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AfterDawn: News

WhatsApp stops working on millions of Android and iPhone models

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 08 Sep 2021 6:00

WhatsApp stops working on millions of Android and iPhone models After November 1st, 2021 WhatsApp will no longer work on millions of existing phones.

Company has announced that it will cease the support for older operating system versions for both, Android and iOS. This means that people still using rather old phones will be blocked out of the instant messaging service.

From November onwards, the support for Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich and iOS 9 versions is gone - meaning that people using phones with those operating system versions wont be able to log in to WhatsApp. Also, the messaging features will cease for users using the outdated operating systems.

The only option is to purchase a new phone - or to update the existing phone's operating system, if there's an update available, but not yet installed to the phone.

iOS 9 was originally released in September, 2015 so the WhatsApp support for that iOS version lasted for more than six years. Android 4.0.4 got even longer lifespace: it was released in March, 2012 so WhatsApp supported that particular Android version for almost a decade.

From November, 2021 onwards, the minimum OS requirements are as follows:

  • Android 4.1 Jelly Bean or newer
  • iOS 10 or newer

AfterDawn: News

Two new Roomba models spotted: Roomba j7 adds obstacle detection, uses AI

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 08 Sep 2021 5:21

Two new Roomba models spotted: Roomba j7 adds obstacle detection, uses AI Several people in various robot vacuum related Reddit channels have spotted Roomba j7 robot vacuum. While iRobot doesn't have any details of the new model yet, its advertisements have been shown in Canadian TV and some Canadian retailers seem to already list it on their websites.

New Roomba j7 seems to be a an upgraded version of the Roomba i7, which we consider currently the best overall robot vacuum in the market.

The key new feature here is the new camera module that has been added to the device's bumper. Similarly to the Roborock S6 MaxV, the new camera is used to detect obstacles in the floor: say, clothes, wires, pets, etc. Most likely the Roomba j7 will use the camera and machine learning to understand whether the objects it spots are actually obstacles that should be avoided.

Roomba j7 retail box


AfterDawn: News

Right now: Instagram is down, globally

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 02 Sep 2021 7:39

Right now: Instagram is down, globally Facebook-owned Instagram seems to be down, globally, for most of its users. Some users have reported that the service works, but very, very sluggishly.

According to various services that monitor websites' uptimes report that Instagram's problems started at around 10:30 UTC today.

Other Facebook's services, such as its namesake main site or WhatsApp aren't affected by this. At least not right now.

Instagram according to DownDetector

The above situation is the report by DownDetector, screenshot taken few minutes ago before publishing this news article.

As it has taken almost an hour by now for Instagram to get their servers working, frustrated people have started posting related memes to the social media..

AfterDawn: News

Windows 11: Check if TPM is enabled on your computer

Written by James Delahunty @ 02 Sep 2021 6:46

Windows 11: Check if TPM is enabled on your computer In this short guide we will look at how you can check the status of Trusted Platform Module (TPM) on your PC ahead of the coming launch of Windows 11.

TPM provides for hardware level support for a range of security and digital management services. It can be used for DRM systems to protect content, to protect digital licensing, to enhance security of full disk encryption solutions like Bitlocker (Windows) or dm-crypt (Linux), and more.

To run Windows 11, you will require at least TPM 1.2. Unfortunately, if you have TPM 1.2 you will be running Windows 11 in an unsupported state, which could mean missing out on some updates for compatibility reasons. Therefore, TPM 2.0 is recommended for a Windows 11 upgrade and should make the process a lot easier. If you do not have TPM hardware then you will be unable to run Windows 11 on your system at all, according to Microsoft.

There are other requirements for Windows 11 (EFI Secure Boot, GPT etc.) as well, but this short article is just about checking to see if TPM is Enabled, or if it is present, and what version of TPM it is.

How to check TPM status in Windows 10?

The simplest way to check on the status of TPM in Windows 10 is to check the Security processor details in Windows settings. To get there just do follow these simple steps.


