AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Matti Vähäkainu

AfterDawn: News

Google reveals new Pixels ahead of release with first Google-designed Tensor chip

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Aug 2021 10:16

Google reveals new Pixels ahead of release with first Google-designed Tensor chip Google is expected to release new Pixel smartphones later this fall, and while that is still the case, we've already got some looks at the new devices.

The search giant seems to be anxious to show of their new phones that come with a brand new design as well as a first ever Google-designed mobile system-on-chip inside.

As mentioned, the actual release is still ways off, so this is more of a preview for the devices, probably designed to build hype throughout the late summer and early fall.

In addition to the new design and chip, Google has revamped the naming a little bit. There will be no XL model, although Google is back to producing two distinct Pixel phones. The larger, and better equipped, of the two is called Pixel 6 Pro


AfterDawn: News

OnePlus unveiled their first smartwatch: Here's OnePlus Watch

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 23 Mar 2021 12:03

OnePlus unveiled their first smartwatch: Here's OnePlus Watch The Chinese smartphone company has today announced their highly anticipated smartwatch, OnePlus Watch. The company's first smartwatch was accompanied by the release of the new OnePlus 9 Series smarpthones.

Interestingly, OnePlus has decided to not go with Google's smartphone OS, or any other common smartphone platform, instead they've created their own.

This Apple-like move might make it easier for OnePlus to customize the experience but amount and quality of apps is reliant on OnePlus as well.

The smartwatch has a clear focus on health but it's packed with features, like GPS and Warp fast charging. You can charge week's battery life in just 20 minutes.

OnePlus has created the body from stainless steel, although there's also a special cobalt version, and watch face is measured at 46 mm.

While the watch is designed to be used alongside OnePlus 9, you can use it with any Android device or even iPhones, although that is still a work in progress.

OnePlus Watch is IP68 water and dust resistant, has a 15 day battery life, features over 110 workout modes, can measure blood oxygen, and offers 4 gigabytes storage for in-device music

OnePlus Watch starts at $159 with Cobalt special edition coming later.

AfterDawn: News

OnePlus announced new OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 23 Mar 2021 11:48

OnePlus announced new OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro OnePlus has today announced their new OnePlus 9 Series smartphones. The new OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro aim to impress you with new Hasselblad cameras, better performance, and improved displays.

Let's take the most drastic change first which comes with the cooperation between the Chinese smartphone manufacturer and one of the world's most celebrated camera brands, Hasselblad. OnePlus promises that this has resulted in one of the best cameras on any phone.

The Hasselblad Camera for Mobile platform provides more accurate colors and better allround photo quality, OnePlus says. Behind the tuning of the colors and quality are hundreds of tests provided by Hasselblad ambassadors and professional photographers.

Both models have the largely the same camera specs including a 48 MP default shooter and a 50 MP wide angle camera, but only the OnePlus 9 Pro has a telephoto camera capable of optical zoom.

OnePlus collaboration with Hasselblad

Hasselblad Camera for Mobile can be found on both phones.


AfterDawn: News

OnePlus founder's new tech company is called Nothing

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 27 Jan 2021 11:04

OnePlus founder's new tech company is called Nothing Carl Pei founded the smartphone company OnePlus alongside Pete Lau in 2013, and it gained immediate traction with the affordable "flagship killers."

The company has since evolved from a start-up into a proper smartphone manufacturer that has offerings in nearly every price point. The change accelerated especially recently, and might have been either a result of Pei leaving the company or resulted from it.

Nevetheless, Carl Pei left OnePlus in October last year, and informed that he was looking forward to new adventures. Today, Pei announced a new company he has founded.

Nothing, is a London-based consumer technology company that has attracted very influential investors, including iPod inventor Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman, YouTuber Casey Neistat, and iPod inventor Tony Fadell.

So far there's no clear cut picture of what Nothing will release but they've promised one of their smart devices in the first half of the year, and more is to come.

Pei aims to release devices in difference categories and create eventually an ecosystem of devices.

When it comes to the name there are a few things Pei and co. have to say about it. Firstly they want to build devices from ground up, so much so that when they try to reach further, there's nothing.


AfterDawn: News

Mozilla releases Firefox 85 to combat supercookies and more

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 26 Jan 2021 12:33

Mozilla releases Firefox 85 to combat supercookies and more Mozilla has announced today officially the release of the latest and greatest Firefox browser. There are a lot of updates to the browser but Firefox has made this one mostly about cracking down on supercookies and other user tracking.

According to Mozilla, the so-called supercookies, a more pernicious version of the rather mundane tracking method, are one of the greatest threats on the web for user privacy and security. The new version of Firefox combats this by disallowing cross-site tracking using partitioning.

The company has released an entire blog post about the new, and upcoming, measures to prevent the extensive tracking we experience on the web these days.

There are other changes too, though. Firefox 85 now finally removes Flash entirely and there's no longer an option to enable it. There also improved bookmark views with easy access to your bookmarks via a toolbar folder and bookmarks by default on newly opened tabs.

