AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (3 / 2011)

AfterDawn: News

Google removes PS1 emulator from Android Market

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Mar 2011 3:47

Google removes PS1 emulator from Android Market Google has kicked a PSX emulator for Android devices out of the Android Market.

Citing its Content Policy, Google pulled the PSX4Droid application from the Android Market. Developer of the application, ZodTTD, suspects that the real reason for the removal of the app is down to Sony, with the launch of the Xperia PLAY, known often as the "PlayStation Phone", imminent.

ZodTTD announced the removal of the application on Twitter, and said he was trying to determine what to do. "Sony's Xperia Play must be coming soon," ZodTTD wrote on Twitter.

"Google just suspended all my legal Sony PSX emulator app ids from Marketplace. They locked me out of their service. Fair enough, but no specific reason. The timing is suspicious with no remedy." Google has provided no specific reason for removing the app.

A similar application on the Android Market, FPse for Android, is still available to buy however. The Xperia Play is expected to go on sale in the U.S. in mid-April, featuring a 4-inch touch screen and slide-out controller. It is powered by a 1GHz ARMv7 processor and runs Google's Android 2.3 Gingerbread.




AfterDawn: News

James Cameron to push up frame rate for Avatar sequels

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Mar 2011 3:36

James Cameron to push up frame rate for Avatar sequels Director promises to push up to 48 or 60fps at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

"When you author and project a movie at 48 or 60, it becomes a different movie. The 3D shows you a window into reality; the higher frame rate takes the glass out of the window. In fact, it is just reality. It is really stunning," Cameron said.

Jon Landau, James Cemeron's production partner, said the higher frame rate will provide for a better audience experience. He said it would remove a strobing effect caused by a "3D artefact".

With the shutter closed for less time, you also get a bright image as a result. This could help with 3D movies, as glasses can reduce the amount of light that a viewer is supposed to see of an image.

Cameron was joined at CinemaCon by George Lucas and Dreamworks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, as they were "championing the digital 3D movie revolution."




AfterDawn: News

Global spam volume drops one-third following Rustock takedown

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Mar 2011 2:56

Global spam volume drops one-third following Rustock takedown Microsoft-led effort to decapitate Rustock botnet significantly reduces global spam volume.

In a detailed report from Symantec's MessageLabs, it emerges that global spam volumes dropped by one-third in the days following the action taken against the Rustock botnet. Rustock seemingly went quite on March 16, prompting security firms and spam monitors to ask questions about its lack of activity.

Rustock is/was one of the most technically sophisticated botnets known, and it still remains to be seen whether its operators can regain control over the million-strong herd again. It has been active since 2006, quite a lifetime for a botnet.

Microsoft-led action against Rustock, with help from Pfizer and FireEye, led to the seizure of 96 command and control servers mid-March. The hard drives have been handed over for forensic analysis in an attempt to identify the operators.

Following the takedown, global spam volume dropped 33.6 percent by the 17th of the month. In the days following the seizures, 33 billion spam e-mails were sent a day, compared to an average of 52 billion beforehand.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Mac OS X update fixes MacBook Air - iTunes problem

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Mar 2011 1:59

Mac OS X update fixes MacBook Air - iTunes problem Apple pushes out supplemental update for users of MacBook Air devices.

Apple customers who bought a MacBook Air last year have been complaining about problems using the iTunes software. Using iTunes with the MacBook Air was making the ultra-thin device become unresponsive for some users. It was reported to happen after the Max OS X 10.6.7 update.

The music software would crash on launch after some users of the 13-inch MacBook Air updated the operating system to the latest version.

Apple is recommending that a supplemental update aimed directly at this issue be installed by anybody who got a 13-inch MacBook Air model in late 2010, and that has been updated to Mac OS X 10.6.7.

For more information: Mac OS X v10.6.7 Supplemental Update for 13” MacBook Air (Late 2010)




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft pushes out early Windows 8 code to OEMs

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Mar 2011 1:59

Microsoft pushes out early Windows 8 code to OEMs Microsoft has reportedly started to push out early copies of Windows 8 to OEM partners, according to a report.

WinRumors reports that the Redmond-based giant is distributing build 7971.0.110324-1900, using its Connect external testing system, as the Windows 8 and Server vNext Pre-Release Program. The Milestone 3 build is now available for OEMs, such as HP, to access and test out.

Other Windows 8 details have leaked recently. One feature expected is a system reset feature that makes it much easier for an installation to revert to original OEM factory settings. Windows 8 also will reportedly go into hibernation within a few seconds.

It is expected to feature a full 3D interface that can adapt to user habits. A tile-based user interface, codenamed "Mosh", will also be available if a user should choose it.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung mass produces transparent LCD panel

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Mar 2011 1:59

Samsung mass produces transparent LCD panel Samsung has announced it began mass production of a transparent LCD panel this year.

The 22-inch panels come in black-and-white type and the color type, and feature a contrast ratio of 500:1 with a resolution of 1680x1050 (WSGA+). Samsung's transparent panel boasts a transparency rate of over 20 percent for black-and-white and 15 percent for color type.

Conventional LCD panels that use a back light unit have 5 percent transparency. The transparent LCD panel has a high transparency rate, which enables a person to look right through the panel like glass, and it consumes 90% less electricity compared with a conventional LCD panel using back light unit.

The LCD panel also incorporates HDMI and the USB interface for convenience.

Samsung's press information highlights the possibilities of using the panels in advertising and such uses, hinting that these units won't come cheap for some time.

"Transparent displays will have a wide range of use in all industry areas as an efficient tool for delivering information and communication. With the world's first mass production of the transparent LCD panel, Samsung Electronics plans to lead the global transparent LCD market by developing various applications," said Younghwan Park, a senior vice president of Samsung Electronics LCD Business.




AfterDawn: News

CEO Elop to get large bonus if Nokia Windows Phone 7 deal is success

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Mar 2011 1:08

CEO Elop to get large bonus if Nokia Windows Phone 7 deal is success According to unwired, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has a large incentive to make sure the recent Nokia/Microsoft Windows Phone 7 deal is a success.

The CEO's compensation package is now directly tied to the success of the deal, and Nokia's stock price in the next 20 months.

Says the source:

Here’s the new revised deal Mr. Elop gets, depending on how well his strategy works:

His short term cash incentive plan has been reduced to 100% from 150% of gross salary. It means that ~1.5 Million EUR yearly cash bonus Mr.Elop was entitled to if Nokia reached it’s intended targets for 2011 and 2012, is reduced by 500K Euro each year. Annual equity grants are reduced to a level below the competitive market value. Not sure what this one means, my guess is the automatic yearly share grants to Mr. Elop have been reduced. In return Mr. Elop gets an opportunity to earn a number of Nokia shares if overall Nokia share price increases.

Overall Nokia share price performance will be compared to a group of “relevant companies in the high technology/mobility, telecommunications and Internet services industries”. To get any bonus at all, Nokia’s share price performance should be “at the 50th percentile of the peer group”, for the maximum bonus – Nokia should be among the top three of the peer group. Also, the minimum Nokia share price at the end of the 2012 should be 9 EUR. For maximum bonus it should be at least EUR 17.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft files Google complaint with European Commission

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Mar 2011 11:57

Microsoft files Google complaint with European Commission Redmond gets involved in EU anti-trust case against web search giant Google.

Microsoft spent nearly a decade being probed and prodded by the European Union for anti-competitive practices, so one is entitled to raise an eyebrow at Microsoft's filing of a formal complaint with the European Commission, as part of the EC's ongoing investigation into Google's Search practices within the EU.

This is the first time that the software giant has ever taken such as step, according to Brad Smith, senior Vice President & General Counsel at Microsoft Corporation. While commending Google's attempts to "organize the world's information," Smith says that Microsoft is concerned about a broadening pattern of conduct aimed at stopping anyone else from creating a competitive alternative to Google's key businesses.

He has pointed to some recent cases in the United States involving Google. In 2008, the Department of Justice (DOJ) considered a suit against Google for attempting to tie up and set search advertising prices at Yahoo!. Google backed down following the DOJ's intervention. Then last year, the DOJ objected to what it said was Google's efforts to monopolize book content. A federal judge ruled in that case just last week.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Daily Deal: $15 eBay gift card for $7 on Groupon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Mar 2011 11:26

Daily Deal: $15 eBay gift card for $7 on Groupon As a headsup to our users that may have not seen it, Groupon is having a national deal today for eBay, selling a $15 gift card for $7.

Check the deal here: http://www.groupon.com/deals/ebay

Every few months, the daily deal sites have a massive sale on a popular item (see: Living Social + Amazon gift card) and this deal is nearing 300,000 purchases already.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung did not install keylogger on notebooks

Written by James Delahunty @ 31 Mar 2011 8:52

Samsung did not install keylogger on notebooks Contrary to reports online, the South Korean tech firm did not install spy software on some of its notebooks.

Mohamed Hassan, MSIA, CISSP, CISA and the founder of NetSec Consulting Corp, a firm that specializes in information security consulting services, said he first became aware of spy software installed on a Samsung R525, last month. He claimed he deleted the keylogging software (StarLogger) from the system immediately, using a "licensed commercial security software," that he failed to name.

"After an in-depth analysis of the laptop, my conclusion was that this software was installed by the manufacturer, Samsung," wrote Mr Hassan.

Just a couple of weeks later, after experiencing problems with the "video display driver", he returned the R525 and picked up an R540 instead at a different store. Once again, he was alerted to the same keylogging software as he was with the first notebook and again, deleted it.

"Again, after the initial set up of the laptop, I found the same StarLogger software in the c:windowsSL folder of the new laptop," Hassan claims.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Kansas City to get Google's lightning fast fiber network

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Mar 2011 12:45

Kansas City to get Google's lightning fast fiber network Google has announced today that Kansas City, Kansas will be the first city to get the search giant's fiber optic network.

Kansas City has a population of around 145,000.

The network promises speeds of 500-1000 Mbps and is easily 100 times faster than what the average American has, currently.

Google's fiber network will be completed in 2012.

The company has promised it has no plans to become an ISP so the move is likely a way to get the ball rolling on improved networks in parts of the country where Internet is slow, and competition is non-existent.




AfterDawn: News

Android finally gets in-app purchasing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Mar 2011 12:22

Android finally gets in-app purchasing Google has finally launched in-app billing, giving developers a chance to add a new revenue stream via apps.

iOS has included in-app purchases since 2009, and Apple takes 30 percent for all purchases. Google will do the same.

In-app billing will let developers sell upgrades, virtual goods and other content from within the main app.

The first apps to update with in-app billing are Disney’s Tap Tap Revenge, ComiXology’s Comics and Glu Mobile’s WSOP Hold’em Legend, says Mash.

Google announced earlier this year that in-app billing was coming but did not include a timetable.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: Angry Birds beat down Middle East leaders

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2011 11:12

Video Daily: Angry Birds beat down Middle East leaders Egor Zhgun's play on the unrest in the Middle East mashed with Angry Birds and some Disney theme music continues to rack up view on YouTube.

In the video, Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Libya's Muammar Gaddafi are the "pigs" in Rovio's blockbuster Angry Birds game, while the birds, and eventually an eagle take them out one by one.

Added on Monday, the video is now up to 400,000 views.

While Ben Ali and Mubarak are overrun by the birds instantly, Gaddafi refuses to lose until "the mighty eagle" (donning red, white and blue) swoops in.

Check the video here:




AfterDawn: News

Sina replaces Google engine with their own

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2011 10:00

Sina replaces Google engine with their own Sina, the second largest online portal in China, has announced today that they have replaced their Google-backed search engine with their new search technology.

Says Sina:

Our contract (with Google) ended this month and the whole website is now using our own search technology.


Google would not comment directly on the move, but did say:

We have had a number of syndication deals with partners in China, and have honored our contractual obligations to them. While we can't comment on specific partnerships, we announced last year that over time we would not be syndicating censored search to partners in China after fulfilling our contractual commitments.


China has 389 million Internet users, but Google has seen its market share fall to under 20 percent, while Baidu takes around 79 percent.




AfterDawn: News

Google introduces +1 button for social search

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2011 9:01

Google introduces +1 button for social search Google has introduced +1 this week, in an attempt to make search more social.

The service is similar to "Likes" in Facebook, where users can "like" pages or comments, showing their appreciation and making them more popular.

Google will have +1 buttons next to all search results and ads and whenever you +1 a link, it is shared via your Google profile.

+1 is intended to personalize search results and ads, due to friends recommending sites.

Says Google:

+1 is the digital shorthand for 'this is pretty cool.' To recommend something, all you have to do is click +1 on a webpage or ad you find useful. These +1's will then start appearing in Google's search results.


Understand better here:




AfterDawn: News

Roku goes up for sale at Best Buy, Fry's, more

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2011 8:06

Roku goes up for sale at Best Buy, Fry's, more Roku set-top boxes have finally hit the "bigtime" this week, going up for sale at brick-and-mortar stores for Best Buy, Fry's, BJ's Wholesale Club and Radio Shack.

Says Anthony Wood, founder and CEO of Roku:

Having sold over 1 million Roku players through online sales only up until now, we are incredibly excited to announce our entrance into brick and mortar retail with nationwide availability from the preeminent consumer electronics retailer. Customers can now grab a Roku off the shelf at Best Buy, take it home and be up and running, enjoying their favorite TV show, movie, music or sports team in just a matter of minutes.


The Roku XD box sells for $80 and offers 1080p support, streaming apps from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon VOD, Crackle and sports networks.

Additionally, the boxes have Pandora, MP3tunes, MOG, Rdio, Facebook and Flickr apps.




AfterDawn: News

Labels angry about Amazon's CloudDrive

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2011 7:10

Labels angry about Amazon's CloudDrive Earlier this week, Amazon launched its CloudDrive, a digital locker for users which offers 5GB free cloud storage on their servers.

Amazon is also promoting the service as a way to have users stream their music libraries on-the-go, as long as they have Internet or an Android device.

As expected, the record labels are not happy with the move, demanding that Amazon should have secured music licenses from publishers and the labels before starting the service.

Says one label, Sony Music (via LAT):

We are disappointed that the locker service that Amazon is proposing is unlicensed by Sony Music, and we hope that Amazon will resolve the situation quickly by agreeing to a license with us. We are keeping all our legal options open.


Amazon quickly responded by saying they don't need licenses because the files belong to the users, and CloudDrive is simply a way to store them.

For its part, Amazon says it will continue negotiations with labels on licensing.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo unlikely to go with 3D for next home console

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Mar 2011 5:14

Nintendo unlikely to go with 3D for next home console Despite the early success in sales of Nintendo 3DS systems, the Wii-maker says it is unlikely to go with 3D in its next home console.

It is unknown when Nintendo will offer a new home console to the industry. Nintendo of America boss Reggie Fils-Aime knows that 3D is a very unlikely feature for the console to be equipped with however.

"Glasses-free is a big deal," Fils-Aime said. "We've not said publicly what the next thing for us will be in the home console space, but based on what we've learned on 3D, likely, that won't be it."

Nintendo director and producer Hideki Konno said that Nintendo is resisting developing for 3D simply because of the glasses requirement. "I think at Nintendo, we realize that any sort of goggle-type 3-D technology was not going to work. In order to make 3D technology viable with video games, we thought we needed to have glasses-free 3D."

Nintendo launched the 3DS handheld console last week delivering a form of glasses-free 3D to gamers. It quickly became Nintendo's fastest selling portable system of all time.




AfterDawn: News

New Xbox 360 disc 'format' gives extra 1GB to game data?

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Mar 2011 5:14

New Xbox 360 disc 'format' gives extra 1GB to game data? Microsoft's new "disc format" that it is looking for beta testers to try out will provide more capacity to game data.

The disc that is being used by the Xbox 360 console will not physically change (this would likely be impossible anyway when trying to keep older consoles working with new discs.) Instead, a dashboard update will allow game developers to use more of a DVD disc's capacity to store game data.

While a dual layer DVD holds around 8GB of data, the game data partition on an Xbox 360 game disc only allows for 6.8GB of data. The rest of used for a video partition present on each disc and other data. By using a dashboard update to enable the system to read from a larger game data partition, developers will get about an extra 1GB of space.

Of course this pales in comparison to the 25GB a single layer Blu-ray disc provides for PS3 game development (or 50GB for dual layer) but it might provide some relief for developers who have questioned the use of the DVD format for the console since its details first emerged.

As games have become rapidly more complex with high resolution textures and countless high-quality audio effects and recordings, more storage capacity has been required. Some Xbox 360 games need multiple discs to store an entire game as it stands. It's unclear if 1GB extra will make that much of a difference to that problem.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google to be audited on privacy

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Mar 2011 4:52

Google to be audited on privacy Search giant is to be audited for next twenty years following Buzz privacy complaints.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has said Google "violated its own privacy promises" in how it created and ran its Buzz social network. The company has reached an agreement with the FTC to put the Buzz fiasco behind it once and for all.

"Google Buzz fell short of our usual standards," Google said in a blog post. "While we worked quickly to make improvements, regulators unsurprisingly wanted more detail about what went wrong and how we could prevent it from happening again. Today, we've reached an agreement with the FTC to address their concerns."

Google will be required to undergo a privacy review every two years for the next twenty years. GMail users cried foul not long after the launch of Buzz. One particular problem was how Buzz would list other GMail users that you were frequently in contact with.

This feature could be turned off, but was on by default and not clear that it could be turned off. This, no doubt, led to embarrassing situations such as it being publicly displayed that a user was in contact with his/her ex-partner.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Grand Theft Auto V voice actors being recruited?

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Mar 2011 4:04

Grand Theft Auto V voice actors being recruited? Yet more details in Take-Two's activity spell development of Grand Theft Auto V.

Several weeks ago it emerged that Take-Two had registered several domain names that were suspected to be used as parody websites in a new Grand Theft Auto title. The domains were CashForDeadDreams.com, SixFigureTemps.com, StopPayingYourMortgage.net, HammersteinFaust.com and LifeInvader.com.

HammersteinFaust is thought to be a parody of Goldman Sachs and LifeInvader of Facebook.

Now Rockstar Games' parent company Take-Two Interactive is holding auditions for actors to voice several video game characters. The five characters it is looking to fill positions for have a shroud of controversy around them that leans heavily toward GTA characters. They include...

  • "A liberal young male who believes in a conspiracy made by Republicans to undermine America."
  • "A young female obsessed with sex parties, always dreaming of being a Hollywood celebrity."
  • "A white creepy man who thinks that technology is a poison against the wilderness."
  • "A man-boy love activist who just got released from an Indonesian prison."
  • "A young, fast-talking boy fighting for the right of young boys to drink alcohol and have sex."

  • GTA V? What do you think?




    AfterDawn: News

    Baidu deletes 2.8 million copyrighted works from online library

    Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Mar 2011 4:04

    Baidu deletes 2.8 million copyrighted works from online library Chinese search giant Biadu has announced the deletion of over three million written works from its online library.

    The text works were uploaded by users of its Baidu Wenku, launched in 2009. Not long after its launch, 40 authors signed a letter slamming the service for including their written works, which could be viewed for free, without getting permission.

    By the end of November, the online library hosted over 10 million books according to the firm. Authors or copyright holders of the works were required to report the content if found on the service, and it would be deleted within 48 hours.

    Additionally, a disclaimer on the site put the responsibility of compensating rights' holders for the use of the written works solely on the uploader. The writers that denounced the service had argued that Baidu should be responsible for this instead.

    Negotiations were ongoing between Baidu and authors, but they broke down last week. Now the company has announced that 2.8 million written works were deleted from the service within a three day period.

    "It took us three solid days working round-the-clock. I'm told that what remains is all licenced, and that any additional uploads to that section are being carefully vetted," Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo said.




    AfterDawn: News

    FBI wants help cracking code in murder case

    Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Mar 2011 4:00

    FBI wants help cracking code in murder case Crytoanalysts have struggled for 12 years on "encrypted notes" found on murder victim.

    In June 1999, 41 year old Ricky McCormick's body was found in a field in St Louis, Missouri. On the victim were two notes in his pocket, written as some kind of code, that have so far defeated the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and others who have tried to crack them.

    McCormick's family said that this was common for him, as he used to write coded notes since he was a boy and never revealed the secret to decipher them. The FBI believes the contents of the notes might have information about his whereabouts and activities in the days leading up to his murder, and are appealing to the public for help.

    It is looking for "left-field" ideas on how McCormick may have encrypted the note that they never thought of, or samples of other notes written using unconventional methods. "We are really good at what we do," said Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit (CRRU) chief Dan Olson, "but we could use some help with this one."

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    UK Gov-backed start-up website directs users to malware

    Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Mar 2011 2:45

    UK Gov-backed start-up website directs users to malware UK Government-backed website pushed by Prime Minister David Cameron found to link users to malware.

    StartUp Britain was found to be linking to a page that served fake anti-virus scareware garbage to users. The website, designed to champions the UK's start-up businesses, only launched on Monday. The operators of the website removed the link when they were informed.

    "There were some issues with a link on the website at the launch. This issue has been addressed and any links that were not operating as intended have been amended or removed," StartUp Britain told the BBC News website in a statement.

    The website featured a link to an article about billionaire Warren Buffet. The page then took users to a fake banking website, which attempted to peddle the malware.

    "It went to a third-party site, bankling.com, where users were redirected to a fake anti-virus page given a prompt saying their computer was infected and encouraging them to download a fix," Paul Baccas, a senior threat researcher at Sophos, said.




    AfterDawn: News

    Intel Ivy Bridge chips feature PCI Express 3.0

    Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Mar 2011 2:45

    Intel Ivy Bridge chips feature PCI Express 3.0 Leaked Intel roadmap confirms rumors of PCI Express 3.0 support in Ivy Bridge processors.

    The integrated PCI Express controller features sixteen PCIe 3 lanes (can be routed to 1 x16 slot, or 2 x 8 slots) and four PCIe 2 lanes. The third-generation PCI Express controller raises the available bandwidth for each lane to 1GB/s from 500MB/s.

    Ivy Bridge will be Intel's first processors built on 22nm technology (die shrink of Sandy Bridge architecture.) They feature several improvements over Sandy Bridge, including the PCI Express Gen 3 lanes and also a new DirectX-compatible GPU that can drive three monitors.

    Coupled with the upcoming Panther Point chipset, an Ivy Bridge based system would also support USB 3.0 natively (four USB 3.0 ports, 10 USB 2.0) using a dedicated XHCI controller providing each port full 5Gbps bandwidth. Panther Point will also provide for two SATA 6Gbps ports and four SATA 3Gbps ports.

    No time frame has been given for the release of Ivy Bridge processors in the roadmap.




    AfterDawn: News

    Nintendo 3DS has best launch for company handheld, ever

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Mar 2011 1:57

    Nintendo 3DS has best launch for company handheld, ever Nintendo has said today that the 3DS handheld has sold extremely well since launch Sunday in the United States.

    The company says launch day sales were "the highest of any Nintendo hand-held system in our history."

    Although they did not reveal specific numbers, they confirmed that numbers would be available on April 14th, when NPD shows off the figures.

    Continues the statement:

    Nintendo worked hard to get as much product as possible to retailers on day one to meet demand, and we will continue with these efforts moving forward.


    Giant retailer GameStop also said they were very "pleased" with the sales of the handheld.




    AfterDawn: News

    Microsoft to beta test new Xbox 360 disc format

    Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Mar 2011 5:37

    Microsoft to beta test new Xbox 360 disc format Microsoft is seeking volunteers for a beta of a new Xbox 360 disc format.

    "We are conducting an open call for US based participants for a public preview to help us prepare for an updated Xbox 360 disc format," Major Nelson (Larry Hryb) announced today.

    The Xbox 360 currently uses the DVD format for its video game titles. Sony opted for Blu-ray for the PS3, which can hold vastly more content than a standard DVD. Some Xbox 360 games comes on multiple discs due to a capacity limit of about 8.5GB on a standard dual-layer DVD.

    "This is an important update as we continually strive to improve our products and we could not do so without the help of our great Xbox community," Hryb wrote. "As part of the preview program, you will receive a copy of Halo: Reach along with other possible rewards."

    Of course, the announcement is very light on details so its unclear exactly what Microsoft is looking to introduce at this time. The company is seeking thousands of participants, and will give priority to Xbox Live Gold members (though Silver members can apply too.)

    If you are interested, check this link.




    AfterDawn: News

    News Corp talking with Vevo on possible MySpace deal

    Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Mar 2011 5:37

    News Corp talking with Vevo on possible MySpace deal News Corporation is reportedly in talks with Vevo.com over a possible deal involving MySpace.

    News Corp reportedly approached Vevo.com with an offer to buy MySpace outright just weeks ago, but Vevo was not interested. Now, Reuters cites sources in reporting that News Corp is discussing exchanging MySpace for a stake in a new venture.

    Possibly the most valueable asset of MySpace is MySpace Music, a collaboration with Universal, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Music. Vevo is a joint venture owned by Abu Dhabi Media Co., Universal and Sony Music.

    Reuters source indicates that the chances of something coming out of these talks for News Corp. is "very slim." MySpace has been bleeding users at an accelerating rate, and an attempt to relaunch it as a social entertainment hub seems to have mostly failed in its goals.

    Web analyst comScore reported last week that MySpace lost about 10 million users in a single month. Specifically, it reports 63 million users of MySpace in February this year, down from 73 million just a month before.




    AfterDawn: News

    Hackers target Australian Prime Minister?

    Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Mar 2011 5:37

    Hackers target Australian Prime Minister? According to reports, hackers have targeted Australia PM Julia Gillard and at least two senior ministers.

    According to Sydney's Daily Telegraph, the Australian government was alerted to a security breach by U.S. intelligence that involved the parliamentary computer of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The report claimeds that thousands of e-mails may have been accessed from computers of up to 10 ministers.

    Among the computers allegedly breached were those belonging to Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Stephen Smith.

    The newspaper report citing four unnamed government sources as saying Chinese intelligence agencies were among the list of suspects. It is thought that the hack is limited to Australia's lucrative mining industry.

    The Australian government would neither confirm or deny the details in the report, with Attorney-General Robert McClelland just stressing that Australian authorities are constantly strengthening security measures.




    AfterDawn: News

    Kingston releases SSDNow V100 firmware update to fix data loss bug

    Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Mar 2011 5:37

    Kingston releases SSDNow V100 firmware update to fix data loss bug Kingston has announced a new firmware updaye for SSDNow v100 SSDs due to a bug that could lead to data loss.

    The company released a statement to the media today, which reads...

    "We have learned that a small percentage of our SSDNow V100 sold in the past has experienced a technical issue on the firmware. Kingston strongly recommends that a firmware update be applied to all SSDNow V100 drives to prevent possible data loss.

    The firmware update to fix the technical issue is available via Kingston Technical Support. As with any firmware update, we recommend that you back up your data prior to applying the firmware revision.

    Customer satisfaction and producing high quality products is the key to Kingston's success, so we want to make every effort to ensure that our customers are aware of this firmware revision and have the opportunity to patch their V100 drive(s).

    The firmware update can be downloaded from our dedicated support page: www.kingston.com/support/ssdnow/v100_firmware.asp

    Customers can also contact our customer service hotline at 888.484.9125 for more information.

