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Kodi users fall victim to malware due to malicious add-on

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Sep 2018 15:48

Kodi users fall victim to malware due to malicious add-on Some Kodi users have been infected with a crypto-mining malware due to a malicious dependancy distributed with a popular add-on.

According to ESET, the malicious dependency had been distributed by a recently shut down add-on repository in the Netherlands called XvBMC-NL. However, it is likely that XvBMC-NL was an unwitting participant in its distribution as it seemed to originally show up on a repo for Bubbles, later renamed Gaia.

Specifically, the add-on affected is script.module.simplejson, which is a legitimate add-on that other add-ons depend on to work properly. The latest version of the add-on is v3.4.0, whereas the malicious version is v3.4.1. The malicious version reportedly showed up on the Bubbles repo back in December 2017 and was later removed from the newer Gaia report in April 2018.

The XvBMC-NL repo shut down in Holland was likely still serving the malicious version unwittingly. The problem arises when a user installed the repo and automatic updates installed the seemingly newer version, which was the malicious version.

You can easily check if you have the Add-On on your Kodi if you use the media center. In the Kodi 17 interface, open Add-Ons. Then click the Settings button (cog wheel). Open "Manage Dependencies", and then scroll down to see if SimpleJSON is installed. The version will be shown beside the add-on. If you have v3.4.1, then you have the malicious add-on and should install and run an anti-virus software to find and remove the crypto-miner it installs.

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AfterDawn: News

North Korea: Sony hacker does not exist

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Sep 2018 15:44

North Korea: Sony hacker does not exist North Korea has responded to charges against a hacker in the secretive country by insisting that the identified man does not exist.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) charged a North Korean man in connection to the hacking of Sony Pictures in late 2014, and also with the spread of WannaCry malware last year. WannaCry affected business and government systems around the world. In the UK, thousands of health appointments had to be canceled as the malware affected computer systems in the National Health Service (NHS)

North Korea is claiming that the identified man doesn't exist at all and warns that the accusations against the country could have a negative effect on relations with the United States.

The man "is a non-existent entity, and furthermore, the act of cyber crimes mentioned by the Justice Department has nothing to do with us," North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement to North Korean news agency KCNA.

Sony Pictures was hacked in 2014 ahead of the planned release of The Interview, a comedy starring Seth Rogan that depicts a U.S. plot to assassinate Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.




AfterDawn: News

YouTube Kids gives parents more control over content

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Sep 2018 18:44

YouTube Kids gives parents more control over content The YouTube Kids app now provides parents with more control over the content that their children can see.

The most important addition to the YouTube Kids app was initially announced in April. It is parent-approved content, and it allows parents to handpick every video and channel available to their child in the app. It is available today globally on Android and coming soon to iOS.

For parents who want to enable this feature, open settings, go to the child's profile and select "approved content only." Now they're ready to start picking videos for their kids.

If this mode is enabled, then children will be unable to search for content. Parents can still search for content and can choose any video, channel or collection of channels they like by tapping the "+" button.

Another addition is the option to set the app to filter content for Older children, aimed at those aged between 8 and 12. It includes additional new content, like popular music and gaming videos. Parents can change between "Younger," "Older" and parent-approved content at any time.

As always, YouTube encourages parents to block and flag for review any content that they deem to be inappropriate for a child.




AfterDawn: News

BBC fixes streaming lag that hit World Cup games

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Sep 2018 14:51

BBC fixes streaming lag that hit World Cup games The BBC says it has solved a common problem with live sports streaming that caused a lag between broadcast and web streaming.

During the world cup, BBC viewers reported that they often heard neighbors celebrating goals before they saw the goal on their feed. This is fairly common for live streaming of sports and other events. For example, Amazon's broadcast of the US Open recently saw delays of up to 45 seconds.

The issue is difficult to tackle because there are many factors, including the broadband speed of the viewer and the equipment being used to view the content.

According to the BBC, it has found a way to make smaller video segments that can be passed through the system more quickly, resulting in viewers seeing action "at the same time as they would see it if they were watching on TV".

However, the BBC's solution would require the co-operation of the whole broadcasting industry. It is on show at the International Broadcasting Convention in the Netherlands today, and the BBC says it could be ready for prime time for the World Cup in 2022.

Source: BBC News




AfterDawn: News

Windows 10 preview warns against Chrome, Firefox installations

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Sep 2018 14:35

Windows 10 preview warns against Chrome, Firefox installations A Windows 10 Insiders preview is apparently prompting users when they try to install Chrome or Firefox, pushing Microsoft Edge instead.

Those who are testing the Windows 10 builds noted that when they downloaded Google's Chrome browser or Mozilla's Firefox browser, they were prompted with a message when they tried to run the installers.

"You already have Microsoft Edge - the safer, faster browser for Windows 10," the prompt reads. It then provides the options to Open Microsoft Edge (in blue) or to Install anyway (in gray).

Microsoft has irked some Windows users in the past by pushing Edge over competitors in a variety of ways. For example, at one point Microsoft tried to force Windows Mail to open links in Edge.

