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Daily updated technology news



Published: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:12:51 GMT

Last Build Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2018 23:11:32 GMT

 



PlayStation profiles now accessible from web browsersPlayStation profiles now accessible from web browsers

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:12:51 GMT

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'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.

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Tesla hacked to mine cryptocurrencyTesla hacked to mine cryptocurrency

Wed, 21 Feb 2018 17:11:23 GMT

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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.

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Apple updates devices to fix 'text bomb' bugApple updates devices to fix 'text bomb' bug

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 22:47:26 GMT

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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

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Samsung unveils record 30TB SSDSamsung unveils record 30TB SSD

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 22:38:46 GMT

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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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Intel's GPU driver update brings a boost to gamersIntel's GPU driver update brings a boost to gamers

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 14:35:00 GMT

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If you are a proper PC gamer then you consider Intel a CPU manufacturer and only a CPU manufacturer. However, obviously the company does a lot more and it includes GPUs.

However, the Intel GPUs are nothing to write home about in terms of gaming prowess, so you probably have ignored what they can do altogether. Obviously they are improving in performance year after year, and might even be able to run some less graphics intensive games.

Intel definitely believes that, and that is why they've released new drivers for their integrated graphics chips that includes optimization engine for games. The new v15.65 Windows drivers now come with a Graphics Control Panel, not entirely unlike Nvidia's GeForce Experience for example, that provides automatic game optimization.

Currently the feature is limited to Skylake, that is the 6th generation CPUs and integrated HD Graphics 620, and newer. According to PC World this includes the new AMD's Radeon Vega powered 8th gen Kaby Lake G setups which obviously are far better at gaming.

The feature is still in beta so results will most definitely vary but you should be able to use it for at least the following games: Battlefield 1, Battlefield 4, American Truck Simulator, Call of Duty WWII, Destiny 2, DOTA 2, Grand Theft Auto V, League of Legends, Overwatch, World of Tanks, Fortnite, Battle Royale, They Are Billions, Lost Sphear, Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, OK KO: Let's Play Heroes, Subnautica, Legrand Legacy, Tale of the Fatebounds, and Dragon Ball FighterZ.

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AfterDawn's own Android app releasedAfterDawn's own Android app released

Tue, 20 Feb 2018 11:45:54 GMT

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While many people prefer to read the news via browser, some prefer apps instead. Thus, we've finally released our own AfterDawn news app for Android.

Our app supports all Android versions starting from Android v4.4 and behaves in both landspace and portrait mode, on phones and larger tablets. This app is for news consumption only: you can browse and read our news - latest news or even the really, really old news items back to the 1990s.



For those of you who prefer to have a quick look at the headlines, we also have a widget (that comes in three different color themes: dark, light and transparent to suit your homescreen background) that displays the latest headlines from our site.

You can grab and test our App now:



Please note that you cannot comment to news articles via app as of now. This is a feature that we'll roll out later this year, after the first version's bugs have been eliminated, and after other improvements, based on feedback, have been implemented.

Features:
  • Browse through all AfterDawn's news (from 1999 to this day)
  • Multi-lingual (you can choose between our supported sites: Finnish, Dutch and three Finnish sites)
  • "Infinite scroll" - app simply keeps on loading more and more headlines to the list as you scroll down
  • News widget (three color themes: dark, light & transparent)
  • Push notifications
    • Can be turned off!
    • User can choose "silent hours" when push notifications wont be received


As the app is just fresh out of alpha, we'd appreciate direct feedback - let us know if there's anything you'd like to add to the app, have you found any bugs, etc. You can contact us directly or comment this story.

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Apple captures over half of global smartphone revenueApple captures over half of global smartphone revenue

Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:52:00 GMT

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Every year Apple takes home nearly every penny of global smartphone profits. Thanks to huge margins no one has been able to replicate, it only leaves crumbles to Samsung and others. Obviously Samsung is competing in number of smartphones but most of them are way cheaper and barely make them any money.

However, what are the actual revenue numbers? How far behind is Samsung, and others, in terms of pure monetary value of smartphones sold? Well, very far.

A new report from Strategy Analytics has revealed the revenues of last quarter of the 2016 fiscal year. The numbers are very much in favor of Apple, which shouldn't really be a surprise for the largest company in the world by market cap.

Apple racked a total of 51 percent or $61.4 billion of the historically large smartphone market revenue of $120.2 billion. As mentioned, the gap between Apple and the second place holder, Samsung, was very wide.

