ZTE Grand X 4 Smartphone

Tenda PH3 AV1000 Powerline Kit
Tenda AV1000 Powerline Kit

ROCCAT Sova Lapboard

Exploding Kittens - App Pick
App Pick - Exploding Kittens

Windows 10 to Bring PiP to the Computer

A new feature called "compact overlay window" was debuted in a newly released test version of Windows 10. The new feature will have an always on-top window that can be used for watching movies or videos, or could be used to have video chats with friends and family. I would imagine Ben Heide would get full use out of this feature while typing up some reviews!

A test version of Windows 10 released Wednesday comes with a feature called "compact overlay window" that will always float atop your other windows. That could be handy for holding Skype video chats, keeping an eye on political hearings and yes, watching Netflix or the big game when you're supposed to be at work.

Source: CNET

Dodge Repurposing Parking Sensors

The parking sensors in the Dodge Charger Pursuit police cars are being repurposed to help with Officer safety. The Officer Protection Package, when on, will turn on the ultrasonic parking sensors which if tripped by someone walking behind the car, will in turn sound a chime and roll up the windows while activating the rear camera. With the amount of police being targeted lately, keeping officers safe has become a big priority.

"While it does not replace vigilance," said Jeff Kommer, a vice president in charge of fleet sales at Dodge in a statement, "this technology acts as a second set of eyes and provides police officers with added peace of mind when they are in a parked Charger Pursuit."

Source: TheVerge

Intel to Equip Fab42 Facility for 7nm Production

Intel announced that it will bring its Fab 42 facility online to produce 7nm chips which will amount to about 3k new jobs in Arizona. Though it will take about three to four years to get up and running, Intel plans to to spend up to $7 billion to get this done. There is the possibility that the company may start using extreme ultraviolet lithography in the 7nm fabrication process, however details on the 7nm fabrication process are still scarce and Intel won't start moving equipment into the facility until it irons out the manufacturing technology.

Intel said that it will use its 7 nm fabrication process to produce various processors for PCs, data centers and other devices that will be used for AI, automated driving, medical research/treatment as well as other applications. So, as usually, the manufacturing technology will be positioned to make the whole stack of Intel’s products several years from now.

Source: AnandTech

Invisible Malware

A new type of attack called "Invisible Malware" has been discovered by researchers at Kaspersky Lab. This new attack avoids detection by using legitimate software such as penetration-testing and administrative tools along with the PowerShell framework for Window's task automation. The key to these attacks is that no malware files get physically put on the targeted machine and instead, stays in the memory until the system reboots. This could pose to be a very big problem in 2017 as over a 140 enterprise networks have been hit around the globe.

This combined approach helps to avoid being detected by whitelisting technologies, and leaves forensic investigators with almost no artifacts or malware samples to work with. The attackers stay around just long enough to gather information before their traces are wiped from the system on the first reboot.

Source: BetaNews

Intel 8th-Gen Core CPUs Still on 14nm

Intel seems to have hit a bit of a brick wall when it comes to wafer design and scaling. While they do a bit better job that I can do, they still seem to be stuck on 14nm - for the fouth generation in a row. It seems as though the 8th generation CPUS will focus more on the "Y" and "U" line - meaning that mobile is first priority. It will be intesting to see what they can pull off with the same basic CPU die size.

With Intel stringing out 14nm (or at least, an improved variant of 14nm as we’ve seen on 7th Gen) for another generation, it makes us wonder where exactly Intel can promise future performance or efficiency gains on the design unless they start implementing microarchitecture changes.

Source: AnandTech

Vizio Fined $2.2 Million for Spying

Vizio actually makes some pretty solid products for the price, and they even have SMART features that we expect to find on top-tier companies. Unlike these companies however, Vizio made no mention that firmware upgrades on older TVs (done automatically) would enable those units to spy on and collect user data. 

It did provide Vizio with a wonderful new way to collect and store a huge variety of consumer data under the pretense of adding consumer functionality. MAC addresses, IP addresses, nearby WiFi network names, metadata were all hoovered up and stored. And when the FTC says viewing data, it means that Vizio used pixel analysis to compile personal data on every program and device connected to the Vizio set.

Source: TechDirt

Samsung's Chromebook Pro Needs More Work

Samsung is looking at expanding their Chromebook line to something a little fancier. At CES they talked about the new Chromebook Pro and made some pretty big promises as to the performance and features of this Pro machine. Early testing shows that it's far from ready as the stylus input is way too laggy to be useful - and this is one of the main reasons it's getting the "Pro" tag. Hopefully they can smooth out the wrinkles soon. Samsung doesn't need a product to flop right now.

The good news is that performance seems to have improved in the few weeks I've been using the Chromebook Pro, thanks to a series of software updates. Google will be gathering data on the Play Store and Android app usage in the next few months -- the Samsung Chromebook Plus (a laptop that's identical to the Pro with the exception of a weaker ARM processor) hits stores this Sunday, with the beta Play Store included.

Source: Engadget

Valve Replaces Greenlight with Steam Direct

Valve has been pretty helpful in some ways with Indie game developers with their Greenlight program, and I guess that rose by another name still has the same flavor. They've recently renamed the initiative and smoothed out some issues that enabled developers to "farm" their games to the top of the list. This abuse will be cut down and a few other changes will be coming when the new program launches in the spring.

Valve’s motivation for moving from the Greenlight system, apart from “removing obstacles” are pretty obvious, dating back to its launch, it has been plagued by fake games and, in more recent times, has been abused by developers trying to make their games more popular.

Source: Neowin

Google Play to clean up Play Store

Starting next month is appears that Google is going to be cleaning up the Play Store for Android by deleting a whole slug of Apps that don't meet their data security standards and could see hundreds of thousands of apps go missing. This is of course a good thing as many apps require access to things that they don't need as well as it will eliminate the unattended apps that developers have abandoned. March 15th is the date the deleting will be beginning so don't be too surprised to see an app or two you've been using will be MIA. SlashGear has the full story.

Beginning next month, the number of apps offered through the Google Play Store may thin out a bit. Google has been sending out emails to developers alerting them to what is likely an incoming purge, and telling them what they can do to avoid it. Apparently, Google isn’t too fond of the fact that a number of apps require sensitive permissions from users, but don’t provide a privacy policy to explain why the apps need those permissions.

Twitter is still losing money

The good news for Twitter is that in Q4 of 2016 they saw 1% revenue growth and 4% traffic growth. The bad news of course is that they lost money, $167 million dollars which accounted for a 12% profit loss. I guess they've figured out where to keep getting more money from but one would think this can't last forever. The BBC has the full story. 

The social networking service reported a loss of $167m (£133m) in the final three months of 2016, as against $90m in the same period a year earlier.

There were 319 million active users, 4% up on a year earlier, but revenue from ads fell slightly to $638m.

Donald Trump's use of Twitter did little to boost users or add income.

Fourth-quarter revenues were $717m, 1% up on last year's $710m.

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