AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Andre Yoskowitz (February, 2013)

AfterDawn: News

Pandora to limit free mobile users to 40 hours per month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Feb 2013 12:05

Pandora to limit free mobile users to 40 hours per month Pandora has said today that it will limit free mobile users to just 40 hours per month of music.

The move will help the company control rising royalty costs.

In its blog post, the company says the average free listener normally spends 20 hours listening to music throughout the course of the month, and not necessarily on mobile only.

The company adds that only 4 percent of active users ever hit 40 hours per month.

Per-track royalty rates have jumped 9 percent this year, following a trend since 2009. The rates are expected to rise another 16 percent by 2015.

If you hit the 40 hour mark, you can pay $1 for unlimited listening for the rest of the month, or just continue to listen on your PC.





AfterDawn: News

Amazon releases iPad-optimized Cloud Player app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 9:16

Amazon releases iPad-optimized Cloud Player app Amazon has announced today that its Cloud Player is headed to the iPad and iPad Mini.

The tablet-optimized app is now available for free in the Apple App Store, allowing users to stream or download the music stored in the Cloud Player account.

Additionally, you will be able to manage and create playlists from the music.

Any song purchased through Amazon can be streamed for free and the first 250 non-Amazon-purchased tracks can be uploaded for free. After that, the cost is $25 for up to 250,000 songs.

The Cloud Player has been available for Android, the Kindle Fire and some other set-top boxes and TVs for some time. The app was made available to the iPhone during the summer last year.





AfterDawn: News

EBayer tried selling fake Google Glass and bids went up to $15,900

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 9:06

EBayer tried selling fake Google Glass and bids went up to $15,900 It only lasted a few hours, but eBay has taken down an auction from a seller claiming to have a pair of Google Glass.

The auction went up to $15,900, showing massive demand for the augmented reality glasses that Google recently unveiled.

In the auction, the seller claimed he was able to purchase the glasses through Google's #ifihadglass competition. Unfortunately for the seller, the claim was completely false, as Google will not be letting winners know until mid-March. In fact, the competition only closed today. Winners are also barred from reselling the devices, as per Google's rules.

Here is the cache of the page (including the awfully written description):

Google Glasses ( Project Glass ) #ifihadglass Glasses





AfterDawn: News

Ubuntu Touch preview headed to at least 20 new devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 4:33

Ubuntu Touch preview headed to at least 20 new devices Last week, Canonical released their Ubuntu Touch developer preview for Nexus smartphone and tablet owners.

The company has announced today that at least 20 more devices will soon be able to flash the operating system, allowing for a much wider developer base.

Among the new devices are the Motorola XOOM, Sony Xperia S, Sony Xperia T, Samsung Galaxy S III (international, Verizon Wireless, and AT&T), Huawei Ascend G300, Samsung Galaxy S (GT-I9000), Samsung Galaxy S SCL (GT-I90003), Samsung Galaxy Note, Samsung Galaxy Note II, Samsung Galaxy S II (international), HTC One X, HTC One XL, HTC One X+ (multiple versions), Asus Transformer Infinity, LG Optimus 4x HD, Nexus S, Nexus One, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi and the Asus Transformer Pad.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Spotify finally updates iOS application

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 4:15

Spotify finally updates iOS application Spotify has given iOS device owners a nice overhaul for their favorite app.

Version 0.6 brings most of the updates Android users have had over the past few months, including the "always-on" Now Playing bottom bar and the navigation sidebar.

Additionally, a few existing bugs have been fixed, such as the lock screen errors.

Full release list:

New: Shiny new interface. You can navigate around the app with a new sidebar. Check it out by swiping left-to-right, or by pressing the ≣ button in the top left of the app.
New: Now Playing bar. You'll always see what you're listening to along the bottom of Spotify. To switch tracks, just swipe along it. Tap or drag to see more information about the current track. Tap the cover art in the extended view to use AirPlay, and disable/enable shuffle and repeat.
New: Track menu. Tap the ... button on any track to see a redesigned context menu.
Fixed: "Track only available online" issues. This would sometimes appear after start-up, or when you'd been offline for a little while. Not any more.
Fixed: Lock screen will now always display the correct track.
Fixed: Shuffle now switches off after you've used "Shuffle Play" on an album or playlist.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Site releases Nvidia Tegra 4 gaming demo video

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 3:20

Site releases Nvidia Tegra 4 gaming demo video PhoneArena has released a demo video showcasing gaming with a Nvidia Tegra 4 processor.

The company is using a reference tablet running the upcoming processing suite, and the site was able to test it at Mobile World Congress.

A few of the games that were pre-loaded were Vampire Hunter and Dead on Arrival 2, both of which are said to have played beautifully.

Nvidia says there are just 5 games that are optimized for the processor, Burn Zombie Burn, Carie: Blood Mansion, CODEX: The Warrior, Dead on Arrival 2, and RU Golf.

Check the video here:





AfterDawn: News

Mega's Kim Dotcom announces upcoming encrypted email addition to service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 3:06

Mega's Kim Dotcom announces upcoming encrypted email addition to service Kim Dotcom has announced that he plans to add an encrypted email service to the newly launched "Mega" file sharing service.

The larger than life Internet rights activist recently announced that the service reached 3 million registered users in just one month of availability, with those users storing 125 million files.

Dotcom says, "it took [US cloud storage company] Dropbox two years to achieve that. We can see really high demand for this storage."

He then mentioned the email service, saying "we're going to extend this to secure email which is fully encrypted so that you won't have to worry that a government or internet service provider will be looking at your email."

Dotcom is still facing charges over Megaupload, which was the largest file sharing site on the planet before it was raided last year and shut down for good.





AfterDawn: News

FTC has strong words for other OEMs following HTC ruling

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 2:14

FTC has strong words for other OEMs following HTC ruling Earlier this week, HTC America announced that it would settle with the FCC over claims it did not "take adequate steps to eliminate security flaws" that eventually put millions of smartphone owner's data at risk of being stolen.

The FCC had claimed that HTC built millions of phones with security flaws that allowed for third-party applications to "evade Android's permission-based security model." Android, which will always give users notice if data is being revealed to third parties, was prevented from doing so by the flaws built into the HTC smartphones.

FTC officials had strong words for other OEMs that may be considering following in HTC's footsteps.

"To settle the case - the FTC's first against a device manufacturer - HTC has agreed to a far-reaching settlement that imposes a first-of-its-kind remedy: patching vulnerabilities on millions of mobile devices," FTC senior attorney Lesley Fair wrote in the commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection blog.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Unauthorized P2P music sharing falls by 26 percent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 12:55

Unauthorized P2P music sharing falls by 26 percent According to NPD, users of P2P services to download unauthorized music has fallen 17 percent year-over-year in the U.S. as consumers move towards legal alternatives.

Due to the drop, overall volume of illegally downloaded music fell 26 percent, a number that must certainly excite the record labels.

NPD's annual survey showed that piracy as a whole (for music) is falling in nearly every category.

Music files ripped from CDs owned by family/friends/acquaintances dropped by 44 percent, the number of files shared between hard drives fell by 25 percent and the volume of music downloads from cyber lockers fell by 28 percent reads the survey.

For most of those surveyed, the reason given for the slowdown in piracy was the readily available legal alternatives, such as Spotify, that offer unlimited offerings with the ability to search for tracks, new and old.





AfterDawn: News

LG shows off 'world's smallest' wireless charger

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 12:42

LG shows off 'world's smallest' wireless charger Today at the Mobile World Congress convention, LG unveiled the "world's smallest" wireless charger, clocking in at just 6.9-cm in diameter.

The device will use the Qi standard seen on rival chargers, and it also uses "electromagnetic induction technology, meaning users will be required to place their mobile device directly on the wireless charger itself in order to replenish the battery," says TH.

Dubbed the WCP-300, the new charger is compatible with standard 5-pin micro-USB chargers, and the company says the LG Nexus 4 and the LG Spectrum 2 can use the charger right out of the box.

"Wireless charging is the holy grail of smartphone user convenience," noted Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "With the WCP-300, LG was able to deliver both portability with top-class charging capabilities in a device no larger than a typical beverage coaster."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Instagram reaches 100 million users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 12:34

Instagram reaches 100 million users According to CEO Kevin Systrom, Instagram has now reached 100 million users.

The number is impressive in its own right, but even more so considering the exec made a similar announcement a year ago boasting 27 million users.

Reads part of the blog post: "Now, nearly two and a half years later, over 100 million people use Instagram every month. It's easy to see this as an accomplishment for a company, but I think the truth is that it's an accomplishment for our community. Now, more than ever, people are capturing the world in real-time using Instagram--sharing images from the farthest corners of the globe. What we see as a result is a world more connected and understood through photographs."

While the company was growing quickly on its own, it surely has had help after being acquired by Facebook for $1 billion last year. Zuckerberg and co. have integrated the service into the News Feed and added some marketing muscle.

Read the rest of the post here: Instagram 100 million





AfterDawn: News

Online gambling now legal in New Jersey

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 12:23

Online gambling now legal in New Jersey New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed a bill this week legalizing Internet gambling in the state, making NJ the largest such state to do so.

The bill will be on a 10-year trial basis, and Christie also "raised the taxes on the Atlantic City casinos' online winnings from 10 to 15 percent."

Nevada and Delaware were the only other states to have legalized online betting, but they are notably smaller in population than New Jersey.

"This was a critical decision, and one that I did not make lightly," Christie added. "But with the proper regulatory framework and safeguards that I insisted on including in the bill, I am confident that we are offering a responsible yet exciting option that will make Atlantic City more competitive while also bringing financial benefits to New Jersey as a whole."

The move will bring added revenue to the state, and also (hopefully) attract new gamblers to the physical casinos spread across Atlantic City. Comps such as free hotel rooms, tickets to shows, and meals and drinks can be accrued online and then redeemed in person.

Governor Christies' full speech:

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Google will continue selling hardware through Play Store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 12:04

Google will continue selling hardware through Play Store Speaking at the MWC, Google Play VP Jamie Rosenberg explicitly stated that the model of selling hardware through their Play Store is "here to stay."

While that response seems obvious now, there had been internal discussions on whether the company was prepared. The recent Nexus 4 launch was an unmitigated disaster, with servers crashing and errors galore, but other launches, including the Nexus 10 tablet and the Nexus 4 Wireless Charger have been smoother.

"We're getting better at fulfilling demand and kind of operating the store in a way that consumers expect us to," Rosenberg added (via Verge).

The exec went on to say that the Store is "a reliable way for us to get these devices into market in different countries around the world." This is true as the Nexus 4, at the very least, is available to customers in seven different countries while also available in retail stores in the U.S.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung says 'no' to Firefox OS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 11:52

Samsung says 'no' to Firefox OS While other notable smartphone makers have already signed on, Samsung will be passing on Mozilla's Firefox OS.

Speaking during the Mobile World Congress event, the company noted that it will not be creating a Firefox OS device in the future.

Mozilla has already partnered with LG, Alcatel, ZTE, Huawei, Geeksphone and most recently Sony on the hardware side. On the carrier side, the company has partnered with Latin American giant Telefonica, the U.S.' Sprint, European giant Deutsche Telekom and 14 other smaller carriers.

Each of the upcoming devices will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and generally include low-end specs aimed at budget-conscious consumers.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

The Pirate Bay has departed Sweden, setting sail for Spain and Norway

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 11:35

The Pirate Bay has departed Sweden, setting sail for Spain and Norway The infamous torrent tracker The Pirate Bay will be departing Sweden en route to Norway and Spain.

Sweden's Pirate Party advocate group had been providing bandwidth for the site since 2009, but the group now faces a legal threat from the anti-piracy group Rights Alliance.

For now, Pirate Party operations in Spain and Norway will step in to be local hosts for Internet connectivity.

In their statement, the Norwegian Pirate Bay says it will provide the bandwidth as a "symbolic gesture to support The Pirate Bay...which is a search engine for cultural content." It also added that "non-commercial file sharing does not pose any problem in society."

While the nations do have anti-piracy laws in place, there have so far been no cases to prosecute bandwidth providers.





AfterDawn: News

Sony planning Firefox OS phone for 2014

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 11:18

Sony planning Firefox OS phone for 2014 Sony Mobile has announced it has "ambitions" to release a Firefox OS smartphone in 2014 through carrier Telefonica.

Adds Bob Ishida, head of Sony Mobile Communications' Products Business Group: "Our engineers are now working with Firefox OS Mobile and HTML5, evolving technologies which show great potential. In addition, we continue to work with our operator partners, including Telefónica, on a development project with an ambition to bring a product to market in 2014."

The recently revealed operating system, which will be aimed at the emerging markets, already has partners in Alcatel, ZTE, Geeksphone, LG and Huawei.

Telefonica is one of the largest carriers in Latin America, and Firefox OS phones will be aimed at budget-conscious consumers in those nations.





AfterDawn: News

'Game of Thrones' director: Piracy does not hurt us

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 10:16

'Game of Thrones' director: Piracy does not hurt us Blockbuster HBO hit "Game of Thrones" is well known to be the most pirated show on television now.

Director David Petrarca doesn't seem to care, however, downplaying any piracy since he says the show thrives on "cultural buzz."

In 2012, each episode of GoT was illegally downloaded almost 4 million times, making it far and away the most downloaded show on television, even ahead of perennial winners like Dexter.

Petrarca says HBO has 26 million subscribers in the US and 60 million worldwide, leaving plenty of dollars for the content to continue.





AfterDawn: News

'Arrested Development' will not get second Netflix season

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2013 9:55

'Arrested Development' will not get second Netflix season Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has said today that Arrested Development will not be getting a second season with the streaming service.

The exec says the comedy was revived under "unrepeatable circumstances."

Starting next month, Netflix will stream 14 episodes of the cult classic comedy that was cancelled by Fox after three seasons and low viewership in 2006.

"Arrested is a unique property, we don't anticipate being able to do season five, six and seven," Hastings added. "We have less of a stake in it. It is really a fantastic one-off, which is coming together incredibly. I think it will be amazing for us, but think of it as a nonrepeatable amazing, whereas the other thing that we are doing is to trying to figure out a real mechanism where we can build shows and develop franchises over the long term. In that way, Arrested Development is a wildly successful tactic, as opposed to fundamental to the strategy."

That being said, the company hopes to be able to produce future seasons.





AfterDawn: News

Nokia planning their cheapest Lumia device yet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2013 7:56

Nokia planning their cheapest Lumia device yet Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has suggested today that the company is working on their lowest priced Lumia device yet.

The company has been rumored to be exiting the high-end smarpthone market dominated by Samsung and Apple to attempt to dominate the low-end and emerging markets as they once did with Symbian.

According to Elop, the new device will be priced even lower than the newly unveiled Lumia 520, which will sell for just €139.

During their event this week, the company launched four new devices, two low-end Lumias and two non-Lumia phones, one that sells for just €15 phone. That mass market device will replace Nokia's 1280, which sold over 100 million units during its lifespan.

So far to date, the Lumia line has sold 14 million units.





AfterDawn: News

Nokia unveils Music app for Windows 8 and RT

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2013 7:28

Nokia unveils Music app for Windows 8 and RT Nokia Music will soon be available for Windows 8 and Windows RT, after a few months of availability solely on Windows Phones.

The new app will be designed specifically for Windows tablets, and was unveiled at the MWC event in Spain this week.

Nokia's unlimited streaming service is similar to Pandora in which you can create playlists based on your favorite songs, artists or genres and the service selects similar music.

The service is cheap compared to rivals, at just $4 per month, and subscribers can download offline playlists.

Some screenshots (via Verge):







AfterDawn: News

Internet Explorer 10 now available for Windows 7

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2013 7:01

Internet Explorer 10 now available for Windows 7 Microsoft has quietly rolled out its latest Internet Explorer 10 browser for Windows 7 users.

The release preview was made available in mid-November, and the final version is now available to W7 users, which remain the majority of Microsoft's customers.

IE10 had previously only been available to Windows 8 users.

You must have Service Pack 1 installed to be able to download the browser, which is available in 32 and 64-bit variants. Most likely, if you have Windows 7, you have SP1, so that should not be an issue. Auto-updaters will take place for IE users in the coming weeks.

Outside of some aesthetic updates, IE10 also brings better JavaScript performance, integrated spell checking and auto-correct functions, and better support for the new CSS3.

Get it here: IE 10





AfterDawn: News

'Angry Birds' gets its own cartoon starting next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2013 6:34

'Angry Birds' gets its own cartoon starting next month Rovio's "Angry Birds" cartoon is set to debut on March 16th.

