AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by James Delahunty (June, 2018)

AfterDawn: News

New SD Express boosts SD transfer speed to 985 MB/sec

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Jun 2018 8:51

New SD Express boosts SD transfer speed to 985 MB/sec The SD Association revealed the new SD Express standard this week, which brings PCI Express and NVMe interfaces to the SD interface for dramatic speed improvements.

Adopting the PCIe interface pushes top transfer speed to a theoretical 985 MB/sec. In addition, new SD Ultra Capacity (SDUC) cards bump the existing storage capacity limit of 2TB, to an eyewatering 128TB. You shouldn't hold your breath for an affordable and practical 128TB card any time soon though.

Still, the SD Express upgrade is significant and good for data transfer intensive operations, like capturing super slow motion video, RAW continuous burst mode, 8K Video capture and playback, 360 degree cameras/videos and so forth.

"With SD Express we're offering an entirely new level of memory card with faster protocols turning cards into a removable SSD," said Hiroyuki Sakamoto, SDA president.

"SD 7.0 delivers revolutionary innovations to anticipate the needs of forthcoming devices and content rich and speed hungry applications."

The SD Association has released a white paper on SD Express: SD Express Cards with PCIe and NVMe Interfaces (PDF)





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Redbox will rent Warner films on release day

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Jun 2018 8:48

Redbox will rent Warner films on release day Redbox has struck a deal with Warner Bros to offer DVD and Blu-ray rentals through kiosks on the same day as a film's retail release.

Previously, Redbox could only offer films released by Warner for rental seven days after they hit retail shelves. Redbox already has agreements to offer DVD rentals for films from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Pictures and Lionsgate on their retail release date.

It does not have any deal with Disney.

"We're thrilled to announce this day-and-date agreement with Warner Bros. that provides the consistently strong slate of Warner Bros. titles to consumers at their earliest physical retail sell-through availability," Redbox CEO Galen Smith said, reports Variety.

Under the new deal with Warner, new releases will also be available through the online Redbox On Demand service.





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Beats founders must pay $25 million to former partner

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Jun 2018 6:17

Beats founders must pay $25 million to former partner A jury has awarded $25 million to an ex-partner of Dr Dre (Andre Young) and Jimmy Iovine over the Beats headphone brand.

Steven Lamar and his company Jibe Audio sued the Beats co-founders alleging they had breached a contract to avoid paying royalties. The lawsuit was seeking $130 million in unpaid royalties, but Beats insisted that Lamar's involvement was in the early stages and paid for already. Specifically, Beats claimed Lamar was only owed for the original Studio model and had already been compensated for it.

Lamar's lawyers argued that the claimant had been involved in the development of twelve models.

In a 9-3 margin, the Los Angeles Superior Court found that Beats had breached a contract with Lamar, and awarded him $25.2 million. While this clearly falls short of the $130 million sought in the lawsuit, Lamar's lawyer welcomed the decision.

"The jury really validated our theory of the case, that Mr. Lamar was involved in the founding of Beats," Lamar's attorney Stephen E. Morrissey said, reports the Associated Press.

"It's not everything we were asking for, but we're happy."





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YouTube's Picture-In-Picture mode rolling out to more Android devices

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Jun 2018 6:15

YouTube's Picture-In-Picture mode rolling out to more Android devices According to reports, non-premium YouTube users are getting the picture-in-picture feature on their Android devices.

The PiP feature will keep a small window showing the YouTube video playing even as users navigate across other apps on their Android smartphone or tablet. It was introduced last November but was only available for users paying for premium service on YouTube - YouTube Red and YouTube Premium - but now seems to be appearing for free users too.

So far the feature only seems to be rolling out to users located in the United States. Since the uploader of a video can exclude its user with PiP mode, most major music videos don't work with the feature.

The rollout also seems to be limited only to those running Android Oreo 8.0+. To check if it is available for you, check to see if the option has become available in the YouTube settings as a toggle-on-toggle-off button. Once switched on, simply use the Home button when playing videos to minimize the video to small rectangle and navigate through other apps as you normally would.

Source: XDA-Developers





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STARTTLS Everywhere: EFF wants to secure e-mail

Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Jun 2018 7:27

STARTTLS Everywhere: EFF wants to secure e-mail The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is trying to make e-mail more secure and private by helping webmasters deploy properly configured STARTTLS on SMTP servers.

