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IFIXIT Google Pixel 3 XL Teardown Guide

IFIXIT has written a guide on how to teardown the Google Pixel 3 XL. In this guide there is lots of hardware pron shown like glued screens, dual selfie cameras, torx wrenches and a tool called the Halberd Spudger; so cover the eyes of the tech uninitiated. The Google Pixel 3 XL received a 4 out of 10 Repairability Score due to the effort required to repair the display and the glue work necessary to remove the glass rear panel. The additional glass panels found on the newly released phone means more vulnerability to fall damage. IFIXIT did like the uniformity of the screw size used throughout the phone and the repair-friendly stretch- release adhesive securing the battery.

Let's take a look at the tech that lies under the Pixel 3 XL's newly-notched exterior: 6.3" OLED display with QHD+ 1440 x 2960 resolution (523 ppi) and Gorilla Glass 5. Octa-core, 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor (2.5 GHz + 1.6 GHz) with 4 GB LPDDR4x RAM. 12.2 MP, f/1.8, OIS main camera with dual-pixel phase detection autofocus; dual 8.1 MP selfie cameras. 64 GB or 128 GB built-in storage. Qi wireless charging. IP68 water resistance. Android 9.0 Pie.

Posted by cageymaru October 16, 2018 2:35 PM (CDT)

Eminem's Performance of "Venom" Was Recorded with Google Pixel 3 Phones

Eminem recorded his performance of "Venom" on Jimmy Kimmel Live using the camera on the recently released Google Pixel 3 phone. The video playback is set to 720p60 HD which never looks the best on my 4K screen. What do you think of the video quality? Worth $800 - $1,000?

Eminem's exclusive performance of "Venom" from high atop the Empire State Building. Presented by Google Pixel 3.

Posted by cageymaru October 16, 2018 2:28 PM (CDT)

Google Pixel USB-C to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter Performance Review

Most everyone misses the headphone jack on modern phones. Companies such as Google and Apple have replaced them with USB-C dongles with a DAC+amp built into them. Audio Science Review performed testing on 3 flavors of adapters to find out just how well designed are these USB-C to 3.5mm adapters. For comparison, read the glowing review of the ESS quad DACs ES9218P with integrated headphone amplifier found in the LG G7 ThinQ Smartphone.

I did some brief testing of the dongles using my Sennheiser HD-650 headphone. Here, I was surprised that the original Pixel V1 had decent amount of bass with clear response and loud enough for enjoyment. In sharp contrast, the other two dongles would not even reach my normal listening level. Yes, you can hear the music but this is no way to treat the HD-650. This whole business of removing the headphone jack is anti-consumer. No phone is thinner than the 3.5 mm jack allows. I don't like the idea of a dongle as it can get lost, get damaged, etc. If you are going to get one for your Pixel phone (or whatever else it may work with), then my strongest suggestion is to buy the original version before the stock runs out on them. It has far more power, and better performance. The other two dongles, the Google Pixel 2 and Venture/Veclan are what we name "phoned in design." You call a shop in China and ask them to produce a checklist item with no attempt to set quality and performance standard. What you get produces sound but it is a very poor attempt at engineering.

Posted by cageymaru October 16, 2018 1:09 PM (CDT)

Medtronic Disables Pacemaker Software Updates Over Security Concerns

Following an independent investigation by security experts, and an FDA review, Medtronic disabled software updates for the Medtronic CareLink and CareLink Encore Programmer models 2090 and 29901, which are used in pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization devices, and insertable cardiac monitors. The vulnerability would theoretically allow an attacker to update a medical device with non-Medtronic code, which is obviously a serious concern in a pacemaker. Fortunately, the company claims it hasn't received any reports of attacks or compromised patients. Users will have to manually update their medical devices via USB, and the company claims that its working on getting the online update system back up and running.

The FDA has reviewed information about potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities associated with the internet connection of Medtronic's programmers, and has confirmed that these vulnerabilities could allow an unauthorized user (that is,someone other than the patient's physician) to change the programmer's functionality or the implanted device during the device implantation procedure or during follow-up visits. Specifically, this cybersecurity vulnerability is associated with using an internet connection to update software between the CareLink and CareLink Encore programmers and the SDN. Software updates normally include new software for the programmer's functionality as well as updates to implanted device firmware. Although the programmer uses a virtual private network (VPN) to establish an internet connection with the Medtronic SDN, the vulnerability identified with this connection is that the programmers do not verify that they are still connected to the VPN prior to downloading updates. To address this cybersecurity vulnerability and improve patient safety, on October 5, 2018, the FDA approved Medtronic's update to the Medtronic network that will intentionally block the currently existing programmer from accessing the Medtronic SDN.