Another addition is the one click removal of all saved logins from the password manager that helps you clean your passwords faster.

More about the new Firefox 85 can be found in the official release notes. You can download the new Firefox 85 here.

AfterDawn: News

Apple issues warning about iPhones near medical devices

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 25 Jan 2021 11:12

Apple issues warning about iPhones near medical devices Apple has published guidance on the official website to clarify some things surrounding the magnets and radios that are used in both the iPhone 12 series as well as MagSafe accessories associated with the phone.

According to Apple, the magnets and radios in iPhone 12, including all its different variants, as well as the MagSafe accessories (MagSafe Charger and MagSafe Duo Charger) can be dangerous near certain medical devices due to emitting electromagnetic fields that can interfere with other devices.

Most importantly Apple considers these devices to be a possible hazard near implanted pacemakers and defibrillators, and suggests you keep the iPhone or MagSafe accessory away from these devices.

The company says that you should keep the devices at least 6 inches (15 cm) apart or 12 inches (30 cm) apart if wirelessly charging.

Although the new iPhone 12 has more magnets than its predecessors, Apple believes that the impact of them is not greater than on previous iPhones.

This sounds like no matter the iPhone – or other phone if there are similar magnets – you might want to keep it away from your chest if you have a pacemaker.

AfterDawn: News

Dead people talking? Microsoft has a patent for post mortem chatbots

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 25 Jan 2021 10:43

Dead people talking? Microsoft has a patent for post mortem chatbots World of the internet is a odd place for many reasons but perhaps the most eerie it becomes when a person passes away.

The social media accounts don't immediately, and definitely not automatically, disappear after the death, and I must not be the only one that often feels like there's still something alive when you can see past posts of the individual.

Microsoft is taking this another step further and has patented a technology for creating a chatbot from person's online presence, The Independent reported.

This post mortem chatbot would be constructed based on the digital footprint that the person left behind. If the AI behind the bot is intelligent enough and there's a large enough footprint to data mine, one could imagine pretty convincing chat partners.

In a simple text medium it would be easier to convince fellow chatters of the authenticity but a lot of people also have thousands of pictures and videos of themselves that could even be the basis for a realistic depiction.

Microsoft has made sure to cover all bases with the patent and it includes people both dead and alive, as well as fictional characters.


AfterDawn: News

Trump's last hurrah against Huawei

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Jan 2021 4:09

Trump's last hurrah against Huawei Trump administration has issued more restrictions to Huawei before leaving the White House. According to a Reuters report, Trump admin is now denying licenses that Huawei was required to work with American companies.

After May 2019 and the addition to the U.S. government's "entity list", Huawei's road has been a rocky one. While specific licenses made it possible for it to continue buying technology and products from U.S. based companies, it has had to get rid of Google services on its phones.

Now it seems that other products and technology from the United States might not be anymore available to the Chinese smartphone and wireless powerhouse.

Just before leaving office, Trump admin has started denying the licenses Huawei needs to buy products from the U.S. companies. This includes companies like Intel, whose chip shipments to Huawei will cease.

A total of eight licenses to four different companies have been denied and the source expects this to continue. Not only is this tough for Huawei, it's affecting the companies that are losing business and a massive customer at that.


AfterDawn: News

Steam releases "2020 Year in Review," reveals player numbers

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Jan 2021 2:31

Steam releases "2020 Year in Review," reveals player numbers Steam has revealed their 2020 figures in a post they call "2020 Year in Review." The company's fifth annual review includes some stats, including player numbers and most popular games.

The service broke new records with a whopping 120 million monthly active users and 62.6 million active users every day on average.

Steam recorded a peak to 24.8 million concurrent players, which happened during the bug-ridden Cyberpunk 2077 launch.

The situation the world has been for the past year has no doubt tremendously increased the usage of this online platform as well. A total game time recorded was 31.3 billion hours which is a massive 50.7% increase to the previous year with around 20 billion hours.


AfterDawn: News

DuckDuckGo reaches new heights: 100 million searches a day

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 18 Jan 2021 11:06

DuckDuckGo reaches new heights: 100 million searches a day Perhaps the most serious competition to Google's search engine comes not from Microsoft and Bing but a different perspective altogether. DuckDuckGo promises to keep browsing private and search results untailored.

The 2008 launched website has gained traction in recent years due to privacy issues with the Silicon Valley giants. Now, SearchEngineJournal has spotted that DDG has managed to break a new one-day record.

A week ago on January 11, DuckDuckGo was used to search a total of 102 million times. This is the first time the search has passed 100 million searches in a single day.

Just last fall DDG was hovering at around 40 million searches a day. Average in January will be around 90 million likely, unless the site gets a huge bump in the latter half.

DDG is a small player still, considering even Yahoo and Bing still clearly outrank in marketshare, and for a comparison Google's searches per day are counted in trillions.

However, people are becoming more privacy oriented my the minute, so who knows if DDG will start trending soon in the same vein as Signal just did.


