils new corporate logo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Aug 2012 9:59

Microsoft unveils new corporate logo 25 years after introducing their first corporate logo, Microsoft has just unveiled an update, their first ever.

The logo looks similar to its predecessor, including the multicolored window pane, but with a more modern look and feel (and font type).

Microsoft's Jeff Hansen adds that the new corporate logo will "signal the heritage but also signal the future -- a newness and freshness."

The tech giant's move follows the rebranding its Windows platform has taken since the announcement of the launch of Windows 8. The company is releasing its first ever ARM-based tablet, the Surface, in October, alongside the launch of Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 and the latest update to their Office suite.





AfterDawn: News

HP posts massive loss

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Aug 2012 11:22

HP posts massive loss HP has posted a massive $8.9 billion quarterly loss, following another quarter of slowing PC sales.

Most of the loss, however, comes via a write-down of the company's failed $14 billion purchase of Electronic Data Systems Corp.

The company is the world's top PC maker, employing over 300,000. The company is currently working through a multi-year restructuring in which they will slash 8 percent of the workforce.

Adds Meg Whitman: "We are still in the early stage of the turnaround. There will be challenges ahead that could create some variability in performance. But I'm confident in our ability to work through them and get to where we want to be."

Overall, revenue fell to $29.7 billion, down from $31.2 billion year-over-year. Profits remained decent, but the company took a $10.8 billion loss on the EDS purchase.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft drops price of Kinect motion system

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Aug 2012 10:25

Microsoft drops price of Kinect motion system Microsoft has dropped the price of its popular Kinect motion control system today.

In the U.S., the price of the system is now $110, down from $150.

The company added it's not a promotion and will be a "permanently reduced price."

Additionally, the company is dropping the price in Latin America and Canada, although the prices were not revealed.

Furthermore, the Kinect will get a price drop in Australia and New Zealand on October 4th.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung has invested $4 billion more in Texas factory

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Aug 2012 9:59

Samsung has invested $4 billion more in Texas factory Samsung has announced a new investment of $4 billion in the Austin, Texas plant where they build Apple's processor chips.

The company is looking to expand production capacity for the processors, seen in mobile devices.

Samsung will use the money to retrofit existing installations and create complete new production lines. Mass production will begin in the Q3 2013.

The investment marks the largest foreign investment in Texas of all-time.

Over time, Samsung has invested over $13 billion in the plant. The commercial agreement between Samsung and Apple is expected to last at least a few more years.





AfterDawn: News

Ubisoft: PC games have 95 percent piracy rate

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Aug 2012 2:37

Ubisoft: PC games have 95 percent piracy rate Ubisoft, always one to bring ridiculous figures to the table, has come out today with a number that should scare any developer looking to create a game for the PC.

CEO Yves Guillemot has said today that 93-95 percent of PC games are pirated.

Reads his quote, when asked about free-to-play titles:

It's a way to get closer to your customers, to make sure you have a revenue. On PC it's only around five to seven per cent of the players who pay for F2P, but normally on PC it's only about five to seven per cent who pay anyway, the rest is pirated. It's around a 93-95 per cent piracy rate, so it ends up at about the same percentage. The revenue we get from the people who play is more long term, so we can continue to bring content.


The rate is almost certainly not accurate, but it may be for Ubisoft games, each of which have DRM that does not allow gamers to play unless connected to the Internet. All of the DRM is usually broken in a day or less after release.





AfterDawn: News

Google Play giftcards headed to GameStop, Target first

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Aug 2012 1:06

Google Play giftcards headed to GameStop, Target first Earlier this week, leaked photos of Google Play Store giftcards started making their rounds.

Today, Google has confirmed the existence of the cards, and given some more info into their release.

The company will offer $10, $25 and $50 cards, each of which can be used to purchase apps, games, movies, music and TV shows, but not hardware like the Nexus 7.

Target, GameStop and RadioShack will be the first few retailers to get stock of the cards. Wal-Mart will follow by the end of the month.

Google is expecting to sell anywhere between 3 and 5 million Nexus 7 tablets before the end of the year.





AfterDawn: News

Google Nexus 7 headed to European nations on September 3rd

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Aug 2012 12:10

Google Nexus 7 headed to European nations on September 3rd The Google Nexus 7 will make its way to France and other European nations beginning on September 3rd.

Fnac, one of the larger retailers in France, has the 16GB model with a retail price of €249.90, about the equivalent of $315 USD.

The retailer has also begun taking pre-orders, ahead of an official announcement by Google itself.

Google will also offer the tablet via the Google Play Store, with $25 Store credit just like they did in the U.S. and UK.

In the U.S., both the 8GB and 16GB models have been selling at a brisk pace, thanks to a cheap price and great reviews.





AfterDawn: News

Nintendo to reveal Wii U release date, price on September 13

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Aug 2012 11:46

Nintendo to reveal Wii U release date, price on September 13 Nintendo has announced a major Wii U press event in NYC on September 13th.

The gaming company is expected to reveal the release date and pricing for the long-awaited console.

Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime is hosting the event, which promises to let consumers know "more about how the Wii U will change the future of gaming and entertainment."

The last time the company had such an event was for the 3DS, which was released two months after the company unveiled the price.

Furthermore, Nintendo revealed the launch games for the system, which most expect Nintendo to do again.





AfterDawn: News

Report: iPhone to be released on September 21st

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Aug 2012 10:48

Report: iPhone to be released on September 21st Sources are reporting today that Verizon has blacked out September 21st through September 30th, meaning all staff is banned from taking vacations those days.

Carriers and major retailers normally have blackouts when there are major product releases, suggesting the new iPhone will likely be released on September 21st.

The phone is expected to be unveiled on September 12th, during Apple's annual event.

Apple announced the iPhone 4S last year on October 4th, and went on sale on the 14th.

Although the phone itself is not confirmed, leaked hardware suggests the device will have a longer 4-inch screen, a quad-core processor, a new dock connector, a larger camera and a potentially thinner frame.





AfterDawn: News

AMD drops prices on 7 Series video cards

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Aug 2012 8:32

AMD drops prices on 7 Series video cards AMD has confirmed an across-the-board price cut on their Series 7 Radeon cards.

The high-end HD 7950 will now cost just $319, with the HD 7950 Boost costing $349.

Going down the line, the HD 7870 2GB and HD 7850 2GB are now priced at $249 and $209, respectively. The HD 7850 1GB has dropped to $189 and will also soon be bundled with Sleeping Dogs.

The moves seem to be directly related to Nvidia's recent releases, which have received rave reviews from consumers and critics alike.





AfterDawn: News

Windows 8 upgrade registrations now open

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Aug 2012 8:00

Windows 8 upgrade registrations now open Microsoft has announced today that it has opened up registrations for its $14.99 Windows 8 upgrade promotion.

Any consumer who purchased a Windows 7 PC after June 2nd is eligible for the promo from today until January 31st.

After the registration period ends, you will have to pay full price for the new operating system.

Microsoft has confirmed the deal for 140 countries.






AfterDawn: News

Netflix reaches 1 million streaming subscribers in UK, Ireland

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Aug 2012 12:25

Netflix reaches 1 million streaming subscribers in UK, Ireland Netflix has proudly boasted of hitting 1 million subscribers for their streaming service in the UK and Ireland.

The figure is notable as the service launched in the nations just seven months ago. Netflix says that time is the quickest to the milestone from any of its territory launches, ever.

Their press statement adds that the milestone was hit in a period four times faster than it took Twitter, and twice as fast as Facebook, although the comparisons are hardly apples to apples.

"This membership milestone is evidence that Netflix has rapidly gained popularity in the UK and Ireland," said Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings. "Our British and Irish members clearly enjoy the ability to instantly watch a large variety of TV shows and films streaming from Netflix on their favourite devices whenever they want."

Globally, Netflix has 27 million subscribers and over 25,000 TV episodes and movies available via their Watch Instantly catalog.





AfterDawn: News

Gartner unveils latest tablet market share figures

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Aug 2012 10:44

Gartner unveils latest tablet market share figures According to Gartner, Apple remains the clear leader in the tablet market, but Android is slowly but surely chipping away.

The figures are for global unit sales, and include projections for 2012.

iOS, all iterations, totaled 40 million units sold in 2011 with a projected 73 million units for 2012. The OS had a 66.6 percent share last year and expected to have a 61.4 percent share this year.

Android, including variations like those seen on Amazon and Barnes & Noble tablets, accounted for 17.3 million units in 2011, with a large jump to 37.9 million expected for 2012. Market share came in at 28.8 percent last year, and should rise to 31.9 percent this year.

Microsoft, which will release the Windows RT operating system in October for ARM-based devices, is expected to see 4.9 million units sold in the short period, good for 4.1 percent share in 2012.





AfterDawn: News

Apple now the biggest stock of all-time

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Aug 2012 9:22

Apple now the biggest stock of all-time Apple has set a new record today, becoming the most valuable stock that has ever traded.

The company's stock closed at just above $665 per share today, giving it a value of $623 billion. That figure surpassed Microsoft's very temporary market value of $618.9 billion, seen on December 30th, 1999, during the midst of the tech bubble.

Just last week, the company surpassed $600 billion in value for the first time, and has already gained $23 billion in capitalization.

Apple is now valued over $200 billion higher than Exxon Mobil, and $360 billion higher than Microsoft.

The month before releasing the iPhone, Apple reached its first major milestone of $100 billion. Before the release of the iPad in 2010, the company had just reached $200 billion.





AfterDawn: News

Galaxy Note II teased by Samsung

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Aug 2012 12:09

Galaxy Note II teased by Samsung Samsung has officially teased their upcoming Galaxy Note II smartphone.

The device is set for unveiling on August 29th during the company's 'Unpacked' event in Berlin.

Movie director Wim Wenders is speaking during the teaser, saying how incredible it is to see "all the things you can do in the blink on the eye, on such a small and light thing."

Outside of the new stylus, little else is revealed.

The Note II is expected to move to a 5.5-inch screen with flexible glass, include a quad-core processor, Samsung's suite of applications and 2GB RAM.





AfterDawn: News

AT&T ends tablet subsidies

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Aug 2012 11:56

AT&T ends tablet subsidies AT&T has killed subsidies for tablets a couple of months after announcing they would do so.

As of this weekend, all tablets are available at non-contract rates, meaning fully priced.

Of course, it is essential to note that AT&T only offers three tablets online, anyways, the Apple iPad, HTC JetStream and the Pantech Element.

Verizon made a similar move last month, with the release of their pooled data plans.

AT&T has moved to the same plans, where tablets can be added to a bucket of data. If you don't want the shared data plans, you can still get 250MB for $14.99, 3GB for $30 or 5GB for $50.





