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AfterDawn: News

Hyped AR startup Magic Leap talks price

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Feb 2018 11:37

Hyped AR startup Magic Leap talks price Last year a new virtual reality, or more aptly Augmented Reality, startup was introduced. The company calls itself Magic Leap and has been developing an AR headset that is poised to revolutionize mixed reality content.

In Decembe, Magic Leap revealed what the glasses, and they do actually look like glasses this time around, will likely look like. As the above picture shows, Magic Leap headset has a very unique look with two lenses, and displays, as well as myriad of cameras and other sensors.

Now the CEO and founder of Magic Leap, Rony Abovitz, has sat down with Recode and talked about the future. According to Abovitz, the headset will become available in a couple different setups that are meant for distinct price points.

He says current plans are that the most affordable, and thus the least feature rich, version of the AR headset will cost around the price of a high-end smartphone. One could argue that there are high-end smartphones that cost around $500 but many would bet safe and take the latest, and greatest, iPhone as a reference. So it is very possible that the cheapest version will retail $999 just like the iPhone X.

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AfterDawn: News

EA offers 2008 classic, Dead Space, for free

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 14 Feb 2018 3:15

EA offers 2008 classic, Dead Space, for free EA is now giving away the 2008 horror shooter classic Dead Space for free.

The offer is available only for limited time, but once you download the game, it will remain free forever. So, no gotchas there, other than the fact that you need to have an account with Origin in order to get the game.



You can download Dead Space from here.




AfterDawn: News

Google changes the concept of email with its AMP for Email project

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 14 Feb 2018 2:26

Google changes the concept of email with its AMP for Email project Google plans to dramatically change the way email and your inbox works. With its AMP for Email project, Google is making email messages interactive, allowing users to perform various actions directly within the message.

With AMP for Email, each email message could have interactive features. One could, for example, book a flight directly within the email when receiving an offer from an airline. Or to reply to a discussion thread directly from within the email when receiving a notification about new messages in a subscribed forum thread.

Traditionally, actions such as these would require visiting an external webpage through a hyperlink. As Google focuses on making things as fast as possible, especially for mobile users, it makes sense to remove this additional step if you can.

The project is open source and obviously Google is hoping to get as wide support for it as it gained with its Accelerated Mobile Pages project. It is now open for developers and can be accessed/viewed if one has signed up for developer preview edition of Gmail.




AfterDawn: News

Apple's HomePod and Siri left on last place in a smart speaker bout

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Feb 2018 14:06

Apple's HomePod and Siri left on last place in a smart speaker bout Apple finally managed to release their smart speaker to the public last week. First shown to the public last summer, Apple HomePod, was supposed to be launched by Holiday season where it would wreck havoc, or that's what Apple hoped for at least.

Now that the device has landed on many reviewer's desks, it has been torn apart, although for now only figurative as we wait for JerryRigEverything or iFixit to grab one. A company by the name of Loup Ventures, that calls itself "a research-driven venture capital firm", has compared the new speaker and its assistant to the competition.

HomePod has been receiving quite a bit of criticism from reviewers for not having any connections or supporting Bluetooth. It also is not meant only for the most extreme Apple enthusiast, since it doesn't support Android phones or even really Apple Music competitors like the twice as popular Spotify.

However, most are very impressed with the sound quality that might not be as loud or as bass-y as on Google Home Max, but offers a really balanced good audio experience.

When it comes to comparing Siri, Loup's test seems to be the best so far. A fairly scientific test included a total of 782 inquiries on four of the most popular assistants on four different smart speakers. They had the Amazon's Echo with Alexa, Google Home with Google Assistant, Apple's HomePod with Siri, as well as a Harman Kardon Invoke with Microsoft's Cortana.

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AfterDawn: News

VLC updated to 3.0, finally with Chromecast support

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Feb 2018 12:06

VLC updated to 3.0, finally with Chromecast support VLC, or as some may know it VideoLAN Client, has updated their app universally. The new versio of the popular media player has finally reached v3.0, and it brings some new and highly anticipated features.