    Affected Part Numbers are:

    SV100S2/64GZ, SV100S2D/64GZ, SV100S2N/64GZ
    SV100S2/128GZ, SV100S2D/128GZ, SV100S2N/128GZ
    SV100S2/256GZ, SV100S2N/256GZ, SV100S2N/256GZ

    It is important to note that none of Kingston's other SSDNow products -- with part numbers beginning with SNE, SNM, SS, SNV, SNVP and SVP -- are affected by this potential issue."




    AfterDawn: News

    Nokia files new ITC complaint against Apple

    Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Mar 2011 5:03

    Nokia files new ITC complaint against Apple Nokia has responded to a setback last Friday in its patent infringement pursuit of Apple by filing a new complaint with the institution.

    Once again, the Finnish handset maker accuses Apple of infringing several of its patents with technology used in iPhones, iPads and other Apple products. The new filing relates to seven patents covering multi-tasking operating systems, data synchronization, positioning, call quality and Bluetooth.

    "Our latest ITC filing means we now have 46 Nokia patents in suit against Apple, many filed more than 10 years before Apple made its first iPhone," Paul Melin, Nokia's vice president, intellectual property, said in a statement.

    Last Friday, an ITC judge found that Apple did not infringe five patents held by Nokia. Unsurprising, Nokia has said it does not agree with the ITC's determination and is waiting the full details of the ruling before it decides how to move forward.

    "There is a significant degree of frustration shining through Nokia's announcement ... but more than anything else, Nokia is sending out a strong and unambiguous message that at the end of this epic battle Apple is going to have to send royalty checks to Finland," said Florian Mueller, independent specialist and blogger on patent battles.




    AfterDawn: News

    Site agrees to pay $950,000 for pirate Beatles music sales

    Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Mar 2011 5:03

    Site agrees to pay $950,000 for pirate Beatles music sales Santa Cruz-based Media Rights Technologies has agreed to pay the Beatle's EMI Group label $950,000 to settle a copyright infringement lawsuit.

    Using its BlueBeat.com website, the company sold music tracks containing Beatles content for 25 cents each, before they were ever available on iTunes. The site also sold tracks from Radiohead, Coldplay and many other acts without acquiring a license to do so.

    Media Rights had originally denied copyright infringement, saying it wasn't offering the original tracks but instead had re-recorded the music and inserted some new artistic effects based on a technique dubbed "psycho-acoustic simulation."

    U.S. District Judge Josephine Staton Tucker dismissed the argument. She described it as "obscure and undefined pseudo-scientific language (that) appears to be a long-winded way of describing 'sampling.'" Beatles' tracks first appeared on the iTunes service in November after lengthy negotiations.




    AfterDawn: News

    Intel announces 25nm SSD 320 series

    Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Mar 2011 5:02

    Intel announces 25nm SSD 320 series Intel Corporation today announced its third generation Solid-State Drive 320 Series.

    The SSDs are based on 25-nanometer NAND flash memory, replacing and building on the high-performance Intel X25-M SATA SSD. "Intel designed new quality and reliability features into our SSDs to take advantage of the latest 25nm silicon, so we could deliver cost advantages to our customers," said Pete Hazen, director of marketing for the Intel Non-Volatile Memory (NVM) Solutions Group.

    "Intel's third generation of SSDs adds enhanced data security features, power-loss management and innovative data redundancy features to once again advance SSD technology. Whether it's a consumer or corporate IT looking to upgrade from a hard disk drive, or an enterprise seeking to deploy SSDs in their data centers, the new Intel SSD 320 Series will continue to build on our reputation of high quality and dependability over the life of the SSD."

    The Intel SSD 320 Series comes in 40GB, 80GB, 120GB, 160GB and new higher capacity 300GB and 600GB versions, and uses the SATA II interface (3Gbps). The SSD Series produces up to 39,500 input/output operations per second (IOPS) random reads and 23,000 IOPS random writes on its highest-capacity drives.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Google reportedly working on mobile payments system

    Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Mar 2011 5:02

    Google reportedly working on mobile payments system The Wall Street Journal has reported that Google is working on a mobile payments system for Android users.

    Consumers would be able to use their smartphones to pay for transactions at retail stores, simply by holding their Android-powered device near a reader at a checkout. The web giant has reportedly teamed with Citigroup and Mastercard on the project.

    Paying for products and services using mobile phones is not nearly a new concept, as it has been rolled out in some areas across Europe. Nokia has been pushing for the technology to emerge worldwide, using Near-Field Communication (NFC).

    According the WSJ report, Citigroup customers with credit or debit cards will soon be able to download an Android app that works with one model currently on the market (and several coming soon), enabling them to use their phones to make transactions.




    AfterDawn: News

    IDC predicts Windows Phone 7 will overtake iOS, Blackberry by 2015

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2011 3:13

    IDC predicts Windows Phone 7 will overtake iOS, Blackberry by 2015 IDC has released their Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker numbers this week, and the firm expects the smartphone market to grow 49.2 percent in 2011.

    Smartphone shipments will top 450 million this year, up from 303 million in 2010, says the tracker.

    Says Kevin Restivo, IDC senior research analyst:

    Overall market growth in 2010 was exceptional. Last year's high market growth was due in part to pent-up demand from a challenging 2009, when many buyers held off on mobile phone purchases. The expected market growth for 2011, while still notable, will taper off somewhat from what we saw in 2010.


    The most notable prediction is that Windows Phone 7 will overtake iOS and BlackBerry by 2015, while Android remains the clear leader.

    IDC says Android will move to 45.4 percent share by 2015, followed by WP7 at 20.9 percent. iOS has peaked, says IDC, and will remain at 15.3 percent in 4 years. BlackBerry will lose share, but remain relevant at 13.7 percent. Symbian will lose all of its current 21 percent share, following Nokia's move to WP7.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Acer adjusts PC sales forecast due to strong competition from tablets

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2011 12:42

    Acer adjusts PC sales forecast due to strong competition from tablets Acer, one of the top PC companies in the world, has lowered its forecasted PC sales for the Q1, revising an expected 3 percent year-over-year growth to a 10 percent loss.

    Furthermore, Acer's net operating profit margin will fall to 1.95 percent, from just under 3 percent.

    Analysts following the company claim the reduced outlook is thanks to strong media tablet sales from Apple, Samsung and Motorola.

    Acer continued the bad news for investors by saying it did not think it would see PC sales growth in the Q2 either, despite expectations that notebook sales will increase 10 percent quarter-over-quarter.

    Last week, Asustek made a similar announcement, showing off just how powerful tablets are becoming in the industry.




    AfterDawn: News

    Imax signs new deal with Russia's Cinema Park

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2011 11:43

    Imax signs new deal with Russia's Cinema Park Imax has announced they have sold eight theaters to Russian exhibitor Cinema Park.

    In July 2010, the company sold 10 theaters to the Russian company.

    Cinema Park will build the Imax theatres in multiplexes in Kaliningrad, Ulyanovsk, Omsk, Krasnoyarsk, Tula, Penza, Stavropol and Irkutsk starting in 2012.

    When completed, Imax will have 46 screens in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (including previous deals that may be completed by 2014).

    Imax will collect royalties on the Russian theaters, unlike its massive 75-theater deal with China's Wanda Cinemas, which is a revenue-sharing agreement.




    AfterDawn: News

    And so it begins: Netflix forced to cut down data usage for Canadian subscribers

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2011 10:53

    And so it begins: Netflix forced to cut down data usage for Canadian subscribers Netflix has confirmed today that the company has been forced to cut bandwidth to Canadian subscribers by over 65 percent, due to data caps imposed by Canadian ISPs like Bell and Rogers.

    Says the streaming and rental company:

    We made these changes because many Canadian Internet service providers (ISPs) unfortunately enforce monthly caps on the total amount of data consumed.


    Netflix opened for business in Canada in September 2010, offering unlimited streaming for $8 per month.

    Because of the cut back, Netflix says that users stream, on average, 30 hours worth of programming per month, but only use 9GB of data, enough to keep most users under their draconian caps. The company says before the throttling, some Canadians were using 70GB per month watching the same amount of programming in 720p.

    Concludes the company:

    While there is some lessening of picture quality with these new settings, the experience continues to be great.




    AfterDawn: News

    Amazon launches CloudDrive, offers 5GB free

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2011 2:32

    Amazon launches CloudDrive, offers 5GB free Amazon has launched their anticipated CloudDrive today, offering anyone with an Amazon account 5GB of free cloud storage.

    You can access your account here: Amazon CloudDrive

    Says Amazon:

    Amazon Cloud Drive is your hard drive in the cloud. Store your music, videos, photos, and documents on Amazon's secure servers. All you need is a web browser to upload, download, and access your files from any computer.

    Your Cloud Drive comes with 5 GB of free storage—enough space to store up to 1000 songs. This space is yours to use as you like and you will never be charged for it.

    Use your Amazon Cloud Drive as the go-to location for all your important files. At work, at home, during your commute or while on vacation—you'll always have access to everything you've uploaded to your Cloud Drive through your Amazon account.


    If you need more space, Amazon offers a number of paid options, from 20GB up to 1TB. For each option, each GB is $1, meaning the 1TB option costs $1000 per year.





    AfterDawn: News

    Oxford Dictionary adds 'LOL,' 'BFF,' other slang

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Mar 2011 2:21

    Oxford Dictionary adds 'LOL,' 'BFF,' other slang The Oxford English Dictionary has added a number of popular Internet slang terms to its pages this week.

    LOL, BFF, IMHO, and OMG (that's laugh out loud, best friends forever, in my humble opinion and oh my God) are now included in the Dictionary, legitimizing the terms used by millions in texts, emails and instant messages.

    Additionally, the Dictionary added its first ever symbol, <3, which represents a heart or love.

    The terms were among 900 words added to the OED during a quarterly update.

    Says Graeme Diamond, OED's principal editor for new words (via MM):

    Things people think are new words normally have a longer history. The OED is quite cautious about which words make the cut.


    Among other terms that were added are "muffin top" and "WAG." "Muffin top" is the slang for a fat stomach which hangs over the side of the waist of pants, and "wag" is a tabloid term for the wives and girlfriends of famous athletes.




    AfterDawn: News

    Skype hits new milestone

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2011 8:18

    Skype hits new milestone Skype has announced today that 30 million users were online today concurrently, a new record for the service.

    Says the company:

    A few hours ago, Skype passed a new milestone. There were 30 million people, online on Skype, at the same time.

    As we cut the (blue) cake at Skype HQ, it’s a good opportunity to remind you that if there’s someone in your life who doesn’t use Skype, there’s never been a better time to tell them about all the wonderful things you can do – video calling on computers, mobiles and TVs, great value calls to phones, instant messaging, sending files and more.


    The milestone is good news for the service, which saw its second-longest outage, ever, in December with most of its users being unable to access the service for just over 24 hours.

    Skype ended up crediting every paying user $1 for the down time.




    AfterDawn: News

    Google chooses LG for Nexus tablet?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2011 7:29

    Google chooses LG for Nexus tablet? Google may be looking to LG to create a Nexus tablet, says Crunchgear, following their Nexus One and Nexus S flagship 'superphones.'

    Although unconfirmed, a Nexus tablet would be logical, given the popularity amongst developers for the Nexus One and Nexus S.

    Nexus devices each offer fully 'vanilla' experiences, meaning no third-party software from manufacturers or carriers, like UI overlays.

    If true, the LG Nexus would run on Android 3.0 (or possibly an update like 3.1) and be free of all software issues that 3.0 users have been experiencing with the Motorola Xoom.

    By choosing LG, VB speculates that Google is "helping the company to deliver better Android products in the future."




    AfterDawn: News

    New York Times paywall now live

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2011 6:42

    New York Times paywall now live As of 2pm today, the New York Times paywall is now live, meaning you will need to subscribe to the newspaper to have unlimited access to articles online.

    All readers get access to 20 stories per month for free, and some free articles via the Time's mobile app. $15 gets you unlimited access to the site and the phone app. $20 gets you online access and unlimited use of the iPad app. $35 per month gets you unlimited access to everything the Times offers.

    If you are a print subscriber, you have unlimited access to everything, as well.

    There are many ways around the paywall, including clicking through to the content via Twitter and Facebook. One coder even created an add-on called NYTClean which breaks through the paywall with just 4 lines of code.

    Acknowledging their are many loopholes, the company still believes users will pay for access: "We believe that enough people will pay, but we will not cut ourselves off from the rest."




    AfterDawn: News

    Report: No iPhone 5 coming in June

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2011 6:17

    Report: No iPhone 5 coming in June According to well-connected Apple blogger Jim Dalrymple, the company will not release a new iPhone at this year's June's Worldwide Developers Conference.

    Instead, the event will be fully for new software updates and launches and not hardware.

    Says Apple's release about the event:

    At this year’s conference we are going to unveil the future of iOS and Mac OS. If you are an iOS or Mac OS X software developer, this is the event that you do not want to miss.


    That press release implies that Apple will give more details about OS X Lion (10.7) and iOS 5.

    Because of February's CDMA iPhone 4 launch, the iPhone 5 launch will likely be pushed back until the fall, possibly September.




    AfterDawn: News

    Nintendo 3DS getting 'Black Screen of Death'?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2011 5:59

    Nintendo 3DS getting 'Black Screen of Death'? The Nintendo 3DS launched this weekend in Europe and North America but there have already been numerous reports of a "Black Screen of Death," an strange error in the handheld.

    If you receive the error, you are prompted to call Nintendo for support.

    Reads the full error (via Soft):

    An error has occurred. Hold down the Power button to turn off power, then turn it on and try again. If the problem persists, please contact your local customer support center.


    The worst part of the error is it is still unclear what triggers it, and it appears that the error screen is frequent for some users.

    Nintendo did respond, but it was not very revealing:

    Our recommendations are that if anyone is experiencing any problems with their Nintendo 3DS console, we recommend that in the first instance they download and install the latest system update, now available online. If the problems still persist we recommend they contact their local Nintendo Customer Service centre to investigate the problem.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    AfterDawn Forums - 10 years

    Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 28 Mar 2011 2:52

    AfterDawn Forums - 10 years Today we celebrate our discussion forums' 10th birthday.

    It was exactly ten years ago today when the first public post was made to our forums. Since that post, more than 3.6 million messages have been posted to our forums -- and an additional 1.4 million posts to our Finnish language forums.

    To celebrate the moment, here's our "Top 10 all-time" forum poster chart (excluding moderators and admins):

    1. sammorris
    2. sc0user
    3. larrylje
    4. steimy
    5. sly_61019
    6. attar
    7. arniebear
    8. Rotary
    9. gwendolin
    10. NoLimit04

    I'd like to thank all of our users, no matter what your post count or forum "title" is, for keeping our forums alive and kicking for more than a decade. Thank you!

    -Petteri Pyyny, webmaster
    AfterDawn.com


    P.S. We're running small "clearance of our storage room" project and as a result of that, we'll send out AfterDawn branded stuff, like towels, to a randomly picked forum poster every day during the next 14 days.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Firefox sets record for most single-day software downloads

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2011 1:33

    Firefox sets record for most single-day software downloads In its first 24 hours, Firefox 4 was downloaded 7.1 million times, followed by a second day boost of 8.75 million, blowing away the previous Guinness World Record record for single-day software downloads.

    The previous record was held by Firefox 3.0, which saw 8.1 million downloads in one-day in 2008.

    After a year of development, 12 betas and two RCs, Firefox 4 launched to much fanfare last week.

    The new record will be unofficial because there were no Guinness representatives on-site this time around to independently audit the number.

    Mozilla also crushed Internet Explorer 9's download numbers, with Microsoft reporting 2.3 million downloads for the first 24 hours. That number may be deceiving, however, as many Internet Explorer users are in corporate environments where updates are controlled by the IT team and are normally rolled out slowly. An overwhelming majority of Firefox downloaders are personal and "power" users, not corporate, says CW.




    AfterDawn: News

    Warner Bros. adds five more movies to Facebook offering

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2011 1:17

    Warner Bros. adds five more movies to Facebook offering Earlier in the month, Warner Bros. announced it would begin renting digital copies of films via Facebook, starting with the blockbuster hit "The Dark Knight."

    Today, the studio has added that it will add five more films to the offering, including two "Harry Potter" movies.

    As of tonight, The Dark Knight, Yogi Bear, Life As We Know It, Inception, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets will be available.

    Says Warner Bros. president of Digital Distribution Thomas Gewecke (via THR):

    We're pleased to expand our test with a variety of titles that will appeal to a broad audience. These titles have substantial followings on Facebook. The fan pages for 'Harry Potter' and 'Inception' alone are two of the most popular and active communities on the site.


    The rentals cost $3 and users will be able to watch it for 48 hours from within their FB account.




    AfterDawn: News

    Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi now available

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2011 1:03

    Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi now available Motorola Mobility has launched the Wi-Fi-only model of the Xoom tablet this weekend, for $599, giving a users with no need for 3G/4G a chance to get the device for cheaper.

    The device is available at stores like Best Buy and Staples, and online via Amazon and other e-tailers.

    Unlike its more expensive 3G counterpart, the Xoom Wi-Fi will not require a data contract.

    The powerful tablet has 10.1-inch display, 1280x800 resolution, a Nvidia Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 32GB onboard memory (expendable via SD), a 5MP dual-LED flash standard camera and a 2MP front-side camera for video conferencing.

    Although unconfirmed, rumor has it that Sam's Club will sell the model at a highly discounted $539 price point.




    AfterDawn: News

    Firefox for Android RC now available

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2011 12:53

    Firefox for Android RC now available Mozilla has launched a Firefox for Android (and Maemo) release candidate (RC) this weekend, available in 10 languages.

    The browser is available through the Android Market, or for manual install.

    In the release, the app adds better support for Firefox Sync, faster scrolling, bug fixes and an overall improved experience.

    Because it is Firefox 4, the browser adds Firefox Sync, Awesome Screen, tabbed browsing and Firefox Add-ons.

    Video of the updates:




    AfterDawn: News

    HTC Thunderbolt getting Gingerbread in Q2

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2011 12:21

    HTC Thunderbolt getting Gingerbread in Q2 DroidLife has reported this weekend that the HTC Thunderbolt will be getting the Android 2.3 Gingerbread update in the Q2.

    The Q2 begins April 1st and ends at the conclusion of June.

    Thanks to an email sent to a customer, DroidLife says the confirmation is in this message:

    Dear John,

    Congratulations on obtainng the HTC Thunderbolt. We understand how important it is that your device meets your needs.

    John, Bluetooth manufacturers make their devices to be compatible with our phones. We do not make our phones to be compatible with the thousands of Bluetooth devices in the market. Bluetooth manufacturers conduct the testing to see if complete compatability is achievable. It is the software in the Bluetooth devices which dictates whether they work or not. Our software in the phones, ensures that the phone can pair and turn on the Bluetooth. Anything else, goes to the Bluetooth manufacturer for troubleshooting. You would need to speak with the car manufacturer to ensure that full compatibilty is achievable. The Thunderbolt does have a text to speech feature.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Google, Microsoft lead BrandDirectory 'most valuable' list

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Mar 2011 12:10

    Google, Microsoft lead BrandDirectory 'most valuable' list Google and Microsoft lead the BrandDirectory 2011 list of most valuable brands in the world, with a few other tech companies taking in place in the top 10, as well.

    IBM took 4th, Vodafone took 5th, Apple took 8th and AT&T rose to 10th.

    Wal-Mart was last year's winner but fell to 3rd in 2011.

    BrandDirectory uses financial and business criteria to determine each company's rank, and there overall "brand value."

    Google's brand was determined as being worth $44.2 billion, up a whopping 23 percent from 2010. The company was the only one to receive a AAA+ brand rating, thanks to its ventures that aren't commercial, but have positive effects on the brand and the world. One such example is Google's profit-less move to help those in Egypt with no Internet connection to send texts using Google Voice. Another was the service created to help in the rescue efforts in Japan following this month's earthquake and tsunami.

    Read the full list here: BrandDirectory Top 500




    AfterDawn: News

    Amazon racing to start cloud service for media

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2011 11:50

    Amazon racing to start cloud service for media Amazon may be on the verge of creating a "digital locker," giving users a chance to store their existing movie and music libraries in the cloud.

    Even if the content was not purchased from Amazon, the deal would allow the film, books, and music to be stored on company servers.

    The giant e-tailer has not yet been granted all the necessary licenses but is actively negotiating and may even announce the service before it has obtained them.

    Amazon is in a race for the cloud service, as Apple and Google are rumored to be actively creating similar platforms.

    A cloud service for media seems to be the ideal situation for the future, as consumers will never be without their content, as long as they have an Internet connection.




    AfterDawn: News

    UK ISPs urged to block file sharing websites

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 9:16

    UK ISPs urged to block file sharing websites Media companies urge UK Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to voluntarily block access to piracy websites.

    They are being urged to block access to sites like the Pirate Bay and Newzbin2, as an alternative to media companies targeting end users for copyright infringement. In total, rights holders already have a list of about 100 top priority sites it would like to see blocked by UK ISPs.

    In the voluntary system, content owners would have to pass evidence to the ISPs that a certain website is used primarily to aid copyright infringement. ISPs would then take action against the site. However, there are some concerns that are holding ISPs back from committing to any such system.

    Firstly, they believe an impartial judge should decide whether a website is aiding illegal activity and should be blocked. Secondly, who would be liable for legal ramifications if a website were incorrectly flagged and blocked off from UK users?

    The communications minister, Ed Vaizey, is attempting to push through such a voluntary system as the anti-piracy measures in the Digital Economy Act are fiercely opposed by providers. BT and TalkTalk have reportedly spent more than £1 million in legal fees challenging the act, and it faces a delay of at least 12 months. Both providers have 8.4 million customers in the UK between them.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Vid.ly to simplify online video

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 9:16

    Vid.ly to simplify online video Encoding.com moves Vid.ly project from private to public beta.

    Vid.ly is intended to be a program-universal video URL service for all content creators. The idea is the Vid.ly domain only hosts videos that are guaranteed to play back on all mobile phones and with all web browsers. For content publishers, there is chaos in the video ecosystem with the growing number of devices and lack of standardization across platforms.

    With Vid.ly, all videos are pre-transcoded to all popular web and mobile formats, so that when an end user requests a video, Vid.ly detects his device and serves the correct and optimized video. Publishers can embed the HTML5 code provided by Vid.ly directly into their web pages or Flash players, or can share the provided short URL via SMS, Facebook, Twitter or other social media outlets.

    "We've seen a tremendous response to the Vid.ly private beta. It's clear that Vid.ly elegantly solves a complex problem for video content producers," said Jeff Malkin, President of Encoding.com.

    "We have incorporated suggestions and feedback from our private beta participants and have fine-tuned the service. Now, using the cloud-based scalability of Vid.ly's 'engine,' Encoding.com, we are able to easily expand the service for an open beta and will soon announce the commercial release of Vid.ly Pro."




    AfterDawn: News

    Ofsted: UK Design and Tech classes 'out of date'

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 9:16

    Ofsted: UK Design and Tech classes 'out of date' A report by Ofsted in the UK has said that some of Britains design and technology classes are lagging behind.

    It said that too many teachers in England are failing to keep pace with rapid technology innovation around the world. Teachers are making too little use of modern technology in their classes according to the report, which was constructed from inspections of 89 primaries, 89 secondaries (high school) and two special needs schools.

    The report wasn't all that bad, marking D&T success in 60 percent of primary schools and 50 percent of secondary schools as good or outstanding. In the best environments, the teaching was challenging with interesting tasks that are relevant for the pupils. In such cases, the students could benefit from up-to-date information and communication technology.

    Unfortunately, in a quarter of primary schools and the other half of secondary schools, there wasn't enough opportunities for the students to develop knowledge of electronics, computer aided design and other high-priority areas. That being said, no school was found to have an "unsatisfactory" level of its teaching in the curriculum.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Motorola Mobility working on Web-based OS?

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 9:16

    Motorola Mobility working on Web-based OS? Reports suggest that Motorola Mobility is working on a web-based operating system for mobile devices.

    A report by InformationWeek cites a source close to the company in claiming that Motorola Mobility has amassed experienced mobile and web engineers to work on a new web-based operating system platform. The company could use it as an alternative to Google's Android operating system in its products.

    Motorola has hired ex-employees from Apple and Adobe. Gilles Drieu, VP of software engineering at Motorola Mobility, formerly of Apple, joined Motorola five months after leaving Apple. He has worked with WhatWG and W3C, and is reportedly a good candidate for heading up the OS project.

    Motorola Mobility has not denied that it is working on an operating system, but did reaffirm its support for Android. "Motorola Mobility is committed to Android as an operating system," a company spokesperson told InformationWeek.

    "Google is shooting itself in the foot," the source said, citing concerns about Android fragmentation and product differentiation.




    AfterDawn: News

    Baidu testing web browser

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 8:15

    Baidu testing web browser China's search heavyweight is said to be testing a new web browser internally.

    Baidu has confirmed that it is testing a web browser internally, designed for use with desktop PCs. Spokesman Kaiser Kuo said that the browser "dovetails" with Baidu's "box-computing" technology. Baidu emoployees are currently testing the new software.

    This could put Baidu in direct competition with Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google's Chrome browser.

    Baidu shares rose to their highest level on the Nasdaq on Friday since trading began back in 2005. In the past year, the stock has surged 40 percent. Google's scale back of operations in China in a dispute over a cyber attack on its services has helped Baidu to continue capturing search share from the U.S. company.

    There has also been talk about Baidu being involved in the development of a mobile operating system that would directly compete with Android and iOS. The company has been asked about such rumors, and neither confirmed or denied them.




    AfterDawn: News

    Intel continued CPU market domination in 2010

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 8:15

    Intel continued CPU market domination in 2010 IHS iSuppli shows how Intel kept itself right on top of the processor market in 2010, much to the pain of rival AMD.

    Both companies are the top two manufacturers of microprocessors in the world, but the gap between their market share is sobering for anyone looking to take on Intel. Intel claimed 81 percent of sales during 2010, representing a small increase of 0.4 percent over 2009.

    AMD on the other hand claimed 11.4 percent of the market, a decline of 0.9 percent over the previous year. Focusing on just the fourth quarter, there was a 12.2 percent drop for AMD in Q4 2010 compared to the same time period a year earlier.

    The overall revenue in the market for microprocessors jumped 25 percent in 2010, weighing in at about $40 billion.

    It will be interesting to see how the market changes over the coming years as analysts expect millions of tablet devices (and other portable technology) to ship. iSuppli expects that by 2015, 240 million such units will ship. The tablet market reached 17.4 million in 2010, mostly driven by Apple.




    AfterDawn: News

    Spotify gets first live gig broadcast

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 8:15

    Spotify gets first live gig broadcast Popular digital music service Spotify will soon broadcast its first live gig for its users.

    The first ever live gig broadcast by Spotify will be from Koko in London, featuring a headline DJ set by Elly Jackson from La Roux, with other acts including Pony Pony Run Run, The Naked and Famous and Delphic. The event is part of the Nissan Juke "Behind the Hit" campaign.

    The show is set for April 5 at Camden's Koko. "Giving our users access to great live music in their own home is the next step in the Spotify experience," said Jonathan Foster, General Manager, Europe, Spotify.

