Cybercriminals are compromising users with sophisticated code and clever social engineering attacks, with private companies, enterprises, and government agencies under attack. Cybersecurity is now the No. 1 threat to the United States, ahead of terrorism, and at least $10 billion is being invested each year in security efforts - that don't seem effective.
It's an unfortunate time for customers and private citizens, as their personal information is valuable to hackers - and companies seem to be unable to keep information secure.
Marc Maiffret, a former hacker turned cybersecurity specialist and co-founder of Beyond Trust cybersecurity firm, explained why today is more frightening than previous years: "There's also a much bigger allure to use these skills to make money, in a criminal sense." It's true that rogue hacker groups and state-sponsored hackers are finding lucrative opportunities and easy access to sensitive data.
Microsoft took a major step forward after releasing the Lumia 535 smartphone, its first handset without Nokia branding. The device is powered by Windows Phone 8.1 and will cost around $137, featuring a 5-inch qHD display screen, and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera.
Microsoft purchased Nokia in April for $7.2 billion and wanted to move ahead without the Nokia branding - recently confirming that devices would be known as Microsoft Lumia.
Even if the company is able to release affordable, appealing smartphones, trying to compete against the Apple iPhone and Google Android smartphones will remain an uphill battle. Windows-powered smartphones only have 2.7 percent of the global smartphone market, according to Strategy Analytics, as its market share continues to drop.
Even with a drastic increase in significant data breaches, 77 percent of IT professional and executives in the retail, energy and financial services in the United States and UK feel "confident" of their basic security controls, according to a recent survey. Meanwhile, 10 percent of respondents said they feel "very confident" in their patch management efforts, while 47 percent feel "confident" in their current configurations of routers, firewalls and modems.
In the past 12 months alone, more than 100 million records have been stolen from retailers via malware infecting point of sale (POS) devices - and JPMorgan Chase's networks were breached - indicating there is still a significant amount of work that must be done.
"It's not surprising that IT and security professionals have confidence in foundational security controls," said Jane Holl Lute, Council on CyberSecurity president and CEO. "The Controls are instrumental in defending against common cyberattacks and lay the foundation for effective defense against more sophisticated intrusions. But to be effective they must be implemented consistently across the entire enterprise."
The Intel DC S3500 series competes in the price-sensitive segment and is geared for read-intensive and mixed workloads. The DC S3500 (evaluated here) doesn't sport quite the performance of its older brother, the DC S3700 (evaluated here), but provides plenty of performance and endurance for many workloads. Today Intel is announcing the release of 1.2 and 1.6TB variants, along with a new M.2 design. Expanded capacity is coupled with low power consumption that delivers reduced TCO. The DC S3500 has an active read power below 1.3 Watts. A sprinkling of other datacenter-specific technologies provide resiliency and a 0.3DWPD (Drive Writes Per Day) endurance limitation. End-to-end data protection, data redundancy technology, AES encryption, and power loss protection, ensure data safety.
Intel 20nm MLC NAND and a new 8-channel controller drive the DC S3500 models. Details are scant on the new Intel-proprietary controllers, but we will update readers as more information becomes available. We can expect to see the same consistent performance from the new drives, with a .5ms latency maximum for 99.9% of 4k random read IOPS. There are 10 capacity points available for the 2.5 drives, allowing users to tailor capacity for their specific needs. The high-capacity 2.5" variants feature up to 500/460 MB/s of sequential read/write speed and up to 65,000/18,500 random read/write IOPS. The larger pool of flash provides a bit more performance for the high-capacity variants, but the entire DC S3500 range features varying speeds based upon capacity.
The M.2 design relies upon the SATA interface and comes in 80, 120, and 340GB capacities. The performance of the M.2 variant seems tuned for slightly more random write speed than the similar capacity 2.5" variants, but slightly lower read speed. Intel is expecting the compact M.2 design to make a big splash in embedded applications, such as digital signage and slot machines. The M.2 design will also work well for server boot volumes. The ultra-dense design is particularly well-suited for blade and microserver designs, and some OEMs are in the process of developing systems with multiple M.2 connectors.
