Tech News and Miscellany

Saw that earlier today. I thought they had already declared bankruptcy.
Ah well. Probably upset they won't be able to charge you for using your own modem after June 20 of this year.
I mean, you would expect they wouldn't need to explicitly make this illegal, but... here we are.

--Patrick
 
Well, Cortana is about to change:
The new version of Cortana will debut with the next major update to Windows 10, expected to roll out in April.
[N]o more Cortana use for anyone only using local accounts. Cortana access will only be available to those logged in with school work domain accounts or Microsoft online accounts
"Some consumer skills including music, connected home, and third-party skills will no longer be available in the updated Cortana experience in Windows 10"
Cortana apps on iOS and Android will still be able to control home devices and smart speakers. This may not be too helpful, though, since the Android and iOS Cortana apps themselves are being rapidly deprecated.
 
Does anyone use Cortana? I went through the hustle and bustle to deactivate it immediately.
 
Oh no! No more helpful Cortana with my local account?! Nooo! :aaah:
(So why are the rewarding the people with only local accounts? :awesome:)
 
I’ve sent a request to both LTT and GN asking them if they could compare the performance of a 3700X against a 3900X that’s had 4 cores disabled via Ryzen Master in order to test whether there’s a performance difference that’s directly attributable to 1 chiplet v. 2 chiplets with all else being identical, but haven’t seen anything nor gotten a reply. There are rumors of a potential 3750X release, and my guess is that’s what one would be.
My prayers have been answered!
...by TechSpot.
tl:dr; Architecturally, i9-9900k is still the best at games (probably because it's the one with the lowest memory latency), and the difference between 1x8c (3700X) v. 2x4c (3900X w/ 4 cores disabled) is maaaaybe about 5%.

--Patrick
 
To continue the above, this is especially annoying for me since there was that point where Microsoft said, “We are no longer going to release updates to older OSes if you are running a newer processor, you must upgrade to WinX.”
And which processors are the ones affected? Basically all the ones Microsoft just forced you to use!

This rash of vulnerabilities probably explains why some mfrs are coming out with brand new motherboards supporting Sandy/Ivy Bridge (2xxx/3xxx) CPUs — enough people have apparently decided they’re never going to trust the newer CPUs and are just gonna stick with the older processors for as long as they possibly can. And for stuff like Microsoft Office, they‘re probably going to be just fine.

—Patrick
 
I've long been aan Intel fan, but the last 5 years or so they've really been...not what they should've been
 
My next PC is definitely gonna be an AMD CPU. When that happens, I'm not exactly sure yet.
At this point, I’m putting my 3950X plans on hold until “Late 2020” when the Ryzen 4xxx chips are set to drop. Every indication is that Zen 3 is going to be the pinnacle (and final!) revision of what can fit into an AM4 socket, so either that’ll be the one to go for...or else they’ll bring down the price of the 3950X. :)

—Patrick
 
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The good thing, however, is that to exploit a system, an attacker must have physical access to the hardware in question, as remote exploitation is not possible.
Ehh, don't really care then.
 
Physical access is required for the current exploit.
The experts involved believe remote exploits could be possible with more research, or when coupled with other vulnerabilities.
Also there's this:
"A single [hardware] key is used for an entire generation of Intel chipsets," the Positive Technologies researchers said. "And since the ROM vulnerability allows seizing control of code execution before the hardware key generation mechanism in the SKS is locked, and the ROM vulnerability cannot be fixed, we believe that extracting this key is only a matter of time. When this happens, utter chaos will reign. Hardware IDs will be forged, digital content will be extracted, and data from encrypted hard disks will be decrypted."
DOGS AND CATS LIVING TOGETHER

--Patrick
 
My next PC is definitely gonna be an AMD CPU. When that happens, I'm not exactly sure yet.
Oh look, now it’s AMD’s turn!
New AMD Side Channel Attacks Discovered, Impacts Zen Architecture
...also affects everything from “Bulldozer“ on, not just Zen, so that means my K10-based Phenom II is still safe (yay?). Can be run from within JavaScript, so it‘s not one of those “requires physical access to the machine” sort of vulnerabilities.

The article does mention that every modern processor has some kind of vulnerability (even ARM!), but this should cool down a lot of the recent “InTeL sUx AmD rUlEz“ stuff.

—Patrick
 
Bout that time again.

