Apple wants to stop you from using dangerous USB-C devices

Credit to Author: Jonny Evans| Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2019 07:16:00 -0800

Apple wants to make it harder for its customers to use cheap USB-C cables — and it’s for your own good.

The risks of USB-C cables

Cables are complicated, and that’s why friends don’t let friends connect cut-price or otherwise unverified USB-C cables to their systems — and soon, you won’t be able to.

Apple has warned its users to avoid using low-quality equipment for years. It was only in 2016 that it was revealed that hundreds of chargers at that time sold on Amazon and advertised as being made by Apple were in fact dangerous fakes.

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Apple wants to stop you using dangerous USB-C devices

Credit to Author: Jonny Evans| Date: Fri, 04 Jan 2019 07:16:00 -0800

Apple wants to make it harder for its customers to use cheap USB-C cables – and it’s for your own good.

These are the risks of USB-C cables

Cables are complicated and that’s why friends don’t let friends connect cut-price or otherwise unverified USB-C cables to their systems –and soon, you won’t be able to.

Apple has warned its users to avoid using low-quality equipment for years. It was only in 2016 that it was revealed that hundreds of chargers at that time sold on Amazon and advertised as being made by Apple were in fact dangerous fakes.

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Tech luminaries we lost in 2018

Credit to Author: Ken Gagne| Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2018 03:00:00 -0800

Remembering our industry’s innovators
CW > In Memoriam 2018 > Tech luminaries we lost this year [slideshow cover]

Image by FreedomMaster / Getty Images

They were the founders of such household names as Atari and Microsoft. They built the hardware and software that powers the Internet. They used computers to give voice to the young and the disabled. And they rarely did so in the spotlight. Whether they ever achieved fame or fortune, these 13 women and men deserve a place in the history books for their lives, accomplishments, and contributions to science and information technology around the world.

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The MacBook Pro’s T2 chip boosts enterprise security

Credit to Author: Jonny Evans| Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2018 06:51:00 -0700

You may have missed an all-new enterprise-focused feature woven inside of Apple’s all-new MacBook Pro – its new T2 chip which fundamentally enhances the security of these computers.

What is the T2 chip?

The successor to the T1, Apple’s T2 chip enables secure boot and encrypted storage on the machine. It first appeared on the iMac Pro.

What does the T2 chip do?

The most widely-reported task handled by the T2 chip is the provision of “Hey Siri” support for the first time on a Mac.

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Microsoft releases emergency Windows update to hamstring earlier 'Spectre' defense

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 12:23:00 -0800

Microsoft on Saturday issued an out-of-band Windows security update that disabled a patch the company released earlier this month to protect personal computers from possible attacks leveraging one of the “Spectre” vulnerabilities.

The weekend release was Microsoft’s response to an announcement seven days ago by Intel, which told customers of all stripes – from computer makers to end users – to stop deploying the firmware updates it had offered after disclosures of the Spectre and Meltdown flaws. According to Intel, the new firmware “may introduce [a] higher-than-expected [number of] reboots and other unpredictable system behavior” on Broadwell and Haswell processors. Those silicon families were introduced in 2015 and 2013, respectively.

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Intel says new firmware patches trigger reboots in Haswell and Broadwell systems

Credit to Author: Woody Leonhard| Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 05:18:00 -0800

The headlong race to cover the Meltdown/Spectre debacle has claimed another victim. In a surprising move, Intel has raised a red flag about some of its firmware patches. What should you do? Wait.

Yesterday, Intel executive VP Navin Shenoy posted on the company blog:

We have received reports from a few customers of higher system reboots after applying firmware updates. Specifically, these systems are running Intel Broadwell and Haswell CPUs for both client and data center. We are working quickly with these customers to understand, diagnose and address this reboot issue. If this requires a revised firmware update from Intel, we will distribute that update through the normal channels.

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CES 2018: The top 9 new products for the enterprise

Credit to Author: Peter Sayer| Date: Fri, 12 Jan 2018 08:24:00 -0800

Alexa on Windows 10 PCs at CES 2018
hp alexa

Image by HP

At CES 2018 everyone was talking about – or talking to – Amazon.com’s Alexa digital assistant. It’s omnipresent – around the home and in phones, cars and, increasingly, offices. You’ll probably even find it in your next Windows 10 PC. It’s already in the new HP Pavilion Wave small form-factor PC (pictured); the Aspire, Spin, Switch and Swift notebooks from Acer; the 2018 ZenBook and VivoBook from Asus, and the Thinkpad X1 Carbon and Yoga devices from Lenovo.

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Windows 7 takes biggest performance hit from emergency Meltdown, Spectre updates

Credit to Author: Gregg Keizer| Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2018 05:09:00 -0800

Microsoft said Tuesday that Windows 7 PCs would run slower after receiving and installing the crash updates designed to stymie attacks that leverage the recently-disclosed vulnerabilities in virtually every in-use microprocessor.

But for Windows 10, a Microsoft executive said, “We don’t expect most users to notice a change because these [slowdown] percentages are reflected in milliseconds.”

The contrast, general though it was, came from Terry Myerson, who leads the company’s Windows group.

“With Windows 10 on newer silicon (2016-era PCs with Skylake, Kaby Lake or newer CPU), benchmarks show single-digit slowdowns,” Myerson wrote in a Tuesday post to a Microsoft blog. Skylake and Kaby Lake were the codenames for the Intel processors launched in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The bulk of new personal computers sold in 2016 and 2017 were equipped with Skylake or Kaby Lake CPUs (central processor units).

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What is Windows Hello? Microsoft’s biometrics security system explained

Credit to Author: Matt Kapko| Date: Thu, 28 Dec 2017 03:17:00 -0800

Windows Hello is a biometrics-based technology that enables Windows 10 users to authenticate secure access to their devices, apps, online services and networks with just a fingerprint, iris scan or facial recognition. The sign-in mechanism is essentially an alternative to passwords and is widely considered to be a more user friendly, secure and reliable method to access critical devices, services and data than traditional logins using passwords.

“Windows Hello solves a few problems: security and inconvenience,” said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy. “Traditional passwords are unsafe as they are hard to remember, and therefore people either choose easy-to-guess passwords or write down their passwords.”

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