AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Matti Robinson

AfterDawn: News

Guide: How to Kick Unwanted Guests from Your Netflix Account

Written by Matti Robinson @ 26 Jan 2023 2:14

Guide: How to Kick Unwanted Guests from Your Netflix Account Sharing a Netflix account with a person in a different location is possible and indeed very common, although the company doesn't necessarily enjoy this behavior from their customers.

However, sometimes sharing of accounts happens even without the knowledge or approval of the account owner. Perhaps the Netflix account was logged in to a TV of an ex-partner, or children have shared the passwords with their friends. Occasionally hacked Netflix accounts are also shared online.

The disadvantages of allowing unwanted guests to use your Netflix account are many. Some of the more important reasons include the following. First is the moral quandary; someone else is using a service I pay for. Another one is that the other user can totally mess up the recommendation algorithm, which is important in finding new content that matches your tastes. And thirdly, this is technically against the User Agreement, which can result in the termination of the service.

Fortunately, Netflix has made it easier for users to kick out unwanted guests. One way to do that was always to switch the password. This would result in changing passwords to all legit devices, and now there's a much faster and more convenient way. Netflix mobile app has a feature, which allows the account holder to check which devices have used the Netflix account recently and from which parts of the world.

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AfterDawn: News

Guide: Turn an Old Computer Into a Chromebook Easily and for Free

Written by Matti Robinson @ 07 Jan 2023 2:11

Guide: Turn an Old Computer Into a Chromebook Easily and for Free Do you know someone whose computer is way beyond its best-before date, and they, unfortunately, do know have the skills or the expertise to do much about it? Or do you own a pile of old laptop computers that do not have any use as is?

Google offers a simple and straightforward solution for these situations: ChromeOS Flex. The new ChromeOS version released in the summer of 2022 turns any old Windows, Linux, or Mac computer into a Chromebook. And what's better, it's all free.

Chromebooks and the operating system run on them, ChromeOS, are meant to be a lightweight solution that removes most of the unnecessary clutter that comes with a regular computer. Moreover, much of the computing happens in the cloud, which makes having powerful, heavy, high-consumption components unnecessary. This means that even a lesser computer can run ChromeOS efficiently.

The only thing you'll need in addition to the computer the operating system is going to be installed on is an empty thumb drive. As you test out the OS, everything is run from the thumb drive, so no files will be lost at first.

Google promises the compatibility of ChromeOS Flex only on officially supported devices, but our experiences are that ChromeOS Flex seems to work on practically all somewhat old Windows computers. However, Apple's computers, using the new proprietary Apple chip, do not work with ChromeOS Flex.

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AfterDawn: News

How to Choose a Robot Vacuum?

Written by Matti Robinson @ 07 Jan 2023 9:12

How to Choose a Robot Vacuum? Robot vacuums are meant to make day-to-day life easier in several ways. When they are used efficiently, they can keep the house clean continuously - at least when it comes to floors. In addition, by using the timed cleaning features, the noise made by the vacuums isn't a worry.

However, the problem is that there is a wide array of different kinds of robot vacuums at various price points and from a myriad of manufacturers. There are both cheap and expensive models not worth investing in like there are good products at all price points. Even affordable vacuums can be perfectly fine, although with more money comes more features.

We have tested robot vacuum at AfterDawn since 2018. Our product-specific test periods usually last for several months, so we gain actual real-world results and find out quirks and problems that one might not find in short reviews. This also gives us a great overview on how a wide range of robot vacuums compare.

What do you need to know when choosing a robot vacuum?

Here we are going to list the most important points and features that one should consider before purchasing a robot vacuum.

  1. Cleaning result
  2. Connectivity
  3. Timers and remote control
  4. Languages
  5. Barriers, rugs, and carpets
  6. Size of the home
  7. Self-emptying robot vacuums
  8. Obstacle avoidance
  9. How about a robot mop?

