AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (12 / 2011)

AfterDawn: News

XBMC developer talks about switching from Boxee

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 30 Dec 2011 9:08

XBMC developer talks about switching from Boxee If you are a Boxee user trying to decide what to do now that they have decided to cease development of their PC software, now might be the time to consider XBMC.

Boxee, which is a fork of XBMC, announced their decision to abandon their software platform and concentrate exclusively on their set-top box earlier this week. They will cease offering it at the end of January.

On the other hand, XBMC remains in active development. In fact a beta of the upcoming 11.0 release was announced just days before Boxee's announcement.

Two days ago XBMC developer Nathan Betzen took some time to address the issue of switching from Boxee to XBMC:

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AfterDawn: News

GoDaddy customers transfer more than 32,000 domains in 36 hours

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 30 Dec 2011 5:17

GoDaddy customers transfer more than 32,000 domains in 36 hours The number of domains transferred away from GoDaddy yesterday as part of Move Your Domain Day may not have a long term effect on the company's bottom line, but it raise more than $64,000 for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Move Your Domain Day was a promotion by rival domain registrar NameCheap which resulted from GoDaddy's support for the dangerous anti-piracy bill SOPA. While its sponsors claim the bill is intended only to punish foreign owned or operated websites "dedicated to the theft of US property," it is actually a thinly veiled attempt to allow private companies and the US government to censor the Internet.

Not only did GoDaddy initially support SOPA, they went so far as to send a letter to the House of Representatives committee debating the bill a letter describing it as "thoughtful and comprehensive." When faced with a mass transfer of domain names to other registrars initially organized on Reddit, GoDaddy slowly backed away from that stance.

Although GoDaddy claimed to have dropped support for SOPA on December 23, it wasn't until four days later they made it official by withdrawing their letter from the House Judiciary Committee and had their name removed from its list of supporters.

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AfterDawn: News

DVD-Logic expands their line of free Blu-ray and DVD tools

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 30 Dec 2011 3:19

DVD-Logic expands their line of free Blu-ray and DVD tools DVD-Logic Software, a company which offers a variety of Blu-ray authoring products, has decided to make a selection of their tools available for free.

DVD-Logic's primary business has been selling helper applications for use with the extremely high end Rovio Scenarist or more reasonably priced NetBlender DoStudio. In fact DoStudio Authoring EX Edition includes DVD-Logic's IGEditor for creating menus.

You probably aren't planning to spend $3,0000 or more for DoStudio, and certainly not tens of thousands of dollars for Scenarist. However, you may be interested in DVD-Logic's own authoring software suites which are aimed more at the prosumer and hobbyist market.

Today their DVD Demuxer and HD DVD Demuxer tools became free. These programs do exactly what their names suggest. They extract every stream from every VOB file on a disc.

Each titleset (VTS_XX) is placed in a separate folder, and the saved streams use a naming convention which includes a lot of advanced information about how the original disc authored. Subpictures, including both regular subtitles and menu buttons, are saved in Scenarist's SST format, which can also be used with DVD-Logic's authoring software.

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AfterDawn: News

Internet activists take aim at legislators pushing SOPA

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 29 Dec 2011 9:36

Internet activists take aim at legislators pushing SOPA Now that their campaign against GoDaddy has convinced the world's largest domain registrar to back away from supporting SOPA, some Reddit members are turning their attention to unseating legislators whose support is keeping the bill alive.

To be sure, this effort is on an entirely different level than boycotting an Internet registrar, but Reddit's previous effort surely garnered them plenty of extra attention.

In part that can be attributed to their GoDaddy protest getting significant coverage outside the tech world, in mainstream publications like USA Today, Forbes, and Time. That isn't the only reason GoDaddy is in the news either.

The Hollywood Reporter has an article about a lawsuit in which GoDaddy is accused of facilitating trademark infringement by AMPAS (the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences) because of infringing domain names owned by customers of their domain parking service.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung boasts 1 million Galaxy Notes shipped and US launch coming next year

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 29 Dec 2011 6:52

Samsung boasts 1 million Galaxy Notes shipped and US launch coming next year The Galaxy Note may be the most unusual smartphone Samsung has produced, but according to the company that hasn't stopped carriers from ordering 1 million of them already.

The Galaxy Note is hard to classify. With a 5.3 inch display, it seems almost too big to be a phone, but certainly too small to be a real tablet. It is clearly intended to be tablet-like, however, as you can tell from the inclusion of a Wacom stylus.

Although a company statement reprinted in various Korean publications claims 1 million of the Android phones have been sold, a closer reading shows that to be the count of units shipped, rather than sold.

Regardless of how many are actually in consumers' hands, the Galaxy Note has the potential to be something truly unusual - a device that defines a new category. It has a lot of power, with a 1.4GHz dual core Cortex-A9 processor and 1GB RAM. It also offers a minimum of 16GB of internal storage, plus of course up to 32GB more using the microSD slot. Even the display resolution is impressive at 1280x800.

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AfterDawn: News

Google wins a small victory against Oracle as parts of one patent are invalidated

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 29 Dec 2011 1:05

Google wins a small victory against Oracle as parts of one patent are invalidated With all the attention Apple's lawsuits against Android device makers has gotten, Oracle's patent and copyright infringement lawsuit over the OS against Google themselves has been overshadowed.

The latest development in the suit is that the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office) has invalidated the majority of one Oracle patent related to the suit. Although the document says it is a "final response," that does not make it a final ruling. In fact Oracle can (and no doubt will) still appeal the decision.

Oracle's suit stems from Java patents and copyrights included in their buyout of Sun Microsystems which was finalized in 2010. The complaint revolves around Android's app framework, which is based on Java.

Although Android apps are written in Java, Android does not run them using a Java VM (Virtual Machine). Instead it uses a VM called Dalvik which is designed specifically for Android (although it has been ported elsewhere) and optimized for mobile devices with slow processors, little RAM, and relatively short battery life.

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AfterDawn: News

Boxee will drop PC support in February to concentrate on set-top boxes

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 28 Dec 2011 9:09

Boxee will drop PC support in February to concentrate on set-top boxes Boxee has announced that the latest upgrade to their primarily web-based media player will be the last to feature Windows, OS X, and Ubuntu Linux versions so they can concentrate their efforts on the Boxee Box and mobile clients.

They broke the news in the Boxee 1.5 announcement on their blog. Boxee 1.5, which adds a Live TV feature to the Boxee Box (with the purchase of a USB TV tuner) is currently being tested by a select group of Boxee Box owners, will be released into public beta in January.

The PC versions, albeit with fewer features, are already available from Boxee's website. They will be discontinued at the end of January, at which time they will disappear from the Boxee website.

Company spokesman Andrew Kippen wrote:

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung, DoCoMo, Panasonic, and others form new mobile chip powerhouse

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 28 Dec 2011 5:59

Samsung, DoCoMo, Panasonic, and others form new mobile chip powerhouse Japan's largest mobile carrier, NTT DoCoMo, has announced a partnership with a group of leading Japanese and Korean electronics manufacturers to develop and manufacture LTE components.

Their partners in the joint venture will include Fujitsu Semiconductor, NEC Corporation, Panasonic Mobile Communications, and Samsung Electronics.

The details are still be working out, but NTT DoCoMo plans to invest nearly $6 million (450 million Japanese Yen) to establish the new company which will be called Communication Platform Planning Co. They will also be supplying the CEO, Mitsunobu Komori, who is currently DoCoMo's CTO (Chief Technical Officer) and an executive vice president.

The new company is expected to be formally established in January. This move appears to be a shot across the bow of Qualcomm, who currently leads the mobile chip chip industry worldwide.

DoCoMo, Fujitsu, NEC, and Panasonic had already established a partnership to develop mobile hardware. Last year they announced their first chip, developed using technology from another Japanese company called Tensilica.

The addition of Samsung to coalition would seem to complete the puzzle. Over the last few years Samsung has made great strides in mobile processor manufacturing. Among their other achievements, they build Apple processors for the iPhone and iPad.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple's unconfirmed iTV will have a la carte channel choices?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Dec 2011 4:58

Apple's unconfirmed iTV will have a la carte channel choices? According to a new report from analyst firm Sterne Agee (via Barron's), Apple's still unconfirmed iTV will feature a la carte channels, meaning users can pick and choose what they want to buy.

The HDTVs, which have been the subject of rumor since last year, are expected to launch during the summer in 32 or 37-inch varieties, built by Sharp and with chips from Samsung.

Reads the client note:

Frankly, we think that Apple should enter the TV space. Frankly, we are not surprised and believe Apple should enter the TV space as this is arguably the only major end market the company is not currently participating in a bigger way. Moreover, we have picked up several data points indicating activity from component makers to manufacturing partners as well as Apple's own patent filings from at least 2005.

By far the most notable part of the report is the notion that Apple will start a new streaming platform for HD channels, in which users can pick what they want instead of being forced to buy a bundle from a cable company with hundreds of channels they likely don't watch.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony confirms Ice Cream Sandwich for its tablets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Dec 2011 4:33

Sony confirms Ice Cream Sandwich for its tablets Sony has finally confirmed that its Tablet S and Tablet P devices will receive Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich in the future.

Additionally, the company reiterated that Sony Ericsson Xperia phones will get the update in March.

Reads the post: "Sony Tablet is evolving, and we'd like to keep you informed with the latest updates.

Today we're happy to confirm that an update to Android 4.0 will be available for Sony Tablet. Details including timing will be announced in due course, so please stay tuned."


The Tablet S has a 9.4-inch screen, a "magazine" form factor, a Tegra 2 dual core processor, dual cameras and Honeycomb 3.x. If you purchase the Wi-Fi-only version you get Honeycomb 3.1 (with Sony UI overlay) and if you buy the more expensive Wi-Fi/3G version you get 3.2 (with similar UI overlay). The tablet comes with either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, DLNA compatibility, an IR port (to use as universal remote), an SD card slot, Sony's Crackle and eReader apps and Sony's "QuickView" tech for faster browsing. Finally, the tablet is the first to be Playstation Certified which means it can play PSX games from the PS Store.

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix customer satisfaction falls off a cliff

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Dec 2011 2:57

Netflix customer satisfaction falls off a cliff According to the latest report from customer experience analytics firm ForeSee, Amazon had the highest customer satisfaction in 2011 while perennial competitor Netflix cliff dived.

The company says that Amazon and Netflix had been fighting for the top spot since 2004. This is the first year that either saw a significant dip in their customer sentiment.

On the 100-point scale, Amazon scored a solid 88, the highest score any retailer, ever. Netflix fell 7 points to 79 following a series of PR disasters. During the summer, the company arrogantly hiked the prices of their services and then tried to spin off the DVD rental business as "Qwikster." The company's stock fell from $300 to $50 as investors followed subscribers out the door.

Netflix saw a drop across the board, losing points in site content, site functionality, merchandise, and prices. Despite Netflix's drop, Overstock.com and Gap fell to 72 and 73, respectively, leaving them at the very bottom of the index.

The biggest jumps were TigerDirect to 79 and JC Penny to 83.

Chart via Crunch:

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AfterDawn: News

Direct2Drive merges with Gamefly

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Dec 2011 2:06

Direct2Drive merges with Gamefly The popular PC gaming download platform Direct2Drive announced earlier this week that it is merging with GameFly, the gaming rental service.

Gamefly say it's working hard to make the process smooth, but there is one catch: Not all games will make the transition. A few titles that were readily available on D2D are not available via GameFly and Prima guides will not make the transition either.

As a precaution, D2D has told customers to download their purchases and guides to ensure they still have them after the merger. As for the games, D2D also notes that "Some older titles may not be available immediately after the transition, and will be added later."

The transition begins in January for U.S. gamers and it is unclear whether the service will ever make it overseas given that Gamefly is a U.S. service, only.

Subscribers will also be allowed to play hundreds of games, for free, with unlimited access.




AfterDawn: News

Apple fined in Italy over misleading guarantees

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Dec 2011 2:03

Apple fined in Italy over misleading guarantees Apple has been fined 900,000 euro today by Italy's anti-trust authority.

The large fine is in regards to Apple's misleading guarantees on its products and on assistance services.

Reads the statement: "Sanctions of a total of 900,000 euros have been imposed on the Apple group after it was found responsible for bad commercial practices that harmed consumers." Apple gave "unclear information on payments for additional assistance offered to consumers" and the company had not "fully implemented the two-year guarantee by the producer," read the complaint.

The fine is minuscule compared for the company which is expected to bring in $22 billion in profits this year alone.




AfterDawn: News

Windows Phone Marketplace hits 50,000 apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Dec 2011 11:50

Windows Phone Marketplace hits 50,000 apps The fast-growing Windows Phone Marketplace has surpassed 50,000 apps, just a month after hitting 40,000.

All About Windows Phone reported the number, which is different than Microsoft's official "more than 35,000" stance. The discrepancy is due to the fact that Microsoft does not include "lite" versions of paid apps and wallpaper apps in its tally.

The platform took just 14 months to reach the plateau, faster than Android which took 19 months and BlackBerry which took 27 months. Apple is not a fair comparison as there were already 4 million iOS devices active before the store opened.

In the past few weeks, the WPM is growing at a rate of 256 apps per day.

There is no clear reason as to the surge in developer interest but it can likely be attributed to the more widespread availability of WP7 devices and the anticipation of the first Nokia phones hitting the U.S. in the next two months.




AfterDawn: News

Universal Music takes down YouTube video from its own artist

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Dec 2011 10:38

Universal Music takes down YouTube video from its own artist It appears Universal Music Group (UMG) does not discriminate when it takes down videos, even nonsensically taking down music videos from its own artist.

Following the release of his official video for "They Burn Me," UMG took down the track from its artist 50 Cent, leaving the usual "this is blocked due to copyright" message in its place.

UMG and 50 Cent have a long history of disagreement. Earlier this year, 50 Cent (real name Curtis Jackson) accused Interscope (division of UMG) of leaking his first single and the artwork for his second single. Jackson had not wanted to release any of his tracks until later in the year. As retaliation, Jackson threatened to leak one of Dr. Dre's latest tracks, off the decade-in-the-making "Detox" album, but in the end he did not.

Furthermore, UMG publicly declared 50 Cent's personal website "a pirate site."

It is unclear why UMG took down its own artist's video, especially from such a prominent rapper.




AfterDawn: News

Seven LCD makers settle price-fixing case for $553 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Dec 2011 9:56

Seven LCD makers settle price-fixing case for $553 million Seven prominent LCD makers have agreed to pay a fine of $553 million to settle multiple cases relating to claims they conspired together to fix prices for LCD panels found in TVs, notebooks and other monitors from the years 1999 to 2006.

The companies in question are Samsung, Sharp, Hitachi, HannStar Display, Chimei Innolux, Chunghwa Picture Tubes and Espon Imaging Devices. The case began in 2006, as authorities in Japan, Korea, the EU and the U.S. began probing into the "cartel" that had been formed by the companies and their anti-competitive activity.

So far, the companies and their top execs have paid out over $890 million in fines for settlements in the EU or elsewhere. Just last month, 8 companies including Samsung and Sharp, agreed to pay $388 million to settle litigation by direct purchasers of the LCD panels, says Reuters.

The $553 million from this payout will go to "indirect purchasers" of the LCDs and claims by 8 U.S. states; Arkansas, California, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New York, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google+ tops 60 million users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Dec 2011 9:21

Google+ tops 60 million users Paul Allen, the founder of Ancestry.com and "Google+'s unofficial statistician" has noted today that the social network is now used by 62 million people.

Additionally, Allen says the network is adding 625,000 new users every day.

Allen and his team run "hundreds of queries on various surnames" and they have been tracking Google+ since July, when Google announced that Plus had reached 10 million users. According to Allen, this is how the growth in Google+ is looking and where it is expected to go:

July 13 - 10 million
August 1 - 20.5 million
September 1 - 24.7 million
October 1 - 38 million (Larry Page announced "more than 40m users" on Oct 13th)
November 1 - 43 million
December 1 - 50 million
December 27 - 62 million
January 1 - 65.8 million (forecast)
February 1 - 85.2 million (forecast)


By those figures, it appears that a full 25 percent on all Google+ users will have joined this month, alone. If the rate of growth continues, then Google+ should finish next year with just under 300 million users. Rival Facebook is closing in on 800 million users after launching in 2004.




AfterDawn: News

Wow, almost 7 million iOS and Android devices were activated on Christmas

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Dec 2011 9:00

Wow, almost 7 million iOS and Android devices were activated on Christmas The mobile app research firm Flurry has released data today showing off how popular the Android and iOS operating systems were this holiday season.

On Christmas day, alone, 6.8 million of the devices were activated, 353 percent higher than the average of the first 20 days of the month. The number is even more impressive considering the operating systems saw 2.8 million combined activations last Christmas.

Although the split was not revealed, it is expected that Android and iOS split the 6.8 million almost evenly.

Furthermore, 242 million total apps were downloaded on Christmas, a large 125 percent jump from the 20 day daily average. In terms of year-over-year, the jump came from 150 million total apps. By New Year's Day, Flurry expects another 750 million apps to be downloaded.





AfterDawn: News

iOS 5.0.1 gets untethered jailbreak, on A4 devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Dec 2011 8:35

iOS 5.0.1 gets untethered jailbreak, on A4 devices The developer "pod2g" has unveiled his long-awaited iOS 5.0.1 jailbreak, after weeks of testing his exploit on different devices.

Because of the new release, all A4 devices are now jailbroken including the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4 CDMA, iPad 1, iPod touch 3G, and iPod touch 4G.

Following the release, the iPhone Dev Team and Chronic both released separate jailbreaks. The Dev Team has baked the jailbreak into the new RedSn0w 0.9.10 and the Chronic team has released an app in Cydia with the jailbreak called Corona Untether 5.0.1 if you are already using the tethered 5.0.1 solution. Anyone with a jailbroken iOS 5.0.1 is encouraged to download Corona.

If you aren't jailbroken, the best route is using RedSn0w, says the iPhone Dev Team, and to use the custom IPSW.

There are still no jailbreaks for A5 devices and all the above mentioned methods require iOS 5.0.1, not 5.0.0.




AfterDawn: News

GoDaddy continues backpedalling on SOPA support as domain name exodus continues

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 27 Dec 2011 6:01

GoDaddy continues backpedalling on SOPA support as domain name exodus continues Even after releasing a statement saying they no longer support SOPA, the US anti-piracy bill opposed by just about everyone familiar with it, GoDaddy continues to lose customers to other domain name registrars.

In part this is due to the relatively weak statement made reversing their position, while failing to mention anything about withdrawing the statements made on the record to Congress. In the letter, GoDaddy's General Counsel did not just generally support the bill. She specifically defended its worst elements.

Here are some of the highlights:

The solutions outlined in SOPA clearly present a thoughtful and comprehensive approach.


This bill cannot reasonably be equated with censorship. This bill promotes action pursuant to preexisting criminal and civil laws.


The Senate's standard for action is a site "dedicated" to infringement. SOPA's standard is similar. It is unfathomable to me how one page amidst a million could possibly qualify under any such standard.


I'm finding that most of the concerns on the substance out there are unfounded. The notion that the solutions that have been put forth will break the Internet, or that certain legal businesses will go off-line because of new mandates is utterly unconvincing to me.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

RIM (almost) denies anonymous report about BlackBerry 10 delay

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 27 Dec 2011 1:32

RIM (almost) denies anonymous report about BlackBerry 10 delay Last week we told you about an anonymous source, supposedly from inside RIM, who claimed the delayed launch of the upcoming BlackBerry 10 line of devices was largely the result of unfinished software.

This source told Boy Genius Report the new OS is still a work in progress, and doesn't even have working email or BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) clients. This was in response to an earlier statement by RIM Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis blaming the delay of primarily on a processor availability problem.

A RIM representative contacted us with a statement saying:

RIM made a strategic decision to launch BlackBerry 10 devices with a new, LTE-based dual core chip set architecture. As explained on our earnings call, the broad engineering impact of this decision and certain other factors significantly influenced the anticipated timing for the BlackBerry 10 devices. The anonymous claim suggesting otherwise is inaccurate and uninformed. As RIM has previously explained, and as Mike Lazaridis reiterated on the earnings call, we will not launch BlackBerry 10 devices until we know they are ready and we believe this new chip set architecture is required to deliver the world class user experience that our customers will expect. Any suggestion to the contrary is simply false.

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AfterDawn: News

New York City getting six electric car taxis next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Dec 2011 12:54

New York City getting six electric car taxis next year The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission has announced that starting in the spring, six Nissan Leaf electric cars will begin service as taxis in New York City.

Three fleet-operators will split up the Leafs, but the cars from each operator will share a single medallion. Because of this fact, there will only ever be three of the cars on the road at any time.

Chargers will be created in airport holding lots, garages around the city, and at the homes of other Leaf-owners. Leafs can go 60-130 miles per single charge.

The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission had this to say of the program: "This program is a real test with unknown results. We have worked to plan for the "what ifs," but there most likely will be bumps in the road. We want this program to be successful and hope that it will help lead to broader electric-vehicle applications in the taxi industry, but we will need your patience and assistance to get there."




AfterDawn: News

Asus: Hasbro lawsuit will not affect Transformer Prime production

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Dec 2011 9:32

Asus: Hasbro lawsuit will not affect Transformer Prime production Asus has said this week that the recent Hasbro lawsuit will not affect Transformer Prime tablet production.

The toy company is seeking an injunction on the tablet due to brand copyright violations. Transformers Prime is an animated TV series that launched in 2010, a new generation of the popular TV series from the 80s. As anyone who has watched the show or movies know, a Transformer turns from a robot into a vehicle like a truck or fighter jet to travel quicker. The Asus tablet "transforms" from a tablet into a laptop with a keyboard dock.

Spokesman Chang Wei-ming said "internal assessments conducted by the company found no patent infringement issues" and will not halt any production.

Hasbro wants Asus to stop using the Transformer name in current and future products and is also seeking monetary damages.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo commits to Q3/Q4 2012 Wii U release date

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Dec 2011 6:23

Nintendo commits to Q3/Q4 2012 Wii U release date According to Inside-Games, Nintendo has committed to a Q3/Q4 2012 Wii U release date.

Previously, the company had given a huge range, from April to December.

Nintendo is expected to show off the Wii U next month at the CES event and have playable demos on the show floor. The company launched the console, and showed off its touchscreen controller at this year's E3 show.

While unconfirmed, thanks to the new provided roadmap, industry insiders now believe Nintendo will set a price and release date at this summer's E3 for an actual release sometime during the holiday season.

There has not been too much revealed about the system as of yet, but Nintendo has confirmed the games will be on a proprietary disc that is not Blu-ray or DVD. Additionally, the console will run on a processor similar to the one used in the IBM "Watson" supercomputer.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Kindle Fire gets its first Ice Cream Sandwich ROM

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Dec 2011 5:43

Kindle Fire gets its first Ice Cream Sandwich ROM The Amazon Kindle Fire has just received its first "pre-alpha" ROM of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Because the ROM is so buggy, it is not recommended for installation unless you are a developer looking to help. The audio and video functions are still broken but the touchscreen, Wi-Fi and other standard features seem to be working just fine.

There was an issue where the device could not recognize the internal storage, but that appears to be fixed. The Amazon Kindle Fire does not have an SD slot.

If you are a daredevil, here are the instructions to root the device, along with the ICS ROM: XDA Devs

The Kindle Fire costs $199 and is expected to become the second-best selling tablet of all-time behind the iPad after just two months of availability.




AfterDawn: News

LG shows off Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade roadmap

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Dec 2011 5:16

LG shows off Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade roadmap Anyone with a 2011 LG smartphone with Android can expect the upgrade starting in the Q2 2012.

LG says "the global upgrade schedule will begin in the second and third quarters of 2012, which will be followed by a global roll out."

The first phones to get the highly-anticipated upgrade to Android 4.0 are the LG Optimus LTE, the Prada phone by LG 3.0, the LG Optimus 2X, the LG Optimus Sol, the LG my Touch Q and the LG Eclipse. Afterwards, the LG Optimus 3D, the LG Optimus Black, the LG Optimus Big, the LG Optimus Q2 and the LG Optimus EX will receive the update, likely by the end of August.

LG is particular to note that "it will be taking all possible measure to offer a smooth OS upgrade in a timely manner" but carrier and country requirements vary.




AfterDawn: News

LG to unveil 55-inch OLED TV at CES

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Dec 2011 5:03

LG to unveil 55-inch OLED TV at CES LG Display has announced it will unveil its new 55-inch OLED TV at CES next month.

The TV will be the largest ever OLED screen, and LG has hinted that it will be much more affordable (per inch) than past commercial OLED screens. For example, in 2008 Sony released an 11-inch OLED for $2200.

OLED displays are mainly seen now in phones and watches, where they are extremely cost efficient. Adds Beom Han, CEO and Executive Vice President of LG Display: Our objective has always been to actively define and lead emerging display technology markets. Although OLED technology is seen as the future of TV display, the technology has been limited to smaller display sizes and by high costs, until now. LG Display's 55-inch OLED TV panel has overcome these barriers."

LG says the new TV has wider color gamut than LCD screens, and a contrast ratio of 100,000:1. Furthermore, "the new technology allows light emitting diodes to self-generate light and features a reaction velocity to electric signals over 1000 times faster than liquid crystal."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung buys out Sony's share in joint LCD venture

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Dec 2011 4:44

Samsung buys out Sony's share in joint LCD venture Samsung has bought out Sony's share of their LCD joint venture S-LCD for $940 million.

The two companies started the venture in 2004 and there have been rumors of a break-up since the late summer.

Reads the press release: "Under the agreement, Samsung will acquire all of Sony's shares of S-LCD Corporation ('S-LCD'), the two companies' LCD panel manufacturing joint venture, making S-LCD a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung. In consideration for the share transfer, cash consideration of approximately KRW 1.08 trillion will be paid to Sony by Samsung. Concurrently, the two companies have entered into a new strategic agreement for the supply and purchase of LCD panels with a goal of enhancing the competitiveness of both companies. The agreement also allows Sony and Samsung to continue cooperative engineering efforts focused on LCD panel technology."

Sony saw a massive loss of $1.2 billion this year for its TV division, thanks to low demand out of Europe and a strong Yen not seen since the end of World War II. Samsung remains the top LCD maker in the world, with a profitable TV division.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft to ban gun avatars from Xbox Live

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Dec 2011 4:12

Microsoft to ban gun avatars from Xbox Live Although unconfirmed by Microsoft, Epic Games community manager Will Kinsler says the software giant will begin blocking gun avatars from Xbox Live starting on January 1st.

Says Kinsler: "Heads up! Starting on Jan. 1, 2012, the Lancer and Hammerburst avatar items will no longer be available on Xbox LIVE Marketplace. If you've purchased the items prior to Jan. 1, you will be able to keep them. A new policy goes into effect for all gun-like avatar items on the Marketplace, so get them while they're hot." There are additional guns besides the Lancer and Hammer, and those are posted here: Neogaf.

Other weapons appear to be okay, including tanks, lightsabers, chainsaws and armored helicopters, so it is unclear where the policy sets its boundaries.

PCM speculates that the new policy is related to Kinect's ever-improving ability to map avatar movements to real-life gestures. This does not make all too much sense, however, as users who have already purchased the avatars get too keep them.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Study reveals smartphones are killing point-and-shoot camera market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Dec 2011 12:23

Study reveals smartphones are killing point-and-shoot camera market According to the latest market research from The NPD Group, smartphones are stealing market share from point-and-shoot cameras and traditional camcorders.

The group's Imaging Confluence Study shows that more and more consumers are taking pictures and videos on their smartphone and less and less are using traditional cameras or camcorders, including the once-popular Flip and Vado pocket camcorders. The "percent of photos taken with a smartphone" jumped to 27 percent this year from 17 percent last year.

Concludes Liz Cutting, executive director and senior imaging analyst at NPD:

There is no doubt that the smartphone is becoming 'good enough' much of the time; but thanks to mobile phones, more pictures are being taken than ever before. Consumers who use their mobile phones to take pictures and video were more likely to do so instead of their camera when capturing spontaneous moments, but for important events, single purpose cameras or camcorders are still largely the device of choice.


Overall, low-end point-and-shoot cameras are feeling the biggest squeeze, with units sales down 17 percent year-over-year. Camcorders are down 13 percent and even more in dollars, since prices have dropped significantly. On the other end, SLR camera sales increased by 12 percent.




AfterDawn: News

Akamai buys content delivery specialist Cotendo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Dec 2011 10:40

Akamai buys content delivery specialist Cotendo Akamai Technologies has bought out their rival Cotendo, the maker of mobile-network acceleration software.

The purchase price of $268 million was well below the expected price of $320 million, sending Akamai's shares soaring this week. There was a ton of interest in the company, as many larger companies look to expand their cloud computing efforts.

Cotendo, based in Israel, was founded in 2008 and provides technology that accelerates the delivery of content through the Internet "using a network of distributed servers around the world to put content physically close to consumers," says WSJ.

The company specializes in speeding up delivery of content to smartphones and tablets.

Cotendo has seen high double digit revenue growth over the last two years and had strong buyout interest from AT&T, Juniper and Akamai, who had sued the company over patent infringement just last year.




AfterDawn: News

Steve Jobs given posthumous Grammy award

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Dec 2011 9:55

Steve Jobs given posthumous Grammy award Steve Jobs has been awarded a posthumous Grammy by The Recording Academy.

The recently deceased Apple founder is a recipient of the Trustees Award for his contributions to the music industry.

Reads the news release: "As former CEO and co-founder of Apple, Steve Jobs helped create products and technology that transformed the way we consume music, TV, movies, and books. A creative visionary, Jobs' innovations such as the iPod and its counterpart, the online iTunes store, revolutionized the industry and how music was distributed and purchased."

Apple also received a Grammy in 2002 for its contributions to the recording industry, mainly iTunes and the iPod media players.

Additionally, Steve Jobs was immortalized by a bronze statue in Hungary commissioned by Graphisoft, who says its professional relationship with Jobs stretches all the way back to the early 80s. (Pictured)




AfterDawn: News

UC-Berkeley chooses Google Apps over the Microsoft alternative

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Dec 2011 9:13

UC-Berkeley chooses Google Apps over the Microsoft alternative The University of California-Berkeley has chosen Google Apps over Microsoft's Office 365 as their new cloud-based email and calender provider.

After an "exhaustive" review process, the major university decided on the Google-based system: "While both products are feature rich and offer advantages over our current environment, the analysis concluded that the Google offering was the better overall fit for the campus at this time."

Additionally, the school revealed their selection criteria by releasing a matrix assessment. Microsoft scored higher in key areas like security, contract terms and ease-of-use for the calender, but the university still went the other way.

Berkeley decided on Google because it was easier to roll out and most of its student already have Gmail accounts and familiarity with Google applications.

Concludes the report: "Google's solution is optimized for web-based interaction. It is designed to be quickly provisioned and a migration to Google could begin more quickly than one to Office 365."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google now paying $300 million to be default search engine in Firefox

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Dec 2011 1:07

Google now paying $300 million to be default search engine in Firefox Earlier this week it was revealed that Google had paid again to be the default search engine in Firefox, the web browser which has about 25 percent of global market share.

Last year, Mozilla noted that Google practically kept the company in business in 2010, contributing 84 percent of their $123 million revenue.

The new deal, according to Kara Swisher, is apparently a lot more expensive for Google. If accurate, the deal now costs $300 million per year, for the next three years, meaning Mozilla will have made $1 billion revenue from Google, alone, for this year and the next three years.

It appears the payment was boosted so significantly because Microsoft and Yahoo were in the bidding, as well. Google was willing to pay up to block out the other companies, who are trying to take market share through a joint initiative and large marketing campaigns for Microsoft's Bing engine. Additionally, it has been speculated that Google is anticipating antitrust issues in the future, and is building a defense. For that to come true, however, Google's Chrome OS and Chrome browsers will need to get significantly more popular, to the point that they can be compared to Microsoft's Windows and Internet Explorer.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

The $25 Raspberry Pi computer is coming next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Dec 2011 12:33

The $25 Raspberry Pi computer is coming next month The Raspberry Pi, the $25 mini-computer created by UK programmers, will be available in January, after a year of tweaking and development.

What makes the computer so impressive (besides its price tag) is the fact that it can play 1080p HD video with no issues. The devices are intended to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools or at home. The company is looking to promote the Python programming language, alongside Basic and C among others.

For $25 you get a 3.3-inch wide board with a 700 MHz ARM11, 128MB RAM, HDMI-out, SD card slot, a USB port, audio jack and Broadcom VideoCore IV GPU. For $35, you can get a deluxe edition with an ethernet port and 256MB RAM.

The computer is intended to have a keyboard attached via the USB, and then attached to a monitor or TV via the HDMI.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Go Daddy lost 37,000 domains before pulling their SOPA support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Dec 2011 3:27

Go Daddy lost 37,000 domains before pulling their SOPA support According to info collected by The Domains, 37,000 domains were pulled from Go Daddy after it was revealed they were formal supporters of the draconian censorship bill dubbed SOPA.

Within 2 days, Go Daddy had switched their stance, but the damage had already been done. Many of the domains transferred to companies like NameCheap, who are staunch opponents of the bill.

The new report says 15,000 domains transferred out on Thursday and another 22,000 domains transferred out on Friday. The registrations normally cost about $10 on Go Daddy, so the 37,000 could likely hit the bottom line.

