AfterDawn: Tech news

News archive (10 / 2015)

AfterDawn: News

Amazon gets out of the daily deal business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Oct 2015 7:52

Amazon gets out of the daily deal business Amazon has announced that it is exiting the daily deals business, effective December 18th.

On that date, Amazon will stop selling the deals completely, including through the Amazon Local app, but any deals purchased before the shutdown will still be usable and supported.

Overall, the entire daily deal space is struggling. Market leader Groupon, once valued at $16 billion, now has a market value of just $2.4 billion and laid off 1100 employees just two months ago. LivingSocial also just laid off 20 percent of its workforce.

Amazon closed Amazon Destinations earlier this month, a service that let Amazon users find deals on hotels within range of their current location. It seems pretty clear that both Destinations and Local were not seeing the revenue Amazon had expected.

For their part, Amazon only left consumers with a vague message: "We've learned a great deal from the daily deals business and will look for ways to apply these lessons in the future as we continue to innovate on behalf of our customers and merchants."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google releases new 'Who's Down' app to make it easier to make plans with friends

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Oct 2015 7:09

Google releases new 'Who's Down' app to make it easier to make plans with friends Google has released a new app this week, "Who's Down," to make it easier to make plans with your friends.

The app, in its basic form, will let you know what friends are free and looking to go out, but of course for it to really work it will require a lot of people actively using it and as of now there are very few. Compounding that problem is the fact that the app is invite-only currently.

In the app, you can toggle a switch that lets your friends know you are available for the next three hours, and it lets you choose from a list of popular activities like "dinner" or "movies."

The app also allows you to see what friends are down for, and chat with them from within the app.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Torrent scene group YIFY shuts down permanently

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 31 Oct 2015 6:35

Torrent scene group YIFY shuts down permanently One of the most popular scene groups, YIFY, has shut down permanently.

The group took down their YTS website yesterday, and Ernesto confirmed with the group that is indeed down for good.

YIFY has shared over 6000 movies since starting in 2010, and the films were popular due to the quality of the release and their encode size.

At the same time, Popcorn Time was backed primarily by YIFY releases and that service was already having its own issues before this latest news.




AfterDawn: News

Release date revealed for iPad Pro, accessories

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 30 Oct 2015 8:23

Release date revealed for iPad Pro, accessories Apple's latest and definitely the greatest iPad so far has gotten a release date today. The iPad Pro will go on sale on November 11th, in just under two weeks.

Apple has not officially revealed yet the release date but the information comes from a rather reliable source, Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac. According to Gurman the iPad Pro will be sold starting on Wednesday the 11th on both brick and mortar stores as well as online.

Gurman also says that the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard will be available as well on November 11th. The iPad will be available in both WiFi and LTE flavors and will start at $799.

What makes iPad Pro greater than previous installments of Apple's tablet series is of course its larger 12,9 inch touch screen display. It remains to be seem, though, how well users adopt the new product. After all there are limitations that come with the size.




AfterDawn: News

Nokia demos super-fast 5G in Korea

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 30 Oct 2015 1:50

Nokia demos super-fast 5G in Korea SK Telecom is the Korea's largest mobile operator and aims to be the world's first 5G carrier. Nokia on the other hand aims to be the technology provider, and after recent tests it seems likelier than ever.

Nokia and SK Telecom demonstrated a new wireless 5G connection that was able to peak transfer speeds at 19.1 gigabits per second. If one movie would be 2 megabytes the connection would be able to optimally transfer that in less than a second.

The cmWave technology by Nokia uses 8x8 MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) transmission, 256 QAM modulation and 400 MHz bandwidth. The cmWave gets its name from the wavelength that the 3 to 30 GHz frequency range bands translate to – 1 to 10 centimeters. The test was done in 15Ghz average frequency.

The companies tell that this is the first time centimeter waves achieve such results. Previously millimeter waves have been used. Nokia says that it is likely that the commercial bands in the future will use centimeter wavelengths and fall in the frequency range.

The two have been in close cooperation this year and in addition to 5G techonologies they've introduces improvements to LTE speeds and LTE Advanced techonologies.

You can find more information about the Nokia cmWave 5G here.




AfterDawn: News

Report: Google to merge Chrome OS into Android by 2017

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Oct 2015 12:08

Report: Google to merge Chrome OS into Android by 2017 According to a new report, Google plans to merge its Chrome OS operating system into its Android mobile operating system by 2017.

There is expected to be a beta of the unified operating system next year ahead of the full launch in two years.

The move is unsurprising. Chrome OS has been popular for certain niches (like schools) but otherwise never really gained traction. Many of the features of Chrome OS are already in Android, as well, or well known to Chrome browser users on desktop or mobile.

Android is a clear winner, with over 1 billion global users, which also means there is a hefty base of users that are already comfortable with the OS. Adding Android to notebooks could be huge since Android is free compared to Windows which costs OEMs for each license.

If accurate, the large screen Android will give consumers access to the Google Play Store and developers can offer apps that will work with all screen sizes with little extra code (potentially) compared to writing for different operating systems.

Source:
WSJ




AfterDawn: News

Tor releases beta of anonymous Tor Messenger app

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Oct 2015 10:30

Tor releases beta of anonymous Tor Messenger app The Tor Project has released the beta version of their anonymous Tor Messenger chat client.

The client works on Tor's secure browsing system and will allow for out of the box "off-the-record" chats supporting Jabber (XMPP), IRC, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, Twitter, and Yahoo.

Tor says the client is based off the popular Instantbird, the messenger app built by the Mozilla dev community.

For the time being, Tor says the beta is a major work in progress so don't expect everything to work perfectly.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

EA delays Mirror's Edge Catalyst until May 2016

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Oct 2015 9:59

EA delays Mirror's Edge Catalyst until May 2016 EA's upcoming Mirror's Edge sequel has been delayed a few months.

"Catalyst", first announced last year and then shown off at E3 this year. Initially, the game was scheduled for launch in February but EA has announced a delay that will see the game now released on May 24th.

"Years ago, we set out an ambitious vision for Mirror's Edge Catalyst. Achieving that vision and delivering the best possible experience is equally inspiring and challenging," says EA. "And it takes time. We set out to create a vast city to explore, full of stunning vistas, majestic skyscrapers, and mysterious tunnels. We're building the most immersive action-adventure game with fluid movement and combat in first person. Mirror's Edge Catalyst will be an all-new playground with a deeper and more engaging story - and we want to accomplish all these goals to the highest quality possible."

Mirror's Edge Catalyst will be available for PC, Xbox One and PS4.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

The OnePlus X is here, at just $249

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Oct 2015 9:27

The OnePlus X is here, at just $249 OnePlus has announced their latest (and most stylish) phone yet, the OnePlus X.

The phone will set you back just $249, but it also comes with high mid-range specs. The X has a 5-inch 1080p AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB RAM, dual-SIM slots, 16GB internal storage (with microSD slot), dual 13MP/8MP cameras and a 2525 mAh battery.

Unlike its big brother, the OnePlus 2, there is no fingerprint scanner, no USB-C port and no OnePlus Radio app.

OnePlus is using its own OxygenOS operating system, which is based on Android 5.1.1.

The device will launch on November 5th in Europe and India but you will need an invite.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google Fiber expanding to Tampa, Jacksonville and Oklahoma City

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 29 Oct 2015 8:59

Google Fiber expanding to Tampa, Jacksonville and Oklahoma City Google has announced another major expansion to its Fiber program, adding Jacksonville, Tampa and Oklahoma City.

Google Fiber has gigabit download and upload speeds, making it nearly 100 times faster than the average broadband speed in many places in the U.S.

Adds the search giant: "Today we are inviting Oklahoma City, OK, Jacksonville, FL and Tampa, FL, to explore bringing Google Fiber to their communities, as we did last month with three other cities. These growing tech-hubs have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to small business growth. Their list of accolades is long--from Jacksonville's title as a top 10 city for tech jobs, to Tampa Bay's #2 spot on the list of best cities for young entrepreneurs, to Oklahoma City's recognition as the #1 city to launch a business. One of our goals is to make sure speed isn't an accidental ceiling for how people and businesses use the Web, and these cities are the perfect places to show what's possible with gigabit Internet."

With the three new cities, there are now 15 metro areas with Google Fiber.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

A leak suggests T-Mobile will offer unlimited Netflix streaming

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 29 Oct 2015 4:12

A leak suggests T-Mobile will offer unlimited Netflix streaming When it comes to mobile leaks there is one leakster that has almost an impeccable record. Evan Blass, who goes by the alias @evleaks on Twitter, has revealed a new service T-Mobile is about to introduce.

According to Blass T-Mobile is going to start supporting unlimited streaming from services like Netflix and HBO among others. The "Un-carrier" lead by CEO John Legere is said to unveil this extension of the service as the 10th Un-carrier announcement. Press has been invited to attend the announcement on November 10th.

The announcement itself has the words "we never press pause". Considering T-Mobile announced last year Music Freedom, which offers music streaming without data caps this seems like a logical step.

T-Mobile has been advocating the recent years against data caps, smartphone subsidies and contracts, and is one of the few mobile operators in the US to offer truly unlimited data plans.





AfterDawn: News

Nintendo unveils first smartphone game, Miitomo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2015 11:01

Nintendo unveils first smartphone game, Miitomo Nintendo has unveiled some details about its first smartphone game, Miitomo.

It's unclear what the gameplay will be but Nintendo says everyone will be able to customize their own Miis and then communicate with other players. The game is free-to-play but you can buy character accessories and add-ons as in-app purchases.

Originally planned for release before the end of the year, Nintendo says it wants to begin promoting the game this November with release now scheduled for March.

Nintendo is also planning three more games before the end of 2017, and some will be traditional paid downloads rather than FTP.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung misses profit estimates again

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2015 10:24

Samsung misses profit estimates again Samsung missed analyst estimates again this quarter, even with marketing boosts and price cuts for their latest lineup of Galaxy phones.

Net income for the quarter was 5.31 trillion won ($4.7 billion) and Samsung says it expects profits to fall again for the current quarter. "In the fourth quarter, the company expects earnings to decline from the earlier quarter, as it does not expect the foreign exchange rate to have a positive effect in the fourth quarter," the company added.