Posted by alphaatlas October 16, 2018 12:12 PM (CDT)

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Has Succumbed to Cancer

Paul G. Allen has succumbed to complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He had been treated for the same disease 9 years prior. The Microsoft co-founder revealed that he was beginning treatment for the disease earlier this month, and passed away today. Vulcan Inc, had this to say, "It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of our founder Paul G. Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and noted technologist, philanthropist, community builder, conservationist, musician and supporter of the arts. Mr. Allen died on Monday afternoon, October 15, 2018, from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Seattle. Mr. Allen was 65 years old."

Sayta Nadella, CEO at Microsoft. Paul Allen's contributions to our company, our industry and to our community are indispensable. As co-founder of Microsoft, in his own quiet and persistent way, he created magical products, experiences and institutions, and in doing so, he changed the world. I have learned so much from him -- his inquisitiveness, curiosity and push for high standards is something that will continue to inspire me and all of us at Microsoft. Our hearts are with Paul's family and loved ones. Rest in peace.

Posted by cageymaru October 15, 2018 6:07 PM (CDT)

Epic Games Sues Yet Another Fortnite Cheater, Alleging Copyright Infringement

Popular YouTuber "Golden Modz" (Brandon Lucas) is the latest personality to get sued by Epic Games for cheating in Fortnite. The streamer has made a name for himself by advertising cheats (dubbed "magical powers") to his 1.7 million subscribers, which he would then sell on multiple storefronts. An associate, Colton Conter (a.k.a. "Exentric"), is also being sued.

Both defendants have displayed their use of cheats in various YouTube videos. By using these cheats, they inject code into the game which modifies the original, which is a clear violation of copyright law, according to Epic Games. Even worse, Golden Modz also stands accused of selling cheats online through the websites and, which are often advertised in his gameplay videos.

Posted by Megalith October 14, 2018 2:05 PM (CDT)

Memory Prices Could Fall 20% in 2019

DRAMeXchange says that DRAM prices could "drop by 15~20% YoY in 2019 due to the weak price trend of server DRAM." The researchers point a finger towards the sluggish smartphone market and an Intel CPU shortage as major contributors to the 2019 price drop. While some manufacturers are trying to slow down expansion, the industry's "bit output" is still expected to increase by 22% thanks to process advances and yield improvements. Meanwhile, flash memory prices are expected to drop as much as 30% thanks to increased 3D NAND production capacity, "fierce" competition, and reduced smartphone demand.

DRAMeXchange now anticipates continuing price decline during the traditional slow season of 1H19. Because of the seasonal headwinds, shipment forecasts for smartphones, notebooks and tablets are fairly conservative for the first half of next year, together with the following-up impacts of China-US trade war. The gap between supply and demand may be moderated if the NAND Flash manufacturers postpone their capacity expansion and transition to 96-layer 3D NAND devices. By 4Q19, the overall production capacity of NAND Flash is expected to grow by 5% YoY, of which the capacity of 3D NAND production would increase significantly by 20% YoY. Hence, for the NAND Flash manufacturers' capital expenditure, DRAMeXchange now expects further downward revision for their spending plans for 2019.

Posted by alphaatlas October 12, 2018 10:54 AM (CDT)

TSMC Will Make All of Apple's A13 Chips

Sources tell Digitimes that TSMC will the the sole supplier of Apple's 7nm A13 chips in 2019. With Globalfoundries out of the leading edge process game, that means AMD, Nvidia, and other chip designers like Mediatek and Huawei will have to share TSMC's 7nm production capacity with the 800 pound gorilla of the tech world. TSMC's global pure-play foundry marketshare is expected to rise from 56% to 60%.