E-mails sent over the Internet use the SMTP protol for the most part. SMTP is older than the HTTP protocol, and like HTTP it was not developed with encryption and data privacy in mind. As the online environment changed and called for more secure e-mail transit, STARTTLS was developed to add a layer of security to protocol.

STARTTLS provides for hop-to-hop encryption that means e-mails are not sent in plaintext in transit. It should be noted that STARTTLS does not encrypt the e-mail on the server itself, just while in transit.

While STARTTLS is deployed on most mailservers these days, unfortunately it is not always configured properly and has some problems. The EFF notes that most do now not validate certificates. Just like in HTTPS, certificates are what a server uses to prove it really is who it says it is. Without certificate validation, an active attacker on the network can get between two servers and impersonate one or both, allowing that attacker to read and even modify emails sent through your supposedly "secure" connection.

Read more...




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Uber gets 15 month license for London operations

Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Jun 2018 7:23

Uber gets 15 month license for London operations Uber users in London can relax because the service will continue to operate for at least 15 months following a Magistrate's decision.

Uber had been appealing to the Westminster Magistrates' Court this week after it was denied a five year operating license for London in 2017. Transport for London (TfL) claimed that Uber was not "fit and proper" when it refused to renew its license to operate in the British capital.

The U.S.-based taxi app continued to operate in London while it was appealing against the decision. In Court this week, Uber insisted that it has changed its company culture and its ways, and changed its policies toward key areas like the reporting of alleged crimes to police.

Westminster Magistrates' Court, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said that Uber can now be considered "fit and proper" for service in London over the next fifteen months.

"We will continue to work with TfL to address their concerns and earn their trust, while providing the best possible service for our customers," Tom Elvidge, Uber's UK general manager, said while welcoming the Court's decision.





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YouTubers complain about subscriber notification issues

Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Jun 2018 6:04

YouTubers complain about subscriber notification issues YouTubers have used VidCon to vent their frustration at YouTube over declining viewership due to subscribers not being notified of new videos.

Starting last year, many YouTubers began to notice their average number of video views falling dramatically. It emerged that YouTube wasn't notifying their subscribers as often about new videos, and wasn't promoting them to subscribers as prominently as before.

Some of the drops were significantly steep. King Russell, who goes by the YouTube name "Kingsley", counts three million YouTube followers. He noticed that his views per video declines to around 100,000, compared to over one million per video in the previous years.

"It's unacceptable," he said, reports Reuters. "It's tacky, rude and needs to change."

YouTube justifies its actions by explaining that YouTube viewers can become overwhelmed by too many alerts, but YouTubers remain unconvinced. Many videomakers have resorted to asking their subscribers to click/press the "bell" notification button beside the subscribe button to get more notifications. In theory, this should result in a user being notified of ever video upload, but some viewers claim this doesn't always happen either.

Read more...




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WPA3 security arrives to beef up Wi-Fi security

Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Jun 2018 5:54

WPA3 security arrives to beef up Wi-Fi security The Wi-Fi Alliance has introduced Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3), providing wireless networks with their first major security upgrade in well over a decade.

WPA3 tackles some of the lingering vulnerabilities that have affected WPA2. For example, individualizes data encryption for each device protects against eavesdropping from within a protected network. Like WPA2, WPA3 comes in different flavors: WPA3-Personal and WPA3-Enterprise.

On WPA3-Personal, users will benefit from more resilient, password-based authentication even when users choose fairly weak passwords. Simultaneous Authentication of Equals (SAE) is also introduced, comprising a secure key establishment protocol between devices, to provide stronger protections for users against password guessing attempts by third parties.

WPA-Enterprise kicks up the security a bit further by providing the equivalent of 192-bit cryptographic strength. As suggested by its title, it is made for deployment when data is particularly sensitive, such as in government facilities or a corporate environment.

Also introduced is Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Easy Connect, which comes about in time for the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart homes. It makes it possible to securely add devices to a WPA3 protected network even if the device has limited or no display capabilities at all. It achieves this by adding the device using another device with a more robust interface, such as a smartphone, by simply scanning a product quick response (QR) code.

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Singles chart will include YouTube video views in UK

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Jun 2018 6:03

Singles chart will include YouTube video views in UK The Official Charts Company in the UK will begin counting YouTube video views in its singles chart ranking from Friday.

