AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Petteri Pyyny

AfterDawn: News

Android P revealed - This is what it looks like

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 08 Mar 2018 3:21

Android P revealed - This is what it looks like Google has released the first glimpse of its upcoming Android P operating system. New version of Android is about to launch sometime in Fall 2018, but Google provides information for developers and manufacturers about the most important changes beforehand to allow them to adjust to new APIs and design.

Android P includes several changes to the visuals of the UI. Icons are more rounded and plain as is the custom nowadays. Additionally, the settings have been revamped quite a lot and also the notification area has gone through some changes.

Despite those changes, the biggest visual change is the support for iPhone X-styled gap in the top of the screen to accommodate better for front camera while allowing "borderless" displays.

Android P search bar
Android P notification bar


AfterDawn: News

VLC v3.0.1 released: Improves Chromecast support, faster MKV seeking

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 28 Feb 2018 6:20

VLC v3.0.1 released: Improves Chromecast support, faster MKV seeking Popular open-source video player, VLC, has been updated to v3.0.1 version.

The new version is mostly a bug fix release after the player's major v3.0 release recently. This version improves HEVC video playback support on macOS, Android and iOS platforms. It also speeds up and fixes issues with Chromecast support on all platforms, including Windows.

Furthermore, MKV seeking is finally significantly faster. There's also bunch of minor bugs that have been fixed, like the one that caused the software to crash after closing it on some Windows versions.

You can download the Windows versions from AfterDawn's own download servers:

VLC for Windows
VLC for 64-bit Windows

Mobile editions for Android and iOS can be found from their respective app stores.

AfterDawn: News

uTorrent has a dangerous security flaw

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 22 Feb 2018 8:06

uTorrent has a dangerous security flaw BitTorrent and its lighter version, uTorrent have a serious security flaw.

Google researcher found a technique that allows attackers to direct DNS requests to user's computer, allowing to spoof the download sources, download files, add them to startup folder and more.

All versions of uTorrent and BitTorrent are affected and bug is only fixed in latest beta.

"On December 4, 2017, we were made aware of several vulnerabilities in the uTorrent and BitTorrent Windows desktop clients. We began work immediately to address the issue. Our fix is complete and is available in the most recent beta release (build released on 16 Feb 2018). This week, we will begin to deliver it to our installed base of users. All users will be updated with the fix automatically over the following days. The nature of the exploit is such that an attacker could craft a URL that would cause actions to trigger in the client without the user's consent (e.g. adding a torrent).

BitTorrent was also made aware yesterday that it's new beta product, uTorrent Web, is vulnerable to a similar bug. "

You can download the latest beta of uTorrent from our software section:


AfterDawn: News

AfterDawn's own Android app released

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 20 Feb 2018 6:45

AfterDawn's own Android app released While many people prefer to read the news via browser, some prefer apps instead. Thus, we've finally released our own AfterDawn news app for Android.

Our app supports all Android versions starting from Android v4.4 and behaves in both landspace and portrait mode, on phones and larger tablets. This app is for news consumption only: you can browse and read our news - latest news or even the really, really old news items back to the 1990s.

AfterDawn app for Android - List of newsAfterDawn app for Android, news article view

For those of you who prefer to have a quick look at the headlines, we also have a widget (that comes in three different color themes: dark, light and transparent to suit your homescreen background) that displays the latest headlines from our site.


AfterDawn: News

Chrome's own ad blocker is now live - and this is how it works

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 18 Feb 2018 16:56

Chrome's own ad blocker is now live - and this is how it works Google's Chrome web browser started blocking ads on February 15, 2018. It comes into effect for all of its billions of users, without any extensions, plug-ins or settings to tweak with. Ad blocking for all Chrome users, on by default.