    The DJ set will include a track "Helly" by Ben Daniels, a winner of Nissan Juke's Behind the Hit competition.

    "The aim of the 'Behind the Hit' competition was to find an uplifting song that sets the mood when you're driving for a night out. We feel we've done that with Helly and look forward to the first public hearing at Koko and through Spotify," said Andy Jackson, online marketing manager for Nissan GB.




    AfterDawn: News

    P2P piracy drops significantly following LimeWire shut down

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 8:15

    P2P piracy drops significantly following LimeWire shut down The NPD Group reported earlier this week that P2P piracy in the United States declined significantly in 2010.

    The market research firm said that the rate of users sharing pirated content on P2P networks dropped to 9 percent during 2010, down from 16 percent reported in 2007. This is a dramatic reversal in the trend of increasing Internet piracy over the last few years.

    NPD argues that online piracy is not a fundamental problem for the media industries, because the rates are so low. That opinion clashes violently with the declaration in the IFPI's Digital Media 2010 report that the industry will struggle for its very survival unless piracy is dealt with. However, it mirrors a tone from Warner Music which estimated in a presentation to the FCC that only 13 percent of American's piracy music.

    The record label said the actions are harmful, but admitted that pirates do spend money on content too and tend to "drive discovery for others."

    The decline in P2P use is strongly linked to the shut down of LimeWire in late 2010. "Limewire was so popular for music file trading, and for so long, that its closure has had a powerful and immediate effect on the number of people downloading music files from peer-to-peer services and curtailed the amount being swapped," said Russ Crupnick, NPD analyst.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    PS3 supercomputer up and running

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 6:25

    PS3 supercomputer up and running Rome Research Lab completed construction of, and is using, a "supercomputer" composed of off-the-shelf PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles.

    The lab linked together 1,716 PS3 consoles and exploited the OtherOS functionality (I guess they didn't update then) to build what they are describing as one of the world's fastest and cheapest supercomputers. They claim it is in the top 40 most powerful supercomputers.

    Dubbed, The Condor, the system is intended to provide analysts with new levels of detail from pictures gathered from spy planes. It is part of military developments aiming to achieve constant and detailed surveillance over a wide area.

    The Condor will enable 24-hour real-time surveillance of a roughly 15 mile-wide area, allowing video processed from radar signals to be viewed in real-time or played back. Such a system can help to investigate the moments before an event such as an explosion or an ambush on military units.

    "You can literally rewind or predict forward (in the future), based on the information you have," Mark Barnell, director of high-performance computing at the Rome research lab, said.

    The project was started when Richard W. Linderman, then senior scientist at Rome's Air Force research lab, bought a PS3 and played around with OtherOS at home. Out of curiosity, he told his research team to attempt linking eight of the Sony console's together, and was impressed with the result. So then he decided to get 336 and see how that would work out.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Spotify users hit by malware attack

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 6:25

    Spotify users hit by malware attack Users of the popular Spotify music service were hit by malware on Thursday.

    Only users of the ad-supported version of Spotify were affected, while Premium users were not reporting any problems. The malware attacked through advertisements that were displayed, attempting to take advantage of a Java-based exploit to deliver a Trojan to vulnerable Windows installations.

    Spotify responded to the problem promptly. "We're currently investigating and have pulled all third party display ads that could have caused the problem until we locate the specific advert," the company said.

    The malicious third party adverts were probably region-specific, and so the threat is unlikely to have been very widespread and should easily be dealt with. Avast Anti-Virus and AVG are capable of detecting the exploit if attempted.




    AfterDawn: News

    Zynga demands tax break to stay in San Francisco

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 5:17

    Zynga demands tax break to stay in San Francisco Game-maker wants same treatment as heavyweight microblogging site in San Francisco.

    Zynga, a game developer potentially worth around $10 billion, is seeking to gain tax breaks in order to keep its headquarters in San Francisco. It said it is optimistic and encouraged by talks that have been ongoing with local government.

    The developer, which is responsible for the Farmville game that gained worldwide popularity through Facebook, has threatened to leave the city unless it is treated the same as microblogging giant Twitter, which has already received tax exemptions.

    The company only moved into the premises, which has space for about 2,000 emloyees, last September. A spokesperson said the firm is in serious discussions with local government over its tax requests, but did not give any specific details on where the situation is right now.




    AfterDawn: News

    O2 delays Xperia PLAY launch due to bugs

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 5:17

    O2 delays Xperia PLAY launch due to bugs Sony Ericsson's Xperia Play, the world's first PlayStation-certified smartphone, will hit UK networks on April 1, but O2 is opting out for now.

    O2's device testing team rigorously tests each handset the network operator offers to the consumer. When they find problems, they work with the vendors to see how to resolve them and usually this is done easily. Bugs appear in every form of software and we all know full well that mobile phones are definitely not immune to that fact.

    Unfortunately, the team has found problems with the Sony Ericsson Xperia PLAY. "We've been testing the phone non-stop for weeks and have found some bugs in the software that, if they're not fixed, means customers won’t have a great experience," a blog post from Stuart Hibberd, head of O2's testing team, reads.

    "We've been working with Sony Ericsson to get these bugs ironed out, but haven't been able to get them fixed in time for us to be able to launch the phone on April 1st as we originally planned."

    While its bad news for folks hoping to use the device on the O2 network, you cannot deny it is impressive that the operator would take this step, especially when you consider that they managed to get themselves an exclusive white version of the handset for the market.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Chinese security firm accused of planting malware on phones

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 4:55

    Chinese security firm accused of planting malware on phones A firm in China is accused of planting malware on new phones.

    NetQin, a Chinese security firm, has found itself denying that it has conspired to plant malicious software on users' handsets in order to entice them to buy its security software that is capable of removing it. The situation came to light after a report by 3.15 Gala, a Chinese consumer rights programme broadcast on state television.

    Applications are often installed on phones in China by dealers who are modifying the phones firmware to work in the country. One such application for Symbian handsets is Feiliu, which attempts too download and install components from the Internet when a connection becomes available.

    The software is designed to remove security software installed on a phone, and is also causes the phone to run slow and unstable. Here's where NetQuin comes in, with a solution that can remove the annoyance from a handset and all just for 2 Yuan a go.

    Where things start to smell bad is the fact that NetQin is the second largest investor in the firm that developed the Feiliu software in the first place. Not suspicious enough? What if co-founders of both firms worked on their PhDs together? Well, they did.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Apple pushing iOS 5 to the fall?

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 4:55

    Apple pushing iOS 5 to the fall? Reports suggests Apple may snub Spring iOS 5 unveiling.

    The company so far has announced new major updates of the iOS mobile operating system for Apple devices in Spring, following up with a launch in the summer. For this reason, a lot of onlookers expected Apple to cram some iOS 5 goodies into the iPad 2 announcement event, but that didn't happen.

    Now TechCrunch is citing two sources that say Apple is pushing back iOS to the Fall, and that it will be a major revamp of the operating system. It could also be previewed at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), but it will not be released then.

    Interestingly, sources suggest that the new iOS iteration will be built around the cloud, and will lead to several new cloud-based services launched by Apple that could include a music locker, for example. Another service would be based on location and focuses on finding family and friends.




    AfterDawn: News

    Duke Nukem Forever delayed again

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 4:21

    Duke Nukem Forever delayed again Highly-anticipated game is set back yet again by developer.

    Duke Nukem Forever was given new release dates earlier this week. The title will launch on June 10 internationally and in North America on June 14th. Back in January, 2K Games and Gearbox Software turned heads by announcing a May 3 release date for the game.

    The delay is certainly not that long, but considering the title was first announced all the way back in 1997 and has become something of a running joke (Duke Nukem Whenever, Duke Nukem Fornever, Duke Nukem IfEver etc.) in the business over the past decade, yet another delay is just not what gamers want to hear anymore.

    2K Games finally lost patience with original studio 3D Realms in 2009, suing it and linking up with Gearbox Software instead to develop the title. After Gearbox' major success with Borderlands, the developer used the cash to buy up all Duke Nukem Forever assets and Intellectual Property last year.

    The title will be available as both a standard edition, and a "Balls of Steel Collectors Edition", available for PC and on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 console platforms when it launches.




    AfterDawn: News

    Federal judge backs mass file sharing lawsuits

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 4:02

    Federal judge backs mass file sharing lawsuits A federal judge has given a boost to rights' holders looking to sue thousands of file sharers in the United States for copyright infringement.

    Efforts to sue thousands of people who downloaded and shared movies illegally on the web were challenged by several groups, such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Public Citizen. The group has objected to new litigation campaigns that lump thousands of alleged pirated together.

    They believe that the mass jointing of multiple defendants violated federal rules of procedure, and that the plaintiffs had inadequately established jurisdiction. Also, they contend that the First Amendment to the US Constitution protected the defendant's right to anonymity.

    U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell dismissed all three arguments, contending that the mass-joining of defendants benefits the plaintiffs and the defendants alike.

    "Given the administrative burden of simply obtaining sufficient identifying information to properly name and serve alleged infringers, it is highly unlikely that the plaintiffs could protect their copyrights in a cost-effective manner. Indeed, Time Warner urges the Court to sever the defendants for this very reason. Time Warner asserts that, if joinder were disallowed, its burden of complying with subpoenas would be diminished because the plaintiffs would not be able to proceed against all of the putative defendants individually At this procedural juncture, the plaintiffs have met the requirements of permissive joinder under Rule 20(a)(2). The putative defendants are not prejudiced but likely benefited by joinder, and severance would debilitate the plaintiffs’ efforts to protect their copyrighted materials and seek redress from the putative defendants who have allegedly engaged in infringing activity."
    She ruled also that it was premature to even bring up questions of jurisdiction before the defendants are even identified, and in these chances when an ISP hands over the details, an individual is dropped from the lawsuit if he/she does not reside in the jurisdiction. The plaintiff can file a new lawsuit in the defendants home state.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    PlayStation Network services transferring to SNEA

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 3:25

    PlayStation Network services transferring to SNEA Sony has revealed that PSN services will be taken over by Sony Network Entertainment America.

    The switch will be made on April 1, and the impact of the change on end users should be minimal. Gamers digital wallets and funds will be transfered over to SNEA. Users will be required to accept a new Terms of Service and User Agreement with SNEA.

    Failing to accept the new terms will result in the closure of accounts and funds being refunded to the user.

    The switch of online services from Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) to SNEA has been expected for some time now as SNEA already manages the online operations of other Sony products such as Bravia, Blu-ray Players and Dash.




    AfterDawn: News

    RIM buys tinyHippos startup

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 3:25

    RIM buys tinyHippos startup Research In Motion (RIM) has announced it acquired startup tinyHippos without disclosing specifics of the deal.

    The Ontario-based developer created a cross-platform mobile application development tool called Ripple. Tyler Lessard of RiM said that tinyHippos was bought by the Blackberry-maker due to its "extensive experience in web and mobile widget/web development."

    RIM will launch its Playbook tablet computer next month, warning earlier this week that its earnings were likely to slip due to the financial cost of pushing out the Playbook.

    The Canadian firm said it will offer support for Android applications on the tablet. This could enable it to run over 200,000 third-party apps that are available for the Android platform today. It enters a market dominated by Apple and at the same time as many other competing "iPad killers" are due to drop.




    AfterDawn: News

    German politician shows how mobile operators track you

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 3:25

    German politician shows how mobile operators track you Malte Spitz, a German Green party politician, has shown the level of tacking a mobile provider can do as you carry around your phone.

    He went through a process to find out exactly what his provider, Deutsche Telekom, knew about his whereabouts over a period of time that he had his phone constantly. Between August 31, 2009 and February 28th, 2010, the operator had saved his longitude and latitude coordinates over 35,000 times.

    Privacy experts claim that Spitz actions provide a rare glimpse into how phone companies can track and keep data on us without us ever consenting or having a clue it is happening at all.

    Technically, an operator's network needs to know your location all the time. The nearest network equipment to your location is sought every few seconds for optimal call routing purposes, and an operator also needs to track location in cases for billing purposes.

    Spitz information however was not gathered and saved from these normal updates, however. "We are all walking around with little tags, and our tag has a phone number associated with it, who we called and what we do with the phone," said Sarah E. Williams, an expert on graphic information at Columbia University's architecture school.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Microsoft says mystery bug blocked HTTPS Hotmail usage

    Written by James Delahunty @ 27 Mar 2011 3:25

    Microsoft says mystery bug blocked HTTPS Hotmail usage Microsoft has denied that it blocked HTTPS access to Hotmail for several countries.

    Instead, the Redmond-based software giant said a mystery bug caused the problems. The issue has since been resolved but Microsoft admits it is still investigating exactly what caused the bug in the first place.

    Users in certain countries were unable to switch on the safer HTTPS version of Hotmail. Some questions were raised when it was revealed that Syrian users were getting an error message attempting to do so, due to ongoing political unrest in the country.

    "Your Windows Live ID can't use HTTPS automatically because this feature is not available for your account type," a message to users read. Hotmail users who has already opted for HTTPS were not affected in any way.

    "We do not intentionally limit support by region or geography and this issue was not restricted to any specific region of the world. We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers that this may have caused," a Microsoft spokesperson said.

    The Bahams, Caymen Islands and Fiji were also affected, according to Microsoft.




    AfterDawn: News

    Danes get ripped off on iPad 2 prices

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2011 2:28

    Danes get ripped off on iPad 2 prices Apple began selling its hit iPad 2 tablet in 25 countries this weekend, but Reuters says the U.S. is still the cheapest country to buy the device in the world.

    The most expensive nation is Denmark, where the base 16GB/Wi-Fi model sells for the equivalent of $700. In the U.S. the same model sells for $500.

    Despite the price, lines of customers were common place outside of Apple stores in Asia and Europe, just like they were in the U.S at launch earlier this month.

    In the EU, the base model iPad 2 sells for 479 euros (about $678), on average.

    Surprisingly, the UK has the iPad 2 for 399 pounds ($642).




    AfterDawn: News

    Google Music being tested internally

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2011 2:06

    Google Music being tested internally According to Cnet, Google is readying its Google Music service for launch, with the search giant already testing the platform internally.

    Rumored since at least last October, the platform was last mentioned at the MWC event, where Motorola Mobility boss Sanjay Jha boasted that the Xoom tablet would soon have access to "a music service from Google Mobile services."

    The service should allow users to stream music via PCs or Android phones/tablets, as well as purchase songs via the Android Market.

    It appears that Google is still negotiating with the labels, however, seeking cloud music rights for user's existing libraries of purchased music.

    If true, the service will be a direct competitor to Apple's iTunes, which still controls over 70 percent of the music download market.




    AfterDawn: News

    Nintendo 3DS launches in U.S.

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Mar 2011 1:43

    Nintendo 3DS launches in U.S. The Nintendo 3DS gaming handheld has launched today in the U.S. with some places having launch parties at midnight.

    Nintendo is selling the console for $250 in Cosmos Black and Aqua Blue bundles that include a free charging dock and a 2GB SD card. Each 3DS comes with the games Face Raiders and AR Games pre-installed.

    Gaming on the 3DS is notable because new games can be playable in 3D without the need for special glasses.

    Nintendo released the console in Japan last month and in Europe on Friday.

    The launch titles are as follows:

    Three of the titles will be Nintendo-published, and all titles have an MSRP of $39.99:

    - Pilotwings Resort
    - Steel Diver
    - nintendogs + cats



    And third party published:

    - Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition from CAPCOM
    - The Sims 3 from EA
    - Madden NFL Football from EA SPORTS
    - Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 3D from Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc.
    - LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars from LucasArts
    - RIDGE RACER 3D from NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.
    - Super Monkey Ball 3D from SEGA
    - BUST-A-MOVE UNIVERSE from Square-Enix, Inc.
    - SAMURAI WARRIORS: Chronicles from TECMO KOEI AMERICA Corp.
    - Asphalt 3D from UBISOFT
    - Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D from UBISOFT
    - Rayman 3D from UBISOFT
    - Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Shadow Wars from UBISOFT

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    AMD calls out NVIDIA over GPU performance claims

    Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 8:11

    AMD calls out NVIDIA over GPU performance claims AMD has publicly called out competitor NVIDIA over a performance claim made by the graphics chip-maker.

    Dave Erskine, Senior Public Relations Manager for Graphics Desktop at AMD, wrote on a company blog about how it prides itself on achieving excellence in its products and the integrity of its messageing. As an example, he used the flag-ship AMD Radeon HD 6990, describing how the company came to claim it was the World's Fastest Graphics Card.

    "We had designed it to be a game-changer and we hit the bull's eye. The result: The AMD Radeon HD 6990 achieved the highest default single graphics card score of X3303 using the industry standard 3DMark11 benchmark," Erskine wrote.

    "And when we launched it, we issued a press release in which we proudly called it the 'World's Fastest Graphics Card' and fully disclosed the basis upon which we made that claim."

    Earlier this week, NVIDIA issued its own press release, announcing the GTX 590 graphics chip. They also claimed in the press information that the GTX 590 was the World's Fastest Graphics Card. Erskine said that the folks at AMD combed through all the available information, looking for anything that could substantiate NVIDIA's claim.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Acer Iconia Tab W500 & A500 head to Europe next month

    Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 8:11

    Acer Iconia Tab W500 & A500 head to Europe next month Acer's stab at the market for tablet PCs is hitting Europe on April 8 this year.

    It will launch its first two Iconia Tab models, which are the Windows 7-equipped W500 and the Android-equipped A500, each with a base price of £449. Each packs a 10.1-inch 1280x800 LED-backlit touchscreen.

    The W500 runs on AMD's Brazos technology, featuring a 1GHz C-50 APU with Radeon HD 6250 graphics, 2GB of memory and a 32GB solid-state disk drive. It also features an SD card reader, HDMI-output, G-sensor and built-in 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. The system runs Microsoft's Windows 7 Home Premium operating system.

    The A500 runs on NVIDIA's Tegra 2 technology. It features 1GB of RAM and 32GB of flash storage. It features a read 5 megapixel camera and front 2 megapixel camera. It features 3G support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a micsoSD card slot, HDMI-output and two USB ports. It runs the Android 3.0 (Honecomb) operating system.

    The W500 can also come with 3G at an additional cost and also can be bundled with a keyboard dock which also includes Ethernet and dual USB 2.0 connectors.




    AfterDawn: News

    Google patches six Chrome bugs

    Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 8:11

    Google patches six Chrome bugs Google has pushed out an update for its Chrome browser addressing some serious bugs.

    The Chrome stable and beta channels have been updated to 10.0.648.204 for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome Frame. The update addresses some performance and stability issues in the browser, and includes six security fixes. Additionally, support for the password manager has been added on Linux.

    Security fixes include..

    • [72517] High CVE-2011-1291: Buffer error in base string handling.
    • [73216] High CVE-2011-1292: Use-after-free in the frame loader.
    • [73595] High CVE-2011-1293: Use-after-free in HTMLCollection.
    • [74562] High CVE-2011-1294: Stale pointer in CSS handling.
    • [74991] High CVE-2011-1295: DOM tree corruption with broken node parentage.
    • [75170] High CVE-2011-1296: Stale pointer in SVG text handling.
    More information is available on the update from here.




    AfterDawn: News

    AMD manager backtracks on DirectX comments, commits support

    Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 8:11

    AMD manager backtracks on DirectX comments, commits support AMD manager has gone into damage control over comments he made about the DirectX API in a recent interview with Bit-Tech.

    Richard Huddy, manager of AMD's GPU division, commented that developers wanted the DirectX API to "go away", saying developers had made such admissions in conversations. He hinted that DirectX and other APIs get in the way of creating some amazing computer graphics.

    However, in a newer interview with CRN, Huddy seemed to be backing off the stance and even claimed the comments shouldn't be taken literally. "The [Bit-tech] interview started off being about OpenGL, and the way APIs are developed," Huddy said.

    "Obviously there's pressure from Microsoft on hardware vendors to develop DirectX in a variety of ways. We spend a great deal of time getting feedback from game developers in the early phase of our hardware development, for products that are two or three years away from going to market."

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Nokia will continue to sell Symbian phones for 'a long time'

    Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 3:15

    Nokia will continue to sell Symbian phones for 'a long time' Nokia has moved to quash fears that it may be preparing to drop Symbian-based phones much too quickly.

    The Finnish mobile phone giant said it will continue to sell handsets that run Symbian software for a long time after it has started to move devices that run Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 software. The company is expected to begin phasing out Symbian over the coming few years as it rolls out WP7 handsets.

    "We will be selling (Symbian) devices long after Windows Phone devices from Nokia have already started to appear," Purnima Kochikar, head of developer relations at Nokia, said in a letter to devs. Symbian phones have lost market share due to competition from iOS and Android models, but it is still strongly profitable for Nokia.

    Kochikar said that coming Symbian models will focus on strong integration of services, and that they will use faster processors than their predecessors. They will brought up to GHz+ levels, which is where Nokia's competitors are already at. Both Nokia's N8 and E7 use 680 MHz processors.




    AfterDawn: News

    MySpace lost 10 million users in a month?

    Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 3:15

    MySpace lost 10 million users in a month? If analyst comScore is right about the latest trends for the recently revamped MySpace, then News Corp. has more to cry about.

    The industry analyst say its figures show MySpace lost an incredible 10 million users between January and February of this year. Specifically, it reports 63 million users of MySpace in February this year, down from 73 million just a month before.

    Compared to last year, comScore says MySpace has lost a massive 50 million users, down from close to 110 million in February 2010. The social networking site has attempted to rebrand itself as an entertainment hub focused on music.

    At one time it was considered the number 1 social networking site across the world, but saw its popularity eaten up by Facebook, which now touts over 600 million users. MySpace has recently announced it will slash half of its staff, and reports suggest that News Corp. is looking to sell the service asap.

    Having bought it for a princely sum of $330 million back in 2005, News Corp could expect to get as little as $50 million now for MySpace.




    AfterDawn: News

    Facebook boots out 20,000 underage users per day

    Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 3:15

    Facebook boots out 20,000 underage users per day It has been reported that Facebook currently kicks about 20,000 underage kids from its service every day.

    The minimum age requirement for using the social networking site is 13 years old. Even though Facebook has no way to check up on the actual age of a member, it still manages to remove 20,000 accounts per day of users that appear to have lied about their age to join.

    Facebook's chief privacy adviser Mozelle Thompson admits that Facebook's system for identifying and removing accounts held by underage users is "not perfect," but nevertheless, the company is at least doing something to try to uphold the age rule.

    The figure sounds like a lot, but it is nothing in comparison to the 600 million and growing users of Facebook. A Pew study that found half of 12 year old's in the United States use social networking sites must also be taken into consideration.

    U.S. Senator Al Franken has addressed the issue already, and co-signed a letter to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. Franken argues that it should be impossible for underage and teen users of Faacebook to inadvertently share their phone number, home address or other sensitive information publicly where it could be misused.




    AfterDawn: News

    Apple boots 'anti-gay' app from App Store

    Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 3:15

    Apple boots 'anti-gay' app from App Store Apple has been praised by several groups for responding to an online petition to remove an "anti-gay" application from its App Store.

    The app, launched by Exodus International, promoted the idea of "curing gay people." In response, a Truth Wins Out petition setup on Change.org received 146,000 signatures from people who wanted to see the application removed from the App Store.

    Apple responded by removing the application, prompting praise from several groups. "Apple made a wise and responsible decision to dump an offensive app that demonized gay and lesbian people," said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. "The real winners today are LGBT youth who are safer and less at risk for receiving Exodus' malice and misinformation."

    Gary Remafedi, a researcher from the University of Minnesota, had also previously requested that Apple take action against the application, which he said grossly distorted his work to back up its claims.

    The American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, and American Counseling Association have all rejected "ex-gay" therapy, saying that it can result in serious harm to the mental health of participants.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Twitter order to hand over WikiLeaks data appealed

    Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 2:20

    Twitter order to hand over WikiLeaks data appealed A U.S. Judge's decision to compel Twitter to hand over data of three users linked to the Wikileaks website has been appealed by rights' groups in the United States.

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) are challenging the ruling, made earlier this month, which compels Twitter to hand over data on American, Icelandic and Dutch twitter users somehow linked to the controversial website.

    "Except in very rare circumstances, the government should not be permitted to obtain information about individuals' private Internet communications in secret," said ACLU staff attorney Aden Fine. "If the ruling is allowed to stand, our client might never know how many other companies have been ordered to turn over information about her, and she may never be able to challenge the invasive requests."

    Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan rejected claims that seeking the Twitter information violated freedom of speech and privacy, on the basis that the three individuals had already made their Twitter posts and their associations public knowledge voluntarily. She also stressed that the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution protected people against "unreasonable" searches by authorities.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Netflix reportedly close to $100m deal with Miramax

    Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 2:20

    Netflix reportedly close to $100m deal with Miramax According to the Wall Street Journal, Netflix is close to a deal with Miramax that could be worth over $100 million over five years.

    The outlet cites a source close to the companies in reporting that both are close to an agreement that will see Netflix streaming a considerable number of titles from Miramax's extensive library to its subscribers over the Internet.

    In an earlier report, WSJ valued the deal at about $50 million over five years, but then changed the figure to "far north of" $100 million over five years.

    Netflix has seen its streaming service grow to become a huge part of its business, while its mail-based DVD rental service is still in wide use. If the deal with Miramax goes through, it will reportedly result in more than 700 titles becoming available for Netflix customers.




    AfterDawn: News

    Kodak patent case against Apple, RIM still alive

    Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 2:20

    Kodak patent case against Apple, RIM still alive A U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) panel has said it will review a January decision made against Eastman Kodak Co in a patent dispute.

    In January, an ITC judge ruled that Research in Motion, and Apple Inc., had not infringed on Kodak patents. Kodak brought the case to the ITC, which has the power to halt imports of products into the United States, as it seeks royalties for patented technology it says is used in Apple and RIM products.

    If victorious, it could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties for Kodak. The complaint was filed with ITC in January 2010, and a final decision is expected in May of this year.

    Both LG and Samsung have settled in similar disputes with Kodak, agreeing to pay $400 million and $550 million respectively to license Kodak's technology.

    However, Kodak has struggled to get by in the modern world of affordable digital cameras and smartphones, with analysts considering its extensive patent portfolio as its most valuable asset.




    AfterDawn: News

    U.S. creates 'panic button' for democracy activists

    Written by James Delahunty @ 26 Mar 2011 2:20

    U.S. creates 'panic button' for democracy activists The U.S. State Department is developing and pushing new technology to help democracy activists and other protesters around the world to get around blocks and censorship.

    One of the new technologies it is pushing is a panic button app made for mobile phones. In the recent slew of protests throughout the middle east, mobile phones have played a big part in driving the protests. However, mobile phones have been confiscated and data including messages and address books have been mined for information on others involved.

    Using the "panic button" would securely erase all of that information on a phone, and also send out a warning to everyone else to be careful.

    Since the U.S. Government asked Twitter to delay a scheduled update to allow Iranian users continue to use the site during the 2009 election protests, the administration has realized the usefulness of Internet and other services for activists. However, it has also noted how many oppressive governments can, and do, implement blocks and censorship to make it hard for people to communicate or get certain information.