Go Daddy CEO Warren Adelman has noted that he is not fully for or against SOPA, but that he is certainly for fighting online piracy. The company helped work on revisions to SOPA, but says the bill in its current form is still not good enough. Adelman says: "Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it."

For more info on the backers and the anti-SOPA companies here: 120 companies and groups come out in favor of SOPA




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft acknowledges users are locked out of their profiles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2011 5:58

Microsoft acknowledges users are locked out of their profiles Microsoft has acknowledged that users are experiencing errors since they updated to the recent December Dashboard update.

Outside of errors, some users have been locked out of Xbox Live, completely. Because they are locked out, whenever trying to login the gamers are met with error popups. Some gamers who manage to get in through the errors, can then not play online or download their user profile.

The software giant says it is working on a fix.

Since rolling out on December 5th, adding Bing search, better Kinect integration (including motion and voice command control) and TV channels, users have complained of multiple errors when trying to access the Dashboard of their console.

If you are experiencing issues, Microsoft says they are more than likely codes "801540B7" and "80070571." The company would not reveal what is causing the errors.




AfterDawn: News

Go Daddy feels the squeeze, drops support for SOPA

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2011 2:56

Go Daddy feels the squeeze, drops support for SOPA Just a day after it was revealed as 1 of the 120 formal supporters of SOPA, Go Daddy has pulled its support from the draconian bill.

The turning point for Go Daddy, which sells domain names, seems to be when Ben Huh, CEO of the Cheezburger networks said he would pull all 1000 of his domains from Go Daddy unless they dropped support for the "free Web cancer that is SOPA."

Cheezburger sites receive 375 million views per month.

Go Daddy has now posted a full statement on their site:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony unveils North American PS Vita launch titles, pricing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2011 1:14

Sony unveils North American PS Vita launch titles, pricing Sony has revealed all of the PS Vita's launch titles for when it hits Canada and the U.S. on February 22nd.

The games will cost $10 to $50 although the company has not put specific price tags on each game, yet. PSN downloads are expected to be on the lower range, while games like uncharted are expected to be the very high end.

Sony's own titles include:

Escape Plan (PSN Only)
Hot Shots Golf: World Invitational
Hustle Kings (PSN Only)
Little Deviants
ModNation Racers: Road Trip
Super StarDust Delta (PSN Only)
Uncharted: Golden Abyss
wipEout 2048


Titles from third-party developers:

Army Corps of Hell
Asphalt Injection
Ben 10 Galactic Racing
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend
Dungeon Hunter Alliance
Dynasty Warriors Next
F1 2011
EA Sports FIFA Soccer
Lumines Electronic Symphony
Michael Jackson: The Experience
Plants vs. Zombies (PSN Only)
Rayman Origins
Shinobido 2: Revenge of Zen
Tales of Space: Mutant Blobs (PSN Only)
Touch My Katamari
Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3
Virtua Tennis 4: World Tour Edition

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

120 companies and groups come out in favor of SOPA

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2011 12:32

120 companies and groups come out in favor of SOPA The judiciary committee and its chairman Lamar Smith have revealed the 120 formal supporters of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), the draconian bill that will mark the end of free Internet, putting the U.S. in the illustrious group that includes North Korea, Iran and China.

SOPA was proposed earlier this year. SOPA is the first of two bills being considered by Congress. The second is E-PARASITE/Protect-IP. The bills are created to prevent piracy, copyright infringement, and block access to "rogue foreign sites." The bills have been generally panned by the public and the major tech companies due to the fact that companies can get domains and websites shut down if they "engage in, enable or facilitate infringement" or are even accused of it. By creating this blacklist, governments and companies can choose to get sites cut off from search engines and from accepting payments for ads. SOPA only gives accused websites 5 days to file an appeal before they get shut down. If a user posts pirated material in the comments or forum section, the entire site can be shut down for good.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

The Samsung Galaxy S line will not be getting Ice Cream Sandwich

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2011 12:08

The Samsung Galaxy S line will not be getting Ice Cream Sandwich Samsung has decided to play the Grinch this year for the holidays.

The company has announced this week that its Galaxy S line of phones- including the GS, the GS 4G, the Captivate and the Vibrant, will not be getting the much anticipated Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, ever.

Samsung says the phones do not have enough RAM or ROM to run ICS along with the TouchWiz UI overlay layer. The phones are over a year old and there are over 20 million owners of the line. The newer Galaxy S II line of devices will be getting the update, added Samsung.

The excuse seems strange as LG has recently announced that their far less powerful Optimus phones will be getting the update. It seems as though Samsung is pushing users towards its newer phones.




AfterDawn: News

Apple to file another suit against Samsung in Australia

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Dec 2011 6:32

Apple to file another suit against Samsung in Australia Having lost their bid to ban sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia earlier this month, Apple is preparing to file a new lawsuit against Samsung over their tablet and smartphone case designs.

After a contentious hearing before an Australian judge during which Apple lawyers attempted to delay a hearing in Samsung's lawsuit over 3G patents, Apple's new infringement claims were revealed.

They say Samsung's smartphone and tablet cases infringe on at least 10 Apple patents and registered designs. Apple's earlier suit against Samsung, which will go to trial next year, is over touchscreen patents.

Meanwhile, a hearing on Samsung's claims of 3G patent infringement will take place in March of next year, which is sooner than Apple lawyers wanted. Apple attorney Stephen Burley said the March date would be, "unfair to Apple."




AfterDawn: News

Archos announces a 7 inch Honeycomb tablet for $199

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Dec 2011 5:59

Archos announces a 7 inch Honeycomb tablet for $199 The selection of budget 7" Android tablets will be expanding again soon when the $199 Archos 70b is released.

Like Amazon with the Kindle Fire and Barnes & Noble with the Nook Tablet, Archos made some compromises to keep the price down on the 70b. Most notably, it only features a single core processor, 512MB of RAM, and 8GB of internal storage.

However, the processor is a 1.2GHz model, storage can be upgraded via a micro SD slot, and it runs Android 3.2 (Honeycomb). This version of Android was the first to be optimized for tablets, making it superior to Android 2.3, featured on the other two tablets.

It also has some other advantages, including built-in access to the Android Market, something Amazon and Barnes & Noble go to great lengths to avoid. It also includes Archos' own media player app - something the company is known for - and a HDMI port to connect it to a HDTV.

Unfortunately for Archos, this tablet will be released some time after the Christmas shopping season ends. Between that and Archos' relatively low name recognition in the US, it's unlikely this tablet will see the same kind of sales numbers as the Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet.

In a way, with its single core processor, it probably shouldn't be compared to either of those anyway. A more fitting comparison would be to Barnes & Noble's Nook Color. If you were considering that tablet, but weren't planning to buy before Christmas, the Archos 70b might be a good alternative.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft and Nokia accused of questionable tactics to defend Lumia 800 online

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Dec 2011 5:16

Microsoft and Nokia accused of questionable tactics to defend Lumia 800 online As Android and the iPhone continue to dominate the worldwide smartphone market, Windows Phone has yet to gain enough market share to be a serious competitor for either.

As more time passes with no signs that will change any time soon, Microsoft and their chief smartphone partner Nokia have appeared desperate to convince the world everything is going according to plan.

In September Nokia CEO Stephen Elop described Google's acquisition of Motorola Mobility as a blow to Android. Later in the month Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer talked up the importance of Nokia's dedication to Windows Phone to the exclusion of other platforms, particularly Android.

Despite all their optimistic talk, a few days layer a report from the NPD Group pointed out nearly half of all consumers didn't know enough about the Windows Phone platform to even consider buying in.

Apparently agreeing with that assessment, Microsoft anted up $44 million in October to promote their phones. Later that month he went on the offensive against Android, suggesting it is too confusing for the average person.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

iPhone 4S flying off the shelves in the US and UK while Android reigns supreme in Germany

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Dec 2011 4:04

iPhone 4S flying off the shelves in the US and UK while Android reigns supreme in Germany When Apple pushed back their annual iPhone launch from June to October, the obvious question was what effect it might have on sales.

While many people, particularly those who upgrade to the latest and greatest iPhone every year or every other year, were unlikely to even consider jumping on the Android bandwagon, the smartphone market is still growing and competition from Android vendors, particularly Samsung, was stronger than ever.

We may be getting a glimpse of the answer to that question now, and it appears to vary by country. According to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, iPhone sales in the US, UK, and Australia over the last 12 weeks have made up for lower than normal gains earlier in the year. This seems to follow the expected pattern of existing iPhone customers upgrading.

However, in Germany and France the iPhone isn't doing nearly as well. Not surprisingly this appears to be closely related to the success of Samsung's Galaxy S II. In fact, in Germany the Galaxy S II was the top selling smartphone during the same period.

Keep in mind, the Galaxy S II was available throughout Europe months before it arrived in the US. In fact, most US carriers didn't get it until around the time of the iPhone 4S launch.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Barnes & Noble follows Amazon's lead - kills root and sideloading on the Nook Tablet

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 23 Dec 2011 3:00

Barnes & Noble follows Amazon's lead - kills root and sideloading on the Nook Tablet Barnes & Noble has pushed out an update for their Nook Tablet which breaks root access to the device and disables app sideloading.

This is similar to Amazon's recent Kindle Fire update, which also disabled root access. In the case of the Nook Tablet, the changes in the update arguably make more significant changes, but at the same time they are easier to get around for the average user.

In addition to killing root access, the Nook Table update turns off sideloading support, a notable advantage it had over the Kindle Fire out of the box. However, if you have installed third party apps prior to the update, they will continue to work.

You can also reportedly downgrade to the original ROM by flashing the factory image your Nook Tablet came with. That means if you need to install or update a third party app it's possible to do by downgrading, installing all your third party apps, and then upgrading again.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Monster Sony Ericsson smartphone to be unveiled at CES with 13MP camera

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2011 2:28

Monster Sony Ericsson smartphone to be unveiled at CES with 13MP camera Thanks to a Bluetooth End Product List, Sony Ericsson's upcoming monster Android phone has been leaked.

The device will run on a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, have a 4.55-inch Reality display with 1280x720 resolution, LTE support and most notably, a 13MP back-illuminated camera sensor with LED flash.

On the front side, the SE LT28at will have a 720p camera for video chatting.

The device is expected to be unveiled at CES for AT&T.

Xperiablog has posted pictures taken with the camera, and they are, as expected, outstanding, especially when compressed down for the web. Here are the pictures:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Swype update adds Dragon dictation tech

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Dec 2011 1:34

Swype update adds Dragon dictation tech Swype for Android has received its largest update yet, adding the popular Dragon dictation technology.

The tech comes via Nuance, which Swype purchased earlier this year. The company says English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish are supported with more languages coming next year.

Dragon is a voice-to-text tech that will replace Google's built-in voice recognition when using the keyboard.

Additionally, the update brings "advanced language modeling" and easier language downloads.

Reads the press release:

Dragon Dictation
You've mastered text-entry using your finger, now get ready to use the best voice-to-text directly from within Swype. Dragon Dictation is now integrated directly into the Swype keyboard! Just press the Dragon Flame key and speak. This version of Swype + Dragon Dictation currently supports English, French, Italian, German and Spanish, but will be expanded to support additional languages in 2012.

Advanced Language Modeling
Swype now features an improved language modeling algorithm, designed to increase the accuracy of the suggestions we offer (such as knowing that you mean "mosh pit" instead of "mosh pot"). By analyzing the text you've already entered, Swype will offer more accurate predictions that make sense in the context of the sentence
Up to a 40% increase in prediction accuracy when a language profile is present
Learns over time as you use it, building up a personal language profile for you.
Enabled only for English, French, Italian, German and Spanish. Other languages coming soon!
Language Downloads
A long time coming, Swype now allows you to download any of the 50+ additional languages we support directly from within Swype's Settings window. For a list of supported languages, please see our language support info page.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Louis CK's Live At The Beacon passes $1 million in sales

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 22 Dec 2011 5:08

Louis CK's Live At The Beacon passes $1 million in sales When comedian Louis CK decided to finance and sell his video, Live At The Beacon, himself, he didn't have any idea how successful it would be. Now he knows the answer is more than $1 million in sales in less than two weeks.

He announced the milestone last night while being interviewed by Jimmy Fallon. "Yesterday we hit a million bucks," he said, "that was ten days on sale."

One of the hallmarks of this experience for him has been honesty about the financial side of things. Not just how much he has made, but also his expenses. He took that a step further last night by talking about what he is doing with the money he has made so far:

I felt uncomfortable about having that much money, so I kind of broke it in four pieces. Two fifty went back to pay for the special, like I replenished my company. Another two fifty went to people that work for me, that work really hard. I gave them all bonuses. And then I took another 280 thousand and donated it to a bunch of charities.


Today he posted an update on his website saying:

I never viewed money as being "my money" I always saw it as "The money" It's a resource. if it pools up around me then it needs to be flushed back out into the system.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Megaupload founder says Universal is scared of their new music locker service

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 22 Dec 2011 3:57

Megaupload founder says Universal is scared of their new music locker service Megaupload, the file locker service the entertainment industry has identified as one of the biggest threats to their future, has launched a new service (in beta) called Megabox.

Megabox is mostly just an extension of the Megaupload service. You can even login with your normal Megaupload username and password. At the same time, it is focused on music. And not just storing and retrieving music, but also promoting and selling it.

Megabox offers services similar to what you find in offerings from Apple, Amazon, and Google. You can look up information about artists, albums, and songs and upload your own MP3s to your locker.

You can also buy songs through Megabox. For the moment they are relying on partnerships with Amazon and 7digital to sell music. Certainly the major labels aren't about to enter into licensing agreements with them.

But of course that's nothing revolutionary. You can already get a music locker and buy songs online. The more interesting part is what's planned for the future.

In a guest post for TorrentFreak, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom explained that they will be partnering with artists to sell music directly - with 90% of the proceeds going directly to the artist. He even promises a system to pay artists for free downloads.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Anonymous insider says new BlackBerrys aren't just delayed - they're unfinished

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 22 Dec 2011 2:08

Anonymous insider says new BlackBerrys aren't just delayed - they're unfinished Just a few years ago RIM (Research In Motion) was one of two companies dominating the world smartphone market.

While Nokia's Symbian phones reigned supreme throughout most of the world, RIM's BlackBerry with it's integrated email services, was the unquestioned leader in the US.

Fast forward to the present day and you see both companies struggling. But where Nokia decided to ditch Symbian in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone platform, RIM has continued down a very different path, which currently looks like a road to nowhere.

To say this year has been a disaster for RIM would be an understatement. BlackBerry began the year as the number one smartphone platform in the US, but was passed twice - first by Android and then by the iPhone.

Their much hyped PlayBook tablet appeared to be a minor hit with the market, but less than a month ago they were forced to write off nearly $500 million in unsold inventory.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Could the next gen Atom processor break ARM's stranglehold on mobile devices?

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 22 Dec 2011 12:20

Could the next gen Atom processor break ARM's stranglehold on mobile devices? Co-founded by Robert Noyce, one of two men credited with inventing the integrated circuit, and Gordon Moore of Moore's Law fame, Intel developed much of the technology at the heart of modern computers.

But in recent years the increasing importance of mobile devices, and the accompanying focus on low power consumption rather than raw horsepower, has put their future as an industry leader in question. While their low power Atom processors proved popular for netbooks, due primarily to compatibility with existing x86 code, the competing ARM architecture has become the unquestioned king of the smartphone and tablet market.

Recently Intel has focused significant attention on becoming relevant in the mobile world, and they hope the next generation of Atom processors, codenamed Medfield, will do just that. Set to be released next year, Medfield promises significant power efficiency improvements over previous Atom generations by eliminating the requirement for an external support chip.

MIT's Technology Review got their hands on a pair of prototype Android devices, a smartphone and a tablet, powered by the new Atom processors. In a review of the devices, which perform similarly to current generation ARM hardware, they mention that Intel has optimized them specifically for Android.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Latest Apple patent covers in-call multitasking - get ready for the lawsuits

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 22 Dec 2011 9:37

Latest Apple patent covers in-call multitasking - get ready for the lawsuits Apple has just been granted another smartphone patent which may be a new low for the iPhone maker.

Their latest US patent, 8,082,523, is for multitasking while using a handset's phone app. Technically there are some additional details, such as using a touch gesture and displaying an icon for switching to another application, but that's really just specifying that it applies to a standard mobile device touch interface.

Here's the abstract from the USPTO (US Patent and Trademark Office):

A portable electronic device displays, on a touch screen display, a user interface for a phone application during a phone call. In response to detecting activation of a menu icon or menu button, the UI for the phone application is replaced with a menu of application icons, while maintaining the phone call. In response to detecting a finger gesture on a non-telephone service application icon, displaying a user interface for the non-telephone service application while continuing to maintain the phone call, the UI for the non-telephone service application including a switch application icon that is not displayed in the UI when there is no ongoing phone call. In response to detecting a finger gesture on the switch application icon, replacing display of the UI for the non-telephone service application with a respective UI for the phone application while continuing to maintain the phone call.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

As expected, Hasbro sues Asus over 'Transformer Prime' name

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Dec 2011 12:48

As expected, Hasbro sues Asus over 'Transformer Prime' name Hasbro has sued Asus today, over the Transformer Prime name used in the company's new flagship tablet.

The toy company is seeking an injunction on the tablet due to brand copyright violations. Transformers Prime is an animated TV series that launched in 2010, a new generation of the popular TV series from the 80s.

In its statement, Hasbro says:

Hasbro continues to aggressively protect its brands and products and the specific actions we are taking today against Asus underscores yet again Hasbro's willingness to pursue companies who misappropriate our intellectual property for their own financial gain.


As anyone who has watched the show or movies know, a Transformer turns from a robot into a vehicle like a truck or fighter jet to travel quicker. The Asus tablet "transforms" from a tablet into a laptop with a keyboard dock.

Hasbro likely thinks that Asus is banking on the recent success of the Transformers movies, and they may have a case. If Hasbro wins, Asus will most likely just have to change the name of tablet.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon confirms another data outage

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Dec 2011 12:12

Verizon confirms another data outage Verizon Wireless has confirmed yet another nationwide data outage today.

Early this morning, subscribers were greeted with spotty 3G and 4G connections, especially in large metro areas like NYC and San Francisco. The company began working on the issues immediately, and mainly had them solved by mid-day.

Adds a spokesman: "Verizon Wireless 4G LTE service is returning to normal this morning after company engineers worked to resolve an issue with the 4G network during the early morning hours today."

In early December, customers complained of slow speeds on their devices, which could not connect to 4G and were stuck on 3G. Verizon resolved that issue within a day.

Verizon is known to promote its "stable" network as a reason for its industry-high prices.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft: This CES will be our last keynote

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2011 11:48

Microsoft: This CES will be our last keynote Microsoft has announced today that it will pull out from the Consumer Electronics Show after this year's event.

Spokesman Frank Shaw adds that the company will not complete avoid the event, meaning no keynote presentation and no booth: "We'll continue to participate in CES as a great place to connect with partners and customers across the PC, phone and entertainment industries, but we won't have a keynote or booth after this year because our product news milestones generally don't align with the show's January timing."

Microsoft is following the trend Apple and Google started years ago, having their own smaller shows instead of being part of larger events.

The Consumer Electronics Association confirmed Microsoft's move (via Cnet):
"Both CEA and Microsoft have agreed that the time has come to end this great run, and so Microsoft will not have a keynote at the 2013 CES. Microsoft is an important member of CEA and we wish them all the best as they evolve their plans for new ways to tell consumer stories."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HTC Sensation and XE get first Android 4.0 ROM with Sense

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2011 10:47

HTC Sensation and XE get first Android 4.0 ROM with Sense The first Android 4.0.1 ROM with HTC Sense has been leaked today.

Rather than a "vanilla" experience like the Galaxy Nexus, HTC adds their Sense UI overlay to Android, and their Ice Cream Sandwich update will be no different.

The new ROM will keep Sense 3.5, with the company's well known unlock screen and direct app launcher shortcuts. The power widget seems to have been updated for ICS, with on/off toggles for Wi-Fi, 4G, etc.

This initial leak is definitely an unfinished version of the update, which will likely see a large overhaul and polished features. HTC has said its devices will get the update in the Q1 2012.

Regardless, the ROM is available here: [ROM][★★ICS★★][Sense 3.5][21 Dec]RCMix ICE v1.0, First Sense Android 4.0.1 rom!!!

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Father charged over infamous Facebook picture in which child is gagged

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2011 2:36

Father charged over infamous Facebook picture in which child is gagged 21-year-old Chicago resident Andre Curry has been arrested an charged with battery less than a week after he posted a picture on Facebook of his child with bound wrists, ankles, and tape over her mouth.

The caption for the photo said "This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back. ;)" The girl is reportedly just 22 months old.

TheDirty.com brought the picture to the national spotlight, asking users to call Chicago PD and report the photo.

Curry has been charged with aggravated domestic battery, and needs to be in court today.

The photo has been taken down.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft, Amazon and Nokia considered buying RIM

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2011 1:39

Microsoft, Amazon and Nokia considered buying RIM Multiple sources today are reporting that Amazon, Microsoft and Nokia all considered purchasing struggling BlackBerry smartphone maker RIM before backing out.

Amazon was allegedly having casual talks with the Canadian company over the summer, but never formally bid. Supposedly, Microsoft and Nokia mulled over a joint offer, but never formally bid, either.

The company has struggled for years now as Android and iOS take its U.S. market share. The once hallowed smartphone maker has fallen from over 45 percent U.S. smartphone share, to 9.5 percent this year. The trend is expected to continue down into the foreseeable future, especially as Nokia and Microsoft push their Windows Phone platform.

Recently, RIM delayed their BlackBerry 10-based phones until the end of 2012, effectively killing any momentum they hoped to gain from the recent launch of their BlackBerry 7 devices. The company noted that they were delaying the launch of the BlackBerry 10 devices as they wait for the production of dual-core chips with LTE support. RIM had initially planned to release the phones in February-April and had decent hype.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

NFL will stream the Super Bowl online and on mobiles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2011 1:06

NFL will stream the Super Bowl online and on mobiles The NFL has announced that it will stream some of this year's playoffs, including the Super Bowl, via NFL.com and NBCSports.com.

Additionally, the games will be available on Verizon smartphones if you have the NFL Mobile app. If you have a 4G data plan, the app is free, but if you have a 3G-capable device only, Verizon Video subscriptions cost $10 per month.

Outside of the Super Bowl, fans can watch Wild Card Saturday and the Pro Bowl.

The NBC Sports live stream will have different ads than those seen on TV, but fans can watch the commercials on demand within hours.

Fans can watch the NFL Super Bowl on February 5th.




AfterDawn: News

Google: 700,000 Android devices activated daily

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2011 12:40

Google: 700,000 Android devices activated daily Android just keeps on growing.

Google's Andy Rubin has stated this week that the platform is now seeing 700,000 activations per day. The Android Chief posted the figure on his Google+ account.

In May, the company revealed 400,000 devices were being activated daily, which jumped to 500,000 in June and then 550,000 in July.

Overall, Google has activated over 220 million Android devices, in total. The figure jumped from 100 million in June.

Major rival Apple said in October that there had been over 250 million iOS devices activated. Android should surpass that in the next few months.




AfterDawn: News

HTC fix to avoid US smartphone ban already being tested

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 21 Dec 2011 10:21

HTC fix to avoid US smartphone ban already being tested With the ink barely dry on the ITC order to ban their Android smartphones found to be infringing on an Apple patent, HTC announced a workaround.

As we pointed out yesterday, HTC can avoid the ban entirely by removing the infringing (Android) code related to the patent. That code is what allows a user to select a piece of information and use it in an app such as the dialer or Google Maps.

Speaking to the media, and joined by Google Senior Vice President Andy Rubin, HTC's Peter Chou announced that the company is already testing new phones which work around the patented technology. He also criticized Apple, saying [via Reuters]:

This industry should not allow one company use its powerful weapon to stop other innovation and take it all...this is not fair.


In reality all Apple has accomplished is forcing Google, along with HTC and their other partners, to spend more money to ensure Android devices can continue to include features they already have. The irony is it is probably costing Apple just as much as anyone else.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony sued over lawsuit provision of PSN service agreement

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 21 Dec 2011 9:46

Sony sued over lawsuit provision of PSN service agreement In September Sony made a major change to the TOS (Terms Of Service) for the PlayStation Network to prevent subscribers from participating in class action lawsuits.

It was obvious at the time that the change was a reaction to multiple data breaches experienced by the company. By preventing class action lawsuits, they clearly hoped to avoid losses from lawsuits over any future negligence on their part.

Under the terms of the new agreement, any PSN subscriber who wished to retain the right to join a class action lawsuit in the future would be required to contact Sony and opt out of this particular clause within 30 days of agreeing to it.

In the case of a data breach due to Sony negligence, that would mean each individual subscriber would have to file a separate lawsuit in order to collect any damages.

Now Gamespot is reporting a California man has responded to the change with a class action lawsuit. They say he claims the clause was hidden 21 pages into the agreement, making it unlikely those agreeing to it would ever notice.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Redbox may be ditching 28 day new release delay for Warner titles

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 21 Dec 2011 8:59

Redbox may be ditching 28 day new release delay for Warner titles As rumors fly that Warner is trying to delay new releases in Redbox kiosks by more than two additional weeks, one analyst is suggesting they are overestimating their leverage.

The introduction of 28 day delays between the time titles are released for sale and when they are offered for rental is a scheme the studios came up with in 2009. It is intended to be an incentive for consumers to buy discs which can't yet be rented.

Although Netflix was the first company to agree to these windows, Redbox was the studios' primary target because of their presence in major retail chains. Not surprisingly, disc sales have not made the resurgence predicted by the studios.

The deals were pushed through largely by backroom deals between the studios and companies supplying discs to rental outlets. According to Eric Wold, an analyst with B. Riley & Co, over the last several months Redbox has worked out a strategy to get around those arrangements.

Home Media Magazine recently reported about an investor note in which he wrote:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

RIAA and Homeland Security the latest organizations accused of illegal downloading

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 21 Dec 2011 4:58

RIAA and Homeland Security the latest organizations accused of illegal downloading More revelations are coming to light about who is illegally downloaded pirated content via the website YouHaveDownloaded, and this time it appears to be RIAA employees.

YouHaveDownloaded.com maintains a database of downloads via BitTorrent and the IP address associated with each one. Since most Internet users have dynamic IP addresses, which may change at any time, it is likely inaccurate in most cases.

However, some IP addresses aren't dynamic. Typically corporations, governments, and other large organizations use static IP addresses which don't change. Assuming the database contains good information, it should be relatively accurate for those using such IP addresses.

Last week TorrentFreak revealed that IP addreses used by several major studios and also French President Nicholas Sarkozy were linked to illegal downloads. Now they have added the RIAA and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to that list.

This is particularly ironic considering the RIAA has sued countless people for alleged illegal downloading using nothing more than an IP address to identify them. In a statement to CNET, the organization denied TorrentFreak's claim, saying:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

LightSquared gives up on testing and demands FCC approval for their 4G network

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 21 Dec 2011 3:50

LightSquared gives up on testing and demands FCC approval for their 4G network LightSquared, a company hoping to build a wholesale mobile network with 4G data capabilities, has apparently given up on approval from the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) and is trying to force the FCC to allow them to launch their service.

LightSquared's problems stem from a decision to use frequencies originally licensed for satellite communication for a terrestrial network. Because of the significantly higher power used for terrestrial communications, this results in interference with existing GPS signals on adjacent frequencies.

Earlier this year LightSquared's network was approved by the FCC, but that approval was conditional. Among the FCC's conditions was that LightSquared satisfy the NTIA that potential GPS problems were solved. The NTIA has conducted two rounds of testing, and so far LightSquared's network has failed both, meaning they have not met the FCC's conditions.

Apparently abandoning the hope of getting NTIA approval, LightSquared has now petitioned the FCC asking for unconditional approval on the grounds the GPS industry demands they pay for modifications to existing equipment. These modifications were designed at LightSquared's request, and are apparently the only solution they have been able to identify.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

PS Vita selling strongly in Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2011 3:28

PS Vita selling strongly in Japan According to the latest figures from Enterbrain, the PS Vita is selling well in Japan.

The highly-anticipated handheld went on sale in the nation on Saturday, and Enterbrain says 321,000 units were sold in its first 48 hours of availability.

Although the sales were high, Sony had allegedly ordered 500,000 initial units, meaning the console is not selling up to internal expectations. Sony had even been rumored to be increasing its initial shipments to 700,000 units.

In comparison (via 1up), the original PSP sold 166,000 units in its first 2 days, and more recently the Nintendo 3DS sold 371,000 units in the same time frame.

Sales may be hindered due to issues experienced by early buyers, with many complaining of a non-responsive screen and freezing during gameplay. Sony has since released a firmware update and apologized.




AfterDawn: News

Here's what AT&T has to give up thanks to failed bid

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2011 3:08

Here's what AT&T has to give up thanks to failed bid Earlier this week, AT&T quit its $39 billion bid for T-Mobile after government and corporate opposition would have made it almost impossible to complete the acquisition.

Because of the failed bid, AT&T will have to give money and other "goodies" to T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom. Today, we have more details on what the company will receive.

First, AT&T will pay a $3 billion breakup fee (the largest ever), which it will pay in the next week. Additionally, the company must agree to "a large package of mobile communications spectrum and a long-term agreement on UMTS roaming within the U.S. for T-Mobile USA, all of which is worth about $1 billion," says Cnet.

T-Mobile will get new spectrum in 128 markets, including most of the major markets including Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Boston, San Francisco, Phoenix, San Diego, Denver, Baltimore and Seattle.

On the roaming end, T-Mobile will get to roam on the AT&T network for the next 7 years.




AfterDawn: News

Lady Gaga's Twitter hacked

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2011 1:15

Lady Gaga's Twitter hacked Lady Gaga had her Twitter account hacked yesterday, leaving 17 million fans with spam links promising "free iPads."

The tweet from the musician's account read: "Monsters, I'm giving away FREE iPad2's to each one of you in the spirit of the holidays :) Go to bit.ly/s5MTqM to receive one!" Bit.ly was quick to update the link and flag it, but the hackers posted another one, this time promising free Macbooks.

Finally, Gaga (or her PR team) took back the account, tweeting: "Phew! The hacking is over! And just in time, I'm on my way to Japan! So excited to spend Xmastime with my TokyoMonsters!"

The damage was done, apparently, as 7000 fans did click the link, and a few even retweeted the message. Additionally, singers Nelly Furtado and Nicole Scherzinger were hit my same hacker(s), with their accounts offering free Apple products too.




AfterDawn: News

Airports getting free Wi-Fi via Skype

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2011 12:59

Airports getting free Wi-Fi via Skype Skype has said this week it will be making free Wi-Fi available at over 50 airports in the U.S.

The promotion goes live today and will last through December 27th. The company says the promo is supported on PC, Macs and iOS devices. There was no word on Android.

Using the Wi-Fi, users can make video or voice calls with the VoIP service.

For a map of the airports, check the attached picture. Most of the major airports, like NY, Atlanta, Boston, DC, Miami and Chicago are included.

Skype gives instructions (via Cnet):

-Sign in to Skype.
-Go to Tools | Options | Skype Wi-Fi Access.
-Click the check box to Enable Skype Wi-Fi Access.
-Connect to a Wi-Fi public hot spot.
-In the Skype menu bar, click Tools | Skype Wi-Fi Access.
-Follow the instructions to join a compatible public Wi-Fi network.
-The free Wi-Fi can come in handy, especially around the holidays. Though more airports have been adding Wi-Fi coverage, some offer it only in certain terminals or specific areas.




AfterDawn: News

Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba team up for new DRM

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2011 12:45

Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba team up for new DRM Panasonic, Samsung, SanDisk, Sony and Toshiba have joined together to create a new content DRM for flash memory cards, including SD cards.

So far called the "Next Generation Secure Memory Initiative," (to be renamed) the companies will jointly license and promote the new DRM into the future.

Making the protection notable is the fact that it can protect HD content. The group says "a high level of content security will be realized through the use of the initiative's technologies, including unique ID (identification) technology for flash memory and robust copy protection based on public key infrastructure."

Furthermore, the group believes the tech will "enable various HD content applications" on Blu-ray, HD network downloads and broadcast content. By using the new content scheme, users can then use the content on Android smartphones and tablets, card-enabled TVs and Blu-ray products.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google renews deal with Firefox to be default search engine

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Dec 2011 12:04

Google renews deal with Firefox to be default search engine Mozilla and Google have renewed their long-standing royalties agreement.

The new deal will expire in 2015 and leave Google as the default search engine for Firefox. Google's deals with Mozilla have kept the company in business, with over $100 million of the company's revenue in 2010 coming from a similar deal, which expired last month.

Mozilla also has similar partnerships with other providers, including Bing, Yahoo, Amazon and eBay -and the company even has a Bing version of Firefox.

The two companies put out a press release, saying: "We're pleased to announce that we have negotiated a significant and mutually beneficial revenue agreement with Google. This new agreement extends our long term search relationship with Google for at least three additional years."

Google SVP of Search Alan Eustace added: "Mozilla has been a valuable partner to Google over the years and we look forward to continuing this great partnership in the years to come."




AfterDawn: News

UFC and Xbox team up for free fight promo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Dec 2011 4:00

UFC and Xbox team up for free fight promo This is a quick article as a headsup to UFC fans out there.