AfterDawn: News

HOWTO: Install Netflix App on rooted Android device

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Sep 2021 1:04

HOWTO: Install Netflix App on rooted Android device 'This app is no longer compatible with your device. Contact the developers for more info.' If you are getting this message from Google Play when trying to install Netflix, then maybe this little guide can help you.

Several years ago, Netflix began using the Windvine digital rights management (DRM) system as part of their content protection efforts. A side effect of this change is that Android devices with a rooted OS, an unofficial ROM, or even an unlocked bootloader could no longer download the Netflix app from the Play Store.

In fact, if you searched for the app on the Play Store with such a device, it will not even show up. You have to manually find the URL for Netflix so that it will open in the Play Store. At present, this is the URL that will launch your Play Store app and bring you to Netflix.

All may not be lost however as you may be able to sideload the app. To be clear, this won't work for everyone. It really depends on the Android OS, how it was rooted, and more. However, if you are using something like LineageOS on a relatively new device, this should work.


AfterDawn: News

HOWTO: Boot Android device into Safe Mode

Written by James Delahunty @ 01 Sep 2021 9:27

HOWTO: Boot Android device into Safe Mode Are you having trouble with your Android device? If you find that your device has become sluggish, is freezing, takes too long to boot or any of a host of other performance concerns, you may want to boot into Safe Mode.

Most Android users will only ever encounter Safe Mode if their device boots into it automatically. This can happen for a variety of software and hardware related reasons. It is usually a sign of trouble if it happens automatically.

What is Safe Mode? Why would you use it?

Even though it can be a bad sign if your device automatically boots into Safe Mode, it can be very useful to boot into manually. For starters, in Safe Mode the device will not have third party apps running. It will also automatically put the device in Airplane Mode which disables the Wi-Fi and other networking from boot. You can enable these yourself in Safe Mode if you exit Airplane Mode.

If you reboot your device into Safe Mode and the problems you were having seem to be gone, then the issue is probably down to one or more third party Apps behaving badly. If the problems persist, it is the Android system (perhaps a botched update or an unofficial ROM that is not fully compatible?) or there is a hardware issue (e.g. degrading storage, battery).


AfterDawn: News

Windows 11 will be available on October 5th

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 31 Aug 2021 9:44

Windows 11 will be available on October 5th Microsoft announced its upcoming operating system, Windows 11 back in June, 2021. The beta version of the OS has been publicly available since July and has been downloaded and tested by millions of users.

Now, Microsoft has finally announced when the new Windows version will be available for regular users, too. The date is October 5th, 2021.

On that date, the first Windows 10 users will be prompted to install a new version of the Windows to their PCs. Also, on that date, those who don't have a valid Windows 10 license, can directly go and purchase a Windows 11 license for their PC. And, obviously, plethora of desktop PCs and laptops with pre-installed Windows 11 will hit the store shelves on that day, across the globe.

Windows 11 will be completely free update for all Windows 10 users.

The update will be delivered through regular Windows Update and it will be phased, so only handful of users will actually get it on 5th of October. Microsoft expects the entire rollout to be complete by mid-2022, so some of the current Windows 10 users will have to wait quite some time until their OS will be updated automatically to the new version.


AfterDawn: News

China's new legislation: Teenagers can't play for more than three hours

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 31 Aug 2021 3:00

China's new legislation: Teenagers can't play for more than three hours China is curbing its gaming addiction with iron first. Country just rolled out a new legislation that forces game developers to curb teenagers gaming hours down to just three per week.

According to the new legislation, gaming companies are required to control how many hours teenagers between 15yo and 17yo play video games (no matter what the platform, including mobile pgone games, console games and PC games). Country now allows teens to play only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 8pm and 9pm local time. And on public holidays, too, but again, between the one hour time slot between 8pm and 9pm.

If game developers don't play by the rules, China can simply ban their games, for good.

