AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (4 / 2011)

AfterDawn: News

Some users still can't update their Windows Phone 7 devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Apr 2011 3:56

Some users still can't update their Windows Phone 7 devices Microsoft has acknowledged today that some Windows Phone 7 users are still having issues updating the firmware of their phones, adding to issues WP7 users have had since February trying to update their software.

Earlier in the year, some owners even had their brand new devices turned to bricks when trying to update their firmware.

As of this week, the problem lies with Samsung Focus owners in the U.S.

Focus owners are just not getting any notifications that their updates are available, and therefore cannot download and install them.

Those affected are running REV 1.4 (which is outdated), while those that are receiving the notifications are running REV 1.3 (even more outdated).

Furthermore, European Omnia 7 owners will not be receiving updates for the time being, either.

Says Microsoft (via CW):

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HBO Go now available for iOS and Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Apr 2011 3:24

HBO Go now available for iOS and Android HBO has announced the launch of the GO service for Android and iOS, free for HBO subscribers.

To use the service, users will need an Android or iOS tablet or smartphone with 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi.

Additionally, you will need to be a subscriber to AT&T U-Verse, Comcast, Cox, DIRECTV, Suddenlink, Charter, DISH, or Verizon FIOS as your TV provider.

HBO says the app will allow you to:

Keep up with your favorites. Watch everything you love about HBO, including HBO original programming, hit movies, sports, comedy and every episode of the best HBO shows, including True Blood®, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire®, Entourage®, The Sopranos®, Curb Your Enthusiasm®, Sex and the City®, The Wire® and more. Plus, get bonus features and special behind-the-scenes extras!

Take it with you. Get instant access to HBO GO whenever you want, wherever you are—and never miss a moment of your favorite HBO shows.

Make it your own. Create a customized Watchlist to catch up on all your favorite HBO shows and hit movies at your convenience. Plus, set a Series Pass® to automatically load your list with all the HBO Original Series you love.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Now up for sale: Your PSN credit card info, including CCV numbers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Apr 2011 2:57

Now up for sale: Your PSN credit card info, including CCV numbers According to PSX Scene, PSN user's worst fears have been confirmed, as unknown hackers are now selling a database with 2.2 million credit card numbers to the highest bidder.

The database also includes CCV security numbers (3 or 4 numbers on the back of the card), which means anyone with the numbers and names can purchase online without a hitch.

It appears the hackers first tried to sell the database back to Sony themselves, but Sony was not buying.

The database is now available on black market credit forums.

Sony confirmed early this week that the PSN had been hacked, with personal data from 77 million users being compromised including name, address, email, profile data and credit card info.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon starts 69 cent music store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Apr 2011 11:29

Amazon starts 69 cent music store Amazon has announced the launch of an online digital music store that will sell songs for 69 cents.

The move, hopes the company, will bring more consumers to the site, where they will purchase the music and store it on the free CloudDrive, which also streams music. Users can pay for more than the free 5GB of space Amazon offers if they run out of space.

For now, only 200 of Amazon MP3s available 15 million songs are selling for 69 cents.

However, 26 of the top 40 most popular songs are selling at the discounted rate, down from their regular $.99-1.29.

"All of that ties into this experience of getting them to discover and buy and listen to more music, so it's all interrelated," says Amazon of the move.




AfterDawn: News

Sony to compensate users over massive PSN downtime?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Apr 2011 11:06

Sony to compensate users over massive PSN downtime? Earlier this week we reported that Sony had admitted that hackers had stolen PSN account info, forcing the company to shut down PSN and Qriocity as it rebuilds its services.

The company noted that 77 million users had their "Name, address (city, state, postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID, profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, postal code), and the subscriber's PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers" had been compromised. Even worse, the company said your credit card info and expiration date are likely to have been compromised, as well.

Today, on the 8th day of the outage, Sony has hinted that it may give users some sort of compensation for the downtime.

Says the company:

We are currently evaluating ways to show appreciation for your extraordinary patience as we work to get these services back online.


Because PSN is free, the compensation will almost certainly not be monetary, but PlayStation Plus and the MMO games "DC Universe Online" and "Free Realms" will likely get some prorated refund.




AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm leaks specs for upcoming Snapdragon processors

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Apr 2011 10:31

Qualcomm leaks specs for upcoming Snapdragon processors Qualcomm has leaked a presentation showing off the next generation of the Snapdragon mobile processors.

Each of the chips will be based on the smaller 28nm Krait architecture, moving down from 54nm of most current chips.

By moving to the 28nm, the new processors promise to use 47 percent less power than a current A-15 chip, with same clock speed.

The MSM8270, MSM8930, MSM8960 and the APQ8064 will all be multiple times faster than current CPUs and support "console quality gaming" graphics.

Each of the processors will be clockable to 2.5Ghz, have 3G and LTE, 3D support, 1080p video, Dolby Surround Sound 7.1 and can support camera sensors up to 20MP.

The first chip will be available later this year, with the rest available into 2012. It is unclear when the first smartphones and tablets using the chips will be released, however.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Spotify to start streaming movie service in U.S., as well?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Apr 2011 10:10

Spotify to start streaming movie service in U.S., as well? Although the CEO of the company has denied it, Crunch is reporting that as Spotify continues its efforts to launch in the U.S., it will also offer a movie streaming service.

Industry sources say Spotify has already negotiated deals with the major movie studios.

The deals are also likely to be worldwide, meaning European users (at least) would have access to the movies.

CEO Daniel Ek did call the story inaccurate, going as far as to say:

No it ain’t true. Media these days are funny. Soon I’ll be reading that Spotify is launching a space rocket.


Crunch makes sure to note, however, that Ek has denied may stories in the past in similar fashion, all of which were true.

Making Spotify different from the competition is that the company will get the movies early, around the same time hotels for PPV




AfterDawn: News

Samsung Chrome OS netbook dubbed "Alex" coming next month?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Apr 2011 9:39

Samsung Chrome OS netbook dubbed "Alex" coming next month? Discovered this morning, a code.google.com page has shown off Samsung's upcoming "Alex" Chrome OS netbook.

The netbook is expected to be revealed at the upcoming I/O conference next month.

If accurate, the page says the device will have a 1280x800 resolution, a dual -core 1.5 GHz Atom N550 processor, 2GB RAM, a SanDisk P4 SSD and a Qualcomm Gobi 3G modem, Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, a built-in webcam, a card reader, USB ports, and a D-Sub outputs.

Other Chrome OS hardware, from Acer and other partners, could also be unveiled at the conference.

As stands, the "Alex" has similar specs to the Cr-48 Google Chrome Book, which was sent out to over 50,000 beta testers starting in December, including AfterDawn.




AfterDawn: News

Redbox launching video game rentals in June

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2011 11:54

Redbox launching video game rentals in June Starting June 17th, Redbox will begin adding video games to 21,000 of its rental kiosks.

Says Joel Resnik, vice president of games at Redbox:

Historically, video game products have not been available at grocery stores, drugstores or convenience stores. We make it very convenient by having our kiosks in front of the places people are at every day.


Rentals will cost $2 per night, and will include games for the Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360.

For the last few months, Redbox has been testing the video game rentals at 5000 kiosks, including locations in Orlando, Austin and Reno.

Users can search for available titles online.




AfterDawn: News

Android 2.3.4 adds video and voice chat support to Google Talk

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2011 11:37

Android 2.3.4 adds video and voice chat support to Google Talk In an announcement that should make Android device owners with front-side cameras very happy, Google has said that Android 2.3.4 will add video and voice chat support to Google Talk.

The first users to get Android 2.3.4 will be Nexus S owners.

Outside of the major update to Google Talk, the firmware will bring a few bug fixes and improvements, and should be rolling out in the coming weeks.

Says Google:

You can now video or voice chat with your friends, family and colleagues right from your Android phone, whether they're on their compatible Android tablet or phone, or using Gmail with Google Talk on their computer. You can make calls over a 3G or 4G data network (if your carrier supports it) or over Wi-Fi.

In your Google Talk friends list, a video or voice chat button will appear next to your contacts and you can simply touch the button to connect with them. Any text chats from the person you're talking with will be overlaid on your phone's screen so you can read them without having to leave the video. And, if you need to check something else, the video pauses automatically so you can go back to your phone's home screen or another app. The audio will keep going even though the video has paused.




AfterDawn: News

Foxconn workers arrested for leaking iPad 2 design before launch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2011 11:24

Foxconn workers arrested for leaking iPad 2 design before launch Three Foxconn employees were arrested in late 2010 for violating Apple's trade secret agreement and leaking details about the design of the iPad 2, and were charged this week.

All three of the employees were arrested in China in December, over three months before the iPad 2 was unveiled by Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

The alleged leaks let accessory makers create designs, some of which were very close to what the final product was, including the rounded back, camera location and new speaker location.

Foxconn is a major producer of Apple products like the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air but made headlines last years after a slew of suicides at their factories.

It was then reported that worker's families were making more money from the suicide compensation than the workers were making in three years of labored salary.




AfterDawn: News

Geohot insults Sony, but denies any involvement with PSN breach

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2011 10:47

Geohot insults Sony, but denies any involvement with PSN breach Not that he really had, George "Geohot" Hotz has denied all involvement with the recent PSN security breach.

For our latest coverage on the hack that got 77 million people's personal info stolen, check here: Sony sees first lawsuit over massive PSN security hack

Taking some parting shots at Sony but denying all involvement, Geohot wrote out a long blog post.

Hotz recently settled with Sony over a lawsuit for his involvement in creating custom firmwares for the PS3 that allow for homebrew.

Writes Hotz:

To start, I sure am glad I don't have a PSN account about now. And, as a onetime victim of identity theft, I feel for everyone who's data has been stolen. I'm not going to make cracks at Sony for flipping a shit when /their/ data is compromised, and not even having the decency to apologize when it's your data that's misappropriated.

And to anyone who thinks I was involved in any way with this, I'm not crazy, and would prefer to not have the FBI knocking on my door. Running homebrew and exploring security on your devices is cool, hacking into someone elses server and stealing databases of user info is not cool. You make the hacking community look bad, even if it is aimed at douches like Sony.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony sees first lawsuit over massive PSN security hack

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Apr 2011 10:29

Sony sees first lawsuit over massive PSN security hack Earlier this week we reported that following 5 days of downtime, Sony had finally confirmed the reason behind the PSN outage, sparking outrage from concerned gamers.

Sony said hackers had stolen PSN account info, forcing the company to shut down PSN and Qriocity as it rebuilds its services. The company noted that your "Name, address (city, state, postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID, profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, postal code), and the subscriber's PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers" had been compromised.

Even worse, the company says your credit card info and expiration date are likely to have been compromised, as well.

Today, the first lawsuit over the breach has surfaced, filed on the behalf of Kristopher Johns of Alabama.

Johns is accusing Sony "of not taking reasonable care to protect, encrypt, and secure the private and sensitive data of its users."

Furthermore, the suit alleges (via Cnet) that Sony took far too long to notify customers of the breach, and that their information had been stolen. By taking 5 days Sony did not give its users a chance "to make an informed decision as to whether to change credit card numbers, close the exposed accounts, check their credit reports, or take other mitigating actions."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google releases Google Docs native Android app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2011 11:55

Google releases Google Docs native Android app Google has released their first Google Docs Android app this week, giving users a chance to access, share and edit their docs from a native app and not from within the browser.

You can upload content directly from your phone, and open docs from Gmail with one-click.

Google has included a widget as well, with "Create," "Jump to starred docs" and "take photo for upload" as options.

Finally, the company explains its OCR feature:

Using the app and your phone’s camera, you can turn photos with text into editable Google documents with the power of optical character recognition (OCR). Just create a new ‘Document from Photo' or select the camera icon from the widget, and your converted document will appear in your documents list shortly after you snap the picture. You can also convert photos already stored on your phone by sharing them with the Google Docs app. OCR does a pretty good job capturing unformatted text in English but won't recognize handwriting or some fonts - stay tuned, it will get better over time!


The app is in the Android Market now if you have Android 2.1 or higher.




AfterDawn: News

Hulu Plus for Xbox 360 coming on Friday

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2011 10:35

Hulu Plus for Xbox 360 coming on Friday According to multiple sources, Hulu Plus is headed to the Xbox 360 on Friday.

Microsoft noted many months ago that the service was coming but never gave a time table.

The interface will be similar to that of Netflix for 360.

As a promotion, Microsoft will give away a trip to Beaches resort or a 4GB Xbox 360 Kinect bundle with free Gold Live for a year to a random user of Hulu Plus.

The premium service has back catalogs of popular shows like The Office, 30 Rock, Glee and the Daily Show.

Check the video here: Joystiq




AfterDawn: News

White iPhone 4 is finally here

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2011 9:56

White iPhone 4 is finally here Almost one year after it was first announced, the white iPhone 4 model will go on sale tomorrow, for Verizon and AT&T.

The phone will be available through Apple, the two carriers, and most retailers that carry other Apple products.

Says Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing:

The white iPhone 4 has finally arrived and it’s beautiful. We appreciate everyone who has waited patiently while we’ve worked to get every detail right.


Outside of the U.S., the oft-delayed white iPhone will be available in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Macau, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand and the UK.

Same pricing applies.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon network glitch disables 4G for unlucky users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2011 9:33

Verizon network glitch disables 4G for unlucky users Verizon, the largest carrier in the U.S., has admitted today that a network glitch is preventing some smartphone/tablet users from accessing the 4G LTE network.

Says the company:

Customers are temporarily unable to activate any 4G LTE devices.


Users can still use their phones on 3G and make voice calls, but Verizon says they are working to restore LTE to all affected customers.

The carrier says it will restore the service market-by-market.

To date, Verizon has sold over 500,000 4G devices, most of which are HTC Thunderbolts.




AfterDawn: News

Android is now most wanted smartphone OS in U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Apr 2011 12:12

Android is now most wanted smartphone OS in U.S. Android is now most wanted smartphone OS in U.S., says Nielsen.

In the period of July to September 2010, consumers looking for a new smartphone overwhelmingly wanted iOS, with 33 percent saying they would get an iPhone. 26 percent wanted an Android and 13 percent wanted a BlackBerry.

That has changed, however. For the period of January to March 2011, 31 percent would-be buyers said they wanted an Android phone, compared to 30 percent for iOS and only 11 percent for BlackBerry. The remaining were unsure or wanted Windows.

Many of those surveyed were already Android phone owners and it was now their preferred OS.

By market share, Android is leading the way at 37 percent followed by iOS at 27 percent and BlackBerry at 22 percent.




AfterDawn: News

Newer, more advanced leaked build of Windows 8 now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2011 10:43

Newer, more advanced leaked build of Windows 8 now available Two weeks after the useless Windows 8 M1 build was leaked to torrent and warez sites, a newer version (M2) is now available for download.

The build is Windows 8 Milestone 2 (M2) Build 6.2.7955.0.110228-1930. That number implies the build is from February 28th and is "time-bombed to expire in July," says Soft.

This latest build, whilst still hiding some new features, adds a Webcam, Logon UI, TaskUI, PDF Reader, Ribbon UI, Application Folder, full DWM and the "immersive IE."

Touchscreen gestures are also supported in the latest build.

Potential downloaders are reminded that this is not an officially released Windows 8 build and will be highly unstable.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft 'Mango' upgrade will be Windows Phone 7.5

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2011 10:17

Microsoft 'Mango' upgrade will be Windows Phone 7.5 Microsoft's upcoming "Mango" firmware update for mobile phones will actually be Windows Phone 7.5, says the software giant.

On the Microsoft Partner page, the company says "Preview the New Windows Phone OS 7.5 coming later in 2011."

Windows Phone 7.5 will add (says Giz)



• Application multitasking for background processing, audio and file transfer, and fast application switching
• Deeper phone integration so apps can, for example, take better advantage of the versatility of Live Tiles
• Access to the camera and Motion Sensor library so developers can build apps that incorporate device hardware and build augmented reality experiences


Nokia will release their first Windows Phone 7 device later this year, or early in 2012, when 7.5 is readily available.




AfterDawn: News

Sony shows off S1 and S2 Honeycomb tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2011 9:44

Sony shows off S1 and S2 Honeycomb tablets Sony has finally unveiled its much anticipated Honeycomb tablets today, dubbed the S1 and S2.

The S1 has a curved design which Sony says will make it much easier to carry (check first video) and the S2 is a clamshell with dual touchscreens.

At 9.4-inches, the S1 is comparable in size to the iPad 2, Xoom and Galaxy 10.1, and each device has a Tegra 2 dual-core SoC.

Each tablet has a customized UI and a "Swift" Web browser.

You can use the S1 as a touchscreen remote control thanks to built-in infrared.

The S2 has dual-5.5-inch screen with 1024x480 resolution. As seen in the video, the devices can be used for PSOne gaming, with full controls.

Each tablet is 3G and 4G-capable, support DLNA and are PlayStation-certified.

There was no word on release day or price, but expect prices between $500 and $700.






AfterDawn: News

Hackers have taken all your info from PSN

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Apr 2011 7:36

Hackers have taken all your info from PSN Following 5 days of downtime, Sony has finally confirmed the reason behind the PSN outage, sparking outrage from concerned gamers.

Sony says hackers have stolen PSN account info, forcing the company to shut down PSN and Qriocity as it rebuilds its services.

In an announcement, Sony says the attack took place between April 17th and 19th.

The company notes that your "Name, address (city, state, postal code), country, email address, birthdate, PlayStation Network/Qriocity password and login, and handle/PSN online ID, profile data, including purchase history and billing address (city, state, postal code), and the subscriber's PlayStation Network/Qriocity password security answers" have all likely been compromised.

Even worse, the company says your credit card info and expiration date are likely to have been compromised, as well.

There are 71 million registered PSN accounts.

If you are worried, Sony says you should check your credit card statements and credit reports daily, and of course, to change your password once PSN goes back online.




