AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (2 / 2014)

AfterDawn: News

ABC to live stream the Oscars, but only to some cities and you must have a pay TV subscription

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2014 10:33

ABC to live stream the Oscars, but only to some cities and you must have a pay TV subscription ABC announced earlier this year that they would be live streaming the Academy Awards for the first time ever this year, but now we know the restrictions are vast.

To watch the stream, you will need to have a pay TV subscription from a supported provider, which include AT&T U-verse, Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, Verizon, Google Fiber, and Midcontinent but does not include Time Warner Cable, the nation's second largest cable company.

Restricting even further, the stream will be available in just eight cities: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham and Fresno.

If you are one of the few people who can access the live stream, the features should be pretty intriguing. You will be able to switch away from the main stage feed to other camera views of the "Winners Walk," "Audience" and "Press Room." If watching from a mobile device, there will be an ongoing stream of social media and a photo gallery.




AfterDawn: News

HTC confirms 'All New HTC One' name for latest device

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2014 10:09

HTC confirms 'All New HTC One' name for latest device A couple of weeks after @evleaks revealed the name and was mocked by an overzealous "Senior Global Online Communications Manager at HTC," the name of the upcoming codename M8 device as been confirmed by the smartphone maker.

The device will officially launch on March 25th at joint events in NYC and London.

In a teaser trailer, the M8 is referred to as the "All New HTC One," so it appears the company is looking to keep the name of its past flagship while reflecting the updating features of the new device.

The new phone is expected to keep a similar design to the original One, including the UltraPixel camera.




AfterDawn: News

Nintendo shutting down its Wii, DS online services

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2014 9:39

Nintendo shutting down its Wii, DS online services Nintendo has announced that it is shutting down the online services for its Wii and DS/DSi users.

The 'Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection' service will shut down on May 20th, leaving just the console's respective online stores but ending leaderboards, online play and more.

Reads the company's post:

As of May 20th, 2014, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service will be discontinued and it will no longer be possible to use online features of Nintendo DS/DSi and Wii software such as online play, matchmaking and leaderboards.

The Wii Shop Channel and Nintendo DSi Shop will not be affected however, and will continue to be accessible after May 20th.


Here are the affected games, which include major hits like Pokemon.

The company will now focus on the online services for the 3DS and Wii U.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon working with music labels to start Prime streaming service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Feb 2014 9:22

Amazon working with music labels to start Prime streaming service Amazon is reportedly in talks with the major music labels to start a streaming service that would be included in its Prime service.

The service will likely be very similar to Spotify, Beats, Google Play Music and others, but by being part of Prime, millions of subscribers will get the streaming service for free, rather than paying $5 or $10 per month.

Prime costs $79 per year currently, and gives Amazon buyers free 2-day shipping on millions of items, hugely discounted 1-day shipping, free access to Kindle books and free access to Amazon's video streaming service.

Although the e-commerce giant is in talks with the labels, sources say they are not close to a deal. The same sources says Amazon is looking for larger discounts than rival services have received.

While Prime is still $79 per year, Amazon suggested this year that the price of the service could go up to $99 or $119 in the future.




AfterDawn: News

Studio behind 'Worms' series create first new IP since 2001

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 8:00

Studio behind 'Worms' series create first new IP since 2001 The studio behind the blockbuster 'Worms' franchise, Team17 Software, has created their first new IP since 2001, a game called 'Flockers.'

Managing director Debbie Bestwich made the announcement during Sony's most recent PlayStation Open Day.

A more complete unveiling of the title is set for next week, with the Open Day just providing a teaser.

Besides Worms, the last games Team17 put together were on the Dreamcast and PlayStation 2.

"This is the most important game we've worked on in over a decade," Bestwick added. We will update when we have more news.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft: We have no plans to release an Xbox One without Kinect

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 7:47

Microsoft: We have no plans to release an Xbox One without Kinect Although there have been rumors since before the console even launched, Microsoft says it has no plans to release an Xbox One without Kinect bundled.

The motion sensor system is why the console sells for $100 more than the rival PlayStation 4, and many would prefer to pay less and lose out on the feature-set provided by the Kinect.

Before announcing a 30 pound price cut in the UK for the console, Xbox UK marketing chief Harvey Eagle said that Kinect is "integral" to the console. "[A Kinect-less Xbox One] is not in our plans at all," he added. "As we've said from the very beginning, we believe Kinect is an absolutely integral part of the Xbox One experience."

Currently, there are just a handful of games that require Kinect, so it is not integral to the gaming aspect of the console.




AfterDawn: News

Google: No, we did not bid for WhatsApp

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 7:31

Google: No, we did not bid for WhatsApp Google has confirmed that it did not bid for WhatsApp, the multiplatform messaging app recently acquired by Facebook for $19 billion.

There had been multiple reports that Google bid up to $10 billion for the company, but Google SVP Sundar Pichai has denied the claims.

Pichai did admit that the company spoke with WhatsApp in the past in an effort to have the companies work more closely: "Whatsapp was definitely an exciting product. We never made an offer to acquire them. Press reports to the contrary are simply untrue."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says he got a great deal in acquiring the company, which currently has 465 million users. "I could be wrong. It could be the one service that reaches 1bn [users] and doesn't become valuable."




AfterDawn: News

Japanese consumers buy 300,000 PlayStation 4 consoles in 2 days

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 7:18

Japanese consumers buy 300,000 PlayStation 4 consoles in 2 days Japanese video game industry publication Famitsu is reporting that the PlayStation 4 is already a hit in the nation.

The company has sold 322,083 units in the first 48 hours of availability, adding to the company's 5.3 million sold in North America and around the globe to date.

Sony now expects to sell 12 million units by the end of 2014, making it a huge success. The company is handily beating the more expensive Xbox One, as well. In Japan, it is expected to be no contest, as Microsoft has historically had a very tough time competing there in Sony's home country.

For Japanese consumers, the PS4 is offered in its standard package for for ¥41,900 (~$405 USD) and a bundle with a PlayStation Camera and a free download of Knack for ¥46,100 (~$450 USD).




AfterDawn: News

Photos leak of Google's prototype smartwatch, built by Motorola

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 7:03

Photos leak of Google's prototype smartwatch, built by Motorola AndroidPolice has released some leaked pictures of an early prototype of Motorola's smartwatch.

The photos do not reveal too much but show off a standard square display with large bezel (and Moto logo), a rocker and a power button on the lower left of the watch. In keeping with Android, there is a capacitive "back" button on the face.

On the other photo, we can briefly see the settings screen which includes a developer mode, giving credence to the fact that it was an early dev prototype.

Also tough to see is the icons on the rocker, one of which looks like a microphone with the other looking like a person. It is a possibility that one is for fitness and the other is for Google Now or other voice activation features.

More recent rumors have LG building the Google Now smartwatch for release in June at the company's I/O conference.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Original 'Minecraft' hits 100 million registered users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 6:42

Original 'Minecraft' hits 100 million registered users Minecraft creator Markus 'Notch' Persson has announced that the original version of the game has reached 100 million registered users.

More importantly, Persson says 14.3 percent of all the users have converted over to paid accounts.

You must register for a free account before you can demo the game or purchase the full version.

It is significant to note that the 14.3 million copies sold is just for Windows and Mac. On the Xbox 360, the game has reached 10 million copies sold, and the "Pocket Edition" for mobile has reached 10 million sales, as well. On the Sony PlayStation 3, where the game is relatively new, there have been over 1 million copies sold.





AfterDawn: News

For some reason, Barnes & Noble is releasing a new Nook tablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 1:47

For some reason, Barnes & Noble is releasing a new Nook tablet Even though sales have fallen off a cliff and the entire Nook division is failing, it appears Barnes & Noble will still be releasing a new tablet.

The new tablet will not be built internally, however, as the company works on deals with OEMs.

"The company is actively engaged in discussions with several world-class hardware partners related to device development as well as content packaging and distribution," says CEO Michael Huseby.

B&N reportedly fired a significant amount of its Nook team earlier this year and during their recent earnings call confirmed that "staffing levels in certain areas of the organization have changed."

As with all of B&N's previous hardware tries, the company is really just aiming to sell more books that can be read through the excellent Nook app. The company had just $57 million in digital content sales, down 27 percent year-over-year from already dropping numbers.




AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry launches sub-$200 smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 1:17

BlackBerry launches sub-$200 smartphone BlackBerry has launched a new, sub-$200 smartphone aimed at emerging markets.

The device is the first in the company's partnership with Foxconn in which Foxconn controls inventory and development, thus playing it safe.

Dubbed the "Z3," the phone will go on sale in Indonesia in April.

CEO John Chen says "it's a very attractive phone," and that "we have a plan for expanding that phone in different parts of Southeast Asia, and there's a plan to go global with it sometime in the future, before I die."

Adds the CEO: "We are excited to introduce the new BlackBerry Z3, the first smartphone to emerge from our strategic partnership with Foxconn, which was announced in mid-December, 2013. The BlackBerry Z3 embodies all that BlackBerry 10 offers, with its exceptional productivity features and reliable communications, in a stylish, all-touch design made affordable for customers in Indonesia."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Seth Rogen developing movie about the Nintendo vs Sega console wars of yesteryear

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 12:59

Seth Rogen developing movie about the Nintendo vs Sega console wars of yesteryear It appears that Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg will be writing and directing a new film about the Nintendo vs. Sega console wars from the 90s.

The movie, called "Console Wars," will be based on the new book of the same name. Nintendo and Sega had a highly publicized fight as the latter company was releasing its Genesis/Mega Drive to compete with Nintendo.

Goldberg and Rogen previously directed hits like Superbad and Knocked Up, so the film will certainly have comedic aspects to it.

Additionally, Scott Rudin will help with the development, after working on critical hits 'Moneyball' and 'The Social Network."

The book is set for release in May, so any film will likely be towards end of the year if not next year.




AfterDawn: News

Former Nokia CEO Elop to head major Microsoft division

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 12:40

Former Nokia CEO Elop to head major Microsoft division Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop will return to Microsoft shortly, taking over the company's important Devices and Studios business.

The Devices and Studios division is in charge of gaming (Xbox), Windows Phone and Surface.

Current division boss Julie Larson-Green will become Chief Experience Officer for Microsoft's Applications and Services group, in charge of the interfaces for Bing, Office, and Skype. Larson-Green previously worked on the design for IE and Office, but quickly moved through the ranks over the past few years.

Reads part of Larson-Green's memo to employees:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Europe, Brazil planning massive undersea cable to avoid U.S. spying

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 11:59

Europe, Brazil planning massive undersea cable to avoid U.S. spying The European Union and Brazil have agreed this week to create a massive undersea communications cable between Lisbon, Portugal and Fortaleza, Brazil that will help the nations avoid spying from the U.S.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff says the cable will "guarantee the neutrality," and Rousseff has been very public with her desires to keep the country's Internet free from U.S. spying. The cable will cost $185 million.

"We have to respect privacy, human rights and the sovereignty of nations. We don't want businesses to be spied upon," Rousseff said during the press conference. "The Internet is one of the best things man has ever invented. So we agreed for the need to guarantee ... the neutrality of the network, a democratic area where we can protect freedom of expression."

It was revealed last year that the NSA had been spying on the Brazilian President's email and phone calls. Brazil uses U.S. undersea cables for its communications to Europe but will now use their own. The current EU to Brazil cable can only support voice transmission.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Kantar: Android still king but Windows Phone reaches 10 percent share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 11:41

Kantar: Android still king but Windows Phone reaches 10 percent share Kantar Worldpanel ComTech has released their European smartphone data figures for the Q4 2013, and there were some interesting tidbits.

Android remained king, with 68.5 percent market share, followed by Apple at 19 percent and Windows Phone cracking a milestone barrier at 10.1 percent.

Reads the report: "In Europe Android continues to move towards 70% share, and the real battle now is among the Android manufacturers. Samsung is dominant, with 39.5% of sales, but this is lower compared with last year. Its position is being eroded by the likes of LG (6.9%), Sony (9.4%) Motorola (1.7%) and new brand Wiko (2%) which are all increasing their share of sales. All of these brands will be hoping their new releases at Mobile World Congress will be well received and help boost performance in 2014."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Daft Punk uploads entire 'Random Access Memories' album to Vevo, YouTube

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 10:50

Daft Punk uploads entire 'Random Access Memories' album to Vevo, YouTube Daft Punk has uploaded the entirety of their Grammy-winning 'Random Access Memories' to YouTube this week.

All of the tracks are available now as HD audio, and three tracks that have music videos: "Get Lucky," "Lose Yourself To Dance," and "Instant Crush" are also available on the channel.

One track is missing, the Japanese edition-only bonus track, "Horizon."

The album won Album of the Year at the recent Grammy awards, and 'Get Lucky' was one of the biggest hits of 2013.

Check all the videos here.




AfterDawn: News

Motorola: Moto G is our most successful smartphone ever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 10:24

Motorola: Moto G is our most successful smartphone ever Speaking during the company's MWC press event, Motorola's VP of product management noted that their cheap but powerful Moto G is their most successful smartphone, ever.

Rick Osterloh quickly said: "The Moto G has been the most successful, highest-selling smartphone in Motorola's history."

Osterloh added that Motorola makes a profit on every sale of their handsets.

Motorola Mobility was recently sold to Lenovo for $2.9 billion, after being purchased by Google in 2011.

Read our review of the Moto G here: Hands-On Review: Does the Motorola Moto G give you your money's worth for $179?




AfterDawn: News

Apple: Patch your devices now, we have fixed the 'GoToFail' issue

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 9:50

Apple: Patch your devices now, we have fixed the 'GoToFail' issue Apple has released a new update for OS X that should patch the massive security vulnerability now infamously known as 'GoToFail.'

The company had released a patch for iOS, version 7.0.6 to fix the exploit, but millions of OS X users were also at risk.

OS X Mavericks and Mountain Lion are confirmed for the fix, and version 10.9.2 for Mavericks will also include improvements for Mail, Safari and more including the addition of FaceTime audio calls.

Apple recommends getting the update as soon as humanely possible.

Read our original article on GoToFail here: Apple under fire after massive exploits found in iOS, OS X, Safari, Mail, Facetime, iBooks, Apple Update




AfterDawn: News

Video: Xbox One March Update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 9:26

Video: Xbox One March Update Xbox's Major Nelson has posted a video this week showing off the new Xbox One March update.

The new update adds a lot of multi-player-focused features that Microsoft says "will forever change the way you and your friends interact on Xbox Live."

Microsoft has rehauled the party system and the "Recent Players" list.







AfterDawn: News

New 'South Park' game gets censored in Europe

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Feb 2014 9:12

New 'South Park' game gets censored in Europe The new "South Park: The Stick of Truth" has been censored in Europe, with scenes cut.

For the release in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the cut scenes will be replaced with on-screen text that describes the action happening behind the censors.

Reads the documentation: "Seven scenes of about 20 seconds each are censored in the EMEA console versions of South Park: The Stick of Truth. The decision to cut this content from the game was made by Ubisoft EMEA."

A few of the censored scenes include a "A mini-game where a doctor is performing an abortion on the player," a "mini-game where the player is performing an abortion on the character Randy" and "five 'anal probing' scenes in which characters are 'actively' being probed."

The game is rated 18+ and Mature in all nations.




AfterDawn: News

Video: Netflix unveils 'Drone To Home' service to rival Amazon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2014 11:55

Video: Netflix unveils 'Drone To Home' service to rival Amazon Netflix, not wanting to be outdone by Amazon's potentially upcoming drone delivery service, has unveiled their own, the aptly named "Netflix Drone To Home."

Drones will deliver your physical DVDs, anywhere and everywhere.

Watch the hilarious ad here:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

16GB Samsung Galaxy S5 will only have 8GB available for users

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2014 11:26

16GB Samsung Galaxy S5 will only have 8GB available for users Although Samsung has notably cut down on their own "bloatware" for the upcoming Galaxy S5, the phone's ROM will still take up a massive amount of space.

Two independent reports claim that the 16GB model of the upcoming flagship device will have half of that storage capacity available for users. One phone tested had 7.86GB available for users, while the other had 8.65GB.

The new device offers even less space than its predecessor, which left a bit over 9GB for users.

Of course, the Galaxy S5 does have a microSD slot, allowing for up to 64GB of extra storage for the price of a cheap card, or you can purchase the 32GB internal storage model from Samsung for a premium.

Samsung has kept up with high-end specs for the new device including a 5.1-inch 1080p display, Android 4.4.2 + TouchWiz. Under the hood is a 2.5GHz Quad core processor, 2GB RAM, 16/32GB internal storage, microSD slot, dual cameras, 16MP (rear) with 4K video support, 2.0MP (front), LTE Cat 4, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO(2x2) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, NFC, a fingerprint scanner, a heart rate monitor and a built-in IR remote to control TV and other devices.




AfterDawn: News

Samsung hits 200 million units sold milestone for Galaxy S smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2014 10:53

Samsung hits 200 million units sold milestone for Galaxy S smartphones Samsung has announced today that the company has sold over 200 million Galaxy S smartphones since the series launched in 2010.

The company announced in early 2013 that they had sold over 100 million of the lineup, so it appears sales have ramped up significantly.

Although they did not break down the figures for all the models, the company had said last October that they had sold over 40 million Galaxy S4 to date.

