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Intel Testing Fix To Spectre Reboot Issue PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Wednesday, 24 January 2018 17:47

Intel announced that it has made progress in correcting the issue causing random reboots in the fix for the Spectre vulnerability that it issued to hardware partners earlier.
The news from Intel that the CPU microcode update, which it issued to patch the Spectre vulnerability, was inducing random system reboots just made the Meltdown/Spectre issue go from bad to worse. Intel first announced that the issue affected Haswell and Broadwell systems, but later expanded the list to include Kaby Lake, Skylake, Ivy Bridge, and Sandy Bridge. The issue was discovered after a huge amount of hardware partners had already issued the fix to their customers, leaving some stuck with the issue. At the issue’s outbreak, Intel advised hardware partners to stop issuing updates for unpatched devices, but not to recall the updates they had already issued. Intel’s reasoning for this was that they still provided protection against the Spectre variant 2 vulnerability. Intel says that it has root-caused the issue on Haswell and Broadwell systems and that it has already issued a version of the fix to hardware partners, which are currently testing it. Intel’s official advisory to hardware partners hasn't changed: Don’t issue any more of the bugged update and start testing the new one. However, Intel says it is also working to create a new version of its original update that removes Spectre variant 2-related fixes, but maintains Spectre variant 1 and Meltdown fixes. This new update will be made available for the interim period.

A man bit a smartphone battery as a test, and it exploded. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 20:13

A man at an electronics store in China decided to give a smartphone battery his own litmus test by biting it. The battery ruptured and caused a small explosion. The spectacle, captured by the store’s CCTV security cameras, was uploaded to Miaopai, a Chinese video sharing platform similar to the now-defunct Vine. It has since garnered 4.69 million views. According to Taiwan News, the man was in the store on January 19th to replace his iPhone battery. It’s not clear which store he was in, but the side of the shop has big characters that read “Professional screen change.” The man began to look closely at the battery and, to check if it was real, decided to bite down on it, triggering the explosion. Despite the fact that the blast was inches from the man’s face, and other onlookers, no one was reportedly injured. “The battery is not gold, why are you biting it?” a Chinese netizen joked. While it’s true that faulty and counterfeit lithium-ion batteries may sometimes explode or simply overheat, this man’s method of testing the battery was pretty suspect, as we won’t know whether the battery exploded because it’s fake or because he damaged it with his teeth. After Apple admitted last month it was throttling iPhone CPUs to combat older batteries’ random shutdowns, the company offered battery replacements for $29 instead of the usual $79, which will possibly lead to more people deciding to replace their devices’ batteries. Via the

Skype for Windows 10 updated with improvements on the Fast Ring PDF Print E-mail
Written by riso   
Tuesday, 23 January 2018 00:00

Microsoft is today updating Skype for Windows 10 devices on the Fast Ring, and the latest update brings some minor improvements.

Telecommunications application, Skype is updated for both Windows 10 Mobile and PC to version 12.1803.277.0. The changelog of the update is old, we have however noticed that Microsoft has moved the Settings button to the Ellipsis menu from the Profile Page. The company has also modified the look of the app version page. Apart from these changes, Microsoft has fixed general bugs to improve the performance. Despite the company has officially announced that Windows 10 Mobile is dead, Microsoft wouldn’t stop updating the first-party anytime soon. Earlier this week, Microsoft began rolling out a Skype update for Windows Phone users on the Production Ring and it comes with a rear camera upside down the bug. Skype universal app stable version 12.13.257 has the ridiculous camera bug. It might sound weird but Microsoft had fixed this bug with front camera earlier this month and the latest update again introduced this bug. It’s really not the first time the engineers have created a weird bug, Microsoft has been doing this for several years. The company is currently rolling out the updated version of the Skype app on Fast Ring and you can download it by launching Microsoft Store. Via

Microsoft’s latest update for Security Baseline is causing component failures PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Monday, 22 January 2018 00:00

It has come to the notice that the customers who deployed Microsoft’s security baseline for Windows 10 v1709 are likely to experience device and component failures. The Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer is a tool by Microsoft which helps in determining the security state by accessing the missing security updates. The tool also analyses less-secure updates and encourages the users to remove the same. Issue with BitLocker/DMA settings in Windows 10 The BitLocker GPO settings in the Windows security configuration baselines for Windows 10 includes “Disable new DMA devices when this computer is locked” This setting was originally launched with the Windows 10 v1703 and is also part of Microsoft’s recommended baselines for both v1703 and Windows 10v1709 (Creators Update.) In the recent past, the Group Policy setting for the v1709 was strengthened. This update leads to several problems with the network adapters, audio devices and also pointing devices. In the meanwhile its crucial to understand the importance of Group Policy for BitLocker.

