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AfterDawn: News

Cable companies accepting defeat? Comcast bundling Netflix

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 15 Apr 2018 13:31

Cable companies accepting defeat? Comcast bundling Netflix In the arena of television and media, cable companies and Netflix are rivalries of the most epic proportion, or so you'd think.

For many of the Netflix generation there aren't much to gain from old-fashioned cable television while cable companies want to protect their TV profits with expensive subscriptions.

Comcast, Spectrum (formerly known as Time Warner), and others are bending over backwards trying to keep their customers. Bundling TV with internet, and even home phone, is the go-to strategy of aforementioned companies.

Now, they've seemed to have accepted defeat and joined Netflix's side, or are at least flirting with the idea. Comcast, the largest of them all, has entered in a partnership with Netflix and is offering the streaming service in a new bundled service package.

Of course cable companies offer internet in addition to TV, and with that internet many choose to watch Netflix. In fact, on the X1 platform nearly half of the users use Netflix actively.

Netflix on the other hand is getting access to millions and millions of potential new customers with not much work on their side, so it seems like a good deal for both of them.

The companies have already been in a partnership via Comcast's X1 platform but now they are ready to expand. Comcast's statements says they are going to offer "new and innovative Xfinity packages, including a Netflix subscription."


AfterDawn: News

Love vinyl? Soon there's a new, better sounding HD version

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 13 Apr 2018 13:08

Love vinyl? Soon there's a new, better sounding HD version In recent years, as physical music media has largely disappeared from use and from stores, there's been one exception that has seemed to cement itself with a surprisingly strong foothold.

While CDs have been crushed by streaming services, people still find use for old vinyl records. Perhaps it is the fact that they are the most tactile, physical media and the opposite of where the mainstream is now.

Austria based company Rebeat Innovation is trying to hit this niche with a new product it has collected $4.8 million in investments for. The technology, dubbed High Definition Vinyl, is said to be a better version of the age old method of listening to music.

The HD vinyl is said to provide a richer, more authentic sounds with higher peak volumes compared to traditional vinyl records, Pitchfork reports. It is unclear how the higher volume is managed but the company says the technology increases the amplitude up to 30 percent.


AfterDawn: News

Reuters: Tesla starting the production of Model Y next year

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Apr 2018 17:09

Reuters: Tesla starting the production of Model Y next year Most of the largest car manufacturers of the world are developing both autonomous vehicles as well as full electric cars. Both of these are of course the wheelhouse of Tesla, lead by the generation's revolutionary numero uno.

Tesla has been an important player in both respects for years but only after the release of Model 3 (pictured) has it really become a truly dangerous to some of the biggest – and oldest – companies in the world.

However, an affordable electric car has been problematic, to say the least. Tesla is struggling with the production, and ramping it up seems to where it needs to be is posing troubles even Elon Musk didn't expect.

Perhaps Tesla is better at doing higher end cars, and should stick to them?

Well, according to Reuters, as soon as next year Tesla is going to start producing yet another model, and it's not the super car Roadster. The report says that Tesla is looking to start production of a new Model Y before the end of 2019.

Model Y is slated to be Tesla's fifth car model, after Roadster, Model S, Model X, and Model 3. It's a crossover, quite like the Model X, that has some functionality of a SUV but in a more compact body, likely based on Model 3.


AfterDawn: News

Gmail getting a revamp with a new interface, features from Inbox

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 12 Apr 2018 12:22

Gmail getting a revamp with a new interface, features from Inbox Google is planning to do a fairly meaningful user interface revamp to its beloved email service, Gmail, according to a leak by Android Authority. The renovation will include new features that have been used in Google's 2015 launched email service Inbox.

Among these updates Google will introduce smart answers and mute to Gmail, but perhaps more importantly user interface will get a refresh. Nothing major will change, as you might imagine, after all the companies don't want to fix what's not broken and thus no radical changes are usually expected.

Google will move Gmail's interface more towards its Material Design design philosophy most likely familiar from Android. This means turning some buttons into round bubbles and changing some colors, fonts and other minor elements.

Function-wise Gmail will retain everything you've gotten used to, and the bulk of options should be in their own usual places.

Leak doesn't have information when this update would be released but it might be as soon as Google I/O next month. Learn more about the leaked update at Android Authority.

AfterDawn: News

Google to buy Nokia's new airplane LTE technology?

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 11 Apr 2018 9:43

Google to buy Nokia's new airplane LTE technology? Google is in talks with Nokia to buy their air-to-ground LTE technology, Bloomberg reports. According to the information acquired by Bloomberg, Google's parent company Alphabet wants to expand its current ISP service to new markets.