Samsung is the top phone maker in the world, with nearly double the market share of Apple, which offers only one type of phone. The company has said since the launch of iOS in 2008, they have sold 700 million devices with the operating system, but that includes iPads and iPod Touches.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook discontinues its email service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 25 Feb 2014 10:11

Facebook discontinues its email service Facebook has announced it will be discontinuing its email service, @facebook.com, and that all emails will be forwarded to your primary email on file.

If you do not have a primary email on file, you will no longer receive @facebook emails, and you can also turn off forwarding if you don't want the messages passed on.

Why the retirement? "Most people have not been using their @facebook.com email address," says the company.

Facebook launched the service in 2010, but it lacked basic features like subject lines, CC/BCCs and never caught on with the community.

In 2012, the company was criticized for making only the @facebook email visible, making many believe the social media giant was playing favorites with their own service.




AfterDawn: News

WhatsApp to add voice services next quarter

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2014 10:07

WhatsApp to add voice services next quarter WhatsApp has announced today that the multi-platform messaging app will soon add voice services.

The company was just acquired last week by Facebook for $19 billion and the new announcement is almost equally as big for the customer's 465 million customers.

CEO Jan Koum made the announcement at the MWC event in Barcelona. WhatsApp will now better compete with Line, BBM, KakaoTalk and of course Skype, each of which offers some sort of voice services.

WhatsApp voice will hit Android and iOS first, followed by some Lumia devices and some BlackBerry devices, says the executive.

Koum also added that the company will keep growing as planned, even with the massive Facebook purchase. "There are no planned changes and we will continue to do what we set out to do, even after the acquisition closes," Koum said. "Still no marketing."




AfterDawn: News

SanDisk unveils world's first 128GB microSDXC card

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2014 9:55

SanDisk unveils world's first 128GB microSDXC card SanDisk has unveiled the world's first 128GB microSDXC card, the largest capacity microSD card to date.

"Smaller than the size of a fingernail, the new SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card enables consumers to use their phones and tablets as if storage limitations were never a concern, allowing users to capture thousands of songs and photos, and hours of video on a single, removable card," says the company.

The cards are designed for Android devices, although you will need to make sure the device can support microSDXC.

"The new SanDisk Ultra microSDXC card again demonstrates how SanDisk continues to expand the possibilities of storage so that consumers can benefit from our latest technology advancements," said Susan Park, director, retail product marketing, SanDisk. "With 128GB of removable storage, consumers will enjoy the freedom to capture and save whatever they want on a smartphone or tablet, without worrying about running out of storage space."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

AT&T expands LTE roaming to new nations

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2014 9:26

AT&T expands LTE roaming to new nations AT&T has announced that its LTE roaming has been expanded to 13 new nations.

The large carrier first introduced international LTE roaming a few months ago with an expansion to Canada and the UK. The new nations include Spain, South Korea, France, Japan and Australia.

Over time, AT&T will make its LTE roaming available in 200 countries. The carrier also has a deal in place with Fon to let AT&T subscribers use the Fon Wi-Fi network overseas.

To help travelers, the carrier has also released a new mobile app called the "AT&T International Travel App" that will allow customers to track their usage, learn more about their data plan, and to receive alerts if they hit their limits or do not have a roaming plan.




AfterDawn: News

Qualcomm shows off octo-core, 64-bit mobile chip

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2014 9:04

Qualcomm shows off octo-core, 64-bit mobile chip Qualcomm has unveiled their Snapdragon 615 today, the company's first octo-core, 64-bit mobile processor.

The company also showed off the Snapdragon 610, a 64-bit quad-core brother to the 615.

Featuring up to eight 64-bit ARM Cortex A53 cores, integrated LTE and Adreno 405 GPUs, the chips will be high-end entrants to the 600-series lineup, but will not be able to perform on par with the extremely high-end 800-series lineup.

Marketing VP Tim McDonough almost comically admitted that the decision to move to eight cores was based off Chinese consumer market research that found that smartphone buyers in China just liked more cores, "whether or not they make a big difference."

"They say the number of CPUs is important to them, which means it's important to our OEMs, which means it's important to us,"
added McDonough.

The new chips will hit the market in the Q4.




AfterDawn: News

Sony launches new Xperia Z2 flagship

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2014 8:45

Sony launches new Xperia Z2 flagship Sony has used the Mobile World Congress event to unveil its new flagship Android device, the Xperia Z2.

The display has been increased to 5.2 inches, with the same 1080p resolution. The new IPS Triluminos X-Reality display has Sony's new Live Color LEDs, which the company says offers the widest color gamut on the market.

Internals have been improved significantly, as well, to a quad-core 2.3GHz Snapdragon processor, 3GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, a microSD slot, Android 4.4.2, IPX5 and IPX8 waterproof/dustproof certification and new stereo speakers.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung rehauls design for Galaxy S5, adds fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor, more powerful specs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2014 8:01

Samsung rehauls design for Galaxy S5, adds fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor, more powerful specs Samsung has unveiled their Galaxy S5, a rehauled version of last year's successful S4, and next progression of the popular line of devices.

The company has increased the screen size to 5.1 inches, kept the 1080p Super AMOLED display but added a plethora of new features. Under the display is a new home key with a fingerprint scanner, and under the camera is a heart rate monitor, adding to the industry's move towards fitness tracking.

Around the edges, the phone keeps the same metal-esque plastic and the USB 3.0 charging port has now been given a port cover to help with waterproofing. Samsung has added IP67 certification for water and dust resistance, meaning a dunk in some shallow water will likely not kill the device. The back cover is no longer the ugly plastic we are used to, and is instead the soft-touch rubber well known to original Nexus 7 owners. The new back cover will be much more comfortable, and frankly, is much more aesthetically pleasing.

"With the Galaxy S5, Samsung is going back to basics to focus on delivering the capabilities that matter most to our consumers," said JK Shin, President and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung. "Consumers are looking for mobile tools that inspire and support them as they improve their everyday lives. The Galaxy S5 represents an iconic design with essential and useful features to focus on delivering the ultimate smartphone on the market today through people inspired innovation."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nokia unveils three Android phones: X, X+, XL as gateways to Lumia

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Feb 2014 7:31

Nokia unveils three Android phones: X, X+, XL as gateways to Lumia After months and months of rumors and leaked images and speculation, Nokia unveiled its Android devices early this morning, dubbing the phones the X, X+ and XL.

Each of the devices has a Lumia-esque design matched with lower-end specs but more importantly comes with a variant of Android 4.1 (why?) that Nokia believes will be a gateway to its high-end Lumia Windows Phone devices.

The devices will launch in emerging markets including Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe (and some select other countries) but will certainly not be headed to the U.S., UK and other developed nations.

With the three phones, Nokia has effectively taken the open-source nature of Android and molded it to look like Windows Phone and included a suite of Nokia and Microsoft apps while leaving out Google applications like Gmail, Chrome, and even the Google Play Store. Nokia will use its own app store, for which they take a cut rather than Google. The devices do support sideloading, so getting APKs and installing them on the device to avoid the Nokia Store will not be an issue. Nokia says they hope the phones will be gateways to Lumia Windows Phones and their own growing ecosystem.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple under fire after massive exploits found in iOS, OS X, Safari, Mail, Facetime, iBooks, Apple Update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2014 11:43

Apple under fire after massive exploits found in iOS, OS X, Safari, Mail, Facetime, iBooks, Apple Update Apple is having a rough week and fans of their products should be hoping for patches, as soon as possible.

The company revealed a critical bug in its iOS and Safari data security, and quickly released a patch, iOS 7.0.6. Following that revelation, researchers found the same bug for Mac OS X, and today another researcher says the security holes go way further, extending to nearly all of Apple's services and apps. The bug has been dubbed 'GoToFail' due to a single improperly coded 'goto' command in Apple's code.

Among the list of vulnerable apps and services are Mail, Twitter, Facetime, iMessage, iBooks and Apple's software update mechanism.

At the heart of the problem is Apple's "'secure transport' framework, the coding library that developers depend on to build programs that securely communicate online using the common encryption protocols TLS and SSL."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

LG working on Google's smartwatch, set for launch at I/O

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2014 10:52

LG working on Google's smartwatch, set for launch at I/O Multiple sources have reported today that LG is working on Google's first smartwatch, which will be unveiled in part next month and be available in June following Google's I/O conference.

The company will show off the new special smartwatch-centric OS in a blog post next month, say the sources.

Branded as a Nexus, Google will design the software and control the launch, with LG building the hardware.

The new OS will be based around the Google Now integrated search feature, and will be similar to Google Glass. The watch is expected to have a mic for voice activation and should deeply integrate fitness, Google apps, weather, maps and more.

Wearable devices are expected to have the strongest growth in the industry in the coming years, and will get validation when Apple finally gets in to the mix. So far, there have been a few entries to the smartwatch market, but none have been successful. Pebble, Sony and Samsung are the big names for the time being. Google would certainly be the biggest when it gets in.




AfterDawn: News

MWC 2014: Huawei unveils TalkBand fitness tracker with built-in headset

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2014 10:25

MWC 2014: Huawei unveils TalkBand fitness tracker with built-in headset Huawei has used the MWC event to unveil their anticipated wearable device, the TalkBand B1.

The TalkBand has a 1.4-inch flexible OLED display but notably also includes a removable earpiece that allows for wireless calling.

As expected, the device will mainly be a fitness tracker, including a pedometer, calories burned and more. Additionally, the smartband is also a sleeping pattern monitor, which allows you to use the smart alarm function to wake you up at the most optimal time, when you will be the most rested.

For the calling, NFC or Bluetooth 4.1 pairs the device to your smartphone and the large 90mAh battery should give you almost a week of use. The band is also dust and water-proof.

The device will hit China next month, and then Western Europe, Japan and the Middle East in April. So far, only the European price has been revealed, a reasonable €99.




AfterDawn: News

Mozilla unveils Firefox OS plans including $25 smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2014 10:05

Mozilla unveils Firefox OS plans including $25 smartphone Speaking at the Mobile World Congress event in Spain today, Mozilla outlined its plans for the fledgling Firefox OS which includes the future of the operating system: a $25 smartphone aimed at the billions that cannot afford iPhones and Android phones and still have feature phones.

Mozilla has partnered with Chinese semi designer Spreadtrum who has already developed three chipsets built around the low-end ARM Cortex A5 processor.

Additionally, the amount of Firefox OS handsets on the market will expand significantly this year. Alcatel and ZTE currently offer one device each but both will launch two more this year. Huawei will also release their first Firefox OS device this year, as well. Alcatel's upcoming One Touch Fire S will have the highest specs, a 1.2GHz quad core processor and a 4.5 inch 960×540 screen. Most of the other devices will be low-end dual-core processors with displays under 4 inches.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Netflix signs long-term deal to gain access to Comcast's full unthrottled broadband network

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2014 9:28

Netflix signs long-term deal to gain access to Comcast's full unthrottled broadband network Netflix has announced some truly breaking news this weekend, signing a long-term deal with Comcast that will ensure full access to the service provider's unthrottled broadband network, and provide a smooth experience for its streaming customers due to guaranteed throughput.

The news comes just months after Internet providers fought successfully to end net neutrality, and just days after Comcast agreed to purchase Time Warner Cable for $45 billion, essentially creating a monopoly for Internet and cable in the U.S.

Comcast is just one of a number of ISPs that have been seeing clogged networks and slower speeds for bandwidth hogs like Netflix, causing interruptions for customers, especially those trying to stream in HD or 4K. Additionally, Netflix connected to Comcast through a third-party, Cogent Communications, which led to added "traffic jams," especially during key times like the release of House of Cards season 2. Rather than pay a third-party to connect, Netflix will now deliver their content directly to Comcast, most likely at a higher base quality than they were getting previously. This is great for consumers.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

WhatsApp founder apologizes for service's largest outage ever

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2014 8:55

WhatsApp founder apologizes for service's largest outage ever Less than a week after the company was acquired for a staggering $19 billion by social networking behemoth Facebook, WhatsApp had its largest outage ever.

Founder and CEO Jan Koum has apologized this weekend for the four hour outage, giving a bit more details about the down time.

"It has been our longest and biggest outage in years and affected all of our users," Koum confirmed.

The CEO says a network router was faulty, causing a cascading failure that eventually hit their servers. That being said, it seems like coincidental timing rather than an influx of attention from the Facebook purchase pressing their networks.

Koum is working on making "sure it will not happen again" by overseeing new measures and working with their service provider.




AfterDawn: News

Ford will use BlackBerry's QNX to power its new Sync system rather than Windows

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2014 7:47

Ford will use BlackBerry's QNX to power its new Sync system rather than Windows According to sources, Ford will replace Windows with BlackBerry's QNX for its upcoming next-gen Sync smart dashboard.

By using QNX, the massive car company hopes to remove some of the current system's flaws and improve flexibility and speed. Additionally, QNX will be cheaper to license.

Ford currently has 7 million vehicles on the road using Sync, which allows for easier music playing, phone calls and more due to voice-activation software. Customer complaints have been increasing, however, about the touchscreens and general glitchiness of the technology.

New studies seem to suggest that new car buyers are actively looking for smart, connected dashboards, with 39 percent calling in-vehicle tech the top selling point for them and only 14 percent making power and speed their top choice.

QNX is currently used in Audi and BMW luxury cars and is also used to manage nuclear-power plants. BlackBerry purchased the company in 2010 to have a foundation for its BB10 smartphone operating system.




AfterDawn: News

Neiman Marcus hackers stole information for months, tripped security alerts nearly 60,000 times

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Feb 2014 7:17

Neiman Marcus hackers stole information for months, tripped security alerts nearly 60,000 times According to an internal company analysis of the breach, the hackers who attacked Neiman Marcus and stole hundreds of thousands of credit card numbers and personal information were working on the store for three and a half months, setting off security system alerts over 60,0000 times.

The report concluded the card data was stolen from July through October, and it was not done by the same groups or groups that hit Target, stealing information on 70 million consumers.

Ginger Reeder, speaking for Neiman Marcus, says the hackers named their malware almost identically to the company's payment software, thus allowing over 60,000 security alerts to pass unnoticed with all the huge amounts of data sorted by the company's security.

"These 60,000 entries, which occurred over a three-and-a-half month period, would have been on average around 1 percent or less of the daily entries on these endpoint protection logs, which have tens of thousands of entries every day," Reeder added (via BW).

After the investigation, the company also found that original estimates of 1.1 million cards stolen was high, with the real figure below 350,000. 9200 of the stolen cards were used fraudulently since the attacks. Neiman Marcus concluded that it was in compliance with standards to protect transaction data, and data-security requirements were increased again this year.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveils new Gear 2, Neo smartwatches

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2014 10:44

Samsung unveils new Gear 2, Neo smartwatches Samsung has unveiled their new second-generation smartwatches, replacing the poorly reviewed Galaxy Gear released last year.

The two devices, the Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo, run on the Tizen operating system rather than Android, and should be the first commercial Tizen devices to hit the U.S.

By using Tizen, Samsung has been able to improve the battery life to 2-3 days, compared to the barely 24 hours of life the Galaxy Gear provided.

Both devices have a 1.63-inch touchscreen, 4GB internal storage, dual-core 1GHz processors, 512MB RAM and a 300 mAh battery. The Gear 2 has a 2MP camera with video support while the Neo has no camera. Samsung has moved the location of the camera off the wrist strap and right to the watch face, meaning you can replace the bands if you so choose.

The watches will be available in April, but there is no word on pricing yet.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Here is the first 3D indoor map using Google's Project Tango prototype device

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2014 9:50

Here is the first 3D indoor map using Google's Project Tango prototype device Earlier this week, we reported that Google had started Project Tango, a prototype phone with 3D sensors that can build "visual maps" of the rooms or areas you are in with advanced 3D scanning.

We now have the first 3D indoor map using the device, and the results are stunning.

Matterport, a software company that specializes in computer vision and perceptual computing solutions, was already given a prototype device and used it to map some rooms. CEO Bill Brown says 3D mapping tech has accelerated rapidly thanks to mobile devices and Google is pushing the industry significantly.

The company has been working on their own camera, which they say has better quality than that of Project Tango, but that is to be expected given that it is an early prototype. "We're getting the same mesh quality that we're getting from our camera," says Brown. "It doesn't 'look' as good, but that's just because it's a prototype."

Video of the mapping:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple, Samsung fail to settle patent dispute

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2014 9:28

Apple, Samsung fail to settle patent dispute Apple and Samsung have once again failed to settle on their latest patent spat, with a trial now expected to being on March 31st.

Samsung Mobile boss Shin Jong-Kyun, Apple CEO Tim Cook and other high-level executives attended a full day mediation session at the beginning of February, followed by follow-up calls that led to nothing.

"Notwithstanding these efforts, the mediator's settlement proposal to the parties was unsuccessful," read the companies' report to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh. That said, the "parties remain willing to work through the mediator jointly selected by the parties."

The world's largest smartphone makers have spent hundreds of millions in litigation fees since 2011 for a number of patent disputes. Apple has been the courtroom winner but it has not stopped Samsung from becoming the top phone maker in the world, with nearly 29 percent market share of the global smartphone market.




AfterDawn: News

Amazon's Android-based set-top coming next month?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2014 7:54

Amazon's Android-based set-top coming next month? According to industry sources, Amazon's oft-rumored streaming set-top box could launch next month.