Margins were compressed in the quarter, as sales of the company's cheaper smartphones increased but sales of the Galaxy S6 Edge and other high-end, higher-margin devices were not up to expectations. Additionally, marketing and capital expenditures increased significantly, also hitting margins.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google introduces second OnHub router

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2015 9:18

Google introduces second OnHub router Google has unveiled their second OnHub router today, a $219.99 device built by ASUS.

The first OnHub router was launched earlier this year, and reviews were generally very good. OnHub has 4GB of internal storage and also comes with its own app where you can see what devices are using bandwidth and change settings easier.

In addition to the new router, the company will also be rolling out a software update that introduces such smart features like "Wave Control" that allows you to boost speeds for a specific device by just waving your hand.

Adds Google: "OnHub routers are designed to stay fresh and get better over time. So in addition to the new ASUS router, in the coming week we're rolling out our first software update with several performance improvements, including a new smart antenna algorithm. Phone in the kitchen? Laptop in the living room? OnHub will intelligently select the best combination of antennas to direct Wi-Fi to your devices, based on their location and orientation. The best part is, if you already have an OnHub, your router will automatically update when your network is quiet so it won't interrupt your connection."

The router is already available for pre-order in the U.S. and Canada.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Google to add podcasting to its Play Music service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2015 8:27

Google to add podcasting to its Play Music service Google is preparing to add a home for podcasts via its Google Play Music service, marking the first time Android users will have a native app for listening to their favorite popular shows.

The search giant is not just looking to have Android users begin listening to existing podcasts, however, it also wants to reach out to users who have never heard one before. Elias Roman, co-founder of the streaming service Songza that was acquired by Google, says, "our goal is to serve content that makes what you do every day better," including podcasts that fit your mood at the time, or what you may have liked in the past. "Podcasts allow us to do everything for our users," Roman added. "It makes us a more complete concierge."

Google and Android have a ways to go. By most counts, podcast listening is dominated by iOS users, which is unsurprising given the focus Apple has put on them in the past.

Podcasting will be available via the free Google Play service and the subscription Google Play Music All-Access although even with the $9.99 service you will still hear ads within the podcasts unlike with music playback.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

New Apple TV set-tops headed to Apple Stores on Friday

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2015 8:11

New Apple TV set-tops headed to Apple Stores on Friday Fans of the Apple TV set-top media center no longer have to wait for their orders to ship as Apple has announced limited supply will be available in stores starting on Friday.

The device went on sale earlier this week online, but you had to pay for expedited shipping to get it before next Monday.

Both models of the device will be available with the 32GB version selling for $149 and the 64GB model selling for $199.

For a more in-depth look at Apple's first update to the Apple TV since 2012, check here.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft integrates Sunrise tech into its updated Outlook for Android, iOS apps

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2015 7:59

Microsoft integrates Sunrise tech into its updated Outlook for Android, iOS apps Microsoft has announced today the rollout of new versions of Outlook for iOS and Outlook for Android, integrating their newly acquired Sunrise technology.

The upgraded apps tweak the UI and add some bug fixes, with an overall focus on improving navigation and saving time and taps. Android, specifically, will be getting a Material Design UI overhaul.

Microsoft recently acquired Sunrise, the mobile calendar app, for over $100 million, and will be integrating the technology to Outlook before shutting down the standalone app itself.

The software giant says there are currently about 30 million users of Outlook between the two operating systems.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Facebook will slow down employee's Internet on Tuesdays so they can better understand emerging markets

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2015 7:45

Facebook will slow down employee's Internet on Tuesdays so they can better understand emerging markets Facebook has announced this week the start of "2G Tuesdays," an initiative that will slow down employee's Internet speed so they can "close the empathy gap" between the heart of the tech world and emerging markets like India and parts of Africa.

2G speeds are incredibly slow but are still used in many parts of the world. Compared to an LTE connection, loading a simple page or app like Facebook could take what feels like an eternity.

Now, the slow speeds will not be mandatory, but every Tuesday when employees log in to the Facebook app, there will be a prompt in their News Feed to try out the connection for an hour.

"For that next hour, their experience on Facebook will be very much like the experience that millions of people around the world have on Facebook on a 2G connection," engineering director Tom Alison says. "They're going to see the places that we need to improve our product, but they're also going to see the places where we have made a lot of progress."

Facebook continues to optimize the app, as well, to perform better on slower connections.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung takes on iPad Pro with a monstrous Galaxy View

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 28 Oct 2015 2:30

Samsung takes on iPad Pro with a monstrous Galaxy View Samsung has teased us earlier with a new Galaxy tablet and finally couple days ago we got some leaked good quality pictures of what is a massive slate. It was leaked by the leakster like none other, Evan Blass, but now shortly after Samsung has made it official.

Galaxy View is a tablet that is not meant for travel. You would be hard-pressed to call it mobile really, and it comes with a kickstand for a reason. The reason being its humongous 18,4 inch display that has a Full HD resolution. The display dwarfs that of the iPad Pro which "only" has a 12,9 inch touchscreen.

The measurements are 275.8 x 451.8 x 11.9 mm (iPad Pro: 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9 mm) and it weighs 2.65kg (nearly six pounds) – that's closing on four times more than iPad Pro. Obviously this device is meant to be used in an all-in-one PC way.

The other details include a 2,1 megapixel front-facing camera, octacore chipset, 2 gigs of RAM and 32 or 64 gigs of storage expandable with a microSD card. There's both a WiFi and an LTE version but Samsung hasn't yet revealed the pricing or the availability. Leaks have previously suggested that the cheapest 32 GB version would retail for $599.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

IBM to spend billions to get in the weather data business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 28 Oct 2015 12:15

IBM to spend billions to get in the weather data business IBM is set to acquire the digital and data assets of the Weather Channel in a deal that could top $2 billion.

While the deal will include the website, apps and intellectual property it will not include the legacy TV channel business.

Weather Co., the parent company of The Weather Channel, was acquired by private equity firms in 2008 for $3.5 billion and has built its digital assets significantly since then.

The deal is not completely surprising since IBM has stated interest in Weather Co.'s forecasting unit, WSI, for some time. Additionally, the two companies already have a partnership that involves IBM's AI service Watson and selling weather data and business solutions to different industries.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Music streaming company Deezer cancels its IPO

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Oct 2015 11:32

Music streaming company Deezer cancels its IPO The French-based music streaming company Deezer has canceled its IPO indefinitely citing "market conditions."

Deezer had planned to raise €300 million on the French stock exchange, but will now wait to go public. The company says it "is well funded and well positioned as it continues to pursue its growth strategy" even without the public funding.

The streaming service was expected to use the funds to build its customer base through partnerships, marketing and free introductory services.

Deezer, founded in 2007, has 6.3 million customers across the globe, with 1.5 million of those as monthly paying subscribers. The rest are subscribers through bundles with carriers or other services, and Deezer only gets a small cut of that revenue stream. The company reported a loss of €27 million last year on revenue of €142 million.

Source:
TC




AfterDawn: News

Apple reports strong quarter but the iPad is in serious trouble

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Oct 2015 10:46

Apple reports strong quarter but the iPad is in serious trouble Apple reported their quarterly earnings today, with all metrics basically in-line.

The company reported $51.5 billion in revenue, and $11.1 billion in net profits, setting a 12-month corporate record for profits at $53.4 billion.

Apple sold 48.05 million iPhones, a bit under expectations, but still good for a 22 percent increase year-over-year. The company says it expects to sell between 74-76 million iPhones for the holiday quarter, growth of under 5 percent year-over-year at best.

Macs continued to see low single-digit growth, and margins increased to 39.9 percent compared to expectations of 39.3 percent. Apple also now has $206 billion in cash, a number that is hard to fathom.

On the other side, the iPad seems to be in serious trouble, with shipments down 20 percent year-over-year to 9.88 million units; the lowest number since 2011. It is becoming increasingly clear that the tablet market has peaked, and that owners are not upgrading on a yearly cycle but rather every two or three years, if at all.




AfterDawn: News

Suppliers: Lower than expected orders for iPad Pro

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 27 Oct 2015 4:04

Suppliers: Lower than expected orders for iPad Pro Apple is launching its newest addition to the iPad lineup next month. The all-new iPad Pro is technically above all other models but it might be the price that scares customers.

According to the industry sources DigiTimes cites, Apple has made orders for a measly 2,5 million units of it's top of the line iPad. Of course it's just one of the iPad models but nonetheless the suppliers were expecting higher number of orders.

It is undeniable that price of the device in this economy has an effect. Comparing to the other iPads the iPad Pro is in a price league of its own, starting at a whopping $799 and depending on the options rising well above thousand dollars. The iPad Mini 4 costs only $399 and iPad Air 2 $499, and Apple still sells older versions that are even cheaper: iPad Air starting at $399 and iPad mini 2 at $269.

Even despite pricing and after all this, there's still one hugely important obstacle. Apple's iPad sales figures have been going downward for more than a year. There simply wasn't – or isn't – enough customer to keep up the growth. Surely iPad Pro will bring in the profits (per device) but even Apple is cautious about the unit amounts.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

15-year-old arrested in investigation over TalkTalk hack

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 27 Oct 2015 12:30

15-year-old arrested in investigation over TalkTalk hack The UK Metropolitan Police have arrested a 15-year-old today in connection with the major cyberattack on TalkTalk.

Earlier this week, TalkTalk's website was hacked and names, addresses, account information and credit card/bank information were stolen from possibly 4 million customers. It appears that TalkTalk was hit by a DDoS attack that gave the attackers time to use SQL injection hacks. It also seems that many of the passwords stored via the website were in plain text, a huge letdown for customers and privacy in general.

The Metro Police, working with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and the National Crime Agency executed the search warrant and arrested a 15 year old boy in County Antrim on suspicion of Computer Misuse Act violations.

TalkTalk's CEO also received a ransom note demanding money, and police are investigating that, as well.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

'Beasts of No Nation' sees over 3 million streams on Netflix in 10 days

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Oct 2015 11:38

'Beasts of No Nation' sees over 3 million streams on Netflix in 10 days Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos has said today that the original drama 'Beasts of No Nation' has been streamed over 3 million times in 10 days since it was released, a huge number for an independent film.

The streaming giant purchased the rights to the film earlier this year for $12 million.

"We are just thrilled with the total audience reach of this film, not just in North America, but the world," Sarandos said. "In the first week of release, Beasts of No Nation was the most watched movie on Netflix, in every country we operate in."