The most popular mobile game of the last few years continues to build its franchise, expanding to TV (kind of) and even sodas.

Dubbed "Angry Birds Toons," the show will look into the characters of Angry Birds, the birds and the pigs and we learn why the pigs are stealing from the birds in the first place.

The cartoon will only be available through the Angry Birds mobile app.

Rovio expects there to be one episode per week for the entire year, as each episode is only 7 minutes long, or so.





AfterDawn: News

Sony Xperia Tablet Z given release date, priced

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2013 1:10

Sony Xperia Tablet Z given release date, priced Sony has priced their highly anticipated Xperia Tablet Z.

The new Xperia Tablet Z is a full-sized 10.1-inch tablet that is just 6.9mm thick, even thinner than the iPad Mini.

Under the hood, the tablet runs on Android 4.1, features a 1920x1200 resolution, a quad-core 1.5GHz processor, LTE, NFC, and IR blaster and an 8MP "backside-illuminated sensor" camera. It is all powered by a large 6000mAh battery.

Sony also says the device is waterproof and dustproof.

Finally, the company is promoting a new feature it calls "S-Force Front Surround 3D," which supposedly helps convey a feeling of surround sound and spacial movement.

"Xperia Tablet Z sets new standards in entertainment by matching premium specifications and Sony technology with cross-device connectivity and a consistent user-experience," said Kaz Tajima, Corporate Vice President, Head of UX Creative Design and Planning, at Sony Mobile Communications. "Xperia Tablet Z reinforces our intention to be a leading player in the premium Android device market, by building on the principles established by Xperia Z and perfectly optimising them for the tablet form factor."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

All PlayStation 4 games will be available for download

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2013 12:39

All PlayStation 4 games will be available for download According to Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida, every PlayStation 4 game will be available for digital download.

"PS4 will be similar to PS Vita in that every game will be available as a digital download, and some will also be available as a disc," said the exec.

More importantly, Yoshida says there is the possibility of a subscription service once there is a large enough PS4 library. "As more and more services and contents become available digitally, we'll have more of an option to create attractive packages. So hypothetically we can look at different models – like a cable TV company. We could have gold, silver or platinum levels of membership, something like that. We can do subscription services when we have more content – especially now that we have the Gaikai technology available. With one subscription you have access to thousands of games – that's our dream."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Samsung to merge Bada into newer Tizen operating system

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2013 11:28

Samsung to merge Bada into newer Tizen operating system Samsung has finally announced it will be killing off its Bada operating system, and merging the OS into the newer Tizen, which itself was a merger of existing software.

The company has stated that it will be releasing multiple Tizen phones this year aimed at the low-end market. Additionally, the move is seen as a way for Samsung to break its dependence on Android in the mobile world.

After the two merge, Tizen phones will be able to run apps that were designed for existing Bada phones, such as the Wave.

"Rather than seeing this as a straightforward merger, it's better to view it as a transition to a better service," says Hong Won-pyo, the president of Samsung's Media Solutions Center (via Verge).

Hong says Bada was not a good fit for modern phones, but it appears that Bada and Tizen are close enough in foundation to merge seamlessly.





AfterDawn: News

Asus shows off 5-inch 1080p Padfone Infinity

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2013 10:46

Asus shows off 5-inch 1080p Padfone Infinity Asus has unveiled their new Padfone Infinity today, providing a flagship for their smartphone/tablet hybrid series.

As with other PadFones, the Infinity is a smartphone that can turn into a tablet when docked into a station.

The device will ship with Android 4.2 and be powered by a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core processor with an Adreno 320 GPU. The screen is 5-inches and has a 1080p 1,920 x 1,080 resolution with 441 ppi.

Asus has boasted about the phone's cameras, which are a 2MP front-side camera and a rear LED flash 13MP f/2.0 aperture with lagless shutter speeds. Additionally, "the camera can capture up to 100 sequential photos at 8 frames per second, while simultaneously recording 1080p HD video," says Cnet.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Iceland is trying to ban Internet pornography

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2013 10:07

Iceland is trying to ban Internet pornography The government of Iceland is drafting plans to ban Internet pornography (and print, as well) in an effort to block children from seeing violent sexual images.

Proposed originally by Interior Minister Ogmundur Jonasson, the draft has already caused an uproar, as opponents say the move would censor the Web and encourage even more authoritarian regimes.

Advocates feel differently: "When a 12-year-old types 'porn' into Google, he or she is not going to find photos of naked women out on a country field, but very hardcore and brutal violence," says Halla Gunnarsdottir, political adviser to the interior minister. "There are laws in our society. Why should they not apply to the Internet?"

Iceland already has a vaguely worded law that bans pornography in the nation, but the term "pornography" itself is not defined in the law, so it is never enforced. The new law would define pornography as "material with violent or degrading content."

Gunnarsdottir says the committee is still looking into how the ban could be effectively enforced. One possibility is a national filter or a blacklist, while another being discussed is banning paying for porn with Icelandic credit cards.





AfterDawn: News

HP to sell $169 Android tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2013 9:30

HP to sell $169 Android tablet HP has announced a $169 Android tablet, undercutting rivals and adding its own player in the increasingly saturated small form factor tablet market.

The new Slate 7 will run on Android 4.1, has a dual-core 1.6GHz SoC, and features dual cameras and Beats Audio for better speaker sound.

From the outside, the tablet looks very generic and has a 16x9 display and an ugly large bezel.

HP is the largest PC maker on the planet (for the time being) but PC sales have peaked and the company needs to make up the revenue elsewhere. So far, their expenditures into the mobile space have failed.

Despite the price, the Slate 7 is nothing special, but the company does have an established brand name and a wide distribution network which should help it move units.

The Slate 7 will be available in April.





AfterDawn: News

LG purchases webOS from HP, will port operating system to Smart TVs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2013 8:58

LG purchases webOS from HP, will port operating system to Smart TVs LG has announced today that it will be purchasing webOS from HP, giving the operating system a new home, again.

The operating system will get a third shot at life in smart TVs, says LG, who will not use it as a mobile OS.

As part of the deal, LG will acquire the source code for WebOS, all related documentation and engineering talent, and any related WebOS Web sites. Additionally, LG gets all HP licenses and any patents HP received from Palm.

HP purchased Palm for over $1 billion, completely mismanaged the operating system, and never released any viable products using the operating system. HP then relegated it to open-source, pretty much leaving it for dead.

"It creates a new path for LG to offer an intuitive user experience and Internet services across a range of consumer electronics devices," added Skott Ahn, president and chief technology officer of LG Electronics Inc.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung Galaxy S IV to be unveiled on March 14th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2013 2:11

Samsung Galaxy S IV to be unveiled on March 14th Samsung has confirmed today that its Galaxy S IV event will indeed be on March 14th.

The flagship device will get its own Unpacked event in New York City, following the footsteps of previous Galaxy phones.

Samsung will livestream the event at 7PM on the day.

There is little known about the device but it expected to have a 5-inch 1080p display, an IR blaster and a new, more powerful GPU.






AfterDawn: News

HTC settles with FCC over software security flaws

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2013 9:25

HTC settles with FCC over software security flaws HTC America has announced this weekend that it will settle with the FCC over claims it did not "take adequate steps to eliminate security flaws" that eventually put millions of smartphone owner's data at risk of being stolen.

The FCC had claimed that HTC built millions of phones with security flaws that allowed for third-party applications to "evade Android's permission-based security model."

Android, which will always give users notice if data is being revealed to third parties, was prevented from doing so by the flaws built into the HTC smartphones.

As part of the settlement, HTC America will need to patch all existing software holes and create a new "comprehensive security program." For its part, HTC says the majority of its devices have already had the issues addressed. "We're working to roll out the remaining software updates now and recommend customers download them once available," said a spokesman, via Reuters.





AfterDawn: News

White House petition to make phone unlocking legal again hits 100,000 signature threshold

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2013 9:05

White House petition to make phone unlocking legal again hits 100,000 signature threshold In January, it became illegal to unlock your phone in the U.S., unless your carrier authorizes it.

This week, outrage over the new policy has led to over 100,000 signatures on a petition at the White House site, meaning the government must respond to it and "champion a bill that makes unlocking permanently legal."

The policy is a big issue for anyone who wants to use their phone abroad, without needing to go through their U.S.' carrier's expensive roaming and international plans. Additionally, anyone who wants to move to a new GSM carrier in the U.S. (such as T-Mobile to AT&T), will have issues.

All phones purchased after January 26th are affected, so unlocking all your older phones will not be a problem.

Unfortunately for those who signed the petition, the new policy is monitored by the Library of Congress and "the Library of Congress is an independent legislative branch agency, and it is unclear what power President Obama has to reverse its decision, even if he agrees with the petition," says NPR.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung launches Galaxy Note 8.0 to compete with iPad Mini

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2013 7:55

Samsung launches Galaxy Note 8.0 to compete with iPad Mini Samsung has unveiled their long-rumored Galaxy Note 8.0, a tablet to compete directly with the iPad Mini.

The Note 8.0 has an 8-inch screen, slightly larger than the iPad's 7.9-inch screen, and will include the company's stylus, the S Pen.

Resolution is better than that of the iPad Mini, at 1280x800 and under the hood is a 1.6GHz A9 quad-core processor, 2GB RAM, dual cameras 1.3MP/5MP, and either 16GB or 32GB of storage that is expandable with a microSD slot. The device also has an IR blaster and includes "Smart Remote," a Peel-powered app that turns the tablet into an interactive TV remote.

The device will come with Android 4.1.2 and Samsung's own TouchWiz UX overlay. The device will also include HSPA+ or LTE depending on your market, and will be able to make phone calls if your carrier supports it.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

New YouTube channel hosts every Steve Jobs video, ever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2013 7:38

New YouTube channel hosts every Steve Jobs video, ever The big time Apple fan that started the "Every Apple TV Ad" YouTube channel has expanded, adding a new channel for its late founder Steve Jobs.

Dubbed the "Every Steve Jobs video" channel, there are currently above 150 clips of the Apple founder and CEO.

The site's creator had his reasons for putting the channel this week: "I'm a long time Apple enthusiast and throughout the years have gathered every single Steve Jobs video I could find ... To commemorate Steve Jobs birthday (Feb. 24th) I decided to put all these videos online and make them easily available for all. I believe it's the most complete archive available."

Clips go as far back as Steve's first TV appearance, with a young nervous Jobs claiming he might throw up.

Check the channel here: http://www.youtube.com/EverySteveJobsVideo





AfterDawn: News

Facebook adds VoIP calling to iOS service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2013 7:26

Facebook adds VoIP calling to iOS service Facebook has updated its iOS app this week, adding free VoIP calling for users in the U.S. and Canada.

The social networking giant had been testing the feature through its Messenger iOS app since early January.

Accessing the free calling is simple enough. Tapping a friend's name in the chat menu, and then heading to "info" will show off a new option to make a free call.

For the call to work, both users must have the latest version of Facebook.

The calls work via your existing data plan.





AfterDawn: News

'Six strikes' Copyright Alert System goes live in the U.S. tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2013 7:09

'Six strikes' Copyright Alert System goes live in the U.S. tomorrow The so-called "six strikes" Internet anti-piracy scheme set to go live tomorrow.

Center for Copyright Information's (CCI) Copyright Alert System is a way to educate accused pirates and eventually punish them if they do not change their ways.

Five ISPs have signed on to be a part of the CAS; Time Warner Cable, Verizon, Cablevision, Comcast and AT&T.

AT&T for example, after numerous warnings, will block subscriber's access to their most frequently visited websites until they complete a course on copyright. Verizon will throttle speeds of repeat pirates and Time Warner Cable will just temporarily shut down your connection. Cablevision and Comcast have not yet revealed their "punishments."

The system will monitor only torrent users, ignoring Newsgroups, P2P and warez downloaders.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Goldman Sachs: PlayStation 4 could 'cause downward spiral' for Sony

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2013 12:23

Goldman Sachs: PlayStation 4 could 'cause downward spiral' for Sony Goldman Sachs had some harsh words for the PlayStation 4 and its parent, Sony.

The bank's lead analyst Takashi Watanabe (of Goldman Sachs Japan), says the console could send Sony into a "downward spiral."

"In addition to dedicated consoles, we see little reason for developers to produce top titles for platforms with a low installed base; in turn there is a danger the installed base will not grow because the content lineup is weak," reads Watanabe's note.

Additionally, the analyst says the console's incompatibility with PS3 games is a huge disadvantage.

Outside of those harsh words, he did see some positive, including "the introduction of software development-friendly architecture and easy access to premium games such as Diablo Ⅲ." The analyst also believes the console could be a success if Sony markets it as a home entertainment center rather than a gaming console.





AfterDawn: News

Study: iPhones more reliable than other smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2013 11:40

Study: iPhones more reliable than other smartphones According to a new report from Q&A site FixYa, the iPhone is the most reliable smartphone.

The company "looked at data from 722,558 problem reports listed on the site, and combined that information with market share data from StatCounter to create an ultimate reliability score for each smartphone manufacturer," says Mash.

Apple beat out Samsung, Nokia and Motorola handily.

"Smartphones are consistently being compared on a case-by-case basis, but no one has looked at the overall trends across a manufacturer's entire smartphone line," added FixYa CEO and founder Yaniv Bensadon. "Our newest FixYa report looks at lines like the iPhone, Galaxy, or Lumia, and through a careful analysis of issues versus market share, we've been able to directly compare manufacturers using a reliability score. The result is an accurate and fair method of a scaled approach to fairly compare these top companies to truly see who is the most reliable, and who is barely even competing."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

PS4 will not support DualShock 3 controllers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2013 11:15

PS4 will not support DualShock 3 controllers Sony has confirmed; the upcoming PlayStation 4 will not support DualShock 3 controllers.

Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony's Worldwide Studios, says the PlayStation Move will be supported, however.

The move should not be seen as a total surprise, especially since the PS4 does not natively support PS3 games, anyways.

PS Move tech is built into the DualShock 4 controllers and there will be a PS4 Eye for motion gaming.

Sony just recently announced the PS4, showing off some gameplay demos and features. Read more from our launch post here: Sony Announces PS4





AfterDawn: News

IGN shuts down 1UP, UGO and GameSpy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2013 10:11

IGN shuts down 1UP, UGO and GameSpy Ziff Davis, the recent purchaser of IGN, has announced today that they will be shutting down many of the gaming site's properties.

The new owners will shut down 1UP, UGO and GameSpy and IGN will see layoffs, as well.

Ziff Davis CEO wrote a memo for employees, and leaked by Polygon. "We are focusing on our two flagship brands, IGN and AskMen. Unfortunately, as a result, we have made the decision to close sites and restructure our teams accordingly," reads the memo.

Additionally, the company answered why they are closing the sites down: "Why? Given the state of the market and the economy, it simply wasn't feasible to run multiple sites all focused on video game content," reads an IGN post.

Ziff Davis owned 1UP and UGO until 2009 before selling it to IGN. IGN was just bought out by Ziff last month.





AfterDawn: News

Google now in talks for new unlimited streaming music service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2013 9:47

Google now in talks for new unlimited streaming music service According to a new report, Google is now in talks with the major labels in an effort to launch an unlimited streaming music service.

In the report, it reads, "it is expected that the streaming service will offer a subscription model as well as free unlimited access to songs, supported by advertising, mirroring models adopted by Spotify and Deezer."

The move seems a natural expansion to the company's long-standing music download store in the U.S. and Europe.

As they do with other Google software, the search giant would include the streaming service with its Android phones and tablets, and its Chromebook PCs.





AfterDawn: News

Google Glass to cost under $1500 when it launches this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2013 9:25

Google Glass to cost under $1500 when it launches this year According to CNET, Google's new Google Glass eyewear will be available by the end of the year and cost under $1500 per pair.

The original target had been 2014.

Google also recently announced developer hackathons in both New York and San Francisco for people looking to use Glass in creative ways.

The search giant recently showed a full promotional video of Glass in use. Very early reviews claim the voice control UI still needs work, and Glass is only really functional in areas with fast data connections. The glasses Bluetooth to Android and iOS devices and can use Wi-Fi and 3G/4G from the connected phone, without having its own cellular radio.

Check the video here:





AfterDawn: News

Wikipedia to soon offer articles via text messages

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2013 8:58

Wikipedia to soon offer articles via text messages Wikimedia, the parent of the Wikipedia encyclopedia, has revealed plans to offer their 25 million articles via text message.

