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Submission + - Apple Steals A Feature From Samsung As An Exploded iPhone 7 Surfaces In The Wild (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Oftentimes when a smartphone maker debuts a nifty new idea, its competitors find ways to implement their own version of whatever feature everyone is excited about, whether it's a premium design, a digital assistant, or something else. But spontaneous smartphone combustion? Following Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 debacle, pictures of a charred iPhone 7 are now making the rounds. A user on reddit posted several photos of the burnt iPhone 7, which he says was pre-ordered by a co-worker who never got to use the handset. Apparently the smartphone arrived that way, suggesting a serious Q&A failure in the packaging department that sent it out, or more likely that it overheated during transit and melted itself and part of the packaging. Reportedly, an account executive from Apple's Texas offices reached out for more information and set up an expedited replacement with AT&T.

Submission + - Commodore C64 Survives Over 25 Years Balancing Drive Shafts In Auto Repair Shop (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: One common gripe in the twenty-first century is that nothing is built to last anymore. Even complex, expensive computers seem to have a relatively short shelf-life nowadays. However, one computer in a small auto repair shop in Gdansk, Poland has survived for the last twenty-five years against all odds. The computer in question here is a Commodore C64 that has been balancing driveshafts non-stop for a quarter of a century. The C64C looks like it would fit right in with a scene from Fallout 4 and has even survived a nasty flood. This Commodore 64 contains a few homemade aspects, however. The old computer uses a sinusoidal waveform generator and piezo vibration sensor in order to measure changes in pressure, acceleration, temperature, strain or force by converting them to an electrical charge. The C64C interprets these signals to help balance the driveshafts in vehicles.

Submission + - Latest DDoS Attack Dwarfs Krebs Takedown At Nearly 1Tbps, Driven By 150K Devices (hothardware.com) 1

MojoKid writes: If you thought that the massive DDoS attack earlier this month on Brian Krebs' security blog was record-breaking, take a look at what just happened to France-based hosting provider OVH. OVH was the victim of a wide-scale DDoS attack that was carried via network of over 152,000 IoT devices. According to OVH founder and CTO Octave Klaba, the DDoS attack reached nearly 1 Tbps at its peak. Of those IoT devices participating in the DDoS attack, they were primarily comprised of CCTV cameras and DVRs. Many of these types devices' network settings are improperly configured, which leaves them ripe for the picking for hackers that would love to use them to carry our destructive attacks.The DDoS peaked at 990 Gbps on September 20th thanks to two concurrent attacks, and according to Klaba, the original botnet was capable of a 1.5 Tbps DDoS attack if each IP topped out at 30 Mbps. This massive DDoS campaign was directed at Minecraft servers that OHV was hosting.

Submission + - Intel's Investment In FPGAs Could Pay Dividends In Microsoft Data Centers And AI (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: In June last year, Intel announced a $16.7B acquisition of chip designer Altera, a Silicon Valley bellwether known for producing FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays). Intel has already disclosed that it has plans to integrate FPGAs into Xeon processors, which will leverage Altera technology. Those processors are due to arrive later this year and they should allow Intel to build more specialized, configurable chips for accelerating different workloads. FPGAs feature an array of logic gates that can be programmed to perform a myriad of tasks, and they can be re-programmed on the fly, as new workloads emerge or compute demands and algorithms change. The flexibility inherent to FPGAs is also at the core of Microsoft's Project Catapult, which is a code-name for the technology behind Microsoft's hyperscale acceleration fabric for networking, security, cloud services and artificial intelligence. An FPGA can be programmed to accelerate the algorithms associated with the specialized workloads and data sets of each specific application. At first, FPGAs were used to accelerate Bing's Indexserve engine. Over 1600 servers were initially outfitted with FPGAs that were connected via a secondary network. The FPGAs were programmed to accelerate specific search-related algorithms and it resulted in major improvements in latency and a 50% reduction in the number of servers required to process workloads. A new architecture that enabled configurable clouds was eventually laid out and last year Microsoft ramped-up to large-scale production with FPGAs in Bing and Azure. Microsoft now also plans to employ Project Catapult FPGA accelerator boards in "nearly every new production server."