More importantly for the company, Sarandos says the film has been popular in places like Japan and Brazil, where U.S. developed indie films are normally not popular in the slightest.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft confirms that the rumored Surface Mini tablet was real

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Oct 2015 10:52

Microsoft confirms that the rumored Surface Mini tablet was real Microsoft's VP of devices Panos Panay has confirmed that the oft-rumored Surface Mini tablet was a real thing.

Panay says he kept a prototype version of the 7-inch tablet near his bed so he could draft emails in the night or jot down any ideas or notes he may of had. "It was like a Moleskine," he added.

The executive did suggest that he no longer uses his prototype and that Microsoft has moved away from the idea of the smaller tablet, although that is unsurprising given that the tech is likely over two years old at this point.

Microsoft did note in the Q4 last year that it had decided "to not ship a new form factor" for the Surface but never mentioned the Mini by name.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft opens their New York City flagship store

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Oct 2015 10:33

Microsoft opens their New York City flagship store Microsoft has taken to New York City for their new flagship store, opening the store at 677 Fifth Ave.

The store will showcase the company's hardware, including the new hit Surface Book notebook, the latest Lumia 950 smartphones and new Surface Pro tablets. In addition, the company will also showcase the Xbox One and its Microsoft Band fitness tracker.

Microsoft is said to have been looking for an NYC flagship since 2009, but the time was just not right until now.

The store will be five stories, and include 84-inch TVs to play Xbox games on, a full "community theater" with hours of workshops every week, a full floor dedicated to Dell-built Windows devices, and a full floor for employees and meetings and events.

According to early real estate estimates, Microsoft could be paying a fortune for the space. Rental prices go for as high as $3,350 a square foot on Fifth Avenue, and the new flagship is over 20,000 square feet.




AfterDawn: News

Chase announces its own digital wallet service

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Oct 2015 9:46

Chase announces its own digital wallet service JPMorgan Chase Bank, the U.S.' largest bank, has announced their own digital wallet service: Chase Pay.

Chase will be partnering with MCX to have Chase Pay accepted in their stores, restaurants and gas stations. MCX includes major retailers 7-Eleven, Alon Brands, Best Buy, CVS Health, Darden Restaurants, HMSHost, Hy-Vee, Lowe's, Michaels, Publix, Sears Holdings, Shell Oil Products US, Sunoco, Target Corporation and Walmart.

In some cases, customers will pay by showing a unique QR code and in others, they will have to use Chase Pay inside MCX's own CurrentC app. That makes things interesting especially since the CurrentC app is currently in a very limited beta.

Chase also has some leverage in launching Chase Pay. Retailers/merchants will pay lower transaction fees for Chase Pay transactions compared to other methods, said the bank.

Gordon Smith, Chase's CEO of consumer & community banking, said the service is expected to launch in mid-2016.

Source:
recode




AfterDawn: News

New Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gives 1/3 of his shares back to employees

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Oct 2015 3:53

New Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gives 1/3 of his shares back to employees New Twitter CEO Jck Dorsey has given a third of his Twitter shares back to the company's employees, placing them directly into the employee equity pool.

The shares, which are worth about $200 million, will "reinvest directly in our people," added Dorsey. The move follows the executive's decision to lay off 8 percent of the workforce, inlcuding hundreds of engineers.

"I'd rather have a smaller part of something big than a bigger part of something small," Dorsey tweeted. "I'm confident we can make Twitter big!"

The shares amount to 1 percent of the outstanding shares of the struggling company.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Uber planning another $1 billion funding round

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Oct 2015 3:33

Uber planning another $1 billion funding round Just months after raising money, Uber appears to be on the verge of raising another $1 billion from investors.

If accurate, reports have Uber seeing a valuation above $60 billion, making it easily the biggest capitalized private tech company in the world.

Despite the huge valuation, Uber founder and CEO Travis Kalanick noted that the company has no plans on going public anytime soon. "We're like eighth graders. We're in junior high and someone is telling us that we need to go to the prom, and it's just a little early. Let us get into high school before we start talking about these sorts of things," he said.

So far to date, Uber has raised over $8 billion dollars, an almost unheard of number.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Microsoft adds a Nvidia GPU option to entry level Surface Book notebook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Oct 2015 3:18

Microsoft adds a Nvidia GPU option to entry level Surface Book notebook If you were looking to do a little bit of gaming with the new Microsoft Surface Book but didn't want to completely deplete your wallet, Microsoft has added a new Nvidia GPU option to its lineup.

The notebook will cost $200 more than the base model (with integrated Intel graphics) but will add a discrete Nvidia GPU that seems to be the equivalent of a custom GeForce 940M.

Otherwise, the notebook has the same nice specs including a 6th-generation Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD and all day battery life.

For more information on the Surface Book, check our initial read here.




AfterDawn: News

R.I.P. Popcorn Time

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 24 Oct 2015 3:03

R.I.P. Popcorn Time The most popular version of Popcorn Time appears to be down and out for the count.

Following last week's drama where half of the founding members left Popcorn Time over concerns about the built-in VPN's revenue, the servers and domain for popcorntime.io are down permanently.

According to TF, the operators of the site tried to transfer the ownership of the domain but the registrar Gandi denied the changes. That was the beginning of the end.

"I shutdown all the servers, there is nothing I can do anymore. I deleted any logs that can be harmful for any other dev," founder 'Wally' added.

There are other forks of Popcorn Time available out there but none with the fan base or features of the former .io variant.




AfterDawn: News

Report: Sony to buy Toshiba's image sensor business

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Oct 2015 11:50

Report: Sony to buy Toshiba's image sensor business According to a new report, Toshiba is preparing to sell its image sensor business to Sony as part of its ongoing restructuring plans.

It is unclear how much Toshiba will sell the business for. New CEO Muromachi had promised to restructure Toshiba's lower margin businesses, starting with the image sensor division.

Sony is already one of the top manufacturers of image sensors, making the tech for Xiaomi, Micromax, and others.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry Priv is official with $699 price tag

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Oct 2015 11:29

BlackBerry Priv is official with $699 price tag A day after retailers leaked specs and assumed price for the device, BlackBerry has officially priced its Priv Android slider smartphone.

The device will sell for $699 unlocked, a massive price tag even for the powerful specs.

BlackBerry's first Android phone has a curved 5.4-inch QHD display, is powered by a Snapdragon 808 processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB internal storage (expandable to 2TB), dual 2MP/18MP cameras, a large 3410 mAh battery and a full physical keyboard.

The Priv will work with major U.S. GSM providers AT&T and T-Mobile and not with Sprint, Verizon or US Cellular. BlackBerry also says they have included their own security and privacy features including a tool called DTEK that constantly monitors your apps and the operating system for any security vulnerabilites.

Get it here for its November 6th release date.




AfterDawn: News

Microsoft Edge browser to get add-ons and extensions - in 2016

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Oct 2015 11:14

Microsoft Edge browser to get add-ons and extensions - in 2016 Microsoft has confirmed that its new Edge browser will get the promised extension and add-on support, but in 2016.

The extensions, which are well known to Chrome users, were expected in the Windows 10 Fall Update but apparently did not make the cut.

Says Microsoft: "We're committed to providing customers with a personalized web experience, which is why bringing extensions to Microsoft Edge continues to be a high priority. We're actively working to develop a secure extension model to make the safest and most reliable browser for our customers, and look forward to sharing more in a future Windows 10 update in 2016."

Included in the Fall Update will be a few bug fixes and the addition of a preview pane when hovering the cursor over the tab.

Source:
Ars




AfterDawn: News

Huawei becomes top Chinese smartphone maker

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Oct 2015 10:04

Huawei becomes top Chinese smartphone maker According to the latest Q3 figures from Canalys, Huawei has now become the top selling smartphone vendor in China, beating out massive 'startup' Xiaomi.

It is Huawei's first time at the top, seeing 81 percent year-over-year growth. Xiaomi actually saw a decrease, but it has had double digit or triple digit gains for years now.

"Huawei's ascent to China's smartphone throne is a remarkable feat, especially in the context of an increasingly cutthroat and maturing Chinese smartphone market," added Canalys analyst Jessie Ding.

Canalys did not have full device sales just yet, but promised numbers early next month.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Pandora settles with RIAA over pre-1972 royalties

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 23 Oct 2015 9:16

Pandora settles with RIAA over pre-1972 royalties Internet radio giant Pandora has settled with the major record labels over royalties owed for tracks written before 1972, songs that aren't covered by federal copyright but are covered by most states.

Pandora will pay $90 million, a large sum that follows a $210 million settlement made by SiriusXM satellite radio earlier this year for the same copyright issues.

The settlement will cover all previous streams of pre-1972 music, and all streams until the end of 2016. At that point, a new licensing deal will have to be made or the music must be removed from the service.

"Pandora is excited to have found resolution with these record labels," said Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews in a statement. "We pursued this settlement in order to move the conversation forward and continue to foster a better, collaborative relationship with the labels."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

HTC: No, Apple actually copied our design

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Oct 2015 10:58

HTC: No, Apple actually copied our design Following claims that their new One A9 copies the design of the iPhone, HTC has struck back, stating that HTC actually pioneered the look.

"We're not copying. We made a uni-body metal-clad phone in 2013. It's Apple that copies us in terms of the antenna design on the back," said Jack Tong, president of HTC North Asia.

It is true that HTC created the design of a metal-clad phone with radio signals in the back when it unveiled the One M7.

"The A9 is made thinner and more lightweight than our previous metal-clad phones. This is a change and evolution, and we're not copying,"
he said.

You can read and see some pictures of the A9 in our announcement post here.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Windows 10 fall update slated for next month

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Oct 2015 10:37

Windows 10 fall update slated for next month According to Windows insider Paul Thurrott, the Windows 10 Fall Update is slated for release next month.

Windows 10 build 1511 will be available to all Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10 users, and you won't have to reactive your Windows after the update.

The update comes with an improved Media Creation Tool (for backing up Windows), new features for Cortana, improvements for Edge and a ton of bug fixes.

You can see some more changes at the source.




AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry Priv specs leaked, as well as bloated price

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 22 Oct 2015 4:48

BlackBerry Priv specs leaked, as well as bloated price Thanks to a couple of retailer leaks, we have the specs and price for the upcoming Android-powered BlackBerry Priv.