AfterDawn: News

Indian government to limit bulk SMS sending

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Aug 2012 8:36

Indian government to limit bulk SMS sending The Indian government has said today it will limit bulk SMS sending in the nation, in an effort to reduce the potential spread of misleading or dangerous information.

For now, the limit will only be a 15 day temporary trial. Citizens will only be allowed to send five messages at one time.

The decision is timely as thousands of citizens have been leaving major cities to return to their homes in smaller states, following an escalating series of ethnic fights.

Over the past week, with some violence beginning in the state of Assam, texts and social media rumors led to panic amongst those with family in the northeast states. The messages "reportedly included doctored videos and other information warning of attacks by Muslims on those of northeastern origin," says Verge.

So far, 300,000 have returned to their homes in the states outside the cities.





AfterDawn: News

Judge does not approve Facebook 'sponsored stories' settlement

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Aug 2012 7:14

Judge does not approve Facebook 'sponsored stories' settlement Back in June, Facebook announced it would pay $10 million to charity in order to settle a privacy suit brought against them. The suit had 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 the company "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." "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.

This week, a judge has rejected the legal settlement, requesting more information on "why the agreement does not award any money to members."

Facebook's response: "We continue to believe the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate. We appreciate the court's guidance and look forward to addressing the questions raised in the order."





AfterDawn: News

YouTube: 231 million total streams during Olympics

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Aug 2012 1:48

YouTube: 231 million total streams during Olympics YouTube has released some data relating to the recently completed London Olympics.

The video sharing site played a large role in streaming around the globe, live streaming the games in 64 countries.

Additionally, it provided the infrastructure for NBC to stream the Games in the U.S.

The stats:

Around the world

Giving more people access to watch live and recorded events was key. Across the US and 64 countries in Africa and Asia you watched 231 million total streams. Of those, 72 million total streams came from IOC YouTube Channel.

At peak, YouTube delivered video for more than half a million livestreams at the same time. That's 5X the capacity of Wembley Stadium.

Live video looked better than ever before, with a 7X improvement in quality based on low buffering and high frame rates.

In the U.S.

We powered online coverage for NBCOlympics.com, delivering more than 159 million total streams.

Through NBC's native apps, 37 percent of views came from mobile devices, and more than half were in HD.

The U.S. Olympic Committee YouTube Channel shared behind the scenes video with more than 6.75 million views, and 50 YouTube Creators 'Invaded' London to show the full experience through their eyes.





AfterDawn: News

Amazon: Hunger Games surpasses Harry Potter as top-selling series

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Aug 2012 12:33

Amazon: Hunger Games surpasses Harry Potter as top-selling series According to Amazon, the popular trilogy has surpassed the seven part epic.

Adds Sara Nelson, the editorial director of books and Kindle at Amazon: "Since debuting in 2008, Katniss Everdeen and the Hunger Games have taken the world by storm, much as Harry Potter did a decade before.

"Interestingly, this series is only three books versus Harry Potter's seven, and to achieve this result in just four years is a great testament to both the popularity of the work and, we think, the growth in reading digitally during that time."


Notably, the major ebook sellers all had large sales on the series, especially when the film was released, leading to a boost in sales.

The Hunger Games were first released in 2008 and the first film based on the book was released earlier this year, bringing in $700 million globally.





AfterDawn: News

Motorola releases Android bootloader unlocking tool

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Aug 2012 12:17

Motorola releases Android bootloader unlocking tool Motorola has 'finally found a solution' for customers that have Android devices with locked bootloaders.

The new web page, called simply 'Unlock My Device,' will guide you through a few step process to unlock your Android phone.

For the time being, the supported device list is very limited, with just the Photon Q, RAZR dev edition and XOOM tablets available.

Despite the new page, Motorola still "recommend[s] you DO NOT unlock your device because doing so will allow you to run software that could damage it irreparably."

If you still want to go through the process, you will first sign in to Motorola's site, install ADB, and send Motorola your device ID. You will then use fastboot to unlock the bootloader.

Check it here: Unlock My Device





AfterDawn: News

Oracle paid two bloggers during trial against Google

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Aug 2012 11:55

Oracle paid two bloggers during trial against Google Oracle has admitted to paying bloggers during their trial against Google.

The company disclosed the names after the judge in the case ordered them to reveal any financial ties to anyone who could have influenced coverage of the trial in the media.

Google said they did not pay any "journalists, bloggers, or other commentators to write about this case."

Oracle admitted to having a financial relationship with popular FOSSpatents blogger Florian Mueller and also with Stanford University's Prof Paul Goldstein.

Google did confirm though that they would need more guidance before being able to disclose others they may have had financial ties with.

The judge said he was 'concerned' that financial relationship may have influenced analysis of the trial in the medis.





AfterDawn: News

Kids predicted today's Internet offerings, in 1995

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Aug 2012 4:29

Kids predicted today's Internet offerings, in 1995 One of the random Internet videos of the week that has become popular is a PSA filmed in 1995 by the 'Young Montana Media Group.'

In the PSA, which tells young people to visit their nearest library to access the Internet, a group of young kids explain the future of the Internet, and it is pretty accurate.

The children claim that by the time they are in college, the Internet will "be our telephone" (which it is quickly becoming), "our television" (which it is also quickly becoming) and the place where we talk to family overseas.

Additionally, the kids says the Internet will be the place to get your international sports scores, as well as see photos of cats, and get food recipes.





AfterDawn: News

OnLive acquired, all employees laid off, some re-hired

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Aug 2012 3:52

OnLive acquired, all employees laid off, some re-hired Over the week, there has been a mystery surrounding cloud gaming service OnLive.

Three days ago, it appeared that the company was set to shut its doors, as all employees were fired with small severance packages. Other reports claimed the service was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Today, it appears that the company has been purchased by a "newly-formed company," with half of the employees being re-hired to the new company. Supposedly, this new company is run by one man with 'substantial funding.' The individual is said to have been very 'impressed' with the idea on OnLive; enough to acquire it.

One report today claims the move was made as a way to eliminate the value of the current employees' stock. Because of the acquisition, staffers will now have value-less OnLive stock.

OnLive was allegedly seeking a $1 billion buyout, and received bids, but none approached that figure. Another report claims OnLive was averaging about 1800 concurrent users, a laughable sum for a company burning through money at a quick pace.





AfterDawn: News

IBM acquires flash memory company TMS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Aug 2012 6:36

IBM acquires flash memory company TMS IBM has announced its purchase of Texas Memory Systems (TMS), a maker of flash memory products.

The company markets itself as a designer and seller of high-performance SSD solutions, as well as NAND flash and RAM memory.

Says the company's site: "The products are designed to help companies improve performance and reduce server sprawl, power consumption, cooling, and floor space requirements, all of which in turn can help clients save money, improve performance and invest more in innovation."

Adds Brian Truskowski, general manager of systems storage and networking at IBM: "The TMS strategy and solution set align well with our 'smarter computing' approach to information technology by helping clients realize increased performance and efficiencies at lower costs. Solid-state technology, in particular, is a critical component of our new smarter storage approach to the design and deployment of storage infrastructures, and part of a holistic approach that exploits flash in conjunction with disk and tape technologies to solve complex problems."

IBM will integrate the TMS tech into their storage, servers, software, and PureSystems offerings.





AfterDawn: News

Apple now worth $600 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Aug 2012 6:12

Apple now worth $600 billion Apple's shares have reached a new all-time high, this time on speculation that production of the iPad Mini and rumored Apple HDTV are now in full swing.

Shares finished the day at $648.11, valuing the company at $607 billion. With such a value, it remains far and away the most valuable public company in the world, ahead of even Exxon Mobil, which literally prints money.

The smaller, 7.85-inch iPad has been rumored for years now, but the rumor mill has really kicked into high gear over the past six months.

Today, a new research report from Jefferies and Co. analyst Peter Misek says the iPad Mini will go on sale in October and the new HDTV will reach stores by 2013. Misek based his research on activity from Sharp and Hon Hai, each of which saw revenue increases during July, normally a time flat to negative growth.

Misek believes the iPad Mini will hit the market at $299 while a 42-inch model of the TV will cost above $1000.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft restores access to the Windows Phone Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Aug 2012 5:40

Microsoft restores access to the Windows Phone Store Microsoft has confirmed today that access to the Windows Phone Store has been restored, after the company had to temporarily suspend the publication of new apps.

The issue turned out being buggy digital certificates, which caused errors for users who were trying to install apps. It was also an issue for developers trying to publish them.

Says Microsoft: "We fixed the digital certificate problem and last evening resumed publishing new apps.If your app was in the process of being published, you don't need to take any action. We have applied the fix and the app will continue through the certification and publishing workflow as normal."

The errors started when the company deployed the Windows Phone Dev Center. The service included "a completely rebuilt backend infrastructure."

A few of the most notable apps to be affected were Microsoft's own Bing Translator, WhatsApp and the New York Time's App.





AfterDawn: News

U.S. State Department cancels Kindle order

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Aug 2012 11:21

U.S. State Department cancels Kindle order The U.S. State Department has withdrawn their order to buy $16.5 million worth of Kindle Touch devices and Amazon services.

Agency reps say they intend to "conduct additional market research" in order to re-examine the requirements of the program.

There is still a chance the agency will purchase again, after the extra research is done.

Original article:

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

Sony says no Vita price cut this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2012 8:59

Sony says no Vita price cut this year Although the PS Vita has struggled to keep steady sales, Sony has confirmed there will be no price cut this year for the handheld.

Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida did say that engineers are working on significantly cutting manufacturing costs, which will eventually lead to a price cut. However, when asked about 2012, Yoshida says "It's too early."

Adds the president: "At a certain point in the future we would like to address the pricing issue for some of the people who are waiting. But this year we are trying to add value by creating different types of bundles. We announced we will provide LittleBigPlanet PS Vita bundle pack. That's affordable for people who are looking for a good deal."

Recently, the company admitted that third-party support for the console is almost non-existent, which has led to a slow trickle of new "must-have" games.

However, at this year's Gamescom event, Sony unveiled a few flagship titles that gamers seem to be excited for, which should help the company sells some more handhelds.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

uTorrent makes new ads optional, also discusses making client lighter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2012 6:32

uTorrent makes new ads optional, also discusses making client lighter Last week we reported that uTorrent, the most popular free torrent client, will now get ads as BitTorrent Inc. looks to pay its hefty bills.

Until this week, users had the option to install a sponsored toolbar during the installation process, but now whether you install it or not you will be hit with ads in the form of "featured torrents." These featured torrents will range from software to music, games and movies.

