AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by James Delahunty

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Nintendo blocking Switch pirates from online play

Written by James Delahunty @ 22 Jun 2018 6:58

Nintendo blocking Switch pirates from online play Nintendo is blocking pirated games for the Switch console from accessing the Nintendo network.

According to posts on the SwitchHacks subreddit, Nintendo has already begun banning game cart certificates. Server-side checks can determine whether a copy of a game being run is legitimate, be it a game cart or a digital copy. It will provide an authorization token once authenticity has been established.

If the server-side checks determine that the software being run is an unauthorized copy, it will block the game from connecting to online play and Nintendo can also easily ban a console from accessing its online network entirely.

Pirated games can be run on Nintendo's Switch console because hackers discovered a flaw that could be exploited to run arbitrary code.


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Microsoft abandoned VR plans for Xbox One

Written by James Delahunty @ 22 Jun 2018 6:50

Microsoft abandoned VR plans for Xbox One If you are waiting for a VR headset for Xbox One, you will be disappointed in Microsoft.

According to Mike Nichols, chief markering officer for gaming at Microsoft, the Redmond-based giant has no plans specific to Xbox One in the virtual reality and mixed reality spaces. He revealed as much in an interview with

The revelation comes in contrast to past comments by Xbox boss Phil Spencer, who said the firm planned to integrate VR into Xbox One X.

"We don't have any plans specific to Xbox consoles in virtual reality or mixed reality," Nichols said.

"Our perspective on it has been and continues to be that the PC is probably the best platform for more immersive VR and MR. As an open platform, it just allows faster, more rapid iteration."

Sony's rival PlayStation VR sales didn't match the levels the Japanese consumer electronics firm expected, maybe prompting Microsoft to halt development of VR on their consoles for now.

Read Nichols' full comments at:

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Tesla sues employee for alleged sabotage, data leaks

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Jun 2018 7:15

Tesla sues employee for alleged sabotage, data leaks Tesla has filed a lawsuit against a former disgruntled employee for allegedly committing acts of sabotage and data theft against the all-electric automaker.

Earlier this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sent an e-mail to the firm's employees revealing that a fellow employee had modified manufacturing operating system software, and had also stolen sensitive information. Following that e-mail, it has emerged that Tesla has filed a lawsuit against the individual accused.

Filed in a federal court in Nevada, the lawsuit alleges that the former process technician was angry after being reassigned to a different role at the company. The individual is accused of handing over videos and photographs relating to Tesla's manufacturing systems to third parties.

Tesla has suffered "significant and continuing damages" as a result of his actions, the suit alleges. Furthermore, Tesla also accuses the man of making false statements to the press about delays and other things.

The firm is seeking an initial $1 million in damages and other forms of relief, to be determined at trial.

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BBC to stream Wimbledon Tennis matches in 4K HDR

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Jun 2018 7:14

BBC to stream Wimbledon Tennis matches in 4K HDR The BBC will stream tennis matches from this year's Wimbledon tournament to some UK users in 4K resolution and High Dynamic Range (HDR).

The national broadcaster is already streaming World Cup matches in 4K HDR from Russia which has been praised by viewers despite some technical glitches. For Wimbledon, it will also offer streams in 4K without HDR so that Sky Q customers and tune in.

As with the World Cup, the ability to access the very high-quality streams will be on a "first-come-first-served" basis as streams will be limited to "tens of thousands". This is to meet the high bandwidth demands that such streams have on both ends of the connection.

To access the content through iPlayer, you will need to be using a compatible set-top-box or smart TV. While not listed by the BCC, Sony's PlayStation Pro is also capable of streaming live World Cup games from iPlayer in 4K UHD, though not in HDR.

Here is a list of compatible devices:

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IGTV pushes Instagram into video space

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Jun 2018 7:11

IGTV pushes Instagram into video space Instagram will compete with existing video giants like YouTube following the launch of IGTV this week.

The Facebook-owned social network released a new separate IGTV app for mobile platforms this week, but will also incorporate IGTV into the existing Instagram app. Founded in 2010 as a more humble photo-sharing app, Instagram has now reached over one billion monthly users, according to CEO Kevin Systrom.

"Teens are now watching 40 percent less TV than they did five years ago," Systrom said at the launch event. "It's time for video to move forward and evolve."

IGTV will not feature advertising for now but is almost certain to include it later on. As such it also does not plan to share revenue with video creators for the time being, though it has partnered with some of Instagram's most popular content creators for the launch.

Instagram joins parent company Facebook Inc, rival Snapchat, and others in beefing up its video offerings as it seeks to try to take content creators from YouTube. Google's YouTube service plans to update its commercialization options in the coming days.

AfterDawn: News

Google launches dedicated podcast app

Written by James Delahunty @ 20 Jun 2018 8:11

Google launches dedicated podcast app Google has launched Google Podcasts, a dedicated app for finding and listening to podcasts on Android.