BlackBerry has been releasing minimal information about the device, but leakers like Evan Blass have outed the design through full mock ups.

If true, the leaked specs claim a 5.4-inch WQHD AMOLED, a 1.8Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 with 3GB RAM, 32GB storage (expandable to 2TB), a 37mm x 77.2mm physical keyboard and a large 3,410mAh battery. The main camera is a f/2.2/OIS lens with an 18MP sensor and the selfie cam is a weak 2MP but it does offer panorama.

While the specs are pretty nice, the leaked price is shocking. The pages show a $749 price tag for North America and £580 for the UK, which makes the Priv more expensive than a few iPhones and the Galaxy S6 Edge. It is also hundreds of dollars more expensive than the newly launched Google Nexus 6P.

It is nice to see BlackBerry thinking outside of the box, and I'm sure there are plenty of consumers still willing to take a physical keyboard but at that price tag BlackBerry has once again shot themselves in the foot.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' has demolished movie pre-order records

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2015 2:42

'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' has demolished movie pre-order records Not even 48 hours after tickets went on sale, 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' has shattered records for pre-sales.

When the tickets went on sale, Fandango almost immediately crashed, and the company said its website traffic surged as high as 700 percent normal peak volumes.

'The Force Awakens' ended up beating the previous pre-sale record holder, The Hunger Games, by 800 percent, added Fandango.

AMC theaters said they sold out all 1000 shows in 12 hours, with 38 percent going to IMAX screens, netting $6.5 million in pre-sales, yet another record.

The latest installment of the Star Wars series is expected to be one of the biggest grossing films of all-time, although it has a long way to go to beat out Avatar at $2.78 billion.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Barnes & Noble is back with a new waterproof Nook

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2015 12:39

Barnes & Noble is back with a new waterproof Nook Barnes & Noble has surprisingly announced a new version of their once popular Nook GlowLight e-reader.

The new GlowLight Plus has a new slimmer design, offers double the pixels of its predecessor (300ppi) and is also waterproof. The device also promises a glare-free screen.

It is unclear how much internal storage there is, but B&N promises enough room for thousands of books at one time.

The GlowLight Plus is available now for $129.99.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

It's official: Western Digital to acquire SanDisk for $19 billion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2015 12:20

It's official: Western Digital to acquire SanDisk for $19 billion Hard drive maker Western Digital has announced their acquisition of memory card giant SanDisk for $19 billion in cash and stock.

There had been rumors for months that SanDisk was looking for a buyer and in the last week Western Digital was increasingly seen as a potential acquirer.

The move has synergies for both companies, including the merger of huge lines of SSDs, HDDs, and NAND storage.

"This transformational acquisition aligns with our long-term strategy to be an innovative leader in the storage industry by providing compelling, high-quality products with leading technology," said Steve Milligan, chief executive officer, Western Digital. "The combined company will be ideally positioned to capture the growth opportunities created by the rapidly evolving storage industry. I'm excited to welcome the SanDisk team as we look to create additional value for all of our stakeholders, including our customers, shareholders and employees."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple has pulled 250 apps from App Store that were stealing personal info

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2015 12:02

Apple has pulled 250 apps from App Store that were stealing personal info Apple has quietly removed 250 apps from the App Store after it was discovered that the Youmi ad network was actually stealing private information including email addresses.

Most of the apps came from Chinese-based devs, and all used the Youmi SDK to build in advertising. Unfortunately, Youmi was also secretly taking user info and uploading it to their servers.

The move follows a research report from SourceDNA that stated the apps were the first they had ever seen to bypass Apple's stringent app review process. Combined, the apps have seen over 1 million downloads around the globe.

"We've identified a group of apps that are using a third-party advertising SDK, developed by Youmi, a mobile advertising provider, that uses private APIs to gather private information, such as user email addresses and device identifiers, and route data to its company server. This is a violation of our security and privacy guidelines.

"The apps using Youmi's SDK will be removed from the App Store and any new apps submitted to the App Store using this SDK will be rejected. We are working closely with developers to help them get updated versions of their apps that are safe for customers and in compliance with our guidelines back in the App Store quickly,
" concluded Apple.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Yahoo takes large loss on original streaming content including Community

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2015 10:37

Yahoo takes large loss on original streaming content including Community Yahoo has confirmed this week that its plan to jump into the original streaming content business has not gone as planned.

During their recent earnings call, the company noted a $42 million write-down for its video division. "We thought long and hard about it," noted Yahoo CFO Ken Goldman. "What we concluded is [that] certain of our original video content, we couldn't see a way to make money over time. I'm thinking of Community, I'm thinking of Sin City Saints and so forth. So there, where we had spent money and had some assets on our balance sheet, we elected to write those off."

Community, which was a hit on NBC in its earlier seasons, was renewed for a final season on Yahoo, but Yahoo's service was not as easy to access compared to longstanding apps and services like Hulu and Netflix and it appears that Yahoo could not profit on the shows popularity.

Goldman agreed the streaming content did not go as planned but he did not rule out the company trying again in the future.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Sony drops price of PlayStation 4 in Europe, Australia

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2015 10:00

Sony drops price of PlayStation 4 in Europe, Australia Following a similar announcement in different regions, Sony has confirmed that Europe will also be receiving a price drop for the popular PlayStation 4 console.

"Since the launch of PS4 our aim has always been to provide players with the best gaming experiences at the best value, and we've been thrilled with the amount of players who have joined our world," added Sony.

For the UK, the 500GB model PS4 will set you back £299.99, while most of mainland Europe will get the console for €349.99.

Additionally, Sony says New Zealand will see a price cut to $569.95 and Australia will, as well, to $479.95.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

MPAA shuts down web version of Popcorn Time but site moves to new domain

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 21 Oct 2015 9:06

MPAA shuts down web version of Popcorn Time but site moves to new domain The newly released web version of Popcorn Time has already been taken down, but the site has quickly found a new domain.

Browser Popcorn was taken down by the MPAA, and its 15-year-old owner Milan Kragujevic posted a message to the old domain: "Browser Popcorn has been taken down by the E.V.I.L. money-grabbing s**tlords of America, The Motion Picture Association of Murica [sic]."

The site has now moved to browserpopcorn.gq after the MPAA made sure his original web host took the site down. "Basically, MPAA sent me a [cease and desist] letter and contacted my hosting provider and domain registrar and ordered them to take down the infringing content," Kragujeviche added. "I live in a country where copyright law is almost nonexistent, and simply I don't care. I will keep moving the website, changing domains and providers."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Chrome really is eating all your battery life

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2015 10:01

Chrome really is eating all your battery life Thanks to a new report, we have some more proof that Google's Chrome browser is killing your battery life, and in some cases, to a huge degree.

Testing different browsers with different Windows 10 notebooks/2-in-1s, Chrome actually killed overall battery life by as much as 28 percent compared to Microsoft Internet Explorer, a scary figure.

In the report, the tester used an Asus Zenbook UX305F, a Surface Pro 3 and a Toshiba Portege Z20t-B, while testing IE11, Chrome 46, Firefox 41 and Microsoft Edge 20. All browsers were on default configurations. They ran the Peacekeeper battery test twice and averaged the battery time.

Microsoft's browsers were unquestionably the top dogs, saving 30-59 minutes in battery life depending on the device.

Here were the full results:

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Popcorn Time team reportedly breaks up

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2015 9:43

Popcorn Time team reportedly breaks up A few of the top developers for the Popcortime.io fork have reportedly left the project this weekend, following a number of internal disputes.

Popcorntime.io is the most popular of the Popcorn Time forks, and the software currently has millions of users and the blessing of the original creators.

Reportedly, there have been disagreements over how the project should move forward and those disputes have led to a few of the top developers leaving, practically breaking up the group. Allegedly, the disagreements started over the rumor of a Hollywood lawsuit due to the service's integration of VPN.ht. The software was created by two of the developers of Popcorn Time and has added a revenue stream, which in the past has led to lawsuits against otherwise free services.

Some of the team demanded getting away from VPN.ht, with plans to release a new Popcorn Time fork without the commercial VPN. The devs who created the VPN took that as a sort of "hostile takeover" and froze access to the software's code. At that point, a handful of devs decided it was time to move on. It is unclear what the next steps for the platform are.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple acknowledges 'Staingate' and will replace screens

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2015 9:16

Apple acknowledges 'Staingate' and will replace screens Apple has acknowledged the very valid concerns of Retina MacBook Pro users who are being affected by 'Staingate' and will replace the screens free of charge.

Staingate had been affecting thousands of Mac users, and within a few months the anti-reflecting layer had begun to wear off, leaving a hideous stain across the screen that could not be replaced without voiding the warranty.

Notably, if you already paid for a replacement, you may be eligible for a refund through AppleCare.

The new program will cover MacBooks and MacBook Pros from within three years of their original purchase date or for one year from October 16th, 2015.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Yahoo inks new search deal with Google

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2015 8:33

Yahoo inks new search deal with Google Yahoo has announced a new search deal with Google today in which the search giant will provide Yahoo with 'search ads, algorithmic search, and image search services' for mobile and desktop browsing.

The deal is in effect now and will last until 2018.

"In October, the Company reached an agreement with Google that provides Yahoo with additional flexibility to choose among suppliers of search results and ads," Yahoo wrote in its earnings release today. "Google's offerings complement the search services provided by Microsoft, which remains a strong partner, as well as Yahoo's own search technologies and ad products."

The deal makes perfect sense for Yahoo as it tries to profit from its search engine. Google has 64 percent of desktop queries in the U.S. compared to Yahoo at 12.7 percent.

Yahoo is in the middle of a 10-year deal with rival Microsoft in which Microsoft's search technology powers Yahoo's search engine in exchange for an 8 percent cut of search ad revenue.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple Music up to 6.5 million subscribers

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 20 Oct 2015 8:14

Apple Music up to 6.5 million subscribers In a new interview today, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced a milestone for the fledgling Apple Music service: 6.5 million paying subscribers.

Altogether, the service has 15 million total subscribers, a solid number for a service that has only been around since June. Keep in mind, Apple offers three free months to anybody who wants to try it, so the numbers are potentially inflated.

Cook said customers have been praising the human curation features of the platform and that he himself had been stuck listening to the same tracks over and over until he started using Apple Music.