Just days later, following a user 'revolt,' BitTorrent Inc has backtracked from that decision, saying the 'featured torrents' ads will be optional, with users able to turn them off if they don't want to be bothered.

"We've long contemplated an opt-out mechanism for the new offers and advertisements we will be experimenting with. Given all that's been said here, we've decided to release the initial version with an opt-out mechanism. Users should have the choice to opt-out, and we will provide them with ways to do so," added BitTorrent CEO Eric Klinker (via Freak).

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Julian Assange given asylum in Ecuador

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2012 2:29

Julian Assange given asylum in Ecuador Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been granted asylum in Ecuador, just 60 days after he began fighting extradition from London by seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy.

Foreign Secretary William Hague stated the UK would not grant Assange safe passage out of the country.

Assange was set to be extradited to Sweden, where he faces charges of rape. Assange denies the claims, saying the sexual 'assault' was consensual and the charges are politically motivated.

Added Assange: "It was not Britain or my home country, Australia, that stood up to protect me from persecution, but a courageous, independent Latin American nation. While today is a historic victory, our struggles have just begun. The unprecedented US investigation against Wikileaks must be stopped."

Asylum does not offer Assange immunity from prosecution while he is outside of Ecuador, so he now must safely get into the country. Embassy vehicles are protected against police searches but that will require Assange to safely get in an embassy car and not leave it for an extended period.

The UK had threatened to lift the embassy's diplomatic status, which would have allowed police to enter the premises. Ecuador angrily called the move 'blackmail.'





AfterDawn: News

HBO secures new rights deal with Fox

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2012 7:48

HBO secures new rights deal with Fox HBO has renewed a content rights deal with Twentieth Century Fox, making it a bit more flexible than the old contract.

The deal had been set to expire in 2015, but will now expire in 2022.

As with other HBO deals, the contract means you will be able to watch new Fox movies on HBO a few months/years after they reach DVD/Blu-ray.

As for the flexibility, the new contract includes a "softening" of the "electronic sell-through" window, says AllThingsD.

What this means for the consumer is that, for the first time ever, Fox will be able to sell their content electronically at the same time HBO has made it available on TV. Until now, HBO had first run rights that blocked the studio from renting or selling their movies while HBO was playing them for the first time.

Fox can now sell, but still cannot rent the content, so Amazon and iTunes fans must wait a bit longer, as they currently do.





AfterDawn: News

Thief steals 42-inch TV, between her legs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2012 7:39

Thief steals 42-inch TV, between her legs In a story taken straight from the "this can't be true files," a woman has been arrested for shoplifting in Oslo, Norway.

What makes the story so crazy is that she is accused of shoplifting a 42-inch LCD TV, under her skirt.

The woman is said to have hobbled from the store to a nearby bus stop, accompanied by her boyfriend, clasping the TV between her thighs.

One employee had already deemed the couple suspicious enough to call the police and they were both arrested on the bus.

After being arrested, the shoplifter said she was Romanian and had "very strong thigh muscles," reports the DailyMail. Officers, who were skeptical, tried to replicate the feat, and added it is "not impossible."





AfterDawn: News

Galaxy Note sales hit 10 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Aug 2012 7:17

Galaxy Note sales hit 10 million Samsung has announced that their surprise blockbuster hit, the Galaxy Note, has reached 10 million units sold.

As of March, the company had celebrated 5 million sold, so in the last few months, sales have remained steady since launch.

Before launch, Samsung admitted the device was somewhat of an experiment, as its large 5.3-inch screen had never really been seen on a dedicated smartphone before. Dell had released a tablet/phone hybrid before it with a similar sized screen, but it was a failure.

Due to the strong sales, Samsung is said to be actively developing the sequel, for launch in the next couple of months.

If all the rumors prove accurate, the new smartphone will have a flexible AMOLED display, the first of its kind in an American consumer phone. While it is not expected to be completely bendable, there is a chance it will be curved in some way adding to viewing angles. The AMOLED will use an Unbreakable Plane (UBP) and some sort of plastic that will reduce thickness by as much as 0.4mm.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Verizon rolling out 4G LTE to 34 new cities tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2012 10:28

Verizon rolling out 4G LTE to 34 new cities tomorrow Verizon says they will roll out their fast 4G network to 34 new markets tomorrow.

The additions means 235 million Americans, the equivalent of 75 percent of the population, will have access to the network.

At 371 cities, Verizon has, by far, the largest 4G LTE coverage in the U.S. AT&T only has 51 cities, while Sprint has less than 15.

Outside of the new cities, existing coverage in metro areas will also get a boost.

The new markets are:

• Hot Springs, Ark.
• Redding, Calif.
• Valdosta and Waycross, Ga.
• Centralia and Danville, Ill.
• Parsons, Salina, and Topeka, Kan.
• Alexandria and Monroe, La.
• Pittsfield, Mass.
• Battle Creek and Muskegon, Mich.
• Mankato and Worthington, Minn.
• Joplin and Sedalia, Mo.
• Bismarck, Grand Forks, and Minot, N.D.
• Chillicothe, Ohio
• Reading, Pa.
• Aberdeen, S.D.
• Laredo, Odessa, and Texarkana, Texas
• Brattleboro and White River Junction, Vt.
• Charlottesville, Va.
• Longview, Wash.
• Eau Claire, La Crosse, and Manitowoc, Wis.






AfterDawn: News

Man who robbed Steve Jobs' house is caught

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2012 9:35

Man who robbed Steve Jobs' house is caught The man who unintentionally robbed the late Steve Jobs' home has been arrested and confessed to the crime.

Kariem McFarlin broke into the home on July 17th, stealing $60,000 worth of Mac computers and other items, including a letter written to Jobs.

After McFarlin plugged in the computers and connected to the Internet, the devices communicated with Apple servers in order to download updates. From there, Apple security alerted Palo Alto police who easily traced the computers.

McFarlin was arrested and then confessed to the crime. He led authorities to a storage locker in which Jobs' wallet, credit cards, and other equipment was found.

Until reading the letter, the thief claims he had no idea who's house he had robbed.

McFarlin robbed the house, which was surrounded by a construction barrier and temporarily vacant, because he was in "dire straits." The criminal also said he wants to send a letter of apology to Jobs' family.





AfterDawn: News

HBO, Netflix going Nordic

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2012 8:16

HBO, Netflix going Nordic HBO has announced the launch of HBO Nordic, a video distribution platform joint with European pay TV company Parsifal International.

The platform will first launch in the Nordic nations of Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway.

Earlier today, Netflix also announced it would be launching its service in the region.

Says HBO: "HBO is delighted to be entering into a new marketplace and a promising partnership with Parsifal International. We look forward to working with this innovative company and making our new venture a great success."

Added Parsifal: "The Nordic pay TV market has a tremendous growth potential for new innovative services which respond to the existing shifts in consumer viewing habits on multiple screens. Parsifal will bring its expertise in the distribution of pay TV services on multiple platforms."

There will more details revealed by the end of the month, say the companies.





AfterDawn: News

Galaxy Note 10.1 going on sale in U.S. tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2012 12:13

Galaxy Note 10.1 going on sale in U.S. tomorrow Samsung has confirmed their latest tablet will go on sale tomorrow in the U.S.

The tablet will run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with a 10.1-inch display at 1280x800 pixels resolution.

On the inside, the device runs on a quad-core 1.4 GHz SoC, has 2GB RAM, 5MP/1.9 MP cameras, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, MHL-HDMI output, an IR transmitter, GPS, a microSD card slot and a large 7000mAh battery.

Differentiating the tablet is its suite of apps which include S Note, S Planner, Crayons Physics, Adobe Photoshop Touch and Polaris Office. Additionally, Samsung has included their Hub, which is Music, Games, Learning, Readers, Video, Media, as well as Smart Stay and Pop Up Play.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

R.I.P Flash on Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2012 8:03

R.I.P Flash on Android Adobe has officially pulled its official Flash Player plug-in from the Google Play Store.

The decision, which was announced earlier in the summer, followed the company's decision to halt development of the software for mobile devices, in general.

Adobe was clear to note that the mobile decision will not affect the Flash player for PCs, or Air, which lets developers turn normally web-based apps into mobile apps using Flash.

The company says the main reason for removing the plug-in is the launch of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Adobe says they expected "unpredictable behaviour," which would be completely unacceptable, if you tried using the software with Jelly Bean.

If you are currently running Jelly Bean, Adobe also encourages you to uninstall the Flash Player.

Current versions will continue to receive security updates until September 2013.





AfterDawn: News

New native YouTube app headed to Sony PS3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2012 7:56

New native YouTube app headed to Sony PS3 North American PlayStation 3 owners who happen to be fans of YouTube should be happy as the company rolls out its new native application for the console.

As of today, the app is available for free download via the PlayStation Store.

Says YouTube: "You might have watched YouTube on PS3 before, but get ready for a whole new world of video and features. We have a completely new experience, designed for the big screen and PS3 controls. Here's what you'll find:

Search: Finding the videos you want is easier than ever, with search suggestions and instant video results while you type.

Your subscribed channels: Sign in to find the latest videos from your YouTube subscriptions, which now also includes HD and official music videos.

Your phone as a remote: With a quick pairing process, you can control YouTube on PS3 with a smartphone. Find a video on your phone and with a button it'll play on the big screen. While the video is playing you can control it from the phone, or keep browsing YouTube for the next one."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Facebook reveals App Center, gamer stats

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2012 7:31

Facebook reveals App Center, gamer stats Facebook has shown some solid gains in its games and app usage figures, a welcome relief to investors.

The social networking giant says they now have 235 million people playing games through Facebook.com, up from 205 million in August 2011, and up 8.4 percent from just January.

App Center, the company's new app marketplace, now sees 150 million monthly users, with users downloading 240 percent more apps than they did with the old dashboard.

While the growth is strong, the company will certainly want to see them continue, as 965 million users are registered with the site, accounting for 7.5 billion page views last month.

Zynga remains the top game developer for the platform, although its numbers have begun to stall.





AfterDawn: News

Canon recalls DSLR cameras for potential skin allergy risk

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Aug 2012 7:22

Canon recalls DSLR cameras for potential skin allergy risk Late last month, Canon made it public that a small portion of its popular EOS Rebel T4i DSLR cameras could potentially cause a skin allergy reaction.

Today,the company has recalled 68,200 of the devices due to the issue.

Apparently, the issue in the rubber grips of the camera, which uses a special camera that can occassionally turn said grip from black to white. Additionally, the chemical can cause skin irritation for some.

The issue only affects devices that were manufactured for a two-week stretch between May 31st and June 15th.

So far, there has only been one reported incident; a customer received a minor rash after using the camera. If you already own the camera, check your serial number here and if affected, send the camera back for a free grip replacement.





