AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Matti Vähäkainu

AfterDawn: News

Tesla announces a refreshed Model 3 variants with improved performance and range

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 16 Oct 2020 1:44

Tesla announces a refreshed Model 3 variants with improved performance and range Tesla has announced an update to their Model 3 lineup that wasn't necessarily expected. The company has refreshed the Model 3 with improvements in performance.

It isn't a major rehaul but there are some important improvements under the hood. The price won't be any different, and you won't necessarily even know about the changes unless you take a peak at the specs.

Of the three Model 3 variants the two more expensive ones got improved range as well as slight performance boost in terms of acceleration. The new Model 3 Performance now claims an EPA rating of 319 miles instead of the 299 previously.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony releases introductory video to PlayStation 5's user experience

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Oct 2020 11:20

Sony releases introductory video to PlayStation 5's user experience Sony has today released a new video on the YouTube page revealing some new footage of the upcoming game console. For the first time, Sony offers an rather in-depth look at the UI of PlayStation 5.

In this 11 minute video they go through some of the most important UI elements found in the new console. It starts off from a mid-game state paused, as you would start you console from rest mode. The view is called Control Center and via it you can access controller settings, communications, and power options, as well new Cards that include news and game specific Activities.

The video also goes through multiplayer features like the improved Party system with voice chat and media sharing, and of course the Home Screen that hasn't changed a ton from previous generations, probably for a good reason.

One of the more impressive new features is the splitscreen and picture-in-picture viewing of game help content as well as shared screens of your friends.

The entire experience has been designed with 4K displays in mind, and that is what you want to have to get everything out of PS5. But without further ado, here's the video:

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AfterDawn: News

OnePlus announced new OnePlus 8T with 120 Hz display, 65 watt charging

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Oct 2020 10:40

OnePlus announced new OnePlus 8T with 120 Hz display, 65 watt charging Chinese smartphone phenom OnePlus has announced new products yesterday. As the company had confirmed the new OnePlus 8T came as a solitary device this time around, without a Pro partner.

Thus, the current flagship among OnePlus devices remains the OnePlus 8 Pro.

That doesn't mean, however, that the OnePlus 8T release was any less exciting. The phone has a lot of new things to offer in a little more affordable price point.

The phone that replaces OnePlus 8 has quite a few advantages over its predecessor from earlier this year. OnePlus 8T has a new super-fast Warp Charge 65 technology as well as improved display.

The former is, as one can imagine from the name, a 65 watt fast charging technology that allows the OnePlus 8T to charge the 4500 milliamp hour battery from zero to full in 39 minutes. A day's charge is said to be attained in just 15 minutes.

To make this possible, the battery of the phone is divided into two separate batteries that are charged simultaneously. To make it reliable and durable, there's 12 sensors measuring temperature to make sure the heat doesn't pose a problem.

Warp Charge technology actually doesn't make the phone as hot as you might think since it divides the heat production between the wall brick and the phone.

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AfterDawn: News

U.S. Congress: Internet giants are monopolies

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 09 Oct 2020 1:15

U.S. Congress: Internet giants are monopolies The House Antitrust Subcommittee has released a 449 page report which delves into antitrust issues in digital markets involving some of the largest companies in the world.

The report, which can be found here (pdf), goes into detail of four dominant online platforms: Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple. Apple and Amazon the report claims have "significant and durable market power" and dominance in their respective fields.

Google, and Facebook, are said to have a straight-up monopoly in their segments.

However, it also says that Amazon has a monopoly power over many small and medium-sized businesses, and Apple exerts monopoly power in the app store market.

These allegations seem a little less drastic than in the case of Google and Facebook, but nonetheless are seen as some of the more egregious antitrust issues.

The report says the the scrappy startups of the yester year are now "the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons" and that it's not clear whether the companies think they are above the law.

While the report doesn't equate to new laws or policies against the monopolistic nature of these internet giants, it does include proposals how to avoid their ever-increasing power.

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AfterDawn: News

AMD announced new Zen 3 based Ryzens, new flagship beats i9-10900K

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 09 Oct 2020 12:23

AMD announced new Zen 3 based Ryzens, new flagship beats i9-10900K AMD has announced the new processors based on the Zen 3 architecture, as expected. The company's new flagship is the 16-core Ryzen 9 5950X.

The company promises as significant leap in performance from previous generation. According to AMD, the new CPU architecture brings along up to 19 percent improvement in computing using the same clock speeds as the predecessor.

Not only are the chip more powerful, they also provide a better efficiency which means less heat generation.

The new models that will be landing soon are as follows:

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AfterDawn: News

Google's Stadia works now on mobile networks

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 09 Oct 2020 12:08

Google's Stadia works now on mobile networks Google's strategy with their cloud gaming platform Stadia was all along to compete on all platforms and with all devices. However, the hardest problems to solve don't at all come from the devices of their platforms but from the connections.