The service launched with some issues, including a high-profile attack by the music industry over royalties but has since seemed to have settled into a groove.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung plans to release Galaxy S7 earlier than anticipated

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 20 Oct 2015 7:56

Samsung plans to release Galaxy S7 earlier than anticipated According to Korean sources, Samsung plans to move the release of its flagship model, Samsung Galaxy S7 to happen couple of weeks before the MWC event where it has traditionally released its flagship models.

The move indicates that Samsung doesn't want to compete for the media attention during the MWC expo where several vendors release their products.

More interestingly, according to SamMobile, Samsung might be changing its flagship model tactic to have "super premium", "premium" and "sub-premium" flagship models in order to be able to compete against the iPhone (super premium) and against newcomers, like OnePlus and Xiaomi (premium & sub-premium).




AfterDawn: News

HTC announces the One A9 - a $399 Android phone that looks just like the iPhone

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 20 Oct 2015 7:42

HTC announces the One A9 - a $399 Android phone that looks just like the iPhone HTC announced, without much fanfare, its mid-range model, HTC One A9, today that mimicks very effectively the current iPhone design, promises to deliver Android updates almost Nexus-like and will cost $399 unlocked.

Despite the promises of a quick rollout of future Android releases to One A9's users, HTC hasn't dropped its Sense user interface. Phone sports metallic back, with antenna stripes, very much like iPhone has. Internally the phone has Snapdragon 617 chip, 2GB RAM in 16GB storage version and 4GB RAM in 32GB version. Both models have a microSD memory card slot.

Full HD display is 5" and uses Gorilla Glass 4. Main camera is a 13Mpix camera with optical image stabilization and f/2.0 optics. Other than those details, the phone has fingerprint scanner, UltraPixel front camera and Dolby Audio.

Phone is expected to start shipping in beginning of November. Availability varies geographically.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Wow! HTC pledges to deliver Android updates max 15 days after Google

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 20 Oct 2015 7:31

Wow! HTC pledges to deliver Android updates max 15 days after Google HTC's reputation hasn't been exactly stellar when it comes to Android updates, but now the company has apparently taken different road.

HTC announced its One A9 mid-range smartphone today and the big news was that the company pledged to roll out all the Android updates to One A9 within fourteen days after Google releases the Android update.

The unlocked MSRP for One A9 will be $399, but Europeans will have to pay significantly more for the device once it arrives to old continent.




AfterDawn: News

Tinder parent company to go public

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Oct 2015 5:34

Tinder parent company to go public Match Group, the parent company of Tinder, Match and other dating sites, is set to go public using the symbol MTCH.

Besides Tinder and Match, the company also runs PlentyOfFish, HowAboutWe and OkCupid, giving it the largest portfolio of dating apps and sites.

Last year, the Match Group had $888.3 million in revenue, up 11 percent year-over-year and most of the sales comes through user membership fees. Net profit was $147.8 million, up 18 percent year-over-year. Altogether, the portfolio has 59 million monthly active users and 4.7 million paid members.

While the IPO will help the company raise money, it will still have over 50 percent of its shares owned by IAC, the media conglomerate.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Star Wars: The Force Awakens final poster is here with new trailer tomorrow

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Oct 2015 12:29

Star Wars: The Force Awakens final poster is here with new trailer tomorrow For anyone excited for the upcoming "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," this has been quite the weekend.

Disney has revealed the final poster for the upcoming film, and it matches the tone of the previous movies in showing off key characters, a space background and the red to blue (evil to good) transition.

Interestingly, in the back there is also a huge canon-looking planet, which could be the rumored 'Starkiller Base' that is rumored to destroy entire star systems.

Even better for fans, Disney has announced that the next official trailer will be released tomorrow during Monday Night Football.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Amazon sues over 1000 Fiverr users who were offering to write fake product reviews

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 18 Oct 2015 12:01

Amazon sues over 1000 Fiverr users who were offering to write fake product reviews Amazon has sued 1114 John Doe defendants who are offering to write fake reviews via Fiverr, the site that allows you to purchase services for as low as $5.

The Fiverr sellers offered to write fake, positive product reviews for sellers and manufacturers, clearly tainting what is usually a pretty honest system.

"While small in number, these reviews can significantly undermine the trust that consumers and the vast majority of sellers and manufacturers place in Amazon, which in turn tarnishes Amazon's brand," said Amazon's complaint. The lawsuit only names the defendants by their Fiverr names, with the hope of being able to sue them by their legal names soon.

Amazon's own investigators emailed with the Fiverr users and found that some were willing to use multiple accounts, multiple addresses and different IP addresses to try to avoid detection by Amazon. Others were willing to receive an empty envelope from the seller so they could show up as "Verified Buyer" and also have a shipping record.

"Defendants are misleading Amazon's customers and tarnishing Amazon's brand for their own profit and the profit of a handful of dishonest sellers and manufacturers," added Amazon. "Amazon is bringing this action to protect its customers from this misconduct, by stopping defendants and uprooting the ecosystem in which they participate."

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Apple loses patent infringement case, must pay $234 million

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 17 Oct 2015 8:52

Apple loses patent infringement case, must pay $234 million Apple has lost the patent infringement case brought by the University of Wisconsin's Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), and must pay $234 million in damages.

The processor patent tech was ruled to have been used in Apple's A7, A8, and A8X processors, and WARF had initially asked for $862 million before reducing the damages request to $400 million.

U.S. District Judge William Conley had ruled earlier this week that Apple did not willfully infringe on WARF's patents so the damages are significantly lower than what was being asked for but still obviously very hefty.

"Table based data speculation circuit for parallel processing computer" (improving processor efficiency) was the patent in question and was granted in 1998. WARF sued Intel in 2008 over the patent and won $110 million. WARF uses its income to pay out grants to researchers, including $58 million last year.

Last month, the foundation sued Apple again, this time for their latest round of products, iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and iPad Pro. Apple, the most profitable company on the planet, made $10.67 billion in net profit last quarter, alone.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

The Pirate Bay is currently down

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 17 Oct 2015 6:54

The Pirate Bay is currently down The best-known torrent site in the world, The Pirate Bay, appears to be offline, globally, right now.

According to online forums, such as Reddit, the site seems to be having some kind of technical problems, as it shortly reappeared after its first period of offline earlier today.

The Proxy Bay, a site that lists mirrors and proxies for The Pirate Bay, confirms this to be the case, stating on their homepage:

The Pirate Bay is currently experiencing issues


The problems affect all the official, known domain addresses of The Pirate Bay and don't seem to be related to specific countries blocking access to (some of) their domains.




AfterDawn: News

Solu is a new Kickstarter project that aims to revolutionize computing

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 16 Oct 2015 12:05

Solu is a new Kickstarter project that aims to revolutionize computing A Finnish startup by the name of Solu Machines has introduced a new type of computer in San Francisco, CA. Solu, as they call it, is a mobile computer that relies solely in the power of cloud computing.

Everything about the small square box, veiled in wood in a very Scandinavian fashion, is stored in the cloud. This doesn't only mean the pictures and videos but also the settings in the operating system and apps that you use.

Even though Solu can be used as a separate device, connecting it to the peripherals typically connected to a PC (e.g. mouse, keyboard, display, etc) will reveal it's full potential. The device itself encompasses a 1440 x 1440 resolution 450 ppi touchscreen, 4 gigs of RAM, 32 gigs of storage and Nvidia's SOC with a quad-core processor.

Device demoed at the presentation was a prototype and Solu Machines is now looking to fund production on Kickstarter. A single Solu costs a 349 euros (just under $400) but for more adventurous crowd funders there are obviously other types of packages as well. The company is looking to ship the first final versions to customers in Q2 next year.




AfterDawn: News

'Minecraft: Story Mode' now available

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 16 Oct 2015 12:03

'Minecraft: Story Mode' now available Mojang and Telltale Games have launched the first chapter of their new 'Minecraft: Story Mode' for mobile gamers.

The mobile launch follows release for PlayStation, Xbox and Steam on Monday.

"Minecraft: Story Mode" lets you follow the story of Jesse, who sets off on adventures across Overworld.

The first chapter of Story Mode is called "The Order of the Stone," and "focuses on Jesse's encounter with a mysterious figure who unleashes a monster Jesse and friends need to save the world from." You get to choose-your-own-adventure, with a selection of dialogues or action that will impact how you progress in the game. Fans of 'The Walking Dead' and 'Game of Thrones' from the same publisher should feel at home, just with less violence.

Available now on Android, Amazon and iOS, the game costs $4.99 per episode.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveils its second Tizen smartphone

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Oct 2015 8:44

Samsung unveils its second Tizen smartphone Samsung has revealed its new Tizen-based Z3 smartphone, the second phone to use the fledgling operating system.

The Z3 will be available in India and will feature some nice upgrades from the really low-cost Z1 released in January.

Samsung says the new phone will have a 720p 5-inch display, a 1.3GHz quad-core processor built by Spreadtrum, 1GB RAM, a 2600mAh battery, dual 8MP/5MP cameras and a metal-looking design. Unfortunately, there is no LTE support, but it does support HSPA+.

Priced at 8490 Rand, or about $130 USD, the device is cheap but still won't be as cheap as other phones being released in India.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Thankfully, Google removes the desktop Chrome notification center

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Oct 2015 12:18

Thankfully, Google removes the desktop Chrome notification center Google has announced today that it is retiring its annoying Chrome notification center from upcoming Chrome versions for Windows, Mac and Linux. ChromeOS users will still have it, but it is much more important for them.

The search giant says "in practice, few users visit the notification center," suggesting it had just become bloat.

Chrome's desktop notification center debuted in 2013 to give users a way to catch up on their info even when Chrome was closed.

Most dedicated Chrome users immediately shut down the annoying notifications, however, as the center notably took up even more RAM than Chrome's normally extremely high usage.

If the news excites you, Chrome's next update, 47, will hit at the end of November.

Source:
Google




AfterDawn: News

The Microsoft Surface Book is completely sold out

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Oct 2015 12:02

The Microsoft Surface Book is completely sold out Last week, Microsoft surprised fans by revealing a gorgeous new reference notebook, the Surface Book.

It seems that Microsoft's new laptop has some serious fans, as all models have sold out in Microsoft's pre-order period. That is certainly interesting since the notebook retails for $1499 to $2899, in-line with the MacBook Pro, which is generally considered very expensive.

Of course, selling out does not suggest how much inventory Microsoft had to begin with, but as always, selling out is surely the preferred route for any company.

