AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (11 / 2011)

AfterDawn: News

Germany bans Dead Island

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2011 11:53

Germany bans Dead Island Germany takes its time banning Zombie title.

Dead Island was released in early September, but it's only now that Germany has decided that the game is too violent. The Federal Department of Media Harmful to Young Persons (translated, obviously..) has made the decision to pull the game and the developers are not surprised.

"This isn't unexpected," Techland told Eurogamer. "Germany has its unique regulations regarding video games and violence and the industry can only comply. Both Deep Silver and Techland were aware of such a possibility from the very beginning."

The organization put the title on "List B", which is reserved for media that features content depicting "extreme torture or Nazism."




AfterDawn: News

FCC drops damning AT&T / T-Mobile merger report

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2011 11:40

FCC drops damning AT&T / T-Mobile merger report FCC releases report to public, despite protests from AT&T and Deutsche Telekom AG.

There were some suggestions that AT&T and Deutsche Telekom may have withdrawn their application for approval of the proposed $39 billion AT&T buyout of T-Mobile to stop issues being raised as part of the administrative hearing that could also affect the court case with the Department of Justice (DoJ).

To the great displeasure of AT&T and Deutsche Telekom, the FCC has released a 143 page staff report which probes the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile; a move that would give birth to a new carrier and put 75 percent of the U.S. market under the top two carriers.

The report examines the economic benefits that AT&T and Deutsche Telekom had touted to regulators. The report found that the, "applicants failed to meet their burden of proof to show that the proposed transaction is in the public interest."

AT&T was not pleased about the release of the report, questioning its motives. "This report is not an order of the FCC and has never been voted on," said Jim Cicconi, senior executive VP of external and legislative affairs.

"It is simply a staff draft that raises questions of fact that were to be addressed in an administrative hearing, a hearing which will not now take place. It has no force or effect under law, which raises questions as to why the FCC would choose to release it."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Asus Transformer Prime being released on December 8th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Nov 2011 11:17

Asus Transformer Prime being released on December 8th There has been speculation for months on when Asus will finally release their much-anticipated Transformer Prime.

Today, it appears that date has been unveiled as December 8th for the U.S.

In Europe, the release date will be in January, dependent on what country you live.

Specs:

Nvidia Quad-Core Tegra 3 Processor
Additional 5th core to reduce power consumption when 2 or 4 cores are not needed
10.1″ IPS+ display with Corning Gorilla Glass and 178 degree viewing angle
1 GB RAM (LP DDR2)
8 megapixel auto-focus rear camera with 1080P video capture and large F2.4 aperature
1.2 megapixel front-facing camera for video conferencing
12 hours of battery life, up to 18 hours when paired with the keyboard dock
2 color schemes: Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold
2 storage options: 32GB and 64GB ($499 and $599 price points) with expandable storage via microSD
8.3 millimeters thick, weighs in at 1.29 lbs.

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AfterDawn: News

Kinect-controlled Verizon FiOS TV on Xbox 360

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2011 11:08

Kinect-controlled Verizon FiOS TV on Xbox 360 Xbox Live, Verizon subscribers will get new app.

A collaboration between Verizon and Microsoft will make a selection of live, FiOS TV channels to the Xbox 360 games console. It is only available for Xbox LIVE Gold members who also subscription to both FIOS TV and a Verizon Internet access service.

Users who have Kinect will be able to control the service using voice and gesture commands. For new customers who sign up for Verizon's triple play services (FiOS TV, 35/35Mbps Internet service and Voice), starting at $89.99 per month, a a 12-month Xbox LIVE Gold Membership and the "Xbox Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary" game will be included free.

"Joining forces with Microsoft and Xbox, we are breaking the boundaries between TV and gaming, and furthering the borderless lifestyle Verizon customers enjoy with our new offers and services," said Eric Bruno, vice president of consumer and mass business product management for Verizon.

"We are putting the controls in our customers' hands, and giving them the ability to watch TV on another dynamic device that they can control with voice and gesture commands. Whether it's your Xbox, your mobile device, your PC or your traditional television, Verizon will continue to deliver the programming consumers want, where, where and how they want it."

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AfterDawn: News

Battlefield 3 sells 8 million copies

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2011 10:56

Battlefield 3 sells 8 million copies Military shooter continues strong performance through November.

After setting the biggest first day shipment for Electronic Arts, the DICE title Battlefield 3 has gone on to continue selling strong throughout November. On October 27, ten million units of the game were shipped, resulting in five million sales the first week.

Electronic Arts Chief Financial Officer, Eric Brown, revealed during an investor presentation that the title has now hit twelve million units shipped and eight million copies sold.

Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 beat Battlefield 3's early sales, with 6.5 million units in the UK and the United States within its first 24 hours of availability. Still, EA will be very pleased with the extra three million sales for Battlefield 3 during November.

The game is now the subject of a class-action lawsuit after EA failed to deliver on a promise that the PS3 version of the game would come packed with Battlefield 1943. The publisher has said it will make good on the original promise.




AfterDawn: News

Apple, Google to snub ESRB app ratings

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2011 7:40

Apple, Google to snub ESRB app ratings Pair already have ratings systems in place.

Yesterday, CTIA and the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) detailed a new plan to provide ratings to mobile apps, the same way ESRB provides ratings for the video games industry. The mobile app ratings system will be identical to the video games rating system.

Developers of mobile games will fill out a survey for each game and answer questions about the content at hand. A rating will be issued to the developer, who can appeal the rating if they feel it is unfair or incorrect. The same rating will apply across other platforms for the same app.

ESRB has seven ratings categories:

While the ESRB system will be adopted by Microsoft, Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel, U.S. Cellular Corp and T-Mobile, it certainly won't help that neither Apple or Google will be participating.

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AfterDawn: News

FCC grants AT&T / T-Mobile approval withdrawal

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2011 7:25

FCC grants AT&T / T-Mobile approval withdrawal Companies are free to come back with new application when it suits.

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom AG requested to withdraw their application for approval of the proposed $39 billion AT&T buyout of T-Mobile USA. The FCC had come out against the proposed merger, which would have created the largest wireless carrier in the United States.

The FCC was joined in opposition with the Department of Justice (DoJ), which has went to court to stop the merger from proceeding. Both believe that if the merger goes ahead, it will lead to job losses and a significant reduction of competition in the U.S. market for wireless services.

The telecommunications firms opted to withdraw the application for approval from the FCC for now, so that it can focus on the DoJ case, aiming to come to an arrangement with the DoJ that could allow the merger to go ahead.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook reaches settlement with FTC

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2011 7:12

Facebook reaches settlement with FTC Zuckerberg admits Facebook "made a bunch of mistakes."

Facebook has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it deceived its users by informing them that they could keep information on their profile pages private, only then to repeatedly allow it to be made public.

Facebook will have to take several steps to ensure that it does not infringe its users' rights again in the future. It will have to provide its users with clear and prominent notice and must obtain users' express consent before their information is shared beyond the privacy settings they have established previously.

"Facebook is obligated to keep the promises about privacy that it makes to its hundreds of millions of users," said Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the FTC. "Facebook's innovation does not have to come at the expense of consumer privacy. The FTC action will ensure it will not."

What did Facebook do wrong?

The FTC complaint made a number of charges against Facebook. In December 2009, Facebook changed its website so that certain information designated as private by its users (Friends List for example) was made publicly available. The social network provided no warning before making the change, nor did it seek approval of its users.

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AfterDawn: News

Australia lifts ban on Samsung tablet sales

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2011 6:47

Australia lifts ban on Samsung tablet sales Samsung given rare victory in Apple patent war.

Apple had previously won an injunction against Samsung in October which banned the sales of the Galaxy 10.1 tablet in Australia. The ban prompted Samsung to make some quick changes to the tablet. The iPad-maker accused Samsung of slavishly cloning its iPhone and iPads in its Galaxy-branded smartphones and tablet PCs.

"Samsung Electronics Australia is pleased with today's unanimous decision by the Federal Court to lift the preliminary injunction on sales of the Samsung GALAXY Tab 10.1," the company said in a statement. "We believe the ruling clearly affirms that Apple's legal claims lack merit."

Samsung will have to wait until December 2 (Friday) to start selling the tablet in Australia, after Justice Lindsay Foster granted a stay on the order, giving Apple some time to appeal the decision in the High Court.

This is just one case involving Apple and Samsung, while others are under way in the United States, Europe and South Korea.




AfterDawn: News

HP: Hackers cannot set printers on fire

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2011 5:28

HP: Hackers cannot set printers on fire HP denies sensationalist and inaccurate reports.

HP is currently working on a potential security vulnerability that affects some of its LaserJet printers. The consumer electronics firm noticed some sensationalist reports had surfaced in the media, suggesting that this vulnerability could let hackers alter the firmware of a printer in such a way that it could cause a fire.

"Speculation regarding potential for devices to catch fire due to a firmware change is false," HP said. "HP LaserJet printers have a hardware element called a 'thermal breaker' that is designed to prevent the fuser from overheating or causing a fire. It cannot be overcome by a firmware change or this proposed vulnerability."

The vulnerability being investigated by HP could let users on a private network modify the device firmware. In some Linux or Mac environments, it may be possible for a specially formatted corrupt print job to trigger a firmware upgrade.

HP is working on a fix for the issue, and in the meantime, suggests that customers and partners follow basic practices for securing devices by placing printers behind a firewall and, where possible, disabling remote firmware upload on exposed printers.




AfterDawn: News

Seagate offers second-gen solid-state hybrid drive

Written by James Delahunty @ 30 Nov 2011 5:18

Seagate offers second-gen solid-state hybrid drive Hybrid solid-state drive aimed to laptop PCs.

Seagate announces that it is now shipping the second-generation Momentus XT solid state hybrid drive. It will enable users of laptop PCs using traditional HDDs to speed up their device by getting some benefits of solid-state storage, while keeping capacity high.

The new Momentus XT drive is being loaded into new laptops by original equipment manufacturers (OEM) now. The 750GB drive is powered by Seagate's Adaptive Memory and FAST Factor technologies. Adaptive Memory technology works by identifying data usage patterns, and then moving the most frequently retrieved information to solid state memory for faster access.

FAST Factor technology blends the strengths of SSDs and hard disk drives for faster access to applications, quicker bootup and higher overall system speed.

"Laptop users want faster access to all of their content, from gaming, music and video to spreadsheets and documents, creating strong demand for the highest performance," said Scott Horn, vice president of Worldwide Marketing at Seagate.

"Seagate is excited to answer this need with a second-generation Momentus® XT drive that delivers solid state drive (SSD) speed, greater storage capacity and easy installation at an affordable price."

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AfterDawn: News

Review - Ashampoo Burning Studio 11 - Is simple better?

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 30 Nov 2011 4:04

Review - Ashampoo Burning Studio 11 - Is simple better? Over the last several years, a wide variety of software has entered the market designed for creating discs in a multitude of multimedia formats. The problem is most of those tools don't offer any improvement over the open source software you can get for free.

For someone like me who is willing to invest a lot of time finding the best tools and putting together a collection of specialized software for various video, audio, and burning tools, the best results can usually be had using free and open source tools. But most people aren't like me. For the average person it's simply not worth the trouble to invest the time necessary.

If you are one of those people, Ashampoo Burning Studio may be worth a look. To be honest, when I was asked to review Ashampoo Burning Studio 11, I wasn't expecting to be impressed in the least. For just $49.99, it promises to perform many of the same operations as software costing twice as much or more.

What I didn't know then was that the reason for that price. That reason is some of the same open source tools I use all the time. Where bigger software companies either develop their own encoders and decoders, or more commonly buy off the shelf third party components, Ashampoo uses software like FFmpeg and LAME. Those are free products, aside from any patent licensing.

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AfterDawn: News

iPad getting Microsoft Office next year?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Nov 2011 1:07

iPad getting Microsoft Office next year? According to sources, Microsoft is planning to bring a functional version of its Office suite to the iPad next year.

The iPad controls 70 percent of the tablet market and a reasonably priced business app will likely be a hit with the intended crowd. Current rivals include the popular QuickOffice and Polaris.

Furthermore, a version for OS X Lion will hit in early 2012, as the current version, Office 2011, is only technically supported up to Snow Leopard 10.6.8.

Office 2012 for Windows is in beta and will be available next year, as well.

The app is expected to work with Office 365 and should cost $10, say the sources.

Office remains a huge seller for Microsoft, bringing in $11 billion revenue in 2011, so far.




AfterDawn: News

EU to harmonize data protection laws

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2011 10:17

EU to harmonize data protection laws All member states to harmonize laws related to data protection.

The European Commission (EC) is seeking bloc-wide reform of data protection to update laws that were put in place by governments long before services like Facebook or Twitter were around.

European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, Viviane Reding, said that services such as social networks need to be far more open about how they operate. She proposes that businesses (including ISPs) be endowed with new responsibilities to inform their users about data collection, what is being collected, what for, how, and so forth.

"All social network service providers active in the EU must fully comply with EU data protection laws," Reding said. "Companies have a specific responsibility when personal data is their main economic asset."

Reding is referring to the practice of using consumers' personal data in order to attract advertisers. A Eurobarometer survey conducted in the summer found that three quarters of Europeans questioned are concerned about how companies use private information they have stored about them.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Kinect 2 can lip-read, sense emotions

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2011 10:01

Kinect 2 can lip-read, sense emotions Next generation Kinect will be bundled with next Xbox consoles.

Eurogamer has been talking to sources about Microsoft's next generation Kinect device, expected to be released alongside the next generation Xbox console(s). The device, which will provide motion sensing and speech recognition to the console, is so accurate is can apparently lip-read.

It can also detect if a player becomes angry or otherwise emotional by detecting the pitch of the voice input, volume changes, facial charactistics and more. It is also reportedly much better at detecting a player's orientation relative to the console.

Eurogamer sources explained that one major problem with the current Kinect models is the USB cable. The USB controller interface supports around 35MB/s but Kinect is limited to 16MB/s to allow for other USB devices attached to the console.

For this reason, when Kinect launched it was limited to 30fps and 320x240. Kinect 2 beefs up the resolution and motion data it sends back to the Xbox significantly (though no details are given).

"It can be cabled straight through on any number of technologies that just take phenomenally high res data straight to the main processor and straight to the main RAM and ask, what do you want to do with it?" a source is quoted as saying.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook apology in Merck dispute

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2011 9:49

Facebook apology in Merck dispute Facebook apologizes for its part in mix-up.

The social networking site admitted to making a mistake when it allowed American drugmaker Merck & Co take control of a page on Facebook of its German rival, Merck KGaA. The German drugmaker went to court in New York over the issue.

After World War I, Merck & Co was setup as an independent company in the United States, sharing the Merck trademark with Merck KGaA in different geographical areas. The change was part of Germany's reparations under the Treaty of Versailles.

Merck KGaA asked the court to force Facebook to explain why it lost administrative control over www.facebook.com/merck, and why the American Merck & Co was now using it. The German Merck said that Facebook had not been helpful, and even evasive, when approached for an explanation.

"The transfer of the vanity URL Facebook.com/Merck from Merck KGaA to Merck & Co was due to an administrative error," Facebook said in a statement. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused."

Facebook said it will make the URL unavailable until both drug companies could come to arrangement over its use.




AfterDawn: News

Rovio snubbed $2.25 billion offer from Zynga

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2011 9:41

Rovio snubbed $2.25 billion offer from Zynga Developer had concerns over working conditions.

According to reports, Angry Birds developer Rovio turned down a $2.25 billion buyout offer from casual games giant Zynga. The Farmville-developer proposed a $2.25 billion cash and stock acquisition, but Rovio walked away from discussions, citing concerns over the culture at Zynga.

The New York Times reported that Zynga's successful rise has been on the back of harsh working conditions with employees complaining about overbearing managers, long working hours and stressful deadlines. This situation also reportedly prompted PopCap to turn down a $950 million bid from Zynga.

PopCap was later swooped up by EA for $750 million in cash and stock, and potentially $550 million in bonuses.

Recruitment agencies are also swirling around Zynga as it approaches its initial public offering to be traded on Wall Street, looking to snap up top talent following the sale.

"I expect a lot of game and tech companies will begin recruiting Zynga's talent after their equity becomes liquid," EA human resources head Gabrielle Toledano said. "Competitors will make the case that they offer much more compelling opportunities for creative people."




AfterDawn: News

RIM offers software for iPhone, Android smartphones

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2011 9:25

RIM offers software for iPhone, Android smartphones RIM aims to cash in on switch to other smartphones.

Security features offered by BlackBerry handsets have been a selling point for corporations and governments over the years. Employees have been armed with the devices, which offer encryption and other useful features, such as the ability to remotely wipe data from stolen handsets.

In recent times, there has been a shift away from BlackBerry phones to iPhones and smartphones running the Android operating system. Some hesitation remains for corporations due to security concerns with the new models, but RIM is offering a solution to that problem.

The company said today that it will offer a new Mobile Fusion device management software solution next year. The new software allows corporate IT staff to set and monitor rules for passwords, applications and software across many devices.

The software will allow the IT staff to remotely lock or wipe a stolen device and many other features that have made BlackBerry's attractive. "What our enterprise customers are looking for, and the opportunity for us, is to become the de facto platform," Alan Panezic, RIM's vice-president for enterprise product management, told Reuters.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

ESRB to rate mobile apps

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2011 7:32

ESRB to rate mobile apps CTIA-The Wireless Association is to announce mobile app rating system with ESRB.

The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) is tasked with providing content ratings to video games to help make consumers, and especially parents, more informed about what kind of content they are buying. ESRB works mostly with ratings for games released on console platforms.

Now the CTIA is to detail a partnership with the ESRB to introduce a content rating system for mobile apps. Many games are downloaded as apps by smartphone and tablet users, but information provided by CTIA so far suggests the new ratings will go beyond just games.

The wireless group said that "applications will be rated based on age-appropriateness of their content and context," saying that more details will be provided tomorrow.

Apple's App Store and Google's Android Marketplace already provide their own proprietary content rating systems, as well as user-based quality ratings systems.




AfterDawn: News

Republican President for AT&T / T-Mobile deal?

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2011 6:21

Republican President for AT&T / T-Mobile deal? It wouldn't be the first time a shift from Blue to Red pushed through a deal involving AT&T.

As it stands, both the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are opposed to AT&T's planned $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA from Deustche Telekom. They are joined in opposition by public interest groups and competitors, large and small, in the wireless industry.

Essentially, both the DoJ and FCC believe that if the deal were to go through, then it would harm competition in the U.S. market, lead to job losses and potentially higher prices for consumers.

However, what would happen if the U.S. administration is removed from power by a victorious Republican candidate in 2012? Considering that the new U.S. President would make new appointments, it is not inconceivable to think that both the DoJ and the FCC would change their stance on the acquisition.

"If the Republicans win, there is a new FCC and a Republican administration will be a lot more positive toward this merger than a democratic one," said telecom analyst Roger Entner, founder of Recon Analytics.

Republican candidates are not shy about pushing for a reduction in regulations of all kinds; Rick Perry even suggested that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) be closed down. Herman Cain prides himself as a businessman and even Ron Paul's libertarian philosophy would be extremely helpful to AT&T.

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AfterDawn: News

Valve: Piracy is a 'non-issue'

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2011 5:58

Valve: Piracy is a 'non-issue' Managing director says piracy is a "service problem."

Gabe Newell, Valve managing director, has claimed that software piracy is a "non issue" for the company's Steam gaming service. Instead, he said that the fundamental misconception about piracy is that it is motivated by price, when Value believes that its more down to problems with service.

"For example, if a pirate offers a product anywhere in the world, 24/7, purchasable from the convenience of your personal computer, and the legal provider says the product is region-locked, will come to your country 3 months after the US release, and can only be purchased at a brick and mortar store, then the pirate's service is more valuable," he said, in an interview with Cambridge Student.

Going by that, Steam itself could not be considered a perfect solution either. Still, Newell does seem to have another way of looking at piracy than most of the industry, and does appear in the interview to understand that Digital Rights Management (DRM) can have detrimental effects on legitimate consumers, especially when you consider that it barely even affects pirates.

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AfterDawn: News

Fujitsu supercomputer capable of 23.2 PFLOPS

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2011 5:44

Fujitsu supercomputer capable of 23.2 PFLOPS PRIMEHPC FX10 capable of enormous computational performance.

Fujitsu announced the global availability of its new PRIMEHPC FX10 supercomputer, which is scalable to a top theoretical processing performance of 23.2 PFLOP/s (petaflop == 1 quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) floating point operations per second.)

The PRIMEHPC FX10 improves upon the technology used in Fujitsu's K Computer, which was crowned the world's fastest supercomputer back in June (up to 10 PFLOP/s).

"By leveraging the new system, it will be possible to address societal challenges?including new drug development, disaster prevention, disaster mitigation, and other measures, to bring about a safe and secure society?and to pursue cutting-edge research, such as enabling the development and manufacturing of new materials without the need to make prototypes. This has the potential to help companies enhance their competitive edge." Fujitsu said.

In its largest potential configuration consisting of 98,304 nodes, 1,024 racks, the supercomputer delivers a high-speed, ultrascale computing environment with a theoretical computing performance of 23.2 petaflops and 6 petabytes of memory.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: The Evolution of Search

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Nov 2011 5:28

VIDEO: The Evolution of Search Google shows what was behind the evolution of its search engine.

Search engines filled an obvious need in the 90s, as the amount of information accumulating in cyberspace was growing so rapidly, we needed some way to filter through it and find what we want. Many attempts were made at indexing the web, but Google co founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin seemed to have a winning solution.

Over the years Google has repeatedly expanded and changed its search services. It has posted a short video giving a brief overview of the evolution of Google search from the domain registration right up to today, and the thinking behind the changes.

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AfterDawn: News

iPhone combusts, burns on Australian flight

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Nov 2011 7:22

iPhone combusts, burns on Australian flight Australian airline reports case of burning iPhone on flight.

Regional Express, Australia's largest independent regional airline, issued a press release on an incident shortly after a flight landed late last week. Flight ZL319 had just landed when a passenger's mobile phone started emitting a significant amount of dense smoke, and started glowing red.

A Flight Attendant extinguished the burning phone immediately and no passengers or crew were harmed. Regional Express reported the incident to the Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA).

The mobile phone in question is identified as an Apple iPhone, which shows a significant amount of damage to the rear of the phone. Reports online indicate that the iPhone shows evidence that the burning came from the battery, which would explain the red glow and the release of smoke.




AfterDawn: News

Google, Motorola Mobility deal seeks EU approval

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Nov 2011 7:13

Google, Motorola Mobility deal seeks EU approval Google seeking regulatory OK for Motorola Mobility deal.

According to the European Commission website, search engine giant Google has officially sought EU approval for its planned acquisition of Motorola Mobility. The $12.5 billion was announced back in August, and is seen as a way for Google to boost its mobile patent portfolio in an increasingly volatile market.

Google is seeking the approval of European regulators at the same time the European Commission is investigation claims from small firms that Google is abusing its position to thwart rivals.

In the United States, the Department of Justice (DoJ) is also assessing the proposed takeover.

The European Commission will make a decision on whether or not to approve the proposed deal in its current form, by January 10 of next year.




AfterDawn: News

Google 'secure search' hits scareware peddlers

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Nov 2011 7:03

Google 'secure search' hits scareware peddlers Changes to Google policies deprives criminals of much-needed search information.

In order to protect people on possibly vulnerable networks, such as Wi-Fi hotspots, Google changed its policies to automatically turn on secure searching for logged in users. Using SSL, search queries could no longer be easily captured by other devices on the same network.

Another change made by Google that didn't get as much attention was the removal of search terms used to reach websites from the HTTP referrer header. This only applies if using secure search, while the information is still there when using the default unencrypted HTTP search.

This change means that legitimate websites could no longer see the search terms used to eventually find content on their websites. Typically, such information would be used by legitimate websites to create more targeted content, or to probe the ever-changing interests of its target audience.

It was also used, however, by cyber criminals to figure out which search terms to target with Black Hat SEO techniques. Typically, gangs of cybercriminals who are peddling malware will setup many routes to the same scam website. Those 'routes' exist as other webpages that you can find on search engines that link or redirect to a malicious website.

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AfterDawn: News

Online sales up 26 percent on Black Friday

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Nov 2011 6:44

Online sales up 26 percent on Black Friday Amazon.com Inc. leads the pack again.

This year's Black Friday has been a great success for e-tailers such as Amazon.com Inc., with online sales in the United States jumping 26 percent, according to research from comScore. The jump compares to the year-over-year growth for Black Friday 2010 of 9 percent.

Online sales last Friday reached $816 million, easily the heaviest spending day on the Internet so far in 2011. There had been some fears that online sales would suffer as brick-and-mortar retailers offered big discounts to shoppers this year, and even in some cases, opened late on Thanksgiving to get an early start.

"With brick-and-mortar retail also reporting strong gains on Black Friday, it's clear that the heavy promotional activity had a positive impact on both channels," comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni said.

The amount of Americans who visited an online retail site on Black Friday this year topped 50 million, around 35 percent more than last year.

"Amazon.com once again led the pack, with 50 percent more visitors than any other retailer, while also showing the highest growth rate versus last year," Fulgoni said.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung will top 2011 smartphone sales target

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Nov 2011 6:36

Samsung will top 2011 smartphone sales target Samsung boosted by Galaxy-branded gadgets.

Driven by positive sales of its Galaxy smartphones, South Korean electronics firm, Samsung, has revealed that it expects to beat its own smartphone sales target for this year.

"We are pinning high hopes...on achieving sales higher than our previous plan," a mobile executive said at a press conference today. He did not give any details on how much the firm expects to beat its own estimations, however.

He was speaking to journalists at a local launch event for the Galaxy Note, Galaxy Nexus and for the Galaxy Tab 8.9 long-term evolution (LTE) device.

Samsung has seen strong demand for its Galaxy gear in recent years, despite being caught in a global patent war with Apple Inc.




AfterDawn: News

Judge bins Netflix, Walmart conspiracy lawsuit

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Nov 2011 5:57

Judge bins Netflix, Walmart conspiracy lawsuit U.S. judge rubbishes market domination claim made against Netflix, Walmart.

US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton was overseeing a case against the two firms, in which they were alleged to have conspired to dominate the DVD-by-post market. Specifically, the lawsuit alleged that Walmart dropped out of the mail DVD rental market so Netflix could consume its previous customers, and in return, Netflix stopped selling DVDs.

Judge Hamilton disagreed, pointing out that Walmart's mail rental service had just a small 1.5 percent of the market, and that its exit simply would have aided Netflix in any significant way. Furthermore, Netflix's DVD selling business was nowhere near that of the retail giant, and so it's decision to abandon it would not have affected Walmart in any significant way.

The lawsuit was filed against both companies January 2009, and after more plaintiffs joined the case it was eventually granted class action status.

?The court concludes that no reasonable juror could believe that Netflix would have lowered its [rental plan] to $15.99 in response to continued competition from Walmart, whose [comparable plan] was set at $17.49 ? particularly when those facts demonstrate that Netflix chose not to lower its price in the face of Blockbuster's $14.99 price cut, despite the fact that Blockbuster had a higher market share than Walmart,? Hamilton wrote in his decision.

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AfterDawn: News

Cisco, Telia test 120Gbps connection in Sweden

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Nov 2011 5:48

Cisco, Telia test 120Gbps connection in Sweden High-speed connection tests at DreamHack LAN event in Sweden.

Attendees of the event, estimated at 20,000 in total, were invited to test the world record-setting 120Gbps connection, which ran 186 miles between Stockholm and Jönköping. A previous record speed of 20Gbps had been set at the DreamHack Lan event too.

The test used Cisco hardware along with Telia's fiber network in the country. The project has been in the works since last summer, building a network that can connect up to 750,000 people and allow them all to stream multimedia at the same time and experience no ill effects to their Internet connection as a result.

The firms claimed that users would be able to download an entire movie in 47 thousandths of a second, putting aside the obvious problems of writing the data to a storage device, for example.




AfterDawn: News

South Korean data leak affects 13 million gamers

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Nov 2011 3:09

South Korean data leak affects 13 million gamers Nexon Korea Corp's online games targeted by hackers.

The Korea Communications Commission (KCC) said that Nexon reported the incident to it late Friday afternoon. Specifically, Nexon reported to the regulator that it discovered a data leak involving personal information of subscribers of its Maple Story online game.

The leak affects up to 13.2 million people, all of whom are located in South Korea. The report comes just weeks before the company planned an IPO of its Japanese affiliate on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, aiming to raise ¥95 billion ($1.2 billion).

The leaked data includes user IDs, names, resident registration numbers and passwords, according to KCC. Nexon insists that the leak did not include information on financial transactions, bank account numbers or credit card numbers.

The gaming firm is advising its subscribers to change their passwords to avoid any more damage, even though the passwords leaked were encrypted.




AfterDawn: News

Woman pepper sprays shoppers over Xbox 360

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Nov 2011 2:58

Woman pepper sprays shoppers over Xbox 360 Authorities describe scene as "customer vs customer shopping rage."

How determined would you be to get your hands on a discounted Xbox 360? A woman waiting for Black Friday deals at a Porter Ranch Walmart in Los Angeles waited in line with her two children, and some pepper spray. According to reports, she started to attack other customers with the pepper spray as soon as she saw store employees removing plastic packaging off discounted items for Black Friday.

She was apparently looking to get a discounted Xbox 360 console and some games. Witnesses say as soon as the doors opened, she used the pepper spray to subdue other customers there determined to get discounts.

Firefighters and the LAPD responded to the attack quickly, treating 20 customers suffering from coughing, extreme swelling and redness of the face. One other customer required treatment at a nearby hospital.

Police are trying to track down the woman and will release photos to the press. They were reportedly looking into her method of payment in an attempt to get details that might lead them to her residence. Unfortunately, there were other reports of Black Friday violence across the U.S., as there is every year.




AfterDawn: News

IPCom pushes for HTC sales halt in Germany

Written by James Delahunty @ 28 Nov 2011 2:40

IPCom pushes for HTC sales halt in Germany Patent firm talks tough after HTC withdraws appeal.

It announced on Friday that it would enforce an injunction from a February 2009 court decision in Mannheim, aiming to get HTC smartphones removed from German retail stores before the crucial holiday season. The news is a blow to HTC, which already is struggling to maintain its position in the volatile smartphone market.

"IPCom now intends to execute this injunction in the shortest possible time," the company said in a statement, after HTC withdrew an appeal against the February 2009 decision, due to be decided on next week. "We will use the right awarded by the courts, likely resulting in HTC devices disappearing from shops during the crucial Christmas season."

HTC said it pulled the appeal because it found the ruling to be redundant, given that a German patent court is questioning the validity of the patent at the center of the injunction. Legal experts say that HTC can still battle to delay the injunction, while it is also expected to address two other patent issues.

