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HP

Popular Wireless Keyboards From HP, Toshiba and Others Don't Use Encryption, Can Be Easily Snooped On (threatpost.com) 85

Reader msm1267 writes: Wireless keyboards made by eight different companies suffer from a vulnerability that can allow attackers to eavesdrop on keystrokes from up to 250 feet away, researchers warned Tuesday. If exploited, the vulnerability, dubbed KeySniffer, could let an attacker glean passwords, credit card numbers, security questions and answers -- essentially anything typed on a keyboard, in clear text. Keyboards manufactured by Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba, Kensington, Insignia, Radio Shack, Anker, General Electric, and EagleTec are affected, according to Marc Newlin, a researcher with Bastille Networks who discovered the vulnerability. Bastille gave the manufacturers of the keyboards 90 days to address the vulnerability, but most vendors failed to respond to their findings. Newlin said only Jasco Products, a company that manufactures the affected keyboard (GE 98614) for General Electric, responded and claimed it no longer manufactures wireless devices, like keyboards. As there doesn't appear to be a way to actually fix the vulnerability, it's likely the companies will eventually consider the devices end of life.
Facebook

Google, Tesla, and Facebook Attract 'Hordes of Tech Tourists' To Their Headquarters (siliconvalley.com) 80

An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: "We just came from Oracle, then we go to HP, Google; we're going to do Tesla, Intel, eBay and Yahoo. And Apple, I forgot Apple..." says one San Francisco resident, describing a tour he's providing for his friend from Tokyo. In fact, Silicon Valley's iconic tech companies have discovered tourists are now dropping in on their headquarters. "It was nice to walk between the buildings, take some pictures and see the employees enjoy their lunch break," wrote one visitor to Google's campus, before complaining that Google hadn't also provided them with bathroom access. "We got told not to use the Google bikes as they are for employees only, which was a bit of a shame," another visitor complained.

"Hundreds of people a day visit the Facebook sign and Google's Android sculpture garden in Mountain View," reports the Bay Area Newsgroup, "with many stopping at other tech giants as well, snapping photos and shooting video..." In fact, Tesla, Apple, Facebook, and Google have all now installed stores where tourists can purchase branded merchandise. (Google sells figurines of their Android mascot for $15). "What you're seeing are people on a pilgrimage..." said Stanford communications professor Fred Turner. "Folks are looking for a physical place behind the kind of dematerialized experience that they have online."

Intel has its own museum, and the Los Altos garage where Steve Jobs started Apple has even been designated a historic site. Are there any other historic tech sites that should be preserved to inspire future generations of tourists?
Microsoft

Microsoft Targets The iMac With New All-In-One Surface PCs, Reports Say (networkworld.com) 140

New submitter Miche67 writes: Two reports say Microsoft is working on an all-in-one (AIO) PC under the Surface brand. If that's true, it would put it in competition with HP and Dell, which have their own AIO lines, as well as put it in competition with Apple's iMac. Network World reports: "Both DigiTimes and Windows Central picked up on the story, each citing their own sources. DigiTimes, a Taiwan-based publication with connections to the PC industry over there (but also a very mixed record of accuracy) said the new devices would come in the third quarter of this year. Windows Central, which is a little better when it comes to rumors, said it did not have a solid release date." Business Insider was able to find a patent filing by Microsoft for a desktop PC that supports the rumored AIO design. "The device is evidently targeting a 'modern and elegant' design and is meant to be something akin to a premium appliance or furniture," Windows Central wrote. Intel's release date of the new Kaby Lake line of processors around Q3 of this year complicates things. While Kaby Lake is said to be more mobile-friendly with less power consumption and heat, they would make for a good choice for an AIO machine. However, it would be pushing it for Microsoft to release its AIO machines in the same quarter that Kaby Lake is due. On a semi-related note, a programmer at Building 88 recently confirmed that Microsoft will release Surface 5 devices next year powered by Kaby Lake processors. He posted pictures of four device holders marked "2017" on his Twitter account.
HP