UFC and Microsoft have teamed up (sponsored by the Marines) to make UFC 141 Brock Lesnar vs Alistair Overeem free, as long as you watch it via Xbox Live on your Xbox 360.

All you have to do is log in to your Xbox Live and download the UFC app from the Marketplace. From there, you can "purchase" the fight and the checkout will show up as $0.

The fight itself is next Friday, December 30th. For more info on the fight, check the official page: http://www.ufc.com/event/UFC141

Pic via SD:




AfterDawn: News

Senators ask FTC to investigate Google

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 20 Dec 2011 3:55

Senators ask FTC to investigate Google After the Antitrust Subcommittee of the US Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing in September where some senators accused Google of fixing search results, it seemed inevitable something bigger was coming. Now two senators are urging the FTC to investigate the search giant for alleged antitrust violations.

In their letter, Senators Herb Kohl and Mike Lee imply it is Google's responsibility not only to generate traffic for websites which compete with their own services, but also to avoid discriminating against websites which promote rival search engines.

While the two make a point of saying they have no opinion about the legality of Google's practices, their questions for Google representatives in the Senate hearing made it clear they have problems with the company's policies. Lee went so far as to accuse Google of fixing search results.

The letter also addresses the issue of mobile search, pointing out Google's success in that area. While acknowledging a Google statement that they do not require their products to be installed on Android devices, they senators suggest the FTC should be proactive in somehow requiring that.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Latest iOS update makes it possible to enable Siri on older iPhones

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 20 Dec 2011 3:21

Latest iOS update makes it possible to enable Siri on older iPhones Along with some fixes in Apple's latest iOS update, there appears to be a new development for people who want to use the Siri Voice Assistant on older iPhones.

An iPhone hacker who goes by Musclenerd noticed that the latest update leaves system files unencrypted which were previously encrypted. An article at Cult of Mac notes this makes it possible to enable Siri on older devices without using the legally questionable app already available for jailbroken phones.

Unfortunately it's likely this is the result of an oversight, rather than an intentional decision by Apple. The company is known for locking down their phones as tightly as possible.

Prior to phone jailbreaking being granted a DMCA exemption, their encryption was even used to make the practice illegal. Don't be surprised if the files are encrypted again in the next update.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon starts rolling out update which breaks root access while boasting millions of sales

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 20 Dec 2011 2:54

Amazon starts rolling out update which breaks root access while boasting millions of sales Eleven weeks after they first started taking pre-orders for it, Amazon says their Kindle Fire tablet continues to be their biggest seller.

In fact, they say the tablet has been their top selling items since it went on sale back in October. Dave Limp, Vice President of Amazon's Kindle division said of their popular tablet:

Kindle Fire is the most successful product we've ever launched -- it's the bestselling product across all of Amazon for 11 straight weeks, we've already sold millions of units, and we're building millions more to meet the high demand. In fact, demand is accelerating -- Kindle Fire sales increased week over week for each of the past three weeks.


Unfortunately, a significant number of people appear to be unhappy with their new Amazon tablets. Complaints range from inaccurate touchscreen controls to an inability to lock the device.

Amazon is attempting to address these concerns with an update which is being automatically pushed out. Unfortunately, the update appears to cause problems of its own for rooted tablets.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Irish ISP's 3 strikes plan shot down by Data Protection Commissioner

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 20 Dec 2011 2:01

Irish ISP's 3 strikes plan shot down by Data Protection Commissioner The Irish Data Protection Commissioner has shot down an agreement between Eircom and the major record labels to disconnect customers from the Internet based on repeated allegations of copyright infringement.

The agreement was made to settle a lawsuit from the IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association), who attempted to force the Irish ISP to install monitoring software to detect copyrighted content being sent across its network. Eircom instead agreed to disconnect users after three allegations from the labels.

As in other parts of the world, the labels' plan involved relaying exclusively on IP addresses. Their investigators would identify an allegedly infringing file, determine the source IP address, and forward that information on to Eircom. Eircom would then send out a warning letter for the first two "offenses" and disconnect the account after the third.

Earlier this year the Data Protection Commissioner began investigating the ISP over the agreement. Yesterday he ordered a halt to it, giving Eircom 21 days to respond.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sprint is very happy the AT&T bid for T-Mobile is dead

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Dec 2011 1:40

Sprint is very happy the AT&T bid for T-Mobile is dead Sprint, the third largest carrier in the U.S., has expressed its extreme happiness over AT&T's decision to drop its bid for T-Mobile, the fourth largest carrier in the nation.

The company had been one of the most vocal opponents of the move, which would have left AT&T with 120 million subscribers. Verizon, the top CDMA carrier, has 107 million subscribers. Sprint has 54 million subscribers and would have been left behind as a "duopoly" took over, argued the company.

Statement from Vonya McCann, Sprint SVP of government affairs:

Earlier today, AT&T terminated its definitive merger agreement with Deutsche Telekom to acquire T-Mobile USA. This is the right decision for consumers, competition and innovation in the wireless industry.

From the beginning, Sprint has stood with consumers who spoke loudly and clearly that AT&T's proposed takeover of T-Mobile would create an undeniable duopoly that would have resulted in higher prices, less innovation and fewer choices for the American consumer.

Sprint commends the Department of Justice, the Federal Communications Commission and the bi-partisan group of state attorneys general who gave voice to the concerns of consumers across the country. We look forward to competing fiercely in the robust, competitive market that exists today and continuing to deliver the world class service and products that consumers have come to expect from Sprint

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple wins ban of HTC smartphones in the US - or maybe not

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 20 Dec 2011 1:14

Apple wins ban of HTC smartphones in the US - or maybe not The International Trade Commission (ITC) has ruled [full text below] in favor of Apple on a single point of their case against HTC in the US. The result is a ban of HTC smartphones which violate one particular patent.

While this is a significant victory in the sense it paves the way for similar judgements against other Android handset vendors, such as Samsung, in reality it is not as big a deal as you might think.

Let's start with the patent itself:

A system and method causes a computer to detect and perform actions on structures identified in computer data. The system provides an analyzer server, an application program interface, a user interface and an action processor. The analyzer server receives from an application running concurrently data having recognizable structures, uses a pattern analysis unit, such as a parser or fast string search function, to detect structures in the data, and links relevant actions to the detected structures. The application program interface communicates with the application running concurrently, and transmits relevant information to the user interface. Thus, the user interface can present and enable selection of the detected structures, and upon selection of a detected structure, present the linked candidate actions. Upon selection of an action, the action processor performs the action on the detected structure.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google working on Nexus Tablet?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Dec 2011 12:54

Google working on Nexus Tablet? Google chairman Eric Schmidt has suggested this week that the company is working on a Nexus Tablet that will be released in the near future.

During an interview with an Italian paper, Schmidt says that "in the next six months we plan to market a tablet of the highest quality." It is unclear, however, whether the quote means Google is putting out a Nexus tablet or whether they will just be putting their marketing muscle behind an upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich device.

A few of Google's most popular partners are HTC, Samsung and Motorola.

Earlier this year, Google worked together with Motorola to release Android 3.0 with the Xoom tablet, which was not a pure Google experience, but close. For smartphones, Google has released the HTC Nexus One, the Samsung Nexus S and the newly launched Samsung Galaxy Nexus, each of which provides the "vanilla" Google experience and the quickest updates whenever a new firmware is launched.




AfterDawn: News

AT&T officially kills bid for T-Mobile, will pay $4 billion break-up fee

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Dec 2011 10:53

AT&T officially kills bid for T-Mobile, will pay $4 billion break-up fee AT&T has officially killed its bid for T-Mobile, following government and corporate opposition.

The proposed $39 billion acquisition was facing a DOJ lawsuit and strong corporate resistance from other small carriers who rightfully insisted that the merger would cause a duopoly in the U.S. with Verizon on the CDMA side and AT&T on the GSM side.

AT&T press release statement:
The actions by the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice to block this transaction do not change the realities of the U.S. wireless industry. It is one of the most fiercely competitive industries in the world, with a mounting need for more spectrum that has not diminished and must be addressed immediately. The AT&T and T-Mobile USA combination would have offered an interim solution to this spectrum shortage. In the absence of such steps, customers will be harmed and needed investment will be stifled.


The carrier will book a large $4 billion loss, a payment to T-Mobile's parent company Deutsche Telekom, as part of the pre-negotiated "break-up fee" should the deal fall through. Additionally, the company has to enter into a mobile roaming agreement with Telekom in the U.S., as long as it is "mutually beneficial to both."




AfterDawn: News

IBM reveals their annual '5 in 5' predicitions

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Dec 2011 2:40

IBM reveals their annual '5 in 5' predicitions As part of their annual '5 in 5' predictions, IBM says mind reading is coming sooner than you think.

The list is the company's way to predict 5 pieces of technology or services that will emerge five years into the future. The list also helps keep IBM focused on its "Smarter Planet" initiatives.

Here is this year's list:
Mind reading is no longer science fiction.
You will be able to power your home with the energy you create yourself.
You will never need a password again.
The digital divide will cease to exist.
Junk mail will become priority mail.


When speaking about mind reading, IBM doesn't mean getting to look at someone else and immediately hear what they are thinking. What they mean is your brain could be synced to portable devices. IBM explains: "If you just need to think about calling someone, it happens. Or you can control the cursor on a computer screen just by thinking about where you want to move it. Scientists in the field of bioinformatics have designed headsets with advanced sensors to read electrical brain activity that can recognize facial expressions, excitement and concentration levels, and thoughts of a person without them physically taking any actions."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Saudi Prince makes large investment in Twitter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Dec 2011 1:46

Saudi Prince makes large investment in Twitter Kingdom Holding Co. has invested $300 million in Twitter, giving it a quick cash infusion.

The investment company, run by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, says the new stake is "strategic" as the company looks to expand and entice more paid advertisers.

Alwaleed is the nephew of Saudi King Abdullah, and is worth about $19 billion. His investment company is known to invest "in promising, high-growth businesses with a global impact." The Prince's most notable investment is a $1 billion stake in struggling American bank Citigroup.

Twitter, launched 5 years ago, now has over 100 million active users and sees over 250 million tweets per day.

The microblogging site confirmed the investment, which came through sales on the secondary market from investors and other insiders. Adds KHC's executive director of private equity and international investments Ahmed Halawani: "We believe that social media will fundamentally change the media industry landscape in the coming years. Twitter will capture and monetize this positive trend."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Skyrim is fastest selling Steam title of all-time

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Dec 2011 1:31

Skyrim is fastest selling Steam title of all-time The latest Elder Scrolls blockbuster has sold 10 million units since launch last month.

Developer Bethesda says they have sold 10 million units on Xbox 360, PC and PS3 since the November 11th launch. Adds the company: "Large retail reorders across all platforms and record-breaking digital sales reflect the ongoing global demand by consumers excited to explore this extraordinary fantasy epic."

Concludes Robert Altman, Chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media (parent of Bethesda):

We are gratified that Skyrim continues to garner high review scores and accolades around the world. We are most grateful to our fans for their support and enthusiasm for the game, and their love of the hundreds of hours of gameplay it offers. We continue to strive to deliver the highest quality entertainment experience for everyone. 2012 will be another huge year for our fans, with the release of the Creation Kit, as well as exciting DLC which will add to the richness of this epic adventure.


In November, Bethesda says the PC version outsold all other games available in North America by a factor of 3.3 to 1.

Steam, the digital gaming distribution platform, also said it was the fastest selling title in the service's history. "Bethesda?s commitment to and understanding of the PC as a gaming platform shows in the great review scores, spectacular launch, and continued high player numbers that Skyrim has received. We are delighted that Bethesda chose to use Steamworks to support Skyrim both at retail and digitally," adds the company (via Industry).




AfterDawn: News

BT sues Google over Android Market, Maps, Search, Plus and Offers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Dec 2011 12:32

BT sues Google over Android Market, Maps, Search, Plus and Offers British Telecom (BT) has filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming many of its most popular products and services violate patents.

The products and services include the Android Market, Google Maps, Google Search, Google+ and Google Offers.

The patents allegedly being violated are related to "cover systems for navigation information, service provision system for communications networks, and telecommunications apparatus and method," says Cnet. BT is seeking monetary damages and an injunction on all the services.

As expected, Google is fighting the claims, saying: "We believe these claims are without merit, and we will defend vigorously against them."

Google has been the defendant in a high number of lawsuits over the past few years, mainly linked to their Android operating system. Heavy hitters like Oracle, Apple and Microsoft all claim patent violations.




AfterDawn: News

Android Facebook app passes iPhone in daily users

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Dec 2011 6:31

Android Facebook app passes iPhone in daily users According to the latest figures from AppData, users of the Android Facebook app now use it more often than those using the iPhone app.

Comparing AppData's figures for the two platforms, the number of monthly users on both are steadly going up, but Android users are increasing more quickly than on the iPhone.

However, the number of Android users for any given day is already slightly higher than the number of iPhone users. This trend, and the ratio of daily to monthly users, are generally considered important indicators of whether an app is gaining in popularity.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

23 hospitalized after explosion at Apple supplier's factory

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Dec 2011 5:39

23 hospitalized after explosion at Apple supplier's factory An explosion Saturdy at a Shanghai factory preparing to begin supplying components for Apple left 61 injured, 23 of whom had to be hospitalized.

The factory, which had not yet begun operating, is believed to be slated to produce back panels for the iPad 2. This has raised speculation of shortages of the world's most popular tablet in the first quarter of next year.

According to Reuters, Apple is investigating the incident.

In recent years Apple has gotten a lot of bad publicity over stories of poor working conditions in the factories of their suppliers. In reality these issues aren't unique to their suppliers, but Apple's high profile and profit margins have made them an easy target for critics.

In 2010 Foxconn, who assembles components from around the world into iPhones, was in the news frequently because of a series of suicides.

A new Foxconn plant in Brazil has reportedly already begun producing the iPhone 4 at a rate of 1600 units a day and may be adding iPhone 4S production by the end of the year.




AfterDawn: News

Is Apple intentionally delaying a W3C Touch interface spec?

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Dec 2011 4:44

Is Apple intentionally delaying a W3C Touch interface spec? An initiative to standardize the way touch enabled devices interact with web content has had a wrench thrown into the works, at least temporarily, by Apple.

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Events Working Group was created last year and tasked with standardizing the way touch devices, from smartphones and tablets to drawing pads and spatial sensors, interact with web applications. One of the specifications they have been working on is called 'Touch Events.'

As part of the standard development process, the working group sent out multiple requests for patent exclusions. In layman's terms, these are requests for disclosure of any existing or pending patents which might be required to implement a standard.

Responding to the third of three calls for exclusions this year, Apple provided the group with a list of four patents, one of which has already been approved, two which are pending approval, and a fourth which is in the early stage of application, which they say are related to the Touch Events specification.

A developer for the Opera browser who blogs under the name Haavard is crying foul on Apple's move, and says they are simply trying to impede the creation of the Touch Events spec. He points to similar occurences in 2009 and 2010, when Apple made exclusion claims with respect to the W3C Widgets specification.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Jury deadlocked in Novell suit against Microsoft

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Dec 2011 3:31

Jury deadlocked in Novell suit against Microsoft Last week we reported that the ongoing antitrust dispute against Microsoft brought by Novell was in the hands of the presiding judge and jury.


That jury, however, has come back deadlocked, leading to a mistrial after three days of deliberation. 11 of the 12 jurors had reached a decision in favor of Novell but the last juror would not switch sides.

In 2004, the global enterprise software provider sued Microsoft, claiming the company violated anti-trust laws in 1994 by using its monopoly on personal computer operating systems to suppress WordPerfect, at the time the world's most popular word-processing program.

Eventually, WordPerfect's value cratered from $1.2 billion in 1994 to just $170 million when it purchased by Corel in 1996. As expected, Novell is suing for the difference in value, which would be tripled under US antitrust law to over $3 billion in damages.

Microsoft, in its arguments, said Novell lost the market share not because of Microsoft but because they did not make a compatible software for Windows 95 quick enough, allowing the company's own Word to gain traction. MSFT attorney David Tulchin added in the closing arguments: "Novell was late. It was always behind. It was playing catch-up. In the high-tech world where things can move quickly ... the market can kill you."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Carriers and handset vendors provide senator information about Carrier IQ deployment

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Dec 2011 3:20

Carriers and handset vendors provide senator information about Carrier IQ deployment Shortly after the furor over Carrier IQ began, Senator Al Franken sent letters to several national mobile carriers and handset manufacturers asking for details of the program's operation.

Carrier IQ is a rootkit which comes preinstalled on various smartphones sold in the US. A rootkit is a program which runs secretly with privileged access. Carrier IQ sends diagnostic information, at the carrier's request, to servers operated by the software's developers, who then forward that information to the carrier.

Since the software was discovered in November, there has been a great deal of debate over what information it is capable of collecting, what information is actually being collected, and the legality of it.

The researcher who first announced its existence, Trevor Eckhart, claimed it could record and report every keystroke made on a smartphone. Later, another researcher reported that was not true.

Senator Franken has received and published responses to his letter from Sprint, AT&T, Samsung, and HTC. He is still waiting for responses from T-Mobile and Motorola, which he has requested no later than December 20.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

YouTube goes on the defensive, explains how UMG made Megaupload's video disappear

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 19 Dec 2011 1:29

YouTube goes on the defensive, explains how UMG made Megaupload's video disappear Just over a week ago a video created by file locker provider Megaupload was taken down from YouTube at the request of Universal Music (UMG). In the aftermath of that incident, YouTube finds itself answering questions about how that happened thanks to UMG's refusal to provide details.

Based on UMG's filings in response to the resulting lawsuit in which Megaupload sought to have them punished for improper use of the DMCA's takedown provision, one thing we know for sure is that no actual DMCA takedown request was issued.

Instead, UMG used YouTube's content management (ie digitial fingerprinting) system to have the content removed. That means Megaupload's primary claim is pretty much dead in the water.

We also know UMG says they never made a copyright claim on the video because of a letter they submitted to the court in which a company representative explained to YouTube that was not the only grounds under which their contract allows a takedown.

Beyond that, they have avoided addressing the issue of what happened, providing just enough information to show any DMCA related penalties (and really that's not much anyway) don't apply.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple's plans to dominate the TV market

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Dec 2011 12:28

Apple's plans to dominate the TV market The WSJ has a full report today out on Apple's plans to dominate the TV market, even after the death of its leader Steve Jobs.

Over the past few weeks, "Apple executives have discussed their vision for the future of TV with media executives at several large companies," reads the report. It also appears that Apple's Eddy Cue is highly involved in the plans.

The Apple television will be able to recognize users across phones, tablets and TVs, and will completely rely on powerful wireless streaming for streaming content of music, movies and TV shows. It seems the TVs will also be able to respond to user's voices and movements (like Siri meets Kinect) sometime in the future, although it seems the first generation of the devices will not include the tech.

One specific of the software used on the future TVs is the fact that streaming content can be watched on the TV then paused and resumed on an iPhone or iPad.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Western Digital cutting down warranties for some of their drives

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Dec 2011 5:20

Western Digital cutting down warranties for some of their drives Western Digital has said today that they will be cutting down the warranty period for their Caviar Blue, Scorpio Blue and Caviar Green hard drives.

The drives will have 2-year warranties for now on, down from 3. Caviar Black and Scorpio Black drives will continue with five-year warranties.

WD's AV drives and all of its external drives have unchanged warranty periods, as well.

Reads the letter from SelectWD:

This new warranty policy will be effective for drives shipped from January 2nd, 2012. It is important that you take a moment to update your website(s) and collateral to reflect this change for effected drives shipped after January 1st, 2012.

All drives shipped to distributors prior to Jan. 2nd 2012 will retain the current warranty terms. Because of existing inventory in the distribution channel there will be a short period of time when some drives with a 3-year warranty will be sold at the same time as drives with a 2-year warranty.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

$1.7 million in PlayBooks stolen from a semi

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Dec 2011 5:05

$1.7 million in PlayBooks stolen from a semi Police officials are looking into the theft of $1.7 million worth of BlackBerry PlayBooks from a semi trailer.

The theft took place at the Pilot Travel Center of State Road 67 in Chesterfield, Indiana. The driver had stopped to take a shower and get some dinner.

When the driver returned, his truck was missing. He says he was gone for about an hour.

The truck had 22 pallets of PlayBooks, which is equal to about 5000 units. The tablets were coming from a distribution center in Ontario, Canada.

Police say the shipment did not have any tracking devices.

The authorities have contacted the FBI for assistance.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone 4S now available in 20 more countries

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Dec 2011 12:26

iPhone 4S now available in 20 more countries Apple has launched the iPhone 4S in 20 new nations.

According to the company, the popular smartphone is now available in Bahrain, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.

The pricing for the devices is ridiculous in some of the nations, as expected, topping out at $1400 USD in Brazil for the starter 16GB models. In Russia, the 16GB models start at $1100 and top out at $1350 for the 64GB models. These are, of course, currency conversions and subject to some fluctuation.

In most of the other nations, prices were just about $50 more than in the U.S., where unsubsidized devices sell for $649/$749/$849.




AfterDawn: News

Fusion Garage and the Grid10 tablet are dead, and good riddance

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Dec 2011 11:59

Fusion Garage and the Grid10 tablet are dead, and good riddance Fusion Garage, the makers of the Grid10 and Grid4 devices, have vanished off the face of the earth, leaving customers empty-handed for devices they were supposed to receive in October.

The company was behind the epic fail JooJoo/CrunchPad but tried to re-invent itself this year with the Grid10 tablet, which featured their own Android-based OS, "Grid."

As of this week, the company's site is down and its PR firm has left them, citing that the company has been uncommunicative for weeks, leaving them in the dark, as well.

McGrath Power, the firm, says: "Unfortunately, none of our efforts have resulted in any communication from the company to the customers. Given all of this, we don't have any other choice but to cease working with Fusion Garage effective tomorrow."

Launched in August after an extensive marketing campaign, the Grid10 was supposed to sell for $499 and ship on October 1st, but the as October rolled around, the company delayed the product and slashed the price to $299, even before it shipped. No customers have ever received a Grid10, or the Grid4 smartphone. Additionally, Fusion Garage had promised anyone who purchased the JooJoo in 2009 a free Grid10, but it appears that was a lie, also.




AfterDawn: News

French Prez Sarkozy revealed as pirate?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Dec 2011 5:08

French Prez Sarkozy revealed as pirate? Last week we reported on the launch of Russian-based YouHaveDownloaded.com, which logs public torrent downloads. This week, it appears someone in the home of French President Nicholas Sarkozy is a pirate.

Youhavedownloaded.com is a website setup to show what files have been downloaded using BitTorrent trackers by a specific IP address. The site claims to have almost 53 million "users" in its database, from 113,200 tracked torrents containing almost 2 million files.

When you visit the website, it will check you IP address automatically and present you with files it knows you downloaded. If it doesn't have your IP address in its database, then it will simply say, "Hi. We have no records on you." You can search any IP address, torrent hash or filename for results, or you can snoop on randomly-presented IP addresses that are in the database.

Sarkozy is a notable proponent of anti-piracy legislation and notably wanted to begin the infamous "three strikes" policy in France where 3-time pirates get banned from the Internet.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google donates millions to fight human trafficking

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Dec 2011 4:27

Google donates millions to fight human trafficking Google has announced this week it is donating $11.5 million to associations that are fighting human trafficking and slavery around the world.

The search giant says the money will go towards "the creation of a coalition between various advocacy groups, led by International Justice Mission (IJM)." The IJM rescues people from forced labor and trafficking and the group says starting in 2012 they will join with other groups like the Polaris Project and Slavery Footprint for the new project.

IJM says the new funds will be used to push for new laws in countries, promote awareness in the U.S., and "improve the infrastructure and resources that enforce anti-slavery legislation overseas."

Google's director of charitable giving and advocacy says there are 27 million men, women, and children currently held as slaves around the world, and adds, "many people are surprised to learn that there are more people trapped in slavery today than any time in history. The good news is there are solutions."

Most of the money will go to campaigns in India, where forced labor is rampant.




AfterDawn: News

New iOS update will fix iPhone 4S sim card problems

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Dec 2011 3:08

New iOS update will fix iPhone 4S sim card problems Since its launch, iPhone 4S owners have had multiple problems to work through, including excessive battery drain, a non-working Siri and SIM card issues.

Today, Apple has said that the iOS 5.0.1 incremental build will deal with the SIM card issues.

Users, at some point during the day, were receiving 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 error was leaving users without a way to make phone calls through cellular service, or receive texts.

Apple will be pushing the update to all iOS 5 users who haven't yet updated, and the build is 5.0.1 9A406.

The support page says the update should fix the issues that an '"iPhone 4S may have difficulty recognizing a micro-SIM card," and will subsequently display "Invalid SIM" and "No SIM Card installed" alerts or "No Service" and "Searching" status bar messages.'

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Time Warner subs get access to HBO GO

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Dec 2011 1:41

Time Warner subs get access to HBO GO Time Warner has announced a deal that will give its subscibers access to the massively popular HBO GO service.

Additionally, the cable company says Cinemax subscribers will have access to MAX GO, as well. Time Warner will start beta testing both services this week and have the services launched to all subscribers that pay for HBO or Cinemax next month.

Time Warner Cable added: "We are working with HBO and our internal tech teams right now to determine the parameters of that beta trial, and will absolutely announce more specific details as soon as we can. Once started, that beta trial should be overwith very quickly, and our customers will be streaming all of their favorite HBO shows shortly thereafter."

Both services, which give users access to streaming TV on-demand as long as you are a subscriber, are available on iOS and Android devices as well as in-browser or through Roku set-top boxes. HBO says they have 1400 titles available right now, including all seasons of original programs like Game of Thrones, True Blood, and Boardwalk Empire. Furthermore, HBO GO also streams full-length features, docus and sporting events.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sprint disables Carrier IQ on all of its devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Dec 2011 1:14

Sprint disables Carrier IQ on all of its devices Sprint, the largest user of Carrier IQ software in the U.S., has said this week that is completely disabling the software in all of its devices.

The carrier admitted to using the software since 2006, and that it is installed on 26 million Sprint smartphones and tablets.

Due to recent customer concerns over the rootkit, Sprint says it has stopped collecting data using Carrier IQ, disabled it from all past devices, and will consider fully dropping it in the future. Sprint adds that they only used Carrier IQ to collect network- and device-related information for quality-of-service-related purposes.

"We have weighed customer concerns and we have disabled use of the tool so that diagnostic information and data is no longer being collected," read the carrier's statement to Senator Al Franken. "At Sprint, we work hard to earn the trust of our customers and believe this course of action is in the best interest of our business and customers."

Carrier IQ, which is installed in over 140 million devices, can read the state of your phone at all times, log all keystrokes, see who you called, see who you texted, see what terms you have searched for, and logs sleep/uptime.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android 4.0 now supports Flash

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Dec 2011 1:04

Android 4.0 now supports Flash Last month, Adobe announced that the Galaxy Nexus would not support Flash at launch, and fans would have to wait around a month before regaining the support.

The device, which launched around Europe over the past month, and in the U.S. on Thursday, is the first smartphone to have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google's latest operating system update.

Adobe, recently announced it was discontinuing development on its mobile Flash player to move focus to HTML5 and its more popular Flash players on other platforms. The Android 4.0 update, which brings Flash to version 11.1.112.60, will be their last.

Additionally, the update will fix a few known issues, which included: Seeking while video is paused will not update the frame on ICS device, StageVideo using On2 and Sorenson does not work on ICS devices, PHDS content plays with audio pops, OS does not prioritize incoming call - audio remains playing before and after call is received, Enter key does not work on the multi-line text input field.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

SOPA vote delayed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Dec 2011 3:25

SOPA vote delayed In a surprise move, The House Judiciary Committee has delayed the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) vote.

The delay seems to be thanks to the committee's chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) agreeing to look further into one of the controversial provisions of the bill. That provision would allow the Attorney General to change many of the core Internet infrastructures in order to halt online piracy and copyright infringement. Other representatives argued changing the domain-naming system would cause security risks, says Wired.

Smith has pushed the hearing to the "earliest practical day that Congress is in session." With Congress' track record, that could be months down the line.

The Stop Online Piracy Act was proposed earlier this year. SOPA is the first of two bills being considered by Congress. The second is E-PARASITE/Protect-IP. The bills are created to prevent piracy, copyright infringement, and block access to "rogue foreign sites." The bills have been generally panned by the public and the major tech companies due to the fact that companies can get domains and websites shut down if they "engage in, enable or facilitate infringement." By creating this blacklist, governments and companies can choose to get sites cut off from search engines and from accepting payments for ads. SOPA only gives accused websites 5 days to file an appeal before they get shut down.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Dell says bye bye to consumer netbooks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Dec 2011 2:59

Dell says bye bye to consumer netbooks Dell has officially decided to kill its consumer netbooks.

The company will still sell enterprise models, but it is unclear for how much longer. Dell has already removed the netbooks from its websites, including the once very popular Inspiron Mini line.

Other companies, like Asus and Toshiba, remain committed to the small Intel Atom netbooks but Dell is moving on to the new trend, ultrabooks. To ensure it will not come back to netbooks, the company says it will not use Intel's forthcoming Cedar Trail platform, at all.

For those worried that the tablet/netbook Inspiron Duo would be discontinued, Dell says no, as it continues to sell well.

Adds Marketing Director Alison Gardner: "Thin and powerful is where it is at for us."




AfterDawn: News

Square Enix hacked, 1.8 million users affected

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Dec 2011 1:38

Square Enix hacked, 1.8 million users affected Game developer Square Enix has announced this week that 1.8 million user accounts have been compromised thanks to a security breach.

Hackers hit one of Square Enix's servers, taking the company's U.S. and Japanese sites offline. 1 million Japanese users accounts were compromised and 800,000 in the U.S., say reports.

Enix says that the accounts did not contain credit card info, but did have full names, emails, phone numbers and addresses. The developer has warned that phishers may send emails asking for passwords or credit card numbers, and that those should be ignored as the company would never ask for them.

The company was hit earlier this year, as well, with a European server being hacked and 25,000 customer accounts being compromised. Additionally, the resumes of 250 applicants were taken.

Although still horrible, the numbers in this case pale in comparison to Sony's nightmare PSN experience, in which over 100 million users had their personal info compromised, including passwords and likely credit card info.




AfterDawn: News

UMG takes down Megaupload video then claims they did nothing wrong

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 16 Dec 2011 12:29

UMG takes down Megaupload video then claims they did nothing wrong As supporters of SOPA and PIPA, the anti-piracy bills working their way through Congress, continue to insist they won't be used to censor the Internet, the entertainment industry seems determined to prove they intend to do just that.

The latest big target for censorship is the file locker service Megaupload. Besides being one of the most successful cloud storage services, Megaupload is also one of the sites at the top of the entertainment industry's "rogue sites" list, making them one of the first services you can expect to be targeted if SOPA or PIPA becomes law.

But even without either measure, Megaupload finds itself fighting for the right to publish completely legal content to defend themselves in a PR war started by the major record labels and movie studios. As part of that effort, Megaupload commissioned a music video featuring a number of music industry heavyweights.

After it was uploaded to YouTube and started getting a lot of attention on Twitter, Universal Music Group had the video removed taken down. When Megaupload protested the removal of the video, it was reinstated and then almost immediately taken down again.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple's A5 chips are built in Texas

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Dec 2011 12:24

Apple's A5 chips are built in Texas Reuters is reporting this morning that Apple is now receiving their A5 processing chip from a plant in Texas, run by manufacturing giant Samsung.

The 1.6 million square feet factory is located in Austin and has recently reached full production. Samsung spent $3.6 billion to construct the non-memory chip production line.

Sources say the entire factory is dedicated to Apple chips, with a small amount of the line used for NAND flash memory.

The A5 chip is used in the iPhone 4S and iPad 2. The rest of Apple's components are made in Asia, mainly by Foxconn, one of the largest companies in the world.

Samsung created the factory in 1996, and the investment is the largest foreign one in Texas, valued at $9 billion.




AfterDawn: News

Apple's tablet market share continues to fall

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Dec 2011 11:46

Apple's tablet market share continues to fall According to the latest IDC figures, Apple continues to lose tablet market share, as the industry becomes more and more competitive.

Apple still has, by far, the strongest selling tablet, with the iPad outselling the next tablet by an 11:1 margin, but a large amount of new Android releases are starting to chip away at the share. Overall, tablet shipments rose 265 percent year-over-year, to 18.1 million units.

Analysts had expected 19.2 million units, but the miss is likely to be made up in the next quarter, the holiday quarter.

iPad sales came in at 11.1 million for the Q3, good for 61.5 percent market share, down a few percentage points from the quarter before. Samsung came in second with 5.6 market share after selling 950,000 units during the quarter. HP, thanks to its firesale, controls third at 5 percent after selling 900,000 TouchPads.

IDC has changed its methods to now include the Nook Color, Nook Tablet and Kindle Fire, which are intended as e-readers but have LCD screens and Internet access. The Nook Color saw 805,458 units sold, while the figures for the latter two devices will need to wait until the end of the Q4.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

RIM gives out instruction on how to remove Carrier IQ from BlackBerry

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Dec 2011 11:19

RIM gives out instruction on how to remove Carrier IQ from BlackBerry RIM has become the first handset maker to officially give instructions on how to remove the smartphone rootkit Carrier IQ.