However, Samsung, like Huawei on third place, managed to enlarge their slices of the pie. Samsung's share was 15.7% and Huawei's 7% with $18.9 billion and $8.4 billion respectively.

Everything comes down to the average prices really. As a typical smartphone manufacturer gets away with $200, maybe $300, average price, Apple manages to sell a phone with the average price of 800 dollars.

Even though smartphone prices have been increasing overall, Apple remains far above others and it seems like there is no touching the Cupertino giant. Obviously a new model with a starting price of $999 has only made catching up impossible.

However, one thing to note is that even though the previous quarter set another record for global smartphone revenue, we did see a dip on units sold. Thus the global increase in prices, which amounted to 18 percent, was the single factor that kept sales numbers growing.

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Chrome's own ad blocker is now live - and this is how it worksChrome's own ad blocker is now live - and this is how it works

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 21:56:43 GMT

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Google's Chrome web browser started blocking ads on February 15, 2018. It comes into effect for all of its billions of users, without any extensions, plug-ins or settings to tweak with. Ad blocking for all Chrome users, on by default.

This might sound weird given that Google is the largest ad company in the world: almost all of its massive revenue comes from ads. But there's a logic behind all of this. Google figured out that the reason why Joe Average ever installs a third-party ad blocker is because of the annoying ads, and not simply because Joe hates ads in general. He hates those that obstruct his web browsing and/or annoy him. The problem is that most third-party ad blockers, when installed, block everything from all the websites in the world. So you get frustrated because the hobby site you're visiting has auto-play, audio-on video ads in every corner and install a third-party ad blocker. The result? You block every ad from every site you visit. Sure, you could adjust the settings to allow ads through for specific sites, but only a handful of people ever do that.

Google's thinking is this: If we can remove the annoying ads, people will be happy with the remaining, non-obstructive ads. So, they developed their own ad blocker and built it directly into Chrome.

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some of the ad formats Chrome will block now


Chrome complies with the so-called Better Ads Standard. They list 12 ad types that are most hated and should be blocked. If Google detects any of such ad formats on particular domain, it informs the domain owner and gives them 30 days to fix the issue. If domain owner fails to make appropriate adjustments, the domain will be blacklisted until the problem has been fixed. This means that all ads from that domain will be blocked, even when only some of the ads don't comply with the Better Ads Standard.

It is a major threat to get website owners to clean their sites and remove the "banned" ad formats as quickly as possible. Such formats include auto-play video with sounds on, pop-up ads prestitial ads in mobile.

Ad blocking is now live on both desktop computers and on Android devices.

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Apple promises to fix the crash inducing message bug "soon"Apple promises to fix the crash inducing message bug "soon"

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 19:23:00 GMT

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A few days ago a new, and fairly severe, iOS bug was revealed. The problem occurs system wide but especially plagues the messaging and email apps, and crashes either the app itself or the entire operating system.

The problem is rather simple: iOS receives a text message, instant message or an email with a symbol from the Telugu language, a language spoken in India by some tens of millions, and can't compute it.

If the symbol is shown in a notification it will crash the phone and you'll have to reboot. If it is shown on iMessage, WhatsApp, or Gmail for example, it crashes the app and you'll have to reboot the app and somehow get rid of the message.

Now, that seems like a simple fix since it only happens with this specific symbol. And there is a fairly simple solution: iOS 11.3. However, the newest version of iOS is only available for the beta testers currently, but fortunately a fix will be coming "soon" according to Apple, The Verge reports.

Apple is not expediting iOS 11.3, though, which includes plenty of other updates that are still under development. Instead you'll be getting a midway update, perhaps something like 11.2.6, which would be the slightest update over current 11.2.5.

So at this point the only question really is how long it will take Apple to release the fix. Unfortunately there is no other answer except for sooner than iOS 11.3.

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Apple to replace iPhone's back camera with TrueDepth?Apple to replace iPhone's back camera with TrueDepth?

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 16:35:00 GMT

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Apple's latest iteration of iPhone, or the greatest one should say since iPhone X and iPhone 8 were released simultaneously, utilizes a new type of camera setup. However, it's not the back camera, mostly used for photographs that was significantly improved.

The front-facing camera, the selfie shooter, was upgraded with never-before-seen technology that Apple's marketing team calls TrueDepth. It allowed Apple to get away with the fingerprint sensor, Touch ID, and rely solely on identification via facial recognition.