HTC reported last month that revenue would fall up to 8 percent from the October - December period, leading to a drop in stock value.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Official Droid 4 pics

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2011 6:37

Official Droid 4 pics Droid-Life now has official pics of the upcoming Motorola Droid 4.

Leaked spec sheets imply the phone will be released on December 8th.

Motorola's latest device will have a 4-inch qHD screen, a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, a form-factor similar to the Droid Razr, a 5-row keyboard that is "edge-lit" and dual cameras 8MP/1.3MP.

The phone will also have a large 1785mAh battery.

Additionally, the device will be a world phone, including support for all radio bands and be 4G supported.

Pics (including a comparison that taunts Droid 3 owners, who bought the phone just months ago):






AfterDawn: News

Analyst: Nokia will sell 2 million Lumia this quarter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2011 6:01

Analyst: Nokia will sell 2 million Lumia this quarter Deutsche Bank analysts have forecasted this week that Nokia will indeed be able to reach its 2 million unit estimate for Lumia sales in the Q4.

The devices, the Lumia 710 and 800, are the company's first to run on Windows Phone 7.5.

Other analysts had expressed doubt that Nokia would reach its goal, including Jefferies and Pacific Crest.

Each said the Lumia models "showed mixed development, leading to doubts that fourth-quarter volumes would reach the expectations."

Nokia says first week sales were the highest for a Nokia smartphone in the UK in 5 years.




AfterDawn: News

Analyst: A Facebook phone is 'stupid'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2011 5:40

Analyst: A Facebook phone is 'stupid' Analyst Rob Enderle has torn the rumored Facebook 'Buffy' phone apart this weekend in a post, going as far as to call it "stupid."

Additionally, the analyst compared the phone to the now-defunct Zune media player line created by Microsoft.

Facebook is said to be teaming with HTC to create a Facebook phone, one that is based on Android, but a variant.

By doing so, the company risks angering Google, a major HTC partner, who may not like having its operating system altered. Additionally, Facebook could anger Microsoft, an investor in Facebook and the creator of the Windows Phone 7 operating system.

Says Enderle (via PCM):

You see, HTC is on the other side of the Zune problem. Just as Microsoft lost trust from its hardware partners, an OEM like HTC stepping out against their software partner should have the same kind of collateral damage.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry sale causes mini riot in Indonesia, 90 hurt

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2011 4:46

BlackBerry sale causes mini riot in Indonesia, 90 hurt The newly launched BlackBerry Bold 9790 caused a riot this weekend in Indonesia, leading to 90 people being injured.

Available for 50 percent off at a mall in Jakartam, it appears that the crowd became "disorderly" after the retailer said there would not be enough units for everyone waiting on line.

200 police officers and mall cops were called in before the crowd was subdued.

Three people were hospitalized with broken bones.

The BlackBerry normally sells for 4.6 million rupees in Indonesia (about $520) and BlackBerry remains the top brand in the nation. BGR says that four of the top five selling smartphones in the nation are BlackBerrys.

A video of the crowd before it got crazy:




AfterDawn: News

iPhone 4S called 'uncompetitive' in South Korea, sales slow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2011 4:28

iPhone 4S called 'uncompetitive' in South Korea, sales slow Sales of the new Apple iPhone 4S have been very slow in South Korea, as the phones has been deemed "uncompetitive" in the nation.

Customers have passed on the device due to its lack of 4G, bad battery life and lack of other high-end features.

Says one current iPhone 4 owner in the nation:

I dropped my plan to buy the iPhone 4S. It's not wholly-new and also there are big problems relating to hardware-related issues. I am a big Apple fan. But I'm very disappointed by the uncompetitive iPhone 4S.


Overall, sales have totaled just 150,000-300,000, depending on what report you trust, says BGR.

Another potential customer complained about the lack of "wow":

Except for the 'Siri' function, I didn?t find any wow factors about the iPhone 4S and that's why I decided to buy Samsung's LTE smartphone. Also Siri doesn't support Korean language and that means the iPhone 4S is technically the same as the iPhone 4. Why should I pay more to buy the same thing? It's nonsense to purchase the 4S just to show my personal tribute to the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.




AfterDawn: News

Sony delays PlayStation 3D TV in UK

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2011 3:43

Sony delays PlayStation 3D TV in UK Sony has said it will not be selling the PlayStation 3D TV in the UK this year, delaying the launch until next year.

Amazon, on its page for the TV writes:

We have been informed by our supplier that there will be a delay in obtaining stock for this item and it will no longer be released in Europe in 2011.

If you have ordered this item from us at Amazon.co.uk your order will take longer to fulfill than originally estimated. We are expecting an update in the new year.


Sony did not give a reason for the delay.

The specs of the TV include Edge LED backlighting and 240Hz refresh rate, two HDMI 1.4 inputs, a stereo headphone output and one component cable input. The 24-inch TV will sell for 400 pounds in the UK.




AfterDawn: News

Google offers look into Chrome Aura window manager

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2011 1:51

Google offers look into Chrome Aura window manager Google has given a first look into its upcoming Aura window manager for Chrome and Chrome OS.

Aura is a hardware accelerated UI that will give users a chance to manage their multiple windows much easier.

The company has revealed a quick teaser (posted below), showing off the UI's features which include translucent window frames and constrained window dragging.

Furthermore, Google is adding a data "timeline" for graphing data sent/received by the browser, a new pointer lock and a new flag.

Finally, the browser will get a chrome://sessions local URL showing the user what tabs are open, no matter how many windows are open.




AfterDawn: News

Leaked BlackBerry 9900 ROM adds Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi calling features

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2011 12:56

Leaked BlackBerry 9900 ROM adds Wi-Fi Hotspot, Wi-Fi calling features A newly leaked ROM for the BlackBerry Bold 9900 shows off a new unexpected feature, Wi-Fi Hotspot.

The latest build, which is for BlackBerry OS 7.0.1.74 will likely be sent to devices in the next month, but you can download it at the end of the article if you have the latest BlackBerry and want to tinker.

Additionally, the ROM brings Wi-Fi Calling (if you have a T-Mobile device) which allows phone calls to be made over the wireless instead of cell network.

Other carriers have refused to add the ability to call with UMA (Wi-Fi Calling) but T-Mobile allows you to do so wherever there is connection. The minutes go against your minute plan, however.

Finally, the ROM may add BlackBerry Tag, the NFC tap-to-share solution RIM just announced.

Download here.




AfterDawn: News

Apple to switch back to Nvidia GPUs?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Nov 2011 12:31

Apple to switch back to Nvidia GPUs? It has only been a few years since Apple dumped Nvidia for AMD for its video card needs but it appears that the company will be switching back in 2012.

Semi reports that three years after Apple infamously dropped Nvidia GPUs for AMD/ATI, the company has changed their mind thanks to a dispute over the AMD "Llano" line, which were supposed to be in MacBook Airs this year.

The Llano GPUs were expected to be in MBA models this year but there were supply issues which infuriated Apple.

Nvidia has now won the order for the next upgrade of Macs, most likely with Ivy Bridge models set for release in the Spring.




AfterDawn: News

Sony: 'Undesirable' for PS4 to launch much later than Xbox Next, Wii U

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2011 11:56

Sony: 'Undesirable' for PS4 to launch much later than Xbox Next, Wii U Sony Europe president Jim Ryan has said this weekend that it would be highly "undesirable" for the company to release the PlayStation 4 too far after rivals Microsoft and Nintendo launch their next-gen consoles.

To quote, Ryan says:

I think we would consider it undesirable to be significantly later than the competition [with the next PlayStation].


The Nintendo Wii U should be out late next year and rumors have been mounting that Microsoft will unveil the Xbox successor in 2012, as well, for a 2013 release.

Sony, on the other hand, says they are firmly sticking by the PS3, which still has at least four more years left in its life cycle.

For the PS3, Ryan adds: "There's still a lot of unfinished business on PS3. If you look at PlayStation 2, now in excess of 150m units installed globally, a huge majority of that was done at price points of £120 or lower. [With PS3] we've only just hit £199 in the UK, so clearly there's a considerable untapped part of the market there."




AfterDawn: News

Sharp launches Aquos Android phone with 12.1MP camera, 3D, more

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2011 10:51

Sharp launches Aquos Android phone with 12.1MP camera, 3D, more The extremely stacked Sharp Aquos SH-01D will go on sale on December 2nd, says carrier NTT DoCoMo.

Available in Japan only, for now, the powerful Android device has a 4.5-inch 720p display that is also glasses-free 3D.

Additionally, the smartphone runs on 1GHz dual-core TI OMAP4430, has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DLNA, NFC, and a massive 12.1MP camera.

At launch, the device will have Android 2.3.7, but will likely be upgradeable to Ice Cream Sandwich.

The phone has made its way through the FCC in the U.S. but most remain skeptical that it will ever make it to our shores.

More info (in Japanese): Sharp Aquos SH-01D




AfterDawn: News

Future firmware will allow PS Vita remote play for all PS3 titles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2011 10:27

Future firmware will allow PS Vita remote play for all PS3 titles Eurogamer has reported today that a future firmware update will allow PS Vita remote play for all PS3 titles.

While that is the good, the bad is that the games will only be at 480x272 resolution that is upscaled to fit the 960x544 resolution of the Vita. 480x272 was the native resolution of the original PSP.

In the future, all developers will be able to create 480p modes aimed specifically at the Vita.

Sony has showed off how the Vita will add any missing Dual Shock controls to the touchscreen, and how players can use the handheld in co-op mode for PS3 games.

Video of Remote Play Killzone 3:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AT&T phone hacking linked to terrorism

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2011 10:19

AT&T phone hacking linked to terrorism According to police reports in the Philippines, four citizens are accused of hacking into the accounts of AT&T business customers in the U.S. and diverting money to help aid terrorist attacks in Asia.

The group is accused of working with Jemaah Islamiyah, a terrorist group that has been linked to Al Qaeda and which took responsibility for the 2002 Bali bombings which killed over 200 people.

Three men and a woman have been arrested in Manila.

FBI officials said they are working with Filipino police to investigate into the hacking, which began in 2009.

The NYT says "the suspects remotely gained access to the telephone operating systems of an unspecified number of AT&T clients and used them to call telephone numbers that passed on revenues to the suspects."

All of the customers have hacked have been reimbursed for the charges, which amounted to over $2 million.




AfterDawn: News

Google tweaks censorship filter for piracy terms

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2011 10:07

Google tweaks censorship filter for piracy terms Last year, Google quietly began censoring terms it deemed were being used by pirates from its "Instant" and "Autocomplete" search.

This week, the company has blacklisted even more terms, including the names of certain popular sites.

A few of the new blocked search terms are "thepiratebay," "the pirate bay," "isohunt," "torrentreactor," "btjunkie," "kickasstorrents," "sumotorrent," "btmon," "extratorrent," "Torrent," "BitTorrent," and "RapidShare" have now all made the list along side cyber lockers like "4shared, "wupload" and "filesonic."

Google does make it clear, however, that it is not blocking the sites and terms from its search engine completely, just from the Instant and Autocomplete, making it a bit more annoying for the average lazy pirate.




AfterDawn: News

HDCP protection cracked by Germans and $250 worth of gear

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2011 1:53

HDCP protection cracked by Germans and $250 worth of gear High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP) has been cracked by a group of computer scientists at Germany's Ruhr University.

The protection, created by Intel and used by most monitors to allow encrypted transfer of HD signals via DisplayPort, HDMI and DVI, was first "cracked" last year when the master key was leaked online but there has been little practical use for the key.

Explains Reg: "Computer scientists in the Secure Hardware Group at Germany's Ruhr University built a custom board using relatively inexpensive FPGA chips. A Xilinx Spartan-6 FPGA featuring an HDMI port and a serial RS232 communication port was created and sat between a Blu-ray player and a flat screen TV, intercepting and decrypting traffic, without being detected."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to release two next-generation Xbox consoles?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2011 1:36

Microsoft to release two next-generation Xbox consoles? The latest rumor has Microsoft releasing two separate gaming consoles to replace the Xbox 360.

If accurate, the devices will launch in 2013, allowing the manufacturer Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) time to perfect their 28nm manufacturing process, says TS.

One console will be an "entry-level system" while the second will be aimed the true hardcore gamer.

The entry-level console will be small like a set-top box and be aimed at the casual gamer. The device will access to many streaming services like Hulu Plus and Netflix and will allow for downloadable games from Xbox Live.

Moving up to the gamer's upgrade, the console will have an HDD, an optical drive, backwards-compatibility with 360 games and updated hardware, obviously. Rumored specs are a six-core CPU, AMD graphics and 2GB of DDR3 memory.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AT&T offers to sell 40 percent of T-Mobile if merger is approved

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2011 1:21

AT&T offers to sell 40 percent of T-Mobile if merger is approved Despite withdrawing its merger proposal for T-Mobile from the FCC, AT&T has a "Plan B" in the works, one in which it would sell up to 40 percent of the carrier if its acquisition is approved.

The asset sale would be necessary to have the acquisition approved. The Justice Department sued to block the merger in August saying it would "substantially lessen competition" in the market, which only has 4 major carriers, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Although the plan could work, in theory, there are few bidders out there for wireless assets that can afford such a huge purchase. Verizon would undoubtedly be blocked, and Sprint is having money issues.

AT&T is said to be okay with divesting a significant amount of subscribers whilst holding on to much-needed spectrum.

If the acquisition falls through, AT&T will owe T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom a $4 billion breakup fee that includes assets and cash.




AfterDawn: News

Motorola Droid 4 rumors round-up

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2011 1:04

Motorola Droid 4 rumors round-up The Motorola Droid 4 has been outed, less than 6 months after the release of the Droid 3.

Leaked spec sheets and pics are now available of the device, which is expected to be released on December 8th.

Motorola's latest device will have a 4-inch qHD screen, a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, a form-factor similar to the Droid Razr, a 5-row keyboard that is "edge-lit" and dual cameras 8MP/1.3MP.

The phone will also have a large 1785mAh battery.

Additionally, the device will be a world phone, including support for all radio bands and be 4G supported.

Pictures:






AfterDawn: News

Funny: Android 4.0 ported to the G1

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2011 12:46

Funny: Android 4.0 ported to the G1 A few talented devs have ported the brand new Android 4.0 to the first ever Android phone, the T-Mobile G1.

The G1 was released way back in 2008 with Android 1.0, running on a single-core processor and hardly any RAM.

When viewing the video, it is clear the phone struggles with the new OS, but that is absolutely expected,

The devs say they are working on hardware acceleration, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and screen rotation but those issues should be sorted rather quickly.

If you still have your old G1 laying around, it may be fun to throw on the new ICS, likely before you get it on your 2011 device.

Check it here.




AfterDawn: News

More info on the HTC Ville leaks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Nov 2011 12:21

More info on the HTC Ville leaks The Ville, HTC's upcoming Android 4.0 device has seen some more specs and pics leak today.

Rumor has the device being HTC's thinnest, to date, at just 7.9mm thick.

Expected to be launched in February, the device will run Ice Cream Sandwich, have a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED display with qHD resolution and a new 28nm dual-core Snapdragon processor running at 1.5GHz.

As is standard the device will have dual cameras 1.3MP/8MP, 1080p capture and support, Beats Audio, HSPA+ and a 1650mAh battery.

If the launch date is accurate, the Ville will likely be in consumer's hands by late March.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung finished with netbooks?

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Nov 2011 9:14

Samsung finished with netbooks? South Korean firm reportedly planning to phase out netbooks.

A French blog (Blogeee) is reporting that Samsung will phase out its netbook line-up in 2012, citing an e-mail that Samsung allegedly sent to its retail partners.

"Following the introduction of our new strategy in 2012, we [will] stop the product range in 10.1in (netbook) in Q1 2012 for the benefit of ultraportable products (11.6 and 12 inches) and Ultrabooks to be launched in 2012," the e-mail reportedly stated.

Netbook sales are on the decline, hurt by tablet PCs and by small-sized notebooks and emerging products such as Ultrabooks. The low cost of netbooks and their ability to handle the majority of basic tasks carried out by users made them quite successful for several years.

Now firms such as Samsung are looking to new products, such as tablet PCs. Ultrabooks are also emerging with effort being put in by many tech firms to bring down their cost while keeping them more powerful than traditional notebooks. Intel and its partners see Ultrabooks as a way to boost the PC, and as a way to steal market share back from tablets.




AfterDawn: News

UK Gov to reveal cyber-security strategy

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Nov 2011 9:05

UK Gov to reveal cyber-security strategy Strategy to protect UK digital economy against cyber attacks.

The National Security Strategy in the UK last year put hostile computer attacks on par with the threat of international terrorism to the region. This prompted ministers to provide £650 million for cyber-security measures, in particular for defence systems and key infrastructure.

As it stands, about 6 percent of the UK's GDP is generated by the Internet, and that figure is only likely to continue rising over the coming years. This embracing of the digital world carries an enormous security threat at all levels; to the public service, to private sector firms and to individual consumers.

The UK Government recognised the need for a national strategy to cover all bases. It will reveal a plan that will include using the intelligence agency GCHQ to prop up security in the private sector. The police force will get more cyber training and skilled army reservists will also be utilized.

A joint initiative between the public and private sector will bolster critical information sharing on emerging threats, and ensure a coordinated response. Individuals will be given more help and information to protect themselves, as the GCHQ reports that 80 percent of successful attacks could be avoided easily by doing simple things, such as keeping software up to date, A/V definitions up to date and being more aware of the methods commonly used to attack individuals.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AT&T, T-Mobile withdraw FCC merger application

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Nov 2011 8:51

AT&T, T-Mobile withdraw FCC merger application Firms will focus on Justice Department anti-trust lawsuit for now.

Earlier this week, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski recommended the proposed $39 billion buyout of T-Mobile by AT&T be sent to an administrative law judge for review. The move is effectively seen as disapproval by the FCC chairman.

After eight months of a review, the FCC has come to the conclusion that if AT&T buys T-Mobile from Deutsche Telekom AG, it will hurt competition in the wirless space, as well as prompting job losses. Both AT&T and T-Mobile reject the findings of the FCC.

The deal is also opposed by the Department of Justice (DoJ) however, and it is bringing the case to court in an effort to stop the proposed merger from going ahead.

Now the firms have announced the withdrawal of its application to the FCC for a merger approval, in order to focus on the DoJ case first. Some analysts point out that by withdrawing the FCC application, they can avoid handing over documents that would then be used by the DoJ in its case against them.

Things are looking very bleak for the deal however, with AT&T admitting in a blog post that it expected to take a $4 billion charge because of break-up fees it will owe to Deutsche Telekom. The deal could be salvaged though if the firms agreed to greater conditions in settlement negotiations with the DoJ.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iTunes users hit with gift certificate scam

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Nov 2011 8:27

iTunes users hit with gift certificate scam Attack timed to coincide with Black Friday.

According to the Eleven Security Blog, iTunes users are being targeted with another scam designed to deliver a malware payload to their computers. The e-mail appears to come from the iTunes store, and contains a ZIP file that hosts malicious files.

The e-mail instructs the user that they have been sent a $50 iTunes store credit gift, and that the attached file in the e-mail included a code to redeem it. The malware contained is identified by A/V firms as Mal/BredoZp-B, which infects the computer with a backdoor trojan providing direct access for criminals and also is thought to mine for passwords and other information.

Black Friday scams online are quite common, as stores in the U.S. churn out deals and discounts to get customers on what's considered the first shopping day of the holiday season.




AfterDawn: News

Apple removed Big Fish game subscription service from App Store

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Nov 2011 8:13

Apple removed Big Fish game subscription service from App Store Big Fish Games Inc. surprised by Apple's sudden change.

The popular gaming firm said it worked with Apple for weeks to ensure that its new monthly subscription service for iPad gamers would meet all the requirements for recurring charges through Apple's App Store. The service had only been made available on November 18, and Big Fish has no clue why Apple dumped it.

"We were notified that the app was removed," said Paul Thelen, founder of Big Fish. "We're trying to follow up with Apple to try to figure out what happened."

He went on to say that after weeks of working with Apple, the Big Fish subscription gaming app was given official approval and appeared in the App Store.

The Big Fish application let users play dozens of its popular games for a flat $6.99 monthly fee. The "Play Instantly" service would provide unlimited access to games such as Mahjong Towers and Mystery Case Files. Thelen said that Apple was not convinced for some time that a subscription model would work for games.

"It took longer than usual to be approved," Thelen said yesterday. "They needed to be convinced there?s a reason to charge customers every month."




AfterDawn: News

Ofcom: ISPs must come clean about traffic management, speed

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Nov 2011 6:31

Ofcom: ISPs must come clean about traffic management, speed UK regulator orders broadband providers to tell all.

Ofcom has set out steps it expects Internet Service Providers in the UK to take, to make issues such as network traffic management as transparent as possible. ISPs use traffic management to deal with congestion, slowing down or speeding up the flow of traffic based on priority.

The regulator admits that in practice it is beneficial for the most part, being used, for example, to protect critical traffic such as emergency calls. However, Ofcom is concerned that ISPs could use the same management systems to target rivals' services.

It said that ISPs do not go far enough in providing information to consumers about how they manage traffic. If ISPs do not cooperate with Ofcom, it may use its powers to enforce a minimum level of consumer information under European framework.

It expects the ISPs should provide the following information to their customers:

  • Average speed information that indicates the level of service consumers can expect to receive;
  • Information about the impact of any traffic management that is used on specific types of services, such as reduced download speeds during peak times for peer-to-peer software; and
  • Information on any specific services that are blocked, resulting in consumers being unable to run the services and applications of their choice.
Terms used by ISPs to describe their services should also be clear.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

British dislike mobile phone ownership among kids

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Nov 2011 6:22

British dislike mobile phone ownership among kids Survey finds British oppose mobile phone ownership amongst young kids.

The poll of 2,000 people found that almost three quarters of them felt it was inappropriate for a child aged below 12 years to own a mobile phone. The survey, which was carried out by Recombu.com, noted that up to 79 percent of children in Britain, aged between 7 and 11 years, already own a mobile phone.

Concerns about children having mobile phones range from the prospect of expensive bills, unmonitored Internet use and a lack of easy parental controls, yet up to 90 percent of parents liked the idea of a child having a mobile phone in case of emergency.

More than 1 in 10 admitted they would buy a new phone for a child as encouragement for good behaviour or good results at school.

"It is reassuring for parents to be in constant contact with their children, but there are clearly concerns about just how careful a young child will be with their own mobile phone," Hannah Bouckley, editor of Recombu, said.




AfterDawn: News

Apple tops mobile loyalty chart

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Nov 2011 6:14

Apple tops mobile loyalty chart Loyalty highest among iPhone owners, research firm finds.

Gfk published the findings of a poll it conducted among smartphone owners in several countries. It found that 84 percent of iPhone owners would choose to eventually replace the handset with another, upgraded iPhone. That compares to 60 percent of consumers who have smartphones that run Android who said they'd stick to the same operating system.

Research in Motion (RiM) didn't fare too well with only 48 percent of respondents admitting they'd stay loyal to Blackberry's. Sales of smartphones continues to grow, though at a slower pace. Still, sales rose 49 percent last quarter compared to the same period of 2010.

Gfk's findings come from interviews with 4,500 people in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, China, Japan and the United States.

"Apple is clearly ahead of the game, but developments next year will challenge that," Ryan Garner, analyst at GfK, said. Building market position now is important for players in the smartphone business, as consumers tend to have a high rate of loyalty toward a brand of mobile phone.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Appeals judge questions Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban in Australia

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Nov 2011 6:04

Appeals judge questions Galaxy Tab 10.1 ban in Australia Judge questions fairness of injunction.

On October 13, Federal Court Justice Annabelle Bennett issued an injunction against the sale and marketing of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet in Australia, until both Apple and Samsung resolve a patent dispute at trial. Samsung's lawyer, Neil Young, said that Bennett failed to consider the dire consequences of the ban on Samsung's business.

Now another Judge is questioning the decision. Federal Court Justice Lindsay Foster questioned the fairness of the ruling that led to the injunction being granted at Apple's request. "The result looks terribly fair to Apple and not terribly fair to Samsung," Foster said.

The Australian case is only one of several around the world between Samsung and Apple. The iPhone-maker has accused Samsung of "slavishly" cloning its i-Devices in its Galaxy line of smartphones and tablet PCs.

Throughout the industry there are several high-profile cases between tech firms involving patented technology used with mobile devices. This week, the European Commissioner for Competition, Joaquin Almunia, expressed concerns about how patents are being used to stifle competition in the market.




AfterDawn: News

Did your Finnish grandmother pirate your scarf?

Written by James Delahunty @ 25 Nov 2011 5:29

Did your Finnish grandmother pirate your scarf? Finnish NPTO on design protection.

Did your grandmother ever make clothes for you as a kid? Such as a scarf or socks for example? In many cases, the designs on those items of clothing came from weaving magazines or guides for enthusiasts. I bet your grandmother never thought it would be considered a crime to give you such a nice gift?

In Finland, that may actually be the case. The National Patent and Trademark Office (NPTO) has explained that if the designs in such magazines are protected, then you can only use the instructions/guide to craft a product for your own personal use, even taking into account that the designs could be published in a magazine for knitting / weaving enthusiasts.

The NPTO explained that deciding where to apply limits is difficult, because design protection doesn't only apply to commercial use.

"Design protection forbids commercial and professional abuse, but you can make one product [using the guide] for your own personal use. The limit where those rights end is a shady line. One must consider that more you make, the closer the [professionalism] line is. It isn't really for your own use if you make gifts for wider circle", says Tapio Priia from NPTO.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft may be looking to buy Yahoo, again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Nov 2011 1:19

Microsoft may be looking to buy Yahoo, again Microsoft may be looking to buy Yahoo, again, just 4 years after its failed $44 billion bid for the company fell flat.

The software giant has signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Yahoo that will allow it to poke into its finances.

Yahoo, since firing its CEO Carol Bartz in September, has been looking for a buyer or to sell off its most profitable assets, like its stake in the Alibaba Group.

The board of the company is expected to move forward with a plan in the next few weeks.

Although the NDA could signal Microsoft is an interested party, it could also just be the company protecting its search ad joint venture with Yahoo. Microsoft would like to keep that alliance, even if Yahoo is sold off.




AfterDawn: News

Google TV gets updated YouTube, Photos apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2011 11:34

Google TV gets updated YouTube, Photos apps Google TV, which saw its update to Honeycomb earlier this month, now has updated YouTube and Photo apps.

The YouTube app "introduces playlists to your living room. You can now easily watch your YouTube subscriptions on your HDTV and quickly access your other playlists like Watch Later and Favorites. If you have your own channel, you can now add videos to it from your Google TV. So whether you're a newshound wanting a constant stream of world events or you're a curator in search of an even more endless summer of content, you can sit back on your comfy couch and enjoy YouTube's thousands of options in the High Definition brilliance of your Google TV."

For the new Photos app, Google says, "the app already syncs with your online photo albums uploaded to Picasa & Flickr, and now we've added a great new feature called Discover to your Google TV Photos app. Discover creates an animated and constantly changing collage using photos from the albums you have uploaded online and synced with your Google TV. When you click on one of the photos in Discover, you go straight to the album where you can start a slideshow or simply view other photos in the album. With Discover you now have an even more fun way to rediscover your favorite memories caught on camera."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ubisoft blames piracy for non-release of new Ghost Recon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2011 4:14

Ubisoft blames piracy for non-release of new Ghost Recon As usual, the geniuses over at Ubisoft are blaming piracy for their troubles.

The troubled gaming studio has announced today that it will not be releasing a PC version of the upcoming Ghost Recon Future Soldier because they believe everyone would just pirate it, anyways.

Instead, the company will be releasing a free-to-play Ghost Recon Online.

The news follows "I Am Alive" creative director Stanislas Mettra telling gamers to stop "bitching" about the lack of a PC version, since everyone with a computer is just a pirate.

Ghost Recon: Future Soldier for the PS3 and Xbox 360 is set for a March release and PC gamers will get the F2P version at the same time.

Says producer Sebastien Arnoult (via Escapist)

We are giving away most of the content for free because there's no barrier to entry. To the users that are traditionally playing the game by getting it through Pirate Bay, we said, 'Okay, go ahead guys. This is what you're asking for. We've listened to you - we're giving you this experience. It's easy to download, there's no DRM that will pollute your experience.'

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HMV to launch online rental service, as well

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2011 4:01

HMV to launch online rental service, as well HMV will be the next retailer to join the digital video rental market.

The company's service, at hmvondemand.com, will allow customers to stream or download movies when they go on sale on DVD.

On Demand will be powered by FilmFlex, a venture by Sony Pictures and Walt Disney. The service also has films from Film4oD and Virgin Media.

HMV and FilmFlex will share all revenue from the new service, says FT.

The launch titles are new releases like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows ? Part 2, Cars 2 and X-Men First Class.

To start, the movies will only be available for rental on PCs but will eventually be available in the cloud for mobile access and as a download-to-own model.




AfterDawn: News

HTC considering Chromebook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2011 2:55

HTC considering Chromebook HTC is looking into building a Chromebook, despite slow sales for current Chromebooks on the market from Acer and Samsung.

Chromebooks, which run on the cloud-centric Chrome OS operating system offer a fast-booting, Internet-only device and access to cloud services like Google Docs, Google Music and many other apps via the Chrome Web Store.

If accurate, the reports say HTC will be looking to "combine the advantages of Android and Chrome OS," although it remains unclear how they will do so.

One rumor has HTC running the operating system on an ARM chipset like those seen on smartphones. ARM chips are much more power efficient than Intel and could give large battery life to users.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

LG to create new Prada phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2011 2:33

LG to create new Prada phone LG has announced today the renewal of its mobile phone partnership with high-end fashion name Prada.

The two companies have already created two "premium" Prada phones in the past and the PRADA phone by LG 3.0 will launch in February of next year.

Says the Prada CEO:

The partnership between Prada and LG has always been characterised by an innovative approach and uncompromised quality of style, design and breakthrough technology. These values are common to both our brands, which have always anticipated, and often set, the trends in many fields. We were therefore delighted to cooperate again with LG in the development of the latest creation of the mobile communication industry.


Adds LG:

Our working relationship with PRADA is unique in its longevity and success, something no other phone company and luxury brand have been able to replicate. Having successfully launched two PRADA phones by LG, we look forward to collaborating further to develop premium handsets with a strong identity and the most sophisticated style.


The first Prada phone, launched in 2007, was the first touchscreen phone and sold over 1 million units.




AfterDawn: News

Groupon's stock continues to fall

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Nov 2011 2:02

Groupon's stock continues to fall Groupon, the daily deal giant who went public earlier this month continues to see its stock fall, with share prices now under the IPO pricing.