Submission + - Microsoft Patents AI To Monitor All Actions In Windows And Feed It To Bing (hothardware.com) 1

MojoKid writes: Microsoft has angered users over the past year for its willingness to push the boundaries of acceptable practice for promoting adoption of its operating system. Also, some feel it crossed that line with respect to user data collection and privacy concerns. However, Microsoft stands to garner a lot more criticism if its recent patent filing comes to life in a production software product. The title of the filing is "Query Formulation Via Task Continuum" and it aims to make it easier for apps to share data in real-time so that the user can perform better searches. Microsoft feels that the current software model in which applications are self-contained within their own silos potentially slows the user down. To combat this disconnect, Microsoft has devised a way to facilitate better communications between apps through the use of what it calls a "mediation component." This is Microsoft's all-seeing-eye that monitors all input within apps to decipher what the user is trying to accomplish. All of this information could be gathered from apps like Word, Skype, or even Notepad by the mediator and processed. So when the user goes to the Edge web browser to further research a topic, those contextual concepts are automatically fed into a search query. Microsoft says that this will provide faster, more relevant searchers to users. The company says the mediator can be introduced as an optional module that can be installed in an operating system or directly built in. If it's the latter, plenty of people will likely be looking for a kill switch.

Submission + - iOS 10 Just Made Hacking Into iPhone And iPad Backups Much Easier (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Apple bills iOS 10 as being "More personal. More powerful. More playful." Given the features that Apple has infused into the mobile operating system including a totally revamped iMessage app, rich notifications, third-party app integration with Siri, more useful 3D Touch actions and the like, it does seem like a fairly robust upgrade. However, at least one area in iOS 10 has seen a bit of a regression compared to previous versions, and it could leave your iPhone and iPad data less secure than before. Russian researchers at ElcomSoft say that Apple has made local iTunes backups for devices more vulnerable to hackers, thanks to what is described as an "alternative password verification mechanism" that has been added with iOS 10. Reportedly, this new method offers a shortcut for verification, allowing it to skip some critical security checks. As a result, iOS 10 backup passwords in iTunes can be obtained through brute force methods "approximately 2,500 times faster" than what was possible with iOS 9.

Submission + - Cisco Blames Router Bug On Cosmic Radiation, Reeks Of Weak Sauce Excuses (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: A bug that afflicts Cisco's ASR 9000 Series routers is making a bit of a stir in the IT community recently. While big iron networking appliance bug reports for hardware issues are not uncommon, it's Cisco's explanation of a specific malady that's causing some consternation in data center circles. Cisco Bug CSCuz62750 is described as causing "partial data traffic loss", with data loss sometimes even occurring after a CRC (Cyclical Redundancy Check). The kicker here, however, is that Cisco says that it has observed the software errors on an operational network and that it could possibly be triggered by "cosmic radiation" causing SEU soft errors in its line cards, code named "Juggernaut." This of course sounds like the high tech equivalent of "the dog ate my homework." Though cosmic radiation effects on electronics are a real phenomenon, if your machine is the only one machine in a data center routinely suffering from cosmic radiation-induced issues, while the rest of the data center appliances hum along happily without a blip, you know there's going to be a whole lot of finger-pointing going on with IT managers, CTOs and CIOs in more than a few conference rooms.

Submission + - 77% of Ad Blocking Users Feel Guilty about Blocking Ads (huffingtonpost.com) 3

An anonymous reader writes: A new survey has found that 77% of ad blocking users feel “some guilt” about blocking ads. This goes against common stereotypes that ad blocking users don’t care about digital content publishers losing revenue, and suggests that if publishers took steps to make their ads less intrusive and less annoying, users might be more tolerant of their advertising.

The report was primarily focused on users’ whitelisting behavior, their feeling and reactions toward publishers who utilize anti-ad blocking tactics, and their thoughts on online advertising in general.