The device will directly compete with Roku, Apple TV, WD Live and others in the now crowded set-top market.

Amazon has been allegedly working on the box since the start of 2013, with the original plan to release it for the holiday season before it was eventually delayed.

The box will be based on Android, but will also likely use a variant similar to the company's Kindle Fire line of tablets.

There have also been rumors that the box could be gaming-centric, due to Amazon hiring game developers and even buying a gaming studio.

Amazon has never confirmed the existence of the set-top.




AfterDawn: News

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' will have exclusive anti-piracy trailer

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2014 6:32

'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' will have exclusive anti-piracy trailer Sony Pictures has teamed up with UK-based anti-piracy group Industry Trust, adding to the group's "Moments Worth Paying For" campaign.

The upcoming 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' will launch with an exclusive anti-piracy trailer aimed at keeping young people away from film piracy. Spider-Man, played by Andrew Garfield, will be in the footage, ensuring that the character pushes consumers to stick to legal content.

Industry Trust research suggests that 16-34 year-old males that see any of the "Moments Worth Paying For" trailers are then "twice as likely to pay for content."

Liz Bales, director general at Industry Trust for IP Awareness added: "With each trailer execution delivering more traction and success for the campaign, it's key that this momentum continues. We're delighted to have partnered for the first time with Sony Pictures Releasing U.K. on one of the tent pole releases for 2014."

The movie's director, Marc Webb, also added: "The 'Moments Worth Paying For' campaign -- which we're very happy to be partnering with -- is a fantastic way that we can enlighten film lovers, by helping them to experience the levels of work and creativity that go into bringing them the movies they love."




AfterDawn: News

Sony PlayStation 4 finally available in home country of Japan

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2014 5:42

Sony PlayStation 4 finally available in home country of Japan Sony has finally made the popular PlayStation 4 console in their home country of Japan, a surprising three months after its launch in North America, Europe and other nations.

The company has seen very impressive sales since launch, amassing 5.3 million units sold worldwide as of two weeks ago. Even more notably, Sony almost doubled up on Microsoft's Xbox One for January, a trend that will certainly extend to this month.

For Japanese consumers, the PS4 will be offered in its standard package for for ¥41,900 (~$405 USD) and a bundle with a PlayStation Camera and a free download of Knack for ¥46,100 (~$450 USD). Microsoft will likely release the Xbox One in the nation eventually, but it is not expected to be a priority following horrendous sales of the Xbox 360 where Microsoft only sold 2000-5000 units per month in most months. Sony is expected to dominate this generation in Japan, where the Wii U has already failed to make waves.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Geeksphone Revolution hybrid Firefox, Android smartphone now on sale

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Feb 2014 4:56

Geeksphone Revolution hybrid Firefox, Android smartphone now on sale Geeksphone, the Spanish startup trying to disrupt the smartphone world, has made their Revolution phone available this week for order, after months of teasing.

The device, which is notable because it can run both Firefox OS and Android, sells for 222 Euros ($305 USD) before taxes.

Unlike previous reports, however, the phone is not a true dual-boot system. You can not have both operating systems installed at the same time and choose to boot whichever you like. You can flash the OS of choice using pre-installed recovery tools, and you can only boot that OS. Geeksphone will support whichever OS you choose with updates.

The smartphone features a 4.7-inch 960 x 540 resolution display and under the hood is a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 4GB internal storage and a microSD card slot. Additionally, the smartphone has a 2,000 mAh battery and dual 1.3MP/8MP cameras. There is no LTE support but there is HSPA+.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HTC releases more images of upcoming Desire 8 phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Feb 2014 11:26

HTC releases more images of upcoming Desire 8 phone Already teased multiple times by the company, HTC has released more photos of its upcoming Desire 8 phone.

The mid-range device is expected to feature a 5.5-inch 720p Super LCD2 display and be powered by a quad-core 1.6GHz Snapdragon 400 processor and Adreno 305 GPU. Under the hood is 1.5GB RAM, 13MP/5MP cameras and HTC will install Android 4.4 KitKat right out of the box, supplemented by the new HTC Sense UI 6.0.

HTC is expected to formally launch the phone on February 24th, at the start of the Mobile World Congress event in Spain.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Jolla Sailfish OS exits beta, almost ready for installation on Android devices

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Feb 2014 11:04

Jolla Sailfish OS exits beta, almost ready for installation on Android devices Finnish smartphone startup Jolla has announced today that their Sailfish OS has exited beta and is almost ready for installation on Android devices, aimed at the market of fans who like to install custom ROMs on their smartphones and tablets.

The Jolla has been available in Europe for a couple of months, but there has been no carrier or OEM support except for small Finnish carrier DNA. Moving forward, Jolla says it is looking to extend online sales to Russia, India and Hong Kong while negotiating "new channels" in Europe.

Version 1.0 of the Sailfish OS will be available to install on Android devices starting on March 1st, and the company says active developers have already ported the beta to some Galaxy, Nexus and Xperia phones.

"Last year in China alone, about 100 million devices were re-flashed after the purchase with a new operating system. This approach allows Sailfish OS to scale into volume fast without limitations. This is a scaling opportunity in a similar way as we have seen in the mobile gaming industry recently," Antti Saarnio, chairman of Jolla's board noted, showing a clear strategy aimed at China.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft slashes licensing fees for Windows 8.1 by 70 percent to fend off Chromebooks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Feb 2014 10:42

Microsoft slashes licensing fees for Windows 8.1 by 70 percent to fend off Chromebooks Multiple sources are reporting today that Microsoft has taken drastic measures to fend off operating system rivals, most notably Google's Chrome OS.

If accurate, the sources are claiming that Windows 8.1 licenses have been slashed by 70 percent for low-end PC and tablet makers.

For devices that sell for under $250, Windows 8.1 will cost just $15 to have pre-installed, compared to the normal $50 fee. There will be few desktops and laptops that meet this threshold, but there are expected to be a significant amount of tablets.

Interestingly, products under the price threshold will not have to meet logo certification (hardware compatibility verification) and the devices do not even need to be touch-screen compatible.

Any OEM taking advantage of the steep discount will not be eligible for Microsoft's other marketing support and incentives.




AfterDawn: News

Roku planning IPO for this year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Feb 2014 10:17

Roku planning IPO for this year According to Bloomberg, Roku is preparing for an IPO this year, going public as its popularity grows.

The company builds set-top boxes that allow users to connect to hundreds of popular apps via a small box that connects to your HDTV.

Roku declined to comment, but the sources say the company still has not decided on a lead banker if it does decide to go through with the deal.

Recent studies show that 37 percent of households using streaming media set-tops use Roku as a primary device, well ahead of Apple and Google and others. Roku can also license its tech to other OEMs.

Founder and CEO Anthony Wood was originally with Netflix as the company began its transition to streaming, and Wood would have been in charge of creating a hardware Netflix device if the company had decided to go ahead with one. They did not. Wood then created Roku and Netflix initially backed it with a $6 million investment. Netflix is one of the most prominent apps on the Roku, along with Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, and others.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Report: Google building app for connecting to hotspot Wi-Fi networks automatically

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2014 9:29

Report: Google building app for connecting to hotspot Wi-Fi networks automatically According to sources, Google is building an app that would help you automatically connect to wireless hotspots such as those offered by Starbucks.

Google is supposedly testing the iOS and Android versions of the app at its headquarters.

The current process for many Wi-Fi networks can be a bit tedious. You usually have to find the access point, head to your browser and then agree to a terms page.

For 7000 Starbucks locations, AT&T formerly provided the Internet service but Google will now do so. The search giant is expected to use encrypted networks, and there is the possibility Google will use the app to install a dedicated security certificate using your Google account, allowing for automatic authentication whenever a connection is available.




AfterDawn: News

Carrier KPN signs deal with encrypted communications provider Silent Circle for encrypted calls, texts

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2014 9:07

Carrier KPN signs deal with encrypted communications provider Silent Circle for encrypted calls, texts The large European carrier KPN has struck a deal with Silent Circle which will bring encrypted phone calls and text messages to customers in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.

KPN has 33 million mobile wireless subscribers and another 6 million landline users.

Starting in June, KPN subscribers with Android and iOS devices can download the Silent Circle 'Silent Phone' and 'Silent Text' apps from the KPN CloudStore, allowing for secure communications. The services "use end-to-end encryption based on open cryptographic standards," says the carrier.

To protect your privacy, Silent Circle does not keep any metadata and encryption keys never leave a user's device. The keys are then destroyed after every session.

KPN operates as E-Plus in Germany and Base in Belgium. The company cited privacy concerns brought forward by NSA leaker Edward Snowden as one reason for the move to encryption. Pricing for the apps will remain the same, $9.95 per month or $99.95 annually.




AfterDawn: News

Google Currents shuts down in favor of Google Play Newsstand

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2014 8:50

Google Currents shuts down in favor of Google Play Newsstand Google has announced the discontinuation of the Google Currents app in favor of their existing Google Play Newsstand.

Says the search giant: "Google Play Newsstand is the new home for all your favorites news, magazines, blogs, and more. Newsstand updates and replaces Google Currents, which is no longer available for download or use. For existing Currents users, all your subscriptions will instantly transfer and be available for you in Newsstand. Discover a better way to enjoy all the news you love with Google Play Newsstand now. Find articles recommended just for you in Read Now, topics to follow, and premier news partners like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Guardian, and more."

The end of Currents comes concurrently with the update to version 2.3 of the app. The new update, which is just 860KB, will direct current users to Newsstand and then clear out app storage from Currents.

Currents had its share of fans and haters, with most respecting the design but criticizing the functionality.




AfterDawn: News

Project Tango: Google working on new smartphone with 3D sensors to map our entire world

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2014 5:06

Project Tango: Google working on new smartphone with 3D sensors to map our entire world Google has announced 'Project Tango' today, a new prototype phone with 3D sensors.

The search giant says the phone can build "visual maps" of the rooms or areas you are in with advanced 3D scanning. Says the company:

As we walk through our daily lives, we use visual cues to navigate and understand the world around us. We observe the size and shape of objects and rooms, and we learn their position and layout almost effortlessly over time. This awareness of space and motion is fundamental to the way we interact with our environment and each other. We are physical beings that live in a 3D world. Yet, our mobile devices assume that physical world ends at the boundaries of the screen.

The goal of Project Tango is to give mobile devices a human-scale understanding of space and motion.

Over the past year, our team has been working with universities, research labs, and industrial partners spanning nine countries around the world to harvest research from the last decade of work in robotics and computer vision, concentrating that technology into a unique mobile phone. Now, we're ready to put early prototypes into the hands of developers that can imagine the possibilities and help bring those ideas into reality.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HTC licenses Qualcomm Toq smartwatch hardware design, launch device this month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2014 2:04

HTC licenses Qualcomm Toq smartwatch hardware design, launch device this month HTC will launch their oft-rumored smartwatch at this year's Mobile World Congress, using Qualcomm's Toq design.

Qualcomm confirmed at last month's CES event that the struggling smartphone maker had licensed the Toq hardware and design including the MEMS display (with Mirasol) and all internal components.

In addition, HTC will reveal a second smartwatch this month, as well, based on Google's Google Now integrated search service. That device will use a standard AMOLED display. Finally, the company may also launch a touchscreen wristband music player.

Qualcomm, who released the Toq as a standalone with little fanfare as a reference device, has long said it prefers to license and supply the tech for the upcoming wearable revolution, just like it does for smartphones and tablets.




AfterDawn: News

Google I/O conference dates set

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2014 1:32

Google I/O conference dates set Google will be holding its annual I/O conference a little bit later this year.

The company will host the event on June 25th-26th in San Francisco, led by Android/Chrome boss Sundar Pichai.

Interestingly, Google has changed the registration following years of madness where first come, first serve tickets sold out in minutes and Google's servers were crashed.

For this year, applicants will be selected randomly via lottery.




AfterDawn: News

Report: Google had tried to buy WhatsApp for $10 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2014 1:17

Report: Google had tried to buy WhatsApp for $10 billion Yesterday, we reported that Facebook was buying messaging behemoth WhatsApp for a staggering $19 billion in cash and stock. It appears they were not the only company aiming to buy the small company.

According to Fortune, Google tried, unsuccessfully, to acquire the company for $10 billion.

The news comes via sources close to WhatsApp. The report also claims that Google did not offer a board seat to WhatsApp founder and CEO Jan Koum, which Facebook did.

WhatsApp has over 400 million active users and only 35 employees. The other co-founder, Brian Acton, applied to work for Facebook in 2009 and was not hired. I believe the new billions in his account will ease that pain.




AfterDawn: News

First Ubuntu phones are coming soon thanks to deal with bq and Meizu

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2014 1:02

First Ubuntu phones are coming soon thanks to deal with bq and Meizu Canonical has announced that the first Ubuntu smartphones are on their way, thanks to agreements with OEMs Meizu and bq.

The company also says they have the backing of some of the world's largest carriers, who will help the phones be released by the end of the year.

Says Canonical: "Ubuntu introduces a new UI paradigm for mobile devices. Ubuntu puts content and services at the centre of the experience, rather than hiding them behind stores and apps. This gives consumers a fresh and rich way to engage with their favourite videos, music and other mobile activities. It also means OEMs and operators have unprecedented customisation opportunities with a common UI toolkit, which gives devices their own unique footprint and without fragmenting the platform."

Neither of the OEMs are household names in the U.S., but Meizu is relatively large in China and other parts of Asia. "Ubuntu's intuitive and visually stunning user interface aligns with our own ethos of producing simple, innovative mobile experiences. This partnership gives us an opportunity to develop a truly different and compelling offering that will support our strategy to deliver devices to both China as well as internationally," notes Li Nan, Meizu's VP Sales and Marketing.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

After nine months, new Google Maps comes out of beta

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2014 12:49

After nine months, new Google Maps comes out of beta Google has boasted that its new and updated Google Maps is out of beta and will be rolling out over the coming weeks.

The Maps went into preview/beta mode last May.

As part of the update there are a few notable updates:

Make smarter decisions. Simply search for "coffee" in your neighborhood, and you'll be able to see results and snippets right on the map. When you click on a cafe, the map will suggest related results that you may not have known about.

Get where you're going, faster. Car? Bike? Train? Find the most efficient route for you, with your best options laid out on the map, including the time and distance for each route. And with the new real-time traffic reports and Street View previews, you'll become a commuting ninja.

See the world from every angle. Rich imagery takes you to notable landmarks, sends you flying above mountains in 3D, and gives you a sneak peek of businesses you plan to visit. The new "carousel" at the bottom of the map makes all this imagery easy to access, so you can explore the world with a click.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft unveils Xbox One Media Remote

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Feb 2014 12:30

Microsoft unveils Xbox One Media Remote After a few days of rumors, Microsoft has officially unveiled the upcoming Xbox One Media Remote.

The remote will sell for $25, a small bump up from the Xbox 360's remote price and will go on sale in March.

Reads the release from Xbox head Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb:

Releasing across Xbox One markets worldwide in early March, the Xbox One Media Remote lets you control video playback for Blu-ray movies and streaming video on Xbox One. Additionally, there are dedicated Back and OneGuide buttons. The OneGuide button provides one-touch, quick access to your favorite TV shows and movies through the Xbox program guide. This remote is designed to help you listen, watch and switch among experiences instantly – allowing you to rule your entertainment. The Media Remote can also control TV/Receiver power and volume through Kinect, which uses IR blasting to send signals to your TV and/or receiver.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Facebook has purchased massive messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2014 6:26

Facebook has purchased massive messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion Facebook has made the biggest news announcement of the day, acquiring the massive messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock.

WhatsApp has over 400 million active users, and Facebook is paying $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in stock, and the other $3 billion is in restricted stock for certain executives.

With the acquisition, WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum will join Facebook's board of directors and the company will remain independent as a brand and service.

WhatsApp had less than 50 employees at the time of acquisition and just one VC funder, Sequoia Capital, who invested $8 million in 2011 and has a stake worth over $2 billion now.




AfterDawn: News

Court: Raid on Dotcom mansion was legal, removing hard drives was not

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2014 2:45

Court: Raid on Dotcom mansion was legal, removing hard drives was not The New Zealand Court of Appeals has ruled that police raids on Kim Dotcom's mansion in 2012 were in fact legal, but the removal of evidence, including computers and hard drives, were "an unauthorized breach."

Dotcom's lawyer Ira Rothken says they will likely take the appeal to the Supreme Court over the validity of the warrants for the raid. On January 20th, 2012, authorities including the U.S. FBI executed warrants to raid Dotcom's mansion, seizing 135 laptops, desktops, portable hard drives, flash storage devices and servers.

The warrants were executed at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) who is still looking to bring Dotcom and a few other programmers to the U.S. to face criminal charges of copyright infringement and money laundering.

One of the biggest issues at hand is that the warrants were very vague and only referred to "breach of copyright" as the offense. That charge is valid in the U.S. but does not exist in New Zealand. The warrants also did not reveal under which country's laws the alleged offenses were committed. The original ruled in Dotcom's favor but the appeals court did not. The appeals court did admit the warrants were deficient in some respects but not enough to be nullified.




AfterDawn: News

Company behind 'BioShock' series to shut down, re-emerge smaller and more focused

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2014 2:14

Company behind 'BioShock' series to shut down, re-emerge smaller and more focused Irrational Games, the developers behind the hit 'BioShock' series will be shutting down, with most of the team being laid off.