The new versio is available for all VLC supported platforms, both mobile and desktop. You'll be able to enjoy HDR videos and support for hardware encoding is now available for all platforms. However, the most important new feature is probably support for Google's media device Chromecast.

People have been long requesting the feature to, what for many is, the ultimate media player. VLC has finally added a beta version of this feature to VLC 3.0, but unfortunately you can't take advantage it on all platforms.

Currently Google's Cast feature is available only on the Android and Chrome OS, while VLC is also available on Android TV, Linux, macOS, iOS, Apple TV, and Windows. Also not that as the feature is still in beta it means that you might encounter some problems and bugs.

Perhaps by v3.5 we'll have a more wide range of platforms to choose when it comes to Chromecast support and hopefully the beta label has been stripped.

You can download the VLC from here:


VLC for Windows, 32-bit
VLC for Windows, 64-bit

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AfterDawn: News

Nvidia admits that they aren't making enough graphics cards

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 11 Feb 2018 12:19

Nvidia admits that they aren't making enough graphics cards A few days earlier Nvidia released their quarterly reports which happened to be a fairly nice read to those who've invested in the company. Revenue was up to a new record, $2.91 billion, and everything seems rosy.

However, while Nvidia might be dancing on rose petals there is an underlying issue that is stopping the company from getting an even sweeter result. As people buying a new PC, or at least a GPU, recently might have noticed, there seems to be a lack of graphics cards.

In many cases you can't just walk in to a store and get your preferred model off the shelf. You might have to wait a bit, weeks even.

Nvidia acknowledges, reports Polygon, that GPUs are few and far in between, which is obviously because demand has overtaken supply. The reason seems to be the cryptocurrency boom that really took off last year.

Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrency, miners are buying all the GPUs they can get their hands on if it means that they are able to make a profit. Extreme demand not only means that you aren't getting your GPUs as fast as you want, but you also have to pay more for them.

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AfterDawn: News

Google to finally challenge iMessage properly? Leak suggests major Messages update

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 10 Feb 2018 11:57

Google to finally challenge iMessage properly? Leak suggests major Messages update Android's default messaging apps are probably used by a minority small enough to fit on a palm of a regular sized human hand. Yes, no one uses them.

In most cases you either pick up WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger – both owned by Facebook, mind you – and only open up Messages, or whatever it's called, when absolutely necessary.

Now, this isn't the case on iOS. Apple has managed to capture many, perhaps even most, iPhone users with their iMessage. And I say capture, because it really limits their options moving forwards as there is no iMessage for Android, and likely never will.

So Apple knows that they have built a walled garden, with oh so delicious blue dots and off-putting green ones.

Obviously Google wants to be part of this messaging game. After all, Google wants to play all the games. However, every single approach since Gchat, later Hangouts, have been utter failures in the grand scheme of things. Google seems to be horrible at implementing social media and messaging.

Another try might be on the way, as Android Police have found proof, albeit very unofficial, about a new iteration of messaging on Android.

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AfterDawn: News

Google pressures websites towards HTTPS: "A secure web is here to stay"

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 09 Feb 2018 12:44

Google pressures websites towards HTTPS: "A secure web is here to stay" Google's crusade for a safer, more secure web has been taking place for years. Especially after the Snowden leaks everyone has been more interested of encrypted messaging and secure web traffic.

It is no surprise then that Google is about to take another step securing the entire web. The company has now announced on their Chromium blog that their upcoming browser will mark all HTTP sites as "not secure."

Starting with Chrome 68, Google's Chrome browsers will notify the user, albeit not intrusively, if they are using a website that doesn't support HTTPS connections. Currently Chrome does not inform the user about non-secure websites unless they click the information button next to the URL.

When users browse secure websites with HTTPS connection they are already notified that the connection is secure on the address bar.