The software runs secretly on over 140 million smartphones including Android, BlackBerry and some versions of iOS and can log all keystrokes, phone calls made, and apps used. T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint have confirmed using the software, but Verizon vehemently denies including it on any of its phones. T-Mobile says it uses the software to help improve call quality.

RIM says it does not pre-install Carrier IQ on its BlackBerry devices, nor does it authorize carriers to do so. However, it has been revealed that the software is found on one carrier's Bold 9900, the Curve 9360 and Torch 9810. The document also shows that the Carrier IQ software was installed on Android phones from T-Mobile.

If you are looking to remove the software from your BlackBerry device, RIM makes it very easy.

Head over to the app marketplace and download "IQ Agent," says the company, which has quick instructions.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon selling 1 million Kindles per week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Dec 2011 1:47

Amazon selling 1 million Kindles per week Amazon has said today that it is selling over 1 million Kindles per week.

The behemoth e-tailer is notorious for never revealing sales numbers for its products, so the new admission is in stark contrast to past press releases. Amazon says it is "selling well over" 1 million devices per week, and this mark has been hit for the last three weeks and running.

Included in the sales numbers are all generations of the Kindle e-reader, and the Kindle Fire tablet. Kindle Fire sales have been increasing week-over-week, added Amazon exec Dave Limp.

Many in the industry believe the press release was a direct response to a recent flurry of negative reviews of the Kindle Fire, which lacks many standard features like a mic and camera. However, the Fire sells for just $199, at least $100 cheaper than its competitors in the 7-inch category and $300 cheaper than the standard 10-inch tablets like the iPad and Galaxy 10.1.

Additionally, Amazon has already said an upcoming Kindle Fire software upgrade will "improve performance, touch navigation, and give customers the option to choose what items display on the carousel."




AfterDawn: News

Zynga to IPO at large market value

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Dec 2011 1:14

Zynga to IPO at large market value The social gaming giant Zynga will IPO tomorrow, pricing in at $10 per share, for 100 million shares.

There had been recent discussion on whether the company could have a strong showing in its public debut, but it appears that at least some large funds and other deep pocket buyers are willing to pay up. 100 million shares is equal to just 11 percent of all shares, giving Zynga a market value of just around $9 billion.

Additionally, the IPO will raise Zynga $1 billion in cash, which they expect to use to expand their existing lineup and development on new games. The IPO is the largest since Google's in 2004, although Facebook is expected to trump both by a hefty amount.

Separating Zynga from other recent social IPOs, is the fact that the company is actually profitable. Others, like LinkedIn, Zillow and Pandora, have had years of losses, and profitability does not appear to be on the horizon despite their billion dollar valuations.

Zynga is the giant behind hits like FarmVille, CityVille, MafiaWars, Empires and Allies, Words with Friends, and Zynga Poker. The company has 4 of the top 5 most popular games on Facebook , and has over 200 million monthly users.

The company says it makes all of its revenue from just 3 percent of its players, who buy virtual items like new guns, poker chips, and upgrades for their farm.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Final Reminder: Last hours to get 10 cent Android apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Dec 2011 12:55

Final Reminder: Last hours to get 10 cent Android apps As a final reminder, we are in the home stretch of Google's great 10 cent Android Market promotion.

There are 12 apps today, as a special "blowout" for the last day. Each other day had 10 apps. It is unclear at what time tomorrow the promotion will end.

Android's promotion is in celebration of 10 billion apps being downloaded from the market. The promotion began last Tuesday and has seen very strong downloads for the apps.

The List:
1. Camera Zoom FX
2. Shine Runner
3. TileStorm HD
4. Star Chart
5. Talking Ben the Dog
6. Apparatus
7. Color & Draw for kids
8. Hyper Jump
9. Sentinel 3: Homeworld
10. Majesty: Fantastic Kingdom Sim
11. Puffle Launch
12. Heavy Gunner 3D





AfterDawn: News

Louvre museum adds Nintendo 3DS handhelds for audioguide

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Dec 2011 12:42

Louvre museum adds Nintendo 3DS handhelds for audioguide Nintendo will help the French museum appeal to new audiences.

The gaming company has announced today it will be sending 5000 of the new 3DS handhelds to the Louvre for use as an audio guide. Additionally, the museum is developing an iOS app, so their plan is clearly to appeal to the generation that has touchscreen smartphones or still games.

Museum-goers who rent the handheld will get to listen to the guided tour, which is available in seven languages. They will also be able to load and create special itineraries.

Nintendo says they have produced original content for the Louvre, but no one has elaborated on that just yet. Most likely, the content will have minor tie-ins to popular characters or include puzzle/mysteries related to the museum.

Finally, as Crunch mentions, this isn't the first time the two have teamed up, with the museum making an appearance on The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3.




AfterDawn: News

Android Netflix app updated to support 4.0

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Dec 2011 12:15

Android Netflix app updated to support 4.0 As expected with a new update, there have been reports of a few popular apps having issues with Google's latest Android 4.0 software.

As of today, however, Netflix is now updated for the new software. The Android Market description now reads: "Supports Android 2.2, 2.3, 3.x, and 4.x in the USA, Canada, and Latin America. Download the free Netflix app to instantly watch TV shows & movies streaming from Netflix."

Of course, to use the service you will need a Netflix subscription, which costs $7.99 per month for unlimited streaming.

After months of delays, Verizon finally launched the Galaxy Nexus today, the first phone to have Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

Ice Cream sandwich is the biggest rehaul of the Android operating system, to date, and the first OS created for both smartphones and tablets, natively.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

R.I.P BlackBerry

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Dec 2011 9:36

R.I.P BlackBerry It is about time to write an obituary on the once hallowed smartphone maker.

RIM, the company behind the BlackBerry line of smartphones and the Playbook tablet has delayed their BlackBerry 10-based phones until the end of 2012, effectively putting the final nail in their coffin.

The company says they are delaying the launch of the BlackBerry 10 devices as they wait for the production of dual-core chips with LTE support.

RIM had initially planned to release the phones in February-April.

Outside of the delay, the company's earnings got smashed, with profits falling to $265 million for the Q3 2011, down from $911 million in the same quarter in 2010. Furthermore, the company downgraded their forecast for sales in the Q4, to 11 million units. This compares to 14.8 million sold in the same period last year. That figure hurts the most as the holiday season is normally a seasonally strong period for phone sales.

RIM's market share in the U.S., its largest market, has fallen from 44 percent in 2009 to just 10.5 percent in November, as Android and iOS continue to grow.

Additionally, the company announced more bad news, with a $356 million write-down for poor sales of the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and a $40 million loss due to the 2-day service outage they experienced earlier this year that left users without emails and texts.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Verizon Galaxy Nexus coming tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Dec 2011 12:15

Verizon Galaxy Nexus coming tomorrow Verizon finally gives an official release date for the first Ice Cream Sandwich device.

The carrier will sell the device for $299.99 with a new two-year customer agreement.

Outside of being the first smartphone to have the official Android 4.0, the Galaxy nexus 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 9.47mm thin and has an impressive no-shutter lag camera.

Additionally, the phone has NFC support and Verizon LTE support, which is good for 190 markets and 200 million people. Verizon says average download speeds are 5 to 12 Mbits and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbits.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Official: Nintendo gives U.S. release date for Circle Pad Pro

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Dec 2011 9:17

Official: Nintendo gives U.S. release date for Circle Pad Pro After months of speculation, Nintendo has finally given an official U.S. release date for its 3DS Circle Pad Pro peripheral.

Starting on February 7th, the accessory will sell for $20. Somewhat surprisingly, Gamestop will be the exclusive retailer for the device, suggesting Nintendo may not be expecting large sales.

There are only a few games currently compatible with the extra nub that the Circle Pad brings, and those include Monster Hunter Tri G, Metal Gear Solid 3D Snake Eater, and Resident Evil Revelations.

Last week, Nintendo announced that its Circle Pad Pro would require a AAA battery, much to the dismay of gamers. This week however, those concerns have mainly been put to bed, as it appears the peripheral will work for 480 hours of gameplay on one single battery, giving most casual gamers a year or so before they need to go out an replace the battery, which can cost as low as $1 for a 2-pack.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

SkyDrive app released for Windows Phone and iOS

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Dec 2011 8:28

SkyDrive app released for Windows Phone and iOS Microsoft has announced the availability of SkyDrive apps for Windows Phone and iOS.

SkyDrive is Microsoft's cloud service used to store your data including documents, videos, music, photos and more. When you move any file into the SkyDrive, that file is then available from any browser in the world.

Recently, the company updated the service, adding support for HTML5 and CSS3 and now with the addition of native mobile apps, the service seems poised to better compete with DropBox and Amazon CloudDrive.

For Windows Phone 7.5, Microsoft explains that "we focused on deeply integrating SkyDrive into the phone itself through the Pictures and Office hubs. For instance, you can share photos stored on SkyDrive by email, text, or IM, use Office apps like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with SkyDrive files, and even keep your phone's camera roll up-to-date on SkyDrive automatically."

For iOS, the company explains: "We have a long history of supporting iPhone customers with built-in support for Hotmail and with apps like Bing, Messenger, OneNote (with SkyDrive sync), and now Skype. More generally, we believe you should have access to your personal content no matter which device you use. This is why we are excited to invest in HTML5 both on the web and on mobile on [skydrive.com] On the iPhone, we've taken the next step by making the new SkyDrive app for iPhone available in 32 languages worldwide. In addition to their OneNote notebooks, iPhone customers can now access all of their files in SkyDrive, create folders, delete files, and share links to folders and files directly using the Mail app."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Novell's $1 billion anti-trust suit against Microsoft hears closing arguments

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Dec 2011 3:08

Novell's $1 billion anti-trust suit against Microsoft hears closing arguments The case is now in the hands of the presiding judge and jury.

In 2004, the global enterprise software provider sued Microsoft, claiming the company violated anti-trust laws in 1994 by using its monopoly on personal computer operating systems to suppress WordPerfect, at the time the world's most popular word-processing program.

Eventually, WordPerfect's value cratered from $1.2 billion in 1994 to just $170 million when it purchased by Corel in 1996. As expected, Novell is suing for the difference in value, which would be tripled under US antitrust law to over $3 billion in damages.

Microsoft, in its arguments, say Novell lost the market share not because of Microsoft but because they did not make a compatible software for Windows 95 quick enough, allowing the company's own Word to gain traction. MSFT attorney David Tulchin added in the closing arguments: "Novell was late. It was always behind. It was playing catch-up. In the high-tech world where things can move quickly ... the market can kill you."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

YouTube acquires licensing and royalty service provider RightsFlow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Dec 2011 2:46

YouTube acquires licensing and royalty service provider RightsFlow YouTube purchases RightsFlow.

RightsFlow, the licensing and royalty service provider, has been acquired by YouTube this week for an undisclosed amount. The company helps digital music stores, distributors, labels and individual artists to have proper royalty arrangements, and song licensing.

Says YouTube in a blog post: "By combining RightsFlow's expertise and technology with YouTube's platform, we hope to more rapidly and efficiently license music on YouTube, meaning more music for you all to enjoy, and more money for the talented people producing the music."

YouTube has been accused multiple times of encouraging users to upload videos that include music or TV/movie clips that has not been authorized and labels/studios not compensated for.

As the site has matured, however, their filters and monitoring systems have improved and the site is "cleaner" than ever. It also embeds links to purchase the songs and movies seen in clips right into the description.

Concludes YouTube: "YouTube has had a longstanding commitment to solving the really tough challenges around online copyright--how to manage content rights in a quickly evolving technology world. We've already invested tens of millions of dollars in content management technology such as Content ID and, with over 3,000 major media companies using it, we've come a long way in just a few years. But we want to keep pushing things forward."




AfterDawn: News

LG shows off their latest Prada smartphone creation

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Dec 2011 2:27

LG shows off their latest Prada smartphone creation The Prada 3.0 is expected in February.

Last month, LG announced the renewal of its mobile phone partnership with high-end fashion name Prada. The two companies had already created two "premium" Prada phones in the past and the original PRADA phone, launched in 2007, was the first touchscreen phone ever, selling over 1 million units.

Today, the companies have launched the LG Prada 3.0, the third smartphone in the premium line. The companies held an event in London to celebrate the release.

The LG Prada 3 (specs via PhoneArena) has a 4.3-inch NOVA display with WVGA resolution, runs on a 1GHz TI OMAP4430 dual-core chip, has a 0.33-inch (8.5mm) thick body, dual cameras 1.3MP/8MP, 21Mbps HSPA+ connectivity, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, and an FM tuner.

Overall, the specs put the phone in line with other mid-low-high-end Android devices on the market.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Say hello to the Lumia 800, Dark Knight Rises edition

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Dec 2011 1:19

Say hello to the Lumia 800, Dark Knight Rises edition Nokia is launching the Lumia 800 Dark Knight Rises edition smartphone, in honor of the upcoming film.

The extremely limited edition phone (only 40 will be made) are being released now, a day before the movie's 7 minute prologue is played with IMAX screenings of the latest Mission Impossible.

Each phone has a Live Tile for the movie and has the batman logo etched in the back.

The phones come in a special matching package, as well.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nokia 710 headed to T-Mobile on January 11th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Dec 2011 12:48

Nokia 710 headed to T-Mobile on January 11th T-Mobile is getting the first Nokia Windows Phone 7.5 device to hit the U.S., on January 11th.

The Lumia 710 will sell for just $50 with contract.

Nokia and T-Mobile are having a party tonight to officially announce the product launch.

The Lumia 710 has a 3.7 inch TFT screen, runs on a 1.4 GHz Snapdragon processor, has 512MB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and a 5 MP rear camera.

There is no word on when the flagship Lumia 800 will be headed to he U.S.




AfterDawn: News

Only two more days left for 10 cent Android Market apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Dec 2011 11:32

Only two more days left for 10 cent Android Market apps Here is today's list of 10 cent apps from the Android Market.

Last Tuesday, the Android Market started an excellent promotion, offering 10 days of 10 popular apps for 10 cents.

Android's promotion is in celebration of 10 billion apps being downloaded from the market.

Stronger day for games, today, in my opinion.

List, available now from here or via your Android phone/tablet:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Analyst says Intel is lagging behind in processor technology

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Dec 2011 6:27

Analyst says Intel is lagging behind in processor technology According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gus Richard, Intel is falling behind in the processor market thanks to their failure to compete in the lucrative mobile device segment.

While Intel has continued to concentrate primarily on performance, says Richard, consumer interest has largely shifted to convenience and mobility. As a result, the SoC (System on a Chip) processor has become increasingly important.

In a research note this week he wrote (via CNET):

As an example, there is nothing leading edge about Apple's A5 processor. However, the performance of an iPad is perceived by users as better than a PC. This is because the product has a longer battery life, instant on, and a fast internet connection. The A5 processor is not faster than an Intel processor but instead has a large number of IP blocks that execute different functions with lower power and typically more quickly than a general purpose CPU (Intel).


He also suggested that despite not even manufacturing their own chips, Apple has an advantage over Intel because of the important role software plays in modern chip technology.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

California legislator proposes a program to create free college textbooks

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Dec 2011 5:15

California legislator proposes a program to create free college textbooks New legislation being proposed in California could substantially change the cost of providing textbooks to college students.

The bill would mandate the creation of new textbooks to be offered for 50 different undergraduate courses. Electronic versions of the textbooks readable on computers and mobile devices would be available for no charge, with print versions costing around $20.

The textbooks would all be published under a Creative Commons license.

"There's a clarion call from students and middle class families to make higher education more accessible and affordable," said California Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg. "Open source digital textbooks can bring real relief of nearly $1,000 a year to each college student."

Dr. Larry Green, Lake Tahoe Community College professor already uses a free textbook in some of his classes. He said of his experiences with it:

Choosing to adopt the open digital textbook for my students spares them thousands of dollars in textbook expenses, and the book's academic quality is comparable, if not better, than the pricey versions offered by publishers.




AfterDawn: News

Most smartphone owners use their phones for shopping

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Dec 2011 4:53

Most smartphone owners use their phones for shopping While much of the focus on smartphones revolves around their use for gaming and media consumption, according to a report from Verve Wireless, the majority of smartphone owners also use them for shopping at least once per month.

According to Verve, 81% of smartphone users have purchased at least one product after researching it on their phone and 75% use their phones to find out more about products while they are in a store.

Price comparisons, they say, are the most popular category of shopping related activity, followed by looking up product information and reviews.

Greg Hallinan, Chief Marketing Officer of Verve Wireless said:

The results substantiate what our advertising partners have known for a while, that mobile is an essential part of any retailer's advertising plan. There is a growing demographic of consumers who rely on their mobile device to help them make decisions in the aisles of brick-and-mortar stores as well as while shopping online. The advertiser who meets them there will win the sale.




AfterDawn: News

Apple TV is becoming the top product in a weak market

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 14 Dec 2011 4:27

Apple TV is becoming the top product in a weak market Apple TV may be the most unusual product Apple has produced since Steve Jobs returned to the company in the 1990s. Not unusual as a product, but more in the company's approach to it.

To put it simply, Apple can't seem to figure out how to boost sales to the level of their other products, but they apparently don't want to get rid of it either.

It's not that Apple TV doesn't do well in the market. Market researchers at Strategy Analytics predict Apple's set-top box will be the top selling Internet set-top box this year according to CNET. They say it will account for nearly a third of the market.

That's impressive considering the lead other companies, most notably Roku, had in the market. What's not so impressive is the number of units in question - around 4 million. Many companies would be happy with those numbers. Those companies are not Apple.

Presumably what keeps the Apple TV box around is the assumption many people have that video will ultimately be just another data service. If you buy into that, it's only logical that Apple needs to have a way to leverage that market.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Malicious cloned games dumped from Android Market

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Dec 2011 1:53

Malicious cloned games dumped from Android Market Google purges apps that sent premium SMS messages with victims handsets.

Google has removed several cloned games uploaded by developer Logastrod that included malicious code. Logastrod used popular gaming titles in the attack, presenting them as free downloads from the Android Market.

In reality, when a user downloaded them to an Android device, they started sending SMS messages to premium line numbers, potentially costing the victim a lot of money.

The list of cloned games, according to Sophos, is as follows:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

EC delays Google - Motorola Mobility ruling

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Dec 2011 1:27

EC delays Google - Motorola Mobility ruling EU regulators request more information from Google.

The European Commission, tasked with overseeing and enforcing competition rules in the European market, revealed that it has halted its review of Google's proposed $12.5 billion buyout of Motorola Mobility. The regulators have requested more information from Google.

The deal requires approval from regulators on both sides of the pond, with the Department of Justice in the United States also set to probe it. Google will acquire over 17,000 patents from the deal.

"The European Commission has asked for more information, which is routine, while they review our Motorola Mobility acquisition," a Google spokeswoman said. "We're confident the commission will conclude that this acquisition is good for competition and we'll be working closely and co-operatively with them as they continue their review."

Analysts expect that the European Commission will sign off on the deal, with the only real potential sticky part being concerns over whether Google will favour Motorola Mobility over other manufacturers of smartphones that run the Android operating system.




AfterDawn: News

Indian server linked to Duqu malware

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Dec 2011 1:16

Indian server linked to Duqu malware Symantec leads India to possibly malicious server.

Indian authorities are investigating the server, which Symantec found to be actively communicating with computers infected with Duqu, a mysterious and complex piece of malicious software that experts warn appears to be written with infrastructure targets in mind (power plants etc.)

It became public when Symantec reported it on October 18. A research lab had contacted the security firm over a mysterious computer virus that appeared to be similar to Stuxnet, and which has since been described as a possible successor to Stuxnet.

The Stuxnet malware is widely believed to have wreaked havoc on Iran's nuclear facilities by messing with industrial control systems made by Siemens.

Now the Duqu malware is gaining considerable attention from governments and investigators in the private sector. The Indian server, located in Mumbai, might provide crucial information on the virus. If not enough to give a hint of its origin, it might give a hint of its intent.

Web Werks, which hosted the virtual private server, has made an image and provided it to the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) to analyse.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

EU: Council of Ministers pushes Net Neutrality

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Dec 2011 1:02

EU: Council of Ministers pushes Net Neutrality Pressure put on European Commission.

The Council of Ministers has called for the principles of Net Neutrality - that all traffic on networks be treated equally - to be made into law. The council is pressuring the European Commission to start making moves in that legislative direction.

The Council of the European Union consists of ministers from all 27 member states of the EU. The agenda of the Council determines what minister attends from each state, so anything to do with agricultural policy would dictate that a member states' minister for agriculture attend, for example. The Council acts as a legislative body alongside the European Parliament.

The European Parliament has also heavily backed the concept of Net Neutrality in the past.

The European Commission ordered a study to be carried out by the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (Berec) into abuses of network neutrality, which turned up examples such as ISP's blocking VoIP services, or giving automatic prioritization to its own services.

"EU member states have today called an open internet a priority for national parliaments. Net neutrality has fast become a key cause of our times," Monique Goyens, director general of the European Consumers' Organisation (BEUC), said.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Xbox 360 finally gets YouTube support

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Dec 2011 12:34

Xbox 360 finally gets YouTube support YouTube support finally official on Xbox 360.

Microsoft announced today that more TV entertainment-focused apps are available from Xbox Live, including the long-awaiting support for YouTube content on the Xbox 360 console, something that has been available on the PS3 for years.

Xbox is currently undergoing a makeover with Microsoft working to bring TV and other entertainment content from around the world to Xbox Live. The goal is to morph the Xbox 360 console into a general entertainment hub, and not just have it seen as a video games console.

YouTube is now available through Xbox Live in 24 countries.

Along with the announcement of YouTube support, Microsoft also announced new U.S. content from Verizon FiOS, iHeartRadio, MSNBC.com and TMZ. In Canada, Rogers on Demand content is not available, while in the UK, Xbox Live has gotten content from blinkbox, MSN Video and MUZU.tv

More content will be added by Microsoft this month, and into the new year. More details can be found here.




AfterDawn: News

HTC: ITC postponed ruling in Apple lawsuit

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Dec 2011 12:24

HTC: ITC postponed ruling in Apple lawsuit Trade panel delays final ruling, again.

HTC said on Tuesday that the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) has postponed its final ruling in HTC's lawsuit against Apple. The ITC had scheduled a ruling for December 6, but now is expected to deliver it on Monday, December 19 instead.

The Taiwanese phone maker said there was no reason given for the extra delay in the case. HTC has failed to have injunctions put on Apple products that it claims infringe patents it holds, while it also defends itself from the same allegations.

The case has been seen as a wider dispute between Google and Apple, as some patents in question acquired by HTC from Google. Apple has long stated that Android phones simply copy the iPhone.

It has brought several manufacturers of Android-based devices to court around the world, with the highest profile cases involving Samsung Galaxy-branded tablets and smartphones.




AfterDawn: News

Google Voice extends free U.S. and Canada calls for another year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Dec 2011 12:12

Google Voice extends free U.S. and Canada calls for another year Google has made a welcome announcement today, extending their free calls within the U.S. and Canada Google Voice promotion for another year.

Just weeks before it was set to end, the company has now extended the free calls until the end of 2012.

Notes Group Product Manager Vincent Paquet:

As the holiday season approaches, we're happy to announce that we've extended free domestic calls within the US and Canada for 2012. This is our way of helping you connect with friends and family across the country. And you can still call the rest of the world from Gmail at our insanely low rates.


Google Voice is free with your Gmail account and available via browser, Android, iOS and BlackBerry.




AfterDawn: News

Samaritans want to boost help for suicidal Facebook users

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Dec 2011 12:10

Samaritans want to boost help for suicidal Facebook users Samaritans inspired by U.S. measures.

The charity group says it wants to provide more help to people with suicidal tendencies through Facebook. In March, it partnered with Facebook to setup a system under which the social network is notified by users about messages that cause concern. Facebook would then pass on the details to the Samaritans, who attempt to contact the user by e-mail.

In the United States, Facebook has improved this system, putting potentially suicidal users in direct contact with support workers. Users who feel suicidal can talk to a trained crisis representative through Facebook's PM system, which might feel like a more familiar environment to talk for vulnerable people.

"This is the next stage," Nicola Peckett, head of Samaritans communications, told the BBC.

"We would love to be able to do live chat on Facebook. It is a goal for us. It's just that we don't have the technology or the resources to do it yet."

Lifeline has revealed that it currently deals with about 50 people each day who it became aware of through Facebook.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft seeking TV exec for Xbox Live?

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Dec 2011 11:57

Microsoft seeking TV exec for Xbox Live? Microsoft wants original shows on Xbox Live.

Bloomberg has cited sources with knowledge of Microsoft's plans in reporting that the Redmond-based software giant is head-hunting for a television executive to help with development of original content for Xbox Live.

The move is part of Microsoft's wider efforts to turn the Xbox platform into one of general entertainment, not just associated with gaming. According to Bloomberg's sources, Microsoft hired Tom Schneider of Stratis LLC to conduct the search, and that former NBC executives, Marc Graboff and Jeff Gaspin, were approached.

Microsoft is in the middle of rolling out TV services through Xbox Live with content from partners including Time Warner Inc., HBO, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Sony Corp's Crackle.

Original programming is seen as a way to differentiate the Xbox Live TV services from similar services offered by competitors, including Apple Inc. and Google.




AfterDawn: News

Louis CK's DRM-free experiment is a great success

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Dec 2011 11:40

Louis CK's DRM-free experiment is a great success Earlier this week, the popular comedian Louis CK decided to release his latest film, DRM-free, and for just $5.

"Live at the Beacon Theater," when purchased, could be streamed twice or downloaded and played whenever and wherever you wanted.

The comedian left an initial statement that he understood making the film DRM-free and selling it himself would leave it open for easier piracy, but pleaded for people to buy the movie and not "torrent it."

It appears the experiment has been quite successful, with CK noting today that in just 3 days, the film has already brought in $500,000 in sales.

Here is the full post, taken from his statement here (it is wordy but worth a read for sure):

People of Earth (minus the ones who don't give a shit about this): it's been amazing to conduct this experiment with you. The experiment was: if I put out a brand new standup special at a drastically low price ($5) and make it as easy as possible to buy, download and enjoy, free of any restrictions, will everyone just go and steal it? Will they pay for it? And how much money can be made by an individual in this manner?

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Skype for Android update sends photos, videos

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Dec 2011 11:04

Skype for Android update sends photos, videos Skype announces update to Android app.

Skype 2.6 for Android has been announced, bringing the ability to send photos, videos or files to friends and family from your Android device over Wi-Fi or 3G.

The update also brings optimization for Android devices that are powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 2 chipset, improving battery life and video quality. These improvements will be seen with Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, Motorola XOOM and Acer Iconia Tab.

More Android devices have also been "whitelisted" for video support by Skype's Engineering Team. Latest additions to the list include the HTC Amaze 4G and Motorola DROID RAZR.

"We're excited about these new enhancements, adding even more value to the things you can already do on Skype for Android like video calling, sending and receiving instant messages for free or making phone calls to mobiles and landlines worldwide at great Skype rates." Skype's announcement reads.

"We've brought this out just in time for the upcoming holiday season, so you can share your special moments with your loved ones."

More Info: Skype 2.6 for Android




AfterDawn: News

iTunes launches in Brazil, Latin America

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Dec 2011 10:54

iTunes launches in Brazil, Latin America iTunes launches in 16 new countries.

Apple announced that it has launched an official iTunes store for Brazil. The service includes content from local artists including Ivete Sangalo, Marisa Monte and the digital debut of Roberto Carlos' catalog.

Brazilians also have access to over 20 million songs, and over 1,000 movies to rent or purchase in HD from all major movie studios.

Apple is also bringing the iTunes Store to 15 additional Latin American countries including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.

All music on iTunes comes in iTunes Plus, Apple's DRM-free format with high-quality 256 kbps AAC encoding, while iTunes in the Cloud lets you download your previously purchased iTunes music to all your iOS devices at no additional cost, and new music purchases can be downloaded automatically to all your devices.




AfterDawn: News

Scareware victims to get cut of $8 million pay out

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Dec 2011 10:02

Scareware victims to get cut of $8 million pay out More than 300,000 conned customers entitled to a cut.

Innovative Marketing, responsible for rogue software such as Winfixer, Drive Cleaner, and XP Antivirus, agreed to surrender $8 million to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). More than 300,000 people had been duped into buying the rogue anti-virus and system cleaning applications from the company.

Most customers can expect to get about $20 back from the FTC, but the amount paid out really depends on the level of financial loss in each individual case.

Users duped into installing scareware (or who have it dropped to their system by malware) often use their credit card to pay to remove non-existent threats, or to fix fictitious problems with their computers. The groups responsible for the software have been targeted around the world by Microsoft and law enforcement agencies.

The FTC is now warning that its refund programme might be targeted by rogue elements, who will use it as part of phishing scams. It has reminded the public that it never requires customers to pay money or provide any information before redress checks can be cashed.




AfterDawn: News

Sony 'OtherOS' lawsuit dismissed in U.S.

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Dec 2011 9:37

Sony 'OtherOS' lawsuit dismissed in U.S. Sony won't face more financial hurt from its decision to cut OtherOS through a system update.

A Judge in Northern California has dismissed the remaining charges in a class-action lawsuit against Sony over the removal of the OtherOS functionality from the PS3 console. The Japanese firm cut the OtherOS feature through a system update, citing security concerns.

The lawsuit sought to include all PS3 owners who purchased the console between the launch day, and March 27 of last year. However, most of the initial charges it made against Sony were dropped quickly by the judge.

The lawsuit argued that Sony breached its sale contact by disabling OtherOS.

The judge had allowed the plaintiffs to argue that Sony broke the law by effectively forcing users to choose to install the firmware update and lose OtherOS, or decline the update and lose access to the PlayStation Network, but the judge's decision shows the plaintiffs failed to argue this point successfully.

"The flaw in plaintiffs' analogy is that they are claiming rights not only with respect to the features of the PS3 product, but also to have ongoing access to an Internet service offered by Sony, the PSN," the judge wrote.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Two charged over UK student phishing scam

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Dec 2011 9:27

Two charged over UK student phishing scam Two men charged on fraud offences.

Students on government loan schemes were the target of a phishing scam that duped them into handing over account details to a maliciously crafted website. Phishing refers to the practice of tricking users into handing over personal details or money to a rogue entity.

Last week, the Metropolitan Police arrested six people in connection with the scam. Of the six, two men have now been charged with the crime.

Damola Olatunji, 26, of Hamsterley Avenue, Manchester, and Amos Mwangi, 25, of Rochdale Way, Deptford, London, have been charged with conspiracy to defraud. Some of the students had between 1,000 and 5,000 stolen from them as part of the scam.

Both men have been remanded in custody until February 17, 2012. A total of five others have been bailed until March pending further investigation into their link to the scam.




AfterDawn: News

BT announces major broadband upgrade for Scotland

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Dec 2011 9:20

BT announces major broadband upgrade for Scotland BT will invest 2.4 billion across the UK.

As part of its broadband strategy, BT said it would upgrade 34 exchange areas in Scotland, bringing broadband to 277,000 homes and businesses. The investment will go to parts of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, providing speeds of up to 300 Mbps.

"It marks a major investment in infrastructure, which will give the country a tremendous boost," BT Scotland Director Brendan Dick said. "Next-generation broadband is essential for our nation's economic growth, so it's brilliant to be ending 2011 on such a high note."

UK communication regulator, Ofcom, recently said that the average connection speed across the UK is around 6.8 Mbps, and now BT's new network will be available for up to 685,000 users across the region.




AfterDawn: News

Website tells you what you pirated

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Dec 2011 9:06

Website tells you what you pirated Website tracks your BitTorrent activity.

Youhavedownloaded.com is a website setup to show what files have been downloaded using BitTorrent trackers by a specific IP address. The site claims to have almost 53 million "users" in its database, from 113,200 tracked torrents containing almost 2 million files.

When you visit the website, it will check you IP address automatically and present you with files it knows you downloaded. If it doesn't have your IP address in its database, then it will simply say, "Hi. We have no records on you."

If you have a friends' IP address, you can check to see if it knows any of their downloads. It even offers a widget for your website, blog or Facebook page that you can use to annoy your friends.

You can search any IP address, torrent hash or filename for results, or you can snoop on randomly-presented IP addresses that are in the database.

This won't go down too well for heavy torrent users who would rather keep their activities private, but it does raise questions about how easy it is to track this kind of information across BitTorrent trackers and other sources.




AfterDawn: News

New iPads due in 3-4 months, says report

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Dec 2011 8:54

New iPads due in 3-4 months, says report OEM contractors receiving new parts.

According to a DigiTimes report, Apple will make its next generation iPad available within about three or four months. The report cited sources in the supply chain, as OEM contractors are being sent new parts and components for the next iPad.

OEM production of the next iPad is expected to reach between 9.5 million and 9.8 million units in Q1 2012. Through 2011, Apple hopes to sell over 40 million iPads, having passed the 25 million mark after the first three quarters of the year.

Production of the iPad 2 tablet will remain high with about 14-15 million units in Q4 2011, but will drop to between 4-5 million in Q1 2012. Foxconn is set to begin production of the next generation iPad in January.




AfterDawn: News

C Spire, Sprint lawsuits against AT&T gets delayed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Dec 2011 5:10

C Spire, Sprint lawsuits against AT&T gets delayed U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle has delayed C Spire and Sprint's lawsuits against the proposed AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

The same judge delayed the Justice Department's lawsuit against AT&T, as well.

