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NewsBot

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  1. Not two weeks ago, LinkedIn made big data breach news when hackers claimed to have more than 100 million usernames and passwords up for sale. Fortunately, the data wasn’t new, coming from a breach that happened four years ago. What was new was the size of the list that was up for sale, nearly 20 times the size of the 6.5 million passwords that were reported to have been stolen back in June 2012. The LinkedIn breach was made worse by the way the passwords were stored, using unsalted SHA-1 hashes. What that means is that although LinkedIn didn’t keep your actual password, it didn’t do enough to secure it against a breach. View the full article
  2. Security researchers have discovered critical vulnerabilities in popular off-the-shelf HP, Acer, Dell, Asus and Lenovo laptops that make it possible for hackers to hijack and compromise the PCs in less than 10 minutes. Among cybersecurity professionals, it's commonly known that if you want to have a secure PC, you probably shouldn't use a regular off-the-shelf consumer laptop as they come with 'bloatware', or third-party pre-installed software that users don't really need. However, no one has ever definitively proved that consumer laptops aren't that secure, so researchers from Duo Security in the US decided to test out 10 different laptops by HP, Acer, Dell, Asus and Lenovo sold by retailers in Canada, the UK and the US. Ahead of the full report published today (2016-05-31), their project also exposed the eDellRoot backdoor found in Dell PCs in November 2015. All the laptops come with automatic updaters developed by the computer's manufacturer to update system drivers or the BIOs, as well as the bloatware, and the researchers discovered that every single manufacturer's updater had security vulnerabilities that put millions of consumers at risk. View the full article
  3. Samsung Electronics, the world leader in advanced memory technology, announced today that it has begun mass producing the industry’s first NVMe* PCIe solid state drive (SSD) in a single ball grid array (BGA) package, for use in next-generation PCs and ultra-slim notebook PCs. The new BGA NVMe SSD, named PM971-NVMe, features an extremely compact package that contains all essential SSD components including NAND flash memory, DRAM and controller while delivering outstanding performance. “Samsung’s new BGA NVMe SSD triples the performance of a typical SATA SSD, in the smallest form factor available, with storage capacity reaching up to 512GB,” said Jung-bae Lee, senior vice president, Memory Product Planning & Application Engineering Team, Samsung Electronics. “The introduction of this small-scale SSD will help global PC companies to make timely launches of slimmer, more stylish computing devices, while offering consumers a more satisfactory computing environment.” Configuring the PM971-NVMe SSD in a single BGA package was enabled by combining 16 of Samsung’s 48-layer 256-gigabit (Gb) V-NAND flash chips, one 20-nanometer 4Gb LPDDR4 mobile DRAM chip and a high-performance Samsung controller. The new SSD is 20mm x 16mm x 1.5mm and weighs only about one gram (an American dime by comparison weighs 2.3 grams). The single-package SSD’s volume is approximately a hundredth of a 2.5” SSD or HDD, and its surface area is about a fifth of an M.2 SSD, allowing much more design flexibility for computing device manufacturers. In addition, the PM971-NVMe SSD delivers a level of performance that easily surpasses the speed limit of a SATA 6Gb/s interface. It enables sequential read and write speeds of up to 1,500MB/s (megabytes per second) and 900MB/s respectively, when TurboWrite** technology is used. The performance figures can be directly compared to transferring a 5GB-equivalent, Full-HD movie in about 3 seconds or downloading it in about 6 seconds. It also boasts random read and write IOPS (input output operations per second) of up to 190K and 150K respectively, to easily handle high-speed operations. A hard drive, by contrast, will only process up to 120 IOPS in random reads, making the new Samsung SSD more than 1500 times faster than an HDD in this regard. The PM971-NVMe SSD line-up will be available in 512GB, 256GB and 128GB storage options. Samsung will start providing the new SSDs to its customers this month worldwide. As a leading SSD provider, Samsung has a history of introducing advanced SSDs ahead of the industry. In June 2013, Samsung introduced XP941 SSD in M.2 (mini PCI-Express 2.0) form factor (80mm x 22mm), which was also the industry’s first PCIe SSD for PCs. Now, Samsung plans to rapidly expand its market base in the next-generation premium notebook PC sector with the new high-performance, BGA package, NVMe SSD. Later this year, Samsung plans to introduce more high-capacity and ultra-fast NVMe SSDs to meet increasing customer needs for improved performance and greater density. * Often shortened as NVMe, NVM Express (Non-Volatile Memory Express) is an optimized, high performance, scalable host controller interface with a streamlined register interface and command set designed for enterprise, datacenter and client systems that use non-volatile memory storage. For more information, please visit www.nvmexpress.org ** TurboWrite is a Samsung proprietary technology that temporarily uses certain portions of an SSD as a write buffer. TurboWrite delivers better PC experiences as users can enjoy much faster sequential write speeds. Source: Samsung View the full article