AfterDawn: News

Computer glitch takes down DMV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2012 11:42

Computer glitch takes down DMV Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices in multiple states were unable to operate for the better part of four hours this morning after two computer glitches took down their computer systems.

Additionally, networks for other state deparments like the Office of Human Resources and the Department of Consumer Affairs, were down as well.

The DMV went down at 8am, says spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez. Verizon, which provides the network services for the DMV's operations, says technicians pinpointed the isse to a state-owned piece of network equipment.

For the other sights, "AT&T technicians changed the configuration of a circuit, and the state system didn't adjust to the change, says the spokesperson.

Despite the downtime, the DMV still offered driving tests, and customers could fill out manual forms to be entered later. Many customers decided to set appointments for later in the day or later in the week.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft launches Android SkyDrive app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2012 11:17

Microsoft launches Android SkyDrive app Microsoft has updated its SkyDrive cloud service.

Additionally, the company has unveiled an Android app for the service.

SkyDrive.com has been given a "new, modern design," one that will fit the new look of outlook.com, and the overall Modern UI of Windows 8 and Windows RT.

New additions to the site are "instant search, a contextual toolbar, thumbnail multi-select, drag-and-drop organization, and HTML5 sorting," says PCM.

The Android app will be available in the next few weeks, says Microsoft, joining the already existant iOS and WP7 versions.





AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Microsoft Surface RT to sell for $199

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2012 10:58

Rumor: Microsoft Surface RT to sell for $199 Multiple sites are reporting today that Microsoft employees have confirmed the Surface RT tablet will retail for $199, a price that is well below what the general consensus was when the company unveiled it last month.

Allegedly, the price point was revealed during the TechReady 15 conference, an internal event for Microsoft employees of all divisions.

The low price will only apply for the RT version of the tablet, which runs on an ARM-based chip set. Windows 8 Pro models, running on Intel chips, will launch a few months later, likely with a $100 premium, if not more.

At $199, the price is below the analyst and industry insider consensus expectations of $499.

Window's other partners, especially Acer, have been very vocal in stating they believe Microsoft's push into tablets will hurt vendors. If $199 is true, it appears Microsoft doesn't care.





AfterDawn: News

Sprint packaging gift cards with iPhone 4S

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2012 10:17

Sprint packaging gift cards with iPhone 4S One week after dropping the price of the iPhone 4S, Sprint has sweetened the pot even more.

The carrier is now adding a $100 gift card with the purchase of any smartphone, as long as you buy it online. The iPhone is included in the deal.

Apple will also match the deal if you prefer to buy from a different carrier, by offering $100 Apple Store credit.

The promotion will run until August 26th, just a couple of weeks before the expected launch of the iPhone 5 on September 12th.

Sprint dropped the price of the iPhone 4S to $150 from $200 last week in an effort to clear out remaining inventory before the new launch.





AfterDawn: News

Google buys up travel guidebook co. Frommer's

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2012 12:45

Google buys up travel guidebook co. Frommer's Google has purchased the popular travel guidebook publisher Frommer's for an undisclosed amount.

The publisher had been under the umbrella of major publisher John Wiley & Sons.

"The Frommer's team and the quality and scope of their content will be a great addition to the Zagat team," added Google. "We can't wait to start working with them on our goal to provide a review for every relevant place in the world."

Google will look to integrate Frommer's reviews into its Maps product, as well as in its search results.

It is unclear whether Google will keep printing the actual physical travel guides.





AfterDawn: News

WikiLeaks returns to action after DDoS attack

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Aug 2012 12:33

WikiLeaks returns to action after DDoS attack WikiLeaks.org returned to action today after being down for over a week due to a giant DDoS attack.

Thanks to the help of Web security company CloudFare, the site is back up, after CloudFare saw WikiLeak's plea for assistance via Twitter.

A group calling themselves 'Anti Leaks' has taken credit for that attack, which took down WikiLeak's main page and most mirror sites, as well.

Hacktivist group Anonymous took WikiLeak's side, opening up mirror sites and making Wiki available via Tor, the anonymous network. The group added: "We are now witnessing cyber wars, with most Wikileaks sites under sustained DDoS attack over several days. On one side are Wikileaks itself and its hactivist (sic) supporters, such as Anonymous. On the other side are US Govt supporters."

Anti Leaks laughed off rumors that they are a government-backed group: "We find the speculation that we are not behind these attacks and/or that we are CIA/NSA/FBI or even wikileaks themselves to be downright comical."





AfterDawn: News

Rumor: iPhone 5 pre-orders to start on September 12

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2012 10:55

Rumor: iPhone 5 pre-orders to start on September 12 iMore is reporting that Apple will begin pre-orders for the upcoming iPhone 5 on September 12th, the day it is unveiled.

The phone will then hit stores in the U.S. by September 21st.

Most international countries will begin seeing the device the first week of October, likely starting October 5th.

Apple is expected to add a 4-inch screen to the device, along with 4G support, a new 8-pin dock connector, and a quad-core processor.

The Cupertino giant has not confirmed launch date or any details about the phone, including its name.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft confirms its Windows RT OEM partners

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2012 10:46

Microsoft confirms its Windows RT OEM partners Microsoft has finally confirmed its OEM partnets for Windows RT tablets.

For the time being, Samsung, Dell, Asus and Lenovo will be partners for Windows RT.

However, only Microsoft and Asus have officially announced their Windows RT tablets, with Microsoft offering up the Surface RT and Asus unveiling the Asus Tablet 600.

Somewhat surprisingly, HP and Acer are missing from the list, as both are long time Microsoft partners. HTC is also missing, but that is much less surprsing as Microsoft is said to have banished them from creating Windows 8 and RT tablets.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Large LG Vu headed to U.S. soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2012 10:31

Large LG Vu headed to U.S. soon According to a translated LG press release, it appears the large-screened LG Vu may be hitting the States in the next few weeks.

LG did not discuss which carrier, but most evidence points to Verizon being first up.

The Vu features a 5-inch screen, a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, an 8MP camera, 4G support, 32GB internal storage and a strange 4:3 1024x768 resolution.

LG announced the device back in February at the Mobile World Congress as a competitor to the Galaxy Note. However, the Note has better software, hardware and has been on the market for months now. A sequel of the Note is expected next month, which should blow the original Note out of the water, as well.

Additionally, the international Vu has Gingerbread 2.3 installed, which should be an instant deal killer if it remains that way for the U.S.





AfterDawn: News

Nokia document shows off differences between Windows Phone 7.8 and 8

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2012 9:23

Nokia document shows off differences between Windows Phone 7.8 and 8 A leaked Nokia document has shown off the differences between the upcoming Windows Phone 7.8 and Windows Phone 8 operating systems.

7.8 will be available for current Windows Phone devices, including popular devices like the Nokia Lumia 900.

Windows Phone 8, on the otherhand, will be deployed on newer and more powerful devices.

The following is missing from 7.8:

Over-the-air updates
Support for screen resolutions higher than WVGA
Internet Explorer 10
Multi-core processor support
Windows Phone Wallet
NFC
Real multitasking
MicroSD card support
Device Management
Company Hub
Secure Boot and Encryption


Check the document here:





AfterDawn: News

Google to slash 20 percent of Motorola Mobility workforce

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2012 9:23

Google to slash 20 percent of Motorola Mobility workforce Google has announced today that it will reorganize the struggling phone maker it purchased in May, Motorola Mobility (MMI), slashing a significant portion of the workforce.

The company will close 30 of MMI's global offices and lay off 4000 workers, 20 percent of the total employees.

Only a third of the layoffs will be of American workers, with the rest being overseas.

As part of the reorganization, the company will leave unprofitable markets, discontinue building low and mid-range models and focus on a handful of smartphones instead of building dozens and hoping they stick with consumers.

Adds new MMI CEO Dennis Woodside: "We're excited about the smartphone business. The Google business is built on a wired model, and as the world moves to a pretty much completely wireless model over time, it's going to be really important for Google to understand everything about the mobile consumer."

Google paid $12.5 billion for MMI earlier this year, mainly to obtain the company's 17,000-strong portfolio of wireless and mobile patents. The patents will help the company defend against lawsuits in the industry where they have become a daily occurrence.





AfterDawn: News

Oops: Man accidentally calls 911 during drug deal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Aug 2012 12:01

Oops: Man accidentally calls 911 during drug deal According to Scranton, PA authorities, a man accidentally dialed 911 during a drug deal, with authorities hearing the entire thing.

Justin Kryzanowski was then charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and prohibited offensive weapons as the police traced his phone and searched his residence. When inside, the police "found syringes loaded with Suboxone, various prescription medications, drug paraphernalia and brass knuckles," says the Scranton Times.

Reads the paper: "The Lackawanna County Communications Center called Scranton police to say there was an open line to a phone that was recording a conversation inside a vehicle on the 100 block of West Market Street regarding narcotics activity and a man named "Rick," according to the complaint.

Police tracked Mr. Kryzanowski to his apartment, where they found him talking with slow and slurred speech. Police also saw pill bottles and a bottle cap with water in it in plain sight."


At the time of his arrest, Kryzanowski was under the influence of Suboxone.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to open temporary 'pop-up' retail stores

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2012 8:47

Microsoft to open temporary 'pop-up' retail stores Microsoft has begun posting job openings for a dozen temporary retail stores this holiday season, with the Redmond-giant looking to boost their retail presence for the launch of Windows 8 and the Surface tablet.

The company already has 31 Microsoft stores, although they are mainly on the West Coast.

As with most pop-up stores, Microsoft will lease the vacant space in a shopping mall around October and close up shop in January.

The temporary stores will open in major metro areas like Chicago, Cleveland, New York City, San Antonio, San Francisco, St. Louis and Miami as well as in smaller areas like Natick and Braintree, Massachusetts and Portland, Oregon.

Microsoft's upcoming Surface tablet is the first device from the company that features both hardware and software made by themselves. All former PCs and tablets had hardware built by OEMs like Dell, HP, Asus and others.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

R.I.P Demonoid as domain names go up for sale

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2012 8:22

R.I.P Demonoid as domain names go up for sale It is now light's out for Demonoid.

After being taken down last week in the Ukraine, all of the major Demonoid domains are now up for sale, effectively killing any return chances for the popular tracker.

The IFPI has taken credit for the raid and takedown of the site, following a crippling, sanctioned DDoS attack.

In taking credit, the anti-piracy group said (via Freak): "The operation to close Demonoid was a great example of international cooperation to tackle a service that was facilitating the illegal distribution of music on a vast scale. I would like to thank all those officers involved in this operation to close a business that was built on the abuse of other people's rights."

A couple of arrests have been made in Mexico in relation to ownership of the site with some assets seized, as well.

