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AfterDawn.com

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Favicon'The Last of Us Part II' delayed due to COVID-19 3 Apr 2020, 5:17 am

'The Last of Us Part II' delayed due to COVID-19

The hotly anticipated sequel to The Last of US has been pushed back due to the ongoing pandemic.

Naughty Dog revealed that the sequel will not make its May 29 release date and has been pushed back indefinitely. The reason for the delay is due to the coronavirus pandemic gripping the globe and the negative consequences it would have for a smooth rollout, and not because of any development delays.

In fact, Naughty Dog said they are in the midst of fixing the final bugs and development is almost complete.

"We were faced with the reality that due to logistics beyond our control, we couldn't launch The Last of Us Part II to our satisfaction," the developer said in a statement.

"We want to make sure everyone gets to play The Last of Us Part II around the same time, ensuring that we're doing everything possible to preserve the best experience for everyone. This meant delaying the game until such a time where we can solve these logistic issues."

A message from us about the delay of The Last of Us Part II: pic.twitter.com/aGsSRfmJ8a

-- Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) April 2, 2020

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FaviconFacebook launches Messenger Desktop client for Windows, Mac OS 3 Apr 2020, 5:14 am

Facebook launches Messenger Desktop client for Windows, Mac OS

Facebook has finally released a Desktop client of its Messenger service for Windows and Mac OS systems.

The release of the Messenger Desktop client comes as Facebook reports a 100% increase in people using their desktop browser for audio and video calling on Messenger. Now, users can break out of the messenger and use the native client instead.

It is available from the Windows Store for Microsoft Windows, and the Mac App Store for Apple Mac devices. Being only available from the Windows Store means only Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 will be compatible with the app.

Key Features of the Messenger Desktop client:
  • Group video calls on a larger screen. Stay in touch with family and friends, join a workout, or host a virtual happy hour.

  • Easy to connect. You don't need to know someone's email or phone number since all your Facebook friends have Messenger.

  • Multitasking. Your chats are easily accessible, and you can pop in and out of the app while doing other things on your computer.

  • Notifications. You can receive notifications for new messages, so you can quickly find the chat you're looking for. But you're in control -- you can choose to mute and snooze notifications.

  • Chats sync across mobile and desktop. You'll never miss a call or message no matter what device you're using.

  • Everything you love about Messenger on a bigger screen. Including Dark Mode and GIFs.
Download Messenger Desktop for Microsoft Windows from the Windows Store.

Download Messenger Desktop for Mac OS from the Mac App Store.

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FaviconCOVID-19: HBO will stream The Wire, The Sopranos, Veep, McMillions, more for free 3 Apr 2020, 5:11 am

COVID-19: HBO will stream The Wire, The Sopranos, Veep, McMillions, more for free

Some of HBO's most popular shows, documentaries, and a selection of movies will be available to stream for free without subscription from today.

Full series of several major TV shows including the Sopranos will be available to stream for free during the COVID-19 emergency. he content will be available through HBO NOW and HBO GO, but only for users in the United States at this time.

Viewers will be able to stream the content from April 3.

So far the confirmed freebie list includes:

TV Shows
  • Ballers
  • Barry
  • Silicon Valley
  • Six Feet Under
  • The Sopranos
  • Succession
  • True Blood
  • Veep
  • The Wire
Documentaries
  • The Apollo
  • The Case Against Adnan Syed
  • Elvis Presley: The Searcher
  • The Inventor
  • Jane Fonda in Five Acts
  • I Love You, Now Die
  • McMillion$
  • True Justice
  • United Skates
  • We Are the Dream
Movies
  • Isn't it Romantic?
  • The LEGO Movie 2
  • SMALLFOOT
  • POKÉMON Detective Pikachu


via: Engadget

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FaviconZoom apologizes and says it's fixing security and privacy issues 3 Apr 2020, 5:09 am

Zoom apologizes and says it's fixing security and privacy issues

Zoom has apologized for security and privacy concerns that have arisen as it explodes in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Executive Eric Yuan wrote a lengthy post on the company's blog apologizing for the lapses in privacy and security that have come to light in the past few weeks. During that time frame, Zoom has seen unanticipated staggering growth as more people rely on video conferencing for work and education during the coronavirus pandemic.

In December, Zoom experienced a maximum of ten million meeting participants. Now with around half of humanity under some kind of social restrictions to slow the COVID-19 spread, that number has exploded to 200 million.

However, Zoom has been plagued by privacy questions and security issues. For starters, Zoom was found to be sending data to Facebook from users, even if they weren't Facebook users. Hosts of meetings were also able to track attendees.