Proceedings will continue on January 18th.

AT&T is still weighing its options, but the $39 billion proposed deal is likely going to fail, due to the overwhelming support against it.

If the deal does not close, AT&T owes Deutsche Telekom $8 billion dollars in cash and spectrum as a break-up fee.




AfterDawn: News

VisionMobile: Android is the least open open-source project

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Dec 2011 4:33

VisionMobile: Android is the least open open-source project VisionMobile's latest 'The Open Governance Index' report has called Android the "most closed" open source platform.

The report looked into Android, Qt, Symbian, MeeGo, Mozilla, WebKit, Linux and Eclipse, with Android coming in last and Qt coming in first.

Reads the report:

Android ranks as the most closed project, with an Open Governance Index of 23%, yet at the same time is one of the most successful projects in the history of open source. Is Android proof that open governance is not needed to warrant success in an open source project?"


VisionMobile then suggests that Android became popular thanks to the financial backing of its creator, Google:

Google has made Android available at 'less than zero' cost, since Google's core business is not software or search, but driving eyeballs to ads. As is now well understood, Google's strategy has been to subsidize Android such that it can deliver cheap handsets and low-cost wireless Internet access in order to drive more eyeballs to Google?s ad inventory.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple founding documents snatch $1.59 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Dec 2011 3:53

Apple founding documents snatch $1.59 million The three type-written pages that are Apple's founding documents have sold for $1.59 million today at Sotheby's.

On April 1st, 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne all signed the documents which are headlined "Apple Computer Company Partnership Agreement."

No one has heard of Wayne because he withdrew as a partner just 10 days into the new company, losing a 10 percent share of the company that is now worth over $350 billion.

Wayne, later in life, said of his decision: "If I'd stayed with them, I was going to wind up the richest man in the cemetery."

Pencom Systems CEO Wade Saadi is the current owner of the documents.

Sotheby's says the winner was a phone bidder. The anticipated sale price was $150,000.




AfterDawn: News

Intel to see lower revenue due to HDD supply issues

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Dec 2011 3:22

Intel to see lower revenue due to HDD supply issues Intel has said this week that hard drive shortages caused by the major flooding in Thailand will lead to lowered revenue for the company in the coming quarter.

The floods in the nation have shut down factories, killed hundreds of citizens, and caused billions in losses for companies.

Additionally, the lack of supply has lead to a huge cost for consumers, where the average hard drive now sports a price 80-100 percent higher than before the floods.

Says Intel SVP Tom Kilroy (Reuters):

In the last two weeks, as the supply became more apparent, we saw a substantial change in our order rate. Most of our customers are concerned the shortage will continue -- especially through the early part of the first quarter.


Last month, Seagate noted that it expects prices to continue to go up and the supply chain to remain disrupted until 2013.




AfterDawn: News

FBI denies FOIA request for their use of Carrier IQ

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Dec 2011 2:03

FBI denies FOIA request for their use of Carrier IQ Carrier IQ, the much maligned rootkit installed on over 140 million smartphones around the globe, is back in the news today, but this time with potentially even more dire consequences than the past.

Michael Morisy, a journalist who founded an organization called MuckRock, requested knowledge of what the FBI was doing with the Carrier IQ data via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) but was completely denied by the agency.

Carrier IQ has the ability to record every keystroke, search item, and phone call made from the device, so seeing if our government is using the data to spy on citizens is of paramount interest to everyone.

The FBI says any data they received from Carrier IQ "is exempt from disclosure laws" because it is part of a file "compiled for law enforcement purposes" and "could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings."

Carrier IQ, for their part, has responded that the company has not provided any info to the FBI. However, that data could have been acquired via the wireless carriers that use the software, as well.




AfterDawn: News

Apple reduces rates to attract more mobile advertisers

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 13 Dec 2011 5:42

Apple reduces rates to attract more mobile advertisers When Apple introduced iAd with the iPhone 4 it was hailed as their answer to Google's AdMob. Both services provide in-app advertising for mobile devices.

But according to the Wall Street Journal, Apple's pricing and strict control over ad content have relegated iAd to third place in the mobile ad space, behind both Google and Millenial Media.

However, The Journal reports, they are trying to change that with new pricing options and free mobile marketing training. The biggest change is reportedly in the cost per tap and minimum spending level.

Advertisers will continue to pay $2 per tap, but the cost will be capped now. Just as importantly, rather than requiring a minimum commitment of $500,000, advertisers will be able to spend just $400,000. This amount had already been reduced from the initial requirement of $1 million when the platform first launched.

Apple is also offering marketers training sessions in their Cupertino, California headquarters. Advertisers meet with designers and product teams to learn more about creating ads suitable for Apple devices.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

European Commission postpones decision on Google's Motorola purchase

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 13 Dec 2011 5:10

European Commission postpones decision on Google's Motorola purchase The European Commission has temporarily suspended their review of Google's plan to buy Motorola Mobility.

The deal to purchase Motorola's mobile devices and set-top box division for $12.5 billion was announced in August. Before it can be finalized regulators from both the US and EU will have to sign off on it.

According to Bloomberg, a spokeswoman for the commission told them the delay is to allow more time to get more documents related to the deal. Their review was originally expected to be completed early next January.

Google's Al Verney wrote in an email (via Bloomberg):

We're confident the commission will conclude that this acquisition is good for competition and we'll be working closely and cooperatively with them as they continue their review.


The acquisition is also being scrutinized by the US Justice Department who also requested more information in September.




AfterDawn: News

Wikipedia may stage a protest against SOPA

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 13 Dec 2011 4:29

Wikipedia may stage a protest against SOPA Wikipedia co-founder Jim Wales has posted a straw poll asking whether there is support for a "community strike" to get the word out about SOPA.

The idea was prompted by a similar action taken previously on the Italian Wikipedia homepage to protest a law which could potentially have forced that page to shut down permanently or risk massive fines any time someone felt their image was harmed by the site.

Last Friday Wales wrote:

A few months ago, the Italian Wikipedia community made a decision to blank all of Italian Wikipedia for a short period in order to protest a law which would infringe on their editorial independence. The Italian Parliament backed down immediately. As Wikipedians may or may not be aware, a much worse law going under the misleading title of "Stop Online Piracy Act' is working its way through Congress on a bit of a fast track. I may be attending a meeting at the White House on Monday (pending confirmation on a couple of fronts) along with executives from many other top Internet firms, and I thought this would be a good time to take a quick reading of the community feeling on this issue. My own view is that a community strike was very powerful and successful in Italy and could be even more powerful in this case. There are obviously many questions about whether the strike should be geotargetted (US-only), etc. (One possible view is that because the law would seriously impact the functioning of Wikipedia for everyone, a global strike of at least the English Wikipedia would put the maximum pressure on the US government.) At the same time, it's of course a very very big deal to do something like this, it is unprecedented for English Wikipedia.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Steve Ballmer appoints a new Windows Phone division head

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 13 Dec 2011 1:34

Steve Ballmer appoints a new Windows Phone division head Despite committing a huge amount of money and lining up big name partners to produce high profile handsets, Microsoft has been unable to turn Windows Phone into a serious competitor.

CEO Steve Ballmer has largely downplayed the platforms poor sales as normal growing pains, but it appears he's not as confident as his public demeanor would suggest.

Yesterday The Seattle Times reported a shakeup within the company as Terry Myerson was promoted to head the Windows Phone division, replacing Andy Lees.

It's not clear if Lees is getting a demotion since Ballmer sent out a somewhat cryptic internal memo stating he would be in "a new role working for me on a time-critical opportunity focused on driving maximum impact in 2012 with Windows Phone and Windows 8."




AfterDawn: News

AT&T / T-Mobile antitrust case on hold as they decide whether to give up on buyout

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 13 Dec 2011 1:05

AT&T / T-Mobile antitrust case on hold as they decide whether to give up on buyout The US Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit to block AT&T's acquisition of T-Mobile has been put on hold as the two companies regroup to decide whether to give up on the deal.

The deal, which would make AT&T the largest US mobile carrier. Over the last few months, many different parties, including competing national and regional wireless companies, public interest groups, the FCC, and the DOJ have come out in opposition to the deal.

AT&T hasn't helped their case with numerous statements which appear to be directly contradicted by their own government filings and statements to shareholders.

Howard University School Of Law Professor Andrew Gavil characterized the deal as finished, although not necessarily the end of the road for the buyout. He said (via Bloomberg):

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nook Color gets biggest software update yet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Dec 2011 11:22

Nook Color gets biggest software update yet Barnes & Noble has rolled out the latest software update for the Nook Color tablet/e-reader, which it promises is the biggest, ever.

You can either update your device manually or have it OTA in the next few weeks (if you are connected to Wi-Fi).

The biggest part of the update is the addition of streaming video, via Netflix and Flixster apps.

Nook Colors will eventually get Hulu Plus, like their more expensive brother the Nook Tablet.

Finally, the update will bring Nook Comics, which has the "largest collection of Marvel graphic novels."




AfterDawn: News

AdBlock Plus to stop, um, blocking all ads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Dec 2011 10:44

AdBlock Plus to stop, um, blocking all ads The popular browser extension AdBlock Plus is likely to lose a large number of its fans soon.

Instead of blocking all ads like intended, the app will now allow "acceptable ads" to load.

The qualifications have not been finalized, but here is what we know so far for "acceptable ads," via digitizor:

Static advertisements only (no animations, sounds or similar)

Preferably text only, no attention-grabbing images

At most one script that will delay page load (in particular, only a single DNS request)


Of course, you can still add those ads to blocked lists, but they won't be the default anymore.




AfterDawn: News

'Steve Jobs' is the top-selling book of 2011 on Amazon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Dec 2011 10:00

'Steve Jobs' is the top-selling book of 2011 on Amazon Walter Isaacson's biography of the recently deceased Steve Jobs rocketed to the top of Amazon's best-selling book list and stayed there.

The book was released in late October following the death of the former CEO and founder of Apple.

Amazon's list includes digital and print copies.

Perhaps more notably were the books that came in 4th and 9th, each of which was published through Amazon's excellent Kindle Direct Publishing and therefore did not have print editions.

Full list (via LAT):

1. "Steve Jobs" by Walter Isaacson

2. "Bossypants" by Tina Fey

3. "A Stolen Life" by Jaycee Dugard

4. "The Mill River Recluse" by Darcie Chan

5. "In the Garden of the Beasts" by Erik Larson

6. "A Dance with Dragons" by George R.R. Martin

7. "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain

8. "The Litigators" by John Grisham

9. "The Abbey" by Chris Culver

10. "Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle)" by Christopher Paolini




AfterDawn: News

Legislators want your input on OPEN, an alternative to SOPA

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 12 Dec 2011 9:12

Legislators want your input on OPEN, an alternative to SOPA Two US legislators, Senator Ron Wyden and Representative Darrell Issa, have fashioned an alternative to SOPA and PIPA, the draconian anti-piracy bills being pushed through the two houses. Their proposal is called the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act, or OPEN for short.

Rather than taking the draft of their bill straight to Congress, the two men have decided to offer it up for online discussion first. You can find the full text of the first draft below or on a new website dedicated to the discussion.

While their proposal does address most of the worst aspects of SOPA and PIPA, that mostly serves to highlight how bad the least troubling parts of those bills are. Here are some of the highlights.

The Good

  • The straight censorship requirements of SOPA and PIPA are gone. There's nothing about DNS blocking or purging a website from search engine results.

  • There is no right of private action. Under SOPA, a private company would be able to force advertisers to stop paying an accused website operator without ever going to court. Under OPEN, only the International Trade Commission (ITC) would be empowered to order that.

  • The term 'dedicated to infringement' is narrowly defined as having "only limited purpose or use other than engaging in infringing activity and whose owner or operator primarily uses the site to willfully engage in infringing activity." Likewise, infringing activity is specifically defined as violations of the existing copyright and trademark provisions of federal law.

  • US based companies may not be targeted.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

BBC releases 3G iPlayer app for iPhone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Dec 2011 8:56

BBC releases 3G iPlayer app for iPhone BBC has expanded its iPlayer app to work on iPhones, and over 3G.

The company says the app will work with all of the UK's 3G mobile networks.

For the time being, the Android version of the app only works over Wi-Fi but the Beeb says it is working on updating the software for 3G.

Some analysts are worried the move will put strain on the carriers, which may lead to reduced service for users that aren't even using the streaming service:

One potential danger is that people are going to run up unexpectedly high data bills, and the other is the strain that this is going to put on the system if a lot of people start streaming in this way.

The system would default to prioritise voice calls, so it wouldn't affect voice calls, but it would mean that people would be unable to use their data services.


BBC for its part says "we have included a cost warning message in the BBC iPlayer app to ensure people are aware of their tariffs."




AfterDawn: News

Major Kindle Fire update coming to address customer complaints

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 12 Dec 2011 6:42

Major Kindle Fire update coming to address customer complaints From the time Amazon started taking orders for their Kindle Fire tablet earlier this year, it has looked like a runaway hit with consumers. Before the first customer got a single tablet in his hands, sales were estimated at over a million units.

While Amazon may not have the brand name appeal of Apple or the screen size of the iPad, the $199 pricetag and generally impressive technical specs have proven to be major motivators for consumers.

As people have started using the new device, some of the luster seems to be wearing off a little. While it has received a lot of four and five star reviews on the Amazon website (more than 3,000 in all), the number of one and two star reviews (more than 1,000) is also notable.

An Amazon spokesman recently told the New York Times the company has an update in the works which should address many of the problems, including performance, multitouch functionality, and an inability to lock the screen.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Leaked report says LightSquared network still failing government tests

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 12 Dec 2011 5:15

Leaked report says LightSquared network still failing government tests Despite assurances to the contrary from LightSquared, it looks like the latest government testing of their proposed LTE data network aren't convincing government regulators to let them start operating any time soon.

LightSquared's plan to offer wholesale mobile data service has been in limbo ever since receiving conditional approval from the FCC. Their problems stem from the use of frequencies in a range normally limited to satellite communication.

Until the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) is satisfied their signal won't interfere with the operation of high precision GPS equipment, which use an adjacent frequency band, they won't be allowed to turn on their service.

A previous round of testing performed by the NTIA and Department Of Defense, who uses some of the problematic GPS equipment, was an overwhelming failure. The resulting hearings led to charges of political cronyism as it appeared President Obama tried to push through FCC approval without the necessary testing.

According to a new report from Businessweek, who claims to have a leaked copy of the results from the latest round of testing, LightSquared hasn't managed to fix their problems yet. They say a report on the tests, set to be presented to various government officials this week, says the service will still interfere with the vast majority of GPS systems.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Spotify's new Internet radio feature could be Pandora's worst nightmare

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 12 Dec 2011 4:06

Spotify's new Internet radio feature could be Pandora's worst nightmare Spotify has introduced their take on Internet radio for users of their new app enabled client.

To use the new feature you will need to be running the preview version of their software which adds support for Spotify Apps. When you look at an artist page in Spotify, you will be presented with an option to 'Start Artist Radio.'

Spotify Start Artist Radio button


Alternatively, you can use the Radio link on the left side to access an Internet radio station you've already created or stations created by others. There are also pre-configured stations available for various genres.

In some ways this may be the most interesting part of Spotify's service, simply because their license agreements with labels give them much broader streaming rights than other Internet radio providers.

Spotify Artist Radio

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Modern Warfare 3 hits $1 billion in revenue

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Dec 2011 3:48

Modern Warfare 3 hits $1 billion in revenue Activision has announced today that its blockbuster smash hit Modern Warfare 3 has surpassed $1 billion in revenue, and it only took the game 16 days to do so.

The milestone was hit one day quicker than it took "Avatar," the most profitable movie of all time, to reach $1 billion in sales.

CEO Bobby Kotick notes:

Engagement of our Call of Duty audience continues to rise around the world. Call of Duty as an entertainment franchise has made an indelible mark on popular culture and its broad and continued success is further validation that audiences increasingly value interactive experiences over passive experiences.

Call of Duty is now amongst that rarified group of sustained franchises like "Star Wars", "Harry Potter", "Lord of the Rings" and the National Football League (NFL) that attract or engage tens of millions of people every year or every new release.


Concludes Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing:

Call of Duty has become that rare entertainment franchise that transcends its own genre. Core gamers love it, as our stellar reviews show. But every year, new people are drawn into Call of Duty. And while the franchise continues to set records, our fans still seem to want more, demonstrated by our record setting start on Call of Duty Elite. We are committed to helping everyone connect, compete and improve their game, Call of Duty style.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft makes Silverlight 5 available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Dec 2011 3:06

Microsoft makes Silverlight 5 available Microsoft has released Silverlight 5 today, the latest version of the plug-in/

The software giant explains the new features:

New features in Silverlight 5 include Hardware Decode of H.264 media, which provides a significant performance improvement with decoding of unprotected content using the GPU; Postscript Vector Printing to improve output quality and file size; and an improved graphics stack with 3D support that uses the XNA API on the Windows platform to gain low-level access to the GPU for drawing vertex shaders and low-level 3D primitives.

In addition, Silverlight 5 extends the ?Trusted Application? model to the browser for the first time. These features, when enabled via a group policy registry key and an application certificate, mean users won?t need to leave the browser to perform complex tasks such as multiple window support, full trust support in browser including COM and file system access, in browser HTML hosting within Silverlight, and P/Invoke support for existing native code to be run directly from Silverlight.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Members of Congress start digging for details of blog seizure

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 12 Dec 2011 2:27

Members of Congress start digging for details of blog seizure At least two US legislators are taking the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to task for the events surrounding the seizure and eventual return of a hip hop blog as part of Operation In Our Sites.

While US Attorney General Eric Holder was testifying before the House Of Representatives' Judiciary Committee regarding a sting operation to catch gun smugglers, Representative Zoe Lofgren took the opportunity to ask for details about the seizure of the Dajaz1.com domain name by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The domain name was seized a year ago by ICE (read the order below), who claimed operators of the popular blog were guilty of criminal copyright infringement. Despite the fact federal seizure laws require the government to either return property after 90 days or take forfeiture action, the domain name was returned a full year later with the agency admitting there was no justification for a criminal complaint.

According to a report from Techdirt, during that time the government repeatedly told lawyers representing the blog's administrator they had filed for extensions to the initial 90 day seizure period, but at no time was the accused given notice of the hearings, and in fact his lawyers weren't even allowed to see the extension orders the government claimed were issued.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

The 12/12 list of 10 cent Android Market apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Dec 2011 2:07

The 12/12 list of 10 cent Android Market apps Here is today's list of 10 cent apps from the Android Market.

On Tuesday, the Android Market started an excellent promotion, offering 10 days of 10 popular apps for 10 cents.

Android's promotion is in celebration of 10 billion apps being downloaded from the market.

Kind of a weak list today, in my opinion (but please don't let that discourage you).

List, available now from here or via your Android phone/tablet:


Doodle Jump
SoundHound ∞
Roll in the Hole Other Locale: Roll in the Hole
Flick Soccer
Flight Control
Beautiful Widgets
Blow Up
Block Breaker 3 Unlimited HD
When I Get Bigger
SUPER KO BOXING! 2





AfterDawn: News

Mac App Store hits 100 million apps sold

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Dec 2011 2:03

Mac App Store hits 100 million apps sold Apple has just announced that the 100 millionth app has been downloaded from their Mac App Store, 11 months after launch.

The store, which launched on January 6th, sold 1 million apps in its first day of availability and has seen a fast pace since.

While the number is large, by comparison the iOS App Store hit 100 million downloads in 54 days and is now above 15 billion downloaded.

Says Apple:

In just three years the App Store changed how people get mobile apps, and now the Mac App Store is changing the traditional PC software industry. With more than 100 million downloads in less than a year, the Mac App Store is the largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world.




AfterDawn: News

Galaxy Nexus goes on sale in Canada

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Dec 2011 9:42

Galaxy Nexus goes on sale in Canada The Galaxy Nexus is now available in Canada, making it available (or planned) pretty much everywhere but the U.S.

Bell and Virgin Mobile have the device available for $160 with contract.

Verizon has not yet set a release date or price for the Android 4.0-packing smartphone, which was expected to launch in mid-November but has been delayed.

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.

Additionally, the phone has LTE/HSPA+ support and NFC for Verizon's ISIS payment system.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon Kindle Touch jailbroken

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Dec 2011 8:56

Amazon Kindle Touch jailbroken Developer Yifan Lu has jailbroken the new Amazon Kindle Touch.

The jailbreak tool will not require you to use advanced techniques as it is just an MP3 file.

Because the Touch operating systems uses more HTML than Java, devs/hackers say it is easier to exploit, at least for now.

While there are no uses, yet, for jailbreaking the device, it will likely not take long before homebrew apps are available that allow for the playback of non-Amazon files, and more, like custom ROMS (potentially).




AfterDawn: News

iPhone 4S headed to China

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Dec 2011 8:04

iPhone 4S headed to China Beijing has finally approved the Apple smartphone.

In China, before a device can be allowed onto Chinese networks, it must first be approved by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

With the new approval, China Unicom should begin selling the device soon, although the carrier has not provided a timeline except to say "this month."

The approved model is compatible with GSM, WCDMA, HSDPA / HSUPA, Bluetooth, and WAPI (WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure), says MIC.

China Unicom will sell the smartphone for 4999 yuan ($790 USD) without contract.




AfterDawn: News

The 12/11 list of 10 cent Android Market apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Dec 2011 7:48

The 12/11 list of 10 cent Android Market apps Here is today's list of 10 cent apps from the Android Market.

On Tuesday, the Android Market started an excellent promotion, offering 10 days of 10 popular apps for 10 cents.

Android's promotion is in celebration of 10 billion apps being downloaded from the market.

List, available now from here or via your Android phone/tablet:


Captain America - Sentinel of Liberty
Raging Thunder
NFL 3D Live Wallpaper
Backbreaker Football
Jenga
Just Me and My Mom
BackStab HD
Sim City Deluxe
Edmondo Sports Tracker
GLWG





AfterDawn: News

$99 TouchPad sale on eBay is live

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Dec 2011 7:17

$99 TouchPad sale on eBay is live HP has put their refurb TouchPads on sale on eBay for $99 + $19 shipping.

Over 2000 have already been sold.

Go now: HP TouchPad Wi-Fi 16GB Refurbished | FB355UAR#ABA

Original Article:

On Sunday, starting at 6 PM Central Time, HP will be selling refurbished 16GB and 32GB TouchPads on their eBay store.
The devices will sell for $99 and $149 just like they did on the firesale days of a few months ago.

Additionally, the company will be selling a $79 accessory bundle which has the wireless keyboard, charging dock and a case.

There is only a 90-day warranty on the devices and sales are final, no returns. Users can only buy 2 per eBay account.

The tablets will be available at http://stores.ebay.com/hewlettpackard.




AfterDawn: News

Louis CK selling his latest movie DRM-Free, for $5, asks people not to steal it

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Dec 2011 3:04

Louis CK selling his latest movie DRM-Free, for $5, asks people not to steal it Popular comedian Louis CK has decided to release his latest film, DRM-free, and for just $5.

When you pay, you can stream the movie twice or download it and own it forever, with no DRM.

The comedian does ask that people not steal his film, "Live at the Beacon Theater," and hopefully fans do not.

Says CK (via Crunch):

To those who might wish to 'torrent' this video: look, I don't really get the whole 'torrent' thing. I don't know enough about it to judge either way. But I'd just like you to consider this: I made this video extremely easy to use against well-informed advice. I was told that it would be easier to torrent the way I made it, but I chose to do it this way anyway, because I want it to be easy for people to watch and enjoy this video in any way they want without 'corporate' restrictions.

Please bear in mind that I am not a company or a corporation. I'm just some guy. I paid for the production and posting of this video with my own money. I would like to be able to post more material to the fans in this way, which makes it cheaper for the buyer and more pleasant for me. So, please help me keep this being a good idea. I can't stop you from torrenting; all I can do is politely ask you to pay your five little dollars, enjoy the video, and let other people find it in the same way.




AfterDawn: News

HP not giving up on webOS hardware

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Dec 2011 2:43

HP not giving up on webOS hardware HP has said it will not quit the webOS hardware business, although they would not put a roadmap on any future devices.

Even though the company said earlier in the year it was moving out of the webOS hardware business, new CEO Meg Whitman is going a different direction.

Says Whitman:

The answer to that is yes but what I can't tell you is whether that will be in 2012 or not. We will use webOS in new hardware, but it's just going to take us a little longer to reorganize the team in a quite different direction than we've been taking it in the past.


Whitman says tablets are a possibility.




AfterDawn: News

Apple to still build 2 million iPhone 3GS this quarter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Dec 2011 2:19

Apple to still build 2 million iPhone 3GS this quarter According to Digi, Apple's manufacturing partners are expected to build around 2 million iPhone 3GS this quarter.

This number is certainly significant since the phone was launched 30 months ago and has since been succeeded by the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.

The report notes that after this holiday season, production will begin winding down to 1.5 million units in the Q1 2012.

Furthermore, Apple will look to wind down production of the CDMA iPhone 4 from 1 million units this quarter to just 500,000 next quarter.

The CDMA iPhone 4 is sold by Verizon and Sprint in the U.S.




AfterDawn: News

Sex Ed game wins Bafta award

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Dec 2011 12:29

Sex Ed game wins Bafta award STD destruction game wins award.

"Privates" is a video game that features cartoon soldiers wearing condom-like hats fighting off enemies, such as sperm, with lasers. It was designed to teach teenagers about sexually transmitted diseases, and it picked itself up a Bafta award in the UK in the secondary school education category in late November.

"I was completely and utterly gobsmacked," said Dan Marshall, of developer Size Five Games in Norbiton, which was commissioned to develop the video game. "I had managed to convince myself there was no chance Privates would win so when it did I was simply dumbfounded."

They tried to get the game made available on Xbox Live, but unfortunately its content broke the rules that games have to adhere to. "The original design document broke a vast number of Xbox's rules," Marshall said.

"I sent a copy to the very nice people at Xbox, who loved it, but decided that the rules needed to hold steady."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung handset sales pass 300 million in 2011

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Dec 2011 12:03

Samsung handset sales pass 300 million in 2011 Samsung sets new smartphone milestone.

The world's second largest mobile handset maker (by volume) announced on Sunday that it had set a new company milestone when annual sales of its mobile handsets passed 300 million units for the first time.

"We look forward to extending this success going into 2012," JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung's Mobile Communications Business, was quoted as saying.

In 2010, Samsung's entire annual handset sales reached 280 million units.

The company has said that its Galaxy S smartphone series contributed significantly to the results.




AfterDawn: News

Windows Phone Mango supports NFC

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Dec 2011 11:41

Windows Phone Mango supports NFC Handset manufacturers have NFC capabilities in WP Mango.

Microsoft has confirmed that Windows Phone 7.5 Mango includes support for near-field communications, and that it is up to handset manufacturers when they want to use it.

"As far as I'm aware, NFC is supported by [Windows Phone], but needs to be enabled by the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). So, if any OEM wants to enable it, that can be done by all means." Will Coleman, product manager at Microsoft UK, told TechRadar.

"Think it's about just about timing, in the not too distant future there are some exciting things that will be coming through with NFC from Microsoft."

Nokia said previously that it did not have time to implement NFC in its first Windows Phone devices, the Lumia 800 and Lumia 710 smartphones.




AfterDawn: News

Indonesian government threatens BlackBerry Messenger ban

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Dec 2011 11:24

Indonesian government threatens BlackBerry Messenger ban Indonesian regulator cites "security concerns."

Indonesia's BTRI, the communications regulator, has told the Jakarta Post that it may have to ban BlackBerry Messenger and Internet services in the country, saying the data exchanged is "not safe."

Of course, this is simply not true, and the real point of contention for the Indonesian regulator is RIM's refusal to locate a BBM server within the country. As things stand, all messages sent and received using BlackBerry Messenger are handled by Canadian RIM servers.

The information is also encrypted, protecting it from prying eyes. This strong data protection system is one of the main reasons BlackBerry's have been a corporate success.

Saudi Arabia and India made threats of blocking the BBM service in the countries because RIM would not put BBM servers in them. Even if they did, the governments still couldn't decrypt the information without getting the key from the account holders' handsets.

RIM has complied with orders to hand over data in the past, but maintains it does not have the ability to monitor or view private messages.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

YouTube updates Video Manager

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Dec 2011 10:41

YouTube updates Video Manager YouTube makes changes to its Video Manager tools.

The Google-owned online video giant posted some information on the changes made to the Video Manager on its blog. The updated Video Manager gets some new features that'll help you handle all your videos.

Some of the highlights of the changes made by YouTube include:

  • Simplified top and left navigation bars to help you get to the tools you need more quickly
  • Icons to indicate privacy status, if monetization is enabled and scheduled publish status
  • Badges to indicate whether videos are HD, Creative Commons and/or captioned
  • A new look that's consistent with YouTube's fresh coat of digital paint
YouTube also updated its suite of editing tools and improved the navigation used to get between these tools.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Windows Defender Offline Beta tackles nasty malware

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Dec 2011 10:30

Windows Defender Offline Beta tackles nasty malware Windows Defender Offline Beta targets rootkits and other hard-to-kill infections.

Microsoft's free Windows Defender products are aimed at keeping Windows computers malware-free. Like all security products, it is engaged in a cat and mouse game with malware cooks, who will always be a step or two ahead of the white hat efforts.

The worst types of malware infections, such as rootkits or bootkits (how to remove a bootkit), are difficult for security protects to exterminate because the infection targets the very core of the operation system, capable of intercepting and blocking/altering low level system calls.

These variants are written specifically to thwart efforts to locate and remove them (or even to act as an anti-virus against rival malware), and once booted into the system they can be extremely difficult to get rid of. A long-standing solution for these problems is to attempt removal before the operating system boots.

Some popular security products, such as Avast! Free AntiVirus, have boot-time scan abilities built in, but in order to set a boot-time scan, you actually have to be able to run the Avast utility and enable it. Even if you do enable it, malware can simply change the BootExecute, or any other registry key to prevent such scans being loaded on boot.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Juror tweets lead to overturning of murder conviction

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Dec 2011 10:01

Juror tweets lead to overturning of murder conviction Arkansas Supreme Court overturns murder conviction of death row inmate.

Erickson Dimas-Martinez was convicted of murder last year for killing and robbing 17-year-old Derrick Jefferson in 2006. He received the death penalty for the crime, and was awaiting execution by lethal injection on death row.

However, Arkansas Supreme Court judges have had to overturn the conviction due to inappropriate tweeting by a juror while the trial was ongoing. Juror Randy Franco had posted several musings to Twitter during the trial. "Choices to be made. Hearts to be broken... We each define the great line," one of his tweets read.

Dimas-Martinez' lawyers had appealed against the conviction as the judge had instructed the jury not to post comments on the Internet, or discuss the case using their mobile devices in court. The judge scalded Mr Franco about his actions shortly after becoming aware of them.

"I'm waiting for the other 11 to [jurors] to help me come to a conclusion... I have not seen death in my life, like, firsthand. So the talk of death is a little uncomfortable just because it's an unknown - it's an unknown area for me," Mr Franco told the judge.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Judge sceptical of AT&T's focus on DoJ trial

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Dec 2011 9:41

Judge sceptical of AT&T's focus on DoJ trial U.S. judge sceptical of AT&T's reasoning for focusing on DoJ court case.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Friday that it would move to stay or dismiss its lawsuit aiming to halt the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA, citing the carriers' decision to withdraw an application for approval from the Federal Communication Commission.

The DoJ's lead attorney in the case, Joseph Wayland, told U.S. district judge Ellen Huvelle that the DoJ doesn't consider it a real transaction until both companies file with the FCC for approval.

AT&T and Deutsche Telekom had hoped to focus only on the Department of Justice case for now. If both companies won in court, they would then refile with the FCC. The communications regulator moved in November to send the proposed merger to an administrative judge, widely seen as disapproval of the deal. The FCC confirmed its stance with the release of a damning staff report that dismissed the competition and economic claims made by AT&T to regulators when seeking approval.

AT&T's attorney Mark Hansen told Judge Huvelle that the issues being raised by the DoJ and the FCC are basically the same, saying that if they won the case in court, they would later refile with the FCC from a position of strength.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Radio Shack to discount iPhones tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Dec 2011 12:14

Radio Shack to discount iPhones tomorrow Starting tomorrow, struggling retailer Radio Shack is preparing to discount the AT&T models of the iPhone 4 and 4S.

Each will see a $29 discount, bringing the small capacity iPhone 4s to just $69.99 with contract.

Radio Shack says they still have many iPhone 4 in stock, and obviously a large supply of the new 4S.

The 4S will sell for $169.99 at 16GB and $369.99 at 64GB, as expected.

Each phone requires a 2-year contract commitment with AT&T but the phones are cheaper than many high-end Android rivals.

Pic via BGR.




AfterDawn: News

Sharp expects to sell over 1 million big screen TVs in NA

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Dec 2011 11:26

Sharp expects to sell over 1 million big screen TVs in NA Sharp has noted this week that it expects to sell over 1 million big screen TVs (60" and up) in North America for the fiscal year ended March 31st.

Furthermore, the company expects sales to continue to grow going forward.

Adds Kozo Takahashi, head of the company's operations in the Americas:

With only four months to go it looks as though we will make the 1 million mark in the U.S. alone. We expect that number to grow in the next fiscal year.


