AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by Petteri Pyyny

AfterDawn: News

Finnish Customs service to sell its massive bitcoin pile

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 07 Jan 2021 6:08

Finnish Customs service to sell its massive bitcoin pile Over the years, Finnish Customs service has gathered a huge pile of cryptocurrencies that have been seized from criminals and smugglers.

Customs service has kept all the bitcoins in their possession as they are, but now the organization plans to sell them and convert them into more traditional euros. The current value of seized bitcoins is now around 60 million euros (appx. $74M).

Most of the bitcoins in customs possession have been seized back in 2016 with a so-called Douppikauppa (literally "dope store") case where customs raideda an illegal drug-selling site that operated in dark web. Originally the bitcoins seized were worth appx 700 000 euros, but now the value has risen to more than 50 million euros, as the bitcoin's value has risen dramatically over the past five years.

After the sale, customs will transfer the money to Finnish government. Customs has been criticized for holding on to its bitcoins, but for taxpayers, the holding on to the bitcoins has been extremely wise move.





AfterDawn: News

Android 11 update tracker - What phones will get it?

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 04 Jan 2021 6:13

Android 11 update tracker - What phones will get it? Android 11 was released in September, 2020. Only handful of phones in fall of 2020 were actually released with Android 11 operating system, but the list of phones announced that will get the update has grown significantly over the months.

In this list, we try to keep track of all promised, rumored and confirmed Android 11 updates to all major manufacturer phones. Some of the list is based on -Google's own list, some of the list is based on manufacturer's own announcements.

It should be remembered that even when specific phone model is promised to have an Android 11 update, it doesn't necessarily mean that your phone will get it. The models promised to get the update include typically only unlocked phones, not those customized to specific operator - it is up to operators to decide whether their custom models will get the said update or not.

Android 11 has already arrived or has been promised to arrive to these phone models:



Google phones


  • Pixel 2
  • Pixel 2 XL
  • Pixel 3
  • Pixel 3 XL
  • Pixel 3a
  • Pixel 3a XL
  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4
  • Pixel 4a

All the mentioned Google phones can already get the official Android 11 update.

Samsung


OTA (over-the-air) updates already available:
  • Galaxy S20
  • Galaxy S20+
  • Galaxy S20 Ultra
  • Galaxy S20 FE
  • Galaxy Z Flip
  • Galaxy Note 20
  • Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  • Galaxy Note 10
  • Galaxy Note 10+
  • Galaxy S10 Lite

January 2021:
  • Galaxy Fold
  • Galaxy S10
  • Galaxy S10+
  • Galaxy S10e
  • Galaxy Z Fold2

March 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A70
  • Samsung Galaxy M30s
  • Samsung Galaxy A51
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite
  • Samsung Galaxy 31
  • Samsung Galaxy M21

April 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A50
  • Samsung Galaxy A50s
  • Samsung Galaxy A80
  • Samsung Galaxy M51
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S7

May 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A70s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6
  • Samsung Galaxy A71
  • Samsung Galaxy M31s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 Lite

June 2021:
  • Samasung Galaxy M40
  • Samsung Galaxy A31
  • Samsung Galaxy M11
  • Samsung Galaxy A21s
  • Samsung Galaxy M01
  • Samsung Galaxy M01 Core
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 (2020 model)

July 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A30
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab S5e

August 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy A10
  • Samsung Galaxy A10s
  • Samsung Galaxy A20
  • Samsung Galaxy A20s
  • Samsung Galaxy A30s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.1 (2019 model)

September 2021:
  • Samsung Galaxy M10s
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0 (2019 model)

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

Year 2020 in review: COVID-19, new consoles, rise of the mid-ranged phones, ..

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 01 Jan 2021 12:25

Year 2020 in review: COVID-19, new consoles, rise of the mid-ranged phones, .. The weird year of 2020 is finally past us and it is time to take a look at tech news, events and phenomenons that happened during this year. Obviously, the global lockdown affected the lives of millions, maybe billions, across the world. But it also caused changes to how work is done, how we entertained ourselves and more.