SMART Modular Technologies has announced the new M.2 SATA XR+ with SafeDATA power loss protection technology. SMART Modular Technologies, part of the larger SMART consortium of companies, is a privately-held company that has been in the electronics industry for over 25 years. Their products are usually confined to the OEM market, where they create custom designs for varying applications. The double-sided M.2 design is available in capacities from 32 to 512GB. These SSDs are designed to meet the needs of Tier 1 OEM customers and sport sequential read/write speeds of 540/320 MB/s.
SafeDATA consists of power loss detection and hold-up circuitry, in addition to advanced controller firmware, to flush all data to the underlying NAND in the event of a host power loss event. Power loss protection is a critical requirement in enterprise and embedded applications, and fusing that functionality onto a slim M.2 design opens up new applications for the dense design. The product is sampling now, and volume production begins in Q1 of 2015.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has been around for not even a week, but Sledgehammer Games is already patching it up following player feedback since it launched. The first patch will fix various issues, as well as a few changes to gameplay.
The patch will fix those Prestige resetting issues, change the placement of the in-game chat, fix speed reloading, and it should also add in some connection optimizations - which should fix the game-breaking lag that many gamers have been complaining about. The developer will also be baking in some changes to the challenges required to unlock camos for weapons, and allow users to unlock eSports options in private matches.
Activision is also finally talking about dedicated servers for the game, with the company saying: "Advanced Warfare employs game servers hosted at data centers globally on all platforms and listen servers as part of our proprietary matchmaking system. Our goal is to ensure the best possible connection and greatest gameplay experience regardless of location and time of day".
HGST is now shipping its helium-filled 8TB HDDs to retailers, with both Amazon and Newegg now listing them. Newegg is listing the HGST Ultrastar He8 8TB 3.5-inch HDD for $899, while Amazon is slightly more expensive at $933.
The HGST Ultrastar He8 8TB drive is a 7200RPM HDD with 128MB of DRAM buffer, and three interfaces: SAS-6Gbps, SAS-12Gbps and SATA-6Gbps. The 8TB HDD is based off of seven 1.2TB PMR platters, which are filled with helium which shrinks the distance between the platters, without increasing the risk and sacrifice of performance. HGST promises 205MB/sec maximum sustained transfer rates, with a 4.16ms typical latency.
The drive is also available in Japan, cheaper than it is in the US, at around $695 after conversion. The drives aren't aimed at the consumer, so we should expect these prices to not drop quickly, for now.
Does Elon Musk ever sleep? It seems now, as The Wall Street Journal is reporting on rumos that Musk is building an internet-via-satellite project, with Musk replying that SpaceX is "in the early stages of developing advanced micro-satellites operating in large formations".
We're still months away from official details, but the rumors do suggest that SpaceX is working with Greg Wyler, who used to work for Google/O3b Networks, where they'll launch a total of 700 satellites. What would SpaceX be doing differently? Well for starts, their fleet of satellites would be 10x the size of the largest currently in orbit, with the individual satellites being much smaller than what is used for communications right now.
Sony has just opened up orders for its new SmartWatch 3 on Google's Play store, with a price of $249.99. Until today, Sony was only teasing the Android Wear-powered wearable as "coming soon".
For those in the US, the SmartWatch 3 has been available through Verizon Wireless, but now it's open to Google Play, many more people can purchase it. Sony aims at more fitness on its Android Wear-powered SmartWatch 3, with a built-in GPS included - something that's a first for Android Wear.
Sony has also made its SmartWatch 3 waterproof, so you can wear it all day and night; rail, hail and shine, without worrying about it getting damaged.
Just how many copies of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has Activision sold? LOTS. It has sold so well, that its first week of sales has stripped the combined first week of sales of Titanfall, Destiny, and Wolfenstein... combined.
The new COD is also outselling its predecessor, Call of Duty: Ghosts, but that shouldn't be surprising. What is surprising, is that the new Call of Duty is outselling two of the biggest games in its first week: Titanfall and Destiny - both of which had truly massive marketing campaigns behind them.