The company IPOd at $20 per share and the service now trades at $17 just three weeks later, showing investor jitters in a company with questionable accounting and no chance for profits.

Groupon, one of the founders of "daily deals," sites that offer highly discounted deals to local restaurants and other retailers, was launched in 2008 and is expected to see $1.5 billion in revenue this year.

While the growth is strong, the company remains unprofitable and now has competition from behemoths like Amazon and Google.

Groupon will lose over $400 million this year, mainly due to payroll for its 10,400 employees.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox Live free in U.S. this weekend

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Nov 2011 9:53

Xbox Live free in U.S. this weekend Something to do during Thanksgiving weekend.

From today (Thursday, November 24) until Sunday, Xbox 360 owners in the United States will be able to have benefits of Xbox Live Gold membership without having to pay for it (cue the PlaySation Network comments).

That means multiplayer gaming without a gold subscription while the Turkey settles. You will also be able to use other Xbox Live services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Facebook, Last.fm, Zune Music Pass and ESPN.

It probably goes without saying but this doesn't apply to anywhere outside the United States, being an American holiday.




AfterDawn: News

Lawsuit over iPhone Jew app is dropped

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Nov 2011 9:46

Lawsuit over iPhone Jew app is dropped French lawsuit dropped.

It was brought by a French anti-racism group against Apple Inc. over an application available for the iPhone called "Jew or not Jew." The application let users check the names of celebrities and public figures against a database to discover whether they were Jewish or not.

The application's developer, Johann Levy, decided to remove the application and the lawsuit was dropped. Lawyer Stephane Lilti says the decision "is motivated by the removal of the application in all countries of the world," adding that the lawsuit turned out to have beneficial effects.

After Apple was criticized in December over the application, it removed it from the store in France, but it was still available to download from other countries.




AfterDawn: News

Galaxy Nexus has bugs, Google and Samsung admit

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Nov 2011 9:39

Galaxy Nexus has bugs, Google and Samsung admit Bugs affect volume levels.

Search giant Google, and consumer electronics firm Samsung, have confirmed that the Galaxy Nexus handset suffers from issues related to the volume. Complaints from owners of the device in the UK surfaced on some web forums in recent weeks.

"Regarding the Galaxy Nexus, we are aware of the volume issue and have developed a fix," Samsung said in a statement. "We will update devices as soon as possible."

Reports from owners say that the volume spontaneously drops to nothing. Some suggest that it gets worse if stuck using a 2G service, but it even apparently can happen when the handset's alarm goes off.

"I was already awake and had not touched the phone yet, the alarm sounded for a second and then went silent. Thought that was weird so checked the phone and the volume was down," one Galaxy Nexus owner posted about the issue.

Samsung said a repair will be offered to customers affected by the bug, but did not indicate when.




AfterDawn: News

ECJ: ISPs can't be forced to adopt piracy filters

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Nov 2011 9:15

ECJ: ISPs can't be forced to adopt piracy filters European Court of Justice (ECJ) strikes down widescale piracy filters.

The ECJ was ruling in a case that stretches back to 2004, when a Belgian music licensing company, SABAM, brought a case against ISP, Scarlet, in the country. SABAM discovered that customers on Scarlet's network were downloading music illegally using P2P software.

When the case was put before the Brussels Court of First Instance, the court ordered Scarlet to stop its customers from sending or receiving music content from SABAM's catalogue. Knowing the financial and technical implications of such an order, Scarlet brought the case to the Brussels Court of Appeal, claiming the injunction infringed law within the European Union.

Specifically, Scarlet argued that the obligation to monitor the communications of its customers on its network was in clear breach of the E-Commerce Directive in the EU, and having examined the issue, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) sided with Scarlet.

It ruled against the order for several reasons. It found that it would affect Scarlet's ability to run its business as it imposed a requirement to install a complicated, expensive filtering system at its own expense, and that the filtering practice itself could infringe the rights of customers and their right to protect their own data.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Report: EB Games to blur NEW / USED games distinction

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Nov 2011 8:35

Report: EB Games to blur NEW / USED games distinction New and Used games to be lumped together.

Kotaku is citing employees of Canada's EB Games (GameStop) in reporting that the chain is to blur the distinction between NEW and USED game titles in its stores. If the report is correct, then all games must be in the same sections with the same white price tags.

Essentially, it will strip away much of the features that would give away the fact that a game was previously owned. Kotaku's main source also told them that employees are encouraged to put New copies of games below Pre-Owned copies.

Kotaku contacted EB Games for comment but has not heard anything back at the time of writing.

Since posting the news, Kotaku has gotten e-mails from people who claim to be EB Games employees, with most saying the report is true, and in some cases that the policy has been in effect in a particular store for more than a week.

One e-mail pointed out concern among staff about games that require codes for online play, as some customers might accidentially pick up a Used copy of a title, and go home to find they can't play it online.

Still, even in that e-mail the employee does admit that the stickers do still have USED and NEW on them, but didn't seem convinced it was enough to completely avoid problems for customers.




AfterDawn: News

Doom 3 source code released

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Nov 2011 8:21

Doom 3 source code released Legal nag solved, source code in wild.

The source code for the 2004 shooter Doom 3 has been released publicly by id Software. It was ready to be released a couple of weeks back but a small legal nag had held it up.

A shadow stencilling technique discovered independently by John Carmack back in 1997 had been separately patented in 2002 by Creative Labs, and so the lawyers were reluctant to clear the release of the source code.

Carmack solved the problem by rewriting the code in question. President of id Software, Todd Hollenshead, announced the release of the code on via Twitter on Tuesday, which is available from GitHub.

Doom 3 sold more than 3.5 million copies.




AfterDawn: News

Grooveshark: Universal lawsuit claims are blatantly false

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Nov 2011 8:08

Grooveshark: Universal lawsuit claims are blatantly false Universal Music Group seeking over $17 billion in damages.

The music industry giant claims that Grooveshark employees uploaded more than 100,000 pirated songs to the website. It alleges that even the chief executive, Samuel Tarantino, uploaded 1,791 pirated songs at least, while Nikola Arabadjiev, head of quality assurance efforts, allegedly uploaded over 40,000 songs.

Universal is seeking $150,000 in damages for each of the 113,777 tracks, or about $17.1 billion.

Grooveshark responded to the lawsuit by saying it is based on blatantly false data and on a "gross mischaracterization of information." Marshall Custer, general counsel for Grooveshark, said in a statement that Universal's claims rest almost entirely on an anonymous blog comment.

The comment itself was posted to an entry on the Digital Music News blog. The blog post was about the band King Crimson, and its attempt to have music removed from Grooveshark, which was not a success.

The commenter claimed to work for Grooveshark, saying that employees are set a predetermined amount of weekly uploads to the system and are paid a bonus if they can exceed it. The commenter admits that the practice is neither legal or ethical and that the culture at Grooveshark from the top down is to view the industry, and artists, as the enemy.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Merck drug companies in Facebook dispute

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Nov 2011 6:37

Merck drug companies in Facebook dispute German drug-maker will sue to get Facebook page control.

After World War I, Merck & Co was setup as an independent company in the United States, sharing the Merck trademark with Merck KGaA in different geographical areas. The change was part of Germany's reparations under the Treaty of Versailles.

Fast forward to the 21st Century, Merck KGaA is accusing Merck & Co of hijacking its Facebook page, and is threatening to sue to regain control. It has asked a New York judge to force Facebook Inc to turn over information on how the company lost the ability to administer the facebook.com/merck page.

Merck KGaA goes further to say that Faceook has not been cooperative, and even has been evasive while asked for help. "Because Facebook is an important marketing device, the page is of great value to Merck, and its misappropriation is causing harm to Merck," Merck KGaA said.

"It is not clear how that happened or who is at fault nor ... is Facebook providing clear information about what happened."




AfterDawn: News

BioShock dev takes inspiration from OWS protests

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Nov 2011 6:23

BioShock dev takes inspiration from OWS protests Aiming for 99% of the market.

BioShock Infinite is due to be release next year. It is set in a floating city called Columbia in the year 1912, and is occupied by two political factions; the right wing Founders and the left wing Vox Populi.

The inspiration for the two factions comes from historical political groups such as the Baader-Meinhof left-wing militants in Germany, and the Know Nothings anti-immigration faction in the United States.

"It's been fascinating to watch the conflict in the game, which is based on historical conflicts, sort of become reincarnated in our times," said Ken Levine, creative director at Irrational Games.

When Levine watched the Occupy Wall Street protests spread, he decided to go and join the crowed and see such a political protest up close. "It's one thing to read about these movements by reading history books but another thing to see one of these things happening in real time and go there and breathe it in," Levine said.

He did not say exactly what about the OWS protest will spill over into the finished title, but he certainly hopes the protests would never imitate his art, as the fictional BioShock Infinite protests turn very radical and violent.




AfterDawn: News

Man gets 20 years for insulting text messages in Thailand

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Nov 2011 6:05

Man gets 20 years for insulting text messages in Thailand Insults allegedly aimed at Thai King.

In Thailand, you will face harsh penalties if you insult or make threats toward King Bhumibol Adulyadej, regardless of how you do so. For defendant Ampon Tangnoppakul, a 61-year old retired truck driver, the law has become all too real.

He has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly sending text messages that the court deemed insulting to the King. Specifically, he was given five years per message, according to lawyer Poonsuk Poonsukcharoen.

"He insists that he does not know how to send text messages," Ms. Poonsuk said. "He insists that he loves His Majesty the King."

The contents of the messages were not revealed in the court, but the judge said they defamed, insulted and threatened the King and his wife.

The Thai government has set up a "war room" which has a goal of censoring websites that carry materials deemed insulting to the royal family.




AfterDawn: News

Carrier IQ drops legal threat against security researcher

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Nov 2011 5:52

Carrier IQ drops legal threat against security researcher Carrier IQ apologizes for baseless threats, but defends its practices.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) came to the defence of security researcher Trevor Eckhart after he received legal threats from Carrier IQ, a mobile software company.

Eckhart had published an analysis of the company's software, and also posted training materials provided by the company for his audience to download. Eckhart pointed out that Carrier IQ's software logs a great deal of information about users' activities without their knowledge.

The software in question is pre-installed on some Android handsets (reportedly mostly on the Sprint network) and Eckhart reported it was capable of recording a great deal of user activities. In response, Carrier IQ sent a cease and desist demand (PDF) to Eckhart, claiming he made false allegations against the company, and infringed its copyright.

The EFF contacted Carrier IQ through a letter, citing protection of Eckhart's research and commentary under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As for posting the training materials, EFF argued it was "classic fair use" of a copyrighted work for research purposes.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Norwegian boy cross-eyed after watching 3D movie

Written by James Delahunty @ 24 Nov 2011 2:46

Norwegian boy cross-eyed after watching 3D movie Shocked cinema manager considers warning cinema-goers about possible effects of watching 3D movies.

Julian Mathisen, from Honningsvag in Norway, came down with some bizarre symptoms after returning home from a movie theatre. The six year old appeared cross-eyed to his stunned father, and also complained of double-vision, headaches and nausea.

"After he came home from the movie I saw that there was something strange about his eyes," his father said. "One eye squinted, and he complained that he saw double."

Julian saw doctors and opticians following the ordeal, and they agree that the boy must have had a latent visual defect all along that was triggered by the 3D images on screen.

"You can get different kinds of ailments from this. Julian's case is extreme. However, diplopia, migraine, nausea and discomfort may occur," said Hans Torvald Haugo, Chief Advisor for the Norwegian Opticians Association.

Julian now must wear a patch on his eye, and the hope is that the condition will improve, though the Norwegian media reports suggest that he has not gotten better 14 days after the cinema visit. If he continues to experience the symptoms, he may face surgery to correct it.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HP wants to keep webOS only for its printers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Nov 2011 11:28

HP wants to keep webOS only for its printers According to multiple sources, HP still wants webOS for one thing only, its printers.

The company acquired the mobile operating system when it purchased Palm in 2010 and recently shut down its webOS hardware division.

HP is actively looking for a buyer of webOS, which cost them $1.2 billion to purchase and $1.66 billion to run into the ground.

Because of their want to have the operating system on their printers, it has apparently become a sticking point with potential buyers that they must be able to license the OS back "on the cheap" for use in the printers.

Intel, Amazon and Qualcomm are said to be early stage potential buyers of Palm, webOS and all its patents, which are worth hundreds of millions on their own.




AfterDawn: News

Review: Google Music looks like it could be a hit

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Nov 2011 7:57

Review: Google Music looks like it could be a hit Last week Google's challenge for Apple's dominance in the online music world, called Google Music officially came out of beta and opened to the public.

If done well, Google Music could end up being one of their biggest and best achievements. If done poorly it could be just as big a mistake. In this article I will try to help you decide for yourself which one it is, and whether it's worth trying out if you haven't already.

Google Music banner


What Is Google Music?

Google Music is an attempt to take on Apple in the lucrative online music business while also improving Android's music ecosystem. The Google Music Android app is more or less equivalent to the iPod app on an iPhone. It even goes so far as to copy much of the Apple app's visual style, albeit with a distinctively Android feel. The Music Store in the Android Market is obviously similar to Apple's iTunes store.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

The leaked Apple Black Friday sales list

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Nov 2011 3:47

The leaked Apple Black Friday sales list 9to5 has posted a leaked list of Apple's Black Friday deals.

The sales are similar to past years and aren't too spectacular.

For example, the iPad 2 base model will sell down $41 at $458 while the higher capacity 64GB model will sell down $61 at $631.

Macbook Air, Pro and iMacs will sell down $101 which isn't even as cheap as Best Buy is offering the devices.

Additionally, there are accessories on sale like the Smart Cover and Magic Trackpads.

Check the photos:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple HDTV to be built by Sharp?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Nov 2011 3:24

Apple HDTV to be built by Sharp? According to analyst firm Jefferies & Co., Apple will use Sharp to create its rumored HDTV.

The TV could be introduced as early as the Q2 2012, says the firm, and will be a huge win for the manufacturer.

Says analyst Peter Misek (via BW):

It's a huge deal for Sharp because they spent significant amounts of capital to try and expand capacity and upgrade their facilities. It gives Apple a partner that they can control manufacturing and secure supply at a lower price.


Misek calls the upcoming a device "iTV."

Apple has reportedly purchased up to $1 billion in manufacturing equipment and taken over a full Sharp facility for iOS devices.




AfterDawn: News

Ouch: HTC shocks by forecasting extremely low sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Nov 2011 3:01

Ouch: HTC shocks by forecasting extremely low sales Massive smartphone maker has shocked the world today, revising its Q4 forecasts lower, again.

The company cited weakening global demand and a huge uptick in competition as its main factors.

Revenue is now expected to come in at around NT$104 billion, down from its already lowered forecast of NT$125 billion.

If accurate, HTC will see no growth year-over-year, a huge disappointment to investors.

While smartphone demand continues to grow, HTC has seen increasing competition from Samsung and Motorola in the Android market, and Nokia now in the Windows Phone 7 market.

HTC will ship 12 million phones in the quarter, the first time it has seen a drop in shipments in 2 years.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft confirms new Kinect for Windows hardware

Written by James Delahunty @ 23 Nov 2011 2:07

Microsoft confirms new Kinect for Windows hardware New Kinect hardware for general purpose use with Windows.

A post on the Kinect for Windows blog, made on Tuesday, said that the team has optimized certain hardware components and made firmware adjustments which improve PC-centric scenarios. The team is also working on the Software Development Kit (SDK) and runtime.

Simple changes to the hardware include a shortened USB cable to ensure reliability across systems, and a small dongle to improve coexistance with other USB peripherals. Updated firmware enables the depth camera to see objects as close as 50 centimeters in front of the device without losing accuracy or precision, with graceful degradation down to 40 centimeters.

"Near Mode" will enable a whole new class of "close up" applications, beyond the living room scenarios for Kinect for Xbox 360.

Developers and companies are currently participating in the Kinect for Windows pilot program, and Microsoft is taking suggestions for functionality from the Kinect SDK forums.




AfterDawn: News

Spotify hits 2.5 million paying subscribers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Nov 2011 2:03

Spotify hits 2.5 million paying subscribers Spotify has said today that it has reached 2.5 million paying subscribers, with growth accelerating by the day.

The company launched its service in the U.S. during the summer and has seen mass adoption.

In June, before the U.S. launch, the company had 1.6 million subscribers which jumped to 2 million in September.

Spotify Free allows 10 free hours of music per month, with ads.

Premium subscriptions allow for unlimited streaming and access via mobile devices.




AfterDawn: News

Phishing scam targets Xbox Live users

Written by James Delahunty @ 23 Nov 2011 1:57

Phishing scam targets Xbox Live users Phishing scam being investigated by Microsoft.

The Redmond-based software giant said a small number of users have been affected by a phishing scam that used fake e-mails to get personal details and other information from gamers. "We take the security of the Xbox Live service seriously and work to improve it against evolving threats," a Microsoft spokesman said.

"Very occasionally, though, we are contacted by members regarding alleged unauthorized access to their accounts by outside individuals."

Microsoft was quick to point out that there was no breach in Xbox Live security. Nothing has been hacked, users have just been duped by a crafted e-mail that sent them to a malicious website.

"We work closely with impacted members directly to resolve any unauthorized changes to their accounts and, as always, highly recommend all Xbox Live users follow our account security guidance in order to protect their account details."




AfterDawn: News

Disney and Pixar movies now available for rent on YouTube

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Nov 2011 1:34

Disney and Pixar movies now available for rent on YouTube YouTube has announced today that they are adding hundreds of Disney and Pixar titles available for streaming rental.

So far, the company has only added a handful of films like the latest "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Cars 2" but the rest will be available "shortly."

The site will also be adding Disney behind-the-scenes clips and featurettes.

All videos will be available on the site and through Google TV and other services with a YouTube app.

Universal, Sony and Warner have made 3000 films available for rent on YouTube this year, making Disney the 4th major to join.

Rentals cost $1-$4 and can be viewed for 48 hours.

More info here: Welcoming your favorite Disney movies




AfterDawn: News

Updated: Grand Central Apple Store will not open this week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Nov 2011 12:38

Updated: Grand Central Apple Store will not open this week Construction workers at the site say the retail store will not be open in time for Black Friday.

Says the worker (via Mashable):

It won't be any time too soon. We still have a lot to do, so my guess is that it will be ready in December.


Apple bought out the space currently rented by Charlie Palmer's Metrazur restaurant for $5 million, ensuring Palmer breaks his lease 8 years early.

The MTA says Apple will pay $1.1 million rent per year, a significantly higher amount than Metrazur, which was paying $263,997. Foot traffic through Grand Central is over 750,000 people per day, with commuters having an average salary above $100,000.

Besides the space in the east balcony, Apple will take the vacant, adjacent balcony, as well. Overall, the company will occupy 23,000 square feet, making Grand Central its 3rd largest store.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

YouTube: 3.5 billion videos served daily

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Nov 2011 12:16

YouTube: 3.5 billion videos served daily YouTube VP of global sales Lucas Watson has noted this week that the global video site is now serving up 3.5 billion videos every day.

Watson made the announcement during a presentation at the Monaco Media Forum.

In May, YouTube announced that it was delivering 3 billion videos per day and in May 2010 the number was 2 billion.

Additionally, the site has 800 million unique viewers per month making it the third most trafficked site in the world.

65 percent of all viewers are non-English speakers.




AfterDawn: News

Google+ not dying, Google insists

Written by James Delahunty @ 23 Nov 2011 10:39

Google+ not dying, Google insists Google+ is part of a larger plan, apparently.

When Google+ launched this year, it was described as the search giant's best effort in the social space, and possibly the biggest threat to Facebook's dominance of the field so far. Why not? It hit 10 million users within 16 days, compared to two years for Facebook and Twitter.

After 100 days in operation, it hit a 40 million milestone. On paper, it would certainly look like a winner, but a tally of registered users cannot tell a complete story about the popularity of a web service nearly as well as analytical data.

Chitika, a web analytics firm, reported that the Google+ excitement began to fade just a month after its public launch. Its data shows a 60 percent drop in traffic. As for the number of registered users, Google has not released updated figures since September.

Media outlets have already dug the ditch, with Forbes publishing a Eulogy for the service, and Slate declaring in a headline that, "Google+ is dead". Well, not so, according to Google.

Bradley Horowitz, vice-president of product at Google+, says that it is aimed at being more than simply a social networking service. "Google+ is a foundational element for identity, relationship, interest across all we're doing at Google," Mr Horowitz told BBC News.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

FCC chairman seeks AT&T / T-Mobile merger review

Written by James Delahunty @ 23 Nov 2011 10:17

FCC chairman seeks AT&T / T-Mobile merger review Julius Genachowski wants proposed merger sent to administrative law judge.

The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission sent a draft order to fellow commissioners in which he cites FCC staff findings related to the merger's impact on competition in the market, and on jobs.

"The record clearly shows that -- in no uncertain terms -- this merger would result in a massive loss of U.S. jobs and investment," an FCC official said, according to Reuters. AT&T's planned merger is already in the firing line of the U.S. Justice Department.

The DoJ went to court in August to oppose the purchase on antitrust grounds, with a trial due to commence in February. Any proposed administrative hearing at the FCC would only begin after the antitrust trial, effectively ensuring that another roadblock is prepared.

AT&T said it is disappointed with the FCC action, and disputes its findings related to job losses and investment. The No. 2 carrier in the United States cited $8 billion in broadband investment and commitments on job preservation and enhancement.

"This notion, that when government spends money on broadband it creates jobs, but when a private company spends money it doesn't, is clearly wrong on its face," said Jim Cicconi, AT&T executive, referring to a $4.5 billion annual fund to promote broadband to underserved communities, which the FCC says will create 50,000 jobs over six years.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

EU concerns over mobile patent wars

Written by James Delahunty @ 23 Nov 2011 6:41

EU concerns over mobile patent wars Commissioner says IP rights used as "instrument to restrict competition."

In recent years, a plethora of legal cases involving patents related to mobile device technology have emerged and are showing no sign of going away any time soon. Consumer Electronics firms view rich patent portfolios as crucial to take a piece of the growing pie, but the effect of their constant legal challenges is being questioned by the European Commission.

European Commissioner for Competition, Joaquin Almunia, expressed concerns about how patents can be used to stifle competition in the market. The European Commission requested that Apple and Samsung send it details on patents used as standards in the industry this month.

"We requested information from both Apple and Samsung. We have not yet received the answers. We need to look at this because IP rights can be used as a distortion of competition but we will need to look at the answers," Almunia told reporters.

"In particular, in the IT sector, it is obvious it is not the only case. Apple and Samsung is only one case where IP rights can be used as an instrument to restrict competition. Standardisation and IP rights are two instruments that in this new IT sector can be used as a tool to abuse."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

China is world's top smartphone market

Written by James Delahunty @ 23 Nov 2011 6:20

China is world's top smartphone market Falling prices and drop in U.S. shipments push China to top spot.

Shipments of smartphones in China reached a new record of 23.9 million units in the third quarter, compared to 23.3 million in the United States which saw a 7 percent drop during the period.

The devices are becoming cheaper and more widely available in the giant emerging economy.

Compared to the second quarter, smartphone shipments in China rose 58 percent. Nokia Oyj leads the Chinese market with a 28 percent share of shipments during the quarter. It is followed by Samsung Electronics at 18 percent.

Wireless carriers in China have ramped up the amount of smartphones on offer, particularly devices running the Android operating system. Carriers also offer subsidies on iPhones.




AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: Samsung pokes fun at Apple fans

Written by James Delahunty @ 23 Nov 2011 6:08

VIDEO: Samsung pokes fun at Apple fans "I could never get a Samsung, I'm creative!"

While never specifically mentioning "Apple," or "iPhone," there can be no doubt who Samsung has aimed its new 60 second spot for the Galaxy S II smartphone at.

The scene is outside (presumably) an Apple store on the launch day of a new (presumably) iPhone. It is _just_ nine hours until the store actually opens, so one eager customer questions why some people would already be leaving the queue.

The gang notice a smartphone being used by a passerby, and learn that its a Samsung Galaxy S II.. and a big deal is made out of its 4G capabilities. "The next big thing is already here," we are then informed.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

First-party line-up for PlayStation Vita EU launch detailed

Written by James Delahunty @ 23 Nov 2011 5:47

First-party line-up for PlayStation Vita EU launch detailed Launch details of PlayStation Vita in EU are revealed.

When the PlayStation Vita handheld launches in EU territories on February 22 next year, it will be accompanied by 12 first-party launch titles. The software line-up includes newly announced Motorstorm 13, and shooter United 13.

Highlights of the list also include Uncharted: Golden Abyss and WipeOut 2048.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Asus Transformer Prime goes up for pre-order

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2011 6:12

Asus Transformer Prime goes up for pre-order The much anticipated tablet is finally available for pre-order, at least via Amazon.

Asus' new Transformer Prime, the first quad-core tablet on the market, will sell for $500 for its base 32GB model.

Here are the full specs (AandM):

Nvidia Quad-Core Tegra 3 Processor
Additional 5th core to reduce power consumption when 2 or 4 cores are not needed
10.1″ IPS+ display with Corning Gorilla Glass and 178 degree viewing angle
1 GB RAM (LP DDR2)
8 megapixel auto-focus rear camera with 1080P video capture and large F2.4 aperature
1.2 megapixel front-facing camera for video conferencing
12 hours of battery life, up to 18 hours when paired with the keyboard dock
2 color schemes: Amethyst Gray and Champagne Gold
2 storage options: 32GB and 64GB ($499 and $599 price points) with expandable storage via microSD
8.3 millimeters thick, weighs in at 1.29 lbs.




AfterDawn: News

Ice Cream Sandwich for Galaxy Tab 10.1 coming soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2011 5:45

Ice Cream Sandwich for Galaxy Tab 10.1 coming soon The latest Android operating system is headed to the popular tablet via CyanogenMod.

Steve Kondik (Cyanogen) has posted on his Google+ account today that the custom ROM is headed to the tablet "soon":

ICS on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 is pretty great. Coming soon to a CM mirror near you :)


In the past, whenever Kondik has said something was coming soon, that means a 2-5 week time frame, so Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 could be running Android 4.0 in time for Christmas.

We will keep you updated on all new versions of CyanogenMod 9 (Ice Cream Sandwich) into the future.




AfterDawn: News

HTC loses patent battle to Apple

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2011 5:36

HTC loses patent battle to Apple The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled today that Apple's iOS products do not infringe on patents held by S3 Graphics, the company recently purchased by HTC.

Because an ITC judge ruled initially last month that the products were not infringing, this decision is final and the ITC has closed their investigation into the matter barring any appeals.

The patents were related to functions like power management, phone dialing and texture compression.

HTC purchased S3 for $300 million, and many believed they did so to gain access to the patents.

Apple and HTC have been battling with dueling ITC complaints since last year, with both companies looking to have the other's products banned from import and sale.




AfterDawn: News

Google cleans house on more failed experiments

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2011 5:26

Google cleans house on more failed experiments Google, despite a strong history of successes, has also had its fair share of failed experiments.

Today, the company says they are shutting down some more of the products or integrating them into other projects.

The company ultimately wants to streamline its "Google experience" to be more intuitive and simpler.

Here is the list of products being shut down or altered (the most notable is probably Wave):

Google Bookmarks Lists-This is an experimental feature for sharing bookmarks and collaborating with friends, which we're going to end on December 19, 2011. All bookmarks within Lists will be retained and labeled for easier identification, while the rest of Google Bookmarks will function as usual. As Lists was an English-only feature, non-English languages will be unaffected.

Google Friend Connect-Friend Connect allows webmasters to add social features to their sites by embedding a few snippets of code. We're retiring the service for all non-Blogger sites on March 1, 2012. We encourage affected sites to create a Google+ page and place a Google+ badge on their site so they can bring their community of followers to Google+ and use new features like Circles and Hangouts to keep in touch.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Another Groupon horror story

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2011 5:12

Another Groupon horror story Rachel Brown of London has posted her horror story with daily deal giant Groupon.

Brown signed up her 'Need a Cake Bakery' to the site, selling a dozen cupcakes for $10, 75 percent off its usual $40 price tag.

Because the company did not allow her to set a limit to vouchers, 8500 people purchased Groupons - meaning Brown had to create over 100,000 cupcakes.

The baker was forced to hire extra workers and work overtime, overall losing about $20,000 in weeks.

Says Brown (via CNBC):

Without doubt, it was my worst ever business decision. We had thousands of orders pouring in that really we hadn't expected to have. A much larger company would have difficulty coping.

My poor staff were having to slog away at all hours ? one of them even came in at 3 a.m. because she couldn't sleep for worry. We are still working to make up the lost money and will not be doing this again.


Brown has been running her bakery for 25 years with high reviews.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft buys video search engine for $70 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2011 5:06

Microsoft buys video search engine for $70 million Microsoft has acquired startup video search engine VideoSurf for $70 million.

The software was created by Israeli entrepreneurs Lior Delgo, Professor Achi Brandt, Dr. Eitan Sharon and Shai Deljo.

Outside of a number of important Israeli investors, the company also had investments from former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

VideoSurf is "a visual identification video search engine" that indexes over 250 million videos from sites like YouTube, CNN and Facebook. The software is used by Warner Bros. and CBS on their web pages.

Microsoft will likely integrate the company into its Bing search in an ongoing effort to steal market share from Google.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo makes special edition Zelda bundles official

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2011 4:47

Nintendo makes special edition Zelda bundles official Nintendo has announced the availability of two special Zelda bundles for its 3DS and Wii consoles.

Bundling the brand new Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword for Wii with a gold Wii remote with MotionPlus and a special edition music CD, the first bundle will cost you $70.

If you don't care for the controller, the bundle with the CD only will set you back $50.

For the 3DS handheld, Nintendo is releasing a black with gold-trim Zelda 3DS with The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D game for $200.

Best Buy has it on Black Friday for $180.





AfterDawn: News

Call of Duty Elite hit 1 million subscribers in first 6 days

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2011 4:24

Call of Duty Elite hit 1 million subscribers in first 6 days Activision has announced today that it has sold one million premium subscriptions to Call of Duty Elite in just the first 6 days of availability.

As a comparison, the publisher says it took Netflix, Sirius and Xbox Live on average one year to reach the same milestone.

Overall, 4.2 million gamers have registered for the service and 80,000 Elite clans have been created. Furthermore, "100,000 user-generated videos have been uploaded to Call of Duty Elite and the service has had more than three million daily logins," says Activision.

"The audience response to Call of Duty Elite's premium service has been beyond our expectations, and we want to thank Call of Duty players around the world for their unprecedented enthusiasm. The number of gamers who have registered for Call of Duty Elite further illustrates how this service is poised to redefine social gaming and set a new bar for interactive entertainment," said Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard.