  4. Starbreeze AB, an independent creator, publisher and distributor of high quality entertainment products, today announced its agreement with 505 Games to acquire the full rights to the PAYDAY-franchise. The consideration for the acquisition amounts to 10.9 million B-shares in Starbreeze, equivalent to 30 MUSD (approx. 249 MSEK). After the transaction Starbreeze will own the full rights to the PAYDAY-franchise for any future developments or commercialization, including PAYDAY 2 and PAYDAY for mobile platforms. Starbreeze will retain full net revenue from PAYDAY 2 on the Steam platform starting retroactively from May 1st, 2016. Revenue generated by the console game PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition will continue to be split between the companies as before, and 505 Games will continue to publish the title. View the full article
  5. Facebook will now display ads to web users who are not members of its social network, the company announced Thursday, in a bid to significantly expand its online ad network. As The Wall Street Journal reports, Facebook will use cookies, "like" buttons, and other plug-ins embedded on third-party sites to track members and non-members alike. The company says it will be able to better target non-Facebook users and serve relevant ads to them, though its practices have come under criticism from regulators in Europe over privacy concerns. Facebook began displaying a banner notification at the top of its News Feed for users in Europe today, alerting them to its use of cookies as mandated under an EU directive. "Publishers and app developers have some users who aren’t Facebook users," Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook’s ads and business platform, tells the Journal. "We think we can do a better job powering those ads." View the full article
  6. While we’ve spent a lot of time over the past year talking about Windows 10 (including new roadmap details), we know that organizations are still working with Windows 7 too, regularly updating their Windows 7 SP1 images to include the latest updates, app versions, and more. For those that are involved in that process, you’ve probably seen a display like this too many times: New Windows 7 SP1 convenience rollup makes image creation much faster We’re happy to announce today that we’re making available a new convenience rollup for Windows 7 SP1 that will help. This convenience rollup package, available to download from http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Search.aspx?q=3125574, contains all the security and non-security fixes released since the release of Windows 7 SP1 that are suitable for general distribution, up through April 2016. Install this one update, and then you only need new updates released after April 2016. And since this update can be injected into Windows 7 SP1 media, it’s fully supported to mount a Windows 7 SP1 image (WIM file), then inject this update into it. See https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd744559(v=ws.10).aspx for the details of how to do this. This convenience update is completely optional; it doesn’t have to be installed and won’t even be offered via Windows Update – you can choose whether or not you want to use it. View the full article
  7. Flash storage is too slow for your device's main memory, but RAM is expensive and volatile. Thanks to a breakthrough from IBM, phase-change memory (PCM) might one day replace them both. The crystal-based storage has been used in optical disks and other tech for at least 15 years, but the technology has been limited by the cost and storage density -- cells are either "on" or "off." However, IBM researchers have figured out how to save 3-bits of data per cell, dramatically increasing the capacity of the original tech. To store PCM data on a Blu-ray disk, you apply a high current to amorphous (non-crystalline) glass materials, transforming them into a more conductive crystale form. To read it back, you apply a lower voltage to measure conductivity -- when it's high, the state is "1," and when it's low, it's "0." By heating up the materials, more states can be stored, but the problem is that the crystals can "drift" depending on the ambient temperature. IBM's team figured out how to track and encode those variations, allowing them to reliably read 3-bits of data per cell long after it was written. That suddenly makes PCM a lot more interesting -- its speed is currently much better than flash, but the costs are as high as RAM thanks to the low density. "Reaching 3 bits