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Denuvo Has Been Sold to Global Anti-Piracy Outfit Irdeto

Just one day after it was announced that the latest version of Denuvo anti-piracy software was defeated, TorrentFreak is reporting that Denuvo has been acquired by anti-piracy outfit Irdeto. The article adds Denuvo was founded relatively recently in 2013 and employs less than 50 people. In contrast, Irdeto’s roots go all the way back to 1969 and currently has almost 1,000 staff. Depending on what Irdeto decides to do with Denuvo technology, the added resources could definitely advance it quickly.
Tough to say what happens with this, but I would have to imagine it won't be anything good for the consumer buying the game. I am not a fan of Denuvo, and the thought of it becoming even bigger and hairier isn't something I'm looking forward to. But who knows, perhaps Irdeto can make it more effective, and less intrusive.

"The success of any game title is dependent upon the ability of the title to operate as the publisher intended," said Doug Lowther, CEO, Irdeto. "As a result, protection of both the game itself and the gaming experience for end users is critical. Our partnership brings together decades of security expertise under one roof to better address new and evolving security threats."

Posted by rgmekanic January 23, 2018 3:35 PM (CST)

AMD and Nvidia Must Do More To Stop Shortages and Gouging

An article from CNBC is calling out AMD and Nvidia for not doing something to combat the product shortages and price gouging occurring in the GPU market. Speaking about the shortages, Shrout Research's Ryan Shrout wrote in an email "Because of that, many enthusiasts and DIY builders are putting off system builds and upgrades completely, setting up an unfortunate situation for all other component vendors from processors to motherboards to storage."
I'm honestly shocked that CNBC is reporting on this, that is pretty bad press for AMD and Nvidia. I really like what Ryan Shrout had to say as well, I never thought about the crypto-craze harming other segments of the PC market, but it makes complete sense. It's nice that AMD made a statement when contacted by CNBC, but it feels little more than lip service when Vega 64's are going for $1,300.

Nvidia declined to comment for this story. AMD sent the following statement when asked about the graphics card shortages for PC gamers due to the cryptocurrency mining: "The gaming market remains a priority for AMD and gamers are a primary focus across our GPUs, CPUs and semi-custom game console products."

Posted by rgmekanic January 23, 2018 12:03 PM (CST)

Man Causes Explosion in Electronics Store After Biting iPhone Battery

A man in an electronics store in China caused the replacement battery for his iPhone to explode after biting it. It is believed that the man decided to bite on the battery in an attempt to test its authenticity or durability, possibly following the same logic as people testing if an item is made from real gold.
Honestly what can I say about this. I'm guessing we will see yet another warning label on every battery after this.

The customer is seen bringing the component to his face for a closer look, before putting it in his mouth to bite down on it. Moments after he removes it from his mouth, the battery ruptures, causing a small explosion with a brief flash of light and some smoke, with the damaged hardware flung out of the customer's grip behind the counter.

Posted by rgmekanic January 23, 2018 11:36 AM (CST)

INTEL SSD 760P SERIES M.2 SSD Launches Today

The new Intel SSD 760p Series combines Intel 3D NAND technology with Intel’s world-class quality leadership to deliver PCIe performance, high capacity and low power consumption for desktop and mobile platforms.
I have uploaded the complete Press Briefing (PDF) for your viewing pleasure. Discussion
Posted by Kyle January 23, 2018 10:05 AM (CST)

Tesla Autopilot One Again Proves Crumple Zones Work

Tesla owners are out once again to prove that the Tesla Model S surely deserves its overall "Good" crash rating. However, this does make me question that "Superior" rating when it comes to "Crash Avoidance and Mitigation." This time is again a Tesla Model S owner actually believing that "Autopilot" feature actually means what is says. Rest assured, you need to be paying attention while driving down the road. Especially if your autopilotted car will run into the back of a stationary firetruck with its emergency lights on. Maybe Tesla is dead last in the driverless vehicle race? Fortunately no first responders were standing at the rear of the firetruck and the driver walked away from the crash. Crumple zones be crumplin'.