Check the service here: http://www.callofduty.com/elite




AfterDawn: News

HP is top selling tablet maker in 2011 besides Apple

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2011 4:13

HP is top selling tablet maker in 2011 besides Apple According to the latest NPD Group figures, HP is the top selling tablet maker for all of 2011 not named Apple.

Overall, the company has sold 204,000 TouchPads, just slightly beating out Samsung at 192,000 tablets sold.

HP has accounted for 17 percent of non-iPad sales, with Samsung close behind at 16 percent.

Of course, it has to be noted that HP was not selling any devices until they firesaled the TouchPad for just $100, cancelling production 48 days after its launch.

NPD has ignored the Kindle Fire and Nook Color for their figures, however, and both are likely well above HP in sales to date.

Says the NPD Group (view full report here):

If you look at the tablet market without Apple there are a number of high-profile brands vying for that number two spot. According to NPD's Consumer Tracking Service, 76 percent of consumers who purchased a non-Apple tablet didn't even consider the iPad, an indication that a large group of consumers are looking for alternatives, and an opportunity for the rest of the market to grow their business.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung working on a Google TV device

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2011 2:10

Samsung working on a Google TV device Samsung president Yoon Book-Keun has said today that the company is in the final stages of negotiating a deal with Google to bring a Google TV device to the market.

The HDTV will likely be unveiled at CES in January.

Currently, the only official partner Google has in the project is Sony, as Logitech recently bowed out. The company, which made the Revue set-top box, said they lost $90 million due to sluggish sales.

Google recently updated the software to Honeycomb 3.1, its largest update since launch.

LG will officially become a partner when it launches its own Google HDTV at CES.




AfterDawn: News

Pakistan looking to censor texting

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Nov 2011 1:34

Pakistan looking to censor texting The Pakistani government has announced this week that it will begin to censor texting in the nation.

If ultimately successful, the move will block Pakistani citizens from 'obscenities' like "Jesus Christ" and "Sex."

All together, there are 1600 'obscene' terms and the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority has already told carriers to begin blocking texts from November 21 and forward.

The policy is in response to multiple consumer complaints from citizens receiving "graphic texts."

1100 of the terms are in English while the rest are in Urdu, Pakistan's native language.

The true out-roar comes from the choice of words, which include relatively and benign terms like "poop," "fairy, "athlete's foot," and "harder."




AfterDawn: News

Ice Cream Sandwich will not have Adobe Flash support at launch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Nov 2011 4:23

Ice Cream Sandwich will not have Adobe Flash support at launch Android fans that went out and purchased the much-hyped Galaxy Nexus will have to deal with no Flash support, at least for the next month.

Google and Adobe have confirmed that there are no current versions of mobile Flash that support Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Says Adobe (via BGR):

Adobe will release one more version of the Flash Player for mobile browsing, which will provide support for Android 4.0 - expected to be released before the end of this year.


The company recently announced it was discontinuing development on its mobile Flash player.




AfterDawn: News

Google slashes prices on Chromebooks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Nov 2011 3:59

Google slashes prices on Chromebooks Samsung and Acer have slashed prices on their Chromebook models, and Samsung has introduced a new Series 5 netbook, as well.

In conjunction with Google, the Chromebooks have been dropped to $299 and the new Series 5, which is black (and removes 3G) will sell for same price.

The devices previously cost $350 and $429, respectively.

Additionally, Google has updated the ChromeOS operating system that runs the computers, adding a cleaner login screen and easier access to the file manager.

"We've also been working closely with our partners to continually improve the overall Chromebook experience while making them even more affordable," added Venkat Rapaka, Senior Product Manager.




AfterDawn: News

Mac reaches 5.2 percent of worldwide computer sales, highest since 90s

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Nov 2011 3:34

Mac reaches 5.2 percent of worldwide computer sales, highest since 90s Apple Macs have reached 5.2 percent of all worldwide computer sales, the highest total since 1996, says Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf.

Growth, as expected, far outpaced the overall PC market, for the 22nd straight quarter.

Mac growth was a healthy 24.6 percent compared to 5.3 for the rest of the industry.

A good portion of that growth came in the business segment which saw a 43 percent increase.

Mac sales continued to grow in the Asia-Pacific region, most notably China:

The growth of Apple's sales in China represents a perfect storm between an iconic brand and a rapidly growing middle class that's more brand-conscious than consumers in most other regions of the globe.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon drops all of its Verizon, AT&T and Sprint smartphones to $0.01

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Nov 2011 3:21

Amazon drops all of its Verizon, AT&T and Sprint smartphones to $0.01 Amazon has brought Black Friday deals early this year, offering up every smartphone it carries for 1 penny.

The retailer, which has brand-new Android, WP7 and BlackBerry devices from Sprint, AT&T and Verizon, is now selling the phones for 1 cent with new two-year contract.

Included are expensive brand new devices like the HTC Rezound 4G, Droid Razr, Samsung Focus S and BlackBerry Bold 9930 among many others.

As expected, however, Apple iPhones are not included in the deal as Amazon does not carry them.

Finally, Amazon is giving away $100 credit to anyone who signs up for a hotspot data plan via Amazon Wireless.

The deal ends on Cyber Monday, next week.




AfterDawn: News

Infinity Ward bans 1,600 Modern Warfare 3 cheaters

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Nov 2011 3:00

Infinity Ward bans 1,600 Modern Warfare 3 cheaters Infinity Ward announced this weekend that it had banned 1600 Modern Warfare 3 players, each accused of using glitches in the game to either hack or cheat in-game.

More players are expected to be banned as the week progresses.

Says the company via Twitter:

Any attempt to cheat, hack, or glitch in #MW3 will not be tolerated. 1600+ bans issued. Updates in works. Please [continue] to report offenders.

We are doing mass bans on PC as well while we work on updates.


The company is also working on hot fixes.

Modern Warfare 3, the latest in the blockbuster franchise, has made over $900 million in sales since its launch earlier this month, smashing all previous records for gaming launches.




AfterDawn: News

WD to pay $525 million to Seagate

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Nov 2011 2:48

WD to pay $525 million to Seagate Western Digital has been hit with an arbitration court ruling ordering the drive maker to pay rival Seagate $525 million.

The decision comes as all drive makers are reeling from heavy flooding in Thailand that has disrupted up to 40 percent of all hard drive production to the entire world.

Although the case will head to an appeals court soon, the original suit alleged "misuse" of confidential information, most notably trade secrets from a former Seagate executive.

WD responded to the decision:

We do not believe there is any basis in law or fact for the damage award of the arbitrator. We believe the company acted properly at all times and we will vigorously challenge the award.

This does not affect our ability to conduct our operations, to complete the recovery and recommencement of our Thailand operations or, subject to obtaining the required regulatory approvals, to consummate our planned acquisition of Hitachi GST.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Malware on Android jumps 472 percent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2011 10:45

Malware on Android jumps 472 percent The Android smartphone OS has become a hotbed of malware, says Juniper Networks.

Since July, malware apps have increased 472 percent and that number is expected to continue growing.

Notes Juniper (via Fire):

The majority of malicious applications target communications, location, or other personal identifying information. Of the known Android malware samples, 55 percent, acts in one way or another as spyware. The other major type of attack, which make up 44%, are SMS Trojans, which send SMS messages to premium rate numbers owned by the attacker in the background of a legitimate application, without the person's knowledge. Once these messages are sent, the money is not recoverable, and the owners of these premium rate numbers are generally anonymous.


Unlike the iOS App Store, which has a review process and tight screening, the open nature of the Android Marketplace allows for widespread malware to be uploaded.




AfterDawn: News

iPad 3, iPhone 5 rumor time

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2011 4:47

iPad 3, iPhone 5 rumor time The normally reliable iLounge has posted a few tidbits of info from their "top source" on next year's iPad 3 and iPhone 5.

Additionally, the site has some info on updated MacBook Pros.

Reads the report:

(1) The third-generation iPad will become modestly thicker (0.7mm) in order to accommodate the twin light bar system needed for its higher-resolution display. It's currently on track for a March timeframe release, and according to our source could be publicly shown as early as January, depending on conditions.

(2) Our source says that the next-generation iPhone will not look like the teardrop-shaped version that was widely rumored for release in 2011. We've been told that the device will have a 4-inch display and will be 8mm longer than before, with a metal casing (probably aluminum). It is on track to be introduced in summer of 2012, and is still in the engineering phase, not early production. We suspect that poor battery life doomed the prior prototype version, and that this one is being built with LTE-ready battery drain in mind.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nintendo shows off real-life Mario 'Karts'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2011 3:31

Nintendo shows off real-life Mario 'Karts' Nintendo has shown off two custom made real-life Mario Karts, built by West Coast Customs of "Pimp My Ride" fame.

The karts are the ones driven by Mario and Luigi in the upcoming Mario Kart 7 for 3DS game.

West Coast Customs says the electric cars can actually be driven and Nintendo will be giving both away next month as part of its GameStop PowerUp Rewards promotion.

Both companies have kept quiet on how the cars were built and how much they cost but the project will be showcased in a special in February on TV.

Says West Coast (via PCM):

We've played Mario Kart games for years, so it's a dream come true to bring these karts to life. We think people will be blown away by seeing these cool video game vehicles in person.





AfterDawn: News

Asus denies it's considering dropping out of tablet market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2011 12:44

Asus denies it's considering dropping out of tablet market Asus has denied that it is considering dropping out of the tablet market next year, refuting a recent DigiTimes article.

The PC maker says: "As usual, the rumors and reports from DigiTimes are incorrect. ASUS is not exiting the Android Tablet business."

Digitimes had claimed that major PC vendors like Asus, Acer, Dell and HP would be bowing out of the tablet market due to poor sales performance.

The report cited component supplier sources.

Asus, maker of the extremely popular Transformer tablet, is said to be selling 400,000 per month, surely not "poor" by most measures.




AfterDawn: News

Best Buy selling 64GB PlayBook for $230, 16GB for $199

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2011 2:26

Best Buy selling 64GB PlayBook for $230, 16GB for $199 As of midnight, Best Buy is selling the high-capacity 64GB RIM BlackBerry Tablet for just $230, down from its $700 list price.

The move is seen as an effort to dump unwanted inventory into the busy holiday.

RIM's 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.

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.

The main reason the tablet has been universally hated is the fact that RIM botched the software launch so badly there was not even a native email client.

Get the tablet here: BlackBerry - PlayBook Tablet with 64GB Memory




AfterDawn: News

Another day, another Galaxy Nexus release date rumor

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2011 1:51

Another day, another Galaxy Nexus release date rumor First it was November 7th, then it was November 10th, then it was November 17th and then it was Black Friday but now it's possibly December 8th.

The U.S. launch of the Galaxy Nexus has been delayed from its original early November date to a possible December 8th launch, suggests a leaked internal document.

Says the memo: "The Samsung Nexus is now scheduled to launch in all locations on Thursday, 12/8."

The Android 4.0 ICS device will have a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a 4.65-inch HD Super AMOLED screen with 1280x768 resolution and dual cameras 1.3/5 MP. The phone has a curved design, is thin and has an impressive no-shutter lag camera.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sprint introduces $20 Android smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2011 12:50

Sprint introduces $20 Android smartphone Sprint has introduced the Express smartphone this weekend, a $20 device created by Huawei.

Running on Android 2.3, the device has a small 2.6-inch display and 320x240 resolution to accompany its full non-slideout QWERTY keypad.

Furthermore, the device has 512MB RAM, a 3.2MP camera, a microSD slot and a 1600mAh battery.

The device has 3G capability but no 4G WiMax or LTE support.

Available here, the phone is just $20 with contract compared to $200 for most high-end Android devices.




AfterDawn: News

The Windows Phone Marketplace hits 40,000 apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2011 12:40

The Windows Phone Marketplace hits 40,000 apps The Marketplace continues to see strong developer interest.

In just over a year, the Marketplace seen on Windows Phone 7 devices (and the Zune HD) has moved to 40,000 apps, a strong number for the operating system that has yet to see much traction in the industry.

Of course, compared to the more established iOS App Store and the Android Market, the number is minuscule but both stores had modest growth at the onset.

Microsoft has pushed very hard to attract developers even going as far as giving away 2500 high-end phones and creating interactive tutorials on coding for the platform.

At the current rate, the Marketplace should start the new year with 50,000 available apps.




AfterDawn: News

Google founder donates $500,000 to Wikipedia

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Nov 2011 12:07

Google founder donates $500,000 to Wikipedia The Brin Wojcicki Foundation has donated $500,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation, the company behind Wikipedia.

Wikimedia began its annual fundraiser on November 16th.

Wikipedia is viewed by 477 million unique visitors each month, making it the fifth most-trafficked site in the world.

The Brin Wojcicki Foundation, which was started by Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife (and 23andMe co-founder) Anne Wojcicki, has donated money to the Michael J. Fox Foundation among other notable organizations.

Adds Sue Gardner, executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation:

This grant is an important endorsement of the Wikimedia Foundation and its work, and I hope it will send a signal as we kick off our annual fundraising campaign this week. This is how Wikipedia works: people use it, they like it, and so they help pay for it, to keep it freely available for themselves and for everyone around the world. I am very grateful to Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki for supporting what we do.




AfterDawn: News

Authorities looking into potential Yakuza ties at Olympus

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2011 11:49

Authorities looking into potential Yakuza ties at Olympus The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's organized crime unit has joined the ongoing investigation into accounting fraud at Olympus, implying the company had some ties to gangsters such as the Yakuza.

Olympus, the camera company, admitted to hiding billions of dollars in losses for a decade through fraudulent accounting and it still remains unclear what the total writedowns will amount to.

Currently, the investigation is being led by the Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission and the Tokyo prosecutors office.

One source says "Olympus made payouts amounting to many times the losses it sought to hide, and investigators suspect much of the additional money went to crime groups." Reports have Olympus' hidden payouts at a staggering $4.9 billion.

The company's president, vice-president and internal auditor have all been fired or resigned in the past two months.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix exclusively getting new Arrested Development episodes in 2013

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2011 8:20

Netflix exclusively getting new Arrested Development episodes in 2013 Netflix announced yesterday that it had signed a deal with Fox to develop new episodes of the cult classic show "Arrested Development."

The new episodes of the show, which was cancelled in 2006, will be available on the streaming service in the Q2 2013.

Fox and Imagine Television will co-produce the episodes and Netflix will back "some" of the production costs.

There are likely to be 9 new episodes, one for each of the main characters, before the long-awaited Arrested Development movie is released in theaters.

The move is in-line with Netflix's move towards original content. The service paid top-dollar to exclusively air the upcoming drama series "House of Cards" with Kevin Spacey.




AfterDawn: News

SOPA: An infographic

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Nov 2011 12:31

SOPA: An infographic Over the past week we have posted a few articles on the disaster that is the proposed SOPA bill.

The bill will usher an era of Internet censorship in the United States and will create a huge innovation roadblock.

Americancensorship.org has posted a fantastic infrographic that explains the proposal, one that is criticized by all the major tech firms and the public.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Get ready for the BlackBerry PlayBook fire sale

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2011 5:11

Get ready for the BlackBerry PlayBook fire sale Staples and other major retailers are preparing to fire sale the RIM BlackBerry PlayBook tablet this holiday season in an effort to clear out remaining inventory of the unpopular tablet.

Starting this afternoon, Staples in Canada will slash $300 off the price, bringing the base 16GB model to just $199, in line with the Kindle Fire. The 32GB and 64GB models will sell for $299 and $399, respectively.

The sale will run from today until December 1st.

While the Canadian fire sale is first, American fans are expected to get a similar deal starting on Black Friday, next week, in Staples and potentially other retailers like Office Depot.

The underwhelming tablet saw just 200,000 units sold last quarter, about 50 percent lower than analyst expectations.




AfterDawn: News

HP introduces first business ultrabook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2011 4:35

HP introduces first business ultrabook HP has introduced its first business-oriented ultrabook, the HP Folio 13.

The computer will have a 13.3-inch HD BrightView display, is just 0.71-inches thick, and weighs 3.3 pounds.

Says the company:

This category of product breaks new ground and will be a likely choice for businesses to offer to employees looking for a more consumer-centric experience. We expect Ultrabooks will re-ignite interest in the small form factor PC category, and by 2015 expect 95 million Ultrabooks will be shipping worldwide annually.


The Folio 13 runs on an Intel Core i5-2467M processor, 4 GB RAM, has a 128GB SSD, Intel Rapid Start Technology, USB 3.0 and "an embedded TPM Embedded Security Chip to protect data sent via email and stored on the zippy solid state drive," says Tom's.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

550,000 Android devices activated daily, 200 million total

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2011 3:41

550,000 Android devices activated daily, 200 million total Google has announced that 200 million Android devices have now been activated.

In just 3 years, the operating system has been sold on 200 million devices and Google says there are 550,000 new activations every day.

Google noted in May that activations were running at 400,000 a day.

In the last six months, total devices have jumped from 100 million to 200 million.

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the company's biggest software update, to date, was just released with the launch of the Galaxy Nexus.




AfterDawn: News

Logitech would back Google TV again, but more cautiously

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2011 3:18

Logitech would back Google TV again, but more cautiously Logitech, which saw a massive loss due to its failed Revue set-top box has said it would back Google TV again, but would be much more cautious this time around.

CEO Guerrino de Luca admits the company was far too bullish on the technology when it launched the box, overinvesting at a time when it was still unclear whether the technology would be widely embraced.

Google TV allows users to stream videos and access sites and apps via their TVs using a set-top box and impressive keyboard. Media companies have mostly blocked access to their streaming sites via Google TV, however, making the service useless in its current form.

Adds the CEO (via Reuters):

Google TV is a great concept, but the product was not mature at the launch.. [however] embracing the platform was a good idea.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

New report places Kindle Fire costs at $201.70

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2011 3:07

New report places Kindle Fire costs at $201.70 A previous report from IHS had estimated costs at $210.

Research firm IHS iSuppli has done a thorough teardown of the Amazon Kindle Fire and found that the component costs are about $201.70. Amazon sells the device for $199.

By far, the most expensive part was the 7-inch display, which came in at $87 per unit. The displays are LG E-Ink.

The 1GHz processor is a Texas Instruments OMAP4430 processor which costs $14.65 per unit. Texas Instruments also supplied the "power management device and the audio codec" which accounted for another $9.35.

To save money, Amazon skipped out on a camera, microphone, microSD card slot, HDMI port and 3G/4G wireless radios.

By comparison, the 16GB iPad 2 has a teardown price of $326 but with a much richer feature set.

Concludes IHS:

The Kindle Fire, at a retail price point of $199, is sold at a loss by Amazon, just as the basic Kindle is also sold at a loss at the current $79 retail price point.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

ICANN sued over .XXX domains

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2011 2:43

ICANN sued over .XXX domains The big boys of online porn have joined together to sue ICANN in an anti-monopoly lawsuit.

Manwin, the company behind YouPorn, Brazzers, PornHub and Xtube has teamed up with Digital Playground to sue ICANN and the ICM Registry over the newly created .XXX top level domains.

Both companies want a full injunction to stop .XXX and a re-opening of competition with "reasonable price constraints."

The lawsuit claims "(...) monopolistic conduct, price gouging, and anti-competitive and unfair practices, broadly harming competition, businesses, and consumers, arising out of the establishment of .XXX, a new Top-Level Domain Name (TLD) intended for adult-oriented content."

The 44-page lawsuit continues:

ICM initially attempted to coerce ICANN to approve the .XXX TLD and to approve ICM's anti-competitive .XXX registry services. That coercion took the form of misleading predatory conduct and aggressive litigation tactics, described more fully below.

Eventually, ICANN agreed to approve the .XXX TLD, and to approve ICM as the XXX registry, not only in response to those improper and coercive tactics but also because ICM promised to pay ICANN what is expected to be millions of dollars in fees.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPhone 4S owners experiencing issues with SIM card

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Nov 2011 2:05

iPhone 4S owners experiencing issues with SIM card Apple fans are experiencing a new issue with their new iPhone.

Since its launch last month, iPhone 4S owners have had multiple problems to work through, including excessive battery drain and a non-working Siri.

Now, the latest issue is that the smartphone stops recognizing the SIM card inside, leaving users without a way to make phone calls through cellular service.

At some point during the day, the phone will flash an error message that says the SIM card is not valid or a message that says there is no SIM card inside, at all.

The issues is widespread across multiple carriers and it is unclear whether it is a hardware issue, a software issue or just a plain SIM card issue.




AfterDawn: News

Study: Piracy is accepted practice in U.S., but casually

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2011 6:13

Study: Piracy is accepted practice in U.S., but casually According to a new survey, Americans seem to have made piracy an acceptable practice, although a very small amount can be considered "hardcore" pirates.

70 percent of 18-29-year-olds surveyed admitted to pirating music, TV or movies, but only 2 percent said they had pirated over 1000 music tracks and only 1 percent said they had downloaded over 100 episodes or movies.

Additionally, 67 percent of pirates also purchased legal content, via outlets like iTunes.

The research is from the report "Copy Culture in the US and Germany" although so far, only the American research has been released. The data is via a Princeton Survey Research Associates telephone poll of 2,303 American adults this summer.

Overall, 46 percent of those surveyed admitted to piracy but a significant portion said they now pirate less due to the launch of "more attractive legal services" like Netflix streaming.

Video game players with "modified consoles" came in at only 3 percent, and mainly Xbox 360 users.

Perhaps the most interesting part of study came when the question was asked whether pirates should be punished for their actions, with only 52 percent agreeing. When asked what kind of punishment, a simple warning led the way at 51 percent, with jail time bringing up the rear at 12 percent. For music pirates, an "acceptable" fine was overwhelmingly seen at $10 or less per track.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Pelosi, Issa say FU to SOPA anti-piracy proposal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2011 5:42

Pelosi, Issa say FU to SOPA anti-piracy proposal Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House Leader, has said today that she does not support SOPA, the proposed anti-piracy bill that would lead to Internet censorship in the U.S.

Pelosi tweeted: "Need to find a better solution than #SOPA #DontBreakTheInternet." The quote was in response to being asked "Where do you stand on internet censoring and #SOPA?"

On the other side of the political spectrum, California Republican Darrell Issa has said the act has no chance of passing (via the Wrap):

Congress is realizing there are so many unintended consequences that they can't just use Google as a piñata and bash on it here. There is a very broad coalition from far left to far right who realize this will hurt innovation, something we can't afford to do. And there are other ways to accomplish what they say is their goal.


Issa would go on to call the proposal "dangerous" in its current form.

SOPA has seen strong opposition from major tech firms like Google, Facebook, eBay, Yahoo, AOL and more as well as a huge uprising from citizens and heavily trafficked sites like Reddit. The bill is backed in force by the MPAA, RIAA and other content providers.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Confirmed: Samsung Galaxy S II will get Android 4.0

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2011 5:16

Confirmed: Samsung Galaxy S II will get Android 4.0 Although it was never really a question, Samsung has confirmed today that its popular Galaxy S II smartphone will be getting the Android 4.0 (ICS) update.

The tweet from Samsung UK says: "Hi, yes it will be released but no confirmed date yet. We will keep you updated." Out of context that makes no sense, but the tweet was in response to the question "ICS on GSII?"

Google showed off the operating system update last month to praise, and the first device to use the OS, the Galaxy Nexus has launched this week. Google also released the source code for 4.0 on Monday.

The Galaxy S II has a 4.27-inch WVGA Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen, Android 2.3.4, a 1.2GHz Samsung dual-core processor, an 8.49mm thin chassis (at lowest), an 8MP camera with autofocus and 1080p recording, NFC support, 4G, a 2MP front-side camera and HSPA+, WiFi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0+HS.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Facebook value continues to decline

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2011 5:05

Facebook value continues to decline Facebook, through its private share sales, appears to be losing value.

SharesPost, which auctions private shares of companies that have not yet gone public says Facebook shares have fallen from their peak in August at $33 per share to $30 today.

On August 16th, 100,000 shares were sold for $33 per share. On October 26th, 70,000 shares were sold at $32. Yesterday, a large block of 75,000 shares sold for $30 per share, implying a 9.1 percent drop in value in just 2 months.

Facebook is set to go public next year, with a market value of over $70 billion, making it a top tech firm.

Recently, companies like LinkedIn, Groupon and Yelp have gone public and commanded large premiums due to their social networking nature.




AfterDawn: News

Seagate: HDD prices cannot go down until end of 2012

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2011 4:46

Seagate: HDD prices cannot go down until end of 2012 Seagate CEO Stephen Luczo has some bad news for anyone in need of a new hard drive - prices will stay inflated until at least the end of next year.

Due to the flooding in Thailand, which has left 13 million people homeless and a significant amount of factories with over 3 feet of water, hard drive prices have soared 20 percent in the last month.

Says the CEO:

This is going to take a lot longer than people are assuming, until the end of 2012 at least. And by then, demand will have gone up.


Currently, the floods have affected the infrastructure that is producing around 40 percent of the world's hard drives.

With supply drying up and demand growing, some customers have offered Seagate $250 million in upfront cash to lock up some capacity. For now, the CEO says he could raise prices another 20 percent but prefers to sign up customers for 1-3 year contracts at the current rates, instead.




AfterDawn: News

Starz to launch HBO Go-like web service next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2011 4:26

Starz to launch HBO Go-like web service next year Starz CEO Chris Albrecht has said today that the company is looking to starting an online version of its TV and movie channel that will operate just like HBO Go.

The streaming service, available for free to paying subscribers, will offer the ability to watch the company's premium programming via the Internet, on-demand.

Starz currently has 52 million subscribers.

Additionally, the company could also launch a stand-alone version of the service for subscribers who don't want the channels on their TV (or don't have TV).

Albrecht believes the service "would help reduce customer losses, increase availability beyond the home and attract younger subscribers."




AfterDawn: News

Analyst: Amazon smartphone coming next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2011 3:41

Analyst: Amazon smartphone coming next year Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney says Amazon's oft-rumored smartphone will be released at the end of 2012.

The device is being built by Foxconn and developed by Amazon.

Mahaney notes that the phone will be "mid-level," not running with high-end specs.

The phone will be very price competitive, costing Amazon $150 to build. The phone will then be sold to carriers at $170 who could choose to subsidize it to consumers for free.

In comparison, HTC sells their phones for $243 on average to carriers (good for 30% margin) and Apple sells their latest iPhone for $600 to carriers, ensuring a massive 55 percent margin.

The Amazon smartphone will run the same Android-based OS as the Kindle Fire, and will closely integrate Amazon shopping, music, movies, Kindle ebooks, daily deals and cloud storage.




AfterDawn: News

'Modern Warfare 3' makes $775 million in first five days

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2011 1:18

'Modern Warfare 3' makes $775 million in first five days Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has broken yet another sales record.

The game grossed just over $775 million during its first five days of availability, says publisher Activision.

Adds CEO Bobby Kotick:

Life-to-date retail sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded $6 billion worldwide, which makes Call of Duty one of the most valuable entertainment properties in the world.


Call of Duty has seen its share of records, especially in the last few years. In 2009, COD: Modern Warfare 2 grossed $550 million in its first 5 days while last year, COD: Black Ops cashed $650 million in the same time frame.

From a multiplayer standpoint, Microsoft says 3.3 million subscribers played the game on launch day via Xbox Live, a record.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox 360 is official console of the NFL

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Nov 2011 12:44

Xbox 360 is official console of the NFL Microsoft has announced a multi-year sponsorship deal with the National Football League (NFL) to have the Xbox 360 become the official console of the league.

As part of the deal, the software giant will work with the NFL's "Play 60" kids health program in order "to help teach kids the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle while having fun with Kinect for Xbox 360."

The program is based on getting kids to be physically active for 60 minutes every day.

From now on, the Kinect motion control system will be integrated into Play 60 events.




AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Xbox Next to be unveiled in 2012

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2011 11:46

Rumor: Xbox Next to be unveiled in 2012 According to sources speaking to Edge, the Xbox Next/720 will be launched in 2012 in order to beat out rivals Nintendo and Sony.

The source says Ubisoft Montreal "is currently working with next generation target boxes based on the intended specifications of Microsoft's Xbox 360 successor."

Furthermore, a few other major developers, like EA, also have the units.

The "target boxes" are PCs with components about equal to the specs of the upcoming console. AMD is said to be providing the GPU.

If accurate, the sources say Microsoft will make some announcements at CES in January for the game console launching in late 2012.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook, Google, more call SOPA anti-piracy bill 'draconian'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2011 10:56

Facebook, Google, more call SOPA anti-piracy bill 'draconian' The SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) bill has been dubbed draconian by a number of tech giants, including Google and Facebook.

Both companies say the bill is too strict and will lead to an incredible amount of unintended consequences.

SOPA was proposed as a way to censor access to sites like The Pirate Bay.

If SOPA was to pass, copyright holders could complain and have websites shutdown. Additionally, payment processors and search engines will have to block those sites, as well.

Outside of Google and Facebook - AOL, eBay, LinkedIn, Mozila, Yahoo, Twitter and Zynga filed the formal complaint with key Senate and House lawmakers.

Reads the complaint (via CNN):

We support the bills' stated goals. Unfortunately, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities [and] mandates that would require monitoring of web sites.


Additionally, huge sites like BoingBoing and Reddit are now sporting "STOP CENSORSHIP" logos.

SOPA is backed by the MPAA and RIAA.




AfterDawn: News

Google Music moves out of beta, adds download store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2011 10:34

Google Music moves out of beta, adds download store Google Music, the cloud streaming service introduced earlier this year, has moved out of beta today, adding a download catalog.

The store will compete directly with iTunes and Amazon MP3 but goes a step further by allowing users to trade and share songs with friends on Google+, the social network.

Just like rivals, tracks will cost $0.99 to $1.29 and around $9.99 per album but will be better quality at 320kbps.

Additionally, the original features of Google Music will remain intact, allowing users to upload 20,000 tracks to the cloud for free and stream them on Android devices or any PC with Internet access.

Looking to get new artists out there, Google has created Artist Hub, a service that allows unsigned bands to build storefronts in Google Music and sell from their YouTube pages. The fee is just $25 (one-time) for the service.

Google Music has 8 million tracks from Sony Music, Universal Music and EMI but is notably missing Warner Music, who has so far declined to sign a licensing agreement.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile is Google Music's first carrier partner

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2011 6:38

T-Mobile is Google Music's first carrier partner Google, whilst announcing their Google Music music download store today, has announced why T-Mobile was invited to the event.

The carrier will be Google's first carrier partner, with others expected to join later.

T-Mobile will allow you charge purchases right to your monthly bill, paying nothing up front.

Finally, the carrier also says they will have exclusive content for their subscribers, although they did not make it clear what that would entail.

A quick glance shows some free tracks from Drake.