per cell is a significant milestone because at this density the cost of PCM will be significantly less than DRAM and closer to flash," says Dr. Haris Pozidis from IBM Research. With the discovery, phase-change memory could become feasible for more than just optical disks. For instance, PCM memory could be used in conjunction with flash to create an extremely fast cache for a cell phone. "A mobile phone's operating system could be stored in PCM, enabling the phone to launch in a few seconds," according to the researchers. It could also replace regular SSDs for time-critical applications, because PCM memory can read data in less than 1 microsecond, compared to 70 microseconds for flash. RAM is still much faster, of course, but in certain applications, PCM could work as "universal" storage and replace both RAM and flash memory. The research still needs to be developed commercially, and has to compete with other promising tech like memristors and resistive RAM. IBM thinks that it's more than feasible, however, and sees it as the perfect storage medium for Watson-like artificial intelligence apps. Source: Engadget View the full article
  8. Samsung has just announced a 256GB microSD card, raising the bar for storage on the format. SanDisk recently released a 200GB microSD card — that up until now was the highest capacity microSD card — back in March, but it'll have to settle for second place for now. The EVO Plus 256GB microSD card has read and write speeds of 95MB/s and 90MB/s respectively, and can store up to 55,200 photos, 12 hours of 4K video, 33 hours of full HD video, or 23,500 songs. Samsung says the card will come with a 10-year limited warranty and will be available in over 50 countries beginning in June for $249.99. Source: The Verge View the full article
  9. Microsoft is removing part of its controversial Wi-Fi Sense feature from Windows 10. "We have removed the Wi-Fi Sense feature that allows you to share Wi-Fi networks with your contacts and to be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts," says Microsoft's Gabe Aul. "The cost of updating the code to keep this feature working combined with low usage and low demand made this not worth further investment." Wi-Fi Sense was originally introduced on Windows Phone and then updated and included with Windows 10. It's a feature that lets you automatically connect to open hotspots, and share your Wi-Fi passwords with contacts. Some security experts had expressed concerns over Windows 10 automatically connecting to open hotspots, but Microsoft is keeping this feature in place. Wi-Fi Sense's password sharing feature generated unnecessary noise from people who didn't understand it wasn't sharing all Wi-Fi passwords by default, but Microsoft has clearly received enough data and feedback to show that it's not widely used. View the full article
  10. A commissioner at the US Federal Trade Commission who is leaving the agency after six years of working on consumer privacy issues has some critical words for the ad industry. Speaking with Ad Age, departing FTC commissioner Julie Brill lamented the current state of consumer tracking and data collection on the web, linking the rampant rise of ad blockers with the ad industry's foot-dragging and non-cooperation in the commission's efforts to create privacy systems based on user consent. "We've seen an incredible rise in consumers taking matters into their own hands, which is precisely what I said would happen back then," said Brill, who has tackled a host of consumer privacy issues during her tenure at the FTC. Like many critics, Brill points to Do Not Track, the failed system meant to allow consumers to opt-out of invasive tracking by flagging their browsers, which the ad industry fought tooth-and-nail and eventually killed by ignoring the flags outright. She says that the industry's resistance to doing things the “easy” way is at least partly to blame for the consumer response. View the full article
  11. I got whiplash this afternoon doing a double-take on the improbable announcement that Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker has seen fit to appoint David Cohen, senior vice president and chief lobbyist at Comcast, to the first-ever Digital Economy Board of Advisors, which counts among its goals protecting a free and open Internet. He will be joined by AT&T’s chief lobbyist, the omnipresent Mr. James Cicconi. Neither has much patience for Net Neutrality. Cicconi and Cohen have both lobbied Congress and regulators to keep Comcast and AT&T free from regulation and oversight, even as Comcast imposes usage-billing and data caps on a growing number of its customers, while exempting its own streaming video content from those caps. For its part, AT&T is exploring “zero rating” preferred content partners to escape the wrath of its own wireless data limits and advocates against community broadband competition. View the full article