This might sound weird given that Google is the largest ad company in the world: almost all of its massive revenue comes from ads. But there's a logic behind all of this. Google figured out that the reason why Joe Average ever installs a third-party ad blocker is because of the annoying ads, and not simply because Joe hates ads in general. He hates those that obstruct his web browsing and/or annoy him. The problem is that most third-party ad blockers, when installed, block everything from all the websites in the world. So you get frustrated because the hobby site you're visiting has auto-play, audio-on video ads in every corner and install a third-party ad blocker. The result? You block every ad from every site you visit. Sure, you could adjust the settings to allow ads through for specific sites, but only a handful of people ever do that.

Google's thinking is this: If we can remove the annoying ads, people will be happy with the remaining, non-obstructive ads. So, they developed their own ad blocker and built it directly into Chrome.


AfterDawn: News

EA offers 2008 classic, Dead Space, for free

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 14 Feb 2018 3:15

EA offers 2008 classic, Dead Space, for free EA is now giving away the 2008 horror shooter classic Dead Space for free.

The offer is available only for limited time, but once you download the game, it will remain free forever. So, no gotchas there, other than the fact that you need to have an account with Origin in order to get the game.

You can download Dead Space from here.

AfterDawn: News

Google changes the concept of email with its AMP for Email project

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 14 Feb 2018 2:26

Google changes the concept of email with its AMP for Email project Google plans to dramatically change the way email and your inbox works. With its AMP for Email project, Google is making email messages interactive, allowing users to perform various actions directly within the message.

With AMP for Email, each email message could have interactive features. One could, for example, book a flight directly within the email when receiving an offer from an airline. Or to reply to a discussion thread directly from within the email when receiving a notification about new messages in a subscribed forum thread.

Traditionally, actions such as these would require visiting an external webpage through a hyperlink. As Google focuses on making things as fast as possible, especially for mobile users, it makes sense to remove this additional step if you can.

The project is open source and obviously Google is hoping to get as wide support for it as it gained with its Accelerated Mobile Pages project. It is now open for developers and can be accessed/viewed if one has signed up for developer preview edition of Gmail.

AfterDawn: News

Google is developing its own gaming console and game streaming service

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 08 Feb 2018 5:44

Google is developing its own gaming console and game streaming service According to reports, Google is developing its own game streaming service that would allow users to pay a monthly fee and play all the games available in the service. Basically a Spotify/Netflix meets gaming.

Streaming is apparently Google's choice rather than hopping into processing power competition against the likes of Sony and Microsoft. Games would be streamed over the internet and played with relatively cheap device.

Reports say that originally Google had thought about extending Chromecast to allow gaming, but now also the Android-based console is in the plans. Releasing its own Android-based console would put Google directly against the Nvidia's Shield and other Android-based gaming projects.

Project, codenamed Yeti, has been in works for some time now and was expected to be launched back in 2017, but has gone through series of rethinking ever since. Google recently hired a former Microsoft and Sony veteran, Phil Harrison to oversee the project.

AfterDawn: News

Adobe: Highest level vulnerability found in Flash

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 04 Feb 2018 7:21

Adobe: Highest level vulnerability found in Flash Adobe has announced that there's a "Level 1" security vulnerabiltiy in Adobe Flash plug-in.

The vulnerability allows attacker to gain control of the host computer. Adobe said it will publish a patcj on 5th of February to fix the issue. Meanwhile, it is recommended to avoid using Flash.

Vulnerability affects all major platforms, including:

  • Adobe Flash Player Desktop Runtime for Windows and Mac
  • Adobe Flash Player for Google Chrome for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS
  • Adobe Flash Player for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 10 and 8.1
  • Adobe Flash Player Desktop Runtime for Linux

Versions and below are vulnerable.

AfterDawn: News

End of an era: Best Buy stops selling CDs

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 03 Feb 2018 16:01

End of an era: Best Buy stops selling CDs Kids nowadays might not even remember, but most of the music was sold in physical format still back in last decade or so. Actually, in 2001, the U.S. CD sales peaked at 800 million copies sold - having collapsed to mere 89 million in 2017.