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AfterDawn: News

Google will discontinue Inbox after four years

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Sep 2018 14:20

Google will discontinue Inbox after four years Google is set to discontinue its Inbox app just four years after it launched to test new features for e-mail.

Inbox brought about new features like snoozing emails to later and AI-powered experiences like Smart Reply, Nudges and high-priority notifications. In the intervening years, Google has taken what has worked from Inbox and it has added it to its Gmail service to "help more than a billion people get more done with their emails every day."

"As we look to the future, we want to take a more focused approach that will help us bring the best email experience to everyone. As a result, we're planning to focus solely on Gmail and say goodbye to Inbox by Gmail at the end of March 2019." writes Matthew Izatt, product managGmailr GMail.

Popular Inbox features like Smart Compose were introduced to Gmail in April of this year.

Google has provided a transition guide for anyone who needs help to switch from Inbox to the newer GMail service.




AfterDawn: News

An 'Alan Wake' TV show could be coming

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Sep 2018 14:06

An 'Alan Wake' TV show could be coming Remedy Entertainment's 2010 hit Alan Wake may soon become its own television series.

Alan Wake is an Xbox 360 exclusive that was released in 2010, developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by Microsoft Games. It follows protagonist Alan Wake, a best-selling author, as he investigates his wife's disappearance in the small fictional town of Bright Falls in Washington state.

While looking for his wife, Wake begins to experience supernatural occurrences and event plots from the novel he is working on. He has no prior memory of writing the material.

The title took five years to develop and was created by Sam Lake. Now, Lake has signed on as executive producer for a television adaption of the story. Additionally, Remedy Entertainment announced on Twitter that Peter Calloway (Legion, Cloak and Dagger) will also work on the project.




It is worth remembering that the show still needs to be picked up, and according to Variety, Calloway will begin shopping it around for an interested party in October.

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AfterDawn: News

Spotify raises song download limit significantly

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Sep 2018 13:37

Spotify raises song download limit significantly Spotify has significantly increased the number of songs you can download to your mobile or other devices for offline listening.

The music streaming giant allows users to download songs and albums to be locally stored on devices for Offline playback. This is very useful for people who cannot stream Spotify music in certain locations, so they can still enjoy their playlist whilst paying their premium fee.

Previously, Spotify set a limit of 3,333 song downloads on each of three devices, which is quite a high limit. However, that didn't stop some users from eventually pushing up against their limit.

Spotify then quietly raised the song download limit to 10,000 songs per device and raised the device limit to 5. It isn't unlimited of course, but that should solve the problem for most users who ran up against a download limit.

"At Spotify, we're always working on improving the experience for our users. We can now confirm that we have increased the number of offline tracks per device -- from 3,333 on three devices to 10,000 tracks per device for up to five devices," a Spotify spokesperson confirmed to Rolling Stone.




AfterDawn: News

Here's the new iPhone Xs in high-res pictures

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Sep 2018 16:54

Here's the new iPhone Xs in high-res pictures Apple unveiled today the newest generation of iPhones. The flagship models carry the name Xs and Xs Max, and whatever you might think about the names they are beautiful craftsmanship, as you would expect.

We already went through most of the improvements on paper, but let's not kid ourselves, what matters to many is what the iPhones look like. Apple has of course released their own press photos that are aimed to show the new devices in the most glorious of lights.

The official high-resolution press photos of the new iPhone Xs and Xs Max showcase the new and improved camera, the Super Retina displays as well as some of the more important new software features.

Without further ado, here are the iPhone Xs and Xs Max in pictures.

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AfterDawn: News

Here's Apple's new, cheaper iPhone: iPhone Xr

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Sep 2018 16:17

Here's Apple's new, cheaper iPhone: iPhone Xr Apple officially unveiled today the new iPhone Xs, and the Xs Max, the new flagship smartphone. But they also had in store one more iPhone, as expected, the iPhone Xr.

This cheap, or rather cheaper, iPhone features a 6.1 inch LCD (instead of OLED in the less affordable models) display that Apple calls Liquid Retina, which, let's be honest, is probably just marketin jargon.

The resolution is a standard Retina definition at 1792 x 828 at 326 PPI which is a far cry from the 458 on the bigger brothers, and there is no 3D Touch found on the iPhone Xr. However, Apple has implemented a longer touch with haptic feedback, called the Haptic Touch, which should work fairly similarly.

The camera is neither on par with the more expensive Xs models, and offers only a single 12 megapixel camera. This camera however does feature an OIS and can even do Portrait mode thanks to some Pixel-like software trickery.

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AfterDawn: News

Apple unveiled the new iPhone Xs with improved cameras, displays and performance

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Sep 2018 15:45

Apple unveiled the new iPhone Xs with improved cameras, displays and performance Apple has today unveiled the new generation of iPhones lead by the flagship models iPhone Xs and Xs Max, as expected.

The new models offer upgrades in most respects but most significantly in display, processors and camera. The displays are 5.8 and 6.5 inches OLED panels that offer a resolution of 1125 x 2436 (Xs) or 1242 x 2688 (Xs Max) pixels and a 458 PPI pixel density.

