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Android P revealed - This is what it looks like

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 08 Mar 2018 3:21

Android P revealed - This is what it looks like Google has released the first glimpse of its upcoming Android P operating system. New version of Android is about to launch sometime in Fall 2018, but Google provides information for developers and manufacturers about the most important changes beforehand to allow them to adjust to new APIs and design.

Android P includes several changes to the visuals of the UI. Icons are more rounded and plain as is the custom nowadays. Additionally, the settings have been revamped quite a lot and also the notification area has gone through some changes.

Despite those changes, the biggest visual change is the support for iPhone X-styled gap in the top of the screen to accommodate better for front camera while allowing "borderless" displays.

Android P search bar
Android P notification bar


AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveils this year's TV lineup with new backlighting tech

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 07 Mar 2018 11:00

Samsung unveils this year's TV lineup with new backlighting tech Samsung has today unveiled their 2018 TV lineup in New York. The updated line of smart TVs is divided roughly into three categories: Quantum LED powered Q Series, Premium UHD models, and Ultra Large TVs.

The latter TVs are sized 75 inches and above, and according to Samsung the demand for larger TVs has been ever growing. These models offer a proper home theater experience but are also popular for commercial uses.

However, Samsung's most important TV branding effort of recent years has been Quantum LED, or QLED for short, that is used in the company's Q Series smart TVs. Now they come with an improved backlighting technology.

This includes what the company calls Carbon Mesh which limits the backlighting per pixel and minimizes leakage to nearby pixels. Obviously this comes with a full panel backlighting the company calls Direct Full Array backlighting. All this should provide a better picture quality and improved contrast definition.


AfterDawn: News

Netflix will let parents block individual movies and shows

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Mar 2018 21:04

Netflix will let parents block individual movies and shows Netflix will beef up the parent controls available to users of its service to make its platform more child appropriate.

As it stands, parents can use Netflix parental controls to prevent their children from accessing content above a specified maturity rating. The content can be hidden behind a PIN altogether, or parents can available of designated child accounts.

In order to give parents more control over what their children can access on the service, Netflix will allow parents to control access to individual movies and shows behind a security PIN.

Netflix will also begin displaying more prominently the maturity level rating for a series or film once a member hits play on a title.

More info:

AfterDawn: News

Spotify cracks down on hacked apps

Written by James Delahunty @ 05 Mar 2018 21:02

Spotify cracks down on hacked apps Spotify appears to be cracking down on the use of unauthorized applications that allow users with Free accounts to get benefits of its paid Premium tier.

Some users with free accounts opt to download modified Spotify apps that allow them to get around some of the limitations of a Free account, and have some benefits of the paid Premium service. While having almost 160 million users of its service, around 71 million actually pay for Premium accounts whilst the rest of the active users are limited to lower quality, ad-supported service.

Free users who have been using modified apps have been receiving a warning from Spotify that reads as follows:

Dear User:

We detected abnormal activity on the app you are using so we have disabled it. Don't worry - your Spotify account is safe.

To access your Spotify account, simply uninstall any unauthorized or modified version of Spotify and download and install the Spotify app from the official Google Play Store. If you need more help, please see our support article on Reinstalling Spotify.

If we detect repeated use of unauthorized apps in violation of our terms, we suspend all rights, including suspending or terminating your account.

AfterDawn: News

VLC v3.0.1 released: Improves Chromecast support, faster MKV seeking

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 28 Feb 2018 6:20

VLC v3.0.1 released: Improves Chromecast support, faster MKV seeking Popular open-source video player, VLC, has been updated to v3.0.1 version.

The new version is mostly a bug fix release after the player's major v3.0 release recently. This version improves HEVC video playback support on macOS, Android and iOS platforms. It also speeds up and fixes issues with Chromecast support on all platforms, including Windows.

Furthermore, MKV seeking is finally significantly faster. There's also bunch of minor bugs that have been fixed, like the one that caused the software to crash after closing it on some Windows versions.

You can download the Windows versions from AfterDawn's own download servers:

VLC for Windows
VLC for 64-bit Windows

Mobile editions for Android and iOS can be found from their respective app stores.

AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveiled this year's flagships: Here's Galaxy S9 and S9+

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 25 Feb 2018 15:04

Samsung unveiled this year's flagships: Here's Galaxy S9 and S9+ Samsung has today revealed the next generation of Galaxy S smartphones. As expected the Galaxy S9 and its bigger sibling, the Galaxy S9+, retain much of the design from their predecessors, but there are a few key differences and why you might want to buy one of them.

The new flagships have the same glass sandwich design with aluminum body. The buttons (even Bixby), connectors, and speakers seem to be exactly where they were, but there's one minor but oh-so-important change in the design. Samsung has moved the fingerprint reader from next to the camera to below the camera, which might have been the single most requested change to the predecessor.