The Surface Book is set for release on October 26th.




AfterDawn: News

UberRUSH is here for on-demand deliveries

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Oct 2015 11:41

UberRUSH is here for on-demand deliveries Uber has officially launched its UberRUSH delivery service in NYC, Chicago and San Francisco, following a pilot program in New York for the last year.

RUSH allows users to receive on-demand deliveries from local businesses, similar to existing services like Postmates. If you live in those cities you will see an UberRUSH icon within your app that lets you order a courier.

Jason Droege, head of UberEVERYTHING, says the service has been integrated with most of the top e-commerce platforms, which will help increase how many companies can utilize the service.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Aurous gets sued by major labels just 72 hours after launch

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Oct 2015 11:03

Aurous gets sued by major labels just 72 hours after launch Just three days after launching in alpha this weekend, music streaming service Aurous and its lead developer Andrew Sampson have been sued by the major record labels.

What is Aurous? The service is an internal database of links to content, collected via 120 public APIs that Sampson has integrated into the app, and the search results are then delivered to end users via the BitTorrent protocol. For this reason the service has been called the "Popcorn Time" of streaming music, although Sampson has said he does not agree. He calls the app a "player of players" allowing you to take all your services and put them in one place.

Doesn't matter now as the three majors, UMG, Sony Music and WMG (as well as subsidiaries Atlantic and Capitol) have filed sued against the app. "This service is a flagrant example of a business model powered by copyright theft on a massive scale," industry watchdog RIAA said. "Like Grokster, Limewire or Grooveshark, it is neither licensed nor legal. We will not allow such a service to willfully trample the rights of music creators."

The lawsuit has two main complaints. First, that Aurous pulls music from "websites offering vast collections of pirated copies of popular recorded music," most of which are located overseas, and second that Aurous lets users stream directly from BitTorrent, which has long been the bane of the label's existence.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

OnePlus X to be unveiled on October 29th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Oct 2015 10:45

OnePlus X to be unveiled on October 29th Chinese smartphone OEM OnePlus has teased a new event on October 29th where the company will reveal their OnePlus X handset.

Co-founder Carl Pei said back in August that OnePlus would release a second phone before the end of the year, following the recent release of the OnePlus Two.

There have been a few minor leaks of late for the new X, including the North American FCC filing that shows off a 5.5-inch display with a metal frame and a micro-USB port.

The OnePlus X will likely be the cheaper of the company's two new devices, which likely means a $199 price tag, unlocked.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

BlackBerry needs to sell 5 million handsets a year or there may not be hardware in the future

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 14 Oct 2015 10:36

BlackBerry needs to sell 5 million handsets a year or there may not be hardware in the future BlackBerry CEO John Chen has said this week that the company needs to sell 5 million smartphones a year to have their handset division be profitable, and if they can't hit that target the smartphone maker may have to stop building hardware altogether.

Last quarter, BlackBerry sold 800,000 units but that number is expected to jump as the company recently announced the Priv, their first phone to run on Android rather than BlackBerry's own software. The Priv has a sliding touchscreen that reveals a full QWERTY keyboard and also has security tech built in that the company says is better than Samsung's leading Knox suite.

Chen did note that BlackBerry 10 is not dead, but that their only customers are governments and corporations that do not upgrade quickly so we may not see BB10 devices for another year or two.

Perhaps most importantly for BlackBerry is the fact that carriers will actually have the Priv in stores, a nice change from past years where it was almost impossible to find a BalckBerry device even if you (for some reason) wanted one.

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AfterDawn: News

Hulu expands its programming including more classic kids shows

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Oct 2015 11:56

Hulu expands its programming including more classic kids shows Hulu announced earlier this week that it had expanded its relationship with Viacom, adding more classic kids titles and bringing back hits like 'The Daily Show' now with new host Trevor Noah.

A few of the 90's hits include "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles," "Rugrats" and "Doug," and the deal will expand the amount of episodes available of contemporary comedies like "Broad City," "Drunk History," and "Inside Amy Schumer."

Of note, 'The Daily Show' is also back, giving users access to new episodes the day after they air.

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AfterDawn: News

Report: New Twitter CEO Dorsey to lay off employees this week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Oct 2015 11:18

Report: New Twitter CEO Dorsey to lay off employees this week According to Re/code, new Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is preparing to make company-wide layoffs this week, his first major decision since being named permanently to the position.

If true, the downsizing will affect all divisions of the struggling company that currently has over 4000 employees. The report also claims that many of the layoffs will be of engineers, which are currently about half of all employees.

At the same time, Twitter is restructuring its entire organization to be more "lean" and efficient.

Dorsey, a co-founder of the service, has been interim CEO since longtime exec Dick Costolo was let go earlier this year.




AfterDawn: News

Majority of Google searches now on mobile

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Oct 2015 3:54

Majority of Google searches now on mobile Google Senior VP of Search Amit Singhal has revealed some interesting facts about the world's leading search engine. According to Singhai now more than half of Google searches are done on mobile devices.

Ever since it's inception around the turn of the millenium Google's search has been used predominantly on PCs. Desktop computers have been losing their grip to mobile computing for years now and now they've finally overtaken all other forms of searching combined.

Speaking at the Recode's Code Mobile conference Singhal said that mobile devices with a smaller than six inch screen account for more than 50 percent of the 100 billion montly searches. In many of the developed countries the scale had already tipped on mobile devices favor earlier but now it did so internationally as well.

It's worth to note that most of the devices one would call tablets (and mobile as well) aren't calculated in the mobile devices here since they rarely have small enough screen.




AfterDawn: News

Sony drops price of PlayStation 4 and bundles by $50

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Oct 2015 10:29

Sony drops price of PlayStation 4 and bundles by $50 Sony has dropped the price of their popular PlayStation 4 console today, down to $349.99 in the U.S. and to $429.99 CAD in Canada.

"Our goal at PlayStation has always been to provide the best gameplay experiences at the best value, and we feel this new compelling price will open the doors to even more gamers that have yet to purchase a system," added Sony.

In addition to the console being marked down, some bundles also saw a price cut.

The UNCHARTED: The Nathan Drake Collection PS4 Bundle is down to $349.99 USD / $429.99 CAD; the Limited Edition Call of Duty: Black Ops III 1TB PS4 Bundle (set for release 11/6) is reduced to $429.99 USD / $499.99 CAD; the limited Edition Disney Infinity 3.0: Star Wars PS4 Bundle (release 11/13) is down to $399.99 USD / $469.99 CAD, the limited Edition Star Wars Battlefront PS4 Bundle (release 11/17) is priced down to $399.99 USD / $469.99 CAD; the Star Wars Battlefront PS4 Bundle (release 11/17) is down to $349.99 USD / $429.99 CAD; and the NHL 16 PS4 Bundle is reduced in Canada to $429.99 CAD.

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AfterDawn: News

Netflix to raise price of its standard plan to $9.99

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 09 Oct 2015 10:05

Netflix to raise price of its standard plan to $9.99 Netflix will be raising the price of their standard streaming subscription plan from the current $8.99 to $9.99 as the company continues to add original content.

The change is effective in the U.S., Canada and some countries in Latin America for new customers and will be effective in a year for existing customers.

Netflix offers a few tiers but the standard plan is the most popular since it allows two simultaneous HD streams at a time.

"To continue adding more TV shows and movies including many Netflix original titles, we are modestly raising the price for some new members in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. As a thank you to existing Netflix members -- who aren't already benefiting from a previous price guarantee -- we will maintain their current price for a year," said the company.

The move is unsurprising given the fact that Europe already saw a similar price increase two months ago from €8.99 to €9.99.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft significantly updates its $249 activity tracker, the Microsoft Band

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2015 1:08

Microsoft significantly updates its $249 activity tracker, the Microsoft Band The fitness tracker is now smarter, sleeker and slimmer.

Microsoft announced the second-generation Microsoft Band fitness tracker this week, a wearable with a curved, touchscreen OLED display that also includes Cortana integration.

The tracker offers GPS, heart rate tracking, calorie tracking, sleep tracking, has a barometer for hiking/stairs, and it will even guide you through workouts. Cortana will yell at you if you forget to workout, as well.

Additionally, the Band records serious athletic metrics like VO2 max, has shot detection for golfers and supports popular apps like Uber, RunKeeper, Starbucks, Subway and Twitter which makes it pretty versatile.

Band works with iOS, Android and Windows Phone and will cost $249, more expensive than last year's model, which is generally considered a flop.

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AfterDawn: News

Facebook announces Windows universal apps for Facebook, Instagram and Messenger

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2015 12:22

Facebook announces Windows universal apps for Facebook, Instagram and Messenger Yesterday, during Microsoft's big event, one smaller piece of news hit that went generally unnoticed but also means big things for Microsoft.

The company has a long stated goal of having developers create universal apps that can run seamlessly across phones, PCs and tablets, but so far there have been very, very few built.

Now, Microsoft has a big developer backing their push for universal apps, with Facebook having created universal apps for Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. "Facebook is all in on Windows 10," read the quote by Mark Zuckerberg.

Instagram is a big deal since there has been only minor updates to the app for Windows Phone over the last two years and the app still doesn't have the ability to upload video.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft surprises with new, gorgeous Surface Book laptop

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2015 11:50

Microsoft surprises with new, gorgeous Surface Book laptop Microsoft surprised nearly everyone yesterday with the announcement of a new laptop, the Surface Book.

The high-end device appears to be taking on the MacBook Pro and the Google Pixel C, in looks and in its ability to showcase its parent's operating system.

To get started, the Surface Book has a 13.5" PixelSense display with 3000 x 2000 resolution and 10 point multi-touch and the whole case is magnesium for a nice metallic look.

The laptop is powered by a 6th-Gen Skylake Intel Core i5 or i7 and either Intel HD graphics 520 or a NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Processor and 8GB or 16GB of RAM. The Surface Book comes with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB or SSD storage. Since the laptop is a 2-in-1 it also has dual cameras, 8MP/5MP, dual speakers and dual mics.

Extremely interesting is the hinge the laptop uses, which allows for the keyboard to be bent completely backwards if need be, for drawing, for example, or completely detached.