Additionally, it did not offer end-to-end encryption despite saying otherwise. On top of those privacy concerns, there were also some security issues including Zoombombing.

Zoombombing is the practice of uninvited guests joining video conferences and becoming disruptive. They either get into the conferences by gaining access to a link sent to those invited, or they would guess nine-digit ID codes to find live conferences.

Zoombombing can be easily avoided by password protecting a meeting.

Read More: blog.zoom.us

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FaviconWhatsApp photo sending doesn't work now - for anyone 1 Apr 2020, 11:33 pm

WhatsApp photo sending doesn't work now - for anyone

WhatsApp is experiencing a major outage with its service as of now. Sending photos doesn't work, whether the user is using Android or iPhone device.

The sending itself seems to "work", but recipient gets only blurred version of the image with an option to download the picture. Once user clicks the download symbol, WhatsApp throws an error about download failing.

Problems started about 21:00 UTC on 1st of April and haven't been fixed as of now (21:30 UTC).


Current WhatsApp status at DownDetector

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FaviconSprint and T-Mobile merger has been finalized 1 Apr 2020, 9:12 pm

Sprint and T-Mobile merger has been finalized

Sprint and T-Mobile have been working on a merger for ages, and now it has finally become reality.

As far back as 2014, T-Mobile and Sprint have been rumored to be in talks about merging the companies. The negotiations have gone back and forth, been called off, and then again resumed.

In June of 2018, the companies finally agreed with the terms of the merger. Now, after nearly two years, the finalization of the deal has indeed happened.

On April 1, 2020, T-Mobile and Sprint have become one. T-Mobile press release says: "T-Mobile US Inc. announced today that it has officially completed its merger with Sprint Corporation to create the New T-Mobile, a supercharged Un-carrier that will deliver a transformative 5G network."

T-Mobile will still be called T-Mobile and stock ticker is still $TMUS. However, CEO is no longer going to be the iconic John Legere, even though he was responsible for T-Mobile's very effective turnaround which included passing Sprint as the number three carrier in the United States.

After completing the transition, Legere is no longer the CEO and the baton has been passed to former T-Mobile COO Mike Sievert. Legere was named CEO in 2012, after which he immediately turned T-Mobile's faltering market share into a upward trajectory.

His Un-carrier branding seems to live on during the new era of T-Mobile, although we probably won't see such colorful public persona from Sievert.

In terms of market share, the new T-Mobile will become truly the third big player in wireless space. According to estimates it will overtake Verizon in subscriber count and be number two behind just AT&T.

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FaviconBox office figures are down 100% due to COVID-19 1 Apr 2020, 7:45 pm

Box office figures are down 100% due to COVID-19

The current virus outbreak has affected every single industry in one way or another. Most of it is in a very bad way, very few have gotten off scot free or managed to make the best out of it.

However, there's probably not many businesses that have had it as bad as movie theaters. Movie studios have been either postponing their hit movies or releasing them online when they premiere. Even old school piracy solutions have made a comeback to cash in on the situation.

Now, BoxOfficeMojo.com has revealed the latest box office figures. According to their data the revenue of week 12 at the U.S. box office was $5,179. You read that right, five grand.

To give you some perspective, last year's same week 12 generated a total of $204 million at the box office. Just one percentage of that would be $204,000, which we weren't even close to.

In fact, the revenue has dropped 99.99997%, so we'll just call it 100%.

The previous week's were not nearly as bad, although the trend was there. Week 10 generated $134 million and week 11 $58 million.

Now we just need figures from Netflix, and others, to see how much we've all spent time streaming.

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FaviconSamsung to stop manufacturing LCD panels entirely 1 Apr 2020, 6:21 pm

Samsung to stop manufacturing LCD panels entirely

Samsung has been among the leading manufacturer of display panels for a long time. Creating panels for TVs, smartphones, tablets, computers, and other devices with several different technologies.

LCD panels have been the go to option when it comes to large and inexpensive displays. Most televisions to this day use a LCD panel due to it being simple and cheap to produce with relatively good spepcifications.

However, OLEDs and other more advanced display technologies have taken much of the market share. Smartphones, especially the ones in the premium segment, rely most of the time on OLED screens for their better power consumption and black level properties.

This is one of the reasons Samsung Display has decided to no longer produce LCD panels and focus on OLED and other technologies.

According to Samsung will run down both of its LCD lines, one in South Korea and one in China, by the end of the year. Much of their reasoning is behind LCD panel economics, which doesn't leave them much of a profit.