User-uploaded videos and user generated content will not count, but offcial videos played on YouTube, or on Apple, Tidal and Spotify within the United Kingdom will be counted. The first chart including video streams will be published on 6 July, and the album chart will remain unaffected.

Another change will affect the weight given to premium streams versus free streams. As things stand, every 150 streams is counted as if it's the equivalent of a sale. Starting from Friday, this will change dramatically to 600:1 for songs streamed for free on ad supported services like Spotify, and to 100:1 for premium streams.

Some have called for free streams to be excluded completely but the official charts company has resisted those calls so far, citing the music tastes of the youngest users who rely on ad-supported services and low-income listeners.

More info on the changes: BBC News





AfterDawn: News

Uber appeal for London license begins

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Jun 2018 6:02

Uber appeal for London license begins Uber is appealing against a decision to deny the company a license to operate in London in a UK court.

Last year, the Transport for London (TfL) group denied Uber a license renewal in the British capital, citing public safety and security concerns. Uber filed an appeal and has been allowed to continue operating while the appeal is underway.

"I know we got things wrong and that we have more work to do. But I promise Londoners we will keep listening and improving as Uber moves forward in a new direction," Uber's UK general manager, Tom Elvidge, said in May.

Uber has begun making its case this week in the Westminster Magistrates' Court. The hearing is expected to last throughout the week. It is detailing to the court the significant changes it promised to make including improved procedures for reporting criminal offenses.

According to a memo sent from Uber to TfL, as many as 1,148 London-licensed Uber drivers ranging from dangerous driving to stalking.

Source: BBC News





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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.

Read more...




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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 GamesIndustry.biz.

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: www.gamesindustry.biz





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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.





AfterDawn: News

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: www.bbc.co.uk





AfterDawn: News

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.





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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.





AfterDawn: News

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: www.adobe.com/go/project-rush





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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."

Read more...




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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."

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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.

Read more...




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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.

Read more...




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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.





AfterDawn: News

NBC Sports app comes to PS4

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Jun 2018 6:54

NBC Sports app comes to PS4 The NBC Sports app, which streams thousands of hours of premium NBC Sports content annually, is available to download for PS4 consoles now.

The app annually streams thousands of hours of premium content that is presented across NBC, NBCSN, Golf Channel, and Olympic Channel. At the moment it is also streaming the football matches from the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Already in 2018, the NBC Sports app has streamed the NHL Winter Classic, NHL All-Star Game, Super Bowl LII, PyeongChang Winter Olympics, Premier League, Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final, PLAYERS Championship, French Open, and Triple Crown, among others.

Besides the PS4, you can get the NBC Sports app for Xbox One, Windows 10, Fire TV, Fire Stick, Fire Smart TV, Fire tablets, Android tablets, Android phones, iPhone, iPad Apple TV. It is also compatible with Chromecast, Roku and some Samsung Smart TVs.





AfterDawn: News

AT&T's $85 billion Time Warner deal closes

Written by James Delahunty @ 15 Jun 2018 6:32

AT&T's $85 billion Time Warner deal closes AT&T has closed its $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner following a favorable court ruling.

The Trump Administration was opposed to the No. 2 Carrier in the United States acquiring Time Warner. In November 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit aimed at halting the proposed acquisition arguing that it would be harmful for consumers.

In the lawsuit, the DOJ argued that AT&T owning both DirecTV and Time Warner would provide it an unfair advantage over rival pay TV providers. U.S. District Judge Richard disagreed with the DOJ and ruled that the proposed takeover does not violate antitrust laws in the United States.

Despite the deal being closed, the DOJ still has sixty days to appeal if it should choose to do so.

Judge Leon's decision was predicted to prompt a wave of takeovers between tech and media companies in the United States. Within days, Comcast had offered to purchase 21st Century Fox' media assets in a $65 billion all-cash deal. Comcast sent a letter directly to the Fox board, attempting to sway it away from a deal with the Walt Disney Company.

Source: Reuters News Agency





AfterDawn: News

Comcast makes $65 billion offer for Fox' media assets

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Jun 2018 8:30

Comcast makes $65 billion offer for Fox' media assets Comcast is trying to sway Twenty-First Century Fox away from an agreed deal with Disney last year by making a 'superior offer'.

