An anonymous reader writes: The USB Implementers Forum this week published the USB Audio Device Class 3.0 (direct download) specification, which standardizes audio over USB Type-C interface. The new spec enables hardware makers to eliminate traditional 3.5mm mini-jacks from their devices and use USB-C ports to connect headsets and other audio equipment. Makers of peripherals can also build their audio solutions, which use USB-C instead of traditional analog connectors. Developers of the standard hope that elimination of mini-jacks will help to make devices slimmer, smarter and less power hungry. As reported, the USB Audio Device Class 3.0 specification supports both analog and digital audio. Analog audio is easy to implement and it does not impact data transfers and other functionality of USB-C cables since it uses the two secondary bus (SBU) pins. The USB ADC 3.0 defines minimum interoperability across analog and digital devices in order to avoid confusion of end-users because of incompatibility. In fact, all ADC 3.0-compliant hosts should support the so-called headset adapter devices, which allow to connect analog headsets to USB-C. However, digital audio is one of the primary reasons why companies like Intel wanted to develop the USB-C audio tech on the first place, hence, expect them to promote it. According to the USB ADC 3.0 standard, digital USB-C headphones will feature special multi-function processing units (MPUs), which will, to a large degree, define the feature set and quality of headsets. The MPUs will handle host and sink synchronization (this is a key challenge for digital USB audio), digital-to-analog conversion, low-latency active noise cancellation, acoustic echo canceling, equalization, microphone automatic gain control, volume control and others. Such chips will also contain programmable amplifiers and pre-amplifiers, which are currently located inside devices. Besides, USB ADC 3.0-compatible MPUs will also support USB Audio Type-III and Type-IV formats (the latest compressed formats), but will retain compatibility with formats supported by ADC 1.0 and 2.0. Finally, among the mandated things set to be supported by USB-C Audio devices are new Power Domains (allows devices to put certain domains in sleep mode when not in use) as well as BADD (basic audio device definition) 3.0 features for saving power and simplified discovery and management of various audio equipment (each type of devices has its own BADD profile).
Billly Gates writes: Lenovo and Superfish are not the only companies who used the fake root SSL certificates by Komodia to spy and decrypt network traffic. Komodia advertises its products including a SSL-digestor to rid the obtrusive thing we call encryption and security. So far game accelerators are mentioned as some have seen these certs installed with Asus lan accelerator drivers.
Billly Gates writes: There was confusion during the Microsoft consumer preview of Windows 10 last month. Microsoft mentioned it was a free upgrade for one year for both Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users. What did the meaning of "free for one year" mean? It turns on the government paperwork for the trademark included references for operating systems in addition to other services like video on demand and extra software. Does this mean Microsoft plans to go the road of Adobe and allow only rentals to use your own computer?
An anonymous reader writes: News suggesting that Microsoft plans to offer Windows 10 upgrades for all its Windows Phone 8 devices broke today. “It’s our intention to enable a Windows 10 upgrade for Lumia Windows Phone 8 smartphones,” a Microsoft spokesperson told VentureBeat. “At this early stage in the development process, and given the vast portfolio of Windows devices worldwide, we can’t predict that all devices will be upgradeable, but it is our intention that the Lumia smartphone line be upgradeable to Windows 10.”
MojoKid writes: AMD has a new set of drivers coming in a couple of days that are poised to resolve a number of longstanding issues and enable a handful of new features as well, most notably support for Mantle. AMD's new Catalyst 14.1 beta driver is going to be the first publicly available driver from AMD that will support Mantle, AMD’s “close to the metal” API that will let developers wring additional performance from GCN-based GPUs. However, the new drivers will also add support for the HSA-related features introduced with the recently released Kaveri APU, and will reportedly fix the frame pacing issues associated with Radeon HD 7000 series CrossFire configurations. A patch for Battlefield 4 is due to arrive soon as well and AMD is claiming performance gains in excess of 40 percent in CPU limited scenarios but smaller gains in GPU-limited conditions, with average gains of 11 — 13 percent over all.