The plan is to offer the information to users in developing markets where smartphones, and especially Internet connections, are rare.

Users will be able to text the site for specific articles and have it texted back within seconds.

The new initiative will be funded by a $600,000 grant from the Knight Foundation, a large nonprofit media and journalism support organization.

Wikipedia also offers "Wikipedia Zero," a text-only low-bandwidth version of the encyclopedia for those with slower Internet. Launched in 2011, Zero has just been rolled out to 330 million users in Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Read more about the initiatives here: The Knight Foundation





AfterDawn: News

Best Buy now offering $100 discount on all Windows 8 touchscreen PCs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2013 8:49

Best Buy now offering $100 discount on all Windows 8 touchscreen PCs Best Buy has confirmed that all Windows 8 touchscreen computers will have a discount, at least for the next two weeks.

Beginning tomorrow, and ending March 9th, the PCs will be priced with a $100 discount.

Notably, it appears that Best Buy will be part of the subsidizing, eating part of the cost of the discount along with Intel, Microsoft and the PC OEMs.

Not included in the discount? The Surface or other Windows tablets.

You can check the list here starting tomorrow: Best Buy





AfterDawn: News

Google I/O registration starts on March 13th, requires Google Wallet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2013 7:00

Google I/O registration starts on March 13th, requires Google Wallet Google has sent out invites for their 2013 I/O conference, which is slated for May 15th-17th this year.

The event will be held at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco and the company says registration will go live on March 13th at 7AM PST.

Prices are on par with last year's, with student pricing locked at $300 and general pricing at $900. The tickets sold out in under 15 minutes last year.

The event will be shared, live, via Google Developers Live and I/O Extended viewing parties, if you cannot secure a ticket in time.

Google has greatly impressed over the last few years with their I/O event, last year unveiling the Google Glass project, the Nexus 7 tablet, Google Now and Android 4.1.





AfterDawn: News

PlayStation 4 will not support 4K games, just videos

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2013 10:36

PlayStation 4 will not support 4K games, just videos During the console's unveiling earlier this week, Sony announced that the PlayStation 4 would have 4K resolution support.

Today, however, PlayStation Executive Shuhei Yoshida says the PS4 will support 4K for video and photos but not for games.

Additionally, 3D functionality will no longer be a focus for the console.

Says Yoshida: "The PS4 supports 4K output, but only for photos and videos -- not games. PS4 games do not work on 4K." In regards to 3D, "it's not a focus. But it does do it better. The basic capability is higher so more games will run at 1080p at 60 frames so it's an easier and better experience when you watch on 3D TV."

The exec then elaborated on the company's 3D strategy.

"3D was a big thing a couple of years ago -- we made it a big thing because it was lead by the consumer electronics side of Sony and we liked what we could do on PS3 using 3D stereoscopic," Yoshida added. "But now the consumer electronics side of Sony, or all of the companies have shifted focus from 3D TV to something else, so if they're not talking about it, why would we?"





AfterDawn: News

NYPD creates dedicated team to catch iPhone, iPad thieves

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2013 10:18

NYPD creates dedicated team to catch iPhone, iPad thieves The theft of Apple portable devices has become so widespread in New York City that the NYPD has created a dedicated team to catch the thieves.

All Apple devices, when stolen, are tracked by the police and Apple, who can usually track the location of the device thanks to its IMEI.

"We're looking for ways to find individuals who have stolen Apple products and return the products to their original owners," said NYPD spokesman Paul Browne (via NYP). "It is being done to learn the pattern who is stealing."

Just recently, an iPad was tracked as far as the Dominican Republic and recovered. 74 percent of devices are found within New York City, however, says the police.

With the new dedicated team, the NYPD hopes to recover even more of the devices.





AfterDawn: News

Report: Xbox 8 to be revealed at April event

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2013 9:56

Report: Xbox 8 to be revealed at April event According to multiple reports, Microsoft is preparing to reveal their Xbox successor at an event in April.

Sony recently showed off features and some gameplay demos for its upcoming PlayStation 4, although the company did not unveil the actual hardware itself. The console is set for launch in November.

Giving more credence to the rumor is the fact that Microsoft partner Ustechs has already registered the domain XboxEvent.com. Ustechs has partnered with Microsoft in the past for previous media briefings like last year's E3.

The new Xbox is expected to launch with Kinect 2, a Blu-ray drive, majorly improved specs and improved speech recognition, much like Apple's Siri service. Supposedly, it will support "wake on voice", natural language controls and provide for speech-to-text.





AfterDawn: News

Sources: Nokia to get back to its roots with cheaper handsets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2013 8:49

Sources: Nokia to get back to its roots with cheaper handsets After trying their hand at the high-end smartphone market with little success, sources are claiming that Nokia will get back to its roots and try to dominate the low-end handset market and emerging markets.

The new phones will compete with devices from ZTE and Huawei, which are cheap and run on Android.

Nokia once ruled the smartphone world with its Symbian phones, controlling over 80 percent share. That share has gone to practically zero since the release of the iPhone and the launch of Android.

Last year, the device maker began selling its Windows Phone-based Lumia phones, in an effort to take share away from Apple and Samsung. Sales have been accelerating for their high-end devices, but most of Nokia's revenue still comes from the low-end market.

The sources claim Nokia will introduce a low-end Nokia at next week's Mobile World Congress, for global launch in emerging markets.





AfterDawn: News

Orange purchases the rest of video sharing site Dailymotion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2013 8:16

Orange purchases the rest of video sharing site Dailymotion In 2011, Orange purchased a 49 percent share of video sharing site Dailymotion for $78 million, with the expectation that they would eventually purchase the rest.

This week, Orange has announced it has spent $80.6 million for the remaining stake, giving the company complete ownership.

The deal closed on January 10th, says Orange's recent quarterly earnings statements.

Dailymotion averages 2.5 billion views per month and 106 million unique visitors, making it one of the most popular video sharing sites on the planet. However, the site pales in comparison to Google's YouTube in regards to traffic. The site is also profitable, mainly thanks to its huge popularity in France, where it is the video sharing site of choice.

Reports indicate that Orange is also looking for an American investor to buy a small stake: "It is clear that to accelerate the development of the company, Dailymotion needs to find a solid strategic partner, probably American, that is capable of opening the doors to the US market. Beyond this, we are very happy with what has been achieved in the past few months (revenue growth of 55% in 2012). Our partnership with Dailymotion is an excellent illustration of the pertinence of our content strategy."





AfterDawn: News

NBCU bought back MSNBC.com for almost $200 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2013 7:16

NBCU bought back MSNBC.com for almost $200 million Thanks to Comcast's recent earnings report, we can see that NBCU had to spend $195 million to buy back that half of MSNBC.com that it didn't own.

The "M" in MSNBC was for owner Microsoft, and the site was rebranded to NBCNews.com after the purchase.

In the filing, the company says the final purchase price was $195 million, "net of $100 million of cash and cash equivalents held at MSNBC.com that were acquired in the transaction."

The site is now dedicated to the political-based cable news outlet.





AfterDawn: News

France to make large investment in high-speed broadband for citizens

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2013 6:46

France to make large investment in high-speed broadband for citizens French president François Hollande has announced this week that the government will make a large investment to ensure that every household in France will have high-speed broadband by 2023.

The president expects half of the population to get the Internet by the end of 2017.

"High-speed broadband strengthens [France's] businesses competitiveness and the quality of [its] public services. [It] will bring more fluidity, more simplicity for communications between business, their customers, and the public sector as well," Hollande added.

Altogether, the investment required will be €20 billion, with a mix of public and private funds. Telcos will likely have to give €7 billion to fund the infrastructure in densely populated areas.

An ad hoc public body will be set up to coordinate the investments over the next 10 years.





AfterDawn: News

North Korea will allow foreigners to use mobile Internet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2013 6:27

North Korea will allow foreigners to use mobile Internet North Korea will now allow foreigners to use the Internet on their mobile phones, the second time in recent memory that the country has relaxed its normally stringent rules.

Unfortunately, if you are a citizen of the nation, you will not get access to the new mobile Internet service that will be offered by Koryolink.

Koryo is a joint venture between the Korea Post & Telecommunications Corporation and Egypt's Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding SAE.

The service will launch by March 1st, and will be 3G, not the newer 4G LTE network seen in the U.S. and other nations.

Until last month, foreigners could not even bring their own cellphones into the country, but that rule was relaxed as long as they use Koryolink SIM cards.





AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry 10 will not be getting native Instagram app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Feb 2013 11:10

BlackBerry 10 will not be getting native Instagram app According to new reports, BlackBerry 10 users will not be getting a native Instagram app.

While the large smartphone ecosystem does have native apps for majors like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, Instagram is reaching that level of mainstream and the news, if accurate, is a blow to the fledgling platform.

Say the sources: "There will be no [native] Instagram for BB10 for now. Frankly, I'm not sure there will ever be."

For BB users, the company is simply working on porting its Android version, but that will not offer the same experience as an app built on BlackBerry's "Cascades" SDK.

When asked, BlackBerry had little to say. "We have a strong partnership and are actively engaged around Instagram support for BB10 but we do not have an availability date at this point."





AfterDawn: News

Google shows off new touchscreen Chromebook with 'highest resolution screen' ever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Feb 2013 10:06

Google shows off new touchscreen Chromebook with 'highest resolution screen' ever Google has introduced their new 'Pixel' Chromebook today, featuring the "highest resolution screen that's ever been shipped on a laptop."

To that effect, the screen has a 239 ppi, beating out Apple's Retina Display and its 220 ppi.

Google SVP of Chrome and Apps Sundar Pichai says the Pixel will be a reference device for Google's hardware partners and also be aimed at power users.

Under the hood is an Intel Core i5 processor, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000, Dual-band WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and a backlit keyboard. The device features a 12.85-inch 2560 x 1700 touch-sensitive Gorilla Glass screen and weighs 3.35 pounds, on par with other Chromebooks.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

RIAA: Google is ineffective at preventing piracy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Feb 2013 9:15

RIAA: Google is ineffective at preventing piracy Last year, Google publicly announced it would be demoting all accused piracy sites in its search rankings.

This week, the RIAA has said the search giant is ineffective at preventing piracy, and the sites are just as easy to find as they ever were.

The RIAA, which is a trade group for the major record labels, initially applauded the decision but now seems to have turned to their usual negativity.

"We have found no evidence that Google's policy has had a demonstrable impact on demoting sites with large amounts of piracy," the RIAA added. "These sites consistently appear at the top of Google's search results for popular songs or artists."

For their report, the group searched for Billboard Top 100 hits, such as "Diamond" by Rihanna and "Locked Out of Heaven" by Bruno Mars.

The group tracked sites that Google themselves identify as "serial infringers" in their Copyright Transparency Report, and says that they were still "on page 1" in Google search results "over 98 percent of the time." Google defines a serial ingfringer as a site that is accused multiple times of hosting unauthorized content by copyright holders.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Ubuntu's Touch Developer Preview for mobile is now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Feb 2013 7:02

Ubuntu's Touch Developer Preview for mobile is now available Canonical has released the Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview today for smartphones and tablets.

The full launch of the operating system is set for 2014, with the first dedicated devices expected to hit later in 2014.

As you can imagine, the preview is somewhat unstable and is a work in progress.

The Developer Preview will work on Google devices, only, namely the Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10. That being said, you will still need to check compatibility, as some builds of the Nexus devices will not work, notably the Sprint and Verizon models of the Galaxy Nexus.

Canonical says this release is intended for developers, as the voice calling, browser, media player, camera and gallery apps work, but not much else. Ubuntu's voice search tool is also working.

Get the Preview here: Ubuntu Image

Follow the instructions here: Ubuntu Wiki





AfterDawn: News

Apple accounted for a full 20 percent of all U.S. consumer tech revenue in 2012

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2013 11:47

Apple accounted for a full 20 percent of all U.S. consumer tech revenue in 2012 Apple, with just a few products, managed to account for 20 percent of all 2012 U.S. consumer tech revenue.

The data comes via NPD, which says Apple grew to its current share from a 17.3 percent share in 2011.

Samsung took second place at 9.3 percent, followed by HP at 8.2 percent, Sony at 4.4 percent and Dell at 3 percent. Samsung saw strong growth while everyone else in the top five fell.

Apple and Samsung combined to account for $6.5 billion in increased sales last year while the rest of the industry saw a decline of $9.5 billion combined.

"While sales fell in consumer technology for the second consecutive year, there was an uptick in Q4 which is cause for optimism," added Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD (via AI). "After struggles with declining categories, and increasingly saturated markets over the last few years, fourth quarter's results may be the first sign that even as a mature industry consumer technology can grow again, albeit with a very different dynamic than in previous growth spurts."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Kim Dotcom reveals Mega one month milestones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2013 11:37

Kim Dotcom reveals Mega one month milestones Infamous file sharing king Kim Dotcom has boasted about the early stats and milestones for his new Mega adventure.

Dotcom even went as far as to say Mega is a "belief" and "a guardian angel of your rights, freedom, and privacy."

After just one month, the site has hit 3 million users. These users have uploaded 125 million files. The service reached 1 million users in its first 24 hours of availability.

Earlier in the week, Dotcom announced Mega would start accepting Bitcoins as currency and also that mobile apps for Android and iOS were on the way.

France and Spain saw the highest traffic to the service, followed by Brazil, Germany and U.S., adds Dotcom.

Perhaps more importantly than its file sharing capabilities is the cheap pricing for cloud storage. Mega offers the first 50GB for free, matching Box and beating Dropbox, Google Drive and Amazon significantly. Purchasing a £9.99 per month Pro package gets you 500GB of storage and 1TB bandwidth rate. A Tier-2 Pro account for £19.99 gets you 2TB and 4TB of bandwidth. The Tier-3 account, for £29.99 per month, gets you 4TB storage and 8TB bandwidth, huge numbers for the price.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Google has created touchscreen Chromebooks for release this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2013 11:17

Google has created touchscreen Chromebooks for release this year According to the WSJ, Google has developed touchscreen Chromebooks for release later this year.

Chromebooks run on the company's own ChromeOS operating system.

It remains unclear which hardware manufacturer will build the devices or when they will go on sale. Samsung and Acer currently sell Chromebooks and would likely be willing partners.

ChromeOS is different from established operating systems like Windows, Mac and Linux variants because it runs almost exclusively out of the Chrome browser, using Web-based applications. Due to their lower-end specs, Chromebooks sell for between $199 and $249, pressuring prices on traditional laptop makers.

Although Google has long said they do not mind some competition between their own platforms, a touchscreen laptop with ChromeOS would compete with their own Android tablets in many ways.





AfterDawn: News

BSkyB and Disney extend film deal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2013 10:55

BSkyB and Disney extend film deal UK pay TV giant BSkyB has extended their movie output deal with Disney, the fourth such renewal since their original deal 24 years ago.

BSkyB will keep "first subscription pay TV rights to Disney films, including Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm releases," and get additional rights on other platforms.

Additionally, the companies will launch a new "Sky Movies Disney" channel which will play both new and classic films in the UK and in Ireland. BSB will allow continue to broadcast Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior, including their HD versions.

Sky Movies Disney will have first run rights for new films like Wreck-It Ralph, and Pixar's Brave. They will be exclusive, as well, blocking out rivals like Netflix and Amazon's LoveFilm.





AfterDawn: News

Ubisoft Uplay adds more partners to sell digital games

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2013 10:38

Ubisoft Uplay adds more partners to sell digital games EA, Warner Bros and Ubisoft have announced they will be partnering to sell games from their respective digital game stores.

Ubisoft has been looking to bring in more publishers to their popular digital service Uplay, which has just under 50 million users.

On the other end, Ubisoft games will now appear in EA's Origin service.

"We have about 15 partners with about 25 to 30 titles that will be available at launch," Stephanie Perotti, Ubisoft's worldwide Uplay director said (via GI).

"We've been working on this for some time. We've been launching our own Uplay shop, and we wanted to make sure we offer a good experience from the start so we had to work on both the technical setup and all the negotiation with partners, and we thought the timing was good after the release of very strong PC titles from Ubisoft but also from partners."

Outside of EA and WB, Ubisoft has also confirmed games from Interactive Entertainment, 1C Company, Interactive, Freebird Games, Iceberg Interactive, Nordic Games, Paradox Interactive, Recoil Games, Robot Entertainment, Telltale Games, and Torn Banner Studios.