This is a massive move from the display giant, and means that their entire QLED TV lineup is going to go through a transition. QLED, although close to OLED in name only, is a backlit LCD TV.

Samsung will move the lineup to quantum dot technology under OLED panels, which should provide improvement over the display quality. Samsung's QLED TV have been competing against the likes of LG's OLED TV's and in many terms have lost by a long shot due to lesser LCD technology.

LG Display has previously announced that it would stop manufacturing LCD displays in South Korea.

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FaviconOnePlus reveals: OnePlus 8 soon unveiled after postponing it three times due to COVID-19 31 Mar 2020, 10:52 pm

OnePlus reveals: OnePlus 8 soon unveiled after postponing it three times due to COVID-19

The one smartphone manufacturer that seems to be on the uptick in recent years is OnePlus. The Chinese manufacturer has managed to grab a sizable audience with reasonable priced high-end smartphones.

The company is well positioned in the West where Huawei has recently struggled due to issues with the U.S. government and not having Google apps, and many other Chinese companies don't have much of a presence.

Now, OnePlus is preparing for the launch of their most recent smartphone.

For a while now, Chinese factories have largely returned to normal production capacity, and ramping up production for OnePlus 8 launch should be no longer a problem.

In a series of tweets earlier this week the company CEO Pete Lau reveals that they've already had to postpone the launch three times due to current situation. However, "now, we must move forward," he said.

Yesterday, the company announced that the upcoming OnePlus 8 Series, which according to leaks – like the leaked picture above – includes OnePlus 8 and OnePlus 8 Pro just like the predecessors, is going to be revealed on April 14.

Some of the specs have been spoiled by the company themselves. They have a tendency to reveal the specs slowly leading to the unveiling of the device, and this year seems no different.

OnePlus 8 Series will include things like Snapdragon 865, UFS 3.0 storage, LPDDR5 RAM, and up to 120 Hz display.

The unveiling will be streamed, and there's no physical launch party, as expected.


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FaviconNot everything is down due to COVID-19, Microsoft Teams is up to 44 million users, up 775% in Italy 31 Mar 2020, 9:11 pm

Not everything is down due to COVID-19, Microsoft Teams is up to 44 million users, up 775% in Italy

The coronavirus outbreak has has tremendous effects to global economy, job security, and, most of all, health. Airlines and cruise lines are in deep trouble, closed stores means massive furloughs, and hotels are empty.

Not everything is down for the count, though. As many of you probably know, video conferencing company Zoom is booming, Amazon and Walmart is hiring more and more, and VPN usage has surged. Another company that is benefiting from the quarantine is Microsoft.

Microsoft has revealed that their Teams app has seen massive spike in users, now with over 44 million users who've generated over 900 million meeting and calling minutes each day over the week.

What's more, Virtual Desktop usage has increased more than threefold, and in Italy, which is hit the hardest by COVID-19, Teams' calling and meeting monthly users went up 775 percent.

According to the company, there hasn't been any significant disruptions even with the massive increase in traffic.

It it worth to note that originally Microsoft claimed in the blog post that the entire Azure cloud traffic had increased 775%. This was not the case, and the company corrected it to Teams traffic in Italy, which has some of the strictest quarantine policies.

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FaviconApple loosens in-house security measures due to COVID-19 31 Mar 2020, 6:11 pm

Apple loosens in-house security measures due to COVID-19

Apple is known for their unrelenting product security and secrecy. Ever after one of the employees lost a prototype iPhone in a bar, Apple has been extra careful about their products leaking.

Of course leaks still happen but not allowing to take prototypes home means that there's been fewer lost prototypes, for sure.

However, the current COVID-19 outbreak has thrown a spanner in the works of Apple's prototype security. Since everyone is encouraged to work from home, it also means that they've had to allow taking prototypes with them.

As said, normally this wouldn't be allowed, unless you are an executive of the highest caliber. Now, even lesser development staff can take the devices home and potentially cause some issues to what Apple hopes is a impenetrable veil of secrecy around its upcoming products.

Apple hasn't quite given every average Joe the access to prototypes, though. Only a select personnel can still take home the precious development samples.

Accordingt to rumors, currently in development are at least a new HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, iPad, Apple Watch, iMac, and of course the 5G enabled iPhone. In addition, Apple is of course developing updates to each of its operating systems.

