Microsoft Pushes Intel 'Haswell' Microcode Update to Harden Against - [security]
06:13 PM EDT - Oct,20 2019 - post a comment
Microsoft started deploying microcode updates to some of Intel's older Core, Pentium, and Celeron processor generations through Windows Update. The latest Cumulative Update packages chronicled under "KB4497165" apply to machines running Intel's 4th generation Core "Haswell" processors, and low-power Pentium and Celeron chips based on "Apollo Lake," "Gemini Lake," "Valley View," and "Cherry View" microarchitectures.
The microcode update provides firmware-level hardening against four major variants of the MDS class of security vulnerabilities, namely CVE-2019-11091 (MDS Uncacheable Memory), CVE-2018-12126 (Microarchitectural Store Buffer Data Sampling), CVE-2018-12127 (Microarchitectural Load Port Data Sampling), and CVE-2018-12130 (Microarchitectural Fill Buffer Data Sampling).
This 'Invisibility Cloak' Technology Is Mind-Boggling - [technology]
07:04 AM EDT - Oct,19 2019 - post a comment
Harry Potter's invisibility cloak appears closer to reality as Canadian camouflage manufacturer Hyperstealth Biotechnology has applied for patents on its Quantum Stealth material.
The inexpensive and paper-thin technology works by bending light around a target to either alter its position or make it vanish altogether, leaving only the background visible. It is touted to be able to obscure the positions of heavy artillery, ground troops or even entire buildings from certain viewpoints.
Windows 10 v1903 and 1909 CPU requirements - [briefly]
01:19 PM EDT - Oct,18 2019 - post a comment
Microsoft is ready to release its next feature update for Windows 10, the November 2019 Update. As usual, the company has updated its processor requirements
for the new version, but there are some surprises in there. For one thing, it retroactively changed the requirements for version 1903 while it was at it. It's a reasonable thing to do, since Windows 10 version 1909 is really just version 1903 with an enablement package to light up some new features. If 1909 supports certain new processors, then 1903 must support them as well.
On the Intel side of things, Microsoft updated them to say that they support 10th-generation Core processors, along with Xeon E-22xx. There's also support for Atom J4xxx/J5xxx and N4xxx/N5xxx, Celeron, and Pentium, although specific models of Celeron and Pentium aren't listed. On a side note, Intel 10th-gen is listed as Core i3/i5/i7/i9-10xxx, despite no 10th-gen Core i9 existing just yet.
In the AMD department, there's still support for the company's seventh-generation processors, including A-series, E-series, and FX-9000, along with Athlon 2xx, Opteron, and EPYC 7xxx. What's new for AMD is support for Ryzen 3xxx CPUs, where previously only Ryzen 2xxx processors were listed.
What's more interesting is the Qualcomm CPUs that are listed. Previously, version 1903 supported the Snapdragon 850, but that's removed and replaced with both the Snapdragon 855 and the Snapdragon 8cx. It's unclear if this is a misprint, but the Snapdragon 855 was never supposed to be a PC chipset; it's for smartphones. It's possible that Microsoft meant to write Snapdragon 850, which is a PC chipset that's based on the Snapdragon 845.
Intel Could Unveil First Discrete 10 nm GPUs in mid-2020 - [hardware]
04:20 AM EDT - Oct,18 2019 - post a comment
According to the sources close to DigiTimes
, Intel will unveil its first discrete 10 nm graphics cards named "Xe" very soon, with the first wave of Xe GPUs expected to arrive some time in 2020. Said to launch mid year, around July or August, Intel will start selling initial Xe GPU models of the long awaited product to consumers, in hope of gaining a share in the massive market using GPU for acceleration of all kinds of tasks.
Perhaps one of the most interesting notes DigiTimes reported is that "... Intel's GPUs have already received support from the upstream supply chain and has already been integrated into Intel's CPUs to be used in the datacenter and AI fields.", meaning that AIB partners already have access to first 10 nm graphics chips that are ready for system integration. First generation of Xe graphics cards will cover almost whole GPU market, including PC, datacenter, and AI applications where NVIDIA currently holds the top spot.
Get Observer and Alan Wake's American Nightmare for free - [gaming]
05:09 PM EDT - Oct,17 2019 - post a comment
The Epic Games Store is giving away not one, but two creepy games in time for Halloween - both Alan Wake's American Nightmare
are available for free from October 17 to October 24. The psychological horror games will replace Surviving Mars and its DLC as the free weekly content offered in the Epic Games Store.
Alan Wake's American Nightmare is a spin-off of the classic thriller Alan Wake. Much of the game is structured around an episode of Night Springs, an in-universe show that's an obvious homage to The Twilight Zone. Alan Wake's friend is asleep in a motel room while the show plays on the TV, and a narrator explains the action as it plays out. In the episode, Alan is trying to chase down his evil doppelganger, Mr. Scratch, but gets stuck in a time loop and must keep repeating his actions.
Observer is a cyberpunk horror game from Layers of Fear developer Bloober Team that stars Rutger Hauer (you know, the guy from Blade Runner). It's set in a futuristic Poland, where you play as Daniel Lazarski, a detective who can hack people's brain implants in order to interrogate them. When Daniel receives an unexpected call from his estranged son, a fragmented, trippy mystery lays itself out before you.
Free Game Collection
will take its place, offering
Layers of Fear
at no charge.
PCI-Express Gen 6.0 Specification to Finalize by 2021 - [briefly]
05:23 AM EDT - Oct,16 2019 - post a comment
With 64 Gbps bandwidth per lane, 256 Gbps in x4, and a whopping 1 Tbps in x16 (128 GB/s per direction), PCI-Express 6.0 will debut in 2021 as 5G adoption hits critical mass in markets across the globe, to support server nodes, high-bandwidth network infrastructure, and lighting fast I/O for HPC and AI applications. Development of the new standard is already underway, with the specification having achieved a pre-release version 0.3, according to the PCI-SIG, the body that develops and maintains the PCI IP.