This is getting to be almost a monthly thing.
[April] Windows 10 update deleting files and causing BSD errors

========

In other news, Intel has more to worry about these days than just AMD:
Apple Aims to Sell Macs With Its Own Chips Starting in 2021
Apple will launch several MacBooks and Macs based on its own custom ARM chips in 2021, a trusted insider says. The A-series chips that power the iPhone and iPad are already more powerful than Intel’s chips in tests, a detail that prompted many people to speculate that Apple would use similar chips inside its computers.
Arm Development For The Office: Unboxing an Ampere eMag Workstation
Avantek, one of the Arm server retailers, [has] built an Ampere eMag workstation out of a server board, with some interesting trickery to get it to fit [in a standard ATX PC case...]. Inside the system is a [125W] 32-core Ampere eMag server with 256 GB of eight-channel DDR-2666 memory, a 500GB WD Black SN750 NVMe SSD, a 960 GB Micron 5300 Pro SATA SSD in the rear, a Corsair VS 650W power supply, and an AMD Radeon Pro WX 5100 graphics accelerator [starting at around US$3000].
Huh, so it looks like this whole ARM architecture/ISA might be catching on. Who knows if it can displace the mighty x86 ISA monolith that's been the dominant market force since Apple abandoned PowerPC in favor of Intel back in 2006. Might want to look into maybe making some Wall Street bets with ARM Holdings since ARMH holds the IP rights and is the one licensing their CPU technology to all these people HA HAA TOO LATE looks like Japan-based SoftBank Group bought them up and took them private back in 2016. Better luck next time!

--Patrick
 
Something that could be really useful for people with older servers (people like myself and @GasBandit, especially) which still have open PCIe slots, especially if those servers' internal ports are still limited to only SATA-II:

MB839spb.jpg


MB839SP-B rugged removable drive bay for 2.5” SATA hard drives and SSDs (9.5mm height). Utilizing the standard PCIe 2.0 interface and taking only a single PCIe expansion slot, the MB839SP-B gives you an additional hot-swappable drive bay for hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SSDs) even when your computer does not have an open SATA port or empty drive bay.
(Link to product page)
In other words, it lets you use 2.5in SSDs at their full SATA-III speed as if they were ginormous floppies, or build yourself different boot "cartridges" based on what you want to use the machine for at any given time.

Handy, and I might get one (or more) for my older PCIe v2.0 machines, BUT that's not really what I'm here to talk about. Turns out they also just released an NVMe version of the same thing, which gives you all the benefits I mention above BUT with the ability to mount it in a half-height server chassis with NVMe speed and convenience:

MB840m2pb.png


Put these under "Things I didn't know I wanted until I saw them and then I wanted them A LOT."

--Patrick
 
Another (possibly final) update to the .ORG sale saga:
ICANN has blocked sale of the ORG tld to a private equity firm
It's a serious—quite possibly fatal—blow to a proposal that had few supporters besides the organizations that proposed it. [...] The group would eventually receive letters from at least 30 groups opposing the deal, as well as numerous negative comments during public hearings. Meanwhile, ICANN says, the deal has received "virtually no counterbalancing support except from the parties involved in the transaction and their advisors."
Good.

--Patrick
 
Facebook just bought GIPHY for $400mil?
They are promising that this will mean better Giphy integration with Instagram (also owned by Facebook).
Facebook says that Giphy's tools will be integrated into Instagram's Stories and direct messages, as well as the company's other apps, to "make it easier for anyone to create and share their work with the world."
<Cookie Monster noises>

--Patrick
 
Anandtech is thinking about trying something... ambitious.

The #CPUOverload Project: Testing Every x86 Desktop Processor since 2010
For the #CPUOverload project, we are testing under Windows 10, with a variety of new tests, including AI and SPEC, with new gaming tests on the latest GPUs, and more relevant real world benchmarks. But the heart of CPU Overload is this:
We want to have every desktop CPU since 2010 tested on our new benchmarks. By my count, there are over 900.
--Patrick
 
Might want to look into maybe making some Wall Street bets with ARM Holdings since ARMH holds the IP rights and is the one licensing their CPU technology to all these people HA HAA TOO LATE looks like Japan-based SoftBank Group bought them up and took them private back in 2016. Better luck next time!
It's for sale!
SoftBank May Be Selling Arm, But Apple Isn't Interested

You can buy them for yourself and influence the development of pretty much every mobile platform out there right now, IF you have a few dozen billion dollars lying around, that is.

--Patrick
 
Jeff Bezos makes that in a DAY.
Amazon web services IS a heavy server system, so I guess it's a possibility. But the current though is that nobody who would actually use ARM chips will probably end up as the buyer, since the world's regulatory agencies will immediately crawl deep up their butt if there's any thought of using ARMH ownership to stifle competition.

--Patrick
 
Amazon web services IS a heavy server system, so I guess it's a possibility. But the current though is that nobody who would actually use ARM chips will probably end up as the buyer, since the world's regulatory agencies will immediately crawl deep up their butt if there's any thought of using ARMH ownership to stifle competition.

--Patrick
Bezos'll just buy them. :(
 
Granted, he's less than halfway there, but 178B is absolutely staggering and I think merits "creeping up" status. And that's after the divorce settlement!
 
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