Demonoid.me, Demonoid.com and Demonoid.ph are now up for sale on Sedo, with would-be buyers likely needing to pay a hefty premium for the site's heavy traffic, especially now with headline news.





AfterDawn: News

Seller puts Xbox Durango dev kit up for sale on eBay

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2012 8:05

Seller puts Xbox Durango dev kit up for sale on eBay A seller with the nickname 'SuperDae' has listed what he claims to be an Xbox Durango dev kit on eBay today, with bids sending the price through the roof.

Durango is the codename for the upcoming Xbox 8/720/Next, which is expected to be released before the holidays next year.

So far, with 40 bids, the tower is selling for $15,100.

There are no details of what is inside, with the seller only saying that it comes with a wired controller and the power supply.

Supposedly, SuperDae is actively watching the bidders, saying "I only expect people who know what it is to buy it. Otherwise you have no reason to bid."

Microsoft has not responded and the auction remains active.

If you are interested in bidding, check here:
Microsoft XBOX Durango Development Kit





AfterDawn: News

Amazon clearing out Kindle inventory

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2012 7:41

Amazon clearing out Kindle inventory It appears that Amazon is preparing for a new line of Kindle devices, as current generation tablets and e-readers are disappearing from their site at a quick pace.

For example, the Kindle Keyboard Wi-Fi now shows as 'discontinued' on Amazon, with no units left.

Additionally, the Kindle Touch 3G is "currently unavailable," and the Wi-Fi Kindle Touch has a five-day shipping delay. If you want the discounted "Special Offers" version of the Kindle Touch, you are also out of luck as it has sold out.

Furthermore, Amazon has taken 40 percent off accessories on the base model Kindle if you use the Amazon Visa rewards card.

While the Kindle Fire remains in stock, Amazon is widely expected to launch the sequel device this month or next to better compete with the Google Nexus 7. Additionally, Amazon is also expected to unveil an e-Ink e-reader with a backlight to compete against the Nook Simple with Glow Light.





AfterDawn: News

Barnes & Noble slashes Nook prices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2012 6:53

Barnes & Noble slashes Nook prices In a surprise move, Barnes & Noble has slashed the prices of three of their Nook e-reader and tablet devices today.

The 16GB Nook Tablet has dropped from $250 to $199 and the company also took $20 off the 8GB version, dropping it to $179.

Finally, the aging Nook Color tablet saw its price drop to $149, although the Nook Tablet offers far better 'bang for the buck.'

Barnes & Noble currently has around 28 percent of the e-book market as it competes with Apple and clear market leader Amazon.

Amazon is widely expected to reveal their Kindle Fire sequel in the next couple of months. The tablet should sell for $200, with the current generation model seeing a price reduction, potentially to $150.





AfterDawn: News

Apple products getting more popular with older consumers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2012 6:29

Apple products getting more popular with older consumers According to a new survey from YouGov BrandIndex, it appears that Apple is becoming more appealing to consumers aged 35 or older while becoming slightly less appealing to consumers aged 18-34.

YouGov uses its own "BuzzScore" to calculate results, and to do so it "surveys its poll-takers every day, with the simple question of whether a respondent has heard positive or negative news about a company." Tallying that figure gets the company's Buzz, its brand reputation in the USA.

Check Apple's most recent Buzz Score here below.



Apple reached a peak with the younger crowd in 2008, while older consumers continue to gain.

The move makes sense as Apple's most recent advertisements have been targeting new parents and professionals, many of which fall into the category of 35 years old or older.





AfterDawn: News

Report: YouTube not included in Google's anti-piracy algorithm update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2012 12:44

Report: YouTube not included in Google's anti-piracy algorithm update According to a report from SEL, Google's recent decision to update its search algorithms to demote sites that promote piracy will not affect their YouTube video-sharing platform.

Google's new policy will push sites down in search results if they have received tons of "valid copyright removal notices." YouTube is well-known to receive thousands of copyright removal notices per year, and is likely in the top 5 sites in the world in such notices.

However, despite that title, it seems the new move will not affect the site. SEL says 'flagging supposedly illegal content on most sites involves using an online process that starts on a page labeled "Removing Content From Google," whereas flagging content on YouTube involves using the video site's baked-in "Copyright Center."'

The removal requests Google takes into account will be through the Removing Content page, not through YouTube's proprietary Copyright Center.

Google responded: "We're treating YouTube like any other site in search rankings. That said, we don't expect this change to demote results for popular user-generated content sites."





AfterDawn: News

New uTorrent gets ads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2012 12:15

New uTorrent gets ads uTorrent, the most popular free torrent client, will now get ads as BitTorrent Inc. looks to pay its hefty bills.

Until this week, users had the option to install a sponsored toolbar during the installation process, but now whether you install it or not you will be hit with ads in the form of "featured torrents."

These featured torrents will range from software to music, games and movies.

Content creators will offer the legal torrents (the price they pay was not disclosed), and BitTorrent says they will also use the space to highlight anything new from the company, including new software or updates to specific features.

If you paid for the $25 uTorrent Plus version of the software, you will not see the ads.





AfterDawn: News

Bidding for Kodak patents is lackluster

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Aug 2012 12:15

Bidding for Kodak patents is lackluster Although the company had high hopes going in, Kodak's patent auction has seen lackluster demand.

All bids for the 1100 digital patents have fallen far below the $500 million the company (and its creditors) hoped for, with no major bidders like Google or Apple even making bids.

Kodak will disclose the winning bid on Monday, with the sale continuing throughout the weekend by phone.

"Our patent auction is a complex and dynamic process, and is very much ongoing," a Kodak spokesman said (via WSJ). "We and all participants are still bound by the court order on confidentiality and cannot comment prior to an outcome."

Kodak filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and owes at least $950 million to banks who gave it a bankruptcy loan.





AfterDawn: News

iPhone 5 to get tiny battery boost

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2012 10:44

iPhone 5 to get tiny battery boost According to a new report, the upcoming Apple iPhone 5 will get a small boost to its battery, with an emphasis on "small."

The alleged new battery will be 1440 mAh, up from the 1432 mAh battery seen in the 4S.

With such a small boost, the phone will likely see a few more minutes of life, or possibly not if the new devices adds a 4G LTE radio and a 4-inch screen, as expected.

Additionally, however, Apple seems to have upped the voltage to 3.8V from 3.7V, with a higher watts-per-hour rating of 5.45 compared to 5.25 wHr for the 4S.

Of course, take all of this as rumor for the time being, as the battery could be an upgrade for older devices or could have been scrapped in production.





AfterDawn: News

Lenovo working with Nvidia on Windows RT tablet?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2012 8:10

Lenovo working with Nvidia on Windows RT tablet? According to multiple sources, Lenovo is currently working with Nvidia on developing their first Windows RT tablet.

Nvidia will supply the ARM-based chips, and the partnership will be the first in the mobile space for the two companies.

Lenovo will be the third company to use a Tegra processor for their RT tablet, following Asus and Microsoft itself.

The Chinese-based company has been looking to make significant inroads in the mobile market, as it already is the second largest PC maker, by volume, in the world. Earlier in the year, the company showed off its Windows 8 tablet, the IdeaPad Yoga, which runs on an Intel processor.

Added a Lenovo spokesperson: "We're making really good progress in making our way into the fastest-growing segment of the computer industry [tablets]."





AfterDawn: News

HTC promises Jelly Bean for One X

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2012 7:51

HTC promises Jelly Bean for One X HTC has begun rolling out the Android 4.0.4 update for One X smartphone users.

With the update comes a tweaked version of the HTC Sense 4.0 overlay and the same Android updates seen by all 4.0.4 users.

For now, UK users were first to receive the update, with other countries getting varying dates.

Says the phone maker: "The primary update will include an upgrade to Android version 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), in addition to an improved Sense experience which will enable the ability to map menu functions to the 'recent app' key -- improving visual presentation in non-ICS apps like Facebook -- and improve tab management in the browser with a dedicated tab-switching button."

Additionally, One X users will see improvements to the integrated Beats Audio software and refinements to many camera features.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Google updates search algorithms; which is bad news for piracy sites

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2012 6:16

Google updates search algorithms; which is bad news for piracy sites Google has updated their search algorithms, which should be really bad news for sites that engage in piracy.

Going forward, Google will begin taking into account the amount of valid copyright removal notices your site has received, downgrading sites with high numbers.

Reads Google's post: We aim to provide a great experience for our users and have developed over 200 signals to ensure our search algorithms deliver the best possible results. Starting next week, we will begin taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results. This ranking change should help users find legitimate, quality sources of content more easily--whether it's a song previewed on NPR's music website, a TV show on Hulu or new music streamed from Spotify.

Since we re-booted our copyright removals over two years ago, we've been given much more data by copyright owners about infringing content online. In fact, we're now receiving and processing more copyright removal notices every day than we did in all of 2009--more than 4.3 million URLs in the last 30 days alone. We will now be using this data as a signal in our search rankings.





AfterDawn: News

Google Translate can now handle images of text

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2012 5:41

Google Translate can now handle images of text Google has updated their Google Translate service to handle photos of text.

The image reading feature will work with all languages that are available via Translate and allow users to highlight relevant text from the photo for conversion.

Using the app on your phone will allow you to take a picture, then swipe gestures to highlight the text needed to be translated. The cropped image is then sent to Google's servers where it is sent back translated.

The only catch is that you must select the language, since Google cannot auto-detect it.

Updated versions of the Translate app are now available in the Google Play Store as long as you are running Android 2.3 or higher.

(Pic via AC)





AfterDawn: News

Anonymous: We will avenge Demonoid

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Aug 2012 5:05

Anonymous: We will avenge Demonoid Hacktivist group Anonymous has claimed it will wreak havoc on the Ukranian government for their part in taking down popular torrent tracker Demonoid.

Reads the AnonPR post: "Last week, our generous green friend, the Demonoid, was met with a state sponsored Distributed Denial of Service attack...These illegal actions were then followed up with a raid by Ukraine authorities. In retaliation for your criminal acts against us and the free flow of information, we have already begun an operation against those responsible. Lazers are already being fired."

Last week, the long-standing site was brought down, just days before Deputy Prime Minister Valery Khoroshkovsky's was set to visit the United States.

Earlier that week, the site was hit by a DDoS attack that took the tracker down for an extended period. Government agents arrived at Ukraine's largest data center, ColoCall, at the same time. They copied all the information from the Demonoid servers and then sealed them. ColoCall was then "forced to terminate the agreement with the site."





AfterDawn: News

Blizzard is the latest company to have data compromised

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Aug 2012 10:38

Blizzard is the latest company to have data compromised Earlier this week, Blizzard saw its Battle.net platform hacked, with data compromised.