Submission + - Appeals Court Decision Kills North Carolina Town's Gigabit Internet (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: In early August the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the FCC had no authority to prevent states from imposing restrictions on municipal internet. This was a result of the FCC stepping in last year in an effort to "remove barriers to broadband investment and competition." However, the courts sided with the states, which said that the FCC's order impeded on state rights. In the end, this ruling clearly favored firmly entrenched big brand operators like Time Warner Cable, Comcast, and AT&T, which lobby hard to keep competition at bay. The federal ruling specifically barred municipal internet providers from offering service outside of their city limits, denying them from providing service to under-served communities. The fallout from the federal court's rejection of the FCC order to extend a lifeline to municipal internet providers has claimed another victim. The small community of Pinetops, North Carolina — population 1,300 — will soon have its gigabit internet connection shut off. Pinetops has been the recipient of Greenlight internet service, which is provided by the neighboring town of Wilson. The town of Wilson has been providing electric power to Pinetops for the past 40 years, and had already deployed fiber through the town in order to bolster its smart grid initiative. What's infuriating to the Wilson City Council and to the Pinetop residents that will lose their high-speed service, is that the connections are already in place. There's no logical reason why they should be cut off, but state laws and the lobbyists supporting those laws have deemed what Greenlight is doing illegal. Provide power to a neighboring town — sure that's OK. Provide better internet to a neighboring town — lawsuit

Submission + - HP Sprocket Pocket Printer Wirelessly Prints 2x3-inch Photos From Smartphones (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: HP just announced the Sprocket — a pocket-sized printer that can easily print 2" x 3" photos from a smartphone. The Sprocket printer measures 4.53 x 2.95 x 0.87 inches and weighs just 0.379 pounds. It comes with up to 512MB of onboard storage along with Bluetooth 3.0 and NFC connectivity. The Sprocket incorporates a two-cell 500 mAh Li-Polymer 7.4 V battery and takes roughly 90 minutes to charge. The print quality is 313 x 400 dpi and the device supports .jpeg, .tiff, .gif, .bmp, and .png image types. It uses thermal ZINK Zero Ink to print on HP ZINK sticky-backed photo paper. Users print through the HP Sprocket app, which is freely available on iOS and Android. The mini printer will include a 10-pack of HP ZINK Photo Paper for $129.99.

Submission + - Samsung Unveils 960 Pro and 960 EVO SSDs At Up To 3.5GB/sec And 2TB Capacity (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Samsung announced a new family of 960 EVO and 960 Pro NVMe PCI Express M.2 Solid State Drives today. Built on Samsung's 3D V-NAND technology and employing the new Samsung Polaris SSD controller, the 960 Pro is Samsung's highest performance, high endurance drive and the successor to last year's 950 Pro. The 960 EVO is the lower cost model and a follow-on to last year's Samsung 950 EVO drive. The 960 EVO is also powered by the same Samsung Polaris controller but employs more cost-efficient Samsung TLC NAND memory. Both drives arrive in standard M.2 gumstick form factors with PCI Express Gen 3 X4 interfaces and utilizing the NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) protocol for lightning-fast speeds and low latency. Specifically, the 960 Pro offers up to 3.5GB/sec and 2.1GB/sec of sequential read and write throughput respectively, with endurance rated at up to 1200TB writes per day. The 950 EVO's specs drop in at a peak 3.2GB/sec and 1.9GB/sec for reads and writes respectively, with a top-end endurance rating of 400TB written per day. The 960 Pro will come in 512GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities starting at $329, while the 950 EVO comes in 250GB, 500GB and 1TB capacities starting at $129. Samsung will be shipping the drives in October this year.

Submission + - Huawei Matebook Joins Surface Pro 4 In New Ad Poking At iPad Pro Shortcomings (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Politicians are not the only ones mudslinging this season. Huawei's Matebook and Microsoft's Surface Pro 4 have teamed up to continue to try and humiliate the iPad Pro and its various shortcomings. In Huawei's latest commercial, the iPad Pro is being pushed out of the cool kid's table. The advertisement battle all started when Apple released its initial iPad Pro commercial. The iPad Pro ad is titled "What's a computer?" and starts with "Just when you think you know what a computer is, you see a keyboard that can just get out of the way...and a screen you can touch and even write on." The commercial ends with the statement, "Imagine what your computer to do, if it was an iPad Pro." The implication in this ad is that the addition of the keyboard makes the iPad Pro a "computer." Of course Microsoft could not resist poking fun at Apple in their own Surface Pro 4 commercial, suggesting that it is a real computer while the iPad Pro is a wannabe. Huawei's own commercial plays on the Microsoft's ad. All three devices are side-by-side at a party with a piñata. The Matebook says "Hey, congrats on that keyboard" and then the iPad Pro responds, "who are you?" The Matebook runs off a list of its various features and tells the Surface Pro 4, "I think we are going to get along great." The Surface Pro 4 then replied, "welcome to the party." Huawei's ad of course implies that the Matebook is not only better than the iPad Pro, but is on par with the Surface Pro 4. The Matebook starts at $649 USD and is currently available from Windows, Amazon, and Newegg.

