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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft's Surface Could Kill HP, Dell, Other PC OEMs (hothardware.com)

MojoKid writes: "Microsoft's Surface isn't just an attempt to take on the iPad or an articulation of MS's independent design philosophy — it's a fundamental threat against the OEMs who've spent decades as Microsoft's partners and collectively destroyed the industry's perception of the PC as a high-value product. The adversarial roots run deep. Microsoft didn't tell its partners about Surface until three days before the event and gave only the most minimal details on the product. Only the largest vendors even got a phone call; Asus and Acer, the 4th and 5th largest PC manufacturers worldwide, have stated that they had no idea anything was coming. For OEMs who have spent decades working in lock-step with Redmond, that's deeply unsettling. If Surface heats up, other OEMs have two stark options. They can continue their race-to-bottom, devouring each other in consolidations and acquisitions until only the brand names are left and every PC component and system has been outsourced to Malaysia — or they can start building names for themselves as innovators."
Microsoft

Submission + - Windows 8 Will Be Harder To Exploit (net-security.org)

An anonymous reader writes: A lot of things have already been revealed about the security features of the upcoming Windows 8: there will be a picture password sign in option; a built-in antivirus (Windows Defender) that will activate itself if it doesn't detect another active AV solution; the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) will replace BIOS ROM in order to verify software before it executes and ensure that no untrusted code runs before the operating system loads. Windows 8 will have more exploit mitigation technologies at its disposal, chief among which are the Windows Heap Manager and Windows Kernel Pool Allocator, which should block malware from exploiting a number of vulnerabilities.
Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft announces Surface tablet, with kickstand and fold-out keyboard (extremetech.com) 7

MrSeb writes: "At its much-discussed “big unveil” this evening, Microsoft did indeed launch a tablet — but rumors that the device would showcase a Barnes & Noble partnership were misplaced. Instead, Microsoft showed a vision for a next-gen PC that combines the portability of a tablet with a minimalistic fold-out keyboard and integrated kickstand. Microsoft’s idea for the tablet (confusingly called Surface) is a device that integrates a better keyboard option than typing on the screen without adding size or weight. That’s where the new keyboard — which doubles as a screen cover — kicks in. At 3mm thick, it adds virtually nothing to the device’s size, but it opens up a world of inputs. There are two covers available — the Touch Cover (very thin) and the Type Cover (with proper, tactile keys). Microsoft is touting the device’s magnesium body, vapor-deposited construction, full PC functionality, and additional features like being the first tablet to showcase a 2×2 MIMO wireless antenna. Windows RT (ARM) and x86 versions are both in the works, with the x86 version apparently having a higher quality screen. No word on hardware specs yet; Microsoft is claiming it “rivals the best ultrabooks” and uses less power than the Core i5. I'm a little bit dubious on that front — and also dubious about how Microsoft's hardware partners will receive this new, rather competitive offering..."
Earth

Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought 451

drewtheman writes "New studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. University of Utah research professor of geophysics Robert Smith led four separate studies that verify a plume of hot and molten rock at least 410 miles deep that rises at an angle from the northwest."

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