Many popular websites have already transitioned to HTTPS, and that includes AfterDawn.com, but even on the top 100 websites 19 do not support HTTPS yet. Google tightening the noose around HTTP is bound to bring that closer to 100, and of course increase the overall HTTPS penetration, which currently stands at 68% on Windows and Android and 78% on Mac and Chrome OS.

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AfterDawn: News

One of the most important parts of iOS leaked, hackers rejoice

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 08 Feb 2018 13:18

One of the most important parts of iOS leaked, hackers rejoice Even though Google's mobile operating system, Android, is arguably not as open source as the company wants you to think, many of the building blocks of it, thanks to AOPS or Android Open Source Project, are everybody's game. This is not the case in Apple's world as most of iOS is completely closed off from anyone outside Apple.

This also means that changing how iOS operates requires some high-level hacking, and as many of us know jailbreaking is quite the hassle compared to Android. Thus it was probably quite a shock to Apple when they found out one of the most important, if not the most important, parts of iOS source code was leaked.

Motherboard reports that part of iOS source code found its way to GitHub, a hosting service for git version control often used for source code. This part, called iBoot, is the one responsible for starting up the device before the user has any control over it.

It's the same part that in Android devices is fairly accessible and it allows custom Android ROM's to be installed. One could imagine that hackers and jailbreakers are going to be enjoying a life of Riley.

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AfterDawn: News

Google is developing its own gaming console and game streaming service

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 08 Feb 2018 5:44

Google is developing its own gaming console and game streaming service According to reports, Google is developing its own game streaming service that would allow users to pay a monthly fee and play all the games available in the service. Basically a Spotify/Netflix meets gaming.

Streaming is apparently Google's choice rather than hopping into processing power competition against the likes of Sony and Microsoft. Games would be streamed over the internet and played with relatively cheap device.

Reports say that originally Google had thought about extending Chromecast to allow gaming, but now also the Android-based console is in the plans. Releasing its own Android-based console would put Google directly against the Nvidia's Shield and other Android-based gaming projects.

Project, codenamed Yeti, has been in works for some time now and was expected to be launched back in 2017, but has gone through series of rethinking ever since. Google recently hired a former Microsoft and Sony veteran, Phil Harrison to oversee the project.




AfterDawn: News

Galaxy S9 leaks ahead of launch, might be even more expensive than last year

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 07 Feb 2018 11:49

Galaxy S9 leaks ahead of launch, might be even more expensive than last year The world's largest consumer electronic show, aptly name CES or Consumer Electronics Show, just ended few weeks ago and we're already approaching the largest mobile trade show, Mobile World Congress.

What we saw in terms of televisions at CES, although there was plenty more, we'll see in a few week about smartphones at MWC 2018. It usually starts with a bang as many of the biggest players on the market reveal their latest and greatest smartphones.

Last year, though, arguably the biggest of them all was missing as Galaxy S8 was released a month later in a standalone event. This year, Samsung returns to Barcelona's show floors with added flair as it is gearing up for the release of Galaxy S9.

Rumors and leaks around Galaxy S9 have been tightening the noose around the neck of Samsung's secrecy. Now, new leaks have revealed the devices, the normal and the plus-sized model, in full, and another set of rumors might reveal even the price point.

The duo of devices to be revealed on February 25th, Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9, carry a very similar design. They seem to have the same glass sandwich design from last year, that is beautiful but fragile.

If you want to look for surprises, you could maybe call the camera setups one. The normal S9 has a single shooter, while the bigger one employs a dual-camera setup. Also Samsung has definitely learned a lesson with the fingerprint sensor, that was previously placed too high next to the camera. Perhaps the most complained about feature of last years model seems now fixed.

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AfterDawn: News

Adobe: Highest level vulnerability found in Flash

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 04 Feb 2018 7:21

Adobe: Highest level vulnerability found in Flash Adobe has announced that there's a "Level 1" security vulnerabiltiy in Adobe Flash plug-in.