Design aside there's plenty to talk about about the new phones. Upgraded CPU, now Snapdragon 845, is more powerful and energy efficient, the phone has stereo speakers thanks to earpiece acting as another speaker, and you can extend the fairly limited 64GB now up to 400GB with a microSD card.

Those aren't huge changes, though, and differences are miniscule in display tech as well. Galaxy S9 has the same 5.8" and S9+ the 6.2" QHD+ AMOLED display as previous models. IP68 dust and water resistance is intact as well.

When it comes to camera, however, you have major improvements, or distinctions at least. The Galaxy S9+ has a dual camera setup with zoom capabilities thanks to a wide and telephoto lens. But the magic is found even in the single camera on the smaller Galaxy S9.


AfterDawn: News

The banana phone is back, new Nokia phones announced

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 25 Feb 2018 12:55

The banana phone is back, new Nokia phones announced Nokia has been back with a vengeance for the past year or two releasing Android phones for many different price points. They even brought back a classic from year 2000, the 3110, in last year's Mobile World Congress.

This time around Nokia revived the banana phone that was made famous not only by its iconic design but The Matrix. HMD Global, the company behind today's Nokia Android phones, has just concluded its MWC keynote where it announced a slew of new phones.

The most surprising was definitely the new Nokia 8110 4G. This new banana phone is 4G enabled , as you might imagine from the name, and features a little bit improved specs compared to the original one, although reaching the operator might not be as easy.

It has a 2 megapixel camera, 2.45 inch 240 by 320 color display, 4GB of storage space, half a gig of RAM, and a Snapdragon 205 chip. It runs a feature phone OS but you wouldn't expect Android with those specs, right? All this is fairly irrelevant, though, since you won't be buying the phone for its specs, you are going to get it because it looks awesome in either black or yellow of course, so here are some pics:


AfterDawn: News

Windows phones are back! Microsoft selling Lumia smartphones again

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 24 Feb 2018 12:40

Windows phones are back! Microsoft selling Lumia smartphones again Microsoft made it fairly clear last summer that it's not really interested in Windows phones any more by dropping support from almost all Lumia models. Just days later, IDC's figures revealed why: Windows 10 marketshare was 0.1% in Q1 of 2017 fiscal year.

If that wasn't enough for a proper killing blow, then Windows boss Joe Belfiore made it abundantly clear with his remarks in October.

However, Windows Latest, a site focusing on Windows content as you might imagine, has revealed something very, very interesting. They've noticed that Microsoft's website sells multiple Lumia models currently.

One might think there's probably a mistake, perhaps some kind of accidental rollback in the store section of the website. No, the phones are actually for sale, and according to Microsoft have been for a little bit.

You can find at least Lumia 950 XL, Lumia 950, Lumia 650, Lumia 550, currently costing $499, $399, $199, and $139 respectively.


AfterDawn: News

Elon Musk quits AI ethics group he co-founded

Written by James Delahunty @ 22 Feb 2018 15:57

Elon Musk quits AI ethics group he co-founded SpaceX and Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has quit an artificial intelligence ethics group that he originally co-founded.

Having once said that AI is the biggest existential threat to humanity, Musk was part of the formation of OpenAI. The research group aims to promote and develop non-threatening artificial intelligence for the betterment of humanity.

Musk and others founded and donated money to the group largely due to concerns over the use of AI for destructive purposes, such as automous killer robots.

The decision to quit OpenAI is down to a potential future conflict of interest, as Tesla is developing its own artificial intelligence technology for its self-driving vehicles push. However, Musk will continue to donate and advise and OpenAI group.

Concerns have been raised about a potential arms race using emerging artificial intelligence technology.

AfterDawn: News

Disney fails to block Redbox from reselling movie download codes

Written by James Delahunty @ 22 Feb 2018 15:54

Disney fails to block Redbox from reselling movie download codes Disney has been dealt a blow in its copyright lawsuit movie rental firm Redbox, which sought to halt the firm from reselling digital movie download codes.

Redbox is a kiosk movie rental service. It places thousouds of its DVD rental kiosks in public allowing customers to pick up a DVD copy of a film. Among its collection are many Disney films, which it purchased in retail DVD format.

Those retail Disney DVDs also come with an attachment digital movie download code, which can be redeemed for a free digital download of the same film on DVD. Redbox decided to repackage these download codes and sell them separately, prompting a lawsuit from Disney.

The entertainment conglomarate cited language on the packaging that states the download codes are not for resale or for transfer, but a California judge disagrees.

Judge Pregerson said that the wording on the packaging does not constitute an enforceable contract between the parties, and agreed with Redbox' assertion that Disney is misuing copyright.

A hearing in March will consider Redbox' motion to dismiss the case.

AfterDawn: News

uTorrent has a dangerous security flaw

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 22 Feb 2018 8:06

uTorrent has a dangerous security flaw BitTorrent and its lighter version, uTorrent have a serious security flaw.

Google researcher found a technique that allows attackers to direct DNS requests to user's computer, allowing to spoof the download sources, download files, add them to startup folder and more.