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AfterDawn: News

Review: Garmin Forerunner 955

Written by Matti Robinson @ 11 Dec 2022 11:09

Review: Garmin Forerunner 955 We received the Garmin Forerunner 955 smartwatch for review a few months ago, just after it was released in the summer of 2022. Depending on the variant, the smartwatch costs around $500 and is among the more expensive options from Garmin's selection of smartwatches.

The Forerunner model in particular is designed for specifically runners and exercise, as one can imagine from its product name. It is a direct successor to Garmin's Forerunner 945, which we tried previously and liked.

We took the new Forerunner for an extensive test during the three-month testing period, using it around the clock. We used the watch to measure exercise, sleep, stress, and general well-being.

After a long and arduous testing period, it is time to see what Garmin Forerunner 955 is about and how it handled our tests.

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AfterDawn: News

Review: OnePlus Car Charger 80W

Written by Matti Robinson @ 19 Oct 2022 10:00

Review: OnePlus Car Charger 80W OnePlus has been for years at the forefront when it comes to fast charging. The company's smartphones have supported fast charging at a competitive level throughout models and price points.

Now nearly every new mid- or higher tier smartphone comes with fast charging of some sort. Even many new lower tier, sub-$200 options, come with basic fast charging. Fast charging comes with a simple advantage. Phone doesn't need to be charged overnight anymore, when just a short juice-up during other regular daily tasks, like taking a shower or preparing breakfast can offer hours upon hours of battery life.

However, one place we haven't come across many proper fast charging applications are car chargers. If you'd want to fill your battery during a half an hour commute, usually that isn't possible with generic car chargers, even when they profess fast charging.

This seems odd, since smartphone users often spend time in traffic, and that would be the perfect time to recharge your smartphone.

OnePlus has had car chargers previously, as well, but they haven't caught the attention of the press or the public. At least, they flew under the radar for us. Perhaps this is due to the fact that they have only supported SuperVOOC charging, support of which is limited to OnePlus and few related brands (Oppo, Realme, Vivo).

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AfterDawn: News

YouTube announces new feature: Handles

Written by Matti Robinson @ 10 Oct 2022 1:13

YouTube announces new feature: Handles YouTube has today announced a new feature called Handles. According to Google's video platform, the new feature can help YouTube creators identify more effectively on their platform and within communities.

The new identification method has largely been copied from Twitter, even to the extent that it is preceded by @ sign. The new Handles will be in the form "@handle," and the new web address is formatted "youtube.com/@handle."

According to YouTube, Handles are designed for it to be "easier for members of the community to find and connect with each other." Especially for those that do not have a personalized YouTube address, this is going to be a blessing. Instead of a long, jumbled mess of characters, they can now be found with a simple Handle.

Those that already have a concise, personalized YouTube address. They can choose to continue using that as a handle. In fact, YouTube will automatically reserve that as your Handle, but the YouTuber can switch away from it if they'd like to.

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AfterDawn: News

Nvidia's warns about weak quarter, loses $1 billion in gaming revenue

Written by Matti Robinson @ 11 Aug 2022 10:49

Nvidia's warns about weak quarter, loses $1 billion in gaming revenue Nvidia released a warning before the final quarterly results, due in two weeks. The company's previous prediction was off by over $1 billion.

On Monday, graphics card manufacturer Nvidia has released the preliminary financial results for the second quarter of the current fiscal year. These preliminary results act as a warning for the investors ahead of the final results, and earnings call on August 24.

The revenue of $6.70 billion is a far cry from the company's outlook as consumers wait for the next round of GPUs.

In May, Nvidia predicted the quarter to top $8.10 billion in revenue, which would have been a slight decline from the previous quarter but a major uptick from the year prior. However, expectations weren't met and the stock market responded predictably.

Stock price slid from last week's high of $192 by approximately 10 percent to $172, but bounced back to $178 by the time of NASDAQ closing.

The company's lackluster performance was blamed on Gaming revenue, which did take a tremendous hit. Gaming revenue fell 33 percent year-over-year and nearly halved compared to the previous quarter which had record-breaking revenue for both Gaming and Data Center segments.