The vulnerability allows attacker to gain control of the host computer. Adobe said it will publish a patcj on 5th of February to fix the issue. Meanwhile, it is recommended to avoid using Flash.

Vulnerability affects all major platforms, including:

  • Adobe Flash Player Desktop Runtime for Windows and Mac
  • Adobe Flash Player for Google Chrome for Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS
  • Adobe Flash Player for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer 11 for Windows 10 and 8.1
  • Adobe Flash Player Desktop Runtime for Linux

Versions 28.0.0.137 and below are vulnerable.




AfterDawn: News

End of an era: Best Buy stops selling CDs

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 03 Feb 2018 16:01

End of an era: Best Buy stops selling CDs Kids nowadays might not even remember, but most of the music was sold in physical format still back in last decade or so. Actually, in 2001, the U.S. CD sales peaked at 800 million copies sold - having collapsed to mere 89 million in 2017.

During the CD's heyday, Best Buy was one of the major CD retailers in the U.S. Now, Best Buy has decided to cease selling CDs altogether as they generate only $40 in revenue. In June, CDs will disappear from all Best Buy stores across the U.S.

At the same time, another large retail chain, Target, is pressuring record labels to agree to buy back the unsold CDs it cannot sell through its stores. Traditionally, the unsold inventory has been retailer's problem, not labels' problem, but as CD sales continue to plummet, Target wants to change that.

According to IFPI's global stats, physical records still generate appx 34 percent of the global sales and are still somewhat strong in certain geographical areas, like in Japan and Germany. But digital revenue, driven by Spotify and YouTube grew as much as 177 percent in 2016 and are unlikely to slow down.

So, the concept of owning a physical piece of plastic that has music on it, is about to end. Sure, vinyl records and CDs will be made also in future. But you wont find those from local convenience stores, supermarkets or gas stations anymore. You have to find a specialist record store - physical one or an e-commerce site - to buy one.




AfterDawn: News

Bitcoin goes under $10 000 again, dips under $8000 first time since mid-November

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 02 Feb 2018 16:55

Bitcoin goes under $10 000 again, dips under $8000 first time since mid-November Ever since the mid-December peak of nearly $20 000 Bitcoin has been in somewhat disorderly decline. It has dropped under $10 000 a few times this year already but it took the lowest dip today since mid-November.

Bitcoin price dropped shortly to under $8000 which it hasn't done since November 18 according to Coindesk. The year has not been good for Bitcoin so far, as even after a short recovery to over $17 000 in early January it has lost half of its value.

The drop under $8000 only lasted for an hour though, and now Bitcoin is again closing on $9000, but it is uncertain when, if ever, it will break again even the $10 000 barrier.

The price drop is attributed to Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck being raided as well as general atmosphere around increased regulations. Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency to have had a rough start to the year.

The top dollar for Bitcoin was recorded on December 18th when it hit approximately $19 500 per coin.




AfterDawn: News

Google expands data-saving YouTube Go availability to over 130 countries

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 02 Feb 2018 12:55

Google expands data-saving YouTube Go availability to over 130 countries Last fall Google released their new data-saving YouTube Go app. If you are fortunate enough to have an unlimited data plan on your smartphone then this probably isn't the app for you – although one could argue there's still use for it – but many do not have such privilege and that's where YouTube Go might save you a small hunk of money.

YouTube Go is obviously a YouTube app that is meant for mainly developing countries where data is more precious than in the US or especially many part of Western Europe. Thus it is increasingly important that YouTube Go is available widely, and the new announcement from Google does just that.

Google has expanded the availability of YouTube Go to over 130 countries. Most of these new additions come from Southeast Asia, Central and South America, the Caribbean, as well as Africa.

The app supports downloading YouTube videos on your smartphone or on a SD card for offline viewing and you can share videos with people nearby with the help of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Direct.

If you'd like to try it out and have found a reason to use a data-saving, albeit a bit dumbed-down, version of YouTube, you can head to APK Mirror to download it unofficially.

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