Creative Director and co-founder Ken Levine posted a note on the homepage of the company's site explaining the shut down of the company:

Seventeen years is a long time to do any job, even the best one. And working with the incredible team at Irrational Games is indeed the best job I've ever had. While I'm deeply proud of what we've accomplished together, my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we've done before. To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers. In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience.

I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I'll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two. That is going to mean parting ways with all but about fifteen members of the Irrational team. There's no great way to lay people off, and our first concern is to make sure that the people who are leaving have as much support as we can give them during this transition.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung's updated Galaxy Gear smartwatches coming next week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2014 2:01

Samsung's updated Galaxy Gear smartwatches coming next week Samsung will unveil two new versions of their failed Galaxy Gear smartwatch at the Mobile World Congress event in Spain next week.

Most interestingly, one of the watches will run on Tizen rather than Android, making it one of the first commercial Tizen devices. In theory, a Tizen watch could sync across Android, iOS, Windows Phone and other devices, making it much more applicable than the original Galaxy Gear which could only sync with a handful of Samsung's Android phones.

All the devices will debut on February 24th during the company's Unpacked show.

Additionally, Samsung is said to have improved the Gear's battery life substantially, which could be a game changer. The first-generation model offered barely two days of life, compared to 4-7 days for the Pebble and other rival watches.




AfterDawn: News

Google releases map of new cities that may get extremely fast Google Fiber Internet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2014 1:32

Google releases map of new cities that may get extremely fast Google Fiber Internet Google has released a new map and blog post highlighting cities that may be next to get the company's gigabit Fiber Internet.

The Internet, which is available currently in Kansas City and Austin, allows for download and upload speeds of 1,000 Mbps, astronomically higher than the average American ISP speeds of 5-15 Mbps.

Google is now inviting 34 cities (housed within eight metro areas) to try out Google Fiber. The lucky cities are:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

New crowdfunded campaign will turn Wikipedia into a million page encyclopedia

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2014 1:19

New crowdfunded campaign will turn Wikipedia into a million page encyclopedia A new campaign on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo is looking to raise $50,000 so they can turn the online Wikipedia into a million page, 1000 book physical encyclopedia.

The ultimate goal is to "print the complete English Wikipedia in 1,000 books and display them at a public exhibition. Containing the most volumes and edited by the largest number of contributors the printed edition will be a work of record breaking dimensions. Furthermore the exhibit aims to honor the countless volunteers who have created this fascinating trove of knowledge in little more than ten years."

A small group of developers are behind the project, which has not gained traction yet, with only $2050 in funding so far to date.

The group says "We'll fit the complete English Wikipedia in approximately 1,000 books with 1,200 pages each. All volumes will have continuous page numbers, so the last article could as well be on page number 1,193,014."

When put on display, the book shelf will be over 35 feet long, and the company says the books will be printed in greyscale or in full color if they can get funding above the $50,000 goal.

Check out the interesting campaign here, especially if you'd like to donate.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Ouch: Only 4 percent of devs plan to release their next game for Wii U

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2014 12:59

Ouch: Only 4 percent of devs plan to release their next game for Wii U Organizers of the annual 'Game Developers Conference' have released the "state of the industry report," surveying devs and publishing upcoming themes and thoughts for the video game industry.

The report surveys 2600 "game industry professionals" in North America, all of which have been GDC attendees.

As expected, the push to smartphones, tablets and back to PCs remains in full effect, with over 50 percent planning to release their next game for iOS, Android, Windows Phone, PC or Mac.

Unfortunately for Nintendo, that kind of love is not being given to the Wii U, with only 4 percent of those polled planning to release their next game for the struggling console. 20 percent were planning for the PS4, with 17 percent planning to release their next game for the Xbox One.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nokia teases its 'X' Android phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2014 12:42

Nokia teases its 'X' Android phone Nokia has continued to tease its upcoming Android-powered smartphone, the Nokia X (codename Normandy).

The teaser images do little but tease that the device is coming, not revealing any specs.

One of the images (attached) shows a pirate treasure map and a green "X," not-so-subtly marking the spot of the treasure.

Interestingly, the company posted the images on Weibo (the Chinese equivalent of Twitter), suggesting the device will head to Asia first, as previously rumored.

The rumored specs for the device suggest that the X will be a low-end phone, with a 4-inch TFT display (480x854 resolution), a 1GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 processor, a 5MP camera and Android 4.4 with Nokia's own suite of apps, including the possibility of a Nokia app store rather than Google Play.




AfterDawn: News

New HTC flagship coming March 25th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2014 12:29

New HTC flagship coming March 25th HTC has sent out invites for a media event on March 25th where they will unveil their next flagship smartphone.

The announcement will be for the company's "primary flagship for 2014" and the event will actually be two simultaneous events in London and New York.

Luckily, via a plethora of leaks, we know that the device will be an upgraded version of the One, likely with a larger screen and the same dual-sensor camera as the One.

Additionally, HTC will unveil the latest version of the Android UI "Sense," which is expected to refine old features and add some new and unknown features.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft giving away up to 8GB free OneDrive cloud storage

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2014 12:07

Microsoft giving away up to 8GB free OneDrive cloud storage Microsoft, in an effort to bring some recognition to its newly renamed OneDrive (formerly SkyDrive) cloud storage solution, is offering free space to mobile users and other new users.

The company is giving away up to 8GB of extra cloud space if you are using a Windows Phone, iOS or Android device or if you are a brand new user.

All new users get 3GB to start, but the rest is available if you refer a friend (easy to do) and you get 500MB for each friend you refer (similar to how Dropbox works).

In addition, the company has started a promotion where you can possibly win 100GB free for a year: "To celebrate the official launch of OneDrive, today we will also give 100,000 people 100 GB of free storage for 1 year. That's 10 PB of free storage--enough storage space for a photo of everyone on the planet. If you want to be one of those 100,000, keep an eye on @OneDrive for clues."




AfterDawn: News

Transit Wireless bringing Wi-Fi to 40 more NYC subway stations

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2014 11:49

Transit Wireless bringing Wi-Fi to 40 more NYC subway stations Last year, Transit Wireless started bringing Wi-Fi and cell service to New York City's bustling subway system.

Starting in March, 40 more stations will get the treatment including some of the most popular in the city: Grand Central Terminal and 34th St. Herald Square.

The rollout is expected to be completed by June and will give millions of annual subway riders access to their T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint service, along with Wi-Fi.

"Hundreds of millions of new annual subway patrons will soon receive the benefits of having all the major wireless carriers AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and Wi-Fi service in underground stations – including Queens. This is a huge benefit to all the visitors and tourists that come to New York City every day," said William A. Bayne Jr., CEO of Transit Wireless. "We are not only extending our network to all underground stations in Queens and additional stations in Manhattan, we are setting the stage for future innovations that will provide riders with an enhanced experience in the New York City subway system."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung Galaxy S5 to have larger screen, fingerprint sensor

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Feb 2014 12:19

Samsung Galaxy S5 to have larger screen, fingerprint sensor Samsung, which is set to unveil the device at their 'Unpacked' event on February 24th, is said to be adding a fingerprint sensor to their upcoming Galaxy S5 flagship.

The device will feature a 5.2-inch screen with an over 500 ppi, one of the sharpest in history.

In addition, the phone will use a 20MP camera sensor, and have improved battery life.

Perhaps most notably, the S5 will have a fingerprint sensor embedded in the home button, just like the new iPhone 5S. Slightly different, you will have to swipe your button over the button, rather than just placing your thumb on the home button like with the iPhone. The phone will also warn you if your finger is too wet for a reading.

The mock comes via Sonny Dickson.




AfterDawn: News

Sony has sold 5.3 million PlayStation 4 consoles

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Feb 2014 11:06

Sony has sold 5.3 million PlayStation 4 consoles Sony has revealed that the company has sold 5.3 million PlayStation 4 consoles as of February 8th, well ahead of its projections.

Earlier in the year, the company said it hoped to sell 5 million units by the end of the quarter, but it has easily surpassed that milestone with over 5 weeks to spare.

Next week, the console goes on sale in Sony's backyard, Japan, which should lead to another large boost in sales. So far, the console is available in North America and across Europe and Latin America.

Microsoft has seen strong sales for their new Xbox One, as well, but it appears to be falling back significantly with unit sales at 3.4 million (most recent estimate).

Nintendo's Wii U, released in November 2012 giving it a one year head start, has only seen 5.7 million unit sales, with the PS4 expected to surpass it next week.




AfterDawn: News

Swipe keyboard coming with Windows Phone 8.1

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Feb 2014 10:30

Swipe keyboard coming with Windows Phone 8.1 Thanks to a new report, we have video proof that Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 8.1 software will bring a swipe keyboard to the platform.

Android fans will be familiar with keyboard, which allows users to swipe their fingers across the keyboard to easier type. Additionally, the keyboard adds better word prediction.

The most popular keyboards are SwifyKey and Swype, both of which have premium apps.

Windows Phone already uses 'Word Flow' for suggestion and prediction, so Swype/SwiftKey would be a nice addition to the operating system.

Check the teaser video here:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

'Rock Band' creator unveils first person shooter based on music

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2014 10:25

'Rock Band' creator unveils first person shooter based on music Harmonix, the creators of the once-popular 'Rock Band' series have unveiled an interesting new concept for their latest game, 'Chroma.'

The multi-player first person shooter is a sci-fi game that allows gamers to fight opponents as usual but with one huge difference: the game is based on its soundtrack.

Weapons shoot musical tones, and all combat and movement are based on the music of the soundtrack. Levels change as the music does, and you can choose weapons based on sounds.

"It's a very different headspace than most shooters," said Harmonix CEO Alex Rigopulos in an interview, "and on some level much more about creation than destruction."

The game is currently in alpha but will be released as a free-to-play model on Steam later this year. You can demo the alpha here.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Foxconn to begin manufacturing TVs in U.S. soon?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2014 9:49

Foxconn to begin manufacturing TVs in U.S. soon? According to the WSJ, Foxconn may begin manufacturing TVs in the U.S. in the near future.

Last month, chairman Terry Gou said the company was "studying the feasibility" of opening a plant to build TVs in the U.S. Now, the idea is gaining traction: "We have many big projects in the US coming up. For instance, is it possible to make our 120-inch TVs in Taiwan and ship them over? It's impossible. We have to make them on site."

Foxconn is already a major partner for American-based Vizio, but the company's displays are manufactured in Asia. The two companies recently unveiled a 120-inch 4K TV at CES, and Gou's latest comments seem to suggest that such a design would require an American plant.

The manufacturing giant recently announced plans to open a $30 million R&D plant in Pennsylvania that includes an additional $10 million investment in research at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University.




AfterDawn: News

Spotify preparing for IPO next year

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2014 7:56

Spotify preparing for IPO next year Giant online music streaming service Spotify is preparing for an IPO, say new reports, going public in a deal that could value the service as high as $8 billion.

The IPO is expected for early next year, and Spotify is already working on proper financial disclosures for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Job listings on LinkedIn and in the company's careers section are looking for an "External Reporting Specialist," one whose job would be to "prepare the company for SEC filing standards. Set up all reports necessary to be SEC compliant."

Spotify declined to comment on an IPO but did say that "as Spotify grows and becomes a more mature company we are looking for people who can help us keep our financial reporting in order and up to global standards."

The company recently raised $250 in funding, making it easily one world's most capitalized startups.




AfterDawn: News

Apple opens first retail store in Brazil

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2014 7:22

Apple opens first retail store in Brazil Apple has finally opened their first retail store in Brazil, a nation that has one of the fastest-growing smartphone populations.

CEO Tim Cook tweeted "obrigado" (thank you very much in Portuguese) to all those that visited the new store in Rio de Janiero.

Brazil is a key emerging market, and will host the World Cup over the summer and then the Summer Olympics in 2016.

According to local papers, the grand opening saw over 1700 people to the store in a suburban area mall.

Hurdles to entry into the nation have been high, due to steep import tariffs that have brought prices of high-end Apple iPhones to over $1200. Apple has started producing some devices in Brazil to reduce prices, but the the 16GB unlocked Wi-Fi iPhone 5S will still sell for $1174 at launch.





AfterDawn: News

Report: Dropbox unblocked in China

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2014 7:02

Report: Dropbox unblocked in China According to Tech in Asia, cloud syncing service Dropbox is now unblocked in China after having been trapped behind the Great Firewall since 2010.

Besides the standard personal cloud syncing, the report confirms that publicly sharing files is also available.

Despite the site being back, it is doubtful that many in China will use it given the slow speeds to overseas servers and the general disinterest in the service compared to local offerings.

Services such as those from Tencent and Baidu, offer higher speeds and more space, some as high as 1TB compared to Dropbox's 2GB for free.




AfterDawn: News

Metal Gear Solid 5 will be native 1080p on PS4, 720p on Xbox One

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Feb 2014 6:28

Metal Gear Solid 5 will be native 1080p on PS4, 720p on Xbox One Konami has given eager gamers more details about the upcoming Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes, detailing the resolution and graphics for the game on each console.

The game is set for release on March 18th for the PS3, PS4, X360 and Xbox One.

PlayStation 4 gamers will get the most detail, with the game running at 60fps and a native resolution of 1080p. The Xbox One will get the same fps but a native 720p resolution.

If you are running a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 the game will upscale to 720p and run at 30fps. "Since Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is a multi-platform game, we have taken the opportunity to test the differences in how each version of the game looks and plays," added the publisher.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple exec page has changed, Jony Ive missing

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 17 Feb 2014 5:46

Apple exec page has changed, Jony Ive missing The design guru of Apple Jonathan Ive has disappeared from the Executive Profiles page on Apple website. The profile of Apple Senior VP of Design is still available via a direct link and the Google cache shows him on the Executive Profiles.

Last summer missing went the technologies executive Bob Mansfield who had been transferred. Therefore the removal doesn't necessarily mean that Jony Ive has left the company.

It seems that there are also other errors on the website currently so we'll be waiting for confirmation or correction by Apple.

Jony Ive has been an Apple executive since 1997 when he joined to lead the company's design team. After iOS boss Scott Forstall left the company Ive totally revamped the design of the mobile operating system as well.

Edit: Jony Ive is back on the page.




AfterDawn: News

World's largest smartphone display maker preparing to IPO

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Feb 2014 11:21

World's largest smartphone display maker preparing to IPO The world's biggest maker of displays for smartphones, Japan Display, is preparing for an IPO that could raise $1.7 billion for the company.

Japan Display has been incredibly successful due to its focus on small and medium-sized displays and now accounts for 17 percent share of the global market.

The company was formed from the death and then merger of the LCD units of Hitachi, Toshiba and Sony and was backed by the Japanese government to the tune of $2 billion in funding.

Apple uses Japan Display for the iPhone 5C and 5S, and the company has a large client base of top companies across the U.S. and Asia. Apple, however, is the most important as the Cupertino giant accounts for 30 percent of their revenue.

The company will use the IPO funding to "boost its production capacity and to develop new technologies."




AfterDawn: News

Kickstarter was hacked earlier this week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Feb 2014 10:42

Kickstarter was hacked earlier this week Fans and users of the crowdfunding platform (myself included) were said to hear this week that the site had been hacked, with personal info being stolen by the attackers.

In emails sent to current users (and in a blog post), the Kickstarter team explains the situation and apologizes the best they can:

On Wednesday night, law enforcement officials contacted Kickstarter and alerted us that hackers had sought and gained unauthorized access to some of our customers' data. Upon learning this, we immediately closed the security breach and began strengthening security measures throughout the Kickstarter system.

No credit card data of any kind was accessed by hackers. There is no evidence of unauthorized activity of any kind on your account.

While no credit card data was accessed, some information about our customers was. Accessed information included usernames, email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and encrypted passwords. Actual passwords were not revealed, however it is possible for a malicious person with enough computing power to guess and crack an encrypted password, particularly a weak or obvious one.

As a precaution, we strongly recommend that you change the password of your Kickstarter account, and other accounts where you use this password.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple considered purchasing luxury electric car maker Tesla

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Feb 2014 10:26

Apple considered purchasing luxury electric car maker Tesla According to a new report, Apple's head of acquisitions, Adrian Perica, had high-level discussions with Tesla CEO Elon Musk last spring, with Apple at the time considering buying the company or its battery factories.

This is not the first time we have heard of such a move, as over the fall, European financial analyst Andaan Ahmad wrote an open letter stating that Apple should partner with the luxury electric car maker, or buy it outright. His thesis was simple: buying Tesla would open up a huge new revenue market for the company, which has seen its growth practically peak.

If Apple is looking to purchase, they missed a cheap opportunity last year. Since the beginning of 2013, Tesla's market value has appreciated from under $5 billion to $24 billion today.

Additionally, Apple is also rumored to be exploring medical devices, "specifically sensor technology that can help predict heart attacks."

Apple has over $160 billion in cash and cash equivalents, enough to buy nearly any company it wants.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft extends Windows 7 Professional lifecycle on pre-installed machines past October

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Feb 2014 2:35

Microsoft extends Windows 7 Professional lifecycle on pre-installed machines past October Microsoft has confirmed that it will still let OEMs sell new PCs with Windows 7 Professional pre-installed beyond its original lifecycle date of October 2014. Windows Pro is used by business customers.