AfterDawn: News

Son of software tycoon Kaspersky is freed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2011 11:43

Son of software tycoon Kaspersky is freed Following one of the biggest headline-grabbing kidnappings in many years, the son of software tycoon Yevgeny Kaspersky has been freed, and Russian police have arrested five people.

The group, based out of Moscow, were demanding 3 million euro for Ivan Kaspersky's return.

Authorities managed to save Ivan after posing as middleman negotiating the ransom.

Ivan was kidnapped last week on his way to work as a programmer.

Kaspersky is a top anti-virus, and the entrepreneur is very highly regarded in Russia.




AfterDawn: News

'Rebug' CFW caused Sony to take down PSN?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2011 11:19

'Rebug' CFW caused Sony to take down PSN? As we have reported since last Wednesday, the Sony PSN has been down to due an "external intrusion on our system."

Sony said the downtime would likely be 48 hours but the network still remains down, over 100 hours later.

Today, a new rumor has it that the "Rebug" custom firmware for the PS3 caused Sony to desperately take down their own network, on one of the more popular weekends for gaming of the whole year.

The Rebug CFW is a mod to a proxy server, allowing users to simulate turning their PS3 into debug units used by Sony developers.

Using those mods, hackers can enter any credit card number they want and download games and other content for free from the PSN. Sony does not check the authenticity of the cards because it is assumed their own developers are not stealing content.

For now, the rumor remains just that, but Sony has sure gotten a lot of press for remaining pretty mum on why their network still remains down after 5 days.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo confirms Wii successor

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2011 10:41

Nintendo confirms Wii successor Nintendo has finally confirmed the successor to the Wii gaming console, two weeks after the rumor fire was set ablaze by a number of reports.

The company will reveal the system at E3 in June with a playable demo.

Nintendo says:

So I won't talk about specific details today, but it will offer a new way of playing games within the home.


For now, the rumors about the console are:

Nintendo is building the system under the codename Project Cafe and may be released very early next year as the Nintendo Stream.

Under the hood, the Stream will run on a custom-built triple-core IBM PowerPC CPU, with "much" faster clock speeds than the Xbox 360. The GPU will be a revamped AMD R700 architecture. The system will support full 1080p output alongside stereoscopic 3D.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple is currently testing iPhone 4 for T-Mobile

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Apr 2011 12:00

Apple is currently testing iPhone 4 for T-Mobile BGR has posted a picture today of a white iPhone 4 prototype being tested with T-Mobile's 3G bands.

The site speculates that it may be an iPhone 4S developer prototype.

Those "4S" were given out to certain developers to test out new software on an iPhone with a dual-core A5 processor, which is expected to be added to the upcoming iPhone 5.

AT&T has proposed buying T-Mobile for $39 billion, but that deal is expected to take over one year to close, if it even does get through anti-trust regulators.

If the deal does go through, Apple would have little use for a T-Mobile 3G, but there may be many willing buyers if the phone is released soon.




AfterDawn: News

RIM PlayBook selling well, says analyst

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Apr 2011 11:19

RIM PlayBook selling well, says analyst According to RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky, the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook tablet may be selling much better than analysts had anticipated, with the company selling 50,000 on the first day, alone.

Checking in with 70 different retail store, including Best Buy and Staples, Abramsky says 11 percent of all stores sold out, while others had "light" sales.

Overall, the analyst says 50,000 were likely sold on launch day, April 19th.

While the numbers may be deceiving (because it is unclear how many models of each were available to begin with), it appears the 64GB model is selling the best, with 91 percent of stores claiming that particular version is sold out, compared to just 13 percent for the cheapest 16GB model.

Abramsky says he expects 500,000 to be shipped in the first fiscal quarter of availability.




AfterDawn: News

Motorola Jet and Bullet coming early 2012 with Tegra 3 processors

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Apr 2011 10:59

Motorola Jet and Bullet coming early 2012 with Tegra 3 processors DroidLife has reported today that Motorola is set to launch two Tegra 3-powered smartphones at CES 2012, dubbed the Jet and Bullet.

The Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU is quad-core making the devices much more powerful than current devices, most of which sport single-core or dual-core processors.

Motorola's Bullet, will have a 4.3″ qHD screen, Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 16GB internal storage, an NFC chip, and a 12MP camera with a full redesigned sensor.

The Jet will have the same specs, but will include a full slide-out keyboard.

Both phones will have access to 4G LTE, although it is unclear whether they will be on AT&T or Verizon.




AfterDawn: News

Creator of the CD passes away, reports Sony

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2011 1:16

Creator of the CD passes away, reports Sony Sony has announced that former president and chairman Norio Ohga has passed away at age 81.

Ohga is credited with developing the CD (compact disc).

A lover of music and former opera singer, Ohga made the decision to design CDs at 4.8-inches (75 minutes of music), so it could store the complete Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

Ohga is also credited with helping expand Sony out of niche into a global player in the audio, video and electronics world.

Says current Sony Chairman Sir Howard Stringer (via CBS):

It is no exaggeration to attribute Sony's evolution beyond audio and video products into music, movies and game, and subsequent transformation into a global entertainment leader to Ohga-san's foresight and vision.




AfterDawn: News

Huawei and Panasonic join MeeGo?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2011 1:08

Huawei and Panasonic join MeeGo? Despite founding partner Nokia leaving the mobile operating system for dead, it appears there is still interest in the Linux-based mobile OS MeeGo.

Last week we reported that LG Electronics was looking to adopt the OS for some lower-end smartphones, with discussions already underway.

Furthermore, ZTE and China Mobile were also said to be looking to help develop a handset with the OS.

Today, insiders are saying Huawei and Panasonic are joining the Handset Working Group, making sure the OS does not die.

Panasonic is a large handset maker in Japan and Huawei has a number of feature phones and smartphones available worldwide.




AfterDawn: News

Wii 2 roundup: Mock controller, price, name, more rumored details

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2011 1:01

Wii 2 roundup: Mock controller, price, name, more rumored details Collecting info from multiple sources, the upcoming Wii 2 is getting more and more details, including a mockup of the next-gen controller.

For now, the console is under codename Project Cafe and may be released very early next year as the Nintendo Stream.

Under the hood, the Stream will run on a custom-built triple-core IBM PowerPC CPU, with "much" faster clock speeds than the Xbox 360. The GPU will be a revamped AMD R700 architecture. The system will support full 1080p output alongside stereoscopic 3D.

For form factor, the system will be the same size as the first-gen Xbox 360s and will look like a "modernized" SNES.

The completely revamped controllers will have integrated touchscreens, with the ability to stream games to each controller. (Check included mockup)

While the console will begin shipping in September, but it appears that Nintendo will not release until early 2012 to ensure they have a huge amount of launch titles and large supply so there are no delays.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Rumor patrol: iPhone 5 to look like Touch, home button will support gestures

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2011 12:46

Rumor patrol: iPhone 5 to look like Touch, home button will support gestures There are conflicting reports surrounding the upcoming iPhone 5, but former Engadget editor-in-chief Joshua Topolsky has fueled the fire by claiming that the iPhone 5 will be completely redesigned to look like the iPod Touch, including a "teardrop" shape where the device goes from thicker to thinner, just like the MacBook Air.

Additionally, the "home" button will be expanded to also support gestures. (As seen in mockup)

Furthermore, the screen will also be expanded to 3.7-inches and take up the entire front of the device, leaving no bezel.

Rumors of the larger screen have been around since last year, including the "edge-to-edge" design.

The phone will keep 312dpi Retina display, as well, despite the larger screen.

On the other hand, Macrumors cites a "reliable" source when saying Engadget's report is completely untrue.




AfterDawn: News

Firefox 4 tops 100 million downloads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2011 12:36

Firefox 4 tops 100 million downloads Launched on March 22nd, Mozilla's Firefox 4 has become a rockstar, topping 100 million downloads earlier this morning.

The numbers come via Mozilla's "Glow" stats ticker page, which has been updating the downloads since launch. You can check that page here: Firefox 4 Downloads

StatCounter (via Crunch), says Firefox 4 already has 8 percent of the worldwide browser market share, behind more established IE8 at 30 percent, Firefox 3.6 at 24.43 percent and Chrome 10 at 15.35 percent.

Microsoft recently released Internet Explorer 9, a complete overhaul of their previous browsers, and Google has released betas of Chrome 11, which adds HTML5 speech input, allowing users to talk into their mics and have the browser type out what you are saying (great for hands-free searches).

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony confirms, PSN is down because of hackers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Apr 2011 12:24

Sony confirms, PSN is down because of hackers Earlier this week we reported that Sony's PlayStation Network was down "for maintenance" and that Sony was saying the downtime might be a "day or two" as Sony worked to bring back all features.

The shutdown is taking a lot longer than a day or two, as the PSN is still not functional, but at least Sony has confirmed why the popular free service is non-functional.

Says the company, via its blog:

An external intrusion on our system has affected our PlayStation Network and Qriocity services. In order to conduct a thorough investigation and to verify the smooth and secure operation of our network services going forward, we turned off PlayStation Network & Qriocity services on the evening of Wednesday, April 20th. Providing quality entertainment services to our customers and partners is our utmost priority. We are doing all we can to resolve this situation quickly, and we once again thank you for your patience. We will continue to update you promptly as we have additional information to share.


The PSN has over 70 million registered users, with 40 million or so expected to be active accounts.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Windows 8 to allow pattern-based logins?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2011 4:48

Windows 8 to allow pattern-based logins? According to a new video, Windows 8 will allow users to login/unlock their computers with patterns, just like Android and iOS devices do now.

Microsoft is expected to launch Windows 8 in mid-2012, for desktops and tablets. The OS will feature more cloud-based features, Kinect support, Zune music, and see a revamped UI.

Windows 8 will also have support for ARM-based SoC, alongside Intel x86 architectures, so a plethora of tablets are expected in 2012 featuring the OS.

So far, there has been a very early build leaked to torrent and warez sites, but most of the expected features are not included.

Video slightly NSFW:




AfterDawn: News

Windows 7 hits 350 million licenses sold

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2011 4:37

Windows 7 hits 350 million licenses sold Microsoft has celebrated the 18-month anniversary of the release of Windows 7 this week, and let go some figures about the OS.

The software giant says they have sold 350 million licenses of Windows 7, making it the fastest selling OS of all-time, and probably the fastest selling piece of software of all-time, as well.

90 percent of businesses have migrated or are migrating to Windows 7, moving on from the aged Windows XP.

Microsoft is expected to launch Windows 8 in mid-2012, for desktops and tablets. The OS will feature more cloud-based features, Kinect support, Zune music, and see a revamped UI.

Windows 8 will also have support for ARM-based SoC, alongside Intel x86 architectures, so a plethora of tablets are expected in 2012 featuring the OS.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Xbox Live Gold is free for Europeans this weekend

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2011 4:10

Xbox Live Gold is free for Europeans this weekend Microsoft has reminded Xbox gamers in Europe this weekend that their free silver subscriptions will be bumped to Gold for free, and given all Gold features.

The software giant is being generous because it wants to break the Guinness World Record for "largest online 100 meter sprint."

Kinect Sports owners are being asked to join the attempt, which will be tomorrow at 1pm EST.

Explained:

Then, all you need to do is play Kinect Sports and complete a sprint mini-game while connected to Xbox LIVE at the time listed below. You must choose sprint from the mini-game menu – not the entire track and field event for your race to count.


The company says every participant will be given an Xbox and Guinness World Record Avatar t-shirt (Pictured).




AfterDawn: News

Google asking Spotify to power its music service again?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2011 3:32

Google asking Spotify to power its music service again? Cnet says that Google has asked Spotify, once again, to power its oft-delayed Google Music service.

Talks started last year but were broken off as Google could not agree on what they wanted.

The company was even considering buying Spotify, for an undisclosed amount.

Google Music is expected to be a combination subscription streaming service and cloud locker, when it launches. Google has not yet reached any licensing agreements with the major labels, just like Amazon and Apple have not either.

The company could launch a locker-based service today if it wanted to, but it appears it wants to make sure it can have a combination platform available from day-one, one upping rival services.




AfterDawn: News

U.S. Army chooses Android for smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2011 3:19

U.S. Army chooses Android for smartphones The U.S. Army has selected Android as its OS of choice for upcoming Army-approved smartphones and tablets, as well as for apps that will be necessary for missions.

While there have been concerns about stability, security and connectivity for Android as compared to other mobile OS, most are muted, and the Army will be able to use the open source software as they choose, likely beefing up security.

During combat, the devices will likely have to have satellite phone-capabilities, meaning round-the-clock data and voice with no lapses.

The Army wants every soldier to have one of the future Android devices, to ensure they are connected during missions.

A prototype dubbed the Joint Battle Command-Platform is already being tested.

Apps will include "critical messaging" for exchanging medevac requests and other emergencies, and A Blue Force Tracker program to make sure soldiers know where friendlies are.

Finally, the phones will be able to withstand extreme wear-and-tear and will likely be similar to the rugged "ToughBooks" created by Panasonic.




AfterDawn: News

Apple's cloud music service is ready to roll

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2011 3:05

Apple's cloud music service is ready to roll According to sources close to both Apple and Google, it appears Apple has finished preparing its cloud music storage service and will launch it ahead of Google's oft-delayed Google Music.

Using Apple's service, iTunes users can store their songs on a remote server and access them whenever they want, as long as they have an active Internet connection.

There is no timetable for the service, and Apple still hasn't signed any licenses with the major labels.

Last month, Amazon started its CloudDrive without licensing agreements, arguing that user's music was their own, and agreements were not necessary.

The major labels did not agree, and have threatened lawsuits. Apple and Google should expect similar treatment.




AfterDawn: News

Google to rent Chrome OS laptops for $20 per month?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2011 2:45

Google to rent Chrome OS laptops for $20 per month? Neowin has reported this week that Google is set to begin releasing Chrome OS netbook this summer, as early as late June.

However, the devices will not be sold in a conventional manner, and will instead be sold as a "subscription based model."

The netbooks will be available for $10-20 per month, and Google will replace faulty hardware for the lifetime of the subscription.

Google may also allow you to buy the device for a one-time fee.

It is unclear which manufacturers will create the Chrome OS devices, but Acer and others are expected to have models ready by the summer.




AfterDawn: News

RIM and Hulu in talks to bring access back to PlayBook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2011 2:03

RIM and Hulu in talks to bring access back to PlayBook Yesterday we reported that Hulu, the streaming TV content site, was now blocked to BlackBerry PlayBook owners, who had had access for two days after launch.

In the past few years, Hulu has blocked access to the site from the PS3, Google TV and Android devices, each of which originally had the ability to stream the content.

Today, RIM has said they are in talks with Hulu on brining the content back, but as Hulu Plus, the $8/month premium service that is available on most mobile devices.

Notes the company:

We are in conversations with Hulu to bring the Hulu Plus subscription service to BlackBerry PlayBook users.




AfterDawn: News

Kindle adds library lending

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Apr 2011 1:38

Kindle adds library lending Amazon has said this week that the Kindle e-reader will finally allow customers to borrow books from 11,000 U.S. libraries, beginning later in the year.

The feature had been available on the rival Barnes & Noble Nook since its launch and many librarians and critics wondered why Amazon had not made such a simple addition.

Amazon will let users check out a Kindle book from the local library and read it on their Kindle or PC or Android/iOS/BlackBerry device.

If you check out the book again, or buy it, the customer's bookmarks and other notes will be preserved in the cloud.

Amazon has not said when the update will be rolled out.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung's first LTE device, the Droid Charge, coming next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2011 10:23

Samsung's first LTE device, the Droid Charge, coming next week Verizon has said today that Samsung's first LTE device, the Droid Charge, will be available on April 28th.

The Droid Charge runs Android 2.2, has a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen, a 1GHz processor, an 8MP rear camera with LED flash and a 1.3MP front-side camera.

Samsung has pre-loaded Flash and the Samsung Media Hub, offering up movies and TV shows for rental or purchase.

Verizon says LTE users should have down speeds of 5-12Mbps and upload speeds of 2-5Mbps.

The Droid Charge will also feature mobile hotspot, allowing up to 10 devices to connect to the LTE. For now, Verizon is offering that feature for free.

Starting next week, the Charge will cost $300 with two-year contract, and it comes with free $25 credit to Samsung Media Hub.




AfterDawn: News

Apple earnings round-up: Profit and revenue explode

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2011 6:17

Apple earnings round-up: Profit and revenue explode Apple reported its latest quarterly earnings and both revenue and profit soared year-over-year (YoY).

Revenue grew 83 percent to $24.7 billion, and profit jumped 95 percent to $6 billion.

The iPhone was, by far, the biggest revenue driver, with sales jumping to 18.6 million, over 100 percent growth YoY.

iPad sales, on the other hand, sputtered, falling well below analyst expectations at 4.7 million units sold.

Worries of the Japanese tsunami disaster affecting the top or bottom line were quickly assuaged, with COO Tim Cook saying revenue would drop just $200 million and that the supply chain is still intact, with no delays.

When speaking of iPad 2 sales, Cook said the demand was "staggering" and that the company "sold every one that we could make."

As expected, iPod sales fell for the 10th straight quarter, down to 9 million, or down 17 percent YoY.




AfterDawn: News

Sony says 50 million PS3s shipped

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2011 5:47

Sony says 50 million PS3s shipped As of the end of last month, Sony has shipped 50 million PS3 units worldwide and it appears that most of those consoles have been sold to consumers.

Additionally, Sony has sold 8 million Move motion control systems as of April 3rd.

The PS3 launched in late November and the Move was released in September 2010.

Including PSP owners, the PlayStation Network has 75 million registered accounts, with over 40 million expected to be active.

Sony is about 3 million units behind the Xbox 360, which had a one-year head start and has seen extremely strong sales since the release of the Kinect motion control system.




AfterDawn: News

New York Times gets 100,000 digital subscriptions in 20 days

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2011 5:29

New York Times gets 100,000 digital subscriptions in 20 days In just 20 days since The New York Times raised its controversial pay wall, the newspaper has signed up 100,000 subscribers.

