Computing

USB-C Authentication spec could save devices from bad cables

USB-C Authentication spec could save devices from bad cables

Late last year, Google engineer Benson Leung, part of the team that worked on the Pixel C, went on a crusade to scour Amazon for USB Type-C cables and test them for safety. The results were discouraging, even leading to the irreparable damage of one of Leung's computers. Taking note of the dire situation, the USB 3.0 Promoter Group, who developed the standard, are now proposing a new USB Type-C Authentication protocol that will protect such devices from the dangerous effects of poorly and incorrectly designed, as well as insecure, Type-C accessories such as cables and chargers.

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Petya ransomware finally has a fix, no need to pay ransom

Petya ransomware finally has a fix, no need to pay ransom

Late last month, a new kind of ransomware burst into the scene and threatened not just files but entire hard drives. Unabashedly calling itself "Petya", the ransomware targeted and encrypted entire hard drives instead of single files. Not to belittle the threat, it only took a week or two for the security community to come up with a solution. Although the process is rather involved, the good news is that you won't have to pay a single cent. At least not to the malware authors or its users.

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Apple patent reveals MacBook with touchpad keyboard

Apple patent reveals MacBook with touchpad keyboard

A recently discovered Apple patent reveals a significant possible change to the ultra-thin MacBook: replacing the physical keyboard with a touchpad similar to the existing Force Touch trackpad for mouse inputs. As usual with patents, this may not be indicative of what Apple has planned for future products, nor may this design ever see the light of day, but it's interesting to what could be possible if Apple takes its Force Touch technology to the next level.

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Newspapers cry foul over Brave browser’s ad scheme

Newspapers cry foul over Brave browser’s ad scheme

Many who spend hours upon hours on the Web are probably acutely aware of the situation surrounding advertisements. Many of them might have even taken to using one of them so-called ad blockers. Ads are mostly considered nuisances at best, privacy liabilities at worst. But they also happen to be a legitimate and important source of income for many Web content publishers. The new Brave browser is taking a rather unconventional stance at fighting ads, mostly by replacing them with other ads. That, however, has irked not a few newspapers in the US who are practically labeling Brave's system as theft.

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Computer paints a new Rembrandt after analyzing artist’s works

Computer paints a new Rembrandt after analyzing artist’s works

Artificial intelligence and machine learning have been getting a lot of media attention lately, from Google's AlphaGo to Microsoft and Facebook's photo recognition for the blind. But being able to analyze and learn from cold hard facts is one thing. Being able to derive something creative out of it is a whole different ballpark. But that's exactly what Microsoft and some partners accomplished when they let a computer "paint" an entirely new original piece of art just after analyzing Rembrandt's existing corpus.

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Dear HP: Your new logo is amazing and you should use it everywhere

Dear HP: Your new logo is amazing and you should use it everywhere

This week we got our first look at the HP Spectre 13.3 - and with it, the newest (and yet old) HP logo. This logo is fantastic. It was originally designed all the way back in 2011 by the folks at Moving Brands, and here in 2016, HP tells us that they'll use the logo for their premium products only. They also suggested that they'd also wanted to use the full "Hewlett Packard" branding on high-end machines for this year - that is, until they split the company in late 2015, and the rights to the name went in a different direction.

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Google’s Tilt Brush turns HTC Vive into a psychedelic art machine

Google’s Tilt Brush turns HTC Vive into a psychedelic art machine

Just like the very first smartphones and tablets, today's virtual reality devices are pretty much intended primarily for content consumption. To actually create most content for it, you'd have to take of the goggles and sit down in front of a computer. There are, of course, a few exceptions, like Tilt Brush from Google. As the name might subtly imply, the virtual reality app turns the HTC Vive's controllers into paint brushes, allowing you to not only create masterpieces in full 3D but use any type of material digitally possible. Like stars.

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Single DNA molecule used to create smallest diode in all the land

Single DNA molecule used to create smallest diode in all the land

Researchers have created the world's smallest diode and they did it using a single molecule of DNA. The creation was devised by researchers from the University of Georgia and Ben-Gurion University in Israel. The creation has shown for the first time that nanoscale electronic components can be made using a single DNA molecule. The breakthrough is seen as an advance that could aid in the search for replacement in silicon chips.

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HP Spectre gets swanky with 18k gold and Swarovski crystals

HP Spectre gets swanky with 18k gold and Swarovski crystals

HP has trotted out a pair of very swanky Spectre laptop computers at the New York Times International Luxury Conference. The machines started life as your standard Spectre notebook computers before designers Tord Boontje and Jess Hannah got their hands on the machines. The two limited edition notebooks were produced in very limited numbers and will be auctioned at the Cannes Film Festival in May with all proceeds from the auctions going to the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

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Malware can hijack Firefox extensions to compromise users

Malware can hijack Firefox extensions to compromise users

Web browsers these days, especially Chrome, use sandboxing methods to prevent unauthorized access to the computer or excessive use of resources. But while that may be true for the browser's tabs and content themselves, that might not always apply to other things related to it, like extensions. That is the problem facing Firefox and some of its most popular extensions right now. Security researchers have discovered that thanks to vulnerabilities in how Firefox implements extensions, hackers can write seemingly harmless add-ons that piggyback on "clean", valid extensions in order to gain access to files or scam users.

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NVIDIA dives deep into AI with DGX-1 Deep Learning Supercomputer

NVIDIA dives deep into AI with DGX-1 Deep Learning Supercomputer

The past few weeks have been very busy and fortunate for artificial intelligence. Last month saw the triumph of AlphaGo, from Google's DeepMind AI arm, against a human Go champion. Microsoft and Facebook both just revealed new projects and features that utilized neural network and AI for the benefit of people with impaired vision. Following up on its reveal of the Drive PX 2 autonomous race car, NVIDIA is announcing a more serious AI pursuit, the DGX-1 Deep Learning supercomputer that promises a throughput equivalent to 250 regular servers.

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Vivaldi web browser takes on the giants with big 1.0 release

Vivaldi web browser takes on the giants with big 1.0 release

Many might think we have more than enough web browsers today. There's Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, and maybe even Microsoft Edge on the side. There are also a ton of other browsers here and there, like Opera, but those are pretty much the biggest players. Opera co-founder and former CEO Jon von Tetzchner, however, obviously thinks otherwise. There is always room for one more, and that one more is Vivaldi, which is announcing its entry into the big leagues with its first stable, public 1.0 launch.

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