The laptop is 3.34 lbs and starts at $1499, giving it a premium price in-line with the Macbook Pro.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft event: The Surface Pro 4 is here to showcase Windows 10

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2015 11:17

Microsoft event: The Surface Pro 4 is here to showcase Windows 10 Microsoft has introduced their latest Surface Pro reference tablet, a bigger tablet than its predecessor with high-end guts.

Starting at $899, the Surface Pro 4 is powered by a 6th-generation Skylake Intel Core m3, i5 or i7, 4B, 8GB or 16GB of RAM and Windows 10 Pro.

If you are into gaming, the lower-end device has Intel HD graphics 515, the mid-range tablet has Intel HD graphics 520 and the i7 version has Intel Iris graphics.

The screen is larger than its predecessor, at 12.3-inches, and the Surface Pro 4 has a 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI) PixelTouch display with 10 point multi-touch.

There are stereo mics and speakers with Dolby audio, dual cameras 8MP/5MP and a minimum of 128GB of SSD storage topping out at 1TB, almost unheard of for a tablet. The tablet also has a next-generation Surface Pen, a mini Display Port, a full-sized USB 3.0 port and a microSD slot.

With its decked out specs, the tablet is also relatively light, at 1.69lbs or 1.73lbs.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft event: Display Dock turns your Lumia 950 into a PC

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2015 10:53

Microsoft event: Display Dock turns your Lumia 950 into a PC Microsoft announced its long-rumored Lumia 950 and 950 XL yesterday, and with the new phones came the Display Dock, a hardware adapter that allows you to convert your phone into a PC.

The adapter lets you connect a monitor, keyboard and PC, and has three ports including a USB Type-C, HDMI and DisplayPort.

You must install the Continuum app on your phone to be able to use it, and the phone will power a Windows 10-esque operating system that runs universal Windows 10 apps rather than a full desktop experience.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft confirms 110 million Windows 10 installs

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 07 Oct 2015 10:27

Microsoft confirms 110 million Windows 10 installs Microsoft has confirmed another milestone for its Windows 10 operating system: 110 million installs since launch in July.

A couple of other numbers the company threw out were the amount of webpages served through the new Microsoft Edge browser, 650 billion, and the amount of questions that have been asked to the voice activated digital assistant Cortana, at one billion.

In its first month of release, Windows 10 saw 75 million installs, so an extra 35 million in the second month is a figure we are sure Microsoft is proud of.

Of course, a significant amount of the installs are likely those with Windows 7 and 8 upgrading for free to the new operating system, so the next few months will be telling as real sales trickle in.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft event: The Lumia 550 is a mid-range device for just $139

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Oct 2015 11:39

Microsoft event: The Lumia 550 is a mid-range device for just $139 In addition to their Lumia 950 and 950 XL flagships, Microsoft also unveiled a new budget device: The Lumia 550.

The new device will replace Microsoft's aging Lumia 640, and the phone will be the company's main seller in developing markets and will compete against the Android-powered Moto G and Moto E in the U.S.

Lumia 550s will have a 4.7-inch 720p display, 1GB RAM, a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 210 and shockingly, a 5MP camera. The 2100 mAh battery should hopefully get you through the day.

Microsoft says the device will launch in December for just $139, although U.S. availability will not be until 2016.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft event: The Lumia 950 XL is the first Windows 10 phablet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Oct 2015 11:22

Microsoft event: The Lumia 950 XL is the first Windows 10 phablet Two years after Nokia released their Lumia 1520 phablet for Windows Phone, we finally have another flagship phablet for the operating system.

Microsoft unveiled the Lumia 950 and its larger brother the Lumia 950 XL, with similar high-end specs.

The new flagship device will feature Windows 10 Mobile, a 5.7-inch WQHD (1440 x 2560) AMOLED screen with Gorilla Glass 3, 3GB RAM, a 2.0GHz octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor, liquid cooling and a 3340 mAh battery with USB Type-C fast charging support.

As with its smaller brother, the Lumia 950 XL will also have a great camera featuring a 20MP PureView lens, triple LED flash, 4K capture, and "Rich Capture" for intelligent auto pictures.

Just like the 950, the XL also supports Windows Hello biometric scanning and Windows Continuum, which lets you connect the phone to a monitor through a special adapter and also by letting you attach a wireless keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft event: Here is the crazy powerful Lumia 950 flagship

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Oct 2015 10:42

Microsoft event: Here is the crazy powerful Lumia 950 flagship It's been leaked for months, but now it's official: Microsoft has unveiled the Lumia 950 scheduled for release in November.

The new flagship device will feature Windows 10 Mobile and will pack hardware specs that match any other flagship out there.

Microsoft's latest has a 5.2-inch WQHD (1440 x 2560) OLED screen with Gorilla Glass 3, 3GB RAM, a 1.8GHz hexa-core Snapdragon 808 processor, and Microsoft says it includes liquid cooling, as well, even though it is a bit unclear how that exactly works.

In an effort to compete with the latest Samsung, Apple and Nexus devices, the Lumia 950 will also have a great camera featuring a 20MP PureView lens, triple LED flash, 4K capture, and "Rich Capture" for intelligent auto pictures.

Finally, the phone has 32GB internal storage, USB Type-C fast charging support, and a 3000mAh battery. On the software side, the Lumia 950 also supports Windows Hello biometric scanning and Windows Continuum, which lets you connect the phone to a monitor through a special adapter and also by letting you attach a wireless keyboard and mouse via Bluetooth.

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AfterDawn: News

Russian hacker receives 4.5 years in prison for running botnet

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 06 Oct 2015 10:06

Russian hacker receives 4.5 years in prison for running botnet Dimitry Belorossov has been sentenced to four and a half years in U.S. prison for his part in using the Citadel banking Trojan and for running a botnet.

The accused Russian cyber criminal, who went by the name Rainerfox, plead guilty to conspiring to commit computer fraud.

Belorossov ran a Citadel command and control server and controlled over 7000 victim computers. According to the court docs, the "botnet contained personal information from the infected victim computers, including online banking credentials for US-based financial institutions, credit card information, and other personally identifying information."

While Rainerfox was not accused of building the Trojan, he "provided online assistance with the goal of developing suggested improvements to Citadel, including posting comments on criminal forums on the internet and electronically communicating with other cyber-criminals via email and instant messaging."

Belorossov, who lives in Russia, was picked up while vacationing in Spain and was extradited to the U.S. The young developer/hacker will also have to pay $320,000 in restitution.

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AfterDawn: News

AdBlock was secretly sold this week

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 04 Oct 2015 2:48

AdBlock was secretly sold this week Adblock, the popular ad blocking software for Chrome and Safari has been sold this week, although it is unclear to who.

The extension has over 40 million users, so clearly there was some value there although it is a bit strange that we don't know the amount of the sale, or to whom. When asked, Adblock says the buyer asked to not be named and therefore they could not disclose.

Creator Michael Gundlach will also be leaving the company, with previous director Gabriel Cubbage now taking over under the new owner.

Users are understandably worried about the future of the software given the fact that the buyer could be an advertising company (we have no idea) who will look to cut deals with companies to although their ads through, for example. Most likely, however, the buyer was Adblock Plus.

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AfterDawn: News

T-Mobile data hack exposes 15 million customers

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Oct 2015 12:21

T-Mobile data hack exposes 15 million customers A data breach at a credit agency has exposed personal data of over 15 million T-Mobile customers, or potential customers, the carrier has warned.

Experian, which processes credit applications on behalf of T-Mobile, has publicly disclosed a security breach detected on Sept 15th, which may affect millions of T-Mobile's customers. The data breach affected a server that contained personal information for consumers who applied for T-Mobile USA postpaid services between Sept. 1, 2013 and Sept. 16, 2015.

While no payment card information or banking information was exposed during the breach, the information that was accessible may put millions of individuals at increased risk of identity theft. The server stored records containing names, addresses, social security number, date of birth, ID information (drivers license, passport numbers etc.) and other information used for T-Mobile's credit assessment.

While the social security numbers and I.D. information was encrypted on the server, Experian has determined that the encryption may have been compromised.

Experian has notified federal and international law enforcement agencies of the hack and is cooperating with the investigation. It is also notifying the individuals who may have been affected and is offering free credit monitoring and identity resolution services for two years through ProtectMyID.

Read more...


AfterDawn: News

Which Xbox One holiday bundle should you buy this year?

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Oct 2015 11:33

Which Xbox One holiday bundle should you buy this year? Microsoft has announced six Xbox One holiday bundles that will go on sale before the end of 2015, here is a quick comparison of what they all offer.

Microsoft has gone a little Bundle crazy this year, but we will only focus on the six detailed in the past week and not previously announced bundles, such as the Halo 5 bundle or the Xbox One Elite bundle. We'll take a look at what's on offer, when they are available (and for pre-order) and what they will cost.

The six new Xbox One bundles announced this week by Microsoft are:

  • Xbox One Rise Of The Tomb Raider Bundle
  • Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle
  • Xbox One The LEGO Movie Videogame Bundle
  • Xbox One Special Edition Gears Of War Bundle
  • Xbox One With Kinect Bundle
  • Xbox One Fallout 4 Bundle
So let's take a look at what comes with each bundle!

Xbox One Rise Of The Tomb Raider Bundle


The Rise of the Tomb Raider bundle will be available starting in November for $399 USD. Here's what you get:
  • Xbox One console with 1TB HDD
  • Full-game download of the highly anticipated Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • The exclusive Tactical Survival Kit Content Pack, which contains a new outfit and weapon skin for Lara
  • Full-game download of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition
You can pre-order the bundle now from the Microsoft Store.

Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle


The Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle will be available starting 28 October for $399 USD. Here's what you get:
  • 1TB Xbox One console
  • Xbox One wireless controller with 3.5mm headset jack
  • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Rare Replay, featuring 30 iconic games from Rare
  • Ori and the Blind Forest full game download
  • Xbox 360 Gears of War collection
You can pre-order it from the Microsoft store now.

Xbox One The LEGO Movie Videogame Bundle



The Xbox One The LEGO Movie Videogame bundle will be available in October for $349 USD. Here's what's included with the bundle:
  • 500GB Xbox One console
  • Xbox One wireless controller with 3.5mm headset jack
  • The LEGO Movie Videogame
It is already available from the Microsoft Store and other outlets.