  12. By now, usage caps on both fixed and wireless networks have grown increasingly common. And while broadband carriers are endlessly looking toward caps and zero rating for a competitive and financial advantage, overlooked is the fact that a huge amount of a user's monthly bandwidth allotment is now being eroded by good old advertising. How much? According to a new study by Enders Analysis, anywhere from 18% to 79% of your monthly data bucket can go toward delivering advertising. Previous studies had pegged this between 10% and 50%. Looking at individual page elements, between the ads and the Javascript used sometimes to deliver them, this data consumption can be substantial: View the full article
  13. Take a screenshot or a screencast, have it uploaded and get the URL copied to your clipboard with a single hotkey. ShareX supports over 50 different image, text, and file hosting services such as... Read more about ShareX 10.9.1 on Lunarsoft. View the full article
  14. mIRC is a popular Internet Relay Chat client used by individuals and organizations to communicate, share, play and work with each other on IRC networks around the world. Serving the Internet community for over... Read more about mIRC 7.44 on Lunarsoft. View the full article
  15. CCleaner – also known as Crap Cleaner – is a disk cleanup utility that goes beyond the scope of the built in Windows Disk Cleanup tool. Featuring the ability to clean up temporary files,... Read more about CCleaner 5.16 on Lunarsoft. View the full article
  16. The latest installment of the Nvidia GeForce drivers bring support for the following: Virtual Reality Virtual reality is here! This Game Ready driver brings full support for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, optimizations... Read more about Nvidia GeForce Drivers 364.72 on Lunarsoft. View the full article
  17. Lets you customize functions on Logitech gaming mice, keyboards, headsets, and select wheels. Software Version: 8.82.149 Post Date: Mar 28, 2016 OS: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows 10 File Size: 119.4 MB Logitech Gaming... Read more about Logitech Gaming Software 8.82.149 on Lunarsoft. View the full article
  18. Take a screenshot or a screencast, have it uploaded and get the URL copied to your clipboard with a single hotkey. ShareX supports over 50 different image, text, and file hosting services such as Imgur, FTP, Dropbox, Pastebin etc. Also supports many URL shortening and sharing services. Upload any files using configurable hotkeys, clipboard upload, drag and drop or from the Windows Explorer context menu. Including useful tools like a screen color picker, an image editor, a ruler, a DNS changer, a QR code generator, a directory indexer and more. 10.9.1: Removed Copy file uploader because service is discontinued Update Greenshot image editor to 1.2.9 version (by @campbeb) Single instance improvements to support multiple file upload from Windows Explorer properly (by @campbeb) Added raw URL option to Pastebin and GitHub Gist Moved Quick task menu’s "Continue" button to top of the menu Added AcceptInvalidSSLCertificates option to Application settings -> Advanced tab which can be used by people who using self signed certificates File name pattern will be applied to "Upload from URL" method too Will not show window/control hover areas anymore in screen color picker Download: ShareX 10.9.1 | Portable View: ShareX Home Page View the full article
  19. mIRC is a popular Internet Relay Chat client used by individuals and organizations to communicate, share, play and work with each other on IRC networks around the world. Serving the Internet community for over two decades, mIRC has evolved into a powerful, reliable and fun piece of technology. You can learn about mIRC here. mIRC is now faster, more stable, and more compatible with the latest versions of Windows all the way up to Windows 10, and it's also able to better handle the display and input of a variety of languages. Download: mIRC 7.44 Changes: Updates Source: mIRC View the full article
  20. CCleaner - also known as Crap Cleaner - is a disk cleanup utility that goes beyond the scope of the built in Windows Disk Cleanup tool. Featuring the ability to clean up temporary files, browser history and cache, the Recycle Bin, along with Windows applications that you install. There is also a registry cleaner, uninstall helper, startup manager, System Restore manager and disk wiper. You can choose to have your data cleaned with a single pass or range up to the Gutmann 35 pass data cleaning sequence. There's even a cookie manager and free space wiper. One of the great things about CCleaner is that it automates all of these cleanings so you don't have to hunt down these files and generally can take mere seconds to run. Download: CCleaner 5.16 Slim (Recommended) | Standard (Caution: Can offer Google Toolbar and/or Google Chrome) Screenshot: Image Previews View: Version History Homepage: CCleaner View the full article