AfterDawn: News

Trump admin blacklists Xiaomi

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Jan 2021 7:44

Trump admin blacklists Xiaomi The Pentagon has designated nine companies to their black list for being associated with the Chinese military, Reuters reported. Among the added are the world's third largest smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi, Chinese aircraft manufacturer Comac.

This is a separate black list from the one Huawei is in, and has the specific distinction to being controlled by the Chinese military. This also means that the companies on this list aren't necessarily barred from cooperating with U.S. companies, so Xiaomi should be able to continue using the Google ecosystem on their phones.

What they are barring is shareholding from U.S. individuals and companies. Holdings in these companies have to be divested by November 11. The list previously included companies like the Chinese chip maker SMIC.

There's a possibility that Xiaomi will be added to the entity list that makes it harder to work with U.S. companies and technologies, too. This happened to the Chinese oil company CNOOC which was on the military black list and was according to FT just recently added to the entity list.


AfterDawn: News

Samsung's new wireless earbuds have ANC and new two-way design

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Jan 2021 2:39

Samsung's new wireless earbuds have ANC and new two-way design Samsung announced today the new Galaxy S21 lineup that includes, as expect, the Galaxy S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra. As has become a custom, the company also refreshed their earbuds.

The new model carries the name Galaxy Buds Pro and, according to the company, they also provide audio experience that even professionals would appreciate.

One has to doubt that any serious audio professional is going to switch their monitor headset for there but there are some improvements that should provide better audio.

Samsung has developed a two-way design that allow two difference elements, separate woofer and tweeter, inside the tiny shell. It remains to be seen how much this actually improves the audio quality.

The new design also features a more streamlined profile and a new addition of a wind chamber should capture most of the wind that is trying to get to the microphones to ruin your phone calls.


AfterDawn: News

Samsung announced new Galaxy S21 series from $799 to $1199

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 14 Jan 2021 2:20

Samsung announced new Galaxy S21 series from $799 to $1199 Samsung announced today three new Samsung Galaxy S21 models as expected. At the first Unpacked event of the year Samsung introduced Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21+, and Galaxy S21 Ultra.

The lineup hasn't really changed from last year in terms of the trio of devices hitting different price points and specs preferences but there are some important upgrades to the last year's models.

All the new Galaxy S21 models have a new and improved display panels that offer better peak brightness and now also 120 hz refresh rate at maximum resolution.

The S21 and S21+ feature a Full HD+ display and Ultra has a QHD+ panel. All of them feature a more durable Gorilla Glass Victus on top of the panels. Peak brightness hits 1300 nits on S21 and S21+, and 1500 nits on Ultra.

As you might guess, there are some size differences. S21 display is 6.2" while S21+ is 6.7" and Ultra 6.8", which means that S21 and S21+ display size stayed the same while Ultra got tiny bit smaller from last year, although it does now support S Pen.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra and S Pen


AfterDawn: News

Signal has revealed new features after hitting #1 on App Store

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Jan 2021 4:14

Signal has revealed new features after hitting #1 on App Store Signal has been trending ever after Facebook announced in the new EULA that all WhatsApp users need to share their information with Facebook.

Elon Musk decided to give people a push they might need in order to switch from a messenger to another by tweeting simply "Use Signal." And people most definitely have been switching according to App Store and Google Play ranks.

Signal is now number one app on both platforms, and there's probably a lot of people that are yet to switch. The non-profit running Signal are certainly trying abuse the fact that they've seemed to catch lightning in a bottle.

They've not announced on Twitter a few new features that will be soon landing on Signal. According to the tweet in a few days you'll get:

  • Chat wallpapers!
  • About field for your Signal profile
  • Animated stickers
  • For iOS: Media auto-download settings and full-screen profile photos (to match Android)

  • Signal added a "Good morning India!" at the end of the tweet which might mean that the rollout will start from India. It's a little unclear, here's the tweet:


AfterDawn: News

Nvidia announces GeForce RTX 3060 at CES

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Jan 2021 11:35

Nvidia announces GeForce RTX 3060 at CES Nvidia has announced their newest addition to their RTX graphics card lineup at the virtual CES that runs this week. The most budget friendly of the new 3000 series cards will be available late next month.

The new 3060 fills the gap that Nvidia left last month when they announced RTX 3060 Ti. Now with the regular 3060, they've got a fairly affordable new generation card, that a lot of people have been waiting for.

GeForce RTX 3060 features 12 GB of GDDR6 memory, 3584 CUDA cores, 192-bit memory interface, and a clock of speed of 1.32 GHz (boost at 1.78 GHz). Nvidia recommends a 550 watt PSU for the GPU that uses up to around 170 watts.

Nvidia compared the new card to the latest GTX predecessors, the GTX 1060, and specifically their ray tracing capabilities. A rather odd comparison, considering that it has been well established that ray tracing is pretty much the one trick the new RTX cards have to offer.

Nonetheless, the new RTX 3060 can provide up to 10 times the ray tracing performance to GTX 1060. Nvidia also promised 60 fps, ray tracing enabled, in new games.

As mentioned, RTX 3060 will be available late February, although expect stock to be limited, starting at $329.


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