Sharp is one of the largest competitors in Japan but sales of LCD TVs in Japan are expected to fall significantly in the next few years as the country reaches saturation.




AfterDawn: News

Texting and driving becoming an epidemic

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Dec 2011 10:18

Texting and driving becoming an epidemic According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, texting while driving keeps increasing, most notably among younger drivers.

50 percent of American drivers between 21-24 have admitted to emailing or texting while driving, even though it is illegal in 35 states.

The study says in 2010 there were 3092 deaths caused by driver distractions that included texting and eating meals.

Additionally, the agency stakes out intersections and manually tallies how many distracted drivers they see, and that number jumped to 1 in every 100 in 2010.

Overall, the study of 6000, showed that 20 percent of those who responded would answer a phone call or would send a text while driving.

55 percent said distracted driving made no difference to their driving, but 90 percent said when they were passengers they felt unsafe if the driver was distracted.

Despite doing so themselves, most of those surveyed were all for banning handheld electronics in the car or steep fines above $100.




AfterDawn: News

The 12/10 list of 10 cent Android Market apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Dec 2011 5:41

The 12/10 list of 10 cent Android Market apps Here is today's list of 10 cent apps from the Android Market.

On Tuesday, the Android Market started an excellent promotion, offering 10 days of 10 popular apps for 10 cents.

Android's promotion is in celebration of 10 billion apps being downloaded from the market.

List, available now from here or via your Android phone/tablet:

Pano
Apparatus
The Sims 3
Age of Zombies
Drop7 by Zynga
Season Zen HD
Snowfall Live Wallpaper
SlidelT Keyboard
Kids Connect the Dots
Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD





AfterDawn: News

University forced to buy XXX domain names

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Dec 2011 5:27

University forced to buy XXX domain names One school has confirmed it was forced to spend on XXX domain names to prevent any tarnishing of its reputation.

University of Kansas has bought numerous domains, including KUgirls.xxx and KUnurses.xxx.

Total expenses? $3000.

The University will sit on the domains and does not plan to add anything to the sites.

Over 100,000 pages have already been bought including big-name corporation protection such as Nike.xxx and Walmart.xxx.

Other Universities, like Indiana University, Purdue University and Ball State University have also bought the domain for their name, and other similar registrations, like Indiana taking hoosiers.xxx.

The ICM Registry sells the domain names for $100 a piece.




AfterDawn: News

Thanks Modern Warfare! Gaming industry has best November, ever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Dec 2011 5:07

Thanks Modern Warfare! Gaming industry has best November, ever The NPD Group has said today that the gaming industry enjoyed its best November, ever, on the back of Modern Warfare 3.

Notes NPD's Anita Frazier:

This November marks the best November on record for sales of new physical content.


Digital content is not included in the figures, but the NPD says software sales totaled $1.7 billion for the month, up from $1.45 billion last year.

Hardware sales fell, to $982 million from $1.1 billion year-over-year.

The top titles for the month were Modern Warfare 3 and Skyrim, followed by:

Battlefield 3, Electronic Arts
Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Ubisoft
Just Dance, Ubisoft
Madden NFL 12, Electronic Arts
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Sony
Saints Row: The Third, THQ
The Legend of Zelda: SkywardSword, Nintendo
Batman: Arkham City, Warner Bros. Interactive




AfterDawn: News

1 million Nook Tablets shipped?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Dec 2011 4:39

1 million Nook Tablets shipped? According to Digitimes, Barnes & Noble has received over 1 million of the new Nook Tablets from its component suppliers.

Citing the company's manufacturing partners, the report says the company had to increase its orders recently thanks to strong sales.

Initially, B&N had ordered 800,000 to be built through 2011.

The tablet has s a 7" display with a resolution of 1024x600, is powered by Android 2.3, has a 1GHz dual core processor and 1GB of RAM.

Nook Tablets come with 16GB onboard storage and accepts SD cards up to 32GB.

The device sells for $250.




AfterDawn: News

UK to get Asus Transformer Prime next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Dec 2011 4:23

UK to get Asus Transformer Prime next month UK retailer Clove has said this week that the highly-anticipated Transformer Prime will reach the nations next month.

Clove has the tablet up for pre-order with stock "expected in January."

The smaller capacity 32GB version will sell for 459.00 (550.80 with VAT) with the keyboard dock.

Asus' 64GB variant will sell for the same price, but without the keyboard dock. Those are the only two versions available, currently, from Clove.

Finally, the company has promised an update to Ice Cream Sandwich in early January.




AfterDawn: News

Apple's founding documents go up for auction

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Dec 2011 3:55

Apple's founding documents go up for auction Sotheby's auction house is preparing to auction off the three pages of typewritten paper that are the founding papers for Apple.

On April 1st, 1976, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne all signed the documents which are headlined "Apple Computer Company Partnership Agreement."

The auction is expected to fetch about $150,000 next week in NYC.

Pencom Systems CEO Wade Saadi is the current owner of the documents, and he said he did not tell too many people he owned them.

However, after Jobs passed away earlier this year, his phone began ringing from those that did know, inquiring on how to purchase.

Video via NBC:




AfterDawn: News

Indie devs dislike Xbox dashboard update

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Dec 2011 10:18

Indie devs dislike Xbox dashboard update Indie devs concerned about new Metro-styled Xbox dashboard.

Representatives of the Xbox Live Indie Games community, told Eurogamer that the update shifts focus away from games considerably, and that it's even worse for Indie games.

"Microsoft take a back-seat approach and only really gets involved to take a cut of your sales and make the games slightly harder to find with each new dashboard update," said Brett Eveleigh, developer of Avatar Battle Bees.

"Not that anyone wants to go through the pain of retail/arcade style certification but it feels like Microsoft has abandoned the platform in favour of Windows Phone 7. But instead of admitting it they're brushing it under the carpet and hoping it'll go away."

There is currently an Indie Games tile on the mew Dashboard, but there are fears that this will phase out in time. Also, Indie games are not listed under New Arrivals or Genre tabs.

"For better or worse, the new Metro layout is an advertiser's dream," said Mommy's Best Games founder Nathan Fouts. "Every single main page now has an advertisement on it (you can't scroll away any more), there are dozens of secret little places to feature things, and it's easy to get lost."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

YouTube buys copyright management firm

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Dec 2011 9:44

YouTube buys copyright management firm YouTube acquires New York-based music rights management firm.

YouTube claims that smart copyright management is an important part of its mega-popular online video service, making it possible for songwriters and performers to be compensated fairly for the use of their works, while also enabling those works to be used in new ways.

The company has invested tens of millions of dollars in content management technology so far. Content ID, for example, lets rights owners identify user-uploaded videos that comprise of entirely, or partially their content. The rights owners can then choose to block them from YouTube altogether, gets statistics on them or opt to make revenue from them.

Now YouTube is adding to its content/copyright management toolkit with the acquisition of RightsFlow. The New York firm deals with the complex issues of licensing and royalty payment management.

"By combining RightsFlow's expertise and technology with YouTube's platform, we hope to more rapidly and efficiently license music on YouTube, meaning more music for you all to enjoy, and more money for the talented people producing the music," YouTube said.

"From music videos to live-streamed concerts, YouTube has become a launch-pad for both aspiring musicians and more established independent artists?which is why we have and will continue to invest in tools that make it easier for copyright owners to manage their content online."




AfterDawn: News

UK: Six arrested in 1 million phishing scam

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Dec 2011 9:25

UK: Six arrested in 1 million phishing scam Cyber criminals stole money from British students.

Students on government loan schemes were the target of a phishing scam that duped them into handing over account details to a maliciously crafted website. Phishing refers to the practice of tricking users into handing over personal details or money to a rogue entity.

According to Scotland Yard, some of the students had between 1,000 and 5,000 stolen from them as part of the scam. The e-Crime unit of the Metropolitan Police was alerted to the scam in August, and proceeded to work alongside the Student Loans Company, the banking industry and Internet Service Providers in its investigation.

The Met has not reported the arrest of six people in connection with the crime.

A 26-year old man and a 25-year old woman were arrested in Manchester, a 25-year old man was arrested in Deptford in south London, a 49-year old woman and a 31-year old woman man were arrested in Stratford in north-east London and a 38-year old man was arrested in Bolton, Lancashire.

Officers seized computer equipment from the locations in Manchester, London and Bolton.




AfterDawn: News

Windows Store can remotely kill Windows 8 apps

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Dec 2011 9:16

Windows Store can remotely kill Windows 8 apps Microsoft admits "kill switch" in Windows Store.

The company has the ability to disable and remove applications from the Windows Store remotely from Windows 8. Both Apple and Google retain the same power over their respective app stores, though Apple has never had to use the so called "Kill Switch."

The reason for its existence is security concerns. Apple's App Store screens all apps that are available and therefore it rarely has to remove one for violations. Even when it does remove an app, it doesn't ever use the Kill Switch to disable it on iOS devices remotely, even though it could.

Google, on the other hand, has been forced to wield the Kill Switch before. In June 2010, it used the Kill Switch against two Apps that has been available from the Android Market. They were put there by Jon Oberheide, co-founder and CTO of Duo Security, as part of research into vulnerabilities that let malware authors target Android.

During 2011, it used the Kill Switch against scores of malicious apps that had been sneaked onto the Android Market and downloaded by users.

Microsoft has also built in Kill Switch functionality to its Windows Store, for the same reason as both Apple and Google. "In cases where your security is at risk, or where we're required to do so for legal reasons, you may not be able to run apps or access content that you previously acquired or purchased a license for," the Windows Store terms read.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Questions over Skype security flaw

Written by James Delahunty @ 10 Dec 2011 9:06

Questions over Skype security flaw Flaws in Skype expose users.

The NYU-Poly website is reporting on an issue with how Skype calling works that can allow an attacker to retrieve the IP address of another user easily. Of course, callers using VoIP systems can obtain the IP address of another user when establishing a call with that person, but there are problems with how easily this can be done using Skype and any other user.

A malicious user could, for example, initiate a Skype call, block some packets and then quickly terminate the call. In that case, they could obtain the IP address of the target user with alerting them with any pop-up window or ringing sound.

To make it worse, the user does not have to be on a contact list, and the trick works even when a user has configured Skype to block calls from non-contacts. These days, IP addresses can be fed to a number of commercial geo-IP mapping services to determine location information, in cases.




AfterDawn: News

Senator wants Amazon to stop their Price Check app promotion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Dec 2011 10:52

Senator wants Amazon to stop their Price Check app promotion Maine senator Olympia Snowe has said today that Amazon should end its Price App promotion.

In an effort to bring awareness to their mobile app, Amazon is offering consumers up to $5 worth of free credit if they compare a product in-store and decide instead to buy it from the e-tailer.

You must use Amazon's Price Check app on Android or iOS, which gives users the chance to scan a bar code, take a pic of the item, or use a traditional text search to find the item, price, details and reviews of products.

When you walk in stores, Amazon is asking that users submit prices of items via the app, so that the company can confirm they have the lowest prices. The promotion is good for 5 percent off, up to $5, for up to three items.

Snowe says:

Amazon's promotion -- paying consumers to visit small businesses and leave empty-handed -- is an attack on Main Street businesses that employ workers in our communities. Small businesses are fighting everyday to compete with giant retailers, such as Amazon, and incentivizing consumers to spy on local shops is a bridge too far.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Motorola wins Apple patent case in Germany

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Dec 2011 9:23

Motorola wins Apple patent case in Germany Apple must license patent, and pay for past use.

Motorola complained to German courts that Apple failed to license intellectual property owned by Motorola Mobility. The patent covers a "method for performing a countdown function during a mobile-originated transfer for a packet radio system."

Apple said it would immediately appeal the decision; moving fast to stave off any attempt by Motorola Mobility to get sales blocked in the country.

Motorola licenses the patent in question to other firms on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, or Frand for short. The owner of a Frand-type patent is obliged to license it to third-parties since it is considered essential to an industry standard.

Apple had previously indicated it would be willing to pay a Frand-set fee to license the technology, and pay a similar rate for past use, but it tried to retain the right to contest the validity of the patent with a view to past damages, and lost.

Motorola had pushed its right to charge an above-Frand rate for Apple's use of the technology, stemming back four years to the original iPhone.

"We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect our intellectual property, as the company's patent portfolio and licensing agreements with companies both in the US and around the world are critical to our business," said Scott Offer, senior vice-president and general counsel of Motorola Mobility.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

British MP wants discussion on violent games

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Dec 2011 9:09

British MP wants discussion on violent games MP requests House of Commons discussion on violent games.

Keith Vaz, Member of Parliament for Leicester East, has called on the House of Commons to debate over the effects of violent video games. Vaz cited a recently published study that demonstrated effects on the brain from playing video games.

"Could we have a debate next week about the harmful effects of violent video games?" he requested. "Last week, the university of Indiana published research that showed that regularly playing those games resulted in physical changes in the brain."

Unfortunately, the study that Vaz is referring to is already being heavily criticised. The funding for the study came from The Center for Successful Parenting, which has a stated goal to change, "our culture to protect children from unhealthy media in all formats."

Critics say that the study is broadly anti-video games, but that didn't stop Keith Vaz from citing it anyway, as others surely will.

"At a time when parents are thinking of purchasing video games for Christmas, does the right honest Gentleman not think that it is important to hold a debate on this matter?" asked Vaz. "This is not about censorship - it is about protecting our children."




AfterDawn: News

Google: We don't support Carrier IQ

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Dec 2011 9:00

Google: We don't support Carrier IQ CEO distances Google from Carrier IQ at a conference in The Hague.

Google chief executive Eric Schmidt has insisted that the search giant has nothing to do with Carrier IQ, and does not use any of its software.

Since a researcher pointed out alarming information about the Carrier IQ software that was pre-installed on millions of Android and iOS smartphones, the situation has exploded into a saga that had gotten the attention of the U.S. Congress, and spawned at least one class-action lawsuit.

A video showing the Carrier IQ software logging information on a HTC smartphone running Android might have given some users the impression that Google itself is responsible for installing the software. Not the case, according to Schmidt.

"Android is an open platform, so it's possible for people to build software that's actually not very good for you, and this appears to be one," Schmidt told the Internet freedom conference.

"It's a key-logger, and it actually does keep your keystrokes, and we certainly don't work with them and we certainly don't support it."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

French court refuses to halt iPhone 4S sales

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Dec 2011 8:52

French court refuses to halt iPhone 4S sales French court decision is disappointing for Samsung in global patent dispute.

Samsung said on Friday that it failed to convince a French court to impose a preliminary injunction on sales of Apple Inc.'s iPhone 4S. The update is the latest in an ongoing global patent war between both firms, which includes at least 30 legal cases.

Samsung has enjoyed some successes lately, with a U.S. court refusing to put in place an early sales ban on its Galaxy tablet products, and also seeing a sales ban in Australia overturned by the courts.

Following the French decision, Samsung said it still has to review the written grounds of the ruling and that it will continue to exercise all available options to protect its IP rights.

Apple has accused Samsung of slavishly cloning the iPhone and iPad with its Galaxy-branded line of smartphones and tablet PCs. It first sued Samsung in the United States in April. Samsung responded quickly, suing Apple for infringing on its own wireless technology patents.

Since then, the dispute has spilled over into at least ten countries.




AfterDawn: News

Adele is 'iTunes Artist of the Year'

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Dec 2011 8:44

Adele is 'iTunes Artist of the Year' Adele comes out ahead on iTunes.

The 23-year old British singer has provided both the top selling single of the year on iTunes, and the top selling album, earning herself the title of "iTunes Artist of the Year". She topped the charts for the year ahead of Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, LMFAO, CeeLo Green, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Coldplay and Jay-Z.

The 'iTunes Rewind' list marks out the year's most downloaded iTumes from Apple's music store, while not providing any sales information.

Other noteable achievements included Nicki Minaj being labeled the Breakthrough Artist of the Year, and Foo Fighters getting Album of the Year for "Wasting Light," the seventh studio album from the band.

Outside of music, Angry Birds was the top selling game for the iPad, and Doctor Who was the most downloaded TV show.




AfterDawn: News

Panasonic to launch smartphone in Europe

Written by James Delahunty @ 09 Dec 2011 8:35

Panasonic to launch smartphone in Europe Panasonic smartphone is yet to be named.

The company announced that it will launch the smartphone in Europe in 2012. The Android phone will launch in March, and will head to the United States and Asia afterwards.

The company also has plans for its near future in the smartphone business, aiming to sell 16 million units in the year to March 2006, with 5 million of those sold abroad.

"We are well aware of our powerful competitors," said Toshinori Hoshi, head of the company's mobile communications unit. "However, market shares are changing dramatically and if we launch into this fast-changing market, we believe we have a chance of a hit."

Panasonic is aiming for a very small chunk of the market, which IDC predicts will grow to 472 million units in 2011, an increase of 55 percent. By 2015, IDC sees the growth at 982 million units.

Panasonic's new handset features a 4.3-inch OLED screen, and is aimed at business users aged 30 and up.




AfterDawn: News

WebOS goes open source

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Dec 2011 3:09

WebOS goes open source HP has said today that it will be donating its webOS software to the open source community, just 20 months after purchasing Palm and webOS for $1.2 billion.

The company says it will remain active in the development and support of the operating system and hope that adding community support will certainly help the software survive for new generations of hardware.

Says the press release:

webOS is the only platform designed from the ground up to be mobile, cloud-connected and scalable. By contributing this innovation, HP unleashes the creativity of the open source community to advance a new generation of applications and devices.


The underlying code of webOS will be available now with an open source license and devs, HP, hardware manufacturers and partners can start tweaking.

Concluding, new CEO Meg Whitman posted some bullet points:

The goal of the project is to accelerate the open development of the webOS platform
HP will be an active participant and investor in the project
Good, transparent and inclusive governance to avoid fragmentation
Software will be provided as a pure open source project
HP also will contribute ENYO, the application framework for webOS, to the community in the near future along with a plan for the remaining components of the user space.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Each Apple employee makes Apple $278 per hour in revenue

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Dec 2011 2:46

Each Apple employee makes Apple $278 per hour in revenue According to some great research from Asymco, it appears that every Apple employee makes Apple $278 per hour in revenue.

Each store made $481,000 revenue per employee in 2010, up from $388,000 in 2009.

The average revenue per store visit is $45, and Apple had 250 million visits last year.

Asymco says there are 1 employee for every 10,000 annual visits.

Each employee is estimated to work "360 hours per quarter, so the average employee sees 6 visitors per hour or one every 10 minutes. As that visitor generates more than $45 of revenue, an Apple store employee creates sales at the rate of about $278/hour."




AfterDawn: News

ICE: Oops, sorry for taking down Dajaz1.com

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Dec 2011 2:16

ICE: Oops, sorry for taking down Dajaz1.com Earlier in the year, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) took down the popular hip-hop music blog Dajaz1.com, claiming it was a "rogue site" and guilty of copyright infringement.

The domain seizure was notable because the owner came out in full force defending the blog, even sending the New York Times emails that document how most of the "infringing" tracks made it to his site - they had been sent directly to him by artists and labels looking for some underground promotion.

This week, ICE has apologized for the seizure, and returned the domain to its owner. ICE says "the government concluded that the appropriate and just result was to decline to pursue judicial forfeiture," according to Ars.

A lawyer for the site says it was almost impossible to get the domain back, as the government had sealed the files, blocking anyone from seeing how they were receiving extensions on the forfeiture deadline, which expired months ago.

Despite the domain being returned, the RIAA continues to say that the owner of the site "specialized in the massive unauthorized distribution of pre-release music. Dajaz1 profited from its reputation for providing links to pre-release copies, and during that time nearly 2,300 recordings linked to the site were removed from various file-sharing services."




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo 3DS Circle Pad Pro has 480 hours life per battery

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Dec 2011 1:41

Nintendo 3DS Circle Pad Pro has 480 hours life per battery Last week, Nintendo announced that its 3DS Circle Pad Pro would require a AAA battery, much to the dismay of gamers.

This week however, those concerns have mainly been put to bed, as it appears the peripheral will work for 480 hours of gameplay on one single battery, giving most casual gamers a year or so before they need to go out an replace the battery, which can cost as low as $1 for a 2-pack.

The peripheral launches tomorrow along with the release of Monster Hunter 3G in Japan, says 1up.

First rumored in the summer, the company introduced the Circle Pad in September.

A few other games that can use the control system are Resident Evil: Revelations and Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D.

The peripheral will likely cost $19.99 when it hits the EU and NA markets.




AfterDawn: News

Analysts: Apple will sell 30 million iPhones this quarter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Dec 2011 1:16

Analysts: Apple will sell 30 million iPhones this quarter The consensus amongst Wall Street's research analysts is that Apple will hit 30 million iPhones sold in the fourth quarter of 2011, surpassing their previous record amount by a gigantic leap.

Previous high estimates were at 28 million but demand for the 4S has been unprecedented.

AT&T recently said they expected to have their best smartphone quarter ever, as well, thanks to iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S sales.

The 3GS is the first iPhone to sell for $0 (with contract), making it very popular with users who want an iPhone but may not be able to pay the upfront fees for the newer devices.

A few of the notable Apple analysts to raise forecasts are Sterne Agee's Shaw Wu and Ticonderoga Securities' Brian White, who says his checks of the company's suppliers has shown huge growth and demand was higher than ever.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo expands its free 3DS Wi-Fi hotspots to airports

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Dec 2011 12:57

Nintendo expands its free 3DS Wi-Fi hotspots to airports Nintendo has said this week that thanks to a partnership with Boingo, the company is expanding its free Wi-Fi hotspots for 3DS handheld users to 42 U.S airports.

Using the handheld, owners can use the hotspots to play online games, browse and purchase from the 3DS eStore and watch online videos.

The hotspots also give access to the Nintendo Zone, a virtual service that gives gamers coupons and promotional offers.

"With the holiday season approaching, more leisure travelers and families with children will fill our airports and have access to our hotspots," says Colby Goff, senior vice president of strategy and business development for Boingo Wireless (Sutra). "Our state-of-the-art networks will provide Nintendo 3DS users with seamless connectivity and fast, reliable service to help them make the most of their travel downtime."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung creating 11-inch tablet with 2560x1600 display?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Dec 2011 12:41

Samsung creating 11-inch tablet with 2560x1600 display? Citing trusted sources, BGR is reporting that Samsung is working on an 11.6-inch tablet for launch at the Mobile World Congress in February.

The tablet will have a powerful dual-core Cortex A15 Exynos 5250 CPU clocked at 2GHz and a massive 2560x1600 16:10 resolution.

Additionally, the device will have a smaller bezel to compensate for the extra size of the screen.

The 11.6 (probably not the name) will run on Android 4.0, include NFC Beam and have an optional HDTV dock.

For now this is rumor but the tablet will certainly be one of the most powerful if it launches when expected.




AfterDawn: News

The 12/9 list of 10 cent Android Market apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Dec 2011 12:26

The 12/9 list of 10 cent Android Market apps Here is today's list of 10 cent apps from the Android Market.

On Tuesday, the Android Market started an excellent promotion, offering 10 days of 10 popular apps for 10 cents.

Android's promotion is in celebration of 10 billion apps being downloaded from the market.

List, available now from here or via your Android phone/tablet:

Spirit HD
Shazam Encore
Sentinel 3: Homeworld
Farm Frenzy
Toddler Spanish
Need for Speed Shift
Jelly Defense
Game Dev Story
Baseball Superstars 2011
My Beach HD





AfterDawn: News

Australian Galaxy Tab ban finally overturned

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Dec 2011 4:46

Australian Galaxy Tab ban finally overturned In the span of less than a week Samsung managed to win two major victories in their international patent war with Apple.

Last week a US judge rejected Apple's request for a preliminary injunction banning sales of the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Meanwhile the injunction Apple was granted in Australia was being reviewed to determine whether it should be reversed.

Today that review was completed, resulting in another temporary victory for Samsung. They ban was overturned and Samsung will be allowed to sell their tablets in Australia immediately.

A Samsung spokesman told The Sydney Morning Herald it would not be until some time next week that consumers could get their hands on the tablets, but "certain channels" will be accepting pre-sales immediately.

This is not the end of either case. Both will be going to trial at some point, and while the tablets in question will likely be replaced by newer models before final judgements are rendered, that still leaves the possibility of monetary damages.




AfterDawn: News

RIM's BBX OS is renamed to BlackBerry 10

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Dec 2011 4:13

RIM's BBX OS is renamed to BlackBerry 10 Troubled smartphone maker RIM has decided to rename the next version of their mobile OS BlackBerry 10.

The company had previously announced the OS, which merges features from their smartphone and tablet platforms, would be called BBX. Unfortunately for RIM, that name had been in use for many years by a company called BASIS International.

BASIS makes development tools for creating code to run on a variety of platforms, including several mobile operating systems. They said this had already caused confusion for their customers, several of which had asked them if there was an affiliation with the new BlackBerry OS.

The suit went further, alleging (via CRN):

In addition to the inevitable confusion created by RIM's use of the mark BBX for related goods, customers and prospective customers are also likely to wrongly believe that software applications created using Basis' development tools are only compatible with RIM's BBX operating system, thus impairing and destroying Basis' reputation for providing software development tools for cross-platform development

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Warner Music losses more than double in 2011

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Dec 2011 3:40

Warner Music losses more than double in 2011 It's no surprise Warner Music Group was up for sale recently. They have just released their first annual financial statement since being sold back in May.

The recording industry has fading quickly in recent years and WMG's fiscal 2011 report doesn't show any signs that's changing. They reported a loss of $205 million.

To put the scale of this loss into perspective, in the fourth quarter alone WMG lost $103 million. This is 124% of their loss in the same quarter last year.

This may also explain why CEO Edgar Bronfman stepped down from that position earlier this year. Of course, in a move you would expect in an industry this clueless, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors, putting him in charge of developing a strategy for the future.

After the wonderful job he did as CEO, what could possibly go wrong?




AfterDawn: News

Entrepeneurs, investors, and others join forces to protect tech industry from threats like SOPA

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Dec 2011 3:08

Entrepeneurs, investors, and others join forces to protect tech industry from threats like SOPA If one good thing has come out of the introduction of the SOPA and PIPA legislation in the US, it's the way opposition to both has led those in the tech industry to organize and take action on an unprecedented scale.

Some established companies, including Google and Facebook, have made decisive public statements. At the same time, law professors and entrepeneurs have sent messages directly to Washington.

Now a coalition of entrepeneurs, venture capitalists, and people who advise startups has emerged. Calling themselves EngineAdvocacy, they are dedicated to getting the public involved in efforts to promote an environment where technology, both on the web and in other places, can be used to drive economic growth.

A blog entry announcing the launch of their new website reads:

We?re very excited to see our plans for Engine come to fruition - creating a platform for communication between one of the fastest growing and valuable industries and the decision makers in government is something we are very passionate about. We?re launching our full website today and we want the site to be a collaborative space to engage on issues of importance to the tech industry - like our opposition to the controversial anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA, which you can read more about on our site.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google, Amazon, and others sued for infringing on cloud computing and search patents

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 09 Dec 2011 2:16

Google, Amazon, and others sued for infringing on cloud computing and search patents PersonalWeb, a company based in Tyler, Texas, has filed patent infringement suits against a number of large tech companies, including Google, Amazon, VMWare, and NEC.

The company's location is notable only because Tyler, Texas has a reputation as the most friendly court in the US for patent lawsuits.

PersonalWeb is notably different from the typical company setting up an office in the East Texas town. In most cases those companies are non-practicing entities, more commonly referred to as patent trolls, who exist only to sue and produce no products of any kind.

While PersonalWeb has followed a path familiar to patent trolls in buying up patent portfolios from other companies, those patents are used in actual products, including StudyPods, an educational social networking platform currently deployed in Tyler, and an anti-piracy product called Global File System.

In fact, in their statement announcing the lawsuits PersonalWeb makes a point of mentioning both those products, begging the question of whether their sole purpose is to create a facade of legitimacy as a real tech company instead of a patent troll.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Windows 8 Windows Store details

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Dec 2011 1:28

Windows 8 Windows Store details Microsoft has unveiled the Windows 8 Windows Store, where developers can sell apps.

Starting in February, devs can sell apps for a minimum $1.49 up to $1000.

Like other app stores Microsoft will take 30 percent revenue, but if your app is popular and brings over $25,000, the cut is reduced to 20 percent.

In-app transactions have the same split, if they use Microsoft's billing system.

Windows Store developer accounts cost $49.

Pics via Verge:





Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple Store in Grand Central opens tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Dec 2011 5:04

Apple Store in Grand Central opens tomorrow Apple has confirmed its large Grand Central store will open tomorrow at 10 AM.

The 23,000 square-foot megastore will be complete with Genius Bar tech support and "a few new things designed for people who move at New York speed," says ABC.

Those include: "We have all of our workshops as well as one-to-one training. We'll also have, exclusive to this store, 15-minute express workshops that are streamlined versions of all our favorite workshops."

There is also an Apple Store App which will let you use your iOS device to make purchases online and pick up the product when you get to Grand Central.

The store will have 300 employees.

Apple bought out the space that was 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.




AfterDawn: News

AT&T begins throttling heavy mobile data bandwidth users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Dec 2011 3:52

AT&T begins throttling heavy mobile data bandwidth users Months after warning users, AT&T has now begun throttling data speeds for heavy users.

If you are, according to AT&T, in the top 5 percent of all users, you are likely to see your speeds reduced into the end of the billing cycle.

The new rule affects only users with unlimited plans, as everyone else is already on a tiered plan.

Without giving an exact figure, AT&T says top 5 percent users normally consumer "12 times as much traffic as the average customer." I take that to mean over 10GB, but it is unclear what figures AT&T uses. It is estimated Apple users consumer 800MB per month.

AT&T was recently rated dead last for carriers in the annual Consumer Reports satisfaction survey.




AfterDawn: News

OnLive app released for tablets, smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Dec 2011 2:50

OnLive app released for tablets, smartphones Streaming games service OnLive has set out to disrupt the mobile industry, introducing apps for Android tablets and smartphones.

The apps will let gamers play new PC and console games on their mobile devices, with the touchscreen or with a new OnLive controller. Because it is streamed, users do not need to have huge memory cards to fit the games.

A few of the touch-enabled games are Bastion, Darksiders, Dirt 3, LEGO Batman and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Chaos Rising.

To use the gaming service you need Android 2.3 or higher. The list OnLive provides says these devices are compatible: Acer Iconia Tab A500, ASUS Eee Pad Transformer, HTC Evo View, HTC Flyer, HTC Jetstream, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab, Sony Ericsson Tablet S, Toshiba Thrive, HTC EVO, HTC Nexus One, HTC Rezound 4G, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XL, Motorola Droid 2, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola DROID BIONIC 4G, Motorola DROID RAZR 4G, Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung Galaxy S II 4G.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Verizon restores 4G service after one-day outage

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Dec 2011 2:25

Verizon restores 4G service after one-day outage Verizon has announced this morning that its 4G LTE service has been returned to normal, following a one-day technical issue.

Yesterday, customers complained of slow speeds on their devices, which could not connect to 4G and were stuck on 3G, instead.

Verizon would not give an explanation for the outage but said service is fully restored: "The company's network operations team resolved a technical issue."

The carrier's 4G service is available in 179 cities to a population of 186 million.




AfterDawn: News

The 12/8 list of 10 cent Android Market apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Dec 2011 1:40

The 12/8 list of 10 cent Android Market apps Here is today's list of 10 cent apps from the Android Market.

The deals went live earlier than yesterday, when they didn't go up until 4 PM.

On Tuesday, the Android Market started an excellent promotion, offering 10 days of 10 popular apps for 10 cents.

Android's promotion is in celebration of 10 billion apps being downloaded from the market.

List, available now from here or via your Android phone/tablet:

Talking Tom Cat 2
Reckless Getaway
ADW EX Launcher
Tetris
Space Physics
Can Knockdown 2
Homerun Battle 3D
Toki Tori
Kids Learn to Read
Blue Skies Donation Wallpaper





AfterDawn: News

$99 TouchPads are back, in one-day sale on eBay

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Dec 2011 1:35

$99 TouchPads are back, in one-day sale on eBay On Sunday, starting at 6 PM Central Time, HP will be selling refurbished 16GB and 32GB TouchPads on their eBay store.

The devices will sell for $99 and $149 just like they did on the firesale days of a few months ago.

Additionally, the company will be selling a $79 accessory bundle which has the wireless keyboard, charging dock and a case.

There is only a 90-day warranty on the devices and sales are final, no returns. Users can only buy 2 per eBay account.

The tablets will be available at http://stores.ebay.com/hewlettpackard.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox Live terms update rules out lawsuits, limits liability

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2011 10:51

Xbox Live terms update rules out lawsuits, limits liability Xbox Live terms of use update reflects changes made on Sony's PSN in September.

Microsoft has updated the Xbox Live terms of use to prevent customers from filing lawsuits against the company in the United States. The binding arbitration clause dictates that if a dispute arises and informal negotiations between both parties fail, customers are required to submit to binding arbitration.

By agreeing to the new terms of use, Xbox Live users give up the right to take Microsoft to court over the service, or to join a class action lawsuit. Disputes can be still handled in a small claims court however, if normal jurisdictional requirements are met.

Another notable change to the Xbox Live terms of use is the agreement to limit Microsoft's liability in any dispute to the cost of a single month of Xbox Live membership. For Gold users, this means you are limiting Microsoft's liability to $5, and for Silver users, you are limiting it to nothing.

