AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by James Delahunty

AfterDawn: News

Nintendo targets ROM sites in legal crackdown

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Aug 2018 8:28

Nintendo targets ROM sites in legal crackdown Nintendo is targeting websites that distribute ROM copies of its classic video games from legacy platforms with lawsuits.

The Japanese gamemaker filed legal action recently in Arizona, targeting LoveRetro and LoveRoms, which offered ROMs of classic games from Sega, Sony, and Atari. It is seeking $150,000 for each Nintendo game offered, and up to $2 million for each trademark infringement.

Responding to the legal action elsewhere, EmuParadise voluntarily removed ROMs from its website. It said that it will continue to operate but will take the website in a different direction.

"We run EmuParadise for the love of retro games and for you to be able to revisit those good times. Unfortunately, it's not possible right now to do so in a way that makes everyone happy and keeps us out of trouble," wrote MasJ, founder of EmuParadise.

Nintendo will be launching a subscription service for its Switch console later this year, and will be offering access to some retro titles.





AfterDawn: News

Musk facing lawsuit over Tesla comments

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Aug 2018 7:52

Musk facing lawsuit over Tesla comments Tesla and founder Elon Musk are the targets of lawsuits from short sellers over comments made by Musk on Twitter.

Tweets made by Elon Musk on August 7 stunned the market as he openly stated his desire to take Tesla private at $420 per share. The proposed $72 billion transaction, for which Musk claimed he had 'secured' funding, pushed Tesla shares up initially by around 13 percent. While much of the gain was lost afterwards, short sellers were hit and are now targeting the firm and its CEO in two lawsuits.

In one lawsuit, Kalman Isaacs claimed that Musk's tweets were false and misleading, and amounted to a nuclear attack designed to completely decimate short sellers. Among with another lawsuit from William Chamberlain, Isaacs alleges that Musk's conduct artificially inflated Tesla's stock price and violated federal securities laws.

Both lawsuits were filed in San Francisco, three days after Musk's original tweets. Isaacs alleges that Musk's conduct cost short sellers hundreds of millions of dollars from having to cover their short positions.

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WATCH: Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay in stunning environment

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2018 6:15

WATCH: Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay in stunning environment Rockstar Games is teasing us again ahead of the release of the eagerly-anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2, dropping an official gameplay trailer that shows off the gorgeous world within.

We had already been treated to some shorts of the gorgeous landscapes and environments that will be present in Red Dead Redemption 2, and now Rockstar has given us a taste of the gameplay we can expect. It shows us life in the gritty but stunning American Old West in 1899, during the decline of the age of gunslingers and outlaws.

From outlaw Arthur Morgan's point of view, the player will roam this open world environment with seemingly endless possibilities for interaction and activity. Retained, though improved, from the 2010 original is the Honor system which will allow you to determine Auther's moral compass as you interact with NPCs and come across unseemly situations. You will have a choice of how to react to events you witness and this will determine much about your character.

Combat has been greatly improved since the original game to be more immersive and realistic. Firearm usage is made to feel more accurate right down to the recoil and kickback. The deadeye targeting system which allows the protagonist to aim at multiple individuals in a slow-motion sequence has been improved.

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Samsung reveals Galaxy Watch with LTE, long-lasting battery life

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2018 5:53

Samsung reveals Galaxy Watch with LTE, long-lasting battery life Samsung has revealed the new Galaxy Watch with LTE connectivity, long-lasting battery life and a bunch of Health and Productivity focused elements.

The new Galaxy Watch is LTE connected, supported across 30+ carriers and 15+ countries, meaning it can be untethered from a smartphone and deliver messaging, mapping, music and calls. Two separate sizes are available; 42mm and 46mm. The former is available in Midnight Black or Rose Gold, while the latter is available only in Silver.

Another key difference between the options is the battery. The smaller 42mm option packs a 270mAh battery delivering approximately 45 hours on a full charge with typical use or up to 120 hours with low usage. Meanwhile, the 46mm option has a larger 472mAh battery for up to 80 hours per charge with typical usage, or as much as 168 hours with low usage.