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AfterDawn: News

Twitter confirms vulnerability resulted in over 5 million accounts exposed

Written by Matti Robinson @ 08 Aug 2022 1:22

Twitter confirms vulnerability resulted in over 5 million accounts exposed Twitter released a statement on Friday confirming that a vulnerability they had patched earlier this year was, in fact, used in a malicious attack to collect user data.

The company was forced to come clean after media reports about hacked account details surfaced on the web. According to Twitter, the company became aware of the problem in January 2022 via the company's bug bounty program. The bug had been in the code since June 2022 and was quickly fixed.

Now, the actual vulnerability and the exploit of it has to do with a form that provides the Twitter ID associated with the submitted phone number or email address. This shouldn't be publicly available, and according to a HackerOne report to Twitter, this happened even when the user had explicitly prohibited this action in the Twitter privacy settings.

This was abused to create lists consisting of Twitter IDs, phone numbers, and email addresses.

Last month Restore Privacy reported that over 5 million Twitter accounts were exposed by a hacker that was selling the database with Twitter IDs, phone numbers, and email addresses. For $30,000, the hacker by the name of "devil" claimed, you could receive information about "Celebrities, Companies, randoms, OGs, etc."

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon acquires Roomba maker for $1.7 billion, gets your home layout?

Written by Matti Robinson @ 08 Aug 2022 12:46

Amazon acquires Roomba maker for $1.7 billion, gets your home layout? Shopping giant Amazon has somewhat unexpectedly moved in to acquire leading robot vacuum manufacturer iRobot. The acquisition cost is $1.7 billion, companies' press release states.

While Amazon's purchase of Roomba maker came as a surprise, the acquisition does make sense for the world largest shopping network that has been investing in smart home technology for years.

Amazon was the first to launch a line of voice assistant speakers in the form of Echo, shortly after Apple and Google had introduced their smartphone-tied assistants. The Alexa-equipped speakers, that Amazon has expanded tremendously over the years, have been a massive success for the company.

Later the company acquired a high-profile home tech in smart doorbell company Ring.

Some have suggested a somewhat hilarious, perhaps even sinister, reason for the iRobot purchase, as seen below. While it seems more like a baseless stab at Amazon's possibly nefarious nature, there's some truth to the concern.

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AfterDawn: News

New Qualcomm chip gives smartwatches 2x performance, 50% more battery life

Written by Matti Robinson @ 20 Jul 2022 1:15

New Qualcomm chip gives smartwatches 2x performance, 50% more battery life The leading semiconductor corporation Qualcomm has announced new Snapdragon chips for wearables. The upcoming Snapdragon W5 Gen 1 and Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 system-on-chips provide vastly improved power management among other changes.

In their documentation, the company has focused on the superior, in what they call the "most advanced leap yet", the Snapdragon W5+ Gen 1 chip, which is the one that you'll see on many of the upcoming Wear OS smartwatches. The featured chip is a successor to the wide-adopted Snapdragon Wear 4100+ platform, and offers upgrades throughout the device.

The regular W5 Gen 1 is aimed at segment-specific devices, which can be found in kids toys, health equipment, or enterprise solutions. Although undoubtedly an important part of Qualcomm's wearable business, the chip is less of a consumer product.

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AfterDawn: News

App spending overtook games first time ever on the App Store

Written by Matti Robinson @ 18 Jul 2022 6:20

App spending overtook games first time ever on the App Store Market research firm, Sensor Tower, has released a quarterly report on spending on mobile apps and games. Their Q2 2022 Data Digest suggests that apps have overtaken games in spending on U.S. App Store for the first time ever.

The report details customer spending on mobile platforms between April 1 and June 30, 2022, and concludes, among other things, that due to the stagnation of game spending, apps have taken the spot for the most revenue generated in the second quarter of the year as it relates to the U.S. App Store.