During the CD's heyday, Best Buy was one of the major CD retailers in the U.S. Now, Best Buy has decided to cease selling CDs altogether as they generate only $40 in revenue. In June, CDs will disappear from all Best Buy stores across the U.S.

At the same time, another large retail chain, Target, is pressuring record labels to agree to buy back the unsold CDs it cannot sell through its stores. Traditionally, the unsold inventory has been retailer's problem, not labels' problem, but as CD sales continue to plummet, Target wants to change that.

According to IFPI's global stats, physical records still generate appx 34 percent of the global sales and are still somewhat strong in certain geographical areas, like in Japan and Germany. But digital revenue, driven by Spotify and YouTube grew as much as 177 percent in 2016 and are unlikely to slow down.

So, the concept of owning a physical piece of plastic that has music on it, is about to end. Sure, vinyl records and CDs will be made also in future. But you wont find those from local convenience stores, supermarkets or gas stations anymore. You have to find a specialist record store - physical one or an e-commerce site - to buy one.

AfterDawn: News

Return of the legend: The Commodore 64 Mini arrives in March

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 31 Jan 2018 12:03

Return of the legend: The Commodore 64 Mini arrives in March The past two years have been good for retro gamers. First, we got NES Classic Edition from Nintendo back in 2016. In 2017, arrived SNES Classic. And now, probably the biggest legend of them all, Commodore 64 is making a return.

USC-powered mini computer, dubbed as The C64 Mini, will be available in March, 2018 with suggested retail price of 79,90 in Europe, appx. $70 in United States.

The retro gaming kit will include a miniature version of Commodore 64 chassis (unfortunately the keyboard is just for the authentic look and is not functional), a USB joystick (for those too young to remember, joystick is a gaming controller with one stick and two buttons..) and pre-installed 64 licensed games.

Device has HDMI output that sends out 720p video in correct 4:3 aspect ratio, two USB ports for joysticks or a USB keyboard and internal storage for saved game states and game records.

List of games that ship with the device:

  • AlleyKat
  • Anarchy
  • Armalyte: Competition Edition
  • Avenger
  • Battle Valley
  • Boulder Dash
  • Bounder
  • California Games
  • Chip's Challenge
  • Confuzion
  • Creatures
  • Cyberdyne Warrior
  • Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine
  • Cybernoid II: The Revenge
  • Deflektor
  • Everyone's A Wally
  • Firelord
  • Gribbly's Day Out
  • Hawkeye
  • Heartland
  • Herobotix
  • Highway Encounter
  • Hunter's Moon
  • Hysteria
  • Impossible Mission
  • Impossible Mission II
  • IO
  • Jumpman
  • Mega Apocalypse
  • Mission A.D
  • Monty Mole
  • Monty on the Run
  • Nebulus
  • Netherworld
  • Nobby the Aardvark
  • Nodes Of Yesod
  • Paradroid
  • Pitstop II
  • Rana Rama
  • Robin Of The Wood
  • Rubicon
  • Skate Crazy
  • Skool Daze
  • Snare
  • Speedball
  • Speedball II: Brutal Deluxe
  • Spindizzy
  • Star Paws
  • Steel
  • Street Sports Baseball
  • Summer Games II (inc. Summer Games I)
  • Super Cycle
  • Temple of Apshai Trilogy
  • The Arc Of Yesod
  • Thing on a Spring
  • Thing Bounces Back
  • Trailblazer
  • Cosmic Causeway: Trailblazer II
  • Uchi Mata
  • Uridium
  • Who Dares Wins II
  • Winter Games
  • World Games
  • Zynaps

The C64 Mini emulates original Commodore 64 completely, so plugging in a USB keyboard will allow the user to start writing BASIC commands, just like the original did.


AfterDawn: News

Android storage full? Google's free Files Go saves the day

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 27 Jan 2018 5:59

Android storage full? Google's free Files Go saves the day Google just updated its free (and ad-free) file manager for Android devices, Files Go.