The new displays, Apple calls them Super Retina, also support HDR in both Dolby Vision and HDR10 and include a 120hz touch sensor.

The processor side of things is upgraded by the new A12 Bionic system-on-chip that includes an improved six core big.LITTLE style CPU that provides 40 to 50 percent improvement in efficiency.

The GPU, nowadays Apple-made as well, on the other hand increases the performance up to 50%, and even the NPU (Neural Processing Unit) has been upgraded to 8 cores with improved performance.

The A12 Bionic performance was demonstrated by Bethesda and their new game, Elder Scrolls: Blades, among others.

Camera specs haven't changed much, after all its still mostly the same 12 megapixel dual camera from iPhone X, but Apple promises that the changed under the hood and to the software make it worth the upgrade.

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AfterDawn: News

Shot fired at Twitch user's house while he was streaming live

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Sep 2018 19:03

Shot fired at Twitch user's house while he was streaming live Twitch streamer Dr Disrespect has to abruptly end his streaming after somebody fired a shot at his house.

Guy Beahm was in the middle of streaming his gaming on the Twitch service when he abruptly walked off. He returned visibly shaken and told his viewers that he had to end the streaming for the day because somebody just shot through a window in his house.

"Somebody shot at our house, broke the f*****g upstairs window. This is the second shot. Someone shot yesterday. Someone shot yesterday at our f*****g house, and someone shot again right now," he said.

"It connected with the house upstairs, right? You're driving by, right? You pussy! I gotta stop the stream."

A message on his Twitch page days, "Doc and Family Are Safe. Proper Measures are be taken while stream is down" Meanwhile, authorities confirmed to media that they are investing the incident at his home.

This video shows his reaction (profanity warning!):

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AfterDawn: News

Android box seller to pay $25 million settlement

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Sep 2018 18:28

Android box seller to pay $25 million settlement TickBox TV has reportedly agreed to pay a $25 million settlement in a lawsuit that alleged it promoted copyright infringement.

TickBox TV sells Android boxes, which are low-cost set-top boxes for televisions that run an Android operating system. Owners can install whatever they want on the boxes just like they could with a PC, including software that can allow you to stream unlicensed TV Shows and Movies.

Typically such boxes come with pre-installed software, including the Kodi media center software. Kodi itself is not developed for piracy but through third-party add-on support can be used for that purpose. Sometimes these devices are even advertised as "Kodi boxes", which forced the developers of Kodi to take some legal actions.

TickBox's website initially encouraged users to buy the devices so they could stop "wasting money with online streaming services like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime." After the lawsuit was filed, the language was changed on the website.

As part of an agreement, TickBox has agreed to pay $25 million and to an injunction prohibiting it from present users with options to download add-ons that enable piracy. This does not include Android browser apps including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Safari or Firefox.

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AfterDawn: News

Video leak suggests Google's Pixelbook is getting a refresh

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 11 Sep 2018 9:32

Video leak suggests Google's Pixelbook is getting a refresh If Google's upcoming Pixel event if all about the Pixel phones it'll certainly be a snooze fest for some significant part of the population. Now that Google even killed the Pixel Watch rumors, there's one less product we were expecting on October 9.

Thankfully Chrome Unboxed has come to lift our moods with some leaked footage of supposedly an upcoming Pixel product.

According to the headline of the video the device shown is either Nocturne or Atlas, both of which as codenames for different versions of Pixelbook 2 in development. If it was just this footage we might not be too hopeful about the prospects of Google unveiling such a thing in four weeks.

However, there are some pictures, including the ones pictured above, that have shown a different version of an updated Pixelbook design. Unfortunately we have no clue which one Google is preparing for the October event and which one (if any) is just a forgotten prototype.

Well, all we're left with is four weeks to wait or, better yet, try and find more evidence for Pixelbook 2. We'll keep you posted.

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AfterDawn: News

Terrarium TV piracy app shutting down

Written by James Delahunty @ 11 Sep 2018 4:42

Terrarium TV piracy app shutting down A popular Android application for pirate TV streams will shut down completely at the end of the month, its developer has confirmed.

In a notification pushed to the users of the app, Terrarium TV developer NitroXenon explained that the service will be shutting down completely at the end of the month. It was a very popular app that used file locker services to stream TV shows to viewers.

It didn't require any significant knowhow from users to watch content on the app, as is not always the case with some other forms of streaming options.

Dear all,

It has always been a great pleasure to work on this project. However, it is time to say goodbye. I am going to shut down Terrarium TV, forever.

I know this day will come eventually. I know it would be hard to let go. But it is really time for me to move on to other projects.

Thank you for all your support through the years. Thanks to all Terrarium TV supporters and communities. Thank you, Nic, and all the people around the world who care about this project.

Please note that you will not be able to open the Terrarium TV app after the end of September as the app will close itself automatically. Please NO NOT try to click the Update button because it will not download any new version of the app.
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