After one year of multiple high-profile data breaches targeting point of sale (POS) software used by retailers, millions of customers were at risk of potential credit card fraud. However, the retailers and banks also have endured a heavy financial burden, and this Christmas shopping season could bring a new round of cyber breaches, security experts warned.
"The threat actors are going to be burning the midnight oil trying to get credit card data going into the holiday season," said Brian Foster, chief technology of the Damballa security firm. "Retailers need to be prepared and diligent in the fourth quarter."
Target suffered a breach that led to 40 million customers having their debit and credit card data stolen, only two days before Black Friday in 2013. The BackOff malware has successfully breached more than 1,000 businesses and retailers, the Department of Homeland Security noted.
Google has added some kick to its artificial intelligence research, hiring at least a half dozen researchers, while also partnering with Oxford University. The Silicon Valley company hopes to make Internet search intuitive by creating sub-atomic quantum chips that were modelled using the human brain. Standard computers today still rely on binary data, but quantum computing-based technologies would be able to encode data using the sub-atomic particles.
"We are thrilled to welcome these extremely talented machine learning researchers to the Google DeepMind team and are excited about the potential impact of the advances their research will bring," said Demis Hassabis, DeepMind co-founder and VP of Google engineering.
Google purchased DeepMind, which started as an AI company in Europe, with a focus on neuroscience-based machine learning systems and general-purpose learning algorithms. These partnerships will help create a strong foundation for future AI-based development, using skilled researchers to lend a hand.
Microsoft said its first quarter Xbox sales increased 102 percent, totaling 2.4 million units, but didn't offer specific details on Xbox 360 and Xbox One sales. Despite the strong percentage boost, the Sony PlayStation 4 game console has dominated the Xbox One for nine straight months, according to NPD.
However, it appears Microsoft's incentive to include a free game title with new Xbox One purchases is working, as consumers look to save money anyway possible.
Meanwhile, the Xbox One was released to 28 new markets last quarter, and the company hopes to carry whatever momentum it has into the 2014 Christmas shopping season. Sony plans to release its sales earnings next week.
Just weeks after cutting the prices on their Radeon GPUs, AMD is back to the price-cutting game with prices dropped on their APUs. Not only that, but the company is offering free games, too. Buy any APU between now and the end of the month, and AMD will offer you one of three games: Murdered: Soul Suspect, Thief, or Sniper Elite 3.
Just how hard are the price cuts? Well, AMD are slashing the prices of its top-end parts by 15-25%. The A10-7850K was $189 on NewEgg, but it is now $143, where the A10-7800 was $165, is now $133. These cuts have AMD competing at a better price point against Intel now, especially when it comes to Intel's Core i3 and Core i5 processors.
According to people familiar with the matter, Airbnb's valuation is set to expand up to $13 billion, up from $10 billion earlier this year, reports CNBC.
The community-driven hospitality company, if valued at $13 billion, would come second only to Uber "in the rankings of Silicon Valley's most valuable private companies". Airbnb doesn't have a CEO, after Andrew Swain left last month, which should push out the IPO, if there was one any time soon, to sometime in 2015.
In order for Airbnb employees to cash in on some of their stock between now and the IPO, the company is in discussions with existing investors about allowing them to buy back tens of millions of dollars worth of shares, according to CNBC's sources. This cash injection won't be going into new capital for the company, but instead it would reportedly go to staff.
Microsoft has posted a somewhat surprising quarterly financial report, which even exceeded analysts' expectations. The Redmond-based giant posted $5.48 billion in operating income, with $4.5 billion in net income from $23.2 billion in revenue.
When compared against the results from the same quarter of last year, Microsoft's revenue has increased by 255, but net income is down 14%. The company explains this slump of $1.14 billion because of "integration and restructuring expenses" after acquiring Nokia's Devices and Services business.
One of the bigger surprises, is that Microsoft's Surface division has performed extremely well. The Surface division posted an increase in revenue of a huge 127%, compared to the same three-month period from last year. The Surface Pro 3 has been successful for the company, with $908 million in revenue with positive gross margin, and will soon be Microsoft's next billion-dollar business. When it comes to the Lumia division at Microsoft, it sold 9.3 million handsets for the quarter, an increase of 6% on the same period of last year.