All online 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.

The New York Times says the numbers "meaningfully exceeded expectations" but encouragement remains muted until retention rates can be calculated after the initial promotion period, which does include a starter trial at an introductory 99 cents.




AfterDawn: News

Sony: PSN outages may last 'day or two'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2011 3:11

Sony: PSN outages may last 'day or two' Sony has acknowledged today that a few features of the PSN have been down since last night and that it may be a "day or two" until the service is fully functional again.

The PlayStation Store is inaccessible to U.S. and European gamers, with many getting the error: "The server is currently down for maintenance."

Sony has not given a reason for the downtime.

The PSN has over 70 million registered users, with 40 million or so expected to be active accounts.

If 'Anonymous,' the hacking group which took down the PSN earlier this month with DDoS attacks is to blame, they have not taken credit. The group stopped their attack after seeing it was affecting PS3 gamers more than it was Sony.




AfterDawn: News

Hulu refuses to embrace mobile, blocks access on BlackBerry PlayBook tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Apr 2011 2:58

Hulu refuses to embrace mobile, blocks access on BlackBerry PlayBook tablet Hulu, in their ongoing efforts to not embrace smartphones and tablets, has blocked access to the site for BlackBerry PlayBook owners.

Tablet owners headed to Hulu.com for free, streaming TV are now greeted with:

We notice that you are trying to access Hulu from your BlackBerry browser. Right now, this device is not supported.


Happy owners had been able to use the site for the last two days since the device's launch.

In the past few years, Hulu has blocked access to the site from the PS3, Google TV and Android devices, each of which originally had the ability to stream the content.




AfterDawn: News

Sony should pay €100 to man for OtherOS removal, consumer board says

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Apr 2011 11:18

Sony should pay €100 to man for OtherOS removal, consumer board says Finnish consumer board balks at Sony's killing of OtherOS functionality, and thinks the consumer electronics giant should pay up.

A Finnish man purchased a PlayStation 3 (PS3) console last year for €268.90. At the time of purchase, the product was being presented with capabilities to install an alternative operating system, such as a Linux distribution.

However, it is well known now that Sony decided to axe the popular "OtherOS" functionality, citing security concerns. Consumers who had previously purchased the console would see the functionality disappear after installing a firmware update.

Choosing not to install updates in an attempt to preserve the OtherOS functionality would cripple other functions of the console, such as online features, and could block out newer game titles.

The man at the center of the case in Finland, which was brought to the Consumer Complaints Board, lost the ability to use an alternative operating system after an update was installed from a new game. He was seeking €150 in damages for the removal of the OtherOS feature.

The CCB said that the removal of OtherOS crippled console features that were present at the time of purchase, and agreed that consumers should be compensated. It recommended that the manufacturer and seller of the console pay €100 jointly to compensate the man.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

LoveFilm adds Disney streaming movies

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2011 11:57

LoveFilm adds Disney streaming movies LoveFilm, Amazon's European streaming and movie rental company, has announced this week that it has signed a content deal with Disney that will bring over 50 films to the platform.

With the deal, Disney has become LoveFilm's first major partner in the UK.

LoveFilm subscribers with 5.99 pound per month subscriptions will be able to freely stream catalog titles like Princess Frog, Armageddon and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and new releases like Tron: Legacy, I Am Number Four and Tangled will be available via the service's PPV selection.

Says LoveFilm CEO Simon Calver:

This is a great endorsement of the popularity of LoveFilm, as Disney is one of the world's leading studios.


Adds Catherine Powell, senior vp and general manager of media distribution, The Walt Disney Company EMEA (via THR):

We're working with innovative partners such as LoveFilm to offer our programming to viewers in evermore flexible, easy to access ways, and this agreement builds on our existing DVD rental partnership to further extend the availability of our films amongst U.K. audiences.




AfterDawn: News

Sony kills off the PSPGo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2011 11:18

Sony kills off the PSPGo Sony has ended production and shipment of the much-maligned PSPGo, discontinuing their handheld "experiment" after just 18 months on the market.

Cnet confirmed the news with Sony reps after a report surfaced this morning on Impress.

Sony will continue to provide updates, repairs and support for the device but will stop producing any more of the console.

The PSPGo, which launched in 2009, removed the UMD drive and changed the form factor of the PSP-3000, adding a slide-out screen. Despite removing a key feature, Sony sold the handheld for $250, and gamers balked, with the PSPGo seeing weak sales since the beginning.

Currently, the handheld sells for $150 and comes with free games but it appears Sony has moved their focus to the upcoming NGP, which boasts impressive specs and will be a true sequel to the PSP.




AfterDawn: News

Phones with 2.5GHz ARM Cortex A15 processors coming late next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2011 3:51

Phones with 2.5GHz ARM Cortex A15 processors coming late next year ARM Holdings has announced the next step in its plan for computer architecture domination, giving a timetable for the Cortex A15, dual-core designs that can support 16 cores and clock in at 2.5GHz.

The CPUs will be available in devices in late 2012 or early 2013, says James Bruce, the U.S. mobile segment manager at ARM Holdings.

Nvidia and Texas Instruments are the first chipmakers to license the A15, and Qualcomm and Samsung are expected to license the architecture soon.

Most of the current high-end smartphones and tablets use the Cortex A9, which only supports 4 cores and clock in at 2GHz, at most.

Outside of the clock speed and cores, the A15 boasts huge performance boosts and the "efficiency of parallel processing on mobile devices," says DT.

Intel recently stated it would be taking on ARM by creating architectures with 22nm transistors by 2013, beating ARM in power consumption. However, Intel's current offerings are 45nm Atom designs while ARM is already moving to 28nm, in 2011.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone 5 shipping in September

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2011 3:21

iPhone 5 shipping in September According to new sources cited by MSNBC, the iPhone 5 will begin shipping in September, later than the usual June launch date for Apple's popular smartphone.

The phone will look very similar to the iPhone 4 in form factor, but will include a dual-core CPU.

Apple is delaying the launch due to the release of the iPhone 4 for Verizon earlier this year, which remains a strong seller.

Suppliers like Largan Precision, Wintek and Foxconn will begin production in July or August, say the reports.

Apple will report earnings at 4pm today, expecting another huge boost in profit and revenue.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix to introduce 'Family Plans' for streaming service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Apr 2011 2:08

Netflix to introduce 'Family Plans' for streaming service Netflix is prepared to begin offering "Family Plans" for its streaming service, soon, says the company's IR page.

There are little details so far on the plans, but it will likely be similar to other products that give deep discounts if families add family members to their plans.

Says the page:

The evolution toward individual memberships will take time, and we are still thinking about how to best do it. One option would be to allow an account to add additional concurrent streams (using the analogy of our DVD business, it would be like choosing a higher-priced plan that allows a subscriber to have more DVDs at home). Our $7.99-per-month plan is for one stream at a time, and later this year we expect to be able to offer consumers some account options to watch multiple simultaneous streams. Or it could be that there is a price point that would encourage multiple accounts in one household.


Currently, if you have the streaming-only plan, you can only stream one movie at a time.

Users with mixed media packages can stream different movies concurrently, but with limitations.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple sues Samsung for "copying" tablets, phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2011 1:51

Apple sues Samsung for "copying" tablets, phones Apple has sued Samsung this week, accusing its rival of "copying" iOS devices when creating its Galaxy line of tablets and phones.

The lawsuit alleges Samsung violates many Apple patents and trademarks relating to design features.

Samsung says it will actively respond to the suit and the accusation that it "blatantly copied" Apple gadgets.

Apple's suit is over 16 different claims "including unjust enrichment, trademark infringement" and 10 patent claims.

Samsung's Galaxy Tab and Galaxy S devices have all sold well in the United States, and feature Android software.




AfterDawn: News

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2011 1:28

RIM BlackBerry PlayBook now available The RIM Blackberry PlayBook is now on sale in the U.S. and Canada, hitting stores with a mixed bag of critical reviews.

Selling for $499 for a 16GB/Wi-Fi model, RIM is hoping to break into the tablet market dominated by the Apple iPad.

The PlayBook features the standard 1GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM but its real differentiating factor is its Internet experience. The browser has support for Adobe Flash, Adobe AIR, and HMTL 5 and many reviews say it is the best browser on a tablet, ever.

Additionally, the PlayBook has a 7-inch screen, 1024x600 resolution, dual cameras, a microHDMI port and the BlackBerry App World, which has thousands of apps.

Models with 4G access will be available during the summer.




AfterDawn: News

Most major retailers drop Wii price to $170

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2011 1:12

Most major retailers drop Wii price to $170 Following Best Buy's drop last week, most other major retailers have also dropped the price of the Nintendo Wii to $170 this week.

The price drop lends more credibility to the rumor that Nintendo is ready to unveil the Wii 2 at this June's E3 event, with a 2012 release date.

Target, Amazon, Wal-Mart and GameStop among other retailers now show the $169.99 price tag on the Wii bundle.

The white and black colorway bundles, which each include Wii MotionPlus Remote, a Wii Nunchuck Controller, "Wii Sports," and "Wii Sports Resort" have seen the price cut while the special edition red colorway remains at $200.

A couple retailers have also dropped the price on other special Wii bundles, best idea is to check each respective site.




AfterDawn: News

Seagate buys up Samsung HDD division for $1.375 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2011 12:52

Seagate buys up Samsung HDD division for $1.375 billion After searching for buyers of its money-losing HDD division, Samsung has announced today that Seagate has taken the business for $1.375 billion, in a cash-and-stock transaction.

Seagate is the largest HDD manufacturer in the world.

As part of the deal, Samsung gets a 9.6 percent ownership stake in Seagate.

Seagate, for its part, will become the sole provider for HDD in Samsung PCs, notebooks, NAS and DVR alongside the extension of a number of cross-license agreements.

Additionally, Seagate now has a guaranteed supply of NAND flash memory for SSD, a huge bonus for the drive maker.

Just last month, Western Digital purchased Hitachi's HDD business for $4.25 billion, as the market continues to consolidate.

Says Steve Luczo, Seagate chairman, president and CEO:

We are pleased to strengthen our strategic relationship with Samsung in a way that better aligns both companies around technologies and products. With these agreements, we expect to achieve greater scale and deliver a broader range of innovative storage products and solutions to our customers, while facilitating our long-term relationship with Samsung.




AfterDawn: News

Twitter looking to buy TweetDeck for $50 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Apr 2011 12:52

Twitter looking to buy TweetDeck for $50 million According to the WSJ, Twitter is looking to buy out the popular Twitter client TweetDeck for $50 million, continuing the company's efforts to buy or shutdown third-party clients.

TweetDeck had been previously linked to UberMedia, who was looking to purchase the client for $30 million. That deal is still on the table, but negotiations have died down, say the sources.

As arguably the best Twitter client around (and accounting for 13 percent of all tweets sent on a daily basis), TweetDeck is a hot commodity for the microblogging platform and remains the top app for "power users," those who tweet many times per day from many different devices.

Twitter will certainly want to outbid UberMedia, if possible, especially since Uber has the top Twitter app for BlackBerry (UberSocial) and the "highest rated" Twitter app for Android, Twidroyd and has been allegedly cooking up a plan for a "Twitter killing" service.




AfterDawn: News

Apple adds faster Samsung SSDs to MacBook Air?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Apr 2011 4:10

Apple adds faster Samsung SSDs to MacBook Air? It appears that Apple is quietly moving away from Toshiba's X-Gale SSDs to faster Samsung models for its MacBook Air ultra-portable.

Over the last month, Air models have been shipping with two different SSD, the "SM128C" and Toshiba's "TS128C." The SM implies Samsung is the manufacturer, says MSNBC.

The Samsung drive, when benchmarked, shows off 260MB/s read and 210MB/s write speeds compared to the Toshiba which has 210MB/s read and 185MB/s write.

Samsung and Apple have not confirmed so there is no way to know which drive you will get if you are in the market for an Air, but if accurate it may pay to wait a bit longer to ensure you have the faster drive.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung promises 2GHz dual-core phone by 2012

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Apr 2011 3:51

Samsung promises 2GHz dual-core phone by 2012 According to multiple sources, Samsung has promised a 2GHz dual-core smartphone for 2012.

By using such powerful processors, the company says it will continue to bridge the gap between phones and desktop/notebook PCs.

Says a Samsung official (via Mash):

We are planning to release a 2Ghz dual core CPU-equipped smartphone by next year. This product will have the data processing capacities of a regular PC.


Additionally, Samsung will sell the Exynos CPUs to other handset makers.




AfterDawn: News

Geohot donates remaining defense funds to EFF

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Apr 2011 3:36

Geohot donates remaining defense funds to EFF According to his blog, Geohot has donated the remaining money from his legal defense fund to the EFF, as promised.

Last month, the hacker, facing a lawsuit from an angry Sony over his part in jailbreaking the PS3, asked for donations and received an overwhelming response. Within one day, his defense fund was full and some even speculated that Microsoft had helped.

At the end of March, however, Sony and Geohot settled and some of the donations remained unused.

The hacker says the funds remaining were a bit under $10,000 so he added the rest himself to take it to $10,000, posting the receipt of the donation on his blog.

Taking a parting shot at Sony after confirming he would not be working on jailbreaking any other Sony products, Geohot says:

If you piss [Sony] off enough for them to pull out the legal team and their million dollar checkbook, worst thing that happens is you have to super swear to never do it again.




AfterDawn: News

iPad 2 now available at Toys R Us

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Apr 2011 3:12

iPad 2 now available at Toys R Us Retailer Toys R Us has begun selling the Apple iPad 2, although the company notes that not every store will have stock of the tablet.

Besides the actual device, the retailer has Smart Covers, the iPad Camera Connection Kit, and a VGA connector.

The iPad 2 is available in Apple stores, Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, Radioshack, Verizon and AT&T alongside e-tailers like Amazon.

Although numbers have not been released, the iPad 2 is expected to have sold over 2 million units since launch last month.

Strong demand for the tablet has many potential buyers waiting 2-3 weeks for delivery.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo dropping prices of 'Wii Sports Resort' and 'Wii Party'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Apr 2011 2:52

Nintendo dropping prices of 'Wii Sports Resort' and 'Wii Party' Beginning next week, Nintendo has confirmed that it will lower the prices of its original Wii games, "Wii Sports Resort" and "Wii Play."

On April 25th, the minigame collections will drop to MSRP $40.

"Resort" is the sequel to Wii Sports, which featured many sports games like basketball and archery.

"Party" has 13 modes and 80 minigames.

Each game is an all-time top seller for the Wii, and for consoles in general.




AfterDawn: News

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.: iPad is eliminating American jobs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2011 2:24

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.: iPad is eliminating American jobs Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois has made news this weekend with his claim that the iPad (and similar tech) has lead to the elimination of thousands of American jobs.

The representative is a big fan of the efficiency of the iPad, and has even proposed that all Illinois students eventually be given one as a learning tool, but says it does not help the growing problem of unemployment.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PSP beats out 3DS again in Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2011 1:55

PSP beats out 3DS again in Japan Somewhat surprisingly, the aged PSP handheld has beat out the new Nintendo 3DS for a second consecutive week in Japanese sales.

MediaCreate says the PSP moved 35,478 units for the week ended April 10th, followed by the 3DS at 32,910 units.

If adding all iterations of the DS, Nintendo won handily with the DSi LL and DSi selling 8,386 and 8,035 units, respectively.

The two-week boost in PSP sales has been attributed to the release of Final Fantasy IV: Complete Collection, which continues to be a strong seller for the PSP.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

R.I.P. Google Video

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2011 1:39

R.I.P. Google Video Google has sent out emails today letting users of the defunct Google Video service that their videos will soon be gone as the company finally completely shuts down the hosting service.

The search giant asks everyone to move their content over to YouTube, which is also owned by Google.

If you do have content, you may want to go get it quickly as the service shuts down on May 13th.

Copy of the email (via USAT)

Dear Google Video User,

Later this month, hosted video content on Google Video will no longer be available for playback. Google Video stopped taking uploads in May 2009 and now we're removing the remaining hosted content. We've always maintained that the strength of Google Video is its ability to let people search videos from across the web, regardless of where those videos are hosted. And this move will enable us to focus on developing these technologies further to the benefit of searchers worldwide.

On April 29, 2011, videos that have been uploaded to Google Video will no longer be available for playback. We've added a Download button to the video status page, so you can download any video content you want to save. If you don't want to download your content, you don't need to do anything. (The Download feature will be disabled after May 13, 2011.)

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

YouTube banishes pirates to 'Copyright School'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2011 1:33

YouTube banishes pirates to 'Copyright School' Google has acquiesced to the movie, TV and music industries, agreeing to send those that post copywritten work to "Copyright School" before they can use the service again.

Violators will have to watch the embedded video and then pass a short test before they can upload videos again.

The video itself is a corny cartoon, but goes over the basics of copyright infringement and how it can affect an industry.

Mostly, however, the video illustrates how you can get in trouble for uploading the works.




AfterDawn: News

Sprint: AT&T purchase of T-Mobile will severely harm industry

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2011 1:23

Sprint: AT&T purchase of T-Mobile will severely harm industry Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has once again taken to openly opposing AT&T's proposed acquisition of rival carrier T-Mobile for $39 billion.

Said Hesse:

We just cannot let this happen. If the proposed AT&T and T-Mobile merger is allowed to go forward it can also push the wireless industry from competition to duopoly.


The duopoly would feature Verizon on the CDMA side and AT&T on the GSM side, leaving smaller carriers like Sprint with two monsters to compete with.

AT&T says their acquisition will help the company address growing capacity limitations.

The FCC and DOJ are currently looking into the merger, to see if it will violate any anti-trust laws. The acquisition is expected to close in 2012, if passed.

In response to Hesse, AT&T has pointed to comments the CEO made just months ago in which he called the carrier market "hyper competitive" capable of handling consolidation:

Given that Sprint is a major competitor to AT&T in the hyper competitive wireless market Mr. Hesse describes, no one should be surprised that they would oppose this merger. But it is self-serving for them to argue that the highly competitive wireless market they cited only months ago is now threatened by the very type of transaction they seemed prepared to defend previously.