And as we're talking about China, this is really enforced. Gaming and media giant Tencent took pro-active steps already in July, 2021 and introduced facial recognition to all of its games in China. Every player is required to verify their gaming ID with a valid personal identification document when creating an account. And Tencent's games will occasionally use facial recognition during the gaming session to check that the person whose account is used, is really playing the game.


AfterDawn: News

Xiaomi clarifies its branding, gets rid of "Mi"

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 24 Aug 2021 4:11

Xiaomi clarifies its branding, gets rid of "Mi" Chinese consumer electronics giant Xiaomi has always had a rather confusing naming policy for its products, whether the products are mobile phones, robot vacuums or electric scooters. But now, company has announced that it will finally clarify the branding, to some degree.

This announcement follow the recent launch of Xiaomi Mi Mix 4 of which, apparently, is now internationally sold as Xiaomi Mix 4 - note, the removal of the "Mi" there.

According to a statement made for XDA-Developers, this will be the way forward for the company from now on. So, no more "Xiaomi Mi", but just "Xiaomi".

The change will affect all Xiaomi's product brands, not just phones, but also e-scooters, robot vacuums, laptops, etc.

Sure enough, this will be a welcomed change for most consumers. But Xiaomi still has a plethora of stuff to confuse its potential customers: like its affiliations with non-Xiaomi brands, such as Redmi, POCO, Roborock and Ninebot that tend to blend into Xiaomi's "digital world" to one degree or another. But this one is a change to the better, definitely.

AfterDawn: News

Samsung has a remote kill switch for its TVs - can block any Samsung TV permanently

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 23 Aug 2021 10:34

Samsung has a remote kill switch for its TVs - can block any Samsung TV permanently Just bought a brand new TV set? You own it now, right? Well, kinda... Electronics giant Samsung has revealed that all Samsung's TV sets have a built-in kill switch that Samsung can operate at will.

This was revealed in South Africa in July. In South Africa, during riots, rioters broke into Samsung's local warehouse and stole tons of goods from the warehouse, including new Samsung TV sets.

According to Samsung's local representatives, company swiftly took action and activated the remote kill switch on all the stolen TV sets, rendering them basically useless. The feature, called TV Block is apparently a standard feature in all Samsung's new TVs.

Whenever a Samsung TV set connects to the net, it communicates back and forth with Samsung's servers. If Samsung's servers indicate that the TV set in question is put to its blacklist, the TV set automatically renders all of its features useless. So, after that information has been received, even the standard TV broadcasts can't be viewed with the TV.

The feature was introduced in order to block sale of illegally obtained Samsung TVs, just like in this particular case. Samsung also ensures that if legally obtained TV somehow freezes due this feature, customers can contact their local Samsung support in order to get the matters resolved.


AfterDawn: News

These Nokia phones will get Android 12

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 13 Aug 2021 10:31

These Nokia phones will get Android 12 As Android 12 first public beta is already available, it is time to take a look at current phone models expected to get Android 12 once it gets released officially.

None of the Nokia models are among the list of Android 12 beta phones, but HMD Global who manufactures the Nokia phones, has been clear about the company's Android support policy.

So, based on that update policy, Android Update Tracker has built a list of Nokia phones eligible to get the Android 12 update.

Obviously, list could change - HMD Global could very well release Android 12 also to selected older models, but this list is based on what we know right now.

Here's the list:


AfterDawn: News

Finally! WhatsApp allows easy transfer of chat history from iPhone to Android

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 11 Aug 2021 11:38

Finally! WhatsApp allows easy transfer of chat history from iPhone to Android One of the most frustrating aspects of WhatsApp is its phone operating system lock-in. Currently, it is almost impossible to transfer chat history from Android's WhatsApp to iPhone and vice versa. This is finally changing, as WhatsApp introduced a streamlined data transfer.

The new feature resembles the one available in competitors, such as Signal, where two phones can be paired and messages are then transferred from one device to another. As WhatsApp doesn't use centralized messaging servers like Telegram, the messages can't be just "pulled from the cloud".

