AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Matti Vähäkainu

AfterDawn: News

Apple Store looters faced with iPhone displaying "you are being tracked"

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Jun 2020 12:01

Apple Store looters faced with iPhone displaying "you are being tracked" The death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota, has sparked protests around the nation's largest cities against police brutality and racial justice.

Peaceful protests have often turned violent as the sun goes down, and the riots have resulted in both private and public property damage as well as loss of life on the side of the police and protesters.

Perhaps the most often seen image of the riots are police cars on fire and stores being looted. Needless to say that many entrepreneurs and companies have suffered tremendously from looting.

Some companies are, however, better equipped against stealing of their products. One the more targeted brands is Apple but they are also the ones that are prepared for people stealing their very expensive iPhones.


AfterDawn: News

Sony postpones PS5 event due to protests in the US

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 02 Jun 2020 10:09

Sony postpones PS5 event due to protests in the US Sony's upcoming fifth-generation PlayStation gaming console is on the way but current situation in the United States has made the Japanese company second guess the release schedule.

In fact, Sony has decided to postpone a PS5 event date scheduled for June 5th due to the political situation in America. According to their statement they don't want to celebrate in these times and have decided to give room for "more important voices to be heard."

The statement itself doesn't say how much they are intending to postpone the event, we'll probably hear back from them after the situation has calmed down.

The event is still likely hold demos of upcoming PS5 games on the actual console. The launch, which is scheduled later this year, is likely not affected at all by the delayed event.

The suspected killing of George Floyd in police custody sparked protests around the country that have in many cities turned into violent rioting.

AfterDawn: News

Samsung has a new subscription service for smartphones

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 01 Jun 2020 10:38

Samsung has a new subscription service for smartphones Samsung's has an upgrade program for smartphones, incidentally just like the one Apple has, for a while now. However, the company seems to have wanted a more comprehensive hold on their customers, and they've now introduces a new Access program.

Uncovered by the good folks at xda-developers, Samsung seems to have quietly added a new type of subscription service to their portfolio.

Samsung Access is a subscription service that allows you to every now and then switch to a new smartphone without having to pay for it separately. The service works similarly to Samsung Upgrade Program but has some new additions that might tempt you in.

It comes with Microsoft 365 subscription and 1 TB of cloud storage. This means that you can access Microsoft's wide variety of apps in Office Suite, including the likes of Outlook, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and Teams. Another benefit is Samsung Premium Care, which allows the user to replace a broken phone for a $99 deductible up to three times a year.

Currently Samsung Access seems to be available only for the S20 family and starts at $37 a month for regular S20 and climbs up to $48 for the Ultra.


AfterDawn: News

HP announced their next-gen VR headset: Reverb G2

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 01 Jun 2020 9:36

HP announced their next-gen VR headset: Reverb G2 While HP isn't the one name you come up with when discussing VR, the company has been challenging more committed VR companies for some time now.

Their initial claim for VR fame was HP WMR that was released in 2017 but they stepped it up last year by introducing Reverb headset with visuals and features.

Now the company has come out with their newest VR headset. The second-gen Reverb, the Reverb G2. The company claims it offers the best resolution in a VR headset of this type, although it doesn't improve upon the predecessor.

Reverb G2 provides 2K resolution for both eyes like the originals Reverb, but they've improved upon the lenses which should provide much clearer picture.

It's been developed in cooperation with both Valve and Microsoft to seemlessly integrate with VR systems, including SteamVR and Windows Mixed Reality. This should make it a better fit for both platforms.

The size of the displays are 2.89 inches with a resolution of 2160 x 2160 and a refresh rate of 90 hz. The headset, also like it's predecessor, supports six degrees of freedom but is now tracked with four cameras mounted on the headset instead of two.


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft rolls out new Windows 10 update with cloud reinstall and tons of improvements

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 28 May 2020 11:34

Microsoft rolls out new Windows 10 update with cloud reinstall and tons of improvements Microsoft has yesterday announced that its long-awaited Windows 10 v2004 update has been given the green light.