TSMC's in-house developed integrated fan-out (InFO) wafer-level packaging technology has made its 7nm process technology more competitive than its counterparts, the sources suggested. TSMC is also expected to introduce the industry's first commercially-available 7nm EUV process, the sources believe. With Globalfoundries putting its 7nm plans on hold indefinitely, TSMC will have fewer competitors in the advanced sub-10nm process segment. TSMC is also ahead of Samsung in the 7nm foundry business as the Korea-based foundry has secured orders from only Qualcomm and its own mobile division, the sources noted.

Posted by alphaatlas October 12, 2018 10:26 AM (CDT)

Wall Street Loses Patience with Snap

Snapchat's parent company Snap was the darling of Wall Street when its IPO debuted in March 2017. Now the company faces issues with a revolving user base that engages with its content less, struggles to sell advertising on the platform, and a general lack of content that interests its customers. Wall Street analysts are now calling for the company to go private as Snap has "shed $20 billion in market capitalization" since its IPO. Other analysts are less positive about the social media company's chances and suggest that buying Snap stock at its all-time low is like playing the lottery. "If you do want to play it as a lottery ticket, you can do it that way. The problem is with lottery tickets, they can pay you a lot of money if you hit them, but more time often than not, you lose 100 percent of your money, and you have to be very careful. So on a technical basis it's almost unmarketable, and you really have to look at it on the fundamental basis and see how much cash they have on hand if they can really survive," Maley said.

"The data we look at is showing a widening user base, although one which is collectively reducing its time on the platform," said Brian Wieser, a senior research analyst at Pivotal Research Group, in an email to CNBC. "Our take is that it is not too late for management to find ways to reverse recent usage trends and generally improve monetization regardless of those usage trends. With ongoing experimentation, we have some faith that they should be able to do both." "At the same time, if they are unable to do so in the near term, the company could become an attractive candidate to go private with the stock's price at current levels," Wieser added.

Posted by cageymaru October 12, 2018 9:27 AM (CDT)

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is Out

Following a beta test last month, the full version pf Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 came out at midnight last night. The new game ditches the single player campaign previous Call of Duty titles had, and in exchange, gets a battle royale mode as well as a more story-like zombie mode. Treyarch actually released a launch trailer a few weeks ago, but they also put up new trailers for the zombie and "Blackout" modes last night. You can see the "Blood of the Dead" trailer below:

The undead await in Alcatraz. This is 'Blood of the Dead' in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, a reimagined return of a fan-favorite, complete with surprises hidden within the iconic penitentiary.

Posted by alphaatlas October 12, 2018 7:45 AM (CDT)

Fake Adobe Flash Updater Installs Crytocurrency Miners

Fake Adobe Flash installers are infecting computers with malicious programs such as the XMRig cryptocurrency miner. It fools users into thinking the program is legitimate by using genuine Adobe graphics and pop-up screens from the official Adobe installer. It even properly updates Adobe Flash to the latest version on the victim's PC. But it downloads the legitimate Flash update from a compromised server along with cryptocurrency miners that forces the victim's PC to mine Monero.

While searching for these particular fake Flash updates, we noticed Windows executables file names starting with AdobeFlashPlayer__ from non-Adobe, cloud-based web servers. These downloads always contained the string flashplayer_down.php?clickid= in the URL. We found 113 examples of malware meeting these criteria since March 2018 in AutoFocus. 77 of these malware samples are identified with a CoinMiner tag in AutoFocus. The remaining 36 samples share other tags with those 77 CoinMiner-related executables. See Appendix A for the full list of the file hashes. Appendix B lists 473 file names and URLs for these fake Flash updates from March 25th, 2018 through September 10th, 2018.

Posted by cageymaru October 11, 2018 10:45 PM (CDT)

Cryptocurrency in Big Fall - Unikoin Gold Pains

A $13 billion net worth was wiped off of major cryptocurrency markets this morning. Bitcoin is still down 4.3% and Ethereum is down 11.98% as of posting this. This all comes on the back of the International Monetary Fund warning of Crypto problems to come due to rapid growth and threats to economies. Our favorite eSports betting crypto, Unikoin Gold, is down 9% and is at an all-time low for the year. It seems that there is no coming back for Rahul Sood's crypto scheme after the recent lawsuits against the coin.

Continued rapid growth of crypto assets could create new vulnerabilities in the international financial system.

Posted by Kyle October 11, 2018 2:47 PM (CDT)