All versions of uTorrent and BitTorrent are affected and bug is only fixed in latest beta.

"On December 4, 2017, we were made aware of several vulnerabilities in the uTorrent and BitTorrent Windows desktop clients. We began work immediately to address the issue. Our fix is complete and is available in the most recent beta release (build released on 16 Feb 2018). This week, we will begin to deliver it to our installed base of users. All users will be updated with the fix automatically over the following days. The nature of the exploit is such that an attacker could craft a URL that would cause actions to trigger in the client without the user's consent (e.g. adding a torrent).

BitTorrent was also made aware yesterday that it's new beta product, uTorrent Web, is vulnerable to a similar bug. "

You can download the latest beta of uTorrent from our software section:


AfterDawn: News

PlayStation profiles now accessible from web browsers

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Feb 2018 12:12

PlayStation profiles now accessible from web browsers 'My PlayStation' is the new social destination on the Web for your PlayStation profile.

You can now login to the official PlayStation website and access My PlayStation from a link in the top right corner. This will bring you to a Facebook-like (though much more minimalist in appearance) profile. From here, you can access key PSN features from your web browser; Find friends, edit your PSN profile, view Trophies and more.

Previously you would have to do these things from your PS4 console or from an app on a mobile device. My PlayStation works with most major web browsers on Windows 10, MacOS 10, iOS 10 or above, Android 5 or above.

You can view your own Trophies and compare to those of your contacts, or send direct messages, too.

My PlayStation on the web is very minimalist and blank in appearance for the time being, but Sony promises it will continue to enhance and add more features to My PlayStation on a regular basis.

AfterDawn: News

Tesla hacked to mine cryptocurrency

Written by James Delahunty @ 21 Feb 2018 12:11

Tesla hacked to mine cryptocurrency Tesla is investigating a reported hack of its cloud computing platform in order to stealthy mine cryptocurrency.

The all-electric automaker is assuring customers that there has been no hack or breach of customer data or of their vehicles. Instead, the instrustion seems to have been limited to internally used engineering test cars.

The breach was discovered and reported to Tesla by RedLock, and stems from the leak of login credentials to Tesla's Amazon Web Services environment. It was traced to a Kubernetes console, a system designed by Google for application management.

Cryptojacking - the practice of hacking computer systems and networks and mining cryptocurrency from their processing power - is become more common with interest in digital currencies at an all-time high. Past corporate victims of such attacks include Starbucks and even YouTube.

Cryptocurrency mining requires a lot of processing power, which in turn consumes a lot of electricity. Hackers can pass the cost extra electrical costs onto victims and mine digital currency using their systems without their knowledge or consent.

AfterDawn: News

Apple updates devices to fix 'text bomb' bug

Written by James Delahunty @ 20 Feb 2018 17:47

Apple updates devices to fix 'text bomb' bug Apple has pushed updates across all of its devices to stop devices from crashing when processing a specific Telugu character.

A character from the native Indian language was found to cause Apple devices to freeze due to a memory corruption error. When the flaw became public, pranksters used text messages, social media and even Uber to cause devices to encounter the rare character and freeze.

Apple has issued updates for iPhones, iPads, Mac computers, smartwatches and TV boxes.

  • The latest version of iOS is 11.2.6.
  • The latest version of macOS is 10.13.3.
  • The latest version of tvOS is 11.2.6.
  • The latest version of watchOS is 4.2.3.

The problem was discovered by the developers of the Aloha mobile browser and reported on February 12.

More information: Apple security updates

AfterDawn: News

Samsung unveils record 30TB SSD

Written by James Delahunty @ 20 Feb 2018 17:38

Samsung unveils record 30TB SSD Samsung breaks the storage capacity record for a single solid state drive with a new 30.72TB drive for enterprise solutions.

It had previously broken the world record in 2016 with a 15.36TB SSD. The new PM1643 drive is built on Samsung's latest V-NAND technology with 64-layer, 3-bit 512-gigabit (Gb) chips, delivering twice the capacity and performance of the previous 15.3TB line-up.

The PM1643 comprises 32 of the new 1TB NAND flash packages, each comprised of 16 stacked layers of 512Gb V-NAND chips, packed into the 2.5-inch frame.

Based on a 12Gb/s SAS interface, the new PM1643 drive features random read and write speeds of up to 400,000 IOPS and 50,000 IOPS, and sequential read and write speeds of up to 2,100MB/s and 1,700 MB/s, respectively.

"With our launch of the 30.72TB SSD, we are once again shattering the enterprise storage capacity barrier, and in the process, opening up new horizons for ultra-high capacity storage systems worldwide," said Jaesoo Han, executive vice president, Memory Sales & Marketing Team at Samsung Electronics.

"Samsung will continue to move aggressively in meeting the shifting demand toward SSDs over 10TB and at the same time, accelerating adoption of our trail-blazing storage solutions in a new age of enterprise systems."

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