AfterDawn: News

'Do Not Track' mode added to latest Safari

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2011 1:58

'Do Not Track' mode added to latest Safari Apple appears to have added "Do Not Track" mode to the latest test version of its Safari browser, giving users a chance to browse the Web without having their online activity tracked by marketers.

Ad networks love to be able to view online activity as it helps them send targeted ads, like coupons for stores in your area.

Internet Explorer, Chrome and Firefox each have their own type of "do not track" modes, so Apple is the laggard in that respect.

In Firefox 4 and IE9, users simply have to tick a box to opt-out of tracking. For Chrome, users need to install an extension called "Keep My Opt-Outs."

The latest version of Safari should be bundled with Apple's upcoming Mac OS X 10.7 Lion.




AfterDawn: News

Vengeful hacker sentenced to two years in prison

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2011 1:43

Vengeful hacker sentenced to two years in prison Bruce Raisley of Kansas City, Missouri has been sentenced to two years of prison this week after being convicted of creating a virus that infected 100,000 computers and used them to DDoS sites that wrote articles showing him in a bad light.

The hacker was "formerly a volunteer for the organization Perverted Justice, which works with police and the popular NBC reality TV show 'To Catch a Predator,'" explains Reuters. Hidden cameras document adults trying to have sex with minors, and the pedophiles are then turned over to the police.

Raisley left the group after getting into a heated dispute with the founder of the organization, Xavier Von Erck.

In retaliation, Van Erck began pretending to be "Holly," striking up an online relationship with Raisley. Raisley eventually decided to leave his wife for "Holly."

Van Erck then photographed Raisley at the airport waiting for "Holly" to arrive.

A number of sites, including Rolling Stone, picked up on the piece and published articles.

Humiliated, Raisley then created the virus and managed to infect 100,000 host computers, using them to DDoS any site that had written the story about him. In addition to the jail time, Raisley must pay $90,000 combined to the sites for any downtime caused.




AfterDawn: News

The white iPhone 4 may finally be right around the corner

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2011 1:27

The white iPhone 4 may finally be right around the corner According to Bloomberg, Apple will begin selling the oft-delayed white iPhone 4 by the end of April.

Apple delayed the white model for 10 months, following "manufacturing challenges," which may have included the paint peeling under heat and "complications with a sensor."

Although unconfirmed, the general consensus is that Apple will not release a new iPhone in June, breaking three years of tradition. The iPhone may be introduced in September, instead, and the white phone may help boost sales while users wait to upgrade.

The company released white and black models of the iPad 2 last month, and Apple even hinted that the iPhone 4 would get its second colorway soon.




AfterDawn: News

RIM to outbid Google for remaining Nortel patents?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2011 1:13

RIM to outbid Google for remaining Nortel patents? Last week it was reported Nortel would sell all of its remaining 6000 patents and applications to Google for $900 million unless a rival bidder took a shot.

It appears that RIM may be willing to outbid Google, or at least start a bidding war with the search giant. RIM would be part of a consortium including at least "two other mobile phone makers" who will jointly try to outbid Google.

That patents cover wireless, 4G, data networking, optical, voice, and semiconductors.

Nortel has been selling off assets since going bankrupt in 2009.

Once trading as high as $600 a share in the tech bubble of the late 90s, Nortel shares now trade for 3 cents.




AfterDawn: News

So, maybe MeeGo isn't dead afterall

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Apr 2011 12:48

So, maybe MeeGo isn't dead afterall Despite founding partner Nokia leaving the mobile operating system for dead, it appears not everyone is willing to let the Linux-based MeeGo head off to Davy Jones' locker.

LG Electronics is looking to adopt the OS for some lower-end smartphones, with discussions already underway.

Says MeeGo, of Nokia's decision to abandon the project in favor of Windows Phone 7:

It's opening opportunities for the others to come in. Discussions are taking place. You'll see things coming out this year, pretty soon.


Besides LG, ZTE and China Mobile are also looking to help develop a handset with the OS.

Even if MeeGo is revived (outside of tablets), it will have stiff competition from Android, Windows Phone 7 and BlackBerry, and the possibility of Apple creating new models of the iPhone which will be aimed at the lower end of the market.




AfterDawn: News

Wii now selling for $170 at Best Buy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Apr 2011 4:27

Wii now selling for $170 at Best Buy Best Buy has begun selling the Wii for $170, one month ahead of its expected May 15th price cut.

Leaked images of the proposed price drop began surfacing last week and it appears that retailers have decided to front-run the actual cut so sales don't become stagnant as consumers wait for the price cut.

The drop marks the first time Nintendo has dropped the price since September 2009 when the price went from $250 to $200.

Following the decision, it is rumored Target and other retailers will begin dropping the price on Monday, as well.

Nintendo has sold 86 million Wii since launch, far surpassing the Xbox 360 and PS3, mainly due to its lower price point and "family" marketing.

There has been no word on whether Sony or Microsoft are considering price cuts for their consoles.




AfterDawn: News

Poker sites get smackdown from FBI

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Apr 2011 3:03

Poker sites get smackdown from FBI Owners of three massive online poker companies have been charged today with fraud, and accused of "tricking" banks into processing multiple billions of dollars worth of online gambling proceeds.

Among 11 people arrested are the site owners of Full Tilt Poker, PokerStars and Absolute Poker, three major player in American online gambling.

Each is charged with violating U.S. anti-Internet gambling laws.

Prosecutors are also seeking $3 billion, after filing civil money laundering charges.

Each of the sites are located overseas but attract players from the U.S.

In addition, the domain names for the companies have been seized and the sites shutdown.

So far, only two of the men have been arrested, and one more is expected to turn himself in today. The other eight are outside of the U.S.




AfterDawn: News

Updated Netflix app is now Kinect-ready

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Apr 2011 2:34

Updated Netflix app is now Kinect-ready Microsoft has said this week that the updated Netflix app on the Xbox 360 features Kinect support, meaning "controller-free movies and TV shows."

Says Pete Thompson, General Manager, Xbox LIVE:

By integrating Kinect into the Netflix experience on Xbox LIVE, we're continuing to transform the way people enjoy their favorite entertainment in the living room. Since its launch, Netflix has always been one of the most popular services on Xbox LIVE, so we are excited to deliver a brand new way to control this experience in a way that can't be found anywhere else.


The Netflix app is available to Xbox Live Gold subscribers who also have a Netflix subscription, which starts at $8 per month.

Adds Netflix:

Netflix continues to provide its more than 20 million members in the U.S. and Canada unparalleled convenience, selection and value. With thousands and thousands of titles available to watch instantly, paired with the innovation of Kinect and the power of Xbox LIVE, this is an entirely new way for Netflix members to enjoy instantly watching TV shows and movies streaming from Netflix on their TVs.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Comcast introduces new, fast 105Mbps cable service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2011 10:08

Comcast introduces new, fast 105Mbps cable service Comcast has introduced their new Extreme 105 cable service today, offering 105Mbps downstream, at least 15 times faster than most of the other plans they offer.

The service is available in major cities like San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Miami.

Says Comcast:

This speed tier takes (our Internet services) to a whole new level. With it, we’re powering the digital home of the future.


Extreme 105 offer 10Mbps upload, as well, making video sharing much easier.

If purchased with a triple-play bundle (voice, tv, internet), the service will cost $105 per month for the first 12 months.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft leads March hardware sales, software sales swan dive

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2011 9:16

Microsoft leads March hardware sales, software sales swan dive According to the latest NPD Group figures, software sales for the video game industry collapsed in March, but strong hardware and accessories sales helped buoy the numbers.

The Nintendo 3DS sold 380,000 units in its first three days, falling slightly behind the Xbox 360 at 430,000 for the month.

Altogether, however, the DS line took the month easily, with 460,000 sales for the DS, DSi and DSi XL combined during the month.

Sony and Nintendo did not reveal the numbers for the PS3 or Wii, respectively.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Powerful Wii 2 coming at E3, Wii to sell for $150 starting next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2011 6:59

Powerful Wii 2 coming at E3, Wii to sell for $150 starting next month According to multiple sources, Nintendo is planning to unveil the Wii 2 at the upcoming E3 event in June, while at the same time slashing the price of the Wii to $150 beginning May 15th.

The sources say the new Wii will boast more powerful specs than the PlayStation 3 and a newly redesigned controller will have a built-in HD screen.

Game publishers have already been alerted to the new console, and launch titles are already in the works for the 2012 anticipated launch.

Outside of having more powerful graphics than the PS3 and Xbox 360, the console will be backwards compatible with all current Wii games.

The timing works well with the rumor that Nintendo also plans to slash the price of the Wii to $150 next month, and then to $99 in 2012 ahead of the Wii 2 launch.




AfterDawn: News

Apple launching HDTV this year?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2011 6:47

Apple launching HDTV this year? In an effort to integrate all the consumer electronics, Apple is looking to launch their own Internet-connected HDTV this year, joining a crowded $100 billion market, says AppleInsider.

The rumor comes via Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian White who says "data points point towards a 'Smart TV'" launch by Apple.

This "Smart TV" would not be just an updated AppleTV set-top box, but instead be "a full-blown TV product for consumers," says White in a client note.

While there have been rumors for years of Apple considering entering the market, White says the company is now "moving down this path at a faster pace than the market expected."

Concludes the analyst:

The combination of Apple's powerful ecosystem, industrial design savvy, powerful brand and ability to reinvent product categories could make Apple a powerful force in the TV world over the next few years.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sorry older devices, HTC's Sense 3.0 is picky

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2011 6:35

Sorry older devices, HTC's Sense 3.0 is picky HTC has tweeted today that the upcoming Sense 3.0 UI overlay will not be headed to older HTC devices, and will just work on the EVO 3D, the Sensation and the Flyer tablet.

Said the company (Twitter):

Due to Sense's hardware requirements, only our newest devices (Flyer, EVO 3D, Sensation) will be able to support it.


From the response, it appears that devices with single-core processors under 1.5GHz will not be able to support the updated UI, as the new phones have dual-core processors and the tablet has a single-core 1.5GHz.

However, not all is lost, HTC says they are working "to incorporate other aspects" of Sense 3.0 to their upcoming updates for older devices.

Video of the Sensation:




AfterDawn: News

Toshiba launches self-encrypting, auto-wiping HDD

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2011 6:22

Toshiba launches self-encrypting, auto-wiping HDD Starting mass production in the coming months, Toshiba has introduced its new MKxx61GSYG 2.5-inch HDD, a drive that offers multiple levels of security for professionals.

MKxx61GSYG drives will wipe or encrypt all data if connected to an unknown host.

The drives will be marketed to corporate customers within the medical, government and banking fields, says Toshiba.

Whenever the drive is powered on, it will initiate authentication with the host and if it that process fails, the data is "invalidated."

Buyers have a few options for the drive. Access can either be denied, the drive can be wiped, certain blocks of info can be wiped, or certain data ranges are deleted every time the drive fails the authentication process.

The drive uses military-grade AES 256-bit encryption and will be available in up to 640GB.

There is no word on price, yet.




AfterDawn: News

Spotify to put limits on free music

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2011 6:12

Spotify to put limits on free music Spotify has confirmed today that they will begin limiting free music starting in May.

Beginning on May 1st, all new free users will get unlimited streaming for 6 months and then be throttled to just 10 hours of music per month afterwards.

The move is seen as a way for the service to get on the good side of the record labels which still have not all signed on for Spotify in the U.S. The most common argument is that there are not enough paying customers since the free version offers so much.

Very popular in Europe, the streaming music company announced it had signed a deal with EMI, following a licensing deal it signed with Sony Music in 2010. It is waiting on a deal with Warner or UMG before opening in the United States.

Investors recently valued Spotify at $1 billion despite the fact that company has yet to turn a profit.




AfterDawn: News

Guide: How to use Amazon’s Cloud Drive on your desktop as a folder

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2011 5:51

Guide: How to use Amazon’s Cloud Drive on your desktop as a folder Late last month, Amazon launched their much anticipated Cloud Drive, offering anyone with an Amazon account 5GB of free cloud storage.

As the company explains it, 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.

If you need more than 5GB, you can pay $1 per GB per year for up to 1TB of storage.

While Cloud Drive is great (highly recommended), it does not have the same great features of Dropbox, which places a folder on your desktop (or anywhere else) so that you can drag-and-drop files of your choice into the folder and it automatically updates your cloud storage. No need to head to a browser and upload a file.

In this guide we will teach you how to create a Dropbox-esque folder for Cloud Drive, making the free service into a very useful cloud storage tool.

Check the guide here: Guide: How to use Amazon’s Cloud Drive on your desktop as a folder




AfterDawn: News

Windows Vista will not get Internet Explorer 10

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2011 12:56

Windows Vista will not get Internet Explorer 10 Microsoft has confirmed today that the upcoming Internet Explorer 10 will not run on any operating system except for Windows 7.

Even as a developer preview, the browser will not run on XP or Vista.

The move is one step past Microsoft's drop of XP support for Internet Explorer 9, which was just released last month.

When the final build of the browser hits, you must have Windows 7 SP1 installed, says the company.

Reveals Microsoft:

Windows Vista customers have a great browsing experience with IE9, but in building IE10 we are focused on continuing to drive the kind of innovation that only happens when you take advantage of the ongoing improvements in modern operating systems and modern hardware.

Regarding Windows Vista, our decision with IE9 was not to build to the lowest common denominator. With IE9 we made the decision to help unlock the best Web experience possible, which means taking advantage of everything around the browser -- including Windows 7 and modern PC hardware.




AfterDawn: News

Lenovo prepping 23-inch tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Apr 2011 12:09

Lenovo prepping 23-inch tablet Lenovo's senior specialist in marketing William Cai has said today that the company is currently working on a 23-inch tablet, one that should be available by the end of the year.

Cai says the tablet can be docked as an "all-in-one" solution or just used as a portable tablet to be moved around the house.

Most notably, the exec says the tablet is coming in 2011.

Concludes Cai (via TechRadar):

We think that there is potential for a 23-inch tablet. We'd have to take care of battery life and we are working to get the weight down.It's obviously not for full mobility use, but it could be moved from room to room in the house and used with a full keyboard, or as a television. Or you could lay it on a table top and use it for family games.

We're hoping that we can launch it later this year.




AfterDawn: News

Angry Birds headed to Windows Phone 7 next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2011 9:51

Angry Birds headed to Windows Phone 7 next month Rovio and Microsoft have confirmed this week that the blockbuster game 'Angry Birds' is headed to Windows Phone 7 devices on May 25th.

Delayed for legal reasons, the game was originally set for a February launch on the platform.

The game will feature 195 levels and will be available in the Xbox Live portion of the app marketplace.

It is unclear if the game will be free or not.

Additionally, Microsoft has expanded the Windows Mobile App Marketplace to 35 countries and has announced major apps like Skype, Layar, Spotify and Amazon will be coming with the "mango" firmware update in September.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft launches Silverlight 5 beta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2011 9:06

Microsoft launches Silverlight 5 beta Two days into the MIX11 event Microsoft has launched its first public beta of Silverlight 5.

The platform promises "dramatic video quality and performance improvements, and features that improve developer productivity.'

In total, there are about 40 added features/improvements.

TCM has all the updates:


- a XNA-based interface enabling 'stunning' 3D visualizations in apps

- support for running Silverlight applications with desktop features in the browser

- support for 64bit operating systems

- Hardware Decode and presentation of H.264 improve performance for lower-power devices to render high-definition video using GPU support.

- the TrickPlay function allows video to be played at different speeds and supports fast-forward and rewind.

- Improved power awareness that prevents the screen saver from being shown while watching video and allows the computer to sleep when video is not active.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

DRM in games leads to piracy, says Good Old Games

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2011 8:42

DRM in games leads to piracy, says Good Old Games Good Old Games, the retro games site has made some interesting comments regarding DRM (digital rights management) this week, claiming that instead of preventing piracy, it instead encourages it.

PR and marketing manager, Lukasz Kukawski went as far as to say DRM's effectiveness was "close to none."

Kukawski, via Bitgamer:

What I will say isn’t popular in the gaming industry, but in my opinion DRM drives people to pirate games rather than prevent them from doing that. Would you rather spend $50 on a game that requires installing malware on your system, or to stay online all the time and crashes every time the connection goes down, or would you rather download a cracked version without all that hassle?


The manager also says the DRM is so abusive that some gamers will buy the game to support the developers and then just use a cracked version to avoid all the restrictions:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

RIP: Cisco kills off Flip video camera brand

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2011 8:29

RIP: Cisco kills off Flip video camera brand The Flip video camera brand, started in 2007 and purchased by Cisco in 2009 for $590 million has been dropped, with the company shutting down the whole division.

In its first year of availability, the Flip was a huge success, selling two million units.

Along with shutting down the full video camera division, Cisco says 550 jobs will be removed as part of a "reorganization plan to save money and expand offerings for customers." The company is looking to move those 550 employees to other divisions.

Although Cisco did not specifically cite it, the Flip has been made obsolete by smartphones, which almost all feature 720p video recording.

Most consumers do not want to have to carry around multiple devices when one can do all and analysts always questioned the purchase as it is far removed from Cisco's core businesses.

Regardless, with over $40 billion in cash still on-hand, Cisco can quickly forget the mistake.




AfterDawn: News

Analyst: Angry Birds is not most downloaded PSN game

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2011 8:11

Analyst: Angry Birds is not most downloaded PSN game Clarifying a statement from last week in which he claimed "Angry Birds" was now the best-selling game on PSN, ever, Lazard Capital Markets' Colin Sebastian has apologized and reneged on the client note.

Correcting the statement, Sebastian says "Angry Birds was the most downloaded paid game through the PSN for January and February 2011."

The correction is huge as Angry Birds has only been available via PSN for over 3 months. The PS3 launched in 2006.