Fox agreed to sell almost all of its media assets to the Walt Disney Co in December for $52 billion in stock. Now, Comcast has sent a letter to the 21st Century Fox' Board of Directors offering $65 billion in cash for the same assets. Fox's movie and television studios, its share of Hulu, FX and more are included.

Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts said that he is confident the deal will be approved by regulators. While not mentioning this week's court decision that paved the way for AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, that is generally considered to be the source of Roberts' confidence, and a defining moment for media.

If the Fox Board decide that they would prefer to go with Comcast's offer then Disney will have up to five working days to respond, potentially kicking off a bidding war.

You can read the letter sent to the Twenty-First Century Fox Board at www.cmcsa.com





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Cortana used to bypass Windows 10 security

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Jun 2018 8:14

Cortana used to bypass Windows 10 security Microsoft has pushed out a fix for a flaw with the Cortana assistant that could be exploited to unlock a Windows 10 computer.

McAfee reported the flaw to Microsoft back in April, and Microsoft has included an update to address the issue in this month's Patch Tuesday load of fixes and tweaks. Windows 10 devices on default settings will apply the update over the next day or so.

The flaw took advantage of the fact that Cortana listens for commands even when a Windows 10 PC is locked, coupled with the regular indexing of files on attached storage to make searching faster.

"This will come as a surprise and lies at the core of all the issues we found, but simply typing while Cortana starts to listen to a query on a locked device will bring up a Windows contextual menu," Cedric Cochin and Steve Povolny wrote on a McAfee blog post detailing a potential attack.

With a contextual menu displayed and search results coming from indexed files and applications (and in cases the contents of the file are indexed), a malicious actor could see sensitive contents of text files and other documents that has been indexed.

The McAfee team went further though and even detail a path to a password reset and login in a blog post here.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to challenge Amazon in checkout-free retail stores

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Jun 2018 5:19

Microsoft to challenge Amazon in checkout-free retail stores According to a report, Microsoft is working on technology to compete with Amazon Go in delivering checkout-free shopping markets.

The Amazon Go store allows customers to enter when they scan their smartphone. A combination of cameras and sensors identify what items they remove from the shelves. When the customers finish their shopping and leave the premises, Amazon bills their on-file credit cards immediately for the purchases.

Microsoft is also working on similar technology to challenge Amazon in the new arena, according to a report by the Reuters News Agency. It cites six people familiar with Microsoft's developments in reporting that the Redmond giant has shown sample technology to retailers around the world, including Walmart.

The technology tracks what shoppers add to their carts on the fly, eliminating the need for a checkout line. According to the sources, a group of between ten and fifteen people have presented some of their efforts to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in person.

Using technology to eliminate or reduce the need for checkout lines in stores is seen as a major shift in retail shopping, and Amazon is currently at the head of the queue. It is inevitable that more competitors will come in to offer different solutions to retailers.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to release next-gen Xbox in 2020?

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jun 2018 7:32

Microsoft to release next-gen Xbox in 2020? According to a report, Microsoft is aiming to release its next generation Xbox hardware in 2020.

At Microsoft's E3 press conference this past weekend, the Redmond-based firm confirmed that it is already developing new "Xbox" hardware. Whether this meant another console in the Xbox One family, or something next generation, was not revealed of course. Given that Microsoft just released the Xbox One X last year, rumors swirled that the new Xbox hardware is actually next generation Xbox hardware.

According to sources cited by Thurrott, that's exactly what the new hardware is. It reports that Microsoft is developing its next generation Xbox hardware, codenamed Scarlett, and that it will be released in 2020. Moreover, the sources describe Scarltt as a "family of devices."

As you would expect, no technical details or any other clues were shared. Microsoft launched its previous Xbox generations in the month of November, suggesting that November 2020 is the likely target date. This would mark eight years between the launch of the Xbox One (November 2013) and the next generation hardware. Xbox One also launched eight years after the November 2005 debut of the Xbox 360.

Source: Thurrott

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AfterDawn: News

Tesla cutting 9 percent of workforce

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jun 2018 5:07

Tesla cutting 9 percent of workforce Tesla is cutting approximately 9 percent of its workforce as the firm pursues profitability, Model 3 production boost.

The cuts were announced by Tesla CEO Elon Musk in an e-mail sent out to employees this week. Musk said that the cuts were part of a simplification of Tesla's management structure.