Submission + - Experiencing Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Yoga With OLED Display (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Lenovo recently started shipping its ThinkPad X1 Yoga laptop with an OLED (Organic LED) display with a native WQHD resolution of 2560X1440. This display is a significant upgrade for the machine, offering a dramatic improvement in image quality, in terms of brightness, contrast, saturation, and color gamut coverage, versus a standard IPS display. For roughly a $240 price premium over Lenovo's standard IPS panel option in the ThinkPad X1 Yoga, the OLED upgrade is an impressive gain in display output capability. In side by side testing versus and IPS display equipped ThinkPad X1 Carbon, viewing angles with the new OLED panel are vastly improved. Finally, As it turns out, the new ThinkPad's OLED display also offers a notable improvement in battery life as well. With notebook displays, burn-in risk is lower since most machines either sleep or power off the machine when idle to preserve battery life. OLED panels are really a win-win for latops and it's time notebook manufacturers start including them as an option in more of their product lines, hopefully driving cost down with economies of scale in volume.

Submission + - Dell Refreshes XPS 13 Ultrabook With Intel Kaby Lake And Rose Gold Finish (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Dell's XPS 13 is a very popular ultrabook not only because it's built with carbon fiber and machined aluminum but also because it manages to cram a 13.3-inch IPS display into a 11-inch notebook frame, thanks to Dell's fantastic Infinity Edge design that minimizes display bezel. Dell first brought out the machine back with Intel's Broadwell platform introduction but has since updated it with Intel Skylake CPUs. However, today Dell announced that they refreshed the machine again with Intel's 7th Gen Kaby Lake Core Series processors to improve performance and bolster battery life. Base systems come equipped with an Intel Core i3-7100U processor, while mid-range systems can be optioned with a Core i5-7200U and those who need more power can opt for a Core i7-7500U humming along at up to 3.5GHz. Starting weight remains at 2.7 pounds for non-touch display models, while selecting a touch panel will weigh in at 2.9 pounds. You can also choose from 1920x1080 FHD or UltraSharp 3200x1800 resolution Infinity Edge displays. Powering those displays is Intel's HD Graphics 620 IGP. The XPS 13 can be configured with up to 16GB of 1866MHz LPDDR3 memory and up to a 1TB PCIe SSD. Base systems come with 4GB of RAM and a 128GB SATA drive. The refreshed XPS 13 is also now available in Rose Gold and will be available starting October 4th, with the Rose Gold Edition ringing in at $1,499.

Submission + - New Intel SSD 600P SSD Delivers NVMe Speeds At SATA Prices Below .40 Per GB (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: Intel just launched a new family of low cost NVMe PCI Express Solid State drives called the SSD 600P series. The company claims the drives are "designed to deliver PCIe performance at near-SATA prices". To date, most NVMe PCIe solid state drives are roughly 1.5 – 3x the cost per gigabyte of SATA based drives, due to the inherent performance benefits and likely the added cost of NVMe controllers. Leveraging 3D TLC NAND manufactured in concert with Micron allows Intel to price the 600P aggressively. The 512GB Intel SSD 600P tested here at HotHardware is already available at street prices below $.40 per gigabyte (roughly $179), which is only slightly higher than most same capacity SATA drives and close to half the price of the average NVMe drive. The Intel SSD 600P will initially be offered in four capacities, 128GB up to 1TB. All of the drives conform to the same M.2 (2280) 80mm gumstick form factor, but performance varies depending on the capacity. The 128GB drive can offer up to 770MB/s reads and 450MB/s writes, while the 1TB drive peaks at 1.8GB/s reads with 560MB/s writes. The 600P drives performed relatively well overall in the benchmarks. When queue depths were cranked up or there were sustained, long sequential transfers, performance dropped off but that's not as common in mainstream consumer workloads, where lower queue depths and random small file transfers are more typical.

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