Angry Birds sells for $1.99 on the PS3, $.99 on iOS, and for free on Android (with ads). The game has been downloaded over 100 million times across the platforms.

The latest version of the game, Angry Birds Rio, a tie-in to the new movie, has over 10 million downloads since its launch on April 3rd.




AfterDawn: News

Valve reveals details for Steam on PS3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2011 8:01

Valve reveals details for Steam on PS3 Valve has revealed many details about its upcoming Steam "experience" for the PS3, coming next week with the launch of "Portal 2."

Portal 2 is the first game to support Steam on a console, and the game will offer "cross-platform matchmaking, gameplay, friends, chat, and achievements," says the company.

Additionally, Steam for PS3 allows for game progress to be saved to the Steam cloud where they can continue playing their game on any PS3.

From within the Steam overlay, gamers have access to both their PSN and Steam friends, "displaying their in-game or online status and providing a quick pathway to text chats, player profiles, friend requests, and game invites. Steam Achievements are earned in lockstep with PSN Trophies and are also accessible within the Steam overlay."

To use Steam you must link your PSN account with your Steam account, which takes a few clicks after you insert Portal 2.

Finally, if you purchase the PS3 version, you will also be given an access code to play on your PC or Mac, as well.




AfterDawn: News

Video Daily: HTC Sensation specs now 'official'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2011 12:47

Video Daily: HTC Sensation specs now 'official' Through two leaks, one from Qualcomm and one from Vodafone UK, we now have most of the specs for the long-awaited HTC Sensation (formerly known as the Pyramid).

The smartphone has a large 4.3-inch qHD SLCD display with Gorilla Glass, a dual-core Snapdragon processor at 1.2Ghz, 768MB of RAM, dual cameras and 4GB internal storage.

Additionally, the phone will come with an 8GB microSD card.

The rear-side camera will be 8MP with dual-LED flash, and the front camera will be 1.2MP.

HTC's Sensation is expected to come with Gingerbread and HTC's updated Sense UI overlay.




AfterDawn: News

Steve Jobs wants to add Wi-Fi syncing to new iPods

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2011 12:24

Steve Jobs wants to add Wi-Fi syncing to new iPods Cultofmac has reported today that Apple CEO Steve Jobs is pushing hard to get Wi-Fi syncing for the upcoming iPod revamp coming later this year.

The company has apparently been testing the tech for the last two years.

Jobs has made Wi-Fi syncing one of the top priorities for the media players, which are becoming less and less relevant as more people simply buy iPhones or iPads.

So far, Apple's engineers have had issues with "reliability, signal strength, case design and battery life" when trying for Wi-Fi syncing.

The current method for syncing involves connecting to your PC via USB cable.

Using a carbon fiber design, which the new iPods are said to have, "the engineers have found many improvements" but it is still nowhere near perfect.




AfterDawn: News

CutYourSim unlocks iPhones without need for jailbreak

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2011 12:03

CutYourSim unlocks iPhones without need for jailbreak CutYourSim has said today that they can permanently unlock your GSM iPhone, without needing to jailbreak it first.

Being an "official iPhone unlock," it will last forever, through all iOS and baseband updates, and will not void your warranty.

The service has been confirmed working by multiple reports.

Says the site:

We are now able to offer the first permanent remote iPhone unlocking solution. It is very easy, and can be done with three simple steps.

Our turnaround time is typically anywhere from 2-5 days for the iPhone. It may be quicker, but please expect this time frame.

The solution we offer is a permanent solution. Jailbreaking, or unauthorized hacks are NOT required. This unlock will carry on forever, you can now update your phone to the newest version without worrying about waiting for an unauthorized unlock to be released.

The unlock will work with any iPhone version, and any baseband version, no need to worry about updating to the latest version anymore, your phone will be unlocked forever!!!!!
We offer great support, we will help you with the unlocking process with our outstanding support response time. Buy with confidence!

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Bing moves above 30 percent search engine share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2011 11:45

Bing moves above 30 percent search engine share According to Experian Hitwise, Bing has cracked 30 percent search engine market share for the first time ever, chipping away slightly at Google's large lead.

For March, Bing (which also includes Yahoo's numbers) took 30.01 percent share, while Google feel to 64.42 percent.

Those numbers follow February's 66.69 percent for Google and 28.48 percent for Bing, so the search engine saw a significant boost month-to-month.

When the numbers are split, Bing jumped to 14.32 percent and Yahoo jumped to 15.69 percent.

Overall, search traffic seems to be increasing by the day, thanks to the addition of smartphones and tablets to everyday life. Last December, Google said mobile-based search traffic rose 130 percent.




AfterDawn: News

AirTunes hack allows streaming to all devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2011 10:35

AirTunes hack allows streaming to all devices Dubbing the script "Shairport," programmer James Laird has created a way for all devices to receive AirTunes streaming music via iTunes.

He did so by hacking Apple's private key for streaming and reverse engineering the script.

Previously, iTunes would only stream to other Apple devices, but that does not appear to be a problem anymore if you have the right tools.

Wired explains the process:

Laird did this by cracking open the AirPort Express (literally), dumping the ROM and then searching around for the private key. Apparently this was easy to find, as Apple had hidden the private key “in the ROM image, using a scheme that made the de-obfuscation code itself stand out like a flare.” He then cracked the crypto and now has the key.

This is combined with an ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) decoder to make a small package that can be installed on computer. It’s unlikely that hardware manufacturers will risk using this solution, but it’s easy to see how a home user could install it on an unused computer or even a Linux-based router.




AfterDawn: News

Activision: Guitar Hero is not dead yet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2011 9:40

Activision: Guitar Hero is not dead yet Despite confirming they were shutting down the once popular Guitar Hero franchise, Activision has said today the series is just "on hiatus" and is not completely dead yet.

Dan Winters of Activision says the game could hit shelves again in the future if the publisher once again sees a chance for it to be successful.

Says the exec (via GI):

Actually, just to clarify, we're just putting Guitar Hero on hiatus, we're not ending it. We're releasing products out of the vault - we'll continue to sustain the channel, the brand won't go away. We're just not making a new one for next year, that's all.


The publisher had said in February that it was shutting down the game and moving resources to other franchises and titles.

Activision even disbanded all development for a new Guitar Hero title that was expected in time for the holidays.




AfterDawn: News

Early Windows 8 build leaks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2011 1:26

Early Windows 8 build leaks While its uses are very limited for the time being, Neowin says a very early build of Windows 8 has been leaked today, and it is confirmed legitimate.

The site says it "is version 6.1.7850.0.winmain_win8m1.100922-1508_x86fre_client-enterprise_en-us.iso and is the the final M1 and the last 6.1 build."

Available via a private FTP site, the build should be available on torrent sites now.

For now, anyone who has seen it says it is just a slightly tweaked Windows 7 and will likely not include any of the new unconfirmed W8 features.

The operation system should hit public beta by the end of the year with retail launch in late 2012 or early 2013.




AfterDawn: News

PlayStation CEO Tretton calls Nintendo handhelds "babysitting tools"

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2011 12:46

PlayStation CEO Tretton calls Nintendo handhelds "babysitting tools" Sony PlayStation CEO Jack Tretton was interviewed this week by Fortune and he made some interesting comments including calling Nintendo's handhelds "babysitting tools" and stating that Sony is on the verge of having its best year, ever.

Despite losing as much as $300 per PS3 console sold at launch in 2006, Tretton says Sony is set to have its "best year ever" thanks to the expensive tech inside the powerful console, including a Blu-ray drive, CELL processor and Nvidia GPU.

Sony has sold over 49 million PS3s, to date, slightly behind the Xbox 360 and its one-year head start at 53 million but well behind the Nintendo Wii at over 85 million.

Into the future, Tretton believes the PS3's hardware will help it remain strongly successful:

If you're really going to sustain technology for a decade, you have to be cutting edge when you launch a platform. Here we are 4 years into the Playstation 3, and it's just hitting its stride. We'll enjoy a long downhill roll behind it because the technology that was so cutting edge in 2006 is extremely relevant today and is conspicuously absent in our competition.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPhone 5 delayed until 2012?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2011 1:37

iPhone 5 delayed until 2012? According to an Avian Securities client note this morning, Apple may not be shipping their upcoming iPhone 5 until very late 2011, or even early 2012.

Additionally, Apple may be ready to unveil a lower spec, lower priced iPhone, one that will help Apple take some share in the low-end smartphone market currently dominated by Android.

Avian bases its assumptions on multiple conversations with a "key component supplier" in Asia.

Says the note:

Supporting out comments over the last month, conversations with yet another key component supplier indicates that production for iPhone-5 will begin in September. This is consistent with Avian findings in the supply chain in recent months and we believe the consensus view is moving towards this scenario. In addition, our conversations also indicate the existence of a lower-spec/lower-priced iPhone in Apple's roadmap. However, while our contacts have seen the placeholder in the Apple roadmap, they do not yet have insight into specs or production timing.

This leads us to believe that any launch is likely a very late 2011 or more likely a 2012 event. As a reminder, Avian has uncovered several data-points in recent months pointing to the existence of a lower-spec/lower-price iPhone. A lower-spec/lower-price iPhone has also been speculated in the press and gadget blogs, though we do not believe consensus currently discounts the existence of such a model.




AfterDawn: News

Winklevoss twins must stick to 2008 settlement with Facebook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2011 1:27

Winklevoss twins must stick to 2008 settlement with Facebook Seven years after they first filed suit against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, it seems the legal drama between Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and the social networking giant is coming to an end.

A federal appeals judge has denied the twins attempt to unwind a 2008 settlement, and says they must accept the deal, as is.

Along with Harvard classmate, Divya Narendra, the twins filed suit against Facebook in 2004 alleging that the concept for Facebook was stolen from them and their early work on HarvardConnection.

In 2008, Facebook agreed to settle, giving the trio a deal worth $65 million, with the majority in Facebook stock. At the time, the group was given $45 million in stock with Facebook valued at $15 billion. The twins filed suit again last year claiming Facebook had internally given itself a $3.7 billion valuation, and so the group was conned out of many more shares in the company.

The federal Judge, Alex Kozinski, has now killed their appeal:

At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has now been reached. The Winklevosses are not the first parties bested by a competitor who then seek to gain through litigation what they were unable to achieve in the marketplace. They made a deal that appears quite favorable in light of recent market activity.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Windows 7 surpasses Windows XP in share, in U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2011 1:11

Windows 7 surpasses Windows XP in share, in U.S. According to the latest StatCounter analytics, Windows 7 has finally surpassed the aging Windows XP in American usage share.

As of April 11th, Windows 7's share is 32.2 percent compared to XP's 30.2 percent share.

Microsoft announced in January that it had sold 300 million Windows 7 licenses and that the operating system was the fastest-selling in the company's history.

The company's failed Vista platform fell to 19.5 percent while Mac OS X (all iterations) moved up to 14.8 percent.

When moving the numbers internationally, XP is still the champ, at 46.8 percent, followed by Windows 7 at 31.5 percent.




AfterDawn: News

Analysts expect 750,000 3DS sold in US in March

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2011 12:57

Analysts expect 750,000 3DS sold in US in March A few analysts have estimated today that Nintendo sold 750,000 3DS handhelds in March, after the device went on sale on the 27th.

Wedbush Morgan's Michael Pachter had a lower prediction, however, putting sales at just 500,000.

Doug Creutz of Cowen and Company says the 3DS will soon become a "stabilising factor" in the market for handheld gaming consoles, which has been declining for quite some time now.

Pokemon Black & White, the latest in the blockbuster (understatement) franchise is expected to have moved up to 3 million units.

The NPD Group will reveal all the official data on Thursday. The struggling U.S. market is expected to see another fall, year-over-year.




AfterDawn: News

Angry Birds is now top-selling PSN game, ever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2011 12:36

Angry Birds is now top-selling PSN game, ever After just three months in the store, 'Angry Birds' is now the most downloaded game, ever, via the PlayStation Store.

The news shouldn't be too shocking to anyone given how the game has remained a fixture in the top 5 for iOS and Android for over a year and was very popular when released for the PC earlier this year.

Sony's PlayStation Network has 75 million registered accounts, with about 40 million active.

Over 1.4 billion pieces of content have been downloaded since launch.

Angry Birds sells for $1.99 on the PS3, $.99 on iOS, and for free on Android (with ads).




AfterDawn: News

Amazon to sell ad-subsidized $114 Kindle reader

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2011 12:16

Amazon to sell ad-subsidized $114 Kindle reader Amazon has announced today it will begin selling an ad-subsidized Kindle reader for $114, a full $25 discount off the regular price for the latest generation of Wi-Fi e-readers.

The new "Kindle with Special Offer" will, as promised, give consumers special offers and will also show ads as screensavers when you are not actively using the device.

A few of the "Special Offers" are actually very nice, including $10 off a $20 Amazon gift card and $1 for a full album via Amazon MP3.

Amazon says its first launch partners for ads are Chase, Visa, Olay and Buick.

Says the company: "Lower-price sponsored ad strategy will serve us well and make us an attractive option to the widest possible group of people."

Pre-orders start today and the e-reader hits on May 3rd.




AfterDawn: News

Sony settles with Geohot over PS3 hacking case

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Apr 2011 11:07

Sony settles with Geohot over PS3 hacking case Sony America has announced today that they are settling with George "Geohot" Hotz in the high-profile case involving jailbreaking and homebrew for the PS3 console.

Both sides reached an agreement on March 31st and Sony says Hotz has agreed to a permanent injunction.

Geohot was sued after he released custom firmware for the PS3 which allowed for the installation of homebrew. Different firmwares from other hackers eventually led to piracy for the console.

Says Riley Russell, General Counsel for SCEA:

Sony is glad to put this litigation behind us. Our motivation for bringing this litigation was to protect our intellectual property and our consumers. We believe this settlement and the permanent injunction achieve this goal.


Hotz was also happy to have the case ended:

It was never my intention to cause any users trouble or to make piracy easier,” said Hotz, “I’m happy to have the litigation behind me.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple hiring gaming execs from Activision, Nintendo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Apr 2011 1:39

Apple hiring gaming execs from Activision, Nintendo It appears that Apple has been hiring gaming execs away from Activision and Nintendo, and it seems the company is ready to make a stronger push into the gaming world via its iOS devices.

Apple has hired Nintendo UK communications head Rob Saunders and Activision's European PR director Nick Grange, and may be searching for more execs.

Saunders oversaw the PR for gaming consoles, notably the Wii and DS.

In his new position, he will oversee PR for gaming via iOS.

Grange, formerly of EA and Microsoft, as well, will work on PR for the iPad.

Tuaw says 84 percent of tablet owners play at least one game on their devices, and 44 million owners are playing games on their iOS devices, in the U.S. alone.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Auburn, Maine kindergarten students to get iPad 2s

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2011 8:12

Auburn, Maine kindergarten students to get iPad 2s The Aubrun, Maine school department has announced this week that every kindergarten student in the district will receive an iPad 2 tablet for the upcoming fall semester.

There are 285 students and teachers, and the endeavor will cost around $200,000.

As a test program, 20 or so students will get their iPads in May.

Says superintendent Tom Morrill:

When you look at what the iPad 2 apps that are out there, from learning your letters from books, that can be read, finger painting your name, it's absolutely something we must do.


School officials say they hope the iPads will boost literacy rates to 90 percent in two years. Current levels have hovered around 60 percent.




AfterDawn: News

DOJ approves Google's purchase of ITA

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2011 7:56

DOJ approves Google's purchase of ITA The Department of Justice has approved Google's $700 million purchase of ITA Software, the world's largest flight data company.

As part of the approval, Google must accept certain restrictions, however.

The major restriction is that Google must continue to license ITA software to airfare sites "on commercially reasonable terms" and Google must promise to continue enhancing the software "in a manner consistent" with ITA's development over the past decade.

Google must also use an internal firewall that will block the company from gaining "competitively sensitive information" off of ITA customers.

Says the DOJ (via CNN):

The Department of Justice's proposed remedy promotes robust competition for airfare websites by ensuring those websites will continue to have access to ITA's pricing and shopping software.


ITA software organizes flight data like times, prices, availability and more, and is used on sites like Kayak, Orbitz, Expedia.com, TripAdvisor and Bing, among others.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox Live getting free-to-play games?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2011 7:35

Xbox Live getting free-to-play games? Citing "trusted sources," IGN is reporting that Microsoft will soon make free-to-play games available through Xbox Live.

By doing so, gamers can play the games for free, but will purchase virtual content (currency, weapons, clothes, etc) just like in popular Facebook games like MafiaWars and CityVille.

The industry has seen an expansion into F2P, with big publishers like EA even trying the model on shooters like Battlefield Play4Free.

That game is still in beta.

For now this is still rumor, but we will keep you updated.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon ending one-year contracts later this month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2011 7:03

Verizon ending one-year contracts later this month Verizon has confirmed this weekend that it will indeed be ending one-year contracts for mobile phones starting April 17th.

Two-year contracts and monthly options will still be available.

As its reason for dropping the option, Verizon says "the greater majority" of subscribers chose two-year contracts anyway, in order to get the full subsidy for their new phone.

Verizon continues to remove consumer-friendly options, removing "New Every Two," unlimited data and now one-year contracts. New Every Two gave users a discount on phone upgrades after 20 months of their contract. Early termination fees have been increased, as well.




AfterDawn: News

IHS: Nintendo to sell 11.6 million 3DS this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2011 4:43

IHS: Nintendo to sell 11.6 million 3DS this year IHS Screen Digest research has said this weekend it expects Nintendo to sell 11.6 million 3DS handhelds in 2011, but overall the console will not be as successful as the previous DS/DSi/DSi XL line.

Added competition from tablets, iPod Touches, iPhones and Android smartphones will "prevent the 3DS from matching the sales of the previous-generation Nintendo handheld," says the report.

After four years, the DS had an installed base of 91 million users buy IHS says by 2015 the 3DS will have a base of just 70 million devices.