"As part of this effort, and the need to reduce costs and become profitable, we have made the difficult decision to let go of approximately 9 percent of our colleagues across the company," the email reads.

"These cuts were almost entirely made from our salaried population and no production associates were included, so this will not affect our ability to reach Model 3 production targets in the coming months."

The hotly-anticipated Model 3 been marred with production problems so far and Tesla is aiming to hit a goal of 5,000 models produced weekly by the end of this month. For the time being, Tesla is burning through cash as it works on its assembly line, new projects like the Model Y and the construction of its ambition Gigafactory.

Regardless, Musk disagrees with analysts' predictions that Tesla will seek to raise capital later this year as he eyes profitability and positive cash flow in Q3 and Q4.

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AfterDawn: News

La Liga accused of spying through Android phones

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Jun 2018 4:53

La Liga accused of spying through Android phones The top tier professional football league in Spain has been accused of spying on fans by accessing GPS data and the microphone on Android devices.

Furious Spanish football fans are venting their frustration at the league after it emerged that its official Android app accesses GPS data and listens through the microphone before sending data back. The controversial feature was apparently enabled on June 8. According to the Spanish league, the feature exists to fight illegal broadcasting.

Rather than sending microphone data back to the league, the app sends back a code that can be matched to audio data of a broadcasted football match. Combined with the GPS feature, this would allow the identification of venues that were broadcasting matches without a license.

According to La Liga, unauthorized broadcasting at venues costs the league around 150 million per year.

Additionally, the La Liga website states that the app had asked for consent for the data access when the La Liga app was installed or updated.

Still, Spanish football fans have hammered the La Liga app with negative reviews and accused it of spying on fans.

Read: La Liga statement





AfterDawn: News

U.S. unveils fastest supercomputer

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Jun 2018 7:10

U.S. unveils fastest supercomputer The United States is back on top of the supercomputer list with its new Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Summit has displaced Sunway TaihuLight from the top of the pile. The Chinese supercomputer can achieve a max performance of 93 petaflops, whereas the newly unveiled Summit can reach a theoretical max performance of 200 petaflops. That's around two hundred quadrillion floating point operations per second.

Summit was developed in partnership with IBM and NVidia. It can consume a whopping 13 megawatts of power and packs more than 10 petabytes of memory. Doing the actual number crunching is the job of 9,216 IBM POWER9 CPUs and 27,648 NVIDIA Volta GPUs. Its file system can store up to 250 petabytes of data, or around 74 years of HD video. It runs Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 7.4.

It occupies 5,600ft of floor space, which could fill two tennis courts. In that space is also packed over 185 miles of fiber optic cables. To cool this colossal machine down, more than 4,000 gallons of water is pumped through the cooling system per minute, removing around 13 megawatts of heat.

Summit will be used for research in many areas including astrophysics, cancer treatments and even quantum mechanics. U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry introduced Summit at ORNL on June 8, which you can watch online.

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AfterDawn: News

Resident Evil 2 remake coming 2019

Written by James Delahunty @ 12 Jun 2018 4:14

Resident Evil 2 remake coming 2019 Capcom revealed a trailer for a remake of the classic Resident Evil 2 at Sony's E3 Press Conference.

Give a warm welcome back to Leon Kennedy and Claire Redfield while reliving one of the best Sci Fi / Horror games to grace the original PlayStation two decades ago. RE2 follows police rookie Leon Kennedy and college student Claire Redfield through Racoon City, which has been completely devastated by a Zombie outbreak.

The classic survival horror saga has been remade with modern visuals, immersive audio and a new over-the-shoulder camera view.

Just like with the original dual-disc RE2, Leon and Claire have their own separate playable campaigns in the remake. The fate of these two fan favorite characters is in players hands as they work together to survive and get to the bottom of what is behind the terrifying attack on the city.

Resident Evil 2 hits the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro on January 25, 2019.

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AfterDawn: News

WATCH: Halo Infinite teaser trailer from E3

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Jun 2018 6:53

WATCH: Halo Infinite teaser trailer from E3 At the Xbox press conference at E3 this weekend, Phil Spencer revealed the first announcement / teaser trailer for the forthcoming Halo Infinite.