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FaviconApple factories are running full steam but people aren't buying iPhones 31 Mar 2020, 5:52 pm

Apple factories are running full steam but people aren't buying iPhones

World's leading contract manufacturer Foxconn has been struggling to keep up with production during the past few months. Factories in China have mostly returned to business as usual, but demand is still a problem.

Foxconn's profits are undoubtedly going to sink, after all they did that already last year, after a global crisis due to COVID-19. Apple is among the largest customers, and iPhone demand determines much of the profits both Apple and Foxconn can make.

An economic downturn affects nearly every industry in the same fashion. When people don't have excess money, a thousand dollar smartphone is much harder sell.

Apple has made up to 18 percent less orders to Foxconn in early 2020 compared to last year, Reuters reports. The sources also claim that Apple might be slowing down the production of upcoming 5G capable iPhone, although release could still be on schedule.

The demand for new iPhones is currently not there, and apparently Apple estimates that it won't be still there in time for the new iPhone, due in September.

COVID-19 is still running rampant in most of the world, and in many places still going to ramp up. It is unclear how long the economic woes will shrink the demand.

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FaviconIBM's new online tool shows COVID-19 cases by county 26 Mar 2020, 2:17 pm

IBM's new online tool shows COVID-19 cases by county

IBM and The Weather Channel have released a new online tool for tracking COVID-19 cases around the world. The Weather Channel, which is owned by IBM, hosts the service.

The data used in the visualization is provided by World Health Organization WHO and Johns Hopkins University, and it includes confirmed cases and deaths for most of the world.

There are, however, differences in accuracy. The U.S. has the best data available, and you can browse it in a separate section by county. Worldwide data only has country-specific numbers.

Out of the seven counties with most reported cases, the state of New York has eight of them with Washington and Lousiana each one.

According to IBM, offering the most accurate data available on the outbreak ensures that people grasp the magnitude of the issue which in itself helps to fight the spread.

As of yet, IBM and The Weather Channel have not released tools that try to model the spread, which might be a more complicated issued than predicting the weather.

Both The Weather Channel website (accelerator.weather.com) as well the mobile app provide the statistics.

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FaviconApple considering postponing iPhone launch due to COVID-19 26 Mar 2020, 2:02 pm

Apple considering postponing iPhone launch due to COVID-19

Coronavirus has put a wrench in a lot of companies futures, and even though electronics giants aren't the ones most susceptible to market volatility, there are certainly implications to the Apples and Googles of the world.

Especially since China was hit the hardest last couple of months, due to the novel coronavirus originating in the country, and that's where much of the world's electronics manufacturing is located in. Now, China has mostly returned to business as usual, but aforementioned implications are still to be fully felt.

Apple is among the companies that might see changes due to manufacturing issues. According to Nikkei Asia Review, Apple is considering delaying their upcoming iPhone. Postponing the launch by months could be in the cards, although it might not necessarily be due to production issues, as was previously suggested.

Cupertino giant fears that markets haven't recovered enough by September, and people would not the phone as much as the company expects.

According to the source, the decision hasn't been made yet, and there's no launch date as of yet for iPhone 12. However, don't be surprised if you can't upgrade your iPhone as early as last year.

For the last nearly a decade Apple has announced their new iPhones in September. The last time it happened later than that was iPhone 4s, which was introduced on October 14, 2011.

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FaviconApple is planning to reopen some of their stores after next week? 25 Mar 2020, 6:05 pm

Apple is planning to reopen some of their stores after next week?

Coronavirus pandemic is undoubtedly going to be a problem still for weeks if not months, even with very strict social distancing and curfew policies. However, Apple seems to be fairly confident that it can soon open some if its stores.

Apple senior VP of Retail + People Deirdre O'Brien has sent a memo to employees saying that some of the stores are looking to open as soon as early April, VentureBeat reports. Reopening the stores that were closed indefinitely just a week ago so soon seems premature, but perhaps Apple has some information we don't.

While President Trump was suggesting that he'd like to see more of the country open by Easter, he's also listening to his important aids, including Dr. Fauci, whether this is wise. Whether Apple's idea came from the president or not, is unclear.

There's obviously pressure for both Apple and the economy in general to open up as early as possible, but Apple also said it is prioritizing the health of employees and customers. This seems like a contradiction if indeed stores are opened after April 5.

This isn't set in stone, though. The estimate is going to be revisited next week, and every week after that, to make sure that right protocol is followed.

Apple stock hit October 2019 figures on Monday following a sizable plummet just like most of the market. After the more than 30 percent decline it has made a slight comeback in past two days, although it should be clear that near term future trends are impossible to predict in these volatile times.

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