"It was a pretty big hit," Powell said. The firefighters union tweet indicated that the Tesla had been traveling at 65 miles per hour before the crash, but it was unclear to what extent the car may have slowed before striking the fire truck.

Posted by Kyle January 22, 2018 8:32 PM (CST)

Linus Torvalds Rips Into Intel

In a public email chain, the Linux inventor Linus Torvalds, and David Woodhouse, engineer at Amazon in the UK discuss Intel's "fix" for Meltdown/spectre. Never one to pull punches Torvalds exclaims "the patches are COMPLETE AND UTTER GARBAGE."
I can't even pretend to understand the technical parts of Linus' emails, but it's pretty obvious to see, the man isn't happy with what Intel is doing to fix the problem. From what I can gather, Intel is putting things in the patch that are unnecessary or redundant to make it look more substantial, while having the actual fix not be enabled by default. Linus' speculation on why it is not enabled by default is it would make Intel "look bad in benchmarks." Thanks to fightingfi for the story

All of this is pure garbage. Is Intel really planning on making this shit architectural? Has anybody talked to them and told them they are f*cking insane. Please, any Intel engineers here - talk to your managers. If the alternative was a two-decade product recall and giving everyone free CPUs, I'm not sure it was entirely insane.

Posted by rgmekanic January 22, 2018 4:51 PM (CST)

New Bill Would Stop States From Banning Broadband Competition

A new bill introduced by Rep. Anna Eshoo hopes to stop states from banning broadband competition. The Community Broadband Act (HR 4814) declares that no state may pass legislation that would "prohibit or have the effect of prohibiting any public provider from providing, to any person or any public or private entity, advanced telecommunications capability or any service that utilizes the advanced telecommunications capability provided by such provider."
This will be fantastic if it gets passed. Regulated lack of competition is what has been killing the broadband market all over the country, and it would be outstanding if it finally ceased to be. It's just a shame that all those who died when Net Neutrality got repealed won't be here to see it. Discussion
Posted by rgmekanic January 22, 2018 3:18 PM (CST)

Intel Patches Causing Big Reboot Issues Confirmed

As we reported back on January 12th, there were widespread reports of Intel's Meltdown and Spectre patches causing spontaneous reboots on systems. (I think we have dealt with the issue here once in the past week.) Now Intel is suggesting that you NOT roll out those patches as those seem to be causing more problems than good at this time.

Root Cause of Reboot Issue Identified; Updated Guidance for Customers and Partners We recommend that OEMs, cloud service providers, system manufacturers, software vendors and end users stop deployment of current versions, as they may introduce higher than expected reboots and other unpredictable system behavior. For the full list of platforms, see the Security Center site.

And since Intel can't run the proper testing due to all their systems rebooting, they are asking for partner help. Maybe they could run those on AMD EPYC servers? Oh, nevermind.

We ask that our industry partners focus efforts on testing early versions of the updated solution so we can accelerate its release. We expect to share more details on timing later this week.

Posted by Kyle January 22, 2018 3:10 PM (CST)

Top 500 UK Legal Firms Have More Than 1 Million Credentials Exposed Online

A white paper was released today by UK based private cyber intelligence company, RepKnight. The document is an analysis of dark web footprints of domains belonging to the top 500 law firms in the UK, using their "BreachAlert" platform. The analysis found the details of more than 1 million hacked leaked or stolen credentials being circulated online, an average of 2,000 email addresses per firm.
Pretty crazy numbers. The article does state that the vast majority of the credentials were exposed through "third party breaches" - meaning a data breach from another website or system unconnected to the law firm. I'm surprised more companies, especially law firms don't have some sort of policy about using a work email for personal things.

With many law firms publishing contact email addresses for their partners and staff on their website, it’s relatively easy for spammers and cybercriminals to get an email address. Every exposed email address puts that member of staff at significant risk of phishing attacks and impersonation attempts, as well as the constant plague of spam and malware. However, almost 800,000 of the 1M+ breached credentials we found also contained passwords. These are often visible as plaintext, or hashed values which are easily cracked online.