AfterDawn: News

Nokia Music+ now available in the U.S. for Lumia owners

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2013 10:28

Nokia Music+ now available in the U.S. for Lumia owners Less than a week after launching in Europe, Nokia has made its Music+ service available in the U.S.

The new music subscription service is exclusively for users of their Lumia Windows Phone devices. The service will add on to the current free "Mix Radio" service while bringing a number of extras.

New features for paying subscribers:

Unlimited skips. Whether you like to skip from track to track, or just want extra control over what you hear. There's no stopping you with Nokia Music+.

Unlimited downloads. The free service allows you to download up to four Mixes (each of which contains hours of music) and play them without an Internet connection. The paid service removes this limit – you can download a massive supply of offline music you can swap as you wish.

Higher quality. We were surprised by the high quality of streaming music from Nokia Music, even over a 2.5G connection. Nokia Music+ allows you to download music at eight times the existing quality. Plus, you can set rules to only download high quality when you're on WiFi, for example.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

HTC announces trade-in program for HTC One credit

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2013 6:52

HTC announces trade-in program for HTC One credit Earlier today we reported on HTC's launch of the new "One" flagship smartphone, a powerful device with a few notable features including a high ppi display, an "ultrapixel" camera and a built-in IR transmitter.

The company has also introduced a new trade-in program offering $100 to smartphone owners who want to upgrade to the One.

All you have to do is register your email to qualify and then purchase a One when it becomes available.

Afterwards, when you receive the new device you can ship back your old phone along with proof of the new One and get a $100 Visa prepaid card. If your device is not worth $100 elsewhere and you were looking to upgrade this is a good deal, but if you think you can get more than $100 for your phone than it is probably smart to do that.

HTC says the offer is limited and it is unclear when the promotion is over.

If you are interested, check it here: HTC One Trade-In





AfterDawn: News

Canonical unveils tablet-ready Ubuntu OS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2013 12:03

Canonical unveils tablet-ready Ubuntu OS Just weeks after showing off their new smartphone ready Ubuntu OS, Canonical has unveiled their new tablet interface today.

The OS will be optimized for touch (obviously) and feature edge gesture navigation, removing the need for buttons. The interface is similar to that of Canonical's smartphone OS, including the universal hub and gesture access to "favorites."

Additionally, the company has added a new multitasking mode for its tablet interface called "Side Stage." Windows 8 users should be familiar with Side Stage as it acts just like W8's Snap View, allowing for apps to be used in phone mode in a side window.

The tablets will be share-able, since the OS supports multiple user logins and a full guest mode.

Minimum specs for the tablet OS are a 6-inch screen, an A15 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB internal storage.

Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview will be made available for Google's Nexus 7 and 10 in two days.





AfterDawn: News

Sprint expands LTE to more metro cities

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2013 11:49

Sprint expands LTE to more metro cities Sprint has confirmed it has turned on its LTE network for more major cities this week.

New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, Jacksonville, Miami and Tampa will now have access to the fast mobile broadband network for their supportive phones.

In January, the company announced 58 other areas would begin getting LTE, as well, and the new cities are in addition. For now, LTE will remain spotty in all areas, until the carrier "achieves a density of sites to indicate that our customers should consistently have a great 4G LTE experience."

For now, customers will be able to test the 4G while the company works on its infrastructure.

Rivals Verizon and AT&T have been blanketing the U.S. with their networks, with full rollouts expected by the end of the year.





AfterDawn: News

Tizen 2.0 is here

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2013 11:39

Tizen 2.0 is here The SDK and source code have been made available for Tizen 2.0, codename "Magnolia."

Tizen is notable because it is backed by Intel, and has support from Japanese major carrier DoCoMo and global powerhouse Vodafone. Samsung has already confirmed it will release a couple of Tizen phones for Korea and Japan later this year.

Magnolia includes (via Slash) "a new web framework that provides "state-of-the-art" HTML5/W3C API support. There is a new Web UI framework that includes full-screen and multi-window support. There are APIs for Bluetooth and NFC support as well as access to the core apps like calendar, contacts, gallery, phone, settings, and the video player. There is a native framework supporting full-featured application development. Enhanced Web IDE providing WYSIWYG design environment, and a native IDE that provides a project wizard."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Lumia owners happier with Nokia than Symbian owners were

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2013 11:30

Lumia owners happier with Nokia than Symbian owners were According to a new YouGov survey of 4,169 British adults, it appears Lumia owners are happier with Nokia than Symbian owners ever were.

The survey, completed in December, concluded that Lumia owners are much more likely to recommend their phones to others.

In December 2011, 99 percent of Nokia smartphone owners had Symbian phones, compared to 40 percent being Lumia owners as of December 2012.

42 percent of owners said they would buy a Nokia next time, with 45 percent saying they would recommend the company, the highest numbers in years.





AfterDawn: News

The $1000 Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan is here

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2013 11:18

The $1000 Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan is here Nvidia's mega-gaming GPU, the Titan, is here.

The processor maker has announced its GeForce GTX Titan, a $1000 beast ready for shipping next week.

Titans feature 2,688 CUDA cores at 837MHz, 6GB of GDDR5 memory and 384-bits of memory bandwidth which allows for high-resolution gaming across multiple monitors with no issue.

Furthermore, the Titan is 3-way SLI capable, in case you have $3000 laying around.

The Titan has "fan control that includes voltage and RPM," and a TDP rating of 250w.







AfterDawn: News

HTC unveils new One flagship with 'UltraPixel' camera

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2013 11:03

HTC unveils new One flagship with 'UltraPixel' camera Exactly as been leaked over the last month, HTC used their press event today to unveil the new "One" flagship.

The device has a 4.7-inch LCD with 1080p resolution and a massive pixel density of 468ppi.

Under the hood is a Snapdragon 600 SoC that includes a quad-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz and LTE. The device runs on Android 4.1 with HTC Sense 5, has 2GB RAM, 32 or 64GB internal storage, GPS and GLONASS, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11ac Wi-Fi and a large 2300mAh battery.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft begins migrating users away from Hotmail and towards Outlook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2013 10:44

Microsoft begins migrating users away from Hotmail and towards Outlook Earlier this week, Microsoft announced that its new web-based email service Outlook had moved out of beta.

The service will replace Hotmail/Live, and the company has begun migrating users away from its existing services.

Preview versions of Outlook.com went up six months ago and it appears that Microsoft has done sufficient testing.

Microsoft will look to steal users back from Google's Gmail, and Microsoft's director of product management Dharmesh Mehta says the transition will make Outlook one of the largest free email services in the world. "It's a pretty massive bet we've made that Outlook.com is a great choice," Mehta added.

All Hotmail settings, contacts and messages will make the transition and you can continue to use your existing email addresses.

Get started at Outlook.com now.





AfterDawn: News

Nvidia reveals Tegra 4i with integrated LTE

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2013 10:29

Nvidia reveals Tegra 4i with integrated LTE Nvidia has revealed one of its most powerful chipsets to date, the Tegra 4i.

The chip will be Nvidia's first with integrated LTE, but it loses the ARM Cortex A15 architecture of the Tegra 4.

Tegra 4i chips run on the Cortex A9r4 architecture, have 4 cores (plus the ninja fifth core) and can clock in at 2.3GHz. The chip has 60 GPU cores, less than the 72 of the Tegra 4.

Additionally, the chip supports less RAM and only 1080p resolution than the Tegra 4. We have the full specs below.

Finally, the company also introduced the "Phoenix" dev platform and a new developer phone which includes a 5-inch 1080p display.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Google planning on launching retail stores

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2013 10:10

Google planning on launching retail stores Google is in the process of launching retail stores in the U.S., following in the footsteps of rivals Apple and Microsoft.

The stores would showcase Google-branded hardware like the Nexus 4, Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 and potentially Chromebooks, as well.

Sources say there is no word on where or when the stores may launch, as the plans are not set in stone.

Apple has long used retail outlets to help sales of its iOS devices, giving would-be buyers a chance to test the devices before buying. Microsoft has begun expanding their retail presence recently thanks to the launch of the Surface and Windows Phone 8.

The sources also claim that Google would not promote Motorola at all in the stores, even though the company acquired Motorola Mobility in 2011. That move makes sense as any favoritism would be seen as an attack on its other Android partners, most notably Samsung.





AfterDawn: News

Samsung will 'definitely' unveil new phones on March 14th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Feb 2013 11:45

Samsung will 'definitely' unveil new phones on March 14th Eldar Murtazin, well-known for breaking some big news in the past, has said today that March 14th will be a big day for Samsung.

Other sources were quick to confirm that Murtazin was making veiled references to a launch for the Galaxy S IV, among other new phones.

The supposed event will be held in New York City.

Additionally, the design of the model is said to be a "tightly-guarded secret" and "the leap in cool new features from [Galaxy S III] to the next flagship will be bigger" than even the leap was from the S II to the S III.






AfterDawn: News

Report: Sony PlayStation 4 to cost £300 in UK, won't be unveiled this week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Feb 2013 10:32

Report: Sony PlayStation 4 to cost £300 in UK, won't be unveiled this week British daily The Times has reported today that the Sony PlayStation 4 will be cheaper on launch than its predecessor.

The paper says the console will launch for about £300. "Industry sources and leaked internal documents suggest that Sony is considering pricing the new device at about £300, more than £100 cheaper than the starting cost of its predecessor," reads the report.

Sony launched the PS3 in 2006 in the UK for £425.

Additionally, the report says Sony will not unveil the new console at this week's PlayStation meeting in NYC, as widely expected. Instead, the company will wait to see Microsoft's Xbox 8 before launching their own.

When it does launch, however, the PS4 will support 4K displays, include cloud streaming and include a touchscreen controller.





AfterDawn: News

LG makes large investment in OLED TVs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Feb 2013 9:51

LG makes large investment in OLED TVs LG Display has announced a large investment in the future of OLED.

The company, which released their first large-screen OLED TV in 2012, will invest 706 billion won ($654.8 million) in manufacturing the next-gen displays.

Mass production for the new OLED line will begin in the Q1 2014, says the company.

The company recently announced that its $10,000 55-inch OLED had reached 110 pre-orders, hardly a huge number but still somewhat impressive given the price tag.





AfterDawn: News

Sony slashes Vita price in Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Feb 2013 9:32

Sony slashes Vita price in Japan Sony has cut the price of its Vita handheld in Japan in an effort to boost sales.

The company's console launched with hype but a high price tag and a lackluster catalog has led to slow sales around the globe.

For now, the company has announced a price drop of the 3G + WiFi model to 19,980 yen ($215 USD), down from 30,000 yen ($325), a large price cut.

The price drop goes into effect on February 28th and could lead to a similar price drop in the U.S.

Sales have been a bust, with Sony selling 7 million consoles compared to initial expectations of 16 million.





AfterDawn: News

Archos to get in the Android smartphone game

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Feb 2013 9:18

Archos to get in the Android smartphone game Archos has announced it will be introducing three new Android smartphones at next week's Mobile World Congress event in Spain.

The company is best known for its PMPs in the early 2000s and more recently for budget tablets that include hard drives instead of flash memory.

On the low-end, the Archos 35 will include a 3.5-inch display with 320x480 resolution, a 1GHz single-core processor, 512MB RAM and 512MB internal storage. The phone will run on Android 4.0, have dual-SIM support and 3G. The phone will only lighten your wallet by €90 ($121 USD).

The company will then introduce the large-screened 5.2-inch 800x480 Archos 52 Titanium. The device will be underpowered, however and have a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 512MB RAM and 4GB internal storage. There was no word on price.

Finally, the company's flagship is the Archos 48 Platinum. The device has a 4.8-inch IPS with 720p resolution, is powered by a 1.7GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6589 processor, runs on Jelly Bean, has LTE and an FM Radio. The device will go on sale in May for €249 ($330).

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

China tops U.S. as top smartphone and tablet market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Feb 2013 8:54

China tops U.S. as top smartphone and tablet market According to a new report from mobile app tracking company Flurry Analytics, China is now the world's top smartphone and tablet market.

For the month of January, China had 221 million active smartphones and tablets, just 1 million behind the U.S.

Flurry estimates China will conclude February at 246 million compared to 230 million for the U.S. China is never expected to lose the lead again.

It is important to note that Flurry only includes Android and iOS in the report, which means China was likely well ahead even before this month thanks to other operating systems available.

The UK came in third at 43 million active iOS and Android devices.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Sweden has the world's fastest 4G

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2013 11:44

Sweden has the world's fastest 4G According to a new OpenSignal study, Sweden has the world's fastest 4G, on average.

While the U.S. has the widest LTE network, thanks to having three majors each with networks, it only clocked in at 8th for speed.

Sweden's 4G network delivered an average download speed of 22Mbps, beating out Hong Kong at 19.6Mbps, Denmark at 19.1Mbps and Canada at 18Mbps and well ahead of the U.S. at 9.6Mbps.

There were 62 countries with LTE, 21 countries developing LTE, and a global 10.4Mbps average speed. Japan brought up the rear atA 7.1 Mbps.

Concludes the survey: "What is clear is that LTE represents a significant step forward in telecommunications technology. Its dramatic improvement in speed and latency from 3G shows that it has the potential to be as transformative an advancement as the evolution from 2G to 3G. This is especially true in countries that do not have established fixed line internet infrastructure, meaning that broadband internet can be made widely available through cellular connections. LTE will be present in a projected 83 countries within the next two years, which will drive the production of lower-end LTE-compatible smartphones. The arrival of cheap handsets that are able to make use of LTE which will help expedite mass adoption, leading to the potential for dramatically increased broadband penetration in developing countries."





AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveils 'Rex' line of phones for emerging markets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2013 10:45

Samsung unveils 'Rex' line of phones for emerging markets Samsung has announced their new "Rex" line of phones aimed at emerging markets.

The company calls the line "a new series of smart feature phones" and there will be four separate devices with a varying range of specs.

Dubbed the Rex 60, 70, 80 and 90, the phones are all dual-SIM and run on a Java-based OS with Samsung's own TouchWiz UI. The Rex 60 has a resistive touchscreen but the other three have capacitive screens.

"We are committed to developing the best possible mobile solutions to suit all lifestyles and budgets, which is why we are so excited to launch the Rex series across a number of the world's fastest growing markets," added JK Shin, president of the IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung.

Each of the phones are expected to sell for between $50 and $100, putting the devices in direct competition with Nokia's Asha phones. Nokia sold 30 million of the phones in 2012, as it remains the top "feature smartphone" maker in the world.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Posterous shutting down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2013 9:38

Posterous shutting down Posterous, the blogging platform founded in 2008 and then acquired by Twitter last year, will be shutting down on April 30th.

The company made the announcement this week via a blog post.

Reads the post:

Posterous launched in 2008. Our mission was to make it easier to share photos and connect with your social networks. Since joining Twitter almost one year ago, we've been able to continue that journey, building features to help you discover and share what's happening in the world – on an even larger scale.

On April 30th, we will turn off posterous.com and our mobile apps in order to focus 100% of our efforts on Twitter. This means that as of April 30, Posterous Spaces will no longer be available either to view or to edit.

Right now and over the next couple months until April 30th, you can download all of your Posterous Spaces including your photos, videos, and documents.


Twitter will keep the company's talent group of employees for work in other sectors.

"We'd like to thank the millions of Posterous users who have supported us on our incredible journey," CEO Sachin Agarwal added. "We hope to provide you with as easy a transition as possible, and look forward to seeing you on Twitter."





AfterDawn: News

Are these the Samsung Galaxy S IV's specs?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2013 9:04

Are these the Samsung Galaxy S IV's specs? The highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S IV has had its specs leaked.

Many expect the device to be announced as early as March 15th, for a summer launch in the U.S.

The specs come via South Korean financial services company Mirae Asset Group. The device will have a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 display, run on Android 4.2 and have 2GB of RAM.

Additionally, the device will have a Exynos 5440 quad-core Cortex A15 processor, said to be the fastest on the market.





AfterDawn: News

BitTorrent launches SoShare service, allows 1TB transfers for free

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2013 8:37

BitTorrent launches SoShare service, allows 1TB transfers for free BitTorrent Inc. has released their new file sharing service SoShare in beta.

What makes SoShare different from rivals is the fact that users can send extremely large files for free, without having to use multiple links or multiple data transfers.

Using the BitTorrent browser plug-in, users can send files up to 1TB large in a single data transfer.

Making the transfer even easier, is the fact that recipients will not even need a registered account to accept files.

All files remain active for 30 days, or less time if you choose so.