As someone who has watched pretty much all of Netflix's original series, this is news to my ears: three new original shows will be released under Netflix's wings next year. The three new shows are:
Bloodline (2015) - Starring Kyle Chandler, Linda Cardellini, Ben Mendelsohn, and Sissy Spacek. This series follows four Florida siblings whose "dark secrets" are revealed when their black sheep brother returns home. The teaser of which is above.
F is for Family (2015) - Starring Bill Burr, Justin Long, and Laura Dern. This animated series will follow the Murphy family in the 1970's. It brings us back to a time where you could smack your kid, smoke inside, and bring a weapon to an airport.
Between (2015) - Starring Jennette McCurdy from Nickelodeon's "iCarly" and "Sam & Cat." The series features a town that's under siege from a mysterious disease that has killed everybody - except for those 21 years old and younger.
3D Realms is back, unveiling a slew of nostalgia with its new 3D Realms Anthology, which is available through their website for $19.99. The pack includes some of the biggest names in gaming from the 90s.
We have: Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Commander Keen: Goodbye Galaxy, Wolfenstein 3D, Rise of the Triad: Dark War and more, all DRM-free. Better yet, there are free downloads of some of their other games, including Alien Carnage, Major Stryker, and Stargunner. The company got rid of its former staff in 2008, but kept the rights to Duke Nukem and other big names. Get in on the new 3D Realms Anthology and enjoy some great PC gaming memories - remember folks, even these games run at past 30FPS.
We recently discovered a new SSD controller design company is forming and many of the names involved are familiar. The group is headed up by CEO and co-founder Mike Lee. Mr. Lee's former employer was SK Hynix, where he was the Director of SSD SOC Development for the Link A Media Devices team (LAMD).
At this time, details nearly nonexistent other than a few bits of information scattered around the web. The above image started our hunt for more information. Many in the photo are former SandForce, LSI and Skyera employees and all are now with Tidal Systems.
We've often wondered what affects SandForce ping pong would have on employees. SandForce was first acquired by LSI, then LSI was acquired by Avago and then SandForce was spun off to Seagate. SandForce founder, CMO and former NVIDIA nForce chipset architect Radoslav Danilak started Skyera to focus on all-flash enterprise storage a few years ago. At least a handful of the pre-LSI SandForce team went with him. Skyera already has two products on the market, skyHawk and skyEagle.
We did find a short description about Tidal Systems online:
Leveraging our Revolutionary DATA-Compression and Error-Correction (LDPC) Algorithms to create most Powerful System Controller (SoC) and related firmware/software systems solutions to address fast growing NAND Flash Memory based storage products, which is essential for Cloud Computing; Big Data Center; Smartphone, Tablet PC and all Ultra-Portable Computing Appliance.
In short, they will make flash controllers. We wish the team good luck and hope to be the first to test the new products when ready.
LG has announced its new G3 Screen smartphone, but something much more interesting is being launched simultaneously: LG's new "NUCLUN" processor. LG's new chip is an 8-core processor built on ARM's big.LITTLE technology, featuring four 1.5GHz cores, with four 1.2GHz cores.
The faster 1.5GHz cores will be doing the heavy lifting while the four 1.2GHz cores will be doing all of the less processor-intensive stuff. LG says that NUCLUN is "designed to support the next generation of 4G networks, LTE-A Cat.6, for maximum download speeds of up to 225Mbps while retaining backward compatibility with current LTE networks". LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company President and CEO, Dr. Jong-seok Park, said: "NUCLUN opens up a new chapter in LG's history of innovation in the mobile industry. With this in-house solution, we will be able to achieve better vertical integration and further diversity our product strategy against stronger competition. NUCLUN will give us greater flexibility in our mobile strategy going forward".
As for the G3 Screen, we have a 5.9-inch Full HD IPS-based panel, the aforementioned and very impressive sounding NUCLUN processor, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of on-board flash expandable through microSD, a 13-megapixel rear-facing camera with OIS backed up by a 2.1-megapixel camera for selfies, Android 4.4 KitKat, and a 3000mAh battery. We have the super-fast LTE-A Cat.6 connectivity, and when it comes to size we have 157.8 x 81.8 x 9.5mm (or 6.1 x 0.3 x 0.37 inches), and 182g (or 0.4 lbs).