Nerval's Lobster writes: Retail giant Target continues to drastically downplay the impact of the massive data breach it suffered during December, even while admitting the number of customers affected is nearly twice as large as it had previously estimated. Target admitted today the massive data breach it suffered during the Christmas shopping season was more than twice as large and far more serious than previously disclosed. A Jan. 10 press release admits the number of customers affected by the second-largest corporate data breach in history had increased from 40 million to 70 million, and that the data stolen included emails, phone numbers, street addresses and other information absent from the stolen transactional data that netted thieves 40 million debit- and credit-card numbers and PINs. “As part of Target’s ongoing forensic investigation, it has been determined that certain guest information — separate from the payment card data previously disclosed — was taken during the data breach” according to Target’s statement. “This theft is not a new breach, but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation.” The new revalation does represent a new breach, however, or at least the breach of an unrelated system during the period covered during the same attack, according to the few details Target has released. Most analysts and news outlets have blamed the breach on either the security of Target’s Windows-based Point-of-Sale systems or the company’s failure to fulfill its security obligations under the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
An anonymous reader writes: The PC market continues to be in free fall, having now seen its seventh consecutive quarter of declining worldwide shipments. Worldwide PC shipments dropped to 82.6 million units in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to Gartner, a 6.9 percent decrease from the same period last year. It’s worth emphasizing that this past quarter resulted in a total of 315.9 million units shipped in 2013, a 10 percent decline from 2012, and the worst decline in PC market history. The overall shipment level was equal to the one in 2009.
SmartAboutThings writes: StatCounter has available interesting data when it comes to the market share of operating systems for the entire year of 2913. In the United States, Windows Vista had a market share of 9.29% compared to Windows 8s market share of 6.6%. In Europe, Windows 8 managed to obtain only 5.95% of the operating systems market while Vista had less than in the United States, 7.67%. Mac OS X was above Windows Vista in both geographical locations, as well. Windows 7 still remains the absolute leader, being followed by Windows XP. On a worldwide scale, though, Windows 8 has managed to surpass Windows Vista, with 6.12% compared to 5.85%. So, this means that it wasn’t Europe and North America which drove the Windows 8 adoption, but the rest of the world. The data provided by Stat Counter only covers desktop PCs laptops.
An anonymous reader writes: GNOME D-Bus finds its way into mainstream Linux Kernel. As this was another decision that found its agreement at FOSDEM 2013. this besides going Java Scrip and Sandboxing Apps.
redletterdave writes: "The iPhone may be one of the bestselling smartphones on the planet, but Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak believes Apple's flagship smartphone has fallen behind its competitors, namely those built by Samsung, when it comes to smartphone features. Speaking at Businessweek's Best Brand Awards on Thursday evening, Wozniak said he was proud of how loyal Apple fans were to the iPhone, but also said 'this loyalty is not given,' shortly before denouncing his own company's smartphone. 'Currently we are, in my opinion, somewhat behind with features in the smartphone business,' Wozniak said. 'Others have caught up. Samsung is a big competitor. But precisely because they are currently making great products.'"
NettiWelho writes: Data from Net Applications shows that Windows 8 is less popular than Windows Vista, the operating system that proved unpopular with the enthusiast audience.
Windows 8 usage uptake has slipped behind Vista’s in the same point in its release. Windows 8 online usage share is around 1.6% of all Windows PC’s which is less than the 2.2% share that Windows Vista commanded at the same two month mark after release.
Net Applications monitor operating system usage by recording OS version for around 40,000 sites it monitors for clients.
The slowdown for Windows 8 adoption is a bad sign for Microsoft who experienced great success with the release of Windows 7.
Data was measured up to the 22nd of December, so there is still time by the end of the month for Windows 8 to claim a higher percentage of the user base.
An anonymous reader writes: Software vulnerabilities will be the main target of cyber-criminals next year. In 2012, Java, which is installed on hundreds of millions of devices, was repeatedly compromised and used to actively infect millions of users. Adobe, given the popularity of its applications (Acrobat Reader, Flash, etc.) and its multiple security flaws, was also one of the favorite tools for massively infecting users as well as for targeted attacks.
whisper_jeff writes: A number of newly-purchased standard units are showing an "Assembled in America" notation. While the markings don't necessarily mean that Apple is in the midst of transferring its entire assembly operation from China to the U.S., it does indicate that at least a few of the new iMacs were substantially assembled domestically.