The toughest one to do properly is mobile internet. Mobile phones and their data plans aren't well suited for the latency driven entertainment. That is why while Google has promised mobile data gaming on Stadia, it has been under the Experimental umbrella for the past few months.

Now, Google has decided that its stable enough that it can be enjoyed by everyone.

There are some disclaimers, though. The gaming quality is limited to 720p, and there's now word if or when this will go up.

Also, one has to consider the data transfer rates in a country that doesn't offer many unlimited plans. Google says that Stadia will use up to 2.7 GB/hr of 4G or 5G mobile data.

That translates to average of 45 megabytes a minute or around 750kB per second. That should be easily accessible with both 5G and good 4G connections.

In games where latency is a problem at all, the transfer speed isn't usually the problem. That is unfortunately largely a luck of the draw, since you cannot really choose where Google's servers are located, and mobile data pings are very unreliable to begin with, at least on 4G.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple quietly removes audio competitors from the Apple Store

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 07 Oct 2020 3:51

Apple quietly removes audio competitors from the Apple Store While no one was looking, or so they thought, Apple made some changes to their online store. The company removed some of the competing audio products from the Apple Store.

Previously you could find the likes of Bose's popular ANC headphones (pictured) and Sonos speakers on Apple's online offerings. Now Bloomberg reports that there's no Bose, no Sonos, and no Logitech headphones, although other Logitech products are found.

All Bose product have disappeared as well as Sonos smart speakers, and the Ultimate Ears branded Logitech headphones. Bose and Logitech have confirmed that Apple no longer sells those products but there's no word on why this is the case.

One can predict that Apple is soon ready to launch new audio products, perhaps a new take on HomePod and on-ea/over-ear headphones.

Apple's iPhone event is slated for next week, so stay tuned and come back on the 13th to see whether this was indeed the case.





AfterDawn: News

Sony releases an official teardown of PlayStation 5

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 07 Oct 2020 12:57

Sony releases an official teardown of PlayStation 5 Sony has already unveiled most things about the PlayStation 5 console, as one would imagine at the point that pre-order have already started – and sold out.

However, there's still things we don't know, and we learn new things about the next-gen consoles constantly, like is the case with Xbox Series X and its load speeds.

Sony themselves have now released a YouTube video showing the internals of the upcoming PlayStation 5. This official teardown lasts seven minutes and takes a close look at the structure, connectivity and tech inside.

The VP of Mechanical Design Dept. Yasuhiro Ootori goes through how the console's stand can be used to prop the console up both in horizontal and vertical fashion, how to easily open the the console and access the M.2 PCIe 4.0 slot for storage expansion, and how to take part the entire console while going through most specs.

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AfterDawn: News

Xbox Series X load speeds out of this world! Doom Eternal loads in 5 seconds

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 07 Oct 2020 12:39

Xbox Series X load speeds out of this world! Doom Eternal loads in 5 seconds The next generation of console gaming is upon us. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X (and S) are already in pre-order stage of the release schedule, and if you're looking for one, you are already probably out of luck.

Even with pre-orders sold out we still don't know everything about the consoles. We have a good idea about the specs inside Xbox Series X, for example, but how does it translate to real-life performance.

One thing that's going to make the new generation much more speedier than the previous are the new SSDs. Xbox Series X has a custom 1 TB NVMe SSD. This storage solution means that games will load up faster than ever.

A twitter user and an Xbox insider by the name of astaranx has posted a video showing current generation Doom Eternal loading up a map on Xbox Series X. The loading sequence blazes through the percentages and lasts only five seconds.

Another Twitter user wanted to make sure the game isn't a fast loader even on Xbox One X. To make it even more fair, the One X had an SSD installed instead of an HDD that would obviously lose to the SSD of Xbox Series X.

Still, it took more than twice as long at 10 seconds to load out the map.

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AfterDawn: News

Blizzard has postponed World of Warcraft: Shadowlands launch

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 02 Oct 2020 10:06

Blizzard has postponed World of Warcraft: Shadowlands launch Blizzard has released a statement titled "An Update on Shadowlands" where the Executive Producer of World of Warcraft, John Hight, has announced that the expansion has been delayed.

Hight details that they want the expansion in the hands of players but the right decision was to postpone the launch. At this point there is no release date, but for now the launch will happen later this year.

Originally World of Warcraft: Shadowlands was slated for October 26 release.

According to the statement the essentials of the game seem ready for release but due to feedback there are endgame issues that still need to be resolved. Also working from home is mentioned as a reason that the endgame content hasn't been properly tuned yet.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft announced new Surface Laptop Go and updated Surface X

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 02 Oct 2020 9:31

Microsoft announced new Surface Laptop Go and updated Surface X Microsoft announced yesterday without much fanfare the new and more affordable Surface Laptop Go as well as an improved Surface X.