Halo Infinite - following on from 2015's Halo 5 - is under development at 343 Industries and created with the new Slipspace Engine. The announcement trailer serves more as a demonstration of what the Slipspace Engine can do, as it is light on details on what to really expect from Halo Infinite. The glimpse into the future of the Halo franchise only briefly shows Master Chief, in between a lot of rendered wildlife and terrain.

Spencer described Halo Infinite as Master Chief's greatest adventure yet, but he didn't go into much detail at all and moved on to other exclusives, including more footage of the delayed Crackdown 3.

Microsoft has been focusing on new titles to try to gain ground on Sony, whose PlayStation 4 has sold many millions more units than Microsoft's Xbox One. The Redmond giant recently acquired a bunch of Indie studios to beef up its exclusive content in the future.

Check out the Halo Infinite teaser:

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AfterDawn: News

The Division 2 gets a release date, gameplay footage

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Jun 2018 4:16

The Division 2 gets a release date, gameplay footage Tom Clancy's The Division 2 was revealed at the Xbox Press Conference at E3 over the weekend.

The new title, developed by Massive Entertainment, Red Storm and Ubisoft Reflections brings us to a Washington D.C. that has become a wasteland in a United States facing total collapse. On the brink of civil war, agents of the Division are fighting enemies from within.

It is set six months after the events of the first game, leaving behind the winter conditions that players had to contend with. Gameplay footage was shown at the Xbox event, including a fire fight right across the street from the U.S. Capitol building.

The Divison 2 is set for release on March 15, 2019.

Check out the new trailer and gameplay footage below.

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AfterDawn: News

E3 2018: Microsoft announces Gears 5, Gears Pop! and Gears Tactics

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Jun 2018 3:58

E3 2018: Microsoft announces Gears 5, Gears Pop! and Gears Tactics The wildly successful Gears of War franchise is getting three new titles in the near future, including Gears 5 which is set for a 2019 debut.

Also announced were Gears Pop! and Gears Tactics. Gears Pop! brings the Gears of War experience to iOS and Android devices in a Funko Pop! style. Gears Tactics is a Windows PC exclusive title. It is described as a "turn-based tactics games combining signature fast-paced brutal action and character-driven storytelling with customizable squads, upgradable weapons, and of course, massive boss battles."

Most importantly though was the announcement of Gears 5. While Gears of War 1 - 3 featured Marcus Fenix as the protagonist, and then Gears of War 4 featured his son JD Fexix, Gears 5 features Kait in the leading role. She is seen in the trailer battling an internal struggle while also attempting to unravel the origins of the Locusts.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft confirms Crackdown 3 delayed until next year

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Jun 2018 4:04

Microsoft confirms Crackdown 3 delayed until next year The eagerly anticipated Crackdown 3 will not ship this year and has been pushed back yet again to a later release date, Microsoft confirms.

Crackdown 3 has been in development for years as fans eagerly await to engage in its general mayhem and chaos. Originally slated to be released around the summer of 2016, Crackdown 3 ran into some development issues and slipped its predicted release dates.

While a newer trailer was revealed for Crackdown 3 at E3 last year, there has been very little info leaking out about the game from its developer Sumo Digital, prompting some concerns over the fate of the project.

Following rumors, Microsoft has confirmed to Windows Central that the game's release has slipped to early 2019.

"Our fans' response to the signature antics and explosive gameplay of "Crackdown 3" has been incredible. To ensure we deliver the experience they deserve, "Crackdown 3" will be launching in Feb 2019. We look forward to sharing more on "Crackdown 3" this Sunday during the Xbox E3 2018 briefing."

As a reminder, here is the trailer released at E3 last year.

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AfterDawn: News

Google AI won't be used for weapons, unreasonable surveillance

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Jun 2018 3:51

Google AI won't be used for weapons, unreasonable surveillance Google AI technology will not be developed and used for military weapons or to enable unreasonable surveillance on civilians, according to Pichai.

In a blog post that sought to make clear Alphabet / Google's priorities in the emerging AI space, chief executive Sundar Pichai made it clear that Google AI software will not be permitted for use in weapons systems and other controversial programs. This follows recent internal protests at Google about some of the projects it was involved in, including one that used AI to identify objects in drone footage.

Responding to the understandable concern that such technology could be used for more efficient killing of human beings, Pichai made it clear that the firm will not design or deploy AI for technology that is likely to cause overall harm.