Google Podcasts is available from the Play Store globally from today, and integrates with Google Assistant across your devices. It allows you to find and listen to your favorite podcasts and will also help you to discover new postcasts you might be interested in subscribing to through personalized recommendations.

Google Podcasts seamlessly syncs across a variety of Google products, including the Google Home. So if you're listening to a podcast on your phone during your commute home, you can resume it on your Google Home when you arrive.

In the future, Google hopes to be able to utilizes speech-to-text to provide automatic subtitling for the hearing impaired, or just for when you are on a noise, busy commute and have trouble hearing the audio. With Google Translate, such subtitles will be translated to other languages on the fly too.

The app is available to get directly from the Play Store for Android 4.1 and newer.

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Adobe's Project Rush is an all-in-one, cross-device video editing app

Written by James Delahunty @ 20 Jun 2018 7:07

Adobe's Project Rush is an all-in-one, cross-device video editing app Adobe is working on a video-editing solution for Desktop and Mobile that streamlines the process of video editing, production and distribution.

With Project Rush, your work automatically syncs to the cloud, so you can start on your phone or tablet and seamlessly move to your laptop for further editing. All of the features available on Desktop are available on the Mobile Apps. While in beta, Project Rush is available for Mac, Windows and iOS, and Adobe will release an Android app too.

You can capture right into Project Rush, then edit, add filters, optimize audio, and select from a wide variety of highly customizable title sequences. When it comes to pushing the final product out, Rush also has that covered. You can easily add a thumbnail, schedule a post and publish to multiple social platforms (Facebook, Facebook Stories, Instagram, YouTube, Vimeo, Twitter etc.) all from within the app.

Project Rush essentially combines Premiere, Audition, Stock and After Effects into one solution.

For the time being, Project Rush is under development and available as a Beta if your application is accepted. You can apply for the beta at:

AfterDawn: News

PlayStation Hits: Popular PS4 titles for $20

Written by James Delahunty @ 20 Jun 2018 6:51

PlayStation Hits: Popular PS4 titles for $20 Sony's PlayStation Hits offers a list of popular PS4 titles from award winning epics to family friendly favorites for $20.

This promotion keeps in line with a similar promotion for the previous PlayStation console generations. It applies to the United States and Canada for now and covers both downloads and physical copy sales (physical copy has visible PlayStation Hits red banner on the cover).

The offer starts June 28 and involves titles including Bloodorne, Battlefield 4, DRIVECLUB, inFAMOUS Second Son, Killzone Shadow Fall, The Last of Us Remastered, LittleBigPlanet 3, Metal Gear Solid V: The Definitive Experience, Project CARS, Ratchet & Clank, Street Fighter V, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, Yakuza Kiwami and Yakuza 0.

AfterDawn: News

WHO claims gaming disorder is a mental health issue

Written by James Delahunty @ 19 Jun 2018 6:08

WHO claims gaming disorder is a mental health issue According to the World Health Organization, 'Gaming disorder' is now a condition like gambling or hoarding.

Gaming disorder has been included in the organization's eleventh edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The ICD is used by medical professionals worldwide as a baseline for the classification and identification of diseases and disorders.

It characterizes 'Gaming disorder' thus:

Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour ('digital gaming' or 'video-gaming'), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by: 1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context); 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

Plenty of experts disagree with defining it as a condition along with hoarding and other mental conditions. In 2016, a collection of experts wrote a letter to the WHO arguing against including Gaming disorder in the 11th edition of the ICD. The experts said that while problematic gaming behaviors deserved attention, "we claim that it is far from clear that these problems can or should be attributed to a new disorder."


AfterDawn: News

Tesla's Musk reveals 'extensive sabotage' by Tesla employee

Written by James Delahunty @ 19 Jun 2018 5:49

Tesla's Musk reveals 'extensive sabotage' by Tesla employee Tesla chief Elon Musk has sent an e-mail to the company's staff revealing 'extensive and damaging' sabotage carried out by a Tesla employee.

In an e-mail obtained by the Reuters News Agency, Musk revealed that he had become aware of the sabotage by the unnamed employee over the weekend. While not going into specific details, the e-mail alleges that the saboteur made alterations to the code of the company's 'manufacturing operating system' and sent sensitive Tesla data to unidentified third parties.

Right now, Tesla is trying to determine who this employee was working with, or if the individual was working alone. The reason given in the e-mail for the nefarious activity is that the employee was seeking a promotion and did not get it.

"As you know, there are a long list of organizations that want Tesla to die," Musk wrote. He identified such parties as Wall Street short sellers, oil and gas firms and rival auto companies.

In another alarming e-mail obtained by Reuters, Musk had revealed that a small fire had broken out and extinguished at a company facility on Sunday. While the e-mail stressed there was no injuries and the facility is operational again, and that the fire could have been a random event, Musk asked employees to be on the look out for "anything that's not in the best interests of our company."


AfterDawn: News

US Supreme Court to review App Store commissions litigation

Written by James Delahunty @ 18 Jun 2018 12:13

US Supreme Court to review App Store commissions litigation The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to take up a lawsuit against Apple relating to App Store commissions, at the request of the Cupertino iPhone maker.