Xbox One With Kinect Bundle


The Xbox One with Kinect Bundle will be available starting in October for $499 USD. The bundle will include:
  • Xbox One 500GB Console
  • Kinect for Xbox One
  • Full game download of Dance Central Spotlight
  • Full game download of Kinect Sports Rival
  • Full Game Download of Zoo Tycoon
The exact date isn't announced yet but it is available to pre-order from Microsoft already.

Xbox One Special Edition Gears Of War Bundle


The Xbox One Special Edition Gears of War Bundle will be available starting in November for $349 USD. The bundle includes:
  • Xbox One 500GB Cirrus White console and controller
  • Full download of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Superstar Cole multiplayer skin
  • Early access to the Gears of War 4 Beta
While not exclusively part of the bundle, it is worth pointing out that for a limited time, when you play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on the Xbox Live service, you will also receive the Xbox 360 Gears of War collection playable on Xbox One for free. This bundle is exclusive to Walmart in the United States.

Xbox One Fallout 4 Bundle


The Xbox One Fallout 4 Bundle will be available 10 November for $399 USD. You can already pre-order the bundle today. This what you will get in the bundle:
  • 1TB Xbox One console
  • Xbox One wireless controller with 3.5mm headset jack
  • Fallout 4 full game download
  • Fallout 3 full game download, now playable on Xbox One
  • 14-day Xbox Live Gold trial

For me, the Fallout 4 bundle would appeal the most, but it comes down to personal preferences. Microsoft previously announced a whole bunch of bundles available in multiple territories to cater to different tastes as the holidays approach.

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AfterDawn: News

Facebook makes significant changes to your ability to customize your profile

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Oct 2015 10:49

Facebook makes significant changes to your ability to customize your profile Facebook has made some major updates to their profiles policies this week, allowing videos, temporary profile pics and more.

Reads Facebook's post:

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AfterDawn: News

TiVo unveils 4K-supporting Bolt DVR

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Oct 2015 10:26

TiVo unveils 4K-supporting Bolt DVR TiVo's latest set-top box, the Bolt, is making a play to be your primary streaming device.

The Bolt supports cable and Verizon FiOS, has inputs for an OTA antenna and supports Wi-Fi and Ethernet making it very versatile.

Currently, the box supports 4K video from Netflix and YouTube, and has quite a few popular streaming apps like Amazon Instant Video, Xfinity, Pandora, Spotify and Vudu. Notably missing, however, is Hulu. At least at launch.

"From a hardware perspective, it's about changing and future-proofing the platform, getting 4K and speeding up the speed,"
said Jim Denney, TiVo's vice president of product management and strategy. "From the user standpoint, it's about getting you through your content more quickly and then really being that one-stop shop for all of your content, letting you organize easily as you navigate to it and through it."

New features also include "SkipMode" and "QuickMode," the first of which allows you to skip ads from 20 major channels and the latter of which helps speed up your video by up to 30 percent while correcting the pitch of the audio, allowing you to get through a program quicker (I guess if you are very busy?).

The Bolt with a 500GB HD will cost $299, and 1TB will set you back $399. You get one year free of TiVo with either purchase, but it costs $149 year afterwards.

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft accidentally confirms its oft-rumored Lumia 950 and XL models

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Oct 2015 9:57

Microsoft accidentally confirms its oft-rumored Lumia 950 and XL models Microsoft accidentally posted specs for its highly-anticipated Lumia flagships, ahead of any official confirmation.

The Lumia 950 and 950 XL (codenamed Cityman and Talkman) will be Microsoft's Windows 10 reference devices, and there have been various leaks over the past nine months that appear to have been accurate given the new listings.

If you want the 950, you are getting a 5.2-inch WQHD display, Windows 10, 32GB internal storage (with a microSD slot for more) and a 20MP camera with a Carl Zeiss lens and optics. The 950 XL is basically the same, spec wise (from what we can see) except it will have a larger 5.7-inch WQHD display.

Although unlisted, both devices are expected to also have USB Type-C connections, wireless charging, Windows Hello biometric unlocking support, and support for the Surface Pen stylus.

Microsoft has an event set up for October 6th, where we expect to get an official unveiling of the devices and a new Surface tablet, as well.

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AfterDawn: News

HTML5 replacing Flash? BBC is latest to edge away

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Oct 2015 9:39

HTML5 replacing Flash? BBC is latest to edge away Why is everybody seemingly running with open arms to HTML5, and away from Adobe Flash?

Back in 2007, it was considered a drawback that Apple would snub Adobe's Flash plugin in the browser on its brand new iPhone, and it would later continue to ignore Flash products in future iPhones, iPods and iPads. Adobe even stated that Apple's decision meant that users were being denied a full web experience, citing the extremely high rate of Flash support on Desktop web browsers and its use on millions of webpages.

It wasn't until 2010 that Steve Jobs explained to customers why Flash won't be supported in Apple's mobile products. Chief among Jobs' concerns were the proprietary nature of Flash, its chequered security track record and its efficiency for video playback. Jobs' favoured the comparably open HTML5 standard to Flash, and the advantage of hardware decoding for H.264 video (which Flash supported by then, but hardware decoding support was inconsistent between sites).

Security concerns stood out for Jobs for good reason. The Adobe Flash plugin for major web browsers has been a consistent target for hackers seeking vulnerabilities as a means to attack web users. New Adobe Flash security flaws are still very common, and it seems Adobe is in a constant race to save the image of Flash.

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AfterDawn: News

Americans to lose $1.5 billion to common scam in 2015, says Microsoft

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Oct 2015 8:22

Americans to lose $1.5 billion to common scam in 2015, says Microsoft Are you one of the estimated 3.3 million Americans caught up in this common scam this year?

If you haven't been targeted with it, you likely know friends or family who have been. It is simple, but very effective and common enough that Microsoft feels the need to educate the public about it.

It would work something like this: You receive a phone call from an unknown or blocked number, and a polite sounding person on the other end is revealed as an employee of Microsoft, calling to inform you that your PC or other device has been compromised with malicious software. The polite employee then offers to help.

At this point, you may be asked to follow instructions that will either take you deep into your operating system settings, or to a webpage where you can download a client that will allow this nice person to fix your problem for you. The software will allow the other person access to your computer.

After this point however, things will likely take a clearly suspicious turn as you will inevitably be enlightened on the fee you will need to pay for fix the "problem". It would not be uncommon for your device to be locked at this point until you pay the fee, and unfortunately a lot of people do pay up. So many pay up, in fact, that Microsoft predicts that tech support scams of this nature will hit an estimated 3.3 million Americans this year, and generate $1.5 billion for the scammers.

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AfterDawn: News

'Super Mario Maker' reaches 1 million sales

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 01 Oct 2015 12:55

'Super Mario Maker' reaches 1 million sales Nintendo's latest Mario game, 'Super Mario Maker,' is already a major hit.

The console title has seen 1 million sales since its launch on September 11th for the Wii U.

Super Mario Maker is notable because it allows players to create their own Mario levels, and so far 2.2 million courses have been built. In total, the courses have been played 75 million times.

"The game has captured and unlocked the imaginations of gaming fans of all ages," says Reggie Fils-Aime, COO of Nintendo of America. The game has "brought their dedication to Nintendo to a whole new level."

Source:
Time




AfterDawn: News

HTC to unveil new product on October 20th

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Sep 2015 11:23

HTC to unveil new product on October 20th Struggling smartphone company HTC has sent out invites for a new product launch on October 20th.

The "virtual event" will be streamed on HTC's website, and the event will showcase the latest HTC One, and apparently the device will run on Android Marshmallow. The invite says "Meet the Marshmallow from HTC," suggesting the new phone will run the latest operating system from Google.

If you are interested in the latest HTC device (not sure many will be), head over to HTC Launch at 12PM eastern on the 20th.

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AfterDawn: News

Twitter to drop 140 character limit with new product?

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Sep 2015 11:08

Twitter to drop 140 character limit with new product? According to sources, Twitter is building a new product that will allow users Tweet messages that are longer than 140 characters.

Anything definite about the product is still unknown, but the sources claim it will allow current Twitter users to publish longer-form content to the microblogging service.

In addition, Twitter is also looking into how they count the characters, with the possibility of not including links, image URLs or user handles in the character count moving forward. Twitter users have long complained about having to destroy their grammar just to fit in an @user.

New CEO Jack Dorsey appears to be for the changes, a bold move that shows he seems to care about changing the status quo at the struggling company.

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AfterDawn: News

Report: Twitter to name Jack Dorsey as permanent CEO

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Sep 2015 10:36

Report: Twitter to name Jack Dorsey as permanent CEO Twitter's current interim CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey will be named permanent CEO later this week, according to new reports.

Somehow, Dorsey will also continue to be CEO of Square, the popular payment processing company he co-founded in 2009.

Dorsey appears to have the backing of investors, who pushed up Twitter's stock 5% today on the report. Twitter revenue boss Adam Bain also supports the co-founder, who has been interim chief for a few months following the firing of former CEO Dick Costolo. "Having Jack back has been really exciting. There's an amazing thing bringing the founder back, bringing a product-driven founder back to the company," Bain said recently. "I came to the company five years ago partly to work with Jack in his role as chairman. He's been somebody who's been thinking about Twitter for so long, so we brought Jack back and for me it was just a continuation of a conversation we've been having for five years."

Twitter's stock is down 68 percent since early 2014, and has even fallen below its IPO price as it struggle to gain users and monetize those users.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple finally launches Apple Music, iTunes and iBooks in China and everything is really cheap

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 30 Sep 2015 10:16

Apple finally launches Apple Music, iTunes and iBooks in China and everything is really cheap Apple has announced this week that their Music, iTunes Movies and iBooks services are now available in China.

Music will feature prominent Chinese artists like Eason Chan, Li Ronghao, JJ Lin and G.E.M. in addition to the international stars seen in other markets.

For iTunes Movies, Apple says there will be a large selection of movies made by Chinese studios in addition to the classic Hollywood fair.

"Customers in China love the App Store and have made it our largest market in the world for app downloads,"
said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "One of the top requests has been more great content and we're thrilled to bring music, movies and books to China, curated by a local team of experts."

Chinese fans will get a 90-day trial to Apple Music, and will cost 10 RMB/month ($1.57 USD) afterwards. The popular family plan will also be available at 15 RMB/month for up to six family members. Movies on iTunes will start at 5 RMB ($0.80) and up to 18 RMB to buy an HD version ($2.85 USD). Books are practically free at 0.5 RMB (8 cents).

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