AfterDawn: News

HTC to be sued by porn company over name 'Vivid'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2011 5:36

HTC to be sued by porn company over name 'Vivid' Adult movie maker Vivid Entertainment has sent a cease-and-desist letter to smartphone maker HTC over the new "Vivid" phone for AT&T.

The company wants HTC to change the name or risk a lawsuit over trademark infringement.

HTC has responded with a canned release:

We are reviewing the complaint and don't expect to have any further comment until it is resolved.


Lawyers for Vivid say "consumers might get confused and think Vivid is behind the phone."

HTC reportedly has until Monday to make the change.




AfterDawn: News

Spotify expands to three more countries

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2011 5:11

Spotify expands to three more countries Spotify has now expanded to three new countries, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria.

Last month, the company expanded to Denmark, the ninth country to have the unlimited music service.

As with other countries, there will be three different models.

Spotify Free features occasional advertising but offers free streaming of millions of tracks for a certain point.

Spotify Unlimited offers unlimited streaming, no ads.

Spotify Premium gives unlimited access, no ads, mobile access and better sound quality.




AfterDawn: News

HTC Zeta concept phone has 2.5GHz quad-core processor

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2011 4:46

HTC Zeta concept phone has 2.5GHz quad-core processor Engadget has posted the HTC Zeta concept phone today, a possible flagship device featuring a 2.5GHz quad-core processor.

The leaked handset will also have a 4.5-inch 720p HD screen, with 1280x768 resolution.

Additionally, the device will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich installed, HTC Sense 4.0 and 1GB RAM.

Finally, the phone will have 32GB internal storage, integrated Beats Audio, dual cameras 8MP/1.3MP, Bluetooth 4.0 and weigh 5.15 ounces.

The site also has pics, posted here below. As stated, the phone is just a concept for now, but could become reality next year.




AfterDawn: News

Internet entrepeneur sues CNET for distributing P2P software

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 16 Nov 2011 3:14

Internet entrepeneur sues CNET for distributing P2P software As the entertainment industry pushes for legislation to punish sites for profiting from others' copyright infringement, they may be getting a first hand look from the other side.

A coalition led by producer, director, and digital distribution entrepeneur Alki David is suing CBS Interactive and CNET. CBS has owned CNET since 2008.

The plaintiffs claim CNET's operation of download sites offering P2P software makes them liable for secondary copyright infringement as defined by the Supreme Court in the Grokster case.

At first glance, it's hard to tell if this is an honest attempt to take advantage of the current law enforcement and judicial environment which has set the bar for assigning liability for copyright infringement ridiculously low. It could, instead be a brilliantly planned satirical attack on bills like PROTECT IP and SOPA, and even the ACTA intellectual property treaty.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon Kindle Fire already rooted

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2011 2:48

Amazon Kindle Fire already rooted Just one day after release, the Kindle Fire has already been rooted.

On the XDA forums, the developer has rooted the popular tablet using ADB and SuperOneClick 2.2.

By rooting the device, you can side load apps and eventually add custom ROMs to the device.

For those on the fence, Amazon has said it will not try to stop people from rooting their devices, but did not go out of its way to encourage it.

For those interested, read the post here: [ROOT][ONE-CLICK] How-To Get ADB running AND Root with SuperOneClick




AfterDawn: News

Sony considering online service to kill cable TV

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Nov 2011 2:13

Sony considering online service to kill cable TV According to multiple sources, Sony is considering beginning an online service that will be an alternative to cable TV.

The company has already approached several media companies in an effort to negotiate rights to offer TV channels via the Internet.

If Sony is successful, the company will be able to stream the channels via Sony devices like the PlayStation 3, BRAVIA TVs and Blu-ray players.

Sony has 18 million PS3 owners in the U.S., alone, and there are an estimated 15 million more Sony Internet-connected device owners.

By comparison, the largest cable operator, Comcast, has 22.4 million subscribers.




AfterDawn: News

Boxee Box to add TV tuner support

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 16 Nov 2011 12:58

Boxee Box to add TV tuner support As Google TV continues to get the lion's share of press coverage for online TV alternatives, Boxee remains arguably the most successful offering for cord cutters.

Now they are adding a crucial component to their service by integrating over the air TV and unencrypted cable TV (ClearQAM) capabilities to the Boxee Box. In January they will begin shipping a USB TV tuner accessory for their set-top box.

The tuner can be pre-ordered now from the Boxee website.

The primary focus of Boxee is on delivering free online content through their software and hardware clients. In addition to the Boxee Box, there are also Windows, OS X, and even Apple TV clients.

However, the tuner will only work with the Boxee Box.

This seems like an obvious move considering support for TV broadcasts has been a frequently requested feature from early on. If there's one major feature still missing, it would be DVR functionality.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

UMG sues insurance company to reimburse them for back royalties

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 16 Nov 2011 12:16

UMG sues insurance company to reimburse them for back royalties Universal Music Group is suing National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh for refusing to pay $45 million to cover a settlement for back royalties owed in Canada.

The facts of the original case are far from surprising if you know anything about how major labels treat artists. UMG was accused of failing to pay artists when their songs were included on compilation albums.

Instead, the royalties owed were put on a list to be paid later. The problem is those payments weren't actually made.

UMG, whose Canadian subsidiary was named in the suit along with Warner Music Canada, Sony BMG Music Canada, and EMI Music Canada, agreed to settle the class action for copyright infringement because National Union rejected their claim from the beginning.

The settlement is actually quite generous, apparently amounting to only the amount originally owed in royalties, rather than close to $6 billion they could have been liable for under Canadian coypright law.

UMG claims their insurance policy covers both the settlement and the cost of their unsuccessful defense. In their suit against National Union, UMG lawyers claim:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Over 100 law professors protest SOPA / E-PARASITE bill

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 16 Nov 2011 11:05

Over 100 law professors protest SOPA / E-PARASITE bill More than 100 noted US law professors have signed an open letter to the US House of Representatives protesting the SOPA bill (formerly E-PARASITE) which would, among other things, elminate nearly all the safe harbor protections afforded by service providers by the DMCA.

The letter highlights the same problems many people have already pointed out. In a summary of the letter, they say SOPA will:

  • Redefine the standard for copyright infringement on the Internet, changing the definition of inducement in a! way that would not only conflict with Supreme Court precedent but would make YouTube, Google, and numerous other web sites liable for copyright infringement.
  • Allow the government to block Internet access to any web site that "facilitated" copyright or trademark infringement - a term that the Department of Justice currently interprets to require nothing more than having a link on a web page to another site that turns out to be infringing.
  • Allow any private copyright or trademark owner to interfere with the ability of web sites to host advertising or charge purchases to credit cards, putting enormous obstacles in the path of electronic commerce.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Verizon and Sprint using rootkit to collect data from Android phones

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 16 Nov 2011 9:48

Verizon and Sprint using rootkit to collect data from Android phones A security researcher has identified a rootkit present on smartphones manufactured for two of the biggest US carriers. Both Verizon and Sprint are selling phones which come preinstalled with CarrierIQ, which is intended to be used for analyzing network and connection problems.

However, as Trevor Eckhart points out, it can be used for much more than that. More importantly, its very existence is hidden from the user, making it difficult to detect and even harder to remove.

So what exactly can CarrierIQ do? According to Eckhart it can gather all kinds of data you may not wish to share with your carrier (via AndroidSecurityTest):

Carrier IQ is able to query any metric from a device. A metric can be a dropped call because of lack of service. The scope of the word metric is very broad though, including device type, such as manufacturer and model, available memory and battery life, the type of applications resident on the device, the geographical location of the device, the end user?s pressing of keys on the device, usage history of the device, including those that characterize a user?s interaction with a device.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Windows 8 will be on phones?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2011 5:47

Windows 8 will be on phones? Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has ended speculation today by announcing that Windows 8 would be made available on phones.

The operating system had been confirmed for PCs (obviously) and tablets, so far.

Says Ballmer: "We are driving Windows down to the phone with Windows 8."

Because the operating system will also be somewhat integrated to the Xbox 360, the OS will unify all of Microsoft's platforms for the first time ever.

Windows Phone will likely not be identical to its tablet and desktop counterpart but will most likely share the same NT kernel.

There is a debate as to whether Ballmer just misspoke (didn't pause long enough to separate sentences but guess for yourself):




AfterDawn: News

Android accounted for over 50 percent of smartphone sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2011 4:42

Android accounted for over 50 percent of smartphone sales According to research firm Gartner, the Android operating system was on 52.5 percent of all smartphones sold in the Q3.

Year-over-year, the OS jumped from 25 percent share.

Overall, smartphone sales volume increased by 42 percent, even with eager buyers waiting until October to purchase the iPhone 4S.

Says Gartner (via Bloomberg):

Android benefited from more mass-market offerings, a weaker competitive environment, and the lack of exciting new products on alternative operating systems.

The entry-level Android smartphones are getting better and better. This lower end is really what will be driving more growth next year.


Smartphones also accounted for 26 percent of all global mobile phone sales, up from 25 percent in the Q2.

Symbian was the big loser, falling from 36 percent share to 16.9 percent. RIM Blackberry also declined, from 20.9 percent to 16 percent.




AfterDawn: News

Windows 8 will consolidate restarts in monthly update

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 15 Nov 2011 2:44

Windows 8 will consolidate restarts in monthly update One of the changes in Windows 8 is new behavior related to automatic restarts when updates are installed.

In the latest post on the Building Windows 8 blog, Farzana Rahman of the Windows Update team explained what these changes are, and why they were made.

Farzana identified the sometimes frequent notifications from Windows Update as a common complaint among Windows Users. The main problems, she says, is that most people don't want to be bothered when updates are about to be installed and they don't want their work disrupted by a restart.

In order to address these issues, a number of changes were made in Windows 8. Perhaps the most significant was moving every update which requires a restart, but which isn't considered critical, into the monthly security release.

This will result in restarts happening less often.

In addition, rather than bugging you frequently when your computer needs to be restarted following the monthly security update, you will receive notifications on the login screen for 3 days before Windows automatically restarts.

She described the process in detail, complete with pictures:

  1. A message about the upcoming restart is shown in the login screen for three days or until the PC is restarted (whichever is sooner). This means you now have three days to restart the PC at your convenience. All you need to do is see the login screen once in 3 days to see the message about the upcoming restart and by default the lock screen will appear after 15-minute idle timeout.
    <b>Windows 8</b> Windows Update Restart Changes 1

  2. In addition to the restart notification on the login screen, the Power options on the lock screen will change to ?Update and restart? immediately after the update occurs, and will include ?Update and shutdown? on days two and three, to make the message even more apparent to you. This allows you to restart your PC at your own convenience.
    <b>Windows 8</b> Windows Update Restart Changes 2

    <b>Windows 8</b> Windows Update Restart Changes 3

  3. If after three days, the restart still has not occurred, then WU will automatically restart your PC for you. In this case, the automatic restart will happen either at the end of the three-day grace period, or, to prevent data loss if WU detects that there are critical applications open at the end of the three-day grace period, it will wait to automatically restart the next time you login. I?ll address this behavior in more depth in the next section.
    <b>Windows 8</b> Windows Update Restart Changes 4

  4. After the restart has occurred, the message on the login screen will go away and the power options will revert to the original choices. We know people would like Windows to automatically log in after the restart, but we strongly advise against doing so, given the potential security issues with this configuration.
    <b>Windows 8</b> Windows Update Restart Changes 5

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

European Parliament refuses to disclose legal opinion on ACTA

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 15 Nov 2011 1:00

European Parliament refuses to disclose legal opinion on ACTA Even with the full details of ACTA having long since been made public, EU officials continue to deny public access to vital information about whether signing it would violate the law.

Although the majority of ACTA negotiators were from EU members, and the EU even sent representatives to the ACTA signing ceremony, a review of the treaty's legal ramifications is required before it can be ratified.

The review process is underway, with a presentation of analysis from the EP Legal Service to the Committee on International Trade (INTA) is scheduled on November 23. However, that analysis will not be released to the public.

The Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure, a non-profit group advocating against ACTA, sent a letter to INTA Chairman Vital Moreira protesting this secrecy. They believe it violates EU law.

They wrote:

On 21 June 2011, the coordinators of the INTA committee decided to ask the Parliament?s legal service an opinion on ACTA. This decision was illegal for two reasons. First, the ACTA text had already been published, the discussion should have taken place in public. Second, coordinators can prepare decisions, but can not take them.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PETA goes after Super Mario 3D Land

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2011 12:59

PETA goes after Super Mario 3D Land PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has started a new ad campaign targeting the brand new Super Mario 3D Land video game for the Nintendo 3DS.

The group seems to be up in arms over Mario's "Tanooki" racoon suit.

Says PETA:

Tanooki may be just a 'suit' in Mario games, but in real life, tanuki are raccoon dogs who are skinned alive for their fur. By wearing Tanooki, Mario is sending the message that it's OK to wear fur.


Nintendo was quick to respond to the campaign:

Mario often takes the appearance of certain animals and objects in his games. These have included a frog, a penguin, a balloon and even a metallic version of himself. These lighthearted and whimsical transformations give Mario different abilities and make his games fun to play. The different forms that Mario takes make no statement beyond the games themselves.





AfterDawn: News

Nokia Music adds intelligent playlists

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2011 12:47

Nokia Music adds intelligent playlists Nokia Music, the music playback app for Windows Phone 7 devices, has added "Pandora"-like intelligent playlists based on the owner's own music collections.

The service comes via a deal with The Echo Nest and is called "Mix Radio."

Mix Radio scans the owner's existing collection (on their desktop, not just what is on the device) and then puts together customized radio stations from your music and Nokia's 15 million-strong music catalog.

From then on in, your "Taste Profile" will allow you to create new radio stations from tracks, artists or albums.

The service will be available on the new Lumia 800 starting tomorrow.

(Pic via Slash)




AfterDawn: News

Android 4.0.1 source code released

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2011 12:27

Android 4.0.1 source code released Yesterday, Android Open-Source Project software engineer Jean-Baptiste M. "JBQ" Queru posted that they were pushing the Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich source code to the git servers.

As of today, the code is fully available.

Reads the post:


Hi! We just released a bit of code we thought this group might be interested in.
Over at our Android Open-Source Project git servers, the source code for Android version 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is now available.

Here's how to get it:Follow the instructions at http://source.android.com/source/downloading.html Check out the
'ics-release' branch:repo init -u
https://android.googlesource.com/platform/manifest -b android-4.0.1_r1
That's it! However since this is a large push, please be aware that it will take some time to complete. If you sync before it's done, you'll get an incomplete copy that you won't be able to use, so please wait for us to give the all-clear before you sync. This is actually the source code for version 4.0.1 of Android, which is the specific version that will ship on the Galaxy Nexus, the first Android 4.0 device. In the source tree, you will find a device build target named "full_maguro" that you can use to build a system image for Galaxy Nexus. Build configurations for other devices will come later.

Unfortunately we still don't have our Gerrit code review servers back online. That remains our top priority though, and we hope to have them back soon.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Facebook hit by wave of porn and gore

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Nov 2011 12:14

Facebook hit by wave of porn and gore Facebook has confirmed today that it is investigating into a giant wave of gory and pornographic images that have been posted to the social networking site.

The pictures, links and videos include manipulated pictures of celebrities in sex acts, bestiality and violent acts, sometimes performed on animals.

Says Facebook:

We have recently experienced an increase in reports and we are investigating and addressing the issue. We are always working to improve our systems to isolate and remove material that violates our terms. Protecting the people who use Facebook from spam and malicious content is a top priority for us.


The wave continues to grow as users click on the spam virus unknowingly, thus sending the content to more friends by accident.

Concludes security firm Sophos:

It's precisely this kind of problem which is likely to drive people away from the site. Facebook needs to get a handle on this problem quickly, and prevent it from happening on such a scale again.




AfterDawn: News

RIAA threats against ReDigi show why copyright law doesn't work for digital content

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 15 Nov 2011 11:44

RIAA threats against ReDigi show why copyright law doesn't work for digital content A service for reselling legally purchased music downloads, called ReDigi, launched in October month after several months in beta. Now they are faced with a likely legal challenge from the RIAA claiming copyright infringement. A lawsuit has yet to be filed, but the RIAA has sent a threatening letter to ReDigi.

The letter lays out a somewhat complicated case against ReDigi's service which involves two separate claims. They make two different claims against ReDigi. First they claim the fact ReDigi's sales are for copies of the original song, which is not allowed by law.

They also argue offering 30 second previews of songs offered for sale constitutes a violation of the copyright holder's performance right. This claim is significantly weaker. In fact, it's so weak as to be laughable. While royalty collection groups have made a similar claim for years, lawsuits have never been filed because of how weak it is.

Copy or Derivative Work?
Let's look at the first, more serious, claim first. The RIAA letter states (via Ars Technica):

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung gets expedited trial date in Australia, will not seek iPhone ban in South Korea

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 15 Nov 2011 9:32

Samsung gets expedited trial date in Australia, will not seek iPhone ban in South Korea Samsung has decided not to pursue an injunction to ban sales of the iPhone 4S in South Korea. The decision will not affect litigation in other countries.

In response to Apple patent lawsuits around the world which put Samsung's ability to sell Android smartphones in question, Samsung has sued to ban the iPhone 4S based on patent claims of their own.

The South Korean launch of the iPhone 4S was last Saturday, which would mean a request to ban it would likely have already been filed by now if it were coming.

The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, quoted a senior Samsung executive who said:

We concluded that we should engage in legal battles with Apple only in the global market, but not in order to gain more market share in Korea.


This is probably less significant than you might think. While it is certainly true South Korea is a key smartphone market, it's also where Samsung is based. That has numerous implications for Apple's legal strategy.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPhone is still the most popular US smartphone

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 15 Nov 2011 8:14

iPhone is still the most popular US smartphone Despite all the success Samsung continues to have in the smartphone business, the iPhone continues to be the most popular phone in the US.

According to figures released by the NPD Group, not only was the iPhone 4 the most popular smartphone in Q3, but the iPhone 3GS retained its place at number two. What that means is that not only does the iPhone continue to lead sales of premium smartphones, with the iPhone 3GS Apple also has the most popular budget model.

This is significant if you consider there are a number of Android phones available for a similar price which are technologically superior to the iPhone 3GS. It also puts Apple's lawsuit campaign against various Android vendors, particularly Samsung, into perspective.

It's hard to imagine how it would be possible to sell more iPhones. Apple already has problems keeping up with demand. What Samsung, HTC, and others are doing isn't taking Apple customers. They're expanding the market, which clearly benefits Apple.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Cheap Android tablets everywhere on Black Friday - buyer beware

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Nov 2011 3:56

Cheap Android tablets everywhere on Black Friday - buyer beware Retailers in the US appear to be preparing to capitalize on the wealth of smaller and cheaper Android tablets on the market to help spark sales on Black Friday.

It's hard to say whether that will ultimately be better for Android or Apple. There are a lot of cheap Android tablets, but there are reasons those tablets are cheap.

Companies like Amazon or Barnes & Noble can sell pretty good hardware for around the same price as it costs (less in Amazon's case) because they are using them to push other revenue streams. Those companies are the exception, not the rule.

If you want to gauge what a realistic price for a tablet being sold for profit instead of a sales tool, you should look at the models sold by Samsung or Asus, or newer Archos models. Tablets from those companies start at $300.

Looking through a list of Black Friday sale items, there are certainly some of those tablets represented, but there are also a few big deals likely to leave a bad impression on the buyer (via AndroidGuys):

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Prototype Razer gaming laptops stolen from lab

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2011 3:19

Prototype Razer gaming laptops stolen from lab Razer, the company behind the upcoming 17-inch Blade gaming laptop has said today that two prototypes have been stolen from their R&D lab in California.

The company says they are working with authorities and is urging fans not to purchase the laptops online, or via classified ads.

What makes the Blade a "gaming laptop" is the fact that it has customizable keys that require custom software from developers.

Additionally, the laptop has an LCD panel next to the keys that serves as either a multi-touch controller or to show in-game stats like lives, ammo, etc.

The Razer Blade has a 17-inch display, an Intel Core i7 at 3.5GHz, 8GB DDR3 memory and a GeForce GT555m with 2GB GDDR5. The laptop will sell for $2800.




AfterDawn: News

Album sales increase for first time since 2004

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2011 2:38

Album sales increase for first time since 2004 For the first time since 2004, album sales have actually increased although revenue continues to fall.

Thanks to Spotify, discounts and major releases like Lady Gaga, the music industry is on pace to see its first sales growth in over half a decade.

On exec was very happy with the figures, Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy (Vivendi owns Universal Music Group):

There's a clear rebound in music sales this year. We don't want to claim victory. But the music industry may be at a turning point.


Overall sales, which include record albums, digital downloads, compact discs, some vinyl LPs and cassettes, are up 3 percent, to the tune of 255 million albums sold, says Bloomberg.

Levy says he believes across-the-board lower prices has helped the cause, with most new albums now launching at $9-$10 compared to $14-$20 in the early 2000s.

In 2000, boy bands lead the charge to a record 785 million units sold and declines have been steady since.




AfterDawn: News

Google Music service revealed in leaked screenshots

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2011 2:19

Google Music service revealed in leaked screenshots Spanish blog TecnoDroidVe has posted screenshots of the upcoming Google Music download service.

Currently, Google Music is a free cloud streaming service that allows you to upload your music and access it from anywhere with an Internet connection, including your Android device.

The blogger says he stumbled upon the non-operational store from his HTC Inspire 4G.

In the store, you can see recommendations for artists and a "free song of the day," similar to other music stores.

The store is expected to be announced officially on Wednesday although potentially without music from Sony or Warner, two of the Big 4 labels.





AfterDawn: News

Anonymous source says iPhone 5 was cancelled at the last minute

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Nov 2011 2:01

Anonymous source says iPhone 5 was cancelled at the last minute Inaccurate predictions about new Apple products are nothing new. Apple's secrecy about new products is legendary.

At the same time, when the iPhone 4S came out it was striking just how wrong everybody was about it. While there were rumors of a new iPhone 4, normally reputable sources were indicating a redesigned iPhone with a new shape and bigger display was on the horizon.

So how did everybody get it so wrong?

According to Business Week they might not have. An unnamed source claims to have had a prototype of the mythical new iPhone in his hands.

Their source, whose story they admit has not been corroborated to date, claims the new iPhone had a bigger display and thinner profile than the iPhone 4S. He also says it may have been cancelled by Steve Jobs over concerns it would fragment the iPhone line.

It's hard to guess whether any of this is true at the moment, but it does fit in with reports from as recently as September.

At the time, it was rumored there would be two new iPhones coming out. The first was said to be basically what Business Week describes and the second was expected to be an upate of the iPhone 4 to be sold in developing markets like China.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple will replace defective 1st gen iPod Nano with same model

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2011 1:58

Apple will replace defective 1st gen iPod Nano with same model This weekend we reported that Apple was recalling its 1st generation iPod Nano music players in the U.S. and sending all those affected replacements.

It was unclear, however, if users would be sent the same model (which launched in 2005) or a new media player, which is now in its 6th iteration.

Today, Apple has made it clear that they will be shipping out the same model (1st Gen) and that turn-around time is 6 weeks.

Original article:

Apple has announced this week that it is recalling its first generation iPad Nano in the U.S.
The devices, which launched in September 2005, apparently have a rare overheating issue.

Apple is telling users to stop using their devices immediately and the company will replace them for free.

Battery overheating issues on the 1G iPod Nano is not a new issue, and the replacement program is expanding to add the U.S. It is currently available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Reads the post:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Iranian defense systems hit by 'Duqu' super virus

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2011 1:33

Iranian defense systems hit by 'Duqu' super virus Iran has confirmed today that their computer defense systems have been hit by the super-virus dubbed "Duqu."

Last year, the "Stuxnet" worm successfully knocked out the Iranian nuclear centrifuges, the devices used to enrich uranium.

Says Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran's civil defense program:

We are in the initial phase of fighting the Duqu virus. The final report which says which organisations the virus has spread to and what its impacts are has not been completed yet.

All the organisations and centers that could be susceptible to being contaminated are being controlled.


Duqu, unlike Stuxnet which actually altered the speed of the centrifuges causing them to break down, seems to be aimed at gaining remote access to computer systems.

Security firm Symantec had this to say about Duqu (via The Telegraph):

It is apparent to Symantec that the authors of this new threat had access to the Stuxnet source code, not just Stuxnet binaries.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google X is Google's secret product lab

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2011 1:22

Google X is Google's secret product lab According to the NYTimes, Google has a secret product lab called Google X that is out there trying to change the world.

Google X is the team behind the driver-less cars seen around California and the lab is also working on other projects like "space elevators" and Internet-connected household devices.

Sources claim that the labs are run "as mysteriously as the C.I.A." and work out of two locations, one undisclosed and one in Google's headquarters.

The lab is mainly run by robotics engineers and a few software engineers.

Google would not comment on the existence of the mysterious labs.




AfterDawn: News

AMD to finally release new server processors

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2011 1:04

AMD to finally release new server processors AMD, the second-largest computer processor maker in the world, has announced today that it will try to regain relevance in the server market with its first new design since 2003.

Since 2006, AMD has fallen from a 26 percent share in the server chip market to just 5.2 percent. Rival Intel controls the other 94.8 percent.

The new chips, based on the "Interlagos" design, will sell for $125-$1019.

Patrick Patla, general manager of the server business notes (via Bloomberg)

We've got to get relevance back. We want to drive rapid expansion of our market share.


AMD's latest chips will "provide 55 percent more performance than Intel equivalents" at similar price points, says Patla.




AfterDawn: News

Intel Core i7-3960X is an extreme edition Sandy Bridge chip

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2011 12:54

Intel Core i7-3960X is an extreme edition Sandy Bridge chip Intel has unveiled a chip for the "we have too much money crowd," the Core i7-3960X.

The Extreme Edition Sandy Bridge chip is six-core, 12-thread at 3.3GHz.

Additionally, the chip supports up to four channels of DDR3 memory, has 15MB of L3 cache, and can be overclocked with one click to 3.9GHz with Intel's Turbo Boost.

The processor uses 130W TDP and will cost above $1000 at retail, given that Intel is selling it at $990 wholesale.




AfterDawn: News

HTC to announce quad-core tablet at MWC

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2011 12:42

HTC to announce quad-core tablet at MWC According to multiple reports, HTC is preparing a quad-core tablet to be announced at the Mobile World Congress event next year.

The tablet will be powered by a Tegra 3 processor, likely at 1.2GHz.

Additionally, the company is expected to launch two new smartphones, including one with a quad-core processor. It been rumored those devices are the HTC Edge and the HTC Ville.

All of the devices will run Android 4.0.

MWC starts on February 27.




AfterDawn: News

Nokia partnership sparks developer interest in Windows Phone

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Nov 2011 12:35

Nokia partnership sparks developer interest in Windows Phone Windows Phone may not have reached their current goal of being the number three mobile OS with consumers just yet, but among developers the story looks a little different.

In a developer survey conducted by Appcellerator, makers of the Titanium mobile development platform, with the assistance of IDC, 38% expressed interest in developing for Windows Phone. Of those, the majority were specifically saw opportunities with Nokia's new Lumia line.

While that's still a far cry from Android or iOS, it's significantly ahead of BlackBerry phones, which interested just 21% of developers.

The other big winner in the survey was Amazon, whose Kindle Fire is seen as a hot commodity among tablets. Worldwide, compared to other Android tablets, it was second only to the Galaxy Tab.

US developers were even more enthusiastic about the Kindle Fire, putting it ahead of the Galaxy Tab and nearly as high as the iPad. The price, in particular, seems to be the biggest factor.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Warner Brothers blames faulty DMCA takedowns on their computers

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Nov 2011 10:55

Warner Brothers blames faulty DMCA takedowns on their computers After a revelation last week of their abusing the DMCA takedown process, Warner Brothers went into damage control mode on Friday.

Their improper DMCA takedowns, which involved files where Warner didn't own the copyrights, came to light in their case against cyberlocker service Hotfile. As part of the takedown process, the DMCA requires the sender to include:

A physical or electronic signature of a person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed


If further stipulates the notice must include a statement promising:

that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.


Even as they defended their actions, Warner Brothers admitted to relying on automated software to identify infringing content without double checking the results for errors. That software made the kind of mistakes you would expect from amateur programmers:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

China Mobile tells Apple no deal without app revenue sharing

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Nov 2011 9:29

China Mobile tells Apple no deal without app revenue sharing With as much success as Apple has had in attracting major carriers for the iPhone, their inability to ink a deal with China Mobile stands out as perhaps their biggest failure.

China Mobile is the largest mobile carrier in the world by any objective standard. They have more than 600 million customers and their network covers more area than any other provider worldwide.

It appears the sticking point in negotiations between the two companies isn't over the phone, which would have to be modified for China Mobile's network, but rather the iTunes App Store. Specifically, it's a question of app store revenue. China Mobile wants a cut.

Citing information from Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu, All Things D reports that China Mobile has told Apple they are not interested in selling the iPhone without a revenue sharing deal for app store purchases.

If true, there is some irony in the situation. Apple's demand for revenue sharing with carriers was one reason they were able to secure very few carrier deals for the original iPhone. In fact, China Mobile was one of the carriers who turned them down.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Adobe confirms that Apple's rejection led to death of mobile Flash

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Nov 2011 1:44

Adobe confirms that Apple's rejection led to death of mobile Flash Last week, Adobe announced it was killing development on its mobile Flash player.

Today, the company's principal product manager for developer relations Mike Chambers has confirmed that it was Apple's rejection of the format that lead to its demise:

The Flash Player was not going to achieve the same ubiquity on mobile as it has on the desktop. This one should be pretty apparent, but given the fragmentation of the mobile market, and the fact that one of the leading mobile platforms (Apple's iOS) was not going to allow the Flash Player in the browser, the Flash Player was not on track to reach anywhere near the ubiquity of the Flash Player on desktops.

Adobe has now moved its focus to AIR and HTML5 apps, but will also provide bug fixes and ongoing scurity updates for Flash.

Despite the passing of former CEO Steve Jobs, Chambers says "no matter what we did, the Flash Player was not going to be available on Apple's iOS anytime in the foreseeable future."




AfterDawn: News

Is the Android 4.0 source code coming this week?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2011 11:18

Is the Android 4.0 source code coming this week? Notion Ink CEO Rohan Shravan has let it slip that the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich source code may be released this week.

The exec says Google is preparing for a November 17th release date, but it is unclear whether that date is set in stone or an educated guess based off talks with the Android dev community.

Giving more credibility to the rumor is Shravan's leaks in the past to other Android developments.

Additionally, it has been rumored that the Galaxy Nexus will launch in Europe on the same day.