Remote work


Sometime in February and March, most of the world was locked down as the global pandemic was spreading like wildfire, causing fatalities that we haven't seen in decades in most parts of the world.

As of this, virtually all of those who could do their work from home, were ordered to do so. This, obviously, changed many things in the online world. First of all, it put massive strain to networks all over the world when suddenly hundreds of millions of people started doing work from home who had been working at the offices before the lockdown.

Secondly, it also introduced many of us to new software solutions and applications that helped us to do remote meetings, collaborate with our peers and more. Perfect example of such software is Zoom, a video conferencing software that very few had heard of before the pandemic, but which quickly became a synonym for online video conferences.

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AfterDawn: News

Spotify is down - globally

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 16 Dec 2020 4:06

Spotify is down - globally Spotify crashed globally about ten minutes ago. Problem is widespread and neither paying customers or those using free version can't access the streaming service.

Social media is flooded with reports about Spotify going down and quick look at the DownDetector site that monitors various web and online services confirms the problem.

Spotify down chart


Tons of tweets about the problem sparked immediately:

Read more...




AfterDawn: News

RIGHT NOW: Google is down - also YouTube, Gmail, Google Photos, etc are all down

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 14 Dec 2020 7:08

RIGHT NOW: Google is down - also YouTube, Gmail, Google Photos, etc are all down Just few minutes ago all major Google services went crashing down.

Social media is being flooded with reports from users who cannot access Google search, YouTube, Gmail or Google Photos.

You can see the situation in DownDetector and other similar sites monitoring web services' health.

Here's how YouTube looks like right now:

YouTube down


And here's how Google search looks like:

Google down


Current monitoring status for Google Drive:

Google monitoring / health status





AfterDawn: News

Brexit: Britons must give up their .eu domains by January, 2021

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 13 Dec 2020 1:53

Brexit: Britons must give up their .eu domains by January, 2021 One of the consequences that very few people probably thought about when Brexit became a reality is the change in TLD domains.

One of the oldest "new-ish" TLDs is .eu top-level domain space, launched back in 2005. As per .eu domain's rules, the domain cannot be held by anyone other than a citizen or organization located within European Union.

As Britain finally exits European Union at the end of 2020 (the exit happened on 1st of January, 2020, but there has been one-year long transition period), also all .eu domains held by British nationals or British organizations are going to be suspended. That is, unless the organization has subsidiaries within the EU to whom it can transfer the ownership of the domain before the transition period is over.

This might come as a shock to some Britons owning .eu domains, but shouldn't be one: .eu domain has always been restricted to EU nationals and organizations and as Britain ceases to be within EU, the suspension of those domains is just logical one.

.eu domain authority EURid has already started notifying UK-based .eu domain owners about the upcoming deadline. EU nationals residing in the UK owning .eu domains don't need to worry - the ownership of the domain isn't restricted to where person is living at, as long as the domain owner's nationality is within EU borders.

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AfterDawn: News

Massive Android problem: SMS has huge delays, here's how to fix

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 11 Dec 2020 7:14

Massive Android problem: SMS has huge delays, here's how to fix Many Android users have experienced extremely annoying situation recently: incoming text messages (SMS) have been delayed for very long time, sometimes even half an hour.

This has caused massive problems when trying to log in to services that require SMS verification, such as logging in to Google services, many banks, etc when 2-factor authentication is enabled.

The delayed incoming SMS problem started on 23rd of November, 2020 when Google rolled out an update to Carrier Services module of Android operating system. Module is updated through Google Play store and it handles operator-specific services, such as checking your current data quota, etc.

Luckily, the problem is easy-ish to fix.

How to fix delayed incoming SMS message problem with Android



  1. Open Google Play store.
  2. Search for Carrier Services
  3. Tap the app when it appears in the search results.li>
  4. On app's description page, choose Uninstall.


Uninstalling the app wont do any harm to your Android phone, but solves the problem. This is, obviously, a hack, until Google issues a fix to its Carrier Services app. And we don't know exactly what causes the problem in the first place.