"You can recover from us for all successful claims only direct damages up to a total amount equal to your Service fee for one month. You cannot recover any other damages, including consequential, special, indirect, incidental, or punitive damages and lost profits," the new terms read.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Adobe warns of serious Acrobat, Reader vulnerability

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2011 10:39

Adobe warns of serious Acrobat, Reader vulnerability Serious vulnerability being exploited in targeted attacks.

Adobe has issued a security advisory outlining a serious vulnerability that could allow an attack to take control of an affected system. The bug affects Adobe Reader X (10.1.1) and earlier on Windows and Mac, and Adobe Reader 9.4.6 and earlier 9.x versions for Linux.

It also affects Adobe Acrobat X (10.1.1) and earlier versions for the Windows and Mac operating systems. The company confirmed that the vulnerability is being actively exploited in the wild with attacks targeted against Adobe Reader 9 on Windows.

Adobe is urging users to stick to the X versions of both products, because Protected Mode in Reader X, and Protected View in Acrobat X, will prevent the exploit from executing through sandboxing techniques. Since the sandboxing works effectively against the exploit in the wild, Adobe will not address the issue until its next quarterly security updates, which are scheduled for January 10.

Adobe Reader for Android and Adobe Flash Player are not affected by this issue.




AfterDawn: News

Nokia to sell off Vertu luxury phone brand

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2011 10:27

Nokia to sell off Vertu luxury phone brand Nokia to sell Vertu luxury phone business.

Nokia's Vertu sells high-end mobile phones for those who can afford to pay thousands for their handsets. Manufactured by hand in the UK, Vertu handsets use precious metals in their design, such as gold, sapphire (used for screen) and rubies. Even the lowest price handsets would still cost about $7,000.

According to a Financial Times report, Goldman Sachs has been appointed to oversee a sell-off as Nokia continues a process or re-shaping its global business. The report estimates that Vertu's annual revenue falls somewhere between €200 million and €300 million.

Vertu handsets came with a round-the-clock concierge service, with staff available constantly by just using a button on the side of the device.

The business is far from Nokia's core business, and now with Nokia's Microsoft partnership kicking in to gear, Nokia is disposing of peripheral businesses.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo: Miyamoto is not retiring

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2011 10:18

Nintendo: Miyamoto is not retiring Nintendo denies report that Miyamoto wants a smaller role.

Wired reported that Shigeru Miyamoto intended to retire from his current position at Nintendo and take on a smaller role. "Inside our office, I've been recently declaring, 'I'm going to retire, I'm going to retire," Wired quoted Miyamoto as saying.

"I'm not saying that I'm going to retire from game development altogether. What I mean by retiring is retiring from my current position."

The news that Miyamoto, one of the world's most influential games designers, was going to step down came as a shock, but Nintendo moved on Thursday to squash the reports, insisting that there is no truth to them.

"This is absolutely not true," said a spokeswoman for Nintendo. "There seems to have been a misunderstanding. He has said all along that he wants to train the younger generation. He has no intention of stepping down. Please do not be concerned."

Shigeru Miyamoto, 59 years old, has created some of the most popular games franchises, including Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox Live companion app for iOS, Windows Phone released

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2011 9:01

Xbox Live companion app for iOS, Windows Phone released Xbox Live companion app for iPhone, iPad released.

Microsoft has released the official Xbox LIVE companion app for Windows Phone devices, and for Apple's iPhone and iPad devices.

This free app will allow you to stay connected to the Xbox LIVE community when you are away from your console. Some initial features for iOS include the ability to manage your friends list (invite new friends etc.), the ability to read and edit your Xbox Live profile, change your avatar features/items with the avatar closet and view/compare your achievement progress with friends.

The Xbox LIVE companion app for Windows Phone 7, released yesterday, has more features than the iOS version, such as Xbox Companion search powered by Bing, allowing you to search the unified Xbox catalog for movies, TV shows, music, games and apps using the Windows phone. You can learn more details about the movie, TV show, music or game that is playing on your console.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nokia Lumia 800 update addresses performance, usability

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2011 8:49

Nokia Lumia 800 update addresses performance, usability Software update addresses performance and usability.

A new software update for the Nokia Lumia 800 smartphone will roll-out over the next two weeks in territories the handset has been released in, The update promises to make some changes addressing performance and usability factors.

Nokia said the update will bring charging improvements, voicemail notification improvements and improved display switching in bright light. It also promises better audio quality after updating, and a change to improve mail replying for Microsoft Exchange 2003 users.

Nokia said another update is scheduled for early 2012 to bring more improvements to the Lumia software.

This current update will be downloaded through Microsoft Zune, and will be delivered in all the initial launch countries over the course of the next two weeks.




AfterDawn: News

CFA announces new XQD memory card format

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2011 8:42

CFA announces new XQD memory card format Format based on XQD specification.

The CompactFlash Association has announced the new XQM memory card format, based on the recently adopted XQD specification. The XQD specification is based on the PCI Express specification, providing a solid base for performance scaling.

"The XQD format will enable further evolution of hardware and imaging applications, and widen the memory card options available to CompactFlash users such as professional photographers," said Mr. Shigeto Kanda of Canon, chairman of the board, CFA.

The form factor specifications dictate dimensions of 38.5 x 29.8 x 3.8mm. The target for actual write speeds currently is set at 125MB/s.

The CompactFlash Association will show off some XQD memory cards at the CP+ 2012 convention, set for February in Yokohama, Japan.




AfterDawn: News

Intel, Micron intro first 128Gb NAND device

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2011 8:33

Intel, Micron intro first 128Gb NAND device The industry's first monolithic 128Gb part can store 1 terabit of data in a single fingertip-size package with just eight die.

Intel Corporation and Micron Technology, Inc. have announced the world's first 20 nanometer (nm), 128 gigabit (Gb) multilevel-cell (MLC) device. The 20nm monolithic 128Gb device is the first in the industry to enable a terabit (Tb) of data storage in a fingertip-size package by using just eight die.

It also provides twice the storage capacity and performance of the companies' existing 20nm 64Gb NAND device, which Intel and Micron also announced mass production of. The 128Gb device meets the high-speed ONFI 3.0 specification to achieve speeds of 333 megatransfers per second (MT/s).

"As portable devices get smaller and sleeker, and server demands increase, our customers look to Micron for innovative new storage technologies and system solutions that meet these challenges," said Glen Hawk, vice president of Micron's NAND Solutions Group.

"Our collaboration with Intel continues to deliver leading NAND technologies and expertise that are critical to building those systems."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung sets TV sales record in November

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2011 7:38

Samsung sets TV sales record in November Samsung breaks record for TV sales in November.

The South Korean consumer electronics firm said that sales of its televisions reached 5.7 million units during the month of November. It praised the long thanksgiving weekend in the United States for a large part of the record total.

On Black Friday, Samsung got its share of the additional $7.4 billion Americans spent compared to the 2010 total. The company sold 700,000 more units than in the month of October, or about 14 percent more. Samsung now feels that it is on track for its sales target of 45 million flat-screen TV units for the 2011.

Samsung's success comes as others in the TV business are struggling. Sony Corp warned last month of a fourth straight year of losses, with its TV unit responsible for losing $2.2 billion. Phillips Electronics has had to transfer its TV business to a joint venture setup with TPV Tecnology Ltd., based in Hong Kong.

Samsung's TV division reported a 240 billion won ($213 million) operating profit for the third quarter of this year.




AfterDawn: News

AT&T still focused on T-Mobile merger

Written by James Delahunty @ 08 Dec 2011 7:28

AT&T still focused on T-Mobile merger AT&T still completely focused on T-Mobile buyout.

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) John Stephens spoke at the UBS media conference in New York about the carrier's persistence with the proposed T-Mobile buyout, and the financial resources that it has to complete the deal quickly.

"We continue to move forward with our efforts to complete the T-Mobile transaction...and we will continue to pursue the sale," Stephens said. He said that AT&T will use $10 billion it has accumulated on its balance sheet to prepare for the closing of the deal, and said the company al;so has a $20 billion bridge facility and $8 billion backup.

"So we clearly have an ability to close the deal very quickly and have those resources. That is the plan."

Stephens did not say how the company would get around regulatory hurdles, instead just insisting that any talks with the Department of Justice will not be made public. The DoJ has gone to court to halt the T-Mobile acquisition, finding that the deal would harm competition in the U.S. market.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has come to similar conclusions as the DoJ, prompting AT&T to withdraw its application for approval form the FCC last month.




AfterDawn: News

Research shows data caps dont effectively target an ISPs most expensive customers

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 08 Dec 2011 5:19

Research shows data caps dont effectively target an ISPs most expensive customers ISPs have been arguing for years that the heaviest data users should pay more for their service because they put a bigger strain on the network. This is the primary rationale for tiered data plans which cap downloads at varioius sizes and charge overage fees for additional data.

A new report from Benot Felten challenges that assumption based on analysis of traffic data from an unnamed North American ISP. His conclusion based on that analysis is that heavy data users do not, in fact, put a disproportionately large strain on ISP networks.

While the study itself must be purchased if you want to read the details, he has posted a free summary of his key findings.

  • The top 1% of data consumers (hereafter Very Heavy consumers) account for 20% of the overall consumption.
  • Average data consumption over the period is 290 MB, while consumption for Very Heavy consumers is 9.6 GB. Thisroughly equates to data consumption of 8.7 GB and 288 GB per month, respectively.
  • However, only half of these Very Heavy consumers are customers of the highest service tier (6 Mbps), which implies that half of them have bandwidth usage restricted to 3Mbps (the next service tier) or lower.
  • 61% of Very Heavy data consumers download 95% of the time or more, but only 5% of those who download at least 95% of the time are Very Heavy data consumers.
  • While 83% of Very Heavy data consumers are amongst the top 1% of bandwidth users during at least one five minute time window at peak hours, they only represent 14.3% of said Top 1% of users at those times.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Verizon CEO says shared data plans probably coming next year

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 08 Dec 2011 4:08

Verizon CEO says shared data plans probably coming next year Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam expects the company to begin offering shared data plans for smartphones, combining the plans for different devices on the same account into a single plan.

McAdam's comments came during an interview during the UBU Global Media Conference. He indicated the company expects smartphone penetration, currently at around 40%, to eventually reach around 70% of Verizon Wireless customers.

In addition, with the introduction of more services, including video, for mobile devices, he believes tablet use will also grow significantly. As those things happen, he sees shared data plans as both a convenience for the customer and a cost saving measure for the company.

In the interview he said:

I think in 2012 we'll see it. We've been working on this for a couple of years frankly... because we see four screens or even five screens. If you look at all the machine to machine capabilities that are out there, customers don't want - and neither do we by the way - want an individual account for each one of those devices. It drives them crazy and would raise our costs a lot so getting to one bill and having account level pricing is the way to go.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HP prepares to liquidate final batch of TouchPads - refurbished units this time

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 08 Dec 2011 3:06

HP prepares to liquidate final batch of TouchPads - refurbished units this time HP is getting ready to make their final push to rid of the last remaining stock of their discontinued TouchPad stock.

After dismal sales of the WebOS based tablet led to HP discontinuing it earlier this year, they went on sale for below cost and quickly sold out. Later, contractual obligations with suppliers led to an additional batch of TouchPads being produced which were offered in bundles with their computers.

This last bunch of TouchPads consists of refurbished units, which TechCrunch reports will be offered at the same $99 and $149 pricepoints via the company's eBay store. They quote an internal HP email which reads:

In an effort to give HP employees first chance at a very limited supply of refurbished TouchPads, there will be a short delay between when the product is posted live for sale on eBay and when the general public is notified of the sale.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix angers more customers with buggy Xbox 360 "upgrade"

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 08 Dec 2011 2:27

Netflix angers more customers with buggy Xbox 360 "upgrade" Lately it seems like Netflix can't take a step without tripping over its own feet. The company's latest debacle is the launch of a new Xbox 360 client which has customers complaining about bugs and missing features.

The new client was rolled out yesterday, following Microsoft's update to the console. It takes advanage of new voice and gesture control capabilities, as well as adding access to audio and subtitle settings.

All of this sounds great in theory. In practice it is apparently quite buggy. Here are some excerpts from customer responses to the new client:

This new app is neither easy to use nor attractive. This should not have made it to release at this stage --- not even past the beta stage. What the heck were you thinking? Subtitles, Kinect, Dolby 5.1? Who cares when the software is AWFUL.


Drives me crazy that I can't view a static screen when selecting what episode to watch. Why do I have to be watching an episode to get to a list of other episodes? Not being able to skip forward/back is a pain, and not being able to restart a feature from the beginning is maddening! Please correct these issues!

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

RIAA spokeswoman attempts to rewrite history claiming file sharing lawsuits succeeded

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 08 Dec 2011 1:28

RIAA spokeswoman attempts to rewrite history claiming file sharing lawsuits succeeded Some days you have to wonder if anyone at the RIAA actually reads their official statements before unleashing them on the public. At the very least maybe they should check to see if they pass the giggle test.

The latest bit of nonsense is a submission to the Opinion section of a Nashville, Tennessee newspaper claiming the reason they stopped suing P2P users was because the campaign was successful, and the job completed.

The original article in The Tenneseean, which was primarily about how much the recording industry spends on lobbying, said:

The focus on lobbying and campaign contributions comes after the music industry?s use of a tactic, now almost universally acknowledged as a failure, in which it filed lawsuits against individuals accused of illegally downloading songs to stop piracy.

The record industry filed nearly 30,000 suits, which proved to be a poor public relations strategy as stories of teens, college students and families taken to court emerged. The suits ultimately proved ineffective in ending systematic online piracy.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook pictures get haxored

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Dec 2011 11:29

Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook pictures get haxored Hackers have posted 14 of Mark Zuckerberg's private Facebook pictures to the Internet in an effort to highlight a serious bug.

The pictures were uploaded to imgur with the headline "It's time to fix those security flaws Facebook."

After the incident, Facebook says it fixed the glitch, which was found in the tools that help users report inappropriate images.

Said Facebook of the glitch (via the Beeb):

Earlier today, we discovered a bug in one of our reporting flows that allows people to report multiple instances of inappropriate content simultaneously.

The bug allowed anyone to view a limited number of another user's most recently uploaded photos irrespective of the privacy settings for these photos.

This was the result of one of our recent code pushes and was live for a limited period of time. Upon discovering the bug, we immediately disabled the system, and will only return functionality once we can confirm the bug has been fixed.


Additionally, the site says the pictures of Zuckerberg are now in the public domain.




AfterDawn: News

iPhone 5 rumor: Quad core, 720p display

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Dec 2011 10:54

iPhone 5 rumor: Quad core, 720p display The German Mac site Macerkopf has posted the latest rumor on the upcoming iPhone 5 today.

Sources speaking to the site say Apple is working on multiple configurations of the new smartphone.

The first test device has a quad-core processor, although the site says it was nowhere near a foregone conclusion that the device will have one. The second test device has very powerful dual-core processors, with 28nm technology and high clock speeds.

Additionally, the devices are being tested with different resolutions, all larger than the current 960x640.

720p displays of 1280x720 and 1440x900 are being tested.

The iPhone 5 is expected next October.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon giving away $5 free if you say no to brick-and-mortar

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Dec 2011 10:30

Amazon giving away $5 free if you say no to brick-and-mortar Amazon has announced the one day promotion for December 10th.

In an effort to bring awareness to their mobile app, Amazon is offering consumers up to $5 worth of free credit if they compare a product in-store and decide instead to buy it from the e-tailer.

You must use Amazon's Price Check app on Android or iOS, which gives users the chance to scan a bar code, take a pic of the item, or use a traditional text search to find the item, price, details and reviews of products.

When you walk in stores, Amazon is asking that users submit prices of items via the app, so that the company can confirm they have the lowest prices.

"We scour online and in-store advertisements from other retailers, every day, year-round," said Sam Hall, director of Amazon Mobile. "Now, we are enabling customers to use the Price Check app to share in-store prices while they search for the best deals."

The promotion is good for 5 percent off, up to $5, for up to three items.




AfterDawn: News

AT&T gets lowest rating, again, in Consumer Reports satisfaction

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Dec 2011 9:56

AT&T gets lowest rating, again, in Consumer Reports satisfaction For the second year in a row, AT&T has gotten the worst rating in Consumer Report's annual satisfaction survey.

On the high end, little regional carrier Consumer Cellular got the highest ratings.

Among the major carriers, Verizon took first, Sprint took second and T-Mobile took third.

Despite being in third, T-Mobile had significantly higher ratings than its GSM rival, across the board. AT&T had tried to acquire the carrier for $39 billion but was rebuffed by the U.S. government.

"Our survey indicates that subscribers to prepaid and smaller standard-service providers are happiest overall with their cell-phone service," added Paul Reynolds, electronics editor for Consumer Reports. "However, these carriers aren't for everyone. Some are only regional, and prepaid carriers tend to offer few or no smart phones.The major carriers are still leading options for many consumers, and we found they ranged widely in how well they satisfied their customers."

Consumer Reports says "we surveyed over 66,000 of our subscribers about their service and customer-support experience with both standard and no-contract providers." The full report will be available next month.




AfterDawn: News

Chinese court rules against Apple in 'iPad' case

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Dec 2011 7:36

Chinese court rules against Apple in 'iPad' case Apple's China woes continue.

A Southern China court has denied Apple's claim that a Chinese company has infringed its iPad trademark. The Intermediate People's Court in Shenzhen heard Apple's complaint against Proview Technology, which the iPad-maker says unlawfully uses the iPad trademark in its products.

The court rejected this claim and pointed out that Proview lawfully registered the iPad trademark as far back as 2000 for products sold in a number of countries, including China.

Apple is betting heavily on the Chinese market, with executives saying that the company has not even scratched the surface in China when it comes to sales.

But the Cupertino giant has not had a very pleasant Chinese experience. It has had to battle counterfeiters in the region, who peddle millions of phony iPhones and iPads to consumers. It also has had to address the problem of fake Apple stores in the country.

Now a Chinese court has sided with Proview Technology over the use of the iPad trademark in China, and Proview itself is taking legal action against Apple for infringement, seeking $1.5 billion in compensation.




AfterDawn: News

IPCom demands retailers halt HTC sales in Germany

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Dec 2011 7:26

IPCom demands retailers halt HTC sales in Germany German patent firm threatens retailers with legal action.

IPCom said on Tuesday that it has requested that German mobile phone retailers stop selling phones made by HTC. It threatened to take legal action against any retailer that persists selling HTC devices, citing a 2009 injunction against the sale of a HTC smartphone.

The patent firm also went to the Mannheim court and requested that it fine HTC for ignoring the 2009 injunction. The court originally ruled in 2009 that a HTC handset infringed patents held by IPCom, issuing an injunction against sales. It set a penalty of up to ?250,000 for each time HTC failed to comply with it.

HTC appealed the verdict, but last week withdrew the appeal, prompting IPCom to push for enforcement of the injunction. However, HTC says the injunction only covered one HTC handset, and that is no longer solder in the German market.

IPCom hopes for a quick decision in the case, but the Mannheim court is likely to take months to decide on its requests for sanctions against HTC.




AfterDawn: News

Mario boosts Nintendo 3DS in Japan

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Dec 2011 7:08

Mario boosts Nintendo 3DS in Japan Nintendo 3DS regains some momentum in Japan.

Nintendo has said that sales of its 3DS handheld console will hit 3 million units in the Japanese market this week. The firm had released new software titles, including the Mario series, to prop up sales of the ailing gadget.

Nintendo admitted, however, that the holiday rush is started later than expected in the United States and Europe, citing poor economic conditions. Nevertheless, Nintendo is focused on keeping up sales of the 3DS after a strong Black Friday performance in the United States.

It projects a total of 4 million sales of the 3DS in Japan for its first year, and 16 million globally by March 2012. After cutting the price of the 3DS handheld in August, Nintendo is taking a loss on every unit that it currently sells, which is not an alien concept to other manufacturers of consoles but a rarity for Nintendo.

Nintendo's Wii home console sold 500,000 units on Black Friday in the United States. Still, it was overshadowed by a huge 960,000 Xbox 360 consoles sold in the week of Black Friday, setting the Microsoft console's best week of sales during its life.




AfterDawn: News

Logitech Revue gets Google TV update

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Dec 2011 6:56

Logitech Revue gets Google TV update Update will roll out this week.

Logitech has announced that it will begin delivering a software update of the Android 3.1 platform to Logitech Revue with Google TV. The update brings access to the Android Market, a simplified user interface, Logitech Media Player improvements and better search and browse capabilities.

If you're already a Revue user, simply ensure your unit is turned on and connected to the Web, and accept the update that pops up onto your TV screen. New customers are expected to receive this version automatically upon activation.

"In a world of infinite entertainment choices you need an easy way to discover the content you want to watch: Logitech Revue has you covered," Logitech's blog states.

"The Quick Search Box quickly vets TV content, Web video, Apps, Bookmarks, and the Web, so you can spend less time searching and more time watching. And the TV & Movies app allows people to easily search, watch and even rate more than 80,000 movies and TV episodes from cable, Netflix, Amazon and YouTube."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: Previewing the Windows Store

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Dec 2011 6:42

VIDEO: Previewing the Windows Store Microsoft details Windows Store for developers.

Microsoft has given details about the Windows Store, the primary source of Metro-style apps for the Windows 8 operating system. In the video below, Microsoft's Antoine Leblond explains the revenue sharing and the reach of the Windows Store when it launches.

Microsoft confirmed that the beta of the Windows 8 operating system will be released in February 2012. Research firm IDC expects that Windows 8 will be pre-installed to new PCs as early as August of next year.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Opera 11.60 released with HTML 5 improvements

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Dec 2011 6:33

Opera 11.60 released with HTML 5 improvements Opera 11.60 released.

The Opera browser has been updated for the Windows, Mac and Linux. Opera v11.60 brings improvements to the HTML 5 rendering engine, using less memory and loading secure web sites faster.

It also includes updates for the built-in mail client in the browser, with a refreshed design and new group messaging added.

The address field in the browser has been updated to provide search suggestions as you type, like you see in the Google Chrome browser, and a new quick shortcut for adding websites to your "speed dial" selection in the web browser.

Download Opera v11.60 for Windows here.




AfterDawn: News

The 12/7 list of 10 cent Android Market apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Dec 2011 5:43

The 12/7 list of 10 cent Android Market apps Here is today's list of 10 cent apps from the Android Market.

The deals went live at 4 PM.

Yesterday, the Android Market started an excellent promotion, offering 10 days of 10 popular apps for 10 cents.

Android's promotion is in celebration of 10 billion apps being downloaded from the market.

List, available now:

Beautiful Widgets
Flick Golf!
Fruit Ninja
Reckless Racing
AirSync by doubleTwist
Christmas HD
Star Chart
Read It Later Pro
NFL Rivals
BB-Bedtime Battle


Get them here, or via your phone/tablet.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon the next in line to take aim at Netflix

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Dec 2011 2:54

Verizon the next in line to take aim at Netflix According to Reuters, Verizon will launch a standalone streaming service next year, taking on Netflix and traditional cable providers.

The company is already in talks with prospective partners, and Verizon will launch the service "outside of markets where it currently offers its broadband and TV package (FiOS)."

If accurate, that means the new streaming service will be available to 85 million households.

Unfortunately, the sources say the package will be pretty limited and be more similar to "Starz Play" and "Epix" than a full Netflix-esque offering.

Allegedly, Verizon has been weighing the offering for two years now.




AfterDawn: News

The NFL close to completing billion dollar media deals

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Dec 2011 2:19

The NFL close to completing billion dollar media deals The NFL is on the verge of extending its major media-rights deals this week, with the agreements bringing the league $3.2 billion per year over 8 years.

Each of deals will be an extension of prior deals with Fox, NBC and CBS and be a 60 percent increase over the prior contract details.

When completed, the deals, along with the current media-rights agreements with ESPN and DTV, will bring the league $6 billion per year for the nation's most popular sport.

Both the NFL and its partners are now exchanging terms sheets and the deal is expected to close before Christmas.

Before the new deals, the NFL brings in about $9.4 billion in revenue per year.




AfterDawn: News

Starbucks processed over 26 million mobile payments this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Dec 2011 2:06

Starbucks processed over 26 million mobile payments this year Starbucks is seeing a big success in their mobile initiatives.

In January, the company started its Starbucks mobile app, which allows users to pay for their coffee (and everything else) using a mobile app and a "digital Starbucks card."

How the "Starbucks Mobile Pay" works is users with Android or iOS devices load money onto their digital cards and then present a barcode to pay-by-scan at registers in 9000 different locations.

Since launch, over 26 million mobile payments have been made, says Adam Brotman, vice president and general manager of digital ventures at Starbucks, via VB.

6 million of those transactions have occurred in the last nine weeks, showing growth is strong.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft confirms February 2012 release for Windows 8 beta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Dec 2011 1:11

Microsoft confirms February 2012 release for Windows 8 beta Microsoft has confirmed the rumor today that its first public Windows 8 Beta will be released in February.

The company also added that the Developer Preview had been downloaded over 3 million times.

Original story:

TNW is reporting today that sources have told them the public Windows 8 beta will be released in February.

The operating system has long been rumored to have a September 2012 release date, and the new beta date still leaves that month as a very viable option.

It is unclear what will be added in the beta, as a feature set has not been released, yet.

There has been a developer preview released, and some earlier versions of the OS were leaked, but each had noticeable features missing, including the email function.

Check our guide on how to Install Windows 8 Dev Preview in VMware Workstation here.




AfterDawn: News

LightSquared looks to sell local governments on wholesale 4G which might never come

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Dec 2011 5:29

LightSquared looks to sell local governments on wholesale 4G which might never come The CEO of LightSquared will be meeting today with representatives of local governments in rural areas of the US to sell them on the benefits of their proposed wholesale 4G mobile network.

LightSquared's plan to offer 4G service using a frequency range originally allocated for satellite communications has been plagued by problems stemming from interference with high precision GPS systems which use nearby frequencies.

Their meeting with people like Charles Simmons, County Commissioner and Chairman of the Southern Lower Chattahoochee Council of Governments, Michael Evans of the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association, Shaun Golden, Sherriff of Monmouth County, NJ, Beatrice Snowden from The University of Kentucky Agricultural Cooperative Extension Services, and Maine State Representative Diane Russell appears to be an attempt to put pressure on federal regulators to approve the delayed launch of their mobile network.

They are being assisted in these efforts by two former US Senators and a former governor of Pennsylvania. According to a company press release, topics of discussion will include, "preliminary testing results from an independent laboratory that shows LightSquared's network is compatible with high precision GPS devices."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

2011 Blu-ray sales to dwarf 2010 says analyst

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Dec 2011 4:35

2011 Blu-ray sales to dwarf 2010 says analyst While most of the hype in the video world continues to revolve around the ever expanding world of streaming, Blu-ray continues to gain in popularity.

Despite a poor start to the year, it looks like Blu-ray sales in the US, Europe, and worldwide are poised to grow significantly for the year as a whole.

A report from Home Media Magazine, citing industry analyst Jim Bottoms of Futuresource, says 2011 sales of Blu-ray discs will outperform last year by 35%, while European sales will be up more than 40%. Worldwide he is predicting sales of 234 million units, a 45% increase over 2010.

Bottoms lists a number of factors in Blu-ray's recent success. In Europe, he says, German Blu-ray adoption is probably the biggest factor. But worldwide he says it is more about the gradual phasing out of DVD players in favor of Blu-ray by consumer electronics manufacturers.

"We?re getting to the price point now where CE manufacturers won?t make a DVD player and a Blu-ray player," Bottoms said. "There?s no point in having double inventory."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Verizon and Motorola announce 2 new Android tablets

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Dec 2011 3:58

Verizon and Motorola announce 2 new Android tablets Motorola Mobility and Verizon have announced two new Android tablets, the DROID XYBOARD 10.1 and DROID XYBOARD 8.2, featuring a 10.1 inch and 8.2 inch display respectively.

The tablets will ship with Android 3.2 (Honeycomb), but upgrades to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) are planned for some point in the future.

Both tablets feature dual core 1.2GHz processors and 1GB RAM. They also have 5 megapixel rear-facing cameras with digital zoom, autofocus and LED flash and a 1.3 megapixel front-facing cameras for video chat.

There will also be accessories available, including a HD dock for connecting to an external display via HDMI.

Software included with the DROID XYBOARD tablets will include the Dijit app enabling their use as universal remote controls with an electronic programming guide for TVs, Blu-ray players, DVRs, and other consumer electronics.

Additionally, the 10.1 inch model has stylus support and comes with a precision tip stylus.

The DROID XYBOARD 10.1 will be available with 16GB of storage for $529.99, 32GB for $629.99 and 64GB for $729.99 with a new two-year customer agreement.

The 8.2 inch XYBOARD will be released in just two versions, a 16GB model for $429.99 or 32GB for $529.99, once again a new two-year customer agreement.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Public Knowledge requests DMCA exemption for format shifting DVD content

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Dec 2011 2:52

Public Knowledge requests DMCA exemption for format shifting DVD content Every three years, when the US Copyright Office considers potential exemptions to the DMCA's anti-circumvention provision, the issue of DVD ripping is raised.

DVD ripping, or more accurately bypassing the CSS encryption used for DRM on most DVDs, is illegal under the DMCA. Not surprisingly, the MPAA has fought the effort to exempt bypassing CSS for fair use purposes on the grounds it would lead to more piracy.

So far the Librarian Of Congress, at the request of the Register of Copyrights, has generally rejected these requests, although limited exemptions for educational uses by college and university professors and by college and university film and media studies students, documentary filmmaking, and noncommercial videos were added last time around.

With another triennial rulemaking process underway, another request for such an exemption has been proposed. There's no particular reason to believe the result will be any different, but there are some important differences in the approach taken this time around by Public Knowledge.

In their filing to the Librarian Of Congress, Public Knowledge has framed the argument for the CSS exemption in terms of format shifting. Rather than arguing in favor of re-using content for purposes not intended by the copyright holder, they are concentrating on the simple act of watching the content, albeit on a device without a DVD drive or decryption capabilities.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

New prepaid mobile service in US offers unlimited data for $45 a month

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 07 Dec 2011 2:03

New prepaid mobile service in US offers unlimited data for $45 a month A new prepaid wireless service has just debuted in the US, offering smartphone plans with unlimited 3G data for $45 per month.

PrepaYd Wireless is a subsidiary of PrepaYd Inc, who offers prepaid debit cards under the Bank Freedom brand. Their wireless offering uses Sprint's network.

In addition to unlimited data, PrepaYd's plan offers unlimited calling within the US in addition to unlimited SMS and MMS messaging.

PrepaYd Wireless also sells a small selection of smartphones for use with their service. Being a prepaid plan, phone prices are higher than US consumers are generally accustomed to since they lack the significant subsidies offered by postpaid providers.

Initial offerings include two Android phones, the LG Optimus S for $75 and the Samsung Replenish for $150. Additionally there is the Windows Phone powered HTC Arrive for $400.

You can find more information on the PrepaYd Wireless website.




AfterDawn: News

Cox adds iPad TV streaming to expensive subscription plans

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Dec 2011 12:28

Cox adds iPad TV streaming to expensive subscription plans Cox Communications has made TV streaming available to iPad owners , as long as you have one of their more expensive cable subscriptions.

Dubbed the Cox TV Connect app, users can log in and watch live TV from their tablets.

"A screen is a screen is a screen," added Cox VP of Video Strategy Steve Necessary.

For now, the app only has 35 live channels, compared to similar apps from rivals like Cablevision that offer all their hundreds of channels.

Cox says it will add content on a rolling basis.




AfterDawn: News

Kaspersky to drop Business Software Alliance membership over SOPA backing

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 06 Dec 2011 5:14

Kaspersky to drop Business Software Alliance membership over SOPA backing Despite the obvious implications for SOPA to cause problems for tech companies, the Business Software Alliance's criticism of the bill has been muted at best. BSA President and CEO Robert Holleyman initially called the introduction of SOPA, "a good step."

After it became clear his view wasn't representative of many BSA members, he revised his position, saying:

The idea behind SOPA, as Chairman Smith explained at last week's hearing, is to remove pirates' ability to profit from their theft. We think that is the right approach as long as it is done with a fine touch.


The BSA's position isn't surprising considering their focus on software piracy, including an annual report which includes claims every bit as ludicrous as the figures spouted by the RIAA and MPAA.

Last year, in a report on the veracity of piracy numbers reported by various trade groups, the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said of the BSA's report, "it uses assumptions that have raised concerns among experts we interviewed, including the assumption of a one-to-one rate of substitution."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple expert claims iPhone and iPad designs aren't primarily functional

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 06 Dec 2011 4:22

Apple expert claims iPhone and iPad designs aren't primarily functional An Apple filing in their US lawsuit against Samsung for allegedly copying protected design elements of the iPhone and iPad has been released.

As with their other design claims around the world, it basically comes down to the argument that generic and functional are actually unique and purely aesthetic. The document is a redacted version of a declaration from industrial designer Cooper C Woodring in which he makes a number of astonishing claims about what Samsung should do to avoid infringing on Apple's intellectual property.

Even as he argues that the design elements of both iDevices are purely aesthetic, he suggests changes for Samsung which would make their phones and tablets decidedly less functional.