    The state department has been working with technology firms to develop circumvention technology intended for use to get around state firewalls easily and on methods for activists to protect their communications and information from snooping.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Apple issues iOS 4.3.1 update to fix iPod touch glitches, more

    Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Mar 2011 9:57

    Apple issues iOS 4.3.1 update to fix iPod touch glitches, more Apple has addressed some bugs in its gadgets with the release of iOS 4.3.1.

    The update is available for users of iPhone 4 (although CDMA just yet), iPhone 3GS, iPod touch (3rd, 4th gen), iPad and iPad 2. Apple supplied the following information about what the iOS 4.3.1 update changes over the recently released iOS 4.3...

    • Fixes an occasional graphics glitch on iPod touch (4th generation)
    • Resolves bugs related to activating and connection to some cellular networks
    • Fixes image flicker when using Apple Digital AV adapter with some TVs
    • Resolves an issue authenticating with some enterprise web services
    The update also includes other improvements and bug fixes. It is possible that it targets vulnerabilities in the iPad that allow it to be jailbroken, but it isn't clear yet.




    AfterDawn: News

    YouTube create section features helpful video-making tools

    Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Mar 2011 9:57

    YouTube create section features helpful video-making tools Google Inc.'s YouTube video-sharing service has added tools to assist in the creation of video content.

    The tools aim to help users who do not have a video camera or any video creation/editing experience. A beta of www.youtube.com/create lets users work with three video creation tools that simplify the process.

    "More than 35 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and with the motto of 'Broadcast Yourself', it's hard to believe that anyone is left out of the YouTube experience," the YouTube blog states. "But the truth is, sites like YouTube do largely leave out people who don't have a video camera."

    GoAnimate and Xtranormal allows users to create animated videos easily, and quickly, without requiring any experience with animation at all. Users can produce animated videos that feature a text storylike. Stupeflix on the other hand, lets users upload their own photos, clips maps and music to make video slideshows and presentations.

    The tools are free to use through the youtube.com/create beta, though some tools offer premium options on their own websites.




    AfterDawn: News

    Rustock botnet spammers sought following takedown

    Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Mar 2011 9:57

    Rustock botnet spammers sought following takedown The controllers of the recently dismantled Rustock botnet are being sought by investigators.

    At its peak, the Rustock botnet could push out over 30 billion spam messages every single day. It consisted of over 1 million hijacked computers around the world, and appears to have been controlled by only a small team of about three individuals.

    "It does not look like there were more than a couple of people running it to me," said Alex Lanstein, a senior engineer at security firm FireEye. Computers were hijacked when their users visited crafted malicious websites. Updates were pushed out regularly using custom written encryption. Updates were disguised to look like genuine discussion forum messages to evade detection by security firms scouring the web.

    The servers found to be used to control the botnet were located in middle-America, not usually where you would expect to find them. Hosting costs would have ran up to $10,000 per month, but the operators are believed to have made many times that amount pushing out spam for fake pharmaceuticals.

    Work done by Microsoft, FireEye and Pfizer culminated in the seizure of 96 command and control servers on March 16. Since the action, global spam levels dropped significant and continue to remain low. The operators of the botnet do not appear to have attempted to regain control over it either.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    ITC panel: Apple didn't infringe Nokia patents

    Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Mar 2011 9:57

    ITC panel: Apple didn't infringe Nokia patents Apple has been given a victory in its patent war with Nokia after a trade panel ruled the iPhone-maker did not violate Nokia patents.

    Nokia had accused Apple of violating no less than five patents held by the Finnish phone giant in several of its products. The ITC complaint was filed by Nokia in December 2009, and is just one action taken in an on-going patent feud between both tech firms.

    Judge James Gildea of the ITC said Apple did not violate the patents in question, and now the commission must decide to uphold or throw out his decision. It will be probed by the commission in August this year.

    The International Trade Commission (ITC) has the power to halt imports of products into the U.S. that are found to be violating patents, which makes it an attractive institution for firms caught in a patent dispute. Generally, separate lawsuits are filed in district courts that seek compensation for the alleged infringement.

    Nokia is losing ground in the smartphone market to Apple, and to firms that produce smartphones that run the Android operating system.




    AfterDawn: News

    Weinstein Company launches games studio

    Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Mar 2011 8:51

    Weinstein Company launches games studio The Weinstein Company is moving into the video games business.

    The firm announced on Friday that it launched TWC Games, which it says will develop video games for consoles, mobile phones and for social network use. It will work with Beefy Media, a video games production company, on titles in the future.

    "The video game marketplace is changing at such a rapid rate. With all of the digital platforms, there are so many opportunities to broaden our audience with compelling, high quality, cost-efficient, video game entertainment," Bob Weinstein, TWC games co-chairman, said.

    "We plan to combine our extensive video game developer relationships with the impressive catalog of properties to create and produce content made by gamers for gamers," said Beefy Media President Adam Boyes.




    AfterDawn: News

    GameStop signals better 2011 for industry

    Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Mar 2011 8:51

    GameStop signals better 2011 for industry GameStop Corp. turned some heads by forecasting stronger-than-expected profits for 2011.

    The news is welcomed by the games industry which has been waiting for a rebound amidst falling sales. The company, which posted higher profit than expected, said it expects sales to be flat to 3 percent higher in 2011. The results pushed up the share price of some firms in the business, such as Electronic Arts.

    "That positive commentary from GameStop helped publishers today," said Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.

    GameStop also called attention to strong demand for Nintendo's new 3DS handheld, launching this weekend. Reservations for the product have exceeded supply, said GameStop President Tony Bartel. "We've literally had to go back to Nintendo and get more product."

    The world's largest video games retailer hopes the 3DS will boost sales in the global video games industry, estimated at around $60.4 billion.




    AfterDawn: News

    Google won't open Android 3.0 source yet

    Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Mar 2011 8:51

    Google won't open Android 3.0 source yet Google Inc. will make developers wait for Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) to be available as open source code, it has announced.

    The web giant said that Honeycomb is not yet ready to be customized for use for Smartphones and other gadgets, after developing it for use with tablet computers. Honeycomb is already in use with Motorola Mobility's Xoom tablet since February.

    Google's announcement might be greeted with skepticism by some developers, as Google's policy for Android has been to allow developers to freely modify the operating system software as they see fit.

    "While we're excited to offer these new features to Android tablets, we have more work to do before we can deliver them to other device types including phones," a Google spokeswoman said in a statement. "We're committed to providing Android as an open platform across many device types and will publish the source as soon as it's ready."

    No timeframe was given for the Honeycomb source being opened to developers. Android is the most used smartphone operating system in the world.




    AfterDawn: News

    Iran blamed for net security attack

    Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Mar 2011 8:51

    Iran blamed for net security attack The finger of blame is being pointed at Iran in what's being called a state-driven attack on Internet security.

    Attackers managed to trick a HTTPS/TLS Certificate Authority into issuing fraudulent certificates. The improperly issued certs covered high-value domains including google.com, login.yahoo.com and addons.mozilla.org. One cert was for "global trustee" which could have enabled the impersonation of any domain on the web.

    The CA involved, Comodo, said that one fraudulent login.yahoo.com cert was briefly deployed on an Iranian server. The attack on Comodo came primarily from IP addresses from Iran.

    The system attacked acts as a guarantee of identity for some of the world's most popular web services. The certificate acts as a digital passport which is checked by the web browser in use. Most browsers have since been updated to detect the use of the bogus certificates to protect users. An obtained fraudulent certificate could aid in impersonating a popular web service on a malicious server.

    Comodo said the attack exhibited "clinical accuracy" and added it was likely to be a state-driven attack. Since it came from Iranian sources and appears to have targeted mainly web communications services, it is thought to have been carried out at the request of Iranian authorities in pursuit of opposition groups in the country that use the web to coordinate their activities on the ground.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Netflix offers credit to those affected by streaming outage

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2011 4:17

    Netflix offers credit to those affected by streaming outage Netflix has issued an apology to its customers that experienced the temporary downtime on Tuesday of the company's streaming service.

    The company has credited users 3 percent of the $8 monthly fee for streaming, giving subscribers 23 cents back.

    If everyone was affected, that means the move will cost Netflix up to $4 million.

    Says the email:


    Dear User,

    Recently you may have had trouble instantly watching TV episodes or movies due to technical issues.
    We are sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused. If you attempted and were unable to instantly watch TV episodes or movies yesterday, click on this account specific link in the next 7 days to apply your 3% credit to your next billing statement for your Watch Instantly Unlimited plan. Credit can only be applied once.
    Story continues below

    Ready to start watching again? Check out our latest selection.

    Again, we apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your understanding. If you need further assistance, please call us at 1-866-923-0898.




    AfterDawn: News

    Starz places 90-day delay on original content via Netflix

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2011 3:08

    Starz places 90-day delay on original content via Netflix Starz has implemented a 90-day delay on all new original content that streams via Netflix, beginning with the series "Camelot."

    New episodes of Starz original content will be available 90 days after they initially air on Starz, unlike currently when episodes of some shows, like "Spartacus," are available the next day.

    Although it is unclear when, Starz says the same delay will be applied to "exclusive first-run movies" in the future.

    Starz has pay TV rights to films from Sony, Disney and others and the deal with Netflix has been one of the streaming company's most productive. When it expires this year, most expect that Netflix will have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars more to resign it.




    AfterDawn: News

    Geohot excited to jailbreak Xperia Play

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2011 1:56

    Geohot excited to jailbreak Xperia Play Earlier in the week, it was reported that George 'Geohot' Hotz had 'fled' to South America after Sony filed documents deriding his "suspicious behavior."

    The next day, Hotz laughed off the claim, posting:

    Apparently, I have fled the country. ROFL

    Factually, it’s true I’m in South America, on a vacation I’ve had planned and paid for since November. I mean, it is Spring break; hacking isn’t my life. Rest assured that not a dime of legal defense money would ever go toward something like this. And of course Townsend loves the idea of painting me as an international fugitive. I have been in contact with my lawyers almost every day; I would not let the case suffer. That said, I also won’t let this ridiculous lawsuit run my life either. Then the fearmongerers win.


    Hotz also added that he is very excited to jailbreak the upcoming Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, which is set for release in April. The hacker promised to be "first in line" to purchase the gaming/phone when the release date is set.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Xperia X10 owners rejoice, Gingerbread is coming

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2011 1:41

    Xperia X10 owners rejoice, Gingerbread is coming Sony Ericsson has announced, much to everyone's surprise, that Xperia X10 owners will be receiving the Gingerbread 2.3 Android update for their devices.

    The smartphone maker had announced last year that the device would not get any firmware updates past Android 2.1.

    Sony implies that the update will be available at the end of June, but will not be available OTA. You will need to download it manually and update by plugging your phone into the computer.

    The company says strong consumer demand forced them to change their mind on the updates:

    I have been working with this blog for almost 1 ½ years. After lots of interaction and discussion, by far the most intense discussions lately were around Xperia X10 Android upgrades. We earlier stated that we did not have plans for further upgrade of the Xperia X10 beyond Android 2.1 Éclair, which was correct at the time.

    However, I am happy to inform you that this has changed. We plan to bring an upgrade to Android Gingerbread for the Xperia X10 to generic trade kits end Q2 / early Q3 this year. We have heard your requests all along but until today have not been able to confirm this. The great work on our 2011 products Xperia PLAY, Xperia arc and Xperia neo actually has enabled us to start the work in a special project bringing Gingerbread to the Xperia X10.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Nook Color update will bring apps, Flash

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2011 1:10

    Nook Color update will bring apps, Flash Barnes & Noble has revealed today that an upcoming software update in April will turn the Nook Color e-reader into a tablet, adding Flash and apps.

    Despite running Android 2.1, the e-reader (unless rooted) does not have access to app stores and lacks a browser with Flash.

    The e-reader does allow for music and video playback (in MP4), however.

    Alongside the update, B&N will launch its own App Store, similar to what Amazon has just done.

    The leak comes via HSN, which posted:

    Coming Soon "Sneak Peek" Updates

    The NOOK Color device comes with 8 apps and more will become available after the April update.
    HSN will have the "sneak peek" of the new NOOK Color updates, which launches in April
    The new updates will be sent out automatically if your device in connected to Wi-Fi
    HSN customers will be among the first to receive the update when it's available




    AfterDawn: News

    Samsung Apps hits 100 million milestone

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2011 2:04

    Samsung Apps hits 100 million milestone Samsung has announced that its Apps store has reached 100 million downloads since launch in June of last year.

    The store took three months to reach 10 million downloads and the growth has increased rapidly since.

    There are 13,000 applications available in the store, up from 2000 at launch.

    Samsung says the top games in terms of downloads are Magic Torch, Need for Speed Shift and Asphalt 5.

    A few navigation apps, like London Traffic and Ndrive France, are also very popular, says CN.

    French, German and Spanish users accounted for 40 percent of all downloads.

    Says Kang-Hyun Kwon, Samsung Senior Vice President of Media Solution Center:

    We are anticipating that Samsung Apps will show a rapid growth in 2011, especially with a variety of the upcoming Bada device line-up. Through consistent service improvement and high-quality app selections, we will continue to offer optimised application services for Samsung smartphones.




    AfterDawn: News

    Nintendo 3DS teardown reveals estimated £62 production cost

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Mar 2011 12:02

    Nintendo 3DS teardown reveals estimated £62 production cost Eurogamer has reported today that the upcoming Nintendo 3DS has an estimated component cost of just £62.

    The device will sell in Europe for over £200 including VAT.

    It is important to note that while the components cost £62, that does not include R&D or shipping costs.

    Nintendo admitted during its last financial earnings report that the handheld will sell at a profit right out of the gate just like its Wii did. Sony and Microsoft sold their home consoles for under cost for many years, making money solely off accessories and software.

    The 3DS has launched in Japan and will hit the States next week at $250. The European launch is coming soon after.




    AfterDawn: News

    Kingston adds to speedy Class 10 microSDHC line

    Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Mar 2011 4:05

    Kingston adds to speedy Class 10 microSDHC line Kingston has announced it is shipping new Class 10 microSDHC cards.

    The world leader in memory products announced it will be shipping 4GB and 8GB capacity Class 10 microSDHC cards, joining the 16GB Class 10 microSDHC card currently on the market. Additionally, the company revealed it will add a 32GB capacity card to the line-up in the second quarter.

    Class 10 cards tout a fast transfer rate of 10MB/s. In addition to the Class 10 cards, Kingston currently ships the microSDHC card in a Class 4 specification as both a standalone and part of the Mobility in capacities up to 32GB.

    "Kingston's Class 10 microSDHC cards are compatible with many of the latest mobile phones including Android smartphones and BlackBerry devices, hi-def cameras and the increasingly popular tablet PCs," said Mike Kuppinger, Flash card business manager, Kingston.

    "The Class 10 speed provides faster data transfer rates and the various capacities help satisfy storage needs for users with both light and heavy memory needs."

    The Kingston Class 10 microSDHC cards are available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities costing $22, $37 and $138 respectively (add $1 for inclusion of SD Adapter to each.)




    AfterDawn: News

    MeeGo Smart TV Working Group forms

    Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Mar 2011 4:05

    MeeGo Smart TV Working Group forms The Linux Foundation has announced the formation of the MeeGo Smart TV Working Group.

    MeeGo is an open source project targeting several segments of the market including netbooks, smartphones, tablets, TVs and more. The new Working Group is designed to drive the evolution of MeeGo within the television ecosystem and provide an open framework for industry creativity and innovation.

    The Working Group features some heavyweight participants already, including Amino Communications, Intel Corporation, JetHead Development, Locatel, MIPS Technologies, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Sigma Designs, Telecom Italia, Videon Central, and Ysten.

    "The Smart TV segment is growing fast, and with it comes both opportunity and complexity," said Ibrahim Haddad, Director of Technical Alliances at The Linux Foundation. "MeeGo is built from the ground up to address next-generation computing in multiple market segments like Smart TV and is intended to help advance Linux in this burgeoning market in the year ahead."

    Working Group members will define software components and a compliance program as well as focus on building an innovative and thriving ecosystem of developers and content providers with leading capabilities and tools.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Chrome 11 beta adds support for HTML speech

    Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Mar 2011 4:05

    Chrome 11 beta adds support for HTML speech The latest release in the Google Chrome beta channel adds support for HTML speech input API.

    Developers will be able to test out speech-to-text features on their web applications through the Chrome browser thanks to the added support, which stems from work Google has been doing with the HTML Speech Incubator Group.

    Web apps will be able to transcibe voice heard through a computer's microphone to text. The user would click on an icon on the application and speak into the mic. The data is then sent to speech servers for transcription and the text is then typed out automatically for the user.

    For those who would like to test this out, and are running the latest Chrome beta, check out an example here.

    The latest beta also offered devs a sneak peak at GPU-accelerated 3D CSS, allowing for slick 3D effects on webpages using CSS.




    AfterDawn: News

    Toshiba's new 14-inch USB-powered LCD monitor

    Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Mar 2011 3:13

    Toshiba's new 14-inch USB-powered LCD monitor Toshiba has unveiled a new 14-inch USB-powered mobile LCD Monitor designed for use on-the-go with notebook computers.

    The Toshiba 14-inch USB-powered Mobile LCD Monitor is intended to provide a multi-screen solution where it otherwise wouldn't be easily possible. The ultra-portable monitor is designed to fit in most laptop bags, getting its power via a USB cable. Video is also fed via USB, eliminating the need for a video lead or an AC adapter (though an AC adapter is optionally available.)

    Providing a maximum resolution of 1366x768, the monitor weighs just 2.8 lbs and can be neatly folded up. It is DisplayLink-certified and compatible with Microsoft Windows 7, Vista and XP. It is limited to 256,000 colors, but considering how it is powered and its intended use, it is adequate. It's specs list a contrast ratio of 400:1 and response rate of 16ms.

    The screen is easily controlled with simple buttons to set brightness and other settings. It comes with a USB Y cable, cover, CD-ROM and documentation (an optional AC adapter is sold separately).

       
      

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    EU: Serious cyber attack before summit

    Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Mar 2011 2:36

    EU: Serious cyber attack before summit The European Union revealed a "serious" cyber attack against EU bodies on Wednesday, the eve of a summit held in Brussels.

    "We're often hit by cyber attacks but this is a big one," a BBC source stated. The commission assessed the scale of the threat at the time and shut down accross to e-mail and to the institutions' intranet to prevent the disclosed of unauthorized information. Staff were also asked to change their passwords and other information as a precaution.

    "The Commission and External Advisory Service are subject to a serious cyber attack," Antony Gravili, the spokesman for the inter-institutional relations and administration commissioner, told BBC News. "We are already taking urgent measures to tackle this. An inquiry's been launched. This isn't unusual as the commission is frequently targeted."

    France's Finance Ministry was targeted in December. Attackers attempted to steal information about the G20 summit which was held in Paris in February.

    French Budget Minister Francois Baroin confirmed the attack at the time and said an investigation had been launched into the source.




    AfterDawn: News

    UK: Games devs gets 'some' tax relief

    Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Mar 2011 2:36

    UK: Games devs gets 'some' tax relief UK Chancellor George Osborne's budget will lead to some tax relief for the games industry in the region, according to TIGA.

    The trade group represents the games industry in the United Kingdom, and has been lobbying for tax breaks for UK gaming firms to help it compete on the world stage. The group said that the plans in the budget to enhance R&D tax credits is a "decisive victory" that will be worth around £7 million to the industry.

    Osborne did not go nearly far enough to protect the UK games industry however, according to TIGA. The group has been lobbying for more aggressive tax measures to help the ailing UK games industry, as international competitors are offering all kinds of incentives to bring the business to within their borders.

    "The R&D tax credits will deliver 60% to 70% more value to games studios than the current tax credit regime," TIGA chief executive, Dr Richard Wilson, said. He was unhappy that the new coalition government was unable to go further however.

    "Failure to deliver TIGA's Games Tax Relief is a dismal decision that displays a complete lack of imagination and one which will leave the UK video games industry swimming against the tide internationally," Wilson declared. "Our key competitors have tax breaks for games production. The UK does not."

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    US senators target 'drink driving apps'

    Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Mar 2011 2:36

    US senators target 'drink driving apps' United States senators have cried foul over applications for smart phones that they say enable people to drive drunk with less chance of getting caught.

    Senators Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Harry Reid of Nevada, Charles Schumer of New York and Tom Udail of New Mexico, all Democrats, signed a letter sent to Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Google, RiM's James Balsille and Scott Forstall, Apple executive in charge of software for iPhone.

    "Giving drunk drivers a free tool to evade checkpoints, putting innocent families and children at risk, is a matter of public concern," the letter from the senators states. They have asked the firms to remove the apps from stores, saying they present a real threat to public safety.

    The apps apparently allow users to alert each other to the locations of police stops. The letter does not name the apps specifically, but claim they have as many as 10 million users and offer databases of police checkpoints updated in real-time.

    According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, around 10,000 people are killed each year in accidents that involve drunk drivers.




    AfterDawn: News

    China denies disrupting GMail service

    Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Mar 2011 2:36

    China denies disrupting GMail service The Chinese government has denied accusations made by web giant Google Inc. that it is disrupting its e-mail service in the region.

    Google said on Monday that users in China were experiencing some problems with their GMail service, and that it was a result of government blocks and not a problem with the e-mail service itself. It went further to say that the blockage was "carefully designed to look like the problem is with Gmail."

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu denied the charge from Google on Tuesday. "This is an unacceptable accusation," she said during a regular news conference.

    According to affected users, the disrupting experienced with GMail in China comes amidst calls for protests against the government like those seen in the middle east recently.

    Google scaled back its presence in China last year after it blamed China-based organizations for attempting to hack e-mail accounts of known Chinese human rights activists. Beijing still denies any involvement in the spat that caused tension between China and the United States.




    AfterDawn: News

    Record labels want $75 trillion in damages from LimeWire

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Mar 2011 1:42

    Record labels want $75 trillion in damages from LimeWire Prompting Federal Judge Kimba Wood to call the request "absurd," the record labels are demanding $75 trillion from the now deceased file-sharing giant LimeWire over copyright infringement.

    At its peak, the P2P client had 50 million active users trading hundreds of millions of files.

    Late last year, LimeWire was officially shut down, following a federal ruling that found the company liable for copyright infringement. Within a month, the RIAA won its case and demanded $1 billion from the dead site.

    Law.com says "the record companies demanded damages ranging from $400 billion to $75 trillion, and argued Section 504(c)(1) of the Copyright Act that provided for damages for each instance of infringement where two or more parties were liable."

    Judge Wood did call the filing ridiculous, noting that the award would be many times more than the music industry has made, combined, since the invention of the phonograph in 1877.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    LinkedIn reaches 100 million users

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Mar 2011 12:31

    LinkedIn reaches 100 million users LinkedIn has announced this week that it has reached a major milestone, 100 million users.

    The company launched in 2003 as a "business social network," linking together professionals and students.

    In 2009, the company hit 50 million users and it has taken just over 18 months to get another 50 million.

    The company says it now adds a new member every second.

    As part of the milestone celebration, LinkedIn posted interesting figures about its membership base:

    -56 percent of users are from outside the U.S. and growth remains stronger internationally than in the States.

    -Brazil had the strongest growth, 428 percent year-over-year. Mexico, India and France followed.

    -LinkedIn usage peaks at noon for desktop, 8pm for mobile devices.

    -20 percent of users are in "service" sector, 9 percent are in finance and another 9 percent are in tech industry. There are also 1 million teachers.


    When the company IPOs later this year, it is expected to fetch $3 billion.




    AfterDawn: News

    Sony: Geohot fled to South America

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Mar 2011 2:01

    Sony: Geohot fled to South America According to VGHQ, George 'Geohot' Hotz has fled to South America in an effort to avoid handing over his possessions to Sony.

    Furthermore, Sony has caught Geohot lying on record, outing his PSN account which he claimed did not exist.

    Sony's official document in the case, Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC v. Hotz reads:

    Though the evidence establishing personal jurisdiction is already overwhelming, SCEA has little doubt that there is much more. However, over the last several weeks. Hotz has engaged in a campaign to thwart jurisdictional discovery at every turn –regardless of whether the Court has ordered such discovery or not.

    Most seriously, after Magistrate Judge Spero ordered an inspection of Hotz’s devices and ordered Hotz to appear at a deposition in California, SCEA learned that Hotz had deliberately removed integral components of his impounded hard drives prior to delivering them to a third party neutral and that Hotz is now in South America, an excuse for why he will not immediately provide the components of his hard drives as requested by the neutral. Hotz’s attempts to dodge this Court’s authority raise very serious questions.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Steve Jobs ordered to answer questions about possible monopoly iTunes

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Mar 2011 1:16

    Steve Jobs ordered to answer questions about possible monopoly iTunes U.S. Magistrate Judge Howard Lloyd has ruled that Apple CEO Steve Jobs must answer questions from lawyers representing consumers that claim the company created a music-download monopoly with iTunes.

    The lawyers in the anti-trust lawsuit will be given two hours to question Jobs, who remains on medical leave while he fights cancer.

    In the suit, consumers allege that Apple runs a monopoly with iTunes and iPods, thanks to the Fairplay DRM that blocks music purchased on iTunes from being used on any device not sold by Apple.

    RealNetworks, back in 2004, created a software that would let buyers purchase music from Real and sync it to their iPods. When Apple upgraded iTunes, they blocked Real's store, says the complaint.

    In ruling that the lawyers could question Jobs, Lloyd says Jobs has "unique, non-repetitive, first hand knowledge about Apple's software updates in October 2004 that rendered the RealNetworks's digital music files once again inoperable with iPods."




    AfterDawn: News

    Judge rejects Google Books settlement

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Mar 2011 12:23

    Judge rejects Google Books settlement In late 2008, Google reached a settlement agreement with authors and publishers in an effort to make thousands of books available online through Google Books.

    Google has scanned 12 million rare, out-of-print books and hoped to have them easily accessible to anyone with a computer, and via academic institutions and public libraries. The eventual plan is to make every book ever written available, around 130 million, as of writing.

    By late 2009, Google and all the parties involved agreed on an amended settlement, following input from the Department of Justice.

    In February 2010, Google filed for final approval of the amended settlement.

    This week, a New York judge has rejected the $125 million settlement, saying the deal would "arguably give Google control over the search market." Judge Denny Chin says the terms of the deal are so favorable to Google that it would give them the "defacto monopoly."

    Despite rejecting the agreement, Chin says a new amended agreement could pass, as long as Google implements "opt-in," meaning they are not allowed to use copyrighted material unless the publisher opts in. The current deal would have allowed Google to use the material if the copyright owner did not "opt out" in time.




    AfterDawn: News

    Firefox 4 downloads break 8 million

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Mar 2011 12:05

    Firefox 4 downloads break 8 million In just one day of availability, Mozilla's Firefox 4 has been downloaded 7.818 million times, and will break 8 million likely by the time this article is published.

    Microsoft broadly boasted of 2.3 million Internet Explorer 9 downloads in the first 24 hours when it released its updated browser but it seems Mozilla has blown out that number.

    You can check the Firefox download tracker here: http://glow.mozilla.org/?loc=interstitialskip

    The browser adds App Tabs, better WebM and HTML5 support, "do-no-track" privacy, hardware acceleration and JavaScript improvements.