Posted by rgmekanic January 22, 2018 2:13 PM (CST)

Countries Are Wanting Their Cut of Cryptocurrency Profits

In reports today, India and South Korea are announcing they want their cut from cryptocurrency investors. BlockTribune and others are reporting that India has sent tax notices to cryptocurrency investors following a nationwide survey. The notice asks crypto investors to provide details of their total cryptocurrency holdings, and the source of their funds. In addition to India, South Korea has announced today that they will be collecting 24.2% tax on virtual currency exchanges. Under current laws, all corporations with income of over 20 billion won (US$18.7 million) are required to pay 22 percent and 2.2 percent of corporate and local income taxes on their income. If that was not enough, South Korea also announces that they will require cryptocurrency exchanges to share user data with banks, in a potential move to impose taxes on the transactions, an official at financial authorities said Sunday. They have also banned creating anonymous cryptocurrency accounts until banks install a system to ensure only real-name bank accounts and matching cryptocurrency accounts to be used for deposits and withdrawals. Banks are expected to introduce the system, which will require cryptocurrency exchanges to share users' transaction data with banks, late this month or early next month, according to the official.
I know it seems like every week (or more) we report on how Cryptocurrency is going to die. It hasn't yet, but if one thing can swiftly put a nail in the coffin it's governmental regulation and taxes. Will it crash? I have no idea, but with plenty of news stories we don't even cover coming out near daily with more regulation, rising hardware costs, and even environmentalists getting mad at the amount of electricity being used, it does seem likely that the end is near.

Bithumb, one of South Korea's major cryptocurrency exchanges, is expected to pay about 60 billion won in corporate and local income taxes as its estimated earnings reached 317.6 billion won last year, according to Yujin Investment & Securities. Bithumb reported 49.23 billion won in earnings on 49.27 billion won of sales for the first seven months last year.

Posted by rgmekanic January 22, 2018 1:08 PM (CST)

Microsoft Releases $189 Laptops For Schools

Microsoft is unveiling 10 new Windows 10 devices for schools starting at $189, challenging the Chromebook to keep teachers and students using Windows. The least expensive if the group is the Lenovo 100e, which is an 11.6" rugged laptop, with an unspecified Intel Celeron Apollo Lake processor, 2 or 4 GB of LP-DDR4, 32-64GB of eMMC storage, and weighing in a 2.7 lbs.
Affordable laptops isn't the only thing that Microsoft is announcing today for schools. They also go into free Professional Development for schools using Microsoft 365 Education, to train teachers how to get the most from the new technology. As well as additional learning tools, Minecraft: Education Edition, a curriculum using Mixed Reality and HoloLens, and more. It makes sense to get kids into the Windows environment as early as possible from a business standpoint to get them into the ecosystem early, although that didn't work with me and the Apple II's my school had.

With all of these new experiences available in time for the upcoming school year, there’s never been a better time for schools to try Microsoft Education. We will continue to work hard to deliver innovative technology for educators around the world to unlock limitless learning for students of all abilities.

Posted by rgmekanic January 22, 2018 11:43 AM (CST)

Opera Mobile Browser Takes on Cryptojacking

Opera started off the year with adding Cryptojacking protection to its desktop browser, and now follows suit with its mobile browser as well. Of course "cryptojacking" refers to a cryptocurrency mining program being run on your desktop or mobile hardware without your knowledge, which can consume plenty of power without your awareness. "Cryptojacking" in no way refers to that "Tails from the Krypt," parody on pr0nhub. Of course the tech is inside Opera's ad blocker. Nothing like working for free! w00t!!

The new anti-cryptocurrency mining feature is activated by default when enabling the ad blocker on Opera Mini and Opera for Android. The ad blocker can be enable in "Settings", and it will automatically detect and stop the mining scripts written into the coding of a webpage.

Posted by Kyle January 22, 2018 11:06 AM (CST)