While the May update, as they like to call it, includes numerous improvements, new features, and security buffs, one of the most anticipated upgrades is definitely the ability reset the operating system without using a local media.

Yes, Microsoft has officially released the cloud reinstall feature that it has been teasing us about. Reset this PC now has two options one of which is cloud download alongside local reinstall.

Obviously this requires an internet connection, and for the sake of it not taking longer than the same process in the nineties it should be fairly fast.

Windows reinstall was a meme before memes were even cool, and although Microsoft have reduced the pain of having to reset your computer over the years, this new feature can't come fast enough.

The update also includes an improved Windows Hello, new and improved Microsoft Edge browser, Cortana search with text, new DirectX features, WSL 2 for developers, and much more.

Windows 10 v2004 roll-out has begun but it might take days of even weeks for it to land on your device. You can check whether you are the lucky recipient by going to your Windows Update section and hitting Check for updates.

AfterDawn: News

Trump threatens social media with regulation after tweet fact check, Zuckerberg and Dorsey respond

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 28 May 2020 10:28

Trump threatens social media with regulation after tweet fact check, Zuckerberg and Dorsey respond The United States President has attacked the social media after Twitter added the first fact check link to his tweet. President Trump threatened to regulate or even close social media if there isn't action to make them a better home for conservatives.

This comes after Trump tweeted about mail-in ballots being a hotbed for fraud. This was the first tweet by the president that was marked by Twitter for fact check link.

This linked to a custom Twitter page which highlighted opposing views to Trump's, headlined by the likes of CNN and other sources Trump probably considers "fake news."

Regulations on social media have been a hot topic for years now. Even the social media themselves don't know what to think. Many times they've welcomed regulation since it would make it easier for them to do business.

Facebook and Twitter often come on different sides of this issue, and this case was no different. Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg made a statement that they wouldn't have acted in the way Twitter did.

Facebook CEO told Fox News that he doesn't think social media companies, or more specifically platforms, should not act as an arbiter of truth.


AfterDawn: News

OnePlus is returning to its roots with upcoming affordable smartphone

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 27 May 2020 11:10

OnePlus is returning to its roots with upcoming affordable smartphone OnePlus has become one of the larger smartphone manufacturer, and for its size it has managed to gain significant momentum in the Android space. However, it all started in 2014 with an aggressive campaign that promised flagship killer specs for less than half the price.

Now years later, things are very different. Biannual price hikes mean that the current OnePlus flagship costs around $900, three times as much as the OnePlus One (pictured). However, the company has promised it hasn't forgotten where it initially started from.

In an interview with Fast Company, OnePlus CEO Pete Lau has confirmed that they are working on a more affordable smartphone to accompany this years OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro. Not many details are shared about the product, but it should arrive soon in India and later this year in Europe and the United States.

This will be the first time since OnePlus has taken the approach since OnePlus X in 2015, when even their flagships were still very cheap. According to the rumors, the new affordable phone will be called OnePlus Z, which would make it seem definitely like a successor to the first cheaper OnePlus phone.


AfterDawn: News

In an odd move, Netflix starts canceling inactive accounts

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 27 May 2020 10:29

In an odd move, Netflix starts canceling inactive accounts As subscription services have become a mainstay in everything from music, movies, games and more, providers are trying to tempt everyone to join their monthly billed services.

Most companies offer some sort of starter perk, usually a free or discounted membership for months, others, namely Netflix, are promising to kick you off the service is you are too inactive. Wait, what?!

Yes, you read that right. Netflix has announced that it will start contacting inactive users whether they'd like to cancel their service, and if they don't answer, they'll just go ahead, kick them off the platform and say goodbye to their income.

The company's product innovations director Eddy Wu has announced in a press release that they will start asking members that haven't watched anything for a year whether they'd like to cancel their subscription.

Nice approach from Netflix, who acknowledge according to the press release that nobody wants to pay for a service they don't use. According to Wu, these account represent around half a percentage of total subscribers and are "already factored into our financial guidance."