    You can read more about the updates here at AfterDawn: Firefox 4 is here

    Download Firefox 4 here: Mozilla Firefox 4 at AfterDawn

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Windows Phone 7 devices get copy and paste with 'NoDo' update

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Mar 2011 11:40

    Windows Phone 7 devices get copy and paste with 'NoDo' update Following a two-week delay caused by the disaster that was the rollout of their February update, Windows Phone 7 users have begun receiving the long-awaited "NoDo" March update from Microsoft.

    As part of the update, device owners will get copy and paste capability, CDMA support, Marketplace search and "performance tune-ups."

    If you own a WP7 phone, the update began rolling out yesterday and it is unclear how long it will take to reach all customers. Your phone will show you a notification when the update is ready.

    All future WP7 phones will have NoDo pre-installed.

    Earlier in the week, Microsoft confirmed that the Marketplace had surpassed 10,000 apps, now sitting at just over 11,000.




    AfterDawn: News

    Showtime to remove top shows from Netflix after restructured deal

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Mar 2011 11:30

    Showtime to remove top shows from Netflix after restructured deal Showtime and Netflix have agreed to a new content deal this week, restructuring the current deal which ends during the summer.

    With the new deal, two of Showtime's most popular shows, "Dexter" and "Californication" will be removed from the streaming "Watch Instantly" catalog of Netflix.

    Episodes of "current originals" will now be available through the channel's "authenticated broadband service" Showtime Anytime.

    Not all is lost, however, as the deal will add "The Tudors," "Sleeper Cell" and other shows to Netflix.

    Says the premium channel (via reuters):

    Current and past seasons of our original series will be available to our authenticated subscribers via our TV Everywhere service Showtime Anytime. A number of Showtime original series will continue to be available and stream on Netflix, including 'The Tudors' and 'Sleeper Cell,' among others.


    Netflix has just announced the purchase of their first original series, buying a full two seasons of the David Fincher directed drama "House of Cards."




    AfterDawn: News

    T-Mobile upgrades HSPA+ speeds to 42Mbps in three cities

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2011 4:05

    T-Mobile upgrades HSPA+ speeds to 42Mbps in three cities T-Mobile USA has announced today that it will double the speed of its HSPA+ 4G network in New York, Las Vegas and Orlando, bringing the theoretical speed to 42Mbps, lightyears ahead of LTE and WiMax connections from Verizon, Sprint and AT&T.

    Long Island, parts of New Jersey and Chicago will get the expansion soon.

    By the start of the Q3 this year, T-Mobile says 140 million Americans in 25 markets will have access to the boosted speeds.

    The carrier will offer 25 HSPA+ capable smartphones and tablets this year.

    Earlier in the week, AT&T announced it would be purchasing T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, barring any regulatory setbacks, making it the only GSM carrier in the United States.




    AfterDawn: News

    Opera Mobile 11 released for Android and Symbian

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2011 3:48

    Opera Mobile 11 released for Android and Symbian Opera has announced today that Opera Mobile 11 is now available for Android and Symbian/s60 smartphones.

    Users can download the app from the Android Market or from m.opera.com.

    The change log:

    Features:

    Heads up to current users: Tap to zoom has been changed from single-click to double-click. You can now click links and activate Flash content in overview mode, without having to zoom in first (yes, that's right, the Android version now supports Flash).

    Modernized new user interface
    New UI optimized for tablet devices
    Faster framerates when panning and zooming
    No checkerboard, ever
    Text stays sharp during zooming
    Improved text-wrap on zoom
    Smart-tap, auto-zoom and highlights links if ambiguous link click
    Incremental zooming for devices w/o multi-touch
    Buttons for jumping to the top/bottom of the page
    Haptic feedback (if supported in hardware)
    Share URL on social networks, email etc
    Improved Geolocation support
    Session restore

    Rendering
    Presto 2.7.81
    JIT for greatly improved Javascript performance (was supported in 10.1 on some Symbian devices)
    Adobe Flash support (Android only, Flash player available separately in Android Market)
    Click-to-play, load Flash content on demand only
    Application Cache
    WebStorage and WebDatabase
    DOM touch and multi-touch events
    HTML5 Audio/Video
    Support for CSS @viewport
    Improved support for meta viewport
    Support for Web Open Font Format (WOFF)
    Support for Arabic ligatures
    Improved form fields skin

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Nokia already testing four Windows Phone 7 devices

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2011 3:28

    Nokia already testing four Windows Phone 7 devices According to tweets from Eldar Murtazin, Nokia is already testing up to four Windows Phone 7 devices, each of which will be aimed at different markets.

    Says Murtazin (via Soft):

    Nokia R&D - 4 Windows Phone 7 and 1 tablet (Win8 presumably). 2 phones used chassis 1, 2 based on chassis 2 - like HTC Ignate (middle end).


    Perhaps the most notable piece of the tweet is the speculation that Nokia is working on a Windows 8 tablet.

    Chassis 1 devices will likely run on 1GHz processors, have 8GB internal storage and a 5MP camera. Chassis 2 devices will be lower-end, running on 800MHz processors, like the HTC Ignite.

    It is still unclear when the first Nokia WP7 devices will hit the market, and at what price.




    AfterDawn: News

    Apple's new MacBook Pros continue to freeze, crash

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2011 3:05

    Apple's new MacBook Pros continue to freeze, crash Starting with the launch of Apple's new flagship MacBook Pros in late February, there have been hundred of reports of "hard freezes," the device locking up when users are running multiple programs.

    Despite Apple's attempt to cure the problem with an update to OS X 10.6, users are reporting the issue still occurring.

    The issue is stemming from the 15 and 17-inch models, each of which feature Sandy Bridge Core i7 quad-core CPUs and AMD Radeo HD graphics processors.

    A thread entitled "MacBook Pro 2011 17" hard freeze" on the Apple discussion forum is nearing 70 pages, with most users complaining about the crashes whenever using multiple apps, especially video intensive ones like iMovie or gaming.

    One user, dT explains, was able to pinpoint the problem:

    The issue occurred when running CPU-heavy processes along with programs that caused graphics processing to shift from the new Sandy Bridge processor to the descrete AMD Radeon graphics processor.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Samsung shows off 'thinnest tablets ever,' Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2011 2:34

    Samsung shows off 'thinnest tablets ever,' Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 Samsung has unveiled the 'thinnest tablets ever' today, the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1.

    The tablets are just 8.6mm thin, slightly beating out the iPad 2 which sits at 8.8mm.

    In regards to weight, the smaller tablet clocks in at 16.6 ounces and its larger brother is 20.9 ounces. The iPad weighs in at 21.28 ounces.

    Each of the devices runs on the tablet-optimized Android 3.0 Honeycomb, and have Samsung's updated TouchWiz UI.

    TouchWiz brings "live panels" which allow for content customization. The UI also adds an "app tray" with your most used applications. All widgets are resizable within TouchWiz, and the Wi-Fi app is improved, says Cnet.

    At launch, however, the devices will have vanilla 3.0, as TouchWiz will be part of a later update.

    Each of the tablets run on 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual core processors, have 3MP standard cameras, 2MP front-side cameras, 1280x800 resolution, and full 1080p playback. Flash 10.2 for tablets is coming soon, although the smartphone version works just fine.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Mozilla Firefox 4 is here

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2011 1:57

    Mozilla Firefox 4 is here Mozilla has launched Firefox 4 today, after 12 betas, 2 RCs and a year of development.

    The browser offers a streamlined, minimalist user interface, hardware acceleration, speed boost, and added support for WebM and HTML5.

    Mozilla notes that the browser is available for Mac, Windows, Linux and soon for Android.

    Most of the speed boosts come via JavaScript engine enhancements, and the company says the browser should be over 200 percent faster than Firefox 3.6.

    The full change log + video:

    What’s New in Firefox 4:

    Fastest Firefox Ever

    Performance: Firefox is up to six times faster than the previous release. With improved start-up and page load times, speedy Web app performance and hardware accelerated graphics, Firefox is optimized for rich, interactive websites.

    App Tabs: give a permanent home to frequently visited sites like Web mail, Twitter, Pandora, Flickr.

    Switch to Tab: easily find and switch to any open tab from your Awesome Bar without opening duplicate tabs.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Microsoft sues Barnes & Noble, Foxconn over alleged patent violations

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2011 1:40

    Microsoft sues Barnes & Noble, Foxconn over alleged patent violations Microsoft has sued Barnes & Noble and the large manufacturers Foxconn and Iventec this week, alleging each of the companies violates patents relating to the Android mobile operating system.

    The suit revolves around the B&N Nook e-reader, which uses Android 2.1.

    Says Microsoft CVP and deputy general counsel for intellectual property & licensing Horacio Gutierrez:

    The Android platform infringes a number of Microsoft's patents, and companies manufacturing and shipping Android devices must respect our intellectual property rights. To facilitate that, we have established an industry-wide patent licensing program for Android device manufacturers.

    We have tried for over a year to reach licensing agreements [with B&N, Foxconn, Iventec]. Their refusals to take licenses leave us no choice but to bring legal action to defend our innovations.


    The patents seem very broad and include "natural ways of interacting with devices by tabbing through various screens," and "interacting with documents and e-books," says eW.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    RIM PlayBook tablet coming April 19th

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2011 1:17

    RIM PlayBook tablet coming April 19th RIM has announced today that the long-awaited BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will go on sale on April 19th at 20,000 retail stores in the U.S and Canada.

    Matching the iPad 2's base price, the PlayBook will also sell for as low as $500.

    The tablet will be available in Best Buy, Best Buy Mobile, Telus, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, Bell, Rogers, Staples and Future Shop stores.

    Similar to its competition, the PlayBook will have 3 Wi-Fi-only models, 16/32/64GB, priced at $499/599/699, respectively.

    RIM's PlayBook will have a 7-inch LCD screen with 1024x600 resolution, a dual-core 1GHz processor, a 5MP standard camera and a 3MP front-facing camera and run on a new QNX-based operating system.

    Outside of the Wi-Fi-only models, WiMax 4G, LTE and HSPA+ models will be available, as well, but those do not have a set time table for release.




    AfterDawn: News

    Next Xbox coming in 2015

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2011 12:36

    Next Xbox coming in 2015 ZDnet has posted a portfolio image from designer Ben Patterson which says "collaboration with Microsoft's IEB Design group investigating future user experiences and hardware for 2015."

    The picture has since been taken down, but not before speculation has run rampant that Microsoft is starting development on the next-generation Xbox, due for release in 2015.

    Furthermore, Microsoft is still openly hiring for a few openings on the Xbox Console Architecture Team, with responsibilities including "defining and delivering next generation console architectures."

    In 2009, Xbox Games boss Shane Kim said the Xbox 360 would have a decade-long life cycle, so the 2015 date seems very reasonable.

    (Article mockup via SFGate)

    Pic found by ZD:




    AfterDawn: News

    Amazon Android app store coming Tuesday

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2011 1:15

    Amazon Android app store coming Tuesday E-tail giant Amazon is ready to launch its long-awaited Android app store on Tuesday, says Wired.

    Rumor of the app store surfaced last September.

    Differentiating it from the official Google Android Marketplace is the fact that the Amazon store will only have apps that Amazon allows in, just like how Apple does with the iOS App Store, arguably leading to a "higher quality" app selection.

    Last week, Amazon accidentally let one page of the store go live, showing off 48 paid apps.

    Customers can purchase the apps through the desktop page or via a native Amazon app on Android devices.

    As another way to differentiate itself from the official Marketplace, Amazon's payment system works in almost every country, whereas Google Checkout has its limitations.

    Finally, many sites have suggested that Amazon may be working on a Kindle tablet, one that will still emphasize e-reading but will run on Android 3.0 and include more powerful specs than a standalone e-reader.




    AfterDawn: News

    Angry Birds for PC available for free

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Mar 2011 12:10

    Angry Birds for PC available for free

    Following up on our previous popular article on how to get Angry Birds for PC, free and legally, there is now another chance to get the game, free of charge.


    NOTE:: The promotion on the external site has ended, but you can still play Angry Birds on PC for FREE, check this link: "Where can I get Angry Birds for PC for Free?"

    Rovio, the developer behind Angry Birds, recently said the game has hit 100 million downloads between iOS, Android and PC, and a Facebook version of the game is coming soon.




    AfterDawn: News

    Twitter turns 5 years old

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Mar 2011 9:21

    Twitter turns 5 years old Today in 2006, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey sent off the very first tweet, an unimpressive message that read "just setting up my twttr."

    Since then, over 30 billion tweets have been made and Twitter has become synonymous with social networking just like Facebook and LinkedIn.

    In the private market, Twitter has been valued at $8-10 billion although an IPO is not in the cards for 2011.

    Despite the huge valuation, Twitter expects to see 2011 revenue of just $150 million, and possibly some profit.

    Twitter has over 125 million users, and 500,000 new join each day. Overall, CEO Dick Costolo says there are now 1 billion tweets sent every 8 days.




    AfterDawn: News

    Mozilla surprised by Microsoft's abandonment of XP support in IE9

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Mar 2011 8:14

    Mozilla surprised by Microsoft's abandonment of XP support in IE9 Mozilla has expressed surprise after hearing that Microsoft had abandoned support for Windows XP with the release of Internet Explorer 9.

    IE9, released last week, does not support the decade-old operating system, which is still the most popular operating system, although 2009's Windows 7 is quickly gaining.

    According to NetApplications, XP still accounts for 55 percent of all PC users, with Windows 7 second at 23 percent.

    Microsoft explained their decision with the launch of IE:

    We knew we didn't want to optimize for the lowest common denominator, you need a modern operating system. [Supporting XP would have been] optimizing for the lowest common denominator. It's ten years old. That's not what developers need to move the Web forward.


    Mozilla disputes that, for the most part, with Johnathan Nightingale, the director of Firefox saying (via CW):

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    VLC for Android coming next month?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Mar 2011 7:24

    VLC for Android coming next month? According to VLC developer Rémi Duraffort, the long-awaited VLC for Android could be coming next month, in beta form.

    Duraffort says "most of the components are working but we must work to make them fit together."

    VLC for Android was initially expected in January, but lead VLC developer Jean-Baptiste Kempf said earlier this year that it has been "a challenge" to move VLC's core C++ code into Java, which is used on Android.

    Adds the developer (via Om)

    Having to create an application in Java that will load a C library in order to run VLC code is part of the issues we have. Moreover, most API to manage graphics (OpenGL) or audio can only be accessed from Java which mean that we decode audio and video in C but then give the images and audio samples to Java to be able to render them.


    Android 2.3 has made it easier to run native C++ code, but the developer says "VLC for Android will work for every Android version since 1.5," meaning they will continue to port the code.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    NGP digital downloads will be available same day as retail

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Mar 2011 6:55

    NGP digital downloads will be available same day as retail Sony Europe president Andrew House has said today that digital downloads of upcoming NGP games will be available the same day as their retail counterparts, which are available on a type of flash media.

    All games will be available as digital downloads, and House even admits that some games will only be digital, with no physical version.

    Says the president (via electronista):

    One thing we learnt from PSP, is that we want to have simultaneous delivery in digital and physical for NGP. Just to clarify that, all games that appear physically will be made available digitally. Not necessarily all games have to be made available physically. And having the option of a digital-only method affords more creative risk-taking, and that’s because you don’t-have that in-built risk of physical inventory.


    House expects NGP gaming will move to a tiered structure, where larger, "premium" games will still command higher prices but other, smaller titles will be available for download only, at a cheaper price point.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    WebOS 2.1 SDK now available

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Mar 2011 1:40

    WebOS 2.1 SDK now available HP has made the webOS 2.1 SDK available this weekend to all, removing the NDA.

    Developers can know get a look into "Synergy," "Exhibition Mode" and other new features.

    Furthermore, the company says the HP Veer smartphone is "just around the corner."

    The webOS 3.0 SDK, which is optimized for tablets, is still under NDA but "is coming soon."

    Says HP:

    The webOS 2.1 SDK has officially exited the Early Access program and is now available for download from the HP webOS Developer Center. Using the 2.1 SDK, you can now:

    Take advantage of unique webOS features like Just Type, Exhibition and Synergy.
    Build and distribute hybrid apps, combining HTML, JavaScript and CSS with C/C++.
    Develop webOS services in JavaScript with node.js.
    Got apps for Pixi? They’ll work on the all-new HP Veer.

    More good news! If you’ve created apps for the Palm Pixi, they’ll just work on the HP Veer, the next all-new webOS smartphone that’s coming just around the corner. We’re going to do a big push around this tiny marvel of a phone, so if your app isn’t already optimized for Pixi’s 320×400 display, it’s definitely worth considering. Get on the Veer wave!

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Sony building VAIO laptop with Chrome OS and Hybrid PC'

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2011 6:23

    Sony building VAIO laptop with Chrome OS and Hybrid PC' Sony Insider is reporting today that Sony is creating a Chrome OS notebook, as well as a "VAIO Hybrid PC."

    The Chrome OS notebook will look similar to Google's own Cr-48, but smaller with an 11.6-inch screen. The Cr-48 has a 12.1-inch screen.

    Promising different specs than the Cr-48, the upcoming Sony laptop will have a Tegra 2, 1GB RAM and a 16GB SSD. The device will weigh 2.2 pounds and provide 8 hours of battery life, around an hour less than the Cr-48.

    The Hybrid PC will feature a Core i7 processor, offer outstanding 15 hour battery life, include Intel Thunderbolt, and a large internal SSD.

    Additionally, the hybrid will "plug into a dock of some sort that adds a Blu-ray burner and external graphics (by AMD) for gaming and multimedia," says the site.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Kinect hacked to run on PlayStation 3

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2011 5:36

    Kinect hacked to run on PlayStation 3 CrunchGear has reported this weekend that the Kinect motion control system has been hacked to run on the PlayStation 3.

    In the video, the hacker connects the Kinect to his laptop, running the PrimeSense drivers.

    The drivers are "then converted into raw tracking data and reconverted into PS3-compliant data via DIYPS3Controller, used (naturally) to control your PS3 via your PC. This is sent to the PS3 in the form of normal controller movements (analog stick pressure, buttons and all," says the source.

    it is unclear if any games will actually be workably playable via the hack.

    More info is available here: Shantanu’s Technophilic Musings




    AfterDawn: News

    Digg founder Kevin Rose leaves company

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2011 4:26

    Digg founder Kevin Rose leaves company During the weekend it was confirmed that Digg founder Kevin Rose was leaving the company he created although he will stick around in some positions.

    Says Rose, via Mash:

    I’ll continue advising Digg [and serve] on the board of directors and taping Diggnation (as I have been since [Matt Williams] joined).


    Rose started the site in 2004, and within 18 months it had become the largest social news site in the U.S.

    Over time, the site has lost its share to competitors like StumbleUpon and Reddit, which recently announced a 1 billion view month, massive by any means.

    Rose has almost completed a $1 million funding round for a new startup.




    AfterDawn: News

    Facebook buys Snaptu

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2011 4:01

    Facebook buys Snaptu Snaptu has confirmed they have been acquired by Facebook, although the financial details have not been released.

    Israeli business papers have estimated the purchase will cost the social networking giant $70 million at highest or $40 million on the low end.

    Says Snaptu:

    Earlier this year, we announced the launch of a new Facebook mobile application to give people a great mobile experience on a broad range of feature phones. The Facebook for Feature Phones app currently works on more than 2,500 devices.

    We soon decided that working as part of the Facebook team offered the best opportunity to keep accelerating the pace of our product development. And joining Facebook means we can make an even bigger impact on the world.


    Facebook's response:

    As part of our goal to offer people around the world the opportunity to connect and share on mobile devices, we’re excited to confirm that we recently signed an agreement to acquire Snaptu. We expect the acquisition to close in a few weeks, subject to customary closing conditions.

    Snaptu is a startup run by a highly innovative collection of engineers and entrepreneurs, who we already work closely with to offer a Facebook mobile application for feature phones.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    UPDATED: Breaking News: AT&T to purchase T-Mobile USA for $39 billion

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2011 2:35

    UPDATED: Breaking News: AT&T to purchase T-Mobile USA for $39 billion AT&T has announced today that it will purchase T-Mobile USA from parent Deutsche Telekom for $39 billion, in a cash and stock transaction.

    With the major acquisition, AT&T will add a significant amount of market share and better compete against Verizon, the market leader in the U.S. for mobile phone users.

    AT&T says it will expand its 4G LTE to 95 percent of the American population, an additional 46.5 million people.

    Says AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson:

    This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation’s future. It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people. Mobile broadband networks drive economic opportunity everywhere, and they enable the expanding high-tech ecosystem that includes device makers, cloud and content providers, app developers, customers, and more. During the past few years, America’s high-tech industry has delivered innovation at unprecedented speed, and this combination will accelerate its continued growth.

    This transaction delivers significant customer, shareowner and public benefits that are available at this level only from the combination of these two companies with complementary network technologies, spectrum positions and operations. We are confident in our ability to execute a seamless integration, and with additional spectrum and network capabilities, we can better meet our customers’ current demands, build for the future and help achieve the President’s goals for a high-speed, wirelessly connected America.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Netflix confirms deal for original show

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2011 1:29

    Netflix confirms deal for original show Netflix has confirmed it has beat out HBO and AMC for the drama "House of Cards," starring Kevin Spacey.

    The show is directed by David Fincher, the man behind 'Fight Club' and 'The Social Network,' among other hits.

    House of Cards will be Netflix' first original program, and puts the company in direct competition with HBO and Showtime, which have had years of original hits that have helped raise their subscriber bases.

    Airing in late 2012, the show will be available exclusively through Netflix's "Watch Instantly" streaming service, which costs $7.99 by itself, or minimum $8.99 when mixed with a physical media package.

    To get the show, Netflix had to commit to two seasons (26 episodes) before the pilot/test episode was even shot. A full-season commitment is an anomaly in the TV world, and a two-season commitment is just unheard of.

    Netflix COO Ted Sarandos says the "company will pay a portion of the production costs of the series, with Media Rights Capital financing the rest and retaining DVD, television syndication and international distribution rights." It is unclear how much the company had to pay for the agreement, although he admitted that Netflix made sure its fees per show was capped.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Microsoft helps take down spam behemoth Rustock

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Mar 2011 12:47

    Microsoft helps take down spam behemoth Rustock Microsoft and federal law enforcement have jointly taken down the spam giant Rustock botnet, seizing computers, servers, and other equipment from hosting providers in Denver, Dallas, Chicago, Kansas City, Seattle, Scranton, Pa., and Columbus.

    The devices were allegedly "command-and-control" machines, from where operators of the botnet controlled over one million infected PCs, globally.

    Microsoft called the seizures a "decapitation" of the botnet, which was sending out as much as 30 billion spam emails every day.

    The raids were part of a civil lawsuit filed by Microsoft last month against John Does 1-11, the unidentified operators of the botnet.

    Hotmail, Microsoft's email service, is "taxed" by the huge amount of spam, says the software company, and Windows and Office users are hurt because the spammers usually exploit security vulnerabilities in Office or Windows to infect and take control of computers.




    AfterDawn: News

    .XXX domain finally approved fully by ICANN

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Mar 2011 2:28

    .XXX domain finally approved fully by ICANN ICANN, the governing body behind the Internet has finally approved .XXX domains, almost 10 years after the idea was brought to the group.

    With a vote of 9-3, and despite objections from the adult industry, the measure passed.

    Adult sites can choose to use the new domain, but are not required to do so.

    The Free Speech Coalition, the main opponent to the vote because it represents many businesses in the adult industry, says the move will raise costs for porn providers, thanks to the need to register .xxx domains on top of their current addresses.

    Additionally, the Coalition says the new domain will make it much easier for filters to block adult sites in bulk.

    The group plans to appeal the decision.




    AfterDawn: News

    HTC Evo 3D and Evo View 4G tablet have specs leaked

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Mar 2011 12:46

    HTC Evo 3D and Evo View 4G tablet have specs leaked Specs for the upcoming HTC Evo 3D and Evo View 4G (headed to Sprint) have leaked today, days before their expected launch at CTIA.

    The Evo 3D will have a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor and a 4.3-inch 3D display which will not require special glasses.

    Additionally, the device will have dual-5MP cameras that can record 720p 3D video, and will support the YouTube 3D app. A smaller 1.3MP front-side camera will be used for video chatting, but no 3D.

    Finally, the smartphone will be the first of HTC's phones to run Android 2.3 Gingerbread, and will include 1GB RAM, 4GB ROM and a large 1,730mAh battery.

    The Evo View 4G is based on the Flyer tablet, and has a 7-inch display, 1024x600 resolution, a single core 1.5Ghz Snapdragon processor, 5MP standard camera, 1.3MP front-side camera, Android 2.3.3, WiMax 4G support, and pen input support.




    AfterDawn: News

    3DS could help optometrists find vision disorders in young children

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2011 11:12

    3DS could help optometrists find vision disorders in young children Despite the warning on every Nintendo 3DS that it shouldn't be used by any child under the age of 6, optometrists in the U.S are saying that it won't actually harm their vision, and young children should try out the 3D screen as it could help the doctors find vision disorders that must be caught early to treat.

    Says Michael Duenas, associate director for health sciences and policy for the American Optometric Association:

    The 3DS could be a godsend for identifying kids under 6 who need vision therapy.


    Nintendo's latest handheld is on sale in Japan and will hit the U.S. next Sunday with a $250 price tag.

    The handheld can display 3D images without the need for special glasses, and can take 3D pictures.

    If a child under 6 cannot see the 3D effect, it is a clear sign that they may have amblyopia (lazy eye) or other vision disorders, says the AOA.




    AfterDawn: News

    Tethering for free with rooted phone? AT&T does not like that

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2011 1:28

    Tethering for free with rooted phone? AT&T does not like that AT&T has moved to bully tactics in an effort to stop smartphone owners who are using wireless tethering without paying extra for a data plan.

    Tethering allows users to turn their phone into a wireless hotspot using their 3G connection and allowing other devices to connect to it.

    Hundreds (if not more) of AT&T subscribers received the following email this week, in which AT&T practically says "start paying for tethering or we will force you to."

    Reads the email:

    We've noticed your service plan may need updating.

    Many AT&T customers use their smartphones as a broadband connection for other devices, like laptops, netbooks or other smartphones- a practice commonly known as tethering. Tethering can be an efficient way for our customers to enjoy the benefits of AT&T's mobile broadband network and use more than one device to stay in touch with important people and information. To take advantage of this feature, we require that in addition to a data plan, you also have a tethering plan.

    Our records show that you use this capability, but are not subscribed to our tethering plan.

    If you would like to continue tethering, please log into your account online at www.wireless.att.com, or call us at 1-888-860-6789 Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. CST or Saturday, 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. CST, by March 27, 2011 to sign up for DataPro 4GB for Smartphone Tethering. Here are details on the plan:

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    PlayStation 3 firmware 3.60 jailbroken

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2011 1:11

    PlayStation 3 firmware 3.60 jailbroken Last week, Sony introduced PlayStation 3 firmware 3.60, which added cloud saving for PlayStation Plus members.

    This week, a hacker uploaded a video alleging that he had jailbroken the firmware, showing off a retail console with 3.60 with homebrew.

    You can read an interview with the hacker here: MyCE.

    In separate news, PSX Scene has said that Sony has enabled 3.60 authentication, thus kicking all custom firmware users off of PSN.

    It is unclear whether the last move will lead to bans.