Samsung's Galaxy Watch sports a 1.3-inch, Circular Super AMOLED (360 x 360), Full Color Always On Display, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. There will be over 60,000 faces available for the Galaxy Watch. A daily briefing feature will sync your Calendar and show your appointments on the home screen.

There is a strong focus on Health tracking with the Galaxy Watch too. A new stress management tracker, which automatically detects high levels of stress and offers breathing exercises to help keep users centered and focused. Additionally, a new advanced sleep tracker monitors all levels of sleep, including REM cycles, to help users adjust sleeping habits.

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Samsung reveals Galaxy Note 9 with connected S Pen

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Aug 2018 5:20

Samsung reveals Galaxy Note 9 with connected S Pen Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 beefs up the specs, improves camera performance and adds a smarter, connected S Pen.

The new Galaxy Note 9 delivers what Samsung says is "all-day performance" starting with the 4,000mAh battery (fast wireless charging supported), the largest ever on a flagship Galaxy phone. Under the hood is a 10nm processor (Snapdragon 845 or a Samsung Exynos, depending on location) and a Water Carbon Cooling system and on-device AI-based performance adjusting algorithm to deliver powerful yet stable performance.

It comes with two internal storage options; 128GB or 512GB. Taking into account the microSD slot, the Note 9 can offer up to a terabyte of storage if you include a 512GB card. The Note 9 sports a 6.4-inch end-to-end screen (2960x1440). When it comes to memory, the 128GB option comes with 6GB of RAM, while the 512GB kicks it up to 8GB.

Incorporated from the Galaxy S9 family are new stereo speakers a variable aperture f/1.5-2.4 12-megapixel primary camera, with an additional 12Mpxl camera on the back. New software AI features improve the quality of your photos too. The software can identify elements of a photo, such as scene and subject, to automatically classify it into one of 20 categories and instantly optimize it based on the category. It can also prompt the user to retake a photo if it detects blurry elements, or if a subject blinked, for example.

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AfterDawn: News

Alex Jones' Infowars targeted by Apple, Spotify, Facebook and YouTube

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Aug 2018 4:30

Alex Jones' Infowars targeted by Apple, Spotify, Facebook and YouTube In a seemingly coordinated manner, multiple platforms have removed content from Alex Jones' Infowars outlet, citing violations of terms of service.

Podcasts and channels from the Infowars outlet disappeared from services run by Apple and Spotify, whilst Alex Jones' personal YouTube account was closed down for "violating community guidelines". Jones' personal Facebook page was also taken down.

According to Facebook, the page was removed for, "glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies."

Spotify explained the removal of podcasts from the Infowars outlet as punishment for, "repeated violations of Spotify's prohibited content policies."

Responding to the coordinated removal of Jones' and Infowars' content, Paul Joseph Watson claimed that the timing of the removal was intended to affect the upcoming midterm elections in the United States.



Watson is the editor-at-large at Infowars.





AfterDawn: News

SpaceX relaunches Falcon 9 Block 5 booster

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Aug 2018 4:09

SpaceX relaunches Falcon 9 Block 5 booster SpaceX has successfully reused a previously landed Falcon 9 booster based on its final 'Block 5' design.

This is not the first time that SpaceX successfully relaunched a previously flown and landed (or as SpaceX describes them: flight proven) booster, but it is the first time that it landed a Block 5 booster. SpaceX is hoping to reuse Block 5 boosters up to 100 times, and to fly no less than 10 times without the need for maintenance.

Last night, SpaceX launched a commercial satellite to geostationary orbit for Telecom Indonesia. The booster / first stage of the rocket was previously used back in May when SpaceX launched the Bangabandhu Satellite-1 into orbit.

The promise of reflying boosters is to cut launch costs significantly, though initially SpaceX may opt to keep launch costs higher to recoup the significant financial investment into the development of reusable rockets, the development of the Falcon Heavy and the ongoing development of the BFR.