AfterDawn: News

Zoom valuation surpassed seven largest airlines, combined

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 20 May 2020 10:30

Zoom valuation surpassed seven largest airlines, combined COVID-19 has been destructive on both the health of people of the world as well as the health of most economies. Obviously some have gotten it worse than other, and this is true in both realms.

In business, not many businesses have had it harder than the airline industry, and, as we all know, Zoom has become the new Kleenex of video conferencing. Merging financial data from these companies brings us to a very interesting tidbit.

An infographic shared on Twitter expands upon the market cap difference of Zoom and seven of the largest airlines. According to it, Zoom has outgrown all seven combined with $47.47 billion.

The largest of the airlines is Southwest with a market cap of $14.68 billion and it's followed by Delta at $12 billion, United at $6 billion, as well as IAG (including British Airways), Lufthansa, American Airlines and Air France with peanuts.

Figures have been calculated using May 15 stock prices, and even though Zoom's stock has gone up, so have the airlines, and they've overtaken Zoom eve so slightly.

At the time of writing this the combined value of the seven airlines is at just over $53 billion while Zoom's market cap is a pitiful 48.45 billion.

Although Zoom's rise has been impressive one wouldn't expect competition between Zoom and seven largest airlines to last much longer as travel rules are loosening.


AfterDawn: News

Joe Rogan Experience to move exclusively to Spotify

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 May 2020 3:12

Joe Rogan Experience to move exclusively to Spotify The media personality, stand-up comic, UFC commentator and perhaps nowadays most importantly podcast host Joe Rogan has shared a huge announcement on Instagram. The host of Joe Rogan Experience has announced that the show will be soon on Spotify.

What's crazier, after the initial move on September 1 to Spotify in addition to other channels, JRE will become Spotify exclusive starting at some point late in the year. No more YouTube videos of JRE, except for short clips he assures are to stay on Google's video platform.

Both audio and video versions of JRE will be moved to Spotify only but Rogan made it clear in the post that Spotify will have no editorial control, he's not an employee of Spotify, and the show will remain free as always. No changes to the show are expected, except for the platform it is hosted on.

There's no word on how large of a purse full of gold coins the Swedish streaming giant had to offer Rogan in order to secure the licensing deal but it must be an all-time most influential move on the podcast market.

Joe Rogan Experience guests this year alone have included Elon Musk, Bill Maher, Robert Downey Jr. and host of other high-profile experts, comics, leaders, actors and other guests.


AfterDawn: News

Minecraft reached a mind-blowing new milestone, releases new logo

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 May 2020 10:44

Minecraft reached a mind-blowing new milestone, releases new logo Ten years ago Markus "Notch" Persson founded the gaming studio Mojang and after a year Minecraft was released. After years and years of breaking records Microsoft bought the company, and the game with it, for $2.5 billion.

Everyone knows the game and it has become a social phenomenon in the nearly 10 years it's been around. More importantly it has continued to evolve and lure in new players.

Last year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Minecraft has never been in a better spot, and the main man of Microsoft might have been right.

Now Minecraft is celebrating a milestone no game has ever come even close to. The game has sold an unbelievable 200 million copies.

To give this achievement some perspective, the second-most sold game in history is GTA V with 120 million units and Minecraft has sold twice as many copies as the legandary Tetris at 100 million. And Minecraft is definitely not done selling, either.

Just recently, Mojang updated the graphics of Minecraft and now includes support for ray tracing.

To celebrated the milestone, Mojang has been renamed Mojang Studios, which encompasses all the studios. Also, the company received a brand new logo, that you can see above and is introduced in the video below.


AfterDawn: News

Another setback for Huawei: Chip manufacturer's halt production due to new license requirement

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 19 May 2020 10:33

Another setback for Huawei: Chip manufacturer's halt production due to new license requirement The squabble between Huawei and the U.S. government has continued for years now, and there seems to be no end to it. the most recent changes to government rules renew existing restrictions and add some new ones.

Trump admin has added another three months to the Huawei ban, meanwhile also extending the exceptions to this rule. This means that there won't be Android on Huawei phones at least for another three months, and probably for the foreseeable future.