For more info on ICS, check here: Samsung unveils Galaxy Nexus with Android 4.0, SDK available now




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo 3DS on pace to outsell DS's first year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2011 10:51

Nintendo 3DS on pace to outsell DS's first year Nintendo has noted this weekend that the 3DS handheld is on pace to have stronger sales than the original DS had in its first year.

The old handheld had 2.37 million units sold in its first year.

Nintendo launched the console in March to lackluster sales and reviews. When sales dried up, the gaming company was forced to drop the price from $250 to $170.

The company, in its press release, says the 3DS has sold 1.65 million units in the U.S., alone, not mentioning overseas sales.

Nintendo should see very strong sales this holiday, thanks to the release of games like Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7.




AfterDawn: News

Kobo launches 'Touch With Offers' e-reader for $99

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2011 9:58

Kobo launches 'Touch With Offers' e-reader for $99 Kobo has followed in the footsteps of Amazon, launching a Touch e-reader that is subsidized with ads.

Priced at $99, the device automatically displays "sponsored screens and valuable offers" when the e-reader is not in use, replacing standard screen savers.

Additionally, the ads can show up "in other discreet places that are always outside of the reading experience, like on the bottom of your home screen."

The release date has not been revealed, but the product page says the e-reader is shipping in "2-3 weeks."

Featuring an e-ink display, the device has a 6-inch screen, weighs about 0.45 lbs, has 1GB internal memory, an SD card slot and access to the Kobo store, which has 2.2 million books.




AfterDawn: News

Tablet owners are more engaged during videos

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2011 9:35

Tablet owners are more engaged during videos According to new data from video services provider Ooyala, tablet owners were more engaged while watching videos, compared to desktop or mobile users.

Video completion was also significantly higher, with rates 30 percent higher than desktop users.

For every minute viewed on a desktop, tablet owners watched 1 minute 17 seconds.

Tablets, mobile devices, and game consoles are becoming the preferred devices for medium and long-form videos, videos over 10 minutes long.

As expected, the iPad was the most popular tablet for viewing videos, accounting for 97.7 percent of all play time.

(Pic, source via Cnet)




AfterDawn: News

Nokia assets seized by Romanian tax authority

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Nov 2011 9:03

Nokia assets seized by Romanian tax authority Romanian tax authorities have seized local assets of Nokia due to unpaid debts.

It appears that the company owed around $10 million.

Sorin Blejnar, the head of the authority, confirmed the move:

We decided to seize the assets as a precautionary measure to prevent Nokia from selling them before they pay their debt to the state. This won't affect the activity of the factory.


Nokia announced in September that it was shutting down its Romanian factory.

(Pic via BGR)




AfterDawn: News

Amazon Kindle Fire pre-sales continue to explode

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2011 10:26

Amazon Kindle Fire pre-sales continue to explode According to research firm eDataSource, Amazon took 500,000 pre-orders for the Kindle Fire tablet before October 28th, and sold over 1 million to retail partners during the same time frame.

Additionally, the firm says some people are actually buying multiple devices, which is almost unheard of for tablets.

Says Carter Nicholas of eDS:

I think it resets the bar. In our data, we're seeing people ordering two and three of them. That's not the majority of people, but it is showing up.


The Kindle Fire goes on sale on the 15th at Amazon.com and 16,000 retail locations.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon offering $50 credit on purchases of PS3, Xbox 360

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2011 10:02

Amazon offering $50 credit on purchases of PS3, Xbox 360 Amazon has begun offering a $50 credit to buyers of the Playstation 3 160GB, the Microsoft Xbox 360 4GB or the Xbox 360 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Bundle.

Additionally, it is offering $60 credit with a purchase of the Xbox 360 250GB Holiday Value Bundle.

The Amazon credit is good for any future Amazon purchase but cannot be used on digital purchases like Kindle e-books.

For the PS3, the 160GB model sells for $250. The low-end Xbox sells for $200 and the MW3 bundle is selling for $400.

Included in the bundle is a custom Modern Warfare 3 320GB Xbox, two custom wireless controllers, special Avatar items from the store, a black wired headset, and of course, a copy of the game.

Check the deals here: Amazon $50 credit towards video game hardware




AfterDawn: News

Rumor: LG to launch a Google TV device at CES

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2011 9:53

Rumor: LG to launch a Google TV device at CES Google and LG will launch a new Google TV devices at next year's CES event.

There are very few details available about the HDTV, except that it will be debuted at the show in January and released within a few months.

The news comes on the heels of Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca calling their investment in Google TV "a mistake."

Earlier this year the company released the $299 Revue set-top box to major criticism and lackluster sales. During the summer, the company was forced to drop the price to $99.

Later this month, Google TV devices will finally get Android 3.2 Honeycomb, adding Android Market apps and an updated interface.




AfterDawn: News

The Xbox 360 has another spectacular month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2011 8:31

The Xbox 360 has another spectacular month According to the NPD Group, unit sales of the Xbox 360 console rose over 20 percent in October in the U.S., year-over-year.

The research firm said the console was the lone "bright spot" in an industry that was overall pretty flat.

Total sales of software, hardware and accessories rose just 1 percent to $1.08 billion, buoyed by hardware sales which grew 6 percent to $295.6 million.

Additionally, the group says the Xbox 360 has 44 percent share in the market and sold 393,000 units in the month.

Xbox console sales have seen a revival since releasing the launch of the Kinect last year.




AfterDawn: News

1st generation iPod Nano gets recalled

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2011 7:56

1st generation iPod Nano gets recalled Apple has announced this week that it is recalling its first generation iPad Nano in the U.S.

The devices, which launched in September 2005, apparently have a rare overheating issue.

Apple is telling users to stop using their devices immediately and the company will replace them for free.

Battery overheating issues on the 1G iPod Nano is not a new issue, and the replacement program is expanding to add the U.S. It is currently available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Reads the post:

Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the battery in the iPod nano (1st generation) may overheat and pose a safety risk. Affected iPod nanos were sold between September 2005 and December 2006.

This issue has been traced to a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect. While the possibility of an incident is rare, the likelihood increases as the battery ages.

Apple recommends that you stop using your iPod nano (1st gen) and follow the process noted below to order a replacement unit, free of charge.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google will launch Music without Warner and Sony?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2011 7:24

Google will launch Music without Warner and Sony? Google is expected to launch the Music service on Wednesday.

At a press event in California, Google is expected to add downloading to its cloud-based music service along side new social networking features.

However, it appears that Google was never able to get deals in place with Sony Music or Warner Music Group, the 2nd and 3rd largest labels on the planet.

Universal Music Group has signed a licensing agreement, and it is unclear whether EMI will join.

Talks between the labels and Google are ongoing, however.

One sticking point is the labels want the app "MP3 Download Pro" to be removed from the Android Market as it encourages piracy on Android devices. The app has been downloaded over a million times.




AfterDawn: News

Nvidia to start production on their 28nm chips soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2011 6:53

Nvidia to start production on their 28nm chips soon Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has said this weekend that it will begin production on its 28nm GPU "Kepler" chips soon, for availability in 2012.

The Kepler architecture will be featured in a "massive amount of notebook designs" next year, adds the exec.

Says Huang:

The vast majority of the increase is coming from the very significant increase in design wins that we have in several areas. We have more notebook design wins for the Ivy Bridge cycle than we ever had in notebooks; this is likely the most successful notebook cycle we have ever experienced. And so we have got a lot of engineers dedicated to getting those notebooks into production.


Kepler GeForce chips should bring significant performance improvements and incredible energy efficiency, leading to better battery life for devices and less overheating.




AfterDawn: News

Modern Warfare 3 sells 6.5 million copies on first day

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Nov 2011 6:29

Modern Warfare 3 sells 6.5 million copies on first day Activision has announced this weekend that Modern Warfare 3 sold 6.5 million copies in its first 24 hours of availability.

Making that massive number even more impressive is the fact that the game is only available in North America and the UK right now.

Rival EA announced last week that their shooter Battlefield 3 had sold 5 million in its first week, a blockbuster by any normal standard.

Says Activision CEO Bobby Kotick (via Ars):

We believe the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium, and we achieved this record with sales from only two territories. Other than Call of Duty, there has never been another entertainment franchise that has set opening day records three years in a row. Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise exceed worldwide theatrical box office for Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, two of the most successful entertainment franchises of all time.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

EMI sale might not pass regulatory muster in Europe

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 12 Nov 2011 4:04

EMI sale might not pass regulatory muster in Europe Despite yesterday's report that Citigroup has managed to sell EMI in pieces, the deal still has some major hurdles to clear.

Whenever a coporate acquisition of this scale occurs, it must pass scrutiny from officials in various countries. At least one source is suggesting both parts of this deal, Universal Music Group buying EMI's recording division and Sony Music Entertainment purchasing their publishing arm, will almost certainly be rejected by European regulators.

Helen Smith, who represents an independent label trade association called IMPALA, wrote in an email (via Digital Music News):

Given that Brussels has taken a previous decision that Universal should not be any bigger, we would expect the sale to Universal to be blocked outright, even if it offers to increase the divestments it is prepared to make.


She added, "The same would apply to Sony if it buys EMI publishing."

Don't be fooled by the fact IMPALA represents independent labels. Their lawsuit to block the merger of Sony Music and Bertlesmann Music Group in 2006 was ultimately unsuccessful, but raised significant pressure on EU officals to check the power major labels wield in the market.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon also selling new $79 Kindle at loss

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2011 4:23

Amazon also selling new $79 Kindle at loss Amazon, who is losing at least $10 on every Kindle Fire sold, appears to also be losing money on every $79 Kindle they are selling.

According to a teardown from research firm IHS, the hardware is costing the company $84.25 to make.

The bill of materials is $78.59 but the added $5.66 includes everything else, says the firm.

It is also important to note that the figure only includes costs "incurred until the end of the assembly line," and does not include shipping and R&D.

As with the Kindle Fire, Amazon is expected to quickly make the money back through sales of e-books. The Fire, however, should be a much larger money maker given its access to Amazon shopping, books, music, movies and cloud storage.




AfterDawn: News

Walmart to start Christmas sales early with a $200 Xbox 360 on Thanksgiving

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 11 Nov 2011 2:34

Walmart to start Christmas sales early with a $200 Xbox 360 on Thanksgiving Walmart is hoping to jumpstart the Christmas shopping season a few hours early this year by starting their Black Friday sales at 10PM on Thanksgiving.

Black Friday is traditionally the most profitable sales day for US retailers. Many people consider it the official start to holiday sales, and the majority of Americans don't have to work that day, being the Friday after a national holiday.

Over the last few years, many retailers have opened their doors early in the morning on Black Friday, offering even bigger discounts for as little as an hour or two to the earliest shoppers. This year Walmart continues that trend, but the sales will start on Thursday evening.

Between 10PM and midnight on Thursday they will be offering an Xbox 360 4GB with Kinect Console plus a $50 Walmart gift card for $199.96 and an assortment of DVDs with prices starting at $1.96.

At midnight their sale will include:

  • A Samsung 51" class (50.7" actual) Plasma TV for $498
  • An Emerson 32" class (31.5" actual) LCD TV for $188
  • A Sansui 19" class (18.5" actual) TV for $98
  • An LG Blu-ray Player for $49
  • A Philips Wi-Fi Blu-ray Home Theatre for $178
  • An 8GB iPod Touch for $195
  • A HP laptop with a 15" display and AMD Dual-Core processor for $248

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Unlocked iPhone 4S goes up for pre-order

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2011 1:18

Unlocked iPhone 4S goes up for pre-order Apple has now made unlocked iPhone 4S pre-orders available in the U.S.

The devices have a 1-2 week ship time but all colors and capacities are available.

As of now, unlocked devices are delivery only and cannot be picked up in store.

Unlocked devices will work with all GSM micro SIM cards worldwide.

If you are interested, the 16GB (in black or white) will set you back $649, the 32GB will lighten your wallet by $749 and the 64GB will make you cry at $849.




AfterDawn: News

Logitech says good bye to Google TV... for now

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 11 Nov 2011 1:03

Logitech says good bye to Google TV... for now Speaking to an audience of investors and industry analysts, Logitech Chairman Guerrino De Luca announced the company's Google TV set-top box, the Revue, will be discontinued once the existing stock is sold.

It will not be replaced by another product. Instead Logitech will get out of the set-top box market for the forseeable future.

Their primary mistake with the Revue, in De Luca's estimation, was not the decision to support Google in the venture, but rather the scope of his company's commitment to an immature business. He said he would do it again, but "with a significantly smaller and more prudent approach."

"It's not a mistake of intention, It's not a mistake of strategy," said De Luca, "It's a mistake of implementation of gigantic nature."

He blamed a backlash from content providers for the overall failure of Google TV so far:

Google TV is a great concept. Google TV has the potential to completely disrupt the living room, except that that was not the case when we launched Logitech Revue. Logitech Revue was launched with some... software that was definitely not complete and was not tuned to what the consumers wanted in the living room, let alone the issues with content delivery that the threat, or the perceived threat, Google poses to other content providers generated.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Citigroup sells off EMI pieces for $4.1 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2011 12:57

Citigroup sells off EMI pieces for $4.1 billion Citigroup has finally managed to sell off large record label EMI.

Universal Music Group has purchased the recorded-music unit for $1.9 billion, while Sony Music has purchased the publishing arm of the label for $2.2 billion.

EMI has been up for sale since earlier this year, after Citigroup was forced to take it over. The former owner could not pay its debt and lost the collateral.

Universal and Sony were not expected to be the winners in the auction, where Warner Music and Bertelsmann were long considered the favorites.

Citi was hoping for $4 billion for the businesses, but most industry analysts had expected them to receive a figure closer to $3.3 billion given the credit markets.

Regulatory approval of the deals are expected to take up to 20 months, and Universal will most likely have to sell hundreds of millions worth of non-core assets.




AfterDawn: News

Senate votes down anti-net neutrality resolution

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 11 Nov 2011 10:34

Senate votes down anti-net neutrality resolution President Obama will not have to follow through with his threat to veto a resolution forbidding the FCC from implementing net neutrality rules. On Wednesday the senate resolution was rejected by a narrow margin.

The vote was 52 to 46 with 2 other senators not voting.

The FCC's rules were created in response to Comcast's 2008 victory over the agency in federal court. The FCC punished Comcast for throttling various types of traffic, including P2P traffic from BitTorrent.

The court found the FCC's lack of rules on the subject meant they couldn't punish the largest cable company in the US for their throttling practices.

Opposition to the new FCC rules aren't limited to the Senate, or even to opponents of net neutrality in general. Media reform activists at Free Press are suing the FCC claiming exemptions in the rules for mobile Internet providers are illegal.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Barnes & Noble complains to DOJ about Microsoft patent shakedowns

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 11 Nov 2011 9:44

Barnes & Noble complains to DOJ about Microsoft patent shakedowns As the popularity of Android has grown, so has the threat of patent infringement lawsuits against device makers.

Although Apple's lawsuits have gotten the lion's share of attention, Microsoft's threats of patent suits are arguably making just as big an impact on Android vendors.

Barnes & Noble, maker of the Android powered Nook Color and Nook Tablet, think that warrants antitrust action by the US Justice Department.

They are not alone in their criticism of Microsoft either. In a recent interview, Google's chief patent attorney characterized Microsoft's patent suit threats, which have resulted in licensing deals with major manufacturers like Samsung and Acer, as a reaction to their own failure in the market.

Barnes & Noble is going further. They are asking the DOJ to investigate Microsoft for using patents to keep new players out of the market.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPhone battery fix doesn't fix the problem for everyone

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 11 Nov 2011 8:17

iPhone battery fix doesn't fix the problem for everyone Apple's iOS update to fix the battery life problems plaguing some iPhone owners hasn't done the job for everyone.

Numerous posts to the thread for the issue on Apple's support forums complain that the fix has not changed anything. A few people have even said the problem is worse with iOS 5.0.1.

These forum posts do not tell us how effective the fix has been overall. As anyone who has ever worked in a customer service position can tell you, it's much more likely you will hear from angry customers than satisfied customers.

And yet some people have said the problem is fixed, while others have noted a slight improvement. But for every one of those posts to that thread, there are many more complaints:

3gs: with the iOS 5.0 battery was good.
sinds the new update iOS 5.0.1 Battery life is shorter!!


Some people believe it is a hardware problem, and that Apple is aware of the problem but simply doesn't want to admit it:

Yesterday I applied the Fix 5.0.1.

Do you guys remember the "ANTENNAGATE" Fix where Apple was just has changed the display for the signal bars strength? ROFL?

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

The Ville is another HTC monster phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2011 1:55

The Ville is another HTC monster phone In addition to the quad-core-powered Edge, HTC seems to have another monster smartphone in the wings.

Dubbed the Ville, the device will be the first to run on the 28nm Snapdragon S4, says BGR.

The rumored specs:

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
HTC Sense UI 4.0
4.3-inch qHD Super AMOLED display
1.5GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 (MSM8960)
8-megapixel backside-illuminated camera with 1080p HD video capture
Beats Audio
Metal construction case and just 8mm thick
1650 mAh battery


Surprisingly, the device will not have NFC support.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Valve responds to hacking of Steam database

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Nov 2011 12:13

Valve responds to hacking of Steam database Confirming reports over the past few days, Valve has responded that the Steam databased was indeed hacked, with personal information stolen.

The Steam forums have been down for days, but many speculated that is how far the hacking went.

Private data like usernames, encrypted passwords and addresses were taken, says Valve.

The company says credit card data should be safe, but will not guarantee it.

Reads the press release:

Dear Steam Users and Steam Forum Users,

Our Steam forums were defaced on the evening of Sunday, November 6. We began investigating and found that the intrusion goes beyond the Steam forums.

We learned that intruders obtained access to a Steam database in addition to the forums. This database contained information including user names, hashed and salted passwords, game purchases, email addresses, billing addresses and encrypted credit card information. We do not have evidence that encrypted credit card numbers or personally identifying information were taken by the intruders, or that the protection on credit card numbers or passwords was cracked. We are still investigating.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iOS 5.0.1 release to address battery problem and unsigned code vulnerability

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 10 Nov 2011 5:04

iOS 5.0.1 release to address battery problem and unsigned code vulnerability Apple has released iOS 5.0.1 which includes their promised fix for the battery life issues some iPhone owners have reported.

In addition, the update includes a fix for an issue reported by Charlie Miller, a noted security researcher, which makes it possible for an app to run unsigned code from a third party website.

You may recognize Miller's name from our report about his banning from the iOS App Developer program two days ago for revealing this exact vulnerability. Apparently the problem was important enough to fix, but not important enough to justify acknowledging publicly, or even to Mr. Miller.

You can find the entire list of fixes in iOS 5.0.1 on the Apple website.

According to Macrumors, US iTunes users may not be getting the update automatically yet. They have a complete list of download links for every supported device on their website.




AfterDawn: News

MPA demands ISPs block Newzbin2

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2011 3:40

MPA demands ISPs block Newzbin2 On the heels of their successful campaign to have a piracy service blocked by the ISP BT, the MPA has now demanded that more providers begin doing the same.

Virgin Media, Sky and TalkTalk have all received letters from the industry group to block the newsgroup service Newzbin2. BT was asked to block The Pirate Bay torrent tracker.

TalkTalk commented on the letters:

There are some elements of the order, for instance that we have to pay the costs of implementing it, that we think are inappropriate.


The other ISPs would only say they will comply with relevant court orders.




AfterDawn: News

Rapper Drake is okay with piracy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2011 2:03

Rapper Drake is okay with piracy Massively popular Canadian rapper Drake has posted on Twitter that he is okay with his latest album being leaked early.

The CD, "Take Care," is set for an official release next week but most of the tracks have already been leaked online.

Says the rapper's tweet:

Listen, enjoy it, buy it if you like it...and take care until next time.


Drake joins a number of artists who understand that if the music is good, the piracy will do nothing but help album sales and boost their live shows.

Read the full interview (worth it) where Drake talks about piracy and album leaks at Billboard.




AfterDawn: News

Adobe to abandon mobile Flash and raise prices on Creative Suite

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 10 Nov 2011 1:57

Adobe to abandon mobile Flash and raise prices on Creative Suite Yesterday Adobe announced they are giving up on Flash as a mobile platform and concentrating their efforts on HTML5 and Javascript alternatives.

The announcement came during a meeting with industry analysts as part of a presentation about a company wide change in product strategy.

Beginning with the launch of the original iPhone, Adobe has tried unsuccessfully to find a place for Flash in the mobile device space. Resistance from Apple, detailed in numerous statements from Steve Jobs, kept Flash from the iPhone.

When a full version of the platform was finally released for Android last year the performance problems experienced by many users seemed to confirm Jobs' assessment of Flash as unsuitable for low powered mobile devices.

At the same time, HTML5 has been embraced across the full range of mobile operating systems, making it the obvious choice for a cross platform development solution. It was only a matter of time before Adobe would be forced to give up on mobile Flash.

Adobe signalled their new direction last month when they acquired a mobile development company called Nitobi whose apps tie together web standards like HTML5, Javascript, and Ajax with SDKs for various mobile platforms using an app framework called PhoneGap.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Warner Bros admits to sending takedown notices for files it did not own copyrights for

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2011 1:48

Warner Bros admits to sending takedown notices for files it did not own copyrights for A bombshell has dropped in the ongoing saga of cyberlocker Hotfile versus Warner Bros.

The studio has admitted that it sent false take down notices, thus getting files removed from the site that it did not even own copyrights for.

One employee specifically deleted Open Source download accelerators (it is unclear which one) and that other false takedowns were the result of filtering software gone rogue, says TF.

After being sued earlier this year, the cyberlocker Hotfile countered-sued Warner Bros., for fraud and abuse.

In its complaint, the company originally said:

Not only has Warner (along with four other major motion picture studios) filed this unfounded and contrived litigation against Hotfile employing overly aggressive tactics, Warner has made repeated, reckless and irresponsible misrepresentations to Hotfile falsely claiming to own copyrights in material from Hotfile.com.


This week, Warner admitted that it had taken down files based merely on keywords without verifying the actual files were infringing copyright:

Warner further admits that, given the volume and pace of new infringements on Hotfile, Warner could not practically download and view the contents of each file prior to requesting that it be taken down through use of the SRA (anti-piracy) tool.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Toys R Us launches kids tablet called Nabi

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2011 1:35

Toys R Us launches kids tablet called Nabi Toy retailer Toys R Us has announced the launch of the Nabi, a tablet aimed at kids.

The tablet runs on Android and has a custom user interface on top to make it very easy for kids to browse the web, play games, read books and learn.

Here are the specs (via Into)

7-inch 800×480 resolution display
533MHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor with PowerVR SGX530 GPU for 3D gaming
4GB of internal storage
3,000 mAh battery for up to 5 hours of non-stop gaming
Front-facing camera
1080p HD video support


Finally, the device comes with its own app store that includes 500 apps. Additionally, the tablet has access to the Fooz Kids University and its extensive library of standarized math problems.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon orders another million Kindle Fire tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Nov 2011 1:13

Amazon orders another million Kindle Fire tablets Amazon has ordered more Kindle Fire tablets, again.

Thanks to overly strong demand, Amazon has called its manufacturing partners and added an order for another million tablets.

Amazon already has around 4 million on order.

The device will be 7-inches and run on Android but will remove some functionality seen on rival tablets like the iPad. Offering Wi-Fi but no 3G, the device also removes a camera and a mic, in an effort to cut down costs. Despite its smaller size, the display is impressive IPS with Gorilla Glass.

The Kindle Fire will have its own new mobile browser dubbed Amazon Silk. The browser is "cloud-accelerated" and uses Amazon's EC2 to turn 100 millisecond waiting times into 5. Additionally, all buyers get a 30-day free trial to Amazon Prime, and access to free TV and movie streaming along with the usual free two-day shipping and discounted 1 day shipping.

As expected, Amazon has closely integrated their ecosystem of services into the Android operating system make it very easy for users to find music, movies and magazines. Cloud access, via the Cloud Drive and Cloud Reader, are also one-click away.




AfterDawn: News

AfterDawn.com now on Google+

Written by Jari Ketola @ 10 Nov 2011 5:48

AfterDawn.com now on Google+ After the introduction of Google+ Pages we have opened a page for AfterDawn.com as well. You can access it easily at http://afterdawn.com/+. If you have joined the Google+ Platform Preview program you might also see Google+ Badges around the site!

What type of content would you like to see featured on our page? News and commentary? Links to interesting content around the web? Inside information about AfterDawn? Or perhaps something completely different?




AfterDawn: News

Warner makes movie clips available on AnyClip

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2011 10:15

Warner makes movie clips available on AnyClip Warner has signed a deal with startup company "AnyClip."

The site slices clips from high-quality films and makes them available, searchable by actor, music, dialogue and more.

AnyClip signed a deal with Universal in March but had done nothing else since. The company has rights to 12,000 films now, including Vivendi and independent distributors.

User of the site can watch and share the clips, as well as embed them in their blogs or social network pages. Links to purchase the DVD and Blu-ray at Amazon or included on each page.

Warner says they will initially add Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, The Shining, Dirty Harry, 300 and some of the Harry Potter and Batman movies. Hundreds more will be added over time.




AfterDawn: News

Asus makes the Transformer Prime official with specs, pics

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2011 9:49

Asus makes the Transformer Prime official with specs, pics Asus' much-anticipated Transformer Prime tablet has been officially outed today, and it packs a powerful punch.

The device is the world's first quad-core tablet, has a very sleek form factor, and comes with the optional keyboard dock that made its predecessor, the Transformer, so popular.

Asus says the tablet weighs in at 1.29 lbs, is just 8.3mm thick, and has a 178-degree viewing angle. The 10.1-inch screen has a 1280x800 IPS+ display with Gorilla Glass.

Under the hood is the Tegra 3 processor, 1GB RAM, 32GB or 64GB internal storage, an 8MP rear camera with auto-focus and LED flash and a 1.2MP front-side camera for video chat.

For connectivity (not using the dock) there is a micro-HDMI port.

The Prime will launch next month with Android 3.2 but will quickly be updated to Ice Cream Sandwich.

Asus is selling the tablet for $499 base model and the dock for $150.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Group charged in large $14 million ad-fraud case

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2011 6:55

Group charged in large $14 million ad-fraud case Six Estonian natives have been arrested today and charged with a scheme that brought in $14 million in fraudulent profits.

Four million computers worldwide were hijacked, and Internet users were often re-routed to sites that helped rack of the profits via ads.

Of those computers, 500,000 were in the U.S. and included PCs being used by government agencies like NASA.

Reads the indictment:

The defendants engaged in a massive and sophisticated scheme that infected at least 4 million computers located in over 100 countries with malicious software or malware. Without the computer users' knowledge or permission, the malware digitally hijacked the infected computers to facilitate the fraud.

The re-routed sites were pages that mimicked legitimate sites like ESPN.com, Amazon.com, and Netflix.com and profits were made whenever users clicked on ads.




AfterDawn: News

Google pulls support for native Gmail app on BlackBerry

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2011 6:38

Google pulls support for native Gmail app on BlackBerry Starting November 22nd, Google will be pulling all support for its native Gmail app on BlackBerry devices.

If you already have the app, you can continue to use it, but it will be pulled from the market on the 22nd, as well.

Says Google:

Over this past year, we've focused efforts on building a great Gmail experience in the mobile browser and will continue investing in this area. Users may continue to use the app, if installed, however it will not be supported by Google.


The company will continue to focus on Android and will release a fixed product for iOS within the month, says the search giant.

Last week, the native app for iOS hit the App Store but was riddled with issues and was promptly removed.




AfterDawn: News

Crazy guy threatens to blow up Best Buy after Modern Warfare 3 sells out

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2011 6:27

Crazy guy threatens to blow up Best Buy after Modern Warfare 3 sells out A crazed man in Colorado threatened to blow up his local Best Buy store after the employees messed up his Modern Warfare 3 pre-order and told him the game was sold out.

Lomorin Sar, 31, grew irate after the employees of the store said they did not have his game. The manager offered him a gift card or an upgrade to a more expensive copy of the game, but Sar would not have it.

Instead, the man began asking employees what time they got off work, so he could shoot them outside their cars. Before he was done, he had threatened to blow up the store.

Employees promptly called the police who arrested Sar as he was leaving.

Says detective Bob Friel (via Escapist):

Investigating officers issued a criminal summons to a man who threatened to carry out his own version of Modern Warfare at the electronics store. Fortunately, this situation did not end in violence.


Sar has been charged with disorderly conduct.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon doubling data plans for smartphones at no extra cost

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2011 5:26

Verizon doubling data plans for smartphones at no extra cost According to Verizon CFO Fran Shammo, new and existing smartphone users will receive double the data limit they currently have, at no extra cost.

For example, if you are on the current $30 for 2GB plan, you will now have 4GB for the same price.

The promotion will run through the holidays, and is the equivalent of a "price cut," the first one Verizon has offered in a very long time.

Existing users will need to call in to be grandfathered into the higher data while all new contract users will automatically have it in their accounts.

Sharma notes that Verizon is using the promotion to "understand consumer behavior" and develop a pricing strategy going forward with LTE and data.

The deal will put Verizon well ahead of AT&T from a price standpoint, but still behind smaller carriers T-Mobile and Sprint, which offer unlimited data for $30. T-Mobile does throttle speeds down from 4G to 2G after 5GB, however.




AfterDawn: News

HTC Titan coming to AT&T this month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Nov 2011 5:02

HTC Titan coming to AT&T this month First shown off in September, AT&T has announced that the HTC Titan will be released on November 20th.

The device is the most anticipated Windows Phone 7.5 Mango phone, and will cost just $200 with two-year contract.

Running on WP 7.5, the Titan has a 1.5GHz single-core processor, 512MB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. Most notably, the device has a 4.7-inch display and dual cameras 8MP/1.3MP.

To ring in the new software, Microsoft will be throwing various events at major cities.

The company started its events by installing a 60-foot-tall Windows Phone in NYC.

(Pic via Slash)




AfterDawn: News

Low Income families in US to get $10 Internet and $150 computers next year

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Nov 2011 2:26

Low Income families in US to get $10 Internet and $150 computers next year US cable broadand providers and a number of technology companies are working with the FCC on a joint effor to deliver computers with broadband connections to poor Americans.

The new initiative, called Connect to Compete, brings together members of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, software companies like Microsoft, retailers such as Best Buy, and online services which include job search sites CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com to offer a variety of services for low income families.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced the initiative today in a speech delivered at a Washington DC public school. Among the highlights of the program is a plan for cable operators across the country to offer Internet service for $10 per month to low income households.

Families who have children enrolled in the government's free and reduced price lunch program who don't already have Internet acces will be eligible for the program.

In addition, Redmantech will be offering refurbished desktop and laptop computers to those same families for $150. The computers will have Intel Core2Duo processors, run Windows 7, and include Microsoft Office.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Windows 8 adds improved power management to optimize tablet battery life

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Nov 2011 1:13

Windows 8 adds improved power management to optimize tablet battery life In the latest update to the Building Windows 8 blog, Pat Stemen, who heads the Windows Kernel team, talks about improvements in the next version of Windows designed to lower power consumption.

