Intel

Intel Says Chips To Become Slower But More Energy Efficient (thestack.com) 306

An anonymous reader writes: William Holt, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Intel's Technology and Manufacturing Group, has said at a conference that chips will become slower after industry re-tools for new technologies such as spintronics and tunneling transistors. "The best pure technology improvements we can make will bring improvements in power consumption but will reduce speed." If true, it's not just the end of Moore's Law, but a rolling back of the progress it made over the last fifty years.
Bug

IRS Computer Problems Shut Down Tax Return E-file System (foxnews.com) 175

Mr.Intel writes: The IRS stopped accepting electronically filed tax returns Wednesday because of problems with some of its computer systems. The outage could affect refunds, but the agency said it doesn't anticipate "major disruptions." A "hardware failure" forced the shutdown of several tax processing systems, including the e-file system, the IRS said in a statement. The IRS.gov website remains available, but "where's my refund" and other services are not working. Some systems will be out of service at least until Thursday, the agency said. "The IRS is currently in the process of making repairs and working to restore normal operations as soon as possible," the IRS said.
Security

What Happened To Norse Corp.? Threat Intelligence Vendor Disappears (csoonline.com) 59

itwbennett writes: Over the weekend, Brian Krebs reported that Sam Glines, CEO of threat intelligence vendor Norse Corp., was asked to step down by the board of directors and employees were told that they could report to work on Monday, but that there was no guarantee they'd be paid for their work. 'Less than a day after Krebs published his article, Norse Corp.'s website was offline, and attempts to email the company failed,' writes CSO's Steve Ragan. 'The ever-popular Norse attack map was online for some of the weekend, but that too had gone dark by Sunday evening.' In the aftermath of the company's disappearance, the topic of flawed data and assumptions once again resurfaced in a blog post written by ICS expert, Robert M. Lee.
Portables

Asus ZenBook UX305CA Shows What Skylake Core M Is Capable Of (hothardware.com) 158

MojoKid writes: ASUS recently revamped their ZenBook UX305 family of ultralight notebooks with Intel's 6th generation Skylake Core m series, which brings with it not only improved graphics performance but also native support for PCI Express NVMe M.2 Solid State Drives. The platform is turning out to be fairly strong for this category of notebooks and the low cost ZenBook ($699 as tested) is a good example of what a Skylake Core M is capable of in a balanced configuration. Tested here, the machine is configured with a 256GB M.2 SSD, 8GB of RAM and a 2.2GHz Core m3-6Y30 dual-core CPU. Along with a 13.3-inch 1080p FHD display and 802.11ac wireless connectivity, the ZenBook UX305 is setup nicely and it puts up solid performance numbers in both standard compute tasks and graphics. It also offers some of the best battery life numbers in an ultralight yet, lasting over 10 hours on a charge in real world connected web testing.
Spam

Ask Slashdot: Why Are Major Companies Exiting the Spam Filtering Business? (slashdot.org) 244

broswell writes: For years we used Postini for spam filtering. Google bought Postini in 2007, operated it for 5 years and then began shutting it down. Then we moved to MX Logic. McAfee bought MX Logic, and McAfee was purchased by Intel. Now Intel is shutting down the service. Neither company chose to raise prices, or spin off the division. Anyone want to speculate on the reasons?
Graphics

In Memoriam: VGA (hackaday.com) 406

szczys writes: VGA is going away. It has been for a long time but the final nails in the coffin are being driven home this year. It was the first standard for video, and is by far the longest-lived port on the PC. The extra pins made computers monitor-aware; allowing data about the screen type and resolution to be queried whenever a display was connected. But the connector is big and looks antiquated. There's no place for it in today's thin, design minded devices. It is also a mechanism for analog signaling in our world that has embraced high-speed digital for ever increasing pixels and integration of more data passing through one connection. Most motherboards no longer have the connector, and Intel's new Skylake processors have removed native VGA functionality. Even online retailers have stopped including it as a filter option when choosing hardware.
Intel