In a blog post, the company's security team explained they found evidence of a security breach and were actively investigating.

Reads the post, in full:

Even when you are in the business of fun, not every week ends up being fun. This week, our security team found an unauthorized and illegal access into our internal network here at Blizzard. We quickly took steps to close off this access and began working with law enforcement and security experts to investigate what happened.

At this time, we've found no evidence that financial information such as credit cards, billing addresses, or real names were compromised. Our investigation is ongoing, but so far nothing suggests that these pieces of information have been accessed.

Some data was illegally accessed, including a list of email addresses for global Battle.net users, outside of China. For players on North American servers (which generally includes players from North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia) the answer to the personal security question, and information relating to Mobile and Dial-In Authenticators were also accessed. Based on what we currently know, this information alone is NOT enough for anyone to gain access to Battle.net accounts.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Former Intel employee gets three years for stealing design secrets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Aug 2012 10:08

Former Intel employee gets three years for stealing design secrets Former Intel employee Biswamohan Pani has been sentenced to three years in federal prison.

The worker stole hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of design and manufacturing secrets, before hopping ship to major rival AMD.

Furthermore, Pani was given two extra years of probation and fined $17,500.

During his quick tenure at Intel in 2008, the worker stole documents valued at $300 million. Intel detected the robbery and reported it.

AMD fully cooperated with the authorities and did not have any knowledge of the robbery.





AfterDawn: News

Trial begins in China over teen who sold kidney for an iPad, iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Aug 2012 1:23

Trial begins in China over teen who sold kidney for an iPad, iPhone Last year, shocking reports out of China claimed a teen had sold his kidney in exchange for an iPad 2 and iPhone 4S.

Today, the trial begins for the five people accused of giving him the illegal organ transplant.

18-year old Wang Shangkun remains in serious condition, reads the China Daily newspaper and those accused face up to 10 years in prison for charges of intentional injury and illegal organ trading.

Court documents state Shangkun contacted an illegal agency online and then agreed to sell his kidney for cash. Supposedly, the organ traders were supposed to give Shangkun 150,000 yuan ($24,000 USD) and another $10,000 in USD. Wang only received 22,000 yuan ($3500) in actuality. He then used the cash to purchase an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4S, since authorities believe he was scared to be carrying so much cash.

Wang and his mother are seeking 2.7 million yuan in compensation from the organ traders, the hospital used and a medical investment company.





AfterDawn: News

Roku expects to go public by 2014

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Aug 2012 1:21

Roku expects to go public by 2014 Roku CEO Anthony Wood has noted this week that he expects his company to go public by 2014.

The company makes extremely popular set-top boxes, with a wide range of prices and features. All of the boxes include a solid lineup of 'channels' (apps) and all feature HD playback support, whether it be 720p or 1080p.

Wood was quoted as saying that he would be very "surprised" if the company had not filed an IPO in the next two years.

Says the exec: "My desire is to build a large, successful company. We get offers occasionally; so far we haven't taken any of them. Our board is right now on track to eventually become a public company. That's our plan."

There was no word on what valuation a company like Roku may IPO at.





AfterDawn: News

Report: IBM looking into buying RIM's enterprise business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Aug 2012 1:17

Report: IBM looking into buying RIM's enterprise business Bloomberg has reported today that IBM has "informally" approached RIM about potentially acquiring its enterprise services unit.

Despite the potential, there are no talks currently underway, add the sources.

The struggling BlackBerry maker has been cutting down operating costs for a year now in order to boost earnings, including starting a plan to lay off over 25 percent of its employees.

While a sale would certainly help the company's focus, it appears the Board of Directors is not yet completely sold on moving pieces.

The sources claim the Board has decided to wait until after next year's release of the oft-delayed BlackBerry 10 operating system before deciding on moving forward with any sales.





AfterDawn: News

Sony: Third-party devs don't care about Vita

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Aug 2012 12:26

Sony: Third-party devs don't care about Vita Sony boss Shuhei Yoshida has made interesting comments this week in regards to third-party support of the PS Vita handheld.

The exec says major third-party developers are more enthused by mobile platforms like iOS and Android than gaming handhelds like the Vita or even the 3DS.

Says Yoshida: "Because of the growth of the social/mobile sector, lots of opportunities are being presented to publishers to choose from, and because the social/mobile side is the growing sector in terms of the business now, they are very quickly shifting their development resources to be part of that growing market."

Vita sales have slowed to a crawl in a very short period, thanks to a lackluster catalog of games and little marketing.





AfterDawn: News

YouTube, Spotify boost Warner Music's earnings

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Aug 2012 11:18

YouTube, Spotify boost Warner Music's earnings It appears that Spotify, Pandora and YouTube have helped boost Warner Music's earnings this quarter.

Overall, streaming services accounted for 25 percent of the digital revenue its "recorded music" saw for the quarter.

In total, the $54 million works out to about 8 percent of Warner's total revenue.

Perhaps more importantly, the increase in digital sales actually outpaced the decline in physical sales for the first time ever.





AfterDawn: News

July NPD: Video game industry struggling mightily

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Aug 2012 10:24

July NPD: Video game industry struggling mightily NPD has released their monthly video game industry report and the industry continues its multi-year struggles.

Total revenue fell 20 percent year-over-year to just $548 million. The downturn was the eight straight month of overall revenue declines.

Console sales got beaten down as the market appears to be saturating at the current price point. Year-over-year sales fell 32 percent to $151 million.

Software fell 23 percent to $260 million. If not for an 8% jump by accessories, the market would have had an even harder time.

The Nintendo 3DS was the only console to see any kind of growth, with all other consoles seeing significant drawdowns.

NPD's figures do not include digital games, mobile games or social games. Additionally, used games, DLC and subscription games are not added.





AfterDawn: News

Xbox 8 unintentionally confirmed by Microsoft for next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Aug 2012 9:57

Xbox 8 unintentionally confirmed by Microsoft for next year A new job posting has suggested that Microsoft will release the upcoming Xbox 8 console before the end of 2013.

The job, looking for a Central Marketing Group director, says that "over the next eighteen months Microsoft will release new versions of all of our most significant products including Windows (Client, Server, Phone and Azure), Office and Xbox, along with completely new offerings like Microsoft Surface".

While of course this could be a stretch, the posting suggests that Microsoft will release the console in time for the holidays next year, as rumored for some time now.

Sources have claimed that dev kits were sent out a few months ago to developers.

Recently, a 56-page document appeared showing off Microsoft's plans for the Xbox, as far back as 2010.





AfterDawn: News

Refurb third-generation iPads go on sale

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Aug 2012 1:04

Refurb third-generation iPads go on sale Apple has begun selling refurbished models of the new third-generation Retina Display iPad through the official Apple Store.

The units will come with a $50 discount, selling for $449 for the base model with 16GB and Wi-Fi only.

Most likely, these refurbished units are the iPads that were hit with Wi-Fi issues back in April and were returned by unsatisfied customers.

The issues have since been resolved, but there is expected to be decent stock of the refurbished units available.

Check it here: iPad Third-Generation





AfterDawn: News

Steam to offer non-gaming software

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Aug 2012 12:56

Steam to offer non-gaming software Valve has announced that they have moved beyond being just a games distributor.

Starting in early September, the company will offer new apps, with genres like Accounting, Animation & Modeling, Audio Production, Design & Illustration, Education, Photo Editing, Software Training, Utilities, Video Production, and Web Publishing.

All of the software titles will include Steamworks features like easy installation, auto-updates and Steam Cloud accessibility for resuming where you left off.

"The 40 million gamers frequenting Steam are interested in more than playing games," added Mark Richardson of Valve. "They have told us they would like to have more of their software on Steam, so this expansion is in response to those customer requests."

Devs can submit titles via Steam Greenlight.





AfterDawn: News

New iPhone to be 18% thinner than 4S?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2012 12:30

New iPhone to be 18% thinner than 4S? The evidence seems to be mounting that the new iPhone will be significantly thinner than the 4S that came before it.

Due to be unveiled next month, the phone will supposedly be 18 percent thinner than its predecessor even while adding 30 percent extra screen space.

Evidence comes via leaked pre-production parts of the iPhone 5, such as enclosures. The enclosure is 58.47mm wide, 123.83mm long and 7.6mm thick. The iPhone 4S is 9.3mm thick.

To move from a 3.5-inch to a 4-inch screen, the form factor had to be elongated by 8.63mm. Additionally, the headphone jack has been moved, and Apple has moved to an 8-pin dock connector, compared to the current 30-pin seen on all iOS devices.





AfterDawn: News

Galaxy Note 2 to have flexible AMOLED?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2012 12:02

Galaxy Note 2 to have flexible AMOLED? Although it is widely expected to launch in the next couple of months, Samsung has kept details of the Galaxy Note 2 firmly under wraps.

The latest rumor, via a KoreaTimes report, is that the new smartphone will have a flexible AMOLED display, the first of its kind in an American consumer phone.

While we don't expect the phone to be completely bendable, there is a chance it will be curved in some way adding to viewing angles.

If accurate, the AMOLED will use an Unbreakable Plane (UBP) and some sort of plastic that will reduce thickness by as much as 0.4mm.

The screen will be 5.5-inches, and the device is expected to be powered by a quad-core processor.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft rebrands 'Marketplace' to 'Store'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2012 11:30

Microsoft rebrands 'Marketplace' to 'Store' Microsoft has rebranded the Windows Phone Marketplace to 'Windows Phone Store.'

The company showed off the change during the reveal of the Windows Phone Dev Center.

As with most of Microsoft's new moves, the change is in an effort to simplify the company's Windows Phone and Windows 8 integration.

Windows 8 also has access to the Windows Store, but for desktop applications.

In showing off the Dev Center, the company noted: "The new Windows Phone Dev Center has everything you need to create great apps and add them to the Windows Phone Store for the world to see, try, and buy. You can start creating apps anytime. When you're ready to offer them in the Store, you'll need a subscription to the Dev Center where you can start the process of adding them to the Store catalog."





AfterDawn: News

Is Microsoft already working on the Surface 2?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Aug 2012 12:41

Is Microsoft already working on the Surface 2? While the first Surface tablet hasn't even gone on sale yet, one report claims that Microsoft is already working on the sequel.

The Surface tablet, which runs on Windows 8 Pro for one model and Windows RT for the other, goes on sale on October 26th, concurrent with the launch of the operating system.

Job postings via Microsoft's Careers site seem to confirm the report, as the postings claim the "Surface 2 will be the latest in Microsoft's new family of PCs built to be the ultimate stage for Windows."