Face ID couldn't have been done without the innovations behind the TrueDepth camera. Obviously there are face recognition implementations that are available on Android, and are faster too, but they aren't nearly as accurate, or more importantly secure.

You can, however, use the 3D camera tech for other things too. Forget that Apple decided to showcase it by introducing animojis, the animated emojis that follow your facial motions, there is so much more you could do with a 3D mapping camera.

And thus analysts believe that Apple is going to expand the TrueDepth capabilities to iPhone's back camera, Apple Insider reports. The Cupertino-based company is said to be developing new versions of TrueDepth camera that could bring for example AR experiences to a new level.

As TrueDepth relies on several components in addition to the camera itself, you'll need to make room for additional sensors and projectors next to the camera. At least a laser dot projector is probably necessary to create the 3D map.

It could be that this would also mean that dual camera setup would be given up. Something Google has shown to be wholly unnecessary, even for Portrait mode. Then again, if you remember, years ago 3D cameras were a thing on Android phones and they only relied on a dual camera setup.

Analysts at Barclays are not convinced that Apple would bring the new technology to iPhones this year, however. According to them, we'll have to wait at least until 2019, which makes it iPhone XII, right?

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Sony cuts $100 from PSVR bundlesSony cuts $100 from PSVR bundles

Fri, 16 Feb 2018 09:58:36 GMT

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Sony is seeking similar success it had with its holiday PlayStation VR discounts with a new temporary price cut.

PlayStation VR prices are being cut by $100 temporarily as Sony seeks to clear out winter stocks. The promotion will run from February 18 to March 3. Under the deal you can purchase the standalone PlayStation VR headset for $199.99 during the time period.

You can also purchase the PlayStation VR Doom VFR Bundle, including the PlayStation VR headset, PlayStation Camera, the PS VR Demo Disc 2.0 and the Doom VFR Blu-ray Disc. The bundle would set you back $299.99 MSRP.

Alternatively, you can get the PlayStation VR Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim VR Bundle with the PS VR headset, PlayStation Camera, two PlayStation Move controllers, the PS VR Demo Disc 2.0 and Skyrim VR (+ addons). During the promo the bundle will sell for $349.99 MSRP.

There are also reports that you can pick up the Gran Turismo Sport bundle for just $199.99, but availability would be an issue if true.

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Microsoft to add 'Ultimate Perfomance' mode to Windows 10Microsoft to add 'Ultimate Perfomance' mode to Windows 10

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 18:51:00 GMT

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Microsoft has posted another update on its official Windows blog about future Windows 10 builds. The post reveals new emojis but also touches on what is a new power scheme for workstations.

The new mode found in the Power settings of Windows 10 is called Ultimate Performance, and does exactly what you would imagine a setting by that name would do. It makes sure that the operating systems takes advantage of as much of your hardware as possible. Currently Windows 10 includes a High Performance power mode but the new mode will further improve efficacy.

According to Microsoft, Ultimate Performance is developed from High Performance by "eliminate micro-latencies associated with fine grained power management techniques" which means that it could likely result in consuming more power.

Unfortunately not everyone will be able to use the new setting as it is limited to a single Windows 10 version. Ultimate Performance can be used only in Windows 10 Pro for Workstations.

Microsoft says that the update is due somewhere in March or April.

Windows 10 Pro for Workstations on tarkoitettu ympäristöihin, joissa käsitellään paljon isoja data-aineistoja ja tehdään vaativaa laskentaa edellyttäviä tehtäviä. Kotiolosuhteisiin tai edes pelikoneisiin sitä ei ole tarkoitettu lainkaan.

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Hyped AR startup Magic Leap talks priceHyped AR startup Magic Leap talks price

Thu, 15 Feb 2018 16:37:01 GMT

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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.

The Creator Edition, that was revealed in December, is the company's midrange model so there will be an even higher-end version available. However, Abovitz did not reveal how expensive that is. You can draw comparisons towards Hololens, though, that costs around $3000.

That seems awfully lot for another gadget, right? Well, Abovitz believes that this will replace computers, tablets, TVs, and perhaps even smartphones for many, and for that reason they are willing to pay the big bucks.

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EA offers 2008 classic, Dead Space, for freeEA offers 2008 classic, Dead Space, for free

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 08:15:00 GMT

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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.

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You can download Dead Space from here.

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

Wed, 14 Feb 2018 07:26:22 GMT

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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.

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