Intel Gets Called Out Again For Their M.I.A. 3.0 X.Org Driver (phoronix.com) 110

An anonymous reader writes: The xf86-video-intel 3.0 DDX driver has been in development the past two and a half years without seeing an official release. The last development release even of xf86-video-intel 3.0 Git was 13 months ago with the xf86-video-intel 2.99.917 release. At that time it was said by Intel's lead DDX developer, "3 months have passed, we should make one more snapshot before an imminent release." Since then, there's been no communications about a stable release of this DDX driver that makes SNA the default acceleration architecture over UXA. Over on the intel-gfx mailing list users are bringing up again the state of xf86-video-intel 3.0 and why it isn't released yet, questioning if Intel is "able to maintain its own device driver in a usable way?"
Hardware Hacking

Atom-Based JaguarBoard To Take On Raspberry Pi (hothardware.com) 120

MojoKid writes: The tiny single-board PC movement that's leading the Internet of Things (IoT) market is largely dominated by ARM-based processors, and for good reason — they're cheap, low power and capable. However, what if you prefer to work with the x86 architecture? JaguarBoard looks strikingly similar to Raspberry Pi, which is arguably the most popular single-board mini PC. But unlike Raspberry Pi, JaguarBoard allows users to develop for x86, courtesy of its Intel Atom Z3735G (Bay Trail) foundation. The chip is a quad-core part clocked at 1.33GHz to 1.83GHz with 2MB of L2 cache, offering a fair amount of horsepower for IoT applications. In addition to an Atom processor, JaguarBoard also boasts 1GB of DDR3L memory, 16GB of eMMC storage, three USB 2.0 ports, 10/100M LAN port, HDMI 1.4 output, SDIO 3.0 socket, two COM ports, four GPIO pins, and audio ports. It's an interesting device that you could use strictly as a mini PC for general purpose computing, as an embedded system, a learning or research tool, or for whatever DIY projects you can conjure up. It's not the only hobbyist-appropriate x86 board, but those specs are pretty good for $45.
Open Source

Linux 4.5 Adds Raspberry Pi 2 Support, AMD GPU Re-Clocking, Intel Kaby Lake (phoronix.com) 147

The Linux 4.5 merge window has been open for the last two weeks; that means that the 4.5-rc1 kernel is expected to emerge, with the official kernel following in about eight weeks. An anonymous reader writes with this top-level list of changes to look for, from Phoronix: Linux 4.5 is set to bring many new features across the kernel's 20 million line code-base. Among the new/improved features are Raspberry Pi 2 support, open-source Raspberry Pi 3D support, NVIDIA Tegra X1 / Jetson TX1 support, an open-source Vivante graphics driver, AMDGPU PowerPlay/re-clocking support, Intel Kaby Lake enablement, a Logitech racing wheel driver, improvements for handling suspended USB devices, new F2FS file-system features, and better Xbox One controller handling.
Crime

Utah Bill Would Require IT Workers To Report Child Porn (ksl.com) 391

Mr.Intel writes: A Utah lawmaker wants computer technicians to face jail time if they don't immediately report child pornography they discover on someone's computer. The proposal would require computer technicians to report child pornography to law enforcement or a federal cyber tip line if they encounter the material, but they would not be required to go searching for it. If they find it and don't report it, they could be given up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. It would mirror laws already on the books in at least 12 other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Displays

Intel Compute Stick Updated With Cherry Trail Atom, Tested (hothardware.com) 90

MojoKid writes: The original Intel Compute Stick wasn't without issues. Last year's model featured dated 802.11n wireless connectivity and had only a single USB port, which meant using a hub and/or dongles, should you want to connect multiple peripherals to the device or boost its wireless capabilities. The new updated Intel Compute Stick, however, features Intel's newer Cherry Trail Atom platform, with 802.11ac 2x2 WiFi, and USB 3.0. There's still just 2GB of RAM in the device, along with 32GB of storage, but Windows 10 Home also now comes pre-installed. The result is a fully functional PC that won't burn up any benchmarks but offers utility for mainstream computing tasks and is even capable of streaming up to 4K video content. The little device can essentially turn any HDMI-equipped display into a basic PC.
Intel