    AfterDawn: News

    'Rocksmith' will teach gamers how to really play guitar

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2011 12:39

    'Rocksmith' will teach gamers how to really play guitar Following the decline in sales for music and rhythm games like 'Guitar Hero' and 'Rock Band,' Ubisoft has announced the launch of its first ever "authentic guitar game," dubbed Rocksmith.

    Rocksmith will be available for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC and will allow gamers to plug in their real electric guitar and learn how to play via the game.

    The gameplay will adjust automatically to match a player's skill level (beginner to expert) and the developer says music reading will be "visually fun and intuitive."

    It is unclear what the full launch catalog will be but there will be music from The Animals, The Black Keys, David Bowie, Interpol, Nirvana and The Rolling Stones.

    Adds Ubi (via PCW)

    Rocksmith is the most authentic and addictive music game ever created. Whether a beginner or a seasoned guitarist, players can progress at their own speed and walk away from the game with the ability to play songs by memory. Rocksmith is the only video game that gets players stage-ready.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Firefox 4 coming March 22nd

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Mar 2011 12:36

    Firefox 4 coming March 22nd Following 12 betas and the recent RC, Mozilla has said today that Firefox 4 will be officially released on March 22nd for Windows, Mac and Linux.

    Firefox 4 is most notable due to the addition of hardware-accelerated browsing.

    Chrome 10 has partial acceleration and the new Internet Explorer 9 offers acceleration for users with AMD chips.

    The browser features a minimalist interface, much improved JavaScript performance, increased HTML5 support (including WebM) and a revamped plug-in architecture called JetPack.

    Firefox 4 adds the ability to create tab groups (dubbed Panorama), and adds tab pinning, as well. Frequently used sites, like Gmail and Twitter can be created into App Tabs, which means they will pin, and glow when updated (new tweets, new emails).

    As with past versions, you can sync all settings, passwords, bookmarks and open tabs to mobile devices via secured 26-character key.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Netflix pays 2.5 cents per movie streamed

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Mar 2011 1:26

    Netflix pays 2.5 cents per movie streamed Dan Rayburn of StreamingMedia has updated his report on Netflix streaming costs, and it appears that the company's direct costs fell by 50 percent since the end of 2009.

    In all, the company will pay just $50 million in 2011 to CDNs for delivery of the video.

    As 2009 came to a close, Netflix was paying around 5 cents for every streamed movie, but that cost has fallen to 2.5 cents. The post explains:

    While most video contracts with third party CDNs are typically priced on per GB delivered model, Netflix and other large content distributors usually pay the CDNs on a per Mbps sustained model. They pay not for the total number of bits they transfer each month, but rather the total amount of bandwidth they peak at each month, a pricing model also referred to in the industry as 95/5. This means that a customer can burst above their committed rate of Mbps less than 5% of the time with no penalty, but once they go over that, they pay for overages.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Netflix close to acquiring first original series?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Mar 2011 1:04

    Netflix close to acquiring first original series? Netflix is on the verge of acquiring its first original series, outbidding HBO and AMC for the drama "House of Cards," starring Kevin Spacey.

    The show is directed by David Fincher, the man behind 'Fight Club' and 'The Social Network,' among other hits.

    While the numbers are mostly speculation, Deadline says the deal may end up costing Netflix over $100 million for two seasons (26 episodes).

    Netflix is the overwhelming streaming video market leader, but the company had shunned original programming until recently.

    A two-season commitment is an absolute anomaly in this day and age, with most broadcasters, and even premium channels like HBO and Showtime piloting new shows, or signing on for short 6-13 episode seasons. With a two-season commitment, Netflix is betting largely that the show will be a massive hit, brining in millions of new subscribers.

    Netflix has currently committed over $1.5 billion for deals with Paramount, CBS, Lionsgate, MGM, Relativity Media and Starz. A streaming-only plan from Netflix is $8 per month.




    AfterDawn: News

    Samsung Galaxy Android media players headed to U.S.

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Mar 2011 6:31

    Samsung Galaxy Android media players headed to U.S. Samsung's Galaxy S Wi-Fi 4.0 and 5.0 media players have reached the U.S., dubbed the Galaxy Player 4" and 5" for the American market.

    The media players should be the first competition the market leader Apple iPod Touch has had, ever.

    Both devices run on Android 2.2, and will be upgradeable to Gingerbread 2.3 or higher in the future. Each device has a 3.2MP rear-side camera and a VGA camera on the front.

    Galaxy Players come built-in with Skype and Qik for video conferencing.

    Furthermore, the players have Flash 10.1, working GPS that can be used offline with Google Maps 5, and DLNA media sharing.

    Each of the devices ships with 8GB storage in an effort to keep down costs, but MicroSDHC slots means you can add up to 32GB more. Because of Android, the devices don't require a syncing app like iTunes, and the devices supports AAC, MP3, MPEG-4, H.264, WMV, DivX, FLAC, Ogg Vorbis, and XviD.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Internet Explorer 9 downloads top 2.3 million first day

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Mar 2011 6:03

    Internet Explorer 9 downloads top 2.3 million first day Microsoft has announced today that Internet Explorer 9 was downloaded 2.35 million times between its Monday night launch and Tuesday night, or the equivalent of 27 downloads per second.

    The company saw 1 million downloads of the first beta and a similar number for the RC, which launched at the end of February.

    Microsoft has transformed IE9, adding a URL/Search bar like Chrome, and going or a "minimalist" look, leaving more room for actual browsing.

    IE9 users will also be able to pin sites and bookmarks to the Windows taskbar, use a built-in download manager (for the first time ever) and see hardware acceleration for HTML5 video.

    ActiveX filtering and other security features have been added, as well.

    You can download IE9 here at AfterDawn: Internet Explorer 9 (all versions available)




    AfterDawn: News

    Google remakes Chrome logo, removes shine

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Mar 2011 5:41

    Google remakes Chrome logo, removes shine Google has updated its logo for the Chrome browser, removing the "shine" and going minimalist on the design.

    The remade logo follows Google's decision to remake the Chromium design last week. Chromium is the open-source foundation behind the browser.

    Says the search giant:

    Chrome has improved significantly since it was first released in 2008. We're working on refreshing the icon to better represent the speed and simplicity of the modern browser and operating system.


    The logo will soon be available in all versions of Chrome, and is now available in the developer-channel for Chrome 11.

    The updated browser will also add the ability to select multiple tabs, says Cnet.




    AfterDawn: News

    Android hacker, dev offered job by Sony but declines

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Mar 2011 5:10

    Android hacker, dev offered job by Sony but declines It appears that Sony is at least looking into acquiring talent from the hacking scene.

    Sony America recruiter Sarah McRae sent an email off to Android OS hacker Koushik Datta (aka Koush) offering an interview for a position on Sony's R&D team.

    Koush was grateful but responded:

    I appreciate that I have been contacted. The opportunity sounds very interesting! However, given Sony’s recent treatment of a fellow hacker George Hotz (@ geohot), I could not in good conscience work at Sony


    The hacker/dev also added that Android has been good to him:

    To clear up any confusion, I was not offered a job, just an interview, which I declined out of principle. For those saying “I’m going to regret being principled”, etc. Probably not. Android App sales have been more than good to me. Good, enterprising, devs should never find themselves short of opportunities.





    AfterDawn: News

    Netflix takes 61 percent share of digital streaming and downloads market

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Mar 2011 3:33

    Netflix takes 61 percent share of digital streaming and downloads market According to the latest figures from the NPD Group, Netflix has taken a large 61 percent market share of the movie/TV streaming and downloads market.

    Comcast came in second at 8 percent share, followed by DirecTV, Time Warner Cable and Apple each at 4 percent.

    The numbers are part of NPD's VideoWatch Digital tracking service, which launched in January.

    Furthermore, the firm says digital video now accounts for "one quarter of all video volume in the home."

    Says NPD:

    Sales of DVDs and Blu-ray discs still drive most home-video revenue, but VOD and other digital options are now beginning to make inroads with consumers. Overwhelmingly digital movie buyers do not believe physical discs are out of fashion, but their digital transactions were motivated by the immediate access and ease of acquisition provided by streaming and downloading digital video files.




    AfterDawn: News

    Netflix for Android app leaked, some features work

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Mar 2011 2:27

    Netflix for Android app leaked, some features work Android fans may be excited to learn that a working .APK file of Netflix for Android is now available, although streaming movies will not work.

    The leaks comes via the upcoming LG Revolution smartphone, which had its software dumped.

    Netflix will be available to select Android 2.2+ phones in the future, but the company has not confirmed which devices.

    For now, anyone with 2.2 can try the APK, which will let you login and manage you queue. Trying to stream will get you hit with an error code.

    It is unclear why the error code exists, but most have speculated that the official app will require some DRM check to work.

    You can get the app here: Netflix.apk




    AfterDawn: News

    R.I.P Microsoft Zune

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Mar 2011 11:40

    R.I.P Microsoft Zune According to Bloomberg, Microsoft will no longer introduce new models of the Zune line of media players, citing low demand.

    The company will now focus on integrating the Zune software into Windows Phone 7 devices.

    WP7 device owners will be able to use Zune for subscription unlimited music and to rent/buy movies and individual tracks.

    The original Zunes were released in 2006 but did not take the market share Bill Gates hoped they would. Despite the critical success of 2009's Zune HD, the Apple iPod (in all iterations) still controls a massive 77 percent of the media player market. The Zune was only a top-10 device.

    Microsoft declined to comment on the report but did offer:

    We have nothing to announce about another Zune device -- but most recently have introduced Zune HD to Canada via the Zune Originals store and remain committed to supporting our devices in North America. We are thrilled by the consumer excitement for Zune across many new platforms, including Windows Phone 7 and Xbox 360. Our long-term strategy focuses on the strength of the entire Zune ecosystem across Microsoft platforms.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Bon Jovi blames Apple for 'killing music business'

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Mar 2011 10:58

    Bon Jovi blames Apple for 'killing music business' Jon Bon Jovi has blamed Apple and CEO Steve Jobs today for "killing music" with the success of the iTunes digital music platform.

    The lead singer of the band Bon Jovi says "the magical experience" of buying records in brick-and-mortar stores is now disappearing thanks to iTunes.

    Says Bon Jovi (via MSN):

    Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it.

    God, it was a magical, magical time. I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: 'What happened?' Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business.


    Bon Jovi's recent tour (still ongoing), was one of the top earning in 2010.




    AfterDawn: News

    Microsoft confirms delay of March Windows Phone 7 update

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2011 11:45

    Microsoft confirms delay of March Windows Phone 7 update Microsoft has confirmed today that its March "NoDo" update for Windows Phone 7 will be postponed for weeks following the complete disaster that was the rollout of their February update.

    CEO Steve Ballmer had initially said the update would be hitting smartphones the first week of March.

    Spokesman Eric Hautala, the leader of the team behind the updates, says that the update will now be headed to smartphones in the last week of March, but possibly a bit earlier.

    For the February update, Microsoft acknowledged that up to 10 percent of customers had issues with the update, especially those with Samsung devices.

    This time around, the company will "take some extra time to ensure the update process meets our standards, your standards, and the standards of our partners."

    The March update will add copy/paste, CDMA support, and Marketplace search.




    AfterDawn: News

    Reuters: Apple sold about 1 million iPad 2 this weekend

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2011 2:25

    Reuters: Apple sold about 1 million iPad 2 this weekend A number of analysts have posted their expected results for the launch weekend of the iPad 2 tablet.

    The consensus? About 1 million units sold.

    Last year, it took the iPad 28 days to surpass the 1 million milestone.

    Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry says he expects nearly a million sales, and that 100 percent of all iPad 2 buyers are the owners of at least one Apple product.

    60 percent are existing iPad owners and the rest are first-time buyers. Some were or are current Kindle/e-reader owners.

    The analyst also says AT&T's iPad 2 is selling better than Verizon's, due to better customer service.




    AfterDawn: News

    The iPhone still can't figure out daylight savings time

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2011 1:41

    The iPhone still can't figure out daylight savings time Once again, the iPhone has managed to mess up daylight savings time, frustrating smartphone owners.

    The smartphone sent time back one hour instead of "springing" it forward one hour, leaving iPhone owners two hours behind.

    Last fall, when the phones were supposed to "fall" an hour back, they didn't.

    Problems were cited in North America, Europe and Australia.

    Earlier this year iPhone owners said their phone alarm clocks stopped working following the New Year.

    For now, the fix is simple. Turn on "airplane mode" for a second and then turn it back off.




    AfterDawn: News

    Sean Parker to buy Warner Music label?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2011 12:39

    Sean Parker to buy Warner Music label? According to the WSJ, billionaire Sean Parker is getting a group together to purchase Warner Music Group, one of the "Big 4" labels.

    Parker is best-known for creating Napster, the original music sharing client which started the secular decline in the music industry. He was also the former president of Facebook and still a large shareholder.

    Warner put itself up for sale last year and is expecting a minimum $2.5 billion bid.

    Investors Ron Burkle and Doug Teitelbaum will be the real buyers, with Parker not putting in any of his vast wealth, says the source.

    The latest group is one of five bidders expected to throw formal bids at Warner in the coming weeks.




    AfterDawn: News

    AT&T adds bandwidth caps to DSL lines

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2011 11:57

    AT&T adds bandwidth caps to DSL lines AT&T has confirmed today that it will be adding bandwidth caps to its DSL and U-Verse services.

    DSL users will have a 150GB cap while U-Verse subscribers will have a 250GB cap.

    Anyone who exceeds the limit three times will be charged $10 for every extra 50GB of data consumed.

    The new policy goes into effect May 2nd for new and existing customers.

    AT&T says it will send notifications when you reach 65 percent of the cap, 90 percent and finally when you hit the full cap. The company will also give all subscribers software to help them track their usage.

    The caps will affect under 2 percent of users, says the ISP, subscribers who use "a disproportionate" amount of data and slow down networks for others.




    AfterDawn: News

    Man facing jail time for embedding video

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Mar 2011 2:07

    Man facing jail time for embedding video Brian McCarthy, the owner of channelsurfing.net, is now facing up to five years in prison after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) accused him of linking to copyrighted material.

    The site linked to copyrighted material, none of which was hosted by the site or its owner.

    Regardless the DHS, along with ICE took the domain, leaving this message:


    This domain has been seized by ICE - Homeland Security Investigations, Special Agent in Charge, New York Office.

    It is unlawful to reproduce copyrighted material, such as movies, music, software or games, without authorization... First-time offenders convicted of a criminal felony copyright law will face up to five years in federal prison, restitution, forfeiture and fine.


    If the government is successful in their case, it could set a precedent that would mean all users who have ever even linked to copyrighted content (sharing a video link via email, etc) could be prosecuted.

    You can view the complaint here: New York man faces five years in jail for ‘linking’ to online videos




    AfterDawn: News

    Hulu Plus headed to 'select' Android 2.2 devices

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2011 6:13

    Hulu Plus headed to 'select' Android 2.2 devices In January, Hulu announced that its premium Hulu Plus service was eventually headed to Android devices, although it was never disclosed when, or to what devices.

    This weekend, the company has updated their devices page with a picture of the Nexus S and a note that says "Select Android OS 2.2 phones" and "Coming Soon."

    The Nexus runs on Gingerbread 2.3, so it seems like Hulu Plus will be available on 2.2 and higher devices.

    There was no word on Android tablets.

    It is unclear what "coming soon" implies, but it is at least good to see the company has not forgotten about its promise for Android phone support.




    AfterDawn: News

    Wi-Fi-only Xoom coming on March 27th?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2011 4:40

    Wi-Fi-only Xoom coming on March 27th? Droid Life has posted a leaked ad from Staples which shows the Wi-Fi-only model of the Motorola Xoom coming on March 27th.

    The tablet will have a retail price of $600.

    At the leaked price, the Xoom will sell for $100 more than the cheapest iPad 2, which has half the onboard storage at 16GB.

    The launch of the Wi-Fi model is most notable as buyers will not be locked down into an expensive Verizon contract if they want to try out the Honeycomb tablet.

    March 27th has not been confirmed by Motorola, or anyone else.




    AfterDawn: News

    Video Daily: Student sells her spot on iPad 2 line for $900

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2011 4:04

    Video Daily: Student sells her spot on iPad 2 line for $900 Amanda Foote, a student at Manhattan Community College spent 41 hours in line at the flagship Apple store on Fifth Avenue in New York City before selling her spot to an app developer for $900.

    Foote began waiting on line at 5pm on Wednesday, and was there (through a huge downpour on Thursday) before giving up the spot to Hazem Sayed at 9am on Friday, hours before the 5pm launch.

    Sayed said he was willing to pay the large premium for the spot because he wanted to take the tablet on a business trip for which he was leaving on Friday night.

    After the sale, Foote says she will probably use the money to see Lady Gaga in concert.




    AfterDawn: News

    Rovio secures $42 million in funding

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Mar 2011 3:36

    Rovio secures $42 million in funding Rovio, the developer behind blockbuster sensation 'Angry Birds,' has raised $42 million during a round of funding led by venture capitalist firms.

    One of the firms is Accel Partners, which has vested interests in Facebook, Groupon and AdMob, among other mobile or social companies.

    Angry Birds currently has 40 million active players across Android, iOS and PC platforms, and downloads have topped 75 million.

    Outside of game downloads, Angry Birds plush toy sales have surpassed 2 million, breaking into the mainstream retail channels.

    The developer will use the money for "strategic expansions."




    AfterDawn: News

    Pwn2Own: Chrome, Android, Firefox own; Safari, IE8, iOS, BB get pwned

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Mar 2011 3:08

    Pwn2Own: Chrome, Android, Firefox own; Safari, IE8, iOS, BB get pwned Two days into the Pwn2Own hacking challenge, only a few still remain.

    So far, hackers have not been able to exploit Mozilla Firefox 3.6, Google Chrome, and the mobile Android OS.

    Victims of the contest include Internet Explorer 8, Apple Safari 5, iOS 4 and BlackBerry.

    All the security researchers who manage to exploit the browsers or operating systems take home a cash prize of $15,000 and a laptop. If Chrome gets beaten, the researcher takes home $20,000.

    Charlie Miller beat the iPhone 4 with iOS and has taken home the prize in 2007, 2009, 2010 and this year.

    Firefox fixed 10 security flaws the day before the contest started, and Google fixed 9. Chrome has yet to be defeated since its launch in 2008, while Firefox was beaten in 2009 and 2010.

    Security researchers from VUPEN beat Safari 5, rather easily: "We pwned Apple Safari on Mac OS X (x64) at Pwn2Own in 5 seconds."




    AfterDawn: News

    Apple set to sell 600,000 iPad 2 in first 24 hours

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Mar 2011 2:52

    Apple set to sell 600,000 iPad 2 in first 24 hours According to multiple analysts, Apple will likely sell 600,000 iPad 2 during its debut, doubling up on first generation iPad launch sales.

    "Apple has such a huge lead," says Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies. "Competitors are going to be chasing Apple for many years."

    Bajarian has 20 years experience in the tech sector and expects 500,000 sales.

    He expects the bump in sales due to the increased retail partners (Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy) at launch.

    Analysts from Rodman & Renshaw LLC and Piper Jaffray & Co. expect anywhere between 500,000 and 600,000 and Ashok Kumar of R&R even says "the iPad 2 is essentially the tablet market."

    The iPad 2 adds a dual-core A5 processor, a new GPU, dual cameras, is 33 percent thinner and adds first-party apps like iMovie and GarageBand.




    AfterDawn: News

    Flash 10.2 for Android coming March 18th

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Mar 2011 2:33

    Flash 10.2 for Android coming March 18th Adobe has confirmed today that Flash 10.2 for Android devices is coming on March 18th for owners of Android 2.2 and 2.3 phones and tablets.

    A beta form for 3.0 Honeycomb will also be available very soon for Xoom owners with the 3.0.1 update.

    There is a chance, however, that your device will not be able to use 10.2, so make sure to check here.

    10.2 for Honeycomb brings hardware-acceleration for video, which should lead to less lag and possibly better battery life.

    The updated software will also finally be able to take advantage of dual-core processors, like those seen in the Atrix and Xoom.

    Adobe also notes that 10.3 is already in development.




    AfterDawn: News

    COD: Black Ops now the top selling game in U.S. history?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Mar 2011 1:19

    COD: Black Ops now the top selling game in U.S. history? According to new figures from the NPD Group, Call of Duty: Black Ops is now the "top-selling video game of all-time" in the U.S., surpassing Wii Play.

    The game sold 13.7 million copies since its launch in November, an impressive number that easily eclipses its predecessor, Modern Warfare 2.

    Activision knows it has a winner, as well, and is planning Modern Warfare 3, an online version of the game and an "action adventure" COD, all before 2013.

    While Black Ops may be the best-selling game in the U.S. ever, it has a long way before it can surpass the global sales of some other notable games.

    Wii Play has sold 27.38 million copies worldwide, Mario Kart Wii has sold 26.50 million copies and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is nearing 20 million.




    AfterDawn: News

    18 million tablets, 13 million e-readers shipped in 2010

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2011 11:44

    18 million tablets, 13 million e-readers shipped in 2010 IDC has posted their tablet and e-reader shipment figures for 2010, and it appears that 18 million media tablets were shipped for the year, and 12 million dedicated e-readers.

    10 million of those tablets shipped in the Q4 alone.

    Apple remained the dominate force, with a 73 percent share of the market, but that number fell substantially from the 93 percent share the company had at the end of the Q3.

    Samsung took 17 percent share with their Galaxy Tab, while all other companies took the final 10 percent.

    The e-reader market saw significant gains, as well, following the release of the refreshed Amazon Kindle and the Nook Color.

    E-reader shipment growth grew 325 percent to 13 million, with the Kindle taking 48 percent share. B&N took second place, with their Nook and Nook Color devices. Pandigital was a close third, followed by Hanvon and Sony to round out the top 5.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    AOL laying off 20 percent of workforce

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2011 1:59

    AOL laying off 20 percent of workforce AOL is prepared to cut up to 20 percent of its global workforce, this week, with as many as 900 people losing there jobs.

    The company will cut 400 jobs in India and 200 in the U.S., while outsourcing another 300 to other companies.

    At its peak during the tech bubble, AOL had 20,000 employees. After this week, the company will have just over 4000.

    Says CEO Tim Armstrong (via Reuters):

    We want to go from taking arrows to catching arrows. Today is a difficult one for our company.

    AOL will turn around.


    AOL just completed its massive $315 million acquisition of The Huffington Post news site.




    AfterDawn: News

    iPad 2 to be available earlier online

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2011 1:30

    iPad 2 to be available earlier online Apple has said today that it will begin selling the iPad 2 online at 4am EST tomorrow morning, give buyers a chance to purchase the tablet before it is available in stores.

    Apple stores will begin selling the device at 5pm tomorrow.

    All of the company's retail partners, Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Target, will begin selling the tablet at 5pm, as well.

    Carriers AT&T and Verizon will do the same.

    The iPad 2 adds a dual-core A5 processor, is 33 percent thinner, adds two cameras, new magnetic covers, and some first-party apps like iMovie.




    AfterDawn: News

    HP to sell its PC division to Samsung?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2011 1:04

    HP to sell its PC division to Samsung? The Chinese Commercial Times paper has reported on a pretty crazy rumor this week, stating that PC giant HP may be looking to sell its entire PC division to Samsung.

    Lenovo and Foxconn were also contacted, but apparently do not have the same financial resources to effectively steal the bid away from Samsung.

    The deal was close to being sealed in late 2010, but the paper says it was "called off for unknown reasons."

    So far, there has been little follow-up on the potentially blockbuster deal.

    While the deal would be great for Samsung who is looking to fill its notebook product line gap, the paper speculates that chances of HP selling are very low, as the division still brings in sizable profits and revenue.

    HP is the top global laptop vendor and was the top desktop PC seller in the Q4 2010.




    AfterDawn: News

    The Nintendo 3DS is self-aware, knows when you're a pirate

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2011 12:17

    The Nintendo 3DS is self-aware, knows when you're a pirate Eurogamer posted an interesting article today, pointing to the Enterking shop when claiming that the Nintendo 3DS may be able to tell when gamers are using a flash cart.

    A flash cart gives gamers the ability to play DS and DSi games from a microSD card, or add homebrew apps.

    When you connect to the Internet, Nintendo can then see what systems have been playing pirated games and remotely disable them via firmware update.

    The Enterking site posted this warning:

    Dear customers who resell Nintendo 3DS:

    Non-purchase able 3DS system: if you use equipment which is illegal or unapproved by Nintendo or if you do customisation which is unapproved by Nintendo, there is a possibility that Nintendo 3DS becomes non-bootable by system update.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Mozilla releases Firefox 4 RC

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Mar 2011 11:53

    Mozilla releases Firefox 4 RC Download it here: Firefox 4 RC

    Mozilla has released the first Firefox 4 RC this week, meaning the final release of the browser is likely coming within weeks.

    All beta testers have been automatically upgraded to the RC, which has over 8000 bug fixes since the first beta last year.

    The browser features a minimalist interface, much improved JavaScript performance, increased HTML5 support (including WebM) and "a revamped plug-in architecture called JetPack," says PCM.

    Firefox 4 adds the ability to create tab groups (dubbed Panorama), and adds tab pinning, as well. Frequently used sites, like Gmail and Twitter can be created into App Tabs, which means they will pin, and glow when updated (new tweets, new emails).

    As with past versions, you can sync all settings, passwords, bookmarks and open tabs to mobile devices via secured 26-character key.

    70 percent of add-ons are compatible with the RC.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    IDC: Android smartphone sales explode in Europe

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2011 8:44

    IDC: Android smartphone sales explode in Europe IDC has posted their latest figures for European smartphone sales and unsurprisingly Android has taken the top spot, with 31 percent share.

    Overall smartphone sales increased 100 percent to 25.6 million in the Q4 2010, while feature phone sales dropped 25 percent. Combined, Western European phone sales grew 3.2 percent to 58.7 million units.

    Android saw the highest growth, 1580 percent, to 8 million units sold. iOS saw its constant strong growth continue at 66 percent. Windows Phone 7 saw 18 percent growth but the number is artificially high because Windows Mobile sales were so low to begin with.

    Says the research firm (via press release):

    The last quarter of 2010 clearly shows the trends for the coming years in Western Europe. The Western European mobile phone market will be dominated by smartphones, and Android will be the king of the hill. Android surged from 4% to 31% market share in less than a year to become the market leader in 4Q10 and the fastest growing operating system ever. IDC estimates at that Android will grow at a 37% compound annual growth rate between 2010 and 2015 in Western Europe, overtaking the overall market growth in the period and that of its direct competitor, the iOS from Apple.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    All HP computers will soon dual-boot Windows and webOS

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2011 7:20

    All HP computers will soon dual-boot Windows and webOS Starting in 2012, new HP computers will all come with the ability to dual-boot Windows and webOS, the mobile operating system the company acquired with its purchase of Palm last year.

    HP has done hardly anything with the popular operating system since its acquisition of Palm, although it did release version 2.0 earlier this year, and plans to release tablets with the OS later this year.

    Palm was purchased for $1.2 billion and many wondered if HP overpaid. Palm had less than 9 months of cash left and was burning through money at a furious rate before it put itself up for sale. Sales of the Palm Pre and Pixi devices were slower than anticipated.