With its focus on becoming viable for tablets, power consumption is more important for Windows 8 than any previous version of the Microsoft's flagship OS. No matter how good the interface is, a tablet OS that drains batteries too quickly has no value.

Microsoft's focus with Windows 8, says Stemen, is primarily on reducing power consumption when the computer is in an idle state. That is, when it isn't doing anything.

By doing that, he says, you also reduce the power consumption the rest of the time.

In many ways this is actually about the hardware. Modern mobile processors, such as the ARM chips used in most smartphones and tablets, are already optimized to use minimal power as often as possible.

The role of Windows, according to Stemen, is primarily to get out of the way and, "Let the hardware shine." To accomplish this, the Metro Style UI takes a different approach to background processes to allow a computer, such as a tablet, to spend more time idle.

The result is that the computer spends more time in a continuous idle state. This is important, says Stemen, because it takes a certain amount of time before the hardware decides to change states from active to idle.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google reassures Samsung about the future of Android

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Nov 2011 12:15

Google reassures Samsung about the future of Android As Google waits to clear the regulatory hurdles for acquiring Motorola Mobility, they continue to answer questions about what it will mean for other Android device makers.

Immediately after Google announced the buyout agreement in August, Samsung executives gathered to discuss the ramifications of the deal.

Now Google Chairman Eric Schmidt has made a trip to Samsung's home country of South Korea to deliver the message that Android vendors need not fear his company's Motorola acquisition.

In a statement to the Korean media, Schmidt spoke of his message to companies like Samsung and HTC. He said (via Reuters):

In general, with all of our partners, we told them that the Motorola deal will close and we will run it sufficiently and independently, that it will not violate the openness of Android.


It is a message he has been repeating for some time as Google continues to battle the perception Motorola Mobility will receive favored treatment.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

President Obama vows to defend FCC net neutrality rules

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Nov 2011 11:21

President Obama vows to defend FCC net neutrality rules President Obama has promised to veto any legislation which would forbid the FCC from enacting net neutrality rules.

This week the Senate is expected to officially weigh in on the net neutrality debate by voting on a resolution with exactly that purpose. Earlier this year a similar resolution passed the House of Representatives.

In an official statement on the resolution, President Obama defended the new FCC policy:

The rule at issue resulted from a process that brought together parties on all sides of this issue ? from consumer groups to technology companies to broadband providers ? to enable their voices to be heard. Notably, the Federal Communications Commission?s rule reflected a constructive effort to build a consensus around what safeguards and protections were reasonable and necessary to ensure that the Internet continues to attract investment and to spur innovation. Disapproval of the rule would threaten those values and cast uncertainty over those innovative new businesses that are a critical part of the Nation?s economic recovery.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Patent troll sues Apple for a second time

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Nov 2011 10:26

Patent troll sues Apple for a second time A company called VirnetX didn't wait for the ink to dry on their new VPN patent before suing Apple for infringing on it at the beginning of the month.

VirnetX is a typical non-practicing entity (ie patent troll) whose sole business is to be suing other companies for infringement and charging other people who actually do make products. VirnetX's patents, including this new one, revolve around VPNs.

VirnetX's previous lawsuits include multiple victories against Microsoft and a case against Apple which is still pending.

In addition to the lawsuit, VirnetX has filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission seeking to ban imports of the allegedly infringing products.

According to their latest suit, Apple has been willfully infringing on VirnetX's brand new patent for several years. If you look at the patent, it certainly seems likely Apple has been using the method VirnetX claims to have invented.

VirnetX CEO and President Kendall Larsen has released a laughable statement on the ITC complaint saying, "We look forward to the ITC vindicating our substantial and significant efforts to innovate."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Batman Arkham City for PC delayed, again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2011 11:11

Batman Arkham City for PC delayed, again Warner Bros. has finally announced the release date for the PC version of their hit game Batman Arkham City.

The console version for PS3 and Xbox 360 hit stores on October 18th.

North Americans will get the game on November 22nd with Europe getting the game on the 25th.

Developer Rocksteady had first said the game would be available on November 18th.

Trailer:




AfterDawn: News

Users have streamed 1.5 billion tracks on Facebook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2011 10:36

Users have streamed 1.5 billion tracks on Facebook According to VB, Facebook users have already listened to 1.5 billion songs since the launch of the service's social music tools.

Introduced in late September, the giant social network gives access to streaming music services like MOG, Spotify and Rdio, allowing users to stream music and share with friends with the click of a button.

The full list of services available are Spotify, MOG, Rdio, Rhapsody, Turntable, VEVO, Slacker, Songza, TuneIn, iheartradio, Deezer, Earbits, Jelli and Mixcloud.

Many of the startups have experienced huge growth spurts since the announcement, with Spotify adding 4 million new users and MOG seeing a 246 percent explosion since September.

Facebook has 760 million members.




AfterDawn: News

iOS 5 now installed on 38 percent of all iPhones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2011 10:00

iOS 5 now installed on 38 percent of all iPhones Despite some issues with downloads, iOS 5 is now on 38 percent of all iPhones.

According to Chitika Insights, one month after release, the new OS is on 38 percent of iPhones, 30 percent of iPads and 12 percent of iPod Touch.

The firm uses mobile ad network impressions to analyze traffic.

Says Chitika (BGR):

The iPhone 4S sold over 4 million units in the first weekend, so this certainly contributes to the heightened volume. However, this could be compounded by the fact that many consumers use their cellphones as their primary mobile device, and update it as necessary due to its great utility.





AfterDawn: News

Kobo E-reader acquired for $315 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2011 9:14

Kobo E-reader acquired for $315 million Kobo E-reader, the company behind the, you guessed it, Kobo line of e-readers, has been purchased by Rakuten for $315 million in cash.

Rakuten is not a household name but is a massive e-commerce company in Japan and the owners of Buy.com in the U.S.

The acquisition will help the company in its push into downloadable media, beginning with e-books.

Kobo CEO Michael Serbinis says the Kobo devices have about 9 percent market share in the U.S. and will use the money to grow internationally. Kobo e-readers were available in Borders locations but the retailer has since gone bankrupt.

Adds Serbinis (via AllTD)

The U.S. is absolutely important. It's fundamental. We have millions of U.S. users today, and we plan to grow that substantially, and internationally represents a big opportunity as well.




AfterDawn: News

Adidas sites taken down by cyber attacks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2011 3:59

Adidas sites taken down by cyber attacks Earlier this week, Adidas confirmed that a number of its sites were taken offline due to a "sophisticated cyber attack."

Says Adidas:

On November 3, 2011, the adidas Group found out that it was the target of a sophisticated, criminal cyber-attack. Our preliminary investigation has found no evidence that any consumer data is impacted.

But, while we continue our thorough forensic review, we have taken down affected sites, including adidas.com, reebok.com, miCoach.com, adidas-group.com and various local eCommerce shops, in order to protect visitors to our sites.


For now, the company has activated additional security measures. For me, the sites are still down.

We are working to restore the site as soon as possible. As the site was also scheduled for a number of exciting updates, we will use the current down time to make those changes. This way the site will launch again with the latest and greatest developments already in place.




AfterDawn: News

Amiga launches $98 tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2011 3:15

Amiga launches $98 tablet Amiga, the high-end computer company from the 1980s, is back, this time with a low-end tablet.

The Amiga Xperdio 7MTB is a 7-inch multi-touch tablet running on Android 2.2.

Under the hood is a VIA Technologies WM8650 ARM chip at 720MHz, 256MB LPDDR2 memory, 4GB internal storage and a microSD slot.

To keep the price under $100, the touch screen is resistive two-point.

Additionally, a bundled version (with USB keyboard and protective case) sells for $118.

If you are willing to spend more money, the Xpedio 7 MT for $189 jumps to an ARM Cortex-A8 processor ticking at 1GHz, 512MB LPDDR2 memory and 8GB storage. The screen is capacitive.

Delivery starts on Christmas.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft chasing Huawei for Android patent money

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2011 2:52

Microsoft chasing Huawei for Android patent money Huawei has confirmed today that Microsoft has approached them demanding royalty payments for its Android devices.

The company has coerced deals out of Samsung, HTC, Wistron, Quanta, Acer, Compal and General Dynamics Itronix, so far.

Victor Xu, CMO for Huawei Devices, has said "negotiations are in progress" for licensing:

We always respect the intellectual property of companies. But we have 65,000 patents worldwide too. We have enough to protect our interests. We are a very important stakeholder in Android.


Microsoft currently has signed deals "accounting for more than half of all Android devices."

The licensing deals are for Android, Chrome OS, smartphones and e-readers.




AfterDawn: News

Spotify makes it to Windows Phone 7

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2011 2:27

Spotify makes it to Windows Phone 7 Spotify has announced the expansion of their streaming service to Windows Phone 7 devices.

The app is the 7th mobile app for the unlimited streaming music service.

Features of the app:

Search, browse & play our catalogue of millions of tracks
Explore & play your friend's playlists, top artists and tracks
Stream over WiFi or 2.5/3G - all your existing playlists are available
Offline playlists - play your music without an internet connection
On-the-fly sync - every track you add to a playlist appears on mobile and computer
What's New view
Receive music from friends via the inbox
Starred tracks - tag all your favourites into a special list


To use the app, just like with other mobile Spotify apps, will require the $10 per month premium subscription.




AfterDawn: News

Study: More social network friends, less real close ones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Nov 2011 2:14

Study: More social network friends, less real close ones According to a new study from Cornell University, we may have more friends on social networks nowadays, but we have less real-life ones.

Matthew Brashears, a Cornell University sociologist, surveyed 2000 American adults and found that from 1985 to 2010, the number of close friends per person dropped from 3 to about 2.03.

The sociologist considered truly close friends as "the people you think of as your real confidants, your go-to people if you need something."

Brashears surveyed people from the online database TESS (Time-Sharing Experiments for the Social Sciences).

From those surveyed, 4 percent said they had no close friends, 48 percent said they had 1, 18 percent said 2 and 29 percent said more than 2.

While we have an increasing amount of friends on social networks, Brashears does not believe that is the reason for the decline. In fact, the sociologist believe that online friends provide social support and advice.




AfterDawn: News

Music industry growth to be fueled by subscription services say analysts

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 08 Nov 2011 6:08

Music industry growth to be fueled by subscription services say analysts Analysts at Gartner have identified subscription services as a growing market for the music industry over the next several years.

It's no secret the music industry is undergoing significant changes sparked by the move from physical media to online distribution. As Gartner's Mike McGuire says, "Music labels, artists, publishers and new distribution intermediaries are developing new business models to address consumers' changing behavior."

What's interesting about their analysis is it shows growth in downloads from services like iTunes slowing, while subscription services are taking off. This year, they say, susbscription services will account for just over $500 million in revenue, compared to more than $3.6 billion for downloads.

More significantly, they predict subscription revenue to grow by more than 50% next year to over $800 million, while download revenue will only increase by around 6%. By 2015 they expect subscriptions to account for more $2 billion in revenue, more than half their forecast for download services.

They outline several key challenges for content owners, including diversifying services to meet consumer demand, ensuring easy access to content through cloud services, and simplifying the process by which consumers discover new music.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Senators push resolution opposing FCC net neutrality rules

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 08 Nov 2011 5:29

Senators push resolution opposing FCC net neutrality rules The US Senate may be voting to overturn the Federal Communication Commission's net neutrality rules some time this week.

Last week a number of senators drafted a resolution formally disapproving of the rules, which were prompted by a federal court decision overturning a FCC ruling against Comcast over throttling P2P traffic. The court pointed out Comcast had violated no FCC rules.

Late last year, the FCC drafted net neutrality rules, but didn't add them to the Federal Register, a requirement before they can go into effect, until September of this year. They are scheduled to take effect this month.

The full Senate is expected to vote on the resolution this week, but would not have any authority unless the president signs off on it, which is highly unlikely. If the president didn't approve of the rules, they wouldn't have been drafted in the first place.

In September, after the rules were officially published, one of the bill's sponsors, released a statement saying:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nokia looks for a Developer Evengalist to promote US smartphone business

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 08 Nov 2011 4:06

Nokia looks for a Developer Evengalist to promote US smartphone business During the years when Nokia's Symbian ruled the world smartphone market, you might not have even known they existed if you lived in the US.

Prior to the iPhone, the US smartphone market was dominated by RIM's BlackBerry, with its enterprise email integration, and a small number of Windows Mobile phones.

Nokia never seemed interested in establishing the kind of carrier relationships required to be a major presence in the US market. In hindsight that may seem short sighted, but at the time it seemed to make sense considering how well Nokia's smartphones sold globally.

But when the US smartphone market exploded with the first iPhone, Nokia's lack of carrier partnerships effectively locked them out of this new major market, and unable to remain competitive worldwide as a result.

They appear to be preparing to correct that weakness with their Windows Phone handsets. Even though their Windows Phones aren't expected in the US until some time next year, a job opening posted on the Nokia website suggests they are already positioning themselves for success in the market.

The job, which has a title of 'WP Developer Evangelist', includes the following description:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google+ adds support for company / brand pages

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 08 Nov 2011 3:21

Google+ adds support for company / brand pages Companies who wish to have a presence on Google+ now have that option through a new feature announced yesterday called Google+ Pages.

Official pages for everything from companies to bands have been a part of social networking services like Facebook for a long time, but Google+ initially focused exclusively on individuals.

With the introduction of Google+ Pages Google is focusing on integration with other communication services provided by the company, such as real time chat.

In addition, they are emphasizing the ability to get your Google+ Page indexed by their industry leading search engine through a feature called DirectConnect. Google Senior Vice President of Engineering Vic Gundotra explained on the company's blog:

People search on Google billions of times a day, and very often, they're looking for businesses and brands. Today's launch of Google+ Pages can help people transform their queries into meaningful connections, so we're rolling out two ways to add pages to circles from Google search. The first is by including Google+ pages in search results, and the second is a new feature called Direct Connect.

Maybe you're watching a movie trailer, or you just heard that your favorite band is coming to town. In both cases you want to connect with them right now, and Direct Connect makes it easy?even automatic. Just go to Google and search for [+], followed by the page you're interested in (like +Angry Birds). We'll take you to their Google+ page, and if you want, we?ll add them to your circles.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple boots researcher from developer program for publicizing iOS vulnerability

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 08 Nov 2011 2:32

Apple boots researcher from developer program for publicizing iOS vulnerability Security research Charlie Miller recently found a problem in iOS which could allow an app to give remote access to a device.

After receiving no response from Apple when he reported the problem more than two weeks ago, Miller submitted an app to the iTunes App Store which takes advantage of the vulnerabililty. He then went public with the information, after which Apple rewarded him for his trouble by kicking him out of the iOS Developer Program.

In an article published yesterday, Miller was quoted, saying: (via Forbes):

Now you could have a program in the App Store like Angry Birds that can run new code on your phone that Apple never had a chance to check. With this bug, you can't be assured of anything you download from the App Store behaving nicely.


It's hard to understand why Apple, after dropping the ball themselves by failing to act on Miller's warning, would draw more attention to their own failure like this. Then again, it's hard to understand why Apple does a lot of things.

Before his app was pulled and his developer privileges revoked, Miller made a video demonstrating the problem.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HP potentially looking to sell webOS division

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2011 7:57

HP potentially looking to sell webOS division Could HP be cutting its losses while there is still value?

According to Reuters, HP may be looking to unload its webOS division, just 20 months after purchasing it.

In April 2010, HP bought Palm and all of its patents and software for $1.2 billion, saving the company from imminent bankruptcy.

HP is now being advised by Merrill Lynch as to whether they should sell the division, a move that will likely only bring in $500-700 million.

Palm and its patent cove remain an attractive asset, and one source says Oracle may be interested.

Earlier this year, HP decided to pull out of the webOS hardware game after just one tablet and one smartphone.




AfterDawn: News

Chuck D royalty lawsuit could make it hard to sell EMI

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Nov 2011 4:49

Chuck D royalty lawsuit could make it hard to sell EMI When Chuck D filed a lawsuit against Universal Music Group last week, the implications for that company were obvious.

If his suit is successful, which seems likely based on recent precedents, it could result in UMG facing a huge new royalty burden to pay numerous artists who signed standard recording contracts in the days before iTunes. But it could end up having an even bigger impact on another label.

EMI, the smallest of the big four labels, is currently owned by Citigroup. They took over the struggling company when previous owner, Terra Firma, defaulted on loan payments.

Citigroup has no interest in owning a record label, and is looking for a buyer. But with the threat of a huge royalty liability hanging over the company, that would become more difficult.

Digital Music News has spoken to people involved in negotiations to buy EMI, and they believe potential buyers will demand protection against that possibility. One source told them, "This could be accomplished through mechanisms like graduated payments, it could be done through clawbacks or sunsetting."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AfterDawn US server problems fixed

Written by Jari Ketola @ 07 Nov 2011 4:37

AfterDawn US server problems fixed One of the AfterDawn.com servers had connectivity problems during the weekend, which caused problems for our North American users. Users in other regions could have been affected as well.

The problems were caused by a combination of abnormal network latency and cache frontend server configuration. There also was another problem that caused occasional "Oops, there has been an error" -messages when no error actually occured. This was also caused by an overly optimistic default setting in the version of Varnish Cache we were using. The setting has now been fixed along with an upgrade of Varnish.

We are deeply sorry about the inconvenience the problems have caused, and hope that they are now behind us.

Should you encounter problems accessing or using our site, please don't hesitate to contact me directly via email at firstname.lastname@afterdawn.com or via Twitter at @ketola or @afterdawn.

Reference:
https://www.varnish-cache.org/trac/ticket/1012




AfterDawn: News

Google patent attorney says Microsoft sues when they fail in the market

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Nov 2011 4:08

Google patent attorney says Microsoft sues when they fail in the market Slowly but surely, Google is going on the offensive to defend Android from the threat of patent lawsuits.

Google's position in this fight is arguably weaker than either of those companies. This has presented problems for major Android device manufacturers. Between Apple, who refuses to license their own patents to anyone, and Microsoft trying to make money from Android in place of having their own successful mobile OS, the very existence of Android could be at stake.

Google Patent Counsel, Tim Porter, argued the company's case to San Francisco Chronicle columnist James Temple. In the process, he directed a number of criticisms against not just the companies who pose that threat, but also patent system itself.

Reacting to the numerous license agreements Microsoft has made with Android device makers, he said:

Unfortunately, the way it works is you don't know what patents cover until courts declare that in litigation. What that means is people have to make decisions about whether to fight or whether to reach agreements.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HTC Edge: The world's first quad-core smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2011 3:33

HTC Edge: The world's first quad-core smartphone Multiple sources are reporting on the leaked pictures and specs of the upcoming HTC Edge, the world's first quad-core smartphone.

The device will have a massive 4.7-inch screen, 720p resolution, be just 10mm thick and run on Android 4.0.

Under the hood, the device has 1GB RAM, a Tegra 3 processor at 1.5Ghz, a backlit 8MP camera with a 28-millimeter f/2.2 lens, 32GB storage, Beats Audio and Bluetooth 4.0.

Additionally, the device will run the updated Sense UI which adds the HTC Listen music store, the HTC Read bookstore, the HTC Play multiplayer gaming hub and the HTC Watch HD movie rental portal.

The device will have support of the very fast 21Mbps HSDPA+ "4G" network but no LTE.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

YouTube and Disney partner up

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2011 3:14

YouTube and Disney partner up Google and Disney have said today that the two companies are teaming up to bring video content "tailored" to Disney audiences.

Co-branded "video destinations" will be available from Disney.com and YouTube.com starting next year.

The programming will be considered family-friendly and will be aimed at younger audiences.

Disney says a video series based ont he popular game "Where's my Water" will be the first project, launching in February.

Says Disney (via USAT):

With online video consumption exploding and YouTube at the center of that trend, we see an opportunity for Disney Interactive and YouTube to bring Disney's legacy of storytelling to a new generation of families and Disney enthusiasts on the platforms they prefer.




AfterDawn: News

Apple faces German iPhone / iPad ban

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Nov 2011 2:57

Apple faces German iPhone / iPad ban A German court issued an injunction against Apple, banning them from selling any mobile devices in the country... sort of.

The injuction was granted in a lawsuit against Apple, alleging the iPhone and iPad both infringe on Motorola patents. It was issued after Apple failed to appear in court.

While that sounds like a big deal for Apple, and in the end it could be, as Florian Mueller at FOSS Patents points out, the situation is much more complicated than it sounds.

First, there's the injunction itself. Apple has issued an extermely ambiguous statement on the matter, saying (via FOSS Patents):

This is a procedural issue and has nothing to do with the merits of the case. It does not affect our ability to do business or sell products in Germany at this time.


There are many ways that could be interpreted based on the nature of the lawsuit. For starters, it could mean Apple believes they will be granted a temporary stay of the ban, which may be decided in the next couple of weeks.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Armed gunmen steal Modern Warfare 3 games from truck

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2011 2:52

Armed gunmen steal Modern Warfare 3 games from truck 6000 copies of the upcoming Modern Warfare 3 game were stolen this week in France, following a daring armed robbery.

The truck was crashed into by a car in southern Paris before two armed and masked individuals jumped out, tossed tear gas then stole the truck.

Reports say the lot is worth about 400,000 euros.

There was little other to report on the theft but French citizens are told to look out for stolen copies of the game selling before its official release date.




AfterDawn: News

The iPhone 4S sold out in 10 minutes in Hong Kong

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2011 2:35

The iPhone 4S sold out in 10 minutes in Hong Kong According to Ticonderoga analyst Brian White, the Apple iPhone 4S sold out in Hong Kong in just 10 minutes.

Pre-orders on the device went live on November 4th and almost immediately sold out.

The device will hit the nation on the 11th as Apple expands the the iPhone 4S to 16 new countries.

A full sell-out is surprising as Siri lacks global language support:

We believe this rapid sell out $76.83 will rest concerns surrounding the uptake of the iPhone 4S in the Greater China region that were driven by the limited language capability of Siri, which did not launch in Mandarin or Cantonese.




AfterDawn: News

Time Warner Cable hit with Internet outage

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2011 2:18

Time Warner Cable hit with Internet outage Time Warner Cable has confirmed today that its Internet customers experienced a temporary outage this morning.

Says the ISP:

We appear to be recovering from a large but brief internet outage affecting most of our service areas.


TWC customers from around the U.S. all reported the quick outage this morning but the problem has been resolved now.

The ISP tells users to "attempt connecting again" if they have issues.




AfterDawn: News

Rumor: 'Xbox Next' will be based on ARM and Windows 9

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2011 1:38

Rumor: 'Xbox Next' will be based on ARM and Windows 9 According to the latest "rumors and tips," the next generation Xbox gaming console will be smaller, cheaper and be based on ARM processors and the Windows 9 operating system.

The rumor comes via blogger "MSNerd":

With a heady mix of rumors, tips and speculation, I am now stating that Xbox codename "loop" (the erstwhile XboxTV) will indeed debut a modified Win9 core. It will use a Zune HD-like hardware platform- a "main" processor with multiple dedicated assistive cores for graphics, AI, physics, sound, networking, encryption and sensors. It will be custom designed by Microsoft and two partners based on the ARM architecture. It will be cheaper than the 360, further enabling Kinect adoption. And it will be far smaller than the 360. It will also demonstrate how Windows Phone could possible implement Win9's dev platform on the lower end.


MSNerd has provided early and accurate information on Microsoft's defunct Courier and the Kin.




AfterDawn: News

Blockbuster Express adds $3 new releases, doubles price on many other titles

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Nov 2011 1:07

Blockbuster Express adds $3 new releases, doubles price on many other titles Blockbuster Express is rolling out new pricing for their disc rental kiosks, hiking prices from $1 to $2 for so-called "Hot Movies."

Hot Movies are major releases which have been out for between 29 and 90 days. The price for keeping a disc longer than 24 hours will remain at $1.

In addition, a program which has been in testing in a few markets, offering new releases on the same date they are released for sale, is expanding to all locations. New releases rent for $3 with an additional $1 per day after the first.

Under the new pricing scheme, which they are calling the 3-2-1 Plan, all prices will return to the flat $1 per night after 90 days.

It is understandable why Blockbuster Express would want to differentiate themselves from other rental outlets by offering new releases right away. But it's questionable how much much of an advantage that will be at such a high price.

In any case, it's unlikely to do anything to meet the studios' stated goal of selling more discs, which is the reasoning behind the ridiculous rental windows in the first place.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Gingerbread 2.3.x now tops Android distribution

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2011 12:38

Gingerbread 2.3.x now tops Android distribution For the month ended October 31st, it appears that Android 2.3.3-2.3.7 (Gingerbread) has finally taken the lead in distribution.

43.9 percent of all Droids now use the operating system compared to 40.7 percent for Android 2.2 Froyo.

The numbers should continue to move in favor of Gingerbread as carriers and handset makers finally update the devices to the OS update that was released many months ago.

There are no more phones being launched with 2.2.

Honeycomb has moved to about 1.1 percent share, as it is available only on a few elite tablets.

Perhaps the most notably is the fact that there are some poor fools still stuck on Android 1.5. It's time to upgrade, guys.







AfterDawn: News

Best Buy agrees to buy out Carphone Warehouse from mobile venture

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2011 12:12

Best Buy agrees to buy out Carphone Warehouse from mobile venture Giant retailer Best Buy has announced today that it will buy out its British partner Carphone Warehouse from the joint venture the two have in mobile phones.

Best Buy will pay $1.3 billion for Carphone's share.

The news about the Best Buy Mobile buyout was announced today along side news that Carphone would close all 11 trial Best Buy superstores in the UK due to poor performance.

Carphone has also noted that it will return some of the profits from the sale as a special dividend to shareholders.

Best Buy initially purchased 50 percent of Carphone's retail operations for $2.1 billion in 2008, in an effort to use the popular company's expertise in the mobile arena.

The Mobile venture has been mightily successful, but the brand's expansion into the UK has been a massive flop.




AfterDawn: News

Nook Tablet costs $50 more than Kindle Fire and may be worth the money

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Nov 2011 12:03

Nook Tablet costs $50 more than Kindle Fire and may be worth the money As expected, Barnes & Noble unveiled their new Android-powered tablet today. The Nook Tablet is the successor to their wildly successful Nook Color.

Like its predecessor, it features a 7" display with a resolution of 1024x600. This is the same as Amazon's competing 7" tablet, the Kindle Fire.

Also like the Kindle Fire, the Nook Tablet is powered by a 1GHz dual core processor, but the Barnes & Noble tablet has 1GB of RAM, twice that of the Kindle Fire.

It is also significantly better when it comes to storage. Where the Amazon tablet has just 8GB of internal storage and no expansion slot, the Nook Tablet includes 16GB onboard and accepts SD cards up to 32GB.

Battery life on the Nook Tablet also seems impressive, with Barnes & Noble claiming it will be capable of 11.5 hours of reading or 9 hours of video playback.

The Nook Tablet also offers free Wi-Fi from both Barnes & Noble and AT&T hotspots.

Specs aside, the most obvious differences between the two tablets is price. Amazon is selling the Kindle Fire at a loss, for just $199. The Nook Tablet will cost you $249, so the question is whether it is worth the extra $50.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HTC announces which phones will get Android 4.0 update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Nov 2011 11:41

HTC announces which phones will get Android 4.0 update Top smartphone seller HTC has announced today that a number of its most popular devices will be getting the much-anticipated Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update in the near future.

For now, the company only describes the update as "coming in early 2012," so HTC fans can hope that means as early as possible.

Reads the company's Facebook post:

HTC knows how excited our fans are to get their hands on Google's latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, so we're thrilled today to announce the first wave of HTC phones that will receive upgrades.

Ice Cream Sandwich is coming in early 2012 to a variety of devices including the HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL and HTC Sensation XE, as well as the HTC Rezound*, HTC EVO 3D, HTC EVO Design 4G* and HTC Amaze 4G* through close integration with our carrier partners.

We're continuing to assess our product portfolio, so stay tuned for more updates on device upgrades, timing and other details about HTC and Ice Cream Sandwich.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

All Best Buy UK superstores to be shut down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2011 7:42

All Best Buy UK superstores to be shut down Carphone Warehouse will close all of Best Buy UK superstores, citing very disappointing financial performance.

Each of the 11 stores opened at some point in 2010, after being delayed for opens in 2009.

Best Buy and Carphone teamed up to bring the popular American retailer to Europe, but competition and a Europe on the brink of recession has killed the venture.

Performance was so bad that Carphone's plans to launch 200 stores in the EU by 2013 was scrapped after the first 11 were built.

When asked for comment, Carphone only had this to say (via Lint):

We always said we would open 11 stores and then conduct a strategy review. We are now conducting our evaluation with our partners and will provide an update in due course.


To date, the stores have accumulated 115 million pounds in losses.




AfterDawn: News

Germany, UK getting white PS3 tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2011 5:28

Germany, UK getting white PS3 tomorrow GameStop has announced today that the special white colorway PlayStation 3 will hit Germany and the UK beginning tomorrow night at midnight.

The limited edition "Classic White" console is an exclusive for the retailer.

Consoles will ship with 320GB storage and two white Dual Shock 3 controllers for 250 pounds in the UK.

Additionally, a holiday bundle for 299 pounds will add a game and a 25 pound credit for PSN.

In Germany, the same 320GB console will sell for 300 euro or just 150 euro when you trade in a slim PS3 and two games.




AfterDawn: News

Firefox 8 Final now available for download

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2011 5:02

Firefox 8 Final now available for download Firefox 8, set for an official release on November 8th, is available now via AfterDawn.

The updated browser adds integrated Twitter search in the address bar, a number of tab tweaks and more security restrictions for third-party add-ons that could potentially be malware.

Download the browser here at AfterDawn:

Firefox 8 for Windows

Firefox 8 for Mac

Firefox 8 for Linux




AfterDawn: News

Shocker: The RIAA wants the DMCA re-made

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2011 4:41

Shocker: The RIAA wants the DMCA re-made After numerous high-profile losses in court, the RIAA's senior vice president of litigation Jennifer Pariser says the labels may soon ask Congress to make changes to the DMCA.

Pariser claims that the DMCA does not protect against online piracy like it is supposed to.

The attorney, speaking during a recent panel discussion said (via Greg Sandoval of Cnet):

I think Congress got it right, but I think the courts are getting it wrong. I think the courts are interpreting Congress' statute in a manner that is entirely too restrictive of content owners' rights and too open to [Internet] service providers.

We might need to go to Congress at some point for a fix. Not because the statute was badly drafted but because the interpretation has been so hamstrung by court decisions.


