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Vizio thinking of pulling the plug on its struggling PC business

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Computer Systems | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 7:17 am

Electronics manufacturer Vizio is best known for its affordable high-definition TVs (HDTVs), and is reportedly ready to drop its struggling PC business. The company first entered the PC market in 2012, and struggled - the company solidified its TV offering by offering low prices - but premium-priced PCs and laptops fell flat.

 

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"Given the continued weak sales in the PC category as a whole, Vizio is revisiting its product assortment strategy," said Jim Noyd, a Vizio spokesperson, in a statement to PC World. "Additional updates will be available at a later date."

 

In addition to pricing miscues, Vizio tried to enter the consumer PC market as the industry began to drop. Unable to keep up with the likes of Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, and other vendors in the PC and laptop markets, it might be an appropriate time for the company to throw in the towel on its PC business.

Next-gen NVIDIA Shield will play both Android and high-end PC games

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 6:33 am

According to some news from the BBC, NVIDIA's upcoming refreshed Shield device might be capable of playing both Android and high-end PC games. In order to play high-end PC games, the new Shield would be linked up to a GeForce-powered PC, similar to how existing Shield's currently work.

 

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The new Shield will reportedly have a cheap controller made available as a separate add-on, something that would make it a bit more accessible to gamers. It looks like we should expect NVIDIA's more-than-capable Tegra K1 chip to be powering the new portable gaming powerhouse, with an NVIDIA spokesperson claiming that the launch will take place soon for an "awesome new gaming product".

Micron shows off 8Gb DDR3 chips, paves the way for 64GB DIMMs

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: RAM | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 5:23 am

Micron has just shown off the world's first 8Gb DDR3 memory chips, something that will pave the way for massive kits of memory. Before now, 8Gb memory chips were created by stacking together multiple 2Gb or 4Gb chips.

 

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This new 8Gb chip will allow the company to provide cost-effective, high-capacity solutions for servers, and more. Robert Feurle, Vice President of Compute and Networking Marketing at Micron said: "The ability to scale with our customers' accelerating memory demand was a key driver in developing this 8Gb DDR3 design. We are committed to working together with our partners to minimize risk, maximize flexibility and optimize total cost of ownership".

 

Micron bakes these 8Gb chips onto RAM using a 25nm process, with the first commercial products to come out of the oven being 32GB DDR3 DIMMs for servers.

Rift DK2 customer tries to sell his VR headset on eBay for $5,000

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Wearable Computing | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 4:43 am

A US-based Oculus Rift DK2 pre-order customer had attempted to sell his Rift DK2 unit (once he received it) on eBay for $5,000 - but once the VR community saw what was going on, they contacted Oculus VR which swiftly cancelled this order.

 

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This person claims to have made his pre-order on the morning that Oculus VR announced the Rift DK2 unit, and is based in Laguna Beach. He went to eBay to sell his pre-order for some $5,000 - but was shut down within hours. 'cyberreality' on the Oculus VR forums, who is the Community Manager for the Facebook-owned VR start up, said posted in the Oculus VR forums: "Don't worry guys. We found him and cancelled his order".

 

The forum exploded with praise from future Rift DK2 owners with posts such as "This was literally the highlight of my afternoon" from 'racerx2', and "AWESOME!! Thank you!" from the thread starter, 'kingzope'.

Grand Theft Auto V rumored to hit PCs on November 14

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 4:22 am

When we had confirmation that Grand Theft Auto V was coming to the PC, no release date was attached to that news. But, according to PC Gamer, the release date of Rockstar Games' open world mega smash should reach the PC master race on November 14, in Europe at least.

 

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There is a listing on a Danish retailer's website, which has since been altered to December 31, which probably means that it could've posted the real date and has been forced to remove it, throwing up a placeholder date in the meantime. We should consider this a little more real though, as November is a big time for gaming releases since it's the holiday season and all.

Obama administration: Fourth Amendment doesn't apply to online storage

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Privacy & Rights | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 3:32 am

It was only a couple of months ago that a New York judge ruled that US search warrants applied to digital information, even if this data was stored somewhere overseas. This happened because of an effort to find a Microsoft user's account information that was stored overseas, in Dublin, Ireland.