HP Rolls Out Device-as-a-Service for PCs, Printers (eweek.com) 75

HP says it plans to provide companies with personal computers and other devices as part of a service. Corporate customers of HP's new initiative dubbed "device-as-a-service" will be able to pay a fixed monthly fee per employee for devices, eliminating the need to pay the retail cost upfront for hardware. From a report on eWeek:The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company unveiled a DaaS (device-as-a-service) initiative, one that has already been up and running with several of its clients for the last few months. As more and more millennials come into the work force, they expect to see light, fast, small, and up-to-date tools to use, because that's what they're used to, and their tools are like a badge of honor, HPI's Vice-President and General Manager of Support Services Bill Avey said. "Older employees might want bigger screen and keyboards. The point is, work tools need to fit the work force, and as workforces become more diverse, the tools must adjust fit the needs," Avey said. Otherwise, Avey said, employees will find workarounds in so-called shadow IT (using their own laptops, smartphones, tablets and applications) to get the job done -- which is always a nightmare for enterprise security professionals.
Oracle

Oracle Ordered To Pay $3B Damages To HP (bbc.com) 47

Oracle has been ordered to pay HP $3 billion in damages by a California jury over HP's claim that Oracle reneged on a deal to support HP computer servers running on Itanium chips from Intel. Oracle said it will appeal. BBC reports:The court battle over the contract was settled in 2012 but the damages HPE was due have only now been agreed. HP was split into two in 2015 with HPE taking over the running of its servers and services business. In court, HPE argued that although the 2012 legal judgement meant Oracle had resumed making software for the powerful chips, its business had suffered harm. It argued that Oracle took the decision in 2011 to stop supporting Itanium in a bid to get customers to move to hardware made by Sun -- a hardware firm owned by Oracle. Oracle said that its decision in 2011 was driven by a realisation that Itanium was coming to the end of its life. It also argued that the contract it signed never obliged it to keep producing software in perpetuity. Intel stopped making Itanium chips in late 2012 and many companies that used servers built around them have now moved to more powerful processors.
Google

HP Adds a Touchscreen To Its 11-inch Chromebook Lineup 18

An anonymous reader shares a report by The Verge:HP today announced the Chromebook 11 G5, the first of the company's Chrome OS laptops in the 11-inch range to include a touchscreen display. The new Chromebook starts at $189 and will go on sale through HP's channel partners in July. It will be more widely available in stores this October. The base model of the Chromebook 11 G5 has a 11.6-inch screen with a sub-HD display (there will be an option for an HD IPS touchscreen panel with Gorilla Glass), weighs 2.51 pounds, and comes with a 1.6gHz Intel Celeron N3060 -- a somewhat common processor for low- to mid-range Chromebooks. HP claims it will be powerful enough to handle video calls and playback, and that it "speeds through spreadsheets," which is the most amazingly modest goal I can imagine for a Chromebook. Of course that limited performance, coupled with Chrome OS's limited feature set, gives the Chromebook 11 G5 up to 11 solid hours of battery life, according to HP.
Chrome

Google Ponders About a Chromebook Pro (venturebeat.com) 138

Google is currently surveying people about what a Chromebook Pro should be like. VentureBeat's report cites two people who recently shared the development on a forum. One user was asked the question, "How would you think a Chromebook Pro is different than a Chromebook?" whereas the other user was asked, "what a Chromebook Pro should be like in [his/her] opinion and what type of people would want to use it." From the report:The word "Pro" would imply a high-end laptop running Chrome OS, just like, say, the MacBook Pro or the Surface Pro 4. But there are many other companies -- Asus, Dell, HP, and Samsung, among others -- that make Chromebooks, along with Google. It isn't clear from these survey questions if Google is thinking about making a Chromebook Pro itself, just as it has made high-end Chromebook Pixel laptops, or if Google is just wondering how consumers would perceive a Chromebook Pro made by a third party. Meanwhile, Google last month published a job posting entitled "Quality Engineer, Chromebook Pixel," suggesting that a third generation of that device could be on the way.Chromebooks are becoming increasingly popular. They outsold Mac for the first time in the United States earlier this year. The majority of the Chromebooks available today, however, pack in entry-level specifications, giving users very limited choice. Though we have seen devices like Chromebook Pixel, a range of high-end Chromebooks could entice even more customers.
HP