The app store ecosystems of Apple and Google combined a total of 35 billion downloads, which was a minor, although telling, year-over-year decline of 2.5 percent. App Store declined 1.3 % from 7.9 to 7.8 billion, and Google Play 2.9 % from 28 to 27.2 billion.

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The Genesis of Nothing

Written by Matti Robinson @ 15 Jul 2022 2:16

The Genesis of Nothing Nothing is a fascinating company with golden, likely-to-fail promises only rivaled by those of Elon Musk, a marketing ideas inspired perhaps by old Apple Inc., and an enigmatic image of a high-fashion brand.

However, to understand Nothing, and the recently announced first smartphone of theirs, we must investigate the origins of OnePlus. This isn't some sort of theoretical mathematics conundrum, instead it is a guide to the inner workings of Carl Pei's new company.

After all, OnePlus is the spiritual progenitor, albeit maybe not the direct ancestor, of Nothing Technology Limited.

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AfterDawn: News

Nothing announced their debut smartphone

Written by Matti Robinson @ 14 Jul 2022 2:11

Nothing announced their debut smartphone The London-based technology brand Nothing, lead by a former OnePlus boss Carl Pei, has announced their second ever product at the Return to Instinct event. The Nothing Phone or Nothing Phone (1), as they call it is a mid-range smartphone with some creative, never-before-seen features.

To get the dull specifications out of the way, the phone features a mid-range Snapdragon chip, Snapdragon 778G+, a 6.55 inch Full HD+ panel with 120 Hz refresh rate, 8 or 12 gigabytes of RAM, and 128 or 256 gigabytes of UFS 3.1 storage.

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Sony announces new gaming brand, Inzone, with displays and headsets

Written by Matti Robinson @ 29 Jun 2022 2:42

Sony announces new gaming brand, Inzone, with displays and headsets Japanese electronics behemoth, Sony, has announced a new gaming brand under their computer hardware and peripheral department. The company calls the new gaming gear Inzone or INZONE, as they'd like them to be stylized.

Sony's obvious plan is to challenge the Asian electronics competitors that have already created their own gaming brands, and in many cases sold branded gear for years, even decades.

These companies include the likes of Asus with their Republic of Gamers that was brought about as early as in 2006. The brand has become one of the company's most valued possessions, and spans across computer hardware like motherboards all the way up to more mainstream gaming gear like headsets and even gaming-focused smartphones.

Others, like Lenovo with their Legion line of devices and Acer with Predator offer similar lineup of products, including but not limited to laptop and desktop computers, monitors, gaming mice and keyboards, and headsets.

While the range of devices in the gaming gear market is expansive, Sony has decided to enter it in a careful manner with just a few products that are to be released this summer.

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Motorola's new flagship is here: Edge+ without an edge

Written by Matti Robinson @ 24 Feb 2022 11:50

Motorola's new flagship is here: Edge+ without an edge Motorola has announced their new flagship smartphone that carries the same name as the predecessor. The Edge+ moniker is an odd one, since the one main thing they've changed about the phone is the display flowing over each edge.

Nevertheless, the new and improved Edge+ seeks to challenge the large phone category recently occupied by Samsung's greatest, Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Motorola even has stylus support for the new Edge+, albeit an optional extra if you decide to go that route. That also means there is no internal slot for the stylus like on the Ultra.

Specs-wise we're looking at a Snapdragon 8 gen 1 powered Android with a 6.7 inch Full HD+ display that offers an up to 144 Hz refresh rate. In terms of RAM you can choose between 8 or 12 gigs, and the storage options range from 128 to 512 gigabytes.

Other features include stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos support, a 4800 milliamp hour battery with fast charging, 15-watt wireless charging as well as reverse charging that can charge the optional stylus.

Camera system now offers a 50 megapixel default shooter and another 50 MP ultrawide camera. Third sensor on the back is a measly 2 MP for depth-sensing and isn't available for photos. This means that unlike most of its competitors it does not offer a zoom camera.

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