Files Go is Google's solution to Android's ever-present problem of storage memory being full. Files Go can analyze the device's storage and find duplicate files, unused installed applications and old cache files that take up space - and allow deleting such files in order to free up some resources.

App that was originally launched back in 2017 was recently updated to a new version that now supports also SD cards for scanning and has better UI for tablet-sized devices. App is also pretty good file manager and in that area, things have improved too: users can now choose default apps for each file type (regardless of the Android's internal default selections).

You can download Files Go from here.

AfterDawn: News

Facebook: Send us all your nudes, so we can block their distribution

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 09 Nov 2017 2:42

Facebook: Send us all your nudes, so we can block their distribution Facebook has released a feature in Australia that sounds more like a teenage boys' prank than a real feature. Company asks people who are worried that their intimate pictures and videos might get to wrong hands to send them all to Facebook.

The logic behind this bit unorthodox request is that Facebook would then scan all the photos, create digital fingerprints out of them and when somebody is distributing pictures with same digital fingerprint, Facebook would prevent them doing so. This could apply to all Facebook-owned properties, such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook and Instagram.

Company has seemingly good intentions: so-called revenge porn has become a major problem in online world. A situation where after an ugly breakup, the other half of the disbanded relationship distributes the couple's intimate videos and pictures is all too common nowadays. Facebook has taken steps to prevent this in the past, too: company has used facial recognition to block such behaviour and has also shut down accounts found guilty of distributing unauthorized pictures.

But to send all the intimate photos and videos to Facebook? Company claims that they'll delete the material after digital fingerprint has been created. But we only have Facebook's word for it. And obviously, if there are copies left somewhere in their servers, it opens up endless possibilities for hackers to get their hands to material that can be used for extortion.


AfterDawn: News

It happens: Niantic to release Pokemon Go-like Harry Potter game

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 08 Nov 2017 17:59

It happens: Niantic to release Pokemon Go-like Harry Potter game Niantic, company behind the mega-successful Pokemon Go augmented reality mobile game, just announced that they will release a Harry Potter mobile game.

The game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite will be an augmented reality mobile game, just like Pokemon Go and Niantic's previous game, Ingress, are. Basically thus means that the game will be set in real world and players must walk around the cities and towns to play the game.

Player will be one of the wizards, fighting the beats all over the world - and just like in Pokemon Go, players must join their forces in order to defeat the toughest enemies.

Expect to see lots and lots of people walking around the neighbourhood with a battery pack hooked to their phones, throwing spells at virtual beasts. Wihtout hesitation, the game has pretty good chance to be The Most Popular Game of 2018.

Niantic hasn't told yet when the release date will be, but stated tat they'll keep everyone informed.

AfterDawn: News

Every WiFi network in the World is now non-secure - WPA2 encryption broken

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 17 Oct 2017 3:58

Every WiFi network in the World is now non-secure - WPA2 encryption broken Researchers from Belgian university KU Leuven have managed to find a way to break WPA2 encryption used as the "strongest" encryption available in WiFi networks. They published their findings yesterday and now the security organizations across the globe are trying to find ways to curb the problem.

Researchers managed to break the WPA2 encryption by using so-called KRACK (Key Reinstallation Attack) attack against the encrypted network. Breaking the network encryptyin isn't exactly a trivial one, as it requires installing a WiFi router with fake MAC address and to place that router within the WLAN network's reach.

Those most in danger now are the corporations that handle sensitive data within their networks and transfer messages within their own WiFi network without further encryption, relying on WPA2-encrypted network.

Thus, security organizations now recommend that eveyrbody who handles sensitive data and transmits that within a WiFi network should start using SSL/TLS (basically, all web connections that are used for, say, intranet, should use https), SSH and VPN connections.

Basically all WiFi networks should now be treated as non-secure and shouldn't be used to transmit sensitive data within or from them without further encryption.


News archive