NASA has also announced the first astronauts that will fly to space on a human-rated Dragon capsule from SpaceX. The Crew Dragon will have to pass a couple of test flights before the company will be able to fly humans.





AfterDawn: News

CCleaner update removed Privacy options, made exiting the app difficult

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Aug 2018 8:04

CCleaner update removed Privacy options, made exiting the app difficult A recent update to the mega-popular CCleaner tool prompted backlash from long-term users as privacy options disappeared and other problems arose.

Recently acquired by Avast, CCleaner was updated to v5.45.6611 with some noticeable changes. In the free version of the app, Privacy settings were removed from the options meaning users could no longer opt-out of sending usage information. Another noted issue is that it seems impossible to close the application through normal means.

When you click the X in the top right hand corner of the app, CCleaner minimizes to the system tray on the taskbar, which is not unusual behavior. What is unusual is that right-clicking on the CCleaner icon in the system tray no longer provided the option to exit CCleaner.

This could be because of a shift in the way the developers want CCleaner to be used. In the new version, it seems much more difficult to disable Active Monitoring. Many CCleaner users may only use it to clear out browser history and temporary files every now and then. Active Monitoring will keep an eye on the accumulation of junk and other data and prompt users to run the cleaner routinely.

In order to disable it in the latest version, users apparently need to toggle off "Enable system monitoring," and then turn off Active Monitoring later. The problem users are having is that it toggles itself back on after restarting the app or rebooting.

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Report: Google working on censored search engine for China

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Aug 2018 7:33

Report: Google working on censored search engine for China According to a report by The Intercept, Google has been working on a version of its search engine that would comply with Chinese censorship laws.

It cited internal Google documents and inside sources in reporting on Dragonfly, a project that would omit results from websites including terms like "human rights" and "religion." The Reuters News Agency and Agence France-Presse both confirmed the initial report from their own separate sources.

A Google spokesperson provided a brief statement on the report without confirmation of denial.

"We provide a number of mobile apps in China, such as Google Translate and Files Go, help Chinese developers, and have made significant investments in Chinese companies like JD.com," the statement said. "But we don't comment on speculation about future plans."

The report cites Android apps called Maotai and Longfei that have been developed and could be launched within months if approved by the Chinese government.

Securities Daily, with is a state-owned outlet, dismissed the report citing "relevant departments" in reporting that Google is not preparing a return to the Chinese market.

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AfterDawn: News

Plex adds support for offline podcasts

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Aug 2018 7:21

Plex adds support for offline podcasts Plex has taken Podcasts out of beta with the addition of several new requested features to improve the podcast experience.

You can now easily download your favorite podcasts so you will be able to listen to them when you don't have connectivity, such as during a long commute. You can download single episodes with a single tap or set up a smart rule to make sure you have enough episodes of podcasts that you'll need. You can with a couple of taps download the latest 5 episodes, or you could just opt to download all.

If you are migrating to Plex for your podcast needs, you can also now import your podcast subscriptions using an OPML import feature. The OPML format is supported by most podcast apps (e.g. Apple Podcasts), so this makes it much easier to migrate all of your subscriptions at once with a few steps on iOS, Android or on the web.

Additionally, Plex lets you listen to your podcasts on Sonos speakers, through Android Auto or on Chromecast-connected devices.

More info: www.plex.tv





AfterDawn: News

Judge blocks 3D printed gun design release

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Aug 2018 2:58

Judge blocks 3D printed gun design release A Seattle judge has halted the planned release of designs for 3D printed guns that were due to go on sale to consumers on Wednesday.

Defense Distributed was to start selling 3D gun designs to customers based on a prior settlement reached with the federal government. However, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik has granted a temporary restraining order at he request of eight state attorneys general and D.C.

President Donald Trump had addressed the issue in a tweet on Tuesday, writing: "I am looking into 3-D Plastic Guns being sold to the public. Already spoke to NRA, doesn't seem to make much sense!"