Past October 31st, however, the OEMs will not be able to sell PCs with the consumer editions of Windows 7 pre-installed.

When pressed for reasons behind the change, Windows senior business program manager Shad Larsen said it had nothing to do with a lack of adoption for Windows 8 by enterprise customers or the upcoming end-of-life for Windows XP.

Rather, Larsen says business customers remain in the mid-cycle of deploying the Windows 7 operating system, so Microsoft wants to make it easier to have businesses buy it.

Looking farther out, Windows 7's end-of-life for free support is January 13th, 2015, with extended support through January, 2020.




AfterDawn: News

HTC will support U.S. flagship models with OS updates for at least two years

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Feb 2014 1:48

HTC will support U.S. flagship models with OS updates for at least two years HTC, during a Reddit AMA, has said they are focusing on Android updates, after a notably rough past of slow updates.

The company has made an effort to get all HTC One devices up to Kit Kat (Android 4.4), and despite delays, has succeeded as of February.

Into the future, all U.S. flagship devices will be updated to the latest Android for at least two years following their releases, a strong promise from the company. Just last month, the company confirmed that it could not update the One X or One X+ due to Nvidia's lack of support for the processing chip used in the One X+.

Because the company only confirmed for U.S. devices, it is unclear how international models will fare.




AfterDawn: News

Report: Microsoft Office for iPad coming soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Feb 2014 12:44

Report: Microsoft Office for iPad coming soon According to connected insider Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft will be releasing a full Office for iPad 'sooner than you think."

Foley believes the software will be released in the first half of this year, even before the touch-friendly Windows 8 version is launched.

Reads her note: "I hear Ballmer and the senior leaders of the company may have had a change of heart towards the end of last year. According to one of my contacts, Ballmer OK'd the suggestion by the Office team that they'd bring Office for iPad to market as soon as it was ready, even though that would likely mean before the Windows 8 version."

Former CEO Steve Ballmer is said to have objected to Office on iPad, but he is no longer in the position. Back in January, Microsoft VP John Case confirmed the software, saying "We have confirmed we are building an iPad version. The touch first versions of Office for Windows, those will likely be first. We haven't announced a date for iPad version."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Android SDK updated, tons of Chromecast apps expected soon

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Feb 2014 12:16

Android SDK updated, tons of Chromecast apps expected soon Google has updated their Play Services SDK this week, meaning tons of Chromecast apps should be on the way.

The SDK has added support for the HDMI dongle, meaning developers can choose to add the functionality to their apps if they so choose.

Earlier in the month, Google made the announcement that the Chromecast SDK had been opened up to the developer public, but the company did note that the Android framework would need to be updated, as well.

Reads the new post: "Google Play services 4.2 is now rolled out to devices worldwide. The new release includes Google Cast APIs that let you bring content to the TV, updated Google Drive APIs, and more.

You can get started developing today by downloading the updated Google Play services SDK (r15) from the SDK Manager. API details and samples are also available in the updated documentation."




AfterDawn: News

Survey: iPhone owners admit to being blindly loyal to the phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Feb 2014 10:13

Survey: iPhone owners admit to being blindly loyal to the phone According to a new survey, about 1200 of 2000 iPhone users questioned said they will always switch to the latest iPhone when it is time to upgrade, admitting to blind loyalty for the Apple brand.

When those surveyed were asked why they would not consider other brands, 78 percent said they "couldn't imagine having a different type of phone now."

54 percent said they owned a previous version of the handset, and 37 percent said they bought a new one because they were familiar with the iOS interface. 28 percent said the iPhone seemed to be the best phone for them at the time of upgrade. Another 25 percent said most of their friends and family had iPhones and they wanted to keep Apple-only features like Facetime.

Breaking the iPhone down even more, 52 percent had a 5, 29 percent had a 4 or 4S, 10 percent had a 5C or 5S and 9 percent still had a 3/3GS.




AfterDawn: News

Chinese smartphone market growth declines for first time since 2011

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Feb 2014 9:42

Chinese smartphone market growth declines for first time since 2011 According to new data from IDC, the Chinese smartphone market experienced its first slow down since 2011.

"The world has increasingly looked to China as the powerhouse to propel the world's smartphone growth and this is the first hiccup we've seen in an otherwise stellar growth path," says Melissa Chau, Senior Research Manager with IDC Asia/Pacific's Client Devices team.

Quarter-over-quarter, shipments fell 4.3 percent to 90.8 million units.

One of the main reasons cited for the "hiccup" is the fact that 4G TD-LTE networks went live on December 18th, with carriers and OEMs waiting for the launch before releasing full inventories. This is expected to boost the Q1 2014.

"There will certainly be future drivers to unlock further smartphone growth in China, as Apple demonstrated with its China Mobile tie-up in January, and the massive device migration to come of phones only supporting 2G and 3G networks to devices supporting 4G networks. However, we are now starting to see a market that is becoming less about capturing the low-hanging fruit of first time smartphone users and moving into the more laborious process of convincing existing users why they should upgrade to this year's model," adds Chau.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Rakuten acquires VoIP, messaging company Viber for $900 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Feb 2014 9:18

Rakuten acquires VoIP, messaging company Viber for $900 million Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten has announced it is acquiring the popular VoIP, messaging company Viber for $900 million.

Rakuten, which is sometimes called the Amazon of Japan, has been moving from its retail roots (including owning Buy.com) and moving into the digital space with recent acquisitions and launches of Kobo, Wuaki.tv, and Viki.

Viber has over 300 million registered users, and its global base grew 120 percent in 2013.

"Viber understands how people actually want to engage and have built the only service that truly delivers on all fronts. This makes Viber the ideal total consumer engagement platform for Rakuten as we seek to bring our deep understanding of the consumer to vast new audiences through our dynamic ecosystem of Internet Services," said Rakuten Chairman and CEO, Hiroshi Mikitani.

Towards the end of last year, Viber launched a Skype competitor, with a free desktop service of their own to complement their mobile app for iOS and Android.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox line tops U.S. games sales for January

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Feb 2014 8:44

Xbox line tops U.S. games sales for January The NPD Group has released their latest figures today for game sales, and Microsoft has skewed the data to reveal that the Xbox 360 and Xbox One as a team have topped the list of sales for the month.

Microsoft says that combined, Xbox consoles sold 2.27 million units, good for 47 percent software market share. The company adds that Xbox One owners are purchasing an average of 2.7 games per new Xbox One console, a very decent rate.

Reads the press release:

During the month of January, Xbox* held five of the top 10 spots on the console game title list in the U.S.: "Battlefield 4," "Call of Duty: Ghosts" (Xbox 360 and Xbox One), "Grand Theft Auto V" and "Minecraft." Gamers love Xbox and our community has never been more vibrant on the industry-leading Xbox Live service. Since launch, over 2.6 billion global Gamerscore has been achieved, 165 million global achievements have been unlocked and 130 million global Game DVR clips have been uploaded.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft: Over 200 million Windows 8 licenses sold

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2014 9:26

Microsoft: Over 200 million Windows 8 licenses sold Microsoft's EVP Tami Reller has announced today that the company has sold over 200 million Windows 8.x licenses, despite the struggles of the operating system.

The company says the figure does "not include volume license sales to enterprise," but does include upgrades to Windows 8 from older OS.

Back in May of last year, the company announced 100 million units sold, so the pace of sales is about 350,000 licenses per day since then. During its launch period, that average was over 450,000 per day.

Windows 7, in its comparable period from launch, had a stronger start seeing 240 million licenses sold as many were happy and excited to move away from the old Windows XP and the globally hated Vista.




AfterDawn: News

Gartner: Smartphones finally outsell feature phones on annual basis

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2014 4:59

Gartner: Smartphones finally outsell feature phones on annual basis It was a long time coming but according to Gartner, smartphones having finally outsold feature phones on an annual basis.

The research firm says 968 million smartphones were sold, with a total of 1.8 billion phones being sold in 2013. While growth was not as large as in the past, global mobile device sales grew 3.5 percent from 2012.

Smartphones overtook feature phones at some point during the Q2, and the trend continued with smartphones finishing the year at 53.6 percent share overall. In the Q4, smartphone share was 57.6 percent, and that trend is expected to continue up.

Developed markets have reached saturation, says the firm, with emerging markets leading to all of the growth for 2013. Latin America had 96.1 percent growth year-over-year, and the Middle East and Africa, Asia/Pacific and Eastern Europe all had growth rates above 50 percent in the Q4.

Android remained king at 78.4 percent with iOS in second at 15.6 percent and Windows Phone grew to 3.2 percent.




AfterDawn: News

Rovio announces 'Angry Birds Stella' spin-off

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2014 3:26

Rovio announces 'Angry Birds Stella' spin-off Finnish gaming giant Rovio has announced a new spin-off of their popular Angry Birds series, basing the new game on the female character 'Stella.'

Stella was a character in the Angry Birds Go! and Angry Birds Seasons games, but will now be a star of her own sub-brand to be used for games, books, TV shows, and toys.

"Angry Birds Stella is breaking the mould by introducing strong, passionate characters who really stand for something, while adding plenty of action and reality into the mix," said Rovio's chief executive Mikael Hed. "The Angry Birds Stella story will live and evolve across physical and digital, bridging them in fun and innovative ways."

Rovio continues its push into licensed products and spin-offs, which accounted for nearly 50 percent of revenue during the company's last earnings report.

Read more here.




AfterDawn: News

Pachter forecasts 12 million PS4, 9 million Xbox One sold by end of 2014

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2014 2:55

Pachter forecasts 12 million PS4, 9 million Xbox One sold by end of 2014 Michael Pachter, video game industry analyst for Wedbush Morgan, has forecasted sales figures for the next-gen PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles.

The analyst predicts that Sony's PS4 will reach 12 million and Microsoft's Xbox One will reach 9 million units sold by the end of the year, showing strong continued demand.

Wedbush called the PlayStation 4 a "phenomenal success right out of the gate," and the console has sold over 4 million units since launch in November. Additionally, the console hasn't even launched in Sony's hometown of Japan yet, and when it does another significant boost is expected.

The Xbox One will also be a success, but due to its higher price, sales are expected to be less, say the analysts.

Nintendo's Wii U will continue its struggles, and could sell 3 million units if Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart 8 are the hits they are expected to be.




AfterDawn: News

Former Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside headed to Dropbox

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2014 1:37

Former Motorola CEO Dennis Woodside headed to Dropbox Dennis Woodside, who became Motorola Mobility's CEO when the company was acquired by Google, is leaving to Dropbox.

Google announced it was selling its Motorola handset division to Lenovo last month while keeping the patents they really purchased the company for.

Woodside will be Dropbox's first ever COO, as the cloud sync and storage company plans to go public in the near future.

Formerly a Google executive before taking the CEO job at Motorola, Woodside has been received in a very positive light around Silicon Valley, with Apple trying to hire him away from Motorola in 2013.




AfterDawn: News

Games for Windows' Jason Holtman leaves Microsoft after just six months

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2014 1:11

Games for Windows' Jason Holtman leaves Microsoft after just six months Six months ago, Microsoft hired Jason Holtman to turn around its struggling Games for Windows Live program, but it appears there will be more work as far as that is concerned.

Holtman has confirmed that he has left the company. Holtman joined Microsoft after eight years of working at Steam.

According to the execs' LinkedIn page, he left last month, and a Facebook post confirms: "Last week I left Microsoft and said goodbye to my friends there. Now looking around for something interesting and fun-no end of that in video games!"

The company remains committed to gaming, says game guru Ken Lobb but the time frame is extended: "Please let us continue to do that over a five-year period so we can have real impact. That's how it feels right now."




AfterDawn: News

Google, VMware team up to bring Windows to Chromebooks

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2014 12:47

Google, VMware team up to bring Windows to Chromebooks Google has partnered with software maker VMware in an effort to bring Windows to Chromebooks.

VMware creates emulation software giving users the ability to run multiple operating systems on the same PC. With the new deal, Chromebook owners will be able to use the Windows desktop and all legacy apps within VMware's Horizon, as long as they have an Internet connection.

By being able to run Windows apps, Google has opened up the possibilities of the Chromebook. Says Google Enterprise President Amit Singh: "Google Chromebooks can save businesses about $5,000 per computer when compared to traditional PCs. Chromebooks are designed for the way people use computers today and are a secure, easy and cost-effective solution to help organizations embrace a new way of doing business. Through our partnership with VMware, businesses can now capitalize on these advantages with access to legacy applications, data and desktops they need to keep employees productive."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google's $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest is now complete

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Feb 2014 12:16

Google's $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest is now complete As of yesterday, Google's $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest Labs is complete, having receiving early FTC approval last week.

Nest Labs specializes in reinventing common household items in clever ways. The company's Nest Learning Thermostat has been a best seller and its recently released Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm launched to considerable acclaim and attention.

Said Google CEO Larry Page, at the announcement last month: "Nest's founders, Tony Fadell and Matt Rogers, have built a tremendous team that we are excited to welcome into the Google family. They're already delivering amazing products you can buy right now--thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe. We are excited to bring great experiences to more homes in more countries and fulfill their dreams."

Nest will continue to operate as an independent company, with Google as its parent.




AfterDawn: News

Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable in massive $45 billion deal

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2014 11:10

Comcast to buy Time Warner Cable in massive $45 billion deal Comcast will announce their plans to acquire Time Warner Cable tomorrow morning in a massive $45 billion deal that will merge two of the largest cable companies in the U.S.

The cable co. will pay $158.82 per share for TWC, which closed today trading at $135 per share.

While the deal requires regulatory approval, there is little doubt that it will go through with the acquisition expected to close by the end of the year.

Time Warner Cable has 12 million subscribers in blockbuster markets like NYC and Los Angeles, and is the second largest cable company in the nation, behind Comcast which has over 22 million subscribers.

In its most recent quarter, Time Warner Cable lost over 300,000 subscribers and notoriously has some of the worst customer service on the planet.




AfterDawn: News

Report: The Pirate Bay almost hosted its servers in North Korean embassy

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2014 10:50

Report: The Pirate Bay almost hosted its servers in North Korean embassy Although the infamous torrent tracker has joked about moving its servers to North Korea, it appears that the site really did come close to doing so back in its early years.

TPB co-founder Tobias Andersson made light of the fact during an interview earlier in the week, and TorrentFreak reported on the news.

Andersson says the team "wanted to host a server in the North Korean embassy in Stockholm" where they had a contact. "This was way back in the beginning. Probably around 2004-2005. Back then, the site didn't need the insane amounts of bandwidth it would later on," Andersson adds.

TPB was just a baby at the time, not yet the behemoth it is today.

"In 2004 the site was still young and cocky. So when an opportunity appeared that obviously would piss off the US government, we didn't want to miss it," Andersson also said.

After being introduced to the employee within the embassy, they were told they could bring the server inside in exchange for a fee. The employees did not receive any pay, so the extra income would have been a gift. Had they done so, the site would have been protected from local law enforcement and from the U.S. "We thought, why not host a server or two at the embassy? If not all of them, perhaps at least some of the frontend servers, so that when the cops, media and Hollywood searched for them, they'd end up in the most hostile and isolated countries in the world."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony to produce more camera sensors for Apple?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2014 9:43

Sony to produce more camera sensors for Apple? According to the Japanese business daily Nikkei, Sony is actively in talks with Apple to double its supply of camera sensors to be used in the upcoming iPhone 6.

Sony currently produces all of the CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensors for the iPhone 5S' rear camera.

Apple currently uses a handful of suppliers for the sensors on the FaceTime camera, but the paper says Apple may decide on Sony to supply all the CMOS sensors for both cameras.

Sony is the big dog in the global CMOS sensor market, with 32.1 percent share. An increased deal with Apple would certainly lead to that share being higher into the future.

The paper says Sony has already begun planning for the expected production boost.




AfterDawn: News

Highly anticipated 'Watch Dogs' delayed again, for Wii U

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2014 9:18

Highly anticipated 'Watch Dogs' delayed again, for Wii U Ubisoft's upcoming blockbuster 'Watch Dogs,' which was set to be released in 2013 but was instead delayed until 2014, has been delayed again, if you are a Wii U owner.

Says the publisher: "We made the difficult decision to further delay the release of Watch Dogs on Wii U, to focus the team's resources where they could have the broadest possible benefit for both our customers and Ubisoft."

The PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox One and Xbox 360 versions are all expected in the Q2 and there was no timeframe set for the Wii U version.

With the latest move, it is clear that Nintendo has no horse in the race anymore, as publishers and developers slowly but surely move support away towards more profitable ventures.




AfterDawn: News

Xbox Studios developing series based on rapper Nas

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2014 8:50

Xbox Studios developing series based on rapper Nas According to sources, Xbox Studios, in their effort to bring original programming to the Xbox consoles, are developing a series based on the early career of rapper Nas.

The half-hour series will revolve around Nas' life and career in the 90s, before he became a star with the release of "Illmatic."

Deadline says the show is "set in the 1990s in Long Island City's Queensbridge housing complex, where Nas grew up, and takes a look at music, family and the levinetrials and tribulations of the rap game."

Xbox Studios has been actively buying scripted programming, and developing their own shows, before a major launch of content via the Xbox console and other Microsoft products.