Pariser says the RIAA has not asked anyone in Congress for any action, yet, and they do not plan to do so in the near future.




AfterDawn: News

Galaxy Nexus priced at $289 at Costco

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2011 4:15

Galaxy Nexus priced at $289 at Costco Earlier this week, Samsung announced that the flagship Galaxy Nexus would go on sale in Europe on November 17th.

The device will cost 549 euro unlocked, as expected.

Today, we get our first hint as to an American price for the smartphone, via Costco.

A leaked screenshot of the inventory shows the wholesaler selling the device for $289.99, making it likely that Verizon will sell the phone at their average $299 price point for LTE phones with contract.

There is still no word on release date but rumors have pointed to Black Friday.




AfterDawn: News

Rumor: Amazon's second tablet will have 8.9-inch screen

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2011 2:29

Rumor: Amazon's second tablet will have 8.9-inch screen According to multiple sources in the supply chain, Amazon is prepping an 8.9-inch version of the Kindle Fire for future release.

Amazon's upcoming tablet/e-reader has a 7-inch screen and will retail for $199.

Many had expected the company to launch a 10.1-inch screen device that would directly compete with the iPad and other larger tablets, but if the report is accurate, that is not so.

Panel suppliers Chunghwa Picture Tubes and LG Display have already begun to prepare production capacities for the displays.

The Kindle Fire, set for a November 15th release, is so popular that it allegedly seeing 50,000 pre-orders per day. Analysts expect up to 5 million to be sold in this quarter, alone.




AfterDawn: News

Winamp finally makes it to Mac, in early Sync Beta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Nov 2011 12:37

Winamp finally makes it to Mac, in early Sync Beta Winamp, made popular in the late 90s as a light media player with a heavy feature set, has finally made its way over to Macs.

The Winamp for Mac Sync Beta is the first ever version of the software to hit Apple products but it is very light on the features.

As a "Sync Beta," the software will focus on the wireless and wired syncing abilities of music and playlists to Android devices.

Of course, the software will do its basic job of playing music just fine.

Nullsoft, the company behind the product say they have a "new long-term commitment to the Mac OS platform," and will be updating features regularly.

You can download the software here: Winamp.com/Mac




AfterDawn: News

Droid Razr to be released at 11:11 on 11-11-11?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2011 5:52

Droid Razr to be released at 11:11 on 11-11-11? Verizon has confirmed that the much-anticipated Motorola Droid Razr will be released on 11-11-11, and some flyers even have the device being launched at 11:11 AM.

The time is not confirmed, however.

Motorola's latest smartphone will be available to Verizon customers for $299.99 with a 2 year contract.

The device will run on Android 2.3.5 (Gingerbread), a 1.2GHz processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB of internal storage, and a 4.3 inch Gorilla Glass display. In addition, it has an 8 megapixel rear camera with 1080p video recording capability and a front facing camera for video chat.

Additionally, the phone is just 7.1mm thick, has a Kevlar body, and water resistant coating.




AfterDawn: News

Best Buy drops price of Nook Color

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2011 5:04

Best Buy drops price of Nook Color In anticipation of the upcoming "Nook Tablet" (Nook Color 2), retailer Best Buy has slashed the price of the first-generation Nook Color.

Best Buy has dropped the price $50, from $250 to $199.

The move will also help the device compete against the upcoming Amazon Kindle Fire, which will retail for the lower price.

B&N's upcoming Nook Tablet will allegedly offer the same 7-inch touchscreen along with a powerful 1.2Ghz dual-core processor and 16GB internal storage. The device will launch at the $250 price point of its predecessor.

Amazon's tablet offering will have lesser specs but will be deeply integrated with the Amazon ecosystem of shopping, e-books, music, movies, TV, cloud storage and streaming.




AfterDawn: News

Some PSVita titles will require you to own memory card

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2011 4:49

Some PSVita titles will require you to own memory card Kotaku has reported today that some upcoming Vita titles will require gamers to purchase an external memory card.

Many Vita titles will let you save the progress right to the game cart but others will not.

The list (for launch titles):


Uncharted: Golden Abyss
Disgaea 3: Absence of Detention
@Field
Hot Shots Golf 6
Monster Radar
Dream Club Zero Portable
Touch My Katamari


The memory cards, which are proprietary, will cost around $20 for 4GB or up to $80 for 32GB.




AfterDawn: News

Apple remains most profitable phone maker

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2011 4:31

Apple remains most profitable phone maker Despite Samsung's rise to top smartphone seller (by volume), Apple remains far and away the most profitable phone maker.

In the last quarter, Samsung took advantage of consumer's wait for the iPhone 4S and rose to the top volume seller of smartphones.

According to figures from Canaccord Genuity, Apple was the most profitable, collecting a whopping 52 percent of the industry's operating profits during the quarter.

Making that figure more impressive was the fact that Apple controls under a 5 percent market share in the global handheld market.

In order to be so profitable, Apple made "35 cents for every dollar of handheld sales," a number that was 110 percent higher than any competitor.

On the other end, Nokia continued its quickly accelerating death spiral while collecting just 4 percent of the industry's total operating profits with a much larger market share.




AfterDawn: News

Apple releases second beta for iOS 5 battery fix

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2011 4:10

Apple releases second beta for iOS 5 battery fix Just two days after releasing the first beta, Apple has now launched a second fix for the iOS 5 battery issue.

Critics of the firmware claim the battery has had excessive drain, making the iPhone 4S less useful than expected.

Apple has released the updated software to developers, meaning the public will probably see the fix within the month.

Additionally, iOS 5.0.1 will add multitasking gestures to iPad 1 owners.

Finally, the security issue with Apple's Smart Cover for the iPad 2 has been fixed.




AfterDawn: News

'Anonymous' backs off their threat against Mexican cartel

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2011 3:49

'Anonymous' backs off their threat against Mexican cartel Last month, hacking group 'Anonymous' threatened to attack the Mexican drug cartel "Los Zetas."

The Zetas are notoriously violent and considered the most ruthless in the world, specializing in assassinations and beheadings in their native land.

In total, there were over 15,273 drug-related crimes in Mexico in 2010 and over 40,000 people have died in the country since 2006 in drug related violence.

Anonymous had threatened to reveal police and media members allied with the cartel, unless an allegedly kidnapped member of the hacking group was freed in the city of Veracruz.

Apparently, the kidnapped member has now been freed so the group has backed off their threats. Allegedly, the group was also sent death threats from the cartel, which many believe is the real reason for the downplay of the attack.

The Zetas has said they would kill 10 Anonymous members for every name the hacking group revealed.




AfterDawn: News

HTC shows off Rezound smartphone with Beats audio

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2011 3:27

HTC shows off Rezound smartphone with Beats audio HTC has launched their Rezound smartphone this week, a multimedia-heavy device that promises "thundering bass, soaring midrange and crisp highs" due to integrated Beats Audio.

The company acquired Beats over the summer for $300 million.

Rezound owners will enjoy an Android 2.3 phone with a powerful 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 16 GB of on-board memory, 1GB of DDR2 RAM, a 16GB microSD card, an 8MP camera with autofocus, dual LED flash and an f/2.2 and 28 mm wide-angle lens with BSI sensor.

The device will have an HD 720p display and a 4.3-inch super-LCD screen.

Beats Audio co-founder Jimmy Iovine added:

HTC fully recognizes the destruction to audio caused by the digital revolution. It embraces our vision to repair this ecosystem and bring the feeling from the recording studio to the smartphone. This is only the beginning of our plan to fix how music is delivered.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

U.S. Cellular will delay their LTE rollout

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2011 2:31

U.S. Cellular will delay their LTE rollout The sixth-largest carrier in the U.S., U.S. Cellular, has noted this week that it will delay its LTE 4G rollout.

Instead of the Q4 2011, the network will be available for 4G-capable phones in the Q1 2012.

U.S. Cellular says the LTE rollout will be enabled by King Street Wireless. The carrier has a stake in the spectrum management company.

The carrier has 6 million subscribers across the U.S. and the LTE network will initially service just one quarter of them.

First, the LTE rollout will hit cities in Iowa, Wisconsin, Maine and North Carolina with additional markets receiving the network support later next year.

Says U.S Cellular:

With a 4G LTE network and cutting-edge 4G LTE devices, customers will be able to connect to their friends and family even faster and get more done when they're away from their home or office. We're excited to partner with King Street Wireless to bring 4G LTE speed to more customers next year that will help them be more productive. Our commitment to providing products and services that simplify and enhance customers' lives is one of the reasons we have the happiest customers in wireless.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Best Buy giving away free smartphones with purchase of Modern Warfare 3

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2011 2:04

Best Buy giving away free smartphones with purchase of Modern Warfare 3 Best Buy has announced today that they are giving away free HTC smartphones to anyone who purchases the upcoming blockbuster game "Modern Warfare 3."

The phones are available from Sprint, Verizon, or AT&T and will require you to sign a new two-year contract.

A few of the more notable phones are the HTC EVO 4G, the Droid Incredible 2 and the Inspire 4G. Each normally costs $150-200 with contract, making the deal a good one.

Best Buy is allegedly doing the promotion to build consumer awareness about its growing mobile business.

Activision has said it expects to sell 20 million copies of the game before the end of the year, making it by far the best selling game of the year.




AfterDawn: News

B&N to reveal $250 'Nook Tablet' next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Nov 2011 12:59

B&N to reveal $250 'Nook Tablet' next week As expected, Barnes and Noble will unveil their Nook Color sequel next week at a New York press event.

According to a leak (via Slashgear), the company will call the e-reader the "Nook Tablet" and sell the device for $249, a $50 step up from the upcoming Amazon Kindle Fire.

To warrant the price, the Nook Tablet will have better specs than the Fire including a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB storage and a light 7-inch frame.

Additionally, the device will have integrated Netflix and Hulu Plus.

If accurate, the Nook Tablet will hit stores on the 16th, one day after Amazon is shipping their Fire.




AfterDawn: News

Chuck D reveals record label accounting in download royalty lawsuit

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Nov 2011 8:11

Chuck D reveals record label accounting in download royalty lawsuit Chuck D of Public Enemy fame is the latest artist to sue his label alleging they are cheating him out of royalties from music downloads.

The issue, as with other artists who have sued, is whether downloads, including those from services like iTunes or Amazon's MP3 Shop as well as ringtones, should be counted as sales or licenses.

It's an issue which could cost the labels a lot of money due to the fact pre-iTunes recording contracts do not, obviously, have any royalty terms for downloads. In a similar case involving Eminem, a federal appeals court ruled that downloads clearly count as licensing, rather than sales.

This is significant because the royalty rate for licensing is much higher. Based on the contract terms disclosed in Chuck D's lawsuit, Universal Music Group would be required to pay him almost 50% of all the money they collect from each download.

Essentially, this is a case of the labels wanting to treat downloads in whatever way gives them the most power and makes them the most money. On one hand, they argue downloads are not sales when a consumer wants to sell them. Therefore the first sale doctrine does not apply. But when they pay the artist, they argue the opposite case, calling them sales to pay lower royalties.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android moves to 43 percent U.S. smartphone market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Nov 2011 5:02

Android moves to 43 percent U.S. smartphone market share According to the latest figures by Nielsen, Android has moved to 43 percent market share of the U.S. smartphone market.

Apple remained firmly in second with 28 percent share following another strong quarter of iPhone sales.

Most notably, overall smartphone ownership grew to 43 percent up from 38 percent just 6 months ago.

Nielsen says (via Fortune):

-62% of Americans aged 25-34 who own any kind of mobile phone own a smartphone.

-Among 18-24 and 35-44 year olds the smartphone penetration rate is hovering near 54%.

-Around 40% of teens 12-17 years old and 40% of 45-54 year-olds reported owning a smartphone

-The second fastest-growing smartphone penetration rate is those aged 55-64. Smartphone penetration among this older group is only 30%, but it jumped 5% this quarter.




AfterDawn: News

Is cable TV the key to Google's video plans?

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Nov 2011 3:39

Is cable TV the key to Google's video plans? Google may be looking for a new way to make the transition from traditional to Internet TV.

Google TV, their Internet-based TV service was launched last year, but has yet to be a success by any objective measure. At the end of last month they announced version 2.0 of the service, but with few people currently using the service, it remains to be seen if it can get traction in the market.

Considering a recent report about their plans to setup a cable TV service, maybe their purchase of Motorola Mobility is the key to that succes.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google's Jeremy Stern is negotiating with media companies as part of a plan to offer cable TV service in Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas. The service would use the same transmission lines they are already planning for a high speed Internet offering in the area.

Coupled with the Motorola Mobility acquisition, it could clear the two biggest hurdles Google TV has faced since its inception; a lack of content provider cooperation and a lack of consumers with Google TV capable devices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Judge agrees with himself instead of EMI in MP3Tunes case

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Nov 2011 1:52

Judge agrees with himself instead of EMI in MP3Tunes case EMI continues to lose their fight to prove MP3tunes is liable for copyright infringement.

Responding to a filing from EMI lawyers in which they argued the judge was mistaken about two key points in the case, a federal judge reaffirmed his original decision.

The first contested point was whether the DMCA covers recordings released prior to 1972. These recordings are covered by state, rather than federal copyright law. The second is whether MP3tunes' policy for cancelling the accounts of repeat infringers fulfilled their DMCA obligations.

Not surprisingly, the judge ruled that his previous decision was correct on both issues. He also agreed with his earlier ruling that MP3tunes failure to remove songs from users' lockers following DMCA notices does, in fact, make them guilty of contributory copyright infringement.

In addition, he upheld his own decision that MP3tunes founder Michael Robertson is liable for his own personal use of a MP3tunes file locker for infringement.

On his personal blog, Robertson mused about why EMI's lawyers would waste their time (and EMI's money) presenting the same argument before the same judge a second time. He suggested it may be a case of EMI's lawyers taking advantage of the company's management and ownership turmoil.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

MPAA / RIAA report says they're doing just fine

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Nov 2011 12:50

MPAA / RIAA report says they're doing just fine As the entertainment industry in the US lobbies for PROTECT-IP, the E-PARASITE Act, ACTA, and numerous other legal measures designed to give them control over technology, they have released a report showing why they don't need any of them.

According to the report from the International Intellectual Property Association, whose members include the MPAA, RIAA, Business Software Alliance, Entertainment Software Association, Association of American Publishers, Independent Film & Television Alliance, and National Music Publishers' Association, copyright industries are doing just fine.

In fact they're doing better than fine. The report boasts about how copyright industries are doing better than the rest of the economy.

On the subject of how poor economic conditions are affecting copyright industries, the report says:

For the entire period 2007-2010, the U.S. core copyright industries, in real terms, grew at a compound annual growth rate of 1.10%. During the same period, the total U.S. copyright industries grew at a compound annual growth rate of 1.47%. By contrast, the U.S. economy?s compound annual growth rate over the period 2007 through 2010 was only 0.05%.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

European Commission jumps into Apple / Samsung patent fight

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 04 Nov 2011 11:59

European Commission jumps into Apple / Samsung patent fight Samsung's desparation patent lawsuits accusing Apple of infringing on 3G patents has caught the attention of European regulators.

According to a filing by Apple in the two companies' US patent case, the European Commission has reached out to Apple as part of an investigation into Samsung's licensing of essential mobile technology.

Specifically, they are trying to determine if Samsung is violating FRAND (Fair, Reasonable, And Non Discriminatory) licensing rules.

The commission confirmed this in a statement, saying (via Reuters):

The Commission has indeed sent requests for information to Apple and Samsung concerning the enforcement of standards-essential patents in the mobile telephony sector.


Core technology for mobile communication standards, being essential to modern mobile phones and carrier networks, is subject to FRAND rules. These rules are designed to ensure a company like Samsung isn't allowed to take unfair advantage of other companies who need to license their patents for standards compliance.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Galaxy Nexus already rooted, weeks before release

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2011 2:52

Galaxy Nexus already rooted, weeks before release The new flagship Google device gets rooted weeks before its official launch.

The Galaxy Nexus, Samsung's new flagship Android device and the first to run Android 4.0 ICS has already been rooted by MoDaCo's Paul O'Brien.

Samsung is releasing the device on Black Friday, in three weeks.

Using his "Superboot" program, users can install a specialized boot image to the Galaxy Nexus which will then automatically root the device on first startup.

Instructions (for when you get the device in three weeks): 03 Nov r1: Superboot - rooting the Galaxy Nexus




AfterDawn: News

Steve Jobs bio sells 379,000 copies first week, in U.S.

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2011 2:12

Steve Jobs bio sells 379,000 copies first week, in U.S. "Steve Jobs," the only authorized biography of the founder and former CEO of Apple, has sold 379,000 copies in just one week of availability, in the U.S.

Figures from Nielsen BookScan put the book way ahead of the competition, with the next best-selling title, John Grisham's "The Litigators," selling 125,000 copies.

For nonfiction, the title beat out Bill O'Reilly's "Killing Lincoln," which sold 47,500 copies to stay in second for the week.

The book was released on October 24th and is based off of hundreds of interviews with Jobs, former and current employees, family, friends and acquaintances.

If orders remain strong, the book will likely be Amazon's top selling book for 2011.

It is unclear how many of those purchases were digital compared to hardcover.




AfterDawn: News

Opera 6.5 released for iOS, S60, BlackBerry, J2ME

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2011 12:55

Opera 6.5 released for iOS, S60, BlackBerry, J2ME After being released for Android last month, the team at Opera has now brought the mobile browser to other popular platforms.

Opera Mini 6.5 is now available for iOS, S60, J2ME and BlackBerry.

Additionally, Opera Mobile 11.5 (which is pretty much the same thing) is now available for Symbian, Maemo and MeeGo.

The biggest update in Opera 6.5 is a small counter that shows you how much data you have used browsing and how much Opera's compression software has helped you save.

Since November 2nd, Opera has had a global counter on their homepage showing how much data the compression has helped users save. The number is above 313 TB as of writing.




AfterDawn: News

IE falls under 50 percent total traffic market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2011 12:16

IE falls under 50 percent total traffic market share According to new data from netmarketshare.com, Internet Explorer has fallen under 50 percent in total market share, mainly thanks to Safari's 62.17 percent share in mobile traffic.

Safari, the default browser for iOS devices like the iPhone, has helped IE fall to 49.6 percent share.

For the month ended October 31st, Firefox remained in second at 21.20 percent of traffic with Chrome in 3rd at 16.60 percent.

Safari came in fourth at 8.72 percent and along with Chrome, saw significant increases at the expense of the leaders.

Some more figures:








AfterDawn: News

One year later, Android Market may finally get PayPal payments

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2011 11:46

One year later, Android Market may finally get PayPal payments It has been rumored and implied for over a year now, but it seems that PayPal payments may finally be headed to the Android Market.

Google announced it was working with PayPal to bring the ability to pay with Paypal instead of needing to use Google Checkout or carrier billing when buying apps and games.

The updated Market (version 3.3.11) which was leaked this week makes references to Paypal in its coding (pic via Aguys).

You can try the new Market by downloading the APK directly from here: Android Police




AfterDawn: News

AOL still has about 3.5 million dial-up users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2011 11:25

AOL still has about 3.5 million dial-up users According to AOL's latest quarterly earnings, the company still has 3.5 million dial-up subscribers accessing the internet with 8Kbps download speeds.

Additionally, the company only lost 630,000 subscribers in the quarter, its smallest loss ever. AOL has had a price promotion available to new users for months now and it appears the promotion worked as 200,000 people actually added the service.

As broadband became mainstream in the early-mid 2000s AOL was losing up to 5 million subscribers per year.

Surprisingly, the monthly bill for AOL dialup is still $17.50, down just $0.50 from 2001.

Full chart (via BI):




AfterDawn: News

Motorola launches Xoom 2, Media Edition

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2011 11:12

Motorola launches Xoom 2, Media Edition Motorola has officially launched the Xoom 2 and Xoom 2 Media Edition tablets today.

Under the hood the devices are practically the same. Each runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, Android 3.2, 1GB RAM, dual cameras 5/1.3MP and the full line of Google apps.

While the Xoom 2 keeps the common 10.1-inch HD display, the Media Edition will only have an 8.2-inch screen. The Xoom 2 has a larger battery, as well, and will run for 10 hours compared to 6 for the smaller device. Each has Gorilla Glass, as well.

The Media Edition also includes the MotoCAST remote media streaming service.

Notably, the tablets don't appear to be headed to the U.S., at least not this month. Motorola is releasing the tablets in the U.K and Ireland in "mid-November." Pricing is unknown but the smaller device, at least, is expected to retail for 399 pounds.




AfterDawn: News

JK: LG now says Optimus 2X will get Android 4.0

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Nov 2011 10:46

JK: LG now says Optimus 2X will get Android 4.0 Last month, LG announced that its flagship Android device, the Optimus 2X, would unfortunately not be receiving an update to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Users were not all too shocked as they are still on the outdated Android 2.2, but the device launched in February so many were upset at being locked into contract with a phone that will not be updated.

Today, LG has made amends, updating the device to 2.3 and announcing that the device will get ICS in the future.

Via their Facebook page, the company says:

LG firmly denies the rumours that claim LG will not be providing the Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) OS update for the LG Optimus 2X. These rumours are NOT true. LG is currently in the process of planning the ICSOS update for the LG Optimus 2X as well as other LG high-end smartphones. Detailed information on the ICS OS update schedule for specific models will be announced, once the ICS OS is publicly released by Google. Please stay tuned for more updates from LG.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Judge says Sprint and C-Spire lawsuits to block AT&T / T-Mobile deal can proceed

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 03 Nov 2011 6:08

Judge says Sprint and C-Spire lawsuits to block AT&T / T-Mobile deal can proceed Antitrust lawsuits opposing the buyout of T-Mobile USA by AT&T will be allowed to continue thanks to a ruling by a federal judge.

Sprint and C-Spire (formerly Cellular South) are seeking to block the purchase on the grounds it will give AT&T the ability to get exclusive handset deals.

Although several portions of both companies' complaints were thrown out by the judge, The Washington Post reports both carriers will be allowed to continue pursuing their lawsuits on some of their claims.

The suits are in addition to the antitrust action being pursued by the Justice Department.

AT&T is currently the second largest of four US mobile carriers who provide nationwide coverage. Sprint is the third largest, followed by T-Mobile.

C-Spire Wireless is a regional carrier located in the southeastern part of the country.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iOS beta to fix battery problems is out

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 03 Nov 2011 5:33

iOS beta to fix battery problems is out Apple has released a beta of iOS 5.0.1 to developers which to addresses the battery life problems experienced by some iPhone owners.

Yesterday the company announced they had found the culprit behind the issue, which results in the iPhone battery significantly faster than normal. The problem doesn't affect all phones.

This update also adds multitasking gestures to the original iPad, a feature which was added in a beta of iOS 4.3, disabled in the final release version, and then enabled again, only for iPad 2 owners, in iOS 5.

According to the release notes (via Mac Rumors):

iOS 5.0.1 beta contains improvements and other bug fixes including:
- Fixes bugs affecting battery life
- Adds Multitasking Gestures for original iPad
- Resolves bugs with Documents in the Cloud
- Improves voice recognition for Australian users using dictation
- Contains security improvements

iOS 5.0.1 beta introduces a new way for developers to specify files that should remain on device, even in low storage situations.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon adds lending library to Prime subscription service

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 03 Nov 2011 4:40

Amazon adds lending library to Prime subscription service Amazon has added a new feature targetted specifically at Kindle owners to their Amazon Prime program.

Amazon Prime is a subscription service which already gave members access to streaming video in addition to free 2 day shipping. Now they are adding a lending library usable only on their Kindle eReaders.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO said of the new service:

Owning a Kindle just got even better. Today, we're introducing a new Prime benefit built for Kindle: The Kindle Owners' Lending Library. Prime Members now have exclusive access to a huge library of books to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates.


Amazon Prime members will be able to "borrow" 1 book each month through the program. Currently it is limited to owners of Kindle hardware.

It will not be offered through Kindle software running on other devices, such as desktop and laptop computers, iPads or Android tablets other than the new Kindle Fire.

The exact number of books available through the program was not announced, except to say it is in the thousands.




AfterDawn: News

Study warns carriers about the hidden costs of cheap Android phones

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 03 Nov 2011 4:21

Study warns carriers about the hidden costs of cheap Android phones A new whitepaper from wireless services firm WDS points out some potential problems for carriers who sell Android smartphones.

The paper, based on analysis of 600,000 support calls to mobile carriers, details some mistakes they have made in selecting, marketing, and updating Android phones.

It concentrates primarily on the effects of hardware and software fragmentation caused by Google's relative lack of control over phone manufacturing standards and OS update rollouts.

They found 12.6% of Android support calls ended up with a hardware fault being diagnosed, costing carriers approximately $2 billion a year. In large part they chalk this up to failure by carriers to adequately test phones before choosing to offer them to customers.

More than 25% of smartphones, they say, are manufactured by relatively unknown manufacturers, and most of them run Android.

By comparison, support calls for BlackBerry phones had a 5.5% rate of hardware faults, iPhones 8%, and Windows Phone 7 came in at 11%. They suggest the difference between Android and Windows Phone likely stems from the tighter hardware control exercised by Microsoft.

The report also warns operators about the issues which can be caused by OS updates, or the lack of them. Citing an October 2011 study, they say, "of 18 Android devices from the US, 10 were at least two major versions behind within their two-year contract period."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple said to be planning complete product line redesign next year

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 03 Nov 2011 2:52

Apple said to be planning complete product line redesign next year Apple is rumored to be planning an overhaul of their entire product line next year.

Citing an unnamed source in Apple's supply chain, Digitimes reported the company has already ordered parts for 2 new iPad prototypes, and will have enough components ready to build 2 million units by year's end.

This seems to match another recent rumor that Apple would be releasing a smaller tablet to compete with Amazon's Kindle Fire.

The source indicated the new iPhone would ship some time in the second half of next year. That is to be expected considering the current model has been available for less than a month and has yet to launch in most countries.

It makes sense that Apple would redesign both products right now, given the increasing competition in the tablet industry and the fact the iPhone 4S is essentially just an upgraded iPhone 4.

There are also rumors that Steve Jobs put significant effort into an iPhone redesign as one of his last projects before his death in October.




AfterDawn: News

Parents know their underage children are using Facebook and many help set up accounts

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 02 Nov 2011 11:34

Parents know their underage children are using Facebook and many help set up accounts The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) is a US law intended to prevent the collection and use of personal information from children under the age of 13.

A new report from the University of Illinois At Chicago finds that the measures taken by services like Facebook to comply with the law have resulted in it being largely ineffective.

The report, based on a survey of US parents with children between the ages of 10 and 14, looks specifically at how parents view Facebook's minimum age requirement. Like many websites, Facebook requires users to be at least 13 years old to join in order to avoid any COPPA compliance issues.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that large numbers of children younger than 13 sign up for Facebook accounts. The report found their parents are almost always aware of the child's Facebook activity.

In fact, the majority actually helped their child create the account, almost always with the knowledge that it was against Facebook's terms of service. What almost none of them were aware of was the reason for Facebook's policy.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HP announces new Slate 2 tablet

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 02 Nov 2011 10:27

HP announces new Slate 2 tablet After announcing last week that they had changed their minds about selling their PC division, it now seems HP is also sticking around in the tablet market for the time being.

No, they aren't bringing back the TouchPad. Their latest tablet, announced today, is the Windows 7 powered Slate 2.

The 1.5 pound Slate 2 is an update to the Slate 500, released in March of 2010. However, at $699, it will be a full $100 cheaper.

Like the original, it has a 8.9" display and is powered by an Intel Atom processor. The 32GB SSD is half the size of the original's 64GB hard drive.

The HP Slate 2 will go on sale later this month.




AfterDawn: News

Release group puts out patch for Battlefield 3's EA 'Origin' DRM

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2011 10:21

Release group puts out patch for Battlefield 3's EA 'Origin' DRM EA's new hit shooter "Battlefield 3" for PC has been plagued by criticism due to the publisher's forceful inclusion of the "Origin" account, a DRM required to play the game online.

Origin, which is still in beta, has been in the news as it gives EA the rights to access your personal info and practically spy on you. That's without mentioning that Origin is prone to crashing and customer service issues.

Gamers who decided to purchase the retail edition of the game have been having issues, as well, with Origin.

Warez group Razor 1911, patching games since the 1990s, has come to the rescue with a patched .exe.

Says the group:

Razor1911 doesn't accept and support the online DRM "Origin" from EA.

This release is dedicated to our fans worldwide who bought this game on
legal way and don't want to install the trojan from Electronic Arts to play
online.

Install Notes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1. Unpack
2. Copy bf3.exe to your install folder
3. Have fun!


The fixed .exe is verified working, but it is likely EA is working on an update.




AfterDawn: News

Apple confirms iPhone 4S battery issues

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2011 9:27

Apple confirms iPhone 4S battery issues Apple has confirmed today that some iPhone 4S (and other iPhone) owners are experiencing bad battery life.

The company is working on a fix for iOS 5 and will release it within weeks.

Says the company (via ATD):

A small number of customers have reported lower than expected battery life on iOS 5 devices. We have found a few bugs that are affecting battery life and we will release a software update to address those in a few weeks.


Users have been complaining since last month when Apple released iOS 5, the latest software update for their iOS devices.




AfterDawn: News

Former Yahoo exec says their success was "built on false premises"

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 02 Nov 2011 6:03

Former Yahoo exec says their success was "built on false premises" As Yahoo continues to search for a plan to return to their former glory, one former company executive explained why that's not going to happen.

The company, he says, was never really that great. According to him, they were always destined to fail because they didn't plan for the future.

The executive, whom they identify only as "a former executive from Yahoo's last great era," told Business Insider the company's decline in recent years is the result of a lack of vision at the top.

He characterized Yahoo's success as a direct result of bad judgement by decision makers at other companies, saying:

The internet blew up and people were paying ridiculous sums of money to advertise on Yahoo. I remember doing this deal with Barnes and Noble, we did this 30 million dollar deal over 3 years, and they just thought they had to be there. The reality is everybody was paying too much money to be a part of Yahoo back in the go-go days. We were generating revenues that were built on false premises.

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AfterDawn: News

Nvidia files patent to build mini computers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 02 Nov 2011 5:41

Nvidia files patent to build mini computers Does Nvidia have plans to get into the PC vendor market?

Nvidia has filed a patent for a "portable computer system," a mini device that will be the size of a USB flash drive.

The PCS will pack a Tegra processor, flash storage, RAM, one USB port, LAN, WiFi and another interface like HDMI.

Most notably, the computer will be just 40-60 mm long, 10-20 mm wide and 5-10 mm thick.

The idea of the computer is to bring it anywhere, connect it to a TV or monitor and perform tasks with a computer that uses only 10 watts.

Additionally, the price would be under $100.





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