At the center of the controversy is uncertainty over the implications of the First and Second Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said that the President "will continue to look at all options available to us to do what is necessary to protect Americans while also supporting the First and Second amendments."

In response to statements made by Democrats about the settlement between the federal government and Defense Distributed, Gidley noted that it is illegal to own or to produce a wholly plastic gun under the law, and that the President supports the law as it stands.





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Cryptocurrency mining apps banned from Play Store

Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Jul 2018 13:14

Cryptocurrency mining apps banned from Play Store Google has banned apps from the Play Store that are used to mine cryptocurrencies.

Having previously banned Chrome extensions that mine cryptocurrency, Google has banned apps from the Play Store that mine cryptocurrency using devices they are installed on. "We don't allow apps that mine crypto-currency on devices," an updated developer policy reads.

Apps that manage mining on remote systems like cloud computing platforms will still be allowed on the Play Store, however.

Mining cryptocurrency is a process-intensive task that can max out computing hardware. On portable devices like smartphones, this can cause overheating and drain the battery very quickly.

Cryptocurrency mining has also been adopted by malware distributors, using computing resources of infected devices to carry out mining operations out of sight. This tends to have a debilitating effect on overall system performance.

Source: BBC News





AfterDawn: News

Spotify subscribers climb to 83 million

Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Jul 2018 13:05

Spotify subscribers climb to 83 million There are now 83 million Spotify customers paying for premium service as the Swedish streaming firm holds its lead in face of competition.

Spotify had previously reported crossing 70 million paid subscribers globally in January. Having jumped now to over 83 million paid subscribers, Spotify is continuing its impressive growth even though it faces increasing competition in the streaming marketplace.

In April, Apple announced that its own Apple Music streaming service had crossed over 40 million paying subscribers. Some analysts have predicted that Apple will catch up to and surpass its Swedish rival, having reportedly passed Spotify's U.S.-based subscriber tally by July of this year. At the end of this year, Apple may have around 3 million more U.S. subscribers than Spotify.

A lot of eyes are on Spotify's revenue as the streaming giant filed to go public in January of this year. The service has yet to make a profit.

via: The Verge





AfterDawn: News

Twitter deletes 70 million accounts

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Jul 2018 6:16

Twitter deletes 70 million accounts According to the Washington Post, Twitter purged more than 70 million accounts from the service since May.

The purge is part of Twitter's effort to fight against bots operating on its network, and also against "trolls" who abuse the company's terms of service. According to the report, many of the suspicious and fake accounts are remotely controlled bots that present all kinds of problems and threats.

A Twitter spokesperson told the Post that the purge was nothing new and was part of work to improve the health of the public conservation on Twitter.

He added that Twitter also took action against 142,000 applications responsible for spammy tweets on the social network.

As services like Twitter and Facebook take action against fake accounts, those responsible for them tend to change their ways to avoid detection. As new technologies including conversational AI become more widespread, it will be a much more difficult task to determine if an account represents a real individual or not.





AfterDawn: News

iOS update restricts USB accessories to prevent cracking

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Jul 2018 6:06

iOS update restricts USB accessories to prevent cracking Apple has pushed the latest iOS update, including USB restrictions aimed at countering accessories that can crack passcodes.

Such USB accessories are sometimes used by law enforcement and others to allow for infinite guesses at a device's passcode, then cracking it by using brute force techniques. In order to counter this method, Apple said it would change settings in an update that disables USB accessories entirely after an hour without the phone being unlocked.

Previously, this time frame was set to a week. With the release of iOS 11.4.1, the USB restriction change is the default. However, you can also disable it. Under Touch ID, or Face ID, settings you will see a new option you can toggle on or off for "USB Accessories."

The description reads: "Unlock iPhone to allow USB accessories to connect when it has been more than an house since your iPhone was locked."

A second Erase Data option will erase all data on a device if ten attempts to guess the passcode result in failure.

Other things included in the iOS update are stability fixes and an improved Find My AirPod feature.

via: Engadget






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