Let's look at a few of them. First, he argues, Samsung could make the area around the display raised, rather than flush with the display. Of course that ignores the fact that it would make it nearly impossible to swipe all the way to the edge of the display.

He also says they could make the devices less rectangular. In fact it's arguable the shape of the iPhone, which is significantly wider than the display, is purely functional because the extra length is needed to make it usable as a phone.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

EC looking into Apple, major publisher e-book price fixing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Dec 2011 2:58

EC looking into Apple, major publisher e-book price fixing The European Commission has launched its investigation into whether ebook publishers Lagardere, Pearson Plc, News Corp, CBS and MacMillan colluded with Apple to price-fix ebooks, making it more expensive for the end consumer.

Says the EC (via Reuters):

The Commission will in particular investigate whether these publishing groups and Apple have engaged in illegal agreements or practices that would have the object or the effect of restricting competition in the European Union or in the European Economic Area.

The Commission is also examining the character and terms of the agency agreements entered into by the above named five publishers and retailers for the sale of e-books.


News Corp. owns Harper Collins, Lagardere owns Hachette, CBS owns Simon & Schuster and Pearson owns Penguin, meaning all the big boys of the publishing world are part of the investigation.

All the companies have said they are cooperating.

In 2010, with the launch of the iPad, publishers moved to the "agency model," where they are allowed to the set the price of the ebooks, and the revenue is then shared with the retailer. Before that, publishers would sell all their books for 50 percent of retail price on a wholesale basis. Retailers were then allowed to sell at any price they chose, cutting into their own margins if necessary.




AfterDawn: News

The RIAA jumps into a Las Vegas lawsuit to argue against fair use

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 06 Dec 2011 2:43

The RIAA jumps into a Las Vegas lawsuit to argue against fair use Always on the lookout for ways to push back against the recognition that any unauthorized copying is legal, the RIAA has filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief in a copyright infringement case brought by a Las Vegas firm.

Righthaven LLC is a company formed by lawyer Steve Gibson and the publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Its sole purpose was to purchase the right to bring copyright infringement lawsuits over online copying of newspaper articles.

When the terms of Righthaven's agreements with LVRJ and other newspapers was detailed in court filings several months ago, judges began dismissing their suits for a lack of standing. That's because the right to sue is an extension of the exclusive rights granted to copyright holders, and not a separate right which can be transferred separately.

That's not what the RIAA is arguing against. Instead their filing is in opposition to a ruling in one of Righthaven's failed lawsuits in which the judge stated it was possible for the republication of a copyrighted article, in its entirety, by a non-profit organization could be fair use.

In fact this is not a new concept at all. It was a key point raised by the Supreme Court in the most famous copyright case ever - the Betamax Case. In that case, the majority opinion read:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

.XXX porn domains now live

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Dec 2011 2:37

.XXX porn domains now live As of 11 AM, over 100,000 .XXX websites are live, ushering in a new "era" of porn.

After a decade of debates, the new top-level domain went public this year, allowing companies to have porn-only addresses.

Says the ICM registry (company behind handing out domains):

The Internet is home to a wealth of content, suitable for a wide range of ages and values. The adult entertainment industry has, and always will, account for a large amount of this content and while it is enjoyed by some, it is not suitable, or of interest, to all Internet users.

Regardless of your views on adult content, it's here to stay, so let's be adult about it.


Companies have complained about the need to purchase addresses just to protect their brands, including simple names like cocacola.xxx and whitehouse.xxx although the registry says they have strong protection against cybersquatters.




AfterDawn: News

Android Market starts 10 cent app promo to celebrate 10 billion app downloads

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Dec 2011 1:11

Android Market starts 10 cent app promo to celebrate 10 billion app downloads The Android Market has started an excellent promotion today, offering 10 days of 10 popular apps for 10 cents.

Android's promotion is in celebration of 10 billion apps being downloaded from the market.

The first apps are:

SoundHound
Asphalt 6: Adrenaline HD
Minecraft - Pocket Edition
Swiftkey X
Endomondo Sports Tracker
Great Little War Game
Sketchbook Movile
Fieldrunners HD
Color & Draw for Kids (Phone)
Paper Camera


Make sure to bookmark the page for the next 9 days and get all the great apps for cheap.




AfterDawn: News

Google Voice Search adds Hebrew, Arabic support

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Dec 2011 12:57

Google Voice Search adds Hebrew, Arabic support Google has announced today that their Voice Search feature in Android and iOS has now added Arabic and Hebrew support.

Thanks to the update, Voice Search now supports 29 languages in 37 countries.

Users in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, UAE, and Israel now have access.

Says Google:

When building support for Arabic and Hebrew into our language model we faced some unique challenges, including how to understand words with diacritics (accents that indicate a difference in pronunciation, a linguistic phenomenon called "Nikud" in Hebrew, and "Tashkil" in Arabic) and words appended with other words ("and" for example) that can have many different nuanced meanings.

To train our system we collected over one million utterances in Arabic and Hebrew, using the languages as they are spoken in the more populated parts of each country. For Arabic, we trained the system to recognize Gulf, Levant and Egyptian dialects. While initially we may not accurately recognize words spoken in every regional accent and dialect, one of the major benefits to Google's cloud-based model is that the more people use Voice Search, the more accurate it becomes.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

US proposal to free additional wireless spectrum could impact DTV broadcasts

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 06 Dec 2011 12:48

US proposal to free additional wireless spectrum could impact DTV broadcasts A new bill making its way through the US House Of Representatives would reallocate a significant amount of spectrum both to build a nationwide public safety network and provide additional wireless Internet service.

The proposal, called Jumpstarting Opportunity with Broadband Spectrum (JOBS) Act of 2011, was passed on from the Communications and Technology Subcommittee to the full House Energy & Commerce Committee.

In order to free up valuable spectrum currently used for digital TV, the bill would authorize the FCC to offer broadcasters payment in exchange for moving down from their current UHF assignments to VHF frequencies. While this sounds like a simple proposition, that's not necessarily the case.

When DTV broadcasts first began in the US, most broadcasters were using various UHF frequencies due to the limited bandwidth available on the VHF portion of the spectrum where most of their analog signals resided. When permanent digital frequencies were assigned by the FCC, the lower two portions of the VHF spectrum were avoided due to transmission problems.

The JOBS Act seems to make the assumption these same low VHF frequencies (formerly used for analog channels 2-5 would be viable for DTV broadcasts. However, it is ultimately broadcasters who will have to make this decision since the move would be strictly voluntary.

In addition to the potential issues for broadcasters, such a move could case problems for consumers. Some antennas commonly used for DTV reception aren't well suited for the lower range of the VHF spectrum.

But those are short term considerations. In the long term it seems inevitable TV will ultimately be just another data service absorbed into a common universal connection.

For some people, particularly in rural areas, there is every reason to believe that connection will be wireless due to the cost of running and maintaining wired connections in sparsely populated areas. At some point that will have to mean reallocating frequencies to increase data service options.

While this bill, at least as currently written, may not be the best way to accomplish that, it's something we need to be considering sooner rather than later.

In reality this bill has some major hurdles to overcome before it can be passed. A second provision would free up more spectrum currently used for public safety networks used primarily by state and local governments into a single national frequency range.

Like the DTV move, consolidation of the various public safety networks into a single nationally available range is probably inevitable, but there is significant resistance to it right now.

Another dealbreaker could be a provision forbidding the FCC from putting net neutrality requirements on sales of the newly freed spectrum.

At this point it may be purely hypothetical, but these challenges are realities which will have to be addressed eventually.




AfterDawn: News

As expected, Android and iOS continue to grow market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Dec 2011 12:28

As expected, Android and iOS continue to grow market share According to the latest comScore figures, Android and iOS continue to grow their smartphone market share in the U.S.

Android jumped 4.4 percentage points to 46.3 percent for the three-month period ended October 30th.

Apple, after seeing strong sales of the iPhone 4S and continued sales of other iPhones, jumped 1 percentage point to 28.1 percent.

BlackBerry, which used to have over 50 percent share n the U.S., fell another 4.5 percentage points to 17.2 percent.

Microsoft, with its now defunct Windows Mobile 6.5 and its latest Windows Phone 7.5 came in fourth at 5.4 percent share.

Samsung remained the top selling smartphone maker in the nation.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon Galaxy Nexus to cost $299

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Dec 2011 12:09

Verizon Galaxy Nexus to cost $299 Verizon's upcoming Galaxy Nexus will cost $299 with contract when it inevitably hits the carrier this month.

Google and Samsung unveiled the flagship Android 4.0 phone earlier this year but all the companies involved have been utterly quiet on a release date.

The $299 price tag makes sense as Verizon has set that price point for its LTE phones.

As reported earlier, Verizon is unsurprisingly removing a major feature, Google's "Google Wallet" NFC-based service.

This is likely because Verizon is part of the joint "Isis" NFC payment system.




AfterDawn: News

RIM fires employees that forced airplane emergency landing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Dec 2011 11:46

RIM fires employees that forced airplane emergency landing RIM has fired the two employees that were so drunk and unruly on a flight to China that the plane had to make an emergency landing.

Says the company: "RIM does not condone behaviour that conflicts with applicable laws and employees are expected to act, at all times, with integrity and respect."

Original Story:

RIM has suspended its two employees after their excessive drunkeness forced a flight to make an emergency landing.

45-year-old George Campbell of Conestogo and 38-year-old Paul Alexander Wilson of Kitchener were so belligerent on a recent flight from Toronto to Beijing that the crew had to physically handcuff them to their seats before eventually detouring and settling for an emergency landing in Vancouver.

The two have also plead guilty to mischief and will have to pay the airline $71,757 in restitution for the flight delay, the landing, and the hotel rooms for all 312 passengers. The flight made it to Beijing 18 hours late after an overnight in Vancouver.

Added RIM:

Based on the limited information available at this time, RIM has suspended the individuals involved pending further investigation.

As part of their punishment, neither can use Air Canada for one year.




AfterDawn: News

HTC revenues fall 20 percent YoY

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Dec 2011 11:34

HTC revenues fall 20 percent YoY HTC has seen its revenue fall for the first time in two years this quarter, as the smartphone maker struggles to keep up with the competition.

The Taiwanese-based company said today they made 31 billion Taiwanese dollars ($1.03 billion USD) in revenue for the month of November, down from 38.4 billion ($1.28 billion) last November.

HTC's figure was even more surprising because the company saw a 36 percent jump in October.

The company recently signed a deal to take a majority share of Beats Audio, including the technology in all its latest devices.

CEO Peter Chou has promised quad-core phones and tablets in 2012.




AfterDawn: News

Non-profit CEO fears SOPA's affect on the disabled

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 06 Dec 2011 10:34

Non-profit CEO fears SOPA's affect on the disabled While supporters of SOPA, the US Internet censorship bill claiming to be aimed at combating online piracy, the reality is it would cast a wide net and make it significantly more difficult and expensive for many legitimate online services to operate.

One such service is Bookshare, an online library for people with various visual and reading disabilities, ranging from blindness to dyslexia. Bookshare provides unlimited access to specialized ebooks which can be translated into spoken words, Braille, or large print using various software and hardware.

The service is intended to fill a gap in many commercial products, which are designed specifically to disallow such conversions as a result of demands from publishers and authors preoccupied with piracy and performance royalties.

Bookshare is a completely legal service thanks to a specific provision in US Copyright law, found in Section 121, also known as the Chafee Amendment:

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 106, it is not an infringement of copyright for an authorized entity to reproduce or to distribute copies or phonorecords of a previously published, nondramatic literary work if such copies or phonorecords are reproduced or distributed in specialized formats exclusively for use by blind or other persons with disabilities.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

VIDEO: Samsung imagines flexible, transparent tablet-like device

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Dec 2011 9:53

VIDEO: Samsung imagines flexible, transparent tablet-like device Yet another look into the future.

In a short 30 second video (not in English), Samsung shows what it imagines could be a tablet-like device in the near-future. The device is transparent, flexible and seemingly capable of outputting a quite decent 3D image too.

The video is yet another vision of the future posted for us all by the corporate world. Who knows when we could expect such devices, or if they will even come to fruition at all. Not that I doubt the technology can be developed, I just wonder if we'll even want or need it by then.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

EU investigates Apple, publishers in e-book market

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Dec 2011 9:43

EU investigates Apple, publishers in e-book market EU investigates Apple, e-book publishers over anti-competitive practices.

The European Commission, tasked with preventing anti-competitive behaviour in the European market, has revealed that it is investigating Apple Inc. and five publishers for breaching EU competition rules.

The investigation includes Apple, Hachette Livre, Penguin, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck.

EU regulators will focus on alleged illegal agreements that restrict competition in the emerging market, with Apple's iBook store, likely to come under EU scrutiny.

The EU's antitrust probe comes after the UK's Office of Fair Trading carried out a similar inquiry. The UK office is now working with the European Commission to extend the scope of the e-book enquiry across the entire European Union.

The Commission carried out unannounced inspections on companies related to the inquiry in March of this year.




AfterDawn: News

Napster will go on in UK, Germany

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Dec 2011 9:33

Napster will go on in UK, Germany Brand name lives on in UK and Germany.

Last week, Rhapsody and Best Buy completed a deal which saw Napster subscribers and assets absorbed by the Rhapsody music subscription service. This was widely seen as the end of the Napster brand's controversial lifespan since it was first developed in 1998.

Now, a Napster spokesman told The Register that while Napster is more-or-less gone in the United States, the brand will still be used for music subscriptions in the United Kingdom and Germany, since Rhapsody has no presence in either market.

"There is no intention to close Napster in either Germany or the UK," he said.




AfterDawn: News

Concerns over 4G broadband rollout in UK

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Dec 2011 9:27

Concerns over 4G broadband rollout in UK Groups raise questions about rollout pace, coverage.

The Federation of Small Businesses and the National Farmers Union (NFU) have raised questions about the rollout of 4G broadband services in the United Kingdom. The groups are concerned that the rollout is taking too long, and that it will leave hundreds of thousands of rural users out.

For businesses and home users in rural areas, getting a decent broadband connection can be a nightmare. In the UK, 3G mobile broadband gave rural customers options they didn't have before, but for a lot of users, the speed and service quality was not what they had expected.

The BBC covers the story of Hayley Gaffney, who signed up for 3G broandband only to find it so slow she couldn't carry out normal tasks. "The internet was an absolute nightmare," she said. "It just kept crashing because it was so slow."

"It was things like watching YouTube, uploading photos onto Facebook, just uploading the news feed on Facebook, getting my emails without getting them a few days later. Before it was so slow."

Now Gaffney is lucky enough to be part of a 4G broadband trial in Cornwall, which has boosted her speed to around 11 Mbps. "The internet really is amazing to what it was before," she said. Another 4G trial is taking place in central London currently, run by O2.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung plans $4 billion chip plant in China

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Dec 2011 9:02

Samsung plans $4 billion chip plant in China Samsung prepares for boom in orders.

The South-Korean firm plans to setup a new flash memory chip plant in China, it's second overseas manufacturing site for the chips. The development will cost Samsung a handsome $4 billion, but it will help it to prepare for an expected boom in smartphone and tablet computers that will rely on flash memory for storage.

The global NAND memory chip market is estimated at around $22 billion this year, and is expected to rise around 20 percent to $26 billion in 2012, with growth continuing for years after. The new Chinese line will start operating in 2013, and will enable Samsung to, "meet fast growing demand from our customers and at the same time strengthen our overall competitiveness in the memory industry," according to Jun Dong-soo, head of Samsung's memory business.

China is expected to overtake the United States as the top market in the world for electronics products, driven by the growth of income levels in the region.

Samsung's move helps its position in the global market, but is seen as a move to cater to Chinese manufacturers such as Huawei Technologies Co and ZTE Corp, who have seen steady rises in their smartphone and tablet market shares.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

WSJ: Verizon-branded Nexus snubs Google Wallet

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Dec 2011 8:50

WSJ: Verizon-branded Nexus snubs Google Wallet Verizon Wireless blocks Google's payments app.

The Samsung and Google-developed Galaxy Nexus smartphone will not include Google Inc.'s payment application, Google Wallet, on Verizon Wireless. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Verizon-branded phone will come without the app this month.

Google Wallet enabled smartphones users to make payments and redeem digital coupons with their phones.

"Verizon asked us not to include this functionality in the product," a Google spokesperson reportedly told WSJ, but did not elaborate on why Verizon Wireless made such a demand.

A good guess for the reasoning is Isis; a joint venture of AT&T Inc., T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless that will provide a service for customers to make payments and redeem offers using their smartphones. Isis is expected to begin trials in 2012.




AfterDawn: News

EFF: Why Jailbreaking should get DMCA exemption

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Dec 2011 8:36

EFF: Why Jailbreaking should get DMCA exemption EFF wants Jailbreaking to be considered acceptable, encouraged practice in the U.S.

Whether its smartphones, tablet PCs or video games consoles, the EFF wants it to be legal and safe to "jailbreak" the devices. Last week, it asked the U.S. Copyright Office to grant an exemption to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for the practice, and has explained its reasoning for it.

The EFF finds that jailbreaking has delivered in areas of innovation, security, privacy, usability and more, across all the devices it affects.

With video game consoles, the EFF cites the U.S. military supercomputers made up of PS3s. The low-cost (relative) of the PS3 clusters wired together, is enabled by using OtherOS, a feature originally available for all fat PS3 consoles. It allowed a user to install an alternative operating system on the console.

In 2010, however, Sony decided to kill off the OtherOS functionality with a network update, effectively removing an entire function that was available at the point of purchase for millions of customers. The EFF points out that the only way for those customers to regain the feature is to hack the console, and it wants exemptions to the DMCA to allow any owner of a PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii or other consoles, to run their own homebrew software or alternative operating system.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Windows 8 'largely irrelevant' to PC users: IDC

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Dec 2011 8:17

Windows 8 'largely irrelevant' to PC users: IDC Users unlikely to want to upgrade, IDC says.

As part of its "Worldwide System Infrastructure Software 2012 Top 10 Predictions," research group IDC examined the Windows 8 operating system, and what it could expect from the market next year.

The group expects that Microsoft will have Windows 8 available to be installed in new PCs by August 2012, but it does not expect it to gain much attention from potential upgraders. "Windows 8 will be largely irrelevant to the users of traditional PCs, and we expect effectively no upgrade activity from Windows 7 to Windows 8 in that form factor," IDC predicted.

It also predicted that while Microsoft might expect some success with the Windows Server 8 software, it will be another disappointed year for it in the tablet PC space, despite the Windows 8 launch with the Metro touch-screen user interface.

"This is a tall order for Microsoft, and while the x86 tablet strategy makes sense as a transitional solution for today?s PC users, it will be the ARM-based devices that need to shine and clear a high bar already set by Apple."




AfterDawn: News

MIPS begins offering $100 7-inch Android 4.0 tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Dec 2011 12:12

MIPS begins offering $100 7-inch Android 4.0 tablet MIPS has created their own Android tablet, and it will sell for $100.

While there are many cheap Android tablets available on the market, what separates this from the rest is that it will run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and have a capacitive multi-touch screen.

The Novo 7 tablet will run a 1GHz Ingenic Xburst processor made by MIPS, dual-cameras (2MP rear/VGA front facing), an SD card slot and HDMI out.

Additionally, the tablet can handle "3D graphics with the Vivante GC860 GPU and 1080p video decoding."

Says Ingenic:

We are pleased to join with MIPS to announce these breakthrough high-performance, low-power, low-cost Android 4.0 tablets. Combining the elegance of the MIPS architecture and Ingenic?s innovation in processor design, we are bringing a new level of processor technology to mobile devices. As we continue to collaborate with MIPS to broaden the mobile ecosystem around the legendary MIPS architecture, we anticipate even broader proliferation of our devices worldwide. We believe the mobile world will be more versatile and colorful with another processor joining in.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony to aim PS3 at younger audience

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Dec 2011 6:04

Sony to aim PS3 at younger audience PlayStation 3 (PS3) just entered its sixth year on the market.

With six years passed for the console, Wii U confirmed and a new Xbox (or more than one) rumoured to be in development for release within the next couple of years, what is Sony's plan for the PS3?

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe CEO Jim Ryan said in the Official PlayStation Magazine UK that the company plans to aim for a younger audience, but not neglecting the needs of the core gamer. "I think you'll see us taking the console more towards a slightly younger demographic," Ryan said.

"More family market. The core gamer will absolutely not be neglected. There's going to be tons of great stuff for the core gamer but from our own studio, third parties there's some quite interesting stuff happening in a number of areas which would allow us to open up a market that we accessed pretty successfully on both PS1 and PS2 but haven't yet got to on PS3."

Sony's PlayStation and PlayStation 2 (PS2) consoles both had a decade-long life-cycle, and Sony has repeatedly insisted the PS3 will be no different.




AfterDawn: News

Is Firefox in trouble as Google deal expiry passes?

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Dec 2011 5:54

Is Firefox in trouble as Google deal expiry passes? Mozilla could lose significant amount of revenue if Google walks away.

According to Mozilla's most recent financial statement (PDF), approximately 84 percent and 86 percent of royalty revenue for 2010 and 2009, respectively, was derived from a contract with a search engine provider.

That search engine provider is Google Inc., and that contract was due to expiry in November 2011. It accounted for around $100 million of Mozilla's $123 million in revenue in 2010.

Now it is not clear if Google will renew the contract with Mozilla at all, or if it will do so with drastically different terms. Mozilla has had a rough year, watching its Firefox browser drop from 25 percent of the market to 22 percent, while Chrome has reached 18 percent. It also lost a key manager, Mike Shaver, who left in September.

After Mozilla switched Firefox to an accelerated development schedule, it lost a lot of support among enterprise customers too.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

More signs Google+ is struggling - referrals dropping steadily

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Dec 2011 5:45

More signs Google+ is struggling - referrals dropping steadily When Google+ was announced earlier this year, it was hailed as a possible Facebook killer. Despite their previous failure with Buzz, Google was looked at as the one company who might have the resources and know how to truly compete with the social networking giant.

But the reality hasn't lived up to the hype so far. In fact, all the signs have pointed toward Google+ actually being something of a disappointment.

When the invitation-only beta was announced, people seemed to be lining up to get in. It took less than a month to reach 20 million users.

But it didn't take long for the initial excitement to subside. Data from Experian Hitwise seems to indicate their decision to open Google+ to the public occured immediately after traffic started dying down.

There was an initial spike after that, but once again the public seemed to cool on the service. Analysts at Chitika pointed out that Google+ traffic returned to more or less the same level as during the closed beta just a couple weeks later.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

RIM exec to be charged over stampede in Indonesia

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Dec 2011 5:38

RIM exec to be charged over stampede in Indonesia Chief Exec to be charged with negligence in sales stampede.

A November 25 sale of BlackBerry devices had to be broken up by police after several people passed out and became ill in a crowd of 5,000. They were there trying to get a 50 percent discount at the launch of the latest BlackBerry in Jakarta.

The discount was to be given to 1,000 people, but after 5,000 showed up, things got out of hand. Police have said that Andrew Cobham, RIM's CEO in Indonesia, is responsible for the promotional event, and is being charged with negligence.

"The suspect has been banned from travelling overseas. He must go through the legal process here," said police investigator Budi Irawan. The maximum penalty for negligence is nine months in prison.

There are about two million BlackBerry users in Indonesia.




AfterDawn: News

India seeks content screening on social networks

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Dec 2011 5:27

India seeks content screening on social networks Unnamed executives reveal Indian requests.

According to New York Times' sources, the Indian government has asked several major Internet companies to pre-screen content posted by users, and to remove content it deems disparaging or defamatory.

Staff from the Indian units of Google, Microsoft and Facebook are meeting with Indian telecommunications minister, Kapil Sibal, to discuss the issue.

Several weeks ago, Mr Sibal reportedly called legal representatives from ISPs and Facebook into his office in New Delhi. He showed them a Facebook page that maligned the Congress Party?s president, Sonia Gandhi, saying it was unacceptable and asking them to find a way to monitor what is posted.

He also told them that he expected them to use human staff to screen content and not rely on filters.

NYTimes sources said that top executives from the firms involved would inform the minister that what he is seeking is not possible, even just due to the sheer amount of content that is posted by users.




AfterDawn: News

Sunlight Foundation shows entertainment industry donated tens of millions to SOPA/PIPA sponsors

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Dec 2011 5:03

Sunlight Foundation shows entertainment industry donated tens of millions to SOPA/PIPA sponsors It's certainly not news that the anti-piracy bills making their way through Congress, PIPA (aka Protect IP) and SOPA (aka E-PARASITE) are essentially just wish lists written by the entertainment industry.

While sponsors of both bills claim they are tightly focused on taking action against websites operated outside the US which are "dedicated to infringement," the reality is there are a number of troubling implications for innovation and even security.

The Sunlight Foundation, an organization dedicated to transparency in government, has published lists detailing the amount of money contributed by the TV, movie, and music industries to the campaigns of SOPA and PIPA sponsors.

The list for SOPA includes 18 of 25 sponsors:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony is region-locking Vita digital content

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Dec 2011 4:30

Sony is region-locking Vita digital content Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation Vita will region-lock all digital content.

If you need to switch to a different PSN account the hanheld will need to be factory reset, says Sony Japan's Third-Party Relations chief Brad Douglas.

Just like the PSPs of the past, gamers can only use one account.

Physical media will remain region-free but gamers who are fans of region-specific PSN content will not be able to access the content without factory resetting their console.

Admitted Douglas, however (via Reg):

The Vita is not region-locked, but that only applies to physical media. Don't know the rationale behind locking digital.




AfterDawn: News

Gingerbread now on majority of Android devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Dec 2011 4:13

Gingerbread now on majority of Android devices It has been slowly working its way to this point but Android 2.3.x is now on a majority of Android devices, at 50.6 percent.

Android 2.2.x Froyo is on 35.3 percent. Google's newly released Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich brought up the rear at 0.01 percent.

Android 2.1 Eclair fell to under 10 percent (9.6) for the first time in years, while Honeycomb 3.0-3.2 came in at just 2.4 percent, showing the low availability of the OS for tablets.

Somewhat astonishingly, the 3 years old Android 1.5 and 1.6 was still on a combined 2.1 percent of devices.

(Pics via RWW)





AfterDawn: News

Another security researcher examines Carrier IQ - says keylogging concerns are unfounded

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Dec 2011 3:57

Another security researcher examines Carrier IQ - says keylogging concerns are unfounded It appears the most serious allegations about Carrier IQ, the diagnostics software secretly installed and run with root access on a variety of smartphones, may be unfounded.

Carrier IQ comes pre-installed on a number of smartphones, most notably Sprint and AT&T branded Android smartphones, and is sold as a diagnostic tool to help carriers monitor problems with their mobile networks.

The software's existence was discovered last month by a security researcher named Trevor Eckhart, who calls it a rootkit.

While Carrier IQ disagrees with that description, there appears to be no question it is installed without the user's knowledge or permission and runs secretly (hidden from user view) with privileged access. That's the basic definition of a rootkit.

Further revelations by Eckhart include Carrier IQ having the capability of logging every keystroke the user makes and secretly reporting the contents of SMS messages and encrypted communications to the carrier.

Another security researcher, Dan Rosenberg has performed his own analysis of the Carrier IQ implementation on a Samsung Epic 4G Touch and concluded Eckhart's conclusions were in error. According to Rosenberg, claims that Carrier IQ has a keylogger or is capable of sending carriers the contents of SMS messages or webpages are completely false, at least for the Samsung phone he looked at.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

EBay app helps shopping while watching TV

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Dec 2011 3:57

EBay app helps shopping while watching TV App feature intended for use while watching TV.

A recent survey by Yahoo/Nielsen found that 86 percent of smartphone owners use the device while watching TV, with a quarter of them regularly searching content related to the show. Watch with Ebay is a new feature on eBay's iOS application that aims to help users buy items related to what they are watching.

"The idea is to provide a new form of TV watching entertainment that includes the possibility of shopping and discovering interesting products people never would have discovered otherwise," said Steve Yankovich, vice president of mobile at eBay.

Users can enter the network provider and channel, items related to the TV show itself, or the actors, guests or sports teams involved will be displayed by the app.

Purchasing an item in a particular team on a TV show or movie is not something there is any help for yet, but that is an idea that is being kicked around the industry.

"We've seen that guys sitting around watching a sporting event will buy jerseys for the team they like," Yankovich said.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Olympus hid up to $1.7b in losses

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Dec 2011 3:30

Olympus hid up to $1.7b in losses The disgraced Japanese camera company Olympus may have hid up to $1.7 billion in losses through fraudulent accounting.

Sources close to the panel investigating the fraud say Olympus, at its peak, hid losses of 130 billion yen, equal to $1.7 billion USD.

Although there was rumors of Yakuza ties, the panel has not found sufficient proof.

In an effort to hide losses from poor investments over the past decade, Olympus went through a huge series of mergers and acquisitions and then inflated the administration fees paid out for the acquisition to companies that did not exist or were owned by Olympus.

Former executive vice president Hisashi Mori and ex-internal auditor Hideo Yamada are likely to be charged with the fraud, and potentially former president Tsuyoshi Kikukawa. All have resigned.




AfterDawn: News

Jailbroken iPhone 4, iPod Touch get hacked Siri

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Dec 2011 2:48

Jailbroken iPhone 4, iPod Touch get hacked Siri Jailbroken iPhone 4 users, rejoice.

The blog InTech-BB (currently down) has posted a guide on how to add the popular Apple virtual assistant Siri to the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch 4G (fourth gen).

H1Siri comes via the Chinese dev group "CD-Team" and the app has been released to Cydia, which is the App Store for jailbroken iOS devices.

The only requirements are Cydia and iOS 5.

Because the app is new, there are expected bugs, including a camera bug that requires its own fix.




AfterDawn: News

EU: Heavy fines for privacy breaches

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Dec 2011 2:47

EU: Heavy fines for privacy breaches Reform of rules regarding privacy could take up to two years to be delivered.

Under proposed new rules for the European Union market, firms that break privacy laws could be fined up to 5 percent of their annual turnover. This could amount to billions for multinationals that got on the wrong side of the law.

The European Commission is seeking to reform laws in the region related to privacy, some of which have been untouched since 1995. The ultimate goal would be to harmonize laws across the 27 member states, but there are differences of opinion among national governments that could take some time to settle.

The reforms are aimed at companies selling consumers' personal data on the market, or when private information is compromised from a digital service.

According to the Financial Times, one proposal is to call for all companies with more than 250 employees to dedicate staff to data protection issues, which is not a requirement currently in any EU country.




AfterDawn: News

The iPhone accounted for more than 10% of US mobile phones in October

Written by Rich Fiscus @ 05 Dec 2011 2:44

The iPhone accounted for more than 10% of US mobile phones in October According to the latest numbers from comScore, the iPhone accounted for more than 10% of US mobile subscribers in October. Their 10.8% subscriber share was up from 9.5% a month earlier.

Keep in mind, this is an accounting of phones in use, rather than sales.

By comparison, Samsung phones were used by 25.5% of US subscribers, but that includes both smartphones and feature phones. Despite the sales gains in smartphones they have made in recent months, their usage share was unchanged from September.

Other companies whose phones were used by more Americans in October were LG and Motorola, but the trend for both companies was a slight downturn of 0.3% and 0.5% respectively.

At the same time, overall Android usage was up from a month earlier, accounting for 46.3% of smartphones compared to 41.9% in September. However, that gain didn't come at the expense of Apple, whose phones accounted for 28.1% of usage, compared to 27.1% in September.

Not surprisingly, the biggest loser was RIM. They dropped from a share of 21.7% in September to 17.2% in October.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HTC Flyer getting Honeycomb update in Europe today

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Dec 2011 2:40

HTC Flyer getting Honeycomb update in Europe today HTC previewed the much-awaited Honeycomb update for its Flyer tablet in September but has been notably quiet since.

Today, the software update will hit all European nations offering the device.

The company says U.S. owners will be getting the update "very soon," without providing a solid timeline.

For those with Flyers, the update is 210MB large and will bring the OS to version 3.55.405.1.

Android Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0) could eventually come to the Flyer, says the company, but the chances are likely low.




AfterDawn: News

Dell to still back Android

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Dec 2011 2:25

Dell to still back Android Despite their recent discontinuation of the Streak 5 and Streak 7 tablets, Dell has said they will still back Android into the future.

The company has currently shut down most of their mobile devices, and their only remaining American-available smartphones are the Dell Venue and Venue Pro, each of which run on Windows Phone 7.5. Speculation was Dell is waiting for Windows 8 for their next round of tablets.

Dell offers a 10-inch Android tablet, but only in China.

Says the company of their thoughts on Android (via Verge):

Dell remains committed to the mobility market and continues to sell products here and in other parts of the world. Streak 7 delivered a unique experience for customers who wanted a larger screen-size yet the freedom of staying connected to their personal and professional content while on the-go. It continues to be available in many markets through retail, distributors and carrier partners such as Optus in Australia. A 10-inch version of the tablet, Streak 10 Pro, is currently offered in China, offering the ultimate digital divide between work and life. The Venue and Venue Pro devices, as well, continue to earn accolades for performance, design and functionality around the world. We also recently launched the Latitude ST, a 10-inch Windows 7-based touch-screen tablet designed for vertical markets such as education, finance and healthcare in November of this year. We remain committed to expanding our reach beyond PCs with a targeted set of open, standards-based mobility solutions and services designed for commercial and mobile professional customers.





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