Get the beta here: SoShare Beta





AfterDawn: News

50 percent of parents joined Facebook just to spy on kids

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2013 8:11

50 percent of parents joined Facebook just to spy on kids According to Education Database Online, 50 percent of all parents joined Facebook not to get back in touch with others, but rather to spy on their kids.

Additionally, 43 percent of parents check their kids' profiles daily, checking status updates and new photos you may have been tagged in.

Mashable has posted a number of great infographics from the source, about parents and Facebook.

Check it here:

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

(VIDEO) Evolution of PlayStation: PlayStation 3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2013 7:52

(VIDEO) Evolution of PlayStation: PlayStation 3 Sony has uploaded the third part of its 'Evolution of PlayStation' series, covering the current generation PlayStation 3 console.

The first video released by Sony on the history of PlayStation ahead of the PS4 launch event, covered the beginning of the brand with the 1995 release of the original PlayStation.

Next, the company released a video highlighting the PS2, the best selling home console of all time.

Now, we have the evolution video for the PlayStation 3, released in 2006. The console has sold 75 million units since release, and was the first console to offer Blu-ray support. Additionally, the console offers users free access to online gaming through the PlayStation Network.

Check the video here:

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

New Nokia phone to have solar-charging screen?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Feb 2013 5:39

New Nokia phone to have solar-charging screen? There was interesting report out this week on Nokia and its new partner WYSIPS.

WYSIPS is developing solar-charging surfaces that are aimed at smaller devices such as smartphones.

The solar charging supportive screen is integrated into the screen of a phone and extends battery life up to 20 percent, a huge jump for a relatively inexpensive addition to the device.

WMP says the "technology works by placing a membrane composed of semi-cylindrical lenses between the screen itself and the device. Phones can be charged by natural light, but also artificial light as found in offices."

The first Nokia devices to feature the tech could hit the market in the Fall.

A video with better explanation:





AfterDawn: News

Samsung has prepared 'enormous' launch for upcoming Galaxy S IV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Feb 2013 5:19

Samsung has prepared 'enormous' launch for upcoming Galaxy S IV According to Jefferies analyst Peter Misek, Samsung is preparing an "enormous" launch for its upcoming Galaxy S IV.

From launch time until the end of the year, the company is planning to build 100 million of the new smartphones, a massive number.

Most expect the Galaxy S IV to at least be unveiled in March or April, if not released then.

"The enormous 100 million S4 build plan (we estimate the S3 sold 60M) is leading some suppliers to say that they will reallocate resources away from Apple," added Misek. "The S3 also had enormous builds and came within 10% of meeting them on an annual basis."

Samsung's new flagship is expected to have a 5-inch SuperAMOLED+ display, an 8-core processor, and enhanced graphics performance.





AfterDawn: News

Sega's new laptops all look like old consoles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Feb 2013 5:08

Sega's new laptops all look like old consoles Sega has unveiled their new "Sega Note" notebooks, a series of laptops designed to look like the company's retro consoles.

There are four covers, a standard blue Sega, followed by Mega Drive, Saturn, Dreamcast.

Each model has different specs, and a different price tag.

The base model has Windows 8, a Pentium R2020M processor, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, a Full HD display and a DVD drive for 97,500 yen ($1050 USD). Moving to the high end model, you get a 2.40GHz Intel Core i7-3630QM Processor, 8GB of DDR3 SDRAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GT650M 1GB graphics card, a 120GB SSD and a Blu-ray writer for the price of 194,250 yen ($2100 USD).

If you really want them, they are available (in Japan) here: Enterbrain

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

EA, Zynga settle plagiarism case out of court

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Feb 2013 4:46

EA, Zynga settle plagiarism case out of court The casual gaming giant Zynga has settled with EA this week, ending their legal issues.

Last year, EA sued Zynga, claiming that Zynga had plagiarized their Sims Social game with the "Ville" series. Zynga counter-sued EA "anticompetitive and unlawful business practices."

"EA and Zynga have resolved their respective claims and have reached a settlement of their litigation in the Northern District of California," reads the quick release. The settlement terms were not disclosed and the suit was thrown out with prejudice, meaning it cannot be brought again.

In their original suit, EA claimed that the Ville series "wilfully and intentionally copied and misappropriated the original and distinctive expressive elements of The Sims Social in a violation of U.S. copyright laws."





AfterDawn: News

Skype Video Messaging now live for iOS, Android and Mac

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Feb 2013 4:33

Skype Video Messaging now live for iOS, Android and Mac Microsoft has launched their Skype Video Messages feature to iOS, Android and Mac.

The company has been working on the update since last year, and even accidentally leaked some features late in 2012.

Video Messages allows Skype users to send up to 3 minutes of video to each other, and can be used online or off.

You can use either the front or rear camera on your Android or iOS device, and the video will be delivered to the chat portion of Skype. For Macs, it is exactly the same except users will have the option to download the message.

When asked about availability for Windows 8, Microsoft says (via Verge): "We're pleased that there's interest for Video Messaging to come to Skype for Windows and Skype for Windows 8. It should be available by the end of April."

The feature is part of Skype Premium. Non-premium members will get 20 free video messages before being asked to upgrade to the $5 per month Premium service.





AfterDawn: News

Does Apple put engineers on fake projects to test loyalty? Probably not.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Feb 2013 4:05

Does Apple put engineers on fake projects to test loyalty? Probably not. Earlier this year, a book claimed that Apple would make new employees work on fake projects until they could be trusted to remain loyal.

The book says the new employees are "hired into so-called dummy positions, roles that aren't explained in detail until after they join the company." Others chimed in, claiming friends had worked on fake projects for months before being added to real projects.

Ars dug a little deeper recently, and found that while Apple may be well known for being secretive, they don't waste resources on loyalty tests.

Says one former Apple engineer: "Apple always seemed to be a no-bullshit kind of place when it comes to the seriousness of your work and what you get done. I find it suspect that they'd ever waste their own and the employee's time on something that didn't directly contribute to their bottom line somehow."

Said a current engineer: "I don't really see the need for that kind of stuff because everything is NDAed [governed by a nondisclosure agreement] out the ass. You can be hired for a position where they don't tell you what you're working on beforehand, sure, but if they're choosing to hire you with your skill set, you might be able to hazard a guess on what it's about. It's a lot easier to have someone sign an NDA and then fire them if they violate it."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

CEO Mark Zuckerberg now owns more of his company

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Feb 2013 3:48

CEO Mark Zuckerberg now owns more of his company According to a new SEC filing, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg now owns 29.3 percent of Facebook's Class A shares, more than he owned when the company went public last year.

At IPO time, Zuck owned a 28.2 percent stake. At current market value, the CEO's stake is worth $13.6 billion.

Thanks to stock and option-based compensation, the founder increased his stake over the last year.

Despite having far and away the most votes in the company, Zuckerberg only owns about 20 percent of the company thanks to different types of voting shares.

Facebook has a market value of $67 billion.





AfterDawn: News

Raspberry Pi 5MP camera accessory now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Feb 2013 3:26

Raspberry Pi 5MP camera accessory now available The Raspberry Pi foundation has unveiled the new $25 accessory which will allow for 1080p video at 30fps.

Owners of the mini computer will be able to purchase the new accessory, maybe as soon as March, giving even more functionality to the cheap and powerful device.

Reads the post:

Of course, Model A is not the only new bit of hardware we're releasing in 2013. JamesH just sent me these pictures of the forthcoming camera board to whet your appetite. This is the final hardware; we've been working on tuning (Gert tells me that picture quality is "pretty good" at the moment, but we're hoping to get it to "bleedin' marvellous" before we release the hardware), and there is some work to do on the drivers, but everything's looking pretty peachy for the moment. I don't have a release date for you yet, but we're probably at least a month away (and possibly more) from being able to sell these at the moment.


The board itself will be 20mm x 25mm x 25mm and the actual sensor is a minuscule 8mm x 8mm x 5mm.





AfterDawn: News

Adobe releases source code for 1990's Photoshop 1.0.1

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Feb 2013 9:09

Adobe releases source code for 1990's Photoshop 1.0.1 The Computer History Museum has released the source code for Adobe Photoshop 1.0.1, published in 1990.

Writes the historical society: "With the permission of Adobe Systems Inc., the Computer History Museum is pleased to make available, for non-commercial use, the source code to the 1990 version 1.0.1 of Photoshop. All the code is here with the exception of the MacApp applications library that was licensed from Apple. There are 179 files in the zipped folder, comprising about 128,000 lines of mostly uncommented but well-structured code. By line count, about 75% of the code is in Pascal, about 15% is in 68000 assembler language, and the rest is data of various sorts."

The code was written by Photoshop founder Thomas Knoll, who was the only engineer for v1.

If you are interested in the source code, download it from here, along with a history lesson and user guide: Adobe Photoshop 1.0 Source Code





AfterDawn: News

Auto-play video ads are coming to your Facebook news feed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Feb 2013 8:23

Auto-play video ads are coming to your Facebook news feed Facebook CMO David Fischer has confirmed; auto-play video ads may be coming to your news feed soon.

While the exec admitted that the ads can be distracting, he says "I believe there are ways we could do it."

Fischer, speaking at this week's Future Of Media Keynote, says businesses have been asking for ways to include more "attention-grabbing" ads, moving beyond a simple sidebar or news feed text and picture ad.

When asked if the company admired how any other company worked with video ads, he surprisingly gave props to Facebook's biggest competitor, Google. "You know I think YouTube has moved in the right direction by putting more control in the user's hands, with the five-second TrueView thing." TrueView are the ads on YouTube that allow the user to skip after 5 seconds. Businesses only get charged if viewers watch the whole ad.

Fischer was then asked how the ads could be incorporated to the News Feed: "I believe there are ways we could do it. There are ways that could be destructive and distracting to the user experience. But there are ways that could potentially balance user experience with advertiser experience. We haven't put a product out yet because we haven't had one we're comfortable with. But if we could, then we would do it."





AfterDawn: News

Ubuntu Touch OS preview coming next week for certain Nexus devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Feb 2013 8:07

Ubuntu Touch OS preview coming next week for certain Nexus devices Last month, Canonical unveiled details about their upcoming Ubuntu mobile OS, showing off some features running on a Galaxy Nexus handset.

The OS is built on the existing Android kernel and its drivers but will be able to use the "full power of the phone" by not using a Java Virtual Machine. The OS supports ARM and x86 architectures, so phone makers should have little issue adopting it.

Canonical has confirmed today that the first Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview will be made available on February 21st alongside open source code and tools to wipe and flash your device to install the OS.

Additionally, the OS will work on both the Galaxy Nexus and the newer Nexus 4.

When launching the operating system, the Linux maker says Ubuntu will differentiate itself firstly with thumb gestures. Swiping in from the edges of the screen will let users switch apps or use universal search. A quick swipe from the left will bring up a small dock of your most used/favorite apps, while a full swipe from left to right opens a dock showing all your open apps. There will be more gestures added, of course. The home page interface looks to be very different from existing mobile OSs, as well, focusing on our favorites and recently used/added content including music, contacts and apps. Finally, the phone will have universal search and its own Siri-esque voice assistant.





AfterDawn: News

Is this Samsung's Galaxy smartwatch UI?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Feb 2013 1:38

Is this Samsung's Galaxy smartwatch UI? Over the past week, rumors have heated up that Samsung is preparing to launch a Galaxy smartwatch, once again beating Apple to the punch.

Apple has long been rumored to be creating an 'iWatch' with curved glass and a variant of the iOS operating system made popular by the iPhone and iPad. Little is confirmed about the Apple device, however, and there is a good chance it will not be released this year.

A few supposed screenshots of the Galaxy Watches' interface have leaked today, giving a better look into what may be.

As with all rumors, take with a grain of salt, but it certainly would be interesting to see if Samsung gets in the new market.







AfterDawn: News

Sorry Surface Pro owners, your tablet is un-repairable

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Feb 2013 12:47

Sorry Surface Pro owners, your tablet is un-repairable iFixit has performed a teardown on the new Microsoft Surface Pro and found that the tablet is one of the least repairable devices they have ever worked with.

The company gave the tablet a repairability rating of 1/10, the lowest possible score. In fact, the score was even lower than the rating the Windows RT-based Surface before it and Apple's iPad, which is a long-time low score receiver.

Starting with the display, iFixit says the screen is held together "by a metric duckload of adhesive" and required a heat gun and "guitar picks" just to pry it. The battery is also so strongly glued in place that iFixit says you need to replace the back cover entirely if you ever take it out.

More importantly for those looking to get into the hardware, "four cables surround the inside perimeter of the display, so you will cut one of them unless you're extremely careful."

The Surface Pro also has 90 screws, with 29 holding down just two metal side plates.





AfterDawn: News

LG unveils L Series II phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2013 11:23

LG unveils L Series II phones LG has unveiled three new smartphones today, part of their L Series II lineup.

The Optimus L7 II, Optimus L5 II and Optimus L3 II will build upon the company's original L Series, as they "embody the beauty of the first L Series but with a more refined touch." Each will include new design elements, dubbed Seamless Layout, Laser Cut Contour, Radiant Rear Design and Smart LED Lighting.

Featuring a 4.3-inch IPS WVGA display, the L7 II is the most high-end of the group. The device has a dual-core 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor (MSM8225), runs on 768MB RAM, has 4GB internal storage, dual cameras 3MP/8MP and a 2,460 mAh battery. The phone runs on Android 4.1 and is available as a dual-SIM version.

The L5 II has a 4-inch WVGA display and a 1,700 mAh battery, but other details are unknown. The L3 II has a small 3.2-inch QVGA IPS display and 1,540 mAh battery.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft: Xbox 360 hits 76 million, Kinect hits 24 million sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2013 10:50

Microsoft: Xbox 360 hits 76 million, Kinect hits 24 million sales Microsoft has released some new data figures related to their Xbox 360 console.

As of this week, Xbox 360 sales have surpassed 76 million units. Kinect sales have now reached 24 million, as the motion controller remains popular.

Additionally, the company says Xbox Live now has 46 million paying subscribers.

The Xbox remains the most popular console in the U.S., outselling the PS3 and even the newer Wii U.

Says the company: "2012 also marked the Xbox's biggest year for entertainment and games usage. Users enjoyed more than 18 billion hours of entertainment in 2012, with entertainment app usage growing 57 percent year over year globally. Last year in the United States, Xbox LIVE Gold members averaged 87 hours per month on Xbox, an increase of 10 percent year over year."





AfterDawn: News

More Surface Pro stock coming by this weekend

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2013 10:13

More Surface Pro stock coming by this weekend Microsoft has confirmed today that retailers will be receiving more Surface Pro tablet stock by the weekend.

The 128GB model sold out online within hours of launch.

Panos Panay, Microsoft's Surface team head, says new stock will reach Microsoft Stores, Best Buy and Staples by Saturday. 64GB models should be back in stock earlier.

"There continues to be great demand. We're working hard to restock so we can reach as many customers as soon as possible," Panay added.

The Pro costs $900 for 64GB models and $1000 for 128GB models.





AfterDawn: News

Sony patents Vita with USB, HDMI ports

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2013 9:34

Sony patents Vita with USB, HDMI ports Sony has patented an updated Vita handheld.

The new portable could include an HDMI and a USB port, which would certainly be upgrades to the console.

It appears that the company filed the application last year, but the patents were published this month.

Sony has never noted that they plan to introduce any kind of video output options for the Vita, but that could change for the future.

The electronics company has a PlayStation event on February 20th in which it is expected to unveil the PlayStation 4 (Orbis). The company could potentially also unveil a Vita successor, if there is one to unveil.





AfterDawn: News

GE sells rest of NBCU to Comcast for $16.7 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2013 9:09

GE sells rest of NBCU to Comcast for $16.7 billion Comcast has announced today that it will be purchasing the remaining 49 percent of NBCUniversal that it does not own.

The massive cable company will purchase the stake from GE for $16.7 billion, giving it 100 percent ownership of the film and television company.

In 2011, Comcast purchased the majority stake from GE for $13.75 billion after 16 months of regulatory hurdles.

Additionally, the cable co. is purchasing NBCU's floors at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in NYC for $1.4 billion.

Comcast had the right to buy the remaining stake starting in July 2014, but decided the price was right today. "Our belief is that we would have paid more later," added Comcast's CEO.





AfterDawn: News

HTC M7 flagship likely to debut as HTC One

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2013 8:05

HTC M7 flagship likely to debut as HTC One The much-anticipated HTC M7 is said to be launching with a rebranded name, the "HTC One."

HTC has used the One title in most of its previous devices, which were launched at last year's Mobile World Congress.