The exceptions that allow some specific cases, like some companies building networks in the U.S., to still do business with the Chinese company will remain in place. However, bipartisan pressure might make this the last extension.

Both aisles seem to believe that Huawei's connections with the Chinese government indeed endanger national security.

The most important part of the new rules are however, well, the new rules. These include a required license from all companies that are selling American-owned technology to Huawei.

Due to this the Taiwanese semiconductor powerhouse TSMC, who's been providing most of Huawei's smarpthone chips, has to acquire a license to continue manufacturing for Huawei. That hasn't happened, at least yet, and thus TSMC has had to halt production.


AfterDawn: News

Epic Games caves in, brings Fortnite to Google Play

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 22 Apr 2020 10:52

Epic Games caves in, brings Fortnite to Google Play Epic Games announced yesterday that they've released their supremely popular battle royale game, Fortnite, on Google Play.

The game has been available on Android for a while now but the company has decided not to release it via Google's app store due to high share they would have to provide Google for each purchase.

Clearly Epic Games has now grown tired of not being on the most populous app store on the planet, and have caved in under the pressure of Google's ecosystem.

The company's statement makes it clear that this move is not made without the slightest scorn. In fact, the company still believes that the 30 percent cut Google gets is unreasonable, and that they make developers outside the app store feel like criminals by issuing them similar status as malware.

You'll still be able to acquire the game outside the app store like you did before the announcement if you don't want Google to get a cut.

It is fairly certain that figures on Android haven't been satisfactory to Epic Games and this move was forced upon them. Now it remains to be seen how it can compete with a long-time Google Play favorite PUBG Mobile on Android.

You can download Fortnite from Google Play here.


AfterDawn: News

Telecom building fire in Finland, 5G conspiracy theory to blame?

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 20 Apr 2020 1:13

Telecom building fire in Finland, 5G conspiracy theory to blame? It is perhaps not surprising that in these dire times people are seeking for explanations from all kinds of sources and beliefs. However, perhaps the most ludicrous conspiracy theory to unearth since the flat earth is linking 5G cellular networks and COVID-19.

Not only are some spreading this hilariously insane idea on the web, some are so sure of its validity that they are taking down 5G equipment to prevent the spread of the virus. This seems to have started in the UK but it was only a matter of time before somewhere else people were to follow suit.

The threat has been taken so seriously that the likes of YouTube are removing this specific conspiracy content from their service altogether.

Yesterday, a police report from a small town of Pedersöre in Osthrobothnia, Finland has revealed a fire in a telecommunications building next to a cellular tower. The fire managed to advance enough to cut the tower from the rest of the network.

According to the police, the fire seems to have been lit on purpose and they investigate the case as arson.

It has to be noted that there's no 5G network in the area, and likely no 5G equipment located at the site. Whether the suspect knew this or not is uncertain, as there hasn't been arrests yet.


AfterDawn: News

Apple leads the top 10 in imitated brands in phishing scams

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 20 Apr 2020 12:41

Apple leads the top 10 in imitated brands in phishing scams The research arm of security company Check Point Software Technologies has released a study which takes a look at the online phishing scams.

Check Point Research Q1 2020 report reveals which brands are criminals exploiting when trying to scam people. The specific term for the type of scam that uses brand recognition and lookalike websites to hook people in is brand phishing.

The scam might use the logos, company names, designs, and domain names to fool people into thinking that the thing is for real. After the false positive identification, the scammer tries to phish usually personal or credit card information.

According to the report, Apple was the number one brand abused in brand phishing schemes, perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly. The world's leading technology brand was identified in 10 percent of global brand phishing scams.

Following Apple, 9 percent was credited to Netflix scams and the third place went to Yahoo! with 6%.

While some of the more popular technology brands made the top, the next most popular type of brands associated with brand phishing were banking and media brands.

When it comes to platform of the scams, email only constituted 18 percent of the attacks with mobile taking the second place with 23%. However, most brand phishing scams use web (59%) as the main platform for their false information.


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