Further development, prototyping, and testing of the standard will run through 2020 as drafts of the standard are dispatched to interested parties. With the specification published in 2021, the first devices implementing it could arrive the following year. Granted, very few devices need 1 Tbps bandwidth, but the exercise of doubling bandwidth every 3 or so years has its maximum impact on devices that only have wiring for one PCIe lane, and directly impacts bandwidth of other I/O specifications that are derived from PCIe, such as USB, Thunderbolt, CXL, etc.
Data for a whopping 26M stolen payment cards leaked in hack of fraud b - [security]
05:30 PM EDT - Oct,15 2019 - post a comment
A thriving online bazaar selling stolen payment card data has been hacked in a heist that leaked the records for more than 26 million cards, KrebsOnSecurity reported
on Tuesday. The 26 million figure isn't significant only to the legitimate consumers and businesses who own the stolen cards or the financial institutions that issued them. Fortunately for the card owners, the database is now in the hands of affected financial institutions, who can invalidate and replace the cards.
The number, therefore, is perhaps a bigger deal because it represents a significant fraction of the world's stolen-card inventory. Krebs said that Gemini Advisory, a company that monitors dozens of underground markets trafficking stolen card data, currently tracks a total of 87 million credit and debit card records. The haul of 26 million cards means that about a third of that supply has been taken out of circulation in a single swipe.
The hacked market is called BriansClub, a site available at BriansClub[.]at that, for years, has imitated Krebs' site and likeness. The data taken in the hack shows that BriansClub acquired 1.7 million cards in 2015, 2.9 million in 2016, 4.9 million in 2017, 9.2 million in 2018, and 7.6 million in the first eight months of this year. Most of the pilfered data is composed of "dumps," the term card thieves use to describe data that's stored on the magnetic stripe of payment cards. The stolen dumps can be transferred to new cards that crooks use to buy electronics, gift cards, and other large-ticket items from big-box stores. An analysis based on how many of the cards had expiration dates in the future suggests that more than 14 million of the leaked records could still be valid.
Streaming Game Services Launching - [briefly]
01:10 PM EDT - Oct,15 2019 - post a comment
Google today announced that its Stadia game-streaming service will launch on November 19th
. Separately, Microsoft has formally launched a public preview
of its xCloud game streaming service, starting with Android.
Stadia Founder's Edition will start arriving on gamers' doorsteps on November 19, 2019. If you were one of the first gamers who pre-ordered and have received your Founder's Editions, you'll be able to buy and play your favorite games beginning at 9AM PST/5PM BST/6PM CET on November 19. You can play Red Dead Redemption 2, Mortal Kombat 11, Kine, and more on your TV, laptop, desktop, and select tablets and phones.
Whether you ordered Stadia Founder's Edition or Premiere Edition, you'll have three months of Stadia Pro, with access to Destiny 2: The Collection. Using the included Chromecast Ultra and Stadia Controller, you'll be gaming in up to 4K HDR with 5.1 surround sound when playing on your TV. For any questions on what devices are supported, broadband internet connection requirements, and the details on Stadia Pro, visit stadia.com.
Stadia Founder's Editions and Stadia Premiere Editions will begin shipping in the same order that pre-orders were received. You'll get an email when your package ships, and soon after, will receive a code to activate your Stadia account and Stadia Pro.
Google Pixel 4 Uses RADAR to Read Hand Gestures - [mobile]
01:04 PM EDT - Oct,15 2019 - post a comment
Google has unveiled the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL
, its new own-brand flagship Android phones. The phones have Motion Sense, which uses a tiny RADAR sensor to read mid-air hand gestures, and power advanced face recognition for phone security. Google claims its face unlock is the fastest on the market, and requires no screen touch at all. This technology was first developed as Google's Project Soli. The OLED display supports an auto-adjusting refresh rate, up to 90 Hz. The Pixel 4 also reacts to squeeze gestures. The Pixel 4 comes with Google Recorder, which includes real-time, on-device voice recognition and dictation that produces searchable transcripts. The camera includes both standard (12 megapixel, f/1.7, 77-degree field of view) and telephoto (16 megapixel, 52-degree field of view) lenses, as well as multi-frame hi-res digital zoom. The improved HDR+ now supports live preview and dual exposure controls for greater creative control. An AI-powered white balance feature recognizes scene elements to provide better color. The improved portrait function uses both cameras. The new night mode supports astrophotography with long exposures up to 4 minutes. The larger XL model has a 6.3-inch QHD+ display and 3,700 battery, while the smaller model has a 5.7-inch FHD+ display and 2,800 mAh battery. Both models have a Snapdragon 855 processor, 6 GB of RAM, 64 or 128 GB of storage, and 18W fast charging. The Pixel 4 will be available from all major US carriers on October 24th, with pre-orders available today
. It will start at $799 ($899 for the XL) and come in Just Black, Clearly White, and Oh So Orange.
You can now play 2500 MS-DOS games in your browser for free - [gaming]
12:55 PM EDT - Oct,15 2019 - post a comment
Internet Archive has released a new update
, allowing you to play 2500 MS-DOS games on your browser for free. In case you didn't know, Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library that archives digital versions of old PC/MS-DOS games, books, audio recordings and videos.
According to the team, this latest update ranges from tiny recent independent productions to long-forgotten big-name releases from decades ago. Therefore, you can now play for free Mortal Kombat, Doom, Jurassic Park and Alone in the Dark. You can also find Shadow Warrior, Duke Nukem 3D, Redneck Rampage and more classic PC games.
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