The device will be the first to feature HTC's own Sense 5 overlay, as well as new "ultrapixel" camera technology. The ultrapixel tech has multiple different sensors (all at around 4MP) that take simultaneous photos and recreate the best parts of each, for added clarity and colors.

Leaked specs for the phone are that it will have a quad-core Qualcomm APQ8064 processor, a 4.7-inch 1920x1080 display with 468 ppi, 32GB of internal storage (no microSD slot), LTE and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

White House 'State of the Union' trailer goes dubstep

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2013 7:23

White House 'State of the Union' trailer goes dubstep Most likely in an effort to appeal to younger viewers, the White House has released a short trailer for tonight's State of the Union address featuring dubstep music.

The electronic music has become more famous in recent years thanks to mainstream names like Skrillex.

Tonight's speech begins at 9PM and can be seen on all major networks.

If you are viewing from the White House website or on a mobile device, you will be able to see an "enhanced version" of the speech that includes interactive charts and graphs.

Here is the trailer:





AfterDawn: News

Myanmar: We did not hack reporter's emails

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2013 9:33

Myanmar: We did not hack reporter's emails The government of Myanmar denied today that they were behind attempts on hacking emails of journalists around the world.

Google had warned that the country may have been behind the "state-sponsored attacks" on local and international reporters. There were 12 attacks last week, where the journalists received messages from Google when they logged into Gmail that hackers "may be attempting to compromise your account or your computer."

The search giant regularly sends out those warnings when someone tries to log in to your account from a place that is outside your normal habits. For example, if you normally log in from New York, and there is a log in attempt from Myanmar, you are likely to receive the warning.

Myanmar presidential spokesman Ye Htut says Google should identify the attackers "because the vague reference to state-sponsored attackers hurts the image of the government."

"There is no state-sponsored attack on individual accounts. That's not a policy of our government,"
added Ye Htut.

Myanmar had long been considered one of the most censored countries on the planet, with journalists being wire tapped and put under state surveillance. Independent newspapers could not even publish daily without approval. In the last two years, however, nearly all of those practices have been abolished.





AfterDawn: News

Google finally unveils Nexus 4 wireless charging accessory

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2013 9:06

Google finally unveils Nexus 4 wireless charging accessory Google has made the aptly named Nexus 4 Wireless Charger available to fans of the new flagship.

The device is available through the Google Play Store, and ships "within a week."

For $60 (before tax and shipping), users receive the nice looking orb, which is Qi inductive. "Its angled surface provides easy visibility of your phone while charging. This elegant device was designed specifically for your Nexus 4 -- no clunky add-ons or accessories needed," says Google.

When docked, the phone will reveal the battery power, and weather, news and sports. Google says it takes a bit over 3 hours to fully charge the device with the charger.

Check it here: Nexus 4 Wireless Charger





AfterDawn: News

Samsung, EA team up for new '100% indie' app revenue split program

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2013 10:04

Samsung, EA team up for new '100% indie' app revenue split program Samsung and EA have teamed up in an effort to bring new developers to Samsung's apps store, which has lagged behind that of rivals.

The company will offer financial incentives never before seen, in an effort to expand its library of games. Independent developers will keep 100 percent revenue for the first six months, compared to the 70 percent they normally keep when writing for platforms like iOS, Android or Windows 8. After the 6 months, Samsung will take 10 percent for the next six months. In year two, Samsung will take 20 percent. In the third year, the company will take the 30 percent share seen by rival app stores.

Launching on March 4th, the program will be aimed at smaller indie devs.

"Samsung is selling more phones than ever and content and hardware, they always go hand in hand," adds EA, which will be spearheading the deal. The new program is also non-exclusive, so companies can feel free to publish games to all available platforms. They can also bring existing titles to Samsung Apps.





AfterDawn: News

Twitter "promoted trends" now cost $200,000 per day

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2013 1:58

Twitter "promoted trends" now cost $200,000 per day Twitter has raised the prices of its "promoted trends."

Buying a trend will now cost advertisers $200,000 per day, up from $150,000 in 2012. The service has been increasing prices as Twitter grows, and the original price in 2010 was $80,000 per day.

Promoted trends allows an advertiser to create its own hash tag or message at the top of the current "trends" list found on Twitter's home page and the main page of most Twitter mobile apps.

To give the advertiser their money's worth, there is only one promoted message per day, per country.

Major companies have cited successes using the service, although at $200,000, marketing teams may have to re-examine the figures.





AfterDawn: News

More evidence of an Apple curved-glass iWatch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2013 1:27

More evidence of an Apple curved-glass iWatch According to the New York Times, Apple is indeed working on the long-rumored "iWatch."

The smart watch will use curved glass to bend around user's wrists and to give it better viewing angles.

Unfortunately, the report has little details on any features, nor does it have a timetable for any release. The watch has been media rumor for at least two years now.

Reads the paper: "In its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple is experimenting with wristwatch-like devices made of curved glass, according to people familiar with the company's explorations, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because they are not allowed to publicly discuss unreleased products. Such a watch would operate Apple's iOS platform, two people said, and stand apart from competitors based on the company's understanding of how such glass can curve around the human body."

The watch will most likely be an "experiment" for the company, just like its Apple TV set-top box has been since its launch. The gadget will work similarly to other smart watches like the Pebble and Nike's new offerings, which allow users to quickly check emails and messages without needing to take their phones out.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Collector selling 'the history of video games' collection for at least $550,000

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2013 1:08

Collector selling 'the history of video games' collection for at least $550,000 One collector is using eBay to sell one of the largest and most complete video game collections in the world.

Such a collection will set you back $550,000, as of now, and there currently is one bidder.

Reads the description:

After a life spent collecting video games I decide to sell off my entire collection.

I just have too much things and the space to store them is finished long ago... also I realized that if I want to play at least half of my games, I should live two or three entire human life...

Just to give an idea of the huge amount of items present in my collection, I spent the last two months of my life taking pictures and making lists, working about eight hours a day just in order to make an inventory and to figure out what I have. Even now after all the time spent checking things I'm not sure to have included all in the lists. Due to the sheer amount of items is even difficult to present it, and I don't really know were to start... so I try to do my best even if I'm sure I might forget something.

Instead to pick up some favorite consoles and maybe try to complete all the games related, I choose to collect most systems possible with the most representative and rare games for each console. This collection is the story of the videogames from A to Z, from the game & watch and old pong systems to the actual generation of PS3 and XBOX360.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Kids now using code to steal virtual currency in games, social networks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2013 12:43

Kids now using code to steal virtual currency in games, social networks According to a new report from anti-virus firm AVG, young children have begun writing malicious code to hack accounts of friends and others.

The code is aimed at stealing virtual currency from others on gaming sites and social networks. Many games (especially those on Facebook) now sell virtual currency, which can be used to purchase upgrades in the game, such as weapons or new characters.

AVG says the children, that are as young as 11, must be educated on the rights and wrongs of coding.

"As more schools are educating people for programming in this early stage, before they are adults and understand the impact of what they're doing, this will continue to grow," added Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CTO at AVG.

Most of the "amateur" code was written using basic languages such as Visual Basic and C# and included errors that made it easy to reverse engineer and find the original source of the code. Adult coders would not have made such mistakes, says AVG.

One such example was a "cheat program" for Runescape. The program promised free currency (gold) but instead stole log-in details. The code was sloppy, however. "We found that the malware was trying to steal the data from people and send it to a specific email address. The malware author included in that code the exact email address and password and additional information - more experienced hackers would never put these type of details in malware." The email was that of an 11-year-old in Canada. Researchers were able to use the code to even discover where the child lived, and what phone he used.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft understated free usable space for Surface Pro

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2013 12:08

Microsoft understated free usable space for Surface Pro The Internet was up in arms earlier this week when Microsoft announced that its 128GB Surface Pro only had 83GB of actual usable space.

It appears, however, the Microsoft understated their own estimate, due to a difference between their production and final shipping units.

In reality, the tablet will have 89.7GB of free space, a figure that is not significantly higher but is certainly an upgrade.

Says Verge: "A source inside Microsoft tells me the employee who confirmed the numbers did so using pre-production machines that contained different disk images and debug code that is different from final shipping units that will be on sale beginning this weekend."

The same deal is existent for the 64GB model, which will actually ship with 29GB of usable space, compared to Microsoft's own 23GB estimate.





AfterDawn: News

John Carmack: Porting games to Linux not worth it

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2013 11:53

John Carmack: Porting games to Linux not worth it John Carmack, the lead developer behind legendary games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake, has raised questions on whether it is worth it for studios to port their games to the Linux operating system.

Carmack, during his time at Id Software and later, has always supported Linux but says that porting most games is "not commercially viable."

"The conventional wisdom is that native Linux games are not a good market. Id Software tested the conventional wisdom twice, with Quake Arena and Quake Live. The conventional wisdom proved correct. Arguments can be made that neither one was an optimal test case, but they were honest tries," added the developer.

Instead of full ports, Carmack says Windows emulation would be a better choice. More specifically, the developer suggests that WINE be better developed. "I truly do feel that emulation of some sort is a proper technical direction for gaming on Linux. It is obviously pragmatic in the range of possible support, but it shouldn't have the technical stigma that it does."





AfterDawn: News

Asus set to unveil 7-inch Intel-backed Fonepad

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2013 11:36

Asus set to unveil 7-inch Intel-backed Fonepad Asus will be debuting a 7-inch Fonepad at the upcoming Mobile World Congress event this month, say sources.

A couple of leaked photos show the Fonepad featuring an aluminum back and an Intel Inside badge on the back.

The sources seem to have a full spec list, as well: "1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor, PowerVR SGX540 graphics, and 1GB of RAM. Its 7-inch screen will be of the IPS LCD kind and will sport a resolution of 1280 by 800 pixels. A couple of cameras will be on board as well – a 3.2MP on the back and a 1.2MP front-facing snapper. The internal 4,270mAh battery should last through 9.5 hours of continuous use."

Perhaps most notably, the tablet will have voice calling capability, although it is unclear how. The device will be priced at $200.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Studio already working on Killzone 4 for PS4

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2013 11:28

Studio already working on Killzone 4 for PS4 According to sources, Guerrilla Games is already developing 'Killzone 4' for launch this year on the PlayStation 4.

The game could be unveiled this month after Sony's PlayStation event on February 20th, in which the company is expected to finally give more details about the upcoming console.

Killzone 3 was released for the PS3 in February 2011 and is one of the best-selling games in the console's history. Guerrilla shipped Killzone: Mercenary most recently in September, but for the handheld PlayStation Vita.

Reports had claimed that KZ3 senior producer Steven Ter Heide will be the game director for KZ4.

The studio did not comment.





AfterDawn: News

Tablets now account for 46 percent of all PC shipments as Apple controls market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2013 11:01

Tablets now account for 46 percent of all PC shipments as Apple controls market According to the latest Canalys figures, tablets accounted for 46 percent of all PC shipments in the Q4 2012, huge news for the devices that really did not exist before the 2010 launch of the iPad.

Overall, there were 134 million units shipped, 46.2 million of which qualified as tablets. Tablet shipments grew 75 percent year-over-year.

Apple controlled the lion's share, shipping 27 million iPads. The new iPad Mini accounted for just over half of all iPad shipments. However, Apple fell below 50 percent tablet share for the year for the first time ever, says the report.

"Apple timed the launch of the iPad Mini well," added Canalys research analyst, Pin-Chen Tang. "Its success proves there is a clear demand for pads with smaller screens at a more affordable price. Without the launch, Apple would surely have lost more ground to its competitors."

Samsung moved 7.6 million tablets, and Amazon shipped 4.6 million units. Google's Nexus 7 and Nexus 10 tablets (built by Asus and Samsung), shipped 2.6 million units during the quarter. Microsoft's Windows RT-based Surface shipped just 720,000 units. Canalys says Microsoft has failed with the tablet, "The outlook for Windows RT appears bleak. Hardware OEMs are ignoring it due, in part, to a pricing strategy that does not align with the economics of the pad market."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft Surface Pro selling out everywhere

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2013 3:03

Microsoft Surface Pro selling out everywhere The Microsoft Surface Pro has sold out at multiple retailers during this weekend's launch.

The 128GB version of the tablet has sold out at Microsoft, Best Buy and Staples, although the 64GB model remains available through Microsoft.

Although the news can possibly be attributed to low supply, Microsoft must be happy that its $999 tablet has already sold out, just hours into launch. The smaller capacity model sells for $899.

Reports have claimed Microsoft only has an initial shipment volume of one million Surface Pro, far less than the 4 million they allegedly had for the cheaper but less useful Surface RT.

Says the company: "Customer response to the launch of Surface Pro has been amazing. We're working with our retail partners who are currently out of stock of the 128GB Surface Pro to replenish supplies as quickly as possible. Our priority is to ensure that every customer gets their new Surface Pro as soon as possible."





AfterDawn: News

Apple poaches LG OLED expert?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2013 1:39

Apple poaches LG OLED expert? According to a new report, Apple has poached an OLED expert from LG.

The report says Apple has hired James (Jueng-Gil) Lee, previously of Samsung, Cambridge Display Technology and most recently LG.

LG has him listed as a Research Fellow for the company's OLED Development Center. Lee's recent project was to help build a printed AMOLED television.

Of course, if the hire is confirmed, it still does not mean that Apple is working on any HDTV, although it certainly leads some credence. Apple may also be looking to be less dependent on third parties for display panels.





AfterDawn: News

AOL still has 2.8 million dial-up subscribers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Feb 2013 12:23

AOL still has 2.8 million dial-up subscribers AOL reported its Q4 quarterly earnings this morning, and Dan Frommer put together some charts with the most interesting facts form the report.

The company saw its first revenue growth since 2005, but it's becoming increasingly clear that the company makes no money outside of its "old services," most notably dial-up.

AOL still has 2.8 million dial-up subscribers, down from a peak of 27 million in 2002. The company only lost 100,000 subscribers during the quarter, lower than average.

Nearly all of the company's profits come from dial-up, AOL mail, AIM, etc., even though the division accounts for under 40 percent of revenue.

AOL's "Brand Group," which includes content providers like Huffington Post, TechCrunch and Engadget, accounts for almost the same amount of revenue as the services group, but brings in very minuscule profits.







AfterDawn: News

Eric Schmidt to sell 42 percent of his shares in Google

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Feb 2013 12:02

Eric Schmidt to sell 42 percent of his shares in Google Google chairman Eric Schmidt has filed plans to sell 42 percent of his shares in the company, valued at $2.5 billion at today's prices.

The exec has 7.6 million shares, and will sell 3.2 million. The company's shares trade at all-time highs, at around $785.

Schmidt currently owns 8.2 percent of the company's voting power due to his Class B shares and their enhanced voting rights.

Reads the SEC filing:

On November 15, 2012, Eric E. Schmidt, Google's Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors, adopted a stock trading plan in accordance with the guidelines specified in Rule 10b5-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Google's Policy Against Insider Trading. In February 2013, sales of Eric's Google stock may commence under this trading plan.

The pre-arranged trading plan was adopted in order to allow Eric to sell a portion of his Google stock as part of his long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity. The stock transactions pursuant to this trading plan will be disclosed publicly through Form 4 and Form 144 filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Using this trading plan, Eric can diversify his investment portfolio and can spread stock trades out over a period of one year to reduce market impact.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Woz agrees that Apple is falling behind rivals

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2013 8:21

Woz agrees that Apple is falling behind rivals Apple co-founder Steve 'Woz' Wozniak had some words for his former company.

Speaking to a German publication, the Woz admitted that the company has fallen somewhat behind in its bid to remain the top smartphone maker in the world.

I am proud that we have such loyal fans. But this loyalty is not given, the needs with the best products are always kept alive and confirmed. Currently we are in my opinion in the smartphone business with the features somewhat behind. Others have caught up. Samsung is a great competitor. But precisely because they are currently making great products.


Apple and Samsung combined for about 99 percent of all the profits in the smartphone world, and own the majority market share.

There have been fears that Apple has lost its innovative edge over the last year, and those fears were reflected in its share price, which fell from a high of $705 to $475 today.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft almost bought Sega before building Xbox itself

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2013 7:27

Microsoft almost bought Sega before building Xbox itself According to a former exec, Microsoft had strongly considered buying Sega before deciding to build the Xbox console by itself.