    It is unclear what advantages users will have booting into WebOS over Windows 7.

    HP has announced a number of new webOS smartphones, each of which were received with little fanfare.




    AfterDawn: News

    Iger: DVD not dead yet

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2011 5:38

    Iger: DVD not dead yet Bob Iger, Disney CEO, has said this week that the DVD market is not healthy, but also "not dead yet."

    Speaking to Charlie Rose, the CEO explained Disney is looking at all distribution channels but still believes in physical media.

    Says Iger (via TR):

    The home video business is more challenged than ever before. And that’s the problem.


    Iger did admit that the home video market is "not as healthy as it was," with overall sales down 15 percent year-over-year (YoY):

    People are still buying [discs]. … They’re just not buying as many of them. And the primary reason, I would argue, is that they have other things to do.


    So far, digital downloads, VOD and PPV have not grown enough to offset the drop off in DVD sales, added the CEO.




    AfterDawn: News

    Internet Explorer 9 coming March 14th

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2011 5:18

    Internet Explorer 9 coming March 14th Microsoft has announced today, via blog post, that Internet Explorer 9 will be available on March 14th.

    The release candidate of the updated browser was launched at the end of February.

    Microsoft has transformed IE9, adding a URL/Search bar like Chrome, and going or a "minimalist" look, leaving more room for actual browsing.

    IE9 users will also be able to pin sites and bookmarks to the Windows taskbar, use a built-in download manager (for the first time ever) and see hardware acceleration for HTML5 video.

    ActiveX filtering and other security features have been added, as well.

    While most of the IE9 features were visible in the Release Candidate, but the company promises they "have a few surprises left."




    AfterDawn: News

    Microsoft Kinect sales top 10 million

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2011 4:35

    Microsoft Kinect sales top 10 million Microsoft has announced today that Kinect motion control system sales have topped 10 million since release in early November of last year.

    Sales of the sensor also led to a bump in games sales, says the company, with over 10 million Kinect games sold so far, as well, not including the ones bundled with the system.

    The software giant also notes that the Guinness World Records has "officially named Kinect for Xbox 360 the fastest-selling consumer electronics device, which sold an average of 133,333 units per day for a total of eight million units in its first 60 days between November 4, 2010 and January 3, 2011."

    Says Guinness:

    The sales figures here speak for themselves. According to independent research, no other consumer electronics device sold faster within a 60-day time span, which is an incredible achievement considering the strength of the sector.


    Kinect, with a bundled game, sells for $140.




    AfterDawn: News

    Analyst: Motorola Xoom sales are 'weak,' Honeycomb is a 'mess'

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2011 1:53

    Analyst: Motorola Xoom sales are 'weak,' Honeycomb is a 'mess' Yesterday, Verizon publicly stated that sales of the Motorola Xoom tablet are very strong, but at least one analyst disagrees.

    Trip Chowdhry of Global Equities Research says today that sales are in fact, "very weak," and short battery life and "poor software quality" are killing the tablet.

    Says Chowdhry (via Barrons):

    Google Honeycomb is suffering from frequent application freezes and crashes and the battery life is very inconsistent – lasts sometimes for 2 hours, and sometimes for 6 hours. The battery standby life is mere 10 – 12 hours vs. 30 days on Apple iPad.


    The analyst calls the Honeycomb interface "extremely complicated and confusing, and does not come naturally – you really have to work on it," citing conversations with Xoom owners.

    Chowdhry concludes that Honeycomb, and Android tablets in general, may "struggle to get mass adoption – and probably be relegated to Tech Community only."




    AfterDawn: News

    Windows Phone Marketplace hits 9000 apps

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2011 12:35

    Windows Phone Marketplace hits 9000 apps Microsoft has said this week that the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace has now reached 9000 available apps, and 32,000 registered developers.

    Furthermore, the company has launched a new global publisher program.

    Windows Phone Developer tools have seen over 1 million downloads, to date. Microsoft has included the ability to trial apps, which it says has been successful.

    Microsoft (via PCM):

    Users like trials. Paid apps that include trial functionality are downloaded 70 times more than paid apps that don't include trial functionality, expanding the number of potential customers to purchase the full paid version.

    More than half of trial downloads that convert to a sale do so within one day, and most of those within two hours.




    AfterDawn: News

    Limewire finally settles with music publishers

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Mar 2011 11:58

    Limewire finally settles with music publishers LimeWire has finally settled a long-standing lawsuit brought by major music publishers, months after the service was shutdown for good.

    The settlement covers 30 publishers but the financial terms were not disclosed.

    As part of the deal, all claims against founder Mark Gorton have been dropped, and cannot be brought again.

    Says the National Music Publishers Association (via Reuters):

    A settlement was reached. The parties worked hard to achieve a settlement that is a good result for all involved.


    The publishers sued LimeWire last June, months before a judge shut down the P2P client for good.

    There are still thirteen labels "pursuing copyright litigation," against LimeWire, however. Arista, Atlantic, BMG Music, Capital, Elektra, Interscope, Laface, Motown, Priority, Sony BMG, UMG, Virgin and Warner Brothers are all hoping for hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.




    AfterDawn: News

    Google buys viral video producer Next New Networks

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Mar 2011 9:42

    Google buys viral video producer Next New Networks Google has purchased Next New Networks this week, the producer of viral video programming.

    The financials of the deal were not disclosed.

    Since its launch in 2007, Next New Networks' videos have collected 2 billion views and 6 million subscribers.

    Says Google (via DMW):

    Within YouTube, Next New Networks will be a laboratory for experimentation and innovation with the team working in a hands on way with a wide variety of content partners and emerging talent to help them succeed on YouTube.


    NNN has raised over $27 million in funding, so far.




    AfterDawn: News

    Facebook causing a significant amount of divorces?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Mar 2011 3:43

    Facebook causing a significant amount of divorces? American divorce lawyers and academics have stated this week that Facebook is now cited in 65 percent of all divorces in the United States, despite divorce levels remaining relatively stable in the fast few years.

    Says Dr. Steven Kimmons, a clinical psychologist and marriage counsellor at Loyola University Medical Centre near Chicago (via Guardian):

    We're coming across it more and more. One spouse connects online with someone they knew from school. The person is emotionally available and they start communicating through Facebook.


    A survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) showed a huge jump in divorce cases citing social networking sites, with Facebook at the top at 65 percent, followed by MySpace at 14 percent and Twitter at 5 percent.

    The sites weren't only used to show off evidence of infidelity but also used in custody cases, where spouses could point out pictures of drug and alcohol use by their husband/wife.

    Facebook has 600 million users worldwide.




    AfterDawn: News

    Opera launches mobile app store

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Mar 2011 3:19

    Opera launches mobile app store Opera, the company behind popular desktop and mobile browsers, has launched the Opera Mobile Store, now available in over 200 countries.

    The store is available at mobilestore.opera.com or as a 'Speed Dial' link for users of Opera Mini or Opera Mobile on their phones.

    Opera says there are over 100 million Opera Mini/Mobile users around the world.

    Appia, a marketplace technology company, is delivering the app store, which has applications for Java, Symbian, BlackBerry and Android operating systems.

    Says Oepra:

    The launch of the Opera Mobile Store supports Opera's core belief in an open, cross-platform mobile Internet experience by providing Opera users with an integrated storefront of mobile applications. Our partnership with Appia delivers to all Opera Mobile and Opera Mini users easy access to a wide variety of great content, on any device, all over the world.


    In beta form, Opera says the Store attracted 700,000 downloads per day.




    AfterDawn: News

    Microsoft will end up paying Nokia over $1 billion for Windows Phone 7 deal

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Mar 2011 2:07

    Microsoft will end up paying Nokia over $1 billion for Windows Phone 7 deal Bloomberg is reporting that Microsoft will end up paying Nokia over $1 billion for the recent Windows Phone 7 deal, through development and promotional costs.

    "Nokia will pay Microsoft a fee for each copy of Windows used in its phones, costs that will be offset as Nokia curtails its own budget for software research and development," says one of the sources even though the full agreement has not been signed yet.

    The deal will last for "over 5 years."

    Most analysts have called the deal a winner for Microsoft, who will gain a huge platform boost for a relatively insignificant amount of money. Nokia, on the other hand, has seen their shares fall 25 percent since the announcement, as investors doubt the move will help fix Nokia's faltering market share.

    Additionally, margins at Nokia have fallen to just 5 percent in 2010 from 19 percent in 2001.




    AfterDawn: News

    Spotify hits one million paying customers

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Mar 2011 1:45

    Spotify hits one million paying customers Spotify has announced today that they have reached their first major milestone, one million paying customers.

    Says the streaming music company:

    It seems like only yesterday we were hatching ideas for a new music service in a tiny office-cum-apartment with a broken coffee machine, and the party we threw having reached one million users almost two years ago today was one to remember.

    So it’s with a sense of real pride and excitement that we can announce a new milestone today, having welcomed our millionth paying subscriber to the service. It’s a testament to our fantastic users who continue to support us and spread the Spotify word, either by telling friends or sharing some of the 200 million playlists that you’ve put together so far.

    From everyone at Spotify, we’d like to give you all massive thanks. We’ll continue to focus on providing you with the best music service possible, and look forward to adding even more cool new features over the coming months. What’s really exciting is that this is only the beginning.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Warner Bros. to start renting movies through Facebook

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Mar 2011 1:25

    Warner Bros. to start renting movies through Facebook Warner Bros. has said this morning that it will begin renting digital copies of films via Facebook, the first studio to do so.

    Starting with 'The Dark Knight,' Facebook users can rent the films for 30 FB Credits ($3 USD).

    As with most other rental stores, viewers have two days to watch the film and can pause/resume whenever they choose during the period.

    While watching the movie, the social networking giant says all Facebook functionality is still active, including the ability to chat, post comments and update statuses.

    Says Warner (via THR):

    Facebook has become a daily destination for hundreds of millions of people. Making our films available through Facebook is a natural extension of our digital distribution efforts. It gives consumers a simple, convenient way to access and enjoy our films through the world's largest social network.




    AfterDawn: News

    PSPGo price back up to $200

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Mar 2011 11:34

    PSPGo price back up to $200 Last week, Sony dropped the price of the PSPGo handheld from $200 to $150, following the price drop of the PSP-3000, to $130.

    Surprisingly, just three days later, Sony has brought the price back up to $200 with no explanation.

    It is unclear whether the price drop was just premature and will return in the future or whether the entire situation was just a mistake.

    Sony's PSPGo handheld has been a large flop, with sales remaining low since launch.

    Later this year, the company will release the NGP (PSP2) which boasts a massive 5-inch multi-touch OLED screen with 960×544 resolution, a multi-touch panel on the back and will run on a quad-core ARM cortex processor. The device will have dual micro-analog sticks, tilt-sensitive SIXAXIS controls, standard and front-side cameras, GPS, an electric compass, Wi-Fi and 3G support, and access to Android gaming.




    AfterDawn: News

    Target getting iPad 2 on launch day

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Mar 2011 4:32

    Target getting iPad 2 on launch day Target has confirmed today that it will begin selling the upcoming Apple iPad 2 on launch day, March 11th, at 5pm.

    Says the large retailer (via PCM):

    We will be offering all 18 versions and price it as all other retailers have, starting at $499.


    Apple sells three Wi-Fi only models, three AT&T 3G models and three Verizon 3G models (16/32/64GB for each). Because the iPad 2 is available in black or white, there are a total of 18 different versions available.

    The tablets will only be available in-store, not via Target's online store.

    Furthermore, you can trade-in your original iPad for store credit starting on the 13th.

    The tablet is going on sale through AT&T, Verizon, Apple and Best Buy on launch day, as well.




    AfterDawn: News

    Report: Wii 2 coming at E3 with quad-core, Blu-ray?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Mar 2011 4:13

    Report: Wii 2 coming at E3 with quad-core, Blu-ray? TechRadar is saying today that Nintendo is planning to unveil the Wii 2 at the upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in June even though the gaming company has repeatedly denied that the console is even in development.

    Just last month, the company said it was not ready to begin phasing out the Wii, despite at least five quarters of declining sales.

    The Wii remains a "last generation" console, whereas gaming rivals Xbox 360 and PS3 are "current generation," with better Internet connectivity and better graphics among other features.

    TR speculates that the new Wii 2 will boast a hugely improved spec sheet, including a quad-core processor, a Blu-ray drive, and built-in projector.

    Nintendo quickly responded with a "no comment."




    AfterDawn: News

    Technology is still ruining our sleep

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Mar 2011 2:45

    Technology is still ruining our sleep The National Sleep Foundation has released their annual study this week on American's sleeping habits, and once again concluded that technology is ruining our sleep.

    Says vice chairman Russell Rosenberg:

    Unfortunately, cell phones and computers, which make our lives more productive and enjoyable, may be abused to the point that they contribute to getting less sleep at night leaving millions of Americans functioning poorly the next day.


    95 percent of those in the study said they used some electronic device within one hour of sleep, and 65 percent admitted they do not get enough sleep during the week.

    Exposure to artificial light within one hour of bed can "increase alertness and suppress the release of melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone," says Charles Czeisler, of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

    Continues Czeisler (via Reuters):

    Technology has invaded the bedroom. Invasion of such alerting technologies into the bedroom may contribute to the high proportion of respondents who reported they routinely get less sleep than they need.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Hacker discovers PS3 3.56 exploit, will not release

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Mar 2011 12:49

    Hacker discovers PS3 3.56 exploit, will not release On Saturday night, the well-known hacker Mathieu Hervais posted on his Twitter that he had found a way to exploit Sony PlayStation 3 firmware 3.56 although he refuses to release the details, as not to anger Sony.

    Says Hervais:

    I hesitated a lot before tweeting about it, but a bug allows exploiting metldr, the bootloader and 3.56+. I don't intent to ever unveil it.

    So much for "unhackable" ps3s though....


    The hacker will not unveil the exploit, but says "this wasn't about getting attention at all, or fame, this was just done so the right people know this bug is there for the finding."

    Hervais' decision comes after Sony has taken custom firmware creator Geohot to court, as well as subpoenaed IP addresses of other hackers and even casual visitors of Geohot's site and YouTube account.




    AfterDawn: News

    JD Power: Verizon once again tops U.S. call quality study

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Mar 2011 12:30

    JD Power: Verizon once again tops U.S. call quality study JD Power's latest call quality study has been released this week and unsurprisingly Verizon once again tops the list, for the 13th straight time.

    The carrier had the best call quality in the northeast, southeast, southwest and west and tied with AT&T in the mid-atlantic.

    In the north central, US Cellular held its annual lead.

    The rest of the major carriers were mostly mixed bags, but T-Mobile and AT&T had some terrible scores in some regions. Sprint remained in the middle for all regions.

    T-Mobile was by far the worst in the northeast while AT&T took home the lowest score of the study for its showing in the west, anchored by infamously bad coverage in San Francisco.

    Interestingly, the company says smartphone users and frequent texters encountered more problems than average, around 13 out of every 100, while average users had 11 problems.



    View the rest of the ratings here: http://www.jdpower.com/Telecom/ratings/Wireless-Call-Quality-Ratings-(Volume-1)/




    AfterDawn: News

    Apple shipped 1 million MacBook Air units in the Q4

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Mar 2011 11:53

    Apple shipped 1 million MacBook Air units in the Q4 Apple's updated MacBook Air line has quietly become a hit, with the company having shipped 1 million of the notebooks in the fourth quarter.

    The figures come via Concord Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who says recent checks in Asia imply that Apple shipped 1.1 million units for the three months ended December 31st, 2010.

    If accurate, the numbers will indicate one of the strongest Mac launches in history.

    Furthermore, Kuo says the Air are now selling at a 1:2 ratio to the MacBook Pro laptops, Apple's best-selling.

    Kuo says he expects Apple to "set a new Mac sales record during the [upcoming] quarter."




    AfterDawn: News

    Best Buy to give iPads to all sales associates?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Mar 2011 9:27

    Best Buy to give iPads to all sales associates? According to multiple reports, large retailer Best Buy may be ready to give iPads to all on-floor sales associates.

    Best Buy has about 1100 stores in the United States.

    Forbes, via AI says:

    A source with knowledge of corporate mobile device deployments has told Forbes that one of the 10 largest retailers in the U.S. will soon distribute iPads to all its sales staff. The source noted that the retailer in question operates 1,100 U.S. stores, making Best Buy, which had 1093 U.S. stores as of September 2010, the most likely candidate.


    Best Buy and Apple have a long retail history and the retailer is set to begin selling the iPad 2 on March 11th.

    The retailer has 180,000 employees, although it is unclear how many are on-floor sales staff.

    Associates will likely use the iPad for a new point-of-sale and inventory management system.




    AfterDawn: News

    Courtney Love settles and pays $430,000 over Twitter defamation case

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Mar 2011 11:37

    Courtney Love settles and pays $430,000 over Twitter defamation case Courtney Love has reportedly settled her Twitter defamation case out of court for $430,000.

    In 2009, Love used the micro-blogging service to throw a tirade against fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir (the Boudior Queen), who promptly sued the rocker.

    Love will make the payments on a monthly basis from now until 2014.

    Simorangkir and Love were in a dispute over a $4000 payment for clothing, and the Boudior Queen says Love's Twitter tirade ruined her reputation and business.

    In one of the more nasty tweets, Love called Simorangkir an "a**wipe nasty lying hosebag thief."

    Simorangkir's attorney was pleased with the settlement (via THR):

    The amount of the settlement says it all. Her reprehensible defamatory comments were completely false and $430,000 is quite a significant way to say I am sorry. One would hope that, given this disaster, restraint of pen, tongue and tweet would guide Ms. Love’s future conduct.


    Love's attorney was also satisfied with the settlement:

    Because of the extended payout it's a modest settlement. They got out with an amount that left them bragging rights but nothing else.




    AfterDawn: News

    Marvell posts weak earnings, highlights market shift by RIM

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Mar 2011 11:00

    Marvell posts weak earnings, highlights market shift by RIM Marvell Technology posted weak earnings on Friday, leading to a 10 percent dip in the company's shares.

    Perhaps more notably, Marvell's report highlighted the continued struggles of RIM, maker of the BlackBerry smartphones.

    Marvell makes the application processors in BlackBerry devices.

    Overall revenue in the wireless and mobile markets fell 13 percent year-over-year and CEO Sehat Sutardja said the decline was due to the fact that RIM "was shifting entry-level smart phones, an area where we do not currently participate."

    The shift came as a shock to most, although one analyst explains:

    Demand for low-end smart phones is rapidly outpacing growth in the high-end segment in emerging economies given their lower cost.

    RIM Blackberrys are particularly attractive in this market given the Blackberry Messaging service which allows free Blackberry-Blackberry messaging and lowers the total cost of usage.


    Nielsen reported this week that Android had taken the crown as top smartphone OS in the U.S. with 29 percent share, followed by iOS and BlackBerry at 27 percent each.




    AfterDawn: News

    Google Docs editing now available in 44 more languages

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Mar 2011 10:25

    Google Docs editing now available in 44 more languages Until November, mobile Google Docs users could only open and view their documents, but not edit. In mid-November, Google added editing capabilities in English.

    Today, the search giant says "we’re excited to announce that you can now edit your docs on the go in 44 more languages."

    You must be running iOS 3.0 or higher or Android 2.2 to be able to access the latest Docs with editing.

    If you meet those requirements, navigate to docs.google.com from the mobile browser and sign into your Gmail account.

    Users can change from view to edit mode by pressing 'Edit.'




    AfterDawn: News

    Samsung admits their upcoming tablet is 'inadequate' compared to iPad 2

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Mar 2011 3:56

    Samsung admits their upcoming tablet is 'inadequate' compared to iPad 2 Samsung has reluctantly admitted this week that the iPad 2 has made its upcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 Honeycomb tablet "inadequate," and that the company will have to improve some aspects before release.

    VP of Mobile Lee Don-Joo says the iPad 2's super thin design and pricing model have forced the company to go back and "improve the parts that are inadequate" on the 10.1.

    The tablet is a successor to the original Galaxy Tab, and includes a dual-core processor, a 10.1-inch screen and run on the tablet-optimized Android 3.0 Honeycomb.

    Apple announced the iPad 2 on March 2nd with a launch date of March 11th, much quicker than most anticipated. The iPad 2 will also sell with a base price of $500, underselling the base model of the first Honeycomb tablet, the Motorola Xoom, by $100.

    The underpowered Android 2.2-based original Galaxy Tab still sells for over $400 without contract.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Researcher blames U.S., Israel for Stuxnet

    Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Mar 2011 3:29

    Researcher blames U.S., Israel for Stuxnet German security researcher Ralph Langner has told an audience at this years TED conference that the United States and Israel were most likely behind the Stuxnet malware.

    He said that the malware was designed specifically to cripple systems related to Iran's nuclear program. Langner was one of the first researchers to show how Stuxnet is used to take control of industrial equipment. The most likely target of the malware was equipment used for the enrichment of uranium.

    "My opinion is that Mossad is involved," he said. "There is only one leading source, and that is the United States."

    Symantec had suggested in a report on Stuxnet that it would have taken a team of between 5 and 10 developers about six months to create the Stuxnet worm. Langner says they needed to have inside information to get the worm to its intended targets and to carry out its duties.

    Analysts say that Stuxnet was likely designed to damage centrifuges used in the process of enriching uranium. The worm targeted programmable logic controllers (PLCs) made by Siemens, which are used to control a wide variety of industrial systems.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Student charged with grade-fixing racket

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Mar 2011 3:19

    Student charged with grade-fixing racket Tyler Coyner, a 19-year-old student at University of Nevada has been charged with being the ringleader in a group that charged money for increasing classmates' grades at his former school, Pahrump Valley High School.

    Coyner and 13 others are now facing charges for conspiracy, theft and computer intrusion. The student hacked the password for the Pahrump Valley High School's grade system and over his senior year charged other students money in exchange for a bump in their grades.

    Additionally, Coyner bumped his own grades so high (to a 4.54 GPA) that he was the salutatorian at his graduation, an honor given to the student with the second highest GPA in the school.

    When Coyner's dorm room was raided, the police found a stolen LCD TV and equipment for making fake driver's licenses.

    Two other 19 year olds have been charged while the rest are minors. All of the minors are those who paid to have their grades changed.




    AfterDawn: News

    Judge gives Sony the right to acquire all IP addresses of visitors to Geohot site

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Mar 2011 2:51

    Judge gives Sony the right to acquire all IP addresses of visitors to Geohot site A federal judge has ruled this week that Sony can subpoena the Web host for George 'Geohot' Hotz's website, and acquire all the IP addresses of anyone who has visited his site in the last 26 months.

    Furthermore, Sony also won subpoenas for data from YouTube, and for Geohot's Twitter account.

    Sony has accused Hotz of violating the DMCA by publishing a master key for the PS3 that allows others to run homebrew on the console.

    As part of the ruling, web provider Bluehost must give "documents reproducing all server logs, IP address logs, account information, account access records and application or registration forms" of Hotz's site. Furthermore, Sony must receive "any other identifying information corresponding to persons or computers who have accessed or downloaded files hosted using your service and associated” with the www.geohot.com website, including but not limited to the “geohot.com/jailbreak.zip file."

    Sony was given the subpoena rights for two reasons; one to prove that Hotz "distributed" the hack and the other so Sony can prove that its lawsuit in San Francisco will not have to be transferred over to a court in New Jersey, Hotz's home state. Sony says seeing the IP addresses will prove that a significant amount of the hits were from California compared to New Jersey, so San Francisco is a more "proper venue."

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Turkey blocks blogspot over football feeds

    Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Mar 2011 4:34

    Turkey blocks blogspot over football feeds A row over the rights to broadcast football games has resulted in a ban of Google's blogspot service in Turkey.

    Digiturk, a satellite TV provider in Turkey, made a copyright complaint after discovering feeds of its broadcasts of football matches on Google's blogspot service. A court in Turkey dealt with the problem by simply blocking the service altogether, which is permitted by the country's copyright laws.

    The move is likely to anger the estimated 600,000 users of blogspot in the country who will now either have to wait for another resolution, or use a technical measure to get around the block.

    Google acknowledged the blocking of its popular blogging service in Turkey, saying those with concerns about piracy should use its simple takedown systems rather than banning the service outright. "The process for making a copyright claim for content uploaded to Blogger is straightforward and efficient, and we encourage all content owners to use it rather than seek a broad ban on access to the service," said a Google spokesperson.

    "That way, people in Turkey can continue to enjoy Blogger whilst we respond to the specific complaint."

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Virus-laced Android apps booted from Marketplace

    Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Mar 2011 4:18

    Virus-laced Android apps booted from Marketplace Google has thrown out some rogue applications from the Android Marketplace after it emerged that they contained a virus.

    All in all, more than 50 applications got the boot and three accounts were suspended after the discovery. A Reddit user, "Lompolo" is credited with finding the first dodgy apps after he noticed an application was listed under the name of a developer he knew didn't develop it.

    The application was exactly the same as the original except for a change of title and of course, the malicious code buried inside it.

    He initially found 21 apps but a further investigation by Android Police uncovered 50 in total. Lompolo estimated the rogue applications to have been downloaded between 50,000 and 200,000 times.

    The virus lurking in the applications is "DroidDream", which immediately would call home to a remote server and send certain information, such as the phone's unique ID number. It checks first whether the handset is already infected and if not, will utilize a bunch of known security flaws in the operating system to infect the handset.

    Once infected, code can be installed on the phone remotely and sensitive information can be stolen.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    New investment values Facebook at $65 billion

    Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Mar 2011 4:18

    New investment values Facebook at $65 billion Facebook has been valued at $65 billion as General Atlantic looks to invest in the popular social networking giant.

    General Atlantic is seeking to buy about 2.5 million shares of Facebook from former employees, which will give the firm a 0.1 percent stake in the company. The deal has not closed as it requires the approval of Facebook first, which has not given public comment on the original report from CNBC.

    Back in January this year, Facebook announced that it raised $1.5 billion from investors that included Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies. At the time, the investments valued Facebook at about $50 billion.

    The mammoth valuation of Facebook reflects its penetration into the every day lives of millions of people around the world. The site, launched originally in 2004, has amassed half a billion users across the world.




    AfterDawn: News

    Apple to finally remove draconian music download limit?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2011 2:19

    Apple to finally remove draconian music download limit? According to Bloomberg, Apple may finally be on the verge of removing their one-time-only download limits.

    In the iTunes Store, the TOS reads:

    Products may be downloaded only once and cannot be replaced if lost for any reason. Once a Product is downloaded, it is your responsibility not to lose, destroy, or damage it, and Apple shall not be liable to you if you do so.


    Bloomberg says that limit may be removed, according to "three people with knowledge of the plans."

    Apple is currently negotiating with UMG, SME, WMG and EMI.

    The new agreement will give "iTunes customers a permanent backup of music purchases if the originals are damaged or lost."

    Downloads will also be available via iOS devices, as long as those devices are linked to the same iTunes account.




    AfterDawn: News

    News Corp. in talks to sell MySpace to Zynga, Zynga laughs at asking price

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2011 2:04

    News Corp. in talks to sell MySpace to Zynga, Zynga laughs at asking price According to multiple sources, Zynga has had introductory talks with News Corp. about purchasing the dying social network MySpace.