"Where there is a material risk of harm, we will proceed only where we believe that the benefits substantially outweigh the risks, and will incorporate appropriate safety constraints," Pichai writes.

He went on to specifically rule out the use of Google Ai in "weapons or other technologies whose principal purpose or implementation is to cause or directly facilitate injury to people."

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon Prime will stream Premier League football matches

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jun 2018 11:45

Amazon Prime will stream Premier League football matches Amazon has secured streaming rights for Premier League football matches starting from the 2019 / 2020 football season.

The Premier League auctioned off seven packages for the live broadcast / streaming of football matches, of which Sky bought four and secured 128 matches per season over three seasons from 2019/20 to 2021/22.

BT Sport bought two of the packages, securing 52 live fixtures per season over the three year period. Amazon bought the remaining package, gaining the rights to stream 20 football matches per season over the same period of time.

Of course, Sky and BT has secured the best fixtures while Amazon will stream mostly mid-week fixtures in the December and Christmas period. However, it signals that online platforms are interested in purchasing the expensive packages in the UK for Premier League football, and will eventually be in a position to bid for more expensive fixtures.

"We are always looking to add more value to Prime, and we're delighted to now offer, for the first time, live Premier League matches to Prime members at no extra cost to their membership," said Jay Marine, Vice President of Prime Video in Europe.

"The Premier League is the most watched sports league in the world. Over these two December fixture rounds Prime members will be able to watch every team, every game, so no matter which Premier League team you support, you're guaranteed to see them play live on Prime Video."





AfterDawn: News

Report: Instagram to launch video hub for long-form content

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jun 2018 3:01

Report: Instagram to launch video hub for long-form content On the heels of the WSJ report that Instagram would soon allow videos of up to one hour on its service, TechCrunch is reporting it will launch a video hub very soon.

According to the TechCrunch sources, the Intagram video hub will be a home for long-form video content, typically in portrait view (vertical) and in up to 4K quality. It would rival services like Shapchat Discover, featuring scripted shows, music videos and more.

The report dates June 20 for an announcement from Instagram which would be flanked by launch partners comprising popular social media stars and content publishers.

Like the WSJ report, the sources told TechCruch that regular users will be allowed to upload videos of up to an hour in duration, up from the current 60 second limit (excluding livestreaming, of course).

Source: TechCrunch





AfterDawn: News

Spotify wants Indie acts to license music directly to the service

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Jun 2018 2:41

Spotify wants Indie acts to license music directly to the service According to Billboard, Spotify is offering financial advances to Indie artists and managers to license music directly to its streaming service, cutting out publishers.

The report cites sources in reporting that the music streaming giant is offering advances to a number of managers and Indie acts for a direct licensing agreement, which will also result in both parties getting a larger share of revenue. In some cases detailed by Billboard by the sources, managers and acts can take home 50 percent of the revenue per stream of licensed songs.

While this is less than the average of 54 percent paid to major record labels, it would still result in a larger cut for the artists and managers who may typically only get between 20 percent and 50 percent of the major label's share. Additionally, Spotify is not looking for exclusivity or rights to the content beyond the right to use it on its service, meaning the Indie acts can also license their music to rivals like Apple Music. Indeed, the sources even told Billboard that Spotify has urged participating Indie acts not to describe themselves as being "signed to Spotify."

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AfterDawn: News

WSJ: Instagram to allow hour long videos

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Jun 2018 7:11

WSJ: Instagram to allow hour long videos According to the Wall Street Journal, Instagram will soon allow hour long video uploads to the service.

As it stands, Instagram caps video uploads to a duration of no longer than a minute. Only those livestreaming video can go beyond the minute mark. According to the Wall Street Journal, Instagram is planning to increase the video duration limit from one minute, to sixty minutes.

It is also in talks with content creators to provide exclusive, long-form video content exclusively for Instagram, according to the report.

This move would sync up with Instagram parent Facebook's intent to get more involved in the video space. It also provides a new potential ad revenue source, particularly as Instagram could seek to lure its younger users with exclusive content.

Facebook has been getting more into the video space in recent years, particularly when it comes to live broadcasts of sporting and other events.