Adds Piers Harding Rolls, lead games analyst at IHS:

Nintendo’s accent on network services in the key U.S. market represents an attempt to convince users to carry their 3DS systems with them at all times and to engage with the platform everyday and in every place. This engagement strategy, alongside 3-D graphics, camera and video, is key to Nintendo competing with upcoming devices from Sony and also from non-specialist smart phones, entertainment devices and tablets, which offer a legitimate alternative to handheld consoles.




AfterDawn: News

FCC mandates data roaming for phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Apr 2011 4:26

FCC mandates data roaming for phones The FCC has ruled this week that carriers must now offer "reasonable" data roaming rates for their networks in the U.S.

"Mobile providers must be able to offer nationwide voice and data plans to have any chance of competing in today's market," added FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. "However, roaming deals are simply not being widely offered on commercially reasonable terms."

Sprint, US Cellular and MetroPCS have been lobbying for updated rules, which will allow their customers to use smartphones anywhere in the U.S., not just in their home states or surrounding areas.

If AT&T's $39 billion bid for T-Mobile is allowed by regulators, AT&T and Verizon would control over 80 percent of all the mobile subscribers in the U.S.

"With AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile and the corresponding threat it poses to continued wireless competition, it is absolutely critical that the FCC take steps to promote competition and level the playing field," notes Vonya McCann, Sprint's senior vice president of government affairs (via Reuters).

Even with the new rules, AT&T and Verizon will be able to freely negotiate the terms of the roaming deals, and can throttle if it will prevent congestion for their subscribers.




AfterDawn: News

Netflix to stream all Star Trek episodes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2011 5:32

Netflix to stream all Star Trek episodes Netflix has confirmed today that all Star Trek series will be available for streaming starting in July.

The deal with CBS was first announced in February and includes other library hits like Frasier and Twin Peaks.

For fans of the show, the available series will be Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise.

Deep Space 9 will launch later than the rest, on October 1st.

Star Trek and Enterprise will be available in HD.

The deal is U.S. only and will last for two years.

Voyager fans will likely be the happiest of the bunch, as the series has never been available digitally, not even through iTunes, explains TrekMovie.com.




AfterDawn: News

Convicted hacker Gonzalez says he was authorized by Secret Service to commit his crimes

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2011 4:12

Convicted hacker Gonzalez says he was authorized by Secret Service to commit his crimes Currently serving a 20-year prison sentence for his role in stealing and reselling over 170 million credit and ATM card numbers, Albert Gonzalez has flipped on his guilty plea and is now claiming that the U.S. government authorized him to commit the crimes he was convicted for.

Gonzalez now wants to withdraw his guilty plea and wants a court to vacate his sentence.

Additionally, the hacker blames his lawyers for not "properly representing him" and not appealing his sentence like he requested them to do.

The hacker stole the credit card numbers using sql injection and packet sniffer malware software to create backdoors into the corporate systems of retailer chains TJX Companies, BJ's Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority and Dave & Buster's. Gonazalez and two other conspirators also used wardriving, hacking using accessible Wi-Fi in retail stores. One of the conspirators is 7-foot-tall Stephen Watt, a Morgan Stanley investment banker who wrote the sniffing programs.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Mozilla wants to release Firefox 5 before June 21st

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2011 3:40

Mozilla wants to release Firefox 5 before June 21st Facing ever-increasing competition from Google's Chrome and even Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla has announced that it will be moving to a more aggressive timetable for its Firefox browser, with Firefox 5 expected before June 21st.

Firefox 4 was released just last month, after over a year of development and delays.

Even more shockingly, Mozilla expects to release Firefox 6 just 60 days later, at the end of August.

Following in Chrome's footsteps, Mozilla is moving to a faster development cycle. Despite being released in 2008, Chrome is already in version 11 (beta for users) and version 12 (beta for developers).

Chrome uses four-channels to continually add features to Chrome, "nightly," "dev," "beta" and "stable." Because of this, there is a new version of Chrome (usually) every two months.

CW explains what Mozilla will need to do to meet the tight deadlines: "Mozilla will add features to Firefox as it goes. If a feature is not ready for the first of the four channels -- what the company calls "nightlies" as well as "Mozilla central" -- it will not be added later to the aurora or beta builds. Features with problems will be backed out of an edition -- say Firefox 5 -- and deferred until the next in line."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

'Anonymous' to boycott Sony stores next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2011 3:25

'Anonymous' to boycott Sony stores next week The hacking group 'Anonymous,' which recently stopped its attack on PSN and other Sony services, has said this week that it will stage a 24-hour boycott at Sony stores around the world next week, Saturday, April 16th.

On the Facebook page, there are over 1000 RSVPs for the event.

Over the last week, Anonymous used DDoS attacks to take down the PSN and a few individual Sony employees. The attack was stopped after the group decided it was hurting the Sony consumers they were trying to avenge.

You can read Anonymous's full letter to concerned PSN users here: 'Anonymous' stops its assault on PSN

The group is pissed at Sony for its lawsuit against Geohot and its criminalization of users who even click on info related to PS3 custom firmware and homebrew. Geohot opened up the console to homebrew by running 'jailbreak code' and creating a custom firmware for version 3.55.




AfterDawn: News

YouTube starts live streaming site

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2011 3:08

YouTube starts live streaming site YouTube has started its live streaming service this weekend, available at http://www.youtube.com/live.

The service will allow users to stream live broadcasts, and Google itself is advertising Indian Premier League Cricket and the upcoming Mortal Kombat live stream.

Google says it will keep rolling out the platform to YouTube partners with "accounts in good standing."

"The goal is to provide thousands of partners with the capability to live stream from their channels in the months ahead. In order to ensure a great live stream viewing experience, we'll roll this offering out incrementally over time," concluded YouTube.




AfterDawn: News

Acer Iconia tablet goes up for pre-order

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2011 1:34

Acer Iconia tablet goes up for pre-order The Acer Iconia Tab A500 is now available for pre-order via Best Buy, with a price tag of $450.

Acer's first real entry to the tablet market features a 10-inch screen, Android 3.0 Honeycomb, a Nvidia Tegra 250 1GHz dual-core processor, 16GB internal storage, microSD slot, GeForce graphics, 1GB RAM, dual cameras and Flash 10.2.

Says the company (via CSM):

One of the tablet’s most impressive features is its ability to run and play premium HD arcade games and complex online games. The 10-point touch display and six-axis motion sensing gyro meter control provide an entertainment experience on par with the best game consoles. The Acer Iconia Tab A500 will ship with two pre-loaded games: Need for Speed: Shift and Let's Golf.


As Wi-Fi/16GB, the tablet undercuts the Apple iPad 2 by $50.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple will look into iPad 2 3G glitch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2011 1:25

Apple will look into iPad 2 3G glitch Apple has said today that it will actively look into the 3G glitch that has been giving Verizon iPad 2 owners connectivity issues.

Users have reported troubles connecting back to 3G after they have turned the feature off and back on. The only fix so far has been to reboot the device, which can get understandably frustrating.

Apple says: "We are aware that a small number of iPad 2 customers have experienced connectivity issues with the Verizon 3G network and we are investigating it."

Those with AT&T iPad 2s do not seem to be having similar issues.

Many believe Apple will fix most of the iPad 2's early bugs with the release of iOS 4.3.2, set for rollout within weeks.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung releases Wi-Fi-only Galaxy Tab for $350

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2011 1:01

Samsung releases Wi-Fi-only Galaxy Tab for $350 Samsung released their first Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab, last November.

The device sold with two-year data contract for $400 at start, but has since dropped to $250.

As of April 10th, users who may still want the device can get their hands on the long-awaited Wi-Fi-only version for $350 and no contracts necessary.

Samsung's tablet runs on Android 2.2, has a 1GHz processor, a 7-inch multi-touch screen and dual cameras.

“We are excited to have the WiFi version of the Galaxy Tab join our growing portfolio of Galaxy-branded devices,” said Dale Sohn, President of Samsung Mobile. “The 7-inch Galaxy Tab is the first truly mobile tablet on the market, allowing users to comfortably hold the device in one hand while typing or navigating the Web with the other.”




AfterDawn: News

Time Warner and Viacom sue each other over iPad streaming TV app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Apr 2011 12:13

Time Warner and Viacom sue each other over iPad streaming TV app Following Viacom's suit over their live TV streaming iPad app, Time Warner Cable has counter-sued the content giant and the issue appears headed to court.

Last month, TWC released their TWCableTV app, which allowed its paying subscribers to watch live TV via their iPads.

Warner wants a "declaratory judgment" and a court ruling allowing the company to transmit TV programming to any device its customers may have.

Viacom, on the other hand, says all its previous distribution rights deals have been device-specific, and do not include tablets or other mobiles. The company is now seeking damages for TWC's alleged breach of contract and licensing agreements.

Says TWC of the app:

We have steadfastly maintained that we have the rights to allow our customers to view this programming in their homes, over our cable systems, without artificial limits on the screens they can use to do so, and we are asking the court to confirm our view.


Viacom, clearly, does not see it that way:

Viacom has made clear that it is willing to discuss extension of similar rights to others -- including TWC. What Viacom cannot do, however, is permit one of its contracting partners, TWC, to unilaterally change the terms of its contractual relationship.




AfterDawn: News

OCZ shows off Vertex 3 SSDs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2011 11:36

OCZ shows off Vertex 3 SSDs OCZ has debuted their Vertex 3 SSD line this week, with read speeds of 550 MB/s and write speeds of up to 520 MB/s.

The drives will be available as 120, 240 and 480GB varieties.

Enterprise-class versions of the drive will begin shipping in May.

First introduced at CES in January, the drives will feature a SATA 6 Gbps interface and a Sandforce SF-2200 controller. Each 2.5-inch drive will also feature native TRIM support.

Says OCZ (via THG):

The Vertex 3 series with the SandForce SF-2200 SSD processor has been eagerly anticipated in the marketplace. Our partnership with SandForce has again facilitated the introduction of a solution that sets the benchmark for industry leading performance and reliability.


As with most SSD, the new Vertex 3 will not be cheap. The 120GB model retails for $300, the 240GB for $550 and the 480GB for a whopping $1900.




AfterDawn: News

Pandora has been sending personal info to 3rd party advertisers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2011 11:23

Pandora has been sending personal info to 3rd party advertisers It's official: Pandora has been sending your personal information to third-party advertising clients.

The news comes via security firm Veracode, who performed an analysis after the streaming music company revealed it had been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury to show off documents relating to its data collection practices on mobile devices.

Veracode (via Ars) says Pandora does, in fact, send your Android ID, date of birth, gender and GPS location to a number of ad companies.

The app integrates with Google.ads, AdMarvel, AdMob, comScore and Medialets.

Writes Veracode:

The analysis into the remaining libraries resulted in even more of the same. The SecureStudies library accesses the android_id and directly sends a hash of the data to [ link ] while the Medialets library accesses the device’s GPS location, bearing, altitude, android_id, connection status, network information, device brand, model, release revision, and current IP address.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Government to release terror alerts via social networking sites?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2011 1:27

Government to release terror alerts via social networking sites? The U.S. government is said to be considering using social networking sites as a way to release terror alerts and other relevant info from the Department of Homeland Security.

Additionally, the 5-level system will be removed and replaced with just two; elevated and imminent.

Each level will have an "expiration date," and will be removed after that date or extended if extra caution is still required.

The new system should begin at the end of this month.

Says the AP:

According to the draft plan, before an official alert is issued, there is a multi-step process that must be followed, starting with intelligence sharing among multiple federal, state and local agencies, including the FBI, the National Counterterrorism Center and the White House. If the threat is considered serious enough, a Homeland Security official will call for a meeting of a special counterterrorism advisory board. That board would be expected to meet within 30 minutes of being called. If it's decided an alert is necessary, it would need to be issued within two hours."




AfterDawn: News

'Anonymous' stops its assault on PSN

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2011 12:53

'Anonymous' stops its assault on PSN After days of assaulting the PSN (more info here), the hacking group 'Anonymous' has decided to change up its plan of attack, to one that will not affect Sony customers as much.

Says the group:

During the last few days, Anonymous has been targeting Sony for their outrageous treatment of not only PS3 users and jailbreakers, but also of the general public. Their propaganda regarding jailbreaking implies that it encourages piracy and thereby makes people lose their jobs, whereas jailbreaking actually just means you are making YOUR device do what it should do. Imagine if Microsoft forced you to use Internet Explorer instead of Firefox or Chrome. Imagine if they denied users from using any other web browser than their own. Many people would obviously be pissed... but then, why aren't you pissed at Sony?

The fact that their litigation demanded information on everyone who had viewed the material, was completely unacceptable. This is a threat not only to the gaming community, but to freedom of information in general. The fact that the privacy of individuals can be violated, simply for accessing information, and legal action can be taken for doing something with something you own, are steps far beyond the line. Anonymous decided it could not allow this to stand. If jailbreaking a phone for use of legal (unsigned) apps is found legal, why would this be any different for the Geohot case, seeing as Geohot explicitly states he does not support piracy?

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Toys 'R' Us to start selling iPad 2?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Apr 2011 12:03

Toys 'R' Us to start selling iPad 2? Modmyi has reported today that the iPad 2 is headed to Toys 'R' Us stores, adding to the growing list of retailers which will have the tablet on sale.

Beginning next month, stores will get the iPad 2 along with Smart Covers, the iPad Camera Connection Kit, and a VGA connector.

As proof, the site has a picture of the employee training guide prepping them for the launch.

The iPad 2 is available in Apple stores, Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, Radioshack, Verizon and AT&T alongside e-tailers like Amazon.

Although numbers have not been released, the iPad 2 is expected to have sold over 2 million units since launch last month.





AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to patch 64 flaws on Tuesday

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2011 11:45

Microsoft to patch 64 flaws on Tuesday Microsoft has announced today that it will patch a record 64 flaws for its upcoming 'Patch Tuesday,' fixing vulnerabilities in Windows, IE, Office and other software.

The 64 flaws are attached to 17 bulletins, which ties for the most ever issued by the company in a single week.

Previously, the record for most flaws patched was 49, in October of last year.

9 of the 17 bulletins are "critical," while the rest are "important." Critical is the highest threat level while 'important' is second highest.

One security analyst was very surprised by how high the number was (via CW):

We were expecting the larger release this month, based on the normal cadence. But a whopping 64 CVEs is out of line with anything normal for Microsoft. All hands on deck will be required next week.




AfterDawn: News

YouTube wants to start professional, original content channels

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2011 11:02

YouTube wants to start professional, original content channels Google is planning to add up to 20 premium channels to YouTube, with each producing between 5 and 10 hours of original content every week.

The company is willing to spend $100 million on the creation of the content.

Says the WSJ:

The company is planning changes to the homepage that would highlight sets of channels around topics such as arts and sports. YouTube is looking to introduce 20 or so "premium channels" that would feature five to 10 hours of professionally-produced original programming a week, one of these people said. Additional channels would be assembled from content already on the site.


Google seems to be going the way of Hulu and Netflix, which are opting for new, original content, as a supplement to their broadcast and studio content.

The updated YouTube should be available by the end of the year.




AfterDawn: News

Hotfile files to have MPAA case dismissed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2011 9:57

Hotfile files to have MPAA case dismissed Hotfile, the cyberlocker which quickly became one of the 100 most trafficked sites in the world, has filed a motion to dismiss the case brought against it by the MPAA, which is accusing the company and its owner of building a business off the profits of digital piracy.

The MPAA and the major movie studios claim the site both directly and indirectly supports copyright infringement.

In the motion, Hotfile denies that it "has the specific intent to promote infringement," or promotes piracy, at all.

Citing MGM v. Grokster, Hotfile also denies the charge of "contributory infringement."

As with other cyberlockers, Hotfile says it complies with every DMCA takedown notice from copyright holders and it does not offer a search function.

Concludes the company (via DMW):

Realizing that the uninterrupted line of active inducement cases all involved sites with built in search capability, the Studios try to twist the absence of a search box into 'concealment'. Thus, according to the Studios, web hosts are damned if they allow search (as 'active inducers') and are damned (as 'concealers') if they don't.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone 4 FaceTime glitch is taking pictures of you

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2011 2:20

iPhone 4 FaceTime glitch is taking pictures of you Multiple frustrated iPhone 4 owners have complained this week that their device's front-side camera is taking pictures of them when it is supposed to be inactive.

Those photos then show up on the iPhone screen when the user tries to start a FaceTime video call.

One angry owner said her FaceTime picture showed her in her office, despite never using the app while at work.

The glitch also freezes FaceTime, forcing owners to keep trying until it loads correctly.

Apparently those with the glitch are running either iOS 4.3 and iOS 4.3.1.

Video via Wired:




AfterDawn: News

Google working on tablet version of ChromeOS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2011 1:41

Google working on tablet version of ChromeOS Despite their word that ChromeOS would be "for keyboard"-based devices and Android would be "for touchscreen" devices, Cnet has uncovered some source-code that implies Google may be working on a tablet/touchscreen optimized version of the operating system.

In a statement, Google confirmed that "we are engaging in early open-source work for the tablet form factor, but we have nothing new to announce at this time."

However, in the near-term, netbooks will be priority for ChromeOS, explains the search giant:

Chrome OS was designed from the beginning to work across a variety of form factors. We expect to see different partners build different kinds of devices based on Chrome OS, but for this initial release we are targeting the notebook form factor.


A few of the added changes in the ChromeOS source code (according to Cnet) are:

• The "user-agent string" text that browsers supply so Web servers can deliver the appropriate version of a Web site--for touch user interfaces. The string includes the term "CrOS Touch," not just CrOS as before.
"This lets Web sites that are already customizing for tablet experiences easily adapt to support tablet ChromeOS devices," the programming change log notes.
• A "virtual keyboard" with a number of keys--tab, delete, microphone, return, and shift, for example--drawn in SVG so they can be shown by a browser. Screen keyboards are, of course, a necessity with tablets.
• A variety of moves to make the browser more touch-friendly, for example by increasing the space around items to make it easier to select them with a touch interface.
• A revamped new-tab page (which people see when they open a new, blank tab) that's "optimized for touch."




