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May 12, 2017

Keylogger Discovered in HP Audio Driver

A keylogging vulnerability has been discovered in HP laptop’s audio driver, says the independent Swiss security firm Modzero.

The security concern stems from the way the audio driver handles inputs from media control keys. The driver process, called MicTray64.exe, records when media keys are pressed and change settings accordingly.

This is harmless on its own, but the problem is that the driver also writes keystrokes to a text file called MicTray.log. If the file is obtained, the attacker can extract personal information such as passwords and credit card numbers.

The situation is made worse when the MicTray.log is not created or doesn’t [...]

 
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May 12, 2017

Google Acquires Owlchemy Labs

Google as finalized the acquisition of Owlchemy Labs, the studio responsible for the beloved Job Simulator.

The move is undoubted to expand Google’s focus on VR. With the release of Android 7 Nougat, Google released Daydream VR for Android phones. It’s also actively participating in the development of VR content for other platforms such as the HTC Vive. With the acquisition, Google is looking to leverage the small but experienced team of developers at Owlchemy Labs to further improve VR content.

In the Owlchemy Labs’ blog post, the team stated that the acquisition does not mean the end of content development for other platforms.

The [...]

 
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May 10, 2017

Nvidia Unveils Volta in $149,000 DGX-1 Supercomputer

Nvidia dropped a bombshell at their GPU Technology Conference today, launching their new DGX-1 supercomputer platform powered by the new Volta GPU architecture.

As expected the new Nvidia DGX-1 is a beast of a system, equipped with eight of Nvidia’s latest Volta powered Tesla V100 GPUs linked together using Nvidia’s NVLink technology which features a massive bandwidth of up to 300GB/s. The system in total is capable of outputting up to 960 Tensor TFLOPS making it as powerful as approximately 400 general compute servers.

Powering the Nvidia DGX-1 is the Tesla V100 which is powered by Nvidia’s latest Volta [...]

 
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May 9, 2017

Qualcomm Announces Snapdragon 660 and 630 SoCs

Qualcomm’s latest midrange SoCs are finally here! The Snapdragon 660 and 630 SoCs are slated to replace the highly successful Snapdragon 653 and the Snapdragon 625 SoCs.

The Qualcomm 660 switches from the big.LITTLE architecture to a unified octa-core architecture. The new processor replaces the ARM Cortex A72 and A53 CPUs in favor of eight Kryo 260 CPUs. The GPU has also been updated to the Adreno 512. Qualcomm states that users would see a 20% improvement in compute performance and 30% improvement in graphics over its predecessor.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 630 leverages eight ARM Cortex A53 Cores similar to the Snapdragon 625. Maximum configurable [...]

 
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May 9, 2017

FCC Approves Refurbished Galaxy Note 7

Aside from the whole exploding thing, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was an awesome smartphone, which is a shame since all units were recalled shortly after launch. However, it looks like all that R&D may not have gone to waste as refurbished versions of the recalled smartphones have recently been approved by the FCC.

According to a recent article by SamMobile, the refurbished Galaxy Note 7 will be available in Korea in three variants: the SM-N935K, SM-N935L, and SM-N935S, each tweaked for a specific Korean carrier. The refurbished models are reported to feature a smaller battery rated at 3,200mAh and will sport Android 7.0 out of the box. To distinguish the refurb [...]

 
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May 9, 2017

iPhone 8 on Schedule for September-October Launch

Apple’s iPhone 8 is on track to launch in September and go on sale in October, according to a recent report by Economic Daily News.

This new statement contradicts previous beliefs that the iPhone 8 will be delayed due to poor yields of the OLED displays. Analysts predicted that the iPhone production will be severely hampered by supply after the initial launch.

Newly improved production yield rates have seemingly resolved this issue. Volume production of components will ramp up in June. iPhone manufacturing companies including Foxconn, Winston, and Pegatron are also aggressively recruiting and training new workers to prepare for the production of new [...]

 
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May 8, 2017

Handbrake Download Server Infected With Malware

Developers of popular transcoding tool, Handbrake, issued an urgent message on Saturday warning its users that one of its download servers have been compromised. The original installation file has been replaced with one that may be laced with a malware.

The notice is directed towards users who have downloaded Handbrake on Mac between May 2 and May 6. If you fall within the specified group, then there’s a 50% chance of having a malware installed on your Mac. The developers urge its users to verify the installation file’s checksum, a number generated to ensure the integrity of the file, before running it. For those who have already installed the program, [...]

 
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May 8, 2017

AMD Vega 3D Mark FireStrike Benchmark Results Leaked in 3D Mark Database

Following the leak of 3D Mark Time Spy benchmark scores for AMD’s upcoming Vega graphics card last week, some new 3D Mark FireStrike benchmark scores may have recently been revealed on 3D Mark’s benchmark database as well.

Before we jump into the results, let’s take a quick look at the specifications. While the card is still unnamed on the database at this time, we can see that it’s an AMD graphics card with a core clock of 1,200MHz, memory bus clock of 700MHz, and 8GB of graphics memory. This is in line with what we’re expecting for AMD’s Vega graphics card. It also features a device ID of 687F:C1, which [...]

 
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May 5, 2017

TSMC Engineer Charged for Stealing Trade Secrets

A former TSMC Engineer was charged for stealing trade secrets to a competitor, according to a report by DigiTimes.

The former TSMC engineer, Hsu, was recently accused of stealing trade secrets on TSMC’s 28nm process to give to China-based Shanghai Huali Microelectronics (HLMC). TSMC’s 28nm process is a proven process which has been used in many chips including Apple SoCs, Qualcomm SoCs, Nvidia GPUs, AMD GPUs, and more. Hsu had recently taken a job at HLMC, but was arrested before he could start.

Of course this isn’t the first time this has occurred. A number of China-based memory chip makers have been aggressively poaching talent from [...]

 
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May 5, 2017

Samsung to Overtake Intel As World’s Largest Chipmaker

Samsung Electronics is poised to surpass Intel (aka Chipzilla) as the world’s largest chip manufacturer.

Analyst firm IC Insights predicted recently that if the current price of DRAM and NAND hold for Q2, Samsung could generate enough revenue to take the number one spot. The firm predicts that Samsung will achieve $14.9 billion in revenue, while Intel is predicted to reach $14.4 billion.

The increase in the price of NAND and DRAM is fueled by significantly increased demand amid a major industry-wide supply shortage. The depleted inventory and industry-wide transition to 3D NAND is significantly increasing the price of storage and isn’t supposed [...]

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