    News Corp. is asking for over $100 million in Zynga stock, a number far too steep for the social gaming company to even consider.

    MySpace continues its death spiral, with traffic already at 50 percent lower than it was in 2010, which was 30 percent lower than it was in 2009.

    Annual revenues have fallen to $80 million, from over $300 million in 2008. News Corp. purchased the site for $660 million in 2006.

    If Zynga walks, MySpace CEO Mike Jones is said to be raising money for a possible bid.




    AfterDawn: News

    No Twitter IPO coming this year, says co-founder

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2011 1:34

    No Twitter IPO coming this year, says co-founder Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has said today that the micro-blogging site is not planning to go public this year, nor does it need another round of funding from private investors.

    The founder also denied the multiple reports that JPMorgan Chase was looking to buy a massive 10 percent stake in the service for $450 million.

    When asked about a possible IPO, Stone said:

    We have so many other things before we even think about that. We are not even discussing it internally. It's too far off.


    Twitter has over 200 million users.

    Following its latest funding round in December, the microblogging company has a value of almost $4 billion.




    AfterDawn: News

    VIA shows Eden X2, world's most power-efficient dual-core processor

    Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Mar 2011 1:17

    VIA shows Eden X2, world's most power-efficient dual-core processor The new VIA Eden X2 dual-core processor has been unveiled at Embedded World 2011.

    The company claims the fanless Eden X2 is the world's most power-efficient dual-core processor. It is made for use with a broad range of industrial and commercial embedded systems.

    "Eden X2 shows how once again VIA is setting the pace when it comes to highly optimized, power-efficient processing," said Daniel Wu, Vice President, VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies, Inc. "Embedded developers will relish the opportunity to integrate a native 64-bit, dual-core processor in passively cooled, ultra stable systems."

    Designed with the latest 40nm manufacturing processor, the VIA Eden X2 processors combine two 64-bit, superscalar VIA Eden cores on one die, offering enhanced multi-tasking and superb multimedia performance on a rigidly low power budget.

    It also touts VIA VT virtualization, a technology that allows legacy software and applications to be used in virtual scenarios without impacting on performance. The unique VIA AES Security Engine offers hardware-based data encryption on the fly, and essential tool in content protection and system security.

    VIA Eden X2 processors are natively 64-bit compatible, facilitating an essential transition for the future of the embedded industry as 64-bit operating systems such as Windows Embedded Standard 7 allow for vastly improved data throughput per clock cycle. It is also fully compatible with the Windows CE and Linux operating systems.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Angry Birds hits 30 million downloads on Android, headed to Facebook

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2011 1:10

    Angry Birds hits 30 million downloads on Android, headed to Facebook According to Peter Vesterbacka of Rovio, the free Android versions of 'Angry Birds' has been downloaded over 30 million times, making it one of the top apps, ever, on Android.

    Furthermore, the developer says downloaders remain interested in the game after the initial download, with a full 80 percent of Android users downloading updates, like the 'Valentine's Day' add-on for Angry Bird's Seasons.

    Earlier in the month, Vesterbacka said the company had sold 2 million of the official plush toys and that the company was now looking to expand the brand into other products as popularity for the game remains high.

    On Android, Rovio says the app is bringing in over $1 million a month in advertising.

    Finally, the developer says Angry Birds is headed to Facebook and "there will be completely new aspects to it that just haven’t been experienced in any other platform. The pigs will have a more prominent role." There was not too much else said about the upcoming launch, however.




    AfterDawn: News

    Nielsen: Android is top smartphone OS in U.S.

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2011 12:48

    Nielsen: Android is top smartphone OS in U.S. Nielsen has reported this week that Android is the top smartphone OS in the United States.

    Active smartphones running Android have 29 percent of the market, just beating out iOS and BlackBerry, which are tied for second at 27 percent. In fourth place is Microsoft, with their Windows Mobile and Windows Phone 7 devices.

    For Android, HTC remains the top manufacturer, at 12 percent share, followed by Motorola at 10 percent and Samsung at 5 percent.

    The figures are for the period ended January 31st, so Nielsen notes that the figures may be different following the launch of the iPhone on Verizon.

    Rounding out the top 5 is HP's WebOS at 4 percent.




    AfterDawn: News

    Searching for Jersey Shore's "J-Woww" will likely lead to viruses

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Mar 2011 12:04

    Searching for Jersey Shore's "J-Woww" will likely lead to viruses Jenni Farley, otherwise known as 'J-Woww' on the hit MTV show 'The Jersey Shore,' has apparently become a dangerous search term.

    According to an annual security report by Barracuda Labs (via Fast), searching for "Jenni J-Woww" is the second most dangerous search term, right behind searching for "music video."

    Among the other top searches that led directly to malware were "Rex Ryan," "credit score" and "Barack Obama."

    Malware comes in the form of browser add-ons, trojans, viruses, and spyware.




    AfterDawn: News

    Microsoft will release tablet OS in 2012?

    Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Mar 2011 9:33

    Microsoft will release tablet OS in 2012? According to reports, Microsoft Corp. will not unveil an operating system for tablets to compete with Android and iOS until next year.

    Bloomberg cites people familiar with the company's plans in reporting that Microsoft will not release a tablet OS until the 2012 back-to-school season. This means Microsoft will be entering the competition very late, with many analysts claiming 2011 will be the year of the tablet wars.

    It provides Apple and Google with ample time to strengthen their hold on the market. Microsoft's OS will likely be released after a third iPad is unveiled by Apple. HP and RiM, among many other firms, will likely have released second generation tablets by then too.

    In January this year, Microsoft vowed to support ARM architecture-based processors in the next versions of its Windows operating systems. ARM processors are used in smartphones and tablets to drive the feature-rich devices while keeping power consumption and heat as low as possible.

    Higher demand for PC alternatives, such as tablets, will result in lower than expected PC shipments this year, according to research firm Gartner. Microsoft's Windows operating system powers more than 90 percent of personal computers, but Apple is claiming 90 percent of the tablet market, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Sony says PS3 consoles seized in Netherlands

    Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Mar 2011 7:48

    Sony says PS3 consoles seized in Netherlands Sony has admitted that PlayStation 3 consoles have been seized by customs officers in the Netherlands.

    It was reported earlier this week that tens of thousands of PS3 units were seized in the Netherlands following a Dutch court order. The actions stem from a patent dispute between Sony and LG Electronics, which has so far resulted in a 10-day import ban being ordered.

    The legal dispute between both consumer electronics firms can be traced back three years, when the companies failed to renew a technology sharing deal. Since then, both have sued the other alleging patent infringement.

    Last year, Sony tried to have imports of LG smartphones to the United States blocked, while last month LG filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging the PS3 infringes on patents related to Blu-ray technology

    While the Netherlands is an important entry point to the European market for Sony, the company is looking for alternative solutions to avoid supply problems anywhere in Europe. It does not affect the issue to affect its regional sales.




    AfterDawn: News

    Intel offers SSD 510 Series with 6Gbps SATA interface

    Written by James Delahunty @ 04 Mar 2011 7:48

    Intel offers SSD 510 Series with 6Gbps SATA interface Intel has shown off the next in a line of new solid-state drives (SSDs) featuring fast SATA 6Gbps performance.

    The new drives in the Intel Solid-State Drive 510 Series take full advantage of the transition to higher speed SATA bus interfaces on the recently introduced 2nd Generation Intel Core processor-based platforms. The SSD 510 models support transfer speeds up to 500MB/s, doubling the sequential read speeds, and triples the sequential write speeds of the 3Gbps line to 315MB/s.

    The Intel SSD 510 with 6Gbps SATA interface outperforms 10,000 RPM HDDs by 50 percent for fast performance and high visual fidelity game play. The line is aimed at gamers, media creators and performance-intensive workstations.

    "The Intel SSD 510 Series helps round out our SSD product line and was specifically designed for applications that require high sequential media transfers," said Pete Hazen, director of marketing for Intel's NAND Solutions Group.

    "Whether it's a gamer wanting impeccable visual performance and faster game loading, or a performance-intensive workstation user, the new 6Gbps SATA SSD from Intel is not only significantly faster than the top 10,000 RPM gaming HDD, it's also faster than two RAIDed gaming HDDs."

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Ashton Kutcher has Twitter account hacked

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2011 8:51

    Ashton Kutcher has Twitter account hacked Ashton Kutcher's Twitter account (@aplusk) has been hacked this week, while the actor was at the TED 2011 'The Rediscovery of Wonder' conference.

    Kutcher has 6.4 million followers and the hackers used account to write two simple messages.

    The first says:

    Ashton, you've been Punk'd. This account is not secure. Dude, where's my SSL?


    The second, taking more of a political stance, reads:

    P.S. This is for those young protesters around the world who deserve not to have their Facebook & Twitter accounts hacked like this. #SSL


    Kutcher joins the growing ranks of celebrity Twitter accounts that have been hacked, including those of Barack Obama, Britney Spears and recently, Selena Gomez.

    Gomez's account was hacked to say "Oh yeh, JUSTIN BIEBER SUCKS!!!!!!" Beiber is the actor's boyfriend.




    AfterDawn: News

    PlayStation 3 sales really only 41.6 million?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2011 5:51

    PlayStation 3 sales really only 41.6 million? Sony America digital distribution manager Pierre Gravreau has noted this week that worldwide PlayStation 3 sales have reached 41.6 million.

    The company says over 80 percent off all consoles are now connected to the Internet and there are just over 70 million PSN accounts.

    Overall, traffic to the PlayStation Store has grown 60 percent year-over-year, and revenue has increased 70 percent.

    Specific numbers were not given for PSN but in late January, the company confirmed that PSN had seen 1.4 billion downloads.

    Strangely, the numbers contradict Sony's own corporate earnings report, which placed sales at over 47 million.




    AfterDawn: News

    'Star Wars' to make 3D debut in February, 2012

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2011 5:25

    'Star Wars' to make 3D debut in February, 2012 Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox have jointly announced today that the first 3D 'Star Wars' release is coming on February 10th, 2012 with the release of 'Star Wars: Episode I:The Phantom Menace.'

    The 3D conversion is being supervised by George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic, adds Lucasfilm.

    By releasing the movie in theaters in February, historically a light time for blockbusters, Lucas expects the film to have open run while merchandise sales can continue into the end of the year.

    The companies plan to release all of the rest of the films, in 3D, as an annual event, ending in 2017 with release of "Return of the Jedi."

    THR does say, however, that if the February release did not work as expected, the timetable for the other films could be changed.




    AfterDawn: News

    Apple drops price of original iPad

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2011 5:04

    Apple drops price of original iPad Within 24 hours of launching the iPad 2, Apple has dropped the official price of the original iPad, with $100 price cuts across the board.

    The base model 16GB/Wi-Fi iPad is now selling for $400, with refurbished models dropping to $350.

    At the high end of the spectrum, the 64GB/3G/Wi-Fi model will now sell for $729.

    Apple's iPad 2 will be released on March 11th, with the same pricing model as the original, with the base model starting at $500.

    Anybody who has purchased a first-gen iPad in the last two weeks can get a $100 refund.

    The iPad 2 introduces a new dual-core 1GHz A5 processor, dual cameras, an extremely thin and light form factor, two colorways, an HDMI-out dock and "Smart Covers."

    For more information on the iPad 2 check our report here: Apple iPad 2 coming March 11th, Steve Jobs returns




    AfterDawn: News

    Sam's Club to sell Wi-Fi-only model of Xoom for $539?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2011 4:53

    Sam's Club to sell Wi-Fi-only model of Xoom for $539? DroidLife has posted some pictures today showing off a significant discount (already) on the Motorola Xoom.

    The first tablet with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, the Xoom went on sale last week to much fanfare.

    Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha has said the Wi-Fi-only model will sell for $600, but the pics from Sam's Club show off a $539 price tag, a significant discount that will place it in the same ballpark as the iPad 2, which will sell for $500 when it is released on March 11th.

    There is still no set date for when the Wi-Fi-only model will be released so for now you will have to drop $800 and sign a Verizon contract to get a Xoom.

    The powerful tablet has 10.1-inch display, 1280x800 resolution, a Nvidia Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 32GB onboard memory (expendable via SD), a 5MP dual-LED flash standard camera and a 2MP front-side camera for video conferencing.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    BlackBerry Messenger headed to rival mobile OS?

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2011 4:41

    BlackBerry Messenger headed to rival mobile OS? BGR has posted an interesting report today claiming that Research In Motion will soon launch BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) apps for Android and iOS, making BlackBerry's most popular app non-exclusive for the first time in its history.

    There is no word on a timetable or whether the apps will be free, but the "sources" claim that it may end up being free. There is also a chance that the apps may be subscription-based.

    While the move makes little short-term sense, BGR speculates that RIM has grown angry with the emergence of Kik, which is available on all mobile operating systems and offers, literally, the same experience as BBM and wants to take back the market.

    As for the app itself, it will be a "stripped down" version of the BlackBerry app, stripping out the ability to share videos, photo and geo-locate.

    By offering the app to all, they might even get some Android or iOS defectors to BlackBerry.




    AfterDawn: News

    International BBC iPlayer app will cost under $10 per month

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2011 4:27

    International BBC iPlayer app will cost under $10 per month According to BBC iPlayer director general Mark Thompson, the international iPlayer app for the iPad and other devices is "definitely coming this year" and will cost under $10 per month for a subscription.

    Says Thompson, the app will cost "a small number of dollars per month, definitely fewer than 10." He also added that "we're exploring internationally what the right pricing and models are ... the most important thing is the consumer pricing is right."

    When asked if the international launch will affect BBC Worldwide's current business model, Thompson said the company was following the Hollywood studios in "looking at a series of windows for TV shows to optimise value across that lifecycle".

    Most international rights windows for TV shows mean they hit DVD and PPV first, followed by free-to-air TV and online VOD.

    The iPlayer has become synonymous with streaming TV in the UK, and Thompson says 162 million programs were downloaded via the iPlayer in the UK in January, alone, an average of six per household.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Facebook buys up messaging service Beluga

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Mar 2011 12:41

    Facebook buys up messaging service Beluga Facebook has acquired the group messaging service Beluga today, in an effort to create "new and better ways to communicate and share group experiences."

    Says Beluga: "We're excited to continue to build our vision for mobile group messaging as part of the Facebook team."

    The company has a free app available for iOS and Android and Beluga says users should utilize the app to "plan a night out or just share updates and photos."

    Beluga is run by three former Google execs, one who worked on AdSense, one who worked on AdWords, Google News, and Google Docs and one who worked on Gmail, Gmail Chat, and Mail Goggles.

    Says the service (via PCM):

    For now, Beluga will continue to function as it does today. Your Beluga account and data will not be lost. We'll be providing more details on future plans for Beluga in the coming weeks.


    The Beluga app will likely be integrated into Facebook's Places location feature.




    AfterDawn: News

    Twitter suspends Steve Jobs parody account

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2011 4:16

    Twitter suspends Steve Jobs parody account Twitter has suspended the parody @CeoSteveJobs account today, even though it had over 460,000 followers.

    Since its launch, the parody account had made 650 Tweets.

    Apple allegedly complained to Twitter about the account earlier this year, claiming that it violated rules about creating "parody" accounts.

    Twitter sent the following message to the creator of the account:

    Twitter firmly believes in the freedom of expression; however, impersonation that misleads, confuses, or deceives is against our Rules. If you had intended to create a parody, commentary or fan account, we need you to make it clearer in order to avoid confusion.


    It is true that in Twitter's rules it clearly states that to have a parody/fan account you must have a qualifier in the username such as "Not" or "Fake."

    Twitter has not confirmed whether that was the reason or not, or whether it would be willing to bring the acount back.




    AfterDawn: News

    Netflix headed to Nintendo 3DS

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2011 3:53

    Netflix headed to Nintendo 3DS Nintendo has announced today that its 3DS handheld will soon receive Netflix streaming support.

    President Reggie Fils-Aime says support is coming during the summer, and the handheld launches in the U.S. on March 27th.

    A streaming-only Netflix subscription costs $7.99 per month and gives access to 20,000 movies and TV shows.

    Adds Fils-Aime (via USAToday):

    Say you are away from home starting to watch a movie on the Nintendo 3DS. When you get home, you can go from the 3DS to streaming on the Wii to your big screen. Users will be able to start on the Wii and switch to 3DS, as well.


    Finally, users will get a software update in May that will bring AT&T W-Fi hotspot access. The carrier currently has 10,000 hotspots.




    AfterDawn: News

    Google pulls 50 infected apps from Android Market

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2011 3:18

    Google pulls 50 infected apps from Android Market Google has confirmed today that they have pulled 50 infected apps from the Android Market, although it has not triggered automatic uninstalls yet for those that have already installed it on their devices.

    "The apps were 'Trojanized,' for a better word," says Symantec's security response senior manager Tom Parsons. "With the phones being 'rooted,' the attacks can do almost anything, including pulling data off the phone."

    Each of the apps were available for over 72 hours on the Market, and between 50,000 and 200,000 were downloaded by users during the time span.

    All of the apps were infected with "DreamDroid," code that lets attackers take over Android smartphones, connect them to a command-and-control server and then issue orders.

    Google has not yet used their ability to remotely remove malicious apps from phones, and has only used that power once, in June of last year.




    AfterDawn: News

    Apple iPad 2 coming March 11th, Steve Jobs returns

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Mar 2011 1:04

    Apple iPad 2 coming March 11th, Steve Jobs returns Will be updating as the event goes on...


    1:02 PM: Steve Jobs has come on stage to applause.

    1:05 PM: Random House adds 17,000 books to iBook store

    1:06 PM: Apple has paid out $2 billion to iOS app developers.

    1:06 PM: 100 million iPhones sold.

    1:07 PM: "Today we're here to talk about Apple's third post-PC blockbuster" iPad made 9.5 billion in revenue, 15 million sold in 2010, 65,000 iPad-specific apps. Compares to Honeycomb which only has 100.

    1:15 PM: Introducing iPad 2:

    -New chip A5: CPU is 200 pct faster, with graphics 900 pct faster. Same consumption as A4

    -Dual cameras

    -Gyroscope

    -MUCH thinner, from 13.4 mm to 8.8 mm. Thinner than iPhone 4

    -Lighter from 1.5 pounds down to 1.3 lbs

    -Ships in White and Black

    -AT&T and Verizon support at launch

    -10 hour batter life

    -Same pricing

    -March 11th launch in America

    -Smart Covers "This isn't a case anymore. It's a cover for the screen...Magnets grasp and auto-align the case. You can put it on in a second....The micro-fiber screen cleans the screen every time you close it, and it's incredibly minimal...And it comes in polyurethane, which is used to make space suits!"

    -iOS 4.3: Improved Safari performance, Javascript 2x faster, iTunes Home Sharing, updated AirPlay, PhotoBooth, FaceTime between all iOS devices..coming March 11th

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    China Unicom shows off Wophone mobile OS

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2011 3:51

    China Unicom shows off Wophone mobile OS China Unicom has launched their own mobile OS today, dubbed "Wophone," the first OS developed in China.

    Motorola, Samsung, Huawei, HTC and TCL have already committed to releasing phones with Wophone.

    The new OS is based on Linux and Unicom says "Wophones" will sell sell for 1,000 yuan ($150) to 2,000 yuan ($300), aimed at consumers who cannot afford high end devices, like the iPhone.

    Says one analyst of the move (via GT):

    Medium- and low-end smartphones will be a new driving force for the industry, since this group of people now also shows a growing interest in smartphones as their incomes increase.


    The Wophone OS can support all 3G Chinese mobile standards, WCDMA, CDMA2000 and TD-SCDMA, and also has support for LTE 4G.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Former senator Chris Dodd is now head of the MPAA

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2011 3:37

    Former senator Chris Dodd is now head of the MPAA Former Senator Christopher Dodd has been appointed the new CEO of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), years after the group began searching.

    The studios behind the trade group had long fought over fighting a candidate but all seem very excited by the new appointment.

    One studio boss even said, of Dodd: "He has great experience in government, is a leader and has real charisma."

    Dodd became a senator for Connecticut in 1981 and remained in office until January of this year.

    Despite his many years in politics, Dodd is likely best remembered for his failed presidential bid in 2008 and his call that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were "fundamentally strong" and "in good shape" just months before the government was forced to nationalize the companies in a deal that will likely cost taxpayers over $150 billion.




    AfterDawn: News

    Apple's Tim Cook hints at iPhone Nano

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2011 3:15

    Apple's Tim Cook hints at iPhone Nano Although the rumor of a smaller iPhone being built has been floating for over a month, the latest "confirmation" comes directly from Apple COO Tim Cook.

    Bernstein Research analyst Toni Sacconaghi has posted an investment note this week, after having a meeting with Cook, CFO Peter Oppenheimer and VP of Internet Services Eddy Cue, in which he claims that Cook "appeared to reaffirm the notion that Apple is likely to develop lower priced offerings".

    Furthermore, Apple is planning "clever" ways to get into the prepaid market, and that Apple is trying to not let "any" market get away from them.

    A smaller version of the iPhone, likely touting a small 2.6-inch screen, would be cheaper than current iPhone models and would be aimed at the market which is currently on-the-fence about smartphones and aimed at nations where Symbian and low-end Android devices rule.

    Finally, Cook said Apple is very confident about the tablet market despite "intense competition."




    AfterDawn: News

    Google patches Chrome before Pwn2Own hacking contest

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2011 2:09

    Google patches Chrome before Pwn2Own hacking contest Pwn2Own begins next week on March 9th, and will have security researchers "battling" to exploit Chrome, Safari 5, Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3.6.

    If anyone successfully hacks Chrome on the first day of the three-day event, Google will pay out $20,000. If anyone hacks it during the event after the first day, Google will pay $10,000 and Pwn2Own sponsor HP will pay the other $10,000.

    In anticipation of the event, Google has patched 19 vulnerabilities and paid out $14,000 to nine researchers who submitted the flaws.

    16 of the bugs were rated "high" and the rest were "medium." "High" is one step below Google's most sever ranking of "critical."

    Anything ranked "critical" means the hacker has infiltrated Chrome's anti-exploit sandbox, says CW, and Google has had to patch two "critical" flaws already this year.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Rhapsody begins offering two-month free trials

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2011 1:45

    Rhapsody begins offering two-month free trials On-demand streaming music service Rhapsody has begun giving away two-month free trials to new users via a promotion with MTV.

    The move has been seen as a way to prepare for Spotify's "imminent" launch in the U.S.

    Spotify has signed licensing deals with EMI and Sony Music, and has allegedly come very close to signing a deal with the largest label in the world, Universal Music Group.

    Because of a promotion deal signed between former owner Viacom and Rhapsody, MTV has committed $33 million to free advertising for the service and will promote it during "The Jersey Shore" and on Comedy Central.

    Since spinning off from Viacom and RealNetworks, Rhapsody has regained 100,000 subscribers bringing it to an all-time peak of about 750,000 users.

    Rhapsody is facing an increasingly more competitive market thanks to Pandora, Rdio, MOG, and soon Spotify.




    AfterDawn: News

    Nvidia launches app to help users find Tegra 2-optimized applications

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2011 1:29

    Nvidia launches app to help users find Tegra 2-optimized applications Nvidia has announced today the availability of Tegra Zone in the Android Market, an app that will give users a chance to easily find apps that have been optimized for devices running the dual-core Tegra 2 chip.

    The app shows all the games and apps alongside professional reviews, HD screenshots, HD trailers, some gameplay videos and even behind-the-scenes featurettes.

    After selecting an app through Tegra Zone, you are then brought to download or purchase it via the Android Market.

    The company says the first Tegra 2-enhanced games are Samurai II: Vengeance by MADFINGER Games, Dungeon Defenders: First Wave Deluxe HD by Trendy Entertainment, Galaxy on Fire 2 THD, by Fishlabs, Backbreaker THD, by Natural Motion, Fruit Ninja THD, by Halfbrick Studios, Vendetta Online, by Guild Software, Monster Madness, by SouthPeak Games and Hardwood Solitaire IV, by Silver Creek Entertainment.

    Says Nvidia:

    introduced over the past several months in a variety of super phones and tablets, the Tegra 2 super chip is finding a growing market, particularly among those interested in console-quality gaming on their mobile device. It is built with the world’s first mobile dual-core CPU – which unleashes the best Web experience, with up two times faster browsing and support for full Adobe® Flash® Player hardware GPU acceleration, plus unprecedented multitasking capabilities. It also includes an NVIDIA GeForce® GPU – which provides stunningly rich visual experiences and console console-quality gaming.

    Read more...


    AfterDawn: News

    Bing overtakes Yahoo in global search engine reach

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2011 1:13

    Bing overtakes Yahoo in global search engine reach According to new data from web analytics company StatCounter, Bing has overtaken Yahoo! for global search engine reach, taking 4.37 percent share to Yahoo's 3.93 percent.

    Overall, the global leader remains, clearly, Google, at 89.94 percent reach.

    In the U.S., Google has the lead at 79.63 percent, while Yahoo remains in second at 9.74 percent. Bing has quickly taken large share, however, moving to 9.03 percent.

    It is important to note that in the U.S., Canada, Australia, Mexico and Brazil, Bing powers the Yahoo! search engine, so many firms have moved to just combining the figures for both engines.

    Says StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen (via PR):

    It is significant that Bing overtook Yahoo! globally for the first time on a monthly basis but it remains a tough battle to claw back Google's market share. Although Google dipped below the 90 percent mark in February worldwide for the first time since August 2009 it shows little sign of losing its global dominance any time soon.




    AfterDawn: News

    Gogo Inflight releases iOS, Blackberry apps, Android coming soon

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2011 12:10

    Gogo Inflight releases iOS, Blackberry apps, Android coming soon Gogo Inflight Wireless has released iOS and Blackberry apps today, while promising an Android app is 'coming soon.'

    The apps should make it easier for flyers to connect to in-flight Wi-Fi from their mobile devices, which was notably difficult from standard browsers.

    Reads the brief description:

    The free Gogo® Inflight Internet app gives you one-step sign in on all Gogo equipped flights. Next time you're in the air, the Gogo Inflight Internet app will detect if you're on the Gogo network. After signing up, get online in flight with a push of a button.


    Blackberry 5.0 or higher is required for the BB app and there are no restrictions on the iOS version (it appears).

    Currently, Gogo Inflight Internet is available on all AirTran Airways and Virgin America flights, and select Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, and US Airways flights.

    Check the apps here or via the iTunes Store/Blackberry App World.




    AfterDawn: News

    'Angry Birds' plush toys hit 2 million sold

    Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Mar 2011 12:51

    'Angry Birds' plush toys hit 2 million sold Rovio executive Peter Vesterbacka made an interesting comment today during the Game Developers Conference, claiming that the company has sold 2 million of the official 'Angry Birds' plush toys.

    Vesterbacka says the company is now looking to expand the brand into other products as popularity for the game remains high.

    The game has been downloaded over 60 million times, and continues to be the best selling iPhone game of all-time.

    On Android, where the game is free, Rovio says the app is bringing in over $1 million a month in advertising.

    Finally, the exec says around 40 percent of all Angry Birds downloaders also purchase the $1 "angry eagle" add-on that can be purchased in-game.





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