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AfterDawn: News

Geeky Holiday: Microsoft sells its own ugly holiday sweaters

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 03 Dec 2020 2:58

Geeky Holiday: Microsoft sells its own ugly holiday sweaters The tradition of ugly holiday sweaters has grown each year and some of the biggest names in technology have joined the phenomenom.

This year, Microsoft is selling ugly holiday sweaters based on some of its most iconic products. Namely, Windows XP, Windows 95 and MS Paint all got their own sweater designs.

Both Windows-themed sweaters have been available previous years, too, but MS Paint version is new for this year.

And true to the idea, all of the sweaters are hideos - and very fitting for the holiday season.

MS Paint ugly holiday sweater 2020


Microsoft will donate $20 to Girls Who Code charity for each purchase that exceeds $50.

Windows 95 ugly holiday sweater

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AfterDawn: News

Welcome to 2020s: Cloud goes down - smart doorbells, robovacs stop working

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 26 Nov 2020 4:05

Welcome to 2020s: Cloud goes down - smart doorbells, robovacs stop working As more and more companies, websites and net-based services rely on cloud computing, the risks have also increased dramatically. Yesterday, we saw what happens when such services go crashing down.

Amazon is the dominant player in cloud computing, with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) having 45 percent market share, crushing the competition, most notably, Google and Microsoft.

Yesterday, AWS experienced major outage, that lasted for several hours. The outage was mostly isolated to AWS's one U.S. region, dubbed as us-east-1 region. Despite the limited geographical scale, the services that relied only on that AWS datacenter, were hit badly.

Some of the largest services that were deeply hit included Adobe's cloud services and Roku streaming services. Amazon's biggest clients, such as Apple and Netflix, didn't experience outages - probably because they use several different AWS datacenters and were able to re-route their traffic to other locations.

Most interesting outcomes of the outage were experienced by users who had adopted various smart, connected home appliances. For example, Roomba robotic vacuums stopped working through the iRobot Home app.

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AfterDawn: News

VPN provider wins a court fight: police can't get or use its database

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 21 Oct 2020 10:01

VPN provider wins a court fight: police can't get or use its database Finnish VPN and antivirus provider F-Secure scored a big win in courts this week. It sued Finnish law enforcement authority over a database raid that was conducted in January, 2019.

In the raid, Germany's top law enforcement agency had asked assistance from its Finnish counterpart, National Bureau of Investigation, to get its hands to F-Secure's Freedome VPN user logs. Germany's authorities wanted to get the data to get evidence for a "serious crime case" in Germany.

As per requested, Finnish NBI confiscated F-Secure's Freedome user records and list of IP addresses used by its users - all of them, not just the ones related to the German authorities criminal case.

F-Secure sued and wanted courts to rule the confiscation of its data illegal. Lower courts have previously agreed with F-Secure's argument and ruled the case in favor of F-Secure. Now, Finnish court of appeals ruled in line with the lower court, in favor of F-Secure.

According to the ruling, authorities can't have blanket access to VPN data, as F-Secure acts simply as a "messenger" for the transmitted data. If authorities would need information about specific user, they'd have to obtain a warrant from court first in order to get a (very specific) set of data, only related to the case in question.

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AfterDawn: News

Song (without words) stuck in your head? Hum it to Google!

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 16 Oct 2020 8:51

Song (without words) stuck in your head? Hum it to Google! Most of us probably know the annoying feeling when you have a melody of a song stuck in your head, but you can't remember the name of the song or the artist who played it.

Well, luckily, there's a solution to that. Google has added a support for humming to its voice search and knows when you're looking for a song name.

Basically, the AI-powered feature tries to recognize the patterns of your humming and compare those to the database of songs it has stored. And it works, pretty darn well, as we quickly tested the feature.