One such posting is for a mechanical engineer that is searching for an individual with "understanding of touch display architecture and experience in mechanical integration of large touch displays into electronics products."

More notably, the postings seem to imply Microsoft is looking to make the future tablets waterproof while using "alternative energy sources."





AfterDawn: News

Google Maps updates live traffic for 130 new cities, globally

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Aug 2012 11:51

Google Maps updates live traffic for 130 new cities, globally Since 2008, Google has been slowly but surely added new coverage areas for its live traffic feature of Google Maps.

Today marks one of their largest expansions, with live traffic overlays going live in 130 new cities in the U.S. and in major cities in South and Central America, Europe and Asia.

Among the cities getting expanded coverage are Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and the UK.

More info, via the Google Latin America blog:

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Apple discontinues 'Genius' ads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Aug 2012 11:34

Apple discontinues 'Genius' ads Since the Olympics in late July, Apple has been showing three new ads that feature their Mac computers and the "Geniuses," the group of Apple tech support employees found in all Apple Stores.

It appears that the company has now discontinued the ads from TV, with the company's ad agency stating that they were only intended as a "first run" during the Olympics.

There are likely more ads coming to finish off the Olympics, but that is unclear.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Amazon gets into social gaming business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Aug 2012 10:59

Amazon gets into social gaming business Amazon announced today that it has created its own game studio, with a first game already developed and ready to be launched on Facebook.

The title, "Living Classics," lets gamers move through scenes from classics like "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Wizard of Oz" while searching for defined items. The game is free to play but "cash" credits that help you beat the game cost $19.99 for 120 units.

Surprisingly, there does not seem to be any connection/enticement in the game to the actual Amazon.com site, or any subsidiaries.

Reads Amazon's blog post: "Why is Amazon making social games, you ask? Good question! We know that many Amazon customers enjoy playing games–including free-to-play social games–and thanks to Amazon's know-how, we believe we can deliver a great, accessible gaming experience that gamers and our customers can play any time."





AfterDawn: News

Facebook launches first gambling app with real stakes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Aug 2012 9:10

Facebook launches first gambling app with real stakes Facebook has launched their first gambling application today that allows players to use real money.

Available to Facebook users in the UK above the age of 18, the game is bingo for cash prizes. Slot machine games will be added soon, says the company.

"Gambling is very popular and well regulated in the UK...for millions of bingo users it's already a social experience [so] it makes sense [for us] to offer that as well," added Julien Codorniou, Facebook's head of gaming for Europe, Middle East and Africa (via FT).

Outside of the UK, such games would prove to be a legal disaster. In the U.S., for example, there are only some forms of legal online gambling, and only within some states.

The new Bingo Friendzy app should help Facebook gain some revenue, an area where analysts have been critical.





AfterDawn: News

Sprint drops price of iPhone 4S

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Aug 2012 8:34

Sprint drops price of iPhone 4S Sprint has dropped the price of the iPhone 4S, likely in an effort to clear out remaining inventory before the expected launch of the iPhone 5 in September.

The 16GB iPhone 4S will now cost $150 with free activation, down from $200. Says Sprint: "Get the most amazing iPhone yet at our most amazing price ever."

Apple has planned an event for early September, in which they are expected to unveil the redesigned iPhone 5 alongside a 7.85-inch iPad 'Mini.'

The new device is expected to add a 4-inch screen, LTE support, a quad-core processor and a redesign of the actual form factor.

For the new rumored tablet, Retina Display is expected to be removed, but the price could be as low as $299, we below the base price of standard iPads.





AfterDawn: News

Apple trying to go Google-free?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Aug 2012 7:52

Apple trying to go Google-free? Apple has moved one step further from making its iOS operating system completely Google-free.

The company has removed the YouTube app from iOS 6 beta 4, the first time ever it has not been pre-loaded on iOS.

Since launch in 2007, the iPhone and other iOS devices have come with Google Search, Google Maps and YouTube apps pre-loaded.

Says Apple: "Our licence to include the YouTube app in iOS has ended, customers can use YouTube in the Safari browser and Google is working on a new YouTube app to be on the App Store."

Apple has moved to their own maps apps, leaving just Search as the only Google product to be prominently used in iOS devices. Allegedly, Google must share over $1 billion in ad revenues with Apple, per year, for the right to have Google Search as the default search engine in Safari.





AfterDawn: News

HTC coming with large screen, large resolution smartphone soon?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Aug 2012 11:37

HTC coming with large screen, large resolution smartphone soon? According to Digitimes, HTC is preparing a 5-inch smartphone for September or October.

The device will feature a huge 1794x1080 pixel display and will become the company's flagship.

There was nothing else revealed about the phone, although it is sure to have a quad-core processor and LTE support.

With a screen of that size, HTC will be competing against Samsung and their Galaxy Note line, as well as LG and their latest Optimus Vu.

We will have more updates when they hit.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveils new Galaxy Note 10.1

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Aug 2012 10:04

Samsung unveils new Galaxy Note 10.1 As expected, Samsung has unveiled their new Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet.

The tablet will run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with a 10.1-inch display at 1280x800 pixels resolution.

On the inside, the device runs on a quad-core 1.4 GHz SoC, has 2GB RAM, 5MP/1.9 MP cameras, Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, MHL-HDMI output, an IR transmitter, GPS, a microSD card slot and a large 7000mAh battery. As with most tablets, internal storage depends on the price you pay, with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB being available.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

The Windows 8 retail packaging looks great

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Aug 2012 7:12

The Windows 8 retail packaging looks great Microsoft announced last week that its upcoming Windows 8 operating system had gone RTM, meaning the final product is ready to roll in late October.

The Verge has gotten a sneak peak at the retail packaging for the upcoming, and frankly, it looks great.

The packaging for Windows 8 and Windows 8 Pro will use Windows 8-style UI packaging and some abstract art that fits the new logo perfectly.

Windows 8 gets a white box, while Pro gets a black one.

All versions of the tablet will be available on October 26th, or now in pirated versions from warez and torrent sites.





AfterDawn: News

Demonoid tracker taken down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Aug 2012 6:14

Demonoid tracker taken down It appears that the popular semi-private torrent tracker Demonoid has been taken down, again.

The tracker was taken down by local authorities in the Ukraine, and sources say the action was taken in conjunction with Deputy Prime Minister Valery Khoroshkovsky's upcoming trip to the United States. If accurate, it would seem the country is looking to get in the Obama administration's good graces in regards to copyright infringement.

Last week, the site was hit by a DDoS attack that took the tracker down for an extended period, which was actually a relief to many fans who thought it may be down for good.

Government agents arrived at Ukraine's largest data center, ColoCall, last week. They copied all the information from the Demonoid servers and then sealed them. ColoCall was then "forced to terminate the agreement with the site," says TorrentFreak.

There were no arrests made in connection with the take down.





AfterDawn: News

Nokia's first Windows Phone 8 devices to be unveiled next month?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Aug 2012 12:50

Nokia's first Windows Phone 8 devices to be unveiled next month? According to multiple sources, Nokia will unveil their first Windows Phone 8 handsets next month.

The phones will be debuted at the Nokia World event on September 5th, say the sources.

If accurate, Nokia seems to have picked a time just one week before Apple reveals their latest iPhone, a date that is likely not coincidence as the struggling smartphone maker tries to take market share from Android and Apple.

The operating system will bring much-needed changes to the platform, most importantly support for dual-core chips and higher resolution displays.

Nokia recently lost its crown as the world's most prolific phone maker, with Samsung out-shipping them last quarter.





AfterDawn: News

Android Ice Cream Sandwich share growing substantially

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2012 11:58

Android Ice Cream Sandwich share growing substantially After a slow start, Android 4.0.x Ice Cream Sandwich has seen its share of the Android pie increase significantly.

As of August 1st, ICS was installed on 15.9 percent of Android devices. The new 4.1 Jelly Bean is installed on 0.8 percent of devices, since it is only on the Nexus 7, Galaxy S and Galaxy Nexus.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread remained the lion's share owner, at 60.6 percent.

Extremely old versions 1.5-2.2 accounted for 20.4 percent.

Full stats:





AfterDawn: News

IDC: Apple controls the tablet market and it isn't even close

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2012 11:20

IDC: Apple controls the tablet market and it isn't even close Apple shipped 17 million tablets in the Q2, crushing the competition, says IDC.

The company finished with a 68.2 percent market share, although Asus and Samsung saw significant jumps, as well.

Total shipments for the quarter reached 25 million, up from 18.7 million last quarter.

"Apple built upon its strong March iPad launch and ended the quarter with its best-ever shipment total for the iPad, outrunning even the impressive shipment record it set in the fourth quarter of last year. The vast majority of consumers continue to favor the iPad over competitors, and Apple is seeing increasingly strong interest in the device from vertical markets, especially education. While iPad shipment totals are beginning to slow a bit in mature markets where the device saw early traction, growth in other regions is clearly more than making up the difference," added Tom Mainelli, research director of mobile connected devices at IDC.

Apple shipped 17 million iPad during the quarter, followed by Samsung at 2.4 million, Amazon at 1.25 million and Asus at 855,000.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Is this the end of French anti-P2P agency Hadopi?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2012 10:16

Is this the end of French anti-P2P agency Hadopi? During an interview this week, French minister of culture Aurélie Filippetti made some very interesting comments that imply the country will be shutting down the useless anti-piracy agency Hadopi.

Hadopi was launched by former President Nicolas Sarkozy's administration and was in charge of sending out warning letters to alleged pirates. The agency also would have been in charge of the three-strikes law in which a third warning gets you banned from the Internet (for a time). Hadopi never got even close to that point, however.

Says Filippetti (via Ars): "I do not know what will become of [Hadopi], but one thing is clear: Hadopi has not fulfilled its mission of developing legal content offerings. In financial terms, [spending] €12 million euros ($14.86 million) and 60 agents--that's expensive [just] to send a million e-mails.

"Finally, the suspension of Internet access seems to be a disproportionate penalty given the intended goal. But this will all be examined by the Lescure Commission. In the meantime, with respect to budgetary efforts, I'm going to ask that Hadopi's funds be significantly reduced for the rest of 2012. I prefer to reduce the finances of [agencies] whose utility is not proven. In September, I will announce the details of these budgetary decisions."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

You can no longer bring class action cases against Valve

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Aug 2012 4:36

You can no longer bring class action cases against Valve Valve has updated their Steam Subscriber Agreement and Privacy Policy this week, blocking the ability for consumers to bring class action lawsuits against the company.

To be able to use Steam, you must agree to the SSA and PP, so the changes are significant.