AfterDawn: News

Sprint reaches record subscriber number, still loses $1 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2014 8:35

Sprint reaches record subscriber number, still loses $1 billion Sprint posted their fourth quarter earnings this week, losing money again and remaining the only major carrier in the U.S. to lose money on a regular basis.

The carrier confirmed record subscribers, 53.9 million, adding 58,000 post paid subscribers, 322,000 prepaid subscribers, and 302,000 wholesale subscribers for the quarter.

For the year, the carrier sold 5.6 million smartphones and 5.6 million for the quarter. 95 percent of postpaid customers purchased smartphones, a higher figure than rivals AT&T and Verizon.

The company lost $1 billion for the quarter, slightly better than the $1.3 billion it lost in the same quarter for 2012.

Sprint also boasted that its LTE network now covers 200 million Americans, and its Sprint Spark service, which includes LTE speeds up to 50Mbps, is now in 14 markets. The company's network is way behind AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile's, which continue to blanket the nation.




AfterDawn: News

Slim PlayStation Vita headed to North America

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2014 8:22

Slim PlayStation Vita headed to North America Sony used their media event yesterday to announce that the slimmer and lighter PlayStation Vita will be finally making its way to North America.

The company will sell the device as part of a Borderlands 2 bundle for $200. "Many of you have probably seen some of the announcements come from Europe and Japan," added John Koller, Sony's head of hardware marketing for PlayStation. "We're very proud to bring it here [to North America] as well."

Sony released the slim Vita in Japan last October, with a 20 percent slimmer and 15 percent lighter design. The model also has an HD five-inch LCD screen (rather than a more expensive OLED), has better battery life, 1GB internal storage and replaces Sony's proprietary charging port with a micro USB. Additionally, the handheld is Wi-Fi-only, removing previous 3G/LTE support.

"We like to iterate. We like to talk about the fact that the systems tend to evolve," concluded Koller. "The Vita evolves in many of the same ways that we've evolved other platforms in the past. This one I think is really important, though. This [slim PS Vita] makes it easier to play. It's a slimmer form function, and it's just easier to hold in your hand. The LCD is brilliant."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

'Flappy Bird' developer: The game was too addictive, is now 'gone forever'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2014 8:09

'Flappy Bird' developer: The game was too addictive, is now 'gone forever' 'Flappy Bird' creator Dong Nguyen, the man behind the surprise blockbuster game, has said in an interview with Forbes that the game became too addicting and is now 'gone forever.'

Despite making a reported $50,000 per day in ad revenue, Nguyen took the game down this week, removing it from the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store.

"Flappy Bird was designed to play in a few minutes when you are relaxed," says the developer. "But it happened to become an addictive product. I think it has become a problem. To solve that problem, it's best to take down Flappy Bird. It's gone forever."

Even though the game has been removed, if you have it installed you can continue to play it. The game is extremely simple in nature, but frustrating. You tap the screen to get your bird through a series of green Mario-esque pipes without hitting anything. Despite how simple it sounds, most players have not broken the 100 point threshold that takes them out of the "noob" standings.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Mozilla to sell ads on the homepage of Firefox browser

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2014 7:57

Mozilla to sell ads on the homepage of Firefox browser Mozilla has confirmed that the non-profit company will began selling ads in the Firefox "New Tabs" homepage, with the new initiative dubbed "Directory Tiles."

"Some of these tile placements will be from the Mozilla ecosystem, some will be popular websites in a given geographic location, and some will be sponsored content from hand-picked partners to help support Mozilla's pursuit of our mission," the company says. "The sponsored tiles will be clearly labeled as such, while still leading to content we think users will enjoy."

Mozilla began the foundations of the Directory Tiles last year when it allowed users to opt-in to receiving tailored content that was based on their browsing histories.

Darren Herman, Mozilla's VP of content services says: "Mozilla is moving from a dumb window to the internet to a smart agent on behalf of the user, putting the user first."

There is significant opportunity for Mozilla, as Firefox is the second-most used browser in the world, at about 18 percent market share (depending on what data you follow).

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Foxconn working with Google on robots

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Feb 2014 7:43

Foxconn working with Google on robots Foxconn, one of the largest manufacturers on the planet, has been secretly working with Google on their robotics dreams, says sources.

The sources claim that Foxconn has been working with former Android boss Andy Rubin, who now heads up the robotics division at Google. To be able to speed up deployment from their factories, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou recently met with Rubin to discuss the new technologies.

Rubin is said to have asked the chairman to "help integrate a technology company that Google is acquiring as Foxconn's strength lies in mechanical engineering."

Google has been not-so-quietly building a massive robotics division, acquiring eight robotics companies in the last year, most notably Boston Dynamics.

Fans of 'Terminator' need not worry, however, as the reports claim that Google is working on robots to help with electronics assembly manufacturing and to also better compete in retailing (potentially drones), not looking to create AI. Google would create a robotics operating system, taking a head start in the industry.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony announces two special media events for the next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2014 11:42

Sony announces two special media events for the next month Sony has sent out press invites for two special events within the next month, including one during this year's Mobile World Congress event in Spain.

The first event is slated for February 24th, and the company is expected to launch a new Xperia flagship.

Sony will have to compete with Samsung, who has their Galaxy S5 announcement set for later in the day.

Additionally, Sony will hold a special event in Indonesia on March 5th, teasing a waterproof device with the tag line of "Life is an incredible journey, discover it with us on 5 March 2014!"




AfterDawn: News

Jolla open sources its Sailfish browser

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2014 10:59

Jolla open sources its Sailfish browser Jolla has announced that its Sailfish browser has been opened to the development community, with the app now open sourced.

Devs can download the Sailfish Browser code through code depository GitHub, to modify and improve the experience.

Jolla's browser has a foundation in Mozilla's open source Gecko browser engine.

The Jolla smartphone uses the Sailfish OS, which was created by former Nokia employees that had worked on the now defunct MeeGo operating system.

Featuring a 4.5-inch IPS LCD with 540 x 960 resolution (245 ppi), the device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, dual-core at 1.4 GHz, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage and dual 2MP/8MP cameras.




AfterDawn: News

Report: Apple iWatch to use sapphire-covered display

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2014 10:21

Report: Apple iWatch to use sapphire-covered display New reports claim that Apple will debut its oft-rumored sapphire displays for the upcoming iWatch, rather than on the iPhone 6 as previously rumored.

The protective sapphire layer is said to be better than the market standard, Corning's Gorilla Glass, and Apple already uses it for its Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

Last year, Apple invested $578 million on sapphire, having GT Advanced Technologies build a manufacturing plant for the material in Arizona.

Sapphire coatings, like those created by GT, are extremely scratch resistant and can also resist breakage, both of which will be very important for a smartwatch.

Apple is expected to launch the iWatch later this year after over two years of rumors and leaks.




AfterDawn: News

Sony promises 100 PlayStation 4 games for 2014

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2014 9:29

Sony promises 100 PlayStation 4 games for 2014 Sony has made gamers happy by promising there will be over 100 games released for the PlayStation 4 console during 2014.

The titles will be both physical and digital-only releases, and will include smaller indie titles, as well.

Sony made the announcement during their Media Preview Event, where they made numerous other announcements.

Among the stats are 1.7 million hours of gaming have been live streamed and there's been over 172 million hours of online gaming since launch.





AfterDawn: News

Analyst: Microsoft to make nearly $2 billion next year from Android licensing deals

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2014 9:00

Analyst: Microsoft to make nearly $2 billion next year from Android licensing deals According to a research note from Nomura, Microsoft is making up to $2 billion from its Android licensing agreements, significantly more than what it makes from its own Windows Phone smartphone operating system.

Analyst Rick Sherlund says Microsoft is using the huge profits to hide major losses in its entertainment and devices division, the division that is home to the Xbox, Skype and Windows Phone. The division is a money loser, but would show annual losses of over $2.5 billion if not for the Android deals, says Sherlund.

To come to the conclusion, Sherlund assumes that Microsoft makes $5 per unit of Android devices sold, and that Microsoft has squeezed deals out of 70 percent of Android makers. Sherlund also assumes a 90 percent gross margin for the royalties (which seems conservative).

By contrast, the software giant's Windows Phone platform will bring in an estimated $347 million profit for the fiscal year, on revenue of $3.3 billion. By 2015, with continued strong growth, Windows Phone revenue will jump to $8.4 billion in 2015 with gross profits expanding to $1.6 billion. Additionally, Nokia's feature phones will bring in $1 billion in profits next year Sherlund also estimates Microsoft's Nokia feature phones willl bring in around $1bn in gross profits by 2015.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft begins selling Windows 8.1 Asus VivoTab Note 8

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Feb 2014 8:33

Microsoft begins selling Windows 8.1 Asus VivoTab Note 8 After announcing the product at CES this year, Asus' VivoTab Note 8 is now available through the Microsoft Store.

The 8-inch Windows 8.1 tablet is notable because it supports Wacom pen input for graphic design.

Under the hood is a Bay Trail Intel Atom Z3740, 2GB RAM and 32GB internal storage.

Microsoft is selling the tablet for $329 with a 64GB model expected soon.

Check the device here: Microsoft Store




AfterDawn: News

Barnes & Noble slashes jobs at Nook hardware as devices fail to sell

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2014 11:57

Barnes & Noble slashes jobs at Nook hardware as devices fail to sell Barnes & Noble has confirmed that it has laid off a significant portion of its Nook hardware engineering division, including their VP of Hardware, Bill Saperstein, over the past few weeks.

"We've been very clear about our focus on rationalizing the NOOK business and positioning it for future success and value creation. As we've aligned NOOK's cost structure with business realities, staffing levels in certain areas of our organization have changed, leading to some job eliminations. We're not going to comment specifically on those eliminations," said the company (via BI).

The Nook hardware division was in charge of the once popular Nook e-readers as well as the unpopular Nook tablet line. After a decent start, revenue began crashing and losses mounted, making the division the worst performing for all of B&N.

B&N discontinued the Nook tablets last year, and began focusing on building apps and a digital distribution platform, so OEMs could potentially build Nook devices.




AfterDawn: News

Report: BlackBerry building 64-bit octocore smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2014 11:00

Report: BlackBerry building 64-bit octocore smartphone According to a few sources, BlackBerry is working on a "killer" smartphone with high-end specs. Unfortunately, it likely won't see the light of day until the Q2 2015.

The device will feature the extremely efficient and powerful 20nm Snapdragon MSM8994 chipset, which uses a 64-bit architecture and has eight CPU cores and can be clocked up to 2.5GHz.

Additionally, the device can have up to 4GB of LPDDR3 1600MHz RAM, an Adreno 430 GPU and OpenGL ES3.0, direct x11.1, OpenCL1.2.

While those specs would blow any current machine out of the water by a long shot, by Q2 2015, it is expected that many high-end phone will boast such specs, meaning BlackBerry will once again be playing catch-up.




AfterDawn: News

HTC has another poor quarter, will now focus on low-end phones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2014 10:23

HTC has another poor quarter, will now focus on low-end phones Earlier today, HTC reported their fourth quarter earnings, posting another poor three-month period, as expected. Worse, the company forecasted a further decline in profit and revenue for the Q1 2014.

Revenue fell to NT$42.9 billion ($1.4 billion USD), a full 28 percent decline year-over-year. Net profit for the quarter was NT$0.31 billion (nearly $10 million) and operating margins fell apart to -3.7 percent.

HTC forecasted that its revenue will drop in the Q1 to NT$34 billion ($1.12 billion), marking the third straight quarter of declines following a little boost from the HTC One launch.

The company will also change its focus again, this time to the lower-end smartphone market which should open up its products to hundreds of millions of new potential buyers. CEO Cher Wang says the phone maker will move to more phones priced between $150 to $300.




AfterDawn: News

WSJ: Nokia's Android phone is coming this month for emerging markets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 10 Feb 2014 8:24

WSJ: Nokia's Android phone is coming this month for emerging markets According to the WSJ, Nokia will release its oft-rumored Android smartphone this month, just as the company's handset division closes on being sold to Microsoft.

Nokia had been working on the device before Microsoft began their due diligence into purchasing the company, and many in the industry believe that Microsoft preferred to purchase the company outright rather than let the top Windows Phone maker move towards Android. Microsoft will pay $7.4 billion for the handset business and to license the company's patents.

The sources say the new Android device is aimed at emerging market customers but the operating system will be a variant that does not promote "key Google-developed features that a more traditional Android-powered phone might." This means the phone will not have Google's Google Play app store but instead will come pre-installed with a suite of Microsoft/Nokia apps including Here maps, Mix Radio, and a new Nokia application store with Android apps. This is similar to Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets, which use Amazon's own app store (for which they get a cut, and not Google).

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Data shows off interesting torrent stats

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Feb 2014 7:10

Data shows off interesting torrent stats Torrentfreak has unveiled some interesting torrent statistics, pulling data from torrent tracker Demonii.

Demonii, while not a household name, is a massive standalone tracker that does not offer torrents but helps people connect to share files through other torrent sites. For example, The Pirate Bay added it to all of its torrents last year, and the tracker has reached 20 million peak peers in the last month.

The tracker opened up its traffic stats to the viewing public, giving an insight into the world of torrents and their users.

Unsurprisingly, the most people connected to the tracker on Sunday afternoon (EST), with numbers generally falling significantly at other times of the week. Also interestingly, Demonii handles up to 3,333 connections per second, a huge figure.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

As promised, developer removes 'Flappy Bird' from app stores

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Feb 2014 3:38

As promised, developer removes 'Flappy Bird' from app stores As promised, Dong Nguyen, the developer of Flappy Bird, has now removed the game from the iOS App Store and the Google Play Store.

The developer looks to be shying away from the spotlight, as the game was bringing in about $50,000 in ad revenue per day after being released just last month.

If you already have it installed, you can continue to play it but searching will lead you to a page that includes reviews but no ability to download.

The frustratingly addicting game was the top free game for both Android and iOS. The developer's tweet announcing the news has quickly become one of the most retweeted Tweets of the year, with 130,000 rewteets in 24 hours.





AfterDawn: News

Patent troll gets 3.2 cents per Cisco router after lawsuits against end users fail

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Feb 2014 3:11

Patent troll gets 3.2 cents per Cisco router after lawsuits against end users fail Infamous patent troll Innovatio IP Ventures has settled with Cisco over hundreds of million of routers used by the average retail business.

The trolls bought old Broadcom patents and last year sent 13,000 letters to chain hotels and even coffee shops, demanding up to $5000 in licensing fees for the use of Wi-Fi routers and other access points. None of the companies paid and Innovatio filed lawsuits.

Not willing to see their end users abused, Cisco, Netgear and Motorola all intervened in the lawsuits, getting Innovatio to reduce their demands from $5000 per business to $5 per router. Cisco did not relent and got the final settlement down to 3.2 cents per router. Cisco General Counsel Mark Chandler says the company will pay $2.7 million, 3.2 cents each for 85 million unlicensed devices. Cisco had already struck licensing deals for its other 100 million active routers. Innovatio can no longer attack Cisco router users.

"We spent $13 million on this litigation, not including the $2.7 million settlement," wrote Chandler. "I'm proud that we stepped up for our customers and appreciate the great job that our counsel at Kirkland and Ellis did for us. But that expenditure would not have been necessary if Innovatio had met its obligations to license on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and had come to Cisco seeking a reasonable license first rather than targeting our customers and those of other manufacturers."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Security researcher: Attackers can DDoS your iPhone using Snapchat

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2014 10:08

Security researcher: Attackers can DDoS your iPhone using Snapchat Internet security researcher Jaime Sanchez has discovered and posted a vulnerability found in the Snapchat mobile app that could allow attackers to launch a DDoS attack and disable your iPhone.

If exploited, attackers can send thousands of messages to individual users in less than three seconds, overwhelming and disabling an iPhone and eventually causing it to freeze up entirely and crash.

Snapchat, which allows users to send messages (pictures and video) to others that self-delete after a few seconds, uses a token system (letters and numbers) which verifies the sender's identity. The flaw lets hackers reuse old tokens to send new messages. Depending on the system you have, you can send thousands of messages using the flaw.

The startup company has been arrogant in the past and it has led to a personal data leak for 4.2 million users. Snapchat responded to Sanchez by blocking his accounts and his IP address.





AfterDawn: News

LinkedIn shuts down 'Intro' email service after low adoption

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2014 8:58

LinkedIn shuts down 'Intro' email service after low adoption Business social networking site LinkedIn has announced that it will be shutting down its email-based 'Intro' service, just 100 days after launching it.

LinkedIn integrated into the iOS Mail app, moving your LinkedIn contacts over. In their announcement, the company says it will discontinue the service to better "focus on the most relevant offerings for our members."

The service struggled to get members since one of the requirements of Intro was that it must scan all inbox emails. When it launched, security researchers panned the service, with one going as far as to call it "a dream for attackers."

LinkedIn quickly responded that Intro had "the most secure implementation we believed possible," the damage was already done and adoption was almost non-existent.

If you are using it, the service will work through until March 7th and then you will need to go through a few step process to disable and delete Intro otherwise the company warns your email accounts may work erratically.




AfterDawn: News

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Google was never really committed to Motorola

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2014 8:33

Apple CEO Tim Cook: Google was never really committed to Motorola In a new interview for the WSJ, Apple CEO Tim Cook gave his thoughts on Google's latest decision to sell Motorola's handset business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion.