 

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The Redmond-based software giant responded to the ruling, challenging it, stating that the US government's longstanding views of digital content on overseas servers was wrong, and that the protections applied to physical media should be extended to cover digital content, too. The US government has replied, saying that according to the Stored Communications Act (SCA), content that is stored online doesn't have the same Fourth Amendment protection as physical data.

 

The US government said in a statement: "Overseas records must be disclosed domestically when a valid subpoena, order, or warrant compels their production. The disclosure of records under such circumstances has never been considered tantamount to a physical search under Fourth Amendment principles, and Microsoft is mistaken to argue that the SCA provides for an overseas search here. As there is no overseas search or seizure, Microsoft's reliance on principles of extra-territoriality and comity falls wide of the mark".

Hacker involved in $14 million theft pleads guilty to bank fraud

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 15, 2014 12:36 am

Qendrim Dobruna, 27, has pleaded guilty to bank fraud in a case stemming back to 2011, and could face up to 30 years in prison. Operating under the names "cL0sEd" and "cL0z," he played a part in an operation that lasted 48 hours and led to $14 million stolen - with criminals withdrawing the funds via ATMs in 20 different countries.

 

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Dobruna initially decided to plead not guilty, but thought better of it before changing his plea to guilty - and will serve at least nine years. Dobruna and his accomplices chose to defraud "JPMorgan Chase, and to obtain moneys, funds, credits and other property owned by, and under the custody and control of said financial institution, by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises," according to the federal government's indictment.

 

It took a growing number of cybercrime-related cases before the federal government jumped into action - but criminals conducting fraud and theft on a large scale are increasingly being targeted by police and federal agencies.

The 'Kronos' banking malware being sold on underground forums

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Jul 14, 2014 10:40 pm

The "Kronos" Trojan is designed specifically to steal log-in credentials and important financial information from unsuspecting users. This particular malware is being offered for use by cybercriminals, as advertising is popping up on underground forums. The ad was found on a Russian cybercriminal hacker forum, it has been recently confirmed.

 

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Kronos is able to exploit Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome, stealing credentials on bank websites by form-grabbing and an HTML content injection.

 

"The cybercriminal underground is a market," said Dmitry Tarakanov, Kaspersky Lab senior security researcher, in a statement to PC World. "Source code leakages and botnet shutdowns have been happening constantly but we see virus writers from time to time come up with new (or based on old but modified) banking malware. It proves that the market wants such tools."

Continue reading 'The 'Kronos' banking malware being sold on underground forums' (full post)

UK firm makes alien-like material that's so dark it's barely visible

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 14, 2014 9:04 pm

A brand new material made from carbon nanotubes is so densely black that it isn't entirely visible to the human eye, if a British company's research is to be believed.

 

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The maker of the material, Surrey NanoSystems, built the so-called Vantablack out of a coating comprising carbon nanotubes. According to the researchers, it absorbs just 0.035 percent of visible light, causing much of the light shined on the material to never appear again. As the company's CTO Ben Jensen explains: "It's like black, like a hole, like there's nothing there," he said. "It just looks so strange." Because it absorbs so much light the material can even distort the appearance of objects around it.

 

Right now the applications for such a material are unclear - but surprise, surprise, it seems like there could be military uses for Vantablack that it's not allowed to talk about at this point. The material will be publicly launched at Britain's Farnborough International Airshow this week - where show-goers will be free to take a look at it, if they can find it at all.

Early plans suggest Scotland as new home of commercial spaceports

By: Tamlin Magee | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Jul 14, 2014 8:08 pm

Bonnie Scotland could be host to one of the first commercial spaceports outside of the United States according to new plans that have just been unveiled by the country's government.

 

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Scottish voters will soon decide whether or not the country claims independent from the United Kingdom - and according to its government today, only national sovereignty could lead to heavy development of its space industry. A Scottish spaceport would primarily serve to launch satellites, but there are hopes it would also draw in attention from lofty galactic tourism operators like Virgin and XCor.

 

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liberal Democrat Danny Alexander, suggested Scotland could take a pivotal role in developing the UK's space industry. The Scottish government, however, seemed to suggest the country could be better going at it alone. "Scotland is proving that it has the expertise to attract and support such a specialized, global industry," a spokesperson told the BBC. "And as such an independent Scotland will be an attractive option for spaceport pioneers."

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