Says the company:

We're also introducing a new dispute resolution process that will benefit you and Valve. Recently, a number of companies have created similar provisions which have generated lots of discussion from customers and communities, and we've been following these discussions closely. On Steam, whenever a customer is unhappy with any transaction, our first goal is to resolve things as quickly as possible through the normal customer support process. However in those instances in which we can't resolve a dispute, we've outlined a new required process whereby we agree to use arbitration or small claims court to resolve the dispute. In the arbitration process, Valve will reimburse your costs of the arbitration for claims under a certain amount. Reimbursement by Valve is provided regardless of the arbitrator's decision, provided that the arbitrator does not determine the claim to be frivolous or the costs unreasonable.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Samsung announces second 'Unpacked' event for this month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Aug 2012 10:25

Samsung announces second 'Unpacked' event for this month Samsung has announced they will be hosting a second 'Unpacked' event this month, meaning the electronics maker is planning a busy month for consumer devices.

The first event, on August 15th, has the company expected to unveil their new Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet although that is unconfirmed.

Samsung's latest invitation is for an event on August 29th, with most speculation being that the company will show off the new Galaxy Note 2.

As rumored, the the new device will go even bigger than its 5.3-inch predecessor, up to 5.5-inches. 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."

If accurate, the device will also come with 2GB RAM, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, a 12MP camera and a Samsung quad-core processor.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

AT&T buys up NextWave for its spectrum

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Aug 2012 8:55

AT&T buys up NextWave for its spectrum In a move that should give the carrier extra airwaves, AT&T has purchased NextWave Wireless in a deal that can be worth up to $600 million.

AT&T will pay $25 million to shareholders with another contingent payment of $25 million. Additionally, AT&T will purchase $550 million worth of NextWave debt.

NextWave controls licenses for Wireless Communication Services (WCS), which will begin being used (if FCC approved) next year thanks to a deal between AT&T and Sirius XM Radio.

"WCS spectrum was first auctioned in 1997, but has not been utilized for mobile Internet usage due to technical rules designed to avoid possible interference to satellite radio users in adjacent spectrum bands," adds AT&T. The new plan also "effectively creates much needed new spectrum capacity."

If it passes regulatory hurdles, the deal should close by the end of the year.





AfterDawn: News

RIM launches new PlayBook with 4G

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Aug 2012 8:26

RIM launches new PlayBook with 4G In a move that is destined to fail, RIM unveiled an upgraded version of its BlackBerry PlayBook, one that has 4G data support.

"We're excited to bring customers the first BlackBerry PlayBook tablet with support for 4G LTE networks," said David J. Smith, executive vice president of RIM's Mobile Computing division.

Launching in Canada next week, the device will also come with 32GB of internal storage. International launches, including the U.S., are expected in the coming months.

The company is said to have sold just 1.2 million PlayBooks since its launch in April of last year. That number is also buoyed by the fact that RIM had to slash prices from $500 to $199 to get them off shelves. By comparison, Apple sold 17 million iPads in the last quarter, alone.

RIM's 4G PlayBook will have all the same internals as its predecessor and run on PlayBook OS 2.0. There was no word on price.





AfterDawn: News

iOS gains some U.S. market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Aug 2012 1:53

iOS gains some U.S. market share While Android remains the dominant force, it was actually iOS that saw the biggest percentage jump in June.

The figures come via comScore, who posts every quarter. Android devices control 51.6 percent market share, up from 51 percent last quarter. Apple saw a larger jump, from 30.7 percent to 32.4 percent.

RIM's BlackBerry platform fell from 12.3 percent to 10.7 percent, continuing its half-decade long decline. Microsoft's Windows Phone dipped from 3.9 percent to 3.8 percent. Symbian finished up at 0.9 percent.

As expected, Samsung was the top phone maker by share, at 25.6 percent. LG was in second at 18.8 percent and Apple came in third at 15.4 percent. Motorola swooped in at 11.7 percent and HTC grew slightly to 6.4 percent.





AfterDawn: News

Windows 8 goes RTM

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Aug 2012 11:01

Windows 8 goes RTM Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing.

The move means the development and testing of the software's code has been completed.

Furthermore, RTM means the final product should be all set for its October 26th release date for consumers.

Microsoft noted that members of the Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) and IT pros with TechNet subscriptions will get the OS on August 16th. Additionally, OEMs like Acer, Asus, Dell, Lenovo and Toshiba now have the OS.

Upgraders can get Windows 8 Pro for $39.99 and anyone who purchases a new Windows 7 PC between June and next January will get the OS for $15.





AfterDawn: News

Twitter reaches 500 million users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Aug 2012 8:59

Twitter reaches 500 million users Analytics firm Semiocast has reported this week that Twitter has surpassed the 500 million user account milestone.

Despite the large number, only 170 million of those accounts are active.

To be "active," the account must have been modified sometime in the last three months, including adding a new follow or making a tweet. Even changing your avatar qualifies you. Says the company: "We believe this is close to a monthly login rate."

Perhaps more importantly, the milestone figure does not include spam accounts, which Twitter has recently been deleting en masse.

Interestingly, most Twitter users (75.4 percent) use the Twitter's "own access points," including the native Twitter apps and TweetDeck. 27.6 percent of all activity comes from Twitter's desktop apps and through the browser site while 61 percent comes from mobile clients on all platforms.





AfterDawn: News

Amazon Instant Video now available on iPad

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Aug 2012 8:03

Amazon Instant Video now available on iPad Amazon has made their extensive Instant Video streaming catalog available to iPad tablet owners.

Instant Video is available free to all Amazon Prime members. Prime costs $79 per year and gives owners free two-day shipping on most items sold by Amazon, and discounted $3.99 one-day or even same-day shipping to most locations.

The catalog itself has over 18,000 movies and TV episodes, not quite up to Netflix's count but many believe the selection is better not to mention it is cheaper and comes with all the benefits of Prime.

If you want to purchase or rent a video, Amazon offers 120,000 titles and episodes.





AfterDawn: News

Apple TV finally gets Hulu Plus

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Aug 2012 7:56

Apple TV finally gets Hulu Plus Hulu Plus has now been made available via the Apple TV set-top box.

Hulu says you will be greeted by a Hulu Plus icon on the Apple TV home screen from which you can login or register.

The streaming service costs $7.99 per month, but Hulu regularly offers 1 month trials for free to first-time users. If you register through iTunes via the set-top, you will get a 1 week free trial to test the service.

Be reminded that unlike Netflix, Hulu Plus offers episodes from current seasons a week after they air for most content or even the next day for some other content. With that positive comes a negative, however, as Hulu Plus has ads, even though you are a premium subscriber.

The service has content from ABC, Fox, NBC, CW, Univision and more.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung planning at least two dual-core Windows Phone 8 devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2012 11:08

Samsung planning at least two dual-core Windows Phone 8 devices During their ongoing court battle with Apple, Samsung has revealed plans for at least two dual-core Windows 8 phones.

Codenamed 'Odyssey' and 'Marco,' each of the phones will run on a 1.5GHz Qualcomm MSM8960 chip; the same chip Microsoft has been using to test the OS.

Samsung called the 'Odyssey' an 'iconic smartphone and the documents show the device featuring a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display with 720p resolution and an 8MP standard camera.

Furthermore, the device will support NFC, including Microsoft's Wallet Hub and Tap + Send.

The Marco will be a lower-end phone, with a 4-inch S-AMOLED display with WVGA resolution and a 5MP camera.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Galaxy Note finally making its way to T-Mobile

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2012 10:41

Galaxy Note finally making its way to T-Mobile T-Mobile will be finally getting the Samsung Galaxy Note, six months after rival carriers made it available.

The massive 5.3-inch display phone will cost $200 or $250 with two-year service, depending on the type of plan you choose.

Samsung's device runs on Android 4.0 ICS, has access to T-Mobile's fast HSPA+ 42 network and comes with Samsung's Premium Suite of apps pre-installed.

The Premium Suite "provides a range of productivity-enhancing features, such as the S Pen, S Note, S Memo and Polaris Office. Now T-Mobile customers can write notes, to-do lists and annotate documents; share ideas and edited content; and create documents, presentations and spreadsheets to maximize efficiency while on the go. S Note helps to professionalize communications by providing templates for seven commonly used documents such as an idea note, travel notes, diary entry, meeting notes and recipes. S Note also allows you to import and annotate a PDF file and convert dictated or handwritten memos to text with the Continual Voice Input and Handwriting-to-Text features. With S Memo, Galaxy Note users have one-touch access to creating a typewritten, handwritten or voice dictated memo; researching information during creation; and adding an image."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Motorola sticks to QWERTY with new high-end smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2012 10:03

Motorola sticks to QWERTY with new high-end smartphone Motorola has unveiled their new Photon Q 4G LTE smartphone, the first high-end device with a full QWERTY keyboard in recent memory.

The device is headed to Sprint and includes a full 5-row QWERTY keyboard, a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, a 4.3 inch ColorBoost qHD 540x960 display, 8 GB internal storage, 1 GB RAM, 3G/4G LTE support, world-wide GSM roaming and 8/1.3MP cameras.

Additionally, the device will have a 1785 mAh battery, NFC support and Bluetooth 4.0.

Importantly for devs, the bootloader will be unlockable, although it will ship locked by default.





AfterDawn: News

North Korea disables camera, memory card and Bluetooth functions from new phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2012 9:53

North Korea disables camera, memory card and Bluetooth functions from new phones It appears that North Korea has disabled video camera, memory card and Bluetooth functions from new mobile phones in an effort to control the flow of information in the nation.

Additionally, the new rules will block subscribers from using their phone outside of the city where it is registered.

"Mobile phones have played a big role in spreading information," added Ishimaru Jiro, the publisher of Rimjin-gang Magazine. The magazine is written by Japanese journalists undercover inside North Korea.

New subscribers were given distinct first four digit numbers in a move that would isolate the 1 million phone subscribers with video cameras, Bluetooth and memory cards.

If you want to keep the features, and your old number, you have to pay $1000, a number well out of reach for most of the population. The average North Korean citizen makes $3 USD per month (yes $3), a heinously low figure.

The move should effectively block smartphones from the nation as well as the free flow of information.





AfterDawn: News

HTC One X+ headed to T-Mobile in a few months

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jul 2012 9:12

HTC One X+ headed to T-Mobile in a few months According to a new report, the so-called HTC One X+ may be headed to T-Mobile later this year.

The One X+, if the reports are true, will launch with Android 41. Jelly Bean, and be the first device to run on a Qualcomm quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 processor. Potentially, the device could also be powered by the new 1.7 GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3+ chip, which includes LTE support.

Having a Tegra 3+ chip would make sense for the "+" in the name, but this is all here-say for now.

Formerly, the device had the codename Era 42.

The new phone is expected to hit T-Mobile in September.






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