You can activate the feature by tapping the small microphone symbol in Google's search bar. Then, you simply start humming. After few seconds, Google suggests that you might want be looking for a song:

Option to search for a song based on humming


After moving to the specific song search, continue humming and you'll see an audio wave resembling what you hum to the microphone:

Google listening to your humming

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AfterDawn: News

Google plans to turn YouTube into a shopping site

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 15 Oct 2020 8:22

Google plans to turn YouTube into a shopping site Well over 50 percent of consumers watch YouTube product videos before making a purchase decision. And now, YouTube's owner, Google, wants to tap into this opportunity.

Google is testing a feature that would basically turn YouTube into a massive e-commerce site. Select YouTube channels have been participating with a test where channels are encouraged to tag the products they feature with their videos.

Eventually, the master plan for Google is to add "Buy now" buttons next to all unboxing and review videos. Instead of traditional outbound links, where clicking such link would take user to a selected e-commerce site, the purchase could be handled and completed fully within YouTube itself. Google is testing such feature with Canadian Shopify where transactions are handled inside YouTube, even tho the actual seller is Shopify. Google's plans were revealed by Bloomberg.

Monetization model of such plans is not quite clear yet, but probably Google plans to take a certain percent of all transactions' value. It is also unclear whether YouTube content creators get a cut or not.

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AfterDawn: News

Huawei in talks to sell its sister brand Honor

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 14 Oct 2020 7:33

Huawei in talks to sell its sister brand Honor Huawei has been pushed to corner with U.S. export restrictions, blocking the Chinese telecom giant from using Android operating system in its phones. Furthermore, United States has made it very hard for company to develop new chips for its phones, as U.S. suppliers aren't allowed to provide any technology for the company for now.

According to Reuters report, company is now "resetting its priorities" and considers selling its youth-oriented sub-brand, Honor.

While relatively unknown in United States, Honor has been extremely successful brand on its own in many Western European countries. According to Reuters' sources, the sale would include Honor brand, R&D capabilities and supply chain management business.

Possible bidders for Honor business include three Chinese companies: Digital China which is already the distributor of Honor phones, Chinese electronics company TCL and Huawei's phone rival Xiaomi.

If Honor sale goes through, Honor would be able to use Android and other U.S. technologies in its line of phones, as the entire Chinese electronics industry isn't in U.S. crosshairs, just Huawei and handful of other players.

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AfterDawn: News

Ikea stops selling regular batteries, only allows rechargeable ones

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 01 Oct 2020 3:54

Ikea stops selling regular batteries, only allows rechargeable ones Furniture giant Ikea has decided to stop selling regular, non-chargeable batteries in its stores worldwide.

The change will come into effect in October 2021 after which date, company will only sell rechargeable batteries in its stores.

"By phasing out alkaline batteries and focusing on our range of rechargeable batteries, we are taking one step on that journey, offering customers an affordable and convenient solution to prolong the life of products and materials and reduce waste."

-Ikea Sustainability Development Manager Caroline Reid


According to Ikea, by switching to rechargeable batteries, customers could help it reduce more than 5,000 tons of electrical waste, as Ikea sold about 300 million standard alkaline batteries between September 2018 and August 2019. The 5,000 figure is based on calculation where company assumes customer would charge the rechargeable battery 50 times.

Source: Ikea press release





AfterDawn: News

Facebook: We'll quit Europe, no more Instagram or Facebook for European users

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 22 Sep 2020 4:26

Facebook: We'll quit Europe, no more Instagram or Facebook for European users In a row between Facebook and European Union over data portability between Europe and United States, the stakes are getting higher.

After the European Court's ruling in August that terminated the Privacy Shield agreement between United States and European Union, U.S.-based tech giants such as Facebook haven't been allowed to transfer their European users' data to their datacenters located in United States.

The court ruling simply stated that because United States allows its intelligence agencies to snoop on data located in U.S. -based servers, data transfers from Europe can't happen anymore, as European citizens' data could be compromised.

Now, after the ruling, Irish data authority, Ireland's Data Protection Commission (DPC) decided that Facebook must comply within three weeks and stop sending its European user data to United States.

Facebook has now sued DPC, stating if the data flow between two continents is banned, it can't continue in Europe. Meaning basically that services that rely on unified user database, namely, Facebook and Instagram, would shut down in Europe.

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