Joachim Kempin,the former vice president of Windows Sales at Microsoft, had this to say: "There were three companies at that point in time, I think this was [Sony,] Sega and Nintendo. There was always talk maybe we buy Sega or something like that; that never materialized. We were actually able to license them what they call Windows CE, the younger brother of Windows, to run on their system and make that their platform [for the Dreamcast]."

Kempin spent 20 years at the company, and says former CEO Bill Gates got into the hardware business just to stop Sony from dominating the market.

In regards to Sega, Kempin adds "[Gates] didn't think that Sega had enough muscle to eventually stop Sony so we did our own Xbox thing."

Sega sold 10.6 million Dreamcast in three years, compared to 24 million Xboxs sold before Microsoft released the Xbox 360.





AfterDawn: News

Report: Almost 25 percent of iPhones have cracked screen

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2013 7:01

Report: Almost 25 percent of iPhones have cracked screen According to smartphone insurance site MobileInsurance.co.uk, 23 percent of all iPhones have cracked or smashed screens.

Owners were asked whether their display is currently cracked, smashed or broken.

Most of the owners spent a long time with the broken screen, with the average length being 6 months.

30 percent said they were not insured, 30 percent said they could not afford to fix it and 40 percent were okay with living with the damage, most likely because of one of the first two questions.

A full 31 percent said they would never fix their iPhone or wait until their next upgrade.





AfterDawn: News

Panda Labs: One third of PCs are infected with malware

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2013 6:37

Panda Labs: One third of PCs are infected with malware Although rates have dropped, Panda Labs is reporting that one third of all PCs are infected with malware.

32 percent of users the security firm researched had some form of malware on their computers in 2012, down from 38 percent in 2011.

China led the way, with 54 percent of systems infected. South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and Honduras rounded out the top five.

One type of attack was most popular; trojans. 76 percent of all attacks were trojans during the year, up from 66 percent in 2011: "It seems that cyber criminals have managed to infect more computers with Trojans this year than in previous years. One of the reasons for this growth is the increased use of exploit kits such as Black Hole, which are capable of exploiting multiple system vulnerabilities to infect computers automatically without user intervention."

Android devices also remained a top target for attackers, "Android is potentially exposed to far more security risks than its biggest competitor (iPhone and its iOS), as it allows users to get their apps from anywhere they want," Panda added. "However, using the official Android marketplace is no security guarantee either, as it has also been targeted by cyber crooks luring users into installing Trojans disguised as legitimate apps."





AfterDawn: News

Nintendo announces ZombiU bundle

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2013 5:22

Nintendo announces ZombiU bundle Nintendo has announced a new Deluxe Wii U bundle for North America.

The bundle will come with a 32GB Deluxe console, ZombiU, a black Pro controller and a download code for Nintendo Land.

Launching February 17th in the U.S.and Canada, the bundle will cost $390.

Furthermore, the bundle will include "a ZombiU artwork booklet and "never-before-seen" developer commentary."

If you were to purchase everything separately, the components would cost $450, making the bundle a good deal if you were on the fence with the console and are interested in ZombiU.





AfterDawn: News

Spotify now on Windows Phone 8

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2013 4:47

Spotify now on Windows Phone 8 Spotify has proudly announced today the beta launch of their Windows Phone 8 app.

The company says the app will work for all WP8 devices, most notably the Lumia 920.

Features:

Search, browse & play our catalogue of millions of tracks
Explore & play your friends' playlists, top artists and tracks
Stream over WiFi or 2.5/3G - all your existing playlists are available
Offline playlists - play your music without an internet connection
On-the-fly sync - every track you add to a playlist appears on mobile and computer
What's New view
Receive music from friends via the inbox
Starred tracks - tag all your favorites into a special list
As with all of our mobile apps, a Premium subscription is required to use the service.


Spotify is also offering 48 hours of free Premium access to those who download the app. Mobile access is unlimited if you pay $10 per month.

Check the app here: Spotify





AfterDawn: News

EA's Origin now available for Mac

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2013 4:25

EA's Origin now available for Mac Nearly a month after Electronic Arts released their alpha version of Origin for Mac, the publisher has announced a full launch.

Origin is the company's digital distribution platform.

One of the main features of the new release is dual-platform play. Users can purchase a title via a Mac or a Windows machine, and as long as it is available for both platforms, you can play it from both.

Just like the Windows version, cloud storage for game saves is included, along with most other features from the original.

There are numerous Mac titles available.





AfterDawn: News

J.J. Abrams and Valve to work on Half-Life, Portal movies

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Feb 2013 12:40

J.J. Abrams and Valve to work on Half-Life, Portal movies Valve has announced today that popular director J.J. Abrams will be working with the company to possibly create a Portal or Half-Life movie in the future.

Abram's production studio Bad Robot has signed on to work on both movies and games.

"There's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on," said Abrams.

The announcement came after a joint keynote by Abrams and Newell called "Storytelling Across Platforms: Who Benefits Most, the Audience or the Player?"

"Movies let you experience moments that you might not think are the point, but really are everything," Abrams said during the keynote.





AfterDawn: News

Dell refreshes XPS 13 ultrabook line

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Feb 2013 12:14

Dell refreshes XPS 13 ultrabook line Dell has announced this week that they have updated their popular XPS 13 ultrabook line to include new models with full 1080p displays.

The original XPS 13 sold for $1000 and included a 720p display, a i5 processor, 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD. The new, updated model will sell for $1400 and include an updated i5, double the RAM and double the SSD space along with the Full HD screen.

"The new 1080p display contains almost 2x the pixels of a typical 720p display, and the difference is noticeable," said Dell chief blogger Lionel Menchaca. "Everything looks sharper, whether you are viewing high resolution images, watching 1080p video or even reading text on an eBook or a web page. More pixels also means you'll have more screen real estate, so you will see more of that spreadsheet (see image below) or that you'll be able to see more detail in a high resolution image than you would compared to a typical notebook screen."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm criticizes rival Tegra processors

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Feb 2013 11:54

Qualcomm criticizes rival Tegra processors Qualcomm CMO Anand Chandrasekher has bashed rival chipmaker Nvidia's Tegra processors.

Tegra 3 quad-core processors power most of 2012's most popular Android tablets.

The exec says he believes Qualcomm's own upcoming 600 and 800 processors will blow the Tegra series out of the water, and dominate the market.

On the smartphone side, the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 series is completely dominant, thanks to its great power performance and smart battery performance.

"Snapdragon S4 Pro is better, faster than the commercially shipping Tegra 3...On benchmarks published by Anantech, S4 Pro is twice as fast as the fastest Tegra processor commercially available. Nvidia just launched their Tegra 4 – not sure when those will be in the market on a commercial basis, but we believe our Snapdragon 600 outperforms Nvidia's Tegra 4. And we believe our Snapdragon 800 completely outstrips it and puts a new benchmark in place," says Chandrasekher.

The exec then went for the throat: "So, we clean Tegra 4's clock. There's nothing in Tegra 4 that we looked at and that looks interesting. Tegra 4, frankly, looks a lot like what we already have in S4 Pro... Yes, they [Nvidia] had the perception [of superior graphics] help[ing] them for some time, and that helped them for some tablet wins. I think that would change. The world is increasingly becoming aware that what we have in CPUs and graphics is beyond what anybody has. So usually, that technical awareness happens at the OEMs, and that takes a while for products to emerge...Empirically, we completely beat them on graphics performance!"





AfterDawn: News

Amazon launches their own virtual currency

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2013 10:08

Amazon launches their own virtual currency Amazon has launched their own virtual currency, dubbed Amazon Coins.

The currency can be used for in-app purchases and app purchases for Kindle Fire owners.

Set to launch in May, Amazon will give away millions of free Amazon coins. Users will be able to pay with either their credit cards or with coins.

Amazon says developers who already have their app in the Amazon Appstore do not need to do anything to add the Coin payment option.

"Developers continue to report higher conversion rates on Amazon compared to other platforms," said Paul Ryder, Vice President of Apps and Games for Amazon. "Now we have another new way to help developers reach even more of our millions of customers. Amazon Coins gives customers an easy way to spend money on developers' apps on Kindle Fire in the Amazon Appstore--and we're giving customers tens of millions of dollars in Amazon Coins to get started. Developers who aren't yet in the Amazon Appstore will want to make sure their apps have been submitted and approved by April 25 so they're ready for customers to start spending their Amazon Coins."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry Z10 off to hotter start than Lumia 920?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2013 9:00

BlackBerry Z10 off to hotter start than Lumia 920? According to multiple analyst notes, the new BlackBerry Z10 is off to a hotter start than expected, even moving units faster than the Nokia Lumia 920 did.

Bernstein analyst Pierre Ferragu says retail checks show enthusiasm for the new phone: "We have grown more confident in the likely success of the BlackBerry 10 launch, supported by low channel inventories, strong operator support and material pent-up demand. Initial feedback we have received from distributors on the first days of sales is particularly positive."

Barclays' Jeff Kvaal, did retail channel checks in the UK and had a similar outlook, "Our recent store checks suggest that initial sales of the BlackBerry Z10 are off to a solid, if not healthy start in the U.K. We believe this is a function of strong sell-through versus limited sell-in. We believe BlackBerry's Z10 is off to a better start than the Lumia 920. The solid initial demand is a positive step in our view, despite the number of challenges that remain."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Apple to lose 'iPhone' trademark in Brazil

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2013 7:15

Apple to lose 'iPhone' trademark in Brazil According to sources familiar with the ruling, Brazil's Institute of Intellectual Property has voted to strip Apple of the "iPhone" trademark in the nation.

A local company that registered the name in 2000 will be granted the trademark.

Gradiente Eletronica SA, a Brazilian consumer electronics maker, registered the name, "iphone" (with no caps), seven years before Apple introduced the phone.

The Institute will officially announce the decision on February 13th, say the sources. Apple will then be free to appeal, which they most certainly will.

Gradiente, which is now IGB Electronica, recently released their own line of Android phones, dubbed the "iphone."





AfterDawn: News

About.me goes independent after buying itself back from AOL

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2013 7:01

About.me goes independent after buying itself back from AOL This week, About.me, the online personal portal site, announced that it had purchased itself back from AOL, which had bought them in 2011.

About.me lets users create a "digital business card" that links to their sites around Web like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and any other business or personal link.

Co-founder Tony Conrad says he was able to buy the site back for "a fraction" of the cost that it sold for, which was rumored to be as high as $40 million. Conrad says the company can better thrive in an "autonomous" setting, "I think we can build it so much faster, and so much better, by making it independent again. There's no obvious leverage in being part of the AOL media network, and there's no synergy and integration."

Conrad and other co-founder Ryan Freitas will regain full control of the service when the deal closes. AOL will keep an 8 percent stake.

About.me had mostly fallen off the map after being acquired, with AOL still struggling to find their place in the world.





AfterDawn: News

Logitech unveils Ultrathin Keyboard case for the iPad Mini

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2013 3:13

Logitech unveils Ultrathin Keyboard case for the iPad Mini Logitech has announced the launch of the Ultrathin Keyboard Mini, aimed at iPad Mini owners.

The case/keyboard is one of the highest rated and most popular for the larger sized iPads.

Using the UKM turns your iPad Mini into a portable notebook (for the most part), as it has a full keyboard and connects via Bluetooth. Additionally, the keyboard doubles as a protective cover, including instant-on when flipping the case open.

Microsoft has tried pushing similar accessories with their Surface tablets, but the keyboards do not have solid bases and are hard to type on if you are not sitting someplace with a solid foundation.

Logitech's latest is built from light and slim aluminum.

The rated battery life of the keyboard is 90 days per charge.

Available next week in the U.S. and Europe, the accessory costs $79.99.





AfterDawn: News

Pew: Facebook losing American interest

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2013 3:00

Pew: Facebook losing American interest According to a recent Pew Internet & American Life Project survey, U.S. residents are quickly losing interest in Facebook, the dominant social networking behemoth.

About 70 percent of all online Americans use Facebook, compared to 16 percent for Twitter and 20 percent for LinkedIn.

The report, which cites the survey of 1000 Americans aged 18-99, is called "Coming and Going on Facebook."

20 percent of online adults who do not currently use Facebook did use it at one time, but became so angry with the site and its experience that they eventually stopped using it. Many users cited privacy concerns and a want to not have to share their lives as the main reasons for leaving. Additionally, 61 percent of users said they have taken voluntary breaks from the site for a period of 3 weeks, or longer.

28 percent of users also claimed the site has become less important to them over the last year and 34 percent said they spent less time on the social network over the last year.





AfterDawn: News

The 128GB Apple iPad is now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2013 2:26

The 128GB Apple iPad is now available Apple has made their new 128GB iPad tablet available.

The tablet is exactly the same as the existing fourth-generation models, except with larger internal storage.

Apple has made the tablet available for $799 (Wi-Fi-only) and $929 for Wi-Fi + 4G.

When the company announced the new model, they added this, "With more than 120 million iPads sold, it's clear that customers around the world love their iPads, and everyday they are finding more great reasons to work, learn and play on their iPads rather than their old PCs. With twice the storage capacity and an unparalleled selection of over 300,000 native iPad apps, enterprises, educators and artists have even more reasons to use iPad for all their business and personal needs."





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft announces five new retail stores in U.S. this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2013 2:15

Microsoft announces five new retail stores in U.S. this year After expanding wildly in 2012, Microsoft has announced it will open five new retail locations in the U.S. for 2013, following the six already announced.

The company has not revealed the exact dates, but does say they will be open by the summer.

Here are the locations:

Natick Mall, Natick, Massachusetts
Ala Moana Center, Honolulu, Hawaii
Pioneer Place, Portland, Oregon
The Somerset Collection, Troy, Michigan
Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, Illinois


Earlier this year, the company announced six new locations, in major cities such as San Antonio, Miami, Beachwood, San Francisco, Salt Lake City and St. Louis.

In 2011, Microsoft said they planned to open 75 stores before 2014, and they seem to be well on their way. Adds the Redmond giant (via Crunch): "Our customers continue to tell us that they value our stores for connecting them to the best of Microsoft. This delights us to no end. From the newest touchscreen laptops, desktops, and tablets running Windows 8, to Windows Phones, to Xbox and Kinect consoles and accessories, to a wide array of first and third-party software titles, our goal is to introduce you to the best choice, value and service we have to offer."





AfterDawn: News

Samsung and LG settle display patent dispute

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2013 10:43

Samsung and LG settle display patent dispute Samsung Display and LG Display have agreed to settle outstanding display patent disputes with a verbal agreement.

The companies were in four separate litigations over display patents.

Samsung Display chief Kim Ki-nam and LG Display chief executive Han Sang-beom had a meeting in Seoul, and say they will "resolve the issue one by one."

This means the suits will likely be settled, with new licenses being agreed to without any need for fines or penalties.





AfterDawn: News

Twitter acquires social TV analytics company Bluefin Labs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2013 10:34

Twitter acquires social TV analytics company Bluefin Labs According to sources, Twitter has acquired social TV analytics company Bluefin Labs.

The price is not known but the acquisition is said to be the largest in the microblogging company's history.

In 2011, the company purchased TweetDeck for $40 million, so the assumed priced is above $50 million.

Bluefin has raised $20.5 million from investors including Time Warner Investments, SoftBank Capital, Acadia Woods Partners, Bedrocket Media's Brian Bedol, Jim Pallotta, Redpoint Ventures, Dan Gilbert, Lerer Ventures, Kepha Partners and the National Science Foundation so any buyout will bring a healthy return to each.

Twitter has been quickly moving into the TV space, signing a multi-year deal with Nielsen to produce social TV ratings and hiring a new Head of TV.





AfterDawn: News

Nokia moves a step closer to Windows tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2013 10:21

Nokia moves a step closer to Windows tablets Nokia CEO Stephen Elop would not officially confirm it, but the exec made more statements suggesting that the phone maker will be building a Windows-based tablet in the future.

"It is the case that in the months and years ahead, you will see us broaden out the portfolio, which means pushing to lower and lower price points, in some cases smaller form factors and so forth," said Elop. "We haven't announced tablets at this point, but it is something we are clearly looking at very closely. We are studying very closely the market right now as Microsoft has introduced the Surface tablet, so we are trying to learn from that and understand what the right way to participate would be and at what point in time."

The CEO noted that there are merits to both popular form factors, the 7/8-inch tablet and the original 10-inch models made popular by the iPad.