Intel: Meltdown/Spectre patches also cause reboots on newer processors PDF Print E-mail
Written by riso   
Sunday, 21 January 2018 00:00

Meltdown/Spectre patches also cause reboots on newer processors. When it was revealed last week that Intel was advising many of its larger customers to delay installing patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities due to a bug, the company had claimed only older Haswell and Broadwell processors were affected. It has now amended that claim after further internal testing. The bug, which is causing many to experience an above-average number of unexpected reboots after applying the patch, was found to also affect some configurations of Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake chips in the company's internal testing, according to Vice President of Intel's Data Center Group, Navin Shenoy. Unfortunately, the company has not yet identified what the root cause of the problem is, though Shenoy promised they are making significant progress in that regard. He added, "In parallel, we will be providing beta microcode to vendors for validation by next week." The blog post also goes over Intel's findings regarding the impact of these patches on performance, specifically on servers running its latest two-socket Intel Xeon Scalable microarchitecture. Java-dependent and other workloads saw relatively minimal slowdowns of up to 4%. The most significant slowdowns occurred in I/O testing, with some particularly strenuous tests resulting in a decrease of as much as 25% in write performance. Ending the post on a slightly more hopeful note, Shenoy suggested the company is looking at ways of alleviating the impact on performance in operations that were found to be significantly affected, and was considering other, less intensive means of mitigating these vulnerabilities, such as through Google's Riptoline approach. Source: Intel via Engadget/Neowin

Windows 10 build 17074.1002 shows up in the Slow ring PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 20 January 2018 20:45

Since the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update was released in mid-October, there's only been one Insider Preview build to make it to the Slow ring. Build 17025 was offered on November 1, and the ring has been quiet since then. Today though, Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview build 17074 to the Slow ring, and it introduces a ton of new features, mainly because it's been so long since the Slow ring got any attention. Indeed, there have been five Fast ring builds since then, some of them quite significant. Build 17063, which was released exactly a month ago, was probably the most notable of the five. It included headlining features like Timeline and Sets. Timeline allows you to go back to things that you were previously working on, while Sets lets you group UWP apps into tabs, similar to how a web browser works. Sets is still in control testing, meaning that not all Insiders have it yet, and it's unclear if Slow ring Insiders will get it right away. You'll also notice some big changes in the Settings app, including a new design and some Fluent Design elements. Naturally, there are new options in Settings as well, as Microsoft is continuing to reduce the need for Control Center in Windows 10. And naturally, you'll find many improvements in Edge, Cortana, My People, the Windows Shell, and much more. Unfortunately, if you're looking to do a clean install with fresh ISOs, those aren't available quite yet, although they should be soon. The 17025 ISOs were made available on November 7, six days after the Slow ring release. Via Neowin

Microsoft tops World’s Top 100 Technology Companies by Thomson Reuters PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wayne   
Friday, 19 January 2018 20:48

Microsoft tops World’s Top 100 Technology Companies by Thomson Reuters. A few days ago, Thomson Reuters revealed the world’s 100 leading technology companies in its first Top 100 Global Technology Leaders listing which identifies the most operationally sound and financially successful organizations. Microsoft was ranked No.1 on this list and it was followed by Intel, Cisco, IBM, Alphabet, Apple, and others. Thomson Reuters Labs came up with this list using a complex 28-data-point algorithm.
The methodology measures performance across eight pillars: Financial, Management and Investor Confidence, Risk and Resilience, Legal Compliance, Innovation, People and Social Responsibility, Environmental Impact, and Reputation. Its patent-pending approach was developed by.
On the Top 100 list, forty-five percent are headquartered in the United States; Japan and Taiwan are the next most prolific regions with 13 top 100 tech companies each.
Find the full list here.

Windows 10: what to expect from new spring update PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Friday, 19 January 2018 15:06

Microsoft is now hard at work on its next major update for Windows 10, codenamed Redstone 4 and scheduled for launch in the spring of 2018. Windows 10 Redstone 4 is now in full-time development at Microsoft, and there are plenty of new features and functions planned to be excited about. The beginning of the Redstone 4 development cycle has recently begun. This means the new features list is not a definite at this point, but I am continuing to get updates and changes to the preview edition that I am running on my test computer. Here is a preview of what may be coming in this release. Windows Shell (the base operating system) Fluent Design reveal effects have been softened.  Fluent Design Acrylic and Reveal effects are now showcased in more areas of the Shell. The Start menu now features Fluent Design "reveal" effects in tiles and the apps list. The "clear all", "expand", "collapse" and "see more" text in the Action Center now uses your chosen accent color. On touch system, you can now use a two finger swipe gesture to dismiss all notifications in the Action Center. Windows will now show you your personalized lock screen when selecting your account on the login page. The Calendar fly-out on the taskbar now features reveal effects. Contacts pinned to the taskbar now show a list of connected apps rather than tiles. The Taskbar now features the Acrylic blur effect. Action Center notifications now feature Fluent Design reveal effects. The "clear all" text in Action Center now says "clear all notifications" instead. Near Share is now present in the Share UI and lets you share content between nearby devices. Right clicking a live tile will give you the option of jumping straight into those apps Settings.


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