The antitrust lawsuit dates back to 2011 when it was filed by iPhone owners in a federal court in California. It alleges that Apple has monopolized the market for iPhone software applications by linking them to the App Store, and through its 30 percent commission may be causing consumers to pay more that they might if they could purchase from competitors.

A federal judge in Oakland, California initially threw out the lawsuit out arguing that the higher fees that consumers potentially pay are passed on to them by developers.

However, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco revived the case last year, finding that Apple directly sells iPhone apps to consumers and so must face antitrust claims when made.

The outcome of this case could affect many other markets where individuals are the ones who set prices, such as StubHub, Amazon's Marketplace or even eBay.

Apple had support for the Supreme Court review of the case from the Trump Administration.

Source: Reuters News Agency

AfterDawn: News

iOS 12 will share location data with 911 centers during emergency calls

Written by James Delahunty @ 18 Jun 2018 11:59

iOS 12 will share location data with 911 centers during emergency calls Apple has revealed that iOS 12 will automatically and securely share accurate location information with 911 call centers when you make an emergency call in the United States.

In 2015, Apple launched Hybridized Emergency Location (HELO) to help address problems with getting location information from mobile users making emergency calls. Approximately 80 percent of all 911 calls made in the United States are make from mobile devices, but landline-era infrastructure has frustrated the ability of 911 call centers to get accurate location info in cases.

Apple announced that it will begin using RapidSOS's Internet Protocol-based data pipeline to quickly and securely share HELO location data with 911 centers. The system will deliver the emergency location data of iOS users by integrating with many 911 centers' existing software.

"Communities rely on 911 centers in an emergency, and we believe they should have the best available technology at their disposal," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO.

"When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance."

FCC regulations require that all carriers be able to locate emergency callers to within 50 meters at least 80 percent of the time by 2021. Apple feels its technology and integration with RapidSOS's system puts it well ahead of the deadline.


AfterDawn: News

Xbox Game Pass gets FastStart in latest preview build

Written by James Delahunty @ 18 Jun 2018 9:14

Xbox Game Pass gets FastStart in latest preview build Microsoft is rolling out its latest beta system update to Xbox One Preview Beta members and some Delta Ring users and it enables FastStart for Xbox Game Pass downloads.

FastStart is a system that uses Machine Learning to prioritize the downloading of elements of games so that they will be available to begin playing much faster than usual. It focuses on the elements of games that are needed to begin playing and prioritizes them over others.

Given it is a preview build however (1806.180612-1920), Microsoft is looking for feedback on the install performance of the following titles:

  • The Flame in the Flood
  • Fuzion Frenzy
  • Screamride
  • Spelunky
  • Casey Powell Lacrosse 16
  • Dovetail Games Euro Fishing
  • The Golf Club

Other than that the update brings fixes for problems with games, apps, localization, party chat and YouTube.

AfterDawn: News

Tesla Model 3 production hits 3,500 vehicles per week

Written by James Delahunty @ 18 Jun 2018 6:55

Tesla Model 3 production hits 3,500 vehicles per week Tesla is ramping up production of its Model 3 all-electric vehicle as delays hit its bottom line and workforce.

The all-electric carmaker had aimed to produce 5,000 of its Model 3 vehicles per week by the end of 2017. Instead, almost six months later the firm is trying to hit that target by the start of July. Production issues have hit Tesla hard financially as it burns through cash on its assembly lines and the construction of its ambitious Gigafactory.

Last week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the firm was laying off around nine percent of its workforce in pursuit of profitability by year's end.

A Tesla e-mail, obtained by Electrek, shows that Tesla is now producing around 500 of the vehicles per day to 3,500 per week. Some portions of the line are as high as 700. There are still problems with some parts of the production line however, including the paint shop at the end of the line.

Over the weekend, Elon Musk tweeted his appreciation for the Tesla team for building an entire new general assembly line in just three weeks. He also showed off a photo of the first dual motor model to come off the production line.


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Kaspersky halts cybercrime collaboration in spat with EU Parliament

Written by James Delahunty @ 18 Jun 2018 6:40

Kaspersky halts cybercrime collaboration in spat with EU Parliament A European Parliament motion has spurred Kaspersky to halt collaboration with European agencies in cybercrime, including its anti-ransomware work.

Despite the European Commission finding that there was no danger associated with Kasperksy Labs' software back in April, a motion in the European Parliament has specifically identified Kaspersky software as 'malicious', prompting an angry response from the firm.

Eugene Kaspersky, founder of the cybersecurity firm, said it had no choice but to take definitive action. For the time being, Kaspersky will not collaborate with European cybercrime agencies until it gets clarification from the European Parliament about its statement.

Unfortunately, this also includes Kaspersky's contribution to "No More Ransom", which provides tools and methods to record data that has been encrypted by ransomware.

The United States and the United Kingdom have previously removed Kasperksy software from some of their government systems.

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