"We would consider any option [Android or Windows]...It is important to note that the opportunity for companionship is something that any user is looking for. So, when you think about the Lumia 920, running on Windows phone, having a Windows tablet or PC or Xbox is something that will give us the opportunity to have a pretty integrated experience. Our first focus on what we look at is clearly in the Microsoft side," added Elop. "But we have made no decision or announced nothing."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Super Bowl XLVII gets highest overnight rating, sees 24.1 million tweets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2013 10:11

Super Bowl XLVII gets highest overnight rating, sees 24.1 million tweets A number of major story lines led to a record overnight rating for last night's Super Bowl.

Nielsen reported that the game had an overnight rating of 48.1, beating out last year's Super Bowl for the highest ever. The overnight rating "reflects the percentage of households watching television that tuned in to a given show."

Last year's game scored a 47.8 rating and was most-watched show of all-time, with an average audience of 111.3 million. This year's matchup brought in 108.3 million viewers, making it the third-most watched show, ever, in the U.S.

Social media saw an expected boost, as well, a total of 24.1 million Tweets. Despite a major comeback by the 49ers, and a surprise blackout, the most tweets came during Beyonce's halftime performance. Twitter was recording 268,000 messages per minute as she wrapped up the show.





AfterDawn: News

Here are yesterday's Super Bowl ads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2013 9:59

Here are yesterday's Super Bowl ads The Super Bowl ended in a thriller last night, with the Baltimore Ravens finishing as champions over the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31.

As with every Super Bowl, a few of the commercials, (which cost $3.9 million for 30 seconds) stole the show, highlighting products from behemoths like Coca Cola, Pepsi and Samsung and from up-and-comers like SodaStream and GoDaddy.

Here are all of yesterday's ads:











Read more...




AfterDawn: News

'Angry Birds' soda has now expanded to Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Spain

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2013 2:39

'Angry Birds' soda has now expanded to Russia, Australia, New Zealand, Spain In November, we reported that Finnish company Rovio, the makers of the Angry Birds franchise, released their own soda in the nation.

The soda was so popular, at least at launch, that it actually outsold behemoths Coke and Pepsi during its first month.

Apparently, the soda is successful enough that Rovio is now expanding the soda to four new nations.

Russia, Spain, Australia and New Zealand will be getting the drink in all flavors very soon. The current flavors are "Tropic (tropical fruit-flavor), Paradise (mandarin and pineapple), Lagoon (apple and pear), and Comet (orange and cola)."

When asked about the UK and US, Rovio CMO Peter Vesterbacka added: "Right now, we are looking at the U.K., so that should happen over the next few months. We want to find the right partners on the distribution side in various markets, so we will look to launch market by market. Sales in Russia are off to a really, really good start, which highlights how well the Angry Birds brand works with different products."





AfterDawn: News

Minecraft creator made over $100 million in 2012

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2013 2:24

Minecraft creator made over $100 million in 2012 According to a new article in the Swedish financial press, Minecraft creator Markus "Notch" Persson made $101 million in licensing fees in 2012.

When asked on Reddit what plans he had for the money, Notch responded: "It's weird as f**k. I grew up in a relatively poor family, but once I got a decent job, I never really had to worry about money. My hobbies were playing games and programming, so there wasn't any real drain. I could eat out when I wanted to, and go to the movies without having to save up for it. I still had to save up for trips and to be able to buy computers or consoles, but that just felt normal.

"Now, all of the sudden, as a result of how modern society works, I managed to somehow earn a sh**-ton of money. I still like playing games and programming, and once I had the latest computer and consoles, there really isn't much more to spend the money on than traveling. I might eventually get a driver's license so I can buy a car."


Additionally, the programmer plans to make charitable donations to children's causes and information freedom groups.

Notch already gave his $3 million in dividends for the year back to his 29 employees at Mojang as a bonus.





AfterDawn: News

Internet Explorer continues to gain market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2013 2:08

Internet Explorer continues to gain market share For January, Internet Explorer continued its consistent climb in browser market share, as Chrome and Firefox consolidate.

Microsoft's browser gained 0.37 points to 55.14 percent share. Firefox saw a small bump of 0.12 points to 19.94 percent while Chrome fell significantly, 0.56 points to 17.48 percent.

Finishing up the list, Safari remained completely unchanged at 5.24 percent and Opera remained relatively unchanged at 1.75 percent.

An interesting note comes on the updates side. Nearly all Chrome users remain updated to the newest version, but Firefox appears to leave users behind with every update. Firefox fans are also staying with their old browser for extended periods, says Ars.

(Second chart below reflects combined share when including mobile, where Apple is dominant)

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Here is Samsung's $15 million Super Bowl commercial

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2013 1:51

Here is Samsung's $15 million Super Bowl commercial Samsung has released their 2-minute long Super Bowl commercial early, as we prepare for the year's biggest event.

Each 30-second spot cost about $3.8 million, but it is not like Samsung cannot afford it.

The ad features popular comedic actors Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen, and was directed by Jon Favreau, the actor-turned-director who was behind Iron Man.

As expected, the ad is for the Galaxy Note II and the Galaxy Note 10.1, the company's latest hits.

The Super Bowl is expected to have an average of 120 million viewers.

Check the commercial here:

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

U.S. House of Representatives bans Spotify from member's computers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Feb 2013 4:10

U.S. House of Representatives bans Spotify from member's computers The U.S. House of Representatives has strangely blocked streaming music leader Spotify from its member's computers.

Citing a decade-old rule that was put in place during the times of Napster, all "P2P technologies" are still banned from House computers in an effort to avoid malware and illegal file sharing.

"To help protect House data, our IT policy generally prohibits the use of peer-to-peer (P2P) technologies while operating within the secure network," added the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). "While Spotify is currently not authorized, the CAO has and will continue to work with outside vendors to enable the popular services that improve member communication capabilities."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Google settles with French book publishers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Feb 2013 3:50

Google settles with French book publishers Google has settled a long-standing dispute with French book publishers and authors over the unauthorized digitization of out-of-print works.

The search giant has set up a €60m "Digital Publishing Innovation Fund" that will "support transformative French digital publishing initiatives."

Eric Schmidt, Google Chairman, says the company worked directly with new French President Hollande on ways to increase revenues for French publishers: "First, Google has agreed to create a €60 million Digital Publishing Innovation Fund to help support transformative digital publishing initiatives for French readers. Second, Google will deepen our partnership with French publishers to help increase their online revenues using our advertising technology."

French publishers have argued in the past that Google and other search engines should pay them copyright fees just for listing headlines of articles in their search results. In fact, there are proposals for a "link tax" in Belgium, France and Germany. Google already made a similar settlement in Belgium to avoid the tax.





AfterDawn: News

Google shares reach all-time high

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Feb 2013 3:12

Google shares reach all-time high Yesterday, shares of Google reached their all-time high, as the search giant continues to outperform.

Shares were boosted by reports that Google was on the verge of settling with the European Union over long-standing anti-trust issues.

The European Commission began the investigation in 2010, looking into how Google ranked its search results and ads. If Google does not settle, it could see a fine as high as 10 percent of its total revenue, which was above $40 billion for 2012.

Removal of that uncertainty is a relief to investors, who bid up the stock to $775.60, beating out its all-time high by a dollar. Shares have rallied 33 percent in the last year.





AfterDawn: News

Are these the specs of Samsung's rumored $149 tablet?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Feb 2013 2:34

Are these the specs of Samsung's rumored $149 tablet? Over the past few weeks there have been rumors that Samsung is expected to release a new Galaxy Tab that will mark a new price low for high-end devices at $149.

Today, we have the potential specs of the Galaxy Tab 3, thanks to benchmark results.

The results imply the tablet will have a 1280 x 800 resolution display, a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, and run on Android 4.2.1.

There is little else known about the device.

Samsung is expected to officially unveil the tablet at the upcoming MWC event this month in Spain.





AfterDawn: News

Verizon shows off prepaid wireless plans

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Feb 2013 2:22

Verizon shows off prepaid wireless plans Verizon Wireless has announced this week a set of prepaid smartphone plans aimed at the "budget-minded" consumer.

Both plans include unlimited minutes and text messaging.

For $60, you get 500MB of data, and for $70 you will get 2GB of data.

Unfortunately, the new plans are only available to 3G smartphones, meaning LTE devices need not apply. The new plans are available with iOS, Android and older BlackBerry phones.

Check more on the plans here: Verizon Newsroom





AfterDawn: News

Amazon makes 'Downton Abbey' a Prime exclusive

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Feb 2013 12:31

Amazon makes 'Downton Abbey' a Prime exclusive Amazon has announced today that it has struck a deal with PBS to make 'Downton Abbey' an exclusive for Prime Instant Video users.

Starting on June 18th, all seasons will be available exclusively through Amazon. Rival services, which have at least one season available, will lose access at the beginning of July.

Future seasons, if they are ever produced, will be part of the agreement, as well.

"Our Prime customers have spoken-they can't get enough of the MASTERPIECE CLASSIC series 'Downton Abbey.' The series is consistently in our top most watched TV shows each week, making it the most popular TV series with Prime Instant Video customers, ever," said Brad Beale, Director of Digital Video Content Acquisition for Amazon. "Prime Instant Video will soon be the exclusive subscription video streaming home for 'Downton Abbey.'"





AfterDawn: News

Windows 8 now at 2.26 percent OS market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Feb 2013 11:56

Windows 8 now at 2.26 percent OS market share According to NetApplications, Windows 8 continues to see modest growth, now accounting for 2.26 percent market share in the operating system world.

The figure reflects a 30 percent increase from December's number, which reflected a 57 percent increase from November.

Windows 7 remained the leader, although it saw a slight reduction to 44.48 percent.

Mac OS X, in all its iterations, accounts for 6.4 percent of the market, beating out the much-hated Vista at 5.24 percent.

The grandfather, Windows XP, still accounts for 39.5 percent share.





AfterDawn: News

Twitter now valued at cool $9.9 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Feb 2013 11:23

Twitter now valued at cool $9.9 billion Last week, major firm BlackRock purchased $80 million worth of shares of Twitter, giving the company a valuation of $9 billion.

The microblogging site was not done yet, though.

Early employees sold all the shares to BlackRock, and they are not done selling. Another block of shares have gone up for sale from employees, with the company valued at $9.9 billion now.

Twitter investors are not invited to sell shares on the second market.

It is unclear whether there is interest in the new available block.





AfterDawn: News

Analyst Pachter: 100 percent chance of PS4 unveiling next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Feb 2013 11:09

Analyst Pachter: 100 percent chance of PS4 unveiling next month Yesterday we reported that Sony teased a PlayStation event for February 20th, fueling the flames that the company will unveil its next PlayStation console this month.

According to Wedbush video game industry analyst Michael Pachter, Sony "is 100 percent certain to announce the PlayStation 4" at the event.

The analyst cites channel and retail checks for his certainty.

Sony's "Orbis" (PS4) will feature a high-end graphics chip from AMD that will allow games to be rendered at up to 240 frames per second.

Additionally, the analyst says the NYC "presentation is expected to focus on Sony's effort to deliver better integration with its entertainment properties and the ability to shift content off the device to the Internet."





AfterDawn: News

Chinese hackers repeatedly attacked New York Times

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Feb 2013 3:05

Chinese hackers repeatedly attacked New York Times Over the past four months, Chinese hackers have brutalized the New York Times' computer systems, following the company's investigation into the family of a top Chinese leader.

The attackers stole reporters' passwords and hunted down any file related to the investigation.

Chinese hackers routed their attacks through student computers on U.S. campuses that had been hit with malware.

The Times was looking into how "the relatives and family of Premier Wen Jiabao built a fortune worth over $2 billion," says the paper.

On October 25th, the report was posted online, but hackers had already been at work for weeks. Over the course of four months, the hackers stole the passwords of all Times employees and had access to home PCs of 53 employees. Despite this, "computer security experts found no evidence that sensitive emails or files from the reporting of our articles about the Wen family were accessed, downloaded or copied," said NYT executive editor Jill Abramson.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

R.I.P MiniDisc

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Feb 2013 2:41

R.I.P MiniDisc Sony has announced today that they will be finally completely discontinuing the MiniDisc player, after 21 years.

The company announced two years ago that it was planning to kill off the music player, and the final units will leave the factory at the end of February.

Debuted in 1992, the MiniDisc was created to be a more portable version of the CD, and indeed it was about half the size while including the same storage capacity.

The player had mediocre sales in the U.S. due to its pricing and lack of a large catalog for the format. The device did see stronger sales in Sony's home country of Japan.

After the iPod was introduced, MiniDisc sales collapsed (as did CDs), but Sony kept production going until now.





AfterDawn: News

Apple TV to finally get HBO Go?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2013 10:41

Apple TV to finally get HBO Go? According to Bloomberg, Apple is in negotiations with Time Warner to begin offering the popular HBO Go application.

The app would be made available to Apple TV set-top box owners by mid-2013 if all goes to plan.

If you subscribe to HBO, you will be given streaming on-demand access to over 600 hours of programming including movies and the company's original programming like True Blood, Game of Thrones and Girls.

Apple TV, long regarded by the company itself as "an experiment," streams content from Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other on-demand channels. The box has seen extreme competition, however, from rivals like Roku and gaming consoles such as the Xbox 360 and PS3.

The company has sold over 10 million Apple TVs since its introduction 3 years ago.





AfterDawn: News

Facebook to offer offline gift cards

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2013 10:34

Facebook to offer offline gift cards Facebook has introduced gift cards to their lineup of offerings.

Beginning today, the social network will let users give friends gifts to retail outlets using a new reusable gift card directly from Facebook.

The company explains how it works:


First, select a gift for your friend from the Gift Cards & Digital category.

Next, choose a value and complete your purchase. Your friend will be notified instantly about your gift, and will receive a Facebook Card in the mail a few days later. As soon as it arrives, your friend can use the card at the retailer you've chosen for the amount you've gifted.

Facebook Cards are reusable. After you've received a card, the next time you get a Facebook Card gift, it will instantly be added to your existing card. Your card can hold multiple gift balances, and each balance is dedicated to the retailer associated with the gift. For example, you might have gift balances of $100 at Sephora, $75 at Target, $50 at Olive Garden, and $8.25 at Jamba Juice.

You can view your gift balances in your account settings on Facebook from your phone or desktop. Facebook will let you know when balances change by sending a real-time notification to your phone.

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

iSuppli: Microsoft Surface sales well below shipments

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2013 10:27

iSuppli: Microsoft Surface sales well below shipments According to IHS iSuppli, Microsoft Surface sales were well below the 1 million mark.

Additionally, the tablet saw a large amount of returns.

Shipments for the Surface RT, which runs on a neutered version of Windows, were about 1.25 million for the quarter, but actual sales to consumers were much lower, "maybe on the order of 55 to 60 percent of that figure," added Rhoda Alexander, an analyst at iSuppli.

While the sales percentage is roughly in-line with other devices, especially new Android tablets, Microsoft can not be happy with the poor "sales out" percentage. Market leader Apple has a 97 percent "sales out" figure for its iPad and iPad Mini.

Apple sold 22.9 million iPads in the last quarter, easily pacing the tablet market.

The biggest problem, however, was the high return rate, says iSuppli. "The return rate was very high," Alexander said. "If you put the high return rate together with low sell-through [sales out] rate, that's indicative of a problem." When asked to put a reason behind the high returns, Alexander said, "It seems to be linked in a lot of cases to a steep learning curve of the [Windows 8] OS -- which is not necessarily intuitive."

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

The Motorola 'X Phone' is real

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2013 10:16

The Motorola 'X Phone' is real Last year, the we reported on Motorola's rumored 'X Phone,' the first real collaboration between Google and its recent acquisition, Motorola Mobility.

The phone was said to incorporate ceramic materials and a bendable screen, making it a unique Android flagship.

This week, a job posting has confirmed that the company is indeed working on an 'X' device. The LinkedIn posting is for a Senior Director of Product Management for Motorola, one who's position would lead them to oversee the launch of the new device. Additionally, the job would involve building carrier relationships for the X Phone.

Outside of the codename, there is little else in terms of details, with no mention of specifications or a time frame for release.

Motorola has since taken down the posting.





AfterDawn: News

Sony teases PlayStation event for next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Jan 2013 10:08

Sony teases PlayStation event for next month Is this the much-hyped PlayStation 4 unveiling?

The company has announced it will be holding an event on February 20th to "talk about the future" of PlayStation.

Sony confirmed the event via its Twitter account, although the page itself is just a date and time for the event, with a small teaser.

The event will take place at 6PM on the date, with little else known.

Sony recently announced it will stop selling the PS2 after over a decade of sale. Most analysts expect the PS4 to go on sale in early 2014.







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