AfterDawn: News

GitHub acquisition sends some developers to GitLab

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Jun 2018 3:35

GitHub acquisition sends some developers to GitLab Following the news earlier this week that Microsoft is to acquire GitHub, rival GItLab saw a huge increase in developers shifting to its platform.

Microsoft will acquire GitHub in a $7.5 billion all-stock deal as it seeks to take on rivals in the cloud computing arena. Some developers at GitHub were not thrilled with the news and have reportedly switched rather quickly to GitLab, another rival coding platform.

"It has been crazy in the last twenty-four hours. We are seeing thousands switching, tweeting about it," GitLab Chief Executive Officer Sytse Sijbrandij, told the Reuters News Agency.

"There is at least a 10 times increase than the usual number of people switching to GitLab."

The firm - which is targeting an IPO in 2020 - also took advantage of the situation by offering up to 75 percent discounts on subscription plans for developers looking to switch platforms.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sought to ease any concerns about the acquisition earlier this week by insisting that GitHub will remain an open platform. GitHub counts as many as 28 million developers on its platform.





AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm reveals Snapdragon 850 specifically for Windows

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Jun 2018 3:24

Qualcomm reveals Snapdragon 850 specifically for Windows Qualcomm unveiled the new Snapdragon 850 chip at Computex this week, designed specifically for Windows PCs.

The Snapdragon 850 is about 30 percent faster than the similar Snapdragon 835. The main difference between the 10nm design chips is the former pushes the clock speed up to 2.96GHz, taking advantage of the extra space and better heat dissipation of PC and laptop devices compared to mobile devices.

Samsung Electronics will release a 2-in-1 always-on, always-connected Windows device using the new Snapdragon 850 chip. The aim is for laptop devices to have similar battery life and connectivity to smartphones and tablets. According to Qualcomm, the power-efficient architecture of the Snapdragon 850 can provide up to 25 hours of continuous usage or multi-day battery life under "normal usage conditions."

The 850 boasts 3X AI performance over the previous generation, as well as up to 1.2 gigabits per second LTE connectivity speeds.

"Building on the portfolio of Always On, Always Connected PCs established over the past year, we are thrilled to work with Samsung to help offer consumers true mobility combined with the productivity and entertainment features of Windows 10," said Alex Katouzian, senior vice president and general manager, mobile business unit, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

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AfterDawn: News

Cook: Apple receives no private data from Facebook

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Jun 2018 3:03

Cook: Apple receives no private data from Facebook Apple chief Tim Cook moved this week to refute claims that the company received private user data from Facebook.

Recent report showed how data such as a users' relationship status, religion and even political leanings were shared with at least 60 device makers. Cook wanted to be absolutely clear that Apple does not receive, and does not request, such information in its relationship with Facebook.

"The things mentioned in the Times article about relationship statuses and all these kinds of stuff, this is so foreign to us, and not data that we have ever received at all or requested -- zero," Cook told NPR's Steve Inskeep and Laura Sydell.

Instead, cooperation with Facebook amounts to making it more convenient to do things within an operating system, like share photographs more easily.

"We weren't in the data business. We've never been in the data business," Cook stressed.

The Apple boss has been vocal about the collection and use of users' personal data by some silicon valley firms, and declared that he believes private to be a fundamental human right.

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AfterDawn: News

SpaceX delays sending tourists around the Moon

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Jun 2018 9:41

SpaceX delays sending tourists around the Moon SpaceX will not send two private tourists around the Moon by the end of 2018 as originally planned, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Last year, SpaceX had revealed that two private citizens would be sent on a trip around the Moon by the end of 2018. The plan would utilize a Falcon Heavy rocket and a human-rated Dragon v2 capsule. It would send the two private space tourists on an automated trip around the Moon and then bring them back to the surface of Earth.

However, doubts circulated about the plan for a number of reasons. At the time, the Falcon Heavy rocket had not flown at all and made its first test flight in February of this year. SpaceX had also detailed its plans to develop the BFR ("Big Falcon Rocket") in the meantime, which will eventually replace the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy.

It was reported that SpaceX would not seek to have the Falcon Heavy human rated at all. The Falcon 9 Block V is currently undergoing the process to become human rated and the plan is to ferry astronauts to the ISS with it.

The WSJ report confirms that SpaceX definitely will not send private citizens on the planned trip around the Moon until mid-2019 at the earliest. It may take quite a while longer than that as SpaceX develops the BFR.

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