The new transfer feature is available now only for recently released new Samsung's foldable phones, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3. Later, the new transfer method will be brought to all other Android devices, too.

Transfer WhatsApp messages from iPhone to Android


AfterDawn: News

25 years ago first MP3 rip by a warez group was released

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 11 Aug 2021 6:24

25 years ago first MP3 rip by a warez group was released Twenty-five years ago, the first "official", illegal MP3 rip was released to public. The honor goes to Metallica's Until It Sleeps which was released back in 10th of August, 1996.

First publicly availably MP3 tools were just released back in 1996, with WinPlay3 being the only Windows-based player at the time and l3enc being the best tool to actually convert music from CDs to MP3 format.

Surely, ripped songs were produced even begore August, 1996, but the first release by a scene group is being dated to that specific date, as shown by the associated .nfo from those days. The release group was called Compress Da Audio, a relatively short-lived MP3 ripping group, who just managed to get the fame of being the first group to enter into the wonderful world of MP3 music.

First MP3 rip from 1996, .nfo file

The MP3 phenomenom grew rapidly from those days, with the advent of better ripping and encoding tools appearing during the winter of 1996-1997 and with the first version of WinAMP player. Coming years, MP3 became the synonum to illegal music, as P2P networks became a commonplace and people didn't have to rip their own music to MP3 format anymore - but could simply download songs from P2P networks.


AfterDawn: News

NortonLifeLock buys Avast and CCleaner for 8 billion dollars

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 11 Aug 2021 5:23

NortonLifeLock buys Avast and CCleaner for 8 billion dollars Consolidation among antivirus vendors continues, as American NortonLifeLock acquired Czech-based Avast for appx. $8bn. As part of the deal, Avast-owned CCleaner is now also part of NortonLifeLock's portfolio.

NortonLifeLock offers two options for Avast shareholders to pay for the purchase: first option includes 31 percent cash and 69 percent stock, while the other option pays 90 percent of the acquisition in cash and 10 percent in stock. In both options, the valuation of Avast is appx. $8bn, appx. 7.2 billion euros. Avast, while based in Czech, has been listed in London stock exchange.

Both companies have focus on cosumers and small businesses. NortonLifeLock was previously a subsdiary of Symantec, but was spun off as its own company after Broadcom acquired Symantec's enterprise business. Avast, meanwhile, has always focused on consumers and small businesses.

Avast expanded its own portfolio back in 2017 when it acquired Piriform, the maker of popular PC cleanup tool CCleaner.

NortonLifeLock has expanded recently through acquisitions: back in December, 2020 the company bought Avira for $360 million.

AfterDawn: News

Amiga makes a comeback: TheA500 brings old '90s games back to life

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 10 Aug 2021 8:11

Amiga makes a comeback: TheA500 brings old '90s games back to life For those old enough to remember the times when PC wasn't the best gaming computer, the name Amiga brings back many good memories. The iconic home computer which had its peak at the beginning of the 1990s was superior to most of the other computers of its time - and this was true also with its gaming selection.

Now, Amiga is coming back. Well, not exactly, but a retro, miniature version of the computer is arriving to stores in 2022. Dubbed as TheA500 mini, the officially licensed miniature clone of the iconic device is meant for gaming - and only for gaming. As its predecessor, TheC64, the machine is a smaller version of its original ancestor, but looks the same.

TheA500 mini can run original Amiga games as well as games built for later Amiga versions, namely, the ECS and AGA chipsets. So, despite being named after the most successful Amiga, the Amiga 500, the retro computer can actually run games made for Amiga 1200, too.

TheA500 ships with 25 pre-installed games, including classics like Kick Off 2, Pinball Dreams and Speedball 2. It can also run any Amiga game available if you copy Amiga game image to an USB stick and run it from there. TheA500 ships with mouse that resembles the original Amiga mouse and a gamepad to play the games with.


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