AfterDawn: News

Gartner: Windows Phone 7 to overtake iOS by 2015

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2011 1:14

Gartner: Windows Phone 7 to overtake iOS by 2015 Gartner has followed in the footsteps of other research firms by claiming that Windows Phone 7 will become a major player in the smartphone market by 2015, taking as much as 19.5 share and surpassing RIM and Apple.

Android will continue to be a juggernaut and reach around 49 percent in 2012 and holding that number.

Says the firm: "By 2015, 67 percent of all open OS devices will have an average selling price of $300 or below, proving that smartphones have been finally truly democratized."

Overall smartphone sales will hit 468 million units this year, a large 57.7 percent increase year-over-year.

The list:

Android will jump to 539,318,000 million phones sold by 2015, good for 48.8 percent market share. RIM will sell 122,865,000 million BlackBerrys, but market share will fall to just 11.1 percent share.

Apple will sell 189,924,000 iPhones but drop to 17.2 percent share.

Microsoft will be the big winner due to its partnership with Nokia, moving to 215,998,000 Windows Phone 7 devices sold, good for 19.5 percent market share. Microsoft currently has 5.6 share.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry PlayBook tablet was delayed thanks to iPad 2

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2011 12:07

BlackBerry PlayBook tablet was delayed thanks to iPad 2 An article from Digitimes today has pointed to an embarrassing reason as to why the RIM PlayBook tablet was delayed.

Short answer: Blame Apple.

The report explains that "sources from touch screen panel makers also pointed out that PlayBook shipments were postponed for about a month from the original schedule due to a delay in software testing as well as shortage of touch panels because Apple already booked up most of the available capacity."

It has been reported that Apple pre-paid for up to $4 billion worth of components, making sure that it can somewhat corner the market and ensure the iPad 2 is produced with no delays.

The RIM BlackBerry PlayBook tablet will hit the US and Canada on April 19th with a price tag of $500 USD.




AfterDawn: News

Fring testing group video calls

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2011 1:30

Fring testing group video calls Fring, the Android and iOS-based IM client, has said this week that it has begun testing group video calling, a first for smartphones.

The feature is now in private beta.

Using Fring for group calling will allow four friends to talk simultaneously.

The screen will be cut into quarters.

More info via Fring: http://www.fring.com/blog/?p=2857





AfterDawn: News

$625.5 million patent suit against Apple is overturned

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Apr 2011 12:28

$625.5 million patent suit against Apple is overturned A federal judge has overturned a $625.5 million verdict against Apple over patent violations this week.

The jury had ruled in favor of small tech company Mirror Worlds LLC and granted them one of the largest patent violation settlements, ever.

Says the judge:

Mirror Worlds may have painted an appealing picture for the jury, but failed to lay a solid foundation sufficient to support important elements it was required to establish under the law.


Last October a jury ruled that Apple had infringed on three patents relating to Cover Flow, Time Machine and Spotlight. Each of the techs are used on most Apple hardware.

Apple asked the judge to postpone enforcing the award since it objected to how the fines were calculated. The company applauded the decision to toss out the case.




AfterDawn: News

Grooveshark pulled from Android Market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2011 10:24

Grooveshark pulled from Android Market Google has pulled the popular Grooveshark music app from the Android Market, following accusations from the record labels that the service facilitates piracy.

When asked for comment, Google only said that it "removes apps from Android Market that violate [its] terms of service."

Apple removed the app from the iOS store last August after it received a complaint from the Universal Music Group.

Google is currently in the midst of speaking before the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating whether the search giant aids piracy by offering AdSense to all sites, including those that offer pirated movies, music and more.

Grooveshark hosts over 6 million tracks.




AfterDawn: News

Sony NGP to be delayed due to disaster in Japan?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2011 2:37

Sony NGP to be delayed due to disaster in Japan? Jack Tretton, president of Sony Computer Entertainment of America has confirmed this week that the upcoming NGP (PSP2) may be delayed due to the earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands in Japan and disrupted production for hundreds of companies.

Instead of being released in Asia, North America and Europe in September, Tretton says the company may have to release the device in just one region, delaying the release until 2012 for the other two major regions, due to the disaster.

Analysts immediately worried about what a delay would do to Sony, as Nintendo recently launched the 3DS gaming handheld in all major regions and Apple is expected to release its updated iPod Touch in September.

For controls, the updated handheld adds dual micro-analog sticks, giving gamers a feature they begged for on the original PSP.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Report: Apple shipped 2.5 million iPads in March

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2011 2:04

Report: Apple shipped 2.5 million iPads in March According to Digi, Apple shipped about 2.5 million iPad 2 in March, and that number is expected to double in the next quarter.

Says the source:

Sales of iPad 2 are running at a rate faster than its predecessor, and Apple took delivery of 2.4-2.6 million units in March. Apple is likely to take delivery of 4-4.3 million units a month, or a total of over 12 million units, of iPad 2 tablets in the second quarter.


The original iPad took 9 months to sell 15 million units meaning Apple expects its sequel to far outsell.

By comparison, the Motorola Xoom, with Android 3.0 Honeycomb, is rumored to have only sold 140,000 units.

Despite the devastating earthquake in Japan, the source says Japanese and other Asian touch panel makers are expanding their production to keep up with iPad demand.




AfterDawn: News

Dell releasing 10-inch Android tablet this summer

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2011 12:49

Dell releasing 10-inch Android tablet this summer Forbes has reported today that Dell is planning a 10-inch Android tablet for release this summer.

Dell had planned a 10-inch Windows tablet, but that seems to be delayed until at least the fall.

The Android device could be available as soon as June.

Dell showed off a "dummy prototype" at CES in January and did not reveal any specs.

When it launches the unnamed Dell tablet will have to compete with the Motorola Xoom, the Samsung Galaxy 10.1, the Apple iPad 2 and the RIM PlayBook, among others.




AfterDawn: News

New Netflix deal brings 'Mad Men' to streaming service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2011 12:27

New Netflix deal brings 'Mad Men' to streaming service Netflix and Lionsgate have signed an exclusive syndication deal for the first four seasons of blockbuster hit "Mad Men," with the series being available for instant streaming starting July 27th.

All future seasons will be added after they conclude airing on AMC.

Liongate has said there will be 7 total seasons of Mad Men.

The deal is said to have cost Netflix about $1 million per episode for a total of $91 million for the 7 season deal.

Netflix is in a mad dash to add streaming content to its extremely popular 'Watch Instantly' service, adding CBS and Fox content and its own original programming over the last two months.




AfterDawn: News

Dish Network buys Blockbuster for $228 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2011 12:16

Dish Network buys Blockbuster for $228 million The Dish Network has secured the winning bid in the race to buy up Blockbuster's assets, paying about $228 million after "certain adjustments" are made for available cash and inventory. The winning bid was actually $320 million.

Both companies expect the deal to close in the Q2.

Says Tom Cullen, executive vice president of Sales, Marketing and Programming for DISH Network:

With its more than 1,700 store locations, a highly recognizable brand and multiple methods of delivery, Blockbuster will complement our existing video offerings while presenting cross-marketing and service extension opportunities for DISH Network. While Blockbuster's business faces significant challenges, we look forward to working with its employees to re-establish Blockbuster's brand as a leader in video entertainment.


It is unclear what Dish will do with the remaining retail locations, but most expect it to shut down most of the stores and focus on the successful Blockbuster Express kiosks.

The company will also likely ramp up the video streaming service available on mobile devices and make it available alongside Dish subscriptions.




AfterDawn: News

Analyst: Atrix and Xoom sales are low

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2011 2:40

Analyst: Atrix and Xoom sales are low According to Pacific Crest analyst James Faucette, Motorola Atrix and Xoom sales "have been disappointing."

While shipments remain decent, sell-through of the devices are very low, with the Atrix sales specifically being "well below forecast."

The analyst says the Atrix has been hurt by the cheap prices of the Apple 3GS ($49) and the HTC Inspire ($99). The Atrix, on the other hand, sells for $200 with contract.

Downgrading the company's revenue forecast from $13.7 billion to $12.2 billion, Faucette also warned investors that the company will need to "quickly adjust and refresh its product portfolio" if it wishes to remain relevant.

Neither Motorola nor market leader Apple have revealed the sales figures on their latest tablets, yet.




AfterDawn: News

'Harry Potter' books to finally go digital

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2011 1:24

'Harry Potter' books to finally go digital In a move that should bring substantial more money to author JK Rowling, the blockbuster 'Harry Potter' book series is expected to go digital for the first time ever, 14 years after the 1997 release of 'The Sorcerer's Stone.'

All seven of the books will soon become available via the iPad and the Kindle e-reader, and should net Rowling £100 million.

Scotsman cites Rowling's agent as confirming the imminent deal.

Rowling has an estimated fortune nearing $1 billion USD, following the record sales of the books, the films, the DVD/Blu-rays and other merchandise.

One editor added:

Experts believe that move could revolutionize the world of electronic publishing, triggering rocket sales of e-book readers such as Kindle and the iPad.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone 5 not launching in June

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2011 12:57

iPhone 5 not launching in June Despite a report from a Korean site claiming that the iPhone 5 is indeed coming in June, Jim Dalrymple of The Loop adamantly refuted that claim today.

The Korean report cited manufacturers and even claimed that Apple confirmed the news.

If true, the news would be significant as Apple has released a new iPhone at every annual Worldwide Developers Conference since the smartphone's launch in 2007.

Instead, the company will focus on software this June, iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion, while saving the hardware for a later date.

The most likely date is in September, when Apple normally launches refreshes its iPod line.




AfterDawn: News

Sprint's 'Tap-and-Go' payment service to hit in 2011

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Apr 2011 12:43

Sprint's 'Tap-and-Go' payment service to hit in 2011 Sprint Nextel says it will start its "Tap-and-Go" mobile payment system in 2011, front-running similar initiatives from Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile US.

The technology will use NFC, which will allow payments to be made via a tap or wave of your smartphone in front of electronic scanners in stores.

"Isis," the rival joint venture from the other carriers will likely not go live until 2012.

Says Sprint:

We intend to make this an open solution where consumers can use their phone in a variety of physical locations.Because we’re allowing other brands and other institutions to participate, they can also tell their consumers that this is available on Sprint.


Differentiating itself from Isis, which will take a percentage on each transaction, Sprint will use a revenue share from sales of coupons and ads sent to customer's handsets.

The biggest problem with NFC so far is lack of merchant acceptance. There are only 150,000 locations with NFC readers while there are 6 million locations with traditional credit card support.

NFC-enabled phones will grow to 70 million shipped in 2012, says ABI Research.




AfterDawn: News

Silverlight headed to Xbox 360 next week?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Apr 2011 11:10

Silverlight headed to Xbox 360 next week? Winrumors has reported today that Microsoft appears to be on the verge of launching Silverlight for the Xbox 360.

The software giant will announce the plans at next week's MIX11 conference, and the sources claim the technology has been in the works for months.

Last November, Microsoft confirmed it was planning on bringing the tech to the console, but a Silverlight 5 preview day in December notably held back all details of the Xbox integrations.

If accurate, the company is also expected to open its own app Marketplace that will let Windows Phone 7 developers port their apps to the big screen.

Altogether, Silverlight will tie together the Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7 and the upcoming Windows 8 through a new "Jupiter" application model using AppX packages. Windows 8 will come with the app store pre-installed.




AfterDawn: News

As expected, MPAA sues movie streaming site Zediva

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Apr 2011 12:53

As expected, MPAA sues movie streaming site Zediva The MPAA has surprised no one today by filing a copyright infringement suit against streaming site Zediva, claiming the site does not have proper licenses from the studios.

Zediva launched in January and has become very popular because it streams new releases (like Black Swan, The Social Network, more) and does not have delay windows like Netflix and Redbox do for physical discs.

The company "rents" users a DVD player and DVD and allows them to control it via online streaming.

What has helped the company become so popular is the prices of the movies. You can buy 10 streams for $10.

Zediva has claimed it does not need licenses because it is just "like" a brick-and-mortar rental company. When a customer rents a DVD, it takes it out of circulation, and does not create any digital copies.

The MPAA does not agree:

Comparing itself to a rental store is disingenuous, and Defendants are attempting to rely on technical gimmicks in an effort to avoid complying with U.S. Copyright Law. Defendants operate an online VOD service, not a neighborhood rental store.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

'Anonymous' to go after Sony

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Apr 2011 12:26

'Anonymous' to go after Sony The hacking group 'Anonymous' has turned its collective eye on Sony, posting a picture on the AnonOps site.

Anonymous is certainly not happy with the way Sony has treated Geohot and others who have jailbroken their PS3 to run homebrew.

The group started in 2003 via 4chan and recently became a household name after they launched DDoS attacks on MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and Amazon after the companies cut off donations and server space to WikiLeaks following the release of diplomatic cables.

Reads the poster:




AfterDawn: News

AT&T to charge more for early upgraders to smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Apr 2011 12:03

AT&T to charge more for early upgraders to smartphones AT&T has confirmed today that it will be increasing its smartphone early upgrade by $50, the second time it has done so in the last 6 months.

If you somehow have a one-year contract through the carrier, the early upgrade fee is now $150 higher. The fees are only in effect if you try to upgrade to a smartphone before your contract is up.

Says the carrier (via BGR):

We've updated our early upgrade and no commitment price points for smartphones and feature phones. Only customers who are not yet upgrade eligible or who do not want to sign a contract are impacted. As mobile devices become more sophisticated, their cost goes up. This change reflects the increased costs, while still allowing us to offer customers the latest device before they qualify. We're happy to discuss individual account and upgrade needs one-on-one with customers.


Furthermore, other unconfirmed reports have AT&T raising the early upgrader fee on feature phones by $20.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google bidding on 6,000 Nortel telecom patents

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2011 11:45

Google bidding on 6,000 Nortel telecom patents Nortel has said today it will sell of its remaining 6000 patents and applications to Google for $900 million unless a rival bidder takes a shot.

That patents cover communications tech, including digital, wireless and wired.

Says Google:

One of a company’s best defenses against this kind of litigation is (ironically) to have a formidable patent portfolio, as this helps maintain your freedom to develop new products and services. Google is a relatively young company, and although we have a growing number of patents, many of our competitors have larger portfolios given their longer histories.


Google will receive patents for wireless, 4G, data networking, optical, voice, and semiconductors, says ZD.

Nortel has been selling off assets since going bankrupt in 2009.

Once trading as high as $600 a share in the tech bubble of the late 90s, Nortel shares now trade for 3 cents.




AfterDawn: News

Data firm breached, millions of customers have data exposed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2011 11:06

Data firm breached, millions of customers have data exposed Epsilon Data Management, one of the largest online mail service companies in the U.S., confirmed reports that millions of names and email addresses were stolen after hackers broke into their system.

Emails and names were stolen for firms including Chase, Best Buy, Target, HSN, Capital One, TiVo and Walgreen among 50 companies.

I have attached the email I received from Chase this morning.

In all, the company provides online mail services to 2,500 companies.

Says one security analyst (via LAT):

These are examples of why those people who provide services to thousands of other companies have to be way more secure than the individual companies themselves.


Each of the companies affected has sent out warning letters to customers telling them to prepare for an increase in phishing emails, aimed at stealing credit card details, passwords or addresses.

While the attack will affect millions, Epsilon spokeswoman Jessica Simon says no sensitive information was stolen.




AfterDawn: News

Saudi airline caught playing pirated copy of movie

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2011 10:53

Saudi airline caught playing pirated copy of movie TF has posted a picture today that shows a Saudi airline running a pirated Blu-ray copy of the movie "Killers" as its in-flight film.

The copy shows up as "Killers 2010 BDRiP AC3 XViD-ILOVE," clearly meaning the airline decided to roll with a pirated copy over the official content given by the studios.

It is likely the company has the license to play the film, but believed pirating the film was easier (no DRM), or just better quality.

There was no comment from the airline or the studio behind Killers.




AfterDawn: News

Teacher mocks student on Facebook, faces discipline

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2011 9:43

Teacher mocks student on Facebook, faces discipline A Chicago public school teacher now faces disciplinary action after she posted a picture of a student and led the way in mocking the girl's hair while others commented.

Copying something she had seen in a magazine, the 7-year-old girl asked her mother to tie Jolly Rancher candies to the end of her braids, adding some color. The student then came in for picture day.

Other teachers complimented the look so she was comfortable when the computer teacher in question asked to take a camera phone picture.

On Facebook, the teacher posted the picture and posted comments like "And y’all thought I was joking!," "This is for picture day too! SMDH," and "Yeah, this is foolishness at its best."

Lucinda Williams, the mother of the student said she was shown the page by a friend who was also "friends" with the teacher on Facebook. After Williams complained to the principal, the teacher apologized and removed the picture.

Regardless, the Chicago Public School says:

The (Overton Elementary School) principal said this was a good teacher but this was a case of poor judgment. It will warrant disciplinary action.




AfterDawn: News

Android Ice Cream to mix Gingerbread, Honeycomb and Google TV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2011 1:16

Android Ice Cream to mix Gingerbread, Honeycomb and Google TV Phandroid has posted a nice article on the upcoming Android Ice Cream (maybe 4.0?) which includes the fact that the operating system will add Google TV.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said last month that Ice Cream would merge Gingerbread and Honeycomb, removing fears of ongoing fragmentation in the open source operating system.

The search giant will announce the decision at their IO conference in May, says the site.

Over the past week, Google has received a lot of criticism for not releasing the Honeycomb source code, but the site says the delay is completely due to Google still working on integrating Google TV and wanting to release the code with Google TV in a working state.

Ice Cream will be a huge benefit to Android owners as Google would only need to update one code base for smartphones, Google TV boxes and HDTVs and tablets.




AfterDawn: News

Android now rules the U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2011 12:49

Android now rules the U.S. comScore has posted their latest figures today for the mobile market, and Android is now the dominate smartphone operating system in the U.S.