Top Windows OEM Lenovo Urges Customers To Uninstall Accelerator Application (lenovo.com) 49

Two-Factor Authentication service Duo Security reported earlier that third-party updating tools found on Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Asus (the top five Windows OEMs) are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attack. Hours later, Lenovo, the world's largest Windows OEM by shipment figure, has issued an advisory in which it urges users to uninstall Accelerator Application, which comes preinstalled on many of its laptops and desktops models. Fortune reports: Specifically, as Lenovo said in an advisory notice, the auto-update feature in its Accelerator Application software can be exploited by a "man-in-the-middle attack" -- someone could get in between the computer and the server pushing out the updated software, fooling the computer into installing a fake version of the update instead of the genuine article. Such attacks can allow anything from surreptitious malware installation to the insertion of surveillance capabilities, or even the hijacking of PCs.
Security

Out-Of-the-Box Exploitation Possible On PCs From Top 5 OEMs (arstechnica.com) 81

According to a report published by two-factor authentication service Duo Security, third-party updating tools installed by Dell, HP, Lenovo, Acer, and Asus (the top five Windows PC OEMs) are exposing their devices to man-in-the-middle attacks. Dan Goodin, reports for Ars Technica: The updaters frequently expose their programming interfaces, making them easy to reverse engineer. Even worse, the updaters frequently fail to use transport layer security encryption properly, if at all. As a result, PCs from all five makers are vulnerable to exploits that allow attackers to install malware.Duo Security adds: Hacking in practice means taking the path of least resistance, and OEM software is often a weak link in the chain. All of the sexy exploit mitigations, desktop firewalls, and safe browsing enhancements can't protect you when an OEM vendor cripples them with pre-installed software.
Graphics

Wearable 'Backpack PCs' Let You Experience High-End VR On The Go (mashable.com) 47

An anonymous reader writes: Powerful virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive require powerful PCs with beefy graphics cards to operate. That means you'll usually be tethered to a PC tower in your home. Well, HP and MSI have announced portable 'backpack PCs' designed to be used with high-end virtual reality headsets. These PC internals are built in a backpack enclosure powered by a large battery pack. The HP Omen X weighs less than 10 pounds and has a battery that's big enough to last for up to one hour of gameplay, but you do have the option of swapping out the batteries for uninterrupted VR. Specs include either an Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, up to 32GB of RAM, and at least an Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD R9 290 or higher. The MSI Backpack PC features an Intel Core i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 980 graphics, according to the company. The last of the backpack PC trio is the Zotac Mobile VR. The company hasn't released any specs of the product but the company did state in a blog post, "This mobile solution not only removes the bulk of connecting to the large traditional computer towers of old, but also allows the user to roam freely in VR with their undivided attention. This innovative solution includes a system powerful enough to drive VR, and a portable battery pack to keep you going." There is no pricing or availability information as of yet.
HP

HPE To Spin Out Its Huge Services Business, Merge It With CSC (cio.com) 147

itwbennett writes from a report via CIO: Hewlett-Packard Enterprise announced Tuesday that it will spin off its enterprise services business and merge it with IT services company Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC) to create a company with $26 billion in annual revenue. The services business "accounts for roughly 100,000 employees, or two-thirds of the Silicon Valley giant's workforce," according to the Wall Street Journal. In a statement, HPE CEO Meg Whitman said customers would benefit from a "stronger, more versatile services business, better able to innovate and adapt to an ever-changing technology landscape." Layoffs were not a topic of discussion in Tuesday's announcement, but HPE did say last year they would cut 33,000 jobs by 2018, in addition to the 55,000 job cuts it had already announced. The company also split into two last year, betting that the smaller parts will be nimbler and more able to reverse four years of declining sales.
Google