Cook, like nearly everyone else, called the deal "a logical transaction" but did add that the search giant was never really "committed to" Motorola.

"I think it's really hard to do hardware, software and services and to link all those things together," said Cook during the interview. "That's what makes Apple so special. It's really hard, so I'm not surprised that they are not going to do that."

Cook managed to take a shot at Google, claiming that "the experience on Android tablets is so crappy because the app is nothing more than a stretched out smartphone app."

Finally, Cook was asked about Google's recent $3.2 billion acquisition of home hub Nest, and Apple's reluctance to make large purchases. Apple often purchases tech companies to fit its needs, but purchase prices rarely exceed $300 million. "We have no problem spending 10 figures for the right company that's the right and that's in the best interest of Apple in the long-term," he said. "None. Zero."




AfterDawn: News

'Dallas Buyers Club' DVD screener downloaders beware: lawsuits are in the works

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2014 8:15

'Dallas Buyers Club' DVD screener downloaders beware: lawsuits are in the works In January, a DVD Screener copy of the critically acclaimed 'Dallas Buyers Club' hit the Web, and it was promptly downloaded millions of times.

Voltage Pictures has quickly filed a lawsuit looking to receive damages from individuals who downloaded the film, putting a select few on notice. Voltage previously made the news after suing over twenty thousand downloaders of Academy Award winning 'The Hurt Locker.'

In their lawsuit, filed in Texas, Voltage says (via TorrentFreak), the "Plaintiff brings this action to stop Defendants from copying and distributing to others over the Internet unauthorized copies of Plaintiff's copyrighted movie.

"Each time a Defendant unlawfully distributes a free copy of Plaintiff's copyrighted movie to others over the Internet, each person who copies the movie then distributes the unlawful copy to others without any significant degradation in sound and picture quality. Thus, a Defendant's distribution of even one unlawful copy of a motion picture can result in the nearly instantaneous worldwide distribution of that single copy to a limitless number of people."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Nokia teases a mysterious Windows Phone announcement

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2014 7:50

Nokia teases a mysterious Windows Phone announcement Nokia has used their U.S. YouTube account to post a mysterious teaser announcement.

In the quick 15-second video, Nokia asks "Have you heard what's coming?" "See and hear what you've been missing," before revealing Nokia's logo and also Windows Phone.

While it is unclear what Nokia will announce, many believe it could be the Lumia Icon for Verizon that has been leaked almost in its entirety in the last month. The Lumia Icon has a 5-inch 1080p display, 20-megapixel camera, and a 2.2GHz quad-core processor, making it one of the more powerful and high-end Windows Phone devices on the market.

Additionally, it could be the Treasure Tag Bluetooth accessory that has been in in the works for months. The proximity-sensor-based accessory uses NFC and Bluetooth to track items like keys while staying paired to your Lumia.




AfterDawn: News

Russia bans Bitcoins

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2014 7:27

Russia bans Bitcoins While you were probably distracted by the start of the Sochi Winter Olympics in the nation, the Russian Prosecutor General's office has quietly released a statement banning the Bitcoin digital currency in the nation.

Reads the statement: "Bitcoin is a money substitute and cannot be used by citizens and legal entities."

In their statement, the office cited a 2002 law by Russian President Vladimir Putin that "the official currency of the Russian Federation is the ruble. Introduction of other monetary units and money substitutes is prohibited."

Russia has moved away from virtual/cryptocurrencies despite growing popularity, mainly because "its price is determined solely by speculative actions that entails a high risk of loss," and because its relative anonymity has led to more criminal use.




AfterDawn: News

Following massive success of game, 'Flappy Bird' developer calls it quits and will shut it down

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 08 Feb 2014 7:08

Following massive success of game, 'Flappy Bird' developer calls it quits and will shut it down Dong Nguyen, the developer behind the frustrating blockbuster game Flappy Bird, has said he will remove the game tomorrow despite its massive success.

The game, which took him just a few days to code and is now the top game on Android and iOS, lets gamers tap the screen to get their bird to fly through pipes. That's it. Making it a viral hit is the fact that the game is hard, extremely hard, with many struggling to even get 5 points.

Nguyen, who is said to be bringing in over $50,000 in ad revenue per day from the tens of millions of downloads the game has received in its time on the market, has often said he does not want all the attention brought by the game, and that he wants peace.

The developer will continue to make other games, but will supposedly remove Flappy Bird tomorrow. All social sharing ability has already been removed. Nguyen has also tweeted that he is not looking to sell the game.





AfterDawn: News

Review: The Pebble Steel is a fantastic smartwatch, but will it hold up in the future?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Feb 2014 10:26

Review: The Pebble Steel is a fantastic smartwatch, but will it hold up in the future? Pebble, the Kickstarter record holding company for top funding took to CES earlier this year to announce they were coming back for round two of their popular smartwatch, with the new device aptly named Pebble Steel due to its metal watch band.

The company released their first watch to great fanfare and curiosity in 2013, and eventually sold 300,000 units. There was a few major issues with the watch, however. First, it was ugly. There is no nicer way to put it. Aesthetically unpleasing and build quality was also lacking. Second, following a delayed launch as the startup company worked out the kinks, the final product shipped out was still very buggy and Pebble forums were inundated with complaints and cries for help. Finally, apps and partnerships were nearly non-existent.

For what the smartwatch was built for: reading texts, controlling music, seeing emails and of course, telling time, the original Pebble worked admirably. Finally, it also cost $150, which was well within the "impulse buy" range of many early adopter techies.

For its Pebble Steel, the startup has raised the price (to $250) but for the most part fixed the issues that plagued the original's launch. Overall, we easily have the best multi-platform smartwatch built, to date.

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AfterDawn: News

Finnish police probe Wikipedia's donation requests

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Feb 2014 4:24

Finnish police probe Wikipedia's donation requests The Wikimedia Foundation has received correspondence from Finland's Police Ministry seeking information on its 'donation drive' activities in the country.

The donation page on Wikipedia in Finnish is essentially the same as it is for everyone else; visitors can use a variety of payment methods to make a once-off donation, or monthly donations.

In Finland, organizations seeking to carry out donation drives (charities etc.) must seek permission from Finnish police. The measure is intended to make it more difficult to carry out fraudulent donation drives in the country.

Since Wikipedia's fundraising activities on its Finnish site technically qualify as a donation drive - at least according to letter signatory Jouni Laiho - the Wikimedia Foundation should have sought approval from the Finnish Police Ministry in advance.

As a result, Wikipedia has been asked to clarify the situation, and explain why its fundraising efforts shouldn't be considered an organized donation drive. This information must be delivered by February 21, 2014.

Letter from Finnish Police: wikimedia.org (PDF, Finnish)




AfterDawn: News

California may mandate 'Kill Switch' on smartphones, tablets from 2015

Written by James Delahunty @ 07 Feb 2014 1:42

California may mandate 'Kill Switch' on smartphones, tablets from 2015 California lawmakers will propose mandating that all smartphones and tablets sold in the state from next year come equipped with a 'Kill Switch' that can render them useless if stolen.

State Sen. Mark Leno and other lawmakers said they will introduce legislation proposing the requirement on all such mobile devices sold in the state, with the vocal support of Los Angeles City Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck.

The proposed requirement, intended to tackle a growing problem of smartphone robberies, would go into effect from January 1, 2015 onwards.

Apple's iOS 7 operating system introduced some anti-theft with Activation Lock, if enabled by the user. Coupled with Find my iPhone, Apple has taken steps against the problem largely in response to calls from lawmakers and law enforcement officials across the U.S. and elsewhere. Apps are also available for Android devices.

By making a stolen device an inoperable useless brick, you clearly remove its resale value, and the long-term hope is that it will remove the incentive to steal mobile devices altogether.

A growing problem

According to a report from the LA Times, almost a third of all robberies in the United States are now related to mobile devices. In San Francisco, more than half of all robberies involve mobile devices.

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AfterDawn: News

Sony PS3 gets latest mandatory update

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Feb 2014 9:28

Sony PS3 gets latest mandatory update Sony has released their latest mandatory firmware update for the PlayStation 3.

The update does not appear to include much more than "software stability" fixes, but as with all firmware updates it is required for online gaming and using apps like Netflix and Hulu.

Sony has not released a change log for the update.

Earlier in the week, Sony released another firmware update, adding headset support and the ability to mute microphone of the PlayStation Eye Camera along with the usual stability patches.




AfterDawn: News

Sony to cut jobs, sell struggling PC business and spinoff TV division

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Feb 2014 8:59

Sony to cut jobs, sell struggling PC business and spinoff TV division Following another year of losses, electronics giant Sony has confirmed it will be slashing jobs this year and separating its struggling PC and TV divisions.

Sony will use the restructuring to help it focus on mobile, imaging and games, which are now the company's core properties. Sony says it will need to spend $200 million to restructure this year, and $650 million next year. The moves will help Sony reduce annual fixed cost by $1 billion starting in September 2015.

First, Sony will sell its VAIO PC brand to Japan Industrial Partners, a move that the company calls "the optimal solution" given "drastic changes in the global PC industry." No purchase price was disclosed but the sale will close by the end of the quarter.

Sony will continue customer support for its existing products but will no longer develop or sell PC products.

The company's TV division, which has been hemorrhaging money for the last five years, will be spun-off and operate as its own wholly-owned subsidiary starting July. The division has lost over $1 billion in the last two fiscal years, alone.

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AfterDawn: News

Amazon acquires gaming studio Double Helix Games

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Feb 2014 8:26

Amazon acquires gaming studio Double Helix Games Amazon has gone a bit out of their niche and acquired gaming studio Double Helix Games.

The deal was for both talent and for the company's IP, and all 75 employees of Double Helix will stay with the company.

Amazon did not disclose financial terms, but confirmed the deal to Crunch: "Amazon has acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers."

There have been rumors that Amazon is looking to launch its own gaming console that runs on Android and will be a media and gaming device priced at under $300. Amazon has never confirmed or denied the existence of a console.

Double Helix was built through the merger of two longtime studios, Shiny and The Collective. Shiny was the creator of the "Earthworm Jim," and the companies have also put out many games based on movies and shows including "Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb," "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith," "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra," "Green Latern: Rise of the Manhunters," "Silent Hill: Homecoming," and "Front Mission Evolved."




AfterDawn: News

NYPD beta testing Google Glass

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Feb 2014 7:53

NYPD beta testing Google Glass The NYPD's intelligence and analytics unit has begun testing Google's Glass eyewear, seeing whether the devices will help police officers investigate terrorists and otherwise stop criminals.

According to reports, the department has received a few pairs to beta test.

"We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we're trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes," say the sources. "We're looking at them, you know, seeing how they work."

Currently, the glasses can only be purchased through the Glass Explorer Program, which requires an application or invite, an acceptance from Google and then a $1500 fee.

When asked if Google was helping with authorities, the company said they were not and that the NYPD's glasses were likely acquired through the Explorer program. "The Google Glass Explorer program includes people from all walks of life, including doctors, firefighters and parents. Anyone can sign up to become a Glass Explorer, provided he or she is a U.S. resident and over the age of 18," they added.




AfterDawn: News

Susan Wojcicki is now CEO of YouTube

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Feb 2014 7:34

Susan Wojcicki is now CEO of YouTube Google has confirmed that one of its first employees, Susan Wojcicki, will be named CEO of YouTube.

Wojcicki will replace Salar Kamanger, who will leave YouTube but remain within Google.

Google CEO Larry Page praised the exiting CEO, thanking him "and the whole YouTube team (for having) built something amazing." Additionally, "like Salar, Susan has a healthy disregard for the impossible and is excited about improving YouTube in ways that people will love."

Wojcicki is Google's 16th employee and the company was even headquartered out of her garage for some time before hitting the big time. Her current position was SVP of advertising, one of the top positions in the company.

There have been reports that Wojcicki had been offered CEO positions at other tech companies and startups, but Larry Page was terrified to lose her so named her CEO of one of Google's largest subsidiaries. This may cause some internal strife, however, as YouTube VP of product Shishir Mehrotra has been essentially running the team while Kamanger winds down.




AfterDawn: News

Verizon responds to Netflix throttling allegations

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Feb 2014 4:36

Verizon responds to Netflix throttling allegations Verizon has responded to a claim that it is throttling (limiting bandwidth to) Netflix and other services in the cloud, just weeks after a federal court struck down the FCC's net neutrality rules.

The allegation comes from David Raphael, an engineer with cloud security firm iScan Online. According to Mr Raphael's account, he was first made aware of speed problems when using Amazon's AWS cloud services after the president of the company told him there was a dramatic slowdown. Raphael could not find a problem in the company's product, but all of the company's infrastructure is hosted on Amazon's servers.

One evening, Raphael noticed a considerable slowdown when using the company's services from home, and realized that both the company president, and himself, used Verizon's FIOS Internet service. He tested the speed at which he could retrieve data from Amazon AWS S3 and got a dismal 40kB/s. After remoting into the office - less than a mile away - the speed bumped up dramatically to 5000kB/s. A clear difference between both connections is one is for residential purposes, while the other is for business.

Around the same time, Raphael had noticed considerable degrading in the quality of Netflix video streaming. Netflix also uses Amazon's AWS services to host content.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple removes last Bitcoin wallet app from store

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Feb 2014 3:11

Apple removes last Bitcoin wallet app from store Apple has removed the last fully-functioning Bitcoin wallet app from its app store, blocking iOS device users from popular apps available on Android.

Blockchain had been available from the iPhone-maker's App Store for over two years prior to its removal on Wednesday, February 5. In that time, it had clocked up over 120,000 downloads and wasn't the subject of any complaint made by users to Apple.

Citing an "unresolved issue," Apple has removed it from the App Store, meaning users of iOS devices (with the exception of jailbroken devices) are unable now to download any fully functioning Bitcoin wallet app for their devices.

Blockchain has responded angrily to Apple's decision to remove the app without providing any prior warning, any reasonable justification for the action or any means of redress.

"These actions by Apple once again demonstrate the anti-competitive and capricious nature of the App Store policies that are clearly focused on preserving Apple's monopoly on payments rather than based on any consideration of the needs and desires of their users," reads Blockchain's scathing reaction.

It notes that Google's Play Store provides a large number of fully functioning Bitcoin apps despite those apps providing competing services to Google's own "Google Wallet" service.

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AfterDawn: News

Google avoids huge EU fine with antitrust settlement

Written by James Delahunty @ 06 Feb 2014 1:59

Google avoids huge EU fine with antitrust settlement Google has reached a settlement with the European Commission that includes commitments to change its business practices, avoiding a potentially massive fine.

The case traces back to initial complaints made in November 2010 with the European Commission - the main regulatory body of the single European market - that questioned several aspects of Google's search and advertising business practices. The Commission wound up investigating eighteen formal complaints against the web giant, and in March 2013 informed Google that it was violating anti-trust rules in the European Economic Area, based on Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

These infringing practices included the prominent placement of Google's own specialized search services in its general search results. Consumers were not made aware that these services were also owned by Google, while specialized search services (restaurants, hotels etc.) of third parties were typically displayed lower in search results. Google was also found to be using original content from third party services without consent.

The Commission also scrutinized Google's advertising service restrictions and contractual obligations that forced content publishers to obtain all or most of their online search advertisements from Google, while also limiting the transferability of online search advertising campaigns to rival platforms.

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AfterDawn: News

Xbox One system update coming February 11th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2014 11:06

Xbox One system update coming February 11th Xbox's Marc Whitten has posted details for the upcoming Xbox One System Update, now officially set for February 11th.

The update will feature numerous improvements including back-end updates for developers, improvements to Kinect and other stability updates.

Reads the post:

The ability to see and manage your storage space. With this update, you will find it easy to find how much space your content takes up and better manage your content. You can also control your install lineup and more easily manage your download queue. We've separated My Games and My Apps into separate lists, so you can easily create separate queues for both. Now you can pick the order in which you want your content to load and we've added a boot progress indicator so you can better track updates while they load.

The battery power indicator is back! You can see it right on the home screen, so you can easily track how much battery life is left on your controller.

And, you will be able to use your USB keyboard with your Xbox One.

These are just a few of the many updates we will be shipping on February 11. We'll share more details on these and other upcoming features in the coming weeks. We have several surprises in store that we think you'll love.

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AfterDawn: News

Report:Samsung and LG to provide batteries for iWatch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2014 10:52

Report:Samsung and LG to provide batteries for iWatch According to a new report, Apple will use lithium-ion batteries for its still unconfirmed iWatch smartwatch.

The batteries will be provided by Samsung, LG Chem and Tianjin Lishen Battery, say the sources.

"Apple will utilize LG Chem's stepped battery since it offers better longevity than others and can be applied for different shapes," added one industry source. Stepped batteries have about 15 percent more energy efficiency due to using layers of 'stepped' batteries which also conserve space.

After years of rumors, Apple is expected to finally unveil the watch this fall. The device will have an OLED screen and will integrate deeply with other iOS products.




AfterDawn: News

'House of Cards' gets third season from Netflix following Golden Globe, Emmy win

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2014 10:24

'House of Cards' gets third season from Netflix following Golden Globe, Emmy win According to Deadline, Netflix has renewed hit series 'House of Cards' for a third season.