Samsung was the top handset maker, with 24.8 percent share of the market.

For the period ended February 28th, 234 million Americans over the age of 13 used a mobile phone and 69.5 million owned a smartphone.

Following Samsung was LG at 20.9 percent share, Motorola at 16.1 percent share, RIM at 8.6 percent, and Apple at 7.5 percent. Apple saw the biggest gain of all manufacturers thanks to the release of the iPhone on Verizon.

In the smartphone market, the top OS was Android at 33 percent, followed by RIM at 29 percent, Apple at 25.2 percent and Windows Mobile/Windows Phone 7 at 7.7 percent.




AfterDawn: News

Apple adding camera to next iPod Nano?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Apr 2011 12:26

Apple adding camera to next iPod Nano? Although unconfirmed, a leaked photo of the upcoming iPod Nano 7th generation appears to suggest that the device will be adding a camera.

Apple.pro, known for leaking pictures of past Apple devices, posted the picture this weekend but even the author could not verify its authenticity.

Apple added a camera to the 5th generation of the Nano but then completely changed the form factor for the 6th version, making it much smaller and lighter, while removing the camera.

The site speculates the camera should be added without changing the form factor of the 6th generation.

Apple.pro has accurately shown off the form factor of the previous six generations of the device but has been less accurate for MacBook rumors.




AfterDawn: News

Windows 8 says hello to Ribbons

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Apr 2011 11:34

Windows 8 says hello to Ribbons Multiple sites are reporting today that Microsoft will be implementing a new user interface for its upcoming Windows 8 operating system, including replacing toolbars with "Ribbons," as seen in Microsoft Office.

The reports come via leaked alpha builds of the operating system.

Windows 8 login screen will look somewhat similar to Windows Phone 7/Zune and include the time, day and date (pic below).

Ribbons will be included (meaning toolbars within different tabs), and most of Window's programs will use the new interface including Windows Explorer.

As most would contest, ribbons organize different functions better than a standard toolbar.

Additionally, wwwery says "the "View" button (toggles viewing styles) in Windows Explorer toolbar goes into the Details Pane (bottom), and now there’s a consolidated file menu (top-left) just like in Office 2010."

Although unconfirmed, Windows 8 is expected to add tablet support and the ability to control music while the computer is locked.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PSP beats out 3DS for weekly sales in Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Apr 2011 1:39

PSP beats out 3DS for weekly sales in Japan The Nintendo 3DS launched in Japan in late February and held the top spot for sales, easily, for the first three weeks.

VG24 has reported this week, however, that for the week ended March 27th, the PSP has taken the top spot, following the launch Final Fantasy IV Complete.

The PSP (Go and 3000) combined for 51,095 unit sales while the 3DS saw 50,710.

Sony's victory this week looks like a clear anomaly as year-to-date (YTD) figures have the 3DS at 792,954 to the PSP's 584,585. The 3DS has only been out for a month.

Final Fantasy IV Complete was the major factor behind the sales, as the game moved 104,000 copies, tripling up on the next best-selling game, Dynasty Warriors 7.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft reveals relevant numbers for Windows Phone 7 platform

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Apr 2011 1:10

Microsoft reveals relevant numbers for Windows Phone 7 platform In late March of last year, the Windows Phone team showed off their application platform and developer tools.

This weekend, Brandon Watson of Microsoft has posted some relevant stats for the operating system:



1.5 Million - The Windows Phone Developer Tools, consisting of Visual Studio Express for Windows Phone and Expression Blend 4 for Windows Phone have been downloaded over 1.5 million times. Put differently, the number of downloads equates to the size of the entire population of Philadelphia.

36,000 – People are talking a lot about the number of developers in their ecosystem. It would be easy for us to say that we had 1.5 million given the developer tools downloaded, or we could talk about the number of people we have on mailing lists, but we won’t. We’d rather give a nod to the 36,000 members of the AppHub community who have voted with their wallets and become members of the Windows Phone developer community.

“The number:” 11,500 – What is an app? It’s a question that really begs some scrutinizing. For us, from the beginning, we have always been focused on quality over quantity. We recognize the importance of getting great apps on our platform and not artificially inflating the number of actual apps available to customer by listing “wallpapers” as a category, or perhaps allowing competitor’s apps to run on the platform to increase “tonnage.” We also don’t believe in the practice of counting “lite” apps as unique quality content. In reality they only exist because developers can’t have a Trial API and must therefore do extra work. Finally, we don’t double and triple count apps which are submitted in multiple languages.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ericsson sues ZTE over patent infringement

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Apr 2011 11:57

Ericsson sues ZTE over patent infringement Ericsson has sued Chinese-based ZTE today over patent infringement relating to mobile phones and network technology.

The suits were filed in the UK, Italy and Germany.

Ericsson says it made multiple attempts to get ZTE to sign a patent licensing agreement, but the sides could not come to terms. The company says it has been trying for years to get the deal signed and that the suits are "a last resort."

The UK and Italian suits are solely over handset patents while the German one includes handset and network patents.

Ericsson would not reveal which specific patents were up for debate.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone 5 rumored to have 8MP camera

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Apr 2011 5:23

iPhone 5 rumored to have 8MP camera 9to5 has reported this weekend that Sony's CEO Howard Stringer has implied that the Apple iPhone 5 (or another Apple iOS device) will be getting an 8MP camera.

Said the CEO:

Our best sensor technology is built in one of the (tsunami) affected factories. Those go to Apple for their iPhones…or iPads. Isn’t that something? They buy our best sensors from us?


At the moment, Apple doesn't buy any sensors from Sony, but there have been rumors that the company has been looking to drop OmniVision in favor of a different supplier.

The likely sensor is the new Exmor R, which is in the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc and features improved technology for low light situations.




AfterDawn: News

GFI apologizes over Samsung keylogger claim, no one else does yet

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Apr 2011 3:20

GFI apologizes over Samsung keylogger claim, no one else does yet GFI, the company that owns the VIPRE security products, has apologized for its part in a claim made earlier this week that Samsung pre-installed keylogging software on new laptops.

The headlines of Samsung pre-loading spying software on its laptops made waves online on Wednesday and through Thursday. The claim was originally published by NetworkWorld.com through a guest contributor, Mohommad Hassan. Some contributions were also made to the articles by Mich Kabay.

Original Reports - Disocvery

The two part report from Hassan and Kabay separates the story into the discovery of the keylogging software, and then Samsung's response and alleged admission to it being there.

Some problems with the claims were immediately noticeable. Firstly, on the discovery article, Hassan claims to have been alerted to the presence of the threat on a new Samsung R525 by a "commercial security software" he installed on the system. Hassan never names the security product that fingered the threat, which is bizarre by itself in such a report, and taking into account the gravity of the accusation against Samsung.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

SQL injection attack hits hundreds of thousands of websites

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Apr 2011 2:20

SQL injection attack hits hundreds of thousands of websites Hundreds of thousands of websites have been hit by a code-injection attack that targets a problem with an unknown (so far) web application.

Websense has dubbed the widespread attack as "LizaMoon" after the website its researchers were initially directed to by the malicious code. The attack seems to have largely affected small website so far, with no reports of major corporate or government websites showing signs of being compromised.

Users visiting any hacked site are redirected to a prompt showing a bogus security warning, and may end up downloading "Windows Stability Center", a scareware application that provides fake scans and results on an infected system and gives the user a chance to buy a license to remove the fake threats.

Websense was contacted by people who found the code in their Microsoft SQL databases, using SQL Server 2000, 2005 and 2008. This does not mean there is a vulnerability in Microsoft SQL Server, Websense Security Labs stressed, but instead points the finger at a web application that is still, right now, unknown.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Dish, Carl Icahn bid for Blockbuster

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Apr 2011 2:03

Dish, Carl Icahn bid for Blockbuster According to the Wall Street Journal, Dish Network Corp and investor Carl Icahn have submitted bids for bankrupt Blockbuster Inc.

The bids qualify both for an auction in federal bankruptcy court in Manhattan on Monday. Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last September, weighed down with debts of $900 million.

A group of hedge funds headed by Monarch Alternative Capital made a bid of $290 million for the rental chain in February, setting a mark for other bidders.

South Korea's top mobile carrier, Sky Telecom Co Ltd, also said it was considering an investment in Blockbuster.

Icahn has revealed interest in the past in buying Blockbuster, and Dish could find the brand very useful for its video-on-demand (VOD) services. It is not known how much each lodged bids at.




AfterDawn: News

Madden NFL 'creator' sues EA for potentially billions

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Apr 2011 1:54

Madden NFL 'creator' sues EA for potentially billions Man claims that Electronic Arts failed to compensate him for sales of one of the most popular video games franchises in history.

Robin Antonick is suing the company for "tens of millions" in royalties as well as potentially billions from profits made by EA from over 85 million copies of Madden NFL Football titles sold. Antonick says he created the mega-popular game.

The first version was created for the Commodore 64, MS DOS and Apple II when it was released in 1988. Antonick signed a development contract with EA in 1986, which allegedly entitles him to royalties on derivative versions of the game. He says that for years afterwards, he worked in a cubicle a few feet from EA founder Trip Hawkins.

"Only recently, as a result of publicity surrounding the 20th Anniversary of the 'Madden' videogame did Antonick become aware that Electronic Arts did not independently develop subsequent versions of its Madden NFL software," says the complaint.

"Instead, according to recent statements by Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, the current generation of software apparently derived from software developed by Antonick."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon mulling mobile payment service?

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Apr 2011 1:14

Amazon mulling mobile payment service? Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon is joining a list of other tech firms in plotting a mobile payments service.

Based on near-field communication (NFC) technology, the demand for services that allow payments to be made at brick and mortar stores using a smartphone could be considerable. For that reason, Google, Microsoft, Nokia and several others have reportedly been developing their own offerings.

Users of such services could hold their handset near an NFC-equipped register and use an application to make payment for goods and services, or to potentially carry out other tasks such as redeem coupons or use loyalty points.

Amazon is making bold inroads into the mobile marketplace. It recently launched its own Android Appstore to the dismay of Apple, which is suing the company for the use of "App Store" in its name. It also unveiled a music streaming/locker service just earlier this week that works with Android.

According to research firm Gartner, 340 million mobile users will carry out mobile transactions in 2014, with a value of $245 billion.




AfterDawn: News

Baidu to compensate song writers for MP3 downloads

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Apr 2011 1:14

Baidu to compensate song writers for MP3 downloads Baidu reaches agreement with music group to pay for MP3 downloads through its web site.

Baidu had been in talks with the Music Copyright Society of China, a group that has previously sued the Chinese search giant, to establish a partnership to protect legal digital music. The payment will go directly to the Music Copyright Society of China.

The money only covers the songwriters behind lyrics in the downloads however, and no record companies will receive any. Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo said to pay labels would require a completely different agreement.

"We will also provide the [Music Copyright Society of China] playback and download data, so that they will be able to have some idea of what's actually being downloaded," Kuo said.

Baidu has been the focus of a lot of anti-piracy groups for years due to the popularity of its MP3 search service in China, which helps users to download copyrighted music for free. Some experts claim the MP3 service was the offering that brought Baidu to the top in China, and now 75.5 percent of the country's search market is held by Baidu.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

MSI announces AM3+ compatibility for its AM3 boards

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Apr 2011 1:14

MSI announces AM3+ compatibility for its AM3 boards MSI says AM3 boards have easy upgrade solution to support AM3+.

The company officially announced compatibility with all AMD AM3+ multi-core processors on its AMD AM3 mainboards today, saying that it will be made possible by way of a quick BIOS update.

AMD AM3+ multi-core processors are built on the latest 32nm process for significant technical specs: additional cores, a larger L3 cache memory capacity, and the built-in 2nd generation Turbo Core technology boosts overall performance.

Current MSI board owners can download the latest BIOS updates to enable use of the latest AM3+ processors on their respective product pages. In addition, all future shipments of existing AM3 motherboards will have their BIOS updated from the factory before being sent out.

MSI AM3 mainboards with support for AMD AM3+ multi-core processors and corresponding BIOS versions:




AfterDawn: News

Facebook in $1 billion lawsuit over 'Third Intifada' page

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Apr 2011 1:14

Facebook in $1 billion lawsuit over 'Third Intifada' page Lawsuit against the social network giant and CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeks more than $1 billion in damages.

It was reported earlier this week that Facebook shut down a "Third Intifada" page, which called for violence against Israel. The page quickly picked up about 340,000 fans. Facebook removed it several days after a letter to Zuckerberg from Israeli Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein urged him to do so.

The company said the page was left alone at first because it specifically called for peaceful protests. It was later removed as the tone changed to the incitement of violence instead, which violates Facebook's terms of service.

Now, a lawsuit filed against Facebook in the U.S. claims it showed negligence by not quickly responding to requests to take down the controversial page. The lawsuit has been filed by Larry Klayman, a controversial American activist.

"While Facebook has accomplished a lot of good, it can, as in this instance, be used for nefarious and evil purposes. Defendants Zuckerberg's and Facebook's callous and greedy actions in not taking down the page, but willfully allowing it to stay up for many days, has caused huge damage, for which they must be held accountable, so as to prevent this from ever happening again.
Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix adding Sons of Anarchy, Glee to streaming library

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Apr 2011 12:28

Netflix adding Sons of Anarchy, Glee to streaming library Netflix and Twentieth Century Fox have expanded their current streaming deal, adding the very popular series Glee and Sons of Anarchy to the company's "Watch Instantly" streaming library.

Starting today, season 1 of Glee and both seasons of SOA are available for streaming.

Additionally, catalog series like "Ally McBeal" and the "Wonder Years" have been added.

Says Fox:

Our expanded non-exclusive streaming arrangement with Netflix maintains Fox's flexibility to effectively manage both the content we offer, and the appropriate window of availability relative to our other distribution partnerships.We look forward to working with Netflix and our other partners to further enhance the choices available to audiences.


And adds Netflix:

We've worked closely with Fox for the last year to provide our members access to some of the studio's greatest TV franchises and library of both contemporary and classic movies. Our members love TV shows, and making such pop-culture hits like 'Glee' and 'Sons of Anarchy' available to watch instantly reinforces our commitment to provide them a wider selection of programs."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Movie studios to begin VoD service for films still in theaters

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2011 3:05

Movie studios to begin VoD service for films still in theaters The major movie studios, Warner, Sony, Universal and Fox have agreed to launch a new VoD service that will allow for rentals of movies that are still in theaters, or those that are just finishing their runs.

Dubbed "Home Premiere," the studios will offer movies 60-days after their theatrical launch, and at $30 a piece.

The viewing period will be 48-72 hours, depending on the studio behind the release.

Home Premiere will launch next month through DirecTV exclusively. Some cable companies, like Comcast, will get the service soon, as well.

The first two movies available will be "Unknown" and "Just Go With It," says Variety.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft chief strategist doubts longevity of tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2011 2:28

Microsoft chief strategist doubts longevity of tablets Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer Craig Mundie has made some interesting comments this week, claiming that he remains doubtful that media tablets are anything more than a fad.

The officer does admit that Microsoft was very late on tablets, however, and should have introduced an optimized OS earlier.

Says Mundie (via Xbit):

I think there's an important distinction - and frankly one we did not jump on at Microsoft fast enough - between mobile and portable. Mobile is something that you want to use while you are moving, and portable is something that you move and then use. These are going to bump into one another a little bit and so today you can see tablets and pads and other things that are starting to live in the space in between. Personally I don't know whether that space will be a persistent one or not. [...] I don't know whether the big screen tablet pad category is going to remain with us or not.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google and ARM looking to standardize ARM/Android architecture

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2011 1:21

Google and ARM looking to standardize ARM/Android architecture Google is looking to standardize its Android 3.0 mobile operating system and may also be looking to standardize Android with the ARM architecture products available in many smartphones and tablets.

By standardizing Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Google will be looking to eliminate most of the drawbacks of the OS, says Digi including a buggy UI and lack of native apps.

While there are over 250,000 apps in the Android Market, only under 100 were built for 3.0 specifications and run "perfectly" on tablets.

Additionally, the report says the "plans to standardize their platforms should significantly improve ARM architecture's major drawback of having difficulty upgrading, while can significantly reduce the development time of downstream partners as well as maintain quality."

Google recently announced it would not be releasing the Android 3.0 open source code:

"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."




AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Apple to eat all production cost increases caused by natural disasters in Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2011 12:59

Rumor: Apple to eat all production cost increases caused by natural disasters in Japan According to Digitimes, Apple has agreed to eat any and all production cost increases caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami disasters.

In return, upstream component suppliers will keep shipments running "smoothly."

Many of the component suppliers buy components from Japan, but Apple's move should help them remain fully profitable in the foreseeable future.

The move should also help Apple see little supply issues for its iPad and iPhone devices.

Additionally, other tablet vendors will likely be squeezed out if they cannot make a similar move, giving Apple an even bigger edge in the market.

Apple currently has over $50 billion in cash.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon to upgrade some of network to 100Gbps capacity

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Apr 2011 12:50

Verizon to upgrade some of network to 100Gbps capacity Verizon Communications has confirmed today that it will upgrading backbone pipes to 100Gbps capacity in some parts of the U.S., planning for a streaming/cloud future.

The routes being upgraded include Chicago to New York, Sacramento to L.A. and Minneapolis to Kansas City, Kansas.

Says the company:

We've already successfully deployed 100G on a portion of our European network, and now we're preparing to expand this technology to our U.S. network. Advancing to 100G is a significant step in strengthening our global IP network to handle the bandwidth demands of our customers – whether it's large enterprises or the average consumer. Besides greater scalability and network efficiencies, we also expect 100G deployment to improve latency on a route-by-route basis.


Verizon began its rollout of 100G in November 2007 and was the first to successfully complete a field trial of 100G optical traffic on a live system.

A standards-based, multivendor 100G Ethernet link for an IP backbone was deployed to their European network for the route between Paris and Frankfurt earlier this year.





  Newer entries (2011 / 05) Older entries (2011 / 03)  

News archive