Chromebooks Outsell Macs For the First Time In the US (theverge.com) 177

An anonymous reader shares a report on The Verge: Google's low-cost Chromebooks outsold Apple's range of Macs for the first time in the U.S. recently. IDC analyst Linn Huang confirmed the milestone to The Verge. "Chrome OS overtook Mac OS in the US in terms of shipments for the first time in 1Q16," says Huang. "Chromebooks are still largely a US K-12 story." IDC estimates Apple's U.S. Mac shipments to be around 1.76 million in the latest quarter, meaning Dell, HP, and Lenovo sold nearly 2 million Chromebooks in Q1 combined. Chromebooks have been extremely popular in US schools, and it's clear from IDC's comments the demand is driving US shipments. Outside of the US, it's still unclear exactly how well Google's low-cost laptops are doing. Most data from market research firms like IDC and Gartner focuses solely on Google's wins in the US.
United States

Billionaire Tech Investor Peter Thiel To Back Trump As GOP Presidential Candidate (techcrunch.com) 281

An anonymous reader writes: Billionaire tech investor, co-founder and former CEO of PayPal Peter Thiel has agreed to back Trump as a California delegate in Cleveland this summer. He will be one of 172 selected Golden State delegates headed to the Republican National Convention. His support for Trump contrasts many other leaders, like A16z's Marc Andreessen who has voiced his distaste for Trump, tweeting: "OH: Trump is like an Internet comments section decided to run for President." In the past, Thiel, who is a libertarian at heart, has donated $2.6 million to Ron Paul in 2012 and added $2 million to a Super PAC backing Ted Cruz's former running mate ex-HP CEO Carly Fiorina. He also gave $250,000 to Ted Cruz's bid for Texas attorney general in 2009.
Microsoft

Sales Of PCs, Laptops, Tablets Continue to Fall, Hit Lowest Point Since 2011 (canalys.com) 314

According to the latest numbers provided by marketing research firm Canalys, the shipments of PC devices -- which includes desktops, notebooks, all-in-ones, two-in-ones, and tablets -- amounted to 101 million units in the first quarter of 2016. The number underscores a 13% decline from the same period a year ago, and it is also the lowest volume since the second quarter of 2011. Apple led the chart among PC OEMs, moving 14 million units (suffering 17% fall), followed by Chinese conglomerate Lenovo. HP assumed the third position, with Dell and Samsung closely following it. Tim Coulling, Canalys Senior Analyst said in a press statement: The global PC market had a bad start to 2016 and it is difficult to see any bright spots for vendors in the coming quarters. The tablet boom has faded in the distance and the market is fully mature. Global shipments declines are expected to continue unless vendors bring transformational innovation to the market. Apple and Microsoft are propping up shipments in established markets with their detachables, but price points make them less affordable in low-income countries. Although other vendors are coming to market with cheaper alternatives, they are unlikely to have a big impact on volumes in the short term. The number of people looking to buy their first PC is at an all-time low and 2016 is likely to bring yet more turmoil to global PC vendors.
The Almighty Buck

Creator of Online Money Gets 20 Years in Prison (cnn.com) 149

An anonymous reader quotes this report from CNN: Before the virtual currency Bitcoin there was Liberty Reserve -- and its founder just got sentenced to 20 years in prison. Arthur Budovsky, 42, ran an online digital money business out of Costa Rica called Liberty Reserve. The U.S. government contended that the whole thing was just a massive, $6 billion money laundering operation. On Friday, U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote sentenced him to two decades in federal prison. She said Budovsky did not show "genuine remorse," according to the Department of Justice...

The U.S. government used the Patriot Act to go after this payment processor. The U.S. Treasury Department labeled it a money laundering organization, and cut it off from the American financial system. In 2013, American investigators took over the website and shut it down. In 2014, Budovsky and several coworkers were arrested in Spain. Then Budovsky was extradited to the United States to face trial for money laundering and operating an unlicensed money transmitting business.