Nokia has developed a technology called A2G (air-to-ground) which uses mobile broadband connections to connect airplanes to ground cell towers. This means that you don't have to bounce the connections off of satellites. It improves upon both speed and latency of the connection on planes that traditionally use satellites for internet connectivity.

Google has been looking into bringing fast internet connections to flights. Currently the market leader is Gogo Inflight Internet operated by Chicago-based Gogo.

The search giant has been looking for ways to connect people of the world in myriad of ways. One of these is of course Google Fiber, which has been expanding slowly but surely, but also cross-ISP service Profect Fi as well as more experimental connectivity advancements in Project Loon with high-altitude balloons.


AfterDawn: News

AfterDawn's official Android app updated

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 11 Apr 2018 1:40

AfterDawn's official Android app updated AfterDawn's own official Android app has been updated. The new version, v1.10, is now available.

After the initial launch of our own app, we've focused on fixing bugs that have crashed the app in certain cases. Thus, the new version is mostly a quick bugfix to known problems.

The app's stability rate has been bit over 99 percent, but we obviously aim to make the app as stable as possible.

Furthermore, the new version also improves both, search and "news by tag" listings, making them "infinite". Being infinite means that once you reach the bottom of the news list, the app will load more (older) content for the results, allowing you to search through our entire news database of 19 years.

The app is free, doesn't require any specific persmissions and includes all of our news ever released - ever since 1999.

Get it now:

AfterDawn app for Android

AfterDawn: News

Googles upcoming Android TV device revealed in pictures and specs

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 10 Apr 2018 13:09

Googles upcoming Android TV device revealed in pictures and specs Google only really sells one type of TV product at this moment, albeit in a couple variations. That is of course the immensely popular Chromecast streaming dongle we all know and love.

However, other manufacturers already offer perhaps a more Google-y TV experience than Chromecast already. That is due to the fact that Google has offered its Android TV platform for manufacturers since its inception alongside a now discontinued Nexus Player.

However, Google has been rumored to be releasing a new Android TV product, and that is exactly what we've got for you today. The US regulatory body for communications, FCC, has revealed a product by the name of 4K ATV Stick, manufactured by a Chinese company called Shenzhen SEI Robotics.

Now, it could be just another Android TV device from a no-name Chinese company, but we believe, as do the hawkeyed Ausdroid, that this is in fact the upcoming Google device.

There's a few hints in the pictures provided by the FCC. First and foremost you can't miss the huge Google logo on the front, but perhaps even more importantly the device is fitted with the Google Assistant out of the box.


AfterDawn: News

Hackers remove Despacito from YouTube

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 10 Apr 2018 8:08

Hackers remove Despacito from YouTube Hackers that call themselves Prosox and Kuroi'shi have successfully hacked YouTube. They managed to remove the most successful music video of all time, Despacito.

Before removal, hackers managed to change the video's thumbnail images to gang members from the show Casa de Papel.

Despacito, a song by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee was the first video ever to reach more than 5 billion views in YouTube.

Also some other music videos were removed by the same group - all of them were added to YouTube's VEVO music video service.

AfterDawn: News

Apple Music is growing fast, hits another major milestone

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 05 Apr 2018 13:14

Apple Music is growing fast, hits another major milestone Just as Spotify entered the stock market in an unusual direct listing that determined its market value at nearly $30 billion, Apple has announced that its 2015 launched service hit a new milestone.

Apple Music, the streaming service launched at Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference in July of 2015, has reached 40 million subscribers. The company revealed the new subscriber count via Twitter, although from an usual source.

The tweet was posted by Steven Huon, the content boss of Apple France, and not by say Tim Cook, or Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, who revealed just a month earlier at SXSW that Apple Music had 38 million subscribers.

I doesn't necessarily mean Apple managed to rack two million new subscribers within a month – although it has been closing in on Spotify's subscriber acquisition numbers after a shaky start – although it is possible. It could be that Cue has a little bit older data at SXSW.

The world's largest streaming music service, Spotify, started the year with 70 million subscribers. The Swedish service has added 5 million subscribers every three months or so, which would make Spotify's user count somewhere around 75 million at this moment.


AfterDawn: News

WhatsApp sucks - Here's what they should fix

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 05 Apr 2018 11:00

WhatsApp sucks - Here's what they should fix WhatsApp is the de facto messaging app in most countries around the world. Only the United States, Canada and handful of other countries prefer Facebook Messenger over WhatsApp. In China, WeChat is the king, but for the rest of the world WhatsApp is the number one messaging app.

Alright, headline might be overstating the issues. WhatsApp doesn't suck, it is actually a brilliant little app. But it has problems that frustrate a lot of its users.

It is naive to think that people could simply switch to a better platform. Forcing all your relatives, coworkers, etc to switch to something else is next to impossible, when they also have their relatives, coworkers, and friends using the same app.