The Trouble With Intel's Management Engine (hackaday.com) 106

szczys writes: You've used many devices that have Intel's Management Engine built into them, even if you haven't heard of it before. This is the lowest level of security, built directly into the chips. But obscurity is part of its security and part of its weakness. Nobody knows exactly how ME works, yet it includes a wide range of features that would be frightening if exploited. The ME is always listening, able to receive packets even when the device is asleep. And it has the lowest level of access to every part of the computer system.
Star Wars Prequels

'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Delayed By Seven Months (hollywoodreporter.com) 203

Mr.Intel writes with bad news for those of you champing at the bit to see the next Star Wars movie. Engadget reports: "You'll have to wait a bit longer to see what the heck is up with Luke Skywalker. Disney announced this afternoon that it's delaying Star Wars: Episode VIII from May 26, 2017 by seven months to December 15, 2017. Disney didn't give any reason for the delay, but sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that it'll allow the studio to give the film a Christmas release treatment, which worked pretty well for The Force Awakens. Additionally, it'll give director/writer Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper) more time to work on the film. THR's Borys Kit notes that may include rewrites to focus more on the new class of Star Wars characters."
Intel

Serious Flaw Patched In Intel Driver Update Utility (csoonline.com) 34

itwbennett writes: The flaw in a utility that helps users download the latest drivers for their Intel hardware components stems from the tool using unencrypted HTTP connections to check for driver updates. It was discovered by researchers from Core Security and was reported to Intel in November. The Core Security researchers found that the utility was checking for new driver versions by downloading XML files from Intel's website over HTTP. These files included the IDs of hardware components, the latest driver versions available for them and the corresponding download URLs. Intel Driver Update Utility users are strongly advised to download the latest version from Intel's support website.
Math

New Mersenne Prime Discovered, Largest Known Prime Number: 2^74,207,281 - 1 (mersenne.org) 132

Dave Knott writes: The Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search (GIMPS) has discovered a new largest known prime number, 2^74,207,281-1, having 22,338,618 digits. The same GIMPS software recently uncovered a flaw in Intel's latest Skylake CPUs, and its global network of CPUs peaking at 450 trillion calculations per second remains the longest continuously-running "grassroots supercomputing" project in Internet history. The prime is almost 5 million digits larger than the previous record prime number, in a special class of extremely rare prime numbers known as Mersenne primes. It is only the 49th known Mersenne prime ever discovered, each increasingly difficult to find.
Security

SCADA "Selfies" a Big Give Away To Hackers (csmonitor.com) 54

chicksdaddy writes: The world's governments are on notice that their critical infrastructure is vulnerable after an apparent cyberattack darkened 80,000 households in three regions of Ukraine last month. But on the question of safeguarding utilities, operators of power plants, water treatment facilities, and other industrial operations might do well to worry more about Instagram than hackers, according to a report by Christian Science Monitor Passcode. Speaking at a gathering of industrial control systems experts last week, Sean McBride of the firm iSight Partners said that social media oversharing is a wellspring of information that could be useful to attackers interested in compromising critical infrastructure. Among the valuable information he's found online: workplace selfies on Instagram and Facebook that reveal details of supervisory control and data acquisition, or SCADA, systems.

"No SCADA selfies!" said Mr. McBride at the S4 Conference in Miami Thursday. "Don't make an adversary's job easier." iSight has found examples of SCADA selfies at sensitive facilities and warns that such photos may unwittingly reveal critical information that operators would prefer to keep secret. The firm's researchers have also discovered panoramic pictures of control rooms and video walk-throughs of facilities. Corporate websites can divulge valuable information to adversaries like organization charts or lists of employees — valuable sources of information for would-be attackers, says McBride. That kind of slip-up have aided critical infrastructure attacks in the past. Photographs published in 2008 by former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's press office provided western nuclear analysts with detailed views of the insides of the Natanz facility and Iran's uranium enrichment operation – what an expert once described as "intel to die for."