The company originally paid $100 million for two seasons of the political drama and the purchase price has paid off since the show has won Emmy awards and Golden Globe awards while helping bring more subscribers to the streaming service.

In addition, the move started a bigger foray into original programming, including more hits like Arrested Development and Orange is the New Black.

Season 2 of House of Cards will be available on Netflix starting February 14th.




AfterDawn: News

Apple, Microsoft, US carriers commit $750 million towards education

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2014 7:41

Apple, Microsoft, US carriers commit $750 million towards education President Barack Obama has announced $750 million in commitments from U.S. companies to help bring broadband Internet to more classrooms.

AT&T and Sprint have committed free Web service through their wireless networks, Microsoft has committed to significantly discounting their Windows operating systems and will also offer 12 million copies of Microsoft Office free, Apple has committed $100 million in iPads and computers and Verizon will donate $100 million in cash.

"In a country where we expect free Wi-Fi with our coffee, we should definitely demand it in our schools," Obama said during his speech at a middle school.

Perhaps most importantly, the FCC will be using $2 billion collected from service fees to connect 15,000 schools and over 20 million students to high-speed broadband before the end of 2016. President Obama says only 30 percent of U.S. students have true high-speed Internet access at school.




AfterDawn: News

comScore: Apple leads the way with 41.8 percent smartphone market share in U.S. followed by Samsung at 26.1 percent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2014 7:13

comScore: Apple leads the way with 41.8 percent smartphone market share in U.S. followed by Samsung at 26.1 percent Apple kept its crown as the top smartphone maker in the U.S., taking 41.8 percent for the quarter ended December 31st, 2013 says research firm comScore.

Samsung remained in second, at 26.1 percent, growing 1.2 percentage points quarter-over-quarter.

Motorola and LG staged a dramatic battle for third with Moto winning out by a small margin, 6.7 percent to 6.6 percent. Both stayed relatively flat quarter-over-quarter. Rounding out the top five was HTC, down significantly to 5.7 percent continuing its long-term trend.

Android and Apple remained a duopoly in the market, with Android at 51.5 percent and Apple at 41.8 percent. Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Symbian all fell, leaving Apple as the clear winner for the quarter.

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AfterDawn: News

North Korea's operating system looks a lot like Mac OS X

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2014 6:50

North Korea's operating system looks a lot like Mac OS X Red Star Linux 3.0, built by the Korea Computer Center (KCC) software center in Pyongyang, has come with a complete desktop design overhaul, one that has many seeing a possible copy of Mac OS X.

Version 2.0 had looked much more like Windows 7, and was released in 2011.

Since most of what occurs in North Korea stays in North Korea, this week is the first time we have seen details of the operating system, which was released in 2013. Will Scott, a computer scientist who taught at Pyongyang University of Science and Technology (PUST) released the screenshots and other details. The school is foreign-funded, the first in the country.

Red Star Linux includes a version of Wine, allowing for a virtual environment to use Windows software. The operating system uses a browser based on Mozilla called "Naenara," or "My country."

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AfterDawn: News

Asus unveils fanless mini-desktop, Chromebox, for $179

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2014 6:27

Asus unveils fanless mini-desktop, Chromebox, for $179 Asus has unveiled an interesting new product this week running on Google's Chrome OS operating system, the Chromebox.

The Chromebox is a fanless, all-in-one mini-PC with 4.88" by 4.88" by 1.65" dimensions. The device is similar to Intel's NUC desktop, but at a lower price point, and with more components actually already in the device. The NUC is much more versatile but is more DIY.

Under the hood is a 1.4GHz dual-core Celeron 2955U (Intel Haswell), integrated Intel graphics, 2GB of RAM, 16GB SSD, dual-band 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.0, an SD card slot and a Kensington lock slot. If you live outside the U.S., you will have the option to jump up to a Core i7-4600U, and U.S. buyers will also be able to upgrade to a 1.7GHz Core i3-4010U.

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AfterDawn: News

FiftyThree wants trademark for 'Paper' after Facebook refuses to part with name

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2014 5:12

FiftyThree wants trademark for 'Paper' after Facebook refuses to part with name Following the launch of Facebook's new news/news feed reader app Paper, startup company FiftyThree asked Facebook to change the name as it takes away from their own popular iOS design and drawing app of the same name.

Facebook declined.

The company has now applied for a trademark for "Paper," in an effort to protect their brand name. FiftyThree CEO and co-founder George Petschnigg had said they were keeping their options open, and this appears to be one option. The startup currently has the trademark for "Paper by FiftyThree."

Trademark lawyers believe that FiftyThree would have a case if they decide to move forward legally. Trademarks can be use-based meaning that "just by using a mark in a particular field, you've got rights. Some are state-based and some are federal-based, but if I start using a mark before you in the same area of goods or services, I've got rights to the mark over you."

Additionally, being that FiftyThree already has another trademark it makes those rights stronger.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft invests $15 million and strikes licensing deal with Foursquare

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 05 Feb 2014 4:41

Microsoft invests $15 million and strikes licensing deal with Foursquare Microsoft has announced a $15 million 'strategic investment' in location-based services startup Foursquare.

In addition, the company has struck a commercial licensing deal which will let the software giant integrate Foursquare's location data into its products.

"This is a big deal for us," says Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley, in an understatement. "It started off as partnership talks, but those conversations ended up leading to strategic investment conversations. It's great, because they now have skin in the game--they are excited about making sure [our] company succeeds."

The company has so far raised $50 million in funding (including the new deal) and the CEO says Microsoft's investment has been in the works for a couple of months.

More importantly for both companies is the data-licensing agreement. Foursquare is the tech behind the location services on many startup giants like Uber, Instagram, Pinterest and more.




AfterDawn: News

LG G2 Pro camera to include OIS+ and 4K video recording

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2014 9:36

LG G2 Pro camera to include OIS+ and 4K video recording LG's upcoming G2 Pro phablet will feature some high-end specs for its cameras.

The company has confirmed that the device will have a 13MP sensor with improved optical image stabilization (OIS+) and 4K (3840 x 2160 pixel resolution) video recording. The front-side camera will be 2.1 MP.

In addition, the camera will allow for slow-motion video capture and a burst mode for quickly capturing multiple photos in one sitting.

LG is expected to reveal specs and availability of the device at this month's MWC event in Barcelona.




AfterDawn: News

Only two-thirds of Android devices have Google services installed

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2014 9:04

Only two-thirds of Android devices have Google services installed A new and interesting report from ABI Research should have Google on watch as Android continues to dominate global smartphone sales.

The firm claims that Google may be "losing control of the Android ecosystem" even as the operating system is now on anywhere between 76-80 percent of all new device shipments depending on whose data you follow. Many of the Android variants that are available on phones in Asia do not include Google apps and services, keeping ad-based revenue away from the search giant.

Of the 280 million smartphones shipped in the Q4 2013, 77 percent of them were Android-based, but only 150.4 million included Google apps and services, with the other 71.1 million running Android Open Source Project (AOSP) ROMS and variants.

The trend appears to be against Google in this respect. In 2012, 146.7 million Android devices were shipped and 116.7 million smartphones had Google apps and services.

"The growth of AOSP is significant for Android's owner Google, because AOSP does not offer Google's services (due to their unavailability in China), impacting Google's ability to monetize the Android ecosystem," ABI Research senior practice director Nick Spencer concluded.




AfterDawn: News

Facebook celebrates milestone birthday with new 'Look Back' feature

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2014 8:41

Facebook celebrates milestone birthday with new 'Look Back' feature Facebook turned 10-years-old today and as a thank you to its massive userbase of 1.23 billion, as unveiled a "Look Back" feature allowing you to search back into your digital history.

You can view a personalized movie or view a collection of your top photos, as well as a "thank you" card from the company. If you get access to the movie, you will be edit the posts that are featured.

"It's been an incredible journey so far, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it. It's been amazing to see how people have used Facebook to build a real community and help each other in so many ways," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg noted. "In the next decade, we have the opportunity and responsibility to connect everyone and to keep serving the community as best we can."

Facebook continues to press forward with its mobile products and recently unveiled "Paper" for iOS which breaks down the News Feed and other news articles into a format that works better on the small screen.




AfterDawn: News

Geeksphone reveals details for its 'Revolution' Android, Firefox OS dual-boot phone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2014 7:58

Geeksphone reveals details for its 'Revolution' Android, Firefox OS dual-boot phone Geeksphone, the Spanish startup trying to disrupt the smartphone world, has revealed specs and images for its upcoming Revolution handset that runs on Android and Firefox OS.

The device allows for "seamless" switching between Android and Boot2Gecko (Firefox OS).

With a black colorway on the front and white on the back, the device resembles the Nexus 5 but includes the Geeksphone logo on top and three buttons on the bottom. The device features a 4.7-inch IPS qHD display.

Under the hood is a 1.6GHz Intel Atom Z2560 dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 4GB internal storage and a microSD card slot. Additionally, the smartphone has a 2,000 mAh battery and dual 1.3MP/8MP cameras.

The company says the device will sell for €200 and begin shipping on February 14th.

Check the device here.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft starts two new promotions for its phones, tablets, Xbox Music

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2014 7:41

Microsoft starts two new promotions for its phones, tablets, Xbox Music Microsoft, in its quest to get more smartphone owners to switch to Windows Phone and Windows, has started two new promotions.

The first promotion is a standard trade-in offer that will allow consumers to trade in smartphone and tablets for up to $250 in credit. Of course there are restrictions; as you must bring the device to a US or Canadian Microsoft store (there are few). Additionally, you must bring in a full working device with no cracks or water damage, and you must include original accessories. Finally, you must also remove any password protection (this will of course not be a problem if you reformat the device like you are supposed to).

A Microsoft Store employee will determine how much the trade-in value is, and the deal is good through March 2nd.

The second deal is for the popular and cheap Nokia Lumia 520/521, which will come with a full 12-month subscription to Xbox Music for $99 total. The subscription normally costs $100 per year, and the device sells for $65 unlocked on average depending on the retailer/carrier.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft names Satya Nadella as its third-ever CEO

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2014 7:21

Microsoft names Satya Nadella as its third-ever CEO Microsoft has named Satya Nadella its third CEO in history, following a five-month search as current CEO Steve Ballmer retires.

The 46-year-old executive is EVP of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise group, one of the fastest growing divisions in the company. Nadella has been an employee for 20 years and was formerly VP in the company's business and online services divisions. Steve Ballmer has stepped down and Nadella will begin immediately.

In addition, founder and former CEO Bill Gates will step down as chairman and will now serve as a "technology advisor" for all new consumer products. John Thompson, of the board of directors, has been promoted to Microsoft's chairman position.

"During this time of transformation, there is no better person to lead Microsoft than Satya Nadella," added Bill Gates. "Satya is a proven leader with hard-core engineering skills, business vision and the ability to bring people together. His vision for how technology will be used and experienced around the world is exactly what Microsoft needs as the company enters its next chapter of expanded product innovation and growth."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony preparing to sell its PC business to investment partners

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2014 6:48

Sony preparing to sell its PC business to investment partners According to the Japanese business daily, Sony is preparing to sell its PC business.

The company is in talks with investment fund Japan Industrial Partners, and the price is said to be about 50 billion yen ($490 million).

Under the current plan, Sony would unload the business which would then be re-opened as a new company with Sony remaining a small stakeholder.

Other reports had claimed that Lenovo Group was looking into a joint takeover of the Sony Vaio PC business overseas. Sony denied those reports.

Sony continues to focus its operations and sell or liquidate divisions that are not considered "core."




AfterDawn: News

Sony ends future software upgrades for most of its old Xperia smartphones

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Feb 2014 6:38

Sony ends future software upgrades for most of its old Xperia smartphones Sony Mobile has confirmed today that many of its older Xperia smartphones will no longer be receiving future upgrades, and will stay with their current firmware and version of Android.

Most of the phones are nearing two years old, and it must not be viable for the electronics maker to work on getting software updates for the old devices.

End-of-life models include the Xperia arc S, Xperia S, Xperia SL, Xperia ion, Xperia acro S, Xperia go, Xperia P, Xperia J, Xperia miro, Xperia sola, Xperia tipo and Xperia U.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 reaching the U.S. on February 13th priced at $850

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2014 11:46

Samsung's Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 reaching the U.S. on February 13th priced at $850 Samsung's large 12.2-inch Galaxy Note Pro 12.2 finally has a U.S. release date and price.

On the specs side, the tablet runs on Android 4.4, has a 2560 x 1600 pixel display, is powered by a Snapdragon 800 processor, 3GB RAM, Wi-Fi/LTE and 8MP/2MP cameras.

Samsung has aimed to create "professional" tablets that can be used instead of a regular laptop. This is the same goal Microsoft has tried to achieve with their Surface Pro Windows tablets. For example, the Note Pro includes four-pane multiwindow multitasking and layered pop-up windows for multitasking. You can resize the windows and even open up the same app twice. Bluetooth accessories will be offered through Samsung.

The company has created a new home screen layout, as well, dubbed Magazine UI. The layout provides full tiles of apps with information that can be customized and configured. The tiles are similar to the live tiles in Windows 8.1 but that was probably the point. Note Pro 12.2 devices ship with an updated S Pen stylus.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Chromecast SDK opened up to developers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2014 11:10

Chromecast SDK opened up to developers Google has announced that it has opened up the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK) for developers, allowing them to build Chromecast support into additional apps and websites.

Says Google: "Chromecast makes it easy to enjoy all of your favorite online content on a TV screen with the simple press of a button on your phone, tablet or laptop. We want to make it easier for that content to get to your TV, so today we're releasing the Google Cast Software Development Kit (SDK) for developers who want to build Chromecast support into their apps and websites.

For the rest of us, that means even more of our favorite movies, TV shows and music will become available on Chromecast as developers work with the SDK. Just be on the lookout for the cast button in your favorite apps and websites across Android, iOS and Chrome."


Currently, there is a limited list of Chromcast supported services and apps; Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Pandora, YouTube, Google Play TV and Movies, Vevo, Plex, Songza, Google Music, Redbull.tv, PostTV, Viki and RealPlayer Cloud.




AfterDawn: News

Internet Explorer, Chrome gain market share for January

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2014 9:07

Internet Explorer, Chrome gain market share for January According to the most recent NetApplications data, both Internet Explorer and Chrome gained market share for January.

The month was the third of full availability for IE11, which finally surpassed its predecessor.

Altogether, IE gained just 0.30 percentage points to 58.21 percent while Firefox dropped 0.27 percentage points to 18.08 percent and Chrome fractionally gained 0.06 percentage points to 16.28 percent.

Safari, which is only used by Mac and iPad/iPhone owners, stayed flat at 5.80 percent.

Internet Explorer has made an impressive comeback since the beginning of 2013, following a dip under 55 percent for the first time ever.




AfterDawn: News

Windows 8.1 Upgrade 1 leaks to the Web early

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2014 8:23

Windows 8.1 Upgrade 1 leaks to the Web early The oft-reported Windows 8.1 Update 1 has leaked this week, now available on all your favorite P2P, warez and file sharing sites.

Microsoft is expected to officially release the update in early March.

Update 1 will be a welcome relief for mouse and keyboard users. In Metro apps, Microsoft has added close/minimize options to the top right, and the ability to snap apps using the mouse.

Additionally, when right-clicking Live Tiles, there is a new context menu with options for unpinning, resizing and more using a mouse. Shutdown will be easier than the million step process it currently is, with power options for restart, shutdown and sleep now easily accessible.

Finally, Microsoft has also made access to the control panel easier through the PC settings section.

(Pic via Verge)

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft Windows 8.1 surpasses Vista in market share

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 03 Feb 2014 7:03

Microsoft Windows 8.1 surpasses Vista in market share Windows 8.1 continues to gain market share, after three months of full availability on the market.

That being said, Windows 8 in general continues to see slower adoption, at least compared to Windows 7, taking just 10.58 percent share between 8 and 8.1 for January.

Windows 8.1 grew to 3.95 percent, while Windows 8 fell to 6.63 percent, for a total growth of just 0.09 percentage points. Windows 7 dropped 0.03 percentage points to 47.49 percent, remaining the far and away market share leader.

The long-forgotten Windows Vista fell to 3.30 percent on its slow but sure path to zero, allowing Windows 8.1 to leapfrog it. Windows XP somehow gained some share back, up to 29.23 percent.

While still mostly irrelevant, OS X gained slightly to 7.68 percent and Linux dropped to 1.60 percent.

Net Applications uses data "captured from 160 million unique visitors each month by monitoring some 40,000 websites for its clients."




AfterDawn: News

Google: Nexus 5 has been a big seller

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Feb 2014 9:44

Google: Nexus 5 has been a big seller Speaking after the company's quarterly earnings report, Google CFO Patrick Pichette called the Nexus 5 a "very strong" performer for the company.

Pichette did not reveal actual sales figures, but claimed that the Nexus 5 and the HDMI dongle Chromecast were their best selling products. "We had great momentum on the Nexus 5 and Chromecast," added Pichette.

The Nexus 5, which has high-end specs and sells unlocked and off-contract for just $349, seems to be the first in the line of Nexus' to reach a greater consumer base. Previous devices were popular with developers and were used as reference devices since the phones get the latest Android versions first.

Google recently sold its Motorola Mobility handset business to Lenovo, following years of growing losses. Google purchased the company to take its patent trove in 2011.





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