The new Surface Laptop Go starts at $549.99 and the newly-updated Surface X 2-in-1 starts at $1,499.99.

Each version of Surface Laptop Go is equipped with a 10th gen Intel Core i5. RAM and storage options vary from 4 GB of LPDDR4x and 64 GB eMMC up to the 8 GB and 256 GB SSD on the highest-end version.

All of them have the same 12.4 inch and 3:2 touchscreen PixelSense display with a resolution of 1536 x 1024, and PPI of 148. Microsoft promises up to 13 hours of battery life, and charging via 39 watt charger.

The laptop is 15.69 mm (0.61") thick and weight 1110 grams (2.44 lbs). It's built from aluminum, polycarbonate and composite resin.

Connectivity options include one USB-C, one USB-A, 3.5 mm headphone jack and Surface Connect port. Wireless connectivity includes Bluetooth 5.0 and WiFi 6.



Power button has a fingerprint sensor (not on cheapest model) but there is no Windows Hello for face recognition, although it has an HD capable camera.

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AfterDawn: News

Google's latest smart speaker is for listening to music

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 01 Oct 2020 11:38

Google's latest smart speaker is for listening to music Google announced a new audio device at yesterday's Pixel event. In addition to the new smartphones, and Chromecast with Google TV, the company introduced the new Nest Audio.

This is the company's latest smart speaker that is aimed at people who want a great listening experience from their smart speaker. The single speaker comes with a 19 mm tweeter and a 75 mm woofer.

Unlike many of the smart speakers aimed toward Assistant functionality, this one doesn't have a 360 degree audio but instead is projected clearly to the front allowing better experience when listening to music in the designated area.

You can also combine multiple speakers to an array or room configuration like with Sonos.

As you might imagine the speaker works great with YouTube Music and Google has some celebrities, including Selena Gomez, demoing it with their own music service.

Nest Audio will be available on October 5 for $99.

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AfterDawn: News

Google has a new Chromecast with Google TV interface

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 01 Oct 2020 11:29

Google has a new Chromecast with Google TV interface Google announced yesterday two new Pixel phones but the event wasn't only about smartphones. Google also announced a new Chromecast device that will join the regular Chromecast and replace Chromecast Ultra.

The new Chromecast with Google TV offers now a remote control in addition to the dongle. You might ask what do I do with the remote, since Chromecast is traditionally controlled via other smart devices.

That's where the Google TV part comes in. The company also announced a new app, or user interface, called Google TV. Initially this comes with the new Chromecast but it will also be available to other Android TV devices and even smartphones.

The UI offers a compilation of all the different video and streaming services in one place and controllable via the remote. Also included in the remote is a separate Assistant button that can be used to control the Chromecast but also smart home devices.

Chromecast with Google TV became immediately available in three color options for $49.99 at Google Store. There's also a bundle with Netflix offering the device and six months of Netflix (dual screen plan) for $89.99, although it's out of stock now.

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AfterDawn: News

Google announces Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 30 Sep 2020 3:24

Google announces Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G Google's much anticipated Pixel event has just ended, and the company had to offer two new Pixel phones. The new 2020 Pixel models are Pixel 5 and Pixel 4a 5G. These join the already announced Pixel 4a.

These two new models actually have more in common than you'd think, and Pixel 4a 5G (pictured at the top) shares much more of its DNA with the new Pixel 5 than the namesake from earlier this year, Pixel 4a.

In fact, there aren't that many things at all that differentiate Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5. Both have the exact same camera setup with a 12.2 MP default shooter and a 16 MP super wide camera, as well as the 8MP f/2.0 selfie shooter. Both also feature the higher mid tier Snapdragon 765G chipset.

There is a little more RAM, 8GB vs 6GB, in the Pixel 5, and while the display is slightly smaller, 6.0 vs 6.2, the Pixel 5 does have 90 Hz refresh rate. Battery life should also be better on the Pixel 5 with slightly more capacity, 4080 mAh vs 3885 mAh, and you can charge it wirelessly.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung released a new cheaper Galaxy S20 variant: Here's Galaxy S20 FE

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 24 Sep 2020 10:27

Samsung released a new cheaper Galaxy S20 variant: Here's Galaxy S20 FE Samsung surprised us yesterday with a new smartphone announcement. Usually after the Note announcements Samsung readies itself to reveal midrange A series phones but this time it was in fact a new Galaxy S.

The new phone is called Galaxy S20 FE and is thus a continuation of the company's flagship brand. Specs-wise it is a lower high-end or perhaps a top notch mid tier device, one that would challenge the likes of OnePlus 8, for example.

To fit neatly into S20 family it needs some specs from the higher end, and that is where the large 120 Hz display, triple camera with Space Zoom, and 5G connectivity comes in.

The display is 6.5 inches which fits nicely between the regular S20 and the S20+, but the resolution has been lowered to Full HD (1080 x 2400).

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