Republicans

Ted Cruz Drops Out Of The Republican Presidential Race (washingtonpost.com) 879

rmdingler writes: Ted Cruz drops out of the presidential race after losing in Indiana. Donald Trump has become the presumptive nominee before Hillary has locked things up versus Bernie. This is huge. Cruz's decision to drop out came after losing significantly to Trump in the Indiana primary. "I said I would continue on as long as there is a viable path to victory. Tonight I'm sorry to say, it appears that path has been foreclosed," Cruz told a small group of supporters Tuesday night. "Together we left it all on the field in Indiana. We gave it everything we got, but the voters chose another path." He said he would "continue to fight for liberty," but did not say whether or not he would support Trump as the nominee. The exit comes soon after he announced former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his running mate in a desperate move to keep his candidacy afloat.
Google

HP Announces All-Metal Chromebook 13: Thinner Than MacBook Pro, Costs $800 Less 211

On Thursday, HP unveiled a new Chromebook 13. Designed in collaboration with Google, the Chromebook 13 sports an all-metal body and is merely 13mm thick while weighing 1.29kg. It sports a 13-inch display with 3200x1800 pixels resolution and is powered by Intel's sixth-gen Core M processor, which comes coupled with up to 16GB of RAM. There's a USB Type-C port as well, and the company is also promising up to 11.5 hours of battery life on a single charge. The retail price of the HP Chromebook starts at $499, and will launch in the US later this month.
HP

With Carly Fiorina As Running Mate, Cruz's H-1B Stance Now In Question (computerworld.com) 327

dcblogs quotes a report from Computerworld: In 2013, Sen. Ted Cruz emerged as one of the Senate's top H-1B visa supporters, and argued for a 500% visa cap increase. But during his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, Cruz had a conversion. Cruz's presidential platform proposed a $110,000 minimum wage for visa workers, among other restrictions, as a way of ending their use as low-cost labor. The move marked a complete turnabout on the H-1B issue. Cruz's decision Wednesday to add former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina as his running mate if he wins the nomination, may make his newly found H-1B beliefs a hard sell. At HP, Fiorina was a prominent supporter of the offshore outsourcing model, said Ron Hira, an associate professor of public policy at Howard University. "To pump up profits, she was an early adopter of the practice, which given HP's status as a leading Silicon Valley firm, pushed other firms to adopt offshoring," said Hira. As offshoring gained, Fiorina played a leading role in defending globalization. To make her point, in 2004, Fiorina said: "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore," reported the San Francisco Chronicle.
Open Source

Data Center Management Darling Mesosphere Embraces Open Source (fiercecio.com) 19

An anonymous reader writes: Cloud computing startup Mesosphere has opted to open-source its data center management platform. This move is backed by Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, Cisco Systems and roughly 60 other tech partners. The three-year-old San Francisco company's datacenter operating system (DCOS) was built as an operating system for all services in a data center to function as one pool of resources. Capabilities include the quick, app store-like installation of more than 20 complex distributed systems, including HDFS, Apache Spark, Apache Kafka and Apache Cassandra, Mesosphere said in an announcement. Although some of the company's technologies were already available as open source, others were propriety until now. Mesosphere said it welcomes additional enterprises interested in partnering on this open source project.Wired has more details on this in its slightly enthusiastic report titled You want to build an empire like Google's? This is your OS.
Hardware

Free Software Will Help Detect Faulty and Malicious USB-C Cables 113

Reader Mickeycaskill writes: The USB 3.0 Promoter Group, of which HP, Intel and Microsoft are members, has developed authentication protocols for USB-C and will offer free software to detect faulty or malicious cables.This tool will alert users if they are using a non-authenticated cable. It has been suggested that hardware manufacturers could ship devices with an authentication system already installed. It is hoped that the specification will help end a number of recent incidents where sub-standard cables have either ripped off buyers or damaged devices. Most recently, Amazon said it would be adding USB-C cables and adapters that do not comply with standard regulations to its list of prohibited electronics items.

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