  21. The latest installment of the Nvidia GeForce drivers bring support for the following: Virtual Reality Virtual reality is here! This Game Ready driver brings full support for the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, optimizations and enhancements for virtual reality games such as EVE: Valkyrie, Chronos, and Elite Dangerous, and the latest support for NVIDIA VRWorks. Make sure your PC is GeForce GTX VR Ready before stepping into the Rift! The new driver also brings the latest support and enhancements for the upcoming HTC Vive headset. Game Ready Learn more about how to get the optimal experience for Quantum Break, Killer Instinct, Dark Souls III, and Paragon early-access Download: Nvidia Drivers View the full article
  22. Lets you customize functions on Logitech gaming mice, keyboards, headsets, and select wheels. Software Version: 8.82.149 Post Date: Mar 28, 2016 OS: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows 10 File Size: 119.4 MB Logitech Gaming Software lets you customize Logitech G gaming mice, keyboards, headsets and select wheels. Why Update? Added support for G900 Chaos Spectrum Added support for G610 Orion Mechanical Keyboard Added a new view to Logitech Gaming Software that allows configuration of supported Arx Control and game applets. Fixed issue where sometimes game profiles would not activate when the game is launched, due to Microsoft GamePanel application being picked up as the foreground application instead of the game itself. Fixed issue where G930 headset would enumerate multiple times on certain systems Fixed high CPU usage issue with Teamspeak New game profiles: XCOM 2 Far Cry Primal Call of Duty: Black Ops III Star Wars: Battlefront (2015) Tom Clancy’s: The Division Tom Clancy’s: Rainbow Six Siege Minor bug fixes. Download: Logitech View the full article
  23. Today, we’re announcing a variety of new protections that will help keep Gmail users even safer and promote email security best practices across the Internet as a whole. New tools and industry standards make email even safer On Safer Internet Day this year, we introduced a new visual element to Gmail that lets users know when they’ve received a message that wasn’t delivered using encryption or if they’re composing a message to a recipient whose email service doesn’t support TLS encryption. It’s the red lock icon featured below: View the full article
  24. In the year since the FCC passed net neutrality rules, ISP allies in Congress have run the agency through an endless gauntlet of show-pony hearings. While most of these hearings profess to be focused on agency transparency and accountability, they're really geared toward one single purpose: to publicly shame the agency for standing up to deep-pocketed telecom campaign contributors. Given the fact the only real way to overturn the rules is for ISPs to prevail in court or via Presidential election, this showmanship has been little more than a stunning display of wasted taxpayer dollars and stunted intellectual discourse. Undaunted, the Senate held yet another "FCC accountability" (read: pointless tongue-lashing) hearing last week, during which Senators pummeled FCC boss Tom Wheeler with many of the same, repeatedly-debunked claims net neutrality opponents have been making since the rules were approved. Among them was the claim that the rules somehow hampered broadband investment, despite the fact that objective data (including quarterly ISP earnings reports) repeatedly shows that simply isn't the case. View the full article
  25. Last week, the Department of Justice filed its response to Apple’s appeal in the ongoing San Bernardino case. The government is attempting to force Apple to create a method of bypassing the security that would unlock an iPhone 5C that belonged to the shooter, Apple is fighting this demand by arguing against the 1789 All Writs Act that the DOJ has used against it. The Department of Justice’s latest filing ups the ante on this topic by claiming it could compel Apple to give up the source code for iOS itself, so the government could make the appropriate modifications. The Department of Justice’s latest filing is best classified as vitriolic. It does not hint that Apple has commercial motivations, it accuses the company of manufacturing the entire controversy — and a great deal more besides. The second sentence of the filing reads: “This burden, which is not unreasonable, is the direct result of Apple’s deliberate marketing decision to engineer its products so that the government cannot search them, even with a warrant.” Apple has taken a strong, pro-user stance on this issue and numerous security experts (and even John Oliver) have weighed in to explain why creating this kind of backdoor for the FBI is dangerous. You can watch his video here. The FBI’s brief dismisses all of this as a marketing ploy, and then blasts Apple as a literal threat to American democracy, writing: “Apple’s rhetoric is not only false, but also corrosive of the very institutions that are best able to safeguard our liberty and our rights: the courts, the Fourth Amendment, longstanding precedent and venerable laws, and the democratically elected branches of government.” View the full article
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