Thus, it is better to think what are the biggest problems with WhatsApp and hope that Facebook - who owns WhatsApp - does something about those issues.

So, my two cents on what I think are the biggest problems with WhatsApp:

Platform lock-in

While you are free to transfer almost all data between Android and iPhone nowadays, WhatsApp is the huge, even monstrous, exception to that rule. There's simply no reasonable way to move your thousands, even hundreds of thousands of WhatsApp messages from iPhone to Android and vice versa.


AfterDawn: News

Facebook admits: Yes, we read through your Messenger messages

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 05 Apr 2018 6:20

Facebook admits: Yes, we read through your Messenger messages Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has admitted in an interview with VOX that company scans through all private messages people send through Facebook Messenger.

Company tells that all the private messages are being scanned by automated systems to detect contents that violate Facebook's Terms of Service. Furthermore, some of the messages detected - or reported by users to Facebook - will be read by human moderators in order to see if the message violates Facebook's TOS.

According to Facebook, the very same tools and methods are used to monitor both, public Facebook posts and seemingly private Messenger discussions.

AfterDawn: News

Spotify was publicly listed with market cap of nearly $30 billion

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 04 Apr 2018 10:34

Spotify was publicly listed with market cap of nearly $30 billion The king of music streaming, Spotify, completed the public listing process yesterday. The company officially listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) where the market initially valued the company almost at $30 billion.

Spotify's CEO Daniel Ek wrote a blog post a day earlier thanking hard-working employees for the past years, but more importantly looked in to the future.

The company has been a huge influence in music industry as a whole. During its early years it was the target of artists, activists, and record companies who believed that especially the free tier is the essentially stealing from the artists.

Later Google and Apple have followed suit, and streaming music is overwhelmingly the choice of music media these days. And Spotify has turned millions of non-paying customers into real customers.

The company in fact boasts now a total of over 160 million listeners, of which more than 70 million are paying a monthly subscription fee. The worldwide customer base is unparalleled, although Apple Music is challenging Spotify's numbers in the US.

NYSE recognizes Spotify, that did an unusual direct listing instead of a fancier more traditional IPO, now with a ticker SPOT. Spotify opened with a stock price of $165.90 which is a quarter up from its initial reference price.


AfterDawn: News is shutting down

Written by Matti Vähäkainu @ 03 Apr 2018 14:49 is shutting down Google's URL shortener is shutting down, the company reports. The service that was introduced in 2009 is going to be killed off and you'll have to rely on and others.

Google has announced that come April 13th the service will not function anymore and you should switch to a different ULR shortening service. Among the more popular are aforementioned as well as

Don't worry though, this doesn't mean that URLs already shortened with Google's service won't work after next Friday. URLs will be working in the future as well but Google just simply doesn't allow you to make new shortened web addresses.

Google retains the console from which you can modify your links until March 2019 when that is shut down. Even after that you'll be able to use already created URLs.

The search giant is suggesting you move to what it calls Firebase Dynamic Links. Google introduces these new type of dynamic links in 2016 and you can check them out on the short below.


AfterDawn: News

Swedish telco Telia sells its share of Spotify

Written by Petteri Pyyny @ 30 Mar 2018 3:15

Swedish telco Telia sells its share of Spotify Swedish telecom giant Telia has sold its share of Spotify for appx. $272 million (SEK2.3 billion) to institutional investors.

Both companies originate from Sweden and Telia was one of the oldest partners of Spotify, signing up to an exclusive deal back in 2009 to offer Spotify Premium to its customers across the globe. Telia invested $115 million in Spotify in June 2015.

As Spotify has filed for an IPO, Telia decided to sell its shares.

Source: Telia press release

AfterDawn: News

Tim Cook criticizes Facebook over privacy issues

Written by James Delahunty @ 29 Mar 2018 8:05

Tim Cook criticizes Facebook over privacy issues 'We could make a ton of money if we monetized our customer... we've elected not to do that," Tim Cook.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has weighed in on the response to the Cambridge Analytica story by criticizing Facebook's use of its users' private data. During an interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes and Recode's Kara Swisher, which will air on MSNBC soon, Cook suggested that Facebook should have regulated itself properly.

Cook was asked what he would do now if he was Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, to which he simply insisted that he would not be in this situation in the first place.

"We've never believed that these detailed profiles of people, that have incredibly deep personal information that is patched together from several sources, should exist," Cook reportedly said, warning such deep information on users can be exploited by advertisers and can even be used "against democracy."

While Cook admits that he usually gravitates toward no regulation because of unintended consequences, he believes that regulation of how firms like Facebook use data is necessary. In Apple's case, the customer is not the product, even though Cook admits the firm could make a lot more money if that was the case.


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