AMD

AMD Rips 'Biased and Unreliable' Intel-Optimized SYSmark Benchmark (hothardware.com) 174

MojoKid writes: AMD is making a stink about SYSMark, a popular benchmarking program that's been around for many years, and one the chip designer says is not reliable. Rather than provide meaningful results and information, AMD claims SYSMark unfairly favors Intel products and puts too much emphasis on strict CPU performance above all else. John Hampton, director of AMD's client computing products, explained in a video why SYSMark itself is an unreliable metric of performance. He even brought up the "recent debacle" involving Volkswagen as proof that "information provided by even the most established organizations can be misleading." Salinas says SYSMark's focus on the CPU is so "excessive" that it's really only evaluating the processor, not the system as a whole. In comparison, PCMark 8 probes not only the CPU, but graphics and subsystems as well. In an attempt to drive the point home, AMD ran a set of custom scripts it developed based on Microsoft Office and timed how long it took each system to complete them. The Intel system took 61 seconds to finish the benchmark versus 64 seconds for the AMD platform, a difference of about 6-7 percent and in line with what PCMark 8 indicated, though Sysmark shows a stark delta of 50 percent in favor of Intel with comparable CPUs.
Windows

Microsoft: Only the Latest Version of Windows Will Support New CPU Generations (windows.com) 458

Joe_Dragon sends news from Microsoft about how the company will support Windows now and in the future. The company says PCs built with Intel's Skylake chip, and other new architectures in the future, will require the latest version of Windows for support. This doesn't take effect right away; Windows 7 and 8.1 will be supported on older chips until their planned end-of-life dates, in 2020 and 2023 respectively. They'll also be supported on a list of current Skylake devices for the next 18 months. After that, only the latest version of Windows will support integration between the operating system and new CPU features. "For example, Windows 10 will be the only supported Windows platform on Intel's upcoming 'Kaby Lake' silicon, Qualcomm's upcoming '8996' silicon, and AMD's upcoming 'Bristol Ridge' silicon." Microsoft also mentioned that for new supported systems, the company will "ensure all drivers will be on Windows Update with published BIOS/UEFI upgrading tools." The submitter adds, "Putting BIOS/UEFI updates in to the Windows 10 auto- / forced-update system may open Microsoft to paying $600-$1,000+ to replace broken laptops. If Windows tries to update BIOS/UEFI at a bad/risky time (like during power instability in a big storm), it could lead to an update loop or worse."
Intel

Intel's Clear Linux Distribution Offers Fast Out-Of-The-Box Performance (phoronix.com) 137

An anonymous reader writes: In a 10-way Linux distribution battle including OpenSUSE, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, and others, one of the fastest out-of-the-box performers was a surprising contender: Intel's Clear Linux Project that's still in its infancy. Clear Linux ships in an optimized form for delivering best performance on x86 hardware with enabling many compiler optimizations by default, highly-tuned software bundles, function multi-versioning for the most performant code functions based upon CPU, AutoFDO for automated feedback-direct optimizations and other performance-driven features. Clear Linux is a rolling-release-inspired distribution that issues new versions a few times a day and is up to version 5700.
Crime

Police Agencies Using Software To Generate "Threat Scores" of Suspects (washingtonpost.com) 148

Koreantoast writes: It's no secret that governments across the globe have been taking advantage of new technologies to create stronger surveillance systems on citizens. While many have focused on the actions of intelligence agencies, local police departments continue to create more sophisticated systems as well. A recent article highlights one new system deployed by the Fresno, California police department, Intrado's Beware. The system scours police data, public records, social media, and public Internet data to provide a "threat level" of a potential suspect or residency. The software is part of a broader trend of military counterinsurgency tools and algorithms being repurposed for civil use. While these tools can help police manage actively dangerous situations, providing valuable intel when responding to calls, the analysis also raises serious civil liberties questions both in privacy (where the data comes from) and accuracy (is the data valid, was the analysis done correctly). Also worrying are the long term ramifications to such technologies: there has already been some speculation about "citizen scores," could a criminal threat score be something similar? At very least, as Matt Cagle of the ACLU noted, "there needs to be a meaningful debate... there needs to be safeguards and oversight."

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